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



THE 



PRACTICAL WORKS 



OF THF 



REV. RICHARD BAXTER. 



>  



T H E 



PRACTICAL WORKS 



THE REV. RICHARD BAXTER: 



A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, 



A N I) 



A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF HIS WRITINGS, 



BY THE 



REV. WILLIAM ORME, 

AUTHOR Of "THE LIFE OF JOHN OWEN, D.0. j" " BIBLIOTHECA BIBLICA," ETC 



IN TWENTY-THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. XXI. 



LONDON: 
JAMES DUNCAN, 37, PATERNOSTER ROW. 



MDCCCXXX. 



LONDON : 

HINTED BY MILLS, JOWETT, AND MILLS, 
BOLT-COURT, FLEET-STREET. 



THE 

PRACTICAL WORKS 

OF THE 

REV. RICHARD BAXTER. 



VOLUME XXI. 



CONTAINING 



THE REASONS OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ; MORE REASONS 
FOR THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 



VOL. XXI. 



LONDON: 
PRINTED BY MILLS, JOWETT, AND MILLS, 
BOLT-COURT, FLEET-STREET. 



CONTENTS 

OF 

THE TWENTY-FIRST VOLUME. 



THE 



REASONS OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 



THE FIRST PART CONTINUED. 

OF NATURAL RELIGION, OR GODLINESS. 

PAGE 

Chap. IX. Of man's subjection to God, or relation to him as 

our Ruler 1 

X. Of God's particular laws, as known in nature: 
what the law of nature is 

XL 3. Of God's relation to man, as his Benefactor 
and his End; or, as his Chief Good; proved 
that God is man's End , 17 

XII. Of man's relation to God, as he is our Father, 
Benefactor, and End, or Chief Good; and the 
Duties of that relation 

XIII. Experiments of the difficulty of all this duty, be- 

fore proved from nature ; and what it must cost 

him who will live such a holy life 52 

XIV. That there is a life of retribution after this, proved 57 
XV. Of the intrinsical evils of sin ; and of the perpe- 
tual punishment due to the sinner, by the un- 
doubted law of nature 95 

XVI, Of the present sinful and miserable state of the 

world , 116 

A 2 



iv CONTENTS. 

XVII. What natural light declareth of the mercy of God 
to sinners, and of the hopes and means of man's 
recovery 



PAGE 



122 



THE SECOND PART. 



OF CHRISTIANITY, AND SUPERNATURAL REVELA- 
TION. 

Chap. I. Of the need of a clearer light, or fuller revelation 
of the will of God, than all that hath been 

opened before 131 

II. Of the several religions which are in the world . . 13S 

III. Of the christian religion; and, 1. What it is .... 144 

IV. Of the nature and properties of the christian reli- 

gion 168 

V. Of the eongruities in the christian religion, which 
make it the more easily credible, and are great 

preparatives to faith 181 

VI. Of the Witness of Jesus Christ, or the great demon- 
strative evidence of his verity and authority, viz., 
the Spirit, in four parts: 1. Antecedently, by 
prophecy ; 2. Constitutively and inherently, the 
image of God, on his person, life, and doc- 
trine ; 3. Concomitantly, by the miraculous power 
and works of Christ and his disciples; 4. Subse- 
quently, in the actual salvation of men by reno- 
vation : opened : notes added 199 

VII. Of the subservient proofs and means by which the 
fore-mentioned evidences are brought to our cer- 
tain knowledge. How we know the antecedent 
prophetical testimony, and the constitutive, inhe- 
rent evidence. How we know the concomitant 
testimony of miracles : 1 . By human testimony. 

2. By evidence of natural certainty. 3. By 
divine attestation in the testifier's miracles. The 
proofs of that divine attestation with the wit- 
nesses : 1 . In the holy constitution of their souls 
and doctrine: 2. In their miracles and gifts: 

3. In the success of their doctrine to men's sanc- 
tification. How the church's testimony of the 



CONTENTS. v 

PAGE 

disciples' miracles and doctrine is proved : 1 . By 
most credible human testimony : 2. By such as 
hath natural evidence of certainty : 3. By some 
further divine attestation. The way or means of 
the church's attestation and tradition. The Scrip- 
tures proved the same which the apostles deliver- 
ed and the churches received. How we may 
know the fourth part of the Spirit's testimony, 
viz., the successes of christian doctrine to men's 
sanctification. What sanctification is, and the 

acts or parts of it. Consectaries 241 

VIII. Of some other subservient and collateral argu- 
ments for the christian verity 287 

IX. Yet faith hath many difficulties to overcome : what 

they are, and what their causes 301 

X. The intrinsical difficulties in the christian faith re- 
solved ; or, twenty-four objections against Christ- 
ianity answered 307 

XI. The extrinsical difficulties ; or, sixteen more objec- 
tions resolved 358 

XII. The reasonable conditions required of them who 
will overcome the difficulties of believing, and will 

not undo themselves by wilful infidelity 377 

The sum of all, in an address to God 390 

CONSECTARIES. 

XIII. 1. What party of Christians should we join with, 

or be of, seeing they are divided into so many 

sects 395 

XIV. 2. Of the true interest of Christ and his church, and 

the souls of men ; of the means to promote it, and 
its enemies and impediments in the world ; which, 
being only named in brief propositions, should be 
the more heedfully perused by those that dare 
pretend the interest of religion and the church, 
for the proudest or the most dividing practices ; 
and those which most directly hinder the success- 
ful preaching of the Gospel, and the pure wor- 
shipping of God, and the saving of men's souls. . 398 



vi CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

THE CONCLUSION ; or, an Appendix, defending the soul's 
immortality against the Somatists, or Epicureans, and 
other Pseudo-philosophers 413 



MORE REASONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN RELI- 
GION, AND NO REASONS AGAINST IT; or, 
a Second Appendix to the ' Reasons of the Christian 
Religion :' 

I. In answer to a letter from an unknown person, charging 

the Holy Scriptures with contradiction 523 

II. Some animadversions on the foresaid treatise, ' De Ve- 

ritate,' resolving several questions there included or 
implied . - 556 



OF NATURAL RELIGION, 



OR 



GODLINESS. 



CHAP. IX. 

II. Of Man's Subjection to God, or Relation to him as our 

Governor. 

Sect. 1. Man being made thus a rational, free agent, and soci- 
able to be governed, and God being bis rightful Governor, is imme- 
diately related to God as his subject, as to right and obligation. a 

There is no sovereign without a subject : subjection is our 
relation to our governor, or else our consent to that relation. 
In the former sense we take it here. A subject is one that is 
bound to obey another as his ruler. He that is a subject by 
right and obligation, and yet doth not consent and actually 
subject himself to his rightful governor, is a rebel. There 
cannot be greater obligations to subjection imagined by a 
created understanding, than the rational creature hath to God. 

Sect. 2. All men are obliged to consent to this subjection, 
and to give up themselves absolutely to the government of God. b 

God's absolute propriety in us, as his creatures, giveth him so 
full a title to govern us, that our consent is not at all necessary 
to our obligation and subjection-relative ; but only to our 
actual obedience, which cannot be performed by one that con- 
senteth not. Therefore, God's right and our natural condition 
are the foundation of our subjection to him, as to obligation and 
duty ; and he that consenteth not, sinneth by high treason 
against his sovereign. As God did not ask our consent whether 
he should make us men, so neither whether he should be our 

a Seneca (Epist. ad Luc. 83, p. (mihi) 711.,) saith, Sic certe vivenduni est, 
tanquam in conspectu vivamus. Sic cogitandum tanquam aliquis in pectus 
inspicere posset et potest : quid euim prodest ab liomine aliquid esse secre- 
tura. Nihil Deo clausum interest aniinis nostris, et cogitationibus mediis 
intervenit. 

b Diogenes (in Laert.) said to an immodest woman -. Non vereris mulier, 
ne forte stante post tergum Deo (cuncta enim plena ipso sunt) inhoneste te 
habeas ? 

VOL. XXI. R 



2 THE REASONS OF 

Governor, and we his subjects as to obligation, nor yet whether 
he shall punish the rebellious and disobedient : but he asketh 
our consent to obey him, and to be rewarded by him ; for we 
shall neither be holy nor happy but by our own consent. Those, 
therefore, whom I have confuted in my treatise of policy, who 
say, ' God is not our King, till we make him King, nor his laws 
obligatory to us till we consent to them ; ' speaking, de debito, do 
not reason, but rave, and are unworthy of a confutation. 

Sect. 3. All men, therefore, are obliged to subject their 
understandings to the revealed wisdom of God, and their wills to 
his revealed will ; and to employ all the powers of soul and 
body, and all their possessions, in his most exact obedience. 

Subjection is an obligation to obedience. Where the autho- 
rity and subjection are absolute and unlimited, there the obe- 
dience must be absolute and most exact. The understanding of 
our absolute Ruler is the absolute rule of our understandings. 
No man must set up his conceits against him, or quarrel with 
his government or laws. If any thing of his revelation or pre- 
scription seem questionable, unjust, or unnecessary to us, it is 
through our want of due subjection, through the arrogancy and 
enmity of our carnal minds. His will, de debito, must be the 
absolute rule of all our wills. So much secret exceptions and 
reserves as we have in our resignation and subjection, so much 
hypocrisy and secret rebellion we have. Our subjective obliga- 
tion is so full and absolute, and our Ruler so infallible, just, and 
perfect, that it is not possible for any man's obedience to God 
to be too absolute, exact, or full. Nothing can be more certain, 
than that a creature, subject to the government of his Creator, 
of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, doth owe him the most 
perfect and exact obedience, according to the utmost of his 
powers, without any dissent, exception, resistance, unwillingness, 
or neglect. d 

Sect. 4. All obedience which rulers require of their subjects, 

c Primus est Deorum cultus, Deos credere ; deinde reddere illis raajestatem 
suam : reddere bonitatem, sine qua nulla majestas est : scire illos esse qui 
prsesident mundo, qui universa, ut sua, temperant : qui humani generis tutelam 
gerunt. — Senec. Epist. 92. 

d Nihil mihi videtur frigidius, nihil ineptius, quam lex cum prolegomeno : 
Die quid me velis fecisse ; non disco, sed pareo. — Idem. Ep. 95. If men's 
laws must have so great authority, much more God's. Ex quo intelliges par 
est, eos qui perniciosa et injusta populis jussa descripserint, cum contra fece- 
rint quod polliciti professique sint, quidvis potius tulisse quam leges.— Cicero 
de Leg. 1. 2. p. 235. Multa perniciosa, multa pestifera sciscuntur in populis, 
quae non uiagis legis women attingunt, quam si latrones, &.c.—Id. Ibid. -.. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 3 

or subjects give to any governors, must be in full subordination 
to the government and will of God. 

For all powers, under the absolute Sovereign of the world, are 
derivative and dependent, and are no more than he hath given : 
they are from him, under him, and for him ; and can no more 
have any authority against him, than a worm against a king, or 
than they could have being and authority without him. He that 
contradicteth this proposition, must take down God, and deify 
man, and so defy and conquer heaven, or else he will never 
make it good. As for the difficulties that seem to rise, by allow- 
ing subjects to prefer God's authority before their parents or 
princes ; it belongeth no more to the clearing of the present 
subject that I resolve them, than that I resolve such as arise 
from our allowing subjects to disobey a justice or constable 
when he is against the king. e 

Sect. 5. They that are obliged to such absolute and exact 
obedience, are obliged to use their utmost diligence to under- 
stand God's laws, which they must obey. 

For no man can obey a law which he doth not know of, and 
understand. Subjection includeth an obligation to study our 
Maker's laws, so far as we must do them : indeed, those that 
concern others, we are not so much bound to know, as a subject 
to know God's laws for kings and pastors of the church ; but 
for our own duty, we cannot do it before we know it. Those 
that are ignorant of their Maker's will, through unwillingness, 
contempt, or negligence, are so far disobedient to his government. 

Sect. 6. There are many and great temptations to draw us to 
disobey our Maker, which every one is bound with greatest 
vigilancy and constancy to resist. f 

He that is bound to obey, is certainly bound to resist all 
temptations to disobedience. For that is far from absolute or 
true obedience which will fail, if a man be but tempted to dis- 
obey. Kings and parents will not accept of such obedience as 
this ; they will not say, ' Be true to me, and honour me, and 
obey me, till you are tempted to betray me, and to reproach me, 

e Plutarch (de Tranquil. Anini.) saith, that it is one of Aristotle's sayings, 
" That he that helieved as he ought, of the gods, should think as well of him- 
self as Alexander, who commanded so many men." — (P. 155.) 

f DicebatThales, homines existimare oportere Deos omnia cernere, deorum- 
que omnia esse plena, et tunc fore omnes castiores. — Cicero 2. de Leg. Athen- 
odorus dicere prudenter solebat, ita cum hominibus homines vivere debere, 
acsi Deus retributor bonorum malorumque ultor, omni loco ac tempore ac- 
tiones nostras intueretur, conspicereturque humanis nostrisoculis. — Fulgof. 
I.7.C.2. 

B2 



4 THE REASON'S OF 

and rebel.' He that will be false to God, when he is tempted to it, 
was never true to him. No temptation can bring so much for 
sin, as God giveth us against it ; nor can offer us so much gain, 
or honour, or pleasure by it, as he offereth us on condition we 
obey him. And that the world is full of such temptations, expe- 
rience putteth past dispute ; of which, more anon. 

Sect. 7. No price can be offered by any creature, which, to a 
subject of God, should seem sufficient to hire him to the smallest 
sin.e 

Sin hath such aggravations (which shall be opened anon) that 
no gain or pleasure that cometh by it, can counterbalance ; 
there being no proportion between the creature and the infinite 
Creator, there can nothing by, or of, the creature be proportion- 
able, or considerable, to be. put into the balance against the 
Creator's authority and will. The command of kings, the 
winning of kingdoms, the pleasure of the flesh, the applause of 
all the world, if they are offered as a price or bait to hire or 
tempt a man to sin, should weigh no more against the command 
of God, than a feather in the balance against a mountain. All this 
common reason will attest, however sense and appetite reclaim. 

Sect. 8. No man can reasonably fear lest his true obedience 
to such a governor, should prove his final detriment or hurt ; but 
if it did, it were nevertheless our duty to obey. h 

1. No man can reasonably think that God is less able 
to reward, protect, and encourage his subjects in their duty, 
than any tempter whatsoever in their disobedience. And no 
man can think that he is less wise to know how to perform it : 
nor can any think that infinite goodness is less disposed to do 
good to the good, than any tempter whosoever can be, to do 
good to the evil. These things being all as clear as light itself 
to the considerate, it must needs follow that no reason can 
allow a man to hope to be finally a gainer or saver by his dis- 
obedience to his Maker, or to fear to be a loser by him. 

2. But if it were so, obedience would be our duty still ', for 



s Sic vive cum hominibus tanquam Deus videat : sic loquere cum Deo tan- 
quam homines audiant. — Sen. Ep. 10. Chilou (in Laert. p. 4.5.) inquit, 
Damnum potius quam turpe lucrum eligendum, % nam id semel tautum dolori 
esse : hoc semper. 

h Plus aptid bouos pietatis jura (,uam omnes opes va!ent. — Justin. Hist. 1. 3. 
Because God hath penalties to promote obedience, all religion is called, " The 
fear of God." Laertius saith of Cleanthe^. Cum aliquaudo probro illi dare- 
tur, quod esset tiniidus : at ideo, inquit, parum pe' co. Fear is a preserving', 
cautelous passion, though it make not a good man of itself, but as joined with 
love. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 5 

the authority of God, as his propriety, is ahsolute, and he that 
giveth us power to require the analogical ohedience of our horse 
or ox, though it be to our benefit only, and his hurt, yea, though 
it be in going to the slaughter, if he did so by us, could do us 
no wrong, nor give us any just excuse for our disobedience. For 
as sweet as life is to us, it is not so much ours in right as his, 
and therefore should be at his disposal. 

Sect. 9. The breaking of God's laws must needs deserve a 
greater penalty than the breaking of any man's laws, as such. 

The difference of the rulers and their authority, puts this past 
all controversy ; of which, yet I shall say more anon. 

Sect. 10. What is said of the subjection of individuals to 
God, is true of all just societies as such, the kingdoms of the 
world being all under God, the universal King, as small parcels of 
his kingdom, as particular corporations are under a human king. 

Therefore, kings and kingdoms owe their absolute obedience 
to God, and may not intend any ultimate end, but the pleasing 
of their universal Sovereign ; nor set up any interest against him, 
or above him, or in co-ordination with him ; nor manage any 
way of government, but in dependence on him, as the principle 
and the end of it ; nor make any laws, but such as stand in due 
subordination to his laws ; nor command any duty but what hath 
in its order a true subserviency and conducibility to his pleasure. 



CHAP. X. 
Of God's particular Laws, as known in Nature. 

The true nature of a law I have opened before. ' It is not 
necessary that it be written or spoken, but that it be in general 
any apt signification of the will of the rector to his subjects, 
instituting what shall be due from them, and to them, for the 
ends of government. Therefore, whatsoever is a signification 
of God's will to man, appointing us our duty, and telling us 
what benefit shall be ours upon the performance, and what loss 
or hurt shall befal us, if we sin, is a law of God. 

Sect. 1 . A law being the rector's instrument of governing, 
there can be no law where there is no government ; and, there- 
fore, that which some call the eternal law, is indeed no law at 
all, but it is the principle of all just laws. 

The eternal wisdom and goodness of God, that is, the 

1 Though Cicero's books De Legibus he usually read by us when we are boys, 
they are worthy the perusal of the wisest men, and fit for the edification and 
pleasure of the learned. 



6 THE REASONS OF 

perfection of his nature and will, as related to a possible, or 
future kingdom, is denominated justice ; and this justice some 
call the eternal law ; but it is truly no law, because it is the will 
of God in himself, and not as rector : nor is it any signification 
of that will, nor doth it suppose any governed subjects in being 
from eternity; nor doth it make any duty to any from eternity: 
but all the laws which God maketh in time, and, consequently, 
which men make, which are just and good, are but the products 
of this eternal will and justice. 

And whereas some sav, that there is an eternal truth in such 
axioms as these, Thou shalt love God above all, and do as 
thou wouldst be done by, and the good should be encouraged, 
and the bad punished, &c; I answer, God formeth not propo- 
sitions, and therefore there were no such propositions from 
eternity ; nor was there any creature to love God, or to do 
good or evil, and be the subject of such propositions : that 
proposition, therefore, which was not from eternity, was neither 
true nor false from eternity ; for non entis non sunt accidentia 
vel modi. But this is true, that from eternity there were the 
grounds of the verity of such propositions when they should 
after be ; and that if there had been subjects from eternity for 
such propositions, and intellects to frame them, they would 
have been of eternal truth. 

Sect. 2. At the same time of his creation, that God made 
man his subject, he also made him some laws to govern him. k 

For subjection, being a general obligation to obedience, 
would signify nothing, if there were no particular duties to be 
the matter of that obedience. Else, man should owe God no 
obedience from the beginning, but be lawless ; for where there 
is no law, there is no obedience, taking a law in the true 
comprehensive sense, as I here do. 

Sect. 3. All the objective significations, in natura ferum, 
within us, or without us, of the will of God, concerning our 
duty, reward, or punishment, are the true law of nature, in the 
primary proper sense. 

Sect. 4. Therefore, it is falsely defined by all writers, who 
make it consist in certain axioms, as some say, born in us, or 
written on our hearts from our birth ; as others say, disposi- 
tively there. 

It is true that there is, in the nature of man's soul, a certain 

k Quod (de magistra loquitur) cum dico legem, a me dici nihil aliud intel- 
ligi volo quam imperium, sine quo nee domus ulla, nee civitas, &c. — Cic. de 
leg, 3. init. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 7 

aptitude to understand certain truths as soon as they are reveal- 
ed, that is, as soon as the very natura rerum is observed ; and 
it is true that this disposition is brought to actual knowledge as 
soon as the mind comes to actual consideration of the things ; 
but it is not true that there is any actual knowledge of any prin- 
ciples born in man, nor is it true that the said disposition to 
know is truly a law, nor yet that the actual knowledge following 
it is a law : but the disposition may be called a law, metonymi- 
cally, as being the aptitude of the faculties to receive and obey 
a law, as the light of the eye, which is the potentia et dispositio 
videndi, may be called the light of the. sun, but unhandsomely. 
And the subsequent, actual knowledge of principles, may be called 
the law of nature, metonymically, as being the perception of it, 
and an effect of it ; as actual sight may be called the light of the 
sun ; and as actual knowledge of the king's laws may be called 
his laws within us, that is, the effect of them, or the reception 
of them ; but this is far from propriety of speech. 

That the inward axioms, as known, are not laws, is evident, 
1. Because a law is in genere objectivo, and this is in genere ac- 
tionum. A law is in genere signorum ; but this is the discerning 
of the sign. A law is the will of the rector signified : this is his 
will known. A law is obligatory : this is the perception of an 
obligation. A law maketh duty ; but this is the knowledge of 
a duty made. 2. The law is not in our power to change or 
abrogate ; but a man's inward dispositions and perceptions are 
much in his power to increase, or diminish, or obliterate. Every 
man that is wilfully sensual and wicked, may do much to blot 
out the law of nature, which is said to be written on his heart ; 
but wickedness cannot alter or obliterate the law of God. If 
this were God's law which is upon the heart, when a sinner hath 
blotted it out, he is disobliged from duty and punishment ; for 
where there is no law, there is no duty or transgression : but no 
sinner can so disoblige himself by altering his Maker's laws. 
3. Else, there would be as many laws of nature, not oidy as 
there are men, but as there is diversity of perceptions ; but God's 
law is not so uncertain and multiform a thing. 4. And if man's 
disposition, or actual knowledge, be God's law, it may be also 
called man's law ; and so the king's law should be the subject's 
perception of it. 

It is, therefore, most evident, that the true law of nature is 
another thing ; and is it not, then, a matter of admiration, that 
so many sagacious, accurate schoolmen, philosophers, lawyers, 
and divines, should, for so long time, go on in such false defini- 



S THE REASONS OF 

tions of it ? The whole world belongeth to the law of nature, 
so far as it signifieth to us the will of God, about our duty, and 
reward, and punishment : the world is as God's statute book : l 
the aforesaid, natural aptitude maketh us fit to read and practise 
it. The law of nature is as the external light of the sun, and 
the said natural disposition is as the visive faculty to make use 
of it, yet much of the law of nature is within us too ; but it is 
there only in genere objectivo, et signi. Man's own nature, his 
reason, free-will, and executive power, are the most notable signs 
of his duty to God ; to which all mercies, judgments, and other 
signifying means, belong. 

Sect. 5. The way that God doth, by nature, oblige us, is by 
laying such fundamenta from which our duty shall naturally 
result, as from the signification of his will. 

Sect. 6. These fundamenta are some of them unalterable, while 
we have a being, and some of them alterable; and, therefore, 
some laws of nature are alterable, and some unalterable ac- 
cordingly." 1 

As, for instance, man is made a rational, free agent, and God 
is unchangeably his rightful Governor, of infinite power, wisdom, 
and goodness, therefore the nature of God and man, in via, thus 
compared, are the fvndamentvm from whence constantly re- 
sulteth our indispensable duty to love him, trust him, fear him, 
and obey him ; but if our being, or reason, or free-will, which 
are our essential capacities, cease, our obligations cease cessante 
fundamento. God hath made man a sociable creature; and, 
while he is in society, the law of nature obligeth him to many 
things which he hath no obligation to when the society is dis- 
solved ; as when a parent, child, wife, or neighhour dieth, all 
our duties to them cease. Nature, by the position of manv cir- 

1 Onmis lex inventum sane et donum est Deorum : Decretum verohonunum 
prudentum. Demost. cont. Arts. or. 1. 

m Communis lex nunquam immutatur, cum secundum naturam sit: jus 
verb scriptum saepius. — Jristot. Rhet., ad The.od. c. 4. Diogenes (in La- 
ert.) congregatis ad se plurimis exprob:avil, quod ad inepta studiose concur- 
rerent; ad ea verb qua? gravia ac uiilia, negligenter convenient. Dicehatque 
de fodiendoet ealcitrarido certare homines, ut autem boniet probifierent curare 
neminem. Musicos in jus vocabat, quod cum lyras chordas congrue aptarent, 
animi mores inconcinnos habereut. Mathematicos carpebat, quod Solein, et 
Lunam,et Syder intuentcs, qua ante pedes erant, negligerent. Oratores item, 
quod studerent justa dicere, non autem et facere. Avaros quoque, quod pecu- 
niam vituperarent, ac summe diligerent: et eos qui justos, quod pecunias 
contemnerent, laudabant; pecuuiosos vero imitari satagebant. Stomachaba- 
tur eis, qui pro bona valetudine sacra facerent, inter sacrificia contra sanita- 
tem caenarent. Servos mirabatur, qui cum edaces dominos cernerent, nihil 
diriperent ciborum. Dicebat manus ad amicus, non coinplicatis digitis ex- 
tendi oportere. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 9 

cumstances, hath made incest, ordinarily, a thing producing 
manifold evils, and a sin against God ; and yet nature so placed 
the children of Adam, in other circumstances, that the said na- 
ture made that their duty (to marry one another) which in others 
would have been an unnatural thing. Nature forbiddeth parents 
to murder their children ; but when God, the absolute Lord of 
life, would that way try Abraham's obedience, when he was sure 
that he had a supernatural command, even nature obliged him 
to obey it. Nature forbiddeth men to rob each other of their 
proper goods; but when the Owner of all things had given the 
Israelites the Egyptian's goods, and changed the propriety, the 
fundamentum of their former, natural obligation ceased. Changes 
in natura rerum, which are the foundation of our obligation, mav 
make changes in the obligations which before were natural ; but 
so far as nature (that nature which foundeth duty) is the same, 
the duty remaineth still the same : the contrary would be a plain 
contradiction. 

Sect. 7. The authoritas imperantis is the formal object of all 
obedience ; and so all our duty is formally duty to God, as our 
Supreme, or to men, as his officers ; but, as to the material ob- 
ject, our natural duties are either, I. Towards God ; II. To our- 
selves; III. Toothers. 

Sect. 8. I. The prime duties of the law of nature are towards 
God, and are our full consent to the three relations, of which 
two are mentioned before : to be God's rational creatures, and 
not obliged to take him heartily for our absolute Owner and 
Ruler, is a contradiction in nature. 

Sect. 9. Man's nature being what it is,, and related thus to 
God, and God's nature and relations being as afore described, 
man is naturally obliged to take God to be what he is in all his 
attributes forementioned, (cap. 5,) and to suit his will and af- 
fections to God accordingly ; that is, to take him to be omnipo- 
tent, omniscient, and most good, most faithful, and most just, 
&c, and to believe him, seek him, trust him, love him, fear him, 
obey him, meditate on him, to honour him, and prefer him be- 
fore all the world; and this with all our heart and might, and 
to take our chiefest pleasure in it." 

n Laertius sailh of the Magi that they do Deoruni cultui vacare; signa 
statuasque reprehendere ; et eorum imprimis qui mares esse deos et faeminas 
dicunt, errores improhare. Signa et statuas ex discipline institute e medio 
tulisse. Qui et revicturos homines, immortalcsque futuros, dicunt, et uni- 
versa illorum precationibus consistere. Plerique et Judaeous ab his duxisse ori- 
ginum traduut. — Laert. p. 4 — 'J. 



JO THE REASONS OF 

All this so evidently resulteth from the nature of God and man 
compared, that I cannot perceive that it needeth proof or il- 
lustration. 

Sect. 10. It is a contradiction to nature, that any of this duty, 
proper to God, may be given to any other ; and that any crea- 
ture or idol of our imagination, should be esteemed, loved, 
trusted, obeyed, or honoured as God. 

For that were falsehood in us, injury to God, and abuse of the 

creature. 

Sect. 11. Nature requireth that man, having the gift of speech 
from God, should employ his tongue in the praise and service of 
his Maker. 

This plainly resulteth from our own nature, and the use of the 
tongue, compared with or related to God's nature and perfections, 
with his propriety in us, and all that is ours, and his govern- 
ment of us. 

Sect. 12. Seeing man liveth in total dependence upon God, 
and in continual receivings from him, nature obligeth him to use 
his heart and tongue in holy desires, expressed and exercised in 
praver, and in returning thanks to his great Benefactor : of 
which more anon. 

For, though God knows all our sins and wants already, yet the 
tongue is fitted to confess our sins, and to express our desires ; 
and, by confessing and expressing, a twofold capacity for mercy 
accrueth to us : that is, 1. Our own humiliation is excited and 
increased bv the said confessions; and our desires, and love, and 
hope, excited and increased by our own petitions, (the tongue 
having a power to reflect back on the heart, and the exercise of 
all good affections being the means of their increase.) 2. And 
a person that is found in the actual exercise of repentance, and 
holy desire, and love, is morally, and in point of justice, a much 
fitter recipient for pardon and acceptance, and other blessings, 
than another is ; and it being proved, by nature, that prayer, 
confession, and thanksgiving hath so much usefulness to our 
good, and to our further duty, nature will tell us that the tongue 
and heart should be thus employed ; and, therefore, nature 
teacheth all men in the world, that believe there is a God, to 
confess their sins to him, and to call upon him in their distress, 
and to give him thanks for their receivings. 

Sect. 13. Seeing societies, as such, are totally dependent upon 
God ; and men's gifts are communicative, and solemnities are 
operative } nature teacheth us, that God ought to be solemnly 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 11 

acknowledged, worshipped, and honoured, both in families and 
in more solemn, appointed assemblies. 

It greatly affecteth our own hearts, to praise God in great and 
solemn assemblies : many hearts are like many pieces of wood 
or coals, which flame up greatly when set together, which none 
of them alone would do. And it is a fuller signification of 
honour to God, when his creatures do purposely assemble for his 
solemn and most reverent praise and worship ; and, therefore, 
nature showing us the reasons of it, doth make it to be our duty. 

Sect. 14. Nature telleth us, that it is evil to cherish false 
opinions of God, or to propagate such to others ; to slander or 
blaspheme him, to forget him, despise him, or neglect him ; to 
contemn his judgments, or abuse his mercies ; to resist his in- 
structions, precepts, or sanctifying motions ; and that we should 
always live as in his sight, and to bend all our powers entirely 
to please him, and to think and speak no otherwise of him, nor 
otherwise behave ourselves before him, than as beseemeth us to 
the infinite, most blessed, and holy God. 

Sect. 15. Nature telleth us, that in controversies between 
man and man, it is a rational means for ending strife, to appeal 
to God the Judge of all, by solemn oaths, where proof is want- 
ing, and it is a heinous crime to do this falsely, making him 
the patron of a lie, or to use his name rashly, irreverently, pro- 
fanely, or in vain. 

All this being both against the nature of God, and of our 
speech, and of human society, is, past all doubt, unnatural evil. 

Sect. 16. Nature telleth us, that God should be worshipped 
heartily, sincerely, spiritually, and also decently and reverently, 
both with soul and body, as being the Lord of both.? 

Pietas est scientia colendi numinis ; inquit ^milius in Plutarch. Nulla 
pietas est erga deos, nisi honesta de numine deorum ac mente opinio sit. — 
Cicer.pro Plane. De diis ita ut sunt loquere. — Bias in Laert. Equidem 
is qui de diis talia commentus est, an philosophus appellandus sit uescio, (in- 
quit Laert. De Orpheo, p. 3.) Videant certti qui ita volunt, quo sit censeu- 
dus nomine, qui diis cuncta hominum vitia, et quae raio a turpibus quibusque, 
et flagitiosis geruntur, adscribit. Fulmine interisse cognoscitur. — Laert, 
Proem. 

p Lege ' Laert. de Magis.' Cicero, ' De nat. Deor.' lib. 1. p. 46, saith, that 
Possidonius believed that Epicurus thought that there was no God, and there- 
fore not according to his judgment ; but, in scorn, describeth God like a man 
careless, idle, &c, which he would not have done, if had thought that there 
was a God indeed. Impellimur natura ut prodesse velimus quamplurimis, 
imprimisque docendo rationibusque prudentiae tradendis. Itaque non facile 
est invenire, qui quod sciat, ipse non tradat alteri. Ita non solum ad discen- 
dum propensi sumus, verum etiam ad docendum. — Cie. 2. de Fin. Descrip- 



12 THE REASONS OP 

Sect. 17. It telleth us, also, that he must not be worshipped 
with sin or cruelty, or by toyish, childish, ludicrous manner of 
worship, which signify a mind that is not serious, or which tend 
to breed a low esteem of him, or which are in any way contrary 
to his nature or his will. 

Sect. 18. Nature telleth us, that such as are endued with an 
eminent degree of holy wisdom, should be teachers of others, 
for obedience to God and their salvation. 

As the soul is more worth than the body, and its welfare 
more regardable, so charity to the soul is as natural a duty as 
to the body, which cannot better be exercised than in communi- 
cating holy wisdom, and instructing men in the matters of 
highest, everlasting consequence. 

Sect. 19. Yea, nature teacheth, that so great a work should 
not be done slightly and occasionally only, as on the by, but 
that it should be a work of stated office, which tried men should 
be regularly called to, for the more sure and universal edifica- 
tion of mankind. 

Nature telleth us, that the greatest works of the greatest 
consequence, should be done with the greatest skill and care, 
and that it is most likely to be so done when it is made a set 
office, entrusted in the hands of tried men, for it is not many 
that have such extraordinary endowments, and if unfit persons 
manage so great a work, they will mar it, and miss the end ; 
and that which a man taketh for his office, he is more likely to 
take care of, than that which he thinks belongeth no more to 
him than others ; and how necessary order is, in all matters of 
weight, the experience of governments, societies, and persons, 
may soon convince us. 

Sect. 20. Nature telleth us also, that it is the duty of such 
teachers to be very diligent, serious, and plain ; and of learners 
to be thankful, willing, studious, respectful, and rationally obe- 
dient, as remembering the great importance of the work. 

For in vain is the labour of the teachers, if the learners will 
not do their part; the receiver hath the chief benefit, and 
therefore, the greatest part of the duty, which must do most to 
the success. 

Sect. 21. Nature telleth men, that they should not live 

tionem sacerdotum nullum jusvae religionis genus praetermittit. Nam sunt ad 
placandos Deos alii constitute, qui sacris praesint solennibus : ad interpretanda 
alii praedictavatum ; neque multorum neesset infinitum, neque ut ea ipsa quae 
suscepta public^ esseut, quisquam extra collegium nosset. — Clc. de Leg, 
1.2. p. 241. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 13 

loosely and ungoverned, but in the order of governed societies, 
for the better attainment of the ends of their creation, as is 
proved before. 

Sect. 22. Nature telleth us that governors should be the 
most wise, and pious, and just, and merciful, and diligent, and 
exemplary, laying out themselves for the public good, and the 
pleasing of the universal sovereign. 

Sect. 23. It teacheth us also, that subjects must be faithful 
to their governors, and must honour and obey them in subordi- 
nation to God. i 

Sect. 24. Nature telleth us that it is the parents' duty, with 
special love and diligence, to educate their children in the know- 
ledge, fear, and obedience of God, providing for their bodieSj 
but preferring their souls. 

Sect. 25. And that children must love, honour, and obey their 
parents, willingly and thankfully receiving their instructions and 
commands. 

Sect. 26. Nature also telleth us, that thus the relations of 
husband and wife should be sanctified to the highest ends of 
life ; and also the relation of master and servant ; and that our 
callings and labours in the world should be managed in pure 
obedience to God, and to our ultimate end/ 

Sect. 27. Nature teacheth all men to love one another, as 
servants of the same God, and members of the same universal 
kingdom, and creatures of the same specific nature. 

There is somewhat amiable in every man, for there is some- 
thing of God in every man, and therefore something that it is 
our duty to love ; and that according to the excellency of man's 
nature, which showeth more of God than other inferior crea- 
tures do, and also according to their additional virtues. Love- 

1 Autoritate nutuque legum ducetnur doniitas habere libidines, coercere 
omnes cupiditates, nostra tueri, ab alienis meutes, oculos, manus abstiuere. — 
Cic. 1. de Or at. 

r Nihil interest utrum vir bonus scelestum spoliaverit, an bonum improbus : 
nee utrum bouus an nialus adulteratus sit : sed lex damni solum spectat dis- 
similitudinem, utiturque pro paribus, si alter violavit, alter violatus est. — 
Aristot. Ethic. 5. c.4. Vide ' Plutarchi Roman.' queest. 65. Temperantia 
lihidinum iuimica est. — Cic. When an adulterer asked Thales whether he 
should make a vow, he answered him, ' Adultery is as bad as perjury;' inti- 
mating that he that made no conscience ot adultery, would make none of per- 
jury. — Lacrt. Cyrus is praised by Plutarch, de curioslt, that would not see 
Panthffia: and they are by him reproved that casta wanton eye at women in 
coaches as they pass by, and look out at windows to have a fail view of them, ai:d 
yet think that tl.ey commit no fault, suffering a curious eye and a wandering 
mind !o slide and run every way. 



14 THE REASONS OF 

liness eommandeth love, and love maketh lovely. This, with 
all the rest aforementioned, are so plain, that to prove them is 
hut to be tedious. 

Sect. 28. Nature telleth us that we should deal justly with all, 
giving to every one his due, and doing to them as we would be 
done by. 

Sect. 29. Particularly it telleth us that we must do nothing 
injuriously against the life, or health, or liberty of our neigh- 
bour, but do our best for their preservation and comfort. 

Sect. 30. Man being so noble a creature, and his education 
so necessary to his welfare, and promiscuous, unregulated gene- 
ration tending so manifestly to confusion, ill education, divisions 
and corruption of mankind ; and unbridled exercise of lust, tend- 
ing to the abasement of reason, and corruption of body and 
mind, Nature telleth us that carnal copulation should be very 
strictly regulated, and kept within the bounds of lawful mar- 
riage ; and that the contract of marriage must be faithfully 
kept, and no one defile his neighbour's bed, nor wrong another's 
chastity, or their own, in thought, word, or deed. 

This proposition, though boars understand it not, is proved 
in the annexed reasons. Nothing would tend more to house- 
hold divisions and ill education, and the utter degenerating and 
undoing of mankind than ungoverned copulation. No one 
would know his own children, if lust were not bounded by 
strict and certain laws ; and then none would love them, nor 
provide for them ; nor would they have any certain ingenuous 
education. Women would become most contemptible and mi- 
serable, as soon as beauty faded and lust was satisfied ; and so 
one half of mankind made calamitous, and unfitted to educate 
their own children, and ruin and depravation of nature could 
not be avoided. They that think their choicest plants and 
flowers fit for the enclosure of a garden, and careful culture, 
weeding and defence, should not think their children should be 
educated or planted in the wilderness. It is not unobservable 
that all flying fowls do know their mates, and live by couples, 
and use copulation with no other; and that the beasts, and 
more terrestrial fowl do copulate but only so oft as is necessary 
to generation : and shall man be worse than beasts ? 

Sect. 3 i. Nature bindeth us not to violate the propriety of 
our neighbour, in any thing that is his, by fraud, theft, or rob- 
berv, or any other means ; but to preserve and promote his just 
commodity as our own. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 15 

Sect. 32. Government and justice being so necessary to the 
order and welfare of the world, nature teacheth us that bribery, 
fraud, false witnesses, and all means that pervert justice must be 
avoided, and equity promoted among all. s 

Sect. 33. The tongue of man being made to be the index of 
his mind, and human converse being maintained by human cre- 
dibility and confidence, nature telleth us that lying is a crime, 
which is contrary to the nature and societies of mankind. 

Sect. 34. And nature telleth us that it is unjust and criminal 
to slander or injuriously defame our neighbour, by railing, re- 
viling, or malicious reports ; and that we ought to be regardful 
of his honour as of our own. 

Sect. 35. Nature telleth us that, both in obedience to God, 
the just Disposer of all, and for our own quietness, and our 
neighbour's peace, we should all be contented with our proper 
place, and due condition and estate, and not to envy the pro- 
sperity of our neighbour, nor covetously draw from him to 
enrich ourselves. 

Because God's will and interest is above our own, and the 
public welfare to be preferred before any private person's ; and 
therefore all are to live quietly and contentedly in their proper 
places, contributing to the common good. 

Sect. 36. Nature teacheth us that it is our duty to love 
human nature in our enemies, and pity others in their infirmi- 
ties and miseries, and to forgive all pardonable failings, and not 
to seek revenge, and right ourselves by our brother's ruin : but 
to be charitable to the poor and miserable, and do our best to 
succour them, and help them out of their distress. ' 

All these are our undeniable duties to God, and our neigh- 
bours. 

Sect. 37. Nature also telleth us, that every man, as a rational 
lover of himself, should have a special care of his own felicity, 
and know wherein it doth consist, and use all prudent diligence 
to attain it, and make it sure. 

Sect. 38. Nature telleth us, that it is the duty of all men 
to keep reason clear, and their wills conformable to its right 
apprehensions ; and to keep up a constant government over 

s Aristotle, ' Ethic' 4. saith, " Every lie is evil, and to be avoided." The 
Roman laws against perjury, and false witness, and bribery, tell us what na- 
ture saith thereabout. Read, in Lamprid., how vehement Alexander Severus 
was against bribery ; Fundamentum justitise est fides, id est, dictorum con- 
ventorumque constantia et Veritas. — Cicer. 

1 De altero temere amrmare peiiculosum est, propter occultas homhmm 
voluntates, uiultiplicesque naturas. — Cicer, 



16 THE REASONS OF 

their thoughts, affections, passions, senses, appetite, words, and 
actions, conforming them to our Maker's laws. u 

Sect. 39. Nature telleth us, that all our time should be 
spent to the ends of our creation, and all our mercies improved 
to those ends; and all things in the world be estimated by 
them, and used as means conducing to them. 

Sect. 40. Nature commandeth us to keep our bodies in 
sobriety, temperance, and chastity; and not be inordinate or 
irregular in eating, drinking, lust, sleep, idle 5S, apparel, 
recreation, or any lower things. 

Sect. 41. It commandeth us, also, watchfully and resolutely to 
avoid or resist all temptations, which would draw us to any of 
these sins. 

Sect. 42. And it teacheth us patiently to bear our crosses, 
and improve our trials to our benefit, and see that they breed 
not any sinful distempers in our minds or lives. 

Sect. 43. And nature telleth us, that this obedient pleasing 
of our Maker, and holy, righteous, charitable, and sober living 
should be our greatest pleasure and delight ; and that we should 
thus spend our lives, even to the last ; waiting patiently in 
peaceful, joyful hopes for the blessed end which our righteous 
Governor hath allotted for our reward. x 

u A man that loved his belly, desiring to be admitted into Cato's family ; 
Cato answered, " Non possum cum tali vivere, cujus palatum plus sapit quam 
cerebrum." — Erasm. Nullus mihi per otium dies exit. Partem noctium 
studiis vendico, non vaco somno sed succumbo. — Sen. "What mean you 
to make your prison so strong?" said Plato, to one that pampered his 
body. — Ficin. in Vit. Plat. Vires corporis sunt vires carceris, inquit Pe- 
trarch. 1. 1. dial. 5. Cato, homo virtuti simillimus qui nunquam recte 

fecit uc facere videretur, sed quia aliter facere non poterat ; cuique id solum 
visum est rationem habere ; quod haberet justitiam. — Velleius Pater. 1. 2. 
Magna pars libertatis est, bene moratus venter. — Sen. Plato saith, "God 
is the temperate man's law, and pleasure the intemperate man's. Temper- 
antia voluptatibus imperat; alias odit atque abigit ; alias dispensat, et ad 
sanum modum dirigit, nee unquam ad illas propter ipsas venit. — Senec. Scit 
optimum esse modum cupidorum, non quantum velis, sed quantum debeas 

sumere. — Sen. Animis tenduntur insidiae ah ea quae penitus in omni 

sensuimplicata insidit imitatrixboni, voluptas, malorum autem materomnium; 
cujus blanditiis corrupti, qua* natura bona sunt, quia duleedine hac et scahie 
carent, non cernimus satis. — Cic. de Leg. 1. p. 226, Ampliat retatis spatium 
sibi vir bonus : hoc est, vivere bis, vita posse priore frui. — Martial. 

* As a summary ol what the light of nature may teach man, see the Stoics 
Ethics, collected by Barlaam ; (much of which may be found in Seneca, and 
is coufessed and praised by Cicero , though he chide them for their new words 
and schism ;) where you will see, that the Stoics were wiser and better men 
than the Epicureans would have men believe. Oculos vigilia fatigatos, 

cadentesque, in opere detineo. Male mihi esse malo, quam molliter: si 

mollis es, pauiatim effeminatur animus, atque in similitmiiuem otii sui et pigri- 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 17 

All this is evidently legible in nature, to any man that hath 
not lost his reason, or refuseth not considerately to use it. 
And he that will read but Antonine, Epictetus, and Plutarch, 
(who are so full of such precepts, that 1 refer you to the whole 
books, instead of particular citations,) may see, that he who 
will deny a life of piety, justice, and temperance to be the duly 
and rectitude of man, must renounce his reason and natural 
light, as well as supernatural revelation. 

Sect, 44. ^ason also teacheth us, that when the corruptions, 
sluggishness, or appetite of the flesh, resisteth or draweth back 
from any of this duty, or tempteth us to any sin, reason must 
rebuke it, and hold the reins, and keep its government, and not 
suffer the flesh to bear it down, and to prevail. 



CHAP. XI. 

III. Of God's Relation to Man, as his Benefactor and his End, 

or as his Chief Good. 

The three essential principles in God do eminently give out 
themselves to man in his three divine relations to us, — his 
power, intellect, and will ; his omnipotency, omniscience, and 
goodness; in his being our Owner, our Ruler, and our chief 
Good. The two first I have considered already ; our omni- 
potent Lord or Owner, and our most wise Governor, and our 
counter-relations with the duties thereof. I now come to 
the third. 

For the right understanding whereof, let us a little consider 
of the image of God in man, in which we must here see him. y 
It is man's will, which is his ultimate, perfective, imperant 
faculty; it is the proper subject of moral habits, and principal 
agent of moral acts ; and therefore in all laws and converse, 
the will is taken for the man, and nothing is further morally 
good or evil, virtuous or culpably vicious, than it is voluntary. 
The intellect is but the director of the will ; its actions are not 
the perfect actions of the man ; if it apprehend bare truth, 

tise, in qua jacet, solvitur. Dormio minimum, et brevissimo somno utor : satis 
est mihi vigilare desiisse. Aliquando dormisse scio, aliquando suspico. — Sen. 
y Por6 coeli generationis authorem suraraJ bouum atque excellentissimum 
(asseruit Plato) : ejus quippe quod sit in rebus conditis pulcherrimum, eum 
esse conditorem, quern intelligibilium omnium constet esse praestantissimum. 
Itaque, quoniam hujusmodi Deus est, coeluin vero prsestantissimo illi simile 
est; quoniam pulcherrimum cernitur, nulli creaturae erit sirailius, quanaDeo 
soli. — Laert. in Plat. 

VOL. XXI. C 



18 THE REASONS OF 

without respect to goodness, its object is not the highest, or 
felicitating, or attractive object, and therefore the act can be 
no higher : if it apprehend any being or truth as good, it 
apprehendeth it but as a servant or guide to the will, to bring 
it thither to be received by love. The perfect excellency of 
the object of human acts is goodness, and not mere entity or 
verity. Therefore, the most excellent faculty is the will ; it is 
good that is the final cause in the object of all human acts : 
therefore, it is the fruition of good which is the perfective, final 
act ; and that fruition of good, as good, is, though introduc- 
torily by vision, yet finally and proximately by complacencies, 
which is nothing else but love in its most essential act, delight- 
ing in its attained object. And for the executive power, 
though, in the order of its natural being, it be before the will, 
yet in its operation, ad extra, it is after it, and commanded 
by it. 

Accordingly, while we see God but in this glass, we must 
conceive that his principle of understanding and power, stand 
in the foresaid order as to his will : and his omnipotence and 
omniscience, to that eminently moral goodness, which is the 
perfection of his will. The natural goodness of his essence 
filling all. 

Therefore, here note, that this attribute of God, his goodness 
doth make him our chief Good, in a twofold respect, both effi- 
ciently and finally. In some sort it is so with the other attri- 
butes : his power is efficiently the spring of our being and 
actions ; and, finally and objectively, itterminateth our submis- 
sion and our trust. His wisdom is the principle of his laws, 
and also the object and end of our inquiries and understandings ; 
but his goodness is the efficient of all our good in its perfection 
of causality, and that end of our souls, which is commonly 
called ultimate-ultimus. So that to submit to his power, and to 
be ruled by his wisdom, is, as I may say, initially our end. But 
to be pleasing to his good-will, and to be pleased in his good- 
will ; that is, to love him, and to be beloved by him, is the abso- 
lute perfection and end of man. z 

Therefore, under this his attribute of goodness, God is to be 
spoken of, both as our Benefactor, and our End ; which is to be 
indeed our Summum Bonum. 

z Nihil est Deo sirailius at gratius, quam vir, animo perfecto bonus, qui 
hominibus casteris antecellit, quod ipse a diis immortalibus distat. — Luc. 
Apul. cle Deo Soer. 






THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 



19 



Sect. 1. Man hath his being, and all the good which he 
possesseth, from God, as the sole, first efficient by creation. 

Sect. 2. Therefore, God alone is the universal, grand Bene- 
factor of the world, besides whom they have no other, but 
merely subordinate to him. 

No creature can give us any thing which is originally its own, 
having nothing but what it received from God : therefore, it is 
no more to us, but either a gift of God, or a messenger to bring 
us his gift 5 they have nothing themselves but what they have 
received ; nor have we any sort of good, either natural, moral, 
of mind or body, or fortune, or friends, but what is totally from 
the bounty of our Creator, and as totally from him, as if no 
creature had ever been his instrument. 

Sect. 3. As God's goodness is that by which he communi- 
cateth being, and all good, to all his creatures, and is his most 
completive attribute in point of efficiency ; so is it that attribute 
which is in genere causa finalis, the finis, ultimate-ultimus of all 
his works. God can himself have no ultimate end but himself ; 
and his rational creatures can have no other lawful, ultimate end. 
And in himself, it is his goodness which is completely and ulti- 
mately that end. a 

Here I am to show, I. That God himself can have no ulti- 
mate end but himself. II. That man should have no other. 
III. That God, as in his goodness, is ultimate-ultimus, the end 
of man. 

I. 1. That which is most beloved of God, is his ultimate 
end: but God himself is most beloved of himself, therefore he 
is his own ultimate end. 

The reason of the major proposition is, because to be the 
ultimate end, and to be maxime umatum, is all one. Finis 
qucErentis hath respect to the means of attainment, and is that 
cujus amore media eliguntur et applicantur. This, God is not 
capable of, (speaking in propriety,) because he never wanteth 
his end. Finis fruitionis is that, which amando fruimur, which 
we love, complacentially, in full attainment : and so God doth 
still enjoy his end, and to have it in love is to enjoy it. 

The minor is past controversy. 

a Quis dubitare potest, mi Lucili, quin Dcorum immortalium munus sit 
quod vivimus. — Prope Deus est, tecum est, intus est : ita dico, Lueili, sacer 
intra nos spiritus sedet,bonorum malorumque nostrorum observator et custos. 
Hie prout a nobis tractatur, ita et nos tractat ipse. Bonus vero vir sine Deo 
nemo est. Au potest aliquis supra formam, nisi ab illo, adjutus exurgere. 
Ille dat cousilia, magtrifica et erecta, in unoquoque bono viro. — Se?i. 

c 2 



20 THE REASONS OF 

Object. But if God have not finem qiuerentis, then in every 
instant he enjoyeth his end : and if so, then he useth no means 
at all, for what need any means be used for that end which is 
not sought, but still enjoyed. And, consequently, where there 
is no means, there is no end. 

Ansvv. As finis signifieth nothing but effectum, viz., perfec- 
tionem operis, which is but finis terminativiis, so it is not 
always at present attained ; and God may be said to use means, 
that is, subordinate efficients, or instruments, to accomplish it. 
But as it signifieth Causam finalem, scil. cvjus amores res fit, 
so far as it may, without all imperfection, be ascribed to him, 
he must be said continually to enjoy it: and yet to use means 
for it, but not as wanting it, but in the same instant using and 
enjoying; that is, he constantly communicateth himself to his 
creature, and constantly loveth himself so communicated. He 
is the first, efficient and ultimate end, without any interposing 
instant of time, were eternity divisible ; but in order of nature, 
he is the efficient before he is the end enjoyed, but not before 
the end intended. He still sendeth forth the beams of his 
own glory, and still taketh pleasure in them so sent forth. His 
works may be increased, and attain perfection, (called finem 
operis by some,) but his complacency is not increased or per- 
fected in his works, but is always perfect : as if the sun took 
constant pleasure in its own emitted light and heat, though the 
effects of both on things below were most various. God is still 
pleased in that which still is, in all his own works, though his 
works may grow up to more perfection. 

Or, if any think fit to say, that God doth qucerere finem, 
and that he may enjoy more of it at one time than another, yet 
must he confess, that nothing below the complacency of his own 
will, in his own emitted beams of glory, shining in his works, is 
this his ultimate end. 

2. That which is the beginning, must be the end : but God 
is the beginning of all his works, therefore he is the end of all. 
He himself hath no beginning or efficient, and consequently no 
final cause of himself, but his works have himself for the effi- 
cient and for their end : that is, he that made them, intended 
in the making of them, that they should be illustrious with his 
communicated beams of glory, and thereby amiable to his will, 
and should all serve to his complacency. 

If the end were lower than the beginning, there would be no 
proportion, and the agent would sink down below himself. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 21 

3. If any tiling besides God were his ultimate end, it must 
thereby be in part deified, or his actions debased by the lowness 
of the end: but these are impossibilities. The actions are no 
more noble than their end, and the end is more noble than the 
means as such. 

4. The ultimate end is the most amiable and delectable. 
The creature is not to God the most amiable and delectable : 
therefore, the creature is not his ultimate end. The first argu- 
ment was from the act; this from the object. 

5. The ultimate end is that in which the agent doth finally 
acquiesce : God doth not finally acquiesce in any creature. 
Therefore, no creature is his ultimate end. 

6. That which is God's ultimate end, is loved simply for 
itself, and not as a means to any higher end. The creature is 
not loved by him simply for itself, but as a means to a higher 
end, viz., his complacency in his glory shining in it ; ergo, it 
is not his ultimate end. The ultimate end hath no end ; but 
the creatures have an end, viz., the complacency of God in his 
glory shining in the creature. b 

Object. But you confound the final object and the final act. 
God's complacency of love is his final act, but our inquiry is of 
the final object. 

Answ. The Jinis cui, or personal end, is most properly the ulti- 
mate, to him for whose sake, or for whom the thing is done : but 
this is God only, and therein he is both the act and object. 
He that did velle creaturas, did velle eas ad complacentiam 
propria voluntatis. The question is not of the actus compla- 
centice, but of the actus creandi vel volendi creaturarum exist- 
entiam : which he doth propter voluntatis impletionem, et inde 
complacentiam, which is the final act, and the final object of 
the creating act ; but for the actus complacentice, it is not actus 
intentionis, but fruitionis, and therefore hath no end above 
itself. And the final object of that complacency, is not the 
creature itself, but the impletion of the divine will in the 
creature ; yea, the image of his omnipotency, wisdom, and 
goodness shining in the creation, is not loved propter se, ulti- 
mately, but for the sake of that divine essence and perfection 

b That the finis cui is properly the ultimate end, and the finis cujus is 
subordinate to it, Cicero showeth in Piso's ' Speech,' (1. 5. de Finib. p. 188.) In 
nobis ipsis ne intelligi quidem, ut propter aliam quampiam rem, verbi gratis, 
propter voluptateni, nos amemus. Propter nos enim illam, non propter earn 
nosiuetipsos diligimus. Quid est quod magis perspicuum est, non niodo carum 
sibi quemque 3 verum etiam vehementer carum. 



22 THE REASONS OF 

of which it is the image, as we love the image of our friend for 
his sake ; so that when all is done, God himself is his own end 
in all his works, so far as, very improperly, he may he said to 
intend an end. 

Or, if you could prove the creature to be the objectum finale, 
that proveth him not to be properly the finis ultimus. For that 
is a difference between man's agency and God's. Man is an 
agent made and acting for his final object, and more ignoble 
than his object, (as the eye of a fly that beholdeth the sun) : 
but God is an agent more noble than the object, who gave the 
object itself its being, and made it of nothing for himself* and 
so the object is for his final act. 

Object. But God, being perfect, needeth nothing, nor can re- 
ceive any addition of perfection or blessedness ; and, therefore, it is 
not any addition of good to himself which he intendeth in the 
creation, and consequently it is his ultimate end to do the 
creature good. 

Answ. All the antecedent part is granted, and is, anon, to be 
further asserted, but the last consequence is denied ; because 
there is another end besides the addition of good to himself, 
which God may intend, so far as he may be said to intend an 
end. He doth all the good to the creature which it receiveth, 
but not ultimately, for the creature's sake. 

II. That man should have no ultimate end but God, that is, 
ultimate -ultimus, as it is called, is proved in what is said ; and 
the fuller opening of it belongeth to the next chapter. 

III. It is God in all his perfections, omnipotency, wisdom, 
and goodness, that is man's ultimate end ; but it is the last which 
supposeth both the other, and to which man's will, which must 
perform the most perfect, final act, is most fully suited, and 
therefore is, in a special sort, our ultimate end. The omnipo- 
tency of God, is truly the efficient, diligent, and final cause of 
all things, but it is most eminent in efficiency. The wisdom of 
God is truly the efficient, diligent, and final cause of all things, 
but it is most eminent in direction and government. The 
goodness of God is truly the efficient, dirigent, and final cause, 
but it is most eminent in being the perfectivej efficient, and final 
cause. 

Sect. 4. God's ultimate end in creation and providence, is not 
any supply or addition of perfection or blessedness in himself, 
as being absolutely perfect in himself, and capable of no 
addition. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 23 

But those who think that God doth produce all things ex 
necessitate naturce from eternity, say, ' That as the tree is not 
perfect without its fruits, so neither is God without his works.' 
They say, with Balbus (in Cicero,) and other stoics, ' That the 
world is the most excellent being, and that God is but the soul 
of the world ;' and though the soul be a complete soul, if it had 
no body, yet it is not a complete man : and as the tree is 
complete, ingenere causce, without the fruit, yet not as a totum 
containing those effects ab essentia, which are its part and end ; 
so, say they, ' God may be perfect without the world, as he is 
only the soul and part of the world, but he is not a complete 
world, nor in toto.' 

Answ. 1 . That God is not the soul or constitutive cause of the 
world, but somewhat much greater, is proved before : c and also 
that it was not from eternity, and consequently that he created 
it not by natural necessity ; the foundation, therefore, being 
overthrown, the building falleth. Those that hold the foresaid 
opinion, must hold that God is, in point of duration, an eternal, 
efficient, matter, form, and end ; and that, in order of nature, 
he is first an efficient principle, causing matter ; and secondly, 
he is an efficient with matter; and in the third instant, he is the 
form of the effected matter ; and in the fourth instant, he is the 
end of his operations herein. And if you call the efficient 
principle only, by the name of God, then you grant what I prove, 
and you seemed to deny ; but if he be not God as the mere 
efficient and end, but also the matter, then you make every 
stone, and serpent, and every thief, and murderer, and devil, to 
be part of God, and make him the subject of all the sin and evil, 
all the weakness, folly, and mutations, which be in the world, 
with the other absurdities before mentioned. And if you say, 
that he is God, as efficient, form, and end, and not as matter, 
then you contradict yourself, because the form and matter are 
parts of the same being : and whether you call him God as the 
form only, and so make him but part of being, and conse- 
quently imperfect, and consequently not of God, or as matter 
and form also, and so make him a compounded being, still you 
make him imperfect in denying his simplicity or unity, and as 
guilty of all the imperfections of matter and of composition, 
and you make one part of God more imperfect than the rest, as 
being but an effect of it. All which are inconsistent with the 
nature of God, and with the nature of man and every creature, 
who is hereby made a part of God. 

c Chap. iv. 



24 THE REASONS OF 

2. If this had been true of the world, as consisting of its 
constitutive causes, that it is God in perfection, and eternal, &c, 
yet it could not be true of the daily generated and perishing 
beings. d There are millions of men and other animals that, 
lately, were not what they are ; therefore, as such, they were 
no eternal parts of God, because, as such, they were not eternal ; 
therefore, if God brought them forth for his own perfection, it 
would follow that he was before imperfect, and consequently 
not God, and that his perfections are mutable and perishing ; 
therefore, at least, some other cause of these must be found out. 

And as for the similitudes in the objection, I answer, 1. That 
the fructifying of a tree is an. act of generation, and the ends of 
it are partly the use, for food, to superior, sensitive creatures, 
especially man, and partly the propagation of its species, be- 
cause it is mortal ; fructification, is, indeed^ its perfection, but 
that is, because it is not made for itself, but for another : sic vos 
non vobis, may be written upon them all : but God is neither 
mortal, needing a propagation of the species, nor is he subser- 
vient to any other, and finally for its use. 

And as for the soul, it made not the matter of its own body, 
but found it made, though in the formation of it, it might be so 
efficient, as domicilium sibi fabricare? But God made all 
matter of nothing, and gave the world whatsoever it is or hath, 
and therefore was perfect himself before ; for an imperfect being 
could never have been the cause of such a frame : therefore, he 
needed no domicilium for himself, nor as an imperfect part, a 
form, to concur to the constitution of a whole ; but he is the 
efficient, dirigent, and final cause of the world and all things, 
but not the constituent or essential, for then the creature 
and Creator were all one, and God debased and the creature 
deified : but he is to them a super-essential cause, even more 
than a form and soul, while he is a total efficient of all. 

3. If all that is in the objection had been proved, it would 
not at all shake the main design of my present discourse, which is 
to prove that God is our grand Benefactor and chief Good, and 
that he is man's ultimate End ; for if the world were his body, 
and he both its efficient and its soul, he would be the cause of 
all its good, and the cause would be more excellent than the 
effect; and if our souls, that never made the matter of our 

d Quid enim est aliud natura quam Deus, et divina ratio ? Toti mundo par- 
tibnsque ejus inserta ? Ergo nihil agis ingratissime mortaliuin, qui te uegas 
Deo deberc sed naturae; quia nihil natura sine Deo est, nee Deus siue na- 
tura, idem est uterque nee distat officio. — Senec. de Benefic. 

e Leg. /Euean Gazeum de Aniuia. iii. P.T. 2. Gr. Lat. p. 385, 386, &c 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 25 

bodies, are yet the noblest part of us, and far more excellent 
than the body, much more would God, that made, or caused all 
the matter and order in the world, be more excellent than that 
world which he effected ; and as the soul is not for the body as 
its ultimate end, though it be the life of the body and its great 
benefactor, but the body is finally more for the soul, though 
the soul need not the body so much as the body needeth the soul; 
and as the horse is finally for the rider, and not the rider for 
the horse, though the horse needeth his master more than the 
master doth the horse, for the horse's life is preserved by the 
master, when the master is but accommodated in his journey by 
his horse ; even so, though the world need God, and he needeth 
not the world, and God giveth being and life to the world, which 
can give nothing at all to him, yet the world is finally for God, 
and not God for the world. The most noble and first being is 
still the end. 

And the generated part of the world, which is not formally 
eternal, but both oriri et interne, is it that our dispute doth 
most concern, which the objection doth no whit invalidate. 

Sect. 5. The same will of God, which was the free, efficient, 
is the end of all his works ad extraJ 

God's essence hath no efficient or final cause, but is the effi- 
cient and final cause of all things else ; they proceeded from 
his power, his wisdom, and his good-will, and they bear 
the image of his power, wisdom, and good-will ; and he 
loveth his own image in them, and loveth them as they bear 
his image, and loveth his image for himself; so that the act 
of his love to himself is necessary, though voluntary, and so 
is the act of his love to his image, and to all the goodness of 
the creature, while it is such ; but he freely, and not neces- 
sarily, made and continueth the creature in his image, and 
needeth not the glass or image, being self-sufficient, so that his 
creature is the mediate object ; his image on the creature, is the 
ultimate, created object ; his own perfections, to which that 
image relateth, is the objection simpliciter ultimatum ; his com- 
placency or love, is the actus ultimus ; and that very act is the 
object of his preceding act of creation, or volition of the crea- 
tures : but all this is spoken according to the narrow, imperfect 

f Goodness signifieth more than utility or pleasure to ourselves ; as when 
we call a man a good man, a good scholar, a good judge, &c. : and so doth 
evil signify on the contrary. 

Bonum est quod sui ipsius gratia expetendum est. — Aristot. Rhet. 1. 

Boimm omnis oviginis et ortus finis est. — Id. Mdaph, 1. 1. c. 3. 



26 THE REASONS OF 

capacity of man, who conceiveth of God as having api'ius et pos- 
terius in his acts, which is but respectively and denominatively 
from the order of the objects. In short, God's free-will is the 
beginning of his works, ad extra, and the complacency of that 
will in his works as good, in relation to his own perfections, is 
the end ; and, therefore, he is said to rest when he saw that all 
his works were good. s 

Sect. 6. Whatsoever is the fullest expression and glorifying 
demonstration of God in the creature, must needs be the chief, 
created excellency. 11 

Because he loveth himself first, and the creature for himself; 
and seeing the creature hath all from him which is good and 
amiable in it, it must needs follow, that those parts are most 
amiable and best, which have most of the impression of the 
Creator's excellencies on them ; not that he hath greater per- 
fections to imprint on one creature than another, but the im- 
pression of those perfections is much greater on one than on 
another. 

Sect. 7- The happier, therefore, God will make any creature, 
the more will he communicate to it of the image and demon- 
stration of his own goodness, and so will both love it the more, 
for his own image, and cause it to love him the more, which is 
the chief part of his image. 

Sect. 8. The goodness of God is conceived of by our narrow 
minds, in three notions, as it were, in three degrees of altitude ; 
the highest is, the infinite perfections of his essence as such : 
the second is, the infinite perfection of his will as such, which 
is called his holiness, and the fountain of moralitv : the third 
is, that one part of his will's perfection, which is his benignity 
to his creatures, which we call his goodness in a lower notion, 
as relative to ourselves, because he is inclined by it to do us 
good ; this is his goodness in condescension. 

Sect. 9. Though all this is but one in God, yet because our 
minds are fain to receive it as in several parts or notions, we 
may, therefore, not only distinguish them, but compare them, 
as the objects of our love. 

r 

& Maximum bonum maxime semper expetendum. — Arist. 1, Eth. c. 7. Du- 
plex bonum est. Alterum quod absolute et per se bonum sit ; alteram quod 
alicui bono sit et usui. — Arist. Eth. 1. 7. c. 12. Veteres probe summum bo- 
num definierunt, id ad quod omnia referuntur. — Arist. Eth. I. c. 1. 

h It is a saying of Pliny's, that as pearls, though they lie in the bottom of 
the sea, are yet much nearer kin to heaven, as their splendour and exceliency 
show; so a godly and generous soul hath more dependence on heaven, 
whence it cometh, than on earth where it abideth. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 27 

Sect. 10. Man usually beginneth at the lowest, and loveth 
God first, for his benignity and love to us, before he riseth to the 
higher acts. 

And this is not an irregular motion of a lapsed soul in its 
return to God, so be if we make haste in our ascent, and make 
no stay in these lower acts ; otherwise it will be privately sinful. 

Sect. 1 1. Therefore, God multiplied! mercies upon man, that 
he might facilitate this first act of love by gratitude. 

Not that these mercies being good to ourselves, should lead 
us to love God ultimately for ourselves ; but they should help us 
first to love him for ourselves, as the immediate passage to a 
higher act of love, with which we mast love him in and for 
himself, and ourselves for him. 

Sect. 12. Therefore, God hath planted in our. natures the 
principle of self-love, that it might suit our natures to the 
mercies of God, and make them sweet to us : not that we should 
arise to any other esteem of them ; but that this sweetness in then), 
which respecteth ourselves, and is relished by self-love, should 
lead us to the fountain of perfect goodness from which they flow. 

Our very senses and appetites are given us to this end, not 
that we should judge by any higher faculties, but that the delights 
of the patible or sensible qualities in the creatures, by affecting 
the sense, might presently represent to the higher faculties, the 
sweetness of infinite goodness to the soul ; and so we might by 
all ascend to God. 

Sect. 13. Those mercies, therefore, are the greatest, which 
reveal most of God, with the least impediments of our ascent 
unto him.' 

Sect. 14. Therefore his love most revealed and communicated, 
and his perfect goodness most manifested to the soul, is the 
greatest mercy ; and all corporal mercies are to be estimated and 
desired, but as they subserve and conduce to these, and not as 
they are pleasing to our flesh or senses. k 

Sect. 15. The perfect goodness of the will of God, though it 
contain benignity and mercy, yet is not to be measured by the 
good which he doth to us ourselves, or to any creature ; but its 
highest excellency consisteth in its essential perfection, and the 
perfect love that God hath to himself, and in the conformity of 

1 Bonum summum est animi operatio secundum virtiitein optimam et per- 
fectissimam in vita perfecta. — Aristot. Rhet. 1. 

k Tria sunt genera bonorum ; maxima animi, secunda corporis ; externa 
tertia. — Cicero 3. Tuscul. Nihil bonum nisi quod honestum j nihil malum 
nisi quod turpe. — Cicero Att. 1. 10. 



2S THE REASONS OF 

his will to his most perfect wisdom, which knoweth what is to be 

willed ad extra \ and in his complacency in all that is good as 

such. 

When self-love so far blindeth us, as to make our interest the 

standard to judge of the goodness of God, we do but show that 

we are fallen from God unto ourselves, and that we are setting 

up ourselves above him, and debasing him below ourselves : as 

if we and our happiness were that ultimate end, and he and his 

goodness were the means, and had no other goodness but that 

of a means to us and our felicity. l If he made us, he must needs 

have absolute propriety in us, and made us for himself. To 

measure his goodness by our own interest, is more unwise than 

to measure the sea in our hand, or the sun and all the orbs by 

our span. And to measure it by the interest of the universe, is 

to judge of that which is infinite, by that which is finite ; betwixt 

which there is no proportion. As God is infinitely better than 

the world, so he is infinitely more amiable, and therefore must 

infinitely more love himself than all the world ; and, therefore, 

so to do, is infinite excellency and perfection in his will. But 

the out-going of his will to the creature by way of causative 

volition, is free ; and conducted by that wisdom, which knoweth 

what is fit, and what degrees of communication are most eligible 

to God. God is perfect without his works : he had wanted 

nothing if he had never made them. He will not herein do all 

that he is simply able to do, but all that his wisdom seeth fittest 

to be done. He was as good before he made the world, as since ; 

and those that think he caused it eternally, must confess him, in 

order of nature, to be first perfect in himself, and to have more 

goodness than all which he communicateth to the world. He 

was as good before this present generation of men on earth had 

any being : he is as good before he bringeth us to the heavenly 

glorv, as he will be after ; though before he did not so much 

good to us. It is no diminution of his goodness, to say, that he 

made millions of toads, and flies, and spiders, whom he could 

have made men if he had pleased ; or to say, that he made 

millions of men, whom he could have made angels ; or that he 

1 If a man must love his country better than himself, then God, much more, 
and then self is not to be highest in our love. Respublica nomen universal 

civitatis est, pro qua mori,et cui nos totos dare, et in qua omnia nostra ponere, 
et quasi consecrare debemus. — Cicero 2. de Leg. Laudandus est is qui mor- 
tem oppetit pro republica, qui doceat patriam esse chariorem nobis, quam 
nosmetipsos : estqueilla vox inhumana et scelerata eorum, qui negant se re- 
cusare, quo minus ipsis mortuis terrarum omnium deflagratio consequatur.— 
Cicer. 3, de Fin, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 29 

made not every clod or stone a star or sun ; or that he suffered 
men to be tormented by each other's cruelty, or by such diseases 
as the stone and strangury, convulsions, epilepsies, &c. ; or that 
men at last must die, and their bodies rot and turn to dust. 
That these things are done, is past dispute ; and that God is 
good is past dispute : and, therefore, that all this is consistent 
with this goodness, is past dispute ; and consequently that his 
goodness is not to be measured by so low a thing as human or 
any creature interest. m 

If you say, that all this is hurtful to the individuals, but not 
to the universe, to which it is better that there be a mixture of 
evil with good, than that every part had a perfection in itself; 
I answer : 

1. It seemeth, then, that the good which you measure God's 
goodness by, is not the interest of any individual creature, at 
least, that is in this lower world. For you confess, that the good 
which would make it happy, is given to it limitedly, and with 
mixtures of permitted or inflicted evil ; and that God could have 
given them more of that goodness, if he would : God could 
have freed them from pain and misery ; yea, and have given the 
ignorant more knowledge, and honesty, and grace. So that it 
is not our interest that is the measure of his goodness : and if 
so, what is it that you call the universal interest. Surely, the 
universality of rational creatures hath no being but in the indi- 
viduals ; and if it be not the welfare of the individuals, which is 
the measure, there is not any interest or welfare of the uni- 
verse, which is of the same kind : and for the insensible crea- 
tures, they feel neither good nor hurt, and, therefore, by your 
measure, should be none of the universe, whose measure it is. 
Therefore, it must be somewhat above the sensible interest of 
any, or all the individuals, which you call the bonum universitatis : 
and that can be nothing else but that state and order of the uni- 
verse, in which it is conformable to the idea of the divine intellect, 
and to the volition of the divine will, and so is fittest for him 
to take complacency in, as being the measure and reasons of 
his own volitions and operations, which he fetcheth not aliunde, 

m It was the erroneous reasoning of the philosophers, to prove the world 
eternal, that optimum et putchrutn, God and the world, must be inseparable ; 
and so to conclude the being of that, which their fancies think best to be ; (as 
Ammonius argueth with Zachar. Mitilen. ;) whereby they might as well prove 
(as Zach.telleth Amnion.) that Plato and Aristotle were from eternity, and 
must never die. It is foolish to reason against sense and experience, or to 
deny that which is, because we think that it should be otherwise. 



30 THE REASONS OF 

or at least which are unknown to such as we. No doubt but it 
is more for the happiness of the individuals, that every dust, and 
stone, and fly, and beast, and man were an angel ; but it is not so. 

2. And surely they that believe the evil of sin, and that God 
could have kept it out of the world, and saved the individuals 
from it, will confess that man's interest is not the measure of 
God's goodness, especially considering what consequents also 
follow sin, both here and hereafter. 

3. And as to this lower part of the universe, how many na- 
tions of the earth are drowned in woful ignorance and ungodli- 
ness : how few are the wise, and good, and, peaceable ! When 
God could have sent them learning, and teachers, and means ot 
reformation, and have blessed all this means to their deliver- 
ance. So that the far greater part of this lower world hath not 
so much good as God could give them ; and the infirmities of 
the best do cause their dolorous complaints. 

*It is certain that God is infinitely good, and that all his works 
also are good in their degree ; but, withal, it is certain that God 
in himself is the simple, primitive good, and that created good- 
ness principally consisteth in conformity with his will, which is 
the standard and measure of it. 

Sect. 16. God, as considered in the infinite perfections of his 
nature and his will, is most amiable, and the object of our high- 
est love. 

Sect. 17. But he is not known by us in those perfections, as 
seen in themselves immediately, but as demonstrated and glori- 
fied expressively in his works, in which he shineth to us in his 
goodness. 

Sect. 18. His works, therefore, are made for the apt reveal- 
ing of himself, as amiable to the intelligent part of his creation." 

They are the book in which he hath appointed us to read, 
and the glass in which he hath appointed us, with admiration, 

n Cotta telleth Velleius, that Epicurus, by making; God careless of the affairs 
of man, Sustulerit omnem funditus religionem : quid est enim cur Deos ab 
hominibus colendos dicas, cum Dii non modo hominibus non consulant, sed 
omnino nihil curaut, niliil agaut? At est eorum eximia quajdam praestansque 
natura, ut ea debeat ipsa per se ad se colendam elicere sapientem. (This rea- 
son is not denied, but the goodness of God's nature proved by his doing; 
good.) 12ua2 porro pietas ei debetur, a. quo nihil acceperis ? Aut quid 
omniuo, cujus nullum meritum sit, ei debere potest? Est enim Pietas Justitia 
adversus Deos : cum quibus quid potest nobis esse juris, cum homine nulla 
cum Deo sit communitas ? sauctitas est scientia colendorum Deorum : qui 
quamobreni coleudi sint non intelligo, uullo uec accepto ab iis, nee sperato 
bono. — Cicer. de Nat. Dew. 1. I, p. 32. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 31 

to behold the infinite power, wisdom, and goodness of the 
Creator; and in which we may see that he is not only our chief 
benefactor, but the ultimate object of our love, and so the end 
of all our motions. 

Sect. 19. This third relation of God to us as our chief Good, 
efficiently and finally, is the highest, and the most perfective to 
us, but is not separated from the former two, but they are all 
marvellously conjunct, and concur in the production of most of 
the subsequent effects of God's providence. 

As the elements are conjunct, but not confounded in mixed 
bodies, and in themselves are easily to be distinguished, where 
they are not divided, and their effects sometimes also distinct, 
but usually mixed, as are the causes : so it is in the case of these 
three great relations, though God's proprietary extend further 
than his government, because inanimates and brutes are capable 
of one, and not of the other ; yet, as to the rational creatures, 
they are, in reality, of the same extent. God is, as to right, the 
Owner, and Ruler of all the world, and also their real Benefactor, 
and, quoad debitum, their ultimate end. But as to consent on 
their parts, none but the godly give up themselves to him in any 
one of these relations. In order of nature, God is our first Owner, 
and then our Ruler, and our chief Good and End. His work, in 
the first relation, is arbitrary disposal of us ; his work, in the 
second, is to govern us ; and, in the third, attraction and felici- 
tating. But he so disposeth of us, as never to cross his rules 
of government ; and so governeth us as never to cross his ab- 
solute proprietary, and attracteth and felicitateth us in consent 
with his premiant act of government ; and all sweetly and won- 
derfully conspire the perfection of his works. 

Sect. 20. All these relations are often summed up in one name, 
which principally importeth the last, which is the perfective re- 
lation, but truly includeth both the former ; and that is, that 
God is our Father. 

° Epicurus vero ex anirais hominum extraxit radicitus religionem, cum Diis 
immortalibus et opem et graSiam sustulerit. Cum enim et praestantissimam 
naturam Dei dicat esse, negat idem esse in Deo gratiam : tollit id quod 
maxime proprium est optimae praestantissimajque naturae. — Cic. de Nat. Dew. 
1.1, p. 33,34. Quae enim potest esse sanctitas,siDiihumananon curant. — Id. 
Utinam istam calliditatem hominibusDiinededissent; quaperpaucibeneutun- 
tur ; qui tameu ipsi a male utentibus opprimuntur ; innumerabiles autem improbe 
utuntur : ut donum hoc divinum rationis et consilii, ad fraudem hominibus 
non ad bonitatem, impertitumesse videatur : sed urgetis, hominum esse istam 
culpam, non Deorum.— Resp. At, si medicus sciat eum segrotum, qui 
jussus est viuum. sumere, meracius sumpturum statimque periturum, magna 



32 THE REASONS OF 

As the rational soul doth ever include the sensitive and vege- 
tative faculties, so doth God's fatherly relation to us include his 
dominion and government. A father is thus a kind of image of 
God in this relation : for, 1. He hath a certain proprietary in 
his children. 2. He is, by nature, their rightful governor. 3. 
He is their benefactor, for they are beholden to him for their 
being and well-being. Nature causeth him to love them, and 
bindeth them again to love him ; and the title " Our Father 
which art in heaven," includeth all these divine relations to us, 
but especially expresseth the love and graciousness of God 
to us. 

Object. But I must go against the sense of most of the world, 
if I take God to be infinitely or perfectly good; for operari se- 
quitur esse, he that is perfectly good will perfectly do good. 
But do we not see and feel what you said before. The world 
is but as a wilderness, and the life of man a misery. We come 
into the world in weakness, and in a case in which we cannot 
help ourselves, but are a pity and trouble to others. We are 
their trouble that breed us and bring us up. We are vexed with 
unsatisfied desires, with troubling passions, with tormenting 
pains, and languishing weakness, and enemies' malice; with 
poverty and care ; with losses and crosses, and shame and 
grief; with hard labour and studies; with the injuries and 
spectacles of a bedlam world, and with fears of death, and 
death at last. Our enemies are our trouble, our friends are our 
trouble; our rulers are our trouble; and our inferiors, children, 
and servants, are our trouble ; our possessions are our trouble, 
and so are our wants. And is all this the effect of perfect 
goodness ? And the poor brutes seem more miserable than we : 
they labour, and hunger, and die at last to serve our will : we 
beat them, use them, and abuse them at our pleasure : and all 
the inanimates have no sense of any good ; and, which is worst 
of all, the world is like a dungeon of ignorance, like an hospi- 
tal of madmen for folly and distractedness, like a band of rob- 
bers for injury and violence, like tigers for cruelty, like snarling 
dogs for contention, and, in a word, like hell for wickedness. 
What else sets the world together by the ears in wars and blood- 
shed in all generations ? What maketh peace-makers the most 

sit in culpa. Sic vestraista provirientia reprehendenda, quae rationem dederit 
lis, quos sciverit ea perverse et improbe usuros. Nou intelligo quid intersit, 
utrum uerao fit sapiens, an nemo esse possit. Debebant dii quidem omnes 
bonos emcere, siquidem hominum generi consulebant : sin id minus, bonis 
quidem consulere debebant. — Cotta in Cicer. cle Nat.Deor. 1. 3. p. 105, 106, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. S3 

neglected men ? What maketh virtue and piety the mark of 
persecution and of common scorn? How small a part of the 
world hath knowledge or piety ! And you tell us of a hell for 
most at last. Is this all the fruit of perfect goodness ? These 
thoughts have seriously trouhled some. 

Answ. He that will ever come to knowledge, must begin at 
the first, fundamental truths, and in his inquiry proceed to lesser 
superstructures, and reduce uncertainties and difficulties to 
those points which are sure and plain, and not cast away the 
plainest certain truths, because they overtake some difficulties 
beyond them. The true method of inquiry is, that we first try 
whether there be a God that is perfectly good or not : if this 
be once proved beyond all controversy, then all that followeth 
is certainly reconcilable to it ; for truth and truth is not con- 
tradictory. Now, that God is perfectly good hath been fully 
proved before : he that giveth to all the world, both heaven, 
and earth, and all the orbs, all that good, whether natural, 
gracious, or glorious, which they possess, is certainly himself 
better than all the world, for he cannot give more goodness 
than he hath ; this is not to be denied by any man of reason, 
therefore it is proved that God is perfectly good. Besides, his 
perfections must needs be proportionable ; we know that he is 
eternal, as is unquestionably demonstrated : we see by the 
wonderful frame of nature, that he is omnipotent and omni- 
scient ; and then it must needs be, that his goodness must be 
commensurate with the rest. h 

Therefore, to come back again upon every consequent which 
you understand not, and to deny a fundamental principle, which 
hath been undeniably demonstrated ; this is but to resolve that 
you will not know. By this course you may deny any demon- 
strated truth in mathematics, when you meet with difficulties 
among the superstructed consequents. 

p If God's making man a free agent be not agaitvst his goodness, then the 
sin which a free agent committeth, is no impeachment of God's goodness. At 
verum prius,ergo — The reasons why God made man with free will, the ancient 
writers commonly render to the infidels. Irreneus.Tertullian, Clemens Alexand. 
Arnobius, Lactantius, Eusebius, Tatianus, Origen, &c. — Vid. Zachar. Mity- 
len. Disput. p. 364. li.P. Grata Lat. torn. 1. Siquidem anima regalem ma- 
jestatem ostendit, nullius dominio subjecta, et propria? potestatis, tanquam 
imago Dei, communia cum archelypo quasdam habens. — Greg. Nyssen. citat. 
etiam in Ctesarii, Dial. 3. The ancients commonly make the freedom of 
the will, as well as rationality, to be God's natural image on the soul. See 
especially the full discourse of Nemesius, de Natur. Horn. cap. 39—41. Lege 
l'ennotti Propugnacul. libcrt. 

VOL. XXI. D 



34 THE REASONS OF 

Let us, therefore, methodically proceed: we have proved 
that God is the cause of all the goodness in the world, in 
heaven and earth, and therefore must needs he hest himself. 
And it is certain, that all the sins and calamities which you 
mention are in the world, and that the creature hath all those 
imperfections ; therefore, it is certain that these two verities 
are consistent, whatever difficulty appeareth to you in re- 
conciling them. Thus far there is no matter of douht. And 
next we are, therefore, certain, that the measure of God's good- 
ness is not to be taken from the creature's interest. And yet 
we know that his goodness inclineth him to communicate 
goodness and felicity to his creatures ; for all the good in the 
world is from him. It remaineth, therefore, that he is good, 
necessarily and perfectly ; and that he doeth all well, what- 
soever he doeth ; and that there is in the creature a higher 
goodness than its own felicity, even the image of God's power, 
wisdom, and goodness, in which his holiness and justice have 
their place. And that this goodness of the universe, which 
consisteth in the glorious appearances of God in it, and the 
suitableness of all to his will and wisdom, includeth all things, 
except sin, which are contained in your objection; and that 
punishment of sinners, though it be malum physicum to them, 
is a moral good, and glorifieth God's justice and holiness ; and 
even the permission of sin itself is good, though the sin be bad. 
And yet that God will also glorify that part of his goodness 
which consisteth in benignity ; for he hath an amor beneficenticc, 
of which the creature only is the object ; but of his amor 
complacent ice he himself is the chief object, and the creature 
but the secondary, so far as it participateth • of goodness ; and 
complacency is the essential act of love. Think but what a 
wonderful fabric he hath made of all the orbs, composed into 
one world : and can you possibly have narrow thoughts of his 
goodness ! He hath placed more physical goodness in the 
nature of one silly bird, or fly, or worm, than human wit is 
able to find out ; much more in plants, in beasts, in men, in 
sea and land, in the sun, and fixed stars, and planets : our 
understandings are not acquainted with the thousandth thou- 
sandth thousandth part of the physical goodness which he hath 
put into his creatures : there may be more of the wonderful 
skill, and power, and goodness of God, laid out on one of those 
stars that seem smallest to our sight, than millions of human 
intellects, if united, were able to comprehend. And who 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 35 

knoweth the number, any more than the magnitude and excel- 
lency, of those stars ? What man can once look up towards the 
firmament in a star-light night, or once read a treatise of astro- 
nomy, and then compare it with his geography, and compare 
those far more excellent orbs with this narrower and darker 
world we live in, and not be wrapt up into the astonishing 
admiration of the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Creator ? 
when the anatomising of the body of one man or beast might 
wrap up any considerate man into Galen's admiration and 
praises of the Maker. And how many myriads of such bodies 
hath God created ? And how much more excellent are the 
forms or souls, than any of those bodies ? And how little know 
we how incomparably more excellent the nature of angels may 
be than ours ? And what glorious beings may inhabit the 
more glorious orbs ? And yet can you think meanly of the 
Creator's goodness ! q 

Oh, but you say, that all these lower creatures have still the 
fore-mentioned sorrows and imperfections. 

I answer you : 1. They were not made gods, but creatures, 
and therefore were not to be perfect : 2. It is the corrupt and 
blinded, sensual mind which crieth out, for want of sensible 
pleasure, and can see no goodness in any thing but this. But 
true reason telleth any man that hath it, that our sensible 
pleasure is a thing too low to be the highest excellency of the 
creature, and to be the ultimate end of God ; and that the 
glory of the whole world, even the inanimate parts as well as 
the animate, showing the glory of the infinite Creator, is the 
excellency of the world. What, if the sun, and stars, and 
earth, and sea, the fire and air, have no feeling; have they, 
therefore, no goodness but what is a means to the sensible 
delights of lower things ? Hath a worm more goodness than 

i Si quis omnia alia habeat, valetutlinem, divitias, &c, sed malus ex 
confessu sit, improbabis ilium. Item si quis nihil habet eorum qua? retulit } 
careat pecunia, clientum turba, avorum et proavorum serie, si ex confesso bo- 
nus tit, probas ilium. Ergo hoc unum bonum hominis, quod qui habet, etiamsi 
aliis de-.tituitur, laudaudus est; qitud qui non habet, in omnium aliorum 
copia damnatur, ac rejicitur. — Sen. Inter fines, is qui perfectus est, sem- 
per prsecellk imperfettum. Peri'ectus porro est, quo admoto, nullo amplius 
opus est. — Arlst. Mag. Mor. 1. c. 3. et Rliet. 7. Finis est cujus gratia omnia 
comparantur. Majus bonum est finis, quam quod finis non est: et Met. 2. 
c. 2. Quod per se bonum est suaque vi et natura, id omue finis est. Nothing 
more common in philosophy, than that publica* saluti privata incolumitas 
est postponenda. Therefore, self-love must not persuade us that there is no- 
thing higher than our own good to be intended. 

D 2 



36 THE REASONS OF 

the sun, if it have more feeling ? These are the madnesses of 
sensual men. May not an excellent limner, watch-maker, or 
other artificer, make a picture, a watch, or musical instrument, 
merely for his own delight ? And may he not delight in the 
excellency of it, though you imagine him to have no need of it, 
or of the delight ? And what is the excellency of such a 
picture, but to be the full demonstration of the author's skill, 
in the fullest representation of the thing resembled? Will 
vou say that he hath done no good, because he made not his 
picture sensible, and made not its pleasure his ultimate end ? 
Those things which in particulars we call bad, are good, as 
they are parts of the universal frame ; as many darkenings and 
shadowings in a picture may conduce to make it beautiful. 
The eye is a more excellent part of the body than a finger, or a 
tooth ; and yet it maketh to the perfection of the whole, that 
there" be fingers and teeth, as well as eyes. So it doth to the 
perfection of the world, that there be men, and beasts, and 
plants, as well as angels ; and poor men as well as rich, and 
sick men as well as sound, and pain as well as pleasure. Our 
narrow sight, that looketh but on a spot or parcel of God's 
work at once, doth judge according to the particular interest 
of that parcel ; and so we would have no variety in the world, 
but every thing of that species which we think best. But God 
seeth all his works at once, uno intuitu, and therefore seeth 
what is best in reference to the glory of the universe, and seeth 
what variety is beautiful, and what each part should be, ac- 
cording to the office and order of its place. 

And, 3. Doth not your own experience reprehend your own 
complaint, as guilty of contradiction ? You would have all 
things fitted to your own particular interest, or else you think 
God is not good enough to you ; and may not every other crea- 
ture say the same as justly as you ? and then how would you 
have a horse to carry you, an ox to plough for you, a dog to 
hunt for you, a hare or partridge to be hunted ; yea, a bit of 
flesh to nourish you ; yea, or the fruit of trees and plants ; yea, 
or the earth to bear you, or the air to breathe in, or the water to 
refresh you ? for every one of these might expect to be advanced 
to be as high in sensual pleasure as you. 

He that compareth, as aforesaid, the elements and orbs, which 
have no sense, with a worm that hath it, will think that sense 
hath blinded reason ;. when it is so overvalued as to be thought 
the most excellent thing, or a meet measure of the goodness of 
the Creator. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 37 

1. Most of the calamities of the rational creature, which vou 

3 4 

mention, are sin, and the fruits of sin ; and when man bringeth 
in sin, it is good that God should bring in punishment : it is an 
act of justice, and declareth his holiness, and warneth others. 
Therefore, all your complaints against these penal evils should be 
turned only against the sinner; and all should be turned to the 
praise of the righteous Governor of the world/ 

5. And as for the sin itself, which hath depraved the world 
so foully as you describe it, it is none of the work of God at all. 
If you say that he might have prevented it if he had pleased, I 
answer, He hath declared his detestation of it; as our Ruler, 
he hath forbidden it. He deterreth men from it by his sorest 
threatenings ; he allureth them from it by his richest promises of 
reward; he appointed) kings and magistrates, to suppress it by 
corporal penalties : this and much more he doeth against it, 
and more he could do, which should prove effectual ; but his 
wisdom saw it not meet, nor conducible to the glory of the uni- 
verse, to make all moral agents of one size, any more than all 
natural agents, and therefore he made not man indefectible. Do 
you think that a rational creature, with free-will, being the lord 
of its own acts, and a self-determining principle to act without 
force, is not a thing which God may make, and take delight in ? 
as well as a watch-maker taketh delight to make a clock that 
shall go of itself, without his continued motion ; and the longer 
he can make it go without him, and so the more like to himself, 
the more excellent he thinks his work. If God may make such 
a free agent, then it is no impeachment to his goodness, if it 
abuse its freedom unto sin ; especially when he will overrule 
even that sin, so far as to bring good out of it by accident. 

And, lastly, as for all the objections from sin and misery, 
against God's goodness, I answer you with these questions : Do 
you know what number the holy and glorious angels are, in com- 
parison both of wicked men and devils : whether they may not 
be ten thousand to one ? Do you know how many thousand 
fixed stars there are, besides planets : do vou know whether 

r Non quoniam mutabiles vires habemus, improbitatis nostras culpa in 
Deurn conferenda est. Non enim in faeultaiibus sunt vitia, sed iu habitibus. 
Habitibus autem ex. electione et voluntate sunt, ltaque nostra ipsorum elec- 
tione et voluntate improbi evadimus, non natura sumus. — Nenicshts de Nat. 
Hum. c. 41. Homo est principium suarum operationem. — Aris. 3, Eth. 
Nemo nolens bonus et beatus est. — Sen. Si divitias velis, rem bonam esse 
scias nee omnia in te sitam. Si vero beati, id ad bonum est et penes te. Opes 
enim fortuna ad tenipus commodato dat : beatitudo autem a. nostra voluntate 
procedit. — Epic let. 



38 THE REASONS OF 

they are all suns ; and how much larger they are than the earth ; 
and how much more glorious ? Do you know whether they are 
all inhabited or not; when you see almost no place on earth 
uninhabited, not so much as water and air ? Do you know 
whether those thousands of more glorious orbs have not inha- 
bitants answerable to their greatness and glory, beyond the in- 
habitants of this darker orb; do you know whether sin and 
sorrow be not kept out there, and confined to this, and some few 
such obscure receptacles ; do you know the degrees of holiness 
and glory which those superior inhabitants possess ; and do you 
know that all these things set together, the demonstration of 
God's goodness by the way of beneficence, is not ten thousand 
times beyond the demonstrations of it in the way of justice, and 
all the other sorrows that you complain of? Till you know all 
these, do not think yourselves meet, from your sensible troubles, 
to argue against that infinite goodness which demonstrateth itself 
so unquestionably to all, by all the goodness of the whole 
creation. s 

I may boldly, then, conclude that God is our Father, our chief 
Good, our chief Benefactor, and ultimate End. 

And so that, in semu plenissimo, there is a God : that word 
comprehending both the aforesaid trinity of principles in the 
unity of his essence, and the trinity of relations in the unity of 
the relation of our Creator. 



CHAP. XII. 

III. Of Mans Relation to God, as he is our Father, or our 
Chief Good; and of our Duty in that Relation. 

Sect. 1. God being to man, efficiently and finally, his chief, 
yea, his total Good, as is declared ; it must needs follow, that 
man is, by immediate resultancy, related to him as his total 
Beneficiary, and Recipient of his benefits ; and oweth him all 
that which goodness, conjunct with sovereignty and dominion, 
can oblige him to. 

Whether all obligation, which is truly moral, to a duty, do 
arise from sovereignty and rule, and belong to us as subjects only 
in the nearest formal sense, or whether benefits simply, without 

5 Read Gassendi Phys., sect. 2. 1. c. 6. sint ne ccelum et sidera habitabilia. 
And Card. Nic. Causanus, 1. 2. de doct. ignot. 11. in Coroll., cited also by Gas- 
sendus. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 39 

any respect to government and subjection, may be said to oblige 
to moral duty as such, is a question that I am not concerned to 
determine, as long as God is both Governor and Benefactor, and 
his government may give the formal, moral obligation, as his 
benefits provide the greatest materials of the duty : though this 
much I may say to it, that I cannot see but the duty of a bene- 
ficiary, as such, may be called moral, as well as the duty of a 
subject as such ; and if it were supposed that two men were 
absolutely equals as to any subjection, and that one of them 
should, by kindness, exceedingly oblige the other, all will acknow- 
ledge ingratitude to be an unnatural thing; and why that vice 
may not be called properly moral in a rational, free agent, I am 
not yet convinced. You will say it is true ; but that is because 
that both those men are subjects to God, whose law obligeth 
them both to gratitude, and therefore ingratitude is a sin only 
as against the law of God in nature : to which I reply, that I 
grant God's law of nature maketh ingratitude a sin ; and I grant, 
that a law is properly the instrument of a governor as such ; 
and so, as ingratitude is the violation of a law, it is only a sin 
against government as such. But I question whether, as love is 
somewhat different from wisdom and power, and as a benefactor 
and an attractive good hath the highest, and a peculiar kind 
of obligation, so there be not something put by God into our 
nature, which, though it be not formally a law, yet is as obliga- 
tory, and as much, if not more than a law, which maketh it 
more than the duty of a subject to answer love and goodness 
with gratitude and love; so that if, per impossible, you suppose 
that we had no other obligation to God but this of love and 
goodness (or abstract this from the rest) J question whether it 
be not most eminently moral, and whether the performance of 
it do not morally fit us for the highest benefits and felicity, and 
the violation of it merit not, morally, the rejections of our great 
Benefactor, and the withdrawing of all his favours to our un- 
doing : but in this controversy my cause is not much con- 
cerned as I have said, because the same God is our Sovereign 
also. 

Sect. 2. The duty which we especially owe to God, in this 
highest relation, is love ; which, as such, is above obedience as 
such. 

The difference of understandings and wills requireth govern- 
ment and obedience, that the understanding and will of the 
superior may be a rule to the subjects : but love is a concord of 



40 THE REASONS OF 

wills ; and so far as love hath caused a concord, there is no use 
for government by laws and penalties, and therefore the law is not 
made for a righteous man as such ; that is, so far as love hath 
united his soul to virtue, and separated it from sin, he need not he 
constrained or restrained by any penal laws, any more than men 
need a law to command them to eat and drink, and preserve 
their lives, and forbear self-destruction. But so far as any man 
is unrighteous or ungodly, that is, hath a will to sin, or cross or 
averse to goodness, so far he needeth a penal law; which, there- 
fore, all need while they remain imperfect. 

Nature hath made love and goodness like the iron and the 
loadstone. The understanding doth not so ponderously incline 
to truth as the will doth naturally to good ; for this being the 
perfect act of the soul, the whole inclination of nature goeth 
after it : therefore, love is the highest duty, or most noble act of 
the soul of man ; the end and perfection of all the rest. 1 

Sect. 3. The essential act of this love is complacency ; or 
the pleasure of the mind in a suitable good. But it" hath 
divers effects, concomitants, and accidents, from whence it bor- 
rovveth divers names. 

Sect. 4. The love of benevolence, as it worketh towards the 
felicity of another, is the love of God to man, who needeth him ; 
but not of man to God, who is above our benefits, and needeth 
nothing. 

Sect. 5. Our love to God, respecteth him either, 1. As our 
efficient ; 2. Dirigent ; 3. Or final Good ; which hath accordingly 
commitant duties. 

Sect. 6. 1. Our love to God as our chief Good efficiently, 
containeth in it; 1. A willing, receiving love; 2. A thankful' 
love ; 3. A returning, devoted, serving love, which among men 
amounts to retribution. 

'Seneca, (Epist. 31,) saith, Quaerendum est quod non fiat indies deterius- 
cui non possit obstari ; quo nil melius possit optari ; Quid hoc est' An- 
imus sed hie rectus, bonus, maguus. Quid aliud ~oces, hunc, quam 
Beum in humano corpore hospitantem ? Hie animus tam in equitem Ro 
maiium, quam inservum potest cadere; Quid est eques Romanus? Aut 
hbertinus ? Aut servus ? Nomina ex ambitioue, aut ex injuria nata sub 
silirein ccelum ex angulo licet: exurg-e modo, et te di<r T1U m fin-e Deo" 
finges autem, non auro, non argento: non potest ex hac materia ima-o 
Dei expnmi similis. Plato saith, that man's end is, to be made like God — 
Laert. in Plat. Socrates said, that God was the best and most blessed'- and 
the nearer any one came in likeness to him, so much was he the better and 
more blessed. Non potest temperantiam laudare, qui suinmmn bonum 
ponet m voluptate.— Cicero. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 41 

Sect. 7. 1. An absolute, dependent beneficiary ought with full 
dependence on his total benefactor, to receive all his benefits 
with love and willingness. u 

An undervaluing of benefits, and demurring or rejecting 
them, is a great abuse and injury to a benefactor. Thus doth 
the ungodly world, against all the grace and greatest mercies of 
God : thev know not the worth of them, and therefore despise 
them, and will not be entreated to accept them ; but take them 
for intolerable injuries or troubles, as a sick stomach doth its 
physic and food, because they are against their fleshly appe- 
tites. An open heart to receive God's mercies with high esteem, 
beseemeth such beneficiaries as we. 

Sect. 8. 2. Thankfulness is that operation of love which the 
light of nature hath convinced all the world to be a duty ; and 
scarce a man is to be found so brutish as to deny it : and our 
love to God should be more thankful than to all the world, 
because our receivings from him are much greater than from all. x 

Sect. 9. 3. Though we cannot requite God, true gratitude 
will devote the whole man to his service, will, and honour, and 
bring back his mercies to him for his use, so far as we are aide. 

Sect. 10. II. Our love to our diligent benefactor, is, 1. A 
fiducial love. 2. A love well pleased in his conduct. 3. A follow- 
ing love. 

Though it belongeth to God chiefly as our sapiential Governor, 
to be the dirigent cause of our lives : yet he doth it also as our 
benefactor, by a commixture of the effects of his relations. 

Sect. 11. 1. So infinite and sure a friend, is absolutely to be 
trusted, with a general confidence in the goodness of his nature, 
and a particular confidence in the promises or significations of 
his good-will. 

Infinite good cannot be willing to deceive or disappoint us : 
and if we absolutely trust him, it will abundantly conduce to our 
holiness and peace. 

Sect. 12. 2. We must also love his conduct, his precepts, and 
his holy examples, and the very way itself in which he leadeth us. 

All that is from him is good, and must be loved, both for 
itself and for him that it cometh from, and for that which it 

u Gratus sum ; non ut alius mihi libentius prsestet, priori irritatus exemplo ; 
sed ut rem jucundissimam faciam. — Senec. Ep.28. 

x Credamus itaque nihil esse grato anime honestius. Omnes hoc urhes, 
omnes etiam ex barbaris regionibus gentes conclamabuut : in tanta judiciorum 
diversitate, referendam ben£ merentibus gratiani, omnes uno ore afiirmahunt ; 
in hoc decors turba consentiens. — Sencc. lb. 



42 



THE REASONS OF 



leadeth to ; all his instructions, helps, reproofs, and all his con- 
ducting means, should be amiable to us. 

Sect. 13. 3. Love must make us cheerfully follow him iri all 
the ways, which by precept or example, he is pleased to lead us. 
And so to follow him, as to love the tokens of his presence, 
and footsteps of his will, and all the signs of his approbation, 
and, with an heroic fortitude of love, to rejoice in sufferings, 
and venture upon dangers, and conquer difficulties for his sake. 
Sect. 14. III. Our love to God, as our final good, is, 1. A 
desiring love; 2. A seeking love, and, 3. A full, complacential, 
delighting love, Avhich is the perfection of us and all the rest ; 
and, accidentally, it is sometimes a mourning loveJ 

Sect. 15. 1. Man being put in via, under the efficiency and 
conduct of love, to final love and goodness, hath his end to 
intend, and his means to use ; and, therefore, love must needs 
work by desire. 

Sect. 16. So far as a man is short of the thing desired, love 
will have some sense of want ; and so far as we are crossed 
in our seekings, and frustrated in any of our hopes, it will be 
sorrowful. 

Sect. 17. 2. Man being appointed to a course and life of 
means to his last end, must needs be employed in those means 
for the love of that end ; and so the main work of this life is 
that of a desiring, seeking love. z 

Sect. 18. 3. The complacential, delighting love, hath three 
degrees ; the first, in belief and hope; the second, in foretaste; 
and the third, in full, inflamed exercise. 

Sect, 19. 1. The well-grounded hope of the foreseen vision 
and fruition of the infinite good, which is our end, must needs 
possess the considerate mind with a delight which is somewhat 
answerable to that hope. 

?Bene meritos quin colas, nee exorari fas est, neque est excusatio diflicultatis : 
neque aequum est tempore et die memoriam beneficii definire. — Cicer. 

7 Vos, vos, apello, qui Mercurium, qui Platonem, Pythagoramque secta- 
mini : vosque caeteros qui estis unius mentis, et per easdem vias placitorum 

iuceditis unitate. Audetis ridere nos Quid Plato vester uonne animo 

surgere suadet e terris, et circa Deum semper (quantum fieri potest) cogita- 
tione ac mente versari ? Audetis ridere nos quod animarum nostrarum provi- 
deamus saluti ? Id est ipsi nobis ? Quid enim sumus homines, nisi aniinas 
corporibus clausae ? Vos euiru nonne omnes pro illarum geritis incolumita- 
tibus curas ? Metusille vos habet ne velut trabalibus clavis affixi, corporibus 
haereatis ? Quid illi sibi veliut secretarum artium ritus, quibus affamini 
nescio quas potestates, ut sint vobis placidae, neque ad sedes remeantibus 
patrias obstacula impeditionis opponant.— Arnob. adv. Gentes, lib. 2. p. 14. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 43 

Sect. 20. 2. When the soul doth not only hope for its future 
end, hut also at present close with God, sub ratione finis , in the 
exercise of pure, complacential love, in prayer, praise, or con- 
templation, he hath some measure of fruition even in via, and 
a sensible foretaste of his future perfection, according to the 
degree of this his love. 

There is a delight that eometh into the mind by the mere 
foresight and hope of what we shall be, and have, and do here- 
after, and this eometh by the means of promise and evidence ; 
and there is also a delight which eometh in upon the present 
exercise of love itself on God as present ; when the soul, lit the 
contemplation of his infinite goodness, is wrapt up in the plea- 
sures of his love, and this is a degree of fruition of our end, 
before the perfect fruition of it : and, therefore, take notice, 
that there are these two ways of our comfort in this life. 1. Ex- 
ploratio juris, the trial of our title. 2. Exercithtm amoris, the 
feasting of the soul in the exercises of love. 

Sect. 21.3. The final, perfect act of love will not be in via, 
but when we have fully reached the end. 

Sect. 22. This final act is not well expressed by the common 
word 'fruition,' because it intimateth that we are the finis cut, 
ourselves, and that our own enjoyment of God as our felicity, is 
the finis idtirnate-ultimus, which is not true. 

Sect. 23. Yet is fruition one ingredient into our end, because 
our final act of love is for ourselves, though not principally. 

Sect. 24. All the difficulties, define hominis, are best resolved 
by understanding that it \s finis amantis, and what that is. The 
nature of love is an inclination or desire of union or adhesion ; 
and therefore it includeth the felicity of the lover, together with 
the attractive excellency of the object, and is both gratia 
amantis and amati shnul. But when the lover is infinitely 
above the object, the lover is the chief end, for his own com- 
placency, though the object have the benefit : and when the ob- 
ject is infinitely better than the lover, the object must be incom- 
parably the chief end, cujus gratia potissimum, though the 
lover, withal, intend his felicity in fruition. a 

Sect. 25. But if any soul be so far above self-love as to be 
drawn up in the fervours of holy love, in the mere contempla- 
tion of the infinite object, not thinking of its own felicity 

a Magistris, Diis et parentibus, non potest reddi aequivalens. — Aristot. 9. 
Ethic. Laus et gratiarum actio debetur danti, non accipienti. — Aristot. 4. 
Ethic. 



44 THE REASONS OF 

herein, its felicity will be never the less for not intending or re- 
membering it. 

Sect. 26. Therefore the final act of love hath no fitter name 
than love itself, or delightful adhesion to God, the infinite Good, 
with full complacency in him. b 

Sect. 27. Though God must be loved as our Benefactor, yet 
the perfect goodness of his will and nature, as standing above 
all our interest or benefits, must be the principal reason and 
object of our love. 

That we must love God more for himself than for ourselves, 
is thus proved: 1. That which is most amiable must be most 
loved; but God is most amiable, and not we ourselves, there- 
fore he must be loved above ourselves, and, consequently, not 
for ourselves, but ourselves for him. The minor is soon proved. 
That which is best is most amiable ; but God is best, ergo. And 
goodness is the proper object of love. c 

2. That which the soul most loveth, it doth most devote itself 
to, and adhere to, and rest in : but we must more devote ourselves 
to God, and adhere to him, and rest in him, than ourselves ; 
ergo, we must love him more. 

3. That which is an absolute good, and is dependenton nothing, 
must be absolutely loved for itself; but such is God ; ergo. And 
that which is only a derivative, limited, dependent good, and 
not made ultimately for itself; is not to be loved ultimately for 
itself: but such is man; ergo. 

4. That which is the fountain of all goodness and love must 
be the end of all ; but that is God, and not man ; ergo. 

5. To love God ultimately for ourselves is to deify ourselves, 
and take down God into the order of a means, that is, of a 
creature. 

Sect. 28. Having proved that God must be loved above our- 
selves, we need no other proof that not we, but God, must be 
our ultimate end.' 1 

b Qui sancti ? qui religionem colentes ? nisi qui meritam Diis immortalibus 
gratiam, justis honoribus, memori meute persolvunt? — Cicer.pro Plane. 

c If we must love good men for themselves, much more God. Ubi beneficus 
si nemo alterius causa benigne facit. Ubi gratuus, si nun earn ipsum cui re- 
serunt gratiam, ipsi cernunt grati ? Ubi ilia sancta amicitia, si non ipse ami- 
cus per se amatur, toto pectore : qui etiam deserendus et abjiciendus est, de- 
speratis emoluments et fructibus : quo quid potest dici immanius ? — Cicer.de 
Lejf.l.p. 227. 

d Justitia nihil expetit praemii, nihil pretii: per seigiturexpetitur: eademque 
omnium virtutum causa atque sententia est : atque etiam si emoluments, non 
suapte Datura virtus expetitur, una erit virtus, quae malitia reetissimedicetur. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 45 

Sect. 29. Because we here see not God intuitively, but in liis 
works, we are bound, with fervent desire, to study and contem- 
plate them, and therein to feast our love in beholding and tast- 
ing his love and goodness. 

As a man will look on the pictures, the letters, the works of 
his absent friend, and retain the image of him in his heart ; so 
God, though not absent, vet unseen, expresseth himself to us in 
all his works, that we may studiously there behold, admire, and 
love him. 

Sect. 30. Therefore God's works must be more valued and 
studied, as they are the glass representing the image of his per- 
fections, and showing us his chief, essential amiableness, than as 
they are beneficial and useful to us, and so show us only his be- 
nignity to us. 

Sect. 31. Yet must self-love, and sense itself, and the sensi- 
ble sweetness and experience of mercies be improved to our 
easier taste of God's essential goodness, and we must rise up 
from the lower to the higher objects; and this is our chief use 
of sensible benehts. e 

Doubtless, as the soul, while it dwelleth with flesh, doth re- 
ceive its objects by the mediation of sense, so God hath pur- 
posely put such variety of sensible delicacies into the creatures, 
that by every sight, and smell, and hearing, and touch, and taste, 
our souls might receive a report of the sweetness of God, whose 
goodness all proceed from : and therefore this is the life which 
we should labour in continually, to see God's goodness in 
every lovely sight, and to taste God's goodness in every 
pleasant taste, and to smell it in every pleasant odour, and to 
hear it in every lovely word or sound ; that the motion may pass 
on clearly without stop, from the senses to the mind and will, 
and we may never be so blockish as to gaze on the glass, and 

Ut enim quisque ad suum commodum refert maxime qiuecunque agit, ita 
minime est vir bonus: ut qui virtutem pra?mio metiuutur, nullam virtutein 
nisi malitiam putant. — Cicer. de Leg. 1. p. 227. 

e Nihil hotnini metuendum, nisi ne faslicitatem ex cludat. — Solon in Laert. 
p. 151. Suramo bonno constitute) in philosophia, constituta sunt omnia: 
nam ca;teris in rebus sive praetermissum, sive ignoratuin est quippiam, non 
plus iucommodi, quam quant i quaeque earum rerum est, inquibus neglectum 
est aliquid. Summum autem bonum si ignoretur, vivendi rationeni ignorari 
necesse est : ex quo tantus error consequitur, ut quem in poi turn se recipiant, 
scire non possunt. Cognitis autem rerum finibus (bonorum et malorum) in- 
venta vitae via est contbrmatioqiie omnium officiorum. — Piso in Cictr.de Finib. 
lib. 5, p. 182. Decrescere summum bonum non potest. Moitalia eminent, 
cadunt, deteruntur, crescuut, exhauiiunUir, implentur, Diviuoruin una 
naUiraest.— Saiec. Epist. CG. p. »>44, 645. 



46 THE REASONS OF 

not see the image in it; or to gaze on the image, and never 
consider whose it is ; or to read the hook of the creation, and 
mark nothing but the words and letters, and never mind the 
sense and meaning. A philosopher, and yet an atheist, or an 
ungodly man, is a monster ; one that most readeth the book of 
nature, and least understandeth or feeleth the meaning of it. 

Sect. 32. Therefore, God daily reneweth his mercies to us, 
that the variety and freshness of them, producing renewed de- 
light, may renew our lively feelings of his love and goodness, and 
so may carry us on in love, without cessations and declinings. 

Our natures are so apt to lose the sense of a good that is 
grown ordinary and common, that God, by our renewed neces- 
sities, and the renewed supplies, and variety of mercies, doth 
cure this defect. 

Sect. 33. Those, therefore, that turn God's mercies to the 
gratifying of their sensitive appetites and lusts, and forget him, 
and offend him the more, and love him the less, do forfeit his 
mercies by their inhuman and irrational ingratitude and abuse. 
Which is the sin of all proud, covetous, voluptuous persons ; 
the ambitious, fornicators, gluttons, drunkards, and lovers of 
sports, recreations, idleness, or any pleasure, as it turneth them 
from God. 

Sect. 34. Above all other sin, we should most take heed of 
the inordinate love of any creature, for itself, or for our carnal 
self alone, because it is most contrary to our love of God, which 
is our highest work and duty. f 

Sect. 35. Those mercies of God are most to be valued, de- 
desired and sought, which show us most of God himself, or 
most help up our love to him. 

Sect. 36. We must love both our natural selves and neigh- 
bours, the bad as well as the good, with a love of benevolence, 
desiring our own good and theirs : but, at the same time, we 
must hate ourselves and them, so far as wicked, with the hatred 
of displacency; and, with the love of complacency, must only so 
far love ourselves or others, as the image of divine goodness is 
in us or them. 

I speak not of the mere natural passion of the parent to the 
child, which is common to man and beast ; nor of the exercises 
of love in outward acts, for those may be directed by God's 
commands to go more to one, as a wicked child, that hath less 

f Ccelestia semper spectato : ilia humana contemnito.— Cic. Somn, Scipi. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 47 

true amiableness in him. But all holy love must be suited to the 
measures of the truest object. 

Sect. 37. The love of God should be with all our soul, and 
with all our might; not limited, suppressed, or neglected, but 
be the most serious, predominant action of our souls. g 

How easy a matter is it to prove holiness to be naturally 
man's greatest duty, when love to God, which is the sum of it, 
is so easily proved to be so. All the reason in the world that 
is not corrupted, but is reason indeed, must confess, without 
any tergiversation, that it is the greatest and most unquestionable 
duty of man to love God above all, yea, with all our heart, and 
soul, and might : and he that doth so shall never be numbered 
by him with the ungodly, for those are inconsistent. 

Sect. 38. The exercises of love to God in complacency, de- 
sire, seeking, &c. should be the chief employment of our 
thoughts. 11 

For the thoughts are the exercise of a commanded faculty, 
which must be under the power of our will, and the ultimate 
end, and the exercises of our love to it, should daily govern 
them ; and what a man loveth most, usually he will think of, 
with his most practical, powerful thoughts, if not with the most 
frequent. 

Sect. 39. The love of God should employ our tongues in the 
proclaiming of his praise and benefits, and expressing our own 
admiration and affection, to kindle the like in the souls of others.' 

For the same God who is so amiable, hath given us our speech 
with the rest of his benefits, and given it us purposely to declare 
his praise. Reason telleth us, that we have no higher, more worthy, 
or better employment for our tongues ; and that we should use 
them to the best. The tongues of men are adorned with lan- 
guage for charitable and pious communication, that they may be 
fit to affect the hearts of others, and to kindle in them that 

s Templutn mentis amo, non marmoris, aurea in illo. Fundamenta : 
manet fiiles structura nivali, con fur git pietate nitens, tegit ardua culmen. 
Justitia interius spargit sola picta rubetiti Flore, pudicitire pudor almus, et 
atria servat. Haec domus apta mini est, haec me pulcherrirna sedes. 
Aocipit, aeterno coelestique hospite digna. — Prudent. Quicquid boni egeris 
in Deos refer. — Bias in Laert. 

h When tbe oracle of Delphos adjudged the Tripos to the wisest, it was sent 
to Thales, and from him to another, till it came to Solon, who sent it to the 

oracle, saying, none is wiser than God. — Laert in Tkalet. So should we 

all send back to God the glory and praise of all good which is ascribed to us. 

1 Numen diviuum omni modo, oinni tempore ipse cole, juxta leges patrias, 
et ut alii colant effice. — Dion. 1. 52. 



4S THE REASONS OF 

sacred fire which is kindled in themselves ; therefore, that tongue 
which is silent to its Maker's praise, and declareth not the good- 
ness, and wisdom, and. power of the Lord, and doth not divulge 
the notice of his benefits, condemneth itself, and the heart that 
should employ it, as neglecting the greatest duty it was made for. 
Sect. 40. The lives of God's beneficiaries should be employed 
to his praise and pleasure, and should be the streaming effects 
of inward love ; and all his mercies should be improved to his 
service, from a thankful heart. 

All this hath the fullest testimony of reason, according to the 
rules of proportion and common right. To whom should we 
live, but to him from whom, and by whom we live ? What but 
our ultimate end should be principally intended, and sought, 
through our whole lives ? A creature that hath all from God, 
should in love and gratitude bring back all to him ; and thus we 
make it more our own. 

Sect. 41. This life of love should be the chief delight and 
pleasure of our souls, which all other pleasure should subserve, 
and all be abhorred which contradicteth it. k 

Nothing is more easily confessed by all, than the desirableness 
of delight and pleasure ; and the most excellent object, which 
must be most beloved, must be our chief delight : for love itself 
is a delighting act, unless some stop do turn it aside into fears 
and sorrows. Nothing can itself be so delectable as God, the 
chief Good ; and no employment so delectable as loving him. 
This, therefore, should be our work, and our recreation, our 
labour and our pleasure, our food and feast. Other delights are 
lawful and good, so far as they further these delights of holv 
love, by carrying up our hearts to the original and end of all 
our mercies and delights. But nothing is so injurious to God 
and us as that which corrupteth our minds with sensuality, and 
becometh our pleasure instead of God. 

Sect. 42. The sense of the present imperfection of our love, 
should make us long to know God more, and to love him and 
delight in him, and praise him in perfection to the utmost extent 
of our capacities. l 

If it be so good to love God, then must the highest degree of 

k Aristippus rogatus aliquando, quid liaberent eximium philosophi ? Si 
omnes inquit, leges intereatit, cquabiliter vivimus. — Laert. Oderunt 
peccare boni virtutis ainore. — Hor. 

1 Read Seneca, (de vita beata,) fully proving, against tbe Epicureans, that 
wealth, honour, and pleasure are not man's felicity, because they make him 
not belter, or best. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 49 

it be best : and reason teacheth us, when we feel how weak our 
knowledge and love is, to long for more ; yea, for perfection. 

Sect. 43. Thus hath reason showed us the end and highest 
felicity of man, in his highest duty : to know God, to love him 
and delight in him, in the fullest perfection, and to be loved by 
him, and be fully pleasing to him, as herein bearing his image, 
is the felicity and ultimate end of man. Love is man's final 
act, excited by the fullest knowledge ; and God, so beheld and 
enjoyed in his love to us, is the final object. And here the soul 
must seek its rest. m 

Object. But, qua supra nos nihil adnos. God, indeed, is near to 
angels; but he hath made them our benefactors, and they have 
committed it to inferior causes. There must be suitableness as 
well as excellency to win love : we find no suitableness between 
our hearts and God. And, therefore, we believe not that we 
were made for any such employment. And we see that the far 
greater part of mankind are as averse to this life of holiness as 
ourselves ; and, therefore, we cannot think but that it is quite 
above the nature of man, and not the work and end which he 
was made for. 

Answ. 1. Whether God have made angels our rulers or 
benefactors, or what love or honour we owe them as his 
instruments, is nothing to our present business ; for if it be 
granted that he thus useth them, it is most certain that he is 
nevertheless himself our benefactor, and nevertheless near us. 
What nearness a) us they have, we are much uncertain ; but 
that he himself is our total benefactor, and always with us, as 
near to us as we are to ourselves, is past all cpiestion, and 
proved before. 

2. There neither is, nor can be, any object so suitable for 
our love as God ; he hath all goodness in him, and all in the 
creature is derived from him, and dependeth on him j and he 
hath given us all that ever we ourselves received, and must 
give us all that ever we shall receive hereafter. He is all- 
sufficient for the supply of all our wants, and granting all our 
just desires, and making us perfect ; all that he doth for us 
he doth in love, as an intellectual free agent ; and he is still 
present with us, upholding us, and giving us the very love 

m Sursum animum vocant initia sua : erit autem illic, etiam antequam hac 
custodiaexolvatur, si vitia sua deseruit, purusqneac lenis in cogitationes divi- 

nas emicuit.— Senec. Ep. 80. Tutum iter est, jucunilum est, ad quod natura 

te instruxit. Dedit tibi ilia quae si non deserueris, par Deo consurges. Parem 
autem Deo te pecuuia non facit, etc. — Senec. Ep. 1j. 
VOL. XXI. K 



50 THE REASONS OF 

which he demandeth ; and he created us for himself, to be his 
own, and gave us these faculties to know and love him. And 
can any, then, be a more suitable object of our love ? 

3. Do you not find that your understandings have a suitable- 
ness or inclination to truth and knowledge, and would you not 
know the best and greatest things? and know the cause of 
all the wonderful effects which you see ? And what is this but 
to know God ? And do you not find that your wills have 
a suitableness to good, as such, in the general, and to your own 
felicity ? And do you not know that it should not be un- 
natural to any man to love that best which is best, and especially 
which is best for him ; and to love him best who is his greatest 
benefactor, and most worthy of his love in all respects ? And 
can you doubt whether God be most worthy of your love ? All 
this is plain and sure. And will men's averseness to the love 
of God then disprove it ? It is natural for man to desire 
knowledge, as that which perfecteth his understanding ; and 
yet boys are averse to learn their books, because they are 
slothful, and are diverted by the love of play. What if your 
servants be averse and slothful to your service ', doth it follow 
that it is not their duty, or that you hired them not for it ? 
What if your wife and children be averse to love you, is it 
therefore none of their duty so to do ? Rebels are averse to obey 
their governors, and yet it is their duty to obey them. If your 
child, or any one that is most beholden to you, should be averse 
to love and gratitude to you, as thousands are to their parents and 
benefactors, will it follow that nature obliged them not to it ? n 

4. What can you think is suitable to your love, if God be 
not ? is it lust, or play, or meat, and drink, and ease ? A swine 
hath a nature as suitable to these as you. Is it only to deal 
ingenuously and honourably in providing for the flesh, and 
maintaining the fuel of these sensualities, by buildings, trading, 
manufactures, ornaments, and arts ? All this is but to have a 

11 Quod si poena, si metus supplicii, non ipsa turpitude, deterret ab injuriosa, 
facinorosaque vita, nemo est iujustus : at incauti potius habendi sunt improbi : 
callidi, non boni sunt, qui utilitate tantum, non ipso liouesto, utboni viri sint 

moventur. — Cicer. de leg. I. 1. p. 289. Complent bona corporis beatissimam 

vitam ; sed ita ut sine illis possit beata vita existere. Ita enim parvae et exi- 
gua; sunt ista? accessiones bonorum, ut sicut stellar in radio solis, sic ista? in 
virtutum splendore, ne cernuntur quidem. Atque haec ut vere dicitur parva 
esse ad beate vivendum momenta ista corporis commodorum, sic nimis vio- 
lentum est, nulla esse dicere. Qui enim sic disputant, obliti milii videntur 
quae ipsi egerint principia natura;. Tribuendum est his aliquid, dummodo 
quantum tribuendum sit intelligas. — Piso in Cicerone de Finib. I. 5. p. 202. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 51 

reason to serve your sense, and so the swinish part still shall he 
the chief 5 for that which is the chief and ruling object with 
you doth show which is the chief and regnant faculty. If 
sensual objects be the chief, then sense is the chief faculty 
with you. And if you had the greatest wit in the world, and 
used it only to serve your guts, and throats, and lust, in a more 
effectual and ingenious way than any other men could do, this 
were but to be an ingenious beast, or to have an intellect bound 
in service to your bellies. And can you think that things so 
little satisfying, and so quickly perishing, are more suitable 
objects for your love than God ? 

5. What say you to all them that are otherwise minded, and 
that take the love of God for their work and happiness ? They 
find a suitableness in God to their highest esteem and love ; 
and are they not as fit judges for the affirmative as you for the 
negative ? 

Object. They do but force themselves to some acts of fancy. 

Answ. You see that they are such acts as are the more serious 
and prevalent in their lives, and can make them lay by other 
pleasures, and spend their days in seeking God, and lay down 
their lives in the exercise and hopes of love. And that it is 
you that follow fancy, and they that follow solid reason, is 
evident in the reason of your several ways. That world which 
you set above God, is at last called vanity by all that try it : 
reason will not finally justify your choice ; but I have here 
showed you undeniable reason for their choice and love ; and, 
therefore, it is they that know what they do, and obey the 
law of nature, which you obliterate and contradict. 

Object. But we see the creature, but God we see not, and we 
find it not natural to us to love that which we do not see. 

Answ. Js not reason a nobler faculty than sight ? If it be, 
why should it not more rule you, and dispose of you ? ° Shall 
no subjects honour and obey their king but those that see him ? 
You can love your money, and land, and friends, when they are 
out of sight. 

Object. But these are things visible in their nature. 

Answ. They are so much the more vile, and less amiable. p 
Your own souls are invisible, will you not, therefore, love them ? 

Unum verb finem Aristotelis declaravit, esse usum virtutis in vita sancta 
et integra. — Hesych. Must, in Aristot. 

p Piso ubi supra, in Cic. saith, that all the difference in this between the 
Stoics and the Peripatetics and Academics is but this, whether corporal 

E 2 



52 THE REASONS OF 

You never saw the life, or form, of any plant or living wight ; 
you see the beauty of your roses, and many other flowers, but 
you see not the life and form within, which causeth all that 
beauty and variety, which yet must be more excellent than the ef- 
fect. Can you doubt whether all things which appear here to your 
sight have an invisible cause and Maker ? Or can you think 
him less amiable, because he is invisible, that is, more excellent ? 

6. In a word, it is most evident, that all this averseness of 
men's hearts to the love of God is their sin and depravity ; 
and the unsuitableness of their nature is, because they are 
vitiated with sensuality, and deceived by sensible things ; a 
disease to be cured, and not defended. Their sin will not 
prove the contrary no duty. 

7. And yet, while we are in flesh, though God be not visible 
to us, his works are, and it is in them (the frame of the world) 
that he hath revealed and exposed himself to our love ; it is in 
this visible glass that we must see his image, and in that image 
must love him : and if we will love any goodness, we must love 
his j for all is his, and as his should be loved by us. 



CHAP. XIII. 



Experiments of the Difficulty of all this Duty, and what it will 
cost a Man that will live this Holy Life. 

Hitherto I have proved that there is a God, of infinite 
power, wisdom, and goodness ; the Creator, and consequently 
the Owner, the Ruler, and the Father, or chief Good of man ; 
and that man, as his creature, is absolutely his own, and there- 
fore should resign himself, as his own, to his disposal ; and that 
he is absolutely his subject, and, therefore, should most exactly 
and diligently obey him ; and I have showed particularly 
wherein ; also, that man is his total beneficiary, and made to 
love him, as his chief Good and End; and therefore should 
totally devote himself to him, in gratitude and love, and desire 
him, seek him, and delight in him above all the world, and live 
in his praises and continual service. q All this is fully proved 

things shall be called no good at all, or only such little goods as to be next to 
none. P. 202, 203. To the shame of those nominal Christians, who know no 
greater good than they. 

i Si quis est hoc robore animi atque hac indole virtutis, ac continenticp, ut 
respuat omnes voluptates, omnemque vitae sua cursum labore corporis, atque 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 53 

to be man's duty. And now let us see on what terms he 
standeth in the world for the performance of it. 

Sect. 1. There is in the present disposition of man a great 
averseness to such a life of resignation, obedience, and love to 
God, as is before described, even when he cannot deny it to be 
his duty, and to be the best, most honourable, and most 
felicitating life. 

Too sad experience confirmeth this. The bad are so averse, 
that they will not be persuaded to it ; the godly have such a 
mixture of averseness, as fmdeth them matter of continual 
conflict. It is this averseness which serveth instead of argu- 
ments against it, or which is a pondus to the very judgment, 
and maketh it so hard to believe any arguments which go 
against so strong a contrary inclination. 

Sect. 2. We find the senses of men are grown masterly and 
inordinate, and are too eagerly set upon their objects, and 
hold down the mind from rising higher, and cause it to adhere 
to things terrene. 

So that man's life now is like that of the brutes ; it is things 
of the same nature that he valueth and adhereth to, and most 
men live to no higher ends but to enjoy their sensual pleasure 
while they may. 

Sect. 3. We find that reason in most men is so debilitated, 
that it cannot potently reduce itself into action, nor see that 
practically which speculatively it confesseth, nor clearly and 
powerfully observe those perfections of God in his works, nor 
those duties of man, which we are convinced to be true ; but, 
by inconsiderateness and dull apprehensions, is almost as no 
reason to them, and falleth down before their sensuality. 

Sect. 4. Hereupon men grow as strangers unto God, and 
have no thoughts of him but dark, and dull, and ineffectual. 

Sect 5. The world is full of allurements to the flesh, and those 

in animi contentione conficiat, quem non quies, non remissio, non sequaliam 
studia, Don ludi, non convivia delectant, nihil in vita expetendum putet, nisi 
quod est cum laude et honore coujunctum ; hunc, mea seutentia, divinis qui- 
busdam bonis instruction atque ornatum puto. — Cic. pro Cccl. Male de me 
loquuntur, sed mali : moverer, si de me Marc. Cato, si Laelius sapiens, si duo 
Scipiones ista loquerentur. Nunc malis displicere, laudare est. — Seneca. 
Videturne gumma improhitate usus non sine summa esse ratione. Nee scena 
solum referta est his sceleribus, sed multo vita communis pcene majoribus. 
Sentit domus unius cuj usque, sen tit forum, sentit curia, campus socii, pro- 
vincia, ut quemadmodum ratione recte fiat, sic ratione peccetur : alterum et 
a paucis et raro alterum et srepe et a. pluribus : ut satius fuerit nullum omninu 
nobis a diis datam esse rationem, quam tanta cum peraicie datam. — lta Cotta 
contra Deos in Vic. de Nalur. Deor, 3. p. 111. 



54 THE REASONS OF 

mercies, which should raise the mind to God, are made the 
food to this sensuality, and the greatest means to keep it from 
him. 

Sense is irrational, and fasteneth on its object, and when 
reason faileth in its office, there we are left like dogs gnawing 
upon a carrion, and in greediness, fighting for it with each other, 
when we have separated the creature from God in our minds, 
and so deprived it of its life and beauty, which fitted it for 
another use. And when every place and state of life hath such 
baits as these, which hourly are alluring a mind so weakly for- 
tified against them, no wonder if they do prevail. 

Sect. 6. Education, custom, and ill example confirm these 
vicious habits with the most, and much increase them/ 

Sect. 7- The best have some of this inordinate sensuality 
and weakness of reason, and are imperfect in virtue, and are 
tempted by the world, as well as others. 

Sect. S. Therefore no man can live to God according to his 
certain duty, who will not deny the desires of his flesh, and 
bring it into subjection, and live in vigilancy and daily conflict 
against its lusts. 

Object. But the appetite of meat, and drink, and sleep, 
and ease, and venery, and sport, and pleasure, and gain, and 
honour is natural to us, and that which is natural is no vice, nor 
to be denied or destroyed. 

Answ. It is natural to have the appetite, but it is the disease 
of nature that this appetite is inordinate, and no otherwise na- 
tural than the leprosy is to those to whom it is propagated by 
their parents ; but it is natural to you to have lust and appetite, 
and is it not natural to vou to have reason to moderate and rule 
them ? If not, it is natural to you to be brutes, and not natural 
to you to be men. What is more natural to man than to be 
rational ? Is it not his essential form ? And whether is reason 
or appetite, think you, naturally made to be the predominant 
faculty ? Should the horse rule the rider, or the rider the horse ? 
The soul and body are much like the rider and the horse; be- 
think you which should naturally rule. 

Sect. 9. The inordinacy of the fleshly appetite and fantasy, 

r Vir bonus nee cite fieri, nee intellig-i potest : nam ille alter fortasse Phoe- 
Dix anno quingentesimo nascitur. Nee est mirum, ex intervallo magna ge- 
nerat ; mediocria et in turbam nascentia saepe fortuna producit : sed qui 
sciret quid esset vir bonus, nondum se esse credere, fortasse etiam fieri nou 
posse desperaret. — Sen.Ep.A2. Diogenes said, he found good children at 
Lacsedemon, but good men no where in all Greece. 






THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 55 

maketh it a continual pain to the flesh to be restrained and 
denied. 8 

As it is to a headstrong, wilful horse to be governed, the 
more inordinate the appetite is, the more it is pained by denial 
and restraint. 

Sect. 10. The far greater part of the world do live an un- 
godly, sensual life, and the interest of the flesh is predominant 
in them. 

Sad experience puts this quite out of controversy. 

Sect 1 1. Usually the more riches and fulness of all provisions 
for the flesh men possess, the more sensual and vicious they are. 

It is not always so ; but that it is usually so, we need no 
proof but the knowledge of the world: nor need we take it 
from Christ only as a point of faith, that it is hard for a rich 
man to enter into heaven ; and reason telleth us, that when the 
love of the world above God is the mortal sin, those are most 
in danger of it, to whom the world appeareth most lovely ; and 
they that have the most temptations, are in the greatest dan- 
ger to miscarry. 

Sect. 12. The rich are commonly the rulers of the world, 
who have the liberties, estates, and lives of others much in their 
power. 

I never yet knew or heard of that place where the poor long 
ruled. 

Sect. 13. Commonly, the more averse men are to godliness, 
and the more prone to sensuality, the less can they endure those 
that would persuade them to godliness from their sensual lives, 
or that give them the example of a holy, self-denying life. 

For as it seemeth intolerable to them to leave their sensuality, 
and to betake themselves to a contrary life, which they are so 
averse to, so they take him as an enemy to them, that would 
draw them to it, and are furious against him, as a hungry dog 
against him that would take away his carrion. Experience puts 
this past all doubt (of which, more anon). 

Sect. 14. Hence it cometh to pass, that in all parts of the 

s Rari quippe boni ; nuinero vix sunt totidem quot Thebarum portas, vel 
divitis ostia Nili. — Juven. Quae ego scio, populus non probat. Qua? pro- 
bat populus, ego nescio. — Sen. Ep. 29. Imperitia in omnibus majori ex 
parte dominatur, et multitudo verborum. — Cleobulus in Laert. Offendet 

te superbus contemptu, dives contumelia, petulans injuria, lividus maligni- 
tate, puguax contentione, ventosus et mendax vanitate ? Non feres a suspi- 
cioso timeri, a. pertinace vinci, a. delicato fastidiri. — Sen. de Ira, 1. 3. c. 8. 
Praestat cum paucis bonis adversus malos omnes, quara cum multis malis 
adversus paucos pugnare. — Antisthenes in Laert, 1, (i. c, 1. 



56 THE REASONS OF 

world, the fore-described life of godliness is the matter of the 
common hatred, scorn, and cruel persecution of the sensual and 
ungodly. p 

The more exactly any man shall set himself to obey God, the 
more he crosses the lusts and carnal interests of the wicked, and 
the more he commonly suffereth in the world. So full of malice 
and prejudice is the world against such faithful subjects of God, 
that they slander them, and make them seem the most odious sort 
of men. And so unreasonable are they, and unjust, that the fullest 
evidence for their justification doth but seem to aggravate their 
faults, and nothing is so great a crime as their highest virtues. 
Or if their justification be undeniable, they rage the more, 
because they are hindered from making them suffer as deeply 
in their names as in their bodies. These things are no more 
questionable than the wars of Alexander or Caesar, the world 
having longer proof, and fuller evidence, of them. 

Sect. 15. And, ordinarily, God himself so ordereth it, that 
his most faithful subjects shall be the deepest sufferers in this 
life. 

Sect. 16. Therefore, self-denial, mortification, contempt of 
the world, and patience under manifold sufferings from God and 
man, are necessary to all who will be faithful to God, in the 
unquestionable duties before described. 

It is tried friendship and obedience which is most valuable : 
and unwholesome pleasures, though preferred by the foolish 
patient, are forbidden by our wise physician, that they hinder 
not our health, and greater pleasures. 

Sect. 17- Therefore, if worldly, fleshly pleasures were our end 
and chief good, the best men would have the smallest measure 
of them. 

Object. But you restrain man further thanGod restraineth him, 
and bind him to more than God bindeth him to, and make su- 
perstition to seem his duty, and then raise these consequences 
from such premises. 

Answ. What I mean by sin and duty I have so fully opened 
before, and proved to be such by the light of reason, that this 
objection hath no place. Even the sober heathens, the Greek 
philosophers, and Roman worthies, found and confessed all this 

1 Seneca Epist. 87. scribit, Tarn necessarhmi fuisse Romano populo nasci 
Catonem quam Scipionem : alter emru cum hostibus nostris, alter cum mori- 
bus bellum gessit. And if a Cato was at war with the manners of the 
world, much more will a true saint, that is more fully acquainted with sacred 
verity. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 57 

to be true. If there be any thing in the life before described, 
which all sound reason doth not justify and command, let him 
that is able manifest so much : if not, it is no superstition 11 to 
live as a man that is governed by God, and led by reason, and 
to do that which all our faculties were made for. And for aus- 
terities, I have pleaded for none which is not become needful 
to our own preservation and felicity : as a patient will endure 
a strict diet, and exercise, and blood-letting, and bitter physic, 
for his health. It is not any affected, unprofitable austerities 
that I plead for, but those which are for our good, and fit us for 
our duty, and keep the flesh from rebelling against reason, and 
keep man from living like a beast : even less than many of the 
philosophers plead for ; and he that useth but this much which 
is needful, will find it both opposed, as insufferable by the world, 
and murmured against by his suffering and displeased flesh ; and 
that the soul cannot do its duty, but at a considerable cost and 
trouble to the body. Though there may be an evil masked and 
cunningly moderated, which men call goodness, which may be 
had at a cheaper rate. But saith Seneca truly, Non est bonitas, 
pessimis esse meliorem. 



CHAP. XIV. 

That there is a Life of Retribution after this. 

To know whether there be a life after this for men to receive 
rewards or punishments in, is a matter of the greatest importance 
to mankind to be fully resolved in : upon which depends our com- 
forts and our religion, and without which we know not what to 
expect, to hope for, or to fear, or what to intend and seek after 
through our lives, or how to order our hearts or actions. x 

u Qui totos dies precabantur et immolabant, ut sui liberi sibi superstates 
essent, superstitiosi sunt appellati ; quod noraen patuit postea latius : qui 
autem omnia quae ad cultum Deorum pertinerent, diligentur pertractarent, 
et tanquam relegerent ; sunt dicti religioso ex relegendo, ut elegantes ex 
eligendo, a diligendo diligentes, ex intelligendo iutelligentes : superstitiosi et 
religiosi, alterum vitii nomen, alterum laudis. — Cicero de Nat. Deor. lib. 2, 
pp. 73, 74. Ardua res haec est opibus non tradere mores. — Martial. Pit- 
taci dictum est, Perdifficile est esse bonum.— Bruson. All Cicero's books 

de fhiib. show the worthlessness of pleasure, in comparison of virtue. 

x Senec. ' Consol. ad Marciam :' Cum tempus advenerit quo se mundus re- 
novaturus, — omni flagrante materia uno igne, quicquid nunc ex disposito 
lucet, ardebit — Nos quoque faelices anirnae, et zeterna sortitae, cum Deo visum 



58 THE REASONS OF 

This, therefore, I shall inquire into by the help of reason and 
natural evidence, as one that would not be deceived, or deceive, 
in so great a matter ; and 1 shall pass by those arguments which 
are commonly fetched from the soul's immateriality, and inde- 
pendence upon matter, and other such like, which are commonly 
to be found in physics and metaphysics, as being not such as my 
present method leadeth me to, and shall make use of such as 
are the necessary consectaries of the certain truths already 

proved. 

Object. But whatever rationalities may be drawn from the 
divine attributes, to prove a future state, yet. it depending wholly 
on the divine attributes, and the divine will being absolutely free, 
we can have no rational inducements to bring us to any suffi- 
cient knowledge of it, but by a clear revelation of the divine 

will. 

Answ. Is the law of nature no clear revelation of God's will ; 
or is it a law without any rewards or penalties ? It depended 
on God's will whether man should be his subject or no, obliged 
to obey him ; but doth it follow, therefore, that it cannot be 
proved ? By making him a rational free-agent, and sociable, 
placed among occasions of good and evil, God did reveal that it 
was his will that man should be his subject, and obey him. One ac- 
tion of God doth often reveal his will concerning another. Those 
attributes of God which signify his relation to us do reveal much 
of his will concerning what he will do with us in those relations ; 
and though his will be free, his perfections consist not with false- 
hood and mutability. If, in freedom, you include indetermina- 
tion, then, when we prove the determination of it ad unum, you 
will plead no longer that it is free ; any more than it is yet free 
whether he will make the world. 

Sect. 1. He that is the most righteous Governor of the world, 
making a just difference, by rewards and punishments, between 
the obedient and the wicked, which yet he maketh not in this 
life, will certainly make it after this life ; but God is the most 
righteous Governor of the world, making a just difference, by 
rewards and punishments, between the obedient and the wicked, 

erit iterum ista raoliri — Fcelicem filium tuum Marcia, qui ista (mortuus) 
jam novit. Duae sunt viae, duplicesque cursus animorum e corpore exeun- 
tium : nam qui se vitiis humanis contaminaruut, et libidinibus se tradide- 
runt • iis devium quoddam iter est, seciusum a consilio Deorum. Qui autem 
se integros castosque servarunt, quibusque fuit minima cum corporibus con- 
ta°io, suntque in corporibus humanis vitam imitati Deorum ; iis ad illos a. 
quibus sunt profecti, facile patet reditus. — Socrates in Cicer, Tuscul. 1. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 59 

which yet he maketh not in this life ; therefore he will make it 
after this life.y 

That God is the Governor of the world, in a proper sense, by 
laws and moral government, is proved ; and that he is righte- 
ous, is contained in the perfection of his nature : to deny either 
of these, is to deny him to be God. That his laws of nature 
have not only precepts of duty, but sanctions of reward and 
punishment, is also proved; and further may be, thus: 1. If 
there be no rewards or punishments, there is no judgment or 
execution ; but there is judgment and execution ; for they are 
parts of government. Ergo. 2. Without rewards and punish- 
ments, precepts would be vain to such as us, and ineffectual as 
to their ends ; but God hath not made his laws in vain. Ergo. 

Object. Governors use not to give men rewards for their obe- 
dience : subjects must obey without reward. 

Answ. It is not the name, but the thing that we inquire of. 
Call it a benefit, if you had rather : all government is upheld by 
rewards and punishment. Reward is either that which is com- 
mon to all obedient subjects, or such as is specially proper to 
some. All subjects that are faithful have title to protection, 
and approbation, and justification against all false accusations, 
and to their share in that peace and felicity of the common- 
wealth which is the end of the government ; and some common- 
wealths having far greater felicities than others, accordingly the 
subjects of them have their right and part : and this is the com- 
mon reward or benefit of obedience and fidelity. Besides which, 
some great exploits are usually rewarded with some special 
premium. In human kingdoms, as such, the end is no higher 
than the beginning : temporal governors give but temporal re- 
wards. The felicities of the kingdom, which are the ends of 
government, as they are from man, are but temporal ; and our 
share in them is all our reward from man : but the original and 
end of the kingdom of God are higher ; and of further prospect, 
the benefits of fidelity are greater, as shall be further proved. 

i Qui recte et honeste curriculum vivendi a uaturit datum confecerit, ad 
astra facile revertetur. Non qui aut immoderate, aut intemperanter vixerit. — 
Cic.de Univ. Improbo bene esse non potest. — Cic. Par. Impii apud 
inferos pcenas luunt. — Cic.l. de Legib. Jmpiis apud inferos sunt poenae 

prasparatae. — Cic. 1 de invent. Sic habeto, te non esse mortalem, sed corpus 
hoc — Cic. Som. Scip. Cicero saith, that their worshipping; of Hercules, 

and other heroes, doth imply, that animi omnium sunt iinmortales, sed bono- 
rum divini. — Cic. 2. de Leg. Bonorum mentes mihi divinse atque aeternae 
videntur, et ex homiuum vita ad Deorum religionem sanctimouiamque mi- 
grare.— Idem. Deorum providentia mundus administrator, iidemque con- 
sulunt rebus humanis, neque solum universis, verum etiam singulis.— Cic. 1. 
de Divinat. 



60 THE REASONS OF 

But let it be noted, that this objection saith nothing against 
a life of punishment. Governors never leave their precepts 
without this sanction ; and he that believeth future punishment 
will easilv believe a future reward. 

J 

Let it also be noted, that paternal government hath, evermore, 
rewards in the strictest sense ; that is, a special favour and kind- 
ness showed to the child that is specially obedient : and so the 
rest according to their measures. But the kingdom of God is 
a paternal kingdom, as is proved. That God will make, in his 
retributions, a just dfference between the good and bad, is proved 
from his justice in government. If his laws make no difference, 
then men are left at liberty to keep or break them ; nor can it 
rationallv be expected that they should be kept; nor could he 
be said so much as to love, or approve, or justify the obedient 
more than the rebellious ; but so unholy a nature, and so indif- 
ferent between sin and duty, and so unwise and unjust in go- 
verning, is not to be called God : either he justly differenceth, 
or he doth not govern. 2 

That God maketh not a sufficient, differencing retribution in 
this life is the complaint of some, and the confession of almost 
all the world : the bad are commonly the greatest, and the 
lords and oppressors of the just. The Turks, the Tartarians, 
the Muscovites, the Persians, the Mogul, and more such brutish 
monarchs, who use the people as the slaves of their pride and 
lust, do take up the far greatest part of the earth. Few places 
are so good, where goodness exposeth not men to sufferings, 
from the rabble of the vulgar, if not from the governors. 
Slanders and abuses are the common lot of those that will 
differ from the carnal, wild, rebellious rout. And poverty, pain, 
sickness, and death, do come alike to all. The sensual, that 
have wit enough so far to bridle their lusts as to preserve their 
health, do usually live longer than more obedient men : and they 
deny themselves none of those fleshly pleasures, which the 
obedient do continually abstain from. 

Object. But do you not, ordinarily, say, that vice bringeth its 
punishment with it in its natural effects ; and obedience its 
reward ? Is not the life of a glutton and drunkard punished by 
poverty and shame, and sickness ? And is not godliness a 
pleasure in itself? If it be our highest end and happiness to love 

z Persuasum hoc sit a principio hominibus, Dominos esse omnium rerum 
ac moderatores Deos ; eaque quae gerautur, eorum geri ditione atquenumiue. 
Et qualis quisque sit, quid agat, quid in se admittat, qua mente, qua pietate 
colat religioaem, intuerij piorumque et impiorum habere rationem.— Cicero 
de Leg, 2. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. (51 

God, and please him ; then, surely, the beginnings of it here must 
have more good than all the pleasures of sin : and so God 
maketh a sufficient difference here. 

Answ. Some vices that are sottishly managed, do bring 
poverty, shame, and sickness ; but that may easily be avoided 
by a vicious wit. Gluttony and drunkenness may fall short of 
sickness. Fornication, and adultery, and incest, may be 
managed with greater craft. Pride, and ambition, may attain 
dominion and wealth. Theft may be hid, and cheating and 
fraud may make men rich, and free them from the pinching 
wants, and cares, and the temptations to discontent and conten- 
tion of the poor. Malice may delight itself in secret revenges, 
in poisonings, murderings, and such like ; without any worldly 
hurt to the transgressor. A Tiberius, a Nero, a Caligula, a 
Domitian, a Commodus, a Heliogabalus, a Sardanapalus, may 
be on the throne, when a Socrates, a Seneca, a Cicero, a Cato, 
a Demosthenes is put to death ; yea, when a Paul or Peter, an 
Ignatius, a Cyprian, are sacrificed to their bloody rage. 

Yet it is true, that all this while they want the dignity and 
comfort of the just : but while they value it not, and feel not 
the want of it, they take it not for a punishment, but choose it 
as a felicity. 

And as for the present rewards of virtue, to speak impar- 
tiallv, I verily think that if there were no life to come, virtue 
and holiness were rationally more eligible : but that is much 
because God is an end above ourselves. And for our own 
content, in many, holiness would give the mind more pleasure, 
than all fleshly pleasure and worldly greatness could counter- 
poise. But with many others, whose afflictions are very heavy, 
and pains and poverty very great, and who are grievously tor- 
mented by cruel persecutors ; and, perhaps, a melancholy consti- 
tution may forbid them much delight, it is hard to say, that if 
they durst let loose themselves to all sin, which maketh for their 
fleshly interest, their pleasure would not be much greater. While 
the soul is in flesh, it unavoidably partaketh of the pain or 
pleasure of the flesh. Therefore, the torment of the stone, or 
strangurv, or of a rack, or strappado, will reach the soul : and 
the operations of the soul being in and by the body, a tormented 
body will hinder those contemplations which should feed our 
joy, and also hinder the joy of those contemplations. Most 
Christians enjoy little comfort in holiness, through the very cares 
of this life, and the weakness of grace, and power of corruptions, 



62 THE REASONS OF 

and doubts and fears which do attend them : much less would 
they have much comfort, if they were here tormented, and 
miserable in body, and had no hope of another life. In some 
sense, we may say, that heaven is begun on earth, because 
holiness is begun. But the heaven on earth is the hope and 
reflection of the heaven indeed, and is soon gone if that be 
gone, as the light here ceaseth when the sun is set. God seen 
and loved in a glass doth more differ, as to us, from God as seen 
and loved in the intuition of his glory, than the heart of man is 
now able to conceive. The difference may be well called speci- 
fic as to our actions ; yea, transcendentlv such. Let any man in 
torment without any hope of heaven be judge. 

And though honesty, without the pleasure and comforts of it, 
be still better and more eligible, vet while man's reason and 
virtue are so weak, and his sense and appetite so strong, and his 
body hath so much power upon his mind, it is very few that 
the mere love of virtue would prevail with, if that virtue were 
never to come to a higher degree than this. 

It is undoubtedly true, that the delights of holiness are in- 
comparably more desirable, as we have them in this life, than 
kingdoms and all the pleasures of the flesh ; but, that is, 
principally, because that this life is the passage to a better, and 
hath relation to so glorious a reward. The least forethought 
of future blessedness may weigh down all the riches and plea- 
sures of the world, but take away the respect to the life to 
come, and weak man would meet with no such comforts. 

It is true, also, that virtue and piety is most desirable, even 
for itself; but that is, especially, as it will be itself indeed, in 
a life of fuller perfection than this : for here it is so weak and 
clogged with so many corruptions and infirmities, that the 
comfort of it is little perceived ; but as a child in infancy hath 
less pleasure than a brute, for all his reason ; and, as young 
scholars for a time do meet with more trouble than pleasure 
in their learning, and half-witted artists are often more incommo- 
dious than none ; and no one would much seek after arts and 
learning, for all its excellency, if they had no hopes to ascend 
above that troublesome, smattering degree : even so in the 
present case, though the least virtue be in itself more valuable 
than all sensual pleasure, yet, considered as good to us, we 
should never be able to prefer it, if we had not hopes of a 
higher measure than most of the truly virtuous and obedient 
do here attain. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 63 

Either it is fleshly, worldly pleasure, or it is the pleasing and 
enjoying of God in holiness and love, which is man's ultimate 
end : if it be the former, then, certainly the sensual and wicked 
are in a better condition than the obedient ; for they have 
much more of that kind of delight, while the best are often tor- 
mented and persecuted by their cruelty : but if it be the latter, 
then it is sure to be enjoyed hereafter, seeing we have here so 
small a measure, and also find that all the virtue and holiness 
of this life consisteth much more hi desire and seeking, than 
in delightful enjoying ; and our delights are, for the most part, 
the effects of hope of what we shall possess hereafter, more 
than of the sense of our present happiness. a 

There is no righteous governor on earth that will suffer, if 
he can help it, his disobedient subjects to persecute those that 
most carefully obey him, and to make them a common scorn, 
and to imprison them, torment them, burn them at stakes, or 
banish them; and then say, 'That their obedience is, in its 
own nature, so much better than disobedience, that it is reward 
enough of itself.' It is not the work of a ruler, only to see 
that no man be a loser by him, or his service, in point of com- 
mutative justice, but to see, that by distributive justice, such a 
difference be made between the obedient and disobedient, as 
the difference of their actions do require, in order to the ends of 
government. Justice giveth every one his due : mercy, itself, 
when it remitteth a penalty, doth it for the same ends, and upon 
such reasonable considerations of repentance, confession, satis- 
faction, reparation, according to power, that it may be called a 
just mercy. God is such a lover of holiness, that he will in his 
government manifest that love, and such a hater of sin, that he 
will signify his hatred of it to the sinner . b 

Moreover, the body itself is part of the man, and that part 
which hath no small interest in the sin. It seemeth, therefore, 
unjust that the bodies and sensitive powers of the disobedient, 
should have all kind of pleasures, and the bodies and sense of the 
obedient,have the pain of fasting, self-denial, persecutions, cruel- 
ties, and no further judgment to make a more equal retribution. 

a Animus est ingeneratus a Deo, ex quo vere vel agnatio nobis cum ccelesti- 
bus vel genus vel stirps appellari potest. — Cic. 1, de Leg. 

b Quum Pompeio res infeliciter cederent, et ad Caesarem inclinaret victoria, 
Cato dicebat, iu rebus divinis multum esse caliginis ; quod Pompeio prater 
jus agenti fuissent omnia prospera ; causam republics tuenti nihil succede- 
ret. — Plutarch, in Calorie. 

c Plato dicebat, Deum nullo uspiam modo iujustum esse sed plane justissi- 



64 THE REASONS OF 

Jn a word, I think there are few that compare the life of an 
emperor of Turkey or Tartarv, or any wicked, sensual world- 
ling, with the life of many a thousand persecuted and tor- 
mented saints, .hut will confess, that no distrihutive justice doth 
make in this life so sufficient a difference, as may make men 
know the justice of the governor, the desirableness of a holy 
state, or the danger of the contrary. It was the observation of this 
which made most of the atheists of the world think that there 
was no God, or that he exercised no moral government over 
men ; and that made even the innocent often to stagger, and 
tempted them to think their labours and sufferings were all in 
vain, till they looked before them to the end. d 

And if God's justice make not a sufficient difference here, it 
is certain there is another life where he will do it ; because, 
else, he should not be just, his laws would be delusory, and his 
government be defective, and successful only by deceit. 

Object. God is not obliged to do justice to men any more 
than to any other creatures: he suffereth the dog to kill the hare, 
the deer, and the innocent sheep ; the kite to kill the harmless 
doves and chickens ; the ravenous birds, and beasts, and fishes 
to devour and live on the rest ; and man upon all ; and he is 
not bound to do them justice. 

Answ. The brutes are no subjects capable of moral govern- 
ment; and, consequently, of propriety, right or wrong. God, 
that made them incapable of government, thereby declared that 
he intended them not for it. Let no man here play with am - 
biguities, and sav, 'That God governeth all the creatures.' The 
word ' government' is taken equivocally, when it is applied to 
a dead or brutish subject, a ship, a coach, a horse, a dog, and 
meaneth not the same thing which we discourse of; it is 
moral government by laws and judgment which we treat of. 
When God had made man a governable creature, he thereby 

mum: nee ei similius inveniri posse quicquam, quam qui inter nos justissi- 
mus est. — In Timet. 

d How like a Christian was that of Anaxagoras (in Laert. p. 85). Hie non 
modo generis gloria et opibus, verum animi quoque magnitudine clarissimus 
fuit -. quippe qui universtun patrimonium suis sponte concessit. Quo cum ah 
eis insimularetur negligentiae, Quid ergo, inquit, nonne vos ista curatis ? 
Deinde ab eis profectus, ad speculandum rerum naturam se contulit, rei et 
publicae et privatae omnino negligens ; adeo ut cuidam se ita compellanti, nul- 
lane tibi patriae cura est ? dixent, Mihi vero patriae cura est, et quidem sum- 
ma ; dictum in ccelum intendens. Bene merenti, bene prof'uerit ; male me- 
renti par erit. — Plant. Tas dyabss dyaSa iroih, dictum f'leobidi. Phocilidis. 
My KaKdv eo Zpfrs o-Gretpeiv luov er' 4vi' irovTca. Qui indignum honore affici- 
unt, stultitiae opinionem habent.— Cicer. 



THE CHISTIAN RELIGION. f)5 

declared his will, to be himself his Governor, which is all the 
obligation that God is capable of as to actions, ad extra. He, 
therefore, that made the rational world his kingdom, did there- 
by engage himself to govern them in justice ; there is, therefore, 
no comparison between the case of men and brutes, who never 
were subjects, but utensils, in his kingdom. 

Sect. 2. II. If there were no retribution in the life to come, 
the secret sins and duties of the heart and life would be under 
no sufficient government : but the secret sins and duties of the 
heart and life are under a sufficient government ; therefore, 
there is a retribution in the life to come. 6 

This argument is a particular instance to clear the former 
general argument : the major is proved by experience. The 
heart is a fountain of good and evil. Men cannot see it, and 
therefore pretend not to govern it, or make laws for it ; if 
they did, it would be all in vain. The heart may be guilty of 
atheism, blasphemy, idolatry, malice, contrivements and desires 
of treason, murder, incest, adultery, fraud, oppression, and all 
the villany in the world, and no man can know or punish it; 
and God doth not do it ordinarily in this life, with any sufficient 
act of justice. So, also, all those sins which men are but able to 
hide, as, secret murders, treasons, revenge, slanders, fraud, 
&c, do escape all punishment from man. And God hath no 
observable, ordinary course of outward justice in this word, but 
what he exerciseth by men, though, extraordinarily, he may 
otherwise sometimes interpose : and how easy and ordinary 
it is for subtle men to do much wickedness, and never be 
discovered, needs no proof. The like we may say, in some 
measure, of those secret duties of heart and life, which have 
neither reward nor notice in this life ; and, if observed, are 
usually turned into matter of reproach. 

The minor needeth no more proof, when we have proved 

e Qui largiuntur indignis ea quae dignis conferri debebant, tria committunt 
absurda, nam et ipsi jacturam faciunt, et in bonos contumeliosisunt, et malos 
roborant, materia, vitiorum suppeditata. — Anlonln. Stultissimum est existi- 
mare omnia justa esse quce scita sint in populorum institutes, aut legibus. 
Etiamne si quae sint tyrannorum leges, si 30 illi Athenis leges imponere vo- 
luissent? Aut si omnes Athenienses delectarentur tyrannicis legibus, num id- 
circo has leges justaj haberentur ? Nihilo credo magis ilia quam interrex 
noster tulit, ut Dictator quern vellet civium, indicta causa, impune posset 
occidere. Est enim utiuin jus quo devincta est homiuum societas, &c. — Civ. 
fie leg. 1. p. 225. Idem uudique in infernum descensus est; said Anaxago- 
ras to one that lamented that he must die in a strange country. — Laert. in 
Anuxag. 

VOL. XXI. F 



66 THE REASONS OF 

already that God is our Governor. It is certain that the 
secret acts of heart and life are as much under his government 
as the open, and therefore shall have equal retribution. 

Sect. 3. III. If there were no life of retribution after this, 
the sins of the great ones and rulers of the world, and all others 
that by strength could make their part good, would be under 
no sufficient justice ; but the sins, even of the greatest and 
strongest, are under sufficient justice ; therefore, there is a life 
of retribution after this. 

The major is clear by experience: the sins of all the sove- 
reigns of the earth are rarely under sufficient justice in this life. 
If there were no punishment hereafter, what justice would be 
done upon a Tamerlane, a Bajazet, a Mahomed, a Dionysius, 
an Alexander, a Caesar, a Marius, a Sylla, a Sertorius, and many 
hundred such, for all the innocent blood which they have shed, 
for their pride and self-exalting. What justice would be done 
on kings, and emperors, and states, that have none above them, 
for all their lusts and filthiness, their intemperance and sensu- 
ality, their oppression and crueltv. I know that God doth some- 
times punish them by rebels, or by other princes, or by sickness 
in this life ; but that is no ordinary course of justice, and 
therefore not sufficient to its ends. Ordinarily, all things here 
come alike to all ; and what justice would be done upon any 
rebels or robbers that are but strong enough to bear it out ? Or 
upon any that raise unrighteous wars, and burn, and murder, 
and destroy countries and cities, and are worse than plagues to 
all places where they come, and worse than mad dogs and 
bears to others ? If they do but conquer, instead of punish- 
ment for all this villany, they go away here with wealth and 
glory. 1 ' 

The minor is past question : therefore, certainly, there is 
another life where conquering, rewarded, prospering, domineer- 
ing sin shall have its proper punishment. 

f Nae illi falsi sunt qui diversissimas res pariter expectant, voluptatem et 
praemia virtutis. — Sahist. Ut ex barba capillos detonsos uegligimus ; ita 
ille divinus animus egressurus, quo receptaculum suum conferatur, ignis illud 
exurat, an ferae distrahant, an terra contegat, non magis putat ad se pertinere, 
q jam secundinas ad editum infantem. — Se?i. Ep. 93. Maximum est argu- 
nientum naturam ipsam de immortalitate animorum tacite judicare, quod 
omnibus curie sint, et maxicue quidem, quae post mortem futura sunt. — C'ic. 
Cum natura caeteros animantes abjecisset, ad pastum, solum bominem erexit, 
et ad cceli quasi cognationis domiciliique pristini conspectum excitavit. Turn 
speciem ita formavit oris, ut in e;\ penitus reconditos mores effuigeret. — C'ic. 
1. de legib. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 67 

Sect. 4. IV. If God rule not man by the hopes and fears of 
certain good and evil hereafter, he ruleth him not according to 
his nature : but God doth rule man according to his nature. 
Ergo. 

The minor needeth no proof: the major is proved by expe- 
rience. The nature of man is to be most moved with the. 
hopes and fears of good and evil after death, otherwise death 
itself would comparatively seem nothing to us. No other 
creature hath such hopes and fears. If you ask, how can I tell 
that ? I answer, as I can tell that a tree doth not hear, and a 
stone doth not feel or see, because there is no appearance of 
such a sense, whose nature is to make itself manifest by its 
evidences where it is. Brutes show a fear of death, and love 
of life, but of nothing further ; of which there is evidence 
enough to quiet a mind that seeketh after truth, though not to 
silence a prattling caviller. This will be further improved by 
that which followeth. 

Sect. 5. V. If the world cannot be governed according to its 
nature and God's laws, without the hopes and fears of good and 
evil after death, then the objects of such hopes and fears is 
certain truth. But the antecedent is true ; therefore, so is the 
consequent. 

That the nature of man requireth a moral government, and 
not only a physical motion, is already proved. Physical motion 
only determineth the agent to act, and produceth the act itself 
quoad eventum. Moral government doth institute for the subject 
a debit um agendi et habendi, and judgeth him accordingly.^ 
If there were no government but physical motion, there were no 
debitum in the world, neither offici, pramii vel poena, vel jus 
possidendi, vel injuria : no right or wrong : for physical motion 
doth equally produce the act in perjury, murder, treason, adul- 
tery, as in good deeds : and it never produceth an act which 
eventually never is. Therefore, there should be nothing a duty 
but what cometh to pass, if physical motion were all the go- 
vernment. Government, then, there must be : and what God 
requireth of all by nature, I have showed before. Now, that 
there is a moral impossibility of the performance of this in any 
sincerity, so as to intimate any laudable government of the 
world, I shall further prove : 

b Piso (in Cic. de fin. 1. 5. p. 199.) speaking of corporal and sensitive good, 
saith, Ouibus tantum praestat mentis excellens perfectio, ut vix cogitari possit 
quid intersit. So that the perfection of the mind is the perfection of the man. 

f2 



68 THE REASONS OF 

1 . If, according to the present temper of man, there be no 
motives, which would ever prove sufficient to resist all the 
temptations of this life, to keep us in true obedience and love 
to God unto the end, without the hopes and fears of good and 
evil after death ; then cannot the world be governed according 
to God's laws, without such hopes and fears of futurity. But 
the antecedent is true ; ergo, so is the consequent. 

If God had prescribed man a course of duty in his laws, as to 
obey and love him upon terms of fleshly suffering, and had not 
given man such motives as might rationally prevail for the 
performance, his laws had been all in vain. He that hath made 
holiness our indispensable duty, hath certainly left us motives and 
rational helps to perform it. But so many and great are the 
temptations of this life, and so strong is our sense, and so great 
are the sufferings of the obedient, that in this our imperfection 
we could never go through them without the motives which are 
fetched from another life. h 1. It would weaken the hands of 
the best, as to their dutv ; it would embolden them to sin ; it 
would give victory to all strong temptations. Let every reader 
but consult with his own soul, and though it be granted that 
virtue should be chosen for its own sake, how dear soever it may 
cost, yet let him without lying say, what he thinketh he should 
be and do in case of temptations, if he knew that he had no life 
to live but this. I am not sure, but I will freely confess what I 
think most, that now are honest, would be and do. First, they 
would observe how little difference God maketh between the 
obedient and disobedient in his providence, and how ordinarily 
his present judgments are not much to be feared. And hence 
they would think, that he maketh no great matter of it, what 
they either are or do ; and so their very love of virtue would be 
much debilitated : nay, the sufferings of the virtuous would 
tempt them to think that it is no very desirable way. And 
though still they would have something within them, which 
would tell them, that honesty, and temperance, and piety are 
good, yet the natural love of themselves is so deeply planted in 
them, and so powerful, that in most great temptations it would 
prevail. They would venture upon lying and perjury, rather 
than lose their liberty, or livelihood, or reputation. Thev would 
do any thing which the rulers bid them, or any one that is 

H Ex ipsa vita discedimus tanquam ex hospitio, non tanquam ex domo: 
commorandi enim nobis natura diversorium, non habitandi do mum dedit. — 
Cic. in Cat. Moj. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 69 

stronger than they, rather than suTer much for their innocency. 
1 think they would not scramble much for riches, or high places, 
because a quiet life best pleaseth them ; but if they had a fancy 
to any delightful seat, or pleasant accommodation, they would 
stretch their consciences hard to get it : and to escape poverty, 
and suffering, and death, they would do I know not what. And 
if their interest required them to do another mischief, in order 
to the public good, for revenge I suppose them not much 
inclined to, they would not be as Brutuses, and would be confi- 
dent of the success of subtle and concealed enterprises ; they 
would no further resist any great temptation, to please their 
appetites in meats and drinks, or their flesh in lust, or ease, and 
sports, and gaining, and such vain pastimes, than some other 
carnal interest contradicting, did forbid them. And though 
naturally some men prefer knowledge before all worldly plea- 
sures, yet, considering how short a time they should be the better 
for it, and how many toilsome hours they must lay out for it, 
they would rather let it go, and take up with the ease and plea- 
sure of the flesh. This, I fear, would be their life : for when all 
the comforts of this life of flesh are laid in the one end of the 
balance, what should weigh them down but something greater ? 
80 that if some little restraint of villany might be made by 
lower motives, I appeal to the conscience of the reader, whether 
he thinks that the fore- proved duties of resignation, obedience, 
and love to God above all, would ever be performed, by any con- 
siderable number at least, if they knew that they had no life to 
live but this.' 

2. Yea, no tolerable government at all could be kept up : I 
speak not of God's physical motion by omnipotency. For, 1. 
The rulers of the world, that have none above them, would have 
little or no restraint, and their examples would form the people 
to all abomination. If they feared insurrections, they would 

' Atque haud scio an pietate adversus Deos sublata, fides etiam et societas 
humani generis et una excellentissima virtus justitia tollatur. — Cic. de Not. 
Deor. p. 4. Pietas est fuudamentum omnium viitutum. — Cic. pro. Plan. 
Zenophon reportelh Cyrus as saying, " If all my familiars were endued with 
piety to God, they would do less evil to one another, and to me," 1. B. Pietate 
adversus Deos sublata, fides etiam et societas humani generis, et una excel- 
lentissima virtus justitia, tollatur necesse est. — Cic. de Nat. Deor. 1. 1. — 
Lento gradu ad vindictam sui, divina procedit ira : tardilaremque supplicii 
gravitate compensat. — Valer. Max. de DionysA. 1. c. 2. Nam quid facie t 
is homo in tenebris, qui nihil timet nisi testem vel judicem ? Quid in deserto 
. loco nactus quern multo auro spoliare possit iinbeciUtun atque solum ? &c. — 
Cic. de Leg. 1. I'. 224. 



70 THE REASONS OF 

oppress them the more, to disable them : and what a world 
must it be, when lust is the law to all the governors ! And the 
people would have nothing but the hopes and fears of temporal 
good or evil, to restrain them from any treason, or rebellion, or 
villany. And all those that princes cannot please, would plot, 
revenge, or play their game another way ; and subtle men would 
think it easy to poison or murder, secretly, princes and nobles, 
and any enemy that stood in the way of their own designs, if 
once they were out of fear of a life to come. k 

3. And all secret villany would be committed without fear ; 
secret adulteries, theft, lying, perjury, and common honesty, 
could not be maintained ; for every man's self-interest would be 
his law, and prevail against all the principles of honesty. And 
all that men would strive for, would be either to strengthen 
themselves in their wickedness, that they might be out of fear of 
human justice, or else to hide it from the cognizance of man. 
Thus would the world be turned into a resemblance of hell, and 
men be as much worse than wild beasts, as their natures are 
better, which are corrupted; and all would be in wickedness and 
confusion, without the hopes and fears of another life. l 

Object. But in all this you argue against experience. Hath 
there not been government and order kept up among heathens ? 
And is there not a government at this day in all the kingdoms 
and commonwealths throughout the world ? 

Answ. In all this I speak according to experience. For, 1. 
Almost all the world believe a life to come ; all the Christians, 
all the Mahometans, and all the Jews, and almost all, or most 
of the known idolaters and heathens : their very idolatry inti- 
mateth this, when they number their deceased heroes with their 
gods. And though the power of this belief is debilitated with 
the most, and, therefore, piety and virtue proportionably 
perish ; yet that common, dull belief of it which they have, 
being a business of unspeakable consequence, doth restrain 
them so far as they are restrained. 

1 A fortnight after the writing of this, London was burnt. 

1 Qui nihil alterius causa facit, et metitur suis commodis omnia, videtis 
credo quid sit acturus — si negabit illi vitam erepturum, et aurum ablatururu, 
Don quod turpe judicet, sed quod metuat ne emanel, id est, ne malum habeat. 
— Cic.ibid. Thaletis dicta (in Laert.) sunt, Animas esse immortales. An- 
tiquissimum omnium entium Deus : ingeuitus enim est : Pulcherrimum 
mundus : k Deo enim factus : Maximum locus ; capit enim omnia : Velocis- 
simum mens ; nam per universa discurrit, &c. Stoici dicunt esse dremones 
quibus insit hominum miseratio, inspectores rerum humanarum : heroas 
quoque solutas corporibus sapientum auimas. — Laert. in Zenone. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 71 

2. Those that believe it not are yet in an uncertainty ; and 
the possibility of rewards and punishments hereafter keepeth up 
much of the order that is left. 

3. Those few countries which believe that there is no life to 
come, or rather those persons in some countries, do proportion- 
ably increase or excel in wickedness. They give up themselves 
to sensuality and lusts, to pride, and covetousness, and revenge, 
and cruelty ; and are usually worse than others, as their belief is 
worse. What maketh cannibals more savage than other people ? 
What made a Nero, a Heliogabalus, &c, such swine ? What 
made Rome itself at that pass, that Seneca saith, more died by 
poison of servants' hands, and secret murders, than by kings, 
even in days of such great and common cruelty ? All was 
because men's consciences were from under the hopes and fears 
of another life ; and if all were so, then all would live 
accordingly. 

But it is another kind of life which the law of God in nature 
doth enjoin us ; it is another kind of life, which I before proved 
to be all men's duty : and whether the world have sufficient 
means and motives to such a life, and could be governed but 
like men, without the hopes and fears of futurity, let sober and 
considerate reason judge ? 

Object. Can it be any worse than it is already ? What vice 
or villany doth not everywhere abound, for all the belief of a 
life to come ! m 

Answ. If it be so bad for all that belief, what would it be 
without ? If the enervating of it by the lusts of the flesh do 
loose the reins, and leave the world in so much wickedness, 
what would it be, if their hopes and fears of another life were 
gone ? Now, men have a secret witness in their breasts, which 
checketh and restraineth them : now they have kings and rulers, 
who, having some belief of a life to come, do form their laws 
accordingly, and govern the common people with some respect 
to that belief. Now, there are many, through the mercy of God, 
who are serious in that belief, and live accordingly ; who are 
instructers, restraints, and examples to the rest. And from these 
is that order which is kept up in the world. But if all were as 
those few, that have overcome this belief, the world would be a 
wilderness of savage beasts ; and would be so full of impiety, 

m Qui ea committit quae leges probibent, et de quibus supplicia sunt, is ea 
multo magis coinmittet, de quibus nullum supplicium est. — Aristot. 1. Rhet. 
Object. At non apud omnes proficiunt leges. Resp. Nee philosophia 

quidem ; nee ideo inutilis et formandis animis inefficax est. — Sen. Ep. 95. 



72 THE REASONS OF 

villany, perfidy, bloodiness, and all confusion, that we should 
think it a greater sign of goodness in God to destroy it, than 
to continue it ; and should think of his government ac- 
cording to the effects, or should hardly believe he governed it 
at all. 

I come now to prove the consequence of the major proposi- 
tion, that the object of those hopes and fears are certain truths, 
which are so necessary to the government of the world : and 
this needeth no other proof but this. 

If God can govern the world without a course of deceit and 
lying, then the objects of these necessary hopes and fears are 
true; but God can govern the world without a course of deceit 
and lying. Ergo. 

The major is evident, because, to govern by the hopes and 
fears of falsehoods, or things that are not, (when those hopes 
and fears are not only of God, but made necessary to govern- 
ment,) is to govern by deceit and lying ; or if it had not been by 
falsehood uttered, but falsehood permitted, the minor is certain. 

For if God cannot govern without such a course of deceit, it 
is either for want of power, or of wisdom, or of goodness ; that 
is, holiness and benignity of will : but the Omnipotent wanteth 
not power, and the Omniscient wanteth not wisdom, to find out 
true and suitable means; and he that is optimus^ wanteth neither 
holiness to love truth and hate falsehood, nor benignity to love 
his creature, and therefore needeth no such means. 

And he that believeth that God himself doth govern the world 
by a cheat, even by the hopes and fears of fictions, will surely 
think it best to imitate his God, and to govern, and trade, and 
live accordingly." 

This argument was h necessitate ad ordinem ; the next shall 
be only from God's actual government. 

II Utiles esse has opiniones quis neget, cum intelligat quam multa firmen- 
tur jurejurando : quanta? salutis sint fasdera religionis ; quam multos diviui 
supplicii inetus, a scelere revoearet ? quamque saucta sit societas civium, in- 
ter ipsos Diis immortalibus interpositis, tuni judicibus, tuna testibus. — Cic. dc 
Leg. 1. 2. pp. 23o", 237. Nisi Deus istis te corporis custodiis liberaverit, ad 
ccelum aditus patere non potest. — Cic. Somn. S-ip. Laertius saith of Bion 
Borist, " That he had learned of impious Theodorus, to deny God in his 
health ; but, falling into unhealthiness, he repented of his siu against God. 
Ac siquidem id dogma tueri perstitisset, roerito dicendus esset sensisse ut 
visum fuisset, etsi male visum esset. At nunc tameu longo morbo tabescens, 
ac niori pertimescens, qui Deos non esse dixerat, phanum non viderat, mor- 
talibus qui illudebat veris dum Diis immolarent. — Peccavi, dixit, delictis 
parcite. — Stultus, qui mercede voluerit Deos esse. Quasi tunc Dii essent, 
rjuum illos Bion demutn esse arbitraretur. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 73 

Sect. 6. VI, If God do, de facto, govern the world by the hopes 
and fears of good and evil in another life, then the object of 
those hopes and fears is certain j but God doth, de facto, so 
govern. Ergo. 

The major is proved as before : for that which proved that 
God can govern without falsehood, proved also that he doth 
govern without it. It belongeth only to the impotent, the ig- 
norant, or the bad to use such means. 

Object. May not a parent or physician honestly deceive a 
child or patient for his recovery to health ? why, then, may not 
God do so ? 

Answ. 1. They do it through insufficiency, to attain their end 
by a better means ; but the Omnipotent and Omniscient hath 
no such insufficiency. 2. They may not lie or utter any untruth 
to do it, though they may hide some truth by words which he 
is apt to mistake ; but if the world be governed by such hopes 
and fears of futurity, it is hard to think whence they should 
fetch the object, but from some divine revelation in nature. 3. 
A whole course of government of all the rational world, by so 
sorry an instrument as deceit and falsehood, is more inconsistent 
with the nature and perfections of God than a particular act of 
deceit, in a work of necessity and charity, is with the nature of 
imperfect man. 

The minor is proved in the answer to the last objections, and 
bv the common experience of the world. 

Object. How little do the hopes and fears of another world 
do with the most ? Do you not see that fleshly interest ruleth 
them, and therefore they are what the great ones would have 
them be who can help or hurt them ? 

Answ. 1. I have proved how much worse it would be, if that 
restraint which these hopes and fears make were taken off. 

2. That this restraint is general in all nations almost of the 
earth, though the prevalency of sin do much enfeeble it. 

3. That rulers themselves are under some of these restraints, in 
their law-making and judgment. Though fleshly interest much 
prevail against it, there are some remnants of secret hopes 
or fears in the consciences of sinners, which keep up so much 
good as is yet left, and keep men from those villanies, in which 
they might hope to escape all sufferings from men. 

Sect. 7. VII. If God himself kindle in the best of men 
desires to know him, love him, and enjoy him perfectly here- 
after, then such desires shall attain their end ; but God himself 



74 THE REASONS OF 

doth kindle such desires in the best of men : ergo, and conse- 
quently there is such a life to come. 

Here, 1. I must prove that the best men have such desires. 
2.ThatGodkindleth them. 3. That, therefore, he will satisfy them. 

1. And for the first, the consciences of all good men are 
my witnesses, whose desires to know God better, to love him, 
and please him more, and to enjoy his love, is as the very pulse 
and breath of their souls. For this they groan, and pray, and 
seek ; for this they labour, wait, and suffer. If you could help 
them to more of the knowledge and love of God, you would 
satisfy them more than to give them all the wealth and honours 
of the world. Their religious lives, their labours, prayers, 
contemplations, and sufferings, prove all this, and show for 
what they long and live. 

Object. But this is caused by the power of a deluded fan- 
tasy, which seeketh after that which is not to be had. What, 
if you fall in love with the sun : will it prove that you must 
be loved by it, see it, and enjoy it, in the life to come ? 

Answ. 1. To the similitude : either the sun is a rational free- 
agent, or not : if it be, it is either the chief agent, or a de- 
pendent instrument ; if it were the first, as it is not, I should 
owe myself totally to it, in the exercise of all the powers given 
me, as is aforesaid ; and if it gave me such desires, I might 
suppose it was not in vain. But if it give me nothing but as 
an instrument or dependent cause, I owe it nothing but in 
subserviency to the first cause; but, in such subserviency, if 
God had commanded me to love and honour it, as a lover of 
mankind, and a rational benefactor, and had placed anv of my 
duty or felicity in seeking perfection in that love and honour, 
I should obey him, and expect an answerable benefit ; but if it 
be no intelligent agent, or I cannot know that it is so, then I 
can owe it no other respect but what is due to a natural 
instrument of God. 

2. To the matter : that these desires are not from a deluded 
fantasy, but the work of God, I prove ; 1 . In that I have fully 
proved them already to be our duty, by the law of nature ; 
to love God with all the heart and might, and consequently to 

° For as the sun is not seen without the sun, nor the air heard without the 
air; but the eye that is full of the light seeth the light, and the ear full of 
air heareth the resounding air; so God is not known without God: but a 
mind full of God only is lifted up to God, so far as illustrated with the light 
of God, he knoweth God, and inflamed with the heat of God, he thirsteth 
after him. — Fie. c. 2. p. 15. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 75 

desire to love him, and please him, and enjoy him in perfection, 
that is, in the utmost of our capacity, is a proved duty. 2. In 
that the best men are the possessors of it ; and the more all 
other virtues and obedience do abound, the more this aboundeth. 
And the more any are vicious, impious, sensual, worldly, the 
less they have of these desires after God. 3. Thev increase in 
the use of holy means appointed by God, and they decay by 
evil means. All sin is against it, and all obedience doth 
promote it. 4. It is found most suitable to the tendency of 
our faculties, as their only perfection ; the only true advance- 
ment of reason, and rectitude and felicity of the will. If it be 
not by God, that the love and desires of God are kindled in us, 
then no good is to be ascribed unto God ; for we have here no 
greater good. 

Now, that God will satisfy these desires is proved, in that 
he maketh nothing in vain, nor kindleth any such desires 
as shall deceive them, and make all their lives a mere delusion. 
Yea, and do this by the very best of men. None of this is 
consistent with the perfections of God. B 

Sect, 8. VIII. If there were no life of retribution after this, 
obedience to God would be finally men's loss and ruin ; but 
obedience to God shall not finally be men's loss and ruin ; 
ergo, there is another life. 

The major is proved before ; however it would be best in 
point of honesty, it would be worst to thousands in point of 
personal utility. Even to all those, that, forsaking all the 
sinful pleasures of this world, do conflict with their flesh, and 
keep it under, and suffer the loss of ail outward comforts by 
the cruelty of persecutors, and it may be, through melancholy or 
weak fears, have little comfort from God instead of them ; and 
at last, perhaps, be tormented and put to death by cruelty. 
Few will think this desirable for itself. 

And that our obedience to God shall not be men's final loss 
and ruin needeth no proof but this ; that he hath made our 
self-love a principle inseparable from our nature, and maketh 
use of it in the government of the world j and commandeth 

p It is a most improbable tiring, that God would give up all the best men in 
the world to deceit, in so great a matter, and them that are most faithful to 
the truth, and would save all the epicures, drunkards, fornicators, proud and 
perjured atheists, from this error, if it were an error to believe a life to come. 
®ebv fft'jSs, Kai ■navla tvpa^eis eu&toos. — Gr. Com. Supplicii facilius pius ,\ 

Diis supplicans, quam qui scelestus est, invenit veniam sibi.- — Plaut. Hud. 
Topy XP 7 )*'*"' *X 6 ' T7 ) I/ sTrijU.eA.eiai' Kai @ebs. 'Els -ravra Kalpov, /cat Ti>X'1s poTr-qv 
■nacrav. — Menand. Nee unquam bono quicquam mali evenire potest, nee 
vivo nee mortuo, nee res ejus h Diis negliguntur. — Cic. Tuscul. 1. 



76 THE REASONS OF 

nothing but what is finally for our good; and so conjoineth the 
pleasing of him and our own felicity inseparably in our end. 
His regiment is paternal ; his glory which he seeketh by us is 
the glory of his goodness communicated and accumulated on 
us. This, taken in with the wisdom and goodness of his 
nature, will tell any man, that, to be a loser finally by our obe- 
dience to God, is a thing that no man need to fear ; he doth 
not serve himself upon us to our hurt ; nor command us that 
which will undo us. He neither wanteth power, wisdom, nor 
goodness, to make us gainers by our duty. It is the desire of 
natural justice in all, ut bonis bene fit, et mails male : if I find 
but any duty commanded me by God, my conscience, and my 
sense of the divine perfections, will not give me leave to think 
that I shall ever prove finally a loser by performing it, though 
he had never made me any promise of reward ; so far the law 
of nature hath a kind of promise in it, that if he do but say, 
' Do this,' 1 will not doubt but the doing of it is for my good. 
And if he bid me but use any means to my own happiness, 
I should blaspheme, if I suspected it would tend to my loss and 
misery, and was made my snare. 

Sect. 9. IX. The highest love and obedience to God is never 
a work of imprudence or folly, nor ever to be repented of ; but 
such thev would be to many, if there were no life to come : ergo. 

By imprudence and folly, I mean that course which tendeth 
to our own undoing, as aforesaid. No man shall ever have 
cause to repent of his fidelity to God, and say, ' I did foolishly 
in ruining mvself by it.' This argument being but a mere 
consectary of the former, I pass over. 

Sect. 10. X. If no man living be certain that there is no 
future life of retribution, then it is certain that there is such a 
life ; but no man living is certain that there is no such life ; 
ergo, it is certain that there is. 

The major is proved thus : if all men be in reason obliged to 
seek the happiness, and escape the punishments, of another 
life, before all the treasures and pleasures of this world, then it 
is certain that such a life of happiness and punishments there 
is 5 but if no man be certain that there is such a life, the bare 
probability or possibility that there is such doth in reason 
oblige all men to seek it, above all the world ; ergo, it is cer- 
tain that such a life there is. 

My argument is from our obligation to seek it before all, to 
the certain being of it. 1. That no man is certain that there is 
no life to come, I need not prove, as long as no man ever 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 77 

proved such an opinion, and the boldest atheists or infidels say 
no more, than that they think there is no other life ; but all 
confess that they have no assurance of it. '' 

2. If so, then, that the possibility or probability obligeth us 
to regard it in our hopes, fears, and endeavours before all this 
world, is evident from the incomparableness of them, or great 
disparity of the things. When most of the world think there 
is another life, and there is so much for it as we here lay down, 
and a few atheists say only ' We do not believe it,' or c It is not 
likely, though it be not a thing that we are certain of;' now 
reason commandeth every man that loveth himself, to prefer it 
before all earthly things. Because we are fully certain, beyond 
all doubt, that all earthly things are of short duration, and will 
quickly leave us : and when they are gone, they are to us as if 
they had never been. They are a shadow, a dream, a something 
which is next to nothing. To say, it will shortly have an end, 
doth blot out the praise, and embitter the pleasures of all below. 
What the better are all generations past, for all the wealth and 
fleshly pleasures which thev ever received in the world ? There 
is no wise man hut would prefer the least probahility of at- 
taining full felicity, and escaping death and torments, before 
the certainty of possessing a pin or a penny for an hour. The 
disparity is much greater between things temporal and ever- 
lasting, than any such similitude can reach. All the Christians, 
and all the Mahometans, and most of the heathens of the 
world, do hold the immortality of the soul, and the perpetuity 
of the happiness or misery hereafter. The atheist is not sure 
of the contrary ; and he is sure that a few years or hours will 
put an end to all his temporal pleasures, and equal those that 
lived here in pleasure and in pain : and, therefore, that at the 
worst, his loss or hazard of the pleasures of sin, for the hopes of 
eternal pleasure, is not a thing considerable. If those that 

i Sicut non potest quicquam ijnis propinquatione fieri frigidissimum, ita 
non potest homo quia solus hseret Deo sapientissimo, beatissimoque stultissi- 
mus ex hoc, miserrim usque evadcre : neque potest Deus, qui summaveritas 
e t bonitas est, humanum genus, prolem suain decipere. — Marsil. Ficin. de 
Rel. Christ, c. 1. p. 13. Aristo hoc uiium tenuit, praeter vitia atque virtutes, 
uegavit rem esse ullam aut fugieudam, aut expetendam. — Pisoin Cic.de Fin. 
1.5. p. 203. Ea paranda viatico, qua? emu naufragio simul enatareiit ; ait 
Antisthe.nes in Lctert.1.6. c. 1. Id ib. dixit, Eos qui cuperent immortales 
esse oportere pie vivere et juste. Dii boni ! quid e3t in bom inis vita diu ? 
Mihi ne diuturnum quidem quicquam videtur, in quo est aliquid extremum. 
Cum euim id advenit, turn illud prseteriit, effluxit: tantum remanet, quod 
virtute etrecte fuctis sit consecutus. Mora: quidem ceduut, et dies, et menses, 
etanni; nee preteritum tempus uuquam revertitur, nee quid sequatur scire 
potest. — Cic. Cut.Maj. 



7S THE REASONS OF 

dissent from him prove in the right, the sensualist is utterly 
undone for ever : he must live in endless pain and misery, and 
must lose an endless, unspeakable joy and glory which he might 
have possessed as well as others. But if he himself prove in 
the right, he gets nothing by it but the pleasing of inordinate 
concupiscence for a few years ; and will die with as much emp- 
tiness of content as if he had lived in continual pain. Now 
this being the true case, no sober reason can deny, but that 
wisdom obligeth every man to labour for an uncertain, endless 
glory with angels, more than for the certain pleasures of the 
world, which are of so short continuance ; and to do more to 
escape uncertain, everlasting miserv, than a certain trouble to 
the flesh for so short a time : and thus a life of godliness, spent 
in seeking future happiness, and in escaping future punishment, 
is naturally made the duty of all men in the world. 1 

Object. But you seem here to forget that you had before made 
godliness to be a man's loss and undoing, if so be, there were no 
life to come : when now you make the loss and hurt to be as 
nothing. 

Answ. 1. I spoke before especially of those that suffer per- 
secution for their fidelity : I speak here especially of all the 
multitude of the world, who get nothing but the pleasures of 
sin by their sensuality. 2. When I speak of all the pleasures, 
profits, and honours of this world, and life itself, as next to 
nothing, I do not say that they are simply nothing. They are 
nothing compared to everlasting joy or misery, but they are 
something to him that shall have no more. The ease and life 
of a poor bird or beast is naturally desirable for it. One of the 
best of Christians said that ' If in this life only we had hope in 
Christ, we were of all men most miserable :' and yet, that " The 
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared 
to the irlorv which shall be revealed in us." There is no con- 
tradiction between these two ; that these short-lived pleasures 
are not worth one thought in comparison of the life to come; 
and yet that they would be considerable, if there were no other 
to be had and hoped for. s 

r Nemini explicatum potest esse, quomodo sese habiturum sit corpus, non 
dico ad annum, scd ad vesperum. — Cic. 2. de Fin. Saith Plutarch : (de Tran- 
quil. Anim. :) " Alexander wept because he was not lord of the world ; when 
Crates, having but a wallet and a thread-bare cloak, spent his whole life in 
mirth and joy, as if it had been a continual festival day." 

s Plato dixit finem esse, Deo similem fieri. Virtutem sufficere quidem ad 
bene beateque vivendum; ceterum instruments indigere, corporis, bonis, ro- 
bore, sanitate, integritate sensuum et caeteris id genus : exterioribus item, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 79 

3. And now the consequence is proved in what is said before. 
If it should, by common reason and nature, be made all men's 
duty in the world, to seek to attain a happiness which is not to 
be attained, and to escape a misery which never was or will be 
unto any, and this with the chief care and labour of their 
lives, then the whole life of man should be vanity and a lie. 
Nature should have formed him for mere delusion; to tire him 
out in following that which is not. The world should not only 
be totally governed by deceit, but formed principally for such a 
life : and whereas, indeed, it is the worldling that pursueth 
vanity, and spendeth his life in a dream or show; this opinion 
would make men's wisdom, and honesty, and piety, to be the 
vanity, dream, and show. But none of this can be imputed to 
the most wise and gracious God : he need not set up a false, 
deceitful hope or fear before his creatures, to keep them in obe- 
dience; nor hath he appointed their lives for so vain a work. 

Sect. 1 1 . XI. If the perfection of man's faculties, to which 
nature formed him, be not attained in this life, then is there 
another life where it is to be attained. But the antecedent is 
true. Ergo ; so is the consequent. 1 

The reason of the consequence is, because God, who maketh 
nothing in vain, made not man in vain, nor his natural inclina- 
tion to his own perfection. His will is signified by his works : 
as a man that makes a knife, or sword, or gun, or ship, doth 
tell you what he maketh it for, by the usefulness and form of it ; 
so when God made man with faculties fitted to know him, and 
love him, he showed you that he made him for that use, and 
therein he would employ him. 

Object. It would perfect the wit of a brute if it were raised 
as high as a man ; and yet it followeth not that it shall be so. 

Answ. I deny the antecedent : it would not perfect him in 
his kind, but make him another thing of another kind. Man is 
more than a perfect brute, and a brute is not an imperfect man : 
but I speak of perfecting man in his own kind, according to his 
nature. 

Object. A chicken hath a desire to live to full maturity, and 

puta opibus, &c. — Laert. in Platone. Arbitrator et Deos humana cernere 
atque curare— et daemones esse. Porro in ' Dialogis Justitiam,* divinam 
legem arbitratus est, ut ad juste agendum potentiiis suaderet, ne post mortem 
pocnas improbi luerent. — Id. ibid. 

1 Abeunt omnia undeorta sunt.— Cic. Cato Maj. Boni viri sunt Deorum 
simulachra. — Diogen. in Laert. Surely if tbe world was made for man, 
tben man was made for more than the world.— Du-Plessis Verit. Christ. 
Rclig. Prcrfat. 



SO THE REASONS OF 

yet you kill it before : and grass and plants may be cut down 
before they come to perfection. 

Answ. I speak in mv argument of the species of man, and the 
objection speaketh only of some individuals. If there be no 
higher stature for any chicken or plant to grow up to, then that 
is the state of its perfection. Its natural inclination to a more per- 
fect state doth show that nature formed it for a more perfect 
state, and that such a state there is to be attained, however by 
accident it may be killed or cut down before it do attain it, which 
never befalleth all the kind, but some individuals. So I confess 
that by ill accidents, by sin, men may fall short of their na- 
tural perfections. But nature's inclination showeth that there 
is such a state." 

And the antecedent is manifest, 1. In our nature 3 2. In all 
men's experience. 

1. We feel in our natures a capacity of knowing all that of 
God which I have before laid down, and that it is improbable 
by further light to know much more. We feel that our hearts 
are capable of loving him, and of delighting in the contempla- 
tion of the glory of his perfections. And we find all other 
things so far below the tendency of our faculties, and the con- 
tentment of our minds, that we know that this is it that we 
were made for, and this is the proper use that our understand- 
ings and wills were given us for. 2. And we find that we attain 
not any such perfection in this life as we are capable of, and 
do desire ; but that our increase of virtue and holiness is an 
increase of our desires after more ; and the better any man is, 
the more he still desireth to be better ; and the more he knoweth, 
and loveth, and delighteth in God, the more he desireth it in a 
far higher degree. And even of our knowledge of nature we 
find, that the more we know, the more we would know; and 
that he that knoweth the effect, would naturally fain know the 
cause ; and that when he knoweth the nearer cause, he would 
know the cause of that, and so know the first cause, God 
himself. And the little that we here attain to of knowledge 

u Senec. (Ep. 73, p. (mihi) 673) saith, Miraris honiinem ad Deos ire? 
Pens ad homines venit : inimo (quod propius est) in homines venit : nulla 
sine Deo mens bona est: seniina in corporihus humanis divina dispersa sunt; 
qua? si bonus cultor excipit, similia origini prodeunt ; et paria his ex quibus 
orta sunt, surgunt : si mains, nun aliter quam humus sterilis ac palustris, ne- 
cat ; ac deinde creat purscamenta pro frugibus. Beata vita est conveniens 
naturae suas : qua? non aliter contingere potest, quam si primum sana mens 
est, et in perpetua possessione sanitatis suse.— Senec. cfe vita beat. cap. 3. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 8i 

love, and delight, is far short of the perfection in the same kind 
which our faculties incline unto. 

Sect. 12. XII. Another illustration, or confirming argument, 
may he gathered from the great disparity which God hath made 
between men and beasts. x If God had intended us for no more 
knowledge and fruition of himself hereafter than the beasts 
have, then he would have given us no more capacity, desire, or 
obligation to seek it than the beasts have : but he hath given 
us more capacity, desire, and obligation to seek it. Ergo. 

A beast hath no knowledge that there is a God ; no thoughts of 
a life to come; no desire to know God, or love him, or enjoy him; 
no obligation to take care for another life, or to provide for it, 
or once to consider whether there be any such or not, because 
he is not made for any life but this : and if God had made man 
for no more, he would have disposed and obliged him no fur- 
ther ; we have an understanding to know it, and thoughts, and 
hopes, and fears, and cares about it, which are not all in vain ; 
and we are plainly in reason obliged to this, and more than 
we do, and that obligation is not vain. y 

Sect. 13. XIII. If there, were no life of retribution hereafter, 
man were more vain and miserable than the brutes by far, and 
his reason would more delude him and torment him ; but the 
consequence is absurd ; ergo, so is the antecedent. 

The major is easily proved by our great experience ; for the 
Avorld consisteth partly of men that believe another life, and 
partly of them that do not ; and reason maketh them both the 
more miserable. For the former sort, which is the most of the 
world, their reason telleth them that it is their duty to labour 
for a happiness hereafter, and to fear and prevent a future misery; 
and so their expectation would be their mere delusion, and their 
lives would be all spent and ordered in delusion : like a com- 
pany of men that should run up and down to prepare for a 
transplantation into the moon, and should cut down timber to 
build there, and provide a stock of cattle to store the ground 

* Nullum est animal prteter hominem quod habet ullam notitiam Dei. — 
Cicer. 1. de Leg. Dii immortales sparserunt animus in corpora humana, ut 
essent qui terras tuerentur, quique ccelestem ordinem contemplantes, imita- 
rentur eum, vitas modo et constantia. — Cic. Cat. Maj. 

y Ex terra sunt homines, non ut incolas et habitatures, sed quasi spectatores 
superarum rerum atque ccelestium : quarum spectaculum ad nullum aliud 
animantium genus pertinet. — Cic. de Nat. Deor.l.'l. Non temere, nee 
fortuito, sati et creati sumus : sed profecto fuit quafdam vis, qua? generi con- 
suleret humano : nee id gigneret aut aleret, quod cum omnes labores exant- 
lavisset, turn incideret in mortis malum sempiternum. — Cic. 1. Tmc. 

VOL. XXI, G 



82 THE REASONS OF 

there, and buy and sell lands there : such would be the life of 
man in preparing for another world ; and he would be under a 
double calamity. One, by all this fruitless labour, and another 
by his fear of future misery, if his labour by temptations should 
be frustrated, and he should miscarry. To have reason to lead a 
man in such a delusory life, and to torment him with the fears 
of what may befall him after death, is sure to be by reason more 
unhappy than the beasts, that have none of this. z 

And for the atheists, they are more unhappy too, so far as they 
are rational and considerate. For they have no more happiness 
than the beasts to comfort them, while they look for none here- 
after; and they have, in all the way, the foresight of their end ; 
they foreknow their great probability of sickness, and painful, 
tormenting diseases. They foreknow the certainty of their 
death ; they know how all their sport and pleasure will end, 
and leave them in dolour; and how their corpses must be rotting, 
and turn to dust ; they foresee abundance of crosses in their 
way ; they are troubled with cares for the time to come. A 
beast hath none of this fore-knowledge, and none of the fore- 
thoughts of pain or dying, but only fearfully fleeth from a present 
danger." Moreover, the poor atheist, having no certainty of the 
truth of his own opinion, (that there isnootherlife,)isoften haunt- 
ed with fears of it, and especially when approaching death doth 
awaken both his reason and his fears. He then thinks, O what 
if there should be another world, where I must live in misery for 
my sin ! In despite of himself, some such fears will haunt him. 
Judge, then, whether the use of reason be not to make man a 
more deluded and tormented creature than the brutes, if so be 
there were no life after this ? 

But this cannot stand with the methods of our Creator, to 
give us so great an excellency of nature, to make us more 
vain and unhappy than the beasts. When he maketh a crea- 
ture capable and fit for higher things, he declareth that he 
intendeth him for higher things. 

Object. But even here we have a higher kind of work and 
pleasure than the brutes. We rule them, and they serve us : 
we dwell in cities and societies, and make provision for the time 
to come. 

1 Mors iisterribilis est, quorum cum vita omnia extinguuntur. — Cic.Parad. 1. 
Read Cic. (1. 3. de Nat. Deor.) where Cotta would prove, that God did man a 
mischief by making him rational. 

a Thus man, who is the most perfect of animals, should be the most imperfect ; 
and he that is the wisest should be the most deluded. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 83 

Answ. Those brutes that dwell in woods and deserts serve u s 
not; and our ruling them is a small addition to our felicity: 
pride itself can take little pleasure in being the master of dogs 
and cats. Rule doth but add to care and trouble : Cceteris 
paribus, it is an easier life to be ruled than to rule. And if we 
take away their lives, it is no more than we must undergo our- 
selves. And the violent death which we put them to, hath 
usually less pain than our languishing age, and sickness, and 
natural death. And it is as pleasant to a bird to dwell in her 
nest, as to us to dwell in cities and palaces ; and they sing as 
merrily in their way of converse, as we in our troublesome 
kingdoms and societies. If present pleasure be the highest of 
our hopes, they seem to have as much as we ; or if there be any 
difference, it is counter-balanced by the twentyfold more cares, 
and fears, and labours, and mental troubles, which we are more 
liable to : and our knowledge doth but increase our sorrow, of 
which next. 

Sect. 14. XIV. If there were no life of retribution, the wiser any 
man were, the more miserable would he be, and knowledge 
would be their plague, and ignorance the way to their greatest 
pleasure : but the consequent is absurd : ergo, so is the 
antecedent. b 

The reason of the consequence is manifest in what is said : 
the ignorant have, nothing to disturb them in their sensual 
delights. The more like to beasts they can be, to eat, and drink, and 
play, and satisfy every lust, and never think of a reckoning, or 
of death itself, the more uninterrupted would be their delights ; 
the fore-thoughts of death, or any change, would not disturb 
them. Their folly, which maketh them overvalue all the 
matters of the flesh, would increase their pleasure and felicity. 
For things delight men as they are esteemed, rather than as 
indeed they are. But the more wise and knowing men would 

b Dicunt Stoici malum, impium esse et sine Deo: quod duplici ratione 
accipitur ; sive quod Deo contrarius dicatur, sive quod aspemetur Deum : id 
tamen malis omnibus non convenire : pios autem et religiosos esse sapientes : 
peritos enim esse divini juris omues. Porro pietatem scieutiam esse divini 
cultus : Diis item eos sacrificia facturos, castosque futuros : quippe ea qua? in 
Deos admittuntur peccata detestari, diisque charos ac gratos fore, quod sancti 
justique in rebus divinis sint : solos vero sacerdotes esse sapientes, &c. — 
Lttert. in Zenone, (How christian-like is all this spoken.) Nee enim tan- 
tum mali est peccareprincipes (quanquam est hoc magnum per seipsum malum) 
quantum illud, quod permulti imitatores prineipum existunt. Nam licet 
videre, si velis replicare inemoriam temporum, qualescunque summi civitatis 
viri fuerunt talem civitatem fuisse : qua;cunque mutatio morum in principi- 
bus extiterit, eandem in populo secuturatn,— Cic. tie Leg. 3. p. 262. 

g2 



84 THE REASONS OF 

always see vanity and vexation written upon all the treasures 
and pleasures of the world ; and in the midst of their delights 
would foresee death coming to cut them off, and bring them to 
a dolorous end. So that, undoubtedly, the most knowing would 
be the most miserable ; and though nature delight in knowing 
much, it would but let in an inundation of vexatious passions on 
the mind. 

But knowledge is so great a gift of God, and ignorance so 
great a blemish unto nature, that it is not by sober reason to be 
believed, that so noble a gift should be given us as a plague, and 
so great a plague and shame of nature as ignorance is should 
be a blessing or felicity. 

Sect. 15. XV. If the kings and temporal governors of the 
world do extend their rewards and punishments, as far as to tem- 
poral prosperity and adversity, life and death, in respect to the 
present ends of government, and this justly ; then is it meet 
and just that the universal King extend his benefits and punish- 
ments much further, for good or evil, as they have respect unto 
his own laws and honour j but the antecedent is true : ergo, so 
is the consequent. 

Kings justly take away men's lives for treason. They that 
look but to the present temporal good or hurt of the common- 
wealth, do think that no temporal punishment or reward can be 
too great for some crimes, and for some achievements : read 
but the statute-books, and this will be soon found. 

And that the offences which are against the Infinite Majesty 
deserve, incomparably, sorer punishments than any against men 
as such, is past all question ; as, also, that love, and fidelity, and 
duty to God, are incomparably more laudable. 

Sect. 16. XVI. If there were no life of retribution after this, 
it would follow, that man is more to be feared and obeyed than 
God, and so hath the far greater and higher hand in the moral 
government of the world; but the consequent is absurd and 
blasphemous : ergo, so is the antecedent. 

The argument is clear, and past all contradiction. The rea- 
son of the major or consequence, is, because, though God can 
destroy any wicked man at his pleasure, yet, all the world's 
experience showeth up, that ordinarily in this life he doeth no 
such things. If a strange judgment overtake some wicked man, 
it is an unusual thing, and next to a miracle ; and, usually, all 
things come alike to all ; the good and the bad die of the same 
disease ; the deceitful and the wicked prosper in the world as 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 85 

much as others : if either suffer more, usually it is the best. 
" Videtis quam prosper a navigatio d, Diis datur sacrilegis," saith 
Dionysius. Thunderbolts strike so few, that it is scarcely rational 
much to fear them : if one fall under some extraordinary judg- 
ment, many hundreds escape. 

But, on the other side, kings and states do, ordinarily, exe- 
cution on those that displease them and break their laws. The 
case of a Daniel is so rare, that it would be no rule to direct a 
rational course by : if the king should forbid me praying, as he 
did Daniel, or command me to worship his image, as he did the 
other three witnesses, reason and self-preservation would require 
me to obey him ; for it is ten to one but he would execute his 
wrath on me, and it is a hundred to one God would not deliver 
me here. God suffered thirty or forty thousand to be murdered 
at once, by the French massacre, under Charles IX.; he suffered 
two hundred thousand to be murdered by the Irish papists ; he 
suffered many to be murdered in Queen Mary's days ; he suf- 
fered yet greater havoc to be made of the poor Waldenses and 
Albigenses ; he suffered most cruel, inhuman torments and 
death upon thousands of innocent persons, to change the new- 
planted religion in Japan. He, therefore, that careth for his life 
and peace, will think it far safer to venture on the present exe- 
cutions of God than of his king, or enemy, or any one that is 
strong enough to ruin him. If I lived under the Turkish empire, 
and were commanded to deny Christ, and to renounce my bap- 
tism, and to subscribe that my baptismal vow doth not oblige 
me, or any way to lie, or be perjured, or sin against God, self- 
preservation would bid me, Venture on the sin, for it is an 
hundred to one but God will spare thee ; and it is an hundred 
to one but that the prince will punish and destroy thee if thou 
obey him not. How few, that knew there were no life to 
come, would not rather venture to please a tyrant, or a robber, 
than God, and more fear to displease them ; and would not bv 
perjury, or any commanded villany, save himself from their fury 
and cruelty ; and would not study more to flatter and humour 

c Laert. (in Timon.) saith, that Philarchus, the historian, reporteth of 
Praylus, the philosopher, that he was of so constant a mind, that he suffered 
himself to be unjustly executed as a traitor, and would not use one word of 
supplication for his life : but that is not the common temper of mankind. 
Alta spectare si voles, atque hanc sedem et sternani domum contueri, neque 
sermouibus vulgi te dederis, nee in praemiis humauis spem posueris rerum 
tuarum : suis te illecebris oportet ipsa virtus trahat ad verum decus. — Cicero 
in Somn. Scip. 



86 THE REASONS OF 

them, than to obey their God ! d and so man should have the 
chief government of the world, while man's rewards and punish- 
ments were so much more notable than God's : man would be 
feared and obeyed before God ; that is, man would be taken for 
our God. These things are clear, undeniable truths. If there 
were no life to come, self-love and reason would make man more 
obedient to man than God, and so make gods of flesh and blood ; 
but whether this be the tendency of the government of God, let 
reason judge. e 

Sect. 17. XVII. A very probable argument may be inferred 
from the number and quality of intellectual spirits. He that 
looketh to the vast, and numerous, and glorious orbs which are 
above him, and thinks of the glorious receptacles of a more 
glorious sort of creatures, and then considereth that we are in- 
tellectual agents, made to love and honour God as well as they ; 
and considers further, both the benignity of God and the commu- 
nion which those other orbs have with us, will think it probable 
that we are in progress towards perfection ; and that we that 
are so like them may be capable of their happiness. 

Sect. 18. XVIII. If in this life God have little of the praise 
and glory of his works, from those whom he created for it, but, 
contrarily, be much dishonoured by them, then there is another 
life in which he will be more honoured by them ; but the ante- 
cedent is true : ergo, so is the consequent. 

What a glorious fabric hath God set man to contemplate ; and 
how little of it is here known ! so that philosophy is found to be 
but a searching and wrangling about things which no man reaeh- 
eth, and yet an inquisitive desire we have ; and, therefore, sure 
there is a state in which these works of God shall be better 
known of us, and God shall have the honour of them more than 
now. His laws also prescribe us excellent duties, and his servants 
are very excellent persons, according to his own descriptions ; 
but our infirmities, our errors or divisions, our miscarriages and 

d The very doubting of the life to come maketh multitudes take this course 
in our age ; preferring that which they have in hand, before that which they 
suppose uncertain. 

e Rursus vero si animse lethi adeunt januas (Epicuri ut sententia definitur) 
nee sic causa est competens cur expeti philosophia debeat, etiamsi verum est, 
purgari has animas, atque ab omni puras vitiositate praestari : nam si commu- 
niter obeunt, non tanturn est erroris maximi, verum stolidae caecitatis, frae- 
nare ingenitos appetitus, cohibere in angustiis vitam, nihil indulgere naturae, 
non quod cupidiues jusserint et instigaverint facere, cum nulla te praemia 
tanti labovis expectent, cum dies mortis advenerit, et corporalibus fueris vin- 
culis exolutus. — Arnob. adv. Gentes, 1. 2. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 87 

scandals, do so dishonour him and his ways, that the glory of 
them is much obscured, and blasphemers reproach him to his 
face, and godliness, which the law of nature teacheth, is derided 
as a foolish thing, and as the mere effect of superstitious fear. 
Now, though all this doeth no hurt to God, yet he is capable of 
wrong who is incapable of hurt ; and it is not to be believed 
that he will finally put up with all this at his creatures' hands, and 
never vindicate his honour, or never more show the glory of his 
grace, his image, his justice and judgments, than he now doth. 

Sect. 19. XIX. The constant testimony of conscience in all 
men, that have not mastered reason by sensuality, and the com- 
mon consent of all that are worthy to be called men, in all ages 
and countries upon earth, doth show that the life to come is a 
truth which is naturally revealed, and most sure/ 

Sect. 20. XX. The enemy of souls doth (against his will) 
give man a fourfold reason to judge, that there is a life of re- 
ward and punishment hereafter, viz. 1. By compacts with 
witches ; 2. By apparitions ; 3. By satanical possessions ; 4. 
By all kinds of subtle, importunate temptations, which evidence 
themselves. 

1. Though some are very incredulous about witches, yet to a 
full inquiry the evidence is past question, that multitudes of such 
there be. Though many are wronged, and some may be thought 
so foolish or melancholy as not to know what they say against 
themselves, yet against such numerous and various instances 
these exceptions do but confirm the general truth, that such there 
are. I have said so much of them in g two other writings, that 
1 shall now say no more but this : That those judges ordinarily 
condemn them to die. who themselves have been most incredu- 
lous of such things ; that so great numbers were condemned in 
Suffolk, Norfolk, and Essex, about twenty years ago, that left 
the business past all doubt to the judges, auditors, and reverend 
ministers, (yet living,) who were purposely sent with them for 
the fuller inquisition. That the testimonies are so numerous, 
and, beyond exception, recorded in the many volumes written 
on this subject, by the Malleus Malificorum, Bodin, Remigius, 
and other judges who condemned them, that I owe no man any 

f Plato often saith, that the wicked are punished after death. Antisthenes 
(7. tome) had a book, De his quae sunt apud inferos. — Laert. 1.6. c. 1. 

s * Saint's Rest ' (part 2) ; and ' Unreasonableness of Infidelity.' By the 
doctrine of idols, false gods that were sometimes men, and their sacrifices, 
the devil confesseth a life to come. 



88 THE REASONS OF 

further proof than to desire him to read the aforesaid writings ; 
wherein he shall find men and women, gentlemen, scholars, 
doctors of divinity, of several qualities and tempers, all con- 
fessedly guilty, and put to death for this odious sin ; and he shall 
find what compacts they made with the devil, promising him 
their souls or their service, and renouncing their covenant with 
God : all which doth more than intimate, that men have souls 
to save or lose, and that there is an enemy of souls, who is most 
solicitous to destroy them ; or else to what end would all this 
be ? When people are in wrath and malice, desirous of revenge, 
or in great discontents, or too eagerly desirous after over-hasty 
knowledge in any needless speculation, the devil hath the ad- 
vantage to appear to them, and offer them his help, and draw 
them into some contract with him (implicit, at least, if not ex- 
plicit ) : I have myself heen too incredulous of these things, till 
cogent evidence constrained my belief. Though it belong not 
to us to give account why Satan doeth it, or why upon no more, 
or why God permitteth it, yet that so it is, in point of fact, it 
cannot be rationally denied ; and, therefore, we have so much 
sensible evidence, that there is a happiness and misery after this 
life, which the devil believeth, though atheists do not. 

2. And though some are as incredulous of apparitions, yet 
evidence hath confuted all incredulity. I could make mention 
of many ; but, for the notoriety, I will mention but two, which 
it is easy to be satisfied about : 

The one is the apparition, in the shape of Colonel Bowen, in 
Glamorganshire, to his wife and family, speaking, walking before 
them, laying hold of them, hurting them in time of prayer (the 
man himself then living from his wife, in Ireland, being one that 
from sect to sect had proceeded to infidelity, if not to atheism ; 
and, upon the hearing of it, came over, but durst not go to the 
place). The thing I have by me described largely, and attested 
by learned, godly ministers that were at the place; and is fa- 
mous, past contradiction. 11 

2. But, to name no more, he that will read a small book 
called ' The Devil of Mascon,' written by Mr. Perreaud, and 
published by Dr. Peter Moulin, will see an instance past all 

h In Ireland it was testified by the oaths of many witnesses, that after the 
protectants had been murdered at Portdowu- Bridge, a long time together a 
spectrum appeared in the river, like a person naked, standing in the water up to 
the middle, and crying, * Revenge, revenge !' — See Dr. Jones's, mid Sir John 
Temple's Books. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 89 

question. The devil did there, for many months together, at 
certain hours of the day, hold discourse with the inhabitants, 
and publicly disputed with a papist that challenged him, and 
when he had done, turned him, and cast him down so violently, 
that he went home distracted. He would sing, and jest, and 
talk familiarly with them as they do with one another. He 
would answer them questions about things done at a distance, 
and would carry things up and down before them, and yet never 
seen in any shape. All this was done in the house of the said 
Mr. Perreaud, a reverend, faithful minister of the protestant 
church, in the hearing of persons of both professions, papists 
and protestants, that ordinarily came in, for above three months, 
at Mascon, a city of France, and at last, upon earnest prayer, it 
ceased. Mr. Perreaud's piety and honesty were well known, 
and attested to me by the right hon. the Earl of Orrery, now 
Lord President of Minister, in Ireland, and attested to the world 
by his most learned, worthy, honourable brother, Mr. Robert 
Boyle, in an epistle before the book ; neither of them persons 
apt to be over-credulous of such unusual things, yet both fully 
satisfied of the truth of this story by Mr. Perreaud's own narri- 
tive, with whom they were very familiar. 

See the other testimonies cited in my ' Saint's Rest' (part 2). 

Quest. But how doth this signify that there is any future state 
for man ? 

Answ. 1. Commonly, these apparitions do expressly refer to 
some sin or duty which are regardable in order to a further 
life. Sometimes they come to terrific murderers, or other great 
offenders ; and sometimes the devil hath killed men outright, 
which yet were no more painful than another death, if it carried 
not their souls into a greater misery : sometimes they are used 
to tempt people to sin, to witchcraft, to revenge, to idolatry and 
superstition (to which use they are common among many of the 
Indians). And all this intimateth some further hurt which sin 
doth men after this present life, which they take not here for 
their pain, but their pleasure. 2. Many of these apparitions 
say, that they are the souls of such and such persons that have 
lived here : if it be so, then the question is granted. And 
whether it be so, I suppose is to us uncertain : for why a con- 
demned soul may not appear as well as Satan, notwithstanding 
that both of them are in that state of misery which is called 
hell, I yet could never hear any sure proof. But, because this 
is uncertain ; 3. At least it showeth us, that these evil spirits 



90 THE REASONS OF 

are near us, and able to molest us, and therefore are ordinarily 
restrained, and that their natures are not, as to any elevation, 
so distant from ours, but that a converse there may be ; and 
therefore that it is very probable, that when the souls of the 
wicked are separated from their bodies, they shall be such as 
thev, or have more converse with them ; and that the good 
spirits shall be the companions of the souls of men that here 
were not far unlike themselves. When we perceive that we 
live among such invisible spirits, it is the easier to believe that 
we shall live with such of them hereafter as we are most like. 1 

3. I may add to these the instance of satanical possessions : c 
for though many diseases may have of themselves very terrible 
and strange effects, yet that the devil, I mean some evil spirit, 
doth operate in many, is past all contradiction. Some will 
speak languages which they never learned; some will tell things 
done far off; some will have force and actions which are beyond 
their proper, natural ability. Most great physicians, how incre- 
dulous soever, have been forced to confess these things : and 
abundance of them have written particular instances. 

And the manner of their transportations, their horrid blas- 
phemies against God, with other carriages, do commonly inti- 
mate a life to come, and a desire that Satan hath to dishonour 
God, and destroy the souls of men as well as their bodies. 

4. And, lastly, the temptations and suggestions of Satan, yea, 
and often his external, contrived snares, are such as frequently 
give men a palpable discovery of his agency, that there is indeed 
some evil spirit that doth all this to the hurt of souls. Were 
there no such tempter, it were scarcely credible that such horrid, 
inhuman villanies should ever be perpetrated by a rational 
nature, as histories credibly report, and as in this age our eyes 
have seen. That men should ever, even against their own ap- 
parent interest, be carried on obstinately to the last, in a wilful 
course of such sins as seem to have little or nothing to invite men 
to them, but a delight in doing hurt and mischief in the world. 
Whence is it that some men feel such violent, importunate sug- 
gestions to evil in their minds, that they have no rest from them ; 
but which way soever they go, they are haunted with them till 
they have committed it, and then haunted as much to hang 
themselves in desperation ? Whence is it that all opportunities 
are so strangely fitted to a sinner's turn, to accommodate him 
in his desires and designs : and that such wonderful, successive 

1 See what I have cited, " Saints' Rest/ part 2. cap. 7. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 91 

trains of impediments are set in the way of almost any man 
that intendeth any great work in the world ? k I have, among 
men of my own acquaintance, observed such admirable frustra- 
tions of many designed, excellent works, by such strange, unex- 
pected means, and such variety of them, and so powerfully 
carried on, as hath of itself convinced me, that there is a most 
vehement, invisible malice permitted by God to resist mankind, 
and to militate against all good in the world. Let a man have 
any evil design, and he may carry it on usually with less resist- 
ance. Let him have any work of the greatest natural importance, 
which tendeth to no great benefit of mankind, and he may go 
on with it without any extraordinary impediment. But let him 
have any great design for common good, in things that tend to 
destroy sin, to heal divisions, to revive charity, to increase virtue, 
to save men's souls, 1 yea, or to the public common felicitv, and 
his impediments shall be so multifarious, so far-fetched, so 
subtle, incessant, and, in despite of all his care and resolution, 
usually so successful, that he shall seem to himself to be like a 
man that is held fast hand and foot, while he seeth no one touch 
him ; or that seeth an hundred blocks brought and cast before 
him in his way, while he seeth no one do it. Yea, and usuallv 
the greatest attempts to do good shall turn to the clean con- 
trary, even to destroy the good which was intended, and drive 
it much further off. How many countries, cities, churches, 
families, who have set themselves upon some great reformation, 
have at first seen no difficulties almost in their way ! And 
when they have attempted it, they have been like a man that is 
wrestling with a spirit. Though he see not what it is that 
holdeth him, when he hath long sweated, and chafed, and tired 
himself, he is fain to give over ; yea, leave behind him some 
odious scandal, or terrible example, to frighten all others from 
ever meddling with the like again.' I have known that done 
which men call a miracle, a sudden deliverance in an hour, 
from the most strange and terrible disease, while, by fasting 
and prayer, men were present begging the deliverance. And 

k Polybius often noteth, that many excellent men have attempted great and 
excellent works ; but very few have ever been so happy as to perform them ; 
and of those that have gone a little way, but few have finished them. 

1 He that did but well study the plain strife between Christ and Satan, about 
knowledge and ignorance in the world, and how marvellously Satan keepeth 
the Gospel from the infidel world, and locketh up the Scriptures in an un- 
known tongue among the papists, and hinderetli preachers in all the world, 
will see that there is certainly a kingdom of darkness, and a kingdom of 
light, which strive for souls. 



92 THE REASONS OF 

presently, the devil hath drawn the persons into such a scandal- 
ous sin, that God had none of the honour of the deliverance, 
nor could anv for shame make mention of it, but it turned to 
the greater dishonour of piety and prayer, though the wonder 
was past doubt. I have known men wonderfully enlightened 
and delivered from courses of error and schism, and being men 
of extraordinary worth and parts, have been very likely to have 
proved the recovery of abundance more : and they have been 
so irresistibly carried into some particular errors on the con- 
trary extreme, that all hopes of their doing good have turned to 
the hardening of others in their schism, while they saw those 
errors, and judged accordingly of all the reasons of their change. 
But especially to hinder the successes of godly magistrates and 
ministers in their reformings, and their writings for the winning 
of souls, it were endless to show the strange, unexpected diffi- 
culties which occur, and lamentably frustrate the most laudable 
attempts. Nav, I have known divers men that have had reso- 
lute designs to build an alms-house or a school-house, or 
to settle some public, charitable work, that when all things 
seemed readv, and no difficulty appeared, have been hindered 
in despite of the best of their endeavours, all their days, or 
manv years : yea, men that purposed but to put it in their wills 
to do some considerable work of charity, have been so delayed, 
hindered, and disappointed, that they were never able to effect 
their ends. By all which it is very perceivable to an observing 
mind, that there is a working, invisible enemy still seeking to 
destroy all godliness, and to hinder men's salvation. 

Perhaps you will say, c That if this be so, you make the devil 
to be stronger than God, and to be the governor of the world ; 
or to be more in hatred to goodness than God is in love with it.' 

I answer, Xo ; but it appeareth that his enmity to it is 
implacable, and that he militateth against God and man's feli- 
city, and that sin hath so far brought this lower world under 
God's displeasure, that he hath, in a great measure, forsaken it, 
and left it to the will of Satan. Yet hath he his holy seed and 
kingdom here, and the purposes of his grace shall never be 
frustrated, nor the gates of hell prevail against his church ; and 
if he may forsake hell totally, as to his felicitating presence, he 
may also penally forsake earth as to the greater number ; 
whilst, for aught we know, he may have thousands of orbs of 
better inhabitants, which have not so forfeited his love, nor are 
so forsaken by him. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 93 

I have been the larger in proving a life to come, of retri- 
bution to the good and bad, because all religion doth depend 
upon it, and I have myself been more assaulted with tempta- 
tions to doubt of this, than of Christianity itself, though this 
have more of natural evidence. And I have set down nothing 
that I am able, rationally, to confute myself, though every truth 
is liable to some snarling exceptions of half-witted and con- 
tentious men. No man that confesseth a life to come can 
question the necessity of a holy life ; but I have thought meet, 
first to prove that a holy life is our unquestionable duty, as the 
prius cognitum, and thence to prove the certainty of the future 
state; for, indeed, though God hath not hidden from us the mat- 
ter of our reward and punishment, hopes and fears, yet hath he 
made our duty plainer in the main, and proposed it first to our 
knowledge and consideration." 1 The eternity of the future state 
I have not here gone about to prove, because I reserve it for a 
fitter place, and need the help of more than natural light, for 
such a task. But that it shall be of so much weight and 
duration, as shall suffice to the full execution of justice, and to 
set all straight, that seemed crooked in God's present govern- 
ment, this nature itself doth fully testify. 

Three sorts of men will read what I have written : 1. Some 

few (and but very few) of those whose consciences are so blood v 

in the guilt of their debauchery, that they take it for their 

interest to hope that there is no life but this : 2. Those whose 

faith and holiness have made the world to come to be their 

interest, happiness, hope, desire, and only joy : 3. Those that 

only understand, in general, that it is the highest interest of 

human nature, that there be a full felicity hereafter ; and see it 

a most desirable thing, though they know not whether it be to 

be expected or not. The first sort, I may fear, are under such 

a curse of God, as that he may leave their wills to master their 

belief, as their lusts have mastered their wills, and lest they be 

forsaken of God, to think that true which their wicked hearts 

desire were true ; and that the haters of God and a holy life, 

should be left to dream that there is no God, nor future, happy 
life. n 

"' Virtutis merces ac finis optimum quiddam est, divinum et beatum. — 
Arist. 1. Eth. c. 9. Virtutum omnium jucundae non sunt actioncs, nisi qua- 
tenus finis copulatus conjunctusque asciscitur. — Id. 3. Eth. c. 9. Virtus ex - 
tollit hominem et super astra mortales collocat ; nee ea quae bona aut mala 
vocantur, aut cupit nimis, aut expavescit. — Sen. Ep. 88. 

 Tria sunt quse ex animae providentia accipit corpus animalis ; at vivat, ut 
decore vivat, et ut immortalitas ill i. succesiione quseratur. — Macrob. 7. Sat. 



94 



THE REASONS OF 



The second sort have both light, experience, and desire, and 
therefore will easily believe. 

The third sort are they whose necessities are great, and vet 
conjunct with hope of some success. Though bare interest 
should command no man's understanding, because a thing may 
be desirable, which is neither certain nor possible ; yet J must 
needs say, that reason and self-love should make any man, that 
is not resolved in wickedness, exceedingly glad to hear of any 
hopes, much more of certainty, of a life of angelical happiness 
and jov, to be possessed when this is ended. And, therefore, 
the inquiry should be exceedingly, willingly, and studiously endea- 
voured. I shall conclude this point with a few serious questions 
to those that denv a future life of retribution. ° 

Quest. 1 . Whether he that taketh a man to be but an inge- 
nious kind of beast, can take it ill to be esteemed as a beast ? 
May I not expect that he should live like a beast, who thinketh 
that he shall die like a beast ? Is such a man fit to be trusted 
any further in human converse, than his present fleshly interest 
obligeth him ? May I not justly suppose that he liveth in the 
practice of fornication, adultery, lying, perjury, hypocrisy, 
murder, treachery, theft, deceit, or any other villany, as often as 
bis interest tells him he should do it. What is a sufficient or 
likely motive to restrain that man, or make him just, who 
believes not anv life after this ? It seemeth to me a wrong 
to him in his own profession, to call him an honest man. 

2. If you think yourselves but ingenious beasts, why should 
you not be content to be used as beasts ? A beast is not 
capable of true propriety, right or wrong ; he that can master 
him, doth him no wrong, if he work him, or fleece him, or take 
away his life. Why may not they that can master you, 
use you like pack-horses, or slaves, and beat you, and take 
awav vour lives ? p 

J J 

3. Would you be only yourselves of this mind, or would you 
have all others of it ? If yourselves only, why envy vou the 
truth, as you suppose, to others ? If all others, what security 
shall kings have of their lives, or subjects of their lives or 

Animarum originem manare de ccelo, inter recte philosophantes iudubi- 
tatae constat esse sentential. Et animae dum corpore utitur haec est perfecta 
sapiemia, ut unde orta sit, de quo finite venerit, recoguoscat. — Macrob. sup. 
Somn. Scip. 1. I.e. 9. 

p Maximum argumentum. est, naturam ipsam de immortalitate animorum 
taciturn judicare, quod omnibus cura sunt, et maxime quidem, quae post mor- 
tem futura sunt. — tic, Tusc. fju. 1. 1. p, 220. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 95 

liberties ? What trust can you put in wife, or child, or servant, 
or any man that you converse with ? Will you not quickly 
feel the effects of their opinions ? Had you not rather that 
the enemy who would murder you, the thief who would rob 
you, the liar that would deceive you, did believe a judgment 
and life of retribution, than not ? 

4. If there be no life after this, what business have you for 
your reason, and all your noble faculties, and time, that is 
worthy of a man, or that is not like children's games or 
puppet-plays ? What have you to do in the world, that hath 
any weight in the trial, any content or comfort in the review, 
or will give solid comfort to a dying man ? Were it not better 
to lie down and sleep out our days, than waste them all in 
dreaming-waking ? O, what a silly worm were man ! what 
should he find to do with his understanding ! Take off the 
poise of his ultimate end, and all his rational motions must 
stand still, and only the brutish motion must go on, and reason 
must drudge in the captivity of its service. 9 

But these questions, and more such, I put more home in my 
book, called * A Saint, or a Brute.' If conscience tell you, 
that you can put no trust in your friend, your wife, your 
servant, or your neighbour ; if they believe that there is no life 
but this : surely the same conscience may tell you, that then 
the thing is true, and that the God of infinite power, wisdom, 
and goodness, hath better means enough than deceits and lies 
to rule the world by. 

Hear what the conscience of the epicure saith, in ' Cicero 
Academ.' (quest. 1. 4. p. (mihi) 44.) " Quis enim potest, cum 
existimet it, Deo se curari, non et dies, et nodes, divinum numen 
horrere," &c. It is true of the guilty ; but what greater joy to 
the upright, godly, faithful soul. 



CHAP. XV. 

Of the Intrinsic Evil of Sin, and of the Perpetual Punishment 
due to the Sinner, by the undoubted Laiu of Nature. 

Sect. 1 . It seemed good to the most wise Creator, to give 
man, with reason, a liberty of will, by which he is a kind 

i Platonici dicuut, Beatum esse hominem fruentem Deo; non sicut cor- 
pore, vel seipso fruitur animus, aut sicut amicus amico ; sed sicut Luce Ocu- 
lus.— August, de Civ. Dei. 



96 THE REASONS OF 

of first cause of its own determination in comparative moral 
acts ; though he hold the power in full dependence upon God, 
and perform each act as an act in genere by the influx of his 
Maker, and do all under his perfect government. And these 
great principles in his nature, his power, his reason, and his 
free, self-determining will, are the image of God, in which, as 
man, he was created, which advanced by the perfections of 
fortitude, wisdom, and moral goodness, are also in holiness the 
image of God's perfections. r 

When a man deliberated whether he shall do this sin or not, 
as lie or murder, he cannot act in general without God, but 
that he chooseth this act rather than another, may be without 
any more of God than his giving and maintaining his free- 
choosing power, and his universal influx before mentioned, and 
his setting him among such objects as he acteth upon. Nei- 
ther do those objects, nor any physical, efficient motion of God, 
or any creature besides himself, determine his will effectually to 
choose the evil and refuse the good. It is not true, that no- 
thing undetermined can determine itself to act ; this is but to 
deny God's natural image on the will of man. The will cannot 
determine itself without the conduct of an intellect, and without 
an object in esse cognito, or without divine sustenance and uni- 
versal influx; but it can determine itself to the moral species, 
which is but the mode of action to this, rather than that in the 
comparative proposal, without any pre-determining efficient, 
for such none of the former are. 

And God having made such a self-determining creature, took 
delight to govern him according to his nature, by the sapiential, 
moral means of laws. Of what he doth more to cause good 
than evil, and other such incident questions, I must now put 
them off, to a fitter place. s 

Sect. 2. God planted in man's mind a natural inclination to 
truth and goodness and to his own felicity, and an aversion 

r Ad hoc anima conjuncta corpori est, ut fruatur scientiis et virtutibus : si 
autem cum fervore magno se invenerit, benigne recipietur asuocreatore ; sin 
autem secus, relegabitur ad inferna. — Plat, in Tim. Animus recte solus 
liber, nee dominationi cujusquam parens, neque obediens cupiditati. Recte 
invictus, cujus etiainsi corpus constringatur, animo tamen vincula injici 
nulla possunt. — Cic. .'{, de Finib. Deus anknum ut Dominum et imperantem 
obedienti praefecit corpori. — Cic. de Univers. 

s Casta placent superis ; pura cum mente venite, 
Et manibus puris sumite fontis aquam. — Tibul. 

Fone Deos, et quae tangendo sacra profanas ; 
Non bene coelestes impia dextra colit. — Ovid. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 97 

to falsehood, and to evil, and to his own misery and hurt, that 
these, lying deeper than his liberty of choice, might be apondus 
to his motions, and help him more easily and steadfastly to obey, 
and adhere to and prosecute his proposed happiness and end. 

Sect. 3. Accordingly, God formed his holy law with a perfect 
fitness to these faculties and inclinations, furnishing it wholly 
with truth and goodness, and fitting all things in it to the 
benefit of man, as is proved before. 

Sect. 4. This law had a sufficient promulgation, being legible 
on the face of the whole creation, within our view, and espe- 
cially on the nature of man himself, from whence his duty did 
result. 

Sect. 5. And God was pleased to make as legible, the most 
rational, powerful motives to love and obedience, that can be 
imagined by man ; that no tempter might possibly bid the ten 
thousandth part so much for our love and obedience as he had 
bid, and assured us of himself. 

Sect. 6. From all this, it is most evident that God made us 
not sinners, though he made us men ; but that man, being 
defectible, abused his liberty, and turned from God, and brought 
corruption and misery upon himself.* 

Sect. 7. He that will understand God's justice aright, must 
consider of these forty intrinsic evils that are in sin, which na- 
ture itself declareth. 

1. In its formal nature, it is the violation of a perfect, right- 
eous law. 

2. It is a contempt or denial of God's governing authority 
over us. 

3. It is the usurping of the government of ourselves, which 
we denied to God. 

4. It is a denial or contempt of the wisdom of God, as if he 
had erred in the making of his laws, and knew not so well 
what is just and meet and good for us, as we ourselves, and 
were not wise enough to govern a lump of animated clay. u 

5. It is an exalting our folly into the throne of the divine 
wisdom, as if we had more wisdom than he that made us, and 
knew better what is just and meet, and what is fit or good for 
ourselves, and could correct God's laws, and make ourselves a 
better rule. 

I Animi morbi perniciosiores, pluresque quam corporis. — Cic. 3. Tuscul. 

II The Athenians punished not only the total violation of a law, but even of a 
clause or part of a law. 

VOL. XXI. H 



9S THE REASONS OF 

6. It is a denial or contempt of the goodness of God, as if 
he had ensnared us by his law, and envied our happiness, and 
forbade us that which would do us good, and put us upon that 
which will do us hurt, and so would seduce us into calamity, 
and were an enemy to our welfare. 

7. It is a preferring our naughtiness before his goodness, as 
if we could do better in regulating ourselves than God, and 
could make a better choice for ourselves than his laws have 
made ; and as if our wills were fitter than God's to be the 
rule of good and evil. x 

8. It is a denial or contempt of his holiness and purity, which 
is as contrary to sin as health to sickness ; as if by our deeds 
we would persuade the world, that God is as Satan, a lover of 
sin, and an enemy to himself and holiness. 

9. It is a denial or contempt of God's propriety, as if we 
were not his own, and he had not power to dispose of us as he 
list ; or it is a robbing him of the use and service of that which 
is absolutely his own. 

10. It is a claiming of propriety in ourselves, as if we were 
at our own disposal, and might do with ourselves and our 
faculties as we list. 

11. It is a belying or contempt of the great and gracious 
promises of God, and of the wonderful mercy which he mani- 
festeth in them, by which he doth bind and allure us to obe- 
dience, as if he did not mean as he speaketh, or would not 
make good his word to the obedient. 

12. It is a falsifying or contempt of his dreadful threatenings, 
as if he did not intend any execution of them, but made them 
only as a deceitful terror to frighten men from sin, for want of 
better means. 

13. It is a denial or contempt of the dreadful, future judg- 
ment of God, as if he would never call men to any account, nor 
judge them according to his laws. 

14. It is a denying the veracity of God, as if he were a liar 
and deceiver, and did not intend the things which he speaketh ; 
as if his precepts were but a false pretension, and he were, in- 
deed, indifferent what he did, and were not to be believed in 
his predictions, promises, or threats. 

15. It is a contempt of all the mercies, even of this life, 

x Piso (in Cic. de Fin. 1. 5. p. 203.) saith of the Epicureans, Quin etiam ipsi 
voluptuarii diverticula quaerant, et virtutes habeant in ore totos dies,&c> which 
showeth that virtue was commended even by the voluptuous. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 99 

which flesh itself cloth overvalue ; as if protection, provision, 
deliverances, comforts, were not so much to be regarded as our 
concupiscence, or were not of weight enough to bind us to obey 
so merciful a God, as if ingratitude were no crime. 

16. It is a contempt of those castigatory afflictions, by which 
God driveth men from sin, by giving them a taste of the bitter- 
ness of its fruits. 

17. It is a contempt of all the examples of his mercy and 
his judgment upon others, by which he hath showed us how 
good he is, and how just a punisher of sin. 

IS. It is a contempt of all the inward motions and strivings 
of God, which sinners often feel persuading them to forbear their 
sins, and to seek after God. 

19. It is a contempt of conscience, which beareth witness for 
God against their sins. 

20. It is a contempt of all the instructions and advice of wise 
and good men, who are required, by God and nature, to warn 
men, and dissuade them from their sins. 

21. It is a contempt of the example of all obedient, virtuous 
persons, whose lives instruct them and reprove them. 

22. It is a contempt of virtue itself, which is contrary to sin, 
and whose proper worth commandeth love. 

23. It is a contempt of God's omnipresence, when we will sin 
in his very presence ; and of his omniscience, when we will sin 
when we know that he seeth it. 

24. It is a contempt of the greatness and almightiness of God, 
when a silly worm dare sin against him, who upholdeth the 
world, and can do justice on him in a moment ; as if we could 
make good our part against him. 

25. It is a contempt of the attractive goodness of God, by 
which he is man's End and Happiness ; as if all the goodness 
and love of God were not enough to counterpoise the base and 
brutish pleasures of sin, and to drive the rational soul to God. 
(It was his efficient goodness which I spoke of before.) 

26. And thus it declareth, that we are so far void of love to 
God ; for love is desirous to please. 

27. It is a setting up the sordid creature for our end; as if it 
were more attractive and amiable than God, and litter to content 
and delight the soul. 

28. It is a contempt of all that glorious happiness of the life 
to come, which God hath warranted the righteous to expect ; 
as if it were not all so good as the defiling, transitory pleasures 

h 2 



100 THE REASONS OF 

of sin, and would not recompense us for all that we can do or 
suffer for God. 

29. It is the silencing and laying hy our reason by inconsi- 
derateness, or the perverting and abusing of it by error, in the 
greatest matters, for which it was given us ; and so it is a vo- 
luntary drunkenness or madness, in the things of God and our 
felicity. 

30. It is a setting up our senses and appetite above our reason, 
and making ourselves in use, as beasts, by setting up the lower 
bestial faculties to rule. 

31. It is the deformity, monstrosity, disorder, sickness, and 
abuse of a noble creature, whom God made, in our measure, like 
himself, and so a contemptuous defacing of his image. y 

32. It is a robbing God of that glorv of his holiness, which 
should shine forth in our hearts and lives ; and of that compla- 
cency which he would take in our love, obedience, perfection, 
and felicity. 

33. It is the perverting and moral destruction, not only of our 
own faculties, (which were made for God,) but of all the world 
which is within our reach ; turning all that against God and our 
happiness, which was given us for them ; yea, it is worse than 
casting them all away, while we use them contrary to their na- 
ture, against their Owner and their End. 

34. It is thus a breach in the moral order and harmony of 
the world, and as much as in us lieth, the destroying of the 
world ; as the dislocation or rejection of some parts of a clock 
or watch is a disordering of the whole, and as a wound to the 
hand or foot is a wrong to the body ; and it is a wound to every 
society where it is committed, and an injury to every individual 
who is tempted or afflicted by it. 1 

35. It is a contradicting of our own professions, confessions, 
understandings, and promises to God. 

36. It is a preferring of an inch of hasty time before the 
durable life to come, and things that we know are of short 
continuance, before those of which we can see no end. 

y Minus malum est feritas et iminanitas quam vitiiun, etsi terribilior.— 
Arist. 7. Eth. c. 6'. 

2 Nil peccant oculi, si non animus oculis imperet. — Sen. Omne animi 
vitium tanto conspeciius in se Crimea habet, quantum major qui peccat babe- 
tur. — Juv. Omnino ex alio ^enere impoteutia est, ex alio vitium : vitium 
enim omne suae culpa? ignarum est, non i^iuira impoteutia. — Arisf.7 . Eth.c. 8. 
Vitia nostra voluntate necesse est suscipi. — lb. '1. Eth. c. 5. Q u8e crimini 
dautur vitia in nostra potestate sunt. — lb. '6. EtU c. 5. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 101 

37. It is the preferring of a corruptible flesh and its pleasure, 
before the soul, which is more noble and durable. 

38. It is an unmercifulness and inhuman cruelty to ourselves, 
not only defiling soul and body, but casting them on the dis- 
pleasure and punishing justice of their great and terrible Creator. 

39. It is the gratifying of the malicious tempter, the enemy 
of God, and of our souls ; the doing his will, and receiving his 
image instead of God's. 

40. And all this is done voluntarily, without constraint, by a 
rational, free agent, in the open light, and for a thing of nought. 
Besides what Christians onlv can discern, all this the light of 
nature doth reveal to be in the malignity of sin. 

Sect, 8. Sin being certainly no better a thing than is here 
described, it is most certain that it deserveth punishment. 

Sect. 9. And reason telleth us, that God being the Governor 
of the world, and perfect government being his perfect work and 
glory in that relation, it is not meet that in such a divine and 
perfect government so odious an evil be endured, and such con- 
tempt of God and all that is good be passed by, without such 
execution of his laws as is sufficient to demonstrate the justice of 
the Governor, and to vindicate his laws and authority from 
contempt. Nor that it be pardoned on any terms, but such as 
shall sufficiently attain the ends of perfect government.* 

The ends of punishment are, 1. To do justice, and fulfil the 
law, and truth of the lawgiver : 2. To vindicate the honour of 
the Governor from contempt and treason : 3. To prevent fur- 
ther evil from the same offender : 4. To be a terror to others, 
and to prevent the hurt that impunity would encourage them 
to : 5. And if it be but merely castigatory, it may be for the 
good of the sinner himself; but in purely vindictive punishment, 
it is the governor and society that are the end. 

1. It is true, that as the immediate sense of the precept, e.g. 
"Thou shalt do no murder," is not, de eventu, it shall not 
come to pass, but de debito, thy duty is to forbear it. So, 
also, the immediate sense of the penal part is not de eventu, 
e. g. if thou murder, thou shalt be put to death, but de debito, 
death shall be thy due, thou shalt be reus mortis : so that if 
it do non evenire, it is not presently a falsehood. Rut it is as 
true, that when the sovereign makes a law, he thereby declareth 
that this law is a rule of righteousness, that it is norma officii et 

3 Sceleris etiani poena tristis, et prater eos eventus qui sequuntur, per se 
maxima est, — Cic. 2. de Leg: 



102 THE REASONS OF 

jndicii ; that the subject must do according to it, and expect 
to be done by according to it ; that it is the instrument of 
government. Therefore, these two things are declared by it : 
1. That, ordinarily, judgment and execution shall pass according 
to it. 2. That it shall never be, extraordinarily, dispensed with 
by sovereignty, but upon terms which as well declare the jus- 
tice of the Governor, and discourage offenders from contempt, 
and are as fit to preserve the common good, and the honour of 
the sovereign. So that, thus far, a law doth assert also the 
event, which I put, to prevent objections, and to show that 
truth and justice require the ordinary execution of just and 
necessary laws. b 

2. And should they be ordinarily dispensed with, it would 
intimate that the ruler did he knew not what in making 
them ; that he repented of them as unjust, or oversaw himself 
in them, or foresaw not inconveniences, or was no't able to see 
them executed. It would, also, make him seem a deceiver, 
that affrighted subjects with that which he never intended 
to do ; which omnipotency, omniscience, and perfect goodness, 
cannot do, whatever impotent, ignorant, bad men may do. c 

3. And the offender must be disabled, when penitency showeth 
not the change of his heart, that he do so no more ; and, there- 
fore, death is ordinarily inflicted. 

4. And, especially, offences must be prevented, and the honour 
of the sovereign and safety of the people be preserved. If laws 
be not executed, they and the lawgiver will be despised, others 
will be let loose, and invited to do evil ; and no man's right will 
have any security by the law ; therefore, it is a principle in poli- 
tics, that poena debetur reipublices ; it is the commonwealth to 
which the punishment of offenders is due ; that is, it is a means 
which the. ruler oweth them for their security : and Cato was wont 
to say, " Se malle pro collato beneficio nullum reportare yra- 
tiam, quampro muleficio petpetrato non dare pamam." (Plutar. 
Apoth. Rom.) He had rather miss thanks for his kindnesses 

b "Ayei rb frelovrss KtxKys -nrphs rr/v Siktjv. 068 S'tiveiS®' t«s kukss ivZaifxoveiv . 
Kai £uv 6 <pav\os, Kal gravwv KoAa^erai. Menand. Nemo malus felix. — Juv. 

Malo benefacere tantundem est periculum, quantum bono nialefacere. — Plant. 
Pen. See also the advertisement before the ' Unreasonableness of Infidelity ;' 
and in the book itself, (P. I. pp. 53,) &c.aud ' More reasons,' &c. (pp. 93, 94,) and 
of this book (pp. 6'4, 232. and 253,254) . Noxec par poena esto, ut in suo vitio 
quisque plectatur.— Cic. 3. de Leg. 

c Injusti judieis est bene agentem non remunerare, et negligentem non cor- 
ripere. — Sen. de Benef. Turpe quid ausurus, te, sine teste, time. — Anson. 
Yeterem ferendo ihjuriam, invitas novam,— Cell, Noc. Attic, 1. 18. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 103 

and gifts, than punishment for his faults ; and was wont to 
say, that " Magistratus qui maleficos prohibere possent, et tamen 
iiupunitate donarent, lapidibus obruendos esse, ut Reipub. perni- 
ciosissimos." A hundred such sayings are in Cicero : ('Offic' 3 :) 
'• Quotusquisque reperietur qui impunitate propositi abstinere 
possit injuria. Impunitas peccandi maxima est illecebra;" (' De 
Natur. Deor/ 3 ;) " Nee domus, nee Respubl. stare potest, si in 
ea nee recte factis prcemia extent idla, nee supplicio peccatis ; " 
(' In Verrem 5 5 ;) " Est utilius unius improbi supplicia multo- 
rum improbitarent coercere, quam propter midtos improbos uni 
parcere; " (' Offic' 1 ;) " Non satis est eum qui lacesserit, in- 
juria sucb pmnitere ; ut ipse nequid tale postliac committat, et 
cceteri sint ad injuriam tardiores." This is the common sense 
of all that know what it is to govern. 

Object. But God is so good, that all his punishments tend at 
last to the sinner's good, and are merely castigatory. 

Answ. God is so wise, that he knoweth better than we what 
is good and fittest to be done ; and God is so good, that for the 
honour of his government, and holiness, and goodness, he ex- 
presseth his hatred of sin, to the final ruin of the sinners ; and 
he is so wise and good, that he will not spare the offender, when 
the penalty is necessary to the good of the innocent, to prevent 
their falls. The objection is a surmise not only groundless, but 
notoriously false. 

Sect. 10. He that would know how far punishment is neces- 
sary to the ends of government, must first know how far the 
penal law itself is necessary; for the first and chief benefit 
to the commonwealth is from the law, and the next from the 
execution. 

The first benefit is to constrain men to duty, and to restrain 
them from doing ill. d This is done immediately by the fear of 
punishment, with the expectation of the benefit ; this fear of 

d AIL laws were made for these two causes ; both that no man might be suf- 
fered to do that which is unjust, and that transgressions being punished, the 
rest might be made better. — Demos th. Or. 2. cont. Aristog. It is your part, 
who are judges, to preserve the laws, and to make them strong and valid ; for 
it is by the benefit of these that good men are better than the bad. — Id. ib. 
Or. 1. The government is useless which hath not nerves and force against 
the wicked and injurious, and in which pardon and the request of friends can 
do more than the laws. — Id. Or. de fals. Leg. Let no man be thought 
of so great authority, as to escape unpunished, if he break the laws. — Id. 3. 
Olynth. Puniendis peccatis tres esse causas existimatum est. 1. Cum ad- 
hibetur poena castigandi et emendandi gratia; ut is qui dtliquit attentior fiat 
correctiorque. 2. Quum dignitas ejus authoritasque in quern peccatur tuenda 
est, ne praetermissa animadversione contemptum ei pariat. 3. Propter exem- 
plum ut caeteri metu pcenae terreantur. — Cell. 1. 6. 



104 THE REASONS OF 

punishment is to be caused by the rational expectation of it, if 
they do offend ; this expectation is to be caused by the commi- 
nation of the law. When the law saith, s He that sinneth shall 
suffer,' the subject avoideth sin for fear of suffering; therefore, 
the subject must believe that the lawgiver meaneth as he speak- 
eth, even to govern and judge in justice according to that law : 
and he that can but make the subject believe, that the governor 
doth but affright men with a lie, and meaneth not to execute 
his penalties, shall easily make his laws of none effect, and turn 
loose offenders to presumptuous disobedience ; therefore, the 
fore-belief of execution is necessary to the efficacy of the law, 
which, else, is but a mawkin to affright away birds, and fit to 
work on none but fools : and if it be so necessary a duty to the 
subject, to believe that the law shall be the norma judicii, and 
shall be executed, then in our present case it is certainly true ; 
for God cannot lie, nor make it the duty of the world to believe 
a lie, nor need so vile a means to keep the world in order : so 
that it is most evident, that if the law be necessary, the execu- 
tion of it is ordinarily necessary ; and either the execution, or 
some means as effectual to the ends of government, is ever ne- 
cessary. 

Sect. 1 1 . Therefore, he that would know what degree of pu- 
nishment it is meet and just for God to execute, must first know 
what degree it is meet for him to threaten, or make due by law ; 
or rather how much he hath made due : because, what God 
should do, is best known by what he actually doeth. 

If a temporal, short, or small measure of penalty be sufficient 
to be threatened in the law, for the present attaining of the 
ends of government, then such a punishment is sufficient in the 
execution: but if the threatening of an endless punishment in 
another world be little enough, in suo genere, to prevail now 
with subjects for order and obedience, then the execution will 
be, therefore, necessary by consequence. 

Sect. 12. It followeth not, therefore, that punishment or 
rewards must cease, if the ends be passed in natural existence ; 
because moral means may in time be after their end, to which 
they were appointed to operate in esse cogniio ; and that pe- 
nalty which is perpetuated, may be a means to the ends already 
attained ; that is, the threatenings, and the expectation of 
them ; and then the honour of the ruler's veracity and justice 
bindeth him to the execution. e 

c In judicando vel corrigendo hsec est lex ut aut eum quern punit emendet, 
aut poena ejus caeteros meliores reddat; aut sublatis malis securiores creteri 
vivant. — Sen. de Clem. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 105 

Sect. 13. Whatever reward or punishment is annexed to sin 
by the law, is offered with the duty and sin to the subject's 
choosing or refusing ; and no man is in danger of any punish- 
ment, but he that chooseth it in itself, or in its annexed cause. 
And he that will have it, or will have that which he is told by 
God is annexed to it, (especially if it be deliberately and obsti- 
nately to the last,) hath none to blame of cruelty towards him, 
but himself, nor anything to complain of but his wilful choice. 

Object. But it were easy with God to confirm man's will so, 
that the threatening of a temporal punishment might have ruled 
him. 

Answ. It is easy with God to make every man an angel, and 
every beast or worm a man : but if his wisdom think meet, 
below men to make such inferior things as beasts ; and below 
angels, or confirmed souls, to make so low a rank of creatures 
as men, that have reason, and undetermined and unconfirmed 
free wills ; what are we, that we should expostulate with him 
for making them no better, nor ruling them in our way ? 

Sect. 14. Sin doth unquestionably deserve a natural death, 
and annihilation. 

This all men grant, that believe God is our Governor, and that 
there is any such thing as his laws, and man's sins. If treason 
against a king deserve death, much more rebellion and sin against 
God. Life and being is God's free gift. If he take it away from 
the innocent, he taketh but his own ; therefore, there can be no 
doubt but he may take it away from the guilty, who abuse it. f 

Sect. 15. If such a penalty were inflicted, God is not bound 
to restore that sinner to being again whom he hath annihilated, 
(if it be not a contradiction.) And then this penal privation 
would be everlasting; therefore, an endless privation of being 
and all mercies is the sinner's due. 

All this I know of no man that doth deny. 

Sect. 16. God is not bound thus to annihilate the sinner, but 
may continue all his natural being, and leave him under the 
deserved privation of well being, depriving him of all other 
mercies. 

This is undeniable; that it is in God's choice whether he 
will take away his being itself, or only all the mercies which are 

f Animas vero ex hac vita, cum delictorum sordibus recedentes, aequandas 
his qui in abr upturn ex alto praecipitique delapsi sunt, unde nunquam sit 
facultas resurgendi. Ideo uteudum est concessis vita spatiis, ut sit perfectse 
purgation s major facultas. — Macrob. de Somu. Scip. I, 1. c. 13. 



10(5 THE REASONS OF 

necessary to his well-being : for he that had nothing before but 
by free-gift, may be deprived of any thing which was none of 
his own, if he forfeit it by abuse. Nay, we live upon such con- 
tinued emanation from God, as the beams from the sun, that it 
is but God's stopping of his streams of bounty, and we perish, 
without any other taking away of mercies from us. 

Sect. 17- Nature teacheth men to choose a great deal of to- 
lerable pain and misery, rather than not be at all ; even so 
much as will not utterly weigh down the love of life, and of 
vital operations. 5 

I say not, as some, that the greatest torment or misery is more 
eligible, or less odious, than annihilation ; but it is certain, that 
a great deal is. We see abundance, however the Roman and 
Greek philosophers scorned it as baseness, who are blind, or 
lame, or in grievous pains of the gout and stone, and many that 
are in miserable poverty, begging their bread, or toiling from 
morning to night like horses, and yet seldom taste a pleasant 
bit, but join distracting cares with labours; and yet they are 
all unwilling to die. Custom hath made their misery tolerable, 
and they had rather continue so for ever than be annihilated. 
If, then, God may annihilate even the innocent, (supposing he 
had not promised the contrary,) then may he lay all that pain, 
and care, and labour on them, which they would themselves 
prefer before annihilation. For it is no wrong to one that hath 
his reason and liberty, to give him his own choice. 

Sect. 18. It is just with God to lay more misery on a sinner, 
than on one that never deserved ill ; and to lay more on him for 
his sin, than he would choose himself, before annihilation. 

Whether God may, without injustice, inflict more misery on 

e Sua quemque fraus, et suus error maxime vexat, suum quemque scelus 
agitat, amentiaque affieit, suae nialae cogitatioues conscientiaeque auimi ter- 
rent. Ha? sunt impiis assiduze domesticsque furiae, qua? dies noctesque pcenas 
a sceleratissimis repetunt. — Cicer. pro Rose. Improbitas nunquam sinit 
eum respirare, nunquam quiescere. — Cicero de Fin. Impii pcenas luunt, 
non tam judiciis, quaiu augore conscientiae, fraudisque cruciatu. — Id. 2, de 
Leg. Animi conscientia nuprobi semper cruciantur, turn etiam poena? ti- 
more. — Id. 2, de Fin. Impiis apud inferos sunt pcenae praeparatae. — Id. 1, 
de Leg. 

Hie geminae aeternuro porta;, quarum altera dura 

Semper lege patens, populos regesque receptat. — Val. Flac. 1. 
Claud. 2. Ruf. de inferis ita loquitur. 

Hue post emeritam mortalia secula vitam 

Deveniunt, ubi nulla manent discrimina fati 

Nullus honor, vanoque exutum nomine Regem 

Perturbatjplebeius egens 



THE CHRISTIAN KKLIGION. 107 

the innocent, than he would himself prefer before annihilation, 
some make a question, and deny it. For my part, I see no 
great difficulty in the question. 

But it is nothing to that which I am proving. It is not God's 
usage of the innocent, but of the guilty, which we are speaking 
of; and that he may make them more miserable who deserve 
it, than his bounty made them before any guilt, or than a just 
man would choose to be, rather than be annihilated, I see no 
reason at all to doubt. Penalty is involuntary ; and no man 
ever said that it was unjust to lay more upon a malefactor than 
he himself was willing of, and would choose before a condition, 
which without his fault he might have been put into. h 

So, then, we have already proved, 1. That God may punish a 
man everlastingly ; 2. And with a greater penalty than anni- 
hilation. 

Sect. 19. God may leave a sinner his being, and, in particu- 
lar, deprive him of his favour, and all the joys and blessedness 
which he refused by his sinning. 

Sect. 20. And he may justly withal deny him those corporeal 
mercies, meat, drink, honour, pleasure, health, ease, &c, which 
he over-valued and abused, and preferred before God and greater 
blessings. 

All this I think no man doth deny, that acknowledged! a God. 

Sect. 21. He that is continued in his natural being, and is 
deprived of God's favour, and of his future happiness for ever, 
and understandeth what it is that he hath lost, and is also de- 
prived of all those natural benefits which he desired, must needs 
be under continual pain of sense, as well as of loss ; for all this 
want must needs be felt. 

Sect. 22. He that in all this misery of loss and sense doth 
remember how it was that he came to it, and how base a thing 
he preferred before his God, and his felicity, and for how vile a 
price he sold his hopes of the life to come, and how odiously he 
abused God by sin, (as it is before described,) cannot choose but 
have a continual torment of conscience, and heart-gnawing re- 
pentance in himself. 1 

h Facinorum mala flagellantur a. conscientia cui plurimum tormentorum est, 
eo quod perpetuaillam sollicitudo urget ac verberat. — Sen, Ep. 97. Consci- 
entia aliud agere uon patitur, ac subinde respicere ad se cogit. Dat pcenas 
qui metuit. — Se?i. Ep. 105. 

' Faciuorosa conscientia instar ulceris in corpore, pceuitentiam relinquit in 
anima lancinantem jugiter ac pervellentem. — Plut. de Tranquil. Maxima 
est facta? injuria? poena fecisse : nee quisquam gravius afficitur, qua.ni qui ad 
supplicium poenitentiae trahitur.— Sen. de Ira, 1. 3. c. 2°. It is one of Pytha- 



108 THE REASONS OF 

Sect. 23. He that is in utter despair of ever coming out of 
this condition, will thereby have his torment yet more increased. 

All these are natural, undeniable consequents. 

Sect. 24. A body united to so miserable a self-tormenting, 
forsaken soul, cannot have any peace and quietness, seeing it is 
the soul by which the body liveth, and hath its chief peace 
or pains. 

Sect. 25. Thus sin doth both as a natural and as a moral 
meritorious cause, bring on dissatisfaction, grief, vexation, de- 
sertion by God, and privation of felicity and peace. 

Sect. 26. For as long as a sinner is impenitent and unsancti- 
fied, that is, loveth not God as God, nor is recovered from his 
carnal mind and sin, it is both morally and naturally impossible 
that he should be blessed, or enjoy God. 

For, as it is only God that can, efficiently, make happy, be- 
cause nothing worketh but by him ; and so sin meritoriously 
undoeth the sinner, by making him unfit for favour, and making 
him an object of displacence and justice ; so it is only God that 
finally can make happy, all things being but means to him, and 
unfit of themselves to give rest to the inquisitive, seeking mind : k 
and God is enjoyed only by love, and the sense of his love and 
goodness ; therefore, the soul that loveth not God, and is not 
suited to the delightful fruition of him, can no more enjoy him 
than a blind man can enjoy the light, or an ox feast with a 
man. 

Sect. 27. He that is under this punishment and despair, will 
be yet further removed from the love of God, and so from all 
capacity of happiness ; for he cannot love a God who, he 
knoweth, will for ever, by penal justice, make him miserable. 

He that would not love a God who aboundeth in mercy to 
him in the day of mercy, will never love him, when he seeth 
that he is his enemy, and hath shut him for ever out of mercy, 
and out of hope. 

Sect. 28. God is not bound to sanctify the mind and will of 

goras's sayings, that a bad man suffereth more by the scourge of his own con- 
science, than one that is beaten with rods, and chastised on his body. — Stob. 
Serm. 24. 

Cjuod quisque fecit, patitur : authorem scelus 

Repetit, suoque praemitur exemplo nocens. — Sen. Her. fur. 

Scd nemo ad id sero venit, unde nunquarn 

Cum semel venit potuit reverti. — Id. Ibid. 
v Nihil est miserius quam animus hominis conscius, &c. — Plant, Jam 
aderit tempus, cum se etiam ipse oderit. — Plant. Jiac. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 109 

such a self-detroying sinner, who hath turned away himself from 
God and happiness. 1 

And without a renewed mind, it is morally and naturally im- 
possible that he should be happy. He that would not use the 
mercy that would have saved him in the day of mercy, cannot 
require another life of mercy and trial, when this is lost and 
cast away ; nor can require the further helps of grace. 

Sect. 29. If sin as sin have all the malignity and demerit 
before proved ; much more the aggravated sins of many, and, 
most of all, a life of wickedness, which is spent in enmity against 
God and godliness ; and in a course of sensuality and rebellion 
with the obstinate, impenitent ; rejecting of all the counsel, calls, 
and mercies, which would reclaim the sinner ; and this to the 
last breath." 1 , 

It hath before been manifested, that all wilful sin hath this 
malignity in it; that, in effect, it denieth that there is a God, 
or pulleth him down as much as in the sinner lieth, and it set- 
teth up the devil in his stead, and calleth him God, or maketh 
God to be such a one as the devil is ; and, also, maketh an 
idol of the sinner himself : for it denieth God's power, wisdom, 
goodness, propriety, sovereignty, and love ; his truth, and holi- 
ness, and justice ; and maketh him, on the contrary, impotent, 
unwise, bad, envious, unholy, false, unjust, and one that hath 
no authority to rule us ; with much more the like. 

But a life of enmity, rebellion, and final impenitency, which 
is the case of all that perish, much more deserveth whatever 
human nature can undergo. 

Sect. 30. He that consenteth not to God's government is a 
rebel, and deserveth accordingly; and he that consenteth to it, 
consenteth to his laws, and, consequently, to the penalty 
threatened ; and therefore if he break them he suffereth by his 
own consent, and therefore cannot complain of wrong. 

All that understand God's government and laws, and consent 
to them, are not only under the obligation of governing power, 
but also of their own consent; and it is justly supposed, that 

1 Nam quis 

Peccandi iinem posuit sibi, quando recepit. 
Erectum seniel attrita de fronte ruborem ? 
m Quisnam hominum est quem tu conteutum videris uno 
Flagitio ? — Juven. 3. 
In omni injuria permultum interest, utruiri perfcurbatione aliqua animiquse ple- 
rumque brevis est, an consulte fiat : leviora enim sunt ea, qua; repentiuo aliquo 
motu acciduut,quanieaqureprremeditataetpri£paratai[iferuiitur. — Cic.'d.Ojfic. 



1 10 THE REASONS OF 

they consented on good and rational grounds, not knowing where 
they could be better ; on hopes of the benefits of the government 
and the reward, they necessarily consented to the penalties. 

Sect. 31. He that never consenteth to the law, and yet is 
under the obligation of it, hath life and death, the blessing and 
the curse, felicity and misery, set before him in the law : felicity 
is annexed to obedience, and misery to disobedience ; and the 
lawgiver telleth us, that accordingly he will judge and execute; 
and he offereth every man his choice. He, therefore, that after 
this doth choose the sin to which misery is annexed, doth choose 
the misery, and refuse the happiness ; and, therefore, it is no 
wrong to cast him into misery, though everlasting ; as long as 
he hath nothing but what he chose, and loseth nothing but 
what he rejected, and that with wilful obstinacy to the very last." 
A sinner, in this case, hath nothing but blasphemy to say 
against the justice of his Maker: for what can he say? He 
cannot say that his Maker had not authority to make this law, 
for his authority was absolute. He cannot say that it was too 
cruel, hard, and unjust a law; for it was made but to deter him, 
and such as he, from such sin, to which he had no greater 
temptations than the toyish vanities of a fleshly life. And he 
himself hath declared by the event, that the law was not terrible 
enough to deter him. If it would not serve against so small 
and poor a bait, he himself doth justify the terribleness of it bv 
his contempt. God saith, ' I threaten hell to thee, to keep 
thee from sin ;' the sinner saith, by his life and practice, ( The 
threatening of hell is not enough to keep me from sin.' And 
shall the same man say, when execution cometh, it is too great r 
No sinner shall surfer any thing but what he chose himself, in 
the causes of it. If he sav, ' I did not believe that God was in 
good earnest, and would do as he said;' this is but to blaspheme, 
and say, ' I took God for a liar, and deceiver, and a bad, and 
unwise, and impotent Governor.' If he say, ' I did not know 
that sin, even final impenitency in an ungodly life, deserved so 
ill,' common reason, and all the world, will rise up against 
him; and the light of nature will show him to his face, that all the 
forty points of malignity were in sin, which I mentioned before; 
and therefore that the law of nature had asufficient promulgation. 

n Volenti non fit injuria. Neque enim civitas in seditione beata esse potest, 
nee in discordia dominorum domus : quo minus animus a seipso dissidens, 
secumque discordans, gustare partem ullam Iiliquidffi voluntatis, et berae po- 
test. — Torquatus Epicur. in Cic. de Fin. 1. 1. p. 8(i. 

It is an odd fiction of Cicero's, that men for sin shall be turned into women- 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. Ill 

Having thus showed what punishment God may inflict with- 
out the least imputation of injustice, let us next inquire of 
reason what he will inflict. 

Sect. 32. When it is at God's choice whether he will anni- 
hilate a sinner, or let him live in misery, reason telleth us, that 
the latter is more suitable to the ends of government ; because 
the living offender will not only be still a spectacle in the eyes 
of others, as a man hanged up in chains, but will also confess 
his folly and sin, and his conscience will justify his judge, and 
so God's justice will be more glorious and useful to its ends. 

That which is not, is not seen nor heard ; the annihilated 
are out of sight ; and the mind of man is apt to think of a 
state of annihilation, as that which is a state of rest, or ease, 
and feeleth no harm, and so is not terrible enough, as shall be 
further said anon. The living sufferer, therefore, is rationally 
the fittest monument of God's justice. 

Sect. 33. It must reasonably be expected, that a soul, which 
is made apt to perpetual duration, should perpetually endure; 
and that the soul enduring, the misery also should endure, 
seeing it was due by the law of nature, as is proved. 

Perpetual duration is necessary to no creature, their beings 
being but contingent, and dependent on the will of God ; but 
perpetual duration of a dependent being is certain, when the 
first being doth declare his will that it shall be so : and the 
natural way by which God declareth his will concerning the 
vise of any thing, is by the nature and usefulness of it, because 
he maketh all things wiselv, and nothing in vain. Therefore, 
when he maketh the nature of an angel, or spiritual being, apt 
to perpetual duration, as being not mixed of separable principles, 
nor corruptible, he thereby declareth his will for its duration, 
because he gave it not that durable nature in vain. 

Two arguments, therefore, I now offer, to prove that man's 
soul is of perpetual duration : 1 . Because it is such in its 
operations, and, therefore, in its essence, as the superior spirits 
are, which are so durable : for they are but intelligences and 

Atque ille qui recte €t honeste curriculum vivendi a natura datum confecerit, 
ad illud astrum, quocum aptus fuerit revertetur: qui autem immoderate et in- 
temperanter vixerit, eum secundus ortus in tiguram muliebrem transferer, et 
si ne turn quiderh finem vitiorum f'aciet,(as he is less likely,") gravius etiam jac- 
tabitur, etinsuis moribus simillimas fi«uras pecudum etferarum transferetur. 
Neque malorum terminum prius aspiciet, quam illam sequi ca*perit conver- 
sionem, quam habebat in se, &c. — eum ad prhnam et optimam conversioueni 
pervenerit.— Cic.de Universit. p. (mihi) 358. 



112 THE REASONS OF 

free-agents ; fitted to love God, and delight in him, and praise 
him ; and so is man. 2. Because, as is fully proved before, it 
is made to be happy in another life : and that proveth that it 
dieth not with the body : and that proveth that its nature is 
incorruptible : and that proveth that it shall be perpetual, 
unless any sin should forfeit its being, by way of penal depriva- 
tion ; and that is improbable, both because God hath fitter ways 
of punishment, and intimateth in its corruptible nature, that 
this is not his intent, and because the state of future reward is 
like to be a confirmed state. 

Sect. 34. Experience telleth the world, that so great is the 
folly and obduracy of man, and the force of present, sensual 
allurements, that nothing less than a perpetual misery, worse 
than annihilation, is rationally sufficient to be the penalty of 
that law, which is the instrument of governing the world ; and 
therefore it is certain, that so much is in the law, and so much 
shall be executed. 

Those thieves and murderers that have confirmed their infi- 
delity, and overcome all the expectations of another world, will 
as boldly venture their lives to rob and kill, as if they were of 
little worth ; yea, when they know that they must die, how des- 
perately they go to the gallows, and how little they make of their 
lives. It is true, as was aforesaid, that nature abhorreth death ; 
but we see among soldiers, that he that at first is timorous, when 
he hath been used awhile to kill men, or to see them killed by 
thousands, groweth senseless, almost regardless of his life, and 
will make, as it were, a jest of death ; and when it is so ordi- 
nary a thing with men to kill birds, and fishes, and beasts, for 
their daily food and pleasure, why should they not easily bear 
their own, if they look for nothing after death ? A beast 
loveth his life as well as we, and our death is no more painful 
than theirs, and we should have as much courage as a beast; 
especially, men that live a poor and miserable life on earth, 
would little fear that death which endeth it ; and so human 
government itself would be in vain. He that would have an in- 
strument to revenge him on his enemy, to kill his governor, or 
do any villany in the world, if it were not for fear of another 
world, might find enough among poor villains, that, by misery 
or melancholy, are weary of their lives : at least, as long as 
they run but a hazard, like a soldier in fight, and may possibly 
escape by craft, or flight, or friends, or strength, what wicked- 
ness will they not commit ? What prince so just that hath not 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 113 

some rebellious subjects, or some enemy that seeks bis life ; 
what man so good that is not envied by some ? Who hath 
money or an estate, which one or other doth not desire ; and 
if there were nothing but death and annihilation to restrain men, 
what prince, what person, had any security of his life or estate ? 
If a rogue once grow hut sensual and idle, he will deliberately 
resolve, ' I will venture my life to live in pleasure, rather than 
live in certain toil and misery ; a life short and sweet is bet- 
ter than a longer which is miserable, and must end at last.' 
We see, if once men be persuaded that they shall die like beasts, 
that they are not much troubled at it, hecause they think that 
when they have no being, they shall have no fear, nor care, nor 
grief, nor trouble, nor pain, nor want ; and though right im- 
proved reason, which hath higher expectations, makes a greater 
matter of the loss of them, yet sensual men so brutify themselves, 
that they grow contented with the felicity of a brute, and are 
not much troubled that they have no more. Annihilation, there- 
fore, certainly is a penalty utterly insufficient even to keep any 
common order in the world, as 1 proved before ; and therefore 
it is certain, that the penalty inflicted hereafter will be greater 
than annihilation ; and if so, it must contain, with the being of 
the creature, a suffering worse than the loss of being. p 
K Sect. 35. The belief of a hell, or endless punishment, being 
that which, de facto, the restraint of the obedient part of the 
world, and that which proveth too weak with the disobedient 
part ; it thence followeth, that a hell or endless punishment 
will be inflicted. 11 

The reasons I have given before, 1. Because that experience 
showeth that the threatening of hell is necessary in the law ; 

p Magna est peccandi illecebra spes impunitatis. — Cic. pro. Mil. The 
light of nature taught men, that God would not accept the sacrifices of the 
wicked, much less admit them to his glory. Donis impii ne placare Deos 
audeant, Platonem audiant, qui vetat dubitare qua sit mente futurus Deus, 
cum vir nemo bonus ab improbo se donari velit. Cic. de Leg. 1. 2. p. 244. 
The Epicurean confesseth, Quod si qui satis opibus hominum sibi contra con- 
scientiam septi esse et muniti videntur, Deorum tamen numen horrent, 
easque ipsas solicitudines.quibus aniini noctes diesque exeduntur, a. Diis sup- 
plicii causa importare putaut. — Cic. de LegA. 1. p. 84. Nullum conscium 
peccatorum tuorum, mugis timueris quam temetipsum : alium enim potes 
effugere, te autem nunquam. Nequitia ipsa est sui poena. — Sen. 

i Peccati dolor et maximus et seteruus est. — Cic. Att. 11. Itaque non ob 
ea solum incommoda qure eveniunt improbis, fugiendam improbibatem puta- 
mus ; sed multo etiam magis, quod cujus in animo versatur, nunquam sinit 
eum respirare, nunquam quiescere ; inquit Torquatus Epicureus in Cic. de 
Fin. I. l.p. 85. 

VOL. XXI. I 



114 THE REASONS OF 

therefore itself is necessary in the execution. 2. Because God 
doth not govern the world by deceit. 

Sect. 36. God will inflict more punishment for the final re- 
jection of his government, than kings do for treason and rebellion 
against themselves. 

There is no proportion between God and man, and between 
a fault against God and against man ; therefore, if racks, tor- 
ments, and death be justly inflicted for treason against a king, 
much more may be expected for rebellion against God. 

Object. But men's sins do God no hurt, as they do the king. 

Answ. They do wrong, where they do no hurt. It is not for 
want of malignity in sin, but through the perfections of God, 
that they do not hurt him ; but they displease him, and injure 
him ; and they hurt the world and the sinner himself, who is 
not his own. A child is to be corrected for many faults, which 
do his father no harm. It is not hurting God that is the cause 
that sin is punished. 

Object. But God is merciful as well as just. 

Answ. True ; and therefore he showed mercy to sinners in 
the day of mercy ; and it is for the contempt and abuse of 
mercy that he eondemneth^them : if the mercy abused had been 
less, the sin and punishment had been less. A merciful king 
and judge will hang a murderer or traitor : mercy to the good 
requireth punishment to the bad. God's attributes are not con- 
trary ; he is merciful to the due objects of mercy, and hath penal 
justice for the objects of that justice. 

Object. But after this life the ends of punishment cease, 
therefore, so will the punishment ; for there will be none in the 
next world to be warned by it, nor any further sin to be re- 
strained, unless it be a castigatory purgatory for the sinner 
himself. 

Answ. 1. I have proved that the law was necessary to the 
government of this world ; and if it was necessary that God say, 
' Everlasting death shall be the wages of sin,' then his truth 
and justice make the execution necessary afterwards/ 

2. When this life is ended, we look for a new heaven and a 
new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness : and the penalties of 
the sinners of this world may be a means of that righteousness 

r Ut fulmina paucorum periculo caduut, omnium metu ; sic animadversiones 
magnarum potestatum, terrent latius quam nocent. — Sen. Solon's counsel 
for the felicity of the Commonwealth was, Ut boni prasmiis invitentur, et mali 
pcenis coerceantur. — Cic, ad Brut. Oderuut peccare mali formidine poena. 
—Hot. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 115 

of the next ; as the punishment of the devils is a warning to us, 
and proposed to us for our terror and restraint. 

3. How little know we whether thousands of the orbs which 
we see are not inhabited ; and whether the penalties of earthly 
sinners may not be a warning to any of those superior worlds. 
God hath not acquainted us with all the uses that he can make 
of sinners' punishments : and, therefore, when nature telleth 
us what is due, it is folly to say it will not be, because God hath 
no use for it. 

Object. But hell is a cruelty which expresseth tyranny rathe r 
than wise justice. 

Answ. That is but the voice of folly, partiality, and guilt : 
every thief that is hanged is likely enough to think the same of 
his own punishment and judge. If you think it such a cruelty, 
why was not the threatening of it enough to govern you, and to 
counterpoise a feather, the trifles of sordid, fleshly pleasure ? 
Why did you choose it, in the choice of sin ? Were you not told 
of it, and was not life and death offered to your choice ? Would 
you choose that which you think it is cruelty to inflict? Who 
is it that is cruel to you but yourselves ? Why will you now be 
so cruel to your own souls, and then call God cruel for giving 
you your choice ? O, sinners, as you are wise, as you are men, 
as ever you care what becometh of you for ever, have mercy 
upon yourselves, and do not refuse, and obstinately refuse, the 
mercy of God, and then call him unmerciful. Have pity on 
your own souls. Be not so cruel against yourselves as to run 
into endless misery for nothing, and then think to lay the blame 
on God. God calleth now to you in your sin and wilfulness, 
and entreateth you to have mercy on yourselves, and then he 
will have mercy on you in the day of your distress : but if you 
will not hear him, but will have none of his mercy now, wonder 
not if in vain you cry to him for it then. 

Object. But I would not so use an enemy of my own. 

Answ. 1. He doth not deserve it, for you are not gods. 
2. You are not governors of the world, and so his fault respecteth 
not any such law and judgment of yours, by which the world 
must be governed. 3. Nor have you the wisdom and justice 
of God, to do that which is right to all. Yet are you not bound 
yourselves to take complacency in the evil of your enemy, but to 
use just means to bring him to a better mind and state. 

Sect. 37. The sum of all here proved is, that all sin deserveth 
endless misery, and naturally induceth to it; and that all un- 

i 2 



116 THE REASONS OF 

godly, impenitent souls shall certainly undergo it ; and that none 
can be saved from this misery, but by turning to God, and being 
saved from their sins. s 



CHAP. XVI. 
Of the present Sinful and Miserable State of this World. 

Sect. 1. Though all men may know all this beforesaid to be 
their duty, and sin to be so evil, and to deserve such punish- 
ment, yet none do live perfectly without sin, according to the 
law of nature. 1 

I have heard but of few that pretend to such perfection, and 
those few have confuted their own pretences, and been the fur- 
thest from it of many others : and, therefore, this I have no need 
to prove. 

Sect. 2. The greatest part of the world do bend their minds 
and lives to the satisfying of their flesh, and live in ungodliness, 
intemperance, and unrighteousness, neglecting God and future 
happiness, and that holy life which is the way thereto. 

This being a matter of public or common fact, doth need no 
other proof than acquaintance with the people of the world. 

Sect. 3. Yea, there is an aversion and enmity in them, to 
the life which God in nature doth prescribe them, and a strong 
inclination to a fleshly life. 

There needeth no other proof of this than the wonderful dif- 
ficulty which we find in persuading men to change their lives, 
to live to God, and to forsake their sensuality and worldliness ; 
and the abundance of reason and labour that is lost upon them, 
when we cannot so much as make them willing. 

s Dat ille veniam facile, cui venia est opus. — Sen. Agam. Audetis ridere 
nos, cum Gehennas dicimus et inextinguibiles ignes, in quos animas ilejici ab 
eorum hosiibus cognovimus? Quid PJato vester in volumine de animse im- 
mortalitate ? Nonne Acheroutem, nonne Stygem, &c, nominat ? In quibus 
animas asseverat volvi, mergi, exuri ? Nee ejus auihoritas plurimum a veri- 
tate declinat ? Quamvis enim vir lenis et beuevolae voluntatis iuhumanum 
esse crediderit capitali animas sententia condemnare ; noti est tamen absoue 
suspicatus, jaci eas in flumina torrentia fiammaruiu globis, et caniosis vora- 
ginibus tetra. — A mob. adv. Gent. 1. 2, p. 14. 

'Bias (in Laert.) inquit, lta amandum quasi odio simus habituri : Plurimos 
enim esse malos : and though Cicero (in La?l.) says, That it is a sentence, 
Sapiente plane indigua, it is his mistake of the sense of it; for it is true, that 
in well-grounded friendship we must avoid suspicion, which is all that Cicero 
pleads fur : but yet we must know men to be men, and mutable ; and all just 
love is not well-grounded, intimate friendship. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 117 

Sect. 4. It is evident in the effect, that much of this cometh 
with us into the world. 

1. How else should it be so universal as it is ? How should 
it be found in all sorts of constitutions and complexions ; and 
in every country and age till now ? 2. How should it work so 
early in children as commonly it doth ? 3. How cometh it to 
prevail against the best education, helps, and means ? Certainly, 
all of us feel from our childhood too much of the truth of this. 

Sect. 5. This natural pravity is quickly increased by the 
advantage of sensuality, which is active before reason cometh to 
any power of resistance, and so getteth stronger possession by 
custom, and groweth to a confirmed habit. 11 

Sect. 6. And if vicious education by vicious parents be added, 
and bad company second that, and the vulgar course, or ruler's 
countenance concur, the corrupt inclination is quickly more 
radicated, and next to a nature. 

Sect. 7. Many so far prevail against the light and law of 
nature, as to grow strange to God and to themselves, to their 
end and their work : even to doubt whether there be a God, or 
whether they have any other life to live, and whether holiness 
be good and necessary, and sin be bad, and deserve any 
punishment. 2 

Sect. S. There is a great deal of sottish unteachableness on 
the minds and wills of men, which hindereth their conviction 
and reformation.*" 

Sect. 9. There is a great deal of senseless stupidity and hard- 
heartedness on men, which maketh them sleepily neglect the 
greatest things which they are convinced of. 

Sect. 10. There is in most a marvellous inconsiderateness, as 
if they had not their reason awake to use ; so that they will not 
soberly and seriously think of the things which most deeply 
concern them. 

Sect. 1 1 . Most men are so taken up with the concernments 
of their bodies, that their minds are pre-occupied, and made 
unfit for higher things. 1 

u In uno annulo omnes'boui principes possunt insculpi, inquit quidam in 
I'opisc. Aurel. 

* Seneca saith, that a good man is a phoenix, born once in five hundred 
years. Ep. 42. 

y Luciau (in Tim.) inq.Boni possessioest, quaehaud facile inveniri potest; 
ut quae jamdudum e vita concesserit : Adeo obscura et pusilla, ut illam vel 
Lynceus vix dum inveniat. 

7 Diogenes crying, O homines adeste ! when a crowd came about him, 
drove them away, saying, Homines voeavi, non sterquilinia. 



118 



THE REASONS OF 



All this is proved, if we walk but in the world with open eyes. 

Sect. 12. The love of the world and fleshly pleasure is so 

powerful in the most, that they love not the holy law of God, 

which forbiddeth them that sensuality, and commandeth them a 

holy and temperate life. a 

They are like children that cry for what they love, and will 
not be restrained by telling them that it is unwholesome. Reason 
signifieth nothing with them, as long as sense and appetite 
gainsay it. They are angry with all that crosseth their appetites, 
though it be to save their lives. The sense is become the pre- 
dominant power in them, and reason is dethroned, and hath left 
its power. Therefore, God's law is unacceptable and hateful 
to these brutish people ; because it is quite against their incli- 
nation, and that which the flesh doth call their interest and 
good. 

Sect. 13. Therefore they love not those who press them to 
the obedience of this law, which is so ungrateful to them ; and 
who condemn their sin by the holiness of their lives ; and that 
awaken their guilty consciences, by the serious mention of the 
retributions of the life to come. 

All this is bitter to the taste, and the reasonableness, neces- 
sity, and future benefits, are things that they are much insen~ 
sible of. 

Sect. 14. Therefore, they love not God himself; as he is holy, 
. and governeth them by a holy law, which is so much against 
their inclinations ; as he forbiddeth them all their sinful plea- 
sure, and threatened! damnation to them if they rebel, espe- 
cially as his justice will execute this ; indeed, their aversation 
from God, in these respects, is no less than a hating him as God. 

Sect. 15. These vices, working continually in men's hearts, 
do fill them with deceiving thoughts, and distracting passions, 
and unquietness, and engage them in self-troubling ways, and 
deprive them of the comforts of the love of God, and of a holy 
life, and of the well-grounded hope of future blessedness. 

Though they have such a present pleasure as prevaileth with 
them, it bringeth speedy smart and trouble : just like the 
pleasure of scratching to a man that hath the itch, which is 

a Aristippus being asked, Quid esset admirandum in vita? answered, Vir 
probus et moderatus ? quoniam etsi inter multos improbos agat, non tamen 
pervertitur. — Stob. Hence, was Diogenes' searching Athens with a lan- 
tern, to find a man. And when Themistocles had a farm to sell, he bid 
the cryer tell it, as its great commendation, That there was an honest neigh- 
bour dwelt near it : intimating the paucity of such. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 119 

quickly recompensed with a smart if he go too deep : or, like 
the pleasure of drinking cold water to a man in a fever, or a 
dropsy, which increaseth the disease. Sin is their sickness, 
and corrupteth their appetites, and though it have its proper 
pleasure, it depriveth them of the pleasures and benefits of 
health. b 

Sect. 16. These vices, also, so deprave men's minds, making 
every wicked man to be principally for himself and for his lusts, 
that they are commonly distracted with envy, malice, conten- 
tion, persecutions, the fruits of pride, and covetousness, and 
sensuality ; and these diseases are still troubling them, till they 
work their ruin where they do prevail. 

Sect. 17. The same vices set kingdoms and other common- 
wealths together in bloody wars, and cause men to study to 
destroy one another, and glory in the success ; and fill the 
world with rapine and violence by sea and land, and make it 
seem as necessary to their own preservation, to kill one another, 
as their enemies, as to kill toads and serpents, wolves and 
tigers, and much more ; and, with much more care, and cost, 
and industry is it 'lone. 

Sect. 18. If any wise and charitable persons would heal 
these vices, and reconcile these contentions, and persuade per- 
sons and nations to a holy, sober, peaceable course, they are 
commonly hated and persecuted ; they seldom succeed, nor can 
their counsel be heard, through the multitude and fury of the 
vicious, whose folly and violence bear down all. d 

Sect. 19. And God himself doth give the sinful world a 
taste of his displeasure by painful sickness, consuming plagues, 
famines, poverty, and many the like calamities which fall upon 
mankind. e 

Sect. 20. But his sorest judgments are the forsaking of men's 
souls, and leaving them in all this folly and disorder, this sin 
and misery, to destroy themselves. 

b Ut Scarabaei et vultures unguentis offenduntur ; ita non omnibus placent 
optima. — Plutarch. 

Vir bonus et sapiens qualem vix reperit unum. 

Millibus e cunctis bominum consultus Apollo, &c. — Virgil. 

c Vitio nostra quae amamus defendimus ; et malumus eaexcusare quam ex- 
cutere. — Sen. Ep. 117. 

u Absurdum est putare eum qui ab aliquibus ex bono malus fuerit factus, 
eundem ab illis iterum ex malo bonum fieri posse. — Dion. Hal. 11. 

e Ubi divitiae honori sunt, et eas gloria, imperium, potentia comitantur, 
hebescere virtus, paupertas Probro haberi innocentia pro malevolentia duci 
incipit. — Salust. in Cattilin, 



120 THE REASONS OF 

The principal mercies and punishments of this life are found 
on the souls of men themselves. The greatest present reward 
of obedience is, when God doth more illumine the mind, and 
send in more of his celestial beams, and shed abroad his love 
upon the heart, and fill it with the love of goodness, and delight 
it in himself, and confirm the will against temptations. And 
the greatest punishment is, when God, in displeasure for men s 
disobedience, doth withdraw this grace, and leave men to 
themselves, that they that love not his grace should be without 
it, and follow their foolish, self-destroying lusts/ 

Sect. 21. God cannot pardon an incapable subject, nor any, 
but on terms consistent with the honour of his justice, laws, and 
government ; nor is there any that can deliver a sinner from 
his punishment, upon any other terms whatsoever. 

Sect. 22. The conclusion is, that the sin and misery of man- 
kind in general is great and lamentable, and their recovery a 
work of exceeding difficulty. 

Object. All this showeth, that man's nature was not made 
for a holy life, nor for a world to come, else their averseness to 
it would not be .so great and common. 

Answ. This is fully answered before : it is proved, that na- 
ture and reason do fully bear witness against his wickedness, 
and declare his obligations to a better life, and his capacity of 
higher things ; and that all this is his rebellion against nature 
and reason. And it no more proveth your conclusion, than 
your children's or servants' averseness to obedience, peace, and 
labour, proveth that these are not their duty ; or subjects' 
rebellion, proveth that they are not obliged to be loyal. g 

Object. But it is incredible that God should thus far for- 
sake his own creation. 

Answ. 1. There is no disputing against the light of the sun, 
and the experience of all the world : it is a thing visible and 
undeniable, that this case they are in tie facto, and, there- 
fore, that thus far they are forsaken : it is no wisdom to say, 

f ^lian (var. Hist. 1. 13) saith, That Theodata, a whore, told Socrates that 
he could draw away none of her followers, but she could draw away his at her 
pleasure ; and he answered, Non mirum : tu siquidem ad declivem tramitem 
omnes rapis ; ego vero ad vivtutem cogo, ad quam arduus plerisque insolitus 
est ascensus. 

e Animi niorbi sunt cupiditates imniensse, inanes diviiiarum, gloria 1 domi- 
nationis, libidinosarum etiam voluptatum accedunt 3?gritudines, molestia? 
maerores, quae auimos exedunt conficiuntque curzis, — Cic.l, de Finib. In 
naturalibus desideriis pauci non peccant — Aristot. 3 Eth. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 121 

' That is not,' which all the world seeth to be so, because we 
think it unmeet that it should be so. 2. Is it incredible that 
God doth further than this forsake the wicked in the world of 
punishment ? If he may further forsake hell, he may thus far 
forsake earth, upon their great provocations. We have no 
certainty of it, but it is not at all unlikely that the innumerable 
fixed stars and planets are inhabited orbs, who have dwellers 
answerable to their nature and pre-eminence ; and if God do 
totally forsake hell, as to his mercy ; and, next to hell, do much 
forsake a sinful earth, that is likest and nearest unto hell, and 
do glorify his more abundant mercy upon the more holy and 
happy inhabitants of all, or almost all, the other orbs, what 
matter of discontent should this be to us ? 3. But God hath 
not left this dark and wicked earth itself, without all remedy, 
as shall be further showed. h 

Read Cicero's third book c De Nat. Deor.,' and you will 
see, in Cotta's speech, that the notoriously depraved reason of 
man, and the prevalency and prosperity of wickedness, was the 
great argument of the atheists against God and providence ; 
which they thought unanswerable, because they looked no 
further than this life, and did not foresee the time of full, 
universal justice. And whereas Cotta saith, "That if there 
be a God, he should have made most men good, and prevented 
all the evil in the world, and not only punish man when it is 
done ;" I shall answer that among the objections of the second 
tome : and I before showed, how little reason men have 
to expect that God should make every man as good as he 
could make him, or make man indefectible ; or to argue from 
man's sin against God's goodness : the free Creator, Lord, and 
Benefactor, may vary his creatures and benefits as he seeth meet, 
and may be proved good, though he make not man angelical, 
and though he permit his sin, and punish him for sinning. 1 

h God only can recover lapsed man. Nemo magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino 
unquam fuit. — Cicero de Nat. Deor. 2. Of the paucity of the good, and the 
abounding of wickedness, almost all poets, orators, philosophers, and histo- 
rians openly complain. 

' Pauci quos aequus amavit. Jupiter aut ardens avexit ad aethera virtus. 
In vitia alter alterum trudimus : quomodo ad saluteiu revocari potest, quern 
Qullus retrahit, et populus impel lit ? — Senec. Ep. 29. Serpunt vitia et con- 
tactu nocent, et in proximum quemque transiliunt. — Id. de Trunq. vit. 

Nam vitiis nemo sine nascitur ; optiinus ille 

Qui minimis urgetur. — Horat. 1. Ser. 3. 

Unicuique dedit vitium natura creato. — Propert. 

Quid ulcus leviter tangam ? Omues mali sumus, — Senec. 

Sicupis bouus fieri, primum crede quod malus sis. — Epictet. Enchri, 



122 THE REASONS OF 



CHAP. XVII. 

What natural Light declareth of the Mercy of God to Sinners, 
and of the Means and Hopes of Man's Recovery. 

Sect. 1. Notwithstanding all this fore-mentioned sin, and 
guilt, and misery, of man, and justice of God, experience 
assureth all the earth, that great mercy is still continued to 
them, and that they have to do with a most merciful God. k 

Men's lives are continued even while they sin; patience 
endureth them ; time is vouchsafed them ; food, and raiment, 
and friends, and habitations, and health, and ease, and liberty 
is given them ; the sun sendeth them its moving influence, its 
light and heat ; the earth supporteth them, and arfordeth them 
fruit, and maintenance, and pleasure ; the clouds yield them 
rain, the air breath, and the sea itself is not unkind and 
incommodious to them. Beasts, birds, and fishes, and all 
inferior creatures, serve them 3 and yet much more mercy they 
receive from God. ' 

Novi ego hoc seculum moribus quibus sit : malus bonum malum esse vult 
ut sit sui similis : turbant, miscent, mores mali, rapax, avarus, invidus, 
sacrum profanum, publicum privatum habent: Hiulca gens : Ha?cego doleo : 
haec suut quae excruciant ; haec dies noctesque tibi canto ut caveas. — Plant. 
Nisi enim talis (mala) esset natura hominum, non anteponerent vindictam 
sauctitati et lucrum justitiae, iuvidentes alienae potentiae non laedenti. Sed 
volunt homines vindictaa cupiditate communes leges dissolvere, &c. — Thucid. 
1.3. Sed et boni, dicetis, sunt in rebus humauis; viri sapientes, justi, in- 

culpati Res. Sint licet perhonesti, fuerintque laudabiles, sed audire 

deposcimus, quot sint aut fuerint numero, Unus, duo, tres, centum 

certe numero diffiniti. — At genus humanum non ex pauculis bonis, sed ex 
caeteris omnibus aestimari convenit, ponderari. In toto enim pars est, non 
totum in parte — Et quinam isti sunt, dicite ? Philosophi credo, qui se esse 

solos sapientissimos autumaut Nempe illi qui cum suis quotidie cupidita- 

tibus pugnant — Qui ne in vitia proritari facultatis possint alicujus instinctu, 
patrimouia et divitias fugiunt, ne causas sibi afferant lapsus. Quod cum 
faciunt et curant, apertissime animas esse indicant labiles, et icfirmitate ad 
vitia proclives. Nostra autem sententia, quod bonum natura est, neque emen- 
dari neque corrige se poscit : Immo ipsum debet quid sit malum nescire, si 

generis forma cuj usque in sua cogitat integritate perstare Qui luctatur 

animorum ingenitas corrigere pravitates, is apertissime monstrat imperfectum 
se esse, quamvis omni et pervicacia contendat. — Arnob. adv. Gentes, lib. 
2. in Aucluar. Bib. Pat. Tom. 1. 20. 

k Crede mihi miseris caelestia numina parcunt. 
Naec semper lsesos et sine fine premunt. — Ovid. 3. de Pont. 

'When Piso(in Cicero) seeketh after the Summum Bonum, he proceedeth by 
these steps ; 1. Omnem naturam esse sui conservatricem. Nemiuem esse qui 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 123 

Sect. 2. It is, therefore, manifest, that God dealeth not with 
the sinful world according to the utmost rigour of justice, nor 
punisheth them as much as they deserve. 

For all these mercies they have forfeited, and deserved to be 
deprived of them. 

Object. But it is no mercy, which hardeneth them in sin, 
and endeth in misery ; it is rather a punishment, as to give 
cold water to a man in a fever. 

Answ. If it hardened them of its own nature, and not merely 
by their abuse, and if it ended in misery by the designment of 
the giver, and the tendency of the gift, then were it, as you 
say, no mercy, but a plague. But it is mercy which, in its 
nature, and by the donor's will, hath a fitness and tendency to 
men's recovery, and to prevent their misery, and they are com- 
manded and entreated accordingly to use it ; and are warned of 
tbe danger of abuse. 

Object. But God knoweth, when he giveth it them, that 
they will so abuse it. 

Answ. God's fore-knowledge, or omniscience, is his per- 
fection, and will you argue from thence against his mercy ? 
His fore -knowledge of men's sin and misery causeth them not : 
What if he fore- knew them not ? Were it any praise to him 
to be ignorant ? and yet the mercy would be but the same. If 
you will not be reconciled to God's ways, till he cease to be 
omniscient, or till he prevent all the sin and misery which he 
fore-knoweth, you will perish in your enmity, and he will easily 
justifv his mercy against such accusations. 

Object. But God could give men so much more grace, as 
to prevent men's sin and misery, if he would. 

Answ. True j he is not unable : and so he could make every 
clod a tree, and every tree a beast, and every beast a man, and 
every man an angel, as I said before : but must he, therefore, 
doit? 

Here note, that it is one thing to say of any punishment 

ipse se oderit. 2. Neminera esse qui quoraodo se habeat, nihil sua censeat 
iuteresse. 3. Hominem h corpore et ammo constare, primasque animi partes 
esse, et secundas corporis. 4. Aninium aliquid agere semper, neque ulla con- 
ditione quietem sempitemam posse pati. 5. Bona esse qua? naturae conve- 
niunt, eamque perficiunt. 6. Animi duo genera esse virtutum ; 1. Naturales, 
viz. Docilitas, memoria, ingenium. 2. Voluntarias quae in voluntate posita 
magis proprio nomine virtutes appellantur. 7. In prima Classe maxime 
excellens, considerationem et cognitionem ccelestium. 8. Virtutes autem 
voluntatis esse praestantissimas. 9. Et ita concludit, Virtutem esse maxime 
expetendam.— This is the sum of the Lib. 5. de Finib, 



124 THE REASONS OF 

This is so deserved, that God may inflict it if he please, 
without injustice ; vea, and thereby demonstrate his justice ; ' 
and another thing to sa), 'This is so due, that God must, or 
will inflict it, if he will be just, unless a compensation be made 
to justice.' It is of the first sort that I am now speaking; for 
God may have a variety of times, and measures, and kinds of 
punishments, which he may use at his own choice, and yet not 
leave the sin unpunished finally : but whether he properly dis- 
pense with any law, which is determinate as to the penalty, I 
am not now to speak, it being not pertinent to this place and 
subject. 

Sect. 3. Therefore, God doth, in some sort and measure, 
pardon sin to the generality of mankind, while he remitteth 
some measure of the deserved punishment. 

To remit or forgive the punishment is so far to forgive the 
sin; for forgiveness, as to execution, is but nonpunire, proceed- 
ing from commiseration or misery. And it is certain, by all 
the mercy bestowed on them, that God remitteth something of 
the punishment, which in law and justice he might inflict. 
Though this be not a total pardon, it is not, therefore, none 
at all. 

Sect. 4. The goodness of God's nature, with this universal 
experience of the world, possesseth all men's minds with this 
apprehension of God, that he is gracious, merciful, long- 
suffering, and ready to forgive a capable subject, upon terms 
consistent with his truth and honour, and the common good. 

It is true, that self-love and self-flattery do cause men to 
think of the mercy of God, as indulgent to their lusts, and 
suitable to their fleshly desires ; and, therefore, their conceits 
are none of the measure of his mercy : but yet it may be per- 
ceived, that this foresaid conception of God, as merciful, and 
ready to forgive a capable subject, is warranted by the most sober 
reason, and is not bred by sin and error ; for the wise and 
better, and less sinful any is, the more he is inclined to such 
thoughts of God, as of a part of his perfection. m 

Sect. 5. This apprehension is increased in mankind, bv God's 
obliging us to forgive one another. 

m Saepe levant pcenas, ereptaque lumina reddimt 

Cum bene peccati pce.uituisse vident. — Ovid. 1. de Pont. 
Dissensio ab aiiis ; a te reconciliatio iucipiat : Cum ignsocis ita beneficium 
tuum tempera, ut non ignoscere videaris, sed absolvere ; Quia gravissimum 
perns genus est, coutumeliosa vecia. — Senec. 

Pulchrum est vitara donare petentistatim. — Theb. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 125 

For though it doth not follow, that God must forgive all that 
which he hindeth us to forgive, for the reasons before expressed, 
yet we must believe that the laws of God proceed from that 
wisdom and goodness which is his perfection, and that they 
bear the image of them • and that the obeying of them tendeth 
to form us more to his image ourselves, and to make us holy as 
he is holy ; and, therefore, that this command of God to man, 
to be merciful and forgive, doth intimate to us, that mercy and 
forgiveness are agreeable and pleasing unto God. 

Sect. 6. God cannot cast away from his love, and from felicity, 
any soul which truly loveth him above all, and which so repent- 
eth of his sin as to turn to God in holiness of heart and life." 

Here seemeth to rise before us a considerable difficulty. That 
God can find in his heart to damn one that truly loveth him, and 
is sanctified, is incredible ; because, 1. Then God's own image 
should be in hell, and a saint be damned ; 2. Because then the 
creature should be more ready to love God, than God to love him ; 
3. Then a soul in hell should have holy desires, prayers, praises, 
and other acts of love ; 4. And a soul capable of the glorifying 
mercy of God should miss it. This, therefore, is not to be 
believed ; for God cannot but take complacency on them that 
love him, and bear his image ; and those will be happy that God 
takes complacency on. 

And yet, on the other side, Do not the sins of them that love 
God deserve death and misery, according to his law; and might 
he not inflict that on men which they deserve ? Doth not justice 
require punishment on them, that yet sin not away the love of 
God, nor a state of holiness ? To this, some answer, ' That all 
those that consist with love and holiness are venial sins, which 
deserve only temporal chastisement, and not perpetual misery.' 
I rather answer, l.That all sin, considered in itself, abstracted 
from the cause which counterbalanced! it and procureth par- 
doning mercy, doth deserve perpetual misery ; and, therefore, 
so do the sins of the best in themselves considered ; but that 
grace which causeth their sanctification, and their love to God, 
doth, conjunctly, cause the pardon of their sins ; so that God 
will not deal with such as in rigour they deserve. 2. And if the 
sin of any that love God should provoke him to cast them into 

n Nee ex templo ara, nee ex humana natura miserecordia tollenda est ; in- 
quit Phociou, in Stobtso. Facilius iis ignoscitur, qui nun peiseverare, sed 
ab errato se revocare moliuutur : est enim humanuiu peecare, sed belluinum 
in errore pvrseverare.— Cicero in VuIIh. 



126 THE REASONS OF 

hell, it follovveth not, that one that loveth God in sensu com- 
jjosito, should be damned ; for God hath an order in his punish- 
ments ; and, first, he would withdraw his grace from such a one 
and leave him to himself, and then he will no longer love God ; 
and so it is not a lover of God that would be damned. 

Sect. 7. The sinful world is not so far forsaken by God, as to 
be shut up under desperation, and utter impossibility of recovery 
and salvation. 

For if that were so, they were not in via, or under an obliga- 
tion to use any means, or accept of any mercy, in order to their 
recovery ; nor could they rationally do it, or be persuaded to do 
it. There is no means to be used where there is no end to be 
attained, and no hope of success. 

Sect. S. The light of nature, and the aforesaid dealings of God 
with men, continuing them under his government, in via, and 
manifold mercies, helps, and means, do generally persuade the 
consciences of men that there are certain duties required of them, 
and certain means to be used by them, in order to procure then- 
recovery and salvation, and to escape the misery deserved. p 

He that shall deny this will turn the earth into a hell ; he 
will teach men to forbear all means and duties which tend to 
their conversion, pardon, and salvation, and to justify themselves 
in it, and desperately give over all religion, and begin the hor- 
rors and language of the damned. 

Sect. 9. The very command of God, to use his appointed 
means for men's recovery, doth imply that it shall not be in 
vain, and doth not only show a possibility, but so great a hope- 
fulness of the success to the obedient, as may encourage them 
cheerfully to undertake it, and carry it through.^ 

No man that is wise and merciful will appoint his subject a 
course of means to be used for a thing impossible to be got; or 
will say, * Labour thus all thy life for it, but thou shalt be never 
the nearer it if thou do.' If such an omniscient physician do 
but bid me use such means for my cure and health, I may take 
his command for half a promise, if I obey. 

Sect. 10. Conscience doth bear witness against impenitent 

Poenitenti optimus est portus, mutatio consilii. — Cicero Phil. 1. 2. Bea- 
tus est cui ve.l in senectute continent, ut sapientiam, verasque opiniones con- 
sequi possit. — Cicer. de Fin. Read Cato's speech in Cicero <ie Finib. (1. 3.) 
That the principle of self-love and preservation is the seed of virtue; and how 
every thing- abhorreth its own hurt and destruction. 

v Sceleruui si benepcenitet, eradeuda cupidinis, prava sunt elementa. — Hor. 

i Omnibus natura dedit fundameuta semenque virtutem. — Sen. Ep. 110. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 127 

sinners, that the cause of their sin and the hinderance of their 
recovery is in themselves ; and that God is not unwilling to for- 
give and save them, if they were but meet for forgiveness and 
salvation. 1 " 

Even now, men's consciences take God's part against them- 
selves, and tell them, ' That the infinite good, that communi- 
cateth all the goodness to the creature which it hath, is not so 
likely to be the cause of so odious a thing as sin, nor of man's 
destruction, as he himself.' If I see a sheep lie torn in the 
highway, I will sooner suspect a wolf than a lamb to be the 
cause, if I see them both stand by. And if I see a child drown- 
ed in scalding water, I will sooner suspect that he fell in by 
folly and heedlessness himself, than that his mother wilfully 
cast him in. Is not silly, naughty man, much more likely to 
be the cause of sin and misery, than the wise and gracious 
God ? Much more hereafter will the sinner's conscience jus- 
tify God. 

Sect. 11. God hath planted in the common nature of man- 
kind an inseparable inclination to truth as truth, and to good 
as good, and a love to themselves, and a desire to be happy, 
and a lothness to be miserable ; together with some reverence 
and honour of God, till they have extinguished the belief of 
his being, and a hatred and horror of the devil, while they 
believe he is ; all which are a fit stock to plant reforming 
truths in, and principles fit to be improved for men's conver- 
sion, and the excitation and improvement of them is much of 
that recovering work. s 

Sect. 12. Frequent and deep consideration being a great 
means of man's recovery, by improving the truth which he con- 
sidereth, and restoring reason to the throne, it is a great ad- 
vantage to man that he is naturally a reasoning and thoughtful 
creature, his intellect being propense to activity and knowledge. 

Sect. 13. And it is his great advantage, that his frequent and 
great afflictions have a great tendency to awake his reason to 
consideration, and to bring it to the heart and make it effectual. 

And, consequently, that God casteth us into such a sea and 

r Homines ad Deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam salutem hominibus 
dando. Nihil habet fortuna majus quam ut possit ; nee natura melius quam 
ut velit, servare. — Cicero pro JLigar. Notitia peceati, initium salutis. — Sen. 
Saith Epictetus, As our parents deliver us to schoolmasters to be nurtured, so 
God delivereth us to our consciences, whose nurture is not to be contemned. 
s Nemo adeo ferus est, ut non mitescere possit. 
Si modo cultural patientein commodet aurem.— Horat. Ep, 1. 



128 THE REASONS OF 

wilderness of troubles, that we should have these quickening 
monitors still at hand. 

Sect. 14. And it is man's great advantage for his recovery, 
that vanity and vexation are so legibly written on all things here 
below ; and that frustrated expectations, and unsatisfied minds, 
and the fore-knowledge of the end of all, and bodily pains 
which find no ease, with multitudes of bitter experiences, do 
so abundantly help him to escape the snare (the love) of pre- 
sent things. 1 

For all men that perish are condemned for loving the creature 
above the Creator : and, therefore, such a world, which au- 
peareth so evidently to be vain, and empty, and deceitful, and 
vexatious, and which all men know will turn them off at last 
with as little comfort as if they had never seen a day of pleasure 
in it : I say, such a world, one would think, should give us an 
antidote against its own deceit, and sufficiently wean us from its 
inordinate love. At least, this is a very great advantage. 

Sect. 15. It is also a common and great advantage for man's 
recovery, that his life here is so short, and his death so certain, 
that reason must needs tell him, that the pleasures of sin are 
also short, and that he should always live as parting with this 
world, and ready to enter into another." 

The nearness of things maketh them to work on the mind of 
man the more powerfully : distant things, though sure and great, 
do hardly awaken the mind to their reception and due consi- 
deration. If men lived six hundred or a thousand years in the 
world, it were no wonder if covetousness, and carnality, and 
security, made them like devils, and worse than wild beasts to 
one another : but when men cannot choose but know that they 
must certainly and shortly see the end of all that ever this world 
will do for them, and are never sure of another hour ; this is so 

1 Miserum te esse judico, qui nunquam fueris miser : Traxisti sine adversa- 
ries vitam : Opus est ad sui notitiam experimento. Quid quisque possit nou 
nisi tentando didicit. — Sen. de Pro. Non omnina Diis exosos esse, qui in 
hac vita cum aerumnarum varietate luctantur ; sed esse arcanas causas, &c. — 
Macrob. 1. 1. Saturn. 

Rem pateris modicam et mediocri bile fereudam 
Si flectas oculos majora ad crimina — Juven. 

u Quotidie moriinur, quotidie enim demitur aliquapars vitae : Ettuncquoque 
cum crescimus vita decrescit. Hunc ipsum quern agimus diem, cum morte 
dividimus. — Sen. Ep. 24. Natura nihil hominibus brevitate vita praestitit 
melius. — Id. Nihil a?que tibi proficiet ad temperantiam omnium rerum, 
quam frequens cogitatio brevis revi et hujus incerti. Quicquid facis respice ad 
mortem.— Sen, Ep, 25. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 129 

great a help to sober consideration, and conversion, that it must 
be monstrous stupidity and brutishness that must overcome it. 

Sect. 16. It is also a great advantage for man's conversion, 
that all the world revealeth God to him, and every thing telleth 
him of the power, and wisdom, and goodness, and love of God ; 
and of his constant presence, and so showeth him an object 
which should as easily overpower all sensual objects, which 
would seduce his soul, as a mountain will weigh down a feather.* 

Though we see not God, (which would surely put an end to the 
controversy whether we should be sensual or holy,) yet while we 
have a glass as large as all the world, which doth continually re- 
present him to us, one would think that no reasonable creature 
should so much overlook him, as to be carried from him with 
the trifles of this world. 

Sect. 1 7. Men that have not only the foresaid obligations to 
holiness, justice, and sobriety in their natures, but also all these 
hopes, and helps, and means of their recovery from sin to God, 
and yet frustrate all, and continue in ungodliness, unrighteous- 
ness, or intemperance, impenitently to the end, are utterly 
destitute of all just excuse why God should not punish them 
with endless misery, which is the case of all that perish. 

Sect. 18. All men shall be judged by the law which was 
given them of God to live by. 

For it is the same law which is regula officii et judicii : God 
will not condemn men for not believing a truth which mediately 
or immediately was never revealed to them, and which they had 
no means to know. Nor for not obeying a law which was never 
promulgated to them, or they could not come to be acquainted 
with; physical impossibilities are not the matter of crimes, or 
of condemnation. 

Sect. 19. If any persons are brought by these means alone to 
repent unfeignedly of an ungodly, uncharitable, and intemperate 
life, and to love God unfeignedly as their God, above all ; and 

x Magna pars peccatorum tollitur, si peccati testis adstat. — Seti. What then 
may the presence of God do ? Clemens Alexand. was positive in it that 
philosophy was blessed to the saving of many heathens who obeyed it. 
Tunc est con sum mala infslicitas, ubi turpia non solum delectant, sed etiani 
placent : et desinit esse remedio locus, ubi qua fuerant vitia, mores fiunt.— « 
Sen. Prov, At inorbi perniciosiores pluresque sunt animi quam corporis 

Qui vero probari potest, ut sibi mederi animus non possit, cum ipse me- 

dicinam corporis animus invenerit? O.imque omnes qui corpore se curari 
passi sunt, non coutiuuo convalescant : Anima autem qui se sanari voluerint, 
prseceptisque sapientum paruerint, sine ulla dubiutiunesaneutur. — Clc. Tuscul, 
1.3. p. 270. 

VOL. XXI. K 



130 THE REASONS OF 

to live a holy, obedient life, God will not condemn such persons, 
though they want a supernatural revelation of his will. (As I 
showed before, sect. 6.) 

Sect. 20. When sinners stand at many degrees distant from 
God and a holy life, and mercy would draw them nearer him by 
degrees, they that have help and mercy sufficient,^ suogenere, to 
have drawn them nearer God, and refused to obey it, do forfeit 
the further helps of mercy, and mav justly perish and be forsaken 
by him; though their help was not immediately sufficient to all 
the further degrees of duty which they were to do. y 

These things are clear in their proper light, I stand not to 
prove, because I would not be unnecessarily tedious to the 
reader. 

And so much of godliness, or religion, as revealed by natural 
light. 

Object. But all heathens and infidels find not all this in the 
book of nature, which you say is there. 

Answ. I speak not of what men do see, but what they may 
see, if they will improve their reason. All this is undeniably 
legible in the book of nature; but the infant, the idiot, the illi- 
terate, the scholar, the smatterer, the doctor, the considerate, 
the inconsiderate, the sensual, the blinded, and the willing, 
diligent inquirer do not equally see and read that which is written 
in the same characters to all. 

y Sunt enim ingeniis nostris semina innata virtutum, quse si adolescere 
liceret, ipsa nos ad beatam vitam natura perduceret. Nunc autem simul ac 
editi sumns in lucera, in omni continuo pravitate versamur, &c. — Cic. 3. Tuscul. 
N. B. That when philosophers say, that all is good which nature teacheth, &c, 
they mean by nature, the true and sound constitution of the soul, which they 
distinguish from its diseases and corruption. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 131 



PART II. 

OF 

CHRISTIANITY 

AND 

SUPERNATURAL REVELATION. 



CHAP. 1. 

Of the great Need of a clearer Light, or fuller Revelation of 
the Will of God, than all that hath been opened before. 

Whilst 1 resolved upon a deep and faithful search into the 
grounds of all religion, and a review and trial of all that I had 
myself believed, I thought meet first to pass by persons, and shut 
up my books, and with retired reason to read the book of 
nature only ; and what I have there found, I have justly told 
you in the former part, purposely omitting all that might be 
controverted by any considerable, sober reason, that I might 
neither stop myself nor my reader in the way; and that I might 
not deceive myself with plausible consequences of unsound or 
questionable antecedents ; nor discourage my reader by the 
casting of some doubtful passages in his way, which might 
tempt him to question all the rest. For I know what a deal of 
handsome structure may fall through the falseness of some one 
of the supports, which seemed to stand a great way out of 
sight. And I have been wearied myself with subtle discourses 
of learned men, who, in a long series of ergos, have thought 
that they have left all sure behind them, when a few false sup- 
positions were the life of all. And 1 know that he who inter- 
poseth any doubtful things, doth raise a diffidence in the rea- 
der's mind, which maketh him suspect that the ground he 
standeth on is not firm, and whether all that he readeth be not 
mere, uncertain things. Therefore, leaving things controvertible 
for a fitter place and time, I have thus far taken up so much as is 
plain and sure ; which I find of more importance and usefulness 
to rav own information and confirmation, than any of those 

k2 



132 THE REASONS OF 

controvertible points would be, if I could ever so certainly 
determine them. 2 

And now, having perused the book of nature, I shall cast 
up the account, and try what is yet wanting, and look abroad 
into the opinions of others in the world, and search whence 
that which is yet wanting may be most fully, and safely, and 
certainly supplied. 

Sect. 1. And first, when I look throughout the world, I find 
that though all the evidence aforesaid, for the necessity of a 
holy, virtuous life, be unquestionable in naturd rerum, yet most 
of the world observe it not, or discern but little of it, nor much 
regard the light without, or the secret witness of their con- 
sciences within. 

Natural light, or evidence, is so unsuccessful in the world, 
that it loudly telleth us, something is yet wanting, whatever it 
is. We can discern what it is, which is necessary to man's 
happiness, but we can hardly discern whether, de facto, any 
considerable number, at best, do by the teaching of nature 
alone attain it. When we inquire into the writings of the best 
of the philosophers, we find so little evidence of real holiness, 
that is, of the aforesaid resignation, subjection, and love to God 
as God, that it leaveth us much in doubt whether, indeed, they 
were holy themselves or not, and whether they made the know- 
ledge, love, obedience, and praise of God, the end and business 
of their lives. However, there is too great evidence, that the 
world lieth in darkness and wickedness, where there is no more 
than natural light. 

Sect. 2. I find, therefore, that the discovery of the will of 
God, concerning our duty and our end, called, 'The law of 
nature,' is a matter of very great difficulty to them that have no 
supernatural light to help them. 

Though all this is legible in nature, which I have thence 
transcribed, yet if I had not had another teacher, I know not 
whether I should ever have found it there. Nature is now a 
very hard book ; when I have learnt it by my teacher's help, 
I can tell partly what is there ; but at the first perusal, I could 
not understand it. It requireth a great deal of time, and study, 
and help to understand that which, when we do understand 
it, is as plain as the highway. 

7 Nullus unquam a mortali semine vir absolute bonus nascetur. — Dion. Hal. 
1. 2. Truth delivered by the halves, will be lamely practised. Ideo peccamus, 
quia de partibus vita? oiunes deliberamus j de toto nemo deliberat.— Sau 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 133 

Sect. 3. Thence it must needs follow, that it will be but few 
that will attain to understand the necessary parts of the law of 
nature aright, by that means alone, and the multitude will be 
left in darkness still. a 

The common people have not leisure for so deep and long a 
search into nature as a few philosophers made, nor are they 
disposed to it : and though reason obligeth them, in so neces- 
sary a case, to break through all difficulties, they have not so 
full use of their reason as to do it. 

Object. But as christian teachers do instruct the people in 
that which they cannot have leisure to search out themselves ; 
so, why may not philosophers, who have leisure for the search, 
instruct the people quickly, who have not leisure to find out the 
truth without instruction. 

Answ. Much might be done, if all men did their best ; but, 

1. The difficulty is such, that the learned themselves are 
lamentably imperfect and unsatisfied, as I shall further show. 

2. Though the vulgar cannot search out the truth without help, 
yet it is necessary that by help they come to see with their 
own eyes, and rest not in a human belief alone, especially when 
their teachers are of so many minds, that they know not which 
of them to believe. To learn the truth, in its proper evidence, 
is very hard to them that have no more than the light of 
nature. 

Object. But what difficulty is there in these few precepts, 
that all men may not easily learn them ? " Thou shalt love 
God above all, and repent of sin, and set thy heart upon the 
life to come, and love thy neighbour as thyself," &c. b 

Answ. There is no difficulty in learning these words ; but, 
1. There is great difficulty in learning to understand the sense, 

a What difficulties the wisest heathens find about God's prospering the 
wicked, and afflicting the good, and how dark were they about the life to come ! 
Therefore, Seneca's wise and good man was a phoenix. Sine doctrina si quid 
bene dicitur, adjuvante natura, tamen id quia fortuito fit, semper paratum esse 
non potest. — Cic. Deo?: Etsi ingeniis niagnis praediti quidam, dicendi 
copiam sine ratione consequuutur, ars tameu dux certior est quam natura. 
Aliud enim est poetarum more verba fundere, aliud, ea qua? dicas ratione et 
arte distinguere. — Cicero de Fin. 4. 

b You may perceive the heathen's gratitude to God, by these words of Cotta. 
(In Cicer. de Nat. Deor. 3. p. 109.) Num quis quod bonus vir esset, gratias 
Diis egit unquam? At quod dives, quod honoratus, quod incolumis. Jovera- 
que optimum maximum ob eas res appellant, non quod nos justos, temperatos, 
sapientes efficiat, sed quod salvos, incolumes, opulenlos, copiosos. Judicium 
hoc omnium niortalium, fortuuam aDeo peteudani, aseipso sumendam esse 
sapientiam, 



134 THE REASONS OF 

and certain truth of that which is contained in them : to know 
what God is, so far as is necessary to our obedience and love ; 
and to know what it is in him which is so amiable, and to know 
that there is a life to come, and what it is; and to know what 
is God's will, and so what is duty ; and what is the sin which 
we must repent of : these are more difficult. Generals are soon 
named, but it is a particular understanding which is necessary 
to practice. 2. And it is hard to see that certainty and attrac- 
tive goodness in these things, as may draw the mind to the 
practical embracements of them, from the love of other things : 
an obscure, doubtful, wavering apprehension, is not strong 
enough to change the heart and life. 

Sect. 4. These difficulties, in the mere natural way of revelation, 
will fill the learned world with controversies ; and those con- 
troversies will breed and feed contentions, and eat out the heart 
of practical godliness, and make all religion seem an uncertain, 
or unnecessary thing. 

This is undoubtedly proved, 1 . In the reason of the thing ; 
2. And in all the world's experience. So numerous were the 
controversies among philosophers, so various their sects, so 
common their contentions, that the world despised them, and 
all religion for their sakes, and looked on most of them but as 
mountebanks that set up for gain, or to get disciples, or to show 
their wit : practical piety died in their hands. 

Object. This is a consequent not to be avoided, because no way 
hath so resolved difficulties as to put an end to controversies and 
sects. 

Answ. Certainly, clearness is more desirable than obscurity, 
and concord and unity than division, therefore it concerneth us 
to inquire how this mischief may be amended, which is it that I 
am now about. 

Sect. 5. These difficulties also make it so long a work to 
learn God's will by the light of nature only, that the time of 
their youth, and often of their lives, is slipped away before men 
can come to know why they lived. 

It is true, that it is their own fault that causeth all these in- 
conveniences ; but it is as true that their disease doth need a 
cure, for which it concerneth them to seek out. The life of man 
is held upon a constant uncertainty, and no man is sure to live 
another year; and therefore we have need of precepts so plain 
as may be easily and quickly learnt, that we mav be always ready, 
if death shall call us to an account. I confess that what I have 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 135 

transcribed from nature is very plain there, to one that already 
understandeth it; but whether the diseased blindness of the 
world do not need yet something plainer, let experience de- 
termine. 

Sect. 6. That which would be sufficient for a sound under- 
standing and will, is not sufficient for a darkened, diseased mind 
and heart, such as experience telleth us is found throughout the 
world. 

To true reason which is at liberty, and not enthralled by sen- 
suality and error, the light of nature might have a sufficiency to 
lead men up to the love of God, and a life of holiness; but 
experience telleth us that the reason of the world is darkened, 
and captivated by sensuality, and that few men can well use 
their own faculties ; and such eyes need spectacles, such crip- 
ples need crutches, yea, such diseases call for a physician. 
Prove once that the world is not diseased, and then we will 
confess that their natural food may serve the turn, without any 
other diet or physic. 

Sect. 7. When I have by natural reason silenced all my 
doubts about the life to come, I yet find in myself an uncouth, 
unsatisfactory kind of apprehension of my future state, till I 
look to supernatural evidence, which I perceive is from a double 
cause. 1. Because a soul in flesh would fain have such appre- 
hension as participateth of sense. 2. And we are so conscious of 
our ignorance that we are apt still to suspect our own under- 
standings, even when we have nothing to say against the con- 
clusion. 

What I have said in the first part of this book doth so fully 
satisfy my reason, as that I have nothing to say against it, which 
I cannot easily discern to be unsound ; and yet for all that, 
when I think of another world, by the help of this natural light 
alone, I am rather amazed than satisfied, and am ready to think 

c Parvulos nobis natura dedit igniculos quos celeriter in aliis moribusopini- 
onibusque depravatis sic restinguimus, ut nusquam naturae lumen appareat : 
Nunc autem simulatque editi in lucem et suscepti sumus, in omni continuo 
pravitate versamur, ut pene cum lacte nutricis errorem suxisse videamur : 
cum vero parentibus redditi, deinde magistris traditi sumus, turn ita variis 
imbuimur erroribus, ut vanitati Veritas, et opinioui contirmatas natura ipsa 
cedat. — Cic. 3. Tunc. Multis signis natura declarat quid velit : obsurdes- 
cimus tamen nescio quo mudo, nee ea quae ab ea moventur audimus. — Cic. 
Lei. Si tales nos natura genuisset, ut earn ipsam intueri, et perspicere, eaque 
optima duce cursum vitae couficere posseinus : haud esset sane quod quisquam 
rationem et doctrinam requireret cum natura sufficeret. Nunc vero, &c. — 
Cic. 3. Tusc, Quicquid infixum et ingenitum est, lenitur arte, non vinci- 
tur. — Sen. 



136 THE REASONS OF " 

all this seemeth true, and I have nothing of weight to say 
against it; but, alas ! how poor and uncertain a thing is man's 
understanding. How many are deceived in things that seem as 
undeniable to them. How know I what one particular may be 
unseen by me which would change my judgment, and better 
inform me in all the rest ? If I could but see the world which 
J believe, or at least but speak with one who had been there, or 
gave me sensible evidence of his veracity, it would much con- 
firm me. Sense hath got so much mastery in the soul, that we 
have much ado to take any apprehension for sure and satisfac- 
tory, which hath not some great correspondency with sense. 
This is not well ; but it is a disease which showeth the need of a 
physician, and of some other satisfying light. 

Sect. 8. While we are thus stopped in our way by tediousness, 
difficulty, and a subjective uncertainty about the end and duty 
of man, the flesh is still active, and sin increaseth and gets ad- 
vantage, and present things are still in their deceiving power ; 
and so the soul groweth worse and worse. 

Sect. 9. The soul being thus vitiated and perverted by sin, is 
so partial, slothful, negligent, unwilling, superficial, deceitful, 
and biassed in its studies, that if the evidences of life everlast- 
ing be full and clear, and satisfying to others, it will overlook 
them, or not perceive their certainty. d 

Sect. 10. Though it be most evident, by common experience, 
that the nature of man is lamentably depraved, and that sin 
doth overspread the world ; yet how it entered, and when, or 
which of our progenitors was the first transgressor and cause, 
no natural light doth fully or satisfactorily acquaint me. 

Sect. 11. And though nature tell me that God cannot damn 
or hate a soul that truly loveth him, and is sanctified, yet doth 
it not show me a means that is likely to prevail considerably to 
sanctify sou's, and turn them from the love of present, transitory 
tilings, to the love of God and life eternal. 

Though there be in nature the discovery of sufficient reasons 
and motives to do it, where reason is not in captivity ; yet how 
unlikely they are to prevail with others, both reason and expe- 
rience fully testify. 6 

d O curvae in terris animae, et crelestium inane- ! 

Quid juvat hoc, templis nostros immittere mores ? 

Et bona Uiis ex hac scelerata ducere pulpa. ? — Persius. 

Non hove mactato ccelestia numina gaudent : 

Sed quae praestanda est, et sine teste fides. — Ovid. Ep. 19. 
e Omne nefas, onmemque mali purgamine causam 

Credehant nostri tollere posse senes, &c. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 137 

Sect. 12. And whereas God's special mercy and grace is 
necessary to so great a change and cure, and this grace is for- 
feited bv sin, and every sin deserveth more punishment, and 
this sin and punishment must be so far forgiven before God can 
give us that grace which we have forfeited ; nature doth not 
satisfactorily teach me how God is so far reconciled to man, 
or how the forgiveness of sin may be by us so far procured/ 

Sect. 13. And whereas I see at once in the world, both the 
abounding of sin, which deserveth damnation, and the abound- 
ing of mercy to those that are under such deserts ; 1 am not 
satisfied, by the light of nature, how God is so far reconciled, 
and the ends of government and justice attained, as to deal with 
the world so contrary to its deserts. 

Sect. 14. And while 1 am in this doubt of God's reconcilia- 
tion, I am still ready to fear, lest present forbearance and mercy 
be but a reprieve, and will end at last in greater misery : how- 
ever, I find it hard, if not impossible, to come to any certainty 
of actual pardon and salvation. 

Sect. 15. And while I am thus uncertain of pardon and the 
love of God, it must needs make it an insuperable difficulty to 
me, to love God above myself and all things : for to love a God 
that I think will damn me, or most probably may do it, for 
aught I know, is a thing that man can hardly do. 

Sect. 16. And therefore I cannot see how the guilty world 
can be sanctified, or brought to forsake the sin and vanities 
which they love, as long as God, whom they must turn to by 
love, doth seem so unlovely to them. g 

Sect. 17. And every temptation from present pleasure, com- 
modity, or honour, will be likely to prevail, while the love of 
God, and the happiness to come, are so dark and doubtful, to 
guilty, misgiving, ignorant souls. 

Sect. 18. Nor can I see by nature how a sinner can live 

Ah ! nimium faciles, qui tristia crimina caedis 
FulmineA, tolli posse putatis aqua. — Ovid. 2. Fast. 
f Multa miser metui, quia feci multa proterve. — Idetn. 
In malis sperare bonum, nisi innocens nemo solet. — Sen. 
e Turpe est quicquam mali perpetrare ; bene autein agere nullo periculo 
proposito, multorum est : id vero proprium boni viri est, etiara cum periculo 
suo honestatem in agentem sequi. — Plut. in Mario. 
At mens sibi conscia facti 

Prasmetuens, adhibet stimulos, terretque flagellis : 
Nee videt interea qui terminus esse malorum 
Possit, nee qui sit pceuarum denique finis. 
Atque eadem met'.iit magis ha?cne in morte gravescant.— Lucret. 3. 



13S THE REASONS OF 

comfortably in the world, for want of clearer assurance of his 
future happiness. 

For if he do hut say, as poor Seneca, Cicero, and others such, 
i It is most likely that there is another life for us, but we are not 
sure/ it will both abate their comfort in the fore-thoughts of 
it, and tempt them to venture upon present pleasure, for fear of 
losing all. And if they were ever so confident of the life to 
come, and had no assurance of their own part in it, as not 
knowing whether their sins be pardoned, still their comfort in it 
would be small. And the world can give them no more than is 
proportionable to so small and momentary a thing. 

Sect. 19. Nor do I see in nature any full and suitable sup- 
port against the pain and fears of sufferings and death, while 
men doubt of that which should support them. 

Sect. 20. I must therefore conclude that the light and law of 
nature, which was suitable to uncorrupted reason and will, and 
to an undepraved mind, is too insufficient to the corrupted, 
vitiated, guilty world, and that there is a necessity of some re- 
covering, medicinal revelation. 

Which forced the very heathens to fly to oracles, idols, sacri- 
fices, and religious propitiations of the gods, there being scarcely 
any nation which had not some such thing, though they used 
them, not only ineffectually, but to the increase of their sin and 
strengthening their presumption, as too many poor ignorant 
Christians now do their masses and other such formalities and 
superstitions. But as Arnobius saith, (Adv. ( Gentes/ 1. 7,) 
Crescit enim multitude peccantium ; cum redemendi peccati 
spes datur : et facile itur ad culpas, ubi est venalis ignoscentium 
gratia. He that hopeth to purchase forgiveness with money, or 
sacrifices, or ways of cost, will strive rather to be rich than to be 
innocent. 



CHAP. II. 

Of the several Religions zvhich are in the World. 

Having finished my inquiries into the state and book of na- 
ture, I found it my duty to inquire what other men thought in 
the world, and what were the reasons of their several beliefs, that 
if they knew more than I had discovered, by what means soever, 
I might become partaker of it. 

Sect. 1. And, first, I find that all the world, except those 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 139 

called heathens, are conscious of the necessity of supernatural 
revelation ; yea, the heathens themselves have some common 
apprehension of it. 

Sect. 2. Four sorts of religions I find only considerable upon 
earth ; the mere naturalists, commonly called heathens and ido- 
laters, the Jews, the Mahometans, and the Christians. The 
heathens, by their oracles, augurs, and auspices, confess the 
necessity of some supernatural light; and the very religion of 
all the rest consisteth in it. 

Sect. 3. 1. As for the heathens, I find this much good among 
them ; that some of them have had a very great care of their 
souls ; and many have used exceeding industry in seeking after 
knowledge, especially in the mysteries of the works of God : 
and some of them have bent their minds higher to know God, 
and the invisible worlds ; that they commonly thought that 
there is a life of retribution after death, and among the wisest 
of them, the sum of that is to be found, though confusedly, 
which I have laid down in the first part of this book. 

Especially in Seneca, Cicero, Plutarch, Plato, Plotinus, Jam- 
blicus, Proclus, Porphyry, Julian the apostate, Antoninus, Epic- 
tetus, Arrian, &c. : and for their learning and wisdom, and mo- 
ral virtues, the christian bishops carried themselves respectfully 
to many of them, as Basil to Libanius, &c. And in their days 
many of their philosophers were honoured by the christian em- 
perors, or at least by the inferior magistrates and christian peo- 
ple, who judged that so great worth deserved honour, and that 
the confession of so much truth deserved answerable love, 
especially Adesius, Julianus, Cappadox, Proaeresius, Maximus, 
Libanius, Acacius, Chrysanthus, &c. ; and the Christians ever 
since have made great use of their writings in their schools, 
especially of Aristotle's and Plato's, with their followers. 11 

Sect. 4. And I find that the idolatry of the wisest of them 
was not so foolish as that of the vulgar, but they thought that 
the universe was one animated world, and that the universal soul 
was the only absolute, sovereign God, whom they described much 
the same as Christians do ; and that the sun, and stars, and earth, 

h Eunapius saith, that Cons tan tine so honoured Sopater the philosopher, that 
he made him usually sit by him on the same bench. Surely the philosophers 
were falsely reported to Theoph. Antioeh. ad Autol. (1. 2. p. 137,) when he 
saith, that Zeno's, Diogenes', and Cleanthes' books, doteach to eat man's flesh, 
and fathers to be roasted and eaten by the children, and sacrificed by them, 
&c. Belying one another hath been the devil's means to destroy charity 
on earth. 



140 THE REASONS OF 

and each particular orb, was an individual animal, part of the 
universal world ; and, besides the universal, had each one a 
subordinate, particular soul, which they worshipped as a subor- 
dinate, particular deity, as some Christians do the angels : and 
their images they set up for such representations, by which they 
thought these gods delighted to be remembered, and instru- 
mentally to exercise their virtues for the help of earthly 
mortals. 

Sect. 5. I find that, except these philosophers, and very few 
more, the generality of the heathens were and are foolish ido- 
laters, and ignorant, sensual, brutish men. 1 

At this day, through the world, they are that sort of men 
that are most like unto beasts, except some few at Siam, China, 
the Indian Bannians, the Japonians, the Ethnic Persians, and a 
few more. The greatest deformity of nature is among them ; 
the least of sound knowledge, true policy, civility, and piety, is 
among them ; abominable wickedness doth nowhere so much 
abound. So that if the doctrine and judgment of these may 
be judged of by the effect, it is most insufficient to heal the 
diseased world, and reduce man to holiness, sobriety, and 
honesty. 

I find, that those few among the heathens, who attain to 
more knowledge in the things which concern man's duty and 
happiness than the rest, do commonly destroy all again by the 
mixture of some dotages and impious conceits. k 

The literati in China excel in many things, but besides 
abundance of ignorance in philosophy, they destroy all, by 
denying the immortality of the soul, and affirming rewards and 
punishments to be only in this life, or but a little longer : at 
least, none but the souls of the good, say some of them, survive. 

1 Sed nescio quomodo, nil tani ahsurde dici potest, quod lion dicatur ab 
aliquo philosophorum. — Cic. Divin. 1. 2. p. 188. 

k Sed haec eadem num censes apud eos ipsos valere, nisi admodum paucos a 
quibus inveuta, disputata, conscripta sunt? Quotus enim quisque philoso- 
phorum invenitur, qui sit ita moratus, ita ammo ac vita constitutus, ut ratio 
postulat? Qui disciplinam suam, non ostentationem sciential, sed legem vitae 
putet? Qui obtemperet ipse sibi, et decretis suis pareat ? Videre licet alios 
tanta levitate et jactatione, ut iis i'nerit nou didicisse melius ; alios pecuniae 
cupidos, gloriae nonnullos, multos libidinum servos : Ut cum eorum vita 
mirabiliter pugnet oratio ; quod quidem mihi videtur turpissimum. Ut enim 
si grammaticum se professus quispiam barbare loquatur, aut si absurde canat 
is, qui se haberi velit musicum ; hoc turpior sit, quod in eo ipso peccet, cujus 
profitetur scientiam. Sic philosophus in ratione vita peccans, hoc turpior est, 
quod in officio, cujus magister esse vult, labitur, artemque vitee professus, de- 
linquit in vita.— Cic, Tuscul. 1. 2. p. 252. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 141 

And though they confess one God, they give him no solemn 
worship. Their sect, called Sciequia, or Siacca, is very clear 
for the unity of the Godhead, the joys of heaven, and the tor- 
ments of hell, with some umbrage of the trinity, &c. But 
they blot out all with their Pythagorean fopperies, affirming 
these souls which were in joy or misery, after a certain space, 
to be sent again into bodies, and so to continue through fre- 
quent changes to eternity, to say nothing of the wickedness of 
their lives. Their third sect, called Lauru, is not worth the 
naming; as being composed of fopperies, and sorceries, and 
impostures. All the Japonian sects, also, make the world to 
be eternal, and souls to be perpetuated through infinite trans- 
migrations. The Siamenses, who seem to be the best of all, 
and nearest like the Christians, have many fopperies, and worship 
the devil for fear, as they do God for love. The Indian Bramenes, 
or Bannians, also, have the Pythagorean errors, and place their 
piety in redeeming brutes, because they have souls which some- 
times were human. The Persians, dispersed in India, who 
confess God, and heaven, and hell, yet think that these are but 
of a thousand years' duration. And it is above a thousand 
years since they believed that the world should continue for a 
thousand years, and then souls be released from hell, and a new 
world made. 

Sect. 7. Their great darkness and uncertainties appear by 
the innumerable sects and differences which are among them ; 
which are incomparably more numerous than all that are 
found in all parties in the world besides. 

I need not tell you of the two hundred and eighty-eight sects 
or opinions, de summo bono, which Varro said was in his days. 
The difference which you may find in Laertius, Hesechius, and 
others, between the cynics, peripatetics, academics, stoics, 
sceptics, Epicureans, &c, with all their subdivisions, are enough. 
In Japan, the twelve sects have their subdivisions. In China, the 
three general sects have so many subdivisions, that Verenius saith 
of them, ft Singuli fontes labentibus paulatim seculis, afraudum 
magistris in tot maandros derivati sunt, ut sub triplici nomine 
trecenta mini sectae inter se discrepantes numerari posse videan- 
tur : sed et hoe quotidianis incrementis augentur, et in pejus 
ruunt." Petrus Texeira saith of the Indians, " In regno Gazer* 
atensi varii sunt ritus et sectce incolarum, et quod mirum, vix 
familiam invenias in qua omnes congruant : alii comedunt car* 
nem, alii nequaquam ; alii comedunt quidem, sed non mactant 



142 THE REASONS OF 

animalia : alii nonnulla tantum animalia comedunt ; alii tan,' 
turn pisces ; alii tantum lac et herbas" &c. Johan. a Twist, 
saith of the Indian Bramenes, "Numerantur sectee precipui 
nominis octoginta tres : sed pr enter has minus illustrium magna 
est multitudo, it a ut singula families, peculiar em fere foveant 
religionem." It were endless to speak of all the sects in Africa 
and America ; to say nothing of the beastly part of them in 
Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope, that is, Soldania, and the 
islands of cannibals, who know no God, nor government nor 
civility some of them. They are not only of as many minds 
as countries, but of a multitude of sects in one and the same 
country. 

Sect. 8. I find not myself called or enabled to judge all these 
people, as to their final state, but only to say, that if any of 
them have a holy heart and life in the true love of God, they 
shall be saved ; but, without this, no form of religion will save 
any man, be it ever so right. 

Sect. 9. But I find it my duty to love them for all the 
good which is in them, and all that is true and good in their 
religion I will embrace ; and because it is so defective to look 
further, and try what I can learn from others. 

There is so much lovely in a Cato, Cicero, Seneca, Antonine, 
Epictetus, Plutarch, &c. in the religions of Siam, in the dis- 
persed Persian Ethnics, in India ; in the Bramans or Bannians 
of India ; in the Bonzii of Japan, and clivers others in China 
and elsewhere, that it obligeth us not only to love them benevo- 
lently, but with much complacence. And as I will learn from 
nature itself what I can, so also from these students of nature. 
I will take up nothing merely on their trust, nor reject any 
doctrine merely because it is theirs ; but all that is true and 
good in their religions, as far as I can discern it, shall be part 
of mine : and, because I find them so dark and bad, I will 
betake me for further information to those that trust to super- 
natural revelation, which are the Jews, Mahometans, and the 
Christians, of which I shall next consider apart. 

Sect. 10. II. As to the religion of the Jews, I need not say 
much of it by itself; the positive part of their doctrine being 
confessed, by the Christians and Mahometans, to be of divine 
revelation ; and the negative part, their denying of Christ, is to 
be tried, in the trial of Christianity. ! 

1 (In to. 4. Bib. Pat.) Extat liber Hieronymi a Sancta Fide, ex Juiteo 
Christiani, contra Juda?os et Talmud, qui ut elicit approbatio 5000 Judaeos ad 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 143 

The reasons which are brought for the christian religion, if 
sound, will prove the Old Testament, which the Jews believe ; 
it being part of the Christian's sacred book : and the same 
reasons will confute the Jews' rejection of Jesus Christ. I take 
that, therefore, to be the fittest place to treat of this subject, 
when I come to the proofs of the christian faith. I oppose 
not what they have from God ; I must prove that to be of God, 
which they deny. 

Sect. 1 1. III. In the religion of the Mahometans I find much 
good ; viz., a confession of one only God, and most of the 
natural parts of religion ; a vehement opposition to all idolatry; 
a testimony to the veracity of Moses, and of Christ ; that 
Christ is the word of God, and a great prophet : and the writings 
of the apostles true : all this, therefore, where Christianity is 
approved, must be embraced. 

And there is no doubt but God hath made use of Mahomet 
as a great scourge to the idolaters of the world, as well as to 
the Christians who had abused their sacred privileges and 
blessings : wherever his religion doth prevail, he casteth down 
images, and filleth men's minds with a hatred of idols, and all 
conceit of multitude of gods, and bringeth men to worship one 
God alone, and doth that by the sword in this, which the 
preaching of the Gospel had not done in many obstinate 
nations of idolaters. 

Sect. 12. But withal I find a man exalted as the chief of 
prophets, without any such proof as a wise man should be 
moved with ; an Alkoran written by him below the rates of 
common reason, being a rhapsody of nonsense and confusion ; 
and many false and impious doctrines introduced ; and a 
tyrannical empire and religion twisted, and both erected, propa- 
gated, and maintained, by irrational, tyrannical means : all which 
discharge my reason from the entertainment of this religion. m 

1. That Mahomet was so great, or any prophet, is neither 
confirmed by any true, credible miracle, nor by any eminency of 
wisdom or holiness, in which he excelled other men ; nor any 
thing else which reason can judge to be a divine attestation. 
The contrary is sufficiently apparent in the irrationality of his 
Alkoran ; there is no true learning nor excellency in it, but 

fidem convertit. (P. 742, &c.) De Mali u metis Origine, &c. vid. fragm. 
ex Anastas. Hist. Eccl. in B. P. Gr. Lat. to. 2. p. 289, &c. 

m Vid. Theodori Abucare Opuscul. Mahumetem non esse ex Deo, &c. Et 
Euthymii Zigabeu. Moamethica, 



144 THE REASONS OE 

such as might he expected among men of the more incult wits, 
and barbarous education ; there is nothing delivered methodi- 
cally or rationally, with any evidence of solid understanding ; 
there is nothing but the most nauseous repetition, an hundred 
times over, of many simple, incoherent speeches, in the dialect 
of a drunken man ; sometimes against idolaters, and sometimes 
against Christians, for calling Christ God ; which, all set 
together, seem not to contain, in the whole Koran, so much 
solid, useful sense and reason, as one leaf of some of those phi- 
losophers whom he opposeth, however his time had delivered 
him from their idolatry, and caused him more to approach the 
christian faith. 

2. And who can think it any probable sign, that he is the 
prophet of truth, whose kingdom is of this world, erected by 
the sword; who barbarously suppresseth all rational inquiry 
into his doctrine, and all disputes against it, all true learning 
and rational helps, to advance and improve the intellect of 
man; and who teacheth men to fight and kill for their religion : 
certainly, the kingdom of darkness is not the kingdom of God, 
but of the devil ; and the friend of ignorance is no friend to 
truth, to God, or to mankind ; and it is a sign of a bad cause, 
that it cannot endure the light. If it be of God, why dare they 
not soberly prove it to us, and hear what we have to object 
against it, that truth, by the search, may have the victory : if 
beasts had a religion, it would be such as this. 

3. Moreover, they have doctrines of polygamy, and of a 
sensual kind of heaven, and of murdering men, to increase their 
kingdoms, and many the like ; which being contrary to the 
light of nature, and unto certain, common truths, do prove that 
the prophet and his doctrine are not of God. 

4. And his full attestation to Moses and Christ, as the true 
prophets of God, doth prove himself a false prophet who so 
much contradicteth them, and rageth against Christians as 
a blood-thirsty enemy, when he hath given so full a testi- 
monv to Christ ; the particulars of which I shall show anon. 



CHAP. III. 

Of the Christian Religion : and first. What it is. 

Sect. 1. IV. The last sort of religion to be inquired into, is 
Christianity; in which, by the providence of God, I was edu- 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.' 145 

cated, and at first received it by a human faith, upon the word 
and reverence of my parents and teachers, being unable in my 
childhood, rationally, to try its grounds and evidences." 

I shall declare to the reader just in what order I have received 
the christian religion, that the inquisition being the more clear 
and particular, the satisfaction maybe the greater; and it being 
primarily for my own use that I draw up these papers, I find it 
convenient to remember what is past, and to insert the transcript 
of my own experiences, that I may fully try whether I have gone 
rationally and faithfully to work or not. I confess, that I took 
my religion at first upon my parents' word ; and who could ex- 
pect that in my childhood I should be able to prove its grounds ? 
But whether God owned that method of reception by any of his 
inward light and operations, and whether the efficacy of the small- 
est beams be any proof of the truth of the christian faith, I leave to 
the reader, and shall myself only declare the naked history in truth. 

Sect. 2. In this religion (received defectively both as to mat- 
ter and grounds) I found a power even in my childhood, to awe 
my soul, and check my sin and folly, and make me careful of 
my salvation, and to make me love and honour true wisdom and 
holiness of life. 

Sect. 3. But when I grew up to fuller use of reason, and more 
distinctly understood what I had generally and darkly received, 
the power of it did more surprise my mind, and bring me to 
deeper consideration of spiritual and everlasting things ; it 
humbled me in the sense of my sin and its deserts, and made 
me think more sensibly of a Saviour ; it resolved me for more 
exact obedience to God, and increased my love to God ; and 
increased my love to persons and things, sermons, writings, 
prayers, conference, which relished of plain, resolved godliness. 

Sect. 4. In all this time I never doubted of the truth of this 
religion ; partly retaining my first, human belief, and partly awed 
and convinced by the intrinsic evidence of its proper subject, 
end, and manner ; and being taken up about the humbling and 
reforming study of myself. 

Sect. 5. At last, having for many years laboured to compose 

n What the christian religion is, judge not by the intruded opinions of any 
sect, but by the ancient creeds and summaries, which elsewhere I have re- 
cited out of Tertullian and other ancients ; and which you may find recited or 
referred to in Usher and Vossius, * De Symb.' See the desciiption of the 
christian faith in Proclus ad Armenios, *De fide in Bib. Pat. Grscolat. to. 1. 
p. 311.' Also the Catechism of Junilius Africanus, ' De Part. Div. Legis.' Et 
Hermenopol. ' De Fide Orthod." 

VOL. XXI. L 






146 THE REASONS OF 

my mind and life to the principles of this religion, I grew up to 
see more difficulties in it than I saw before ; and partly by 
temptations, and partly by an inquisitive mind, which was 
wounded with uncertainties, and could not contemptuously or 
carelessly cast off the doubts which I was not able, to resolve, I 
resumed afresh the whole inquiry, and resolved to make as 
faithful a search into the nature and grounds of this religion as 
if I had never been baptised into it. 

The first thing I studied was the matter of Christianity, What 
it is ? And the next was the evidence and certainty of it; of 
which I shall speak distinctly. 

Sect. 6. The christian religion is to be considered, 1. In it- 
self, as delivered by God; 2. In its reception and practice, by 
men professing it. In itself it is perfect, but not so easily dis- 
cernible by a stranger ; in the practisers it is imperfect here in 
this life, but more discernible by men that cannot so quickly un- 
derstand the principles ; and more forcibly constraineth them to 
perceive its holiness and worth, where it is indeed sincerely 
practised ; and is most dishonoured and misunderstood through 
the wickedness of hypocrites who profess it. 

As the impress on the wax doth make the image more dis- 
cernible than the sculpture on the seal; but the sculpture is true 
and perfect, when many accidents may render the impressed 
image imperfect and faulty : so is it in this case. To a diligent 
inquirer, Christianity is best known in its principles delivered 
by Christ the Author of it ; and, indeed, is no otherwise per- 
fectly known, because it is nowhere else perfectly to be seen: but 
yet it is much more visible and taking with unskilful, super- 
ficial observers, in the professors' lives ; for they can discern 
the good or evil of an action, who perceive not the nature 
of the rule and precepts. The vital form in the rose-tree is 
the most excellent part ; but the beauty and sweetness of the 
rose is more easily discerned. Effects are most sensible, but 
causes are most excellent ; and yet in some respects the practice 
of religion is more excellent than the precepts, inasmuch as the 
precepts are means to practice ; for the end is more excellent 
than the means as such. A poor man can more easily perceive 
the worth of charity in the person that clotheth, and feedeth, 
and relieveth him, than the worth of a treatise or sermon of 
charity. Subjects easily perceive the worth of a wise, and holy, 

° Leg Julian. Toletan, cont. JudffiflS. Et Rabbi Samuel. Marochiani de 
adven.tu Messiaj. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 147 

and just, and merciful king or magistrate, in his actual govern- 
ment, who are not much taken with the precepts which require 
yet more perfection : and among all descriptions, historical 
narratives, like Xenophon's ' Cyrus,' do take most with them. 
Doubtless, if ever the professors of Christianity should live ac- 
cording to their own profession, they would thereby overcome 
the opposition of the world, and propagate their religion with 
the greatest success through all the earth. 

Because no man can well judge of the truth of a doctrine 
till he first know what it is, I think it here necessary to open 
the true nature of the christian religion, and tell men truly what 
it is : partly, because I perceive that abundance that profess it 
hypocritically, by the mere power of education, laws and cus- 
toms of their country, do not understand it, and then are the 
more easily tempted to neglect or contemn it, or forsake it, if 
strongly tempted to it; even to forsake that which, indeed, 
they never truly received. And because it is possible some 
aliens to Christianity may peruse these lines. Otherwise, were 
I to speak only to those that already understand it, I might 
spare this description. 

Sect. 7. The christian religion containeth two parts: 1. All 
theological verities which are of natural revelation : 2. Much 
more which is supernaturally revealed. The supernatural reve- 
lation is said in it to be partly written by God, partly delivered 
by angels, partly by inspired prophets and apostles, and partly 
by Jesus Christ himself in person. 

Sect. 8. The supernatural revelation reciteth most of the 
natural, because the searching of the great book of nature is a 
long and difficult work for the now corrupted, dark, and slothful 
mind of the common sort of men. 

Sect. 9. These supernatural revelations are all contained, 1 . Most 
copiously in a book called, ' The Holy Bible ; or Canonical 
Scriptures.' 2. More summarily and contractedly, in three 
forms, called, 'The Belief,' 'The Lord's Prayer,' and ' The Ten 
Commandments.' 3. And most briefly and summarily, in a 
' Sacramental Covenant :' this last containeth all the essential 
parts most briefly ; and the second somewhat more fully ex- 
plained* them ; and the first, the holy Scriptures, containeth also 
all the integral parts, or the whole frame. 

Sect. 10. Some of the present professors of the christian re- 
ligion do differ about the authority of some few writings, called 
' Apocrypha,' whether they are to be numbered with the ca- 



l2 



148 THE REASONS OF 

nonical books of God, or not ; but those few containing in them 
no considerable points of doctrine different from the rest, the 
controversy doth not very much concern the substance or doc- 
trinal matter of their religion. 

Sect. 11. The sacred Scriptures are written very much his- 
torically, the doctrines being interspersed with the history. 

Sect. 12. This sacred volume containeth two parts : the first 
called, ' The Old Testament,' containing the history of the cre- 
ation, and of the deluge, and of the Jewish nation till after their 
captivity ; as also their law, and prophets. The second, called 
* The New Testament,' containing the history of the birth, and 
life, and death, and resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ ; 
the sending of his apostles ; the giving of the Holy Ghost ; the 
course of their ministry and miracles ; with the sum of the 
doctrine preached first by Christ, and then by them, and certain 
epistles of theirs to divers churches and persons, more fully 
opening all that doctrine. 

Sect. 13. The sum of the history of the Old Testament is 
this : That in the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth, with all things in them : p viz., That having first made the 
intellectual, superior part of the world, and the matter of the 
elementary world in an unformed mass, he did, the first day, 
distinguish or form the active element of fire, and caused it to 
give light : the second day, he separated the rarified, passive 
element, called air, expanding it from the earth upwards, to be 
a separation and medium of action between the superior and 
inferior parts. The third day he separated the rest of the pas- 
sive element, earth and water, into their proper place, and set 
their bounds ; and made individual plants, with their specific 
forms and virtue of generation. The fourth day he made the 
sun, moon, and stars, for luminaries to the earth; either then 
forming them, or then appointing them to that office, but not 
revealing their other uses, which are nothing to us. The fifth 
day he made fishes and birds, with the power of generation. 
The sixth day he made the terrestrial animals, and man, with 
the like generative power. And the seventh day he appointed 
to be a Sabbath of rest, on which he would be solemnly wor- 
shipped by mankind as our Creator. Having made one man 
and one woman, in his own image, that is, with intellects, free- 
will, and executive power, in wisdom, holiness, and aptitude to 
obey him, and with dominion over the sensitive and vegetative, 

P Gen. i. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 149 

and inanimate creatures ; he placed them in a garden of plea- 
sure, wherein were two sacramental trees, one called, the tree 
of life, and the other, the tree of knowledge of good and evil : and 
(besides the law of nature) he tried him only with this positive 
prohibition, that he should not eat of the tree of knowledge : 
whereupon the devil, i who before this was fallen from his first 
state of innocency and felicity, took occasion to persuade the 
woman that God's threatening was not true ; that he meant not 
as he spoke ; that he knew man was capable of greater know- 
ledge, but envied him that happiness ; and that the eating of 
that fruit was not the way to death as God had threatened, 
but to knowledge and exaltation : whereupon the woman seeing 
the beauty of the fruit, and desiring knowledge, believed the 
devil, and did eat of that which God forbade. The sin being 
so heinous for a new-made, rational creature, to believe that God 
was false and bad, a liar and envious, which is indeed the na- 
ture of the devil, and to depart from his love and obedience for 
so small a matter, God did, in justice, presently sentence the 
offenders to punishment : yet would not so lose his new-made 
creature, nor cast off mankind, by the full execution of his de- 
served punishment; but he resolved to commit the recovery and 
conduct of mankind to a Redeemer, who should better perform 
the work of salvation than the first man, Adam, had done the 
work of adhesion and obedience. This Saviour is the Eternal 
Wisdom and Word of God, who was in due time to assume the 
nature of man, and in the meantime to stay the stroke of jus- 
tice, and to be the invisible Lawgiver and Guide of souls, com- 
municating such measures of mercy, light, and spirit, for their 
recovery, as he saw fit. (Of whom, more anon.) So that, 
henceforward, God did no longer govern man as a spotless, in- 
nocent creature, by the mere law of entire nature ; but as a 
lapsed, guilty, depraved creature, who must be pardoned, re- 
conciled, and renewed, and have laws and means made suitable 
to his corrupted and miserable state. Hereupon, God published 
the promise of a Saviour, to be sent in due time : r who should 

i Caesarius (Dialog. 3. Q. 122) thiuketh that Adam was forty days in paradise, 
and that, therefore, Lent is kept, to show our hungering after paradise. But 
that is a singular fancy. And afterwards he changed it, upon some old men's 
tradition, to a longer time. (Gen. ii. and iii.) Transtulit Deos hominem in Para- 
disum, et undique occasiones suggerens utcresceret, et perfectus redderetur, et 
declaratus tandem Deus, in astra ascenderet. Mediam etenim conditionem ob- 
tinuit homo ; nee totus mortalis, nee totus immortalis |existens j verurn 
utriusque extitit partu.-ips.~- Therph. Antio. ad Antal. 1. 1. p. 12^. 

r Geo. iii. xv. , Geu. i\ . 



150 TUB KKASONS OF 

confound the devil that had accused God of falsehood, and of en- 
vying the good of man, and had by lying murdered mankind; and 
should overcome all his deceits and power, and rescue God's in- 
jured honour, and the souls of sinners, and bring them safe to 
the everlasting blessedness which they were made for. Thus God, 
as man's Redeemer, and not only as his Creator, governeth 
him. He taught Adam first to worship him now by sacrifice, 
both in acknowledgment of the Creator, and to teach him to 
believe in and expect the Redeemer, who, in his assumed hu- 
manitv, was to become a sacrifice for sin. This worship by 
sacrifice Adam taught Ins two sons, Cain and Abel, who were 
the early instances, types, and beginnings of the two sorts of 
persons which thenceforward would be in the world ; viz., the 
holy seed of Christ, and the wicked seed of Satan. Cain, the 
elder (as corruption now is before regeneration) offering the 
fruits of his land only to his Creator ; and Abel, the younger, 
sacrificing the firstlings of his flock of sheep to his Redeemer, 
with a purified mind. God rejected the offering of Cain, and 
accepted the sacrifice of Abel : whereupon Cain, in imitation 
of the devil, envied his brother, and in envy slew him, to 
foretell the world what the corrupted nature of man would prove, 
and how malignant it would be against the sanctified, and what 
the holv seed that are accepted of God must look for in this 
world, for the hope of an everlasting blessedness with God. 
After this, God's patience waited on mankind, not executing 
the threatened death upon their bodies till they had each lived 
seven, eight, or nine hundred years : s which mercy was abused 
to their greater sin, the length of their lives occasioning their 
excessive sensuality, worldliness, and contempt of God and life 
eternal, so that the number of the holv seed was at last so small, 
and the wickedness of mankind SO great, that God resolved to 
drown the world. Onlv righteous Noah and his family (eight 
persons) he saved in an ark, which he directed him to make for 
the preservation of himself, and the species of aerial and terres- 
trial animals. 1 After which Hood, the earth was peopled in 
time from Noah, to whom God gave precepts of piety and 
justice, which by tradition came down to his posterity through 
the world." But still the greater part did corrupt their ways, 
and followed Satan, and the holv seed was the smaller part : 
tit" whom Abraham, being exemplary in holiness and righteous- 

s Gi'ii. v. l Geo. \i. and vii. 

" Gen. viii. i\. x. and xi. 



thr Christian religion. 151 

nets, with his son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob, God did, in 

special approbation of their 1'ighteousneSS, renew his gracious 
covenant with them, and enlarge it with the addition of many 
temporal blessings, and spceial privileges to their posterity after 
them ; promising that they should possess the land of Canaan, 
and he to him a peculiar people above all the people of t In- 
earth.* The children of Jacob, being afterwards by a famine 
removed into Egypt, there multiplied to a great people. The 
king of Egypt, therefore, oppressed them, and used them as 
slaves, to make his brick, by cruel impositions: till at last God 
raised them up Moses for a deliverer, to whom (iod committed 
his message to the king, and to whom he gave power to work 
miracles for their deliverance, and whom he made their captain 
to lead them out of Egypt towards the promised land. Ten 
times did Moses, with Aaron, his brother, go to Pharaoh, the 
king, in vain, though each time they wrought public miracles to 
convince him, till at last, when (iod had in a night destroyed 
all the fust born in the land of Mgypt, Pharaoh did Unwillingly 
let the seed of Jacob, or Israel, go; hut, repenting quickly, he 
pursued after them with his host, and overtook them just at the 
Red Sea, where God wrought a miracle, opening the sea, which 
the Israelites passed through on dry ground : but the king, with 
his host, who were hardened to pursue them, were all drowned 
by the return of the waters, when the Israelites were over. Then 
Moses led them on in the wilderness, towards the promised 
land ; but the great difficulties of the wilderness tempted them 
to murmuring against him that had brought them thither, and 
to unbelief against, (iod, as if he could not have provided for 
them. This provoked (iod to kill many thousands of them by 
plagues and serpents, and to delay them forty years in that 
wilderness, before he gave them the land of promise : so that 
only two which eaine out of Egypt, Caleb and Joshua, did live 
to enter it. Hut to confute their unbelief, God wrought many 

miracles for them in this wilderness; he caused the rocks to 
give them water ; he i\'(\ them with manna from above : then- 
shoes and clothes did not, wear in forty years. In this wilder- 
ness Moses received from (iod a law, by which they were to be 
governed. In Mount Sinai, in flames of lire, with terrible 
thunder, (iod appeared so far to Moses, as to speak to him, and 
instruct him in all that he would have him to do: he gave him 
the chief part of his law in two tables of stone, containing ten 

1 lieu. xii. to the end of the Hook. 



152 THE REASONS OF 

commandments, engraven thereon by God himself, or by ange- 
lical ministration: the rest he instructed him in by word of 
voice. Moses was made their captain, and Aaron their high 
priest, and all the forms of God's worship settled, with abun- 
dance of laws for sacrifices and ceremonies, to typify the sacrifice 
and reign of Christ. When Moses and Aaron were dead in the 
wilderness, God chose Joshua, Moses' servant, to be their 
captain, who led them into Canaan, and miraculously conquered 
all the inhabitants, and settled Israel in possession of the land. y 
There they long remained under the government of a chieftain, 
called a judge, successively chosen by God himself, 2 till at last 
they mutinied against that form of government, and desired a 
king like other nations. a Whereupon, God gave them a bad 
king in displeasure ; but next him he choose David, a king of 
great and exemplary holiness, in whom God delighted, and 
made his kingdom hereditary. To David he gave a son of 
extraordinary wisdom, who by God's appointment built the 
famous temple at Jerusalem ; yet did this Solomon, by the 
temptation of his wives, to gratify them, set up idolatry also in 
the land. Which so provoked God, that he resolved to rend 
ten tribes of the twelve out of his son's hand; which accord- 
ingly was done, and they revolted and chose a king of their 
own, and only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin adhered to the 
posterity of Solomon. The wise sentences of Solomon, and 
the psalms of David, are here inserted in the Bible. The reigns 
of the kings of Judah and Israel are afterwards described ; the 
wickedness and idolatry of most of their successive kings and 
people ; till God, being so much provoked by them, gave them 
up into captivity. Here is also inserted many books of the 
prophecies of those prophets which God sent from time to time, 
to call them from their sins, and warn them of his foretold 
judgments : b and, lastly, here is contained some of the history 
of their state in captivity, and the return of the Jews by the 
favour of Cyrus ; where in a tributary state they remained in 
expectation of the promised Messiah or Christ. Thus far is 
the history of the Old Testament/" 

The Jews, being too sensible of their captivities and tri- 
butes, and too desirous of temporal greatness and dominion, 
expected that the Messiah should restore their kingdom to its 

y Exod. and Numb. * Josh, and Judg-. 

a 1 Sam. b 1 King. 2 King, and 1 Chr. and 2 Chr. 

c Ezra and Nehem, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 153 

ancient splendour, and should subdue the gentile nations to 

them : and to this sense they expounded all those passages in 

their prophets, which were spoken and meant of the spiritual 

kingdom of Christ, as the Saviour of souls, which prejudiced 

them against the Messiah when he came ; so that, though they 

looked and longed for his coming, yet, when he came, they 

knew him not to be the Christ, but hated him, and persecuted 

him, as the prophets had foretold : the fulness of time being 

come, in which God would send the promised Redeemer, the 

Eternal Wisdom and Word of God, the Second in the Trinity, 

assumed a human soul and body, and was conceived in the 

womb of a virgin, by the Holy Spirit of God, without man's 

concurrence. His birth was celebrated by prophecies, and 

apparitions, and applause of angels, and other wonders. A 

star appearing over the place, led some astronomers out of the 

east, to worship him in the cradle, which Herod, the king, 

being informed of, and that they called him the King of the 

Jews, he caused all the infants in that country to be killed, that 

he might not escape ; but, by the warning of an angel, Jesus 

was carried into Egypt, where he remained till the death of 

Herod. At twelve years old he disputed with the doctors in 

the temple : at this time rose a prophet, called John, who 

told them, that the kingdom of the Messiah was at hand, and 

called the people to repentance, that they might be prepared for 

him, and baptised all that professed repentance into the present 

expectation of the Saviour. d About the thirtieth year of his 

age, Jesus resolved to enter upon the solemn performance of 

his undertaken work ; and, first, he went to John to be baptised 

by him, the captains being to wear the same colours with the 

soldiers. When John had baptised him, he declared him to be 

the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world ; and 

when he was baptised, and prayed, the heaven was opened, and 

the Holy Spirit descended, in a bodily shape, like a dove, upon 

him ; and a voice came from heaven, which said, " Thou art 

my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." The first thing 

that Jesus did, after his baptism, was, when he had fasted forty 

days and nights, to expose himself to the utmost of Satan's 

temptations, who, thereupon, did divers ways assault him ; but 

Jesus perfectly overcame the tempter, who had overcome the 

first man, Adam ; e thenceforth, he preached the glad tidings of 

d Matt. i. ii. &c. Luke i. ii. &c. Vid. Prodi Homiliani de Nativ. Christi. 
interpret, l'eltano. 

s Matt. iv. and Luke iv. 



154 THE REASONS OF 

salvation, and called men to repentance, and, choosing twelve 
to be more constantly with him than the rest, and to be witnesses 
of his works and doctrine, he revealed the mvsteries of the 
kingdom of God ; he went up and down with them, teaching 
the people, and working miracles, to confirm his doctrine ; he 
told them, that he was sent from God, to reveal his will to lost 
mankind, for their recovery, and to bring them to a fuller 
knowledge of the unseen world, and the way thereto; and 
to be a Mediator and Reconciler between God and man, 
and to lay down his life as a sacrifice for sin ; and that 
he would rise again from the dead the third day; and, in 
the mean time, to fulfil all righteousness, and give man an 
example of a perfect life ; which, accordingly, he did : he 
never sinned in thought, word, or deed ; he chose a poor, 
inferior condition of life, to teach men, by his example, to 
contemn the wealth and honours of this world, in compari- 
son of the favour of God, and the hopes of immortality. 
He suffered patiently all indignities from men ; he went up and 
down as the living image of divine power, wisdom, and good- 
ness, doing miracles to manifest his power, and opening the 
doctrine of God to manifest his wisdom ; and healing men's 
bodies and seeking the salvation of their souls to manifest his 
goodness and his love. Without any means, by his bare com- 
mand, he immediately cured fevers, palsies, and all diseases, 
cast out devils, and raised the dead to life again ; and so open, 
uncontrolled, and numerous were his miracles, as that all men 
might see that the omnipotent God did thereby bear witness to 
his word. Yet did not the greatest part of the Jews believe in 
him, for all these miracles, because he came not in worldly 
pomp to restore their kingdom and subdue the world ; but they 
blasphemed his very miracles, and said, he did them by the 
power of the devil ; and fearing lest his fame should bring envy 
and danger upon them from the Romans, who ruled over them, 
thev were his most malicious persecutors themselves. The 
doctrine which he preached was not the unnecessary curiosities 
of philosophy, nor the subservient arts and sciences, which 
natural light revealeth, and which natural men can sufficiently 
teach : but it was to teach men to know God, and to know 
themselves, their sin, and danger, and how to be reconciled to 
God, and pardoned, and sanctified, and saved ; how to live in 
holiness to God, and in love and righteousness to men, and in 
special amity and unity among themselves, who are his disci- 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 155 

pies 5 how to mortify sin, and to contemn the wealth and 
honours of the world, and to deny the flesh its hurtful desires 
aud lusts ; and how to suffer any thing that we shall be called 
to, for obedience to God, and the hopes of heaven ; to tell us 
what shall be after death ; how all men shall be judged, and 
what shall become both of soul and body to everlasting. But 
his great work was by the great demonstrations of the goodness 
and love of God to lost mankind, (in their free pardon and 
offered salvation,) to win men's hearts to the love of God, 
and to raise their hopes and desires up to that blessed life, 
where they shall see his glory, and love him, and be beloved by 
him for ever. At last, when he had finished the work of his mi- 
nistration in the flesh, he told his disciples of his approaching 
sufferings and resurrection, and instituted the sacrament of his 
body and blood in bread and wine, which he commandeth them 
to use, for the renewing of their covenant with him, and remem- 
brance of him ; and for the maintaining and signifying their 
communion with him and with each other . f After this, his time 
being come, the Jews apprehended him, and though upon a 
word of his mouth, to show his power, they fell all to the 
ground ; yet did they rise again and lay hands on him, and 
brought him before Pilate, the Roman governor, and vehe- 
mently urged him to crucify him, contrary to his own mind 
and conscience. They accused him of blasphemy, for saying 
he was the Son of God ; of impiety, for saying, " Destroy this 
temple, and in three days I will rebuild it ;" he meant his body : 
and of treason against Csesar, for calling himself a king; 
though he told them that his kingdom was not worldly, but 
spiritual. Hereupon, they condemned him, and clothed him 
in purple, like a king, in scorn, and set a crown of thorns on 
his head, and put a reed for a sceptre into his hand, and led him 
about to be a derision ; they covered his eyes, and smote him, 
and buffetted him, and bid him tell who struck him : at last, 
they nailed him upon a cross, and put him to open shame and 
death, betwixt two malefactors ; of whom, one of them reviled 
him, and the other believed in him. They gave him gall and 
vinegar to drink. The soldiers pierced his side with a spear, 
when he was dead. All his disciples forsook him and fled ; 
Peter having before denied thrice that ever he knew him, when 
he was in danger. When he was dead, the earth trembled, 
the rocks and the vale of the temple rent, and darkness was 
f Vid. • Microlog. de Eccles.' observ. cap. 23. 



156 HIE REASONS OF 

upon the earth, though there was no natural eclipse, which 
made the captain of the soldiers say, " Verily this was the Son 
of God." When he was taken down from the cross, and 
laid in a stone sepulchre, they set a guard of soldiers to 
watch the grave, having a stone upon it, which they sealed ; 
because he had foretold them that he would rise again. On 
the morning of the third clay, being the first day of the 
week, an angel terrified the soldiers, and rolled away the 
stone, and sat upon it ; and when his disciples came, they 
found that Jesus was not there, and the angel told them, 
that he was risen, and would appear to them : accordingly, 
he often appeared to them ; sometimes as they walked by the 
way, and once as they were fishing, but usually when they 
were assembled together. Thomas, who was one of them, 
being absent at his first appearance to the rest, told them 
he would not believe it, unless he saw the print of the nails, 
and might put his finger into his wounded side. The next first 
day of the week, when they were assembled, Jesus appeared to 
them, the doors being shut, and called Thomas, and bade him 
put his fingers into his side, and view the prints of the nails in 
his hands and feet, and be not faithless but believing. After 
this he often appeared to them, and once to above five hundred 
brethren at once. He earnestly pressed Peter to show the 
love that he bare to himself, by the feeding of his flock. He in- 
structed his apostles in the matters of their employment. He 
gave them commission to go into all the world, and preach the 
Gospel, and gave them the tenour of the new covenant of grace, 
and made them the rulers of his church, requiring them by bap- 
tism solemnly to enter all into his covenant who consent to the 
terms of it, and to assure them of pardon by his blood, and of 
salvation if they persevere. He required them to teach his dis- 
ciples to observe all tilings which he had commanded them, and 
promised them that he would be with them, by his spirit, and 
grace, and powerful defence, to the end of the world. And when 
he had been seen by them for forty days, speaking of the things 
pertaining to the kingdom of God, being assembled with them, 
he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait 
till the Holy Spirit came down upon them, which he had pro- 
mised them ; s but they, being tainted with some of the worldly 
expectations of the Jews, and thinking that he who could rise from 
the dead would surely now make himself and his followers glori- 

* All this is written hv the four Evangelists. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 157 

ous in the world, began to ask him whether he would at this 
time restore the kingdom to Israel ; but he answered them, " It 
is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father 
hath put into his own power ; but ye shall receive power, after 
that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses 
to me both at Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to 
the uttermost parts of the earth. h And when he had said this, 
while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him 
out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly towards 
heaven, as he went up, two men stood by them in white apparel, 
and said, Why gaze ye up into heaven ? This same Jesus which 
is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner 
as ye have seen him go into heaven." Upon this they returned 
to Jerusalem, and continued together till ten days after. As 
they were all together, both the apostles and all the rest of the 
disciples, suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a 
rushing, mighty wind, and the likeness of fiery, cloven tongues 
sat on them all, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and 
began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ut- 
terance.' By this they were enabled both to preach to people 
of several languages, and to work other miracles to confirm their 
doctrine ; so that, from this time forward, the Holy Spirit, which 
Christ sent down upon believers, was his great Witness and 
Agent in the world, and procured the belief and entertainment 
of the Gospel wheresoever it came ; for by this extraordinary 
reception of the Spirit, the apostles themselves were more fully 
instructed in the doctrine of salvation than they were before, 
notwithstanding their long converse with Christ in person, it 
being his pleasure to illuminate them by supernatural infusion, 
that it might appear to be no contrived design to deceive the 
world. And they were enabled to preach the word with power, 
and by this Spirit were infallibly guided in the performance of 
the work of their commissions, to settle Christ's church in a 
holy order, and to leave on record the doctrine which he had 
commanded them to teach : also, they themselves did heal the 
sick, and cast out devils, and prophesy, and by the laying on of 
their hands the same Holy Spirit was ordinarily given to others 
that believed : so that Christians had all one gift or other of 
that Spirit, by which they convinced and converted a great part 
of the world in a short time : and all that were sincere had the 
gift of sanctification, and were regenerate by the Spirit, as well 

b Acts i. I Acts ii. 



158 THE REASONS OF 

as by baptismal water, and had the love of God shed abroad in 
their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which was given them. A holy 
and heavenly mind and life, with mortification, contempt of the 
world, self-denial, patience, and love to one another, and to all 
men, was the constant badge of all Christ's followers. The first 
sermon that Peter preached did convert three thousand of those 
sinful Jews that had crucified Christ. And after that many 
thousands of them more were converted. k One of their bloody 
persecutors, Saul, a pharisee, that had been one of the mur- 
derers of the first martyr, Stephen, and had haled many of them 
to prisons ; and as he was going on this business was struck 
down by the highway, a light from heaven shining round about 
him, and a voice saying to him, " Saul, Saul, why persecutest 
thou me ? And he said, Who art thou, Lord ? And the Lord 
said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest ; it is hard for thee to 
kick against the pricks. And he, trembling and astonished, 
said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? And the Lord said, 
Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou 
must do. And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, 
hearing a voice, but seeing no man : and so Saul was led blind to 
Damascus, where one Ananias had a vision, commanding him to 
baptise him, and his eyes were opened." ' This convert, called 
Paul, did henceforward preach the Gospel of Christ, from 
country to country, in Syria, in Asia, at Rome, and a great part 
of the world, in marvellous, unwearied labours and sufferings, 
abuses, and imprisonments, converting multitudes, and planting 
churches in many great cities and countries, and working abun- 
dance of miracles where he went. His history is laid down in part 
of the New Testament : there are also many of his epistles, to 
Rome, to Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, Thessa- 
lonica, to Timothy, to Titus, and to Philemon, and the He- 
brews, as is supposed : there are also the epistles of Peter, 
James, John, and Jude j with the revelation of John, contain- 
ing many mysterious prophecies. An eunuch, who was of great 
power, under the Queen of Ethiopia, was converted by Philip, 
and carried the Gospel into his country. The rest of the apos- 
tles, and other disciples, carried it abroad a great part of the 
world, especially in the Roman empire : and though every 
where they met with opposition and persecution, yet, by the 
power of the Holy Ghost appearing in their holiness, languages, 
and miracles, they prevailed and planted abundance of churches, 

k Acts ii. and iii. l Acts ix. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 159 

of whicli the most populous were at Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, 
and Alexandria : and though they were all dispersed abroad 
the world, and out of the reach of mutual converse, yet did 
they never disagree in their doctrine in the smallest point ; but 
proceeded through sufferings in unity and holiness, in the work 
of saving souls, till most of them were put to death for the 
sake of Christ, having left the churches under the government 
of their several pastors, according to the will of Christ." 1 

This is the abstract of the history of the holy Scriptures. 

Sect. 14. The sum of the doctrine of Christianity is contained 
in these articles following, consisting of three general heads : 
I. Things to be known and believed. II. Things to be willed, 
and desired, and hoped. III. Things to be done. 

1. I. There is one only God in essence, in three essential 
principles, — power, understanding, and will ; or omnipotency, 
omniscience, and goodness ; in three substances or persons, — the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who is a Mind, or Spirit, 
and therefore is most simple, incorruptible, immortal, impas- 
sionate, invisible, intactible, &c. ; and is indivisible, eternal, im- 
mense, necessary, independent, self-sufficient, immutable, abso- 
lute, and infinite in all perfections : the principal efficient, 
dirigent, and final Cause of all the world : the Creator of all, 
and therefore our absolute Owner, our supreme Ruler, and our 
total Benefactor, and Chief Good and End. 11 

2. God made man for himself; not to supply any want of 
his own, but for the pleasing of his own will and love, in the 
glory of his perfections, shining forth in his works : in his own 
image; that is, with vital power, understanding, and free-will, 
able, wise, and good, with dominion over the inferior creatures, 
as being in subordination to God, their Owner, their Governor, 
and their Benefactor and End. And he bound him by the law 
of his nature to adhere to God, his Maker ; by resignation, 
devotion, and submission to him as his Owner, by believing, 
honouring, and obeying him as his Ruler ; and by loving him, 
trusting and seeking him, delighting in him, thanksgiving to 
him, and praising him, as his grand Benefactor, chief Good, 
and ultimate End, to exercise charity and justice to each other; 
and to govern all his inferior faculties by reason according to 

m Acts per tot. 

n 1 Cor. viii. 4, G; Matt, xxviii. 19; 1 John v. 7; 1 Tim. i. 17; Psalm 
cxxxix. 7 — 9, and cxlvii. 5 ; Isa. xl. 17 ; 1 Tim. vi. lfi ; Mai. iii. 6 ; Jam. i. 17 ; 
Neh. ix. 6 ; Rev. iv. 8 ; and xv. 3 ; Exod. xxxiv. C, 7 ; Ezek. xviii. 4 ; Psalm 
xlvii. 7 ; cxix. C8, and cxlv. 9. 



1€0 THE REASONS OF 

his Maker's will, that he so might please him, and be happy m 
his love : and, to try him, he particularly forbade him to eat of 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. 

3. Man being tempted by Satan to break this law of God, 
did believe the tempter, who promised him impunity, and ad- 
vancement in knowledge, and who accused God as false in his 
threatening, and as envying man this great advancement ; and so, 
by wilful sinning against him, he fell from God, and his upright- 
ness and happiness, under the displeasure of God, the penalty of 
his law, and the power of Satan ; and hence we are all conceived 
in sin, averse to good, and prone to evil, and condemnation is 
passed upon all, and no mere creature is able to deliver us. 1 ' 

4. God so loved the world, that he gave his only son to be 
their Redeemer, who, being the eternal Wisdom and Word of 
God, and so truly God, and one in essence with the Father, did 
assume our nature, and became man, being conceived by the 
Holy Spirit, in the Virgin Mary, and born of her, and called 
Jesus Christ; who, being holy and without all sin, did conquer 
the tempter and the world, fulfilling all righteousness. He 
enacted and preached the law or covenant of grace, confirming 
his doctrine by abundant, uncontrolled miracles ; contemning 
the world, he exposed himself to the malice, and fury, and con- 
tempt of sinners, and gave up himself a sacrifice for our sins, 
and a ransom for us, in suffering death on a cross, to reconcile 
us to God. He was buried, and went, in soul, to the souls de- 
parted ; and the third day he rose again, having conquered 
death ; and, after forty days, having instructed and authorised 
his apostles in their office, he ascended up into heaven in their 
sight, where he remaineth glorified, and is Lord of all ; the 
Chief-Priest, and Prophet, and King of his church, interceding 
for us, teaching and governing us by his Spirit, ministers, and 
word. q 

° Prov/xvi. 4 ; Gen. i. 26 ; Deut. xxx. 19 ; Col. iii. 10; Eccles. vii. 29 : Psalm 
viii. 5, 6 ; Mark xii. 30, 33 ; Deut. vi. 5 ; x. 12, and i. 32 ; Gen. ii. 16, 17 ; 
Rom. vi. 23. See an exposition of the Creed briefly in Isidor. ' De Eccles. 
Offic' (1. 2, c. 23, p. 222.) Of the original of the Creed, see Vossius ' De 
Symbol.' and Parker 'De Descensu ad Inferos.' Of the several Creeds of 
the Eastern and Western churches, see Usher, 'De Symbolis.' 

p Gen. iii. ; John viii. 44 ; Rom. v. 12, 17, 18 ; Gen. iii. 16, 17 ; Rom. iii. 9, 
19, 23, and vi. 23 ; Acts xvi. 18 ; Eph. ii. 2 ; Heb. ii. 14 ; Psalm li. 5 ; Rom. 
v. xii ; Eph. ii. 2, 3, 5 ; Isa. xlviii. 4 ; Job. xiv. 4, and xxv. 4 ; Gen. vi. 5 ; 
Hos. xi. 7 ; Rom. v. 18, 19 ; Rom. v. 6, 10 ; Acts iv. 12. 

i John iii. 16, 17, and iv. 42 ; 1 John ii. 2 ; Rom. ix. 5 ; John x. 30 ; 1 Tim. 
ii. 5 ; Heb. ii. 14, 16 ; Luke i. 27, 31, 35 ; Matt. i. 20, 21 ; Heb. iv. If) ; Matt. 
iv. ; Heb. vii. 26 j Matt. iii. 15 ; Acts ii. 22 ; Heb. ii. 3, 4, ix. 26, and x. 12 ; 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 



161 



5. The new law and covenant which Christ hath procured, 
made, and sealed, hy his hlood, his sacraments, and his Spirit, 
is this : That to all them who, by true repentance and faith, do 
forsake the flesh, the world, and the devil, and give up themselves 
to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, their Creator, Re- 
deemer, and Sanctifier, he will give himself in these relations, 
and take them as his reconciled children, pardoning their sins, 
and giving them his grace, and title to everlasting happiness, and 
will glorify all that thus persevere ; but will condemn the unbe- 
lievers, impenitent, and ungodly, to everlasting punishment. 
This covenant he hath commanded his ministers to proclaim 
and offer to all the world, and to baptise all that consent there- 
unto, to invest them sacramentally in all these benefits, and enter 
them into his holy catholic church. r 

6. The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, 
did first inspire and guide the prophets, apostles, and evangelists, 
that they might truly and fully reveal the doctrine of Christ, and 
deliver it in Scripture to the church, as the rule of our faith and 
life ; and by abundance of evident, uncontrolled miracles and 
gifts, to be the great witness of Christ, and of the truth of his 
holy word. 8 

7. Where the Gospel is made known, the Holy Spirit doth 
by it illuminate the minds of such as shall be saved, and opening 
and softening their hearts, doth draw them to believe in Christ, 
and turneth them from the power of Satan unto God ; whereupon 
they are joined to Christ the Head, and into the holy catholic 
church, which is his body, consisting of all true believers, and 
are freely justified and made the sons of God, and a sanctified, 
peculiar people unto him, and do love him above all, and serve 
him sincerely in holiness and righteousness, loving and desiring 

1 Tim. ii. 6 ; Eph. ii. 16; 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4 ; Luke xxiii. 43 ; Psalm xvi. 10 ; 
1 Pet. iii. 18, 19; 2 Tim. i. 10; Heb.ii. 14 ; Acts ii. 24, 29, and iii.; Rom. ix. 

5 ; Heb. vii. 24 ; Acts ii. 36, and x. 36 ; Heb. viii. 2, and x. 21 ; Acts iii. 23, 
and v. 31 ; Heb. vii. 25 ; Rom. viii. 34 ; Eph. iv. 8, 1 1 — 13 ; Rom. viii. 9 ; 1 
Thess. v. 12. 

r Heb. ix. 15 ; John i. 12, and iii. 16; Acts xxvi. 18; Gal. v. 6; Acts xi 18 ; 
iii. 19, and xx. 21 ; Rom. viii. 1,13; Mark iv. 12 ; Rom. viii. 16, 17 ; Gal. iv. 

6 ; John iii. 6 ; 1 Cor. vi. 17 ; Rom. viii. 9 ; Eph. ii. 18, 22 ; Rev. ii. and iii. ; 
Col. i. 22, 23 ; Heb. iv. 1 ; Mark xvi. 16 ; John iii. 3, 5, 36 ; Heb. xii. 14 ; 2 
Tliess. i. 8, 9, and ii. 12; Lukexiii.3; Matt, xxviii. 19 ; Mark xvi. 15, 16 ; 2 
Cor. v. 19 ; John vi. 37, and x. 28, 29. 

s John xiv. 26, and xv. 26; 1 Pet. i. 10—12; 2 Pet. i. 21 ; 2 Tim. iii. 16; 
John xi. 13; Eph. iii. 3, 5, and ii. 20; Isa. viii. 20 ; Rev. xxii. 18, 19 ; 1 Tim. 
vi. 14 ; Luke xvi. 29, 31 ; Acts ii. 22 ; v. 32, and xix. 11, 19 ; Heb. ii. 3, 4 j 
Gal. iii. 1 — 3; John xiv. 12, and iii. 2; 1 Cor. xiv. 

VOL. XXI. M 



162 THE REASONS OF 

the communion of saints, overcoming the flesh, the world, and 
the devil, and living in hope of the coming of Christ, and of ever- 
lasting life. 1 

8. At death, the souls of the justified go to happiness with 
Christ, and the souls of the wicked to misery; and at the end 
of this world the Lord Jesus Christ will come again, and will 
raise the bodies of all men from the dead, and will judge all the 
world, according to the good or evil which they have done; and 
the righteous shall go into everlasting life, where they shall see 
God's glory, and, being perfected in holiness, shall love, and 
praise, and please him perfectly, and be loved by him for ever- 
more, and the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment with 
the devil , u 

II. According to this belief, we do, deliberately and seri- 
ously, by unfeigned consent of will, take this one God, the 
infinite Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, the Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit, for our only God, our reconciled Father, our 
Saviour) and our Sanctifier, and resolvedly give up ourselves to 
him accordingly ; entering into his church, under the hands of 
his ministers, by the solemnisation of this covenant, in the 
sacrament of baptism. And in prosecution of this covenant, 
we proceed to stir up our desires, by daily prayer to God, in 
the name of Christ, by the help of the Holy Spirit, in the order 
following: I. We desire the glorifying and hallowing of the 
name of God, that he may be known, and loved, and honoured 
by the world, and may be well pleased in us, and we may delight 
in him, which is our ultimate end : 2. That his kingdom of 
grace may be enlarged, and his kingdom of glory, as to the 
perfected church of the sanctified, may come ; that mankind 
may more universally subject themselves to God, their Creator 
and Redeemer, and be saved by him : 3. That this earth, which 
is grown too like to hell, may be made more like to the holy ones 
in heaven, by a holy conformity to God's will, and obedience 
to all his laws, denying and mortifying their own fleshly desires, 
wills, and minds : 4. That our natures may have necessary 

1 Acts xxvi. 17, 18 ; Rom. viii. 9 — 11 ; Acts xvi. 14 ; John vi. 44; Ezek. xxxvi. 
26; Gal. v. 22; Col.ii. 19; Eph. v. 30— 32, and iii. 17 ; 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13, 27; 
Rom. iii. 24, and iv. 24 ; John i. 12 ; Tit. ii. 14 ; Rom. v. 5 ; Matt. x. 37 ; 1 
Cor. vi. 11 ; Luke i. 75; 1 John iii. 14; 1 Pet. i. 22; Acts xxiv. 2; Gal. v. 17, 
24 ; 1 John ii. 15 ; 1 Cor. i. 7 ; 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12 ; Tit. i. 2, and iii. 7 ; Luke 
xxiii. 43, and xvi. 22 ; 2 Cor. v. 1, 8 ; Phil. i. 23 ; 2 Pet. iii. ] 9 ; Luke xvi. 28 ; 
Actsi. 11. 

u 1 Cor. xv.; John v. 22, 29; Matt.xxv.; 2 Cor. v. 10; Matt, xxv., and xiii 
41, 42, 43 j 2 Tim. iv. 8, 18 ; 2 Thess. i. 8—10, and ii. 12 ; John xvii. 24. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 163 

support, protection, and provision, in our daily service of God, 
and passage through this world, with which we ought to be 
content : 5. That all our sins may be forgiven us, through our 
Redeemer, as we ourselves are ready to pardon wrongs : 6. That 
we may be kept from temptations, and delivered from sin and 
misery, from Satan, from wicked men, and from ourselves : 
concluding our prayers with the joyful praises of God, our 
Heavenly Father, acknowledging his kingdom, power, and glory, 
for ever. x 

III. The laws of christian practice are these: 1. That our 
souls do firmly adhere to God, our Creator, Redeemer, and 
Sanctifier, by faith, love, confidence, and delight ; that we seek 
him by desire, obedience, and hope ; meditating on himself, 
his word and works of creation, redemption, and sanctification, 
of death, judgment, heaven, and hell; exercising repentance, 
and mortifying sin, especially atheism, unbelief, and unholiness, 
hardness of heart, disobedience, and unthankfulness, pride, 
worldliness, and flesh-pleasing ; examining our hearts, about 
our graces, our duties, and our sins ; watchfully governing our 
thoughts, affections, passions, senses, appetites, words, and 
outward actions ; resisting temptations, and serving God with 
all our faculties, and glorifying him in our hearts, our speeches, 
and our lives, y 

2. That we worship God according to his holiness, and 
his word, in spirit and truth, and not with fopperies and 
imagery, according to our own devices, which may dishonour 
him, and lead us to idolatry. 

3. That we ever use his name with special reverence, 
especially in appealing to him by an oath ; abhorring pro- 
faneness, perjury, and breach of vows and covenants to God. 

x Luke xv. 21; Acts ii. 37, and iii. 19; Rom. viii. 13; Luke xiv. 33; 1 
Thess. i. 9 ; Exod. xx. 3 ; Deut. xxvi. 17 ; Josh. xxiv. 16, 26; 2 Cor. viii. 5 ; 
John xvii. 3 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6 ; 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18 ; 1 John i. 3 ; Eph. iv. 5, 6; 
John xiv. 6 ; Luke v. 14, and xiv. 26 ; Acts ix. 6 ; Rom. vi. 13, 16 ; Luke xix. 
27; John iii. 10; Matt, xxviii. 19; Eph. ii. 18, 22, and i. 13, 14, "18; Rom. 
viii. 9, 13, 16, 26 ; 1 Cor. ii. 10; Eph. ii. 18, 22, and iii. 5, 16 ; 2 Cor. i. 22, and 
v. 5 ; Isa. xliv. 3—5 ; Rom. xv. 6. See the Lord's Prayer. 

y The Ten Commandments. Jude 21 ; Gal. v. 22 ; Luke x. 27 ; 1 Tim. iv. 
7; Isa. lxiv. 7 ; Acts xxiv. 16 ; Col. iii. 5 ; Rom. viii. 13 ; Heb. iii. 11, 13 ; 
Matt. xv. 18, 19 ; Luke xii. 15 ; Rom. xiii. 13, 14 ; 1 Cor. iii. 18 ; 2 Pet. i. 10 ; 
2 Cor. xiii. 5 ; Gal. vi. 3, 4 ; Psalm iv. 4 ; civ. 34 ; i. 2, and cxix. 97, 99 ; Gen. 
xxiv. 63; Eph. iii. 18, 19; Psalm xc. 12; Luke xii. 36; 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12; 
Luke xxi. 36 ; Psalm cxli. 1 ; 1 Cor. x. 12 ; Psalm xxxix. 1 ; Prov. iv. 23 ; Eph. 
vi. 10, 19 ; 1 Pet. v. 9 ; Jam. iv. 7 ; Psalm xxxiv. 3, and cxlv. 2 ; 1 Thess. iii. 
17; Phil. iv. 6. 

M 2 



164 THE REASONS OF 

4. That we meet in holy assemblies for his more solemn 
worship ; where the pastors teach his word to their flocks, and 
lead them in prayer and praise to God, administer the sacrament 
of communion, and are the guides of the church in holy things ; 
whom the people must hear, obey, and honour ; especially the 
Lord's day must be thus spent in holiness. z 

5. That parents educate their children in the knowledge 
and fear of God, and in obedience of his laws; and that princes, 
masters, and all superiors, govern in holiness and justice, for 
the glory of God, and the common good, according to his laws ; 
and that children love, honour, and obey their parents, and all 
subjects their rulers, in due subordination unto God. a 

6. That we .do nothing against our neighbour's life, or 
bodily welfare, but carefully preserve it as our own. b 

7. That no man defile his neighbour's wife, or commit 
fornication; but preserve our own and others' chastity in 
thought, word, and deed. c 

8. That we wrong not another in his estate, by stealing, 
fraud, or any other means ; but preserve our neighbour's 
estate as our own. d 

9. That we pervert not justice by false witness, or other- 
wise ; nor wrong our neighbour in his name, by slanders, 
backbiting, or reproach ; that we lie not, but speak the truth in 
love, and preserve our neighbour's right and honour as our own. e 

10. That we be not selfish, setting up ourselves and our 
own, against our neighbour and his good, desiring to draw from 
him unto ourselves ; but that we love our neighbour as our- 
selves, desiring his welfare as our own ; doing to others as, 
regularly, we would have them do to us ; forbearing, and for- 
giving one another ; loving even our enemies, and doing good 
to all, according to our power, both for their bodies and their 
souls. f 

1 John iv. 23, 24: Matt. xv. 9; lsa. i. 13; Deut. vi. 13, and x. 20 ; Jer. iv. 
2, and xii. 16 ; Jam. v. 12 ; Acts v. 42; vi. 2, and xx. 7, 28, 30, 31, 36 ; 1 Cor. 
xiv. 16, 26 ; Jam. v. 14 ; Phil. i. 4 ; 1 Cor. xi. 24, and x. 16 ; Heb. vii. 7 ; Rev. 
i. 10; Acts xx. 7 ; 1 Cor. xvi. 2. 

a Eph. vi. 4. 9 ; Deut. vi. 11, 12 ; Dan. vi. 10 ; Acts x. 30 ; Psalm ci. ; 1 
Sam. ii. 23, 29 ; Gen. xviii. 19 ; Josh. xxiv. 15 ; Col. iii. 20, 22 ; Deut. xxi. 18. 

b Matt. v. 21— 23, 25, 38,39. 

c Matt. v. 27—30. 

d IThess. iv. 6; Eph. iv. 28. 

e Prov. xix. 5, 9, and xxi. 28 ; Rom. xiii. 9 ; Rev. xvi. 19, and xxiv. 17 ; Prov. 
xvii. 23, and xxxi. 5 ; Col. iii. 9 ; Prov. xii. 22 ; vi. 17, and xiii. 5. 

1 Rum. vii. 7, and xiii. 4; Matt. xix. 19, and xxii. 36; Luke xiv. 22, 23; 
Jam. ii. 8, and iii. 13; 1 Cor. xiii.} Matt. vii. 12; Eph. iv. 32; Col. iii. 13; 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 165 

This is the substance of the christian religion. 

Sect. 15. II. The sum, or abstract, of the christian religion, 
is contained in three short forms ; the first, called the Creed, 
containing the matter of the christian belief; the second, called 
the Lord's Prayer, containing the matter of christian desire 
and hope ; the third, called the law, or decalogue, containing 
the sum of moral duties ; which are as followeth. 

The Belief. 

1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven 
and Earth ; 2. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, 
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, 
suffered under Pontius Pilate ; was crucified, dead, and buried, 
descended to g hell \ the third day he rose again from the dead ; 
he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, 
the Father Almighty) from thence he shall come again to 
judge the quick and the dead : 3. I believe in the Holy Ghost, 
the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgive- 
ness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life ever- 
lasting. 

The Lord's Prayer. 

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name : thy 
kingdom come : thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses 
as we forgive them that trespass against us : and lead us not 
into temptation ; but deliver us from evil : for thine is the king- 
dom, the power and the glory, for ever. Amen. 

The Ten Commandments. 

God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, 
which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of 
bondage. 11 

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any 

1 John iv. 16; Rom. xiii. 9 ; 1 Thess. iv. 9 ; 1 Pet. i. 22; iii. 8,andii. 17; Gal. 
vi. 10; Eph. ii. 10; Tit. ii. 14. 

e Hades, of which read Bishop Usher, in his ' Answer to the Jesuits' Chal- 
lenge.' De totis Scripturis, haec breviatim collecta sunt ab Apostolis, ut quia 
plures credentium literas nesciuat, vel qui sciunt pra:occupationibus seculi 
Scripturas legere non possunt, haec corde retinentes habeant sibi sufficientem 
scientiam salutareni.— Isidor. de Ecci. Offic. lib. 2. cap. 22. p. (in Bibl. Patr.) 
222. 

h Exod . xx. ; Deut. v. 



L66 THE REASONS OF 

likeness of any thing in heaven above, or that is in the earth be- 
neath, or that is in the water under the earth : thou shalt not 
bow down thyself to them, nor serve them : for I, the Lord thy 
God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon 
the children, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate 
me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and 
keep my commandments. 

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, 
for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in 
vain. 

4. 'Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days 
shalt thou labour and do all thy work ; but the seventh day is 
the Sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt not do any 
work ; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, 
nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is 
within thy gates ; for in six days the Lord made heaven and 
earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh 
day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hal- 
lowed it. 

5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be 
long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 

6. Thou shalt not kill. 

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

8. Thou shalt not steal. 

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt 
not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his 
maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy 
neighbour's. 

Sect. 16. The ten commandments are summed up by Christ 
into these two : Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and soul, and might ; and thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself. 

Sect. 17. These commandments, being first delivered to the 
Jews, are continued by Christ as the sum of the law of nature ; 
only, instead of deliverance of the Jews from Egypt, he hath made 
our redemption from sin and Satan, which was thereby typified, 
to be the fundamental motive ; and he hath removed the memo- 

1 De die septimo qui inter omnes mortales Celebris est, magna apud ple- 
rosque ignorantia est. Hie euim dies qui ab Hebraeis Sabbatum vocatur, 
Grsece siquis interpretetur, Septimana, dicitur. Hoc nomine mortales omnes 
diem istum appellant ; at nominis causam nesciunt plerique.— Theophil. 
Antioch. ad Autol, lib. 1. p. (milii) 121. in B. P. Gr, L. T. 1. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 167 

rial of the creation-rest, from the seventh-day Sabbath, to be 
kept on the Lord's day, which is the first, with the commemo- 
ration of his resurrection, and our redemption, in the solemn 
worship of his holy assemblies. 

Sect. 18. III. The most brief summary of the christian reli- 
gion, containing the essentials only, is in the sacramental cove- 
nant of grace ; wherein the penitent believer, renouncing the 
flesh, the world, and the devil, doth solemnly give up himself to 
God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as his only God, his 
Father, his Saviour, and his Sanctifier, engaging himself hereby 
to a holy life of resignation, obedience, and love, and receiving 
the pardon of all his sins, and title to the further helps of grace, 
to the favour of God and everlasting life. This covenant is first 
entered by the sacrament of baptism, and after renewed in our 
communion with the church, in the sacrament of the body and 
blood of Christ. k 

So that the christian religion is but faith in God, our Cre- 
ator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, producing the hope of life ever- 
lasting, and possessing us with the love of God and man : and 
all this expressed in the genuine fruits of patience, obedience, 
and praise to God, and works of charity and justice unto man. 

Sect. 19. That all this religion might be the better under- 
stood, received, and practised by us, the word of God came 
down into the flesh, and gave us a perfect example of it in his 
most perfect life ; in perfect holiness and innocency, conquering 
all temptations, contemning the honours, riches, and pleasures 
of the world ; in perfect patience, and meekness, and condes- 
cension, and in the perfect love of God and man. 1 

When perfect doctrine is seconded by perfect exemplariness 
of life, there can be no greater light set before us to lead us out 
of our state of darkness into the everlasting light. And had it 
not been a pattern of holy power, wisdom, and goodness ; of 
self-denial, obedience, and love ; of patience, and of truth and 
prudence, and of contempt of all inferior things, even of life 
itself, for the love of God, and for life eternal, it would not have 
been a full exemplification of his doctrine, nor a perfect revela- 
tion of it to the world. Example bringeth doctrine near our 
senses, and thereby maketh it more clear and powerful. 

v Matt, xxviii. 19 ; Rom. viii. 1, and vi. 4 ; 1 Pet. iii. 21, 22 ; Heb. vi. 2. 
Acts ii. 38, 41 ; Tit. iii. 5 ; 1 Cor. xi. De modo Baptizandi antiquo vide 
Walafridum Strabon. de rebus Eccles. c. 26. p. {Bill. Pat.) W\,—Et. 
Ivon. Carnol. serm. de sacram, Neopliytorum, pp, 767, 768, &c. 

'John xiii. 15} 1 Pet.ii.21. 



168 THE REASONS OF 

Sect. 20. It is the undertaken office of Jesus Christ, to send 
the Holy Spirit into believers' minds, and to write out the sub- 
stance of the law upon their hearts, and give them such holy 
and heavenly inclinations, that it may become as it were a 
natural law unto them, and they obey it with love, facility, and 
delight, though not in perfection till they arrive at the state of 
perfection. 1 " 

So much to show what the christian religion is. 



CHAP. IV. 

Of the Nature and Properties of the Christian Religion. 

Having understood the matter and words of the christian 
religion, before I proceeded any further, I thought it meet to pass 
a judgment upon the nature, temperament, constitution, and 
properties of it." And therein I found that which must needs 
be a great preparative to belief. 

Sect. 1. And first, I found that it is a most holy and spirit- 
ual religion, resolved into the most excellent principles and 
ends, glorifying God, and humbling man, and teaching us the 
most divine and heavenly life, in the love and patient service of 
our Creator. 

1. It is most holy, for it calleth us up entirely unto God, and 
consisteth in our absolute dedication and devotedness to him. 
2. It is most spiritual, leading us from things carnal and 
terrene; and being principally about the government of the 
soul, and placing all our felicity in things spiritual, and not in 
fleshly pleasures with the Epicureans and Mahometans, it 
teacheth us to worship God in a spiritual manner, and not either 
irrationally, toyishly, or irreverently ; and it directeth our lives 
to a daily converse with God in holiness. 3. The principles oi 
it are the three essentialities of God in unity, viz., the infinite 
power, wisdom, and goodness ; and the three grand relations 
of God to man, as founded in his three most famous works, viz., 
as our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Regenerator or Sanc- 
tifier ; and the three great relations arising from creation, and 

m John Hi. 5, 6, a»d vii. 38, 39 ; Gal.iv.fi, and v. 18, 25; Rom. viii; 9, 13 ; 
2 Cor. iii. 3, 4 ; 1 Cor. vi. 11, and ii. 10, 11 ; Jer. xxxi. 33 ; Psalm i. 2 ; 2 Pet. i, 
4 ; 1 John iv. 7, and v. 4, 18. 

" Nihil est ad defendendum Puritate tutius : nihil ad dicendum Veritate 
facilius. — Ing, Ambros. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 169 

also from redemption, viz., as he is our Owner, our Ruler, and 
our Benefactor, or chief Good and End. 4. The ends of the 
christian religion, I find, are proximately the saving of man 
from Satan, and the justice of God; the sanctifying them to 
God, and purifying them from sin, the pardon of their sins, and 
the everlasting happiness of their souls, in the pleasing and 
fruition of God for ever. In a word, it is but the redeeming 
us from our carnal self, the world, and the devil, to the love 
and service of our Creator. 5. Nothing can be spoken more 
honourably of God in all his perfections, in the language of 
poor mortals, than what the christian religion speaketh of him. 
6. And no religion so much humbleth man, by opening the 
malignity, both of his original and actual sin, and declaring the 
displeasure of God against it. 7 '• It teacheth us who once 
lived as without God in the world, to live wholly unto God, and 
to make nothing of all the world in comparison of him. 8. And 
it teacheth us to live upon the hopes of heaven, and fetch our 
motives and our comforts from it.° 

Sect. 2. I find that the christian religion is the most pure, 
and clean, and utterly opposite to all that is evil. 

There is no virtue which it commendeth not, nor duty which 
it commandeth not, nor vice which it condemneth not, nor sin 
which it forbiddeth not. 

The chief thing in it which occasioneth the rebellion and dis- 
pleasure of the world against it, is the purity and goodness of 
it, which is contrary to their sensual nature, and as physic to 
their licentious lives : would it indulge their vices, and give 
them leave to sin, they could endure it.^ 

Sect. 3. Particularly it most vehemently condemneth the 
grand vices of pride, worldliness, and sensuality, and all their 
polluting and pernicious fruits. 

1. No religion doth so much to teach men humility, and 

° Nulla major ad amorem invitatio, quam prasvenire amantem : et nimis 
durus est animus, qui, si delectionem nolebat impeudere, nolit rependere. — 
August, de Cat.rud. Iu eo quod amatur, autnon laboratur, aut labor ama- 
tur. — August, de san. Vid. Ad Divos adeunto caste ; pietatem adhibento, 
opes amovento : qui secus faxit, Deus ipse vindexerit. Leges Rom. — In Cic. 
de. Leg. 2. p. 237. — Significat probitatem Deo gratam esse, sumptum esse remo- 
vendum. — lb. p. 239. 

i' Christianus nemo recte dicitur, nisi qui Christo moribus, prout valet, 
cocquatur. Maxim. Christiani nomen frustra sortitur, qui Christum tninime 
iniitatur: quid enim tibi prodest vocari quod non es, et nomen usurpare 
alienum ? Sed si Christianum te esse delectat, qua? Christianitatis sunt 
gere, et merito tibi Christiani nonieu assume. — August, de vita Christiani. 



170 THE REASONS OF 

make pride appear an odious thing. It openeth the malignity 
of it, as it lifteth up the mind against God or man : it con- 
demned! it as Satan's image : it giveth us a multitude of hum- 
bling precepts and motives, and secondeth them all with the 
strangest example of condescension and lowliness in Christ, that 
was ever presented to the view of man. Whereas, I find, even 
in the most famous of the Roman heathens, that a great deal of 
pride was taken for a virtue, and men were instructed and ex- 
horted to be proud, under pretence of maintaining and vindi- 
cating their honour ; and true humility was taken for disgrace- 
ful baseness, and men were driven from it by the scorn, not 
only of the vulgar, but of philosophers themselves.* 1 

2. And there is no religion that is fitted so much to the de- 
struction of worldliness, or of the love of riches, as Christianity 
is: for it teacheth men most effectually the vanity of the world ; 
it appointcth them a holy life, so hateful to worldly men, as 
will occasion them to feel the vexation of the world ; it openeth 
to them the hopes of a life so much better, as may teach them 
to take all the wealth and glory of this world for a shadow, a 
feather, or a dream. It condemneth worldly love, as the sin in- 
consistent with the love of God, and the certain mark of a 
drossy, unsanctified, miserable soul. It setteth before us such 
an example of Christ, as must needs shame worldliness with all 
true believers/ 

3. And for sensuality, it openeth the shame of its beastiality, 
and maketh the carnal mind and life to be enmity to God, and 
the contrary to that spiritual mind and life, which is the pro- 
perty of all that shall be saved : it strictly and vehemently con- 
demneth all gluttony and excess of drink ; all rioting and time- 
wasting, needless sports ; all fornication, and ribald talk, and 
wanton carriage, words, or thoughts : whereas I find among hea- 
thens and Mahometans, that inordinate sensuality was much 

i Me vere Christiauus est, qui omnibus misericordiam facit, qui nulla om- 
nino tnovetur injuria ; qui alieuum dolorem tanquam propium sentit ; cujus 
mensani pauper non ignorat ; qui coram hominibus inglorius habetur, ut 
coram Deo et angelis glorietur : qui terrena contemnit, ut possit habere 
caelestia; qui opprimi pauperem se praesente nou patitur, qui miseris sub- 
veuit, &c. — August, de Vita Cliristi. 

' Omnis creatura cum bona sit, et bene potest amari, et male ; bene scilicet 
ordine constituto, male ordiue perturbalo. — August, de Civ. Dei. Omnium 
malorum affectuum priucipium est Pbilautia; finis autem Superbia : Philautia 
amor est, quo corpus complectimur, rationi non consentaneus. Hanc qui 
amputaverit, eadera opera, omnes aftectus ex ea orientes abscidit. — Maxim, 
de Churitat. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 171 

indulged : excess of eating and drinking was made a matter of 
no great blame : time-wasting plays were as little accused, as 
if men had no greater matter to do in the world, than to pass 
away time in some sensual or fantastical delight : either by for- 
nication, or many wives at once, their lust was gratified ; and 
so their minds were debased, polluted, and called down and 
made unfit for spiritual contemplation and a holy life. From 
whence, no doubt, it came to pass, that they were so dark 
about things spiritual and divine, and so overspread with errors 
about many plain and necessary things. 

Sect. 4. There is no religion which so notably detecteth and 
disgraceth the sin of selfishness, or so effectually teacheth self- 
denial as the christian religion doth. 

It maketh man understand the nature of his corrupt, de- 
praved state, that is, a falling from God to self ; and that his 
recovery lieth in returning from self to God. It showeth him 
how selfishness is the principle of divisions, enmity, wrath, 
contentions, envy, malice, covetousness, injustice, oppression, 
wars, uncharitablenes, and all the iniquity of the world : and, 
how self is the grand enemy of God and man, and of the public 
good and peace ; and contrary to the love of God and our 
neighbour, and the commonwealth. It giveth us so many pre- 
cepts for self-denial, as no other religion did ever mention, and 
such an example of it in Jesus Christ, as is the astonishment of 
men and angels ; and, therefore, all other religions did in vain 
attempt the true purifying of heart and life, or the pacifying 
of the divided minds of men, while they let alone this sin of 
selfishness, or lightly touched it, which is the root and heart of 
all the rest. 

Sect. 5. No religion doth so much reveal to us the nature of 
God, and his works for man, and relations to him, as the 
christian religion doth. 

And, doubtless, that is the most excellent doctrine, which 
maketh known God most to man's mind ; and that is the best 
religion, which bringeth man nearest to his Creator in love and 
purity. Few of the heathens knew God in his unity, and fewer 
in the trinity of his essential primalities : many questioned his 
particular providence and government ; they knew not man's 
relation or duty to him, while they were distracted with the 
observance of a multitude of gods, they indeed had none. 
Though God be incomprehensible to us all, yet is there a great 
deal of the glory of his perfections revealed to us in the light of 



172 THE REASONS OP 

Christianity, which we may seek in vain with any other sort of 
men. 8 

Sect. 6. No religion doth so wonderfully open, and magnify, 
and reconcile God's justice and mercy to mankind as Christ- 
ianity doth. 

It showeth how his justice is founded in his holiness and his 
governing relation : it justifieth it by opening the purity of his 
nature, the evil of sin, and the use of punishment to the right 
government of the world ; and it magnifieth it by opening the 
dreadfulness and certainty of his penalties, and the sufferings of 
our Redeemer when he made himself a sacrifice for our sins. 
By the revelation of justice, sin, and misery, it revealeth the 
wonderful greatness of God's mercy ; it openeth those opera- 
tions and effects of it, which heathenism and Mahometanism 
are utter strangers to : they speak diminutively both of mercy 
and justice, and cannot tell how to make God merciful, without 
making him unjust ; nor to make him just, without obscuring 
the glory of his mercy, which is peculiarly set forth in the work 
of redemption, and the covenant of grace, and promise of ever- 
lasting blessedness. 

Sect. 7- The christian religion openeth many other parts of 
holy doctrine, which are unknown to men that learned them 
not from thence. 

Such as the doctrine of the creation, and the fall, and of 
original sin, and of justification, sanctification, adoption, and 
the right worshipping of God ; of which mention is made before 
more distinctly. 

Sect. 8. No religion can be more charitable ; for it wholly 
consisteth in the love of God and one another, and in the means 
to kindle and maintain this love. 

The whole law of Christ is fulfilled in love ; even in loving 
God for himself above all, and our neighbours as ourselves for 
the sake of God ; yea, our enemies, so far as there is any thing 
amiable in them. The end of all the commandments is love, 
out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and unfeigned faith : 
and all Christians are obliged to love each other with a pure 

s SicintelligimusDeum,si possumus, quantum possumus; sine qualitate bo- 
num, sine quantitate magnum, sine indigentia creatorem, sine situ praesen- 
tem, sine habitu omnia continentem, sine loco ubique totum, sine tempore 
seni|)iternum, sine ulla sui mutatione, mutabilia omnia facientem, nihilque 
patientem. Quisquis Deum ita cogitat, etsi nondum potest invenire quid sit, 
pie tamen cavet, quantum potest, aliquid de eo sentire quod non sit. — August, 
de Trinit, 1. 5. c. 1. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 173 

heart, and fervently ; yea, to show that love which they profess 
to Christ himself, hy the loving of one another. How fre- 
quently and earnestly is this great duty pressed by Christ and 
his apostles ! How great a stress doth he lay upon it ! He 
maketh it the evidence of our love to God ; he promiseth salva- 
tion to it; he forbiddeth selfishness, that it may not hinder it; 
he commandeth us to live in the constant expression of it, and 
to provoke one another to love and to good works ; he hath 
made himself the most matchless and wonderful example of it ; 
he hath told us, that, according to men's charity, he will judge 
them at the last day. How dry and barren are all religions 
and writings, that we have ever come to the knowledge of in 
the world, in the point of love and the fruits of love, in com- 
parison of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1 

Sect. 9. I find that the christian religion is most for unity 
and peace of any religion in the world ; most vehemently com- 
manding them, and appointing the fittest means for the attain- 
ing of them. 

1. All Christians are commanded to be of one mind, to think 
the same things, and speak the same things ; and discord and 
division, and contention is earnestly forbidden them, and con- 
demned, and all occasions which may lead them thereunto. 
2. And they have one Head and Centre, one God and Saviour, 
who is their common Governor, End, and Interest, in whom, 
therefore, they may all unite : when most others in the world 
do show a man no further end than self-preservation ; and so 
while self is each man's end and interest, there are as many 
ends as men ; and how then is it possible that such should have 
any true unity and concord ? But to every true Christian, the 
pleasing and glorifying of God, and the promoting of his king- 
dom for the salvation of the world, is above all self-interest 
whatsoever ; and therefore in this they are all united : and 
though they all seek their own felicity and salvation, it is onlv 
in the seeking of this higher end; which is finis amantis ; sed 
creatura amantis Creatorem ; the end of a lover, which de- 

' Rom. xiii. 9 ; 1 Tim. i. 5, 6, 14 ; 1 Thes-. iv. i) ; I John iv. 7, ?, and in, 
11, 14, 23. Sine cliaritate quomodo quis veram cuutritiuueni habere pote- 
rit, quomodo ergo prccatorum remissionem.— Aug. Detis, quia hominem 
nudum (Yagilemque formavit, dcdit ei praeter <a?tera huuc pietatis affectum, 
ut homo hominem tueatur, diligat, foveat, conimque omnia | eiicula et acci- 
piat, et pra?siet auxilium. Sununum igitur inter se hominum vinculum, est 
humanitas ; quod qui disruperit, ueiarius et parricida existimandui est.— 
iMCtant. Inst, 1, 6, c. 10. 



174 THE REASONS OF 

sireth unity, and respecteth both the lover and the beloved ; but 
it is not the end of the love of equals, but of the creature to the 
Creator, who therefore preferreth his beloved before himself in 
his intentions. So that it is only this holy centring in God, 
that can ever make men all of a mind, and agree the disagree- 
ing world : while self is every man's end, they will have such 
constant contrariety of interests, that it will be impossible for 
them to agree ; but covetousness, ambition, and sensuality, will 
keep them in factions, contentions, and wars continually. 
Moreover, it is Christianity that most urgeth, and effectually 
giveth, a hearty love to one another, and teacheth them to love 
their neighbours as themselves, and to do as they would have 
others to do by them : and this is the true root and spring of 
concord. And it is Christianity which most teacheth the for- 
giving of wrongs, and loving of enemies, and forbearing that 
revenge which heathens were wont to account an honour. And 
it is Christianity which teacheth men to contemn all the riches 
and honours of the world, which is the bone that worldly dogs 
do fight for, and the great occasion of their strife : and it 
teacheth them to mortify all those vices, which feed men's divi- 
sions and contentions. So that if any man live as a Christian, 
he must needs be a man of unity and peace. If you say, that 
the contrary appeareth in the practice of Christians ; I shall 
answer that, with the rest of the objections, by themselves : I 
shall only say now, that if this that I have laid down be cer- 
tainly the doctrine of Christ, then it is as certain, that the con- 
trary is contrary to Christianity, and that, so far, such persons 
are no Christians : it is hypocrites that take up the name of 
Christians for worldly advantage, and are no Christians indeed, 
who live thus contrary to the nature and precepts of Christianity 
which they profess. u 

Sect. 10. The christian religion is most exactly just, in its 
rules and precepts, and vehemently condemneth all injustice, 
fraud, persecution, and oppression. 

What more just rule can there be, than to suit all our actions 
to the perfect law of primitive justice, and to do as we would 

u Tale bonum est bonumpacis, ut in rebus creatis nilgratiosius soleat audiri, 
nil delectabilius concupisci, et nil utilius possideri ; spiritus enim humaims, nun 
quam vivificat membra, nisi fueriut unita ; sic Spiritus Sanctus nunquam vivi- 
ficat ecclesiae membra, nisi fuerint in pace unita. — August, de Civ. Dei. Pax 
vera est coucordiam habere cum inoiibus probis, et litigare cum vitiis. — Cas- 
sian. Nee inveniri potest forma expressior conversatiouis angelica?, quam 
unitas socialis,— Idem, in Psalm. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 175 

be done by ? What more effectual piece of justice can there be, 
than charity and self-denial ? to love all men for God, and to 
account our neighbour's welfare as our own ? Bring all men to 
love their neighbours as themselves, and they will have little 
inclination to cruelty, oppression, fraud, or any other injuries. 
And when heaven is made the reward of justice and mercy, and 
hell the reward of injustice and cruelty, we have the greatest 
motives that human nature is capable of. 

Sect. 1 1. The christian religion is the most excellent rule for 
order and government in the world, and for the peace of king- 
doms and their stability : in that it prescribeth the only method 
of true government, and condemneth both impiety and tyranny 
in the governors, and all sedition and rebellion in the subjects. 

1 . It setteth government on the only foundation, the authority 
which men receive from God, and teacheth men to rule as the 
officers of the universal King, in due subordination to him ; for 
his glory, and according to his laws ; and letteth them know 
that they have no power but from God, and therefore none 
against him ; and that they must be judged by him themselves 
for all their government : and that all oppression, tyranny, and 
persecution will be to their own confusion in the end. 2. It 
teacheth subjects to honour their superiors, and to obey them 
in all things, in which they disobey'not God : and to be patient 
under all oppressions ; and to avoid all murmurings, tumults, 
and rebellions ; and this for fear of God's condemnation. And 
certainly these are the most powerful means for peace ; and for 
the happy order and government of societies. x 

Sect. 12. The christian religion greatly condemneth all fierce- 
ness, and impatience, and discontentedness ; and recpiireth a 
meek and patient frame of mind, and therefore must needs con- 
duce to the fore-mentioned unity and peace. 

Sect. 13. It is wholly for sincerity and uprightness of heart, 
and greatly condemneth all hypocrisy. It giveth laws for the 
very disposition of the mind, and for the government of the 
most secret thoughts, affections, and actions, and condemneth 
every sin which the world observeth not, or condemneth not. y 

Sect. 14. I find that the christian religion is not fitted to any 

x Ordo in ecclesia ita statuit, ut alii sint oves, alii verb pastore.s ; ita ut hi 
imperent, illi verb obediant : sitque hoc tanquam caput, illud pedes, illud 
manus ; hoc oculi, illud verb aliud corporis memltrum, quo omnia recte inter 
se conveniant, commodunique tam ad praefectos, quam ad subditos reduudet. 
Nazianz. Or. de Modest, in Disput. 

t Siinulata aequitas est duplex iniquitas. — August, in Psalm. 23. 



176 THE REASONS OF 

worldly designs, but only to the sanctifying of men's hearts and 
lives, and the saving of their souls. Christ did not contrive by 
dominion or riches to win the ungodly multitude to be his ad- 
mirers, but by holy precepts and discipline to make his disciples 
good and happy. 

Mahomet took the way of violence, and fleshly baits, and 
blind obedience, to bring in the multitude, and to advance a 
worldly kingdom : but Christ goeth the clean contrary way ; he 
calleth men to a life of self-denial and patient suffering in the 
world : he calleth them to contemn the riches, honours, and 
pleasures of the world, and forsake all, even life itself, for him, 
and telleth them that they can on no lower terms than these be 
his disciples. He hath set up a discipline in his church, to cast 
out all drunkards, fornicators, covetous persons, railers, and 
other such scandalous sinners who are impenitent : and will have 
none in his true mystical church but such as are truly holy; nor 
any in his visible church, but such as are professed to be so. 
He turneth away all that come not up to his spiritual and holy 
terms ; and he casteth out all that notoriously violate them, if 
they do not repent. 1 

Sect. 15. The christian religion containeth all things neces- 
sary to man's happiness, and taketh men off unprofitable specu- 
lations, and doth not overwhelm the minds of men with mul- 
titudes of needless things. 

It is, for the most, things unnecessary, as well as uncer- 
tain, with which the philosophers have troubled the world. 
They have lost true wisdom in a wilderness of fruitless contro- 
versies. But Christianity is a religion to make men holy and 
happy, and therefore it containeth these necessary, substantial 
precepts, which conduce hereunto : and it taketh men off unne- 
cessary things, which else would take up their minds, and talk, 
and time, from things necessary : and so it is suited to the 
generality of men, and not only to a few that have nothing 
else to do but wander in a wilderness of vain speculations ; and 
it is fitted to man's best and ultimate end, and not to a fantas- 
tical delight. a 

'■ Duas civitates duo f'aciunt atnores : Jerusalem facit amor Dei ; Babvlonem 
facit amor seculi. Interroget igitur unusquisque se quid amet, et inveniet 
unde sit civis. — August, in Psalm. 64. 

 Multo facilius iuvenit Syderutn conditnrem humilis pietas,qviam Syderum 
ordinem superba curiositas. — August, de Ecllps. Doctrina Spiritus non curi- 
oMtatem acuit, sed charitatem accendit. — Bern, in Cant. O beata regio 
deliciarum ! ad quam suspiro de valle laclirymarum ; ubi sapientia siue iguo- 
rautia, ubi memoria sine oblivione, iutellectus sine errore, ratio sine obscuri- 
tate fulgebit.— Bernard. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 177 

Sect. 16. It tendeth to exalt the mind of man to the 
most high and heavenly elevation that it is capable of in this 
life. 

For it teacheth men, as is aforesaid, to live in the spirit, upon 
things above, in the continual love of God, and desires and en- 
deavours for everlasting glory, than which man's mind hath 
nothing more high and honourable and excellent, to be em- 
ployed about. 

Sect. 17. It leadeth men to the most joyful life that human 
nature is capable of on earth. 

For it leadeth us to the assurance of the love of God, and of 
the pardon of all our sins, and of endless glory when we die ; 
it assureth us, that we shall live for ever, in the sight of the 
glory of God, with Jesus Christ, and be like the angels, and be 
perfected in holiness and happiness, and be employed in the 
love and praises of God for evermore : it commandeth us to 
live in the foresight of these everlasting pleasures, and to keep 
the taste of them always upon our minds ; and, in daily medi- 
tation on the love of God, to live in the daily returns of love, 
and to make this our continual feast and pleasure. And can 
the mind of man on earth have higher and greater delights 
than these ? b 

Sect. IS. The christian religion forbiddeth men no bodily 
pleasure, but that which hindereth their greater pleasure, and 
tendeth to their pain or sorrow ; nor doth it deny them any 
earthly thing which is truly for their good. 

Indeed, it taketh the brutish appetite and flesh to be an unfit 
judge of what is truly good and desirable for us ; and it 
forbiddeth much which the flesh doth crave, because either it 
tendeth to the wrong of others, or the breach of order in the 
world; or to the corrupting of man's mind, and diverting it 
from things sublime and spiritual, or putting it out of relish 
with that which is our true felicity, or the way thereto. It is 
only on such accounts, and in such cases as these, that Christ 
forbiddeth us the pleasures of the flesh; and so will parents 
restrain the appetites of their children, and physicians of their 
patients, and every wise man will restrain his own, when present 
sensual pleasure tendeth to greater future pain. The satisfying 

b lllud est verum ac summum gaudium, quod non de creatura, sed de crea- 
tore coiicipitur ; quod cum acceperis, nemo toilet a. »e; cuialiunde comparata 
omnis jucuuditas mceror est; oninis suavitas dolor est; oinne dulce ainarum 
est ; omne quod delectare potest, molestum est. — Bernard. 
VOL. XXI. N 



178 THE REASONS OF 

delights of man can be nowhere but in the love of God, and in 
a heavenly life, and in the foresight of endless joys, and in the 
knowledge and means which lead to these ; and the unwhole- 
some, luscious pleasures of the flesh, do greatly tend to draw 
down the mind, and corrupt the affections, and dull our desires 
and endeavours towards these higher things : and, therefore, 
our Saviour doth here more strictly diet us, than is pleasing to 
diseased souls. But he loveth not our sorrows or pains, nor 
envieth us any desirable pleasure ; he came not to torment us, 
but to save us from torment ; if he forbid us any delight, it is 
because he would have us have better and more, which that 
would keep us from. If he teach us to deny our honour with 
men, it is but that we may have honour with God and angels. 
If he call us from our present wealth and profit, it is but to 
secure our everlasting riches, and prevent our loss. All his 
precepts are wholly fitted to our own good, though our good be 
not the highest, ultimate end, but the glory and pleasure of our 
Maker. 

Sect. 19. There cannot possibly be any higher motives to 
sincere piety and honesty given to the world, than the christian 
religion sets before them ; even the joys of heaven, and the 
pains of hell, and all the pleasures and privileges of a holy 
life; and therefore it must needs be the powerful means to all 
that is truly good and happy. 

Sect. 20. It most strongly fortifieth the mind of man against 
the power of all temptations. 

For, as it enervateth the temptation, by teaching us to 
mortify the lusts of the flesh, and to contemn the world, so it 
always counterpoiseth it with the authority of God, the joys of 
heaven, and the punishment of hell ; which are, in the balance, 
against all the pleasures of sin, as a mountain is against a 
feather. 

c Nihil prodigas satis est voluptati : semper famera patitur sui qua? alimen- 
tis perpetuis nescit impleri. — Ambros. in Luk. 6. Delectatio csedit et prae- 
teriit, vulneravit et trausiit, miserum fecit et abiit, infelicera reddidit, et re- 
liquit. — Amb. Qui pro modica delectatione dat illud, pro quo Christus se 
tradidit, stultum Christum reputat mercatorem. — Aug. Centum decies 
centum annosdemus deliciis ? Quaenam erit ex his ad aeternitatem compen- 
satio ? — Chrys. de repar. laps. Ipse est Christianus, qui et in domo sua 
peregrinum se esse cognoscit. Patria nostra sursum est ; ibi hospites non 
erimus. — August, in F 'sal. 32. Delicatus es miles, si putas sine pugna te 
posse vincere : fortiter dimica, atrociter in praelio concerta, considera pactum 
conditionem quam accessisti, militiam cui nomeu dedisti. Ita enim quos 
miraris omnes pugnaverunt, vicerunt, triumpharunt. — Chrysost. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 179 

Sect. 21. It affordeth us the most powerful supports and 
comforts in every suffering, that we may bear it patiently and 
with joy. 

For it assureth us of the love of God, and of the pardon of 
our greater sufferings ; it showeth us how to be gainers by all, 
and showeth us the glory and joy which will be the end of all. 

Sect. 22. It affordeth us the greatest cordials against the 
fears of death. 

For it assureth us of endless happiness after death ; and if a 
Socrates, or Cicero, or Seneca, could fetch any comfort from a 
doubtful conjecture of another life, what may a Christian do, 
that hath an undoubted assurance of it, and also of the nature 
and greatness of the felicity which we there expect ! And why 
should he fear dying, who looks to pass into endless pleasure ? 
And, therefore, Christianity conduceth not to pusillanimity, but 
to the greatest fortitude and nobleness of mind; for what 
should daunt him who is above the fears of sufferings and 
death. d 

Sect. 23. It containeth nothing which any man can ration- 
ally fear, or can any way be a hinderance to his salvation.* 5 

This will be more cleared, when I have answered the ob- 
jections against it. 

Sect. 24. It containeth nothing that hath the least contra- 
riety to any natural verity or law ; but contrarily comprehendeth 
all the law of nature, as its first and principal part, and that in 
the most clear and legible character, superadding much more 
which naturalists know not. 

So that, if there be any good in other religions, (as there is 
some in all,) it is all contained in the christian religion, with 
the addition of much more. There is no truth or goodness in 
the religion of the philosophers, the Platonists, the stoics, the 
Pythagorean Bannians in India, the bonzii in Japan, or those in 
Siam, China, Persia, or any other parts, or among the Maho- 
metans or Jews, which is not contained in the doctrine and 
religion of the Christians. 

d Beati, qui habitant ibi, laudabunt Deum in secula seculorum, Amen. 
Regniun Dei conceditur in praedestinatione, promittitur in vocatione, osten- 
ditur in justifieatione, percipitur in glorifieatione. — Bernard. 

e 111k honesta; esse voluutates putaudae sunt, quae nun sunt implicatae dolori, 
nee poenitendi causam afferuut, nee alio ullo detriment!) afficiunt eos qui per- 
fruuntur, nee ultra modum progrediuntur ; nee nos multum a. gravioribus 
negotiis abstrahunt, aut sibi servire cogunt. Propria voluptates sunt qua; iu- 
sunt, aut annexae sunt cognitioni divini numiuis, et scientiis, et virtutibus.— 
Nemesius de Nat, Horn, cap. 18. de Volupt. 

N 2 



ISO THE REASONS OF 

Sect. 25. Accordingly, it hath all the real evidence which 
the true parts of any other religion hath, with the addition of 
much more supernatural evidence. 

For all that is justly called the law of nature, which is the 
first part of the christian religion, is evidenced by the light of 
nature : and this Christians have as well as others. And all 
that is of true, supernatural revelation, they have above others 
by its proper evidence. 

Sect. 26. The style of the sacred Scripture is plain, and 
therefore fit for all; and yet majestical and spiritual, suited to 
its high and noble ends. 

Were it expressed in those terms of art, which the masters of 
each sect have devised to transmit their opinions to posterity 
by, they would be fit for none but those few, who by acquaint- 
ance with such terms, esteem themselves, or are esteemed 
learned men : and yet the men of another sect might little un- 
derstand them. For most new sect-masters in philosophy 
devised new terms, as well as new principles or opinions : though 
at Athens, where the principal sects were near together, the 
diversity was not so great as among them at a further distance, 
yet was there enough to trouble their disciples. He that un- 
derstandeth Zoroaster and Trismegistus, may not understand 
Pythagoras ; and he that understandeth this, may not understand 
his follower, Plato ; and he that understandeth him, may not 
understand Aristotle. And so of Parmenides, Anaxagoras, 
Aristippus, Antisthenes, Zeno, Chrysippus, Heraclitus, Demo- 
critus, Pyrrho, Epicurus, with all the rest. And among Christians 
themselves, the degenerated heretics and sectaries, that make 
their own opinions, do make also their own terms of art ; so 
that, if you compare the Valentinians, Basilidians, Apollina- 
rians, &c, and our late Wigelians, Paracelsians, Rosicrucians, 
Behmenists, Familists, Libertines, Quakers, &c, you shall find 
that he that seemeth to understand one sect, must learn, as it 
were, a new language before he can understand the rest. So 
that, if the Scripture must have been phrased according to phi- 
losophers' terms of art, who knoweth to which sect it must have 
been suited ! and every day there riseth up a Campanella, a 
Thomas White, &c, who is reforming the old terms and arts, 
and making both new; so that nothing which is of universal 
use, as religion is, can be fitted to any such uncertain measure. 
Christ hath, therefore, dealt much better with the world, and 
spoken plainly the things which the simple and all must know, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 181 

and yet spoken sublimely of things mysterious, heavenly, and 
sublime/ 

This is the true nature and character of Christianity. 



CHAP. V. 

Of the Congruities in the Christian Religion, which make it the 
more easily credible, and are great Preparatives to Faith. 

Because truth is never contrary to itself, nor agreeable with 
error, it is a way that reason teacheth all men, in the trying of 
any questioned point, to reduce it to those that are unques- 
tionable, and see whether or no they accord with those ; and 
to mark the unquestionable ends of religion, and try how it 
suiteth its means thereunto : and, therefore, men of all sober 
professions have their determinate principles and ends, by which 
they try such particular opinions 8 as Christians do by their 
analogy of faith. And in this trial of Christianity, I shall tell 
you what I find it. 

Sect. 1. I find in general that there is an admirable concord 
between natural verity and the Gospel of Christ ; and that grace 
is medicinal to nature ; and that where natural light endeth, 
supernatural beginneth ; and that the superstructure which 
Christ hath built upon nature is wonderfully adapted to its 
foundation. 

This is made manifest in all the first part of this treatise. 
Reason, which is our nature, is not destroyed, but repaired, illu- 
minated, elevated, and improved by the christian faith. Free- 
will, which is our nature, is made more excellently free by 
Christianity. Self-love, which is our nature, is not destroyed, 
but improved by right conduct and help to our attainment of its 

1 How excellently doth Seneca speak against a vain curiosity of speech, in. 
divers of his epistles ; and with what contempt and vehement indignation. 
This is also to be applied to the spirituality and plainness of the christian 
way of worship. In exordio nascentis ecclesiae, uon eo quo nunc modo vel 
ordine sacra celebrabantur missarum solemnia ; teste Gregorio, &c. Et for- 
tasse primis temporibus, solius Pauli Epistolae legebantur, postmodum inter- 
mixtffi aliae lectiones sunt, &c. — Berno Ab. Augiens. de quibus.ad Missampertin. 
c. 1. p. 698. Bib. Pat. Orationes autem quas collectas dicimus, a diversis 
auctoribus compositae creduntur, a Gelasioprassule Romano, et beato Gregorio 
Papa. — Id. ibid, lege et Microlog. Eccles. observat. c. 12, et 13, et Hugo a S. 
Vic tore de Offic. in Rom una Ecclesia. 1. 2. c. 16. Una tantum dicitur collecta, 
nisi, &c. 

£ Deus est principium Effectivum in creatione, Refectivum in redemptione, 
Perfectivum in sanctificatione.— Jolt, a Combis Comp. TheologA. 4. c. 1. 



182 THE SEASONS OF 

ends. The natural part of religion is so far from being abro- 
gated by Christianity, that the latter doth but subserve the 
former. Christ is the way to God, the Father : the duty which 
we owe by nature to our Creator, we owe him still; and Christ 
came to enable and teach us to perform it. The love of God, 
our Creator, with all our hearts, is still our duty ; and faith in 
Christ is but the means to the love of God, and the bellows to 
kindle that holy fire. The Redeemer came to recover us to our 
Creator : he taketh not the book of the creatures or nature out 
of our hands, but teacheth us better to read and use it. And 
so it is through all the rest. 

Sect. 2. I find also, that the state of this present world is 
exceedingly suitable to the Scripture character of it ; that it is 
exceedingly evil, and a deluge of sin and misery, doth declare its 
great necessity of a Saviour, and showeth it still to be a place 
unmeet to be the home and happiness of saints. h 

Of all the parts of God's creation, this earth doth seem to be 
next to hell : certainly, it is greatly defiled with sin, and over- 
whelmed with manifold calamities ; and though God hath not 
totally forsaken it, nor turned away his mercy as he hath done 
from hell, yet is he much estranged from it ; so that those who 
are not recovered by grace are next to devils : and, alas ! how 
numerous and considerable are they to denominate it ' An evil 
world.' Those that Christ calleth out of it, he sanctifieth, and 
maketh them unlike the world ; and his grace doth not give 
them a worldly felicity, nor settle them in a rest or kingdom 
here ; but it saveth them from this world, as from a place of 
snares, and a company of cheaters, robbers, and murderers ; 
and from a tempestuous sea, whose waves seem ready still to 
drown us. 1 

I. I find it is a world of sin. II. And of temptation. III. And 
of calamity. 

I. For sin, it is become, as it were, its nature ', it liveth with 
men from the birth to the grave. It is an ignorant world that 
wandereth in darkness, and yet a proud, self-conceited world, 

h Read chap. 16, with the Citations. 

* Nam vitiis nemo sine uascitur: optimus ille 
Qui minimis urgetur. — Horat. 
The badness of the world occasioned the Manichees to think that God made 
it not ; and Arnobius, with them to run into that error, to hold, that God made 
not man, which he so vehemently defendeth; (lib.2.'Advers. Gentes ;') yet pro- 
fessing, that he who made us, and whence evil cometh, is a thing- to us un- 
known. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 183 

that will not be convinced of its ignorance ; and is never mor e 
furiously confident, than when it is most deceived and most 
blind. Even natural wisdom is so rare, and folly hath the 
major vote and strength, that wise men are wearied with resist- 
ing folly, and ready, in discouragement, to leave the foolish 
world unto itself, as an incurable Bedlam : so fierce are fools 
against instruction, and so hard is it to make them know that 
they are ignorant, or to convince men of their mistakes and 
errors. The learner thinks his teacher doteth, and he that 
hath but wit enough to distinguish him from a brute, is as con- 
fident as if he were a doctor. The learned themselves, are, for 
the most part, but half-witted men, who either take up with 
lazy studies, or else have the disadvantage of incapable tem- 
peratures and wits, or of unhappy teachers, and false principles 
received by ill education, which keep out truth ; so that they 
are but fitted to trouble the world with their contentions, or 
deceive men by their errors : and yet have they not the ac- 
quaintance with their ignorance, which might make them learn 
of such as can instruct them ; but if there be among many but 
one that is wiser than the rest, he is thought to be unfit to live 
among them if he will not deny his knowledge, and own their 
errors, and confess that modesty and order require that either 
the highest or the major vote are the masters of truth, and all 
is false that is against their opinions. k 

Jt is an atheistical, ungodly world, that knoweth not its 
Maker ; or forgetteth, contemneth, and wilfully disobeyeth him, 
while in words it doth confess him : and yet an hypocritical 
world, that will speak honourably of God, and of virtue and 
piety, of justice and charity, while they are neglecting and 
rejecting them, and cannot endure the practice of that which 
their tongues commend. Almost all sorts will prefer the life to 
come in words, when, indeed, they utterly neglect it, and prefer 
the fleshly pleasures of this life ; they cry out of the vanity and 
vexation of the world, and yet they set their hearts upon it, and 
love it better than God and the world to come. Thev will 
have some religion, to mock God, and deceive themselves, which 

k Unicuique dedit vitium natura creato. — Propert. 

Sed quia csecus inest vitiis amor, omne futurum, 

Despicitur, suadent brevem prsesentia fructum 

Et ruit in vetitum damni secura libido. — Claud. 2. Eur. 

Egregium sanctumque virum si cerno, bimembri 

Hoc monstrum puero, vel miranti sub aratro 

Piscibus inventis, et fcetae comparo raulae. — Juven. Sal. 13. 



184 THE REASONS OF 

shall go no deeper than the knee and tongue, in forms, or 
ceremonies, or a dissembled affection and profession. But to 
be devoted absolutely to God, in self-resignation, obedience, 
and love, how rare is it, even in them who cannot deny, but 
the law of nature itself doth primarily and undeniably oblige 
them to it. Their religion is but self-condemnation, while 
their tongues condemn their hearts and lives. 1 

It is a sensual, brutish world, and seemeth to have hired out 
their reason to the service of their appetites and lusts ; gluttony, 
and excess of drink, and sports, and plays, and gaming, with 
pride, and wantonness, and fornication, and uncleanness, and 
worldly pomp, and the covetous gathering of provision for the 
flesh, to satisfy these lusts, is the business and pleasure of their 
lives ; and if you tell them of reason, or the law of God, to take 
them off, you may almost as well think to reason a hungry dog 
from his carrion, or a lustful boar to forbear his lust. m 

And it is a selfish world, where every man is as an idol to 
himself, and affected to himself and his own interest, as if he 
were all the world ; drawing all that he can from others, to fill 
his own insatiable desires ; loving all men, and honouring, and 
esteeming, and praising them, according to the measure of their 
esteem of him, or their agreeableness to his opinions, ways, or 
interest. Self love, self-conceit, self-esteem, self-will, and self- 
seeking, is the soul and business of the world ; and, therefore, 
no wonder that it is a divided and contentious world, when it 
hath as many ends as men, and every man is for himself, and 
draweth his own way. No wonder that there is such variety of 
apprehensions, that no two men are in all things of a mind ; 
and that the world is like a company of drunken men together 
by the ears, or of blind men fighting with they know not 
whom, and for they know not what ; and that ignorant sects, 
and contentious wranglers, and furious fighters, are the bulky 
parts of it ; and that striving who shall rule, or be greatest, or 
have his will, is the world's employment. 

It is a dreaming and distracted world, that spend their days 
and cares for nothing; and are as serious in following a feather, 

1 He that will peruse that notable description of the state of morals, and of 
souls in flesh, which Arnobius hath, (' Adv. Gentes,' lib. 2. pp. 18, 19. Annot. 
Bib. Pat.) (too long to be transcribed) shall see the vanity and shame of this 
corrupted world expressed to the life. 

m Nostri tantum qui Christiani vocamur nulla vobis cura est; sinitis enitn 
nos qui nihil mali patramus, immo omnium piissimk justissimeque cum erga 
]Jeum turn imperium vestrum nos gerimus, exagitari, rapi, fugari, nomen 
duntaxat nostrum plerisque impugnantibus.-' Athenagor. Apolog. p. 1. 



THIS CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 185 

and in the pursuit of that which they confess is vanity, and 
dying in their hands, as if, indeed, they knew it to be true 
felicity. They are like children, busy in hunting butterflies ; 
or like boys at foot-ball, as eager in the pursuit, and in over- 
turning one another, as if it were for their lives, or for some 
great, desirable prize ; or more like to a heap of ants, that gad 
about as busily, and make as much ado for sticks and dust, as 
if they were about some magnificent work. Thus doth the vain, 
deceived world lay out their thoughts and time upon imperti- 
nencies, and talk and walk like so many noctambulos in their 
sleep : they study, and care, and weep, and laugh, and labour, 
and fight, as men in a dream ; and will hardly be persuaded 
but it is reality which they pursue, till death come and awake 
them. Like a stage-play, or a puppet-play, where all things 
seem to be what they are not, and all parties seem to do what 
they do not, and then depart, and are all disrobed and un- 
masked ; such is the life of the most of this world, who spend 
their days in a serious jesting, and in a busy doing of nothing. 

It is a malignant world, that hath an inbred, radicated 
enmity to all that virtue and goodness which they want ; they 
are so captivated by their fleshly pleasures and worldly interests, 
that the first sight, approach, or motion, of reason, holiness, 
mortification, and self-denial, is met by them with heart-rising, 
indignation, and opposition ; in which their fury beareth down 
all argument, and neither giveth them leave considerately to 
use their own reason, or hearken to another's. There are few 
that are truly wise, and good, and heavenly, that escape their 
hatred and beastly rage ; and when countries have thought to 
remedy this plague, by changing their forms of government, 
experience hath told them, that the vice and root of their 
calamity lieth in the blindness and wickedness of corrupted 
nature, which no form of government will cure ; and that the 
doves, that are governed by hawks and kites, must be their 
prey, whether it be one, or many, that hath the sovereigntv. n 

Yea, it is an unthankful world, that, in the exercise of this 
malignant cruelty, will begin with those that deserve best at 
their hands. He that would instruct them, and stop them in 

n O ingratuin et impium seculum ! O in privatam perniciem incredibili 
pectoris obstinatione pronum ! si aliquis ad vus medicus ex summotis venisset, 
et incognitis regionibus, medicamen pollicens, certatim blanditiis, &e. Qua;- 
nam est ha^c ferilas, qua; libido tain carnifex, inexpiabilc bellum iiulicere ni- 
bil de te inerito ? Dilacerare si detur velle euni per viscera, qui non modo nul- 
lum intulerit malum nulli, sed benignus liostibus, &c. — ArnobA. 1, in fine. 



186 THE REASONS OF 

their sin, and save their souls, doth ordinarily make himself a 
prey : and they are not content to take away their lives, but 
they will, among their credulous rabble, take away the reputa- 
tion of their honesty ; and no wisdom or learning was ever so 
great, no innocency so unspotted, no honesty, justice, or charitv 
so untainted, no holiness so venerable, that could ever privilege 
the owners from their rage, or make the possessors to escape 
their malice. ° Even Jesus Christ, that never committed sin, 
and that came into the world with the most matchless love, 
and to do them the greatest good, was yet prosecuted furiously 
to a shameful death ; and not only so, but, in his humiliation, 
his judgment was taken away, and he was condemned as an 
evil doer, who was the greatest enemy to sin that ever was born 
into the world : he was accused of blasphemy, for calling him- 
self the Son of God : of impiety, for talking of destroying the 
temple ; and of treason, for saying he was a king. And his 
apostles, that went about the world to save men's souls, and 
proclaim to them the joyful tidings of salvation, had little 
better entertainment ; wherever they came, bonds and afflictions 
did abide them ; and if they had not been taught to rejoice in 
tribulations, they could have expected little joy on earth. And 
it was not only Christians that were thus used, but honesty in 
the heathens as usually met with opposition and reproach, as 
Seneca himself doth often complain : yea, how few have there 
been that have been famous for any excellency of wit or 
learning, or any addition to the world's understanding, but 
their reward hath been reproach, imprisonment, or death. Did 
Socrates die in his bed, or was he not murdered by the rage of 
wicked hypocrites ? Plato durst not speak his mind, for fear of 
his master's reward. Aristippus left Athens, ne his peccarent 
in philosophiam. Not only Solon, but most benefactors to any 
commonwealth, have suffered for their beneficence. Demos- 
thenes, Cato, Cicero, Seneca, could none of them save their 
lives from fury, by their great learning or honesty, p Yea, 
among nominal Christians, he that told them of an antipodes, 
was excommunicated by the papal authority for an heretic ; 

Prosperum ac fselix scelus virtus vocatur. Quis nomen unquam sceleris 
errori dedit? saspe error ing'ens sceleris obtinuit locum. — Scti. Here. fur. 

p Anaxarchum Democritium a Cyprio tyranno excarnificatum accepimus : 
Zenonem Eleatem in tormentis necatum: quid dicam de Socrate, cujus morti 
illaciirymari soleo Platonem legens. Many more such instances hath Cotta 
in Cicero, (De Nat. Deor. 1. 3. pp. 107, 108.) Primusque de vitas ratione disse- 
ruit Socrates, primusque Philosophorum damnatus moritur. — Laert in Socrat. 
p. 92. 






THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 187 

and a Savonarola, Arnoldus de Villa Nova, Paulus, Scaliger, 
&c, could not be wiser than their neighbours, but to their cost : 
No j nor Arias Montanus himself. Campanella was fain, in 
prison, to compile his ' New Philosophy ;' and with the pleasure 
of his inventions, to bear the torments which were their sour 
sauce, i Even Galilaeus, that discovered so many new orbs, and 
taught this world the way of clearer acquaintance with its 
neighbours, could not escape the reverend justice of the papal- 
ists, but must lie it a prison, as if supientia had been written 
on his doors ; as the old woman cried out to Thales, when he 
fell into a ditch, while he was by his instrument taking the 
height of a star. And Sir Walter Raleigh could not save his 
head by his learned ' History of the World,' but must be one 
part of its history himself; nor yet by his great observation, 
r how Antipater is taken for a bloody tyrant for killing Demos- 
thenes, and how arts and learning have power to disgrace anv 
man that doth evil to the famous masters of them. Peter 
Ramus, who had done so much in philosophy for the learned 
world, was requited by a butcherly, barbarous murder, being 
one of the thirty or forty thousand that were so used in the 
French massacre ; and many a holy person perished in the two 
hundred thousand murdered by the Irish. It were endless to 
instance the ungrateful cruelties of the world, and what enter- 
tainment it hath given to wise and godly men : even those 
whom it superstitiously adoreth, when it hath murdered them. s 

And in all this wickedness, it is wilful, and stupid, and incor- 
rigible ; and ordinary means do little to the cure. Thus is it a 
sinful, evil world. 

IJ. And it is a tempting world, that would make all bad as it 
is itself. Wherever the sanctifying truth of God doth come to 
illuminate and reform men, the world is presently up in arms 
against it ; and fighting against that which would save men's 
souls, as if it were a plague or enemy that would destroy them. 
Princes think it is against their interest, and the people find 
that it is against their lusts ; and so the sin of tyranny keepeth 
the Gospel out of the greatest part of the world, and popular 
fury resisteth it where it cometh. The empires of the Turks, 
and Tartarian, and China, are sad instances of the success of 

i Campanella telleth us himself of his thirty years' cruel persecution and 
torments in the inquisition. 

1 Hist, part 1. 1. 4. c. 3. sect. 6. 

s Judices non tarn quid commiserit reus aliquis nostrum inquirunt, quam 
ipsi nomini tanquam certo sceleri illudunt.— Athenagor. nb. sup: 



18S THE REASONS OF 

tyranny against the means of men's salvation ; and the empire 
of Japan hath given the world an instance of such unparallelled 
cruelty to that end, as maketh the persecutions of Nero and 
Dioclesian, and even the popish inquisition, and almost the mas- 
sacres of Piedmont, France, and Ireland, seem very merciful 
acts of charity. What rage, what inhuman fury hath been 
showed through all the world, to keep out knowledge, and keep 
the nations in their darkness and misery, and forbid relief! but 
for error and deceit, idolatry and superstition, how industriously 
are they propagated ! Empire and arts, power and learning, 
are employed to deceive and undo the world ; and though em- 
pire be God's ordinance, and arts his gifts, they are turned against 
him in the far greatest part of the earth, and Satan is served by 
them as if they had been ordained by him : almost every country 
hath its proper opinions, and a religion fitted to resist religion. 
He that is an idolater, or a Mahometan, or infidel, would make 
more ; and they that are against all serious religion, are as eager 
to make others of their mind as if they were a work of charity 
or commodity ; and he that is endeavouring to undo souls, is as 
vehement in it as he that is endeavouring to save them. He 
that hath any passion or corrupt affection, is as inclinable to 
convey it to another as fire is to kindle fire, or one that hath the 
plague to infect his neighbour. Covetousness, ambition, voluptu- 
ousness, lust, and wrath and revenge, are all contagious. Rioters 
think it strange if we run not with them into all excess. The 
very noise of their impertinent talk and business, and the great 
ado that they make in doing nothing, is a great diverter of those 
that are about them, from serious business and sober considera- 
tion. They keep men so busy about their vanities, that they 
can find no leisure to remember that they are men, or to think 
what business they have in the world, nor where it is that they 
must dwell for ever ; and when their folly and selfishness hath 
set them altogether by the ears, they must needs draw or drive 
others into the fire of contention with them. They cry, i Who 
is on my side ! who ! ' And he that will not be of one party 
or other, but will keep his peace, shall lose it by the enmity of 
all ; and no man shall be taken for orthodox or honest that will 
not be of that faction whose commendation he desireth ; and 
when he hath humoured them, he shall go for a knave or a re- 
proached person, with all the rest. A peaceable man shall 
hardlvfind the peace which he desireth to himself; but it is ten 
to one but he loseth his labour, if he would make peace between 






THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 1S9 

others, especially if he have an honest ambition of extending 
that blessing to parties and countries, or any great and con- 
siderable numbers. If, by tyranny and cruelty, by prisons, and 
torments, and death, they cannot affright men from honesty and 
the obedience of God, at least they will vex them in their way, 
and be as thorns and briars to them in this wilderness. 1 

III. And it is a calamitous, miserable world ; it is void of the 
comforts of sacred illumination, and of the assured love of God, 
and of the exercise of wisdom or holiness. The delights of 
saints in loving God, and waiting for eternal life, are unknown 
to all the multitudes of the ungodly ; they are confounded and 
lost in their ignorance and error, and tormented with their own 
passions, divisions, and contentions ; their vices are part of their 
disquietment and pain, though pleasure be their intended end. 
It is a pitiful servitude that they are in to Satan, and an endless 
drudgery that they follow, in serving their covetousness, pride, 
and lust ; and a tiresome task to care and labour, to make pro- 
vision for their fleshly appetites and wills. They are led captive 
bv Satan, to do his will ; and yet in doing it they do their own, 
and are in love with their captivity, and glory in their chains. 
They are engaged, daily, against God and mercy, against their 
happiness, and their friends that would procure it ; and think 
him their enemy that would make them wiser. They go under 
the guilt of all this sin, and they have no assurance of pardon or 
deliverance ; and God overtaketh them many times with bodily 
distresses here. Sicknesses and pains consume men, and tor- 
ment them ; wars and plagues do send them by thousands out 
of the world, which they took for their felicity ; fire and famine, 

'Vitiade mercede sollicitant : Avaritia pecuniam promittit : Luxuria multas 
ac varias voluptates : Ambitio purpuram et plausum ; et ex hoc potentiam et 
quicquid potentia ponit. — Senec. Ep. 59. la vitia alter alterum trudimus. 
Quomodo ad salutem revocari potest, quern populus impellit, et nullus retra- 
hit ? — Sentc. Ep. 29. When just Aristides was made treasurer at Athens, 
though he most uprightly discharged his office, Themistocles accused him, and 
got him condemned as for bribery. But by the favour of some of the greatest 
he was delivered, and restored to his office for another year. The next year he 
did by connivance gratify all the pillagers of the commonwealth, that would 
grow rich by the common loss : and at the year's end they offered him the 
office again with great honour. But he refused it, and said, that their honour 
was a greater disgrace than their condemnation : for when he did well they 
condemned him, and when he gave way to the unjust, they honoured him. 
(Plutar.) When he was to be condemned by the popular sote, one came to 
him in the crowd, that could not write, and not knowing who he was, desired 
him to write his name to Aristides' condemnation; for he was resolved to give 
his voice against him, because he was called a righteous man. Aristides did 
as he desired, and wrote his name without discovering himself to him. 



190 THE REASONS OF 

piracy, and robbery, and fraud, impoverish them ; the frustra- 
tions of their hope torment them ; and yet, under all, they are 
hardened against God, and fall not out with their sin and folly, 
but with the justice of heaven, and with its instruments, or rather 
with all that breathe the image of the holiness of God. This is 
the visible condition of this world. 

Object. If you say, c Howcan all this stand with the infinite good- 
ness of God ?' I have answered it before. It showeth you that it 
is not this world, which is the great demonstration of the good- 
ness or love of God, from whence we must take our estimate of 
it by the effects. If you will judge of the king's splendour, and 
bounty, and clemency, will you go seek for examples and de- 
monstrations of it in a gaol, and at the gallows, or rather at 
the court ? Hell is as the gallows, and earth is as the gaol. 
Measure not God's bounty and mercy by these. It is no sign 
of unmercifulness in God, that there are flies, and worms, and 
toads, and serpents, on earth as well as men ; or that earth 
was not made as indefectible as heaven. And when men have 
drowned themselves in sin, it is no want of goodness in God, 
but it is goodness itself, which causeth the demonstrations of his 
justice on them. This world is not so much to all God's crea- 
tion, as a wen or wart upon a man's bodv, is to the whole 
. body; and if it were all forsaken by God, as it hath forsaken 
him, it were, proportionably, no more than the cutting off such 
a wart or wen. God hath many thousand, thousand, thousand 
times more capacious regions, which it is likely have more 
noble and blessed inhabitants : look to them, if you would see 
his love in its most glorious demonstration. Justice, also, must 
be demonstrated if men will sin ; and if hell be quite forsaken, 
and earth, which is next it, be partly forsaken of the favour of 
God, for all that God may gloriously demonstrate his love to a 
thousand thousand-fold more subjects of the nobler regions, 
than he doth demonstrate his justice on in hell or earth. But 
these two things 1 gather for the confirmation of my faith. 
1. That the sin and misery of the world is such that it groan- 
eth for a Saviour ; and when I hear of a physician sent from 
heaven, I easily believe it, when I see the woful world mor- 
tally diseased, and gasping in its deep distress. The condition 
of the world is visibly so suitable to the whole office of Christ, 
and to the doctrine of the Gospel, that I am driven to think 
that if God have mercy for it, some physician and extraordinary 
help shall be afforded it. And when I see none else but Jesus 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 191 

Christ, whom reason will allow me to believe is that Physician, 
it somewhat prepareth my mind to look towards him with hope. u 

2. And also, the evil of this present world is very suitable to 
the doctrine of Christ, when he telleth us that he came not to 
settle us here in a state of prosperity, nor to make the world 
our rest or portion ; but to save us from it, as our enemy 
and calamity, our danger ; and our wilderness, and trouble, and 
to bring up our hearts first, and then ourselves to a better 
world, which he calleth us to seek and to make sure of: whereas, 
1 find that most other religions, though they say something of a 
life hereafter, yet lead men to look for most or much of their 
felicity here, as consisting in the fruition of this world, which 
experience tells me is so miserable. 

Sect. 3. Moreover, I find that the law of entire nature was 
no more suitable to nature in its integrity, than the law of 
grace revealed by Christ is suitable to us in our lapsed state; 
so that it may be called the law of nature lapsed and restorable, 
natwree lapses restaurandce. 

Nature entire, and nature depraved, must have the same 
pattern and rule of perfection ultimately to be conformed to ; 
because lapsed man^ must seek to return to his integrity. But 
lapsed or corrupted man doth, moreover, need another law, 
which shall first tend to his restoration from that lost and 
miserable state. And it was no more necessary to man in 
innocency, to have a suitable law for his preservation and con- 
firmation, than it is to man in sin and guilt to have a law of 
grace for his pardon and recovery, and a course of means pre- 
scribed him for the healing of his soul, and for the escaping 
of the stroke of justices The following particulars further 
open this. 

Sect. 4. It seemeth very congruous to reason, that as mo- 
narchy is the most perfect sort of government (which it is pro- 
bable it is, even among the angels) so mankind should have 
one universal head or monarch over them. 

u Saith Cicero, (laughing at Epicurus,) Ego sunimuui dolorem (summum 
dico, etiamsi decern atomis est major alius,) non contiuuo dico esse breveni : 
multosque possem bonos viros nominare qui complures annos doloribus poda- 
gra crucieutur maximis. — -Tuscul. 1. 2. p. 26'3. 

x If any say that still perfect obedience is possible, I will not litigare de no- 
mine, but say as Cicero, Ut nihil interest utrum nemo valeat, an nemo possit 
valere ; sic non intelligo quid intersit, utrum nemo sit sapiens an nemo esse 
posit. — Cicer. de Nat. Deor. 1. .'5. p. 138. (mihi). So I say of keeping - the law 
perfectly. 



192 THE REASONS OF 

Kingdoms have their several monarchs ; but there is surely an 
universal monarch over them all. We know that God is the 
primary Sovereign ; but it is verv probable to nature that 
there is a subordinate sovereign or general administrator under 
him. It is not only the Scriptures that speak of a prince of 
the devils, and of principalities, and powers, and thrones, and 
dominions among the happy spirits ; and that talk of the angels 
that are princes of several kingdoms, (Dan. x.,) but even the 
philosophers, and most idolaters, have, from this apprehension, 
been drawn to the worship of such, as an inferior kind of deity. 
And if man must have a subordinate, universal king, it is meet 
that it be one that is also man ; as angels and devils have 
principals of their own sort and nature, and not of others. 

Sect. 5. It seemeth congruous to reason, that this head be 
one that is fitted to be our Captain General, himself to lead us 
by conduct, precept, and example, in our warfare against those 
devils, who also are said to have their prince and general. 

As devils fight against us under a prince of their own nature, 
so it is congruous, that we fight against them under a prince of 
our own nature, who hath himself first conquered him, and will 
go on before us in the fightJ 

Sect. 6. It is congruous to reason, that lapsed man under 
the guilt of sin, and desert of punishment, who is unable to de- 
liver himself, and unworthy of immediate access to God, should 
have a mediator for his restoration and reconciliation with God, 
if any be found fit for so high an office. 

Sect. 7. And it is congruous to reason, that this mediator be 
one, in whom God doth condescend to man, and one in whom 
man may be encouraged to ascend to God, as to one that will 
forgive and save him ; and one that hath made himself known 
to man, and also hath free access to God. 

Sect. 8. It is congruous to reason, that lapsed, guilty, dark- 
ened sinners, that know so little of God, and of his will, and of 
their own concernments, and of the other world, should have a 
teacher sent from heaven, of greater authority and credit than 
an angel, to acquaint us with God and his will, and the life we 
are going to, more certainly and fully than would be done by 
nature only. 

That this is very desirable, no man can doubt : how gladly 

y Almost all the heathens in the world, who worshipped one God as chief, 
had their demi-gods, as their particular protectors, and favourers, or media- 
tors ; as intimating- that man is conscious of the need of some mediator of access 
to the supreme Deity. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 19o 

would men receive a letter or book that dropped from heaven ? or 
an angel that were sent thence to tell them what is there, and 
what they must for ever trust to ? yea, if it were but one of 
their old acquaintance from the dead ? But all this would leave 
them in uncertainty still, and they would be doubtful of the 
credit and truth of any such messenger : and therefore to have 
one of fuller authority, that shall confirm his word by unques- 
tionable attestations, would very much satisfy men. I have 
proved, that nature itself revealeth to us a life of retribution 
after this, and that the immortality of souls may be proved 
without Scripture : but yet there is still a darkness and unac- 
quaintedness, and, consequently, a doubting and questioning the 
certainty of it, upon a carnal mind : and it would greatly satisfy 
such, if, besides mere reason, they had some proof which is more 
agreeable to a mind of flesh ; and might either speak with some 
credible messenger who hath been in heaven, and fully knoweth 
all these matters ; or at least might be certainly informed of 
his reports. And, indeed, to men who have fallen into such a 
dark depravedness of reason, and such strangers to God and 
heaven as mankind is, it is become needful that they have 
more than natural light, to show them the nature, the excel- 
lency, and certainty of the happiness to come, or else they are 
never like so to love and seek it, and prefer it before all earthly 
things, as is necessary to them that will attain it : for few men 
will seek with their utmost labour, or let go all other things, to 
attain a happiness which they are not well persuaded of the reality 
of. And though sound reason might well persuade them of it, 
yet reason is now become so blind, and unsound, and partial, and 
enslaved to the flesh, that it is not fit for such an office, accord- 
ing to our necessity, without some heavenly revelation. 2 

Sect. 9. And it is exceedingly congruous to man's necessity, 
who is fallen under the power and fears of death, as well as the 
doubts and estrangedness to the other world, that he that will 
save and heal us, do himself in our nature rise from the dead 
and ascend up into heaven, to give us thereby a visible demon- 

'• The most learned men of Greece and Rome, that saw by reason the im- 
mortality of the soul, the life to come, and the perfections of God, were yet so 
distrustful of their own reasons, that they spake of the life to come with great 
pauses of doubtfulness or darkness : and were many of them glad to run to 
oracles, and augures, and aruspices, to try if they could get any additional 
light by supernatural revelation. How glad theu would they have been of a 
certain teacher sent from heaven ! Falsum est; pejores morimur quam nas- 
cimur : Nostrum istud, nun naturae vitium est. <Juid euim turpius quam in 
ipso limine securitatis esse solicitum. — Seuec. 
VOL. XXI. O 



194 THE REASONS OF 

station, that indeed there is a resurrection, and a life to come, 
for us to look for. 

Though God was not obliged to do thus much for us, yet 
reason telleth us, that if he will do it, it is very suitable to our 
necessities : for all the reasonings in the world do not satisfy in 
such things, so much as ocular demonstration : when we either 
see a man that is risen from the dead, or have certain testimony 
of it, it facilitated the belief of our own resurrection : and he that 
is gone into heaven before us, assureth us that a heaven there is. 

Sect. 10. When God in mercy would forgive and save a sin- 
ful people, it was very congruous to reason, that there should be 
some fit means provided, to demonstrate his holiness in his jus- 
tice, and to vindicate the honour of his laws and government, 
and so to secure the ends of both. 

For if God make a penal law, and execute it not, but let man 
sin with impunity, and do nothing which may deter him, nor 
demonstrate his justice, as much as the sinner's sufferings would 
do, it would tell the world, that he who gave them the law, and 
thereby told them that he would rule and judge them by it, did 
but deceive them, and meant not as he spake : and it would 
bring both the law and Governor into contempt, and per- 
suade men to sin without any fear : and he that was questioned 
for the second crime would say, I ventured, because I suffered 
not for the first. It was the devil's first way of tempting men 
to sin, to persuade mankind that God meant not as he spake in 
his threatening of their death ; but that they should not die, 
though God had threatened it. And if God himself should by 
his actions say the same, it would tempt them more to sin than 
Satan could, as his credibility is greater. Therefore, he that is a 
governor must be just as well as merciful; and if God should have 
pardoned sinners, without such a sacrifice, or substitute [such] 
means, as might preserve the honour of his law and government, 
and thefuture innocencyof his subjects, as well as theirpunishment 
in the full sense of the law would have done, the consequences 
would have been such, as I will leave to your own judgments. 3 

Sect. 1 1. And it was very congruous to reason, that so odious 
a thing as sin should be publicly condemned and put to shame, 

a Saepe Jovem vidi cum jam sua mittere vellet 
Fulmina thure dato sustinuisse manum ; 
At si negligitur, magnis injuria pcenis 
Solvitur. — Ovid 5. Fast. 
DeiinjuriasDeo curae. — Tacit. Annal.X. 1. Virtutum omnium excellen- 
tissima justitia.— Ammian. Marcel. 1. 20. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 195 

although the sinner be forgiven : as it was done in the life and 
death of Christ. 

For the purity of God is irreconcilable to sin, though not to 
the sinner ; and therefore it was meet that the sin have all the 
public shame, though the sinner escape : and that God be not 
like weak, imperfect man, who cannot do good, without doing or 
encouraging evil. 

Sect. 12. It is congruous to our condition, that seeing even 
the upright do renew their sins, their consciences should have 
some remedy for the renewal of their peace and comfort, that it 
sink them not into desperation ; which is most suitably provided 
for them in Jesus Christ. 

For when we were pardoned once, and again, and often, and 
yet shall sin, he that knoweth the desert of sin, and purity of 
God, will have need also to know of some stated, certain course 
of remedy. 

Sect. 13. It was meet that the sinful world have not only a 
certain teacher, but also a perfect pattern before them of 
righteousness, love, self-denial, meekness, patience, contempt of 
lower things, &c, which is given us by Jesus Christ alone. 

And therefore the Gospel is written historically, with doc- 
trines intermixed, that we might have both perfect precepts 
and patterns. 

Sect. 14. It was very congruous to a world universally lapsed, 
that God should make with it a new law and covenant of grace; 
and that this covenant should tender us the pardon of our sins, 
and be a conditional act of oblivion : and that sinners be not 
left to the mere law of perfect nature, which was to preserve 
that innocency which they have already lost. 

To say ' Thou shalt perfectly obey,' to a man that hath 
already disobeyed, and is unfitted for perfect obedience, is no 
sufficient direction for his pardon and recovery. Perhaps you 
will say, that God's gracious nature is instead of a law of grace 
or promise. But though that be the spring of all our hopes, 
yet that cannot justlv quiet the sinner of itself alone, because he 
is just as well as merciful, and justice hath its objects, and pardon 
dependeth on the free will of God, which cannot be known to 
us without its proper signs. The devils may say that the nature 
of God is good and gracious, and so may any condemned male- 
factor say of a good and gracious judge and king ; and yet 
that is but a slender reason to prove his impunity or pardon. 
All will confess, that absolute pardon of all men would be unbe- 

o 2 



196 THE REASONS OF 

seeming a wise and righteous Governor. And if it must be con- 
ditional, who but God can tell what must be the condition ? If 
you say, that nature telleth us, that converting repentance is the 
condition. I answer, 1. Nature telleth us, that God cannot 
damn a holy, loving soul, that hath his image : but yet it telleth 
us not, that this is the only or whole condition. 2. It is not 
such a repentance as lieth but in a frightened wish, that the sin 
had not been done, but such a one as consisteth in the change 
of the mind, and heart, and life, and containeth a hatred to the 
sin repented of, and a love to God and holiness. And we have 
as much need of a Saviour to help us to this repentance, as to 
help us to a pardon. 

Sect. 15. It is very congruous to our miserable state, that the 
condition of this covenant of grace should be, on our part, the 
acknowledgment of our Benefactor, and the thankful acceptance 
of the benefit, and a hearty consent for the future to b follow 
his conduct, and use his appointed means in order to our full 
recovery. Which is the condition of the christian covenant. 

Sect. 16. Seeing man's fall was from his God unto himself, 
especially in point of love ; and his real recovery must be, by 
bringing up his soul to the love of God again. And seeing a 
guilty, condemned sinner can hardly love that God, who in justice 
will damn and punish him ; nothing can be more congruous and 
effectual to man's recovery to God, than that God should be 
represented to him as most amiable ; that is, as one that is so 
willing to pardon and save him, as to do it by the most asto- 
nishing expressions of love, in such an agent, and pledge, and 
glass of love as Jesus Christ. c 

The whole design of Christ's incarnation, life, death, resur- 
rection, ascension, and intercession, is but to be the most won- 
derful and glorious declaration of the goodness and love of God 
to sinners. That as the great frame of the universe demon- 
strateth his power, so should the Redeemer be the demonstration 
of his love. 

b Religiosi sunt, qui facienda et vitanda dUcernunt. — Mucrob. Saturn. I. 3. 
Non votis neque supplicamentis muliebribus auxilia Deoruni parantur ; sed 
vigilando, agendo, bene consulendo, prospere cedunt omnia : ubi socordioe te 
atque ignavise tradideris, nequicquam Deos implores, irati enim insensique 
sunt. — Scdlust.in Catilin. 

c Mysterii opus et finem, sacriiicari scilicet et sanctificari fideles, ipse est 
solus qui peragit. De his autem preces sunt, orationes, et supplicationes sa- 
cerdotis. Ilia enim sunt Domini, ha?c vero servi : Seivator donat, sacerdos 
pro iis quae data sunt gratias agit. — Nicol. Cabasil. Liturg. Expos, c. 4;), 
adversus eos qui dicunt sanctorum in sacro My.sterio, memoriara esse sacerdotis 
pro eis ad Deuiu supplicationem. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 197 

That we may see both the wise contrivances of his love, and 
at how dear a rate he is content to save us ; that our lives may 
be employed in beholding and admiring the glory of his love, in 
this incomprehensible representation. That we may love him, 
as men that are fetched up from the very gates of hell, and 
from under the sentence of condemnation, and made by grace 
the heirs of life. 

Sect. 17- Especially to have a quickening Head, who will 
give the spirit of grace to all his members, to change their 
hearts, and kindle this holy love within them, is most congruous 
to accomplish man's recovery. 

So dark are our minds, and so bad our hearts, so strong are 
our lusts, and so many our temptations, that bare teaching would 
not serve our turn, without a spirit of light, and life, and love, to 
open our eyes, and turn our hearts, and make all outward means 
effectual. 

Sect. 18. The commission of the Gospel ministry to preach 
this Gospel of pardon and salvation, and to baptize consenters, 
and gather and guide the church of Christ, with fatherly love, is 
also very congruous to the state of the world, with whom they 
have to do. 

Sect. 19. It is congruous to the state of our trembling souls, 
that are conscious of their former guilt, and present unworthi- 
ness, that in all their prayers and worship of God, they should 
come to him in a name that is more worthy and acceptable than 
their own, and offer their services by a Hand or Intercessor so 
beloved of God. 

Though an impious soul can never expect to be accepted with 
God, upon the merits of another, yet a penitent soul, who is 
conscious of former wickedness, and continued faults, may hope 
for that mercy by grace through a Redeemer, of which he could 
have less hopes without one. 

Sect. 20. It is congruous to their state, who have Satan their 
accuser, that they have a Patron, a High- Priest and Justifier with 
God. 

Not that God is in danger of being mistaken by false accusa- 
tion, or to do us any injustice ; but when our real guilt is before 
his face, and the malice of Satan will seek thereupon to procure 
our damnation, there must also be just reasons before him for 
our pardon ; which it is the office of a Saviour to plead or to 
present, that is, to be God's instrument of our deliverance upon 
that account. 



198 THE REASONS OF 

Sect. 21. It is exceedingly congruous to our condition of dark- 
ness and fear, to have a Head and Saviour in the possession of 
glory, to whom we may commend our departing souls at the 
time of death, and who will receive them to himself; that we 
may not tremble at the thoughts of death and of eternity. 

For though the infinite goodness of God be our chief encou- 
ragement, yet seeing he is holy and just, and we are sinners, we 
have need of a mediate encouragement, and of such condescend- 
ing love as is come near unto us, and hath taken up our nature 
already into heaven. A Saviour that hath been on earth in 
flesh ; that hath died, and risen, and revived, and is now in the 
possession of blessedness, is a great emboldener of our thoughts, 
when we look towards another world ; which else we should think 
of with more doubting, fearful, and unwilling minds. To have a 
friend gone before us, who is so powerful, so good, and hath 
made us his interest; to think that he is Lord of the world that 
we are going to, and hath undertaken to receive us to himself 
when we go hence, is a great reviving to our amazed, fearful, 
departing souls. d 

Sect. 22. And it is very congruous to the case of an afflicted, 
persecuted people, who are misrepresented and slandered in 
this world, and suffer for the hopes of a better life, to have a 
Saviour who is the Judge of all the world, to justify them pub- 
licly before all, and to cause their righteousness to shine as the 
light, and to turn all their sufferings into endless joys. 

Sect. 23. And it seemeth exceedingly congruous to reason, 
seeing that the divine Essence is an inaccessible light, that we 
should for ever have a Mediator of fruition, as well as of acqui- 
sition, by whom the Deity may shine in communicated glory 
and love to us for evermore ; and that God be for evermore 
eminently delighted and glorified in Him than in us, as he ex- 
celleth us in dignity and all perfections ; even as in one sun, his 
power and glory are more demonstrated than in a world of 
worms. 

Whether all these things be true or not, I am further to in- 
quire; but I find now that they are very congruous to our con- 
dition and to reason ; and that if they be so, no man can deny 
but that there is wonderful wisdom and love to man in the 
design and execution, and that it is to man a very desirable 

a Perturbatione temporum eos etiam qui vero judicio nullius criminis con- 
vinc queunt, maximis iuvolvi crimiuibus, haud est veri dissimile. — Pachymer. 
I. 1. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 199 

thing that it should be so : and therefore that we should be ex- 
ceedingly willing to find any sound proof that it is so indeed, 
though not with a willingness which shall corrupt and pervert 
our judgments by self-flattery, but such as will only excite them 
to the wise and sober examination of the case. e 

The evidences of the verity we shall next inquire after. 



CHAP. IV. 

Of the Witness of Jesus Christ on the demonstrative Evidence 
of his Verity and Authority. 

Though all that is said may be a reasonable preparative to 
faith, it is more cogent evidence which is necessary to convince 
us that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world. That a man 
appealing like one of us is the eternal Word of God incarnate, 
is a thing which no man is bound to believe, without very sound 
evidence to prove it. f God hath made reason essential to our 
nature. It is not our weakness but our natural excellency, and 
his image on our nature. Therefore, he never called us to re- 
nounce it, and to lay it by ; for we have no way to know princi- 
ples but by an intellectual discerning them in their proper evi- 
dence ; and no way to know conclusions but by a rational dis- 
cerning their necessary connexion to those principles. If God 
would have us know without reason, he would not have made 
us reasonable creatures. Man hath no way of mental discern- 

c Q. Si divina? Scripturae probationibus sufficiunt, quid necessaria est reli- 
gioni fides ? R. Fides nostra super ratione quidem est, non tamen temerariti etir- 
rationabiliterassurnitur. Eaenimquae ratio edocet, fides intelligit; et ubi ratio 
defecerit, fides praecurrit. Non enim utcunque audita credimus, sed ea quae 
ratio non improbat. Verum quod consequi ad plenum non potest, fideli pru- 
dentia confitemur. — Junilius Afrlcan.de Part.Div. Leg. 1. 2. c. 30. 

' Q. Unde probamus libros religionis nostras divina esse inspiratione con- 
scriptos ? R. Ex multis, quorum primum est ipsius Scripturae Veritas ; deinde 
ordo rerum, consonantia praeceptorum, modus loeutionis sine ambitu, puri- 
tasque verborum. Additur conscribentiuin et.praedicantium qualitas, quod 
divina bomines, excelsa vates, infacundi subtilia, non nisi divino repleti 
Spiritu tradidissent. Turn praedicationis virtus, quam dum praedicaretur 
(licet a paucis despectis) obtinuit. Accedunt his rectificatio contrariorum, ut 
sybillarum velpliilosophorum; expulsioadversariorum,utilitasconsequentium, 
exitus eorum quae per acceptationes, etfiguras, et prsedictiones, quae praedicta 
sunt adpostremum; miracula jugiter facta, donee Scriptura'ipsa suscipere- 
tur a gentibus. De qua hoc nunc ad proximum miraculum sufficit, quod ab 
omnibus suscepta cognoscitur. — Junilius African, de Part. Div. Leg. 1, 2. 
c. 29. 



200 THE REASONS OF 

ing or knowledge, but by understanding things in their proper 
evidence. To know without this, were to know without knowledge. 
Faith is an act, or species, of knowledge : it is so far from being 
contrary to reason, that is but an act of cleared, elevated reason. 
It is not an act of immediate intuition of God or Jesus Christ 
himself, but a knowledge of the truth by the divine evidence of 
its certainty. They that wrangle against us for giving reason 
for our religion, seem to tell us that they have none for their 
own, or else reprehend us for being men. If they had to 
do with them who make God to be but the prime reason, would 
they say that faith is something above reason, and therefore 
something above God ? I believe that our reason or intellection 
is far from being univocally the same thing with God's ; but I 
believe that God is intellection, reason or wisdom eminenter, 
though not formaliter: and that though the name be first used 
to signify the lower derivative reason of man, yet we have no 
higher to express the wisdom of God by, or better notion to ap- 
prehend it by, than this which is its image. I conclude, there- 
fore, that, 

Sect. 1. The. christian religion must be the most rational in 
the world, or that which hath the soundest reason for it, if it be 
the truest : and the proof of it must be by producing the 
evidences of its truth. 

Sect. 2. The evidence which faith requireth is properly 
called evidence of credibility. 

Sect. 3. When we speak of human faith, as such, credibility 
is somewhat short of proper certainty ; but when we speak cf 
divine faith, or a belief of God, evidence of credibility is evi- 
dence of certainty. 

Sect. 4. The great witness of Jesus Christ, or the demonstra- 
tive evidence of his verity and authority, was the Holy Spirit. 

Sect. 5. The word or doctrine of Jesus Christ hath four seve- 
ral infallible testimonies of God's Spirit, which, though each of 
them alone is convincing, yet, altogether, make up this one great 
evidence, that is, 1. Antecedently ; 2. Constitutively, or inhe- 
rently; 3. Concomitantly; and, 4. Subsequently. Of which I 
shall speak in course. 

Sect. 6. I. Antecedently, the spirit of prophecy was a witness 
to Jesus Christ. 5 

Under which I comprehend the prediction also of types. He 
that was many hundred years before, yea^ from age to age, fore- 
is Heb. x. 15 ; 1 Pet. i. 10 3 2 Pet. i. 19, 20. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 201 

told to come as the Messiah or Saviour, by divine prediction of 
promises, prophecies, and types, is certainly the true Messiah, our 
Saviour. But Jesus Christ was so foretold : ergo — 

1. For promises and prophecies, presently after the fall of Adam, 
God said, " I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and be- 
tween thvseed and her seed: it shall bruise thv head, and thou shalt 
bruise his heel." (Gen. iii. 15.) As it is certain that it was Satan 
principally, and the serpent but instru mentally, that is spoken of 
as the deceiver of Eve ; so it is as plain that it was Satan and his 
wicked followers principally, and the serpent and his seed onlv, 
as the instruments that are here meant in the condemnation : 
and that it is the seed of the woman, by an excellency so called, 
that is primarily here meant, and under him her natural seed, 
secondarily, is proved, not only by the Hebrew masculine gen- 
der, but by the fulfilling of this promise in the expository 
events, and in other promises to the like effect. The rest of the 
promises and prophecies to this purpose are so many, that to 
recite them all would swell the book too large ; and therefore I 
must suppose that the reader, perusing the sacred Scripture 
itself, will acquaint himself with them there.' 1 Only a few I 
shall repeat. 

" In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." 
(Gen. xxii. 18.) 

" The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver 
from between his feet, until Shiloh come." (Gen. xlix. 10.) 

The whole of the second Psalm is a prophecy of the kingdom 
of Christ. "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine 
a vain thing ? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the 
rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his 
anointed, &c. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of 
Sion. I will declare the decree ; the Lord hath said unto me, 
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee : ask of me, 
and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and 
the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Be wise, 
therefore, O ye kings ! Be learned, ye judges of the earth ! 
Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the 
Son lest he be angry, and ye perish," &e. 

" For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou 
suffer thine holy one to see corruption." (Psalm xvi. 10.) 

" Dogs have compassed me ; the assembly of the wicked have 
enclosed me : they pierced my hands and my feet. { may tell 

h Lege Disputationem Grege«tii cum Herbano Jiuleo. 



202 THE REASONS OF 

all my bones : they looked and stare upon me : they part my 
garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 
xxii. 16—18.) 

"■ They gave me also gall for my meat ; and in my thirst 
they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psalm lxix. 21.) 

" Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm 
of the Lord revealed ? for he shall grow up before him as a 
tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He hath no 
form nor comeliness ; and when we shall see him, there is no 
beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected 
of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we 
hid, as it were, our faces from him : he was despised, and we 
esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried 
our sorrows ; yet, we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, 
and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he 
was bruised for our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace 
was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like 
sheep, have gone astray ; we have turned every one to his own 
way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He 
was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: 
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before 
the shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was 
taken from prison, and from judgment, and who shall declare 
his generation : for he was cut off out of the land of the living ; 
for the transgression of my people was he stricken ; and he 
made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, 
because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his 
mouth ; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him : he hath put 
him to grief. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for 
sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the 
pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of 
the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied ; by his knowledge 
shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their 
iniquities : therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, 
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong ; because he hath 
poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the 
transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession 
for the transgressors." (Isa. liii.) 

" For unto us a child is born ; unto us a son is given ; and 
the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall 
be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Ever- 
lasting Father, The Prince of Peace : of the increase of his go- 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 203 

vernment and peace there shall he no end, upon the throne of 
David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it 
with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. 
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this." (Isa. ix. 6 ) 

" Behold, a virgin shall conceive and hear a son, and shall 
call his name Immanuel." (Isa. vii. 14.) 

" Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon 
thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of 
sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in 
everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, 
and to anoint the most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, 
that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and 
to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven 
weeks and threescore and two weeks ; the street shall be built, 
and the wall even, in troublous times ; and after threescore and 
two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and 
the people of the prince, that shall come, shall destroy the city 
and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and 
unto the end of the war desolations are determined; and he shall 
confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst 
of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, 
and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it deso- 
late, even until the consummation, and that determined be poured 
upon the desolate." (Dan. ix. 2-4, &c.) 

" Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the 
way before me ; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly 
come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant whom 
ye delight in ; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts : 
but who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand 
when he appeareth ? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like 
fuller's soap, and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver," 
&c. (Mai. iii. 1—3.) 

I omit the rest to avoid prolixity. There is scarcely any passage 
of the birth, life, sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, or 
glory of our Saviour, which are not particularly prophesied of in 
the Old Testament ; but nothing so copiously as his righteous- 
ness and his kingdom. The prophecy of Isaiah is full of such, 
and is but a prophetical Gospel. 

To these must be adjoined the prophetical types, even the 
typical persons, and the typical ordinances and actions. It 
would be too long to open, how his sufferings from the malig- 
nant world was typified in the death of Abel, and the attempted 



204 THE REASONS OF 

oblation of Isaac, and the selling of Joseph ; and his work of 
salvation in Noah and his preserved ark and family ; and his 
paternity, as to believers, in Abraham ; and his kingly conduct 
and deliverance of the church by Moses, and his deliverance of 
the Israelites from Egypt, and conduct of them in the wilder- 
ness, and by Joshua's victorious bringing them into the land of 
promise ; his reign and kingdom by David, and his building of 
the church by Solomon, and his priesthood by Aaron and his 
successors, &c. 

And it would take up just a volume to open all the typical 
ordinances and actions, which prefigured Christ. 1 From the 
institution of circumcision, and the passover, or paschal 
Iamb, to the end of all the mosaical ceremonies, Christ is the 
signification and the end of all. I will only crave your con- 
sideration of the custom of sacrificing in the general : it came 
into the world immediately upon man's sin. We find Cain and 
Abel, the two first persons born into the world, employed in it. 
From thence to this day, it hath continued (in doctrine, though 
the practice be restrained) with the Jews. It was no peculiar 
ceremony of their law, but hath been commonly exercised by 
almost all nations through the world ; both Greeks, Romans, 
and barbarians ; and it yet continueth in most countries of the 
heathens, where the doctrine of Christ hath not abolished it, as 
it hath done both with the Christians and Mahometans ; for the 
Mahometans borrow the confession of one God, and the 
rejection of idols and sacrifices, originally from the Christians. 
Now, I must confess, that I am not able to satisfy myself of the 
original and universality of the custom of sacrificing, upon any 
reasons but those of the Christians : either it was a prophetical, 
promissory institution of God himself to lapsed Adam, to point 
him to a Saviour, the second Adam ; or else, it must be from 
the law of nature, or else it is from some other positive insti- 
tution, or else it must be an universal error : there is no fifth 
way that is probable can be imagined ; and, 1. I am not able to' 
see that the mere light or law of nature should be the original 
cause, for then it would be all men's duty still : and, what 
reason can nature give us to judge that God is delighted in the 
blood and pain of the innocent brutes ; or, that the killing and 
offering of them should be any satisfaction to his justice for 
our sins, or any rational means to avert his judgments, or pro- 

1 See Whately ' On the Types,' and Lud. Crocii Epicris, and most largely 
Micrelius's ' Judas,' or second part of his book against infidels. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 20") 

cure our forgiveness. If it be said, that ' It was but a ceremo- 
nial confession, that we ourselves deserve death as that creature 
suffered it ) I answer, confession is indeed due from us bv 
the law of nature ; but the question is, of the killing of the 
poor beasts, and offering them in sacrifice. If the exercise of 
our penitence by confession were all that might be done as 
well without the creature's blood and death ; what is it 
that this addeth to a penitent confession ; and why was the 
oblation to God contained in the sacrifice ? If you say, that 
the life of brutes is not so regardable, but that we take it away 
for our daily food ; I answer, it is true, that it is allowed us for 
the maintenance of our lives ; but yet it is not to be cast 
away in vain, nor is God to be represented as one that doth 
delight in blood : and the common sense of all the world in 
their sacrificing, hath been, that besides the confession of their 
own desert, there is somewhat in it to appease God's displea- 
sure ; and none that I ever read of did take it for a mere con- 
fessing sign or action. If it be said, that they did it to signify 
their homage to God ; 1 answer, why then did they not offer 
him only the living creature rather than the dead ? All took it 
to be a propitiatory action ; and if there had been an aptitude 
in this sign to betoken our penitent confession only, yet when 
God knoweth our confessions as well without it, and when the 
tongue is made the natural instrument to express the mind, and 
there are a variety of other signs, it is incredible that all the 
world should ever, even so early, hit upon this one strange way 
of expression, without some special revelation or command of 
God. 

2. And it cannot be said, with any credibility, that God made 
any other revelation of his will to the world for sacrificing, 
besides what is made in nature and in holy Scripture. For 
who ever dreamed of such a thing ; or hath delivered us any 
such revelation, and told us when, and to whom, and how it 
was made ? 

3. And it is not credible that it was taken up erroneously by 
all the world, as their vices or superstitions are. For though 
it is past question, that error hath caused the abuse of it 
through the world, yet for the thing itself there is no proba- 
bility of such an original. For what can we imagine should, 
induce men to it, and make all nations (how various soever 
their idols are) to agree in this way of worshipping and 
propitiating them ? There is nothing of sensuality in it that by 



206 THE REASONS OF 

gratifying a lust of the flesh might have such an universal 
effect : and it must be some universal light, or some universal 
lust or interest, that must cause such an universal concord. 
Nay, on the contrary, you shall find that tradition and the 
custom of their forefathers is the common argument pleaded 
for sacrificing through all the world, even in the ancients' histo- 
rical reports of it. 

4. Therefore, it remaineth very probable, at least, that they 
received it indeed by tradition from their forefathers : and that 
could be from none originally, but the universal progenitor of 
mankind, who was capable of conveying it to all his posterity ; 
for no history mentioneth any later original, nor could any 
later than Adam or Noah have made it so universal. And no 
man can imagine why God should institute it, if it were not to 
intimate the translating of our punishment into our Redeemer, 
and to point us to the great sacrifice which is truly propitiatory, 
and is the great demonstration of his justice, who in mercy 
doth forgive. 

Sect. 7. II. The second witness of the Spirit, which is in- 
herent and constitutive to the Gospel of Christ, is that image 
of God, the inimitable character of divinity, which by the Holy 
Spirit is put into the doctrine of Christ, as the very life or soul 
of it ; together with the same on the pattern of his own life. 

1. On Christ himself, the inimitable image of God in his 
perfection, is a testimony of his veracity-: which I ascribe to 
the Holy Spirit, as the ultimate operator in the Trinity, even 
that Holy Spirit by which he was conceived, and which fell 
upon him at his baptism, and which (Matt, xii.) his enemies 
did blaspheme. Many men have so lived, that no notable sin 
of commission hath been found or observed in them by the 
world at a distance : but the most virtuous, except Christ, was 
never without discernible infirmities, and sins of omission. 
No man ever convicted him of any sin, either in word or deed ; 
his obedience to the law of God was every way perfect ; he 
was the most excellent representative of the divine perfections. 
The omnipotency of God appeared in his miracles ; the wisdom 
of God in his holy doctrine ; and the love of God in his match- 
less expressions of love, and in all the holiness of his life. He 
was so far from pride, worldliness, sensuality, malice, im- 
patiency, or any sin, that the world had never such a pattern 
of self-denial, humility, contempt of all the wealth and honours 
of the world, charity, meekness, patience, &c, as in him. He 



THE CHISTIAN RELIGION. 207 

obeyed his Father to the death. He healed men's bodies, and 
showed his pity to their souls, and opened the way of life even 
to his enemies. He instructed the ignorant, and preached re- 
pentance to the impenitent, and suffered patiently the unthank- 
ful requitals of them that rendered him evil for good. He 
endured patiently to be reviled, scorned, buffetted, spit upon, 
crowned with thorns, nailed to a cross, and put to death ; and 
this, upon the false accusation and imputation of being an evil 
doer. In a word, he was perfect and sinless, and manifested 
first all that obedience and holiness in his life, which he put into 
his laws, and prescribed unto others ; and such perfection is 
inseparable from veracity. 1 

Object. How know we what faults he might have, which 
come not to our knowledge. 

Answ. 1. You may see by his enemies' accusations, partly 
what he was free from, when you see all that malice could 
invent to charge him with. 2. If the narrative of his life in 
the Gospel have that evident proof, which I shall anon produce, 
there can remain no doubt of the perfect holiness and inno- 
cency of Christ in his person and his life. 

Object. We find him accused of many crimes, as of being a 
gluttonous person, and a wine-bibber; of blasphemy, and im- 
piety, and treason. 

Answ. The very accusations are such as show their falsehood 
and his innocency. He is called a gluttonous person and a 
wine-bibber, because he did eat and drink, as other men, in 

k All Christians agree in the main doctrines of a holy life. Leg. Marc. 
Eremit. 'De LegeSpirituali,etDorothei Doctrinas, et Benedict! Instrumenta 
Virtutum, Macarii Homil. Hesychii Presb. ' Ad Theodul. Centuriae ;' Tho. 
Kempis, et Thauleri Opera ; and of the later true papist, Sale's ' Introduction 
to a Devout Life,' ' Benedict! de Benedict., Regul.,' Barbanson, ' De Amore 
Dei,' 'Parsons of Resolution,' Cressys's ' Sancta Sophia,' &c. And among 
the protestants, the number of holy treatises is so great, that I shall not name 
any in so numerous a treasury : so that however the spirit of contention caus- 
eth many of them to overlook the good that is in one another, and aggravate 
the evil, yet holiness is the doctrine of all the Christians in the world, and the 
practice of all that are sincere : and while the sects and hypocrites do rail at 
one another, yet in all they speak against sin. I have oft thought, why is it 
that, as Christians, men live together in love; but as parties, when they come 
to the interests of their sects, they hate, revile, and persecute one another? 
And I answer it, because as Christians they give no cause of hatred to each 
other; but as sects and parties, they leave God's way, and show their selfish- 
ness and loathsome faults, and are inclined to injure one another, and so do 
again suffer by those whom they have injured. But the wisdom from 
above is pure and peaceable, &c. — Leg: etiam Tlialessi Centuriae, et JVili 
Parcenesis. 



20S THE REASONS OF 

temperance and sobriety, and did not tie himself to a wilderness 
life of austerity, in total abstinence from common meats and 
wine, as John Baptist did, and as they thought he that pro- 
fessed extraordinary sanctity should have done. They accused 
him of eating with publicans and sinners, because he went to 
them as a physician to heal their souls, and lived a sociable, 
charitable life, and did not observe the laws of proud phari- 
saical separation. They accused him of blasphemy and treason 
for saying the truth, that he was the Son of God and the King 
of Israel : and of impiety, for talking of pulling down the 
temple, when he did but prophesy of his own death and 
resurrection. And this was all that malice had to say. 

Object. He carried himself contemptuously to magistrates : he 
called Herod, the king, " That fox." The scribes and pharisees 
he railed at, and called them hypocrites, painted sepulchres, a 
generation of vipers, &c. When he was called to answer whether 
they should pay tribute to Caesar, he doth but put off the resolu- 
tion by ambiguity, instead of an open exhorting them to obedi- 
ence, and saith, " Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." 
And when he was called to for tribute for him, he payeth it but as 
a way to avoid offence, having pleaded first his own immunity. 

Answ. 1. His speeches of Herod and the scribes and phari- 
sees, are not revilings, but a free and just reprehension of their 
sin, which being done by God's commission, and in his name, 
and for his cause, is no more to be called reviling, than an arrest 
of a felon or traitor in the king's name, or an accusation put 
in against him for his crimes, should be so called. God will not 
forbear damning impenitent rebels, though they call it cruelty ; 
nor will he forbear the reprehension and shaming of their vil- 
lanies, though they call it railing; nor will he flatter proud, re- 
bellious dust, though they call flattery a necessary civility ; nor 
will he give leave to his messengers to leave sin in honour, and 
to let the proud do what they list, and quietly damn themselves 
and others without plain reproof, though it be called irreverent, 
sauciness, or sedition. And he that considereth how little title 
Caesar had to the kingdom of the Jews, and that the sword alone 
is a better proof of force and strength than of authority, and 
is a plea which an usurper may have on his side, will rather 
praise the submission and peaceableness of Christ, than blame 
him as disloyal. But for the doctrine of obedience in general, 
who hath ever taught it more plainly and pressingly than Christ 
and his apostles ? 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 209 

The Gospel or doctrine of Christ itself also hath the very 
image and superscription of God, I will not say imprinted on it, 
for that is too little, but intrinsically animating and constituting 
it; which is apparent in the matter, and the method, and the 
style. 

1 . The matter and design containeth the most wonderful ex- 
pression of the wisdom of God, that ever was made to man on 
earth. All is mysterious, yet admirably fit, consistent, and 
congruous, as is before declared, That a world which is visibly 
and undeniably fallen into wickedness and misery, should have 
a Redeemer, Saviour, and Mediator towards God. That he 
should be one that is near enough to God, and unto us, and 
hath the nature of both. That he should be the second Adam, 
the Root of the redeemed and regenerate. That God should 
give all mercy from himself, from his own bounty and fulness, 
and not as unwilling be persuaded to it by another ; and, there- 
fore, that the Redeemer be not any angel or intermediate person, 
but God himself. That thus God come nearer unto man, who 
is revolted from him, to draw up man again to him. That he 
lose not the world, and yet do not violate his governing justice. 
That he be so merciful as not to be unrighteous, nor permit 
his laws and government to be despised; and yet so just, as to 
save the penitent, renewed souls. That he give man a new law 
and conditions of salvation, suitable to his lapsed guilty state, 
and leave him not under a law and conditions which were fitted 
to the innocent. That he revealed himself to the apostate 
world in that way which only is fit for their recovery ; that is, in 
his admirable love and goodness, that so love might win our 
love, and attract those hearts, which under guilt and the terrors 
of condemning justice, would never have been brought to love 
him. That guilty souls have such evidence of God's reconcili- 
ation to encourage them to expect his pardon, and to come to 
him with joy and boldness in their addresses, having a Mediator 
to trust in, and his sacrifice, merits, and acceptable name, to 
plead with God. That justice and mercy are so admirably con- 
joined in these effects. That Satan, and the world, and death 
should be so conquered in a suffering way, and man have so 
perfect a pattern to imitate, for self-denial, humility, contempt 
of honour, wealth, and life, and exact obedience, and resigna- 
tion to the will of God, with perfect love to God and man. That 
the world should be under such an universal Administrator, and 
the church be all united in such a Head ; and have one in their 

VOL. xxi. p 



210 THE REASONS OF 

nature that hath risen from the dead, to be in possession of the 
glory which they are going to, and thence to send down his Spirit 
to sanctify them, and fit them for heaven ; and afterwards to 
be their Judge, and to receive them unto blessedness. And 
that sinners now be not condemned merely for want of inno- 
cency, but for rejecting the grace and mercy which would have 
saved them. That we have all this taught us by a messenger 
from heaven, and a perfect rule of life delivered to us by him ; 
and all this sealed by a divine attestation. That this doctrine 
is suited to the capacity of the weakest, and yet so mysterious 
as to exercise the strongest wits ; and is delivered to us, not by 
an imposing force, but by the exhortations and persuasions of 
men like ourselves, commissioned to open the evidences of truth 
and necessity in the Gospel. All this is no less than the image 
and wonderful effects of the wisdom of God. 1 

And his goodness and love is as resplendent in it all ; for 
this is the effect of the whole design, to set up a glass in the 
work of our redemption, in which God's love and goodness 
should be as wonderfully represented to mankind, as his power 
was in the works of creation. Here sinful man is saved by a 
means which he never thought of, or desired ; he is fetched up 
from the gates of hell, redeemed from the sentence of the 
righteous, violated law of God, and the execution of his justice ; 
the eternal Word so condescendeth to man in the assumption 
of our nature, as that the greatness of the love and mercy, 
incomprehensible to man, becomes the greatest difficulty to 
our belief. He revealeth to us the things of the world above ? 
and bringeth life and immortality to light : he dwelleth with 
men ; he converseth with the meanest ; he preacheth the glad 
tidings of salvation to the world : he refuseth not such fami- 
liarity with the poorest, or the worst, as is needful to their 
cure ; he spendeth his time in doing good, and healing all 
manner of bodily diseases ; he refuseth the honours and riches 
of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh, to work out our 

1 Cum Dominus palam dicit ' Ego in medio vestri sum, sicut qui ministrat* 
quis adeo saevus aut mentis inops est, ut omnem mox fastum et ambitionem 
non respuat? Cui universasancta, menteque et ratione praedita creatura, cul- 
tum et ministerium defert, quique eadem prorsus cum Deo Patre majestateet 
potestate pollet, is ministri persona sumpta, discipulorum pedes lavat. — Titus 
Bostrens. in Luc. c. 21. Diligens lector intelliget unam taciem esse elo- 
quiorum sacrorum ; cum distincte considerabit, quid sit admonitio, quid sit 
preceptum, quid prohibitio, quid remissio ; et haec nee se invicem impugnare, 
nee a seipsis distare ; sed in omnibus sanitatis remedium moderare. — Hilde- 
bert. (Jccnoman, Epist. 83. Argum. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 211 

salvation ; he beareth the ingratitude and abuse of sinners, and 
endureth to be scorned, buffetted, spit upon, tormented, and 
crucified by those, to whom he had done no greater wrong 
than to seek their salvation ; he maketh himself a sacrifice 
for sin, to show the world what sin deserved, and to save them 
from the deserved punishment. God had at first decreed and 
declared that death should be the punishment of sin ; and 
Satan had maliciously drawn man to it, by contradicting this 
threatening of God, and making man believe that God would 
falsify his word, and that he did envy man the felicity of his 
advancement to be more like God in knowledge : and now Christ 
will first justify the truth and righteousness of God, and will 
demonstrate himself, by dying in our stead, that death is indeed 
the wages of sin ; and will show the world, that God is so far 
from envying their felicity, that he will purchase it at the dear- 
est rate, and deliver them freely from the misery which sin and 
Satan had involved them in. Thus, enemies are reconciled by 
the sufferings of him whom they offended ; even by his suffer- 
ings in the flesh, whose Godhead could not suffer ; and by his 
death as man, who, as God, was most immortal. As soon as 
he was risen, he first appeared to a woman who had been a 
sinner, and sent her, as his first messenger, with words of love 
and comfort to his disconsolate disciples, who had but lately 
sinfully forsaken him ', he giveth them no upbraiding words, 
but meltingly saith to her, " Go to my brethren, and say unto 
them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, to my God, 
and your God." (John xx. 17.) He after this familiarly con- 
verseth with them, and instructeth them in the things concern- 
ing the kingdom of God. He maketh an universal pardon, or 
act of oblivion, in a covenant of grace, for all the world that 
will not reject it ; and appointeth messengers to preach it unto 
all ; and whatever pains or suffering it cost them, to go through 
all with patience and alacrity, and to stick at nothing for the 
saving of men's souls. He gave the Holy Spirit miraculously 
to them, to enable them to carry on this work, and to leave 
upon record to the world the infallible narrative of his 
life and doctrine : his Gospel is filled up with matter of con- 
solation, with the promises of mercy, pardon, and salvation, 
the description of the privileges of holy souls, justification, 
adoption, peace, and joy ; and finally, he governeth and de- 
fendeth his church, and pleadeth our cause, and secureth our 
interest in heaven, according to the promises of this, his word. 

p2 



212 THE REASONS OF 

Thus is the Gospel the verv image of the wisdom and goodness 
of God ; and such a doctrine, from such a person, must needs 
be divine. m 

2. And the method and style of it is most excellent, because 
most suitable to its holy ends ; not with the excellency of 
frothy wit, which is but to express a wanton fancy, and please 
the ears of airy persons, who play with words, when they 
should close with wisdom and heavenly light : such excellency 
of speech must receive its estimate by its use and end ; but, as 
the end is most divine, so the light that shineth in the Gospel is 
heavenly and divine. The method of the books themselves is 
various, according to the time and occasions of their writing ; 
(the objections against them are to be answered by themselves 
anon ;) but the method of the whole doctrine of Christianity, 
set together, is the most admirable and perfect in the world ; 
beginning with God in unity of essence, proceeding to his trinity 
of essential, active principles, and of persons, and so to his 
trinity of works, creation, redemption, and regeneration, and of 
relations of God and man accordingly, and to the second trinity 
of relations, as he is our Owner, Ruler, and chief Good ; and 
hence it brancheth itself into a multitude of benefits, flowing 
from all these relations of God to man, and a multitude of 
answerable duties, flowing from our correlations to God, and 
all in perfect method, twisted and inoculated into each other, 
making a kind of circulation between mercies and duties, as in 
man's body there is of the arterial and venal blood and spirits, 
till, in the issue, as all mercy came from God, and duty 
subnrdinately from man, so mercy and duty do terminate in the 
everlasting pleasure of God ultimately, and man subordinated, 
in that mutual love which is here begun, and there is perfected. 
This method you may somewhat perceive in the description of 
the christian religion, before laid down. 

3. And the style also is suited to the end and matter ; not 
to the pleasing of curious ears, but to the declaring of heavenlv 
mysteries ; not to the conceits of logicians, who have put their 
understandings into the fetters of their own ill-devised notions, 
and expect that all men, that will be accounted wise, should 

m Duo, siue pluribus, faciunt hominem sanctum : viz., cognitio et amor: 
hoc est cognitio veritatis, et amor bonitatis. Sed ad eognitionem Dei qui est 
Veritas, non potes venire, nisi per eognitionem tui-ipsius : nee ad ainorem Dei 
qui est bonitas, nisi per amorem proximi tui. Ad cognitionem tui-ipsius potes 
pervenire per frequentem ineditationem : ad cognitionem Dei per puram con- 
templationem. — Edmund Cantuar, Specul. Eccles. c.3. vid. plura. c. 2!'. &c. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 213 

use the same notions which they have thus devised, and about 
which they are utterly disagreed among themselves ; but in a 
language suitable both to the subject, and to the world of 
persons to whom this word is sent, who are commonly ignorant 
and unlearned, and dull : that being the best physic which is 
most suitable to the patient's temper and disease. And though 
the particular writers of the sacred Scriptures have their several 
styles, yet is there in them all in common a style which is 
spiritual, powerful, and divine, which beareth its testimony 
proportionally of that Spirit, which is the common author in 
them all : but more of this among the difficulties and objections 
anon. 

But for the discerning of all this image of God in the doc- 
trine of Jesus Christ, reason will allow me to expect these 
necessary qualifications in him that must discern it : 1. That 
before he come to supernatural revelations, he be not un- 
acquainted with those natural revelations which are antecedent, 
and should be foreknown, as I have in this book explained 
them with their evidence : for there is no coming to the highest 
step of the ladder, without beginning at the lowest ; men, 
ignorant of things knowable by natural reason, are unprepared 
for higher things : 2. It is reasonably expected that he be one 
that is not treacherous and false to those natural truths which 
he hath received ; for how can he be expected to be impartial 
and faithful in seeking after more truth, who is unfaithful to 
that which he is convinced of; or that he should receive that 
truth which he doth not yet know, who is false to that which 
he already knoweth ; or that he should discern the evidence of 
extraordinary revelation, who opposeth with enmity the ordi- 
nary light or law of nature ; or that God should vouchsafe his 
further light and conduct to that man, who wilfully sinneth 
against him, in despite of all his former teachings ? 3. It is 
requisite that he be one that is not a stranger to himself, but 
acquainted with the case of his heart and life, and know his 
sins, and his corrupt inclinations, and that guilt, and disorder, 
and misery, in which his need of mercy doth consist ; for he 
is no fit judge of the prescripts of his physician, who knoweth 
not his own disease and temperature. But of this more anon. 

Sect. 8. 111. The third way of the Spirit's witness to Jesus 
Christ, is concomitantly by the miraculous gifts and woiks of 
himself, and his disciples ; which are a cogent evidence of God's 
attestation to the truth of his doctrine. 



214 THE REASONS OF 

Sect. 9. By the miracles of Christ, I mean, 1. His miraculous 
actions upon others ; 2. His miracles in his death and resurrec- 
tion ; 3. His predictions. 

The appearance of the angel to Zachary, and his dumbness ; 
his prophecy and Elizabeth's, with the Angel's appearance to 
Mary; the angel's appearance and evangelising to the shepherds; 
the prophecy of Simeon and of Anna; the star, and the testimony 
of the wise men of the East ; the testimony of John Baptist, 
that Christ should baptise with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, 
and that he was the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of 
the world : these and more such I pass by as pre-supposed. 
At twelve years of age he disputed with the doctors in the tem- 
ple, to their admiration. (Luke ii. 46.) At his baptism, the 
Holy Ghost came down upon him in the likeness of a dove, and 
a voice from heaven said, thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am 
well pleased. (Luke iii. 22.) When he was baptised, he fasted 
forty days and nights, and permitted Satan to tempt him extra- 
ordinarily, by carrying him from place to place, that he might 
extraordinarily overcome. When Nathaniel came to him, he 
told him his heart, and told him what talk he had with Philip 
afar off, till he convinced him that he was omniscient. At 
Cana of Galilee, at a feast, he turned their water into wine. 
(Luke iv. ; Matt, iv.) At Capernaum he dispossessed a demo- 
niac. (Luke iv. 33, 34, &c.) He healed Simon's mother of a 
fever at a word. (Luke iv. 38, 39.) He healed multitudes of 
torments, diseases, and madness. (Matt. iv. 24. ; Luke iv. 40, 
41.) He cleanseth a leper by a word. (Matt. viii. 2, 3 ; Luke 
v. 12.) So also he doth by a paralytic. (Matt. ix. ; Luke v.) 
He telleth the Samaritan woman all that she had done. (Johniv.) 
At Capernaum he healed a nobleman's son by a word. (John v.) 
At Jerusalem he cured an impotent man, that had waited five- 
and-thirty years : a touch of his garment cureth a woman dis- 
eased with an issue of blood twelve years. (Matt. ix. 23.) He 
cured two blind men with a touch and a word. (Matt. ix. 28, 
29.) He dispossessed another demoniac. (Matt. ix. 32.) He 
raised Jairus's daughter at a word, who was dead or seemed so. 
(Matt. ix. 23, 24.) He dispossessed another demoniac, blind 
and dumb. (Matt, xii.) He healeth the servant of a Centurion 
ready to die, by a word. (Luke via.) He raiseth the son of a 
widow from death, that was carried out on a bier to be buried, 
(Luke vii.) With five barley loaves, and two small fishes, he 
feedeth five thousand, and twelve baskets full of the fragments 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 215 

did remain. (Matt. xiv. ; John vi.) He walketh upon the waters 
of the sea. (Matt, xiv.) He causeth Peter to do the like. 
(Matt, xiv.) All the diseased of the country were perfectly 
healed by touching the hem of his garment. (Matt. xiv. 36.) 
He again healed multitudes, lame, dumb, blind, maimed, &c. 
(Matt, xv.) He again fed four thousand with seven loaves, and 
a few little fishes, and seven baskets full were left. (Matt, xv.) 
He restoreth a man born blind to his sight. (John ix.) Jn the 
sight of three of his disciples, he is transfigured into a glory, 
which they could not behold, and Moses and Elias talked with 
him, and a voice out of a cloud said, this is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased, hear ye him. (Matt. xvii. ; Luke ix.) 
He healed the lunatic. (Matt, xvii.) Multitudes are healed by 
him. (Matt. xix. 2.) Two blind men are healed. (Matt, xx.) 
He healed a crooked woman. (Luke xiii. 1 1.) He withereth 
up a fruitless tree at a word. (Mark xi.) He restoreth a blind 
man, nigh to Jericho. (Luke xviii. 36.) He restoreth Lazarus 
from death to life, that was four days dead and buried. (John 
xi.) He foretelleth Judas, that he would betray him : and he 
frequently and plainly foretold his own sufferings, death, and 
resurrection ; and he expressly foretold the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, and of the temple, and the great calamity of that place, 
even before that generation had passed away. (Matt, xxiv., &c.) 
He prophesied his death the night before, in the institution of 
his supper. When he died, the sun was darkened, and the 
earth trembled, and the veil of the temple rent, and the dead 
bodies of many arose, and appeared ; so that the captain that 
kept guard, said, " Truly this was the Son of God." (Matt, xxvii.) 
When he was crucified and buried, though his grave- stone was 
sealed, and a guard of soldiers set to watch it, angels appeared, 
and rolled away the stone, and spake to those that inquired 
after him : and he rose and revived, and staid forty days on 
earth with his disciples : he appeared to them by the way : 
he came often among them on the first day of the week, 
at their meetings, when the doors were shut : he called Tho- 
mas to see the prints of the nails, and put his finger into 
his side, and not be faithless, but believing, till he forced 
him to cry out, my Lord, and my God ! (John xx.) He 
appeareth to them as they are fishing, and worketh a miracle 
in their draught, and provideth them broiled fish, and eateth 
with them : he expostulated with Simon, and engaged him, 
as he loved him, to feed his sheep, and discourseth of the 



216 THE REASONS OF 

age of John. (John xxi.) He giveth his apostles their full com- 
mission for their gathering his church by preaching and baptism, 
and edifying it by teaching them all that he had commanded 
them, and giveth them the keys of it. (Matt, xxviii. ; John xix., 
and xx.) He appearetli to above five hundred brethren at once. 
(I. Cor. xv.) He showed himself to them by many infallible 
proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the 
things pertaining to the kingdom of God ; and being assembled 
with them, commanded them to tarry at Jerusalem till the Spirit 
came down (miraculously) upon them : and he ascended up to 
heaven before their eyes. (Acts i.) And two angels appeared to 
them, as they were gazing after him, and told them, that thus 
lie should come again. When Pentecost was come, when they 
were all together, (about a hundred and twenty,) the Holy Spirit 
came upon them visibly, in the appearance of fiery cloven 
tongues, and sat on each of them, and caused them to speak 
the languages of many nations, which they had never learned, in 
the hearing of all : upon the notice of which, and by Peter's ex- 
hortation, about three thousand were at once converted. (Acts ii.) 
After this, Peter and John do heal a man at the entrance of 
the temple, who had been lame from his birth, and this by the 
name of Jesus, before the people. (Acts iii.) One that was above 
forty years old. (Acts iv. 22.) When they were forbidden to 
preach, upon their praises to God the place was shaken, and 
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts iv. 31.) Ana- 
nias and Sapphira are struck dead by Peter's word, for hypo- 
crisy and lying. (Acts v.) And many signs and wonders were 
done by them among the people; (Acts v. 12;) insomuch that 
they brought the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and 
couches, that, at least, Peter's shadow might overshadow them. 
(Acts v. 14, 15.) And a multitude came out of the cities 
round about Jerusalem, bringing sick folks and demoniacs, and 
they were healed every one. (Ver. 16.) Upon this the apostles 
were shut in the common prison ; but an angel by night opened 
the prison and brought them out, and bid them go preach to the 
people in the temple. (Acts v.) When Stephen was martyred, 
he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at his right hand. 
(Acts vii.) Philip, at Samaria, cured demoniacs, palsies, lame- 
ness, and so converted the people of that city; insomuch that 
Simon, the sorcerer, himself believed. The Holy Ghost is then 
given by the imposition of the hands of Peter and John, so that 
Simon offered money for that gift. Philip is led by the Spirit 



THE CHRIS'lIAN RELIGION. 217 

to convert the Ethiopian nobleman, and then carried away. 
(Acts viii.) Saul, who was one of the murderers of Stephen, 
and a great persecutor of the church, is stricken down to the 
earth, and called by Jesus Christ, appearing in a light, and 
speaking to him from heaven, and is sent to preach the Gospel, 
which he doth with zeal and power, and patient labours to the 
death. Ananias is commanded by God to instruct him and 
baptise him after his first call. (Acts ix.) Peter, at Lydda, 
cureth Eneas by a word, who had kept his bed eight years of a 
palsy. (Acts viii.) At Joppa, he raiseth Tabitha from the dead. 
(Acts ix.) Cornelius, by an angel, is directed to send for Peter 
to preach the Gospel to him : the Holy Ghost fell on all that 
heard his words. (Acts x.) Agabus prophesied of the dearth. 
(Acts xi.) Peter, imprisoned by Herod, is delivered by an angel, 
who opened the doors, and loosed his bonds, and brought him 
out. Herod is eaten to death by worms. (Acts xii.) At 
Paphos, Elymas, the sorcerer, is stricken blind by Paul's word, 
for resisting the Gospel ; and Sergius, the Roman deputy, is 
thereby made a believer. (Acts xiii.) At Lystra, Paul, by a 
word, cureth a cripple that was so born ; insomuch as the peo- 
ple would have done sacrifice to him and Barnabas, as to Mer- 
cury and Jupiter. (Acts xiv.) Paul casteth out a divining devil; 
and being imprisoned and scourged with Silas, and their feet in 
the stocks, at midnight as they sung praises to God, an earth- 
quake shook the foundations of the prison, the doors were all 
opened, and all their bonds loosed, and the jailor converted. 
(Acts xvi.) The Holy Ghost came upon twelve disciples, 
upon the imposition of Paul's hands. And God wrought so 
many miracles by his hands, at Ephesus, that from his body were 
brought to the sick, handkerchiefs, and aprons, and the diseases 
departed from them. (Acts xix.) At Troas, he raised Euty- 
chus to life. (Acts xx.) His sufferings at Jerusalem are foretold 
by Agabus. (Acts xxi.) At Melita, the people took him for a 
god, because the viper hurt him not that fastened on his hand • 
and there he cured the father of Publius, the chief man of the 
island, of a flux and fever, by prayer and imposition of hands. 
In a word, in all places where the apostles came, these miracles 
were wrought, and in all the churches the gifts of the Holy 
Ghost were usual, either of prophecy or healing, or of speaking- 
strange languages, or interpreting them, some had one, and 
some another, and some had most or all. And by such mira- 
cles were the christian churches planted : and all this power 



218 THE REASONS OF 

Christ had foretold them of at his departure from them : 
"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 hurt them ; thev shall lav their hands on the sick, and 
they shall recover." (Mark xvi. 17.) Yea, in his lifetime on 
earth, he sent forth his apostles and seventy disciples with the 
same power, which they exercised openly. (Luke ix. 1, &c, and 
x. 16, 17-) Thus was the Gospel confirmed by multitudes of 
open miracles. 11 

And Christ's own resurrection and ascension was the greatest 
of all. And here it must be noted that these miracles were, 
1. Not one or two, but multitudes. 2. Not obscure and doubt- 
ful, but evident and unquestionable. 3. Not controlled or 
checked by anv greater contrary miracles, as the wonders 
of the Egyptian sorcerers were by Moses, but altogether 
uncontrolled. 4. Net in one place only, but in all coun- 
tries where they came. 5. Not by one or two persons only, 
but by very many who were scattered up and down in the 
world. 

And that miracles, and such miracles as these, are a certain 
proof of the truth of Christ and Christianity, is most evident, 
in that they are the attestation of God himself. 

1. It is undeniable that they are the effects of God's own 
power. If any question whether God do them immediately, or 
whether an angel or spirit may not do them, that makes no dif- 
ference in the case considerable ; for all creatures are absolutely 
dependent upon God, and can use no power but what he giveth 
them, and continueth in them, and exerciseth by them. The 
power of the creatures is all of it the power of God. Without 

n At qui causa; causis, partes partibus volumus aequare, niagis nos valemus 
ostendere quid in Cbristo fuerimus secuti, quam in philosophis quid vos. Ac 
110s quidem in illo secuti haec sumus : opera ilia magnifica potentissi masque 
virtutes, quas variis edidit, exhibuitque miraculis, quibus quivis posset ad ne- 
cessitatem credulitatis adduei, et judicare fideliter,, non esse quae fierent homi- 
nis sed divinae alicujus et incognitas potestatis. Vos in philosophis virtutes 
secuti quas estis ? Ut magis vos iilis. quam nos Christo oportuerit credere ? 
Quisquam ne illoruui aliquando verbo uno potuit, aut uuius imperii jussione 
non dicam maris insanias aut tempestatum furores prohibere, compescere, non 
ccecis restituere lamina, nou ad vitam revocare defunctos, non annosas dissol- 
ves passiones sed quod levissimum est furenculum, scabiem, aut inhrcrentem 
spinulam callo una interdictione sanare? Personarum contentio non est elo- 
quentiae viribus, sedgestorum operum virtute pendenda. — Arnob. ade.Getit.1.2. 

Tria totus mundus mirabatur : Christum post mortem surrexisse ; cum 
carne ccelum ascendisse; et per duodecim Apostolos Piscatores rnundum con- 
vertisse. — Ckristos, in Math, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 219 

him they are nothing, and can do nothing ; and God is as near 
to the effect himself, when he useth an instrument, as when he 
useth none. So that, undoubtedly, it is God's work. 

2. And God having no voice but created, revealeth his mind 
to man by his operations ; and as he cannot lie, so his infinite 
wisdom and goodness will not give up the world to such 
unavoidable deceit, as such a multitude of miracles would lead 
them into, if they were used to attest a lie. If I cannot know 
him to be sent of God, who raiseth the dead, and showeth me 
such a seal of omni potency to his commission, I have no possi- 
bility of knowing who speaketh from God at all, or of escaping 
deceit in the greatest matters ; of which God, by his omnipotent 
arm. would be the cause. But none of this can stand with the 
nature and righteous government of God. This, therefore, is 
an infallible proof of the veracity of Christ and his apostles : 
and the truth of the history of these miracles shall be further 
opened anon. 

Sect. 10. IV. The fourth part of the Spirit's testimony to 
Christ is subsequent, in the work of regeneration or sanctifica- 
tion, in which he effectually illuminateth the mind, and renew- 
eth the soul and life to a true resignation, obedience, and love of 
God, and to a heavenly mind and conversation ; and so proveth 
Christ to be really and effectively the Saviour, p 

This evidence is commonly much overlooked and made little 
account of by the ungodly, who have no such renovation on 
themselves ; because, though it may be discerned in others by 
the fruits, yet they that have it not in themselves, are much 
hindered from discerning it ; partly because it is at a distance 
from them, and because it is in itself seated in the heart, where 
it is neither felt nor seen by others, but in the effects ; and 
partly because the effects are imperfect, and clouded with a mix- 
ture of remaining faults : but, especially, because that ungodly 
men have a secret enmity to holy things, and thence to holy 
persons, and therefore are falsely prejudiced against them ; 
which is increased by cross interests and courses in their con- 
verse.^ But yet, indeed, the spirit, of regeneration is a plenary 
evidence of the truth of Christ and Christianity. 

p Ideo non omnibus Sanctis miracula attribuuntur, ne perniciosissimo errore 
decipiantur infirmi, aestimantes in talibus factis esse majora bona, quam iu 
operibus justitiae, quibus vita aeterna comparator. — Aug. de Civ. Dei, 33. 

1 Christianity is thus truly and orderly described by Augustin, de Agon, cap 
18. Fides est prima, quae subjugat auimam Deo ; deinde prascepta dat vivendi • 
quibus custoditis spes nostra firmatur et uutritur, cum quod cognitio et actio 
beatum faciunt, in cognitione cayendus est error, iu actione nequitia. 



220 THE REASON'S OF 

To manifest which, I shall, 1. Consider what it is, and doeth ; 
2. How and by what means ; 3. On whom; 4. Against what 
oppositions ; 5. That it is Christ indeed that doth it. 

I. The change which is made by the Spirit of Christ doth con- 
sist in these particulars, following: 1. It taketh down pride, 
and maketh men humble and low in their own eyes; to which 
end it acquainteth them with their sin, and their desert and 
misery. 2. It teacheth men self-denial, and causeth them to 
resign themselves to God, and use themselves as being wholly 
his own. 3. It absolutely subjecteth the soul to God, and setteth 
up his authority, as absolute, over our thoughts and words, and 
all our actions ; and maketh the Christian's life a course of care- 
ful obedience to his laws, so far as thev understand them. 1 4. 
It taketh up a Christian's mind with the thankful sense of his 
redemption ; so that the pardon of his sins, and his deliverance 
from hell, and his hopes of everlasting glory, do form his soul to 
a holy gratitude, and make the expressions of it to be his work. 
5. It giveth men a sense of the love of God, as their gracious Re- 
deemer ; and so of the goodness and mercifulness of his nature. 
It causeth them to think of God as their greatest Benefactor, 
and as one that loveth them, and as love itself; and so it recon- 
cileth their estranged, alienated minds to him, and maketh the 
love of God to be the. very constitution and life of the soul. 6. 
It causeth men to believe that there is an everlasting glory to be 
enjoyed by holy souls, where we shall see the glory of God, and 
be filled with his love, and exercised in perfect love and praise, 
and be with Christ, his angels, and saints for evermore : it 
causeth them to take this felicity for their portion, and to set 
their hearts upon it, and to make it the chief care and business 
of all their lives to seek it. 7. It causeth them to live in the 
joyful hopes and foresight of this blessedness, and to do all that 
they do as means thereunto ; and thus it sweeteneth all their 
lives, and maketh religion their chief delight. 8. It accordingly 
employeth their thoughts and tongues, so that the praises of 
God, and the mention of their everlasting blessedness, and of the 
way thereto, is their most delightful conference, as it beseemeth 
travellers to the city of God ; and so their political converse is 
in heaven. 9. And thus it abateth the fears of death, as being 
but their passage to everlasting life ; and those that are confirmed 

1 Ille Justus et sancte vivit, qui rerum integer {estimator est : Ipse est qui 
ordinatam liabet charitatem, ue aut diligat quod non est diligendum, aut non 
diligat quod est diligendum, aut amplius diligat quod minus est diligendum, 
aut minus diligat quod amplius est diligendum ; aut minus aut amplius quod 
seque diligendum est. — August, de Doctr. Christian. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 221 

Christians indeed, do joyfully entertain it, and long to see their 
glorified Lord, and the blessed Majesty of their great Creator. 

10. It causeth men to love all sanctified persons with a special 
love of complacency, and all mankind with a love of benevolence, 
even to love our neighbours as ourselves, and to abhor that self- 
ishness which would engage us against our neighbour's good. 

1 1. It causeth men to love their enemies, and to forgive and for- 
bear, and to avoid all unjust and unmerciful revenge. It maketh 
men meek, long-suffering, and patient, though not impassionate, 
insensible, or void of that anger which is the necessary opposer 
of sin and folly. s 12. It employeth men in doing all the good 
they can ; it maketh them long for the holiness and happiness 
of one another's souls, and desirous to do good to those that are 
in need, according to our power. 13. This true regeneration 
by the Spirit of Christ doth make those superiors that have it, 
even princes, magistrates, parents, and masters, to rule those 
under them in holiness, love, and justice, with self-denial; seek- 
ing more the pleasing of God, and the happiness of their subjects, 
for soul and body, than any carnal, self-interest of their own; and 
therefore it must needs be the blessing of that happy kingdom, 
society, or family, which hath such a holy Governor. O that 
they were not so few ! 14. It maketh subjects, and children, 
and servants submissive and conscionable in all the duties of their 
relations, and to honour their superiors as the officers of God, 
and to obey them in all just subordination to him. 15. It 
causeth men to love justice, and to do as they would be done 
by, and to desire the welfare of the souls, bodies, estates, and 
honours of their neighbours, as their own. 16. It causeth men 
to subdue their appetites, and lusts, and fleshly desires, and to 
set up the government of God and sanctified reason over them ; 
and to take their flesh for that greatest enemv, in our corrupt 
state, which we must chiefly watch against and master, as being 
a rebel against God and reason. It allovveth a man so much 
sensitive pleasure as God forbiddeth not, and as tendeth to the 
holiness of the soul, and furthereth us in God's service ; and all 
the rest it rebuketh and resisteth. 4 17. It causeth men to esti- 
mate all the wealth, and honour, and dignities of the world, as 
they have respect to God and a better world, and as they either 
help or hinder us in the pleasing of God and seeking immor- 

s Apud Christianos, non qui patitur, sed qui facit injuriam miser est. —  
Hieron. 

1 Sanctitatis causa servanda sunt, pudicitia corporis, castitas animae, et 
Veritas doctrinal. — Jug. ibid. 



222 THE REASONS OF 

tality ; and as they are against God and our spiritual work and 
happiness, it causeth us to account them but as mere vanity, 
loss, and dung. 18. It keepeth men in a life of watchfulness 
against all those temptations which would draw them from this 
holy course, and in a continual warfare against Satan and his 
kingdom, under conduct of Jesus Christ. 11 19. It causeth men 
to prepare for sufferings in this world, and to look for no great 
matters here ; to expect persecutions, crosses, losses, wants, 
defamations, injuries, and painful sickness and death ; and to 
spend their time in preparing all that furniture of mind which is 
necessary to their support and comfort in such a day of trial, 
that they may be patient and joyful in tribulation and bodily 
distress, as having a comfortable relation to God and heaven, 
which will incomparably weigh down all. 20. It causeth men 
to acknowledge that all this grace and mercy is from the love of 
God alone, and to depend on him for it by faith in Christ; and 
to devote and refer all to himself again, and make it our ultimate 
end to please him ; and thus to subserve him as the first Efficient, 
the chief Dirigent, and the ultimate, final Cause of all : of whom, 
and through whom, and to whom are all things; to whom be 
glory for ever. Amen. 

This is the true description of that regenerate, sanctified state, 
which the Spirit of Christ doth work on all whom he will save, 
and that are Christians indeed ; and not in name only. x And 
certainly this is the image of God's holiness, and the just con- 
stitution and use of a reasonable soul ; and, therefore, he that 
bringeth men to this is a real Saviour : of whom more anon. 

II. And it is very considerable, by what means, and in what 
manner, all this is done : it is done by the preaching of the Gospel 
of Christ, and that in plainness and simplicity. The curiosity 
of artificial oratorv doth usually but hinder the success, as 
painting doth the light of windows. It was a few plain men, 
that came with spiritual power, and not with the enticing words 
of human wisdom, or curiosities of vain philosophy, who did 
more in this work than any of their successors have done since. 
As in naturals, every thing is apt to communicate its own nature, 
and not another's. Heat causeth heat, and cold causeth cold ; 

u Fides attingit inaccessa, deprebetidit iguota, comprebendit immensa, ap- 
prehendit novissima : Ipsam denique a?ternitatem suo illovastissimo sinu quo- 
dammodo circumcludit. — Bern, in Cant. 

x (juatuor mirabilia fecit Deus : de Piscatore primum Ecclesiae pastorem : 
de persecutore magistrum et doctorem gentium : de publicano primum Evan- 
gelistam ; de latrone primum CceKcolam. — Chrysost. in Matt, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 223 

so wit j by communication, causeth wit, and common learning 
causeth common learning ; and so it is holiness and love which 
are fittest to communicate and cause holiness and love, which 
common qualifications are too low for, though they may be 
helpful in their several places and degrees. What contemned 
instruments hath God used in the world, to do that for the re- 
generating of souls, which the greatest emperors by their laws, 
or the most subtle philosophers by their precepts, did not ? The 
Athenian philosophers despised Paul, and Gallio counted his 
doctrine but a superstitious talk about names and words ; but 
Satan himself despised not those whom he tempted men to 
despise, but perceived they were like to be the ruin of his 
kingdom, and therefore every where stirred up the most vehe- 
ment, furious resistance of them. It is evident, therefore, that 
there is an inward, effectual operation of the Holy Ghost, which 
giveth success to these means, which are naturally in themselves 
so weak. y 

And it is to be observed, that this great change is very often 
wrought on a sudden, in a prevalent, though not a perfect 
degree. One sermon hath done that for many thousand sinners, 
which twenty years' teaching of the greatest philosophers never 
did. One sermon hath turned them from the sins which they 
had lived in all their days j and hath turned them to a life which 
they were strangers to before, or else abhorred. One sermon 
hath taken down the world, which had their hearts, and hath 
put it under their feet, and hath turned their hearts to another 
world : which showeth that there is an internal agent, more 
powerful than the speaker. 

And it is remarkable that, in the main, the change is wrought 
in one and the same method. First humbling men for sin and 
misery, and then leading them to Jesus Christ as the remedy, 
and to God by him j and so kindling the love of God in them by 

y Multo melius est, ex duobus imperfectis rusticitatem sanctam habere, 
quam eloquentiam peccatricem. — Hieron. ad Nejwl. The better any philo- 

sopher was, the nearer he came to the christian pastors, as to the converting 
of souls ; that is, they wrought the greatest reformation on their auditors. 
Laertius saith of Socrates, that TheaMetum cum de disciplina dissereret, ut ait 
Plato, mirifice immutatum, divinunique ferme remisit. Eutyphrona,qui patri 
diem dixerat, quaedam de justitia et pietate loquens, ab instituto revocavit. 
Lysidem hortando maxime moralem fecit. Lamproclem filium in matrem 
immitem et ferum, ut ait Xenophon, suadendo ad reverentiam reduxit. 
Glauconem Platonis fratrem ad republican! accedere volentem a proposito 
retraxit, quod is rudis esset, ignarusque rerum. These were the converts of 
Socrates; a change agreeable to the verities which he delivered. But it is 
another kind of success that the doctrine of Christianity hath had. 



224 THE REASONS OF 

the bellows of faith ; and then leading them towards perfection 
in the exercises of that holy love. 

III. And it will further lead us to the original of this change, 
to consider on whom it is thus wrought. 1. For their place and 
time. 2. Their quality in themselves. 3. And as compared 
to each other. 4. And as to their numbers. 

1. For time and place, it is in all ages since Christ, (to say 
nothing of the former ages now,) and in all nations and countries 
which have received him and his Gospel, that souls have been 
thus regenerated to God. If it had been only a fanatic rapture 
of brain-sick men, it would have been like the effects of the 
heresies of the Valentinians, Basilidians, gnostics, Montanists, 
See. ; or of the Swenckfeldians, Weigelians, Behmenists, quakers, 
and other enthusiasts, who make a stir for one age, in some one 
corner of the world, and then go out with a perpetual stink. In 
all ages and countries, these effects of christian doctrine are 
the very same as they were in the first age and the first country 
where it was preached. Just such effects as it hath in one 
kingdom or family, it hath in all others who equally receive it ; 
and just such persons as Christians were in the first ages at 
Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch, Philippi, &c. ; such are they now in 
England, according to their several degrees of grace, though not 
in miracles and things extraordinary to the church. The children 
of no one father are so like as all God's sanctified children are 
throughout the world. 

2. As to their civil quality, it is men of all degrees that are 
thus sanctified, though fewest of the princes and great ones of 
the world. And as to their moral qualifications, it sometimes 
falleth on men prepared by a considering, sober temper, and by 
natural plainness and honesty of heart; and sometimes it be- 
falleth such as are most profane, and drowned in sin, and never 
dreamed of such a change ; nay, purposely set their minds 
against it. These God doth often suddenly surprise by an over- 
powering light, and suitable constraining, overcoming attraction, 
and maketh them new men. 

3. And as to their capacities compared, there is plainly a dis- 
tinguishing hand that disposeth of the work. Sometimes a 
persecuting Saul is converted by a voice from heaven, when pha- 
risees that were less persecutors, are left in their unregeneracy. 
Sometimes, under the same sermon, one that was more profane 
and less prepared is converted, when another that was more 
sober and better disposed, remaineth as he was before. The 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 225 

husband and the wife, the parents and the children, brothers and 
sisters, companions and friends, are divided by this work, and 
one converted and the other not : though none are deprived of 
this mercy, but upon the guilt of their forfeiture, resistance, or 
contempt ; yet is there plainly the effect of some special choice 
of the Holy Spirit, in taking out some of these that abused 
and forfeited grace, and changing them by an insuperable 
work. 

4. And as to the number, it is many thousands that are thus 
renewed ; enough to show the love and power of him that 
calleth them : but yet the far smaller part of mankind, to show 
his dominion, and distinguishing will, who knoweth the reason 
of all his works. Of which, more anon. 

IV. Consider what opposition this work of grace doth over- 
come. 1. Within us. 2. Without us. 

1 . Within men it findeth : 1 . A dungeon of ignorance, which 
it dispelleth by its heavenly light. 2. Abundance of error and pre- 
judice, which it unteacheth men. 3. A stupid, hardened heart, 
which it softeneth,and a senseless sleepiness of soul which it over- 
cometh, by awakening, quickening power. 2 4. A love to sin, 
which it turneth into hatred. 5. An idolising self-esteem, and 
self-conceitedness, and self-love, and self-willedness, which it 
turneth into self-loathing and self-denial : not making us loathe 
ourselves as natural, or as renewed, but as corrupt with sin, and 
abusers of mercy, and such as by wilful folly have wronged God, 
and undone themselves : so that repentance maketh men fall 
out with themselves, and become as loathsome in their own 
eyes. 6. It findeth in us an overvaluing love of this present 
world, and a foolish, inordinate desire to its profits, dignities, 
and honours, which it destroyeth and turneth into a rational 
contempt. 7. It findeth in us a prevailing sensuality, and an 
unreasonable appetite and lust ; and a flesh that would bear 
down both reason and the authority of God : and thus it sub- 
dueth and mortifieth its inordinate desires, and bringeth it under 
the laws of God. 8. It findeth all this radicated and confirmed 
by custom : and overcometh those sins which a sinner hath 
turned as into his nature, and hath lived in the love and practice 
of all his days. All this, and more opposition within us, grace 
doth overcome in all the sanctified : and there is not one of all 

z Nullus sanctus et Justus caret peccato ; nee tamen ex hoc desinit esse 
Justus vel sanctus ; Cum affectu teueat sanctitatem. — August, de defin. Eccles, 
dogm. 

VOL. XXI. O 






226 THE REASONS OF 

these, if well considered of, but will appear to be of no small 
strength and difficulty to be truly conquered. 1 

2. And without us, the Holy Spirit overcometh, 1. Worldly 
allurements ; 2. Worldly men ; 3. All other assaults of Satan. 

1 . While the soul is in flesh, and worketh by the means of 
the outward senses, these present things will be a strong temp- 
tation to us : prosperity and plenty, wealth and honour, ease 
and pleasure, are accommodated to the desires of the flesh ; 
partly to its natural appetite, and much more to it as inordinate 
by corruption ; and the flesh careth not for reason, how much 
soever it gainsay. And then all these enticing things are near 
us, and still present with us, and before our eyes ; when 
heavenly things are all unseen ; and the sweetness of honour, 
wealth, and pleasure, is known by feeling, and therefore known 
easily, and by all ; when the goodness of things spiritual is 
known only by reason and believing. All which laid together, 
with sad experience, do fully show that it must be a very 
great work to overcome this world, and raise the heart above it 
to a better, and so to sanctify a soul. 

2. And worldly men do rise up against this holy work, as 
well as worldly things. Undeniable experience assureth us, 
that through all the world, ungodlv, sensual men have a 
marvellous, implacable hatred to godliness and true mortifi- 
cation ' 3 and will, by flattery, or slanders, or scorns, or plots, or 
cruel violence, do all that they are able to resist it: so that he 
that will live a holy, temperate life, must make himself a scorn, 
if not a prey. The foolish wit of the ungodly is bent to reason 
men out of faith, hope, and holiness, and to cavil against our 
obedience to God, and to disgrace all that course of life which 
is necessary to salvation ; and it is a great work to overcome 
all these temptations of the foolish and furious world : great, I 
say, because of the great folly and corruption of unregenerate 
men, on whom it must be wrought ', though it would be smaller 
to a wise and considerate person. To be made as an owl, and 

*To the grand objection of the many that are not reformed by Christianity, 
let Cicero answer, who, telling us how few philosophers lived as they taught, 
objecteth : Nonne verendum, si est ita ut dicis, ne philosophiam falsa gloria 
exornes ? Quod est enim majus argumentum nihil earn prodesse, quam quos- 
dam perfectos philosophos turpiter vivere? R. Nullum vero id quidem 
argumentum est : Nam ut agri non omnes frugiferi sunt qui coluntur, sic 
animi non omnes culti fructum ferunt ; atque ut ager quamvis fertilis sine 
cultura fructuosus esse non potest, sic sine doctrina animus : ita est utraque 
res sine altera debilis. Cultura autem animi philosophia est, quce extrahit 
vitiaradicitu3,etprseparatanimosadsalus aecipiendos. — Tuscul,2.])p. 252,253. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 227 

hunted as a partridge, or a beast of prey, by those that we 
converse with, when we might have their favour, and friendship, 
and preferments, if we would say and do as they, this is not 
easy to flesh and blood, but it is easy to the Spirit of God. 

3. The devil is so notoriously an enemy to this sanctifying 
work, that it is a strong discovery that Christ was sent from 
God to do it. What a stir doth he first make to keep out the 
Gospel, that it may not be preached to the nations of the 
world ; and where that will not serve, what a stir doth he make 
to debauch Christ's ministers, and corrupt them by ignorance, 
heresy, error, schism, domineering pride, sensuality, covetous- 
ness, slothfulness, and negligence, that they may do the work 
of Christ deceitfully, as if they did it not; yea, and if it may 
be, to win them to his service, to destroy the church by op- 
pression or division, under pretence of serving Christ. And 
what cunning and industry doth this serpent use, to insinuate 
into great ones, and rulers of the earth, a prejudice against 
Christ and godliness, and to make them believe, that all that 
are seriously godly are their enemies, and are against some 
interest of theirs, that so he might take the sword which God 
hath put into their hands, and turn it to his own service against 
him that gave it. How cunning and diligent is he to seduce 
men, that begin to set themselves to a religious life, into some 
false opinions, or dividing sects, or scandalous, unjustifiable 
practice, that thereby he may triumph against Christ, and have 
something to say against religion, from the faults of men, when 
he hath nothing to say against it justly from itself; and that 
he may have something to say to those rulers and people, with 
whom he would fain make religion odious. How cunningly 
doth he engage ungodly men to be his servants in seducing 
others, and making them such as they are themselves, and in 
standing up for sin and darkness against the light and life of 
faith ; so that ungodly men are but the soldiers and preachers 
of the devil, in all parts employed to fight against God, and 
draw men from holiness, and justice, and temperance, to sin 
and to damnation : so that it is a very discernible thing, that 
Satan is the head of one party in the world, as the destroying 
prince of darkness and deceit ; and that Christ is the head of 
the other party, as the Prince of light, and truth, and holiness; 
and that there is a continued war, or opposition, between these 
two kingdoms or armies, in all parts and ages of the world ; of 
which I have more fully treated in another book. b If any 
b Treatise against Infidelity, part 3. 
Q 2 



22S THE REASONS OF 

shall say, ' How know you that all this is the work of Satan ? ' 
I shall have fitter occasion to answer that anon. I shall now 
say but this,— that the nature of the work, the tendency of it, 
the irrational, erroneous, or brutish, tyrannical manner of doing 
it, the internal importunity and manner of his suggestions, and 
the effects of all, and the contrariety of it to God and man, 
will soon show a considerate man the author ; though more 
shall be anon added. 

V. All this aforegoing will show a reasonable man, that the 
Spirit's regenerating work is such, as is a full attestation of 
God to that doctrine by which it is effected. And if any now 
say, c How prove you that all this is to be ascribed to Jesus 
Christ, any more than to Socrates, or to Seneca, or Cicero ? ' I 
answer, 1. So much truth of a sacred tendency, as Plato, or 
Pythagoras, or Socrates, or any philosopher taught, might do 
some good, and work some reformation, according to its 
quality and degree ; but as it was a lame, imperfect doctrine 
which they taught, so was it a very lame, imperfect reformation 
which they wrought, unlike the effects of the doctrine and 
spirit of Jesus Christ. I need to say no more of this, than to 
desire any man to make an impartial and judicious comparison 
between them j and besides much more, he shall quickly find 
these differences following: 1. That the philosophers' disciples 
had a very poor, dark, disordered knowledge of God, in com- 
parison with the Christians ; and that mixed with odious fop- 
peries, either blasphemous or idolatrous. 2. The philosophers 
spake of God and the life to come almost altogether notionally, 
as they did of logic or physics ; and very few of them practi- 
cally, as a thing that man's happiness or misery was so much 
concerned in. 3. They spake very jejunely and dryly about a 
holy state and course of life, and the duty of man to God, in 
resignation, devotedness, obedience, and love. 4. They said 
little, comparatively, to the true humbling of a soul, nor in the 
just discovery of the evil of sin, nor for self-denial. 5. They 
gave too great countenance to pride, and worldliness, and 
pleasing the senses by excess. c 6. The doctrine of true love 
to one another is taught by them exceedingly lamely and de- 

c Some of the strictest of the philosophers, were for a community of wives ; 
Laertius saith of the stoics, (in Zenone I. 6. 9. p. 442,) Placet item illis 
uxores quoque communes esse oportere apud sapientes, ut quilibet illi congre- 
diatur qua; sibi prior occurrit, ut ait Zeno in Rep. et Chrysippus tie Rep. 
Diogene item Cynico et Platone hujus rei autoribus. What blindness and 
impurity against nature was ia this opinion ! 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 229 

fcctively. /• Revenge is too much indulged by them ; and loving 
our enemies, and forgiving great wrongs, was little known, or 
taught, or practised. 8. They were so pitifully unacquainted 
with the certainty and blessedness of the life to come, that they 
say nothing of it that is ever likely to make any considerable 
number set their hearts on heaven, and to live a heavenly life. 
!). They were so unacquainted with the nature and will of God, 
that they taught and used such a manner of worship, as tended 
rather to delude and corrupt men, than to sanctify them. 10. 
They meddled so little with the inward sins and duties of the 
heart, especially about the holy love of God; and their goodness 
was so much in outward acts, and in mere respect to men, that 
they were not likely to sanctify the s.oul, or make the man good, 
that his actions might be good ; but only to polish men for 
civil societies, with the addition of a little varnish of super- 
stition and hypocrisy. 11. Their very style is either suitable to 
dead speculation, as a lecture of metaphysics ; or slight and 
dull, and unlike to be effectual to convert and sanctify men's 
souls. 12. Almost all is done in such a disputing, sophistical 
way, and clogged with so many obscurities, uncertainties, and 
self-contradictions, and mixed in heaps of physical and logical 
subtleties, that they were unfit for the common people's benefit, 
and could tend but to the benefit of a few. 13. Experience 
taught, and still teacheth the world, that holy souls and lives, 
that were sincerely set upon God and heaven, were strangers 
among the disciples of the philosophers and other heathens ; or 
if it be thought that there were some such among them, 
certainly they were very few, in comparison with true Christ- 
ians ; and those few very dark, and diseased, and defective. 
With us, a child at ten vears old will know more of God, and 
show more true piety, than did any of their philosophers. With 
us, poor women and labouring persons do live in that holiness^ 
and heavenliness of mind and conversation, which the wisest 
of the philosophers never did attain. I spake of this before, 
but here also thought meet, to show you the difference between 
the effects of Christ's doctrine, and the philosophers'. 

2. And that all this is justly to be imputed to Christ himself, 
I shall now prove. 1. He gave them a perfect pattern for this 
holy, obedient, heavenly life, in his own person, and his con- 
versation here on earth. 2. His doctrine and law require all 
this holiness which I described to you : you find the pre- 
script in his word, of which the holy souls and lives of men are 



230 



THE REASONS OF 



but a transcript. 3. All his institutions and ordinances are but 
means and helps to this. 4. He hath made it the condition of 
man's salvation to be thus holy, in sincerity, and to desire and 
seek after perfection in it : he taketh no other for true Chris- 
tians indeed, nor will save any other at the last. 5. All his 
comforting promises of mercy and defence are made only to 
sueh. 6. He hath made it the office of his ministers through 
the world, to persuade and draw men to this holiness : and if 
you hear the sermons, and read the books, which any faithful 
minister of Christ doth preach or write, you will soon see that 
this is the business of them all : and you may soon per- 
ceive, that these ministers have another kind of preaching 
and writing than the philosophers had ; more clear, more 
congruous, more spiritual, more powerful, and likely to win men 
to holiness and heavenliness. When our divines and their 
philosophers are compared, as to their promoting of true holi- 
ness, verily the latter seem to be but as glow-worms, and the 
former to be the candles for the family of God : and yet I truly 
value the wisdom and virtue which I find in a Plato, a Seneca, 
a Cicero, an Antonine, or any of them. If you say, our advan- 
tage is, because, coming after all, we have the helps of all, even 
of those philosophers ; I answer, mark in our books and ser- 
mons, whether it be any thing but Christianity which Ave 
preach ? It is from Christ and Scripture that we fetch our 
doctrine, and not from the philosophers : we use their helps in 
logic, physics, &c, but that is nothing to our doctrine. He that 
taught me to speak English, did not teach me the doctrine 
which I preach in English ; and he that teacheth me to use the 
instruments of logic, doth not teach me the doctrine about 
which I use them. And why did not those philosophers, by all 
their art, attain to that skill in this sacred work, as the 
ministers of Christ do, when they had as much or more of the 
arts than we ? I read, indeed, of many good orations then 
used ; even in those of the Emperor Julian, there is much good ; 
and in Antonine, Arrian, Epictetus, Plutarch, more : and I read 
of much taking oratory of the Bonzii, in Japan, &c. ; but com- 
pared to the endeavours of christian divines, they are poor, pe- 
dantic, barren things, and little sparks ; and the success of them 
is but answerable. 7- Christ did before-hand promise to send 
his Spirit into men's souls, to do all this work upon all his 
chosen ; and as he promised, just so he doeth. 8. And we find 
by experience, that it is the preaching of Christ's doctrine by 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 231 

which the work is done : it is by the reading of the sacred Scrip- 
ture, or hearing the doctrine of it opened and applied to us, 
that souls are thus changed, as is before described : and if it be 
by the medicines which he sendeth us himself, by the hands of 
his own servants, that we are healed, we need not doubt whether 
it be he that healed us. His doctrine doth it as the instrument- 
al cause : for we find it adapted thereunto, and we find nothing 
done upon us but by that doctrine, nor any remaining effect but 
what is the impression of it : but his Spirit inwardly reneweth 
us as the principal cause, and worketh with and by the word : 
for we find that the word doth not work upon all, nor upon all 
alike, that are alike prepared ; but we easily perceive a voluntary, 
distinguishing choice in the operation. And we find a power 
more than can be in the words alone, in the effect upon our- 
selves. The heart is like the wax, and the word like the seal, 
and the Spirit like the hand that strongly applieth it. We feel 
upon our hearts, that, though nothing is done without the seal, 
yet a greater force doth make the impression than the weight 
of the seal alone could cause. 

By this time, it is evident, that this work of sanctification is 
the attestation of God, by which he publicly owneth the Gospel, 
and declareth to the world that Christ is the Saviour, and his 
word is true. For, 1. It is certain that this work of renovation 
is the work of God. For, 1 . It is his image on the soul ; it is 
the life of the soul, as flowing from his holy life ; wherein are 
contained the trinity of perfections : it is the power of the soul, 
by which it can overcome the flesh, the world, and the devil, 
which, without it none is able to do. It is the wisdom of the 
soul, produced by his light and wisdom ; by which we know 
the difference between good and evil, and our reason is restored 
to its dominion over fleshly sense. It is the goodness of the soul, 
by which it is made suitable to the eternal Good, and fit to know 
him, love him, praise him, serve him, and enjoy him ; and there- 
fore nothing lower than his goodness can be its principal cause. 

2. It subserveth the interest of God in the world, and reco- 
vereth the apostate soul to himself; it disposeth it to honour 
him, love him, and obey him : it delivereth up the whole man 
to him as his own : it casteth down all that rebelleth against 
him : it casteth out all which was preferred before him : it 
rejecteth all which standeth up against, and would seduce and 
tempt us from him ; and therefore it is certainly his work. 

3. Whose else should it be? Would Satan, or any evil cause, 



232 THE REASONS OF 

produce so excellent an effect ? Would the worst of beings 
do the best of works ? It is the best that is done in this lower 
world. Would any enemy of God so much honour him, and 
promote his interest, and restore him his own ? Would any 
enemy of mankind thus advance us, and bring us up to a life of 
the highest honours and delights that Ave are capable of on 
earth, and give us the hopes of life eternal. 

And if any good angel, or other cause, should do it, all 
reason will confess, that they do it but as the messengers or 
instruments of God, and as second causes, and not as the first 
cause ; for otherwise we should make them Gods. For my 
own part, my soul perceiveth that it is God himself that hath 
imprinted this his image on me ; and hath hereby, as it were, 
written upon me his name and mark, even holiness to the Lord; and 
I bear about me continually a witness of himself, his Son, and 
Holy Spirit : a witness within me which is the seal of God, and 
the pledge of his love, and the earnest of my heavenly inheritance. 

And if our sanctification be thus of God, it is certainly his 
attestation to the truth of Christ, and to his Gospel. For, 1. 
No man that knoweth the perfections of God will ever believe 
that he would bless a deceiver, and a lie, to be the means of 
the most holy and excellent work that ever was done in the 
world. If Christ was a deceiver, his crime would be so execrable, 
as would engage the justice of God against him, as he is the 
righteous Governor of the world ; and therefore he would not 
so highly honour him, to be his chief instrument for the world's 
renovation. He is not impotent to need such instruments ; he 
is not ignorant that he should so mistake in the choice of in- 
struments ; he is not bad that he should love and use such in- 
struments, and comply with their deceits. These things are all 
so clear and sure, that I cannot doubt of them. 

2. No man that knoweth the mercifulness of God, and the 
justice of his government, can believe that he would give up 
mankind so remedilessly to seduction ; yea, and be the prin- 
cipal causer of it himself. For if, besides prophecy, and a holv 
doctrine, and a multitude of famous miracles, a deceiver might 
also be the great renewer and sanctifier of the world, to bring 
man back to the obedience of God, and to repair his image on 
mankind, what possibility were there of our discovery of that 
deceit ? or rather, should we not say, ' He were a blessed de- 
ceiver, that had deceived us from our sin and misery, and 
brought back our straying souls to God.' 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 233 

3. Nay, when Christ foretold men that he would send his 
Spirit to do all this work, and would renew men for eternal life, 
and thus be with us to the end of the world ; and when I see all 
this done, I must needs believe that he that can send down a 
sanctifying Spirit, a spirit of life, a spirit of power, light, and 
love, to make his doctrine in the mouths of his ministers effectual 
to men's regeneration and sanctification, is no less himself than 
God, or certainly no less than his certain Administrator. 

4. What need I more to prove the cause than the adequate 
effect ? When I find that Christ doth actually save me, shall 
I question whether he be my Saviour ? When I find that he 
saveth thousands about me, and offereth the same to others, 
shall I doubt whether he be the Saviour of the world ? Surely, 
he that healeth us all, and that so wonderfully and so cheaply, 
may well be called our Physician. If he had promised only to 
save us, I might have doubted whether he would perform it ; 
and, consequently, whether he be indeed the Saviour. But, 
when he performeth it on myself, and performeth it on thou- 
sands round about me ; to doubt yet whether he be the Sa- 
viour, when he actually saveth us, is to be ignorant in despite 
of reason and experience. I conclude, therefore, that the Spirit 
of sanctification is the infallible witness of the verity of the 
Gospel, and the veracity of Jesus Christ. 

5. And I entreat all that read this, further to observe the 
great use and advantage of this testimony above others : 
in that it is continued from generation to generation, and 
not as the gift and testimony of miracles, which continued 
plentifully but one age, and with diminution somewhat after. 
This is Christ's witness to the end of the world, in every 
country, and to every soul ; yea, and continually dwelling 
in them : " For if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he 
is none of his." (Rom. viii. 9.) He that is not able to ex- 
amine the history which reporteth the miracles to him, may be 
able to find upon his soul the image of God imprinted by the 
Gospel, and to know that the Gospel hath that image in itself 
which it imprinteth upon others ; and that it cometh from God, 
which leadeth men so directly unto God, and that it is cer- 
tainly his own means which he blesseth to so great and excel- 
lent ends. 

6. Note, also, that part of the work of the Spirit of God, in 
succeeding the doctrine of Jesus Christ, doth consist in the 
effectual production of faith itself: for though the work be 



234 THE REASONS OF 

wrought by the reasons of the Gospel and the evidences of 
truth, yet it is also wrought by the Spirit of God, concurring 
with that evidence, and as the internal efficient, exciting the 
sluggish faculties to do their office, and illustrating the under- 
standing, and fitting the will to entertain the truth ; for the 
difficulties are so great, and the temptations to unbelief so subtle 
and violent, and our own indisposedness, through corruption, 
the greatest impediment of all, that the bare word alone would 
not produce a belief of that lively, vigorous nature, as is neces- 
sary to its noble effects and ends, without the internal co-opera- 
tion of the Spirit. So that Christ doth not only teach us the 
christian faith and religion, but doth give it us, and work it in 
us bv his Spirit : and he that can do so, doth prove the divine 
approbation of his doctrine ; without which, he could not have 
the command of men's souls. 

7. Note, also, that the Gospel proposeth to the soul of man 
both truth and goodness ; and the truth is in order to the good, 
and subservient to it. That Christ is indeed the Saviour, and 
his word infallibly true, is believed, that we may be made par- 
takers of his salvation, and of the grace and glory promised. 
And when the Spirit by the Gospel hath regenerated and re- 
newed any soul, he hath given him part of that grace in pos- 
session, and hath procreated him in the habitual love of God, 
and of holiness, with a love to that Saviour and holy word 
which brought him to it ; so that this love is now become as a 
new nature to the soul : and this being done, the soul cleaveth 
now as fast to Christ and the Gospel, by love as by belief: not 
that love becometh an irrational, causeless love, nor continueth 
without the continuance of belief, or belief without the reasons 
and evidence of verity and credibility : but love now, by con- 
currence, greatly assisteth faith itself, and is the faster hold of 
the two : so that the soul that is very weak in its reasoning- 
faculty, and may oft iose the sight of these evidences of truth, 
which it did once perceive, may still hold fast by this holy love. 
As the man that by reasoning hath been convinced that honey is 
sweet, will more easily change his mind than he that hath 
tasted it ; so love is the soul's taste, which causeth its fastest 
adherence to God and to the Gospel. If a caviller dispute with 
a loving child, or parent, or friend, to alienate their hearts from 
one another, and would persuade them that it is but dissembled 
love that is professed to them by their relations and friends, 
love will do more here to hinder the belief of such a slander 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 235 

than reason alone can do ; and where reason is not strong 
enough to answer all that the caviller can say, yet love may be 
strong enough to reject it. 

And here I must observe how often I have noted the great 
mercy of God, to abundance of poor people, whose reasoning 
faculty would have failed them in temptations to atheism and 
infidelity, if they had not had a stronger hold than that, and 
their faith had not been radicated in the will by love. I have 
known a great number of women who never read a treatise that 
pleaded the cause of the christian religion, nor were able to 
answer a crafty infidel, that yet in the very decaying time of 
nature, at four-score years of age and upward, have lived in that 
sense of the love of God, and in such love to him and to their 
Saviour, as that they have longed to die and be with Christ, 
and lived in all humility, charity, and piety, such blameless, ex- 
emplary, heavenly lives, in the joyful expectation of their 
change, as hath showed the firmness of their faith, and the love 
and experience which was in them would have rejected a tempta- 
tion to atheism and unbelief more effectually than the strongest 
reason alone could ever do. Yet none have cause to reproach 
such, and say, 'Their wills lead their understandings, and they 
customarily and obstinately believe they know not why/ For 
they have known sufficient reason to believe, and their under- 
standings have been illuminated to see the truth of true religion ; 
and it was this knowledge of faith which bred their love and 
experience : but when that is done, as love is the more noble 
and perfect operation of the soul, having the most excellent 
object, so it will act more powerfully and prevailingly, and 
hath the strongest hold : nor are all they without light and 
reason for their belief, who cannot form it into arguments, and 
answer all that is said against it. 

Object. But may not all this which you call regeneration, 
and the image of God, be the mere power of fantasy, and 
affectation ; and may not all these people force themselves, like 
melancholy persons, to conceit that they have that which indeed 
they have not ? 

Answ. 1. They are not melancholy persons that I speak of, 
but those that are as capable as any others to know their own 
minds, and what is upon their own hearts. 2. It is not one or 
two, but millions. 3. Nature hath given man so great ac- 
quaintance with himself, by a power of perceiving his own 
operations, that his own cogitations and desires are the first 



236 THE REASONS OF 

thing that naturally he can know; and therefore if he cannot 
know them, he can know nothing. If I cannot know what I 
think, and what I love and hate, f can know nothing at all. 4. 
That they are really minded and affected as they seem, and 
have, in them that love to God, and heaven, and holiness which 
they profess, they show to all the world by the effects : 1. In 
that it ruleth the main course of their lives, and disposeth of 
them in the world. 2. In that these apprehensions and affec- 
tions overrule all their worldly, fleshly interest, and cause them 
to deny the pleasures of the flesh, and profits and honours of 
the world. 3. In that they are constant in it to the death, and 
have no other mind in their distress, when, as Seneca saith, 
il Nothing feigned is of long continuance, for all forced things 
are bending back to their natural state." 4. In that they will 
lay down their lives, and forsake all the world, for the hopes 
which faith in Christ begetteth in them. d 

And if the objectors mean that all this is true, and yet it is 
but upon delusion or mistake that they raise these hopes, and 
raise these affections, I answer, this is the thing that I am dis- 
proving : 1. The love of God, and a holy mind and life, is not 
a dream of the soul, or a deliration; I have proved from natural 
reason in the first book, that it is the end, and use, and per- 
fection of man's faculties ; that if God be God, and man be 
man, we are to love him above all, and to obey him as our 
absolute Sovereign, and to live as devoted to him, and to delight 
in his love : man were more ignoble or miserable than a beast, 
if this were not his work : and is that a dream or a delusion 
which causeth a man to live as a man ; to the ends that he was 
made for ; and according to the nature and use of his reason 
and all his faculties ? 2. While the proofs of the excellency and 
necessity of a holy life are so fully before laid down, from 
natural and supernatural revelation, the objector doth but refuse 

d I plead for no superstition, granting what Torquatus,the Epicurean (in Cic. 
de Fin. 1. 1, p. 87.) saith, Superstitione qui iinbutus est, quietus esse nunquam 
potest: But I like not the quietness which intoxication, madness, or igno- 
rance of danger doth procure. Though there be much difference, and though 
prejudice, and faction, and the interest of their parties, cause uncharitable 
hypocrites to slander and rail at all that are against their sect and mind ; yet 
among all Christians, there are holy, serious persons to be found, though such 
as the worldly sort do vilify : and all ot them write for purity, holiness, love, 
and peace (of which more after). Read the writings of Thaulerus, and that 
excellent, holy book of GerardusZutphaniens,' DeReformationeInteriori,etde 
Spiritualibus Ascensionibus ;' where you will see a specimen of other kind of 
purity than the philosophers held forth. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 237 

to see in the open light, when he satisfieth himself with a hare 
assertion, that all this is no sufficient ground for a holy life, but 
that is taken up upon mistake : 3. All the world is convinced 
at one time or other, that, on the contrary, it is the unholy, 
fleshly, worldly life, which is the dream and dotage, and is 
caused by the grossest error and deceit. 

Object. But how shall Iknow that there is indeed such holi- 
ness in Christians as you mention, and that it is not dissembled 
and counterfeit ? 

Answ. I have told you in the foregoing answer, 1. If you were 
truly Christians, you might know it by possession in yourselves : 
as you know that vou love your friend, or a learned man know- 
eth that he hath learning. 2. If you have it not yourselves, you 
may see that others do not dissemble, when you see them, as 
aforesaid, make it the drift of all their lives, and prefer it before 
their worldly interest, and their lives, and hold on constantly in 
it to the death. When you see a holy life, what reason have 
you to question a holy heart ? especially among so great a num- 
ber, you may well know, that if some be dissemblers, all the 
rest are not so. 

Object. But I see no Christians that are really so holy : I see 
nothing in the best of them above civility, but only self-con- 
ceit, and affectation, and strictness in their several forms and 
modes of worship. 

Answ. 1. If you are no better than such yourself, it is the 
greatest shame and plague of heart that you could have con- 
fessed : and it must needs be, because you have been false to 
the very light of nature, and of grace. 2. If you know no 
Christians that are truly holy, it must needs be, either because 
you are unacquainted with them, or because your malice will 
not give you leave to see any good in these that you dislike. 
And if you have acquainted yourself with no Christians that 
were truly holy, what could it be but malice or sensuality that 
turned you away from their acquaintance, when, there have been 
so many round about you ? If you have been intimate with 
them, and known their secret and open conversation, and yet 
have not seen any holiness in them, it can be no better than 
wilful malice that hath blinded you. And because a negative 
witness that knoweth not whether it be so or not is not to be 
regarded against an affirming witness who knoweth what he 
saith, I will here leave my testimony as in the presence of God, 



238 THE REASONS OF 

the Searcher of hearts, and the Revenger of a lie, yea, even of 
lies pretended for his glory. c 

I have considered of the characters of a Christian in the 
twenty particulars before expressed in this chapter, (sect. 10,) 
and I have examined my soul concerning them all ; and as far 
as I am able to know myself, I must profess, in humble thank- 
fulness to my Redeemer, that there is none of them which 1 
find not in me : and seeing God hath given me his testimony 
within me, to the truth of the Gospel of his Son, I take it to 
be my duty in the profession of it, to give my testimony of it to 
unbelievers. And I must as solemnly profess, that I have had 
acquaintance with hundreds, if not thousands, on whom I have 
seen such evidences of a holy, heavenly mind, which nothing but 
uncharitable and unrighteous censure could deny. And I have 
had special, intimate familiarity with very many; in all whom I 
have discerned the image of God, in such innocency, charity, 
justice, holiness, contempt of the world, mortification, self-de- 
nial, humility, patience, and heavenly-mindedness, in such a 
measure, that I have seen no cause to cmestion their sincerity, 
but great cause to love and honour them as the saints of God : 
yea, I bless the Lord that most of my converse in the world, 
since the twenty-second year of my age, hath been with such; and 
much of it six years sooner. Therefore, for my own part, I can- 
not be ignorant that Christ hath a sanctified people upon earth. f 

Object. But how can one man know another's heart to be 
sincere ? s 

Answ. I pretend not to know by an infallible certainty the 
heart of any single individual person: but, 1. I have, in 
such a course of effects as is mentioned before, great reason 
to be very confident of it, and no reason to deny it, con- 
cerning very many. A child cannot be infallibly certain that 
his father or mother loveth him, because he knoweth not the 
heart : but when he considereth of the ordinariness of natural 
affection, and hath always found such usage, as dearest love 

e Serpit hodie putrida tabes hypocrisis per omne corpus ecclesias ; et quo 
tolerantius, eo clesperatius ; eoque periculosius quo communius. — Bernard. 

f Cum dilectione fides Christiani : sine dilectione fides dannonum. Qui 
autera non credunt, pejores sunt quain dsmones. — Aug. de Cliarit. Hypo- 
crita ut sine fine crucietur, vivere sine fine compellitur: ut cujus vita hie 
niortua fuit in culpa, illic ejus mors vivit in poena. — Greg. Mor. 1. 2. 

s Nihil prodest aestimare quod non sis : et duplicis peccati reus es, non 
habere quod crederis, et quod habueris simulare. — Hieron.Ep. adfil. Maurit. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 239 

doth use to cause, he hath much reason to be confident of 
it, and none to deny it. 2. There may be a certainty that 
all conjunctly do not counterfeit, when you have no certainty 
of any single individual. As 1 can be sure that all the mothers 
in the world do not counterfeit love to their children, though I 
cannot be certain of it in any individual. 

Object. But it is not all Christians, nor most, that are thus holy. 

Answ. It is all that are Christians in deed and truth. Christ 
is so far from owning any other, that he will condemn them the 
more for abusing his name to the covering of their sins. All 
are not Christians who have the name of Christians. In all pro- 
fessions, the vulgar rabble of the ignorant and ungodly do use 
to join with the party that is uppermost, and seem to be of the 
religion which is most for their worldly ends, be it right or 
wrong, when indeed they are of none at all. Hypocrites are no 
true Christians, but the persons that Christ is most displeased 
with. Judge but by his precepts and example, and you will see 
who they are that are Christians indeed. 11 

Object. But what if the preaching or writings of a minister 
do convert and sanctify men, it doth not follow that they are 
saviours of the world. 

Answ. Whatever they do, they do it as the ministers and 
messengers of Christ, by his doctrine, and not by any of their 
own : by his commission, and in his name, and by his power or 
Spirit. Therefore, it witnesseth to his truth and honour, who is 
indeed the Saviour, which they never affirmed of themselves. 

Object. What, if Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, the Japonian 
Bonzii, the Indian Bramenes, &c, do bring any souls to a holy 
state, as it is likely they did, it will not follow that they were all 
saviours of the world. 

Answ. 1. They have but an imperfect doctrine, and conse- 
quently make on the minds of men but a lame, defective change ; 
and that change but upon few, and that but for a few ages, and 
then another sect succeedeth them : so that they have no such 
attestation and approbation of God, as Christ hath in the reno- 
vation of so many thousands all abroad the world, and that for 
so many ages together. 2. They did not affirm themselves to 
be the sons of God, and the saviours of the world ; if they had, 

h Siquis hominem qui sanctus non est, sanctum esse crediderit, et Dei cum 
junxerit societati, Christum violat cujus membra sumus — Omnes credentes 
Christi corpus efficimur. Qui in Christi corpore errat et labetur dicens mem- 
brum ejus esse sanctum cum non sit, vel nun sanctus cum sit, vide quali cri- 
mine obnoxius fiat. — Hieron. in Phil. 



240 THE REASONS OF 

God would not have annexed such a testimony to their word as 
he doth to Christ's. 3. The mercy of God is over all his works. 
He hath compassion upon all nations, and setteth up some 
candles, where the sun is not yet risen. The light and law of 
nature are his, as well as the light and law of supernatural re- 
velation : and, accordingly, he hath his instruments for the 
communication of them to the rude and ignorant part of the 
world. All the truth which any philosopher teacheth, is God's 
truth : and it is no wonder if a God of so much goodness do 
bless his own truth, according to its nature and proportion, 
whoever be the messenger of it. Whether the success of phi- 
losophy be ever the true sanctification and salvation of any souls, 
is a thing that I meddle not with ; it belongeth not to us, and 
therefore is not revealed to us. But it is visible in the Gospel, 
that all that part of practical doctrine which the philosophers 
taught, is contained in the doctrine of Christ, as a part in the 
whole : and, therefore, the impress and effect is more full and 
perfect, as the doctrine ; and the impress and effect of the phi- 
losophers' doctrine, can be no better than the cause, which is 
partial and defective, and mixed with much corruption and 
untruth. All that is good in the philosophers is in the doctrine 
of Christ : but they had abundance of false opinions and ido- 
latries to corrupt it, when Christianity hath nothing but clean 
and pure. So that, as no philosopher affirmed himself to be the 
saviour, so his doctrine was not attested by the plenary and 
common effect of regeneration, as Christ's was : but as thev were 
but the ministers of the God of nature, so they had but an 
answerable help from God, who could not be supposed (however 
had they wrought miracles) to have attested more than them- 
selves asserted, or laid claim to. 1 

'The Grecians, Romans, and Mahometans take the murder of many thou- 
sands in unjust wars, to be glorious, and yet punish the murder of single per- 
sons. Their renown was got by the most transcendent, unjust, and most inhu- 
man cruelties. Their Alexanders and Caesars were renowned murderers and 
thieves. Aristotle and Cicero make revenge a laudable thing, and the 
omission of it a dishonour. Of the cruel, murderous sport of their gladiators ; 
the killing of their servants when they were angry; their streams of blood, 
wherewith Rome almost in every age had flowed, by those civil wars which 
pride and unjust usurpations had produced, &c, it is needless to tell any that 
have read their histories. Even Cato could lend his wife to his neighbour ; 
and the Mahometans may have many, and pufthem away again. And many 
other such sensualities are the temperature of their religion, which was 
hatched in war, and maintained by it, and even constituted of war and car- 
nality, added to some precepts of honesty borrowed from Christianity, and 
from the more houest heathens. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 241 

Object. But Mahomet ventured on a higher arrogation and 
pretence ; and yet if his doctrine sanctify men, it will not justify 
his pretences. 

Answ. I. It is not proved that his doctrine doth truly sanctify 
any. 2. The effect which it hath can be but lame, defective, 
and mixed with much vanity and error, as his doctrine is : for the 
effect cannot excel the cause. 3. That part of his doctrine 
which is good, and doth good, is not his own, but part of Christ's, 
from whom he borrowed it, and to whom the good effects are 
to be ascribed. 4. Mahomet never pretended to be the son of 
God, and saviour of the world, but only to be a prophet: 
therefore, his cause is much like that of the philosophers fore- 
mentioned, saving that he giveth a fuller testimony to Christ. 
5. If Mahomet had proved his word, by antecedent prophecies, 
promises, and types, through many ages ; and by inherent purity, 
and by concomitant miracles, and by such wonderful, subsequent 
communications of renewing, sanctifying grace by the Spirit of 
God, so ordinary in the world, we should all have had reason to 
believe his word : but if he pretend only to be a prophet, and 
give us none of all these proofs, but a foppish, ridiculous bundle 
of nonsense, full of carnal doctrines,mixed with holy truth, which 
he had from Christ, we must judge accordingly of his authority 
and word, notwithstanding God may make use of that common 
truth, to produce an answerable degree of goodness, among 
those that hear and know no better. 

These objections may be further answered anon, amongst the 
rest : and thus much shall here suffice of the great and cogent 
evidences of the truth of the christian faith. 



CHAP. VII. 

Of the subservient Proofs and Means, by which the foremea- 
tioned Evidences are brought to our certain Knowledge. 

The witness of the Spirit in the four ways of evidence already 
opened, is proved to be sure, and cogent, if first it be proved to 
be true, that indeed such a witness to Jesus Christ, hath been 
given to the world. The argument is undeniable, when the 
minor is proved : he, whose word is attested by God, by many 
thousand years' predictions, by the inherent image of God upon 

VOL. XXI. R 



242 THE REASONS OF 

the frame of his doctrine, by multitudes of uncontrolled miracles 
and by the success of his doctrine, to the true regeneration of a 
great part of the world, is certainly to be believed : but such 
is Jesus Christ. Ergo. — I have been hitherto for the most 
part proving the major proposition, and now come to the minor 
as to the several branches. 

Sect. 1. I. The prophetical testimony of the Spirit is yet 
legible, in the promises, prophecies, and types, and main design 
of the Old Testament. 

Sect. 2. The books of Holy Scripture where all these are 
found, are certain, uncorrupted records thereof, preserved by the 
unquestioned tradition and care, and to this day attested by the 
general confession of the Jews, who are the bitterest enemies 
of Christianity. 

There are no men of reason that I have heard of, that deny 
the books of Moses, and the Psalms, and the prophets, &c, to 
be indeed those that went under those titles from the beginning : 
and that there can be no considerable corruption in them which 
might much concern their testimony to Christ, the comparing 
of all the copies, and the versions, yet extant, will evince, to- 
gether with the testimony of all sorts of enemies, and the moral 
impossibility of their corruption. But I will not stand to prove 
that which no sober adversary doth deny. To these books the 
Christians did appeal, and to these the Jews profess to stand. 

Sect. 3. II. The constitutive, inherent image of God upon the 
Gospel of Christ, is also still visible in the books themselves, and 
needeth no other proof than a capable reader, as afore described. 

Sect. 4. The preaching and writings of the ministers of Christ, 
do serve to illustrate this, and help men to discern it ; but add 
nothing to the inherent perfection of the Gospel, for matter, or 
for method. 

Sect. 5. III. The testimony of the age of miracles afore 
described, can be known naturally no way but by sight or other 
senses to those present, and by report or history to those absent. 

Sect. 6. The apostles, and many thousand others, saw the 
miracles wrought by Christ, and needed no other proof of them 
than their senses. 

The many thousands who at twice were fed by miracle, were 
witnesses of that. The multitude were witnesses of his healing 
the blind, the lame, the paralytic, the demoniac, &c. The 
pharisees themselves made the strictest search into the cure of 
the man born blind, (John ix.,) and the raising of Lazarus from 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 243 

the dead, and many more. His miracles were few of them hid, 
but openly done before the world. k 

Sect. /• The apostles, and many hundreds more, were wit- 
nesses of Christ's own resurrection, and needed no other proof 
but their sense. 

At divers times he appeared to them, together and apart, 
and yielded to Thomas's unbelief so far, as to call him to put 
his finger in his side, and see the print of the nails. He in- 
structed them concerning the kingdom of God for forty days. 
(Acts i.) He gave them their commission. (Mark xvi.; Matt, 
xxviii. ; John xxi.) He expostulated with Peter, and engaged 
him to feed his lambs. He was seen by more than five hundred 
brethren at once. And, lastly, appeared after his ascension to 
Paul and to John that wrote the. Revelations. 

Sect. 8 .The apostles also were eye-witnesses of his ascension. 
(Acts i.) 

What he had foretold them they saw him fulfil. 

Sect. 9. All these eye-witnesses were not themselves deluded 
in thinking they saw those things which indeed they did not see. 

For, 1. They were persons of competent understanding, as 
their writings show ; and, therefore, not like children that 
might be cheated with palpable deceits. 2. They were many ; 
the twelve apostles and seventy disciples, and all the rest; 
besides many thousands of the common people that only won- 
dered at him, but followed him not. One or two may be easier 
deceived than such multitudes. 3. The matters of fact were 
done near them, where they were present, and not far off. 4. 
They were done in the open light, and not in a corner, or in 
the dark. 5. They were done many times over, and not once 
or twice only. 6. The nature of the things was such, as a 
juggling, deluding of the senses could not serve for so common 
a deceit : as when the persons that were born blind, the lame, 
the paralytic, &c, were seen to be perfectly healed, and so of 
the rest. 7. They were persons who followed Christ, and were 
still with him, or very often ; and, therefore, if they had been 
once deceived, they could not be so always. 8. And vigilant, 
subtle enemies were about them, that would have helped them 
to have detected a deceit. 9. Yea, the twelve apostles and 

k Miracula ubicunque fiunt, vix a tota civitate feruntur, &c. Nam plerum- 
que fiunt ignorantibus caeteris, maxime si magna fit civitas ; at quando alibi 
aliisque narrantur, tanta ea commendat autoritas, ut sine difficultate vel du- 
bitaticme credautur. — Aug, de Civit. Dei, 22. 

r2 



244 THE REASONS OF 

seventy disciples were employed themselves in working miracles, 
healing the sick and demoniacs, in Christ's own life-time, and 
rejoiced in it. And thev could not be deceived for divers years 
together in the things which they saw, and heard, and felt, and 
also in that which they did themselves ; besides that, all their 
own miracles which they wrought after Christ's ascension, 
prove that they were not deceived. 10. There is no way left, 
then, but one to deceive them; and that is, if God himself 
should alter and delude all their senses, which it is certain that 
he did not do ; for then he had been the chief cause of all the 
delusion, and all the consequences of it in the world. He that 
hath given men sight, and hearing, and feeling, will not delude 
them all by irresistible alterations and deceits, and then forbid 
them to believe those lies, and propagate them to others. Man 
hath no other way of knowing things sensible but by sense. 
He that hath his senses sound, and the object proportionate, 
and at a just distance, and the medium fit, and his understand- 
ing sound, may well trust his senses, especially when it is the 
case of many. And if sense in those cases should be deceived, 
we should be bound to be deceived ; as having no other way 
of knowing or of detecting the deceit. 1 

Sect. 10. Those that saw not Christ's miracles, nor saw him 
risen, received all these matters of fact from the testimony of 
them that said they saw them ; having no other way by which 
they could receive them. m 

Sect 11. Supposing, now, Christ's resurrection and miracles 
to be true, it is certain that their use and obligation must ex- 
tend to more than those that saw them ; even to persons absent, 
and of other generations. 

This I have fully and undeniably proved, in a disputation in 
my book against infidelity, by such arguments as these. 

1. The use and obligation of such miracles do extend to 
all that have sufficient evidence of their truth. But the nations 
and generations which never saw them, may have sufficient 
evidence of their truth, that they were done ; ergo, the use and 
obligation do extend to such. 

The major is past all contradiction. He that hath sufficient 
evidence of the truth of the fact is obliged to believe it. The 
minor is to be proved in the following sections. 

1 Uuum boni viri verbuiu, uuus nutus, sexcentis arguments ac verborum 
continuationibus parem fidein meretur. — Plutarch, in Phocion. 

m Pluiis est oculatus testis uuus, quam auriti decern. Qui audiunt, audita 
dicunt : qui vident, plane sciunt. — PUuit, True 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 245 

2. The contrary doctrine maketh it impossible for God to 
oblige the world by miracles, according to their proper use : 
but it is not impossible, therefore, that doctrine is false. 

Here note, that the use and force of miracles lie in their 
being extraordinary, rather than in the power which they mani- 
fest ; for it is as great an effect of omnipotency, to have the 
sun move, as to stand still. Now, if miracles oblige none to 
believe but those that see them, then every man in every city, 
country, town, family, and in all generations to the end of the 
world, must see Christ risen, or not believe it, and must see La- 
zarus risen, or not believe it; and must see all the miracles himself 
which oblige him to believe : but this is an absurdity, and con- 
tradiction, making miracles God's ordinary works, and so as no 
miracles. 

3. They that teach men that they are bound to believe no 
miracles but what they see, do deprive all after ages of all the 
benefit of all the miraculous works of God j both mercies and 
judgments, which their forefathers saw. But God wrought 
them not only for them that saw them, but also for the absent 
and after times." 

4. By the same reason, they will disoblige men from believ- 
ing any other matters of fact, which they never saw themselves ; 
and that is to make them like new comers into the world, yea, 
like children and fools, and to be incapable of human society. 

5. This reasoning would rob God of the honour of all his 
most wondrous works, as from anv but those that see them. 
So that no absent person, or following age, should be obliged 
to mention them, believe them, or honour him for them, which 
is absurd and impious. 

(i. The world would be still, as it were, to begin anew, and no 
age must be the wiser for all the experiences of those that have 
gone before ; if we must not believe what we never saw: and 
if men must not learn thus much of their ancestors, why should 
they be obliged to learn any thing else, but children be left to 
learn only by their own eye-sight ? 

"Every man expecteth himself to be believed; and therefore oweth just 
belief to others. The testimony of one or two eye-witnesses, is to be pre- 
ferred before many learned conjectures and argumentations. Many wise men 
heretofore thought that they proved by argument, that there were no antipodes ; 
and others, that men could not live under the equator and poles. But one 
voyage of Columbus hath fully confuted all the first ; and many since have 
confuted both the one and the other; and are now believed against aW those 
learned arguments by almost all. 



246 THE REASONS OF 

7. If we are not bound to believe God's wondrous works 
which have been before our days, then our ancestors are not 
bound to tell them us, nor we to be thankful for them : the 
Israelites should not have told their posterity how they were 
brought out of the land of Egypt, nor England keep a day of 
thanksgiving for its deliverance from the powder-plot : but the 
consequent is absurd ; ergo, so is the antecedent. What have 
we our tongues for, but to speak of what we know to others. 
The love that parents have to their children will oblige them to 
acquaint them with all things useful which they know. The 
love which men have naturally to truth, will oblige them to 
divulge it. Who that had but seen an angel, or received 
instructions by a voice from heaven, or seen the dead raised, 
would not tell others what he had seen and heard ? And to what 
end should he tell them, if they were not obliged to believe it ? 

8. Governments, and justice, and all human converse, are 
maintained by the belief of others, and the reports and records 
of things which We see not : few of the subjects see their king. 
Witnesses carry it in every cause of justice; thus princes prove 
their successions and title to their crowns, and all men their 
estates, by the records or testimony of others. 

9. It is impudent arrogancy for every infidel to tie God to be 
at his beck, to work miracles as often as he requireth it ; to 
say 'I will not believe without a miracle; and if thou work 
ever so many in the sight of others, I will not believe unless I 
may see them myself.' 

Sect. 12. There need not be new revelations and miracles to 
confirm the former, and oblige men to believe them ; for then 
there must be more revelations and miracles to confirm the 
former, and oblige men to believe those ; and so on to the end 
of the world : and then God could not govern the world by a 
settled law, by revelations once made ; which is absurd. 

Sect. 13. Therefore, the only natural way to know all such 
matters of fact, is sensible apprehension to those that are present, 
and credible report, tradition, or history, to those that .are absent, 
as is aforesaid ; which is the necessary medium to convey it 
from their sense to our understandings ; and in this we must 
acquiesce, as the natural means which God will use. 

Sect. 14. We are not bound to believe all history or report ; 
therefore, we must be able to discern between the credible and 
the incredible; neither receiving all, nor rejecting all, but making 
choice as there is cause. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 247 

Sect. 15. History is more or less credible, as it hath more or 
less evidence of truth : 1. Some that is credible hath only evi- 
dence of probability, and such is that of mere human faith : 2. 
Some hath evidence of certainty, from natural causes concur- 
ring, where the conclusion is both of knowledge, and of human 
faith : 3. And some hath evidence of certainty from super- 
natural attestations, which is both of human faith, and of 
divine. 

Sect. 16. That history or report, which hath no more evidence 
than the mere wisdom and honesty of the author or reporter, 
supposing him an imperfect man, is but probable j and the con- 
clusion, though credible, is not infallible, and can have no 
certainty but that which some call moral ; and that in several 
degrees, as the wisdom and honesty of the reporter is either 
more or less. ° 

Sect. 17. II. Where there is an evident impossibility that 
all the witnesses or reporters should lie, or be deceived, there 
the conclusion is credible, by human faith, and also sure, by a 
natural certainty. 

Sect. 18. Where these things concur, it is impossible that 
that report or history should be false: 1. When it is certain 
that the reporters were not themselves deceived. 2. When it 
is certain that indeed the report is theirs. 3. When they took 
their salvation to lie upon the truth of the thing reported, and 
of jheir own report. 4. When they expected worldly ruin by 
their testimony, and could look for no commodity by it, which 
would make them any reparation. 5. When they give full 
proof of their honesty and conscience. 6. When their testi- 
mony is concordant, and they speak the same things, though 
they had no opportunity to conspire to deceive men ; yea, when 
their numbers, distance, and quality, make this impossible. 
7. When they bear their testimony in the time and place where 
it might well be contradicted, and the falsity detected, if it 
were not true ; and among the most malicious enemies ; and 
yet those enemies either confess the matter of fact, or give no 
regardable reason against it. 8. When the reporters are men 

° Quod si falsa historia ilia rerum est, undetam brevi tempore totus mundus 
ista religione completus est ? Aut in unam coire qui potuerunt mentem 
gentes regionibus disjunctaj ? Ventis,ccelo, convexionibusque dimotae : Im&, 
quia ha?c omnia et ab ipso cernebant geri, et ab ejus praeconibus qui per orhem 

totum missi veritatis ipsius vi victae, et dederunt se Deo, nee in magnis 

posuere dispendiis, membra vobis projicere, et viscera sua lanianda praebere. 
— Arnob. I. 1. p. 9. 



24 S THE REASONS OF 

of various tempers, countries, and civil interests. 9. When the 
reporters fall out, or greatly differ among themselves, even to 
separations and condemnations of one another, and yet none 
ever detecteth or confesseth any falsehood in the said reports. 
10. When the reporters being numerous, and such as profess 
that lying is a damnable sin, and such as laid down their liber- 
ties, or lives, in asserting their testimonies, did yet never any of 
them, in life or death, repent and confess any falsehood or 
deceit. 11. When their report convinceth thousands, in that 
place and time, who would have more abhorred them if it had 
been untrue. 

Nay, where some of these concur, the conclusion may be of 
certainty : some of these instances resolve the point into natural 
necessity : 1. It is of natural necessity that men love themselves, 
and their own felicitv, and be unwilling of their undoing and 
misery : the will, though free, is quondam natura, and hath its 
natural, necessary inclination to that good, which is appre- 
hended as its own felicitv; or else to have omnimodamrationem 
boni, and its natural, necessary inclination against that evil, or 
aversation from it, which is apprehended as its own undoing or 
misery ; or to have omnimodam rationem mali, its liberty is 
only so'vato ordine finis ; and some acts that are free, are, 
nevertheless, of infallible, certain futurition, and of some kind 
of necessity, like the love and obedience of the saints in heaven. 
2. Nothing can be without a cause sufficient to produce it ; but 
some things here instanced, can have no cause sufficient to pro- 
duce them, if the thing testified were false ; as the consent of 
enemies ; their not gainsaying ; the concurrence of so many, 
and so distant, and of such bitter opposites, against their own 
common, worldly interest, and to the confessed ruin of their 
souls ; and the belief of many thousands that could have dis- 
proved it if false ; and more which I shall open by-and-by. 
There is a natural certainty that Alexander was the king of 
Macedonia, and Cassar emperor of Rome ; and that there is such 
a place as Rome, and Paris, and Venice, and Constantinople ; 
and that we have had civil wars between the king and parlia- 
ment, in England, and between the houses of York and Lan- 
caster ; and that many thousands were murdered by the French 
massacre, and many more by the Irish; and that the statutes of 
this land were made by the kings and parliaments whose names 
they bear, &c, because that, 1. There is no cause in nature 
which could produce the concurrence of so many testimonies of 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 249 

men so distant and contrary, if it were not true ; 2. And on 
the contrary side, there are natural causes which would infal- 
libly produce a credible contradiction to these reports, if they 
were false. 

Sect. 19. III. When they that testify such matters of fact, do 
affirm that they do it by God's own command, and prove this 
by multitudes of evident, uncontrolled miracles, their report is 
both human and divine, and to be believed as most certain by a 
divine belief. 

This is before proved in the proof of the validity of the tes- 
timony of miracles, and such miracles as these. 

Sect. 20. The testimonies of the apostles and other disciples 
of Christ, concerning his resurrection and miracles, were credible 
by all these three several sorts of credibility. 1. They were 
credible, and most credible, by a human belief, as they were the 
testimony of honest, and extraordinarily honest, men. 2. They 
were credible, as reported with concauses of natural certainty. 
3. They were credible, as attested by God by miracles, and 
therefore certain, by a certainty of divine belief. 

Sect. 21. 1. They that observe in the writings of the said 
disciples, the footsteps of eminent piety, sincerity, simplicitv, 
self-denial, contempt of the world, expectation of a better world, 
a desire to please and glorify God, though by their own reproach 
and sufferings, mortification, love to souls, forgiving enemies, 
condemning liars, with high spirituality and heavenly-minded- 
ness, &c, must needs confess them to be most eminently credible 
by a human faith. They being also acquainted with the thing 
reported. 

Sect. 22. II. 1. That the apostles were not themselves de- 
ceived, I have proved before. 2. That the report was theirs, 
the churches that saw and heard them, knew by sense : and 
how we know it, I am to show anon. 3. That they took their 
own salvation to lie upon the belief of the Gospel which thev 
preached, is very evident, both in the whole drift and manner of 
their writings, and in their labours, sufferings, and death : and 
that they took a lie to be a damning sin. 

He that doth but impartially read the writings of the apostles 
and evangelists, will easily believe that they believed what they 
preached themselves, and looked for salvation by Jesus Christ. 
Much more, if he further consider of their forsaking all, and 
labouring, and dying in and for these expectations : and nature 
taught them, as well as Christ, to know that a lie was a damning 



250 THE REASONS OF 

sin. They teach us themselves that liars are without, as dogs, 
and not admitted into the kingdom of God:P and that God 
needeth not our lie to his glory ; nor must we do evil that 
good may come by it. Therefore, they could never think 
that it would help them to heaven, to spend their labours, and 
lay down their lives, in promoting a known lie, to deceive the 
world. 

Sect. 22. 4. That they expected temporal ruin by their reli- 
gion, without any worldly satisfaction, is manifest both in Christ's 
prediction, telling them that it would be so, and in the tenor of 
his covenant, calling on them to forsake life and all, if they will 
be his disciples ; and in the history of their own lives and labours, 
in which they met with no other usage than was thus foretold 
them.'i 

Many of them had not much wealth to lose ; but every man 
naturally loveth his ease, and peace, and life. And some of them, 
though not manv, had worldly riches, as Zaccheus, Joseph of 
Arimathea, &c, and commonly they had possessions, which 
they sold, and laid down the price at the apostles' feet. And the 
apostles had ways of comfortable living in the world : instead 
of all this, they underwent reproach, imprisonment, scourgings, 
and death. Commodity or preferment they could not expect 

bv it. 

Object. But to men that had been but low in the world, the 
very applause of the people would seem a sufficient satisfaction 
for their sufferings. To be teachers, and have many followers, 
is a thing that some people would venture liberty and life for. 

Answ. Lay all these following things together, and you may 
be certain that this was not the case. 1. Even women, and 
many that were not teachers, were of the same belief. 2. The 
teachers did all of them set up their Lord, and not themselves, 
but debased and denied themselves for his honour and service. 
3. Their way of teaching was in travel and labour, where they 
must deny all fleshly ease and pleasure ; and so must have 
nothing but bare applause, if that had been it which they sought 
after. 4. They suffered so much reproach and shame from the 
unbelievers, who were the rich and ruling party, as would have 

p Rev. xxi. 22. 
lAmbiguse, si quando cilabere testis 
Incertffique rei, Phalaris licet imperet ut sis 
Falsus, et admoto dictet perjuria tauro ; 
Summum crede nefas vitam praeferre pudori, 
Et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas. — Juv. 8. 



THE CHRISTIAN RKLIG10N. 251 

much overbalanced their applause among believers. They were 
persecuted, imprisoned, scourged, scorned, and made as the off- 
scouring of the world. 5. They were so many, that no single 
person was likely to be carried so far with that ambition, when 
his honour was held in equality with so many. 6. One of the 
great vices which they preached and wrote against, was pride, 
and self-seeking, and overvaluing men, and following sect-mas- 
ters, and crying up Paul, Apollo, or Cephas, &c. r And those 
that thus sought to set up themselves, and draw away disciples 
after them, were the men whom they especially condemned. 
7. If they had done, as this objection supposeth, they must 
have all the way gone on against their certain knowledge and 
conscience, in teaching lies in matter of fact. And though 
some men would go far in seeking followers and applause, when 
they believe the doctrine which they preach themselves, yet 
hardly in preaching that which they know to be false. The 
stirrings of conscience would torment some of them, among so 
many, and at last break out into open confession and detection 
of the fraud. s 8. And if they had gone thus violently against 
their consciences, they must needs know that it was their souls ? 
as well as their lives and liberties, which they forfeited. 9. And 
the piety and humility of their writings show that applause 
was not their end and prize. If they had sought this, they 
would have fitted their endeavours to it ; whereas it is the sanc- 
tifying and saving of souls, through faith in Jesus Christ, which 
they bent their labours towards. 10. So many men could never 
have agreed among themselves in such a scattered case, to carry 
on the juggle and deceit, without detection. Now tell us, if you 
can, where ever so many persons in the world, so notably hum- 
ble, pious, and self-denying, did preach against pride, man- 
pleasing, and lying, as damnable sins ; and debase themselves, 
and suffer so much reproach and persecution, and go through 

r 1 Cor. i. and ii. and iii. Acts xx. 

s Sed non creditis gesta haec. Sed qui ea conspicati sunt fieri, et sub oculis 
suis viderunt agi, testes optimi certissimique authores, et credideruut haec 
ipsi et credenda posteris nobis haud exilibus cum approbationibus tradiderunt. 
Quinam isti sunt, fortasse quaeritis : gentes, populi, nationes, et incredulum 
illud genus humanum ; quod nisi aperta res esset, et luce ipsa clarior, nun- 
quam rebus hujusmodi credulitatis suae commodarent assensum. At nunquid 
dicemus illius temporis homines usque adea fuisse vanos, mendaces, stolidos, 
brutos, ut quae nunquam viderant, vidisse se fingerent ? Et quae facta non 
erant falsis proderent testimoniis, ut puerili assertione firmarent ? Cumque 
possent vobiscum et uuanimiter vivere, et inoffensas ducere conjunctiones, 
gratuita susciperent odia, et execrabili haberentur nomine. — ArnobA. 1. 



252 THE REASONS OF 

such labour and travel, and lay down their lives, and confessedly 
hazard their souls for ever, and all this to get followers, that 
should believe in another man, by persuading men that he 
wrought miracles, and rose from the dead, when they knew 
themselves that all were lies which they thus laboriously di- 
vulged ? If you give an instance in the disciples of Mahomet, 
the case was nothing so : no such miracles attested ; no such 
witnesses to proclaim it; no such consequences of such a testi- 
mony ; none of all this was so : but only a deceiver maketh a 
few barbarous people believe that he had revelations, and was a 
prophet ; and being a soldier, and prospering in war, he setteth 
up, and keepeth up a kingdom by the sword ; his preachers 
being such as being thus deluded, did themselves believe the 
things which they spake, and found it the way to worldly 
greatness. 

Sect. 24. 5. That the witnesses of Christ were men of honesty 
and conscience, is before proved. 6. That it was not possible 
for so many persons, to conspire so successfully to deceive the 
world, is manifest from, 1. Their persons; 2. Their calling; 3. 
Their doctrine ; 4. And their manner of ministration and labours. 

1. For their persons, they were, 1. Many; 2. Not men of 
such worldly craft and subtlety, as to be apt for such designs ; 
3. Of variety of tempers and interests, men and women ; 2. For 
their callings, the apostles knew the matter of fact indeed by 
common sense ; but their sufficiency and gifts by which they 
carried on their ministry, were suddenly given them by the Holy 
Ghost, when Christ himself was ascended from them : and 
Paul, that had conferred with none of them, yet preached the 
same Gospel, being converted by a voice from heaven in the 
heat of his persecution. 3. Their doctrine containeth so many 
and mvsterious particulars, that they never could have con- 
corded in it all, in their way. 4. And their labours did so dis- 
perse them about the world, that many new emergent cases must 
needs have cast them into several minds or ways, if they had 
not agreed by the unity of that Spirit, which was the common 
teacher of them all. 

Sect. 25. 7. Tbat the disciples of Christ divulged his miracles 
and resurrection, in the same place and age, where the truth or 
falsehood might soon have been searched out ; and yet that the 
bitterest enemies either denied not, or confuted not their report, 
is apparent, partly by their confessions, and partly by the non- 
existence of any such confutations. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 253 

That the disciples in that age and country did divulge these 
miracles, is denied by none : for it was their employment, and 
by it they gathered their several churches ; and their writings, 
not long after written, declare it to this day. That the enemies 
confuted not their report, appeareth, 1. Not only in the Gospel 
history, which showeth that they denied not many of his mira- 
cles, but imputed them to conjuration, and the power of Satan ; 
but also by the disputes and writings of the Jews, in all ages 
since which do go the same way. 2. And if the enemies had 
been able to confute these miracles, no doubt but they 
would have done it; having so much advantage, wit, and 
malice. 

Object. Perhaps they did, and their writings never come to 
our knowledge. 

Answ. The unbelieving Jews were as careful to preserve their 
writings, as any other men ; and they had better advantage to 
do it, than the Christians had : and therefore if there had been 
any such writings, yea, or verbal confutations, the Jews of this 
age had been as likely to have received them, as all the other 
ancient writings which they yet receive. Josephus's testimony 
of Christ is commonly known ; and though some think it so full 
and plain, that it is likely to be inserted by some Christian, yet 
they give no proof of their opinion ; and the credit of all copies 
justifieth the contrary ; except only that these words are likely to 
have been thrust in, ' This is Christ,' which some annotator 
putting into the margin, might after be put into the text. And 
that the Jews wanted not will or industry to confute the Christ- 
ians, appeareth by what Justin Martyr saith toTryphon, of their 
malice : " That they sent out into all parts of the world their 
choicest men to persuade the people against the Christians, that 
they are atheists, and would abolish the Deity, and that thev 
were convict of gross impiety." 1 

Sect. 26. 8. The great diversity of believers and reporters of 
the Gospel miracles, doth the more fully evince, that there was 
no conspiracy for deceit. 

There were learned and unlearned Jews and gentiles, rich and 
poor, men and women ; some that followed Christ, and some 
(as Paul) that perhaps never saw him : and for all these to be 
at once inspired by the Holy Ghost, and thenceforth unanimously 

1 Prophetizare et virtutes facere et dajmonia ejicere interdtim non estmeriti 
illins qui operatur ; sed invocatio Christi hoc agit, velob utilitatem eoruni qui 
vident et audiiuit, vel, &c. — Hieron.in Malt. vii. 



254 THE REASONS OF 

to accord and concur in the same doctrine and work, doth show 
a supernatural cause. a 

Sect. 27. 9. There were dissensions upon many accidents, and 
some of them to the utmost distance, which would certainly 
have detected the fallacy, if there had been any such, in the 
matters of fact, so easily detected. 

1. In Christ's own family there was a Judas, who betrayed 
him for money : this Judas was one that had followed Christ, 
and seen his miracles, and had been sent out to preach, and 
wrought miracles himself. If there had been any collusion in 
all this, what more likely man was there in the world to have 
detected it ? Yea, and his conscience would never have accused, 
but justified him, he need not to have gone and hanged or pre- 
cipitated himself, and said, I have sinned in betraying the inno- 
cent blood. The pharisees, who hired him to betray his Master, 
might, by money and authority, have easily procured him to 
have written against him, and detected his fraud, if he had been 
fraudulent : it would have tended to Judas's justification and 
advancement. But God is the great Defender of truth. 

2. And there were many baptised persons, who were long in 
good repute and communion with the Christians, who fell off 
from them to several sects and heresies; not denying the dignity 
and truth of Christ, but superinducing into his doctrine many 
corrupting fancies of their own ; such as the Judaziers, the 
Simonians, the Nicolaitans, the Ebionites, the Cerinthians, the 
Gnosticks, the Valentinians, Basilidians, and many more : and 
many of these were in the days of the apostles, and greatly 
troubled the churches, and hindered the Gospel ; insomuch as 
the apostles rise up against them with more indignation than 
against the infidels ; calling them dogs, wolves, evil-workers, 
deceivers, brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, &c. 
They write largely against them ; thev charge the churches to 
avoid them, and turn away from them, and after a first and se- 
cond admonition, to reject them as men that are self-condemned, 
&c. And who knoweth not that among so many men thus ex- 
communicated, vilified, and thereby irritated, some of them 
would certainly have detected the deceit, if they had known any 
deceit to have been in the reports of the aforesaid miracles ? 

u OperumDei causa si lateat hominem, non se obliviscatur esse hominem, 
nee propterea Deo det insipientiam, quia non bene capit ejus sapientiam. — 
Aug- de spiv, et lit. Rationem de occulto Dei consilio quaerere, nil aliud 
est quam coni.ra ejus consilium superbire. — Gregor. Horn. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 255 

Passion would not have been restrained among so many, and 
such, when they were thus provoked. x 

3. And some in those times, as well as in all following ages 
have forsaken the faith, and apostatised to open infidelity : and 
certainly their judgment, their interest, and their malice, would 
have caused them to detect the fraud, if they had known any in 
the matters of fact of these miracles. For it is not possible that 
all these causes should not bring forth this effect, where there 
was no valuable impediment. If you again say, l It may be 
they did detect such frauds by words or writings which come 
not to our knowledge/ I answer again, 1. The Jews, then, that 
have in all ages disputed and written against Christianity, would 
certainly have made use of some such testimony, instead of 
charging all upon magic, and the power of the devil. 2. And 
it is to me a full evidence, that there were no such deniers of 
the miracles of Christ, when I find that the apostles never wrote 
against any such, nor contended with them, nor were ever put to 
answer any of their writings or objections. When all men will 
confess that their writings must needs be written according to 
the state and occasion of those times in which they wrote them : 
and if then there had been any books or reasonings divulged 
against Christ's miracles, they would either have written purposely 
against them, or let fall some confutations of them, in their 
epistles to the churches. But there are no such things at all. 

Sect. 28. 10. Seeing it is so heinous a crime to divulge lies 
in multitudes of matters of fact, to deceive the world into a 
blasphemy, it is scarcely possible that the consciences of so many 
persons, of so much piety as their writings prove, should never 
be touched with remorse for so great a villany, either in life, or 
at the hour of death, and force some one of them to detect all 
the fraud, if they had been guilty of it. 

There is a natural conscience in the worst of men, (much 
more in the best,) which will at some time do its office, and will 
constrain men to confess, especially their heinous crimes, and 
especially at the time of death, when they see that their lies will 
serve their worldly interest no more : and especially if they be 
men that indeed believe another life. Now, consider, if th e 

* 2 Peter ii. ; Jude; Tit. iii. 10. Nulla major est comprobatio quam ge- 
starum ab eo fides rerum ; quam virtutum novitas, quam omnia victa decreta, 
dissolutaque fatalia, qua? populi gentesque suo generis sub limine nullo dissen- 
tiente vicere : quae nee ipsi audent falsitatis arguere, quorum antiquas seu 
patrias leges vanitatis esse plenissimas atque inanissimae superstitionis osteu- 
dit, — Ai 'nob. ad. GentA. 1. 



256 THE REASONS OF 

apostles and disciples had been deceivers, how heinous a crime 
thev had committed. 1 . To affirm a man to be God incarnate, 
and to be the Saviour of the world, on whom all men must trust 
their souls, &c, if he had been but a deceiver. 2. To make 
such abundance of lies in open matters of fact. 3. To frame 
hereupon a new law to the world. 4. To overthrow the law of 
Moses, which was there in force. 5. To abuse the intellects of 
so many thousand persons with such untruths, and to call the 
world to such a needless work as the christian religion would 
be, if all this were false. To put the world upon such tasks, 
as forsaking all for Christ. 6. To draw so many to lose their 
lives in martyrdom to attest a lie. 7. To lose their own time, 
and spend all their lives and labour upon so bad a work : all 
these set together, would prove them far worse than any thieves, 
or murderers, or traitors, if they knew it to be a lie which they 
preached and attested. There are now no men known on earth, 
even in this age of villanies, guilty of such a heinous crime as 
this. And let any man that readeth the apostles' writings, or 
considereth of their lives and deaths, consider whether it be not 
next to an impossibility, that so many, and such persons, should 
go on in such a way, upon no greater motives of benefit than 
they expected ; nay, through such labours, reproach, and suf- 
ferings, and not one of them to the death be constrained by 
conscience to detect the fraud, and undeceive the world. y 

Sect. 29. 11. Lastly, it is not possible that so many thousands 
of such persons as they presently converted, should ever have 
been persuaded to believe their reports of these matters of fact, 
in a time and place where it was so easy to disprove them, if 
they had been false. 

For, 1. The understanding is not free as the will is, but only 
participative in quantum a voluntate imperatur : and a man 
cannot believe what he will, nor deny belief to cogent evidence, 
though against his will. The intellects' acts, as in themselves, 
are necessitated; and per mod urn natures. 2. And all these 
new converts had understandings which were naturally inclined 

y Occursurus forsitan est cum aliis multis calumniosis et puerilibus vocibus. 
Ma°-us fuit, clandestinis artibus omnia ilia perfecit, /Egyptiorum ex adytis 
angelorum potentium iiomina, et reniotas furatus, est discipihias. Quid dici- 
tis^O parvuli ? Iucoraperta vobis et uescia temerariae vocis loquacitate gar- 
rientes? Ergone ilia quae gesta sunt, daemonum fuere praestigiae, et magica- 
rum artium ludi? Potcstis aliquem nobis designare, monstrare, ex omnibus 
illis Magis, qui unquam fuerS per seeula, consimile aliquid Cbristo millennia 
ex parte qui Lcerit ? Qui sine ulla vi carniiuum, ikc.—dmob.ubi sup. I. 1. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 257 

to truth as truth, and averse to falsehood. And they had all 
self-love. And they all embraced now a doctrine which would 
expose them to suffering and calamity in the world. And, there- 
fore, both nature and interest obliged them to be at the labour 
of inquiring whether these things were so or not, before they 
ran themselves into so great misery. And the three thousand 
which Peter converted at his first sermon, must also take the 
shame of being murderers of their Saviour, and for this they 
were pricked at the heart. And Paul must be branded for a 
confessed persecutor, and guilty of the blood of Stephen. And 
would so many men run themselves into all this for nothing, 
to save the labour of an easy inquiry, after some matters of 
public fact ? How easily might they go and be satisfied, 
whether Christ fed so many thousand twice miraculously, and 
whether he healed such as he was said to heal, who were then 
living ? And whether he raised Lazarus and others from death, 
who were then living ? And whether the earth trembled, and 
the vail of the temple rent, and the sun was darkened at his 
death ? And whether the witnesses of his resurrection were 
sufficient ? And if none of this had been true, it would have 
turned them all from the belief of the apostles, to deride them. 

Object. Is not the unbelief of the most, a greater reason 
against the Gospel, than the belief of the smaller number is 
for it ? 

Answ. No : 1 . Because it is a negative which they Were for, 
and many witnesses to a negative, is not so good as a few to an 
affirmative. 2. Most of them were kept from the very hearing 
of the apostles, which should inform them and excite them. 
3. Most men everywhere follow their rulers, and look to their 
worldly interest, and never much mind or discuss such matters, 
as tend to their salvation, especially by the way of suffering and 
disgrace. 4. We believe not that the unbelieving party did 
deny Christ's miracles, but fathered them upon the devil : there- 
fore even their testimony is for Christ. Only they hired the 
soldiers to say, that Christ was stolen out of the sepulchre while 
they slept, of which they never brought any proof, nor could 
possibly do it, if asleep. 

Sect. 30. III. 1 have proved Christ's miracles to be, 1. Credi- 
ble, by the highest human faith. 2. Certain, by natural evi- 
dence ; there being a natural impossibility that the testimonies 
should be false. 3. I am next to prove, that they are certain, 
by supernatural evidence ; which is the same with natural 

vol. xxi. s 



258 THE REASONS OF 

evidence, as in the effect, but is called supernatural, from the 
way of causing it. 

Sect. 31. The same works of the Spirit, inherent, concomi- 
tant, and subsequent, were the infallible proof of the truth 
of the disciples' testimony of Christ's person, miracles, and 
doctrine. 8 

Sect. 32. I. They were persons of holy lives : and holiness 
is the lively impress or constitution of their doctrine, now visible 
in their writings. 

What was before said of the doctrine of Christ himself, is 
true of theirs : and as the king's coin is known by his image and 
superscription, or rather, as an inimitable author is known by 
his writings, for matter, method, and style, even so is God's 
Spirit known in them, and in their doctrine. 

Sect. 33. II. Their miraculous gifts and works were so evi- 
dent, and so many, and uncontrolled, as amount to an infallible 
proof that God bare his witness in the world, and showeth the 
most infallible proof of his assertions. 

Sect. 34. Their gifts and miracles were many in kind : as 
their sudden illumination, when the Spirit fell upon them, and 
knowing that which they were ignorant of before ; their pro- 
phesying and speaking in languages never before learned by 
them, and interpreting such prophecies and languages ; their 
dispossessing demoniacs, and healing diseases ; their deliver- 
ances by angels out of closed prisons and fetters ; their inflicting 
judgments on opposers and offenders ; their raising the dead ; 
and the conveying of the same Spirit to others, by the imposi- 
tion of the apostles' hands. 

1. It is not the least testimony of the veracity of the apostles, 
that even while they lived with Jesus Christ, they remained 
ignorant of much of the mystery of the Gospel, and some, that 
are since necessary articles of faith : as of his death and burial, 
and resurrection, and ascension, and much of the spiritual 
nature of his kingdom, and privileges of believers ; and that all 
this was made known to them upon a sudden, without any 
teaching, studying, or common means, by the coining down of 
the Holy Ghost upon them. a And that Christ had promised 
them his Spirit before, to lead them into all truth, and bid 
them wait at Jerusalem till they received it ; and it came upon 
them at the appointed time, on the day of pentecost. And he 

1 2 Peter ii. 16. Eye-witnesses of his majesty on the mount. 
a Acts i. and ii. ; John xiv. 16. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 259 

promised that this Spirit should be sent on others, and become 
his agent, or advocate in the world, to do his work in his bodily 
absence, and bear witness of him. And he told his disciples that 
this Spirit should be better to them than his bodily presence ; 
and therefore it would be for their good that he should go from 
them into heaven. So that Christ's teaching them immediately 
and miraculously, by this sudden giving them his Spirit, is an 
infallible proof both of his truth and theirs. 

2. This prophesying was partly by foretelling things to come, 
as Agabus did the dearth, and Paul's bonds, and partly the expo- 
sition of old prophecies, and partly the spiritual instruction of 
the people by sudden inspirations ; and those that were enabled 
to it, were people, of themselves, unable for such things, and 
ignorant but a little while before. 

3. Their speaking in various languages was a thing which 
no natural means could produce. Fernelius, and many other 
physicians, who were very loth to believe diabolical possessions, 
do confess themselves convinced by hearing the possessed speak 
Greek and Hebrew, which they had never learned. How 
much more convincing is this evidence, when so many speak in 
so many languages, even in the language of all the inhabitants 
of the countries round about them, and this, upon these sudden 
inspirations of the Spirit. 

4. Their interpreting of such tongues also, which they never 
learned, was no less a proof of a supernatural power and attes- 
tation. 

5. Their deliverances are recorded in the Scriptures : Peter, 
(Acts xii.,) and Paul, and Silas, (Acts xvi.,) had their bonds all 
loosed, and the prison doors opened by an angel and a miracle, 
which must be by a power that sufficiently attesteth their verity. 

6. And they inflicted judgments on delinquents by no less a 
power : Ananias and Sapphira, one after the other, were struck 
dead upon the word of Peter, for their hypocrisy and lies : 
Elymas, the sorcerer, was struck blind by Paul, in the presence 
or knowledge of the governor of the country ; and the excom- 
municated were often given up to Satan, to suffer some extra- 
ordinary penalty. 

7. Their healing demoniacs, the lame, the blind, the para- 
lytic, and all manner of diseases, with a word, or by prayer and 
imposition of hands in the name of Christ ; yea, upon the 
conveyance of napkins and cloths from their bodies, is wit- 
nessed in the many texts which I have before cited out of the 

s2 



260 THE REASONS OF 

Acts of the Apostles : and this Christ promised them particu- 
larly beforehand; and it was the occasion of that unction of the 
sick, which some have still continued as a sacrament. 

8. Their raising the dead is also among the before-cited 
passages : so Peter raised Dorcas or Tabitha, (Acts ix.,) and it 
is like, Paul Eutichus. (Acts xx.) 

9. And it is the greatest evidence of all, that the same Spirit 
was given to so many others, by their imposition of hands and 
prayers ; and all these had some of these wonderful gifts, either 
prophecies, tongues, healing, or some such like. 

Sect. 35. 2. These miracles were wrought by multitudes of 
persons, and not only by a few ; even by the apostles and 
seventy disciples, and others on whom they laid their hands, 
which was by the generality or greater part of the Christians. 

If it were but by one or two men that miracles were wrought, 
there would be greater room for doubting the truth ; but when 
it shall be by hundreds and thousands, there can be no difficulty 
in the proof. That the apostles and the seventy disciples 
wrought them in Christ's own time, is declared before ; that 
they wrought them more abundantly after, and that the same 
Spirit was then commonly given to others, I shall now further 
prove, b besides all the histories of it before recited : that upon the 
imposition of the apostles' hands, or baptism, or prayer, the Holy 
Ghost was given, is expressed; (Acts ii. 38 ;) to three thousand 
at once the Holy Ghost was given ; " All the assembly were 
filled with the Holy Ghost ; and with great power gave the 
apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and 
great grace was upon them all." (Acts iv. 31.) The Samari- 
tans received the Holy Ghost upon the prayer of Peter and John ; 
(Acts viii. 15, 17;) so that Simon Magus would fain have bought 
that gift with money. Paul was filled with the Holy Ghost by 
the imposition of Ananias's hands. (Acts ix. 7.) Upon Peter's 
preaching, the Holy Ghost fell on all the family, and kindred, 
and friends of Cornelius, who heard him preach ; and they spake 
with tongues, and magnified God. (Acts x. 44,45, 47.) Even 
in the same manner as it fell on the apostles. (Acts xi. 15.) 
The disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts xiii. 52.) 
Twelve men, upon Paul's imposition of hands, received the Holy 
Ghost, and spake with tongues and prophesied. (Acts xix. 6.) 
The Holy Ghost was given to the Roman Christians. (Rom. v. 
•5.) Yea, he telleth them, if any have not the Spirit of Christ, 

b Matt. xvi. 17; x. 1, 2, and iii. 11 ; Luke x. 1, ]/, 19 ; Acts ii. 1—3. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 261 

the same is none of his. (Rom. viii. 9.) The same was given to 
the church of the Corinthians. (1 Cor. vi. 19, and xii. 12, 13.) 
And to the church of the Galatians. (Gal. iii. 1 — 5.) And 
to the church of the Ephesians. (Eph. i. 13, and iv. 30.) To 
the Philippians. (Phil. i. 19, 27. and ii. 1.) To the Colossians, 
(Col. i. 8.) To the Thessalonians. (1 Thess. v. 19. and i. 6.) 
And what this Spirit was and did, you may find in 1 Cor. xii. 
4, 7, &c. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit 
withal. For, to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, 
to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another 
faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the 
same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another 
prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another divers 
kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But 
all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to 
every man severally as he will : " For by one Spirit we are all 
baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or gentiles, bond 
or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." And 
(in 1 Cor. xiv.) the gift of speaking with tongues was so common 
in the church of the Corinthians, that the apostle is fain to 
give them instructions for the moderate use of it, lest they hin- 
dered the edification of the church, by suppressing prophecy or 
instruction in known tongues. And therefore he persuadeth 
them to use it but more sparingly. 

And James (v. 14, 15,) exhorteth Christians when they were 
sick, to send to the elders of the church, that they may pray for 
them, and anoint them, and they be forgiven and recover : by 
which it seems it was no unusual thing in those times to be 
healed by the prayers of the elders. Yea, the very hypocrites, 
and ungodly persons, that had only the barren profession of 
Christianity, had the gift of miracles, without the grace of sanc- 
tification. And this Christ foretold : " Many shall say in that day, 
Lord have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name cast 
out devils? and done many wonderful works?" (Matt. vii. 22.) 

c Quid soboles, virtusque Dei, et sapientia Christus? 
Nonne satis vanis curas erroribus aufert ? 
Nosque simul monitis et factis edocet uuura 

Cuncta Deum regere, et cum] 

Omnipotens verbo stemit mare, vel pede calcat; 
Et verbo morbos abigit, vel daemonas urget ; 
Aut reduces animas in corpora sancta remittit ; 
Jamque din examines tumulis jubet ire reclusis; 
Integratque putres vita remeante sepultos : 



262 THE REASONS OF 

Object. But all were not healed by them : Paul left Tropbimus 
at Miletum sick. Why cloth not Paul cure Timothy of his weak 
stomach and infirmity, without drinking of wine, if he could 
doit? 

Answ. 1. Certainly, they did not cure all men that were sick, 
for then who would have died. It Was none of the intent of the 
Spirit of Christ, in working miracles, to make men immortal 
here on earth, and to keep them from heaven. 

2. And it is easily confessed, that the Spirit was not at the 
command or will of them that had it : and therefore they could 
not do what and when they pleased, but what the Spirit pleased 
and his operations were at his own time and disposal. And 
this proveth the more fully that it was the testimony of God, and 
not the contrivance of the wit of man. 3. And miracles and 
tongues were not for them that believed, but rather for them 
that believed not : and, therefore, a Trophimus or a Timothy 
might be unhealed. 

Sect. 36. 3. These miracles were oftentimes wrought, even 
for many years together, in several countries and places through 
the world, where the apostles and disciples came : and not only 
once, or for a little space of time. 

Dissimulation might be easier cloaked for a few acts, than it 
can be for so many years. At least, these gifts and miracles 
continued during the age of the apostles, though not performed 
every day, or so commonly as might make them ineffectual, yet 
so frequently as to give success to the Gospel, and to keep up a 
reverence of Christianity in the world. They were wrought not 
only at Jerusalem, but at Samaria, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, 
Philippi, and the rest of the churches through the world. 

Sect. 37. 4. They were also wrought in the presence of 
multitudes, and not only in a corner, where there was more 
possibility of deceit. 

The Holy Ghost fell on the apostles and all the disciples at 
Jerusalem before all the people ; that is, they all heard them 
speak in several tongues, the wonderful works of God ; even 
the Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the inhabitants of 
Mesopotamia, Judaea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pam- 
phylia, Egypt, Lybia, Cyrene, Rome ; Jews, and proselytes, 
Cretes, and Arabians. (Acts ii. 8 — 12.) It was three thousand 

Nonne potestatem propriani satis indicat auctor ? 
Qui solus naturam omnem vitamque gubernat. 

Claudian. Mammert. Carm.post lib. de Anxm, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 263 

that the Holy Ghost fell on. (Acts ii. 38.) Those that went into 
the temple, and all the people, saw the lame man, that was 
cured by Peter and John. (Acts iii.) The death of Ananias and 
Sapphira was a public thing, so that fear fell on all, and hypo- 
crites were deterred from joining with the church. (Acts 5.) 
The gifts of tongues, aud interpretation, were commonly exer- 
cised before congregations or multitudes. And crowds of 
people flocked to them to be healed. As with Christ they un- 
covered the roofs of the houses to lay the sick before him ; so 
with the apostles they strove who might come within their 
shadow, or touch the hem of their garment, or have cloths or 
napkins from them, that they might be healed. So that here 
was an age of public miracles. 

Sect. 38. 5. All these miracles were uncontrolled; that is, 
they were not wrought in opposition to any controlling truth, 
which hath certain evidence contradicting this, nor yet were 
they overtopped by any greater miracles for the contrary. 

A miracle, if God should permit it to be wrought in such a 
case, might be said to be controlled, either of these two ways : 
1. If a man should work miracles to contradict the certain light 
of nature, or persuade men to that which is certainly false : 2. 
If men should do wonders as Jannes and Jambres,the Egyptian 
sorcerers, which should be overtopped by greater wonders, as those 
of Moses, and as Simon Magus, and Elymas by Peter and Paul j 
in these cases God could not be said to deceive men, by his 
power or permission, where he giveth them a sufficient preser- 
vative. But these miracles had no such control, but prevailed 
without any check from contradictory truths or miracles. Thus 
Christ performed his promise. " Verily, verily, I say unto you, 
he that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do 
also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go 
unto the Father/' (John. xiv. 12.) 

Sect. 39. III. The third testimony of the Spirit to the truth 
of the apostles' witness, was the marvellous success of their 
doctrine to the sanctifying of souls, which as it could not be 
done without the power and Spirit of God, so neither would the 
righteous and merciful Governor of the world, have made a com- 
pany of profligate liars and deceivers his instruments of doing 
this excellent work by cheats and falsehoods. 

This I spake of before, as it is the seal of Christ's own doc- 
trine. I now speak of it only as it is the seal of the apostles' 
verity, in their testimony of the resurrection and miracles of 



264 THE REASONS OF 

Christ. Peter converted three thousand at once. Many thou- 
sands and myriads up and down the world were speedily con- 
verted. And what was this conversion ? They were brought 
unfeignedly to love God above all, and their neighbours as them- 
selves. (Acts ii. 42, 46.) They continued stedfastly in the 
apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and 
prayer. And all that believed were together and had all things 
common, (not by levelling, but by loan ;) and sold their posses- 
sions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man 
had need, and did eat their meat with gladness and singleness 
of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. 
(i The multitude of believers were of one heart, and of one 
soul ; neither said any of them that ought of the things that 
he possessed was his own, but they had all things common." 
Acts iv. 32. 

All that are in Christ, have his Spirit, and are spiritually 
minded, and walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
(Rom. viii.) They that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with 
the affections and lusts : the world is crucified to them, and 
they to the world. (Gal. v. 24, and vi. 14.) They are chosen to 
be holy and unblamable in love. (Eph. i. 4.) They walk as 
renewed in the spirit of their minds, with all lowliness and 
meekness, and long-suffering, forbearing one another, endea- 
vouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
(Eph. iv. 23, ii. 3.) As being created unto good works in Christ. 
(Eph. ii. 10.) Without corrupt communication, bitterness, 
wrath, clamour, evil-speaking, fornication, uncleanness, covet- 
ousness, filthiness, foolish talking and jesting. (Eph. iv. 29, and 
v. 3, 4.) Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, 
righteously, and godly, in this present world, as redeemed from 
all iniquity, and purified as a peculiar people to Christ, zealous 
of good works. (Tit. ii. 12, 14.) Having their conversation 
in heaven, from whence they expect their Redeemer to translate 
them into glory. (Phil. iii. 20, 21.) These were the fruits of 
the ministry of the apostles. 

And God was pleased to bless their labours more than any 
others since, and make better, more holy, more heavenly Christians, 
by the means of their endeavours ; that so he might give a fuller 
proof of the truth of their testimony of Christ. 

Sect. 40. It is the great advantage of our faith, that these 
second attestations to the disciples' testimony of the miracles of 
Christ, are much more open, evident, and convincing, to us at 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 265 

this distance, than the miracles of Christ himself; that so there 
might he no place for rational doubting. 

The sorts of their miracles were as numerous as his. Thev 
were wrought by hundreds and thousands, and not by Christ 
alone. They were wrought for an age, and not for three years 
and a half alone. They were wrought in a great part of the 
world, and not in Judea and Galilee alone. They were done in 
the face of abundance of congregations, and not before the Jews 
only : and they succeeded to the conversion and sanctification 
of many thousands more than did the preaching of Christ him- 
self. So that if any thing that is said before, of the confirma- 
tion of Christ's own miracles, had wanted evidence, it is abun- 
dantly made up in the evidence of their miracles who were the 
reporters and witnesses of his. 

Sect. 41.1 have hitherto been showing you, how the mira- 
cles of Christ were proved, attested, and made certainly known 
to the first churches planted by the apostles themselves, viz., by 
the testimony of the Spirit, 1. In their doctrine and lives ; 2. 
In their miracles ; And 3. In their success, in the sanctification 
of men's souls. I am next to show vou how these matters of 
fact, or actions of the apostles, are certainly proved, or brought 
down to us. 

Sect. 42. And this is by the same three ways of proof as the 
apostles proved to the first churches their testimony. Though 
with much difference in the point of miracles ; viz., I. We have 
it by the most credible human testimony ; II. By such testi- 
mony as hath a natural certainty ; III. And by some of that 
testimony of God, which is also a supernatural evidence. Of 
all which I must speak in order, supposing what is said before. 

Sect. 43. I. The only natural way of transmitting those 
things down to us, is by historical conveyance. And the authors 
of this history, are both the churches of Christ, and their 
enemies. The credibility of which testimonies will be more fully 
opened, under the second degree of proofs ; which compre- 
hended this. 

Sect. 44. II. That there is a natural impossibility that our 
history of the apostles' gifts and miracles should be false, will 
appear by reviewing all the particulars by which the same was 
proved of the apostles' testimony of the miracles of Christ : and 
in many respects, with much more advantage. 

Sect. 45. It is naturally impossible that all the reporters 
could be themselves deceived. For, 1. They were many thou- 



266 THE REASONS OF 

sands, in several countries through the world : and, therefore, 
could not be all either mad or senseless. 2. They were men 
that took their salvation to be most nearly concerned in the 
thing, and were to forsake the pleasures of tbe world, and suffer 
from men for their religion. And, therefore, could not be 
utterly careless in examining the thing. 3. They were present 
upon the place, and eye-witnesses, and ear- witnesses of all. 4. 
The languages were said to be spoken in their assemblies, and 
the miracles done among them, for many years, even an age 
together. And it is impossible all countries could be cheated by 
juggling, in matters which their eyes and ears were such com- 
petent witnesses of, for so many years together. 5. They were 
said to be the objects of many of these miracles themselves ; viz., 
That the cures were wrought on many of them ; that the same 
Spirit was given to them all. 6. And they were said to be the 
agents themselves in the several works of that Spirit, according 
to their several gifts. So that their common deceit must be 
impossible. 

If any man should now among us, take on him to speak with 
divers languages, or tell the churches that divers languages are 
spoken among them in their hearing, by unlearned men ; and 
that prophesyings, interpretations, miraculous cures, &c, are 
wrought among them ; and name the persons, time, and place ; 
and should tell them that they had all some sort or other of the 
same gifts themselves ; were it possible for the people to believe 
all this, if it were a lie ? Would they not say, c When did we 
ever hear your languages ? or when did we ever see your cures 
and other miracles ? when did we see an Ananias and Sapphira 
die ? When did we do any such works ourselves ? Do we not 
know what we do ?' Men could not believe such palpable 
untruths in matter of public fact, so near them, among them, 
upon them ; and much less could so many thousands believe 
this, in so many nations, if it were false : because the under- 
standing is not free in itself; but per modum natures is necessi- 
tated by cogent evidence. Absurd doctrines may easily deceive 
many thousands : and so may false history do by men at a suffi- 
cient distance. But he that thinks the ears and eyes and other 
senses of so many thousand sound persons, were all deceived thus 
in presence, will surely never trust his own ears, or eyes, or sense 
in any thing ; nor expect that any man else should ever believe 
him, who so little believeth his own sense and understanding. 

Sect. 46. That the reporters were not purposely the 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 267 

deceivers of the world by wilful falsehood, is also certain by 
these following evidences. 

Sect. 47. I. It was not possible that so many thousands, in 
all countries, should have wit and cunning enough for such a 
contrivance, and could keep it secret among themselves, that it 
should never be detected. 

They that think they were all so stupid as to be themselves 
deceived, cannot also think that they were all so cunning as to 
conspire the deceiving of all the world, so successfully and 
undiscovered. But it is past doubt, that for their naturals, 
they were ordinary persons, neither such mad people as all to 
think they saw, and heard, and did things which were nothing 
so, for so long together ; nor yet so subtile, as to be able to lay 
such a deceiving plot, and carry it on so closely to the end. 
And they that suspect the apostles and first disciples to be the 
authors of the plot, will not suspect all the churches too ; for if 
there were deceivers, there must be some to be deceived bv 
them : if Christ deceived the disciples, then the disciples could 
not be wilful deceivers themselves; for if they were themselves 
deceived, they could not therein be wilful deceivers : and then, 
how came they to confirm their testimony by miracles ? If the 
apostles only were deceivers, then all the disciples and evan- 
gelists who assisted them must be deceived, and not wilful 
deceivers. And then how came they also to do miracles ? If 
all the apostles and disciples of the first edition were wilful 
deceivers, then all the churches through the world which were 
gathered by them, were deceived by them, and then they 
were not wilful deceivers themselves : which is all that I am 
now proving, having proved before that they were not de- 
ceived. 

Sect. 48. II. If they had been cunning enough, it is most 
improbable that so many thousands, in so many nations, should 
be so bad, as to desire and endeavour, at such a rate as this, 
their own temporal and eternal ruin, to deceive all the world 
into a blasphemy, without any benefit to themselves, which 
might be rationally sufficient to seem a tempting compensation 
to them. 

Sect. 49. For all these churches which witnessed the apostles' 
miracles, 1. Did profess to believe lying and deceiving to be a 
heinous sin ; 2. And to believe an everlasting punishment mi- 
liars. 3. They were taught by their religion to expect calamity 
in this world. 4. They had experience enough to confirm them 



268 THE REASONS OF 

in that expectation ; therefore they had no motive which could 
oe sufficient to make them guilty of so costly a deceit. d 

For, 1. Operari sequitur esse- A man will do ill, hut 
according to the measure that he is ill ; and as bad as human 
nature is, it is not yet so much depraved, as that thousands 
through the world could agree, without any commodity to move 
them to it, to ruin their own estates, and lives, and souls for 
ever, merely to make the world believe that other men did 
miracles, and to draw them to believe a known untruth. And, 
2. As free as the will is, it is yet a thing that hath its nature 
and inclination, and cannot act without a cause and object ; 
which must be some apparent good : therefore, when there is 
no good appearing, but wickedness and misery, it cannot will 
it : so that this seemeth inconsistent with human nature. 

Sect. 50. And the certain history of their lives doth show, 
that they were persons extraordinarily good and conscionable ; 
being holy, heavenly, and contemners of this world, and ready 
to suffer for their religion ; and therefore could not be so 
extremely bad, as to ruin themselves only to do mischief to the 
world and their posterity. e 

Sect. 51. And their enemies bare them witness, that they did 
and suffered all this in the hopes of a reward in heaven ; which 
proveth that they were not wilful liars and deceivers ; for no 
man can look for a reward in heaven, for the greatest known 
villany on earth, even for suffering, to cheat all the world into 
a blasphemy. 

Even Lucian scoffeth at the Christians for running into 
sufferings, and hoping to be rewarded for it with a life ever- 
lasting. 

Sect. 52. III. If they had been so cunning, and so bad, yet 
was it impossible that they should be able for the successful 
execution of such a deceit, as will appear by all these following 
evidences. 

Sect. 53. I. It was impossible that so many thousands, at 
such a distance, who never saw each other's faces, could lay the 
plot, in a way of concord ; but one would have been of one 
mind, and another of another. 

Sect. 54. II. It is impossible that they should agree in car- 

d Nemo jam infamiam incutiat ; nemo aliud existimet : quia nee fas est ulli 
de sua religione mentiri. — Tertul. Apol. e. 20. 

e Quid adeo simile philosophus et christiauus ? Graeciaj discipulus et cocli? 
Fame negotiator etvitae ? Verborum etfactorum operator. — Tertul. Jpol.c, 46. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 269 

rying it on, and keeping it secret through all the world, if they 
had accorded in the first contrivance and attempts. 

Sect. 55. III. It is impossible that all the thousands of ad- 
versaries among them, who were eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses 
as well as they, should not discover the deceit. 

All those Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and other countrymen 
mentioned, (Acts ii.,) were not Christians ; and the Christians, 
though many, were but a small part of the cities and countries 
where they dwelt : and Paul saith, that tongues and miracles 
were for the sake of unbelievers, and unbelievers were ordi- 
narily admitted into the christian assemblies, and the Christians 
went among them to preach, and most of the miracles were 
wrought in their sight and hearing. 

Sect. 56. IV. It is impossible that the falling-out of Christians 
among themselves, among so many thousands in several nations, 
should never have detected the deceit, if they had been all such 
deceivers. 

Sect. 57. V. It is impossible but some of the multitudes of 
the perverted, exasperated, separating, or excommunicated 
heretics, which were then in most countries where there were 
Christians, and opposed the orthodox, and were opposed by 
them, should have detected this deceit, if it had been such. 

Sect. 5S. VI. It is impossible but some of the apostates of 
those times, who are supposed to have joined in the deceit, 
would have detected it to the world, when they fell off from 
Christianity. 

Sect. 59. VII. It is scarcely possible among so many thousands 
in several lands, that none of their own consciences, living or 
dying, should be constrained, in remorse and terror, to detect so 
great an evil to the world. 

Sect. 60. VIII. Much more impossible is it, that, under the 
conscience of such a villany, they should live, and suffer, and 
die rejoicingly, and think it a happy exchange to forsake life 
and all, for the hopes of a reward in heaven for this very 
thing. 

Sect. 61. IX. Lastly, it is impossible that these thousands of 
Christians should be able to deceive many more than themselves, 
into the belief of the same untruths, in the very time and place 
where the things were said to be done, and where the detection 
of the deceit had been easy, yea, unavoidable. 

Christianity was then upon the increase • they that were 
converted, did convert more than themselves. Suppose in 



270 THE REASONS OF 

Jerusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, &c, some thousands 
believed by the preaching of the apostles, in a few years, at the 
first ; in a few years more, there were as many more added. 
Now, supposing all this had been but a cheat, if the Christians 
had told their neighbours; — among us, unlearned men speak in 
the languages of all countries ; they cast out devils ; they cure 
all diseases with prayer and anointing ; they prophesy, and 
interpret tongues ; they do many other miracles; and the same 
Spirit is given to others by their imposition of hands ; and all 
this }n the name and by the power of Jesus ; — would not their 
neighbours easily know whether this were true or not ? And if 
it were false, would they not hate such deceivers, and make 
them a common scorn, instead of being converted by them ? 

Sect. 26. The aforesaid impossibilities are herein founded : 
1. There is no effect without a sufficient cause : 2. A necessary 
cause, not sufficiently hindered, will bring forth its answerable 
effect. But the opposed supposition maketh effects without 
any sufficient cause, and necessary causes without their adequate 
effects. 

Sect. 63. The providence of God permitted dissensions and 
heresies to arise among Christians, and rivals, and false teachers 
to raise hard reports of the apostles, and the people to be some- 
what alienated from them, that the apostles might by challenges 
appeal to miracles, and future ages might be convinced that the 
matter of fact could not be contradicted. 

The Romans had contentions among themselves ; the strong 
and the weak contemning or condemning one another about 
meats and days. (Rom. xiv. 15.) The Corinthians were divided 
into factions, and exasperated against Paul by false apostles ; 
so that he is fain at large to vindicate his ministry ; and he doth 
it partly by appealing both to miracles and works of power 
wrought among them, and by the Spirit given to themselves. 
(2 Cor. xii. 12, and xiii. 3 — 5; and 1 Cor. xii. 7, 12, 13.) 
The Galatians were more alienated from Paul by Jewish teachers, 
and seemed to take him as an enemy for telling them the truth, 
and he feared that he had bestowed on them labour in vain ; 
and in this case he vehemently rebuketh them, and appealeth first 
to miracles wrought among them, and before their eyes, and 
next to the Spirit given to themselves : — " O foolish Galatians, 
who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, 
before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth 
crucified among you ? This only would I learn of you; Received 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 271 

ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 
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?' (Gal. iii. 1 — 5.) Now, if no such 
miracles were wrought among them, and if no such Spirit was 
received by themselves, would this argument have silenced 
adversaries, and reconciled the minds of the Galatians ? or rather 
have made them deride the cause that must have such a defence, 
and say, ' Who be they that work miracles among us, and 
when did we receive such a Spirit ? ' So, to the Romans, 
this is Paul's testimonial : " For I will not dare speak of any of 
those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the 
gentiles obedient by word and deed, through mighty signs and 
wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God," &c. (Rom. xv. 
18, 19.) And to the Corinthians he saith, " I thank my 
God, 1 speak with tongues more than you all." (I Cor. xiv. IS.) 
So, " Tongues are for a sign to them that believe not." (Gal, 
ii. 8; 1 Cor. xiv. 22.) So, (Acts ii. 43, iv. 30, v. 12, 
vii. 36, viii. 13, xiv. 3, vi. 8, viii. 6, 13, xv. 12, and 
xix. 11, 1 Cor. xii. 10.) miracles are still made the confirma- 
tion of the apostles' testimony and doctrine. 

And in Heb. ii. 3, 4, you have the just method of the proof 
and progress of Christianity; which at the first began to be 
spoken by the Lord, (but how is that known?), and was con- 
firmed to us by them that heard him. (But how shall we know 
that they said truth ?) God also bearing them witness with signs 
and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, according to his own will. 

" And with great power gave the apostles witness of the 
resurrection of the Lord Jesus." (Acts iv. 33.) "That which 
was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have 
seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands 
have handled of the word of life, for the life was manifested, 
and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that 
eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto 
us ; that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, 
that ye also may have fellowship with us," &c. (1 John i. 
1-3.) 

Sect. 64. III. The miracles of the apostles are not only 
attested by the churches which were eye-witnesses of them ; 
1. By the way of most credible human testimony ; 2. And by 
natural evidence of infallible certainty; But also, 3. By super- 



272 THE REASONS OF 

natural testimony of God himself, as appeareth in these follow- 
ing evidences. 

Sect. 65. I. Many miracles were wrought by those first 
churches, who were the witnesses of the apostles' miracles, which 
is a divine attestation to their testimony. 

1 . The Scriptures forecited tell us, that the same Holy Ghost 
was given to them all, though all had not the same gifts ; and 
that tongues, and healing, and miracles were the gifts of many 
though not of all. Which, as I have showed, they could not 
themselves have believed of themselves, if it had not been true. 
Yea, sufficient historical testimony telleth us, that for three or 
four hundred years, at least till Constantine owned and pro- 
tected Christianity by secular power, miracles were wrought in 
confirmation of the christian faith. It hath been the devil's 
craft to seek to destroy the credit of them, partly by hypocrites, 
who have counterfeited miracles ; and partly by lying legends of 
the carnal, proud, domineering part of the church, who have told 
the world so many palpable lies, that they seemed to do it in 
design, to persuade them to believe nothing that is true. But 
yet all wise men will know the difference between history credi- 
ble and incredible. The many testimonies of the miracles of 
Gregory Thaumaturgus, and many others, mentioned by Euse- 
bius, and almost all other christian writers of those times, and 
those mentioned byAugustine/DeCivitate Dei, (lib. xxii. cap. 8.') 
and ' Retract, (lib. i. cap. 13. et passim ;') and by Cyprian, Ter- 
tullian, and many more ; will not be thought incredible by im- 
partial, considering men. 

Sect. 66. II. The eminent sanctity of the pastors of the 
churches, with the success of their testimony and doctrine, for 
the true sanctification of many thousand souls, is God's own at- 
testation to their testimony and doctrine. 

How far the sanctifying, renewing success of the doctrine, is a 
divine attestation to its verity, I have before opened. And how 
far God owneth even the truths of philosophy, by blessing them 
with an adequate proportionable success. The defective partial 
truths of philosophy, produce a defective partial reformation ; 
how far God accepteth it, belongeth not to my present business 
to determine. The more full and integral discovery of God's 
will, by Jesus Christ, doth produce a more full and integral re- 
novation. And, 1. The cause is known by the effect. 2. And 
God will not, as is before said, bless a lie to do the most excellent 
work in all the world. Now, it is a thing most evident, that 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 273 

God hath still blessed the ministry of the christian pastors in all 
ages, to the renewing of many thousand souls. That this is 
truly so, I shall somewhat more fully show anon. But that it is 
God's own attestation, I have showed before. 

Sect. 67. I have opened the validity of the apostles' testi- 
mony of the resurrection and miracles of Christ, and the first 
churches' certain testimony of the miracles of the apostles ; 
both of them having a threefold certainty, moral, natural, and 
supernatural : in all which I have supposed, that such a testi- 
mony the churches have indeed given down to their posterity ; 
which is the thing that remaineth lastly to be here proved. 

Sect. 6S. The doctrine and miracles of Christ and his apos- 
tles have been delivered us down from the first churches, by all 
these following ways of history : 1. By delivering to us the same 
writings of the apostles and evangelists which they received from 
their hands themselves, as certain truth, and delivered down as 
such to us ; even the holy Scriptures of the New Testament. 
They that believed their words, believed their writings, and 
have told us their belief, by preserving them for posterity as 
sacred verities. 

In the holy Scriptures, the life, and death, and doctrine of 
Christ is contained ; with the doctrine of the apostles, and so 
much of the history of their preaching and miracles, as Luke 
was an eye-witness of, or had certain knowledge of, (who was 
commonly Paul's companion,) by which we may partly judge of 
the acts of the rest of the apostles. And if the churches had 
not believed all these, they would not have delivered them as 
the infallible writings of the inspired apostles to their posterity. 
Sect. 69. II. The very successive being of Christians and 
churches, is the fullest history that they believed those things 
which made them Christians and churches, which was the doc- 
trines and miracles of Christ. 

A Christian is nothing else but one that receiveth the doctrine, 
resurrection, and miracles of Christ, as certain truth, by the 
preaching and miracles of his great witnesses, the apostles : so 
many Christians as there ever were, so many believers of these 
things there have been. It was this doctrine and miracles that 
made them Christians, and planted these churches : and if any 
man think it questionable, whether there have been Christians 
ever since Christ's time, in the world, all history will satisfy 
him, Roman, Mahometan, Jewish, and Christian, without any 
one dissenting voice. Pliny, Suetonius, Tacitus, Marcellinus, 

VOL. XXI. T 



274 THE REASONS OF 

Eunapius, Lucian, and Porphyry, and Julian, and all such ene- 
mies may convince him : he shall read the history of their suf- 
ferings, which will tell him, that certainly such a sort of persons 
there was then in the world. 

Sect. 70. The succession of pastors and preachers in all ge- 
nerations, is another proof : for it was their office to read pub- 
licly, and preach this same Scripture to the church and world, 
as the truth of God. 

I speak not of a succession of pastors in this one city or that, 
or by this or that particular way of ordination, having nothing 
here to do with that : but that a certain succession there hath 
been since the days of the apostles, is past question : for, 
1. Else there had been no particular churches ; 2. Nor any bap- 
tism ; 3. Nor any public worship of God ; 4. Nor any synods, 
or discipline : but this is not denied. 

Sect. 71. IV. The continuance of baptism, which is the 
kernel or sum of all Christianity, proveth the continuance of 
the christian faith. For all Christians in baptism, were baptised 
into the vowed belief and obedience of the Son and Holy Ghost, 
as well as of the Father. 

Sect. 72. V. The delivering down of the three breviate sym- 
bols, of fajth, desire, and duty, — the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and 
Decalogue, — is the churches' delivery of the christian religion, 
as that which all Christians have believed. 

Sect. 73. VI. The constant communion of the church in 
solemn assemblies, and setting apart the Lord's-day to that use, 
was a delivery of the christian faith, which those assemblies all 
professed to believe. 

Sect. 74. VII. The constant preaching and reading of the same 
Scriptures in those assemblies, and celebrating there the sacra- 
ment of Christ's death, and the custom of openly professing 
their belief, and the prayers and praises of God, for the resur- 
rection and miracles of Christ, are all open, undeniable testi- 
monies that these things were believed by those churches. 

Sect. 75. VIII. The frequent disputes which Christians in all 
ages have held with the adversaries of the Scriptures and Christ- 
ianity, do show that they believed all these Scriptures, and the 
doctrines and miracles therein contained. 

Sect. 76. IX. The writings of the Christians in all ages, their 
apologies, commentaries, histories, devotional treatises, all 
bear the same testimony, that we have these things by their 
tradition. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 275 

Sect. 77. X. The confessions, sufferings, and martyrdom 
of many in most ages, do bear the same testimony, that they 
believed this, for which they suffered ; and that posterity re- 
ceived it from them. 

Sect. 78. XL The decrees and canons of the synods or coun- 
cils of the bishops of the churches, are another part of the his- 
tory of the same belief. 

Sect. 79. XII. Lastly, the decrees and laws of princes concern- 
ing them, are another part of the history • showing that they 
did believe these things. 

Sect. 80. And if any question whether our Scriptures which 
contain these histories and doctrines be indeed the same which 
these churches received and delivered from the apostles, he may 
easily be convinced, as followeth. 

Sect. 81. I. Various copies of it in the Hebrew and Greek 
text, were very quickly scattered about the world, and are yet 
found in all nations agreeing in all material passages. 

Sect. 82. II. These Scriptures were translated into many lan- 
guages, of which there are yet extant, the Syriac, Arabic, Ethi- 
opic, Persian, &c, which agree in all material things. 

Sect. 83. III. It was the stated office of the ministers in all 
the churches in the world, to read these Scriptures openly to 
the people, and preach on them in all their solemn assemblies : 
and a thing so publicly maintained and used, could not possibly 
be altered materially. 

Sect. 84. IV. All private Christians were exhorted to read 
and use the same Scriptures also, in their families, and in secret. 

Sect. 85. V. This being through so many nations of the world, 
it was not possible that they could all agree upon a corruption 
of the Scriptures : nor is there mention in any history of any 
attempt of any such agreement. 

Sect. 86. VI. If they would have met together for that end, 
they could not possibly have all consented ; because they were 
of so many minds, and parties, and inclinations. 

Sect. 87. VII. Especially when all Christians by their religion, 
take it to be matter of damnation, to add to, or diminish from, 
these sacred writings, as being the inspired word of God. 

Sect. 88. VIIL And every Christian took it for the rule of his 
faith, and the charter for his heavenly inheritance ; and there- 
fore would certainly have had his action against the corrupters 
of it. 

t2 



276 THE REASONS OF 

As the laws of this land, being recorded, and having lawyers 
and judges, whose calling is continually to use them, and men 
holding their estates and safety by them, if any would alter them, 
all the rest would quickly detect it, and make head against 
him. 

Sect. 89. IX. Yea, the many sects and contentions among 
Christians, and the many heretics that were at enmity with 
them, would certainly have detected any combination to cor- 
rupt the Scriptures. 

Sect. 90. X. Some few heretics in the beginning did attempt 
to bring in the Gospel of Nicodemus, and some other forged 
writings, and to have corrupted some parts of Scripture ; and 
the churches presently cried them down. 

Sect. 91. XI. Most heretics have pleaded these same Scrip- 
tures : and denied them not to be genuine : yea, Julian, Celsus, 
Porphyry, and other heathens, did not deny it, but took it as a 
certain truth. 

Sect. 92. XII. The ancient writers of the church, Clemens, 
Ignatius, Justin, Irenseus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Amobius, Athen- 
agoras, Lactantius, Eusebius, Nazianzen, Nyssen, Basil, Chrysos- 
tom, Epiphanius, Hierom, Augustin, &c, do all cite these Scrip- 
tures as we now have them in all things material. 

Sect. 93. XIII. The christian emperors have inserted the 
mention of some passages in their laws, in the same words as 
they are in our Bibles. 

Sect. 94. XIV. Several councils have not only cited several 
passages out of them, but pleaded them still as the word of 
God, and enumerated the particular books which constitute the 
whole system. 

All this set together, will tell any man of reason, considera- 
tion, and impartiality, that we have much fuller certainty that 
these Scriptures are the same which the first churches received 
from the apostles, than they can have that Virgil's, Ovid's, 
Cicero's, or Plutarch's works are theirs ; or that the statutes of 
this land are current. Yea, were it not lest I be too tedious, I 
might distinctly show you the forementioned, threefold certainty 
of all this. 1. A moral certainty of the strongest human faith ; 
2. A natural certainty, grounded upon physical impossibilities of 
the contrary ; 3. And somewhat of a divine, supernatural at- 
testation, by the continued blessing of God on the Scriptures, 
for the sanctifying of souls in every age. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 277 

And this bringeth me up to the last part of this chapter. I 
have all this while been showing how the three first parts of the 
Spirit's witness to Christ, are made known to us, viz. prophecy, 
the holiness of the doctrine, and miracles. I come now in a 
word to the fourth . 

Sect. 95. IV. How may we certainly know the fourth part of 
the Spirit's witness to Christ, viz. the success of his doctrine 
in the regeneration of his disciples, and the actual saving them 
from their sins ? f 

Answ. I shall answer this, 1 . As to the times past ; And, 2. 
As to the present age. 

Sect. 96". I. What men have been in times past, we have 
but these three ways to know : 1. By the history of those ages : 
2. By their remaining works : 3. By their successors, in whom 
their belief and qualities are continued. And, 1. That there 
have been holy persons in all ages, yea, that all true Christians 
were such, we have as good testimony as history can afford ; 
whether you will judge of them by their profession, life, or 
sufferings. 2. Their remaining works are very great testimo- 
nies what a spirit of holiness, charity, and justice, doth breathe 
in the writings of those holy men, which are come to our hands. 
Clemens Romanus, Ignatius, Cyprian, Ephrem Syrus, Macarius, 
Augustin, Gregory Nazianzen, Gr. Nyssen, Basil, Ambrose, 
Chrysostom, Salvian, Cassianus, Bernard, &c. 3. Those that 
succeed them at this clay in the serious profession of Christianity, 
are a living history of the virtues of their ancestors. 

Sect. 97. II. Of the sanctity of the Christians of this present 
age, there is a double knowledge to be had : 1. By them that 
are regenerate themselves ; 2. By them that are not : between 
these ways of knowledge the difference must be great. 

Sect. 98. I. As he that hath learning, or love to his parents, 
or loyalty to his king, or faithfulness to his friend, may know 
that he hath it ; so may he that is renewed by the Spirit of God, 
and hath a predominant love to God, a heavenly mind and con- 
versation, a hatred of sin, and delight in holiness, a love to all 
men, even his enemies ; a contempt of the world ; a mastery 
over his fleshly appetite, sense, and lusts ; a holy government of 
his passions, thoughts, and tongue ; with a longing desire to be 

f Matt. i. 21. He shall save his peo le from their sin«. Vide quae de 
nomine Jesu habet Beda in Luc. ii. (I. 1. c. 7. fol. 02. p. 2.) de nuiuero 888 in 
Uteris numeralibus 'bjo-as incluso. 



278 THE REASONS OF 

perfect in all this, and a supporting hope to see God's glory, 
and enjoy him in the delights of love and praise, for evermore. 8 

Sect. 99. This evidence of the spirit of sanctification in our- 
selves, is not the reason or motive of our first faith, but of our 
confirmation, and fuller assurance in believing afterwards : for 
a man must in some sort believe in Christ, before he can know 
that he is sanctified by him. 

The rest of the motives are sufficient to begin the work of 
faith j and are the means which God ordinarily useth to that 
end. 

Sect. 1 00. It is Christ's appointed method, that by learning 
of him, and using his appointed means, men be brought up to 
such a degree of holiness, as to be able to discern this witness 
in themselves, and thence to grow up to full assurance of faith 
and hope ', therefore, if any one that hath heard the Gospel, 
do want this inward assuring testimony, it is because they have 
been false to the truth and means before revealed to them. 

He that will but inquire into the Gospel, and receive it and 
obey it so far as he hath reason to do it, and not be false to his 
own reason and interest, shall receive that renewing, sanctifying 
Spirit, which will be an abiding witness in himself. But if he 
will reject known truth, and refuse known duty, and neglect the 
most reasonable means that are proposed to him, he must blame 
himself if he continue in unbelief, and want that evidence which 
others have. Suppose, that in a common plague, one physician 
should be famed to be the only and infallible curer of all that take 
his remedies ; and suppose many defame him, and say, ' He is but 
a deceiver/ and others tell you, ' He hath cured us, and many 
thousands, and we can easily convince you, that his remedies 
have nothing in them that is hurtful, and therefore you may 
safely try them, especially having no other help :' he that will 
so far believe in him, and trust him now, as to try his remedies, 

£ Sicut ars in eo qui nactus est illam, ita gratia Spiritus in eo qui recepit, 
semper quidem praesens, at nou perpetuo operans est. — Basil, de Spir. sand. 
Animae affiatae ac illustratae Spiritu, fiunt et ipsa? spirituales; et in alios 
graiiam emittunt : Line futurorum prascientia, arcanorum intelligentia, 
occultorum coinpreliensio, donorum distributiones, ccelestis conversatio, cum 
Angelis chorea ; hinc gaudium nunquam fiuieudum, bine in Deo perseveran- 
tia, et cum Deo similitudo, et quo nihil sublimius expeti potest, hinc est ut 
divinus fias. — Basil. Ibid. Hoc itaque prodest in Deum credere, recta fide, 
Deum colere, Deum nosse, ut et bene vivendi ab illo sit nobis auxilium ; et si 
peccaverimus, indulgentiam mereaniur ; non in factis quae odit, securi perse- 
verautes,&c. — August, de Fid. et Operib. c. 21. p. 34. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 279 

may live ; but he that will not, must blame none but himself if 
he die of his disease. He that trieth, shall know by his cure and 
experience, that his physician is no deceiver : and he that will 
not, and yet complaineth that he wanteth that experimental 
knowledge, doth but talk like a peevish self-destroyer. 

Sect. 101. If. He that yet hath not the evidence of the 
spirit of regeneration in himself, may yet be convinced that it is 
in others ; and thereby may know that Christ is indeed the 
Saviour of the world, and no deceiver. 

Even as in the aforesaid instance, he that never tried the 
physician himself, yet if he see thousands cured by him, may 
know by that that he is not a deceiver } and so may be per- 
suaded to trust and trv him himself. 

4 

Sect. 1 02. The way to know that others are thus regenerated, 
is, I. By believing them fide liumana; 2. By discerning it in 
the effects. h 

And though it be too frequent to have presumptuous, self- 
conceited persons, to affirm that the Spirit of Christ hath 
renewed them, when it is no such matter, yet all human testi- 
mony of matters so near men, even within them, is not, there- 
fore, incredible; but wise men will discern a credible person 
from an incredible. In the fore-mentioned instance, many mav 
tell you, that they are cured by the physician, when it is not so j 
but will you therefore believe no one that telleth you that he is 
cured ? Many may boast of that learning which they have not, 
and tell you, that they have knowledge in mathematics, or in 
several arts ; but is no man therefore to be believed, that saith 
the same ? 

But yet I persuade no man here to take up with the bare 
belief of another man's word, where he seeth not enough in the 
effects to second it, and to persuade a reasonable man that it is 
true. But, as he that heareth a man that was sick profess that 
he is cured, may well believe him, if he see" him eat, and drink, 
and sleep, and labour, and laugh, as the healthful used to do ; 
so he that heareth a sober man profess with humble thanks to 
God that he hath changed and renewed him by his Spirit, 
may well believe him, if he see him live like a renewed man. 

Sect. 103. Though you cannot be infallibly certain of the 

h Non in meditatione sermonis et structura verborum, sed in rebus opere 
declaraudis, tanquam doctrina viva, professio no&tra posita est. — Athenagor. 
Apol. B. P. p. 78. Yet there he complaineth that they were accused of the 
most odious villanies, without all show of cause. 



280 THE REASONS OF 

sincerity of any one individual person but yourself, because we 
know not the heart j yet may you be certain that all do not 
dissemble. 

Because there is a natural impossibility that interests, and 
motives, and sufficient causes should concur to lead them to it : 
as I said before, we are not certain of any individual woman, 
that she doth not dissemble love to her husband and children ; 
but we may be certain that all the women in the world do not, 
from many natural proofs which might be given. 

Sect. 104. All these effects of renovation may be discerned 
in others. 1. You may discern that they are much grieved for 
their former sins. 2. That they are weary of the remnant of 
their corruption or infirmity. 3. That they long and labour to 
be delivered, and to have their cure perfected, and live in the 
diligent use of means to that end. 4. That they live in no sin, 
but smaller human frailties. 5. That all the riches in the world 
would not hire them deliberately and wilfully to sin, but they will 
rather choose to suffer what man can lay upon them. 6. That 
they are vile in their own eyes, because of their remaining im- 
perfections. 7. That they do no wrong or injustice to any ; 
or if they do wrong any, they are ready to confess it, and make 
them satisfaction. 8. That they love all good men with a love 
of complacency, and all bad men with a love of benevolence, 
yea, even their enemies ; and instead of revenge, are ready to 
forgive, and to do what good they can for them and all men : 
and that they hate bad men in opposition to complacency, but 
as they hate themselves for their sins. 9. That they love all 
doctrines, persons, and practices, which are holy, temperate, 
just, and charitable. 10. That their passions at least are so far 
governed, that they do not carry them to swear, curse, or rail, 
or slander, or fight, or to do evil. 1 1 . That their tongues are 
used to speak with reverence of holy and righteous things, and 
not to filthy ribald, railing, lying, or other wicked speech. 12. 
That they suffer not their lusts to carry them to fornication, nor 
their appetites to drunkenness or notable excess. 13. That 
nothing below God himself is the principal object of their 
devotion ; but to know him, to love him, to serve and please 
him, and to delight in these, is the greatest care, and desire, 
and endeavour of their souls. 14. That their chief hopes 
are of heaven, and of everlasting happiness with God, in the 
perfection of this sight and love. 15. That the ruling motives 
are fetched from God, and the life to come, which most com- 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 281 

mand their choice, their comforts, and their lives. 16. That in 
comparison with this, all worldly riches, honours, and dignities, 
are sordid, contemptible things in their esteem. 17. That for 
the hope of this, they are much supported with patience under 
all sufferings in the way. IS. That they value and use the 
things of this world, in their callings and labours, in subservi- 
ency to God and heaven, as a means to its proper end. 19. 
That they use their relations in the same subserviency ; ruling 
chiefly for God, if they be superiors, and obeying chiefly for 
God, if they be inferiors, and that with fidelity, submission, and 
patience, so far as they can know his will. 20. That their 
care and daily business in the world is, by diligently redeeming 
precious time, in getting and doing what good they can, to make 
ready for death, and judgment, to secure their everlasting hap- 
piness, and to please their God. ' 

Sect. 105. All this may be discerned in others, with so great 
probability of their sincerity, that no charitable reason shall 
have cause to question it. And 1 repeat my testimony, that 
here is not a word which I have not faithfully copied out of my 
own heart and experience ; and that I have been acquainted 
with multitudes, who, I verily believe, were much better than 
myself, and had a greater measure of all this grace. 

Sect. 106. If any shall say, that men superstitiously appoint 
themselves unnecessary tasks, and forbid themselves many lawful 
things, and then call this by the name of holiness : 1 answer, 
that many indeed do so, but it is no such that I am speaking 
of: let reason judge, whether in this or any of the foregoing 
descriptions of holiness, there be any such thing at all con- 
tained. 

Sect. 107- He that will be able to discern this Spirit of God 
in others, must necessarilv observe these reasonable conditions : 
1. Choose not those that are notoriously no Christians, to judge 
of Christianity by — a drunkard, fornicator, voluptuous, carnal, 
worldly, proud, or selfish person, calling himself a Christian, is 
certainly but a hypocrite ; and shall Christianity be judged of by 
a lying hypocrite ? 2. As you must choose such to try by, as are 

1 Spiritus sanclus conceditur ad usum, ad iniraculum, ad salutem, ad auxi- 
lium, ad solatium, ad fervorem. Ad usum vitae, bonis et malis communia 
bona tribuens : ad miraculum in signis et prodigiis. Ad salutem, cum toto 
corde revertitur ad Deum. Ad auxilium cum in omni colluctatione adjuvat 
innrmitatem nostram : ad solatium cum testimonium perhibet spiritui nostro, 
quod filii Dei sumus : ad fervorem, cum in cordibus perfectoruni vehemeutius 
spiralis validum ignem charitatis accendit. — Bern. Serm. 15. Penticost. 



282 IHE REASONS OF 

truly serious in their religion, so you must be intimate and 

familiar with them, and not strangers, that see them as afar off, 

for they make no vain ostentation of their pietv. And how can 

they discern the divine motions of their souls, that only see 

them in common conversation ? 3. You must not judge of 

them by the reyilings of ignorant, ungodly men : 4. Nor by the 

reproach of selfish men, that are moved only by some interest 

of their own : 5. Nor by the words of faction, civil or religious, 

which judgeth of all men according to the interest of their sect, 

or cause and party : 6. Nor by your own partial interest, which 

will make you judge of men, not as they are indeed; and 

towards God, but as they either answer or cross your interests 

and desires : 1 . Nor must you judge of all by some that prove 

hypocrites, who once seemed sincere : 8. Nor must you judge 

of a man by some particular fall or failing, which is contrary to 

the bent of his heart and life, and is his greatest sorrow : 9. Nor 

must you come with a forestalled and malicious mind, hating 

that holiness yourself which you inquire after ; for malice is 

blind, and a constant false interpreter, and a slanderer. 10. You 

must know what holiness and honesty is, before you can well 

judge of them. 

These conditions are all so reasonable and just, that he that 
liveth among religious, honest men, and will stand at a distance, 
unacquainted with their lives, and maliciously revile them, upon 
the seduction of false reports, or of interest, either his own in- 
terest, or the interest of a faction, and will say, ' I see no such 
honest and renewed persons, but a company of self-conceited 
hypocrites :' this man's confirmed infidelity and damnation, is 
the just punishment of his wilful blindness, partiality, and 
malice, which made him false to God, to truth, and to his own 
soul. 

Sect. 10S. It is not some, but all true Christians, that ever 
were, or are in the world, who have within them this witness or 
evidence of the spirit of regeneration. 1 ^" 

As I have before said, Christ will own no others : " If any 
man have not the spirit of Christ, the same is none of his. If 
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature : old things are passed 
awav, behold all things are become new. He that forsaketh not 
all that he hath, cannot be my disciple." (Rom.viii. 4 — 9; 
2 Cor. v. 17 ; Luke xiv. 26, 33). " They that are Christ's, have 

k Inseperabilis est bona vita 5. fide qua? per dilectionem operatur, imb vero 
ea ipsa est bona vita. — Aug, de Fid, et Oper. c.23. 









THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 283 

crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts." (Gal. v. 24). 
Indeed the church visible, which is but the congregate societies 
of professed Christians, hath many in it that have none of this 
spirit or grace ; but such are only Christians equivocally, and 
not in the primary, proper sense: "There are three that bear 
record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, 
and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness 
on earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood ; and these 
three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness 
of God is greater : for this is the witness of God, which he hath 
testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God, hath 
the witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made 
him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of 
his Son." (Uohnv.7— 10.) 

Sect. 109. The more any one is a Christian in degree, the 
more he hath of this witness of the sanctifying Spirit in himself, 
and the more holy he is. 

Sect. 110. The nearer any philosopher or others are like to 
Christians, the nearer they come to this renewed image of God. 1 

Sect. 111. As this image of God, the holiness of the soul, is 
the very end and work of a true Saviour, so the true effecting of 
it on all true Christians, is actually their begun salvation ; and 
therefore the standing, infallible witness of Christ, which should 
confound unbelief in all that are indeed his own. 

This, which I spake of in the foregoing chapter, is a testi- 
mony in every holy soul, which the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against." 1 He that undertaketh to cure all of the plague, or 
stone, or gout, or fever, that will take his medicines, and be 
ruled by him, is certainly no deceiver, if he do that which he 
undertaketh. He that undertaketh to teach all men arithmetic, 
geometry, astronomy, music, &c, who will come and learn of 
him, is certainly no deceiver if he do it. What is it that Jesus 
Christ hath undertaken? think of that, and then tell me whether 
he be a deceiver. He never undertook to make his disciples 
kings, or lords, or rich, or honourable in the world; nor 
vet to make them the best logicians, orators, astronomers, 
mathematicians, physicians, musicians, &c, but to make them 
the best men : to renew them to the love of God in holiness, and 
thereby to save them from their sins, and give them repentance 

1 See what I cited before of Socrates and his converts. 
m Nulla in discendo mora est, ubi spiritus sauctus doctor adest. — Beda in 
Luc. 



284 THE REASONS OF 

unto life. Nor hath he promised this to all that are baptised 
or called Christians, but only to those that sincerely consent to 
learn of him, and take his counsel, and use the remedies which 
he prescribeth them. And is it not certain 1 that Christ doth 
truly perform this undertaking ? How, then, can he be a de- 
ceiver, who doth perform all that he undertaketh ? Of this all 
true Christians have a just demonstration in themselves, which 
is his witness." 

Object. But Christ undertaketh more than this, even to bring 
us to everlasting blessedness in heaven. 

Answ. It is our comfort that he doth so. But methinks it is 
easy to believe him in that, if he perform the rest. For, 1. I 
have proved in the first part of this book, that by the light of 
nature, a future life of retribution must be expected, and that 
man is made for a future happiness. 2. And who then should 
have that happiness, but the holy and renewed souls ? Doth 
not natural reason tell you, that so good a God will show his love 
to those that are good, that is, to those that love him ? 3. And 
what think you is to be done to bring any man to heaven, but to 
pardon him, and make him holy? 4. And the nature of the 
work doth greatly help our faith. For this holiness is nothing 
but the beginning of that happiness. 

When we find that Christ hath by his Spirit begun to make 
us know God, and love him, and delight in him, and praise him ; 
it is the easier to make us believe that he will perfect it. He 
that promiseth to convey me safely to the antipodes, may 
easily be believed, when he hath brought me past the greatest 
difficulties of the voyage. He that will teach me to sing arti- 
ficially, hath merited credit when he hath taught me the gra- 
dual tones, the scale of music, the sol-fa-ing, the clefs, the 
quantity, the moods, the rules of time, &c. He that causeth 
me to love God on earth, may be believed if he promise me that 
I shall love him more in heaven. And he that causeth me to 
desire heaven above earth, before I see it, may be believed when 
he promiseth, that it shall be my great delight when I am there. 
It is God's work to love them that love him, and to reward the 
obedient ; and I must needs believe that God will do his work, 

n Spiritus Paracletus dat pignus salutis, robur vitae, scientiae lumen. Pignus 
salutis, ut ipse reddat testimonium spiritui tuo quod filius Dei sis : robur vita?, 
ut quod per naturam tibi est impossibile, per gratiam ejus non solum possibile 
sed facile fiat : lumen scientiae, ut cum omnia bene feceris, te servum in- 
utilem putes ; et quicquid boni in te inveneris, illi tribuas, a quo omne bonum 
est. — Bern. Serm. 2. Pentecost. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 285 

and will never fail the just expectations of any creature. All 
my doubt is whether I shall do my part, and whether I shall be 
a prepared subject for that felicity. And he that resolveth this, 
resolveth all : he that will make me fit for heaven, hath over- 
come the greatest difficulty of my belief, and I should the more 
easily believe that he will do the rest, and that I shall surely 
come to heaven when I am fit for it. 

Object. But Christ doth not only undertake to regenerate 
and to save us, but also to justify us, and this by a strange way, 
by his sacrifice and merits. 

Answ. The greater is his wisdom and goodness, as made 
known to us. I am sure an unpardoned, unrighteous person is 
incapable of felicity in that state ; and I am sure I cannot 
pardon myself, nor well know which way else to seek it : and I 
am sure that so excellent and holy a person is fitter to be well- 
beloved by God than I. But I pray you remember; 1. That he 
undertaketh not to pardon or justify any man, whom he doth not 
renew and sanctify ; 2. And that all his means, which seem so 
strange to you, are but to restore God's image on you, and fit 
you for his love and service. And this we can testify by expe- 
rience, that he hath done in some measure in us : and if I find 
his means successful, I will not quarrel with it, because it 
seemeth strange to me. A physician may prescribe me remedies 
for some mortal disease, which I understand not, but seem 
unlikely to do the cure ; but if I find that those unlikely means 
effect it, I will not quarrel with him, nor refuse them, till I know 
myself to be wiser than he, and have found out some surer means. 
It is most evident, then, that he who saveth us is our Saviour, 
and he that saveth us from sin, will save us from punishment ; 
and he that maketh us fit for pardon, doth procure our pardon ; 
and he that causeth us to love God above all, doth fit us to enjoy 
his love ; and he that maketh us both to love him and to be 
beloved by him, doth prepare us for heaven, and is truly the 
Mediator. 

Sect. 112. Four or five consectaries are evident from this, 
which I have been proving : 1 . That we have left no room for 
their insipid cavil, who say that we fly to a private spirit, or con- 
ceit, or enthusiasm, for the evidence of our faith. 

There are some, indeed, that talk of the mere persuasion, or 
inward active testimony of the Spirit, as if it were an inward 
word that said to us, ' This is the word of God : ' ° but this is 

Of this see Amyraldus in Thess. Salmuriens. 



286 THE REASONS OF 

not it which I have been speaking- of; but the objective testi- 
mony, or evidence of our regeneration, which could not be 
effected but, 1. By a perfect doctrine; and, 2. By the con- 
current work or blessing of God's Spirit, which he would not 
give to confirm a lie. The Spirit is Christ's witness in the four 
wavs forementioned ; and he doth moreover cause me to believe 
and increase that faith, by blessing due means ; but for any 
enthusiasm, or unproved, bare persuasion, we own it not. 

Sect. 1 13. II. That malignity is the highway to infidelity : 
as the holiness of his members is Christ's last, continued 
witness in the world, so the malicious slandering and scorning 
at godly men, or vilifying them for self-interest, or the interest 
of a faction, is the devil's means to frustrate this testimony. 

Sect. 114. III. That the destruction of true church discipline 
tendeth to the destruction of Christianity in the world, by laying 
Christ's vineyard common to the wilderness, and confounding 
the godly and the notoriously ungodly, and representing Christ- 
ianity to pagans and infidels, as a barren notion, or a common 
and debauching way. 

Sect. 115. IV. That the scandals and wickedness of nominal 
Christians is, on the same accounts, the devil's way to extirpate 
Christianity from the earth. 

Sect. 116. V. That the great mercy of God hath provided 
a sure and standing means for the ascertaining multitudes of 
holy Christians of the truth of the Gospel, who have neither 
skill nor leisure to acquaint themselves with the history of the 
church, and records of antiquity, nor to reason it out against a 
learned, subtile caviller, from other extrinsic arguments. 

Abundance of honest, holv souls, do live in the fervent love of 
God, and in hatred of sin, and in sincere obedience, in justice 
and charity to all men, and in heavenly desires and delights ; 
who vet cannot well dispute for their religion ; nor yet do they 
need to fly to believe as the church believeth, though they know 
not what or why, nor what the church is. But they have that 
Spirit within them, which is the living witness and advocate of 
Christ, and the seal of God, and the earnest of their salvation ; 
not a mere pretence that the Spirit persuadeth them, and they 
know not by what evidence ; nor yet that they count it most 
pious to believe strongest without evidence ; when they least 
know why. But they have the Spirit of renovation and adoption, 
turning the very bent of their hearts and lives from the world to 
God, and from earth to heaven, and from carnality to spirituality, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGipN. U&7 

and from sin to holiness, p And this fully assureth them, that 
Christ, who hath actually saved them, is their Saviour, and that 
he who maketh good all his undertaking, is no deceiver, and 
that God would not sanctify his people in the world by a blas- 
phemy, a deceit and lie, and that Christ who hath performed his 
promise in this, which is his earnest, will perform the rest. And 
withal the very love to God, and holiness, and heaven, which is 
thus made their new nature by the Spirit of Christ, will hold 
fast in the hour of temptation, when reasoning otherwise is too 
weak. O what a blessed advantage have the sanctified against 
all temptations to unbelief? And how lamentably are ungodly 
sensualists disadvantaged, who have deprived themselves of this 
inherent testimony ? If two men were born blind, and one of 
them had been cured, and had been shown the candlelight and 
twilight, how easy is it for him to believe his physician, if he 
promise also to show him the sun ; in comparison of what it is 
to the other who never saw the light ? 



CHAP. VIII. 



Of some other subservient and collateral Arguments for the 

Christian Verity. 

Having largely opened the great evidence of the christian 
verity, viz. the Spirit in its four ways of testifying antece- 
dently, inherently, concomitantly, and subsequently; I shall 
more briefly recite some other subservient arguments, which I 
find most satisfactory to my own understanding. 

Sect. 1. I. The natural evidence of the truth of the Scrip- 
ture, about the creation of the world, doth make it the more 
credible to me in all things else. 

For that is a thing which none but God himself could reveal 
to us. For the Scripture telleth what was done, before there 
was any man in being. And that this world is not eternal, nor 
of any longer continuance, is exceedingly probable, by the state 
of all things in it. 1. Arts and sciences are far from that 
maturity, which a longer continuance, or an eternity would have 
produced. Guns and printing are but lately found out : the 
body of man is not yet well anatomized; Asellius's milky 
veins, and Pecquet' s receptacle of the chyle, and Bartholine's 

p O magna vis veritatis ! quae contra hominum ingenia, calliditatem, soler- 
tiam, contraque fictas omnium insidias facile se per se ipsam defendat! — Cic. 
pro Cceli. 



288 THE REASONS OF 

glandules, and the vasa lymphatica, are of late discovery : 
Galilseus's glasses, and his four Medicaean planets, and the 
lunary mutations of Venus, and the strange either opacous parts 
and shape of Saturn, or the proximity of two other stars which 
misshape it to our sight, the shadowy parts of the moon, &c. 
with the innumerable stars in the via lactea, &c, were all 
unknown to former ages. Gilbert's magnetical discoveries, (I 
speak not of those questionable inferences which Campanella 
and others contradict,) the nature of many minerals and plants, 
the chief operations and effects of chemistry, abundance of 
secrets for the cure of many diseases, even the most excellent 
medicaments, are all of very late invention. Almost all arts and 
sciences are increasing towards perfection. Ocular demonstra- 
tions by the telescope, and sensible experiments, are daily mul- 
tiplied : yea, the world itself is not all discovered to any one 
part ; but a great part of it was but lately made known even to 
the Europeans, whose knowledge is greatest, by Columbus, and 
Americus Vesputianus ; and it is not long since it was first mea- 
sured by a circumnavigation. If the world had been eternal, 
or of much longer duration than the Scripture speaketh, it is 
not credible that multiplied experiences, would not have brought 
it above that infancy of knowledge in which it so long con- 
tinued. 

Object. Cursed wars by fire and depopulation, consume all 
antiquities, and put the world still to begin anew. 

Answ. It doth indeed do much this way ; but it is not so 
much that war could do : for when it is in one country, others 
are free, and some would fly, or lie hid, or survive, who would 
preserve arts and sciences, and be teachers of the rest. Who 
can think now that any wars are likely to make America, or 
Galilaeus's stars, unknown again, or any of the fore-named in- 
ventions to be lost ? 

2. Moreover, it is strange, if the world were eternal, or much 
older than Scripture speaketh, that no part of the world should 
show any older monument of antiquity ; no engraven stones or 
plates ; no mausoleums, pyramids, or pillars ; no books ; no 
chronological tables ; no histories, or genealogies, or other me- 
morials and records. I know to this, also, cursed wars may con- 
tribute much ; but not so much, as to leave nothing to inquisi- 
tive successors. 

Sect. 2. II. It greatly confirmeth my belief of the holy Scrip- 
tures, to find by certain experience, the original and universal 
pravity of man's nature, how great it is, and wherein it doth 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 289 

consist ; exactly agreeing with this sacred word ; when no others 
have made such a full discovery of it. 

This I have opened, and proved before ; and he is a stranger 
to the world and to himself that seeth it not : were it not lest 
I weary the reader with length, how fully and plainly could I 
manifest it. 

Sect. 3. III. The certain observation of the universal, spiritual 
war, which hath been carried on according to the first Gospel, 
between the woman's and the serpent's seed, doth much confirm 
me of the truth of the Scriptures. q 

Such a contrariety there is, even between Cain and Abel, 
children of the same father; such an implacable enmity, through- 
out all the world, in almost all wicked men against godliness 
itself, and those that sincerely love and follow it ; such a hatred 
in those that are orthodoxly bred, against the true power, use, 
and practice, of the religion which they themselves profess ; 
such a resolute resistance of all that is seriously good and holy, 
and tendeth but to the saving of the resisters ; that it is but a 
public, visible acting of all those things which the Scripture 
speaketh of ; and a fulfilling them in all ages and places in the 
sight of all the world. Of which, having treated largely in my 
treatise against infidelity of the sin against the Holy Ghost, I 
refer you thither. 

Sect. 4. IV. It much confirmeth me to find that there is no 
other religion professed in the world, that an impartial^ rational 
man can rest in. 

That man is made for another life, the light of nature proveth 
to all men ; and some way or other there must be opened to us 
to attain it. Mahometanism I think not worthy a confutation : 
Judaism must be much beholden to Christianity for its proofs, 
and is but the introduction to it, inclusively considered. The 
heathens, or mere naturalists, are so blind, so idolatrous, so di- 
vided into innumerable sects, so lost and bewildered in uncertain- 
ties, and show us so little holy fruit of their theology, that I can 
incline to no more than to take those natural verities which they 
confess, and which they cast among the rubbish of their foppe- 
ries and wickedness, and to wipe them clean, and take them 
for some part of my religion. Christianity, or nothing, is the way. 

Sect. 5. V. It much confirmeth me to observe, that commonly 

1 Even between the carnal, hypocritical, nominal Christian and the true 
Christian ; as Gal. iv. 29. "As then he that was born after the flesh persecuted 
him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." 

VOL. XXI. U 



290 THE REASONS OF 

the most true and serious Christians are the holiest and most 
honest, righteous men j and that the worse men are, the greater 
enemies they are to true Christianity : and then to think how 
incredible it is that God should lead all the worst men into the 
truth, and leave the best and most godly in an error. 

In small matters, or common secular things, this were no 
wonder: but in the matter of believing, worshipping, and 
pleasing God, and saving of souls, it is not credible. As for the 
belief of a life to come, no men are so far from it as the vilest 
whoremongers, drunkards, perjured persons, murderers, op- 
pressors, tyrants, thieves, rebels, or if any other name can denote 
the worst of men : and none so much believe a life to come, as 
the most godly, honest-hearted persons. And can a man that 
knoweth that there is a God, believe that he will leave all good 
men in so great an error, and rightly inform and guide all these 
beasts, or living, walking images of the devil. The same, in a 
great measure, is true of the friends and enemies of Christianity. 

Sect. 6. VI. It hath been a great, convincing argument with 
me, against both atheism and infidelity, to observe the marvel- 
lous providences of God, for divers of his servants, and the 
strange answer of prayers which I myself, and ordinarily other 
Christians, have had. 

I have been, and am, as backward to ungrounded credulity 
about wonders as most men, that will not strive against know- 
ledge ; but I have been often convinced by great experience, 
and testimonies which I believed equally with my eye-sight, of 
such actions of God, as I think would have convinced most, that 
should know as much of them as I did. But few of them are 
fit to mention ; for some of them so much concern myself, that 
strangers may be tempted to think that they savour of self- 
esteem ; and some of them, the factions and parties in these 
times, will by their interest be engaged to distaste : and some of 
them have been done on persons, whose after, scandalous crimes 
have made me think it unfit to mention them, lest I should 
seem to put honour on a scandalous sinner, or seem to disho- 
nour God's works by mentioning such an object of them ; and I 
have much observed, that whatever wonder I ever knew done, 
in answer to prayer, or attestation of any good, the devil hath, 
with marvellous subtlety, endeavoured, by some error or scandal 
of men, to turn it all against Christ, and to his own advantage. 
But yet God declareth the truth of his promises, by the deliver- 
ances of his servants, and the granting of prayers, which are put 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 291 

up to him in the name of Christ. I will not dispute whether 
these actions shall be called miracles, or not : it is enough 
for my purpose, if thev be but attesting providences. All church 
history telleth us of many such heretofore : how great things 
have been done, and deliverances wrought upon Christians' earnest 
prayer to God. The success of the thundering legion in the army 
of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, in Germany, is commonly men- 
tioned : you may see it in the ' Apolog.' of Justin Martyr and 
Tertullian: see more in Pamelius's 'Notes onTertull.' (n.64.) Cy- 
prian saith to Demetrius, (p. 328,) of the Christians' casting-out of 
devils, "O si audire velles et videre, quando a nobis adjuranturet 
torquentur spiritualibus flagris, et verborum tormentisde obsessis 
corporibus ejiciuntur, quando ejulantes et gementes voce humana, 
et potestate divina flagella et verbera sentientes, venturum judi- 
cium confitentur. Veni et cognosce vera esse quae dicimus: etquiasic 
Deos colere te dicis,vel ipsis quos colis, erede : aut si volueris et tibi 
credere, de te ipso loquetur, audiente te, qui nunctuum pectus ob- 
sedit. Videbis nos rogari ab eis quos tu rogas, tamen ab eisquostu 
adoras; videbis sub manu nostra stare vinctos,et tremere captivos, 
quos tu suspicis et veneraris ut Dominos : certe vel sic confundi in 
istis erroribus tuis poteris, cum conspexeris et audieris Deos tuos, 
quid sint, interrogatione nostra statim prodere," &c. 

But it were too tedious to recite all that antiquity telleth 
us of this kind : later times have their testimonies also : Bay- 
nam could tell the papists, that burned him, in the midst of 
his flames, " Lo, ye papists, here is a miracle ; I feel no more 
pain in this fire than in a bed of down ; it is as sweet to me as 
a bed of roses." Bishop Farrar could sav, when he went to the 
fire, " If I stir in the fire believe not my doctrine;" and accord- 
ingly remained unmoved : many more you may see in martyr- 
ologies and church-historv. It was the merciful providence of 
God to Mrs. Honywood/ who, in her passionate self-accusations, 
when the minister was persuading her of the pardon of her sin, 
threw the glass which was in her hand up to the wall, saying, 
" She was as certainly an hvpocrite, as that glass would break *" 
and it fell to the ground, and remained unbroken. They were 
convincing providences which God exercised on the leading 
women of the familistical sect which troubled New England : 
when one of them, Mrs. Dyer, brought forth a monster that 
had the parts of man, beast, birds, and fishes ; and the other, 
their prophetess, Mrs. Hutchinson, brought forth about thirty 

r See her story in Fuller's • Worthies of England.' 

u2 



292 THE REASONS OF 

misshapen lumps or births at once \ and thereby the land was 
awakened and delivered from the danger. 8 

My own deliverances by prayer, because they were my own, 
I think not fit here to express ; nor many other persons, that 
were familiar with me, some vet living, and some dead : nor 
would I mention such small things as corporal deliverances and 
cures, but only because they are matters of sense, aad somewhat 
unusual; and not as supposing them the great matters which 
Christians have to look after or expect in answer to their 
prayers : they are far greater things which prayer brings to all 
true Christians : the strengh of the Spirit against temptations j 

s Which Mr. Weld, of New England, hath printed : and upon Mr. Stubs's 
extenuation, in his book for Sir Henry Vane, against me, in letters since he 
hath fully confirmed. The many miracles mentioned by such credible per- 
sons as Augustin (De Ch it. Dei) aud other learned, holy men, deserve some 
credit surely. Victor Uticeusis telleth of many confessors, whose tongues were 
cut out by the Arian Vandal Hunnerichus, who spake freely without tongues. 
and .Eneas Gazreus, in a notable treatise for the immortality of the soul, saith 
the same, and that he saw them himself; and hath more such wonders. 
Ego novi multa bonorum virorum corpora, quae etiam phalanges daemonum, 
tantopere terrerent, quantopere ipsi vexabant hominem abs se captum atque 
obsessum ; itemque morbos innumeros quibus curandis ars medica non suffi- 
ceret, ipsa facile curarent, perpurgarent, omninoque auferrent. — Id. ibid. p. 
411, B. P. Even Cicero, speaking of some sacrilegious, impious person*, 
could observe, Qui vero ex his et omnium scelerum principes fueruut, et prse- 
ter caeteros in omui religione inipii, non solum vita cruciati (vel cum cruciatu, 
ut Lambinus) atque dedecore, verum etiam sepultura ac justis exequiis carue- 
runt. — Lib. 2. de Lex. p. 245. And to the objection, that it often falleth out 
otherwise, and that the best suffer most, he answereth, Non recte existima- 
mus qua? poena sit divina : et opiuionibus, vulgi rapimur in errorem, nee vera 
cernimus : morte aut dolore corporis, aut luctu auimi, aut offensioue judicii, 
hominum miserias pouderamus : quaefateor humauaesse, et multis bonis viris 
accidisse : sceleris autem poena tristis, et praeter eos eventus qui sequuntur, 
per se ipsa maxima est. \ idemus eos qui nisi odissent patriam, niiuquam in- 
imici nobis fuissent, ardentes cum cupiditate, turn metu, turn conscientia ; 
quid agerent modo timeutes, vicissim contemuentes religiones. And he con- 
cluded, Duplicem pcenam esse divinam, quod constaret et ex vexandis vivo- 
rum animis, et ea fama mortuorum, ut eorum exitium et judicio vivorum, et 
gaudio comprobetur. — Ibid. 1 desire the learned reader to read the three 
miracles which .En. Gazsus saith he saw with his own eyes, in his 'Theo- 
phrast. in Bib. Pat. Gr. To. 2. pp. 414, 415.' The first, of an old man, that 
raised one from the dead: the second, of a good man, that when he was dvin°-, 
promised his scholar, that was bliud, that within seven days he should have 
his sight, which accordingly came to pass : the third, of the confessions before 
mentioned, that by prayer could speak most articulately without tongues : all 
these he professeth he saw with his own eyes : and the rationality and pietv 
of his writings maketh his testimony the more credible. Lege Palladii 
Historiam Lausiac, c. 52. de miraculo ab ipso -riso. Though 1 know that 
as apparitions, so miracles are too often counterfeit, yet all that are recorded 
by the ancient doctors and historians cannot be so thought, especially when 
we have seen something like them. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 293 

the mortification of those sins which nature, constitution, tem- 
perature, custom and interest, would most strongly draw them 
to; the special assistances of God in duty; the information of 
the mind, by a light which showeth the evidence of truth in a 
special clearness ; the resolution of doubts ; the conquest of 
passions ; the elevation of the soul in divine love and praises ; 
the joy of the Holy Ghost, and comfortable thoughts of the 
coming of Christ, and our endless blessedness with God in 
heaven. These are the answers of prayer, which are the fulfill- 
ing of the promises of Christ, and which are of greater moment 
than miracles, of which we have ordinary experience. 

Sect. 7. VII. It confirmeth my belief of the Gospel, to ob- 
serve the connaturality and suitableness which it hath to the 
best and holiest souls : that by how much the better, in true 
honesty, and charity, and heavenliness, any man is, by so much 
the more is the Gospel beloved, pleasant, and suitable to him j 
as human food is to human nature. 

My much converse in the world with men of all sorts, but 
most with the persons now described, hath given me opportunity 
to be fully assured of the truth of this experiment, beyond all 
doubt. And that which is the best in man, is certainly of God : 
and therefore that which is suitable and connatural to the best 
in man, must be of God also. 

Sect. 8. VIII. It confirmeth my belief of the Gospel, to find 
it so very suitable to the world's diseases, necessities, and busi- 
ness j to reconcile them to God, and fill them with love and 
heavenly-mindedness ; which other religions do meddle with so 
little, and superficially, and ineffectually. 

Sect. 9. IX. The matter of the Gospel is so holy and spiritual, 
and against all sin, and evil spirits, that it is incredible that evil 
spirits, or very bad men, should be the inventors of it: and yet 
to forge so many miracles and matters of fact, and call a man 
God, and to perplex the world with needless, delusory strict- 
nesses, and to father all this on God himself, would have been 
a villany so transcendent, that none but men extremely bad 
could do it. Therefore it must needs be the design of heaven, 
and not of men. 

Sect. 10. X. When I deeply consider the evidence of verity 
in the Gospel, it hath as much to convince me, as I could have 
chosen or desired. 

Sect. 11. 1. If I had been put myself to choose by what 
means God should open to man the things of the unseen world, 
I could have desired no more than that a messenger might come 



294 THK REASONS OF 

to us from heaven, to tell it us ; unless we had either sight and 
sense, or immediate vision and fruition. 

And I am fully satisfied, 1 . That spiritual things are invisible, 
and are no objects of corporeal sense. 2. That it is not meet 
and honourable to God's wisdom and justice to govern rational 
free-agents in via, by sight and sense. It would be no trial, or 
thanks to the most sensual wretch, to forbear his sin, if heaven 
and hell were open to his sight. 3. That spiritual vision and 
fruition is our state inpahia; our end and perfection, and not 
fit for the state of trial and travellers in the ways. 

Sect. 12. II. If I had been to choose who this messenger 
should be, I could have preferred none before him, who is the 
very wisdom, truth, and word of God. 

Had it been but an angel, I might have thought that his in- 
defectibilitv and veracity is uncertain to mankind on earth ; but 
wisdom and truth itself can never lie. 

Sect. 13. III. If I had been to choose in what way this mes- 
senger should converse with man, as an effectual and suitable 
teacher of these mysteries, and how the work of mediation be- 
tween God and man should be performed, I could have desired 
no fitter way than that he should assume our nature, and in that 
nature familiarly instruct us, and be our example, and our high 
priest toward God by his merit, sacrifice, and intercession. 

Sect. 14. IV. Had I been to choose what way he should 
prove his message to be of God, I could not have chosen a more 
satisfying way than that of prophecy, sanctity, and open, nume- 
rous, and uncontrolled miracles, with his own resurrection and 
ascension, and giving the Holy Ghost to be his advocate and wit- 
ness continually to the world. 

Sect. 15. V. I could not have expected that these miracles 
should be done in the sight of all the persons in the world, in 
every place and age, (for then they would be but as common 
works,) but rather before such chosen witnesses as were fit to 
communicate them to others. 

Sect. 16. VI. Nor could I have chosen a fitter way for 
such witnesses to confirm their testimony by, than by the same 
spirit of holiness and power, and by such a stream of miracles 
as the apostles wrought, and such success in the actual renova- 
tion of their followers. 

Sect. 17. VII. Nor could I well have chosen a more meet 
and convincing way of history or tradition, to convey down all 
these things to us, than that before described, which hath been 
used by God, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 295 

Sect. IS. VIFI. Nor could I have chosen any one standing 
seal and witness of Christ, so fit for all persons, learned and un- 
learned, and to endure through all generations, as is the actual 
saving of men, hy the real renovation of their hearts and lives 
hy the Holy Spirit, reclaiming them from selfishness, sensuality, 
worldliness, and other sin, and bringing them up to the image of 
God's holiness, in love and heavenliness j which is the continued 
work of Christ. 

So that when God hath done all things so, as my very reason 
is constrained to acknowledge best, what should I desire more ? 
I confess I feel still that my nature would fain be satisfied by the 
way of sight and sense. Could I see heaven and hell, I think it 
would most effectually end all doubts. But my reason is satis- 
fied that it is a thing unmeet, and utterly unsuitable to a world 
that must be morally governed and conducted to their end. 

Sect. 19. XI. The temptations of Satan, by which he would 
hinder us from faith, love, and obedience, are so palpable, mali- 
cious, and importunate, that they do much to confirm me of the truth 
and goodness of that word and way which he so much resisteth. 

I think that there are few men, good or bad, if they will observe 
both the inward suggestions with which they are often solicited, 
for matter, manner, and season, and the outward impediments 
to every good work, and invitations to evil, which they meet with 
in their conversations, but may be convinced that there are mali- 
cious spirits, who ar,e enemies to Christ and us, and continually 
by temptations fight against him. 

Sect. 20. XII. The devil's contracts with witches opposing 
Christ, and engaging them to renounce their baptism, and to 
forsake his ways, is some confirmation of the christian verity. 

That witches really there are, as I said before, he that will 
read Remigius and Bodin only, may be satisfied, as also the 
' Malleus Maleficorum,' ' Danaeus,' &c. ; and the numerous in- 
stances in Suffolk and Essex, about twenty-one years ago, may 
further satisfy them. And that the devil draweth them to such 
renunciations of the covenant and ordinances of Christ, the 
many histories of it are full proof. 1 

Sect. 21. XIII. Though many such reports are fabulous and 
delusory, yet there have been certainly proved, in all ages, such 
apparitions as, either by opposition or defence, have borne some 
testimony to the christian faith. 

Of both these last, see what I have written in my * Treatise of 

1 Of the abundance of witches at that time read Bishop Hall, ' sol. 15. pp. 
53, 54.' Read Edm. Bower, < Of the Salisbury Witch.' 



296* THE REASONS OF 

Infidelity/ and in the ' Saints' Rest' (part ii. p. 25S) ; and read 
Lavater ' De Spectris,' et 'Zanchius' (torn. 3. lib. iv. cap. 10, et 
cap. 20) ; ' Dailris,' &c. And what I said before, especially the 
narrative called 'The Devil of Mascon,' and Dr. Moor, ' Of 
Atheism.' 

Sect. 22. XIV. The speeches and actions of persons pos- 
sessed by the devil, usually raging blasphemously against Christ, 
do somewhat confirm the christian verity. 

That there are, and have been, many such, there hath been 
unquestionable evidence. See my 6 Saints' Rest' (part ii. p. 258, 
&c.) j ' Zanchius' (torn. 3. lib. iv. cap. 10. p. 288) ; Forestus ' De 
Venenis' (observ. 8) ; in Schol. Pet. Mart. ' Loc. Com.' (clas. i. 
cap. 9); Fernel. 'De abdit. rerum causis' (lib. ii. cap. 16); 
Platerus ' Observ.' (p. 20) ; ' De stupore Daemon,' &c. ; Tertul. 
* Apol.' (cap. 23) ; Cyprian. Epis. ' Ad Demetrium. Origen. in 
Matt. 17;' Augustin. ' De Divinat,' ' Daemon,' &c. 

Sect. 23. XV. Lastly: the testimony of the enemies of 
Christianity is some encouragement to faith. u 

What conjectures there be that Pythagoras had his know- 
ledge from the Jews, and Plato was not a stranger to Moses's 
writings, hath been showed by many. How plain it is that the 
wiser and better any heathens have been, the nearer they have 
come in their doctrines to that of Jesus Christ, I need not say 
much to convince the considerate, that are men of reading. 
How the Jews were convinced of the miracles of Christ, and 
fled to the accusation of Christ as a magician, is already showed. 
The wisest and best of the Roman emperors favoured them. 
Dion Cassius, in the ' Life of Nerva Coccieus/ (page 1,) saith, 
" Caeterum Nerva omnes qui impietatis in Deos rei fuerant, eos 
absolvi voluit : exules in patriam reduxit." These that were 
called impietatis rei, were the Jews and Christians who refused 
to sacrifice to idols : and he addeth, " Et ne servi de caetero 
dominos criininarentur, edicto vetuit, neve liceret aut impietatis, 
aut Judaicae secta quemquam de hinc insimulari." It seemeth 
bv this that when displeased servants would be revenged on 
their masters, they used to accuse them of Christianity, or 
Judaism. 

Trajan did something against the Christians, being provoked 
by the Jews, who (saith Dion Cassius, in ' Vita Trajani') did 

u Porphyry was so convinced of the truth of Daniel's prophecy, that he is 
fain to say, that it was written after the things were fulfilled; saith Grot. 
Imo Petri miracula Phlegon Ad Hani imperatoris libertus in Auualibus suis 
fcommemoravit : inquit Grotiiis de I'erit. lid. t. 3. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 297 

make one Andrew their captain, and, about Cyrene, murdered, 
of Greeks and Romans, above two hundred thousand men ; but 
upon Pliny's information of the Christians' innoceucy and unjust 
sufferings, their persecutions were moderated. x 

Adrian also was exasperated by the Jews, who, as JE\. Spar- 
tianus saith, in ' Adrian,' " Moverunt bellum, quod vetebantur 
mutilare genitalia;" and the Christians were taken for a sort of 
Jews, and so suffered often for their faults. But Serennius 
Granianus Legatus, a Roman nobleman, writing to Adrian, how 
unjust it was, upon vulgar clamour, to kill innocent Christians 
only for their religion, Adrian wrote to Minutius Fundanus, pro- 
consul of Asia, that no Christian should suffer, but for proved 
crimes. Euseb. ' Hist.' (lib. 4.) v 

Lampridius, in ' Alexand. Sever./ saith : " Quod (viz. 
templum Christo facere) et Adrianus cogitasse fertur j qui 
templa in omnibus civitatibus sine simulachris jussit fieri : quae 
hodie idcirco, quia non habent numina, dicuntur Adriani ; quae 
ille ad hoc parasse dicebatur : sed prohibitus est ab his, qui 
consulentes sacra repererant, omnes Christianos futuros, si id 
optato evenisset, et templa reliqua deserenda." 

Lucian honoureth the Christians, while he derideth them for 
their sufferings and faith, saying : " Persuaserunt sibi infoelices 
Christiani, se immortalitate fruituros, perpetuoque victuros esse : 
ideo et mortem magno contemnunt animo : ac non pauci sua 
sponte semetipsos occidendos offerunt : postquam vero semel a. 
nobis desciverunt, Graecorum Deos constanter abnegant," &c. 

When Adrian had found how the Christians differed from 
the Jews, and had suffered by Barchochebas, because they 
would not join in the rebellion, when he had ended the war, 

x Fuit vero prodigiorum apud sepulchra editorum tanta frequentia, .tot 
eorum testes, ut etiam Porphyrio ejus rei confessionem expresserit inquit.— 
Grot. 1. 3. 

y I know what a stir is made about Josephus's ' Testimony of Christ ;' some 
accounting it current, and some as foisted in by some Christian ; but 1 doubt 
not to say, that to those who well consider all, the middle opinion of B. Usher 
will appear to be the most probable : viz. That the whole sentence is current, 
except those words, " This was Christ ;" and that some Christian, having 
written those words as expository in the margin of his book, they afterwards 
crept thence into the text. Athenagoras tells M. Aurel. Antoniuus, the em- 
peror, and L. Aur. Commodus, to whom he wrote : Nee dubito quin vos etiam 
doctissimi et sapientissimi principes, historias et scripta Mosis, Esaiae, 

Hieremiae, et reliquorum prophetarum aliqua ex parte cognoveritis. Sed 

vobis relinquo qui libros novistis, studiosius, in illorum prophetias inquirere 
ac perpeudere, &c. — Apol. p. in B. pp. 56, 57. And it is likely that Autoniue 
learned somewhat from the Scriptures, as well as Severus, if he so well knew 
them ; and thence received some of his wisdom and virtue. 



298 THE REASONS OF 

he gave Jerusalem to the Christians and others^ to inhabit: 
saith Eusebius. 

Antoninus Pius published this edict for the Christians : " Si quis- 
quam cuiquam Christiano, quia Christianus sit pergat molestiae 
quicquam aut eriminis inferre, ille cui crimen illatum erit, etiamsi 
Christianus reipsa deprehensussit,absolvatur : qui autem ilium ac- 
cusaverat, justum debitumque supplicium subeat :" adding a decree 
of Adrian's, thus : " Pro quibus hominibus et alii provinciarum pre- 
sides, jam ante divo patri meo scripserunt; quibus ille rescripsit, 
nequid interturbarent hoc genus hominum nisi qui convicti essent 
tentasse quippiam contra rempublicam." Euseb. 'Hist, '(lib. 4). 

And though, under that excellent prince, Antoninus Philoso- 
phus, some persecution was raised, it was mostly by officers at 
a great distance, in France, &c, yet all was staid, and favour 
showed them, upon the miraculous relief of the army by rain, 
upon the Christian soldiers' prayers, called Legio Fulminatrix ; 
when they were at war with the Quadi ; of which see Jul. 
Capitolin., Dion Cass., Tertul. * Apolog.,' Euseb. (lib 5.), Orosi- 
um/ &c. His letters to the Senate are these : " Credibile est 
Christianos, licet eos impios existimemus, Deum pro munimento 
habere in pectore: simulenim atque humi sese abjecerunt, etpre- 
ces fuderunt, ad ignotum mihi Deum, statim e coelo pluvia de- 
Iapsa est, in nos quidem frigidissima, in nostros vero hostes 
grando et fulmina: eorumque orationibus et precibus statim 
Deus prsesto fuit, qui neque vinci neque expugnari potest. 
Quamobrem concedamus talibus, ut sint Christiani, ne qua? tela 
ejus generis contra nos petant et impetrent." 

After this emperor, a company of beasts successivelv followed ; 
yet most of them were restrained from great persecutions : 
Commodus was restrained by Martia, a friend to the Christians, 
as Dio Cass, writeth ; and others bv other means. And the 
Christians often tendered their apologies : among whom, 
Apollonius, a senator, in the reign of Commodus, offered a book 
for Christianity, and was beheaded ; Euseb. (lib. 5.) But of all 
the emperors that were from Augustus to Constantine, there 
were but ten that persecuted the Christians, of whom, those 
that I have mentioned, who reversed their decrees, or restrained 
the persecutors, were a part. 

Septim. Severus forbade any to become Christians ; but what 
judgments did fall upon divers of his presidents, who perse- 
cuted the Christians, and what convictions some of them had 
by miracles, is worth the reading in Tertullian t Ad Scapul.' 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 299 

Alexander Sevcrus, the most excellent of all the heathen 
emperors, not excepting Antoninus Philos. was guided by the 
renowned Ulpian, and his mother Mammea, supposed a Chris- 
tian : of him, saith Lampridius, "Judaeis privilegia reservavit : 
Christianos esse passus est :" vea, in the mornings he wentto pray- 
er " in lacario suo, in quo et divos principes, sed optimus electos, 
et animas sanctiores, in queis et Apollonium ; et quantum scrip- 
tor suorum temporum dicit, Christum, Abraham, et Orpheum, 
et hujusmodi Deos habebat." Yea, saith the same Lampridius, 
" Christo templum facere voluit, eumque inter Deos recipere : 
Quod et Adrianus cogitasse fertur:" &c. j ut ante. And after: 
" Cum Christiani quendam locum, qui publicus fuerat, occu- 
passent ; contra, popinarii dicerent sibi eum deberi ; rescripsit, 
melius esse ut quomodocunque illic Deus colatur ; quam popina- 
riis dedatur." The great strictness of the christian churches 
in the election of their pastors, he made his example in the 
choice of his officers : " Dicebatque grave esse, cum id Chris- 
tiani et Judaei facerent in praedicandis sacerdotibus qui ordinandi 
sunt, non fieri in provinciarum rectoribus, quibus fortunae homi- 
num committuntur et capita:" that is, "Nomina eorum pro- 
ponebat, hortans populum, siquis quid haberet criminis, proba- 
ret manifestis rebus ; si non probaret, poenam subire capitis." 
He made a saying of Christ's his motto, saith Lamprid : "Cla- 
mabatque saepius quod a quibusdam sive Judaeis sive Christianis 
audierat, et tenebat ; idque per praeconem cum aliquem emen- 
daret, dici jubebat, Quod tibi nonvis, alteri ne feceris : quam 
sententiam usque adeo dilexit, ut et in palatio, et in publicis 
operibus, praescribi juberet." Thus you see what opinion the 
best Roman heathen emperors had of Christ and the christians, 
Paul had liberty in Rome to preach in his hired house to any 
that would come and hear him; (Acts xxviii. 31 ;) no man 
forbidding him. And those Emperors that did persecute 
Christianity, were either such beasts as Nero, or at best such as 
never understood the reason of that religion, but persecuted they 
knew not what. And it was not so much for the positive parts 
of Christianity that they persecuted them, as for the negatives, 
even for denying honour and worship to those idols, whom the 
Romans had been long accustomed to adore. So that " Tollite 
impios, Tollite impios," was the cry of the rabble, as if it had 
been ungodliness to deny their gods : and to sacrifice or burn 
incense on the idols' altars was that ordinary command which 
they disobeyed, to the suffering of death. 



300 THE REASONS OF 

As Grotius saith, (lib. 3,) " Multa habemus testimonia quae 
historiae istis libris traditae partes aliquot confnmanu Sic Jesum 
cruci affixum, ab ipso et discipulis ejus miracula patrata, et 
Haebraei et Pagani memorant. De Herode, Pilato, Festo, Faelice, 
de Johanne Baptista, de Gamaliele, de Jerosolymorum excidio, 
exstant scripta luculentissima Josephi edita paulo post annum a 
Christi obitu 40. Cum quibus consentiunt ea quae apud Thal- 
mudicos de iisdem temporibus leguntur. Neronis saevitiam in 
Christianos Tacitus memoriae prodidit. Exstabant olim et libri 
turn privatorum ut Phlegontis, turn et acta publica, ad quae 
Christiani,provocabant, quibus constabat de eo sidere, quod post 
Christum natum apparuit, de terrae motu, et solis deliquio contra 
naturam, plenissimo lunae orbe, circa tempus quo Christus crucis 
supplicio affectus est." 

Celsus and Julian do not deny the miracles of Christ : Maho- 
met himself confesseth Christ to be a true prophet, and the word 
of God ; and condemneth the Jews for rejecting him. He con- 
fesseth his miraculous nativity, and mighty works, and that he 
was sent from heaven to preach the Gospel : he bringeth in God 
as saying, "We have delivered our declarations to Jesus, the son 
of Mary, and strengthened him by the Holy Ghost." And, we 
have delivered him the Gospel, in which is direction and light, 
&c. : and he teacheth his followers this creed, say, ' We believe 
in God, and that which was delivered to Moses and Jesus, and 
which was delivered to the prophets from their Lord. We dis- 
tinguish not between any of them, and we deliver up ourselves 
to his faith.' And if Christ be to be believed, as Mahomet 
saith, then Christianity is the true religion ; for, as for his and 
his followers' reports, that the Scriptures are changed, and that 
we have put out Christ's prediction that Mahomet must be sent, 
&c. ; they are fables, not only unproved, but before here proved 
utterly impossible. 

ReadEusebius/Eccles. Hist.' (l.xviii.c. 17 and 18. and 1. xi.c. 
10,) of God's strange judgments on Maximinus, the emperor; 
whose bowels were tormented, and his lower parts ulcerated 
with innumerable worms, and so great a stink that killed some of 
his physicians ; which forced him to confess, that what had 
befallen him was deserved, for his madness against Christ ; 
for he had forbidden the Christians their assemblies, and per- 
secuted them : wherefore he commanded that they should cease 
persecuting the Christians ; and that, by a law and imperial edict, 
their assemblies should be again restored : he confessed his sins, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. SOI 

and begged the Christians' prayers, and professed that if he were 
recovered, he would worship the God of the Christians, whom 
by experience he had found to be the true God. 

See Bishop Fotherby's 'Atheomast.' (1. i. c. 3. pp. 140, 141,) 
comparing his case with Antiochus's. 

Paulus Orosius, 'Hist.' (lib. 6, fine,) telleth us of a fountain of 
oil which flowed a whole day in Augustus's reign j and how 
Augustus refused to be called Dominus, and how he shut up 
Janus 's temple because of the universal peace ; and that "Eo 
tempore, id est, eo anno quo fortissimam verissimamque pacem 
ordinatione Dei Caesar composuit, natus est Christus; cujus 
adventum pax ista famulata est ; in cujus ortu audientibus homi- 
mbus exultantes angeli cecinerunt, Gloria in excelsis Deo et in 
terra pax hominibus bouse voluntatis." 

See also what, after others, he saith of Tiberius motioning to 
the senate, that Christ might be accounted a God; andSejanus 
resisting it : (lib. 7. 'Auct. Bib. Pat.' to.l. p. 209,) where he saith 
also, that aliquanti Grcecorum libri attested the darkness at 
Christ's death. And (lib. 7. p. 216) he showeth that, as after 
the ten plagues of Egypt, the Israelites were delivered, and the 
Egyptians destroyed, so was it in the Roman empire with the 
Christians and Pagans, after the particul ir revenges of the ten 
persecutions. But because he is a christian historian, I cite no 
more from him. 



CHAP. IX. 

Yet Faith hath many Difficulties to overcome : what they are ; 

and what their Causes. 

There are two sorts of persons who may possibly peruse 
these things, and are of tempers so contrary, that what helpeth 
one may hurt the other : the first are those who see so many 
objections and difficulties, that they are turned from the due 
apprehension of the evidences of Christianity, and can think of 
nothing but stumbling-blocks to their faith. To tell these men 
of more difficulties, may add to their discouragement, and do 
them hurt : and yet I am not of their mind that think they 
should be therefore silenced ; for that may tempt them to ima- 
gine them unanswerable, if they come into their minds : the 
better way for these men is, to desire them better to study the 



302 THE REASONS OF 

evidence of truth : and there are other men, who must be 
thought of, who seeing no difficulties in the work of faith, do 
continue unfortified against them, and keep up a belief by mere 
extrinsic helps and advantages, which will fall as soon as the 
storms assault it : and because no doubt is well overcome that is 
not known, and nil tarn certum quam quod ex dnbio certum est, 
I will venture to open the difficulties of believing. 2 

Sect. 1. That believing in Christ is a work of difficulty, is 
proved, both by the paucity of sound believers, and the imper- 
fection of faith in the sincere ; and the great and wonderful 
means which must be used to bring men to believe. 

Superficial believers are a small part of the whole world, and 
sound believers are a small part of professed Christians : and 
these sound believers have many a temptation, and some of them 
many a troublesome doubt, and all of them a faith which is too 
far from perfection. And yet all the miracles, evidences, argu- 
ments and operations aforesaid, must be used to bring them 
even to this. 

Sect. 2. The difficulties are, I. Some of them in the things to 
be believed ; II. Some of them in extrinsical impediments ; 
III. And some of them in the mind of man who must believe. 

Sect. 3. I. 1. The mysteriousness of the doctrine of the 
blessed Trinity, hath always been a difficulty to faith, and occa- 
sioned many to avoid Christianity, especially the Mahometans ; 
and many heretics to take up devices of their own, to shift it off. 

Sect. 4. II. The incarnation of the Second Person, the eternal 
Word, and the personal union of the divine nature with the 
human, is so strange a condescension of God to man, as maketh 
this the greatest of difficulties, and the greatest stumbling-block 
to infidels and heretics. 

Sect. 5. III. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, 
and the advancement of man's nature in him above the angelical 
nature and glory, is a difficulty. 

Sect. 6. IV. To believe all the history of the miracles of 
Christ, the prophets, and apostles, is difficult, because of the 
strangeness of the things. 

Sect. 7. V. It is not without difficulty firmly to believe the 
2 Omnis credendi difficultas non temere ex futili nulliusque judicii opinione 
nascitur ; sed ex valida causa, et verisimilitudiue pi mi mum munita : turn 
enim incredulitas rationem justam habel, quum ipsa res de qua non creditur, 
quiddam incredibile continet. Nam rebus quae dubitandi causam non habent, 
non credere, eorum est qui sauo judiciu in discutienda veritate minime utun- 
luT.—Atlienagor. Leg. p. 82. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 303 

immortality of souls, and the endlessness of the felicity of the 
life to come. a 

Sect. 8. VJ. And it hath proved hard to many to believe 
the endless miseries of damned souls in hell. 

Sect. 9. VII. And it is as hard to believe the paucity of the 
blessed, and that the damned are the far greater number. 

Sect. 10. VIII. And that so great a change, and so holy a 
life, is necessary to salvation, hath proved a difficulty to some. 

Sect. 11. IX. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body 
is one of the greatest difficulties of all. 

Sect. 12. X. So is Christ's coming into the world so late, 
and the revealing of his Gospel to so few, by prophecy before, 
and by preaching since. 

Sect. 13. XI. So also was the appearing meanness of the 
person of Christ, and of his parentage, place, and condition in 
the world ; together with the manner of his birth. 

Sect. 14. XII. The manner of his sufferings and death upon 
a cross, as a malefactor, under the charge of blasphemy, im- 
piety, and treason, hath still been a stumbling-block both to 
Jews and gentiles. 

Sect. 15. XIII. So hath the fewness and meanness of his 
followers, and the number, and worldly pre-eminence and pros- 
perity of unbelievers, and enemies of Christ. 

Sect. 16. XIV. The want of excellency of speech and art in 
the holy Scriptures, that they equal not other writings in 
logical method and exactness, and in oratorical elegancies, is 
a great offence to unbelievers. 

Sect. 17^ XV. As also that the physics of Scripture so much 
differeth from philosophers'. 

Sect. 18. XVI. As also the seeming contradictions of the 
Scripture do much offend them. 

Sect. 19. XVII. And it offendeth them, that faith in 
Christ himself is made a thing of such excellency and necessity 
to salvation. 

Sect. 20. XVIII. And it is hard to believe, that present 
adversity and undoing in the world is for our benefit and ever- 
lasting good. 

Sect. 21. XIX. And it offendeth many, that the doctrine of 
Christ doth seem not suited to kingdoms and civil governments, 
but only for a few private persons. 

a Si animus sit quinta ilia, non nominata magis quam intellecta natura : 
multo integriora et puriorasunt ut a, terra longissime seefferant. — Cicer, Tusc. 
Qu.\. l.p.223. 



304 THE REASONS OF 

Sect. 22. XX. Lastly, the prophecies, which seem not intelli- 
gible, or not fulfilled, prove matter of difficulty and offence. 
These are the intrinsical difficulties of faith. 

Sect. 23. II. The outward adventitious impediments to the 
belief of the christian faith are such as these : 1. Because many 
Christians, especially the papists, have corrupted the doctrine 
of faith, and propose gross falsehoods, contrary to common 
sense and reason, as necessary points of christian faith, as in 
the point of transubstantiation. 

Sect. 24. II. They have given the world either false or insuf- 
ficient reasons and motives, for the belief of the christian verity ; 
which, being discerned, confirmeth them in infidelity. 

Sect. 25. III. They have corrupted God's worship, and have 
turned it from rational and spiritual, into a multitude of irra- 
tional, ceremonious fopperies, fitted to move contempt and 
laughter in unbelievers. 

Sect. 26. IV. They have corrupted the doctrine of morality, 
and thereby hidden much of the holiness and purity of the 
christian religion. 

Sect. 27. V. They have corrupted church history, obtruding 
or divulging a multitude of ridiculous falsehoods in their legends 
and books of miracles, contrived purposely by Satan to tempt 
men to disbelieve the miracles of Christ and his apostles. 

Sect. 28. VI. They make Christianity odious, by upholding 
their own sect and power, by fire, and blood, and inhuman 
cruelties. 

Sect. 29. VII. They openly manifest that ambition and worldly 
dignities, and prosperity in the clergy, is their very religion j 
and withal pretend that their party, or sect, is all the church. 

Sect. 30. VIII. And the great disagreement among Christians 
is a stumbling-block to unbelievers, while the Greeks and 
Romans strive who shall be the greatest ; and both they, and 
many other sects, are condemning, unchurching, and reproaching 
one another. 

Sect. 31. IX. The undisciplined churches, and wicked lives 
of the greatest part of professed Christians, especially in the 
Greek and Latin churches, is a great confirmation of infidels in 
their unbelief. b 

Sect. 32. X. And it tempteth many to apostacy, to observe 
the scandalous errors and miscarriages of many who seemed 
more godly than the rest. 

Sect. 33. XI. It is an impediment to Christianity, that the 

b Leg. Nazianz. Orat. 2(J et 32, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 305 

richest, and greatest, the learned, and the far greatest number 
in the world, have been still against it. 

Sect. 34. XII. The custom of the country, and tradition of 
their fathers, and the reasonings and cavils of men that have 
both ability, and opportunity, and advantage, do bear down 
the truth in the countries where infidels prevail. 

Sect. 35. XII J. The tyranny of cruel, persecuting princes, in 
the Mahometan and heathen parts of the world, is the grand 
impediment to the progress of Christianity, by keeping away 
the means of knowledge. 

And of this the Roman party of Christians hath given them 
an encouraging example, dealing more cruelly with their fellow- 
Christians, than the Turks, and some heathen princes do ; so 
that tyranny is the great sin which keepeth out the Gospel from 
most parts of the earth. 

Sect. 36. III. But no impediments of faith are so great as 
those within us j as, 1 . The natural strangeness of all corrupted 
minds to God, and their blindness in all spiritual things. 

Sect. 37. II. Most persons in the world have weak, in- 
judicious, unfurnished heads, wanting the common, natural 
preparatives to faith, not able to see the force of a reason, in 
things beyond the reach of sense. 

Sect. 38. III. The carnal mind is enmity against the holiness 
of Christianity, and therefore will still oppose the receiving of 
its principles. 

Sect. 39. IV. By the advantages of nature, education, custom, 
and company, men are early possessed with prejudices and false 
conceits against a life of faith and holiness, which keep out 
reforming truths. 

Sect. 40. V. It is very natural to incorporated souls, to desire 
a sensible way of satisfaction, and to take up with things pre- 
sent and seen, and to be little affected with things unseen, and 
above our senses. c 

Sect. 41. VI. Our strangeness to the language, idioms, pro- 
verbial speeches then used, doth disadvantage us as to the 
understanding of the Scriptures. 

Sect. 42. VII. So doth our strangeness to the places and 
customs of the country, and many other matters of fact. 

Sect. 43. VIII. Our distance from those ages doth make it 
necessary, that matters of fact be received by human repoit 

c Magni autem est in^enii, revocare mentem a sensibus, et cogitation em a 
cciisuetudine abdueerc.— Cicero Tuscul. On. 1. 1. p. 222. 
VOL. XXI. X 






306 THE REASONS OF 

and historical evidence ; and too few are well acquainted with 
such history. 

Sect. 44. IX. Most men do forfeit the helps of grace by 
wilful sinning, and make atheism and infidelity seem to be 
desirable to their carnal interest, and so are willing to be 
deceived ; and forsaking God, they are forsaken by him, fleeing 
from the light, and overcoming truth, and debauching con- 
science, and disabling reason, for their sensual delights. 

Sect. 45. X. Those men that have most need of means and 
help, are so averse and lazy, that they will not be at the pains 
and patience to read, and confer, and consider, and pray, and 
use the means which are needful to their information ; but 
settle their judgment by slight and slothful thoughts. 

Sect. 46. XL Yet are the same men proud and self-con- 
ceited, and unacquainted with the weakness of their own under- 
standings, and pass a quick and confident judgment on things 
which they never understood; it being natural to men to 
judge according to what they do actually apprehend, and not 
according to what they should apprehend, or is apprehended 
by another. 

Sect. 47. XII. Most men think it the wisest wav, because it 
is the easiest, to be, at a venture, of the religion of the king and 
the country where they live ; and to do as the most about them 
do, which is seldom best. 

Sect. 48. XIII. Men are grown strangers to themselves, 
and know not what man is, or what is a reasonable soul ; but 
have so abused their higher faculties, that they are grown 
ignorant of their dignity and use, and know not that in them- 
selves which should help their faith. 

Sect. 49. XIV. Men are grown so bad and false, and prone 
to lying themselves, that it maketh them the more incredulous 
of God and man, as judging of others by themselves. 

Sect. 50. XV. The cares of the body and world do so take 
up the minds of men, that they cannot afford the matters of 
God and their salvation such retired, serious thoughts, as they 
do necessarily require. 

Sect. 51. XVI. Too i'ew have the happiness of judicious guides, 
who rightly discern the methods and evidences of the Gospel, 
and tempt not men to unbelief by their mistaken grounds and 
unsound reasonings. These are the impediments and difficulties 
of faith in the persons themselves who should believe. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 307 



CHAP. X. 

The intrinsical Difficulties in the Christian -Faith resolved. 

Object. 1. The doctrine of the Trinity is not intelligible or 
credible. 

Ansvv. 1. Nothing at all in God can be comprehended, or 
fully known by any creatures. God were not God, that is, 
perfect and infinite, if he were comprehensible by such worms 
as we. Nothing is so certainly known as God, and yet nothing 
so imperfectly. 

2. The doctrine of the Trinity in unity is so intelligible 
and credible, and so admirably apparent in its products, in the 
methods of nature and morality, that to a wise observer it 
maketh Christianity much the more credible, because it openeth 
more fully these excellent mysteries and methods. Jt is intelli- 
gible and certain that man is made in the image of God ; and 
that the noblest creatures bear most of the impress of their 
Maker's excellency; and that the invisible Deity is here to be 
known by us, as in the glass of his visible works ; of which the 
rational or intellectual nature is the highest with which we are 
acquainted. rt And it is most certain that in the unity of man's 
mind or soul, there is a trinity of essentialities, or primalities, 
(as Campanella calleth them ;) that is, such faculties as are so 
little distinct from the essence of the soul as such, that philoso- 
phers are not yet agreed, whether they shall sav, it is realiter^ 
formaliter, relative rel denominatione extrinseca. To pass by 
the three faculties of vegetation, sensation, and intellection; 
in the soul, as intellectual, there are the essential faculties of 
power, executive or communicative, ad extra; intellect and 
will, posse, scire, velle ; e and accordingly in morality or virtue, 
there is in one new creature or holy nature, wisdom, goodness, 
and ability or fortitude, and promptitude to act according to 
them ; and in our relation to things below us, in the unity of 
our dominion or superiority, there is a trinity of relations, viz., 

(1 See part 1. c. 5. Pardon the repetitions here for the reasons after men- 
tioned. See, before, in the margin of chap. 5, part 1, the Collection of Chris- 
topher Simpson, ' Of Trinity in Unity, in the Harmony of Musical Concor- 
dance, in the Division Violist.' p. 17. 

c Read Canipauella's 'Metaphysics,' and his ' Atheismus triumphatus/ of 
this. 

x 2 



308 THE REASONS OF 

we are their owners, their rulers, according to their capacity, and 
their end and benefactors. So that in the unity of God's image 
upon man, there is this natural, moral, and dominative image ; 
and in the natural, the trinity of essential faculties ; and in the 
moral, the trinity of holy virtues j and in the dominative, a 
trinity of superior relations/ 

And though the further we go from the root, the more dark- 
ness and dissimilitude appeareth to us, yet it is strange to see 
even in the body, what analogies there are to the faculties of 
soul, in the superior, middle, and inferior regions ; and in 
them, the natural, vital, and animal parts, with the three sorts 
of humours, three sorts of concoctions, and three sorts of spirits 
answerable thereto, and admirably united : with much more, 
which a just scheme would open to you. And, therefore, seeing 
God is known to us by this his image, and in this glass, though 
we must not think that any thing in God is formally the same 
as it is in man, yet, certainly, we must judge that all this is 
eminently in God; and that we have no fitter notions and 
names concerning his incomprehensible perfections, than what 
are borrowed from the mind of man. Therefore, it is thus un- 
deniable, that God is in the unity of his eternal, infinite essence, 
a trinity of essentialities, or active principles, viz., power, intel- 
lect, and will ; and in their holy perfections, they are omni- 
potency, omniscience or wisdom, and goodness; and in his 
relative supremacy is contained this trinity of relations, he is 
our Owner, our Rector, and our chief Good, that is, our Bene- 
factor and our End. 

And as in man's soul, the posse, scire, velle, are not three parts 
of the soul, it being the whole soul, quce potest, quce intelligit 
et quce vult, and yet these three are not f or maliter,ov how you will 
otherwise call the distinction, the same ; even so in God, it is not 
one part of God that hath power, and another that hath under- 
standing, and another that hath will ; but the whole Deity is 
power, the whole is understanding, and the whole is will. The 
whole is omnipotency, the whole is wisdom, and the whole is 

f Richardus in Opuscul. ad S. Bernard, de appropriates personarum, inquit, 
quod potentia, sapientia, et bonitas, sunt notissicia quid sint apud nos, qui 
ex. visibilibus invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspicimus : et 
quoniam in elementis, et plantis, et brutis reperitur potentia sine sapientia ; 
et in homine et ill angelo reperitur potentia, set! non sine sapientia ! Et in 
Lucifero reperitur potentia et sapientia, sine bonitate et charitate, seu bona 
voluntate : sed in homine bono, bonoque in angelo, non datur bona voluntas, 
nisi adsit posse et scire : igitur sunt tria h;ec distincta ; et posse est per se ut 
principale, sapientia est a potentia, et ab utrisque voluntas et amor. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 309 

goodness, the Fountain of that which in man is called holiness, 
or moral goodness : and, yet, formally to understand is not to 
will, and to will is not to he ahle to execute. 

If you say, i What is all this to the Trinity of hypostases or 
persons ? ' I answer, Either the three subsistences in the Trinity 
are the same with the potentia, intellectus, and voluntas, in the 
divine essence, or not : if they are the same, there is nothing at 
all unintelligible, incredible, or uncertain in it; for natural reason 
knoweth that there is all these eminently in God ; and whoever 
will think that any human language can speak of him, must con- 
fess that his omnipotence, wisdom, and goodness, his power, 
intellect, and will, must be thus to man's apprehension distin- 
guished, otherwise, we must say nothing at all of God, or say that 
his power is his willing, and his willing is his knowing, and that 
he willeth all the sin which he knoweth, and all that he can do j 
which language will, at best, signify nothing to any man. s 

And it is to be noted, that our Saviour, in his eternal subsist- 
ence, is called, in Scripture, the Wisdom of God, (or his Internal 
Word) ; and in his operations, in the creation, he is called, the 
Word of God, as operative or efficient ; and in his incarnation 
he is called, the Son of God : though these terms be not always, 
and only thus used, yet usually they are. 

The words of an ancient, godly writer before cited, are con- 
siderable, Potho Prumensis, ' De Statu Domus Dei, (lib. i. p. 
567. in Biblioth. Patr. t. 9.') " Tria sunt invisibilia Dei ; h. e. 
potentia, sapientia, benignitas, a quibus omnia procedunt, in 
quibus omnia subsistunt, per quae omnia reguntur : Pater est 
potentia, Filius sapientia, Spiritus Sanctus benignitas. Potentia 
creat, sapientia gubernat, benignitas conservat. Potentia per 
benignitatem sapienter creat : sapientia per potentiam benigne 
gubernat : benignitas per sapientiam potenter conservat : sicut 
imago in speculo cernitur, sic in ratione animae. Huic similitu- 
dini Dei approximat homo; cui potentia Dei dat bonum posse; 
sapientia tribuit scire ; benignitas prsestat velle : haec triplex 
animae rationalis vis est ; scil. posse, scire, velle ; quae supra- 
dictis tribus fidei, spei, et charitati cooperantur," &c. Read 

s Ecce in uno capite, duo tibi sunt oculi : sed est substantias eorum unus 
aspectus, &c. Quod si unius substantias in te ista bina continent uaitatem, 
non vis in Deo Patre et Filio vere duas personas unam babere substautiam. — 
Arnobius Conflict, cum Serapione, p. 354. Vide Cscsarii Dialog. Q. 2. de 
triplici luniiue. 2o<£i'ai> eav elirw ■yevvtjj.t.a. outs iyu, inquit Theophil. Antioch. 
ad Autol. 1. 1, p. 3. Leg. August, de Trinitate, et Dialog ex eo excerpt, de 
Trinit. in B. P. Gr. Lat. to. 1. p. 540. 



310 THE REASONS OF 

more in the author, 11 and in Raimundus Luilius; and among 
later writers, in Campanella, Raymundus de sabundis, &c, as 
I said before. He that will give you a scheme of divinity in the 
true method, will but show you how all God's works and laws flow 
from these three essentialities or principles ; and the three great 
relations founded in them, his being our Owner, Ruler, and 
chief Good ; and how all our duty is branched out accordingly 
in our correlations. He will show you the Trinity of graces, 
faith, hope, and love ; and the three summary rules, the Creed, 
Lord's Prayer, and Decalogue ; and, in a word, would show you 
that the Trinity revealeth itself through the whole frame of true 
theology or morality ; but who is able to discern it in the smaller 
and innumerable branches ? ' 

Yea, if ever it were to be hoped that our physics should be 
brought into the light of certainty and true method, you would 
see unity in trinity in all things in the world ; you would see 
that in the sun and the other celestial luminaries, which are the 
glorious images of the intellectual world, in the unity of their 
essence there is a moving, illuminating, and heating power, 
and that no one of these is formally the other, nor is any one of 
them a part of the sun or other luminary, much less a mere 
accident of qualitv, but an essential, active principle or power ; 
the whole luminary being essentially a principle of motion, light 
and heat, which are not accidents in them, but acts flowing im- 
mediately from their essential powers, as intellection and volition 
from the soul. 

I shall now say no more of this, but profess that the discovery 

h Nihil aliud est Films vel Verbum Dei, quam cogitatio, vel ars, vel sapientia 

ejus Nihil aliud Sp. Sanctus quam amor Dei intelligitur. — Id. Ibid. p. 

542, 543. 

1 Leg. et Hilar. deTrinit. Vide. Maxim. Mystagog. Ecclesiast. c. 6. Per 
talem rationem venit homo ad cognitionem Dei, quod est unus in substantia, 
et trinus in personis. Istud idem videt homo in seipso : nam ipse videt bene 
quod semper habuit homo in seipso potentiam, et post potentiam, sapientiam : 

Et de ambabu; venit amor : et quando videt homo quod ita est in seipso, 

ex hoc inteliiget bene quod ita est in Deo, qui est ultra ilium, viz. Quod in 
Deo sit potestas, et de ilia potestate venit sapientia, et de utraque venit amor. 
Et propter hoc quod ex prima persona venit secunda, et de ambahus pro- 
ccdit tertia, ideo prima persona vocatur Pater, secunda Filius, tertia Spirit- 
us Sanctus. Isto modo venit homo primo ad cognitionem Dei sui creatoris, 
quomodo est sine principio, et quare vocatur Dens, unus substantia, trinus 
personis. Et quia prima persona vocatur Pater, secunda Filius, tertia Spiritus 
Sanctus ; et quia appropinquatur potestas Patri, sapientia Filio, bonitas et 
amor Sp.Sancto : tali modo debet cognoscere Deum Filium, etiste modus cog- 
nitionis e«-t fundamentum contemplationis. — Edmund Arcldepis. Cantuari. 
Specul. Ecvles. c. 28. See more of this before, (to. 1. c, 5.) 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 311 

of the emanations or products of the Trinity, and the image and 
vestigia of it, in the course of nature and method of morality, 
doth much increase my reverence to the christian doctrine : so 
far is the Trinity from being to me a stumbling-block. 

Object. But what are such trinities in unity as these to the 
Trinity of persons in the Deity ? Such weak arguments will but 
increase incredulity. Will you pretend to prove the Trinity by 
natural reason ; or would you persuade us that it is' but three of 
God's attributes, or our inadequate conceptions of him ? Opera 
Trinitatis ad extra sunt indivisa : ergo, no creature can reveal 
to us the Trinitv. 

Answ. 1. It is one thing to prove the sacred Trinity of per- 
sons by such reason, or to undertake fully to open the mystery ; 
and it is another thing to prove that the doctrine is neither in- 
credible nor unlikely to be true; and that it implieth no con- 
tradiction or discordancy, but rather seemeth very congruous 
both to the frame of nature and of certain moral verities. This 
only is my task against the infidel. 

2. It is one thing to show in the creatures a clear demonstra- 
tion of this Trinity of persons, by showing an effect that fully 
answereth it ; and another thing to show such vestigia, adum- 
bration or image of it, as hath those dissimilitudes which must 
be allowed in any created image of God. This is it which I am 
to do. 

3. He that confoundeth the attributes of God, and distin- 
guished! not those which express these three essential primalities 
or active principles to which our faculties are analogous, from the 
rest ; or that thinketh that we should cast by this distinction, 
under the name of an inadequate conception, so far as we can 
imagine these principles to be the same, and that there is not 
truly in the Deity a sufficient ground for this distinction, is not 
the man that I am willing now to debate this cause with ; I have 
done that sufficiently before. Whether the distinction be real, 
formal, or denominative, the Thomists, Scotists, and nominals, 
have disputed more than enough ; but even the nominals say that 
there is a sufficient ground for the denomination, which some 
call virtual, and some relative ; and they that dispute of the 
distinction of persons, do accordingly differ, calling it either 
relative, virtual, formal, or moral, or ratione ' ratiocinata, as thev 
imagine best; and they that differ about these do accordinglv 
differ about the difference of the faculties of our souls : for my 
part, I see not the least reason to doubt but that the Trinitv of 



312 THE REASONS OF 

divine primalities, principles, and perfections hath made its im- 
press on man's soul in its three parts, viz., the natural, the moral, 
and the dominative parts, In the first we have an active power, 
an intellect and free-will : in the second, fortitude, or holy 
promptitude and strength ; wisdom and goodness, or love: in 
the third, we are to the inferior creatures their owners, rulers, 
and benefactors, or end ; and whatever you will call our faculties, 
and their moral perfections, it is undouhted that in God, his 
omnipotencv, wisdom, and goodness are his essence, and yet as 
much distinct as is aforesaid. And what mortal man is able to 
say whether the distinction of persons be either greater or less 
than this ? And remember, that as I speak of motion, light 
and heat, both as in the faculties of the sun, as I may call them, 
and in the acts or emanations ; and of the power, intellect and 
will of man, both as in the faculties and acts ; so do I here of 
the divine primalities ; yet so, as supposing that in God, who is 
called a pure act, there is not such a difference between power 
and act as there is in man or other creatures. 

4. No man, I think, is able to prove that the works of the 
Trinity, ad extra, are anymore undivided, than the works of the 
three essential active principles. They are so undivided as 
that yet the work of creation is eminently, or most notably 
ascribed to the Father, as is also the sending of the Son into 
the world, the forgiving of sin for his sake, &c, and the work 
of redemption to the Son, and the work of sanctification to the 
Holy Ghost : we shall be as loth to say, that the Father or 
Holy Ghost was incarnate for us, or died for us, or mediates for 
us, as that the power or love of God doth the works which 
belong to his wisdom. And the essential wisdom and love of 
God are no more communicable to man, than the Son and Holy 
Spirit, who are said to be given to us, and to dwell within us. 
The Scripture often calleth Christ the wisdom of God : and 
Ao'7©- is both the ratio et oratio, the internal and expressed, (or 
incarnate) word. And he that understandeth that by the Holy 
Ghost, which is said in Scripture to be given to believers, is 
meant the habitual or preva ent love to God, will better under- 
stand how the Holy Ghost is said to be given to them that 
already have so much of it as to cause them to believe. Abun- 
dance of heretics have troubled the church with their self-de- 
vised opinions about the Trinity, and the person and natures of 
Christ : and I am loth to say, how much many of the orthodox 
have troubled it also, with their self-conceited, misguided, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 313 

uncharitable zeal, against those whom they judged heretics. 
The present divisions between the Roman church, the Greeks, 
the Armenians, Syrians, Coptics, and Ethiopians, is too sad a 
proof of this : and the long contention between the Greeks and 
Latins about the terms hypostatis and persona. 

5. And I would advise the reader to be none of those that 
shall charge with heresy all those schoolmen, and late divines, 
both papists and protestants, who say that the three persons are 
" Deus seipsum intelligens, Deus a seipso intellectus, et Deus 
a seipso amatus," though I am not one that say as they : nor 
yet those holy men whom I have here cited, Potho Prumensis, 
Edmundus Archiepisc. Cantuariensis, et Parisensis, and many 
others, who expressly say, that potentia, sapientia, et amor, are 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. k 

6. But for my own part, as I unfeignedly account the doc- 
trine of the Trinity the very sum and kernel of the christian 
religion, (as expressed in our baptism,) and Athanasius' Creed, 
the best explication of it that ever I read, so I think it very 
unmeet in these tremendous mysteries, to go further than we 
have God's own light to guide us : and it is none of my purpose 
at all to join with either of the two fore-mentioned parties, nor 
to assert that the mystery of the blessed Trinity of hypostases, 
or persons, is no other than this uncontroverted Trinity of essen- 
tial principles. All that I endeavour is but as aforesaid, to show 
that this doctrine is neither contradictory, incredible, nor un- 
likely, by showing the vestigia or image of it, and that which is 
as liable to exception, and yet of unquestionable truth. And 
if the three hypostases be not the same with the trinity of 
principles aforesaid, yet no man can give a sufficient reason why 
three in one should not be truly credible and probable in the 
one instance, when common, natural reason is fully satisfied of it 
in the other. He must better understand the difference between 
a person and such an essential principle in divinis, than any 
mortal man doth, who will undertake to prove from the title of 
a ' person' that one is incredible or unlikely, when the other is 
so clear and sure : or rather, he understandeth it not at all, that 
so imagineth. For my part, I again, from my heart, profess, that 
the image or vestigia of Trinity in unity through the most notable 
parts of nature and morality, do increase my estimation of the 
christian religion, because oftheadmirablecongruity and harmony. 

k See Bishop Lucy, in the end of his book against Hobs, proving the 
Trinity by Lully's reasons. 



314 THE REASONS OF 

Object. II. But who is able to believe the incarnation and 
hypostatical union ? If you should read that a king's son, in 
compassion to poor flies, or fleas, or lice, had himself become 
a fly, or flea, or louse (had it been in his power), to save their 
lives, would you have thought it credible ? And yet the conde- 
scension had been nothing to this, as being but of a creature to 
a creature.' 

Answ. This is indeed the greatest difficulty of faith : but 
if you do not mistake the matter, you will find it also the greatest 
excellency of faith. 1. Therefore, you must take heed of 
making it difficult by your own error: think not that the 
Godhead was turned into man, (as you talk of a man becoming 
a fly,) nor yet that there was the least real change upon the 
Deity by this incarnation ; nor the least real abasement, dis- 
honour, loss, injury, or suffering to it thereby. For all these are 
not to be called difficulties, but impossibilities and blasphemies. 
There is no abatement of any of the divine perfections by it, 
nor anv confinement of the essence : but as the soul of man doth 
animate the body, so the Eternal Word doth, as it were, ani- 
mate the whole human nature of Christ. As Athanasius saith, 
M As the reasonable soul and human flesh do make one man, so 
God and man are one Christ : and that without any coarctation, 
limitation, or restriction of the Deity." 2. And this should be 
no strange doctrine, nor incredible to most of the philosophers 
of the world, who have one part of them taught, that God is the 
Soul of the world, and that the whole universe is thus animated 
by him : and another part, that he is the Soul of souls, or in- 
telligences, animating them as they do bodies. That, therefore, 
which they affirm of all, cannot by them be thought incredible 
of one. And it is little less, if any thing at all, which the 
peripatetics themselves have taught of the assistant forms 
(intelligences) which move the orbs; and of the agent-intellect 
in man ; and some of them, of the universal soul in all men. 
And what all their vulgar people have thought of the deifying 
of heroes, and other men, it is needless to recite : Julian himself 

1 Arnobius junior, in his conflict ' cum Serapione,' useth this similitude: 
As fire and gold are two distinct substances, yet fire is of itself invisible, till by 
union with the heated gold it becometh visible : so Christ's divine nature and 
his human, &c. — Leg. pp. 36'8, 329. And to the question, ' Utrum Pater Filium 
genuerit necessitate an voluntate ?' he answereth, " Neither : because under- 
standing or wisdom is not necessitated, and yet is antecedent to volition." Hut 
by necessity he seemeth to mean that which is by constraint. Vide Nat. 
Fervardent. in loc. Leg. Methodii Resp. ad eos qui dicunt, <Juid profuit nobis 
Filius Dei homo factus ? &c. — Edit, per Gretser, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 3 15 

believed the like of Esculapius. None of these philosophers, 
then, have any reason to stumble at this, which is but agreeable 
to their own opinions. And, indeed, the opinion that God is 
the Soul of souls, or of the intellectual world, hath that in it 
which may be a strong temptation to the wisest to imagine it : 
though, indeed, he is no constitutive form of any of those crea- 
tures, but to be their Creator and total Efficient is much more. 
What union it is which we call hypostatical, we do not fully 
understand ourselves : but we are sure that it is such as no more 
abaseth the Deitv, than its concourse with the sun in its 
efficiencies. 111 

Object. But what kin are these assertions of philosophers to 
yours, of the incarnation of the Eternal Word and Wisdom 
of God ? 

Answ. What was it but an incarnation of a Deity which thev 
affirmed of Esculapius and such others ? And they that thought 
God to be the Soul of the world, thought that the world was as 
much animated with the Deity as we affirm the human nature of . 
Christ to have been; yea, for aught I see, whilst they thought 
that this soul was parcelled out to every individual, and that 
matter only did pro tempore individuate, they made every man 
to be God incarnate. And can they believe that it is so with 
every man, and yet think it incredible in Christianity that our 
human nature is personally united to the divine ! I think in this 
they contradict themselves. 

3. And it is no way incredible that God should value man 
according to his natural worth and usefulness, as an intellectual 
agent, capable of knowing, and loving, and praising him, and 
enjoying him. His creating us such, and his abundant mercies 
to us, do abundantly prove the truth of this. Nor is it incredi- 

m Junilius (De part. Div. Leg-. 1. 1, c. 19.) saith, that Et essentia vel natura 
facit, quia ei nihil accitlens est, et tamen voluntate, quia nihil facit necessi- 
tate vel coactus. Speaking- of his operations as he is Bonus, Sapiens, Fortis. 
(Leg-. Ruperti Tuitiens. de Divin. Offic. 1. 11, c. 2, 3, 4.) C^uod nomen Patris, 
FiJii et Spiritus Sancti propria veri Dei descriptio sit, &c. per totuin lib. Arnob. 
fubi supra, 1. 1.) telleth ihe heathens how many they worship as gods, who 
once were men, as Jupiter, Esculapius, Hercules, &c. p. o". Leg. Tliedori 

Presbyteri Rhaitliuensis Praspar. et Meditat. de Incr.rnat. Christi. et Heresibus 
circa eandem. Leg-, et Theodori Abucarse Opuscul. 2. explau. vocum qui- 
bus philosophi utuntur, &c. Et ejusdem fidem orthodox, missam ad Armen. a 
Thoina Patriarch. Hierosol. Vide et Theorian. Dialog, cum Generaliss. 
Armeniorum. At Deus Verbuin nihil ipsum a societate, et aniinae iminuta- 
tum neque illorum imbecilitatis particeps, sed eis suam divinitatem imparti- 
ens, unum cum eis fit; etpermanet, quod erat ante junctionem. Vide caetera 
in Nemesio Emissen.de Natura hom. c 3. 






316 THE REASONS OF 

ble that he should be willing that his depraved creature should 
be restored to the use and ends of its nature : nor is it incredible 
that God should choose the best and fittest means to effect all 
this. Nothing more credible than all this. 

4. And it is not incredible at all that the incarnation of the 
Eternal Word should be the fittest means for this reparation. It 
we consider, 1. What question we should have made of the 
word of an angel, or any mere creature, that should have said 
he came from God to teach us, seeing we could not be so certain 
that he was infallible and indefectible. 2. And how short a 
creature would have fallen in the priestly part of mediation. 
3. And how insufficient he would have been for the kingly dig- 
nity, and universal government and protection of the church, 
and judgment of the world. 4. And withal, that God himself 
being the Glorifier of himself, and the Donor of all felicity to us, 
it is very congruous that he should most eminently himself per- 
form the most eminent of these works of mercy. 

5. And it much assisteth mv belief of the incarnation, to 
consider that certainly the work that was to be done for man's 
recovery was the winning of his heart to the love of God from 
himself and other creatures : and there was no way imaginable 
so fit to inflame us with love to God, as for him most wonderfully 
to manifest his love to us, which is more done in the work of 
man's redemption than any other way imaginable ; so that being 
the most suitable means to restore us to the love of God, it is 
fittest to be the way of our recoverv, and so the more credible. 

6. And it much suppresseth temptation to unbelief in me, to 
consider that the three grand works in which God's essentiali- 
ties declare themselves, must needs be all such as beseemeth 
God ; that is, most wonderful, transcending man's comprehen- 
sion. And as his omnipotency showed itself, with wisdom and 
love, in the great work of creation, so was it meet that his wis- 
dom should show itself most wonderfullv in the great work of 
redemption, in order to the as wonderful declaration of his love 
and goodness, in the great work of our salvation, our regenera- 
tion, and glorification. And therefore if this were not a won- 
derful work, it were not fit to be parallel with the creation, in 
demonstrating God's perfections to our minds. 

Object. 111. But how incredible is it that human nature should, 
in a glorified Christ, be set above the angelical nature. 

Answ. There is no arguing in the dark, from things unknown, 
against what is fully brought to light. What God hath done 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 317 

for man, the Scripture hath revealed; and also that Christ him 
self is far above the angels : but what Christ hath done for 
angels, or for any other world of creatures, God thought not 
meet to make vis acquainted with. There have been Christians 
who have thought, by plausible reasonings from many texts of 
Scripture, that Christ hath three natures, the divine, and a 
super-angelical, and a human ; and that the Eternal Word did 
first unite itself to the super-angelical nature, and in that created 
the world ; and in that appeared to Abraham and the other 
fathers, and then assumed the human nature last of all for re- 
demption : and thus they would reconcile the Arians and the 
orthodox. But most Christians hold only two natures in 
Christ ; but then they say, that he that hath promised that we 
shall be equal with the angels, doth know that the nature of 
man's soul and of angels' differ so little, that in advancing one, 
he doth, as it were, advance both : and certainly maketh no dis- 
order in nature, by exalting the inferior in sensu composite^ 
above the superior and more excellent. Let us not then deceive 
ourselves, by arguing from things unknown. 

Object. IV. There are things so incredible in the Scripture 
miracles, that it is hard to believe them to be true. 

Ansvv. 1. No doubt but miracles must be wonders ; they were 

not else so sufficient to be a divine attestation, if they were not 

things exceeding our power and reach. But why should they 

be thought incredible ? it is because they transcend the power 

of God, or his wisdom, or his goodness ; or because they are 

harder to him than the things which our eyes are daily witnesses 

of. Is not the motion of the sun and orbs, and especially of the 

primum mobile, which the peripatetics teach ; yea, or that of 

the earth and globes, which others teach, as great a work as 

any miracle mentioned in the holy Scriptures ? Shall any man 

that ever considered the number, magnitude, glory, and motions 

of the fixed stars, object any difficulty to God ? Is it not as 

easy to raise one man from the dead, as to give life to all the 

living ? 

2. And are not miracles according to our own necessities and 
desires ? Do not men call for signs and wonders, and say, l If I 
saw one rise from the dead, or saw a miracle, I would believe ; 
or, at least, I cannot believe that Christ is the Son of God, 
unless he work miracles ? ' And shall that be a hinderance to 
your belief, which is your last remedy against unbelief? Will 
you not believe without miracles, and yet will you not believe 



318 THE REASONS OF 

them because they are miracles ? This is but mere perverseness; 
as much as to say, we will neither believe with miracles nor 
without. 

3. Impartially consider of the proof I have before given you, 
of the certain truth of the matter of fact, that such miracles 
were really done : and then you may see, not only that they are 
to be believed, but the doctrine to be the rather believed for 
their sakes. 

Object V. It is hard to believe the immortality of the soul, 
and the life to come, when we consider how much the soul de- 
pendeth in its operations on the body ; and how it seemeth but 
gradually to exceed the brutes : especially to believe the eternity 
of it, or its joys ; when omite quod oritur hiterrit ; and if 
eternity a parte ante be proper to God, why not eternity a parte 
post ? n 

Answ. I. The immortality of the soul, and consequently its 
perpetual duration, and a life of retribution after this, did not 
seem things incredible to most of the heathens and infidels in 
the world : and I have proved it before by evidence of nature to 
common reason. So that to make that incredible in Christianitv, 
which philosophers and almost all the world hold, and which 
hath cogent natural evidence, is to put out the eye of reason as 
well as of faith. 

2. And that it hath much use of, or dependence on the body 
in its present operations, is no proof at all that when it is out 
of the body it can no otherwise act or operate. Not to meddle 
with the controversy, whether it take with it hence the material, 

n Fuge garrulitates anxias philosophorum, qui asserere non erubescunt, 
suas canumque animas eaudam tenere speciem. — Basil. Hexam. I. 8. Interp. 
Eustath. Leg. Mammerti Claudiani 1. 3 de statu animas ; et prascipue Gr. 
Nyssenum ; et qua; ex eo citautur in Caesarii Dialog. 3. This stuck with 
Galen, and some such. His et talibus adductus Socrates, nee patron uin 
quaesivitad judicium capitis, nee judicibus supplex fuit : adhibuitque liberam 
contumaciam a magnitudine animi ductum, non a superbia ; et supremo vitae 
die de hoc ipso multa disseruit ; et paucis ante diebus, cum facile posset educi 
£ custodia, noluit : et cum pen£ in manu jam mortiferum illud teneret pocu- 
lum, locutus ita est, ut non ad mortem, verum in coelum videretur ascendere. 
lta enim censebat, atque disseruit : duas esse vias, duplicesque cursus auimo- 
ruin e corpore excedentium : nam qui se humauis vitiis coutaminassent, et se 
totos libidinibus dedissent, quibus ccecati velut domesticis vitiis atque flagitiis 
se inquhiassent, vel in republica violanda fraudes iuexpiabiles coneepissent, iis 
devium quoddam iter esseseclusum a. concilio Deorum : qui autem seintegros 
castosque servassent, quibusque fuisset minima cum corporibus coutagio, 
seseque ab his semper se vocassent, e?sentque in corporibus humanis vitam 
imitati Deorum ; his ad illos ;i quibus essent profecti, reditum facilem patere* 
— Cicer. Tuscul, 1. p. 233. 






THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 311) 

sensitive soul as a body afterward to act by ; or whether it 
fabricate to itself an ethereal body ; or remain without any body 
of itself ? It is certain, that it was not the body that was the 
principle of intellection and volition here : but it was the soul 
which did all in the body, but according to the mode of its pre^ 
sent co-existence : seeing, then, that it was the soul that did it 
here, why may it not also do it hereafter ? If the candle shine 
in the lantern, it can shine out of it, though with some differ- 
ence : he is scarcely rational that doubteth whether there be such 
things as incorporeal, invisible intelligences, minds, or spirits : 
and if they can act without bodies, why may not our minds ? 
Though the egg would die if the shell were broken, or the hen 
did not sit upon it, it doth not follow that, therefore, the chicken 
cannot live without a shell, or sitting on. Though the embryo 
and infant must have a continuity with the mother, and be 
nourished by her nourishment, it doth not follow that, therefore, 
it must be so with him, when he is born and grown up to ripe- 
ness of age. And when there is full proof that souls have a 
future life to live, it is a folly to doubt of it, merely because we 
cannot conceive of the manner of their acting without a bod\~; 
for he that is not desirous to be deceived, must reduce things 
uncertain and dark, to those that are clear and certain, and not 
contrarily : all good arguing is a notioribus, and not a minus 
notis. The nearer any being is in excellency unto God, the more 
there is in it which is hard to be comprehended : spirits and 
minds are excellent beings ; and therefore very imperfectly 
known even by themselves, while they are in the lantern, the 
shell, the womb of flesh. The eye is not made to see its own 
sight, though it may see in a glass the organ of its sight : and 
as sight seeth not sight, or hearing heareth not hearing, or 
taste tasteth not tasting, &c, the act being not its own object ; 
but yet by seeing other things, I am most certain that I see ; 
and by hearing, tasting, smelling, &c, I am certain that I hear, 
taste, and smell : so is not the intellect here fitted intuitively to 
understand its own act of understanding ; but by understanding 
other objects, it understandeth that it doth understand : (though, 
I confess, some learned men in this think otherwise, viz., that the 
intellect intuitively knoweth itself). If a man have a watch which 
is kept in order, to tell him the hour of the day, though he know 
not the reason of the frame, the parts, and motions, nor how to 
take it to pieces, and set it again together, yet it serveth his 
turn to the use he bought it for. And a ship may carry him who 



320 THE REASONS OF 

is unacquainted with the workmanship that is in it : and so, if 
a man's soul know how to love and please its Maker, and know 
itself morally, it attaineth its end, though it know not itself 
physically so far, as to he able to anatomize its faculties and 
acts. Argue not, therefore, from obscurities against the light. 

And that man doth not differ from a brute only in degree, 
but specifically, he that is indeed a man doth know : consider- 
ing what operations the mind of man hath above brutes ; not 
only in all the most abstruse and wonderful arts and sciences, 
astronomy, geometry, music, physic, navigation, legislation, 
logic, rhetoric, &c, but also his knowledge of a Creator, a love 
and fear of him, an obedience to him, and a care for an ever- 
lasting life. Whether brutes have analogical ratiocination or 
not, it is certain that these things are far above them. ° 

2. If by the eternity of our felicity, were meant only an avum 
of very long duration, it would be so strong a motive to godli- 
ness and Christianity, with any rational man, as to weigh down 
all the counter-pleasures of this world. 

3. But as long as there is no want of power in God to perpe- 
tuate our blessedness, nor any proof that is disagreeable to his 
wisdom or his will, why should that seem incredible to us, which 
is sealed and attested so fully by supernatural revelation, as I 
have proved ? If once the revelation be proved to be divine, 
there is nothing in this which reason will not believe. 

4. And all they that confess the immortality and perpetuity 
of the soul, must confess the perpetuity of its pleasure or pain. 

5. And why should it be hard for the peripatetic to believe the 
perpetuity of the soul, who will needs believe the eternitv of 
the world itself, both as a parte ante, and a parte post ; surely 
it should seem no difficulty to any of that opinion. 

Object. VI. Who can believe that God will torment his 
creatures in the flames of hell for ever ? Is this agreeable to 
infinite goodness ? 

Answ. 1. I have fully answered this already (chap. 15, part 1,) 

Campanella well noteth, that the soul hath naturally a certain inward 
knowledge or sense of itself ; but when men go about to bring this to such a 
knowledge as we have of things extrinsical, by ratiocination, they ofttimes 
reason themselves into ignorance and error. And Cicero hath the very same,: 
Nee vero de hoc quisquam dubitare posset, nisi idem nobis accideret dili^enter 
de animo cogitantibus, quod iis saepe usu venit, qui acriter oculis dericientem 
soleni intuerentur, ut aspectura omnino amitterent ; sic mentis acies seipsam 
iutuens, noununquam hebescit; ob eamque causani contetnplandidiligentia.ni 
amittimus.— Cicer. TusciiL 1. 1, r. -33. 






THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 321 

and therefore I must entreat the objector to peruse his answer 
there, only I shall now say, that it is not incredible that God is 
the Governor of the world, nor that he hath given man a law, 
nor that his law hath penalties to the disobedient, nor that he is 
just, and will judge the world according to that law, and make 
good his threatenings ; nor is it incredible that those who chose 
sin, when they were foretold of the punishment, and refused 
godliness, when they were foretold of the blessed reward and 
fruits, and this with obstinacy to the last, should have no better 
than they chose. It is not incredible that unholy enemies of 
God and holiness, should not live hereafter in the blessed sight 
and love, and holy, delightful fruition of God, no more than 
that a swine is not made a king ; or that an immortal soul, 
who is excluded immortal happiness by his wilful refusal, should 
know his folly, and know what he hath lost by it, or that such 
knowledge should be his continual torment ; nor is it incredible 
that God will not continue to him the pleasures of whoredom, 
and gluttony, and drunkenness, and sports, and worldly wealth, 
or tyrannical domination, to quiet him in his loss of heaven ; 
nor that he will deprive him of the temporal mercies which now 
content him, or may afford him any delight hereafter : nor is 
it incredible, if his body rise again, that it shall be partaker 
with his soul ; nor that God, who might deprive him of his being, 
if he had been innocent, may make him worse, or bring him 
into a condition to which he would prefer annihilation, when 
he is an obstinate, impenitent sinner. It is not incredible that 
a good king, or judge, may hang a felon, or traitor, for a crime 
against man and human society ; nor is it any goodness in them 
to be unjust, or to cherish murderers by impunity : none of all 
this is at all incredible. But it is indeed incredible, till con- 
science have humbled him, that the thief or murderer should 
like this penalty, or think well of the judge ; or that a sinner, 
who judgeth of good and evil in others as dogs do, by the in- 
terest of his throat or flesh, and thinks them good only that 
love him, and bad, that hurt him and are against him, should 
ever believe that it is the amiable goodness of God, which 
causeth him, in justice, to condemn the wicked.P 

v Sosipatra ubi incidisset in disputationem de anima in genere ; qua? ejus 

pars supplicio puniatur, qusque iuteritus sitexpers, durn furore quodam divi- 
iio incitata rapitur, &c. — Eunap. in ALdes. p. 59-1. Et, ut quod ignotuin 
est pateat, h&'c est hominis vera mors, cum animal nescientes IDeum, per- 
longissimi temporis cruciatu consumuntur ignifero, in quern illas jaciuut qui- 
dam crudeliter saevi, et ante Christum incogniti, et ab solo sciente detecti. 
This was the conceit of Aniob. adv. Gent. 1. 2, p. 11. 
VOL. XXI. Y 



322 THE REASONS OF 

2. But yet, let not misunderstanding make this seem harder 
to you than indeed it is/i Do not think that souls in hell are 
hung up in flames, as heasts are hung in a butcher's shambles ; 
or that souls have any pain but what is suitable to souls, and 
that is more than bodies bear : it is an affliction in rational 
ways which falls on rational souls. Devils are now in torment, 
and yet have a malignant kingdom, and order, and rule in the 
children of disobedience, and go up and down seeking whom 
they may devour. We know not the particular manner of their 
sufferings, but that they are forsaken of God, and deprived of 
his complacential love and mercy, and have the rational misery 
before described, and such also as shall be suitable to such kind 
of bodies as they shall have : and while they are immortal, no 
wonder if their misery be so. 

Object. VII. Who can believe that the damned shall be far 
more than the saved, and the devil have more than God ? How 
will this stand with the infinite goodness of God ? 

Answ. I have fully answered this before, in part I. Ch. II., 
and shall now add but this, 1. In our inquiries, we must begin 
with the primum cognita, or notissima, as aforesaid ; that God 
is most good, and also just, and punisheth sinners, is before 
proved to be among the notissima, or primum cognita ; and there- 
fore it is most certain, that these are no way contradictory to 
each other. 

2. And if it be no contradiction to God's goodness, to punish 
and cast off for ever the lesser part of the world, then it is none 
to punish or cast off the greater part ; the inequality of number 
will not alter the case. 1 ' 

i We say not that corporeal fire doth touch the soul. Sed memorata* apud 
inferos pceoae et suppliciorum geueribus multiformes : ecquis erit tarn brutus, 
et rerum consequentias nesciens, qui auimis incorruptibihbus credat, aut 
teuebras tartareas posse aliquid nocere ? aut igneos fluvios, aut casnosis 
gurgitibus paludes ; aut rotarum volubilium circumactus. Quod enim 
contiguum non est, et k legibus dissolutionis amotum est, licet omnibus am- 

biatur flammis, illibatum necesse est permaneat. — Arnob. udvers, Gentes. 

1. 2, p. 17. Auct. Bill. Pat. sem. 1. 

r And seeing most of the heathens believe the immortality of souls, and the 
justice of God, it is meet that they believe a punishment for the bad, as they 
do a reward for the good. As Arnobius saith, lib. 2. advers. Gent.: Cum igitur 
haec ita sunt, quaeuam injustitia tanta est, ut fatui vobis credulitate in ista 
videamur? Cum vos et similia credere, et in eadem videamus expectatione 
versari ? Si irrisione existimamurdigni, quod spem nobis hujusmotli pollice- 
mur, et vos eadem expectat irrisio, qui spem vobis immortalitaiis adsciscitis. 
Si tenetis aliquam sequiminique ratione, et nobis portione ex ista rationem 

eoucedite. Si nobis haec gaudia Plato promisisset Consentaneum fuerat 

ejus suscipere nos cultus, a quo tantum doui expectareraus et muueris. Nunc 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 323 

3. It is no way against the goodness of human governors, in 
some cases, to punish even the greater number, according to 
their deserts. 

4. Can any man that openeth his eyes deny, in matter of 
fact, that the far greater part of the world is actually ungodly, 
worldly, sensual, and disobedient ; or that such are meet for 
punishment, and unmeet for the love and holy fruition of God ? 
When I see that most men are ungodly, and incapable of 
heaven, is it not harder to reason to believe that these shall 
have that joy and employment of which they are incapable, than 
that they shall have the punishment which agreeth with their 
capacity, desert, and choice ? Must I believe that God's ene- 
mies shall love him for ever, merely because they are the 
greater number ? If one man, that dieth unrenewed, be capable 
of heaven, another is so, and all are so ; therefore, I must 
either believe that no impenitent, ungodly person is saved, or that 
all be saved. The number, therefore, is nothing to the deciding 
of the case. 

o. Can any man in his wits deny that it is as sure that God 
permitteth sin in the world, as that the sun shineth on us ; yea, 
that he permitteth that enormous deluge of wickedness which 
the world groaneth under at this day ; and that this sin is the 
soul's calamity, and, to a right judgment, is much worse than 
punishment, whatever beastly sensuality may gainsay. If, then, 
the visible wickedness of the world be permitted by God, without 
any impeachment of his goodness, then certainly his goodness 
may consist with punishment (which as such is good) when sin 
is evil : and much of this punishment also is but materially 
permitted by God, and executed by sinners upon themselves. 

6. The wisdom and goodness of God saw it meet, for the 
right government of this world, to put the threatenings of an 
everlasting punishment in his law : and how can that man have 
the face to say, it was needless, or too much in the law, with 
whom it proved not enough to weigh down the trifling interests 
of the flesh ? And if it was meet to put that penalty in the law, 
it is just and meet to put that law into execution, how many 
soever fall under the penalty of it, as hath been proved. 

7. The goodness of God consisteth not in a will to make all 

cum eamChristus non tautum promiserit, verum etiam virtutibus tantis mani- 
festaverit, posse compleri, quid aliewum facimus aut stultitia? crimen quibus 
rationibus sustinemus, si ejus nomiui majestatique substernimur a. quo spera- 
mus utrumque et mortem cruciubilem i'ugere, et vitani seteruitate donari ?— 
Auct. Bib. Put. To. l.,p. 17. 

v 2 



324 THE REASONS OF 

his creatures as great, or good and happy, as he can ; but it is 
essentially in his infinite perfections, and expressively in the 
communication of so much to his creatures, as he seeth meet, 
and in the accomplishment of his own pleasure, by such ways of 
benignity and justice as are most suitable to his wisdom and 
holiness. Man's personal interest is an unfit rule and measure 
of God's goodness. 

8. To recite what I said, and speak it more plainly, I confess it 
greatly quieteth my mind against this great objection of the 
numbers that are damned and cast off for ever, to consider how 
small a part of this earth is of God's creation, as well as how sinful 
and impenitent. Ask any astronomer that hath considered the 
innumerable numbers of the fixed stars and planets, with their 
distances, and magnitude, and glory, and the uncertainty that 
we have whether there be not as many more, or an hundred or 
thousand times as many, unseen to man, as all those which we 
see, (considering the defectiveness of man's sight,) and the planets 
about Jupiter, with the innumerable stars in the milky way, 
which the tube hath lately discovered, which man's eyes without 
it could not see : I say, ask any man who knoweth these things^ 
whether all this earth be any more in comparison of the whole 
creation than one prison is to a kingdom or empire, or the 
paring of one nail, or a little mole, or wart, or a hair, in com- 
parison of the whole body. And if God should cast off all this 
earth, and use all the sinners in it as they deserve, it is no more 
sign of a wantof benignity,or mercy, in him, than it is for a king 
to cast one subject of a million into a gaol, and to hang him for 
his murder, or treason, or rebellion ; or for a man to kill one 
louse, which is but a molestation to the body which beareth it ; 
or than it is to pare a man's nails, or cut off a wart, or a hair, or 
to pull out a rotten, aching tooth. I know it is a thing uncer- 
tain and unrevealed to us, whether all these globes be inhabited 
or not. But he that considereth, that there is scarce any unin- 
habitable place on earth, or in the water, or air ; but men, or 
beasts, or birds, or fishes, or flies, or worms, and moles, do take 
up almost all ; will think it a probability, so near a certainty as 
not to be much doubted of, that the vaster and more glorious 
parts of the creation are not uninhabited ; but that they have 
inhabitants answerable to their magnitude and glory, as palaces 
have other inhabitants than cottages ; and that there is a con- 
naturality and agreeableness there as well as here, between the 
region, or globe, and the inhabitants. But whether it be the 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 325 

globes themselves, or only the inter-spaces, or other parts, that 
are thus inhabited, no reason can doubt, but that those more 
vast and glorious spaces are pioportionablv possessed. And 
whether they are all to be called angels, or spirits, or by what 
other name, is unrevealed to us : but whatever they are called, 
I make no question but our number, to theirs, is not one to a 
million at the most. s 

Now this being so, for aught we know, those glorious parts 
may have inhabitants without any sin or misery ; who are filled 
with their Maker's love and goodness, and so are fitter to be the 
demonstration of that love and goodness than this sinful mole- 
hill or dungeon of ignorance is. If I were sure that God would 
save all mankind, and only leave the devils in their damnation, 
and forsake no part of his creation but their hell, it would not 
be any great stumbling to my faith. Or if earth were all God's 
creation, and I were sure that he would condemn but one man 
of a hundred thousand, or a million, and that only for final im- 
penitency in the contempt of the mercy which would have saved 
him ; this would be no great difficulty to my faith. Why then 
should it be an offence to us, if God, for their final refusal of his 
grace, do for ever forsake and punish the far greater part of this 
little, dark, and sinful world, while he glorifieth his benignity 
and love abundantly upon innumerable angels, and blessed 
spirits, and inhabitants of those more large and glorious seats ? 

s Of the probability of the habitation of the planets, see Gassendus, and his 
reasons, that the inhabitants are not men of our species, but that the in- 
habitants are diversified as the habitations are, and other things in the uni- 
verse. Though Cicero frequently derideth the superstitious fear of hell, 
yet he meaneth not of all future punishment of the wicked, but of the poet's 
fables of Styx, Cerberus, Tantalus, and Sysiphus kind of penalties, and of 
Minos and Rhadamanthus, the infernal judges. Sed si generis Christus hu- 
mani (inquitis) conservator advenit, cur non omnes aequali munificentia 
liberat? Resp. iEqualiter liberal, qui aequaliter omnes vocat. Haud ab in. 
dulgentia principali quemquam repellit, aut respuit: qui sublimibus, infimis, 
servis, &c, uniformiter potestatem veniendi ad se facit ? Patet omnibus fons 
vitae, neque ab jure potandi quisquam prohibetur. Si tibi fastidium tantum 
est, ut oblati respuas benencium muueris, quinimo si tantum sapientia pri- 
vates ; ut ea quae offeruntur a Christo ludum et iueptias nomines, quid invitans 
peccat, cujus solum sunt hae partes, ut sub tui juris arbitriofructum suae benig- 
nitatis exponat? An orandus es, ut beueficiuui salutis a Deodigneris accipere 
et tibi aspernanti, fugientique longissime, infundcuda est in gremium divinae 
benevolentiaj gratia ? Vis sumere quod offertur, et in tuos usns convertere 
cousulueris tu tibi. Aspernaris, contemnis et despicis, te muneris commodi- 
tate privaveris. Nulli Deus infert necessitatem. Object. Nolo (iuquisj et 
voluntatem uou habeo. Resp. Quid ergo criminaris Deum, tauquam tibi de- 
sit? Opem desideras tibi ferre, cujus dona et munera non tantum asperneris 
et fugias, verum in alia verba coguonihies, et jocularibus facetiis proseqr.aris. 
Arnob. Advers. Cent. I. 2. 



32G THE REASONS OF 

If you would judge of the beneficence of a king, will you go to 
the gaol and the gallows to discern it ; or to his palace, and all 
the rest of his kingdom ? And will vou make a few condemned 
malefactors the measure of it ; or all the rest of his obedient, 
prosperous subjects ? If hell be totally forsaken of God, as 
having totally forsaken him ; and if earth have made itself next 
to hell, and be forsaken as to the far greater part, because that 
greater part hath forsaken him ; as long as there may be millions 
of blessed ones above, to one of these forsaken ones on earth, it 
should be no offence to any but the selfish, guilty sinner. I con- 
fess, I rather look upon it as a great demonstration of God's holi- 
ness and goodness in his justice, that he will punish the rebellious 
according to his laws ; and a great demonstration of his good- 
ness in his mercy, that he will save any of such a rebellious 
world, and hath not forsaken it utterly, as hell. And when of 
all the thousands of worlds or globes which he hath made, we 
know of none forsaken by him, but hell, and part of the earth, 
all the devils, and most of men ; we should admire the glory of 
his bounty, and be thankful, with joy, that we are not of the for- 
saken number ; and that, even among sinners, he will cast off 
none but those that finally reject his mercy. 1 

But selfishness and sense do make men blind, and judge of 
good and evil only by self-interest and feeling : and the male- 
factor will hardly magnify justice, nor take it to be a sign of 
goodness : but God will be God, whether selfish rebels will or not 

Object. That any thing existeth besides God, cannot be known 
but by sense or history. Have you either of these for those 
inhabitants? And if we may go by conjectures, for aught you 
know, there may as many of those worlds be damned as of 
earthly men. 

Answ. 1. Some men are so little conscious of their humanity, 
that they think that nothing is known at all : but he that 
knoweth by sense that he is himself, and that there is a world 
about him, and then, by reason, that there is a God, may know 
also, by reason, that there are other creatures which he never 
saw. Neither sense nor history told us of the inhabitants of the 
then unknown parts of the world ; and yet it had been easy to 
gather at least a strong probability that there are such. He 
that knoweth that an intelligent nature is better than a non- 
intelligent, and then knoweth that God hath made man 

1 Eunomiani minas futuri supplicii et gehennse, non ad veritatem, sed ad 
metiim prolatas aiebant. — Hermenop. de Seeds, sect. 13. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 327 

intelligent, and then thinketh what difference there is in matter, 
magnitude, and glory, between the dirty body of man, with the 
earth he lives in, and those vast and glorious ethereal spaces, 
will quickly judge that it is a thing incredible, that God should 
have no creatures nobler than man, nor imprint more of his 
image upon any in those more glorious regions, than on us that 
dwell, as snails, in such a shell ; or that there should be such 
a strange disproportion in the works of God, as that a point of 
dirty earth only should be possessed of the divine or intellectual 
nature, and the vast and glorious orbs, or spaces, be made only 
to look on, or to serve these mortal worms. But proofs go 
according to the preparation of the receiver's mind : nothing is 
a proof to the unprepared and prejudiced. 

2. We have sense, by the telescope, to tell us, that the moon 
hath parts unequal, and looketh much like the habitable earth : 
and we have sense to tell us, that there are witches and appari- 
tions, and, consequently, other kinds of intellectual wights than we. 
And we have history to tell us of the appearances and offices of 
angels : and if there be certainly such wights, our eyes may help 
us to conjecture their numbers, compared to us, by the spaces 
which they inhabit. 

3. There is a proportion and harmony in all the works of 
God : and, therefore, we that see how much the superior orbs 
do in glory excel this dirty earth, have reason to think that the 
nature of the inhabitants is suited to their habitations, and, 
consequently, that they are more excellent creatures than we, 
and therefore less sinful, and therefore more happy. 

4. Yet, after all this, I am neither asserting that all this is 
so, nor bound to prove it ; I only argue, that you, who are 
offended at the numbers that sin and perish, do wrangle in the 
dark, and speak against you know not what. Conjecture is 
enough for me to prove that you do foolishly to argue against 
experience (of the sin and misery of the most) upon mere uncer- 
tainties. You will not censure the actions of a prince or ge- 
neral, when your ignorance of their counsels maketh you 
uncertain of the cause ; yea, and of the matter of fact itself. 
The proof lieth on your part, and not on mine : you say, our 
doctrine is incredible, because so few are saved, and yet confess 
that, for aught you know, taking all together, it may be many 
millions for one that perisheth. I think, by proving you un- 
certain of this, I prove you foolish in your infidelity. And if 
you will conjecture, then, that there may as many of those other 



32S THE REASONS OF 

regions be damned, 1. You show yourselves much more harsh 
in your censures than the Christians are, whose harshness you 
are now reproving : yea, you conjecture this without all ground 
or probability, and will you say, then, e For aught I know it 
may be so. Ergo: Christianity is incredible.' Can a groundless 
conjecture allow any rational man such a conclusion ? 

Object. But you say, yourselves, that many of the angels fell, 
and are now devils. 

Answ. But we say not how many : we never said that it is 
the whole number of the glorious inhabitants of all the superior 
world, who are called angels, as messengers or officers about 
man. We know not how small a part of them, comparatively, 
it may be, and of them we know not how few fell. Augustine 
conjectured that it was the tenth part, but we have no ground 
for anv such conjecture. 

Object. But it is incredible that the world should perish for 
one man's sin, whom they never knew, nor could prevent ? 

Answ. 1. To them that know what generation is, and what 
the son is to the father, it is not incredible at all that the 
unholv parents do not beget holy children, nor convey to them 
that which thev have not themselves : nor yet that God should 
hate the ungodly ; nor that the parents' choice should signify 
much for their children's state, who have no wills of their own 
fit for actual choice ; nor that restored, imperfect holiness should 
not be conveyed to children by natural propagation, which came 
to the parents by regeneration ; nor that the children of traitors 
should be disinherited for their fathers' faults; nor that the 
children of drunkards and gluttons should be naturally diseased. 

2. No man in the world doth perish for Adam's sin alone, 
without his own : though we judge the case of infants to allow 
you no exception, yet, to carry the controversy to them into the 
dark, and to argue a minus notis, is not the property of such as 
seek impartially for truth. Christ hath procured a new covenant, 
upon which all those that hear the Gospel shall again be tried 
for life or death ; and those that hear it not, have divers means 
which have a tendency to their recovery, and are under unde- 
niable obligations to use those means in order to their recovery, 
which, if they do not faithfully, they perish for their own sin. 
Should it not make Christianity the more easily credible, when 
certain experience assureth us, how prone even infants are to 
sin, and how universally the. world is drowned in wickedness; 
and then to find so admirable and suitable a remedy revealed ? 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 329 

Object. But punishment is to warn others from sinning ; but 
after this life there will be none to warn : therefore, there will 
be no punishment, because the end of punishment ceaseth. 

Answ. 1. It is a false position, that punishment is only or 
chiefly to be a warning to others. It is chiefly for the ultimate 
end of government, which secundum quid, among men, is the 
bonum publicum ; but simpliciter, in God's government, it is the 
glorifying or demonstration of the holiness and justice of God, 
the universal Governor, to the pleasure of his holy will. 

2. It is the penalty as threatened in the law, and not the 
penalty as executed, which is the first necessary means to deter 
others from offending; and then the execution is secondarily 
necessary, because the law must be fulfilled. It is not the actual 
hanging of a murderer which is the first instrument or means 
to restrain murderers, but it is the penalty in the law, which 
saith that murderers shall be hanged ; and the commination of 
the law would be no restraint, if it were not that it relateth to 
a just execution. So that it was necessary to the restraint of 
sinners in this world, that God should threaten hell in his law : 
and, therefore, it is necessary that he execute that law, or else 
it would be delusory and contemptible." 

3. How know we, who shall survive this present world, to 
whom God may make man's hell a warning ? Are not the 
devils now set out in Scripture for a warning to man ? And 
how know we what other creatures God hath to whom these 
punished sinners may be a warning ; or whether the new earth 
wherein righteousness must dwell, according to God's promise, 
2 Pet. iii. 12, 13, shall not have use of this warning to keep 
them in their righteousness ? As long as all these things are pro- 
bable, and the contrary utterly uncertain, how foolish a thing is 
it to go from the light of a plain revelation and Scripture, and 
argue, from our dark uncertainties and improbabilities, against 
that light ; and all because self-love and guilt doth make sinners 
unwilling to believe the truth ? So much for the objection 
against hell. 

Object. VIII. But it is incredible that all those shall be 

u See more of this before, (Part I., eh. 15,) The reader must pardon this 
speaking of the same thing twice, both because the objection requireth the 
repetition, and because 1 think it needful to most readers, to procure their ob- 
servation. Aut ideo gregem pusillum appellat, quia tot una hominum genus, 
ne dura soli sancti, cum imraensa ilia angelorum nuiltitudine, collatum, per- 
exiguus grex est. Est enim illorum multitudo incredibilis, hominum uume- 
rum iunnitis pene partibus excedeus. — Titus Bostrens. in Luce. 12. 



330 THE REASON'S OF 

damned that live honestly and soberly, and do no body harm, 
if they do not also live a holy and heavenl) life, and forsake all 
for another world. 

Answ. 1. It is but selfishnes and blindness which maketh men 
call him an honest man, and speak lightly of his wickedness, 
who preferreth the dung and trifles of this world before his 
Maker, and everlasting glory. What, if a pack of murderers, 
and thieves, and rebels do live together in love, and do one 
another no harm, shall that excuse their murders and rebellions, 
and give them the name of honest men ? What is the creature 
to the Creator ? What greater wickedness can man commit, 
than to deny, despise, and disobey his Maker, and to prefer the 
most contemptible vanity before him, and to choose the transitorv 
pleasure of sinning before the endless fruition of his God ? 
What is wronging a neighbour in comparison of this wrong ? 
Shall a sinner refuse his everlasting happiness when it is offered 
him, and then think to have it when he can possess the pleasure 
of sin no longer, and all because he did no man wrong ? Doth 
he think to refuse heaven, and yet to have it ? If he refuse the 
love of God, and perfection of holiness, he refuseth heaven.' It 
is so far from being incredible that the unholy should be damned 
and the holy only saved, that the contrary is impossible. I 
would not believe an angel from heaven, if he should tell me 
that one unholy soul, in sensu composito, while such, shall be 
saved and have the heavenly felicity, because it is a mere con- 
tradiction ; for to be blessed in heaven is to be happy in the 
perfect love of God ; and to love God without holiness, signifieth 
to love him without loving him. Are these the objections of 
unbelief? x 

Object. IX. The resurrection of these numerical bodies, when 
they are devoured and turned into the substance of other bodies, 
is a thing incredible. 

Answ. 1. If it be neither against the power, the wisdom, or 
the will of God, it is not incredible at all ; but it is not against 
any of these. Who can say that God is unable to raise the 
dead, who seeth so much greater things performed by him in the 

* We deny not but that there are different degrees of punishment, according 
to the difference of men's sins. Etsi mortalibus in decies millenos annos 
hffic externis sensibus exposita vita producatur, nunquam tamen opinor tantae 
angelorum etdajmonum multitudini,humanarum auimarum Humerus par erit. 
— JEneas Gazaus de Anima Theophrastus , p. 399. Cum non esses, te for- 
mavit ex humida et minima substantia, et ex minutissima guttula, quae nee 
psa aliquando erat. — Thcoph. Antioch, ad Antolych, 1. 1. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. ',YSl 

daily motion of the sun, or earth, and in the support and course 
of the whole frame of nature ? He that can, every spring, give 
a kind of resurrection to plants, and flowers, and fruits of the 
earth, can easily raise our hodies from the dust : and no man 
can prove that the wisdom of God, nor yet his will, are against 
our resurrection ; but that both are for it, may be proved by his 
promises. Shall that which is beyond the power of man be 
therefore objected as a difficulty to God ? y 

2. Yea, it is congruous to the wisdom and governing justice 
of God, that the same body which was partaker with the soul in 
sin and duty, should be partaker with it in suffering or felicity. 

3. The Lord Jesus Christ did purposely die and rise again in 
his human body, to put the resurrection out of doubt, by unde- 
niable, ocular demonstration, and by the certainty of belief. 

4. There is some natural reason for the resurrection, in the 
soul's inclination to its body. As it is unwilling to lay it down, 
it will be willing to reassume it when God shall say the time 
is come. As we may conclude at night when they are going to 
bed, that the people of city or country will rise the next morning, 
and put on their clothes, and not go naked about the streets, 
because there is in them a natural inclination to rising and to 
clothes, and a natural averseness to lie still, or to go unclothed ; 
so may we conclude, from the soul's natural inclination to its 
body, that it will reassume it as soon as God consenteth. 

5. And all our objections, which reason from supposed con- 
tradictions, vanish, because none of us all have so much skill in 
physics as to know what it is which individuateth this numerical 
body, and so what it is which is to be restored ; but we all con- 
fess that it is not the present mass of flesh and humours, which, 
being in a continual flux, is not the same this year which it was 
the last, and may vanish long before we die. 

Object. X. If Christ be indeed the Saviour of the world, why 

7 One that had never heard nor thought of the way of generation, would 
think it as unlikely a thing- that an acorn shonld bring forth an oak, or such 
a thing as sperma Inimcnnim the body of a man, as you do that the body rise 
again. And the Platonists think, that all souls, presently upon their departure 
hence, do fabricate to themselves either aerial or ethereal hodies: and why 
should you think them so alienated from the bodies which they live in, as 
only to be incapable of those ? If we knew what the hoc idem of the body is, 
we might have more particular, explicit satisfaction : in the mean time we 
must implicitly trust in God. — Leg. Finem. Disput. Zacharia: Scholast, Mi/ii- 
ien. Lege etiam Athenagoram de Resurrectione. Read Garbut ' Of the 
Resurrection.' Read /En. Gazeus's 'Theophrastus,' where is a handsome 
discourse of the resurrection. 



332 THE REASONS OF 

came he not into the world till it was four thousand years old ; 
and why was he hefore revealed to so few, and to them so 
darkly ? Did God care for none on earth but a few Jews ; or 
did he not care for the world's recovery till the latter age, when 
it drew towards its end ? 

Answ. It is hard for the Governor of the world, by ordinary 
means, to satisfy all self-conceited persons of the wisdom and 
equity of his dealings 5 but, 1. It belongeth not to us, but to 
our free Benefactor, to determine of the measure and season of 
his benefits : may he not do with his own as he list ; and shall 
we deny or question a proved truth because the reason of the 
circumstances is unrevealed to us ? If our physician come to 
cure us of a mortal disease, would we reject him because he 
came not sooner, and because he cured not all others that were 
sick as well as us ? 

2. The eternal Wisdom and Word of God, the Second 
Person in the Trinity, was the Saviour of the world before he 
was incarnate. He did not only by his undertaking make his 
future performances valid, as to the merit and satisfaction 
necessary to our deliverance, but he instructed mankind in 
order to their recovery, and ruled them upon terms of grace, 
and so did the work of a Redeemer or Mediator, even as Pro- 
phet, Priest, and King, before his incarnation. He enacted the 
covenant of grace, that whoever repenteth and believeth shall 
be saved ; and so gave men a conditional pardon of their sins. 2 

3. And though repentance, and the love of God, was neces- 
sary to all that would be saved, even as a constitutive cause of 
their salvation, yet that faith in the Mediator, which is but the 
means to the love of God, and to sanctification, was not always, 
nor in all places, in the same particular articles necessary as it 
is now where the Gospel is preached. Before Christ's coming, 
a more general belief might serve the turn for men's salvation, 
without believing that " This Jesus is the Christ ; that he was 
conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered 
under Pontius Pilate ; was crucified, dead, and buried, and de- 
scended to hades, and rose again the third day, and ascended 
into heaven," &e. And as more is necessary to be believed, 

z If philosophy be medicinal to the foolish world, why were Thales, Pythago- 
ras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, arid Zenoborn no sooner; but the world suffer- 
ed to lie so long in ignorance ? Answer this yourselves, and you are answer- 
ed. Arnobius answereth the objection, jiartly by alleging- man's ignorance 
of what God did to former ages ; and partly by asserting God's mercy to them. 
Adv. Gerdes. 1. 2, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 333 

since Christ's incarnation and resurrection, than before, so more 
was before necessary to the Jews, who had the oracles of God, 
and had more revealed to them than to other nations, who had 
less revealed ; and now more is necessary where the Gospel 
cometh, than where it doth not. 

4. So that the gentiles had a Saviour before Christ's incarna- 
tion, and not only the Jews. They were reprieved from legal 
justice, and not dealt with by God upon the proper terms of 
the covenant of works, or mere nature : they had all of them 
much of that mercy which they had forfeited, which came to 
them by the grace of the Redeemer. They had time and helps 
to turn to God, and a course of means appointed them to use, in 
order to their recovery and salvation ; according to the use of 
which they shall be judged. They were not, with the devils, left 
remediless, and shut out of all hope, under final desperation ; 
no one ever perished in any age or nation of the world, who, by 
believing in a merciful, pardoning, holy God, was recovered to 
love God above all. And if they did not this, they were all 
without a just excuse. a 

5. The course of grace, as that of nature, doth wisely pro- 
ceed from low degrees to higher, and bringeth not things to 
perfection at the first ; the sun was not made the first day of 
the creation, nor was man made till all things were prepared for 
him. The church's infancy was to go before its maturity. We 
have some light of the sun before it rise ; much more before it 
come to the height : as Christ now teacheth his church more 
plainly, when he is himself gone into glory, even by his pastors 
whom he fitteth for that work, and by his Spirit, so did he 
(though more obscurely, yet sufficiently) teach it before he 
came into the flesh, by prophets and priests : his work of 
salvation consisteth in bringing men to live in love and obedi- 
ence ; and his way of teaching them his saving doctrine, is by 
his ministers without, and by his Spirit within ; and thus he 
did before his coming in flesh, and thus he doth since ; we that 
are born since his coming, see not his person any more than 
they who were born before \ but we have his word, ministers, 

a Object. Quid visum est ut ante horas pauculas sospitator Christus cceli ex 
arcibus mitteretur? Resp. Quae causa est quod serius hyems, aestas, au- 

tumnus fiant? Non minus inficias nescire nos: nee promptum est cui- 

quam Dei mentem videre, aut quibus modis ordinaverit res suas, homo ani- 
mal ccecum et ipsum se nesciens ullis potest rationibus consequi Nee con- 

tinuo sequitur ut infecta fiant quae facta sunt, et amittat res fidem, quae potes- 
tatibus est inonstratum. — Id. ibid. 



334 THE REASONS OF 

and Spirit, and so had they : his reconciling sacrifice was 
effectual, morally, in esse coynito et volito, before the performance 
of it : and the means of reconciling our minds to God were 
sufficient in their kind before, though more full and excellent 
since his coming. b 

If you would not be deluded into infidelity by this objection, 
which, indeed, is one of the greatest difficulties of faith, you 
must not further one error by another. 1. Think not that God 
is hired or persuaded by Christ, as against his will, to forgive 
men's sins, and save their souls, or to do them any good. 
Understand that no good cometh to man, or anv creature, but 
totally from God's will and love, who is the original and eternal 
Goodness. All the question is but of the modus covferendi, 
the way of his conveyance ; and then it will not seem incredi- 
ble, that he should give out his mercy by degrees, and with 
some diversity. 

2. Think not that Christianity doth teach men, that all those 
who were not of the Jewish nation or church then, or that are 
not now of the christian church, were so cast off and forsaken 
by God as the devils are, to be left as utterly hopeless or reme- 
diless} nor that they were upon no other terms for salvation, 
than man in innocency was under, which was, " Obey per- 
fectly, and live ; or if thou sin, thou shalt die ;" for this had 
been to leave them as hopeless as the devils, when once they 
had sinned. 

3. And think not that Christ can show no mercy, nor do any 
thing towards the salvation of a sinner, before he is known 
himself to the sinner ; especially before he is known as an in- 
carnate Mediator, or one that is to be incarnate. He struck 
dovvn Paul, and spake to him from heaven, before Paul knew 

b Nam quod nobis objectare consuestis, novellam esse religionem nostram, 
et ante dies propemodum paucos natain, neque vos potuisse antiquam et 
patriam linquere, &c. ; ratione istud iutenditur nulla : quid enim si hoc modo 
culpam velimus infligere, prioribus illis et antiquissimis seculis, quod inventis 
frugibus glandes spreveriut, quod corticibus coutegi, et amiciri desierint pelli- 

bus, postquam vestis excogitatae est textili Commune est omnibus et ab 

ipsis pene incunabulis traditum, bona malis auteferre, inutilibus utilia pra?- 

ponere Convenit ut inspiciatis non factum, nee quid reliqueritnus oppo- 

nere sed secuti quid simus potissimum contueri. — Arnob ib. 1. 2. And he 
next instanceth what abundance of things they had then innovated at Rome. 

Et postea sed novellum nomeu est nostrum, et ante dies paucos reli"-io est 

nata quam sequimur : Resp. Ut interim concedam Quid est in negotiis 

hominum, quod vel opere corporis et manibus fiat, vel solius animae disciplina 
et cognitione teneatur, quod non ex aliquo cceperit tempore ? Philosophia, 
musicaj astronomia, &c, — Id. ib. p. 24. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 335 

him ; he sent Philip to the eunuch, hefore he knew him ; and 
Peter to Cornelius, and sendeth the Gospel to heathen nations, 
before they know him. H the apostles themselves, even after 
that they had lived long with Christ, and heard his preaching, 
and seen his miracles, yea, and preached and wrought miracles 
themselves, did not yet understand that he must suffer, and die, 
and rise again, and send down the Spirit, &c, you may con- 
jecture by this what the common faith of those before Christ's 
coming was, who were saved. 

4. Think not, therefore, that Christ hath no way or degree 
of effectual teaching, but by the express doctrine of his incar- 
nation, death, and resurrection, which is now the Gospel. 

5. And think not that all the mercies which pagan nations 
have from God, are no acts of grace, nor have any tendency to 
their conversion and salvation. Doubtless, it is the same Re- 
deemer, even the eternal Wisdom and Word of God, who before 
his incarnation gave greater mercy to the Jews, and lesser to the 
gentiles. He doth by these mercies oblige or lead men to re- 
pentance and gratitude, and reveal God as merciful, and ready 
to forgive all capable sinners. As even under the law, (Exod. 
xxxiv.,) he revealed himself more fully to Moses, " The Lord, 
the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abun- 
dant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, for- 
giving iniquity, transgression and sin," &c; though he " will, by 
no means (no, not by Christ) clear the guilty ;" that is, either 
say to the wicked, ' Thou art just,' or pardon any incapable 
subject. Doubtless, mercy bindeth heathens to know God as 
merciful, and to love him, and to improve that mercy to their 
attainment of more, and to seek after further knowledge, and 
to be better than they are; and they are set under a certain 
course of means and appointed duty, in order to their reco- 
very and salvation 5 else it might be said they have nothing 
to do for their own recovery, and, consequently, sin not by omit- 
ting it. By all this you may perceive that Christ did much by 
mercies and teaching before his incarnation, and since for all the 
world, which hath a tendency to their conversion, recovery, and 
salvation. 

Object. XL The conception of a virgin, without man, is im- 
probable, and must all depend upon the credit of her own word ; 

c Religionis autoritas non est tempore estimanda sed numine. — Id. lb. Yet 
next he saith, Our religion is the oldest, because Cud is so, though Christ 
came but lately to teach it us better. 



336 THE REASONS OF 

and the meanness of his parentage, breeding, and condition* 
doth more increase the difficulty. 

Answ. It was meet that the birth of Christ should begin in a 
miracle, when his life was to be spent and finished in miracles. 
2. It is no more than was promised before by the prophet, " A 
virgin shall conceive and bear a Son," &c. (Isa. vii. 14.) And 
why should the fulfilling of a prophecy by miracle be incredi- 
ble ? 3. It is neither above, nor against, the power, wisdom, or 
love of God, and therefore it should not seem incredible. There 
is no contradiction or impossibility in it, nor any thing contrary 
to sense or reason. Reason saith, indeed, that it is above the 
power of man, and above the common course of nature, but not 
that it is above the power of the God of nature. Is it any 
harder for God to cause a virgin to conceive by the Holy Ghost, 
than to make the first of human kind, or any other kind, of no- 
thing ? 4. It was meet that he who was to be a sacrifice for 
sin, and a teacher and pattern of perfect righteousness, and a 
Mediator between God and man, should not be an ordinary 
child of Adam, nor himself be defiled with original or actual 
sin ; and therefore that he should be in a peculiar sense the Son 
of God. 5. And this doth not depend only on the credit of the 
Virgin Mother's word, but on the multitude of miracles whereby 
God himself confirmed the truth of it. 

And as for the meanness of his person and condition, 1. It 
was a needful part of the humiliation which he was, for our sins, 
to undergo, that he should " take upon him the form of a ser- 
vant, and make himself of no reputation." (Phil. ii. 7 — 9-) 
2. It was a suitable testimony against the pride, carnality, and 
worldly-mindedness of deluded men, who overvalue the honour, 
and pleasure, and riches of the world ; and a suitable means to 
teach men to judge of things aright, and value every thing truly 
as it is. The contrary whereof is the cause of all the sin and 
misery of the world. He that was to cure men of the love of 
the world, and all its riches, dignities, and pleasures, and he 
that was to save them from this, by the office of a Saviour, could 
not have taken a more effectual way than to teach them by his 
own example, and to go before them in the settled contempt of all 
these vanities, and preferring the true and durable felicity. 3. 
Look inwardly to his Godhead and spiritual perfections. Look 
upward to his present state of glory, who hath now all power 
given into his hands, and is made Head over all things to the 
church, (Eph. i. 22.) Look forward to the day of his glorious 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 337 

appearing, when he shall come with all his celestial retinue to judge 
the world ; and then you will see the dignity and excellency of 
Christ. If you prefer not spiritual and heavenly dignities your- 
selves, you are incapable of them, and cannot he saved: but if 
you do, you mav see the excellencies of Christ. He that know- 
eth how vain a bubble the honour of man and the glory of this 
world is, will not be offended at the King of saints, because his 
kingdom is not of this world ; and he that knoweth any thing 
of the difference between God and the creature, heaven and 
earth, will not despise the eternal Jehovah because he weareth 
not a silken coat, and dwelleth not in the gilded palaces of a 
prince. If earthly glory had been the highest, it had been the 
glory of Christ : and if he had come to make us happy by the 
rich man's way, " to be clothed in purple and silk, and faring 
sumptuously every day," (Luke xvi.,) then would he have led us 
this way by his example. But when it is the work of a Saviour 
to save us from the flesh, and from this present evil world, the 
means must be suited to the end. 

Object. XII, But it is a very hard thing to believe that person 
to be God incarnate, and the Saviour of the world, who suffered, 
on a cross as a blasphemer and a traitor that usurped the title 
of a king. 

Ansvv. The cross of Christ hath ever been the stumbling- 
block of the proud and worldly sort of men ; but it is the con- 
fidence and consolation of true believers. For, 1. It was not 
for his own sins, but for ours that he suffered ; even so was it 
prophesied of him, " Surely he hath borne our griefs, and car- 
ried our sorrows : yet did we esteem him stricken of God, and 
afflicted : but he was wounded for our transgressions, he was 
bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was 
upon him, and with his stripes we are healed : all we, like sheep, 
have gone astray; we have every one turned to his own way, 
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 
liii. 4.) And it is impudent ingratitude to make those his suf- 
ferings the occasion of our unbelief, which we were the causes 
of ourselves, and to be ashamed of that cross which we laid upon 
him by our sins. It is not worth the labour to answer the 
slanders of his accusers about his usurpation of a kingdom, when 
they believed it not themselves. He was above a worldly king- 
dom ; and it could be no blasphemy for him to say that he was 
the Son of God, when he had so fully proved it by his works. d 

d Leg. I von Carnotcns. de rebus Ecclesiasfc. cap. Quare Deus natus et 
VOL. XXI. Z 



338 THE REASONS OF 

2. His suffering as a reputed malefactor on a cross, was a 
principal part of the merit of his patience; for many a man 
can bear the corporal pain who cannot so far deny his honour 
as to bear the imputation of a crime ; for the innocent Son of 
God, that was never convict of sin, to suffer under the name of 
a blasphemer and a traitor, was greater condescension than to 
have suffered under the name of an innocent person. 

3. And in all this it was needful that the Saviour of mankind 
should not only be a sacrifice and ransom for our sinful souls, 
but also should heal us of the over-love of life and honour, by 
his example. Had not his self-denial and patience extended 
to the loss of all things in this world, both life itself and the 
reputation of his righteousness, it had not been a perfect exam- 
ple of self-denial and patience unto us ; and then it had been 
unmeet for so great a work as the cure of our pride and love of 
life. Had Christ come to deliver the Jews from captivity, or to 
make his followers great on earth, as Mahomet did, he would 
have suited the means to such an end ; but when he came to 
save men from pride, and self-love, and the esteem of this world, 
and to bring them to patience, and full obedience to the will of 
God, and to place all their happiness in another life, true rea- 
son telleth us that there was no example so fit for this end, as 
patient submission to the greatest sufferings. The cross of 
Christ, then, should be our glory, and not our stumbling-block 
or shame. Let the children of the devil boast that they are 
able to do no hurt, and to trample upon others : the disciples 
of Christ will rather boast that they can patiently endure to be 
abused, as knowing that their pride and love of the world is 
the enemy which they are most concerned in conquering. 

Object. XIII. It was but a few mean, unlearned persons who 

believed in him at the first, and it is not past a sixth part of 

the world that yet believeth in him ; and, of these, few do it 

judiciously and from their hearts, but because their kings, or 

parents, or country, are of that religion. 

passus est?— Bill. Pat. To. 10, pp. 809, 810. Etiam Ruper. Tuitiens. lib. 
3. de Divinis Offic. cap. 14. de eo quod solet quaeri, Cur Deus lapsum homiuis 
evenire permiserit pro quo incaruatio ejus necessaria fuit ? — p. 897. Pytha- 
goras samius suspicione dominationis injusta. vivus concrematus in fano est: 
nunquid ea quae docuit, vim propriam perdiderunt, quia non Spiritum sponte, 
sed crudelitate appetitus effuuit : similiter Socrates civitatis suae judicio dam- 
natus, &c. Aquilius, Trebonius, Regulus, acerbissimarum mortium experti 
sunt formas : nunquid idcirco post vitam judicati sunt turpes ? Nemo unquam 
innocens male interemptus infamis est; nee turpitudinis alicujus commacu- 
latur nota, qui non suo merito, poenas graves, sed cruciatoris perpetitur saevita- 
tem. — Arnoh, adv. Gent, lib. 1, p. 7. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 339 

Ansvv. 1. As to the number, I have answered it before. It 
is no great number, comparatively, that are kings, or lords, or 
learned men, and truly judicious and wise ; will you, therefore, 
set light by any of these ? Things excellent are seldom com- 
mon. The earth hath more stones than gold or pearls. All 
those believed in Christ who heard his word, and saw his works, 
and had wise, considerate, honest hearts, to receive the suffi- 
cient evidence of truth. The greater part are everywhere 
ignorant, rash, injudicious, dishonest, and carried away by 
pejudice, fancy, custom, error, and carnal interest. If all men 
have means in its own kind sufficient to bring them to believe, 
to understand so much as God immediately requireth of them, 
it is their fault who after this are ignorant and unbelieving; 
and if it prove their misery, let them thank themselves. But 
yet, Christ will not leave the success of his undertaking so far 
to the will of man, as to be uncertain of his expected fruits : 
he hath his chosen ones throughout the world, and will bring 
them effectually to faith and holiness, to grace and glory, 
though all the powers of hell do rage against it : in them is his 
delight, and them he will conform to his father's will, and re- 
store them to his image, and fit them to love and serve him 
here, and enjoy him for ever. And though they are not the 
greater number, they shall be the everlasting demonstration of 
his wisdom, love, and holiness : and when you see all the 
worlds of more blessed inhabitants, you will see that the damned 
were the smaller number, and the blessed, in all probability, 
many millions to one. If the devil have the greater number in 
this world, God will have the greater number in the rest. e 

2. It was the wise design of Jesus Christ, that few, in compa- 
rison, should be converted by his personal converse or teaching, 
and thousands might be suddenly converted upon his ascension, 
and the coming down of the Holy Ghost : both because his 
resurrection and ascension were part of the articles to be be- 
lieved, and were the chief of all his miracles which did convert 
men ; and therefore he would rise from the dead before the 

e How gallantly have your learned philosophers excelled us. When the 
Pyrrhonians, and Arcesilas's new academics, have learned to know that no- 
thing can he known ; and the one sort of them say, that they know not that 
much neither. But whether they dare say that they know that they know not 
that much, they have not told us. Of them, even Cicero learned as much to 
duubt as to know, 

Quicquid nil verum statuens academia duplex 

Personat; arroso quicquid sapit ungue Cleanthes 

Apol, Sidonius, C'ctrm. 2, p. 123. 

z2 



310 THE REASONS OF 

multitude should be called : and, because the Spirit, as it was 
his extraordinary Witness and Advocate on earth, was to be 
given by him after he ascended into glory; and he would have 
the world see that the conversion of men to faith and sanctity 
was not the effect of any politic confederacy between him and 
them, but the effect of God's power, light, and love : so tbat it 
should be a great confirmation to our faith, to consider that 
those multitudes believed by the wonderful testimony and work 
of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples, when Christ had been 
crucified in despite, who yet believed not before, but were his 
crucifiers. It was not so hard nor honourable an act to believe 
in him, when he went about working miracles, and seemed in a 
possibility to restore their temporal kingdom, as to believe in 
him after he had been crucified among malefactors. He, there- 
fore, that could, after this, by the Spirit and miracles, bring so 
many thousands to believe, did show that he was alive himself 
and in full power. 

3. And that the apostles were mean, unlearned men, is a 
great confirmation to our faith ; for now, it is apparent that 
they had their abilities, wisdom, and successes from the Spirit 
and power of God : but if they had been philosophers, or cun- 
ning men, it might have been more suspected to be a laid con- 
trivance between Christ and them : indeed, for all his miracles, 
they began to be in doubt of him themselves, when he was dead 
and buried, till they saw him rise again, and had the Spirit 
come upon them ; and this last, undeniable evidence, and this 
heavenly, insuperable call and conviction, was it which miracu- 
lously settled them in the faith. 

4. And that Saviour who came not to make us worldlings, 
but to save us from this present evil world, and to cure our 
esteem and love of worldly things, did think it most meet both 
to appear in the form of a poor man himself, and to choose dis- 
ciples of the like condition, and not to choose the worldly-wise, 
and great, and honourable to be the first attestors of his mira- 
cles, or preachers of his Gospel;' though he had some that 
were of place and quality in the world, as Nicodemus, Joseph, 

f Quid nobis estinvestigareea qua ncque scire compendium, Deque ignorare 
detrimentum est ullum ? Remittite hsec Deo, atque ipsum scire concedite, 
quid, quare, et unde sit? debuerit esse autnon esse. Vestris non est rationi- 
bus liberum implicare vos talibus, et tam remotas inutiliter curare res: vestra 
in ancipiti sita est salus aiiimaiuin vestrarum ; et nisi vos applicatis Dei prin- 
cipis notioni, a corporalibus vinculis exolutos, expectat mors saeva ; non re- 
pentinam afferens extinctionem, sed pertractuni temporis cruciabilis poena? 
acerbitate consumens.— Arnob. adv. Gent. 1. 2. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 341 

Cornelius, Sergius Paulus, &c, yet his power needed not such 
instruments ; as he would not teach us to magnify worldly 
pomp, nor value things by outward appearance, as the deluded, 
dreaming world doth, so he would show us, that he needeth not 
kings nor philosophers, by worldly power or wisdom, to set up 
his kingdom. He giveth power, but he receiveth none. He 
setteth up kings, and by him they reign, but they set not up 
him, nor doth he reign by any of them; nor will he be be- 
holden to great men, or learned men, for their help to 
promote his cause and interest in the world. The largeness of 
his mercy, indeed, extendeth to kings and all in authority, as 
well as to the poor ; and if they will not reject it, nor break his 
bonds, but kiss the Son, before his wrath break forth against 
them, they may be saved as well as others ; (Psalm ii. 1,2, 9, 
10; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2;) but he will not use them in the first 
setting up of his church in the world, lest men should think 
that it was set up by the learning, policy, or power of man ; 
(1 Cor. i. 26—29, and ii. 5— 7, 10, 13, and xiii. 19, &c. ;) 
and therefore he would not be voted one of the gods, by Tibe- 
rius, or Adrian's senate, nor accept of the worship of Alexander 
Severus,who,in his Lararium, worshipped him as one of his demi- 
gods, nor receive any such beggarly deity from man ; but when 
Constantine acknowledged him as God indeed, he accepted his 
acknowledgment. Those unlearned men whom he used were 
made wiser in an hour by the Holy Ghost, than all the philoso- 
phers in the world : and those mean, contemned persons, 
overcame the learning and power of the world, and not by arms 
as Mahomet, but against arms and arguments, wit and rage ; 
bv the Spirit alone they subdued the greatest powers to their 
Lord. 

Object. XIV. But it doth, sapere scenam, sound like a poeti- 
cal fiction, that God should satisfy his own justice, and Christ 
should die instead of our being damned, and this to appease 
the wrath of God, as if God were angry, and delighted in the 
blood or sufferings of the innocent. 

Answ. Ignorance is the great cause of unbelief. This objec- 
tion cometh from many errors, and false conceits about the 
things of which it speaketh. 1. If the word, Satisfaction,' of- 
fend you, use only the Scripture words, that Christ was a sacrifice, 
an atonement, a propitiation, a price, &c. ; and if this be in- 
credible, how came it to pass that sacrificing was the custom 
of all the world ? Doth not this objection as much militate 



342 THE REASONS OF 

against this ? Was God angry, or was he delighted, in the 
blood and sufferings of harmless sheep and other cattle ? And 
must these either satisfy him, or appease his wrath ? What, 
think you, should be the cause that sacrificing was thus com- 
monly used in all ages, through all the earth, if it savoured but 
of poetical fiction ? g 

2. God hath no such thing as a passion of anger to be ap- 
peased, nor is he at all delighted in the blood or suffering of the 
worst, much less of the innocent, nor doth he sell his mercy for 
blood ; nor is his satisfaction any reparation of any loss of his 
which he receiveth from another. But, 1. Do you understand 
what government is, and what divine government is, and what 
is the end of it ; even the pleasing of the will of God in the de- 
monstrations of his own perfections ? If you do, you will know 
that it was necessary that God's penal laws should not be broken 
by a rebel world, without being executed on them according to 
their true intent and meaning, or without such an equivalent 
demonstration of his justice as might vindicate the law and law- 
giver from contempt, and the imputation of ignorance or levity, 
and might attain the ends of government as much as if all sin- 
ners had suffered themselves ; and this is it that we mean by a 
sacrifice, ransom, or satisfaction. Shall God be a Governor, and 
have no laws ; or shall he have laws that have no penalties ; or 
shall he set up a lying scare-crow to frighten sinners by deceit, 
and have laws which are never meant for execution ? Are any 
of these becoming God ? Or shall he let the devil go for true, 
who told Eve at first, " You shall not die/' and let the world sin 
on with boldness, and laugh at his laws, and say God did but 
frighten us with a few words which he never intended to fulfil ; 
or should God have damned all the world according to their 
desert? If none of all this be credible to you, then certainly 
nothing should be more credible than that his wisdom hath 
found out some way to exercise pardoning, saving mercy, with- 
out any injury to his governing justice and truth, and without 
exposing his laws and himself to the contempt of sinners, or 
emboldening them in their sins ; even a way which shall vindi- 

e Lege pretiosissimum Grotii lib. de satisfactione : Item Zarnovecium et 
Johan. Junium et Essenium de satisf. Pontifex ille credo est qui principali- 
ter apud divinitatem summae Trimtatis humani generis oblata sanctificat, pec- 
cata expiat, vota commendat. Ipse ergo verus sacerdos est, quia Filius Dei 
secundum id quod aequalis est Patri, non tarn preces fundit, quam precantes 
exaudit; homopotius hie iutelligendus est, quern pontificem apostolus dicens, 
nostrisque iufirmitatibus compati, &c. — Claudian, Mammert. de statu Anima 
eontr. Faust. 1. I.e. 3. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 343 

cate his honour, and attain his ends of government as well as if 
we had been all punished with death and hell, and yet may save 
us with the great advantage of honour to his mercy, and in the 
fullest demonstration of that love and justice which may win our 
love : and where will you find this done but in Jesus Christ 
alone ? 2. You must distinguish between anger and justice : 
when God is said to be angry it meaneth no more but that he is 
displeased with sin and sinners, and executeth his governing 
justice on them. 3. You must distinguish between sufferings in 
themselves considered, and as in their significations and effects : 
God loved not any man's pain, and suffering, and death, as in 
itself considered, and as evil to us ; no, not of a sacrificed beast ; 
but he loveth the demonstration of his truth, and justice, and 
holiness, and the vindication of his laws from the contempt of 
sinners, and the other good ends attained by this means ; and 
so as a means adapted to such ends he loveth the punishment 
of sin. 

Object. XV. It is a suspicious sign that he seeketh but to set 
up his name and get disciples, that he maketh it so necessary to 
salvation to believe in him ; and not only to repent and turn to 
God. 

Answ. He maketh not believing in him necessary, sub ratione 
finis, as our holiness and love to God is ; but only sub ratione 
medii, as a means to make us holy, and work us up to the love 
of God. He proclaimeth himself to be the Way, the Truth, 
and the Life, by whom it is that we must come to the Father ; 
and that he will save to the uttermost all that come to God by 
him. (Heb. vii. 25 ; John xiv. 6.) So that he commandeth 
faith but as the bellows of love, to kindle in us the heavenly 
flames : and I pray you, how should he do this otherwise ? Can 
we learn of him if we take him for a deceiver ; will we follow 
his example if we believe him not to be our pattern ; will we 
obev him if we believe not that he is our Lord ; will we be com- 
forted by his gracious promises and covenant, and come to God 
with ever the more boldness and hope of mercy, if we believe 
not in his sacrifice and merits ; shall we be comforted at death, 
in hope that he will justify us and receive our souls, if we believe 
not that he liveth, and will judge the world, and is the Lord of 
life and glory ; will you learn of Plato or Aristotle, if you believe 
not that they are fit to be your teachers ; or will you take physic 
of any physician whom you trust not, but take him for a de- 
ceiver ; or will you go in the vessel with a pilot, or serve in the 



344 



THE REASONS OF 



army under a captain, whom you cannot trust ? To believe in 
Christ, which is made so necessary to our justification and sal- 
vation, is not a dead opinion, nor the joining with a party that 
crieth up his name ; but it is to become Christians indeed ; that 
is, to take him unfeignedlv for our Saviour, and give up ourselves 
to him by resolved consent or covenant, to be saved by him from 
sin and punishment, and reconciled to God, and brought to per- 
fect holiness and glory. This is true, justifying, and saving 
faith ; and it is our own necessities that have made this faith so 
necessary, as a means to our salvation : and shall we make it 
necessary for ourselves, and then quarrel with him for making it 
necessary in his covenant ? 

Object. XVJ. If Christ were the Son of God, and his apostles 
inspired by the Holy Ghost, and the Scriptures were God's word, 
thev would excel all other men and writings, in all true rational 
worth and excellency ; whereas, Aristotle excelleth them in logic 
and philosophy, and Cicero and Demosthenes in oratory, and 
Seneca in ingenious expressions of morality, &c. 

Answ. You may as well argue that Aristotle was no wiser 
than a minstrel, because he could not fiddle so well ; or than a 
painter, because he could not limn so well ; or than a harlot, 
because he could not dress himself so neatly. Means are to be 
estimated according to their fitness for their ends. h Christ 

h The parts and style of men may vary, who speak the same truth. Sentit 
ut Pythagoras, dividit ut Socrates, explicat ut Plato, implicat ut Aristotele^., 
ut jEschines blanditur, ut Demosthenes irascitur, vernat ut Hortensius, ut 
Cethegus, incitat ut Curio, moratur ut Fabius, simulat ut Crassus, dissimulat 
ut Caesar, suadet ut Cato, dissuadet ut Appius, persuadet ut Tullius : instruit ut 
Hieronimus, destruit ut Lactantius, astruit ut Augustinus, attollitur ut Hilarius, 
summittitur ut Joannes, ut Basilius corripit, ut Gregorius consolatur, ut Orosi- 
us affluit, ut Ruffinus stringitur, ut Eusebius narrat, Jt Eucheus sollicitat, ut 
Paulinus provocat, ut Ambrosius perseverat. Sidonis Ep. Mammert. Even 
as your heathen authors had their several styles, so had the sacred writers, 

Qua Crispus brevitate placet, quo pondere Varro. 

Quo genio Plautus, quo flumine Quintiliauus. 

Qua. pompa Tacitus nunquam sine laude Joquendus. 

dpol. Sidonius, Carm. 2. Auetuar. Bib. Pair. p. 123. 
Nihil fide nostra iniquius fingi posset, si in eruditos tantum, et dicendi facul- 
tate et logicis demonstrationibus excellentes caderet : popularis autem multi- 
tude, ut auro et argento aliisque omnibus rebus, quae hie in pretio hsbentur, 
atque a plerisque avide expetuntur, sic hoc quoque frustraretur, ac Deus id 
quod altum et excelsum est, et ad paucos pertingit, gratum acceptumque 
haberet ; contra, quod propiuquius est, nee vulgi captum superat, aspernare- 
tur et rejiceret. — Nazimiz. Orat.26. p. 453. Sed ab indoctis hominibus et 
rudibus scripta sunt. Et idcirco non sunt f'acili auditione credenda. Vide ne 
magis fortior haec causa sit : cur ilia sint nullis coinquinata mendaciis; mente 
siuiplici prodita, et ignara lenociniis ampliare trivialis et sordidus sermo est: 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 345 

himself excelled all mankind, in all true perfections; and yet 
it became him not to exercise all men's arts, to show that he 
excelleth them. He came not into the world to teach men 
architecture, navigation, medicine, astronomy, grammar, music, 
logic, rhetoric, &c, and therefore showed not his skill in these. 
The world had sufficient helps and means for these in nature. 
It was to save men from sin and hell, and bring them to pardon, 
holiness, and heaven, that Christ was incarnate, and that the 
apostles were inspired, and the Scriptures written ; and to be 
fitted to these ends is the excellency to be expected in them ; 
and in this they excel all persons and writings in the world. 
As God doth not syllogise, or know by our imperfect way of 
ratiocination, but yet knovveth all things better than syllogisers 
do, so Christ hath a more high and excellent kind of logic and 
oratorv, and a more apt, and spiritual, and powerful style, than 
Aristotle, Demosthenes, Cicero, or Seneca. He showed not 
that skill in methodical healing which Hippocrates and Galen 
showed, but he showed more and better skill, when he could 
heal with a word, and raise the dead, and had the power of life 
and death ; so did he bring more convincing evidence than 
Aristotle, and persuaded more powerfully than Demosthenes or 
Cicero. And though this kind of formal learning was below 
him, and below the inspired messengers of his Gospel, yet his 
inferior servants, an Aquinas, a Scotus, an Ockam, a Scaliger, 
a Ramus, a Gassendus, do match or excel the old philosophers ; 
and abundance of Christians equalise or excel a Demosthenes or 
Cicero, in the truest oratory. 

2. His mercy had a general design for the salvation of all 
sorts and ranks of men, and therefore was not to confine itself 
to a few trifling, pedantic logicians and orators, or those that 
had learned to speak in their new-made words and phrases ; 
but he must speak in the common dialect of all those whom he 

nunquam enim Veritas sectata est fucum, nee quod exploratum et eertum est, 
cireumduci se patitur orationis per ambitum longiorem : collectiones enthy- 
meta, definitiones, omniaque ilia ornamenta quibus fides quan-itur assertionis, 

suspicantes adjuvant, lion veritatis lineamenta demonstrant Solcecismis, 

barharismis, inquis obsitae sunt res vestrae Puerilis sane et angusti pecto- 
ris repreheusio : yuam si admitteremus ut vera sit <^i_iiti enim officit, O 

queeso ? aut quam praestat intellectui tarditatem ? utnunne quid leve, an 
hirsuta cum asperitate promatur ? inflectatur quod acui, an acuatur quod 
oportebat inflecti. — Ar:iob. 1. 1. p. 10. Dissoluti est pectoris, in rebus seriis 

quaerere voluptatem Atsi verum spectes, nullus sermo natura est integer, 

vitiosus similiter nullus : qua?nam enim est ratio naturalis, aut in lmindi con- 
stitutionibus lex scripta, ut hie paries dicatur, et haec sella ? — Id. ibid. 



346 , THE REASONS OF 

would instruct and save. As the statutes of the land, or the 
books of physic, which are most excellent, are written in a style 
which is fitted to the subject matter, and to the readers, and 
not in syllogisms, or terms of logic, so was it more necessary 
that it should be with the doctrine of salvation. The poor and 
unlearned were the greatest number of those that were to be 
converted and saved by the Gospel, and still to use the holy 
Scriptures. 

3. There is greater exactness of true logical method in some 
parts of the Scripture, (as e.g. in the covenant of faith, the 
Lord's Prayer, and the Decalogue,) than any that is to be found 
in Aristotle or Cicero ; though men that understand them not do 
not observe it. The particular books of Scripture were written 
at several times, and on several occasions, and not as one 
methodical svstem, though the Spirit that endited it hath made 
it indeed a methodical system, agreeable to its design : but if 
you saw the doctrines of all this Bible, uno intuitu, in a perfect 
scheme, as it is truly intended by the Spirit of God; if you saw 
all begin the Divine Unity, and branch out itself into the Trinity, 
and thence into the Trinity of relations and correlations, and 
thence into the multiplied branches of mercy and precepts, and 
all these accepted and improved in duty and gratitude by man, 
and returned up in love to the blessed Trinity and Unity again, 
and all this in perfect order, proportion, and harmony; you 
would see the most admirable, perfect method that ever was set 
before you in the world : the resemblance of it is in the circular 
motion of the humours and spirits in man's body, which are 
delivered on from vessel to vessel, and perfected in all their mo- 
tions. I know there are many schemes and systems attempted 
which show not this, but that is because the wisdom of this 
method is so exceedingly great that it is yet but imperfectly un- 
derstood ; for my own part, I may say as those that have made 
some progress in anatomy beyond their ancestors, that they have 
no thought that they have yet discovered all, but rejoice in what 
they have discovered, which showed them the hopes and possi- 
bility of more ; so I am far from a perfect comprehension of this 
wonderful method of divinity, but I have seen that which truly 
assureth me that it excelleth all the art of philosophers and 
orators, and that it is really a most beautiful frame and harmo- 
nious consort, and that more is within my prospect than I am 
vet come to. 

4. Moreover, it is Christ who gave all men all the gifts they 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 347 

have : to logicians, orators, astronomers, grammarians, physi- 
cians, musicians, &c, whatever gifts are suited to men's just ends 
and callings he hestowed on them ; and to his apostles he gave 
those gifts which were most suitable to their work. I do not 
undervalue the gifts of nature or art in any ; J make it not, with 
Aristotle, an argument for the contempt of music, Jovem neque 
carnere, neque Cytharam pulsare ; but I may say, that as Cod 
hath greater excellencies in himself, so hath he greater gifts to 
give ; and such gifts as were fittest for the confirmation of the 
truth of the Gospel, and first planting of the churches, he gave 
to the apostles ; and such as were fit for the edifying of the 
church he giveth to his ministers ever since ; and such as were 
fit for the improvement of nature, in lower things, he gave the 
philosophers and artists of the world. 

Object. XVII. The Scripture hath many contradictions in it, 
in points of history, chronologv, and other things. Therefore, 
it is not the word of God. 

Answ. Nothing but ignorance maketh men think so : under- 
stand once the true meaning, and allow for the errors of printers, 
transcribers, and translators, and there will no such thing be 
found. Young students, in all sciences, think their books are 
full of contradictions; which they can easily reconcile, when 
they come to understand them. Books that have been so often 
translated into so many languages, and the originals and transla- 
tions so often transcribed, may easily fall into some disagreement 
between the original and translations ; and the various copies 
may have divers, inconsiderable verbal differences. But all the 
world must needs confess, that in all these books, there is no 
contradiction in any point of doctrine, much less in such as our 
salvation resteth on. 

There are two opinions among Christians about the books of 
the holy Scripture : the one is, that the Scriptures are so 
entirely and perfectly the product of the Spirit's inspiration, 
that there is no word in them which is not infallibly true : the 
other is, that the Spirit was promised and given to the apostles, 
to enable them to preach to the world the true doctrine of the 
Gospel, and to teach men to observe whatever Christ com- 
manded ; and truly to deliver the history of his life and suffer- 
ings, and resurrection, which they have done accordingly. But 
not to make them perfect and indefectible in every word, which 
they should speak or write, not no, about sacred things ; but 
only in that which they delivered to the church, as necessary to 
salvation, and as the rule of faith and life; but every chrono- 



348 THE REASONS OF 

logical and historical narrative is not the rule of faith or 
life. I think that the first opinion is right, and that no 
one error or contradiction, in any matter, can be proved in 
the Scriptures. Yet all are agreed in this, that it is so of 
divine inspiration, as yet in the manner, and method, and 
style, to partake of the various abilities of the writers, and 
consequently of their human imperfections. And that it is 
a mere mistake which infidels deceive themselves by, to 
think that the writings cannot be of divine inspiration unless 
the book, in order and style, and all other excellencies, be as 
perfect as God himself could make it : though we should grant 
that it is less logical than Aristotle, and less oratorical and gram- 
matical and exact in words than Demosthenes or Cicero, it 
would be no disparagement to the certain truth of all that 
is in it. It doth not follow that David must be the ablest 
man for strength, or that he must use the weapons which 
in themselves are most excellent, if he be called by God to 
overcome Goiiah ; but rather that it may be known that he 
is called by God, he shall do it with less excellence of 
strength and weapons than any other men : and so there 
may be some real weakness, not culpable, in the writings 
of the several prophets and apostles, in point of style and 
method, which shall show the more that they are sent by God 
to do great things by little human excellency of speech, and 
yet that human excellency be never the more to be disliked, any 
more than a sword, because David used but a sling and stone. 
If Amos have one degree of parts, and Jeremiah another, and 
Isaiah another, &c, God doth not equal them all by inspiration, 
but only cause every man to speak his saving truth in his own 
language, and dialect, and stvle. As the body of Adam was 
made of the common earth, though God breathed into him a 
rational soul; and so is the body of every saint, even such as may 
partake of the infirmities of parents; so Scripture hath its style, 
and language, and methods so from God, as we have our bodies ; 
even so that there may be in them the effects of human imper- 
fection : and it is not so extraordinarily of God as the truth of 
the doctrine is : all is so from God, as to be suitable to its pro- 
per ends. But the body of Scripture is not so extraordinarily 
from him, as the soul of it is; as if it were the most excellent 
and exact in every kind of ornament and perfection. The truth 
and goodness is the soul of the Scripture, together with the 
power manifested in it : and in these it doth indeed excel. 
So that variety of gifts in the prophets and apostles may cause 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 349 

variety of style and other accidental excellencies in the parts of 
the holy Scriptures, and yet all these parts be animated with one 
soul of power, truth, and goodness. 

But those men who think that these human imperfections of 
the writers do extend further, and may appear in some by- 
passages of chronologies or history, which are no proper part 
of the rule of faith and life, do not hereby destroy the christian 
cause : for God might enable his apostles to an infallible 
recording and preaching of the Gospel, even all things neces- 
sary to salvation, though he had not made them infallible in 
every by-passage and circumstance, any more than they were 
indefectible in life. 

As for them that say, ( I can believe no man in any thing, 
who is mistaken in one thing, at least, as infallible,' they speak 
against common sense and reason : for a man may be infallibly 
acquainted with some things, who is not so in all. An his- 
torian may infallibly acquaint me, that there was a fight at 
Lepanto, at Edge-hill, at York, at Naseby; or an insurrection 
and massacre in Ireland and Paris, &c, who cannot tell me all 
the circumstances of it : or he may infallibly tell men of the 
late fire which consumed London, though he cannot justly tell 
whose houses were burnt, and may mistake about the causers of 
it, and the circumstances. A lawyer may infallibly tell you 
whether your cause be good or bad, in the main, who yet may 
mis'report some circumstances in the opening of it. A physi- 
cian, in his historical observations, mav partly err as an historian 
in some circumstances, and yet be infallible as a physician in 
some plain cases which belong directly to his art. I do not 
believe that any man can prove the least error in the holy 
Scripture in any point, according to its true intent and meaning; 
but, if he could, the Gospel, as a rule of faith and life, in 
things necessary to salvation, might be nevertheless proved 
infallible by all the evidence before given. 

Object. XVI [I. The physics, in Gen. i., are contrary to all 
true philosophy, and suited to the vulgars' erroneous conceits. 

Answ. No such matter : there is sounder doctrine of physics 
in Gen. i., than any philosopher hath who contradicteth it : 
and as long as they are all together by the ears among them- 
selves, and so little agreed in most of their philosophy, but 
leave it to this day either to the sceptics to deride as utterly 
uncertain, or to any novelist to form anew into what principles 
and hypotheses he please, the judgment of philosophers is of 
no great value, to prejudice any against the Scriptures. The 



350 THE REASONS OF 

sum of Gen. i. is but this : that God, having first made the 
intellectual, superior part of the world, and the matter 
of the elementary world, in an unformed mass or chaos, did the 
first day distinguish or form the active element of fire, and 
caused it to give light. The second day he separated the 
attenuated or rarified part of the passive element, which we 
call the air ; expanding it from the earth upwards, to separate 
the clouds from the lower waters, and to be the medium of 
light :' and whether, in different degrees of purity, it fill not all 
the space between all the globes, both fixed and planetary, is a 
question which we may more probably affirm than deny, unless 
there beany waters also upwards by condensation, which we can- 
not disprove. The third day he separated the rest of the passive 
element, earth and sea, into their proper place and bounds ; and 
also made individual plants in their specific forms and virtue of 
generation, or multiplication of individuals. The fourth day he 
made the sun, moon, and stars; either then forming them, or 
then making them luminaries to the earth, and appointing them 
their relative offices ; but hath not told us of their other uses, 
which are nothing to us. The fifth day he made inferior sen- 
sitives ; fishes and birds, the inhabitants of water and air, with 
the power of generation or multiplication of individuals. The 
sixth day he made first the terrestrial animals, and then man, 
with the power also of generation or multiplication. And the 
seventh day, having taken complacency in all the works of this 
glorious, perfected frame of nature, he appointed to be observed 
by mankind as a day of rest from worldly labours, for the wor- 
shipping of him their omnipotent Creator, in commemoration 
of this work. 

This is the sum and sense of the physics of Gen. i. ; and here is 
no error in all this, whatever prejudice philosophers may imagine. 

Object. XIX. It is a suspicious sign that believing is com- 

1 Lege Basilii Hexaraer. et Greg. Nysseui add it. Basil saith, that 

in priiicipio is in the beginning of time ; but that the intellectual world 
is here presupposed ; erat autiquissima creaturaj ordinatio, il lis quaes extra 
inuudum sunt, apta virtutibus, orta sine tempore, sempiterna sibique 
propria; in qua couditor omnium Deus opera certa constituit, id est, lu- 
men intellectibile, conveniens beatitudini amautium Dominum : rationabiles, 
invisibilesque dico naturas, et omnium intellectibilium decorationem, qua? 
capacitatem nostra; mentis excedimt, quorum nee vocabula reperire possibile 
est. Haec subs tan ti am invisibilis mundi replevisse sciendum est, &c. — Basil. 
Hex.inttrp. Eustath.l.l. Caesarius (Dial. 1. Qu. 50, et Qu. 51.) saith, 
that Moses past by the nations of angels, and began with the creation of the 
visible world, and that the first day he created matter, and afterward other 
things of that, &c. : and that of the light first made, God made the sua. But 
he ignorantly denieth its circular motion, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 351 

manded us instead of knowing, and that we must take all upon 
trust without any proof. 

Answ. This is a mere slander. Know as much as you are 
able to know : Christ came not to hinder, but to help your 
knowledge. Faith is but a mode or act of knowing : how will 
you know matters of history which are past, and matters of the 
unseen world, but by believing. If you could have an angel 
come from heaven to tell you what is there, would you quarrel 
because you are put upon believing him ? if you can know it 
without believing and testimony, do : God biddeth you believe 
nothing but what he giveth you sufficient reason to believe. 
Evidence of credibility in divine faith is evidence of certainty : 
believers in Scripture usually say, ' We know that thou art the 
Christ,' &c. You are not forbidden, but encouraged to try the 
spirits, and not to believe every spirit nor pretended prophet : 
let this treatise testify whether you have not reason and evidence 
for belief. It is Mahomet's doctrine, and not Christ's, which 
forbiddeth examination. 

Object. XX. It imposeth upon us an incredible thing when 
it persuadeth us that our undoing, and calamity, and death, are 
the way to our felicity and our gain, and that sufferings work 
together for our good ; at least, these are hard terms which we 
cannot undergo, nor think it wisdom to lose a certainty for 
uncertain hopes. 

Answ. Suppose but the truth of the Gospel proved ; yea, or 
but the immortality and retribution for souls hereafter, which 
the light of nature proveth, and then we may well say that this 
objection savoureth more of the beast than of the man : a 
heathen can answer it, though not so well as a Christian. 
Seneca and Plutarch, Antonine and Epictetus, have done it in 
part: and what a dotage is it to call things present, certainties, 
when they are certainly ready to pass away, and you are uncer- 
tain to possess them another hour : who can be ignorant what 
haste time maketh, and how like the life of man is to a dream ! 
What sweetness is now left of all the pleasant cups and morsels, 
and all the merry hours you have had, and all the proud or 
lustful fancies which have tickled your deluded, fleshly minds ! 
Are they not more terrible than comfortable to your most retired, 
sober thoughts ? and what an inconsiderable moment is it till it 
will be so with all the rest ! All that the world can possibly 
afford you will not make death the more welcome, nor less 
terrible to you ; nor abate a jot of the pains of hell. It is as 
comfortable to die poor as rich j and a life of pain, and weak- 



352 THE REASONS OF 

ness, and persecution, will end as pleasantly as a life of pomp, 
and wealth, and pleasures. If it be no unreasonable motion ot 
a physician to tell you of blood-letting, vomiting, purging, and 
strict diet, to save your lives ; nor any hard dealings in your 
parents to set you many years to school to endure both the la- 
bour of learning and the rod, and after that to set you to a seven 
years' apprenticeship, and all this for things of a transitory 
nature; surely, God deserveth not to be accused as too severe if he 
train you up for heaven more strictly, and in a more suffering 
way than the flesh deserveth. Either you believe that there is a 
future life of retribution or you do not : if not, the foregoing 
evidences must first convince you, before you will be fit to debate 
the case, whether sufferings are for your hurt or benefit ; but if 
you do believe a life to come, you must needs believe that its 
concernments weigh down all the matters of fleshly interest in 
this world, as much as a mountain would weigh down a feather ; 
and then do but further bethink yourselves, impartially, whether a 
life of prosperity or adversity be the more likely to tempt you into 
the love of this world, and to turn away your thoughts and de- 
sires from the heavenly felicity ? Judge but rightly, first, of your 
own interest, and you will be fitter to judge of the doctrine of 
Christ. 1 

Object. XXI. Christ seemeth to calculate all his precepts to 
the poorer sort of people's state, as if he had never hoped that 
kings and nobles would be Christians : if men think as hardly 
of the rich as he doth, and take them to be so bad, and their 
salvation so difficult, how will they ever honour their kings and 
governors ? And if all men must suffer such as abuse and injure 
them, and must turn the other cheek to him that striketh them, 
and give him their coat who taketh away their cloak, what use 
will there be for magistrates and judicatures ? 

Answ. 1. Christ fitteth his precepts to the benefit of all men ; 
but, in so doing, he must needs tell them of the danger of over- 
loving this world, as being the most mortal sin which he came 
to cure ; and he must needs tell them what a dangerous tempta- 
tion a flesh-pleasing, prosperous state is to the most, to entice 
them to this pernicious sin. Had he silenced such necessary, 

k Sed et nobis in bujusmooli casibus non auxiliatur Deus. Prompta et 
manifesta causa est. Nihil enim est nobis promissum ad banc vitam, nee in 
carunculffi bnjus folliculo constitutis opis aliquid sponsum est, auxiliique de- 
cretum : quinimo edocti sumus minasomnes quaecunque sunt parvi ducere — 
Atque ista quani dicitis persecutiouis asperitas, liberatio nostra est, non per- 
secute : nee pcenam vexatio infeiet, sed ad lucem libertatis educet. — Arno- 
lius adv. Gent. 1. 2. injinc. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 35 



9 



truths as these, he could not have been their Saviour; for how 
should he save them from sin if he conceal the evil and the 
danger of it. If the corruption of man's nature be so great, that 
riches, and honours, and pleasures, are ordinarily made the occa- 
sions of men's perdition, must Christ be Christ and never tell 
them of it ? and is he to be blamed for telling them the truth ; 
or they, rather, who create these difficulties and dangers to 
themselves ? Christ teacheth men to honour a sacred office, 
such as magistracy is, without honouring vice, or betraying sin- 
ners by concealing their temptations ; and to holy, faithful 
rulers he teacheth us to give a double honour. They that will 
prove that most of the great and wealthy shall be saved, must 
prove, first, that most of them are godly and mortified, heavenly 
persons ; and the fit proof of that must be by showing us the 
men that are so. 

2. The laws of Christ require every soul to be subject to the 
higher powers, and not resist; and this not only for fear of 
their wrath, but for conscience' sake ; and to pay honour and 
custom to all whom it is due to. And what more can be de- 
sired for the support of government. 

3. Yea, nothing more tendeth to the comfort and quietness 
of governors, than the obedience of those precepts of patience 
and peace, which the objection quarrelleth with. If subjects 
would love each other as themselves, and forgive injuries, and 
love their enemies ; what could be more joyful to a faithful go- 
vernor ? And to the question, ' What use would there be then 
of judicatures ?' I answer, they would be useful to good men, 
for their protection against the injuries of the bad, where we 
are but defendants ; and also in cases where it is not want of 
love, but of knowledge, which causeth the controversy, and 
when no fit arbitration can decide it : and they will be useful 
among contentious persons, for all men are not true believers ; 
the most will be, ordinarily, the worst. As we will not be fornica- 
tors, thieves, perjured, &c, lest you should say, i To what purpose 
is the law against such offenders ?' so we will not be revenged 
and contentious, lest you should say, ( To what end are judi- 
catures ?' The law is to prevent offences by threatened penalties : 
and that is the happiest commonwealth where the law doth most 
without the judge, and where judicatures have least employ- 
ment ; for there is none to be expected on earth so happy, where 
mere love of virtue and of one another will prevent the use 
both of penal laws and judicatures. 

VOL. XX f. A A 



354 THE REASONS OF 

4. And it is but selfishness, and contentiousness, and private 
revenge, which Christ forbiddeth, and not the necessary defence 
or vindication of any talent which God hath committed to our 
trust, so it be with the preservation of brotherly love and 
peace. 

5. And that Christ foreknew what princes and states would 
be converted to the faith, is manifest, 1. In all his prophets, 
who have foretold it, that kings shall be our nursing fathers, 
&c. 2. In that Christ prophesied himself, that when he was 
lifted up he would draw all men to him. 3. By the prophecies 
of John, who saith, that the kingdoms of the world should 
become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ. 

Object. XXII. But it is the obscurity of all those prophecies, 
which is one of the difficulties of our faith, and that they are 
never likely to be fulfilled. Almost all your expositors differ about 
the sense of John's Revelations : and the calling of the Jews, 
and bringing in all the gentiles to their subjection, seem to be 
plainly prophesied of, which are never likely to come to pass. 1 

Answ. 1. Prophecies are seldom a rule of life, but an encou- 
ragement to hope, and a confirmation to faith, when they are 
fulfilled : and, therefore, if the particularities be dark, and un- 
derstood by few, so the general scope be understood, it should be 
no matter of offence or wonder. It is doctrine, and precept, 
and promises of salvation, which are the daily food of faith. 

2. If no man can hitherto truly say, that any one promise or 
prophecy hath failed, why should we think that hereafter they 
will fail ? What, though the things seem improbable to us, they 
are never the more unlikely to be accomplished by God. The 
conversion of the gentiles of the Roman empire, and so many 
other nations of the world, was once as improbable as the calling 
of the Jews is : and yet it was done. 

3. And many of those prophecies are hereby fulfilled, it being 
not a worldly kingdom, as the carnal Jews imagined, which the 
prophets foretold of the Messiah, but the spiritual kingdom of 
a Saviour. When the power and glory of the Roman empire, in 
its greatest height, did submit and resign itself to Christ, with 
many other kingdoms of the world, there was more of those 
prophecies then fulfilled, than selfishness will suffer the Jews to 
understand : and the rest shall all be fulfilled in their season. 
But as, in all sciences, it is but a few of the most extraordinarily 

1 Obj. Sed et ipse pollicetur quse non probat. Resp, Ita est : nulla enim 
futurorum existere potest comprobatio. — Arnob, lib. 2. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGTON'. 355 

wise, who reach the most subtle and difficult points ; so it will 
be but a very few Christians who will understand the most dif- 
ficult prophecies, till the accomplishment interpret them. 

Object. XXIII. But the difficulties areas great in the doctrines 
as in the prophecies. Who is able to reconcile God's decrees, 
foreknowledge, and efficacious, special grace, with man's free- 
will, and the righteousness of God's judgment, and the reason- 
ableness of his precepts, promises, and threats ? How God's de- 
crees are all fulfilled, and in him we live, and move, and be ; and 
are not sufficient for a good thought of ourselves : but to believe, 
to will, and to do, is given us ; and he will have mercy on whom 
he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth : and it is 
not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God 
that showeth mercy. And yet that he would not the death of 
a sinner, but rather that he repent and live; and that he would 
have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; and 
layeth all the blame of their misery on themselves." 1 

Answ. First, Consider these things apart and in themselves, 
and then, comparatively, as they respect each other. 1. Is it 
an incredible thing that all being should be from the First Being, 
and all goodness from the Infinite Eternal Good ; and that 
nothing should be unknown to the Infinite Omniscient Wisdom ; 
and that nothing can overcome the power of the Omnipotent; 
or that he is certainly able to procure the accomplishment of 
all his own will ; and that none shall disappoint his purposes, 
nor make him fall short of any of his counsels or decrees ? Go 
no further now, and do not by false or uncertain doctrine make 
difficulties to yourselves, which God never made, and then tell 
me whether any of this be doubtful." 

2. On the other side, is it incredible that man is a rational 
free-agent, and that he is a creature governable by laws ; and 
that God is his Ruler, Lawgiver, and Judge : and that his 
laws must command and prohibit, and the sanction contain 
rewards and punishments : and that men should be judged 
righteously, according to their works : or that the messengers 
of Christ should entreat and persuade men to obey : and that 
they should be moved as men by motives of good or evil to 

m Read Cicero ' De Fato, de Divinatione,' &c, and all those philosophers de 
fnlo, whose opinions Grotius hath collected, and you will see that they had 
the same doubts as we, but were less able to resolve them. 

" Intellectual est optimum cognoscere voluntatem Dei : omnium superior 
efficitur homo, qui obedierit veritati. — Pachomius in monit. per Voss, Edit. 

A A 2 



35 



6 THE REASONS OF 



.j 



themselves ? Is there any thing in this that is incredible or 
uncertain ? I think there is not. 

And these difficulties will concern you, nevertheless, whether 
you are Christians, or not : they are harder points to philoso- 
phers than to us ; and they have been their controversies before 
Christ came into the world : they are points that belong to the 
natural part of theology, and not that which resteth only on 
supernatural revelation ; and therefore this is nothing against 
Christ. 

2. But yet I will answer your question, who can reconcile 
these things ? p They can do much to the reconciling of them, 
who can distinguish a mere volition, or purpose, or decree, from 
an efficacious, pre-determining influx : 2. And can distinguish 
between those effects which need a positive cause, and purpose or 
decree, and those nullities which, having no cause but defective, 
do need no positive purpose or decree : 3. And can distinguish 
between the need we have of medicinal grace for holy actions, 
and the need we have of common help for every action natural 
and free : 4. And can distinguish between an absolute volition, 
and a limited volition, in tantum et ad hoc, and no further : 
5. They that can distinguish between man's natural liberty of 
self-determination, and his civil libertv from restraint of law, 
and his moral liberty from vicious habits : 6. They that can 
well difference man's natural power or faculties, from his moral 
power of good and holy disposition : 7. They that know what 
a free power is, and how far the causer of that power is, or is 
not, the cause of the act or its omission : 8. They that can dis- 
tinguish between those acts which God doth as our Owner or as 
our free Benefactor, and those which he doth as Rector : 9. And 
between those which he doth as Rector, by his legislative will, 
antecedent to men's keeping or breaking his laws, and by his 
judicial and executive will, as consequent to these acts of man : 
10. He that can distinguish between God's method in giving 
both the first call of the Gospel, and the first internal grace to 
receive it, and of his giving the grace of further sanctification, 

Leg. librum excell. D. Strangii Scoti de hisce controversiis. Plurima 
etiam consideratu dignissimasunt in Ro. Baronii Metaphysic. 

p Dorothceus (Doct. 6.) to prove the unsearchableness of God's counsels and 
differencing grace, doth instance in two young maids, in natural temper much 
alike, both brought as captives in a ship to be sold. A holy woman bought one 
of them, and instructed her in holiness. A harlot bought the other, and 
taught her the trade of wickedness : and who, saith he, can give the reason of 
this event ? 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 357 

justification, and glory: 11. And between the manner of his 
procuring our first faith, and the procuring our following sancti- 
fication : 12. And he that knoweth how easy it is with God to 
attain what he willeth, without destroying the liberty of our 
wills: (as a miller can make the stream of water turn his mill and 
grind his corn, without altering any thing in the inclination of the 
water:) 13. And, withal, how incomprehensible the nature and 
manner of God's operation is to man ; and how transcendently 
it is above all physical agency by corporeal contact or motion. 
I say, he that understandeth and can apply these distinctions, 
can reconcile the decrees and concourse of God with his go- 
vernment and man's free-will, as far as is necessary to the 
quieting of our understandings. 

Object. XXIV. But the christian faith doth seem to be but 
human, and not divine, in that it is to be resolved into the credit 
of men : even of those men who tell us that they saw Christ's 
miracles, and saw him risen and ascend ; and of those who saw 
the miracles of the apostles ; and of those who tell us, that the 
first churches witness that they saw such things. The certainty 
cannot exceed the weakest of the premises; and this is the ar- 
gument : The doctrine which was attested by miracles is of 
God ; but the christian doctrine was attested by miracles ; 
proved ; the spectators averred it to others, who have trans- 
mitted the testimony down to us. So that you are no surer of 
the doctrine than of the miracles, and no surer of the miracles 
than of the human testimony which hath delivered it to you. 

Answ. If you will be at the labour to read over what I have 
written before, you shall find a threefold testimony to Christ, 
besides this of miracles ; and you shall find the apostles' testi- 
mony of Christ's miracles and resurrection, attested by more 
tha?i a human testimony; and you shall find the miracles of the 
apostles also to have a fuller attestation : even, 1. Besides the 
most credible and human testimony ; 2. A natural impossibility 
of deceit and falsehood ; 3* And a further attestation of God, 
supernaturally : and you shall find that the Gospel hath its cer- 
tain evidence in the sanctifying effect, by the co-operation of 
the holy Spirit of Christ unto this day. Peruse it impartially, 
and you will find all this in what is said. 

What, would men rather desire to attest the veracity of a 
messenger from heaven, than miracles ; evident, uncontrolled, 
multiplied miracles ! And must this messenger live in every 
age, and go into every land, to do these miracles in the presence 



358 THE REASONS OF 

of every living soul ! If not, how would those that live in 
another land or age be brought to the knowledge of them, but 
by the testimony of those that saw them ; and how would you 
have such testimonies better confirmed, than by multiplied mira- 
cles, delivered in a way which cannot possibly deceive ; and 
fully and perpetually attested by the spirit of effectual sanctifi- 
cation on believers ? It is an unreasonable arrogancy to tell our 
Maker that we will not believe any miracles which he doth, by 
whomsoever, or howsoever witnessed, unless we see them our- 
selves with our own eyes ; and so they be made as common as 
the shining of the sun : and then we should contemn them as 
of no validity. 

So much shall here suffice against the objections from the in- 
trinsical difficulties in the christian faith. Many more are 
answered in my 'Treatise against Infidelity,' published heretofore. 



CHAP. XI. 

The Objections from Things extrinsical, resolved. 

Object. I. All men are liars, and history may convey down 
abundance of untruths : who liveth with his eyes open among 
men, that may not perceive how partially men write ; and how 
falsely through partiality ; and with what brazen-faced impu- 
dence the most palpable falsehoods, in public matters of fact, are 
most confidently averred ? and that in the land, the city, the 
age, the year of the transaction. Who, then, can lay his sal- 
vation upon the truth of the history of acts and miracles done 
one thousand six hundred years ago ? 

Answ. The father of lies, no doubt, can divulge them as well 
by pen or press, as by the tongue : and it is not an unnecessary 
caution to readers, and hearers too, to take heed what they be- 
lieve ; especially, 1. When one sect or party speaks against 
another ; 2. Or when carnal interest requireth men to say what 
they do j 3. Or when failing out provoketh them to asperse any 
others ; 4. Or when the stream of the popular vogue, or coun- 
tenance of men in power, hath a finger in it ; 5. Or when it is as 
probably contradicted by as credible men ; 6. Or when the 
higher powers deter all from contradicting it, and dissenters 
have not liberty of speech. 

But none of these, nor any such, are in our present case : 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 359 

there are liars in the world ; but shall none, therefore, be be- 
lieved ? There is history which is false ; but is none, therefore, 
true ? Is there not a certainty in that history which tells us of 
the Norman conquest of this land ; and of the series of kings 
which have been since them ; and of the statutes which they 
and their parliaments have made : yea, of a battle, and other 
transactions, before the incarnation of Jesus Christ ? Doth the 
falsehood of historians make it uncertain whether ever there 
was a pope at Rome, or a king in France, or an inquisition in 
Spain, &c. 

But I have proved that it is more than the bare credit of any 
tradition or historians in the world, which assure us of the truth, 
both of fact and doctrine, in the christian faith. 

Object. II. Are not the legends written with as great confi- 
dence as the Scriptures ; and greater multitudes of miracles 
there mentioned and believed by the subjects of the pope ? and 
yet they are denied and derided by the protestants ! 

Answ. Credible history reporteth many miracles done in the 
first ages of the christian church, and some since, in several 
ages and places ; and the truth of these was the cloak for the 
legend's multiplied falsities, which were not written by men 
that wrought miracles themselves to attest them, or that proved 
the verity of their writings as the apostles did; or were they 
ever generally received by the christian churches, but were 
written awhile ago, by a few ignorant, superstitious friars, in 
an age of darkness, and in the manner, exposing the stories to 
laughter and contempt, and are lamented by many of the most 
learned papists themselves, and not believed by the multitude 
of the people. And shall no chronicles, no records, no certain 
history be believed, as long as there are any foolish, supersti- 
tious liars left upon the earth ? Then, liars will effectually serve 
the devil indeed, if they can procure men to believe neither 
human testimony nor divine. 

Object. III. Many friars and fanatics, quakers, and other 
enthusiasts, have, by the power of conceit, been transported into 
such strains of speech, as in the apostles were accounted fruits 
of the Spirit ; yea, to a pretence of prophecy and miracles : 
and how know we that it was not so with the apostles ? 

Answ. I. It is the devil's way of opposing Christ, to do it by 
apish imitation : so would the Egyptian magicians have dis- 
credited the miracles of Moses : and Christianity consisteth not 
of any words which another may not speak, or any actions of 



360 THE REASONS OF 

devotion, or gesture, or formality, which no man else can 
do. q There are no words which seem to signify a rapture, (which 
are not miraculous,) but they may be counterfeited ; but, yet, as 
a statuary or painter may be known from a creator, and a statue 
from a man, so may the devil's imitations and fictions, from 
the evidences of Christianity which he would imitate. Look 
through the four parts of the testimony of the Spirit, and 
you may see this to be so: 1. What antecedent prophecies 
have foretold us these men's actions ? 2. What frame of holy 
doctrine do they deliver, bearing the image of God, besides so 
much of Christ's own doctrine as they acknowledge ? 3. And 
what miracles are, with any probability, pretended to be done 
by any of them, unless you mean any preacher of Christianity 
in confirmation of that common, christian faith. There are no 
quakers, or other fanatics, among us, that I can hear of, who 
pretend to miracles. Jn their first arising, two or three of 
them were raised to a confidence that they had the apostolical 
gift of the Spirit, and could speak with unlearned languages, 
and heal the sick, and raise the dead, but they failed in the 
performance, and made themselves the common scorn, by the 
vanity of their attempts. Not one of them, that ever spake a 
word of any language but what he had learned ; not one that 
cured any disease by miracle. One of them, at Worcester, 
half famished, and then, as is most probable, drowned himself; 
and a woman, that was their leader, undertook to raise him 
from the dead : but she spake to him as the priests of Baal 
spoke to their god, that could not hear ; and made but matter 
of laughter and pity to those that heard of it. There hath not 
been in England, in our days, that ever I could hear of, either by 
Jesuit, friar, quaker, or other fanatic, so much as a handsome 
cheat, resembling a miracle, which the people might not easily 
see to be a transparent foolery. But manv wonders I have 
known done at the earnest prayers of humble Christians. So 
that he who shall compare the friars and fanatics with the 
apostles and other disciples of Christ, whose miracles were such 
as before described, will see that the devil's apish design, though 
it may cheat forsaken souls into infidelity, is such as may con- 
firm the faith of sober men. 4. And what spirit of sanctifica- 
tion doth accompany any of their peculiar doctrines ? If any 

i How like are the stories of Eunapius, of Jambiichus, /Edesius, Sosipatra 
the wife of Eustathius, and others' raptures, prophecies, visions, miracles, to 
those of the Roman legends, aud the quakers. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 361 

of them do any good in the world, it is only by the doctrine of 
Christ ; but, for their own doctrines, what do they but cheat 
men, and draw the simple into sin ? A friar, by his own doc- 
trine, may draw men to some fopperv, or ridiculous ceremony, or 
subjection to that clergy, whose holy diligence consisteth in 
striving who shall be greatest; and lord it over the inheritance 
of Christ, and rule them by constraint, and not willingly. A 
quaker, by his own doctrine, may teach men to cast away their 
bands, and cuffs, and points, and hat-bands, and to say, 'thou,' 
instead of ' you,' and to put off their hats to no men, and to be 
the public and private revilers of the most holy and most able 
preachers of the Gospel, and the best of the people, and, with 
truculent countenances, to rail at God's servants, in a horrid 
abuse of Scripture terms. If this image and work of the devil 
were indeed the image and work of God, it were some testi- 
mony of the verity of their doctrine : and yet, even these sects 
do but, like a flash of lightning, appear for a moment, and are 
suddenly extinct, and some other sect or fraternity succeedeth 
them. The quakers already recant most of those rigidities, on 
which, at first, they laid out their chief zeal. If a flash of such 
lightning, or a squib, or glow-worm, be argument sufficient to 
prove that there is no other sun, then friars and fanatics, as often 
as they are mad, may warrant you to believe that all men are so 
too, even Christ and his apostles. 

Object. IV. But the power of cheaters, and credulity of the 
vulgar, is almost incredible. The great number of papists who 
believe their holy cheats ; and the great number of Mahome- 
tans, who believe in a most sottish, ignorant deceiver, do tell us 
what a folly it is to believe for company. 

Answ. This is sufficiently answered already. No doubt but 
cheaters may do much with the ignorant and credulous multi- 
tude ; but doth it follow, thence, that there is nothing certain 
in the world ? None of these were ever so successful in de- 
ceiving;, as to make men of sound understanding and senses 
believe that they saw the lame, and blind, and deaf, and sick, 
and lunatic healed, and the dead raised, and that they them- 
selves performed the like; and that they saw and were instructed 
by one risen from the dead, when there was no such thing ; or 
that abundance of men did speak in many unlearned tongues, 
and heal the lame, and blind, and sick, and raise the dead ; 
and this for many years together, in many countries, before 
many congregations ; and that they procured the same spirit to 



362 THE REASONS OF 

those that believe them to do the like, and that by this means 
they planted churches of such believers through the world. 
Who is it that hath been such a successful deceiver ? 

As for the Mahometans, they do but believe, bv education 
and human authority, that Mahomet was a great prophet, whose 
sword, and not his miracles, hath made his sect so strong that 
thev dare not speak against it. Those few miracles which he 
pretended to are ridiculous, unproved dreams : and if there be 
found a people in the world that, by a tyrant's power, mav be so 
barbarously educated as to believe anv foppery, how foolish and 
vain soever be the report, it doth not follow that full and un- 
questionable evidence is not to be believed. 

Object. But what can be imagined by the wit of man more 
certain than sense, when it is sound sense, and all the senses, 
and all men's senses, upon an object suitable and near, and with 
convenient media ? &c. And yet, in the point of transubstan- 
tiation, it is not a few fools, but princes, popes, prelates, pas- 
tors, doctors, and the most profound and subtle schoolmen, 
with whole kingdoms of people of all sorts, who believe that all 
these senses are deceived, both other men's and their own. 
What, therefore, may not be believed in the world? 1 " 

Answ. And yet a nihil scitur vel certum est, is an inhuman, 
foolish consequence of all this ; nor hath it any force against 
the certainty of the Scripture miracles. For, 1. All this is not 
a believing that positivelv they see, and feel, and taste, and 
hear that which indeed they do not ; but it is a believing that 
they do not see, and hear, and feel, and taste, that which 
indeed they do. They are made believe that there is no bread 
and wine when indeed there is. But this is no delusion of the 
senses, but of the understanding, denying credit to the sense. 
If vou had proved that all these princes, lords, prelates, and 
people, had verily thought that they had seen, and tasted, and 
felt bread and wine, when it was not so, then you might have 
carried the cause of unbelief; but upon no other terms, which 
is to be remarked, than by proving that nothing in all the world 
is certain or credible : for all the certainty of the intellect is so 
far founded in the certainty of sense, and resolved into it, in 
this life, that it cannot possibly go beyond it. ]f you suppose 

1 Sensus nostras, non parens, non nutrix, non magister, non poeta, non 
sceua depravat; non multitudinis consensus abducit a vero : animis omnes 
tenduntur insidia?, vel ab iis quos raodo enumeravi vel ab ea qua? penitus in 
omni sensu implicata insidet imitatrix boni voluptas, malorum autem mater 
omnium. — Ck. de Leg, 1. p. 226'. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 363 

not all men's sound, consenting senses to have as much infalli- 
bility as man is capable of in this lite, for the ordinary conduct 
of his judgment, you must grant that there is no further infal- 
libility, to be had by any natural way : for he that is not certain 
of the infallibility of such consenting senses is not certain that 
ever there was a Bible, a pope, a priest, a man, a council, a 
church, a world, or any thing. 

2. And, for my part, I do not believe that all these that you 
mention do really believe that their senses are deceived, though, 
if they did, it is nothing to our case. Most of them are fright- 
ened, for carnal preservation, into a silencing of their belief; 
others know not what transubstantiation meaneth. Many are 
cheated by the priests changing the question ; and when they 
are about to consider whether all our senses be certain that this 
is bread and wine, they are made believe that the question is 
whether our senses are certain of the negative, that here is not 
the real body and blood of Christ : and they are taught to be- 
lieve that sense is not deceived about the accidents, which they 
call the species, but about the substance only; when most of 
the simple people by the species do understand the bread and 
wine itself, which they think is to the invisible body of Christ, 
like, as our bodies, or the body of a plant, is to the soul. So 
that, although this instance be one of the greatest in the world, 
of infatuation by human authority and words, it is nothing 
against the christian verity. 

Object. V. You are not yet agreed among yourselves what 
Christianity is, as to the matter of rule. The papists say it is 
all the decrees, define, at least, in all general councils, together 
with the Scriptures canonical and apocryphal. The protestants 
take up with the canonical Scriptures alone, and have not near 
so much in their faith or religion as the papists have. s 

Answ. What it is to be a Christian, all the world may easily 
perceive, in that solemn sacrament, covenant, or vow, in which 
they are solemnly entered into the church and profession of 
Christianity, and made Christians : and the ancient creed doth 
tell the world what hath always been the faith which was pro- 

s Of the canon of the Scripture, read Dr. Reynolds, (De Lib. Apocr.,) anil 
Bishop Cosins's full Collections on that subject. Vide etiam Carm. Jambic, 
Amphilochii in Auct. Bib. Pat. To. 1. p. 621. Many papists confess, that the 
holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to the salvation of all. yuern- 
admodum enim siquis vellet sapientiain hujus seculi exercere, non aliter hoc 
consequi poterit, nisi dogmata philosophorum legat; sic quicunque volumus 
pietatem in Deum exercere, non aliunde discemus quam ex Scripturis divinis. 
— Spiritus ffippolit. Homil, Auctuar. Bill. Pat. To. 1. p. 622. 



364 THE REASON'S OF 

fessed : and those sacred Scriptures which the churches did 
receive, do tell the world what they took for the entire com- 
prehension of their religion ; but if any sects have been since 
tempted to any additions, enlargements, or corruptions, it is 
nothing to the disparagement of Christ, who never promised 
that no man should ever abuse his word, and that he would 
keep all the world from adding to, or corrupting it. Receive 
but so much as the doctrine of Christ, which hath certain proof 
that indeed it was his, delivered by himself, or his inspired 
apostles, and we desire no more. 

Object. VJ. But you are not agreed of the reasons and reso- 
lution of your faith. One resolveth it into the authority of the 
church, and others into a private spirit, and each one seemeth 
sufficiently to prove the groundlessness of the other's faith. 

Answ. Dark-minded men do suffer themselves to be fooled 
with a noise of words not understood. Do you know what is 
meant by the resolution and grounds of faith ? Faith is the 
believing of a conclusion, which hath two premises to infer and 
prove it ; and there must be more argumentation for the proof 
of such premises, and faith in its several respects and depen- 
dences, may be said to be resolved into more things than one, 
even into every one of these. This general and ambiguous 
word 'resolution,' is used oftener to puzzle than resolve. And 
the grounds and reasons of faith are more than one, and what 
they are I have fully opened to you in this treatise. A great 
many of dreaming wranglers contend about the logical names 
of the " objectum quod, et quo et ad quod;" the "objectum 
formale, et materiale, per se, et per accidens, primarium et 
secundarium ; ratio formalis quae, qua et sub qua ; objectum 
univocationis, communitatis, perfectionis, originis, virtutis, adae- 
quationis," &c. the " motiva fidei, resolutio," and many such 
words ; which are not wholly useless, but are commonly used 
but to make a noise to carry men from the sense, and to make 
men believe that the controversy is de re, which is merelv de 
nomine. Every true Christian hath some solid reason for his faith, 
but every one is not learned and accurate enough to see the true 
order of its causes and evidences, and to analyse it thoroughly, 
as he ought. And you will take it for no disproof of Euclid or 
Aristotle, that all that read them do not sufficiently understand 
all their demonstrations, but disagree in many things among 
themselves. 

Object. VII. You may make it a ridiculous idolatry to worship 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. '565 

the sun, and Jupiter, and Venus, and other planets and stars, 
which in all probability are animate, and have souls as much 
nobler than ours as their bodies are ; for it is likely God's works 
are done in proportion and harmony : and so they seem to be to 
us as subordinate deities. l And yet at the same time you will 
worship your Virgin Mary, and the very image of Christ, yea, 
the image of the cross which he was hanged on ; and the Salita 
Capita, and rotten bones of your martyrs, to the dishonour of 
princes, who put them to death as malefactors. Is not the sun 
more worthy of honour than these ? 

Answ. 1. We ever granted to an Eunapius, Julian, Porphyry, 
or Celsus, that the sun, and all the stars and planets, are to be 
honoured according to their proper excellency and use ; that is, 
to be esteemed as the most glorious of all the visible works of 
God ; which show to us his omnipotency, wisdom, and goodness, 
and are used as his instruments to convey to us his chief, corporal 
mercies, and on whom, under God, our bodies are dependent, 
being incomparably less excellent than theirs ; but whether they 
are animated or not, is to us utterly uncertain : and if we were 
sure they were, yet we are sure that they are the products of the 
will of the Eternal Being ; and he that made both them and us, 
is the Governor of them and us. And, therefore, as long as he 
hath no way taught us to call them gods, nor to pray to them, 
nor offer them any sacrifice, as being uncertain whether they 
understand what we do or say ; nor hath any way revealed that 
this is his will ; nay, and hath expressly forbidden us to do so : 
reason forbiddeth us to do any more than honourably to esteem 
and praise them as they are, and use them to the ends which our 
Creator hath appointed. 

2. And for the martyrs, and the Virgin Mary, we do no other- 
wise by them : we honour them by estimation, love, and praise, 
agreeable to all the worth which God hath bestowed on them : 
and the holiness of human souls, which is his image, is more 
intelligible to us, and so more distinctly amiable than the form 
of the sun and planets is. But we pray not to them, because 
we know not whether they hear us, or know when we are sincere 
or hypocritical ; nor have we any such precepts from our common 
Lord. It is but some ignorant, mistaken Christians who pray to 
the dead, or give more than due veneration to their memories. 
And it is Christ, and not every ignorant Christian, or mistaken 
sect, that I am justifying against the cavils of unbelief. 

1 Thus Julian, in his « Orations,' and Eunapias, in ' .-Edesio/ p. (mini) .593. 



3G6 THE REASONS OF 

Object. VIII. You make the holiness of christian doctrine a 
great part of the evidence of your faith ; 11 and yet papists and 
protestants maintain each others' doctrine to be wicked. And 
such, especially against kings and government, as Seneca, or 
Cicero, or Plutarch, would have abhorred. The protestants tell 
the papists of the general council at the Lateran, (sub Innoc. 3,) 
where, (Can. 3,) it is made a very part of their religion, that tem- 
poral lords, who exterminate not heretics, may be admonished 
and excommunicated, and their dominions given by the pope to 
others, and subjects disobliged from their allegiance : they tell 
them of the doctrine of their leading doctors, that kings excom- 
municate are no kings, but may be killed : and of the many 
rebellions which the pope hath raised against kings and empe- 
rors. And the papists say, that the protestants are worse than 
they, and that their religion hath everywhere been introduced 
by rebellion, or stablished by it : and that the Bible, which is 
your re)igion, hath caused most rebellions, and, therefore, they 
dare not let the people read it : and is this your holy doctrine ? 

Answ. 1. That Christianity is incomparably more for govern- 
ment and due subjection than heathenism, is past all doubt, to 
those that are impartial judges. How few of all the Roman 
heathen emperors was there, that died not by subjects' hands ! 
Among the Athenians, a king and a tyrant were words too often 
of the same signification. How hateful the name of a king was 
among the Romans, is well known. How few, even of their 
most renowned orators and philosophers, were not put to death, 
upon accusation of resistance of some prince : Brutus, Cicero, 
Cato, Seneca, &c. Cicero, pro Milone, can say, "Non se 
obstrinxit scelere, siquis tyrannum occidat; quamvis familiarem," 
which Brutus practised on Caesar. Et Tuscul. (5.) " Nulla nobis 
cum tyrannis societas est, neque est contra naturam spoliare 
eum quern honestum est necare." Much more such dangerous 
doctrine hath Cicero. Seneca (Traged. Hercul. fur.) saith, 
" Victima haud ulla amplior potest, magisque opima mactari Jovi, 
quam rex iniquus." But Christianity teacheth us subjection to 

" As you cannot judge of the faculties of man by an infant, so neither of the 
nature of Christianity hy infant Christians. A primo mirabiliter occulta 
est natura, nee perspici nee cognosci potest; progredientibus autem a-tatibus 
sensim, tardeve poiius nosmet ; psos cogr.oscimus : itaque ilia prima commen- 
datio qua; a natura nostri facta est, nobis obscura et incerta est ; primusque 
appetitus ille animi, tantum ag-it ut salvi atque integri esse possimus : cum 
autem despicere effiperimus et sentire quid simus, et quid ab animantibus cae- 
teris differaruus, turn ea sequi incipimus ad qua? uati sumus. — Cic. de fin, 1. 5. 
p. 192. So it is here. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 367 

bad rulers, and not only to the good. The ordinary writings of 
the Athenian and Roman learned men are so bitter against kings, 
and so much for the people's power, that it is mere impudency 
for men of their religion to asperse Christianity as injurious to 
kings. How things were used to be carried at Rome, you may 
perceive by these words of Lampridius, who, wondering that 
Heliogabalus was killed no sooner, but permitted three years, 
saith, " Mirum fortasse cuipiam videatur, Constantine venerabi- 
lis, quod haec clades quam retuli loco principum fuerit, et quidem 
prope triennio, ita ut nemo inventus fuerit qui istum a guberna- 
culis Romans majestatis abduceret ; cum Neroni, Vitellio, Ca- 
ligulae, caeterisque hujusmodi nunquam tyrannicida defuerit." 

Hesechius (in Arcesil.) saith, " Arcesilaus regum neminem 
magnopere coluit : quamohrem legatione ad Antigonum fungens 
pro patria, nihil obtinuit." And Laert. maketh Solon resolve 
not to live in his own country, merely because there was a 
tyrant, that is, a king, that had by a faction set up himself, and 
yet ruled, as he professed, as righteously as a senate. And he 
saith of Thales, that it was one of the rarities which he spake 
of, " Rempubl. vidisse tyr annum senem." And of Chrysippus, 
" Quod videtur aspernator regum, immodice fuisse," &e. x 

We do not deny but there are three sorts of Christians that 
are too much for the resisting and destroying of bad governors, 
and speak much as these heathens did. The one sort are some 
over-philosophical, learned men, who have more conversed with 
the ancient Greeks and Romans, than with christian writers. 
Such was honest Petrarch, who perilously saith, " Et sane si vel 
unum patria civem bonum habeat, malem Dominum diutius non 
habebit." The second sort are the faction of the pope, who are 
led to it by mere interest ; their religion and clergy interest both 
consist in an universal kingdom or government over kings and 
all the christian world : it is no wonder, therefore, to find them 
industrious to subject all powers to themselves. The third sort 
are here and there a few enthusiasts, or fanatical, deluded 
persons, who are like the turbulent zealots among the Jews, who 
occasioned the combustions and bloodshed at Jerusalem, about 
the time of its destruction, who are but the more ignorant sort of 
Christians, misled by pretences of zeal or inspiration, for want 

x Cum Antistibus agamus ut ex libris illis (Sibilliuis) quidvis potius quam 
regem proferaut: quern Romae posthac necDii nee homines esse patientur. — 
Cic. Divinat. 1. 2. p. 186. Imperatorem necesse est ut suspiciamus, ut eniin 
quem Dominus noster elegit; utmerito dixerim, noster est magis Caesar, ut a 
Deo nostro constitutus. — Tertul. Apol. c. 33. 



36S THE REASONS OF 

of judgment, staidness, and experience. And this is vitium 
persona, and is no disparagement to Christ. As for any doc- 
trines of rebellion or sedition, or deposing and killing excommu- 
nicated kings, there is none more condemneth them than Christ. 
It is not every proud or covetous person that maketh the name 
of Christianity or church government a cloak for his usurpation, 
ambition, or worldliness, that we are pleading for. A Roman 
prefect was wont to say, e Make me the bishop of Rome, and I 
will be a Christian.' What, if the match had been made, and 
the pagan had turned Christian in profession, for that bishopric, 
and had lived like a pagan still, and domineered according to his 
ambition, would Christianity have been ever the worse for that? 
Judge of Christ by his own book and doctrine, and not by the 
council of Lateran, nor by the books, or doctrine, or practice of 
any proud and worldly hypocrite, who abuseth his name to sin 
against him. Christ never promised to make such laws as no 
man could abuse or break. Yet, withal, let me tell you, that 
the spleen and envy of factious persons do usually cause them 
to belie each other, and make each other's doctrine as odious as 
they can : and if wrangling boys fall out, and call one another 
bastards, it is no good proof that they are so indeed. y 

Object. But those of you that do escape the doctrines of 
disloyalty are traitors against your country's liberties, and base- 
spirited men, and flatterers of princes, and defenders of tyranny 
and oppression, and all to beg their countenance for your re- 
ligion. The christian spirit is poor and private, in comparison 
with the old Greek and Roman genius, which would stand up 
against the proudest tyrant. 

Answ. It seems Christianity is hot and cold, as malice fan- 
cieth it. Indeed, the doctrine of it is so much for submission, 
patience, and peace, as giveth more countenance to this accu- 
sation than the former, but is guilty of neither of the crimes. 
It is not flattering hypocrites that I am to defend, let them bear 

y Beda (in Apocal. 13. fol. 211. p. 2.) expoundeth the number of Antichrist, 
666, by reference to 1 King's x. 14.; 2 Cor. ix. 13.; where Solomon's yearly 
revenue of gold was 666 talents : and so he saith, Antichrist shall exact that 
tribute of money to himself, which is due to a true king. As if covetousness 
and great revenues were the number of the beast. Et in cap. 17. In pur- 
pura fucus simulati regiminis : in coccino, cruentus habitus impietatis de- 
monstratur. — Fol. 214, p. 2. Vobis humana Eestimatio innocentiam tradi- 
dit : humana item dominatio imperavit : hide nee plenae nee adeo timend'e 
estis discipline : tanta est prudeutia hominis ad demonstrandum bonum, 
quantum authoritas ad exigeudum : tam ilia falli facilis cjuam ista contemni. 
Tertul, Ai>ol. c. 45. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 369 

their shame, but it is the doctrine of Christ which is the thing 
in question. Did Christ flatter Herod, when he said, " Go tell 
that fox, behold, I cast out devils ?" &c. (Luke xiii. 32.) Did 
John the Baptist flatter him when he lost his liberty and life for 
reprehending his filthy lust ? Did Christ flatter the pharisees ? 
(Matt, xxiii.) Doth James flatter the rich and great ? 
" Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for the mise- 
ries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, 
and your garments moth-eaten ; your gold and silver is can- 
kered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and 
shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure 
together for the last days. Ye have lived in pleasure on the 
earth, and been wanton ; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a 
day of slaughter : ye have condemned and killed the just, and 
he doth not resist you." (James v. 1, &c.) " Do not rich men 
oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats ?" (James 
ii. 6.) Christianity teacheth us to lament the sin of tyranny, the 
grand crime which keepeth out the Gospel from the nations of in- 
fidels and pagans through the earth, and eclipseth its glory in the 
popish principalities : it teacheth us to resist tyrannical usurpers 
in the defence of our true and lawful kings. But if it teach 
men patiently to suffer, rather than rebelliously resist, that is not 
from baseness, but true nobleness of spirit, exceeding both the 
Greek and Roman geniuses, in that it proceedethfrom a contempt 
of those inferior trifles which they rebel for, and from that satis- 
faction in the hopes of endless glory, which maketh it easv to 
them to bear the loss of liberty, life, or any thing on earth, and 
from obedience to their highest Lord. But in a lawful way, 
they can defend their countries and liberties as gallantly as ever 
heathens did. 

Object. IX. If your religion had reason for it, what need it 
be kept up by cruelty and blood ? How many thousands and 
hundred thousands hath sword, and fire, and inquisition de- 
voured, as for the supporting of religion ? And when they are 
thus compelled, how know you who believeth Christianity 
indeed ? 

Answ. This is none of the way or work of Christianity, but 
of that sect which is raised by worldly interest and design, and 
must accordingly be kept up. In Christ's own family, two of 
his disciples would have called for fire from heaven to consume 
those that rejected him, but he rebuked them, and told them 
that they knew not what manner of spirit they were of, and that 

VOL. XXI. B B 



370 THE REASONS OF 

he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. Will you 
now lay the blame of that consuming zeal on Christ, which he 
so rebuketh ? The same two men would have been preferred 
before the rest, to sit at his right hand, and his left hand in his 
kingdom ; and his disciples strove who should be the greatest. 
Did Christ countenance this, or did he not sharply reprehend 
them, and tell them that they must not have titles and domina- 
tion as secular princes have, but be as little children in humility, 
and their greatness must consist in being greatly serviceable, 
even in being servants to all. If men after this will take no 
warning, but fight, and kill, and burn, and torment men, in 
carnal zeal, and pride, and tyranny, shall this be imputed to 
Christ, who, in his doctrine and life, hath formed such a testi- 
mony against this crime, as never was done by any else in the 
world, and as is become an offence to unbelievers. 2 

Object. X. We see not that the leaders in the christian re- 
ligion do really themselves believe it : Pope Leo the Tenth 
called it Fabula de Christo. What do men make of it but a 
trade to live by; a means to get abbeys, and bishoprics, and 
benefices; and to live at ease and fleshly pleasure. And what 
do secular rulers make of it, but a means to keep their subjects 
in awe ? 

Answ. He that knoweth no other Christians in the world but 
such as these, knoweth none at all, and is unfit to judge of those 
whom he knoweth not. True Christians are men that place 
all their happiness and hopes in the life to come, and use this 
life in order to the next, and contemn all the wealth and glory of 
the world, in comparison with the love of God, and their salvation. 
True pastors and bishops of the church do thirst after the con- 
version and happiness of sinners, and spend their lives in diligent 
labours to these ends ; not thinking it too much to stoop to the 
poorest for their good, nor regarding worldly wealth and glory 
in comparison with the winning of one soul, nor counting their 
lives dear, if they might but finish their course and ministry with 
joy. (Luke xv. ; Acts xx.; Heb. xiii. 7, 17, &c.) They are 
hypocrites, and not true Christians, whom the objection doth 
describe, by what names or titles soever they be dignified, 

z In ecclesia non coactum, sed acquiescentem oportet ad ineliora converti : 
noii est enim qui curare possit invitum. — Chrysost. Nemo invitus bene agit, 
etiamsi bonum est quod facit. — Aug. Confes. Prasfecti vel Antistetis vitium 
est non quam optimum esse, nee novas subinde virtutum accessiones facere : 
siquidem virtutis suae praestantia, multitudinem ad mediocritatem tracturus 
sit. — Nazian, Oral. I, p. 8. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 371 

and are more disowned by Christ than by any other in the 
world. a 

Object. XI. Christians are divided into so many sects among 
themselves, and every one condemning others, that we have 
reason to suspect them all ; for how know we which of them to 
believe or follow ? 

Answ. 1. Christianity is but one, and easily known; and all 
Christians do indeed hold this as certain, by common agreement 
and consent, they differ not at all about that which I am plead- 
ing for. There may be a difference whether the pope of Rome 
or the patriarch of Constantinople be the greater, or whether 
one bishop must rule over all, and such like matters of carnal 
quarrel ; but there is no difference whether Christ be the Saviour 
of the world, or whether all his doctrine be infallibly true : and 
the more they quarrel about their personal interests and by- 
opinions, the more valid is their testimony in the things wherein 
they all agree. It is not those things which they differ about 
that I am now pleading for, or persuading any to embrace ; but 
those wherein they all consent. b 

2. But if they agree not in all the integrals of their religion, 
it is no wonder, nor inferreth any more than that they are not 
all perfect in the knowledge of such high and mysterious things ; 
and when no man understandeth all that is in Aristotle, nor any 
two interpreters of him agree in every exposition, no, nor any two 
men in all the world agree in every opinion, who hold any thing 
of their own, what wonder if Christians differ in many points of 
difficulty. 

3. But their differences are nothing in comparison with the 
heathen philosophers, who were of so many minds and wavs 
that there was scarcely any coherence among them, nor many 
things which they could ever agree in. 

4. The very differences of abundance of honest Christians, is 
occasioned by their earnest desire to please God, and do nothing 
but what is just and right, and their high esteem of piety and 
honesty, while the imperfection of their judgments keepeth them 

a Profecto arsquEedamartium, etscientia scientiarum tnihi esse videtur,ho- 
minemregere, animal omnium maxime varium et multiplex. — Naz.Orat.l.p.8. 

b Sicut noxium est si unitas desit bonis, ita perniciosum est si sit in malis. 
Perversos quippe unitas corroborat, dum concordant; et tanto magis incorri- 
gibiles, quanta unanimes fecit. — Greg. Moral. 1.33. Sed perturbat nos 
opinionum varietas hominumque dissentio : et quia non idem contingit in 
sensibus, hos natura certos putamus : ilia quae aliis sic, aliis secus, nee iisdem 
semper uno modo videntur, ficta esse dicimus. J^uod est longe aliter. — Cic. 
de Leg. l.p, 22G. 

BB2 



372 THE REASONS OF 

from knowing, in all things, what it is which indeed is that good 
and righteous way which they should take. If children do dif- 
fer and fall out, if it he but in striving who shall do best, and 
please their father, it is the more excusable : enemies do not so. 
Idiots fall not out in school-disputes, or philosophical controver- 
sies ; swine will not fall out for gold or jewels, if they be cast 
before them in the streets ; but it is likely that men may. 

5. But the great sidings and factions kept up in the world, 
and the cruelties exercised thereupon, are from worldly hypo- 
crites, who, under the mask of Christianity, are playing their 
own game ; and why must Christ be answerable for those whom 
lie most abhorreth, and will most terribly condemn ? 

Object. XII. You boast of the holiness of Christians, and we 
see not but they are worse than heathens and Mahometans ; 
thev are more drunken, and greater deceivers in their dealings ; 
as lustful and unclean, as covetous and carnal, as proud and 
ambitious, as tyrannical and perfidious, as cruel and contentious ; 
insomuch, as among the Turkish Mahometans, and the Indian 
Banians, the wickedness of Christians is the grand cause that 
they abhor Christianity, and it ke.epeth out your religion from 
most nations of the earth ; so that it is a proverb among them, 
when any is suspected of treachery, ' What, do you think I am 
a Christian ? ' And Acosta witnesseth the like of the West 
Ind 



ies. L 

Answ. 1. Every man knoweth that the vulgar rabble, who 
indeed are of no religion, will seem to be of the religion which 
is most for their worldly advantage, or else which their ancestors 
and custom have delivered to them ; and who can expect that 
such should live as Christians, who are no Christians ? You 
may as well blame men, because images do not labour, and are 
not learned, wise, and virtuous. We never took all for Christ- 
ians indeed, who, for carnal interest, or custom, or tradition, take 

c Spiritus Sanctus est Patris et Filii amor et connexio : ad ipsum perlinet 
societas, qua efficimur unum corpus unici Filii Dei. Sicut cnim unum corpus 
hominis multis constat meinbris, etvegetat omnia membra una annua, faciens 
in oculo at videat, in aure ut audiat, &c. Ila Spiritus Sanctus membra cor- 
poris Christi (mod est ecclesia, continet et vegetat. Et sic.it humani corporis 
membmm praecisum, for in am quidem qua membrum cognoscitur retinet, &c. 
Sic quicuuque a prsedictae pacis imitate divisusest, Sacramentum quidem tan- 
quam formam retinet, sed spiritu prater unitatem lion vivit. Frustra ergo 
foris de forma gloriantur, nisi intus spiritu vegetentur. — Aug. dc Grat. Nul- 
lus Christianus malus est nisi banc professionem shnulaverit. — Athenag. Leg. 
pro Christ, p. 3. Nemo (in carceribus vestris) Christianus nisi plane tau- 
tum Christianus : aut si aliud, jam nou Christianus. — Tert. Apol, c. 43, 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 373 

up the hare name, and desire to he called Christians. Rehels 
may affect the name of loyal subjects, and thieves and robbers 
the name of true and honest men : shall loyalty, truth, and ho- 
nesty, therefore, be judged of by such as them ? Nothing can 
be more unrighteous than to judge of Christianity by those 
hypocrites, whom Christ hath told us shall be condemned to the 
sorest punishment, and whom he hateth above all sorts of sin- 
ners. What, if Julian, Celsus, Porphyry, or any of these ob- 
jectors, should call themselves Christians, and live in drunken- 
ness, cruelty, perjury, or deceit, is it any reason that Christ 
should be reproached for their crimes ? Christianity is not a 
dead opinion or name, but an active, heavenly principle, renew- 
ing and governing heart and life : I have before showed what 
Christianity is. 

2. In the dominions of the Turks, and other infidel princes, 
the Christians, by oppression, are kept without the means of 
knowledge ; and so their ignorance hath caused them to de- 
generate, for the greater part, into a sensual, sottish sort of 
people, unlike to Christians : and in the dominions of the Mos- 
covite, tyranny hath set up a jealousy of the Gospel, and sup- 
pressed preaching, for fear lest preachers should injure the 
emperor : and in the west, the usurpation and tyranny of the 
papacy hath locked up the Scriptures from that people in an 
unknown tongue, that they know no more what Christ saith, than 
the priest thinks meet to tell them, lest they should be loosened 
from their dependence upon the Roman oracle: and thus igno- 
rance with the most destroyeth Christianity, and leaveth men 
but the shadow, image, and name ; for belief is an intellectual 
act, and a sort of knowing ; and no man can believe really he 
knovveth not what. If any disciples in the school of Christ, have 
met with such teachers as think it their virtue and proficiency to 
be ignorant, call not such Christians as know not what Christ- 
ianity is, and judge not of Christ's doctrine by them that never 
read or heard of it, or are not able to give you any good ac- 
count of it ; but, blessed be the Lord, there are many thousand 
better Christians. 

Object. XIII. But it is not the ignorant rabble only, but many 
of your most zealous professors of Christianity, who have been 
as false, as proud, and turbulent, and seditious, as any others. 

Answ. 1. That the true, genuine Christian is not so, d you may 
see, past doubt, by the doctrine and life of Christ and his apos- 

d Ut ubicunque triticum, ibi et zizania : sic ubicunque fuerit bonum Dei, 



374 THE REASONS OP 

ties. And that there are thousands and millions of humble, 
holy, faithful Christians in the world, is a truth which nothing 
but ignorance or malice can deny. 2. Hypocrites are no true 
Christians, what zeal soever they pretend : there is a zeal for 
self and interest, which is often masked with the name of zeal 
for Christ. It is not the seeming, but the real Christian, which 
we have to justify. 3. It is commonly a few young, inexperi- 
enced novices, who are tempted into disorders. But Christ 
will bring them to repentance for all, before he will forgive and 
save them. Look into the Scripture, and see whether it doth 
not disown and contradict every fault, both great and small, 
which you ever knew any Christian commit? If it do, (as 
visibly it doth,) why must Christ be blamed for our faults, when 
he is condemning them, and reproving us, and curing us of them. 

Object. XIV. The greater part of the world is against Christ- 
ianity : heathens and infidels are the far greater part of the 
earth : and the greatest princes, and most learned philosophers, 
have been and are on the other side. 

Answ. 1. The greater number of the world are not kings, nor 
philosophers, nor wise nor good men ; and yet that is no dispa- 
ragement to kings, or learned, or good men. 2. The most of 
the world do not know what Christianity is, nor ever heard the 
reasons of it ; and, therefore, no wonder if they are not Christ- 
ians. And if the most of the world be ignorant and carnal, and 
such as have subjected their reason to their lusts, no wonder if 
they are not wise. 3. There is nowhere in the world so much 
learning as among the Christians ; experience puts that past 
dispute with those, that have any true knowledge of the world. 
Mahometanism cannot endure the light of learning, and there- 
fore doth suppress or slight it. The old Greeks and Romans 
had much learning, which did but prepare for the reception of 
Christianity, at whose service it hath continued ever since. But 
barbarous ignorance hath overspread almost all the rest of the 
world: even the learning of the Chinenses and the Pythagoreans 
of the East, is but childishness and dotage, in comparison with 
the learning of the present Christians. 

illic erit et scandalum inimici.— Chrysost. in Malt. 6. Horn. 33. Sed dicet 
aliquis etiam de uostris,excedere quosdam a. regula. discipline- Desunt turn 
Christiani haberi apud nos. Philosophi vero illi cum talibus factis in nomine 
et in honore sapientiae perseverant.— Tertul. Jpol. c. 46. See a notable ex- 
hortation in Dorotha?us, (Doct. 5. ne nos ipsos informemus,) How unhappy 
they are that go on their own heads, and want good guides iu religion.— Bibl % 
Pat. Gr. Lat. torn. 1, p. 778. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 375 

Object. XV. For all that you say, when we hear subtle argu- 
ings against Christianity, it staggereth us, and we are not able 
to confute them. 

Answ. That is indeed the common case of tempted men ; 
their own weakness and ignorance is their enemies' strength. 
But your ignorance should be lamented, and not the christian 
cause accused. It is a dishonour to yourselves, but it is none to 
Christ. Do your duty, and you may be more capable of discern- 
ing the evidence of truth. 

Object. XVI. But the sufferings which attend Christianity are 
so great, that we cannot bear them : in most places they are 
persecuted by princes and magistrates ; and it restraineth us 
from our pleasures, and putteth us upon an ungrateful, trouble- 
some life ; and we are not souls that have no bodies, and there- 
fore cannot slight these things. e 

Answ. But you have souls that were made to rule your bodies, 
and are more worthy and durable than they ; and were your 
souls such as reason telleth you they should be, no life on earth 
would be so delectable to you, as that which you account so 
troublesome. And if you will choose things perishing for your 
portion, and be content with the momentary pleasures of a 
dream, you must patiently undergo the fruits of such a foolish 
choice. And if eternal glory will not compensate whatever you 
can lose by the wrath of man, or by the crossing o your fleshly 
minds, you may let it go, and boast of your better choice as you 
find cause. 

How much did the light of nature teach the stoics, the cynics, 
and many other sects, which differeth not much in austerity 
from Christ's precepts of mortification and self-denial ? So- 

e An hoc usquequarjue aliter in vita. ? et non ex maxima, parte de tota judi- 
cabis. An dubium est quin virtus ita maximam partem obtineat in rebus hu- 
manis, ut reliquas obruat ? Audebo quas secundum naturam sunt bona ap- 
pellare, nee fraud are suo veteri nomine, virtutis autem amplitudinem quasi in 
altera librse lance ponere. Terram, mini crede, ea lanx, et maria deprimet: 
semper enini ex eo quod maximas partes continet, latissimeque funditur, res 
toto appellator. Dicimus aliquem bilarem vivere? Igitur si semel tristior 
effectus .est, an hilara vita amissa est? — Cic. de Fin. I. 5. p. 209. Isti 
ipsi qui voluptate et dolore omnia metiuntur, nonne clamant, sapienti 
plus semper adesse quod velit, quam quod nolit. — Id. ibid. Those that 
revolt from Christ because of sufferings, are like him that Cicero, (ibid.) 
speaks of, Nobis Heracleotes ille Dionysius fta<ritiose descivisse videtur a 
Stoicis, propter oculorum dolorem. Quasi hoc didicisset aZenone, non dolere 
cum doleret ! Illud audierat, nee tamen didicerat, malum illud non esse, 
quia turpe non esset, et esset ferendum viro. — p. 209. Qui per virtutem 

peritat, non interit. — Plant, in du cgpt. 



376 THE REASONS OF 

crates could say, " Opes ac nobilitates, non solum nihil in se 
habere honestatis, verum omne malum ex eis aboriri. Dicebat 
et unicum esse bonum scientiam, malumque unicum inscitiam. 
Et referenti quod ilium Athenienses mori decrevissent, et natura 
illos, inquit. Et multa prius de immortalitate animorum ac 
preeclara disserens, cicutam bibit. Magna animi sublimitate 
carpentes se et objurgantes contemnebat." (Laert. 1. 2. in Socr. 
pp. 96, 105.) When he was publicly derided, "Omnia ferebat 
aequo auimo." And when one kicked him, and the people mar- 
velled at his patience, he said, " What if an ass had kicked me, 
should I have sued him at law ? " (p. 93.) When he saw in 
fairs and shops what abundance of things are set to sale, he re- 
joicingly said, " Quam multis ipse non egeo ? et cum libere quo 
vellet abire carcere liceret, noluit, et plorantes severe increpavit, 
pulcherrimosque sermones illos vinctus prosecutus est." Jf so 
many philosophers thought it a shameful note of cowardice, for 
a man to live and not to kill himself, when he was falling into 
shame or misery ; much greater reason hath a true believer, to 
be willing to die in a lawful way, for the sake of Christ, and the 
hope of glory ; and to be less fearful of death, than a Brutus, a 
Cato, a Seneca, or a Socrates, though not to inflict it on them- 
selves. Soundly believe the promises of Christ, and then you 
will never much stick at suffering. To lose a feather, and win 
a crown, is a bargain that very few would grudge at : and pro- 
fanely, with Esau, to sell the birth-right for a morsel ; to part 
with heaven for the paltry pleasures of flesh and fancv, were be- 
low the reason of a man, if sin had not unmanned him. "Who- 
soever will save his life, shall lose it : and whosoever will lose 
his life for my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, 
if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? " 
(Matt. xvi. 25, 26.) 

Virulent Eunapius giveth us the witness of natural reason for 
a holy, mortified life, whilst he maketh it the glory of the philo- 
sophers, whom he celebrateth. Of Antoninus, the son of ^Edesius, 
he saith, " Totum se dedidit atque applicuit Diis loci gentilibus, 
ct sacris mysticis et arcanis ; citoque in Deorum immortalium 
contubernium receptus est ; neglecta prorsus corporis cura, 
ejusque voluptatibus remisso nuntio, et sapientiae studio profano 
vulgo incognitum amplexus. — Cuncti mortales hujusce viri tem- 
perantiam, constantiam et infiecti nesciam mentem demirati 
fuere." (Eunap. in iEdes.) What a saint doth he make Jam- 
blichus to be, of whom it was feigned, that in his prayers he 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 377 

would be lifted up above ten cubits from the earth, and his gar- 
ments changed into a golden colour, till he had done ? (Eun. in 
Jam hi. p. 572.) Even while he raileth at the Alexandrian 
monks, *' Ut homines quidem specie, sed vitam turpem porco- 
rum more exigentes," &c. (p. 598,) contrary to the evidence of 
abundant history, he beareth witness against a vicious life. And 
if holiness, and mortification, or temperance, be so laudable, even 
in the judgment of the most bitter heathens, why should it be 
thought intolerable strictness, as it is more clearly and sweetly 
proposed in the christian verity? And if he say of Jamblichus, 
" Ob justitiae cultum, facilem ad deorum aures accessum habuit:" 
we may boldly say, that the righteous God loveth righteousness, 
and that the prayers of the upright are his delight; and that their 
sufferings shall not always be forgotten, nor their faithful labours 
prove in vain. 



CHAP. XII. 

The reasonable Conditions required of them, who ivill overcome 
the Difficulties of Believing, and ivill not undo themselves btj 
ivilful Infidelity. 

I have answered the objections against Christianity, but have 
not removed the chief impediments; for recipitur ad modum 
recipientis ; the grand impediments are within, even the inca- 
pacity, or indisposition, or frowardness of the persons that 
should believe. It is not every head and heart that is fit for 
heavenly truth and work. I will next, therefore, tell you, what 
conditions reason itself will require of them that would not be 
deceived ; that so you may not lay that blame on Christ, if you 
be infidels, which belongeth only to yourselves. 

Cond. 1. Come not, in your studies of these sacred mysteries, 
with an enmity against the doctrine which you must study ; or 
at least suspend your enmity, so far as is necessary, to an im- 
partial search and examination/ 

For ill-will cannot easily believe well. Malice and partiality 
will blind the strongest wits, and hide the force of the plainest 
evidence. 

Cond. 2. Drown not the truth in a vicious, fleshly heart and 
life; and forfeit not the light of supernatural revelation, by wil- 
ful sinning against natural light, and debauching your consci- 
ences, by abusing the knowledge which already you have. 

1 Non meretur audirc veritatem, qui fraudulenter interrogat. — Ambros. 



378 THE REASONS OF 

Sensuality, and wilful debauchery, is the common temptation 
to infidelity : when men have once so heinously abused God, as 
that they must needs believe, that if there be a God, he must be 
a terror to them; and if there be a judgment, and a life of retribu- 
tion, it is likely to go ill with them; a little thing will persuade such 
men, that there is no God, nor life to come, indeed. When they 
once hope it is so, and take it for their interest, and a desirable 
thing, they will easily believe that it is so indeed. And God is just, 
and beginneth the executions of his justice in this world : and 
the forsaking of a soul that hateth the light, and wilfully resist- 
eth and abuseth knowledge, is one of his most dreadful judg- 
ments. That man who will be a drunkard, a glutton, a whore- 
monger, a proud, ambitious worldling, in despite of the com- 
mon light of nature, can hardly expect that God should give 
him the light of grace. Despiting truth, and enslaving reason, 
and turning a man into a beast, is not the way to heavenly 
illumination. 6 

Cond. 3. Be not ignorant of the common, natural truths, 
(which are recited in the first part of this book) ; for superna- 
tural revelation presupposeth natural ; and grace, which maketh 
us saints, supposeth that reason hath constituted us men ; and 
all true knowledge is methodically attained. 

It is a great wrong to the christian cause, that too many 
preachers of it have missed the true method, and still begun at 
supernatural revelations, and built even natural certainties 
thereupon ; and have either not known, or concealed much of 
the fore-written natural verities. And it is an exceedingly great 
cause of the multiplying of infidels, that most men are dull or 
idle drones, and unacquainted with the common, natural truths, 
which must give light to Christianity, and prepare men to re- 
ceive it. And they think to know what is in heaven, before they 
will learn what they are themselves, and what it is to be a man. 
Cond. 4. Get a true anatomy, analysis, or description of 
Christianity in your minds ; for if you know not the true nature 
of it first, you will be lamentably disadvantaged in inquiring into 
the truth of it. 

For Christianity, well understood in the quiddity, will illustrate 
the mind with such a winning beauty, as will make us meet its 
evidence half-way, and will do much to convince us by its jaro- 
per light. 

s Read the beginning of Theophil, Antioch : 'Ad Autolye.' showing that 
wickedness causeth further atheism, and that it blindeth sinners that they 
cannot know God. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 379 

Cond. 5. When you have got the true method of the Christian 
doctrine, or analysis of faith, begin at the essentials, or primitive 
truths, and proceed in order, according to the dependences of 
truths ; and do not begin at the latter end, nor study the con- 
clusion before the premises. 

Cond. 6. Yet look on the whole scheme or frame of causes 
and evidences, and take them entirely and conjunct ; and not as 
peevish, factious men, who, in spleenish zeal against another 
sect, reject and vilify the evidence which they plead. 

This is the devil's gain, by the raising of sects and contentions 
in the church : h he will engage a papist, for the mere interest 
of his sect, to speak lightly of the Scripture and the Spirit ; and 
many protestants, in mere opposition to the papists, to slight 
tradition, and the testimony of the church, denying it its proper 
authority and use. As if in the setting of a watch or clock, one 
would be for one wheel, and another for another, and each in 
peevishness cast away that which another would make use of, 
when it will never go true without them all. Faction and con- 
tentions are deadlv enemies of truth. 

Cond. 7- Mark well the suitableness of the remedy to the 
disease ; that is, of Christianity to the depraved state of man : 
and mark well the lamentable effects of that universal deprava- 
tion, that your experience may tell you how unquestionable 
it is. 

Cond. 8. Mark well how connaturally Christianity doth relish 
with holy souls, and how well it suiteth with honest principles 
and hearts ; so that the better any man is, the better it pleaseth 
him. And how potently all debauchery, villany, and vice, be- 
friendeth the cause of atheists and unbelievers. 

Cond. 9. Take a considerate, just survey of the common 
enmity against Christianity and holiness, in all the wicked of 
the world ; and the notorious war which is everywhere managed 
between Christ and the devil, and their several followers ; that 
you may know Christ partly by his enemies. 

Cond. 10. Impartially mark the effects of christian doctrine, 
wherever it is sincerely entertained, and see what religion 
maketh the best men ; and judge not of serious Christians at 
a distance, by false reports of ignorance or malicious adver- 
saries; and then you will see that Christ is actually the Saviour 
of souls. 

Cond. 11. Be not liars yourselves, lest it dispose you to think 

h Viva lectio est vita sanctorum. — Greg. Mor. 24, 



380 THE REASONS OF 

all others to be liars, and to judge of the words of others by 
your own. 

Cond. 12. Bethink vou truly what persons vou should be 
yourselves, and what lives you should live, if you did not believe 
the christian doctrine ; or, if you did not believe it, mark what 
effect your unbelief hath on your lives. h 

For my own part, I am assured, if it were not for the 
christian doctrine, my heart and life would be much worse than 
it is, though 1 had read Epictetus, Arian, Plato, Plotinus, 
Jamblichus, Proclus, Seneca, Cicero, Plutarch, every word ; 
and those few of my neighbourhood, who have fallen off to 
infidelity, have at once fallen to debauchery, and abuse of their 
nearest relations, and differed as much in their lives from what 
they were before in their profession of Christianity, though 
unsound, as a leprous body differeth from one in comeliness 
and health. 

Cond. 13. Be well acquainted, if possible, with church 
history, that you may understand by what tradition Christianity 
hath descended to us. 

For he that knoweth nothing but what he hath seen, or 
receiveth a Bible, or the Creed, without knowing any further 
whence and which way it cometh to us, is greatly disadvantaged 
as to the reception of the faith. 

Cond. 14. In all your reading of the holy Scriptures, allow 
still for your ignorance in the languages, proverbs, customs, and 
circumstances, which are needful to the understanding of parti- 
cular texts ; and when difficulties stop you, be sure that no such 
ignorance remain the cause. 

He that will but read Brugensis, Grotius, Hammond, and 
many others that open such phrases and circumstances, with 
topographers, and Bochartus, and such others as write of the 

1 An vero nisi Deum genus humanum respicere, eique praeesse putaremus, 
adeo puritati et innocentiae studeremus ? Nequaquam, sed quia persuasissimi 
sumus, Deo qui et nos et mundum hunc coudidit, transactae hie vitas totius 
rationes nos reddituros, moderatum,beuiguum,et plerisquecontemptum viven- 
di genus deligimus. (juippe nullum in hac vit;\ tantum malum, etiamsi capi- 
tis periculum agatur, supervenire nobis posse arbitramur, quod non oninino 
sit minimi, immo nihil! faciendum prasilla quam asummo judice expectamus 
olim felicitate, &c. — Athenag. Apol. p. 58. in B. P. Si enim solam hanc 
praesentem vitam nos victuros crederemus, suspicioni foret locus, nos carni et 
sanguini indulgentes, aut avaritia aut concupiscentia captos, peccare ? Nos 
vero omnibus non modo factis sed cogitation ibus et sermonibus nostris, turn 
noctu turn interdiu, Deum adesse scimus ; eumque et totum esse lumen, et quae 
in cordibus nostris latent videre, et hac mortale vita defunctos, et alteram hac 
terrestri longemeliorem, nempe ccelestem, nos victuros. — Id ibid. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 381 

animals, utensils, and other circumstances of those times, will 
see what gross errors the opening of some one word or phrase 
may deliver the reader from. 

Cond. 15. Understand what excellencies and perfections 
they be which the Spirit of God intended to adorn the holy 
Scriptures with, and also what sort of human imperfections are 
consistent with these, its proper perfections ; that so false ex- 
pectations may not tempt you into unbelief. 

It seduceth many to infidelity, to imagine, that if Scripture 
be the word of God, it must needs be most perfect in every 
accident and mode, which were never intended to be part of its 
perfection. Whereas, God did purposely make use of those 
men, and of that style and manner of expression, which was 
defective in some points of natural excellency, that so the su- 
pernatural excellency might be the more apparent. As Christ 
cured the blind with clay and spittle, and David slew Goliath 
with a sling. The excellency of the means must be estimated 
by its aptitude to its end. 

Cond. 16. If you see the evidence of the truth of Christ- 
ianity in the whole, let that suffice you for the belief of the 
several parts, when you see not the true answer to particular 
exceptions. 

If you see it soundly proved that Christ is the Messenger of 
the Father, and that his word is true, and that the holy Scrip- 
ture is his word, this is enough to quiet any sober mind, when 
it cannot confute every particular objection ; or else no man 
should ever hold fast any thing in the world ; if he must let all 
go after the fullest proof, upon every exception which he cannot 
answer. The inference is sure. If the whole be true, the parts 
are true. 

Cond. 17. Observe well the many effects of angels' ministra- 
tion, and the evidences of a communion between us and the 
spirits of the unseen world ; for this will much facilitate your 
belief. 

Cond. 18. Overlook not the plain evidences of the appa- 
ritions, witches, and wonderful events which fall out in the times 
and places where you live, and what reflections they have upon 
the christian cause. 

Cond. 19. Observe well the notable answers of prayers, in 
matters internal and external, in others and in yourselves. 

Cond. 20. Be well studied at home, about the capacity, use, 
and tendency, of all your faculties -, and you will find that your 



382 THE REASONS OF 

very nature pointeth you up to another life, and is made only 
to be. happy in that knowledge, love, and fruition of God, which 
the Gospel most effectually leads you to. 

Cond. 21. Mark well the prophecies of Christ himself, both 
of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the successes of his 
apostles in the world, &c, and mark how exactly they are all 
fulfilled. 

Cond. 22. Let no pretence of humility tempt you to debase 
human nature below its proper excellency, lest thence you be 
tempted to think it incapable of the everlasting sight and fruition 
of God. 

The devil's way of destroying is oftentimes by overdoing. 
The proud devil will help you to be very humble, and help you 
to deny the excellency of reason and natural free-will, and all 
supernatural inclinations, when he can make use of it to persuade 
you, that man is but a subtile sort of brute, and hath a soul but 
gradually different from sensitives, and so is not made for 
another life. 

Cond. 23. Yet come to Christ as humble learners, and not 
as arrogant, self-conceited censurers ; and think not that you 
are capable of understanding every thing as soon as you hear it. 

Cond. 24. Judge not of the main cause of Christianity, or of 
particular texts or points, by sudden, hasty thoughts and glances, 
as if it were a business to be cursorily done; but allow it your 
most deliberate, sober studies, your most diligent labour, and 
such time and patience, as reason may tell you are necessary to 
a learner in so great a cause. 

Cond. 25. Call not so great a matter to the trial, in a case 
of melancholy and natural incapacity, but stay till you are fitter 
to perform the search. 

It is one of the common cheats of Satan, to persuade poor, 
weak, and melancholy persons, that have but half the use of 
their understandings, to go then to try the christian religion, 
when they can scarcely cast up an intricate account, nor are fit 
to judge of any great and difficult thing. And then he hath an 
advantage to confound them, and fill them with blasphemous 
and unbelieving thoughts ; and if not to shake their habitual 
faith, yet greatly to perplex them, and disturb their peace. 
The soundest wit, and most composed, is fittest for so great 
a task. 

Cond. 26. When, upon sober trial, you have discerned the 
evidences of the christian verity, record what you have found 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 383 

true ; and judge not the next time against those evidences, till 
you have equal opportunity for a full consideration of them. 

In this case the tempter much ahuseth many injudicious 
souls : when, by good advice and most sober meditation, they 
have seen the evidence of truth in satisfying clearness, he will 
after surprise them, when their minds are darker, or their 
thoughts more scattered, or the former evidence is out of mind, 
and push them on suddenly then to judge of the matters of 
immortality, and of the christian cause, that what he cannot 
get by truth of argument, he may get by the incapacity of the 
disputant ; as if a man that once saw a mountain some miles 
distant from him, in a clear day, should be tempted to believe 
that he was deceived, because he seeth it not in a misty day 
or when he is in a valley, or within the house ; or as if a man 
that, in many days' hard study, hath cast up an intricate, large 
account, and set it right under his hand, should be called sud- 
denly to give up the same account anew, without looking on 
that which he before cast up, when, as if his first account be 
lost, he must have equal time, and helps, and fitness, before he 
can set it as right again. Take it not, therefore, as any dis- 
paragement to the christian truth, if you cannot on a sudden 
give yourselves so satisfactory an account of it, as formerly, in 
more clearness, and by greater studies, you have done. 

Cond. 27- Gratify not Satan so much as to question well-re- 
solved points, as often as he will move you to it. 

Though you must prove all things, till, as learning, you come 
to understand them in their proper evidence, time and order; 
yet you must record and hold fast that which you have proved, 
and not suffer the devil to put you to the answer of one and the 
same question over and over, as often as he please. This is to 
give him our time, and to admit him to debate his cause with 
us by temptation, as frequently as he will, which you would not 
allow to a ruffian to the debauching of your wife or servants : 
and you provoke God to give you up to error, when no resolu- 
tion will serve your turn. After just resolution, the tempter is 
to be rejected, and not disputed withj as a troublesome fellow 
that would interrupt us in our work. 

Cond. 28. Where you find your own understandings insuf- 
ficient, have recourse for help to some truly wise, judicious 
divine. 

Not to every weak Christian, nor unskilful minister, who is 
not well grounded in his own religion, but to those that have tho- 



384 THE REASONS OF 

roughly studied it themselves. You may meet with many dif- 
ficulties in theology, and in the text, which you think can never 
be well solved, which are nothing to them that understand the 
thing. No novice in the study of logic, astronomy, geometry, 
or any art or science, will think that every difficulty that he 
meeteth with, doth prove that his author was deceived, unless 
he be able to resolve it of himself: but he will ask his tutor, 
or some one versed in those matters, to resolve it : and then he 
will see that his ignorance was the cause of all his doubts. 

Cond. 29. Labour faithfully to receive all holy truths with a 
practical intent, and to work them on your hearts according to 
their nature, weight, and use. For the doctrine of Christianity 
is scientia affectiva practica ; a doctrine for head, heart, and 
life. And if that which is made for the heart, be not admitted 
to the heart, and rooted there, it is half rejected while it seemeth 
received, and is not in its proper place and soil. 

Jf you are yet in doubt of any of the supernatural verities, 
admit those truths to your hearts which you are convinced of; 
else you are false to them and to yourselves, and forfeit all further 
helps of grace. 

Object. This is but a trick of deceit to engage the affections, 
when you want arguments to convince the judgment: perit 
omne judicium cum res transit in affectum. 

Answ. When the affection is inordinate, and overruns the 
judgment, this saying hath some truth, but it is most false as 
of ordinate affections which follow sound judgment. For by 
suscitation of the faculties, such affections greatly help the 
judgment : and judgment is but the eye of the soul to guide the 
man, and it is but the passage to the will, where human acts are 
more complete. If your wife be taught that conjugal love is 
due to her husband, and vour child that filial love and reverence 
is due to his father, such affections will not blind their judg- 
ments; but, contrarily, they do not sincerely receive these 
precepts, if they let them not into the heart, and answer them 
not with the affections. k 

And here is the great difference between the faith of an honest, 
sanctified ploughman, and of a carnal, unsanctifiedlordor doctor; 

k Dubitamus, ambigiuius, nccesse quod dicitur plenum fidei suspicamur: 
committanius nos Deo, nee plus apud nos yaleat incredulitas nostra, quam il- 
lius nominis et potential magnitudo : ne dum ipsi nobis argumenta conquiri- 
mus quibus esse videatur falsum id quod esse novimus atque adnitimur verum 
obrepat dies extremus, et inimicae mortis reperiamur in faucibus. — Arnob, adv. 
Cent, 1. 2. verbis ultitn. 



THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 3S5 

the one openeth his heart to the doctrine which he receiveth, 
and faithfully admitteth it to its proper work, and so embraceth. 
it practically, and in love, and therefore holdeth it fast as a 
radicated, experienced truth, when he cannot answer all cavils 
that are brought against it. The other superficially receiveth it 
into the brain, by mere speculation, and treacherously shuts up 
his heart against it, and never gave it real rooting, and there- 
fore, in the time of trial loseth that unsound, superficial belief 
which he hath. God blesseth his word to the heart that honestly 
and practically receiveth it, rather than to him that imprisoned! 
it in unrighteousness. 

Cond. 30. Lastly, if yet any doubts remain, bethink you 
which is the surest side which you may follow with least danger, 
and where you are certain to undergo the smallest loss. 

It is pity that any should hesitate in a matter of such evi- 
dence and weight, and should think with any doubtfulness of 
Christianity, as an uncertain thing : but yet true believers may 
have cause to say, c Lord help our unbelief, and increase our 
faith,' and all doubting will not prove the unsoundness of belief. 
The true mark to know when faith is true and saving, notwith- 
standing all such doubtings, is the measure of its prevalency with 
our hearts and lives. That belief in Christ and the life to come 
is true and saving, notwithstanding all doubtings, which habi- 
tually possesseth us with the love of God above all, and resolveth 
the will to prefer the pleasing of him, and the hopes of heaven, 
before all the treasures and pleasures of this world, and causeth 
us in our endeavours to live accordingly. And that faith is 
unsound which will not do this, how well soever it may be de- 
fended by dispute. Therefore, at least, for the resolving of your 
wills for choice and practice, if you must doubt, yet consider 
which is the safest side. If Christ be the Saviour of the world, 
he will bring believers to grace and glory : and you are sure 
there is nothing but ' transitory trifles which you can possibly 

1 Qua? mala Stoici non audent appellare ; aspera autem, et incommoda et 
rejicienda, et aliena naturae esse concedunt; eanos mala dicimus, sed exigua, 
et porro minima. — Piso de Peripat. et Academ. in Cicer de Fin.)). 5. p. 234. 
Cum ergo haec sit conditio futurorum ut teneri et comprehendi nullius possim 
anticipationis attactu, nonne purior ratio est, ex duobus iucertis et in ambigua 
expectatione pendentibus, id potius credere, quod aliquas spes ferat, quam 
omnino quod nullas ? Id illo enim periculi nihil est, si quod dicitur immi- 
nere