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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"
















T H !■: 




















THE SAINT'S EVERLASTING REST {The Third Part continued) ; THE 










Chap. XL A more exact inquiry into the number and use 
of marks ; the nature of sincerity ; with other 
things of great moment in the work of self- 
examination 1 

XU. Use 4. — The reason of the saints' afflictions here 53 

XHL Use 5. — An exhortation to those that have got 
assurance of this rest, or title to it, that they 
would do all that they possibly can to help 
others to it also 71 

XIV. An advice to some more specially to help others 
to this rest, pressed largely on ministers and 
parents , 114 



To the inhabitants of the town of Shrewsbury 173 

The Introduction , 174 

Chap. I. Use 6. — Reprovingour expectations of rest on earth 177 

II. Use 7. — Reproving our unwillingness to die .... 191 

III. Motives to a heavenly life 217 

IV. Containing some hinderances of a heavenly life . . 2G4 



Chap. V. Some general helps to a heavenly life 291 

VI. Containing the description of the great duty of 

heavenly contemplation 308 

VII. Containing the fittest time and place for this 

contemplation, and the preparation of the 

heart unto it 317 

VIII. Of consideration, the instrument of this work ; 

and what force it hath to move the soul .... 338 
IX. What affections must be acted, and by what 

considerations and objects, and in what order 344 
X. By what actings of the soul to proceed in this 

work of heavenly contemplation 367 

XI. Some advantages and helps for raising and 

affecting the soul by this meditation 374 

XII. How to manage and watch over the heart 

through the whole work , 399 

XIII. The abstract, or sum of all, for the use of the 

weak 405 

The Conclusion 415 

Broughton in the conclusion of his ' Consent of Scripture,' 
concerning the New Jerusalem, and the ever- 
lasting Sabbatism, meant in my text, as 
begun here, and perfected in heaven 460 

A Poem of Master G. Herbert, in his ' Temple ' 463 

An Addition to the Eleventh Chapter of the Third Part of 

the Saint's Rest .., 466 

To the Reader , 474 





A more exact Inquiry into the Number and Use of Blarks ; the 
Nature of Sincerity ; ivith other thinc/s of great nioment in 
the work of Self-examination. 

Sect. I. It is a matter of such inexpressible consequence for 
every man to make sure work in the great business of his salva- 
tion ; it being so easy, so ordinary, and so dangerous to be 
mistaken, that I think fit yet to add some further advice, to 
help men in the trial of their own states. There is no Christian 
that hath any care of his soul, or any belief and true sense of 
the matters of eternity, but must needs be very solicitous in in- 
quiring, ' How he may know what will become of him for ever 
and ever ?' and be glad of a clear, undeceiving direction for the 
discovery of this. As 1 lay under seven years' doubting and 
perplexity of spirit myself, much through my ignorance in the 
managing of this work, so was 1 very inquisitive still after signs 
of sincerity, and I got all the books that ever I could buy, 
which laid down evidences and marks of true grace, and tended 
to discover the difference betwixt the true Cliristian and the 
hypocrite or unsound ; I liked no sermon so well as that which 
contained most of these marks ; and afterward, when I was 
called to the ministry myself, I prcaclied in this way as much 
as most. I have heard as many complaints of doubting, dis- 
tressed souls as most : and had as many that have opened their 
hearts to me in this point ; of whom many have proved tlie 
most humble, self-denying, mortified Christians ; and many that 
were deepest in doubtings and distress, upon trial of their lives, 
I found also deepest in pride, peevishness, unmortified lusts, and 
unfaithful walking, which did feed their troubles. LIpon this 


THE saint's 

long experience of myself and others, and most serious study of 
this point, and prayer to God for his direction, I think it but 
my duty to open yet more fully, for the benefit of others, what 
I have herein discovered, which is necessary for them to under- 
stand in this weighty work : for one error here may put the 
hearts and lives of godly people quite out of frame, and may 
do much to the confirming of the wicked in their presumption 
and self-deceit. 1 shall therefore lay down what I conceive to 
be the truth, in certain propositions. 

Sect. II. Prop. 1. A sincere Christian may attain to an infal- 
lible knowledge of his own sincerity in grace, or his perform- 
ance of the conditions of the covenant of life, and consequently 
of his justification, adoption, and title to glory ; and this with- 
out any extraordinary revelation. 

This proposition 1 have proved before, and therefore need to 
say no more to it now. I lay it down here by way of caution 
to prevent mistakes ; lest any should think that I am against 
an attainment of assurance here, because of some passages fol- 

Sect. III. Prop. 2. This infallible knowledge is not properly 
a certainty of faith, as too many divines affirm.^ 

This also I have proved before in opening the nature of as- 
surance, and in the Appendix of my Aphorisms of Justification; 
and Mr.Wotton de Reconcil., and very many learned divines of 
late, have confirmed it fullv. Proper certainty of faith is, when 
a man, by mere believing, is sure of the truth of the thing be- 
lieved : this, therefore, leaneth fully on a divine testimony. But 
there is no divine testimony revealing, that such or such a man's 
sins are pardoned, or he justified. The testimony of the Spirit 
is but partly by giving us the conditions of the promise, which 
is our evidence, and partly helping us to see them, and conclude 
from them, and take comfort therein : and so it witnesseth with 
our consciences, by causing our consciences spiritually and 
effectually to witness. But this testimony is not the object of 
■ji* faith ; it is only God's testimony in Scripture which affords us 

a certainty of faith, properly divine, in this point.^ Though in 

" Le^e Amesii Coron. de art. v. cap. 1. corol. vi. vii. p. (mihi) 88. eadem 
quae Theolog-. in Synodo Dord. 

•> Supjiosiiij;- that other ways of revelation are ceased. Assensura quippe 
nostrum afficijiit fidei catholicas articuli, ut principia immediata, ac prima. 
Fides autem subjungitur per nioduin assumptionis. lllius ergo quae hauc 
persuasionem facit, coiiclusionis non potest esse firmitudo major, quam quae 
prseraiissaruin debiliori inest, Subsumptio ilia autem experimentalibus nititur 


Other cases natural discoveries may be truly called a divine tes- 
timony in a larger sense ; yet this is above nature : now, God's 
word doth only say, he that repenteth and believeth ^hall be 
pardoned, and justified, and saved : but nowhere saith, that you 
or I shall be saved. Object. But, you will say, as long as we 
may know that we believe, is it not all one ? Answ. No : for 
God's word tells me not that I believe ; therefore this must be 
known by reflection and internal sense, and not by believing. He 
that believeth he doth believe, believeth himself and not God; 
for God nowhere telleth him so : so then it is beyond doubt, 
that assurance, as I said before, ariseth from the conclusion; one 
of whose premises is in the word of God, and must be believed; 
the other is in our own hearts, and must be felt or known ; and 
therefore the conclusion is mixed, and to be deduced bv reason, 
and is not an object properly of divine faith, or of any faith at 
all. There is but one objection that seems to me to have any 
appearance of strength, to take with any reasonable man ; and 
that, some think, cannot be answered. And thus they argue : 
Whatsoever we ask of God through Christ, according to his will, 
we must believe we shall receive : but we ask justification and 
glory of God according to his will, through Christ : therefore 
we must believe we shall receive them. Answ. This makes not 
our justification and salvation, to be upon certainty of faith. 
For, 1. The major proposition doth only express a conditional 
promise of justification and salvation, and no absolute promise. 
Now, a conditional promise puts nothing in being till the per- 
formance of the condition, nor gives any certainty but on such 
performance. The condition here expressed is, that we ask, 
and that we ask according to God's will ; which implies many 
other conditions ; for it must be in faith and repentance, and to 
right ends, not " to consume it on our lusts," saith James, and we 
must be certain that we are sincere in all this, before we can, 
upon this conditional promise, have a certainty : 2. So that the 
minor proposition here, that we thus ask according to God's 
will in true faith, &:c., this no Scripture speaks ; and therefore 
must be known otherwise than by believing: 3. Yet we may be 
said to believe we shall receive, in reference to the major propo- 
sition or promise in Scripture, which is an object of our belief. 

judiciis, per privatam hominis coiiscientiam pensitatis. Qua; ciim nonnun- 
quam in dubium voceutur, an sint signa genuina, et saepe tentationum nube 
occulteutur, iie ad praiseus solatium effulgeant, quid niiruiu si noD, &c.— > 
Tlieolog, BrUan. in Synod. Dord. Sufftag. ad art. v. thes. 3, &c. 



*l THE saint's 

Sect. IV. Prop. 3. Though infallible assurance, as aforesaid, 
maybe here attained,' yet perfect certainty in degree cannot, 
"nor may lawfully be by any man expected.^ ' 

This also I have proved before. For if we may be perfect in 
the degree of assurance, why not of all grace as well ; and so 
have no sin ? nay, there are so many graces exercised in pro- 
ducing our assurance, besides reason itself, that if they be not 
first perfect, it is impossible that assurance should be perfect. 
For example : He that believeth not in perfection the truth of 
Scripture, and of that promise, that " Whosoever believeth shall 
be saved ; " 2. And he that knovveth not in perfection the sin- 
cerity of his own faith, neither of which any man breathing 
doth do ; cannot possibly be perfectly certain that he is justified, 
and shall be saved : for who can be perfectly certain of the 
conclusion, who is but imperfectly certain of the premises? And 
yet I have met with some men that think themselves very 
learned and spiritual, that confidently dispute for a perfection in 
assurance. If any man say, that Bellarmine meant as much as 
this imperfect certainty, when he grants a conjectural certainty; 
and be sure that he speaks truly ; I will like Bellarmine the 
better, and his opposers in this the worse, but 1 will like a plain, 
necessary truth of God never the worse. Sure 1 am that our 
great divines affirming, that we are sure of salvation by a cer- 
tainty of faith, hath given the papists fearful ground to baffle 
them and play upon us, and triumph over them. And when 
their own students and followers find it so, it hardens them 
against us fearfully. And as sure I am that no man is perfect 
gradually in this life in any grace, much less in so high a point 
as his assuran(;e. Among all those consciences that I have had 
opened to me, I never met wirh a luimble, heavenly, upright 
Christian, that would say, he was perfectly certain ; nay, and 
but few, that durst call their persuasion a certainty, but rather 
a strong hope : but some licentious, fantastical disputers, I 
have heard plead for such a perfect certainty; whose pride and 
loose living, and unmortified passions and corruptions, told the 
standers-b}^, that they w-ere the farthest from true certainty of 

Sect. V. Prop. 4. Though in some cases it may be useful to 

= Rear! of this our British divines in the Synod of Dort. it) suffraf . ad art. 
V. thes. 2, 3 ; excellently and moderately, as they did in all. The couclusioii 
follows the weaker part of the premises, say log-iciaus. Vide Smigletii Lo- 
gicam Disp. xiii. quaest. B. 12, 13. Ubi strenue probatur, prjEmissse alterius 
debilitatem, semper et in omni materia, reduudare in conclusionem. 


name several marks ; yet the true, infallible marks of sincerity, 
which a man may gather assurance from, are very few, and lie 
in a narrower room than most have thou2;ht. 

As I would not pick quarrels with the most godly divines, 
who lay down many marks of sincerity in their sermons and 
books; so would I not, in foolish tenderness of any man's repu- 
tation, be so cruel to the souls of poor Christians, as to hide 
the truth from them in so weighty a point : and I speak against 
no man more than myself heretofore. I know ordinary Chris- 
tians cannot discern how these multitudes of marks do lie open 
to exceptions ; but the judicious may easily perceive it. I shall 
therefore here tell you the truth, how far these many marks are 
conwnendable and convenient, and how far they are condem- 
nable and dangerous. And, 1. When we are only discovering 
the nature of some sin, rather than the certainty of the unholi- 
ness of the sinner, it is both easy and useful to give many signs, 
as from the effects, &c., by which it may be known what that 
sin is : and so men may know how far thev are guiltv of it. 
But to know certainly whether that sin will prove the damnable 
state of the sinner, is neither easy, in most cases, nor to be 
done by many marks. 

2. When we are discovering the nature of some duty or 
grace, and not the very point wherein the soul's sincerity in 
that grace or duty lieth, it is both easy and useful to give many 
m.arks of them. But by these no man can gather assurance of 
his sincerity. 

3. When we are describing a high degree of wickedness, 
which is far from the best state of an unregenerate man, it is 
both easy and useful to give plain marks of such a state. But 
to discover just how much sin will stand with true grace, is 
another matter. 

4. When we are describing the state of the strongest Chris- 
tians, it is easy and useful to mark them out, and to give many 
marks of their strength ; but to give many of tlieir truth, and 
to discover the least degree of true grace, is not easy. So I 
have shown you wherein marks may commendably be multi- 
plied ; but to lay down many marks of sincerity, and say, 'By 
these you may certainly know whether you shall be saved or 
not ;' this I dare not do. 

Sect. VI. Prop. .5. There is a threefold truth to be inquired, 
after in examination: 1. The truth of the actor habit; 2. The 
moral truth of it as a grace or duty ; 3. The moral truth of it 

6 THE saint's 

as a saving or justifying grace or duty, or as the condition of 
justification and salvation. It is the last of these three only that 
the great business in self-examination lieth on, and which we 
are now searching after ; the two first being presupposed as 
more easily discernible, and less controvertible.*^ 

1 will not here trouble plain readers, for whose sakes I write, 
with any scholastic inquiries into the nature of truth, but only 
look into so much as is of flat necessity to a right managing of 
the work of self-examination : for it is inconceivable how a man 
should rationally judge of his own condition, when he knows 
not what to inquire after ; or that he should clearly know his 
sincerity, who knows not what sincerity is. Yet I doubt not 
but, by an internal feeling, a strong, sound Christian, who hath 
his faith and love and other graces in action, may comfortably 
perceive the sincerity of his graces, though he be so ignorant as 
not clearly and distinctly to. know the nature of sincerity, or to 
give any just description of it; even as an unlearned man, that 
is of a sound and healthful body, may feel what health is when 
he cannot describe it, nor tell distinctly wherein it doth consist. 
But yet, as he hath a general knowledge of it, so hath this 
ignorant, sincere Christian, of the nature of sincerity. And, 
withal, this is a more dangerous ground to stand on, because 
our sense is so uncertain in this case, more than in the welfare 
of the body ; and the assurance of such a soul will be more de- 
fective and imperfect, and very inconstant, who goes by mere 
feeling, without knowing the nature of what he feeleth, even as 
the forementioned unlearned man, in case of bodily health, if he 
have no knowledge, but mere feeling of the nature of health, he 
will be cast down with a tooth-ache, or some harmless disease, if 
it be painful, as if he should presently die, when a knowing man 
could tell that there is no danger ; and he would make light of 
a hectic, or other mortal disease, till it be incurable, because he 
feels no great pain in it. It is, therefore, a matter of necessity 
to open, most clearly and distinctly, the nature of sincerity or 
truth, so far as concerns the case in hand. I told you before, 
that there is a metaphysical truth of being, and a moral ; I now 
add further, that here are three things to be inquired after : 
1. The truth of the act ; 2. The truth of the virtuousness of the 
act ; 3. The truth of the justifying or saving nature of the act. 
The first is of natural, the two last of moral consideration : as, 

•i Lege Aquin. Sum. de Veritate, c. 1, 2, &c. accuratissime de veri et veri- 
tatis defiuitione. 


for example, if you be trying the sincerity of your love to God, 
vou must first know that you do love him indeed, without dis- 
sembling ; 2. That this love is such as is a duty or good, which 
God requireth ; 3. That this love is such as will certainly prove 
you in a state of salvation. The fust of these (whether you be- 
lieve and love Christ or not) must needs be first known ; and 
this must be known by internal feeling, joined with a considera- 
tion of the effects of real love. And to tliis end many marks 
may be useful, though, indeed, inward feeling must do almost 
all ; no man else can tell me whether 1 believe and love, if I 
cannot tell myself. It is no hard matter to a solid, knowing 
Christian, to discern this ordinarily ; but when they do know 
this, they are far enough from true assurance, except they go to 
the rest. A man may be a true man, and not an image, or 
a shadow, or a corpse, and yet be a false thief, or a liar, and no 
true man in a moral sense : this 1 lay down to these uses.*^ 

First, That you take heed when you hear or read marks of 
grace, how you receive and apply them; and inquire whether 
it be not only the truth of the being of the act or habit that 
those marks discover, rather than the virtuous, or the saving 
being or force. 

Secondly, That you take heed, in examination, of taking up 
at this first step, as if, when you have found that you believe, 
and love, and repent, you had found all, when yet you have not 
found that you do it savingly. 

Thirdly, To take heed of the doctrine of many in this, who 
tell you, that every man that hath faith, knows he hath it ; and 
it is impossible to believe, and not to know we believe. This 
may, ordinarilv, but not always, be true about this first truth, 
of the mere being of the act ; but is it no wonder that they 
should not consider that this is but a presupposed matter, and 

« Lege Rivet. Disput. de Certitud. salutis, sect, xxxiii. pp. 218, 219, 
Even learned Testardus is thus mistaken (De Natura et Grat. p. 142, tlies. 
180), whose words I will jjive you, tiiat you may see what way others go, in 
hiui. " If any uiau feel tliat he believeth, for felt it is, and that most cer- 
tainly of him that believeth, and be persuaded of the veracity of God and 
Christ, that man cannot chuose but certainly conclude wit!) himself, that his 
sins are pardoned, and life eternal shall be given him. lie, therefore, that 
professeth himself uncertain of the parddn of his sins, and of his salvation, 
doth in vain boast that he is a believer. Certainly, he that is not certain of 
the pardon of his sins and of his salvation, whicii is the conclusion of the 
syllogism of faith, is either ignorant of what is contained in the major; or 
else doih not take it fur certain, which yet is the word of God and Christ; 
or else it must needs be, that he doth not feel that he believes : and how then 
can he be called a believer ?" Thus Testardus erreth, with too many mure. 

THE saint's 

not the great thing that we have to inquire after in point of 
sincerity ? and that they may know they believe long enough, 
and yet not know their faith to be saving ? It is our beyond- 
sea divines that so mistake in this point : our English divines 
are sounder in it than any in the world, generally : I think be- 
cause they are more practical, and have had more wounded, 
tender consciences under cure, and less empty speculation and 
dispute. The second truth to be inquired after is, that this act 
is truly good, or a virtue, or grace ; for every act is not a virtue, 
nor every act that may seem so. 1 will not stand here curiously 
to open to you, wherein the goodness of an action doth consist. 
Somewhat will be said in the following propositions : only thus 
much at present. To denominate an action properly and fully 
good, it must be fully agreeable to God's will of precept, both 
in the matter, end, measure, and all circumstances; but, impro- 
perly and imperfectly, it may be called good or virtuous, though 
there be evil mixed, if the good be most eminent, as if the sub- 
stance of the action be good, though the circumstances be evil ; 
and thus we ordinarily call actions good : but if the evil be so 
predominant as that the good lie only in ends or circumstances, 
and the substance, as it were, of the action be forbidden, then 
we may not call it a good action, or a grace, or duty. So that 
it is not perfect, proper goodness that I here speak of, but the 
second, that is imperfect ; when the action is commanded and 
good in itself, and the good more eminent than the evil ; yet it 
mav not be saving for all that. 

For there is a common grace which is not saving, yet real, and 
so true and good, and so true grace ; as well as a special grace, 
which is saving ; and there are' common duties commanded by 
God, as alms-deeds, fasting, prayer, &c,, which, though they 
are necessary, yet salvation doth not certainly accompany them, 
or follow them. A man that finds any moral virtue to be in 
himself truly, and to be truly a virtue, cannot thence conclude 
that he shall be saved, nor a man that doth a duty truly good in 
.* itself. Many did that which was good in the sight of the Lord, 
but not with an upright heart ; and even an Ahab's humiliation 
may have some moral goodness, and so some acceptance with 
God, and bring some benefit to himself, and yet not be saving 
nor justifying. 

And some actions again may be so depraved bv the end and 
manners, that they deserve not the name of good or duty. As 
to repent of a sinful attempt is, in itself, considered a duty and 


good ; but if a man rejient of it only because it did not succeed, 
or because he missed of the gain, or pleasure, or honour, which 
he expected by it, thus he makes it a greater sin ; and if he re- 
pent but because his pleasure is gone, or because he is brought 
to poverty or disgrace by his sin, this is but a natural thing, and 
deserves not the name of a virtue. So to love God is in itself 
good, and the highest duty ; but if a man love God as one that 
he thinks hath prospered him in his sin, and helped and suc- 
ceeded him in his revenge, unjust blood-shed, robbery, sinful 
rising and thriving, thanking God, and loving him for his plea- 
sure in lust, drunkenness, gluttony, or the like, as the most men 
that idolise their flesh-pleasure do, when thev have ease and 
honour, and all at will, that they may offer a full sacrifice to 
their flesh, and say, ' Soul, take thine ease,' then they thank 
God for it, and may really love him under this notion/ This is 
to make God a pander or servant to our flesh, and so to love 
him for serving and humouring it ; and this is so far from being 
a virtue, that it is one of the greatest of all sins ; and if another 
man love God in a better notion a little, and love his lusts more, 
this is no saving love, as 1 shall more fully show you. So that 
you see a man hath more to look after than the mere honesty, 
virtue, or moral goodness of his action ; or else all actions that 
are virtuous, would be saving. 

The third thing to be inquired after is, the sincerity of grace 
considered as saving. This is much more than the two former, 
and, indeed, is the greater matter in self-examination to be 
looked after : here is the work ; here is the difficulty; here it is 
that we are now inquiring, how far marks may be multiplied ; 
how far they mav be useful : and wherein this sinceritv doth 
consist. The two former will not denominate a man a sincere 
Christian, nor prove him justified, and in a state of salvation, 
without this. Wherein this consisteth, 1 shall show you in the 
following propositions : now, I have first showed you what it is 
that you nuist in(|uire after ; and I hope no wise Christian will 
judge me too curious and exact here, seeing it is a work that 
nearly concerns us, and is not fit to be done in the dark : our 
cause must be thoroughly sifted at judgment, and our game then 
must be jjlayed above-board ; and therefore it is desperate to 
juggle and cheat ourselves now ; only, before I proceed, let mc 
tell you, that according to this threefold truth or sincerity, so 

' Up6(TKaipoi sancti dicuiitur, et c|uodaniniodo sunt, sed sine radice et solidi- 
tate, ut Rivet. Disp. de Persev. Sanct. sect. iii. p.20;5. 



there is a threefold self-delusion or hypocrisy; taking hypocrisy 
for a seeming to be what we are not, either to ourselves or 
others, though, perhaps, we have no direct dissembling intent. 
1. To take on us to repent, believe, love Christ, &c., when we 
do not at all : this is the grossest kind of hypocrisy, as wanting 
the very natural truth of the act. 

2. To seem to believe, repent, love God, &c., virtuously, ac- 
cording to the former description, and yet to do it but in sub- 
serviency to our lusts and wicked ends, this is another sort of 
gross hypocrisy ; yea, to do it in mere respect to fleshly pros- 
perity, as to repent because sin hath brought us to sickness and 
poverty, to love God merely because he keeps up our flesh's 
prosperity, &c. ; this is still gross hypocrisy. 

It may be a great question, which of these is the greater sin : 
to repent and love God in subserviency to our sin, or not to do 
it at all ? 

Answ. It is not much worth the thinking on, they are both 
so desperately wicked ; therefore I will not trouble the reader 
with a curious resolution of this question, only thus : Though to 
deny God's being, be a blasphemous denial of his natural excel- 
lency, and so of his attributes, which are the first platform of 
that which we call morality in the creature ; yet to deny these 
his attributes, and, withal, to ascribe sin and positive wicked- 
ness to the blessed, holy God, seems to me the greater sin ; 
Sicut esse diahoJum est pejus {quoad ipsum) quam non esse. 

3. The next kind of hypocrisy, and the most common, is, 
when men Avant the sincerity of grace as saving only, but have 
both the truth of it as an act or habit, and as a virtue. When 
men have some repentance, faith, hope, love, &c., which is un- 
dissembled, and hath good ends, but yet is not saving; this is the 
unsoundness which most among us in the church perish by, that 
do perish, and which every Christian should look most to his 
heart in.s This, I think, is discerned by few that are guilty of 
it, though they might all discern it, if they were willing and 

Sect. VII. Prop. 6. As it is only the precepts of Christ that 
can assure us that one action is virtuous, or a duty more than 
another ; so it is only the tenor of the covenant of grace, be- 
stowing justification or salvation upon any act, which makes that 
act, or grace, justifying or saving, and can assure us that it is so. 

s Ita sincere, tam resipisceutiam quam fidem, conditionem ad salutem adi- 
pisceudam prorsus necessariam statuimus. — lYiglandius de Grat, p. D97. 


By the precepts. I mean any divine determination concern- 
ing our duty, what we ought to do or avoid. It is the same 
sacred instrument which is called God's testament, his covenant, 
and his new law, the several names being taken from several 
respects, as I have opened elsewhere, and cannot now stand to 
prove ; this law of God hath two parts, the precept and the 
sanction. The precept may he considered either as by itself, 
* Do this or do that,' and so it niaketh duty : this constitutes the 
virtue of actions, regulating them ; and so the second kind of 
sincerity, ' whether an action be good or bad,' must be tried by 
the precepts as precepts, ^^"hat God requireth, is a virtue : 
what he forbiddeth, is a vice : what he neither requireth nor for- 
biddeth, is indifferent, as being not of moral consideration : for 
the popish doctrines of divine counsels is vain. 

2. And then these precejjts must be considered not only as 
they stand by themselves, and constitute duty siaiply, saying 
*Do this ; ' but also as they stand in conjunction with the sanc- 
tion, and say, ' Do this or that, and be saved, or else perish,' as 
' Believe and be saved, else not.' And in this respect and sense, 
thev constitute the conditions of the covenant ; and so they are 
the only rule by which to know what is saving grace, and what 
not : and only in this respect it is that they justify or con- 
demn men. They may justify or condemn the action, as bare 
precepts and prohibitions ; but they justify not, nor condemn the 
person himself, but as precepts conjoined with the sanction ; 
that is, with the promise or threatening. 

So that it is hence evident, that no human conjecture can 
gather wliat is a saving grace or duty, and what not, either from 
a bare precept, considered disjunct from the promise, or from 
any thing in the mere nature and use of the gracious act itself. 
The nature of the act is but its aptitude to its office ; but the 
consequents (for I will not call them effects), justification and 
salvation, proceed from or upon them only as conditions on 
which the free promis-e l)estovveth those benefits directly. Those, 
therefore, which make the formal reason of faitli's justifying to 
lie in its apprehension, which they call its instrumentality, being 
indeed the very nature and being of the act, do little know what 
they say, nor how derogatory to Christ, and arrogating to them- 
selves, their doctrine is, as I have elsewhere manifested. 

1 conclude, then, that it is only the Scripture that can tell 
you what is justifying or saving grace, by promising and an- 
nexing salvation thereto. 

jiS THE saint's 

Sect. Vlll. Prop. 7. Whatsoever therefore is the condition which 
the covenant of grace recjuireth of man, for the attaining of jus- 
tification and salvation, and upon which it doth bestow them, 
that only is a justifying and saving act. And inferior duties are 
no further marks to try by, nor are justifying and saving, than 
as they are reducible to that condition. 

This is it which I have asserted in the last foregoing chapter, 
and this is the reason why I laid down but two marks there. 
Though, in the first part, in the description of God's people, I 
laid down the whole description, which must needs contain 
some things common, and not only special properties, yet now 
I am to give you the true points of difference, I dare not number 
so many particulars. The performance of the proper condition 
of the new covenant, promising justification or salvation, then, 
is the only mark of justification or salvation, direct and infal- 
lible ; or is, the only justifying and saving grace properly so 
called. Now, you must understand that the covenant of life 
hath two parts, as the condition for man to perform, if he will 
receive the benefits. The first is, the natural part concerning 
the pure Godhead, who is the first and the last, the principal, 
efficient, and ultimate end of all ; who is our Creator, Preserver, 
Governor, happiness, or rest. This is ' the taking the Lord 
only for our God,' in opposition to all idols visible or invisible. 
As the end, as such, is before and above all the means, and the 
Father, or mere Godhead, is above Christ the Mediator as such, 
(as he saith, John xiv. 2S, "The Father is greater than I,") so 
this is the first and greater part of the condition of the cove- 
nant : and so idolatry and atheism are the greatest and first 
condemning sins. The second' part of the condition is, ' That 
we take Jesus Christ only for the Mediator and our Redeemer, 
and so as our only Saviour and supreme Lord, by the right of 
redemption.' This is the second part, consisting in the choice 
of the right and only way and means to God, as he is the end : 
for Christ, as Mediator, is not the ultimate end, but the way to 
the Father. These two parts of the condition are most evident 
in the word, both in their distinction and necessitv. The former 
was part of that covenant made with Adam, which is not re- 
pealed, nor ever will be, though the rest of that covenant may 
be laid by. It was afterwards still fully expressed to the church 
before Christ's coming in the flesh : in all the people's cove- 
nanting, this was still the sum, that they took the Lord only to 
be their God. But the latter part was not in the covenant with 


Adam : nor was it openly and in full plainness put into the co- 
venant of grace in the beginning, hut still implied, and more 
darkly intimated, the light and clearness of revelation still 
increasing till Christ's coming. Yet so, as that at the utmost 
tliey iiad but the discovery of a Saviour to he horn of a virgin, 
of the tribe of Judah, at such a time, but never that this Jesus 
was the Christ. And so it was only in a Saviour so to be 
revealed that they were to believe before: but after Christ's 
coming, and his miracles, and resurrection, at utmost, he tells 
them, " If ye believe not that i am he, you shall die in your 
sins." So that to them to whom he was revealed, at least it 
was of necessity to believe that this Jesus is he, and not to look 
for another. Now, to us Christians under the New Testament, 
this latter part of the covenant (concerning the ^Mediator) is 
most fully expressed, and most frequently inculcated : not as if 
the former part (concerning God the Creator and end) were 
become less necessary than before, or ever the less to be studied by 
Christians, or preached by the ministers of the Gospel, but on the 
contrary, it is still implied, as being fully revealed before, and 
a thing generally received by the church ; yea, and confirmed 
and established by the adding of the Gospel, and preaching of 
Christ; for the end is still supposed and implied, when we 
determine of the means ; and the means confirm and not deny 
the excellency and necessity of the end. Therefore, when Paul 
(Acts xvii. &;c.) was to preach to the Athenians or other hea- 
thens, he first preacheth to them the Godhead, and seeks to 
bring them from their idols, and then preacheth Christ. And 
therefore it is said," He that comes to God (as the end and his 
happiness, or Creator and Preserver) must first believe that God 
is, and that he is (in the Redeemer) a rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him." (Heb. xi.) And, therefore, the apostles 
preached " repentance towards God, and faith towards our 
Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts xx. 21.) The first is, " the turning 
from idols to the true God," and so repentance is in order of 
nature before faith in the IMediator, and more excellent in its 
nature, as the end is than the way; but not before faith in the 
Godhead. The second is the only highway to God. Therefore, 
Paul was by preaching, to turn men from darkness to light ; 
both from tlie darkness of atheism and idolatry, and the darkness 
of infidelity, but first from the power of Satan, and worshipj)ing 
devils, to God ; that so next, by faith in Christ, they might 
receive remission of sin, and inheritance among them that are 

14 THE saint's 

sanctified. (Acts xxvi. 28.) And Christ himself took the same 
course, and preached these two parts of the condition of the 
covenant distinctly. " This is life eternal, to know thee the 
only true God, and (then) Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." 
(John xvii. 3.) Words of knowledge in Scripture commands, 
import affection. And "The Father is greater than I." (John 
xiv. 28.) And " I am the way, the truth, and the life ; no man 
Cometh to the Father but by me." (John xiv. 6.) And " Ye 
believe in God (there is he first part). Believe also in me;" 
(John xiv. i; ) (there is the second part.) But intended brevity 
forbids me to heap up more proof in so plain a case. 

To this last part of the condition is opposed infidelity, or not 
believing in Christ, being the chiefest condemning sin, next to 
atheism and idolatry, which are opposite to the first part. On 
these two parts of the condition of the covenant, hath God laid 
all our salvation, as much as concerns our part; still sup- 
posing that God and the Mediator have done and will do all 
their part. 

The first part of the condition 1 call, the natural part, being 
from the beginning, and written in the nature of every reasonable 
creature, and by an eminency and excellency it is of natural 
morality above all other laws whatsoever. The second I call the 
supernatural part of the condition: as being not known to any 
man by the mere light of nature, but is supernaturally revealed to 
the world by the Gospel. The first part also is the basis or great 
command of the decalogue, " Thou shalt have none other God 
but me ;" or in other terms, '' Thou shalt love God above all." 
The second is the great command of the Gospel, " Believe in 
the Lord Jesus ;" or in other terms, " Love Christ above all." 
For, as I said, words of knowledge in Scripture imply affection, 
especially will, where all acts of the soul are complete, which 
in the intellect are but incomplete, imperfect, and preparatory, 
the understanding being but the entrance to the will, and the 
will being an extended understanding. Therefore, sometimes 
Christ saith, " He that believeth not, is condemned." Some- 
times, " He that loveth any thing more than me, is not worthy 
of me, and cannot be my disciple." And he joineth them to- 
gether in John xvi. 27. Therefore hath the Father loved you, 
because you have loved me, and have believed, &c. Intellectual 
belief, or assent, therefore, wherever you read it commanded, 
implieth the will's consent and love. 

And thus I have showed you what the conditions of the co- 


venant are, which I have done the more fully, that you might 
know what is a saving grace or act, and what not. For you 
may easily conceive that it must needs be safer trying by these 
than by any lower act or duty : and as all other are no further 
saving, than as they belong to these, or are reducible to them, 
so you can no further try yourselves by them, but as they are 
reduced to these. And now you see the reason why I men- 
tioned but only two marks in the foregoing chapter, and why I 
say that true marks are so few by which a man may safely try 
his title to heaven. And yet you shall see that we must vet 
reduce them to a narrower room, when we come to open the 
nature of sincerity. In preparation to which 1 must tell you, 
that in the terms of these two marks, or two parts of the con- 
dition of the covenant, there is contained somewhat common, 
which an unregenerate man may perform, and somewhat spe- 
cial and proper to the saints. Though all must go together 
and be found in those that will be saved, yet the specifical form, 
or constitutive difference, by which, as saving, the act of a true 
believer is discerned from the act of an unsound person, doth 
lie but in a part of it, and I think but in one point: as a man 
is defined to be a reasonable living creature ; but to be a creature 
will not prove him a man, nor to be a living creature neither, 
because that there are other creatures, and living creatures, or 
animate, besides himself. But to be a reasonable animal, or living 
creature, will prove him a man, because reason contains his 
specific form and constitutive difference. Other inferior crea- 
tures may have bodies, and fleshly bodies, as well as man, and 
others may have life, which we call a soul, and yet man must 
have these two ; but others with these have not reason, or a 
soul endued with a power of reasoning. So in these marks of 
grace, or conditions of the covenant. To love, is common to 
every man. To love God and Christ, is common to a Christian, 
with an hypocrite or wicked man ; but to love Christ savingly, 
that is, as I shall show you presently, sovereignly, or chiefly, 
this is the form or constitutive diff'erence of love which is saving. 
To take or accept, is common to every man ; to take or accept 
of God and Christ, is common to a true Christian and a false j 
but to take or accept of God and his Christ sincerely and sav- 
ingly, is proper to a sound believer ; so that even in these two 
marks, tbe sincerity of both licth in one point. For, supposing 
the truth of the act, and the truth of the virtue in general, 
(which are both common, as I have told you,) the truth or sin- 

16 THE saint':? 

cerity of them as saving, is the only thing to be inquired after. 
And in this sense, 1 know but one infallible mark of sincerity : 
seeing sincerity lieth in this one point. But before I come to 
open it more fully, I will premise, and but briefly name, two 
more propositions. 

Sect. IX. Prop. S. God hath not in the covenant promised jus- 
tification or salvation upon any mere act or acts considered 
without that degree and suitableness to their objects, wherein 
the sincerity of them, as saving, doth consist. 

It is said, indeed, " that he that believeth shall be saved," 
but then it is supposed that it be sincere believing ; for any be- 
lieving is not here meant. For many that believed, and that 
without gross dissimulation, shall perish, as not believing sin- 
cerely. And, therefoie, Christ would not trust himself with 
those that yet believed in him, because he knew their hearts, 
that they did it not in faithfulness and sincerity. (John ii. 
23, 24.) But I shall confirm this more fully afterwards. 

Sect. X. Prop. 9. There is no one act, considered in its 
mere nature and kind, without its measure and suitableness to 
its object, which a true Christian may perform, but an unsound 
Christian may perform it also. 

1 have great reason to add this, that you may take heed of 
trying and judging of yourselves by any mere act^ considered in 
itself. If any doubt of this, we might soon prove it by pro- 
ducing the most excellent acts, and showing it of them in 
particular. Believing is as proper to the saved as any thing for 
the act. And yet, as for the assenting act, James tells us the 
devils believe. And as for resting on Christ by affiance, and 
expecting pardon and salvation from him, we see beyond ques- 
tion, that many thousand wicked men have no other way to 
quiet them in sinning, but that they are confident Christ will 
pardon and save them, and they undissemblingly quiet or rest 
their souls in this persuasion, and undissemblingly expect salva- 
tion from him when they have sinned as long as they can. And, 
indeed, herein lieth the nature of presumption : and so real 
are they in this faith, that all our preaching cannot beat them 
from it. If the question be, whether a wicked man can pray, 
or meditate, or forbear the act of this or that sin, I think none 
will deny it. But yet all this will be opened more fully anon. 

Sect. XI. Prop. 10. The supremacy of God and the Me- 
diator in the soul, or the precedency and prevalency of his 
interest in us, above the interest of the flesh, or of inferior good. 


is the very point wherein materially*^ the sincerity of our graces, 
as saving, cloth consist ; and so is the one mark by which those 
must judge of their state that would not be deceived. 

Propos. 11. For the saving object being resolved of in the 
Gospel, here the sincerity of the act, as saving, consisteth for- 
mally' in being suited to its adecjuate object, considered in those 
respects which are essential to it as such an object. And so to 
believe in, accept, and love God as God, and Christ as Christ, 
is the sincerity of these acts. But this lieth in believing, ac- 
cepting, and loving God, as the only supreme Authority, or Ruler, 
and God and Christ as the only Redeemer, and so our Lord, 
our sovereign Saviour, our Husband and our Head. 

I join both these propositions together, because the expli- 
cation of both will be best joined together. And first, I will 
tell you what 1 mean by some t)f these terms in these propo- 

1. When I speak of the interest of God and the Mediator in 
the soul, 1 do not mean a mere right to us, which we call jus 
ad rem, for so God and the Mediator, God-man, have interest in 
all men : as being undoubtedly rightful Lord of all, whether 
they obey him or not ; but I mean Christ's actual interest in 
us, and possession of us, which we caW Jus in re, and that, as it 
consisteth in a voluntary entertainment of him into all the 
powers of the soul, according to the several capacities and offices. 
As we use to say of men in respect of their friends, ' Such a 
man hath so much interest in his friend, that he can prevail 
with him before any other.' So, when God's interest in us is 
greater than the interest of the flesh, that he hath the prece- 
dency and supremacy in our understandings, wills, and affec- 
tions, this is the sincerity of all our graces as saving ; and so 
the discovery of our soul's sincerity. I shall yet more fully open 
this anon. 

2. I here include the interest of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
both as they are conjunct, and as they are distinct. As consider- 
ed in the essence and unity of the Godhead, so their interest is 
conjunct ; both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, being our Creator, 

'' Mark, I say but materially. 

' Formally, what this sincerity is. When 1 say as such, I mean only with 
a bare notion or opinion that God is the chief Good ; for that will not make 
him our chief End : but 1. With a sound, ert'ectual belief that he is such : 2. 
With a predominant will or love, which shall g^ive him a most prevalent in- 
terest in our hearts. These two propositions must be remembered for the un- 
derstanding of ihe next. 


18 THE saint's 

Ruler, and ultimate End, and chief Good. But in the distinction 
of persons, as it was the Son in a proper sense that redeemed 
us, and thereby purchased a peculiar interest in us, and domi- 
nion over us, as he is Redeemer, so doth he carry on this in- 
terest in a peculiar way. And so the interest of the Holy 
Ghost as our Sanctifier, is specially advanced by our yielding 
to his motions, &c. 

3, By the supremacy of God, and the prevalency of Christ s 
interest, I do not mean,'' that it always prevaileth for actual 
obedience against the suggestions and allurements of the flesh. 
A man may possibly pleasure a lesser friend, or a stranger, be- 
fore a greater friend, for once or more, and then it proves not 
that the stranger hath the greatest interest in him. But I mean, 
that God hath really more of his esteem, and will, and rational, 
though not passionate, love, and desire, and authority, and rule, 
in his heart and life. 

4. When 1 speak of the interest of the flesh, I chiefly intend 
and include that inferior good which is the flesh's delight. For 
here are, considerably distinct, 1. The part which would be 
pleased in opposition to Christ ; and that, with the Scripture, I 
call the flesh. 2. The thing which this flesh desires as its hap- 
piness ; and that is, its own pleasure, delight, and full content. 
3. The objects from whence it expecteth this delight and con- 
tent ; and that is, all inferior good which it apprehendeth to 
conduce most to that end, as being most suitable to itself. By 
the flesh, then, I mean, the soul as sensitive, as it is now since 
the fall become unruly, by the strengthening of its raging desires, 
and the weakening of reason that should rule it, and conse- 
quently the rational part thereby seduced ; or if the rational 
(misinformed and ill-disposed) be the leader in any sin, before or 
without the sensitive ; so that I mean, that which inordinately 
inclineth us to any inferior good. This inferior good consisteth 
in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life, as 
John distinguisheth them ; or as commonly they are distributed, 
in pleasure, profits, and honour ; all which are concentred and 
terminated in the sin we call flesh-pleasing in the general ; for 
that pleasure it is which is sought in all ; or it is the pursuit 
of an inferior, fleshly happiness, preferred before the superior, 

^ Renati quantumvis alacriter militent adversus peccata, tamen et niulta et 
magna cariiis imbecilliiate laborant; cui, spiritu clivinitus excitato, obluctaii* 
tur : crebro taivien ^ cupiditatibus carnis se vinci patiuntur, &c. — Siiffrag, 
JTieolog:. Bremennum in Spiodo Dord, in art. v. tlies. y. Vid. thes. 10 — 13. 


sj)iritual, everlasting happiness. Though most commonly this 
pleasure be sought in honour, riches, eating, drinking, pleasant 
dwellings, company, sports and recreations, clothes, wantonness, 
or lustful uncleaimess, the satisfying of passions and malicious 
desires, or the like ; yet sometime it riscth higher, and the sin- 
ner seeketh his ha])piness and content in largeness of knowledge, 
much learning and curious speculations about the nature of the 
creatures, vea, and about God himself. But perhaps it will be 
found that these are nearly of the same nature with the former 
sensitive delights. For it is not the excellency or goodness of 
God himself that delighteth them, but the novelty of the thing, 
and the agitation of their own imagination, fancy, and intellect, 
thereupon, which is naturally desirous to be actuated, and em- 
ployed, as receiving thereby some seeming addition to its own 
perfection ; and that not as from God, who is the object of their 
knowledge, but as from the mere enlargement of knowledge in 
itself; or, which is far worse, they make the study of God and 
divine things which they delight in, but subservient to some 
base, inferior object ; and so though they delight in studying and 
knowing God, and heaven, and Scripture, yet not in God as 
God, or the chief Good, nor in heaven as heaven, nor out of 
any true saving love to God ; but either, because, as some 
preachers, they make a gainful trade of it, by teaching others ; 
or because it is an honour to know these things, and be able to 
discourse of them, and a dishonour to be ignorant; or at best, 
as I said before, they desire to know God and divine truths, out 
of a delight in the novelty, and actuating, and natural elevation 
of the understanding hereby; it is one thing to delight in 
knowing, and another to delight in the thing known. An un- 
godly man may delight in studying and knowing several axioms 
or truths concerning God, but he never chiefly delighteth in 
God himself. As a studious man desires to know what hell is, 
and where, and many truths concerning it ; but he desireth not 
hell itself, nor delighteth in it. A godly man desireth to know 
the nature and danger of sin, and Satan's wav and wiles in 
temptations ; but he (jpth not therefore desire sin and tempta- 
tion itself. So a wicked man may desire to know the nature of 
grace, and Christ, and glory, and yet not desire grace, and 
Christ, and glory. It is one thing to terminate a man's desire 
and delight in bare knowledge, or the esteem, or self-advance- 
ment, that accrues thereby ; and another thing to terminate it in 
the thing which we desire to know ; making knowledge but a 

c 2 ' 

20 THE saint's 

means to its fruition. So that, though the virtuousness or 
viciousness of our willing, and several affections, do receive its 
denomination and specification very much from the object, as in 
loving God, and loving sinful pleasure, &c., because there is a 
proper and ultimate terminus of the soul's motion, yet the acts 
of the understanding may be exercised about the best of objects, 
without any virtuousness at all j it being but the truth and not 
the goodness that is its object ; and that truth may be in the 
best object and in the worst. And so it is the same kind of 
delight that such a man hath in knowing God, and knowing 
other things ; for it is the same kind of truth that he seeks in 
both. And, indeed, truth is not the ultimate object terminating 
the soul's motion, not as it is truth, but an intermediate prere- 
quisite to good, which is the ultimately terminating object; and 
accordingly the acts of the mere understanding are but prepara- 
tory to the act of the will, and so are but imperfect initial acts 
of the soul, as having a further end than their own proper object ; 
and therefore it is that all philosophers place no moral habits 
in the nnderstanding, but all in the will ; for till they come to 
the will, though they may be in a large sense morally good or 
evil, virtuous or vicious, yet they are but so in an imperfect kind 
and sense, and therefore they call such habits only intellectual. 

The sum of all this is, that it is but the flesh's pleasure and 
interest which an ungodly man chiefly pursueth, even in his de- 
lightful studying of holy things; for he studieth holy things 
and profane alike. Or if any think it too narrow a phrase, 
to call this flesh-pleasing, or preferring the interest of the 
flesh, it being the soul as rational, and not only as sensitive, 
which turneth from God to inferior things; I do not gainsay 
this : I know that man apostatized from God to himself; 
and that in regeneration he is turned again from himself to 
God. Yet this must be very cautelously understood; for God 
forbiddeth not man to seek himself duly, but command- 
eth it : man may and must seek his own happiness. The 
chief good is desired as good to us. But to state this case 
rightly, and determine the many great d.^fficulties that here rise 
in the way, is no fit work for this place : I will not therefore so 
much as name them. The easiest and safest way therefore to 
clear the present difficulty to us is, to look chiefly at the differ- 
ent objects and ends : God, who is the supreme Good, present- 
eth and offereth himself to us to be enjoyed. Inferior good 
stands up in competition with him, and would insinuate itself into 



our hearts, as If it were more amiable and desirable than God. 
Now, if God's interest prevail, it is a certain sign of grace ; if 
inferior good prevail, and have more actual interest or posses- 
sion than God, it is a certain sign of an unhapj))- condition ; or 
that the person is not yet in a state of salvation. 

And as you thus see what I mean by the interest of the flesh, 
or inferior good in us ; so in all this I include the interest of 
the world and the devil : for the world is, at least, the greatest 
part of this inferior good, which stands in competition with 
God. And Satan is but the envious agent to present this bait 
before us ; to put a false gloss on it in his presentation ; to 
weaken all God's arguments that should restrain us; to disgrace 
God himself to our souls ; and so to press and urge us to a sin- 
ful choice and prosecution. He shows us the forbidden fruit as 
pleasant, and as a means to our greater advancement and hap- 
piness, and draweth us to unbelief for the hiding of the danger. 
He takes us up in our imagination, and shows us the kingdoms 
of the world and their glory, to steal our hearts from the glori- 
ous kingdom of God. So that the interest of the flesh, the interest 
of the world, and the interest of Satan, in us, is all one in effect. 
For they are but several causes to carry the soul from God, to a 
false, deluding, miserable end. 

Again, in the proposition, I say, * It is the prevalency of the 
interest of God or Christ, above inferior good,' putting inferior 
good as the competitor with God, who is the greatest Good ; 
because tiie will cannot incline to any thing under the notion of 
evil, or of indifferent, but only as good. No man can will evil 
as evil ; he must first cease to be rational, and to be man. If 
evil appeared only as evil, there were no danger in it. The force 
of the temptation lies in making evil seem good, either to the 
senses, or imagination, or reason, or all. Here lies the danger 
of a pleasing condition in regard of credit, delights, riches, 
friends, habitation, health, or any inferior thing ; the more good 
appearetli or seemeth to be in them, as disjunct from God, the 
more dangerous ; for they are the liker to stand up in compe- 
tition with him, and to carry it with our partial, blinded souls in 
the competition. Remember this, if you love yourselves, when 
you would have all things about you more pleasing and lovely. 
Here lies the unknown danger of a prosperous state ; and on 
the contrary lies the precious benefit of adversity, which, if men 
were not brutish and unbelieving, they would heartily welcome 
as the safest condition. 

22 THE saint's 

Again, observe here, that I mention inferior 'good,' and not 
^ truth,' as that which stands In competition with God. For of 
two truths, both are equally true, though not equally evident ; 
and, therefore, though Satan would persuade the soul that in- 
ferior good is better for us than God, yet he sets not truth 
against truth in competition. He would indeed make us believe 
that God's word is not true at all, or the truth not certain. But 
with the understanding there is no competition between truth 
and truth, if known so to be. For the understanding can know 
and believe several truths at once, though about ever so differ- 
ent matters, as that there is a heaven and a hell, that there is 
a God, a Christ, a world, a devil, &c. But the will cannot em- 
brace and choose all different good at once ; for God hath made 
the enjoyment of them incompatible; much less can it will two 
things as the chlefest good, when there is but one such ; or God 
and the creature equally good, and both in the highest degree. 

Here, then, you further see the meaning of the proposition ; 
when I speak of the prevalency of Christ's interest, I mean it 
directly and principally in the will of man, and not in the under- 
standing. For though I doubt not but there is true grace in the 
understanding as well as in the will, yet, as I shall further show 
anon, as it is in the intellect, it is not certainly and fully discern- 
ible, but only as the force of the intellective acts appear in the 
motions and resolutions of the will. And, therefore, men must 
not try their state directly by any graces or marks in the under- 
standing. And also if it were possible to discern their sincerity 
immediately in the understanding, yet it must not be there by 
this way of competition of different objects in regard of the de- 
gree of verity, as if one were more true, and the other less ; as 
it is with the will about the degrees of goodness in the objects 
which stand in competition. Though yet a kind of competition 
there is with the intellect too ; ^ as, 1 . Between God and the 
creature, who is to be believed rather ; and, 2. Between two 
contradictory or opposite propositions, which is true, and which 
false. As between these, God is the chief Good, and, God is not 
the chief Good; or these, God is the chief Good, and, pleasure 
is the chief good. But though the truth be here believed, yet 
that is no certain evidence of sincerity; except it be so believed, 
as may be prevalent with the will ; which is not discernible in 
the bare act of believing, but In the act of willing. So that it is 

• The sincerity of grace in the intellect, is most observable in its estima- 
tion of God above the creature, viz., as better in himself and to us. 


the pievalcncy of Christ's interest in the will that we here speak 
of; and consequently in the affections, and conversation. And 
indeed, as is before hinted, all human acts, as they are in the 
mere understanding, are but crude and imperfect ; for it is but 
the first digestion, as it were, that is there performed, as of meat 
in the stomach, but in the will they are more perfectly concoct- 
ed, as the chyle is sanguified in the liver, spleen, and veins; and 
in the affections they are yet further raised and concocted, as 
the vital spirits are begotten in the heart ; though many here take 
mere flatulency for spirits ; and so they do common passion for 
spiritual affections ; and then in the conversation, as the food in 
the iiabit of the body, the concoction is finished ; so that the sin- 
cerity of grace cannot, [ think, be discerned by any mere intellec- 
tual act: as you may find judicious Dr. Stoughton asserting in 
his ' Righteous Man's Plea to Happiness.' But yet do not misun- 
derstand it, as if saving grace did not reside in the understanding. 
Now, as the apostle saith, "The flesh warreth against the 
Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary 
one to the other:" (Gal. v. 17 :) a Christian's life is a conti- 
nual combat between these two contrary interests. God will 
be taken for our portion and happiness, and so be our ultimate 
End, or else we shall never enjoy him to make us happy : the 
flesh suggesteth to us the sweetness and delight of carnal con- 
tentments, and would have us glut ourselves with these. God 
will rule, and that in supremacy, or he will never save us. The 
flesh would fain be pleased, and have its desire, whether God 
be obeyed and pleased or not. There is no hope of recon- 
ciling these contrary interests. God hath already made his 
laws, containing the conditions of our salvation or damnation j 
these laws do limit the desires of the flesh, and contradict its 
delights : the flesh cannot love that which is against it. It 
hates them, because they speak not good of it, but evil, because 
it so mightily crosseth its contents. It was meet it should be 
so ; for if God had suffered no competitors to set up their in- 
terest against his, how would the faithfulness of his subjects be 
tried ; how would his providences and graces be manifested ? 
Even to Adam, that yet had no sin, this way of trial was judged 
necessary : and when he would please his eye and his taste, and 
desire to be higher, it was just with God to displease him, and to 
bring him lower. God will not change these, his holy and 
righteous laws, to please the flesh, nor conform himself to its 
will. The flesh will not conform itself to God ; and so here is 

24 THE saint's 

the christian combat. Christ, who has purchased us, expecteth 
the first or chief room in our affections, or else he will ef- 
fectively be no Saviour for us. The flesh doth importunately 
solicit the affections to give the chief room and entertainment 
to its contents. Christ, who hath so dearly bought the domi- 
nion over us all, will either rule us as our sovereign, or condemn 
us for our rebellion. (Luke xix. 27.) The flesh would be free, 
and is still soliciting us to treason. For as easy as Christ's 
yoke is, and light as is his burden, j'ct it is no more suited with 
the flesh's interest, than the heavier and more grievous law was: 
the law of liberty, is not a law of carnal liberty. Now, in this 
combat, the word and ministry are solicitors for Christ ; so is 
reason itself, so far as it is rectified and well guided : but be- 
cause reason is naturally weakened and blind ; vea, and the 
Word alone is not sufficient to illuminate and rectify it; there- 
fore Christ sends his Spirit into the souls of his people, to 
make that word effectual to open their eyes : here is the great 
help that the soul hath for the maintaining or carrying on the 
interest of Christ. But yet once illuminating is not enough. 
For the will doth not necessarily choose that which the under- 
standing concludeth to be best, (even hie et nunc, et consideratis 
consider andis.) A drunkard's understanding may tell him, that 
it is far better, all things laid together, to forbear a cup of wine, 
than to drink it : and that the good of virtue and duty is to be 
preferred before the good of pleasure, this experience assures us 
of, though all the philosophers in the world should contradict it, 
and J am not disputing now, and therefore I will not stand to 
meddle with men's contrary opinions ; and yet the violence of 
his sensual appetite may cause him to lay hands on the cup and 
pour it in. And, indeed, so far it is a brutish act ; and it is no 
such wonder to have sinful acts termed and proved brutish, if 
we knew that all true reason is against them. Reason is on 
God's side, and that which is against him is not reason. We 
may by discourse proceed to sin ; but the arguments are all falla- 
cious that draw us. There is no necessity for the committing of 
a sin, that reason or the understanding should first conclude it 
best; so great is the power of sense upon the fancv and imagina- 
tion, and of these on the passions, and the choosing power, espe- 
cially as to the exciting of the locomotive, that if reason be but 
silent and suspended, sinwill be committed, as a man hath lustful, 
and revengeful, and covetous desires in his dream, and that very 
violent. Reason is often asleep when the senses are awake; 


and then they may easily plav their game : even as the godliest 
man cannot restrain a sinful thought or desire in his dream, as 
he can waking ; so, neither when he is waking, if reason be 
asleep ; although reason never take part with sin, yet if it stand 
neuter, the sin will be committed. Yea, that is not all ; but if 
reason do conclude for duty and against sin, and stand to that 
conclusion ; yet, I think, the sensitive sinful appetite and ima- 
gination may prevail with the will, unless you may say that this 
appetite is the will itself, man having but one will, and so may 
itself command the locomotive, against, as well as without the 
conclusion of reason, as in the example before mentioned. 

To understand this, yon must know, that to the motion of 
the will effectually, especially where there are violent contrary 
motions and inducements, it is not only necessary that the un- 
derstanding say. This is a duty, or This is a sin; or. It is better 
to let it alone: but this must be concluded of as a matter of 
great importance and concernment; and the understanding 
must express the weight as well as the truth of what it utters 
concerning good or evil ; and this must especially be by a strong 
and forcible act ; or else, though it conclude rightlv, yet it will 
not prevail. Many men may have their understandings informed 
of the same duty, and all at the very exercise conclude it good 
and necessary ; and so concerning the evil of sin. And yet 
though they all pass the same conclusion, they shall not all 
alike prevail with the will ; but one more, and another less : 
because one passeth this conclusion seriously, vigorously, im- 
portunately ; and the other, slightly, and sleepily, and remissly. 
If you be busy, writing or reading, and one friend comes to you 
to call you away to some great business, and useth very weighty 
arguments, yet if he speak them coldly and sleepily, you may 
perhaps not be moved by him ; but if another come and call 
you but upon a lesser business, and speak loud and earnestly, 
and will take no denial, though his reasons be weaker, he may 
sooner prevail. Do we not feel that the words of a preacher 
do take more with our wills and affections, from the moving, 
pathetical manner of expression, than from the strength of ar- 
gument, except with very wise men ? at least, how much that 
furthers it ! when the best arguments in the mouth of a sleepy 
preacher, or unseasonably and ill-favouredly delivered, will not 
take. And why should we think that there is so great differ- 
ence between other men's reasonings prevailing with our wills, 
and our own reason's way of prevailing ? 

2b* THE saint's 

Now, all this being so, that there must be a strong, lively, 
loud, pressing, importunate reasoning, and not only a true rea- 
soning and concluding ; hence it is that there is necessary to 
the soul, not only so much illumination as may discover the 
truth, but so much as may discover it clearly and fully, and may 
show us the weight of the matter, as well as the truth, and 
especially as may be still an exciter of the understanding to do 
its duty, and may quicken it up to do it vigorously ; and there- 
fore to this end Christ giveth his Spirit to his people, to strive 
against the flesh. The soul is seated in all the body, but we 
certainly and sensibly perceive that it doth not exercise or act 
alike in all ; but it understandeth in and by the brain, or ani- 
mal spirits ; and it willeth, and desjreth, and loveth, and 
feareth, and rejoiceth, in and by the heart j and doubtless the 
vital spirits, or those in the heart, are the soul's instrument in 
this work. Now, to procure a motion of the spirits in the 
heart, by the foremotion of the spirits in the brain, requires some 
strength in the first motion ; and the more forcible it is, likely 
the more forcible will the motion in the heart be. This order 
and instrumentality in acting, is no disparagement to the soul ; 
but is a sweet discovery of God's admirable and orderly works. 
Now, therefore, besides a bare act of understanding, there is 
necessary to this effectual prevailing with the will, that there 
be added that which we call consideration, which is a dwelling 
upon the subject, and is a serious, fixed, constant acting of the 
understanding, which therefore is likely to attain the effect : the 
use of this, and its power on the will and affections, and the 
reasons, I have showed you in the Fourth Part of this book. 
Hence it is, that let their wits be ever so great, yet inconside- 
rate men are ever wicked men ; and men of sober, frequent 
consideration, are usually the most godly, and prevail most 
against any temptation j there being no more effectual means 
against any temptation, indeed, whether it be to omission or 
commission, than this setting reason forcibly a-work by consi- 
deration. The most considerate men are the most resolved and 
confirmed. So that besides a bare, cold conclusion of the un- 
derstanding, though you call it practical, this consideration 
must give that force, and fixedness, and importunity, to your 
conclusions, which may make them stronger than all the sensi- 
tive solicitations to the contrary, or else the soul will still follow 
the flesh. Now Christ will have his Spirit to excite this consi- 
deration ; and to enable us to perform it more powerfully, and 


successfully, than else wc should ever do. And thus the Spirit 
is Christ's solicitor in and to our souls; and by tiieni it advanceth 
Christ's interest, and maintaineth it in the saints, and causeth 
it to prevail against the interest of the flesh. Where he pre- 
vaileth not in the main, as well as striveth, there is yet no 
saving grace in that soul. Wliatever pleadings, or strivings, or 
reasonings, or concludings, there may be in and l)y the soul on 
Christ's side, yet if the flesh's interest be still greater and 
stronger in the soul than Christ's, that soul is in a state of 
wrath : he may be in a hopeful way to come to a safer condi- 
tion, and not far from the kingdom of God, and almost per- 
suaded to be a Christian ; but if he die in that state, no doubt 
lie shall be damned. He may be a Christian by common pro- 
fession ; but, in a saving sense, no man is a Christian, in whose 
soul any thing hath a greater and higher interest than God the 
Father, and the Mediator. 

Sect. XII. Prop. 12. Therefore the sincerity of saving grace 
lieth materially, not in the bare nature of it, but in the degree j 
not in the degree, considered absolutely in itself, but com- 
paratively, as it is prevalent against its contrary."" 

I cannot expect that the reader should suddenly receive this 
truth, though of so great consequence, that many men's salva- 
tion are concerned in it, as I shall show anon, till I have first 
made it plain. Long have I been poring on this doubt, whether 
the sincerity of grace, and so the difference between an hypocrite 
and a true Christian, do materially consist in the nature, or only 
in the degree ; whether it be physically considered a gradual or 
specifical difference ; and I never durst conclude that it lay but 
in the physical degree. 1. Because of the seeming force of 
the objections, which I shall answer anon ; and, 2. Because of 
the contrary judgment of those divines whom I highliest valued. 
For though I am ashamed of my own ignorance, yet I do not 
repent that i received some things upon trust from the learned, 
while I was learning and studying them, or that I took them 
by a human faitii, when I could not reach to take them by a di- 
vine faith. Only, I then must hold them but as opinions ; but not 
absolutely as articles of my creed. J3ut I am now convinced of 

•" Tliis proposition beiii°^ so much niisuuderstood l)y many, as since the 
writing of it I perceive, 1 desire the reader to lo<jk to the addition at the end 
of the book for a further explication of it, and also to the two last propo- 

28 THE saint's 

my former mistake ; and shall therefore endeavour to rectify 
others, being in a matter of such moment. 

You must remember, therefore, that I have showed you 
already, that God hath not made an act, considered in its mere 
nature, without considering it as in this prevailing degree, to be 
the condition of salvation ; and that a wicked man may perform 
an act for the nature of it, which a true Christian may. But let 
us yet consider the proposition more distinctly. 

Divines use to give the title of saving grace to four things. 

The first is, God's purpose of saving us, and the special love 
and favour which he beareth to us, and so his will to do special 
good. This is, indeed, most principally, properly, and by an 
excellency, called saving grace. It is the fountain from which 
all other grace doth proceed j and by this grace we are elected, 
redeemed, justified, and saved. Now, the question in hand, is 
not concerning this grace which is immanent in God, where no 
doubt there is no specifical difference, when divines accord that 
there is no diversity or multiplicity at all, but perfect unity, al- 
lowing still the unsearchable mystery of the Trinity ; therefore, 
I rest confident that no solid divine will say, that God's com- 
mon love or grace to the unsanctified, doth by a natural specifi- 
cation differ from his special love and grace to his chosen, as 
they are in God. 

The second thing which is commonly called saving grace, is, 
the act of God, by which the Spirit infuseth or worketh the 
special, habitual saving gifts in the soul ; not the effect, for that 
I shall next mention, but the act of the Holy Ghost, which 
worketh this effect. This is called gratia operans^ working 
grace ; as the effect in us is called gratia operata, grace 
wrought in us. Now, 

1. This is none of it we inquire after in the question in hand, 
when we ask, * Whether the truth of grace lie only in the com- 
parative or prevailing degree ? ' 

2. If it were, yet there is here no place for such a doubt. 1 . Be- 
cause no man can prove such a natural, specific difference in the 
acts of God, nor will, I think, affirm them. 2. Especially, be- 
cause in the judgment of great divines, there is no such act of 
God at all distinct from his essence and immanent, eternal 
acts ; so that this is the same with the former. God doth not 
need, as man, to put forth any act, but his mere willing it 
for the producing of any effect. If man will have a stone 


moved, his will cannot stir it ; but it must be the strength of 
his arm : but God doth but will it, and it is done; as Dr. Twisse 
once or twice saith, but Bradwardine and the Thomists per- 
emptorily maintain. Now, God's will is his essence, and he 
never did begin or cease to will any thing, though he will the 
beginning or ceasing of things. He willed the creation of the 
world and the dissolution of it at once from eternity ; though 
he willed from eternity, that it should be created and dissolved 
in time ; and so the effect only doth begin and end, but not the 
cause. This is our ordinary, metaphysical divinity. If any vul- 
gar reader think it beyond his capacity, I am content that he 
move in a lower orb. But we must not feign a natural, specific 
difference of acts in God. 

The third thing which we commonly call saving grace is, the 
special effects of this work of the Spirit on the soul, commonly 
called habitual grace, or the Spirit in us, or the seed of God 
abiding in us, or our real holiness, or our new nature. 

Now, 1. Our question is not directly and immediately of 
this, ' Whether common and special grace do differ more than 
by the fore-mentioned degree :' for this is not it which a Chris- 
tian searcheth after immediately, or directly, in his self-exami- 
nation. For habits, as Suarez and others conclude, are not to 
be felt of themselves, but only by their acts. We cannot know 
that we are disposed to love God, but by feeling the stirrings of 
love to him. So that it is the act that we must directly look 
for, and thence discern the habit. 

2. But if any man will needs put the question of this habitual 
grace only, though it be not that I speak of principally, yet I 
answer him, that no man doubteth but that common grace con- 
taineth good dispositions, as special grace containeth habits. 
Now, who knoweth not that a disposition and a habit do differ 
but in degree ? A carnal man, by the help of common grace, 
hath a weak inclination to good, and a strong inclination to evil ; 
or, if you will speak properly (for the will cannot choose evil as 
evil, but as a seeming good), he hath a weak inclination to 
spiritual and heavenly, superior good, and a strong inclination 
to fleshly, earthly, inferior good ; whereupon the stronger bears 
down the weaker. But the regenerate have stronger inclinations 
to superior, spiritual good, than to inferior, fleshly good ; and so 
the stronger in most temptations prevaileth. Now, what natural 
difference is here, but only in degree ? 

The fourth thing which we call saving grace, is, the exercise 

so ' THE saint's 

or acts which, from these habits or effectual incHnations, do 
proceed; and this is the grace which the soul must inquire after 
directly in its self-examination; and therefore this is it of which 
we raise the question, wherein the truth or sincerity of it doth 
consist ? There are, indeed, other things without us which may 
yet be called saving grace, as redemption and donation (com- 
monly called the imputation) of Christ's righteousness, and so 
remission, justification, &c.; but because every one may see that 
our question is not of these, I will not stand to make more men- 
tion of them. Now, for these acts of grace, who can produce 
any natural, specific difference between them, when they are 
special and saving, and when they are common and not saving ? 
Is not common knowledge and special knowledge, common be- 
lief and special belief, all knowledge and belief; and is not be- 
lief the same thing in one and in another, supposing both to he 
realj though but one saving ? Our understandings and wills are 
all, physically, of the like substance ; and an act and an act, are 
accidents of the same kind ; and we suppose the object to be 
the same : common love to God, and special saving love to God, 
be both acts of the will upon an object physically the same. 

But here, before I proceed further, I must tell you, that you 
must still distinguish between a physical or natural specification, 
and a moral ; and remember, that our question is only of a phy- 
sical difference, which I deny ; and not of a moral, which I 
make no doubt of. And you must know, that a mere difference 
in degrees, in the natural respect, doth ordinarily constitute a 
specifical difference in morality ; and the moral good or evil 
of all our actions lieth much in the degree, to wit, that they be 
kept in the mean between the two extreme degrees : and so a 
little anger, and a great deal, and little love to creatures, and a 
great deal, though they differ but gradually in their natures, yet 
they differ specifically in morality ; so that one may be an ex- 
cellent virtue, and the other an odious vice : so, between speaking 
too much and too little ; eating or drinking too much or too 
little ; the middle between these is a virtue, and both extremes 
are vices ; and yet, naturally, they differ but in degree. Virtue, 
as virtue, consisteth not in the bare nature of an act ; but for- 
mally it consisteth in the agreement or conformity of our actions 
or dispositions to the rule or law, which determineth of their 
dueness ; which law, or rule, prescribeth the mean or middle 
degree, and forbiddeth and condemneth both the extremes, in 
degree, where such extremes are possible, and we capable of 


them. So that there is a very great moral difference, such as 
may be termed specific, between tliose acts which naturally do 
differ only in degree. I say a moral, specifical difference is 
usually founded in a natural, gradual difference : if you confound 
these two specifications, you will lose yourselves in this point, 
and injuriously understand me. 

Furthermore, observe that I say, that sincerity of grace, as 
saving, lieth in the degree, not formally, but, as it were, mate- 
rially only ; for I told you before, the form of it consisteth in 
their being the condition on which salvation is promised. The 
form which we inquire after, is a relation. As the relation of 
our actions to the precept is the form of their virtuousness, viz., 
when they are such as are commanded ; so the relation of them 
to the promise, is the form of them, as saving, and so as justify- 
ing: but because this promise giveth not salvation to the act 
considered in its mere being, and natural sincerity, but to the 
act as suited to its object, in its essential respects ; and that 
suital)leness of the act, to the form of its object, consisteth only 
in a certain degree of the act, seeing the lowest degree cannot 
be so suited ; therefore, 1 say that sincerity lieth, as it were, 
materially, only in the degree of those acts, and not in the bare 
and natural being of it. 

Lastly, consider, especially, that I say not that sincerity 
lieth in the degree of any act in itself considered, as if God had 
promised salvation to us, if we love him so much, or up to such 
a height, considered absolutely ; but it is, in the degree, con- 
sidered comparatively, as to God compared with other things, 
and as other objects or commanders stand in competition with 
him ; and so it is in the prevalency of the act or habit against 
all contraries. 

Sect. XIII. Having thus explained my n)eaning herein, the 
clearing of all this to you, and fuller confirmation, will be best 
dispatched these three ways : 1. By exemplifying in each parti- 
cular grace, and trying this rule upon them severally ; 2. By 
examining some of the most ordinary marks, which have been 
hitherto delivered, and Christians use to take comfort in; 3. By 
inquiring what Scripture saith in the point. And, after these, 
1 shall answer the objections that are against it, and then show 
you the usefulness and necessity of it, and danger of the 

1. The graces of the spirit in man's soul, are either in the un- 
derstanding, or in the will and affections. Those in the under- 

32 THE saint's 

standing, as knowledge, prudence, assent to God's word, called 
faith, &c., I make no question, are as truly grace, and as proper 
to the saints, as those in the will and affections. Divers err 
here on both extremes : some say that there is no special grace 
in the understanding, but in the will only; others say that all 
special grace is in the understanding, and that the will is capable 
of nothing but freedom to choose or refuse, and that it ever fol- 
lows the last dictate of the practical understanding, and there- 
fore no more is needful but to inform the understanding ; others 
say, both understanding and will are the subject of special, 
sanctifying grace, and that in both it must be sought after, and 
may be discerned. Between these extremes, I conceive this is 
the truth : Both understanding and will, that is, the whole soul, 
which both understandeth and willeth, is truly sanctified where 
either is truly sanctified ; and the several acts of this sanctified 
soul, are called several actual graces. But though grace be in 
both faculties, as they are called, yet it is certainly discernible 
only in the will, and not in the understanding ; for all acts, as 
they are merely in the understanding, are but imperfectly virtu- 
ous, being but preparatory and introductory to the will, where 
they are digested and perfected, as I said before. Dr. Stough- 
ton's words are these : " As for my own part, I could never 
comprehend that which divines have gone about, to be able to 
put a characteristical difference in the nature of knowledge, that 
a man may be able to say such a knowledge is, and such a know- 
ledge is not, a saving knowledge ; but only as I use to express 
it, ' The sun is the greater light, but the moon hath greater in- 
fluence on waterish bodies ; ' so knowledge, let it be what it will, 
if it be good and saving, it hatli an influence on the soul. There 
may be a great deal of knowledge, which is not vital and prac- 
tical, which carrieth not the heart and affections along with it ; 
and they that have it, have not saving knowledge. But they 
that have the least degree of knowledge, so it be such as hath 
an influence to draw the heart and affections along with it, love 
God, and obey God, it is solid and saving knowledge." So 
Dr. Stoughton, in his 'Righteous Man's Ple^ to Happiness,' 
pp. 38, 39. 

And, for my part, 1 know no mark, drawn from the mere 
nature of knowledge, or belief, or any mere intellectual act, by 
which we can discern it from what may be in an unholy person. 
Those that think otherwise, use to say that the knowledge and 
belief which is saving, is deep, lively, operative, &:c. I doubt 


not but this is true : but how, by the depth, we shall discern 
the saving sincerity directly, I know not : or how to discern it 
in the liveliness or operativeness, but only in its operations and 
effects on the will and affections, I know not. Whether it be 
so deep and lively as to be saving, must not be discerned imme- 
diately in itself, but in its vital, prevalent operations on the will; 
so that I shall dismiss all the mere acts of the understanding 
out of this inquiry, as being not such as a Christian can try him- 
self immediately by : and for them that say otherwise, they place 
the sincerity of them in the depth and liveliness, that is, in the 
degree of knowledge and belief; for, no doubt, a wicked man 
may know and believe every particular truth which a Christian 
doth believe. Some learned men, I have heard, affirm, indeed, 
that no wicked man can believe Scripture to be the word of God; 
but that is a fancy that I think needs no confutation : the 
devils believe it, no doubt. If any say that saving knowledge 
is experimental, and other is not, 

I answer: 1. Of matters of mere faith, we have no experi- 
ence ; as, that Christ is the second person, was incarnate, cruci- 
fied, buried, rose again, &e. 

2. Of common practicals, wicked men have experience ; as, 
that the world is deceitful, that man is prone to sin, that Satan 
must be resisted, &:c. 

3. For those other special, internal experiences, which deno- 
minate a Christian's knowledge experimental, the mark of sin- 
cerity lieth in the experienced thing itself, rather than the 
knowledge of it ; for example, a Christian knows experimentally 
what the new birth is, what it is to love God, to delight in him, 
&c. Now, the mark lieth not properly in his knowledge of 
these, but in that love, delight, and renovation, which he pos- 
sesseth, and so knoweth. 

It follows, therefore, that we inquire into the acts of the will, 
and see wherein their saving sincerity doth consist ; for, except 
the acts of the understanding, all that may be called saving is 
reducible to those two words of St. Paul, 'to will,' and *to do.' 
For all the other acts of the soul are nothing but velle et nolle ; 
either exercised on the object as variously presented and appre- 
hended, as absent or present, facile or difficult, &:c., or exercised 
with that vigour as moveth the spirits in the heart, and deno- 
minates them affections or passions. 

First, therefore, to begin with the proper act of willing, 
though of ourselves, without grace, no man ever willeth God in 

VOL. xxm. D 

34 THE saint's  

Christ ; yet on this willing hath God laid our salvation, more 
than on any other qualification or act in ourselves whatsoever. 
And yet simply to will God, to will Christ, to will heaven, is not 
a saving act ', but when God and the creature stand in competi- 
tion, to will God above all, and to will Christ above all, and 
heaven before earth, this is to will savingly ; that is, to will God 
as God, the chief Good, and cause of good; to will Christ as 
Christ, the only Saviour and chief Ruler of us ; and to will hea- 
ven as the state of our chief happiness in the glorifying enjoy- 
ment of God. Not that all the sincerity of these acts lieth in 
the understandings apprehending God to be the chief Good and 
cause of it, and Christ to be the only Redeemer, &c.; for a man 
may will that God, and that Christ, who is thus apprehended by 
the understanding, and yet not will him as he is thus appre- 
hended. The understanding may overgo the will, and the will 
not follow the understanding ) and this is no saving willing. If 
a man do know and believe ever so much, that God is the chief 
Good, and do not chiefly will him, as the devils may so believe, 
it is not saving ; yea, it is a great question whether many do not 
will God (not only who is apprehended to be the supreme Good, 
but also) as he is apprehended to be the supreme Good, and yet 
love something else more than him, which they know not to be 
the chief Good, but, against their knowledge, are drawn to it by 
the force of sensuality, and so these men perish for all their 
willing J for, certainly, if God have not ordinarily the prevailing 
. part of the will, that man's state is not good. When I say such 
men will God, as apprehended to be the chief Good, 1 mean 
they will him under such a notion, but not with an act of will 
answering that notion. I re'fer the term ' as ' to the under- 
standing's apprehension, but not to the will's action, as if it 
loved him as the chief Good should be loved or willed ; for that 
is it that is wanting, for which they perish. I propound this to 
the consideration of the judicious ; for it is certainly worth our 
consideration. It depends on the common question, whether 
the will always follow the last dictate of the practical intellect, 
which I shall handle elsewhere. What I have said of willing, 
you may easily perceive, may be said of desire and love, which 
are nothing but willing. Love is an intense, absolute willing of 
good, as good ; desire, also, is a willing it as a good not yet en- 
joyed : therefore tlie saving sincerity of both lieth in the same 
point. Many that perish, desire God, and Christ, and heaven ; 
and love God, and Christ, and heaven j but they desire and love 


some inferior good more. He that desireth and loveth God 
sincerely and savingly, desireth him and loveth him above all 
things else ; and there lieth his sincerity. 

I need not instance in hope, fear, hatred, or any of the acts 
or passions of the irascible; for they are therefore good, because 
they set against the difficulty, which is in the way of their attain- 
ment to that good which they will and love; and so their chief 
virtuousness lieth in that will or love which is contained in them, 
or supposed to them. A wicked man may fear God, but the 
fear of men or temporal evils is more prevalent in the trial. He 
may have an aversation of his mind from sin, or some low degree 
of hatred ; it is known to him to be evil, and to hurt him ; but 
his love to it is greater, and prevaileth against his hatred. If 
any doubt whether a wicked man may have the least hatred of 
sin, yea, as sin, or as displeasing to God, we are sure of it 
two ways. 

1. By daily experience of some drunkards, that when they 
are considering how much they sin against God, and wrong 
themselves, their hearts rise against their own sin, (especially 4f 
the temptation be out of sight,) and they will weep, and be 
ready to tear their own flesh ; and yet yield to the next temp- 
tation, and live weekly in committing of the sin. 

2. By the experience of our own hearts before our sanctifi- 
cation (those that were not sanctified in infancy), many have 
felt that their hearts had some weak degree of dislike and hatred 
to the sin that captivated them. And I know divers swearers 
and drunkards that do so hate the same sins in their children, 
that they are ready to fall on them violently if they commit 

3. And we may know it bv reason too. For whatsoever a 
man may know to be evil, that his will may have some hatred 
or aversation towards, though not enough ; but a wicked man 
may know sin to be evil ; therefore he may have some hatred 
to it. The will may sure follow the understanding a little wav, 
though it do not far enough. But methinks those should not 
contradict this, that are for the will's constant determination by 
the understanding. 

The like I may say also of repentance, so much of it as lieth 
in the will ; that is, the will's turning from inferior good (which 
it formerly chose) to God, the supreme Good, whom it now 
chooseth : the sincerity of this lieth in the prevailing degree, 
for if it be not such a change as carrieth the will more now to 


36 THE saint's 

God than the creature, but to God a little, atid tiie creature still 
more, it is not saving. And if it be not a choosing of God 
before the creature, though it be a choosing of God in the 
second place, it will not serve turn. And for that repentance 
■which consisteth in sorrow for sin : L If it be not to such a 
degree that it prevail over our delight in sin and love to it, it 
is not saving. Many wicked men do daily repent and sin. I 
have known men that would be drunk almost daily, and some 
seven or eight days continue in one fit of drunkenness before 
ever they were sober, and yet lament it with tears, and pray 
daily against it ; and being men of much knowledge and able 
parts, would confess it, and condemn themselves in very moving 
language, and yet no means could keep them from it, but they 
have lived in it some ten, some twenty years. Who dare think 
that this was true repentance, when the apostle concludes, 
" If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die ?" (Rom. viii. 6, 
xiii. 2.) Yet I must tell you, that all these graces which are 
expressed by passions of sorrow, fear, joy, hope, love, are not so 
certainly to be tried by the passion that is in them, as by the 
will that is either contained in them, or supposed in them j not 
as acts of the sensitive, but of the rational appetite. I will not 
here stand on the question whether grace be in the sensitive or 
rational appetite, as its subject, or both. Burgersdicius and 
others say, that moral virtue is in the sensitive only, but some- 
thing like it in the will, but theological virtues are in the will. 
But, doubtless, if he do prove moral virtue to be in the sen- 
sitive, he will prove a proportionable measure of theological 
virtue to be there too. For there is no virtue, truly so called, 
which is not theological as well as moral. 

But if there be any doubt whether un unregenerate man 
may perform the same act as a true Christian, it will be espe- 
cially about the two great and principal graces of faith and love. 
And for that of faith, I have said enough before. It consisteth, 
according to the judgment of most reformed divines, partly in 
the understanding, partly in the will. As it is in the under- 
standing, it is called assent or belief: and for this I have 
showed before, that a wicked man may have it in some degree, 
and that grace, as it is in the understanding, cannot be discerned 
directly ; but only as it thence produceth those acts in the will 
wherein it may be discerned. There is no one truth which a 
true Christian may know, but a wicked man may also know it, 
though not M'ith that lively degree of knowledge which will 


overrule the heart and life." Nor is there any one truth which a 
true Christian may believe, but a wicked man may also believe 
it. If any deny this, let them name me one. And do not our 
divines confess as much against the papists, who place faith in 
bare assent ? And do they not expound James's (the devils 
believe) of such an assent ? If this were not so, it were an easy 
matter to try and know one's own sincerity, and so to have as- 
surance of salvation ? For we might presently name such or such 
an axiom, (as, that the Scripture is the word of God, or the 
like,) and ask whether we do know or believe this to be true, 
and so might quickly be resolved. For it is the heart or will 
that is deceitful above all things, but the bare acts of the under- 
standing may more easily be discerned, as whether we know or 
assent to such an axiom or not ; though I know also that even 
the understanding participateth of the guilefulness, and may be 
somewhat strange to itself. 

But some will say that no wicked man can believe the pardon 
of his own sins,*' or assent to the truth of this axiom, ' My sins 
are pardoned.' Answ. I confess, so many have harped on this 
string heretofore, that I am ashamed that the papists should 
read it in our writings, and thereby have that occasion of hard- 
ening them in their errors, and of insulting over the reformed 
doctrine. I confess, no wicked man {in sensu composiio) can 
believe for the pardon of sin, or hath such a faith as pardon is 
promised to; but that they may believe their sins are pardoned, 
and seriouslv believe it, did not error make it necessary, I should 
be ashamed to bestow any words to prove it. 1. A wicked 
man may (in my judgment without any great difficulty) believe 
an untruth, especially which he would fain have to be true, 
though every untruth he cannot believe. But this is an untruth 
to every wicked man that his sins are pardoned, or, even by the 
Antinomian's confession, it is untrue of all wicked men not 
elected; and an untruth which he would fain have to be true, 
(for what man is so perverse in his fancy as to doubt whether 
a wicked man would have his sins pardoned,) therefore he may 
believe it. 2. That which is one of the chief pillars in the 

" yuamvis qui? non hahet vcraiu et salvificam in Christo fideni, potest 
taiiu-n in professione etdoctriiia veritatis boiiaiu liabtre conscientiam, ita uC 
sciat verom esse il'.ani doctrinam quaiu proiitetur et docet, &c.~TrigL tie 
Trinu Grntia, p. 94:1, 

" I kiio\v,/i<fe vere diviiid, he cannot believe it because God never spake it ; 
no more hath he told any of us io his word, that our sins are actually par- 

3$ THE saint's 

kingdom of the devil, and the master, deceiving, damning sin, 
is not surely inconsistent with a wicked man's condition : but 
even such is the ungrounded belief that his sins are pardoned 
(commonly called presumption, and false faith) therefore, &c. 
3. If it be the main work of a skilful, faithful ministry, to beat 
wicked men from such an ungrounded belief, and experience 
tells us that all means will hardly do it, and yet that God doth 
it on all before he bring them by the ministry to true conversion, 
then surely it is more than possible for a wicked man to have 
such a belief. But Scripture, and a world of lamentable expe- 
rience, prove the antecedent; what do such writings as Hooker's, 
Bolton's, Whately's, &c. else drive at ? therefore, &c. 4. Yea, 
that the actual pardon of our sins is not properly credendum, or 
a material object of faith, I have proved elsewhere, and there^ 
fore need not stand on it now. 

2. And for those acts of faith which are directly in and by 
the will, 1 know not one of them, considered in the nature of 
the act, without the prevalent degree, which a wicked man may 
not perform. For the most proper and immediate act, ' willing,' 
which containeth a choice of Christ, and a consent that he 
shall be ours, together with his benefits, this 1 have before made 
manifest to be consistent with an unregenerate state. If any 
will affirm, that a wicked man cannot be willing to have pardon 
of all his sins, justification, and salvation from hell, I think it 
not worthy my writing six lines to confute them ; sense will do 
it sufficiently. That this man cannot desire, or choose, or will, 
holiness, and glory with Christ, more heartily, strongly, and 
prevailingly, than his pleasures or inferior good, I easily ac- 
knowledge : for in that gradual defect consisteth his unsound- 
ness.P But that he may will, choose, accept, or desire, holiness 
and glory in a second place, next to his carnal delights or in- 
ferior good, is to me beyond doubt. And, accordingly, for the 
obtaining of these, he may will or accept of Christ himself that 
gives them. This I shall prove anon, when we speak of love. 

And for that act of faith, Avhich most affirm to be peculiarly 
the justifying act, that is, affiance, resting on Christ, recum- 
bency, adherence, apprehension of him, &:c., these, almost 

p Notitiam et assensum quendam lion Calvinus tantum, sed et remonstr. 
ipsi tribuunt etiam daemonibus. Fiducia male fundata, electionis opinio, et 
fructus evanidi, qui sine bono et honesto corde existunt, non magis arguiint 
teraporarios esse vere fideles, quam similitudo prohat simiam esse ex genere 
hMm^no.—Amesius Antisynod. in art, v. c. 8. p. (mihi) 354. 


all metaphorical terms, contain, not one, but many acts, all 
which are most frequentlv found in the ungodly. For we un- 
doubtedly know it; 1. Bv experience of ourselves whilst we 
were in their state; 2. And, by constant experience of the 
vilest sinners, that they not only undissemblingly rest on Christ, 
(that is, trust verily to be pardoned and saved by him, and 
expect it from him,) but also that this is the strongest encou- 
ragement to them in sinning, and we have need to lay all our 
batteries against this bulwark of presumption. Alas ! to the 
grief of my soul, my frequent and almost daily experience 
forceth me to know this, whatsoever men write from their spe- 
culations to the contrary. I labour with my utmost skill to 
convince common drunkards, swearers, worldlings, &c., of their 
misery, and I cannot do it for my life ; and this false faith is tlie 
main reason. They tell me, I know I am a sinner, and so are 
you, and all, as well as I. But if any man sin "we have an 
Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous ; " I put 
my whole trust in him, and cast my salvation on him ; for, 
" He that believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlast- 
ing life." If I tell them of the nature of true faith, and the 
necessity of obedience, they answer me that they know their 
own hearts better tlian I, and are sure they do really rest on 
Christ, and trust him with their souls. And for obedience, 
they will mend as well as they can, and as God will give them 
grace ; and, in the mean time, they will not boast as the Pha- 
risee, but cry, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner; '' and that I 
shall never drive them from believing and trusting in Christ for 
mercy, because they be not so good as others, when Christ tells 
them that men are not justified by works, but by faith, and he 
that believeth shall be saved. This is the case of the most 
notorious sinners, many of them, and I am most confident they 
speak as they think : and from this ungrounded confidence in 
Christ, 1 cannot remove them. Where now is any difference 
in the nature of this affiance, and that of true believers ' If 
you say that it brings not forth fruit, and therefore is unsound, 
that is true : but that is only an extrinsical difference in the 
effects, and speaks not the difference in the nature of the act 
itself.i But I have spoken of this more fully elsewhere. 

1 Learned Rivet sailh the very same as I, of the difference between a tem- 
porary and true believer. Discrimen ergo inter eos et vere fideles hoc est, 
quud quamvis utrique ex aniuio verbum aroplectantur, non tamen utrique ex 
tali animo, quo aliis omuibu'; verbum prreferatur. Nam TrpdjKaipoi lev iter et 
perfuucturie creduut, &c. uude est quud vitam suaiu aiuaut plus (^uam CUris- 

40 THE saint's 

But the greatest doubt is, whether, in loving God and Christ 
as Mediator, there be not more than a gradual difference 
between tiie regenerate and unregenerate ; and I shall show you 
that there is not : for it is undeniable that an unholy person 
may love God and the Mediator, and as undeniable that they 
cannot love God above all, till they are regenerate. The latter 
I take for granted. The former, if any deny, is thus proved : 
1. That which the understanding apprehendeth to be good, 
both in itself and to the person, that the will may in some 
measure love. But an unregenerate man's understanding may 
apprehend God to be good, both in himself and to his person ; 
therefore, he may in some measure love him. That wicked men 
may believe that God is good, is no more to be doubted of, than 
that they may believe there is a God. For he that believeth 
there is a God, must needs believe that he is good. And that 
he may believe that God is good to him also, is evident, thus : 
1. Men know that they have all their temporal, corporal mercies 
from God, (which are to them the sweetest of all,) and there- 
fore for these, and the continuance of them, they may apprehend 
God to be good to them, and so love him. 2. And Scripture 
and constant experience tell us, that it is usual with wicked 
men, not only to apprehend the goodness of prosperity, but 
thence mistakingly to gather, that God doth specially favour and 
love them as his people to salvation. 3. Also, nothing is more 
common with them almost, than from the thoughts of God's 
mercifulness and goodness, and from mistaken seeming evi- 
dences in themselves, to conclude most confidently that their 
sins are pardoned, and that God will not condemn them, but will 
save them as certainly as any other. Also, that Christ having 
died in their stead, and made satisfaction for all their sins, 
they shall, through him, be pardoned, justified, and saved. 
Many a wicked man doth as confidently believe that God loveth 
him through Christ, and doth as confidently thank God daily in 
his prayers for vocation, adoption, justification, and assured 
hope of glory, as if they were all his own indeed. Nay, out of 
the apprehensions of some extraordinary love and mercy of God 
to him above others, he oft giveth thanks as tlie Pharisee, " Lord, 
I. thank thee that I am not as this publican." And, doubtless, 

turn ; fiatque ut securi sint, nee sibi caveant ah insidiis diaboli, deinde ut in 
precibus gratiarura actione, et omnibus erga proxinmm ofticiis lane^uidi iiant, 
et remissi : cum justificans fides etiam imbecilla, sollicita sit, nee credeiiteni 
aniaio claro esse; sinat; studiunique precum excitet, illudque anxlutn et inten* 
turn, — Rivet. Dl<<p, tie Persev. sect, vi, pp. 210, 211. 


all their apprehensions of love, may produce some love to God 
again. As the grounded faith and hope of the godly, produceth 
a solid saving love, so the ungrounded faith and hope of the 
wicked, produceth a slight and common love, agreeahle to the 
cause of it. As Christ hath a common love to the better sort 
of wicked men, more than to the worst, he looked on the young 
man (Mark xiii. 21, 22) and loved him, and said, " Thou art 
not far from the kingdom of God," so may such men have a 
common love to Christ, and that above the ordinary sort of the 
ungodly. For I am persuaded there is no man so wicked among 
us, who believeth, indeed, that Christ is the Son of God and 
the Saviour, but he hath some love to Christ, more or less. 
For, 4. God hath been pleased to give those advantages to the 
christian religion, above all other religions among us, which 
may easily procure some love to Christ from ungodly men. 
It is the religion of our country ; it is a credit to be a Christian; 
it is the religion of our ancestors, of our parents, and dearest 
friends ; it is that which princes favour, and all men speak well 
of. Christ is in credit among us ; every man acknowledgeth 
him to be God, and the Redeemer of the world, and therefore 
on the same grounds, or better, as a Turk doth love and honour 
Mahomet, and a Jew, Moses, may a wicked Christian in some 
kind love and honour Christ, yea, and venture his life against 
that man that will speak against him, as Dr. Jackson and Mr. 
Pink have largely manifested. 

Sect. XIV. If any object that it is not God or Jesus Christ 
that these men love, but his benefits, I answer, it is God and the 
Redeemer for his benefits. Only here is the unsoundness, which 
undoes them : they love his inferior, earthly blessings better than 
him ; and for this they perish. 

Having thus viewed these several graces, and found that it is 
the prevalent degree wherein their sincerity, as they are saving, 
doth consist, I will next briefly try this point upon some of the 
ordinary marks of sincerity besides, that are given by divines ; 
in which I shall not speak a word in quarrelling at other men's 
judgments, for I shall speak but of those that I was wont to 
make use of myself; but only what I conceive necessary to pre- 
vent the delusion and destruction of souls. 

1. One mark of sincerity, commonly delivered, is this: to 
love the children of God because they are such. I the rather 
name this, because many a soul hath been deluded about it. 
Multitudes of those that since are turned haters and persecutors 

42 THE saint's 

of the godly, did once, without dissembling, love them ; yea, 
multitudes that are killing them by thousands, when they differ 
from them in opinion, or stand in the way of their carnal inte- 
rest, did once love them, and do love others of them still. I 
have proved before, that a wicked man may have some love to 
Christ, and then no doubt but he may have some love to a 
Christian, and that for his sake. Quest. But may he love a 
godly man for his godliness ? Answ. Yes, no doubt ; those 
before mentioned did so. If a wicked man may have some de- 
gree of love to godliness, then he may have some degree of love 
to the godly for it ; but that he may have some degree of love 
to godliness, is evident : 1. By experience of others, and of the 
godly before conversion, who know this was their own case ; 
2. The understanding of an ungodly man may know that grace 
and godliness is good, and therefore his will may in some degree 
choose and effect it ; 8. That which drew moral heathens so 
strongly to love men for their virtue and devotion, the same 
principle may as well draw a man that is bred among Christians 
to love a Christian for his virtues and devotion to Christ. 

Object. But doth not the Scripture say, " that we know we 
are translated from death to life, because we love the brethren ? " 

Answ. Yes ; but then you may easily know it speaks of sin- 
cere love. So it saith, " Whoever believeth shall be saved; " and 
yet (Matt, xiii.) Christ showeth that many believe, who yet fall 
away and perish, for want of deep rooting : so that the sincerity 
of this love also lieth in the degree ; and, therefore, when the 
promise is made to it, or it made a mark of true Christians, you 
must still understand it of that degree which may be called sin- 
cere and saving. The difference lieth plainly here. An unsound 
Christian, as he hath some love to Christ, and grace, and godli- 
ness, but more to his profits, or pleasures, or credit in the world, 
so he hath some love to the godly, as such, being convinced that 
the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour; but not so 
much as he hath to these carnal things. Whereas the sound 
Christian, as he loves Christ and grace above all worldly things, 
so it is Christ in a Christian that he so loves, and the Christian 
for Christ's sake above all such things : so that when a carnal 
professor will think it enough to wish them well,"" but will not 

' If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you 
say to them, Depart iu peace, be you warmed and filled; but give them not 
those things which are needful to the body, &c. (Jam. ii. 15, 16.) Hereby 
perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us j and we 


hazard his worldly happiness for them, if he were called to it; 
the sincere believer will not only love them, but relieve them, 
and value them so highly, that, if he were called to it, he would 
part with his profits, or pleasures, for their sakes. For example, 
in Queen Mary's days, when the martyrs were condemned to the 
fire, there were many great men that really loved them, and 
wished them well, and their hearts grieved in pity for them, as 
knowing them to be in the right ; but yet they loved their 
honour, and wealth, and safety, so much better, that they would 
sit on the bench, yea, and give sentence for their burning, for 
fear of hazarding their worldly happiness. Was this sincere, 
saving love to the brethren ? Who dares think so, especially 
in them that went on to do thus ? Vet, what did it want but a 
more intense degree, which might have prevailed over their love 
to carnal things ? Therefore, Christ will not, at the last judg* 
ment, inquire after the bare act of love ; but, whether it so far 
prevailed over our love to carnal interest as to bring us to re- 
lieve, clothe, visit them, &:c., and Christ in them : that is, to 
part with these things for them when we are called to it. Not 
that every man that loves the godly is bound to give them all he 
hath in their necessity ; for God hath directed us in what order 
to bestow and lay out our estates ; and we must begin at our- 
selves, and so to our families, &c. ; so that God may call for our 
estates some other ways. But mark it, you false-hearted world- 
lings, he that doth not so much love the ordinary sort of the 
godly, and Christ in them, as that he can find in his heart to 
bestow all his worldly substance for their relief, if God did not 
require him otherwise to expend it, this man hath no saving 
love to the godly. If, therefore, you would not cheat yourselves, 
as multitudes in this age have done, about your love to the 
brethren, try not by the bare act ; but by the radicated, preva- 
lent degree of your love. 

2. Another ordinary mark of sincerity is this : when a man 
is the same in secret before God alone as he is in public before 
men, making conscience of secret as well as of open duties. But, 
no doubt, as many a godly man may be the more restrained from 
sin, and incited to good, from public, and perhaps carnal, mo- 
tives, and so may be better, in appearance, publicly than he is 

ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's 
good, and seeth his brother have need, and shuttetli up his bowels of com- 
passion from him, how dwelleth the love of Goil in him ? Let us not love in 
word and tongue, but in deed and iu truth. (1 John iii. IG— 18.) 

44 THE saint's 

in secret ; for all men have some hypocrisy in them ; so many 
an unregenerate man may make conscience of secret duties as 
well as open ; yea, even of the thoughts of his heart. But, still, 
both secret duties and open are at the disposal of his carnal in- 
terest ; for he will follow them no further than is consistent with 
that ; so that this mark doth but show a man's sincerity in op- 
position to gross hypocrisy or dissembling, but not the sincerity 
of grace as it is saving. 

3. Another ordinary mark of sincerity is thus delivered : when 
a man loves the closest and most searching preaching of the word, 
and that which putteth on to the highest degree of holiness. If 
he therefore love it because it putteth himself on to the highest 
degree of holiness, and so far love it as that he is willing to be 
searched and put on by it ; and if he therefore come to this light, 
that he may know his evil thereby, that he may mortify it, and 
may get Christ and his interest advanced in his soul ; then it is 
a sign that he hath that degree which I have mentioned, wherein 
sincerity of saving grace doth consist : but many a wicked man 
doth love a searching preacher in other respects, and one that 
draweth men to the highest strain, partly because he may love to 
have other men searched, and their hypocrisy discovered, and be 
put on to the highest, and partly because himself may be of, and 
delight in, the highest strain of opinion, though his heart will 
not be true to his principles ; nav, many a man thinks that he 
may the more safely be a little more indulgent to his carnal in- 
terest in heart and life, because he is of the strictest opinion, 
and therefore may love to hear the strictest preachers. His con- 
science is so blind, and dull in the application, that he can easily 
overlook the inconsistency of his judgment, and his heart and 
practice. O how glad is he when he hears a rousing sermon, 
because, thinks he, this meets with such a man or such a man j 
this fits the profane and lower sort of professors. So that, in 
these respects, he may love a searching preacher. 

4. Another common mark of sincerity is, when a man hath 
no known sin which he is not willing to part with. This is a 
true and sound mark indeed ; for it signifieth not only a dislike, 
nor only a hatred of sin, but such a degree as is prevalent in the 
will, as I have before described : that Christ's interest in the 
will is prevalent over all the interest of the flesh. So that this 
is but, in effect, the same mark that 1 have before delivered. 
Except this willingness to part with all sin should be but a cold, 
inconstant wish, which is accompanied with a greater and more 


prevalent love to it, and desire to enjoy it; and then who dare 
think that it is any mark of saving sincerity ? The like I might 
say of hatred to sin, love to good, and many the like marks, 
that the sincerity lieth in the prevalent degree : so also of the 
spirit of prayer, wliich is another mark. The spirit of prayer, 
so far as it is proper to the saints, lieth in desire after the things 
prayed for, with the other graces which in prayer are exer- 
cised ; for an hypocrite may have as excellent words as the 
hest, and as many of them. Now these desires must be such 
prevalent desires as is aforesaid. 

I think, if I could stand to mention all the other marks of 
grace, so far as J remember, it would appear that the life and 
truth of them all lieth in this one, as being the very point wherein 
saving sincerity doth consist, viz., in the prevalency of Christ's 
interest in the soul, above the interest of inferior good; and so 
in the degree, not in the bare nature of any act. 

Sect. XV. 3. To this end, let us but briefly inquire further 
into the scripture way of discovering sincerity, and see whether 
it do not fully confirm what I say. Christ saith, " He that 
loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me ; 
and he that loveth son or daughter more than me," &:c. (Matt. 
X. 37.) So Luke xiv. 26 : " If any man come to me, and 
hate not" (that is, love not less) " his father, and mother, and 
wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and his own life, 
he cannot be my disciple : and whosoever doth not bear his 
cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." So ver. 33 : 
" Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, 
he cannot be my disciple." Here, you see, sincerity is plaiidy laid, 
not in mere love to Christ, but in the prevalent degree of love, 
as Christ is compared to other things. And for obedience, 
Christ shows it. (Matt. xxv. ; Luke xix. 20, &:c.) Therefore 
Christ saith, " Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; for many 
shall seek to enter, and not be able." (Luke xiii. 24.) Seek- 
ing comes short of striving, in the degree. And Paul saith, 
" They which run in a race, run all, but one receiveth the j)iice : 
so run that ye may obtain." (1 Cor. ix. 24.) So ver. 26, 27, 
and Heb. xii. 1. And Christ commandeth, " Seek first the 
kingdom of God and his righteousness." (Matt. vi. 33.) Show- 
ing plainly, that the saving sincerity of our seeking lieth in this 
comparative degree ; in preferring God's kingdom before the 
things below. So he saith, " Labour not for the meat tliat 
perisheth" (not in comparison), " but for tiie meat that cndureth 

46 THE saint's 

to everlasting life, which the Son will give you." (John vi. 27.) 
So Heb. xi. 6, 14, 16, 25, 26, 35, and xiii. \4 ; Col. iii. 1 ; Rom. 
ii. 7; Luke xvii. 33, and xii. 30, 31; Am. v. 4, 8, 14 ; Isa. 
Iviii. 2, 3, and i. 1 7 ; Prov. viii. 1 7 j Psal. cix. 2.) Also, an hun- 
dred places might be produced, wherein Christ sets himself still 
against the world as his competitor, and promiseth life on the 
condition that we prefer Him before it. To this end are all 
those precepts for suffering, and bearing tlie cross, and denying 
ourselves, and forsaking all. The merchant that buyeth this 
pearl, must sell all that he hath to buy it, though he give 
nothing for it. All the beginning of Rom. viii., as ver. 1^14, 
do fully show that our work and warfare lieth in a perpetual 
combat between the flesh and spirit, between their several 
interests, motives, ends, and desires ; and that which prevaileth 
shows what we are. When the flesh prevaileth, finally, it 18 
certain death : and where the Spirit prevaileth, it is certain 
life. What can be more plain than that sincerity of grace, as 
saving, is here placed in the comparative or prevailing degree ? 
So also Gal. v. 17,24 : " The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, 
and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to 
the other. But they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh 
with the affections and lusts thereof." Therefore are we charged, 
to make no provision for the flesh to satisfy its lusts. (Rom. 
xiii. 14.) So 1 John ii. 16; Ephes. ii. 3; Gal. v. 16 — 19 J 
John i. 13, and iii. 6. And Christ shows fully, (Matt. xiii. 
5, 23, &c.,) that the difference between those that fall away, 
and those that persevere, proceedeth hence, that one giveth 
deep rooting to the Gospel, and the other doth not. The seed 
is rooted in both, or else it would not bring forth a blade 
and imperfect fruit ; but the stony ground gives it not deep 
rooting, which the good ground doth. Doth not this make it 
as plain as can be spoken, that sincerity lieth in degree, and 
not in any physical difference either of habits or acts ? The like 
maybe gathered from all those texts of Scripture, where salvation 
is promised to those that overcome, or on condition of over- 
coming ; not to all that fight, but to all that overcome j as 
Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, 26 ; iii. 5, 12, 13 ; xxi. 7 : " He that over- 
cometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he 
shall be my son." So 1 John v. 4, 5 : " He that is born of 
God, overcometh the world. And they overcame the wicked 
one." (I John ii. 13 ; iv. 4.) So Luke xi. 22. And the state 
of wicked men is described by being overcome by sin and the 


world. (2 Pet. ii. 19, 20.) Fighting is the same action naturally 
in both ; but the valiant, strong, and constant, conquer ; when 
the feeble, faint, and cowardly, and impatient, do turn their 
backs, and are overcome. So Christ saith, " The kingdom of 
heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." 
Now violence is not any distinct action, but a different degree 
of action. Nor can you say that all these places speak only of 
outward action. For no doubt but it is inward violence more 
than outward, and the inward actions of the soul intended, 
more than the motions of the body, which lay hold on the 
kingdom, and make us conquerors. So the saints are described 
in Scripture by such gradual and prevalent different acts. As 
David ; " Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and there is none 
in earth that I desire in comparison of thee." (Psalm Ixxiii. 26, 
27.) " Thy loving kindness is better than life." (Psalm Ixiii. 3.) 
" The Lord is my portion," &;c. A wicked man may esteem 
God and his loving kindness ; but not as his portion, nor bet- 
ter than life. So the wicked are called " lovers of pleasure 
more than God." (2 Tim. iii. 4.) The godly may love pleasure, 
but not more than God. The Pharisees loved the praise of men 
more than the honour which is from God. (John xii. 43.) A 
godly man may love the praise of men, but not more, &;c. See 
aUo, Job iii. 21, xxiii. 12; Psalm xlvii., xix. 10, Iii. 3, cxix. 
72. Very many more texts might be produced which prove 
this point, but these may suffice. 

Sect. XVI. 5. The next thing which I have to do is, to an- 
swer those objections which may be brought against it, and 
which, 1 confess, have sometime seemed of some weight to my- 

Object. 1. Do not all divines say that it is not the measure 
of grace, but the truth j not the quantity, but the quality, that 
we must judge ourselves by ? And doth not Christ say that he 
despiseth not the day of small things, and that he will not 
quench the smoking flax ; and if we had faith, which is as a 
grain of mustard-seed, we may do wonders, &:c. 
, Answ. All this is true of sincere grace, but not of unsincere. 
Now 1 have showed you that except it be of a prevalent degree, 
it is not savingly sincere. If you love God a little, and the 
world a deal more, will any man dare to think that it is a sin- 
cere saving love, when the Scripture saith, " He that loveth the 
world, the love of the Father is not in him?" that is, there is 
no sincere saving love in him 3 for no doubt the young man had 

48 • THE saint's 

some love to Christ that yet forsook him, because he loved the 
world more: or else, 1. Christ would not have loved himj 2. 
Nor would the man have gone away from him in sorrow. But 
if you love Christ ever so little more than the world or inferior 
good, though it be but as a grain of mustard -seed, it will be 
saving, and Christ will accept it. Cic6ro can tell you that 
friendship, or the sincerity of love to a friend, consisteth not 
in every act and degree of undissembled love. If a man love 
you a little, and a thousand men much more, or if he love his 
wealth so much better than you, that he cannot find in his heart 
to be at any loss for your sake, this man is not your friend; he 
doth truly love you, but he hath no true, sincere friendship or 
friendly love to you ; for that consisteth in such a degree as 
will enable a man to do and suffer for his friend. If a woman 
love her husband without dissembling, but yet loves twenty 
men better, and prostitutes herself to them, she hath true love, 
but no true conjugal love to her husband ', for that consisteth in 
an higher degree. In a word, lay Christ, as it were, in one 
end of the balance in your estimation, and all your carnal inte- 
rest, and all inferior good, in the other, and see which you love 
most; and every grain of love which Christ hath from you 
more than the world and inferior things, he will accept it as 
sincere: and in this sense you must not judge of yourselves by 
the measure of your grace, but by the truth : that is, not by 
any higher degree, if you have once that degree which makes 
it true and saving. And I do not think that you will meet with 
any sober divine that will tell you, that if you will love God 
ever so little without dissembling, yet he will accept it, 
though you love your lusts before him. Nor will any sober 
man tell you that if you love the godly without dissem- 
bling, God will accept it, though you love your carnal interest 
so much better ; that if they hunger or thirst, or are naked, or 
in want, you cannot find in your heart to relieve them ; or if 
they be in prison for a good cause, you dare not be seen to visit 

Object. 2. But, perhaps you will say, If this be so, then there 
is no specific difference between saving grace and common. 

Answ. I told you before that you must distinguish betwixt a 
physical specification, and a moral. The confounding of our phy- 
sics and ethics in divinity, hath made and continued abundance 
of controversies, and much confusion. In a word, there is a 
moral, specific difference grounded but in a physical, gradual 


difference, both of habits and acts, as is already more fully 

Object. 3. But, you may say, If there be such a difference in 
degrees, then how can a man know the truth of his grace, or 
ever get assurance ; for who can discern just the parting point? 
Who can say, * Just such a degree of love or faith is sincere 
and saving, and the next degree short of it is not ? ' 

Answ. This objection being of most vveiglit, I shall answer it 
in these propositions : 

1. Where the prevailing degree is not discernible, there no 
true assurance can be had, in an ordinary way; and where it is 
very hard to discern the degree, there it will be as hard to get 

2. Therefore, those that have the smallest degree of saving 
grace, do not use to have any assurance of salvation. Assurance 
is the privilege of stronger Christians, and not of weak ones, 
or of all that shall be saved. A little is hardly discernible from 
none in nature. 

3. And it seemeth that the reason of God's disposal herein 
is very evident : for if God should let men clearly see the least 
measure of love, faith, fear, or obedience, that is saving; and 
the greatest measure of sin that will stand with sincerity, and 
say, ' Just so far thou mayst sin, or mayst deny me thy love, 
and yet be saved and sincere,' then it might have been a strong 
temptation to men to sin as far as ever they may, and to neg- 
lect their graces. 1 know some will say that assurance breeds not 
security. But that great measure of corruption which liveth 
with our small measure of grace, will make assurance an occa- 
sion of security and boldness in sinning. A strong Christian 
may bear and im))rove assurance, but so cannot the weakest; 
and therefore God useth not to give assurance to weakest 

But, then, mistake me not, but remember that by weak 
Christians I do not mean those that are weak in gifts, and 
common parts and expressions ; nor by strong Christians, those 
that excel in these. Those are weak Christians that have no 
more love to God, nor desire after Christ, than will just stand 
with sincerity ; and that have as much love to the world and 
flesh, and take as much liberty to sin, as ever will stand with 
salvation. And those are strong Christians who strongly love 
God, and have mortified and mastered their corruptions. 

4. Where grace is thus strong and in a great degree, there it 


50 THE saint's 

is easily discernible, and therefore to such, assurance is , ordi- 
nary, except in a fit of temptation, revolting, or desertion. 

5. But the chief part of my answer is this: It is not the 
degree of grace absolutely in itself considered, wherein sincerity 
doth consist, nor which we must inquire after in trial, but it is 
the degree in a comparative sense ; as when we compare God 
and the creature, and consider which we desire, love, fear, &c., 
more ; and, therefore, here it is far easier to try by the degree. 
You know that gold is not current except it be weight as well 
as pure metal. Now, if you put your gold in one end of the 
scales, and nothing in the-other, you cannot judge whether it be 
weight or not ; but if you put the weights against it, then you 
may discern it. If it be downright weight, you may discern it 
without either difficulty or doubt. If it be but a grain over- 
weight, you may yet discern it ; though it is possible it may be 
so little, that the scales will scarcely turn^ and then you will not 
discern so easily, which is the heavier end. But if it want 
much, then you will as easily on the other side discern the 
defectiveness. So thus here : if God had said absofutely, ' So 
much love you must have to me, or you cannot be saved,' then 
it were hard to know when we reach the degree. But you must, 
as [ said, put Christ and heaven in one end, and all things 
below in the other, and then you may well find out the sincerity 
in the degree. Every grain that Christ hath more than the 
creature, is sincere and saving. 

Sect. XVII. 6. Lastly, having thus given you my judgment 
in this great point, I will give you some hint of the necessity 
of it, and the danger of mistaking in this case. 

And, 1. I am certain that the misunderstanding of this 
point hath occasioned the del|Jsion of multitudes of men : even 
common profane men (much more those that are not far from 
the kingdom of God), when they hear that it is not the quantity 
or measure of grace, that Ave must try by, but the quality, and 
that the least seed or spark is saving as well as the greatest 
degree, they are presently confident of the soundness of their 
state. Alas, how many have I known thus deceived ! When 
they have heard that the least true desire is accepted with God 
for the deed, they knew that they had desires that were not 
counterfeit, and therefore doubted not but God did accept them, 
when in the mean time their desire to pleasure, and profits, and 
honour, was so much stronger, that it overcame their weak 
desires after God and goodness, and made them live in the daily 


practice of gross sin : and they knew not that the sincerity of 
their desire did lie in tlie prevailing degree. God doth indeed 
accept the will for the deed, and the best are fain to cry out with 
Paul, " To will is present with me, but to do I find not ;" in 
regard of those higher jjarts of spiritual duty, and in the avoid- 
ing of divers infirmities and passions ; but then it is only the 
prevailing bent and act of the will which is thus accepted. 

So have, I know, miJtitudes been deceived by their small 
degree of love to the godly, hearing that the least was a certain 
sign of grace, and knowing themselves to love them without 
counterfeiting, who yet have since been carried to be their 
constant persecutors, and shed their blood ; the like I may say 
of other marks. And doth it not concern people, then, to be 
better grounded in this ? 

2. And, doubtless, the mistake of this hath caused many sin- 
cere Christians to take up their comforts on deceitful grounds, 
which accordingly prove deceitfid comforts, and leave them oft 
in a sorrowful case (though not in a damnable), when they 
come to make use of them. Satan knows how to shake such 
ill-grounded comfort;, and he usually doth it in a man's greatest 
agonies, letting them stand till tb.en, that he may have advan- 
tage by their fall for our greater terror. When he caft put a 
poor Christian to a loss many times that hath the soundest evi- 
dences, what may he do by those tliat either have none but 
unsound ones, or know them not at least ? 

3. Ivloreover, the ignorance of this truth hath caused some 
ministers to wrong the holy God, and abuse poor souls, and 
n.'isapplv the j)romises ; absolving those whom God condemneth, 
by mistaking the meaning of that saying, " That the least degree 
is saving as well as the greatest ;" which is true only of the least 
])revailiug degree, but not of the greatest that it overmastered 
by the prevalency of its contrary. 

4. And to my knowledge this hath been no small hinderance 
to many to keep them from fruitful ncss and growth in grace. 
They have been more securely contented with their low degree: 
whereas if thev had known that their very sincerity lieth in the 
prevalency of the degree, they would have looked more after it. 
For them that sav that assurance will make men strive for in- 
crease, 1 ansv/ered before:^ If there were no contrary corruption 
in strength in us, then I confess it would he as they say. 

" I unfc-igncdly acUuowIciljje with llie Synod of Durt (Act. de Art. v. thcs. 
12. p. 2(J0.) tliat to those Christians that God judgctli fit to cujov assurance, 


.52 THE saint's 

5. And lastly, the ignorance of this hath been no small cause 
of keeping the godly in low degrees of assurance and comfort, by 
keeping them from the right way of attaining them. If they had 
considered, that both the saving sincerity of their graces lieth 
in the prevailing degree, and also that the higher degree they 
attain the clearer and more unquestionable will be their evi- 
dence, and consequently, the easier and more infallible will be 
their assurance; this would have taught them to have spent 
those thoughts and hours in labouring after growth in grace, 
which they spent in inquiring after the lowest degree which may 
stand with sincerity, and in seeking for that in themselves which 
was almost undiscernible. 

To conclude, this doctrine is exceedingly comfortable to the 
poor soul that groans, and mourns, and longs for Christ, and 
knows that though he be not what he should and would be, yet 
he would be what he should be, and had rather have Christ than 
all the world. God hath the prevailing degree of this man's 
will, desire, and love. 

And as necessary is this doctrine for caution to all, that as 
they love their souls, they take heed how they try and judge of 
their condition by the bare nature of any dispositions or actions, 
without regard to the prevalency of degree. 

I advise all Christians, therefore, in the fear of God, as ever 
they would have assurance and comforts that will not deceive 
them, that they make it the main work of their lives to grow in 
grace, to strengthen and advance Christ's interest in their souls, 
and to weaken and get down the interest of the flesh. And take 
heed of those pestilent principles of presumption, which would 
deceive you by the bare name and specious title of free grace ; 
which make Christ, as justifier only, to be the object of justify- 
ing faith, and not Christ as your Head, Husband, or King; which 
tell you, that you have fulfilled the law, and satisfied it fully in 
Christ ; and so need no more than to get the sense of pardon, 
or show your thankfulness ; which tell you that if you do but 
believe that you are pardoned, and shall be saved, it shall be so 
indeed ; as if this were the faith that must justify and save you. 
Deceivers may persuade you that Christ hath done all, and left 
you nothing to do for your justification or salvation ; but you may 
easily see, from what I have said, that to mortify the flesh, to 

it is no inlet to security or licentiousness, but a great exciter of their graces. 
Hut J think it would be far otherwise to those that are unfit to enjoy and use 
it : that is, to the lower and worse sort of sincere Christians. 


overcome Satan and the world, and to this end to stand always 
armed upon our watch, and valiantly and patiently to figiit it 
out, is a matter of more concernment both to our assurance 
and salvation than many do consider. Indeed, it is so great a 
part of our very baptismal vow, and covenant of Christianity, 
that he that performeth it not, is yet no more than a nomi- 
nal Christian, whatsoever his parts and profession may be; 
and, therefore, that Christ whom they trusted in, and whose free 
grace they boasted of, will profess to these professors, '* 1 never 
knew you : depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. vii. 
23.) "The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal. 
The Lord knowetfi who are his ; but let him that nameth the 
name of Christ depart from iniquity;" (2 Tim. ii. 19 ;) or else 
he shall never find himself among the sealed. *' Know you not, 
that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants 
you are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of 
obedience to righteousness ?" (Rom. vi. 16.) Not every one that 
seeketh, or runneth, or fighteth, much less that presumptuously 
believeth and trusteth, but he that overcometh, shall have the 
hidden manna, the white stone, the new name, the white rai- 
ment, and power over the nations ; he shall eat of the tree of 
life in the midst of God's paradise, and shall not be hurt of the 
second death ; he shall be confessed by Christ before his Father 
and the angels ; yea, he will make him a pillar in the temple of 
God, and he shall go out no more ; he will write on him the 
name of his God, and the name of the city of his God, New 
Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from his God : 
and his new name. Yea, he will grant him to sit with him in 
his throne, as himself overcame, and is set down with his Father 
in his throne. " He that hath an ear, let him hear what tiie 
Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. ii. 7, H, 17, 26, and iii, 


Use IV. — The Reason of the Saints' Afflictions here. 

Sect. I. A further necessary use we must make of the present 
doctrine is this : ' to inform us why the people of God do 
suffer so much in this life. What wonder, when you see their 
• Read Dr. Stoughton's • Love-sick Spouse.' 

54 THE saint's 

rest doth yet remain ! They are not yet come to then* resting 
place. We would all fain have continual prosperity, because it 
is easy and pleasing to the flesh ; but we consider not the un- 
reasonableness of such desires. We are like children, who, if 
they see any thing which their appetite desireth, do cry for it : 
and if you tell them that it is unwholesome, or hurtful for them, 
they are never the more quieted ; or if you go about to heal any 
sore that they liave, they will not endure you to hurt them, 
though you tell them that they cannot otherwise be healed ; 
their sense is too strong for their reason, and therefore reason 
doth little persuade them. Even so it is with us when God is 
afflicting us. He giveth us reasons why we must bear them, so 
that our reason is often convinced and satisfied ; and yet we cry 
and complain still, and we rest satisfied never the more. It is 
not reason, but ease that we must have. What cares the flesh 
for Scripture and argument, if it still suffer and smart ? These 
be but wind and words, which do not move or abate its pain. 
Spiritual remedies may cure the spirit's maladies ; but that will 
not content the flesh. But, methinks, Christians should have 
another palate than that of the flesh, to try and relish provi- 
dences by : God hath purposely given them the Spirit to subdue 
and overrule the flesh. And therefore I shall here give them 
some reasons of God's dealing in their present sufferings, where- 
by the equity and mercy therein may appear : and they shall be 
only such as are drawn from the reference that these afflictions 
have to our rest, which being a Christian's happiness, and ulti- 
mate end, will direct him in judging of all estates and means. 
Though if we intended the full handling of this subject, abun- 
dance more considerations, very useful, might be added. Espe- 
cially, we should direct Christians to remember the sin that pro- 
cured them, the blood and mercy which sanctifieth them," the 
fatherly love that ordereth them, and the far greater sufferings 
that are naturally our due. But I shall now chiefly tell you, how 
they further the saints in the way to their rest. 

" Non mntat legem (Ailamo) Deus, seel mitigat rigorem, et justitiam tem- 
perat niisericordia : reinittens peccatuin resipiscentibus, et pcenas aternas in 
temporales converteiis, propter filiuin mediatorein, quern niodo promiserat. 
Hie primus est fructus quein trepidi parentes in summis illis angustiis, ex 
fide evaugelii percipiunt, quod non percutiuntur maledictione, et morte, juxta 
ineritum, &c. Delude quod non impuiie quidem dimittuntur : poena vero eis 
irrogatur tolerabilis, imnio pro poena tantum castigatio. — D. Parccus in Gen. 
iii. 16. p. (uiihi) 555. Non eniui inflixit ei mala, nisi quae ei fuerat niiuatus. 
— Pai-epus in Gen. ii. p. Sl')2. So then even castigatory penalties are the 
effects of the threatening of the first law or covenant. De afflictiouibus qui- 


Sect. II. 1. Consider then, that labour and trouble arc the com- 
mon way to rest, both in the course of nature and of grace; can 
there possibly he rest, without motion and weariness ? Do you 
not travel and toil first, and then rest you afterwards ? The day 
for labour goes first, and then the night for rest doth follow. 
^A^hy should we desire the course of grace to be perverted, any 
more than we would do the course of nature ; seeing this is as 
perfect and regular as the other ? God did once dry up the sea to 
make a passage for his people ; and once made the sun in the 
firmament to stand still ; but must he do so always, or as oft 
as we would have him ? It is his established decree, " that 
through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of 
heaven," (Acts xiv. 22,) and " that if we suffer with him, we 
shall also be glorified with him." (2 Tim. ii. 22.) And what 
are we, that God's statutes should be reversed for our pleasure ?'' 
As Bildad said to Job, " Shall the earth be forsaken for thee, or 
the rock be removed out of his place?" (Job xviii. 4.) So, 
must God pervert his established order for thee ? 

Sect. III. 2. Consider also, that afflictions are exceedingly 

useful to us, to keep us from mistaking our resting place, and so 

taking up short of it.^ A Christian's motion heavenwards is 

voluntary, and not constrained. Those means, therefore, are 

most profitable to him, which help his understanding and will 

in this prosecution. The most dangerous mistake that our 

souls are capable of, is, to take the creature for God, and earth 

biiscuiir[\ie (juod siiit peccati pcenae, loquuntur plurima dicta. Lev. xxvi. 18 ; 
Dau. ix. 11 ; John v. 14, &c. — Para us, ihid. \>. 3G3. Separatio aiiimie il cor- 
pore per niDrtem, est pojna peccati, per se : fidelibus autem fit traiisitus ia 
fceliciiatem, per accidens. — Idem, p. 370. Mors sic est II SataiiiE et homi- 
nis j)eccati) iiivecta, iit interim sit justissiniuiu Dei fla^elluni quo puiiit pec- 
catum, et justitiam suaiii exequitur. Proinde mors conjuncta est cum seiisu 
irte diviua; in omnibus quibus peccata noii sunt remissa per Cbristuni.— 
Parcpus, ib. p. 404. This is the sound nieanins:, about the nature and causes 
of chastisement. — See liim, p. 371 — 373,383, reconciling this with full pardon, 
most Solidly of any man that 1 have read. 

" On this consideration the true Christian endureth labours, and torments, 
and afflictions ; not as the valiant sort of tlie philosophers, in hope lliat his 
present sulVerinjj will cease, or that they shall yet partake of delights here 
ay,ain : but knowleds^e hatli begot in him a m()«t firm persuasion of hope that 
he shall receive the things that are to come. Therefore he doth not onlv de- 
spise the sullerings, but all the delights also that arc here below. — Clemen. 
Alex. Stromiit. lib. vii. 

y They say iho^e stones are happy of which they make temples: but what 
pebble-stone would not bless itself to sec how those precious stones arc knock- 
ed aud hewed with the hammer.' But all this is before we come to the tem- 
ple ; where there is no noise of hummer. Ut ibi solo amoris glutinocopulemur, 
ut Greg. iMor. — Dr. Stoughton's ' Love-sick Spouse,' p. 113. Fsal. xxx. (\, 7. 

56 THE saint's 

for heaven. And yet, alas, how common is this ! and, in how 
great a degree are the best guilty of it ! Though we are asham- 
ed to speak so much with our tongues, yet how oft do our 
hearts say, ' It is best being here ; ' and how contented are we 
with an earthly portion I So that 1 fear, God would displease 
most of us more to afflict us here, and promise us rest hereafter, 
than to give us our heart's desire on earth, though he had 
never made us a promise of heaven : as if the creature without 
God, were better than God without the creature. Alas, how 
apt are we, like foolish children, when we are busy at our sports 
and worldly employments, to forget both our Father and our 
home ! Therefore, is it a hard thing for a rich man to enter 
into heaven, because it is hard for him to value it more than 
earth, and not to think he is well already. Come to a man 
that hath the world at will, and tell him, ' This is not 
your happiness; you have higher things to look after;' and 
how little will he regard you ! But when affliction comes, it 
speaks convincingly, and will be heard when preachers cannot. 
What warm, affectionate, eager thoughts, have we of the world 
till afflictions cool them, and moderate them I How few and 
cold would our thoughts of heaven be, how little should we care 
for coming thither, if God would give us rest on earth ! Our 
thoughts are with God, as Noah's dove was in the ark, kept up 
to him a little against their inclinations and desire ; but when 
once they can break away, they fly up and down, over all the 
world, to see if it were possible to find any rest out of God ; but 
when we find that we seek in vain, and that the world is all co- 
vered with the waters of instable vanity, and bitter vexation, 
and that there is no rest for the sole of our foot, or for the foot 
of our soul ; no wonder, then,, if we return to the ark again. 
Many a poor Christian, whom God will not suffer to be drowned 
in worldliness, nor to take up short of his rest, is sometimes 
bending his thoughts to thrive in wealth; sometimes he is en- 
ticed to some flesh-pleasing sin ; sometimes he begins to be lift- 
ed up with applause ; and sometimes, being in health and pros- 
perity, he hath lost his relish of Christ, and the joys above; 
till God break in upon his riches, and scatter them abroad, or 
upon his children, or upon his conscience, or upon the health of 
his body, and break down his mount, which he thought so strong; 
and then, when he lieth in Manasseh's fetters, or is fastened to 
his bed with pining sickness, oh, what an opportunity hath the 
Spirit to plead with his soul ! Wiien the world is worth no- 


thing, then heaven is worth something. I leave every Christian 
to judge by his own experience, whether we do not overlove 
the world more in prosperity than adversity ; and whether we 
be not lother to come away to God, when we have what the 
flesh desireth here ? How oft arc we sitting down on earth, as 
if we were lotli to go any further, till affliction calls to us, as 
the angel to Elijah, " Up, thou hast a great way to go." How 
oft have I been ready to think myself at home, till sickness hath 
roundly told me, I was mistaken ! and how apt yet to fall 
into the same disease, which prevaileth till it be removed by the 
same cure ! If our dear Lord did not put these thorns into our 
bed, we should sleep out our lives, and lose our glory : there- 
fore doth the Lord sometimes deny us an inheritance on earth 
with our brethren, because he hath separated us to stand before 
him, and minister to him, and the Lord himself will be our in- 
heritance, as he hath promised ; as it is said of the tribe of Levi. 
(Deut.x. 8,9.) 

Sect. IV. 3. Consider also, that afflictions be God's most 
effectual means to keep us from straggling out of the way of 
our rest. If he had not set a hedge of thorns on the right hand, 
and another on the left, we should hardly keep the way to hea- 
ven. If there be but one gap open, without these thorns, how 
ready are we to find it, and turn out at it ! but when we cannot 
go astray, but these thorns will prick us, perhaps we will be 
content to hold the way.^ When we grow fleshly, and wanton, 
and world! v, and proud, what a notable means is sickness, or 
other affliction, to reduce us ! It is every Christian, as well as 
Luther, that may call affliction one of his best schoolmasters. 
Many a one, as well as David, may say by experience, " Before 
I was ifflicted, I went astray; but now have I (sincerely) kept 
thy precepts." (Psal. cxix. 76.) As physicians say of bodily 
destruction, so may we of spiritual, " that peace killcth more 
than war." Read Nehem. ix. Their case is ours. A\'hen we 
have prosperity, we grow secure and sinful ; then God afflicteth 
us, and we cry for mercy, and purpose reformation ; but after 
we have a little rest, we do evil again, till God take up the rod 
again, that he may bring us back to his law. (Nehem. ix. 22, 
29.) And thus, prosperity, and sinning, and suffering, and re- 

* Itaque statuainus eos in media et vejeta valetudine spgrotare, qui valetu- 
dine abutuntur. Control, eos a?grolus bene habere, (jui ad Ueuin ex aninio 
convertiintur, et ab ipsis morbis petunt adversus peccata medicinam. — Sndeel 
in Psalm xxxii. p. 27. 


penting, and deliverance, and sinning again, do run all in a 
round; even as peace breeds contention, and that breeds war, 
and that, by its bitterness, breeds peace again. Many a thou- 
sand poor recovered sinners may cry, ' Oh, healthful sickness ! 
oh, comfortable sorrows ! oh, gainful losses 1 oh, enriching po- 
verty ! oh, blessed day that ever I was afflicted 1' ^ It is not 
only the pleasant streams, and the green pastures, but his rod 
and staff also, that are our comfort ; (Psal. xxiii. ;) though I 
know it is the word and Spirit that do the main work ; yet cer- 
tainly the time of suffering is so opportune a season, that the 
same word will take then, which before was scarce observed. 
It doth so unbolt the door of the heart, that a minister, or a 
godly man, may then be heard, and the word may have easier 
entrance to the affections. Even the threats of judgment will 
bring an Ahab, or a Nineveh, into their sackcloth and ashes, 
and make them cry mightily unto God. Something, then, will 
the feeling of those judgments do. 

Sect. V. 4. Consider also, that afflictions are God's most 
effectual means to make us mend our pace in the way to our 
rest.'' They are his rod, and his spur ; what sluggard will not 
awake and stir when he feeleth them ? It were well, if mere 
love would prevail with us, and that we were rather drawn to 
heaven than driven ; but seeing our hearts are so bad that mercy 
will not do it, it is better to put on with the sharpest scourge, 
than loiter out our time till the doors are shut. (Matt. xxv. 3, 
5, 10.) Oh, what a difference is there betwixt our prayers in 
health and in sickness ; betwixt our prosperity and our ad- 
versity repentings ! He that before had not a tear to shed, or 
a groan to utter, now can sob, and sigh, and weep his fill ; he 
that was wont to lie like a block in prayer, and scarce minded 
what he said to God, now, when affliction presseth him down, 
how earnestly can he beg ! how doth he mingle his prayers and 

" The Lacedemonian disliked not his friend's limping, because, saith he, 
it will make you think of virtue every step. And so, perhaps, Jacob remem- 
bered the angel. When adversity hath laid us flat on our backs, we cannot 
choose but look up to heaven. — Dr. Stoughton in his ' Love-sick Spouse,' 
p. 108. Most Christians can unfold Mr. Herbert's riddle by experience — 
*' A poor man's rod, when thou dost ride, 

Is both a weapon and a guide." (Psalm cxix. 71, 75.) 

^ Marcet sine adversario virtus. Tunc apparet quanta sit, quantum valeat, 
poUeatque, cum quid possit patientia ostendit. Sciat licet idem viris bonis 
esse faciendum, ut dura et difficilia non reformident, uec de fato querantur. 
Quicquid accidit, boni consulaut, in bonum vertant. Non quid sedquemad- 
modum feras interest. — Sen. de Provid. lib. i. c. 2. 


his tears ! how doth he purpose anrl promise reformation I and 
cry out, what a person he will he, if CJod will hut hear him, 
and deliver him. Alas ! if we did not sometimes feci the spur, 
what a slow pace would most of us hold towards heaven ! and 
if we did not sometimes smart hy affliction, how dead and hlock- 
ish would be the best men's hearts ! Even innocent Adam is 
liker to forget God in a paradise, than Joseph in a prison, or Job 
upon a dunghill : even as Solomon is like enough to fall in the 
midst of pleasure and prosperity, when the most wicked INIanasses 
in his irons may be recovered. As Dr. Stoughton saith, "We are 
like to children's tops, that will go hut little longer than they are 
whipped." Seeing, then, that our own vile natures do thus re- 
quire it, why should we be unwilling that God should do us good 
by so sharp a means ? Sure that is the best dealing for us, 
which surest and soonest doth further us to heaven. I leave 
thee. Christian, to judge by thy own experience, whether thou 
dost not go more watchfully, and lively, and speedily, in thy way 
to rest, in thy sufferings, than thou dost in thy more pleasing 
and prosperous state. If you go to the vilest sinner on his dying 
bed, and ask him, * Will you now drink, and whore, and scorn 
at the godly, as you were wont to do?' you shall find him 
quite in another mind. Much more then will affliction work on 
a gracious soul. 

Sect. VI. 5. Consider further, it is but this flesh which is 
troubled and grieved, for the most part, hy affliction : '■' and 
what reason have we to be so tender of it ? In most of our 
sufferings the soul is free, further than we do wilfully afflict it 
ourselves. Suppose thou be pinched by poverty, it is thy flesh 
only that is pinched. If thou have sores or sicknesses, it is 
but the flesh that they assault ; if thou die, it is but that flesh 
that must rot in the grave. Indeed, it useth also to reach our 
hearts and souls, when the body suffereth ; but that is, because 
we pore upon our evils, and too much pity and condole the 
flesh ; and so we open the door, and let in the pain to the heart 
ourselves, which else could have gone no further than the flesh j 
God smites the flesh, and therefore we will grieve our spirits ; 
and so multiply our grief, as if we had not enough before. O 

p Not only the carnal, corrupt iucliiiation of the will, but the very mislead- 
ing, unruly, sensitive appetite is our enemy, and our most desperate enemy, 
viz. drawing us still to particular inferior good from the supreme : which is 
the cause, nature, and end, of all sin, as Gibieuf hath proved, lib. ii. de Li- 
bert, c. 20. s. ii. p. 424. et passim, viz. quod bonum particulare causa est 
raali iu genere causte eflicieutis, fiualis et subjectiva*. 

60 THE saint's 

if I could but have let my body have suffered alone in all the 
pining and paining sicknesses which God laid upon it, and not 
have foolishly added my own self-tormenting fears, and cares, 
and sorrows, and discontents ; but have quieted and comforted 
my soul in the Lord, my Rock and Rest; I had escaped the far 
greater part of the afflictions. Why is this flesh so precious in 
our eyes ; why are we so tender of these dusty carcasses ; is 
flesh so excellent a thing; is it not our prison ; and what, if it 
be broken down, is it not our enemy ; yea, and the greatest 
that ever we had ; and are we so fearful lest it be overthrown j 
is it not it that hath so long hampered and clogged our souls, 
and tied them to earth ; and enticed them to forbidden lusts 
and pleasures : and stolen away our hearts from God ; was it 
not it, that longed for the first forbidden fruit; and must needs 
be tasting, whatever it cost ? And still it is of the same temper; 
it must be pleased, though God be displeased by it, and our- 
selves destroyed. It maketh all God's mercies the occasion of 
our transgressing, and draweth poison from the most excellent 
objects. If we behold our food, it enticeth to gluttony; if 
drink, to drunkenness ; if apparel, or any thing of worth, to 
pride ; if we look upon beauty, it enticeth to lust ; if upon 
money or possessions, to covetousness. It causeth our very 
spiritual love to the godly, to degenerate into carnal ; and our 
spiritual zeal, and joy, and other graces ; it would make all 
carnal like itself. What are we beholden to this flesh for, that 
we are so loth that any thing should ail it ? Indeed, we must 
not wrong it ourselves, for that is forbidden us; nor may we deny 
it any thing that is fit for a servant, that so it may be useful to 
us, while we are forced to use it. But if God chastise it for 
rebelling against him and the Spirit, and it begin to cry and 
complain under this chastisement, shall we make the suffering 
greater than it is, and take its part against God ? Indeed, the 
flesh is very near to us, we cannot choose but condole its suffer- 
ings, and feel somewhat of that which it feeleth. But is it so 
near as to be our chiefest part ; or can it not be sore, but we 
must be sorry ; or cannot it consume and pine awav, but our 
peace and comfort must consume with it ; what, if it be undone, 
are we therefore undone ? or if it perish and be destroved, do 
we therefore perish ? O fie upon this carnality and unbelief, 
which are so contradictory to the principles of Christianity ! 
surely, God dealeth the worse with this flesh, because we so 
overvalue and idolise it. We make it the greatest part of our 


care and labour to provide for it, and to satisfy its desires ; and 
we would have God to be of our mind, and to do so too. But 
as he hath commanded us " to make no provision for the flesh, 
to fulfil the desires or lusts thereof;" (Rom.xiii. 14 j) so will he 
follow the same rule himself in his dealings with us ; and will 
not much stick at the displeasing of the flesh, when it may 
honour himself, or profit our souls. The flesh is aware of this, 
and perceives that the word and works of God are much against 
its desires and delights, and therefore is it also against the word 
and works of God : '^ it saith of the word, as Ahab of Micaiah, 
" I hate it, for it doth not speak good concerning me, but evil." 
(I Kings xxii. 8.) There is such an enmity betwixt this flesh 
and God, " that they that are in the flesh cannot please him, 
and the carnal mind is enmity against him ; for it is not sub- 
ject to his law, nor indeed can be :" so inconsistent is the 
pleasing of the flesh and the pleasing of God, that he hath con- 
cluded, "that to mind the things of the flesh, or to be carnally 
minded, is death ; and if we live after the flesh, we shall die : 
but if by the Spirit we mortify the deeds of the body, we shall 
live." (Rom. viii. 4 — 8, 13.) 

So that there is no likelihood that ever God's dealings should 
be pleasing to the flesh ; no more than its works are pleasing to 
God. Why then, O my soul, dost thou side with this flesh, 
and say as it saith, and complain as it complaineth ? It should 
be part of thine own work to keep it down, and bring it in sub- 
jection 3 (1 Cor. ix. 26, 27;) and if God do it for thee, shouldst 
thou be discontented ? Hath not the pleasing of it been the 
cause of almost all thy spiritual sorrows ? Why, then, may not 
the displeasing of it further thy joys ? Should not Paul and 
Silas sing, because their feet were in the stocks, and iheir flesh 
yet sore with the last day's scourgings ? (Acts xvi.) Why, their 
spirits were not imprisoned, not scourged ! Ah, unworthy 
soul, is this thy thanks to God for his tenderness of thy good, 
and for his preferring thee so far before the body ! Art thou 
turned into flesh thyself by thy dwelling a few years in flesh, that 
thy joys and thy sorrows are most of them so fleshly? (Rom. 
viii. 12.) Art thou so much a debtor to the flesh, that thou 
shouldst so much live to it, and value its prosperity ? Hath it 
been so good a friend to thee, and to thy peace ; or, is it not 

*• yui"; inortalium cui ullum snperest homiiiis vestigium, per diem noctem- 
que titillari velit, et de certo auimo corpori operam ilare i—Senec. dc Vilet 
Meat' c. 5. 


thy enemv as well as God's ? Why dost thou look so sadly on 
those withered limbs, and on that pining body ? Do not so far 
mistake thyself as to think its joys and thine are all one, or that 
its prosperity and thine are all one, or that they must needs 
stand or fall together. (Heb. xii. 13.) When it is rotting and 
consuming in the grave, then shalt thou be a companion of the 
peifeoted spirits of the just ; and when those bones are scattered 
about the churchyard, then shalt thou be praising God in rest. 
And, in the mean time, hast not thou food of consolation which 
the flesh knoweth not of; and a joy which this stranger meddleth 
not with ? And do not think that, when thou art turned out of 
this body, that thou shalt have no habitation : art thou afraid 
thou shalt wander destitute of a resting place ? Is it better resting 
in flesh than in God ? Dost thou not know, that when this house 
of earth is dissolved, "thou hast a building with God, not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens ? " (2 Cor. v. 1, 2.) It would, 
therefore, better become thee earnestly to groan, desiring to be 
clothed upon with that. (Ver. 3, 4.) Is thy flesh any better 
than the flesh of Noah was ? and yet, though God saved him 
from the common deluge, he would not save him from common 
death. Or, is it any better than the flesh of Abraham, Job, or 
David, or all the saints that ever lived ? yet did they all suffer 
and die. Dost thou think that those souls which are now with 
Chi-ist do so much pity their rotten or dusty corpse, or lament 
that their ancient habitation is ruined, and their once comelv 
bodies turned into earth ?' Oh ! what a thing is strangeness and 
disacquaiutance I It maketh us afraid of our dearest friends, 
and to draw back from the place of our only happiness ; so was 
it with thee towards thy chiefest friends on earth : while thou 
wast unacquainted with them, thou didst withdraw from their 
society; but when thou didst once know them thoroughly, thou 
wouldst have been loth again to be deprived of their fellowship. 
And even so, though thy strangeness to God and another world 
do make thee loth to leave this flesh ; yet, when thou hast been 
but one day or hour there, if we may so speak of that eternity, 
where is neither dav nor hour, thou wouldst be full loth to return 
into this flesh again. Doubtless, when God, for the glory of his 
Son, did send back the soul of Lazarus into its body, he caused 
it (juite to forget the glory which it had enjoyed, and to leave 
behind it the remembrance of that happiness, together with the 
happiness itself; or else it might have made his life a burden 
to him to think of the blessedness that he was fetched from, and 


have made him ready to break down the prison doors of his 
flesh, that he might return to that happy state again. O, tlien, 
impatient soul, murmur not at God's dealings with that body; 
hut let him alone with his work and way. He knows what he 
doth ; but so dost not thou : he sccth the end ; but thou seest 
but the beginning. If it were for want of love to thee, that he 
did thus chastise thy body, then would he not have dealt so by 
all his saints. Dost thou think he did not love David and Paul, 
or Christ himself? or, rather, doth he not chasten because he 
loveth ; and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth ? (Heb. xii. 
4—S, 10, 11; Matt. vi. 23; Rom. viii. 6—8; 1 Cor. ii. 2, 
10 — 14.) Believe not the flesh's reports of God, nor its com- 
mentaries upon his providences. It hath neither will nor skill 
to interpret them aright : not will ; for it is an enemy to them. 
They are against it, and it is against them. Not skill ; for it is 
darkness : it savoureth only the things of the flesh ; but the 
things of the spirit it cannot understand, because they are 
spiritually discerned. Never expect then that the flesh should 
truly expound the meaning of the rod. It will call love, hatred ; 
and say, God is destroying, when he is saving : and murmur, as 
if he did thee wrong, and used thee hardly, when he is showing 
thee the greatest mercy of all. Are not the foul steps the way 
to rest, as well as the fair ? yea, arc not thy sufferings the most 
necessary passages of his providence ? And though, for the 
j)rcsent, thev are not jovous, but grievous ; yet, in the end, do 
they bring forth the quiet fruits of righteousness to all tliose that 
are exercised thereby. (Heb. xii. 11.) Hast thou not found it 
so by former experience, when yet this flesh would have per- 
suaded thee otherwise ? Believe it then no more, which hath 
misinformed thee so oft; for, indeed, there is no believing the 
words of a wicked and ignorant enemy. Ill-will never speaks 
well; but when malice, viciousncss, and ignorance, are combined, 
what actions can expect a true and fair interpretation ? This 
flesh will call love, anger ; and anger, hatred ; and chastise- 
ments, judgments. It will tell thee, that no man's case is like 
thine ; and if God did love thee, he would never so use thee. 
(Psalm cxvi. 11.) It will tell thee, that the promises are but 
deceiving words, and all thy prayers and uprightness are vain. 
(Psalm Ixxiii. 13 — 15.) If it find thee sitting among the ashes, 
it will say to thee, as Job's wife, " Dost thou yet retain tliinc 
integrity ? " (Job ii. 8 — 10.) Thus will it draw thee to oflcnd 
against God, and the generation of his children, it is a party, 

64 THE saint's 

and a suffering party, and therefore not fit to be the judge. If 
your child should be the judge when and how oft you should 
chastise hiui, and whether your chastisement be a token of fa- 
therly love, you may easily imagine what would be his judgment. 
If we could once believe God, and judge of his dealings by what 
he speaks in his word, and by their usefulness to our souls, and 
reference to our rest, and could stop our ears against all the 
clamours of the flesh, then we should have a truer judgment of 
our afflictions. 

6. Lastly, consider, God doth seldom give his people so 
sweet a foretaste of their future rest as in their deep afflictions.^ 
He keepeth his most precious cordials for the time of our 
greatest faintings and dangers. To give them to such men that 
are well and need them not, is but to cast them away : they 
are not capable of discerning their working or their worth. A 
few drops of divine consolation in the midst of a world of 
pleasure and contents, will be but lost and neglected, as some 
precious spirits cast into a vessel or river of common waters. 
The joys of heaven are of unspeakable sweetness ; but a man 
that overflows with earthly delights is scarce capable of tasting 
their sweetness. They may easilier comfort the most dejected 
soul, than him that feeleth not any need of comfort, as being 
full of other comforts alreadv. Even the best of saints do 
seldom taste of the delights of God, and pure, spiritual, un- 
mixed joys, in the time of tlieir prosperity, as they do in their 
deepest troubles and distress. God is not so lavish of his choice 
favours as to bestow them unseasonably. Even to his own will 
he giveth them at the fittest time, when he knoweth that they are 
needful, and will be valued, and when he is sure to be thanked 
for them, and his people rejoiced by them. Especially, when 
our sufferings are more directly 'for his cause, then doth he sel- 
dom fail of sweetening the bitter cup. Therefore have the mar- 
tyrs been possessors of the highest joys, and therefore were they 
in former times so ambitious of martyrdom. I do not think 
that Paul and Silas did ever sing more joyfully, than when they 
were sore with scourgings, and were fast in the inner prison, 
with their feet in the stocks. (Acts xvi. 24, 25.) When did 

e Cum videris bonos viros acceptosque Deo laborare, Rudare, per arduura 
Bscendere ; malos autem lascivire, et voluptatibus fluere ; cogita, filiorum 
DOS modtstia delectari, vernujarum licentia ; illosdiscipliiia tristiori coiitineri, 
horum ali audaciara. Idem tibi de Deo liqueat. Bonum virum in deliciis 
non habet, expeiitur, indurat, sibi ilium prceparat. — Senec. de Provid. c. I j 
John xiv. — xvii. xx. 


Christ preach such comforts to his disciples, and leave them his 
peace, and assure tliem of his providing them mansions with 
himself, but when he was ready to leave them, and their hearts 
to be sorrowful because of his departure ? When did he ap- 
pear among them, and say, " Peace be unto you," but when 
they were shut up together for fear of the persecuting Jews ? 
When did the room shake where they were, and the Holy 
Ghost come down upon them, and they lift up their voices in 
praising God, but when they were imprisoned, convented, and 
threatened for the name of Christ?*" (Acts iv. 24, 31.) When 
did Stephen see heaven opened, but when he was giving up his 
life for the testimony of Jesus ? (Acts vii. 55.) And though 
we be never put to the suffering of martyrdom, yet God know- 
eth that in our natural sufferings we need support. Many a 
Christian that hath waited for Christ, with Simeon in the tem- 
ple, in duty and holiness all his days, yet never finds him in his 
arms till he is dying, though his love was fixed in their hearts 
before ; and they that wondered they tasted not of his comforts, 
have then, when it was needful, received abundance. And, 
indeed, in time of prosperity, that comfort which we have is 
so mixed, according to the mixed causes of it, that we can 
very hardly discern what of it is carnal and what is spiri- 
tual. But when all worldly comforts and hopes are gone, then 
that which is left is most likely to be spiritual. And the 
Spirit never worketh rnore sensibly and sweetly than when 
it worketh alone. Seeing, then, that the time of afHic- 
tion is the time of our most pure, spiritual, heavenly joy, for 
the most part, why should a Christian think it so sad a time ? 
Is not that our best estate wherein we have most of God ? Why 
else do we desire to come to heaven ? If we look for a heaven 
of fleshly delights, we shall find ourselves mistaken. Conclude, 
then, that affliction is not so bad a state for a saint in his way 
to rest as the flesh would make it. Are we wiser than God ? 
Doth not he know what is good for us better than we ? Or is 
he not as careful of our good as we are of our own ? Ah ! 
woe to us if he were not much more ; and if he did not love us 
better than we love either him or ourselves. 

Sect. VIII. But let us hear a little what it is the flesh can object. 

Spectat militem siuim Cliristus ubicunque piignantem ; et persccutioiiis 
causa pro uoiiiiuis sui honore iiiorienti praeniium reddit, quod daturum so ia 
pcrsecutione promisit. Nee minor est martyrii gloria nos publice, et inter 
multos periisse, cum pereundi causa sit propter Christum perire.— Q///r. Ep. 
56. (edit. Goulartii) p. 154, 


(56 THE saint's 

1. 'Oh!' saith one, *1 could bear any other affliction save 
this: if God had touched me in any thing else, I could have un- 
dergone it patiently ; but it is my dearest friend, or child, or 
wife, or my health itself,' ^ &:c. 

I answer, It seemeth God hath hit the right vein, where thy 
most inflamed, distempered blood did lie : it is his constant 
course to pull down men's idols, and take away that which is 
dearer to them than himself. There it is that his jealousy is 
kindled ; and there it is that thy soul is most endangered. Jf 
God should have taken from thee that which thou canst let go 
for him, and not that which thou canst not ; or have afflicted 
thee where thou canst bear it, and not where thou canst not ; 
thy idol would neither have been discovered nor removed. This 
would neither have been a sufficient trial to thee, nor a cure ; 
but have confirmed thee in thy soul-deceit and idolatry. 

Object. 2. Oh ! but, saith another, if God would but deliver 
me out of it yet, I could be content to bear it : but I have an 
incurable sickness; or, I am likely to live and die in poverty, or 
disgrace, or the like distress. 

I answer, 1. Is it nothing that he hath promised, it shall 
work for thy good ;'' (Rom. viii. 28;) and that, with the afflic- 
tion, he will make a way to escape : that he will be with thee 
in it ; and deliver thee in the fittest manner and season ? 2. fs 
it not enough that thou art sure to be delivered at death, and 
that with so full an advancing deliverance ? Oh ! what cursed 
unbelief doth this discover in our hearts ! that we would be 
more thankful to be turned back again into the stormy, tumul- 
tuous sea of the world, than to be safely and speedily landed at 
our rest; and would be gladder of a few years' inferior mercies 
at a distance, than to enter upon the eternal inheritance with 
Christ. Do we call God our chief Good, and heaven our happi- 
ness ; and yet is it no mercy or deliverance to be taken hence, 
and put into that possession ? 

8 Hear a heathen, and he ashamed : If you will believe me when I open the 
very secrets of my heart to you, in all things that seem adverse and hard, I 
am thus composed ; ] obey not God, but I assent to him. I follow him from 
my very heart, and not because I must needs do it. I entertain nothing that 
befalls me sadly, or with a sour countenance. — Senec. epist. xlvii. p. 796. 
And as he, so more fully Pet. Martyr, on Rom. viii. p. 499, rehearseth the 
strange examples of very many heathens' fortitude in voluntary sufferings, 
enough to shame faint-hearted Christians. 

•» He that prayeth for the good things of the world which he hath not, doth 
not seek for that which is good, but for that which only seems to he good, (Clem. 
Alexand. Strom, lib. vji.) because that is the best for us which God ordereth. 


Object. 3. Oh ! but, saith another, if my affliction did not 
disable me for duty, 1 could bear it ; but it maketh me useless, 
and utterly unprofitable. 

Answ. 1. For that duty which tendeth to thy own personal 
benefit, it doth not disable thee, but is the greatest quickening 
help that thou canst expect. Thou usest to complain of cold- 
ness, and duhiess, and worldliness, and security : if affliction will 
not help thee against all these, by warning, ([uickening, rousing 
thy spirit, I know not what will. Surely thou wilt repent tho- 
roughly, and pray fervently, and mind God and heaven more 
seriously, either now or never. 2. And for duty to others, and 
for thy service to the church, it is not thy duty when God doth 
disable thee. He may call thee out of the vineyard in this re- 
spect, even before lie call thee by death. If he lay thee in the 
grave, and put others in thy place to do the service, is this any 
wrong to thee, or doth it beseem thee to repine at it ? Why 
so, if he call thee out before thy death, and let thee stand by, 
and set others to do the work in thy stead, shouldst thou not be 
as well content ? Must God do all the work by thee ? Hath 
he not many others as dear to him, and as fit for the employ- 
ment ? But, alas ! what deceitfulness lieth in these hearts ! 
When we have time, and health, and opportunity, to work, then 
we loiter, and do our Master but very little service ; but when 
he layeth affliction upon us, then we complain that he disableth 
us for his work, and yet perhaps we are still negligent in that 
part of the work which we can do : so, when we are in health 
and prosperity, we forget the public, and are careless of other 
men's miseries and wants, and mind almost nothing but our- 
selves. But when God afflicteth us, though he excite us more 
to duty for ourselves, yet we complain that he disableth us for 
our duty to others j as if, on the sudden, we were grown so cha- 
ritable that we regard other men's souls far more than our own. 
But is not the hand of the flcsli, in all this dissiniuiation, secretly 
thus pleading its own cause ? Wliat pride of heart is this, to 
think that other men cannot do the work as well as we ; or, 
that God cannot see to his church, and provide for his people, 
without us ? 

Object. 4. Oh ! but, saith another, it is the godly that are my 
afflicters : they disclaim me, and will scarcely look at me ; they 
censure me, and backbite me, and slander mc, ' and look upon 

' Grave est, inquis, iiijurinni sustiiiere : Mentiris. Quig enim injuriain non 
potest ferrc, qui potest iram ? Adjice nunc, quod id ajjis, ut et iram feras et 

F 2 

68 THE saint's 

me with a disdainful eye. If it were ungodly men, I could bear 
it easily : I look for no better at their hands : but when those 
that were my delight, and that I looked for daily comfort and 
refreshing from j when these shall be my grief, and as thorns in 
my sides } who can bear it ? 

Answ. 1. Whoever is the instrument, the affliction is from 
God, and the provoking cause from thyself; and were it not 
fitter then that thou look more to God and thyself? 2. Dost 
thou not know that the best men are still sinful in part, and that 
their hearts are naturally deceitful, and desperately wicked, as 
well as others ? And this being but imperfectly cured, so far 
as they are fleshly, the fruits of the flesh will appear in them ; 
which are, strife, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, seditions, 
heresies, envyings, &c. (Gal. v. 19 — 21.) So far, the best is a 
brier, and the most upright of them sharper than a thorny hedge : 
learn, therefore, a better use from the prophet : " Trust not too 
much in a friend, nor put confidence in a guide ; keep the doors 
of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom, Sec. But look 
rather for the Lord, and wait for the God of thy salvation." (Mi- 
cah vii. 4 — 7.) It is likely thou hast given that love and trust 
to saints, which were due only to God, or which thou hast 
denied him, and then no wonder if he chastise thee by them. 
If we would use our friends as friends, God would make them 
our helps and comforts ; but when once we make them our 
gods, by excessive love, delight, and trust, then he suffers them 
to prove Satans to us, and to be our accusers and tormentors. 
It is more safe to me to have any creature a Satan than a God ; to 
be tormented by them, than to idolize them.'' Or perhaps the 
observation of the excellency of grace hath made thee forget the 
vileness of nature ; and therefore God will have thee take notice 
of both. Many are tender of giving too much to the dead 
saints, that yet give too much to the living without scruple. 
Till thou hast learned to suffer from a saint, as well as from the 
wicked, and to be abused by the godly as well as the ungodly, 

injuiiam. Quare fers segri rabiem et phrenetici verba? Nempc quia viden* 
tur nescire quid faciunt. Quid interest, quo quisque vitio fiat imprudens ? —  
Seneca de Ira, lib. iii. c. 26. 

'' Si amici omnes te desererent, memento, solus non est cui Christus in fuga 
comes. Solus non est qui templum Dei servans, ubicumque fuerit, sine Deo 
non est ; ut Cypr. Epist. Ivi. p. (mihi) 154 ; John xiv. 27 ; xiii. 34, 35, and xv. 
12, 17; Matt. xxii. 37, .39; IJohn iii. 11, 14,17, 18, 23, and iv. 7, 11, 12,20, 
21, &c.; Acts XV. 38, 39 i 2 Chron.xvi. 10,and xvi. 17} Psalm xli. 8, 9. Read 
Psalm Iv. 12—14. 


never look to live a contented or comfortable life, nor ever 
think thou hast truly learned the art of suffering. Do not think 
that 1 vilify the saints too much in so saying : I confess, it is a 
pity that saints should suffer from saints ; and it is quite con- 
trarv to their holv nature, and their Master's laws, who hath 
left them his peace, and made love to be the character of his 
disciples, and to be the first and great and new command- 
ment; and 1 know that there is much difference between them 
and the world in this point ; but yet, as I said, they are saints 
but in part, and therefore Paul and Barnabas may so fall out, 
as to part asunder, and upright Asa may imprison the prophet, 
call it persecution or what you please : Joseph's brethren, that 
cast him into a pit, and sold him to strangers for a slave, I hope 
were not all ungodly ; Job's wife and friends were sad com- 
forters ; David's enemy was his familiar friend, with whom he 
had taken sweet counsel, and they had gone up together to the 
house of God. And know also that thy own nature is as bad 
as theirs, and thou art as likely thyself to be a grief to others. 
Can such ulcerous, leperous sinners, as the best are, live toge- 
ther, and not infect and molest each other with the smell of 
their sores ? ^ Why, if thou be a Christian, thou art a daily 
trouble to thyself, and art molested more with thy own corrup- 
tions than with any man's else : and dost thou take it so hei- 
nously to be molested with the frailties of others, when thou 
canst not forbear doing more against thyself ? For my 
part, for all our graces, I rather admire at that wisdom and 
goodness of God, that maintains the order and union we have 
amongst us ; and that he suffereth us not to be still one an- 
other's executioners, and to lay violent hands on ourselves and 
each other, 1 dare not think that there is no one gracious that 
hath laboured to destroy others that were so in these late dis- 
sensions. Sirs, you do not half know yet the mortal wickedness 

' Iniquus est qui commune vitium singulis ohjicit. Non est^thiopis inter 
suos insignitus color. Nihil in uno judicabis notabilc, aut fa'dum, quod genti 
sute publicum est. Quanto in his justior venia est, (jua^ per totuni genus hu- 
manuni vulgata sunt ? Omues inconsulti et improvidi sumus, omncs incerti, 
queruli, ambitiosi. Ouid lenioribus verbis ulcus publicum abscondo ? Omues 
mail sumus. (juicquid itaque in alio reprehenditur, id unusquisque in suo 
sinu invenit. Mali inter malos vivimus. Una res nos I'acere potest (juietoi, 
inutuas t'acilitalis convcntio.— 5fr<ec. de Ira, lib. iii. c. 26. Multum temporis 
ultio ab>umit. Multis pc injuriis objicit, dum una dolet. Diutius irascimur 
omues quam l.-edimur. (juauto melius est, abire in diversum, nee vitia vitiis 
componere ? Numquis satis constare sibi vidcatur, si mulam calcibus repetai, 
et cantm morsu i — Hawc, ibid. c. 27. 

70 THE saint's 

of depraved nature. If the best were not more beholden to the 
grace of God without them, than to the habitual grace within 
them, you should soon see " that men of low degree are vanity, 
and men of high degree are a lie ; to be put in the balance, 
they are lighter than vanity itself." (Psal. Ixii. 7 — 9.) "For 
what is man, that he should be clean ; and he that is born of 
a woman, that he should be righteous ? Behold he putteth no 
trust in his saints, and the heavens are not clean in his sight : 
how much more abominable and filthy is man, that drinketh up 
iniquity like water !" (Job xv. 14 — 16.) 

Object. 5. Oh, but if I had that consolation which you say 
God reserveth for our suffering times, I should suffer more con- 
tentedly ; but I do not perceive any such thing. 

Answ. 1. The more you suffer for righteousness' sake, the 
more of this blessing you may expect ; and the more you suffer 
for your own evil doing, the longer you must look to stay till 
that sweetness come.™ When we have by our follv provoked 
God to chastise us, shall we presently look that he should fill us 
with comfort? That were, as Mr. Paul Bayn saith, " to make 
affliction to be no affliction." What good would the bitterness 
do us if it be presently drowned in that sweetness ? It is well 
in such sufferings if you have but supporting grace, and your 
sufferings sanctified to work out your sin, and bring you to God. 

2. Do you not neglect or resist the comforts which you de- 
sire ? God hath filled precepts, and promises, and other of his 
providences, with matter of comfort j if you will overlook all 
these, and make nothing of them, and pore all upon your suffer- 
ings, and observe one cross more than a thousand mercies, who 
maketh you uncomfortable but yourselves ? If you resolve that 
you will not be comfortable jjs long as any thing aileth your 
flesh, you may stay till death before you have comfort. 

3. Have your afflictions wrought kindly with you, and fitted 
you for comfort ?° Have they humbled you, and brought you to 
a faithful confession and reformation of your beloved sins ; and 
made you set close to your neglected duties ; and weaned your 
hearts from their former idols ; and brought them unfeignedly 
to take God for their portion and their rest ? If this be not 

■n Nemo illic (viz. inter maleficos) Christianus nisi plane tantum Chiis- 
tianus. Aut si et aliud, jam non Christianus. — Tert. Jpol. c. 44. 

" We len',nhen our miseries by shortening of our duties; and the Lord 
keeps aloof from us, because we lie aloof from him.— ;)//•. Fines on Numb. 
xiv. 24. p. 23. 


done, how can you expect comfort ? Should God bind up the 
sore while it festereth at the bottom ? it is not mere suffering 
that prepares you for comfort, but the success and fruit of suf- 
fering upon your hearts. 

I shall sav no more on this subject of afflictions, because so 
many have written on it already, among which I desire you es- 
pecially to read Mr. Bayn's letters, and Mr. Hughes* 'Dry 
Rod Blooming and Fruit-bearing,' and Young's ' Counter- 


Use V. — A?i Exhortation to those that have got Assurance of 
this Rest, or Title to it, that they ivould do all that theij 
possibly can to help others to it also. 

Sect. I. Hath God set before us such a glorious prize as 
this everlasting rest of the saints is, and hath he made man 
capable of such an inconceivable happiness ? Why then do 
not all the children of this kingdom bestir themselves more 
to help others to the enjoyment of it ? Alas, how little are poor 
souls about us beholden to the most of us ! We see the glory 
of the kingdom, and they do not; we see the misery and tor- 
ment of those that miss of it, and they do not ; we see them 
wandering quite out of the way, and know if they hold on they 
can never come there, and they discern not this themselves." 
And yet we will not set upon them seriously, and show them 
their danger and error, and help to bring them into the way that 
they may live. Alas, how iew Christians are there to be found 
that live as men that are made to do good, and that set them- 
selves with all their might to the saving of souls I No thanks to 
us if heaven be not empty, and if the souls of our brethren perish 
not for ever. 

But because this is a duty which so many neglect, and so few 
are convinced that God doth expect it at their hands, and yet 
a duty of so high a concernment to the glory of God, and the 
happiness of men, I will speak of it somewhat the more largely, 
and show you, 1. Wherein it doth consist, and how to be done. 
2. What is the cause that it is so neglected. 3. And then give 

«> Read Mr. Al. Lapthorn's book called ' Spiritual Alms.'^ 



some considerations, to persuade you to the performance of it, 
and others to the bearing of it. 4. And lastly, apply this more 
particularly to some persons whom it doth nearly concern. Of 
all these in order. 

Sect. II. 1. I would have you, therefore, well understand 
what is this work which I am persuading you to : know, then, 
on the negative, I. It is not to invade the office of the ministry, 
and every man to turn a public preacher : I would not have you 
go beyond the bounds of your callings. We see, by daily ex- 
perience, what fruits those men's teachings do bring forth, 
who run uncalled and thrust themselves into the place of pub- 
lic teachers, thinking themselves the fittest for the work, in the 
pride of their hearts, while they had need to be taught the very 
first principles of religion. How little doth God bless the la- 
bours of these self-conceited intruders 1 p 

Neither do I persuade you to a zealous promoting of factions 
and parties, and venting of uncertain opinions, which men's 
salvation is little concerned in. Alas, what advantage hath the 
devil lately got in the church by this imposture ! The time 
that should be employed in drawing men's souls from sin to 
Christ, is employed in drawing them to opinions and parties. 
When men are fallen in love with their own conceits, i and 
proudly think themselves the wisest, how] diligently do they 
labour to get them followers ! as if to make a man a proselyte 
to their opinions, were as happy a work as to convert him to 
Christ J and when they fall among the lighter, ignorant, un- 
sounder sort of professors, whose religion is all in their brain, 
and on their tongues, they seldom fail of their desired success. 
These men shall shortly know, that to bring a man to the know- 
ledge and love of Christ, is another kind of work, than to bring 
him to be baptised again ; or to be of such a church, or such a 
side. ' Unhappy are the souls that are taken in their snare ! 

P Si quis dicat quia infirmi hi sunt ergo tolerandi ; resp. cum Augustino. 
Noa negligendum esse Christum propter infirmum, cum iiifirmus diligendus 
sit propter Christum; danda potius est opera ut proficiant et firmiores evadant 
in Domino ; muniendi sunt ne seducantur ; monendi nequis prastextu infir- 
mitatis superbiae caruis indulgeat ; denique et ecclesiae interest, ut infirmi 
hene sentiant de suis doctoribus et pastoribus. — Boger. in Epist ante Anuot. 
in Grotii Piet. 

1 Beatusqui venas susurri divini percipit in silentio; quambonumutique est 
homini Dominum expectare ? — Unum cave; ne abundare incipias in sensu 
tuo, et velis plus sapere quani oportet sapere ; ne forte dum lucem sectaris, 
impingas in tenebras ; ilhidcnte tibi dcemonio meridiano. — Bern, Serni. 90. 

"■ Object. But why then do tlie most faithful, prudent, skilful members of 
the church turn to that side ? Ansvv. Who is it that thus speaks, that may 


who, when they have spent their lives in studying and contend- 
ing for the circumstantials of religion, which should have been 
spent in studying and loving the Lord Jesus, do in the end, 
reap an empty harvest suitable to their empty profession. 

3. Nor do I persuade you to speak against men's faults be- 
hind their backs, and be silent before their faces, as the common 
custom of the world is. To tell other men of their faults, tend- 
eth little to their reformation, if they hear it not themselves. 
To whisper out men's faults to others, as it comcth not from 
love, or from any honest principle, so usually doth it produce 
no good effect ; for if the party hear not of it, it cannot better 
him ; if he do, he will take it but as the reproach of an enemy, 
tending to disgrace him, and not as the faithful counsel of a 
friend, tending to recover him ; and as that which is spoken to 
make him odious, and not to make him virtuous. It tendeth not 
to provoke to godliness, but to raise contention ; for *' a whis- 
perer separateth the chiefest friends ;" (Prov. xvi. 28 ;) and how 
few shall we find that make conscience of this horrible sin, or 
that will confess it, and bewail it, when they are reprehended 
for it ! especially if men are speaking of their enemies, or those 
that have wronged them, or whom they suppose to have wrong- 
ed them ; or if it be of one that eclipseth their glory, (Gen. 
xxxi. 1; Psal. xli. 7,) or that standeth in the way of their gain 
or esteem ; or if it be one that differeth from them in judgment ; 
or of one that is commonly spoken against by others ; who is it 
that maketh any conscience of backbiting such as these ? And 
you shall ever observe, that the forwarder they are to backbit- 
ing, the more backward always to faithful admonishing; and 
none speak less of a man's faults to his face for his reformation, 
than those that speak most of them behind his back, to his 

not answer himself ? that they are to be esteemed neither prudent, nor faith- 
ful, nor skilful, whom heresies were able to change. And is that a wonder, 
that au approved man should after fall back ? Saul, who was better than 
others, was after by envy overturned. David, a good man after God's own 
heart, was after guilty of adultery and murder. Solomon, who was furnished 
with all grace and wisdom from God, was by womeu enticed to idolatry. It 
was reserved only for the Sou of God to be without sin. What, therefore, if a 
bishop, a deacon, a widow, a virgin, a teacher, a martyr, shall fall from the 
rule ? Shall we, therefore, judge heresies to be truth ? Do we judge of 
our belief by persons, or of persons by their belief.' No man is a wise man 
but the faithful ; and no man is greater than others, but a Christian ; ami no 
man is a Christian but he that perseveretli to the end. Thou, as a man, 
kuowest men's outside, and judgest what thou seest; and seestso far as thou 
hast eyes, &c. ; but God's eyes are high : the Lord kuoweth who are his.— . 
Tertul. de 2'ia:iscrij>t, c. 3. 

74 THE saint's 

defamation. If ill-will or envy lie at the heart, it maketh them 
cast forth disgracing speeches as oft as they can meet with such 
as themselves, who will hear and entertain them. Even as a 
corrupt humour in the stomach provoketh a man to vomit up 
all that he taketh, while itself remaineth, and continueth the 
disease. (1 Sam. xxii, 9; Dan. vi. 3; Rom. i. 29, 30 j John 
vii. 51.) It is Chrysostom's similitude.^ 

So far am I from persuading, therefore, to this preposterous 
course, that I would advise you to oppose it wherever you meet 
with it. See that you never hear a man speaking against his 
neighbour behind his back, without some special cause or call, 
but presently rebuke him ; ask him, whether he hath spoke those 
things in a way of love to his face : if he have not, ask him, 
how he dare to pervert God's prescribed order, wdio command- 
eth to rebuke our neighbour plainly, and to tell him his fault 
first in private, and then before witness, till he see whether he 
will be won or not; (Lev. xix. 17; Matt, xviii. 15, 17;) and 
how he dare do as he would not be done by. 

Sect. 111. The duty therefore that I would press yqu to, is 
of another nature, and it consisteth in these things following. 
1. That you get your hearts affected with the misery of your 
brethren's souls ; be compassionate toW'ards them ; yearn after 
their recovery to salvation : if you did earnestly long after their 
conversion, and your hearts were fully set to do them good, il 
would set you a work, and God would usually bless it.* 

2. Take all opportunities that you possibly can, to confer 
with them privately about their states, and to instruct and 
help them to the attaining of salvation. And lest you should 
not know how to manage this work, let me tell you more par- 

" NotandLim est quod arsjuendi verbum exigit delict^ explicationem et de- 
clarationeiu. Non dicit, Vade et vitupera ilium, sed (Argue). — Muse, in 
Matt, xviii. p. (niihi) 420. Most of us are very ready to suarl at the faults 
that are in another man's house, or, at least, secretly in our hearts to eensure 
them ; but they ihat will well instruct and order their nwn families, are very 
few. — Muse, in Malt. vii. torn. i. p. 1,54 ; Prov. xxv. 23. 

' There is more knowledge and diligence requisite to reduce an erroneous 
man to the truth, than a sinner to righteousness. For you may easily con- 
vince a sinner, because he cannot deny his sin ; hut it is a most difficult thing 
to convince the erroneous, because he will not acknowledge his error, nor en- 
dure to be taught, as we see in this our age. For here are many liinderances, 
to which is added a bitterness of spirit, which, while it continueth, will stop 
up the passage against all teaching. For who will suffer himself to be taught 
of that man whom he believes not, and whom he hateth and contemneth in his 
heart .' — Muse, in Matt. yn. p. 156. See next. in him directions how to deal 
•with the erroneous. 


ticularly what you are herein to do. 1. If it be an ignorant, 
carnal person that you have to deal with, who is an utter 
stranger to tlie mysteries of religion, and to the work of regen- 
eration on jiis own soul, the first thing vou have to do is, to 
acquaint him with these doctrines; labour to make him under- 
stand wherein man's chief haj)j)iness doth consist, and how far 
he was once possessed of it, and what law and covenant God 
then made with him, and how he broke it, and what penalty he 
incurred, and what misery he brought himself into thereby; 
teach him what need men had of a Redeemer, and how Christ 
in mercy did interpose and bear the penalty, and what covenant 
now he hath made with man, and on what terms only salvation 
is now to be attained, and what course Christ taketh to draw 
men to himself, and what are the riches and privileges that be- 
lievers have in him. 

If, when he understandeth these things, he be not moved by 
them, or if vou find that the stop lieth in his will and affections, 
and in the hardness of his heart, and in the interest that the 
flesh and the world have got in him, then show him the excel- 
lency of the glory which he neglecteth, and the intolcrableness 
of the loss of it, and the extremity and eternity of the torments 
of the damned, and how certainly they must endure tiiem, and 
how just it is for their wilful refusals of grace, and how heinous 
a sin it is to reject such free and abundant mercy, and to tread 
underfoot the blood of the covenant ; show him the certainty, 
nearness, and terrors of death and judgment, and the vanity of 
all things below which now he is taken up with, and how little 
they will bestead him in that time of his extremity; show him 
that by nature he himself is a child of wrath, an enemy to God, 
and by actual sin much more ; show him the vile and heinous 
nature of sin, the absolute necessity he standeth in of a Saviour, 
the freeness of the promise, the fulness of Christ, the sufficiency 
of his satisfaction, his readiness to receive all that are willing to 
be his; the authority and dominion which he hath purchased over 
us ; show him also the absolute necessity of regeneration, faith, 
and holiness of life, how impossible it is to have salvation by 
Christ without these, and what they are, and the true nature of 
them. If, when he understandeth all this, you find his soul en- 
thralled in presumption and false hopes, persuading himself that 
he is a true believer, and pardoned, and reconciled, and shall be 
saved bv Christ ; and all this u])on f;ilse grounds, or merely 
because he would have it so, which is a common case ; then 

76 TH£ saint's 

urge him hard to examine his state ; show him the necessity of 
trying, the danger of being deceived, the commonness and 
easiness of mistaking, through the deceitfulness of the heart, the 
extreme madness of putting it to a bhnd adventure, or of resting 
in negligent or wilful uncertainty; help him in trying himself; 
produce some undeniable evidences from Scripture ; ask him, 
whether these be in him or not ? whether ever he found such 
workings or dispositions in his heart ? urge him to a rational 
answer ; do not leave him till you have convinced him of his 
misery, and then seasonably and wisely show him the remedy. 
If he produce some common gifts, or duties, or work, know to 
what end he doth produce them ; if to join with Christ in com- 
posing him a righteousness, show him how vain and destructive 
they are ; if it be by way of evidence to prove his title to Christ, 
show him how far a common work may reach, and wherein the 
life of Christianity doth consist, and how far he must go fur- 
ther, if he will be Christ's disciple. In the mean time, that he 
be not discouraged with hearing of so high a measure, show him 
the way by which he must attain it ; be sure to draw him to the 
use of all means ; set him a hearing and reading of the word, 
calling upon God, accompanying the godly ; persuade him to 
leave his actual sin, and to get out of all ways of temptation, 
especially to forsake ungodly company, and to wait patiently on 
God in the use of means ; and show him the strong hopes that 
in so doing he may have of a blessing, this being the way that 
God will be found in. 

If you perceive him possessed with any prejudicate conceits 
against the godly, and the way of holiness, show him their false- 
hood, and with wisdom and meekness answer his objections. 

If he be addicted to delay the , duties he is convinced of, or 
laziness and stupidity to endanger his soul, then lay it on the 
more powerfully, and set home upon his heart the most pier- 
cing considerations, and labour to fasten them as thorns in his 
conscience, that he may find no ease or rest till he change his 

Sect. IV. But because in all works the manner of doing them 
is of greatest moment, and the right performance doth much 
further the success," I will here adjoin a few directions, which 
you must be sure to observe in this work of exhortation, for it is 
not every advice that usetli to succeed, nor any manner of 

" Sicut scopiis medicorum est sanitas corporum ; ita Christianorum sanitas 
animaium, — Muse, in Matt. vii. torn. i. p. 155. 


doing it that will serve the turn. Observe, therefore, these 
rules : 

1. Set upon the work sincerely, and with right intentions. 
Let thy ends be the glory of God in the party's salvation. Do 
it not to get a name or esteem to thyself, or to bring men to 
depend upon thee, or to get thee followers; do not, as many 
carnal parents and masters will do, viz., rebuke their children and 
servants for those sins that displease them, and are against their 
profit, or their humours : as, disobedience, unthriftiness, un- 
mannerliness, &c., and labour much to reform them in these, 
but never seek in the right way that God hath appointed to save 
their souls ; but'be sure the main end be to recover them from 
misery, and bring them into the way of eternal rest. We have 
many reprovers, but the manner shows too plainly that there 
are few sincere. Pride bids men reprove others, to manifest a 
high estimation of themselves ; and they obey ; and proudly, 
censoriously, and contemptuously they do it. Passion bids them 
reprove, and passionately they do it. But it is those that do it 
in compassion and tender love to men's souls, who do it in obe- 
dience to Christ, the most tender, compassionate lover of souls, 
and who imitate him in their measure and place, who came to 
seek and to save that which was lost. 

Sect. V. 2. Do it speedily : as you would not have them 
delay their returning, so do not you delay to seek their return. 
You are purposing long to speak to such an ignorant neighbour, 
and to deal with such a scandalous sinner, and yet you have 
never done it. Alas ! he runs on the score all this while ; he 
goes deeper in debt ; wrath is heaping up ; sin taketh rooting ; 
custom doth more fasten him ; engagements to sin grow stronger 
and more numerous ; conscience grows seared ; the heart grows 
hardened : while you delay, the devil rules and rejoiceth ; Christ 
is shut out ; the Spirit is repulsed ; God is daily dishonoured, 
his law is violated, he is without a servant, and that service 
from him which he should have ; the soul continues in a dole- 
ful state ; time runs on; the day of visitation hasteth away; 
death and judgment are even at the door; and what, if the 
man die and miss of heaven, while you are purposing to teach 
him and help him to it ? what, if he drop into hell while you 
are purposing to prevent it? If in case of his bodily distress, 
you must not bid him go, and come again to-morrow, when you 
have it by you, and he is in want, (Prov. iii. 27, 28,) how 
much less may you delay the succour of his soul ! If once death 

78 THE saint's 

snatch him a\vay, he is then out of the reach of your charity. 
That physician is no hetter than a murderer, that negligently 
delayeth till his patient be dead or past cure. Delay in duty is 
a great degree of disobedience, though you afterwards perform 
it : it shows an ill heart, that is Indisposed to the work. Oh, how 
many a poor sinner perisheth, or grows rooted, and next to in- 
curable in sin, while we are proposing to seek their recovery 1 
Opportunities last not always. When thou hearest that the 
sinner is dead, or removed, or grown obstinate, will not con- 
science say to thee, ' How knowest thou but thou mightest have 
prevented the damnation of a soul ?' Lay by thy excuses then, 
and all lesser business, and obey God's command, "Exhort 
one another daily, while it is called to-day, lest any one be 
hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Heb. iii. 13.) 

Sect. VI. 3. Let thy exhortation proceed from compassion 
and love, and let the manner of it clearly show the person thou 
dealest with, that it hence proceedeth. ^ It is not jeering, 
or scorning, or reproaching a man for his faults, that is a likely 
way to work his reformation ; nor is it the right way to convert 
him to God, to rail at him, and vilify him with words of dis- 
grace. Alen will take them for their enemies that thus deal 
with them : and the words of an enemy are little persuading. 
Lay by your passion, therefore, and take up compassion, and go 
to poor sinners with tears in yom- eyes, that they may see you 
indeed believe them to be miserable, and that you do unfeigned- 
ly pity their case ; deal with them with earnest, humble en- 
treatings ; let them see that your very bowels do yearn over 
them, and tiiat it is the very desire of your hearts to do them 

^ That we must deal peritly with sinners, you may discern in the nature of 
true righteousness, which hath compassion io it, and not disdain. Of which 
we have no such clear and potent exampl^ as in Christ, who dealt with sin- 
ners so very gently, that the Pharisees called him, " a companion of sinners." 
— Muse, in Matt. vii. p. 156. Est enim generosus hominis animus magisque 
ducitur quani trahitur ; ex quo in promptu est cognoscere, qua sint alii man- 
suetudine tractandi, si quidem salutem eorum ex animo quseramus. — Muse. 
ibid. He that will instruct an erroneous man, must above all see that he 
win his heart by much mildness, and by good turns; and when his heart is 
appeased, he «ill begin to lend his ear to be taught ; which if it be not done, 
all your labour to open his understanding by disj)utation is in vain; for he 
will not only not hear you, but what he doth hear he will interpret the wrong- 
way, according to the corruption of his own heart. For if disputations would 
serve to cure the erroneous, and to their perceiving of the truth, who can deny 
but there is so much writing long ago of most points, that no man could now 
be ignorant of the truth .' But the reason that most are in error, is, because 
that in bitterness of their hearts ihey either weigh not what is' said and writ- 
ten, or take them iu the wrong way. — Muse, in Matt. vii. p. 157, 


good ; let them perceive that you have no other end but the 
procuring of their everlasting happiness; and that it is your 
sense of their danger, and your love to their souls, that forced 
you to speak, even because you knew the terrors of the Lord, 
and for fear lest you should see them in eternal torments ; say 
to them, ' ^^'hy, friend, you know it is no advantage of my own 
that I seek. The way to please you, and to keep your friend- 
ship, were to soothe you in your way, or to speak well of you, or 
to let you alone, but love will not suffer me to see you perish, 
and be silent; I seek nothing at your hands, but that which is 
necessary to your own happiness ; it is yourself that will have 
the gain and comfort if you come in to Christ,' Sec. If men 
would thus go to every ignorant, wicked neighbour they have, and 
thus deal with them, oh, what blessed fruit should we quickly see 1 
I am ashamed to hear some lazy, hypocritical wretches, to revile 
their poor, ignorant neighbours, and separat:; from their company 
and communion, and proudly to judge them unfit for their 
society, before ever they once tried with them this compassion- 
ate exhortation. Oh, you little know what a prevailing course 
this were like to prove I and how few of the vilest drunkards or 
swearers would prove so obstinate, as wholly to reject or despise 
the exhortations of love ! I know it must be God that must 
change men's hearts, but I know also that God worketh by 
means, and when he meaneth to prevail with men, he usually 
fitteth the means accordingly, and stirreth up men to plead with 
them in a prevailing way, and so setteth in with his grace, and 
maketh it successful. Certainly, those that have tried, can tell 
you by experience, that there is no way so prevailing with men 
as the way of compassion and love. So much of these as they 
discern in your exhortation, usually, so much doth it succeed 
with their iieart ; and, therefore, I beseech those that are faith- 
ful to practise this course. Alas ! we see the most godly people 
among us, or at least those that would seem most godly, cannot 
bear a reproof that comes not in meekness and in love ; if there 
be the least bitterness of passion, or relish of disgrace in it, they 
are ready to spit it out in your face ; yea, if you do not so sugar 
your reproof with fair words, that it be liker to flattery than 
plain dealing, or liker a commendation than a reproof, they 
cannot well digest it, but their heart will rise up against you, 
instead of a thankful submission and a reformation ; if it savour 
not liker to food than physic, it will hardly down with them, or 
they will soon vomit it up. What should we flatter one anotlicr 

80 THE saint's 

for ? It is now no time to flatter professors, when their sins 
have broke forth more shamefully than ever in the world ; for 
my part, the most of them that I have been acquainted with yet 
are such. I meet not with one of a multitude that seem the 
most godly, but this is their very case ; such heinous pride re- 
maineth in the best. And do you expect then, that poor, 
ignorant, carnal sinners, should take that well that professors 
cannot endure ; and should drink in those bitter reproofs as a 
pleasajit draught, which you can scarcely pour into professors as 
a drench ? Can you look that the same dealing should be saving 
to them, which you find to be exasperating and distempering to 
yourselves ? Oh, that it were not too evident that the Pharisee 
is yet alive in the breasts of many thousands, that seem most 
religious, even in this one point of bearing plain and sharp re- 
proof ! They bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and 
lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move 
them with one of their fingers. (Matt, xxiii. 4.) So far are 
they from doing, in this, as they would be done by. 

Sect. VII. 4. Another direction I would give you, is this : 
Do it with all possible plainness and faithfulness ; ^ do not daub 
with men, and hide from them their misery or danger, or any 
part of it J do not make their sins less than they are, nor speak 
of them in an extenuating language ; do not encourage them in 
a false liope or faith, any more than you would discourage the 
sound hopes of the righteous. If you see his case dangerous, 
tell him plainly of it : ' Neighbour, I am afraid God hath not 
yet renewed your soul, and that it is yet a stranger to the great 
work of regeneration and sanctification ; I doubt you are not 
yet recovered from the power of Satan to God, nor brought out 
of the state of wrath, which you were born in, and have lived 
in ; I doubt you have not chosfen Christ above all, nor set your 
heart upon him, nor unfeignedly taken him for your sovereign 
Lord. If you had, sure you durst not so easily disobey him; 
you could not so neglect him and his worship in your family 
and in public ; you could not so eagerly follow the world, and 
talk of almost nothing but the things of this world, while 
Christ is seldom mentioned or sought after by you. If you were 

y Charity hath its sharpness or austerity too, as appears in Christ himself. 
For it was hard which he said to Peter, " Get thee behind me, Satan; for 
thou savourest not the things of God, but of men." But this was only then, 
and to those, where he knew austerity was profitable and necessary. — Muse, 
iuMatt. vii, p. 156. 


in Christ, you would be a new creature; old things would be 
passed away, and all things would become new ; you would 
have new thoughts, and new talk, and new company, and new 
endeavours, and a new conversation : certainly, without these 
you can never be saved. You may think otherwise, and hope 
better as long as you will, but your hopes will deceive you, and 
perish with you. Alas ! it is not as you will, nor as I will, who 
shall be saved, but it is as God will ; and God hath told us, 
" that without holiness none shall see him ;" and " except we 
be born again, we cannot enter into his kingdom ;" and " that 
all that would not have Christ reign over them, shall be brought 
forth and destroyed before him." (Heb. xii. 14; John iii. 3; 
Luke xix. 27.) Oh ! therefore look to your state in time. 
Thus must you deal roundly and faithfully with men, if 
ever you intend to do them good ; it is not hovering at a dis- 
tance in a general discourse, that will serve the turn ; it is not 
in curingmen's souls, as in curing their bodies, where they must 
not know their danger, lest it sadden them, and hinder the cure. 
They are here agents in their own cure, and if they know not 
their misery, they will never bewail it, nor know how much 
need they have of a Saviour. If they know not the worst, they 
will not labour to prevent it, but will sit still, or loiter till they 
drop into perdition, and will trifle out their time in delays till it 
be too late ; and, therefore, speak to men, as Christ to the 
Pharisees, till they knew that he meant them : deal plainly, or 
you do but deceive and destroy them. 

Sect. VIII. 5. And as you must do it plainlv, so also, seri- 
ously, zealously, and effectually. The exceeding stupidity and 
deadness of men's hearts is such, that no other dealing will or- 
dinarily work. You must call loud to awaken a man in a swoon 
or lethargy. If you speak to the common sort of men of the 
evil of their sin, of their need of Christ, of the danger of their 
souls, and of the necessity of regeneration, they will wearily 
and unwillingly give you the hearing, and put off all with a 
sigh, or a few good wishes, and say, ' God forgive us, we are all 
sinners,' and there is an end.^ If ever you will do them good, 

* How zealously should we deal with open wicked ones, when Paul did so 
openly reprehend even Peterhiuiself for dissiin\ilation, and leave his sin andthe 
reproof on sacred record ! I know what Jerome saith of this against Au£;us- 
tine, as all that know their works know. But that Augustine had the better 
cause, not only the former exposition of Anibros. in Gal. ii., and ("yprian. 
Epist. 71. ad (^uii'tum, 'I'crt. i. de Prtescript. c. 23. et cont. Marcion. lib. iv. 
c. 3. <S:c. show, but the plaiu text itself; as even Suarcz himself is forced to 

VOL. XXI 11. G 

82 THE saint's 

therefore, you must sharpen your exhortation, and feet it home, 
and follow it with their hearts, till you have roused them up, 
and made them begin to look about them. Let them know that 
thou speakest no tto them of indifferent things, nor about chil- 
dren's games, or worldlings' vanities, or matters of a few days 
or years' continuance, nor yet about matters of uncertainty, 
which perhaps may never come to pass ; but it is about the saving 
and damning of their souls and bodies, and whether they shall 
be blessed with Christ or tormented with devils, and that for 
ever and ever without any change; it is how to stand before 
God in judgment, and what answer to give, and how they are 
like to speed : and this judgment and eternal state they shall 
very shortly see, they are almost at it, yet a few more nights 
and days, and they shall presently be at that last day ; a few 
more breaths they have to breathe, and they shall breathe out 
their last, and then as certainly shall they see that mighty 
change, as the heaven is over their heads, and the earth under 
their feet. O labour to make men know that it is mad jesting 
about salvation or damnation, and that heaven and hell be not 
matters to be played with, or passed over with a few careless 
thoughts. It is most certain that one of these days thou shalt 
be either in everlasting, unchangeable joy or torments; and doth 
it not awake thee ? Is there so few that find the way of 
life, so many that go the way of death ? Is it so hard to escape, 
so easy to miscarry ? and that while we fear nothing but think 
all is well ; and yet you sit still and trifle ; why what do you 
mean ? What do you think on ? The world is passing away; 
its pleasures are fading ; its honours are leaving you ; its profits 
will prove unprofitable to you ; heaven or hell are a little before 
you ; God is just and jealous^; his threatenings are true ; the 
great day of his judgement will be terrible ; your time runs on ; 
your lives are uncertain ; you are far behindhand ; you have 
loitered long ; your case is dangerous ; your souls are far gone 
in sin ; you are strange to God ; you are hardened in evil cus- 
toms; you have no assurance of pardon to show; if you die to- 
morrow, how unready are you, and with what terror will your 
souls go out of your bodies I and do you yet loiter for all this ? 
why, consider with yourselves : God standeth all this while 

confess, and most of the moderns with him, as he there saith, though in par- 
tiality to Peter he maketh a long stir to excuse him, even from all fault : 
■which 1 dare say Peter would not do himself, if he were to speak his own case. 
—See Suarez de Legibus, lib. ix, de LegeJJlvin.jJosit. c. xx, pp. 7^2 — 794, &c. 


waiting your leisure : his patience beareth, his justice forbear- 
eth J his mercy entreateth you ; Christ standcth offering you his 
blood and his merits; you may have him freely, and life with 
him ; the Sj)irit is persuading you ; conscience is accusing and 
urging you ; ministers are praying for you, and calling U|)on you ; 
Satan stands waiting, when justice shall cut off vour lives, that 
he may have you : this is your time : now or never. What ! 
had you rather lose heaven than your profits or i)leasures ? Had 
you rather burn in hell than repent on earth ? Had you rather 
howl and roar there, than pray day and night for mercy here ? 
Or to have devils your tormentors, than to have Christ your go- 
vernor ? Will you renounce your part in God and glory, rather 
than renounce your cursed sins ? Do you think a holy life too 
much for heaven, or too dear a course to prevent an endless 
misery ? O friends, what do you think of these things ? God 
hath made you men, and endued you with reason, do you re- 
nounce your reason where you should chieflv use it ? In this 
manner you must deal roundly and seriously with men. Alas ! 
it is not a few dull words, between jest and earnest, between 
sleep and waking, as it were, that will waken an ignorant, dead- 
hearted sinner. W^hen a dull hearer and a dull speaker meet 
together, a dead heart and a dead exhortation, it is far unlike 
to have a lively effect. If a man fall down in a swoon, you will 
not stand trifling with him, but lay hands on him presently, and 
snatch him up, and rub him, and call aloud to him ; if a house 
be on fire, you will not in a cold affected strain'go tell your 
neighbour of it, nor go make an oration of the nature and danger 
of fire ; but you will run out, and cry, ' Fire, fire.' Matters of 
moment must be seriously dealt with. To tell a man of his sins 
as softly as Eli did his sons, reprove him so gently as Jehosa- 
phat did Ahab, " Let not the king say so," doth usually as 
much harm as good. (1 Sam. xxiii.; 1 Kings xxii. 8.) I am 
persuaded the very manner of some men's reproof and exhorta- 
tion, hath hardened many a sinner in the way of destruction. 
To tell them of sin, or of heaven, or hell, in a dull, easy, careless 
language, doth make men think you are not in good sadness, nor 
do mean as you speak ; but cither you scarce think yourselves 
such things are true, or else you take them in such a slight and 
indifferent manner. O sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of 
heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest. I 
confess, I have failed much in this myself; the Lord lay it not 
to my charge. Lothncss to displease men, makes us undo them. 


84 THE saint's 

Sect. IX. 6. Yet, lest you run into extremes, 1 advise you to 
do it with prudence and discretion. Be as serious as you can ; 
but yet with wisdom. And especially you must be wise in 
these things following : 

1. In choosing the fittest season for your exhortation, not to 
deal with men when they are in passion, or drink, or in public 
where they will take it for a disgrace. Men should observe 
when sinners are fittest to hear instructions. Physic must not 
be given at all times, but in season. Opportunity advantageth 
every work. It is an excellent example that Paul giveth us 
Gal. ii. 2. He communicateth the Gospel to them, yet pri- 
vately to them of reputation, lest he should run in vain. Some 
men would take this to be a sinful complying with their cor- 
ruption, to yield so far to their pride and bashfulness, as to teach 
them only in private, because they would be ashamed to own 
the truth in public. But Paul knew how great a hinderance 
men's reputation is to their entertaining of the truth, and that 
the remedy must not only be fitted to the disease, but also to 
the strength of the patient, and that in so doing, the physician 
is not guilty of favouring the disease, but is praiseworthy for 
taking the right way to cure it ; and that learners and young 
beginners must not be dealt with as open professors. Moreover, 
means will work easily if you take the opportunity ; when the 
earth is soft, the plough will enter. Take a man when he is 
under affliction, or in the house of mourning, or newly stirred 
by some moving sermon, and then set it home, and you may do 
him good. Christian faithfulness doth require us, not only to 
do good when it falls in our way, but to watch for opportunities 
of doing good.^ 

2. Be wise also in suiting 'your exhortation to the quality 
and temper of the person. All meats are not for all stomachs : 
one man will vomit that up again in your face, which another 
will digest. 1. If it be a learned, or ingenious, rational man, 
you must deal more by convincing arguments, and less by pas- 
sionate persuasions. 2. If it be one that is both ignorant and 
stupid, there is need of both. .3. If one that is convinced, but 
yet is not converted, you must use most those means that rouse 

» Junius writes, in the history of his own life, how his father, seeing him 
infected with atheism, did not chide him, or dispute against him, but re- 
pressed his rashness with holy, grave, reverent speeches, and laid open the 
Bible in Ills chamber; and he addeth, Sciebat enim vir sapientissimus non 
intrudi pietatem, sed instillari meutibus ; non impingi, sed infundi: nou ioi" 
perari, sed doc^ri ; uoii cogi, sed suaderi velle. 


up the affections, 4. If tliey be obstinate and secure, you must 
reprove them sharply. 5. If they be of timorous, tender 
natures, and apt to dejections or distractions, they must be ten- 
derly dealt with. All cannot bear that rough dealing as some 
can. Love, and plainness, and seriousness, take with all : but 
words of terror some can scarce bear. This is (as we say of 
stronger physic, ' hellebore, coUoquintida, &,"c. et nee puero, nee 
seni, nee imbecillo, sed robusto,' &c.) not fit for every complexion 
and state.'' 

3. You must be wise also in using the aptest expressions. 
Many a minister doth deliver most excellent, necessary matter 
in such unsavoury, harsh, and unseeming language, that it makes 
the hearers loathe the food that they should live by, and laugh 
at a sermon that might make them quake : especially if they be 
men of curious ears and carnal hearts, and have more common 
wit and parts than the speaker. And so it is in private exhor- 
tation as well as public : if you clothe the most amiable, beau- 
tiful truth in the sordid rags of unbeseeming language, you will 
make men disdain it as monstrous and deformed, though it be 
the offspring of God, and of the highest nature. 

Sect. X. 7. Let all your reproofs and exhortations be backed 
with the authority of God. Let the sinner be convinced that 
you speidc not from yourselves, or of your own head. Show 
them the very words of Scripture for what you say.*^ Turn them 
to the verv chapter and verse where the sin is condemned and 
where the duty is commanded. Press them with the truth and 
authority of God. Ask tiiem whether they believe that this is 
his word, and that his word is true. So much of God as ap- 

'> Siquis de scripturce, mente non satis iiifunuatus, bono tanicn aiiiino ad 
Deum contenderit, etiam de eu lietaiiduni est, quod prucurat buiio aiiimo, 
quamvis non procuret bonuin. Foveri oportet quod bonuin est, erroreiu toUi ; 
at siquii ill medium producatur fretus sola uaturae luce, qui Deum requirat 
siraplice auimo : non temere depellendus de jjradu, sed solicite appellandus 
est, et umni uflicio ac potius pietate ad pietatis nutitiam perducendus : Ixtitia 
spiritualis de hoc hoiniiie capienda : neque solum ore et sermone testanda 
foris, sed ex corde et veritate intriusecus elFuudeuda. — Junius Irenic. torn. i. 
iu Psalm cxii. p. 690. 

c Ut drathmam auri sine imasfine principis, sic verba bortantis sine autbo- 
ritate Dei, coiitemuunt homines, &c. — Lijjsius. I conceive it much conducing 
that whatsoever touching the settlement of the church shall jiass your bauds, 
may, in the main i)arts thereof, go forth into the world seconded with the rea- 
sons and grounds of it : for, donhtless, the reason whicli moved you to set 
the stamp of authority uii it, will avail much to luA.t it pass currently with 
nthers. 'I'bough men will willingly be subjects to your authority ; yet also, 
as they are men, tliey will be slaves to reason. — J/r. / ines' Sii mou vn JunU' 
wry 28, 1GJ5, pp. 2y,'30. 

86 THE saint's 

peareth in our words, so much will they take. The voice of 
man is contemptible, but the voice of God is awful and terrible. 
They can and may reject your words^ they cannot dare reject 
the words of the Almighty. Be sure, therefore, to make them 
know that you speak nothing but what God hath spoken first. 

Sect. XI. 8. You must also be frequent with men in this duty 

of exhortation ; it is not once or twice that usually will prevail. 

If Godhimself m.ustbe constantly solicited, as if importunity could 

prevail with him when nothing else can, and therefore requires 

us always to pray, and not to wax faint, the same course, no 

doubt, will be most prevailing with men. Therefore, we are 

commanded " to exhort one another daily, and with all long 

suffering." As Lipsius saith, " The fire is not always brought 

out of the flint at one stroke ; nor men's affections kindled at 

the first exhortation." ^ And if they were, yet if they be not 

followed, they will soon grow cold again. Weary out sinners 

with your loving and earnest entreaties ; follow them, and give 

them no rest in their sin. This is true charity, and this is the 

way to save men's souls ; and a course that will afford you 

comfort upon review. 

Sect. XII. 9. Strive to bring all your exhortation to an issue; 
stick not in the work done, but look after the success, and aim 
at the end in all your speeches.^ I have long observed it in mi- 
nisters and private men, that if they speak ever so convincing 
and powerful words, and yet their hearts do not long after the 
success of them with the hearers, but all their care is over when 
they have done their speech, pretending that having done their 
duty, they leave the issue to God, these men do seldom prosper in 
their labours ; but those whose very heart is set upon the work, 
and that long to see it take foir the hearer's conversion, and use 
to inquire how it speeds, God usually blesseth their labours, 
though more weak. Labour, therefore, to drive all your 
speeches to the desired issue. If you are reproving a sin, cease 
not till (if it may be) you have got the sinner to promise you 
to leave it, and to avoid the occasions of it : if you are exhort- 
ing to a duty, urge the party to promise you presently to set 
upon it. If you would draw them to Christ, leave not till you 

ii L<ik.e xviii. 1; Heb. iii. 13; 2 Tim. iv. 3. Ut ignis ^ silice non uno 
ictu, &c. Si lieri posset, etiam ab ipsis iiiferis extraheudi nobis sunt homines. 
Calvin, in Acts viii. 22. 

" Hence we may g;ather that those men seek not the edification of their 
brother, who, when they have spoken to him once or twice, do think they 
have fully done their duty. — Muscul, in Matt. vii. torn. i. p. 155. 


have made tlieni confess that their present unrej^enerate state 
is miserable, and not to he rested in ; and till they have sub- 
scribed to the necessity of Christ, and of a change, and till they 
have promised you to fall close to the use of means. O that 
all Christians would be persuaded to take this course with all 
their neighbours that are yet in the flesh, that are enslaved to 
sin, and strangers to Christ ! 

Sect. XIII. 10. Lastly, Be sure that your examples may ex- 
hort as well as your words. ^ Let them see you constant in all 
the duties that you persuade them to : let them see in vour lives 
that dilFerence from sinners, and that excellency above the world, 
which you persuade them to in your speeches. Let them see 
by your constant labours for heaven, that you do indeed believe 
that which you would have them to believe. If you tell others 
of the admirable joys of heaven, and yourselves do nothing but 
drudge for the world, and are as much taken up in striving to 
be rich, or as quarrelsome with your neighbours in a case of 
commodity, as any others, who will then believe you ; or who 
will be persuaded by you to seek the everlasting riches ? Will 
they not rather think, that you persuade them to look after 
another world, and to neglect this, that so you might have the 
more of it to yourself ? Let not men see you proud, while you 
exhort them to be humble : nor to have a seared conscience in 
one thing, while you would have theirs tender in another. An in- 
nocent life is a continual, powerful reproof to the wicked : and 
the constant practice of a holy and heavenly life, is a constant 
dis(juietment to the conscience of a worldling, and a constant 
solicitation to him to change his course. 

And thus I have opened to you the first and great part of this 
duty, consisting in private, familiar exhortation, for the helping 
of poor souls to this rest, that are out of the way, and have yet 
no title to it ; and I have showed you also the manner how to 
perform it that you may succeed. I will now speak a little of 
the next part. 

Sect. XIV. Besides the duty of private admonition, you must 
do your utmost endeavours to help men to profit by the public 
ordinances. And to that end you must do these things. First, 

'Nee sic inflecterc sensas bumanos erlicta valent quam vita regentis. 
Primus jussa subi ; tunc observantior a;t|iii. Fit po])ulus. Loripidem rectus 
derideat, .Titbiopeiu albus. Quis tulerit Gracclios de seditioiie (jnoreiites? 
Si fur displiceat Verri, horaicida Miloni, &c. Si quis opprobhis dijjiiuui latra- 
verit integer ipse, &.c. 

88 THE saint's 

Do your endeavours for the procuring of faithful ministers where 
they are wanting.^ This is God's ordinary means of converting 
and saving. How shall they hear without a preacher ? Not 
only for your own sakes therefore, but for the poor miserable 
ones about you, do all you cati to bring this to pass. If the 
Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. Where vision 
faileth, the people perish. Improve, therefore, all your interest 
and diligence to this end. Ride, and go, and seek, and make 
friends, till you do prevail ; if means be wanting to maintain a 
minister, extend your purses to the utmost, rather than the 
means of men's salvation should be wanting. Who knoweth 
how many souls may bless you, who have been converted and 
saved by the ministry which you have procured ? It is a higher 
and nobler work of charity, than if you gave all that you have to 
relieve their bodies : though both must be regarded, yet the 
soul in the first place. What abundance of good might great 
men do in this, if they were faithful improvers of their interests 
and estates, as men that believe God hath the chief interest, and 
will shortly call them to an account for their stewardship ! What 
unhappy reformers hath the church still met withal, that instead 
of taking away the corruptions in the church, do diminish that 
maintenance which should further the work ! If our ignorant 
forefathers gave it for the service of the church, and their more 
knowing posterity do take it away, without the least pretence of 
right to it ; I doubt not but the pious intent of progenitors will 
more extenuate the fault of their ignorance, than the knowledge 
of their posterity will excuse their sacrilege. Alas, that the sad 
example of King Henry the Eighth's Reformation, and the almost 
miraculous consumption of the estates of impropriators,** and the 
many hundred congregations that live in woful darkness for want 
of maintenance for a ministrv, should vet be no more effectual 
a warning to this age 1 If they take away most, and give back 
a little, we are beholden to their bounty. If a corrupt officer 

s Rom. X. 14 ; 2 Cor. iv. 3 ; Prov. xxix. 18. By sleight or by force they so 
muzzle the poor labouring ox that they make an ass of him. — Thomas Scott, 
in his Projector, p. 31. Sacrilegio poena est ; neqne ei soli qui e sacro abstu- 
lei'.t, sed etiam ei qui sacro comineudatuni. — 6'ictvo, lib. xii. de leg. Cum 
diis pugnant sacrilegi. — (Ju. Citrtius, lib. vii. 

 Hath i!ot England already been as the eagle's uest that was set on fire 
with a coal that stuck to the flesh which was stolen from the altar.' De ec- 
clcsia qui aliquid (uratur Judte proditori comparatur. — yiug. in Johan. The 
aigumeiits useii of late to excuse this heinous iiu, are much of the nature of 
tho^-e which Dionysius was wont to use in the like case. Vid. in Valerii 
Maximi, lib. i. c. 2 ; et Justin, lib. xxii. 


lose his interest, the church doth not lose hers. Here is a great 
talk of reducing the church to the primitive pattern : if so, I 
dare affirm that every church must have many ministers. And 
they that know wherein the work of the ministry dotii consist, 
will no more wonder at that, than that a regiment of soldiers 
should have many officers. And how will that be, when they 
will scarcely afford maintenance for one ? •' They are likelier to 
bring the church to the primitive poverty, than to the primitive 
pattern. If I were not known to be quite beyond their excep- 
tions myself, I might not say so much, lest I were thought to 
plead my own interest ; especially a dying man should be out 
of the reach of such accusations. But the Lord knoweth, that 
it is not a desire that ministers should be rich, that maketh me 
speak this ; but earnest desire of the happiness of the church ; 
nor do 1 mean the ministry only by the word " church." It is 
the people that are robbed and bear the loss, more than the 
ministers : ministers must and will have maintenance, or else men 
will set their children to other studies ; when there is no other, 
the people must allow it themselves, or be without. What 
minister can well oversee, and watch over more than a thou- 
sand souls ? Nor I think so many. jMany congregations have 
four thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand, some fifty thou- 
sand, yea, seventy thousand. How many officers will the state 
maintain in an army of thirty thousand ? I had almost said, the 
work of governing the church is greater, and hath need of as 
many. 1 would all Scripture and primitive patterns were well 
viewed in this. O happy reformation, if able godly men were 
put in places, or in right offices, without such diminution of the 

•» To make up tliat number of ministers that the church should have, now 
the maintenance is taken away, I would rich men would study and enter iuto 
the ministry who can maintain themselves, and so do the work freely. Let 
tlitm know to their laces, that it is a work that the greatest lord in the land 
is not loo good for. See what Hierom saith ad Damasum : " Clericos illos 
convenit ecclesiae stipendiis sustentari, ((uibus parcntum el amicorum nulla 
suffragantur stipcndia. Qui autem houis pareutun* et opibus sustineri pos- 
sunt, si quod pauperum est, accipinnt, saciilegium prolecto incurruut, et 
committunt." And, besides, it would bear up the credit of the office, and 
take off much prejudice from the people. But our gentlemen generally have 
their pleasure, wealth, and honour, in such high esteem, and Christ and his 
Gospel and church in such disesteem, that they would take it for a disgrace to 
turn ministers, or to fit and devote themselves or children to it, and so to serve 
Clirist freely. Where is the gentleman in England that hath done thus? 
They will rail at ministers for covetousuess, because they will not serve at 
the altar, and not live on the altar, who have no other maintenance ; but 
when will themselves that have more, devote themselves freely to this work? 
Will they not rather increase their great estates with robbing God ? 

90 THE saint's 

number or the maintenance ! Or if a supply at present could not be 
had, yet should they not have overthrown the hopes of posterity. 
But to leave this digression, I hope those that God hath called 
to his work, will labour, nevertheless, for the shortness of their 
maintenance : and those of the people that can do no more, can 
yet pray the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth 
labourers. And he that hath put that petition into our mouths, 
I hope will put the answer into our hands. 

Sect. XV. 2. Yet it is not enough that you seek after teach- 
ers, but especially you must seek after such as are fitted for the 
work. An ignorant empiric that killeth more than he cureth, 
doth not so much differ from an able physician, as an unskilful 
minister from one that is able. Alas ! this is the great defect 
among us : men that are fitted for the work indeed, are most 
wonders; one, or two, or three, or four in some counties is much.^ 
How few that have dived into the mysteries of divinity ; or 
have thoroughly studied the most needful controversies ; or 
are able to explain or maintain the truth ! But only they store 
their memories with the opinions and phrases of those teachers 
that are in most credit, in common cases ; and then they think 
they are divines : and every man that steps out of their common 
road, they can say that he is erroneous or heretical ; but how to 
confute him they cannot tell. And almost as few that are well 
skilled in managing known truths upon the conscience. Alas ! 
whence cometh this misery to the church ? There is not a 
choice made of the most excellent wits, and those youths that 
are ripest in learning and religion : but some of them are so 
rich, that the ministry is too mean for them : and some so poor, 
that they have no maintenance to subsist on at the universities. 
And so every one that is best furnished to make a trade of the 
ministry, or whose parents have best aflfection to it, how unfit 

' Praesitlent nobis probati quique seniores, honorera istum non pretio sed 
testimonio adepti. — Tertul. Apolog. c. 29. He meiitioneth not two sorts of 
elders, but one, whose office lay chiefly in ruling or guiding, though all had 
authority to teach also. For God's sake, and the sake of poor souls, gentle- 
men, put this in practice presently. You will hardly lay out your estates in 
a way that will all'ord you more comfort at your accounting time? If you 
will not part with a little for God, you shall part with more to men ; and with 
all shortly, but less to your comfort. And be sure you choose the fittest, and 
not the most befriended. How far doth our charity come short of the primi- 
tive Christians, tiiough our riches be far greater ! TertuUian saith to heathens. 
Plus nostri misericordia insumit vicatim, quam religio vestra templatim. 
— Jpolog. adv. Gentes, c. 42. See Capel's Epistle Dedicatory before 'Mr. 
Penible on the Sacrament.* 



soever the child is, must be a minister : and those few, very few, 
choice wits that would be fittest, arc diverted. 

Haw small a matter were it, and yet how excellent a work, 
for every knight or gentleman of means in England, to cull out 
some one or two, or more poor boys in the country schools, who 
are of the choicest wits and most pious dispositions, who are poor 
and unable to proceed in learning, and to maintain them a few 
years in the universities, till they were fit for the ministry ! It 
were but keeping a few superfluous attendants the less, or a few 
liorses or dogs the less : if they had hearts to do it, it were 
easily spared out of their sports, or rich apparel, or superfluous 
diet ; or, what if it were out of more useful costs, or out of 
their children's larger portions ? I dare say they would not be 
sorry for it when they come to their reckoning. One sumptuous 
feast, or one costly suit of apparel, would maintain a poor boy 
a year or two at the university, who, perhaps, might come to 
have more true worth in him than many a glittering, sensual 
lord, and to do God more service in his church than ever they 
did with all their estates and power. 

Sect. XVI. 3. And when you do enjoy the blessing of the 
Gospel, you must yet use your utmost diligence to help poor 
souls to receive the fruit of it. To which end you must draw 
them constantly to hear and attend it. Mind them often of 
what they have heard : draw them, if it be possible, to repeat it 
in their families. If that cannot be, then draw them to come to 
others that do repeat it, that so it may not die in the hearing. 
The very drawing of men into the company and acquaintance 
of the godly,'^' besides the benefit they have by their endeavours, 
is of singular use to the recovery of their souls. Association 
breedeth familiarity, and familiarity breedeth love ; and fami- 
liarity and love to the godly, doth lead to familiarity and 
love to God and godliness. It is also a means to take 

•• This comiiij together of Christians is, indeed, unlawful, if to unlaw- 
ful ends, and, accordinicly, to be condemned. If any complain of it, as of 
faction, to whose hurt did we ever meet? We are the same together as we 
are asunder ; the same all in a hody as we are singularly; hurting no man, 
grieving no man. When honest aud good men come together, when godly 
and chaste people are assembled, it is not to be called a faction, but a court, 
liut, on the contrary, the name of faction is to be given to them who con- 
spire to|jcther in hatred of good and honest men; that cry out against the 
blood of the innocent ; pretending this vanity in defence of their hatred, that 
they think the Christians are the cause of every public calamity, and every 
loss of the people. — Tertul. /liwlog-. adv. Gcntes, c. 3'.», 40. 

92 THE saint's 

ofF prejudice, by confuting the world's slanders of the ways 
and people of God. Use, therefore, often to meet toge- 
ther, besides the more public meeting in the congregation : 
not to vent any unsound opinions, nor yet in distaste of the 
public meeting, nor in opposition to it, nor at the time of pub- 
lic worship, nor yet to make a groundless schism, or to sepa- 
rate from the church whereof you are members j nor to destroy 
the old that you may gather a new church out of its ruins, as 
long as it hath the essentials, and there is hope of reforming it; 
nor yet would I have you forward to vent your own supposed 
gifts and parts in teaching, where there is no necessity of it; 
nor to attempt that in the interpretation of difficult scriptures, 
or explication of difficult controversies, which is beyond your 
ability, though, perhaps, pride will tell you that you are as able 
as any. But the w'ork which I would have you meet about, is 
this, to repeat together the word which you have heard in 
public ; to pour out your joint prayers for the church and your- 
selves; to join in cheerful singing the praises of God; to open 
your scruples, and doubts, and fears, and get resolution; to 
quicken each other in love, and heavenliness, and holy walking ; 
and all this, not as a separated church, but as a part of the 
church more diligent than the rest in redeeming time, and help- 
ing the souls of each other heavenward. 

I know some careless ones think this course needless ; and I 
know some formalists do think it schismatical, who have no- 
thing of any moment to say against it. Against both these, if 
I durst so far digress, I could easily prove it warrantable and 
useful. I know also that many of late do abuse private meet- 
ings to schism, and to vilify God's ordinances, and vent the 
windy issue of their empty brains. But betwixt these extremes, 
I advise you to walk, and neither to " forsake the assembling of 
yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhort one 
another." (Heb. x. 25.) Nor yet to be "carried about with 
divers and strange doctrine :" but let all your private meetings 
be in subordination to the public, and by the approbation and 
consent of your spiritual guides, and not without them of your 
own heads, where such guides are men of knowledge and god- 
liness ; remembering them which have the rule over you, which 
speak to you the word of God, following their faith, and as 
men whose hearts are stablished with grace, considering the 
whole end of a Christian's conversation, Jesus Christ the same 
yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. (Heb. xiii. 7 — 9, 170 


"And 1 beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divi- 
sions and offences, contrary to the doctrine wi)ich you have 
learned, and avoid them : for they that are such, serve not our 
Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and l)y good words and 
fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom. xvi. 17, 
18.) I would you would ponder every one of these words, for 
they are the precious advice of the Spirit of God, and necessary 
now, as well as then. 

Sect. XVII. 4. One thing more I advise you concerning this. If 
vou would have souls converted and saved by the ordinances, la- 
bour still to keep the ordinances and ministry in esteem. No man 
will be much wrought on by that which he despiseth. The 
great causes of this contempt, are a perverted judgment and a 
graceless heart. It is no more wonder for a soul to loathe the 
ordinances, that savoureth not their spiritual nature, nor seeth 
God in them, nor is thoroughly wrought on by them, than it is 
for a sick man to loathe his food. Nor is it any wonder for a per- 
verted understanding to make a jest of God himself, much less 
to set light by his ordinances. Oh ! what a rare blessing is a 
clear, sound, sanctified judgment ! Where this is wanting, the 
most hellish vice may seem a virtue, and the most sacred ordi- 
nance of divine institution may seem as the waters of Jordan to 
Naaman. If anv enemies to God's ordinances assault you, I 
refer you to the reading of INlr. Henry Lawrence's late book for 

The profane scorners of the ministry and worship hereto- 
fore, were the means of keeping many a soul from heaven ; but 
the late generation of proud ignorant sectaries amongst us, have 
quite outstripped in this the vile persecutors.' O how many 
souls may curse these wretches in hell for ever, that have by 
them been brought to contemn the means that should save 
them ! By many years' experience in my conversing with these 
men, I can speak it knowingly, that the chiefest of their zeal is 

' To them that think I speak too harshly, I say as Dr. Sutlive, in ' Praefat. 
de Monachis coutra Bellarmiiuim :' " Res est plane ardua, de hoiuinum 
genere impudentissimo modeste ; de turpissimo et sceleratissiino modice et 
sine acerbitate loqui. Moderatus taraen sum ipse mihi, quantum licuit; et 
non quid ipsi de nobis meruerint, sed quid nostros homines deceat, spectavi." 
And let the greatest that are guilty read Cyprian's words, and tremble. What 
greater crime can there be, than to have stood up against Christ, in his 
officers and discipline; than to have scattered the church of Christ, which he 
hath purchased with his blood and built ; than to have foujjht, by the fury of 
hostile discord, against the unanimous and as^reeing people of God ? Who, 
though themselves should repent and return to the church, yet can they not 

94 THE saint's 

let out against the faithful ministers of Christ. He is the ablest 
of their preachers that can rail at them in the most devilish lan- 
guage. It is their most common discourse in all companies, 
both godly and profane, to vilify the ministry, and make them 
odious to all, partly by slanders, and partly by scorns. Is this 
the vi'ay to win souls? Whereas, formerly, they thought that if 
a man were won to a love of the ministry and ordinances, he 
was in a hopeful way of being won to God. Now these men 
are diligent to bring all men to scorn them, as if this were all 
that were necessary to the saving of their souls, and he only shall 
be happy that can deride at ministers and discipline."" If any 
man doubt of the truth of what I say, he is a stranger in 
England, and for his satisfaction, let him read all the books of 
Martin Mar-priest, and tell me whether the devil ever spoke so 
with a tongue of flesh before. For you, my dear friends, I 
acknowledge to God's praise, that you are as far from the 
contempt of ordinances or ministry, as any people I know in the 
land. I shall confirm you herein, not in my own words, but in 
his that I know you dare not disregard. (I Thes. v. 11 — 13.) 
*' Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one an- 
other, even as ye also do : and we beseech you, brethren, to know 
them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, 
and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for 
their works' sake, and be at peace among yourselves. Obey 
them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves^ for 
they watch for your souls, as those that must give an account, 
that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is 
unprofitable for you." (Heb. xiii. 17.) 

Thus you see part of your duty for the salvation of others. 

Sect. XVIII. And now, Christian reader, seeing it is a duty 
that God hath laid upon every man according to his ability, thus 

recover, and bring back with them those whom they have seduced, or those 
that, being by death prevented, are dead and perished without the church, 
without being absolved and restored to comrauiiion ; whose souls at the day 
of judgment shall be required at their hands, who were the authors and lead- 
ers of them to perdition. It is enough, therefore, that they are pardoned that 
return; but perfidiousness must not be promoted in the house of faith. For 
what privilege do we reserve for good men and innocent, and that separate 
not, or depart not from the church, if we honour them that have separated 
or departed from us, and have stood against the church. — Cyprian. Epist. 72. 
ad Steph. Thus this blessed martyr of separatists. 

™ Let those that are the chatf of light belief fly away as much as they will 
whithersoever the wind of temptation drives them, the heap of corn in the 
Lord's floor shall be laid up so much the cleaner. — Teitullian. de Prw' 
scrip, c. 3. 


to exhort and reprove, and with all possible dilicjence to labour 
after the salvation of all about him, judi^e then whether this work 
be conscionably performed. Where shall we find the man almost 
among us, that setteth himself to it with all his might, and that 
hath set his heart upon the souls of his brethren, that they may 
be saved ? 

Let us here, therefore, a little inquire what may be the causes 
of the gross neglect of this duty, that the hinderances being dis- 
covered may the more easily be overcome. 

1. One hinderance is, men's own gracelessness and guiltiness. 
They have not been ravished themselves with the heavenly 
delights. How, then, should they draw others so earnestly to 
seek them ? They have not felt the wickedness of their own 
natures, nor their lost condition, nor their need of Christ, nor felt 
the transforming renewing work of the Spirit. How, then, can 
they discover these to others ? Ah ! that this were not the case 
of many a learned preacher in England ! And the cause why 
they preach so frozenly and generally ! Men also are guilty 
themselves of the sins they should reprove, and this stops their 
mouth, and maketh them ashamed to reprove. 

2. Another hinderance is, a secret infidelity prevailing in 
men's hearts ; whereof even the best have so great a measure, 
that it causeth this duty to be done by the halves. Alas ! sirs, 
we do not, surely, believe men's misery; we do not believe, 
surely, that the threatenings of God are true. Did we verily 
believe that all the unregenerate and unholy shall be eternally 
tormented, as God hath said, oh, how could we hold our 
tongues when we are among the unregenerate ? How could we 
choose but burst out into tears when we look them in the face, 
as the prophet did when he looked upon Hazael ? Especially 
when they are our kindred or friends, that are near and dear to 
us ? Thus doth secret unbelief of the truth of Scripture con- 
sume the vigour of each grace and duty. Oh, Christians, if you 
did verily believe that your poor, carnal, ungodly neighbour, or 
wife, or husband, or child, should certainly lie for ever in the 
flames of hell, except they be thoroughly recovered and changed* 
and that quickly, before death doth snatch them from Iience 
would not this make you cast off all discouragements, and lay at 
them day and night till they were persuaded, and give them no 
rest in their carnal state ? How could you hold your tongue, 
or let them alone till another day, if this were soundly believed.^ 
If you were sure that any of your dear friends, that are dead 

96 THE saint's 

were now in hell, and persuading to repentance would get him 
out again, would you not persuade him day and night, if he 
were in hearing ? And why should you not do as much then 
to prevent it, while he is in your hearing, but that you do not 
believe God's word that speaks the danger ? Why did Noah 
prepare an ark so long before, and persuade the world to save 
themselves, but because he believed God, that the flood should 
come ? And, therefore, saith the Holy Ghost, " By faith Noah 
prepared the ark," (Heb. xi. 7,) and why did not the world 
hearken to his persuasion, and seek to save themselves as well 
as Noah, but because they did not believe there would be any 
such deluge ? They see all fair and well, and therefore they 
thought that threatenings were but wind. The rich man in hell 
cries out, " Send to my brethren to warn them, that they come 
not to this place of torment;" (Luke xvi. 13;) he felt it, and 
therefore being convinced of its truth, would have them prevent 
it ; but his brethren on earth, they did not see and feel as he, 
and therefore they did not believe, nor would have been per- 
suaded, "though one had risen from the dead." I am afraid 
most of us do believe the predictions of Scripture but as we 
believe the predictions of an almanack, which telleth you that 
such a day will be rain, and such a day wind ; you think it 
may come to pass, and it may not : and so you think of the 
predictions of the damnation of the wicked. Oh ! were it not 
for this cursed unbelief, our own souls, and our neighbours, 
would gain more by us than they do. 

3. This faithful dealing with men for their salvation, is much 
hindered also by our want of charity and compassion to men's 
souls. " We are hard-hearted and cruel towards the miserable j 
and, therefore, as the priest and, the Levite did by the wounded 
man, we look on them, and pass by. Oh ! what tender heart 
could endure to look upon a poor, blind, forlorn sinner, wound- 
ed by sin, and captivated by Satan, and never once open our 
mouths for his recovery ? What though he be silent, and do 

" Et per Deura immortalem, quid est quod nos inipediat, ne miseris illis eX 
morbo et errore animi laborantibus acclamemus ad bonum, et k malefaciendo 
abstineamus quam fidelissime ? Nam si illi cseci sunt; at nos fuimus. Si 
oberrant cJEcitate; at nos oberravimus. Si deniqne impedimento sunt; at 
impedimentum habent, ut nos habuimus; quo magis nostra conimiseratione 
el allevatione digni sunt. — Junius Irenic. torn. i. operum, p. G90. Charitatem 
quia non habent, nee ex charitate fratrem corrigunt, fit ut niox illuui relin- 
quunt : quaui si haberent, non adeo confestim deficerent, et quod pejus est, 
deficiendi causas praetexerent, quatenus merito defecisse videautur. — Muscul, 
in Matt, vii. torn, i. p. 155. 


not desire thy help himself, yet his very niisei-y cries aloud : 
misery is the most effectual suitor to one that is compassionate. 
If God had not heard tlie cry of our miseries hefore he heard 
the cry of our prayers, and heen moved by his own pity, before 
he was moved by our importunity, we might have long enough 
continued the slaves of Satan. Is it not the strongest way of 
arguing that a poor Lazarus hath, to unlap his sores, and show 
them to the passengers? AW his words will not move them so 
much as such a pitiful sight. Alas ! what pitiful sights do we 
daily see : the ignorant, the profane, the neglecters of Christ 
and their souls j their sores are open and visible to all that 
know them, and yet do we not pity them ! You will pray to 
God for them, in customary duties, that God would o])en the 
eyes and turn the hearts of your ignorant, carnal friends and 
neighbours. And wliy do you not endeavour their conversion if 
you desire it ? And if you do not desire it, why do you ask it ? 
Doth not your negligence convince you of hypocrisy in your 
prayerS; and of abusing the high God with your deceitful words ? 
Your neighbours are near you, your friends are in the house with 
you ; you cat, and drink, and work, and walk, and talk with 
them, and yet you say little or nothing to them, Whv do vou 
not pray to them to consider and return, as well as pray God 
to convert and turn them ? Have you as oft and as earnestly 
begged of them to think on their ways, and to reform, as you 
have taken on you to beg of God that they may so do ? What, 
if you should see your neighbour fallen into a pit, and you 
should presently fall down on your knees, and pray God to 
help him out, but would neither put forth your hand to help, 
nor once jjersuade or direct him to help himself, would not any 
man censure you to be cruel and hypocritical ? \Vhat the Holy 
Ghost saith of men's bodily miseries, I may say much more of 
the misery of their souls: "If any man seeth his brother in 
need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwcUeth 
the love of God in him ?" (1 John iii. 17.) Or, what love hath 
he to his brother's soul ? Surely, if you saw your friend in hell, 
you would persuade him hard to come thence, if that would 
serve; and why do you not now persuade him to prevent it? 
The charity of our ignorant forefathers may rise up in judgment 
against us, and condemn us. They would give all their estates 
almost, for so many masses, or pardons, to deliver the souls of 
their friends from a feigned purgatory, and we will not so much 
as importunately admonish, and entreat them, to save them 

98 ' tHE saint's 

from the certain flames of hell ; though this may he effectual to 
do them good, and the other will do none. 

4. Another hinderance is, a hase man-pleasing disposition 
that is in us. We are so loth to displease men, and so desirous to 
keep in credit and favour with them, that it makes us most un- 
conscionably neglect our known duty. A foolish physician he is, 
and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear 
of troubling him ; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that 
will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, than we will anger 
them, or hazard our reputation with them. Jf they did but fall 
in a swoon, we would rub them and pinch them, and never stick 
at hurting them. If they were distracted, we would bind them 
with chains, and we would please them in nothing that tended 
to their hurt; and yet, when they are beside themselves in point 
of salvation, and in their madness posting on to damnation, we 
will not stop them, for fear of displeasing them. How can 
these men be Christians, that love the praise and favour of men 
more than the favour of God ? (John xii. 43.) For if they yet 
seek to please men, they are no longer the servants of Christ. 
(Gal. i. 10.) To win them indeed, they must become all things 
to all men ; but to please them to their destruction, and let them 
perish, that we may keep our credit with them, is a course so 
base and barbarously cruel, that he that hath the face of a 
Christian should abhor it. (1 Cor. ix. 21 — 24 ; Prov. xi. 36.) 

5. Another common hinderance is, a sinful bashfulness. 
When we should labour to make men ashamed of their sins, 
we are ourselves ashamed of our duties. May not these sinners 
condemn us, when they will not blush to swear, or be drunk, or 
neglect the worship of God, and we will blush to tell them 
of it, and persuade them from it ? ° Elisha looked on Hazael 
till he was ashamed ; and we dre ashamed to look on, or speak 
to the offender. (2 Kings viii. 11 ; Jer. vi. 15, viii. 12; Luke 
ix. 26.) Sinners will rather boast of their sins, and impudently 
show them in the open streets, and shall not we be as bold in 
drawing them from it ? Not that I approve of impudence in 
any; for, as one saith, I take him for a lost man that hath lost 
his modesty. P Nor would I have inferiors forget their distance 
in admonishing their superiors ; but do it with all humility, and 
submission, and respect. But yet I would much less have them 

° There is no shame now among men, but to be poor and honest.— TVdo. 
Scot. Projector. 
p Ilium ego periisse dico, cui periit pudor. — Curtius. 


forget their duty to God and their friends, be they ever so much 
their superiors : it is a thing that must be done. Baslifuhiess 
is unseemly in cases of flat necessity. And, indeed, it is not a 
work to be ashamed of; to obey God in persuading men from 
their sins to Christ, and helping to save their souls, is not a 
business for a man to blush at ; and yet, alas ! what abundance 
of souls have been neglected through the prevailing of this sin ! 
even the most of us are heinously guilty in this point. Reader, 
is not this thy own case ? Hath not thy conscience told thee 
of thy duty many a time, and put thee on to speak to poor 
sinners, lest thev perish, and yet thou hast been ashamed to 
open thy mouth to them, and so let them alone to sink or swim ? 
believe me, thou wilt ere long be ashamed of this shame. O 
read those words of Christ, and tremble : " He that is ashamed 
of me and of my words before this adulterous generation, of 
him will the Son of man be ashamed before his Father and the 
angels." (Luke ix. 26 ; Mark viii. 38.) 

6. Another hinderance is, impatiency, laziness, and favouring 
of the flesh. It is an ungrateful work, and for the most part 
maketh those our enemies that were our friends ; and men 
cannot bear the reproaches and unthankful returns of sinners. 
It may be they are their chief friends on whom is all their de- 
pendence, so that it may be their undoing to displease them. 
Besides, it is a work that seldom succeedeth at the first, except 
it be followed on with wisdom and unweariedness. You must 
be a great while teaching an ignorant person, before he will be 
brought to know the very fundamentals ; and a great while per- 
suading an obstinate sinner, before he will come to a full re- 
solution to return.i Now, this is a tedious course to the flesh, 
and few will bear it. Not considering what patience God used 
towards us when we were in our sins, and how long he followed 
us with the importunities of his Spirit, holding out Christ and 
life, and beseeching us to accept them. Woe to us if God had 
been as impatient with us as we are with others. If Christ be 
not weary, nor give over to invite them, we have little reason 
to be weary of doing the message. See 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. 

<i Melius tumor capitis dolet cnin curatur, qtiatn dum ei parcitur, et non sa- 
iialur. Hoc est (juod acute vidit qui dixit, utiliures esse plerunK]iie iiiiniicus 
o'.)juri;aiites, quaiu ainicijs ohjurgare luetueiites. liii dum lixautur, ilieuiit 
aliipiaiidu vera qux corrij^amus. Isti autem miiiorein (|uuin opurtet exliilieiit 
jdstitix lii)crtatcm, du»» . amicitia<. tiiueut exasperare iluleediiiem. — ^■lug, 
El>ist, ltd JIiiioiii/iH. inter ojitia Union, turn, iii. fol. (luihi) loi*. 

li 2 

100 THE saint's 

7. Another hinderance is, self-seeldng and self-minding. IMen 
are all for themselves, and all mind their own things, but few 
the things of Christ and their brethren. "■ Hence is that Cain- 
ish voice, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Every man must an- 
swer for himself. Hence also it is that a multitude of ignorant 
professors do think only where they may enjoy the purest ordi- 
nances, and thither they will go over sea and land ; or what way 
of discipline will be sweetest to themselves, and therefore are 
prone to groundless separation : but where they have the fairest 
opportunity to win the souls of others, or in what place or way 
they may do most good, these things they little or nothing 
xegard, as if we had learned of the monks, and were setting 
up their principles and practice v/hen we seem to oppose 

If these men had tried what some of their brethren have done, 
they would know that all the purest ordinances and churches 
will not afford that solid comfort, as the converting of a few 
sinners by our unwearied, compassionate exhortations. Two 
men in a frosty season come where a company of people are 
ready to starve ; the one of them laps himself, and taketh shel- 
ter, for fear lest he should perish with them ; the other, in pity, 
falls to rub them that he may recover heat in them, and while he 
laboureth hard to help them, he getteth far better heat to him- 
self than his unprofitable companion doth. 

8. With many, also, pride is a great impediment. If it 
"Were to speak to a great man, they would do it, so it would not 
displease him. But to go among the poor multitude, and to 
take pains with a company of ignorant beggars, or mean per- 
sons, and to sit with them in a smoky, nasty cottage, and there 
to instruct them and exhort them from day to day, where is the 
person almost that will do it ? Many will much rejoice if they 
have been instruments of converting a gentleman, (and they 
have good cause,) but for the common multitude, they look not 
after them : as if God were a respecter of the persons of the 
Tich, or the souls of all were not alike to him. Alas ! these 
men little consider how long Christ did stoop to us ! When 
the God of glory comes down in flesh, to worms, and goeth 
preaching up and down among them from city to city ! Not 

f Phil. ii. 20. Illud est vivere, non sibi vivere solum. Bene vivere, non 
est quid jirivatum et solitarii boni. In alios effluit sensus vitae bonse, — JEus, 
Nieremberg, de Arte VolunlutiSy lib. i. p. 94. 


the silliest woman that he thought too low to confer wltii. Few 
rich, and noble, and wise, are called, ft is the poor that receive 
the ti;hid ti(lin.os of the Gospel. (John iv. and 1 Cor. i. 26.) 

D. L:istl\"3 With some also their ignorance of the duty doth 
hinder them from performing it. Either they know it not to he 
a duty, or at least not to be their duty. Perhaps they have not 
considered much of it, nor been pressed to it by their teachers, 
as they have been to hearing, and praying, and other duties. If 
this be thy case who readest this, that mere ignorance or incon- 
sideratencss hath kept tliee from it, then I am in hope now thou 
art acquainted witli thy duty, thou wilt set upon it. 

Object. 1. O, but saith one, I am of so weak parts and gifts, 
that I am unable to manage an exhortation, especially to men of 
strong natural parts and understanding. 

Answ. First ; Set those upon the work who are more able; 
Secondly, Yet do not think that thou art so excused thy- 
self, but use faithfully that ability which thou hast, not in teach- 
ing those of whom thou shouldst learn, but in instructing those 
who are more ignorant than thyself, and in exhorting those who 
are negligent in the things which they do know. If you cannot 
speak well yourself, yet you can tell them what God speaketh in 
his word. It is not the excellency of speech that winneth souls, 
but the authority of God manifested by that speech, and the 
power of his word in the mouth of the instructer. A weak 
woman may tell what God saith in the plain passages of the 
Word, as well as a learned man. If you cannot preach to 
them, yet you can turn to the place in your Bible, or at least 
remember them of it, and say, " Thus it is written." One 
of mean parts may remember the wisest of their duty when 
they forget it. David received seasonable advice from Abigail, 
a woman. V\'hen a man's eyes are blinded with passion, or the 
deceits of the world, or the lusts of the flesh, a weak instructer 
may prove very profitable ; for in that case he hath as much need 
to hear of what he kiunveth, as of what he doth not know. 

Object. 2. It is my superior that needeth my advice and ex- 
hortation ; and is it fit for me to teach or reprove mv betters ? 
Must the wife teach the husband, of whom the Scripture biil- 
deth them learn ? Or must the child teach the parents, whose 
duty it is to teach them ? 

Answ. First, It is fit that husbands sliould be able to teach 
their wives, and parents to teach their children ; and God ex- 
pecteth they should be so, and therefore commandeth the infe- 

102 THE saint's 

riors to learn of tliem. But if they through their own negli- 
gence do disable themselves, or through their own wickedness 
do bring their souls into such misery, as that they have the 
greatest need of advice and reproof themselves, and are objects 
of pity to all that know their case ; then it is themselves, and 
not you, that break God's order, by bringing themselves into 
disability and misery. 

IMatter of mere order and manners must be dispensed with 
in cases of flat necessity. Though it were your minister, you 
must teach him in such a case. It is the part of parents to 
provide for their children, and not children for their parents: 
and yet if the parents fall into want, must not the children re- 
lieve them ? It is the part of the husband to dispose of the 
affairs of the family and estate : and vet, if he be sick or be- 
side himself, must not the wife do it ? The rich should relieve 
the poor 5 but if the rich fall into beggary, they must be re- 
lieved themselves. It is the work of the physician to look to 
the health of others ; and yet, if he fall sick, somebody must 
help him, and look to him. So must the meanest servant ad- 
monish his master, and the child his parent, and the wife her 
husband, and the people their ministers, in cases of necessity. 

Secondly, Yet let me give you these two cautions here. 

1. That you do not pretend necessity when there is none, out 
of a mere desire of teaching. There is scarcely a more certain 
discovery of a proud heart than to be forwarder and more 
desirous to teach than to learn, especially toward those that 
are fitter to teach us. 

2. And when the necessity of your superiors doth call for 
your advice, yet do it with all possible humility, and modesty, 
and meekness. Let them discern vour reverence and submission 
to their superiority in the humble manner of your addresses to 
them. Let them perceive that you do it not out of a mere 
teaching humour, or proud self-conceitedness. An elder must 
be admonished, but not rebuked. If a wife should tell her hus- 
band of his sin in a masterly, railing language ; or if a servant 
rej)rove his master, or a child his father, (1 Tim. v. 1,) in a 
saucy, disres))ectful way, what good could be expected from such 
reproof? But if they should meekly and humbly open to him 
his sin and danger, and entreat him to bear with them in what 
God commandeth, and his misery requireth ; and if thev couhl 
by tears testify their sense of his case, what father, or master, 
or husband, could take this ill ? 


Object. 3. But some niav sav, Tliis will make us all preachers, 
and cause all to break over the hounds of their callings; every 
boy and woman then will turn preacher. 

Answ. 1. This is not taking a pastoral charge of souls, nor 
making an office or calling of it, as preachers do. 

2. And in the way of our callings, every good Christian is a 
teacher, and hath a charge of his neighbour's soul. Let it be 
only the voice of a Cain to say, " Am I my brother's keeper ?" 
I would have one of these men, that are so loth that private 
men should teach then), to tell me, what, if a man fall down in 
a swoon in the streets, though it be your father or superior, 
would you not take them up presently, and use all means you 
could to recover him ? or would you let him lie and die, and 
sav, ' It is the work of the physician, and not mine ; I will not 
invade the physician's calling.' in two cases, every man is a 
physician. First, in case of necessity, and when a physician 
cannot be had. And secondly, in case the hurt be so small, 
that every man can do as well as the physician. And in the 
same two cases, every man nmst be a teacher. 

Object. 4. Some will further object,^ to put off this duty, that 
the party is so ignorant, or stupid, or careless, or rooted in sin, 
and hath been so oft exhorted in vain, and there isjio hope. 

Answ. How know you when there is no hope? Cannot God 
yet cure him ? And must it not be by means ? And have not 
many as far gone been cured ? Should not a merciful physi- 
cian use means while there is life ? And is it not inhuman 
cruelty in you to give up your friend to the devil and damnation 
as ho])eless, upon mere backwardness to your duty, or upon 
groundless discouragements? What, if you had been so given 
u|) vourself when you were ignorant ? 

Object. 5. But we must not cast pearls before swine, nor give 
that which is holy to dogs. 

Answ. That is l>ut a favourable dispensation of Christ for 
your own safety. \\' hen you are in danger to be torn in pieces, 

• This is the killing: pain of all our pains, that all we do is rejected. Min- 
isters would not he gray-headed so soon, nor die so fast for all their labour, if 
it were but successful ; hut this cuts to the heart, and makes us bleed in secret, 
lliat thouijh we do much it comes to nothing. 1 am placed in an hospital, 
where there are so many score diseased creatures, that it would pity any one's 
heart to look ou them, and yet when I come t.) dress them, they all curse me 
in their heart; and one liides his wounds from me, and another sa\s and 
swears he is as well as I, in as good a condition as his minister; and yet looks 
a^ pale as death, as black in the mouth and eyes as if he were in htU already. 
— Loclder on Col. i. 2D, p. 528. 

104 THE saint's 

Christ would have you forbear, but what is that to you that are 
in no such danger ? As long as they will hear, you have en- 
couragement to speak, and may not cast them off as contemp- 
tuous swine. 

Object. 6. Oh, but it is a friend that I have all my depend- 
ence on, and by telling him of his sin and misery, I may lose his 
love, and so be undone. 

Answ. Surely no man that hath the face of a Christian, will 
for shame own such an objection as this. Yet, I doubt, it oft 
prevaileth in the heart. Is his love more to be valued than his 
safety ? Or thy own benefit by him, than the salvation of his 
soul ? Or wilt thou connive at his damnation, because he is thy 
friend ? Is that thy best requital of his friendship ? Hadst 
thou rather he should burn for ever in hell, than thou shouldst 
lose his favour, or the maintenance thou hast from him ? 

Object. 7. But I hope, though he be not regenerate and holy, 
that he is in no such danger. 

Answ. Nay, then, if thou be one that dost not believe God's 
word, I have no more to say to thee. (John iii.; Heb. xii. 14.) 
I told you before that this unbelief was the root of all. 

Sect. XVIII. To conclude this use, that I may prevail with 
every soul that feareth God, to use their utmost diligence to 
help all about them to this blessed rest which they hope for 
themselves, let me entreat you to consider of these following- 
motives : 

1. Consider, Nature teacheth the communicating of good, 
and grace doth especially dispose the soul thereunto ; the 
neglect, therefore, of this work, is a sin both against nature and 
grace. He that should never seek after God himself, would 
quickly be concluded graceless by all : and is not he as certainly 
graceless that doth not labour for the salvation of others, when 
we are bound to love our neighbour as ourself ? Would you not 
think that man or woman unnatural, that would let their own 
children or neighbours famish in the streets, vt'hile they have 
provision at hand ? And is not he more unnatural, that will 
let his children or neighbours perish eternally, and will not open 
his mouth to save them ? Certainly, this is most barbarous 
cruelty. Pity to the miserable is so natural, that we account an 
unmerciful, cruel man a very monster, to be abhorred of all. 
Many vicious men are too much loved in the world, but a cruel 
man is abhorred of all. Now, that it may appear to you what 
a cruel thing this neglect of souls is, do but consider of these 


two things. First, How great a work it is, Secondly, And 
how small a matter it is that thou refusest to do for the accom- 
plishing so great a work. First, It is to save thy hrother IVom 
eternal flames, tiiat lie may not there lie roaring in endless, re- 
mediless torments. It is to hring liim to the everlasting rest, 
where he may live in inconceivable happiness with God. Se- 
condly, And what is it that you shwuld do to help him herein ? 
Why, it is to teach him, and persuade him, and lay open to him 
his sin, and his duty, his misery, and the remedy, till you have 
made him willing to yield to the offers and commands of Christ. 
And is this so great a matter for to do, to the attaining of such 
a blessed end ? If God had bid you give them all your estates to 
win them, or lay down your lives to save them, surely you would 
have refused, when you will not hestow a little breath to save 
them ? Is not the soul of a husband, or wife, or child, or neigii- 
bour, worth a few words ? It is worth this, or it is worth nothing. 
If they did lie dying in the streets, and a few words would save 
their lives, \vould not every man say, that he were a cruel wretch 
that would let them jjcrish, rather than speak to them ? Even 
the covetous hypocrite, that James reproveth, would give a few 
words to the poor, and say, ' Go and be warmed, and be clothed.' 
What a barbarous, unmerciful wretch, then, art thou, that wilt 
not vouchsafe a few words of serious, sober admonition, to save 
the soul of thy neighbour or friend ? Cruelty and unmcrcifulness 
to men's bodies, is a most damnable sin, but to their souls much 
more, as the soul is of greater worth than the body, and as 
eternity is of greater moment than this short time. Alas ! you 
do not see or feel what case their souls are in, when they are in 
hell, for want of your faithful admonition. Little know you 
what many a soul may now be feeling, who have been your 
neighbours and acquaintance, and died in their sins, on whom 
you never bestowed one hour's sober advice for the preventing 
of their unhappiness. If you did know their misery, you woulil 
now do more to bring them out of hell. But, alas ! it is too 
late, you should have done it while they were with you; it is 
now too late. As one said in reproach of physicians, " That 
they were the most hajjpy men, because all thc-ir good deeds 
and cures were seen above ground to their praise, but all their 
mistakes and neglects were buried out of sight."' Sol may 
say to you, Many a neglect of yours to the souls about you, may 
be now buried with those souls in hell, out of your sight and 

' Nicocles. 

lOG THE saint's 

hearing, and therefore Jiow it doth not much trouble you, but, 
alas ! they feel it, though you feel it not. May not many a 
papist rise up in judgnjent against us, and condemn us ? They 
will give their lands and estates to have so many masses said 
for the souls of their deceased friends, when it is too late, to 
bring them out of a feigned purgatory, and we will not ply 
thein with persuasions while we may, to save them from real 
threatened condemnation ; though this cheaper means may 
prove effectual, when that dearer way of papists will do no 
good. Jeremy cried out, " My bowels, my bowels, T cannot 
hold my peace," because of a temporal destruction of his people. 
And do not our bowels yearn ? And can we hold our peace 
at men's eternal destruction ? 

2. Consider, What a rate Christ did value souls at, and what 
he hath done towards the saving of them. He thought them 
worth his blood and sufferings, and shall not we then think 
them- worth the breath of our mouths? Will you not set in 
with Christ for so good a work? Nor do a little, where he hath 
done so much ? 

3. Consider, AVhat fit objects of pity they are. It is no small 
misery to be an enemy to God, unpardoned, unsanctified, stran- 
gers to the church's special privileges, without hope of salvation 
if they so live and die. And, which is yet more, they are dead 
in these their trespasses and miseries, and have not hearts to 
feel them, or to pity themselves. If others do not pity them, 
they will have no pity; for it is the nature of their disease to 
make them pitiless to their own souls, yea, to make them the 
most cruel destroyers of themselves. 

4. Consider, It was once thy own case. Thou wast once a 
slave of Satan thyself, and confidently didst thou go in the way 
to condemnation. What, if thou hadst been let alone in that 
waj', whither hadst thou gone, and what had become of thee ? 
It was God's argument to the Israelites to be kind to strangers, 
because themselves were sometimes strangers in Egypt; so it 
may persuade you to show compassion to them that are strangers 
to Christ, and to the hopes and comforts of the saints, because 
you were once as strange to them yourselves.'^ 

5. Consider, The relation that thou standest in towards them. 
It is thy neighbour, thy brother, wiiom thou art bound to be 
tender of, and to lo/e as thyself. He that loveth not his brother, 

" Haec et nos risimus aliquando. Fiunt, non nascuntur Christiani. — Tertul. 


whom he sceth daily, most certainly <loth not love God, whom he 
never saw : and dotli he love his brother, that will stand hv, and 
seehinigotohcll,an(Ineverhinder liinj ?" (Johniii. 10, iv. 20,21.) 

G. Consider, What a deal of guilt this neglect doth lav npoii 
thy soul. First, Thou art guilty of the murder and damnation 
of all those souls whom thou dost thus neglect. He that standeth 
by and seeth a man in a pit, and will not pull him out if he can, 
doth drown him. And he that standeth by while thieves rob , 
him, or murderers kill him, and will not help him if he can, is 
accessory to the fact. And so he that will sileiitlv suffer men 
to damn their souls, or will let Satan and the world deceive them, 
and not offer to help them, will certainly be judged guilty of 
damning them. And is not this a most dreadful consideration ? 
Oh, sirs, how many souls, then, have everyone of us been guilty 
of damning ! What a number of our neighbours and acquaint- 
ance are dead, in whom we discerned no signs of sanctification, 
and we never did once plainly tell them of it, or how to be 
recovered ! If you had been the cause but of burning a man's 
house throHgh your negligence, or of undoing him in the world, 
or of destroying his body, how would it trouble you as long as 
you lived ! If you had but killed a man unadvisedlv, it would 
much disipiiet you. W^e have known those that have been 
guilty of murder, that could never slee]) (juietly after, nor have 
one comfortal)le day, tlieir own consciences did so vex and 
torment them. Oh, then, what a heart mayest thou have, that 
liast been guilty of murdering such a multitude of precious 
souls ! Remember this when thou lookest thy friend or carnal 
neighbour in the face, and think with thyself, ' Can I find in 
my heart, through my silence and negligence, to be guilty of his 
everlasting burning in hell ?' JNlethinks such a thought should 
even untie the tongue of the dumb. 

2. And as vou are guilty of their perishing, so are you of 
every sin which in the mean time they do commit. If they 
were converted, they would break oft" their course of sinniup- ; 
and if you did your duty, you know not but they might be con- 
verted. As he that is guilty of a man's drunkemiess, is guilty 

^ Glossa i^itiir Lyrani in Matt. xxv. est iinprobanda, ulii (licit, Consideraii- 
(lum etiain (piod liic Don fit nieiitio tie (>|)erihiis niiscrii-ordix ex parte aiiiiiKo*, 
quia ilia iiertiuet pro inajon parte ad prailatos, ad quos pertiiict alios instnure 
et dirijjire in saluteni. Obsuiro te per uKinsuetuiliiiein Christi, ul si te la-^i, 
dimittas inilii ; uec ine vicissini l.-eileiido, malum pro malo reddas. La-Jes 
enim si mihi tacueris erroreni meum, (juem lorte inveneris in scriptis, vt I iit 
UJctis meis. — j-Ing. Epist. ad flitr. inter o^iera tlieron. toiu. iii. p. (niilii) IjL*. 

lOS THE saint's 

of all the sins which that dninkenness doth cause him to commit; 
so he that is guilty of" a man's continuing unregenerate, is also 
guilty of the sins of his unregeneracy. How many curses and 
oaths, and scorns at God's ways, and other sins of most heinous 
nature, are many of you guilty of, that little think of it ! You 
that live godlil}', and take much pains for your own souls, and 
seem fearful of sinning, would take it ill of one that should tell 
you, that you are guilty of weekly or daily whoredoms, and 
drunkenness, and swearing, and lying, &c^ And yet it is too 
true, even beyond all denial, by your neglect of helping those 
who do commit them.y 

3. You are guilty also, as of the sin, so of all the dishonour 
that God hath thereby. And how nmch is that ? And how 
tender should a Christian be of the glory of God, the least part 
whereof is to be valued before all our lives ! 

4. You are guilty, also, of all those judgments which those 
men's sins do bring upon the town or country where they live. 
1 know you are not such atheists, but you believe it is God that 
sendeth sickness, and famine, and war ; and also that it is only 
sin that moveth him to this indignation. What doubt, then, is 
there, but you are the cause of judgments, who do not strive 
against those sins which do cause them ? God hath staid long 
in patience, to see if any would deal plainly with the sinners of 
the times, and so free their own souls from the guilt: but when 
he seeth that there is almost none, but all become guilty, no 
wonder then if he lay the judgment upon all. \A e have all seen 
the drunkards, and heard the swearers in our streets, and we 
would not speak to them ; we have all lived in the midst of an 
ignorant, worldly, unholy people, and we have not spoke to them 
with earnestness, plainness, and love ; no wonder, then, if God 
speak in his wrath both to them and us. Eli did not commit 
the sin himself, and yet he speaketh so coldly against it, that he 
also must bear the punishment. Guns and cannons speak against 
sin in England, because the inhabitants would not speak. God 
pleadeth with us with fire and sword, because we would not 
plead with sinners Avith our tongues. God locketh up the clouds, 
because we have shut up our mouths. The earth is grown as 
hard as iron to us, because we have hardened our hearts against 
our miserable neighbours. The cries of the poor for bread are 
loud, because our cries against sin have been so low. Sicknesses 
run apace from house to house, and sweep aw ay the poor uu- 

y Qui non vetat peccare cum potest, jubet. 



prepared iniial)itants, ])ecause we swept not out the sin that 
breedeth them. When you look over the woful desolations in 
England, how ready are you to cry out on them that were the 
causers of it ! But did you consider how deeply yourselves were 
guilty ? And, as Christ said in another case, '* If these should 
hold their peace, the stones would speak." (Lukeix. 40.) So, 
because we held our peace at the ignorance, ungodliness, and 
wickedness of our places, therefore do these plagues and judg- 
ments speak. 

7. Consider, What a thing it will be to look upon your poor 
friends eternally in those flames, and to think that your neglect 
was a great cause of it ! And that there was a time when you 
might have done much to prevent it! If you should there 
perish with them, it would be no small aggravation of your tor- 
ment: if vou be in heaven, it would surely be a sad thought, 
were it possible, that any sorrow could dwell there, to hear a 
multitude of poor souls there to cry out for ever, Oh! if you 
would but have told me plainly of my sin and danger, and 
dealt roundly with me, and set it home, I might have escaped all 
this torment, and been now in rest.' Oh ! what a sad voice 
will this be ! 

8. Consider, What a joy it is like to be in heaven to you, to 
meet those there whom you have been a means to bring thither ! 
To see their faces, and join with tlicm for ever in the praises of 
God, whom ye were instruments to bring to the knowledge and 
o])edience of Christ ! What it will then be, we know not : but 
surely, according to our present temper, it would be no small joy. 

9. Consider, How many souls have we drawn into the way of 
danmation, or at least hardened, or settled in it ! And should 
we not now be more diligent to draw men to life ? There is 
not one of us but have had our companions in sin, especially in 
the days of our ignorance and unregeneracy. We have en- 
ticed them, or encouraged them to Sabbath-breaking, drink- 
ing, or revcllings, or dancings, and stage-plays, or wanton- 
ness and vanities, if not to scorn and oppose the godly. \\ e 
cannot so easily bring them from sin again, as we did 
draw them to it. Many are dead already without any change 
discovered, who were our companions in sin. ^^^e know not 
how many are and will be in hell that we drew thither, and 
there may curse us in their torments for ever. And doth it 
not beseem us, then, to do as much to save men, as we 

110 THE saint's 

have (lone to destroy them ; and be merciful to some as we have 
been cruel to others. 

10. Consider, How diligent are all the enemies of these poor 
souls to draw them to hell ! And if nobody be diligent in help- 
ing them to heaven, what is likely to become of them ? The 
devil is tempting them day and night. Their inward lusts are 
still working and withdrawing them. The flesh is still pleading 
for its delights and profits. Their old companions are ready to 
entice them to sin, and to disgrace God's ways and people to 
thein, and to contradict the doctrine of Christ that should save 
them, and to increase their prejudice and dislike of holiness. 
Seducing teachers are exceeding diligent in sowing tares, and 
in drawing off the unstable from the doctrine and way of life : 
so that when we have done all we can, and hope we have won 

.men, what a multitude of late have, after all, been taken in this 
snare ! And shall a seducer be so unwearied in proselyting 
poor, ungrounded souls to his fancies; and shall not a sound 
Christian be much more unwearied in labouring to win men to 
Christ and life ? 

11. Consider, The neglect of this doth very deeply wound 
wlien conscience is awaked. When a man comes to die, con- 
science will ask him, "What good hast thou done in thy life- 
time ? The saving of souls is the greatest good work; what 
hast thou done towards this ? How many hast thou dealt faith- 
fully with ? 1 have oft observed that the consciences of dying 
men do very much wound them for this omission. For my own 
part, to tell you my ex))erience, whenever I have been near 
death, my conscience hath accused me more for this than for 
any sin. It would bring every ignorant profane neighbour to 
my remembrance, to whom 1 never made known their danger : it 
would tell me, thou shouldst hfive gone to them in private, and 
told them plainly of their desperate danger, without bashfulness 
or daubing, though it had been when thou shouldst have eaten 
or slept, if thou hadst no other time : conscience would re- 
member me, how, at such a time or such a time, I was in com- 
pany with the ignorant, or was riding by the way with a wilful 
sinner, and had a fit opportunity to have dealt with them, but 
did not ; or, at least, did it by halves, and to little purpose. 
The Lord grant I may better obey conscience hereafter while I 
live and have time, that it may have less to accuse mc of at 
death ! 


12. Consider, fiuther, It is now a very seasonable time which 
you have for this work. Take it therefore while you have it. 
There are times wherein it is not safe to speak; it may cost 
you your liberties, or your lives : it is not so now with us. Be- 
sides, your neii;h!)ours will be here with you but a very little 
while : they will shortly die, and so must you. Speak to them, 
therefore, while you may; set upon them, and give them no 
rest till you have prevailed. Do it speedily, for it must be now 
or never. A Roman emperor, when he heard of a neighbour 
dead, he asked, " And what did I do for him before he died ? " 
and it grieved him that a man should die near him; and it could 
not be said that he had first done him any good. Methinks 
you should think of this wlien you hear that any of your neigh- 
bours are dead ; but I had far rather, while they are alive, vou 
would ask the question : There is such and such a neighbour 
(alas, how many !) that are ignorant and ungodly, what have I 
done, or said, that might have in it any likelihood of recover- 
ing them ? They will shortly be dead, and then it is too late. * 

\3. Consider, This is a work of greatest charity, and yet such 
as every one of you may perform. If it were to give them mo- 
nies, the poor have it not to give : if to fight for them, the weak 
cannot : if it were to suffer, the fearful will say, they cannot : 
but every one hath a tongue to speak to a sinner. The poorest 
may be thus charitable as well as the rich. 

14. Consider, also. The ha]jpy consequences of this work, 
where it is faithfully done. To name some : 

1. You may be instrumental in that blessed work of saving 
souls, a work that Christ came down and died for, a work that 
the angels of God rejoice in; for, saith the Holy Ghost, "If 
any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let' him 
know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his 
wav shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of 
sins." (James v. 19, 20.) And how can God more highly honour 
you, than to make you instruments in so great a work ? 

2. Such souls will bless you here and hereafter. They may 
be angry with you at first ; but if your words prevail and suc- 
ceed, they will bless the day that ever they knew you, and bless 
God that sent you to speak to them. 

3. If you succeed, God will have much glory by it ; ^ he will 

* As it is a grievous thing lo think of a place wherein God hath been truly 
worshipped, that afterwards the devil should be served there ; so it is a com- 
fortable thing to think of other places wherein the devil hath been served, that 
God is now truly worshipped there. — Burroughs on Has. i. p. 118. 

112 THE saint's 

have one more to value and accept of his Son, of whom Christ's 
blood hath attained its end : he will have one more to love him 
and daily worship and fear him, and to do him service in his 

4. Tlie church also wjll have gain by it ; there will be one less 
provoker of wrath, and one more to strive with God against sin 
and judgment, and to engage against the sins of the times, and 
to win others by doctrine and example. If thou couldst but con- 
vert one persecuting Saul, he might become a Paul, and do the 
church more service than ever thou didst thyself. However, 
the healing of sinners is the surest method for preventing or 
removing of judgments. 

5. Tt is the way also to purity and flourishing of the church, 
and to the right erecting and executing the discipline of Christ; 
if men would but do what they ought with their neighbours in 
private, what a help would it be to the success of the public 
endeavours of the ministry ! And what hope might we have 
that daily some would be added to the church ! And if any be 
obstinate, yet this is the first course that must be taken to re- 
claim them. Who dare separate from them, or excomnmni- 
cate them, before they have been first thoroughly admonished 
and instructed in private, according to Christ's rule ? (Matt, xviii. 
15, 16.) 

6. It bringeth much advantage to yourselves : First, It will 
increase your graces, both as it is a course that God will bless, 
and as it is an acting of them in this persuading of others : he 
that will not let you lose a cup of water which is given for him, 
will not let you lose these greater works of charity; besides 
those that have practised this duty most conscionably, do find, 
by experience, that they never go on more speedily and pros- 
perously towards heaven than when they do most to help others 
thither with them, it is not here as with worldly treasure, the 
more you give away, the less you have; but here, the more 
you give, the more you have. The setting forth Christ in 
his fulness to others, will warm your own hearts and stir 
up your love. The opening of the evil and danger of sin 
to others, will increase your hatred of it, and much engage 
yourselves against it. Secondly, And it seemeth that it will 
increase vour glory as well as your grace, both as a duty whicii 
God will so reward, " for those that convert manv to righteous- 
ness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever;" (Dan. xii. 3, 
and xi. 33 ;) and also as we shall there behold them in heaven. 


and be their associates in blessedness, whom God made us here 
' the instrnments to convert. Thirdly, However, it will give us 
much peace of" conscience, whether we succeed or not, to think 
that we were faithful, and did our best to save them, and that 
we are clear from the blood of all men, and their perishing 
shall not lie upon us. Fourthly, Besides, that it is a work tliat, 
if it succeed, doth exceedingly rejoice an honest heart. He 
that hath a sense of God's honour, or the least affection to the 
soul of his brother, must needs rejoice much at his conversion, 
whosoever be the instrument, but especially when God maketh 
ourselves the means of so blessed a work. If God make us 
the instruments of any temporal good, it is very comfortable, 
but much more of eternal good.* There is naturally a re- 
joicing followeth every good work answerable to the degree of 
its goodness : he that doth most good, hath usually the most 
happv and comfortable life. If men knew the pleasure that 
there is in doing good, they would not seek after their pleasure 
so much in evil. For my own part, it is an unspeakable com- 
fort to me, that God hath made me an instrument for the 
recovering of so many from bodily diseases, and saving their 
natural lives j"^ but all this is yet nothing to the comfort I have 
in the success of my labours, in the conversion and confirma- 
tion of souls 3 it is so great a joy to me that it drovvneth the 

• Si itaque qui multorum corporibus sanitatem medendo perpererit, vel ad 
majoreni haec deduxerit valetudiiiein, haudciuaqtiam id sine diviiiu iustiiictu 
fecisse videbitur ; quaiito niagis qui plurinioruin aniinas curat, el ad nieliora 
traducit ; et ex Ueo qui omnibus prteest, ut pendeant, facit ; educetque ut ad 
ejus voluntatem quaecunciue jesseriut ; ut repetant homines; decliaent(|ue vel 
minima quaque quae ilium factis, dictisve et coi^itatione offendunt. — Origcii, 
cont. Celsum, lib. i. 

^ I know many learned physicians speak very sharply against ministers 
practising physic. But with these conditions no wise man disalloweth it. 
1. That it hinder uot his main employment much. 2. 'I'iiat it be in case of ab- 
solute necessity, that the party must die else in the eye of reason. As I. Whea 
no able physician is within reach. 2. Or cannot, or will not come. 3. Or the 
case is sudden, or the party so poor that he cannot pay physicians. 4. And if 
a man, being conscious of his insufficiency, resolves not to go beyond his 
knowledge, but rather to do too little than too much. 5. And if lie take no- 
thing for what he doth, who can blame a man that observes these conditions ? 
Except he would have a man guilty of murder, and not help a man if he fall 
down by us, because we are no physicians ! Et ouines has ipse couditiones 
observavi. If physicians may be ahle in divinity, as to their honour many 
have been — as Cuneus, Vadianus, Erastus', I'eucerus, (Janicrarius, Scaliger, 
Gesuer, Sliegkius, Ziugerus, &c. — why then may not a divine as well under- 
stand pliysic ? And Dr. Primrose (fie Errorib. Vulg. c. -1. lib. i.) might have 
remembered more divines than Marsil. Ficinus that were physicians, as 
Fragus, Ingolsteierus, Lemnius, &c, 


114 THE saint's 

painfulness of my daily duties, and the trouble of my daily lan- 
guishing, and bodily griefs; and maketh all these, with all 
oppositions and difficulties in my work, to be easy and as no- 
thing. And of all the personal mercies that ever I received, 
next to his love in Christ and to my soul, 1 must most joyfully 
bless him for the plenteous success of my endeavours upon 
others. Oh, what fruit, then, might I have seen, if I had been 
more faithful, and plied the work in private and public as I 
ought ! I know we have need to be very jealous of our deceit- 
ful hearts in this point, lest our rejoicing should come from our 
pride and self- ascribing. Naturally we would, every man, be in 
the place of God, and have the praise of every good work 
ascribed to ourselves, but yet, to imitate our Father in goodness 
and mercy, and to rejoice in that degree we attain to, is the 
part of every child of God. I tell you therefore, to persuade 
you from my own experience, that if you did but know what a 
joyful thing it is to be an instrument for the converting and 
saving of souls, you would set upon it presently, and follow it 
night and day through the greatest discouragements and re- 
sistance. Fifthly, J might also tell you of the honourableness 
of this work ; but I will pass by that, lest 1 excite your pride 
instead of your zeal. 

And thus I have showed you what should move and persuade 
vou to this duty. Let me now conclude with a word of entreaty. 
First, To all the godly in general. Secondly, To some above 
others in particular, to set upon the conscionable performance 
of this m^ost excellent work. 


An Advice to some more specidlly to help others to this Rest, 
pressed largely on Ministers and Parents. 

Sect. I. Up, then, every man that hath a tongue, and is a 
servant of Christ, and do something of this your Master's work. 
Why hath he given you a tongue but to speak in his service ? 
And how can you serve him more eminently, than in the saving 
of souls ? He that will pronounce you blessed at the last day, 
and sentence you to the kingdom prepared for you, because you 
fed him, and clothed him, and visited him, &c., in his members, 
will surely pronounce you blessed for so great a work as is the 
bringing over of souls to his kingdom, and helping to drive the 
match betwixt them and him. He that saith, *' The poor you 


liave always with you," liath left the ungodly ahvays with you, 
that you might still have matter to exercise your charity upon. 
Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians, or of men in you, let 
them yearn towards your poor, ignorant, ungodly neighbours. 
Alas ! there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell ; 
many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and 
if they die unregenerate, they are lost for ever. Have you 
hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this ? 
If you believe not the word of God, and the danger of sinnprs, 
why are you Christians yourselves ? Jf you do believe it, why do 
you not bestir you to the helping of others ? Do you not care who 
is damned, so you be saved ? If so, you have as much cause to 
pity yourselves ; for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent 
with grace. Should you not rather say, as the lepers of Sama- 
ria, Is it not a day of glad tidings, and do we sit still, and hold 
our peace ? (1 Kings vii. 9.) Hath God had so much mercy 
on you, and will you have no mercy on your poor neighbours ? 
You need not go far to find objects for your pity. Look but into 
your streets, or into the next house to you, and you will probably 
find some. Have you never an ignorant and unregenerate neigh- 
bour that sets his heart below, and neglecteth eternity ? Oh, 
what blessed place do you live in, where there is none such. 
If there be not some of them in thine own family, it is well ; and 
yet art thou silent ? Dost thou live close by them, or meet them 
in the streets, or labour with them, or travel with them, or sit still 
and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, 
or the life to come ? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst 
run and help them ; and wilt thou not help them when their souls 
are almost at the fire of hell ? If thou knewest but a remedy 
for their diseases, thou wouldst tell it them, or else thou wouldst 
judge thyself guilty of their death. Cardan '^ speaks of one that 
had a receipt that would suddenly and certainly dissolve the 
stone in the bladder ; and he concludes of him, that he makes up 
doubt but that man is in hell, because he never revealed it to any 
before he died. What shall we say, then, of them that know 
of the remedy for curing souls, and do not reveal it; nor per- 
suade men to make use of it ? Is it not hypocrisy to pray daily 
for their conversion and salvation, and never once endeavour to 
procure it ? And is it not hypocrisy to pray, " that God's 
name may be hallowed," and never to endeavour to bring men 

' Non dubito quiu iste sit apud inferus, quod morieus arteui suam luortuli" 
bus inviserit. Vide Jo. Van. ' De Lithiasi,' c. vii. j). 123. 

I 2 

116 THE saint's 

to hallow itj nor hinder them from profaning it ? And can you 
pray " Let thy kingdom come," and yet never labour for the 
coming or increase of that kingdom ? Is it no grief to your 
hearts to see the kingdom of Satan so to flourish, and to see him 
lead captive such a multitude of souls ? You take on you that 
you are soldiers in Christ's army, and will you do nothing against 
his prevailing enemies ? You pray also daily, " that his will 
may be done ;" and should you not daily, then, persuade men to 
do it, and dissuade them from sinning against it ? You pray, 
" that God would forgive them their sins, and that he would 
not lead them into temptation, but deliver them from evil ;" 
and yet will you not help them against temptations, nor help to 
deliver them from the greatest evil. Nor help them to repent 
and believe, that they maybe forgiven. Alas ! that your prayers 
and your practice should so much disagree ! Look about you, 
therefore. Christians, with an eye of compassion on the ignorant 
ungodly sinners about you; be not like the priest orLevitewho 
saw the man wounded, and passed by. God did not so pass by 
you, when it was your own case. Are not the souls of your 
neighbours fallen into the hands of Satan ? Doth not their 
misery cry out to you, Help ! help 1 As you have any com- 
passion towards men in the greatest misery, help 1 As you have 
the hearts of men, and not of tigers in you, help ! Alas ! how 
forward are hypocrites in their sacrifice, and how backward to 
show mercy ! How much in praying, and duties of worship, and 
how little in plain reproof and exhortation, and other duties of 
compassion ! And yet God hath told them, " that he will have 
mercy, and not sacrifice ;" that is, mercy before sacrifice. And 
how forward are these hypocrites to censure ministers for neg- 
lecting their duties! Yea, to 'expect more duty from one 
minister, than ten can perform 1 And yet they make no con- 
science of neglecting their own. Nay, how forward are they 
to separate from those about them ! And how censorious 
against those that admit them to the Lord's supper, or that 
join with them ! And yet will they not be brought to deal with 
them in Christ's way for their recovery : as if other men were 
to work, and they only to sit by and judge. Because they know 
it is a work of trouble, and will many times set men against 
them, therefore no persuasion will bring them to it. They 
are like men that see their neighbour sick of the plague, or 
drowning in the water, or taken captive by the enemy, and they 
dare not venture to relieve him themselves : but none so forward 


to put on others. So are these men the greatest expecters of 
duty, and tlie least performers. 

Sect. II. But as this duty lieth upon all in general, so upon 
some more especially, according as (jod hath called or qualified 
them thereto. To them, therefore, more particularly I will 
address my exhortation, whether they be such as have more op- 
portunity and advantages for this work, or such as have better 
abilities to perform it, or such as have both. And these are of 
several sorts. 

1. All you that God hath given more learning and knowledge 
to, and endued with better parts for utterance than your neigh- 
bours, God expecteth this duty especially at your hand. The 
strong are made to help the weak, and those that see must direct 
the blind. God looketh for this faithful improvement of your 
parts and gifts, which if you neglect, it were better for you that 
you never had received them : for they will but further your 
condemnation, and be as useless to your own salvation, as they 
were to others. 

Sect. III. 2. All those that have special familiarity'^ with some 
ungodly men, and that have interest in them, God looks for this 
duty at their hands. Christ himself did eat and drink with 
publicans and sinners, but it was only to be their physician, and 
not their companion. Who knows but God gave you interest in 
them to this end, that you might be the means of their recovery? 
They that will not regard the words of another, will regard a 
brother, or sister, or husband, or wife, or near friend ; besides, 
that the bond of friendship doth engage you to more kindness 
and compassion than ordinary. 

Sect. IV. 3. Physicians thatare much about dying men, should, 
in a special manner, make conscience of this duty: they have a 
treble advantage. First, They are at hand. Secondly, They are 
with men in sickness and dangers, when the ear is more open, 
and the heart less stubborn than in time of health. He that 
made a scorn of godliness before, will then be of another mind, 
and hear counsel then, if ever he will hear it. Thirdly, Besides, 
they look upon their physician as a man in whose hand is their 
life ; or at least may do much to save them, and therefore they 
will the more regardfully hear his advice. Oh, therefore, you 
that are of this honourable profession, do not think this a work 
beside your calling ; as if it belonged to none but ministers, 

'' Habes socios ac necessarios ? Non poteris rite aliornm dolccta castijare, 
si ad lioruin errata coniiivere volucris. — Mnscul. in Mali, vii. torn. i. p. 174. 

118 THE saint's 

except you think it beside your calling to be compassionate, or 
to be Christians. Oh, help, therefore, to fit your patients for 
heaven, and whether you see they are for life or death, teach 
them both how to live and to die, and give them some physic 
for their souls, as you do for their bodies. Blessed be God that 
very many of the chief physicians of this age, have, by their 
eminent piety, vindicated their profession from the common 
imputation of atheism and profaneness. 

Sect. V. 4. Another sort that have excellent advantages for 
this duty,^ is, men that have wealth and authority, and are of 
great place and command in the world, especially that have many 
that live in dependence on them. Oh, what a world of good might 
gentlemen, and knights, and lords, do, that have a great many 
tenants, and that are the leaders of the country, if they had 
but hearts to improve their interest and advantage !^ Little do 

« Pestifera vis est valere ad nocendum ; illius magnitudo stabilis fundataque 
est, quem omnes tam supra se esse, quam pro se sciuut : cujus curam excu- 
bare pro salute siugulorum atque universorum quotidie experiuntur ; quo pro- 
cedente, non tanquam malum aliquod aut noxium animal e cubili prosilierit, 
difFu^iunt; sed tanquam ad clarum sidus certatim advolant. — Seneca de Cle- 
mentia, lib. i, c. 3. 

f What a horrid thing is it, that usually none are greater enemies to, and 
hinderers of, Christ's kingdom and work, than those that, 1. By office, and 
2. By the greatness of their talents of riches, power, and honour, are most 
deeply engaged to Christ ! Even Jehu, that pretended to reformation, and 
destroyed the worship and priests of Baal, and said, " Come and see my zeal 
for the Lord," and rises up against Aliab for his persecutions and idolatry ; 
yet, when the government falls into his hands, persists in the steps of him 
whom he destroyed, thereby adjudging himself to destruction ; and all be- 
cause when he had espoused the same interest, he thinks himself necessi- 
tated to take the same course ! O how Christ will conie upon these hypocrites 
in his fury, and dash them in pieces, like a petter's vessel, and bruise them 
with his rod of iron, and make them kuov\ that he will reign in his holy hill, 
Zion ! \Vill not kings yet be wise, nor the judges of the earth be learned ; 
to kiss the Son lest he be angry, and they perish ? Will they break his bonds, 
and confederate against his government, and be jealous of it and his minis- 
ters, as if Christ's government and theirs could not both stand ? How long 
will they set their interest before and against Christ's interest, and bend their 
studies to keep it under, and call his government tyranny, and their subjec- 
tion slavery ? Do they not know how much Christ's interest hath been 
taken down, upon mere pretended necessity of setting up their own ? Will 
their religious hypocrisy secure them froui his burning wrath, when he shall 
say, *' These mine enemies that would not I should reign over them, bring 
them hither, and slay them before me ?" I entreat them (if they be not past 
teaching) to read what a moderate divine saith, even Junius de Communione 
Sanct., especially the fifth chajiter of his Ecclesiastes, of the power of the ma- 
gistrate in church aftairs. () let all Christians pray daily, '* Lead us not into 
temptation." I will not trust my brother if he be once exalted, and in the way 
of temptation. 


you that are such, think of the (hity that lies upon you in this. 
Have you not all your honour and riches from God? And is it 
not evident, then, that you must employ them for the best ad- 
vantage of his service ? Do you not know who hath said, " that 
to whom men commit much, from them they will expect the 

You have the greatest opportunities to do good, of most men 
in the world. Your tenants dare not contradict you, lest you 
dispossess them or their children of their habitations. They 
fear you more than they do God himself; your frown will do 
more with them, than the threatenings of the Scripture ; they 
will sooner obey you, than God. If you speak to them for God 
and their souls, you mav be regarded, when even a minister that 
they fear not, shall be despised. If they do but see you favour 
the way of godliness, they will lightly counterfeit it, at least, to 
please you, especially if they live within the reach of your ob- 
servation. Oh, therefore, as you value the honour of God, 
your own comfort, and the salvation of souls, improve your 
interest to the utmost for God. Go visit your tenants and 
neighbours' houses, and see whether they worship God in their 
families, and take all opportunities to press them to their duties. 
Do not despise them because they are poor or simple. Re- 
member, God is no respecter of persons ; your flesh is of no 
better metal than theirs ; nor will the worms spare your faces 
or hearts any more than theirs ; nor will your bones or dust 
bear the badge of your gentility ; you must be all equals when 
you stand in judgment; and, therefore, help the soul of a poor 
man, as well if he were a gentleman. And let men see that 
you excel others as much in piety, heavenliness, compassion, and 
diligence in God's work, as you do in riches and honour in the 

I confess you are like to be singular if you take this course ; 
but then remember, you shall be singular in glory, for few great, 
and mighty, and noble, are called. 

Sect. VI. 5. Another sort that have special opportunity to 
this work of helping others to heaven, is, the ministers of the 
Gospel. As they have, or should have more ability than others, 
so it is the very work of their calling, and every one expecteth 
it at their hands, and will better submit to their teaching than 
to others. I intend not these instructions so much to teachers 
as to others, and therefore I shall say but little to them ; and if 
all, or most ministers among us, were as faithful and diligent as 

120 THE saint's 

some, I would say nothing. But, because it is otherwise, let me 
give these two or three words of advice to my brethren in this 

1. Be sure that the recovering and saving of souls be the main 
end of your studies and preaching. (Acts xx. and xxvi. 18.) O do 
not propound any low and base ends to yourselves. This is the end 
of your calling, let it be also the end of your endeavours. God 
forbid that you should spend a week's study to please the people, 
or to seek the advancing of your own reputation. Dare you appear 
in the pulpit on such a business, ^ and speak for yourselves, when 
you are sent, and pretend to speak for Christ ? Dare you spend 
that time, and wit, and parts, for yourselves ? And waste the 
Lord's-day in seeking aj)plause, which God hath set apart for 
himself. Oh, what notorious sacrilege is this ! Set out the 
work of God as skilfully and adornedly as you can, but still let 
the winning of souls he your end, and let all your studies and 
labours be serviceable thereto. Let not the window be so painted 
as to keep out the light, but always judge that the best means 
that most conduceth to the end. Do not think that God is best 
served by a neat,'' starched, laced oration ; but that he is the 
able, skilful minister, that is best skilled in the art of instructing, 
convincing, persuading, and so winning of souls; and that is 
the best sermon that is best in these. When you once grow 
otherwise minded, and seek not God but yourselves, God will 
make you the basest and most contemptible of men, as you 
make yourselves the most sinful and wretched. Hath not this 
brought down the ministry of England once already ? It is 
true of your reputation, as Christ saith of your lives, " They 
that will save them, will lose them." Oh ! let the vigour, also, 
of your persuasions show that yoi^ are sensible on how weighty 
a business you are sent. Oh ! preach with that seriousness and 
fervour as men that believe their own doctrine, and that know 
their hearers must either be prevailed with, or be damned. 
What you would do to save them from everlasting burning, that 
do while you have the opportunity and price in your hand ; 

e Magna sapientia et pietasest, diceie ad juventutem et populum necessaria, 
lion subtilia aut arguta, ut Cufkus, viJ. relique in ejus vita per Mel. Adam, in 
■vit. Germ. Medicor. p. 215. Philosophers are children, till Christ makes them 
men, saiih Clemen. Alexaiid. Stromat. lib. i. 

>' ijuis accurate loquitur, nisi qui vult putide loqui ? Qualis sermo meus 
esset si una sedcreuuis, aut amhularemus, illahoiatus et lacilis ; tales esse 
epistolas mcas voio, qu.-e niiiil habeant accersituui nee fictum ; si fieri posset, 
quid sentiam, ostcndere quam loqui mallem. — Seneca, Ep. 75. 



that people may discern that you are in good sadness, and 
mean as you speak ; and that you are not stage-players, but 
preachers of the doctrine of salvation. Remember what Cicero 
saith, " that if the matter be ever so coinbustible, yet, if you 
put not fire to it, it will not burn." And what Erasmus saith, 
" that a hot iron will pierce, when a cold one will not." And 
if the wise men of the world account you mad, say as Paul,' 
" If we are beside ourselves, it is to God." And remember 
that Christ was so busy in doing of good, that his friends them- 
selves begun to lay hands on him, thinking he had l)een beside 
himself. (Mark iii.) 

Sect. MI. 2. The second and chief word of advice that I 
would give you, is this : Do not think that all your work is in 
your studies, and in the pulpit.*^ I confess that is great ; but, 
alas 1 it is but a small part of your task. You are shepherds, 
and must know every sheep, and what is their disease, and mark 
their stravings, and help to cure them, and fetch them home. 

If the paucity of ministers in great congregations (which is 
the great unobserved mischief in England that cries for refor- 
mation) did not make it a thing impossible in many places, I 
should charge the ministers of England with most notorious un- 
faithfulness, for neglecting so much the rest of their work, which 
calleth for their diligence as much as public preaching. O 
learn of Paul, (Acts xx. 19, 20, ^1,) to preach publicly, and 
from house to house, night and day with tears. Let there not 
be a soul in your charge that shall not be particularly instructed 
and watched over. Go from house to house daily, and inquire 
how they grow in knowledge and holiness, and on what grounds 
they build their hopes of salvation ; and whether they walk up- 
rightly, and perform the duties of their several relations, and 

' Amlingus was much used to that sayings, when he was reproached for his 
zeal — " Si iDsaniinus, Deo itisanimus." 

•* Nihil potius esse debet cura; episcopo, qiiam iiicolumitas grcjjis sibi crediti ; 
— (|U0 fit ut in civitate hoc sit epi>copus, quod in nave liubcniator, in curru rec- 
tor, in exercitu dux ; utpote cujus, ut aitCyj)rianus, (quantum perniciosuni est 
ad seciuentiuni lapsum ruina, tantuni contra utile eit ct saUitare cum seper fir- 
niamentuin religionis, iratribus pra^bet iniitandum. Vai igitur episcopis, 
siqui sint niuncris hujus obliti, &c. Epi^copi est reg^ere ecclesiani, con- 
cionari, populuni verbo Dei jiascere, baptizare, et baptizato.s confiruiare, ordi- 
nibus sacris initiare ministros Dei, obire, circumire, circunispicere sajpius 
suain provinciam, &c. ut coijnoscant quo statu sint fratres, et sublatis errori- 
bus siqui iirepsissent in hoininuni nientes, religio uon violttur. Caeteruin 
oliin episci>pi vocabantur presbjteri, teste non uno in loco Hicronyni. : pr»- 
cipue in Epist. ad Evagriuiu. — Polydm: Virgil, tie Ijivent, Reruin, lii). i\. c. Ct. 
pp.(nuhij 210, '241. 

122 THE saint's 

use the means to increase their abilities. See whether they 
daily worship God in their families 3 and set them in a way, and 
teach them how to do it : confer with them about the doctrines 
and practice of religion, and how they receive and profit by 
public teaching, and answer all their carnal objections ; keep in 
familiarity with them, that you may maintain your interest in 
them, and improve all your interest for God. See that no sedu- 
cers do creep in amongst them, or if they do, be diligent to 
countermine them ; and preserve your people from infection of 
heresies and schisms ', or if they be infected, be diligent to pro- 
cure their recovery ; not with passion and lordliness, but with 
patience and condescension : as Musculus did by the Anabap- 
tists, visiting them in prison, where the magistrate had cast 
them, and there instructing and relieving them ; and though 
they reviled him when he came, and called him a false prophet, 
and anti-christian seducer that thirsted for their blood, yet he 
would not so leave them, till at last by his meekness and love 
he had overcome them, and recovered many to the truth, and 
to unity with the church. 

Have a watchful eye upon each particular sheep in your 
flock : do not do as the lazy separatists, that gather a few of 
the best together, and take them only for their charge, leaving 
the rest to sink or swim, and giving them over to the devil and 
their lusts ; and except it be by a sermon in the pulpit, scarce 
ever endeavouring their salvation, nor once looking what becomes 
of them. O let it not be so with you ! If any be weak in the faith, 
receive him, but not to doubtful disputations. (Rom. xiv. 1.) If 
any be too careless of their duties, and too little savour the things 
of the Spirit, let them be pitied, and not neglected : if any walk 
scandalously and disorderly, deal with them for their recovery, 
with all diligence and patience, and set before them the heinous- 
ness and danger of their sin ; if they prove obstinate after all, then 
avoid them, and cast them off : but do not so cruelly as to un- 
church them by hundreds and by thousands, and separate from 
them as so many pagans, and that before any such means have 
been used for their recovery. If they be ignorant, it may be your 
fault as well as theirs ; and however, they are fitter to be instructed 
than rejected, except they absolutely refuse to be taught. Christ 
will give you no thanks for keeping or putting out such from his 
school that are unlearned, when their desire or will is to be 
taught. I confess, it is easier to shut out the ignorant, than to be- 
stow our pains night and day in teaching them ', but woe to such 


slothful, unfaithful servants. (Matt. xxiv. 45, 46.) Who then 
is a faithful and a wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler 
over his household, to give them their meat in due season, ac- 
cording to every one's age and capacity? IMcssed is that servant 
whom his Lord, when he conieth, shall find so doing. O he 
not asleep wliile the wolf is waking ! ^ Let your eye be quick in 
observing the dangers and strayings of your people. If jealou- 
sies, heart-burnings, or contentions arise among them, (juench 
them before they break out into raging, unresistible flames. As 
soon as you discern any to turn worldly, or proud, or factious, 
or self-conceited, or disobedient, or cold, and slothful in his 
duty ; delay not, but presently make out for his recovery : 
remember how many are losers in the loss of a soul. 

Sect. VIII. 3. Do not daub, ordeal slightly with any ; some 
will not tell their people plainly of their sins, because they are 
great men, and some because they are godly, as if none but the 
poor and the wicked should plainly be dealt with ; do not you 
so, but reprove them sharply, though differently, and with* wis- 
dom, that they may be sound in the faith. When the Palsgrave 
chose Pitiscus for his household chaplain, he charged him. That 
without fear he should discharge his duty, and freely admonish 
him of his faults, as the Scriptures do require. Such encourage- 
ment from great ones, would embolden ministers, and free them- 
selves from the unhappiness of sinning unreproved. If gentle- 
men would give no more thanks to Doegs, and accusers of 
the ministers, than Wigandus's prince did to that flattering 
lawyer who accused him for speaking to princes too plainly, 
they should learn quickly to be silent, when they had been 
forced as Haman's themselves, to clothe Mordecai, and set him 
in honour."^ However, God doth sufficiently encourage us to 
deal plainly ; He hath bid us speak and fear not ; He hath 
promised to stand by us, and He will be our security ; He may 
suffer us to be anathema secundum did (as Bucholcer said), 
but non secundum esse: He will keep us, as he did Huss's 

' The butcher and <;1iepherd do both look od the sheep, but uot both to one 
end, saith Clem. /\lex. Stromal. 

"> Poor Zejedine suffered many years' captivity in misery and irons by the 
Turks, for one word in a sermon, which distasted a woman, without the least 
cause. .\s Latimer saith, " We cannot say to great sinners, T'avobis, but we 
shall be called Coram nobis." This I know and dare avow, that the highest 
mystery in the divine rhetoric, is to feel what a man speaks, and then to speak 
what he felt, saith our excellent, judicious, pious, Doctor Stoughton. — 
Preachers' Dig. Serm. 2. p. 312. Lege Kuoxl Orationem aule Obituiu ad Syni- 
mystas et Presbyteros. 

124 THE saint's 

heart from the power of fire, though they did beat it, when they 
found it among the ashes ; they may burn our bones, as Bucer's 
and Fagius's ; or they may raise Hes of us when we are dead, 
as of Luther, Calvin, and CEcolampadius ; but the soul feeleth 
not this, that is rejoicing with his Lord ; in the mean time let 
us be as well learned in the art of suffering (as Xenophon) as 
they are in the art of reproaching : I had rather hear from the 
mouth of Balak, " God hath kept thee from honour ;" or from 
Ahab, " Feed him with the bread and water of affliction;" or from 
Amaziah, " Art thou made of the king's council ? forbear, why 
shouldst thou be smitten ?" than to hear conscience say, ' Thou 
hast betrayed souls to damnation by thy cowardice and silence ;' 
or to hear God say ' Their blood will 1 require at thy hands ;' or 
to hear from Christ the judge, " Cast the unprofitable servant 
into utter darkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of 
teeth;" yea, or to hear these sinners cry out against me in eter- 
nal fire, and with implacable rage to charge me with their undo- 
ing. (Numb. xxii. 11; 1 Kings xxii. 27; 2 Chron. xxv. 16 j 
Ezek. iii. 18, 20, and xxxiii. 8 ; Matt. xxv. 30.) 

And as you must be plain and serious, so labour to be skilful 
and discreet, that the manner may somewhat answer the excel- 
lency of the matter. How oft have I heard a stammering tongue, 
with ridiculous expressions, vain repetitions, tedious circumlo- 
cutions, and unseemly pronunciation, to spoil most precious 
spiritual doctrine, and make the hearers either loathe it, or laugh 
at it ! How common are these extremes in the ministers of 
England ! That while one spoils the food of life by affectation, 
and new-fashioned mincing, and pedantic toys, either setting 
forth a little and mean matter with a great deal of froth, and gaudy 
dressing ; so that there is more o/the shell or paring than of the 
meat : " or like children's babies, that when you have taken 

" Non tam eleganter clicentes, quam utilia docentes sunt audiendi, inqult 
Zeno Citti. Gibieuf. saith (out of Aquin. i. p. q. 217.) " that a teacher is to the 
learner as a physician to his patient. And as the physician himself gives not 
health, but only gives some helps to bring the body into a fit temperament 
and disposition, that is, to help nature ; so a teacher doth not give knowledge, 
but the helps and motives by which natural light, being excited and helped, 
may get knowledge. And as he is the best physician that doth not oppress na- 
ture with multitude of medicines, but pleasantly with a few doth help it, for the 
recovery of health ; so he is the best teacher, not that knoweth how to heap 
up many mediums and arguments to force the understanding rather than 
entice it Ijy the sweetness of light; but he, that by the easy and grateful me- 
diums which are within reach, or fitted to our light, doth lead men as by the 
hand unto the truth, in the beholding or sight of which truth only knowledge 





away the dressing, you have taken away all ; or else hiding 
excellent truths in a heap of vain rhetoric, and deforming its 
naked heauty with their paintings, so that no more seriousness 
can be perceived in their sermons, than in a schoolboy's decla- 
mations : and our people are brought to hear sermons, as they 
do stage-plays, because ministers behave themselves but as the 
actors : on the other side, how many by their slovenly dressing, 
and the uncleanness of the dish that it is served up in, do make 
men loathe and nauseate the food of life, and even despise and 
cast up that which should nourish them ! Such novices are 
admitted into the sacred function, to. the hardening of the 
wicked, the saddening of the godly, and the disgrace and wrong 
of the work of the Lord; and those that are not able to speak 
sense or reason, are made the ambassadors of the most high 

I know, our stvle must not be the same with different audito- 
ries : our language must not only be suited to our matter, but 
also to our hearers, or else the best sermon may be the worst ; we 
must not read the highest books to the lowest form : therefore 
was Luther wont to say, that " Qui pueriliter, populariter, tri- 
vialiter, et simplicissime docent, optimi ad vulgus sunt con- 
cionatores :" but yet it is a poor sermon that hath nothing but 
words and noise. Every reasonable soul hath both judgment 
and affection ; and every rational, spiritual sermon must have 
both. A discourse that hath judgment without affection is 
dead, and ineffectual ; and that which hath affection without 
judgment is mad and transporting: remember the proverb, 
" Non omnes qui habent citharam, sunt citharoedi," Every man 
is not a musician that hath an instrument, or that can jangle it, 
and make a noise on it: and that other proverb, ° " Alulti sunt 
qui boves stimulant, pauci aratores," Many can prick the oxen, 
but few can plough ; so, many preachers can talk loud and ear- 
nestly, but few can guide their flock aright, or open to them 
solidly the mysteries of the Gospel, and show the true mean 
between the extremes of contrary errors : I know both must 
be done ; holding tiie plough without driving the oxen, doth 

doth consist, and not in use of arguments ; and therefore arguments are 
called reasons, by a name of relation to truth, viz., because they are means 
for finding out the truth."— Gibieiif. Pre/af. dc Libertat. lib. ii. p. 2fc!2. I 
judge this an excellent useful observation for all teachers and disputants. 

o 2 Tim. ii. 15. Futurus pastor ecclesiae talis eligatur, ad cujus comparatio- 
nem recte grex caiteri nominentur. Definiunt rhetores oratorem, qui sit vir 
bonus, dicendi peritus. — Hicron.ad Ocean, torn. iii. p. (mihij 147. 

126 THE saint's 

nothing ; and driving without holding, maketh mad work, and 
is worse than nothing : but yet remember, that every plough- 
boy can drive; but to guide is more difficult, and therefore 
belongeth to the master-workman : the violence of the natural 
motion of the winds can drive on the ship; but there is neces- 
sary a rational motion to guide and govern it, or else it will 
quickly be on the rocks and shelves, either broke or sunk, and 
had better lie still in the harbour, at an anchor ; the horses that 
have no reason, can set the coach or cart a-going, but if there 
be not some that have reason to guide them, it were better 
stand still. Oh, therefore, let me bespeak you, my brethren, in 
the name of the Lord, especially those that are more young and 
weak, that you tremble at the greatness of this holy employ- 
ment, and run not up into a pulpit as boldly as into the market- 
place ; study and pray, pray and study, till you are become 
workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word 
of truth, that your people may not be ashamed, or weary to 
hear you ; but that besides your clear unfolding of the doctrine 
of the Gospel, you may also be masters of your people's affec- 
tions, and may be as potent in your divine rhetoric, as Cicero 
in his human, who, as it is said, while he pleaded for Ligarius, 
" Arma de imperatoris quantumvis irati manu excusserit, et 
misero supplici veniam impetrarit ;" or, as it is said of excellent 
Bucholcer,!^ that he never weht up into the pulpit, but he raised 
in men almost what affections he pleased : so raising the de- 
jected, and comforting the afflicted, and strengthening the 
tempted, that though it were two hours before he had done, yet 
not any, even of the common people, were weary of hearing 
him. Set before your eyes such patterns as these, i and labour 

with unwearied diligence to be like them. To this end take 


p Bucholcerus in rostra sua et mediae conscionis suggestum nunquam as- 
cendit, quin de cordibus homitiuin ipsis quos fere vellet afFectus excuteret. 
Templum ingrediebatur quis, sensu irae diviiise perterritus ? Deum immorta- 
lem ! Quanta fidei voluptate perfusus doraum redibat? Calamitatum an- 
gore et teiitatiorium fluctibus quassabatur alius ? Non doloris taututn alievia- 
tionem, sed propositum etiam sibi iugenerari sentiebat mala quaeque forti con- 
stantique aiiimo perfereiuli. Erat omiii vitiorum ccetia contaminatus aiiquis ? 
Flexaninia oratiouis hujus suada nisi plane desperatus esset, corrigebatur. 
Vivida nimiium in Bucholcero omnia fuerunt, vivida vox, vividi oculi, vividae 
manus, gestus onines vividi ; adeo sese in illo divini spiritus virtutes con- 
seruere. Hinc auditorium ejus ila commotuin orationeni Bucbolceri constat, 
ut, licet non nisi fiuita hora altera perorarit, nullum tainen audieudi taedium, 
vel ^ media cuiquam plebe obrepserit. — Melch. Adnmiis in Vila Bucholceri. 

9 In time, and by labour, the truth will shine forth to you, if you light on 
a good helper or guide. — Clem, Alex, Strom, lib. i. 


Demosthenes' counsel, " Plus olei quam vini absumerc." It is 
a work that requireth your most serious, searching thoughts. 
Running, hasty, easy studies, bring forth blind births. When 
you are the most renowned doctors in the church of God, alas, 
how little is it that you know, in comparison of all that which 
you are ignorant of !  Content not yourselves to know what is 
the judgment of others, as if that were to know the truth in its 
evidence ; give not over your studies when you know what the 
orthodox hold, and what is the opinion of the most esteemed 
divines : though I think while you are novices,** and learners 
yourselves, you may do well to take much upon trust from the 
more judicious : yet stop not there ; but know, that such faith 
is more borrowed than your own : an implicit faith in matters, 
not fundamental, and of great difficulty, is ofttimes commend- 
able, yea, and necessary in your people, who are but scholars ; 
but in you that are masters and teachers, it is a reproach. 

Sect. IX. 4. Be sure that your conversation be teaching as 
well as your doctrine. Do not contradict and confute your own 
doctrine by your practice. * Be as forward in a holy and hea- 

 Communes enim sensus simplicitas ipsa commendat, et compassio sen- 
teiitiarum et familiaritas opinionum, &c. Ratio auteni diviiia in lueilulla est, 
non iu superficie, et plerumque aimulamauifestis. — 7VrfM//iaM. Lib.de Resur- 
rect. Carnis,ta\>. .3. p. 407. 

' Eruditio, ait Metrocles, tempore emenda est. Ideo Tliales dixit tempus 
omnium sapientissimum est. 'J'herefore trust not^too soon to the judgment of 
a vouii^ divine, any more than to a young lawyer or physician. Though I 
know many are old ignorants too. 

* Let presbyters be simple, merciful to all, converting all from error, visit- 
ing all that are sick, not neglecting the widows, the orphans, and the poor, 
but always providing things gou^ before God and men ; abstain from all 
an-^er, from unjust judgment, and be far from all covetousness. Do not 
hastily consent against any man ; do not prevaricate in judgment ; be zealous 
after that which is good, keeping yourselves from scandals and false brethren, 
and those that bear the name of the Lord in hypocrisy, and who lead empty 
men into error. — Polycarjms in E/j. ad Philip, edit. Usserii, pp. I'J, 20. It 

seems it was the office and work of presbyters to be judges in Polycarp's time, 
who was John's discii)le, and the people's duty to obey them, as it is expressed 
in the words before tliisc. Lu um i)hilosophi« est sponte facere justa et 
sancta, inquit Aristote' >, refeioate Grynaso in Aphur. post Com. iu Hebra;. 
Ne paganismo et atheisnio iu Christianorum homiuum studiis locus sit uUus : 
imprimis gloria; Dei, deinde publicie utilitati inservireoportet, inquit Grymeus 
Aphor. Prsestantissimum genus studii est, bene agere, ait Socrates. Luther 
was wont to advise preachers to see that these three dogs did not follow them 
into the j)ulpit — I'ride, Covetousness, or Euvy. Nos non habitu sapientiam 
sed mente praferimus : non eloquimur magna, sed vivimus. Gloriamur nos 
consecutos quod illi summa intenlione cpissiverunt, nee invenire potucrunt. 
— Minut. F<eHv. Octuv. p. 401. Hiereant sibi iuvicem, et auxilio sint. Ratio 
eteuim operibus, opera ratione indigent : ut quod meute percipimus opcre 

128 THE saint's 

venlv life, as you are in pressing on others to it. Let your 
discourse be as edifying and spiritual as you teach them that 
theirs must be. Go not to law with your people, nor quarrel 
with them, if you can possibly avoid it. If they wrong you, 
forgive them : for evil language give them good, and blessing 
for their cursing. Let go your right rather than let go your 
hopes and advantages for the winning of one soul. Suffer any 
thing rather than the Gospel and men's souls should suffer. 
Become all things lawful to all men, if by any means you may 
win some. Let men see that you use not the ministry only for 
a trade to live by, but that your very hearts are wholly set upon 
the welfare of their souls. Whatsoever meekness, humility, 
condescension, or self-denial, you teach them from the Gospel, 
oh ! teach it them also by your undissembled, leading example. 
This is to be guides, and pilots, and governors of the church 
indeed. Be not like the orators that Diogenes blamed, that 
studied bene dicere^ non bene facere ; nor like the sign at the 
inn-door, that hangs out in the rain itself, while it shows others 
where they may have shelter and refreshing ; nor like the fencer 
that can offend, but not defend j as Cicero said of Caelius, that 
he was a good right-hand man, but an ill left-hand man. See 
that you be as well able to defend yourselves when you are 
tempted by Satan, or accused by men to be proud, covetous, or 
negligent, as to tell others what they should be. Oh, how 
many heavenly doctrines are in some people's ears, that never 
were in the preacher's heart I Too true is that of Hilary, 
" Sanctiores sunt aures plebis, quam corda sacerdotum." Alas, 
that ever pride, emulation, hypocrisy, or covetousness, should 
come into a pulpit ! They are hateful in the shops and street, 
but more hateful in the church, but in the pulpit most of all. 
What an odious sight is it, to s'ee pride and ambition stand up 
to preach humility ; and hypocrisy to preach up sincerity ; and 
an earthly-minded man to preach for a heavenly conversation ! 
Do I need to tell you that are teachers of others, that we have 
but a little while longer to preacli^ and but a {q\v more breaths to 
breathe, and then we must come down, and be accountable for 
our work ? Do I need to tell you that we must die, and be 

perpetremus. — Hieron. de Veste Sacerdot. torn. iv. p. (mihi) 26. Tanta de- 
bet esse scientia et eruditio pontificis Dei, lit et gressus ejiis, et motus, et uni- 
versa vocalia sint : veritatein meiite coiicipiat ; et toto cam habitu resonet, et 
oinatu : ut ipiicquid agit, quicquid loquitur, sit ductrina populoriim. — Hieron. 
ib. p. 27. fine. JSuiuiuain jiericlitaiur religio nisi inter reverendissimos. Proba- 
tum ut Luther, citante D. Sloughlon; Valerius Maximus, lib. i. c. 2. inst. 21. 


judged as well as our people ; or that justice is most severe 
about the sanctuary; and judgment beginnetli at the house of 
God ; and revenge is most implacable about the altar ; and jea- 
lousv is hottest a])out the ark ? Have vou not learned these lessons 
from Eh, Corah, Xadab, and Abihu, Uzzah, and the Bethshe- 
mites, &c., though I had said nothing ? Can you forget that 
even some of our tribe shall say at judgment, "Lord, we 
have taught in thy name," (Matt, vii.,) who yet must depart 
with " 1 know you not ?" Do you learn nothing bv the afflic- 
tions that now lie upon you ? You see what hath been done 
against the ministry of England : how some have been laid hold 
on by the hand of justice, and some by the hand of violence and 
injustice,and how all are lashed and reproached by the wanton 
tongues of ignorant, insolent sectaries ; neither prelatical, pres- 
byterian, nor mere independent, now spared, it being the very 
calling itself that now they set against ; how they rob the 
church of her due maintenance, and make no more of it than 
Dionysius did of robbing /Esculapius of his golden beard, 
" Quia barbatus erat filius, at pater Apollo non ita ;" or than 
the same Dionysius did of robbing Jupiter Olympius of the 
golden coat that Hieron. had given, saying, " that a coat of 
gold was too heavy for summer, and too cold for winter, but 
cloth would be suitable to both ;" or than he did of robbing the 
images of the vessels of gold which they held in their hands, 
saying, " he did but take what they offered, and held forth 
to him ;" or than the same Dionysius did of robbing the tem- 
ple of Proserpina, when afterwards his ships had a prosperous 
wind, "Videtis, inquit, quam prospera navigatio a Diis immor- 
talibus detur sacrilegis : ex hoc coUigens aut non esse Deos, aut 
ilHs non esse molesta sacrilegia." Sirs, doth God lay all this on 
the church and ministry for nothing ? Doth not the world 
know that an ignorant, lazy ministry formerly possessed many 
churches in the land ? And how manv such are there vet re- 
maining ? And those that are better, alas ! how far from what 
we should be, either in knowledge or practice ; and yet how 
unwilling are they to learn what they know not ! Even as un- 
willing as their people are to learn of them, if not much more. 
Oh, see your errors by the glass of your afflictions, and if the 
words of God will not serve the turn, let the tongues of 
enemies and sectaries show you your transgressions. Of 
whom may I say to you as Erasmus of Luther, "Deus dedit 
huic postremae aetati propter morborum multitudineui acrcm 

130 THE saint's 

medicum ;" and as the Emperor Charles of the same Luther, 
" Si sacrificuli frugi essent, nullo indigerent Luthero." Yet let 
not any papist catch at this, as if our ministry were unlearned 
and vicious, in comparison of theirs ; the contrary of the com- 
mon sort is well known : and though the Jesuits of late have 
been so industrious and learned, yet I could tell them, out 
of Erasmus, of some that proved heretics must be killed, from 
Paul's " haereticum hominem devita," i.e. vita tolle ; and of 
Hen. Stephanus' priest of Artois, that would prove that it be- 
longed to his parishioners to pave the church, and not to him ; 
From Jeremy's " paveant illi," not " paveam ego." Or if these 
seem partial witnesses, I could tell them what Bellarmine saith 
of the ninth age : " Seculo hoc nullum extitit indoctius aut in- 
felicius, quo qui mathematicae aut philosophiae operam dabat, 
magnus vulgo putabatur ;" and as ^ Espencseus saith, " Et Graece 
nosse suspectum fuerit, Hebraice prope hsereticum." I could tell 
them also what a clergy was found in Germany, and in Eng- 
land,^ at the Reformation ; what barbarous ignorance, beastly 
uncleanness, and murders of the children begotten in whoredom, 
was found among them. I could tell them who have been turned 
from their church by a mere journey to Rome ; there seeing the 
wickedness of their chiefest clergy : and what Petrarch, Man- 
tuan, with multitudes more, say of it : and (if the most horrid 
murders were not become virtues with them ; and did they not 
think they did God service by killing his servants) should mind 
them of all the burnings in England, and of all the unparalleled, 
bloody massacres in France, and the Inquisition of Spain, which 
their clergy yet manage and promote. If any say, that I speak 
this but upon reports, we have seen no such thing, I answer as 
Pausanias, when he was blamed for dispraising a physician that 
he had never made trial of, " Si periculum fecissem nequaquam 
viverem." If we had fallen into their hands, it had been too late 
to complain: "Quia me vestigia terrent, omnia in adversum 

" As Doctor Hackwell reciteth him, with more to the same purpose ; as 
one that would prove, that there were ten worlds, from Christ's words, " Nonne 
decern facti sunt mundi ?" And the other disproved him from the words fol- 
lowing, "Sed ubi sunt novum ?" 

* I may say to them as Origin to Celsus, lib. iii. p. (mihi) 33. Antis- 
titem ecclesise quempiam cum prjEside aliquo velim contuleris, et civita- 
tis principe : ut plaufe intelligas vel in defectioribus quidem Dei ccclesise 
consultoribus, etsi primariis viris qui negligentius vivant, et preter solertissi- 
morum quorundam et Christianorum consuedinem, nil minus depreheudi 
posse, quam ex virtutum profectu, ut se caeteris prffifcraut, &c. — Origen.corit. 
Celsum, lib. iii. (edit. Ascens.) p. 33. 


spectantla, nulla retrorsum." And some taste of the fruits of 
their projects we have lately had in England, by which paw we 
may sufficiently conjecture of the lion. So that, as bad as we 
are, our adversaries have little cause to reproach us. 

But yet, bretlircn, let us impartially judge ourselves ; for God 
will shortly judge us impartially. What is it that hath occa- 
sioned so many novices to invade the ministry, who, being puflfed 
up with pride, are fallen into the snare of the devil, (1 Tim. iii. 
6,) and bring the work of God into contempt by their igno- 
rance ? Hath not the ungodliness and ambition of those that 
are more learned, by bringing learning itself into contempt, 
been the cause of all this ? Alas ! who can be so blinded by 
his charity, as not to see the truth of this among us ? How 
many of the greatest wits have the most graceless hearts ! and 
relish Cicero, Demosthenes, or Aristotle, better than David, or 
Paul, or Christ ; and even loathe those holy ways which cus- 
tomarily they preach for; that have no higher ends in entering 
upon the ministry, than gain and preferment : and when the 
hopes of preferment are taken away, they think it but folly to 
choose such a toilsome and ungrateful work. And thus the 
ball of reproach is tossed between the well-meaning ignorant, 
and the ungodly learned ; and between these two, how miser- 
able is the church ! The one cries out of unlearned schismatics; 
the other cries out of proud, ungodly persecutors ; and say, 
' These are your learned men, who study for nothing but for a 
benefice, or a bishoprick ; that are as strange to the mysteries of 
regeneration, and a holy life, as any others ! ' and oh, that 
these reproaches were not too true of many ! God hath less- 
ened ministers of late, one would think sufficiently, to beware 
of ambition and secular avocations j but it is hard to hear God 
speak by the tongue of an enemy, or to see and acknowledge 
his hand where the instrument doth miscarry. ^ If English ex- 

y Nejabitis sat scio, et pernegabitis, &c. at verenclum vehementer ne vos 
ipsos decipiatis ; noii iiuvum hoc, uec infrequeiis seducere alius, qui k seip- 
sis seducti sunt. In propriis cfficutimus oniiies. Actus reflexus mentis loiif^e 
difticilior est actu directo. In theologia vero, oinuium longe rarissiniuni 
et (litTicultatis pieiiissiiiium, nosse seipsuni : falluntur et fallunt quicunque 
theologi ipsos nundum satis norunt. Velini ante uninia cavcretis vobis ipsis 
quani diligentissime ab hypocrisi : grave, inquis, crimen ! Ergone hypocrita; 
tibi videmur? Alrocem iujuriam ! &c. Quotidianum est uostrum queu)vi» 
in aliis reprehendere, X quo ipse nou sit plane inununis. Quid niiri si idem 
eveniat quil)usdani theulugis ? lis cuni priniis qui atl'ectibus ninuuni indul- 
gent suis, ut in aliis hypucrisin nutent, iu seipsis nou videant, nun deprehen- 
daut ? Oiuuiuin vitiorum subtilissimum saue est bypucrisis : quod uou luodo 


132 THE saint's 

amples have lost their forca, as being so near your eyes that 

you cannot see them, remember the end of Funicius, that 

learned chronologer, who might have Hved longer as a divine, 

but died as a prince's counsellor, and the distich pronounced at 

his death. 

Disce meo exemplo, mandato munere fungi, 
Et fuge ceu pestem tV ■KoKvTrpa-yixoa-uvTiv. 

And the like fate of Justus Jonas, (J. C, son of that great divine 
of that name,) the next year, whose last verses were like the 


Quid juvat innumeros scire atque evolvere casus. 
Si facienda fugis, si fugienda facis ? 

Study not, therefore, the way of rising, but the way of right- 
eousness. Honesty will hold out, when honours will deceive you. 
If your hearts be once infected with the fermentation of this 
swelling humour, it will quickly rise up to your brain, and cor- 
rupt your intellectuals, and then you will be of that opinion 
which your flesh thinks to be good, and not that which your 
judgment thought to be true ; and you will fetch your religion 
from the statute-book, and not from the Bible, as the jest went of 
Agricola, who turned from a protestant to an antinomian ; and 
being convinced of that error, turned papist, into the other ex- 
treme ; and Pflugius and Sidonius, authors of the Interim j 
" Chrisma ab eis et oleum pontificium inter alia defenduntur, ut 
ipsi discederent unctiores," because they obtained bishopricks by 
it. Oh, what a doleful case is it to see so many brave wits, and 
men of profound learning, to be made as useless and hurtful to 
the church of God by their pride and ungodliness, as others are 
by their pride and ignorance ! Were a clear understanding 
conjoined with a holy heart and heavenly life, and were they as 

alios quosvis, sed suos possessores miris niodis et artibus valet decipere et 
circuniveiiire : quo callidior hie serpens, quo magis lubricus illabitur homi- 
num mentibus, eo niajore studio, eo acriuri vigiiantia fugiendus aut pel- 
lendus. — Rupertus Meldeniiis Parcenesi Votiv.pro Pace JScct. fol. B. 2!^. Per- 
dit authoritatem docendi cujus sermo opere destruitur. — Hiero7i. ad Ocean, 
torn. iii. p. (edit. Erasm.) 147, Innocens tamen et absque sermone con- 
versatio, quantum exemplo prodest, tantum sileiitio nocet. — Ibid. Qui 
alios docendi funguntur munere, non doctrina tantum sed etiam vitae inno- 
centia, ac morum integ'ritate, suis debere esse conspicuos, dicere solitus est 
Dr. Bordingus, ut Melchior. Adam, in ejus vita. Mentior nisi alios qui talis 
est increpat; turpes turpis infainat ; et evasisse se conscium credit; quia 
conscientiam suam non posse efl'ugere satis non fit, eidem in publico accusa- 
tores , in occulto rei ; in semetipsos censores pariter et nocentes : damnaiit 
foris quod intus operantur : admittunt libenter, quod cum admiserint crimi- 
nantur; audacia prorsus cum vitiis faciens. — Cyprian. E^lst, 1. ad Donatum. 


skilful in spiritual as human learning, what a glory and blessing 
would they be to the churches 1 

Sect. X. 5. Lastly, Be sure that you study and strive after 
unity and peace.^ if ever you would promote the kingdom of 
Christ, and your people's salvation, do it in a way of peace and 
love : public wars and private (juarrcls do usually pretend the 
reformation of the church, the vindicating of the truth, and the 
welfare of souls, but they as usually prove in the issue, the 
greatest means to the overthrow of all. 

It is as natural for both wars and private contentions to pro- 
duce errors, schisms, contempt of magistracy, ministry, and 
ordinances, as it is for a dead carrion to breed worms and ver- 
min : believe it from one that hath too many years' experience 
of both in armies and garrisons : it is as hard a thing to main- 
tain, even in your people, a sound understanding, a tender con- 
science, a lively, gracious, heavenly frame of spirit, and an up- 
right life, in a way of war and contention, as to keep your 
candle lighted in the greatest storms, or under the waters. * 

The like I may say of perverse and fierce disputings about 
baptism, and the ciicumstantials of discipline, or other ques 
tions that are far from the foundation ; they oftener lose the 
truth than find it. 

A synod is as likely and lawful a means as any for such deci- 
sions;'' and yet Nazianzen saith, " Se hactenus non vidisse 
ullius synodi utilem finem, aut in qua res male se habentes, non 
magis exacerbatae quam curatae fuerint." 

With the vulgar,^' he seems to be the concjueror that hath 
the last word, or at least he that hath the most plausible de- 
portment, the most affecting tone, the most earnest and confi- 

' Therefore Christ died not, after the manner of John, with his bead cut 
oft, nor yet as Isaias, cut asunder, that so even in death he niii;lit kc(.'|) his 
body whole and undivided, and so no occasion nii^ht be ijiven to them that 
would divide the church. — Jllianasiux de Iucar7uU. I'tvbi. 

* Ij^uatius gives a true character of most soldiers, in his Epistle to the 
Romans, (edit. Usserii, |). 85) Or]pioixuxi>> 5ia 7i7j ical 6a\da-aris, vvktus nal 
■qixipas, ifOiSffifvos StKa \eoTrdpdois {d ^ctti trT^aTiu)TiKt)»' Tdyi.La) ol Koi (hepye- 
Toifxivai, x^ipovs ylvovrai, Iv ^e toTs dStinTuaffiv avTuiv /xriWov ixaOr}Tevo;j.ai. I 
would we could as patiently bear, and make as good use of, the like disposi- 

'' How far synods are necessary, and yet particular ministers of churches 
are independent, see, by comparing Cyprian's Ejiist. 72. sect, iii, p. 217, with 
Firniilian's Epist. to Cyprian, ep. 75. p. (mihi) 2;^(). 

" How many disputes did you ever bear end as Minut. Firlix. Octav. ; 
Posth.-ec laeti hilarescpie discessimus : Caecilius quod crediderit, Octavius (juod 
viccrit : et ego quod hie crediderit, et hie vicerit. 

134 THE saint's 

dent expressions, the most probable arguments, rather than he 
that hath the most naked demonstrations. He takes with them 
most, that speaks for the opinion which they hke and are in- 
dined to, though he speak nonsense : and he that is most fami- 
liar with them, hath the best opportunities and advantages to 
prevail, especially he that hath the greatest interest in their 
affections. So that a disputation before the vulgar, even of the 
godly, is as likely a means to corrupt them, as to cure them ; 
usually the most erroneous seducers will carry out their cause 
with as good a face, as fluent a tongue, as great contempt and 
reproach of their opposers, and as much confidence, that the 
truth is on their side, as if it were so indeed. 

Paraeus's ^ master taught him that " certo certius in qualibet 
minutissima panis portione, vere et substantialiter integrum 
corpus Christi esset : item in, apud, cum, sub minutissima vini 
guttula adesset integer sanguis dominicus." What confidence 
was here in a bad cause ! And if you depend on the most 
reverend and best-esteemed teachers, and suffer the weight of 
their reputation to turn the scales, you may in many things be 
never the nearer to the truth. How many learned able men 
have the name and authority of Luther misled in the point of 
con-substantiation ? Ursin was carried away with it awhile, till 
he was turned from it by the reading of Luther's own argu- 
ments, they were such paralogisms. Yet was it Luther's charge 
to his followers, " that none should call themselves after his 
name, because he died not for them, nor was his doctrine his 
own." The only way, therefore, to the prospering vour labours, 
is, to quench all flames of contention, to your power. If you 
would have the waters of verity and piety to be clear, the way 
is not to stir in them, and trouble them, but to let them settle 
in peace, and run down into practice. 

Woe to those ministers who make unnecessary divisions and 
parties among the people, that so they may get themselves 
a name, and be cried up by many followers ! And as vou should 
thus study the peace and unity of your congregations, so keep 
out all the occasions of division, especiallv the doctrine of sepa- 
ration,*^ and popular church government, the apparent seminary 

^ Paraeus in Prefat. ad Comment, in Gen.: Suasorius enim, et verisimilis 
est, exquirens fucos, error ; sine fuco autem est Veritas, et propter hoc pueris 
credita est. — Iren. adv. Httres. Wh. in. c. 15. 

e De independentibus orthodoxis et hsreticis, et horum toleraulia, lege 
Dav. Blondellum de jure plebis in regimine ectlesiast. pp. 72 — 75. 


of faction and perpetual contentions. If once your people be 
taught that it belongeth to them to govern themselves, and 
those that Scripture calleth their guides and rulers, you shall 
have mad work ! When every one is a governor, who are the 
governed ? \\'hen the multitude, how unable soever, must hear 
and judge of every cause, both their teachers and others, they 
need no other employment to follow : this will find them work 
enough, as it doth to parliament-men to sit, and hear, and 
speak, and vote. 

Is it not strange that so learned a man as Pet. Ramus'" should 
be advocate for the multitude's authority in church-government? 
But that God must use so sharp a cure for those contentions, 
as that bloody French massacre, methinks should make England 
tremble to consider it, lest the same disease here must have the 
like cure. If an army had tried this popular government but 
one year among themselves in their military affairs, and had 
attempted and managed all their designs by the vote of the 
whole army, I durst have valued their judgments the better ever 
after in this point. 

Woe to the patient that must have a mistaken physician, till 
he be grown skilful by making experiments upon his diseases :8f 

' Pet. Ramus volebat non penes paucos, sed penes iiniversam ecclesiam 
esse jiidiciuin doctrinae, electionem et rejectioueni ministrorum, exconimuni- 

cationem et absolutionem. A synodo awtem approbata discipliua usitata, 

novjE autem upiiiiones explosa; sunt, liijunctum etiani illaruin partium ec- 
clesiis, ut oiiiui studio, flectere illos, et si non ad senieiitiam inutandain, sal- 
tern, ad pacem fovendani, niausuele iiivitare conareutur. Sed nova et in- 
audita crudelitas quie Parisiis exorta in nuptiis iliis fatalibus longe lateque 
regniiin Gallije [lervasit, doinesticas et intcstiiias contentiones oninas sustalit. 
— /« vita BuHiiigcri. Autelise synodo pra?sedit Sadcel, ulii ciiin priinis 
eoruni opinio di>cussa confutataiiue qui disciplinain pariter doctriiiamque 
deniocratico vel [lotiiis oclilocratico more nuodain ex popnli sutfrafciis regi ad- 

ministrarique volebant. Et cum in aliis provintiis recrudiscere iliud suj)er 

ecclesiastica jjolitia dissidium iiitelligeret Sadeel, censuit de re tota silii am- 
pliter esse dissereudum. Atque liabita synodo rursum, cut et prif fuit, tanta 
felicitate usns est diceiidi docendique, ut scliismatis ejus princeps, vir alioijui 
erudilionis baud spernenda?, in orthodoxorum partes sese coiitulerit, ac mu- 
tatam seutentiam edito libcllo professus sit. — In vita ScHiecl. In Nemau- 
sensi synodo actum de discipiina ecclesiastica, cujus forniam quandam novaiu 
et insolitam quidam Johan. Parisiensis non animo tantum, sed etiam scripto 
desiguabat: eique viri quidam docti rerum novarum pruritu plus lequo la- 
borantes adha-rebant, et magna verborum argumentorumque acie opinionem 
illius niunitam defendebant. lilorum tamen conatui sese opposuit IJeza, doc- 
tissime et diserlissime rem totam edisserens. Ejus sententiam tota synodus 
unanimo consensu apjirobavit, &c. — In vita Bez. 

s All heretics say, as Judas to Christ, Master; and with a kiss, that is, 
a show of love to it, they betray the truth. — Origen, Tract. 35. in Matt. 
Non omues qui Christi nomine gloriantur, et in externo civitatis Dei ca;tu ct 


and woe to the people that are in such hands, as must learn 
their skill in government from the common calamities only, and 
from their experience of the sufferings of the people 1 This 
kind of knowledge, I confess, is the thoroughest j but it is pity 
that so many others should pay so dear for it. 

You, therefore, who are the guides of this chariot of Christ, 
take heed of losing the reins, lest all be overthrown. Alas ! 
poor England, how are thy bowels torn out, because thy inhabi- 
tants, yea, and guides, run all into extremes, like a drunken 
man that reeleth from side to side, but cannot keep the middle 
way : nay, they hate a man of peace, who runs not out into their 
extremes. One party would pluck up the hedge of govern- 
ment, as if the vineyard could not be fruitful, except it lie waste 
to the pleasure of all the beasts of the forest. They are like 
the pond that should grudge at the banks and dam, and thinks 
it injurious to be thus restrained of its liberty, and therefore 
combine with the winds to raise a tempest, and so assault and 
break down the banks in their rage ; and now where is that 
peaceable association of waters ? Methinks the enemies of 
government are just in the case,^ as I remember, when I was a 
boy, our school was in, when we had barred out our master, we 
grudged at our yoke, we longed for liberty ; because it was not 
given us, we resolved to take it. When we had got out our 
master, and shut fast the doors, we grew bold, and talked to him 
at our pleasure : then no one was master, and every one was 
our master. We spend our time in playing and quarrelling, we 
treat at last with our master about coming in ; but our liberty 
was so sweet that we were loth to leave it, and we had run our- 
selves so deep in guilt, that we durst not trust him, and there- 
fore we resolve to let him in no more : but, in the end, when 
our playdays, which we called holidays, were over, we were fain 
to give an account of our boldness, and soundly to be whipped 
for it, and so to come under the yoke again. Lord, if this be 
the case of England, let us rather be whipped, and whipped 
again, than turned out of thy school, and from under thy 

We feel now how those are mistaken that think the way for 

panegyri versantur, jus Labent suffragii : multi inter eos serarii, vel in ceri- 
tum tabulas relati, imo civitate plane indig^ni. Quis vero populum ad suffra- 
gia vocabit? — Tilen.in D. Twiss Defens. contra Corvin. p. 33. 

•> Stat contra rationem, defensor mali sui, populus. Hie exitus est omnis 
judicii, iu quo lis secundum plures datur.— <Seweca de Vita Beat, c. i. 


the church's unity,' is to dig up tlie banks and let all loose, that 
every man in religion may do what he list.'' 

On the other side, some men, to escape this Scylla, do fall 
into the Charybdis of violence and formality. Thev must have 
all men to walk in fetters, and they must be the makers of 
them; and ministers must be taught to preach by such jives as 
their horses are taught to pace. No man must be suffered to 
come into a pulpit, that thinks not or speaks not as they would 
have him : or, if they cannot take away his libertv, they will do 
what they can to blast his reputation. Yet if he cannot have 
the repute of being orthodox, it were well if they would leave 
him the reputation of a Christian. 

But having, also, a Christianity of their own making, and 
proper to themselves, they will presently unchristen him, and 
make him a heretic by proclamation ; as if they had so far 
the power of the keys, as to lock up the doors of heaven against 
him, and wipe out his name from the book of life. 

It striketh me sometimes into an amazement with admira- 
tion, that it should be possible for such mountains of pride to 
remain in the hearts of many godly, reverend ministers ! That 
they should no more be conscious of the weakness of their own 
understandings, but that even in disputable, difficult things they 
must be the rule by which all others must be judged.' So that 
every man's judgment must be cut meet to the standard of 
theirs ; and whatsoever opinion is either shorter or longer, 

' Tinea est Arius : tinea Photinus, qui sanctum ecclesise vestimentum 
impietatc scindunt, et sacrilego uiorsu fidei velanien abrodunt. — Avibros. de 
Spirit, lib. i. c. 19. 

k Nou est levior traiisgressio in interpretatione, quam in conversatione. — 
Terlul. de Pudicit. c. 9. 

1 Quid possuinus exponere de oceani accessu et recessu, cum constet esse 
certam causam ? Vel quid dicere lussuinus, quoniodo pluvia;, et corusca- 
tioues, et tonitrua, et coUectiones nubiuin, ct nebulie, et veiUorum tniissiones 
et similia his efficiuutur ? &c. In his omnibus nos quidem loquaces erimus, 
requiieutes causas eorum : qui auteni ca facit, solus Deus veiidicus est. Si 
ergo et iu rel)us creaturae, quiedam ((uidem eorum adjacent Deo ; (iiia«dani 
autcm et iu nostram venerunt scientiani, J^^'^^ "•'^'i ^st si et eorum quaj ia 
Scripturis requiruntur, universis ScrijUuris spiritualibus existentibus, qua-- 
dam absolvanius secundum gratiam Dei, (juiedam autem commendenius Deo ? 
Et non solum in hoc seculo, sed et in futuro ? Ut semper quidem Deus do- 
ceat ; homo autem semper discat qua; sunt .\ Deo, <tc. — Irenceus adveis. 
Ha-res. lib. ii. c. 47. Arrogantia proCectus obstaculum est, ut rccte Hion. 
Vecordis homines est, a nemine aliqiiid didicisse velle viJeri, ut dixit Antis- 
thenes. Read Junius Eirenicon in Fsal. cxxii. and cxxxiii. in operum ejus 
torn. i. p. G79, &c. a most precious piece. Read Uishop Hall's 17tli Soliloquy, 
called. ' Allowable Variety,' p. (;>. Omnis secta humana authoritatc tirmaia, 
ratione caret. — ^neas Sylvius in Platina. 

138 THE saint's 

must be rejected with the scorn of a heresy or an error. 
Wonderful ! That men who have ever studied divinity should 
iio more discern the profundities, and difficulties, and their own 
incapacities ! More wonderful, that any disciple of Christ 
should be such an enemy to knowledge as to resolve they will 
know no more themselves than is commonly known,, or suffer 
any other to know more. So that when a man hath read once 
what is the opinion of the divines that are in most credit, he 
dare search no further, for fear of being counted a novelist or 
heretic, or lest he bear their curse for adding to, or taking 
from, the common conceits ! So that divinity is become an 
easier study than heretofore. We are already at a ne plus ultra. 
It seemeth vain, when we know the opinion is in credit, to search 
any further. We have then nothing to do but easily to study 
for popular sermons : nor is it safe so much as to make them 
our own, by looking into and examining their grounds, lest in 
so doing we should be forced to a dissent : so that scholars may 
easily be drawn to think that it is better to be at a venture of 
the common belief, which may be with ease, than to weary and 
spend themselves in tedious studies, when they are sure, before- 
hand, of no better reward from men than the reputation of 
heretics, which is the lot of all that go out of the common 
road. So that who will hereafter look after any more truth 
than is known and in credit, except it be some one that is so 
taken with admiration of it as to cast all his reputation over- 
board, rather than make shipwreck of his self-prized merchan- 
dise; yet most wonderful it is, that any Christian, especially so 
many godly ministers, should arrogate to themselves the high 
prerogatives of God, viz., to be the rule and standard of truth!"* 
I know they will say that Scripture is the rule ; but when they 
must be the peremptory judges of the sense of that Scripture," 
so that in the hardest controversies none must swerve from 
their sense, upon pain of being branded with heresv or error, 
what is this but to be the judges themselves, and Scripture but 
their servant ? The final, full, decisive interpretation of laws, 

"» I speak this oiil)' of the guilty, and not of any pious and peaceable divine, 
of |\vhoni England hath many, but useth them so ill that they show them- 
selves unworthy of them. 

" Lege Cameroneni accurate disserentem de Potestate Eccles Praelect.,and 
besides Cameron, Musculus, with many others, deny any judicial, decisive 
power in ministers, in doctrinals. Vid. Videlii Rationale Theolog. lib. iii. 
c. 6. p. 511. But a doctoral power, as Camero calls it, such as a school- 
master hath in his school, except the power of bodily punishment which be- 
longeth to the magistrate, both iu the commouwealth and in the church, eveu 


helongeth to none but the law-makers themselves; for who can 
know another man's meaning beyond his expressions, but him- 

And it yet increaseth my wonder that these divines have not 
forgotten how constantly our divines, that write against the 
papists, do disclaim any such living, final, decisive judge of con- 
troversies, but make Scripture the only judge. Oh! what mis- 
chief hath the church of Christ suffered by the enlarging of her 
creed." While it contained but twelve articles, believers were 
plain, and peaceable, and honest : but a Christian now is not 
the same thing as then; our heads swell so big, like children 
that have the rickets, that all the body fares the worse for it. 
Every new article that was added to the creed, was a new engine 
to stretch the brains of believers, and in the issue to rend out 
the bowels of the church. 

It never went so well with the church, since it begun, as 

Erasmus saith of the times of the Nicene council, "rem inge- 

niosam fore Christianum esse," to be a matter of so much wit 

and cunning to be a Christian. Not but all our wit should be 

here employed, and controversies of difficulty may be debated ;p 

but when the decision of these must be put into our creed, and 

a man must be of the faith that the church is of, it goes hard. 

Methinks f could read Aquinas, or Scotus, or Bellarmine, with 

profit, ut pUthsophiam et thtoloyiam Uberam; but when 1 must 

make them all parts of my creed, and subscribe to all they say, 

or else be no Catholic, this is hard dealing. I know now we 

as a church, whatsoever some say to the contrary, is the projier power of the min- 
ister, which is far more than a declarative power ; for he hath also a power to 
command ami determine of order and dfg,rees, &c., and the scholars oufjht to 
take his word in all douhtful things, till they can come to know it themselves 
ID its proper evidence, IJnt yet it is not so great as to bind to any mistake or 
sin, clave erranle ; for an interpretation of the law is, ipso facto, void, if it he 
apparently contrary to the phiiii text, else God should not be the supreme au- 
thority, but man. 

o Let them that take their religion from the credit of divines remember, 
that it was the mark to dirt'erence ])agani from Christians formerly to take 
religion from n)an. Vobis humana a'stimatio iniiocentiam tradidit ; humuua 
item dominatio im|.eravit : inde nee !)leiia>, iiec adeo timenda; estis (lisci|iliu« 
ad iiinocentiffi veiitatem. Tanta est prudentia hominis ad demonstrandum 
bonum, quanta autoritas est ad exigeiidum: tarn ilia falli facilis, quam ista 
contenini. — Terml. Jpulogetic. c. 45. Sincera; ac diviua; religionis pietatis- 
<|ue cogiiitio nou tarn humano miiiisterio indiget, (|uam e\ seipsa hauritur et 
discitur, quippe qua; quotidie opurihus clamat, acper doctrinam Christi sese 
clariorem sole ingerit ocuhs, iu(iuit Athanasius, initio lib. i. cont. (.entiles. 
And Justin Martyr extoUeth that saying of Socrates, ♦' that no man is to be 
preferred before the truth." — Jpol. prima. 

V Lege Vitam Ge. Majoris. 


have no Spanish Inquisition to fire us from the truth ; but, as 
Grynseus was wont to say, *' Pontifici Romano Erasmum plus 
nocuisse jocando, quam Lutherum stomach ando;" so some men's 
rei)roaches may do more than other men's persecutions. 

And it is not the least aggravation of these men's arrogancy, 
that they are most violent in the points that they have least studied, 
or which they are most ignorant in : yea, and that their cruel 
reproaches are usu;illy so incessant, that where they once fasten, 
they scarce ever loose again ; having learned the old lesson, 
" To be sure to accuse boldly, for the scar will remain when the 
wound is healed." Yea, some will not spare the fame of the 
dead, but when their souls have the happiness of saints with 
God, their names must have the stain of heresy with men. More 
ingenuity had Charles the emperor, when the Spanish soldiers 
would have dug up tlie bones of Luther : " Sinite ipsum, in- 
quit, quiescere ad diem resurrectionis et judicium omnium," &c. 
" Let him rest," saith he, " till the resurrection and the final 
judgment ; if he were a heretic, he shall have as severe a judge 
as you can desire." 

These are the extremes which poor England groaneth under ; 
and is there no remedv ? Besides the God of peace, there is no 
remedy. Peace is fled from men's principles and judgments, 
and therefore it is a stranger to their affections and practices ; 
no wonder then if it be a stranger in the land, both in church 
and state. i 

If either of the forementioned extremes be the way to peace, 
we may have it, or else where is the man that seeketh after it ? 
But I remember Luther's oracle, and fear it novv to be verified ; 
*' Haec perdent religionem Christianam : 1. Oblivio beneficiorum 
ab evangelio acceptorum. 2. Sepuritas, quae jam passim et 
ubique regnat. 3. Sapientia mundi, quae vult omnia redigere in 
ordinem, et impiis mediis ecclesiae paci consulere." Three 
things will destroy the Christian religion : First, Forgetfulness 
of the benefit we received by the Gospel. Secondly, Security. 
Thirdlv, The wisdom of the world, which will needs reduce all 
into order, and look to the church's peace by ungodly means. 

The zeal of my spirit after peace, hath made me digress here 
further than I intended ; but the sum and scope of all my 

q Non damno quenquam si k me dissentiat ; modo fuudamentum, hoc est 
syinliola uon subruat. Agnosco c(.mimineni imbecillitatora quain et deploro, 
et roH'o Deam, ut ipse majum sedificio adliibeat. — Hemming, in Epist. Dedic, 
ante Comment, in Ephes. Learu of a moderate Lutheran. 


speech is this : ' Let every conscionable minister study e([ually 
for peace and truth, as knouiufr that they dwell both together 
in the golden mean, and not at such a distance as most hotspurs 
do imagine; and let them believe tliat they are likely to see no 
more success of their labours, than they are so studious of peace ; 
and that all wounds will let out i)oth blood and spirits ; and 
both truth and godliness is ready to run out at every breach that 
shall be made among the people or themselves, and that the 
time for the pastures of profession to be green, and for the field 
of true godliness to grow ripe for the harvest, and for the rose 
of devotion and heavenliness to be fragrant and flourish, is 
not in the blustering stormy tempestuous winter, but in the calm 
delightful summer of peace. 

Oh, what abundance of excellent, hopeful fruits of godliness 
have I seen blown down before they were ripe, by the impetuous 
winds of wars, and other contentions, and so have lain trodden 
under foot by libertinism and sensuality, as meat for swine, who 
else might have been their master's delight ! In a word, I never 
yet saw the work of the Gospel go on well in wars, nor the busi- 
ness of men's salvation succeed among dissensions ; but if one 
have in such times proved a gainer, multitudes have been losers : 
the same God is the God both of truth and peace ; the same 
Christ is the Prince of Peace, and author of salvation ; the same 
word is the Gospel of peace and salvation : both have the same 
causes ; both are wrought and carried on by the same Spirit ; 
the same persons are the sons of peace and salvation, so insepa- 
rably do they go hand in hand together : O therefore let us be 
tlie ministers and helpers of our people's peace, as ever we 
desire to be helpers of their salvation. 

And how impossible is it for ministers to maintain peace 

»I would, therefore, advise all ministers that need my advice, to study less 
those violent writers that care not what they say against their adversaries, so 
they can disgrace tlieni ; and to read more our solid, peace-making; divines. 
For, if I have any judfrmenl, these are j^enerally the most knowing and ju- 
dicious, as well as the most moderate, such as Davenant, Malth. Martinius, 
Lud. Crociijs, Camero, Lud. Capellus, Amiraldus, (yea, and Tcstardus, for 
all men's .hot words,) Pelargus, Para!us's Kirenicon, Conrad. Berlins, our 
Doctor Preston, Ball, Parker, Bradshaw, Galaker, Mcde, Wotton, with the 
like; not to mention all the f.ireiiicons that theGerman divines have written ; 
iior Hottouus de Toler., and many otlier-;, tliat have written purposely for pa- 
cification. Oh, what a thin;; is self-love ! If men do want peace in their own 
consciences, or in the humours of their own bodies, they can quickly feel it, 
and think themselves undone till they have peace a;;ain ; and yet the want of 
peace in church and state is lu) trouhle to tlicm, hut for their owu cuds aud 
faucies they can delii^ht iu divisious. 

142 tHE SAINT*S 

among their people, if they maintain not peace among them- 
selves ! « Oh, what a staggering is it to the faith of the weak, 
when they see their teachers and leaders at such odds ! It 
makes them ready to throw away all religion, when they see 
scarcely two or three of the most learned and godly divines of one 
mind, but like the bitterest enemies, disgracing and vilifying 
one another, and all because the articles of our faith must be so 
unlimited, voluminous, and almost infinite; so that no man well 
knows when he may call himself an orthodox Christian. When 
our creed is swelled to the bigness of a national confession, one 
would think that he that subscribeth to that confession should 
be orthodox ;' and yet if he jump not just with the times in ex- 
pounding every article of that confession, and run not with the 
stream in every other point that is in question among them, 
though he had subscribed to the whole harmony of con- 
fessions, he is never the nearer the estimation of orthodox. 
Were we all bound together by a confession or subscription of the 
true fundamentals, and those other points that are next to fun- 
damentals only, and there took up our Christianity and unity, 
yielding each other a freedom of differing in smaller or more 
difficult points, or in expressing ourselves in different terms, and 
so did live peaceably and lovingly together notwithstanding 
such differences, as men that all know the mysteriousness of 

• Sit consensus cordis credendo, et linguee confitendo, — Oiigen. Tract. 6. 
in Matt, xviii. 19, 

' Lud. Crocius in Syntagm. et Parker de Descensu, two most excellent, 
learned men, say that the first creed contained no more but, " 1 believe in 
God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ;" and the reverend Bishop 
Usher will tell you, ' Dissert, de Symbolis,' p, 8—12, &c., how short the Ro- 
man creed, and the Hierusalem and Alexandrian creed, &c. were. Some then 
■were shorter than ours, called the Apostles' creed, as we use it now ; and yet 
these men that I blame, would think the longest there too short, if it were ten 
times longer; yet then even they that had the shortest, thought it dangerous 
to alter it. Rocnanam vero ecclesiam omnis in suo symbolo mutationis im- 
patientem fuisse ex Ruffino audivimus. Quo spectat et Ambros. illud in 
Epist. 81. ad Siric. Credatur symbolo apostolorum, quod ecclesia Romana 
intemeratum semper custodit et servat. Et Vigilii Trid. lib. iv. adversus 
Eutych. Roma, et antequam Nicaena synodus conveniret, ^ temporibus apos- 
tolorum usque ad nunc, ila fidelibus symbolum tradidit. Quo tamen hodie 
Komana ecclesia utitur symbolum, additamentis aliquot auctius lei, res 
ipsa indicat. — Ussei-ius de Symbolis, \). 9. Romanum (symbolum) omnium 
fuisse brevissimuni, in sjmboli explicatione, Ruffinus Aquil. Presbyter jam- 
dudum nosdocuit: de additamentis etiam apud occideutales ad Romanum 
hoc appositis, in Prooemio suo sic prasfatus. Illud non importune commo- 
nendum puio, quod in diversis ecclesiis aliqua in his verbis inveniuutur ad- 
jecta. In ecclesia tamen urbis Romse, hoc non deprehenditur factum : quod 
tgo propterea esse arbitror, quod ueque hoeresis uUa iliic sumpsit exordium, et 


divinity, and the imperfection of their own understandings, and 
that here we know but in part, and tlicrefore shall most cer- 
tainly err and differ in part j what a world of mischief might 
this course prevent 1 

I oft think on the examples of Luther and Melancthon : it 
was not a few things that they differed in, nor such as would 
now be accounted small, besides the imperious harshness of 
Luther's disposition, as Carolostadius could witness ; and yet 
how sweetly, and peaceably, and lovingly did they live together, 
without any considerable breach or disagreement 1 As Mel. 
Adamus saith of them, " Et si tempora fuerunt ad distractiones 
proclivia, hominumque levitas dissidiorum cupida, tamen cum 
alter alterius vitia nosset, nunquam inter eos simultas extitit, 
ex qua animorum alienatio subsecuta sit;" so that their agree- 
ment arose not hence, that either was free from faults or error, 
but knowing each other's faults, they did more easily bear them. 
Certainly if every difference in judgment in matters of religion 
should seem intolerable, or make a breach in affection, then no 
two men on earth must live together, or tolerate each other, but 
every man must resolve to live by himself; for no two on earth 
but differ in one thing or other, except such as take all their 
faith upon trust, and explicitly believe nothing at all. God 
hath not made our judgments all of a complexion, any more than 
our faces ; nor our knowledge all of a size, any more than our 
bodies ; and methinks men, that be not resolved to be any thing 

mos ibiservaturantiquus.eos qui gratiambaptismi suscepturi sunt, publice,5d 
est, fidelium populo audiente, symbolum reddere: et utique adjectioiiem uuius 
saltern sermouis, eoruni qui prfecesserunt in fide, iiou adinittit auditus. In cae- 
teris autem lotis, quantum intelligi datur, propter nonnullos haereticos addita 
quEEdam videutur, per quae noveilae doctrinjE seusns crederetur excludi. — Usher 
de Symb. p. 5. Lege pacificam illam et Christianissiniam Augustini episto- 
lam ad Hieroiijmum (seneni morosuin) (jua; est inter opera Hieron. torn. iii. 
p. (edit. Ainerbach.) 158, &c. Si ergo secundum hunc mundum, quem dixi- 
mus, quaedam ([uidem (lusestionuni Deo commiserimus, et fidem nostram 
servabimus, et omnis Scriptura k Deo nobis data consonaus nobis invenietur. 
Et parabolae his quae manifeste dicta sunt cunsonabunt ; et manifeste dicta 
absolvent parabolas, et per dictionum multas voces, unam consonantem me- 
lodiam in nobis sentiet, laudantem hymnis Deum qui fecit omnia. Ut puta 
siquis interroget, Aiitequam mundum faceret Deus, quid agebat ? Dicimus 
quoniam ista responsio subjacet Deo, quoniam niundus hie factus estapoteles- 
tos k Deo, temporale initium accipieus, Scripturte nosdoceut : quid autem ante 
hoc Deus sit operatus nulla Scriptura manifestat : subjacet ergo liaec responsio 
Deo ; et non ita stultas, et sine disciplina blasphemas adinvenire velle prolatio- 
nes, et per hoc quod putes te itivenisse materise prolaiionem, ipsum Deum qui 
fecit omnia reprobare, &c. — Irenants advers, //tfTM. lib.ii. c. 47. I tntreat my 
brethren of the ministry, that are apt to be too zealous in their opinions, to read, 
above all other, Daveuant, Morton, and Hall ' De Pace,' and Cour. Bergius. 

144 THE saint's 

in religion, should be afraid of making the articles of their faith 
so numerous, lest they should shortly become heretics them- 
selves, by disagreeing from themselves ; and they should be 
afraid of making too strict laws for those that differ in judgment 
in controvertible points, lest they should shortly change their 
judgments, and so make a rod for their own backs; for how 
know they, in difficult disputable cases, but within these twelve 
months themselves may be of another mind, except they are 
resolved never to change, for fear of incurring the reproach of 
novelty and mutability ; and then they were best resolve to 
study no more, nor ever to be wiser. I would we knew just at 
what age a man must receive this principle against changing 
his judgment ; I am afraid lest at last they should teach it their 
children, and lest many divines do learn it too young ; and if 
any, besides Christ and his apostles, must be the standard and 
foundation of our faith, I would we could certainly tell who they 
are ; for I have heard yet none but the pope, or his general 
council, expressly lay claim to the prerogative of infallibility ; and 
I think there are few that have appeared more fallible : for my 
own part, I admire the gifts of God in our first reformers, Luther, 
Melancthon, Calvin, &c. And I know no man, since the 
apostles' days, whom I value and honour more than Calvin, and 
whose judgment, in all things, one with another, I more esteem 
and come nearer to ; though I may speed as Amyraldus, to be 
thought to defend him but for a defence to his own errors ; but 
yet if 1 thought we must needs be in all things of his mind, and 
know no more in any one point than he did, I should heartily 
wish that he had lived one fifty years longer, that he might have 
increased and multiplied his knowledge before he died, and 
then succeeding ages might have had leave to have grown wiser, 
till they had attained to know as much as he. Some men can 
tell what to say in point of ceremonies, common-prayer, &c. 
when they are pressed with the examples and judgments of our 
first reformers ; but in matters of doctrine, they forget their own 
answers, as if they had been perfect here, and not in the other ; 
or as if doctrinals were not much fuller of mvsteries and difficul- 
ties than worship. So far am I from speaking all this for the 
security of myself in my differing from others^ that if God 
would dispense with me for my ministerial services, without any 
loss to his people, I should leap as lightly as Bishop Ridley, 
when he was stripped of his pontificalia, and say as Paedaretus 
the Laconian, when he was not chosen in numerum trecen- 



torum, " Gratias habeo tibi, O Deus, quod tot homines me me- 
Hores huie civitati dedisti."' 

But I must stop, and again apologise for this tediousness ; 
though it be true, as Zeno saith, " verbis muitis non cget Veri- 
tas;" yet " respiciendum etiam ([uibus egent iectores," I concbjde 
not with a laconisni, but a chribtianism, as hoping my brethren 
will at least hear tiieir Master, " Have salt in yourselves, and 
have peace one with another:" (Mark ix. 50:) and Calvin's 
exposition, which is the sum of all I have said, q. d. " Danda 
est vobis opera, non tantum ut salsi intus sitis, sed etiam ut 
saliatis alios : quia tamen sal acrimonia suamordet, ideo statim 
admonet, sic temperandum esse conditurani, ut pax interim salva 
maneat." And with R. INleldenius Parsen. fol. f. 2, " Verbo 
dicam : si nos servaremus in necessariis unitatem, in non neces- 
sariis libertatem, in utrisque charitatem ; optimo certe loco 
essent res nostrse: ita fiat. Amen." Inquit Conr. Bergius hsec 

Sect. XF. 6. The last whom I would persuade to this great 
work of helping others to the heavenly rest, is, parents, and 
masters of families : All you that God hath instrusted with 
children or servants, O consider what duty lieth on you for the 
furthering of their salvation." That this exhortation may be 
the more effectual with you, I will lay down these several con- 
siderations for you seriously to think on : 

1. What plain and pressing commands of God are there that 
require 'this great duty at your hand 1 "And these words which 
1 command thee this day shall be in thy heart ; and thou shalt 
teach them diligently to thy children, speaking of them when 
thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and 
when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deut. vi. G — 
8.) So Deut. xi. And how well is God })leased with this in 
Abraham ! " Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I 
do ? For 1 know him, that he will command his children, and. 
his household after him, that they shall keep the way of the 
Lord," &c. (Gen. xviii. 19.) And it is Josiiua's resolution,'' 
" that he and his household will serve the Lord." " Train up 
a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not 

' Brus. lib i. c. 18. ex Plat. Laert. lil). iii. 

" Riail Woodward's 'Chilli's Patrimony.' 

^ Joshua xjciv. 15. Jubct Deui Abialiaimim Don apiul se scpclire diviiia? 
revelationt's, scd et donu-sticis comiiieniorare, et ad posteros projiaijare, ut 
vera Dei aijnitio de mauu in maiiuin trad Ita in ejus iauiilia coiiservctur.— 
Parous ill Genes, xviii. I'J. p. 1 l(jl. 


146 THE saint's 

depart from it." (Pj-ov. xxii. 6.) " Bring up your children in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. vi. 4.) Many the 
like precepts, especially in the book of Proverbs, you may find : 
so that you see it is a work that the Lord of heaven and earth 
hath laid upon you, and how then dare you neglect it, and cast 
it off? 

2. It is a duty that you owe your children in point of justice ; 
from you they received the defilement and misery of their na- 
tures, and therefore you owe them all possible help for their 
recovery. If you had but hurt a stranger, yea, though against 
your will, you would think it your duty to help to cure him. 

3. Consider, How near your children are to you, and then you 
will perceive that from this natural relation also they have interest 
in your utmost helpJ Your children are, as it were, parts of your- 
selves, if they prosper when you are dead, you take it almost as 
if you lived and prospered in them. If you labour ever so much, 
you think it not ill bestowed, nor your buildings or purchases 
too dear, so that they may enjoy them when you are dead ; 
and should you not be of the same mind for their everlasting 
rest ? 

4. You will else be witnesses against your own selves ; your 
great care, and pains, and cost for their bodies, will condemn 
you for your neglect of their precious souls. You can spend 
yourselves in toiling and caring for their bodies, and even 
neglect vour own souls, and venture them sometimes upon un- 
warrantable courses, and all to provide for your posterity j and 
have you not as much reason to provide for their souls ? Do 
you not believe that your children must be everlastingly happy or 
miserable when this life is ended ? and should not that be fore- 
thought in the first place ? 

5. Yea, all the very brute creatures may condemn you; 
which of them is not tender of their young ? Hov/ long will 
the hen sit to hatch her chickens ; and how busily scrape for 
them ; and how carefully shelter and defend them ! and so will 
even the most vile and venomous serpent, and will you be more 
unnatural and hard-hearted than all these ? Will you suffer 
your children to be ungodly and profane, and run on in the un- 
doubted way to damnation, and let them alone to destroy them- 
selves without control ? '■ 

y Nolle liberos contristare docendo (jua bona sunt, libertatem permittere 
peccandi, liou est amare filios, sed odisse. — Megnnd. in 1 Tim. iii. 12. 
^ Utitur verbo [pra;cipiet] ut paientes et superiores intelligant, noa seg« 


6. Consider, God liath made your children to be your charge; 
yea, and your servants too. Every one will confess they are 
the minister's charge, and what a dreadful thing it is for them 
to neglect them, when God hath told them, that if they tell not 
the wicked of their sin and danger, their blood shall be required 
at that minister's hands ; and is not your charge as great and as 
dreadful as theirs ? Have not you a greater charge of your 
own families than any minister hath? Yea, doubtless, and 
your duty it is to teach, and admonish, and reprove them, and 
watch over them, and at your hands else God will re([uire the 
blood of their souls. The greatest it is that ever you were in- 
trusted with, and woe to you if you prove unfaithful, and betray 
your trust, and suffer them to be ignorant for want of your teach- 
ing, or wicked for want of your admonition or correction. Oh, 
sad account, that many parents will make ! 

7. Look into the dispositions and lives of your children, and 
see what a work there is for you to do. First, It is not one sin 
that you must help them against, but thousands ; their name is 
Legion, for they are many. Jt is not one weed that must be 
pulled up, but the field is overspread with them. Secondly, 
And how hard is it to prevail against any one of them ! They 
are hereditary diseases, bred in their natures : " Naturam ex- 
pcllas furca," &c. They are as near them as the very heart ; 
and how tenacious are all things of that which is natural ! How 
hard to teach a hare not to be fearful ; or a lion or a tiger not 
to be fierce ! Besides, the things you nuist teach them are 
(juite above them ; yea, and clean contrary to the interest and 
desires of their flesh : how hard is it to teach a man to be willing 
to be poor, and des|)ised, and destroyed here for Christ; to 
deny themselves, and displease tlie flesh ; to forgive an enemy ; 
to love those that hate us ; to watch against temptations ; to 
avoid occasions and appearance of evil ; to believe in a crucified 
Saviour ; to rejoice in tribulation ; to trust upon a bare word of 
promise, and let go all in hand, if called to it, for something in 
hope that they never saw, nor ever spake with man that did see; 
to make God their chief delight and love, and to have their 
hearts in heaven, while they live on earth : I think none of this 
is easy ; they that think otherwise, let them try and judge : yet 
all this must be learned, or they are mulone for ever. If you 
help them not to some trade, they cannot live in the world ; but if 

niter aut obiter, sed sedulo et cum autlioritate inferiores ad Uei timorem et 
obedieiitiam adduceudo, faciendum esse olliciuui.— /'(ijo'h*- in Ccn. xviii. ly. 


148 THE saint's 

they be destitute of these things, they shall not live in heaven. 
If the mariner be not skilful, he may be drowned ; and if the 
soldier be not skilful, he may be slain ; but they that cannot do 
the things above mentioned, will perish for ever, " for without 
holiness none shall see God." (Heb. xii. 14.) Oh, that the 
Lord would make all you that are parents sensible what a work 
and charge doth lie upon you ! You that neglect this important 
work, and talk to your families of nothing but the world, I tell 
you the blood of souls lies on you; make as light of it as you 
will, if you repent not, and amend, the Lord will shortly call 
you to an account for your guiltiness of your children's ever- 
lasting undoing; and then you that could find in your hearts to 
neglect the souls of your own children, will be judged more bar- 
barous than the Irish or Turks, that kill the children of others. 

8. Consider also. What a world of sorrows do you prepare for 
yourselves, by the neglect of your children.* 

First, You can expect no other but that they should be thorns 
in your very eyes, and you may thank yourselves if they prove 
so, seeing they are thorns of your own planting. 

Secondly, If you should repent of this your negligence, and 
be saved yourselves, yet is it nothing to you to think of the 
damnation of your children ? You know God hath said, " that 
except they be born again, they shall not enter into the king- 
dom of God." Methinks, then, it should be a heart-breaking 
to all you that have unregenerate children ; methinks you 
should weep over them every time you look them in the face, 
to remember that they are in the way to eternal fire. Some 
people would lament the fate of their children, if but a wizard 
should foretell them some ill fortune to befall them, and do you 
not regard it when the living "God shall tell you, " that the 
wicked shall be turned into hell, and all they that forget God." 
(Psal. ix. 17.) 

Thirdly, Yet all this were not so doleful to you, if it were a 
thing that you had no hand in, or could do nothing to help ; 
but to think that all this is much long of you ! that ever your 
negligence should bring your child to these everlasting tor- 
ments, which the very damned man (Luke xvi.) would have 

* Think of Eli's sad example ; though he tliJ admonish them, yet it was out 
of season, he did it not soon enough ; he suffered them to have their will too 
long; he dealt not with them till they were grown impudent in their sin, 
atid all Israel rang of them. — Borrh. Neither was his admonition severe 
enough according to his authority, — W'Uktin 1 Sam, iii. 13. q. 6, p. 11. 


had his brethren been warned to escape. If tliis seem light to 
thee, thou hast the heart of a hellish fiend in thee, and not of a 

Fourthly, But yet worse than all this will it prove to you if 
you die in this sin, for then you shall be miserable as well as 
they : and, oh, what a greeting will there be then between un- 
godly parents and children ! VV^hat a hearing will it be to your 
tormented souls, to hear your children cry out against you : 'All 
this that we suffer was long of you ; you should have taught us 
better, and did not; you should have restrained us from sin, and 
corrected us, but you did notj and what an addition will such 
outcries be to your misery ! 

9. On the other side, do but think with yourselves, what a 
world of comfort you may have if you be faithful in this duty. 
First, If you should not succeed, yet you have freed your own 
souls ; and though it be sad, yet not so sad, for you may have 
peace in vour own consciences. Secondlv, But if you do suc- 
ceed, the comfort is inexpressible. For First, Godly children 
will be truly loving to yourselves that arc their parents ; when a 
little riches, or matters of this world, will oft make ungodly 
children to cast off their very natural affection. 2. Godly 
children will be most obedient to you ; they dare not disobey 
and provoke you, because of the command of God, except you 
should command them that which is unlawful, and then they 
must obey God rather than men. 3. And if you should fall into 
want, they would be most faithful in relieving you, as knowing 
they are tied by a double bond, of nature and of grace. 4. And 
they will also be helpers to your souls, and to your spiritual 
comforts; they will be delighting you with the mention of hea- 
ven, and with holy conference and actions ; when wicked chil- 
dren will be grieving you with cursing, and swearing, or drunk- 
enness, or disobedience. 5. Yea, when you arc in trouble, or 
sickness, and at death, your godly children will be at hand to 
advise and to support you ; they will strive with God in prayers 
for you ; oh, what a comfort is it to a parent to have a child that 
hath the spirit of prayer and interest in God ! How much good 
may they do you by their importunity with God ! and what a 
sadness is it to have children, that when you lie sick, can do no 
more but ask you how you do ; and look on you in your misery! 

■> Ut vinitor laboris onus et sumptus libentcr siistinet; sic jiater familias 
onus et curain et sumptus, et inolestiaSj &c., quia spem liabet fiuctuuiu. — 
ff'oljius in Paul, cxviii. pp. (inihij 131, 

150 THE saint's 

6. Yea, all your family may fare the better for one child or ser- 
vant that feareth God ; yea, perhaps all the town where he liveth : 
as Joseph's case proveth, and Jacob's, and many the like, when 
one wicked child may bring a judgment on your house. 7. And if 
God make you instruments of your children's conversion, you will 
have a share in all the good that they do through their lives ; all 
the good they do to their brethren, or to the church of God, and 
all the honour they bring to God, will redound to your happi- 
ness as having been instruments of it. 8. And what a comfort 
may it be to you all your lives, to think that you shall live with 
them for ever with God ! 9. But the greatest joy will be when 
you come to the possession of this, and you shall say, ' Here am 
I, and the children thou hast given me.' And are not all these 
comforts enough to persuade you to this duty ? 

10. Consider further, that the very welfare of church and 
state lieth mainly on this duty of well educating children ; and 
without this, all other means are like to be far less successful. I 
seriously profess to you that I verily think all the sins and 
miseries of the land may acknowledge this sin for their great 
nurse and propagator. Oh, what happy churches might we 
have, if parents did their duties to their children ! Then we 
need not exclude so many for ignorance or scandal, nor have 
our churches composed of members so rude. Then might we 
spare most of the quarrels about discipline, reformation, tolera- 
tion, and separation : any reasonable government would do 
better with a well-taught people, than the best will do with the 
ungodly. It is not good laws and orders that will reform us, 
if the men be not good, and reformation begin not at home; 
when children go wicked from the hands of their parents j thence 
some come such to the universities, and so we come to have an 
ungodly ministry ; and in every profession they bring this fruit 
of their education with them. When gentlemen*^ teach their 
children only to hunt, and hawk, and game, and deride the 
godly, what magistrates, and what parliaments, and so what 
government, and what a commonwealth, are we likely to have, 

e See Charron's invective against unlearned gentlemen, lib. iii. c. 14. 
p. 500. Like Askham's of the English. Much more may be said against 
the irreligious. Parents are the first authors and cause of a conimon- 
weahh ; to furnish a state with honest men and good citizens, the culture and 
good education of youth are necessary, which is the seed of a commonwealth. 
Tiiere comes not so much evil to a commonwealth by the ingratitude of 
children to the parents, as by the carelessness of parents in the instruction of 
their children ; therefore, by great reason in Lacedemun, and other good and 


when all must be guided by such as these ! Some perverse, in- 
considerate persons lav the blame of all this on the ministers ; 
that people of all sorts are so ignorant and profane ; as if one 
man can do the work of many hundreds. I beseech you that 
are masters and parents, do your own duties, and free ministers 
from these unjust aspersions, and the church from her reproach 
and confusion. Have not ministers work enough of their own 
to do ? Oh, that vou knew what it is that lieth on tliem ! And if, 
besides this, you will cast upon them the work of every master 
and parent in the parish, it is likely, indeed, to be well done. 
How many sorts of workmen must there be to the building of 
a house! And if all of them should cast it upon one, and 
themselves do nothing, you may judge how much were likely to 
be done. If there be three or four schoolmasters in a school, 
amongst tliree or four hundred scholars, and all the lower that 
should fit them for the higher schools, should do nothing at all 
but send all these scholars to the highest shoolmaster as ignorant 
as they received them, would not his life be a burden to him, 
and all the work be frustrated and spoiled ? Why, so it is here. 
The first work towards the reforming and making happy of 
church and commonwealth, lies in the good education of your 
children ; the most of this is your work ; and if this be left 
undone, and then they come to ministers raw and ignorant, and 
hardened in their sins, alas ! what can a minister do ? Whereas, 
if they came trained up in the principles of religion, and the 
practice of godliness, and were taught the fear of God in their 
youth, O what an encouragement would it be to ministers ! And 
how would the work go on in our hands ! I tell you seriously, 
this is the cause of all our miseries and unreformedness in church 
and state, even the want of a holy education of children. Many 
lay the blame on this neglect and that, but there is none hath 
so great a hand in it as this. What a school must there needs 
be where all are brought raw, as 1 said, to the highest form ! 
What a house must there needs be built, when clay is brought 
to the mason's hands instead of bricks ! What a commonwealth 

politic states, there was a punislinieut laid on the parents when the children 
were ill conditioned.— C/jrtrro«. lib. iii. cap. 14. p. 4!)0. Parents are doubly 
ohlitfed to this duty; both because they are their children, and because they 
are the tender plants and hope of the commonwealth. — Ihid. The strength 
and continuance of a reforniatiou lie not all in the magistrate, but in this : 
that the people receive the truth into them, and among them ; who otherwise 
would be but as a hen in a coop, always looking to get out. — M. f iues' Ser- 
mon on Num. xiv. 24. p. 27. 

i52 THE saint's 

may be expected if all the constables and justices should do 
nothing, but cast all upon king and parliament! And so, what 
a church may v/e expect, when all the parents and masters in the 
parish shall cast all their duty on their ministers ! Alas! how 
long may we catechise them, and preach to them, before we can 
get them to understand the very principles of the faith ! This, 
this is the cause of our church's deformities, and this is the 
cause of the present difficulty of reformation. It is in vain to 
contend about orders and discipline if the persons that live under 
it be not prepared. Perhaps you will say, ' The apostles had not 
their hearers thus prepared to their hands. Is not the word the 
first means of conversion?' 

Answ. 1. The apostles preached to none at first but infidels 
and pagans. And are you no better ? Will you do no more 
for your children than they ? 

2. All the success of their labours was to gather here and 
there a church from among the world of unbelievers. But now, 
the kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of the 
Lord and his Christ. 

3. And yet the apostles were extraordinarily qualified for the 
work, and seconded it by miracles for the convincing of their 

4. I do verily believe that if parents did their duty as they 
ought, the word publicly preached would not be the ordinary 
means of regeneration in the church, but only without the 
church, among infidels. Not that 1 believe Doctor Burgess 
and Mr. Bedford's doctrine of baptismal regeneration. But 
God would pour out his grace upon the children of his people, 
and hear prayers for them, and bless such endeavours for their 
holy education, that we should see the promises made good to 
our seed, and the unthankful Anabaptists, that will not confess 
that the children of the saints are any nearer God, or more be- 
holden to him than pagans, so much as for the favour to be 
visible church members, should, by sweet experience, be con- 
vinced of their error, and be taught better how to understand 
that our children are holy. 

11. I entreat you that are parents, also to consider what ex- 
cellent advantages you have above all others for the saving of 
Yonr children. 

1. They are under your hands while they are young and 
tender, and flexible; but they come to ministers when they are 
grown elder, and stjffer, and settled in their ways, and think 


themselves too good to be catechised, and too old to be taught.'' 
You have a twig to bend, and \vc an oak. You have the young 
plants of sin to ])luck u]), and we the deeji-rooted vices. The 
consciences of children are not so seared with a custom of 
sinning and long-resisting grace, as others. You have the soft 
and tender earth to plough in, and we have the hard and stony 
ways, that have been trodden on by many years' practice of evil. 
When they are young, their understandings are like a sheet of 
white paper, that hatli nothing written on, and so you have 
opportunity to write what you w^ill. But when they are grown 
up in sin, they are like the same paper written over with false- 
hoods, which must all be blotted out again, and truth written in 
the place. And how hard is that ! We have a double task ; 
first to unteach them, and then to teach them better, but you 
have but one. We must unteach them all that the world, and 
flesh, and wicked company, and the devil, have been diligently 
teaching them in many years' time. We have hardened hearts 
to beat on like a smith's anvil, that will not feel us ; we may tell 
them of death and judgment, heaven and hell, and they hear us 
as if they were asleep or dead ; you have the soft clav to mould, 
and we have the hardened burned bricks. You have them 
before they are possessed with prejudice and false conceits 
against the truth, but we have them to teach when they have 
many years lived among those that have scorned at godliness, 
and taught them to think God's ways to be foolish preciseness. 
Custom hath not ensnared and engaged our little ones to con- 
trary ways, but of old sinners, the Lord himself hath said, " that 
if the Ethiopian can change his skin, and the leopard his spots, 
then may those that are accustomed to do evil, learn to do well." 
(Jer. xiii. 23.) Doth not the experience of all the world show 
you the power of education ? What else makes all the children 
of the Jews to be Jews; and all the children of the Turks 
to be Mahometans; and of Christians to be in profession 
Christians; and of each sect or party in religion to follow their 
parents, and the custom of the place ? Why now, what an ad- 

<^ Nemo est omiuum tani efficax ad liberos, vel servandos, vol perdendos, 
quam sunt ipsi pareutes. — Rolloc, in Col. iii. 21. Ui aqua iu areola dijji- 

tum sequitur prjpcedeutem ; ita atas mollis, flexihilis ; et quocuiuiue dux- 
eris, traliitur. — Hicron. lib. ii. epist. 16. p. 201. Nobis qui sacrameiitum 
verae religioiiis accepimus, cum sit Veritas rcvciata diviaitus, cum doctorem 
sapieulite ducemquc veritatis Deum scquamur: uuiversos sine uUo discri- 
mine, vel sexus, vel xtatis, ad coeleste pabulum convocamus. — Ladaitt, Inslil. 
lib. i. c. 1. 

154 THE saint's 

vantage have you to use all this for the furtherance of their 
happiness, and possess them as strongly beforehand against sin, 
as else Satan would do for itj and so Satan should come to 
them upon some of those disadvantages that now Christ comes 

2. Consider, also, That you have the affections of your chil- 
dren more than any others. None in the world hath that inte- 
rest in their hearts as you. You will receive that counsel from 
an undoubted friend, that you would not do from an enemy, or 
a stranger. Why now, your children cannot choose but know 
that you are their friends, and advise them in love ; and they 
cannot choose but love you again. Their love is loose and 
arbitrary to others, but to you it is determinate and fast. Nature 
hath almost necessitated them to love you. Oh, therefore, 
improve this your interest in them for their good. 

3. You have also the greatest authority over them. You may 
command them, and they dare not disobey you ; or else it is 
your own fault, for the most part, for you can make them obey 
you in your business in the world; yea, you may correct them 
to enforce obedience. Your authority also is the most un- 
questioned authority in the world. The authority of kings and 
parliament has been disputed, but yours is past dispute. And 
therefore, if you use it not to constrain them to the works of 
God, you are without excuse. 

4. Besides, their whole dependence is on you for their main- 
tenance and livelihood. They know you can either give them or 
deny them what you have, and so punish and reward them at 
your pleasure. But on ministers or neighbours they have no 
such dependence. 

5. Moreover, you that are parents know the temper and in- 
clinations of your children, what vices they are most inclined 
to, and what instruction or reproof they most need, but minis- 
ters that live more strange to them, cannot know this. 

6. Above all, you are ever with them, and so have opportunity 
as to know their faults, so to apply the remedy. You may be 
still talking to them of the word of God, and minding them of 
their state and duty, and may follow and set home every word 
of advice, as they are in the house with you, or in the shop, or 
in the field at work. Oh, what an excellent advantage is this, 
if God do but give you hearts to use it. Especially you, mothers,* 

« Magna hie matribus fidis vitanda est molestia, nee audiendum quod af- 
fectus, sed quod ratio et pietas dictabit. — Bullin. in 1 Tim. iii. 11. 


remember this ; you arc more with your children while they are 
Httleones than their fathers, be you therefore still teaching them 
as soon as ever they are capable of learning. You cannot do 
God such eminent service yourselves as men, but you may train 
up children that may do it, and then you will have part of the 
comfort and honour. Bathsheba had part of the honour of 
Solomon's wisdom ; (Prov. xxxi. i ;) for she taught him ; and 
Timothy's mother and grandmother, of his piety. Plutarch 
speaks of a Spartan woman, that when her neighbours were 
showing their apparel and jewels, she brought out her children 
virtuous and well taught, and said, " These are my ornaments 
and jewels." Oh, how much more will this adorn you than 
your bravery! What a deal of pains you are at with the bodies 
of your children more than the fathers, and what do you 
suffer to bring them into the world ; and will not you be at as 
much pains for the saving their souls ? You are naturally of 
more tender affections than men ; and will it not move you to 
think that your children should perish for ever ? Oh, therefore, 
I beseech you, for the sake of the children of your bowels, teach 
them, admonish them, watch over them, and give them no rest 
till you have brought them over to Christ. 

And thus I have showed you reason enough to make you di- 
ligent in teaching vour children, if reason will serve, as methinks 
among reasonable creatures it should do. 

Sect. XII. Let us next hear what is usually objected against 
this by negligent men. 

Object. 1. We do not see but those children prove as bad as 
others that are taught the Scriptures, and brought up so holily ; 
and those prove as honest men and good neighbours, that have 
none of tliis ado with them. 

Answ. Oh, who art thou, man, that disputest against God ? 
Hath God charged you to teach your children diligently his 
word,^ speaking of it as you sit at home, and as you walk abroad, 
as you lie down, and as you vise up ; (Deut. vi. 6 — 8 ;) and 
dare you reply that it is as good to let it alone ? Why, this is 
to set God at defiance, and, as it were, to spit in his face, and 
give him the lie. Will you take it well at your servants, if, 
when you command them to do a thing, they should return you 
such an answer that they do not see but it were as good to let it 
alone ? Wretched worm ! Darest thou thus lift up thy head 

' Practer publicam doctrinam etiam privata catechizatio domesticorum vi- 
sere debet inter uos ex Dei luandato. — Parceusin Gen. xviii. 19. 

156 * THE saint's 

against the Lord that made thee, and must judge thee ? Is it not 
he that commandeth thee ? If thou dost not beheve that this 
Scripture is the word of God, thou dost not believe in Jesus Christ : 
for thou hast nothing else to tell thee that there is a Christ. 
And if thou do believe that this is his word, how darest thou 
say, ' It is as good disobey it ?' This is devilish pride indeed 
when such sottish, sinful dust shall think themselves wiser than 
the living God, and take upon them to reprove and cancel his 

2. But, alas ! you know not what honesty is when you say 
that the ignorant are as honest as others. You think those 
are the honestest men that best please you, but I know those 
are the most honest that best please God. Christ saith, in Luke 
viii. 15, that an honest heart is that which keepeth the word of 
God J and you say, they are as honest that reject it. God made 
men to please himself, and not to please you 5 and you may know 
by his laws who please him best. The commandments have 
two tables, and the first is, " Thou shalt love the Lord with all 
thy heart j" and the second, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself." First seek the kingdom of God and his righteous- 
ness. (Matt. vi. 33.) 

3. And what if some prove naught that are well brought up? 
it is not the generality of them. Will you say that Noah's 
family was no better than the drowned world, because there was 
one Cham in it ; nor David's, because there was one Absalom ; 
nor Christ's, because there was one Judas ? 

4. But what if it were so : have men need of the less teach- 
ing, or the more ? You have more wit in the matters of this 
world. You will not say, ' I see many labour hard, and yet are 
poor, and therefore it is as good never to labour at all ;' you will 
not say, ' Many that go to school learn nothing, and therefore 
they may learn as much though they never go :^ or many that 
are great tradesmen break, and therefore it is as good never 
trade at all : or many great eaters are as lean as others, and 
many sick men recover no strength though they eat, and there- 

B Qui vel frigide de pietatis studiis ipsi sentiunt, vel aliis autores sunt, ut 
h. teneris uiiguiculis qiiam diligentissime in religione suos institui neglis^ant, 
videant quid velint olini Cliristo Domino respondert-, qui per os sacrum Pauli 
pneris commendat sacrarum literarum studium. — Hemmhig. in Eph. vi. 4. 

l* Verum, bone Deus, quam paucos hodie reperias qui tarn sint soliciti quo- 
modo post se, recte et honeste vivant filii, qiiani curant ut amplam illis hae- 
reditatem relinquant, qua post obitum ipsorum splendide et otiose deiicientur! 
— Muse, in Gen, xviii. 19. p. (inihi) 427. 




fore it is as good for men never to eat more : or many plough 
and sow, and have nothing come up, and therefore it is as good 
never to plough more.' What a fool were he that should reason 
thus ! And is he not a thousand times worse that shall reason 
thus for men's souls ? Peter reasons the clean contrary way, 
*^ If the righteous he scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly 
and the sinner appear?" (1 Pet. iv. 18.) And so doth Christ, 
*' Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for many shall seek to 
enter, and not he able." (Luke xiii. 24.) Other men's miscar- 
riages should quicken our diligence, and not make us cast away 
all. What would you think of that man that should look over 
into his neighbour's garden, and because he sees here and there 
a nettle or weed among much better stuff, should say, ^ Why, 
you may see these men that bestow so much pains in digging 
and weeding, have weeds in their garden as well as I that do 
nothing, and therefore who would be at so much pains?' Just 
thus doth the mad world talk ; you may see now that those that 
pray, and read, and follow sermons, have their faults as well as 
we, and have wicked persons among them as well as we. Yea, 
but that is not the whole garden, as yours is ; it is but here and 
there a weed, and as soon as they spy it, they pluck it uj), and 
cast it away. 

But, however, if such men be as wicked as you imagine, can 
you for shame lay the fault upon the Scripture, or ordinances of 
God? Do they find any thing in the Scriptures to encourage 
them to sin ? You may far better say ' It is wrong of the judge 
and the law which hangs them, that there are so many thieves/ 
Did you ever read a word for s\n in the Scripture; or ever 
hear a minister or godly man persuade people to sin, or from it 
rather ? I speak not of sectaries, who usually grow to be ene- 
mies to Scripture. Lord, what horrible impudence is in the 
faces of ungodlv men ! When a minister hath spent himself 
in studying and persuading his people from sin, or when parents 
have done all they can to reform their children, yet people will 
say, ' It is long of this that they are so bad.' What! will 
reproving and correcting for sin bring them soonest to it ? I 
dare challenge any man breathing, to name any one ruler tiiat 
ever was in the world, that was so severe against sin as Jesus 
Christ ; or to show me any law that ever was made in the world 
so severe against sin as the laws of God ? And yet it must be 
long of Christ and Scripture that men are evil ! A\'hcn he 
threateneth damnation against impenitent sinners, it is yet 

158 THE saint's 

long of him. Yea, see how these wicked men contradict 
themselves ! What is it that they hate the Scripture for, but 
that it is so strict and precise, and forbids them their pleasures 
and fleshly liberties, that is their sins ? And yet if any fall into 
sin, they will blame the Scripture, that forbids it. 1 know in 
these late years of licentiousness and apostacy, many that talk 
much of religion, prove guilty of grievous crimes, but then they 
turn away so far from Christ and Scripture. As bad as the 
godly are, I dare yet challenge you to show me any society under 
heaven like them that most study and delight in the Scriptures: 
or any school, like the scholars of Christ. Because parents 
cannot, by all their diligence, get their children to be as good as 
they should be, shall they therefore leave them to be as bad as 
they will ? Because they cannot get them to be perfect saints, 
shall they therefore leave them to be as incarnate devils ? Cer- 
tainly, your children untaught will be little better.' 

Sect. XIII. 2. Some will further object, and say, It is the 
work of ministers to teach both us and our children, and there- 
fore we may be excused. 

Answ. 1. It is first your duty, and then the ministers' ; It will 
be no excuse for you, because it is their work, except you could 
prove it were only theirs : magistrates must govern both you 
and your children : doth it therefore follow that you must not 
govern them ? It belongs to the schoolmaster to correct them, 
and doth it not belong also to you ? There must go many hands 
to this great work, as to the building of a house there must be 
many workmen, one to one part, and another to another ; and 
as your corn must go through many hands before it be bread : 
the reaper's, the thresher's, the miller's, the baker's ; and one 
must not leave their part, and say,.It belongs to the other : so it 
is here in the instructing of your children : first, you must do your 
work, and then the minister do his : you must be doing it pri- 
vately night and day ; the minister must do it publicly, and 
privately as oft as he can.^ 

2. But as the case now stands with the ministers of England, 
they are disabled from doing that which belongs to their office, 

' Liberi pnideuter et dili^euter educati sunt oplimi ; et parentes cum 
ornare turn juvare possunt. — fFblf. in Psal. cxxviii. Homil. 153. p. 131. B. c. 3. 

^ Familiffi patrum eraiit domesticae ecclesia; ; pastores, sacerdotes, et doc- 
tores, erant parentes; liberi et domestici erant catechumeni, discentes doc- 
trinam de Deo, creatione, de lapsu et peccato, de ira et judiciis Dei adversus 
peccata, de gratia et misericordia Dei, de Messia venture, et reparatioiie hu« 
maui generis per eum, &c. — Parceus in Gen, xviii. 19. 


and therefore you cannot now cast your work on them. I will 
instance but in two things. First, It belongs to their office to 
govern the church, and to teach with authority ; and great and 
small are commanded to obey them. (Heb. iii. 7, 17, &;c.) But 
now this is unknown, and hearers look on themselves as free- 
men, that may obey or not, at their own pleasure : a parent's 
teaching which is with authority, will take more than one's that 
is taken to have none : people think we have authority to speak 
to them when they please to hear, and no more. Nay, few 
of the godly themselves do understand the authority that their 
teachers have over them from Christ : they know how to value 
a minister's gifts, but not how they are bound to learn of him, 
and obey him because of his office. Not that they should obey 
hini in evil, nor that he should be a final decider of all contro- 
versies, nor should exercise his authority in things of no moment; 
but as a schoolmaster mav command his scholars when to come 
to school, and what book to read, and what form to be of ; and 
as they ought to obey him, and to learn of him, and not to set 
their wits against his, but to take his word, and believe him as 
their teacher, till they understand as well as he, and are ready 
to leave his school;^ just so are people bound to obey and 
learn of their teachers, and to take their words while they are 
learners, in that which is beyond their present capacity, till they 
are able to see things in their proper evidence. Now this minis- 
terial authority is unknown, and so ministers are the less capable 
of doing their work, which comes to pass. First, From the pride 
of man's nature, especially novices, which makes men impatient 
of the reins of guidance and command ; Secondly, From the 
popish error of implicit faith; to avoid which we are driven as 
far into the contrary extreme ; Thirdly, And from the modesty 
of ministers that are loth to show their commission, and make 
known their authority, lest they should be thought proud. As 
if a schoolmaster should let his scholars do what they list : or a 
pilot let the seamen run the ship whither they will, for fear of 
being thought proud in exercising their authority. Secondly, 
But a far greater clog than this yet doth lie upon the ministers, 
which few take notice of; and that is, the fewness of minis- 
ters, and the greatness of congregations. In the apostles' time 

' Nemo cxistemet parochorum tantuin esse, et pripceptorum, teneros puer- 
oruii) animus pietatis doctrina imbuere ; verum etiaiii id inulto luagis pa- 
reDtura ; quorum interest una cum lacte, iu eus semina pietatis jacerc, uiudu 
contumaces erga Deum baberi nolint. — Henungius in Evh, vi. 4. 

160 THE saint's 

every church had a multitude of ministers, and so it must be 
again, or we shall never come near that primitive pattern ; and 
then they could preach publicly, and from house to house. But 
now, when there is but one or two ministers to many thousand 
souls, we cannot so much as know them, much less teach them 
one by one : it is as much as we can do to discharge the public 
work. So that you see, you have little reason to cast your work 
on the ministers, but should the more help them by your dili- 
gence, in your several families, because they are already so over 

Sect. XIV. '3. But some will say, ^ We are poor men, and must 
labour for our living, and so must our children, and cannot have 
while to teach them the Scriptures, we have somewhat else for 
them to do.' 

Answ. And are not poor men subject to God, as well as rich ; 
and are they not Christians : and must they not give account 
of their ways ; and have not your children souls to save or lose, 
as well as the rich ? Cannot you have while to speak to them 
as they are at their work ? Have you not time to instruct them 
on the Lord's-day ? You can find time to talk idly, as poor as 
you are, and can you find no time to talk of the way to life ? 
You can find time on the Lord's-day for your children to play, 
or walk or talk in the streets, but no time to mind the life to 
come. ^ Methinks you should rather say to your children, ' I 
have no lands or lordships to leave you, nothing but hard labour 
and poverty in the world ; you have no hope of great matters 
here, be sure therefore to make the Lord your portion, and to 
get interest in Christ, that you may be happy hereafter : if you 
could get riches, they would shortly leave you, but the riches of 
grace and glory will be everlasting.' Methinks you should say 
as Peter, " Silver and gold I have none, but such as I have I 
give you." The kingdoms of the world cannot be had by beg- 
gars, but the kingdom of heaven may. O what a terrible 
reckoning will many poor men have, when Christ shall plead his 
cause, and judge them 1 May not he say, ' I made the way to 
worldly honours inaccessible to you, that you might not look 

»n Crates cried out in anger " To what end do men take so much care in 
heaping^ up i^oods, ami so little care of those to whom they shall leave them ? 
What should he do with riches that is not wise, and knows not how to use 
them ? It is as if a man should take care of his shoe, and not of his foot ; or 
set a rich saddle on a jade's back." — Charron. lib. iii. p. 491. Plato saith, he 
knew not in what a man should be more careful and diligent than to make a 
ffood son. — Ibid, 



nfter it for yourselves, or your children ; but heaven I set open, 
that you might have nothing to discourage you; I confined 
riches and honour to a few, but my blood and salvation I offered 
to all, that none may say, I was not invited ; I tendered heaven 
to the poor, as well as the rich ; I made no exce])tion against 
the meanest beggar, that did not wilfully shut out themselves : 
why then did you not come yourselves, and bring your children, 
and teach them the way to the eternal inheritance ? Do you say, 
you were poor ? Why, I did not set heaven to sale for money, 
but I called those that had nothing, to take it freely ; only on 
condition they would take me for their Saviour and Lord, and 
give up themselves unfeignedly to me in obedience and love.* 
What can you answer Christ, when he shall thus convince you ? 
It is not enough, that your children are poor and miserable here, 
but vou would have them be worse for everlasting too ! If your 
children were beggars, yet if they were such beggars as Lazarus, 
they may be conveyed by angels into the presence of God. But 
believe it, as God will save no man because he is a gentleman, so 
will he save no man because he is a beggar. God hath so 
ordered it in his providence, that riches are exceeding occasions 
of men's damnation, and will you think poverty a sufficient 
excuse ? The hardest point in all our work is to be weaned from 
the world, and in love with heaven ; and if you will not be weaned 
from it, who have nothing in it but labour and sorrow, you have 
no excuse. The poor cannot have while, and the rich will not 
have while, or they are ashamed to be so forward : the young 
think it too soon, and the old too late : and thus most men, in- 
stead of being saved, have somewhat to say against their salva- 
tion : and when Christ sendeth to invite them, they say, ' I pray 
thee have me excused ;' O unworthy guests of such a blessed 
feast, and most worthy to be turned into the everlasting 
burnings ! 

Sect. XV. 4. But some will object, We have been brought up 
in ignorance ourselves, and therefore we are unable to teach our 

Answ. Indeed this is the very sore of the land : but is it not 
pity that men should so receive their destruction by tradition ? 
Would you have this course to go on thus still ? Your parents 
did not teach you, and therefore you cannot teach your children, 
and therefore they cannot teach theirs : by this course the know- 
ledge of God should be banished out of the world, and never be 
recovered. But if your parents did not teach you, why did not 


162 THE saint's 

you learn when you came to age ? The truth is, you had no 
hearts to it; for he that hath not knowledge, cannot value it, 
or love it. But yet, though you have greatly sinned, it is not 
too late, if you will but follow my faithful advice in these four 
points : 

1. Get your hearts deeply sensible of your own sin and 
misery, because of this long time which you have spent in ig- 
norance and neglect. Bethink yourselves sometimes when you 
are alone ; did not God make you, and sustain you for his ser- 
vice ? Should not he have had the youth and strength of your 
spirits ? Did you live all this while at the door of eternity ? 
What, if you had died in ignorance, where had you been then ? 
What a deal of time have you spent to Httle purpose 1 Your 
life is near done, and your work all undone. You are ready to 
die, before you have learned to live. Should not God have had 
a better share of your lives, and your souls been more duly re- 
garded and provided for ? In the midst of these thoughts, cast 
down yourselves in sorrow, as at the feet of Christ ; bewail your 
folly, and beg pardon, and recovering grace. 

2. Then think as seriously how you have wronged your chil- 
dren : if an unthrift, that hath sold all his lands, will lament it 
for his children's sake, as well as his own, much more should 

3. Next set presently to work, and learn yourselves. If you 
can read, do ; if you cannot, get some that can ; and be much 
among those that will instruct and help you : be not ashamed 
to be seen among learners, though it be to be catechised, but be 
ashamed that you had not learned sooner. God forbid you 
should be so mad, as to say, I am now too old to learn : except 
you be too old to serve God, and be saved, how can you be too 
old to learn to be saved ? Why not rather, I am too old to serve 
the devil and the world, I have tried them too long to trust them 
any more. What if your parents had not taught you any trade 
to live by ; or what if they had ^never taught you to speak ; 
would not you have set yourselves to learn, when you had come 
to age ? Remember, that you have souls to care for, as well as 
your children, and therefore first begin with yourselves." 

4. In the mean time while you are learning yourselves, teach 
your children what you do know : and what you cannot teach 

" Job ita regebat filios suos ut tam pro prassentibus criminibus, quam pro 
occultis in corde peccatis, quae hominum fugere notitiam possunt, divinara 
clementiam assiduis sacrificiis exoraret.— /f<V/wi«/»t, in Job u 


them yourselves, put them on to learn it of others that can : 
persuade them into the company of the godly, who will he glad 
to instruct them. If Frenchmen or Welshmen lived in the 
town among us, that could not understand our language, would 
they not converse with those that do understand it ? and would 
they not daily send their children to learn it, hy heing in the 
company of those that speak it ? So do you, that you may learn 
the heavenly language : get among those that use it, and en- 
courage your children to do so : have you no godly neighbours 
that will be helpful to you herein ? O do not keep yourselves 
strange to them, but go among them, and desire their help ; 
and be thankful to them, that they will entertain you into their 
company. God forbid you should be like those that Christ 
speaks of, (Luke xi. 52,) that would neither enter into the king- 
dom of God themselves, nor suffer those that would to enter. 
God forbid you should be such cruel, barbarous wretches, as to 
hinder your children from being godly, and to teach them to be 
wicked ! ° And yet, alas ! how manv such are tliere swarming 
every where among us? If God do but touch the heart of their 
children or servants, and cause them to hear and read the word, 
and call upon him, and accompany with the godly, who will 
sooner scorn them, and revile them, and discourage them, than 
an ungodly parent? What, say they, ' You will now be one of the 
holy brethren ! You will be wiser than your parents !' Just such 
as Pharaoh was to the Israelites, such are these wicked wretches 
to their own children, (Exod. v. 3, S, 9,) when Moses said, 
" Let us go sacrifice to the Lord, lest he fall upon us with pes- 
tilence or sword," &c. Pharaoh answers, " They are idle, 
therefore they say, Let us go sacrifice : lay more work upon 
them," Sjc. Just so do these people say to their children. 
You know Pharaoh was the representer of the devil, and yet let 
me tell you, these ungodly parents are far worse that Pharaoh : 
for the children of Israel were many thousands, and were to go 
three days' journey out of the land, but these men hinder their 
children i"rom serving God at home : Pharaoh was not their 
father, but their king j but these men are enemies to the children 

• Adolescentiores etiam invitos, parentes miuislris ecclesiaj sistant, ut ilc 
fide et oratioiie Christiaiiorum, deque pra?ceptis deralo^i et gratiie Cliristi sa- 
crameutis iiiterrogati respondentes iiibtruiuaiir : tt si qua in re culpaljiles 
fueriut, ad judicia inajorum corrigaiitur, et ad sludiutii pietaiis iucitcutur, et 
ad domiiiicx iiiensa* coinmuniuaem uisi explorati iiou adiuittautur. — Muscul. 
in Matt, ii, lom. 1, p. 2o". 


162 THE saint's 

of their bodies : nay, more, let me tell you, I know none on 
earth that play the part of the devil himself more truly than 
these men. And if any thing that walks in flesh may be called 
a devil, I think it is a parent that thus hindereth his children from 
salvation. I solemnly profess 1 do not speak one jot worse of 
these men, than I do think and verily believe in my soul : nay, 
take it how you will, I will say thus much more, I verily think 
that in this they are far worse than the devil. God is a righteous 
judge, and will not make the devil himself worse than he is : I 
pray you be patient while you consider it, and then judge your- 
selves. They are the parents of their children, and so is not 
the devil. Do you think then that it is as great a fault in him 
to seek their destruction, as in them ? Is it as great a fault for 
the wolf to kill the lambs, as for their own dams to do it ? Is it 
so horrid a fault for an enemy in war to kill a child ; or for a 
bear or a mad dog to kill it, as for the mother to dash its brains 
against the wall ? You know it is not : do not you think then 
that it is so hateful a thing in Satan to entice your children to 
sin and hell, and to discourage and dissuade them from holiness 
and from heaven, as it is in you. You are bound to love them 
by nature, more than Satan is. O then what people are those 
that will teach their children, instead of holiness, to curse, and 
swear, and rail, and backbite, to be proud and revengeful, to 
break the Lord's-day, and to despise his ways, to speak wantonly, 
and filthily, to scorn at holiness, and glory in sin ! O when God 
shall ask these children, ^ Where learned you this language and 
practice ?' and they shall say, * I learned it of my father or 
mother j'p 1 would not be in the case of those parents for all the 
world ! Alas, is it a work thafis worth the teaching, to undo 
themselves for ever ? Or can they not without teaching learn it 
too easily of themselves ? Do you need to teach a serpent to 
sting, or a lion to be fierce ? Do you need to sow weeds in your 
garden ? Will they not grow of themselves ? To build a house, 
requires skill and teaching ; but a Utile may serve to set a town 
on fire. To heal the wounded or the sick, requireth skill 5 but 
to make a man sick, or to kill him, requireth but little. You 
may sooner teach your children to swear, than to pray ; and 
to mock at godliness, than to be truly godly. If these parents 
were sworn enemies to their children, and should study seven 

J" CarpendiE suut matrcs quae coram liberis nihil honestum uec loquuntur 
pec a°,uut, — Megander in 1 7''im, iii. 12, 


years how to do them the greatest mischief, they could not 
possibly find out a surer way, than by drawing them to sin, and 
withdrawing them from God. 

Sect. XV'l. I shall therefore conclude with this earnest re- 
quest to all Christian parents that read these lines, that they 
would have compassion on the souls of their poor children, and 
be faithful to the great trust that God hath put in them. ^ O 
sirs, if you cannot do what you would do for them, yet do what 
you can ; both church and state, city and country, do groan 
under the neglect of this weighty duty ; your children know not 
God, nor his laws, but take his name in vain, and slight his 
worship, and you do neither instruct them nor correct them ; 
and therefore doth God correct both them and you. You are so 
tender of them that God is the less tender both of them and you. 
Wonder not if God make you smart for your children's sins ; 
for you are guilty of all they commit, by your neglect of doing 
your duty to reform them ; even as he that maketh a man 
drunk, is guilty of all the sin that he committeth in his drunken- 
ness. Will you resolve therefore to set upon this duty, and 
neglect it no longer ? Remember Eli. Your children are like 
Moses in the basket in the water, ready to perish if they have 
not help. As ever you would not be charged before God for 
murderers of their souls, and as ever you would not have them 
cry out against you in everlasting fire, see that you teach them 
how to escape it, and bring them up in holiness, and the fear 
of God. You have heard that the God of heaven doth flatly 
command it you ; I charge every one of you, therefore, upon 
your allegiance to him, as you will very shortly answer the con- 
trary at your peril, that you neither refuse nor neglect this most 
necessary work.'' If you are not willing, now you know it to be 
so plain and so great a duty, you are flat rebels, and no true 
subjects of Christ. If you are willing to do it, but know not 
how, I will add a few words of direction to help you. 1. Teach 

1 Officium pii patrisfamilias est, liheros et familiam educare ad pietatciu, 
docereque (|uo modo o])cra Dei recte debeaiit coiisiderare. — Piscalor m Gen. 
xviii. It). Si paterfamilias fueris, eiit tihi primo loco considerauda et eiuen. 
danda douuis tua. Neque euim cum i'ructu alios corriges, tuoruai neglector. 
— Muscul.inMatt. vii. p. 154. 

' Bodiii ' De Repub.' lib. i. c. 4, writes very coufideiitly that parents have, by 
the law of God and uature, power of life and death over llieir children ; and 
that the want of it is very injurious tu commonwealths ; and how only the am- 
bition of princes took it frutn the Romans and others : but, as wise men think, 
he is mistaken. 

166 THE saint's 

them by your own example, as well as by your words. Be 
yourselves such as you would have them be : practice is the 
most effectual teaching of children, who are addicted to imita- 
tion, especially of their parents. Lead them the way to prayer, 
and reading, and other duties : be not like base commanders, 
that will put on their soldiers, but not go on themselves. Can 
you expect your children should be wiser or better than you ? 
Let them not hear those words out of your mouths, nor see those 
practices in your lives, which you reprove in them. No man 
shall be saved because his children are godly, if he be ungodly 
himself. Who should lead the way in holiness, but the father 
and master of the family ? It is a sad time when he must be 
accounted a good master or father that will not hinder his 
family from serving God, but will give them leave to go to hea- 
ven without him. 

I will but name the rest of your direct duty for your family. 
You must help to inform their understandings. 2. To store 
their memories. 3. To rectify their wills. 4. To quicken their 
affections. 5. To keep tender their consciences. 6. To re- 
strain their tongues, and help them to skill in gracious speech ; 
and to reform and watch over their outward conversation. 

To these ends, 1 . Be sure to keep them, at least, so long at 
school till they can read English. It is a thousand pities that 
a reasonable creature should look upon a Bible as upon a stone, 
or a piece of wood. 2. Get them Bibles and good books, and see 
that they read them. 3. Examine them often what they learn. 
4. Especially bestow the Lord's-day in this work, and see that 
they spend it not in sports or idleness. 5. Show them the 
meaning of what they read and learn. (Josh. iv. 6, 21, 22 j 
Psal. Ixxviii. 4 — 6, and xxxiv. 11.) 6. Acquaint them with the 
godly, and keep them in good company, where they may learn 
good, and keep them out of that company that would teach 
them evil. 7. Be sure to cause them to learn some catechism 
containing the chief heads of divinity. 

Sect, XVII. These heads of divinity, which you must teach 
them first, are these : ^ 

* Nil enim fide Christiana iniquius csset si in doctos solum et artibus hisce 
excultos competeret. — Nazianzen, orat. 21. referente Davenantio Jldhm-t. fro 
Pace, p. 85. Si quis seponeret totam qu£e hoc seculo nostro viget comrover- 
sam theologiam, atque in unum corpus colligeret illos Christianae doctrinae 
articulos, de quibus bene convenit inter universas ecclesias, quae Christum 
^fdvBpionov colunt et pro servatore suo agiioscunt, posse Christianos in illi 
tautum salutiferae veritatis et scientiae invenire, quantum credentibus sufficere 


1. That there is one only God, who is a Spirit invisible, in- 
finite, eternal, almighty, good, merciful, true, just, holy, &c. 

2. That this (jod is one in three. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

3. That he is the Maker, Maintainer, and Lord of all. 4. That 
man's happiness consisteth in the enjoying of this God, and 
not in fleshly pleasure, profits, or honours. 5. That God made 
the first man upright and happy, and gave him a law to keep, 
with condition, that if he kept it perfectly, he should live happy 
for ever, but if he broke it he should die. 6. That man broke 
this law, and so forfeited his welfare, and became guilty of 
death as to himself and all his posterity. 7. That Christ the 
Son of God did here interpose, and prevent the full execution, 
undertaking to die instead of man, and so to redeem him ; 
whereupon all things were delivered into his hands as the Re- 
deemer, and he is under that relation the Lord of aU. 8. That 
Christ hereupon did make with man a better covenant or law, 
which proclaimed pardon of sin to all that did but repent, and 
believe, and obey sincerely. 9. That he revealed this cove- 
nant and mercy to the world by degrees ; first, in darker pro- 
mises, prophecies, and sacrifices ; then, in many ceremonious 
types; and then, by more plain foretelling by the prophets. 

posset ad consecutionem vitac aeternae ; si ad cognitionem accesserit obedi- 

entia, et studium sanctitatis. — Usserius Arniachan. hi Cone, coram Rege, 

p. 28, re/erente Davena?itio ubi sup. 84. That the Creed, in the beginning, 

contained only the profession of belief in Father, Sou, and Holy Ghost, taken 

from Matt, xxviii. 19, and how it was, in time, by degrees, enlarged. See it 

excellently handled by those excellent, learned, judicious, pious divines, 

Sandford and Parker, in that most learned treatise ' De'Descensu Christi,' 

lib. iv. initio, prsecipue pp. 5, 6, ad 50. Ecclesia per universum orbem 

disseminata banc fidem ab apostolis accepit, atque diligenter custodit : per 

consensum in hac fide quasi unam domum inhabitot, et uuam animam habet. 

— Jrenceus, lib. i. cap. 2, 3. Vide plura testimonia pro sufficientia symbol i in 

Davenantii Adhort. ad Pacem, pp. 93 — 9^, Et in Parkero de Descens. 

Et in Conrad. Bergio fere per totam Prax. Cathol. Canon. Una definitio 

fidei est, coufiteri, et recte glorificare Patrem, et Christum Filium Dei, et Spiri- 

tum Sanctum. Istam confessionem conservamus, in qua et baptizati sumus ; 

donatam quidera a, maguo Deo servatore nostro Jesu Christo Sanctis suis dis- 

cipulis et apostolis : ab iis autem confessionem, i. e. sanctum mathema et 

symbolum fidei, 318. sancti patres in Nicea coUecti tradiderunt. — Justinian 

Imper. in Act. C'oncil. Tolet. i. Sicut ha!retici in moribus, omnes rimas cavil- 

landi indagantes, in causa fuerunt, ut contractus instrunienta, olim compen- 

dinsa, in infinitas conditiones, clausula?, et provisiones jam hodie extendan- 

tur; sic illud pactum in baptismo inter Christianum ct Dcum suuni in hac 

brevitate tuni sufficiebat. Haeretici vero in fide curiosis dubitationibus, per- 

versisciue altercatiouibus octasiouem dederuut explicationis cujusdam niagis 

popularis illius symboli, quod antea in majestate quasi sua complicatuni 

fuerat. — Doctis. Parker, de Descendu, lib. iv. p. !>. Read also of this, honest 

Bishop Hall's book called ' The Peacemaker." 

168 THE saint's 

10. That in the fulness of time Christ came and took our na- 
ture unto union with his godhead, being conceived by the Holy 
Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. 11. That while he was 
on earth he lived a life of sorrows, was crowned with thorns, 
and bore the pains that our sins deserved ; at last, being crucified 
to death, and buried, so satisfied the justice of God. 12. That he 
also preached himself to the Jews, and by constant miracles did 
prove the truth of his doctrine and mediatorship before thousands 
of witnesses ; that he revealed more fully his new law or covenant; 
that whosoever will believe in him, and accept him for Saviour 
and Lord, shall be pardoned and saved, and have a far greater 
glory than they lost ; and they that will not, shall lie under the 
curse and guilt, and be condemed to the everlasting fire of hell. 
13. That he rose again from the dead, having conquered death, 
and took fuller possession of his dominion over all, and so as- 
cended up into heaven, and there reigneth in glory. 14. That 
before his ascension he gave charge to his apostles to preach 
the foresaid Gospel to all nations and persons, and to offer 
Christ, and mercy, and life, to every one without exception, 
and to entreat and persuade them to receive him ; and that he 
gave them authority to send forth others on the same message, 
and to baptize, and to gather churches, and confirm and order 
them, and settle a course for a succession of ministers and or- 
dinances to the end of the world. 15. That he also gave them 
power to work frequent and evident miracles for the confirma- 
tion of their doctrine, and the convincing of the world ; and to 
annex their writings to the rest of the Scriptures, and to finish 
and seal them up, and deliver them to the world as his infallible 
word and laws, which none must dare to alter, and which 
all must observe. 16. That though his free grace is offered to 
the world, yet the heart is by nature so desperately wicked, 
that no man will believe and entertain Christ sincerely, except 
by an almighty power he be changed and born again; and 
therefore doth Christ send forth his Spirit with his word, which 
secretly and effectually worketh holiness in the hearts of the 
elect, drawing them to God and the Redeemer. 17- That the 
means by which Christ worketh and prcserveth this grace, is 
the word read and preached, together with frequent fervent 
prayer, meditation, sacraments, gracious conference ; and it is 
much furthered also by special providences keeping us from 
temptation, fitting occurrences to our advantage, drawing us by 
mercies, and driving us by afflictions ; and therefore it must be 


the great and daily care of every Christian to use faithfully all 
the said ordinances, and improve the said providences. IS. That 
though the new law or covenant he an easy yoke, and there is 
nothing grievous in Christ's commands, yet so bad are our 
hearts, and so strong our temptations, and so diligent our ene- 
mies, that whosoever will be saved, he must strive, and watch, 
and bestow his utmost care and pains, and deny his flesh, and 
forsake all that would draw him from Christ, and herein cou- 
tinue to the end, and overcome. And because this cannot be 
done without continual supplies of grace, whereof Christ is the 
only fountain, therefore we must live in continual dependence 
on him by faith, and know that our life is hid with God in him. 
19. That Christ will thus by his word and Spirit gather him a 
church of all the elect out of the world, which is his body, and 
spouse, and he their head and husband, and will be tender of 
them as the apple of his eyes, and preserve them from danger, 
and continue among them his presence and ordinances ; and 
that the members of this church must live together in most en- 
tire love and peace, delighting themselves in God and his wor- 
ship, and the forethoughts and mencion of their everlasting 
happiness ; forbearing and forgiving one another, and relieving 
each other in need, as if that which they have were their bro- 
ther's. And all men ought to strive to be of this society. Yet 
will the visible churches be mixed of good and bad. 20. That 
when the full number of these elect are called home, Christ 
will come down from heaven again, and raise all the dead, and set 
them before him to be judged; and all that have loved God 
above all, and believed in Christ, and been willing that he should 
reign over them, and have improved their mercies in the day of 
grace, them he will justify, and sentence them to inherit the 
everlasting kingdom of glory ; and those that were not such, 
he will condemn to everlasting fire : both which sentences shall 
be tlien executed accordingly. 

This is the creed, or brief sum, of the doctrine which you 
must teach your children. Though our ordinary creed, called 
the apostles' creed, contains all the absolute fundamentals; yet 
in some it is so generally and darkly expressed, that an explica- 
tion is necessarv. 

- • 

Sect. XVIll. Then, for matter of practice, teach them 
the meaning of the commandments,' especially of the great 

' Noy^Tjcria in gencrc talem ndmonitioiieni iiotat, (jiia alicui vcluti iu aui- 
muin pouas ac iiigeras ijuitl factu ojius sit, — JJemiugius hi Epii. vi, 4. 

1 70 THE saint's everlasting REST, 

commands of the Gospel ; ^how them what is commanded 
and forbidden, in the first table and in the second, towards God 
and men, in regard of the inward and the outward man ; and 
here show them, 1. The authority commanding; that is, the 
Almighty God, by Christ the Redeemer. They are not now to 
look at the command as coming from God immediately, merely 
as God, or the Creator, but as coming from God by Christ the 
Mediator, who is now the Lord of all, and only lawgiver; seeing 
the Father now judgeth no man, but hath committed all judg- 
ment to the Son. (John v. 21 — 24.) 2. Show them the terms 
on which duty is required, and the ends of it. 3. And the na- 
ture of duties, and the way to perform them aright. 4. And the 
right order ; that they first love God above all, and then their 
neighbour : first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. 

5. Show them the excellences and delights of God's service. 

6. And the flat necessity. 7. Especially labour to get all to 
their hearts, and teach them not only to speak the words. 

And for sin, show them its evil and danger, and watch over 
them against it. Especially, 1. The sins that youth is com- 
monly addicted to. 2. And which their nature and constitu- 
tion most lead them to. 3. And which the time and place 
do most strongly tempt to. 4. But especially be sure to kill 
their killing sins ; those that all are prone to, and are of all 
most deadly : as, pride, worldliness, ignorance, profaneness, 
and flesh-pleasing. 

And for the manner, you must do all this : 1 . Betimes, be- 
fore sin get rooting. 2. Frequently. 3. Seasonably. 4. Se- 
riously and diligently. 5. Affectionately and tenderly. 6. And 
with authority ; compelling where commanding will not serve, 
and adding correction where instruction is frustrate. 

And thus I have done with the use of exhortation to do our 
utmost for the salvation of others. The Lord give men com- 
passionate hearts that it may be practised : and then, I doubt 
not, but he will succeed it to the increase of his church. 






By the Diligent Practice of tliat excellent unknown Duty of Heavenly Medl- 
tatioH. Being the 7nain thing intended by the Author in the writing of this 
Book, and to which all the rest is but subservient. 






^s also of the neighbouring Parts, 

Richard Baxter devoteth this part of this Treatise as a testimony of his 
love to his native soil, and to his many godly and faithful friends there 

Heartily praying the Lord and Head of the Church to keep 
them in unity, peace, liumility, vigilancy, and steadfastness 
in the truth ; and to cause them to contribute their utmost en- 
deavours for the setting up of able, faithful teachers, and build- 
ing up the House of God, which hath so long been neglected, 
and which hath now so many hands employed to divide and 
demolish it : and that the Lord would save them in this hour 
of temptation, that they may be approved in this trial, and not 
be found light when God shall weigh them : and that he 
would acquaint them with the daily serious exercise of this 
most precious, spiritual, soul-exalting work of heavenly medi- 
tation, and that when the Lord shall come, he may find them 
so doing. 



In the former part, I have chiefly pressed those duties which 
must be used for the attainment of this everlasting rest. In 
this I shall chiefly handle those which are necessary to raise the 
heart to God, and to a heavenly and comfortable life on earth. 
It is a truth too evident, which an inconsiderate zealot repre- 
hended in Master Culverwell as an error, that manv of God's 
children do not enjoy that sweet life and blessed estate in this 
world, which God their Father hath provided for them ; that is, 
which he oflfereth them in his promises, and chargeth upon them 
as their duty in his precepts, and bringeth even to their hands in 
all his means and mercies. God hath set open heaven to us in 
his word, and told every humble, sincere Christian that they 
shall shortly there live with himself in inconceivable glory; 
and yet, where is the person that is affected with this promise ; 
whose heart leaps for joy at the hearing of the news ; or that is 
willing, in hopes of heaven, to lea.ve this world ? But even the 
godly have as strange unsavoury thoughts of it, as if God did 
but delude us, and there were no such glory; and are almost as 
loth to die as men without hope. The consideration of this 
strange disagreement between our professions and affections, 
caused me to suspect that there was some secret, lurking un- 
belief in all our hearts ; and therefore I wrote those arguments 
in the second part, for the divine authority of the Scripture : 
and because I find another cause to be, the carelessness, forget- 
fulness, and idleness of the soul, and not keeping in action that 
faith which we have, I have here attempted the removal of that 
cause, by prescribing a course for the daily acting of those 
graces which must fetch in the celestial delights into the heart. 


Oh ! the princely, joyful, blessed life, that the godly lose through 
mere idleness ! As the papists have wronged the merits of 
Christ by their ascribing too much to our own works, so it is 
almost incredible, how much they, on the other extreme, have 
wronged the safety and consolation of men's souls, by telling 
them that their own endeavours are only for obedience and gra- 
titude, but are not so much as conditions of their salvation, or 
means of their increased sanctification or consolation. And 
while some tell them that they must look at nothing in them- 
selves, for acceptation with God, or comfort, and so make that 
acceptance and comfort to be equally belonging to a Christian 
and a Turk ; and others tell them that they must look at no- 
thing in themselves, but only as signs of their good estates ; 
this hath caused some to expect only enthusiastic consolation, 
and others to spend their days in inquiring after signs of their 
sincerity. Had these poor souls well understood that God's 
way to persuade their wills, and to excite and actuate their affec- 
tions, is by the discourse, reasoning, or consideration of their 
understandings, upon the nature and qualifications of the 
objects which are presented to them : and had they bestowed 
but that time in exercising holy affections, and in serious 
thoughts of the promised happiness, which they have spent in 
inquiring only after signs, I am confident, according to the ordi- 
nary working of God, they would have been better provided, 
both with assurance and with joys. How should the heir of a 
kingdom have the comfort of his title, but by fore-thinking on 
it ? It is true, God must give us our comforts by his Spirit : 
but how ? By quickening up our souls to believe, and consider 
of the promised glory ; and not by comforting us, we know not 
how, nor why : or by giving men the foretastes of heaven, when 
they never think of it. 

1 have here prescribed thee, reader, the delightfulest task to 
the spirit, and the most tedious to the flesh, that ever men on 
earth were employed in. I did it first only for myself, but am 
loth to conceal the means that 1 have found so consolatorv. If 
thou 1)6 one that wilt not be persuaded to a course so laborious, 
but wilt only go on in thy task of common formal duties, thou 
mayest let it alone, and so be destitute of delights, except such 
as the world and thy forms can afford thee ; but then, do not, 
for shame, complain for want of comfort, when thou dost wil- 
fully reject it : and be not such a hypocrite as to pray for it, 


while thou dost refuse to labour for it. If thou say thy comfort 
is all in Christ, I must tell thee it is a Christ remembered and 
loved, and not a Christ forgotten or only talked of, that will 
solidly comfort. Though the directory for contemplation was 
only intended for this part, yet I have now premised two other 
uses. The heart must be taken off from resting on earth be- 
fore it will be fit to converse above. The first part of saving 
religion, is the taking God only for our end and rest. 





Use. VI. — Reproving our Eoqjectations of Rest on Earth. 

Sect. I. Doth this rest remain ? How great, then, is our sin 
and folly to seek and expect it here ? Where shall we find the 
Christian that deserves not this reproof? Surely, we may all 
cry * Guilty !' to this accusation. We know not how to enjoy 
convenient houses, goods, lands, and revenues, but we seek rest 
in these enjoyments. We seldom, I fear, have such sweet and 
heart-contenting thoughts of God and glory, as we have of our 
earthly delights. How much rest do the voluptuous seek, in 
buildings, walks, apparel, ease, recreation, sleep, pleasing meats 
and drinks, merry companv, health and strength, and long life ! 
Nay, we can scarce enjov the necessarv means which God hath 
appointed for our spiritual good, but we are seeking rest in them. 
Do we want ministers, godly society, or the like helps ? Oh ! 
think we, if it were but thus and thus with us, we were well. 
Do we enjoy them ?" Oh ! how we !?etile upon them, and bless 
ourselves in them, as the rich fool in his wealth ? Our books, 
our preachers, sermons, friends, abilities for duty, do not our 
hearts hug them, and (luiet themselves in them, even more than 
in God ? Indeed, in words we disclaim it, and God hath usually 
the pre-eminence in our tongues and professions ; but it is too 
ap|)arent that it is otherwise in our hearts, by these discoveries: 
First, Do we not desire these more violently, when we want 
them, than we do the Lord himself? Do we not cry out more 

• These must be delighted in, but as means only to help us to God, not as 
a ba]>piuess to content us without God. 

17S THE saint's 

sensibly, *0 my friend, my goods, my health,' than 'O my 
God ! ' Do we not miss ministry and means more passionately 
than we miss our God ? Do we not bestir ourselves more to 
obtain and enjoy these than we do to recover our communion 
with God ? Secondly, Do we not delight more in the possession 
of these than we do in the fruition of God himself? Nay, be 
not those mercies and duties most pleasant to us, wherein we 
stand at greatest distance from God ? We can read, and study, 
and confer, preach, and hear, day after day, without much wea- 
riness, because in these we have to do with instruments and crea- 
tures ; but in secret prayer and conversing with God immediately, 
where no creature interposeth, how dull, how heartless and 
weary are we ! Thirdly, And if we lose creatures or means, doth 
it not trouble us more than our loss of God ? If we lose but a 
friend, or health, &c., all the town will hear of it ; but we can 
miss our God, and scarce bemoan our misery. Thus it is appa- 
rent, we exceedingly make the creature our rest. Is it not enough 
that they are sweet delights, and refreshing helps in our way 
to heaven, but thev must also be made our heaven itself? Chris- 
tian reader, I would as willingly make thee sensible of this sin 
as of any sin in the world, if 1 could tell how to do it ; for the 
Lord's greatest quarrel with us is in this point. Therefore 1 
most earnestly beseech thee to press upon thine own conscience 
these following considerations. 

Sect. II. 1 , It is gross idolatry to make any creature or means our 
rest. To settle the soul upon it, and say, ' Now I am well,' upon 
the bare enjoyment of the creature. What is this but to make 
it our God ? Certainly, to be the soul's rest, is God's own pre- 
rogative. And as it is palpable idolatry to place our rest in 
riches and honours ; so it is but a more spiritual and refined 
idolatry to take up our rest in excellent means, in the church's 
prosperity, and in its reformation. When we would have all 
that out of God which is to be had only in God, what is this but 
to turn away from him to the creature, and in our hearts to deny 
him ? When we fetch more of our comfort and delight from the 
thoughts of prosperity, and those mercies which here we have at 
a distance from, than from the fore-thoughts of our everlasting 
blessedness, in him : nay, when the thought of that day when we 
must come to God is our greatest trouble, and we would do any 
thing in the world to escape it ; but the enjoyment of creatures, 
though absent from him, is the very thing our souls desire : 
when we had rather talk of him than come to enjoy him 5 and 


had rather go many miles to hear a powerful sermon of Christ 
and heaven, than to enter and possess it ; Oh 1 what vile idolatry 
is this ! VVHien we dispute against epicures, academics, and all 
pagans, how earnestly do we contend that God is the chief good, 
and the fruition of him our chief happiness ! What clear argu- 
ments do we bring to evince it I But do we believe ourselves ; 
or are we Christians in judgment, and pagans in affection ? Or 
do we give our senses leave to be the choosers of our happiness, 
while reason and faith stand by ? O Christians ! how ill must 
our dear Lord needs take it, when we give him cause to com- 
plain, as sometimes he did of our fellow-idolaters, (Jer. 1. 6,) 
that we have been lost sheep, and have forgotten our resting- 
place ! "When we give him cause to say, ' Why, my people can 
find rest in any thing rather than in me ! They can find delight 
in one another, but none in me ; they can rejoice in my crea- 
tures and ordinances, but not in me; yea, in their very labours 
and duty they seek for rest, and not in me; they had rather be 
any where than be with me. Are these their gods ? Have these 
delivered and redeemed them ? Will these be better to them 
than I liave been, or than I would be? If vourselves have but 
a wife, a husband, a son, that had rather be any where than in 
your company, and is never so merry as when farthest from you, 
would you not take it ill yourselves?' Why so must our God 
needs do : for what do we but lay these things in one end of the 
balance and God in the other, and foolishly, in our choice, prefer 
them before him ? As Elkanah said to Hannah, " Am not I 
better to thee than ten sons?" (I Sam. i. S.) So when we are 
longing after creatures, we may hear God say, ' Am not I better 
than all the creatures to thee?* 

2. Consider, How thou contradictest the end of God in giving 
these things.'' He gave them to help thee to him, and dost thou 
take up with them in his stead ? He gave them that thcv might 
be comfortable refreshments in thy journey, and wouldst thou 
now dwell in thy inn, and go no further ? Thou dost not only 
contradict God herein, but losest tliat benefit which thou 
mightest receive by them, yea, and makest them thy great hurt 
and hinderance. Surely, it may be said of all our comforts and 
all ordinances, and the blcssedest enjoyments in the church on 
earth, as God said to the Israelites of his ark, " The ark of the 
covenant went before them, to search out for tliem a resting- 
place." (Numb. X. 33.) So do all God's mercies here. Tiicy 

• ''I uieau the end of precept, not of his purpose. 

N 2 

180 THE saint's 

are not that rest, (as John professeth he was not the Christ,) 
but they are voices crying in this wilderness, to bid us prepare, 
for the kingdom of God, our true rest, is at hand. Therefore, 
to rest here, were to turn all mercies clean contrary to their own 
ends, and our own advantages, and to destroy ourselves with 
that which should help us. 

Sect. IV. 3. Consider, Whether it be not the most probable 
way, to cause God, either First, To deny those mercies which we 
desire; or. Secondly, To take from us these which we enjoy; or. 
Thirdly, To embitter them at least, or curse them to us ? Cer- 
tainly, God is no where so jealous as here. If you had a servant 
whom your own wife loved better than she did yourself, would 
you not both take it ill of such a wife, and rid your house of such 
a servant ? You will not suffer your child to use a knife till he 
have wit to do it without hurting him. Why so, if the Lord see 
you begin to settle in the world, and say, ' Here I will rest,' no 
wonder if he soon in his jealousy unsettle you. If he love you, 
no wonder if he take that from you wherewith he sees you are 
about to destroy yourselves. It hath been my long observation 
of many, that when they have attempted great works, and have 
just finished them, or have aimed at great things in the world, 
and have just obtained them ; or have lived in much trouble and 
unsettlement, and have just overcome them, and begin with some 
content to look upon their condition, and rest in it, they are 
usually near to death or ruin.'^ You know the story of the fool 
in the Gospel. When a man is once at this language. Soul, take 
thy ease or rest ; the next news usually is. Thou fool, this night, 
or this month, or this year, shall they require thy soul, and then 
whose shall these things be ? Oh, what house is there where 
this fool dwelleth not ! Dear Christian friends, you to whom I 
have especially relation, let you and I consider whether this be 
not our own case. Have not I, after such an unsettled life, and 
after four years' living in the weary condition and the unpleasing 
state of war, and after so many years' groaning under the chinch's 
unreformedness, and the great fears that lay upon us, and after 
so many longings, and prayers for these days : have 1 not 

' Mundus iste periculosior est blaiidus quam molestiis : et magis cavendus 
cum se illicit dili^i, quam cum admonet cogitque contemni; ssepe etiam iis 
(jui spiritualia, iuvisibilia, a;terna tcrrenis prffiponuiit, infert se terreiiEe suavi- 
tatls ati'ectus, et delectatioiiibus suis nostra comitatur ofhcia. Quanto eiiim 
charitati sunt futura meliora, tanto sunt infirmitati violentiora praesentia: et 
iitinam ii qui ea videre et gemere noveruut, vincere et evadere niereautur.— • 
Jug-ust, Epist. 144. 


thought of them with too much content? And been ready to 
say, * Soul, take thy rest?' Have not I comforted myself more 
in the forethoughts of enjoying these, than of coming to heaven 
and enjoying God ? What wonder, then, if God cut me off, 
when I am just sitting down in this supposed rest ? And hath 
not the like been your condition ? Many of you have been sol- 
diers, driven from house to home, endured a life of trouble and 
blood, been deprived of ministry and means, longing to see the 
church's settling. Did you not reckon up all the comforts you 
should have at your return j and glad your hearts with such 
thoughts more than with the thoughts of your coming to heaven? 
Why, what wonder if God now somewhat cross you, and turn 
some of your joy into sadness? Many a servant of God hath 
been destroyed from the earth by being overvalued and over- 
loved. I prav God you may take warning for the time to come, 
that you rob not yourselves of all your mercies. I am persuaded 
our discontents, and murmurings with our unpleasing condition, 
and our covetous desires after more, are not so provoking to God, 
nor so destructive to the sinner, as our too sweet enjoying, and 
rest of spirit in a pleasing state. If God have crossed any of 
you in wife, children, goods, friends, Sec, either by taking them 
from you, or the comfort of them, or the benefit and blessing, 
try whether this above all other be not the cause. For where- 
soever your desires stop, and you say, ' Now I am well,' that 
condition you make your God, and engage the jealousy of God 
against it. Whether you be friends to God or enemies, you can 
never expect that God should wink at such idolatry, or suffer you 
quietly to enjoy your idols. 

Sect. V. 4. Consider, If God should suffer thee thus to take 
up thy rest here, it were one of the surest plagues and greatest 
curses that could possibly befall thee. It were better for thee, 
if thou never hadst a day of ease or content in the world, for 
then weariness might make thee seek after the true rest. (Psalm 
xvii. 14; Luke xvi. 25.) But if he should suffer thee to sit 
down and rest here, where were thy rest when this deceives 
thee? A restless wretch thou wouldst be through all eternity. 
To have their portion in this life, and their good things on the 
earth, is the lot of the most miserable, perishing sinners. And 
doth it become Christians, then, to expect so much here ? Our 
rest is our heaven, and where we take our rest, there we make 
our heaven. And wouldst thou have but such a heaven as this? 
Certainly, as Saul's messengers found but Michal'a man of straw 

182 1HE saint's 

when they expected David, so wilt thou find but a rest of straw, 
of wind, of vanity, when thou most needest rest. It will be but 
a handful of waters to a man that is drowning, which will help 
to destroy, but not to save him. But that is the next. 

Sect. VJ. 5. Consider, Thou seekest rest where it is not to be 
found, and so wilt lose all thy labour, and, if thou proceed, thy 
soul's eternal rest, too. I think I shall easily evince this by 
these clear demonstrations following : 

First, Our rest is only in the full obtaining of our ultimate 
end, but that is not to be expected in this life, therefore, neither 
is rest to be here expected. Is God to be enjoyed in the best 
reformed church, in the purest and most powerful ordinances 
here, as he is in heaven? I know you will all confess he is not. 
How little of God, not only the multitude of the blind world, 
but sometimes the saints themselves do eryoy, even under the 
most excellent means, let their own frequent complainings testify. 
And how poor comforters are the best ordinances and enjoy- 
ments, without God, the truly spiritual Christian knows ! Will 
a stone rest in the air in the midst of its fall, before it comes to 
the earth ? No, because its centre is its end. Should a tra- 
veller take up his rest in the way ? No, because his home is 
his journey's end. When you have all that creatures and means 
can afford, have you that you sought for ? Have you that you 
believe, pray, suffer for ? I think you dare not say so. Why, 
then, do we once dream of resting here ? We are like little 
children strayed from home, and God is now fetching us home; 
and we are ready to turn into any house, stay and play with 
every thing in our way, and sit down on every green bank, and 
much ado there is to get us home. 

Secondly, As we have not y?t obtained our end, so are we in 
the midst of labours and dangers, and is there any resting here ? 
What painful work doth lie upon our hands ! Look to our 
brethren, to godly, to ungodly, to the church, to our souls, to 
God, and what a deal of work in respect of each of these doth 
lie before us I And can we rest in the midst of all our labours ?'^ 

d Quufn transient tempus pugnae, et venerit pax ilia quae praecellit omnem 
intellectum, (quantum cumque enim co^itaverit de pace ilia, minus earn capit 
animus in ista corporis gravetline constitutns) cum venerit inquam ilia pax et 
patria, jam domus erit Deo, qui in pugnatabernaculum. Non procedimus ad 
pugnandum, sed permauebimus ad laudaudum. Quid enim dicitur de ilia 
domo ? Beati qui habitant in domo tua, Domine, in secula seculorum lauda- 
bunt te. in tabernaculo adhuc gemimus ; in domo laudabimus. Quare ? 
Quia gemitus est peregriuantium, laudatiu jam in patria et in domo comuio* 


Indeed, we may take some refreshing, and ease ourselves some- 
times in our troubles, if you will call that rest, but that is not the 
settling rest we now are speaking of; we may rest on earth, as 
the ark is said to have rested in the midst of Jordan. (Josh, 
iii. 13.) A short and small rest, no ([ucstion; or as the angels 
of heaven are desired to turn in, and rest them on earth. (Gen. 
xviii. 4.) They would have been loth to have taken up their 
dwelling there. Should Israel have settled his rest in the wil- 
derness among serpents, and enemies, and weariness, and 
famine ? Should Noah have made the ark his home, and have 
been loth to come forth when the waters were fallen ? Should 
the mariner choose his dwelling on the sea, and settle his rest 
in the midst of rocks, and sands, and raging tempests ? Though 
he may adventure through all these for a commodity of worth, 
vet I think he takes it not for his rest. Should a soldier rest in 
the midst of fight, when he is in the very thickest of his enemies, 
and the instruments of death compass him about ? I think he 
cares not how soon the battle is over. And though he may ad- 
venture upon war for the obtaining of peace, yet 1 hope he is 
not so mad as to take that instead of peace. And are not 
Christians such travellers, such mariners, such soldiers ? Have 
you not fears within, and troubles without? Are we not in the 
thickest of continual dangers ? We cannot eat, drink, sleep, 
labour, pray, hear, confer, &:c., but in the midst of snares and 
perils, and shall we sit down and rest here ? Oh, Christian, follow 
thy work, look to thy danger, hold on to the end; win the field 
and come off the ground, before thou think of a settling rest. I 
read indeed that Peter on the mount, when he had seen a glimpse 
of glory, said, " It is good for us to be here." But surely, when 
he was on the sea, in the midst of the waves, he doth not then 
say, *' It is good to be here." No, then he hath other language, 
" Save, Master, we perish. "And even his desires to rest on the 
mount, are noted in Scripture to come from hence. He knew 
not what he said: it was on earth, though with Christ in his 
transfiguration. And I dare say the like of thee, whenever thou 

rantiuin. Qui in illam intrant ut inhabitent, ipsi sunt qui intrant ut inhahi- 
teutur. In donium tuani intra ut iiihahites. In domuin Dei ut iiihabiteris. Est 
eaini uielior Domus : qui cuin te caperit iniiabitaie, beatum te lacit. Nam si 
tu ab illo not] habitaris, miser es. — August, in Psalm xxvi. et xxxi. Veruni 
ecce ; vivat ut vult, quoniam extorsit, sibiijiie impeiavit, iion vclle qu(iii non 
potest, atque hoc velie (|Uo(J potest (ut ait 'I'erentius, ([uoniani non potest id 
fieri quod vis, id veils quod pussit). Non tameu ideo beatus e^t, qui patieu- 
ter miser est. — August, de Civit. lib. xiv. c. 25. 

184 THE saint's 

talkest of resting on earth, Thou knowest not what thou sayest. 
I read that Christ, when he was on the cross, comforted the 
converted thief with this, " This day shalt thou be with me in 
paradise." But if he had only comforted him with telling him 
that he should rest there on that cross, would he not have taken 
it for a derision ? Methinks it should be ill resting in the midst 
of sicknesses and pains, persecution and distresses. One would 
think it should be no contentful dwelling for lambs among 
wolves. The wicked have some slender pretence for their sin 
in this kind; they are among their friends, in the midst of their 
portion, enjoying all the happiness that they are likely to enjoy. 
But is it so with the godly ? Surely, the world is at best but a 
stepmother to them ; nay, an open enemy. But if nothing else 
would convince us, yet surely the remainders of sin which doth 
so easily beset us, would quickly satisfy a believer that here is 
not his rest. What, a Christian ! and rest in a state of sinning 1 
It cannot be ; or do they hope for a perfect freedom here ? That is 
impossible. I say, therefore, to every one that thinketh of rest 
on earth, as Micah, " Arise ye, depart; this is not your rest, 
because it is polluted." (Chap. ii. v. 10.) 

Thirdly, The nature of all these things may convince you, 
that they cannot be a Christian's true rest. They are too poor 
to make us rich, and too low to raise us to happiness ; and too 
empty to fill our souls ; and too base to make us blessed : and of 
too short continuance to be our eternal contents. They cannot 
subsist themselves without support from heaven ; how, then, 
can they give subsistence to our souls? Surely, if prosperity, or 
whatsoever we here can desire, be too base to make us gods of, 
then are they too base to be our rests. 

Fourthlyj That which is the soul's true rest, must be suffi- 
cient to afford it perpetual satisfaction ; but all things below do 
delight us only with fresh variety. ^ The content which any 
creature affordeth, doth wax old and abate after a short enjoy- 
ment. We pine away for them, as Amnon for his sister j and 
when we have satisfied our desire, we are weary of them and 
loathe them. If God should rain down angels' food, after awhile 

• Summum bonum imraortale est; nescit exire. Nee satietatem habet, 
nee poeniteiitiam. At voluptas tunc cum niaxirae delectat, extinjuitur. Nee 
multum loci habet ; itaque cito iniplet : et ta;dio est, ct post primum impe- 
tum marcet. Nee id uiiquam ceitum est, cujus in niotu natura est. Nee 
ulla potest ejus esse substantia, quod venit transitvu celerrime, in ipso usu sui 
periturum. Eo enini pervenit, ubi desiuat : et dum incipit, special ad^finem. 
'—Seneca de Vita JSeat, c. 7. 


our souls would loatlie that dry manna. The most dainty fare, 
the most costly clothinc; would not please us, were we tied to 
them alone. The most sumptuous house, the softest bed, were 
we confined to them, would be but a prison. One recreation 
pleaseth not long, we must have supply of new, or our delights 
will languish. Nay, our delight in our society and friendship, 
especially if carnal, is strongest while fresh : and in the ordi- 
nances of God tliemselves, so far as we delight in them for 
themselves, and not for God, if novelty support not our delight, 
grows dull. Jf we hear still the same minister, or if in preaching 
and praving, he use oft the same expressions, or if he preach oft 
the same sermon, how dull grows our devotion, though the 
matter be never so good, and at first did never so highly please 
us 1 If we read the most excellent and pleasing books, the third 
or fourth reading is usually more heartless than the first or 
second; nay, in our general way of Christianity, our first godly 
acquaintance, our first preachers, our first books, our first duties, 
have too conmionly our strongest aflfections. All creatures are 
to us, as the flowers to the bee ; there is but little of that matter 
which affords them honey on any flower, and therefore they 
must have supply of fresh variety, and take of each a superfi- 
cial taste, and so to the next; yea, some having gone through 
variety of states, and tasted of the pleasures of their own country, 
do travel for fresh variety abroad, and when they come home, 
they usually betake themselves to some solitary corner, and sit 
down, and cry with Solomon, ' \^anity and vexation !' And 
with David, ' I have seen an end of all perfection:' and can this 
be a place of rest for the soul ? 

Fifthly, Those that know the creature least, do affect it most ; 
the more it is known, the less it satisfieth : those only are taken 
with it, who can see no farther than its outward beauty, not 
beholding its outward vanity ; it is like a comely picture, if you 
stand too near it, it 'appears less beautiful ; we are prone to 
over-admire the persons of men, places of honour, and other 
men's happy condition ; but it is only while we do but half know 
them : stay but a while till we know them thoroughly, and have 
discovered the evil as well as the good, and the defects as well 
as the perfections, and we then do cease our admiration. 

Sect. VII. 6. To have creatures and means without God, 
who is their end, is so far from being our ha|:)i)iness, that it is an 
aggravation of our misery, even as to have food without strength, 
and starve in the midst of plenty, and as Pharaoh's kinc, to 

186 THE saint's 

devour all, and lean still. What the better were you if you had 
the best minister on earth, the best society, the purest church ; 
and therewithal the most plentiful estate, but nothing of God ? 
If God should say. Take my creatures, my word, my servants, my 
ordinances, but not myself, would you take this for a happiness ? 
If you had the word of God, and not the Word which is God ? ^ 
Or the bread of the Lord, and not the Lord, which is the 
true bread ? Or could cry with the Jews, " The temple of the 
Lord," and had not the Lord of the temple ? this were a poor 

Was Capernaum the more happy, or the more miserable, for 
seeing the mighty works which they had seen, and hearing the 
words of Christ which they did hear? Surely, that which aggra- 
vates our sin and misery cannot be our rest. 

7. If all this be nothing, do but consult with experience, 
both other men's and your own, too many thousands and mil- 
lions have made trial, but did ever one of these find a sufficient 
rest for his soul on this earth ? s Delights I deny not but they 
have found, and imperfect temporary content, but rest and satis- 
faction they never found : and shall we think to find that which 
never man could find before us ? Ahab's kingdom is nothing to 
him, except he had also Naboth's vineyard, and did that satisfy 
him, think you, when he obtained it ? If we had conquered to 
ourselves the whole world, we should perhaps do as Alexander 
is fabled to have done, sit down and weep because there is never 
another world to conquer. If 1 should send you forth as Noah's 
dove, to go through the earth, to look for a resting-place, you 
would return with a confession, that you can find none : go ask 
honour. Is there rest here ? Why you may as well rest on the 
top of the tempestuous mountains, or in ^Etna's flames, or on 
the pinnacle of the temple. If you ask riches, Is there rest 

* Panem Domini, non panem Dominum, ut Aug. Matt. i. 21 — 23. 

s Hinc evidentior miseria est quia homo non vivit ut vult. Nam sicut vellet, 
vivere, beatum se putaret, sed nee sic tamen esset si turpiter viveret. Quan- 
quam si diligentius attendemus, nisi beatus, non vivit ut vult ; et nuUus 
beatua nisi Justus. Sed etiam ipse Justus non vivit ut vult, nisi eo pervenerit 
ubi mori, falli, ofFendi omnino non possit, eique sit certura ita semper futu- 
rum. Hoc enim natura expetit ; nee plene et perfecte beata erit, nisi adepta 
quod expetit. Nunc vero quis hominum potest ut vult vivere, quando ipsum 
vivere non est in potestate ? Vivere enim vult, mori cogitur. Quoniodo ergo 
vivit ut vult, qui non vivit quamdiu vult ? Quod si mori voluerit, quomodo 
potest ut vult vivere, qui non vult vivere ? Et si ideo mori velit, nun quod nolit 
vivere, sed ut post mortem melius possit vivere, noudum ergo ut vult vivit, sed 
cum ad id quod vult moriendo pervenerit. — ^ug, de Civ, Ijb, wv. c, 24, 25. 


here ? Even such as is in a bed of thorns ; or were it a bed of 
down, yet you must arise in the morning, and leave it to the 
next guest that shall succeed you ; or if you incjuire of worldly 
pleasure and ease, can they give you any tidings of true rest ? 
Even such as the fish or bird hath in the net, or in swallowing 
down the deceitful bait ; when the pleasure is at the sweetest, 
death is the nearest : it is just such a content and happiness, as 
the exhilarating vapours of the wine do give to a man that is 
drunk : it causeth a merry and cheerful heart, it makes him 
forget his wants and miseries, and conceive himself the happiest 
man in the world, till his sick vomitings have freed him of his 
disease, or sleep hath assuaged and subdued those vapours which 
deluded his phantasy, and perverted his understanding, and 
then he awakes a more unhappy man than ever he was before. 
Such is the rest and happiness that all worldly pleasures do 
afford. As the phantasy may be delighted in a pleasant dream, 
when all the senses are captivated by sleep j so may the flesh 
of sensitive appetite, when the reasonable soul is captivated by 
security : but when the morning comes, the delusion vanisheth, 
and where is the pleasure and happiness then ? Or if you should 
go to learning, to purest, plentifulest, powerfulest ordinances, 
or compass sea and land to find out the perfectest church, and 
holiest saints, and inquire whether there your soul may rest : 
you might happily receive from these indeed an olive-branch of 
hope, as they are means to your rest, and have relation to eter- 
nity ; but in regard of any satisfaction in themselves, you would 
remain as restless as ever before. Oh how well might these 
answer many of us, with that indignation, as Jacob did Rachel, 
" Am I instead of God ? " Or as the king of Israel said to the 
messengers of the king of Assyria, when he required him to 
restore Naaman to health, " Am 1 God, to kill and make alive, 
that this man sends to me to recover a man of his leprosy ?" So 
may the highest perfection on earth say, ' Are we God, or in- 
stead of God, that this man comes to us to give a soul rest ? ' 
Go take a view of all estates of men in the world, and see 
whether any of them have found this rest. Go to the husband- 
man, and demand of him, behold his circular endless labours, 
his continual care and toil and weariness, and you will easily 
see, that there is no rest : go to the tradesman, and you shall 
find the like : if I should send you lower, you would judge your 
labour lost ; or go to the conscionable painful minister, and there 
you will yet more easily be satisfied -, for though his spending, 

188 THE saint's 

killing, endless labours are exceeding sweet, yet it is not because 

they are his rest, but in reference to his people's, and his own 

eternal rest, at which he aims, and to which they may conduce : 

if you should ascend to magistracy, and inquire at the throne, 

you would find there is no condition so restless, and your hearts 

would even pity poor princes and kings. Doubtless neither 

court nor country, towns or cities, shops or fields, treasuries, 

libraries, solitariness, society, studies, or pulpits, can afford any 

such thing as this rest. If you could inquire of the dead of all 

generations, or if you could ask the living through all dominions, 

they would all tell you, * Here is no rest;' and all mankind may 

say, " All our days are sorrow, and our labour is grief, and our 

hearts take not rest." (Eccles. ii. 23.) Go to Geneva, go to 

New England, find out the church which you think most happy, 

and we may say of it, as lamenting Jeremy of the church of the 

Jews, " She dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest, all 

her persecutors overtake her." (Lam. i. 3.) The holiest prophet, 

the blessedest apostle would say, as one of the most blessed did, 

" Our flesh had no rest, without were fightings, within were 

fears." (2 Cor. vii. 5.) If neither Christ nor his apostles, to 

whom Avas given the earth and the fulness thereof, had no rest 

here, why should we expect it ? ^ 

Or if other men's experiences move you not, do but take a 
view of your own : can you remember the estate that did fully 
satisfy you ? Or if you could, will it prove a lasting state ? For 
njy own part, I have run through several places and states of 
life, and though I never had the necessities which might occa- 
sion discontent, yet did I never find a settlement for my soul ; 
and I believe we may all say of our rest, as Paul of our hopes, 
" If it were in this life only, we were of all men most miserable." 
(1 Cor. XV. 19.) Or if you will not credit your past experience, 
you may try in your present or future wants : when conscience 
is wounded, God offended, your bodies weakened, your friends 
afflicted, see if these can yield you rest. If then either Scrip- 
ture, or reason, or the experience of ourselves, and all the world, 
will satisfy us, we may see there is no resting here. And yet 
how guilty are the generality of professors of this sin ! How 

'■ Aliae setates hominum exilia videre : nostra totos populos patria extorres, 
bella ubiqiie, et in ipsis bellis alia bella per militum sajvitiatn ac rapacitatera. 
Ja tot mails aut circumstantibus, aut impeudentibus, tutum nihil nisi mors. 
Qui tanto rerum turbiui eripitiir, quid aliud qiiaiu evasisse censendus est ?— . 
Crotiusad Gallos, Epist. 178. p. 432, 


many halts and stops do we make, before we will make the Lord 
our rest ! How must God even drive us, and fire us out of every 
condition, lest we should sit down and rest there ! If he give us 
prosperity, riches, or honour, we do in our hearts dance before 
them, as the Israelites before their calf, and say, ' These are 
thy gods,' and conclude it is good being here. If he imbitter 
all these to us by crosses, how do we strive to have the cross 
removed, and the bitterness taken away, and are restless till 
our condition be sweetened to us, that we may sit down again 
and rest where we were ! If the Lord, seeing our perverseness, 
shall now proceed in the cure, and take the creature quite away, 
then how do we labour, and care, and cry, and pray, that God 
would restore it, that if it may be, we may make it our rest 
again I And while we are deprived of its actual enjoyment, and 
have not our former idol to delight in, yet rather than come to 
God, we delight ourselves in our hopes of recovering our former 
state ; and as long as there is the least likelihood of obtaining 
it, we make those very hopes our rest : if the poor by labouring 
all their days, have but hopes of a fuller estate when they are 
old (though a hundred to one they die before they have ob- 
tained it, or certainlv at least immediately after), yet do they 
labour with patience, and rest themselves on these expectations. 
Or if God doth take away both present enjoyments, and all 
hopes of ever recovering them, how do we search about, from 
creature to creature, to find out something to supply the room, 
and to settle upon, instead thereof? Yea, if we can find no 
supply, but are sure we shall live in poverty, in sickness, in dis- 
grace, while we are on earth, yet will we rather settle in this 
misery, and make a rest of a wretched being, than we will leave 
all and come to God. A man would think, that a multitude of 
poor people, who beg their bread, or can scarce with their 
hardest labour have sustenance for their lives, should easily be 
driven from resting here, and willingly look to heaven for rest ; 
and the sick who have not a day of ease, nor any hope of reco- 
very left them. But oh the cursed averseness of these souls 
from God ! We will rather account our misery our happiness ; 
yea, that which we dailv groan under as intolerable, than we will 
take up our happiness in God. If any place in hell were tolera- 
ble, the soul would rather take up its rest there, than come to 
God. Yea, when he is bringing us over to him, and hath con- 
vinced us of the worth of his ways and service, the last deceit of 
all is here, we will rather settle upon those ways that lead to 

190 THE saint's 

him, and those ordinances which speak of him, and those gifts 
which flow from him, than we will come clean over to himself. 
Christian, marvel not that I speak so much of resting in these ; 
beware lest it should prove thy own case : 1 suppose thou art so 
far convinced of the vanity of riches, and honour, and carnal 
pleasure, that thou canst more easily disclaim these, and it is 
well if it be so ; but for thy more spiritual mercies in thy way 
of profession, thou lookest on these with less suspicion, and 
thinkest they are so near to God, that thou canst not delight in 
them too much, especially seeing most of the world despise 
them, or delight in them too little. But doth not the increase 
of those mercies dull thy longings after heaven ? Jf all were 
according to thy desire in the church, wouldest thou not sit 
down and say, I am well. Soul, take thy rest ; and think it a 
judgment to be removed to heave n ? Surely if thy delight in 
these excel not thy delight in God, or if thou wouldest gladly 
leave the most happy condition on earth, to be with God, then 
art thou a rare man, a Christian indeed. I know the means of 
grace must be loved and valued, and the usual enjoyment of God 
is in the use of them ; and he that delighteth in any worldly 
thing more than in them, is not a true Christian : but when we 
are content with duty instead of God, and had rather be at a 
sermon than in heaven j and a member of a church here, than 
of that perfect church, and rejoice in ordinances, but as they are 
part of our earthly prosperity ; this is a sad mistake. Many 
were more willing to go to heaven in the former days of perse- 
cution, when they had no hopes of seeing the church reformed, 
or delivered : but now men are in hopes to have all things almost 
as they desire, the case is altered ; and they begin to look at 
heaven as strangely and sadly, as if it would be a loss to be re- 
moved to it. Is this the right use of reformation ? Or is this the 
way to have it continued or perfected ? Should our deliverances 
draw our hearts from God ? Oh, how much better were it, in 
every trouble, to fetch our chief arguments of comfort, from the 
place where our chiefest rest remains ! And when others com- 
fort the poor with hopes of wealth, or the sick with hopes of 
health and life, let us comfort ourselves with the hopes of heaven. 
So far rejoice in the creature, as it comes from God, or leads to 
him, or brings thee some report of his love : so far let thy soul 
take comfort in ordinances, as God doth accompany them with 
quickening, or comfort, or gives himself unto thy soul by them : 
still remembering, when thou hast even what thou dost desire, 


yet this Is not heaven ; yet these are but the first-fruits. Is it 
not enough that God alloweth us all the comfort of travellers, 
and accordingly to rejoice in all his mercies, but we must set 
up our staff as if we were at home ? " While we are present in 
the body, we are absent from the Lord ;" (2 Cor. v. 6 — 9 ;) 
and while we are absent from him, we are absent from our rest. 
If God were as willing to be absent from us as we from him, 
and if he were as loth to be our rest as we are loth to rest in 
him, we should be left to an eternal restless separation. In a 
word, as you are sensible of the sinfulness of your earthly dis- 
contents, so be you also of your irregular contents, and pray 
God to pardon them much more. And above all the plagues 
and judgments of God on this side hell, see that you watch and 
pray against this (of settling any where short of heaven, or re- 
posing your souls to rest on any thing below God). Or else, 
when the bough which you tread on breaks, and the things 
which you rest upon deceive you, you will perceive your labour 
all lost, and vour sweetest contents to be preparatives to your 
woe, and your highest hopes v/ill make you ashamed. Try, if 
you can persuade Satan to leave tempting, and the world to 
cease both troubling and seducing, and sin to cease inhabiting 
and acting ; if you can bring the glory of God from above, or 
remove the court from heaven to earth, and secure the con- 
tinuance of this through eternity, then settle yourselves below, 
and say. Soul, take thy rest here ; but till then, admit not such 
a thought. 


Use VII. — Reproviny our Unwillingness to Die. 

Sect. I. Is there a rest remaining for the people of God ? 
Why are we then so loth to die, and to depart from hence 
that we may possess this rest ? If I may judge of other men's 
hearts by my own, we are exceeding guilty in this ])()int. 
We linger, as Lot in Sodom, till God being merciful to us, doth 
pluck us away against our wills.' How rare is it to meet with a 

' We resist and struggle, and, like froward servants, we are bailed to our 
Master's presence with sadness and unwillingness ; going out hence as com- 
pelled by necessity, and not in williug obedience ; and, would we be bonoarcd 

192 THE saint's 

Christian, though of strongest parts, and longest profession, that 
can die with an unfeigned willingness ! Especially if worldly 
calamity constrain them not to be willing ! Indeed, we sometime 
set a good face on it, and pretend a willingness when we see 
there is no remedy, and that our unwillingness is only a disgrace 
to us, but will not help to prolong our lives : but if God had 
enacted such a law for the continuance of our lives on earth, as 
is enacted for the continuance of that parliament, that we should 
not be dissolved till our own pleasure; and that no man should die 
till he were truly willing ; I fear heaven might be empty for the 
most of us ; and if our worldly prosperity did not fade, our lives 
on earth would be very long, if not eternal. We pretend 
desires of being better prepared, and of doing God some greater 
service, and to that end we beg one year more, and another, and 
another j'^' but still our promised preparation and service are as far 
to seek as ever before, and we remain as unwilling to die, as we 
were when we begged our first reprival. If God were not more 
willing of our company, than we are of his, how long should we 
remain thus distant from him ? And as we had never been sanc- 
tified if God had staid till we were willing ; so if he should refer 
it wholly to ourselves, it would at least be long before we should 
be glorified. I confess that death of itself is not desirable ; but 
the soul's rest is with God, to which death is the common 
passage. And because we are apt to make light of this sin, 
and to plead our common nature to patronize it, let me here 
set before you its aggravations ; and also propound some fur- 
ther considerations, which may be useful to you and myself 
against it. 

Sect. II. And, first, consider what a deal of gross infidelity 
doth lurk in the bowels of this sin. Either paganish unbelief 
of the truth of that eternal blessedness, and of the truth of the 
Scripture which doth promise it to us ; or, at least, a doubting 

by him with the heavenly rewards, to whom we go against our wills ? Wliy 
pray we that the kingdom of heaven may come, if this earthly captivity do 
delight us? — Cyprian, de Mortalitat. p. 355. 

'' We are all naturally desirous to live, and though we prize life above all 
earthly things, yet we are ashamed to profess that we desire it for its own sake, 
but pretend some other reason ; one for this, and another for that, &c. After 
all this hypocrisy, nature above all things would live, and makes life the 
main end of living : but grace hath higher thoughts, &c. — Bishop Hall, Sold. 
p. 21, 79, 80. For mere moral considerations against the fear of death, read 
Sen. Epist. 20. ad Lucilium, and Charon of Wisdom, lib. ii. c. 11. For spiritual 
considerations (among many larger) Cypr, de Mortalitale (and others of his) 
is excellent. 


of our own interest ; or most usually somewhat of both these. 
And though Christians are usually most sensible of the latter, 
and therefore complain most against it, yet I am apt to suspect 
the former to be the main radical master-sin, and of greatest 
force in this l)usiness. Oh ! if we did but verily believe that 
the promise of this glory is the word of God, and that God doth 
truly mean as he speaks, and is fully resolved to make it good ; 
if we did verilv believe that there is, indeed, such blessedness 
prepared for believers as the Scripture mentioneth, surely we 
should be as impatient of living as we are now fearful of dying,^ 
and should think everv dav a vear till our last day should come. 
We should as hardly refrain from laying violent hands on our- 
selves, or from the neglecting of the means of our health and 
life, as we do now from overmuch carefulness and seeking of 
life by unlawful means. If the eloquent oration of a philoso- 
pher, concerning the soul's immortality and the life to come, 
could make his affected hearer presently to cast himself head- 
long from the rock, as impatient of any longer delay, what 
would a serious christian belief do, if God's law against self- 
murder did not restrain ? Is it possible that we can truly be- 
lieve that death will remove us from misery to such glory, and 
yet be loth to die ? If it were the doubts of our interest which 
made us afraid, yet a true belief of the certainty and excellency 
of this rest would make us restless till our interest be cleared. 
If a man that is desperately sick to-day, did believe he should 
arise, sound the next morning ; or a man to-day, in despicable 
poverty, had assurance that he should to-morrow arise a prince; 
would thev be afraid to go to bed, or rather think it the longest 
day of their lives, till that desired night and morning came? 
The truth is, though there is much faith and Christianity in our 
mouths, yet there is much infidelity and paganism in our hearts, 
which is the main cause that we are so loth to die. 
Sect. III. 3. And as the weakness of our faith,'" so also the cold- 

' Let him fear to die, who hein j not horn again of water and the Spirit, is 
condemned lo the flames of liell. Let him fear to die, who is not judged to 
he Christ's in his cross and passion. Let liim fear to die, who must from 
tliis death pass to the second death. Let him fear to die, whom eternal fire 
must torment will) everlasting pains, when he di-parieth hence. Let him 
fear to die, who hy his long^er delay doth gain only the, deferring of his groans 
and torments. — Cyprian, de MortalUalc, sec. x. p. (mihi) 344. 

™ Beata vita si non amatur, non habetur : porro si amatur et hahetur, 

cseteris omnibus rehus excelleutius necesse est ametur ; quoniam propter 

hanc amaudum est, quicquid aliud amatur : porro si tantum amatur quantum 

amari digna est, (non enim beatus est i quo ipsa beata vita non amatur ut 


194 THE saint's 

ness of our love, is exceedingly discovered by our unwillingness 
to die. Love doth desire the nearest conjunction, the fullest 
fruition, and closest communion. Where these desires are 
absent, there is only a naked pretence of love. He that ever 
felt such a thing as love working in his breast, hath also felt 
these desires attending it. If we love our friend, we love his 
company : his presence is comfortable, his absence is trouble- 
some. When he goes from us, we desire his return : when he 
comes to us, we entertain him with welcome and gladness : 
when he dies, we mourn, and usually overmourn. To be sepa- 
rated from a faithful friend, is to us as the renting of a member 
from our bodies ; and would not our desires after God be such, 
if we really loved him ? Nay, should it not be much more than 
such, as he is above all friends most lovely ? The Lord teach 
us to look closely to our hearts, and take heed of self-deceit in 
this point : for, certainly, whatever we pretend or conceit, if 
we love either father, mother, husband, wife, child, friend, 
wealth, or life, more than Christ, we are yet none of his sincere 
disciples. When it comes to the trial, the question will not be 
who hath preached most, or heard most, or talked most, but 
who hath loved most. When our account is given, Christ will 
not take sermons, prayers, fastings ; no, not the giving of our 
goods, nor the burning of our bodies instead of love. (1 Cor, 
xiii. 1 — 4, 8, 13, and xvi. 22 ; Eph. vi. 24.) And do we love 
him, and yet care not how long we are from him ? If I be 
deprived of my bosom friend, methinks I am as a man in a wil- 
derness, solitary and disconsolate : and is my absence from 
God no part of my trouble ; and yet can I take him for my 
chiefest friend ? If I delight but in some garden, or walk, or 
gallery, 1 would be much in it : if" I love my books, I am much 
with them, and almost unvveariedly poring on them. The food 
which I love, I would often feed on : the clothes that I love, I 
would often wear : the recreations which I love, I would often 
use them : the business which I love, I would be much employed 
in. And can I love God, and that above all these, and yet have 

(liajna est) fieri non potest ut earn qui sic ainat, nori seternani velit. Tunc 
)o;itur beata crit, quamlo ciit tcterna. — .■Jug. dc Civit. l\h, xiv. c. 25. Solus est 
qui sine amico est. — Jug: Herodotus tells ns uf a country where men have 
many wives, and when a man dieth all bis wives must be examined, that it 
may be known which he loved best, and that must be slain and buried with 
him ; and that they used to strive tor this as a high privilege, and take it to 
heart as a great dishonour to be put by it. — Herodot. iih. v. p. (edit. Syiburg.) 
284. Aud will not the love of Christ uiaUe a Christi;iu as wilJiu^ to die ? 


no desires to be with him ? Is it not a far likelier sign of hatred 
than of love, when the thoughts of our appearing before God 
are our most grievous thoughts ; and when we take ourselves as 
undone, because we must die and come unto him ? Surely, I 
should scarce take him for an unfeigned friend, who were as well 
contented to be absent from me, as we ordinarily are to be 
absent from God. Was it such a joy to Jacob to see the face 
of Joseph in Egypt, and shall we so dread the sight of Christ in 
glory, and yet say we love him ? I dare not conclude that we 
have no love at all when we are so loth to die ; but I dare say, 
were our love more, we should die more willingly. Yea, I dare 
say, did we love God but as strongly as a worldling loves his 
wealth, or as an ambitious man his honour, or a voluptuous man 
his pleasure, yea, as a drunkard loves his swinish delight, or an 
unclean person his brutish lust ; we should not then be so ex- 
ceeding loth to leave the world, and go to God. Oh ! if this 
holy flame of love were thoroughly kindled in our breasts, 
instead of our pressing fears, our dolorous complaints, and ear- 
nest prayers against death, we should join in David's wilderness 
lamentations. " As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, 
so panteth my soul after thee, O God : my soul thirstcth for God> 
for the living God ; when shall I come and appear before God?" 
(Psalm xlii. 1, 2.) The truth is, as our knowledge of God is ex- 
ceeding dark, and our faith in him exceeding feeble ; so is our love 
to him but little, and therefore are our desires after him so dull. 
Sect. IV. 3. It appears we are little weary of sinning, when 
we are so unwilling to be freed by dying. Did we take sin for 
the greatest evil, we should not be willing of its company so long; 
did we look on sin as our cruellest enemy, and on a sinful life 
as the most miserable life, sure we should then be more willing 
of a change. But, oh ! how far are our hearts from our doc- 
trinal profession, in this point also ! We preach, and write, and 
talk against sin, and call it all that naught is : and when we are 
called to leave it, we are loth to depart : we brand it with the 
most odious names that we can imagine, and all fall short of 
expressing its vileness ; but when the approach of death puts lis 
to the trial, we choose a continuance with these abominations, be- 
fore the presence and fruition of God. But as Ncmon smote his 
soldier for railing against Alexander's enemy, saying, " I hired 
thee to fight against him, and not to rail against him ;"" so may 
God smite us also when he shall hear our tongues reviling that siu 

" Plutarch, in Apothcg. 

196 THE saint's 

which we resist so slothfully, and part with so unwillingly. 
Christians, seeing we are conscious that our hearts deserve a 
smiting for this, let us join together to chide and smite our own 
hearts, hefore God do judge and smite them. O foolish, sin- 
ful, heart ! hast thou heen so long a sink of sin, a cage of all 
unclean lusts, a fountain incessantly streaming forth the bitter 
and deadly waters of transgression : and art thou not yet more 
weary ? Wretched soul ! hast thou been so long wounded in 
all thy faculties ; so grievously languishing in all thy perform- 
ances j so fruitful a soul for all iniquities ; and art thou not yet 
weary? Hast thou not yet transgressed long enough 5° nor 
long enough provoked thy Lord 5 nor long enough abused love ? 
Wouldst thou yet grieve the Spirit more, and sin against thy 
Saviour's blood, and more increase thine own wounds, and still 
lie under thy grievous imperfections ? Hath thy sin proved so 
profitable a commodity, so necessary a companion, such a de- 
lightful employment, that thou dost so much dread the parting 
day ? Hath thy Lord deserved this at thy hands, that thou 
shouldst choose to continue in the suburbs of hell, rather than 
live with him in light; and rather stay and drudge in sin, and 
abide with his and thy own professed enemy, than come away 
and dwell with God ? May not God justly grant thee thy wishes, 
and seal thee a lease of thy desired distance, and nail thy ear 
to these doors of misery, and exclude thee eternally from his 
glory ? Foolish sinner ! who hath wronged thee, God or sin ? 
Who hath wounded thee and caused thy groans ? Who hath 
made thy life so woful, and caused thee to spend thy days in 
dolour? Is it Christ, or is it thy corruption ; and art thou yet 
so loth to think of parting ? Shall God be willing to dwell 
with man, and the Spirit to abide in thy peevish heart ; and 
that where sin doth straiten his room, and a cursed inmate 
inhabit with him, which is ever quarrelling and contriving against 
him : and shall man be loth to come to God, where is nothing 
but perfect blessedness and glory? Is not this to judge ourselves 
unworthy of everlasting life ? If they in Acts xiii. 46, who put 
the Gospel from them, did judge themselves unworthy, do 
not we who flee from life and glory ? 

" Cum Schescius medicus cjecus fieret, jiatienter fert, Quid, inquit, multa 
In vita vidi, quiE maluissem non videre. Optavi ad non nulla etiam fuisse 
surdum. Why do we over and over in our prayers beg; and entreat that God's 
kingdom might hasten, if we have greater desires and stronger wishes to serve 
the devil here, than to go and reign with Christ }— Cyprian, de Mortal, sec. xiii, 
p. 345. 


Sect. V. 4, It sliows tliat we are insensible of the vanity of the 
creature, and of the vexation accompanying our residence here, 
when we are so loth to hear or think of a removal. What- 
ever we say against the world, or how grievous soever our com- 
plaints may seem ; we either believe not, or feel not what we 
sav, or else we should be answerably affected to it. We call the 
world our enemv, and cry out of the oi)pression of our task- 
masters, and groan under our sore bondage; but either we 
speak not as we think, or else we imagine some singular hap- 
piness to consist in the possession of worldly things, for which 
all this should be endured. Is any man loth to leave his pri- 
son, or to remove his dwelling from his cruel enemies, or to 
escape the hands of murderous robbers ?p Do we take the 
world indeed for our prison, our cruel, spoiling, murderous foe ; 
and yet are we loth to leave it ? Do we take this flesh for the 
clog of our spirits ; and a veil that is drawn betwixt us and 
God; and a continual in-dwelling traitor to our souls; and yet 
are we loth to lay it down ? Indeed, Peter was smitten by the 
angel,'! before he arose and left his prison; but it was more from 
his ignorance of his intended deliverance, than any unwillingness 
to leave the place. I have read of Joseph's long imprisonment^ 
and Daniel's casting into the den of lions, and Jeremiah's stick- 
ing fast in the dungeon, and Jonah's lying in the belly of the 
whale, and David from the deep crying to God; but I remember 
not that any were loth to be delivered. I have read, indeed, 
that they suffered cheerfully, and rejoiced in being afflicted, des- 
titute, and tormented ; yea, and that some of them would not ac- 
cept of deliverance:'' but not from any love to the suffering, or any 
unwillingness to change their condition, but because of the hard 
terms of their deliverance, and from the hope they had of a bet- 
ter resurrection. Though Paul and Silas could sing in the stocks,** 

P Inquit Platenis ille felix aegrotiis, finem fac doloruni Dominer sordent enini 
mihi oniuia terreua. Uliiiani, utinam vel hoc iiKiuicuto hora ineas mortis 
iiistaret ; ex anitno cujiio dissolvi, et esse cum Cliristo. Even because we 
despise death, you may judge well of us. For 1 myself, wheu I deliglitcd iu 
the doctrine of Plato, when 1 beard the Christians reproached, and saw that 
they feared not deatli, nor any thiii|^- which was tcrrd)le to other men, I be- 
thought myself, that it was impossible that these nicu should be servants to 
vice and i)lcasures. For what man that is j;ivcn to jileasure, or is intemperate, 
or sweetly jjluttctli in human bowls, can delight in ileatli, which deprivcth 
him of his delights ; and would not rather endeavour to live here still, and to 
dissemble with the magistrates (that would kill him) ? much less will he give 
himself up to death. — Justin Martyr. Apolo^'. 1. 
1 Acts xii. 7— y. ' Hebrews xi. • Acts xvi. 25. 

198 THE saint's 

and comfortably bear the cruel scourgings, yet I do not believe 
they were unwilling to go forth, nor took it ill when God re- 
leased them/ Ah, foolish, wretched soul ! doth every prisoner 
groan for freedom, and every slave desire his jubilee, and every 
sick man long for health, and every hungry man for food ; and 
dost thou alone abhor deliverance ? Doth the seaman long to see 
the land ? Doth the husbandman desire the harvest, and the 
labouring man to receive his pay ? Doth the traveller long to be 
at home, and the runner long to win the prize, and the soldier 
long to win the field ? And art thou loth to see thy labours 
finished, and to receive the end of thy faith and sufferings, and to 
obtain the thing for which thou livest ? Are all thy sufferings 
only seeming ? Have thy gripes, thy griefs and groans, been only 
dreams ? If they were, yet methinks we should not be afraid 
of waking. Fearful dreams are not delightful. Or, is it not 
rather the world's delights that all were dreams and shadows? 
Is not all its glory as the light of the glow-worm, a wandering 
fire, yielding but small directing light, and as little comforting 
heat in all our doubtful and sorrowful darkness ? Or, hath the 
world, in these its latter days, laid aside its ancient enmity? Is 
it become of late more kind ? Hath it left its thorny, renting na- 
ture ? Who hath wrought this great change, and who hath made 
this reconciliation? Surely, not the great Reconciler. He hath 
told us, in the world we shall have trouble, and in him only we 
shall have peace. We may reconcile ourselves to the world at 
our peril, but it will never reconcile itself to us. O foolish, 
unworthy soul, who hadst rather dwell in this land of darkness, 
and rather wander in this barren wilderness, than be at rest with 
Jesus Christ ; who hadst rather stay among the wolves, and daily 
suffer the scorpions' stings, than to praise the Lord with the hosts 
of heaven. If thou didst well know what heaven is, and what 
earth is, it would not be so. 

Sect. VI. This unwillingness to die, doth actually impeach 
us of high treason against the Lord : is it not a choosing of 
earth before him ; and taking these present things for our hap- 
piness, and consequently making them our very God ? If we 

f Cotnpara nunc si placeat banc vitam cum ilia. Elige si potes perpetuam 
corporis vitam in labore, aerumnaque miserabili tantarum commutatiunum, 
votonimque taedio, fastidio voluptatura. Nam si Deus ista perpetuate velii, 
ilia diligeres? Nam si perse vitafugienda est, ut si molestiarum fuga, requies 
aerumnarum, quanto niagis ea requies est expetenda, cui futuras resurrectionis 
voluptas perj)elua succedet ? Ubi nulla criminura series, nulla illecebra de- 
lictorum. — Ambros, Lib. de Resurrect, John xvi, 20, 22. 


did indeed make God our God ; that is, our end, our rest, our 
portion, our treasure, how is it possible but we should desire to 
enjoy him ? It believes us the rather to be fearful of this, it 
being utterly inconsistent with saving grace, to value any thing 
before God, or to make the creature our highest end. Many 
other sins, foul and great, may possibly yet consist with sin- 
cerity; but so, I am certain, cannot that. But concerning this 
I have spoken before. 

Sect. VII. 6. And all these defects being thus discovered, 
what a deal of dissembling doth it moreover show ! * We take 
on us to believe undoubtedly the exceeding, eternal weight of 
glory; we call God our chiefest good, and say, We love him above 
all ; and for all this, we flee from him as if it were from hell 
itself. Would you have any man believe you, when you call 
the Lord your only hope, and speak of Christ as all in all, and 
talk of the joy that is in his presence, and yet would endure the 
hardest life rather than die, and come into his presence ? What 
self-contradiction this, to talk so hardly of the world and flesh, 
to groan and complain of sin and suffering, and yet fear no 
day more than that which we expect should bring our final 
freedom I What shameless, gross dissembling is this, to spend 
so many hours and days in hearing sermons, reading books, 
conferring with others, and all to learn the way to a place 
which we are loth to come to ; to take on us all our lifetime 
to walk towards heaven, to run, to strive, to fight for heaven, 
which we are loth to come to ! What apparent, palpable hy- 
pocrisy is this, to lie upon our knees in public and private, and 
spend one hour after another in prayer for that which we would 
not have ! If one should overhear thee in thy daily devotions 
crying out, ' Lord, deliver me from this body of death, from 
this sin, this sickness, this poverty, these cares and fears ; how 
long, Lord, shall I suflFer these ?' And withal should hear thee 
praying against death, can he believe thy tongue agrees with 
thy heart ? Except thou have so far lost thy reason as to ex- 

* Transi circa natalia suorum atqiie obitus hoc factitant ; edito puero pro- 
pimiui eum circuinsidentes cum ploratioiie proscquuntur, ob ea mala quae 
iiecesseest illi quod vitam ingiessus sit,perpeti ; humauas omues calainitates, 
recenseutes. Hominem autein fato fuiictuni, per lusum atque lietitiam terrse 
demandant, refereiites (|uot malis lilieratus, iu omui sit t'reiicitate. — Hero- 
dotus, lib. V. (edit. Sylburg.) p. 284. It seems these believed the soul's immor- 
tality and future happiness, llow preposterous is it, and how perverse, that 
when we pray that God's will be done ; yet when he calleth us out ol" this 
world, we will not readily obey the command of his will ! — Cyprian, de Mor- 
talit. sect. xii. p. 345. 

200 THE saint's 

pect all this here ; or except the papist's doctrine were true, 
that we are able to fulfil the law of God; or our late perfec- 
tionists were truly enlightened, who think they can live and not 
sin : but if thou know these to be undoubtedly false, how canst 
thou deny thy gross dissembling? 

Sect. VIII. 7. Consider, How do we wrong the Lord and his 
promises, and disgrace his ways in the eyes of the world !*■ As 
if we would actually persuade them to question, whether God be 
true of his word or not ; whether there be any such glory as 
Scripture mentions ; when they see those who have professed 
to live by faith, and have boasted of their hopes in another 
world, and persuaded others to let go all for these hopes, and 
spoken disgracefully of all things below, in comparison of these 
inexpressible things above; I say, when they see these very 
men so loth to leave their hold of present things, and to go to 
that glory which they talked and boasted of, how doth it make 
the weak to stagger, and confirm the world in their unbelief and 
sensuality ; and make them conclude. Sure if these professors 
did expect so much glory, and make so light of the world as 
they seem, they would not themselves be so loth of a change. 
Oh, how are we ever able to repair the wrong which we do to 
God and poor souls by this scandal ! and, what an honour to 
God ; what a strengthening to believers ; what a conviction to 
unbelievers would it be if Christians in this did answer their pro- 
fessions, and cheerfullv welcome the news of rest I 

Sect. IX. S. It evidently discovers that we have been careless 
loiterers, that we have spent much time to little purpose, and 
that we have neglected and lost a great many warnings." Have 

' How oft hath it lieen revealed to me th'at I shouhl daily preach and pub- 
licly contest, that our brethren are not to be lamented, who are delivered from 
this world by the cull of God, when we know that they are not lost, but sent 
before ! Departing, they lead us the way, as travellers and sailors use to do ; 
that they may be desired, but not bewailed. And that we should notputon 
black clothes for them here, when they have put on white raiment there • 
that we should i^ivc the heathen occasion justly to reprehend us ; that we 
lament thise as dead and lost, whom we aflirm to be with God ; and that we 
condemn that faith l)y the testimony of our hearts, which we profess by the 
testimcmy of our S])eech. AVe are prevaricators of our faith and hope ; and 
make that which we teach seem to them counterfeit, feigned, and dissembled. 
It will do us no good to prefer virtue in words, and destroy verity by our deeds. 
Ctfprian. de Morttililate , sect. 14. p. (mihi) 345. 

• Ultima verbi nobilis Andr. Duditliii ad Ruterum discedentem verissima • 
Vale, inquit, et focliciter vive, et inter vivcndum bene mori ilisce ; quce ars est 
artium omnium difficillima, simulque pra!5tantissima. Non pudet te reliquias 
vjt(5 tibi reservare ? Et idsqlwm tempus bonae meuti dcstioare; quod in nuUam 


we not had all our lifetime to prepare to die ? So many years 
to make ready for one hour, and are we so unready and unwil- 
ling yet ? What' have we done, why have we lived, that the 
business of our lives is so much undone ? Had we any greater 
matters to mind ? Have we not foolishly wronged our souls in 
this ? Would we have wished more frequent warnings ! How 
oft hath death entered the habitations of our neighbours ! How 
oft hath it knocked at our own doors ! We have first heard 
that ' such an one is dead,' and then ' such an one,' and ' such 
an one,' till our towns have changed most of their irdiabitants ; 
and was not all this a sufficient warning to tell us that we were 
also mortals, and our own turn would shortly come ? Nay, we 
have seen death raging in towns and fields, so many hundred a 
day dead of the pestilence, so many thousands slain by the sword ? 
and did we not know it wonld reach to us at last ? How many 
distempers have vexed our bodies ; frequent languishings, con- 
suming weaknesses, wasting fevers ; here pain, and there trouble, 
that we have been forced to receive the sentence of death ; and 
what were all these but so many messengers sent from God to 
tell us we must shortly die, as if we had heard a lively voice bid- 
ding us, ' Delay no more, but make you ready ;' and are we 
unready and unwilling after all this ? O careless, dead-hearted 
sinners, unworthy neglecters of God's warning, faithless be- 
trayers of your own souls I 

All these heinous aggravations do lie upon this sin of unwil- 
lingness to die, which I have laid down to make it hateful to 
my own soul, which is too much guilty of it, as well as yours; 
and for a further help to our prevailing against it, I shall adjoin 
these following considerations : 

Sect. X. 1. Consider, "Not to die," were "never to be 
happy." "" To escape death, were to miss of blessedness ; except 
God should translate us as Enoch and Elias, which he never did 
before or since. If our hope in Christ were in this life only, we 
were then of all men most miserable : the epicure hath more 
pleasure to his flesh than the Christian ; the drunkard, the whore- 

rem coufcrri possit ? Quain serum est tunc viveie incipere, cum desiuendum 
est ? — Seneca de Jirev. fit. c. 4. 

•■* When wc die, we pass over by death to immortality ; and it is impossible 
that we should come to eternal lilc if we go not hence. Tliis is no ending, 
but a passing on ; and a rcachin-i to eternity by the dispatch of our temporal 
journey. \Vho would not hasten to a better state ? Who would not wisii to 
be chanjjed and relormcd to the imag^e of Christ, and to come (juiiUly to the 
disjuity of the lieavenly grace ? — Cyprian, ile Alurtalit. sect 15. j).34(). 

202 THE saint's 

master, and the jovial lads, do swagger it out with gallantry and 
mirth, when a poor saint is mourning in a corner : yea, the very 
beasts of the field do eat, and drink, and skip, and play, and 
care for nothing, when many a Christian dwells with sorrows : 
so that if you would not die, and go to heaven, what would you 
have more than an epicure or a beast ? What doth it avail us to 
fight with beasts, as men, if it were not for our hopes of a life to 
come : why do we pray, and fast, and mourn : why do we suffer 
the contempt of the world : why are we the scorn and hatred 
of all : if it were not for our hopes after we are dead ? Why are 
we Christians, and not pagans and infidels, if we do not desire a 
life to come ? Why, Christian, wouldst thou lose thy faith, 
and lose thy labour in all thy duties, and all thy sufferings ? 
Wouldst thou lose thy hope, and lose all the end of thy life, 
and lose all the blood of Christ, and be contented with the por- 
tion of a worldling or a brute ? If thou say No to this, how 
canst thou then be loth to die ? As good old Milius said, when 
he was dying, and was asked whether he was willing to die or 
not, ** lUius est nolle mori, qui nolit ire ad Christum/'^ A saying 
of Cyprian's, which he oft repeated, " Let him be loth to die, 
who is loth to be with Christ." ' 

Sect. XI. 2. Consider, Is God willing by death to glorify us; 
and are we unwilling to die that we may be glorified ? Would 
God freely give us heaven ; and are we unwilling to receive it ? 
As the prince who would have taken the lame beggar into his 
coach, and he refused, said to him, " Optime mereris qui in luto 
haereas," "Thou well deservest to stick in the dirt;" so may 
God to the refusers of rest, ' You well deserve to live in 
trouble.' Methinks, if a prince were willing to make you his 
heir, you should scarce be unwilling to accept it. Surely the re- 
fusing of such a kindness must needs discover ingratitude and 
unworthiness. As God hath resolved against them who make 
excuses when they should come to Christ, *' Verily, none of 
these that were bidden shall taste of my supper ;" so is it just 

y Melch. Adam in vita Milii. 

* Regnum Dei ccepit esse in proximo : praemium vitse, et gaudium salutis 
seternae, et perpetua Isetitia, et possessio paradisi nuper amissa, mundo trans- 
eunte jam veniunt; jamterrenis coelestia, et magna parvis, et cadticis sterna 
succedunt. Quis hinc anxietatis et solicitudinis locus est ? Quis inter hffic 
trepidus et moestus est, uisi cui spes et fides deest ? Ejus est enim mortem 
timere, qui ad Christum nolit ire. Ejus est ad Christum nolle ire, qui se non 
credat cum Christo iucipere regnare; Justus enim fide \\\Qt.—Q/j)rian. de 
Mortalit. sect. 2. p. 341. 


with him to resolve against us who frame excuses when we should 
come to glory."* Ignatius, when he was condemned to be torn 
with wild beasts, was so afraid, lest by the prayers and means of 
his friends, he should lose the opportunity and benefit of mar- 
tyrdom, that he often entreated them to let him alone, and not 
hinder his happiness ; and tells them he was afraid of their love, 
lest it would hurt him, and their carnal friendship would keep 
him from death. 

Sect. XII. 3. The Lord Jesus was willing to come from hea- 
ven to earth for us, and shall we be unwilling to remove from 
earth to heaven for ourselves and' him }^ Surely if we had been 
once possessed of heaven, and God should have sent us to earth 
again, as he did his Son for our sakes, we should then have been 
loth to remove indeed. It was another kind of change than 
ours is, which Christ did freely submit unto, to clothe himself 
with the garments of flesh, and to take upon him the form of 
a servant ; to come from the bosom of the Father's love to bear 
his wrath which we should have borne. Shall he come down to 
our hell, from the height of glory to the depth of misery, to 
bring us up to his eternal rest? and shall we be after this un- 
willing P*^ Sure Christ had more cause to be unwilling j he 
might have said, ' What is it to me if these sinners suffer ? If 
they value their flesh above their spirits, and their lusts above 
my Father's love, if they needs will sell their souls for nought, 
who is it fit should be the loser ; and who should bear the blame 
and curse ? Should I whom they have wronged ? Must they 
wilfully transgress my law, and I undergo their deserved 
pain ? Is it not enough that I bear the trespass from them, but 
I must also bear my Father's wrath, and satisfy the justice which 
they have wronged ? Must I come down from heaven to earth, 
and clothe myself with human flesh; bespit upon, and scorned 
by man ; and fast, and weep, and sweat, and suffer, and bleed, 
and die a cursed death ? And all this for wretched worms, who 
would rather hazard all they had, and venture their souls and 

• toPov^ai yap r^v hyaTnjv vnwy, fiij aW^ fie hSiKii<T7j' Vfuy yap fvxfpfs tffriy t> 
6i\fT( iroiijcrat' tfiol Sk tv(TKo\6v i(m tov 6(uv iirnvx^y, &c, — Ignat. Epist. ad 
Romanos, Edit. Usserii, p. 82. 

i* Cum dicis, Reate vivere volo, bonam rem quaeris, sed nou hie; si habuit 
bicistud Christus, babe et tu regione mortis tuas : Quid iile iiiveiiit, atteiide. 

<= Veuit de alta regioue, et quid invenit nisi quod hie abuiidavit ' Labores, 
dolores, mortem : Ecce quod hie halies et quod abuudat, mandueavit tecum. 
<2uod hie in cella miseriae tuae abundavit, acetum hie bibit, fei hie bibit : ecce 
quod in cella tua invenit. At ad magnam mensam te invitavit, meusam solis 
nieusani aogeloruni, ubi ipse panis est,— August, sup. Joan. 13. 

204 THE saint's 

God's favour, than they would forbear one forbidden morsel ! 
Do they cast away themselves so slightly, and must I redeem 
them again so dearly ?' Thus we see that Christ had much to 
have pleaded against his coming for man, and yet he pleaded 
none of this ; he had reason enough to have made him unwil- 
ling, and yet did he voluntarily condescend. But we have no 
reason against our coming to him, except we will reason against 
our hopes, and plead for a perpetuity of our own calamities. 
Christ came down to fetch us up, and would we have him lose 
his blood and labour, and go away again without us ? Hath he 
bought our rest at so dear a rate ? Is our inheritance purchased 
with the blood of God, and are we after all this loth to enter ? 
Ah ! sirs^ it was Christ, and not we, that had cause to be loth. 
The Lord forgive and heal this foolish ingratitude. 

Sect. XIII. 4. Consider, Do we not combine with our most 
cruel, mortal foes, and jump with them in their most malicious 
design, while we are loth to die and go to heaven ? '^ Where is 
the height of their malice ; and what is the scope of all tempt- 
ations; and what is the devil's daily business? Is it not to 
keep our souls from God ? And shall we be well content with 
•this, and join with Satan in our desires ? What though it be 
not those eternal torments, yet it is the one half of hell which 
we wish to ourselves, while we desire to be absent from heaven 
and God. If thou shouldst take counsel of all thine enemies, 
if thou shouldst beat thy brains both night and day in studying 
to do thyself a mischief, what greater than this could it possibly 
be, to continue here on earth from God ; excepting only hell 
itself? Oh, what sport is this to Satan, that his desires and 
thine should so concur; that when he sees he cannot get thee to 
hell, he can so long keep thee out of heaven, and make thee 
the earnest petitioner for it thyself 1 Oh, gratify not the devil 
so much to thy own displeasure ! 

Sect. XIV. 5. Do not our daily fears of death make our 
lives a continual torment? The fears of death being, as Eras- 
mus saith, a sorer evil than death itself. ^ And thus, as 
Paul did die daily in regard of preparation, and in regard of the 
necessary sufferings of this life, so do we in regard of the tor- 
ments and the useless sutferings which we make ourselves. 

d Posse mori nunquam toUitur, nisi niorte : quare Christus per mortem 
tulit posse mori, ut per resurrectiouem natura perveuiret ad iuimortalitateni. 
<^~Card, Cusanvs Opcrutn, vol. ii. exercit. lib. vii. p, j;^3. 

« Timor mortis pejor quam ipsa mors, — Erasm. Colloq, 


Those lives which might he full of joys in the daily contempla- 
tion of the life to come, and the sweet, delightful thoughts of 
bliss, how do we fill them up with terrors through all these 
causeless thoughts and fears ! Thus do we consume our own 
comforts, and prev upon our truest })leasures. When we might 
lie down, and rise up, and walk abroad, with our hearts full of 
the joys of God, we continually fill them with perplexing fears. 
For he that fears dying, must be always fearing, because he hath 
always cause to expect it. And how can that man's life be 
comfortable, who lives in continual fear of losing his comforts ? 
Sect. XV. 6. Moreover, All these are self-created sufferings : as 
if it were not enough to be the deservers, hut we must also be the 
executioners of our own calamities. As if God had not inflicted 
enough upon us, but we must inflict more upon ourselves 1 Is 
not death bitter enough to the flesh of itself, but we must double, 
and treble, and multiply its bitterness ? Do we complain so 
much of the burden of our troubles, and yet daily add unto the 
weight ? Surely, the state of poor mortals is sufficiently calamitous ; 
they need not make it so much worse. The sufferings laid upon us 
by God, do ail lead to happy issues; the progress is from suffering 
to patience, from thence to experience, and so to hope, and at last 
to glory. (Rom. v. 3, 4, viii. 17.) But the sufferings which we do 
make ourselves, have usually issues answerable to their causes. 
The motion is circular and endless ; from sin to suffering, from 
suffering to sin, and so to suffering again, and so in infinitum ; 
and not only so, but they multiply in their course; every sin is 
greater than the former, and so every suffering also greater. This 
is the natural progress of them, which, if mercy do intercept, no 
thanks to us. So that, except we think that God hath made us 
to be our own tormenters, we have small reason to nourish our 
fears of death. ^ 

Sect. XVI. 7. Consider, further, They are all but useless, 
improfitable fears. (Matt. vi. 27, 3G.) As all our care cannot 
make one hair white or black, or add one cubit to our sta- 
ture, so can neither our fear prevent our sufferings, nor delay 
our dying time an hour: willing or unwilling, we must away. 
Many a man's fears have hastened his end, but no man's ever 
did avert it. It is true, a cautelous fear or care concerning the 
danger after death, hath profited many, and is very useful to the 
preventing of that danger ; but for a member of Christ, and an 

' Eheu quam miserum est, fieri metuendo senem.«-/'j<i/j«*. 

206 THE saint's 

heir of heaven, to be afraid of entering his own inheritancej this 
is a sinful, useless fear.^ 

Sect. XVII. 8. But though it be useless in respect of good, 
yet to Satan it is very serviceable. Our fears of dying ensnare 
our souls, and add strength to many temptations. Nay, when 
we are called to die for Christ, and put to it in a day of trial, it 
may draw us to deny the known truth, and forsake the Lord God 
himself. You look upon it now as a small sin, a common frailty 
of human nature ; but if you look to the dangerous consecjuen- 
ces of it, methinks it should move you to other thoughts. What 
made Peter deny his Lord ? What makes apostates in suffering 
times forsake the truth, and the green blade of unrooted faith 
to wither before the heat of persecution? Fear of imprison- 
ment and poverty may do much, but fear of death will do much 
more. When you see the gibbet, or hear the sentence, if this 
fear of dying prevail in you, you will straight begin to say as 
Peter, " I know not the man." When you see the faggots set, 
and fire ready, you will say as that apostate to the martyr, " Oh! 
the fire is hot, and nature is frail," forgetting that the fire of hell 
is hotter : Sirs, as light as you make of it, you know not of what 
force these fears are to separate your souls from Jesus Christ. 
Have we not lately had frequent experience of it ? How many 
thousands have fled in fight, and turned their backs on a good 
cause, where they knew the honour of God was concerned, and 
their country's welfare was the prize for which they fought, and 
the hopes of their posterity did lie at the stake, and all through 
unworthy fear of dying ! Have we not known those who, lying 
under a wounded conscience, and living in the practice of some 
known sin, durst scarce look the enemy in the face, because they 
durst not look death in the face, but have trembled, and drawn 
back, and cried, ' Alas ! I dare not die : if I were in the case of 
such or such, I durst die.' He that dare not die, dare scarce 
fight valiantly. Therefore, we have seen in our late wars, that 
there is none more valiant than these two sorts: 1. Those who 
have conquered the fear of death by the power of faith ; 2. And 
those who have extinguished it by desperate profaneness, and 
cast it away through stupid security. So much fear as we have 
of death, usually so much cowardice in the cause of God. How- 

s If mortality do no more, yet this good it will do to Christians and the 
servants of God, tliat we be willing to desire martyrdom, when we learn not 
to fear death. They are our exercises, and not our funerals ; they give to the 
soul the glory of fortitude, and by contempt of death, prepare for glory. — 
Cyprian, de MortaUUtt, p. 344, 


ever, it is an evident temptation and snare. Beside the mul- 
titude of unbelieving contrivances and discontents at the wise 
disposals of God, and hard thoughts of most of his providen- 
ces, which this sin doth make us guilty of: besides, also, it 
loseth us much precious time, and that for the most part near 
our end. When time should be most precious of all to us, and 
when it should be employed to better purpose, then do we vainly 
and sinfully waste it in the fruitless issues of these distracting 
fears. So that you see how dangerous a snare these fears are, 
and how fruitful a parent of many evils. 

Sect. XVIII. 9. Consider, What a competent time the most 
of us have had; some thirty, some forty, some fifty or sixty 
years. How many come to the grave younger, for one that lives 
to the shortest of these ! Christ himself, as is generally thought, 
lived but thirty-three years on earth.'* If it were to come as it is 
passed, you would think thirty years a long time. Did you not, 
long ago, in your threatening sickness, think with yourselves, 
* Oh, if 1 might but enjoy one seven years more, or ten years 
more!' And now you have enjoyed perhaps more than you 
then begged, and are you nevertheless unwilling yet? except you 
would not die at all, but desire an immortality here on earth, 
which is a sin inconsistent with the truth of grace. If your 
sorrow be merely this, that you are mortal, you might as well 
have lamented it all your lives, for surely you could never be igno- 
rant of this. Why should not a man that would die at all, be as 
well willing, at thirty or forty, if God see it meet, as at seventy 
or eighty ; nay, usually when the longest day is come, men are 
as loth to depart as ever.' He that loseth so many years, hath 
more cause to bewail his own neglect, than to complain of the 

•" Helvetius and some other modern chronologers think he died in the 
thirty-fifth year of his age. 

' Quid de rerum uatura querimur? ilia se henig^ne gessit. Vita, si scias 
uti, lotiira est. — Seneca de lirevit. fit. c. 2. IS'ou exiguum teinporis hahemus, 
sed niultum perdinius. Satis longe vila, et in niaxiniaruni rerum cousum- 
iiiationem larfjc data est, si tota bene collocetiir. Sed ubi per luxum et ne|^- 
lis^eiitiaiii detluit, ubi nulli rei bonne im|)enditur, ultima deinum necessi- 
tate cogente quam ire non iutellexinms, transisse sentiutus. Non accepinius 
breveiii vitani, sed fccimus : nee inopes ejus, sed prodi^i sumus. — Ibid. c. 1. 
'J'iie elect man hath a care in ihe body, of the worldly things of tlie place 
where he sojourneih, as a traveller in the inns and houses in his way ; but 
without any trouble he leavelh llie liabitation, possession, and use, with a 
ready and cheerful miud, following him that leadeth him out of this life, upon 
no occasion turning back : he is thankful for his entertainment here, but he 
blesseth God for his departure, embiaciug the celestial mansiuu, — (JUwens 
4lex(md. Stromal, lib. iv. prope fiu. 

208 THE saint's 

shortness of his time, and were better lament the wickedness 
of his hfe, than the brevity. Length of time doth not conquer 
corruption, it never withers nor decays through age. Except 
we receive an addition of grace, as well as time, we naturally 
grow the older the worse. Let us, then, be contented with our 
allotted proportion. And as we are convinced that we should 
not murmur against our assigned degree of wealth, of health, 
of honour, and other things here, so let us not be discontented 
with our allowed proportion of time. O my soul, depart in 
peace ! Hast thou not here enjoyed a competent share ? As 
thou wouldst not desire an unlimited state in wealth and 
honour, so desire it not in point of time. Is it fit that God or 
thou should be the sharer. If thou wert sensible how little thou 
deservest an hour of that patience which thou hast enjoyed, 
thou wouldst think thou hast had a large part. Wouldst 
thou have thy age called back again ; canst thou eat thy bread, 
and have it too ? Is it not divine wisdom that sets the bounds ? 
God will not let one have all the work, nor all the suffering, nor 
all the honour of the work. He will honour himself by variety 
of instruments 3 by various persons and several ages, and not by 
one person or age. Seeing thou hast acted thine own part, 
and finished thine appointed course, come down contentedly, 
that others may succeed, who must have their turns as well as 
thou. As of all other outward things, so also of that time and 
life, thou mayest as well have too much, as too little : only of 
God and eternal life, thou canst never enjoy too much, nor too 
long. Great receivings will have great accounts ; where the 
lease is longer, the fine and rent must be the greater. Much 
time hath much duty. Is it not as easy to answer for the re- 
ceivings and the duties of thirty years, as of an hundred ? Beg 
therefore for grace to improve it better, but be contented with 
thy share of time. 

Sect. XIX. 10. Consider, Thou hast had a competency of the 
comforts of life, and not of naked time alone. God might have 
made thy life a misery; till thou hadst been as weary of pos- 
sessing it, as thou art now afraid of losing it. If he had denied 
thee the benefits and ends of living, thy life would have been 
but a slender comfort. They in hell have life as well as we, and 
longer far than they desire. God might have suffered thee to 
have consumed thy days in ignorance, or to have spent thy life 
to the last hour, before he brought thee home to himself, and 
given thee the saving knowledge of Christ, and then thy life had 


been short, though thy time long. But he liath opened thine 
eyes in the morning of thy days, and ac(|uaintcd thee betimes 
with the trade of thy hfe. I know the best are but negligent 
loiterers, and spend not their time according to its worth;'' but 
yet he that hath a_;hundrcd years' time, and losetli it all, lives not 
so long as he that hath but twenty, and bestows it well. It is too 
soon to go to hell at a hundred years old, and not too soon to 
go to heaven at twenty.* The means are to be valued in re- 
ference to their end ; that is the best means which speedliest and 
surest obtaineth the end. He that hath enjoyed most of the 
ends of life, hath had the best life, and not he that hath lived 
longest. You that are acquainted with the life of grace, what, 
if you live but twenty or thirty years, would you change it for a 
thousand years of wickedness ? God might have let you have 
lived like the ungodly world, and then you would have had cause 
to be afraid of dying. We have lived in a place and time of 
light ; in Europe, not in Asia, Africa, or America ; in England, 
not in Spain or Italy; in the age when knowledge doth most 
abound, and not in our forefathers' days of darkness. We have 
lived among Bibles, sermons, books, and Christians. As one 
acre of fruitful soil is better than many of barren commons ; as 
the possession of a kingdom for one year, is better than a lease 
of a cottage for twenty ; so twenty or thirty years living in such 
a place or age as we, is better than Methuselah's age, in the case 
of most of the world liesides. And shall we not then be con- 
tented with our portion ? If we who are ministers of the Gospel 
have seen abundant fruit of our labours ; if God hath blessed 
our labour in seven years, more than some others in twenty or 
thirty ; if God have made us the happy, though unworthy, means 
of converting and saving more souls at a sermon^ than some 

^ Solus sapiens generis humani legibiis solvitur : omnia illi sccula, autDeo 
serviunt. Transivit tempus ? Aliquid ex hoc, recurdatioue comi)iehendit. 
Iiistat? Hoc utiiur. Veiiturum est ? Hoc percipit. Long;um illi vitam lacit 
omnium temporum in unum collutio. Jlloruin brcvissima ac solicitissima 
ietas est, qui prsEteritorum obliviscuntur, prajsentia negli^unt, de fiituro timeut : 
cum ad extremum veneriut, sero iutelligunt, miseri, tamdiu se cum nihil aguut 
occupatos fuissc. — Seneca de Jitevit. lit. 15. 

' Iter imperfeclum ent, si in media parte, aut cilra petitum locum steleris. 
Vita uon est imperfecta, si honesta est. Ubicunque desiues, si bene desinis 
tola est. — Seneca, Epist. "7. ji. 688. Nemo tarn imperitus e^.t, ut nesciat iibi 
quandoque moriendum ; tamen cum prope acccsserit, tergiversatur, tremit 
plorat. Nonue tibi videbitur stultissimus umuium (|ui fleverit quod ante anuos 
mille non vixerat .' Atqui stultiis est qui tlet, quod post anuos mille non vivei, 
Hffic paria sunt, uou cris uec luisti. — lOid. p. (iSD. 


210 THE saint's 

better men in all their lives, what cause have we to complain of 
the shortness of our time in the work of God ? Would unpro- 
fitable, unsuccessful preaching have been comfortable? Will it 
do us good to labour to little purpose, so we may but labour 
long ? If our desires of living are for the service of the church, 
as our deceitful hearts are still pretending, then surely if God 
honour us to do the more service, though in the lesser time, we 
have our desire. God will have each to have his share; when 
we have had ours, let us rest contented. Persuade, then, thy 
backward soul to its duty, and argue down these dreadful 
thoughts. Unworthy wretch 1 hath thy Father allowed thee 
so large a part, and caused thy lot to fall so well,"^ and given thee 
thine abode in pleasant places, and filled up all thy life with 
mercies, and dost thou think thy share too small ? Is not that 
which thy life doth want in length, made up in breadth, and 
weight, and sweetness ? Lay all together, and look about thee, 
and tell me how manv of thy neighbours have more ; how many 
in all the town or country have had a better share than thou. 
Why mightest not thou have been one of the thousands, whose 
carcasses thou hast seen scattered as dung on the earth ; or why 
mightest not thou have been one that is useless in the church, and 
an unprofitable burden to the place thou livest in ? What a 
multitude of hours of consolation; of delightful sabbaths; of 
pleasant studies ; of precious companions ; of wondrous deli- 
verances ; of excellent opportunities; of fruitful labours; of 
joyful tidings; of sweet experiences; of astonishing providen- 
ces ; hath thy life partaked of ! So that many a hundred who 
have each of them lived a hundred years, have not altogether 
enjoyed so much, and yet art thou not satisfied with thy lot ? 
Hath thy life been so sweet that .thou art loth to leave it? Is 
that the thanks thou returnest to him, who sweetened it to 
draw thee to his own sweetness ? Indeed, if this had been all 
. thy portion, I could not blame thee to be discontented. And 
yet let me tell thee too, that of all these souls, who have no 
other portion, but receive all their good things in this life, there 
is few or none even of them who ever had so full a share as 
thyself. And hast thou not, then, had a fair proportion, for 
one that must shortly have heaven besides? O foolish soul ! 

"> The merchant that arriveth safely with a rich lading of gold, spices, and 
precious things, doth more heartily thank God for his voyage, than he that 
goes as far for some smaller commodity ; so here, saith Seneca, Epist. lih. iii. 
p. 671. 


would thou wert as covetous after eternity, as thou art for a 
fading, perishing life ; and after the blessed |)resence of God, 
asthouart for continuanee with earth and sin I Then thouwouldst 
rather look through the windows, and crv through the lattices, 
*' Why is his chariot so long a coming; why tarry the wheels of 
his chariots ?" (Judges v. 28.) How long. Lord 1 how long 1 

Sect. XX. 1 1. Consider, W'hat if God should grant thy desire, 
and let thee live yet many years, but withal should strip thee of 
the comforts of life, and deny thee the mercies which thou hast 
hitherto enjoyed : would this be a blessing worth the begging 
for?" Might not God in judgment give thee life, as he gave 
the murmuring Israelites quails ; or as he ofttimes gives men 
riches and honour, v/hen he sees them over-earnest for it ? 
Might he not justly say to thee. Seeing thou hadst rather linger 
on earth, than come away and enjoy my presence; seeing thou 
art so greedy of life, take it, and a curse with it; never let fruit 
grow on it more, nor the sun of comfort shine upon it, nor the 
dew of my blessing ever water it. Let thy table be a snare ; 
let thy friends be thy sorrow ; let thy riches be corrupted, and 
the rust of thy silver eat thy flesh. (Jam. v. 2, 3.) Go, hear 
sermons as long as thou wilt, but let never sermon do thee good 
more ; let all thou hearest make against thee, and increase the 
smart of thy wounded spirit. If thou love preaching better than 
heaven, go and preach till thou be wearv, but never profit soul 
more. Sirs, what if God should thus chastise our inordinate de- 
sires of living, were it not just ; and what good would our lives 
then do us ? Seest thou not some that spend their days on 
their couch in groaning; and some in begging by the highway 
sides; and others in seeking bread from door to door ; and most of 
the world in labouring for food and raiment, and living only that 
they may live, and losing the ends and benefits of life ? Why, 
what good would such a life do thee, were it never so long; 
when thy soul siiall serve thee only instead of salt, to keep thy 
body from stinking? God might give thee life, till thou art 
weary of living, and as glad to be rid of it, as Judas or Ahit- 
ophel, and make thee like many miserable creatures in the 
world, who can hardly forbear laying violent hands on them- 

" How far a man may desire death, and liow far not, see Calvin on Jonah iv. 
p. '.V>\. In SKui, lie shows that we may not desire it out of mere impatience 
uniler poveity, siikness, or other suft'erin,'^ ; hut in weariness of siuuinef we 
hiay : V)nl so, as yet patieuily to stay God's time, and he willing lo die when 
he calls. 


212 THE saint's 

selves. Be not, therefore, so importunate for life, which may 
prove a judgment instead of a blessing. 

Sect. XXI. 12. Consider, How many of the precious saints of 
God, of all ages and places, have gone before thee. Thou art 
not to enter an untrodden path, nor appointed first to break the 
ice. Except only Enoch and Elias, which of the saints have 
escaped death ? And art thou better than they ? There are 
manv millions of saints dead, more than do now remain on 
earth. What a number of thine own bosom friends, and inti- 
mate acquaintance, and companions in duty, are now there ; and 
wliy shouldst thou be so loth to follow? Nay, hath not Jesus 
Christ himself gone this way ? ° Hath he not sanctified the grave 
to us, and perfumed the dust with his own body ; and art thou 
loth to follow him too ? Oh ! rather let us say as Thomas, 
"Let us also go, and die with him;" or rather, let us suffer 
with him, that we may be glorified together with him.P 

Many suchlike considerations might be added, as that Christ 
hath taken out the sting. How light the saints have made of it: 
how cheerfully the very pagans have entertained it! Scc.^i But 
because all that is hitherto spoken, is also conducible to the 
same purpose, I pass them by. If what hath been said will not 
persujide, Scripture and reason have little force. 

1 have said the more on this subject, finding it so needful to 
myself and others ; finding that among so many Christians, who 
could do and suffer much for Christ, there is yet so few that can 
willingly die j and of many who have somewhat subdued other 
corruptions, so few have got the conquest of this. This caused 
me to draw forth these arrows from the quiver of Scripture, and 
spend them against it. 

Sect. XXII. I will only yet artswer some objections, and so 
conclude this use. 

o Heretofore indeed, before the coming of our Saviour, death was terrible 
even to holy men, and all men lamented the dyings, as if they were perishing : 
but when Christ had raised his body, death was no more to be feared ; and all 
that believe in Christ do trample upon it as nothing^, and had rather die a 
thousand times, than deny the faith of Christ. For they know that by dying 
they do not perish, but live, and by the resurrection are made immortal. — 
ylthayius. de hicarnat. Verbi. 

p It is certainly reported that St. Peter, when he saw his wife led to death, 
was glad that she was called to it, and that she was going home ; and strongly 
exhorting and comforting lu-r, he called her by her name, saying, " Ho ! see 
thou remember the Lord," — Clem. Alexand. Stromat. lib. vii. 

<i Read the strange examples of heathens iu Seneca Epist. ad Lucil. 24. 


1. Object. Oh! if I were but certain of heaven, I should 
then never stick at dying. 

Answ. 1. Search, for all that, whether some of the fore- 
mentioned causes may not be in fault, as well as this. 

2. Didst thou not say so long ago ? Have you not been in 
this song this many years ? If you are vet uncertain, whose fault 
is it? You have had nothing else to do with your lives, nor no 
greater matter than this to mind. Were you not better pre- 
sently fall to the trial, till you have put the question out of 
doubt? Must God stay while you trifle; and must his pa- 
tience be continued to cherish your negligence ? If thou have 
played the loiterer, do so no longer. Go, search thy soul, and 
follow the search close, till thou come to a clear discovery. 
Begin to night ; stay not till the next morning. Certainty comes 
not bv length of time, but by the blessing of the Spirit upon 
wise and faithful trial. You may linger out thus twenty years 
more, and be still as uncertain as now you are. 

3. A perfect certainty may not be expected ; we shall still be 
deficient in that as well as in other things. They who think the 
apostle speaks absolutely, and not comparatively, of a perfect 
assurance in the very degree, when he mentions a plcropliory 
or full assurance, I know no reason but they may expect perfec- 
tion in all things else as well as this. Wlien you have done all, 
you will know this but in part. If .your belief of that scrip- 
ture which saith, "Believe and be saved," be imperfect; and if 
vour knowledge, whether your own deceitful hearts do sincerely 
l)elieve or not, be imperfect; or if but one of these two be im- 
perfect, the result or conclusion must needs be so too. If vou 
would then stav till vou are ])crfcctlv certain, vou mav stav for 
ever : if you have attained assurance but in some degree, or got 
but the grounds for assurance laid, it is then the speediest and 
surest way, to desire rather to be quickly in rest ; for then, and 
never till then, will both the grounds and assurance be fully 


4. Both your assurance, and the comfort thereof, is the gift 
of the Spirit, who is a free bcstoucr : and God's usual time to 
be largest in mercy, is when his people are dec|)est in necessity, 
A mercy in season is the sweetest mercy. 1 could give you 
here abundance of late examples of those who have languishcil 
for assurance and comfort; some all their sickness, and some 
most of their lives : and when they have been near to death 
they have received in abundance. Never fear death, then, 

214 THE saint's 

through imperfection of assurance; for that is the most usual 
time of all, when God most fully and sweetly bestows it. 

Object. 2. Oh ! but the church's necessities are great. God 
hath made me useful in my place ; so that the loss will be to 
many ; or else, methinks I could willingly die. 

Sect. XXIII. Answ. This may be the case of some, but yet 
remember the heart is deceitful. God is often pretended, when 
ourselves are intended. But if this be it that sticks with thee 
indeed, consider, Wilt thou pretend to be wiser than God ? Doth 
not he know how to provide for his church ? Cannot he do his 
work without thee, or find out instruments enough besides thee ? 
Think not too highly of thyself, because God hath made thee 
useful. Must the church needs fall when thou art gone ? Art thou 
the foundation on- which it is built ? Could God take away a 
Moses, an Aaron, David, Elias, &c., and find a supply for all their 
places ; and cannot he also find a supply for thine ? This is to 
derogate from God too much, and to arrogate too much unto 
thyself. Neither art thou so merciful as God, nor canst love the 
church so well as he. As his interest is infinitely beyond thine, 
so is his tender care and bounty. But of this before.'^ 

Yet mistake me not in all that I have said. I deny not but 
that it is lawful and necessary for a Christian, upon both the be- 
fore-mentioned grounds, to desire God to delay his death, both 
for a further opportunity of gaining assurance, and also to be fur- 
ther serviceable to the church. See Phil. ii. 26, 27. Time and 
life is a most precious mercy ; not so much because of what we 
here enjoy, but because eternity of joy or torment dependeth on 
this time, when it must go with man for ever in heaven or hell, 

■^ As Jac. Monacli. said to Dr. Havere^iter (ut Melch. Adam in ejus vita) , so 
Frederick the Third, Prince Elector Palsgrave of Rhine, when he was dying 
at Heidelberg, said to his friends, " 1 have lived long enough on earth for you, 
I must now go live for myself in heaven for ever." As Jac.Grynajus in the 
last words in his ' Commentary on the Hebrews :' " So, methinks, when mi- 
nisters have lived long in hard labour and sufferings for Gud and the church, 
they should be willing to live in heaven for God and themselves." I may 
say of our service, as Cyprian to some that were loth to die, because they 
would fain die martyrs ; " I had," saith one, " fully set my heart on it, and 
devoted myself to martyrdom ;" martyrdom is not in tliy power, but is God's 
gift. Nor canst thou say, tliou hast lost that which thou knowest not wiiether 
tliou wert wortliy to receive. God, the Searclier of the heart, who saw thee 
prepared in resolution, will give the reward for thy resolution. As an evil 
thought is seen in the wicked; so a purpose to confess Clirist, and a soul 
given up to good, shall be crowned by God the Judge. For it is one thing to 
want a heart for martyrdom, and another to want martyrdom, when we have 
a heart. God will judge thee such as he finds thee. For it is not our blood that 
God desires, but our faith or fidelity. — Cypr. de Mortalitat. sect. xii. p. 345. 


according to tlie provision he makes on earth ; and they that will 
find a treasure in heaven must now hty it up there. (Matt. vi. 19, 
20.) I do not blame a man that is well in his wits, if he be loth 
to die, till he hath some comfortable assurance that it shall cer- 
tainly go well with him in another world. And every man's 
assurance, as I have proved, is imperfect. And there I doubt 
not but, 1. We may pray for recovery from sicknesses. 2. And 
may rejoice in it, and give thanks for it, as a great mercy. 3. 
And may pray hard for our godly and ungodly friends in their 
sickness. 4. And must value our time highly, and improve it, 
as a mercy which we must be accountable for. 5. And every 
godly man is so useful to the church, ordinarily, that, even for 
the church's service, he may desire to live longer, as Paul did, 
even till he come to the full age of man, and while he is able to 
serve the church, and it hath need of liim. No man should 
be over hasty to a state that must never be changed, when both 
assurance of glory and his fitness for it are still imperfecta and 
ordinarily the saints grow fitter in their age. But then this 
must not be in love of earth, but we must take it as our present 
loss to be kept from heaven, though it may tend to the church's 
and our own future advantage, and so may be desired : so that 
you must still see that heaven be valued and loved above earth, 
even when you have cause to pray for longer time, as she that 
longs to be married to a prince, may desire delay for preparation. 
But, First, This is nothing to their case who are still delaying, 
and never willing ; whose true discontents are at death itself, 
more than at the unseasonableness of dying. Secondly, Though 
such desires are sometimes lawful, yet must they be carefully 
bounded and moderated ; to which end are the former consi- 
derations. We must not be too absolute and peremptory in 
our desires, but cheerfully yield to God's disposal. The rightest 
temper is that of Paul's, to be in a strait between two; desiring 
to depart, and be with Christ, and yet to stay while God will 
have us, to do the church the utmost service. But, alas ! we 
are seldom in this strait: our desires run out all one way, and 
that for the flesh, and not the church. (Phil. i. 23.) Our straits 
are only for fear of dying, and not betwixt the earnest desires of 
dying, and of living. He that desireth life only to prepare for 
heaven, doth love heaven better than life on earth , for the end 
is still more beloved than all the means. 

Sect. XXIV. Object. But is not death a punishment of God 

216 THE saint's 

for sin? Doth not Scripture call it the "king of fears 5" and 
nature, above all other evils, abhor it?^ 

Answ. I will not meddle with that which is controversial in 
this : whether death be properly a punishment or not : but 
grant, that, in itself considered, it may be called evil, as being 
naturally the dissolution of the creature. Yet being sanctified 
to us by Christ, and being the season and occasion of so great 
a good, as is the present possession of God in Christ, it may be 
welcomed with a glad submission, if not with desire. Christ 
affords us grounds enough to comfort us against this natural 
evil ; and therefore endues us with the principle of grace, to 
raise us above the reach of nature. 

For all those low and poor objections, as leaving house, goods, 
and friends, leaving our children unprovided, &:c., I pass them 
over, as of lesser moment, than to take much with men of 

Sect. XXV. Lastly, Understand me in this also, that I have 
spoken all this to the faithful soul. J persuade not the ungodly 
from fearing death. It is a wonder rather that they fear it no 
more, and spend not their days in continual horror, as is said 
before. Truly, but that we know a stone is insensible, and a 
hard heart is dead and stupid, or else a man would admire how 
poor souls can live in ease and quietness, that must be turned 
out of these bodies into everlasting flames ; or that be not sure, 
at least, if they should die this night, whether they shall lodge 
in heaven or hell the next, especially when many are called, and 
so few chosen, and the righteous themselves are scarcely saved. 
One would thiidi such men should eat their bread with trembling, 
and the thoughts of their danger should keep them waking in 
the night, and they should fall presently a searching themselves, 
inquiring of others, and crying to God, that if it were possible 
they might quickly be out of this danger, and so their hearts be 
freed from horror. For a man to quake at the thoughts of 

** Jam nemo est^ qui esse nolit, quam nemo est qui iion heattis esse velit. 
Quoinodo eiiim jiotcst heatus esse, si niliil sit? Ita vi quadam naturaii ipsum 
esse jucunduin est, nt nou oh aiiud, et lii qui niiscri sunt, nolint interire. Et 
cum se niiscros esse seutiaut, uou seipsos de rebus, sed miseriam suam potius 
auferri \elint ; eliain miserriiuus, siquis iiumortalitatem daret, qua nee ipsa 
iniseria niorerctur ; proposito sihi quod si in eadem miseria semper esse nol- 
leut, nuUi etnusquam essent futuri, sedomni modo perituri ; profecto exuita- 
rcut la'titia, et sic semper eligerent esse, quam omnino non esse. — August, de 
Civ'it. lib. xi. caj>, 20". Sed lioc dc tolerabili lautum miseria iutelligeudum est. 


death that looks by it to l)e dispossessed of his happiness, and 
knoweth not whither he is next to go, this is no wonder. But 
for the saints to fear their passage by death to rest, this is an 
unreasonable, hurtful fear. •■ 

Motives to a heavenly Life, 

Sect. I. We have now, by the guidance of the word of the 
Lord, and by the assistance of his Spirit, showed you the nature 
of the rest of the saints, and acquainted you with some duties 
in relation thereto. We come now to the close of all, to press 
you to the great duty, which 1 chiefly intended, when I begun 
this subject, and have here reserved it to the last place, because 
I know liearers are usually of slippery memories, yet apt to re- 
tain the last that is spoken, though they forget all that went be- 
fore. Dear friends, it is pity that either you or I should forget 
any thing of that which doth so nearly concern us, as this eternal 
rest of the saints doth. But if you must needs forget something, 
let it be any thing else, rather than this : let it be rather all 
that I have hitherto said (though I hope of better) than this one 
ensuing use. 

Is tiiere a rest, and such a rest remaining for us ? Why then 
are our thoughts no more upon it ? Why are not our hearts 
continually there ? Why dwell we not there in constant con- 
templation ? Sirs, ask your hearts in good earnest. What is the 
cause of this neglect ? Are we reasonable in this, or are we not ? 
Hath the eternal God provided us such a glory, and promised 
to take us up to dwell with himself, and is not this worth the 
thinking on ? Should not the strongest desires of our hearts be 
after it, and the daily delights of our souls be there ? Do we 
helieve this; and can we yet forget and neglect it? ^V'hat is 

' For comfort in the death of friends, tlie nine considerations of Gerson are 
excellent, Operum, part. iv. fr)l. lAH ; and his followinij tractate De Consola- 
tione Mortis Parentuin. Lege et (Jrotii Epist. ad Gal. 2G. p. 67 : Mali cum 
lion possintdc sua vita rectam ratiuuem redderc, cunuiue tinieant coram judice 
sistere, dilatant mortem quantum possunt, corpus iautis upiparis(|ue ciboruni 
generibus pascendo : ul si i>ossent in perpetuam in hac vita permanerent. 
Mulier adultera, qiuBdouii atlullerum habet, (luando maritus ad ostium j)ul- 
s^t, noil ita cito a|>erit, sed tardatur, nt interim abscouderc possit adullerum ; 
ila raali, &c. — Stella hi Lulte xii. torn. ii. p. lOD. a. 

218 THE saint's 

the matter ? Will not (lod give us leave to approach this light ; 
or will he not suffer our souls to taste and see it ? Why, then, 
what mean all his earnest invitations ? Why doth he so con- 
demn all our earthly-mindedness, and command us to set our 
affections above ? Ah, vile hearts ! if God were against it, we 
were likelier to be for it ; when he would have us to keep our 
station, then we are aspiring to be like God, and are ready to 
invade the divine prerogatives ; but when he commands our 
hearts to heaven, then they will not stir an inch : like our pre- 
decessors the sinful Israelites : when God would have them 
inarch for Canaan, then they mutiny, and will not stir ; either 
they fear the giants, or the walled cities, or want necessaries ; 
something hinders them ; but when God bids them not go, 
then will they needs be presently marching, and fight they will, 
though it be to their overthrow. If the fore-thoughts of glory 
were forbidden fruits, perhaps we should be sooner drawn unto 
them, and we should itch, as the Bethshemites, to be looking 
into this ark. Sure I am, where God hath forbidden us to place 
our thoughts and our delights, thither it is easy enough to draw 
them. If he say, " Love not the world, nor the things of the 
world," we dote upon it nevertheless. LWe have love enough if 
the world require it, and thoughts enough to pursue our profits. 
How delightfully and unweariedly can we think of vanity ; and 
day after day employ our minds about the creature ! And have 
we no thoughts of this our rest ? How freely and how fre- 
quentlv can we think of our pleasures, our friends, our labours, 
our flesh, our lusts, our common studies, our news ; yea, our 
very miseries, our wrongs, our sufferings, and our fears I But 
where is the Christian whose heart is on his rest ? Why, sirs, 
what is the matter ? Why are we not taken up with the views 
of glory, and our souls more accustomed to these delightful 
meditations ? Are we so full of joy that we need no more : or, 
is there no matter in heaven for our joyous thoughts : or rather, 
are not our hearts carnal and blockish ? Earth will to earth. 
Had we more spirit, it would be otherwise with us. As the 
Jews use to cast to the ground the book of Esther before they 
read it, because the name of God is not in it; and as Augustin 
cast by Cicero's writings, because they contained not the name 
of Jesus ; so let us humble and cast down these sensual hearts 
that have in them no more of Christ and glory. As we should 
not own our duties any further than somewhat of Christ is in 
them, so should we no further own our hearts ; and as we should 


delight in the creatures no further than they have reference to 
Christ and eternity, so should we no further approve of our own 
hearts. If there were little of Christ and heaven in our mouths, 
hut the world were the only subject of our speeches, then all 
would account us to be ungodly, why then may we not call our 
hearts ungodly that have so little delight in Christ and heaven ? 
A holy tongue will not excuse or secure a profane heart. 
^Vhv did Christ pronounce his disciples' eyes and ears so blessed, 
but as they were doors to let in Christ by his works and words 
into their heart ? Oh, blessed are the eyes that so see, and the 
ears that so hear, that the heart is thereby raised to this blessed, 
heavenly frame ! Sirs, so much of your hearts as is empty of 
Christ and heaven, let it be filled with shame and sorrow, and 
not with ease. 

Sect. II. But let me turn my reprehension to exhortation, that 
you would turn this conviction into reformation. And I have 
the more hope because I here address myself to men of con- 
science, that dare not wilfully disobey God ; and to men whose 
relations to God are many and near, aud therefore, methinks, 
there should need the fewer words to persuade their hearts to 
him ; yea, because I speak to no other men but only them whose 
portion is there, whose hopes are there, and who have forsaken 
all, that thev may enjoy this glory ; and shall I be discouraged 
from persuading such to be heavenly-minded ? Why, fellow 
Christians, if you will not hear and obey, who will ? 'WeW may 
we be discouraged to exhort the poor, blind, ungodly world, and 
may sav, as Moses, " Behold the children of Israel have not 
hearkened unto me, how then shall Pharaoh hear me?" (Exod. 
xvi. 12.) Whoever thou art, therefore, that readest these lines, I 
re([uire thee, as thou tenderest thine allegiance to the God of 
heaven, as ever thou hopest for a part in this glory, that thou 
presently take thy heart to task ; chide it for its wilful strange- 
ness to God ; turn thy thoughts from the pursuit of vanity ; bend 
thv soul to study eternity ; busy it about the life to come ; ha- 
bituate thyself to such contemplations, and let not those 
thoughts be seldom and cursory ; but settle upon them : dwell 
here; bathe thy soul in heaven's delights; drench thine affec- 
tions iti these rivers of pleasure, or rather, in this sea of consola- 
tion ; and if thy backward soul begin to flag, and thy loose 
thoughts to fly abroad, call them back, hold them to their work, 
put them on, bear not with their laziness, do not connive at one 
neglect; and when thou hast once in obedience to God tried this 

220 THE saint's 

work, and followed on till thou hast got acquainted with it, 
and kept a close guard upon thy thoughts till they are accus- 
tomed to obey, and till thou hast got some mastery over them, 
thou wilt then find thyself in the suburbs of heaven, and, as it 
were, in a new world ; thou wilt then find, indeed, that there is 
sweetness in the work and way of God, and that the life of 
Christianity is a life of joy. Thou wilt meet with those abun- 
dant consolations, which thou hast prayed, and panted, and 
groaned after, and which so few Christians do here obtain, be- 
cause they know not the way to them, or else make not con- 
science of walking in it. 

You see the work now before you : this, this is that I would 
fain persuade your souls to practise. Beloved friends, and 
christian neighbours, who hear me this day, let me bespeak 
your consciences in the name of Christ, and command you by 
the authority 1 have received from Christ, that you faithfully set 
upon this weighty duty, and fix your eye more steadfastly on your 
rest, and daily delight in the forethoughts thereof. I have per- 
suaded you to many other duties, and (I bless God) many of you 
have obeyed, and I hope never to find you at that pass as to say, 
when you perceive the command of the Lord, that you will not 
be persuaded, nor obey ; if I should, it were high time to bewail 
your misery. Why, you may almost as well say, ' We will not 
obey,' as sit still and not obey. Christians, I beseech you, as 
you take me for your teacher, and have called me hitherto, so 
hearken to this doctrine. If ever I shall prevail with you in 
any thing, let me prevail with you in this, to set your hearts 
where you expect a rest and treasure. Do you not remember 
that when you called me to be your teacher, you promised me 
under your hands that you would 'faithfully and conscionably 
endeavour the receiving every truth, and obeying every com- 
mand which I should from the word of God manifest to vou ? 
I now charge your promise upon you : I never delivered to you a 
more apparent truth, nor pressed upon you a more apparent duty 
than this. Jf I knew you would not obey, what should I do 
here preaching ? Not that I desire you to receive it chiefly as 
from me, but as from Christ, on whose message I come. Me- 
thinks, if a child should show you Scripture, and speak to you 
the word of God, you should not dare to disobey it. Do not 
wonder that I persuade you so earnestly, though indeed if we 
were truly reasonable in spiritual things, as we are in common, 
it would be a real wonder that men should need so much per- 



suasion to so sweet and plain a duty ; but I know the employ- 
ment is high, the heart is earthly, and will still draw back ; the 
temptations and hinderances will be many and great, and there- 
fore I fear before we have done, and laid open more fully the 
nature of the duty, that you will confess all these persuasions 
little enough. The Lord grant they prove not so too little, as 
to fail of success, and leave you as they find you. Say not, ' We 
are unable to set our own hearts on heaven, this must be the 
work of God onlv, and therefore all your exhortation is in vain,' 
for I tell vou, though God be the chief disposer of your hearts, 
yet next under him you have the greatest command of them 
yourselves, and a great power in the ordering of your own 
thoughts, and for determining your own wills in their choice : 
though without Christ you can do nothing, yet under him you 
may do much, and must do much, or else it will be undone, and 
you undone through your neglect. Do your own parts, and you 
have no cause to distrust whether Christ will do his. Do not 
your own consciences tell you, when your thoughts fly abroad, 
that you might do more than you do to restrain them ; and 
when your hearts lie flat, and neglect eternity, and seldom mind 
the joys before you, that most of this neglect is wilful ? If you 
be to studv a set speech, you can force your thoughts to the in- 
tended subject ; if a minister be to study a sermon, he can 
force his thoughts to the most saving truths, and that without 
any special grace ; might not a true Christian then mind more 
the things of the life to come, if he did not neglect to exercise 
that authority over his own thoughts which God hath given 
him ? Especially in such a work as this, where he may more 
confidently expect the assistance of Christ, who useth not to 
forsake his people in the work he sets them on. If a carnal 
minister can make it his work to study about Christ and heaven 
through all his lifetime, and all because it is the trade he lives 
by, and knows not how to subsist without it, why, then, me- 
thinks a spiritual Christian should study as constantly the joys 
of heaven, because it is the very business he lives for, and that 
the place he must be in for ever. If the cook can find in his 
heart to labour and sweat about your meat, because it is the 
trade that maintains him, though perhaps he taste it not him- 
self, methinks then you, for whom it is prepared, should will- 
ingly bestow that daily pains to taste its sweetness, and feed 
upon it ; and if it were about your bodily food, you would think 
it no great pains neither. A good btomach takes it for no great 

222 THE saint's 

abour to eat and drink of the best till it be satisfied ; nor needs 
it any great invitation thereto. Christians, if your souls were 
sound and right, they would perceive incomparably more delight 
and sweetness in knowing, thinking, believing, loving, and re- 
joicing in your future blessedness in the fruition of God, than 
the soundest stomach finds in its food, or the strongest senses in 
the enjoyment of their objects ; so little painful would this 
work be to you, and so little should I need to press you to it. 
It is no great pains to you to think of a friend, or any thing else 
that you dearly love, and as little would it be to think of glory, 
if your love and delight were truly there. If you do but see some 
jewel, or treasure, you need not long exhortations to stir up your 
desires, the very sight of it is motive enough. If you see the 
fire when you are cold, or see a house in a stormy day, or see a 
safe harbour from a tempestuous sea, you need not be told what 
use to make of it; the sight doth presently direct your thought: 
you think, you look, you long, till you obtain it. Why should 
it not be so in the present case ? Sirs, one would think, to show 
you this crown and glory of the saints, should be motive enough 
to make you desire it; to show you that harbour where you may 
be safe from all dangers, should soon teach you what use to 
make of it, and should bend your daily studies towards it ; but 
because I know while we have flesh about us, and any remnants 
of that carnal mind which is enmity to God, and to this noble 
work, that all motives are little enough ; and because my own, 
and others' sad experiences tell me, how hardly the best are 
drawn to a constancy and faithfulness in this duty, I will here 
lay down some moving considerations, which, if you will but 
vouchsafe to ponder thoroughly, and deliberately weigh with an 
impartial judgment, I doubt not l^ut they will prove effectual 
with your hearts, and make you resolve upon this excellent 
duty. I pray you, friends, let them not fall to the ground, but 
take them up, and try them, and if you find them concern you, 
make much of them, and obey them accordingly. 

Sect. III. 1. Consider, A heart set upon heaven will be one 
of the most unquestionable evidences of thy sincerity, and a 
clear discovery of a true work of saving grace upon thy soul.'* 
You are much in inquiring after marks of sincerity, and 1 blame 
vou not : it is dangerous mistaking when a man's salvation lies 

" In this do true Christians differ from all other men ; and the difference is 
very great ; to wit, in that the mind and understanding of Christians is always 
conversant about heavenly cogitations, and is beholding of celestial excel- 
lences, because of the participation of the Holy Ghost ; as, also, in that they 


upon it. You are oft asking, ' How shall 1 know that I am 
truly sanctified?' VVhy, here is a mark that will not deceive 
you, if you can truly say that you are possessed of it : even, a 
heart set upon heaven. Would you have a sign infallible, not 
from me, or from the mouth of any man, but from the mouth 
of Jesus Christ himself, which all the enemies of the use of 
marks can lay no exception against ? Why, here is such an one, 
" Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt. 
vi. 21.) Know once assuredly where your heart is, and you 
may easily know that your treasure is there. God is the saints' 
treasure and happiness : heaven is the place where they must 
fully enjoy him. A heart therefore set upon heaven is no more 
but a heart set upon God, desiring after this full enjoyment : 
and, surely, a heart set upon God through Christ, is the truest 
evidence of saving grace. External actions are easiest disco- 
vered, but those of the heart are the surest evidences. When 
thy learning Mill be no good proof of thy grace; when thy 
knowledge, thy duties, and thy gifts, will fail thee ; when argu- 
ments from thy tongue and thy hand may be confuted, yet then 
will this argument from the bent of thy heart prove thee sincere. 
Take a poor Christian that can scarce speak true English about 
religion, that hath a weak understandings a failing memorv, a 
stammering tongue, yet his heart is set on God, he hath chosen 
him for his portion ; his thoughts are on eternity ; his desires 
there, his dwelling there; he cries out, ' O that I were there ! ' 
He takes that day for a time of imprisonment, wherein he hath 
not taken one refreshing view of eternity. I had rather die in 
this man's condition, and have my soul in his soul's case, than 
in the case of him that hath the most eminent gifts, and is most 
admired for parts and duty, whose heart is not thus taken up 
with God. The man that Christ will find out at the last day, 
and condemn for the want of a wedding garment, will he be 
that wants this frame of heart. The question will not then be, 
'How much you have known, or professed, or talked?* but, 
* How much you have loved, and where was your heart ?* \A'hv, 
then, Christians, as you would have a sure testimony of the love 
of God, and a sure proof of your title to glory, labour to get 
your hearts above. God will acknowledge that you really love 
him, and take you for faithful friends indeed, when he sees your 

are born of God from above, and thought meet to be the sons of God in trutli 
and in power ; and by -reat labours, and sweat, after lonjj time, they shall 
arrive at perfection, stability, and rest.— Mavmius Horn. Hinc sequitur, calo 
renuuciare qui in uiundo fa-iices esse appctuuU— Calvin iu lUaU. vi. 21. 

224 THE saint's 

hearts are set upon him. Get but your hearts once truly in 
heaven, and, without all question, yourselves^ will follow. If 
sin and Satan keep not thence your affections, they will never be 
able to keep away your persons. 

Sect. IV. 2. Consider, A heart in heaven is the highest ex- 
cellency of your spirits here, and the noblest part of your 
christian disposition : as there is not only a difference between 
men and beasts, but also among men, between the noble and the 
base ; so there is not only a common excellency, whereby a 
Christian differs from the world, but also a peculiar nobleness 
of spirit, whereby the more excellent differ from the rest : and 
this lies especially in a higher and more heavenly frame of spirit. 
Only man, of all inferior creatures, is made with a face directed 
heavenward : but other creatures have their faces to the earth. 
As the noblest of creatures, so the noblest of Christians are they 
that are set most direct for heaven.* As Saul is called a choice 
and goodly man, higher by the head than all the company; so is 
he the most choice and goodly Christian, whose head and heart is 
thus the highest. (1 Sam. iv. 2, and x. 23, 24.) Men of noble birth 
and spirits, do mind high and great affairs, and not the smaller 
things of low poverty .^ Their discourse is of councils and matters 
of state, of the government of the commonwealth, and public 
things : and not of the countryman's petty employments. Oh ! to 
hear such a heavenly saint, w?io hath fetched a journey into hea- 
ven by faith, and hath been raised up to God in his contemplations, 
and is newly come down from the views of Christ, what discoveries 
will he make of those superior regions ! What ravishing expres- 
sions drop from his lips ! How high and sacred is his discourse ! 
Enough to make the ignorant world astonished, and perhaps say, 
" Much study hath made them mad :" (Acts xxvi. 24 :) and 
enough to convince an understanding hearer that they have seen 
theLord : and to make one say, ' No man could speak such words 

" Read Bishop Hall's thirty- second soliloquy, called, ' Acquaintance with 
Heaven,' p. 131. Os homiui sublime dedit, &c. 

y Of so many divers religions and manners of scrvino- God, which are or 
may be in the world, they seem to be the most noble, and to have the greatest 
appearance of truth, which without great external and corporal service, such 
as popish superstitions and formalities are, draw the soul into itself, and raise 
it by pure contemplation, to admire and adore .the greatness and infinite ma- 
jesty of the first Cause of all things, and the Essence of essences, without any 
great declaration or determination thereof, aclinowledging it to be goodness, 
perfection, and infiniteness, wholly incomprehensible. This is to approach 
to the religion of angels, and adore God iu spirit and truth. — Charronof JVisd, 
lib. ii. cap, 2. p. 297. 


as tliese, except he had been with God.' This, this is the noble 
Christian ; as Bucholcer's hearers concluded, when he had 
preached his last sermon, being carried between two into the 
church, because of his weakness, and there most admirably dis- 
coursed of the blessedness of souls departed this life, " C;eteros 
concionatores a Bucholcero semj)er omnes, illo autem die etiam 
ipsuni a sese superatum," that Inicholcer did ever excel other 
preachers, but that day he excelled himself: so may I conclude 
of the heavenly Christian, he ever excelleth the rest of men, 
but when he is nearest heaven he excelleth himself. As those 
are the most famous mountains that are highest ; and those the 
fairest trees that are tallest ;^ and those the most glorious pyra- 
mids and buildings whose tops do reach nearest to heaven ; so 
is he tlie choicest Christian, M'hose heart is most frequently and 
most delightfully there, if a man have lived near the king, or 
have travelled to see the sultan of Persia, or the great Turk, he 
will make this a matter of boasting, and thinks himself one stej) 
higher than his private neighbours, that live at home. What 
shall we then judge of him that daily travels as far as heaven, 
and there hath seen the King of kings ? That hath frequent 
admittance into the Divine presence, and feasteth his soul upon 
the tree of life ? For my part, I value this man before the ablest, 
the richest, the most learned in the world. 

Sect. V. 3. Consider, A heavenly mind is a joyful mind ; this 
is the nearest and the truest way to live a life of comfort." And 
without this, you must needs be uncomfortable. Can a man be 
at the fire, and not be warm ; or in the sunshine, and not have 
light ? Can your heart be in heaven, and not have comfort ? 
The countries of Norway, Iceland, and all the northward, are 
cold and frozen, because they are farther from the power of the 

* Fraxinus in sylvis pulcherriina, piiius in liortis ; populus in fluviis, abiea 
in inontibus altis. — l^irgil. 

» Lord, if I had the skill and scrace to be ever communing with my own 
heart, and with thee, 1 should never want either work or company; neve? 
have cause to complain of solitariness or tedious hours ; for there is no time 
wherein there is not some main business to be done between thee and my soul. 
— Bishop Hull, soliloq, xiii. p. 45. Aristoteles dicit (juod homo se ad divina 
et immortalia trahere debet quantum potest; unde in 11 de Animal, dicit, 
<iii()d, (luamvis parum sit quod de substantiis superinribus percipinuis ; tametv 
id modicum est niagis aniatum et desideratum omni cn^nitione (|uam de sub- 
stantiis inleriorihus habemus. Dicit etiam in 2(lo Cujli et Munili, (luod cum 
de cori>oribus cuelestiljus t|uestiones jjossunt solvi parva et topica solutione, 
continjjit auditori ut vehemens sit guudiuiu ejus. Ex quihus omnibus apparet, 
quod de rebus noliilissimis (luanluuicuntpu^ imjierfccta co;^nitio maximam 
perfectionem animu; conlert. — ^quiii. coni, Oentilca, lil). i. cap. 6. 

VOL. XXlIl. Q 

226 THE saint's 

sun ; but in Egypt, Arabia, and the southern parts, it is far 
otherwise, where they live more near its powerful rays. What 
could make such frozen, uncomfortable Christians, but living so 
far as they do from heaven ? And what makes some few others 
so warm in comforts, but their living higher than others do, 
and their frequent access so near to God? When the sun in the 
spring draws near our part of the earth, how do all things con- 
gratulate its approach ! The earth looks green, and casteth off 
her mourning habit : the trees shoot forth ; the plants revive ; 
the pretty birds, how sweetly do they sing ! the face of all things 
smiles upon us, and all the creatures below rejoice. Beloved 
friends, if we would but try this life with God, and would but 
keep these hearts above, what a spring of joy would be within 
us ; and all our graces be fresh and green ! How would the face 
of our souls be changed ; and all that is within us rejoice ! How 
should we forget our winter sorrows ; and withdraw our souls 
from our sad retirements ! How early should we rise (as those 
birds in the spring) to sing the praise of our great Creator ! O 
Christian, get above : believe it, that region is wanner than this 
below. Those that have been there, have found it so, and those 
that have come thence have told us so : and 1 doubt not but 
that thou hast sometime tried it thyself. I dare appeal to thy 
own experience, or to the experience of any soul that knows 
what the true joys of a Christian are : when is it that you have 
largest comforts ? Is it not after such an exercise as this, when 
thou hast got up thy heart, and conversed with God, and talked 
with the inhabitants of the higher world, and viewed the man- 
sions of the saints and angels, and filled thy soul with the fore- 
thoughts of glory ? If thou know by experience what this prac- 
tice is, I dare say thou knowesf what spiritual joy is. David 
jjrofesseth that the light of God's countenance would make his 
heart more glad than theirs that have corn, and wine, and oil. 
''Thou shalt fill me full of joy with thy countenance." (Psal. iv. 
6, 7 ; and Acts ii. 28 , out of Psal. xvi.) If it be the counte- 
nance of God that fills us with joy, then surely they that draw 
nearest, and most behold it, must needs be fullest of these joys. 
Sirs, if you never tried this art, nor lived this life of heavenly 
contemplation, I never wonder that you walk uncomfortably, 
that you are all complaining, and live in sorrows, and know not 
■what the joy of the saints means. Can you have comforts from 
God, and never think of him ? Can heaven rejoice you, when 
you do not remember it ? Doth any thing in the world glad you, 


when you think not on it? Must not every thing first enter your 
judgment and consideration, before it can delight your heart and 
affection? If you were possessed of all the treasures of the 
earth ; if you had title to the highest dignities and dominions, 
and never think on it ; surely it would never rejoice you.*^ Whom 
should we blame then, that wc are so void of consolation, but 
our own negligent, unskilful hearts ? God hath provided us a 
crown of glory, and promised to set it shortly on our heads, 
and we will not so much as think of it : he holdeth it out in the 
Gospel to us, and biddeth us behold and rejoice ; and we will 
not so nuich as look at it ; and yet we complain for want of 
comfort. What a perverse course is this, both against God and 
our own joys ! I confess, though in fleshly things, the present- 
ing of a comforting object is sufficient to produce an answerable 
delight, yet in spirituals we are more disabled. God must give 
the joy itself, as well as afford us matter for joy : but yet withalj 
it must be remembered, that God doth work upon us as men^ 
and in a rational way doth raise our comforts : he enableth and 
exciteth us to mind and study these delightful objects, and from 
thence to gather our own comforts, as the bee doth gather her 
honey from the flowers ; therefore lie that is most skilful and 
painful in this gathering art, is usually the fullest of this spiritual 
sweetness. W^here is the man that can tell me from experience, 
that he hath solid and usual joy in any other way but this, and 
that God workcth it immediately on his affections, without the 
means of his understanding antl considering ? *^ It is by believing 
that we are filled with joy and peace ; (Rom. xv. 13 :) and no 
longer than we continue our believing. It is in hope that the 
saints rejoice, yea, in this hope of the glory of God, (Rom. v. 2,) 
and no longer than they continue hoping. And here let me 

^ If there l)e delight iu God it) letting uut hinisilt' to the saints, in reason 
there must needs be delight in the saints in letting out themselves into God, 
in llorting into God. The deli'jhl that the saints have in communicating them- 
selves unto Christ is unutterable. Take this note, The more fnily you lay out 
yourselves for Christ, the more comfort you shall have of your Vives,— burroughs 
on Hos. ii. I'J. lect. xvii, pp. C05,G0G. 

•= 1 I'et. i. 8. Cum contemplator inflammatus desiderio fccllcitatis, totara 
siiani ponit conversationem in ca.'!estihus ; cum ad coclestia toto nisu a«pirat, 
ex caiore ciiarilatis cor delitatur ; et tcstinionio con«cientitc ades^e sentitur, 
et spiiitualitcr videtur oculo aiiimse, qui est intcliectus ; ubi enim ardenter 
desideratur, adest ; et ibi mansioneni facit et in saiictas illas aiiimas se trans- 
fert. Oritur ex liac dulci visitatione (([ua sicut fu!;^tir mumentaneus adessc 
se osteiidit) mentis suhlcvatio, et inter brachia amati incipit ali(|uantuluni 
consopiri, ut non solum dclcctabiliter, sed tennciier illi adlia-reat ; ut <|ua>i 
vi quudam ab omnium visibilium, seiisu et menioria ahstrahatur, et pone 
Mimet wbliviacatur.— C«rrf, Cusan, vol. ii, cxercitat, libi iv; fol. GU, 


228 THE saint's 

warn you of a dangerous snare, an opinion which will rob you 
of all your comfort: some think, if they should thus fetch in 
their comfort by believing and hoping, and work it out of Scrip- 
ture promises, and extract it by their own thinking and studying, 
that then it would be a comfort only of their own hammering 
out, (as they say,) and not the genuine joy of the Holy Ghost. 
A desperate mistake, raised upon a ground that would overthrow 
almost all duty, as well as this, which is their setting the work- 
ings of God's Spirit and their own spirits in opposition, when 
their spirits must stand in subordination to God's ; they are 
conjunct causes, co-operating to the producing of one and the 
same effect. God's Spirit worketh our comforts, by setting our 
own spirits a-work opon the promises, and raising our thoughts 
to the place of our comforts. As you would delight a covetous 
man by showing him gold, or a voluptuous man with fleshly de- 
lights J so God useth to delight his people, by taking them, as it 
were, by the hand, and leading them into heaven, and showing 
them himself, and their rest with him. God useth not to cast 
in our joys while we are idle, or taken up with other things. It 
is true, he sometime doth it suddenly, but yet usually in the 
aforesaid order, leading it into our hearts by our judgment and 
thoughts : and his sometime sudden extraordinary casting of 
comforting thoughts in our hearts, should be so far from hinder- 
ing endeavours in a meditating way, that it should be a singular 
motive to quicken us to it ; even as a taste given us of some 
cordial or choicer food, will make us desire and seek the rest. 
God feedeth not saints as birds do their young, bringing it to 
them, and putting it into their mouths, while they lie still in the 
nest, and only gape to receive it. But as he giveth to man the 
fruits of the earth, the increase of their land in corn and wine, 
while we plough, and sow, and weed, and water, and dung, and 
dress, and then with patience expect his blessing; so doth he 
give the joys of the soul. Yet I deny not, that if any should so 
think to work out his own comforts by meditation, as to attempt 
the work in his own strength, and not do all in subordination to 
God, nor perceive a necessity of the Spirit's assistance, the work 
would prove to be like the workman, and the comfort he 
would gather would be like both : even mere vanity : even as 
the husbandman's labour without the sun, and rain, and blessing 
of God. 

So then you may easily see, that close meditation on the mat- 
ter and cause of our joy, is God's way to procure solid joy. For 



my part, if I should find my jov of another kind, I should be 
very j)rone to doubt of its sincerity. If I find a great deal of 
comfort in my heart, and know not how it came thither, nor upon 
what rational ground it was raised, nor what considerations do 
feed and continue it, 1 should be ready to question, How 1 know 
whether this be from God ? And though, as the cup in Benja- 
min's sack, it might come from love, yet it would leave me but 
in fears and amazements, because of uncertainty. As I think, 
our love to God should not be like that of fond lovers, who love 
violently, but they know not why ; so I think a Christian's joy 
should be grounded, rational joy, and not to rejoice, and know 
not why. Though perhaps in some extraordinary case, God 
may cast in such an extraordinary kind of joy, yet I think it is 
not his usual way. And if you observe the spirit of most for- 
lorn, uncomfortable, despairing Christians, vou shall find the 
reason to be, their ungrounded expectation of such unusual 
kind of joys ; and accordingly are their spirits variously tossed, 
and most unconstantly tempered : sometime, when they meet 
with such joys, (or at least think so,) then they are cheerful and 
lifted up : but because these are usually short-lived joys, there- 
fore they are straight as low as hell ; and ordinarily that is their 
more lasting temper. And thus they are tossed as a vessel at 
sea, up and down, but still in extremes j'^ whereas, alas ! God is 
most constant, Christ the same, heaven the same, and the pro- 
mise the same: and if we took the right course for fetching in our 
comfort from these, surely our comforts should be more settled 
and constant, though not always the same. Whoever thou art, 
therefore, that readest these lines, I entreat thee in the name of 
the Lord, and as thou valuest the life of constant joy, and that 
good conscience which is a continual feast, that thou wouldst 
but seriously set upon this work, and learn the art of heavenly- 
mindedness, and thou shalt find the increase a hundredfold, 
and the benefit abundantly exceed thy labour. But this is the 
misery of man's nature : though every man naturally abhorreth 
sorrow, and loves the most merry and joyful life ; yet few do 
love the way to joy, or will endure the |)ains by which it is ob- 
tained ; they will take the next that comes to hand, and content 
themselves with earthly pleasures, rather than they will ascend 
to heaven to seek it ; and yet when all is done, they must have 
it there, or be without it. 

■I Jam jam tacturos sMlera summa putes ; jarp jam tactu|:o3 tartara nigra 
putes,— Or«^ 

230 THE saint's 

Sect. VI. 4. Consider, A heart in heaven will be a most ex- 
cellent preservative against temptations, a powerful means tOr 
kill thy corruptions, and to save thy conscience from the wounds 
of sin. God can prevent our sinning, though we be careless; 
and keep off the temptation which we would draw upon our- 
selves, and sometimes doth so, but this is not his usual course, 
nor is this our safest way to escape. When the mind is either 
idle, or ill employed, the devil needs not a greater advantage : 
when he finds the thoughts let out on lust, revenge, ambition, or 
deceit, what an opportunity hath he to move for execution, and 
to put on the sinner to practise what he thinks on ! Nay, if he 
find but the mind empty, there is room for any thing that he will 
bring in : but when he finds the heart in heaven, what hope that 
any of these motions should take ? Let him entice to any for- 
bidden course, or show us the bait of any pleasure, the soul will 
return Nehemiah's answer, " I am doing a great work, and can- 
not come." (Neh. vi. 3,) Several ways will this preserve us 
against temptation. First, By keeping the heart employed; 
Secondly, By clearing the understanding, and so confirm.ing the 
will : Thirdly, By prepossessing the affections with the highest 
delights : Fourthly, And by keeping us in the way of God's 

First, By keeping the heart employed : when we are idle, we 
tempt the devil to tempt us ; as it is an encouragement to a 
thief, to see your doors open, and nobody within ; and as we 
use to say, * Careless persons make thieves :' so it will encou- 
rage Satan, to find your hearts idle ; but when the heart is 
taken up with God, it cannot have while to hearken to tempta- 
tions ; it cannot have ,while to be lustful and wanton, ambitious 
or worldly ; if a poor man have a suit to any of you, he will not 
come when you are taken up in some great man's company or 
discourse ; that is but an ill time to speed. 

If you were but busied in your lawful callings, you would not 
be so ready to hearken to temptations ; much less if you were 
busied above with God : will you leave your ])lough and harvest 
in the field, or leave the quenching of a fire in your houses, to 
run with children a hunting of butterflies? would a judge be per- 
suaded to rise from the bench, when he is sitting upon life and 
death, to go and play among the boys in the streets ? No more 
will a Christian, when he is busy with God, and taking a survey 
of his eternal rest, give ear to the alluring charms of Satan. 
No7i vacat exiyuis, &:c., is a character of the truly prudent man; 


the children of that kingdom should never have while for trifles, 
but especiallv when they are employed in the affairs of the 
kingdom ; and this employment is one of the saints' chief pre- 
servatives against temptation. For, as Gregory saith, " Nun- 
quam Dei amor otiosus est : operatur enim magna, si est : si 
vero operari renuit, non est amor ;" The love of God is never 
idle ; it worketh great things when it truly is ; and when it will 
not work, it is not love. Therefore, being still thus working, it 
is still preserving. 

Secondly, A heavenly mind is freest from sin, because it is of 
clearest understanding in spiritual matters of greatest concern- 
ment. A man that is much in oonversing above, hath truer 
and livelier apprehensions of things concerning God and his 
soul, than any reading or learning can beget : though, perhaps, 
he mav be ignorant in divers controversies; and matters that less 
concern salvation ; yet those truths which must establish his 
soul, and preserve him from tem})tation, he knows far better 
than the greatest scholars ; he hath so deep an insight into the 
evil of sin, the vanity of the creature, the brutishness of fleshly, 
sensual delights, that temptations have little power on him ; for 
these earthly vanities are Satan's baits, which, though they may 
take much with the undiscerning world, yet, with the clear- 
sighted, they have lost their force. " In vain," saith Solomon, 
*' the net is spread in the sight of any bird." (Prov. i. 17.) And 
usually in vain doth Satan lay his sna.es to entrap the soul that 
plainly sees them. When a man is on high, he may see the 
farther : Ave use to set our discovering sentinels on the highest 
place that is near unto us, that they may discern all the motions 
of the enemy. In vain doth the enemy lay his ambuscados 
when we stand over him on some high mountain, and clearly 
discover all he doth : when the heavenly mind is above with 
God, he may far easier from thence discern every danger that 
lies below, and the whole method of the devil in deceiving ; 
nay, if he did not discover the snare, yet were he more likely far 
to escape it than any others that converse below. A net or bait 
that is laid on the ground, is unlikely to catch the bird that flies 
in the air ; while she keeps above, she is out of danger, and the 
higher the safer ; so it is with us. Satan's temptations are laid 
on the earth, earth is the place, and earth is the ordinary bait : 
how shall these ensnare the Christian who hath left the earth, 
and walks with God ? But, alas ! we keep not long so high, 
but down wc must to the earth again, and then we arc taken. 

232 THE saint's 

If conversing with wise and learned men is the way to make 
one wise and learned, then no wonder if he that converseth 
with God, hecome wise.*^ If men that travel about the earth, 
do think to return home with more experience and wisdom, 
how much more he that travels to heaven ! As the very air 
and climate that we most abide in, do work our bodies to their 
own temper, no wonder if he that is much in that sublime and 
purer region, have a purer soul and quicker sight, and if he have 
an understanding full of light, who liveth with the Sun, the 
Fountain, the Father of light ; as certain herbs and meats we 
feed on, do tend to make our sight more clear, so the soul that is 
fed with angels' food, must needs have an understanding much 
more clear, than they that dwell and feed on earth. And, 
therefore, you may easily see that such a man is in far less 
danger of temptation, and Satan will hardlier beguile his soul, 
even as a wise man is hardlier deceived than fools and children. 
Alas ! the men of the world that dwell below, and know no other 
conversation but earthly, no wonder if their understandings be 
darkened, and they be easily drawn to every wickedness ', no 
wonder if Satan take them captive at his will, (2 Tim. ii. 26,) 
and lead them about, as we see a dog lead a blind man with a 
string. The foggv air and mists of earth do thicken their sight; 
the smoke of worldly care and business blinds them, and the 
dungeon which they live in, is a land of darkness. How can 
worms and moles see, whose dwelling is always in the earth ? 
While this dust is in men's eyes, no wonder if they mistake gain 
for godliness, sin for grace, the world for God, their own wills 
for the law of Christ, and in the issue, hell for heaven. If the 
people of God will but take notice of their own hearts, they 
shall find their experiences confirming this that I have said. 
Christians, do you not sensibly perceive, that when your hearts 
are seriously fixed on heaven, you presently become wiser than 
before ? Are not your understandings more solid, and your 
thoughts more sober ? Have you not truer apprehensions of 
things than you had ? For my own part, if ever I be wise, it is 
when I have been much above, and seriously studied the life to 
come. Methinks I find mv understanding after such contem- 
plations, as nuich to differ from what it was before, as I before 
differed from a fool or idiot. When my understanding is weak- 
ened, and befooled with common employment, and with con- 

e Itali liabent proverbiuiii hoc, Qui Venetias non vidit, non credit: et qui 
aliquaudo ibi uoa vixit, iiou iiitelli^iit, Quod de vita hac coelesti verissimutii. 


versing long with tlie vanities below, niethinks a few sober 
thoughts of my Father's house, and the blessed provision of his 
family in heaven, doth make me, with the prodigal, to come to 
myself again. Surely, when a Christian withdraws himself from 
his earthly thoughts, and begins to converse with God in heaven, 
lie is as Nebuchadnezzar, taken from the beasts of the field to 
thetlirone, and his understanding returneth to him again. Oh, 
when a Christian hath had but a glimpse of eternity, and then 
looks down on the world again, how doth he befool himself for 
his sin ; for neglects of Christ; for his fleshly pleasures ; for his 
earthly cares ! How doth he say to his laughter, ' Thou art 
mad !' and to his vain mirth, ' What dost thou?' How could 
he even tear his very flesh, and take revenge on himself for his 
folly ! How verily doth he think there is no man in Bedlam so 
truly mad as wilful sinners and lazy betrayers of their own souls, 
and unworthy slighters of Christ and glory ! 

This is it that makes a dying man to be usually wiser than 
other men are, because he looks on eternity as near, and knowing 
he must verv shortly be there, he hath more deep and heart- 
piercing thoughts of it than ever he could have in health and 
prosperity. Therefore it is that the most deluded sinners that 
were cheated with the world, and bewitched with sin, do then 
most ordinarily come to themselves, so far as to have a righter 
judgment than they had ; and that many of the most bitter 
enemies of the saints would give a world to be such themselves, 
and would fain die in the condition of those whom they hated ; 
even as wicked Balaam, when his eyes are opened to see the 
perpetual blessedness of the saints, will cry out, " Oh ! that I 
might die the death of the righteous, and that my last end 
might be like his." As witches when they are taken, and in 
prison, or at the gallows, have no power left them to bewitch 
any more, so we see commonly the most ungodly men, when 
they see they must die, and go to another world, their judgments 
are so changed, and their speech so changed, as if they were 
not the same men, as if they were come to their wits again, and 
sin and Satan had power to bewitch them no more. Yet let the 
same men recover, and lose their apprehension of the life to 
come, and how (piicklv do tliev lose their understandings with it ! 
In a word, those that were befooled with the world and the 
flesh, are far wiser when they come to die ; and those that were 
wise before, are now wise indeed. If you would take a man's 
judgment about sin, or grace, or Christ, or heaven, go to a dying 

234 THE saint's 

man, and ask him which you were best to choose ? Ask him 
whether you were best be drunk or no ; or be lustful, or proud, 
or revengeful, or no? Ask him whether you were best pray, 
and instruct your families, or no ; or to sanctify the Lord's-day, 
or no? though some to the death may be desperately hardened, 
yet, for the most part, I had rather take a man's judgment then, 
about these things, than at any other time. For my own part, 
if my judgment be ever solid, it is when I have the most serious 
apprehensions of the life to come ; nay, the sober mention of 
death sometimes will a little compose the most distracted un- 
derstanding. Sirs, do you not think, except men are stark 
devils, but that it would be a harder matter to entice a man to 
sin when he lies a dying, than it was before? If the devil, or 
his instruments, should then tell him of a cup of sack, of merry 
company, of a stage-play, or morris-dance, do you think he 
would then be so taken with the motion ? If he should then 
tell him of riches, or honours, or show him a pair of cards, or 
dice, or a whore, would the temptation, think you, be as strong 
i> before ? Would he not answer, Alas ! what is all this to me, 
who must presently appear before God, and give account of all 
my life, and straightways be in another world 1 Why, Christian, 
if the apprehension of the nearness of eternity will work such 
strange effects upon the ungodi)', and make them wiser than to 
be deceived so easily as they were wont to be in time of health, 
oh ! then, what rare effects would it work with thee, and make 
thee scorn the baits of sin, if thou couldst always dwell in the 
views of God, and in lively thoughts of thine everlasting state ! 
Surely, a believer, if he improve his faith, may ordinarily have 
truer and more quickening apprehensions of the life to come, 
in the time of his health, than an unbeliever hath at the hour 
of his death. 

Thirdly, Furthermore, a heavenly mind is exceedingly forti- 
fied against temptations, because the affections are so thoroughly 
prepossessed with the high delights of another world. Whether 
Satan do not usually by the sensitive appetite prevail with the 
will, without any further prevailing with the reason, than merely 
to suspend it, I will not now dispute; but, doubtless, when the 
soul is not affected with good, though the understanding do never 
so clearly apprehend the truth, it is easy for Satan to entice that 
soul. Mere speculations, be they never so true, whicli sink 
not into the affections, are poor preservatives against tempta- 
tions. He that loves most, and not only he that knows most. 


will easiest resist the motions of sin. There is in a Christian a 
kind of spiritual taste whereby he knows these things, besides 
his mere discursive reasoning power : the will doth as sweetly 
relish goodness, as the understanding doth truth, and here lies 
much of a Christian's strength. If you should dispute with a 
simple man, and labour to persuade him that sugar is not sweet, 
or that wormwood is not bitter, perhaps you might by sophistry 
over-argue his mere reason, but yet you could not persuade him 
against his sense ; whereas, a man that hath lost his taste, is 
easier deceived for all his reason. So is it here ; when thou 
hast had a fresh delightful taste of heaven, thou wilt not be so 
easily persuaded from it; you cannot jjcrsuade a very child to 
part with his apple while the taste of its sweetness is yet in his 
mouth. O that you would be persuaded to try this course, to 
he much in feeding on the hidden manna, and to be frequently 
tasting the delights of heaven. It is true, it is a great way off 
from our sense, but faith can reach as far as that. How would 
this raise thy resolutions, and make thee laugh at the fooleries 
of the world, and scorn to be cheated with such childish toys 1 
Reader, I pray thee tell me in good sadness, dost thou think, if 
the devil had set upon Peter in the mount, when he saw Christ 
in his transfiguration, and Moses and Elias talking with him, 
would he so easily have been drawn to deny his Lord ? W'hat ! 
with all that glory in his eye? No, the devil took a greater 
advantage, when he had him in the high priest's hall, in the 
midst of danger and evil company, when he had forgotten the 
sight of the mount, and then he prevails; so if he should set 
upon a believing soul, when he is taken up in the mount with 
Christ, what would such a soul say ? ' Get thee behind me, 
Satan; wouldst thou persuade me from hence with trifling 
pleasures, and steal my heart from this my rest ; wouldst thou 
have me sell these joys for nothing? Is there any honour or 
delight like this; or can that be profit which loseth me this?' 
Some such answer would the soul return. But, alas ! Satan 
stavs till we are come down, and the taste of heaven is out of 
our mouths, and the glory we saw is even forgotten, and then 
he easily deceives our hearts. What! if the devil had set upon 
Paul, when he was in the third heaven, and seeing those unutter- 
able things, could, he then, do you think, have persuaded his 
heart to the pleasures, or profits, or honours of the world ? 
If his prick in the flesh, which he after received, were not af- 
fliction, but temptation, surely it prevailed not, but sent him to 

236 THE saint's 

heaven again for preserving grace. Though the Israelites below 
may be enticed to idolatry, and from eating and drinking to 
rise up to play, yet Moses in the mount with God will not do so ; 
and, if they had been where he was, and had but seen what he 
there saw, perhaps they would not so easily have sinned. If he 
give a man aloes after honey, or some loathsome thing when he 
hath been feeding on junkets, will he not soon perceive, and spit 
it out ? Oh, if we could keep the taste of our soul continually 
delighted with the sweets above, with what disdain should we 
spit out the baits of sin ! 

Fourthly, Besides, whilst the heart is set on heaven, a man is 
under God's protection ; and therefore, if Satan then assault 
him, God is more engaged for his defence, and will doubtless 
stand by us, and say, ' My grace is sufficient for thee :' when a 
man is in the way of God's blessing, he is in the less danger of 
sin's enticings. 

So that now, upon all this, let me entreat thee, christian 
reader, if thou be a man that is haunted with temptation, (as 
doubtless thou art, if thou be a man,) if thou perceive thy dan- 
ger, and wouldst fain escape it, O use much this powerful re- 
medy ; keep close with God by a heavenly mind ; learn this 
art of diversion ; and when the temptation comes, go straight 
to heaven, and turn thy thoughts to higher things ; thou shalt 
find this a surer help than any other resisting whatsoever : as 
men will do with scolding women, let them alone and follow 
their business, as if they heard not what they said ; and this 
will sooner put them to silence, than if they answered them 
word for word ; so do by Satan's temptations j it may be he 
can over-talk you, and over-wit you in dispute, but let him 
alone, and study not his temptations, but follow your business 
above with Christ, and keep your thoughts to their heavenly 
employment, and you sooner will this way vanquish the tempta- 
tion, than if you argued or talked it out with the tempter ; not 
but that sometimes it is most convenient to over-reason him ; 
but in ordinary temptations, you shall find it far better to fol- 
low this vour work, and neglect the allurements, and say, as 
Gryneus (out of Chrysost.) when he sent back Pistorius's let- 
ters, not so much as opening the seal, " Jnhonestum est hones- 
tarn matronam cum meretrice litigare :" It is an unseemly 
thing for an honest matron to be scolding with a whore ; so it 
is a dishonest thing for a son of God, in apparent cases, to stand 
wrangling with the devil, and to be so far at his beck as to 


dispute with liini at his pleasure, even as oft as he will he 
pleased to tempt us. Christian, if thou remeniher that of Solo- 
mon, (Prov. XV. 24,) thou hast the sum of what 1 intend, "The 
way of life is ahove to the wise, to avoid the path of hell he- 
neath;" and withal remeniher Noah's example, " Noah was a 
just man, and perfect in his generation;" (Gen. vi. 9;) and no 
wonder, for Noah " walked with God." (Gen. xl. 40.) So I 
may say to thee, even as God to Ahrahani, "Walk hefore God, 
and thou wilt he upright." (Gen. xvii. I.) 

Sect. VII. 5. Consider, The diligent keeping of your hearts 
on heaven, will preserve the vigour of all your graces, and put 
life into all your duties. ^ It is the heavenly Christian, that is, 
the lively Christian. It is our strangeness to heaven that makes 
us so dull ; it is the end that quickens to all the means : and 
the more frequently and clearly this end is beheld, the more vi- 
gorous will all our motion be. How doth it make men un- 
weariedly labour, and fearlessly venture, when they do but think 
of the gainful prize I How will the soldier hazard his life, and 
the mariner pass through storms and waves ; how cheerfully do 
they compass sea and land 1 And no difficulty can keep them 
back, when they think of an uncertain, perishing treasure. Oh, 
what life then would it put into a Christian's endeavours, if he 
would frecjuently forethink of his everlasting treasure ! We run 
so slowly, and strive so lazily, because we so little mind the 
prize. When a Christian hath been tasting the hidden manna, 
and drinking of the streams of the paradise of God, what life doth 
this ambrosia and nectar put into him ! How fervent will his 
spirit be in prayer, when he considers that he prays for uo less 
than heaven ! If Enoch, Elias, or any of the saints who are 
now in heaven, and have been partakers of the vision of the 
living God, should be sent down to the earth again to live on 
the terms as we now do, would they not strive hard, and pray 
earnestly, rather than lose that blessed rest ? No wonder, for they 
would know what it is they pray for. It is true, we cannot know 
it here so thoroughly as they, yet if we would but get as high as 
we can, and study but that which may now be known, it would 
strangely alter both our spirits and our duties. Observe but the 
man who is much in heaven, and you shall see he is not like 
other Christians. There is somewhat of that which he hath 
seen above, appeareth in all his duty and conversation ; nay, 
take but the same man immediately when he is returned from 
' Nou est viveie, sed valere vita ; ut proverb. 

238 THE saint's 

these views of bliss, and you sliall easily perceive that he excels 
himself, as if he were not, indeed, as before. If he be a 
preacher, how heavenly are his sermons j what clear descrip- 
tions ; what high expressions ; what savoury passages, hath he 
of that rest ! If he be a private Christian, what heavenly con- 
ference ; whart heavenly prayers ; what a heavenly carriage 
hath he I JNI ay you not even hear in a preacher's sermons, or 
in the private duties of another, when they have been most 
above? ^Vhen ]\Ioses had been with God in the mount, he 
had derived so much glory from God that made his face to 
shine, that the people could not behold him. Beloved friends^ 
if you but set upon this employment, even so would it be 
with you. Men would see the face of your conversation shine, 
and say, * Surely, he hath been with God.' As the body is 
apt to be changed into the temper of the air it breathes in, and 
the food it lives on, so will your, spirits receive an alteration ac- 
cording to the objects which they &re exercised about. If your 
thoughts do feed on Christ and heaven, you will be heavenly ; 
if they feed on earth, you will be earthly. It is true, a heavenly 
nature goes before this heavenly employment ; but yet the work 
will make it more heavenly. There must be life before we can 
feed ; but our life is continued and increased by feeding : there- 
fore, reader, let me here inform thee, that if thou lie complain- 
ing of deadness and dulness, that thou canst not love Christ, 
nor rejoice in his love ; that thou hast no life in prayer, nor any 
other duty, and yet never tried this quickening course, or at 
least art careless and inconstant in it. Why, thou art the cause 
of thy own complaints ; thou deadest and dullest thine own 
heart; thou deniest thyself that life which thou talkest of. Is 
not thy " life hid with Christ in God ?" (Col. iii. 3.) Whither 
must thou go but to Christ for it ? and whither is that but to 
heaven, where he is ? Thou wilt not come to Christ, that thou 
mayest have Christ. (John v. 42.) If thou wouldst have light 
and heat, why ait thou then no more in the sunshine ? If thou 
wouldst have more of that grace which flows from Christ, why 
art thou no more with Christ for it ? Thv strentrth is in hea- 
ven, and thy life in heaven, and there thou must daily fetch it 
if thou wilt have it. For want of this recourse to heaven, thy 
soul is as a candle that is not lighted, and thy duties as a sa- 
crifice which hath no fire. Fetch one coal daily from this altar, 
and see if thy offering will not burn. Light thy candle at this 
flame, and feed it daily v.ith oil from hence, tnid gee if it will not 



gloriously sliinc ; keep close to this reviving fire, and see if thy 
affections will not be warni. Thou bewailest thy want of love 
to God, and well thou niayest, for it is a heinous crime, a killing 
sin; why, lift uj) thy eye of faith to heaven, behold his beauty, 
contemplate his excellences, and sec whether his amiableness 
will not fire thy affections, and his perfect goodness ravish thy 
heart. As the eye doth incense the sensual affections by its 
over- much gazing on alluring objects, so doth the eye of our 
faith in meditation inflame our affections towards our Lord, by 
the frequent gazing on that highest beauty. Whoever thou art, 
that art a stranger to this employment, be thy parts and pro- 
fession ever so great, let me tell thee, tho\i spendest thy life but 
in trifling or idleness ; thou seemest to live, but thou art dead. 
I may say of thee, as Seneca of idle Vacia, " Scis latere, vivere 
nescis," Thou knowest how to lurk in idleness, but how to live 
thou knowest not; and as the same Seneca would say, when 
he passed by that sluggard's dwelling, " Ibi situs est Vacia ;" so 
it may be said of thee, There lies such an one, but not there 
lives such an one ; for thou spendest thy days liker to the dead 
than the living. One of Draco's laws to the Athenians was, 
that he who was convict of idleness should be put to death. s 
Thou dost execute this on thy own soul, whilst by thy idleness 
thou dcstroyest its liveliness. 

Thou mayst many other ways exercise thy parts, but this is 
the wav to exercise thv jxraces. They all come from God as 
their fountain, and lead to God as their ultimate end ; and are 
exercised on God as their chiefest object, so that God is their 
all in all. From heaven they come, and heavenly their nature 
is, and to heaven they will direct and move thee. And as ex- 
ercise maintaineth appetite, strength, and liveliness, to the body, 
fso doth it also to the soul. " Use limbs, and have limbs," is 
the known proverb ; and use grace and spiritual life in these hea- 
venly exercises, and you shall find it quickly cause their increase. 
The exercise of your mere abilities of speech will not much ad- 
vantage your graces, but the exercise of these heavenly soul- 
exalting gifts will inconceivably help to the growth of both. 
For as the moon is then most full and glorious* when it doth 
most directly face the sun, so will your souls be both in gifts and 

B Deanimohoc coclesti dicout Rabinus ille de operibus : Dnctrina sine opere 
non est doctrina : cadit eiiiin super corda, siciit imber super saxa. Kt lit 
Clirysost.: Nihil fri^idius est doctore verbis soluuimodo pbilosopLaute : hoc 
euiin uuu Cbt ductoris scd hiitriouis. 

240 THE saint's 

graces when you do most nearly view the face of God. This 
will feed your tongue with matter, and make you abound and 
overflow, both in preaching, praying, and conferring : besides, 
the fire which you fetch from heaven for your sacrifices, is no 
false or strange fire, as your liveliness will be much more, so will 
it be also more sincere. A man may have a great deal of fer- 
vour in affections and duties, and all prove but common and 
unsound when it is raised upon common grounds and motives : 
your zeal will partake of the nature of those things by which it 
is acted ; the zeal therefore which is kindled by your medita- 
tions on heaven, is most likely to prove a heavenly zeal ; and the 
liveliness of the spirit, which you fetch from the face of God, 
must needs be the divinest, sincerest life. Some men's fervency 
is drawn only from their books, and some from the pricks of 
some stinging affliction, and some from the mouth of a moving 
minister, and some from the encouragement of an attentive au- 
ditory ; but he that knows this way to heaven, and derives it 
daily from the pure fountain, shall have his soul revived with 
the water of life, and enjoy that quickening which is the saint's 
peculiar. Bvthis faith thou mayest offer Abel's sacrifice, more 
excellent than that of common men, and by it obtain witness 
that thou art righteous, God testifying of thy gifts that they are 
sincere, (Heb. xi. 4,) when others are ready, as Baal's priests, 
to beat themselves, and cut their flesh, because their sacrifice 
will not burn ; then if thou canst get but the spirit of Elias, 
and in the chariot of contemplation canst soar aloft, till thou 
approachest near to the quickening Spirit, thy soul and sacrifice 
will gloriously flame, though the flesh and the world should cast 
upon them the water of all their opposing enmity. Say not 
now, ' How shall we get so high, or how can mortals ascend to 
heaven ?' For faith hath wings, and meditation is its chariot; 
its offiv.-e is to make absent things as present. Do you not see 
how a little piece of glass, if it do but rightly face the sun, will 
so contract its beams and heat as to set on fire that which is 
behind it, which without it would have received but little 
warmth ? Why, thy faith is as the burning-glass to thy sacri- 
fice, and meditation sets it to face the sun ; only take it not 
away too soon, but hold it there awhile, and thy soul will feel 
the hap])y effect. The slanderous Jews did raise a foolish tale 
of Christ, that he got into the holy of holies, and thence stole 
the true name of God ; and lest he should lose it, cut a hole in 
his thigh, and sewed it therein, and by virtue of this he raised 


the dead, gave sight to the blind, cast out devils, and performed 
ail his miracles. Surely, if we can get into the holy of holies, 
and bring thence the name and image of God, and get it closed 
■up in our hearts, this would enable us to work wonders ; every 
duty we performed would be a wonder, and they that heard 
would be ready to say, ' Never man spake as this man speak- 
eth.' The Spirit would possess us, as those flaming tongues, 
and make us every one to speak, not in the variety of the con- 
founded languages, but in the primitive, pure language of Ca- 
naan, the wonderful works of God. We should then be in 
every duty, whether prayer, exhortation, or brotherly reproof, 
as Paul was at Athens, his spirit (^a^wlmTo) was stirred withiu 
him, (Actsxvii. 16,) and should be ready to say, as Jeremy did, 
" His word was in my heart, as a burning fire shut up in mv 
l)ones ; and I was weary with forbearing, and 1 could not stay.'' 
(Jer. XX. 9.) 

Christian reader, art thou not thinking when thou seest a 
lively believer, and hearest his soul-melting prayers, and soul- 
ravishing discourse. Oh, how happy a man is this ! Oh, that 
my soul were in this blessed plight ! Why, I here direct and 
advise thee from God : try this fore-mentioned course, and set 
thy soul conscionably to this work, and thou shalt be in as good 
a case. Wash thee frequently in this Jordan, and thy leprous, 
dead soul will revive, and thou shalt know that there is a God 
in Israel, and that thou maysl live a vigorous and joyous life, 
if thou wilfully cast not by this duty, and so neglect thine own 
mercies. If thou be not a lazy, reserved hypocrite, but most 
truly value this strong and active frame of spirit, show it then 
l)y thy i)resent attempting this heavenly exercise. Say not now, 
but thou hast heard the way to obtain this life into thy soul, 
and into thy duties. If thou wilt yet neglect it, blame thyself. 
But, alas ! the multitude of professors come to a minister just 
as Naaman came to Elias ; they ask us, ' How shall I know J. 
am a child of God ? How shall I overcome a hard heart, and 
get such strength, and life of grace?' But they expect that 
some easy means should do it ; and think we should cure them 
with the very answer to their question, and teach them a way 
to be quickly well ; but when they hear of a daily tradinir in 
heaven, and the constant meditations on the joys above; this is 
a greater task than they expected, and they turn their backs as 
Naaman to Elias, or the young man on Christ, and few of the 
most conscionable will set upon the duty. \V\\\ not prcachingj 


242 THE saint's 

and praying, and conference, serve, say they, without this dwell- " 
ing still in heaven ? Just as country people come to physicians ; 
wlien they have opened their case, and made their moan, they 
look he should cure them in a day or two, or with the use of 
some cheap and easy simple ; but when they hear of a tedious 
method of physic, and of costly compositions, and bitter potions, 
they will hazard their lives with some sottish empiric, who tells 
them an easier and cheaper way ; yea, or venture on death itself 
before they will obey such difficult counsel. Too many that we 
hope well of, I fear, will take this course here. If we could 
give them life, as God did, with a word, or could heal their 
souls, as charmers do their bodies, with easy stroking, and a 
few good words, then they would readily hear and obey. I en- 
treat thee, reader, beware of this folly : fall to the work ', the 
comfort of spiritua' health will countervail all the trouble of the 
duty. It is but the flesh that repines and gainsays, which thou 
knowest was never a friend to thy soul. If God had set thee 
on some grievous work, shouldst thou not have done it for the 
life of thy soul ? How much more when he doth but invite thee 
heavenward to himself! 

Sect. VIII. 6. Consider, The frequent believing views of glory 
are the most precious cordial in all afflictions. First, To sustain 
our spirits, and make our sufferings far more easy. Secondly, 
To stay us from repining, and make us bear with patience and 
joy : and, Thirdly, To strengthen our resolutions, that we forsake 
not Christ for fear of trouble. Our very beast will carry us more 
cheerfully in travel, when he is coming homeward, where he ex- 
pecteth rest. A man will more quietly endure the lancing of his 
sores, the cutting out the stone, when he thinks on the ease that 
will afterwards follow. What, then, will not a believer endure, 
when he thinks of the rest to which it tendeth ? What, if the 
way be never so rough, can it be tedious if it lead to heaven ! 
Oh ! sweet sickness, ^ sweet reproaches, imprisonments, or 
death, which is accompanied with these tastes of our future 

•' Contumeliis, quae vulgo tales habentur, nimio otio ingenia nostra infirma 
et muliebria, et inopia verae injuriae lascivientia commoventur. Venit tandem 
mors cpapfxaKevTiKr] Ka^apa-is omnium malorum, qua omnes pares facit, et victo 
"victorique finem asque maturuui affert. — Chytrcnis. Read TertuUian, Cyprian, 
&c., -when it was ordinary to die for Christ ; and see what other argument 
they so much encourage with, as this certain crown of glory. Nos non annec- 
timus arescentem coronam ; sed k Deo aeternis floribus vividara sustinemus : 
qui et modeste Dei nostri liberalitate securi, spe future foelicitaiis, fide pra;- 
sentisejus majestatis animamur; sic et beate resurgimus et futuri contenipla- 
tione jam vivimus.—^/mMf. falix, Octav. p. 40i. 


rest. This doth keep the sufTeriiif; from the soul, so that it can 
work upon no more but our fleslily outside, even as alexiphar- 
niieal medicines preserve the heart, that the contagion reach not 
the vital spirits. Surely, our sufferings trouble not the mind, 
according to the degrees of bodily pain, but as the soul is more 
or less fortified with this preserving antidote. Believe it, reader, 
thou wilt have a doleful sickness, thou wilt suffer heavily, thou 
wilt die most sadly, if thou have not at hand the foretastes of 
rest. For my own part, if thou regard the experience of one 
that hath often tried, had it not been for that little (alas ! too 
little) taste which I had of rest, my sufferings would have been 
grievous, and death more terrible. 1 may say, as David, " I had 
fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord 
in the land of the living." (Psalm xxvii. 13.) And, as the same 
David, " I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was 
no man that would know me : refuge failed me : no man cared 
for my soul. 1 cried unto thee, O Lord, and said, Thou art my 
refuge and my portion in the land of the living." (Psalm cxlii. 
4, 5.) I may say of the promise of this rest, as David said of 
God's law, " Unless this had been my delight, I had perished 
in mine aflliction." (Psalm cxix. 92.) " One thing," saith he, "I 
have desired of the Lord, that will 1 seek after, that 1 may dwell 
in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the 
beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple : for in time of 
trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion ; in the secret of his 
tabernacle he shall hide me ; he shall set me upon a rock. And 
then shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round 
about me ; therefore shall I offer in that his tabernacle sacrifices 
of joy, and sing, yea, sing praises unto the Lord." (Psalm xxvii. 
4 — (),) Therefore as thou wilt then be readv, with David, to 
pray, " Be not fur from me, for trouble is near." (Psalm xxii. 1 1.) 
So let it be thy own chiefest care not to be far from God and 
heaven, when trouble is near, and thou wilt then find him to be 
unto thee a very present help in trouble. (Psal. xliv.) Then, 
though the fig-tree should not blossom, neither should fruit be 
in the vines, the labour of the olive should fail, and the fields 
should yield no meat, the flock should be cut off from the fold, 
and there were no herd in the stalls ; yet thou mightest rejoice in 
the Lord, and joy in the God of thy salvation. (Hab. iii. 17, 18.) 
All sufferings are nothing to us, so far as we have the foresight of 
this salvation. No bolts, nor bars, nor distance of place, can 


244 THE saint's 

shut out these supporting joys, because they cannot confine our 
faith and thoughts, although they may confine our flesh. Christ 
and faith are both spiritual, and therefore prisons and banish- 
ments cannot hinder their intercourse.^ Even when persecution 
and fear hath shut the doors, Christ can come in, and stand in 
the midst, and say to his disciples, " Peace be unto you." And 
Paul and Silas can be in heaven, even when they are locked up 
in the inner prison, and their bodies scourged, and their feet in 
the stocks. No wonder if there be more mirth in their stocks 
than on Herod's throne, for there was more of Christ and hea- 
ven. The martyrs find more rest in the flames than their perse- 
cutors can in their pomp and tyranny, because they foresee the 
flames they escape, and the rest which that fiery chariot is con- 
veying them to. It is not the place that gives the rest, but the 
presence and beholding of Christ in it. If the Son of God will 
walk with us in it, we may walk safely in the midst of those 
flames which shall devour those that cast us in, (Dan. iii.) 
Why, then, Christian, keep thy soul above with Christ : be as 
little as may be out of his company, and then all conditions will 
be alike unto thee. For that is the best estate to thee, in which 
thou possessest most of him. The moral arguments of a hea- 
then philosopher may make the burden somewhat lighter, but 
nothing can make us soundly joy in tribulation, except we can 
fetch our joy from heaven. How came Abraham to leave his 
country, and follow God he knew not wliither ? Why, because 
''he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and 
maker is God." (Heb. xi. 8 — 10.) What made Moses choose 
affliction with the people of God^ rather than to enjoy the plea- 
sures of sin for a season, and to esteem the reproach of Christ 
greater riches than the treasures of Egypt ? Why, because he 
had respect to the recompense of reward. (Heb. xi. 24 — 26.) 
What made him to forsake Egypt, and not to fear the wrath of 
the king ? Why, he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 
(Ver. 27.) How did they quench the violence of firej and out 

» Cum revocatio ilia venerit, cum claritas super nos fulserit, tam beati eri- 
jnus et laeti dignatione Domini honorati, quam rei remanebunt et miseri qui 
Dei desertores, et contra Deum rebellis voluntatem fecerunt diaboli. Haec 
fratres, heereant cordibus vestris: haec sit armorum vestrorum prjeparatio : 
haec diurna ac nocturna meditatio ; ante oculos habere et cogitatione semper 
ac sensibus volvere iniquoruin supplicia, et praBtnia ac merita justorum. Si 
haec meditantibus nobis supervenit persecutionis dies, miles Cbristi non ex- 
paveseit ad pugnam, sed paratus est ad coronaui. — Cypriun, epist. Ivi. p. 156. 



of weakness were made strong ? Why would they not accept 
deliverance when they were tortured?'' Why, they had their 
eye on a better resurrection which they might obtain. Yea, it is 
most evident that our Lord himself did fetch his encouragement 
to sufferings from the foresight of his glory ; for, to this end, he 
both died and rose, and revived, that he might be the Lord both 
of the dead and living. (Rom. xiv. 9.) " Even Jesus, the author 
and finisher of our faith, for the joy that was set before him, 
endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the 
right-hand of the throne of God." (Heb. xii. 2.) Who can won- 
der that pain and sorrow, poverty and sickness, should be ex- 
ceeding grievous to that man who cannot reach to see the end ? 
Or that death should be the king of terrors to him who cannot 
see the life beyond it ? He that looks not on the end of his suf- 
ferings, as well as on the suffering itself, he needs must loose the 
whole consolation : and if he see not the quiet fruit of righteous- 
ness which it afterward yieldeth, it cannot to him be joyous, but 
grievous. (Heb. xii. 11.) This is the noble advantage of faith ; 
it can look on the means and end together. This, also, is the 
reason why we oft pity ourselves more than Cod doth pity us, 
though we love not ourselves so much as he doth ; and why 
we would have the cup to pass from us, when he will make us 
drink it up. We pity ourselves with an ignorant pity, and 
would be saved from the cross, which is the way to save us. 
God sees our glory as soon as our suffering, and sees our suffer- 
ing as it conducteth to our glory. He sees our cross and our 
crown at once, and therefore pitieth us the less, and will not 
let us have our wills. Sirs, believe it, this is the great reason of 
our mistakes, impatience, and censuring of God, of our sadness 
of spirit at sickness and at death, because we gaze on the evil 
itself, but fix not our thoughts on what is beyond it. We look 
only on the blood, and ruin, and danger ; but God sees these, 
with all the benefits to souls, bodies, church, state, and posterity, 
all with one single view. We see the ark taken by the Philis- 
tines, but we see not their god falling before it, and themselves 
returning it home with gifts. They that saw Christ only on the 
cross, or in the grave, do shake their heads, and think him lost; 
but God saw him dying, buried, rising, glorified, and all this with 
one view. Surely, faith will imitate God in this, so far as it hath 
the glass of a promise to help it. He that sees Joseph only in 

^ Omnia facile contemnere potest, qui se raoriturura esseserio cogitat, in* 
quit Cliytifipus. 

246 THE saint's 

the pit, or in the prison, will more lament his case, than he that 
sees his dignity beyond it. Could old Jacob have seen so far, 
it might have saved him a great deal of sorrow. He that sees 
no more than the burying of the corn under ground, or the 
threshing, the winnowing, and the grinding of it, will take both 
it and the labour for lost; but he that foresees its springing and 
increase, and its making bread for the life of man, will think 
otherwise. This is our mistake : we see God burying us under 
ground, but we foresee not the spring when we shall all revive : 
we feel him threshing and winnowing and grinding us, but we 
see not when we shall be served to our Master's table. If we 
should but clearly see heaven as the end of all God's dealings 
with us, surely none of his dealings could be so grievous. 
Think of this, I entreat thee, reader. If thou canst but learn 
this way to heaven, and get thy soul acquainted there, thou 
needest not be unfurnished of the choicest cordials to revive thy 
spirits in every affliction : thou knovvest where to have them 
whenever thou wantest. Thou mayest have arguments at hand, 
to answer all that the devil or flesh can say to thy discomfort. 
Oh ! if God would once raise us to this life, we should find that 
though heaven and sin are at a great distance, yet heaven and a 
prison, or remotest banishment ; heaven and the belly of a 
whale in the sea; heaven and a den of lions; a consuming sick- 
ness, or invading death ; are at no such distance. But as Abra- 
ham so far off saw Christ's day, and rejoiced, so we, in our 
most forlorn estate, might see that day when Christ shall give us 
rest, and therein rejoice.^ I beseech thee, Christian, for the 
honour of the Gospel, and for the comfort of thy soul, that thou 
be not to learn this heavenly art, when in the greatest extremity 
thou hast most need to use it. I know thou expectest suffering 
days ; at least, thou lookest to be sick and die. Thou wilt then 
have exceeding need of consolation. Why, whence dost thou 
think to draw thy comforts ? If thou broach every other vessel, 
none will come. It is only heaven that can afford thee store. 
The place is far oft': the well is deep; and if, then, thou have 
not wherewith to draw, nor got thy soul acquainted with the 
place, thou wilt find thyself at a fearful loss. It is not an easy 
nor a common tiling, even with the best sort of men, to die with 

1 Nullus iis dolor est de incursationemalorum praesentium, quibus fiducia 
est futurorum bonorum. Nee coiisternamur adversis, uec frangimur, iiec do- 
lemiis, neque iu ulla aut rerum clade rebelles aut corporuin valetudiiie mus- 
sitamus, spiritu niagis quam came viveiites, firniitate auimi infirmitatem 
corporis viucimus, — CiiprUm ad Demetriart, sect. lib. 15. ed. Goulart. p. 329,.' 


joy. As ever thou wouldst shut up thy days hi peace, and close 
thy dying eyes with comfort, die daily. Live now above, be 
much vvitli Christ, and thy own soul and the saints about thee 
shall bless the day that ever thou tookest this counsel. When 
God shall call thee to a sick bed, and a grave, thou wilt perceive 
him saying to thee, " Come, my peo|)le, enter into thy cham- 
bers, and shut thy doors about thee : hide thyself as it were for 
a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." (Isa. xxvi, 
20.) It is he that, with Stephen, doth see heaven opened, and 
Christ sitting at the right-hand of God, who will comfortably 
bear the storm of stones. (Acts vii. 5(5.) Thou knowest not yet 
what trials thou mayest be called to. The clouds begin to rise 
again, and the times to threaten us with fearful darkness : few 
ages so prosperous to the church, but that still Me must be 
saved so as by fire, (1 Cor. ii. 15,) and go to heaven by the old 
road. Men that would fall if the storm should shake them, do 
freciuently meet with that which tries them. Why, what wilt 
thou do if this should be thy case ? Art thou fitted to suffer 
imprisonment, or banishment ; to bear the loss of goods and life ? 
How is it possible thou shouldst do all this, and do it cordially 
and cheerfully, except thou hast a taste of some greater good, 
which thou lookest to gain by losing these ? Will the merchant 
throw his goods overboard till he sees he must otherwise lose his 
life? And wilt thou cast away all thou hast before thou hast felt 
the sweetness of that rest, which else thou must lose by saving 
these ? Nay, and it is not a speculative knowledge, which thou 
hast got only by reading or hearing of heaven, which will make 
thee part with all to get it. As a man that only hears of the 
sweetness of pleasant food, or reads of the melodious sounds of 
music, this doth not much excite his desires ; but when he hath 
tried the one by his taste, and the other by his ear, then he 
will more lay out to get them : so if thou shouldst know 
only by the hearing of the ear what is the glory of the in- 
heritance of the saints, this would not l)ring thee through 
sufferings and death; but if thou take this trying, tasting 
course, by daily exercising thy soul above, then nothing will 
stand in thy way, but thou wouldst on till thou art there^ 
though through fire and water. What state more terrible than 
that of an apostate, when God hath told. us, if any man 
draw back, his soul shall have no pleasure in him; (Hcb. x, 
38;) because they take not their pleasure in God, and fill not 
themselves with the delights of his ways, and of his heavenly 
paths, which drop fatness: (Psal, Ixv, 1 1 ;) therefore do they 

24 S THE saint's 

prove backsliders in heart, and are filled with the bitterness of 
their own ways ? (Prov. xiv. 14.)"* 

Nay, if they should not be brought to trial, and so not actually 
deny Christ, yet they are still interpretatively such, because they 
are such in disposition, and would be such in action, if they 
were put to it. I assure thee, reader, for my part, I cannot see 
how thou wilt be able to hold out to the end, if thou keep not 
thine eye upon the recompense of reward, and use not frequently 
to taste this cordially ; for the less thy diligence is in this, the 
more doubtful must thy perseverance needs be ; for the joy o» 
the Lord is thy strength, and that joy must be fetched from the 
place of thy joy : and if thou walk without thy strength, how 
long dost thou think thou art like to endure ? 

Sect. JX. 7. Consider, It is he that hath his conversation 
in heaven, who is the profitable Christian to all about him : 
with him you may take sweet counsel, and go up to the celestial 
house of God. When a man is in a strange country, far from 
home, how glad is he of the company of one of his own nation ! 
How delightful is it to them to talk of their country, of their 
acquaintance, and the affairs of their home ; why, with a hea- 
venly Christian thou mayest have such discourse : for he hath 
been there in the Spirit, and can tell thee of the glory and rest 
above. What pleasant discourse was it to Joseph to talk with 
his brethren in a strange land, and to inquire of his father, and 
his brother Benjamin ? Is it not so to a Christian to talk with 
his brethren that have been above, and inquire after his Father, 
and Christ his Lord? When a worldling will talk of nothing 
but the world, and a politician of nothing but the affairs of the 
state, and a mere scholar of human learning, and a common 
professor of duties, and of Christians; the heavenly man will be 
speaking of heaven, and the strange glory which his faith hath 
seen, and our speedy and blessed meeting there. I confess, to 
discourse with able men, of clear understandings and piercing 
wits, about the controverted difficulties in religion, yea, about 
some criticisms in languages and sciences, is both pleasant and 
profitable ; but nothing to this heavenly discourse of a believer. 
Oh, how refreshing and savoury are his expressions ! How 
his words do pierce and melt the heart ! How they trans- 
form the hearers, into other men, that they think they are in 
heaven all the while ? How doth his doctrine drop as the rain, 

" Nemo potest personam diu ferre. Ficta in naturam suam cito recidunt. 
Quibus Veritas subest, quaque ex solido enascuutur, tempore ipso iu majus 
uieliusque procedujit.— /Sfwem dc Clement, lib, i, c. 1. p.4t;3. 


and his speech distil as the gentle dew ; as the small rain upon 
the tender iierb ; and as the showers upon the grass ; while 
liis tongue is expressing the name of the Lord, and ascribing 
greatness to his God ! (Dcut. xxxii. 1 — 3.) Is not his feeling, 
sweet discourse of heaven, even like that box of precious oint- 
ment, which being opened to pour on tlie head of Christ, doth 
lill the house with the pleasure of its perfume ? All that are near 
may be refreshed by it. His words are like the precious ointment 
on Aaron's head, that ran down upon his beard, and the skirts 
of his garments, even like the dew of Hermon ; and as the dew 
that descendeth from the celestial Mount Zion, where the Lord 
hath commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psal. 
cxxxiii. 3.) This is the man who is as Job ; " When the candle 
of God did shine upon his head, and when by his light he walked 
through darkness : when the secret of God was upon his taber- 
nacle, and when the Almighty was yet with him : then the ear 
that heard him, did bless him ; and the eye that saw him, gave 
witness to him." (Job xxix. 3 — 5, 11.) Happy the people 
that have a heavenly minister ; hajjpy the children and ser- 
vants that have a heavenly father or master ; happy the man 
that hath heavenly associates, if they have but hearts to know 
their happiness ! This is the conipanion who will watch over 
thy ways j who will strengthen thee when thou art weak ; who 
will cheer thee when thou art drooping, and comfort thee with 
the same comforts wherewith he hath been so often comforted 
himself. (2 Cor. i. 4.) This is he that will be blowing at the 
spark of thy spiritual life, and always drawing thy soul to God, 
and will be saying to thee, as the Samaritan woman, ' Come 
and see one that hath told me all that ever I did, one that hath 
ravished my heart with his beauty ; one that hath loved our 
souls to the death.' Is not this the Christ ? Is not the know- 
ledge of God and him eternal life ? Is not it the glory of the 
saints to see his glory ? If thou come to this man's house, and sit 
at his table, he will feast thy soul with the dainties of heaven :" 
thou shalt meet with a better than Plato's philosophical feast, 
even a taste of that feast of fat things ; " of wines on the 
kes, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well re- 
fined ;" (Isa. XXV. G ;) that thy soul may be satisfied as with 

" Junius writes of himself in his Life, that when he lay in tliesin of atheism 
he was driven by a tumult into a countryman's house, where he retei\ eil tl.e 
first spark of zeal, kindled in him by the countryman's zealous discourse ; 
and the countryman also received au increase ol' Uuuwlcdjji; from him, "ho 
then had knowledge without zeal. 

250 THE saint'^ 

marrow and fatness, and thou mayest praise the Lord with joy- 
ful lips. (Psal. Ixiii. 5.) If thou travel with this man on the 
way, he will be directing and quickening thee in thy journey to 
heaven : if thou be buying or selling, or trading with him in 
the world, he will be counselling thee to lay out for the in- 
estimable treasure. If thou wrong him, he can pardon thee, 
remembering that Christ hath not only pardoned great offences 
to him, but will also give him this invaluable portion. If thou 
be angry, he is meek, considering the meekness of his heavenly 
pattern ; or if he fall out with thee, he is soon reconciled, when 
he remembereth that in heaven you must be everlasting friends. 
This is the Christian of the right stamp : this is the servant that 
is like his Lord ; these be the innocent that save the island, and 
all about them are the better where they dwell. O sirs, I fear 
the men I have described are very rare, even among the religious; 
but were it not for our own shameful negligence, such men 
we might all be. What families ; what towns ; what common- 
wealths ; what churches, should we have, if they were but com- 
posed of such men ! but that is more desirable than hopeful, 
till we come to that land which hath no other inhabitants, save 
what are incomparably beyond this, Alas ! how empty are the 
speeches, and how unprofitable the society, of all other sorts of 
Christians in comparison of these 1 A man might perceive by 
his divine song, and high expression, (Deut. xxxii. and xxxiii.) 
that Moses had been often with God, and that God showed him 
part of his glory. Who could have composed such spiritual 
psalms, and poured out praises as David did, but a man after 
God's own heart; and a man that was near the heart of God, 
and no doubt had God also near his heart ? Who could have 
preached such spiritual doctrine, and dived into the precious 
mysteries of salvation, as Paul did, but one who had been called 
Avith a light from heaven, and had been wrapped up into the 
third heavens, in the Spirit, and there had seen the unutterable 
things ? If a man should come down from heaven amongst us, 
who had lived in the possession of that blessed state, how would 
men be desirous to see or hear him ! and all the country, far 
and near, would leave their business and crowd about him : 
happy would he think himself that could get a sight of him j 
how would men long to hear what reports he would make of the 
other world ; and what he had seen ; and what the blessed 
there enjoy 1 Would they not think this man the best com- 
panion, and his discourse to be of all most profitable ? Why, 


sirs, every true believinir saint shall be there in person, and is 
frecjuently there in spirit, and hath seen it also in the glass of the 
Gospel. Why then do you value their com])any no more; and 
why do you inquire no more of them ; and why do you relish 
their discourse no better ? . W^cll, for my part, I had rather have 
the fellowship of a heavenly-minded Christian, than of the 
most learned disputers, or princely commanders. 

Sect. X. 8. Consider, There is no man so highly honoureth 
God, as he who hath his conversation in heaven ; and without 
this we deeply dishonour him. Is it not a disgrace to the 
father, when the children do feed on husks, and are clothed in 
rags, and accompany with none but rogues and beggars ? Is it 
not so to our Father, when we who call ourselves his children, 
shall feed on earth, and the garb of our souls be but like that of 
the naked world ? And when our hearts s«hall make this clay 
and dust their more familiar and fretjuent company, who should 
always stand in our Father's presence, and be taken up in his 
own attendance ? Surely, it beseems not the spouse of Christ, to 
live among his scullions and slaves, when they may have daily 
admittance into his presence-chamber ; he holds forth the scep- 
tre, if they will but enter. Surely we live below the rates of the 
Gospel, and not as becometh the children of a king, even of the 
great King of all the world. We live not according to the 
height of our hopes, nor according to the plenty that is in the 
promises, nor according to the provision of our Father's house, 
and the great preparations made for his saints. It is well we 
have a Father of tender bowels, who will own his children, even 
in dirt and rags : it is well the foundation of God stands sure, 
and that the Lord knoweth who are his : or else he would 
hardly take us for his own, so far do we live below the honour 
of saints : if he did not first challenge his interest in us, neither 
ourselves nor others could know us to be his people. But, oh ! 
when a Christian can live above, and rejoice his soul in the 
things that are unseen ; how doth God take himself to be 
honoured bv such a one ! The Lord may say, ' ^^'hy, this man 
believes me : i see he can trust me, and take my word : he re- 
joiceth in my promises, before he hath possession : he can be 
glad and thankful for that which his bodily eyes did never see : 
this man's rejoicing is not in the flesh : 1 see he loves me, be- 
cause he minds me : his heart is with me, he loves my presence : 
and he shall surelv enjov it in mv kingdom for ever.' " Because 
thou hast seen," saith Christ to Thomas, " thou hast believed ; 

252 THE saint's 

but blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." 
(John XX. 29.) How did God take himself honoured by Caleb 
and Joshua, when they went into the promised land, and brought 
back to their brethren a taste of the fruits, and gave it com- 
mendation, and encouraged the people ! And what a promise 
and recompense do they receive ! (Numb. xiv. 24, 30.) For 
those that honour him, he will honour. (I Sam. ii. 30.) 

Sect. XI. 9. Consider, If thou make not conscience of this 
duty of diligent keeping thy heart in heaven. First, Thou dis- 
obeyest the flat commands of God : Secondly, Thou losest the 
sweetest parts of Scripture : Thirdly, And dost frustrate the 
most gracious discoveries of God. 

God hath not left it as a thing indifferent, and at thy own 
choice, whether thou wilt do it or not. He hath made it 
thy duty, as well as the means of thy comfort, that so a double 
bond might tie thee not to forsake thy own mercies. '' If ye then 
be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above ; set your 
affections on things above, not on things on earth." (Col. iii. 1,2.) 
The same God that hath forbidden thee to murder, to steal, to 
commitadultery,incest,or idolatry, hath forbidden thee the neglect 
of this great duty ; and darest thou wilfully disobey him ? Why 
makest thou not conscience of the one as well as of the other? Se- 
condly, Besides, thou losest the most comfortable passages of the 
Word. All those most glorious descriptions of heaven, all those 
discoveries of our future blessedness, all God's revelations of his 
purposes towards us, and his frequent and precious promises of 
our rest ; what are they all but lost to thee ? Are not these the 
stars in the firmament of the Scripture, and the most golden 
lines in that book of God ? Of* all the Bible, methinks thou 
shouldst not part with one of those promises or predictions ; no, 
not for a world. As heaven is the perfection of all our mercies, 
so the promises of it in the Gospel, are the very soul of the 
Gospel. That word, which was sweeter to David than the 
honey and the honeycomb, and to Jeremy, the joy and rejoicing 
of his heart, (Jer. xv. 16,) the most pleasant part of this thou 
losest. Thirdly, Yea, thou dost frustrate the preparations of 
Christ for thy joy, and makest him to speak in vain. Is a com- 
fortable word from the mouth of God of so great worth, that all 
the comforts of the world are nothing to it; and dost thou 
neglect and overlook so many of them ? Reader, I entreat thee 
to ponder it, why God should reveal so much of his counsel, 
and tell us beforehand of the joys we shall possess, but only that 


he would have us know it for our joy? If it had not been to 
make comfortable our present life, and fill us with the delights 
of our foreknown blessedness, he migiit have kept his purpose 
to himself, and never have let us know till we come to enjoy it, 
nor have revealed it to us till death had discovered it, what he 
meant to do with us in the world to come; yea, when we had 
got possession of our rest, he might still have concealed its 
eternity from us, and then the fears of losing it again, would 
have bereaved us of much of the sweetness of our joys. But 
it hath pleased our Father to open his counsel, and to let us 
know the very intent of his heart, and to acquaint us with the 
eternal extent of his love ; and all this that our joy may be full, 
and we might live as the heirs of such a kingdom. And shall 
we now overlook all, as if he had revealed no such matter ? 
Shall we live in earthly cares and sorrows, as if we knew of no 
such thing ? And rejoice no more in these discoveries, than if 
the Lord had never written it? If thy prince had sealed thee 
but a patent of some lordship, how oft wouldnt thou be casting 
thine eye upon it, and make it thy daily delight to study it, till 
thou shouldst come to possess the dignity itself. And hath 
God sealed thee a patent of heaven, and dost thou let it lie by 
thee, as if thou hadst forgot it 1 O that our hearts were as high 
as our hopes, and our hopes as high as these infallible promises 1 
Sect. XII. 10. Consider, It is but equal that our hearts 
should be on God, when the heart of God is so much on us. 
If the Lord of glory can stoop so low, as to set his heart on 
sinful dust, surely one would think we should easily be persuaded 
to set our hearts on Christ and glory, and to ascend to him in 
our daily affections, who vouchsafeth to condescend to us 1 
Oh, if God's delight were no more in us, than ours is in him, 
what should we do ; what a case were we in I Christian, dost 
thou not perceive that the heart of God is set upon thee, and 
that he is still minding thee with tender love, even when thou 
forgettest both thyself and him ? Dost thou not find him fol- 
lowing thee with daily mercies, moving upon thy soul, providing 
for thy body, preserving both? Doth he not bear thee conti- 
nually in the arms of love ; and promise that all shall work to- 
gether for thy good ; and suit all his dealings to thy greatest 
advantage, and give his angt^ls charge over thee; and canst thou 
find in thy heart to cast him by, and be taken up with the joys 
below, and forget thy Lord, who forgets not thee ? Fie uj)on 
this unkind ingratitude ! Is not this the sin that Isaiah so so- 

254 THE saint's 

lemnly doth call both heaven and earth to witness agahist? 
" The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, but 
Israel doth not knowj my people doth not consider." (Isa. 
i. 2, 3.) If the ox or ass do straggle in the day, they likely 
come to their home at night, but we will not so much as once a 
day, by our serious thoughts ascend to God. When he speaks 
of his own respects to us, hear what he saith, " when Zion 
saith. The Lord hath forsaken, my Lord hath forgotten me : Can 
a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have 
compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, they may forget, yet 
will I not forget : behold ! I have graven thee upon the palms 
of my hands, thy walls are continually before me." (Isa. xlix. 14.) 
But, when he speaks of our thoughts to him, the case is other- 
wise. " Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her 
attire ; yet my people have forgotten me days without number." 
(Jer. ii. 32.) As if he should say, You will not forget the 
clothes on your backs, you will not forget your braveries and 
vanities ! you will not rise one morning, but you will remember 
to cover your nakedness. And are these of more worth than 
your God j or of more concernment than your eternal life ; and 
yet you can forget these day after day? O brethren, give not 
God cause to expostulate with us, as " Ye are they that 
have forsaken the Lord, and that forget my holy mountain." 
(Isa. Ixv. II.) But rather admire his minding of thee, and let 
it draw thy mind again to him, and say, " What is man, that 
thou shouldst magnify him ; and that thou shouldst set thy 
heart upon him ; and that thou shouldst visit him every morn- 
ing, and try him every moment?" (Job vii. 17, 1^.) So let 
thy soul get up to God, and visit him every morning, and thy 
heart be towards him every moment. 

Sect. XIII. 11. Consider, Should not our interest in heaven, 
and our relation to it, continually keep our hearts upon it; 
besides that excellency which is spoken of before. Why, there our 
Father keeps his court. Do we not call him " Our Father which 
art in heaven ?" Ah ! ungracious unworthy children, that can ]>e so 
taken up in their play below as to be mindless of such a Father? 
Also, there is Christ our Head, cur Husband, our Life; and shall 
we not look towards him, and send to him, as oft as we can, 
till we come to see him face to face ? If he were, by transub- 
stantiation, in the sacraments, or other ordinances, and that as 
cloriouslv as he is in heaven, then there were some reason for 
our lower thoughts ; but when the heavens must receive him till 


the restitution of all things, let them also receive our hearts 
with him. There, also, is our mother. For Jerusalem, which is 
above, is the mother of us all. (Gal. iv. 2{).) And there are 
multitudes of our elder brethren. There are our friends and 
our ancient acquaintance, whose society in the flesh we so much 
delighted In, and whose departure hence we so much lamented. 
And is this no attractive to thy thoughts ? If they were within 
thy reach on earth, thou wouldst go and visit them ; and why 
wilt thou not oftener visit them in spirit, and rejoice before- 
hand to think of thy meeting them there again ? Saith old Bul- 
lingCr, " Socrates gaudet sibi moriendum esse, propterea quod 
Homerum, Hesiodum, et alios pnestantissimos viros se visurum 
crederet ; quanto magls ego gaudeo, qui certus sum me visurum 
esse Christum, Servatorem meum, seternum Dei Filium, in as- 
sumptil carne ; et pra^terea tot sanctissimos et eximios Patri- 
archas," &c. Socrates rejoiced that he should die, because he 
believed he should see Homer, Hesiod, and other excellent men ; 
how much more do I rejoice, who am sure to see Christ, my 
Saviour, the eternal Son of God, in his assumed flesh ; and, 
besides, so many holy and excellent men. When Luther de- 
sired to die a martyr, and could not obtain it, he comforted 
himself with these thoughts, and thus did write to them in 
prison: " Vestra vincula mea sum, vestri carceres et ignes mei 
sunt, dum confiteor et prxdico, vobisque simul compatior et 
congratulor ;" Yet this is my comfort, your bonds are mine, 
your prisons and fires are mine, while I confess and preach the 
doctrine for which vou suffer, and while I suffer and congratu- 
late with vou in your sufferings. Even so should a believer 
look to heaven, and contemplate the blessed state of the saints, 
and think with himself, Though I am not yet so hapi>y as to be 
with you, yet this is my daily comfort, you are my brethren and 
fellow members in Christ, and therefore your joys are my joys, 
and your glory, by this nearrelation, is my glory, especially while 
I believe in the same Christ, and hold fast the same faith and 
obedience, by which you were thus dignified; and also, while I 
rejoice in spirit with you, and in my daily meditations con- 
gratulate your happiness. Moreover, our house and home is 
above," for we know if this earthly house of our tabernacle were 
dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens." Why do we, then, look no 
oftener towards it, and groan not earnestly, desiring to be clothed 
upon with our house, which i^ from heaven? (2 Cor. v. 1, 2.) 

256 THE saint's 

Surely, if our home were far meaner, we should yet remember it, 
because it is our home. You use to say, " Home is home, be it 
never so poor j" and should such a home then be no more re- 
membered ? If you were but banished into a strange land, how 
frequent thoughts would you have of home ; how oft would you 
think of your old companions ! which way ever you went, or 
what company soever you came in, you would still have your 
hearts and desires there. You would even dream in the night 
that you were at home ; that you saw your father, or mother, or 
friends ; that you were talking with wife, or children, or neigh- 
bours. And why is it not thus with us in respect of heaven ? 
]s not that more truly and properly our home where we must take 
up our everlasting abode than this, which we are looking every 
hour, when we are separated from, and shall see it no more ; 
we are strangers, and that is our country. (Heb. xi. 14, 15.) 
We are heirs, and that is our inheritance ; even an inheritance 
incorrupt! ble and undefiled, that fadeth not away, is reserved 
in heaven for us. (1 Pet. i. 4.) We are here in continual 
distress and want, and there lies our substance ; even that better 
and more enduring substance. (Heb. x. 34.) We are here fain 
to be beholden to others, and there lies our own perpetual 
treasure. (Matt. vi. 21.) Yea, the very hope of our souls is 
there ; all our hope of relief from our distresses ; all our hope 
of happiness, when we are here miserable; all this hope 
is laid up for us in heaven, whereof we hear in the true 
word of the Gospel. (Col. i. 5.) Why, beloved Christians, have 
we so much interest, and so seldom thoughts; have we so near 
relation, and so little affection ? are we not ashamed of this ? 
Doth it become us to be delighted in the company of strangers, 
so as to forget our Father and our Lord, or to be so well pleased 
with those that hate and grieve us, as to forget our best and 
dearest friends ; or to be so besotted with borrowed trifles, as 
to forget our own profession and treasure ; or to be so taken up 
with a strange place, as not once a day to look toward home ; 
or to fall in love with tears and wants, as to forget our eternal 
joy and rest ? Christians, I pray you think whether this become 
us, or whether tliis be the part of a wise or thankful man ? 
Why, here thou art like to other men, as the heir under age, 
who differs not from a servant ; but there it is that thou shalt 
be promoted, and fully estated in all that was promised. Surely, 
God uscth to plead his ])ropriety in us, and from thence to 
conclude to do us good, even because we are his own people, 


whom he hath chosen out of all the world ; and why then do we 
not plead our interest in him, and thence fetch arguments to raise 
up our hearts, even because he is our own God, and because the 
place is our own possession ? Men use in other things to over-love 
and over-value their own, and too much to mind their own 
things. Oh, that we would mind our own inheritance, and value 
it but half as it doth deserve! 

Sect. XIV. 12. Lastly, Consider, There is nothing else that 
is worth the setting our hearts on.** Jf God have them not, who 
or what shall have them ? If thou mind not thy rest, what wilt 
thou mind ? As the disciples said of Christ, Hath any man 
given him meat to eat, that we know not of? (John iv. 32, 33 ;) 
so say I to thee. Hast thou found out some other God or 
heaven, that we know not of; or something that will serve thee 
instead of rest ? Hast thou found on earth an eternal happiness; 
where is it, and what is it made of: or who was the man that 
found it out, or who was he that last enjoyed it ? Where dwelt 
he, and what was his name ? Or art thou the first that hast 
found this treasure, and that ever discovered heaven on earth ? 
Ah, wretch ! trust not to thy discoveries, boast not of thy gain 
till experience bid thee boast, or rather take up with the expe- 
rience of thy forefathers, who are now in the dust, and 
deprived of all, though sometime they were as lusty and jovial 
as thou. I would not advise thee to make experiments at so 
dear rates, as all those do that seek after happiness below, lest, 
Avhen the substance is lost, thou find too late that thou didst 
catch but a shadow ; lest thou be like those men that will needs 
search out the philosopher's stone, though none could effect it 
that went before them ; and to buy their experience with the 
loss of their own estates and time, which they might have had at 
a cheaper rate, if they would have taken up with the experience 
of their predecessors. So I would wish thee not to disquiet 
thyself in looking for that which is not on earth; lest thou 
learn thy experience with the loss of thy soul, which thou 
mightest have learned at easier terms, even by the warnings of 

° Simile tu putas esse, utrum cures de frumento, &c. an ad hsec sacra e' 
sublimia accedas ? scitiirus i|ua; iiatura sit Diis, quic voluntas, quae conditio, 
qua; forma, quis animuni tuum casus expectet, ubi nos Jl corporibus dismisses 
natura conijiouit ? l^uid sit quod bujus mundi tjravissima qua'que ia medio 
sustineat? supra levia suspcudat ? in summum iijncm ferat ? Sjdera cursibua 
suis excitet ? Cetera deiuceps ingentibus plena miraculis. — Seneca de Bievit. 
Vita", cap. 19. How much more may a Ciiristian say so of his expected glory ! 

258 THE saint's 

God in his word, and loss of thousands of souls before thee. It 
would pity a man to see that men will not believe God in this, 
till they have lost their labour, and heaven, and all. Nay, that 
many Christians, who have taken heaven for their resting place, 
do lose so many thoughts needlessly on earth, and care not how 
much they oppress their spirits, which should be kept nimble 
and free for higher things. As Luther said to Melancthon, 
when he over-pressed himself with the labours of his ministry, 
so may I much more say to thee, who oppressest thyself with 
the cares of the world : " Vellem te adhuc decies plus obrui. 
Adeo me nihil tui miseret, qui toties monitus, ne onerares teip- 
sum tot oneribus, et nihil audis, omnia bene monita contemnis. 
Erit cum sero stultum tuum hunc velum frustra damnabis, quo 
jam ardes solus omnia portare, quasi ferrum aut saxum sis." "It 
were no matter if thou wert oppressed ten times more ; so little 
do I pity thee, who, being so often warned that thou shouldst 
not load thyself with so many burdens, dost no whit regard it, 
but contemnest all these wholesome warnings. Thou wilt shortly, 
when it is too late, condemn this thy foolish forwardness, which 
makes thee so desirous to bear all this, as if thou wert made of 
iron or stone." Alas ! that a Christian should rather delight to 
have his heart among these thorns and briars, than in the bosom 
of his crucified, glorified Lord ! Surely, if Satan should take 
thee up to the mountain of temptation, and shov/ thee the king- 
doms and glory of the world, he could show thee nothing that 
is worthy thy thoughts, much less to be preferred before thy 
rest. Indeed, so far as duty and necessity require it, we must 
be content to mind the things below; but who is he that contains 
himself within the compass of those limits ? And yet if we 
bound our cares and thoughts as diligently as ever we can, we 
shall find the least to be bitter and burdensome ; even as the 
least wasp hath a sting, and the smallest serpent hath his poison. 
As old Hiltenius said of Rome: "Est proprium Romanre potesta- 
tis ut sit ferrum, et licet digiti minorentur ad parvitatem acus, ta- 
men manent ferrei." " It is proper to the Roman power to be of 
iron, and though tlie fingers of it be diminished to the smallness 
of a needle, yet they are iron still." The like may I say of our 
earthly cares ; it is their property to be hard and troublous, and 
so they will be wlien they are at the least. Verily, if we had 
no higher hopes than what are on earth, I should take man for a 
most silly creature, and his work and wages, all his travel and 
his felicity, to be no better than dreams and vanity, and scarce 


worth the minding or mentioning; especially to thee, a Chris- 
tian, should it seem so, whose eyes are opened by the Word and 
Spirit, to see the emptiness of all these things, and the precious 
worth of tlie things above. Oh, tlien, be not detained by these 
silly things, but if Satan present them to thee in a temptation, 
send tiiem away from whence they came, as Pellicanns did send 
back the silver bowl vvliich the bishop had sent him for a token, 
with this answer : " Astricti sunt quotquot Tiguri cives et in- 
quilini, bis singulis annis, solemni jura mento, ne quis eorum 
uUum munus ab ullo principe accipiat." "All that are citizens 
and inhabitants of Zurich, are solemnly sworn twice a year not to 
receive any gift from any prince abroad." Say thou, We the citi- 
zens and inhabitants of heaven, are bound by solemn and frequent 
covenants, not to have our hearts enticed or entangled with any 
foreign honours or delights, but only with those of their own country. 
If thy thoughts should, like the laborious bee, go over the world 
from flower to flower, from creature to creature, they would bring 
thee no honey or sweetness home, save what they gathered from 
their relations to eternity. 

Object.^But you will say, perhaps, Divinity is of larger extent 
than only to treat of the life to come, or the way thereto ; there 
are many controversies of great difficulty, which therefore re- 
quire much of our thoughts, and so they must not be all of 

Answ. For the smaller controversies which have vexed our 
times, and caused the doleful divisions among us, I express my 
mind as that of Graserus : p " Cum in visitatione aegrotorum, et 
ad emigrationem ex hac vita ad beatam prieparatione dopre- 
hendisset, controversias illas theologicas, quai scicntiam quidem 
inflantem pariunt, conscientias vero fluctuantes non sedant, 
quieque hodie magna animorum contentione agitantur, et 
magnos tumultus in rebus publicis excitant, nullum prorsis usum 
habere, (juinimo conscientias siuqjliciorum non aliter ac olim in 
pajiatu humana figmenta intricare ; ca?pit ab eis toto animo ab- 
horrere, et in publicis concionibus tantum ea proponere, quae ad 

1' He that comes to us is either learned or unlearnetl ; if learned, then he 
can iiKiuire into the weakness of reasons, and upon prayers fi)r ihe Spirit's il- 
lumination, he may know wli;it party to join wiili ; hnl if lie he unlearned, let 
him follow the simjilicity of Scripture, and he will not easily he deceive<l; lot 
him go to the middle way hetween extremes, and he shall not err.— Dr. John 
Slcsman. Doihcod. de Eccles. /'tutor, p. 219. And I think it were well if the 
learned would do as he adviseth the unlearne.l. 1 am sure it were better for 
the church and themselves, unless he would have the unlearned the wiser, 
hunester, and happier men. 

s 2 

260 THE saint's 

fidem salvificam in Christum accedendam, et ad pietatem veram 
juxta verbum Dei exercendam, veramque consolationem in vita 
et morte praestandam faciebant :" " When he had found in his 
visiting the sick, and in his own preparations for well dying, 
that tiie controversies in divinity, which beget a swelling know- 
ledge, but do not quiet troubled consciences, and which are at 
this day agitated with such contention of spirits, and raise such 
tumults in commonwealths, are indeed utterly useless ; yea, and 
moreover do entangle the consciences of the simple, just as the 
human inventions in popery formerly did ; he begun with full 
bent of mind to shun or abhor them, and in his public preaching 
to propound only those things which tended to the kindling a 
true faith in Jesus Christ, and to the exercise of true godliness, 
according to the word of God, and to the procuring of true con- 
solation both in life and death." I can scarcely express my own 
mind more plainly than this historian's expressions of the mind 
of Graserus. ^ While I had some competent measure of health, 
and looked at death as at a greater distance, there was no man 
more delighted in the study of controversy; but when I saw 
dying men have no mind on it, and how unsavoury and uncom- 
fortable such confarence was to them, and when I had oft been 
near to death myself, and found no delight in them further than 
they confirmed or illustrated the doctrine of eternal glorv, I 
have minded them ever since the less, though every truth of 
God is precious, and it is the sin and shame of professors that 
they are no more able to defend the truth ; yet should all our 
study of controversy be still in relation to this perpetual rest, 
and consequently be kept within its bounds, and with most 
Christians, not have the twentiebh part of our time or thoughts. 
Who that hath tried both studies, doth not cry out, as Summer- 
hard was wont to do of the popish school-divinity, "Quis me 

1 Sacrilegae sine dubio blasphemise alligatis, cum quis vestras coutroversiaa 
noniiiiare ausit stultas; ineruditas qusestioiies, profanas inauiaS) verborum 
pugnas ; h. e. uno verbo, nugas. Ego verb quid de me seutiatis parum euro : 
hoc palam dico : stolidas, vatias, inutiles, iudoctas disputationes ; vid. nsenias 
et gerras esse omiies eas, quae vel niliil faciunt ad pietatem et aedificationem 
ecclesise, vel in verbo Dei non sunt, plene revelatae, explicatae, decisae, et sic k 
Spiritu Sancto ad salutem minus necessaritc judicatae. At tales non sunt ho- 
diernaiquaidam ccutru\ersiae. Vera me scribere, judicabit olim ecclesia ; judi- 
cabit ipse Christus. Soletis supra modum exag-gerare minutissimas liticulas 
quasi a quibus cardo semiiiteniae salutis unicti dependeat. At longe aliter 
sentiunt quicunque nondum sunt vestris praeconceptis opiuionibus fascinati ; 
et contagio vestro infecti. — Kujpert. Meldenius Pai-(Enesi Votiv, pro Pace Eccles, 
fol. d. 3. 



miserum tandem liberabit ab ista rixosa theologia?" "Who 
will once deliver me, wretch, from this wrangling kind of dig- 
nity?" And as it is said of Bucholcer : " Cum eximiis a Deo 
dotibus esset decoratus, in certamen tamen cum rabiosis illius 
seculi theologis descendere noluit. Desii (inquit) disputare, 
ccepi supputare : quoniam illud dissipationem, hoc collectionem 
significat. Vidit enim ah iis controversias moveri, quas nulla 
unquam amoris Dei scintilla calefecerat : vidit ex diuturnis the- 
ologorum rixis, utilitatis nihil, detrimenti plurimum in ecclesias 
redundassi :" i.e. "Though he was adorned by God with excel- 
lent gifts, yet would he never enter into contention with the 
furious divines of that age. I have ceased," saith he, " my 
disputations, and now begin my supputation ; for that signifieth 
dissipation, but this collection." For he saw, that those men 
were the movers of controversies who had never been warmed 
with one spark of the love of God j he saw, that from the con- 
tinual brawls of divines, no benefit, but much hurt, did accrue to 
the churches." And it is worth the observing, which the historian 
adds : " Quapropter omnis ejus cura in hoc erat, ut auditores 
fidei suae commissos, doceret bene vivere et beate mori ; et an- 
notatum in universariis amici ejus repererunt, permultos in ex- 
tremo agone constitutos gratias ipsi hoc nomine egisse, quod 
ipsius ductu servatorem suum Jesum agnovissent, cujus in cog- 
nitione pulchrum vivere, mori vero longe pulcherrimum ducerent. 
Atque baud scio annon hoc ipsum longe Bucholcero coram Deo 
sit gloriosius futurum, quam si aliquot contentiosorum libellorum 
myriadas posteritatis memorise consecrassat :" i.e. " Therefore 
this was all his care, that he might teach liis hearers committed 
to his charge, to live well, and die happily ; and his friends 
found noted down in his papers a great many of persons, who 
in their last agony did give him thanks for this very reason, 
that by his direction they had come to the knowledge of Jesus 
their Saviour; in the knowledge of whom, they esteem it 
sweet to live, but to die far more sweet. And 1 cannot tell 
whether this very thing will not j)rove more glorious to Bu- 
cholcer before God, than if he had consecrated to the memory 
of posterity many myriads of contentious writings." And as the 
study of controversies is not the most pleasant nor the most 
profitable, so much less the public handling of them ; for to do 
it with the greatest meekness and ingenuity, yet shall we meet 
with such unreasonable men, as the said Bucholcer did, " (|ui 
arrepta ex aliquibus voculis calumniandi materia, hsereseos insi- 

262 THE saint's 

mulare et traducere optimum virum non erubescerent ; frustra 
obtestante ipso, dextre data, dextre acciperent :" i.e., "who, 
taking occasion of reproach from some small words, were not 
ashamed to traduce the good man, and accuse him of heresy, 
while he in vain obtested with them, that they should take in 
good part what was delivered with a good intention." Siracides 
saith, in Ecclesiasticus, chap, xxvi., that a scolding woman 
shall be sought out for to drive away the enemies, but experi- 
ence of all ages tells us, to our sorrow, that the wrangling divine 
is- their chiefest inlet, and no such scarecrow to them at all. 

So then it is clear to me that there is nothing worth our 
minding but heaven, and the way to heaven. 

All the question will be about the affairs of church and state. 
Is not this worth our minding, to see what things will come to, 
and how God will conclude our differences ? 

Answ. So far as they are considered as the providences of 
God, and as they tend to the settling of the Gospel, and govern- 
ment of Christ, and so to the saving of our own, and our pos- 
terity's souls, they are well worth our diligent observation : but 
these are only their relations to eternity. Otherwise, I should 
look upon all the stirs and commotions in the world, but as the 
busy gadding of a heap of ants, or the swarming of a nest of 
wasps or bees ; the spurn of a man's foot destroys all their labour : 
or as an interlude, or a tragedy, of a few hours long. '^ Thev 
first quarrel, and then fight, and let out one another's blood, 
and bring themselves more speedily and violently to their graves, 
which, however, they could not have long delayed, and so come 
down, and the play is ended. And the next generation suc- 
ceeds them in their madness, and makes the like bustle in the 
world for a time ; and so they also come down, and lie in the 
dust. Like the Roman gladiators, that would kill one another 
by the hundreds, to make the beholders a solemn show ; or as 
the young men of Joab and Abner, that must play before them, 
by stabbing one another to the heart, and fall down and die, 
and there is an end of the sport. And is this worth a wise man's 
observance ? 

Surely, our very bodies themselves, for which we make all this 
ado in the world, are very silly pieces : look upon them (not as 
they are set out in a borrowed bravery) but as they lie rotting 
in a ditch, or grave ; and you will say, they are silly things 

» Read Cypriau's excellent contemplation of the world's vanity and wicked- 
ness, from his prospect in the mount, Epist. i. ad Donat. 


indeed. Why then, surely all our dcalinejs in the world, our 
buyings and sellings, and eating and drinking, our building and 
marrying, our wealth and honours, our peace and our war, so 
far as they relate not to the life to come, but tend only to the 
support and pleasing of this silly flesh, must needs themselves 
be silly things, and not worthy the frecjuent thoughts of a 
Christian : for the means (as such) is meaner than their end. 

And now doth not thy conscience say as 1 say, that there is 
nothing but heaven, and the way to it, that is worth thy 
minding ? 

Sect. XV. Thus I have given thee these twelve arguments to 
consider of, and, if it maybe, to persuade thee to a heavenly mind, 
I now desire thee to view them over ; read them deliberately, 
and read them again, and then tell me, are they reason, or are 
they not ? Reader, stop here, while thou ansvverest my (juestion : 
Are these considerations weighty, or not ? Are these arguments 
convincing, or not ? Have I proved it thy duty, and a flat neces- 
sity, to keep thy heart on things above, or have I not ? Say yea, 
or nay, man ! If thou say nay, I am confident thou contradictest 
thine own conscience, and speakest against the light that is in 
thee, and thy reason tells thee, thou speakest falsely : if thou 
say yea, and acknowledge thyself convinced of the duty, bear 
witness then, that I have thine own confession : that very tongue 
of thine shall condemn thee, and that confession be pleaded 
against thee if thou now go home, and cast this off, and wilfully 
neglect such a confessed duty ; and these twelve considerations 
shall be as a jury to convict thee, which I propounded, hoping 
they might be effectual to persuade thee. 1 have not yet fully 
laid open to you the nature and particular way of that duty, 
which 1 am all this while persuading you to; that is the next 
thing to be done : all that I have said hitherto, is but to make 
you willing to perform it. 1 know the whole work of man's 
salvation doth stick most at his own will ; if we could once get 
over this block well, I see not what could stand before us. Be 
soundly willing, and the work is more than half done. I have 
now a few plain directions to give you, for to help you in doing 
this great work ; but, alas ! it is in vain to mention them, ex- 
cept you be willing to put them in practice. \\'liat savest thou, 
reader ? Art thou willing, or art thou not ? Wilt thou obey, if 
1 show thee the v/ay of thy duty? However, I will ^ct tlicni 
down, and tender them to thee, and the Lord persuade thy heart 
to the work. 

264 THE saint's 

Containing some Hinderances of a Heavenly Life. 

Sect. I. The first task that I must here set thee, consists in 
the avoiding some dangerous ^ hinderances, which otherwise will 
keep thee off from this work, as they have done many a thou- 
sand before thee. If I show thee briefly where the rocks and 
gulf do lie, I hope thou wilt beware. If I stick up a mark at 
every quicksand, I hope I need to say no more, to put thee by 
it. Therefore, as thou valuest the comforts of a heavenly con- 
versation, I here charge thee from God to beware most carefully 
of these impediments. 

1. The first is, the living in a known unmortified sin. Ob- 
serve this : O what havoc will this make in thy soul ! O the 
joys that this hath destroyed ! The blessed communion with 
God that this hath interrupted I The ruins it hath made amongst 
men's graces ! The soul-strengthening duties that this hath 
hindered ! And above all others, it is especially an enemy to 
this great duty. 

Christian reader, I desire thee, in the fear of God, stay here a 
little, and search thy heart, Art thou one that hath used vio- 
lence with thy conscience ? Art thou a wilful neglecter of known 
duties, either public, private, or secret ? Art thou a slave to 
thine appetite, in eating or drinking, or to any other command- 
ing sense ? Art thou a proud seeker of thine own esteem, and 
a man that must needs have men's good opinion, or else thy 
mind is all in a combustion ? Art thou a wilfully peevish and 
passionate person, as if thou wert made of tinder, or gunpow- 
der, ready to take fire at every word, or every wry look, or every 

•Ad illam vitam requiritur, 1. Quod homo per virtuosam assuefactiouem 
et gratiam, sit radicatus in virtutibus. Quod imllam dclectationem habeat in 
appetitu vanae gloria;, in cupiditate divitiarum ; iu concupiscentia oculoruin 
et gulae. 2. Requiritur internum silentium, ut non occupet se circa exte- 
riora; quod audierit, vel viderit foris, nihil curando, tanquam in somno oc- 
currissent. 3. Amoroso adhajsiocum Deo : ut omnia ejus judicia, omnia facta, 
omnes doctrinas cum revereutia amplectatur. 4. Quod nihil aliud quaerat, sed 
reputet sibi ilium dilectum sufficientissimunij superexcellentem ilium in corde 
suo diligat super omne quod potest videri, audiri, vel cogitari, vel iriia^nari, 
quia totus araabilis, totus desiderabilis, &c. 5. Quod saepe reducat ad memo- 
riani perfectinnes Dei, et illis inlinie congratuletur. — Geison. 3. Part, in Al» 
phabete Divini Jmoris. 


supposed slighting of thee ; or every neglect of a compliment 
or courtesy ? Art thou a knowing deceiver of others in thy deal- 
ing, or one that hath set thyself to rise in the world ? not to 
speak of greater sins, which all take notice of. If this be thy 
case, I dare say, heaven and thy soul are very great strangers : 
I dare say, thou art seldom in heart with God, and there is little 
hope it should ever be better, as long as thou continuest in these 
transgressions. These beams in thine eyes will not suffer thee 
to look to heaven ; these will be a cloud between thee and God. 
When thou dost but attempt to study eternity, and to gather 
comfort from the life to come,' thy sin will presently look thee 
in the face, and say. These things belong not to thee. How 
shouldst thou take comfort from heaven, who takest so much 
pleasure in the lusts of thy flesh ? O, how this will damp thy 
joys, and make the thoughts of that day and state to become 
thy trouble, and not thy delight ! Every wilful sin that thou 
livest in, will be to thy comforts as water to the fire, when thou 
thinkest to quicken them, this will quench them ; when thy 
heart begins to draw near to God, this will presently come in 
thy mind, and cover thee with shame, and fill thee with doubt- 
ing. Besides (which is most to the point in hand), it doth 
utterly indispose thee, and disable thee to this work : when 
thou shouldst wind up thy heart to heaven, alas I it is biassed 
another way ; it is entangled in the lusts of the flesh ; and can 
no more ascend in divine meditation, than the bird can fly, 
whose wings are clipped, or that is entangled in the lime twigs, 
or taken in the snare. Sin doth cut the very sinews of the soul, 
therefore, 1 say of this heavenly life, as Mr. Bolton saith of 
prayer, Either it will make thee leave sinning, or sin will make 
thee leave it, and that quickly too, for these cannot continue 
together. If thou be here guilty, who readest this, I require 
thee sadly to think of this folly. O man ! what a life dost thou 
lose ; and what a life dost thou choose ; what daily delights 

« Nam absque munditia animi, et vila sanctitalis xmula, possibile non est 
sanctorum dicta iutelligere. Ut siquis vult iiilueri lucem solis, oculum pur- 
gat, 6lc. Aut siquis civitatem aiit regioncm iuspicere cupiat, perj;it ad locum 
iuspiciendi gratia. Ita et qui theolosoium conscqui intellig^entiam cupit, abluere 
prius aiiimam debet, atque detergere, et per vita; nioruuique siiuilitudiuem, 
ipsos adire sanctos ; ut voto atque iiistituto illis conjuiictus, ea etiam (jua: 
Peus illis revelavit, iutelligat ; et quasi unus ex illus effeclus, eftugiat pecca- 
torum periculum, ct iguem eis iu die judicii preparatum. Recipiatcjue reposita 
Sanctis in regnis coelestibu? prxmia. — Allianas. ili- Jncitrn. I'erbi, traiislat. in 
fine. " He that will do all that is lawful, will soju be drawn to that which is 
unlawful," saith Clemens Alex. (Paid. I. cap. 1.) 

266 THE saint's 

dost thou sell for the swinish pleasure of a stinking lust ; what 
a Christ ! what a glory dost thou turn thy back upon, when 
thou art going to the embracements of thy hellish pleasures ! 
I have read of a gallant addicted to uncleanness, who at last 
meeting with a beautiful dame, and having enjoyed his fleshly 
desires of her, found her in the morning to be the dead body of 
one that he had formerly sinned with, which had been acted by 
the devil all night, and left dead again in the morning. Surely, 
all thy sinful pleasures are such : the devil doth animate them 
in the darkness of the night ; but when God awakes thee, at the 
farthest at death, the deceit is vanished, and nothing left but a 
carcass to amaze thee, and be a spectacle of horror before thine 
eyes. Thou thinkest thou hast hold of some choice delight, but 
it will turn in thy hand (as Moses's rod) into a serpent ; and 
then thou wouldst fain be rid of it, if thou knewest how ; and 
would fly from the face of it, as thou dost now embrace it : and 
shall this now detain thee from the high delights of the saints ? 
If heaven and hell can meet together, and if God can become a 
lover of sin, then mayest thou live in thy sin, and in the tastes 
of glory, and mayest have a conversation in heaven, though thou 
cherish thy corruption. If, therefore, thou find thyself guilty, 
never doubt on it, but this is the cause that estrangeth thee from 
heaven ; and take heed lest it keep out thee, as it keeps out thy 
heart ; and do not say, but thou wast bid take heed. Yea, if 
thou be a man that hitherto hast escaped, and knowest no reign- 
ing sin in thy soul, yet let this warning move thee to prevention, 
and stir up a dread of this danger in thy spirit. As Hunnius 
writes of himself, that, hearing the mention of the unpardon- 
able sin against the Holy Ghost, it' stirred up such fears in his 
spirit, that made him cry out. What if this should, be my case ? 
and so roused him to prayer and trial. So think thou, though 
thou yet be not guilty, what a sad thing were it, if ever this 
should prove thy case, and therefore watch. Especially resolve 
to keep from the occasions of sin, and, as much as is possible, 
out of the way of temptations.* The strongest Christian is un- 
safe among occasions of sin. O what need have we to pray 
daily, " Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil ? " 
And shall we pray against them, and cast ourselves upon them ? 
If David, Solomon, Peter, &:c., teach you not, at least look upon 
the multitudes that have revolted of late times, and fallen into 

' Nemo diu tutus periculoso proximus. Nee evadere diabolum servus Dei 
poterit, qui se diaboli laqueis implicavit. — Q//wi«M. epist. Ixii. p. 169. 


the most horrid sins, with reiitjious pretences. As Christ thouj^lit 
meet to say to his disciples, " lleniember Lot's wife ; and what I 
say to one I say to all, Watch j" so say I, Remember these, and 

Sect. II. 2. A second hrnderance carefully to be avoided, is, 
an earthly mind ; for you may easily conceive that this cannot 
stand with a heavenly mind. God and Mammon, earth and 
heaven, cannot both have the delight of thy heart." This makes 
thee like Anselm's bird, with a stone tied to the foot, which as 
oft as she took flight, did pluck her to the earth again. If 
thou be a man that hast fancied to thyself, some content or 
happiness to be found on earth, and beginnest to taste a sweet- 
ness in gain, and to aspire after a fuller and a higher estate ; 
and hast hatched some thriving projects in thy brain, and art 
driving on thy rising design ; believe it, thou art marching with 
thy back upon Christ, and art posting apace from this heavenly 
life. Why, hath not the world that from thee, which God hath 
from the heavenly believer ? When he is blessing himself in his 
God, and rejoicing in hope of the glory to come, then thou art 
blessing thyself in thy prosperity, and rejoicing in hope of thy 
thriving here : when he is solacing his soul in the views of Christ, 
of the angels and saints, that he shall live with for ever, then 
art thou comforting thyself with thy w-ealth, in looking over thy 
bills and bonds, in viewing thy money, thy goods, thy cattle, 
thy buildings, or large possessions ; and art recreating thy mind 
in thinking on thy hopes ; of the favour of some great ones, on 
whom thou dependest ; of the pleasantness of a plentiful and 
commanding state ; of the larger provision for thy children after 
thee ; of the rising of thy house, or the obeisance of thine in- 
feriors. Are not these thy morning and evening thoughts, when 
a gracious soul is above with Christ ? Dost thou not delight and 
please thyself with a daily rolling these thoughts in thy mind, 
when a gracious soul should have higher delights ? If he were a 
fool by the sentence of Christ that said, " Soul, take thy rest, 

>» Nou domus aut fundus, non aeris acervus et auri segroto Domini deduxit 
corpore febres ; uon animo curas : ^'aloat possessor oportet, &c.—Hoiaf. 
(juis potest pauper esse (|ui non eget? qui non inhiat alieiio ? qui Deo dives 
est? inagis pauper ille est qui cum multa habeat, plura desiderat. Dicani 
tandem queniadnioduni seutiu ; nemo tarn pauper potest esse (|uam natus est. 
Aves sine patrimonio vivuut, et indies pecua pascuntur : et ha"C nobis tamen 
notasunt, quse omnia si non concupiscimus, possidemus. I^itur ut qui viani 
terit, eo foclicior (juo levior incedit; ita beatior in boc itinere vivendi <iui 
paupertate se subievat, uou sub divitiarum ouere suspirat. — Miiiut. Ful. Oc- 
 tavius, p. 398. 

268 THE saint's 

thou hast enough laid up for many years •" what a fool of fools 
art thou, that, knowing this, yet takest not warning, but in thy 
heart speakest the same words ! Look them over seriously, and 
tell me what difference between this fool's expressions, and thy 
affections ? I doubt not but thou hast more wit than to speak 
thy mind just in his language ; but, man, remember thou hast to 
do with the Searcher of hearts. It may be, thou boldest on thy 
course of duty, and prayest as often as thou didst before ; it 
may be, thou keepest in with good ministers, and with godly 
men, and seemest as forward in religion as ever : but what is all 
this to the purpose ? Mock not thy soul, man, for God will not 
be so mocked. What good may yet remain in thee, I know 
not ; but sure I am, thy course is dangerous, and, if thou follow 
it on, will end in dolour. Methinks I see thee befooling thyself, 
and tearing thy hair, and gnashing thy teeth, when thou hearest 
thy case laid open by God : " Thou fool, this night shall they 
require thy soul from thee; and then whose are all these things ?" 
Certainly, so much as thou delightest and restest on earth, so 
much is abated of thy delights in God. Thine earthly mind 
may consist with thy profession and common duties, but it can- 
not consist with this heavenly duty.^ I need not tell thee all this, 
if thou wouldst deal impartially, and not be a traitor to thy own 
soul : thou knowest thyself how seldom and cold, how cursory 
and strange, thy thoughts have been of the joys hereafter, ever 
since thou didst trade so eagerly for the world. Methinks I 
even perceive thy conscience stir now, and tell thee plainly that 
this is thy case. Hear it, man ! Oh ! hear it now, lest thou 
hear it in another manner when thou wouldst be full loth. O 
the cursed madness of many that' seem to be religious ; who 
thrust themselves into a multitude of employments, and think 
they can never have business enough till they are loaded with 
labours and clogged with cares -, that their souls are as unfit to 
converse with God, as a man to walk with a mountain on his 

'= Cyprian, expounding the word " daily bread," saith, " We that have re- 
nounced this worhl, viz., in our baptismal covenant with Christ, and have 
cast away the riches and glory of it, in our belief of spiritual grace, must only 
ask for food and victuals, seeing our Lord telleth us, ' He that forsaketh not 
all that he hath, cannot be his disciple.'" Cypr. in Orat. Dom. in sect. xiv. 
p. 31.3 : Avaritia est inordinatus amor temporalium, viz., onuiis terreiije sub- 
stantiffi quae potest esse de possessione hominis; et habitudinum respectiva- 
rum in rebus terrenis fundatarum, quas homo irralioiiabiliter appetit, sicut 

dominia et honores mundanos, quae ex possessione talium oriuntur. Et ita 1 

Tim. vi. 10 : Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas.— //7c/<^; Trialog. lib.iii. 
cap. 18. pp. 72, 76. 


back, and till he hath even transformed his soul almost into the 
nature of his drossy carcass, and made it as unapt to soar aloft 
as his bodv is to leap above the sun : and wiicn all is done, and 
they have lost that heaven they might have had upon earth, 
they take up a few rotten arguments to prove it lawful, and then 
they think that they have solved all. Though these sots would 
not do so for their bodies, nor forbear their eating, or drinking, 
or sleeping, or sporting, though they could prove it lawful so to 
do, though, indeed, they cannot prove it lawful neither. They 
miss not the pleasures of this heavenly life, if they can but quiet 
their consciences, while they fasten upon lower and baser 
pleasures. For thee, O Christian, who hast tasted of these plea- 
sures, I advise thee, as thou valuest their enjoyment, as ever 
thou vvouldst taste of them any more, take heed of this gulf of 
an earthly mind ;y for if once thou come to this, that thou wilt 
be rich, " thou fallest into temptation, and a snare, and into 
divers foolish and hurtful lusts :" it is St. Paul's own words. 
(1 Tim. vi. 9.) Set not thv mind, as Saul, on the asses, when 
the kingdom of glory is set before thee. Keep these things as 
thy upper garments, still loose about thee, that thou mayest lay 
them by whenever there is cause : but let God and glory be next 
thy heart, yea, as the very blood and spirit by which thou livest. 
Still remember that of the Spirit, "The friendship of the world 
is enmity with God : whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of 
the world is the enemy of God." (James iv. 4.) And, " Love 
not the world, nor the things of the world : if any love the 
world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John ii. 15.) 
This is plain dealing, and happy he that faithfully receives it. 

Sect. III. 3. A third hinderancc which I must advise thee to be- 
ware is, the company of ungodly and sensual men. Not that I 
would dissuade thee from necessary converse,^ or from doing them 

y Quicquid nobis bono fiiturum erat, Dens et parens noster in proximo 
posuit. Nou expectavit iuquisitionein iiostrain, ultri) dedit ; nocitura altissi- 
nie pressit. Nihil nisi de nobis queri possumus. Ea quihus perirenius, no- 
lente rerum natura et abscondente, protulimus. Addiximus animuni voiup- 
tati, cui indulgere initiiiin omnium malorum est. — Setieca ^ ep\st.c\. ; 1 Sam, 
ix. 20. Sed amor Dei adhuc est valde modicus et debilis: niuiulanus vero 
fortiset potens ; repugnatque fortiter, ne nidum suiim seu bospitium quod 
habuit ab infaiitia iu honiine perdat. Et ciuod plus molestat, ipse amor mundi 
oculis cernitur corporis, etsentitur dulcis esse ad rctinendum ; amarus vero ad 
perdendum : amor autem Dei e contra uon videtur; et seutitur durus ad ac- 
quirendum, et dulcis ad dimittendum. — Gerson, part. iii. p. 3b'2. De Monte 
Contemplnt. cap. 21. 

» I love the zeal of those Athenians, that would not wasli in the same bath 
with the persecutors of Socrates, iiut this wise averseness from the known 

270 THE saint's 

any office of love, especially not from endeavouring the good of 
their souls, as long as thou hast an opportunity or hope : nor 
would I have thee conclude them to be dogs and swine, that so 
thou mayest evade the duty of reproof; nor yet to judge them 
such at all, as long as there is any hope of better, or before thou 
art certain they are such indeed. Much less can I approve of 
the practice of those who, because the most of the world are 
naught, do therefore conclude men, dogs, or swine, before ever- 
they faithfully and lovingly did admonish them, yea, or perhaps 
before they have known them, or spoke with them : and here- 
upon they will not communicate with them in the Lord's-supper, 
but separate from them into distinct congregations. I persuade 
thee to no such ungodly separation, as 1 never found one word 
in Scripture where either Christ or his apostles denied admittance 
to any man that desired to be a member of the church, though 
but only professing to repent and believe ; so neither did I ever 
there find that any but convicted heretics, and scandalous ones, 
and that for the most part after due admonition, were to be 
avoided or debarred our fellowship. And whereas it is urged 
that they are to prove their title to the privileges which they lay 
claim to, and not we to disprove it.^ I answer. If that were 
granted, yet their mere sober professing to repent and believe in 
Christ, is as to us a sufficient evidence of their title to church- 
membership, and admittance thereto by baptism, supposing 
them not admitted before ; and their being baptised persons, if 
at age, or members of the universal visible church, into which 
it is that they are baj)tised, and owning their baptismal profes- 
sion, is sufficient evidence of their title to the supper, till they 

enemies of peace, may, and must be, accompanied with a friendly correspond- 
ence with differing hreihretu—jBishop Hall, in the Pmce-maher, pp. 134, 
135. Quemcunf|ue Deus sistit, qua authoritate, quo jure homo depulsurus 
est, donee ipse Deus aichitector suae domus, depuleiit ? Pudeat ergo Christi- 
anos, qui inscientissiuiis suis praejudiciis, aut impoteutissinius studiis sic 
abripiuntur, ut quaiii Deus niateriam doinus suas advocat, ipsi negeiit, aver- 
tant et omnibus viribus iiiterturbent. — Junius Irenic. in Psal. cxxii. torn. i. 
p. 691. An excellent book for a censorious, separating, turbulent Christian to 
peruse. Lege Cypiiani Epist. li. pp. 1 ] 1 , ] 12 ; of not departing from the unity 
of the ciiurch, because they are wicl-ced. 

" Verbo et disciplina Domini emendoquod possum, tolero quod uon possum, 
fugio paleani ne hae? siui ; non areani, ne nihil siin. As Austin excellently, 
cent. Cresc. lib. iii. c. 35 ; cited also by Willet, on John xvii. p, {]Q ; i. e. What 
1 can, I amend by the word and discipline of the Lord; what 1 cannot, I suf- 
fer. 1 avoid the chatf, lest 1 prove such myself; but not the flour, lest I 
l)rove nothing." Yet a necessary use of church censures 1 deny not ; which 
how it was in the primitive times, and how terrible (pijejudicium summura 
futuri judicii), TertuU. shows in Apologet, cap. 3y. 


do by heresy or scandal blot that evidence ;'' which evidence, if 
they do produce in the church of which they are members, yea, 
though they are yet weak in the faith of Christ, who is he that 
dare refuse to receive them ? And this, after much doubting, 
dispute, and study of the Scriptures, I speak as confidently as 
almost any truth of equal moment : so plain is the Scripture in 
this point, to a man that brings his understanding to the model 
of Scripture, and doth not bring a model in his brain, and reduce 
all he reads to that model. The door of the visible church is 
incomparably wider than the door of heaven ; and Christ is so 
tender, so bountiful, and forward to convey his grace, and the 
Gospel so free an offer and invitation to all, that surely Christ 
will keep no man off: if they will come quite over in spirit to 
Christ, they shall be welcome ; if they will come but only to a 
visible profession, he will not deny them admittance there, be- 
cause they intend to go no farther, but will let them come as 
near as they will ; and that they come no further, shall be their 
own fault: and so it is not his readiness to admit such, nor the 
openness of the door of his visible church, that m^kes men 
hypocrites, but their own wickedness. Christ will not keep such 
out among infidels, for fear of making hypocrites : but when the 
net is drawn unto the shore, the fishes shall be separ.ited ; and 
when the time of harvest comes, " then the angels shall gather 
out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them that work 
iniciuity." (Matt. xiii. 41.) There are many saints, or sancti- 
fied men, that yet shall never come to heaven, "who are only 
saints by their separation from paganism, into fellowship with 
the visible church, but not saints in the strictest sense, by sepa- 
ration from the ungodly into the fellowship of the mystical 
body of Christ. (Heb. x. 20; Ucut. vii. 6, xiv. 2, 21, xxvi. 
19, and xxviii. 9; Exod. xix. t) ; 1 Cor. vii. 13, 14 ; Rom. xi. 
16; Heb. iii. 1, compared with verse 12; 1 Cor. iii. 17, and 
xiv. 33 ; 1 Cor. i. 2, compared with xi. 20, 21, &:c. ; (ial. iii. 20, 
compared with Gal. iii. 3, 4, iv. 11, and v. 2 — 4 ; John xv. 2.*^ 

" Hilarius, lib. ad Const. Aug. iiuiiiit, 'I'utissimiiiu nobis est jirimam et 
solam evaugelicani fidein, in baptismate coiifessam intellectnmciue, retiuere, 
&c. Oui credit omnia qua* lioc hre^i syinboio comprehcnsa habeinus, vitain- 
quc Chrisii praeceptis coiil'ormeni atjirj coiiatur, ex all)o C'liristianorunj uoii 
est expuiigendus, neque k commmiione cum aliis Christianaj cujuscuuquc ec- 
clesia' mcnibris ahij;endiis. K contra, (jui ullam ex hisce artiuulis snrcillat et 
suggillat, licet nomen Chrisliaui sii>i vendicct, ab oitliodoNoium communioue 
arcenJus est, &c. — Daveiiant pro Pace, i>p. 10, 11. viil. ult. 

•^ Haud dubitem afi'uinare (inter C'lerin. doctmes) illos qui falluntiir et 
taiuen comoiuaiouem frateniaiu cum aliis retiuere parati sunt, esse schisiuate 

272 ' THE saint's 

Thus far have I digressed, by way of caution, that you may 
not think that I dissuade you from lawful converse, but it is the 
unnecessary society of ungodly men, and too much familiarity 
with unprofitable companions, though they be not so apparently 
ungodly, that I dissuade you from.'^ There are many persons 
whom we may not avoid or excommunicate out of the church, 
no nor out of our private society, judicially, or by way of penalty 
to them, whom yet we must exclude from our too-much fami- 
liarity in way of prudence for preservation of ourselves. It is 
not only the profane, the swearer, the drunkard, and the ene- 
mies of godliness, that will prove hurtful companions to us, 
though these, indeed, are chiefly to be avoided ; but too frequent 
society with dead-hearted formalists, or persons merely civil and 
moral, or whose conference is empty, unsavoury, and barren, 
may much divert our thoughts from heaven, and do ourselves a 
great deal of wrong.^ As mere idleness and forgetting God, will 
keep a soul as certainly from heaven, as a profane, licentious, 
fleshly life ; so also will the useless company of such idle, for- 
getful, negligent persons, as surely keep our hearts from heaven, 
as the company of men more dissolute and profane. Alas ! 
our dulness and backwardness is such, that we have need of the 
most constant and powerful helps. A clod, or a stone that lies 
on the earth, is as prone to arise and fly in the air, as our hearts 
are naturally to move towards heaven. You need not hold nor 
hinder the earth and rocks, to keep them from flying up to the 
skies; it is sufficient that you do not help them. And, surely, 
if our spirits have not great assistance, they may easily be kept 
from flying aloft, though they never should meet with the least 
impediment. Oh, think of this in the choice of your company. 

coram Deo magis excusatos, quam qui veras opiniones in hisce controversiis 
tuentur, et mutuam interim communionem cum aliis ecclesiis etiatn deside- 
rantibus aspernantur. — D.Davenantde Pace Eccl. pp. 24, 25. 

<• Optime de liac re Calvinus in Matt. xiii. 37 — 40. ubi vid. 

e I will tell who they be that may complain of the unprofitableness of Chris- 
tians. It is the bawds, panders, robbers, witches, wizards ; and so ale-houses, 
taverns, play-houses, gaming-houses, &c. To be unprofitable to these is no small 
profit. — Tertul. Jpolog. adv. Gentes, cap. 43. There are many among us also 
that teach men to say and to do things reproachful to God, and wicked, and 
yet they come in the name of Jesus. And they are distinguished by several 
names, taken from certain men, as every one was the author of any doc- 
trine or opinion. Some of them blaspheme God, the Creator of all, and 
Christ, &c. We communicate with none of these men, for we know them to 
be ungodly, irreligious, unrighteous, and unjust; and that they confess 
Christ only in name, but do not worship him in, deed, though they call them- 
selves Christians.— c/MS<m Martyr, Dialog, mm Tnjphon. 


When your spirits are so powerfullv (lis])osecl for heaven that you 
need no help to hft them nj) ; but, as the Haines, you are ahvays 
mounting upward, and carrying witli you all that is in your way, 
then you may, indeed, be less careful of your company : but 
till then, as you love the delights of a heavenly life, be careful 
therein. As it is reported of a lord that was near to his death,*^ 
and the doctor that prayed with him read over the Litany ; " for 
all women labouring with child, for all sick persons and young 
children, &;c.; from lightning and tempest, from plague, pesti- 
lence, and famine; from battle, murder, and sudden death," &c. 
*'Alas!" saith he, " What is this to me who must presently 
die ?" &:c. so mayest thou say of such men's conference, who 
can talk of nothing but their callings and vanity. Alas ! what 
is this to me who must shortly be in rest, and should now be re- 
freshing my soul with its foretastes ? What will it advantage 
thee to a life w^ith God, to hear where the fair is such a day, or 
how the market goes, or what weather is, or is like to be; or 
when the moon changeth, or what news is stirring ? Whv, this is 
the discourse of earthly men. What will it conduce to the 
raising of thy heart God-ward, to hear that this is an able 
minister, or that a serious Christian, or that this was an ex- 
cellent sermon, or that an excellent book ; to hear a violent 
arguing, or tedious discourse of baptism, ceremonies, the 
power of the keys, the order of God's decrees, or other 
such controversies of great difficulty, but little importance? 
Yet this, for the most part, is the sweetest discourse that thou 
art like to have of a formal, speculative, dead- hearted professor. 
Nay, if thou hadst newly been warming thy heart in the con- 
templation of the blessed joys above, would not this discourse 
benumb thine affections and quickly freeze thy heart again ? [ 

'O God, let me be dumb to all the world, so as 1 may ever have a tongue for 
thee and my own heart. — Bishop Hall's Soliloq. xxiii. p. -48. Seneca's sepa- 
ration I allow : Sanabiniur, si niodo scparaniur ;i cretu. Haec pars major esse 
videtur: ideo pejor est. Non tain bene cum rebus humauis asjitur, ut meli- 
ora pluribus placeant. Argumeutum pessimi, turba est. Quairamus quid 
optinic factum sit, non quid usitatissimum ; et quid nos in jiossessioiie fadici- 
tatis ffiternsc coustituat ; non quid vul^^o veritatis pessimo interprcti probatuiu 
sit. Vulgum autem, tam chlamydatos, quam coronam voco. Non enini 
colorem vestium quibus prsetexta corpora sunt, aspicio : oculis de homine non 
credo. Habeo melius, certiusque lumeu <)uo ii falsis vera dijudiceui. Aninii 
bonum animus inveniat. — Seneca de Vita Beat. cap. 2. Ejo confiteor im- 
becillitatem meam. Nunquam mores quos extuii (t^ turba) rcfcro. Aiiquid 
ex eo quod coniposui, turbatur; ali(|uid ex his qua: fu^avi, redit. — Seneca, 
epist. 7. Foelix est iiloruni conditio quibus datum est quam longissime ab 
impiorum cohabitatiooe abesse. — Polanus, iu lizek. ii. p. 82. 


274 THE saint's 

appeal to the judgment of any man that hath tried it, and 
maketh observations on the frame of his spirit. Men cannot 
well talk of one thing and mind another, especially things of 
such differing natures. You young men, who are most liable to 
this temptation, think sadly of what I say. Can you have your 
hearts in heaven on an alehouse bench, among your roaring, 
singing, swaggering companions, or when you work in your shops 
with none but such whose ordinary language is oaths, or filthi- 
ness, or foolish talking, or jesting? Nay, let me tell you thus 
much more ; that if you choose such company when you might 
have better, and find most delight and content in such, you are 
so far from a heavenly conversation, that as yet you have no 
title to heaven at all, and in that estate shall never come there : 
for were your treasure there, your heart would not be on things 
so distant. (Matt. vi. 21.) In a word, our company will be part 
of our happiness in heaven, and it is a singular part of our fur- 
therance to it, or hinderance from it. As the creatures living 
in the several elements are commonly of the temperature of the 
element they live in, as the fishes cold and moist like the water, 
the worms cold and dry as the earth, and so the rest : so are we 
usually like the society which we most converse in. He that 
never found it hard to have a heavenly mind in earthly company, 
it is certainly because he never tried. 

Sect. IV. 4. A fourth hinderance to heavenly conversation, is, 
too frequent disputes about lesser truths, and especially when a 
man's religion lies only in his opinions : a sure sign of an un- 
sanctified soul.s If sad examples be doctrinal to you, or the 
judgments of God upon us be regarded, I need to say the less 
upon this particular. It is legilply written in the faces of thou- 
sands ; it is visible in the complexion of our diseased nation : 
i\us fades hypocritica is our fades hyj)Ocratica. He that hath 
the least skill in physiognomy may see that this complexion is 
mortal, and this picture-like, shadow-like visage affordeth our 

sThere must needs therefore be some toleration in controverted lesser doc- 
trinals : that this is no Sociuianism, hear one that was none: Apud nos 
vera fides est in Christ! nieritis ; vera de vitse sanctimonia doctrina valet ; hoc 
inficiari non poterunt pontiticii. At in his duobus cardinibus omnis Christi- 
anismus, vertilur. Quid erjco in nobis desiderant? — D.Jos. Stegman. Dode- 
cad. de Eccles. flator. Pro-fat. Ad fidem sufficit pauca nosse ; in reliquis 
sufficit, Contrarium non tueri. — Jbid. mem. ii. p. 29. Quoad elementaria 
adeo dilucide S. Sanctus mentem suani in Scripturis declaravlt, ut ex ipso 
verboruni sono verus sensiis statim hauriri queat. — Ibid. mem. xii. p. 229. 
Quaudo consequentiae necessitas non est evidenter cognita, atque ita neg'atio 
ilia ex infirmitate, non aiitem animi ex obfirmatione provenit; ut in patribus 
factum est, damnabilis error non ineurritur. — Ibid. p. 226. 


State a sad prognostic-. You that liave been my companiens in 
armies and garrisons, in cities and countries, I know have been 
my companions in this observation, that they are usually men 
least accpiainted with a heavenly life, wlio are the violent dis- 
puters about the circumstantials of religion. He whose religion 
IS all in his opinions, will be most frecjuentlv and zc^ously 
speaking his opinions ; and he whose religion lies in the know- 
ledge and love of God in Christ, will be most delightfully speak- 
ing of that time when he shall enjoy God and Christ. As the 
body doth languish in consuming fevers, when the native hej^t 
abates within, and an unnatural heat inflaming the external parts 
succeeds; so, when the zeal of a Christian doth leave the in- 
ternals of religion, and fly to ceremonials, externals, or inferior 
things, the soul must needs consume and languish : yea, though 
you were sure your opinions were true, yet when the chiefest of 
your zeal is turned thither, and the chiefest of your conference 
there laid out, the life of grace decays within, and your hearts 
are turned from this heavenly life. Not that I would persuade 
you to undervalue the least truth of God, nor that I do acknow- 
ledge the hot disputers of the times to have discovered the truth 
above their brethren;'' but in case we should grant them to 
have hit on the truth, yet let every truth in our thoughts and 
speeches have their due proportion, and I am confident the 
hundredth j)art of our time and our conference would not be 
spent upon the now common themes. For as there are a hun- 
dred truths of far greater consequence, who do all challenge the 
precedency before these, so many of those truths alone are of 
a hundred times nearer concermnent to our souls, and there- 
fore should have an answerable proportion in our thoughts. 
Neither is it any excuse for our casting by those great, funda- 
mental truths, because they are common and known already ; 
for the chief improvement is yet behind, and the soul must be 
daily refreshed with the truth of Scripture, and the goodness of 
that which it offereth and ])romiseth, as the body must be with 
its daily food, or else the known truths that lie idle in your 

•' Hiuc vidcas tht'olo;rastros, ut primiim eos lixc foetida scabies ac despe- 
rata, ((fxAoi'eixe^a) inStulis sapientiae persiiasione tumida, octiipavit ; ru| t.i 
oniui mora scripiitare. Contr.iversias anitare, iiimio pcriiKJe acsi milla; antea 
esscut, novas iiir.citarc, et obviam r|i!eiijvis adversarium etiain nil talc co^^i- 
tantem, nil hostile iiieruentem, deliserc, &c.—Iiiipert. J\I,:li!c)iius Piiraius. 
lot. pro Pac. fol. c. 2. Ojiinioues ig^.nota; vetLri ccclesia etiamsi hoc tciiiixne 
siiit receptissima', tauiLMi uoii sunt dogmata catbolica; ecclcsia'.— ;l/t/««<./AoM 
npuil Luther, toui. i. dispiit. ]>. 111. 

T 2 

276 THE saint's 

heads will no more nourish, or comfort, or save you, than the 
bread that lies still in your cupboards will feed you. Ah ! he 
is a rare and precious Christian who is skilled in the improving 
of well-known truths. Therefore let me advise you that aspire 
after this joyous life, spend not too much of your thoughts, your 
time, your zeal, or your speeches, upon quarrels that less concern 
your souls ', but when hypocrites are feeding on husks or shells, 
or on this heated food which will burn their lips far sooner than 
■warm and strengthen their hearts, then do you feed on the 
joys above. T could wish you were all understanding men, able 
to defend every truth of God ; and to this end that you would 
read and study controversy more ; * and your understanding 
and stability in these days of trial is no small part of my com- 
fort and encouragement. But still I would have the chiefest to 
be chiefly studied, and none to shoulder out your thoughts of 
eternity. The least controverted points are usually most 
weighty, and of most necessary frequent use to our souls. 

For you, my neighbours and friends in Christ, I bless God 
that I have so little need to urge this hard upon you, or to spend 
my time and speeches in the pulpit on these quarrels, as I have 
been necessitated, to my discontent, to do elsewhere ;^ I rejoice 
in the wisdom and goodness of our Lord, who hath saved me 
much of this labour, 1 . Partly by his tempering of your spirits to 
sincerity. 2, Partly by the doleful, yet profitable example of 
those few that went from us, whose former and present condi- 
tion of spirit makes them stand, as the pillar of salt, for a con- 

• It is a good saying of Picus Miraiulula, wherewith D. Estius condudeth 
his oratiou ' De Certitudine Salutis; Veritatem Philosophia quterit, Theolo- 
gie invenit, Religio possidet.' " Study lo obey, not to dispute : turn not con- 
science into questions and controversies, lest while thou art resolving what to 
do, thou do just nothing Draw not all to reason, leave something to faith. 
Where thou canst not sound the bottom, admire the depth : kiss the book, 
and lay it down ; weep over thy own ignorance, and send one hearty wish to 
lieaven, O when shall I come to know as I am known ! The time is at 
hand when all n>ust be accomplished, and we accountable : when arts shall 
cease, and tongues be abolished, and knowledge vanish away. Do but think 
now one thought, what will be the joy of thy heart when thou canst truly say, 
* Lord, thou hast written to me the great things of thy law, and I have not 
accounted them as strange things, ' " &c. — Pemhle in Preface to Findic. GrU' 
tie. Necessaria ignoramus, quia non necessaria didicimus, inquit Rupertus, 
Meldeniiis, Paia^nesi. 

^ As it is said of Erasmus, in his Life, Videbat plus satis tribui theologiae ar- 
gutatrici, priori prorsus abolita : sicque theologos Scoticis argutiisjncumbere, 
ut non attingerent fontes divinse sapientiae. Read Bishop Hall's excellent 
book called ' The Peace-maker,' and his 'Pax Terris j' and Davenant's 
' Adhortatio.' 


tiniial terror and warning; to von, and so to l)e as uscfnl as they 
were like to be hurtful. 3. Partly bv the confessions and be- 
uailings of this sin that you have heard from the mouth of the 
dying,"^ advising you to beware of changing vour fruitful society 
for the comjjanv of deceivers. I do unfeigncdlv rejoice in these 
providences, and bless the Lord who thus establisheth his saints. 
Study well these precepts of the Spirit, " Him that is weak in 
the faith, receive, but not to doubtful disputations." (Rom.xiv.l.) 
" But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they 
do gender strifes ; and the servant of the Lord must not strive," 
(2 Tim. ii. 23;) "but avoid foolish questions, and genealo- 
gies, and contentions, and strivings about the law, for they are 
unprofitable and vain. "(I Tit. iii. 9.) " If any man teach other- 
wise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to 
godliness ; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about 
questions, and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, 
railing, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt 
minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godli- 
ness. From such withdraw thyself." (I Tim. iv. 3 — 5.) 

Sect. V. 5. As you value the comforts of a heavenly life, take 
heed of a proud and lofty spirit." There is such an antipathy 
between this sin and God, that thou wilt never get thy heart near 
him, nor get him near thy heart, so long as this prevaileth iu it. 
If it cast the angels from heaven that were in it, it must needs 
keep thy heart estranged from it. If it cast our first parents 
out of paradise, and separated between the Lord and us, and 
brought his curse on all the creatures here below, it must needs 
then keep our hearts from paradise, and increase the cursed 
separation from our God. Believe it, hearers, a proud heart 
and a heavenly heart are exceeding contrary. Intercourse with 
God will keep men low, and that lowliness will further their 

"' Yet still 1 doubt not but we should be still learnin<;- to know more; as 
Dav. ChytriL'us said, when he lay on liis death-bed: '• Jucuiidiorcm sibi dis- 
cessuin fore, si nioribuudus etiaiu ali(|uid dedidisset." 

"Radix oniniuni nialoruin cupiditas : radix omtiium maloruin superbia. 
Ha?c setiindiim viaiu iiitentionis : ill;i secutiduiu \ iain executioiiis : lia.'o, iit 
qiiwreiis quo homo satiari ])()ssit : ilia, (|uibus ad i)ro])o;5itaiu foelicitateni per- 
venire. Utraque ab ilia infiuita Dei capacitate, et desceiidens et de^enerans ; 
seiitiente et gaudente houiiiie etiaiu poshiiiaiu ;l Deo aherravit uoii nisi inli- 
nito se posse repleri, suain(|ue vel ex hoc uiagiiitudiiiein ai)|>robante, scd 
frustra infinitum inter finita quairente. Utraque ergfo pt'ioris et verae locum 
occupat ; et est orig^o deinceps omnium aliorum malorum ; sed iitriusque prima 
origo est vera ilia et divina capacitas : nou (|uateuus Dei capacitas et a Deo 
data, sed quatenus sue actu vacua et nihilum subnotans. — Cibieit/de Libert, 
lib. ii. cap. 19. sect. 11. pp. 41 1, 41.5. 

278 THE saint's 

interGourse." When a man is used to be much with God, and 
taken up in the study of his glorious attributes, he abhors him- 
self in dust and ashes, and that self- abhorrence is his best pre- 
parative to obtain admittance to God again. Therefore, after a 
soul-humbling day, or in times of trouble, when the soul is 
lowest, it useth to have freest access to God, and savour most 
of the life above. He will bring them into the wilderness, and 
there he will speak comfortably to them. (Hos. ii. 14.) The 
delight of God is an humble soul, even him that is contrite, and 
trembleth at his word ; and the delight of an humble soul is in 
God; and surely, where there is mutual delight, there will be 
freest admittance, and heartiest welcome, and most frequent 
converse. Heaven would not hold God and the proud angels 
together, but a humble soul he makes his dwelling; and surely 
if our dwelling be with him, and in him, and his dwelling also 
be with us, and in us, there must needs be a most near and 
sweet familiarity. But the soul that is proud cannot plead this 
privilege. God is so far from dwelling in it, that he will not 
admit it to any near access, but looks upon it afar off. (Psal. 
cxxxviii. 6.) The proud he resisteth, and the proud resisteth him, 
but to the humble he gives this and other graces. (1 Pet. v. 5.) 
A proud mind is a high mind in conceit, self-esteem, and 
carnal aspiring. A heavenly mind is a high mind indeed in 
God's esteem, and in higher, yet holy, aspiring. These two sorts 
of high-mindedness are more adverse to one another, than a high 
mind and a low : as we see that most wars and bloodshed is be- 
tween princes and princes, and not between a prince and a 
ploughman. A low spirit and an humble is not so contrary to a 
high and heavenly, as a high and a proud. A grain of mustard- 
seed may come to be a tree ; a small acorn may be a great oak ; 
the sail of the windmill that is now down may presently be the 
highest of all ; a subject that is low may be raised high, and he 
that is high may be yet higher, as long as he. stands in subordi- 
nation to his prince, who is the fountain of honour ; but if he 
break out of that subordination, and become a competitor, or  

° Quanto excellentiiis in mandatis Deo quique proficiuiit, tanto majores. 
liabeiit causas luriiiidinis et tremoris ; ne de ipsis probitatis aiigineiitis, mens 
sibi conscia, et laudis avida, in superbia; rajiiatur excessus, et fiat ininiuiida 
vaiiitate, diuii sibi videtur clara virtute. — Prosj). Epist. adDemctr. Superbia 
est inordiiiaiiis amor excellentiBC propria;, &c. Consistit primo in hypocrisi, 
quae est pessima species superbia;, et relij;iosos nustros saepe consequitur, cum 
non prjesunierent superaddere traditiones supra evangelioin, quae commuui- 
ter sunt contraria ratioui, nisi hypocrisi laborarcnt. — ff^ickliff'e Trialog. lib. 
iii. cap. 10. pp. fiO, (il. 


will assume and arroc^atc honour to himself, he will find this 
prove the falling way. A man that is swelled in a dropsy with 
wind or water, is as far from a sound, well-fleshed constitution, 
as he that is in a consuming atrophy. Well, then, art thou a 
man of worth in thine own eyes, and very tender of thine esteem 
with others ? A^t thou one that much vainest the applause of 
the people, and feclest thy heart tickled with delight when thou 
hearest of thy great esteem with men, and much dejected when 
thou hearest that men slight thee ? Dost thon love those best 
who liighlv honour thee, and doth thy heart bear a grudge at 
those that thou thinkest do undervalue thee, and entertain mean 
thoughts of thee, though they be otherwise men of godliness 
and honesty ? p Art thou one that must needs have thy humours 
fulfilled, and thy judgment must be a rule to the judgments of 
others, and thy word a law to all about thee ? Art thou ready 
to quarrel with every man that lets fall a word in derogation 
from thy honour ?i Are thy passions kindled if thy word or will 
be crossed ? Art thou ready to judge humility to be sordid 
baseness, and knowest not how to stoop and submit; and wilt 
not be brought to shame thyself by humble confession when 
thou hast sinned against God, or injured thy brother? Art 
thou one that honourest the godly that are rich, and thinkest 
thyself somebody if they value and own thee, but lookest 
strangely at the godlv poor, and art almost ashamed to be their 
companion ? Art thou one that canst not serve God in a low 
place as well as in a high ; and thinkest thyself the fittest for 
offices and honours, and lovest God's service when it stands with 

y Clemens. Alexaiid. Stromat. lib. ii. citeth Barnabas the apostle saying. 
Woe to them that are understanding in their own conceit, and knowing 
men in their own eyes. 

1 Sive in lapsu diaboli, sive in prevaricatione hominis, Initium )ieccati su- 
perbia est ; qua; congruenter et avaritia noniinatur, t)uia utraque appellatio 
euni significai appetituni qui et suam niensurani concupiscat excedere, et noa 
dignetur dives esse nisi propriis : tanquam habeat hoc simile Deo, ut hono- 
rum suorum ipse sibi sit fons, ipse sibi copia. — Prosper, in Epistol. ad De- 
inetr. Seneca 'De Ira,' lib. iii. cap. 22, writes of Antigonus, that hearing two 
of his servants witiioul his tent speaking against him, he softly calls to them, 
saying, " (io further olY lest the king hear you." And when he heard some 
of his soldiers, when ihey stuck in the dirt, cursing the king that brought 
them a march, he went and helped out them tliat were in the n»ost danger; 
and when he- had done, said, " Now curse Antigonus that led you into the 
quicksand, but thank him that helped you out." It is a shame that a heathen 
king can bear an ill word, better than a mean inferior Christian. Nfmo 
pluris a?stimavit virtutem, qnam ((ui boni viri famam pcrdidit ; ns conscieuti- 
am perderet ; ut Seneca admudum theologice. 

280 THE saint's 

jjreferment ? Hast thou thine eye and thy speech much on thy 
own deservings ; and are thy boastings vestrained more by wit 
than by humility?'" Dost thou delight in opportunities of set- 
ting forth thy parts, and lovest to have thy name made public 
to the world, and wouldst fain leave behind thee some monu- 
ment of thy worth, that posterity may admire thee when thou 
art dead and gone ? Hast thou witty circumlocutions to com- 
mend thyself, while thou seemest to abase thyself, and deny 
thy worth ? Dost thou desire to have all men's eyes upon thee, 
and to hear men observing thee, say, ' This is he ? ' Is this the 
end of thy studies and learning, of thy labours and duties, of 
seeking degrees, and titles, and places, that thou mayest be 
taken for somebody abroad in the world ? Art thou unac- 
quainted with the deceitfulness and wickedness of thy heart; or 
knowest thyself to be vile only by reading and by hearsay, but 
not by experience, and feeling of thy vileness ? Art thou readier 
to defend thyself, and maintain thine innocency, than to accuse 
thyself, or confess thy fault ? Canst thou hardly bear a close 
reproof, and dost digest plain dealing with difficulty and dis- 
taste ? Art thou readier in thy discourse to teach than to learn, 
and to dictate to others than to hearken to their instructions ? 
Art thou bold and confident of thy own opinions, and little 
suspicious of the weakness of thy understanding, but a slighter 

"^ Optime Chytraeus : Ainplum nonien et claritatem popularem in his terris 
plerique iiescimus, aiitequam pcEnitere coepit, contemiiere. Usibus deuiqiie 
edocti cum sevum prffilustri fiilmen ab arce venit, sero nobis et Cliristo vivere 
«)ptanius. Though the saints are thus chosen and approved of God, yet in 
their own eyes they are nobody, and disapproved : for it is exceeding^ natural 
to them, and inseparable, to think humbly of themselves, as being nothing, 
&c. For grace teacheth those that are such, to account themselves as 
nothing worth, and naturally they repute themselves contemptible aiid disho- 
nourable. When therefore they are excellent with God, with themselves they 
are not so. And when they are in progress in the knowledge of God, they are 
to themselves as if they were ignorant of all things ; and when with God they 
are rich, intheirown eyes tliey are poor. And as Christ overcame the devil by 
humility, in the form of a servant ; so in the l)eginning the serpent orerthrew 
Adam by arrogancy and loftiness. And even now the same serpent lying hid 
in the secret corners of the heart, doth by pride destroy and ruin the most 
Christians, &c. — Holy Mucarius, in Hotnil. 27. Some men, void of discre- 
tion, when they have got a little comfort or refreshment, and some desires or 
prayer, begin presently to look high, and to be lifted up with insolency, and to 
judge others, and by this means they fall into the lowest misery. For the 
same serpent that overthrew Adam, saying, '• ^'e shall be as gods," doth now 
suggest arrogancy into their hearts, saying, ' Thou art now perfect, thou hast 
enou«;h, thou art rich, thou wautcst nothing, thou art blessed.' — .Vamrius 
nbi siipia. 


of the jiuli^inent of all that are against thee ? Is thy spirit more 
disposed to command and govern, than it is to obey and be ruled 
by others ? Art thou ready to censure the doctrine of thy 
teachers, the actions of thy rulers, and the persons of thy bre- 
thren ; and to think, if thou wert a judge, thou wouldst be 
more just; or, if thou wert a minister, thou wouldst be more fruit- 
ful in doctrine, and more faithful in overseeing ? Or, if thou 
hadst the managing of other men's business, thou wouldst have 
carried it more honestly and wisely ? If these symptoms be 
undeniably in thy heart, beyond doubt thou art a proud person. 
I will not talk of thy following the fashions, of thy bravery and 
comportment, thy proud gestures and arrogant speeches, thy 
living at a rate above thy abilities. Perhaps thy incompetency 
of estate, or thy competency of wit, may suffice to restrain 
these unmanly fooleries. Perhaps thou mayest rather seem 
sordid to others, and to live at a rate below thy worth, and yet, 
if thou be guilty of the former accusations, be it known to thee 
thou art a person abominably proud ; it hath seized on thy heart, 
which is the principal fort; there is too much of hell abiding 
in thee, for thee to have any acciuaintance in heaven. Thy 
soul is too like the devil for thee to have any familiarity with 
God. A proud man is all in the flesh, and he that will be hea- 
venly must be much in the Spirit. It is likely that the man 
whom I have here described, hath either will or skill to go out 
of himself, and out of the flesh, as it were, and out of the world, 
that so he may have freedom for converse above. A proud man 
makes himself his God, and admires and sets himself as his idol ; 
how, then, can he have his affections set on God ? As the 
humble, godly man is the zealot in forward worshiping of 
God, so the ambitious man is the great zealot in idolatry ; for 
what is his ambition but a more hearty and earnest desire after 
his idol, than the common and calmer idolaters do reach ? And 
can this man possibly have his heart in heaven? It is possible 
liis invention and memory may furnish his tongue both with 
humble and heavenly expressions, but in his s])irit there is no 
more heaven than there is humility. 

I entreat you, readers, be very jealous of your souls in this 
point." There is nothing in the world will more estrange vou 

• Est alKiuiil humilitatis miro niodo f[U0(l sursuin facit cor, et est aliquid 
clationis quod deursuin facit cor! Hoc <|uiilLMii (|iiasi contraiiuiii videtur, ut 
clatio sit doorsum, ct liumilitas sursum : sed ])ia humilitas facit subdituin 

2S2 THE saint's 

from God. 1 speak the more of it, because it is the most 
common and dangerous sin in moraHty, and most promoting the 
great sin of infidelity. You would little think (yea, and the 
owners do little think) what humble carriage, what exclaiming 
against pride, what moanful self-accusings, may stand with this 
devilish sin of pride. O, Christian, if thou wouldst live con- 
tinually in the presence of thy Lord, and lie in the dust,' he 
would thence take thee up : descend first with him into the 
grave, thence thou mayest ascend with him to glory. Learn of 
him to be meek and lowly, and then thou mayest taste of this 
rest to thy soul. Thy soul else will be as the troubled sea, still 
casting out mire and dirt, which cannot rest; and, instead of 
these sweet delights in God, thy pride will fill thee with per- 
petual disquietness. It is the humble soul that forgets not 
God, and God will not forget the humble. (Psalm ix. 12, x. 
12.) As he that humbleth himself as a little child, shall here- 
after be greatest in the kingdom of God, (Matt, xviiii. 4,) so 
shall he now be greatest in the foretastes of the kingdom; for, 
as whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, so he that 
humbleth himself shall be, in both these respects, exalted. 
(Matt, xxiii. 12.) God therefore dwelleth with him that is 
humble and contrite, to revive the spirit of such with his pre- 
sence. (Isa. Ivii. 15.) I conclude with that counsel of James 
and Peter, Humble yourselves, therefore, in the sight of the 
Lord, and he shall now in the spirit lift you up, (Jam. iv. 10,) 
and in due time shall perfectly exalt you. (1 Pet. v. 6.) And 
when others are cast down, then shalt thou say, " There is a 
lifting up, and he shall save the humble person.^' (Prov. xv. 
33; xviii. 22; Job xxii. 29.) 

Sect. VI. 6. Another impediment to this heavenly life, is, wilful 
laziness, and slothfulness of spirit; and I verily think for knowing 
men, there is nothing hinders more than this.* Oh, if it were only 
the exercise of the body, the moving of the lips, the bending 
of the knee, then it were an easy work indeed, and men would 

superiori ; nihil est autem superius Deo, et ideo exaltat humilitas, quia facit 
subditiim Deo. Elatio autem quae in vitio est, eo ipso quo respuit sulijec- 
tionem, cadit ab illo, quo non est superius quicquam,et ex hoc erit infeiius. — 
August, de Civitat. lib. xiv. cap. KJ ; Matt. xi. 28, 29 ; Isa. Ivii. 20. Scitum est 
illud Rabbi Levitae, Maxiuie humiii spiritu esto j expectatio euim horainis 
sunt vermes. 

* One would be holy, but he would not wait too long at the door-posts of 
God's house, nor lose too many hours in the exercise of his stinted devotions. 


as commonly step to heaven as they go a few miles to visit a 
friend ; yea, if it were to spend most of our days in numbering 
beads, and repeating certain words and prayers, in vohmtary 
humility, and neglecting the body, after the commandments 
and doctrines of men; (Col. ii. 21 — 23;) yea, or in the out- 
ward part of duties commanded by God, yet it were compara- 
tively easy. Further, if it were only in the exercise of parts 
and gifts, though we made such performance our daily trade, 
yet it were easy to be heaveidy-minded. But it is a work more 
difficult than all this to separate thoughts and affections from 
the world; to force them to a work of so high a nature; to 
draw forth all our graces in their order, and exercise each on its 
proper object ; to hold them to this till they perceive success, 
and till the work doth thrive and prosper in their hands. This, 
this is the difficult task. Reader, heaven is above thee, the 
way is upwards. Dost thou think, who art a feeble, short- 
winded sinner, to travel daily this steep ascent without a great 
deal of labour and resolution? Canst thou get that earthly 
heart to heaven, and bring that backward mind to God, while 
thou liest still, and takest thine ease ? If lying down at the 
foot of the hill, and looking toward the top, and wishing we 
were there, would serve the turn, then we should have daily tra- 
vellers for heaven. But the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, 
and the violent take it by force. (Matt. xi. 12.) There must be 
violence used to get these first fruits, as well as to get the full 
possession. Dost thou not feel it so, though I should not tell 
thee? Will thv heart get upwards, except thou drive it? Is 
it not like a dull and jadish horse, that will go no longer than 
he feels the spur ? Dost thou find it easy to dwell in the de- 
lights above ? It is true, the work is exceeding sweet, and no 
condition on earth so desirable ; but therefore it is that our 
hearts are so backward, especially in the beginning, till we are 
ac([uainted with it. Oh, how many hundred professors of re- 
ligion, who can easily bring their hearts to ordinary duties, as 
reading, hearing, praying, conferring, could never yet in all 
their lives, bring them, and keep them to a heavenly contem- 

Another would he ha])py ; but he would leap into heaven suddenly, not abid- 
ius: to think of a leisurely towering up thither, by a thousand de^jrecs of 
ascent, in the slow proficiency of g:race. Whereas the great God of heaven, 
that can do all things in an instant, hath thought good to produce all the 
etfects of natural agency, not without a due succession of time. — Bishop Hall' $ 
Soliloq. xvi. p. 5B. 

284 THE saint's 

plation one half hour togetlier ! Consider here, reader, as hefore 
the Lord, whether this he not thine own case. Thou hast known 
that heaven is all thy hopes ; thou knowest thou must shortly 
he turned hence, and that nothing helow can yield thee rest ; 
thou knowest, also, that a strange heart, a seldom and careless 
thinking of heaven, can fetch hut little comfort thence ; and 
dost thou yet for all this let slip thy opportunities, and lie below 
in dust, or mere duties, when thou shouldst walk above, and 
live with God ? Dost thou commend the sweetness of a hea- 
venly life, and judge those the excellent Christians that use it; 
and yet didst never once try it thyself? But as the sluggard 
that stretched himself on his bed, and cried, ^ Oh, that this 
were working !' so dost thou talk and trifle, and live at thy 
ease, and say, ' Oh, that 1 could get my heart to heaven 1' 
This is to lie a-bed and wish, when thou shouldst be up and 
doing, * How many a hundred do read books, and hear ser- 
mons, in expectation to hear of some easy course, or to meet 
with a shorter cut to comforts, than ever thev are like to find 
in this world ! And if they can hear of none from the preachers 
of truth, they will snatch it with rejoicing from the teachers of 
falsehood ; and presently applaud the excellency of the doctrine, 
because it hath fitted their lazy temper, and think there is no 
other doctrine will comfort the soul, because it will not comfort 
it with hearing and looking on. They think their venison is 
best, though accompanied with a lie, because it is the easiest 
catched, and next at hand, and they think it will procure the 
chiefest blessing, and so it may, if God be as subject to mistake 
as blind Isaac. And while they pretend enmity only to the 
impossibilities of the law, they Appose the easier conditions of 
the Gospel, and cast off the burden that is light also, and which all 
must bear that will find rest to their souls; and in my judgment 
may as fitly be styledenemies to the Gospel,"as enemies tothelaw, 

" Antinomists. Many are hindered because they refuse to give themselves 
to prayer or meditation, except they feel themselves brought to it by devotion; 
and except it be when these duties delight them, and 5^0 to their hearts, other- 
wise all seems to them unjjrofitable. But these kind of men are like him that, 
being- vexed with cold, will not go to the fire except he be first warm ; or like 
one that is ready to perish with famine, and will not ask meat except he were 
first satisfied. For wliy doth a man give himself to prayer and meditation, 
but that he might be warmed wilh the! fire of divine love ; or that he might 
be filled with the gifts and grace of God ? These men are mistaken in think- 
ing the time lost in prayer or meditation, if they be not presently watered 
with a shower of devotion : for, I answer them, that if they strive as much as 


from whence they receive their common title. The Lord of light 
and Spirit of comfort show these men in time a surer way for 
lasting comfort. The delusions of many of them are strong, 
and ungrounded comforts they seem to have store. I can judge 
it to be of no better a kind, because it comes not in the Scrip- 
ture way.'' They will some of them i)rofess, that when they 
meditate and labour for comfort themselves, they either have 
none, or at least but human, and of a lower kind 5 but all the 
comforts that they own and value, are immediately injected 
without their pains: so do I expect my comforts to come in, in 
heaven ; but till then, I am glad if they will come with labour, 
and the Spirit will help me to suck them from the breasts of the 
promise, and to vvalk from them daily to the face of God. It 
was an established law among the Argi, that if a man were per- 
ceived to be idle and lazy, he must give an account before the 
magistrate, how he came by his victuals and maintenance. And 
surely, when I see these men lazy in the use of God's appointed 
means for comfort, I cannot but question how they came by 
their comforts. I would they would examine it thoroughly 
themselves, for God will require an account of it from them. 
Idleness, and not improving the truth in painful duty, is the 
common cause of men's seeking comfort from error ; even as 
the people of Israel, when they had no comfortable answer 
from God, because of their own sin and neglect, would run to 
seek it from the idols of the heathens. So, when men were 
false-hearted to the truth, and the Spirit of truth did deny them 
comfort, because they denied him sincere obedience, therefore 
they will seek it from a lying spirit. 

A multitude also of professors there are, that come and in- 
quire for marks and signs. How shall I know whether my heart 

in them lieth fur this, and do their duty, and are in war, and in continual fight 
against their own thoughts, with displeasure because they depart not, nor suf- 
fer them to be quiet : such men for this time are more accepted, than if the 
heat of devotion had come to them suddenly, without any such conflict ; the 
reason is, because they go to warfare for God, as it were, at their own cost and 
charges, and serve him with greater labour and pains, &c. — Gerson, de Monte 
Contemplationis, part. iii. p. 3'J6, cap. 43. Read this, you libertines, andlearu 
better the way of devotion from a papist. 

» Arbitrium voluntatis humanfE nequaquara destruimus, quando Dei grati- 
am, quaipsum adjuvatur arbitrium, non superbia negamus ingrata, sed grata 
potius pietate praedicamus. Nostrum est enim velle, sed voluntas ipsa etiam 
movetur ut surgat,et sanatur ut valeat, et dilatatur ut capiat, et implctur, ut 
habeat. Nam nisi nos vellemus, nee nos utitiue acciperemus ca qua; dautur, 
nee nos haberemus. — August. Lib. de Bono Fiduitatis, cap. 17. 

286 THE saint's 

be sincere ? and they think the bare naming of some mark is 
enough to discover it; but never bestow one hour in trying 
themselves by the marks they hear, y So here, they ask for 
directions for a heavenly life ; and if the hearing and knowing 
of these directions will serve, then they will be heavenly Chris- 
tians ; but if we set them to task, and show them their work, 
and tell them they cannot have these delights on easier terms, 
then, here they leave us, as the young man left Christ, with sor- 
row. How our comforts are only in Christ, and yet this labour 
of ours is necessary thereto, I have showed vou already in the 
beginning of this book, and therefore still refer you thither, when 
any shall put in that objection. My advice to such a lazy sin- 
ner is this : As thou art convict that this work is necessary to 
thy comfortable living, so resolvedly set upon it ; if thy heart 
draw back, and be undisposed, force it on with the command of 
reason ; and if thy reason begin to dispute the work, force it 
with producing the command of God ; and quicken it up with 
the consideration of thy necessity, and the other motives before 
propounded ; and let the enforcements that brought thee to the 
work, be still in thy mind to quicken thee in it : do not let such 
an incomparable treasure lie before thee, while thou liest still with 
thy hand in thy bosom : let not thy life be a continual vexation, 
which might be a continual delightful feasting, and all because 
thou wilt not be at the pains. When thou hast once tasted of 
the sweetness of it, and a little used thy heart to the work, thou 
wilt find the pains thou takest with thy backward flesh, abun- 
dantly recompensed in the pleasures of thy spirit. Only sit not 
still with a disconsolate spirit, while comforts grow before thine 
eyes, like a man in the midst of a garden of flowers, or delight- 
ful meadow, that will not rise to get them, that he may partake 
of their sweetness. Neither is it a few formal, lazy, running- 
thoughts that will fetch thee this consolation from above, any 
more than a few lazy, formal words will prevail with God instead 
of fervent prayer. ^ I know Christ is the fountain, and 1 know 
this, as every other gift, is of God j but yet if thou ask my ad- 
vice, how to obtain these waters of consolation, 1 must tell thee, 

y Profluens laigiter spiritus iiullis finibus premitur, nee coercentibus claus- 
tris intra certa notatum ?patia frEenatur : niauat jugitcr ; exuberat affluenter. 
Nostrum tantum sitiat pectus et pateat. Quantum illuc fidei capaces afferi- 
mus, tantum gratia; inundautis liauiimus. — Cyprian. Epist. i. ad Donat. p. 3. 

^ In omni disciplina infirma est artis praiceptio sine summa assiduitate 
excrcitationis. — Cker. ad Htren. 


There is something also for thee to do : the Gospel hath its con- 
ditions and works, though not such impossible ones as the Law;* 
Christ hath his yoke and his burden, though easy, and thou 
must come to him weary, and take it up, or thou wilt never find 
rest to thy soul. The well is deep, and thou must get forth 
this water before thou canst be refreshed and delighted with 
it. What answer would you give a man that stands by a pump 
or draw-well, and should ask you, How shall I do to get out the 
water ? Why you must draw it up, or labour at the pump, and 
that not a motion or two, but you must pump till it comes, and 
then hold on till you have enough. Or, if a man were lifting at 
a heavy weight, or would move a stone to the top of a moun- 
tain, and should ask you. How he should get it up ? Why what 
should you say, but that he must put to his hands, and put forth 
his strength ; and what else can 1 say to you, in directing you 
to this art of a heavenly life, but this : You must deal roundly 
with your hearts, and drive them up, and spur them on, and 
follow them close till the work be done, as a man will do a lazy, 
unfaithful servant, who will do nothing longer than your eye is 
on him ; or as you will your horse or ox at his labour, who will 
not stir any longer than he is driven : and if your heart lie down 
in the midst of the work, force it up again till the work be done, 
and let it not prevail by its lazy policies. I know so far as you 
are spiritual, you need not all this striving and violence, but that 
is but in part, and in part you are carnal j and as long as it is 
so, there is no talk of ease. Though your renewed nature do 
delight in this work, yea, no delight on earth so great, yet your 
nature, so far as it is fleshly and unrenewed, will draw back and 
resist, and necessitate your industry. It was the Parthians' cus- 
tom, that none must give their children any meat in the morn- 
ing, before they saw the sweat on their faces with some labour : 
and vou shall find this to be God's most usual course, not to 
give his children the tastes of his delights, till they begin to 
sweat in seeking after them.^ Therefore lay them both together, 

» If therefore they take away the positive law, it must needs follow that 
every one be led hy his own lust, and obey his pleasures, and neg;lect that 
which is right and honest, and despite God, and bein^ without fear, will be 
boih ungodly and unjust, as having forsaken the truth. — Cltin. Altxand. Stio- 
mat. lib. ii. paulo post init. 

•' (jiiid est enim 4uod cum labore niemininius, sine labore ohliviscimur ? cnin 
labore discimus, sine labore nescinius ^ cum labore slrenui, sine labore iuertes 
sumus ? nonue hinc apparet in (piid velut pondere suo proclivis, et prona sit 
vitiosa iiatura, et quanta ope ut hinc liberetur indigeat .' — Jug. de Civil, lib. 
xxii. p. 22. 

288 THE saint's 

and judge whether a heavenly life or thy carnal ease be better, 
and, as a wise man, make thy choice accordingly. Yet this let 
me say to encourage thee, Thou needest not expend thy thoughts 
more than now thou dost; it is but only to employ them better : 
I press thee not to busy thy mind much more than thou dost, 
but to busy it upon better and more pleasant objects. As 
Socrates said to a lazy fellow that would fain go up to Olympus, 
but that it was so far off ; " Why," saith he, " walk but as far 
every day as thou dost up and down about thy house, and in so 
many days thou wilt be at Olympus." ^ So say I to thee ; Em- 
ploy but so many serious thoughts every day upon the excellent 
glory of the life to come, as thou now employest on thy neces- 
sary affairs in the world ; nay, as thou daily losest on vanities 
and impertinencies, and thy heart will be at heaven in a very 
short space. 

To conclude this, As I have seldom known Christians perplexed 
with doubts about their state for want of knowing right evi- 
dences to try by, so much as for want of skill and diligence in 
using them ; so have I seldom known a Christian that wants the 
joys of this heavenly life, for want of being told the means to 
get it, but for want of a heart to set upon the work, and pain- 
fully to use the means they are directed to. It is the field of 
the slothful that is overgrown with weeds, (Prov. xxiv. 30 — 
34;) and the desire of the slothful killeth his joys, be- 
cause his hands refuse to labour; (Prov. xxi. 25.) While he 
lies wishing, his soul lies starving. He saith. There is a lion 
(there is difficulty) in the way, and turneth himself on the bed 
of his ease, as a door turneth on the hinges : he hideth his hand 
in his bosom, and it grieveth him to bring it to his mouth, 
(Prov. xxvi. 13 — 15,) though it be to feed himself with the 
food of life. What is this but despising the feast prepared, 
and setting light by the dear-bought pleasures ; and conse- 
quently by the precious blood that bought them, and throwing 
away our own consolations ? For the Spirit hath told us, " that 
he also that is slothful in his work, is brother to him that is a 
great waster." (Prov. xviii. 9.) Apply this to thy spiritual work, 
and study well the meaning of it. 

Sect. VI f. 7. It is also a dangerous and secret hinderance to 
coTitent ourselves with the mere preparatives to this heavenly 
life, while we are utter strangers to the life itself. When we 
take up with the mere studies of heavenly things, and the no- 

* Erasm. Apoth. lib, iii. 



tions and thoughts of them in our brain, or the talking of them 
with one another, as if this were all that makes us heavenly peo- 
ple : there is none in more danger of this snare than those that 
are much in public duty, especially preachers of the Gospel. Oh, 
how easily may they be deceived here, while they do nothing 
more than read of heaven, and study of heaven, and preach of 
heaven, and pray and talk of heaven. What 1 is not this the 
heavenly life ? O that God would reveal to our hearts the dan- 
gers of this snare ! Alas ! all this is but mere preparation ; this 
is not the life we speak of, but it is indeed a necessary help hereto. 
I entreat every one of my brethren in the ministry, that they 
search and watch against this temptation : alas ! this is but 
gathering the materials, and not the erecting of the building 
itself; this is but gathering our mannu for others, and not eat- 
ing and digesting ourselves ; as he that sits at home may study 
geography, and draw most exact descriptions of countries, and 
yet never see them, nor travel toward them ; so may you describe 
to others the joys of heaven, and yet never come near it in your 
own hearts : as a man may tell others of the sweetness of meat 
which he never tasted, or as a blind man by learnijig may dis- 
pute of light and of colours ; so may you study and preach most 
heavenly matter, which yet never sweetened your own spirits ; 
and set forth to others that heavenly light, wherewith your own 
souls were never enlightened ; and bring that fire for the hearts 
of your people, that never once warmed your ov.n hearts/' If 
you should study of nothing but heaven while you lived, and 
preach of nothing but heaven to your people, yet might your 
own hearts be strangers to it. What heavenly passages had 
Balaam in his prophecies ! yet little of it (it is likely) in his 
spirit. Nay, we are under a more subtile temptation than any 
other men, to draw us from this heavenly life : if our employ- 
ments did lie at a great distance from heaven, and did take up 
our thoughts upon worldly things, we should not be so apt to 
be so contented and deluded ; but when we find ourselves em- 
ployed upon nothing else, wc are easier drawn to take uj) here. 
Studying and preaching of heaven is liker to a heavenly life, 
than thinking and talking of the world is, and the likeness is it 
that is like to deceive us : this is to die the most miserable death, 
even to famish ourselves, because we have bread on our tables, 
which is worse than to famish when we cannot get it ; and to 

^ Verissimiim istud Senecae Apothe^ma, Nullus pejus mcreri de omnibus 
inortalil)us judico, qu^in qui aliter vivuut quam viveuduin prsecipiunt. 
VOL. XXI 1 1. U 


die for thirst while we draw waters for others; thinking it 
enough that we have daily to do with it, though we never drink 
it to our souls' refreshing. All that 1 will say to you more of 
this, shall be in the words of my godly and judicious friend*^ Mr. 
George Abbot, which I shall transcribe, lest you have not the 
book at hand, in his ^ Vindicise Sabbathi,' pp. 147 — 149. 

" And here let me, in a holy jealousy, annex an exhortation to 
some of the ministers of this land, (for, blessed be God, it needs 
not to all,) that they would carefully provide, and look that they 
do not build the tabernacle on the Lord's-day j I mean, that 
they rest not in the opus operatum of their holy employments, 
and busying themselves about the carnal part of holy things, in 
putting off the studying of their sermons, or getting them by 
heart, (except it be to work them upon the heart, and not barely 
commit them to memory,) till that day ; and so, though they 
take care to build the tabernacle of God's church, yet they in 
the mean time neglect the temple of their own hearts in serving 
God in the spirit, and not in the letter or outward performance 
only : but it were well if they would gather and prepare their 
manna, seethe it, and break it the day before, that when the 
sabbath comes they might have nothing to do but to chew and 
concoct it into their own spirits, and so spiritually, in the expe- 
rience of their own hearts (not heads), dish it out to their 
hearers, which would be a happy means to make them see better 
fruit of their labours ; for commonly that which is notionaliy 
delivered, is notionaliy received ; and that which is spiritually 
and powerfully delivered in the evidence of the Spirit, is spi- 
ritually and savingly received ; for spirit begets spirit, as fire 
begets fire, &;c. It is an easy thing to take great pains in the 
outward part or performance of holy things, which oft proves a 
snare, causing the neglect of the spirit of the inner man ; for 
many are great labourers in the work of the Lord, that are 
starvelings in the spirit of the Lord, satisfying themselves in a 
popish peace of conscience in the deed-doing, instead of joy in 
the Holy Ghost ; bringing, indeed, meat to their guests, but 
through haste or laziness, eating none themselves j or, like tai- 
lors, make clothes for other men to wear ; so they, never assay- 
ing their own points how they fit, or may suit with their own 
spirits, but think it is their duty to teach, and other men's duty 
to do." So far the author. 

e Who died, as I understand since, about the hour that I was preaching these 
•words, or very near. 



Some General Helps to a Heavenly Life. 

Sect. I. Having thus showed thee the blocks in thy way, and 
told thee what hinderances will resist thee in the work, I shall 
now lay thee down some positive helps, and conclude with a 
directory to the main duty itself. ^ But first, I expect that thou 
resolve against the forementioned impediments, that thou read 
them seriously, and avoid them faithfully, or else thy labour will 
be all in vain ; thou dost but go about to reconcile light and 
darkness, Christ and Belial, and to conjoin heaven and hell in 
thy spirit : thou mayest sooner bring down heaven to earth, than 
do this. 1 must tell thee also, that I expect thy promise, faith- 
fully to set upon the helps which I shall prescribe thee, and that 
the reading of them will not bring heaven into thy heart, but in 
their constant practice the Spirit will do it. It were better for 
thee I had never written them, and thou hadst never seen this 
book, nor read them, if thou do not buckle thyself to the duty. 

As thou valuest, then, the delights of these foretastes of heaven, 
make conscience of performing these following duties : 

Sect. II. 1. Know heaven to be the only treasure, and labour 
to know also what a treasure it is. Be convinced once that thou 
hast no other happiness, and then be convinced what happi- 
ness is there. If thou do not soundly believe it to be the chief- 
est good, thou wilt never set thy heart upon it; and this convic- 
tion must sink into thy affections ; for if it be only a notion, it 
will have little operation. And surely we have reason enough to 
be easily convinced of this, as you mav see in what hath been 
spoken already. Read over the description and nature of this 
rest, in the beginning of this book, and the reasons against thy 
resting below, in chaj)ter first, and conclude that this is the onlv 
happiness. As long as your judgments do undervalue it, your 
affections must needs be cold towards it. If your judgments 
do mistake blear-eyed Leah for beautiful Rachel, so will your 
affections also mistake them. If Eve do once suppose she sees 
more worth in the forbidden fruit than in the love and fruition 
of God, no wonder if it have more of her heart than God. If 
your judgments once prefer the delights of the flesh before the 
delights in tlie presence of God, it is impossible, then, your 

' Read Perkins' ' Cases of Coiiscieiice,' lib. i. cap. 'J. 

u 2 

292 THE saint's 

hearts should be in heaven. As it is the ignorance of the emp- 
tiness- of things below that makes men so overvalue them ; so it 
is ignorance of the high delights above, which is the cause that 
men so Httle mind them. Jf you see a purse of gold, and be- 
lieve it to be but stones or counters, it will not entice your affec- 
-tions to it. It is not a thing's excellency in itself, but it is ex- 
cellency known that provokes desire. If an ignorant man see a 
a book containing the secrets of arts or sciences, yet he values 
it no more than a common piece, because he knows not what 
is in it : but he that knows it, doth highly value it ; his 
very mind is set upon it, he can pore upon it day and night, 
he can forbear his meat, and drink, and sleep, to read it. As 
the Jews inquired after Elias, when Christ tells them that 
verily Elias is already come, and ye knew him not, but did 
unto him whatsoever he listed; (Matt. xvii. 11,12;) somen 
inquire after happiness and delight, when it is offered to them 
in the promise of rest, and they know it not, but trample it 
under foot ; and as the Jews killed the Messiah, while they 
■waited for the Messiah, and that because they did not know him, 
(John i. 10; Acts xiii. 27;) for had they known him, they 
would not have crucified the Lord of glory ; (1 Cor. ii, 8 ;) so 
doth the world cry out for rest, and busily seek for delight and 
happiness, even while they are neglecting and destroying their 
rest and happiness, and this because they thoroughly know it 
not ; for did they know thoroughly what it is^ they could not so 
slight the everlasting treasure. 

Sect. III. 2. Labour as to know heaven to be the only hap- 
piness, so also to be thy happiness. Though the knowledge of 
excellency and suitableness may stir up that love which worketh 
by desire ; yet there must be the knowledge of our interest or 
propriety, to the setting a-work of our love of complacency. 
We may confess heaven to be the best condition, though we 
despair of enjoying it; and we may desire and seek it, if we see 
the obtainment to be but probable and hopeful : but we can 
never delightfully rejoice in it, till we are somewhat persuaded 
of our title to it. What comfort is it to a man that is naked, 
to see the rich attire of others ; or, to a man that hath not a 
bit to put in his mouth, to see a feast which he must not taste 
of? What delight hatli a man that hath not a house to put his 
head in, to see sumptuous buildings of others ? Would not all 
this rather increase his anguish, and make him more sensible of 
his own misery ? So, for a man to know the excellences of hea- 



ven, and not to know whether he shall ever enjoy them, may 
well raise desire, and provoke to seek it, but it will raise but little 
joy and content. Who will set his heart on another man's pos- 
sessions ? If your house, your goods, your cattle, your children 
were not your own, you would less mind them, and delight less 
in them. O, therefore. Christians, rest not till you can call this 
rest your own ; sit not down without assurance ; get alone, and 
question with thyself; bring thy heart to the bar of trial ; force 
it to answer the interrogatories put to it; set the conditions 
of the Gospel and qualifications of the saints on one side, and 
thy performance of those conditions and the qualifications of 
thy soul on the other side, and then judge how near they re- 
semble. Thou hast the same word before thee, to judge thy- 
self by now, by which thou must be judged at the great day ; 
thou art there before told the questions that must then be put 
to thee. Put these questions now to thyself. Thou mayest there 
read the very articles upon which thou shalt be tried. Why, try 
thyself by those articles now. Thou mayest there know before- 
hand, on what terms men shall be then acquitted and con- 
demned ; why, try now whether thou art possessed of that which 
will acquit thee, or whether thou i)e upon the same terms with 
those that must be condemned, and accordingly acquit or con- 
demn thyself. Yet, be sure thou judge by a true touchstone, and 
mistake not the Scripture description of a saint, that thou nei- 
ther acquit nor condemn thyself upon mistakes : for, as ground- 
less hopes do tend to confusion, and arc the greatest cause of 
most men's damnation ; so groundless doublings do tend to dis' 
comforts, and are the great cause of the disquieting of the saints. 
Therefore lay thy grounds of trial safely and advisedly : proceed 
in the work deliberately and methodically : follow it to an issue 
resolutely and industriously : suffer not thy heart to give thee 
the slip, and get away before a judgment, but make it stay to 
hear its sentence : if once, or twice, or thrice, will not do it, nor a 
few davs of hearing bring it to issue, folhnv it on with unwearied 
diligence, and give not over till the work be done, and till thou 
canst say knowingly off or on, either thou art, or art not a mem- 
ber of Christ: eitlier that thou hast, or that thou hast not yet 
title to this rest. Be sure thou rest not in wilfid uncertainties. If 
thou canst not despatch the work well thyself, get the help of 
those that are skilful. Co to thy minister, if he be a man of 
ex|)ericnce ; or go to some al)lc, experienced friend ; oj)en thy 
case faithfully, and wish them to deal plainly; and thus continue 

294 THE saint's 

till thou hast got assurance : not but some doubtings may still 
remain ; but yet thou mayest have so much assurance as to mas- 
ter them, that they may not much interrupt thy peace. If men 
did know heaven to be their own inheritance, we should less 
need to persuade their thoughts unto it, or to press them to set 
their delight in it. Oh ! if men did truly know that God is their 
own Father, and Christ their own Redeemer and Head, and that 
those are their own everlasting habitations, and that there it is 
that they must abide and be happy for ever ; how could they 
choose but be ravished with the forethoughts thereof! If a 
Christian could but look upon sun, and moon, and stars, and 
reckon all his own in Christ, and say, ' These are the portion 
that my Husband doth bestow ; these are the blessings that my 
Lord hath procured me, and things incomparably greater than 
these;' what holy raptures would his spirit feel ! The more do 
they sin against their own comforts, as well as against the grace 
of the Gospel, who are wilful maintainers of their own doubtings, 
and plead for their unbelief, and cherish distrustful thoughts of 
God, and scandalous, injurious thoughts of their Redeemer : who 
represent the covenant, as if it were of works and not of grace ; 
and represent Christ as an enemy rather than as a Saviour, as if 
he were glad of advantages against them, and were willing that 
they should keep off from him, and die in their unbelief; when 
he hath called them so oft, and invited them so kindly, and borne 
the hell that they should bear. Ah ! wretches that we are, that 
be keeping up jealousies of the love of our Lord, when we should 
be rejoicing and bathing our souls in his love ; that can question 
that love which hath been so fully evidenced ; and doubt still 
whether he that hath stooped so' low, and suffered so much, and 
taken up a nature and office on purpose, be yet willing to be 
theirs, who are willing to be his ; as if any man could choose 
Christ before Christ hath chosen him, or any man could desire 
to have Christ more than Christ desires to have him, or any man 
were more willing to be happy than Christ is to make him 
happy. Fie upon these injurious, if not blasphemous thoughts ! 
If ever thou have harboured such thoughts in thy breast; or if 
ever thou have uttered such words with thy tongue, spit out that 
venom, vomit out that rancour, cast them from thee, and take 
heed how thou ever entertainest them more ! God hath written 
the names of his people in heaven, as you use to write your 
names in your own books, or upon your goods, or set your 
marks on your own sheep : and shall we be attempting to raze 



them out, and to write our names on the doors of hell ? But 
blessed bejour God, whose foundation is sure, (2 Tim. ii. 19,) and 
who keepeth us by his mighty power through faith unto salva- 
tion. (1 Peter i. 5.) Well, then, this is my second advice to 
thee, that thou follow on the work of self-examination, till thou 
hast got assurance that this rest is thy own ; and this will draw 
thy heart unto it, and feed thy spirits with fresh delights, which 
else will be but tormented so much the more, to think that there 
is such rest for others, but none for thee. 

Sect. IV. 3. Another help to sweeten thy soul with the fore- 
tastes of rest, is this. Labour to apprehend how near it is, think 
seriously of its speedy approach.^ That which we think is near at 
hand, we are more sensible of than that which we behold at a 
distance. When we hear of war or famine in another country, 
it troubleth us not so much ; or if we hear it prophesied of a 
long time hence : so if we hear of plenty a great way off, or of 
a golden age that shall fall out who knows when, this never re- 
joiceth us. But if judgments or mercies begin to draw near, then 
they affect us. If we were sure we should see the golden age, 
then it would take with us. When the plague is in a town but 
twenty miles off, we do not fear it ; nor much, perhaps, if it be in 
another street ; but if once it come to the next door, or if it seize 
on one in our own family, then we begin to think on it more feel- 
ingly. It is so with mercies as well as judgments. When theyare 
far off, we talk of them as marvels ; but when they draw close to 
us, we rejoice in them as truths. This makes men think on hea- 
ven so insensibly, because they conceit it at too great a distance. 
They look on it as twenty, or thirty, or forty years off; and this is 
it that dulls their sense. As wicked men are fearless and sense- 
less of judgment, because the sentence is not speedily executed ; 
(Eccles. viii. II;) so are the godly deceived of their comforts, 
by supposing them farther off than they are. This is the dan- 
ger of putting the day of death far from us, when men will pro- 
mise themselves longer time in the world than God hath promised 
them, and judge of the length of their lives by the probabilities 
they gather from their age, their health, their constitution and 
temperature : this makes them look at heaven as a great way off. 
If the rich fool in the Gospel had not expected to have lived 
many years, he would surely have thought more of providing for 
eternity, and less of his present store and possessions : (Luke xii. 
17 — 20:) and if we did not think of staying many years from 
f Vita optime instituitur, cum quispiam mortuis concolor sit, ut Zeuo. 

29G THE saint's 

heaven, we should think on it with far more piercing thoughts. 
This expectation of long life, doth both the wicked and the godly 
a great deal of wrong. How much better were it to receive the 
sentence of death in ourselves, and to look on eternity as near at 
liand ! (2 Cor. i. 8—10.) Surely, reader, thou standest at the 
door ; and hundreds of diseases are ready waiting to open the 
door and let thee in. Are not the thirty or forty years of thy 
life that are past quickly gone ? Are they not a very little time 
when thou lookest back on them, and will not all the rest be 
shortly so too ? Do not days and nights come very thick ? 
Dost thou not feel that building of flesh to shake, and perceive 
thy house of clay to totter ? Look on thy glass, see how it runs j 
look on thy watch, how fast it getteth. What a short moment 
is between us and our rest : what a step is it from hence to 
everlastingness ! While I am thinking and writing of it, it 
hasteth near, and I am even entering into it before I am aware. 
While thou art reading this it posteth on, and thy life will be 
gone as a tale that is told. Mayest thou not easily foresee thy 
dying time, and look upon thyself as ready to depart ? It is but 
a few days till thy friends shall lay thee in the grave, and others 
do the like for them. If you verily believed you should die to- 
morrow, how seriously would you think of heaven to-night ! The 
condemned prisoner knew before that he must die, and yet he was 
then as jovial as any ; but when he hears the sentence, and knows 
he hath not a week to live, then how it sinks his heart within him : 
so that the true apprehension of the nearness of eternity doth 
make men's thoughts of it be quick and piercing, and put life 
into their fears and sorrows, if tliey are unfitted, and into their 
desires and joys, if they have assurance of its glory .'^ When the 
witch's Samuel had told Saul, By to-morrow this time thou shalt 
be with me, (I Sam. xxviii. 19.) this quickly worked to his very 
heart, and laid him down as dead on the earth. And if Christ 
should say to a believing soul, ' By to-morrow this time thou 
shalt be with me,' tliis would be a working word, indeed, and 
would bring him in spirit to heaven before. As iMelancthon was 

>> There is a great Arbiter of all things, that can thunder the proud emperor 
under his Led, and write the threat tciiig at three or four words into trembling • 
that can send a fly to feiih the triple crown before his tribunal; and make°a 
hair, or tiie kernel of a raisin, as mortal as Goliah's spear; that can unspeak 
the whole world into noihin-, and Idow down a R-reat bubble with an easy 
breath; that by drawing one nail, cau throw down the stateliest building; 

and undress your souls, by unpinning one pin, &c Mr. Fmes' Essex Hearse. 

p. 12. 


wont to say of his uncertain station, because of the persecution of 
his enemies, " Ego jam sum hie, Dei beneficio, 40 annos, et nun- 
quam potui dicere aut certus esse, me per unam septimanam 
mansuram esse ; " i. e. I have now been here these forty years, 
and yet could never say, or be sure, that I shall tarry here for 
one week : so may we all say of our abode on earth. As long 
as thou hast continued out of heaven, thou canst not say thou 
shalt be out of it one week longer. Do but suppose that you 
are still entering in it, and you shall find it will much help you 
more seriously to mind it. 

Sect. V. 4. Another help to this heavenly life, is, to be 
much in serious discoursing of it, especially with those that can 
speak from their hearts, and are seasoned themselves with 
a heavenly nature.' It is a pity, saith Mr. Bolton, that Chris- 
tians should ever meet together without some talk of their 
meeting in heaven, or the way to it, before they part ; it is a 
pity so much precious time is spent among Christians in vain 
discourses, foolish janglings, and useless disputes, and not a 
sober word of heaven among them. Methinks we should meet 
together of purpose to warm our spirits with discoursing of our 
rest. To hear a minister, or other private Christian, set forth 
that blessed, glorious state, with power and life from the pro- 
mises of the Gospel, methinks should make us sav, as the two 
disciples, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he was 
opening to us the Scri])ture?" (Luke xxiv. 32,) while he was 
opening to us the windows of heaven ? If a Felix, or wicked 
wretch, will tremble, when he hears' his judgment powerfully 
denounced, (Acts xxiv. 25 ;) why should not the believing soul 
be revived when he hears his eternal rest revealed ? Get then 
together, fellow Christians, and talk of the affairs of your coun- 
try and kingdom, and comfort one another with such words. 
(1 Thess. iv. IS.) if worldlings get together, they will be talk- 
ing of the world ; when wantons are together, they will be 
talking of their lusts, and wicked men can be delighted in talk- 
ing of wickedness ; and should not Christians, then, delight 
themselves in talking of Christ; and tlie heirs of heaven in 
talking of their inheritance ? This may make our hearts revive 
within us, as it did Jacob's, to hear the message that called him 
to Goshen, and to see the chariots that should bring him to Jo- 

' Eijo hoc vel praecipuum vitae mea? olVicimn ilebere me Deutu couscius sum, 
duni oiiinis sermu ineus ct seiisus lo<iuatur. — Hdariusy referente vlquin. coat, 
^enlij. lib, if cap. 2. 

298 THE saint's 

seph. Oh that we were furnished with skill and resolution to 
turn the stream of men's common discourse to these more sub- 
lime and precious things ; and when men begin to talk of 
things unprofitable, that we could tell how to put in a word for 
heaven, and say, as Peter, of his bodily food, " Not so, for I 
eat not that which is common and unclean," (Acts x. 14,) this 
is nothing to my eternal rest. Oh, the good that we might both 
do and receive by this course ! If it had not been needful to 
deter us from unfruitful conference, Christ would not have talked 
of giving an account of every idle wordat judgment j (Matt.xii. 
36 ;) say then, as David, when you are in conference, " Let my 
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I prefer not Jerusa- 
lem above my chiefest mirth ;" (Psal. cxxxvii. 5, 6 ;) and then 
you shall find the truth of that, " A wholesome tongue is a tree 
of life." (Prov. XV. 4.) 

Sect VI. 5. Another help to this heavenly life is this. Make it 
thy business in every duty to wind up thy affections nearer 
heaven, A man's attainments and receivings from God are an- 
swerable to his own desires and ends ; that which he sincerely 
seeks he finds ; God's end in the institution of his ordinances 
was, that they be as so many stepping-stones to our rest, and as 
the stairs, by which, in subordination to Christ, we may daily 
ascend unto it in our affections. Let this be thy end in using 
them, as it was God's end in ordaining them, and doubtless 
they will not be unsuccessful : though men be personally far 
asunder, yet they may even by letters have a great deal of in- 
tercourse. How have men been rejoiced by a few lines from a 
friend, though they could not see him face to face ! What 
gladness have we when we do but read the expressions of his 
love ; or if we read of our friend's prosperity and welfare ! 
Many a one that never saw the fight, hath triumphed and 
shouted, made bonfires, and rung bells, when they have but 
heard and read of the victory ; and may not we have inter- 
course with God in his ordinances, though our persons be yet 
so far remote ? May not our spirits rejoice in the reading of 
those lines which contain our legacy and charter for heaven ? 
With what gladness may we read the expressions of love, and 
hear of the state of our celestial country ! With what tri- 
umphant shoutings may we applaud our inheritance, though 
yet we have not the happiness to behold it ! Men that are se- 
parated by sea and land, can yet, by the mere intercourse of 
letters, carry on both great and gainful trades, even to the value 


of their whole estate ; and may not a Christian, in the wise im- 
provement of duties, drive on this happy trade for rest ? Come 
not, therefore, with any lower ends to duties ; renounce for- 
mality, customariness, and applause. When thou kneelest down 
in secret or public prayer, let it be in hope to get thy heart 
nearer God before thou risest off thy knees. When thou 
openest thy Bible, or other books, let it be with this hope, to 
meet with some passage of divine truth, and some such bless- 
ings of the Spirit with it, as may raise thine affections nearer 
heaven, and give thee a fuller taste thereof. When thou art 
setting thy foot out of thy door, to go to the public ordinance 
and worship, say, ' I hope to meet with somewhat from God, 
that may raise my affections before I return ; 1 hope the Spirit 
will give me the meeting, and sweeten my heart with those 
celestial delights ; I hope that Christ will appear to me in the 
way, shine about me with light from heaven, and let me hear his 
instructing and reviving voice, and cause the scales to fall from 
mine eyes, that I may see more of that glory than ever I yet saw; 
I hope, before I return to my house, my Lord will take my heart 
in hand, and bring it within the view of rest, and set it before 
his Father's presence, that I may return, as the shepherds, from 
the heavenly vision, glorifying and praising God for all the 
things 1 have heard and seen, (Luke ii. 20,) and say, as those 
that beheld his miracles, "We have seen strange things to 
day." (Luke v. 26.) Remember also to pray for thy teacher, 
that God would put some divine message into his mouth, which 
may leave a heavenly relish on thy spirit. 

If these were our ends, and this our course, when we set to 
duty, we should not be so strange as we are to heaven. 

When the Indians first saw the use of letters by our English, 
they thought there was surely some spirit in them, that men 
should converse together by a paper. If Christians would take 
this course in their duties, they might come to such a holy fel- 
lowship with God, and see so much of the mysteries of the 
kingdom, that it would make the standers-by admire what is in 
those lines, what is in that sermon, what is in this praying, that 
fills his heart so full of joy, and that so transports him above 
himself. Certainly, God would not fail us in our duties, if we 
did not fail ourselves, and then experience would make them 
sweeter to us. 

Sect. Vn. 6. Another help is this, 'Make an advantage of every 
object thou seest, and of every passage of Divine Providence, 

300 THE saint's 

and of every thing that befalls in thy labour and calling, to 
mind thy soul of its approaching rest. As all providences and 
creatures are means to our rest, so do they point us to that as 
their end. Every creature hath the name of God, and of our 
final rest, written upon it, which a considerate believer may as 
truly discern, as he can read upon a post or hand, in a cross- 
way, the name of the town or city which it points to. This 
spiritual use of creatures and providences is God's great end in 
bestowing them on man ; and he that overloooks this end must 
needs rob God of his chiefest praise, and deny him the greatest 
part of his thanks. The relation that our present mercies have to 
our great eternal mercies, is the very quintessence and spirits of 
all these mercies ; therefore do they lose the very spirits of all 
their mercies, and take nothing but the husks and bran, who do 
overlook this relation, and draw not forth the sweetness of it 
in their contemplations. God's sweetest dealings with us at the 
present would not be half so sweet as they are if they did not 
intimate some further sweetness. As ourselves have a fleshly 
and a spiritual substance, so have our mercies a fleshly and a 
spiritual use, and are fitted to the nourishing of both our 
parts. He that receives the carnal part, and no more, may 
have his body comforted by them, but not his soul. It is not 
all one to receive sixpence merely as sixpence, and to receive 
it in earnest of a thousand pounds ; though the sum be the 
same, yet surely the relation makes a wide difference. Thou 
takest but the bare earnest, and overlookest the main sum, when 
thou receivest thy mercies, and forgettest thy crown. Oh, 
therefore, that Christians were skilled in this art ! You can 
open your Bibles, and read there of God and of glory ', oh, learn 
to open the creatures, and to open the several passages of pro- 
vidence, to read of God and glory there. Certainly, by such a 
skilful, industrious improvement, we might have a fuller taste of 
Christ and heaven in every bit of bread that we eat, and in every 
draught of beer we drink, than most men have in the use of the 
sacrament. If thou prosper in the world, and thy labour suc- 
ceed, let it make thee more sensible of thy perpetual prosperity: 
if thou be weary of thy labours, let it make thy thoughts of rest 
more sweet : if things go cross and hard with thee in the world, 
let it make thee the more earnestly desire that day when all 
thy sorrows and sufferings shall cease. ^ Is thy body refreshed 

'' Socrates, quuui ex uibe Allina in vicinos agros, lons^e amcenissimos, in- 
vitaretur, fertur lespoudisse, Id sibi nou esse integrum quia sit dlsceudi cupi- 


with food or sleep ? remember the inconceivable refreshings 
with Christ. Dost thou hear any news that makes thee glad ? 
remember what glad tidings it will be to hear the sound of the 
trump of God, and the absolving sentence of Christ, our Judge. 
Art thou delighting thyself in the society of the saints ? re- 
member the everlasting amiable fraternity thou shalt have with 
perfected saints in rest. Is God communicating himself to thy 
spirit ? why, remember the time of thy highest advancement, 
when thy joy shall be full, as thy communion is full. Dost thou 
hear the raging noise of the wicked, and the disorders of the 
vulgar, and the confusions of the world like the noise in a cloud, 
or the roaring of the waters? why think of the blessed agree- 
ment in heaven, and the melodious harmony in that choir of 
God. Dost thou hear or feel the tempest of wars, or see any 
cloud of blood arising? remember the day when thou shalt 
be housed with Christ, where there is nothing but calmness and 
amiable union, and where we shall solace ourselves in perfect 
peace, under the wings of the Prince of Peace for ever. Thus 
you may see, what advantages to a heavenly life every condition 
and creature doth afford us, if we had but hearts to apprehend 
and improve them. As it is said of the Turks, that they will 
make bridges of the dead bodies of their men, to pass over the 
trenches or ditches in their way; so might Christians of the very 
ruins and calamities of the times, and of every dead body or mi- 
sery that they see, make a bridge for the passage of their thoughts 
to their rest. And as th?y have taught their pigeons, which 
they call carriers, in divers places, to bear letters of intercourse 

dus ; homiues verb, iion arbores docere. E(iuidem Socrati id laudi vertenduin 
ideo existimarem, quia piiblici boui causa frequeuter consficicbatur iu pub- 
lico, et alios docendo meliores efficere : et dictis ac factis prodesse oiniiibus, 
obesse nemiiii, studio illi erat. Sed tanien et illud fateiidum, uatura reruni 
considerationeni quasi quendaiu duceni esse ad Dei couditoris, voluutatisque 
ejus agnitiouem. — Jac. Grynwus in Pre/at. ante CommtiU. in Hebr. Nam 
cum oculi idcirco dati sunt corpori, ut per eos, intucamur cicaturam, ac per 
Lujusmudi mirabilem baruiuniaui aguoscamus opiliceui : auresque itidem ut 
per eas eloquia diviuaet Dei leges audiamus ; auiuia relicta bouurum specu- 
latione, agilitute motus sui, ad ilia jam <iu;i; sunt coutraria, inovetur errans. 
— j4tliunasius in lib. i. contra Gentil. Experto crede, allquid amplius in- 
Tenires in sylvis, <iuam in angulis, Ligua et lapides ducebuiit te, quod i 
magistris audire uou possis, iuquit vir conteniiilativus Beriiardus, refereute 
GryuEBo, ubi supra. Augusiiuus pie dixit, Creatur^rum species, suntquirdam 
voces laudantium Deum: prxstat non earum cunceutum, (\nnn\ ii<Tvv^icviav 
im|jiorum quorundam houiinum attente audire. Teslautur ilia;, Deum sum- 
mum bouum sapieiitem, et bumiuum amantem ; omnia coudidisse, et tantrs- 
per dum eidem visum est, conservare, ut bomiuuni usibus, et opificis glorite 
iuserviant. — Ibid, 

302 THE saint's 

from friend to friend, at very great distance, so might a wise, 
industrious Christian get his thoughts carried into heaven, and 
receive, as it were, returns from thence again by creatures of 
slower wing than doves, by the assistance of the Spirit, the Dove 
of God. This is the right Dedalian flight ; and thus we may 
take from each bird a feather, and make us wings, and fly to 

Sect. VIII. 7. Another singular help is this ; Be much in that 
angelical work of praise. As the most heavenly spirits will have 
the most heavenly employment, so the more heavenly the employ- 
ment, the more will it make the spirit heavenly. Though the heart 
be the fountain of all our actions, and the actions will be usually 
of the quality of the heart, yet do those actions, by a kind of re- 
flection, work much on the heart from whence they spring : the 
like also may be said of our speeches. So that the work of 
praising God, being the most heavenly work, is likely to raise 
us to the most heavenly temper. This is the work of those 
saints and angels, and this will be our everlasting work. If we 
were more taken up in this employment now, we should be liker 
to what we shall be then. When Aristotle was asked what he 
thought of music, he answers, " Jovem neque canere, neque 
citharam pulsare;" that Jupiter did never sing, nor play on the 
harp, thinking it an unprofitable art to men, which was no more 
delightful to God. But Christians may better argue from the 
like ground, that singing of praise is a most profitable duty, 
because it is so delightful, as it were, to God himself, that he hath 
made it his people's eternal work; for they shall sing the song 
of Moses, and the song of the Lamb. As desire, and faith, and 
hope, are of shorter continuance thdn love and joy, so also preach- 
ing, and prayer, and sacraments, and all means for confirma- 
tion, and expression of faith and hope, shall cease, when our 
thanks, and praise, and triumphant expressions of love and jov, 
shall abide for ever. The liveliest emblem of heaven that I know 
upon earth, is, when the people of God, in the deep sense of 
his excellency and bounty, from hearts abounding with love and 
joy, do join together, both in heart and voice, in the cheerful 
and melodious singing of his praises. Those that deny the 
lawful use of singing the Scripture- psahns in our times, do 
disclose their unheavenly, inexperienced hearts, I think, as well 
as their ignorant understandings. Had they felt the heavenly 
delights that many of their brethren in such duties have felt, 
I think they would have been of another mind. And whereas 



they are wont to question whether such delights be genuine, 
or any better than carnal or delusive; surely, [the very lelish 
of God and heaven that is in them, the example of the saints in 
Scripture, whose spirits have been raised by the same duly, and 
the command of Scripture for the use of this means, one would 
think, should quickly decide the controversy. And a innn may 
as truly say of these delights, as they use to say of llie tes- 
timony of the Spirit, that they witness themselves to be ot God, 
and bring the evidence of their heavenly parentage along with 
them. And whereas they allow only extemporate psalms, nnme- 
diately dictated to ihem by the Spirit,' when I am convinced 
that the gift of extemporate singing is so common to the church, 
that any man who is spiritually merry can use it, (Jamos v. 13,) 
and when I am convinced that the use of Scripture-psalms is 
abolished or prohibited, then I shall more regard their judgment. 
Certainly, as large as mine acquaintance hath been with men of 
this spirit, 1 never yet heard any of them sing a psalm extem- 
pore, that was better than David's ; yea, or that was tolerable 
to a judicious hearer, and not rather a shame to himself and his 
opinion. But sweet experience will be a powerful argument, 
and will teach the sincere Christian to hold fast his exeicise of 
this soul- raising duty. 

Little do we know how we wrong ourselves, by shutting out 
of our prayers the praises of God, or allowing them so narrow 
a room as we usually do, while we are copious enough in our 
confessions and petitions. Reader, I entreat thee, remember 
this : Let praises have a larger room in thy duties ; keep ready 
at hand matter to feed thy praise, as well as matter for confes- 
sion and petition. To this end, study the excellences and 
goodness of the Lord, as frequently as thy own necessities and 
vileness ; study the mercies which thou hast received, and which 
are promised ; both their own proper worth and their aggrava- 
ting circumstances, as often as thou studiest the sins thou hast 
committed. Oh, let God's praise be much in your mouths, for 
in the mouths of the upright, his praise is comely. (Psal. xxxiii. 1 .) 

' Scio tameu quod etiain teinporibus Tertul. hoc in ecclesiis post cocnas di- 
lectionis fuisseusitatuni.iii imitation em, viz., ecclesia; apostolicae, quim dona 
extraordinaria uoiidum cessavere. SicTeitul. Apologet. cap. 39. Fost aiiuam 
»Manualem et lumina, ut (|uisque de Scripturis Saticiis vei de proprio ingenio 

potest, provocatur in medium Deo cancre. Hinc probatur quomodo bil:iTit. 
Vid.etiam Epiphan. sub fiiiem lib. iii. advers. Heres. ; etPliuium Secundum, 
lib. X. epist. 2 ; Euseb. Histor. lib. ii. ca(>. KJ, et lil). v. cap, 28 ; Basil, apud 

Rufl'iuum, Hist. Ecdes. lib. ii.cap. D ; Atlianas. Apolo^. 

304 THE saint's 

Seven times a day did David praise him. (Psalm cix. 164.) 
Yea, his praise was continually of him. (Psalm Ixxi. 6.) As 
he that offereth praise glorifieth God, (Psalm 1. 23,) so doth 
he most rejoice and glad his own soul. (Psalm xcviii. 4.) 
Offer, therefore, the sacrifice of praise continually. (Heb. xiii. 
15.) In the midst of the church, let us sing his praise. (Heb. 
ii. 12.) Praise our God, for he is good; sing praises unto his 
name, for it is pleasant. (Psalm cxxxv. 3; cxlvii. 1.) Yea, let 
us rejoice and triumph in his praise. (Psalm cvi. 47.) 

Do you think that David had not a most heavenly spirit, who 
was so much employed in this heavenly work ? Doth it not 
sometime very much raise your hearts, when you do but seriously 
read that divine song of Moses, Deut. xxxii., and those heavenly 
iterated praises of David, having almost nothing sometime but 
praise in his mouth ? How much more would it raise and re- 
fresh us, to be skilled and accustomed in the work ourselves ! I 
confess, to a man of a languishing body, where the heart doth 
faint, and the spirits are feeble, the cheerful praising of God is 
more difficult ; because the body is the soul's instrument, and 
when it lies unstringed, or untuned, the music is likely to be 
accordingly but dull. Yet a spiritual cheerfulness there maybe 
within, and the heart may praise, if not the voice. But where 
the body is strong, the spirits lively, and the heart cheerful, and 
the voice at command, what advantage have such for this hea- 
venly work ! With what alacrity and vivacity may they sing 
forth praises ! O the madness of heathful youth, that lay out 
this vigour of body and mind upon vain delights and fleshly lusts, 
which is so fit for the noblest work of man ! And O the sinful 
folly of many of the saints, who drench their spirits in continual 
sadness, and waste their days in complaints and groans, and fill 
their bodies with wasting diseases, and so make themselves both 
in body and mind unfit for this sweet and heavenly work ! That 
when they should join with the people of God in his praises, and 
delight their souls in singing to his name, they are questioning 
their worthiness, and studying their miseries, or raising scruples 
about the lawfulness of the duty, and so rob God of his praise, 
and themselves of their solace. But the greatest destroyer of 
our comfort in this duty, is our sticking in the carnal delight 
thereof, and taking up in the tune and melody, and suffering the 
heart to be all the while idle, which must perform the chiefest 
part of the work, and which should make use of the melody, for 
its reviving and exhilarating. 


Sect. IX. If thou wouldst have thy heart in heaven, keep 
thy soul still possessed with true believing thoughts of the ex- 
ceeding, infinite love of God. Love is the attractive of love."" 
No man's heart will be set upon him that hates him, were he 
never so excellent, nor much upon him that doth not much love 
him. There are tew so vile, but will love those that love them, 
be they never so mean. No doubt it is the death of our heavenly 
life, to have hard and doubtful thoughts of God ; to conceive of 
him as a hater of the creature (excej)t only of obstinate rebels), 
and as one that had rather damn us, than save us, and that is 
glad of an opportunity to do us a mischief, or at least hath no 
great good-will to us : this is to put the blessed God into the 
similitude of Satan. And who, then, can set his heart and love 
upon him ? When in our vile unbelief and ignorance we have 
drawn the most ugly picture of God in our imaginations, then we 
complain that we cannot love him, and delight in him. This is 
the case of many thousand Christians. Alas ! that we should thus 
belie and blaspheme God, and blast our own joys, and depress 
our spirits ! Love is the very essence of God. The Scripture 
tells us, that " God is love ;" it telleth us, that fury dwelleth 
not in him ; that he delighteth not in the death of him that 
dieth, but rather that he repent and live. (1 John iv. 16 5 Isa. 
xxvii. 4 ; Ezek. xviii. 32, and xxxiii. 1 1.) Much more, that he 
testifieth his love to his chosen ; and his full resolution, effec- 
tually to save them. Oh, if we could alwavs think of God but as 
we do of a friend ! As of one that dotli unfeignedly love us, 
even more than we do ourselves ; whose very heart is set upon 
us to do us good, and hath therefore jjrovided us an everlasting 
dwelling with himself 3 it would not then be so hard to have our 

■" All our love is moved from some ijooil whicli we apprelicnd in the party 
loved; when the ground and motive of our love failcth, tlie aft'ection must 
needs cease. — Jiishop Hall's Select TliouiiUla, sect. Iv. p. 158. God liath put 
that pity into a righteous man, as to be merciful to his very beast, and love 
his enemy ; and yetpeople look 011 God as more cruel to those that are willinij 
to obey him. Evon Pythagoras could not lind iu his heart to kill ami feed on 
the flesh of the creatures ; and yet men tiiink the God of love delights iu the 
damnation of tliosc that would fain be such as he would have them be. Se- 
miferi nos hontines, quinimo feri, quos iiifnclix iiecessitas et malus usus edo- 
cuit cibos ex his carpere ; miseratione iuterdum commovcmur illorum, argui- 
mus nos ipsos ; pcnitusf|ue rcvisa alque inspccta damnamus, (|ii()d humauitatis 
jure deposito naturalis initii consortia reperimus. Deos alii|uis credit pios, 
beneficos, mites, caede pecoruni delectari ? &c. (juaiito minus (hiinnatioue 
homiuum ? — .Irnoljius adti-r. Gait. lib. vii. p. 212. It seems Arnohius was of 
Pythagoras's mind, ag^ainst killius; the creatures to eat. And Minut. Foclix 
saith, that then Christians ate no blood, p. 3!iO. 


306 THE saint's 

heart still with him ! Where we love most heartily, we shall 
think most sweetly, and most freely ; and nothing will quicken 
our love more than the belief of his love to us. Get therefore 
a truer conceit of the loving nature of God, and lay up all the 
experiences and discoveries of his love to thee ; and then see if 
it will not further thy heavenly-mindedness. I fear, most 
Christians think higher of the love of a hearty friend, than of 
the love of God : and then what wonder if they love their 
friends better than God, and trust them more confidently than 
God, and had rather live with them than with God, when they 
take them for better and trustier friends than God, and of more 
merciful and compassionate nature ! 

Sect. X. 9. Another thing 1 would advise you to, is this : " 
Be a careful observer of the drawings of the Spirit, and fearful 
of quenching its motions, of resisting its workings ; if ever thy 
soul get above the earth, and get acquainted with this living in 
heaven, the Spirit of God must be to thee as the chariot to Elijah ; 
yea, the very living principle by which thou must move and ascend. 
O, then, grieve not thy guide, quench not thy life, (Eph. iv. 30; 
1 Thess. V. 19,) knock not off thy chariot- wheels ! If thou do, no 
wonder if thy soul be at a loss, and all stand still, or fall to the 
earth. You little think how much the life of all your graces, and 
the happiness of your souls doth depend upon your ready and cor- 
dial obedience to the Spirit. When the Spirit urgeth thee to se- 
cret prayer, and thou refusest obedience; when he forbids thee thy 
known transgressions, and yet thou wilt go on ; when he telleth 
thee which is the way, and which not, and thou wilt not regard ; 
no wonder if heaven and thy soul be strange. If thou wilt not 
follow the Spirit while it would draw thee to Christ,° and to thy 
duty ; how should it lead thee to heaven, and bring thy heart 
into the presence of God ? O, what supernatural help, what bold 
access shall that soul find in its approaches to the Almighty, 
that is accustomed to a constant obeying of the Spirit ! And how 

" Hear a heathen : — Prope est u te Deus, tecum est, intus est, Ita dico; 
intra iios Spiritus sedct, nialoruni bouorumque veslrorum observator ; et 
custos hie proiit ^ nobis tiactatiis est, ita nos ipse tractat. Bonus vir sine Deo 
nemo est. An potest aliquis supra fortunam nisi ab illo adjutus exsurgere ? — 

" I s|)eaU not of any dravNinf!^ of the Spirit above, or contrary to the Word, 
hut its enforcing' the jirecepts ami i)rohil)itions of the Wo''d upon our liearts. 
And that not ))oisuadinij the will, I think, iniinediately by himself, but ex- 
citing, and so usiug our reason and couscience as the iustruments to persuade 
the will, and alTect the heart. 


backward, how dull, and strange, and ashamed will he he to 
these addresses, who hath lonii; used to break away from the 
Spirit that would have guided him ! Even as stiff and unfit will 
they be for this spiritual motion, as a dead man to a natural. I 
beseech thee, christian reader, learn well this lesson, and try 
this course ; let not the motions of thy body only, but also the 
very thoughts of thy heart, be at the Spirit's beck. Dost thou 
not feel sometimes a strong impulsion to retire^from the world, 
and draw near to God ? O do not thou disobey, but take the 
offer, and hoist up sail while thou mayest have this blessed gale. 
When the wind blows strongest, thou goest fastest, either back- 
ward or forward. The more of this Spirit we resist, the deeper 
will it wound; and the more we obey, the speedier is our pace ; 
as he goes heaviest that hath the w-ind in his face, and he easiest 
that hath it in his back. 

10. Lastly, I advise as a further help to this heavenly work, 
that thou neglect not the due care for the health of thy body, 
and for the maintaining a vigorous cheerfulness in thy spirits; 
nor yet over-pamper and please thy flesh : learn how to carry 
thyself with prudence to thy body. It is a useful servant if thou 
give it its due, and but its due : it is a most devouring tyrant, 
if thou give it the mastery, or suffer it to have what it umeason- 
ably desireth. And it is as a blunted knife, as a horse that is 
lame, as thy ox that is famished, if thou injuriously deny it what 
is necessary to its support. When we consider how frequently 
men offend on both extremes, and how few use their bodies 
aright, we cannot wonder if they be much hindered in their 
heavenly conversing. Most men are very slaves to their sensi- 
tive appetite, and can scarce deny any thing to the flesh, which 
they can give it on easier rates, without much shame, or loss, or 
grief. Tlie flesh thus used is as unfit to serve you as a wild colt 
to ride on. When such men should converse in heaven, the flesh 
will carry them out to an ale-house, or to their sports, to their 
profits, or credit, or vain company ; to wanton practices, or 
sights, or speeches, or thougiits : it will thrust a whore, or a pair 
of cards, or a good bargain into their minds, instead of God. 
Look to this specially, you that are young, and heathful, and 
lusty: as you love your souls, remember that in Rom. xiii. If, 
which converted Austin, Make not provision for the flesh, 
to fulfil its desires; and that in Rom. viii. 4 — S, 12 — 14. 
Some few others do much hinder their heavenly joy, by over- 
rigorous denying the body its necessaries, and so making it un- 

X 2 

308 THE saint's 

able to serve them. But the most, by surfeiting and excess, do 
overthrow and disable it. ^ You love to have your knife keen, 
and every instrument you use in order : when your horse goes 
lustily, how cheerfully do you travel ! As much need hath the 
soul of a sound and cheerful body. Jf they who abuse their 
bodies, and neglect their health,^ did wrong the flesh only, the 
matter were small, but they wrong the soul also : as he that 
spoils the house, doth wrong the inhabitant. When the body 
is sick, and the spirits do languish, how heavily move we in 
these meditations and joys ! Yet where God denieth this mercy, 
we may the better bear it, because he oft occasioneth our benefit 
by the denial. 


Containing the Description of the great Duty of Heavenly 


Sect. I. Though I hope what is already spoken be not un- 
useful, and that it will not by the reader be cast aside ; yet I 
must tell you, that the main thing intended is yet behind, and 
that which I aimed at when I set upon this work. I have ob- 
served the maxim, that my principal end be last in execution, 
though it was first in mv intention. All that I have said is but 
, for the preparation to this : the doctrinal part is but to instruct 
-you for this ; the rest of the uses^are but introductions to this : 
the motives I have laid down, are but to make you willing for 
this : the hinderances mentioned were but so many blocks in the 

P It is ill with men when they cram into their bellies as if they were laying 
provision in a °:arner, rather than eating for di^^estion : and when they are so 
curious, and must have their devouring appetite so pleased, that the cook is 
got in more esteem than the husbandman; this is called Aa(;uap7ia, a mad- 
ness in the throat. — Clemens Alexandr. Padagog. lib. ii. cap. 1. Huinanus 
animus quando corporibus nulla familiaritate conjungitur, nihilque extrinse- 
cus habet concupiscentiiE carnalis admixtum, sed totus secum, ul ab initio 
conditus,et in se habitat, tunc sensibilia et mortalia cuncta transcendens in 
auras verse libertatis evadit, et verbum intuens, in eo etiam ipsum patrem 
videt. — Athanas. cont. Geniil. lib. i. 

"iTlio-ewho are pr^ne to excess in daintiness of diet, they nourish their 
on diseases, and are l«'<i by the great glultou the devil, whom I will not 
fear to <all tl)e hellydevil ; which indeed is the worst and most pernicious of 
all devils. And it is belter to be happy than to have a devil dwelling in you.— 
Clemens Alexandr. Pffdagng. lib. ii. cap. 11. 


way to this : the fj;cneral lielps which I hist dcHvercd, arc hut the 
necessary attendants of this ; so tliat, reader, if thou neglect 
tliis that follows, thou dost frustrate the main end of my desii^u, 
and niakest me lose (as to thee) the chief of my labour. I once 
more entreat thee, therefore, as thou art a man that maUeth con- 
science of a revealed duty, and that darest not wilfully resist the 
Spirit, as thou valuest the high delights of a saint, and the soul- 
ravishing exercise of heavenly contemplation, as all my former 
moving considerations seem reasonable to thee, and as thou art 
faithful to the peace and prosperity of thine own soul, that thou 
diligently study these directions following, and that thou speedily 
and faithfully put them into practice : practice is the end of all 
sound doctrine, and all right faith doth end in duty. I pray 
thee, therefore, resolve before thou readest any further, and pro- 
mise here, as before the Lord, that if the following advice be 
wholesome to thy soul, thou wilt conscionably follow it, and 
seriously set thyself to the work ; and that no laziness of spirit 
shall take thee oft', nor the lesser business interrupt thy course, 
but that thou wilt approve thyself a doer of this word, and not 
an idle hearer only. Is this thy promise ; and wilt thou stand 
to it ? Resolve, man ; and then I shall be encouraged to give 
thee my advice : if 1 spread not before thee a delicious feast, if 
I set thee not upon as gainful a trade, and put not into thy hand 
as delightful an employment as ever thou dealtest with in all thy 
life, then cast it away, and tell me I have deceived thee ; only 
try it thoroughly, and then judge : I say again, if in the faithful 
following of this prescribed course, thou dost not hnd an in- 
crease of all thy graces, and dost not grow beyond the stature 
of common Christians, and art not made more serviceable in thy 
place, and more precious in the eyes of all that are discerning; 
if thy soul enjoy not more fellowship with God, and thy life be 
not fuller of pleasure and solace, and thou have not comfort 
readier by thee at a dying hour, and when thou hast greatest 
need j"^ then throw these directions back in my face, and exclaim 
against me as a deceiver for ever : except God should leave thee 
uncomfortable for a little season, for the more glorious manifes- 
tation of his attributes, and thy integrity, and single thee »)ut 
as he did Job, for an example and mirror of constancy and pa- 
tience, which would be but a preparative for thy fuller comfort. 

' Tanieii lirec via et scieutia lion di^citiir ex Hhris, soJ di'sursuin est: i-t 
cui vult particiiiat eaiu Pater hiiiiiiaiin ; liis (jnideai tlariii-;, liis \ ero obscu- 
rius. — (icrsun, in /Jljihabct. Divhti .Imoris, part. 3. caji. 11. 

.310 THE saint's 

Certainly, God will not forsake this his own ordinance thus 
conscionably performed, but will he found of those that thus 
diligently seek him. God hath, as it were, appointed to meet 
thee in this way, do not thou fail to give him the meeting, and 
thou shalt find by experience that he will not fail. 

The duty which I press upon thee so earnestly, I shall now 
describe and open to thee ; for I suppose, by this time, thou art 
ready to inquire, ' What is this so highly extolled work?' Why, 
it is the set and solemn acting of all the powers of the soul upon 
this most perfect object, rest, by meditation. 

Sect. II. 1 will a little more fully explain the meaning of this 
description, that so the duty may lie plain before thee. 1. The 
general title that I give this duty is meditation ; not as it is pre- 
cisely distinguished from thought, consideration, and contempla- 
tion ; but as it is taken in the larger and usual sense for thinking 
on things spiritual, and so comprehending consideration and 

That meditation is a duty of God's ordaining, not only in his 
written law, but also in nature itself, I never met with a man that 
would deny; but that it is a duty constantly and conscionably 
practised even by the godly, so far as my acquaintance extends, 
I must, with sorrow, deny it. It is in word confessed to be a 
duty by all, but by the constant neglect denied by most ; and, I 
know not by what fatal customary security it comes to pass that 
men that are very tender-conscienced towards most other duties, 
yet do as easily overslip this, as if they knew it not to be a duty 
at all. They that are presently troubled in mind, if they omit 
but a sermon, a fast, a prayer in public or private, yet were 
never troubled that they have oqiitted meditation, perhaps all 
their lifetime to this very day ; though it be that duty by which 
all other duties are improved, and by which the soul digesteth 
truths, and draweth forth their strength for its nourishment and 
refreshing. Certainly, I think that a man is but half an hour in 
chewing and taking into his stomach that meat which he must 
have seven or eight hours at least to digest ; so a man may take 
into his understanding and memory more truth in one hour than 
he is able well to digest in many. A man may eat too much, 
but he cannot digest too well. Therefore, God commanded 
Joshua, that the book of the law depart not out of his mouth, 
but that he meditate therein day and night; that he may 
observe to do according to that which is written therein. 
(Josh. i. 8.) As digestion is the turning of the raw food into 


chyle and blood, and spirits and flesh, so meditation rightly ma- 
naged, tmncth the truths received and renieuibered, into warm 
affection, raised resolution, and holy and upright conversation. 
Therefore, what good those men are like to get by sermons or 
providences, who are unacquainted with, and unaccustomed to, 
this work of meditation, you may easily judge. And why so 
mnch preaching is lost among us, and professors can run from 
sermon to sermon, and are never weary of hearing or reading, 
and yet have such languishing, starved souls, I know no truer or 
greater cause than their ignorance and unconscionable neglect of 
meditation. If a man have the lientery, that his meat passes from 
him as he took it in; or, if he vomits it up as fast as he eats it, 
what strength, and vigour of body, and senses, is this man like 
to have? Indeed, he may well eat more than a sounder man, 
and the small abode that it makes in the stomach, may refresh it 
at the present, and help to draw out a lingering, languishing, 
uncomfortable, unprofitable life ; and so do our hearers that 
have this disease ; perhaps they hear more than otherwise they 
needed, and the clear discovery and lively delivery of the truth 
of God, may warm and refresh them a little, while they are 
hearing, and perhaps an hour or two after ; and, it may be, 
linger out their grace in a languishing, uncomfortable, unprofit- 
able life ; but if they did hear one hour, and meditate seven ; 
if they did as constantly digest their sermons as they hear them 
and not take in one sermon before the former is well concocted, 
they would find another kind of benefit by sermons, than the 
ordinary sort of the forwardest Christians do. I know many 
carnal persons do make this an argument against frequent 
preaching and hearing, who do it merely from a loathing of the 
Word, and know far less how to meditate than they know how 
understandingly to hear; only they pretend meditation again«t 
often hearing, because, that being a duty of the mind, you cannot 
so easily discern their omission of it. These are sick of the 
anorexia and apepsia ; they have neither appetite nor digestion. 
The other of the boulimia ; they have appetite, but no digestion. 

Sect. 111. But because meditation is a general word, and it is 
not all meditation that I here intend, I shall therefore lay thee 
down the difference whereby this meditation that I am urging 
thee to, is distinguished from all other kinds; and the difference 
is taken from the act, and from the object of it. 

1. From the act, which I call the set and solemn acting of all 
the powers of the soul. 

312 . THE saint's 

1. I call it the acting of them ; for it is action that we are di- 
recting you in now, and not relations or dispositions ; yet these 
also are necessarily presupposed. It must be a soul that is qua- 
lified for the work by the supernatural renewing grace of the 
Spirit, which must be able to perform this heavenly exercise.^ It 
is the work of the living, and not of the dead ; it is a work of all 
other most spiritual and sublime, and therefore not to be well 
performed by a heart that is merely carnal and terrene. Also, 
they must necessarily have some relation to heaven before they 
can familiarly there converse. I suppose them to be the sons of 
God, when I persuade them to love him; and to be of the fa- 
mily of God, yea, the spouse of his Son, when I persuade them 
to press into his presence, and to dwell with him. I suppose 
them to be such as have title to rest, when I persuade them to 
rejoice in the meditations of rest. These, therefore, being all 
presupposed, are not the duties here intended and required, but 
it is the bringing of their sanctified dispositions into act, and the 
delightful reviewing of their high relations. Habits and powers 
are but to enable us to action. To say, I am able to do this, or 
I am disposed to it, doth neither please God, nor advantage our- 
selves, except withal we really do it. God doth not regenerate 
thy soul that it may be able to know him, and not know him; 
or that it may be able to believe, and yet not believe ; or that it 
may be able to love him, and yet not to love him ; but he there- 
fore makes thee able to know, to believe and love, that thou 
mayest indeed both know, believe, and love him. What good 
doth that power which is not reduced into act ? Therefore, I 
am not now exhorting thee to be an able Christian, but to be 
an active Christian, according to the degree of that ability which 
thou hast. As thy store of money, or food, or raiment, which 
thou lettest lie by thee, and never usest, doth thee no good but 
please thy fancy, or raise thee to an esteem in the eyes of others, 
so all thy gifts, and powers, and habits, which lie still in thy 
soul, and are never acted, do profit or comfort thee little or 
nothing, but in satisfying thy fancy, and raising thee to the repute 
of an able man, so far as they are discernible to the standers-by. 

Sect. IV. 2. I call this mediation, "the acting of the powers of 
the soul," meaning the soul as rational, to difference it from the 
cogitations of the soul as sensitive : the sensitive soul hath a kind 

s God will have us to be saved by ourselves, viz., under God. This, there- 
fore, is the nature of tlie soul, to he impelled, or driven on, and incited by 
itsell'. — C'li'iiiois /Ikxundr, Stromut, lib. vi. 


of meditation by the common sense, the fantasy and estimation.' 
The fleshly man mindeth the thinpfs of the flesh. (Rom. viii.) 
If it were the work of the ear, or the eye, or the tongue, or the 
hands, which 1 am setting yon on, 1 doubt not but you would 
more readily take it up ; but it is the work of the soul, for 
bodily exercise doth here profit but little. The soul hath its 
labour and its ease; its business and its idleness; its intention 
and remission, as well as the body; and diligent students are 
usually as sensible of the labour and weariness of their spirits 
and brain, as thev are of that of the members of the body. This 
action of the soul is it I persuade thee to. 

Sect. V. 3. I call it the acting of " all " the powers of the 
soul, to difference it from the common meditation of students, 
which is usually the mere employment of the brain. It is not 
a bare thinking that I mean, nor the mere use of invention or 
memory, but a business of a higher and more excellent nature. 
When truth is apprehended only as truth, this is but an unsa- 
voury and loose apprehension ; but when it is apprehended as 
good, as well as true, this is a fast and delightful apprehension. 
As a man is not so prone to live according to the truth he 
knows, except it do deeply affect him, so neither doth his soul 
enjoy its sweetness, excejjt speculation do pass to affection. The 
understanding is not the whole soul, and therefore cannot 
do the whole work. As God hath made several parts in man 
to perform their several offices for his nourishing and life, so 
hath he ordained the faculties of the soul to perform their 
several offices for his spiritual life : the stomach must chylify, 
and prepare for the liver ; the liver and spleen must sanguify, 
and i)rcj)are for the heart and brain ; and these must beget the 
vital and animal spirits, &:c. ; so the understanding must take 
in truths, and prepare them for the will, and it must receive 
them, and commend them to the aft'ections. The best diges- 
tion is in the bottom of the stomach ; the affections are, as it 
were, the bottom of the soul ; and therefore the best digestion 
is there. While truth is but a speculation swimming in the 
brain, the soul hath not half received it, nor taken fast hold of 
it ; Christ and heaven have various excellences, and therefore 
God hath formed the soul v/ith a power of apprehending divers 
ways, that so we might be capable of enjoying those divers ex- 

* Vita est vij per (|uain aliciuid in seip^o ox scijiso ajjere potest ; phirimuin 
vero ipsum actum (jiio aliiiuid vivit, duckuat. — Mat. AJarlinius Cuthol. Fid. 
).ib. iii. J). ;L'1 

314 THE saint's 

cellcnces in Christ. Even as the creatures having their several 
uses, God hath given us several senses, that so we might enjoy 
the delights of them all. What the better had we been for the 
pleasant, odoriferous flowers and perfumes, if we had not pos- 
sessed the sense of smelling ; or what good would language or 
music have done us, if God had not given us the sense of hear- 
ing ? or what delight should we have found in meats, or drinks, 
or sweetest things, if we had been deprived of the sense of 
tasting ? So also, what good could all the glory of heaven 
have done us ; or what pleasure should we have had, even in the 
goodness and perfection of God himself, if we had been without 
the affections of love and joy, whereby we are capable of being 
delighted in that goodness ? And what benefit of strength or 
sweetness canst thou possibly receive by thy meditations on 
eternity, while thou dost not exercise those affections which 
are the senses of the soul, by which it must receive this sweet- 
ness and strength ? 

This is it that hath deceived Christians in this business ; they 
have thought that meditation is nothing but the bare thinking 
on truths, and the rolling of them in the understanding and 
memory ; when every schoolboy can do this, or persons that 
hate the things which they think on. 

Therefore this is the great task in hand, and this is the work 
that I would set thee on : to get these truths from thy head to 
thy heart, and that all the sermons which thou hast heard of 
heaven, and all the notions that thou hast conceived of this rest, 
mav be turned into the blood and spirits of aflFection, and thou 
mayest feel them revive thee, and warm thee at the heart, and 
mayest so think of heaven as heaven should be thought on. 

There are two accesses of contemplation, said Bernard, one 
in intellection, the other in aflfection; one in light, the other in 
heat; one in acquisition, the other in devotion." If thou 
shouldst study of nothing but heaven while thou livest, and 
shouldst have thy thoughts at command, to turn them hither on 
every occasion, and yet shouldst proceed no further than this ; 
this were not the meditation that I intend, nor would it much 
advantage or better thy soul ; as it is thy whole soul that 
must possess God hereafter, so must the whole, in a lower 
manner, possess him here. 1 have shown you in the beginning 
of this treatise, how the soul must enjoy the Lord in glory ; to 

" Contemplationis accessus duo sunt, unus in intellectu, alter in afFectu ; 
unus in lumine, alter iu fervore ; unus in acquisitione, alter in devotione. — 
Bernard, in Cant. ser. 46. 


wit, by knowing, by loving, and joying in him. Why, the very 
same way must thou begin in tiiy enjoyment here. 

So much us thy understanding and affections are sincerely 
acted upon by God, so niucli dost thou enjoy him : and this is 
tlie happy work of this meditation. So that you see here is 
somewhat more to be done than barely to remember and think of 
heaven. As running, ringing, and moving, and such-like la- 
bours, do not only stir a hand or foot, but do strain and exer- 
cise the whole body, so doth meditation the whole soul. 

As the affections of sinners are set on the world, and turned 
to idols, and fallen from God, as well as the understanding, so 
must the affections of men be reduced to God, and taken up 
with him, as well as the understanding ; and as the whole was 
filled with sin before, so the whole must be filled with God now. 
As St. Paul saith of knowledge, and gifts, and faith to remove 
mountains, that if thou have all these without love, " thou art 
but as sounding brass, or as a tinkhng cymbal ;" (1 Cor. xiii. 
1,2;) so I may say of the exercise of these, if in this work of 
meditation thou do exercise knowledge, and gifts, and faith of 
miracles, and not exercise love and joy, thou dost nothing; thou 
playest the child, and not the man; the sinner's part, and not 
the saint's. For so will sinners do also. If thy meditation 
tends to fill thy note-book with notions, and good sayings, con- 
cerning God, and not thy heart with longings after him, and 
delight in him, for aught I know thy book is as much a Chris- 
tian as thou. Mark but David's description of the blessed man: 
"His delight is in the law^ of the Lord, and therein doth he 
meditate day and night." (Psal. i. 3.) 

Sect. VJ. 4. I call this meditation "set and solemn," to 
difference it from that which is occasional and cursory. As 
there is prayer which is solemn, when we set ourselves wholly 
to the duty, and prayer which is sudden and short, commonly 
called ejaculations, when a man, in the midst of other business, 
doth send up some brief request to God ; so also there is me- 
ditation solemn, when we apply ourselves only to that work ; 
and there is meditation which is short and cursory, when in the 
midst of our business we have some good thoughts of God in 
our minds ; and as solemn prayer is either first set, when a 
Christian, observing it as a standing duty, doth resolvedly prac- 
tise it in a constant course ; or, secondly, occasionally, when 
some unusual occasion doth put us upon it at a season extra- 

* Heb. doctrine. 

316 THE saint's 

ordinary ; so also meditation admits of the like distinction. 
Now, thougli I would persuade you to that meditation which is 
mixed with your common labours in your callings, and to that 
which special occasions do direct you to, yet these are not the 
main things which 1 here intend ; but that you would make it a 
constant, standing duty, as you do by hearing, and praying, 
and reading the Scripture ; and that you would solemnly set 
yourselves about it, and make it for that time your whole work, 
and intermix other matters no more with it than you would do 
with prayer or other duties. Thus you see, as it is differenced by 
its act, M'hat kind of meditation it is that we speak of; viz., it 
is the set and solemn acting of all the powers of the soul. 

Sect. Vn. The second part of the difference is drawn from 
its object, which is " rest," or the most blessed state of man in 
his everlasting enjoyment of God in heaven. Meditation hath a 
large field to walk in ; and hath as many objects to work upon, 
as there are matters, and lines, and words in the Scripture, as 
there are known creatures in the whole creation, and as there are 
particular discernible passages of Providence in the government 
of the persons and actions through the world ; but the medita- 
tion that I now direct vou in, is onlv of the end of all these, and 
of these as they refer to that end. It is not a walk from moun- 
tains to valleys, from sea to land, from kingdom to kingdom, 
from planet to planet ; but it is a walk from mountains and val- 
leys to the holy mount Zion ; from sea and land to the land of 
the living ; from the kingdoms of this world to the kingdom of 
saints; from earth to heaven; from time to eternity. It is a 
walking upon sun, and moon, and stars ; it is a walking in the 
garden and paradise of God. lb may seem far off ; but spirits 
are quick, whether in the body or out of the body ; their mo- 
tion is swift ; they are not so heavy or dull as these earthly lumps, 
nor so slow of motion as these clods of flesh. I would not have 
you cast off your other meditations, but, surely, as heaven hath 
the pre-eminence in perfection, so should it have the pre-emi- 
nence also in our meditations. That which will make us most 
happv when we possess it, will make us most joyful when we 
meditate upon it, especially when that meditation is a degree of 
possession, if it be such affeciing meditation as 1 here describe. 
You need not here be troubled with the fears of the world, 
lest studying so much on these high matters should craze your 
brains, and make you mad, unless you would go mad with delight 
and joy, and that of the purest and most solid kind. If I set you 


to meditate as much on sin and wrath, and to study nothing but 
judgment and damnation, then you might justly fear such an 
issue. But it is heaven, and not hell, that 1 would persuade you 
to walk in. It is jov, and not sorrow, that 1 persuade you to 
exercise. 1 woJild urge you to look upon no deformed object, 
but only upon the ravishing glory of saints, and the unspeakable 
excellences of the God of glory, and the beams that stream 
from the face of his Son. Are these such sadding and madding 
thoughts ? Will it distract a man to think of his only happiness? 
Will it distract the miserable to think of mercy, or the captive or 
prisoner to see deliverance, or the poor to think of riches and ho- 
nour approaching ? Neither do I persuade your thoughts to mat- 
ters of great difficulty, or to study thorny and knotty controversies 
of heaven, or to search out things beyond your reach. If you 
should thus set your wit and invention upon the tenters, you 
might be quickly distracted or distempered indeed. But it is 
your affections more than your wits and inventions, which must 
be used in this heavenly employment we speak of. They are 
truths which are commonly known and professed, that your souls 
must draw forth and feed upon. The resurrection of the body, 
and the life everlasting, are articles of your creed, and not 
nicer controversies. Methinks it should be liker to make a man 
mad, to think of living in a world of woe, to think of abiding 
an poverty and sickness, among the rage of wicked men, than to 
think of living with Christ in bliss. Methinks, if we be not 
mad already, it should sooner distract us, to hear the tempests 
and roaring waves, to see the billows, and rocks, and sands, and 
gulfs, than to think of arriving safe at rest. But wisdom is jus- 
tified of all her children. (Matt. xi. 19; Luke vii. 35.) Know- 
ledge hath no enemy but the ignorant. This heavenly course 
was never spoke against by any, but those that never either 
knew it, or used it. 1 more fear the neglect of men that do ap- 
prove it, than the opposition or arguments of any against it. 
Truth loseth more by loose friends than by sharpest enemies. 


Contalmny the fittest Time and Place for this Coiitemjjiation, 
and the Preparation of the Heart unto it. 

Sect. I. Thus I have opened to you the nature of this dutv, 
and by this time I suppose you partly apprehend what it is that 

SIS THE saint's 

I SO press upon you ; which, when it is opened more particularly, 
you will more fully discern. I now proceed to direct you in the 
work: where I shall first show you how you must set upon it; 
and. Secondly, How you must behave yourself in it ; and, Thirdly, 
How you shall shut it up. And here I suppose thee to be a man 
that dost conscionablv avoid the forementioned hinderances, and 
conscionably use the forementioned helps, or else it is in vain to 
set thee a higher lesson, till thou hast first learned that; which, if 
thou have done, I then further advise thee : First, Somewhat con- 
cerning the time and season ; Secondly, Somewhat concerning 
the place ; and. Thirdly, Somewhat concerning the frame of thy 

And, First, For the time, I advise thee that, as much as may 
be, it may be set and constant. Proportion out such a part of 
thy time to the work. 

Stick not at their scruple, who question the stating of times 
as superstitious. If thou suit out thy time to the advantage of 
the work, and place no more religion in the time itself, thou 
needest not to fear lest this be superstition. As a workman in 
his shop will have a set place for every one of hi^ tools and 
wares, or else when he should use it, it may be to seek ; so a 
Christian should have a set time for every ordinary duty, or else 
when he should practise it, it is ten to one but he will be put by 
it. Stated time is a hedge to duty, and defends it against many 
temptations to omission. God hath stated none but the Lord's- 
day himself, but he hath left it to be stated and determined by 
ourselves, according to every man's condition and occasions, lest 
otherwise his law should have been a burden or a snare. Yet hath 
he left us general rules, which, by the use of reason and chris- 
tian prudence, may help us to determine of the fittest times. It 
is as ridiculous a question of them that ask us where Scripture 
commands to pray so oft, or at such hours, privately, or in fami- 
lies ; as if they asked where the Scripture commands that the 
church-house, or temple, stand in such a place, or the pulpit in 
such a place, or mv seat in such a place; or where it commands 
a man to read the Scriptures with a pair of spectacles, &c. Most 
that I have known to break the bond of duty, and to argue 
against a stated time, have at last grown careless of the duty 
itself, and showed more dislike against the work than the time. 
If God give me so much money or wealth, and tell me not in 
Scripture how much such a poor man must have, nor how much my ' 
family, nor how much in clothes, and how much in expenses ; is 


it not lawful, yea, and necessary, that I make the division my- 
self, and allow to each the due proportion? So, if God bestow 
on me a day or week of time, and give me such and such work to 
do in this time, and tell me not how much 1 shall allot to each 
work, certaiidy 1 must make the division myself, and cut my coat 
according to my cloth, and proportion it wisely and carefully too, 
or else I am like to leave something undone. Though God hath 
not told you at what hour you shall rise in the morning, or at 
what hours you shall eat and drink, yet your own reason and 
experience will tell you that, ordinarily, you should observe a 
stated time. Neither let the fear of customariness and formality 
deter vou from this. That argument hath brought the Lord's- 
supper from once a week to once a quarter, or once a year ; and 
it hath brought family duties, with too many of late, from twice 
a day to once a week, or once a month ; and if it were not that 
man, being proud, is naturally of a teaching humour, and ad- 
dicted to works of popularity and ostentation, I believe it would 
diminish preaching as much : and will it deal any better with 
secret duties, especially this of holy meditation ? I advise thee, 
therefore, if thou well mayest, to allow this duty a stated time, 
and be as constant in it as in hearing and praying. Yet be cau- 
tious in understanding this. 1 know this will not prove every man's 
duty. Some have not themselves and their time at command, 
and therefore cannot set their hours. Such are most servants, 
and many children of poor and carnal parents ; and many are 
so poor that the necessity of their families will deny them this 
freedom. I do not think it the duty of such to leave their 
labours for this work just at certain set times ; no, nor for prayer, 
or other necessary worship. No such duty is at all times a duty. 
Affirmatives, especially positive, bind not semper et ad semper. 
When two duties come together, and cannot both be performed, 
it were then a sin to perform the lesser. Of two duties we must 
choose the greater, though of two sins we must choose neither. 
1 think such persons were best to be watchful, to redeem time 
as much as thev can, and take their vacant opportunities as they 
fall, and especially to join meditation and prayer, as much as 
they can, with the very labours of their callings. There is no 
such enmitv between labouring and meditating, or praying in 
the spirit, but that both may conveniently be done together. 
Yet, I say, (as Paul, in another case,) if thou canst be fiee, use 
it rather. Those that have more spare time from worldly neces- 
saries, and are masters to dispose of themselves and their time. 

320 THE saint's 

I still advise that they keep this duty to a stated time : and, in- 
deed, it were no ill husbandry, nor point of folly, if we did so 
by all other duties. If we considered of the ordinary works of 
the day, and suited out a fit season and proportion of time to 
every work, and fixed this in our memory and resolution, or 
wrote it in a table, and kept it in our closets, and never break 
it but upon unexpected or extraordinary cause. If every work 
of the day had thus its appointed time, we should be better 
skilled, both in redeeming time and performing duty. 

Sect. II. 2. I advise thee also, concerning thy time for this 
duty, that as it be stated, so it be frequent : just how oft it 
should be, I cannot determine, because men's several conditions 
may vary it ; but in general, that it be frequent, the Scripture 
requireth, when it mentioneth meditating continually, and 
day and night. (Psal. i. 2 ; cxix. 48, 97, 99.) Circumstances 
of our condition, may much vary the circumstances of our 
duties. It may be one man's duty to hear or pray oftener 
than another, and so it may be in this of meditation. But for 
those that can conveniently omit other business, I advise, that 
it be once a day at least. Though Scripture tells us not how 
oft in a day we should eat or drink, yet prudence and experience 
will direct us twice or thrice a day, according to the temper and 
necessities of our bodies. Those that think they should not tie 
themselves to order or number of duties, but should then only 
meditate or pray, when they find the Spirit provoking them to 
it, do go upon uncertain and unchristian grounds. I am sure, 
the Scripture provokes us to frequency, and our necessity 
secondeth the voice of Scripture; and if through my own 
neglect, or resistance of the Spirit, I do not find it so to excite 
and quicken me, I dare not therefore disobey the Scripture, nor 
neglect the necessities of my own soul.>' I should suspect that 
spirit which would turn my soul from constancy in duty -J if the 
Spirit in Scripture bid me meditate or pray, I dare not forbear 
it, because I find not the Spirit within me to second the com- 
mand : if I find not incitation to duty before, yet I may find 
assistance while I wait in performance. I am afraid of laying 
mv corruptions upon the Spirit, or blaming the want of the Spi- 
rit's assistance, when I should blame the backwardness of my 

y 111 the same sense as Juslin Martyr said, be would not believe Christ 
himself, if he had preached any other God, besides liim who is the Creator of all; 
so may 1 say, I would not believe the spirit that should take me off my duty 
and obedience to God. Vid. Mcephor. Ecdcs. Histor. lib. iv. cap. 6. 


own heart ; nor dare I make one corruption a plea for another ; 
nor urge the inward rebellion of my nature, as a reason for the 
outward disobedience of my life : and for the healing of my 
nature's backwardness, 1 more expect that the Spirit of Christ 
should do it in a way of duty, (which I still find to be his ordi- 
nary season of working,) than in a way of disobedience, and. 
neglect of duty. Men that fall on duty, according to the frame 
of their spirits only, are like our ignorant vulgar, (or if you will, 
like the swine,) who think their appetite should be the only 
rule of their eating; when a wise man judgcth both of (luantity 
and (piality, by reason and experience; lest when his appetite is 
depraved, he should either surfeit or famish. Our appetite is no 
sure rule for our times of duty ; but the word of God in general, 
and our spiritual reason, experience, necessity, and convenience 
in particular, may truly direct us. 

Three reasons especially should persuade thee to frequency in 
this meditation on heaven. 

1. J3ecause seldom conversing with him will breed a strange- 
ness betwixt thy soul and God : frequent society breeds fami- 
liarity, and familiarity increaseth love and delight, and maketh 
us bold and confident in our addresses. This is the main end of 
this duty; that thou mayest have acquaintance and fellowship 
with God therein ; therefore, if thou come but seldom to it, thou 
wilt keep thyself a stranger still, and so miss of the end of the 
work. Oh ! when a man feels his need of God, and must seek 
his help in a time of necessity, when nothing else can do him 
any good, you would little think what an encouragement it is, 
to go to a God that we know, and are acquainted with. Oh ! 
saith the heavenly Christian, I know both whither I go, and to 
whom, I have gone this way many a time before now; it is the 
same God that I daily conversed with ; it is the same way that 
was my daily walk ; God knows me well enough, and I have 
some knowledge of him. On the other side, what a horror 
and discouragement to the soul will it be, when it is forced to 
fly God in straits : to think, Alas ! I know not whither to go ; 
I never went the way before; I have no acquaintance at the 
court of heaven ; my soul knows not that God that I must 
speak to; and I fear he will not know mv soul ! But especially 
when we come to die, and must immediately apjjear before this 
God, and expect to enter into his eternal rest, then the differ- 
ence will plainly appear ; then what a joy will it be to think, I 
am going to the place that 1 daily conversed in ; to the place 


322 THE saint's 

from whence I tasted so frequent delights ; to that God whom 
1 have met in my meditation so oft ! My heart hath heen at 
heaven before now, and tasted the sweetness that hath oft re- 
vived it ; and (as Jonathan by his honey) if my eyes were so 
enlightened, and my mind refreshed, when I tasted but a little 
of that sweetness, what will it be when I shall feed on it freely ? 
(1 Sam. xiv. 29.) On the other side, what a terror must it be to 
think, I must die, and go I know not whither ; from a place 
where I am acquainted, to a place where I have no familiarity 
or knowledge ; O sirs ! it is an inexpressible horror to a dying 
man, to have strange thoughts of God and heaven ; I am per- 
suaded there is no cause so common, that makes death even to 
godly men unwelcome and uncomfortable. Therefore, I per- 
suade thee to frequency in this duty, that seldomness breed not 
cstrangedness from God. 

2. And besides that, seldomness will make thee unskilful in 
the work, and strange to the duty, as well as to God. How un- 
handsomely and clumsily do men set their hands to a work that 
they are seldom employed in ! Whereas frequency will habituate 
thv heart to the work, and thou wilt better know the way which 
thou daily walkest, yea, and it will be more easy and delightful 
also : the hill which made thee pant and blow at the first going 
up, thou mayest run up easily when thou art once accustomed 
to it. Tlie heart, which of itself is naturally backward, will 
contract a greater unwillingness through disuse ; and as an un- 
tamed colt not used to the hand, it will hardly come to hand, 
when thou shouldst use it. 

3. And lastly, Thou wilt lose that heat and life bv long in- 
termissions, which with much ado thou didst obtain in duty. If 

'thou eat but a meal in two or three days, thou wilt lose thy 
strength as fast as thou gettest it ; if in holy meditation thou 
get near to Christ, and warm thy heart with the fire of love, if 
thou then turn away and come but seldom, thou wilt soon return 
to thy former coldness. If thou walk or labour till thou hast 
got thee heat, and then sit idle all day after, wilt thou not surely 
lose thy heat again? Especially, it being so spiritual a work, 
and so against the bent of nature, we shall be still inclining to 
our natural temper. 

If water that is heated be long from the fire, it will return to 
its coldness, l)ecause that is its natural temper. I advise thee, 
therefore, that thou be as oft as may be in this soul-raising duty, 
lest when thou hast long rowed hard against the stream, or tide, 



and wind, the boat should go farther down by thy intermission, 
than it was got up by all thv labour : and lest, when thou hast 
been long rolling thy stony iieart towards the top of the hill, it 
should go faster down when thou dost slack thy diligence. It 
is true, the intermixed use of other duties mav do much to the 
keeping thy heart above, especially secret prayer j but medita- 
tion is the life of most other duties ; and the view of heaven is 
the life of meditation. 

Sect. 111. 3. Concerning the time of this duty, I advise thee 
that thou choose the most seasonable time. ^ All things are 
beautiful and excellent in their season. Unseasonableness may 
lose thee the fruit of thy labour; it may raise up disturbances 
and difficulties in the work; yea, it may turn a duty to sin : 
when the seasonableness of a duty doth make it easy, doth 
remove impediments, doth embolden us to the undertaking, and 
doth ripen its fruit. 

The seasons of this duty are either. First, Extraordinary ; or, 
Secondly, Ordinary. 

1. The ordinary season for vour daily performance cannot be 
particularly determined by man : otherwise God would have 
determined it in his word. But men's conditions of employ- 
ment, and freedom, and bodily temper, are so various, that the 
same may be a seasonable hour to one, which mav be unsea- 
sonable to another, if thou be a servant, or a hard labourer, 
that thou hast not thyself, nor thy time at command, thou must 
take that season which thy business will best afford thee. Either 
as thou sittest in the shop at work, or as thou travellest on the 
way, or as thou liest waking in the night. Every man best 
knows his own time, even when he hath the least to hinder him 
of his business in the world. But for those whose necessities 
tie them not so close, but that they may well lay aside their 
earthly affairs, and choose what time of the day they will, my 
advice to such is, that they carefully observe the temper of their 
body and mind, and mark when they find their spirits most ac- 
tive and fit for contemplation, and pitch upon that as the stated 
time. Some men are freest for duties when they are fasting, 
and some are unfittest of all. Some are fit for duties of hu- 
miliation at one season, and for duties of exultation at another. 
Every man is the meetest judge for himself. Only give me leave 
to tender you mv observation, which time I have always found 

' De tempore pretandi vide qua; scripsit Cypri. lie Oratioue Dominica, sect, 
25—27. pag. (Edit. I'amel. c. Cioiilait.) 3 IB. 

Y 2 

324 THE saint's 

fittest for myself; and that is, the evening; from sun-setting 
to twilight ; and sometunes in the night, when it is warm and 
clear. Whether it be any thing from the temperature of ray 
body, I know not ; but 1 conjecture that the same time would 
be seasonable to most tempers, for several natural reasons, 
which I will not now stand to mention. Neither would 1 have 
mentioned my own experience in this, but that 1 was encouraged 
hereunto by finding it suit with the experience of abetter and 
a wiser man than myself, and that is Isaac : for it is said in 
Gen. xxiv. 63, that he went to meditate in a field at the 
eventide. And his experience I dare more boldly recommend 
unto you than my own ; and as I remember, Dr. Hall, in his 
excellent treatise of meditation, gives you the like account of his 
own experience. 

Sect. IV. 2. The Lord's-day is a time exceeding seasonable 
for this exercise. When should we more seasonably contem- 
plate on rest, than on that day of rest which doth tvpify it to 
us ? Neither do I think that typifying use is ceased, because 
the antitype is not fully yet to come ; however, it being a day 
appropriated to worship and spiritual duties, methinks we 
should never exclude this duty which is so eminently spiritual. 
I think, verily, this is the chiefest work of a christian sabbath, 
and most agreeable to the intent of its positive institution. 
What fitter time to converse with our Lord than on that day 
which he hath appropriated to such employment, and therefore 
called it the Lord's-day ? What fitter day to ascend to heaven 
than that on which our Lord did arise from earth, and fully 
triumph over death and hell, and take possession of heaven for 
us ? The fittest temper for a true believer is to be in the Spirit 
on the Lord's-day : this was St. John's temper on that day ; 
(Rev. i. 13;) and what can bring us to this ravishment in the 
Spirit but the spiritual beholding of our ravishing glory ? Surely, 
though an outward ordinance may delight the ear, or tickle the 
fancy, vet it is the view of God that must ravish the soul. There 
is a great deal of difference betwixt the receiving of the word 
with joy, (Matt. xiii. 20,) and being in the Spirit on the Lord's- 
day. (Rev. i. 10.) 

Two sorts of Christians I would entreat to take notice of this 

1. Those that spend the Lord's-day only in public worship, 
either through the neglect of this spiritual duty of meditation, or 
else by their over-much exercise of the public, allowing no time 



to private duty. Tliougli there be few that offend in this last 
kind, yet some there arc, and a hurtful mistake to the soul it is. 
They will grow but in gifts, and common acc()mj)lishments, if 
they exercise but their gifts in outward performances. 

2. Those that have time on the Lord's-day for idleness and 
vain discourse, and fmd the day longer than they know how 
well to spend, were these but acc|uainted with this duty of con- 
templation, thev would need no other recreation or pastime ; 
they would think the longest day short enough, and be sorry 
that the night hath shortened their ])leasure. 

Whether this day be of positive divine institution, and so to 
us Christians of necessary observation, is out of my way to 
handle here. '^ I refer those that doubt to what is in print on 
that subject, especially Master George Abbot against Broad ; and, 
above all, Master Cawdry, and Master Palmer, their ' Sabbatum 
Redivivum.' It is an encouragement to the doubtful, to find the 
generality of its rational opposers, to acknowledge the useful- 
ness, yea, the necessity, of a stated day, and the fitness of this 
above all otiier days. I would I could persuade those that are 
convinced of its morality, to spend a greater part of it in this 
true spirituality. But we do in this as in most things else, 
think it enough that we believe our duty, as we do the articles 
of our faitli, and let who will put it in practice: we will dis- 
pute for duty, and let others jjcrform it. As I have known some 
drunkards upon the ale-bench will ])lead for godly men, while 
themselves are ungodly; so do too many for the observation of the 
Lord's-dav, who themselves are unaccjuainted with tiiis spiritual 
part of its observation. Christians, let heaven have some share 
in your sabbaths, where you must shortly keep your everlasting 

* 1 confess it a very o;reat confirmation to nie, that the Lord's-day was of 
divine separatit>n, to lind it so exceeding clear and certain that the church 
hath still observed it ever since tiie apostles' days ; not that I take my faith 
from anti(|uity. But this, as to the case of fait, is a clear jiroof tliat the 
apo'lles useil it, and so a fuller exposition of Scripture concernin;^ its institu- 
tiiin. lijnatius frequently presscth it. Or if any doubt of his writings, yet 
Justin Martyr is a witness !)eyond exce])tioi), who, in the end of his second 
Apology, tells us, t'lat the Christians still met on that day. and shous how 
they spent it iu reading, exhortation, prayer, sacrament, &c. See aUo Tertul. 
Apologet. cap. Ki; et Lib. dc Idololati ia, cap. \iv. p. (eilit. Pamel.) I'li. n. lOi) ; 
et Lib. de Coron. Milit. p. iOfi. n. '.W, ct •20X. n. IJi) ; ct Cyprian. Ejiist. .")'.). ad 
Fidem ; Kuseb. Eccles. llist. lib. i\. cap. 17, et lib. iii. rap. 27; et Au-cust. 
Epist. 119. ad Januar. et Clement, (,'onsiitut. Apostol. lib. ii. cap. (J.'J : Basil, 
de Spir. Sanct. ca]). 27 ; Cyril, in Joan. lib. xii. cap. ;")8 ; Amhros. Serm. (J2; 
Hieron. in Vit. Paul ; Idem Epist. ad Eustach. Concil. Constantiuop; can. 8 ; 
(Jirysost. Scrui. 5. de Resurrect.; August. Epist. 87. ad Ba*il. 

326 THE saint's 

sabbatli. As you go from stair to stair, till you come to the 
top, so use your sabbaths as steps to glory, till you have passed 
them all, and are there arrived. Especially you that are poor 
men, and servants, that cannot take time in the week as you 
desire, see that you well improve this day. Now your labour 
lies not so much upon you ; now you are unyoked from your 
common business, be sure, as your bodies rest from their labours, 
that your spirit seek after rest with God. I admonish all those 
that are possessed of the censorious devil, that if they see a poor 
Christian walking privately in the fields on the Lord's-day, they 
would not pharisaically conclude him a sabbath-breaker, till they 
know more. It may be he takes it as the opportunest place to 
withdraw himself from the world to God. Thou seest where his 
body walks, but thou seest not where he is walking in spirit. 
Hannah was censured for a woman drunk, till Eli heard her speak 
for herself; and when he knew the truth, he was ashamed of 
his censure. The silent, spiritual worshipper is most liable to 
their censure, because he gives not the world an account of his 

Thus I have directed thee to the fittest season for the ordinary 
performance of this heavenly work. 

Sect. V. 2. For the extraordinary performance, these follow- 
ing are seasonable times. 1. When God doth extraordinarily 
revive and enable thy spirit. When God hath enkindled thy 
spirit with fire from above, it is that it may mount aloft more 
freely.'' It is a choice part of a Christian's skill, to observe the 
temper of his own spirit, and to observe the gales of grace, and 
how the Spirit of Christ doth move upon his. Without Christ we 
can do nothing; (John xv. 5 ;) therefore, let us be doing when 
he is doing : and be sure not to be out of the way, nor asleep, 
when he comes. The sails of the windmill stir not without the 
wind; therefore, they must set them a-going when the wind blows. 
Be sure that thou watch this wind and tide, if thou wouldst have 
a speedy voyage to heaven. A little labour will set thy heart 
a-going at such a time as this, when another time thou mayest 
studv and take pains to little purpose. Most Christians do 
sometime find a more than ordinary reviving and activeness of 
spirit : take this as sent from heaven to raise thee thither : and 
when the Spirit is lifting thy heart from the earth, be sure thou 

•> As Gerson, in the ftirecitcd place, saitli, This art or way of meditation is 
not learned chiefly out of hooks ; but the Spirit of God bestoweth it as he 
pleaseth, on some more pleutifuUy, and on some more sparingly. 



then lift at it thyself. As when the angel came to Peter in his 
prison and irons, and smote him on the side, and raised him up, 
saying, "Arise up (|uickly, gird thyself, bind on thy sandals, and 
cast thy garments about thee, and follow me ;" and Peter arose 
and followed till he was delivered ; (Acts xii. 7, S, &c.) so when 
the Spirit finds thy heart in prison and irons, and smites it, and 
bids thee " Arise quickly, and follow me," be sure thou then 
arise and follow, and thou shalt find thy chains fall off, and all 
doors will open, and thou wilt be at heaven before thou art 

Sect. Vl. 2. When thou art cast into perplexing troubles of 
mind, through sufferings, or fear, or care, or temptations, then 
is it seasonable to address thyself to this duty. When should 
we take our cordials but in our times of fainting ? When is it 
more seasonable to walk to heaven, than when we know not 
in what corner on earth to live with comfort ; or when should 
our thoughts converse above, but when they have nothing but 
grief to converse with below ? Where should Noah's dove be, 
but in the ark, when the waters do cover the earth, and she can- 
not find rest for the sole of her foot ? (Gen. viii. 8, 9.) What 
should we think on but our Father's house, when we want even 
the husks of the world to feed on ? Surely, God sends thee thy 
afflictions to this very purpose. Happy, thou poor man, if thou 
make this use of thy poverty ; and thou that art sick, if thou 
so improve thy sickness. It is seasonable to go to the promised 
land, when our burdens and tasks are increased in Egypt, and 
when we endure the dolours of a grievous wilderness. Believe it, 
reader, if thou knewest but what a cordial in thy griefs and 
cares the serious views of glorv are, thou wouldst less fear these 
harmless troubles, and more use that preserving, reviving re- 
medv. I would not have thee, as mountebanks, take poison first, 
and then their antidote, to show its power ; so to create thy af- 
fliction to try this remedy : but if God reach thee forth the bit- 
terest cup, drop in but a little of the taste of heaven, and I war- 
rant thee it will sufficiently sweeten it to thy spirit. If the case 
thou art in seem never so dangerous, take but a little of this 
antidote of rest, and never fear the pain or danger. I will give 
thee, to confirm this, but the example of David and the opinion 
of Paul, and desire thee thoroughly to consider of both. " In the 
multitude of my thoughts within me," saith David, " thy com- 
forts delight my soul." (Psalm xcliv. IH.) As if he should say, 
' I have multitudes of sadding thoughts which crowd upon me 3 

328 THE saint's 

thoughts of my sins, and thoughts of my foes ; thoughts of my 
dangers, and thoughts of my pains ; yet, in the midst of all this 
crowd, one serious thought of the comforts of thy love, and especi- 
ally of the comfortahle life in glory, doth so dispel the throng, and 
scatter my cares, and disperse the clouds which my troubles had 
raised, that they do even revive and delight my soul.' And Paul, 
when he had cast up his full accounts, gives thee the sum in Rom. 
viii. iS : "For 1 reckon that tlie sufferings of this present time 
are not worthy to be compared with the glorv that shall be re- 
vealed in us." Study these words well, for every one of them 
is full of life, if these true sayings of God were truly and 
deeply fixed in thy heart, and if thou couldst, in thy sober me- 
ditation, but draw out the comfort of this one scripture, I dare 
affirm it would sweeten the bitterest cross, and in a sort make 
thee forget thy trouble, as Christ saith, " A woman forgets her 
travel, for joy that a man is born into the world." (John xvi, 21.) 
\ea, and make thee rejoice in thy tribulation. 1 will add but 
one text more : " For which cause we faint not ; but though our 
outward man perish, yet the inward is renewed day by day. For 
our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a 
far more exceeding eternal weight of glory; while we look not 
at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen : 
for the tilings which are seen are temporal, but the things which 
are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. iv. 16, 17.) 

Sect. Vlj. 4. Another fit season for this heavenly duty is 
when the messengers of God do sunnnonus to die; when either 
our gray hairs, or our languishing bodies, or some such-like 
forerunners of death, do tell us that our change cannot be far 
off; when should we more frequently sweeten our souls with the 
believing thoughts of another life, than when we find that this 
is almost ended, and when flesh is raising fears and terrors? 
Surely, no men have greater need of supporting joys than dying 
men ; and those joys must be fetched from our eternal joy. Men 
that have earthly pleasures in their hands, may think thev are 
-well, though they taste no more; but when a man is dying, and 
])arting with all other pleasures, he must then fetch his pleasure 
from heaven, or have none : wlien health is gone, and friends 
lie weeping by our beds; when houses, and lands, and goods, 
and wealth, cannot afford us the least relief, but we are taking 
our leave of earth for ever, except a hole for our bodies to rot 
in; when we are daily expecting our final day, it is now time 
to look to heaven, and to fetch in comfort and support from 



thence ; and as heavenly tlelie^hts are sweetest when they are 
unmixed and pure and have no earthly delights conjoined with 
them, so therefore the delights of dying Christians are ofttimes 
the sweetest that ever they had. Therefore have the saints heen 
generally observed to be then most heavenly when they were 
nearest dving. What a prophetical blessing hath Jacob for his 
sons when he lay a-dying; and so Isaac ! What a heavenly 
song, what a divine benediction doth INIoses conclude his life 
withal ! (Deut. xxxii.xxxiii.) Nay, as our Saviour increased in 
wisdom and knowledge, so did he also in their l)lessed expres- 
sions, and still the last the sweetest. What a heavenly prayer, 
what a heavenly advice doth he leave his disciples, when he is 
about to leave them ! When he saw he must leave the world 
and go to the Father, how doth he wean them from worldly 
expectations ! How doth he mind them of the mansions in his 
Father's house ; and remember them of his coming again to fetch 
them thither; and open the union they shall have with him, and 
with each other; and promise them to be with him to behold 
his glory ! There is more worth in those four chapters, John 
xiv. — xvii., than in all the books in the world beside. When 
blessed Paul was ready to be offered up, what heavenly exhorta- 
tion doth he give the Philippians ; what advice to Timothy ; 
what counsel to the elders of ihe E|)hesian church! (Acts xx.) 
How near was St. John to heaven in his banishment in Patmos, 
a little before his translation to heaven ! What heavenly dis- 
^ course had Luther in his last sickness ! How close was Calvin 
to his divine studies in his very sickness, that when they would 
have dissuaded him from it, he answers, " Wiltisne me otiosum 
a Domino apprehendi !" What ! would you have God find me 
idle ? 1 have not lived idly, and shall I die idly ? The like n)ay 
be yaid of our famous Reignolds. When excellent Biicholcer 
was near his end, he wrote his book ' De Consolationc Decum- 
bentium.' Then it was thatTossanus wrote hi.s ' Vade mecum.' 
Then Doctor Preston was upon the ' Attributes of God.' And 
then jNIr. Bolton was on the ' Joys of Heaven.' It were endless 
to enumerate the eminent examples of this kind. It is the 
general temper of the spirits of the saints, to be then most 
heavenly when they are nearest to heaven. As we used to say 
of the old and the weak, ' that they have one foot in the grave 
already ;' so we may say of the godly, when they are near their 
rest, ' thev have one foot, as it were, in heaven already.' \\ hen 
should a traveller look homewards with joy, but when he is come 

330 THE saint's 

within the sight of his home ? It is true, the pains of our bodies 
and the fainting of our spirits, may somewhat abate the liveliness' 
of our joy; but the measure we have will be the more pure and 
spiritual, by how much the less it is kindled from the flesh. Oh, 
that we, who are daily languishing, could learn this daily hea- 
venly conversing, and could say as the apostles in the forecited 
place: (2Cor.iv. 16 — IS:) Oh, that every gripe that our bodies 
feel, might make us more sensible of future ease; and that 
every weary day and hour might make us long for our eternal 
rest! That as the pulling down of one end of the balance is 
the lifting up of the other, so the pulling down of our bodies 
might be the lifting up of our souls ; that as our souls were usu- 
ally at the worst when our bodies were at the best, so now they 
might be at the best when our bodies are at the worst. Why 
should we not think thus with ourselves ? why, every one of 
these gripes that I feel, are but the cutting of the stiches for the 
ripping off mine old attire, that God may clothe me with the 
glory of his saints. Had I rather live in these rotten rags, than 
be at the trouble and pains to shift me ? Should the infant 
desire to stay in the womb, because of the straitness and pains 
of the passage ; or because he knows not the world that he is to 
come into ; nor is acquainted with the fashions and inhabitants 
thereof? Am not I nearer to my desired rest than ever [ was ? 
If the remembrance of these griefs will increase my joy, when 
I shall look back upon them from above, why then should not 
the remembrance of that joy abate my griefs when I look 
upwards to it from below ? And why should the present feeling 
of these dolours so much diminish' the foretastes of glory, when 
the remembrance of them will then increase it ? All these gripes 
and woes that I feel, are but the farevvell of sin and sorrows. 
As nature useth to struggle hard a little before death, and as the 
devil cast the man to the ground and tore him, when he was 
going out of him ; (Mark ix. 26 ;) so this tearing and troubling 
which I now feel, is but at the departure of sin and misery : for 
as the effects of grace are sweetest at last, so the effects of sin 
are bitterest at the last, and this is the last that ever I shall taste 
of it ; when once the whirlwind and earthquake is past, the still 
voice will next succeed, and God only will be in the voice, though 
sin also was in the earthquake and whirlwind. 

Thus, Christian, as every patig of sickness should mind the 
wicked of their eternal pangs, and make them look into the 
bottom of hell, so should all thv woe and weakness mind thee 


of thy near approaching joy, and make thee look as high as 
heaven. And, as a ball, the harder thou art smitten down to 
earth, the higher shouldst thou rebound up to heaven. If this 
be thy case, who readest these lines, (and if it be not now, it will 
be shortly,) if thou lie in consuming, painful sickness, if thou 
perceive the dving time draw on, O where should thy heart be 
now but with Christ? IVIethiuks thou shouldst even behold 
him, as it were, standing by thee, and shouldst bespeak him as 
thy father, thy husband, thy physician, thy friend. Mcthinks 
thou shouldst even see, as it were, the angels about thee waiting 
to perform their last office to thy soul, as thy friends wait to 
perform theirs to thy body ; those angels which disdained not to 
bring the soul of a scabbed beggar to heaven, will not think 
much to conduct thee thither. Oh, look upon thy sickness as 
Jacob did on Joseph's chariots, and let thy spirit revive within 
thee, and say, ' It is enough that Joseph, that Christ is yet alive; 
for because he lives, I shall live also.' (John xiv. 19.) As thou 
art sick, and needest the daintiest food, and choicest cordials, 
so here are choicer than the world affords. Here is the food of 
angels and glorified saints ; here are all the joys that heaven 
doth yield, even the vision of God, the sight of Christ, and what- 
soever the blessed there possess : this table is spread for thee 
to feed on in thy sickness ; these dainties are offered thee by the 
hand of Christ : he hath written thee the receipt in the promises 
of the Gospel ; he hath prepared thee all the ingredients in 
heaven ; onlv put forth the hand of faith, and feed upon them, 
and rejoice and live. The Lord saith to thee, as he did to Elias, 
" Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for thee." 
(1 Kings xix. 7.) Though it be not long, yet the way is foul : 
I counsel thee, therefore, that thou obey his voice, and arise and 
eat, and in the strength of that meat thou mayest walk till 
thou come to the mount of God. Die not in the ditch of horror 
or stupidity ; but, as the Lord said to Moses, " Go up into the 
mount, and see the land that the Lord hath promised, and die 
in the mount." (Deut. xxxii. 4.9, 50.) And as old Simeon, 
when he saw Christ in his infancy in the temple, so do thou 
behold him in the temple of the New Jerusalem as in his glory, 
and take him in the arms of thy faith, and say, " Lord, now 
lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eye (of faith) 
hath seen thy salvation." As thou wast never so near to heaven 
as now, so let thy spirit be nearer it now than ever. 

332 THE saint's 

So you have seen which is the fittest season for this duty r*^ I 
should here advise thee also of some times unseasonable, but I 
shall only add this one caution, The unseasonable urging of the 
most spiritual duty, is more from the tempter than from the Spi- 
rit of God ! When Satan sees a Christian in a condition wherein 
he is unable and unfit for a dutv, or wherein he mav have more 
advantage against us by our performance of it than by our 
omitting it, he will then drive on as earnestly to duty, as if it 
were the very Spirit of holiness : that so upon our omitting, or 
ill performance, be may have somewhat to cast in our teeth, and 
to trouble us with. And this is one of his ways of deceiving, 
when he transforms himself into an angel of light. It may be, 
when thou art on thy knees in prayer, thou shalt have many 
good thoughts will come into thy mind ; or when thou art hear- 
ing the word, or at such unseasonable times. Resist these good 
thoughts as coming from the devil, for they are formally evil, 
though they are materially good ; even good thoughts in them- 
selves may be sinful to thee. It may be, when thou shouldst 
be diligent in thy necessary labours, thou shalt be moved to cast 
aside all, that thou mayest go to meditation or to prayer : these 
motions are usually from the spirit of delusion : the Spirit of 
Christ doth nothing unseasonably : God is not the God of con- 
fusion, but of order- 
Sect. VIII. Thus much I thought necessary to advise thee 
concerning the time of this duty. It now follows that I speak 
a word of the fittest place.'^ Though God is everywhere to be 
found by a faithful soul ; yet some places are more convenient 
for a duty than others. 

1. As this is a private and spiritual dutv, so it is most conve- 
nient that thou retire to some private place : our spirits had 
need of every help, and to be freed from every hinderance in 

«= Read Master Symouds's 'Deserted Soul,' p. 225—227. 

•* Every place is truly lioly where we receive the knowledg'e and cog:itati()ns 
of God.— Clem. Alex. Slromat. lib. vii. Vide Gersoii, ubi ini'ra, cap. 24. Do- 
minos docet nos, ut opera sua imitemur, et sicut ipse fecit ita et nos facia- 
mus : ecce oraturus erat, et asceudit in moiiteni ; oportet etiam nos k neg'o- 
tiis otiosos orare, et non in medio multoruni ; sed pernoctantes ne statim ut 
ccEperimus cessemiis.—Theophi/lact. in JmIic, cap. (i. Yet the principal 
secrecy and silence must be in the soul within, rather than witiiout ; that is, 
that the soul shut out of itself a!i human, worldly cares, all vain and hurtful 
thoughts, and whatsoever may hinder it front reaching- to the end which it 
doth intend. For it often falls out that a man is alone, separated from the 
company of men, and yet by fantasies, thoughts, and melancholies, doth suf- 


the work : and the quality of these circumstances, though to 
some they may seem small things, doth much conduce to our 
hinderance or our help. Christ himself thought it not vain to 
direct in this circumstance of private duty. (Matt. vi. 4, 6, IS.) 
Jf in private prayer we must shut our door upon us, that our 
Father may hear us in secret, so it is also requisite in this me- 
ditation. How oft doth Christ himself depart to some moun- 
tain, or wilderness, or other solitary place ! For occasional 
meditation I give thee not this advice, but for this daily set 
and solemn duty I advise that thou withdraw thyself from all 
society, yea, though it were the society of godly men, that thou 
mayest awhile enjoy the society of Christ : if a student cannot 
study in a crowd, who exercises only his invention and memory, 
much less when thou must exercise all the powers of thy soul, 
and that upon an object so far above nature : when thy eyes 
are filled with the persons and actions of men, and thine ears 
with their discourse, it is hard then to have thv thoughts and 
affections free for this duty. Though 1 would not persuade 
thee to Pythagoras's cave, nor to the hermit's wilderness, nor to 
the monk's cell ; vet 1 would advise thee to frequent solitari- 
ness, that thou mayest sometimes confer with Christ, and with 
thyself, as well as with others. We are fled so far from the 
solitude of superstition, that we have cast off the solitude of 
contemplative devotion. Friends use to converse most fami- 
liarly in private, and to open their secrets, and let out their 
affections most freely. Public converse is but common con- 
verse. Use, therefore, as Christ himself did, (Mark i. 35,) to 
depart sometimes into a solitary place, that thou mayest be 
wholly vacant for this great employment. (See Matt. xiv. 23 ; 

fer the most grievous and burdensome company in Ijimself ; which fantasies 
do beget in him various tumults, and conferences, and prattliugs ; bringing 
before the eyes of his understanding, sometime one thing, sometime another : 
leading him sometime into tlie kitchen, sometime into tlie market; bringing 
thence to him the unclean delights of the flesh : showing him dances, and 
beauties, and songs, and such kind of vanities drawing to sin : as St. Jerome 
humbly confcsseth of himself, that when he was in the wilderness, without 
any company save wild beasts and scorpions, yet he was oft, in his thoughts, 
in dances, and in the company of the ladies at Ronie. So these fantasies will 
make the soul, even when it is alone, to be angry, and quarrel with sonie 
one that is absent, as if he were present ; to be counting money ; it will pass 
over the seas; it will fly abroad the land ; sometime it will be in hii;h dig- 
nities ; and so of innumerable fancies the like. Such a soul is not secret, nor 
alone : nor is a devout soul in contemplation alone; for it is never le^s alone. 
Jt is in the best company, even with God and saints by holy «lesires and cogi- 
tations. — Ccrson, part iii. lol. j8J, JJe Monte CoiUemplutionL^, cajn 23. 

334 THE saint's 

Mark vi. 47; Luke ix. 18, 36 ; John vi. 15, 16.) We sel- 
dom read of God's appearing, by himself, or his angels, to any 
of his prophets or saints in a throng, but frequently when they 
were alone.^ 

And as 1 advise thee to a place of retiredness, so also that 
thou observe more particularly, what place and posture best 
agreeth with thy spirit : whether within doors, or without ; 
whether sitting still, or walking. I believe Isaac's example in 
this also, will direct us to the place and posture which will best 
suit with most, as it doth with me, viz., his walking forth to 
meditate in the field at the eventide. And Christ's own exam- 
ple in the places forecited give us the like direction. Christ 
was so used to a solitary garden, that even Judas, when he came 
to betray him, knew where to find him. (John xviii. 1, 2.) And 
though he took his disciples thither with him, yet did he sepa- 
rate himself from them for more secret devotions. (Luke xxii. 
41.) And though, his meditation be not directly named, but 
only his praying, yet it is very clearly implied. (Matt. xxvi. 
38, 39.) His soul is first made sorrowful with the bitter medi- 
tations on his death and sufferings, and then he poureth it out 
in prayer. (Mark xiv. 34.) So that Christ had his accustomed 
place, and consequently accustomed duty, and so must we. 
Christ hath a ])lace that is solitary, whither he retireth himself 
even from his own disciples, and so must we : Christ's medita- 
tions do go further than his thoughts ; they affect and pierce 
his heart and soul, and so must ours. Only there is a wide 
difference in the object : Christ meditates on the suffering that 
our sins had deserved, that the wrath of his Father even passed 
through his thoughts upon all his soul : but the meditation that 
we speak of, is on the glory he hath purchased ; that the love 
of the Father, and the joy of the Spirit, might enter at our 
thoughts, and revive our affections, and overflow our souls. So 
that, as Christ's meditation was the sluice or floodgate, to let 
in hell to overflow his affections, so our meditation should be 
the sluice to let in heaven into our affections. 

Sect. IX. So much concerning the time and place of this 
duty. I am next to advise thee somewhat concerning the pre- 

* Chrysostomus ait : Solitudo est locus idoneus ad philosophiam ; referente 
Jac. Gryiiffio. Magisterio suo Dominus secretoorare iios i)ra;ce|)it ; in abditis 
est einotis iocis, in cubiculis ipsis, quod niagis couveiiit fidei. Ut scianius, 
])eun» ul)iquc esse prajsentem, audire omiies et videre, et majestatis suse ple- 
uitudine ill abdita qua;((ue et occulta penetrare. — Cyprian, dc Oratlone Do- 
mine, sect. ii. J), (inihi) 30i). 


parations of thy heart. The success of the work doth much 
depend on the frame of thy heart. When man's heart had 
nothing in it that might grieve the Spirit, then was it the de- 
lightful habitation of his Maker. God did not quit his residence 
there, till man did repel him by unworthy provocations. There 
grew no strangeness, till the heart grew sinful, and too loath- 
some a dungeon for God to delight in. And were this soul re- 
duced to its former innocency, God would quickly return to his 
former habitation : yea, so far as it is renewed and repaired by 
the Spirit, and purged of its lusts, and beautified with his 
image, the Lord will yet acknowledge it his own, and Christ 
will manifest himself unto it, and the Spirit will take it for his 
temple and residence. So far as the soul is qualified for con- 
versing with God, so far it doth actually, for the most part, en- 
joy him. Therefore, with all diligence keep thy heart, for from 
thence are the issues of life. (Prov. iv. 23.) 

More particularly, when thou settest on this duty; First, 
Get thy heart as clear from the world as thou canst ; wholly 
lay by the thoughts of thy business, of thy troubles, of thy 
enjoyments, and of every thing that may take up any room in 
thy soul. Get thy soul as empty as possibly thoti canst, and so 
it may be the more capable of being filled with God. It is a 
work, as 1 have said, that will require all the powers of thv 
soul, if they were a thousand times more capacious and active 
than they are, and therefore you have need to lav by all other 
thoughts and affections, while you are busied here, if thou 
couldst well perform some outward duty with a piece of thy 
heart, while the other is absent, yet this above all I am sure 
thou canst not. Surely, if thou once address thyself to the 
business indeed, thou wilt be as the covetous man at the heap of 
gold, that when he might take as much as he could carry awav, 
lamented that he was able to bear no Tnore. So when thou 
shalt get into tlie mount of contemplation, thou wilt find there 
as much of God and glory, as thy narrow heart is able to con- 
tain ; and almost nothing to hinder thy full possession, but only 
the uncapableness of thy own spirit. O then (wilt thou think) 
that this understanding were larger, that I might conceive more ! 
that these affections were wider to contain more ! it is more my 
own unfitness than any thing else, which is the cause that even 
this place is not my heaven ! God is in this i)]ace, and I know it 
not. This mount is full of the angels of God, but mine eyes 
are shut, and cannot see them. O the words of love that Christ 

336 THE saint's 

hath to speak ! O the wonders of love that lie hath to show ! 

But, alas! I cannot bear them yet: heaven is here ready at 

hand for me, but my uucapable heart is unready for heaven ! 

Thus wouldst thou lament, that the deadness of thy heart doth 

hinder thy joys ; even as a sick man is sorry that he wants a 

stomach when he sees a feast before him. 

Therefore, reader, seeing it is much in the capacity and 

frame of thy heart, how much thou shalt enjoy of God in this 

contemplation, be sure that all the room thou hast be empty ; 

and, if ever, seek him here with all thy soul : thrust not Christ 
into the stable and the manger, as if thou hadst better guests 
for the chiefest rooms. Say to all thy worldly business and 

thoughts, as Christ to his disciples, " Sit you here, while 1 go 
and pray yonder." (Matt. xxvi. 3().) Or, as Abraham, when 

he went to sacrifice Isaac, left his servant and ass below the 
mount, saying, " Stay you here, and 1 and the lad will go 
yonder and worship, and come again to you :" so say thou to 
all thy worldly thoughts, "Abide you below, while I go up to 
Christ, and then I will return to you again." Yea, as God did 
terrify the people with his threats of death, if any one should 
dare to come to the mount, when Moses was to receive the law 
from God ; so do thou terrify thy own heart, and use violence 
against thy intruding thoughts, if they offer to accompany thee 
to the mount of contemplation. Even as the priests thrust 
Uzziah the king out of the temple, where he presumed to burn 
incense, when they saw the leprosy to arise upon him ; so do 
thou thrust these thoughts from the temple of thy heart, which 
have the badge of God's prohibitipn upon them. As you will 
beat back your dogs, yea, and leave your servants behind you, 
when yourselves are admitted into the prince's presence, so also 
do by these. Yourselves may be welcome, but such followers 
may not. 

Sect. X. 2. Be sure thou set upon this work with the greatest 
seriousness that possibly thou canst. Customariness here is a 
killing sin. There is no trifling in holy things : God will be 
sanctified of all that draw near him. These spiritual, excellent, 
soul-raising duties are the most dangerous, if we miscarry in 
them, of all. The more they advance the soul, being well used, 
the more they destroy it, being used unfaithfully: as the best 
meats corrupted, are the worst. To help thee therefore to be 
serious when thou settest on this work ; First, Labour to have 
the deepest apprehensions of the presence of God, and the in- 


conipreliciisihle greatness of the majesty wliich thou approach- 
est. If Rebecca veil her face at her approach to Isaac; if 
Esther must not draw near till the king hohl forth the sceptre ; 
if dust and wonns'-meat must have such respect, think, then, 
with what reverence thou shouldst approach thy Maker ; tliink 
thou art addressing thyself to Him that made the worlds with 
the word of his mouth ; that u])holds the earth as in the palm 
of his hand; that keeps the sun, and moon, and heaven, in tlieir 
courses ; that bounds the raging sea with the sands, (.ler. v. 22,) 
and saith, "Hitherto go, and no further:" thou art going 
about to converse with Him, before whom the earth will quake, 
and devils tremble ; before whose bar thou must shortly stand, 
and all the world with thee, to receive their doom. O think, I 
shall then have lively apprehensions of his majesty ; my drowsy 
spirits will then be awakened ; and mv stupid irreverence be 
laid aside : why should I not now be roused witii a sense of his 
greatness, and the dread of his name possess my soul ? 

Secondly, Labour to apprehend the greatness of the work 

which thou attemptcst, and to be deeply sensible both of it.s 

weight and height, of its concernment and excellency. If thou 

wert pleading for thy life at the bar of a judge, thou wouldst be 

serious ; and yet that were but a trifle to this : if timu wert 

engaged in such a work as David was against Goliah, whereon 

the kingdom's deliverance did depend, in itself considered, it 

were nothing to this. Suppose thou wert going to such a 

wrestling as Jacob's ; suppose thou wert going to see the sight 

which tlie three disciples saw in the mount ; iiow seriously, 

how reverently wouldst thou both approach and behold ! If the 

sun do suffer any notable eclipse, how seriously do all run out 

to see it ! If some angel of heaven should but appoint to meet 

thee, at the same time and place of thy contemplations, how 

dreadfully, how apprehensively, wouldst thou go to meet him 1 

Why, consider then with what a spirit thou shouldst meet the 

Lord, and with what seriousness and dread thou shouldst daily 

converse with him : when Manoah had seen but an angel, he 

cries out, " We shall surely die, because we have seen God." 

(Judg. xiii. 22.) 

Consider also the blessed issue of the work ; if it do succeed, 
it will be an admission of thee into the presence of God; a 
beginning of thy eternal glory on earth ; a means to make 
thee live above the rate of other men, and admit thee into 
the next room to the angels themselves ; a means to make thee 


338 THE saint's 

both live and die both joyfully and blessedly : so that the prize 
being so great, thy preparation should be answerable. There 
is none on earth that live such a life of joy and blessedness as 
those that are acquainted with this heavenly conversation. The 
joys of all other men are but like a child's play, a fool's laugh- 
ter; as a dream of health to the sick, or as a fresh pasture to 
a hungry beast. It is he that trades at heaven that is the only 
gainer, and he that neglecteth it that is the only loser ; and, 
therefore, how seriously should this work be done 1 


Of Consideration^ the Instrument of this Work ; and what 
Force it hath to move the Soul. 

SfiCT. I. Having showed thee how thou must set upon this 
work, I come now to direct thee in the work itself, and to show 
thee the way which thou must take to perform it. All this has 
been but to set the instrument (thy heart) in tune, and now we 
are come to the music itself; all this hath been but to get thee an 
appetite; it follows now that thou approach unto the feast; that 
thou sit down and take what is offered, and delight thv soul as 
with marrow and fatness. Whoever you are that are children 
of the kingdom, I have this message to you from the Lord : 
" Behold, the dinner is prepared ; the oxen and fatlings are 
killed: come, for all things are, now ready." (Matt. xxii. 4 ; 
Luke xiv. 17.) Heaven is before you ; Christ is before you ; 
the exceeding, eternal weight of glory is before you : come, 
therefore, and feed upon it. Do not make light of this invita- 
tion, (Matt. xxii. 5,) nor put off your own mercies with excuses, 
(Luke xiv. 18,) whatever thou art, rich or poor, though in 
alms-houses or hospitals, though in highways or hedges, my 
commission is, if possible, to compel you to come in: "And 
blessed is he that eateth bread in the kingdom of God." (Luke 
xiv. 15.) The manna lieth about your tents; walk forth into 
the wilderness, gather it up, take it home, and feed upon it. 
So that the remaining work is only to direct you how to use 
your understandings for the warming of your affections, and to 
fire your hearts by the help of your heads ; and herein it will be 
necessary that I observe this method : First, To show you what 


instrument it is tliat you must work by. Secondly, Why, and 
how this wav of working is hke to succeed, and attain its end. 
Thirdly, What powers of the soul should here be acted, and what 
are the particular affections to be excited, and what objective 
considerations are necessary thereto, and in what order vou 
should proceed. Fourthly, By what acts you must advance to the 
height of the work. Fifthly, What advantages you must take, 
and what lielps you must use for the facilitating your success. 
Sixthly, In what particulars you must look narrowly to your 
hearts through the whole ; and I will be the briefer in all, lest 
you should lose my meaning in a crowd of words, or vour 
thoughts be carried from the work itself, by an over-long and 
tedious explication of it. 

Sect. II. 1. The great instrument that this work is done by, 
is ratiocination, reasoning the case with yourselves, discourse of 
mind, cogitation, or thinking; or, if vou will, call it considera- 
tion. I here suppose you to know the things to be considered, 
and therefore shall wholly pass over that meditation of students 
which tends only to speculation, or knowing. They are known 
truths that I persuade you to consider, for the grossly ignorant 
that know not the doctrine of everlasting life, are for the present 
incapable of this duty. 

Man's soul, as it receives and retains the ideas or shapes of 
things, so hath it a power to choose out any of these deposited 
ideas, and draw them forth, and act upon them again and again ; 
even as a sheep can fetch U|) his meat for rumination ; or other- 
wise nothing would atl'ect us but while the sense is receiving it, 
and so we should be somewhat below the brutes. This is the 
power that here you must use : to this choice of ideas or sub- 
jects for vour cogitations, there must necessarily concur the act 
of tiie will,' which indeed must go along in the whole work; 
for this must be a voluntary, not a forced cogitation : some men 
do consider whether they will or not, and are not able to turn 
away their own thoughts ; so will God make the wicked con- 
sider of their sins, when he shall set then) all in order before 
them. (Psal. 1. 21, 22.) And so shall the damned consider of 
heaven, and of the excellency of Christ whom they once de- 
spised, and of the eternal joys which they have foolishly lost. 
But this forced consideration is not that I mean, but that which 

' For (as Aquinas anil otliers) ilie «ill is the hosjinnor of our actions, r/itoad 
era-ciltutti actus, tlioufjli tiiC iiniJcrstnndin^ be the lief^iiiner, quoad actus sfte- 
cijicationein. However that staud, jet they must concur here. 

z 2 

340 " THE saint' 


thou dost willingly and purposely choose ', but though the will 
be here requisite, yet still consideration is the instrument of the 

Sect. III. 2. Next, let us see what force consideration hath 
for the moving the affections, and for the powerful imprinting 
of things in the heart. 

Why, First, Consideration doth, as it were, open the door 
between the head and the heart ; the understanding having 
received truths, lays them up in the memory ; now, consideration 
is the conveyer of them from thence to the affections : there are 
few men of so weak understanding or memory, but they know 
and can remember that which would strangely work upon them, 
and make great alterations in their spirits, if they were not 
locked up in their brain, and if they could but convey them 
down to their hearts : now, this is the great work of considera- 
tion. O what rare men would they be, who have strong heads, 
and much learning, and knowledge, if the obstructions between 
the head and the heart were but opened, and their affections did 
but correspond to their understanding ! Why, if they would but 
bestow as much time and pains in studying the goodness and the 
evil of things, as they bestow in studying the truth and false- 
hood of enunciations, it were the readiest way to obtain this : 
he is usually the best scholar, who hath the most quick, clear, 
and tenacious apprehension. He is the best scholar who hath 
the readiest passage from the ear to the brain f but he is the best 
Christian who hath the readiest passage from the brain to the 
heart; now, consideration is that on our parts that must open 
the passage, though the Spirit open as the principal cause : 
inconsiderate men are stupid and senseless. 

Sect. IV. 2. Matters of great weight, which do nearly con- 
cern us, are aptest to work most effectually upon the heart ; 
now, meditation draweth forth these working objects, and pre- 
sents them to the affections in their worth and weight ; the most 
delectable object doth not please him that sees it not; nor doth 
the joyfuUest news affect him that never hears it : now, consi- 
deration presents before us those objects that were as absent, 
and brings them to the eye and the ear of the soul. Are not 
Christ, and glory, think you, affecting objects? Vv^ouldnot they 

« Panels opus est ad bonam uieuteni Uteris, scil iios ut csetera in superva- 
cuum dili'iunlinnis, ila philoiopliiain ipsaiu ; quem adniodum omnium, sic li- 
terarum quociue intcmjierantia laboramus. Noa vit£e sed schola; discimus, 
inquit Seneca. 


work wonders upon the soul, if thev were but dearly discovered ; 
and strangely transport us, if our apprehensions were any whit 
answera])le to their wortii ? ^V'hy, bv consideration it is that 
they are presented to us : this is the prospective glass of the 
Christian, by which he can sec from eartli to lieaveii. 

Sect. V. 3. As consideration draweth forth the weightiest 
objects, so it presenteth them in the most affecting way, and 
presseth them home with enforcing arguments. Man is a ra- 
tional creature, and apt to be moved in a reasoning way; 
especially when reasons are evident and strong : now, considera- 
tion is a reasoning the case with a man's own heart, and what a 
multitude of reasons, both clear and weighty; are always at hand 
for to work upon the heart ! When a believer would reason his 
heart to this heavenly work, how many arguments do offer them- 
selves ! From God, from the Redeemer, from every one of the 
divine attributes, from our former estate, from our present 
estate, from promises, from seals, from earnest, from the evil 
we now suffer, from the good we partake of, from hell, from 
heaven : every thing doth offer itself to promote our joy. Now, 
meditation is the hand to draw forth all these ; as when you are 
weighing a thing in the balance, you lay on a little more, and a 
little more, till it weigh down ; so if your affections do hang in 
a dull indifferency, why, due meditation will add reason after 
reason, till the scales do turn ; or, as when you are buying any 
thing of necessity for your use, vou bid a little more, and a little 
more, till at last vou come to the seller's ))rice ; so when medi- 
tation is persuading vou to jov, it will first bring one reason, 
and then another, till it have silenced all your distrust and sor- 
rows, and your cause to rejoice lies plain before you. If another 
man's reasons will work so powerfully with us, though we are 
uncertain whether his heart do concur with his speeches, and 
whether his intention be to inform us, or deceive us ; how much 
more should our own reasons work with us, when we arc ac- 
(|uainted with the right intentions of our own hearts ! Nay, how 
much more rather should (iod's reasons work with us, which 
we are sure arc neither fallacious in his intent, nor in them- 
selves, seeing he did never vet deceive, nor was ever deceived ! 
\Vhy,now,meditation is but the rcatlingovcr and re])eatiiigGod's 
reasons to our hearts, and so disputing with ourselves in his ar- 
guments and terms. And is not this then likely to be a ])revail- 
ing wav? \A'hat reasons doth the prodigal plead with himself, 
why he should return to his Father's house ! And as many and 

342 THE saint's 

strong have we to plead with our affections, to persuade them 
to our Father's everlasting habitations. And by consideration 
it is that they must all be set a-vvork. 

Sect. VI. 4. Meditation puts reason in its authority and pre- 
eminence. It helpeth to deliver it from its captivity to the 
senses, and setteth it again upon the throne of the soul. When 
reason is silent, it is usually subject; for when it is asleep the 
senses domineer. Now, consideration awakeneth our reason from 
its sleep, till it rouse up itself, as Sampson, and break the bonds 
of sensuality wherewith it is fettered ; and then, as a giant re- 
freshed with wine, it bears down the delusions of the flesh before 
it. What strength can the lion put forth when he is asleep ? 
What is the king more than another man, when he is once de- 
posed from his throne and authority ? When men have no better 
judge than the flesh, or when the joys of heaven go no further 
than their fantasies, no wonder if they work but as common 
things. Sweet things to the eye, and beautiful things to the ear, 
will work no more than bitter and deformed ; every thing work- 
eth in its own place, and every sense hath its proper object. 
Now, it is spiritual reason, excited by meditation, and not the 
fantasy or fleshly sense, which must savour and judge of these 
superior joys. Consideration exalteth the objects of faith, and 
disgraceth comparatively the objects of sense. The most incon- 
siderate men are the most sensual men. It is too easy and ordi- 
nary to sin against knowledge ; but against sober, strong, conti- 
nued consideration, men do more seldom offend.'^ 

Sect. VII. 5. Meditation also putteth reason into his strength. 
Reason is at the strongest, when it is most in action. Now, me- 
ditation produceth reason into act. Before, it was a standing 
water, which can move nothing else when itself moveth not, but 
now it is as the speedy stream which violently bears down all be- 
fore it. Before, it was as the still and silent air, but now it is as 

^ Voluntatis bifariam moveri et flecti potest : aut ab interno principio et 
ageiite, vel ab externo. Iiiterius p'rincipium est turn naturalis inclinatio in 
suum objectum, turn Deus ipse talis naturalis inclinationis author. Jdcirco 
nemo potest voluntatem ut iiiterius agens movere nisi Deus, et ipse cujus est 
vohuiias. Externum movens duplex, uiium ipsuiu voluntatis objectum, 
bonum ; viz. ab intellectu apprehensnm, et voluDtati efficaciter oblatum. 
Alterura sunt ipsjE passiones, concupiscentia, alii<|ue affectus, qui in appetitu 
degunt sensitivo. Ab iis enim pwpe voluntas ad aliquid volenduni seducitur 
atcpie efficitur. Naui elliciunt hae passiones ut niulta quae mala sunt, videaii- 
tur voluntati bona ; ita ut oa in haec iiiclinet. Ita dsmones possunt aflfectus 
turbare, cotnniovei e, afficere : et per hos voluntatem. — Zanchius de Pot. Deem. 
cap. 11. p. I(i9. Nothing; more common than for a drunkard to take a forbid- 


the powerful motion of the wiufl, and overthrows the opposition 
of the flesh and the devil. Before, it was as the stones which 
lie still in the brook ; but now, when meditation doth set it to 
work, it is as the stone out of David's sling, which smites the 
Goliah of our unbelief in the forehead. As wicked men continue 
wicked, not because they have not reason in the principle, but 
because they bring it not into act and use ; so godly men are un- 
comfortable and sad, not because they have no causes to rejoice, 
nor because they have not reason to discern those causes, but be- 
cause they let their reason and faith lie asleep, and do not labour 
to set them a-going, nor stir them up to action by this work of 
meditation. You know that our very dreams will deeply affect. 
What fears, what sorrows, what joy, will they stir up ! How 
much more, then, would serious meditation affect us 1 

Sect. VIII. 6. Meditation can discontinue this discursive em- 
ployment. That may be accomplished by a weaker motion con- 
tinued, which will not by a stronger at the first attempt. A 
plaster that is never so effectual to cure, must yet have time to 
do its work, and not be taken off as soon as it is on. Now, me- 
ditation doth hold the plaster to the sore : it holdeth reason 
and faith to their works, and bloweth the fire till it thoroughly 
burn. To run a few steps will not get a man heat, but walking 
an hour together may. So, though a sudden occasional thought 
of heaven will not raise our affections to any spiritual heat, yet 
meditation can continue our thoughts, and lengthen our walk till 
our hearts grow warm. 

And thus you see what force meditation or consideration hath 
for the effecting of this great elevation of the soul, whereto I 
have told you it must be the instrument. 

den cup, or a fornicator his whore, while his conscience tells him that it is a 
sin, and that hie et mmc, it is better to forbear ; the good of honesty being 
to be preferred before the pleasure. For when sense is violent, it is not a 
bare knowiujf, or concludiiij^ against sin, that will restrain, except it be also 
strong, and serious, and constant, in acting of our judgment, as is sufficientto 
bear down the violence of passion. And this is the work of deep consideration. 
I conclude, therefore, that the saving or losing of men's souls lies most in the 
well or ill-managing of this work of consideration. This the great busi- 
ness that God calls men to for their salvation, anil which he so blesseth, that 
I think we may say, that every well-considering man is a godly man, that 
useih it on true grounds, seriously and constantly ; and every wicked man is 
an inconsiderate man. 

Ml THE SAlN'r^S 


W/iat Affections must be acted, and hij what Considerations and 
Objects, and in ivliat Order. 

Sect. I. Thirdly, To draw the heart yet nearer to the work. 
The third thing to be discovered to you is, what powers of the 
soul must here be acted ; what affections excited ; what consi- 
derations of their objects are necessary thereto, and in what 
order we must proceed. I join all these together, because, 
though in themselves they are distinct things, yet, in the prac- 
tice they all concur to the same action. 

The matters of God which we have to think on, have their 
various qualifications, and are presented to the soul of man in 
divers relative and modal considerations. According to the 
several considerations of the objects, the soul itself is distin- 
guished into its several faculties, powers, and capacities ; that 
as God hath given man five senses to partake of the five distinct 
excellences of the objects of sense, so he hath diversified the 
soul of man, either into faculties, powers, or ways of acting, 
answerable to the various qualifications and considerations of 
himself and the inferior objects of this soul. And, as if there 
be more sensible excellences in the creatures, vet thev are 

J .' 


known to us who have but these five senses to discern them by; 
so whatever other excellences are in God and our happiness, 
more than these faculties or powers of the soul can aj)prehend, 
must needs remain wholly unknown to us, till our souls have 
senses, as it were, suitable to those objects, even as it is known 
to a tree or a stone, what sound, and light, and sweetness are, or 
that there are any sucli things in the world at all. 

Now, these matters of God are primarily diversified to 
our consideration, under the distinction of true and good : 
accordingly, tlie primary distinction concerning the soul, 
is into the faculties of mulerstanding and will : the former 
having truth for its object, and the latter goodness. This 
truth is sometimes known by evident demonstration, and so it 
is tlie object of that we call knowledge, which also admits of 
divers distinctions, according to several ways of demonstration, 
which I am loth here to puzzle you with. Sometimes it is re- 
ceived from the testimony of others, which rcceivin"- we call be- 
lief. Wlicn any thing else would obscure it, or stands up in 


competition with it, tlien we wci,q;h tlieir several evidences, and 
accordingly discover and vindicate the trnth ; and this we call 
judgment. Sometime by the strength, the clearness, or the fre- 
quency of the understanding's apprehensions, this truth doth 
make a dee|)er impression, and so is longer retained : which 
impression and retention we call memory. And as truth is thus 
variously presented to the understanding, and received by it ; so 
also is the goodness of the object variously represented to the 
will, which doth accordingly put forth its various acts. When it 
appeareth onlv as good in itself, and not good for us, or suitable, 
it is not the object of the will at all; but only this enunciation, 
" It is good," is passed upon it by the judgment, and withal it 
raiseth an admiration at its excellency, li' it appear evil to us, 
then we nill it : but if it appear both good in itself, and to us, 
or suitable, then it provoketh the atfection of love. If the good 
thus loved do appear as absent from us, then it exciteth the pas- 
sion of desire, if the good so loved and desired do appear pos- 
sible and feasible in the attaining, then it exciteth the passion 
of hope, which is a compound of desire and expectation : when 
we look upon it as requiring our endeavour to attain it, and as 
it is to be had in a prescribed way, then it provokes the passion of 
courage or boldness, and concludes in resolution. Lastly, If this 
good be apprehended as present, then it provoketh to delight or 
joy. If the thing itself be present, the joy is greatest, if but 
the idea of it, either through the remainder or memory of the 
good that is past, or through the fore-apprehension of that 
which we expect, yet even this also exciteth our joy. And this 
joy is the perfection of all the rest of the affections, when it is 
raised on the full fruition of the good itself.' 

Sect. 11. So that by this time, I suppose you see, both what 
are the objects that must move our affections, and what powers 
of the soul apprehend these objects. You see, also, I doubt not, 
what affections you must excite, and in what order it is to be 

' Lege Gibieuf de Lihertat. lib. ii. tliaj). JO. s. 7. p. 127. Vt perspicue soli- 
deqiu" expciliatur hiec c(iKesti<i, ;)iriii(ie iios |)liilo;<i]>liari dchemiis ac si iiitcl- 
U'ctus c't voluntas una cadenuiue c-seiit, aiiteiiam ai) t-sseima niiniiiu' distiu- 
guerenlur, &c. Bonum et malum sivc coram, airipit iios, sive al)seiis, pro- 
vocat aut revocat, aiit vocat ; sc. aut |ira!sens, aut rutiiiuin, ant pr.Ttcriinm, 
aut pc^sll)ilL• cst. Ubi(|iiL' v(diiiitas 'juietciii <|'.la'^l'll^ iii()uiL'tat boiiiim. Hii- 
dique illam iiialvnii iiKHiictat. Jstliiiic distiibimiitur all'ectus pro boui ob- 
teiitione aut caiitioue. Amor recto et siniplici obtutu in luiiium ruit. Cum 
istud pr;esi'!)s videt, transformatur in la'tiiiuin : cum lutuium putat, facessit 
in si)cm ; cum praMeritum, aut possibile est in desidoriniu ili^teuditur. — /■^im. 
A'ori-'mburg'. de Arte VoluiUutis, lib. iv. p, '2(ib. Vide ultra. 

346 THE saint's 

done : yet, for your better assistance, I will more fully direct 
you in the several particulars. 

1. Then you must, by cogitation, go to the memory, which 
is the magazine or treasure of the understanding ; thence you 
must take forth those heavenly doctrines which you intend to 
make the subject of your meditation : for the present purpose, 
you may look over any promise of eternal life in the Gospel ; 
any description of the glory of the saints, or the very articles of 
the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Some one 
sentence concerning those eternal joys, may afford you matter 
for many years' meditation ; yet it will be a point of wisdom 
here, to have always a stock of matcer in our memory, that so 
when we should use it, we may bring forth out of our treasury 
things new and old. For a good man hath a good treasury in 
his heart, from whence he bringeth forth good things ; (Luke vi. 
45 ;) and out of this abundance of his heart he should speak to 
himself as well as to others. Yea, if we took things in order, 
and observed some method in respect of the matter, and did 
meditate, first on one truth concerning eternity, and then ano- 
ther, it would not be amiss. And if any should be barren of 
matter through weakness of memory, they may have notes or 
books of this subject for their furtherance. 

Sect. III. 2. When you have fetched from your memory the 
matter of your meditation, your next work is to present it to 
your judgment. Open there the case as fully as thou canst, set 
forth the several ornaments of the crown, the several dignities 
belonging to the kingdom, as they are partly laid open in the 
beginning of this book. Let judgment deliberately view them 
over, and take as exact a survey as it can. Then put the ques- 
tion, and require a determination : Is there happiness in all this, 
or not ? Is not here enough to make me blessed ? Can he 
want any thing who fully possesseth God ? Is there any thing 
higher for a creature to attain ? Thus urge thy judgment to 
pass an upright sentence, and compel it to subscribe to the per- 
fection of thy celestial happiness, and to leave this sentence as 
under its hand upon record. If thy senses should here begin to 
mutter, and to put in a word for fleshly pleasure or profits, let 
judgment hear what each can say. Weigh the arguments of the 
world and flesh in one end, and the arguments for the pre-emi- 
nence of glory in the other end, and judge impartially which 
should be preferred. Try whether there be any comparison to 
be made j which is more excellent, which is more manly, which 


is more satisfactory, and which more j)ure, wliich freeth most 
from misery, and advanceth us highest. And which dost thou 
think is of longer continuance ? Thus let deliberate judgment 
decide it, and let not flesh carry it l)y noise and by violence : 
and when the sentence is passed and recorded in thy heart, 
it will be ready at hand to be produced upon any occasion, and 
to silence the flesh in its next attempt, and to disgrace the world 
in its next competition. 

Thus exercise thy judgment in the contemplation of thy rest; 
thus magnify and advance the Lord in thy heart, till a holy 
admiration hath possessed thy soul. 

Sect. IV. 3. But the great work, which you may either pre- 
mise, or subjoin to this as you please, is, to exercise thy belief 
of the truth of thy rest ; and that, both in respect of the truth 
of the promise, and also the truth of thy own interest and title. 
As unbelief doth cause the languishing of all our graces, so 
faith would do much to revive and actuate them, if it were but 
revived and actuated itself, especially our belief of the verity 
of the Scripture, I conceive as needful to be exercised and con- 
firmed, as almost any point of faith. But of this 1 have spoken 
in the second part of this book, whither I refer thee for some 
confirming arguments. Though few complain of their not be- 
lieving Scripture, yet I conceive it to be the commonest part of 
unbelief, and the very root of bitterness, which spoileth our 
graces. Perhaps thou hast not a positive belief of the contrary, 
nor dost not flatly think that Scripture is not the word of God : 
that were to be a downright infidel indeed. And yet thou mayest 
have but little belief that Scripture is God's word, and that both 
in regard of the habit and the act. It is one thing not to be- 
lieve Scripture to be true, and another thing positively to believe 
it to be false. Faith may be idle, and suspend its exercise 
towards the truth, though it do not yet act against the truth. It 
may stand still, when it goes not out of the way. It may be 
asleep, and do you but little service, though it do not directly fight 
against you. Besides, a great deal of unbelief may consist with 
a small degree of faith. If we did soundly believe that there is 
such a glory, that within a few days our eyes shall behold it;'' 

'' Tiiperirc Deo crcdis, si quid oculis iiostris hebetibus subtrabitur? Corpus 
oiniie sive arescii in inilvereiii, sive in liunioreni solvitur, vtl iu cinerem coiiij)ri- 
mitur, vel iu nidorem, teuuatur, suhducitur nobis. Sed Deo elenieiitorum cus» 
todis reservatur. Nee uUum damnum sepultura^ timeas, &c. Vide quam in so, 
latium uostri rebuirectioueiu futuram omiiis iiatura meditetur. Sol deinergit et 

34 S THE saint's 

Oh, what passions would it raise within us, were we thorougltly 
persuaded that every word in the Scripture concerning the in- 
conceivable joys of the kingdom, and the inexpressible blessed- 
ness of the life to come, were the verv word of the livinff God, 
and should certainly be performed to the smallest tittle ! O, 
what astonishing apprehensions of that life would it breed ! 
What amazing horror would seize upon our hearts, when we 
found ourselves strangers to the conditions of that life, and 
utterly ignorant of our portion therein ! What love, what long- 
ings, would it raise within us ! Oh, how it would actuate every 
aflfection ! How would it transport us with joy upon the least 
assurance of our title ! If I were as verily persuaded that 1 
shall shortly see those great things of eternity promised in the 
word, as I am that this is a chair that I sit in, or that this is 
paper that I write on, would it not put another spirit within 
me ? Would it not make me forget and despise the world, and 
even forget to sleep, or to eat, and say, as Christ, " I have meat 
to eat that ye know not of." (John iv. 32.) O sirs ! you little 
know what a thorough belief would work. Not that every one 
hath such affections who hath a true faith ', but thus would the 
acting and improvement of our faith advance us. 

Therefore let this be a chief part of thy business in medita- 
tion. Produce the strong arguments for the truth of Scripture; 
plead them against thy unbelieving nature ; answer and silence 
all the cavils of infidelity; read over the promises; study all 
confirming providences; call forth tliine own recorded ex- 
periences ; remember the Scriptures already fulfilled both to the 
church and saints in former ages, jfnd eminently to both in this 
present age, and those that have been fulfilled particularly to 
thee ; get ready the clearest and most convincing arguments, 
and keep them by thee, and frequently thus use them. Think 
it not enough that thou wast once convinced, though thou hast 
now forgot the arguments that did it. No ; nor that thou hast 
the arguments still in thy book, or in thy brain. This is not the 
acting of thy faith ; but present them to thy understanding in 
thy frequent meditations, and urge them home till they force 
belief. Actual convincing, when it is clear and frequent, will 
work those deep impressions on the heart, which an old, neg- 

iiascitur, astra lahuntur et reclcunt ; flores occidunt et reviviscuiit ; ])ost senium 
arhus-ta froiidescunt ; seinina iiou nisi cornipta rcvirescuiit. Ita corpus in se- 
calo ut arbures in hvl)eiuo occultant virorum ariditate nieiitita. (^uid festiiias 
ut cruda adliuc hyenie reviviscat et redeat ? Expectaiuluui nobis etiam corporis 
ver est. — Minnt. Fativ, Octav, p. lidG. 


leoted, fort^otten conviction will not. Oh, if you would not 
think it enough that you have faith in the habit, and that you 
did once believe, but would be daily setting this first wheel a- 
going ; surely, all the inferior wheels of the affections would 
more easily move. Never expect to have love and joy move 
when the foregoing grace of faith stands still. 

And as vou should thus act your assent to the promise, so also 
your acceptation, your adherence, your affiance, and your as- 
surance. These are the four steps of application of the pro- 
mise to ourselves. I have said somewhat among the helps to 
move vou to get assurance, but that which I here aim at is, that 
vou would dailv exercise it. Set before vour faith the freeness 
and the universality of the promise. Consider of God's offer, 
and urging it upon all ; and that he hath excepted from the 
conditional covenant no man in the w^orld : nor will exclude 
any from heaven who will accept of his offer. Study also the 
gracious disposition of Christ, and his readiness to entertain and 
welcome all that will come. Study all the evidences of his love, 
which appeared in his sufferings, in his preaching the Gospel, 
in his condescension to sinners, in his easy conditions, in his 
exceeding patience, and in his urgent invitations. Do not all 
these discover his readiness to save ? Did he ever yet manifest 
liimself unwilling ? Remember also his faithfulness to perform 
his engagements. Study also the evidences of his love in thy- 
self; look over the works of his grace in thy soul ; if thou do 
not find the degree which thou desirest, yet deny not that degree 
which thou findest; look after the sincerity more than the 
quantity. Remember what discoveries of thy state thou hast 
made formerly in the work of self-examination ; how oft God 
hath convinced thee of the sincerity of thy heart. Remember 
all the former testimonies of the Spirit, and all the sweet feel- 
ings of the favour of God, and all the prayers that he hath heard 
and granted, and all the rare preservations and deliverances, 
and all the progress of his Spirit in his workings on thy soul, 
and the disposals of providence, conducing to thy good ; the 
vouchsafing of means, the directing thee to them ; the directing 
of ministers to meet with thy state; the restraint of those sins 
that thy nature was most prone to. And though one of these 
considered alone, may be no sure evidence of his special love, 
which 1 expect thou shouldst try by more infallible signs, yet 
lav them all together, and then think with thyself whether all 
these do not testify the good-will of the Lord concerning thy 

350 THE saint's 

salvation, and may not well be pleaded against thine unbelief. 
And whether thou mayest not conclude with Sampson's mother, 
when her husband thought they should surely die, " If the Lord 
were pleased to kill us, he would not have received an of- 
fering at our hands ; neither would he have showed us all these 
things, nor would, as at this time, have told us such things as 
these." (Judges xiii. 22, 23.) 

Sect. V. 2. When thy meditation has thus proceeded about 
the truth of thy happiness, the next part of the work is to me- 
ditate of its goodness, that when the judgment hath determined, 
and faith hath apprehended, it may then pass on to raise the 

1. The first affection to be acted is love; the object of it, as 
I have told you, is goodness. Here, then, here. Christian, is 
the soul-reviving part of thy work : go to thy memory, thy 
judgment, and thy faith, and from them produce the excellences 
of thy rest ; take out a copy of the record of the Spirit in Scrip- 
ture, and another of the sentence registered in thy spirit, 
whereby the transcendent glory of the saints is declared j pre- 
sent these to thy affection of love ; open to it the cabinet that 
contains the pearl ; show it the promise, and that which it as- 
sureth. Thou needest not look on heaven through a multiply- 
ing glass ; open but one casement, that love may look in ; give 
it but a glimpse of the back parts of God, and thou wilt find 
thyself presently in another world ; do but speak out, and love 
can hear ; do but reveal these things, and love can see. It is 
the brutish love of the world that is blind ; divine love is ex- 
ceeding quicksighted. Let thy faith, as it were, take thy heart 
by the hand, and show it the sumptuous buildings of thy eternal 
habitation, and the glorious ornaments of thy Father's house ; 
show it those mansions which Christ is preparing, and display 
before it the honours of the kingdom. Let faith lead thy heart 
into the presence of God, and draw as near as possibly thou 
canst, and say to it, ^ 'Behold the Ancient of days; the Lord 

1 He that doubteth whether the philosophers themselves did acknowledge 
these divine excellences, let him read Fernel. de Abditis Reruni Causis, c. y. 
Plato in E^)inom. : Decs asserit scire, videre, audireque omnia; nihil ipsos 
f'ligere, quod aut sensn aut meute pcrci])i posset. Eos omnia posse queecun- 
que mortales immortalesve possuiit. Bonos ilios, immo optimos esse. Quic- 
quid mortale est, quicquid vivit et spirat, quicquid usquam est, toelum, ter- 
rain, maria, ab lis omnia et facta esseet possideri. Et in Parmenide : Nullum 
nisi Deum supieuiam habere rerum scientiam, ueque illarum cognitioue pri- 
vandum. Et in Epinomide : Ego asscro, Deum causani omnium esse, nee 
aliter fieri posse. Lege etiam Aristotel. de Ccelo, lib. i. sum. nona. 


Jehovah, wliose name is, I AM. This is he who made the 
worlds with his word ; this is the Cause of all causes, the Spring 
of action, the Fountain of life, the First Princii)le of the crea- 
ture's motions, who upholds the earth, who ruleth the nations, 
who disposeth of events, and subducth his foes; who governeth 
the depths of the great waters, and boundeth the rage of her 
swelling waves ; who ruleth the winds, and moveth the orbs, 
and causeth the sun to run its race, and the several planets to 
know their courses. - This is he that loved thee from everlast- 
ing, that formed thee in the womb, and gave thee this soul ; 
who brought thee forth, and showed thee the light, and ranked 
thee with the chiefest of his earthly creatures; who endued 
thee with thy understanding, and beautified thee with his gifts ; 
who maintaineth thee with life, and health, and comforts ; who 
gave thee thy preferments, and dignified thee with thy honours, 
and differenced thee from the most miserable and vilest of men. 
Here, O here, is an object, now, worthy of thy love ; here 
shouldst thou even put out thy soul in love ; here thou mayest 
be sure thou canst not love too much. This is the Lord that 
hath blessed thee with his benefits ; that hath spread thy table 
in the sight of thine enemies, and caused thy cup to overflow. 
(Ps>al. xxiii.) This is he that angels and saints do praise, and 
the host of heaven must magnify for ever.' 

Thus do thou expatiate in the |)raises of God, and open his 
excellences to thine own heart, till thou feel the life begin to 
stir, and the fire in thy breast begin to kindle : as gazing uj)on 
the dusty bcautv of flesh doth kindle the fire of carnal love ; so 
this gazing on the glory and goodness of the Lord will kindle 
this spiritual love in thy soul. IJruising will make the spices 
odoriferous, and rubbing the pomander will bring forth the 
sweetness. Act therefore thy soul \ipon this delightful object ; 
toss these cogitations frequently in thy heart, rub over all thy 
affections with them, as yon will do your cold hands till they 
begin to warm ; what, though thy heart be rock and flint, this 
often striking may bring forth tlie fire ; l)ut if yet thou feelest 
not thy love to work, lead thy heart further, and show it yet 
more ; show it the Son of the living God, whose name is \A^on- 
derful. Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The 
Prince of Peace ; (Isa. ix. G ;) show it the King of saints on the 
throne of his glory, who is the First and the Last, who is, and was, 
and is to come; who livcth and was dead, and behold, he lives for 
evermore j who hath made thy peace by the blood of his cross, 

352 THE saint's 

and hath prepared thee, with himself, a habitation of peace : his 
office is to be the great peace-maker ; his kingdom is a king- 
dom of peace; his Gospel is the tidings of peace; his voice to 
thee now is the voice of peace ; draw near and behold him : dost 
thou not hear his voice ? (Luke xxiv. 36 — 39.) He that called 
Thomas to come near, and to see the print of the nails, and to 
put his finger into his wounds, He it is that calls to thee, Come 
near and view the Lord thy Saviour, and be not faithless, but 
believing. (John xx. 27.) Peace be unto thee, fear not, it is L 
(John XX. 19 — 21.) He that calleth. Behold me, behold me, 
to a rebellious people that calleth not on his name, (Isa. lix. I,) 
doth call out to thee a believer to behold him ; he that calls to 
them who pass by, to behold his sorrow in the day of his humi- 
liation, (Lam. i. 12,) doth call now to thee to behold his glory in 
the day of his exaltation ; look well upon him ; dost thou not 
know him ? Why, it is He that brought thee up from the pit of 
hell : it is He that reversed the sentence of thy damnation ; that 
bore the curse which thou shouldst have borne, and restored thee 
to the blessing that thou hast forfeited and lost, and purchased 
the advancement which thou must inherit for ever : and yet 
dost thou not know him ? Why, his hands were pierced, his 
head was pierced, his sides were pierced, his heart was pierced, 
with the sting of thy sins, that by these marks thou mightest 
always know him. Dost thou not remember when he found 
thee lying in thy blood, and took pity oil thee, and dressed thy 
wounds, and brought thee home, and said unto thee, " Live?" 
(Ezek. xvi. 6 — 9; Luke x. 30, &c.) Hast thou forgotten since 
he wounded himself to cure thy, wounds, and let out his own 
blood to stop thy bleeding ? Is not the passage to his heart yet 
standing open ? If thou know him not by the face, the voice, 
the hands, if thou know him not by the tears and bloody sweat, 
yet look nearer, thou mayest know him by the heart; that broken- 
healed heart is his ; that dead-revived heart is his ; that soul- 
pitying, melting heart is his ; doubtless, it can be none's but his. 
Love and compassion are its certain signatures ; this is He, 
even this is He, who would rather die than thou shouldst die, 
who chooses thy life before his own, who pleads his blood before 
his Father, and makes continual intercession for thee. If he 
had not suffered, O what hadst tliou suffered ! WHiat hadst thou 
been, if he had not redeemed thee ! Whither hadst thou gone, 
if he had not recalled thee ? There was but a step between thee 
and hell, when he stepped in, and bore the stroke ; he slew- the 


"ear, atid rescued the prey, lie delivered thy soul from the roaring 
Jion. And is not here yet fuel enough for love to feed on f Doth 
not this loadstone snateh thy heart unto it, and almost draw it 
forth of thy breast ? Canst thou read the history of love any 
further at once ? Doth not thy throbbing heart here stop to ease 
itself? And dost thou not, as Joseph, seek for a place to weep 
in ? Or do not the tears of thy love bedew these lines ? Go on 
then, for the field of love is large, it will yield thee fresh con- 
tents for ever, and be thine eternal work to behold and love : 
thou needest not then want work for thy present meditation. 
Hast thou forgotten the time when thou vvast weeping, and lie 
wiped the tears from thine eyes ? when thou wast bleeding, and 
he wiped the blood from thy soul ? when pricking cares and 
fears did grieve thee, and he did refresh thee, and draw out the 
thorns ? Hast thou forgotten when thy folly did wound thy soul, 
and the venomous guilt did seize upon thy heart ? when he 
sucked forth the mortal poison from thy soul, though therewith 
he drew it into his own ? ^ I remember it is written of good ]\le- 
lancthon, that, when his child was removed from him, it pierced 
his heart to remember, how he once sat weeping with the infant 
on his knee, and how lovingly it wiped away the tears from his 
father's eyes; how then should it pierce thy heart to think how 
lovingly Christ hath wiped away thine ! O how oft hath he 
found thee sitting weeping, like Hagar, while thou gavest up thy 
state, thy friends, thy life, yea, thy soul for lost ; and he opened 
to thee a well of consolation, and opened thine eyes also that 
thou mightest see it! (Gen. xxi. 15 — 19.) How oft hath he 
found thee in the posture of Elias, sitting down under the tree 
forlorn and solitary, and desiring rather to die than to live ; and 

•" If the love of God in us were but as the love of the, world in others, it 
would make us wholly despise this world, and forget it, as worldly love 
maketh men forget God ; and it would be so strong', and ardent, and rooted in 
a man's heart, that he would not be able voluntarily and freely to think of 
any thing else. He would not fear contempt, nor care for disgrace, or re- 
proaches, or persecutions ; nor would he be afraid of death itself, because of 
this love of Cod. And all things of the world, which he seeth and heareth, 
would bring God to his memory, and themselves would seem to him hut as a 
dream, or a fable, and he would esteem them as nothing iu respec of God 
and his glory. Anil (to be short) in the judgment of the world he would be 
taken for a fool or a drunken man, because he so little careth for the things 
of the world. This is that love of God to which we should aim to attain by 
this couteni))lative life. — Gcrsoii de Alonle Coutcmfilntionis, in parlc opeitim 
tertia, p. 382. Meniini cum infantula mihi lachrymas ;i genis detergeret 
suo indusiolo, quo uno erat induta mane : hie gestus penetravit in uninnini 
meum, &c. — Melanclhon, epist. 45". 

VOL. xxrii. A A 

o5i THE saint's 

he hath spread thee a table of relief from heaven, and sent thee 
away refreshed, and encouraged to his work ! (1 Kings xix. 9.) 
How oft hath he found thee in the trouble of the servant of 
Elisha, crying out, " Alas ! what shall we do, for an host doth 
compass the city?" (2 Kings vi. 15 — 17;) and he hath opened 
thine eyes to see more for thee than against thee, both in regard 
of the enemies of thy soul and thy body. How oft hath he 
found thee in such a passion as Jonas, in thy peevish frenzy, 
weary of thy life ! and he hath not answered passion with 
passion, though he might, indeed, have done well to be angry, 
but hath mildly reasoned thee out of thy madness, and said, 
" Dost thou well to be angry, or to repine against me ? " How 
How oft hath he set thee on watching and praying, on repenting 
and believing, and when he hath returned, hath found thee fast 
asleep ; (Mat. xiv. 37 ; Luke xxii. 45, 46 ',) and yet he hath not 
taken thee at the worst, but instead of an angry aggravation of 
thy fault, he hath covered it over with the mantle of love, and 
prevented thy over-much sorrov/ with a gentle excuse, " The 
spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak !" (Mark xxvi. 41.) He 
might have done by thee as Epaminondas by his soldier, who, find - 
ing him asleep upon the watch, ran him through with his sword, 
and said, " Dead I found thee, and dead I leave thee : " but he 
rather chose to awake thee more gently, that his tenderness 
might admonish thee, and keep thee watching. How oft hath 
he been traduced in his cause, or name, and thou hast like Peter 
denied him, (at least by thy silence,) whilst he hath stood in 
sight ! Yet all the revenge he hath taken, hath been, a heart- 
melting look, and a silent remembering thee of thy fault by his 
countenance. (Luke xxii. 61.) How oft hath law and conscience 
hailed thee before him, as the Pharisees did the adulterous 
woman, and laid the most heinous crimes to thy charge 1 And 
when thou hast expected to hear the sentence of death, he hath 
shamed away thy accusers, and put them to silence, and taken 
on him he did not hear thy indictment, and said to thee, 
" Neither do I accuse thee ; go thy way, and sin no more." 

And art thou not yet transported and ravished with love ? Can 
thy heart be cool when thou thinkest of this ? or can it hold 
when thou rememberest those boundless compassions ? Re- 
memberest thou not the time when he met thee in thy duties ; 
Avhen he smiled upon thee, and spake comfortably to thee? 
when thou didst sit down under his sliadow with great delight, 
and when his fruit was sweet to thy taste ? when he brought 


tlice to Ills I)aiKiuettin£^-liouse, and his banner over thee was 
love ? vvlien his left-hand was under thy head, and with his right- 
hand he did embrace thee? And dost thou not yet cry out, " Stay 
me, comfort me, for I am sick of love ?" (Cant. ii. 3 — 5.) Thus, 
reader, i would have thee deal with thy heart; thus hold forth 
the goodness of Christ to thy atfections. Plead thus the case 
with thy frozen soul, till thou say as David in another case, 
" My heart was hot within me ; while I was musing the fire 
burned." (Psalm xxxix. 3.) If these foremcntioned arguments 
will not rouse up thy love, thou hast more, enough of this nature 
at hand. Thou hast all Christ's personal excellencies to study; 
thou hast all his particular mercies to thyself, both special and 
common; thou hast all his sweet and near relations to thee, 
and thou hast the happiness of thy ])erpetual abode with him 
hereafter: all these do offer themselves to thy meditation, with 
all their several branches and adjuncts. Only follow them close 
to thy heart, ply the work, and let it not cool. Deal with thy 
heart, as Christ did with Peter when he asked thrice over, " Lovest 
thou me?" till he was grieved, and answers, "Lord, thou 
knowest that I love thee." (.John xxi. 15 — 17.) So say to thy 
heart, Lovest thou thy Lord ? and ask it the second time, and 
urge it the third time, Lovest thou thy Lord ? till thou grieve it, 
and shame it out of its stupidity, and it can truly sav. Thou 
knowest that I love him. 

And thus,! have showed you how to excite the affection of love. 

Sect. VI. 2. The next grace or affection to be excited, is 
desire. The object of it is goodness, considered as absent, or 
not yet attained. This being so necessary an attendant of love, 
and being excited much by the same foremcntioned objective 
considerations, I suppose you need the less direction to be here 
added, and therefore I shall touch but briefly on this ; if love be 
hot, I warrant vour desire will not be cold. 

When thou hast thus viewed the goodness of the Lord, and 
considered of the pleasures that are at his right-hand, then 
proceed on with thy meditation thus : think with thyself, 
' Where have F been ; what have I seen ? O the incompre- 
hensible astonishing glory ! O the rare transcendent beauty ! 
O blessed souls that now enjov it; that see a thousand times 
more clearly what 1 have seen but darkly at this distance, and 
scarce discerned through the interposing clouds ! ^^'hat a dif- 
ference is there betwixt my state and theirs 1 I am sighing, and 

A A 2 

35(> THE saint's 

tliey are singing : I am sinning, and they are pleasing God : 
T have an ulcerated cancerous soul, like the loathsome bodies of 
Job or Lazarus, a spectacle of pity to those that behold me ; but 
they are perfect and without blemish : I am here entangled in 
the love of the world, when they are taken up with the love of 
God : I live indeed amongst the means of grace, and I possess 
the fellowship of my fellow-believers; but I have none of their 
immediate views of God, nor any of that fellowship that they 
possess. They have none of my cares and fears ; they weep 
not in secret ; they languish not in sorrows ; these tears are 
wiped away from their eyes." O happy, a thousand times 
happy souls ! Alas I that I must dwell in dirty flesh, when my 
brethren and companions do dwell with God ! Alas 1 that 
I am lapt in earth, and tied as a mountain down to this inferior 
world, when they are got above the sun, and have laid aside 
their lumpish bodies I Alas ! that I must lie, and pray and 
wait, and wait and pray, as if my heart were in my knees ; when 
they do nothing but love and praise, and joy and enjoy, as if 
their hearts were got into the very breast of Christ, and were 
closely conjoined to his own heart. How far out of sight and 
reach and hearing of their high enjoyments do I here live, when 
they feel them, and feed and live upon them ! What strange 
thoughts have I of God ! what strange conceivings ! what 
strawge affections ! I am fain to superscribe my best services, 
as the blind Athenians to the unknown God, when they are as 
well acquainted with him as men that live continually in his 
house ; and as familiar in their Iply praises, as if they were all 
one with him 1 What a little of that God, that Christ, that 
Spirit, that life, that love, that joy, have I ! And how soon 
doth it depart and leave me in sadder darkness ! Now and then 
a spark doth fall upon my heart, and while I gaze upon it, 
it straight goes out ; or rather, my cold-resisting heart doth 
quench it : but they have their light in his light, and live conti- 

" Facilius possumus dicere quid non sit in vita ilia aaterna, quam quid sit. 
Non est il)i mors, non est ibi luctus, non est ibi lassitude, non est infirmitas ; 
lion est fames, nulla sitis, nnUus aestus, nulla corruptio, nulla indigeutia, 
nulla molestia, nulla tristitia : ecce diximus quid ibi non sit. Quid autem ibi 
sit vis nosse ? Haec nee oculus vidit, nee amis audivit, nee in cor hominis 
ascendit, quae praeparavit Deus diligeiitibus se. Si in cor bominis non ascen- 
dit, cor hominis illuc ascendat ; cor ibi habeamus. Sursum corda levemus 
ne putrescant in terra ; quoniam placet nobis quod ibi agunt angeli. — /Jugust. 
dc Symb, lib. iii. chap. 1 1. 


nually at the spring of jovs. Here are we vexing each otlier 
with quarrels, and trouhling our peace with discontents, when 
they are one in heart and voice, and daily sound forth their 
hallelujahs to God with full deliejhtful harmony and consent. 

what a feast hath my faith beheld ; and O what a famine 
is yet in my spirit ! I have seen a glimpse into the court of 
God, but, alas ! I stand but as a beggar at the doors, when the 
souls of my companions arc admitted in. O blessed souls! 

1 may not, I dare not envy your happiness : I rather rejoice in 
iny brethren's prosperity, and am glad to think of the day 
when I shall be admitted into your fellowship ; but I cannot but 
look upon you as a child doth on his brother, who sits in the 
mother's lap while himself stands by, and wish that 1 were so 
haj)py as to be in your place ; not to displace you, but to rest 
there with you. Why must I stay, and groan, and weep, and 
wait ? My Lord is gone, he hath left this earth, and is entered 
into his glory. I\Jy brethren are gone; my friends are there; 
my house, my hope, my all is there ? And must I stay behind 
to sojourn here ? What precious saints have left this earth ! 
of whom I am ready to say as Amerbachius, when he heard of 
the death of Zuingcrus, " Piget me vivere post tantum virum, 
cujus magna fuit doctrina, sed exigua si cum pietate conferatur;"" 
*' It is irksome to me to live after such a man whose learning was 
so great, and vet compared with his godliness, very small." If 
the saints were all here, if Christ were here, then it were no grief 
for me to stay ; if the Bridegroom were present, who would 
mourn ? But when my soul is so far distant from my God, 
wonder not what aileth me if I now comj)lain; an ignorant 
Micali will do so for his idol, and shall not then my soul do so 
for God ? (Judg. xviii. 14.) And yet if I had no hope of enjoy- 
ing, I would go and hide niyself in the deserts, and lie and howl 
in some obscure wilderness, and s])end my days in fruitless wishes. 
But seeing it is the promised land of my rest, and the state that 
1 must be advanced to myself, and my soul draws near, and is 
almost at it, I will love and long; I will look and desire; I will 
breathe out blessed Calvin's motto," I'squecjiio, Domine." Mow 
long, Lord, how long ! how long. Lord, holy and true, wilt thou 
suffer this soul to pant and groan : and wilt not open and let him 
in, who waits and longs to be with thee ?p 

Thus, christian reader, let thv thoughts aspire: thus whet the 

" iMelcli. Adam in \'iia Ziiinj^eri inter vitas medicoruai Gcrmanorum, 
1' lle/.a in Vit. Calvin. 

358 'iHE saint's 

desires of thy soul by these meditations j till thy soul long, as 
David's for the waters of Bethlehem, and say. O that one 
would give me to drink of the wells of salvation! (2 Sam.xxiii. 
15 ;) and till thou canst say as he, " I have longed for thy sal- 
vation, O Lord." (Psal. cxix. 174.) And as the mother and 
brethren of Christ, when they could not come to him because 
of the press, sent to him, saying, " Thy mother and brethren 
stand without, desiring to see thee ;" send thou up the same 
message ; tell him thou standest here without, desiring to see 
him; he will own thee even in these near relations; for he 
hath said, they that hear his word, and do it, are his mother 
and his brethren. (Luke viii. 20, 21.) And thus I have di- 
rected vou, in the acting of your desire after your rest. 

Sect. VII. 3. The next affection to be acted is hope. This 
is of singular use to the soul. It helpeth exceedingly to sup- 
port it in sufferings ; it encourageth to adventure upon the 
greatest difficulties ; it firmly establisheth it in the most shaking 
trials; and it miglitily enlivens the soul in duties; and is the 
very spring that sets all the wheels a-going : who would preach, 
if it were not in hope to prevail with poor sinners for their 
conversion and confirmation ; who would pray, but for the hope 
to prevail with God ; who would believe, or obey, or strive, or 
suffer, or do any thing for heaven, if it were not for the hope 
that he hath to obtain it ? Would the mariner sail, and the 
merchant adventure, if they had not hope of safety and success? 
Would the husbandman plough, and sow, and take pains, if he 
had not hope of increase at harvest ? Would the soldier fight, 
if he hoped not for victory ? Surely no man doth adventure 
upon known impossibilities.'! Therefore is it that they who pray 
merely from custom, or merely from conscience, considering it 
as a duty only, but looking for no great matters from God 
by their prayers, are generally formal and heartless therein ; 
whereas the Christian that hath observed the wonderful success 
of prayer, and as verily looks for benefit by it, and thriving to 
his soul in the use of it, as he looks for benefit by his labours, 
and thriving to his body in the use of his food, how faithfully 
doth he follow it ; and how cheerfully go through it ! O how 

<i Fides intuetur verbum rei : spes autera rem verbi ; ut uptime distinguit 
Lutherus Fides et spes concurruut in idem rerura speraiidarum objectum ; 
fides tamen intellioeiido, assentiendo, representando, id facit ; spes autem 
patieuter earum coniplementum expectaiido, id peragit quod sui muneris est. 
^Jacob, Grymeus in Heb, xi, lecU 23. p. (iOO. 


willingly do we ministers study ; how cheerfully do we preach ; 
what life doth it put into our instructions and exhortations, 
when we have but hope that our labour will succeed ! When 
we discern a people attend to the word, and regard the mes- 
sage, and hear thcni iiuiuirc what they shall do as men that are 
willing to be ruled by Ciod, as men that wouUl fain have their 
souls to be saved ; you would not think how it helpeth us, both 
for invention and expression ! Oh ! who can choose but pray 
heartily for, and preacii heartily to, such a p'eople ? As the suck- 
ing of tlie young one doth draw forth the milk, so will the peo- 
ple's desires and obedience draw forth the word : §o that a dull 
people make dull preachers, and a lively j)eoplc make a lively 
preacher. So great a force hath hope in all our duties. As 
hope of speeding increaseth, so doth diligence in seeking in- 
crease ; beside the great conduccment of it to our joy. Even 
the false hope of the wicked doth much support, and maintain 
a kind of comfort answerable to their hope; though, it is true, 
their hope and joy will both die with them : how much more 
will the saints' hopes refresh and support them ! All this I have 
said, to show you the excellency and necessity of this grace, 
and so to provoke you to the more constant acting of it. If 
your hope dieth, your duties die, your endeavours die, your joys 
die, and your souls die. And if your hope be not acted, but 
lie asleep, it is next to dead, both in likeness and prej)aration. 
Therefore, christian reader, when thou art winding up thy 
affections to heaven, do not forget to give one lift at thy hope ; 
rememher to wind up this peg also. The object of hope hath 
four qualifications ; First, It must be good; Secondly, Future ; 
Thirdly, Difficult ; Fourthly, Yet possible. For the goodness 
of thy rest, there is somewhat said before, which thou mayest 
transfer hither as thou findest it useful; so also of the difficulty 
and futurity. Let faith then show thee the truth of the promise, 
and judgment the goodness of the thing promised; and what 
then is wanting for the raising of thy hope ? Show thy soul 
from the word, and from the mercies, and from the nature of 
God, what possibility, yea, what probability, yea, what certainty 
thou hast of possessing the crown. Thir.k thus, and reason 
thus, with thine own heart : Why should 1 not confidently and 
comfortably hope, when my soul is in the hands of so compas- 
sionate a Saviour ; and when the kingdom is at the disposal of 
so bounteous a God ? Did he ever manifest any backwardness to 
my good; or discover the least inclination to my ruin ? hath he 

360 THE saint's 

not sworn the contrary to me in his word, that he dehghts not 
in the death of him that diethjbut rather that he should repent 
and hve ? (Ezek. xviii. 32 ; and xxxiii. 1 1.) Have not all his 
deahngs with me witnessed the same ? did he not mind me of 
my danger, when I never feared it ? and why was this, if he 
would not have me to escape it ? Did he not mind me of my 
happiness, when I had no thoughts of it : and why was this, but 
that he would have me to enjoy it ? How oft hath he drawn me 
to himself, and his Christ, when I have drawn backward, and 
would have broken from him ! what restless importunity hath 
he used in his suit : how hath he followed me from place to 
place ; and his Spirit incessantly solicited my heart, with win- 
ning suggestions and persuasions for my good ! And would he 
have done all this, if he had been willing that I should perish ? 
If my soul were in the hands of my mortal foes, then, indeed, 
there were small hopes of my salvation ; yea, if it were wholly 
in my own hands, my flesh and my folly would betray it to 
damnation. But have I as much cause to distrust God, as to 
distrust my foes, or distrust myself? surely I have not. Have 
J not a sure promise to build and rest on, and the truth of God 
engaged to fulfil it ? would I not hope, if an honest man had 
made me a promise of any thing in his power ; and shall I not 
hope, when I have the covenant and the oath of God ? It is 
true, the glory is out of sight ; we have not beheld the mansions 
of the saints : who hath ascended up to discover it, and de- 
scended to tell us what he had seen ? Why, but the word is 
near me : have I not Moses and the prophets ; Christ and his 
apostles ? is not the promise of, God more certain than our 
sight ? It is not by sight, but by hope, that we must be saved ; 
and hope that is seen is not hope ; for if we see it, why do we 
yet hope for it ? " But if we hope for what we see not, then df) 
we with patience wait for it." (Rom. viii. 24, 23.) I jiave been 
ashamed of my hope in the arm of flesh, but hope in the pro- 
mise of God maketh not ashamed, (lloni.v. 5.) I will say, 
therefore, in my greatest sufferings, with tlie church : " The 
Lord is my portion, therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is 
good to them that wait for him, to the soul that secketh him : 
it is good that I both hojic, and quietly wait for the salvation of 
the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in Ills 
youth. I will sit alone and keep silence, because I have borne it 
upon me. I will put my mouth in the dust, if so be there may 
be hope. For the Lord will not cast off for ever ; but though 


he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the 
multitude of his mercies." (Lam. iii. 24, &c.) Though I lan- 
guish and die, yet will I have hope ; for he hath said, " The 
righteous huth hope in his death." (Prov. xiv. 32.) Though I 
must lie down in dust and darkness, yet there " my flesh shall 
rest in hope." (Psal. xvi. 9.) And when my flesh hath nothing 
in which it may rejoice, -yet will I keep " the rejoicing of hope 
firm to the end." (Heb. iii. 6.) For he hath said, " The hope of 
the righteous shall be gladness." (Prov. x. 28.) Indeed, if I 
had lived still under the covenant of works, and been put my- 
self to the satisfying of that justice, then there had been no 
hope ; but Christ hath taken down these impossibilities, and 
hath brouglit in a better hope, by which we may now draw nigh 
to God. (Heb. vii. 19.) Or, if I had to do with a feeble crea- 
ture, there were small hope, for how could he raise this body 
from the dust, and lift me up above the sun ? But what is it to 
the Almighty Power, who made the heavens and earth of 
nothing : cannot the same Power that raised Christ, raise me ; 
and that hath glorified the head, also glorify the mem- 
bers ? Doubtless, by the blood of Christ's covenant will God 
send forth his prisoners from tlie ))it wherein is no water ; 
therefore will I turn to this strong hold, as a prisoner of hope. 
(Zech. ix. 11, 12.) 

And thus you see how meditation may excite your hope. 

Sect. \'lll. 4. The next affection to be acted is courage, or 
boldness, which'leadeth to resolution, and concludeth in action. 
When vou have thus mounted your love, and desire, and hope, 
go on, and think further thus with yourselves : And will God 
indeed dwell with men, and is there such a glory within the 
reach of hope ? Oh ! why do I not then lay hold upon it ? Where 
is the cheerful vigour of my spirit ? Why do 1 not gird up the 
loins of my mind, and play the man for such a prize ? Why 
do I not run with speed the race before me, and set upon mine 
enemies on every side, and valiantly break through all resist- 
ance ? M'iiy do 1 not take this kingdom by force, and my fer- 
vent soul catch at the place ? Do I yet sit still, and heaven 
before me? (I Tim. vi. 12, 19; 1 Pet. i. 13; Heb. xii. 1; 
I Cor. ix. 24; Matt. xi. 12.) If my beast do but see his pro- 
vender, if my greedy senses perceive but their delightful objects, 
I have much ado to stave them off; and should not my soul be 
as eager for such a lilessed rest ? ^^'hy, then, do 1 not un- 
dauntedly fall to work ? \\'hat sho\ild stop me, or what should 

362 THE saint's 

dismay me ? Is God with me or against me in the work ? 
Will Christ stand by me, or will he not ? If it were a way of 
sin that leads to death, then I miglit expect that God should 
resist me, and stand in my way with the drawn sword of his 
displeasure ; or at least overtake me to my grief at last. But 
is he against the obeying of his own commands? Is perfect 
good against any thing but evil ? Doth he bid me seek, and 
will he not assist me in it ? Doth he set me a- work, and urge 
me to it, and will he after all be against me in it? it cannot 
be. And if he be for me, who can be against me ? (Rom. viii. 
31.) In the work of sin all things almost are ready to help us, 
and God only, and his servants, against us ; and how ill doth 
that work prosper in our hands ! But in my course to heaven, 
almost all things are against me ; but God is for me, and how 
happily still doth the work succeed ! Do I set upon this work 
in my own strength, or rather in the strength of Christ my 
Lord ; and cannot 1 do all things through him that strengthen- 
eth me ? Was he ever foiled, or subdued by an enemy ? He 
hath been assaulted indeed, but was he ever conquered ? Can 
they take the sheep till they have overcome the shepherd ? 
Why then doth my flesh lay open to me the difficulties, and 
urge me so much with the greatness and troubles of the work ? 
It is Christ that must answer all these objections ; and what are 
the difficulties that can stay his power ? Is any thing too hard 
for the omnipotent God ? May not Peter boldly walk on the 
sea, if Christ do but give the word of comnaand ; and if he 
begin to sink, is it from the weakness of Christ, or the small- 
ness of his faith ? The water, indeed, is but a sinking ground 
to tread on, but if Christ be by, and countenance us in it; if 
he be ready to reach us his hand, who would draw back for 
fear of danger ? Is not sea and land alike to him ? Shall I be 
driven from my God, and from my everlasting rest, as the silly 
birds are frighted from their food with a man of clouts, or a 
loud noise, when I know before there is no danger in it ? How 
do I see men daily in these wars adventure upon armies, and 
forts, and cannons, and cast themselves upon the instruments 
of death ; and have not I as fair a prize before nie, and as much 
encouragement to adventure as they ? What do I venture ? 
My life at most ; and in these prosperous times there is not one 
of many that ventures that. W^hat do I venture on ? Are they 
not unarmed foes ? A great hazard, indeed, to venture on the 
hard thoughts of the world; or on the scorns and slanders of a 


wicked tongue ! Surely, these serpents' teeth are out ; these 
vipers are easily shaken into the fire; these adders have no stings; 
these thorns have lost their prickles. As all things helow are 
silly comforters, so are they silly, toothless, enemies ; bugbears 
to frighten fools and children, rather than powerful, dreadful 
foes. Do 1 not well deserve to be turned into hell, if the scorns 
and threats of blinded men ; if the fear of silly, rotten earth 
can drive me thither ? Do I not well deserve to be shut out of 
heaven, if [ will be frighted from it with the tongues of sinners? 
ISurely, my own voice must needs condemn me, and my own 
hand subscribe the sentence, and common reason would say 
that my damnation were just. What, if it were father, or mo- 
ther, or husband, or wife, or the nearest friend that I have in 
the world, if they may be called friends that would draw me to 
danmation, should I not run over all that would keep me from 
Christ ? M'^ill their friendshi)) countervail the enmity of God ; 
or be anv comfort to my condemned soul ? Shall I be vieldini? 
and pliable to the desires of men, and only harden myself 
against the Lord ? Let men, let angels beseech me upon their 
knees, 1 will slight their tears, I will scorn to stop my course to 
behold them, I will shut mine ears against their cries ; let them 
Hatter, or let them frown ; let them draw forth tongues and 
swords against me, I am resolved to break through in the might 
of Christ, and to look upon them all as naked dust. If they 
would entice me with preferment, with the kingdoms of th6 
world, I will no more regard them than the dung of the earth. 
O blessed rest 1 O most invaluable, glorious state I Who 
would sell thee for dreams and shadows ? Who would be en- 
ticed or affrighted from thee ? Who would not strive, and light, 
and watch, and run, and that with violence, even to the last 
breath, so he might but have hope at last to obtain thee ? Surely, 
none but those that know thee not, and believe not thv glory. 
Thus you see with what kind of meditations you may excite 
your courage, and raise your resolutions. 

Sect. IX. 5. The last alTection to be acted is joy. This is 
the end of all the rest ; love, desire, hope, and courage, do all 
tend to the raising of our joy. This is so desirable to every 
man by nature, and is so essentially necessary to the constitut- 
ing of his happiness, that 1 hope I need not say much to per- 
suade you to any thing that would make your life delightful. 
Supposing you, therefore, already convinced, that the pleasures 
of the flesh are brutish and perishing, and that your solid and 

ii64 THK saint's 

lasting joy must be from heaven ; instead of persuading, I shall 
proceed in directing. 

Well, then, by this time, if thou hast managed well the 
former work, thou art got within the ken of thy rest; thou 
believest the truth of it ; thou art convinced of the ex- 
cellency of it; thou art fallen in love with it; thou longest 
after it; thou hopest for it; and thou art resolved courage- 
ously to venture for the obtaining it : but is here any work 
for joy in this ? We delight in the good which we do pos- 
sess. It is present good that is the object of joy ; but thou 
wilt say ' Alas 1 I am yet without it ! ' Well, but vet think a 
little further with thyself. Though the real presence do afford 
the choicest joy, yet the presence of its imperfect idea, or image 
in thy understanding, may afford me a great deal of true de- 
light. Is it nothing to have a deed of gift from God ? Are 
his infallible promises no ground of joy? Is it nothing to live 
in daily expectation of entering into the kingdom ? Is not 
inv assurance of being glorified one of these days a sufficient 
ground for inexpressible joy? Is it no delight to the heir of a 
kingdom to think of what he must hereafter possess, though at 
present he little differ from a servant ? (Gal. iv. 1 .) Am I not 
commanded to rejoice in hope of the glory of God ? (Rom. v. 2, 
and xii. 12.) 

Here, then, reader, take thy heart once again, as it were, by 
the hand ; bring it to the top of the highest mount; if it be pos- 
sible, to some atlas above the clouds. Show it the kingdom of 
Christ, and the glory of it. Say to it, ' All this will thy Lord 
bestow upon thee, who hast believed in him, and been a wor- 
shipper of him.' It is the Father's good pleasure to give thee 
this kingdojn. Seest thou this astonishing glory above thee ? 
Why, all this is thy own inheritance ; this crown is thine ; 
these pleasures are thine ; this company, this beauteous place 
is thine ; all things are thine, because thou art Christ's, and 
Christ is thine: when thou wast married to him, thou hadst all 
this with him. 

Thus, take thy heart into the land of promise, show it the 
pleasant hills and fruitful valleys ; show it the clusters of grapes 
which thou hast gathered; and by those convince it that it is 
a blessed land, flowing with better than milk and honey : enter 
the gates of the holy city, walk through the streets of the new 
Jerusalem, walk about Sion, go round about her, tell the towers 
thereof, mark well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that thou 


niayest tell it to thy soul. (Psal. \lvlii. 12, 13.) Hath it not the 
glory of God, and is not her light like to a stone most precious? 
See the twelve foundations of her walls, and the names of the 
twelve apostles of the Lamh therein. The huilding of the walls 
of it are of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as clear as glass. 
The foundation is garnished with precious stones, and the twelve 
gates are twelve pearls. Every several gate is of one pearl, and 
the street of the city is pure gold, as it were transparent glass ; 
there is no temple in it, for the Lord God Almiglity, and the 
Lamh, are the temple of it. It hath no need of sun or moon to 
shine in it, for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is 
the light thereof, and the nations of them which are saved shall 
M-alk in the light of it. These sayings are faithful and true, 
and the Lord God of the holy prophets hath sent his angels and 
his own Son, to show unto his servants the things that must shortly 
be done. (Rev. xxi. 11 — 13, &;c. to the end, and xxii. G.) 
What sayest thou now to all this ? This is thy rest, O my soul, 
and this must be the place of thy everlasting habitation. " Let 
all the sons of Sion then rejoice, and the daughters of Jerusa- 
lem be glad : for great is the Lord, and greatly is he praised in 
the city of our God : beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole 
earth is mount Sion : God is known in her palaces for a refuge. 
(Psalm xlviii. 11, 1 — 3.) 

Yet proceed on ; " Anima qure amat asccndit," &c. The soul, 
suith Austin, that loves, ascends frecjuently, and runs familiarly 
through the streets of the heavenly Jerusalem, visiting the patri- 
archs and prophets, saluting the apostles, admiring tiie armies of 
martyrs and confessors, &c. So do thou, lead on thy heart as 
from street to street, bringing it into the palace of the great King; 
lead it, as it were, from chamber to chamber; say to it, 'Here 
must 1 lodge, here must I live, here must 1 praise, here must I 
love, and be beloved ; I must shortly be one of this heavenly choir; 
I shall then be better skilled in the music. Among this blessed 
company must I take my place. My voice must join to make up 
the melody. My tears will then be wiped away, my groans 
turned to another tune. My cottage of clay will be changed to 
this palace, and my prison rags to these splendid robes. My sor- 
did, nasty, stinking flesh shall be put off, and such a sun- like 
spiritual body put on. For the former things are done away. 
" Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God." (Psalm 
Ixxxvii. 3.) There it is that trouble and lamentation qeaseth, 
and the voice of sorrow is not heard. Oh ! when I look upon 
this glorious place, what a dunghill and dungeon mcthinks is 

36G" THE saint's 

eartlV. Oh ! what a difference betwixt a man feeble, pained, 
groaning, dying, rotting in the grave, and one of these trium- 
phant, blessed, shining saints ! Here shall I drink of the river of 
pleasure, "the streams whereof make glad the city of our God." 
*' For the Lord will create a new Jerusalem and a new earth, and 
the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. We 
shall be glad and rejoice for ever in that which he creates : for 
he will create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy : and 
he will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in his people, and the voice 
of weeping shall be no move heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old 
man that hath not filled his days." (Isa. kv. 17—20.) Must 
Israel, on earth, under the bondage of the law, serve the Lord 
with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abun- 
dance of all things which they possess ? surely, then, I shall 
serve him with joyfulness and gladness, who shall have another 
kind of service, and of abundance in glory. (Deut. xxviii. 47.) 
Did the saints take jovfully the spoiling of their goods ? (Heb. 
xi. 34.) And shall not 1 take joyfully the receiving of my good, 
and such a full reparation of all my losses? Was it such a re- 
markable, celebrated day, when the Jews rested from their ene- 
mies, because it was turned to them from sorrow to joy, and from 
mourning into a good day ? (Esther ix. 22.) What a day, then, 
will that be to my soul, whose rest and change will be so much 
greater 1 "\Anaen the wise men saw but the star of Christ, they 
rejoiced with exceeding great joy; (Matt. ii. 10;) but I shall 
shortly see the Star of Jacob, even himself who is the bright and 
morning Star. (Numb.xxiv. 17; R^v, xxii. 16.) If they returned 
from the sepulchre with great joy, when they had but heard that 
he was risen from the dead; (Matt, xxviii. 8;) what joy, then, 
will it be to me, when I shall see him risen and reigning in his 
glory, and myself raised to a blessed communion with him ? 
Then shall we have beauty for ashes indeed, and the oil of joy 
for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heavi- 
ness : (Isa Ixi. 3 :) when he hath made Sion an eternal excel- 
lency, a joy of many generations. (Isa. Ix. 15.) 

Why do I not, then, arise from the dust, and lav aside my sad 
complaints, and cease my doleful, mourning note ? Why do I 
not trample down vain delights, and feed upon tiie foreseen de- 
lights of glory ? Why is not my life a continual joy, and the 
savour of heaven perpetually upon my spirit ? And thus, reader, 
1 have directed thee in acting thy joy. 

Sect. 10. Here also, when thou findcst cause, thou hast a sin- 


gular good ailvantage from tliy meditations of heaven, for the 
acting of the contrary and more mixed passions ; as : 

1. Of thy hatred and detestation of sin, which would deprive 
thy soul of these immortal joys. 

2. Of thy godly and filial fear, lest thou shouldst either abuse 
or hazard this mercv. 

3. Of thy necessary grief, for such thy foolish abuse and 

4. Of thy godly shame, which should cover thy face for the 
foremen tioned folly. 

5. Of thy unfeigned repentance for what thou hast done 
against thy jovs. 

(). Of thy holy anger or indignation against thyself for such 

7. Of the zeal and jealousy over thy heart, lest thou shouldst 
again he drawn to the like iniquity. 

8. And of thy j)ity toward those who are ignorantly walking 
in the contrary course, and in apparent danger of losing all this. 

But I will confine mys^T to the former chief affections, and 
not meddle with these, lest I be too prolix, but leave them to thy 
own spiritual prudence. 

I would here also have thee to understand that I do not 
place any fiat necessity in thy acting of all the foremen- 
tioned affections in this order at one time, or in one duty. Per- 
haps thou mayest sometimes feel some one of thy affections 
more flat than the rest, and so to have more need of exciting : 
or thou mayest find one stirring more than the rest, and so 
think it more seasonable to help it forward ! or, if thy time be 
short, thou mayest work upon one affection one day, and upon 
another the next, as thou findest cause. All this J still leave to 
thy own prudence. 

And so I have done with the third i)art of the direction, viz. 
what powers of the soul are here to be acted, what affections 
excited, by what objective considerations, and in what order. 


llxj what Actings of the Soul to proceed in this work of 
Heavenly Contemplation. 

FouuTHi.Y, The fourth part of this directory is, to show you 
how and by what acts you should advance on to the height of 
this work. 

3(j8 THE saint's 

Sect. I. The first and main instrument of this work is, that 
cogitation, or consideration, which I before have opened, and 
which is to go along with us through the whole. But because 
mere cogitation, if it be not pressed home, will not so pierce and 
affect the heart; therefore we must here proceed to a second 
step, which is called soliloquy, which is nothing but a pleading 
the case with our own souls. As in preaching to others, the 
bare propounding and opening of truths and duties, doth sel- 
dom find that success as the lively application ; so it is also in 
meditating and propounding truths to ourselves. The moving, 
pathetical pleadings with a sinner, will make him deeply affected 
with a common truth, which before, though he knew it, yet it 
never stirred him. What heart-meltings do we see under power- 
ful application, when the naked explication did little move 
them ? If any where there be a tender-hearted, affectionate 
people, it is likely, under such a moving, close-applying ministry. 
Why, thus must thou do in thy meditation to quicken thine own 
heart : enter into a serious debate with it : plead with it in the 
most moving and affecting language : urge it with the most 
weighty and powerful arguments : this soliloquy, or self-confer- 
ence, hath been the practice of the holy men of God in all 
times: (Gen. xlix. 6; Judges v. 21 ; Psal. xvi. 2; and Jer. 
iv. 19.) How doth David plead with his soul against its dejec- 
tions, and argue it into a holy confidence and comfort ! " Why 
art thou cast down, O my soul ; and why art thou so disquieted 
within me ? Trust in God, for I shall yet give him thanks, who 
is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psal. xlii. 
5, 1 1, and xliii. 5.) So in Psal. ciii. 1, 2, &c. " Bless the Lord, 
O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless 
the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits," &c. So doth 
he also end the Psalm, and so doth he begin and end Psal. civ.; 
so Psal. cxlvi. 1 ; and cxvi. 7, "Return unto thy rest, O my 
soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." The like 
you may see in the meditations of holy men of latter times, as 
Austin, Bernard, &;c. : so that this is no new path which I per- 
suade you to tread, but that which the saints have ever used in 
their meditation. 

Sect. II. This soliloquy hath its several parts, and its due 
method wherein it should be managed. The parts of it are ac- 
cording to the several alfectious of the soul, and according to 
the several necessities thereof, according to the various argu- 
ments to be used, and according to the various ways of arguing. 


So that you see if I should attempt the full handling hereof, it 
would take up more time and room than I intcntl or can allow 
it. Only thus much in hrief: As every good master and father 
of a fanuly is a good j)reaclier to his own family, so everv good 
Christian is a good j)reachcr to his own soul. Soliloquy is a 
preacliing to one's self; therefore the very same method which 
a minister should use in his preaching to others, should a 
Christian use in speaking to himself. Dost thou understand the 
best method for a public preacher? Dost thou know the right 
parts and order of a sermon ; and which is the most effectual 
way of application ? Why then 1 need to lav it open no further; 
thou understandest the method and parts of this soliloquy. IMark 
the most affecting, heart-melting minister; observe his course, 
both for matter and manner; set liim as a pattern before thee 
for thy imitation ; and the same way that he takes with the 
hearts of his people, do thou also take with thy own heart. 
Men are naturally addicted to imitation, especially of those 
whom they most affect and approve of: how near do some mi- 
nisters come in their preaching to the imitation of others, whom 
they usually hear, and much reverence and value ; so mavest 
thou in this duty of preaching to thy heart. Art thou not ready 
sometime when thou hearest a minister, to remember divers 
things wliich thou thinkest might he moving and pertinent, and 
to wish that he would have mentioned and pressed them on the 
hearers ? Why, remember those when thou art exhorting thy- 
self, and press them on thy own heart as close as thou canst. 

As, therefore, this is accounted the most familiar method in 
preaching, so it is for thee in meditating : First, Ex|)lain to thy- 
self the subject on which thou dost meditate, both the terms 
and the subject matter ; study the difficulties, till the doctrine 
is clear. Secondly, Then confirm thv faith in the belief of it, 
by the most clear, convincing scri])tnre reasons. Thirdly, Then 
apply it according to its nature and thy necessity. As in tiie 
case we are upon, that there is a rest remaining for the people' 
of God. 

1. Consider of the useful consectaries, or conclusions, that 
thence arise, for the clearing and confirming of thy judgment, 
which is commonly called a use of information. Here thou 
niayest press them also by other confirming arguments, and ad- 
join the confutation of the contrary errors. 

2. Proceed then to consider of the duties which do appear to 

VOL. XXI 11. B li 

370 THE saint's 

be such from the doctrine in hand, which is commonly called a 
use of instruction, as also the reprehension of the contrary vices. 

3. Then proceed to question, and try thyself, how thou hast 
valued this glory of the saints ; how thou hast loved it ; and 
how thou hast laid out thyself to obtain it. This is called a use 
of examination. Here thou mayest also make use of dis- 
covering signs, drawn from the nature, properties, effects, ad- 
juncts, &c. 

4. So far as this trial hath discovered thy neglect, and other 
sins against this rest, proceed to the reprehension and censuring 
of thyself; chide thy heart for its omissions and commissions, 
and do it sharply till it feel the smart j as Peter preached re- 
proof to his hearers, till they were pricked to the heart and 
cried out : and as a father or master will chide the child till it 
begin to cry and be sensible of the fault ; so do thou in chiding 
thy own heart : this is called a use of reproof. Here also it 
will be very necessary that thou bring forth all the aggravating 
circumstances of the sin, that thy heart may feel it in its weight 
and bitterness ; and if thy heart do evade or deny the sin, con- 
vince it by producing the several discoveries. 

5. So far as thou discoverest that thou hast been faithful in 
the duty, turn it to encouragement to thyself, and to thanks to 
God ; where thou mayest consider of the several aggravations of 
the mercy of the Spirit's enabling thee thereto. 

6. So, as it respects thy duty for the future, consider how 
thou mayest improve this comfortable doctrine, which must be 
by strong and effectual persuasion with thy heart. First, By 
way of dehortation from the fore-mentioned sins. Secondly, By 
way of exhortation to the several 'duties. And these are either, 
first, internal, or secondlv, external. First, therefore, admonish 
thy heart of its own inward neglects and contempts ; Secondly, 
And then of the neglects and trespasses in thy practice against 
this blessed state of rest. Set home these several admonitions 
to the quick ', take thy heart as to the brink of the bottomless 
pit; force it to look in, threaten thyself with the threatenings of 
the word ; tell it of the torments that it draweth upon itself; 
tell it what joys it is madly rejecting; force it to promise thee 
to do so no more, and that not with a cold and heartless pro- 
mise, but earnestly with most solemn asseverations and engage- 
ments. Secondly, The next and last is, to drive on thy soul to 
those positive duties, which are required of thee in relation to 


this rest : as First, To the inward duties of thy heart, and there 
First, To be dihgent in making sure of this rest: Secondly, To 
rejoice in the expectation of it : this is called a use of consola- 
tion. It is to be furthered by first laying open the excellency 
of the state; and secondly, the certainty of it in it!?rlf; and 
thirdly, our own interest in it ; by clearing and proving all these, 
and confuting all saddening objections that may be brought 
against them : Thirdly, so also for the provoking of love, of 
hope, and all other the affections in the way before more largely 

And, Secondly, Press on thy heart also to all o\itward duties 
that are to be performed in thy way to rest, whether in worship 
or in civil conversation, whether public or private, ordinary or 
extraordinary : this is commonly called a use of exhortation. 
Here bring in all quickening considerations, either those that 
may drive thee, or those that may draw ; which work by fear, 
or which work by desire : these are conunonlv called motives : 
but above all, be sure that thou follow them home ; ask thy 
heart what it can say against the duty ; Is there weight in them, 
or is there not ? And then, what it can say against the duty. Is 
it necessary ; is it comfortable ; or is it not ? \\'hen thou hast 
silenced thy heart, and brought it to a stand, then drive it fur- 
ther, and urge it to a promise, as suppose it were to the duty of 
meditation, which we are speaking of ; force thyself beyond these 
lazy purposes ; resolve on the duty before thou stir ; enter into 
a solemn covenant to be faithful ; let not thy heart go, till it 
have, without all baiting and reservations, flatly promised thee, 
that it will fall to the work ; write down this pronusc, show it 
to thy heart the next time it loiters; then studv also the helps 
and means, the hinderances and directions, that concern thy 
duty. And this is in brief the exercise of this soliloquy, or the 
preaching of heaven to thy heart. 

Sect. ill. Object. But perhaps thou wilt say. Every man can- 
not understand this method ; this is for ministers and learned 
men ; every man is not able to play the preacher. I answer 
thee. First, There is not that ability re(|uireil to this, as is to 
the work of public preaching : here thy thoughts may serve the 
turn, but there must be also the decent ornaments of language : 
here is needful but an honest, understanding heart, but there must 
be a good pronunciation, and a voluble tongue : here if thou 
miss of the method, thou mayest make up that in one piece of 
application which thou luist neglected in another : but there thy 

ti a 2 

372 THE saint's 

failings are injurious to many, and a scandal and disgrace to the 
work of God. Thou knowest what will fit thy own heart, and 
what arguments take best with thy own affections ; but thou art 
not so well acquainted with the dispositions of others. Se- 
condly, I answer further, Every man is bound to be skilful in the 
Scriptures as well as ministers : kings, and magistrates; (Deut.xvii. 
18 — 20 ; Josh. i. S ;) and the people also. (Deut. vi. 6 — 8.) Do 
you think, if you did as is there commanded, write it upon thy 
heart, lay them up in thy soul, bind them upon thy hand, and 
between thine eyes, meditate on them day and night : I say, if 
you did thus, would you not quickly understand as much as 
this ? (See Psal. i. 3 ; Deut. xi. IS, and vi. 6 — 8.) Doth not 
God command thee to teach them diligently to thy children ; 
and to talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, when thou 
walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest 
up ? And if thou must be skilled to teach thy children, much 
more to teach thyself; and if thou canst talk of them to others, 
why not also to thine own heart? Certainly, our unskilfulness 
and disability, both in a methodical and lively teaching of our 
families, and of ourselves, is for the most part merely through 
our own negligence, and a sin for which we have no excuse : 
you that learn the skill of your trades and sciences, might learn 
this also, if you were but willing and painful. 

And so I have done with this particular of soliloquy. 
Sect. IV. 2. Another step to arise by in our contemplation, is, 
from this speaking to ourselves, to speak to God : prayer is not 
such a stranger to this duty, but that ejaculatory requests may 
be intermixed or added, and that as a very part of the duty it- 
self. How oft doth David intermix these in his psalms, some- 
time pleading with his soul, and sometime with God, and that 
in the same psalm, and in the next verses ? The apostle bids 
us speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns ; and no doubt we 
may also speak to God in them ; this keeps the soul in mind of 
the divine presence, it tends also exceedingly to quicken and 
raise it : so that as God is the highest object of our thoughts, 
so our viewing of him, and our speaking to him, and pleading 
with him, doth more elevate the soul, and actuate the affections, 
than any other part of meditation can do. IN'Ien that are care- 
less of their carriage and speeches among children and idiots, 
will be sober and serious with princes or grave men ; so, though 
while we do but plead the case with ourselves, we are careless 
and unaffected, yet when we turn our speech to God, it may 


Strike us with awfulness ; and the holiness and majesty of him 
whom we speak to, may cause both tlie matter and words to 
pierce the deeper. Isaac went forth to pray, the former transla- 
tion saith; to meditate, saith the latter; the Hebrew verb, saith 
Paraeus in loc, sii^nifieth both ad orandum et medltandumJ The 
men of God, both former and latter, wlio have left their medita- 
tions on record for our view, have thus intermixed solilo(iuy and 
prayer ; sometime speaking; to their own hearts, and sometime 
turning their speecli to God : and thougli this may seem an in- 
different thing, yet I conceive it very suitable and necessary, and 
that it is the highest step that we can advance to in the work. 

Object. But why then is it not as good to take up with 
prayer alone, and to save all this tedious work that you pre- 
scribe us ? 

Answ. 1. They are several duties, and therefore must be per- 
formed both. Secondly, We have need of one as well as the 
other, and therefore shall wrong ourselves in tlie neglecting of 
either. Thirdly, The mixture, as in music, doth more affect ; 
the one helps on, and puts life into the other. Fourthlv, It is 
not the right order to begin at the fop, therefore meditation and 
speaking to ourselves, should go before prayer, or speaking to 
God ; want of this, makes ])rayer with most to have little more 
than the name of prayer, and men to speak as lightly and as 
stupidly to the dreadful God, as if it were to one of their com- 
panions, and with far less reverence and affection than they 
would speak to an angel, if he should aj)pear to them, yea, or 
to a judge or prince, if they were speaking for their lives : and 
consecjuently their success and answers are often like their 
prayers. Oh ! speaking to the God of heaven in prayer, is a 
weightier duty than most are aware of. 

Sect. V. The ancients had a custom, by aj)ostrophes and 
prosopopoeias, to speak, as it were, to angels and saints departed, 
which, as it was used by thein, 1 take to be lawful ; but what 
they spoke in rhetorieal figures, was interpreted by the succeed- 
ing ages to be spoken in strict propriety ; and doctrinal con- 
clusions for praying to saints and angels were raised from their 
speeches ; therefore 1 will omit tliat course, which is so little 
necessary, and so subject to scandalize the less jndicious readers. 

And so much for the fourth part of the direction, by what 

' LXX Ic'guut dSoAetrx'lTai, aJ ludcndum, se exerccndiiin, sod aliene in- 
quit I'diteus. 

3/4 THR saint's 

steps or acts we must advance to tlie height of this work : I 
should clear all this by some examples, but that I intend shall 
follow in the end. 

CHAP. X[. 

Some Advantages and Helps, for raising and affecting the Soul 

by this Meditation. 

Sect. I. Fifthly : The fifth part of this directory is, to show 
you what advantages you should take, and what helps you should 
use, to make your meditations of heaven more quickening, and 
to make you taste the sweetness that is therein. For that is the 
main work that I drive at through all ; that you may not stick 
in a bare thinking, but may have the lively sense of all upon 
your hearts; and this you will find to be the most difficult part 
of the work : and that it is easier barely to think of heaven a 
whole day, than to be lively and affectionate in those thoughts 
one quarter of an hour. Therefore let us yet a little further 
consider what may be done, to make your thoughts of heaven to 
be piercing, affecting, raising thoughts. 

Here, therefore, you must understand, that the mere pure 
work of faith hath many disadvantages with us, in comparison 
of the work of sense. Faith is imperfect, for we are renewed 
but in part; but sense hath its strength, according to the strength 
of the fiesh : faith goes against a world of resistance, but sense 
doth not. Faith is supernatural, and therefore prone to de- 
clining, and to languish both in the habit and exercise, further 
than it is still renewed and excited ; but sense is natural, and 
therefore continueth while nature continueth. The object of 
faith is far off; we must go as far as heaven for our joys ;^ but 
the object of sense is close at hand. It is no easy matter to re- 
joice at that which we never saw, nor ever knew the man that 
did see it : and this upon a mere promise which is written in 
the Bible : and that when we have nothing else to rejoice in, 

' De c()loril)Us caecus loquelam liabet, seusum autem noii habet, teste 
Aristot. Non secus tiica ilia quae divin.i et a;terna sunt, se iiabet himianus 
intellectus, iiifiritnis et caecutieus, ut vere quantum fas est, praedestinationis 
ffteruae, et libertatis nostice conqiossibilitateni teneanius, &c. — Arriba Concil. 
de Grut. lib. i. cap. 30. p. 18S. 


but all our sensible comforts do fail us ; but to rejoice iu tbat 
which we see and feel, in that which we have hold of, and pos- 
session already, this is not difficult. Well, then, what should be 
done in this case ? why, surely it will be a point of our spiritual 
prudence, and a sint^ular help to the furthering of the work 
of faith, to call in our sense to its assistance :' if we can make 
us friends of these usual enemies, and make them instruments of 
raising us to God, which are the usual means of drawing us 
from God, I think we shall perform a very excellent work. 
Surely it is both possible and lawful, yea, and necessary too, to 
do something in this kind : for God would not have given us 
either our senses themselves, or their usual objects, if they 
might not have been serviceable to his own praise, and helps to 
raise us up to the apprehension of higher things : and it is very 
considerable, how the Holy Ghost doth condescend to the phrase 
of Scripture, in bringing things down to the reach of sense; how 
he sets forth the excellencies of spiritual things in words that 
are borrowed from the objects of sense ; how he describeth the 
glory of the New Jerusalem, in expressions that might take even 
with flesh itself : as that the streets and buildings are pure 
gold, that the gates are pearl, that a throne doth stand in the 
midst of it, &;c. (Rev. xxi. 22.) That we shall eat and drink 
with Christ at his table in his kingdom ; that he will drink 
with us the fruit of the vine new ; that we shall shine as the 
sun in the firmament of our Father : these, with most other 
descriptions of our glorv, are expressed as if it were to the very 
flesh and sense ; which, though they are all improper and figura- 
tive, yet doubtless if such expressions had not been best, and to 
us necessary, the Holy Ghost would not have so frequently used 
them : he that will speak to man's understanding, must speak in 
man's language, and speak that which he is capable to conceive. 
And, doubtless, as the Spirit doth speak, so we must hear ; and if 
our necessity cause him to condescend in his expressions, it must 
needs cause us to be low in our conceivings." Those conceivings 

' (Quanta lilx-t inteutioue se hiiinana mens exteruleret, etiamsi phantasias 
imaginuin corporalium a coguitione compescat, si oimies circumscriptos 
spiritus ad oculos cordis admoveat, adhuc taineii in came niortali posita videre 
•jloriam Dei iion valcT, siciit est. Sed fpiictiuid de iliaf|iiod in mente respleii- 
det, siniilitudo, et noii ipsa est. — Gmg. sup. honi. 8. Utile tanien est ul in hu- 
jusmodi rationibus qiiaiitumcunque debilimus se ineus liumana exerceat, 
dumniodo desit compreheiideiidi vel <leinonstrandi pra'siimptiti : (jiiia de rebus 
altissiniis etiani parva et debili eniisideratione aliquid posse insi)icere jiicuii- 
dissimuiu est. — Aquin. void. Genlil. lib. i. cap. 8. 

" yEquuin est luemiiiisse, et me qui disseram, et vos qui juiiicabitis, ho- 

3/6 THii saint's 

and exj)ressioiis which we have of spirits, and things merely spi- 
ritual, they are commonly hut second notions, without the first ; 
but mere names that are put into our mouths, without any true 
conceivings of the things which they signify ; or our conceivings 
which we express by those notions or terms, are merely nega- 
tive : what things are not, rather than what they are ; as, when 
we mention spirits, we mean they are not corporal substances, 
but what they are, we can tell no more, than we know what is 
Aristotle's 'Materia Prima.' It is one reason of Christ's as- 
suming and continuing our nature v/ith the Godhead, that we 
might know him the better, when he is so much nearer to us j 
and we might have more positive conceivings of him, and so 
our minds might have familiarity v.'ith him, who before was 
quite beyond our reach. 

But what is my scope in all this ? is it that we might think 
heaven to be made of gold and pearl ; or, that we should pic- 
ture Christ as the papists do, in such a shape ;^ or, that we 
should think saints and angels do indeed eat and drink ? No; 
not that we should take the Spirit's figurative expressions to be 
meant according to strict propriety ;y or have fleshly conceivings 
of spiritual things, so as to believe them to be such indeed : 
but thus to think, that to conceive or speak of them in strict 

miDes esse, ut si probabilia dicentur, nihil ulterius requiiatis. — Plato in Ti- 
wcFo, Idem in Epistola ad Dioiiys. iiionet, ut eos tanquam barathrum decli- 
iiet, qui de Diis tanquam de iis qui manibus teneri et apprehendi possunt, 
certas exigtuit demonstratioues. Et in Fha;done eo nomine gravissime re- 
prehentlit eos quod ambitiosis inter se verborum pugnis et inani demonstra- 
tionum coiiatu, principes se novorum et pugnantiuin dogmatum constituant, 
de rebus ipsis nihil certum, nihil stabile, nihil firmum habeant. Ipseque 
suam deplorat caecitatem, qui quae se prius perspicue scire exislimaret, ne per 
umbram quideni sibi unquam visa esse compererit. Et quorum aliquam ejse 
ratus fuerat soliditatem, ea nunc omnia non secus ac inanes soinniorum ima- 
gines vanescere. 

^ Ex operibus quidem opifieem, banc causam effectoremque mundi Deum 
nosse datur. Ex imag;ine autem etsimulacro (utSocratis auditor Antistheues 
dicebat) is non agnoscitur ; nullis oculis conspicuus, nulli rei similis, uteic 
ulla effi^ie nosci possit. Atque (ut a Zenopboute Socratico scriptum leginius, 
qui cuncta concdssat, ipse intrepidus et incoiicussus. Mag^nus nimirum po- 
tensque eNse tii;;nosfitur. (jiiali auteni sit (acie, iguoratur. — Ftrntlius de 
Abdllis llai am Cnasis^ cap. !». 

y Est quidem ct de c()iiiniunii)us sensihu';, sajiere in Dei relius ; sed in tes- 
timuniuni vcii, n<ui in adjutoriiun falsi. Q'^''^^' ■''''^ secundum divinam, noii 
contra divinam dispositioui'in. — TcrtnUutn. Lib. de liesuriect. Cornis, cap. 3. 
p. 407. Ihec omnia ab hunianis in Deum (lualitatii)iis tracta sunt, dum ad 
nostra? itilii-mitatis verba descenditur. Ut <|uasi <juil)usdam nobis s^radibus 
lactis, et juxta iios positis, per ea (|uaB nobis vicina conspicimus, ad summa 
ejus casendere quandoqiie vaieamus. — Gregor. Morai. lib. xx. cap. 14. 



propriety, is utterly beyond our reach and capacity j and there- 
fore we must conceive of them as we are able ; and that the 
Spirit would not have represented them in these notions to us, 
but that we have no better notions to apprehend them by ; and 
therefore that we make use of these phrases of the Spirit to 
quicken our apprehensions and affections, but not to prevent 
them ; and use these low notions as a glass, in which we must 
see the things themselves, though the representation be exceed- 
ing imperfect, till we come to an innuediate perfect sight ; yet 
still concluding, that these phrases, though useful, are but bor- 
rowed and improper. The like may be said of those expres- 
sions of God in Scripture, wherein he represents himself in the 
imperfections of creatures, as anger, repenting, willing what 
shall not come to pass, &:c. Though these be improper, drawn 
from the manner of men, yet there is somewhat in God which 
we can see no better yet, than in this glass, and which we can 
no better conceive of, than in such notions, or else the Holy 
Ghost would have given us better. 

Sect. II. 1. Go to, then, when thou settest thyself to medi- 
tate on the joys above, think on them boldly, as Scripture hath 
expressed them ; bring down thy conceivings to the reach of 
sense. Excellency without familiarity doth amaze more than 
delight us ; but love and joy are promoted by familiar ac- 
quaintance. When we go about to think of God and glory in 
proper conceivings, without these spectacles we are lost, and 
have nothing to fix our thoughts upon. We set God and hea- 
ven so far from us, that our thoughts are strange, and we look 
at them as things beyond our reach, and beyond our line, and 
are ready to say, That which is above is nothing to us ; to con- 
ceive no more of God and glory, but that we cannot conceive 
them, and to apprehend no more, but that tliey are past our 
apprehension, will produce no more love but this, — to acknow- 
ledge that they are so far above us that we cannot love them ; 
and no more joy but this, — that they are above our rejoicing. 
And therefore put Christ no further from you timn he hath put 
himself, lest the divine nature be again inaccessible. Think of 
Christ as in our own nature glorified ; think of unr fellow-saints 
as men there jjcrfectcd ; think of the city and state as the spirit 
hath expressed it, only with the cautions and limitations before 
mentioned. * Suppose thou wcrt now ijcholding this city ol 

» Ibi jni-et gratia, ibi vireutihus camins terro luxiiiiaii<! alumna se iiuliiit 
'ramiue. et retloieute pascitur flore. Ibi altum iiemoia tolUnitur in verti- 

37S THE saint's 

God, and that thou hadst been companion with John in his 
survey of its glory; and hadst seen the thrones, the ma- 
jesty, the heavenly hosts, the shining splendour which he saw; 
draw as strong suppositions as may be from thy sense for the 
helping of thy affections. It is lawful to suppose we did see for 
the present, that which God hath in prophecies revealed, and 
which we must really see in more unspeakable brightness before 
long. Suppose, therefore, with thyself thou hadst been that 
apostle's fellow-traveller into the celestial kingdom, and that 
thou hadst seen all the saints in their white robes, with palms 
in their hands ; suppose thou hadst heard those songs of Moses 
and of the Lamb ; or didst even now hear them praising and 
glorifying the living God. If thou hadst seen these things, in- 
deed, in what a rapture wouklst thou have been ! And the 
more seriously thou puttest this supposition to thvself, the more 
will the meditation elevate thy heart. I would not have thee, 
as the papists, draw them in pictures, nor use such ways to re- 
present them. This, as it is a course forbidden by God, so it 
would but seduce and draw down thy heart ; but get the liveli- 
est picture of them in thy mind that possibly thou canst ; medi- 
tate of them as if thou wert all the while beholding them, and 
as if thou wert even hearing the hallelujahs, while thou art 
thinking of them ; till thou canst say, Methinks I see a glimpse 
of the glory ; methinks I hear the shouts of joy and praise ; 
methinks I even stand by Abraham and David, Peter and Paul, 
and more of these triumphing souls ; methinks I even see the 
Son of God appearing in the clouds, and the world standing at 
his bar to receive their doom ; methinks I hear him say, " Come, 
ye blessed of my Father," and even see them go rejoicing into 
the joy of their Lord. My very dreams of these things have 
deeply affected me, and should not these just suppositions affect 
me much more ? What, if I had seen, with Paul, those un- 
utterable things, should I not have been exalted, and that, 
perhaps, above measure, as well as he ? What, if I had stood 
in the room of Stephen, and seen heaven opened, and Christ 

cem, et ibi arbor densidre coma vestitur, quic(ii\id curvantibus ramis scena 
dejaceiis iiiumbrarit. Oinuia illic iion frig^oris nee ardoris, uec uti in autumno 
arva rtHitiiescaiit, aut ut iterum vere novo tellus /necuiida parturiat. Unius 
cuiicta sunt teni])oris. Unius poma feruntur a;statis ; qui|ipe cum nee 
niensibus suis tunc luua deserviat, nee sol per horarum momeiita decurrat, 
aut in noctem lux fugata concedat. Habet populos quies laita. Sedes tenet 
placidas, ubi fons scaturiens medio sinu alvei prorumpentis emergit, et rauco 
per iutervalla circuitii siniiosis flexibus labitur, ut in ora naseentium ibi flu- 
rainum dividatur. — Cyprian, de Latide Martyr. 



.sitting at the right-hand of (Jod r Surely that one sight was 
worth the suffering his btorni of stones. Oh. that I might but see 
what he did see, though 1 also suffered what he did suffer ! 
What, if I had seen such a sight as Micaiah saw: the Lord 
sitting upon his throne, and all the hosts of heaven standing on 
his right-hand and on his left ? Why, these men of God did 
see such things ; and I shall shortly see far more than ever they 
saw till they were loosed from this flesh, as I must be. And thus 
you see how the familiar conceiving of the state of blessedness, 
as the Spirit hath in a condescending language expressed it, and 
our strong raising of suppositions from our bodily senses will 
further our affections in this heavenly work. 

Sect. III. 2. There is yet another way by which we may 
make our senses here serviceable to us, and that is, by compar- 
ing of the objects of sense with the objects of faith ; and so 
forcing sense to afford us that medium, from whence we may 
conclude the transcendent worth of glory, by arguing from sen- 
sitive delights as from the less to the greater. And here for 
your further assistance, 1 shall furnish you with some of these 
comparative arguments. 

And First, You must strongly argue with your hearts, from 
the corrupt delights of sensual men.'' Think, then, with your- 
selves when YOU would be sensible of the joys above : Is it such 
a delight to a sinner to do wickedly, and will it not be delight- 
ful, indeed, then to live with God ? Hath a very drunkard'' 

• If the men of the world, who have the spirit of the world, are so desirous 
to see an eart'uly kinjc, at least in ail his ornaments and fclwy, &c., how mucii 
more should they desire to see Clirist ; into whom tlie drops of the quickening 
Spirit of the Godhead hath instilled, and whose hearts he hath wounded with a 
divine love to Christ the heavenly Kin<j ! They are enchained in that heauty 
and unspeakalile glory, in that incorruptihle splendour and incomprehensi- 
ble riches of the true and eternal King, Christ: with desire and longings after 
whom tliey are wholly taken up, being wholly turned to him, and long to at- 
tain that inexpressible blessedness, which by the Spirit they behold ; for the 
sake of which they esteem all the beauty, and ornaments, and glory, and 
riches, and honour of kings and princes, but as nothing. For they are wounded 
with the bcauly of God, and the heavenly lile nf inimortaliiy hath dropped 
into their souls. Ergo do they wish for the love of the heavenly King ; and 
having him alone before- their eyes in all their desires, they rid themselves by 
him of all worldly love, and depart from all terrene engagements, that so they 
may still keep that desire alone in their hearts. — Macnritis, Homil. .'). a. 

'' (laa? ergo nos angit vesania, vitiDrum sitire al)sinthium, hujus nniudi 
se(iui naiifragium, vine pra;senlis pati infortunium, impia^ tyrannidis ferre 
dominium, et non magis convolare ad sanctorum felicitatem, ad angeloruni 
societatem, ad solemnitatem superna; la-titia", et ad jucunditatem contem- 
plativa; vita', ut possimus intrare in potentias Domini, et videre superabuu- 
dantes divitias bonitatis c]visl— Bernard, de Frtemio Pat. Ctrlest. 

SSO THE saint's 

such a delight in his cups and his companions, that the very 
fears of damnation will not make him forsake them ? Hath 
the hrutish whoremaster such delight in his whore, that he will 
part with his credit, and estate, and salvation, rather than he 
will part with her ? Surely, then, there are high delights with 
God. If the way to hell can afford such pleasure, what are the 
pleasures of the saints in heaven ? if the covetous man hath so 
much pleasure in his wealth, and the ambitious man in power 
and titles of honour, what then have the saints in the everlast- 
ing treasure ? and what pleasure do the heavenly honours afford, 
where we shall be set above principalities and powers, and be 
made the glorious spouse of Christ ? What pleasure do the 
voluptuous find in their sensual courses ? How closely will they 
follow their hunting, and hawking, and other recreations, from 
morning to night I How delightfully will they sit at their cards 
and dice, hours and days and nights together ! O the de- 
light that must needs then be in beholding the face of the living 
God, and in singing' forth praises to him and the Lamb, which 
must he our recreation when we come to our rest ! 

Sect. IV. 2. Compare also the delights above with the lawful 
delights of moderated senses.*^ Think with thyself. How sweet 
is food to my taste when I am hungry, especially, as Isaac said, 
that which my soul loveth, that whic