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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"






y. ' 





' AND 





VOL.. IV. 
































Directions about Marriage for Choice and Contract 1 

Q. Whether Marriage be indifferent? Who are called to 

marry ? Who may not marry ? 2 

Q. What if parents command it to one that it will be a hurt 
to ? What if I have a corporal necessity, when yet Mar- 
riage is like to be a great hurt to my soul ? Of parents' 

prohibition 5 

Q. What if parents forbid Marriage to one that cannot live 

chastely without it ? or when aflfections are unconquerable ? 6 
Q. What if the child have promised Marriage, and the pa* 
rents be against it ? Of the sense of Numb. xxx. How far 

such promise must be kept ? , 9 

Q. What if the parties be actually married without parents' 

consent ? 11 

Q. May the aged marry that are frigid, impotent, sterile? . . 12 
The incommodities of a married life to be considered by them 

that need restraint 13 

Especially to ministers 20 

Further Directions 22 

How to cure lustful Love 24 

iJcveral cases about marrying with an ungodly person 25 



Q. 1. What rule to follow about prohibited degrees of con- 
sanguinity. Whether the law of Moses, or of nature, or 
the laws of the land or church, &c 32 

Q. 2. What to do if the law of the land forbid more degrees 
than Moses's law 33 

Q. 3. Of the Marriage of cousin germans, beforehand ibid. 

Q. 4. What such should do after they are married 34 

Q. 5. What must they after do that are married in the de- 
grees not forbidden by name. Lev. xviii. and yet of the 
same nearness and reason ibid. 

Q. 6. If they marry in a degree forbidden. Lev. xviii. may not 
necessity make it lawful to continue it, as it made lawful the 
marriage of Adam's sons and daughters 35 

Q. 7. Whether a Vow of Chastity or Celibate may be broken, 
and in what cases 3t> 


Directions for the choice of 1 . Servants 40 

2. Masters 43 



A£f. Proved against the cavils of the profane, and some secta- 
ries , 48 

What solemn Worship is ibid. 

What a Family 50 

Proof as to Worship in general 51 

Family advantages for Worship 52 

The natural obligation on Families to worship God 54 

Families must be sanctified societies 57 

Instructing Families is a duty 62 

Family discipline is a duty 66 

Solemn prayer and praise are Family duties 67 

Objections answered 83 



Of the frequency and seasons of Family Worship. 1 . Whe- 
ther it should be every day. 2. Whether twice a day. 3. 
Whether morning and evening 86 


General Directions for the Holy Government of Families .... 90 

How to keep up authority ibid. 

Of skill in Governing , 92 

Of holy willingness 94 


Special Motives to persuade men to the Holy Government of 
their Families 96 


Motives for a holy and careful Education of Children .... 105 


The mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives towards each 

other 116 

How to maintain due conjugal Love 117 

Of Adultery 120 

Motives and means against Dissention 123 

Motives and means to further each others* salvation 127 

Further duties 130 


The special Duties of Husbands to their Wives 141 




The special Duty of Wives to their Husbands 145 

Q. How far may a wife give, without her husband's consent? 150 

Q. Of Wives' propriety 151 

Q. Is a Wife guilty of her Husband's unlawful getting, if 

she keep it ? And is she bound to reveal it, (as in robbing ?) 152 
Q. May a Wife go to hear sermons when her Husband for- 

biddethher? 153 

Q, Must a woman proceed to admonish a wicked Husband 

when it maketh him worse ? 1 54 

Q. What she must do in controverted cases of religion, when 

her judgment and her Husband's differ 155 

Q. How long, or in what cases may Husbands and Wives be 

distant ibid. 

Q. May the bare commands of princes separate Husbands and 

Wives, (as ministers, judges, soldiers ?) 156 

Q. May Ministers leave their Wives to go abroad to preach 

the Gospel ? 157 

Q. May one leave a Wife to save his life in case of personal 

persecution or danger? 158 

i/ Q. May Husband and Wife part by consent, if they find it to 

be for the good of both ? ibid. 

^' Q, May they consent to be divorced, and to marry others ? . . 159 

V Q. Doth Adultery dissolve Marriage ? ibid. 

Q. Is the injured person bound to divorce the other, or left 

free? . . 160 

/Q. Is it the proper privilege of the man to put away an adul- 
terous Wife, or is it also in the woman's power to depart 

from an adulterous Husband ? ibid. 

Q. May there be putting away, or departing without the Ma- 
gistrate's divorce or licence? 161 

Q. What if both parties be adulterous ? 162 

Q. What if one purposely commit adultery to be separate from 

the other ? 163 

Q. Doth Infidelity dissolve the relation ? ibid. 

Q. Doth the desertion of one party disoblige the other ? . . . ibid. 
Q. Must a woman follow a malignant Husband that goeth 

from the means of grace ? ibid. 

Q. Must she follow him, if it be but to poverty oi beggary r 164 



Q. What to do in case of known intention of one to murder 

the other ? 165 

Q. Or if there be a fixed hatred of each other ? ibid, 

Q. What if a man will not suffer his wife to hear, read, or 
pray : or do beat her so, as to unfit her for duty : or a wo- 
man will rail at the Husband in prayer time ? &c 166 

Q. Who may marry after parting or divorce ? 167 

Q. Is it lawful to suffer, yea, or contribute to the known sin 
materially of Wife, Child, Servant, or other relations ? 
Where is opened what is in our power to do against sin, and 

what not ibid. 

Q. If a Gentleman have a great estate by which he may do 
much good, and his Wife be so proud, prodigal, and peevish, 
that if she may not waste it all in housekeeping and pride, 
she wiU die or grow mad, or give him no quietness, what is 
his duty in so sad a case? 173 


The Duties of Parents for their Cliildren. Where are twenty 
special Directions for their education 1 75 

The Duties of Children towards their Parents 


The special Duties of Children and Youth towards God .... 199 


'The Duties of Servants to their Masters . . 





•^ Tit. 1. The Duty of Masters towards their Servants 209 

Tit. 2. The Duty of Masters to Slaves in the Plantations . . 212 
Q. 1. Is it lawful for a Christian to buy and use a man as a 

Slave } 215 

Q. 2. Is it lawful to use a Christian as a Slave ? 216 

Q. 3. What difference must we make between a Servant and 

a Slave ? 217 

Q. 4. What if men buy Negroes^ or other Slaves, of such as 

we may think did steal them, or buy them of Robbers and 

Tyrants, and not by consent ? 218 

Q. 5. May I not sell such again and make my money of them ? ibid. 

Q. 6. May 1 not return them to him that I bought them of? 219 


The Duties of Children and Fellow Servants to one another ? 220 


Directions for Holy Conference of Fellow Servants and others 224 

Q. May we speak good when the heart is not aflfected with it ? 225 
Q. Is that the fruit of the Spirit which we force our tongues 

to? ibid. 


Directions for every Member of the Family, how to spend 
every ordinary day of the Week 230 


Tit. 1. Directions for the Holy Spending of the Lord's day in 
Families 240 




Whether the whole day should be kept holy ? ^42 

Tit, 2. More particular Directions for the order of holy duties 
on that day 248 


Directions for profitable Hearing God's Word preached ... 251 
Tit. 1. Directions for Understanding the Word which you 

hear ibid. 

Tit. 2. Directions for Remembering what you hear 254 

Tit. 3. Directions for Holy Resolutions and Affections in hearing 257 

Tit. 4. Directions to bring what we hear into practice .... 259 

Directions for profitable Reading the Holy Scriptures .... 263 

Directions for Reading other Books 266 


Directions for right Teaching Children and Servants, so as is 
most likely to have success. The sum of Christian Religion 270 


Tit. 1. Directions for Prayer in general 281 

A Scheme or brief Explication of the Exact Method of the 

Lord's Prayer 287 

Tit.'Z. Cases about Prayer 289 



Q. 1. Is the Lord's Prayer to be used as a form of words, or 

only as a Directory for Matter and Method ibid. 

Q. 2. What need is there of any other Prayer, if this be perfect ? 290 

Q. 3. Is it lawful to pray in a set form of words ? 291 

Q. 4. Are those forms lawful which are prescribed by man, 

and not by God ? ibid. 

Q. 5. Is free Praying, called extempore, lawful ? 292 

Q. 6. Which is the better ? ibid. 

Q. 7- Must we ever follow the Method of the Lord's Prayer > 293 
Q. 8. Must we pray only when the Spirit moveth us, or as 

reason guideth us ? 294 

Q. 9. May he pray for grace, who desireth it not ? 295 

Q. 10. May he pray that doubteth of his interest in God, and 

dare not call him Father as his child ? ibid. 

Q. 11. May a wicked man pray, or is he ever accepted ? 296 

Q. 12. May a wicked man use the Lord's prayer? ibid. 

Q. 13. Is it idolatry or sin always to pray to saints or angels ? 297 
Q. 14. Is a man bound to pray ordinarily in his family ? . . . . 298 
Q. 15. Must the same man pray secretly, that hath before 

prayed in his family? ^ ibid. 

Q. 16. Is it best to keep set hours for prayer ? ibid. 

Q. 17. May we join in family prayers with ungodly persons? ibid. 
Q. 18. What if the master or speaker be ungodly or a heretic ? 299 
Q. 19. May we pray absolutely for outward mercies, or only 

conditionally ? 300 

Q. 20. May we pray for all that we lawfully desire ? 301 

Q. 21. How may we pray for the salvation of all the world ? ibid. 

Q. 22. Or for the conversion of all nations ? 302 

Q. 23. Or that a whole kingdom may be converted and saved? ibid. 
Q. 24. Or for the destruction of the enemies of Christ, or the 

kingdom ? ibid. 

Q. 25. What is to be judged of a particular faith ? ibid. 

Q. 26. Is every lawful prayer accepted ? 303 

Q. 27. With what faith must I pray for the souls or bodies 

of others ? ibid. 

Q. 28. With what faith may we pray for the continuance of 

the church or Gospel ? 304 

Q. 29. How to know when our prayers are heard ibid. 

Q. 30. How to have fulness and constant supply of matter in 

our prayers ibid. 

Q. 31 , How to keep up fervency in prayer 306 



Q. 32. May we look to speed ever the better for any thing in 
ourselves or our prayers ? Or may we put any trust in them ? 308 

Q. 33. How must that person and prayer be qualified, which ' 
God will accept ? 309 

Tit.S. Special Directions for Family Prayer ibid. 

Tit. 4. Special Directions for Secret Prayer 311 


Directions for Families about the Sacrament of the Lord*s 
Supper 312 

What are the ends of the Sacrament ? What are the parts of it ? ibid. 

Q. 1. Should not the Sacrament have more preparation than 
the other parts of worship } 318 

Q. 2. How oft should it be administered } 319 

Q. 3. Must all members of the visible church communicate ? 320 

Q. 4. May any man receive it, that knoweth himself unsanc- 
tified ? ibid 

Q. 5. May an ungodly man receive it, that knoweth not him- 
self to be ungodly ? • ibid. 

Q. 6. Must a Christian receive who doubteth of his sincerity ? 321 

Q. 7. What if superiors compel a doubting Christian to re- 
ceive it, by excommunication or imprisonment : what 
should he choose > 322 

Q. 8. Is not the case of an hypocrite that knoweth not him- 
eelf to be an hypocrite, and of the sincere who knoweth not 
himself to be sincere, all one, as to communicating ? . . . . 323 

Q. 9. Wherein lieth the sin of an ungodly person if he receive? ibid. 

Q. 10. Doth all unworthy receiving make one liable to dam- 
nation } or what } 324 

Q. 11. What is the particular preparation needful to a fit 
communicant ? 325 

Marks of sincerity ibid. 

Preparing duties 327 

Q. 1. May we receive from an ungodly minister ? 329 

Q. 2. May we communicate with unworthy persons in an 
undisciplined church ? • ibid. 

Q. 3. What if I cannot communicate unless I conform to an 
imposed gesture, as sitting, standing, or kneeling ? 331 



Q. 4. What if I cannot receive it, but as administered by the 

Common Prayer ? • • • • 331 

Q. 5. If my conscience be not satisfied, may I come doubting? 332 

Obj. Is it not a duty to follow conscience as God's officer ? • • 333 

What to do in the time of administration ? ibid. 

1. What graces must be exercised ? 334 

2. On what objects ibid. 

3. The Season and Order of Sacramental Duties 336 


Directions for fearful, troubled Christians who are perplexed 

with doubts of their sincerity and justification 342 

Causes and Cure 343 


Tit. 1. Directions for declining, backsliding Christians : and 

about Perseverance 351 

The several sorts of backsliders ibid. 

The way of falling into sects, and heresieS;, and errors .... 352 

Andof declining in heart and life 353 

Signs of declining 356 

Signs of a graceless state 358 

Dangerous signs of impenitency 359 

False signs of declining 360 

Motives against declining 361 

Directions against it 369 

Tit. 2. Directions for perseverance, or to prevent backsliding ibid. 
Antidotes against those doctrines of presumption which would 

hinder our perseverance 373 


Directions for the Poor 379 

The Temptations of the Poor 383 

The special Duties of the Poor 386 




Directions for the Rich 389 


Directions for the Aged and Weak 396 


Directions for the Sick ', 403 

Tit. 1. Directions for a safe death, to secure salvation .... ibid. 

I. For the unconverted in their sickness. (A sad case.) 1. 
For examination j 2. For repentance : 3. For faith in 
Christ } 4. For a new heart, love to God, and resolution for 
obedience ibid. 

Q. Will late repentance serve the turn, in such a case? .... 411 

II. Directions to the godly for a safe departure 412 

Their temptations to be resisted 414 

Tit. 2. How to profit by our sickness 416 

Tit. 3. Directions for a comfortable or peaceable death . . . 420 
Directions for resisting the temptations of Satan in time of 

sickness 433 

Tit. 4. Directions for doing good to others in our sickness . . 439 


Directions to the friends of the sick that are about them . . . 443 

Q. Can physic lengthen men's lives ? 444 

Q. 1. Is it meet to make known to the sick their danger of 

death? 446 

Q. 2. Must we tell bad men of their sin and misery when it 

may exasperate the disease by troubling them ? ibid 



Q. 3. What can be done in so short a time ? 447 

Q. 4. What to do in doubtful cases ? 448 

Q. 5. What order should be observed in counselling the ig- 
norant and ungodly when time is so short ? ibid. 

Helps against excessive sorrovi^ for the death of friends ; yea, 

of the worst 451 

A Form of Exhortation to be read in sickness to the ungodly, 

or those that we justly fear are such 452 

A Form of Exhortation to the godly in sickness, for their com- 
fort. Their dying groans and joys 465 








Directions about Marriage; for Choice and Contract. 

As the persons of Christians in their most private capaci- 
ties are holy, as being dedicated and separated unto God, so 
also must their families be : HOLINESS TO THE LORD 
must be as it were written on their doors, and on their rela- 
tions, their possessions and affairs. To which it is requi- 
site, 1. That there be a holy constitution of their families. 
2. And a holy government of them, and discharge of the 
several duties of the members of the family. To the right 
constituting of a family, belongeth, (1.) The right contract- 
ing of marriage, and (2.) The right choice and contract be- 
twixt masters and their servants. For the first. 

Direct, i. ' Take heed that neither lust nor rashness do 
thrust you into a married condition, before you see such 
reasons to invite you to it, as may assure you of the call and 
approbation of God.' For, 1. It is God that you must 
serve in your married state, and therefore it is meet that 


2 c:hristian directory. [part ii. 

you take his counsel before you rush upon it : for he 
knoweth best himself, what belongeth to his service. 2. 
And it is God that you must still depend upon, for the bles- 
sing and comforts of your relation : and therefore there is 
very great reason that you take his advice and consent, as 
the chief things requisite to the match. If the consent of 
parents be necessary, much more is the consent of God. 

Quest, ' But how shall a man know whether God call 
him to marriage, or consent unto it ? Hath he not here left 
all men to their liberties, as in a thing indifferent V 

Answ. God hath not made any universal law command- 
ing or forbidding marriage; but in this regard hath left it 
indifferent to mankind : yet not allowing all to marry (for 
undoubtedly to some it is unlawful). But he hath by other 
general laws or rules directed men to know, in what cases it 
is lawful, and in What cases it is a sin. As every man is 
bound to choose that condition in which he may serve God 
with the best advantages, and which tendeth most to his 
spiritual welfare, and increase in holiness. Now there is no- 
thing in marriage itself which maketh it commonly incon- 
sistent with these benefits, and the fulfilling of these laws : 
and therefore it is said, that ** he that marrieth doth well*," 
that is, he doth that which of itself is not unlawful, and 
which to some is the most eligible state of life. But there 
is something in a single life which maketh it, especially to 
preachers and persecuted Christians, to be more usually the 
most advantageous state of life, to these ends of Christian- 
ity ; and therefore it is said, that " he that marrieth not, 
doth better." And yet to individual persons, it is hard to 
imagine how it can choose but be either a duty or a sin ; 
at least except in some unusual cases. For it is a thing of 
so great moment as to the ordering of our hearts and lives, 
that it is hard to imagine that it should ever be indifferent 
as a means to our main end, but must either be a very great 
help or hindrance. But yet if there be any persons whose 
case may be so equally poised with accidents on both sides, 
that to the most judicious man it is not discernible, whe- 
ther a single or married state of life, is like to conduce more 
to their personal holiness or public usefulness, or the good 

a 1 Cor. vii. 7, 38- 


of others, to such persons marriage in the individual circum- 
stantiated act is a thing indifferent. 

By these conditions following you may know, what per- 
sons have a call from God to marry, and who have not his 
call or approbation. 1. If there be the peremptory will or 
command of parents to children that are under their power 
and government, and no greater matter on the contrary to 
hinder it, the command of parents signifieth the command 
of God : but if parents do but persuade and not command, 
though their desires must not be causelessly refused, yet a 
smaller impediment may preponderate than in case of a per- 
emptory command. 2. They are called to marry who have 
not the gift of continence, and cannot by the use of lawful 
means attain it, and have no impediment which maketh it 
unlawful to them to marry. *' But if they cannot contain, 
let them marry ; for it is better to marry than to burn ^." 
But here the divers degrees of the urgent and the hindering 
causes must be compared, and the weightiest must prevail. 
For some that have very strong lusts may yet have stronger 
impediments : and though they cannot keep that chastity in 
their thoughts as they desire, yet in such a case they must 
abstain. And there is no man but may keep his body in 
chastity if he will do his part : yea, and thoughts them- 
selves may be commonly, and for the most part kept pure, 
and wanton imaginations quickly checked, if men be godly, 
and will do what they can. But on the other side there are 
some that have a more tameable measure of concupiscence, 
and yet have no considerable hindrance, whose duty it may 
be to marry, as the most certain and successful means 
against that small degree, as long as there is nothing to for- 
bid it. 3. Another cause that warranteth marriage is, when 
upon a wise casting up of all accounts, it is apparently most 
probable that in a married state, one may be most service- 
able to God and the public good : that there will be in it 
greater helps and fewer hindrances to the great ends of our 
lives ; the glorifying of God, and the saving of ourselves and 
others. And whereas it must be expected that every con- 
dition should be more helpful to us in one respect, and hin- 
der us more in another respect ; and that in one we have 
most helps for a contemplative life, and in another we ar^ 

h 1 Cor. vii. 9. 


better furnished for an active, serviceable life, the great 
skill therefore in the discerning of our duties, lieth in the 
prudent pondering and comparing of the commodities and 
discommodities, without the seduction of fantasy, lust or 
passion, and in a true discerning which side it is that hath 
the greatest weight ^. 

Here it must be carefully observed, 1. That the two first 
reasons for marriage (concupiscence and the will of parents), 
or any such like, have their strength but in subordination 
to the third (the final cause, or interest of God and our sal- 
vation). And that this last reason (from the end) is of it- 
self sufficient without any of the other, but none of the other 
are sufficient without this. If it be clear that in a married 
state you have better advantages for the service of God, 
and doing g^od to others, and saving your own souls, than 
you can have in a single state of life, then it is undoubtedly 
your duty to marry : for our obligation to seek our ultimate 
end is the mo&t constant, indispensable obligation. Though 
parents command it not, though you have no corporal ne- 
cessity, yet it is a duty if it certainly make most for your 
ultimate end. 2. But yet observe also, that no pretence of 
your ultimate end itself will warrant you to marry, when any 
other accident hath first made it a thing unlawful, while 
that accident continueth. For we must not do evil that 
good may come by it. Our salvation is not furthered by 
sin : and though we saw a probability that we might do more 
good to others, if we did but commit such a sin to accomplish 
it, yet it is not to be done. For our lives and mercies being 
all in the hand of God, and the successes and acceptance 
of all our endeavours depending wholly upon him, it can 
never be a rational way to attain them, by wilful offending 
him by our sin ! It is a likely means to public good for 
able and good men to be magistrates and ministers : and yet 
he that would lie, or be perjured, or commit any known sin 
that he may be a magistrate, or that he may preach the Gos- 
pel, might better expect a curse on himself and his endea- 
vours, than God's acceptance, or his blessing and success : 
so he that would sin to change his state for the better, would 

" « Unmarried men are tlie best friends, the best masters, the best servants ; but 
not always the best subjects : for they are light to run away, and therefore venturous, 
&c. Lord Bacon, Essay 8. 


find that he changed it for the worse : or if it do good to 
others, he may expect no good but ruin to himself, if repen- 
tance prevent it not. 3. Observe also that if the question 
be only which state of life it is (married or single) which best 
eonduceth to this ultimate end, then any one of the subor- 
dinate reasons will prove that we have a call, if there be not 
greater reasons on the contrary side. As in case you have 
no corporal necessity, the will of parents alone may oblige 
you, if there be no greater thing against it : or if parents 
oblige you not, yet corporal necessity alone may do it : or if 
neither of these invite you, yet a clear probability of the at- 
taining of such an estate or opportunity, as may make you 
more fit to relieve many others, or be serviceable to the 
church, or the blessing of children who may be devoted to 
God, may warrant your marriage, if no greater reasons lie 
against it : for when the scales are equal, any one of these 
may turn them. 

By this also you may perceive who they be that have no 
call to marry, and to whom it is a sin. As 1. No man hath 
a call to marry, who laying all the commodities and discom- 
modities together, may clearly discern that a married state 
is like to be a greater hindrance of his salvation, or to his 
serving or honouring God in the world, and so to disadvan- 
tage him as to his ultimate end. 

Quest. * But what if parents do command it ? or will set 
against me if I disobey V 

Answ. Parents have no autnority to command you any 
thing against God or your salvation, or your ultimate end. 
Therefore here you owe them no formal obedience : but yet 
the will of parents with all the consequents, must be put in- 
to the scales with all other considerations, and if they make 
the discommodities of a single life to become the greater, as 
to your end, then they may bring you under a duty or obli- 
gation to marry : not * necessitate praecepti,' as obedience to 
their command ; but ' necessitate medii,' as a means to your 
ultimate end, and in obedience to that general command of 
God, which requireth you to " seek first" your ultimate end, 
even ** the kingdom of God, and his righteousness '*." 

Quest. ' But what if I have a corporal necessity and yet 

<< Matt. 


I can foresee that marriage will greatly disadvantage me as 
to the service of God and my salvation V 

Ansio. 1. You must understand that no corporal neces- 
sity is absolute : for there is no man so lustful but may pos- 
sibly bridle his lust by other lawful means : by diet, labour, 
sober company, diverting business, solitude, watching the 
thoughts and senses, or at least by the physician's help ; so 
that the necessity is but ' secundum quid,' or an urgency 
rather than a simple necessity. And then 2. This measure 
of necessity must be itself laid in the balance with the other 
accidents: and if this necessity will turn the scales by 
making a single life more disadvantageous to your ultimate 
end, your lust being a greater impediment to you, than all 
the inconveniences of marriage will be, then the case is re- 
solved, " it is better to marry than to burn." But if the hin- 
drances in a married state are like to be greater, than the 
hindrances of your concupiscence, then you must set your- 
self to the curbing and curing of that concupiscence ; and 
in the use of God's means expect his blessing. 

2. Children are not ordinarily, called of God to marry, 
when their parents do absolutely and peremptorily forbid it. 
For though parents' commands cannot make it a duty, when 
we are sure it would hinder the interest of God our ultimate 
end ; yet parents' prohibitions may make it a sin, when there 
is a clear probability that it would most conduce to our ul- 
timate end, were it not prohibited. Because (1.) Affirma- 
tives bind not ' semper et ad semper' as negatives or prohi- 
bitions do. (2.) Because the sin of disobedience to parents 
will cross the tendency of it unto good, and do more against 
our ultimate end, than all the advantages of marriage can do 
for it. A duty is then to us no duty, when it cannot be per- 
formed without a chosen, wilful sin. In many cases we are 
bound to forbear what a governor forbiddeth, when we are 
not bound to do the contrary if he command it. It is easier 
to make a duty to be no duty, than to make a sin to be no 
sin. One bad ingredient may turn a duty into a sin, when 
one good ingredient will not turn a sin into a duty, or into 
no sin. 

Quest. ' But may not a governor's prohibition be over- 
weighed by some great degrees of incommodity? It is bet- 
ter to marry than to burn. 1. What if parents forbid chil- 


dren to marry absolutely until death, and so deprive them of 
the lawful remedy against lust ? 2. And if they do not so,, 
yet if they forbid it them when it is to them most seasonable 
and necessary, itseemeth little better. 3. Or if they forbid 
them to marry where their affections are so engaged, as that 
they cannot be taken off without their mutual ruin? May 
not children marry in such cases of necessity as these, with- 
out and against the will of their parents V 

Amw, I cannot deny but some cases may be imagined or 
fall out, in which it is lawful to do what a governor forbid- 
deth, and to marry against the will of parents : for they have 
their power to edification, and not unto destruction. As if 
a son be qualified with eminent gifts for the work of the mi- 
nistry, in a time and place that needeth much help ; if a ma- 
lignant parent, in hatred of that sacred office, should never 
so peremptorily forbid him, yet may the son devote himself 
to the blessed work of saving souls : even as a son may not 
forbear to relieve the poor (with that which is his own) 
though his parents should forbid him ; nor forbear to put 
himself into a capacity to relieve them for the future ; nor for- 
bear his own necessary food and raiment though he be for- 
bidden. As Daniel would not forbear praying openly in his 
house, when he was forbidden by the king and law. When 
any inseparable accident doth make a thing, of itself in- 
different, become a duty, a governor's prohibition will not 
discharge us from that duty, unless the accident be smaller 
than the accident of the ruler's prohibition, and then it may 
be overweighed by it ; but to determine what accidents are 
greater or less is a difficult task. 

And as to the particular questions, to the first I answer. 
If parents forbid their children to marry while they live, it 
is convenient and safe to obey them until death, if no greater 
obligation to the contrary forbid it : but it is necessary to 
obey them during the time that the children live under the 
government of their parents, as in their houses, in their 
younger years (except in some few extraordinary cases). 
But when parents are dead (though they leave commands ia 
their wills) or when age or former marriage hath removed 
children from under their government, a smaller matter will 
serve to justify their disobedience here, than when the cIuIt 
dren in minority are less fit to govern themselves. Fo^p 


though we owe parents a limited obedience still, yet at full 
age the child is more at his own dispose than he was before. 
Nature hath given us a hint of her intention in the instinct 
of brutes, who are all taught to protect, and lead, and pro- 
vide for their young ones, while the young are insufficient 
for themselves ; but when they are grown to self-sufficiency, 
they drive them away or neglect them. If a wise son that 
hath a wife and many children, and great affairs to manage 
in the world, should be bound to as absolute obedience to 
his aged parents, as he was in his childhood, it would ruin 
their affairs, and parents* government would pull down that 
in their old age, which they built up in their middle age. 

And to the second question I answer, that, 1. Children 
that pretend to unconquerable lust or love, must do all they 
can to subdue such inordinate affections, and bring their 
lusts to stoop to reason and their parents' wills. And if 
they do their best, there are either none, or not one of many 
hundreds, but may maintain their chastity together with 
their obedience. 2. And if any say, ' I have done my best, 
and yet am under a necessity of marriage ; and am I not 
then bound to marry though my parents forbid me V I an- 
swer, it is not to be believed : either you have not done your 
best, or else you are not under a necessity. And your ur- 
gency being your own fault (seeing you should subdue it), 
God still obligeth you both to subdue your vice, and to 
obey your parents. 3. But if there should be any one that 
hath such an (incredible) necessity of marriage, he is to pro- 
cure some others to solicit his parents for their consent, and 
if he cannot obtain it, some say, it is his duty to marry with- 
out it: I should rather say that it is ' minus malum,' * the 
lesser evil :' and that having cast himself into some necessity 
of sinning, it is still his duty to avoid both, and to choose 
neither ; but it is the smaller sin to choose to disobey his 
parents, rather than to live in the flames of lust and the filth 
of unchastity. And some divines say, that in such a case a 
son should appeal to the magistrate, as a superior authority 
above the father. But others think, 1 . That this leaveth it 
as difficult to resolve what he shall do, if the magistrate also 
consent not : and 2. That it doth but resolve one difficulty 
by a greater : it being very doubtful whether in domestic 
cases the authority of the parent or the magistrate be the 


3. The same answer serveth as to the third Question, 
when parents forbid you to marry the persons that you are 
most fond of. For such fondness (whether you call it lust 
or love) as will not stoop to reason and your parents' wills, 
is inordinate and sinful. And therefore the thing that God 
bindeth you to, is by his appointed means to subdue it, 
and to obey : but if you cannot, the accidents and probable 
consequents must tell you which is the lesser evil. 

Quest. * But what if the child have promised marriage, 
and the parents be against it?' Answ. If the child was 
under the parents' government, and short of years of dis- 
cretion also, the promise is void for want of capacity. And 
if the child was at age, yet the promise was a sinful pro- 
mise, as to the promising act, and also as to the thing 
promised during the parents' dissent. If the ' actus pro- 
mittendi' only had been sinful (* the promise making') the 
promise might nevertheless oblige (unless it were null as 
well as sinful). But the 'materia promissa' being sinful 
(* the matter promised') to marry while parents do dissent, 
such a child is bound to forbear the fulfilling of that pro- 
mise till the parents do consent or die. And yet he is 
bound from marrying any other (unless he be disobliged 
by the person that he made the promise to), because he 
knoweth not but his parents may consent hereafter ; and 
whenever they consent or die, the promise then is obliga- 
tory, and must be performed. 

The third Chapter of Numbers enableth parents to diso- 
blige a daughter that is in their house, from a vow made to 
God, so be it they disavow it at the first hearing. Hence there 
are two doubts arise : 1. Whether this power extend not to 
the disobliging of a promise or contract of matrimony ? 2. 
Whether it extend not to a son as well as a daughter. And 
most expositors are for the affirmative of both cases. But 
I have shewed before that it is upon uncertain grounds. 
1. It is uncertain whether God, who would thus give up his 
own right in case of vowing, will also give away the right 
of others without their consent in case of promises or con- 
tracts. And 2. It is uncertain whether this be not an in- 
dulgence only of the weaker sex, seeing many words in the 
text seem plainly to intimate so' much. And it is danger- 
ous upon our own presumptions to stretch God's laws to 


every thing we imagine there is the same reason for : seeing 
our imaginations may so easily be deceived : and God could 
have expressed such particulars if he would : and therefore 
(when there is not clear ground for our inferences in the 
text) it is but to say, * Thus and thus God should have said/ 
when we cannot say, 'Thus he hath said.' We must not 
make laws under pretence of expounding them : whatso- 
ever God commandeth thee, take heed that thou do it: 
thou shalt add nothing thereto, nor take aught there- 

Quest, If the question therefore be not of the sinfulness, 
but the nullity of such promises of children, because of the 
dissent of parents, for my part I am not able to prove any 
such nullity. It is said, that they are not * sui juris,' 'their 
own,' and therefore their promises are null. But if they 
have attained to years, and use of discretion, they are na- 
turally so far * sui juris' as to be capable of disposing even 
of their souls, and therefore of their fidelity. They can 
oblige themselves to God or man : though they are not so 
far *sui juris' as to be ungoverned. For so no child, no 
subject, no man is * sui juris;' seeing all are under the go- 
vernment of God. And yet if a man promise to do a thing 
sinful, it is not a nullity, but a sin : not no promise, but a 
sinful promise. A nullity is when the * actus promittendi' 
is ' reputative nullus, vel non actus.' And when no pro- 
mise is made, then none can be broken. 

Quest. But if the question be only how far such pro- 
mises must be kept? I answer, by summing up what I have 
said : 1. If the child had not the use of reason, the want of 
natural capacity, proveth the promise null : here * ignorantis 
non est consensus.' 2. If he was at age and use of reason, 
then 1. If the promising act only was sinful (as before I 
said of vows,) the promise must be both repented of, and 
kept. It must be repented of because it was a sin : it must 
be kept because it was a real promise, and the matter law- 
ful. 2. If the promising act was not only a sin, but a nul- 
lity (by any other reason) then it is no obligation. 3. If 
not only the promising act be sin, but also the matter 
promised (as is marrying without parents' consent), then it 
must be repented of, and not performed until it become 

« Deut. xii. 32. 


lawful ; because an oath or promise cannot bind a man to 
violate the laws of God. 

Quest. ' But what if the parties be actually married without 
the parents' consent? Must they live together, or be separat- 
ed?' Aiisiv. 1. If marriage be consummated 'per carnalemcon- 
cubitum/ * by the carnal knowledge of each other/ I see 
no reason to imagine that parents can dissolve it, or pro- 
hibit their cohabitation. For the marriage, for aught I 
ever saw, is not proved a nullity, but only a sin, and their 
* concubitus' is not fornication : and parents cannot for- 
bid husband and wife to live together: and in marriage 
they do (really though sinfully) forsake father and mother 
and cleave to each other, and so are now from under their 
government, though not disobliged from all obedience. 2. 
But if marriage be only by verbal conjunction, divines are 
disagreed what is to be done : some think that it is no per- 
fect marriage * ante concubitum,' and also that their con- 
junction hath but the nature of a promise (to be faithful 
to each other as husband and wife): and therefore the mat- 
ter promised is unlawful till parents consent, and so not to 
be done. But I rather think, as most do, that it hath all 
that is essential to marriage * ante concubitum ;' and that 
this marriage is more than a promise of fidelity ' de futuro,' 
even an actual delivery of themselves to one another ' de 
prsesenti' also : and that the thing promised in marriage i^ 
lawful : for though it be a sin to marry without parents' 
consent, yet when that is past, it is lawful for married per^ 
sons to come together though parents consent not : and 
therefore that such marriage is valid, and to be continued 
though it was sinfully made. 

3. A third sort that are not called of God to marry, are 
they that have absolutely vowed not to marry : such may 
not marry, unless Providence disoblige them, by making it 
become an indispensable duty : and I can remember but 
two ways by which this may be done. 1. In case there be 
any of so strong lust, as no other lawful means but mar- 
riage can suffice to maintain their chastity ; to such, mar* 
riage is as great a duty as to eat or drink, or cover one's 
nakedness, or to hinder another from uncleanness, or lying, 
or stealing, or the like. And if you should make a vow 


that you will never eat or drink, or that you will go naked, 
or that you will never hinder any one from uncleanness, ly- 
ing, or stealing, it is unlawful to fulfil this vow. But all the 
doubt is, whether there be any such persons that cannot 
overcome, or restrain their lust by any other lawful means ? 
I suppose it is possible there may be such : but I believe 
it is not one of an hundred : if they will but practise the 
directions before given. Part i. Chap. viii. Part v. Tit. 1. 
and 2. I suppose their lust may be restrained : and if 
that prevail not, the help of a physician may. And if that 
prevail not, some think the help of a surgeon may be law- 
ful, to keep a vow, in case it be not an apparent hazard of 
life. For Christ seemeth to allow of it, in mentioning it 
without reproof. Matt. xix. 12. if that text be to be under- 
stood of castration : but most expositors think it is meant 
only of a confirmed resolution of chastity. And ordinarily 
other means may make this needless. And if it be either 
needless or perilous it is unlawful without doubt. 

2. The second way by which God may dispense with a 
vow of chastity is, by making the marriage of a person be- 
come of apparent necessity to the public safety. And I am 
able to discern but one instance that will reach the case ; 
and that is, if a king have vowed chastity, and in case he 
marry not, his next heir being a professed enemy of Chris- 
tianity, the religion, safety and happiness of the whole na- 
tion are apparently in danger to be overthrown. I think the 
case of such a king is like the case of a father that had 
vowed never to provide food or raiment for his children. 
Or as if Ahab had vowed that no well should be digged in 
the land ; and when the drought cometh, it is become ne- 
cessary to the saving of the people's lives. Or as if the 
ship-master should vow that the ship shall not be pumped ; 
which when it leaketh doth become necessary to save their 
lives. In these cases God disobligeth you from your vow 
by a mutation of the matter ; and a pastor may dispense 
with it declaratively. But for the pope or any mortal man 
to pretend to more, is impiety and deceit. 

Quest, ' May the aged marry that are frigid, impotent, 
and uncapable of procreation V Answ. Yes, God hath not 
forbidden them : and there are other lawful ends of mar- 


riage, as mutual help and comfort, &c. which may make it 
lawful ^ 

Direct, u. 'To restrain your inordinate forwardness to 
marriage, keep the ordinary inconveniencies of it in me- 
mory.' Rush not into a state of life, the inconveniencies of 
which you never thought on. If you have a call to it, the 
knowledge of the difficulties and duties will be necessary to 
your preparation, and faithful undergoing them : if you have 
no call, this knowledge is necessary to keep you off. I 
shall first name the inconveniencies common to all, and 
then some that are proper to the ministers of the Gospel, 
which have a greater reason to avoid a married life than 
other men have. 

1. Marriage ordinarily plungeth men into excess of 
worldly cares : it multiplieth their business, and usually 
their wants. There are many things to mind and do : there 
are many to provide for. And many persons you will have 
to do with ; who have all of them a selfish disposition and 
interest, and will judge of you but according as you fit 
their ends. And among many persons and businesses, 
some things will frequently fall cross: you must look for 
many rubs and disappointments. And your natures are 
not so strong, content and patient, as to bear all these 
without molestation. 

2. Your wants in a married state are hardlier supplied, 
than in a single life. You will want so many things which 
before you never wanted, and have so many to provide for 
and content ; that all will seem little enough, if you had 
never so much. Then you will be often at your wit's end, 
taking thought for the future, what you shall eat, and what 
you shall drink, and wherewith shall you and yours be 

3. Your wants in a married state are far hardlier borne 
than in a single state. It is far easier to bear personal 
wants ourselves, than to see the wants of wife and chil- 
dren : affection will make their sufferings pinch you. And 
ingenuity will make it a trouble to your mind, to need the 
help of servants, and to want that which is fit for servants 

^ Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for the middle age, and old 
men's nurses. So that a man may have a quarrel to marry when he will. Lord 
Bacon, Essay 8. 


to expect. Bat especially the discontent and impatience 
of your family will more discontent you than all their wants. 
You cannot help your wife, and children, and servants to 
contented minds. O what a heart-cutting trial is it, to 
hear them repining, murmuring, and complaining ! To hear 
them call for that which you have not for them ; and grieve 
at their condition, and exclaim of yon, or of the providence 
of God, because they have it not ! And think not that 
riches will free you from these discontents : for as the rich 
are but few, so they that have much have much to do with 
it. A great foot must have a great shoe. When poor men 
want some small supplies, rich men may want great sums, 
or larger provisions, which the poor can do without. And 
their condition lifting them up to greater pride, doth tor- 
ment them with greater discontents. How few in all the 
world that have families, are content with their estates ! 

4. Hereupon a married life containeth far more tempta- 
tions to worldliness or covetousness, than a single state 
doth. For when you think you need more, you will desire 
more: and when you find all too little to satisfy those that 
you provide for, you will measure your estate by their de- 
sires, and be apt to think that you have never enough. 
Birds and beasts that have young ones to provide for, are 
most hungry and rapacious. You have so many now to 
scrape for, that you will think you are still in want : it is 
not only till death that you must now lay up ; but you 
must provide for children that survive you. And while you 
take them to be as yourselves, you have two generations now 
to make provisions for : and most men are as covetous for 
their posterity, as if it were for themselves. 

5. And hereupon you are hindered from works of cha- 
rity to others : wife and children are the devouring gulf 
that s wall owe th all. If you had 'but yourselves to provide 
for, a little would serve ; and you could deny your own 
desires of imnecessary things; and so might have plentiful 
provision for good works. But by that time wife and chil- 
dren are provided for, and all their importunate desires sa- 
tisfied, there is nothing considerable left for pious or cha- 
ritable uses. Lamentable experience proclaimeth this. 

6. And hereby it appeareth how much a married state 
doth ordinarily hinder men from honouring their profession. 


It is their vows of single life that hath occasioned the 
Papists to do so many works of public charity, as is boasted 
of for the honour of their sect. For when they have no 
children to bequeath it to, and cannot keep it themselves, 
it is easy to them to leave it for such uses as will pacify 
their consciences most, and advance their names. And if it 
should prove as good a work and as acceptable to God, to 
educate your own children piously for his service, as to re- 
lieve the children of the poor, yet is it not so much regarded 
in the world, nor bringeth so much honour to religion. One 
hundred pounds given to the poor shall more advance the re- 
putation of your liberality and virtue, than a thousand pounds 
given to your own children, though it be with as pious an 
end, to train them up for the service of the church. And 
though this is inconsiderable, as your own honour is con- 
cerned in it, yet it is considerable, as the honour of religion 
and the good of souls are concerned in it. 

7. And it is no small patience which the natural imbe- 
cility of the female sex requireth you to prepare. Except 
it be very few that are patient and manlike, women are com- 
monly of potent fantasies, and tender, passionate, impatient 
spirits, easily cast into anger, or jealousy, or discontent ; 
and of weak understandings, and therefore unable to reform 
themselves. They are betwixt a man and a child : some 
few have more of the man, and many have more of the child ; 
but most are but in a middle state. Weakness naturally 
inclineth persons to be froward and hard to please ; as we 
see in children, old people, and sick persons. They are like 
a sore, distempered body ; you can scarce touch them bdt 
you hurt them. With too many you can scarce tell how to 
speak or look but you displease them. If you should be 
very well versed in the art of pleasing, and set yourselves to 
it with all your care, as if you made it your very business 
and had little else to do, yet it would put you hard to it, to 
please some weak, impatient persons, if not quite surpass 
your ability and skill. And the more you love them, the 
more grievous it will be, to see them still in discontents, 
weary of their condition, and to hear the clamorous expres- 
sions of their disquiet minds. Nay the very multitude of 
words that very many are addicted to, doth make some men's 
lives a continual burden to them. Mark what the Scripture 


saith ; " It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, 
than with a brawling woman in a wide house. — It is better 
to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an 
angry woman. — A continual dropping in a very rainy day, 
and a contentious woman are alike. — One man among a 
thousand have I found : but a woman among all those have 
I not found f." 

8. And there is such a meeting of faults and imperfec- 
tions on both sides, that maketh it much the harder to bear 
the infirmities of others aright. If one party only were fro- 
ward and impatient, the stedfastness of the other might 
naake it the more tolerable : but we are all sick in some mea- 
sure, of the same disease. And when weakness meeteth with 
weakness, and pride with pride, and passion with passion, 
it exasperateth the disease and doubleth the suffering. And 
our corruption is such, that though our intent be to help one 
another in our duties, yet we are apter far to stir up one 
another's distempers. 

9. The business, care, and trouble of a married life, is a 
great temptation to call down your thoughts from God, and 
to divert them from the ** one thing necessary «," and to dis- 
tract the mind, and make it indisposed to holy duty, and to 
serve God with a divided heart, as if we served him not. 
How hard is it to pray, or meditate with any serious ferven- 
cy, when you come out of a crowd of cares and businesses ! 
Hear what St. Paul saith, " For I would that all men were as 

I myself I say to the unmarried and the widows. It is 

good for them if they abide even as I. — I suppose there- 
fore that this is good for the present distress, that it is good 

for a man so to be : such shall have trouble in the flesh. 

But I would have you be without carefulness : he that is 
unmarried, careth for the things of the Lord, how he may 
please the Lord : but he that is married, careth for the things 
of the world, how he may please his wife. The unmarried 
woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be 
holy, both in body and in spirit : but she that is married 
careth for the things of the world, how she may please her 
husband. And this I speak for your own profit, not that I 
may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is cQmely, 

' Prov. xxi. 9. 19. xxv, 24. xxvii. 15. Eccles. vii. 28. 
9*li».t^ Luke X. 42. 


and that you may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 
He that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, 
but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his 
heart, that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that 
marrieth doeth well, but he that marrieth not doeth better '^.^ 
And mark Christ's own words, '* His disciples say unto him, 
if the case of a man be so with his wife, it is not good to 
marry. But he said unto them. All men cannot receive this 
saying, save they to whom it is given. — He that is able to 
receive it, let him receive it'." 

10. The business of a married state doth commonly de- 
vour almost all your time, so that little is left for holy con- 
templations, or serious thoughts of the life to come. All 
God's service is contracted and thrust into a corner, and 
done as it were on the bye : the world will scarce allow you 
time to meditate, or pray, or read the Scripture : you think 
yourselves (as Martha) under a greater necessity of dispatch- 
ing your business, than of sitting at Christ's feet to hear his 
Word. O that single persons knew (for the most part) the 
preciousness of their leisure, and how free they are to attend 
the service of God, and learn his Word, in comparison of 
the married ! 

11. There is so great a diversity of temperaments and 
degrees of understanding, that there are scarce any two per- 
sons in the world, but there is some unsuitableness between 
them. Like stones that have some unevenness, that maketh 
them lie crooked in the building ; some crossness there will 
be of opinion, or disposition, or interest, or will, by nature, 
or by custom and education ; which will stir up frequent 
discontents. b 

12. There is a great deal of duty which husband and 
wife do owe to one another ; as to instruct, admonish, pray, 
watch. over one another, and to be continual helpers to each 
other in order to their everlasting happiness ; and patiently 
to bear with the infirmities of each other. And to the weak 
and backward heart of man, the addition of so much duty 
doth add to their weariness, how good soever the work be in 
itself: and men should feel their strength, before they un- 
dertake more work. 

13. And the more they love each other, the more they 

• »• 1 Cor. vii. 7, 8. '26—28. 32—35. 37, 38. ' Matt. xix. 11, la. 

VOL. IV. ' C 


participate in each other's griefs : and one or other will be 
frequently under some sort of suffering. If one be sick, or 
lame, or pained, or defamed, or wronged, or disquieted in 
mind, or by temptation fall into any wounding sin, the other 
beareth part of the distress. Therefore before you under- 
take to bear all the burdens of another, and suffer in all 
another's hurts, it concerneth you to observe your strength, 
how much more you have than your own burdens do require. 

14. And if you should marry one that proveth ungodly, 
how exceeding great would the affliction be ! If you loved 
them, your souls would be in continual danger by them : 
they would be the most powerful instruments in the world 
to pervert your judgments, to deaden your hearts, to take 
you off from a holy life, to kill your prayers, to corrupt your 
lives, and to damn your souls. And if you should have the 
grace to escape the snare, and save yourselves, it would be 
by so much the greater difficulty and suffering, as the temp- 
tation is the greater. And what a heart-breaking would it 
be to converse so nearly with a child of the devil, that is 
like to lie for ever in hell ! The daily thoughts of it would 
be a daily death to you. 

15. Women especially must expect so much suffering 
in a married life, that if God had not put into them a natural 
inclination to it, and so strong a love to their children, as 
maketh them patient under the most annoying troubles, the 
world would ere this have been at an end, through their refusal 
of so calamitous a life. Their sickness in breeding, their 
pain in bringing forth, with the danger of their lives, the te- 
dious trouble night and day, which they have with their 
children in their nursing and their childhood ; besides their 
subjection to their husbands, and continual care of family 
affairs ; being forced to consume their lives in a multitude 
of low and troublesome businesses : all this, and much more 
would have utterly deterred that sex from marriage, if nature 
itself had not inclined them to it. 

16. And O what abundance of duty is incumbent upon 
both the parents towards every child for the saving of their 
souls *"! What incessant labour is necessary in teaching 
them the doctrine of salvation ! which made God twice over 

^ Art thou discontented with thy childless state ? Remember that of all the 
Boman kings, not one of them left the crown to his son. Plutarch de tranq. auim. 


charge them to teach his word diligently (or sharpen them) 
" unto their children, and to talk of them wlien they dit in 
their houses, and when they walk by the way, and when 
they lie down, and when they rise up ^" What abundance 
of obstinate, rooted corruptions are in thfe hearts of children, 
which parents must by all possible diligence root up ! O 
how great and hard a work is it, to speak to them of their 
sins and Saviour, of their God, their souls, and the life to 
come, with that reverence, gravity, seriousness, and unwea- 
ried constancy as the weight of the matter doth require ! and 
to suit all their actions and carriage to the same ends ! Lit- 
tle do most that have children know, what abundance of 
care and labour God will require of them, for the sanctifying 
and saving of their children's souls. Consider your fitnes^ 
for so great a work before you undertake it. 

17. It is abundance of affliction that is ordinarily to be 
expected in the miscarriages of children, when you have 
done your best, much more if you neglect your duty, as even 
godly parents too often do. After all your pains, and care, 
and labour, you must look that the foolishness of some, and 
the obstinacy of others, and the unthankfulness of those 
that you have loved best, should even pierce your hearts. 
You must look that many vices should spring up and trou- 
ble you ; and be the more grievous by how much your chil- 
dren are the more dear. And O what a grief it h to breed 
up a child to be a servant of the devil, and an enemy 6f Godf 
and godliness, and a persecutor of the church of God ! And 
to think of lying in hell for ever ! And alas ! how great isr 
the number of such ! 

18. And it is not a little care and trouble, that servanf^ 
will put you to* : so difficult is it to get those that are good, 
much more to make them good ; so great is your duty in 
teaching them, and minding them of the matters of their sal- 
vation ; so frequent will be the displeasures about your work 
and worldly business, and every one of those displeasures 
will hinder them for receiving your instructions ; that most 
families are houses of correction or affliction. 

19. And these marriage crosses are not for a year, bli't 
during life : they deprive you of all hope of relief while ydtf 
live together. There is no room for repentance, nor casting 

' Deut. vi.6, 7. xi. 19. 


about for a way to escape them. Death only must be your 
relief. And therefore such a change of your condition 
should be seriously forethought on, and all the troubles be 
foreseen and pondered. 

20. And if love make you dear to one another, your part- 
ing at death will be the more grievous. And when you first 
come together, you know that such a parting you must have : 
through all the course of your lives you may foresee it : one 
of you must see the body of your beloved, turned into a cold, 
and ghastly clod : you must follow it weeping to the grave, 
and leave it there in dust and darkness : there it must lie rot- 
ting as a loathsome lump, whose sight or smell you cannot 
endure ; till you shortly follow it, and lie down yourself in 
the same condition. All these are the ordinary concomi- 
tants and consequents of marriage ; easily and quickly 
spoken, but long and hard to be endured ! No fictions, 
but realities, and less than most have reason to expect. 
And should such a life be vainly ventured on in a pang of 
lust? or such a burden be undertaken without forethought? 

But especially the ministers of the Gospel should think 
what they do, and think again, before they enter upon a 
married life. Not that it is simply unlawful for them, or 
that they are to be tied from it by a law, as they are in 
the kingdom of Rome, for carnal ends and with odious 
effects. But so great a hindrance ordinarily is this trou- 
blesome state of life to the sacred ministration which they 
undertake, that a very clear call should be expected for 
their satisfaction. That I be not tedious, consider well but 
of these four things. 1. How well will a life of so much 
care and business agree to you, that have time little enough 
for the greater work which you have undertaken ? Do you 
know what you have to do in public and private ? in read- 
ing, meditating, praying, preaching, instructing personally, 
and from house to house ? And do you know of how great 
importance it is? even for the saving of men's souls? 
And have you time to spare for so much worldly cares and 
business? Are you not charged, " Meditate on these 
things : give thyself wholly to them ""." " No man that 
warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that 
he may please him that hath chosen him to be a soldier "." 

n> 1 Tim. iv. 15. " 2 Tim. ii. 4. 



Is not this plain? Soldiers use not to look to farms and 
servants. If you are faithful ministers, I dare confidently 
say, you will find all your time so little for your proper 
work, that many a time you will groan and say, O how short 
and swift is time ! and O, how great and slow is my work 
and duty ! 2. Consider how well a life of so great diver- 
sions, avocations and distractions, doth suit with a mind 
devoted to God, that should be always free and ready for 
his service. Your studies are on such great and mysterious 
subjects, that they require the whole mind, and all too little. 
To resolve the many difficulties that are before you, to pre- 
pare those suitable, convincing words, which may pierce 
and persuade the hearers' hearts, to get within the bosom 
of an hypocrite, to follow on the Word till it attain its effect, 
and to deal with poor souls according to their great neces- 
sity, and handle God's Word according to its holiness and 
majesty, these are things that require a whole man, and are 
not employments for a divided or distracted mind. The 
talking of women, and the crying of children, and the 
cares and business of the world, are ill preparations or at- 
tendants on these studies**. 3. Consider well whether a 
life of so great disturbance be agreeable to one whose af- 
fections should be taken up for God : and whose work must 
be all done, not formally and affectedly with the lips alone, 
but seriously with all the heart. If your heart and warm 
affections be at any time left behind, the life and power, the 
beauty and glory of your work are lost. How dead will your 
studies, and praying, and preaching, and conference be ! 
And can you keep those affections warm and vigorous for 
God, and taken up with heaven and heavenly things, which 
are disturbed with the cares and the crosses of the world, 
and taken up with carnal matters? 4. And consider also 
how well that indigent life will agree to one that by charity 
and good works should second his doctrine, and win men's 
souls to the love of holiness i'. If you feed not the bodies 

<* Non bene fit quod occupaio aniino fit. Hieroii. Eplst. 553. ad Paulin. 

pA single life doth well witli churchincn , for charity will hardly water the 
ground, where it must fill a pool. Lord Bacon, Essay 8. The greatest works and 
foundations have been froi^ childless men, who have sought to express the image of 
their minds, that have none of their body : so tiie care of posterity, hath been most 
in them that had no posterity. Lord Bacon, Essay 7. He that hath a wife and 
rhildren hath given hostages to fortune : for they arc impediments to great enter- 


of the poor, they will less relish the food of the soul. Nay, 
if you abound not above others in good works, the blind, 
malicious world will see nothing that is good in you ; but 
will say. You have good words, but where are your good 
works? What abundance have I known hardened against 
the Gospel and religion, by a common fame, that these 
preachers are as covetous, and worldly, and uncharitable as 
any others : and it must be something extraordinary that 
must confute such fame. And what abundance of success 
have I seen of the labours of those ministers, who give all 
they have in works of charity ! And though a rich and 
resolved man may do some good in a married state, yet 
commonly it is next to nothing, as to the ends now men- 
tioned : wife, and children, and family necessities devour 
all, if you have never so much. And some provision must 
be made for them, when you are dead : and the maintenance 
of the ministry is not so great as to suffice well for all this, 
much less for any eminent works of charity besides ! Never 
reckon upon the doing of much good to the poor, if you 
have wives and children of your own ! Such instances are 
rarities and wonders. All will be too little for yourselves. 
Whereas if all that were given to the poor which goeth to the 
maintenance of your families, you little know how much it 
would reconcile the minds of the ungodly, and further the 
success of your ministerial work. 

Direct, m. 'If God call you to a married life, expect all 
these troubles, or most of them ; and make a particular 
preparation foj each temptation, cross and duty which you 
must expect.' Think not that you are entering into a state 
of mere delight; lest it prove but a fooFs paradise to you. 
See that you be furnished with marriage strength and pa- 
tience, for the duties and sufferings of a married state, be- 
fore you venture on it. Especially, 1. Be well provided 
against temptations to a worldly mind and life : for here 
you are like to be most violently and dangerously assault- 
ed. 2. See that you be well provided with conjugal affec- 
tions : for they are necessary both to the duties and suffer- 
ings of a married life. And you should not enter upoa the 
state without the necessary preparations. 3. See that you 

prises. — The best vyorks and qF greatest merit, lor the public, have proceeded 

fr<?m unmarried and childless men. Id. ibid. Essay 8. 


be well provided with marriage prudence and understanding, 
that you may be able to instruct and edify your families, 
and may live with them as men of knowledge "i, and may 
manage all your business with discretion ^ 4. See that you 
be provided with resolvedness and constancy, that you vex 
not yourself and relations by too late repentings ; and come 
not off with ' had I wist,* or * noii putaram.' Levity and mu- 
tability is no fit preparative for a state that only death can 
change. Let the love and resolutions which brought you 
into that state, continue with you to the last. 5. See that 
you be provided with a diligence answerable to the great- 
ness of your undertaken duties. A slothful mind is unfit 
for one that entereth himself voluntarily upon so much busi- 
ness; as a cowardly mind is unfit for him that listeth him- 
self a soldier for the wars. 6. See that you are well pro- 
vided with marriage patience ; to bear with the infirmities 
of others, and undergo the daily crosses of your life, which 
your business, and necessities, and your own infirmities 
will unavoidably infer. To marry without all this prepa- 
ration, is as foolish as to go to sea without the necessary 
preparation for your voyage, or to go to war without ar- 
mour or ammunition, or to go to work without tools or 
strength, or to go to buy meat in the market when you have 
no money. 

* Direct. i\. 'Take special care, that fancy and passion 
overrule not reason, and friends' advice, in the choice of 
your condition, or of the person.' 1 know you must have 
love to those that you match with : but that love must be 
rational, and such as you can justify in the severest trial, 
by the evidences of worth and fitness in the person whom 
you love. To say you love, but you know not why, is 
more beseeming children or mad folks, than those that are 
soberly entering upon a change of life of so great import- 
ance to them. A blind love which maketh you thiak a 
person excellent and amiable, who in the eyes of the wisest 
that are impartial, is nothing so, or maketh you overvalue 
the person whom you fancy, and be fond of one as some 
admirable creature, that in the eyes of others is next to 
contemptible, this is but the index and evidence of your 
folly. And though you please yourselves in it, and honour 

1 1 Pet. iii. 7. " Psal. cxii. 15. 


it with the name of love, there is none that is acquainted 
with it, that will give it any better name than lust or fancy. 
And the marriage that is made by lust or fancy will never 
tend to solid content or true felicity ; but either will feed 
till death on the fuel that kindled it, and then go out in 
everlasting shame : or else more ordinarily it proveth but a 
blaze, and turneth into loathing and weariness of each other. 
And because this passion of lust (called love) is such a be- 
sotting, blinding thing, (like the longing of a woman with 
child) it is the duty of all that feel any touch of it to kindle 
upon their hearts, to call it presently to the trial, and to 
quench it effectually, and till that be done (if they have any 
relics of wit and reason) to suspect their own apprehen- 
sions, and much more to trust the judgment and advice of 

The means to quench this lust called love, I have largely 
opened before. I shall now only remember you of these 
few. 1. Keep asunder, and at a sufficient distance from 
the person that you dote upon. The nearness of the fire 
and fuel causeth the combustion. Fancy and lust are in- 
flamed by the senses. Keep out of sight, and in time the 
fever may abate. 2. Overvalue not vanity. Think not 
highly of a silken coat, or of the great names of ancestors, 
or of money, or lands, or of a painted or a spotted face, nor 
of that natural comeliness called beauty : judge not of 
things as children, but as men : play not the fools in mag- 
nifying trifles, and overlooking inward, real worth. Would 
you fall in love with a flower or picture at this rate ? Be- 
think you what work the pox, or any other withering sick- 
ness will make with that silly beauty which you so admire : 
think what a spectacle death will make it. And how many 
thousands once more beautiful, are turned now to common 
earth ! And how many thousand souls are now in > hell, 
that by a beautiful body were drowned in lust, and tempted 
to.neglect themselves ! and how few in the world you can 
name that were ever much the better for it ! what a childish 
thing it is to dote on a book of tales and lies, because it 
hath a beautiful, gilded cover ! and to undervalue the writ- 
ings of the wise, because they have a plain and homely out- 
side ! 3. Rule your thoughts, and let them not run master- 
less as fancy shall command tlicm. If reason cannot call 


off your thoughts from following a lustful desire and ima- 
gination, no wonder if one that rideth on such an unbridled 
colt be cast into the dirt. 4. Live not idly, but let the bu- 
siness of your callings take up your time, and employ your 
thoughts. An idle, fleshly mind is the carcase where the 
vermin of lust doth crawl, and the nest where the devil 
hatcheth both this and many other pernicious sins. 5. 
Lastly and chiefly, forget not the concernments of your 
souls : remember how near you are to eternity, and what 
work you have to do for your salvation : forget not the pre- 
sence of God, nor the approach of death. Look oft by Taith 
into heaven and hell, and keep conscience tender ; and then 
I warrant you, you will find something else to mind than 
lust; and greater matters than a silly carcase to take up your 
thoughts, and you will feel that heavenly love within you, 
which will extinguish earthly, carnal love. 

Direct, v. 'Be not too hasty in your choice or resolu- 
tion, but deliberate well, and throughly know the person 
on whom so much of the comfort or sorrow of your life 
will necessarily depend.' Where repentance hath no place, 
there is the greater care to be used to prevent it. Reason 
requireth you to be well acquainted with those that you 
trust but with an important secret, much more with all your 
honour or estates : and most of all, with one whom you 
must trust with so much of the comfort of your lives, and 
your advantages for a better life. No care and caution can 
be too great in a matter of so great importance. 

Direct, vi. * Let no carnal motives persuade you to join 
yourself to an ungodly person; but let the holy fear of 
God be preferred in your choice before all worldly excel- 
lency whatsoever.' Marry not a swine for a golden trough : 
nor an ugly soul for a comely body. Consider, 1. You 
will else give cause of great suspicion that you are your- 
selves ungodly : for they that know truly the misery of an 
unrenewed soul, and the excellency of the image of God, 
can never be indiflerent whether they be joined to the godly 
or the ungodly. To prefer things temporal, before things 
spiritual habitually, and in the predominant acts of heart 
and life, is the certain character of a graceless soul ! And 
he that in so near a case doth deliberately prefer riches or 
comeliness in another, })eforc the image and fear of God, 


doth give a very dangerous sign, of such a graceless heart 
and will. If you set more by beauty or riches than by god- 
liness, you have the surest mark that you are ungodly. If 
you do not set more by them, how come you deliberately 
to prefer them ? How could you do a thing that detecteth 
your ungodliness, and condemneth you more clearly ? And 
do you not shew that you either believe not the Word of 
God, or else that you love him not, and regard not his in- 
terest? Otherwise you would take his friends as your 
friends, and his enemies as your enemies. Tell me, would 
you marry an enemy of your own, before any change and 
reconciliation ? I am confident you would not. And can 
you so easily marry an enemy of God? If you know not 
that all the ungodly and unsanctified are his enemies, you 
know not, or believe not the Word of God : which telleth 
you that " The carnal mind is enmity against God : for it 
is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be, so then 
they that are in the flesh cannot please God^" 2. If you fear 
God yourselves, your chief end in marriage will be to have 
one that will be a helper to your soul, and further you in 
the way to heaven : but if you marry with a person that is 
ungodly, either you have no such end, or else you may 
easily know you have no more wisely chosen the means, than 
if you had chosen water to kindle the fire, or a bed of snow 
to keep you warm. Will an ignorant or ungodly person 
assist you in prayer or holy watchfulness, and stir you up 
to the love of God, and a heavenly mind ? And can you 
so willingly lose all the spiritual benefit, which you should 
principally desire and intend ? 3. Nay, instead of a helper, 
you will have a continual hinderer : when you should go 
to prayer, you will have one to pull you back, or to fill 
your minds with diversions or disquietments ! When you 
should keep close to God in holy meditations, you will 
have one to cast in worldly thoughts, or trouble your minds 
with vanity and vexation. When you should discourse of 
God and heavenly things, you will have one to stifle such 
discourse, and fill your ears with idle, impertinent, or worldly 
talk. And one such a hindrance so near you, in your bo- 
som, will be worse than a thousand further off". As an un- 
godly heart which is next of all to us, is our greatest hin- 

* Rom. viii. 7, 8. 


drance, so an ungodly husband or wife, which is next to 
that, is worse to us than many ungodly neighbours. And 
if you think that you can well enough overcome such hin- 
drances, and your heart is so good, that no such clogs can 
keep it down, you do but shew that you have a proud, un- 
humbled heart, that is prepared for a fall. If you know 
yourselves, and the badness of your hearts, you will know 
that you have no need of hindrances in any holy work, and 
that all the helps in the world are little enough, and too 
little to keep your souls in the love of God. 4. And such 
an ungodly companion will be to you a continual tempta- 
tion to sin. Instead of stirring you up to good, you will 
have one to stir you up to evil, to passion or discontent, or 
covetousness, or pride, or revenge, or sensuality. And can 
you not sin enough without such a tempter ? 5. And what 
a continual grief will it be to you, if you are believers, to 
have a child of the devil in your bosom ! and to think how 
far you must be separated at death ! and in what torments 
those must lie for ever, that are so dear unto you now ! G. 
Yea such companions will be uncapable of the principal 
part of your love. You may love them as husbands or 
wives, but you cannot love them as saints or members of 
Christ. And how great a want this will be in your love, 
those know that know what this holy love is. 

Quest. ' But how can I tell who are godly, when there is 
so much hypocrisy in the world V Answ. At least you 
may know who is ungodly if it be palpably discovered. I 
take not a barren knowledge for ungodliness, nor a nimble 
tongue for godliness : judge of them by their love : such as 
a man's love is, such is the man : if they love the Word, and 
servants, and worship of God, and love a holy life, and hate 
the contrary, you may close with such, though their know- 
ledge be small, and their parts be weak. But if they have 
no love to these, but had rather live a common, careless, 
carnal life, you may well avoid them as ungodly. 

Quest. ' But if ungodly persons may marry, why may not 
I marry with one that is ungodly V Answ. Though dogs 
and swine may join in generating, it foUowetL not, men ox 
women may join with them. Pardon the comparison 
(while Christ calleth the wicked dogs and swine ')> it dotli 

' Matt. vii. 6. 


but shew the badness of your consequence. Unbelievers 
may marry, and yet we may not marry with unbelievers. 
•* Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers : 
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteous- 
ness? and what communion hath light with darkness ? and 
what concord hath Christ with Belial ? or what part hath he 
that believeth with an infidel ? and what agreement hath 
the temple of God with idols ? For ye are the temple of 

the living God wherefore come out from among them, 

and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean 
thing, &,c. "" 

Quest. ' But I make no doubt but they may be con- 
verted : God can call them when he will : if there be 
but love, they will easily be won to be of the mind as 
those they love are?' Ansv). 1. Then it seems because 
you love an ungodly person, you will be easily turned to be 
ungodly. If so, you are not much better already. If love 
will not draw you to their mind to be ungodly, why should 
you think love will draw them to your mind to be godly? 
Are you stronger in grace than they are in sin ? 2. If you 
know well what grace is, and what a sinful, unrenewed soul 
is, you would not think it so easy a matter to convert a soul. 
Why are there so few converted, if it be so easy a thing? 
You cannot make yourselves better by adding higher de- 
grees to the grace you have : much less can you make 
another better, by giving them the grace which they have 
not. 3. It is true that God is able to convert them when he 
will : and it is true that for aught I know it may be done. 
But what of that ? Will you in so weighty a case take up 
with a mere possibility ? God can make a beggar rich, and 
for aught you know to the contrary, he will do it : and yet 
you will not therefore marry a beggar ? nor will you marry 
a leper, because God can heal him ? Why then should you 
marry an ungodly person, because God can convert him ? 
See it done first, if you love your peace and safety. 

Quest. * But what if my parents command me to marry 
an ungodly person ? ' Atisw. God having forbidden it, no 
parent hath authority to command you to do so great a mis- 
chief to yourself, no more than to cut your own throats, or 
to dismember your bodies. 

"' ^Cor.vi. 14— 16. 


Quest. * But what if I have a necessity of marrying, and 
can get none but an ungodly person ? ' Aimu. If that really 
be your case, that your necessity be real, and you can get 
no other, I think it is lawful. 

Quest, * But is it not better have a good-natured person 
that is ungodly, than an ill-natured person that is religious, 
as many such are ? And may not a bad man be a good 
husband?' Answ. 1. A bad man may be a good tailor, or 
shoe-maker, or carpenter, or seaman, because there is no 
moral virtue necessary to the well-doing of their work. But 
a bad man cannot be simply a good magistrate, or minister, 
or husband, or parent, because there is much moral virtue 
necessary to their duties. 2. A bad nature unmortified and 
untamed is inconsistent with true godliness : such persons 
may talk and profess what they please ; but " if any man 
among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, 
but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain "." 
3. I did not say that godliness alone is all that you must 
look after : though this be the first, yet more is necessary. 

Direct, vii. * Next to the fear of God, make choice of a 
nature, or temperament that is not too much unsuitable to 
you.' A crossness of dispositions will be a continual vex- 
ation : and you will have a domestic war instead of love, 
especially make sure of these following qualities. 1. 
That there be a loving, and not a selfish nature, that hath 
no regard to another but for their own end. 2. That there 
be a nature competently quiet and patient, and not intolera- 
bly froward, and unpleasable. 3. That there be a compe- 
tency of wit : for no one can live lovingly and comfortably 
with a fool. 4. That there be a competent humility ; for 
there is no quietness to be expected with the proud. 5. 
That there be a power to be silent, as well as to speak ; for 
a babbling tongue is a continual vexation. 

Direct, viii. * Next to grace and nature, have a due and 
moderate respect to person, education and estate.' 1. So 
far have respect to the person as that there be no unhealth- 
fulness to make your condition over-burdensome ; nor any 
such deformity as may hinder your affections. 2. And so 
far have respect to parentage and education as that there be 
no great unsuitableness of mind, nor any prejudicate opin- 

* James i. 26. 


ions in religion, which may make you too imequal. Differ- 
ing opinions in religion are much more tolerable in per- 
sons more distant, than in so near relations. And those 
that are bred too high in idleness and luxury, must have a 
thorough work of grace to make them fit for alow condition, 
and cure the pride and sensuality which are taken for the 
honourable badges of their gentility ; and it is scarce con- 
siderablfe how rich such are : for their pride and luxury will 
make even with all, and be still in greater want, than hon- 
est, contented, temperate poverty. 

Direct. IX. 'If God call you to marriage, take notice of 
the helps and comforts of that condition, as well as of the 
hindrances and troubles ; that you may cheerfully serve 
God in it, in the expectation of his blessing.' Though 
man's corruption have filled that aixd every state of life with 
snares and troubles, yet from the beginning it was not so ; 
God appointed it for mutual help, and as such it may be 
used. As a married life hath its temptations and afflictions, 
so it hath its peculiar benefits, which you are thankfully to 
accept and acknowledge unto God^. 1. It is a mercy in 
order to the propagating of a people on earth to love and 
honour their Creator, and to serve God in the world and en- 
joy him for ever. It is no small mercy to be the parents of 
a godly seed ; and this is the end 6f the institution of 
marriage ^. And this parents may expect, if they be not 
wanting on their part ; however sometimes their children 
prove ungodly. 2. It is a mercy to have a faithful friend, 
that loveth you entirely, and is as true to you as yourself, 
to whom you may open your mind and communicate your 
affairs, and who would be ready to strengthen you, and dii- 
vide the cares of your affairs and family with you, and help 
you to bear your burdens, and comfort you in your sorrows, 
and be the daily companion of your lives, and partaker of 
your joys and sorrows. 3. And it is a mercy to have so 
near a friend to be a helper to your soul ; to join with you iw 
prayer and other holy exercises ; to watch over you and tell 
you of your sins and dangers, and to stir up in you the grace 
of God, and remember you of the life to come, and cheerful- 
ly accompany you in the ways of holiness. " A prudent wife 

y See Eccles. iv. 10—12. * Mai, ii. 15. 


is from the Lord ^." Thus it is said, "Whoso findeth a wife 
findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord ^." 

Direct, x. ' Let your marriage covenant be made under- 
standingly, deliberately, heartily, in the fear of God, with a 
fixed resolution faithfully to perform it.' Understand well 
all the duties of your relation before you enter into it : and 
run not upon it as boys to a play, but with the sense of your 
duty, as those that engage themselves to a great deal of 
work of great importance towards God and towards each 
other. Address yourselves therefore beforehand to God 
for counsel, and earnestly beg his guidance, and his bles- 
sing, aad run not without him, or before him. Reckon 
upon the worst, and foresee all temptations which would 
diminish your affections, or make you unfaithful to each 
other: and see that you be fortified against them all. 

Direct, xi. 'Be sure that God be the ultimate end of 
your marriage, and that you principally choose that state of 
life, that in it you may be most serviceable to him ; and 
that you heartily devote yourselves, and your families unto 
God; that so it may be to you a sanctified condition.' It is 
nothing but making God our guide and end that can sancti- 
fy our state of life. They that unfeignedly follow God's 
counsel, and aim at his glory, and do it to please him, will 
find God owning and blessing their relation. But they 
that do it principally to please the flesh, to satisfy lust, and 
increase their estates, and to have children surviving them 
to receive the fruit of their pride and covetousness, can ex- 
pect to reap no better than they sow ; and to have the flesh, 
the world, and the devil the masters of their family, accord- 
ing to their own desire and choice. 

Direct. XII. 'At your first conjunction (and through the 
rest of your lives) remember the day of your separation.' 
And think not that you are settling yourselves in a state of 
rest, or felicity, or continuance, but only assuming a com- 
panion in your travels. Whether you live in a married or 
an unmarried life, remember that you are hasting to the 
everlasting life, where there is neither ** marrying nor giving 
in marriage '^." You are going as fast to another world in 
one state of life as in the other. You are but to help each 

» Prov. xix. 14. »» Prov. xviii. 22. See Prov. xxxi. 10—12, &c. 

<= I Cor. vii. 29, 30. 


other in your way, that your journey may be the easier to 
you, and that you may happily meet again in the heavenly 
Jerusalem. When worldlings marry, they take it for a set- 
tling themselves in the world ; and as regenerate persons 
begin the world anew, by beginning to lay up a treasure in 
heaven ; so worldlings call their marriage, their beginning 
the world, because then as engaged servants to the world, 
they set themselves to seek it with greater diligence than 
ever before. They do but in marriage begin (as seekers) 
that life of foolery, which when he had found what he 
sought, that rich man ended with a " This I will do : I will 
pull down my barns, and build greater, and there will I be- 
stow all my fruits and my goods : and I will say to my soul. 
Soul thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take 
thine ease, eat, drink and be merry : but God said unto him. 
Thou fool, this night shall, thy soul be required of thee : 
then whose shall those things be, which thou hast pro- 
vided '^?" If you would not die such fools, do not marry 
and live such worldlings. 

Tit, 2. Cases of Marriage. 

Quest. I. * What should one follow as a certain rule, about 
the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity ? seeing 
1. The law of Moses is not in force to us. 2. And if it 
were, it is very dark, whether it may by parity of reason be 
extended to more degrees than are named in the text. 3. 
And seeing the law of nature is so hardly legible in this 
case ^V 

Answ. 1. It is certain that the prohibited degrees are 
not so statedly and universally unlawful, as that such- mar- 
riage may not be made lawful by any necessity. For 
Adam's sons did lawfully marry their own sisters. 

2. But now the world is peopled, such necessities as will 
warrant such marriages must needs be very rare, and such 
as we are never like to meet with. 

3. The law of nature is it which prohibiteth the degrees 

•1 Luke xii. 19, 20. 

* The case of Polygamy is so fully and plainly resolved by Christ, that 1 take it 
not to be necessary to decide it, especially \yhile the law of the land doth make it 


that are now unlawful ; and though this law be dark as to 
some degrees, it is not so as to others. 

4. The law of God to the Jews ^ doth not prohibit those 
degrees there named, because of any reason proper to the 
Jews, but as an exposition of the law of nature, and so on 
reasons common to all. 

5. Therefore, though the Jewish law cease (yea, never 
bound other nations) formally as that political national law ; 
yet as it was God's exposition of his own law of nature, it 
is of use, and consequential obligation to all men, even to 
this day ; for if God once had told but one man, ' This is 
the sense of the law of nature,' it remaineth true, and all 
must believe it; and then the law of nature itself, so ex-, 
pounded, will still oblige. 

6. The world is so wide for choice, and a necessity of 
doubtful marriage is so rare, and the trouble so great, that 
prudence telleth every one that it is their sin, without flat 
necessity, to marry in a doubtful degree ; and therefore it is 
thus safest, to avoid all degrees that seem to be equal to 
those named Lev. xviii. and to have the same reason, 
though they be not named. 

7. But because it is not certain that indeed the unnamed 
cases have the same reason, (while God doth not acquaint 
us with all the reasons of his law) therefore when the thing 
is done, we must not censure others too deeply, nor trouble 
ourselves too much about those unnamed, doubtful cases. 
We must avoid them beforehand, because else we shall cast 
ourselves into doubts and troubles unnecessarily ; but when 
it is past, the case must be considered of as I shall after 

Quest. II. 'What if the law of the land forbid more or 
fewer degrees than Lev. xviii. doth?* 

Answ. If it forbid fewer, the rest are nevertheless to be 
avoided as forbidden by God. If it forbid more, the for- 
bidden ones must be avoided in obedience to our ruler. 

Quest, III, * Is the marriage of cousin-germans, that is, 
of brothers* children, or sisters* children, or brothers* and 
sisters' children, unlawful ? * 

Aiisw. I think not ; I. Because not forbidden by God. 
2. Because none of that same rank are forbidden ; that is, 

^ Lev. xviii. ^ 

VOL. IV. I) 


none that on both sides are two degrees from the root. I 
refer the reader for my reasons to a Latin Treatise of Charles 
Butler on this subject, for in those I rest. As all the chil- 
dren of Noah's sons did marry their cousin-germans, (for 
they could not marry in any remoter degree) so have others 
since without reproof, and none are forbidden. 3. But it 
is safest to do otherwise, because there is choice enough be- 
side, and because many divines being of the contrary opin- 
ion, may make it matter of scruple and trouble afterwards, 
to those that venture upon it without need. 

Quest. lY, 'What would you have those do that have 
married cousin-germans, and now doubt whether it be law- 
ful so to do ? ' 

Answ, I would have them cast away such doubts, or at 
least conclude that it is now their duty to live peaceably in 
the state in which they are : and a great sin for them to be 
separated on such scruples. The reason is, because, if it be 
not certain, that the degree is lawful, at least no man can be 
certain that it is unlawful. And for husband and wife to 
break their covenants and part, without a necessary cause, 
is, a great sin ; and that which no man can prove to be a 
sin, is no necessary or lawful cause of a divorce. Marriage 
duties are certainly commanded to the married , but the 
marriage of cousin-germans is not certainly forbidden. 
Therefore if it were a sin to marry so, to them that 
doubted ; or if they are since fallen into doubt whether it 
was not a sin ; yet may they be sure that the continuance 
of it is a duty, and that all they have to do is to repent of 
doing a doubtful thing, but not to part, nor to forbear their 
covenanted duties. No, nor to indulge or suffer those trou- 
blesome scruples, which would hinder the cheerful dis- 
charge of their duties, and the comfortable serving of God 
in their relations. 

Quest. V. ' What should those do that are married in 
those degrees which are not forbidden by name in Lev. xviii. 
and yet are at the same distance from the root with those 
that are named, and seem to have the same reason of unlaw- 
fulness V 

Answ. If there be clearly a parity of degree and also of 
the reason of the prohibition, then no doubt but they must 
part as incestuous, and not continue in a forbidden state. 
But because divines are disagreed whether there be in all in- 


stances a parity of the reason of the prohibition, where there 
is an equal distance as to degrees ; and so in those cases 
some think it a duty to be separated, and others think it 
enough to repent of their conjunction and not to be separa- 
ted, because the case is doubtful (as the controversy shew- 
eth), I shall not venture to cast in my judgment in a case, 
where so many and such men are disagreed ; but shall only 
advise all to prevent such troublesome doubts beforehand, 
and not by rashness to run themselves into perplexities, 
when there is no necessity ; unless they will call their car- 
nal ends or sinful passions, a necessity. 

Quest. VI. ' But if a man do marry in a degree expressly 
there forbidden, is it in all cases a sin to continue in that 
state? If necessity made such marriage a duty to Adam's 
children, why may not necessity make the continuance law- 
ful to others? As suppose the king or parents command 
it ? suppose the woman will die or be distracted with grief 
else ? suppose one hath made a vow to marry no other, and 
yet cannot live single, &c. ? ' Here I shall suppose, that if 
a lustful person marry a kinswoman that he may have 
change, as foreknowing that he must be divorced, punish- 
ment, and not continuance in the sin must be his sentence : 
and if one that hath married a kinswoman be glad to be di- 
vorced, because he hateth her or loveth change, punish- 
ment must rebuke him, but he must not continue in incest. 

Answ, 1. Natural necessity justified Adam's children, 
and such would now justify you. Yea, the benediction 
" Increase and multiply," did not only allow, but oblige 
them then to marry, to replenish the earth (when else man- 
kind had ceased) ; but so it doth not us now when the earth 
is replenished. Yet I deny not, but if a man and his sister 
were cast alone upon a foreign wilderness, where they justly 
despaired of any other company, if God should bid them 
there " increase and multiply," it would warrant them to 
marry. But else there is no necessity of it, and therefore 
no lawfulness. For 2. A vicious necessity justifieth not the 
sin. If the man or woman that should abstain will be mad 
or dead with passion, rather than obey God, and deny and 
mortify their lust, it is not one sin that will justify them in 
another. The thing that is necessary, is to conform their 
wills to the law of God, and if they will not, and then say. 


* They cannot/ they must bear what they get by it. 3. And 
it is no necessity that is imposed by that command of king 
or parents, which is against the law of God. 4. No, nor by 
a vow neither : for a vow to break God's law is not an obli- 
gation to be kept, but to be repented of; nor is the necessi- 
ty remediless which such a one bringeth on himself, by vow- 
ing never to marry any other ; seeing chastity may be kept. 

Quest. VII. * Is it lawful for one to marry, that hath 
vowed chastity during life, and not to marry, and afterward 
findeth a necessity of marrying, for the avoiding lust and 
fornication ? ' 

Answ. I know that many great divines have easily ab- 
solved those, that under Popery vowed chastity. The prin- 
cipal part of the solution of the question, you must fetch 
from my solution of the Case of Vows, Part iii. Chap. v. 
Tit. 2. At the present this shall suffice to be added to it. 
1. Such vows of chastity that are absolute, without any ex- 
ceptions of after alterations or difficulties that may arise, are 
sinfully made, or are unlawful * quoad actum jurandi ^' 

2. If parents or others impose such oaths and vows on 
their children or subjects, or induce them to it, it is sinfully 
done of them, and the ' actus imperantium' is also unlawful. 

3. Yet as long as the * materia jurata' * the matter vowed' 
remaineth lawful, the vow doth bind, and it is perfidious- 
ness to break it. For the sinfulness of the imposer's act 
proveth no more, but that such a command did not oblige 
you to vow. And a vow made arbitrarily without any com- 
mand, doth nevertheless bind. And the sinfulness of the 
making of the vow, doth only call for repentance ; (as if you 
made it causelessly, rashly, upon ill motives, and to ill ends, 
or in ill circumstances, &c.) But yet that vow which you 
repent that ever you made, must be nevertheless kept, if the 
thing vowed be a lawful thing, and the act of vowing be not 
made a nullity (though it was a sin). And when it is a nul- 
lity, I have shewed in the fo recited place. 

4. A vow of celebate or chastity during life, which hath 
this condition or exception expressed or implied in the true 
intent of the votary (unless any thing fall out which shall 
make it a sin to me not to marry), may in some cases be a 

f By this you may seejiow to resolve the cases about vows and covenants which 

jjre ih-^ grand controversies of this time among us. 


lawful vow : as to one that foreseeth great inconveniences 
in marriage, and would by firm resolution fortify himself 
against temptations and mutability. 

5. If there were no such excepting thought in the person 
vowing, yet when the thing becometh unlawful, the vow is 
not to be kept ; though it oblige us under guilt for sinful 
making it, yet God commandeth us not to keep it, because 
we vowed that which he forbad us not only to vow but to do. 

6. Either the Papists suppose such exceptions to be 
always implied by their votaries, or at least that they are 
contained in the law of God, or else sure they durst never 
pretend that the pope hath power to dispense with such 
vows ; (as they hav€ oft done for princes, men and women, 
that they might be taken from a monastery to a crown.) For 
if they suppose, that the persons before the dispensation are 
under the obligation of their vow, and bound by God to 
keep it, then it would be too gross and odious blasphemy 
for the pope to claim a power of disobliging them, and dis- 
solving God's commands ; and not only antichristianity, 
but antitheistical, or a setting himself above God Almighty, 
under pretence of his own commission. But if they only 
pretend to dissolve such vows judicially or decisively, by 
judging when the person is no longer obliged to keep them 
by God's law, then they suppose, that the obligation of God*s 
law is ceased, before they judicially declare it to be ceased. 
And if that were all that the pope undertook, he had no 
power to do it out of his own parish, nor more than any 
lawful bishop hath in his proper charge. 

7. The matter of a vow of celibate or chastity is then un- 
lawful, when it cannot be kept without greater sin than that 
life of chastity escapeth, and which would be escaped if it 
were forsaken ; or without the omission of greater duty, 
and amission of greater good, than that life of chastity con- 
taineth or attaineth. For the further opening of this, let it 
be noted, that, 

8. It is not every degree of sin which marriage would 
cure, that will warrant the breach of a vow of chastity. As 
if I had some more lustful thoughts or instigations and irri- 
tations in a single life than I should have if I married. The 
reason is, because, 1. No man liveth without some sin, and 
it is supposed that there are greater sins of another kind. 


which by a life of chastity I avoid. And the breach of the 
vow itself is a greater matter than a lustful thought. 

9. So it is not every, degree of good which by marriage I 
may attain or do, that will warrant it against a vow of chas- 
tity. Because I may do and get a greater good by chastity, 
and because the evil of perjury is not to be done that good 
may be done by it ; till I can prove, that it is not only good 
in itself, but a duty ' hie et nunc' to me. 

10. A man should rather break his vow of celebate, 
than once commit fornication, if there were a necessity that 
he must do the one. Because fornication is a sin which no 
vow will warrant any man to commit. 

11. A man should rather break his vow of celebate, than 
live in such constant or ordinary lust, as unfitteth him for 
prayer, and a holy life, and keepeth him in ordinary danger 
of fornication, if there were a necessity that he must do the 
one. The reason is also because now the matter vowed is 
become unlawful, and no vow can warrant a man to live in so 
great sin, (unless there were some greater sin on the other 
side which could not be avoided in a married life, which is 
hardly to be supposed, however popish priests think dis- 
obedience to the pope, and the incommodity and disgrace of 
a married life, 8cc. to be a greater sin than fornication itself.) 

12. If a prince vow chastity, when it is like to endanger 
the kingdom for want of a safe and sure succession, he is 
bound to break that vow ; because he may not lawfully give 
away the people's right, nor do that which is injurious to so 

13. Whether the command of a parent or prince may 
dissolve the obligation of a vow of celibate, I have answered 
already. I now say but this, 1. When parents or princes 
may justly command it, we may justly obey them. But this 
is not one of those accidental evils, which may be lawfully 
done, though unlawfully commanded. 2. It is parents that 
God hath committed more of this care and power to, about 
children's marriage, than to princes. 3. Parents nor prin- 
ces may not lawfully command the breach of such a vow, 
(not nullified at first) except in such cases as disoblige us, 
whether they do it or not; so that the resolving of the main 
case doth suffice for all. 

14. He that by lawful means can overcome his lust, to 


the measure before mentioned, is under no necessity of 
violating his vow of single life. 

15. I think that it is not one of twenty that have bodies 
so unavoidably prone to lust, but that by due means it might 
be so far (though not totally) overcome, without marriage, 
fornication, wilful self-pollution, or violent, vexatious, lust- 
ful thoughts. That is, 1. If they employ themselves con- 
stantly and diligently in a lawful calling, and be not guilty 
of such idleness, as leaveth room in their minds and imagi- 
nations for vain and filthy thoughts. If they follow such a 
calling as shall lay a necessity upon them to keep their 
thoughts close employed about it. 2. If they use such ab- 
stinence and coarseness in their diet, as is meet to tame in- 
ordinate lusts, without destroying health : and not only 
avoid fullness and gulosity, and vain sports and pleasures, 
but also use convenient fasting, and tame the body by ne- 
cessary austerities. 3. If they sufficiently avoid all tempt- 
ing company and sights, and keep at a meet distance from 
them. 4. If they set such a restraint upon their thoughts 
as they may do. 5. If they use such a quality of diet and 
physic, as is most apt for the altering of those bodily dis- 
tempers, which are the cause. 6. And lastly. If they are 
earnest in prayer to God, and live in mortifying meditations, 
especially in a constant familiarity with a crucified Christ, 
and with the grave, and with the heavenly society. He that 
breaketh his vow to save himself the labour and suffering 
of these ungrateful means, I take to be perfidious, though 
perhaps he sinfully made that vow. And no greater a num- 
ber are excusable for continence after such a vow, than these 
that have bodies so extraordinary lustful, as no such other 
means can tame, and those forementioned that have extraor- 
dinary accidents to make a single life unlawful. 

16. It must not be forgotten here, that if men trust to 
marriage itself alone as the cure of their lust, without other 
means, such violent lusts as nothing else will cure, may 
possibly be much uncured afterwards. For adulterers are as 
violent in their lusts as the unmarried, and ofttimes find it 
as hard to restrain them. And therefore the married as well 
as others have need to be careful to overcome their lust. 
And the rather because it is in them a double sin. 


17. But yet when all other means do fail, marriage is 
God's appointed means, to quench those flames from which 
men's vows cannot, in cases of true necessity, disoblige them. 


Directions for the right Choice of Servants and Masters, 


Directions for the right Choice of Servants, 

SERVANts being integral parts of the family, who contri- 
bute much to the holiness or iinholiness of it, and to the 
happiness or misery of it, it much concerneth masters to be 
careful in their choice. And the harder it is to find such as 
are indeed desirable, the more careful and diligent in it 
should you be. 

Direct, i. ' To bid you choose such as are fittest for your 
service, is a direction which nature and interest will give 
you, without any persuasions of mine.\ And indeed it is 
not mere honesty or piety that will make a good servant, 
nor do your work. Three things are necessary to make a 
servant fit for you: 1. Strength. 2. Skill. 3. Willing- 
ness. And no two of these will serve without the third. 
Strength and skill without willingness, will do nothing : 
skill and willingness without strength, can do nothing: 
strength and willingness without skill, will do as bad, or 
worse than nothing. No less than all will make you a good 
servant. Therefore choose one, 1. That is healthful. 2. 
That hath been used to such work as you must employ him 
in : and, 3. One that is not of a fleshpleasing, or lazy, 
sluggish disposition. For to exact labour from one that is 
sickly will seem cruelty : and to expect labour from one that 
is unskilful and unexercised will seem folly : and heavy, 
fleshly, slothful persons, will do all with so much unwilling- 
ness, and pain, and weariness, that they will think all too 
much, and their service will be a continual toil and displea- 
sure to them, and they will think you wrong them, or deal 
hardly with them, if you will not allow them in their flesh- 


liness and idleness. Yea, though they should have grace, 
a phlegmatic, sluggish, heavy body, will never be fit for di- 
ligent service ; any more than a tired horse for travel. 

Direct. II. ' If it be possible, choose such as have the 
fear of God, or at least such as are tractable and willing to 
be taught, and not such as are ungodly, sensual, and pro- 
fane/ For, L ** God hateth all the workers of iniquity *." 
And it tendeth not to the blessing or safety of your family, 
to have in it such as are enemies to God, and hated by him. 
You cannot expect an equal blessing on their labours, as 
you may on the service of those that fear him. The wicked 
may bring a curse on the families where they are (if you 
wilfully entertain them) : when a Joseph may be a blessing 
even to the house of an unbeliever. A wicked man will be 
renewing those crimes, which will be the shame of your fa- 
mily, and a grief to your hearts, if you have any love to God 
yourselves : when a godly servant will pray for a blessing 
from God upon his labours, and is himself under a promise, 
that " whatever he doth shall prosper." 2. Ungodly ser- 
vants for the most part will be mere eye-servants : they will 
do little more than they find necessary to escape reproof 
and blame : some few of them indeed' out of love to their 
masters, or out of a desire of praise, or to make their places 
the better to themselves, will be diligent and trusty : but or- 
dinarily they are deceitful, and study more to seem good 
servants, than to be such, and to hide their faults, than to 
avoid them : for they make no great matter of conscience of 
it, nor do they regard the eye of God : whereas a truly godly 
servant will do all your service in obedience to God, as if 
God himself had bid him do it, and as one that is always in/ 
the presence of that master, whose favour he preferreth be- 
fore all the world : he is more careful to please God, whc 
commandeth him to be faithful, than to please you by seem' 
ing better than he is : he is moved more to his duty by tie 
reward which God hath promised him, than by the wagis 
which he expecteth from you : he hath a tender, purifiid 
conscience, which will hold him to his duty, as well whin 
you know it not, as when you stand by. 3. Ordinarily, m- 
godly servants will be false, if they have but opportunity to 
enrich themselves by deceiving you : especially those hat 

a Psal. V. 5. 


are intrusted in laying out money, in buying and selling. 
As long as I name no particular persons, I think it no un- 
trustiness, but my duty, to warn masters whom they trust, 
by my experience from the confessions of those that have 
been guilty. Many servants whom God hath converted to 
his love and fear, have told me how constantly they de- 
ceived their masters in buying and selling before their con- 
version ; even of so great sums of money, that some of them 
were not able to restore it (when I made them know it was 
their duty so far as they were able) : and some of them had 
so much unquietness of conscience till it was restored, that 
I have been fain to give them money to restore, when I have 
convinced them of it : so that I know by such confessions, 
that such deceit and robbing of their masters is a very or- 
dinary thing among ungodly servants that have opportunity, 
that yet pass for very trusty servants, and are never dis- 
covered. 4. Also an ungodly servant will be a tempter to 
the rest, and will be drawing them to sin : especially to se- 
cret wantonness, and uncivil carriage, if not to actual for- 
nication ; and to revellings, and merriments, and fleshly 
courses : by swearing, and taking God's name in vain, and 
cursing, and lying they will teach your children and other 
servants to do the like ; and so to be an infectious pestilence 
in your families. 5. And they will hinder any good which 
you would do on others. If there be any in your family 
under convictions, and in a hopeful way to a better condi- 
tion, they will quench all, and discourage them and hinder 
their conversion ; partly by their contradicting cavils, and 
partly by their scorns, and partly by their diverting, idle 
talk, and partly by their ill examples, and alluring them to 
accompany them in their sin. Whereas on the contrary a 
godly servant will be drawing the rest of your family to god- 
liness, and hindering them from sin, and persuading them 
,0 be faithful in their duty both to God and you. 

Direct, in. * Yet measure not the godliness of a servant 
ly his bare knowledge or words, but by his Love and Con- 
Siience.' A great deal of self-conceited talkativeness about 
r\ligion may stand with an. unsanctified heart and life : and 
nuch weakness in knowledge and utterance, may stand with 
siicerity. But you may safely judge those to be truly 
gdly, 1. Who love godliness, and love the Word and ser- 


vants of God, and hate all wickedness. 2. And those that 
make conscience to do their duty, and to avoid known sin 
both openly and in secret. 

Direct, iv. * If necessity constrain you to take those that 
are unfit and bad, remember that there is the greater duty 
incumbent on you, to carry yourself towards them in a vi- 
gilant, convincing manner, so as tendeth most to make them 
better.' Take them not as you buy a horse or an ox, with a 
purpose only to use them for your work : but remember 
they have immortal souls which you take charge of. 


Directions for the right Choice of Masters. 

Seeing the happiness of a servant, the safety of his soul, 
and the comfort of his life, depend very much upon the fa- 
mily and place which he liveth in, it much concerneth every 
prudent servant to be very careful in what place or family he 
take up his abode, and to make the wisest choice he can. 

Direct, i. 'Above all be sure that you choose not for 
mere fleshly ease and sensuality, and take not that for the 
best place for you, where you may have most of your own 
carnal will and pleasure.' I know that fleshly, graceless 
servants, will hear this Direction with as ill a will, as a dog 
when he is forbidden his meat or carrion. I know I speak 
against their very nature, and therefore against their very 
hearts, and therefore they will think I speak against their 
interest and good : and therefore I may persuade them to 
this course a hundred times, before they will believe me, or 
obey my counsel. All ungodly, fleshly servants, do make 
these the only signs of a good place, or desirable service for 
them : 1. If they may do what work they will, and avoid 
that which they dislike : if they may do that which is easy, 
and not that which is hard : and that which is an honour to 
them, and not that which seemeth inferior and base. 2. If 
they may work when they will, and give over when they 
will. 3. If they may rise when they will, and go to bed 
when they will. 4. If they may eat and drink what they 
will, and fare well to the pleasing of their appetites. 5. If 
they may speak when they will, and what they have a mind 


to speak. 6. If they may have leave when they will to 
sport, and play, and be wanton and vain, and waste their 
time, which they call being merry. 7. If they may wear 
the best apparel and go fine. 8. If their masters will be li- 
beral to them, to maintain all this, and will give them what 
they would have. 9. If their masters and fellow servants 
carry it respectfully to them, and praise them, and make 
somebody of them, and do not dishonour them, nor give 
them any displeasing words. 10. And if they are not 
troubled with the precepts of godliness, nor set to learn the 
Scripture, or catechized, nor called to account about the 
state of their souls, or the ground of their hope for the life 
to come, nor troubled with much praying, or repeating 
sermons, or religious exercise or discourse, or any thing 
that tendeth to their salvation : nor be restrained from any 
sin, which they have a mind to ; nor reproved for it when 
they have done it. These are an ungodly, carnal person's 
conditions, or signs of a good service. Which is, in a word, 
to have their own wills and fleshly desires, and not to be 
crossed by their masters' wills, or the will of God : which 
in effect is, to have the greatest helps to do the devil's will, 
and to be damned. 

Direct, ii. * See that it be your first and principal care, 
to live in such a place where you have the greatest helps 
and smallest hindrances to the pleasing of God, and the sav- 
ing of your souls : and in such a place where you shall 
have no liberty to sin, nor have your fleshly will fulfilled, 
but shall be best instructed to know and do the will of God, 
and under him the will of your superiors.' It is the mark of 
those whom God forsaketh, to be given up to their own 
wills, or " to their own hearts' lusts, to walk in their own 
counsels *"." " To live after the flesh," is the certain way 
to endless misery *=. To be most subject to the will of God, 
with the greatest mortification and denial of our own 
wills, is the mark of the most obedient, holy soul. Seeing 
then that holiness and self-denial, the loving of God, and 
the mortifying of the flesh, are the life of grace, and the 
health and rectitude of the soul, and the only way (under 
Christ) to our salvation ; you have great reason to think 
that place the best for you, in which you have most helps 

^ Psa). Ixxxi. 12. "^ Rom. viU. 8. 13. 


for holiness and self-denial : and not only to bear patiently 
the strictness of your superiors, and the labour which they 
put you upon for your souls, but also to desire and seek 
after such helps, as the greatest mercies upon earth. '* First 
seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness : labour 
not (first) for the food that perisheth, but for that which 
endureth to everlasting life "*." Take care first that your 
souls be provided for, and take that for the best service 
which helpeth you most in the service of God, to your sal- 

Direct. III. * If it be possible, live where there is a faith- 
ful, powerful, convincing minister, whose public teaching, 
and private counsel you may make use of for your souls.' 
Live not, if you can avoid it, under an ignorant, dead, un- 
profitable teacher, that will never afford you any consider- 
able help to lift up your hearts to a heavenly conversation. 
But seeing you must spend the six days in your labour, 
live where you have the best helps, to spend the Lord's day, 
for the quickening and comforts of your souls ; that in the 
strength of that holy food, you may cheerfully perform your 
sanctified labours, on the week days following. Be not 
like those brutish persons, that live as if there were no life 
but this ; and therefore take care to get a place, where 
their bodies may be well fed and clothed, and may have 
ease, and pleasure, and preferment for the world ; but care 
not much what teacher there is, to be their guide to heaven ; 
nor whether ever they be seriously foretold of the world to 
come, or not. 

Direct, iv. * Live, if you can obtain so great a mercy, 
with superiors that fear God, and will have a care of your 
souls, as well as of your bodies, and will require you to do 
God's service as well as their own : and not with worldly, 
ungodly masters, that will use you as they do their beasts, 
to do their work, and never take care to further your sal- 
vation.' For, 1. The curse of God is in the families of the 
ungodly, and who would willingly live in a house that God 
hath cursed, any more than in a house that is haunted with 
evil spirits ! But God himself doth dwell with the godly, 
and by many promises hath assured them of his love and 
blessing. *' The curse of the Lord is in the house of the 

«* John vi. 27t 


wicked; but he blesseth the habitation of the just*." "The 
wicked are overthrown, and are not; but the house of the 
righteous shall standi" "The house of the wicked shall 
be overthrown; but the tabernacle of the upright shall flou- 
rish 8." " The righteous man wisely considereth the house 
of the wicked : God overthroweth the wicked for their 
wickedness''." Go not into a falling house. 2. A master 
that feareth God, will help to save you from sin and hell, 
and help your souls to life eternal : he may do more for you, 
than if he make you kings and rulers of the earth. He will 
hinder you from sin : he will teach you to know God, and 
to prepare for your salvation. Whereas ungodly masters 
will rather discourage you, and by mocks or threatenings, 
seek to drive you from a holy life, and use their wit, and 
work, and authority, to hinder your salvation: or at best 
will take little care of your souls but think if they provide 
you food and wages, they have done their parts. 3. A mas- 
ter that feareth God will do you no wrong, but will love you 
as a Christian, and his fellow-servant of Christ, while he 
commandeth and employeth you as his own servant, which 
cannot be expected from ignorant, ungodly, worldly men. 

Direct. V. * Yet choose such a service as you are fit to 
undergo, with the least hindrance of the service of God, and 
of your souls.' Neither a life of idleness, nor of excess of 
business should be chosen, if you have your choice. For 
when the mind is overwhelmed with the cares of your service, 
and your bodies tired with excessive labour, you will have 
little time, or heart, or power, to mind the matters of your 
souls with any seriousness. Yea, the Lord's day will be 
spent with little comfort, when the toil of the week days 
hath left the body fit for nothing but to sleep. A service 
which alloweth you no time at all to pray, or read the 
Scripture, or mind your everlasting state, is a life more fit 
for beasts than men. 

Direct, vi. * If you can attain it, live where your fel- 
low-servants fear God, as well as the master of the family.' 
For fellow-servants usually converse with one another 
more frequently and familiarly than their masters do with 
any of them. And therefore if a master give you the most 

e Prov. iii. 33. ^ Prov. xii, 7. 

i Prov.xiv. 11. So Prov. xv. 25. •» Prov. xxi. 12. 


heavenly instructions, the idle, frothy talk of fellow-ser- 
vants may blot out all from your memories and hearts. And 
their derision of a holy life, or their bad examples, may do 
more hurt, than the precepts of the governors can do good. 
Whereas when a master's counsels are seconded by the 
good discourse and practice of fellow-servants, it is a great 
encouragement to good, and keepeth the heart in a con- 
tinual warmth and resolution. 

Direct, vii. ' If you want any one of these accommoda- 
tions, be the more diligent in such an improvement of the 
rest, as may make up your want.' - If you have a good 
teacher and a bad master, improve the helps of your teacher 
the more diligently. If you have a bad master and good 
fellow-servants, or a good master and bad fellow-servants, 
thank God for that which you have, and make the best of it. 

Direct. VIII. 'If you would be accommodated yourselves 
with the best master and usage, labour to be the best ser- 
vants ; and then it is two to one but you may have your 
choice.' Good servants are so scarce, and so much valued, 
that the best places would strive for you, if you will 
strive to be such. Excel others in labour and diligence, 
and trustiness, and obedience, and gentleness, and patience, 
and then you may have almost what places you desire. But 
if you will yourselves be idle, and slothful, and deceitful, 
and false, and disobedient, and unmannerly, and self-willed, 
and contentious, and impatient, and yet think that you must 
be respected, and used as good and faithful servants, it 
is but a foolish expectation. For what obligation is there 
upon others, in point of justice, to give you that which you 
deserve not ? Indeed if any be bound to keep you in mere 
charity, then you may plead charity with them and not 
desert : but if they take you but as servants, they owe you 
nothing but what your work and virtues shall deserve. 



A Disputation, or Arguments to prove the Necesssity of Family 
Worship and Holiness, or Directions against the Cavils of 
the Profane, and some Sectaries, who deny it to he a Thing 
required by God. 

Whether the solemn Worship of God, in and hy Families as such, 
be of Divine Appointment ? Aff. 

That excellent speech of Mirandula is oft in mind, * Veri- 
tatem philosophia queerit, theologia invenit, religio possi- 
det/ I do therefore with greater alacrity and delight dis- 
pute these points that are directly religious, that is, imme- 
diately practical, than those that are only remotely such : 
and though I am loath we should see among us any wider 
division ' inter philosophum theologum et religiosum' than 
between the fantasy, the intellect, and the will, which never 
are found disjunct in any act; or rather than between the 
habits of practical natural knowledge, and the habits of prac- 
tical supernatural knowledge, and the practical resolutions, 
affections and endeavours, into which both the former are 
devolved; yet may we safely and profitably distinguish, 
where it would be mortal to divide. If, disputing in our 
present case, do but tend to, and end in, a religious per- 
formance, we shall then be able to say, we disputed not in 
vain ; when by experience of the delight and profit of God's 
work, we perceive that we do not worship him in vain : 
otherwise to evince by a dispute, that God should be wor- 
shipped ; and not to worship him when we have done, is 
but to draw forth our learning, and sharpen our wits to 
plead our condemnation ; as if the accuser wanted our help, 
or the Judge of all the world did want evidence and argu- 
ments against us, unless he had it from our own mouth. 
Concerning the sense of the terms, I shall say somewhat, 
both as to the subject, and the predicate, that we contend 
not in the dark ; and yet but little, lest I trouble myself and 
you with needless labours. 

1. By 'the worship of God' we mean not only, nor 
principally, obedience as such : or service in common things. 


called 'AsXeiai' but we mean a religious performance of some 
sacred actions, with an intention of honouring God as God ; 
and that more directly than in common works of obedience. 
This being commonly called * Aarptia is by Austin and 
since him by all the orthodox, appropriated to God alone, and 
indeed to give it to any other is contrary to its definition. 

This worship is of two sorts, whereof the first is by an 
excellency called 'worship,' viz. When the honour of God is 
so directly the end and whole business of the work, that our 
own advantage falls in but impliedly, and in evident subor- 
dination : such are the blessed works of praise and thanks- 
giving, which we here begin and shall in heaven perpetuate. 
Yet see a more admirable mystery of true religion ; we in- 
deed receive more largely from God, and enjoy more fully 
our own felicity in him, in these acts of worship, that give 
all to God, than in the other wherein we more directly seek 
for somewhat from him. And those are the second sort of 
worship-actions, viz. When the substance or matter of the 
work is a seeking, or receiving somewhat from God, or de- 
livering something religiously in his name, and so is more 
directly for ourselves; though it is God that should be our 
ultimate end in this too. You may perceive I make this 
of three sorts. Whereof the first consisteth in our religious 
addresses to God for something that we want ; and is called 
prayer. The second consisteth in our religious addresses 
to God to receive somewhat from him; viz. 1. Instructions, 
precepts, promises, threatenings, from his mouth, messen- 
gers, &c. 2. The sacramental signs of his grace in baptism 
and the Lord's supper. The third is, when the officers of 
Christ do in his name solemnly deliver either his laws or 
sacraments. His laws either in general by ordinary preach- 
ing, or by a more particular application in acts of discipline. 

2. The word * solemn' signifies sometimes any thing 
usual and so some derive it, * Solenne est quod fieri solet.' 
Sometimes that which is done but on one set day in the 
year ; and so some make * solenne' to be * quasi solum semel 
in anno.' But vulgarly it is taken, and so we take it here, 
for both * celebre et usitatum,' that is, a thing that is not 
accidentally and seldom, but statedly and ordinarily to be 
done, and that with such gravity and honourable serious- 
ness as beseems a business of such weight. 



3. By ' family' we mean, not a tribe or stock of kindred, 
dwelling in many houses as the word is taken oft in Scrip- 
ture, but I mean a household. 

' Domus et familia,' a ' household and family,' are indeed 
in economics somewhat different notions, but one thing. 
' Domus' is to ' familia' as * civitas' to * respublica,' the 
former is made the subject of the latter, the latter the 'finis 
internus' of the former. And so ' Domus est societas na- 
turae consentanea, e personis domesticis, vitae in dies omnes 
commode sustentandae causa, collecta. Familia est ordo 
domus per regimen patris-familias in personas sibi sub- 

Where note, that to a complete family must go four in- 
tegral parts * Pater familias, mater familias, filius, servus.' 
* A father, mother, son, and servant/ But to the essence of 
a family it sufficeth if there be but the ' pars imperans, et 
pars subsida', one head or governor, either father, mother, 
master, or mistress ; and one or more governed under this 

Note therefore that the governor is an essential part of 
the family, and so are some or the governed (viz. that such 
there be) but not each member. If therefore twenty chil- 
dren, or servants shall worship God without the father, or 
master of the family either present himself, or in some re- 
presentative, it is not a family worship in strict sense. But 
if the head of the family in himself (or delegate or represen- 
tative) be present, with any of his children or siervants, 
though all the rest be absent, it is yet a family duty ; though 
the family be incomplete and maimed (and so is the duty 
therefore, if culpably so performed). 

4. When I say * in and by' a family, I mean not that 
each must do the same parts of the work, but that one (ei- 
ther the head or some one deputed by him, and represent- 
ing him) be the mouth, and the rest performing their parts 
t>y receiving instructions, or mentally concurring in the 
prayers and praise by him put up. Lastly, by * divine ap- 
pointment' I mean any signification of God's will, that it is 
men's duty to perform this. Whether a signification by 
natural means or supernatural, directly or by consequence, 
so we may be sure it is God's will. The sum of the ques- 
tion then is, ' Whether any sacred actions religiously and 


ordinarily to be performed to God's honour by the h^ad of 
the family, with the rest, be by God's appointment made 
our duty?' My thoughts of this question I shall reduce 
to these heads, and propound in this orders lijlicfillall 
speak of family worship in general. 2. Of the Sorts of that 
worship in special. 3. Of the time. 

1. Concerning the first, I lay down my thoughts in these 
Propositions following, for limitation and caution, and then 
prove the main conclusion. 

Prop. 1. It id not all sorts of God's worship which he 
hath-appointed to be performed by families as such ; there 
being some proper to more public assemblies. 

2. More particularly the administration of the sacra- 
ments of baptism and the Lord's supper, are ptoper to the 
ministerial or organized churches, and not common to fami- 
lies : for as they are both of them committed only to minis^ 
ters of the Gospel, and have been only used by them for 
many hundred years in the church : (except that some per- 
mitted others to baptize in case of necessity.) So the Lord's 
supper was appointed for a symbol and means of a more 
public communion than that of families. And though some 
conjecture the contrary > from its first institution, and think 
that as there is a family prayer and church prayer, family 
teaching and church teaching ; so there should be family 
sacraments and church sacraments, yetit is a mistake. For 
though Christ administered it to his family, yet it was not 
as a family* but as a church. For that which is but one fa*{ 
ihily may possibly be a church also. This exposition we 
have from the doctrine and practice of the apostles, and con- 
8tant custoto of all the churches which have never though! 
the Lord's supper to be a family duty, but proper to larger 
assemblies, and administrable only by ordained ministers* 
Nor will the reasons drawn from circumcision, and the pass- 
over prove the contrary ; both because particular churches 
were not then instituted as now ; and therefore families had 
the more to do : and because there were some duties proper to 
families in the very institution of those sacraments. And 
because God gave them a power in those, which he hath 
not given to masters of families now in our sacraments. 

3. Many thousands do by their own viciousness and 
negligence disable themselvefe ; so that they cannot perfori^i 


what God hath made their duty : yet it remains their duty 
still : some disability may excuse them in part, but not in 

I shall now prove, that the solemn worship of God in 
and by families as such, is of Divine appointment. 

Argument i. If families are societies of God's institu- 
tion, furnished with special advantages and opportunities 
for God's solemn worship, having no prohibition so to use 
them ; then the solemn worship of God in and by families as 
such, is of Divine appointment. But the antecedent is true ; 
therefore so is the consequent. 

For the parts of the antecedent, 1 . That families are so- 
cieties of God's institution, needeth no proof. 

2, That they are furnished with special advantages and 
opportunities may appear by an enumeration of particulars. 
(1 .) There is the advantage of authority in the ruler of the 
family, whereby he may command all that are under him in 
God's worship, yea, and may inflict penalties on children 
and servants that refuse ; yea, may cast some out of the fa- 
mily if they be obstinate. (2.) He hath the advantage of a 
singular interest in wife and children, by which he may 
bring them to it willingly, that so they may perform a right 
evangelical worship. (3.) He hath the advantage of a sin- 
gular dependance of all upon him for daily provisions ; and 
of his children for their portions for livelihood in the world, 
whereby he may yet further prevail with them for obedience : 
he having a power to reward, as well as to punish and com- 
mand. (4.) They have the opportunity of cohabitation, and 
so are still at hand, and more together, and so in readiness 
for such employments. (5.) Being nearest in relation, they 
are more strongly obliged to further each other's salvation, 
find help each other in serving God. (6.) They have hereby 
an advantage against all prejudices and jealousies, which 
strangeness and mistakes may raise and cherish among those 
that live at a greater distance, and so may close more hear- 
tily in God's worship. And their nearness of relation and 
natural affections do singularly advantage them for a more 
affectionate conjunction, and so for a more forcible and ac- 
ceptable worship of God, when they are in it as of one heart 
and soul. (7.) If any misunderstanding or other impedi- 
ment arise, they being still at hand, have opportunity to re- 



move them, and to satisfy each other ; and if any distempers 
of understanding, heart or life be in the family, the ruler, 
by familiarity and daily converse, is enabled more particu- 
larly to fit his reproofs and exhortations, confessions and 
petitions accordingly, which even ministers in the congrega- 
tions cannot so well do. So that I have made it evident in 
this enumeration, that families have advantages, yea, spe- 
cial and most excellent advantages and opportunities for 
the solemn worship of God. 

3. The last part of the antecedent was, that they have no 
prohibition to use these advantages and opportunities to 
God's solemn worship. I add this, lest any should say, 
though they have such advantages, yet God may restrain 
them for the avoiding some greater inconveniencies another 
way ; as he hath restrained women from speaking in the 
assemblies. But (1.) God hath neither restrained them in 
the law of nature, nor in the written law ; therefore not at 
all. He that can shew it in either, let him do it. (2.) I ne- 
ver yet read or heard any knowing Christian once affirm that 
God hath forbidden families solemnly to worship him, and 
therefore I think it needless to prove a negative, when no 
man is known to hold the affirmative. Indeed for some 
kinds of worship, as preaching and expounding Scripture, 
some have prohibited them ; but not reading, catechizing, 
all instructing, praying, praises, singing psalms, much less 
all solemn worship wholly. So much for the antecedent. 

I now come to prove the consequence. 1 . The foresaid ad- 
vantages and opportunities are talents given by God, which 
they that receive, are obliged faithfully to improve for God ; 
therefore families having such advantages and opportunities 
for God's solemn worship, are bound to improve them faith- 
fully for God, in the solemn worshipping of him. For the 
antecedent, 1. It is unquestionable that these are talents, 
that is, improvable mercies given by God. For as none 
dare deny them to be mercies, so none dare (I hope) say 
that God is not the giver of them. And then 2. That such 
talents must be improved faithfully for God, from whom they 
are received,^is plain, (1.) From Matt. xxv. throughout, es- 
pecially from verse 14. to verse 31. And Luke xx. 10. he 
requireth the fruits of his vineyard, and Matt. x. 42. if he 
intrust us with a cup of cold water, he expecteth it for 


a prophet when he calleth for it. And if he intrust us 
^ with outward riches, he expecteth that '' we give to him 
that asketh*." Jti§ stewards must give an account of 
t}?,eir stewardships. Christ telleth us of all our talents 
iQ general, that, " Unto whomsoever much is given, of him 
shall he much required : and to whom men have committed 
l^uch, of him will they ask the more ^.'' And of our words 
i^ particular Christ tells us, that ** of every idle word men 
shall give an account at the day of judgment^." Much 
ipqre for denying to use both our tongues and hearts in 
prod'i? worship, when he gives us such opportunities. " It 
}^ required in stewards, that a man be found faithful**." 
" As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the 
§apie one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace 
pf God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of 
God %" See. Many more of the like Scriptures prove the 
ai^tepedent of the enthymeme, and the consequent needs no 

-4rg, II. The solemn worship of God in and by fami- 
lies as such, is required by the very law of nature, there- 
fore it is of Divine institution. The consequence can be 
denied by no man that renounceth not reason and nature it- 
self; denying the law of nature to be God's law, which is 
indeed partly presupposed in the law supernatural, and part- 
ly rehearsed in it, but never subverted by it. Positives are 
more mutable than naturals are. 

The antecedent is thus manifested. \. Natural reason 
,(^^ the law pf natvii'e) requireth that all men do faithfully 
improve all the talents that God hath intrusted them with, 
to his, honour ; therefore natural reason (or the law of nature) 
dpth require, that God be solemnly worshipped in families ; 
\^^ having given them such advantages as aforesaid there- 
unto. 2. The law of nature requireth, that all societies thai 
have God for their founder and institutor, should, to their 
utmost capacities, be devoted to him that founded and in- 
.stituted them : but that God is the founder and ii;istitutor of 
families, is known by the light of nature itself: therefore 
the law of nature requireth, that faiuilies be to the utmost of 
their capacities devoted to God ; aijd consequently, that 

a Matt. V. 42. Luke vi. 30. 38. xi. 41. xii. 33. 

b Luke xvi. 2. xii. 48. *^ Matt. xii. 36. '* 1 Cor. iv. 2. 

' 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. 



they solemnly worship him, they being capable of so doing. 
I need not prove the major, because I speak only to men 
that are possessed of the law of nature mentioned in it : and 
therefore they know it themselves to be true. Yet let me so far 
stay on the illustration, as to tell you the grounds of it. And 

1 . God is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the prin- 
cipal efficient and ultimate end of all : and therefore of fami- 
lies. And therefore they should be for him, as well as they 
are from him : for ** of him, and through him, and to him are 
all things." This argument I draw from nature, which can 
have no beginning but God,' nor any end but God. The 

2. I draw from the Divine intention, in the fabrication and 
ordination of all things. God made all things for himself, 
and can have no ultimate end below himself. The 3. I draw 
from his * jus dominii,' his right of propriety which he hath 
over all things, and so over families as such : they are all ab- 
solutely his own alone. And that which is solely or abso- 
lutely a man's own, should be for his use, and employed to 
his honour and ends : much more that which is God's, seeing 
man is not capable of such a plenary propriety of any thing 
in the world, as God hath in all things. 4. I argue a * jure 
imperii,' from God's right of government. If he have a full 
right of government of families, as families, then families 
as families must honour and worship him according to their 
utmost capacities. But he hath a full right of absolute go- 
vernment over families, as families ; therefore — The conse- 
quence of the major is grounded on these two things: 1. 
That God himself is the end of his own government : this is 
proper to his regimen. All human "government is said by 
politicians to be terminated ultimately in the public good 
of the society. But God's pleasure and glory is the end of 
his government, and is, as it were, the public or universal 
good. 2. In that nature teacheth us, that supreme honour 
is due to all that are supreme governors ; therefore they are 
to have the most honourable titles, of majesty, highness, 
excellency. Sic, and actions answerable to those titles, " If 
I be a father, where is mine honour ? if I be a master, where 
is my fear ^ ?" Fear is oft put for all God's worship. If then 
there be no family whereof God is not the Father or Foun- 
der, and the Master, or Owner and Governor, then there is 

f Mai. i. 6. 


none but should honour and fear him, or worship him, and 
that not only as single men, but as families : because he is 
not only the Father and Master, the Lord and Ruler of them 
as men, but also as families. Honour is as due to the rec- 
tor, as protection to the subjects, and in our case much 
more. God is not a mere titular but real Governor. All 
powers on earth are derived from him, and are indeed his 
power. All lawful governors are his officers, and hold their 
places under him, and act by him. As God therefore is the 
proper Sovereign of every commonwealth, and the Head of 
the church ; so is he the Head of every family. Therefore 
as every commonwealth should perform such worship or ho- 
nour to their earthly sovereign, as is due to man ; so each 
society should, according to their capacities perform Divine 
worship and honour to God. And if any object. That by 
this rule commonwealths, as such, must meet together to 
worship God, which is impossible; I answer. They must 
worship him according to their natural capacities ; and so 
must families according to theirs. The same general pre- 
cept obligeth to a diverse manner of duty according to the 
divers capacities of the subject. Commonwealths must in 
their representatives at least, engage themselves to God as 
commonwealths, and worship him in the most convenient way 
that they are capable of. Families may meet together for pray- 
er, though a nation cannot. As an association of churches 
called a provincial or national church, is obliged to worship 
God, as well as particular congregations, yet not in one 
place ; because it is impossible : nature limiteth and maketh 
the difference. 

And that the obligation of families to honour and wor- 
ship God, may yet appear more eminently, consider that 
God's right of propriety and rule is twofold, yet each title 
plenary alone. 1. He is our Owner and Ruler upon his 
title of creation. 2. So he is by his right of redemption. 
By both these he is not only Lord and Ruler of persons, but 
families ; all societies being his. And the regimen of per- 
sons being chiefly exercised over them in societies. " All 
power in heaven and earth is given unto Christ « :" " and all 
judgment committed unto him ^ :" " and all things delivered 
into his hands*:" **and therefore to him shall every knee 

t Malt, xviii. 18. ^ John v. 2S. ' John xiii. 3. 


bow, both of things in heaven, and things in earth, and 
things under the earth :" (either with a bowing of worship, 
or of forced acknowledgment ;) and " every tongue shall 
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the 
Father ''." Bowing to and confessing Christ voluntarily to 
God's glory, is true worship : all must do this according to 
their several capacities : and therefore families according to 

A third consideration which I thought to have added 
but for illustration, may well stand as an argument itself; 
and it is this : 

Arg. III. If besides all the forementioned opportu- 
nities and obligations, families do live in the presence of 
God, and ought by faith to apprehend that presence, then is 
it God's will that families as such should solemnly worship 
him. But the former is true, therefore the latter. 

The consequence of the major, which alone requires 
proof, I prove by an argument ' a fortiori,' from the honour 
due to all earthly governors. Though when a king, a father, 
a master are absent, such actual honour, to be presented to 
them is not due, because they are not capable of receiving 
it (further than ' mediante aliqua persona, vel re,' which 
beareth some representation of the superior, or relation to 
him) ; yet when they stand by, it is a contemptuous sub- 
ject, a disobedient child, that will not perform actual hon- 
our, or human worship to them. Now God is ever present 
not only with each person as such, but also with every fam- 
ily as such. As he is said to walk among the golden can- 
dlesticks in his churches, so doth he in the families of all 
by his common presence, and of his servants by his gra- 
cious presence. This they easily find by his directing them, 
and blessing the affairs of their families. If any say, * We 
see not God, else we would daily worship him in our fam- 
ilies.' Answ. Faith seeth him who to sense is invisible. 
If one of you had a son that were blind and could not see 
his own father, would you think him therefore excusable, 
if he would not honour his father, when he knew him to be 
present ? We know God to be present, though flesh be 
blind and cannot see him. 

Arg. IV. If Christian families (besides all the foremen- 

•* Phil. ii. 10. 


tioned advantages and obligations) are also societies sanc- 
tified to God, then is it God's will that families, as such, 
should solemnly worship him ; but Christian families are so- 
cieties sanctified to God : Therefore, &c. 

The reason of the consequence is, because things sanc- 
tified must in the most eminent sort, that they are capable, 
be used for God. To sanctify a person or thing, is to set it 
apart, and separate it from a common or unclean use, and 
to devote it to God, to be employed in his service. To alie- 
Hate this from God, or not to use it for God, when it is de- 
dicated to him, or sanctified by his own election and sepa- 
ration of it from common use, is sacrilege. God hath a dou- 
ble right (of creation and redemption) to all persons. But 
a treble right to the sanctified. Ananias his fearful j udg- 
ment was a sad example of God's wrath, on those that with- 
hold from him what was devoted to him. If Christian fam- 
ilies as such, be sanctified to God, they must as such wor- 
ship him in their best capacity. 

That Christian families are sanctified to God, I prove 
thus ; 1. A society of holy persons must needs be a holy so- 
ciety. But a family of Christians is a society of holy per- 
sons ;* therefore, 2. We find in Scripture not only single 
persons, but the societies of such sanctified to God. ** Thou 
art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, he hath chosen 
thee to be a special people to himself above all people that 
are upon the face of the earth \" So the body of that 
commonwealth did all jointly enter into covenant with God , 
and God to them. " Thou hast vouched the Lord this day 
to be thy God, and to walk in his ways ; and the Lord hath 
vouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, that thou 
mayst be an holy people to the Lord""." Joshua (chap, 
xxiv.) devoteth himself and his house to the Lord ; " I and 
my house will serve the Lord." And Abraham by circum- 
cision (the covenant, or seal of the covenant of God) conse- 
crated his whole household to God ; and so were all fam- 
ilies after him to do (as to the males in whom the whole was 
consecrated). And whether besides the typifying intent, 
there were not something more in the sanctifying of all the 

' Deut. vii.6. So Deut. xiv. 20, 21. 

'" Deut. xxix. XXX. xxvi. 17 — 19. xxviii, 9. Dau. viii. 24. xii. 7. 


first-born to God, who if they lived, were to be the heads of 
families, may be questioned. 

The passover was a family duty, by which they were yet 
further sanctified to God. Yea, it is especially to be ob- 
served how in the New Testament the Holy Ghost doth im- 
itate the language of the Old, and speak of God's people, as 
of holy societies, as the Jews were. As in many prophe- 
cies it was foretold that nations and kingdoms should serve^^ 
him (of which I have spoken more in my Book of Baptism); 
and among those who should '* mourn over him whom they 
have pierced" in gospel times, when the spirit of grace and: 
supplication is poured forth, are " the family of the house of 
David apart, and their wives apart, the family of the house of 
Nathan apart, and their wives apart ; every tamily, even all 
the families that remained apart, and their wives apart"." 
So Christ sendeth his disciples to "baptize nations," having 
discipled them ; and ** the kingdoms of the world shall be^ 
come the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ." And as 
God saith of the Jews, ** Ye shall be a peculiar treasure to 
me above all people ; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of 
priests, and a holy nation '^ ; " so doth Peter say of all Chris- 
tians ; " Ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual 
house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices ac- 
ceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a cho- 
sen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a pecu- 
liar people, that you should shew forth the praises of him 
that hath called you out of darkness into his mai'vellous 
light P." Mark how fully this text doth prove all that we 
are about. It speaks of Christians collectively, as in socie- 
ties, and in societies of all the most eminent sorts ; " a gen- 
emtion ;" which seems especially to refer to tribes and fam^ 
ilies : "a priesthood, nation, people ;" which comprehend- 
eth all the orders in the nation ofttimes. And in all these 
respects they are holy, and peculiar, and chosen, to shew, 
that God's people are sanctified in these relations and socie- 
ties. And then mark the end of this sanctification, " to of- 
fer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus 
Christ "1 ; to shew forth the praises of him that hath called 

you V' &c. 

n Zech. xi. 12— U. 

" Exod. xix. 5, 6. 

PI Pet if. 5—?. 9. 

<« Ver. 5. 

"• Ver. 9. 


Yea, it seems that there was a special dedication of fam- 
ilies to God. And therefore we read so frequently of 
households converted and baptized; though none at age 
were baptized, but such as seemed believers ; yet when they 
professed faith, they were all together initiated as a house- 
hold. And it seems, the master's interest and duty were 
taken to be so great for the conversion of the rest, that as 
he was not to content himself with his own conversion, but 
to labour presently even before his baptism, that his house- 
hold should join with him, that so the whole family at once 
might be devoted to God : so God did bless this his own or- 
der and ordinance to that end : and where he imposed duty 
on masters, he usually gave success, so that commonly the 
whole family was converted and baptized with the ruler of 
of the family. So Acts xviii. 8. " Crispus believed on the 
Lord with all his house, and they were baptized :" and Acts 
xvi. 32. Paul promiseth the gaoler, " Believe on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house ; and 
he and all his were baptized straightway : for he believed in 
God with all his house," ver. 33, 34. And Lydiais described 
a " worshipper of God^:" " She was baptized and her house- 
hold." And the angel told Cornelius, that Peter should 
tell him " words whereby he and all his household should 
be saved :" who were baptized accordingly*. And 1 Cor. i. 
16. Paul baptized the household of Stephanus. And Christ 
told Zaccheus, salvation was come that day unto his house, 
"and he and all his househould believed." So that noble- 
man, John iv. 53. Therefore when Christ sent forth his 
disciples, he saith, *' If the house be worthy, let your peace 
come upon it, but if it be not worthy, let your peace return 
to you." So that as it is apparently the duty of every 
Christian sovereign, to do what he is able to make all his 
people God's people ; and so to dedicate them to God as a 
holy nation, in a national covenant, as the Israelites were : 
so is it the unquestionable duty of every Christian ruler of 
a family, to improve his interest, power, and parts to the ut- 
termost, to bring all his family to be the people of Christ in 
the baptismal covenant, and so to dedicate all his family to 
Christ. Yet farther I prove this, in that believers them- 
selves being all sanctified to God, it must needs follow, that 

• Acts xvi. 14, 15. ' Acts xi. 14. 


all their lawful relations, and especially all commanded 
states of relation are also sanctified to God ; for when them- 
selves are dedicated to God, it is absolutely without reserve, 
to serve him with all that they have, and in every relation 
and capacity that he shall set them. It were a madness to 
think, that a Christian totally devoted unto God when he is 
a private man, if he were after made a soldier, a minister, a 
magistrate, a king, were not bound by his dedication, now 
to serve God as a soldier, a minister, a magistrate, a king. 
So he that is devoted to God in a single state, is bound to 
serve him as a husband, a father, a master, when he comes 
into that state ; we do devote all that we have to God, 
when we devote ourselves to him. 

Moreover the Scripture tells us, that to " the pure all 
things are pure ^" And " all things are sanctified to them 
by the word and prayer * ;" which is in that they are made 
the goods, and enjoyments, actions and relations of a sanc- 
tified people; who are themselves devoted or sanctified to 
God : so that all sanctification referreth ultimately and prin- 
cipally to God : * Quod sanctum Deo sanctum est ;' though 
it may be said subordinately to be sanctified to us. Seeing 
then it is past all doubt, that every Christian is a man sanc- 
tified and devoted to God, and that when every man is so devo- 
ted to God, he is devoted to serve him to the utmost capacity 
in every state, relation or condition that he is in, and with all 
the faculties he possesseth, it followeth, that those relations 
are sanctified to God, and in them he ought to worship him 
and honour him. 

Yet further we find m Scripture, that the particular fam- 
ily relations are expressly sanctified; the family complete 
consisteth of three pairs of relations : husband and wife, 
parents and children, masters and servants. Husbands must 
love their wives with an holy love in the Lord, even as *' the 
Lord loved the church, who gave himself for it, to sanctify 
and cleanse it by the washing of water by the word, that he 
might present it to himself a glorious church "." " Wives 
must submit themselves to their husbands as unto the Lord ; 
and be subject to them, as the church is to Christ "." *' Chil- 
dren must obey their parents in the Lord ^" ** Parents must 
bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the 

• Tit. i. 15, 16. t 1 Hm. iv. h. " Ep*'- v. 25—27. 

» Eph. V, 2?— 24. y Eph. vi. 1. 


Lord^.'' " Servant* must be obedient tmto their masters as 
unto Christ, and as the servants of Christ, doing the will of 
God from their hearts with good will, doing service as to the 
Lord, and not to man ; knowing that what good thing any 
man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he 
be bond or free ; and masters must do the same to them, 
knowing that their anastet is in heaven *." So that it is evi- 
dent that evety distinct family relation is dedicated or holy 
to God, and to be used to the utmost for God. I shall have 
occasion to make further use anon of these texts for the par- 
ticular sorts of worship, though I now make use of them as 
for worship in general. 

Arg. v. The several sorts of solemn worship in and by 
Christian families, are found, appointed, used, and com- 
manded in the Scripture, therefore it may well be concluded 
of worship in the general : seeing the genus is in each spe- 
cies. But this argument brings me to the second part of 
my undertaking : viz. to prove the point as to some special 
kinds of worship ; which I the more hasten ta> because in 
so doing, I prove the general also. 

n. Concerning God's worship in iapecial, J shall speak 
to two or three of the chief parts of it, which belotig to 

And 1. of Teaching, under which I comprise, 

I'. Teaching the letter of the Scripture, (1.) By reading 
it; ((S.) By teaching others to read it. (3.) Causing them 
to learn it by memory, which is a kind of catechising. 

2. Teaching the sense of it. 

3. Applying what is so taught by familiar reproofs, ad- 
moiiitions and exhortations. 

Prop. II. ' It is the will of God that the rulers of fam- 
ilies should teach those that are under them the doctrine of 
salvation :' i. e. the doctrine of God concerning salvation, 
and the terms on which it is to be had, and the means to be 
used for attaining it, and all the duties requisite on our 
parts in order thereunto. 

Before I come to the proof, take these cautions: L 
Where I say meh must thus teach, I imply they must be able 
to teach, and not teach before they are able : and if they be 
not able it is their own sin, God having vouchsafed them 

z Eph. vi. 4 * Eph vi. 6 — 9. 




means for enablement. 2. Men must measwre their teach- 
ing according to their abilities, and not pretend to i^ore 
than they have, nor attempt that which they cannot perform, 
thereby incurring the guilt of proud self-conceitedness, pro- 
fanation, or other abuse of holy things. For example, men 
that are not able judiciously to do it, must not presiime to 
interpret the original, or to give the sense of dark prophe- 
cies, and other obscure texts of Scripture, nor to determine 
controversies beyond their reach. 3. Yet may such conve- 
niently study what more learned, able men say to such cases ; 
and tell their families, this is the judgment of Fathers, or 
Councils, or such and such learned divines. 4. But ordi- 
narily it is the safest, humblest, wisest, and most orderly 
way for the master of the family to let controversies and ob- 
scure Scriptures alone, and to teach the plain, few necessary 
doctrines commonly contained in catechisms, and to direct 
in matters of necessary practice. 5. Family teaching must 
stand in a subordination to ministerial teaching, as families 
are subordinate to churches: and therefore (1.) Family 
teaching must give way to ministerial teaching, and never 
be set against it ; you must not be hearing the master of a 
family, when you should be in a church hearing the pastor : 
and if the pastor send for servants, or children to be cate- 
chised in any fit place or at any fit time, the master is not 
then to be doing it himself, or to hinder them, bu!t they must 
go first to the pastor to be taught ; -also if a pastor come in- 
to a family, the master is to give place, and the family to 
hear him first. (2.) And therefore when any hard text, or 
controversies fall in, the master should consult with the 
pastor for their exposition, unless it fall out that the master 
of the family be better learned in the Scripture than the 
pastor is, which is rare, and rarer should be, seeing unwor- 
thy ministers should be removed, and private men that are 
worthy should be made ministers. And the pastors should 
be the ablest men in the congregation. Now to the proof, 
<remembering still that whatsoever proves it the ruler's duty 
to teach, must needs prove it the families' duty to learir, 
and to hearken to his teaching that they may learn. 

Arg.i. From Deut. xi. 18—21. "Therefore shall yoti 
lay up these my words in your hearts, and in your soul, and 
bind them for a sign upon your hand, that t^ey mby be as 


frontlets between your eyes, and you shall teach them your 
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, and thou shalt write them 
upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon your gates, that 
your days may be multiplied, and the days of your chil- 
dren." The like words are in Deut. vi. 6—8. where it is 
said, " And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy chil- 
dren." So Deut. iv. 9. " Teach them thy sons, and thy 
sons' sons." 

Here there is onepart of family duty, viz. Teaching chil- 
dren the laws of God, as plainly commanded as words can 
express it. 

Arg. II. From these texts which commend this. Gen. 
xviii. 18, 19. " All the nations of the earth shall be blessed 
in him, for I know him that he will command his children 
and his household after him : and they shall keep the way 
of the Lord :" and it was not only a command at his death 
what they should do when he was dead, for 1. It cannot be 
imagined that so holy a man should neglect a duty all his 
lifetime, and perform it but at death and be commended for 
that. 2. He might then have great cause to question the 
efficacy. 3. As God commandeth a diligent inculcating 
precepts on children; so no doubt it is a practice answer- 
able to such precepts, that is here commended, and it is not 
bare teaching, but commanding that is here mentioned, to 
shew that it must be an improvement of authority, as well as 
of knowledge and elocution. 

So 2 Tim. iii. 16. From a child Timothy knew the 
Scripture by the teaching of his parents, as appeareth, 
2 Tim. i. 5. 

Arg. III. Eph. vi. 4. " Bring them up in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord ;" * irai^ka translated * nurture,' 
signifieth both instruction and correction, shewing that 
parents must use both doctrine and authority, or force, with 
their children for the matters of the Lord ; and * vsOe^ia 
translated * admonition,' signifieth such instruction as put- 
teth doctrine into the mind, and chargeth it on them, and 
fully storeth their minds therewith : and it also signifi- 
eth chiding, and sometimes correction. And it is to be 
noted that children must be brought up in this : the word 


' £KTpi(l)eT£' signifying * carefully to nourish/ importeth that 
as you feed them with milk and bodily food, so you must as 
carefully and constantly feed and nourish them with the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is called the nur- 
ture and admonition ' of the Lord/ because the Lord com- 
mandeth it, and because it is the doctrine concerning the 
Lord, and the doctrine of his teaching, and the doctrine that 
leadeth to him. 

Arg.iv. Prov. xxii. 6. **Train up a child in the way 
where he should go, and when he is old he will not depart 
from it." 

Arg. V. From all those places that charge children to 
** hearken to the instructions of their parents,*' Prov. i. 8. 
" My son hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not 
the law of thy mother." Prov. vi. 20. is the like ; and iii. 
22. with many the like. Yea, the son that is stubborn and 
rebellious against the instruction and correction of a father 
or mother in gluttony, drunkenness, &c. was to be brought 
forth to the magistrate, and stoned to death, Deut. xxi. 
18 — 20. Now all the Scriptures that require children to 
hear their parents, do imply that the parents must teach 
their children ; for there is no hearing and learning without 

But lest you say that parents and children are not the 
whole family, (though they may be, and in Abraham's case 
before mentioned, the whole household is mentioned,) the 
next shall speak to other relations. 

Arg. VI. 1 Pet. iii. 7. " Likewise ye husbands dwell with 
them (your wives) according to knowledge /' and Eph. v, 
25, 26. " Love your wives as Christ loved the church and 
gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it." 
And this plainly implies that this knowledge must be used 
for the instruction and sanctification of the wife, 1 Cor. xiv. 
34, 35. Women must ** keep silence in the church, for it is 
not permitted unto them to speak, but they are to be under 
obedience, as also saith the law. If they will learn any thing, 
let them ask their husbands at home." Which shews that 
at home their husbands must teach them. 

Arg. VII. Col. iii. 22—25. Eph. vi. 5—8. *' Servauts 
must be obedient unto their masters as unto Christ find 

VOL. IV. I' 


serve them as serving the Lord Christ," and therefore min- 
isters must command in Christ. 

Arg. VIII. * A fortiori/ fellow Christians must '* exhort 
one another daily while it is called to-day, lest any be har- 
dened by the deceitfulness of sin," much more must the 
rulers of families do so to wives, children and servants. ** If 
any speak, it must be as the oracles of God •*," much more 
to our own families. '* Let the Word of God dwell in you 
richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one 
another *^;" and much more must a man do this to wife, chil- 
dren and servants, than to those more remote. 

Arg. IX. Those that are to be chosen deacons or bishops, 
must be such as rule their own children and their own 
household well '^. Now mark, 1. That this is one of those 
Christian virtues which they were to have before they were 
made officers, therefore other Christians must have and per- 
form it as well as they. 2. It is a religious, holy governing, 
such as a minister is to exercise over his flock that is here 
mentioned, which is in the things of God and salvation, or 
else the comparison or argument would not suit, ver. 5. 
" For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how 
shall he rule the church of God ?" But of this more before. 
I would say more on this point, but that I think it is so clear 
iR Scripture as to make it needless ; I pass therefore to 
the next. 

Prop. III. * Family discipline is part of God's solemn 
worship or service appointed in his Word ;' this is not cal- 
led worship in so near a sense as some of the rest, but more 
remotely ; yet so it may well be called, in that 1. It is an 
authoritative act done by commission from God ; 2. Upon 
such as disobey him, and as such. 3. And to his glory, 
yea, and it should be done with as great solemnity and reve- 
xence, as other parts of worship. 

The acts of this discipline are first denying the ungod- 
ly entrance into the family. 2. Correcting ; 3. Or casting 
out those that are in. I shall be but brief on these. 

1. The first you have 2 John x. " If there come any to 
you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your 
house, neither bid him God speed ; for he that biddeth him 
God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." 

b 1 Pet, iv. 11. •= Col. iii . 16. <i 1 Tim. iii. 4. 12. 


2. The duty of correcting either by corporal, sensible 
punishment, or by withdrawing some benefit, h gd Gbftir 
monly required in Scripture, especially towards childreri, 
that I will not stand on it lest I speak in vain what you all 
know already ; and how Eli suffered for neglecting it, yoti 

3. The discipline of casting the wicked dUt of the family 
(servants I mean who are separable members), you may find 
Psal. ci. 2, 3. 7, 8. " I will walk within my house with sT 
perfect heart, I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes. 
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house, he 
that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight." 

Prop. IV. * Solemn prayer and praises of God in and by 
Christian families is of divine appointment.' 

1. For proof of this, I must desire you to look back to 
all the arguments which proved the dueness of worship in 
general, for they will yet more especially prove this sort of 
worship, seeing prayer and praise, are most immediately 
and eminently called God's worship of any ; (uiider pratisefd 
I comprehend psalms of praise, and under prayer, psalms of 
prayer) ; yet let us add some more. 

Arg. I. * It is God's will that Christians who have fit 
occasions and opportunities for prayer and praises should 
improve them, but Christian families have fit occasions and 
opportunities for prayer and praise, therefore it is GodV 
will they should improve them. 

The major is evident in many Scripture precepts. "I 
will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy 
hands, without wrath and doubting®." "Pray without ceas- 
ing : in every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God 
concerning you^" " Continue in prayer, and watch in the 
same with thanksgiving «." "Teaching and admonishing 
cite another in pfi^alms, and hymns, and spiritual sorigs, 
singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord, and what- 
soever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the 
Lord Jesus ; giving thanks unto God and the Father by' 
him *•." " Continuing instant in prayer \" " Praying always 
with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching 
thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all 

e 1 Tim. ii. 8. ^ 1 Thess. v. 17, 18. » Col. iv.«. 

*• Col. iii. 16, 17. ' Rom. xii. 1^. 


saints: and for me that utterance may be given me*'." 
Many the like texts might be named, every one of which 
afford an argument for family praises most effectual. 

1. If men must pray every where (that is convenient) 
then sure in their families. But, &c. Erg. 2. If men must 
pray without ceasing, then sure in their families. 3. If men 
must in every thing give thanks, then sure in family mer- 
cies, and then, according to the nature of them, together. 
4. If men must continue in prayer and .watch in it (for fit 
advantages and against impediments), and in thanksgiving, 
then doubtless they must not omit the singular advantages 
which are administered in families. 5. If we must con- 
tinue instant in prayer and supplication, &c. then doubtless 
in family prayer, in our families, unless that be no place and 
no prayer. Object. But this binds us no more to prayer in 
our families than any where else. Answ. Yes, it binds us 
to take all fit opportunities ; and we have more fit oppor- 
tunities in our own families than in other men's, or than in 
occasional meetings, or than in any ordinary societies, ex- 
cept the church. 

And here let me tell you, that it is ignorance to call for 
particular express Scripture, to require praying in families, 
as if we thought the general commands did not comprehend, 
this particular, and were not sufficient. God doth in much 
wisdom leave out of his written law the express deter- 
mination of some of those circumstantials, or the applica- 
tion of general precepts to some of those subjects to which 
common reason and the light of nature sufficeth to deter- 
mine and apply them. The Scripture giveth us the general 
" Pray alway with all manner of prayer in all places," that 
is, omit no fit advantages and opportunities for prayer ; 
What if God had said no more than this about prayer in 
Scripture ? It seems some men would have said God hath, 
jQOt required us to pray at all (when he requireth us to pray 
always), because he tells us not when and where, and how 
oft^ and with whom, and in what words, &c. And so they 
would have concluded God no where bids us pray in secret,; 
nor pray in families, nor pray in assemblies, nor pray with 
the godly, nor with the wicked, nor pray every day, nor; 
ypnce a week : nor with a book, nor without a book, and 

^ Eph. vi, 18. 


therefore not at all. As if the general ' Pray on all fit 
occasions' were nothing. 

But these men must know that nature also and reason 
are God's light, and Providence oft determineth of such sub- 
jects and adjuncts : and the general law, and these together, 
do put all out of doubt. What if God telleth you, * He 
that provideth not for his own, especially those of his 
household, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infi- 
del,' and do not tell you either who are your families, and who 
not, nor what provision you shall make for them, what 
food, what clothes, or how oft they must feed, &c. Will 
you say God hath not bid you feed or clothe this child, or 
that servant ? It is enough that God chargethyou to provide 
for your families, in the Scripture ; and that in nature he 
tell you which are your families, and what provision to 
make for them, and how oft, and in what quantity, &c. 
And so if God bid you pray in all places, and at all times, 
on all occasions (that are fit for prayer), and experience 
and common reason tell you that families afford most fit 
times, place, and occasions for prayer, is not this enough, 
that there are such seasons, and opportunities, and occa- 
sions for family prayer? I refer you to the particular 
discoveries of them in the beginning where I proved the 
dueness of worship in general to be there performed. And 
I refer you also to common reason itself, not fearing the 
contradiction of any man whose impiety hath not made 
him unreasonable, and prevailed against the common light 
of nature. This first general argument were enough, if men 
were not so averse to their duty that they cannot know, 
because they will not : but let us therefore add some more. 

Arg. II. * If there be many blessings which the family 
needeth, and which they do actually receive from God, then 
it is the will of God that the family pray for these blessings 
when they need them, and give thanks for them when they 
have received them : but there are many blessings which the 
family (as conjunct) needeth and receiveth of God. There- 
fore the family conjunct, and not only particular members 
secretly, should pray for them and give thanks for them. 

The antecedent is past question; 1. The continuance of 
the family as such in being. 2. In well being. 3. And so 
the preservation and direction of the essential members^ 


4. Aftd the prosperiog of all ftimily affairs are evident in- 
stances: and to descend to more particulars would be 
needless tediousness. The consequence is proved from 
many Spriptures, w^hich require those that want mercies to 
ask them, and those that have received them, to be thank- 
ful for them. Object. So they may do singly. Answ. It is 
not only as single persons but as a society that they re- 
ceive the mercy : therefore not only as single persons, but 
£^s a society should they pray and give thanks : therefore 
should they do it in that manner, as may be most fit for a 
society to do it in, and that is, together conjunctly, that 
it may be indeed a family sacrifice, and that each part may 
see that the rest join with them. And especially that the 
ruler may be satisfied in this, to whom the oversight of the 
rest is committed : to see that they all join in prayer, which 
in secret he cannot see, it being not fit that secret prayer 
should have spectators or witness ; that is, should not be 
secret. But this I intended to make another argument by 
itself; which because we are fallen on it, I will add next. 

Arg. III. If God hath given charge to the ruler of a 
family to see that the rest do worship him in that family, 
then ought the ruler to cause them solemnly or openly to 
join in that worship. But God hath given charge to the 
ruler of a family, to see that the rest do worship him in that 
family : therefore, &c. 

Tjie reason of the consequence is, because otherwise 
hp can with no convenience see that they do it. For, 1. 
It is not fit that he should stand by while they pray se- 
cretly. 2. Nor are they able vocally to do it, in most fami- 
lies, but have need of a leader ^ it being not a thing to be 
expected of every woman, and child and servant (that had 
wanted good education), that they should be able to pray 
without a guide, so as is fit for others to hear, 3. It would 
take up almost all the time of the ruler of many families, 
to go to them one after another, and stand by them while 
they pray till all have done ; what man in his wits can 
think this to be so fit a course, as for the family to join to- 
gether, the ruler being the mouth ? 

The antecedent I prove thus, 1. The fourth commandment 
requireth the ruler of the family not only to see that himself 
sanctitieth the sabbath day, but also that his son and daughn 


ter, and man-servant, and maid-servant, his cattle (that is 
so far-as they are capable), yea, and the stranger that is 
within his gates should do it. 2. It was committed to Abra- 
ham's charge to see that all in his family were circumcised : 
so was it afterwards to every ruler of a family ; insomuch as 
the angel threatened Moses, when his son was uncircum- 
cised. 3. The ruler of the family was to see that the " pass- 
over" was kept by every one in his family ^ and so the 
** feast of weeks™." All that is said before tendeth to 
prove this, and much more might be said, if I thought it 
would be denied. 

Arg. IV. If God prefer, and would have us prefer, the 
prayers and praises of many conjunct, before the prayers 
and praises of those persons dividedly, then is it his will that 
the particular persons of Christian families should prefer 
conjunct prayer and praises before disjunct: but the ante- 
cedent is true, therefore so is the consequent. Or thus 
take it for the same argument or another. If it be the 
duty of neighbours, when they have occasion and oppor- 
tunity, rather to join together, in praises of common con- 
cernment, than to do it dividedly, then much more is this the 
duty of families : but it is the duty of neighbours : there- 
fore, &c. 

In the former argument the reason of the consequence 
is, because that way is to be taken that God is best pleased 
with. The reason of the consequence in the latter is, be- 
cause family members are more nearly related than neigh- 
bours, and have much more advantage and opportunity for 
conjunctions and more ordinary reasons to urge them to it, 
from the conjunction of their interest and affairs. 

There is nothing needs proof but the antecedent, which I 
shall put past all doubt by these Arguments. l.Col. iii. 16. 
"Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns, 
and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto 
the Lord." Here is one duty of praise required to be done 
together and not apart only. I shall yet make further use 
of this text anon. 2. Acts xii. 12. " Many were gathered 
together praying in Mary's house, when Peter came to the 
door." This was not an assembly of the whole church but 
a small part: they judged it better to pray together than 

» Exod. xii, 2, 3. "• Deut. xxvi. 11, 12, 


alone. 3. Acts xx. 36. Paul prayed together with all the 
elders of the church of Ephesus, when he had them with 
him ; and did not choose rather to let them pray each man 
alone. 4. James v. 15, 16. James commands the sick to 
■* send for the elders of the church, and let them pray over 
him, and the prayer of the faithful shall save the sick, &c." 
He doth not bid send to them to pray for you ; but he 
would have them join together in doing it. 5. Church 
prayers are preferred before private on this ground, and we 
commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves toge- 
ther, Heb. X. 25. 6. Striving together in prayer is desired, 
Rom. XV. 30. 7. Matt, xviii. 20. " For where two or three 
are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst 
of them." 8. Therefore Christ came among the disciples 
when they were gathered together, after his resurrection. 
And sent down the Holy Ghost when they were gathered 
together. Acts ii. " And they continued with one accord in 
prayer and supplication," Acts i. 14. 24. ii. 42. " And 
when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they 
had assembled together, and they were all filled with the 
Holy Ghost, &c." Acts iv. 31. 9. Is not this implied, in 
Christ's directing his disciples to pray in the plural num- 
ber " Our Father, &.c. Give us this day, &c." 10. The very 
necessity of the persons proves it, in that few societies are 
such but that most are unable to express their own wants 
so largely as to affect their hearts, so much as when others 
do it that are better stored with affection and expression. 
And this is one of God's ways for communion and commu- 
nication of grace : that those that have much may help to 
warm and kindle those that have less. Experience telleth 
us the benefit of this. As all the body is not an eye or 
hand, so not a tongue, and therefore the tongue of the 
church, and of the family must speak for the whole body : 
not but that each one ought to pray in secret too : but, (1.) 
There the heart without the tongue may better serve turn. 
(2.) They still ought to prefer conjunct prayer. And (3.) 
The communion of saints is an article of our creed, which 
binds us to acknowledge it fit to do as much of God's work 
as we can in communion with the saints, not going beyond 
our callings, nor into confusion. 

Arg. V. It is a duty to receive all the mercies that 

^.HAP. III.] CHRISTIAN economics; -7^ 

God offereth us : but for a family to have access to God in 
tjoint prayers and praises, is a mercy that God offereth them : 
therefore it is their duty to accept it. The major is clear 
in nature and Scripture, * Because I have offered and ye re- 
fused/ is God's great aggravation of the sin of the rebel- 
lious. ** How oft would I have gathered you together, and 
ye would not? All the day long have I stretched out my 
hand, &c." To refuse an offered kindness, is contempt and 
ingratitude. The minor is undeniable by any Christian, 
that ever knew what family prayers and praises were. Who 
dare say that it is no mercy to have such a joint access to 
God ? Who feels not conjunction somewhat help his own 
affections, who makes conscience of watching his heart? 

Arg. VI. Part of the duties of families are such that 
they apparently lose their chiefest life and excellency if 
they be not performed jointly : therefore they are so to be 

I mean, singing of psalms which I before proved an or- 
dinary duty of conjunct Christians, therefore of families. 
The melody and harmony are lost by our separation, and 
consequently the alacrity and quickening which our affec- 
tions should get by it. And if part of God's praises must 
be performed together, it is easy to see that the rest must 
be so too. (Not to speak of teaching which cannot be done 

Arg. VII. * Family prayer and praises are a duty owned 
by the teaching and sanctifying work of the Spirit : there- 
fore they are of God. 

I would not argue backwards from the Spirit's teaching 
to the words commanding, but on these two suppositions, 

1. That the experiment is very general, and undeniable. 

2. That many texts of Scripture are brought already for 
family prayer ; and that this argument is but to second them 
and prove them truly interpreted. The Spirit and the 
Word do always agree : if therefore I can prove that the 
Spirit of God doth commonly work men's hearts to a love 
and favour of these duties, doubtless they are of God. 
Sanctification is a transcript of the precepts of the word on 
the heart, written out by the Spirit of God. So much for 
the consequence. 

The antecedent consisteth of two parts, 1. That the 


sanctified have in them inclinations to these duties. 2. 
That these inclinations are from the Spirit of God. The 
first needs no proof being a matter of experience. I ap- 
peal to the heart of every sound and stable Christian, whe- 
ther he feel not a conviction of this duty and an inclina- 
tion to the performance of it. I never met with one such 
to my knowledge that was otherwise minded. Object. Many 
in our times are quite against family prayer, who are good 
Christians. Ansiv. I know none of them. I confess 1 once 
thought some very good Christians that now are against 
them, but now they appear otherwise, not only by this but 
by other things. I know none that cast olf these duties, 
but they took up vile sins in their stead, and cast off other 
duties as well as these : let others observe and judge as they 
find. 1. The power of delusion may for a time make a 
Christian forbear as unlawful, that which his very new na- 
ture is inclined to. As some think it unlawful to pray 
in our assemblies, and some to join in sacraments : and yet 
they have a spirit within them that inclineth their hearts to 
it still, and therefore they love it, and wish it were lawful, 
even when they forbear it upon a conceit that it is unlawful. 
And so it is possible for a time some may do by family 
duties : but as I expect that these ere long recover, so for 
my part I take all the rest to be graceless : prejudice and 
error as a temptation may prohibit the exercise of a duty, 
when yet the Spirit of God doth work in the heart an incli- 
nation to that duty in sanctifying it. 2. And that these in- 
clinations are indeed from the Spirit is evident. 1. In 
that they come in with all other grace. 2. And by the 
same means. 3. And are preserved by the same means, 
standing or falling, increasing or decreasing with the rest. 
4. And are to the same end. 5. And are so generally in all 
the saints. 6. And so resisted by flesh and blood. 7. And 
so agreeable to the Word, that a Christian sins against his 
new nature, when he neglects family duties. And God 
doth by his Spirit create a desire after them, and an estima- 
tion of them in every gracious soul. 

Arg. VIII. Family prayer and praises are a duty, ordina- 
rily crowned with admirable, divine and special blessings : 
therefore it is of God; the consequence is evident. For 
though common, outward prosperity may be given to the 


wicked, who have their portion in this life, yet so is not 
prosperity of soul. 

For the antecedent I willingly appeal to the experience 
of all the holy families in the world. Who ever used these 
duties seriously, and found not the benefits ? What families 
be they, in which grace and heavenly-mindedness prosper, 
but those that use these duties ? Compare in all your 
towns, cities, and villages, the families that read Scriptures, 
pray, and praise God, with those that do not, and see the 
difference : which of them abound more with impiety, with 
oaths, and cursings, and railings, and drunkenness, and 
whoredoms, and worldliness, &c. : and which abound most 
with faith, and patience, and temperance, and charity, and 
repentance, and hope, &c. The controversy is not hard to 
decide. Look to the nobility and gentry of England ; see 
you no difference between those that have been bred in 
praying families and the rest ? I mean, taking them (as we 
say) one with another proportionably. Look to the minis- 
ters of England ; is it praying families or prayerless families 
that have done most to the well furnishing of the universities. 
Arg. IX. All churches ought solemnly to pray to God and 
praise him : a Christian family is a church : therefore &c. 
The major is past doubt, the minor I prove from the na- 
ture of a church in general, which is a society of Christians 
combined for the better worshipping and serving of God. 
I say not that a family, formally as a family, is a church ; but 
every family of Christians ought moreover, by such a com- 
bination to be a church : yea, as Christians they are so com- 
bined, seeing Christianity tieth them to serve God conjunctly 
together in their relations. 2. Scripture expresseth it, 1 Cor. 
xvi. 19. " Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, 
with the church that is in their house." He saith not which 
meeteth in their house, but which is in it. So Philemon 2. 
** And to the church in thy house." Rom. xvi. 5. ** Like- 
wise greet the church that is in their house." Col. iv. 16. 
** Salute the brethren that are at Laodicea and Nymphas, 
and the church which is in his house." Though some learn- 
ed men take these to be meant of part of the churches, as* 
sembling in these houses, yet Beza, Grotius, and many 
others acknowledge it to be meant of a family or domestic 
church, according to that of Tertullian, * ubi tres licet laici 


ibi Ecclesia,' yet I say not that such a family-church is of 
the same species with a particular organized church of many 
families. But it could not (so much as analogically) be 
•called a church if they might not and must not pray to- 
gether, and praise God together ; for these therefore it fully 

Arg. X. If rulers must teach their families the Word of 
.God, then must they pray with them, but they must teach 
them : therefore, &c. The antecedent is fully proved by ex- 
press Scripture already ; see also Psal.lxxviii. 4—6. Minis- 
ters must teach from house to house : therefore rulers them- 
selves must do it. Acts V. 42. xx. 20. 

The consequence is proved good, 1. The apostles prayed 
when they preached or instructed Christians in private as- 
semblies. Acts XX. 36. and other places. 2. We have spe- 
cial need of God's assistance in reading the Scriptures to 
know his mind in them, and to make them profitable to us ; 
therefore we must seek it. 3. The reverence due to so holy 
a business requireth it. 4. We are commanded '* in all 
things to make our requests known to God with prayers, 
supplications, and thanksgiving, and that with all manner 
of prayer, in all places, without ceasing ;" therefore espe- 
cially on such occasions as the reading of Scriptures and in- 
structing others : and I think that few men that are con- 
vinced of the duty of reading Scripture and solemn instruct- 
ing their families, will question the duty of praying for 
God's blessing on it, when they set upon the work. Yea, a 
Christian's own conscience will provoke him reverently to 
begin all with God in the imploring of his acceptance, and 
aid, and blessing. 

Ai^g. XI. If rulers of families are bound to teach their fa- 
milies to pray, then are they bound to pray with them : but 
they are bound to teach them to pray : therefore, &c. 

In the foregoing argument I speak of teaching in gene- 
ral : here I speak of teaching to pray in special. The an- 
tecedent of the major I prove thus. 1. They are bound to 
bring " them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord °:" 
therefore to teach them to pray and praise God : for " the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord" containeth that. 2. 
They are bound to " teach them the fear of the Lord," and 

" Ephes. vi. 44. 


" train them up in the way that they should go," and that 
is doubtless in the way of prayer and praising God. 

The consequence appeareth here to be sound, in that men 
cannot be well and effectually taught to pray, without pray- 
ing with them, or in their hearing ; therefore they that must 
teach them to pray, must pray with them. It is like music, 
which you cannot well teach any man, without playing or 
singing to him; seeing teaching must be by practising : 
and in most practical doctrines it is so in some degree. 

If any question this, I appeal to experience. I never? 
knew any man that was well taught by man to pray, without 
practising it before them. They that ever knew any such, 
may have the more colour to object; but I did not : or if 
they did, yet so rare a thing is not to be made the ordinary 
way of our endeavours, any more than we should forbear 
teaching men the most curious artifices by ocular demon- 
stration, because some wits have learnt them by few words, 
or of their own invention : they are cruel to children and. 
servants that teach them not to pray by practice and- 

Arg. XII. From 1 Tim. iv. 3 — 5. " Meats which God.: 

hath created to be received with thanksgiving for it is' 

sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." 

Here mark, 1. That all our meat is to be received with; 
thanksgiving ; not only with a disposition of thankfulness. 
2. That this is twice repeated here together expressly, yea, 
thrice in sense. 3. That God created them so to be re-, 
ceived. 4. That it is made a condition of the goodness, that 
is, the blessing of the creature to our use. 5. That the 
creature is said to be sanctified by God's Word and prayer ; 
and so to be unsanctified to us before. 6. That the same 
thing which is called thanksgiving in the two former verses, 
is called prayer in the last ; else the consequence of the 
apostle could not hold, when he thus argues. It is good if^ 
it be received with thanksgiving, because it is sanctified 
by prayer. 

Hence I will draw these two arguments : 1. If families 
muRt with thanksgiving receive their meat as from God, then 
is the thanksgiving of families a duty of God's appointment: 
but the former is true, therefore so is the latter. The ante- 
cedent is plain : all must receive their meat with thanks- 


giving : therefore families must. They 6at together : there- 
fore they must give thanks together : and that prayer is in- 
cluded in thanksgiving in this text, I manifested before. 

2. It is the duty of families to use means that all God's 
creatures may be sanctified to them : prayer is the means to 
be used that all God's creatures may be sanctified to them : 
therefore it is the duty of families to use prayer. 

Arg. XIII. From 1 Pet. iii. 7. *' Likewise ye husbands 
dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour to 
the wife as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together 
of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered." 
That prayer which is especially hindered by ignorant and 
unkind converse it is, that is especially meant here in this 
text. But it is conjunct prayer that is especially so hin- 
dered : therefore, &c. I know that secret, personal prayer, 
is also hindered by the same causes ; but not so directly 
and notably as conjunct prayer i&. With what hearts can 
husband and wife join together as one soul in prayer to God, 
when they abuse and exasperate each other, and come hot 
from chidings and dissentions? This seemeth the true 
meaning of the text. And so, the conjunct prayer of hus- 
band and wife being proved a duty, (who sometimes con- 
stitute a family,) the same reasons will include the rest of 
the family also. 

Arg. XIV. From Col. iii. 16, 17. to iv. 4. " Let th« 
Word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching 
and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and 
spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the 
Lord : and whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the 
name of the Lord Jesus ; giving thanks to God and the 
Father by him. Wives submit yourselves, &c. iv. 2. 
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanks- 

Hence I may fetch many arguments for family-prayers. 
1. It appeareth to be family prayers principally that the 
apostle here speaketh of: for it is families that he speaks 
to : for in verse 16, 17. he speaketh of prayer and thanks- 
giving, and in the next words he speaketh to each family 
relation, wives, husbands, children, parents, servants, mas- 
ters : and in the next words, continuing his speech to the 
same persons, he bids them, " continue in prayer, and watch^' 


in the same, &c." 2. If neighbours are bound to speak to- 
gether in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, with 
grace in their hearts to the Lord, and to continue in prayer 
and thanksgiving ; then families much more, who are more 
nearly related, and have more necessities and opportunities, 
as is said before. 3. If whatever we do in word or deed, we 
must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks ; 
then families must needs join in giving thanks. For they 
have much daily business in word and deed to be done to- 
gether and asunder. 

Arg. XV. From Dan. vi. 10. " When Daniel knew that 
the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his win- 
dow being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, he 
kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and 
gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these 
men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making sup- 
plication before his God." Here note, 1. The nature of 
the duty. 2. The necessity of it. 1. If it had not been 
open, family-prayer which Daniel here performed, how could 
they have known what he said ? It is not probable that he 
would speak so loud in secret \ nor is it like they would 
have found him at it. So great a prince would have had 
some servants in his outward rooms, to have stayed them 
before they had come so near. 2. And the necessity of this 
prayer is such, that Daniel would not omit it for a few days 
to save his life. 

Arg. XVI. From Josh. xxiv. 15. " But as for me and my 
house we will serve the Lord." Here note, 1. That it is a 
household that is here engaged : for if any would prove that 
it extendeth further, to all Joshua's tribe, or inferior kin- 
dred, yet his household would be most eminently included. 
2. That it is the same thing which Joshua promiseth for his 
house, which he would have all Israel do for their's : far he 
maketh himself an example to move them to it. 

If households must serve the Lord, then households must 
pray to him and praise him : but households must serve him : 
therefore, 8cc. The consequence is proved, in that prayer 
and praise are so necessary parts of God's service, that no 
family or person can be said in general to be devoted to 
serve God, that are not devoted to them. Calling upon 
God, is oft put in Scripture for all God's worship, as being a 


most "eminent part : and atheists are described to be such as 
** call not upon the Lord''." 

Arg. XVII. The story of Cornelius Acts x. proveth that 
he performed family worship: for observe, 1. That ver. 2. 
he is said to be *' a devout man, and one that feared God 
with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and 
prayed to God always :" and ver. 30. he saith " at the ninth 
hour I prayed in my house :" and ver. 24. " he called to- 
gether his kindred and near friends :" so ver. 11. 14. " thou 
and all thy house shall be saved :" so that in ver. 2. fearing 
God comprehendeth prayer, and is usually put for all God's 
worship : therefore when he is said to fear God with all his 
house, it is included that he worshipped God with all his 
house : and that he used to do it conjunctly with them is im- 
plied, in his gathering together his kindred and friends when 
Peter came, not mentioning the calling together his house- 
hold, as being usual and supposed. And when it is said 
that he prayed ' kv rw oi/cw,' in his house, it may signify his 
household, as in Scripture the word is often taken. How-, 
ever the circumstances shew that he did it. 

Arg. xviii. From 1 Tim. iii. 4, 5. 12. " One that ruleth 
well his own house, having his children in subjection, with 
all gravity : for if a man know not how to rule his own house,, 
how shall he take care of the church of God : let the dea- 
cons be the husbands of one wife : ruling their children and 
their own houses well.'' Here mark, that it is such a ruling, 
ef their houses, as is of the same nature as the ruling of the 
church, ' mutatis mutandis,' and that is, a training them up 
in the worship of God, and guiding them therein : for the 
apostle maketh the defect of the one, to be a sure discovery 
of their unfitness for the other. Now to rule the church, is 
to teach and guide them as their mouth in prayer and praises 
unto God, as well as to oversee their lives : therefore it is 
such a ruling of their houses as is prerequisite to prove 
• them fit. 

They that must so rule well their own houses, as may 
partly prove them not unfit to rule the church, must rule 
them by holy instructions, and guiding them as their mouth 
in the worship of God. But those mentioned 1 Tim. iii» 
must so rule their houses : therefore, &c. 

i o Psal. xiv. ,/ 


The pastors ruling of the church doth most consist in 
going before them, and guiding them in God's worship ; 
therefore so doth the ruling of their own houses, which is 
made a trying qualification of their fitness hereunto. Though 
yet it reach not so high, nor to so many things, and the 
conclusion be not affirmative 'He that ruleth his own house 
well is fit to rule the church of God ;' but negative, * He 
that ruleth not his own house well, is not fit to rule the 
church of God;' but that is, because, 1. This is a lower 
degree of ruling, which will not prove him fit for a higher. 
2. And it is but one qualification of many that are requi- 
site. Yet it is apparent that some degree of aptitude is 
proved hence, and that from a similitude of the things. 
When Paul compare th ruling the house to ruling the church, 
he cannot be thought to take them to be wholly heteroge- 
neous : he would never have said, * He that cannot rule an 
army, or regiment, or a city, how shall he rule the church of 
God ?' I conclude therefore that this text doth shew that 
it is the duty of masters of families, to rule well their own 
families in the right worshipping of God, ' mutatis mutandis,' 
as ministers must rule the church. 

Arg. XIX. If families have special necessity of family- 
prayer conjunctly, which cannot be supplied otherwise ; then 
it is God's will that family prayer should be in use : but 
families have such necessities ; therefore, &c. The con- 
sequent needs no proof; the antecedent is proved by in- 
stance. Families have family necessities, which are larger 
than to be confined to a closet, and yet more private than to 
be brought still into the assemblies of the church. 1 . There 
are many worldly occasions about their callings and rela- 
tions, which it is fit for them to mention among themselves, 
but unfit to mention before all the congregation. 2. There 
are many distempers in the hearts and lives of the members 
of the families, and many miscarriages, and disagreements 
which must be taken up at home, and which prayer must do 
much to cure, and yet are not fit to be brought to the ears 
of the church-assemblies. 3. And if it were fit to mention 
them all in public, yet the number of such cases would be 
so great, as would overwhelm the minister, and confound 
the public worship ; nay, one half of them in most churches 
could not be mentioned. 4. And such cases are of ordinary 



occurrence, and therefore would ordinarily have all these 

And yet there are many such cases that are not fit to be 
confined to our secret prayers each one by himself; be- 
cause, 1. They often so sin together, as maketh it fit that 
they confess and lament it together. 2. And some mer- 
cies w^hich they receive together, it is fit they seek and give 
thanks for together. 3. And many works which they do to- 
gether, it is fit they seek a blessing on together. 4. And 
the presence of one another in confession, petition, and 
thanksgiving doth tend to the increase of their fervour, and 
warming of their hearts, and engaging them the more to 
duty, and against sin ; and is needful on the grounds laid 
down before. Nay, it is a kind of family schism, in such 
cases to separate from one another, and to pray in secret 
only ; as it is church schism to separate from the. church- 
assemblies, and to pray in families only. Nature and grace 
delight in unity, and abhor division. And the light of na- 
ture and grace engageth us to do as much of the work of 
God in unity, and concord, and communion as we can. 

Arg. XX. ' If before the giving of the law to Moses, God 
was worshipped in families by his own appointment, and 
this appointment be not yet reversed, then God is to be wor- 
shipped in families still. But the antecedent is certain : 
therefore so is the consequent. 

I think no man denieth the first part of the antecedent ; 
that before the flood in the families of the righteous, and af- 
ter till the establishment of a priesthood, God was worship- 
ped in families or households : it is a greater doubt whether 
then he had any other public worship. When there were 
few or no church-assemblies that were larger than families, 
no doubt God was ordinarily worshipped in families. Eve- 
ry ruler of a family then was as a priest to his own family. 
Cain and Abel oflered their own sacrifices ; so did Noah, 
Abraham, and Jacob. 

If it be objected, that all this ceased, when the office of 
the priest was instituted, and so deny the latter part of my 
antecedent, I reply, 1. Though some make a doubt of it, 
whether the office of the priesthood was instituted before 
Aaron's time, I think there is no great doubt to be made of 
it ; seeing we find a priesthood then among other nations. 


who had it either by the light of nature, or by tradition 
from the church; and Melchizedec's priesthood (who was a 
type of Christ,) is expressly mentioned. So that though 
family-worship was then the most usual, yet some more 
public worship there was. 2. After the institution of Aa- 
ron's priesthood family-worship continued, as I have proved 
before; yea, the two sacraments of circumcision and the 
passover, were celebrated in families by the master of the 
house ; therefore prayer was certainly continued in families. 
3. If that part of worship that was afterward performed in 
synagogues and public assemblies was appropriated to them, 
that no whit proveth, that the part which agreed to families 
as such, was transfei'red to those assemblies. Nay, it is a 
certain proof that part was left to families still, because we 
find that the public assemblies never undertook it. We find 
among them no prayer but church -prayer ; and not that 
which was fitted to families as such at all. Nor is there a 
word of Scripture that speaketh of God's reversing of his 
command or order for family prayer, or other proper family 
worship. Therefore it is proved to continue obligatory still. 
Had I not been too long already, I should have urged td 
this end the example of Job, in sacrificing daily for his 
sons 4 and of Esther's keeping a fast with her maids. Est. 
iv. 16. And Jer. x. 25. " Pour out thy fury on the heathen 
that know thee not, and on the families that call not on thy 
name." It is true that by " families" here is meant tribes 
of people, and by ** calling on his name," is meant their 
worshipping the true God. But yet this is spoken of all 
tribes without exception, great and small : and tribes in the 
beginning, (as Abraham's, Isaac's, Jacob's, &c.) were con- 
fined to families. And the argument holdeth from parity of 
reason, to a proper family : and that calling on God's name, 
is put for his worship, doth more confirm us, because it pro- 
veth it to be the most eminent part of worship, or else the 
whole would not be signified by it ; at least no reason can 
imagine it excluded. So much for the proof of the foiirth 

Objections Amwered. 

Object, I. • Had it been a duty under the Gospel to prfty 


in families, we should certainly have found it more expressly 
required in the Scripture/ 

Answ, 1. I have already shewed you, that it is plainly 
required in the Scripture : but men must not teach God how 
to speak, nor oblige him to make all plain to blind, perverted 
minds. 2. Those things which were plainly revealed in the 
Old Testament, and the church then held without any con- 
tradiction, even from the persecutors of Christ themselves, 
might well be past over in the Gospel, and taken as sup- 
posed, acknowledged things. 3. The general precepts (to 
** pray alway, — with all prayer, — in all places," &c.) being 
expressed in the Gospel, and the light of nature making 
particular application of them to families, what need there 
any more ? 4. This reason is apparent why Scripture speak- 
eth of it no more expressly. Before Christ's time the wor- 
ship of God was less spiritual, and more ceremonial than 
afterward it was : and therefore you find ofter mention of 
circumcision and sacrificing, than of prayer; and yet prayer 
was still supposed to concur. And after Christ's time on 
earth, most Christian families were disturbed by persecu- 
tion, and Christians sold up all and lived in community : 
and also the Scripture history was to describe to us the 
state of the churches, rather than of particular families. 

Object. II. * Christ himself did not use to pray with his 
family ; as appeareth by the disciples asking him to teach 
them to pray, and by the silence of the Scripture in this 
point : therefore it is no duty to us.' 

Answ. 1. Scripture silence is no proof that Christ did 
not use it. All things are not written which he did. 2. 
His teaching them the Lord's prayer, and their desire of a 
common rule of prayer, might consist with his usual pray- 
ing with them : at least with his using to pray with them af- 
ter that, though at first he did not use it. 3. But it is the 
consequence that I principally deny. (1.) Because Christ 
did afterwards call his servants to many duties, which he 
put them not on at first, as sacraments, discipline, preach- 
ing, frequenter praying, 8cc., especially after the coming 
down of the Holy Ghost. As they understood not many 
articles of the faith till then, so no wonder if they under- 
stood not many duties till then : for Christ would have them 
thus suddenly instructed and more fully sanctified by a mi- 


racle, that their ministry might be more credible, their mis- 
sion being evidently divine, and they being past the suspi- 
cion of forgery and deceit. (2.) And though it is evident 
that Christ did use to bless the meat, and sing hymns to 
God with his disciples p, and therefore it is very probable, 
prayed with them often, as John xvii. Yet it could not be 
expected, that he should ordinarily be their mouth in such 
prayers as they daily needed. His case and ours are ex- 
ceedingly different. His disciples must daily confess their 
sins, and be humbled for them, and ask forgiveness : but 
Christ had none of this to do. They must pray for morti- 
fying grace, and help against sin ; but he had no sin to mor- 
tify or pray against. They must pray for the Spirit, and the 
increase of their imperfect graces ; but Christ had fulness 
and perfection. They must pray for many means to these 
ends, and for help in using them, and a blessing on ♦hem 
which he had no use for. They must give thanks for pardon 
and conversion, &c. which Christ had no occasion to give 
thanks for. So that having a High-priest so much separate 
from sinners, they had one that prayed for them ; but not 
one fit to join with them as their mouth to God, in ordinary 
family prayers, such as they needed ; as masters must do 
with their families. 

Object, III. ' God doth not require either vain and abo- 
minable prayers : but family prayers are ordinarily vain and 
abominable : therefore, &c. The minor is proved thus : — 
The prayers of the wicked are abominable : most families 
are wicked, or have wicked persons : therefore, &c.' 

Ansio. 1. This is confessedly nothing against the prayers 
of godly families. 2. The prayers of a godly master are 
not abominable nor vain, because of the presence of others 
that are ungodly. Else Christ's prayers and blessings be- 
fore-mentioned should have been vain or abominable, be- 
cause Judas was there, who was a thief and hypocrite. And 
the apostles and all ministers' prayers should be so in all 
such churches, as those of Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus are 
described to have been. 3. I refer you to my " Method for 
Peace of Conscience," how far the prayers of the wicked 
are, or are not abominable. The prayers of the wicked as 
wicked are abominable ; but not as they express their re- 

f Luke xxii. \7, 18. Mark xiv. 22, 23. 26. Matt. xxvi. 27, 28. SO. 


turn to God, and repenting of their wickedness. It is not 
the abominable prayer that God commandeth, but the faith- 
ful, penitent prayer. You mistake it, as if the wicked man 
were not the person commanded to pray ; whereas you should 
rather say. It is not the abominable prayer that is commanded 
him. He is commanded to pray such prayers as are not abomi- 
nable ; even as Simon Magus "J, to '* repent" and " pray," and 
" to seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon 
him while he is near, and to forsake his way^" &c. Let 
the wicked pray thu.s, and his prayer will not be abomina- 
ble. The command of praying implieth the command of re- 
penting and departing from his wickedness ; for what is it 
to pray for grace, but to express to God their desires of 
grace ? (It is not to tell God a lie, by saying they desire 
that which they hate.) Therefore when we exhort them to 
pray, we exhort them to such desires. 

. Object. IV. * Many masters of families cannot pray in 
their families without a book, and that is unlawful.' 

Ansic. 1. ]f their disability be natural, as in idiots, they 
are not fit to rule families; if it be moral and culpable, they 
are bound to use the means to overcome it ; and in the 
mean time to use a book or form, rather than not to pray in 
their families at all. 

Of the Frequency and Seasons of Family Worship. 

The last part of my work is to speak of the fit times of 
family worship. 1. Whether it should be everyday? 2. 
Whether twice a day? 3. Whether morning and evening? 
Answ. 1. Ordinarily it should be every day and twice a day : 
and the morning and evening are ordinarily the fittest sea- 
sons. 2. But extraordinarily some greater duty may inter- 
vene, which may for that time disoblige us. And the occa- 
sions of some families may make that hour fit to one, which 
i$ unfit to another. For brevity I will join all together in 
the proof. 

Ai'g. I. We are bound to take all fit occasions and op- 
portunities to worship God. Families have daily (morning 
and evening) such occasions and opportunities ; therefore 
they are bound to take them. 

1 Acts viii.  Isa. Iv. 6, 7. 


Both major and minor are proved before. Experience 
proveth that family sins are daily committed, and family 
mercies daily received, and family necessities daily do oc- 
cur. And reason tells us, 1. That it is seasonable every 
morning to give God thanks for the rest of the night past. 
2. And to beg direction, protection, and provisions, and 
blessing for the following day. 3. And that then our minds 
are freest from weariness and worldly care. And so reason 
telleth us that the evening is a fit season to give God thanks 
for the mercies of the day, and to confess the sins of the 
day, and ask forgiveness, and to pray for rest and protection 
in the night. As nature and reason tell us how oft a man 
should eat and drink, and how long he should sleep, and 
what cloathing he should wear; and Scripture need not tell 
you the particulars : so if Scripture command you prayer 
in general, God may by providence tell you when and how 
oft you must pray. 

Arg. II. The Lord's prayer directeth us daily to put up 
such prayers as belong to families ; therefore, &c. " Give 
us this day our daily bread.'' It runs all in the plural num- 
ber. And the reason of it will oblige families as well as in- 
dividual persons. 

Arg. III. From 1 Thes. v. 17. " Pray without ceasing; 
in all things give thanks." Col.iv. 1, 2. " Masters give to 
your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye 
also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and 
watch in the same with thanksgiving." Col. iii. 17. " What- 
soever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord 
Jesus ; giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Phil, 
iv. 6. ** Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by pray- 
er and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be 
made known to God." It is easy for a man that is willing 
to see, that less than twix;e a day, doth not answer the com- 
mand of praying *' without ceasing, — continually, — in every 
thing, — whatsoever ye do," &c. The phrases seeming to 
go much higher. 

Arg. IV. Daniel prayed in his house thrice a day; there- 
fore less than twice under the Gospel is to us unreasonable. 

Arg. V. 1 Tim. iv. 5. " She that is a widow indeed and 
desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications 
and prayer night and day." Night and day can be no less 


than morning and evening. And if you say, this is not fa- 
mily prayer, I answer, 1. It is all kind of prayer belonging 
to her. 2. And if it commend the less, much more the 

Arg. VI. From Luke vi. 14. ii. 37. xviii. 17. Acts 
xxvi. 7. 1 Thes. iii. 10. 2 Tim. i. 3. Rev. vii. 15. Neh. 
i. 6. Psal. Ixxxviii. 1. Josh. i. 8. Psal. i. 2. which shew 
that night and day Christ himself prayed, and his servants 
prayed, and meditated, and read the Scripture. 

Arg. VII. Deut. vi. 7. xi. 19. It is expressly command- 
ed that parents teach their children the Word of God, when 
they " lie down, and when they rise up ;" and the parity of 
reason, and conjunction of the Word and prayer will prove, 
that they should also pray with them lying down and ris- 
ing up. 

Arg, VIII. For brevity sake I offer you together, Psal. 
cxix. 164. David praised God seven times a day ; and 
cxlv. 2. " Every day will I bless thee." Psal. v. 3. ** My 
voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord ; in the morn- 
ing will I direct my prayer to thee and will look up." lix. 
16. ** I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the mornings." 
Ixxxviii. 13. ** In the morning shall my prayer prevent thee." 
xcii. 12. " It is good to give thanks unto the Lord, and to 
sing praises to thy name, O Most High : to shew forth thy 
loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every 
night." cxix. 147, 148. " I prevented the dawning of the 
morning and cried, I hoped in thy word : mine eyes prevent 
the night watches, that I might meditate on thy word." 
cxxx. 6. ** My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they 
that watch for the morning, I say more than they that watch 
for the morning." The priests were to offer ** sacrifices" 
and " thanks to God every morning :" 1 Chron. xxiii. 30. 
Exod. XXX. 7. xxxvi. 3. Lev. vi. 12. 2 Chron. xiii. 11. 
Ezek. xlvi. 13 — 15. Amos iv. 4. And Christians are a 
*' holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices to God, acceptable 
through Jesus Christ," 1 Pet. ii. 5, 9. Expressly saith Da- 
vid, Psal. Iv. 17. " Evening, and morning, and at noon, will 
I pray and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice." So 
morning and evening were sacrifices and burnt offerings 
offered to the Lord ; and there is at least equal reason that 
Gospel worship should be as frequent : 1 Chron. xvi. 40. 



2 Chron. ii. 4, xiii. 11. xxxi. 3. Ezra iii. 3. 2 Kings 
xvi. 15. 1 Kings xviii. 29. 36. Ezra ix. 5. And no doubt 
but they prayed with the sacrifices. Which David intimat- 
eth in comparing them, Psal. cxli. 2. *' Let my prayer be 
set forth before thee as incense, and the lifting up of my 
hands as the evening sacrifice." And God calleth for prayer 
and praise as better than sacrifice, Psal. I. 14, 15. 23. 

All these I heap together for dispatch, which fully shew, 
how frequently God's servants have been wont to worship 
him, and how often God expecteth it. And you will all 
confess that it is reason that in Gospel times of greater 
light and holiness, we should not come behind them in the 
times of the law : especially when Christ himself doth pray 
all night, that had so little need in comparison of us. 
And you may observe that these Scriptures speak of prayer 
in general, and limit it not to secresy : and therefore they 
extend to all prayer, according to opportunity. No rea- 
son can limit all these examples to the most secret, and 
least noble sort of prayer. If but two or three are gathered 
together in his name, Christ is especially among them. 

If you say, that by this rule we must as frequently pray 
in the church assemblies ; I answer, the church cannot or- 
dinarily so oft assemble : but when it can be without a 
greater inconvenience, I doubt not but it would be a good 
work, for many to meet the minister daily for prayer, as in 
some rich and populous cities they may do. 

I have been more tedious on this subject than a holy, 
hungry Christian possibly may think necessary, who need- 
eth not so many arguments to persuade him to feast his 
soul with God, and to delight himself in the frequent ex- 
ercises of faith and love ; and if I have said less than the 
other sort of readers shall think necessary, let them know 
that if they will open their eyes, and recover their appetites, 
and feel their sins, and observe their daily wants and dan- 
gers, and get but a heart that loveth God, these reasons then 
will seem sufficient to convince them of so sweet, and profit- 
able, and necessary a work : and if they observe the differ- 
ence between praying and prayerless families, and care for 
their souls and communion with God, much fewer words 
than these may serve their turn. It is a dead, and grace- 
less, carnal heart, that must be cured before these men 


,>viU be well satisfied ; a better appetite would help their 
reason. If God should say in general to all men. You shall 
eat as often as will do you good : the sick stomach would 
say. Once a day, and that but a little, is enough, and as 
much as God requireth ; when another would say. Thrice a 
day is little enough, A good and healthful heart is a great 
help, in the expounding of God's Word, especially of his 
general commandments. That which men love not, but are 
weary of, they will not easily believe to be their duty. The 
new nature, and holy love, and desires, and experience of a 
sound believer, do so far make all these reasonings needless 
to him, that I must confess I have written them principally 
to convince the carnal hypocrite, and to stop the mouths 
of wrangling enemies. 


General Directions for the holy Government of Families. 

The principal thing requisite to the right governing of 
families is the fitness of the governors and the governed 
thereto, which is spoken of before in the Directions for the 
Constitution. But if persons unfit for their relations, have 
joined themselves together in a family, their first duty is to 
repent of their former sin and rashness, and presently to 
turn to God, and seek after that fitness which is necessary 
to the right discharge of the duties of their several places ^ 
and in the governors of families, these three things. are of 
greatest necessity hereunto. I. Authority. II. Skill. III. 
Holiness and readiness of will. 

I. Gen. Direct, ' Let governors maintain their authority 
in their families.' For if once that be lost, and you are de- 
spised by those you should rule, your word will be of no 
effect with them ; you do but ride without a bridle ; your 
power of governing is gone, when your authority is lost. 
And here you must first understand the nature, use, and 
extent of your authority : for as your relations are different 
to your wife, your children and your servants, so also is your 


authority. Your authority over your wife, is but such as 
is necessary to the order of your family,, the safe and pru- 
dent management of your affairs, and your comfortable co- 
habitation. The power of love and complicated interest 
must do more than magisterial commands. Your authority 
over your children is much greater; but yet only such as 
conjunct with love, is needful to their good education and 
felicity. Your authority over your servants is to be mea- 
sured by your contract with them (in these countries where 
there are no slaves) in order to your service, and the honour 
of God. In other matters, or to other ends you have no 
authority over them. For the maintaining of this your au- 
thority observe these following sub-directions. 

Direct, i. * Let your family understand that your autho- 
rity is of God, who is the God of order, and that in obe- 
dience to him they are obliged to obey you.' There is no 
power but of God : and. there is none that the intelligent 
creature can so much reverence as that which is of God. 
All bonds are easily broken and cast away (by the soul at 
least, if not by the body), which are not perceived to be 
Divine. An enlightened conscience will say to ambitious 
usurpers, God I know, and his Son Jesus I know, but who 
are ye ? 

Direct, ii. * The more of God appeareth upon you, in 
your knowledge, and holiness, and unblamableness of life, 
the greater will your authority be in the eyes of all your 
inferiors that fear God.* Sin will make you contemptible 
and vile ; and holiness, being the image of God, will make 
you honourable. In the eyes of the faithful a ' vile person 
is contemned ; but they honour them that fear the Lord »." 
" Righteousness exalteth a nation," (and a person) " but 
sin is a reproach to any people •*." "Those that honour 
God he will honour, and those that despise him shall be 
lightly esteemed *"." They that give up themselves to ** vile 
affections" and conversations'*, will seem vile when they 
have made themselves so. ** Eli's sons made themselves 
vile by their sin*." I know men should discern and honour 
a person placed in authority by God, though they are mo- 
rally and naturally vile : but this is so hard that it is seldom 

» Psal. XV. 4. »» Prov. xiv. 34. ' 1 Sam. ii- SO, 

* Ropi. i. S5. « I Sara. iii. 13. 


well done. And God is so severe against proud offenders, 
that he usually punisheth them by making them vile in the 
eyes of others ; at least when they are dead and men dare 
freely speak of them, their names will rot ^ The instances 
of the greatest emperors in the world, both Persian, Roman 
and Turkish do tell us, that if (by whoredom, drunkenness, 
gluttony, pride, and especially persecution) they will make 
themselves vile, God will permit them by uncovering their 
nakedness, to become the shame and scorn of men ; and 
shall a wicked master of a family think to maintain his au- 
thority over others, while he rebelleth against the autho- 
rity of God ? 

Direct, in. 'Shew not your natural weakness by pas- 
sions, or imprudent words or deeds.' For if they think 
contemptuously of your persons, a little thing will draw 
them further, to despise your words. There is naturally in 
man so high an esteem of reason, that men are hardly per- 
suaded that they should rebel against reason to be governed 
(for order's sake) by folly. They are very apt to think that 
Tightest reason should bear rule. And therefore any silly, 
weak expressions, or any inordinate passions, or any im- 
prudent actions, are very apt to make you contemptible in 
your inferiors' eyes. 

Direct. IV. * Lose not your authority by a neglect of 
using it.' If you suffer children and servants but a little 
while to have the head, and to have, and say, and do what 
they will, your government will be but a name or image. 
A moderate course between a lordly rigour, and a soft sub- 
jection, or neglect of exercising the power of your place, 
will best preserve you from your inferiors' contempt. 

Direct, v. *Lose not your authority by too much fami- 
liarity.' If you make your children and servants your play- 
fellows, or equals, and talk to them, and suffer them to talk 
to you as your companions, they will quickly grow upon 
you, and hold their custom ; and though another may go- 
vern them, they will scarce ever endure to be governed 
by you, but will scorn to be subject, where they have once 
been as equal. 

II. Gen. Direct. ' Labour for prudence and skilfulness 
in governing.' He that undertaketh to be a master of a fa- 

• Prov. X. 7. 


mily, undertaketh to be their governor ; and it is no small 
sin or folly to undertake such a place, as you are utterly 
unfit for, when it is a matter of so great importance. You 
could discern this in a case that is not your own ; as if a 
man undertake to be a schoolmaster that cannot read or 
write ; or to be a physician, who knoweth neither diseases 
nor their remedies ; or to be a pilot that cannot tell how to 
do a pilot's work ; and why cannot you much more discern 
it in your own case? 

Direct, i. ' To get the skill of holy governing, it is need- 
ful that you be well studied in the Word of God :' there- 
fore God commandeth kings themselves that " they read in 
the law all the days of their lives s;" and that "it depart 
not out of their mouths, but that they meditate in it day 
and night ^. And all parents must be able to " teach it 
their children, and talk of it both at home and abroad, lying 
down and rising up*." All government of men is but sub- 
servient to the government of God, to promote obedience 
to his laws. And it is necessary that we understand the 
laws which all laws and precepts must give place to and 

Direct, ii. * Understand well the different tempers of 
your inferiors, and deal with them as they are, and as they 
can bear; and not with all alike/ Some are more intelli- 
gent and some more dull : some are of tender, and some 
of hardened dispositions ; some will be best wrought upon 
by love and gentleness ; and some have need of sharpness 
and severity : prudence must fit your dealings to their dis- 

Direct, iii. 'You must put much difference between 
their different faults, and accordingly suit your reprehen- 
sions' Those must be most severely rebuked that have 
most wilfulness, and those that are faulty in matters of 
greatest weight Some faults are so much through mere 
disability and unavoidable frailty of the flesh, that there is 
but little of the will appearing in them. These must be 
more gently handled, as deserving more compassion than 
reproof. Some are habituate vices, and the whole nature is 
more desperately depraved than in others. These must have 
more than a particular correction. They must be held to 

» DeuL xvu. 18, 19. »> Josh. i. 8. » Deut. vi. 6, 7. xi. 18, 19. 


such a course of life, as may be most effectual to destroy 
and change those habits. And some there are upright at 
the heart, and in the main and most momentous things, are 
guilty but of some actual faults ; and of these, some more 
seldom, and some more frequent ; and if you do not pru- 
dently diversify your rebukes according to their faults, you 
will but harden them, and miss of your ends : for there is 
a family-justice that must not be overthrown, unless you 
will overthrow your families : as there is a more public jus- 
tice necessary to the public good. 

Direct, iv. ' Be a good husband to your wife, and a good 
father to your children, and a good master to your servants, 
and let love have dominion in all your government, that 
your inferiors may easily find, that it is their interest to 
obey you.' FOr interest and self-love are the natural rulers 
of the world. And it is the most effectual way to procure 
obedience or ahy good, to make men perceive that it is for 
their own good, and to engage self-love for you ; that they 
may see that the benefit is like to be their own. If you do 
them no good, but are sour, and uncourteous, and close- 
handed to them, few will be ruled by you. 

Direct, v. * If you would be skilful in governing others, 
learn first exactly to command yourselves.' Can you ever ex- 
pect to have others more at your will and government than 
yourselves ? Is he fit to rule his family in the fear of God and 
a holy life, who is unholy and feareth not God himself? 
Or is he fit to keep them from passion or drunkenness, or 
gluttony, or lustj or any way of sensuality, that cannot 
keep himself from it ? Will not inferiors despise such re- 
proofs which are by yourselves contradicted in your lives ? 
You know this true of wicked preachers ; and is it not as 
true of other governors ? 

III. Gen. Direct. ' You must be holy persons, if you 
would be holy governors of your families.' Men's actions 
follow the bent of their dispositions. They will do as they 
are. An enemy of God will not govern a family for God : 
nor an enemy of holiness (nor a stranger to it) set up a holy 
order in his house, and in a holy manner manage his affairs. 
I know it is cheaper and easier to the flesh to call others to 
mortification and holiness of life, than to bring ourselves to 
it : but yet when it is not a bare command or wish that is 



necessary, but a course of holy and industrious government, 
unholy persons (though some of them may go far) have not 
the ends and principles which such a work requireth. 

Direct, i. 'To this end, be sure that your own souls be 
entirely subjected to God, and that you more accurately 
obey his laws, than you expect any inferior should obey 
your commands.' If you dare disobey God, why should 
they fear disobeying you? Can you more severely revenge 
disobedience ; or more bountifully reward obedience, than 
God can do ? Are you greater and better than God him- 
self is? 

Direct, ii. 'Be sure that you lay up your treasure in 
heaven, and make the enjoyment of God in glory to be the 
ultimate commanding end, both of the affairs and govern- 
ment of your family, and all things else with which you 
are intrusted.' Devote yourselves and all to God, and do 
all for him : do all as passengers to another world, whose 
business on earth is but to provide for heaven, and promote 
their everlasting interest. If thus you are separated unto 
God, you are sanctified: and then you will separate all that 
you have to his use and service, and this, with his accept- 
ance, will sanctify all. 

Direct, in. * Maintain God's authority in your family 
more carefully than your own.' Your own is but for his. 
More sharply rebuke or correct them that wrong and dis- 
honour God, than those that wrong and dishonour your- 
selves. Remember Eli's sad example : make not a small 
matter of any of the sins, especially the great sins, of your 
children or servants. It is an odious thing to slight God's 
cause, and put up all with * It is not well done,' when you 
are fiercely passionate for the loss of some small commodity 
of your o\vn. God's honour must be greatest in your fa** 
mily : and his service must have the pre-eminence of yours; 
and sin against him, must be the most intolerable offence. 

Direct, iv. ' Let spiritual love to your family be predo- 
minant, and let your care be greatest for the saving of their 
souls, and your compassion -greatest in their spiritual mise- 
ries.' Be first careful to provide them a portion in heaven, and 
to save them from whatsoever would deprive them of it: and 
never prefer the transitory pelf of earth, before their ever- 
lasting riches. Never be so cumbered about many things. 


as to forget that one thing is necessary ; but choose for 
yourselves and them the better part ''. 

Direct, v. ' Let your family be neither kept in idleness 
and flesh-pleasing, nor yet overwhelmed w^ith such a mul* 
titude of business, as shall take up and distract their minds, 
diverting and unfitting them for holy things.' Where God 
layeth on you a necessity of excessive labours, it must pa- 
tiently and cheerfully be undergone : but when you draw 
them unnecessarily on yourselves for the love of riches, you 
do but become the tempters and tormentors of yourselves 
and others ; forgetting the terrible examples of them, that 
have this way fallen off from Christ, and pierced themselves 
through with many sorrows *. 

Direct, vi. * As much as is possible, settle a constant or- 
der of all your businesses that every ordinary work may 
know its time, and confusion may not shut out godliness.' 
It is a great assistance in every calling to do all in a set and 
constant order : it maketh it easy : it removeth impediments ; 
and promoteth success : distraction in your business caus- 
eth a distraction in your minds in holy duty. Some callings 
I know can hardly be cast into any order or method ; but 
others may, if prudence and diligence be used. God's ser- 
vice will thus be better done, and your work will be better 
done, to the ease of your servants, and quiet of your own 
minds. Foresight and skilfulness would save you abun- 
dance of labour and vexation. 


Special Motives to persuade Men to the holy Governing of their 


If it were but well understood what benefits come by the 
holy governing of families, and what mischiefs come by its 
neglect, there would few that walk the streets among us, 
appear so odious as those careless, ungodly governors that 
know not nor mind a duty of such exceeding weight. 
While we lie all as overwhelmed with the calamitous fruits 

I' Luke X. 42. 'iTim. vi. 10. 



of this neglect, I think meet to try, if with some, the cause 
may be removed; by awakening sluggish souls, to do their 
undertaken work. 

Motive I. ' Consider that the holy government of fami- 
lies, is a considerable part of God's own government of the 
world, and the contrary is a great part of the devil's go- 
vernment.' It hath pleased God to settle as a natural, so 
a political order in the world and to honour his creatures 
to be the instruments of his own operations : and though 
he could have produced all effects without any inferior 
causes, and could have governed the world by himself alone 
without any instruments (he being not as kings, constrain- 
ed to make use of deputies and officers, because of their 
own natural confinement and insufficiency), yet is he pleased 
to make inferior causes partakers in such excellent effects, 
and taketh delight in the frame and order of causes, by 
which his will among his creatures is accomplished. So 
that as the several justices in the countries do govern as 
officers of the king, so every magistrate and master of a 
family, doth govern as an officer of God. And if his go- 
vernment by his officers be put down or neglected, it is a 
contempt of God himself, or a rebellion against him. What 
is all the practical atheism, and rebellion, and ungodliness 
of the world, but a rejecting of the government of God ? It 
is not against the being of God in itself considered, that 
his enemies rise up with malignant, rebellious opposition-: 
but it is against God as the holy and righteous governor 
of the world, and especially of themselves. And as in an 
army, if the corporals, sergeants, and lieutenants, do all 
neglect their offices, the government of the general or colo- 
nels is defeated and of little force ; so if the rulers of fa*- 
milies and other officers of God will corrupt or neglect their 
part of government, they do their worst to corrupt or cast 
out God's government from the earth. And if God shall 
not govern in your families, who shall? The devil is al- 
ways the governor where God's government is refused ; the 
world and the flesh are the instruments of his government; 
worldliness and fleshly living are his service : undoubtedly 
he is the ruler of the family where these prevail, and where 
faith and godliness do not take place. And what can you 
expect from such a roaster ? 



Motive II. ' Consider also that an ungoverned, ungodly 
family is a powerful means to the damnation of all the mem- 
bers of it :' it is the common boat or ship thathurrieth souls 
to hell ; that is bound for the devouring gulf ; he that is in 
the devil's coach or boat is like to go with the rest, as the 
driver or the boatman pleaseth. But a well-governed family 
is an excellent help to the saving of all the souls that are in it. 
As in an ungodly family there are continual temptations to 
ungodliness, to swearing, and lying, and railing, and wan- 
tonness, and contempt of God ; so in a godly family there 
are continual provocations to a holy life, to faith, and love, 
and obedience, and heavenly-mindedness : temptations to 
sin are fewer there, than in the devil's shops and work- 
houses of sin; the authority of the governors, the conversa- 
tion of the rest, the examples of all, are great inducements 
to a holy life. As in a well-ordered army of valiant men, 
every coward is so linked in by order, that he cannot choose 
but fight and stand to it with the rest, and in a confused 
rout the valiantest man is borne down by the disorder, and 
must.perish with the rest; even so in a well-ordered, holy 
family, a wicked man can scarce tell how to live wickedly, 
but seemeth to be almost a saint, while he is continually 
among saints, and heareth no words that are profane or 
filthy, and is kept in to the constant exercises of religion, 
by the authority and company of those he liveth with. O 
how easy and clean is the way to heaven, in such a gracious, 
well-ordered family, in comparison of what it is to them 
that dwell in the distracted families of profane and sensual 
worldlings ! As there is greater probability of the salvation 
of souls in England where the Gospel is preached and pro- 
fessed, than in Heathen or Mahometan countries; so is 
there a greater probability of their salvation that live in the 
houses and company of the godly, than of the ungodly. In 
one the advantages of instruction, command, example, and 
credit, are all on God's side; and in the other they are on 
the devil's side. 

Motive III. 'A holy, well-governed family tendeth not 
only to the safety of the members, but also to the ease and 
pleasure of their lives.' To live where God's law is the 
principal rule, and where you may be daily taught the mys- 
teries of his kingdom, and have the Scriptures opened tr 


you, and be led as by the hand in the paths of life; where 
the praises of God are daily celebrated, and his nam^ is 
called upon, and where all do speak the heavenly language, 
and where God, and Christ, and heaven are both their daily 
work and recreation ; where it is the greatest honour to be 
most holy and heavenly, and the greatest contention is, 
who shall be most humble, and godly, and obedient to God 
and their superiors, and where there is no reviling scorns, at 
godliness, nor any profane and scurrilous talk ; what a sweet 
and happy life is this ! Is it not likest to heaven of anything 
upon earth ? But to live where worldliness, and profane- 
jiess, and wantonness, and sensuality bear all the sway, and 
where God is unknown, and holiness and all religious ex- 
ercises are matter of contempt and scorn, and where he 
that will not swear and live profanely doth make himself 
the hatred and derision of the rest, and where men are 
known but by their shape and speaking-faculty to be men, 
nay where men take not themselves for men but for brutes, 
and live as if they had no rational souls, nor any expecta- 
tions of another life, nor any higher employments or de- 
lights than the transitory concernments of the flesh, what 
a sordid, loathsome, filthy, miserable life is this ! made up 
by a mixture of beastly and devilish. To live where there 
is no communion with God, where the marks of death and 
damnation are written, as it were, upon the doors, in the 
face of their impious, worldly lives, and where no man un- 
derstandeth the holy language ; and where there is not the 
least foretaste of the heavenly, everlasting joys ; what is 
this but to live as the serpent's seed, to feed on dust, and 
to be excommunicated from the face and favour of God, 
and to be chained up in the prison of concupiscence and 
malignity, among his enemies, till the judgment come that 
is making haste, and will render to all men according to 
their works. 

Motive IV. * A holy and well-governed family, doth 
tend to make a holy posterity, and so to propagate the fear 
of God from generation to generation.' It is more comfor- 
table to have no children, than to beget and breed up chil- 
dren for the devil. Their natural corruption is advantage 
enough to satan, to engage them to himself, and use them 
for his service : but when parents shall also take the devil's 


part, and teach their children by precepts or example how 
to serve him, and shall estrange them from God and a holy 
life, and fill their minds with false conceits and prejudice 
against the means of their salvation, as if they had sold their 
children to the devil ; no wonder then if they have a black 
posterity that are trained up to be heirs of hell. He that 
will train up children for God, must begin betimes, before 
sensitive objects take too deep possession of their hearts, 
and custom increase the pravity of their nature. Original 
sin is like the arched Indian fig tree, whose branches turn- 
ing downwards and taking root, do all become as trees 
themselves : the acts which proceed from this habitual vi- 
ciousness, do turn again into vicious habits : and thus sinful 
nature doth by its fruits increase itself: and when other 
things consume themselves by breeding, all that sin breedeth 
is added to itself, and its breeding is its feeding, and every 
act doth confirm the habit. And therefore no means in all 
the world doth more effectually tend to the happiness of 
souls, than wise and holy education. This dealeth with sin 
before it hath taken the deepest root, and boweth nature 
while it is but a twig : it preventeth the increase of natural 
pravity, and keepeth out those deceits, corrupt opinions, 
and carnal fantasies and lusts, which else would be service- 
able to sin and satan ever after : it delivereth up the heart 
to Christ betime, or at least doth bring him a disciple to his 
school to learn the way to life eternal ; and to spend those 
years in acquainting himself with the ways of God, which 
others spend in growing worse, and in learning that which 
must be again unlearned, and in fortifying satan*s garrison 
in their hearts, and defending it against Christ and his sav- 
ing grace. But of this more anon. 

Motive V. * A holy, well-governed family, is the prepara- 
tive to a holy and well-governed church.' If masters of fa- 
milies did their parts, and sent such polished materials to 
the churches, as they ought to do, the work and life of the 
pastors of the church would be unspeakably more easy and 
delightful : it would do one good to preach to such an au- 
ditory, and to catechise them, and instruct them, and 
examine them, and watch over them, who are prepared by a 
wise and holy education, and understand and love the doc- 
trine which they hear. To lay such polished stones in the 




building is an easy and delightful work ; how teachable and 
tractable will such be ! and how prosperously will the la- 
bours of their pastors be laid out upon them ! and how 
comely and beautiful the churches be, which are composed 
of such persons ! and how pure and comfortable will their 
communion be ! But if the churches be sties of unclean 
beasts ; if they are made up of ignorant and ungodly per- 
sons, that savour nothing but the things of the flesh, and use 
to worship they know not what, we may thank ill-governed 
families for all this. It is long of them that ministers preach 
as to idiots or barbarians that cannot understand them ; and 
that they must be always feeding their auditors with milk, 
and teaching them the principles, and catechising them in 
the church, which should have been done at home : yea, it 
is long of them that there are so many wolves and swine 
among the sheep of Christ, and that holy things are ad- 
ministered to the enemies of holiness, and the godly live in 
communion with the haters of God and godliness ; and that 
the Christian religion is dishonoured before the heathen 
world, by the worse than heathenish lives of the professors ; 
and the pollutions of the churches do hinder the conversion 
of the unbelieving world ; whilst they that can judge of our 
religion no way but by the people that profess it, do judge 
of it by the lives of them that are in heart the enemies of it ; 
when the haters of Christianity and godliness are the Chris- 
tians by whose conversations the infidel world must judge 
of Christianity, you may easily conjecture what judgment 
they are like to make. Thus pastors are discouraged, the 
churches defiled, religion disgraced, and infidels hardened, 
through the impious disorder and negligence of families ! 
What Universities were we like to have, if all the grammar- 
schools should neglect their duties, and send up their 
scholars untaught as they received them ? and if all tutors 
must teach their pupils first to spell and read ? Even such 
churches we are like to have, when every pastor must first 
do the work which all the masters of families should have 
done, and the part of many score, or hundreds, or thousands, 
must be performed by one. 

Motive VI. * Well-governed families tend to make a 
happy state and commonwealth ; a good education is the 
first an ' lU'st work to make good magistmtes and good 


subjects, because it tends to make good men.' Though a 
good man may be a bad magistrate, yet a bad man cannot 
be a very good magistrate. The ignorance, or worldliness, 
or sensuality, or enmity to godliness, which grew up with 
them in their youth, will shew itself in all the places and re- 
lations that ever they shall come into. When an ungodly 
family hath once confirmed them in wickedness, they will do 
wickedly in every state of life : when a perfidious parent 
hath betrayed his children into the power and service of the 
devil, they will serve him in all relations and conditions. 
This is the school from whence come all the injustice, and 
cruelties, and persecutions, and impieties of magistrates, and 
all the murmurings and rebellions of subjects : this is the 
soil and seminary where the seed of the devil is first sown, 
and where he nurseth up the plants of covetousness, and 
pride, and ambition, and revenge, malignity, and sensuality, 
till he transplant them for his service into several offices in 
church and state, and into all places of inferiority, where 
they may disperse their venom, and resist all that rs good, 
and contend for the interest of the flesh and hell, against the 
interest of the Spirit and of Christ. But O ! what a blessing 
to the world would they be, that shall come prepared by a 
holy education to places of government and subjection ! 
And how happy is that land that is ruled by such superiors, 
and consisteth of such prepared subjects, as have first learnt 
to be subject to God, and to their parents ! 

Motive VII. * If the governors of families did faithfully 
perform their duties, it would be a great supply as to any 
defects in the pastor's part, and a singular means to propa- 
gate and preserve religion in times of public negligence 
or persecution.' Therefore Christian families are called 
churches, because they consist of holy persons, that worship 
God, and learn, and love, and obey his Word. If you lived 
among the enemies of religion, that forbad Christ's ministers 
to preach his Gospel, and forbad God's servants to meet in 
church-assemblies for his worship ; the support of religion, 
and the comfort and edification of believers, would then lie 
almost all upon the right performance of family duties. 
There masters might teach the same truth to their house- 
holds, which ministers are forbidden to preach in the as- 
semblies : there you mifht pray together as fervently and 



spiritually as you can : there you may keep up as holy con- 
verse and communion, and as strict a discipline as you 
please : there you may celebrate the praises of your Creator, 
Redeemer, and Sanctifier, and observe the Lord's day in a* 
exact and spiritual a manner as you are able : you may 
there provoke one another to love and to good works, and 
rebuke every sin, and mind each other to prepare for death, 
and live together as passengers to eternal life. Thus holy 
families may keep up religion, and keep up the life and com- 
fort of believers, and supply the want of public preaching, 
in those countries where persecutors prohibit and restrain 
it, or where unable or unfaithful pastors do neglect it. 

Motive VIII. ' The duties of your families are such as 
you may perform with greatest peace, and least exception 
or opposition from others.' When you go further, and 
would be instructing others, they will think you go beyond 
your call, and many will be suspicious that you take tod 
much upon you ; and if you do but gently admonish a rout 
of such as the Sodomites, perhaps they will say, ''This one 
fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge." 
But your own house is your castle; your family is you^ 
charge ; you may teach them as oft and as diligently as you 
will. If the ungodly rabble scorn you for it, yet no sober 
person will condemn you, nor trouble you for it (if you 
teach them no evil). All men must confess that nature and 
Scripture oblige you to it as your unquestionable work. 
And therefore you may do it (among sober people) with ap- 
probation and quietness. *^^^ 

Motive IX. * Well-governed families are honourable and 
exemplary unto others.' Even the worldly and ungodly use 
to bear a certain reverence to them ; for holiness and ordet 
have some witness that commendeth them, in the conscien*- 
ces of many that never practised them. A worldly, ungodly, 
disordered family, is a den of snakes, a place of hissing", 
railing, folly and confusion : it is like a wilderness Over- 
grown with briars and weeds ; but a holy family is a garden 
of God : it is beautified with his graces, and ordered by hia 
government, and fruitful by the showers of his heavenly 
blessing. And as the very sluggard, that will not be at the 
cost and pains to make a garden of his thorny wilderness, 
may v<'t » nnfess that a garden is more beautiful, and fruit- 


ful, and delightful, and if wishing would do it, his wilder- 
ness should be such ; even so the ungodly, that will not be 
at the cost and pains to order their souls and families in 
holiness, may yet see a beauty in those that are so ordered, 
and wish for the happiness of such, if they could have it 
without the labour and cost of self-denial. And, no doubt, 
the beauty of such holy and well-governed families hath 
'convinced many, and drawn them to a great approbation of 
religion, and occasioned them at last to imitate them. 

Motive X. * Lastly, consider, * That holy, well-governed 
families are blessed with the special presence and favour of 
God.' They are his churches where he is worshipped ; his 
houses where he dwelleth : he is engaged both by love and 
promise to bless, protect, and prosper them. It is safe to 
sail in that ship which is bound for heaven, and where Christ 
is the pilot. But when you reject his government, you re- 
fuse his company, and contemn his favour, and forfeit his 
blessing, by despising his presence, his interest, and his 

So that it is an evident truth, that most of the mischiefs 
that now infest or seize upon mankind throughout the earth, 
consist in, or are caused by the disorders and ill-governed- 
ness of families. These are the schools and shops of satan, 
from whence proceed the beastly ignorance, lust and sen- 
suality, the devilish pride, malignity, and cruelty against the 
holy ways of God, which have so unmanned the progeny of 
Adam. These are the nests in which the serpent doth hatch 
the eggs of covetousness, envy, strife, revenge, of tyranny, 
disobedience, wars and bloodshed, and all the leprosy of 
sin that hath so odiously contaminated human nature, and 
all the miseries by which they make the world calamitous. 
Do you wonder that there can be persons and nations so 
blind and barbarous as we read of the Turks, Tartarians, 
Indians, and most of the inhabitants of the earth ? A wicked 
education is the cause of all, which finding nature depraved, 
doth sublimate and increase the venom which should by 
education have been cured ; and from the wickedness of fa- 
milies doth national wickedness arise. Do you wonder that 
so much ignorance, and voluntary deceit, and obstinacy in 
errors, contrary to all men's common senses, can be found 
among professed Christians, as great and small, high and 



low through all the Papal kingdom do discover ? Though 
the pride, and covetousness, and wickedness of a worldly, 
carnal clergy, is a very great cause, yet the sinful negligence 
of parents and masters in their families is as great, if not 
much greater than that. Do you wonder that even in the 
reformed churches, there can be so many unreformed sinners, 
of beastly lives, that hate the serious practice of the religion 
which themselves profess ? It is ill education in ungodly 
families that is the cause of all this. O therefore how great 
and necessary a work is it, to cast salt into these corrupted 
fountains ! Cleanse and cure these vitiated families, and 
you may cure almost all the calamities of the earth. To 
tell what the emperors and princes of the earth might do, if 
they were wise and good, to the remedy of this common 
misery, is the idle talk of those negligent persons, who con- 
demn themselves in condemning others. Even those rulers 
and princes that are the pillars and patrons of heathenism, 
Mahometanism, Popery, and ungodliness in the world, did 
themselves receive that venom from their parents, in their 
birth and education, which inclineth them to all this mis- 
chief. Family reformation is the easiest and the most likely 
way to a common reformation : at least to send many souls 
to heaven, and train up multitudes for God, if it reach not to 
national reformation. 


More special Motives for a Holy and Careful Education of 


Because the chief part of family care and government con- 
sisteth in the right education of children, 1 shall adjoin here 
some more special Motives to quicken considerate parents 
to this duty : and though most that I have to say for it be 
already said in my " Saints' Rest," Part iii. Chap. 14. Sect. 
11. 8cc., and therefore shall be here omitted, yet something 
shall be inserted, lest the want here should appear too great. 
Motive I. * Consider how deeply nature itself doth en- 
gage you to the greatest care and diligence for the holy 
education of your children.' They are, as it were, parts of 


yourselves, and those that nature teacheth you to love and 
provide for, and take most care for, next yourselves : and 
vi^ill you be regardless oftheir chief concernments? andneg- 
lective of their souls ? Will you no other way shew your 
love to your children, than every beast or bird will to their 
young, to cherish them till they can go abroad and shift 
for themselves, for corporal sustenance ? It is not dogs or 
beasts that you bring into the world, but children that have 
immortal souls ; and therefore it is a care and education 
suitable to their natures which you owe them : even such as 
conduceth most effectually to the happiness of their souls. 
Nature teacheth them some natural things without you, as 
it doth the bird to fly ; but it hath committed it to your 
trust and care to teach them the greatest and most necessary 
things : if you should think that you have nothing to do 
but to feed them, and leave all the rest to nature, then they 
would not learn to speak : and if nature itself would con- 
demn you, if you teach them not to speak, it will much more 
condemn you, if you teach them not to understand both 
what they ought to speak and do. They have an everlasting 
inheritance of happiness to attain : and it is that which you 
must bring them up for. They have an endless misery to 
Escape : and it is that which you must diligently teach them. 
If you teach them not to escape the flames of hell, what 
thanks do they owe you for teaching them to speak and 
go ? If you teach them not the way to heaven and how they 
may make sure of their salvation, what thanks do they owe 
you for teaching them how to get their livings a little while 
in a miserable world ? If you teach them not to know God, 
and how to serve him, and be saved, you teach them nothing, 
or worse than nothing. It is in your hands to do them the 
greatest kindness or cruelty in all the world : help them to 
know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than 
if you helped them to be lords or princes : if you neglect 
their souls, and breed them in ignorance, worldliness, un^ 
godliness and sin, you betray them to the devil, the enemy 
of souls ; even as truly as if you sold them to him ; you sell 
them to be slaves to satan ; you betray them to him that 
will deceive them and abuse them in this life, and torment 
them in the next. If you saw but a burning furnace, much 
mote the flames of hell, would you not think that man or 


woman more fit to be called a devil than a parent, that could 
find in their hearts to cast their child into it, or to put him 
into the hands of one that would do it ? What monsters then 
of inhumanity are you, that read in Scripture which is the 
way to hell, and who they be that God will deliver up to 
satan, to be tormented by him ; and yet will bring up your 
children in that very way, and will not take pains to save 
them from it ? What a stir do you make to provide them 
food and raiment, and a competent maintenance in the 
world when you are dead ! And how little pains take you 
to prepare their souls for the heavenly inheritance ! If you 
seriously believe that there are such joys or torments for 
your children (and yourselves) as soon as death removeth 
you hence, is it possible that you should take this for the 
least of their concernments, and make it the least and last 
of your cares, to assure them of an endless happiness ? If 
you love them, shew it in those things on which their ever- 
lasting welfare doth depend. Do not say you love them; 
and yet lead them unto hell. If you love them not, yet be 
not so unmerciful to them as to damn them : it is not your 
saying, * God forbid,' and * we hope better,' that will make 
it better, or be any excuse to you. What can you do more 
to damn them, if you studied to do it as maliciously as the 
devil himself? You cannot possibly do more, than to bring 
them up in ignorance, carelessness, worldliness, sensuality 
and ungodliness. The devil can do nothing else to damn 
either them or you, but by tempting to sin, and drawing you 
from godliness. There is no other way to hell. No man is 
damned for any thing but this. And yet will you bring 
them up in such a life, and say, * God forbid, we do not de- 
sire to damn them V But it is no wonder ; when you do by 
your children but as you do by yourselves ; who can look 
that a man should be reasonable for his child, that is so un- 
reasonable for himself? Or that those parents should have any 
mercy on their children's souls, that have no mercy on their 
own? You desire not to damn yourselves, but yet you do it, 
if you live ungodly lives : and so you will do by your children 
if you train them up in ignorance of God, and in the service of 
the flesh and world. You do like one that should set fire on 
his house, and say, * God forbid, I intend not to burn it :* or 
like one that casteth his child into Ihe sea, and saith, he in- 


tendeth not to drown him ; or traineth him up in robbing or 
thievery, and saith, he intendeth not to have him hanged ; 
but if you intend to make a thief of him, it is all one in ef- 
fect, as if you intended his hanging ; for the law determineth 
it, and the judge will intend it. So if you intend to train up 
your children in ungodliness, as if they had no God, nor 
souls to mind, you may as well say, you intend to have them 
damned. And were not an enemy, yea, and is not the devil 
more excusable, for dealing thus cruelly by your children, 
than you that are their parents, that are bound by nature to 
love them, and prevent their misery ? It is odious in minis- 
ters that take the charge of souls, to betray them by negli- 
gence, and be guilty of their everlasting misery ; but in pa- 
rents it is more unnatural, and therefore more inexcusable. 

Motive II. ' Consider that God is the Lord and owner of 
your children, both by the title of creation and redemption : 
therefore in justice you must resign them to him, and edu- 
cate them for him.' Otherwise you rob God of his own 
creatures, and rob Christ of those for whom he died, and 
this to give them to the devil, the enemy of God and them. 
It was not the world, or the flesh, or the devil that created 
them, or redeemed them, but God ; and it is not possible for 
any right to be built upon a fuller title, than to make them 
of nothing, and redeem them from a state far worse than 
nothing. And after all this, shall the very parents of such 
children steal them from their absolute Lord and Father, 
and sell them to slavery and torment ? 

Motive III. * Remember that in their baptism you did 
dedicate them to God ; you entered them into a solemn vow 
and covenant, to be wholly his, and to live to him.' There- 
in they renounced the flesh, the world and the devil ; there- 
in you promised to bring them up virtuously to lead a godly 
and Christian life, that they might obediently keep God's 
holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the 
days of their lives. And after all this, will you break so sol- 
emn a promise, and cause them to break such a vow and 
covenant, by bringing them up in ignorance and ungodli- 
ness ? Did you understand and consider what you then 
did ? How solemnly you yourselves engaged them in a vow 
to God, to live a mortified and holy life ? And will you 


SO solemnly do that in an hour, which all their life after with 
you, you will endeavour to destroy ? 

Motive IV. * Consider how great power the education of 
children hath upon all their following lives ;* except nature 
and grace, there is nothing that usually doth prevail so much 
with them. Indeed the obstinacy of natural viciousness 
doth often frustrate a good education ; but if any means be 
like to do good, it is this ; but ill education is more con- 
stantly successful, to make them evil. This cherisheth 
those seeds of wickedness which spring up when they come 
to age ; this maketh so many to be proud, and idle, and 
flesh-pleasers, and licentious, and lustful, and covetous, and 
all that is naught. And he hath a hard task that cometh 
after to root out these vices, which an ungodly education 
hath so deeply radicated. Ungodly parents do serve the 
devil so effectually in the first impressions on their chil- 
dren's minds, that it is more than magistrates and ministers 
and all reforming means can afterwards do, to recover them 
from that sin to God. Whereas if you would first engage their 
hearts to God by a religious education, piety would then have 
all those advantages, that sin hath now. ** Train up a child in 
the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart 
from it*." The language which you teach them to speak 
when they are children, they will use all their life after, if 
they live with those that use it. And so the opinions which 
they first receive, and the customs which they are used to 
at first, are very hardly changed afterward. I doubt not to 
affirm, that a godly education is God's first and ordinary ap- 
pointed means, for the begetting of actual faith, and other 
graces in the children of believers : many may have seminal 
grace before, but they cannot sooner have actual faith, re- 
pentance, love, or any grace, than they have reason itself in 
act and exercise. And the preaching of the Word by pub- 
lic ministers is not the first ordinary means of grace, to any 
but those that were graceless till they come to hear such 
preaching: that is, to those on whom the first appointed 
means hath been neglected, or proved in vain : that is, it is 
but the second means, to do that which was not done by the 
first. The proof is undeniable : because God appointeth 
parents diligently to teach their children the doctrine of his 

» Prov. xxii 6. 


holy Word, before they come to the public ministry : pa- 
rents' teaching is the first teaching : and parents' teaching 
is for this end, as well as public teaching, even to beget 
faith, and love, and holiness : and God appointeth no means 
to be used by us, on which we may not expect his blessing. 
Therefore it is apparent, that the ordinary appointed means 
for the first actual grace, is parents' godly instruction and 
education of their children. And public preaching is ap- 
pointed for the conversion of those only that have missed 
the blessing of the first appointed means. Therefore if you 
deny your children religious education, you deny them the 
first appointed means of their actual faith and sanctifica- 
tion ; and then the second cometh upon disadvantage. 

Motive V, ' Consider also how many and great are your 
advantages above all others for your children's good.' As 
1. Nothing doth take so much with any one, as that which 
is known to come from love : the greater love is discerned 
in your instruction, the greater success may you expect. 
Now your children are more confident of their parents' love, 
than of any others ; whether ministers and strangers speak 
to them in love, they cannot tell ; but of their parents' love 
they make no doubt. 2. And their love to you is as great a 
preparative to your success. We all hearken to them that 
we dearly love, with greater attention and willingness than 
to others. They love not the minister as they do their pa- 
rents. 3. You have them in hand betime, before they have 
received any false opinions, or bad impressions : before 
they have any sin but that which was born with them : you 
are to make the first impressions upon them : you have them 
while they are most teachable, and flexible, and tender, and 
make least resistance against instruction : they rise not up 
at first against your teaching with self-conceitedness and 
proud objections. But when they come to the minister, 
they are as paper that is written on or printed before, unapt 
to receive another impression j they have much to be un- 
taught, before they can be taught : and come with proud 
and stiff resistance, to strive against instruction, rather than 
readily to receive it. 4. Your children wholly depend on you 
for their present maintenance, and much for their future live- 
lihood and portions : and therefore they know that it is 
their interest to obey and please you ; and as interest is the 



common bias of the world, so is it with your children ; you 
may more easily rule them that have this handle to hold 
them by, than any other can do that have not this advan- 
tage. They know they serve you not for nought. 5. Your 
authority over your children is most unquestionable. They 
will dispute the authority of ministers, yea, and of magis- 
trates, and ask them who gave them the power to teach 
them, and to command them ? But the parent's authority 
is beyond all dispute. They will not call you tyrants or 
usurpers, nor bid you prove the validity of your ordination, 
or the uninterruptedness of your succession. Therefore fa- 
ther and mother as the first natural power, are mentioned 
rather than kings or queens in the fifth commandment. 6. 
You have the power of the rod to force them. ** Foolishness 
is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction 
shall drive it far from him ^." And your correction will be 
better understood to come from love, than that of the magis- 
trate or any other. 7. You have best opportunity to know 
both the diseases and temperature of your children : which 
is a great advantage for the choosing and applying of the 
best remedy. 8. You have opportunity of watching 
over them, and discerning all their faults in time : but if 
a minister speak to them, he can know no more what fault 
to reprehend, than others tell him, or the party will confess* 
You may also discern what success your former exhorta- 
tions had, and whether they amend or still go on in sin, and 
whether you should proceed to more severe remedies. 9. 
You have opportunity of speaking to them in the most fam- 
iliar manner ; which is better understood than the set speech 
of a minister in the pulpit, which few of them mark or un- 
derstand. You can quicken their attention by questions 
which put them upon answering you, and so awaken them 
to a- serious regard of what you say. 10. You are so fre- 
quently with them, that you can repeat your instructions, 
and drive them home, that what is not done at one time, 
may be done at another : whereas other men can seldom 
speak to them, and what is so seldom spoken is easily neg- 
lected or forgotten. 11. You have power to place them un- 
der the best means, and to remove many impediments out pf 
their way which usually frustrate other men's endeavours. 

•» Piotr. xxii. l.H. 


12. Your example is near them and continually in their sight, 
which is a continual and powerful sermon. By all these 
advantages God hath enabled you above all others, to be in- 
struments of your children's good, and the first and greatest 
promoters of their salvation. 

Motive VI. ' Consider how great a comfort it would be to 
you, to have your children such as you may confidently 
hope are the children of God, being brought to know him, 
and love, and serve him, through your own endeavours in a 
pious education of them/ 1. You may love your children 
upon an higher account than as they are yours ; even as 
they are God's, adorned with his image, and quickened with 
a divine celestial life ; and this is to love them wkh a high- 
er kind of love, than mere natural affection is. It would re- 
joice you to see your children advanced to be lords or 
princes; but O how much greater cause of joy is it, to see 
them made the members of Christ, and quickened by his 
Spirit, and sealed up for life eternal ? 2. When once your 
children are made the children of God, by the regeneration 
of the Spirit, you may be much more free from care and 
trouble for them than before. Now you may boldly trust 
them on the care of your heavenly Father, who is able to do 
more for them than you are able to desire : he loveth them 
better than you can love them : he is bound by promise to 
protect them, and provide for them, and to see that all 
things work together for their good. He that cloatheth the 
lilies of the fields, and suffereth not the young lions or ra- 
vens to be unprovided for, will provide convenient food for 
his own children, (though he will have you also do your du- 
ty for them, as they are your children). While they are the 
children of satan, and the servants of sin, you have cause to 
fear, not only lest they be exposed to miseries in this world, 
but much more lest they be snatched away in their sin to 
hell : your children while they are ungodly are worse than 
among wolves and tigers. But when once they are renewed 
by the Spirit of Christ, they are the charge of all the blessed 
Trinity, and under God the charge of angels : living or dy- 
ing they are safe : for the eternal God is their portion and 
defence. 3. It may be a continual comfort to you to think 
what a deal of drudgery and calamity your child is freed 
from : to think how many oaths he would have sworn, and 


how many lies and curses he would have uttered, and how 
beastly and fleshly a life he would have lived, how much 
wrong he would have done to God and men, and how much 
he would have pleased the devil, and what torments in hell 
he must have endured as the reward of all ; and then to 
think how mercifully God hath prevented all this ; and what 
service he may do God in the world, and finally live with 
Christ in glory : what a joy is this to a considering, believ- 
ing parent, that taketh the mercies of his children as his 
own ? 4. Religion will teach your children to be more du- 
tiful to yourselves, than nature can teach them. It will 
teach them to love you, even when you have no more to 
give them, as well as if you had the wealth of all the world : 
it will teach them to honour you, though you are poor and 
contemptible in the eyes of others. It will teach them to 
obey you, and if you fall into want, to relieve you according 
to their power : it will fit them to comfort you in the time of 
your sickness and distress ; when ungodly children will be 
as thorns in your feet and eyes, or cut your hearts, and 
prove a greater grief than any enemies to you. A gracious 
child wall bear with your weaknesses, when a Ham will not 
cover his father's nakedness : a gracious child can pray for 
you, and pray with you, and be a blessing to your house • 
when an ungodly child is fitter to curse, and prove a curse 
to those he lives with. 5. And is it not an exceeding joy to 
think of the everlasting happiness of your child ? and that 
you may live together in heaven for ever ? When the fore- 
seen misery of a graceless child may grieve you whenever 
you look him in the face. 6. Lastly, it will be a great ad- 
dition to your joy, to think that God blessed your diligent 
instructions, and made you the instrument of all that 
good that is done upon your children, and of all that good 
that is done by them, and of all the happiness they have for 
ever. To think that this was conveyed to them by your 
means, will give you a larger share in the delights of it. 
Motive VII. 'Remember that your children's original sin 
and misery is by you ; and therefore injustice you that have 
undone them, are bound to do your best to save them.' If 
you had but conveyed a leprosy, or some hereditary disease 
to their bodies, would you not have done your best to cure 
them? O that you could do them but as much good as you 

VOL. lY. I 


do them hurt ! It is more than Adam's sin that runneth 
down into the natures of your children, yea, and thatbring- 
eth judgments on them: and even Adam's sin cometh not 
to them but by you. 

Motive VIII. Lastly, ' Consider what exceeding great 
need they have of the utmost help you can afford them.' It 
is not a corporal disease, an easy enemy, a tolerable misery, 
that we call unto you for their help : but it is against sin, 
and satan, and hell-fire. It is against a body of sin : not 
one, but many; not small, but pernicious, having seized on 
the heart : deep-rooted sins, that are not easily plucked up. 
All the teaching, and diligence, and watchfulness that you 
can use, is little enough, and may prove too little. They 
are obstinate vices that have possessed them : they are not 
quickly nor easily cast out : and the remnants and roots are 
apt to be still springing up again, when you thought they 
had been quite destroyed : O then what wisdom and dili- 
gence is requisite to so great and necessary a work ! 

And now let me seriously speak to the hearts of those 
careless and ungodly parents, that neglect the holy educa- 
tion of their children : yea, and to those professors of godli- 
ness, that slubber over so great a work with a few customary 
formal duties and words, that are next to a total omission of 
it. O be not so unmerciful to the souls that you have help- 
ed to bring into the world ! Think not so basely of them, 
9.S if they were not worth your labour. Make not your 
children so like your beasts, as to make no provision but 
only for their flesh. Remember still that it is not beasts 
but men, that you have begotten and brought forth : edu- 
cate them then and use them as men for the love and obedi- 
ence of their Maker : O pity and help the souls that you 
have defiled and undone ! Have mercy on the souls that 
must perish in hell, if they be not saved in this day of sal- 
vation ! O help them that have so many enemies to assault 
them ! Help them that have so many temptations to pass 
through ; and so many difficulties to overcome ; and ^o se- 
vere a judgment to undergo I Help them that are so weak, 
and so easily deceived and overthrown ! Help them speedi- 
ly while your advantages continue ; before sin have harden- 
ed them, and grace have forsaken them, and satan place a 
stronger garrison in their hearts. Help them while they 
are tractable, before they are grown up to despise your 


hi^ip ; before you and they are separated asunder, ai>d you^ 
opportunities be at an end. You think not your pains from 
year to year, too much to make provision for their bodies : 
O be not cruel to their souls ! Sell them not to satan, an4 
that for naught ! Betray them not by your ungodly negU-; 
^ence to hell. Or if any of them will perish, let it not h^t 
by you, that are so much bound to do them good : the un- 
doing of your children's souls is a work much fitter for sa-j 
tan, than for their parents. Remember how comfortable \ 
thing it is, to work with Christ for the saving of souls. You 
think the calling of ministers honourable and happy ; and so 
it is, because they serve Christ in so high a work : but if 
you will not neglect it, you may do for your children more 
than any minister can do. This is your preaching place : 
here God calleth you to exercise y-our parts ; even in th© 
holy instruction of your families : your charge is small iu 
comparison of the minister's, he hath many hundred souls 
to watch over, that are scattered all abroad the parish : and 
will you think it much to instruct and watch over those few 
of your own that are under your roof? You can speak odi- 
ously of unfaithful, soul-betraying ministers; and do you 
not consider how odious a soul-betraying parent is ? If 
God intrust you but with earthly talents, take heed how you 
use them, for you must be accountable for your trust ; and 
when he hath intrusted you with souls, even your children's 
souls, will you betray them ? If any rulers should but for-, 
bid you the instructing and well-governing of your families^ 
and restrain you by a law, as they would have restrained 
Daniel from praying in his house ^, then you would think 
them monsters of impiety and inhumanity : and you would 
cry out of a satanical persecution, that would make men 
traitors to their children's souls, and drive away all religion 
from the earth. And yet how easily can you neglect such 
duties, when none forbid them you, and never accuse your- 
selves of any such horrid impiety or inhumanity ? What 
hypocrisy, and blind partiality is thia? Like a lazy minister 
that would cry out of persecution, if he were silenced by 
others, and yet will not be provoked to be laborious, but 
ordinarily by his slothfulness silence himself, and make no 
such matter of it: would it be so heinous a sin in nnother 

« Dan. vi. 


to restrain you ? And is it not as heinous for you, that are 
so much obliged to it, voluntarily to restrain yourselves? 
O then deny not this necessary diligence to your necessi- 
tous children, as you love their souls, as you love the happi- 
ness of the church or commonwealth, as you love the ho- 
nour and interest of Christ, and as you love your present 
and everlasting peace. Do not see your children the slaves 
of satan here, and the firebrands of hell for ever, if any dili- 
gence of yours may contribute to prevent it. Do not give 
conscience such matter of accusation against you, as to say, 
' All this was long of thee ! If thou hadst instructed them 
diligently, and watched over them, and corrected them, and 
done thy part, it is like they had never come to this.* You 
till your fields ; you weed your gardens : what pains take 
you about your grounds and cattle? And will you not 
take more for your children's souls ? Alas, what creatures 
will they be if you leave them to themselves? How igno- 
rant, careless, rude and beastly ? O what a lamentable case 
have ungodly parents brought the world into ? Ignorance 
and selfishness, beastly sensuality, and devilish malignity 
have covered the face of the earth as a deluge, and driven 
away wisdom, and self-denial, and piety, and charity, and 
justice, and temperance almost out of the world, confining 
them to the breasts of a few obscure humble souls, that 
love virtue for virtue's sake, and look for their reward 
from God alone, and expect that by abstaining from in- 
iquity, they make themselves a prey to wolves ^. Wicked 
education hath unmanned the world, and subdued it to 
satan, and made it almost like to hell. O do not join with 
the sons of Belial in this unnatural, horrid wickedness ! 


The mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives towards each other . 

It is the pernicious subversion of all societies, and so of 
the world, that selfish, ungodly persons enter into all rela- 
tions with a desire to serve themselves there, and fish out 
all that gratifieth their flesh, but without any sense of the 

<* Isa. Hx. 15. 


duty of their relation. They bethink them what honour, or 
profit, or pleasure their relation will afford them, but not 
what God and man require or expect from them". All 
their thought is, what they shall have, but not what they 
shall be, and do. They are very sensible what others should 
be, and do to them ; but not what they should be, and do 
to others. Thus it is with magistrates, and with people, 
with too many pastors and their flocks, with husbands and 
wives, with parents and children, with masters and servants, 
and all other relations. Whereas our first care should be 
to know and perform the duties of our relations, and please 
God in them, and then look for his blessing by way of en- 
couraging reward. Study and do your parts, and God will 
certainly do his. 

Direct, i. 'The first duty of husbands is to love their 
wives (and wives their husbands) with a true, entire conju- 
gal love.' "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also 

loved the church, and gave himself for it. So ought men 

to love their wives as their own bodies ; he that loveth his 
wife, loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own 
flesh ; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord 

the church. Let every one of you in particular so love 

his wife, even as himself ''." It is a relation of love that 
you have entered. God hath made it your duty for your 
mutual help and comfort: that you may be as willing and 
ready to succour one another, as the hand is to help the eye 
or other fellow member, and that your converse may be 
sweet, and your burdens easy, and your lives may be com- 
fortable. If love be removed but for an hour between hus- 
band and wife, they are so long as a bone out of joint ; 
there is no ease, no order, no work well done, till they are 
restored and set in joint again. Therefore be sure that con- 
jugal love be constantly maintained. 

The sub-directions for maintaining conjugal love arc 
such as these. Direct. 1. Choose one at first that is truly 
amiable, especially in the virtues of the mind. 2. Marry 
not till you are sure that you can love entirely. Be not 
drawn for sordid ends, to join with one that you have but 
ordinary affections for. 3. Be not too hasty, but know be- 
forehand, all the imperfections, which may tempt you after* 

• Gciu ii. 18. Pror. xviii. t^i. »> Kpli. v. W. 28, 29. 53. Se«Gen. ii.W. 


wards to loathing. But if these duties have been sinfully 
neglected, yet 4. Remember that justice commandeth you 
to love one that hath, as it were, forsaken all the world for 
you, and is contented to be the companion of your labours 
•and sufferings, and be an equal sharer in all conditions with 
you, and that must be your companion until death. It is 
worse than barbarous inhumanity to entice such a one into 
a bond of love, and society with you, and then to say, you 
cannot love her. This was by perfidiousness to draw her 
into a snare to her undoing. What comfort can she have 
in her converse with you, and care, and labour, and neces- 
sary sufferings, if you deny her conjugal love ? Especially, 
iif she deny not love to you, the inhumanity is the greater. 
5. Remember that women are ordinarily affectionate, passion- 
ate creatures, and as they love much themselves, so they ex- 
pect much love from you. And when you joined yourself 
to such a nature, you obliged yourself to answerable duty : 
and if love cause not love, it is ungrateful and unjust con- 
tempt. 6. Remember that you are under God's command ; 
and to deny conjugal love to your wives> is to deny a duty 
>which God hath urgently imposed on you. Obedience 
therefore should command your love. 7. Remember that 
you are relatively, as it were, one flesh ; you have drawn 
tier to forsake father and mother, to cleave to you ; you are 
conjoined for procreation of such children as must bear 
the image and nature of you both; your possessions and 
interests are in a manner the same. And therefore such 
nearness should command affection ; they that are as your- 
selves, should be most easily loved as yourselves. 8. Take 
more notice of the good, that is in your wives, than of the 
evil. Let not the observation of their faults make you 
forget or overlook their virtues. Love is kindled by the 
sight of love or goodness. 9. Make not infirmities to seem 
odious faults, but excuse them as faJ" ias lawfully you may, 
by considering the frailty of the sex, and of their tempers, 
and considering also your own infirmities, and how much 
your wives must bear with you. 10. Stir up that most in 
them into exercise which is best, and stir not up that which 
^s evil; and then the good will most appear, and the evil 
will be as buried, and you will more easily maintain your 
Jove. There is some uncleanness in the best on earth ; and 


if you will be daily stirring in the filth, no wonder if you have 
the annoyance ; and for that you may thank yourselves : 
draw out the fragrancy of that which is good and delectable 
in them, and do not by your own imprudence or peevish- 
ness stir up the worst, and then you shall find that even your 
faulty wives will appear more amiable to you. 11. Over- 
come them with love ; and then whatever they are in them- 
selves, they will be loving to you, and consequently lovely. 
Love will cause love, as fire kindleth fire. A good husband 
is the best means to make a good and loving wife. Make 
them not froward by your froward carriage, and then say, 
we cannot love them. 12. Give them examples of amiable- 
ness in yourselves ; set them the pattern of a prudent, lowly, 
loving, meek, self-denying, patient, harmless, holy, heavenly, 
life. Try this a while, and see whether it will not shame 
them from their faults, and make them walk more amiably 

Direct, ii. * Another duty of husbands and wives is, coha- 
bitation and (where age prohibiteth not) a sober and modest 
conjunction for procreation.' Avoiding lasciviousness, un- 
seasonableness, and whatever tendeth to corrupt the mind, 
and make it vain and filthy, and hinder it from holy em- 
ployment. And therefore lust must not be cherished in the 
married ; but the mind be brought to a moderate, chaste, 
and sober frame ; and the remedy must not be turned into 
an increase of the disease, but used to extinguish it. For 
if the mind be left to the power of lust, and only marriage 
trusted to for the cure, with many it will be found an in- 
sufficient cure ; and lust will rage still as it did before, and 
will be so much the more desperate and your case the more 
miserable, as your sin prevaileth against the remedy. Yet 
marriage being appointed for a remedy against lust, for the 
avoiding all unlawful congress, the apostle hath plainly de- 
scribed your duty. ** It is good for a man not to touch a wo- 
man : nevertheless to avoid fornication, let every man have his 
own wife, and let every woman have her own husband ; let 
the husband render unto the wife due benevolence ; and like- 
wise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not 
power of her own body, but the husband ; and likewise also 
the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 
Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for 


a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, 
and come together again, that satan tempt you not for your 
incontinency*^." Therefore those persons live contrary to 
the nature of their relation, who live a great part of their 
lives asunder, as many do for w^orldly respects ; when they 
have several houses, possessions or trades, and the husband 
must live at one, and the wife at another, for their commo- 
dity sake; and only come together once in a week, or in 
many weeks ; when this is done without great necessity, it is 
a constant violation of their duties. And so it is for men 
to go trade or live beyond sea, or in another land, and leave 
their wives behind them; yea, though they have their wives' 
consent; it is an unlawful course, except in a case of mere 
necessity, or public service, or when they are able on good 
grounds to say, that the benefits are like to be greater to 
soul and body than the loss ; and that they are confirmed 
ao^ainst the dano;er of incontinence. The offices which hus- 
band and wife are bound to perform for one another are 
such as, for the most part, suppose their cohabitation, like 
the offices of the members of the body for each other, 
which they cannot perform, if they be dismembered and 

Direct. III. * Abhor not only adultery itself, but all that 
tendeth to unchasteness and the violation of your marriage- 
covenant^.' Adultery is so contrary to the conjugal bond 
and state of life, that though ' de facto' it do not actually 
dissolve the bond, and nullify the marriage; yet it so far 
disobligeth the wronged innocent party, that *de jure' it is 
to such a sufficient ground to warrant a divorce. And God 
required, that it be punished by death ^ When lust is the 
chiefest cause of marriage, and when married persons live 
not in the fear of God, but pamper the flesh and live licen- 
tiously, no wonder if marriage prove an insufficient remedy 
against such cherished lust. Such carnal, beastly persons 
are still casting fuel on the fire; by wanton,^ unbridled 

<^ 1 Cor. vii. 2 — 5. 

^ Matt. V. 31, 32. xix. 9. John viii. 4, 5. Of Adultery. Heb. xiii. 4. 
Prov. xxii. 14. Hos. iv. 2,3. Prov. ii. 17. 1 Cor. vi. 15. 19. Mai. ii. 15. Prov. 
vi. 32, 35. Deut. xxiii. 2. Lev. xxi. 9. xviii. 28. Numb. xxv. 9. Jer. v. 7 — 
Gen. vi. 2, 3, &c. xxxiv. 27. 2 Sam. xiii. 22. xii. 10. Judg. xx. 10. Jer. 
xxiii. 14. 

e Lev. XX. 10. 


thoughts and speeches, by gluttony, drinking, sports, and 
idleness, by vain, enticing company, and not avoiding oc- 
casions, opportunities, and temptations, they burn as much 
when they are married as they did before. And the devil 
that bloweth up this fire in their flesh, doth conduct and 
accommodate them in the satisfying of their lusts ; so that 
their brutish concupiscence is like a fire burning in the sea ; 
water itself will not quench it. One woman will not satisfy 
their bestiality ; and perhaps they loathe their own wives, 
and run after others, though their own (in the eye of any 
impartial man) be the more comely and amiable, and their 
whores be never so deformed, or impudent, filthy lumps of 
dirt. So that one would think that they had no other rea- 
son, to love and follow such unlovely things, but only be- 
cause God forbiddeth it ; as if the devil did it to shew his 
power over them, that he can make them do that, as in de- 
spite of God, which else they would abhor themselves. 
When once their sensuality and their forsaking of God, hath 
provoked God to forsake them, and give them up to the 
rage of that sensuality, an unclean spirit sometimes takes 
possession of them, and wholly inclineth them to wallow in 
uncleanliness : they can scarce look a comely person in the 
face, that is of the other sex, but unclean thoughts are ris- 
ing in their hearts ; they think of filthiness when they are 
alone; they dream of filthiness in the liight; they talk of 
filthiness with others : the tongues of the dogs that licked 
Lazarus his sores, were not used in such a filthy employ- 
ment as theirs are. "They are as fed horses in the morn- 
ing ; every one neigheth after his neighbour's wife ^" ** They 
declare their sin as Sodom, and hide it not^." And usually 
when they are given over to this filthy sin, it utterly de- 
baucheth their consciences, and maketh them like blocks 
or beasts, insensible of their misery and the wrath of God, 
and given over to all other villanies, and even to hate and 
persecute godliness, if not civility itself'. Some few adul- 
terers I have known, that sin so much against their con- 
sciences, that they live in continual despair ; tormented in 
the sense of their own unhappiness, and yet sinning still, 
as if the devil would make them a derision : and yet these 

' Jcr. V. 8. » Isa. iii. 9. 

" Rcr. xxi, 8. Pror. r. 20. Read before Pari i. Chap. 8. Part. v. Tit. 1. 


are the better sort, because there is some testimony for a 
better life remaining in their minds ; but others of them 
** being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasci- 
viousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness ','' 
** They have eyes full of adultery that cannot cease from 
sin. — As natural brute beasts that are made to be taken 
and destroyed ''." Take heed therefore of the causes of this 
odious sin, and of all appearance of it; suffer not your eye 
or thought to go after a stranger, nor to begin a breach in 
your covenant and conjugal fidelity. 

Direct, iv. * Husband and wife must take delight in the 
love, and company, and converse of each other.' There is 
nothing that man's heart is so inordinately set upon as de- 
light; and yet the lawful delight allowed them by God, 
they can turn into loathing and disdain. The delight which 
would entangle you in sin, and turn you from your duty and 
from God, is it that is forbidden you : but this is a delight 
that is helpful to you in your duty, and would keep you 
from sin. When husband and wife take pleasure in each 
other, it uniteth them in duty, it helpeth them with ease to 
do their work, and bear their burdens ; and is not the least 
part of the comfort of the married state. ** Rejoice with 
the wife of thy youth, as the loving hind and pleasant roe, 
let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravish- 
ed always with her love ^" Therefore a wife is called * The 
desire of the eyes ™," Avoid therefore all things that may 
represent you unpleasant or unlovely to each other ; and 
use all lawful means to cherish complacency and delight : 
not by foolish, ridiculous, or proud attire, or immodest ac- 
tions ; but by cleanness, and decency, and kind deportment. 
Nastiness, and uncleanness, and unseemly carriage, and 
foolish speech, and whatever is loathsome in body or mind> 
must be shunned as temptations which would hinder you 
from that love, and pleasure, and content, which husband 
and wife should have in one another. And yet it is a foolish, 
fleshly person, that will continue love no longer than it is 
cherished with all this care. If there be any deformity of 
the body, or any thing unseemly in behaviour, or if God 
should visit them with any loathsome sores or sickness, they 

* Eph. iv. 19. '' 2 Pet. ii. 10—12. ' Prov. v. 18, 19. 

"' Ezek. xxiv. 16. 



must for all that love each other, yea, and take pleasure in 
their converse. It is not a true friend that leaveth you in 
adversity ; nor is it true conjugal affection which is blasted 
by a loathsome sickness. The love of mothers to their chil- 
dren will make them take pleasure in them, notwithstanding 
their sickness or uncleanness ; and so should their love do 
between a husband and his wife. He that considereth that 
his own flesh is liable to the same diseases, and like ere 
long to be as loathsome, will do as he would be done by, and 
not turn away in time of her affliction from her that is be- 
come his flesh. Much less excusable is the crime of them 
that, when they have nothing extraordinary to distaste or 
disaffect them, are weary of the company of one another, 
and had rather be in their neighbours' houses, than in their 
own, and find more pleasure in the company of a stranger* 
than of one another. 

Direct, v. * It is a great duty of husbands and wives to 
live in quietness and peace, and avoid all occasions of wrath 
and discord.' Because this is a duty of so great importance, 
I shall first open to you the great necessity of it, and then 
give you more particular Directions to perform it. 

f. It is a duty which your union or near relation doth 
espfecially require. Will you fall out with yourselves ? Can- 
not you agree with your own flesh ? 2. Your discord will 
be your pain, and the vexation of your lives. Like a bile, 
or wound, or fracture in your own bodies, which will pain 
you till it is cured ; you will hardly keep peace in your 
minds, when peace is broken so near your own family. As 
you would take heed of hurting yourselves, and as you would 
hasten the cure when you are hurt ; so should you take heed 
of any breach of peace, and quickly seek to heul it when it 
is broken* 3. Dissention tends to cool your love ; oft fall- 
ing out doth tend to leave a habit of distaste and averseneas 
on the mind. Wounding is separating; and to be tied to- 
gether by any outward bonds, when your hearts are sepa- 
rated, i6 but to be tormented ; and to have the insides of 
adversaries, while you have conjugal outsides. As the dif- 
ference between my house and my prison is that I willingly 
and with delight dwell in the one, but am unwillingly con- 
fined to the other, such will be the difference between a 
quiet and an unquiet life, in your married state : it turnetii 


your dwelling and delight into a prison, where you are chain- 
ed to those calamities, which in a free condition you might 
overrun. 4. Dissention between the husband and the wife, do 
disorder all their family affairs ; they are like oxen unequal- 
ly yoked, that can rid no work for striving with one another. 
Nothing is well done because of the variance of those that 
should do it, or oversee it. 5. It exceedingly unfitteth you 
for the worship of God ; you are not fit to pray together, 
nor to confer together of heavenly things, nor to be helpers 
to each other's souls : I need not tell you this, you feel it by 
experience. Wrath and bitterness will not allow you so 
much exercise of love and holy composedness of mind, as 
every one of those duties do require. 6. Dissention dis- 
ableth you to govern your families aright. Your children and 
servants will take example by you ; or think they are at li- 
berty to do what they list, when they find you taken up 
with such work between yourselves : and they will think 
you unfit to reprove them for their faults, when they see 
you guilty of such faults and folly of your own ; nay you 
will become the shame and secret derision of your family, 
and bring yourselves into contempt. 7. Your dissentions 
will expose you to the malice of satan, and give him advan- 
tage for manifold temptations. A house divided cannot 
stand : an army divided is easily conquered, and made a 
prey to the enemy. You cannot foresee what abundance 
of sin you put yourselves in danger of. By all this you may 
see what dissentions between husband and wife do tend to, 
and how they should be avoided. 

II. For the avoiding of them observe these sub-direc- 
tions. 1. Keep up your conjugal love in a constant heat 
and vigor. Love will suppress wrath : you cannot have a 
bitter mind upon small provocations, against those that you 
dearly love ; much less can you proceed to reviling words 
or to averseness and estrangedness, or any abuse of one 
another. Or if a breach and wound be unhappily made, 
the balsamic quality of love will heal it. But when love 
once cooleth, small matters exasperate and breed distaste. 

2. Both husband and wife must mortify their pride 
and passion, which are the causes of impatiency ; and must 
pray and labour for a humble, meek, and quiet spirit. For 
it is the diseased temper Qf the heart, that causeth dissen- 


tions, more than the occasions or matter of offence do. A 
proud heart is troubled and provoked by every word or 
carriage that seemeth to tend to their undervaluing. A pee- 
vish, froward mind is like a sore and ulcerated member, 
that will be hurt if it be touched. He that must live near 
such a sore, diseased, impatient mind, must live even as the 
nurse doth with the child, that maketh it her business to 
rock it, and lull, and sing it quiet when it crieth ; for to be 
angry with it, will do no good : and if you have married one 
of such a sick or childish temper, you must resolve to bear 
and use them accordingly. But no Christian should bear 
with such a vexatious malady in themselves ; nor be pa- 
tient with such impatiency of mind. Once get the victory 
over yourselves, and get the cure of your own impatience, 
and you will easily keep peace with one another. 

3. Remember still that you are both diseased persons, 
full of infirmities ; and therefore expect the fruit of those 
infirmities in each other ; and make not a strange matter of 
it, as if you had never known of it before. If you had mar- 
ried one that is lame, would you be angry with her for halt- 
ing ? Or if you had married one that had a putrid ulcer, 
would you fall out with her because it stinketh ? Did you 
not know beforehand, that you married a person of such 
weaknesses, as would yield you some matter of daily trial 
and offence ? If you could not bear this, you should not 
have married her ; if you resolved that you could bear it 
then, you are obliged to bear it now. Resolve therefore to 
bear with one another ; as remembering that you took one 
another as sinful, frail, imperfect persons, and not as angels, 
or as blameless and perfect. 

4. Remember still that you are one flesh ; and therefore 
be no more offended with the words or failings of each other, 
than you would be if they were your own. Fall out no 
more with your wife for her faults, than you do with your- 
self for your own faults ; and than you would do, if hers had 
been your own. This will allow you such an anger and dis- 
pleasure against a fault, as tendeth to heal it; but not such 
as tendeth but to fester and vex the diseased part. This 
will turn anger into compassion, and speedy, tender dili- 
gence for the cure, fif 

5. Agree together beforehand, that when one is in the 


diseased, angry fit, the other shall silently and gently bear, 
till it be past and you are come to yourselves again. Be 
not angry both at once ; when the tire is kindled, quench it 
with gentle words and carriage, and do not cast on oil or 
fuel, by answering provokingly and sharply, or by multiply- 
ing words, and by answering wrath with wrath. But re- 
member that now the work that you are called to is to mol- 
lify, and not to exasperate, to help, and not to hurt, to cure 
another rather than to right yourself: as if another fall and 
hurt him, your business is to help him up, and not to tread 
upon him. 

6. Look before you, and remember that you must liv« 
together until death, and must be the companions of each 
othei^ fortunes, and the comforts of each others lives, and 
then you will see how absurd it is for you to disagree and 
y-ex each other. Anger is the principle of revenge, and 
falling out doth tend to separation. Therefore those that 
must not revenge, should not give way to anger ; and those 
that know they must not part, should not fall out. 

7. As far as you are able, avoid all occasions of wrath 
and falling out, about the matters of your families. Some 
by their slothfulness bring themselves into want ; and then 
being unable to bear it, they contract a discontented, peevish 
habit, and in their impatiency they wrangle and disquiet 
one another. Some plunge themselves into a multitude of 
business, and have to do with so many things and persons, 
that one or other is still offending them, and then they are 
impatie«nt with one another. Some have neither skill nor 
diligence to manage their businesses aright ; and so things 
fall cross, and go out of order, and then their impatiency 
turneth itself against each other. Avoid thes^ occasions, if 
you would avoid the sin, and see tl;iat you be i^ot unfurnish- 
ed of patience, to bear that which cannot be avoided. 

8. If you cannot quickly quench your passion, yet at 
least refrain your tongues ; speak not reproachful or pro- 
voking words : talking it out hotly doth blow the fire, and 
increase the flame ; be but silent, and you will the sooner 
return to your serenity and peace. Foul words tend to 
more displeasure. As Socrates said when his wife first 
railed at him, and next threw a vessel of foul water upon 
him, " I thought when I heard the thunder, there would 


come rain:" so you may portend worse following, when 
foul, unseemly words begin. If you cannot easily allay 
your wrath, you may hold your tongues, if you are truly 

9. Let the sober party condescend to speak fair and to 
entreat the other, (unless it be with a person so insolent as 
will be the worse.) Usually a few sober, grave admonitions, 
will prove as water to the boiling pot. Say to your angry 
wife or husband, ' You know this should not be betwixt 
us ; love must allay it, and it must be repented of. God 
doth not approve it, and we shall not approve it when this 
heat is over. This frame of mind is contrary to a praying 
frame, and this language contrary to a praying language ; 
we must pray together anon ; let us do nothing contrary to 
prayer now : sweet water and bitter come not from one 
spring,' 8cc. Some calm and condescending words of rea- 
son, may stop the torrent, and revive the reason which 
passion had overcome. 

10. Confess your fault to one another, when passion 
hath prevailed against you; and ask forgiveness of each 
other, and join in prayer to God for pardon ; and this will 
lay a greater engagement on you, the next time to forbear: 
you will sure be ashamed to do thatwhich you have so confess- 
ed and asked forgiveness for of God and man. If you will 
but practise these ten directions, your conjugal and family 
peace may be preserved. 

Direct, vi. * A principal duty between husband and wife, 
is, with special care, and skill, and diligence, to help each 
other in the knowledge, and worship, and obedience of God 
in order to their salvation/ Because this is a duty in which 
you are the greatest helps and blessings to each other, if you 
perform it. 1 shall 1. Endeavour to quicken you to make 
conscience of it ; and then 2. Direct you how to do it. 

I. Consider, 1. How little it can stand with rational love, 
to neglect the souls of one another? I suppose you believe 
that you have immortal souls, and an endless life of joy or 
misery to live ; and then you cannot choose but know that 
your great concernment and business is, to make sure pro^ 
vision for those souls, and for the endless life. Therefore 
if your love do not help one another in this which is your 
main concernment, it is little worth, and of little use. Eve- 


ry thing in this world is valuable as it is useful. A useless 
or unprofitable love, is a worthless love. It is a trifling, or 
a childish, or a beastly love, which helpeth you but in trifling, 
childish, or beastly things. Do you love your wife, and 
yet will leave her in the power of satan, or will not help to 
save her soul? What ! love her, and yet let her go to hell ! 
and rather let her be damned than you will be at the pains 
to endeavour her salvation ! If she were but in bodily pain 
or misery, and you refused to do your part to succour her, 
she would take it but for cold, unprofitable love, though 
you were never so kind to her in compliments and trifles. 
The devil himself maketh shew of such a love as that ; he 
can vouchsafe men pleasures, and wealth, and honour, so 
he may but see the perdition of their souls. And if your 
love to your wife or husband, do tend to no greater matters 
than the pleasures of this life, while the soul is left to pe- 
rish in sin, bethink yourselves seriously how little more 
kindness you shew them than the devil doth. O can you 
see the danger of one that you love so dearly, and do no 
more to save them from it? Can you think of the damna- 
tion of so dear a friend, and not do all that you are able to 
prevent it ? Would you be separated from them in the 
world that you are going to? Would you not live with 
them in heaven for ever? Never say you love them, if you 
will not labour for their salvation. If ever they come to 
hell, or if ever you see them there, both they and you will 
then confess, that you behaved not yourselves like such as 
loved them. It doth not deserve the name of love, which 
can leave a soul to endless misery. 

What then shall we say of them that do not only deny 
their help, but are hinderers of the holiness and salvation 
of each other " ! And yet (the Lord have mercy on the poor 
miserable world !) how common a thing is this among us ! 
If the wife be ignorant and ungodly, she will do her worst to 
make or keep her husband such as she is herself: and if 
God put any holy inclinations into his heart, she will be to 
it as water to the fire, to quench it or to keep it under. And 
if he will not be as sinful and miserable as herself, he shall 
have little quietness or rest. And if God open the eyes of 
the wife of a bad man, and shew her the amiableness and 

 1 Kings xi. 4. Acts v. 2. Eve is Adam's tempter. Job ii. 9. 



necessity of a holy life, and she do but resolve to obey the 
Lord, and save her soul, what an enemy and tyrant will her 
husband prove to her, (if God restrain him not !) so that 
the devil himself doth scarce do more against the saving of 
their souls, than ungodly husbands and wives do against 
each other. 

2. Consider also that you live not up to the ends of marr 
riage, nor of humanity, if you are not helpers to each other's 
souls. To help each other only for your bellies, is to live 
together but like beasts. You are appointed to live toge- 
ther as " heirs of the grace of life °.'' " And husbands must 
love their wives as Christ loved his church, who gave him- 
self for it that he might sanctify it and cleanse it, that he 
might present it to himself a glorious church, without spot 
or wrinkle, holy and without blemish p/' That which is the 
end of your very life and being, must be the end of your re- 
lations, and your daily converse. 

3. Consider also, if you neglect each other's souls, what 
enemies you are to one another, and how you prepare for 
your everlasting sorrows : when you should be preparing for 
your joyful meeting in heaven, you are laying up for your- 
selves everlasting horror. What a dreadful meeting and 
greeting will you have at the bar of Christ, or in the flames 
of hell, when you shall find there how perversely you have 
done "1 ? Is it not better to be praising God together in glory, 
than to be raging against each other in the horror of your 
consciences, and flying in the faces of one another with 
such accusations as these ? — " O cruel husband ! O merci- 
less, deceitful wife ! It was long of you that I came to this 
miserable, woeful end ! I might have lived with Christ and 
his saints in joy, and now I am tormented in these flames in 
desperation I You were commanded by God to have given 
me warning, and told me of my sin and misery, and never 
to let me rest in it, but to have instructed and entreated me, 
till I had come home by Christ, that I might not have come 
to this place of torment : but you never so much as spake 
to me of God, and my salvation, unless it were lightly in jest 
or in your common talk! If the house had been on tire, 

° 1 Pet. iii. 7. P Ephes. v. 25- 27. 

1 1 Thc8. V. 11. Heb. xii. 15. Col. ii. 19. Eph. iv. J6. 1 Cor. ?il.'5. 
Gen. XXXV. 2. 4. Lev. xix, 17. 



you would have been more earnest to have quenched it, 
than you were to save my soul from hell ! You never told 
tne seriously of the misery of a natural, unrenewed state! 
Nor of the great necessity of regeneration and a holy life ! 
Nor ever talked to me of heaven and hell, as matters of 
such consequence should have been mentioned ; but morn* 
ing and night, your talk was nothing but about the world, 
and the things of the world "". Your idle talk, and jesting, 
and froward, and carnal, and unprofitable discourse, was it 
that filled up all the time ; and we had not one sober word 
of our salvation. You never seriously foretold me of this 
day : you never prayed with me, nor read the Scripture and 
good books to me. You took no pains to help me to know- 
ledge, nor to humble my hardened heart for my sins, nor to 
tave me from thern, nor to draw me to the love of God and 
holiness by faith in Christ : you did not go before me, with 
the good example of a holy and heavenly conversation : but 
with the evil example of an ungodly, fleshly, worldly life. 
You neither cared for your own soul, nor mine ; nor 1 for 
yours or mine own. And now we are justly condemned to- 
gether, that would not live in holiness together !" O foolish, 
miserable souls, that by your ungodliness and negligence in 
this life, will prepare each other for such a life of endless woe 
^hd horror ! 

O therefore resolve without delay, to live together aa 
heirs of heaven, and to be helpers to each other's souls. 
To which end I will give you these following Sub-directions, 
which if you will faithfully practise, may make you to be 
special blessings to each other. 

Direct. I. ' If you would help to save each other's souls, 
you must each of you be sure that you have a care of your 
own ; and retain a deep and lively apprehension of those 
great and everlasting matters, of which you are to speak 
to others ^' It cannot be reasonably expected that he 
ishould have a due compassion to another's soul, that hath 
hone to his own ; and that he should be at the pains that is 
needful to help another to salvation, that setteth so little by 
his own, as to sell it for the base and momentary ease and 
pleasure of the flesh. Nor is it to be expected that a man 
should speak with any suitable weight and seriousness about 

•• Numb. xvi. 27. 32. » Gen. ii. 18. 


tkos€ matters whose weight his heart did never feci, and 
about which he was never scrioiia himself. First see that 
you feel throughly, that which would speak profitably ; and 
that you be what you persuade another to be; and that all 
your counsel may be perceived to arise from the bottom of 
your hearts, and that you speak of things which by expe- 
rience you are well acquainted with. 

Direct, ii. * Take those opportunities which your ordi- 
nary nearness and familiarity affordeth you, to be speaking 
seriously to each other about the matters of God, and yout 
salvation.' When you lie down and rise together, let not 
your worldly business have all your talk ; but let God and 
your souls have the first and the last, and at least the freest 
and sweetest of your speech, if not the most. When you 
have said so much of your common business as the nature 
and dispatch of it requireth, lay it by, and talk together of 
the state and duty of your souls towards God, and of your 
hopes of heaven, as those that take these for their greatest 
business. And speak not lightly, or unreverently, or in a 
rude and wrangling manner ; but with gravity and sobriety, 
as those that are advising together about the greatest matter 
that ever they had to do in the world. 

Direct, iii. * When either husband or wife is speaking 
seriously about holy things, let the other be careful to che- 
rish, and not to extinguish and put an end to the discourse.* 
There are two ways to cherish such discourse : the first is, 
by taking your turn, and bearing a due proportion in the 
discourse with wisdom and gravity ; but all cannot do this, 
some are but learners, and those must take the second way, 
which is, to ask for resolution in matters of which they doubt, 
or are uninstructed, and to draw on more by pertinent ques- 
tioni. The two ways by which such discourse is silenced 
ere these : the first is, by the constant silence of the hearer ; 
when a man talketh as to a post, that givetli him no answer, 
nor putteth any pettiDeBt question, he will be wearied out 
at last, and will gire over : the second is, by a cross, con- 
tradicting, cavilling, wrangling against what is spoken, or 
by interruptions and diversions ; when you come in pre- 
sently with some worldly or impertinent talk, and wind 
about from sober conference to something that is unedify- 
ing : and some that will not seem merely profane, and vain. 


and worldly, will destroy all holy, fruitful conference, even 
by a kind of religious talk ; presently carrying you away 
from heart-searching and heavenly discourse, to some con- 
troversy, or doctrinal, or formal, or historical matter, that is 
sufficiently distant from the heart and heaven. Take heed 
of these courses, if you would help each other. 

Direct, iv. 'Watch over the hearts and lives of one 
another, and labour to discern the state of one another's 
souls, and the strength or weakness of each other's sins and 
graces, and the failings of each other's lives, that so you may 
be able to apply to one another the most suitable help.' 
What you are unacquainted with, you cannot be very help- 
ful in*; you cannot cure unknown diseases; you cannot 
give wise and safe advice, about the state of one another's 
souls, if you are mistaken in them. God hath placed you 
nearest to each other, that you might have so much interest 
in each other, as to quicken you to a loving gare, and so 
much acquaintance with each other, as to keep you from 
misunderstanding, and so from neglecting or deceiving one 
another. And you should be always provided of those fit 
remedies, that are most needful and suitable to each other's 
case. If that preacher be like to be dull and unsuccessful 
that is all upon mere doctrine, and little or nothing in close 
and lively application, you may conceive that it will be so 
also with your familiar conference. 

Direct, v. * See that you neither flatter one another 
through fond and foolish love, nor exasperate one another 
by a passionate or contemptuous kind of reprehension.' 
Some persons are so blinded with fond affection, that they 
can scarce see in husband, wife, or children any aggravated 
sin or misery ; but they think all is well that they do, or not 
so ill as in another they would perceive it; but this is the 
same course that self-loving sinners take with their own 
souls, to their delusion and perdition. This flattering of 
yourselves or others, is but the devil's charm to keep you 
from effectual repentance and salvation : and the ease of 
such anodynes and narcotics doth endure but a little while. 
On the other side, some cannot speak to one another of their 
faults, without such bitterness of passion, or contempt, as 
tendeth to make the stomach of the receiver to loathe the 

' Matt, xxvii. 19. 


medicine, and so to refuse it, or to cast it up. If common 
reproofs to strangers must all be offered in love, much more 
between the nearest relations. 

Direct, vi. * Be sure that you keep up true conjugal love 
to one another, and that you grow not to disafFect the per- 
sons of each other.' For if you do, you will despise each 
other's counsels and reproofs. They that slight, or loathe, 
or are weary of each other, will disdain reproofs, and scorn 
advice from one another ; when entire affection greatly dis- 
poseth to the right entertainment of instruction. 

Direct, vii. * Discourage not each other from instruction 
or reproof by taking it ill, or by churlish reflections, or by 
obstinate unreformedness.' When you will not learn, or 
will not amend, you discourage your instructor and re- 
prover. Men vf'iW be apt to give over, when they are re- 
quited with ingratitude, and snappish retortions, or when 
they perceive that their labour is all in vain. And as it is 
the heaviest judgment of God that befalleth any upon earth, 
when he withdraweth his advice and help, and leaveth sin- 
ners wholly to themselves ; so it is the saddest condition in 
your relations, when the ignorant and sinning party is for- 
saken by the other, and left to their own opinions and ways ; 
though indeed it should not be so, because while there is 
life there is hope. 

Direct, viii. * So far as you are able to instruct or quicken 
one another, call in for better helps : engage each other in 
the reading of the most convincing, quickening books, and 
in attendance on the most powerful ministry, and in profi- 
table converse with the holiest persons.' Not so as to neg- 
lect your duty to one another ever the more, but that all 
helps concurring may be the more effectual. When they 
find you speak to them but the same things which ministers 
and other Christians speak, it will be the more easily received. 

Direct, ix. ' Conceal not the state of your souls, nor hide 
your faults from one another.' You are as one flesh, and 
should have one heart : and as it is most dangerous for 
a man to be unknown to himself, so is it very hurtful to hus- 
band or wife to be unknown to one another, in those cases 
wherein they have need of help. It is foolish tenderness of 
yourselves, when you conceal your disease from your phy- 
sician, or your helpful friend ; and who should be so tender 


of you, and helpful to you, as you should be to one another ? 
Indeed in soBae few cases, where the opening of a fault or 
secret will but tend to quench affection, and not to get as- 
sistance from another, it is wisdom to conceal it ; but that 
is not the ordinaiy case. The opening your hearts to each 
other is necessary to your mutual help. 

Direct, x. * Avoid as much as may be, contrariety of 
opinions in religion :' for if once you be of different judg- 
ments in matters which you take to be of great concernment, 
you will be tempted to disaffect, contemn, or undervalue 
one another 4 and so to despise the help which you might 
receive : and if you fall into several sects, and follow several 
teachers, you will hardly avoid that contention and confu- 
sion, which will prove a great advantage to the devil, and a 
great impediment to your spiritual good. 

Direct, xi. * If difference in judgment in matters of re- 
ligion do fall out between you, be sure that it be managed 
with holiness, humility, love, and peace, and not with car- 
nality, pride, uncharitableness, or contention.' 1. To ma- 
nage your differences holily, is to take God for the judge, 
and to refer the matter to his Word, and to aim at his glory, 
and the pleasing of his will, and to use his means for the 
concord of your judgments ; which is, to search the Scrip- 
ture, and consult with the faithful, able pastors of the church, 
and soberly and patiently to debate the case, and pray to- 
gether for the illumination of the Spirit. On the contrary 
your differences are carnally managed, when carnal reasons 
breed or feed them ; and when you run after tliis or that 
sect or party, through admiration of the persons, and value 
not the persons for the sake of the truth, but measure truth 
by the opinion and estimate of the persona ; and when you 
end your differences by selfish, carnal principles and res- 
pects : and hence it comes to pass, that if the husband be a 
Papist or otherwise erroneous, it is two to one that the wife 
becometh of his erroneous religion, not because of any co- 
gent evidence, but because he is of the stronger parts, and 
hath constant opportunity to persuade, and because love pre- 
pareth and inclin^th her to be of his opinion : and thus man 
instead of God, is'the master of the faith of many. 2. Your 
■differences are managed in humility, when you have a just and 
wiodet^t suspicion of your own uaiderstandings, and debate 



»nd practise your differences with meekness and submis- 
sion ; and do not proudly overvalue all your own apprehen- 
sions, and despise another's reasons as if they were not 
worthy of your consideration. 3. Your differences must be 
so far managed in love, not that mere love should make yqu 
turn to another's opinion be it true or false, but that you 
must be very desirous to be of the same mind, and if you 
cannot, must take it for a sore affliction, and must bear with 
the tolerable mistakes of one another, as you bear with 
your own infirmities ; that they cool not love, nor alienate 
your hearts from one another, but only provoke you to a 
tender, healing, compassionate care, and endeavour to dv 
each other good. 4. And you must manage your difference* 
in quietness, without any passionate wranglings and dis- 
sentions, that no bitter fruits may be bred by it in your fa- 
milies, among yourselves. Thus all true Christians must 
manage their differences in matters of religion ; but marrie4 
persons above all. 

Direct. XII. * Be not either blindly indulgent to eaoJi^ 
other's faults, nor yet too censorious of each other's state, 
lest satan thereby get advantage to alienate your affections 
from one another.' To make nothing of the faults of those 
whom you love, is to love them foolishly, to their hurt, and 
to shew that it is not for their virtues that you love them. 
And to make too great a matter of one another's faults, 19 
but to help the tempter to quench your love, and turn ypuF 
hearts from one another. Thus many good women that hav^ 
husbands that are guilty of too much coldness in religion, 
or worldlymindedness, or falling into ill company, and mis- 
spending their time, are first apt to overlook all possibility 
of any seed of grace that may be in them, and then looking 
on them as ungodly persons, to abate too much their love 
and duty to them. There is great wisdom and watchfulness 
requisite in ihiB onm, to keep you from being carried into 
either of the exlieiiies. 

Direct, xiii. ' If you are married to one that is indeed w? 
infidel, or an ungodly person, yet keep up all the conjugal 
love which is due for the relation's sake.' Though you can- 
uot love them as true Christians, yet love them as huisbs-iwi 
or wife. Even heathens arc bound to love tho»e tji^t Me 
thus related to them. The apostle hath dfterrained the 


case, 1 Cor. vii. that Christians must perform their duties to 
husbands or wives that are unbelievers. The faults of 
another discharge you not from your duty. As satan hath 
deceived some by separating principles about church com- 
munion, to deny almost all God's ordinances to many, to 
whom they are due ; so doth he thus deceive some persons 
in family relations, and draw them from the duties which 
they owe for one another's good. 

Direct, xiv. ' Join together in frequent and fervent 
prayer.' Prayer doth force the mind into some composed- 
ness and sobriety, and affecteth the heart with the presence 
and majesty of God. Pray also for each other when you 
are in secret, that God may do that work which you most 
desire, upon each other's hearts. 

Direct, xv. Lastly, * Help each other by an exemplary 
life.' Be that yourselves which you desire your husband or 
wife should be : excel in meekness, and humility, and charity, 
and dutifulness, and diligence, and self-denial, and patience, 
as far as you do excel in profession of religion. St. Peter 
saith, that even those that will not be won by the Word, 
may be won without it by the conversation of their wives : 
that is, the excellency of religion may so far appear to 
them, by the fruits of it in their wives' conversations, as 
may first incline them to think well and honourably of it, 
and so to inquire into the nature and reason of it, and to 
hearken to their wives ; and all this without the public mi- 
nistry. A life of undissembled holiness, and heavenliness, 
and self-denial, and meekness, and love, and mortification, 
is a powerful sermon ; which, if you be constantly preaching 
before those that are still near you, will hardly miss of a 
good effect. Works are more palpably significant and per- 
suasive, than words alone. - 

Direct, vii. * Another great conjugal duty is, to be help- 
ful to each other for the health and comfort of their bodies ".' 
Not to pamper each other's flesh, or cherish the vices of 
pride, or sloth, or gluttony, or voluptuousness in each other ; 
but to further the health and cheerfulness of the body, to fit 
it for the service of the soul and God. Such cherishing or 
pleasing of the flesh, which is unlawful in each person to 
himself, is also unlawful (ordinarily) to use to another. But 

" Rom. xiii. 13, 14. Ephcs v. 'i9. 31. Gen. ii. 18. 


such as you may use for yourself, you may use also for your 
wife or husband. Not to live above your estates, nor as 
servants to your guts, to serve the appetites of one another 
by delicious fare ; but to be careful of that health, without 
which your lives will be made unserviceable or uncomforta- 
ble : and this must proceed from such a love to one another 
as you have to yourselves : and that both in time of health 
and sickness. 

1. In health, you must be careful to provide for each 
other (not so much pleasing as) wholesome food, and to 
keep each other from that which is hurtful to your health ; 
dissuading each other from gluttony and idleness, the two 
great murderers of mankind. If the bodies of the poor, in 
hunger, and cold, and nakedness must be relieved, much 
more of those that are become as your own flesh. 

2. Also in sickness, you are to be tenderly regardful of 
each other ; and not to be sparing of any costs or pains, by 
which the health of each other may be restored, or your 
souls confirmed, and your comforts cherished''. You must 
not loathe the bodies of each other in the most loathsome 
sickness, nor shun them through loathing ; no more than 
you would do your own^. " A friend loveth at all times, 
and a brother is born for adversity ^ :" much more those 
that are so nearly bound for sickness and health, till death 
shall separate them. It is an odious sin to be weary of a 
sick or suffering friend, and desirous that God would take 
them, merely that you may be eased of the trouble. And 
usually such persons do meet with such measure as they 
measured to others ; and those that they look for help and 
comfort from, will perhaps be as weary of them, and as glad 
to be rid of them. 

Direct, viii. 'Another duty of husbands and wives is 
to be helpful to each other in their worldly business, and 
estates*.' Not for worldly ends, nor with a worldly mind; 
but in obedience to God who will have them labour, as well 
as pray, for their daily bread, and hath determined that in 
the sweat of their brows they shall eat their bread ; and that 
six days they shall labour and do all that they have to do ; 
and that he that will not work must not eat. The care of 

» Gen.xx»ii. 14. > Eph. v. 29. SI. Job. xix. 17. ii. 9. » Prov. xvii. 17. 
» See Prov. txx'u Gei». xxxi. 40. Tit. ii- 5. 1 Tim. t. 14. ▼ 8. 


their affairs doth lie upon them both, and neither of them 
must cast it off and live in idleness (unless one of them 
be an idiot, or so witless, as to be unfit for care, or so sick 
or lame, as to be unfit for labour). 

Direct, IX. * Also you must be careful of the lawful honour 
and good names of one another^.' You must not divulge 
but conceal the dishonourable failings of each other : (as 
Abigail, except in any case compassion or justice require 
you to open them to any one for a cure, or to clear the 
truth.) The reputation of each other must be as dear to 
you as your own. It is a sinful and unfaithful practice of 
many, both husbands and wives, who among their compa- 
nions are opening the faults and infirmities of each other, 
which they are bound in tenderness to cover. As if they 
perceived not that by dishonouring one another, they dis- 
honour themselves. Love will cover a multitude of faults. 
Nay, many disaffected, peevish persons will aggravate 
«dl the faults of one another behind their backs to strangers; 
and sometimes slander them, and speak more than is 
truth. Many a man hath been put to clear his good 
name from the slanders of a jealous or a passionate wife : 
and an open enemy is not capable of doing one so much 
wrong as she that is in his bosom, because she will easily 
be believed, as being supposed to know him better than any 

Direct, x. 'It is also a great part of the duty of hus- 
bands and wives, to be helpful to one another in tJie educa- 
tion of their children, and in the government of the inferiors 
of the family "=/ Some men cast all the care of their chil- 
dren while they are young upon their wives : and many wo- 
men by their passion and indiscretion do make themselves 
unfit to help their husbands in the government either of 
their children or servants : but this is one of the greatest 
parts of their employment. As to the man's part, to govern 
his house well, it is a duty unquestionable. And it is not 
to be denied of the wife. *' I will that the younger women 
marry, bear children, guide the house ^." Bathsheba taught 

b iSam. XXV. 25. Matt, xviii. 16. Matt. i. 19. 2 Sa>ii. ?ci. 7. Prov. ^x\i. 
28. Eccles. vii. 3. Prov. xxii. 1. 2 Sam. vi. 20. Gen. ix. 22. 25. 

•^ iTim. Ui. 4. li£. Gen. xvtii. 19. xxxv.2, &c. Jos. axiv. 14. Psa).ci. 
* 1 Tim. V. 14. 


Solomon ^ Abigail took better care of Nabal's house than 
he did himself. They that have a joint interest, and are 
one flesh, must have a joint part in government ; although 
their power be not equal, and one may better oversee some 
business, and the other, other business ; yet in their places 
they must divide the care, and help each other : and not 
as it is with many wicked persons, who are the most unruly 
part of the family themselves, and the chiefest cause that 
it is ungoverned and ungodly, or one party hindereth the 
other from keeping order, or doing any good. 

Direct, xi. * Another part of their duty is, to help each 
other in works of charity and hospitality ^' While they 
have opportunity to do good to all, but especially to them 
of the household of faith ; and to sow to the Spirit, that of 
the Spirit they may reap everlasting life : yea, to sow plen- 
tifully that they may reap plentifully^, that if they are able 
their houses may afford relief and entertainment for the 
needy ; especially for Christ's servants for their master's 
sake ; who hath promised that *' He that receiveth a pro- 
phet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's re- 
ward : and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of 
a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward : 
and whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little 
ones, a cup of cold water, in the name of a disciple, verily 
I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his/ reward^." The 
woman of Shunem lost nothing by the entertainment of 
Elisha, when she said to her husband, " Behold, now I per- 
ceive that this is an holy man of God which passeth by us 
continually : let us make him a little chamber I pray thee on 
the wall, and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and 
a stool, and a candlestick : and it shall be when he cometh 
to us, that he sliall turn in thither '." But now how com- 
mon is it for the people to think all too little for them- 
selves ; and if one of them be addicted to works of charity, 
the other is covetous and is always hindering them. 

Direct, x 1 1 . ' Lastly, it is a great part of the duty of hus- 

* Prov. xxxi. i. 

' Heb. xiii. 2. Gen. xviii. 6, &c. Rom. xii. 13. 2 Cor, ix. 6. Luke xvi. 9. 
1 Tim. Hi. 2. v. 10. Prov. xi. 20. 28. Neli. viii. 10. Prov. xix. 17. Job xxix. 
13. xxxi. to. ActB -xx. 35. 

^ Oiil. vi. »« Matt. X. 41, 4JJ. ' f Kingj» ir. 9, 10. 


bands and wives, to be helpers and comforters of each other 
in order to a safe and happy death.' 1. In the time of 
health, you must often and seriously remember each other 
of the time when death will make the separation ; and live 
together in your daily converse, as those that are still ex- 
pecting the parting hour. Help to awaken each other's 
souls, to make ready all those graces which then will prove 
necessary, and to live in a constant preparation for your 
change. Reprove all that in one another, which will be 
unsavoury and ungrateful to your review at death. If you 
see each other dull and slow in your preparations, or to live 
in vanity, worldliness, or sloth, as if you had forgotten that 
you must shortly die, stir up one another to do all that 
without delay which the approach of such a day requireth. 
2. And when death is at hand, O then what abundance of 
tenderness, and seriousness, and skill, and diligence, is 
needful for one, that hath the last office of love to perform, 
to the departing soul of so near a friend ! O then what 
need will there be of your most wise, and faithful, and dili- 
gent help ! When nature faileth, and the pains of flesh di- 
vert the mind, and temptations are strongest while the body 
is weakest ; when a languishing body, and a doubting, fear- 
ful, troubled mind, do call for your compassion and help, O 
then what skill and holy seriousness will be necessary ! O 
what a calamity is it to have a carnal, unsanctified husband 
or wife, which will neither help you to prepare for death, 
nor can speak a serious word of counsel or comfort to 
you at a dying hour : that can do nothing but stand by and 
weep over you ; but have not a sensible word to say, about 
the life that you are going to, nor about the duty of a de- 
parting soul, nor against the temptations and fears which 
then may be ready to overwhelm you. They that are ut- 
terly unprepared and unfit to die themselves, can do little 
to prepare or help another. But they that live together 
as the heirs of heaven, and converse on earth as fellow-tra- 
vellers to the land of promise, may help and encourage the 
souls/of one another, and joyfully part at death, as expect- 
ing quickly to meet again in life eternal. 

Were it not lest I be over-tedious, I should next speak 
of the manner how husbands and wives must perform their 
duties to each other: as 1. That it should be all done in 


such entire love, as maketh the case of one another to you 
as your own. 2. That therefore all must be done in patience 
and mutual forbearance. 3. And in familiarity, and not 
with strangeness, distance, sourness, nor affected compli- 
ment. 4. And in secrecy; where I should have shewed you 
in what cases secrecy may be broken, and in what not. 5. 
And in confidence of each other's fidelity, and not in sus- 
picion, jealousy, and distrust. 6. And in prudence to ma- 
nage things aright, and to foresee and avoid impediments 
and inconveniencies. 7. And in holiness that God may be 
the first and last, and all in all. 8. And in constancy that 
you cease not your duties for one another until death. But 
necessary abbreviation alloweth me to say no more of 


The special Duties of Husbands to their Wives. 

He that will expect duty or comfort from his wife, must be 
faithful in doing the duty of a husband. The failing of 
yourselves in your own duty, may cause the failing of ano- 
ther to you, or at least will some other way as much afflict 
you, and will be more bitter to you in the end, than if an 
hundred failed of their duty to you. A good husband will 
either make a good wife, or easily and profitably endure a 
bad one. I shall therefore give you directions for your own 
part of duty, as that which your happiness is most concern- 
ed in. 

Direct. I. ' The husband must undertake the principal 
part of the government of the whole family, even of the 
wife herself.' And therefore I. He must labour to be fit 
and able for that government which he undertaketh : this 
ability consisteth 1. In holiness and spiritual wisdom, that 
he may be acquainted with the end to which he is to con- 
duct them, and the rule by which he is to guide them ; and 
the principal works which they are to do. An ungodly, 
irreligious man is both a stranger and an enemy to the 
chiefeat part of family-government. 2. His ability consist- 


eth in a due acquaintance with the works of his calling, 
and the labours in which his servants are to be employed. 
For he that is utterly unacquainted with their business, 
will be very unfit to govern them in it: unless he commit 
that part of their government to his wife or a steward that 
is acquainted with it. 3. And he must be acquainted both 
with the common temper and infirmities of mankind, that 
he may know how much is to be borne with, and also with 
the particular temper, and faults, and virtues of those whom 
he is to govern. 4. And he must have prudence to direct 
himself in all his carriage to them; and justice to deal with 
every one as they deserve ; and love to do them all the good 
he can, for soul and body. II. And being thus able, he 
must make it his daily work, and especially be sure that 
he govern himself well, that his example may be part of his 
government of others. 

Direct, ii. *The husband must so unite authority and 
love, that neither of them may be omitted or concealed, but 
both be exercised and maintained.' Love must not be ex- 
ercised so imprudently as to destroy the exercise of author- 
ity : and authority must not be exercised over a wife so ma- 
gisterially and imperiously, as to destroy the exercise of 
love. As your love must be a governing love, so your com- 
mands must all be loving commands. Lose not your author- 
ity ; for that will but disable you from doing the office of a 
husband to your wife, or of a master to your servants. Yet 
must it be maintained by no means inconsistent with conju- 
gal love; and therefore not by fierceness or cruelty, by 
threatenings or stripes (unless by distraction or loss of rea- 
son, they cease to be incapable of the carriage otherwise due 
to a wife). There are many cases of equality in which au- 
thority is not to be exercised ; but there is no case of inequal- 
ity or unworthiness so great, in which conjugal love is not 
to be exercised ; and therefore nothing must exclude it. 

Direct, iii. * It is the duty of husbands to preserve the 
authority of their wives, over the children and servants of 
the family.' For they are joint governors with them over 
all the inferiors. And the infirmities of women are apt 
many times to expose them to contempt : so that servants 
and children will be apt to slight them, and disobey them, if 
the husband interpose not to preserve their honour and 


authority. Yet this must be done with such cautions as 
these: 1. Justify not any error, yice or weakness of your 
wives. They may be concealed and excused as far as may 
be, but never owned or defended. 2. Urge not obedience 
to any unlawful command of theirs. No one hath authority 
to contradict the law of God, or disoblige any from his 
government. You will but diminish your own authority 
with persons of any understanding, if you justify any thing 
that is against God's authority. But if the thing command- 
ed be lawful, though it may have some inconveniences, you 
must, rebuke the disobedience of inferiors, and not suffer 
them to slight the commands of your wives, nor to set their 
own reason and wills against them, and say, ' We will not 
do it.' How can they help you in government, if you suffer 
them to be disobeyed. 

Direct, iv. * Also you must preserve the honour as well 
as the authority of your wives.* If they have any dis- 
honourable infirmities, they are not to be mentioned by 
children or servants. As in the natural body we cover most 
carefully the most dishonourable parts (for our comely parts 
have no need •), so must it be here. Children or servants 
must not be suffered to carry themselves contemptuously or 
rudely towards them, nor to despise them, or speak unman- 
nerly, proud or disdainful words to them. The husband 
must vindicate them from all such injury and contempt. 

Direct, v. *The husband is to excel the wife in know- 
ledge, and be her teacher in the matters that belong to her 
salvation.' He must instruct her in the Word of God, and 
direct her in particular duties, and help her to subdue her 
own corruptions, and labour to confirm her against tempta- 
tions ; if she doubt of any thing that he can resolve her in, 
she is to ask his resolution, and he to open to her at home, 
the things which she understood not in the congregation K 
But if the husband be indeed an ignorant sot, or have made 
himself unable to instruct his wife, she is not bound to ask 
him in vain, to teach her that which he understandeth not 
himself. Those husbands that despise the Word of God, 
and live in wilful ignorance, do not only despise their own 
souls, but their families also ; and making themselves un- 
able for their duties, they are usually themselves despised 

• I Cor. xii. 2S, 24- »» 1 Cor. xiv. 35. 


by their inferiors :.for God hath told such in his message to 
Eli, " Them that honour me, I will honour; and they that 
despise me, shall be lightly esteemed*^." 

Direct vi. 'The husband must be the principal teacher 
of the family.* He must instruct them, and examine them, 
and rule them about the matters of God, as well as his own 
service, and see that the Lord's day and worship be observed 
by all that are within his gates. And therefore he must la- 
bour for such understanding and ability as is necessary 
hereunto. And if he be unable or negligent, it is his sin, 
and will be his shame. If the wife be wiser and abler, and 
it be cast upon her, it is his dishonour : but if neither of 
them do it, the sin, and shame, and suffering, will be com- 
mon to them both. 

Direct, vit. 'The husband is to be the mouth of the fa- 
mily, in their daily conjunct prayers unto God.' Therefore 
he must be able to pray, and also have a praying heart. He 
must be as it were the priest of the household ; and there- 
fore should be the most holy, that he may be fit to stand 
between them and God, and to offer up their prayers to 
him. If this be cast on the wife, it will be his dishonour. 

Direct, viii. * The husband is to be the chief provider 
for the family (ordinarily).' It is supposed that he is most 
able for mind afnd body, and is the chief disposer of the es- 
tate. Therefore he must be specially careful, that wife and 
children want nothing that is fit for them, so far as he can 
procure it. 

Direct, ix. ' The husband must be strongest in family-pa- 
tience ; bearing with the weakness and passions of the wife : 
not so as to make light of any sin against God, but so as 
not to make a great matter of any frailty as against himself, 
and so as to preserve the love and peace which is to be as 
the natural temper of their relation.' 

Direct, x. ' The manner of all these duties must also be 
carefully regarded.' As 1. That they be done in prudence, 
and not with folly, rashness, or inconsiderateness. 2. That 
all be done in conjugal love, and tenderness, as over one 
that is tender, and the weaker vessel ; and that he do not 
teach, or command, or reprove a wife, in the same imperious 
manner as a child or servant. 3. That due familiarity be 

« 1 Sam. ii. 30. 


maintained, and that he keep not at a distance and strange- 
ness from his wife. 4. That love be confident, without 
base suspicions, and causeless jealousies. 5. That all be 
done in gentleness, and not in passion, roughness and sour- 
ness. 6. That there be no unjust and causeless conceal- 
ment of secrets, which should be common to them both. 7. 
That there be no foolish opening of such secrets to her as 
may become her snare, and she is not able to bear or keep, 
8. That none of their own matters, which should be kept se- 
cret, be made known to others. His teaching and reproving 
her, should be for the most part secret. 9. That he be 
constant, and not weary of his love or duty. This briefly 
of the manner. 


The special Duties of Wives to Husbands, 

The wife that expecteth comfort in a husband, must make 
conscience of all her own duty to her husband : for though 
it be his duty to be kind and faithful to her, though she 
prove unkind and froward, yet 1. Men are frail and apt to 
fail in such difficult duties as well as women. 2. And it is 
so ordered by God, that comfort and duty shall go together, 
and you shall miss of comfort, if you cast off duty. 

Direct, i. ' Be specially loving to your husbands:' your 
natures give you the advantage in this ; and love feedeth 
love. This is your special requital for all the troubles that 
your infirmities put them to. 

Direct, n. * Live in a voluntary subjection and obedience 
to them.* If their softness or yieldingness cause them to 
relinquish their authority ; and for peace they are fain to 
let you have your wills ; yet remember that it is God that 
hath appointed them to be your heads and governors. I 
they are so silly as to be unable, you should not have cho- 
sen such to rule you as are unfit: but having, chosen them, 
you must assist them with your better understanding, in a 
submissive, and not a ruling, masterly way. A servant that 
hath a foolish master, may help him without becoming mas- 
ter. And do not deceive yourselves by giving the bare titles 



of government to your husbands, when yet you must needs 
in all things have your own wills ; for this is but mockery, 
and not obedience. To be subject and obedient, is to take 
the understanding and will of another to govern you, before 
(though not without) your own; and to make your under- 
standings and wills to follow the conduct of his that govern- 
eth you. Self-willedness is contrary to subjection and obe- 

Direct, iii. ' Learn of your husbands as your appointed 
teachers, and be not self-conceited and wise in your own 
eyes, but ask of them such instructions as your case requi- 
reth.' " Let your women keep silence in the churches : for 
it is not permitted to them to speak ; but they are command- 
ed to be under obedience, as also saith the law: and if they 
will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home *;" 
(unless when the husband is so ignorant as to be utterly un- 
able ; which is his sin and shame. For it is vain to ask 
that of them which they know not.) 

Direct, iv. ' Set yourselves seriously to amend all those 
faults which they reprove in you.' Do not take it ill to be 
reproved ; swell not against it, as if they did you harm or 
wrong : it is a very ill sign to " hate reproof ''." And what 
doth their government of you signify, if you will not amend 
the faults that are reproved in you, but continue impenitent 
and grudge at the reproof? It is a miserable folly to desire 
to be flattered, and soothed by any, but especially by one 
that is bound to be faithful to you, and whose intimacy 
should make you as ready to hear of your faults from him, 
as to be acquainted with them yourselves; and especially 
when it concerneth the safety or benefit of your souls. 

Direct, v. * Honour your husbands according to their su- 
periority.' Behave not yourselves towards them with unre- 
verence and contempt, in titles, speeches, or any beha- 
viour : if the worth of their persons deserve not honour, yet 
their place deserveth it. Speak not of their infirmities to 
others behind their backs ; as some twattling gossips use to 
do, that know not that their husband's dishonour is their 
own, and that to open it causelessly to others, is their dou- 
ble shame. Those that silently hear you, will tell others be- 
hind your back, how foolishly and shamefully you spake to 

» 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35. *» Proy. xu. 1. x. 17. xv. 10. 3l, 3«. xvii. 10. 


them against your husbands. If God have made your near- 
est friend an affliction to you, why should you complain to 
one that is farther off? (Unless it be to some special, pru- 
dent friend, in case of true necessity for advice.) 

Direct. VI. * Live in a cheerful contentedness with your 
condition; and take heed of an impatient, murmuring spi- 
rit.* It is a continual burden to a man to have an impa- 
tient, discontented wife. Many a poor man can easily bear 
his poverty himself, that yet is not able to bear his wife's im- 
patience under it. To hear her night and day complaining, 
and speaking distrustfully, and see her live disquietedly, is 
far heavier than his poverty itself. If his wife could bear it as 
patiently as he, it would be but light to him. Yea, in case 
of suffering for righteousness' sake, the impatience of a wife 
is a greater trial to a man than all the suffering itself; and 
many a man that could easily have suffered the loss of his 
estate, or banishment, or imprisonment for Christ, hath be- 
trayed his conscience, and yielded to sin, because his wife 
hath grieved him with impatiency, and could not bear what 
he could bear. Whereas a contented, cheerful wife doth 
help to make a man cheerful and contented in every state. 

Direct, vii. * In a special manner strive to subdue your 
passions, and to speak and do all in meekness and sobriety.' 
The rather because that the weakness of your sex doth usual- 
ly subject you more to passions than men: and it is the 
common cause of the husband's disquietness, and the calam- 
ity of your relation. It is the vexation and sickness of your 
own minds ; you find not yourselves at ease within as long 
as you are passionate. And then it is the grief and disqui- 
etness of your husbands : and being provoked by you, they 
provoke you more ; and so your disquietness increaseth, 
and your lives are made a weary burden to you. By all 
means therefore keep down passion, and keep a composed, 
patient mind. 

Direct, viii. 'Ttke heed of a proud and contentious dis- 
position ; and maintain a humble, peaceable temper.* Pride 
will make you turbulent and unquiet with your husbaiHi«, 
and contentious with your neighbours : it will make you 
foolish and ridiculous, in striving for honour and preceden- 
cy, and envying tho^e that exceed you, or go before yoq. 
In a word, it is the devil's sin, and would make you a shame 


and trouble to the world. But humility is the health, the 
peace, and the ornament of the soul. " A meek and quiet 
spirit is in the sight of God of great price *"." (Write those 
words in your bed-chamber on the wails where they may be 
daily before your eyes.) " Put on as the elect of God, holy 
and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of 
mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and 
forgiving one another*^." If this be the duty of all to one 
another ; much more of wives to husbands. " Yea, all of 
you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humili- 
ty ; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the 
humble ^." Proud women oft ruin their husbands' estates, 
and quietness, and their own souls. 

Direct, ix. * Affect not a childish gaudiness of apparel, 
nor a vain, or costly, or troublesome curiosity in any thing 
about you.' Uncleanness and nastiness is a fault, but very 
small in comparison of this pride and curiosity. It disho- 
noureth your sex and selves to be so childish, as to over- 
mind such toyish things. If you will needs be proud, be 
proud of somewhat that is of worth and proper to a man : 
to be proud of reason, or wisdom, or learning, or goodness, 
is bad enough ; but this is to be proud of something. But 
to be proud of fashions and fine clothes, of spots and naked- 
ness, of sumptuous entertainments, and neat rooms, is to be 
proud of your shame, and not your virtue ; and of that 
which you are not so much as commendable for. And the 
cost, the time (O precious time !) which themselves and 
their servants must lay out, upon their dressings, entertain- 
ments and other curiosities, will be the shame and sorrow 
of their souls, whenever God shall open their eyes, and make 
them know what time was worth, and what greater matters 
they had to mind. If vain and empty persons like your- 
selves, commend you for your bravery or curiosity, so will 
not any judicious, sober person, whose commendation is 
much worth. And yet I must here with grief take notice, 
that when some few that in other matters seem wise and re- 
ligious, are themselves a little tainted with this childish cu- 
riosity and pride, and let fall words of disparagement 
against those whose dress, and dwellings, and entertain- 
ments, are not so curious as their own ; this proves the 

ciPet. Ui.4. "^ Col. iii. 12. ^ 1 Pet.v. 5. 


greatest maintainer of this sin, and the most notable ser- 
vice to the devil: for then abundance will plead this for 
this sinful curiosity and pride, and say, * I shall else be ac- 
counted base or sordid ; even such and such will speak 
against me.' Take heed, if you will needs be such your- 
selves, that you prate not against others that are not as vain 
and curious as you : for the nature of man is more prone to 
pride and vanity, than to humility, and the improvement of 
their time and cost in greater matters ; and while you think 
that you speak but against indecency, you become the de- 
vil's preachers, and do him more service than you consider 
of. You may as wisely speak against people for using to 
eat or drink too little, when there is not one of a multi- 
tude that liveth not ordinarily in excess ; and so excess will 
get advantage by it. 

Direct, x. ' Be specially careful in the government of 
your tongues ; and let your words be few, and well consi- 
dered before you speak them.' A double diligence is needful 
in this, because it is the most common miscarriage of your 
sex : a laxative, running tongue, is so great a dishonour to 
you, that I never knew a woman very full of words, but she 
was the pity of her friends, and the contempt of others ; who 
behind her back will make a scorn of her, and talk of her as 
some crack-brained or half-witted person; yea, though 
your talk be good, it will be tedious and contemptible, if it 
be thus poured out, and be too cheap. " In the multitude 
of words there wanteth not sin ; but he that refraineth his 
lips is wise^" You must answer in judgment for your 
** idle words ^." You will take it ill to be accounted fools, 
and made the derision of those that talk of you : judge by 
the Scripture what occasion you give them. " A dream 
coraeth by the multitude of business, and a fool's voice is 
known by a multitude of words: in the multitude of dreams, 
and many words, there are divers vanities." " The words 
of a wise man's mouth are gracious ; but the lips of a fool 
will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of 
his mouth is foolishness ; and the end of his talk is mis- 
chievous madness : a fool also is full of words ''." Whereas 
a woman that is cautelous and sparing of her words, is 
commonly reverenced and supposed to be wise. So that if 

' Prov. X. 19. f M«it. xii. 36. Eccles- v. 3. 7. »" Eccle». x. It->I4. 


you had no higher design in it, but merely to be well thought 
of, and honoured by men ; you can scarcely take a surer 
way, than to let your words be few and weighty ; though 
the avoiding of sin, and unquietness, should prevail with 
you much more. 

Direct, xi. * Be willing and diligent in your proper part, 
of the care and labour of the family.' As the primary pro- 
vision of maintenance belongeth most to the husband, so 
the secondary provision within doors belongeth specially to 
the wife. Read over and over the thirty-first chapter 
of Proverbs; especially the care of nursing your own 
children, and teaching them, and watching over them when 
they are young ; and also watching over the family at home, 
when your husbands are abroad, is your proper work. 

Direct. XII. ' Dispose not of your husband's estate, with- 
out his knowledge and consent.' You are not only to con- 
sider, whether the work be good that you lay it out upon, 
but what power you have to do it. Quest. But may a wo- 
man give nothing, nor lay out nothing in the house, with- 
out her husband's consent? Ayisw. 1. If she have his ge- 
neral or implicit consent, it may suffice ; that is, if he allow 
her to follow her judgment ; or, if he commit such a pro- 
portion to her power, to do what sh^ will with it. Or, if 
she know, that if he knew it, he would not be against it. 
2. Or, if the law, or his consent, do give her any propriety 
in any part of his estate, or make her a joint-proprietor, she 
may proportionably dispose of it in a necessary case'. The 
husband is considerable, either as a proprietor, or as her 
governor. As a proprietor, he only may dispose of the 
estate, where he is the sole proprietor : but where consent 
or the law of the land doth make the woman joint-proprie- 
tor, she is not disabled from giving for the want of a pro- 
priety. But then no law exempteth her from his govern- 
ment; and therefore she is not to give any thing in a way 
of disobedience, though it be her own : except when he for- 
biddeth that which is her duty, or which he hath no power 
to forbid. So that ill case of joint-propriety she may give 
without him, so be it she exceed not her proportion, and 
also if it be in a case of duty, where he may not hinder 
her. As to save the lives of the poor in extreme necessity, 

» See Dr. Gouge on Family Relations, who saith the most against women's giving. 



famine, or imprisonment, or the like. 3. But if the thing 
be wholly her own, excepted from his propriety, and she be 
sole proprietor, then she need not ask his consent at all, 
any other way than as he is her guide, to direct her to the 
best way of disposing of it : which, if he forbid her, instead 
of directing her to it, she is not thereby excusable before 
God, for the abusing of her trust and talent. 4. I con- 
ceive that * ad aliquid' as to certain absolutely necessary 
uses, the very relation raaketh the woman as a joint-pro- 
prietor'': as if her husband will not allow her such food 
and raiment as is necessary to preserve the lives and health 
of herself, and all her children ; she is bound to do it with- 
out or against his will (if she can, and if it be not to a 
greater hurt, and the estate be his own, and he be able) 
rather than let her children contract such diseases, as appa- 
rently will follow to the hazard of their lives. Yea, and to 
save the life of another that in famine is ready to perish : 
for she is not as a stranger to his estate. But out of these 
cases, if a wife shall secretly waste or give, or lay it out on 
bravery or vanity, or set her wit against her husband's ; 
and because she thinks him too strait or penurious, there- 
fore she will dispose of it, without his consent. This is 
thievery, disobedience, and injustice. 

Quest. I. * But as the case standeth with us in England, 
hath the wife a joint-propriety, or not V 

Answ. Three ways (at least) she may have a propriety. 
1. By a reserve of what was her own before ; which (how- 
ever some question it) may in some cases be done in their 
agreement at marriage. 2. By the law of the land. 3. By 
the husband's consent or donation. What the law of the 
land saith in case, I leave to the lawyers : but it seemeth to 
me, that his words at marriage * With all my worldly goods 
I thee endow,' do signify his consent to make her a joint- 
proprietor : and his consent is sufficient to the collation of 
a title, to that which was his own. Unless any can prove 
that law or custom, doth otherwise expound the words (as 
an empty formality), and that at the contract, this was or 
should be known to her to be the sense. And the law's a.U 

I* 2Sarn. xxT. 18. 29,30. Prov. xxxi. 11— 13. 20. Hos. vi. 6. Matt. ix.lS. 
sK. 7. t Kings iv. 9. 29. 


lowing the wife the third part upon death or separation, 
doth intimate a joint-propriety before. 

Quest. II. *If the husband live upon unlawful gain, as 
cheating, stealing, robbing by the highway, &c. is not the 
wife guilty as a joint-proprietor, in retaining such ill-gotten 
goods, if she know it? And is she bound to accuse her 
husband, or to restore such goods V 

Answ. Her duty is first to admonish her husband of his 
sin and danger, and endeavour his repentance, in the mean 
time disclaiming all consent, and reception of the goods. 
And if she cannot prevail for his repentance, restitution, 
and reformation, she hath a double duty to perform ; the one 
is to help them to their goods whom he hath injured and 
robbed (by prudent and just means): the other is to prevent 
his robbing of others for the time to come. But how these 
must be done is the great difficulty. 

1. If she foresee (or may do) that either by her hus- 
band's displeasure, or by the cruel revenge of the injured 
party, the hurt of discovering the fraud or robbery, will be 
greater than the good, then I think that she is not bound 
to discover it. But by some secret, indirect way, to help 
the owner to his own ; if it may be done without a greater 

2. To prevent his sin and other men's future suffering 
by him, she seemeth to me to be bound to reveal her hus- 
band's sinful purposes to the magistrate, if she can no 
other way prevail with him to forbear. My reasons are, be- 
cause the keeping of God's law, and the law of the land, 
and the public order and good, and the preventing of our 
neighbours' hurt by robbery or fraud ; and so the interest 
of honesty and right, is of greater importance than any duty 
to her husband, or preservation of her own peace, which 
seemeth to be against it. But then I must suppose that 
she liveth under a magistrate, who will take but a just re- 
venge. For if she know the laws and magistrate to be so 
unjust, as to punish a fault with death, which deserveth it 
not, she is not to tell such a magistrate, but to preserve her 
neighbours' safety by some other way of intimation. 

If any one think that a wife may in no case, accuse a 
husband, to the hazard of his life or estate, let them, 1. 


Remember what God obliged parents to do against the 
lives of incorrigible children, Deut. xxi. 2. And that the 
honour of God, and the lives of our neighbours, should be 
preferred before the life of one offender, and their estates 
before his estate alone. 3. And that the light of reason 
telleth us, that a wife is to reveal a treason against the 
king, which is plotted by a husband ; and therefore also 
the robbing of the king's treasury, or deceiving him in any 
matter of great concernment. And therefore in due pro- 
portion, the laws and common good, and our neighbours' 
welfare, are to be preserved by us, though against the near- 
est relation : only all due tenderness of the life and reputa- 
tion of the husband is to be preserved, in the manner of 
proceedings, as far as will stand with the interest of justice, 
and the common good. 

Quest. III. * May the wife go hear sermons when the 
husband forbiddeth her?' 

Answ. There are some sermons which must not be heard ; 
there are some sermons which may be heard, and must when 
no greater matter doth divert us ; and there are some sermons 
which must be heard, whoever shall forbid it. Those which 
must not be heard are such as are heretical (ordinarily) and 
such as are superfluous, and at such times when greater duties 
call us another way. Those which may be heard, are either 
occasional sermons, or such lectures as are neither of neces- 
sity to ourselves, nor yet to the owning of God and his pub- 
lic worship. One that liveth where there are daily or hourly 
sermons, may hear them as oft as suiteth with their condi- 
tion, and their other duties : but in this case, the command 
of a husband, with the inconveniences that will follow dis- 
obeying him, may make it a duty to forbear. But that we 
do sometimes publicly own God's worship, and church or- 
dinances, and receive ministerial teaching for our edifica- 
tion, is of double necessity; that we deny not God, and 
that we betray not, or desert not our own souls. And this 
is especially i v (ordinarily) on the Lord's days, 

which are app lor these necessary uses. And here 

the husband hath no power to forbid the wife, nor should 
she (formally) obey his prohibition. But yet as affirmatives 
bind not * ad semper,' and no duty is a duty at every sea- 
son; 86 it is possible that on the Lord's day, it may extra- 


ordinarily become a duty to forbear sermons or sacraments, 
or other public worship. As when any greater duty calleth 
us away : as to quench a fire ; and to save men's lives ; and 
to save our country from an enemy in the time of war ; and 
to save our own lives (if we knew the assembly would be 
assaulted), or to preserve our liberty for 'greater service. 
Christ set us to learn the meaning of this lesson * I will have 
mercy and not sacrifice/ In such a case also a mischief 
may be avoided, even from a husband by the omission of a 
duty at that time (when it would be no duty) for this is but 
a transposition of it. But this is but an act of prudent self- 
preservation, and not an act of formal obedience. 

Quest. IV. *lf a woman have a husband so incorrigible 
in vice, as that by long trial she findeth that speak- 
ing against it, maketh him worse, and causeth him to 
abuse her, is she bound to continue her dissuasion, or to 

Answ. That is not here a duty which is not a means to 
do some good: and that is no means which we know before- 
hand is like, if not certain, to do no good, or to do more 
harm. We must not by weariness, laziness, or censorious- 
ness, take a case to be desperate, which is not ; nor must 
we so easily desist with so near a relation, as with a stranger 
or a neighbour. But yet Christ's indulgence of not expos- 
ing ourselves to be torn by dogs, and his word trodden in 
the dirt by swine, doth extend to relations as well as others. 
But then you must observe that she that is justly discou- 
raged from sharp reproofs, may yet have hope that gentle 
and humble persuasions may succeed. And she that is 
discouraged from open, or frequent, or plain reproofs ; may 
yet have hope that secret, or more seldom, or more distant 
and general admonitions may not be lost. And she that 
is discouraged from one way of doing him good, may yet 
have many other ways (as to set some minister whom he 
reverenceth, to speak to him; to put some suitable book 
into his hand, 8cc.) And she that is discouraged at the pre- 
sent, ought not totally to despair, but may make some more 
attempts hereafter ; either in some sickness, or time of mor- 
tality, or danger, or affliction, or when possibly time and 
consideration may have better prepared him to hear. And 
in the mean time she is to continue all conjugal affection 


and duty, and a convincing, winning course of life i which 
may prove the most effectual reproof. 

Quest. V. * What should a woman do in controverted cases 
of religion, when her judgment and her husband's differ?' 

Answ, 1. Some make a controversy of that which with 
all good Christians or sober persons, should be past con- 
troversy ; and some controversies are indeed of real, if not 
insuperable difficulty. 2. Some controversies are about 
important, necessary things, and some about things of les- 
ser moment. 3. Some are about mere opinion, or other 
men's practice, and some about our own practice. 

(1.) In all differences of judgment the wife must exer- 
cise such self-suspicion, and modesty, and submission, as 
may signify her due sense, both of the weakness of her 
sex, and of her subjection to her husband. (2.) In things 
indifferent she must in practice obey her husband ; unless 
when superior powers do forbid it, and that in cases where 
their authority is greater. (3.) She may modestly give her 
reasons of dissent. (4.) She must not turn it to an un- 
peaceable quarrel, or matter of disaffection, or pretend any 
differences against her conjugal duties. (5.) In dark and 
difficult cases she should not be peremptory, and self- 
conceited, nor importunate ; but if she have faith (that 
is, some more knowledge than he) have it to herself, in 
quietness and silence ; and seek further information lest 
she err. (6.) She must speak no untruth, nor commit any 
known sin, in obedience to her husband's judgment. (7.) 
When she strongly suspecteth it to be sin, she must not 
do it merely in obedience to him, but seek for better sa- 
tisfaction. For she is sure that he hath no power to 
force her to sin; and therefore hath no more assurance 
of his power in that point than she hath of the lawfulness 
of the thing. (8.) But if she prove to be in tl^e error, 
she will sin on either side, till she recover. (9.) If a 
husband be in dangerous error, she must wisely, but un- 
weariedly seek his reformation, by herself or others. 

Cases about Divorce and Separation. 

Quest. I. • Is it lawful for husband and wife to be long 
absent from each other ? and how long, and in what cases ?' 


Answ. It is lawful to be absent either in the case of 
prayer which Paul mentioneth, or in case of the needful af- 
fairs of their estates, so long as may be no danger to either 
of them as to mental or corporal incontinency, nor to any 
other hurt which will be greater than the benefits of their 
absence, nor cause them to be guilty of the neglect of any 
real duty. Therefore the cases of several persons do much 
differ according to the different tempers of their minds, and 
bodies, and affairs. He that hath a wife of a chaste, con- 
tented, prudent temper, may stay many months or years in 
some cases, when, all things considered, it tendeth to more 
good than hurt : as lawyers by their callings are often ne- 
cessitated to follow their callings at terms and assizes : and 
merchants may be some years absent in some weighty cases. 
But if you ask, whether the getting of money be a sufficient 
cause ? I answer, that it is sufficient to those whose families 
must be so maintained, and their wives are easily continent, 
and so the good of their gain is greater than any loss or dan- 
ger that cometh by it. But when covetousness puts them 
upon it needlessly, and their wives cannot bear it, or in any 
case when the hurt that is like to follow is greater than 
the good, it is unlawful. 

Quest. II. * May husband and wife be separated by the 
bare command of princes, if they make a law that in certain 
cases they shall part: as suppose it to ministers, judges, 
or soldiers V 

Answ. You must distinguish between the bare command 
or law, and the reasons and ends of that command : and so 
between a lawful command and an unlawful. In some cases 
a prince may justly command a separation for a time, or 
such as is like to prove for perpetuity, and in some cases he 
may not. If a king command a separation without suffi- 
cient cause, so that you have no motive but his authority, 
and the question is, whether formally you are bound to 
obedience : I answer. No ; because what God hath joined, 
no man hath power to put asunder. Nor can either prince, 
pope, or prelate dispense with your marriage covenant. In 
such a case, it is as a private act, because God hath given 
them no authority for it ; and therefore their commands or 
laws are nullities : only if a prince say, he that will be a 
judge or a justice shall part with his wife, it is lawful to leave 


the office, and so obey the law. But if he say to all minis- 
ters of the gospel, you shall forsake your wives or your mi- 
nistry, they should do neither, because they are divinely 
obliged to both, and he hath no power to forbid them, or to 
dispense with that obligation. 

But it may fall out, that the ends of the command may 
be so great as to make it lawful, and then it must be obeyed 
both formally for the authority of the prince, and finally for 
the reasons of the thing. As if the safety of the common- 
wealth should require, that married persons be soldiers, and 
that they go far off; yea, though there be no likelihood of 
returning to their families, and withal they cannot take their 
wives with them, without detriment or danger to their ser- 
vice ; in this case men must obey the magistrate, and are 
called by God to forsake their wives, as if it were by death. 
Nor is it any violation of their marriage covenant, because 
that was intended or meant to suppose the exception of any 
such call of God, which cannot be resisted when it will make 
a separation. 

Quest, III. * May ministers leave their wives to go abroad 
to preach the Gospel V 

Answ. If they can neither do God's work so well at home, 
nor yet take their wives with them, nor be excused from 
doing that part of service, by other men's doing it who have 
no such impediment ; they may and must leave their wives 
to do it. In this case, the interest of the church, and of the 
souls of many, must over-rule the interest of wife and fa- 
mily. Those pastors who have fixed stations, must neither 
leave flock or family without necessity, or a clear call from 
God. But in several cases a preacher may be necessitated 
to go abroad ; as in case of persecution at home, or of some 
necessity of foreign or remote parts, which cannot be other- 
wise supplied : or when some door is opened for the conver- 
sion of infidels, heretics, or idolaters, and none else so fit to 
do that work, or none that will. In any such case, when the 
cause of God in any part of the world ' consideratis consi- 
derandis' doth require his help, a minister must leave wife 
and family, yea, and a particular flock to do it. For our 
obligations are greatest to the Catholic church, and public 
good ; and the greatest good must be preferred. If a king 
command a subject to be an ambassador in the most remote 


part of the world, and the public good withal requireth it, 
if wife and children cannot be taken with him, they must be 
left behind, and he must go. So must a consecrated minis- 
ter of Christ for the service of the church refuse all entan- 
glements, which would more hinder his work than the con- 
trary benefits will countervail. And this exception also was 
supposed in the marriage contract, that family interests and 
comforts must give way to the public interest, and to God's 

And therefore it is, that ministers should not rashly ven- 
ture upon marriage, nor any woman that is wise venture to 
marry a minister, till she is first well prepared for such ac- 
cidents as may separate them for a shorter or a longer time. 

Quest. IV. * May one leave a wife to save his life, in 
case of personal persecution or danger V 

Ansiv. Yes, if she cannot be taken with him ; for the 
means which are for the helps of life, do suppose the pre- 
servation of life itself: if he live, he may further serve God, 
and possibly return to his wife and family j but if he die, he 
is removed from them all. 

Quest. V. ' May husband and wife part by mutual con- 
sent, if they find it to be for the good of both V 

Answ. If you speak not of a dissolving the bond of their 
relations, but withdrawing as to cohabitation, I answer, L 
It is not to be done upon passions and discontents, to feed 
and gratify each other's vicious distempers or interest ; for 
then both the consent and the separation are their sins : but 
if really such an uncurable unsuitableness be between them, 
as that their lives must needs be miserable by their cohabi- 
tation, I know not but they may live asunder ; so be it, that 
(after all other means used in vain) they do it by deliberate, 
free consent. But if one of them should by craft or cruelty 
constrain the other to consent, it is unlawful to the con- 
strainer. Nor must impatience make either of them un- 
groundedly despair of the cure of any unsuitableness which 
is really curable. But many sad instances might be given, 
in which cohabitation may be a constant calamity to both, 
and distance may be their relief, and further them both in 
God's service, and in their corporal concernments. Yet I 
say not that this is no sin ; for their unsuitableness is their 
sin : and God still obligeth them to lay down that sin which 


maketh them unsuitable ; and therefore doth not allow them 
to live asunder, it being still their duty to live together in 
love and peace : and saying they cannot, freeth them not 
from the duty. But yet that moral impotency may make 
such a separation as aforesaid, to be a lesser sin than their 
unpeaceable cohabitation. 

Quest. VI. * May not the relation itself be dissolved by 
mutual, free consent, so that they may marry others V 

Afisw. As to the relation, they will still be related as 
those that did covenant to live in conjugal society, and are 
still allowed it and obliged to it, if the impediments were 
but removed : and it is but the exercise which is hindered. 
And they may not consent to marry others : 1. Because the 
contracted relation was for life, Rom. vii. 2. and God's law 
accordingly obligeth them. Marriages ' pro tempore,' dis- 
soluble by consent, are not of God's institution, but contra- 
ry to it. 2. They know not but their impediments of co- 
habitation may be removed. 3. If he that marrieth an in- 
nocent divorced woman commit adultery, by parity of reason 
(with advantage) it will be so here. If you say, what if 
either of them cannot contain ? I answer, he that will not 
take heed before, must be patient afterwards, and not make 
advantage of his own folly, to the fulfilling of his lusts. If 
he will do what he ought to do in the use of all means, he 
may live chastely. And 4. The public interest must over- 
rule the private, and that which would be unjust in private 
respects, may for public good become a duty : it seemeth 
unjust here with us, that the innocent country should repay 
every man his money, who between sun and sun is robbed 
on the road ; and yet because it will engage the country to 
watchfulness, it is just, as for the common good : and he 
that consenteth to be a member of a commonwealth, doth 
thereby consent to submit his own right to the common in- 
terest. So here, if all should have leave to marry others 
when they consent to part, it would bring utter confusion, 
and it would encourage wicked men to abuse their wives, 
till they forced them to consent. Therefore some must bear 
the trouble which their folly hath brought on themselrei^ 
rather than the common order sliould be confounded. 

Quest. VII. ' Doth adultery dissolve the bond of mar^ 
riage, or not ? Amesius saith it doth : and Mr. Whateley 


having said so, afterward recanted it by the persuasion of 
other divines/ 

Atisw. The difference is only about the name and not 
about the matter itself. The reason which moved Dr. Ames 
is, because the injured person is free ; therefore not bound ; 
therefore the bond is dissolved. The reason which Mr. 
Whateley could not answer is, because it is not fornication, 
but lawful, if they continue their conjugal familiarity after 
adultery ; therefore that bond is not dissolved. In all which 
it is easy to perceive, that one of them taketh the word ' vin- 
culum' or bond in one sense, that is, * For their covenant- 
obligation to continue their relation and mutual duties. 
And the other taketh it in another sense, that is, * For the 
relation itself, as by it they are allowed conjugal familiarity, 
if the injured person will continue it.' The first * vinculum' 
or bond is dissolved, the second is not. In the matter we 
are agreed, that the injured man may put away an adulter- 
ous wife (in a regular way) if he please ; but withal that he 
may continue the relation if he please. So that his con- 
tinued consent shall suffice to continue it ^ lawful relation 
and exercise ; and his will on the contrary shall suffice to 
dissolve the relation, and disoblige him. (Saving the public 

Quest. VIII. ' But is not the injured party at all obliged 
to separate, but left free V 

Answ. Considering the thing simply in itself, he is wholly 
free to do as he please. But for all that, accidents or cir- 
cumstances may make it one man's- duty to divorce, and 
another's duty to continue the relation ; according as it is 
like to do more good or hurt. Sometimes it may be a duty 
to expose the sin to public shame, for the prevention of it 
in others ; and also to deliver one'sself from a calamity. 
And sometimes there may be so great repentance, and hope 
of better effects by forgiving, that it may be a duty to for- 
give : and prudence must lay one thing with another, to dis- 
cern on which side the duty lieth. 

Quest. IX. * Is it only the privilege of the man, that he 
may put away an adulterous wife ? or also of the woman, to 
depart from an adulterous husband? The reason of the 
doubt is, because Christ mentioneth the man's power only. 
Matt. V. xix.' 


A71SW. 1. The reason why Christ speaketh only of the 
man's case is, because he was occasioned only to restrain 
the vicious custom of men's causeless putting away their 
wives ; having no occasion to restrain women from leaving 
their husbands. Men having the rule did abuse it to the 
woman's injury, which Christ forbiddeth. And as it is an 
act of power, it concerneth the man alone ; but as it is an 
act of liberty, it seemeth to me to be supposed, that the 
woman hath the same freedom ; seeing the covenant is 
violated to her wrong. And the apostle in 1 Cor. vii. doth 
make the case of the man and of the woman to be equal in 
the point of infidelity and desertion. I confess that it is 
unsafe, extending the sense of Scripture beyond the impor- 
tance of the words upon pretence of a parity of reason (as 
many of the perjured do by Lev. xxx. in case of vows); lest 
man's deceitful wit should make a law to itself as divine, 
upon pretence of interpreting God's laws ; but yet when the 
plain text doth speak but of one case (that is, of men's put- 
ting away their wives,) he that will thence gather an ex- 
clusion of the woman's liberty, doth seem by addition to be 
the corrupter of the law. And where the context plainly 
sheweth a parity of reason, and that reason is made the 
ground of the determination in the text, there it is safe to 
expound the law extensively accordingly. Surely the cove- 
nant of marriage hath its conditions on both parts j and 
some of those conditions are necessary to the very being of 
the obligations, though others are but needful to the well- 
being of the parties in that state. And therefore, though 
putting away be only the part of the husband, as being the 
ruler, and usually the owner of the habitation, yet departing 
may be the liberty of the wife. And I know no reason to 
blame those countries, whose laws allow the wife to sue out 
a divorce, as well as the husband. 

Quest. X. * May the husband put away the wife without 
the magistrate, or the wife depart from the husbiind without 
a public legal divorce or licence?* 

Amw. Where the laws of the land do take care lor the 
prevention of injuries, and make any determination in the 
case (not contrary to the law of God,) there it is a Chris- 
tian's duty to obey those laws : therefore if you live under a 
law which forbiddeth any putting away or departing, with- 



out public sentence or allowance, you may not do it privately 
upon your own will. For the civil governors are to provide 
against the private injuries of any of the subjects. And if 
persons might put away or depart at pleasure, it would in- 
troduce both injury and much weakness into the world. 
But where the laws of men do leave persons to their liberty 
in this case, they need then to look no further than to the 
l^ws of God alone. But usually the sentence of the civil 
power, is necessary only in case of appeal, or complaint of 
the party injured: and a separation may be made without 
such a public divorce, so that each party may make use of 
the magistrate to right themselves if wronged. As if the 
adultery be not openly known, and the injuring party desire 
rather to be put away privily than publicly, (as Joseph pur- 
posed to do by Mary) I see not but it is lawful so to do, in 
case that the law, or the necessity of making the offender an 
example, require not the contrary, nor scandal or other acci- 
dents forbid it not. See Grotius's learned Notes on Matt. 
V. 31, 32. and on Matt. xix. and 1 Cor. vii. about these 

Quest. XI. 'What if both parties commit adultery? 
may either of them put away the other, or depart ; or rather 
must they forgive each other V 

Answ. If they do it both at once, they do both forfeit the 
liberty of seeking any compensation for the injury ; because 
the injury is equal (however some would give the advan- 
tage to the man) : but if one commit adultery first, and the 
other after ; then either the last offender knew of the first, 
or not. If not, then it seemeth all one as if it had been 
done at once. But if yea, then they did it either on a sup- 
position of the dissolution of the matrimonial obligation, as 
being loosed from the first adulterer, or else upon a purpose 
of continuing in the first relation : in the latter case, it is 
still all one as if it had been done by them at once, and it is 
a forfeiture of any satisfaction : but in the former case, 
though the last adulterer did sin, yet being before set at li- 
berty, it doth not renew the matrimonial obligation : but 
yet, if the first offender desire the continuance of it, and the 
return of the first-injured party ; shame and conscience of 
their own sin, will much rebuke them, if they plead that in- 
jury for continuance of the separation. 



Quest, XII. ' But what if one do purposely commit adul- 
tery, to he separated from the other V 

Afisw. It is in the other's power and choice, whether to 
be divorced and depart, or not, as they find the good or evil 
consequents preponderate. 

Quest. XIII. ' Doth not infidelity dissolve the relation or 
obligation; seeing there is no communion between light 
and darkness, a believer and an infidel V 

Aitsw. It maketh it unlawful for a believer to marry an 
infidel (except in case of true necessity) ; because they can 
have no communion in religion- But it nullifieth not a 
marriage already made, nor maketh it lawful to depart or 
divorce: because they may have mere conjugal communion 
still. As the apostle purposely determineth the case, in 
1 Cor. vii. 

Quest. XIV. ' Doth not the desertion of one party, dis- 
oblige the other V 

Ausw. 1. It must be considered what is true desertion. 
2. Whether it be a desertion of the relation itself for con- 
tinuance, or only a temporary desertion of co-habitation, or 
congress. 3. What the temper and state of the deserted 
party is. It is Bometimes easy, and sometimes hard to dis- 
cern which is the deserting party. If the wife go away 
from the husband unwarrantably, though she require him to 
follow her, and say that she doth not desert him, yet it may 
be taken for a desertion, because it is the man who is to 
rule and choose the habitation. But if the man go away, 
and the woman refuse to follow him, it is not he that is 
therefore the deserter. 

Quest. * But what if the man have not sufficient cause to 
go away, and the woman hath great and urgent reasons not 
to go? As suppose that the man will go away in hatred of 
an able preacher, and good company, and the woman if sJbie 
follow him, must leave all those helps, and go among igno- 
rant, profane. Ik r»ti(;il persons, or infidels ; which is the de- 
serter then r 

Answ. If she be oiiC that is either like to do good to the 
infidels, heretics, or bad persons whom they must converse 
with, she may suppose that God caileth her to receive good 
by doiiitr (rood : or if she be a confirmed, well-settled Chris- 
tian, aod not very like, eithei by infection, or by yff^i of 


helps, to be unsettled and miscarry, it seemeth to me to be 
the safest way to follow her husband. She must lose in- 
deed God's public ordinances by following him : but it is 
not imputable to her, as being out of her choice ; and she 
must lose the benefits, and neglect the duties of the conju- 
gal ordinance, if she do not follow him. But if she be a per- 
son under such weaknesses, as make her remove apparently 
dangerous as to her perseverance and salvation, and her hus- 
band will by no means be prevailed with to change his mind, 
the case then is very difficult what is her duty, and who is 
the deserter. Nay, if he but lead her into a country where 
her life were like to be taken away, (as under the Spanish 
Inquisition,) unless her suffering were like to be as service- 
able to Christ as her life. Indeed these cases are so diffi- 
cult, that I will not decide them : the inconveniences, (or 
mischiefs rather) are great, which way soever she take : but 
I most incline to judge as folio weth : viz. It is considerable 
first, what marriage obligeth her to, simply of its own na- 
ture ; and what it may do next, by any superadded con- 
»tract, or by the law or custom of the land, or any other ac- 
cident. As to the first, it seemeth to me, that every one's 
obligation is so much first to God, and then to their own 
souls and lives ; that marriage as such, which is for mutual 
help, as a means to higher ends, doth not oblige her to for- 
sake all the communion of saints, and the place or country 
where God is lawfully worshipped, and to lose all the helps 
of public worship, and to expose her soul both to spiritual 
famine and infection, to the apparent hazard of her salva- 
tion (and perhaps bring her children into the same misery) ; 
nor hath God given her husband any power to do her so 
much wrong, nor is the marriage-covenant to be interpreted 
to intend it. But what any human law or contract, or other 
accident which is of greater public consequence, may do 
more than marriage of itself, is a distinct case, which must 
have a particular discussion. 

Quest. * But what if the husband would only have her 
follow him, to the forsaking of her estate, and undoing her- 
self and children in the world, (as in the case of Galeacius 
Caracciolus, Marquis of Vicum ;) yea, and if it were without 

Amw, If it be for greaterispiritual gain, (as in his case,) 


she is bound to follow him : but if it be apparently foolish^ 
to the undoing of her and her children without any cause, 
I see not that marriage simply obligeth a woman so to fol- 
low a fool in beggary, or out of a calling, or to her ruin,. 
But if it be at all a controvertible case, whether the cau^e 
be just or not, then the husband being governor must be 
judge. The laws of the land are supposed to be just, which 
allow a woman by trustees to secure some part of her for- 
mer estate from her husband's disposal : much more may 
she beforehand secure herself and children from being ruin- 
ed by his wilful folly : but she can by no contract except 
herself from his true government. 

Yet still she must consider, whether she can live conti- 
nently in his absence : otherwise the greatest sufferings 
must be endured, to avoid incontinency. 

2. Moreover, in all these cases, a temporary removal may 
be further followed, than a perpetual transmigration, be- 
cause it ha^Ji fewer evil consequents. 

And if either party renounce the relation itself, it is a 
fuller desertion, and clearer discharge of the other party, 
than a mere removal is. 

Quest. XV. * What if a man or wife know that the other 
in hatred doth really intend by poison or other murder, to 
take away their life / May they not then depart V 

Answ, They may not do it upon a groundless or rash sur- 
mise ; nor upon a danger which by other lawful means may 
be avoided; (as by vigilancy, or the magistrate, or especial- 
ly by love and duty.) But in plain danger, which is not 
otherwise like to be avoided, I doubt not, but it may be 
done and ought. For it is a duty to preserve our own lives 
as well as our neighbours. And when marriage is contract- 
ed for mutual help, it is naturally implied that they shall 
have no power to deprive one another of life : (however 
some barbarous nations have given men power of the lives 
of their wives.) And killing is the grossest kind of deser- 
tion, and a greater injury and violation of the marriage-co- 
venant than adultery ; and may be prevented by avoiding 
the murderer's presence ; if that way be necessary. None 
of the ends of marriage can be attained, where the hatred is 
so great. 

Qne,%t. \ I If there be but fixed hatred of each other. 


is it inconsistent with the ends of marriage .' And is part- 
ing lawful in such a case?' 

Ansxv. The injuring party is bound to love and not to 
separate ; and can have no liberty by his or her sin. And 
to say, I cannot love, or my wife or husband is not amiable, 
is no sufficient excuse ; because every person hath somewhat 
that is amiable, if it be but human nature ; and that should 
have been foreseen before your choice. And as it is no ex- 
cuse to a drunkard to say, I cannot leave my drink ; so it is 
none to an adulterer, or hater of another, to say, I cannot 
love them : for that is but to say, I am so wicked, that my 
heart or will is against my duty. But the innocent party's 
case is harder (though commonly both parties are faulty, 
and therefore both are obliged to return to love, and not to 
separate). But if hatred proceed not to adultery, or mur- 
der, or intolerable injuries, you must remember that mar- 
riage is not a contract for years, but for life, and that it is 
possible that hatred may be cured (how unlikelgT soever it 
may be). And therefore you must do your duty, and wait, 
and pray, and strive by love and goodness to recover love, 
and then stay to see what God will do ; for mistakes in your 
choice will not warrant a separation. 

Quest. XV II. 'What if a woman have a husband that 
will not suffer her to read the Scriptures, nor go to God's 
worship public or private, or that so beateth or abuseth her, 
as that it cannot be expected that human nature should be 
in such a case kept fit for any holy action ; or if a man have 
a wife that will scold at him when he is praying or instructing 
his family, and make it impossible to him to serve God with 
freedom, or peace, and comfort V 

Ansv). The woman must (at necessary seasons, though 
hot when she would) both read the Scriptures, and worship 
God, and suffer patiently what is inflicted on her. Martyr- 
dom maybe as comfortably suffered from a husband, as from 
a prince. But yet if neither her owai love, and duty, and 
patience, nor friend's persuasion, nor the magistrate's jus- 
tice, can free her from such inhuman cruelty, as quite dis- 
ableth her for her duty to God and man, I see not but she 
may depart from such a tyrant. But the man hath more 
means to restrain his wife from beating him, or doing such 
intolerable things ; either by the magistrate, or by denying 

CHAP. IX.] OimiftTlAN ECONOMICS. li}7 

her what else she might have, or by his own violent res^ 
training her, as belongeth to a conjugal ruler, and as cir- 
cumstances shall direct a prudent man. But yet in case 
that unsuitableness or sin be so great, that after long trial, 
there is no likelihood of any other co-habitation, but what 
will tend to their spiritual hurt and calamity, it is their lesser 
sin to live asunder by mutual consent. 

Quest, xviii. * Who be they that may or may not marry 
again when they are parted V 

Amw, 1. They that are released by divorce upon the 
other's adultery, &<c. may marry again. 2. The case 
of all the rest is harder. They that part by consent, to 
avoid mutual hurt, may not marry again : nor the party 
that departeth for self-preservation, or for the preservation 
of estate, or children, or comforts, or for liberty of worship, 
as aforesaid : because it is but an intermission of conjugal 
fruition, and not a total dissolution of the relation : and the 
innocent party must wait to see whether there be any hope 
of a return. Yea, Christ seemeth to resolve it. Matt. v. 31, 
32., that he is an adulterer that marrieth the innocent party 
that is put away ; because the other living in adultery, their 
first contracted relation seemeth to be still in being. But 
Grotius and some others think, that Christ meaneth this 
only of the man that over-hastily marrieth the innocent di- 
vorced woman, before it be seen whether he will repent and 
re-assume her. But how can that hold, if the husband after 
adultery free her ? May it not therefore be meant, that the 
woman must stay unmarried in hope of his reconciliation, 
till such time as his adultery with his next married wife doth 
disoblige her. But then it must be taken as a law for Chris- 
tians: for til ' licrht have many wives, disobligeth 
not one by tm r. 

A short desertion must be endured in hope : but in case 
of a very lont:, or total desertion or rejection, if the injured 
party should have an untameable lust, the case is difficult. 
1 think there are few but by just means may abstain. But 
if there be any that cannot, (after all means,) without such 
trouble as overthroweth their peace, and plainly hazardeth 
their continence, 1 dare not say that marriage in that case 
is unlawful to the innocent. 

Quest. I • I» it lawful to suffer or tolerate, yea, or contri- 


bute to the matter of known sin in a family, ordinarily, in 
wife, child or servant : and consequently in any other rela- 
tions. V 

Answ. In this some lukewarm men are apt to run into 
the extreme of remissness ; and some unexperienced young 
men, that never had families, into the extreme of censorious 
rigour, as not knowing what they talk of. 

1. It is not lawful .either in family, commonwealth, 
church or any where, to allow of sin, nor to tolerate it, or 
leave it uncured, when it is truly in our power to cure it. 
2. So that all the question is, when it is, or is not in 
our power? Concerning which, I shall answer by some in- 

1. It is not in our power to do that which we are na- 
turally unable to do. No law of God bindeth us to im- 
possibilities. And natural impotency here is found in these 
several cases. 1. When we are overmatched in strength ; 
when wife, children, or servants are too strong for the mas- 
ter of the house, so that he cannot correct them, nor re- 
move them. A king is not bound to punish rebellious or 
offending subjects, when they are too strong for him, and 
he is unable : either by their numbers or other advantages. 
If a pastor censure an offender, and all the church be against 
the censure, he cannot procure it executed, but must ac- 
quiesce in having done his part, and leave their guilt upon 

2. When the thing to be done is an impossibility, at 
least moral. As to hinder all the persons of a family, church 
or kingdom from ever sinning : it is not in their own power 
so far to reform themselves ; much less in a ruler so far to 
reform them : even as to ourselves, perfection is but desired 
in this life, but not attained ; much less for others. 

3. When the principal causes co-operate not with us, and 
we are but subservient moral causes; we can but persuade 
men to repent, believe, and love God and goodness. We 
cannot save men without and against themselves. Their 
hearts are out of our reach ; therefore in all these cases we 
are naturally unable to hinder sin ! 

II. It is not in our power to do any thing which God 
forbiddeth us. That which is sinful is to be accounted out 
of our power in this sense. To cure the sin of a wife, by 


such cruelty or harshness as is contrary to our conjugal 
relation and to the office of necessary love, is out of our 
power, because forbidden, as contrary to our duty ; and so 
of other. 

III. Those actions are out of our power, which are acts 
of higher authority than we have. A subject cannot reform 
by such actions as are proper to the sovereign, nor a lay^ 
man by actions proper to the pastor, for want of authority. 
So a schoolmaster cannot do that which is proper to a pa- 
tient; nor the master of a family that which is proper to the 
magistrate (as to punish with death, &c.) 

IV. We have not power to do that which a superior 
power forbiddeth us (unless it be that which God indispen- 
sably commandeth us.) The wife may not correct a child 
or servant, or turn him away, when the husband forbiddeth 
it. Nor the master of a family so punish a sin, as the king 
and laws forbid on the account of public interest. 

V. We have not power to do that for the power of sin, 
which is like to do more hurt than good ; yea, perhaps to 
prove a pernicious mischief. If my correcting a servant, 
would make him kill me, or set my house on fire, I may not 
do it. If my sharp reproof is like to do more hurt, or less 
good than milder dealing ; if I have reason to believe that 
correction will make a servant worse, I am not to use it ; 
because we have our power to edification, and not to de- 
struction. God hath not tied us just to speak such and 
such words, or to use this or that correction, but to use re- 
proofs and corrections only in that time, measure and man- 
ner as true reason telleth us, is likest to attain their end. 
To do it, if it would do never so much hurt with a *fiat jus- 
titia etsi pereat mundus,' is to be righteous overmuch. 

Yea, great and heinous sins may be endured in families 
sometimes, to avoid a greater hurt, and because there is no 
other means to cure them. For instance, a wife may be 
guilty of notorious pride, and of malignant deriding the 
exercises of religion, and of railing, lying, slandering, back- 
biting, co v. ss, swearing, cursing, &c. and the hus- 
band be ii« "led to bear it; not so far as not to re- 
prove it, but so far aii not to correct her, much less cure her; 
divines use to say, that it is unlawful for a man to beat his 
wife : but the reabon is not, that ho wunteth authority to do 


it ; but, 1 . Because he is by his relation obliged to a life of 
love with her ; and therefore must so rule, as tendeth not to 
destroy love : and 2. Because it may often do otherwise 
more hurt to herself and the family, than good. It may 
make her furious and desperate, and make her contemptible 
in the family, and diminish the reverence of inferiors, both 
to wife and husband, for living so uncomely a life. 

Quest. ' But is there any case in which a man may silently 
bear the sins of a wife, or other inferior without reproof, or 
urging them to amend ? ' 

Answ. Yes: in case, 1. That reproof hath been tried to 
the utmost : 2. And it is most evident by full experience, 
that it is like to do a great deal more hurt than good. 

The rule given by Christ, extendeth as well to families, 
as to others; not to cast pearls before swine, nor to give 
that which is holy to dogs ' : because it is more to the dis* 
composure of a man's own peace, to have a wife turn again, 
and all to rend him, than a stranger. As the church may 
cease admonishing a sinner, after a certain time of obsti- 
nacy, when experience hath ended their present hopes of 
bringing the person to repentance, and thereupon may ex- 
communicate him : so a husband may be brought to the 
*ame despair with a wife, and may be disobliged from or- 
dinary reproof, though the nearness of the relation forbid 
him to eject her. And in such a case where the family and 
neighbourhood know the intractableness and obstinacy 
of the wife, it no scandal, nor sign of approbation, or neg- 
lect of duty, for a man to be silent at her sin*"; because 
they look upon her at present as incorrigible by that means : 
and it is the sharpest reproof to such a one, to be unreprov- 
ed, and to be let alone in her sin ; as it is God's greatest 
judgment on a sinner, to leave him to himself, and oay, * be 
filthy still.' 

And there are some women whose fantasies and pas- 
sions are naturally so strong, as that it seemeth to me that 
in many cases they have not so much as natural free-will 
or power to restrain them : but if in all other cases they 
acted as in some, I should take them for mere brutes, that 
had no true reason : they seem naturally necessitated to do 

• Matt. vii. 6. 

« Psal. Ixxxi. 14, &c. Rev. xxii. 10, 11. Trov. i. 'U, 25. 


as they do. I have known the long profession of piety, 
which in other respects hath seemed sincere, to consist in 
a wife, with such unmastered, furious passion, that she could 
not before strangers forbear throwing what was in her band 
in her husband's face, or thrusting the burning candle into 
his face; and slandering him of the filthiest sins ; and when 
the passion was over, confess all to be false, and her rage 
to be the reason of her speech and actions: and the man 
though a minister, of more than ordinary wit and strength, 
yet fain to endure all without returns of violence till her 
death. They that never knew such a case by trial, can tell 
how all might be cured easily ; but so cannot they that are 
put upon the cure. 

And there are some other women of the same uncurable 
strength of imagination and passion, who in other respects 
are very pious and prudent too, and too wise and conscion- 
able to wrong their husbands with their hands or tongues^ 
who yet are utterly unable to forbear an injury of the high- 
est nature to themselves ; but are so utterly impatient of 
being crossed of their wills, that it would in all likelihood 
cast them into melancholy or madness, or some mortal 
sickness : and no I'eason signifieth any thing to abate such 
passions. In case of pride, or some sinful custom, they are 
not able to bear reproof, and to be hindered in the sin, 
without apparent danger of distraction or death. I suppose 
these cases are but few ; but what to do in such cases wh^tl 
they come, is the present question. 

Nay, the question is still harder, * Whether to avoid such 
inconvenience, one may contribute towards another's sin, by 
affording them the means of committing it ?* 

Amw. 1. No man may contribute to sin as sin, formally 
considered. 2. No man may contribute to another's sin, 
for sinful ends, nor in a manner forbidden or sinful in him- 
self. 3. No man may contribute to another's sin, when he 
is not naturally or morally necessitated to it, but might for- 
bear it. 

But as it is consistent with the holiness of God to con- 
tribute those natural and providential mercies, which he 
knoweth men will abuse to sin, so is it in some cases with 
us his creatures to one another. God giveth all men their 
lives and time, their reason and free-will, which he know- 


eth they will abuse to sin : he giveth them that meat, and 
drink, and riches, and health, and vigour of senses, which 
are the usual means of the sin and undoing of the world. 

Object. * But God is not under any law or obligation as 
we are.' 

Ans,w, His own perfection is above all law, and will not 
consist with a consent or acting of any thing that is con- 
trary to holiness and perfection. But this I confess, that 
many things are contrary to the order and duty of the crea- 
ture, which are not contrary to the place and perfection of 
the Creator. 

1. When man doth generate man, he knowingly contri- 
buteth to a sinful nature and life : for he knoweth it is un- 
avoidable, and that which is born of the flesh is flesh". 
And yet he sinneth not by so doing, because he is not 
bound to prevent sin by the forbearance of generation. 

2. When one advanceth another to the office of magis- 
tracy, ministry, &c. knowing that he will sin in it, he con- 
tributeth accidentally to his sin ; but so as he is not culpa- 
ble for so doing. 

3. A physician hath to do with a fro ward and intem- 
perate patient, who will please his appetite, or else if he be 
denied his passion, will increase his disease and kill him. 
In this case he may lawfully say, let him take a little, ra- 
ther than kill him ; though by so doing he contribute to 
his sin. Because it is but a not-hindering that which he 
cannot hinder without a greater evil. The sin is only his 
that chooseth it. 

And it is specially to be noted, that that which physi- 
cally is a positive act and contributing to the matter of the 
sin, yet morally is but a not-hindering the sin by such a 
withholding of materials as we are not obliged to withhold 
(which is the case also of God's contributing to the matter 
of sin). If the physician in such a case, or the parent of a 
sick and froward child, do actually give them that which 
they sin in desiring, that giving is indeed such a furthering 
of the sin as cannot be lawfully forborne, lest we do hurt, 
and therefore is morally but a not-hindering it, when we 
cannot hinder it. 

4. If a man have a wife so proud that she will go mad, 

" John iii. 6- Ephes. ii. 2, 3. 


or disturb him and his family by rage, if her pride be not 
gratified by some sinful fashions, curiosities, or excesses, if 
he give her money or materials to do it with, to prevent her 
distraction, it is but like the foresaid case of the physician, 
or parents of a sick child. 

In these cases I will give you a rule to walk by for your- 
selves, and a caution how to judge of others. 

1. Be sure that you leave nothing undone that you can 
lawfully do, for the cui;e and prevention of others' sins ; and 
that it be not for want of zeal against sin, through indif- 
ference or slothfulness, that you forbear to hinder it, but 
merely through disability. 2. See that in comparing the 
evil that is like to follow the impedition, you do not mis- 
take, but be sure that it be indeed a greater evil which you 
avoid by not hindering that particular sin. 3. See therefore 
that your own carnal interest weigh not with you more than 
there is cause ; and that you account not mere fleshly suf- 
fering a greater evil than sin. 4. But yet that dishonour 
which may be cast upon religion, and the good of souls 
which may be hindered by a bodily suffering, may come 
into the comparison. 5. And your own duties to men's 
bodies (as to save men's lives, or health, or peace) are to be 
numbered with spiritual things, and the materials of a sin 
may in some cases be administered for the discharge of 
such a duty. If you knew a man would die if you give 
him not hot water, and he will be drunk if you do give it 
him ; in this case you do but your duty, and he commits 
the sin : you do that which is good, and are not bound to 
forbear it, because he will turn it to sin, unless you see that 
the hurt by that sin is like to be so great (besides the sin 
itself) as to discharge you from the duty of doing good. 

2. As to others, (I.) Put them on to their duty and 
spare not. (2.) But censure them not for the sins of their 
families, till you are acquainted with all the case. It is 
usual with rash and carnal censurers, to cry out of some 
godly ministers or gentlemen, that their wives are as proud, 
and their children and servants as bad as others. But are 
you sure that it is in their power to remedy it? Malice and 
rashness judge at a distance of things which men under- 
stand not, and sin in speaking against sin. 

Quest. II. 'If a gentleman, e. g. of £500, or £1000, or 


£2000, or £3000, per annum, could spare honestly half 
his yearly rents, for his children and for charitable uses, 
and his wife be so proud and prodigal, that she will waste 
it all in housekeeping and excesses, and will rage, be un- 
quiet, or go mad, if she be hindered, what is a man's duty 
in such a case ?' 

Answ. It is but an instance of the fore-mentioned case, 
and must thence be answered. 1. It is supposed that she 
is incurable by all wise and rational means of persuasion. 
2. He is wisely to compare the greatness of the evil that 
will come by crossing her, with the good that may come 
by the improvement of his estate, and the forbearance of 
those excesses. If her rage, or distraction, or unquietness 
were like by any accident to do more hurt than his estate 
may do good, he might take himself disabled from hinder- 
ing the sin ; and though he give her the money which she 
misspendeth, it is not sinning, but only not hindering sin 
when he is unable. 3. Ordinarily some small or tolerable 
degree of sinful waste and excess may be tolerated to avoid 
such mischiefs as else would follow; but not too much. 
And though no just measure can be assigned, at what rate 
a man may lawfully purchase his own peace, and conse- 
quently his liberty to serve God, or at what rate he may 
save his wife from madness, or some mortal mischiefs of her 
discontent, yet the case must be resolved by such consider- 
ations ; and a prudent man, that knoweth what is like to 
be the consequent on both sides, may and must accordingly 
determine it. 4. But ordinarily the life, health, or preser- 
vation of so proud, luxurious, and passionate a woman, is 
not worth the saving at so dear a rate, as the wastling of a 
considerable estate, which might be used to relieve a mul- 
titude of the poor, and perhaps to save the lives of many 
that are worthier to live. And, (1.) A man's duty to relieve 
the poor and provide for his family is so great. (2.) And 
the account that all men must give of the use of their talents 
is so strict, that it must be a great reason indeed, that must 
allow him to give Way to very great wastefulness. And 
unless there be somewhat extraordinary in the case, it were 
better deal with such a woman as a bedlam, and if she will be 
mad, to use her as the mad are used, than for a steward of 
God to suffer the devil to be served with his master's goods. 


Lastly, I must charge the reader to remember, that both 
these cases are very rare ; and it is but few women that are 
80 liable to so great mischiefs, which may not be prevented 
at cheaper rates ; and therefore that the indulgence given 
in these decisions, is nothing to the greater part of men, 
nor is to be extended to ordinary cases. But commonly 
men every where sin by omission of a stricter government 
of their families, and by Eli's sinful indulgence and remis- 
ness : and though a wife must be governed as a wife, and 
a child as a child, yet all must be governed as well as ser- 
vants. And though it maybe truly said, that a man cannot 
hinder that sin, which he cannot hinder but by sin, or by 
contributing to a greater hurt, yet it is to be concluded, 
that every man is bound to hinder sin whenever he is able 
lawfully to hinder it. 

And by the same measures, tolerations, or not-hindering 
errors and sins about religion in church and commonwealth, 
is to be judged of : None must commit them or approve 
them ; nor forbear any duty of their own to cure them : but 
that is not a duty which is destructive, which would be a 
duty when it were a means of edifying. 


The Duties of Parents for their Children. 

Of how great importance the wise and holy education of 
children is, to the saving of their souls, and the comfort of 
the parents, and the good of church and state, and the hap- 
piness of the world, I have partly told you before ; but no 
man is able fully to express. And how great that calamity 
is, which the world is fallen into through the neglect of that 
duty, no heart can conceive ; but they that think what a 
case the heathen, infidel, and ungodly nations are in, and 
how rare true piety is grown, and how many millions must 
lie in hell for ever, will know so much of this inhuman negli- 
gence, as to abhor it. 

Direct i. * Understand and lament the corrupted and 


miserable state of your children, which they have derived 
from you, and thankfully accept the offers of a Saviour for 
yourselves and them, and absolutely resign, and dedicate 
them to God in Christ in the sacred covenant, and solem* 
nize this dedication and covenant by their baptism *. And 
to this end understand the command of God for entering 
your children solemnly into covenant with him, and the co- 
venant-mercies belonging to them thereupon ^' 

You cannot sincerely dedicate yourselves to God, 
but you must dedicate to him all that is yours, and in 
your power; and therefore your children as far as they 
are in your power. And as nature hath taught you your 
power and your duty to enter them in their infancy into any 
covenant with man, which is certainly for their good ; (and 
if they refuse the conditions when they come to age, they 
forfeit the benefit ;) so nature teacheth you much more to 
oblige them to God for their far greater good, in case he 
will admit them into covenant with him. And that he will 
admit them into his covenant, (and that you ought to enter 
them into it,) is past doubt, in the evidence which the Scrip- 
ture giveth us, that from Abraham's time till Christ it was 
so with all the children of his people : nay, no man can prove 
that before Abraham's time, or since, God had ever a church 
on earth, of which the infants of his servants (if they had 
any) were not members dedicated in covenant to God, till 
of late times that a few began to scruple the lawfulness of 
this. As it is a comfort to you, if the king would bestow 
upon your infant children, (who were tainted by their fa- 
ther's treason,) not only a full discharge from the blot of that 
offence, but also the titles and estates of lords, though they 
understand none of this till they come to age ; so is it much 
more matter of comfort to you, on their behalf, that God in 
Christ will pardon their original sin, and take them as his 
children, and give them title to everlasting life ; which are 
the mercies of his covenant. 

Direct, ii. * As soon as they are capable, teach them 
what a covenant they are in, and what are the benefits, and 
what the conditions, that their souls may gladly consent to 

* See rny Treatise for Infant-baptism. 

b Rom. V. 1:2.16 — 18. Ephes. ii. 1. 3. Gen. xvii. 4.13, 14. Deut. xxix. 
10—12. Rom.xi. 17. 20. Johniii. 3. 5. Matt. xix. 13, 14. 


it when they understand it ; and you may bring them 6e- 
riously to renew their covenant with God in their own per- 
sons.* But the whole order of teaching both children and 
servants, I shall give you after by itself; and therefore shall 
here pass by all that, except that which is to be done more 
by your familiar converse, than by more solemn teaching. 

Direct, iii. ' Train them up in exact obedience to your- 
selves, and break them of their own wills.' To that end, 
suffer them not to carry themselves unreverently or con- 
temptuously towards you ; but to keep their distance. For 
too much familiarity breedeth contempt, and emboldeneth 
to disobedience. The common course of parents is to 
please their children so long, by letting them*have what 
they crave, and what they will, till their wills are so used to 
be fulfilled, that they cannot endure to have them denied ; 
and so can endure no government, because they endure no 
crossing of their wills. To be obedient, is to renounce their 
own wills, and be ruled by their parents' or governor's wills ; 
to use them therefore to have their own wills, is to teach 
them disobedience, and harden and use them to a kind of 
impossibility of obeying. Tell them oft familiarly and lov- 
ingly of the excellency of obedience, and how it pleaseth 
God, and what need they have of government, and how un- 
fit they are to govern themselves, and how dangerous it is 
to children to have their own wills ; speak often with great 
disgrace of self-willedness and stubbornness, and tell others 
in their hearing what hath befallen self-willed children. 

Direct, iv. * Make them neither too bold with you, nor 
too strange or fearful ; and govern them not as servants, 
but as children, making them perceive that you dearly love 
them, and that all your commands, restraints and correc- 
tions are for their good, and not merely because you will 
have it so-' They must be ruled as rational creatures, that 
love themselves, and those that love them. If they per- 
ceive that you dearly love them, they will obey you the 
more willingly, and the easier be brought to repent of their 
disobedience, and they will as well obey you in heart as in 
outward actions, and behind your back as before your face. 
And the love of you (which must be caused by your love to 
them,) must be one of the chiefest means to bring them to 
the love of all that good which you commend to them ; and 



SO to form their wills sincerely to the will of God, and make 
them holy. For if you are too strange to them, and too 
terrible, they will fear you only, and not much love you ; and 
then they will love no books, no practices, that you com- 
mend to them, but like hypocrites they will seek to please 
you to your face, and care not what they are in secret and 
behind your backs. Nay, it will tempt them to loathe your 
government, and all that good which you persuade them to, 
aftd make therri like birds in a cage, that watch for an op- 
portunity to get away and get their liberty. They will be 
the more in the company of servants and idle children, be- 
cause your terror and strangeness maketh them take no de- 
light in yours. And fear will make them liars, as oft as a 
lie seemeth necessary to their escape. Parents that shew 
much love to their children, may safely shew severity when 
they commit a fault. For then they will see, that it is their 
fault only that displeaseth you, and not their persons ; and 
your love reconcileth them to you when they are corrected ; 
when less correction from parents that are always strange or 
kngry, and shew no tender love to their children, will alienate 
them, and do no good. Too much boldness of children 
leadeth them before you are aware, to contempt of parents 
and all disobedience ; and too much fear and strangeness 
depriveth them of most of the benefits of your care and go- 
vernment : but tender love, with severity only when they 
do amiss, and this at a reverend, convenient distance, is the 
only way to do them good. 

Direct, v. * Labour much to possess their hearts with the 
fear of God, and a reverence of the Holy Scriptures ; and 
then whatsoever duty you command them, or whatsoever sin 
you forbid them, shew them some plain and urgent texts of 
Scripture for it ; and cause them to learn them and oft re- 
peat them ; that so they may find reason and Divine autho- 
rity in your commands.' Till their obedience begin to be 
rational and Divine, it will be but formal and hypocritical. 
It is conscience that must watch them in private, when you 
isee them not ; and conscience is God's officer and not yours ; 
and will say nothing to them, till it speak in the name of 
God. This is the way to bring the heart itself into subjec- 
tion ; and also to reconcile them to all your commands, when 


they see that they are first the commands of God : (of which 
more anon.) 

Direct, vi. * In all your speech of God, and of Jesus 
Christ, and of the Holy Scripture, or the life to come, or o€ 
any holy duty, speak always with gravity, seriousness, and 
reverence, as of the most great, and dreadful, and most sa- 
cred things.' For before children come to have any dis- 
tinct understanding of particulars, it is a hopeful beginning 
to have their hearts possest with a general reverence and 
high esteem of holy matters : for that will continually awe 
their consciences, and help their judgments, and settle them 
against prejudice and profane contempt, and be as a seed of 
holiness in them. For " the fear of God is the beginning of 
wisdom *"." And the very manner of the parents^ speech 
and carriage, expressing great reverence to the things of 
God, hath a very great power to leave the like impression on 
a child ; most children of godly parents, that ever came to 
good, I am persuaded can tell you this by experience, (if 
their parents did their duty in this point,) that the first good 
that ever they felt upon their hearts, was a reverence to holy 
things, which the speech and carriage of their parents taught 

Direct, vii. * Speak always before them with great ho- 
nour and praise of holy ministers and people, and with dis- 
praise and loathing of every sin, and of ungodly men ^,' 
For this is also a thing that children will quickly and easily 
receive from their parents. Before they can understand 
particular doctrines, they can learn in general what kind of 
persons are most happy or most miserable, and they are very 
apt to receive such a liking or disliking from their parents' 
judgment,, which hath a great hand in all the following good 
or evil of their lives. If you possess them with good and 
honourable thoughts of them that fear God, they will ever 
after be inclined to think well of them, and to dislike those 
tjiat speak, evil of them, and to hear such preachers, and to 
wish themselves such Christians ; so that in this and the 
fpregoing point it is that the first stirrings of grace in chiU 
dr?n sire ordinarily felt. And therefore on the other side, it 
is a most pernicious thing to children, when they hear their 

« Psal. cxi. 10. Prov. ix. 10. i. 7. 

<> I«a. iii. 7— 9. 11. Psal.xv.4. ci. x. 2— 4. 


parents speak contemptuously or lightly of holy things and 
persons, and irreverently talk of God, and Scripture, and 
the life to come, or speak dispraisingly or scornfully of godly 
ministers or people, or make a jest of the particular duties of 
a religious life : these children are like to receive that preju- 
dice or profane contempt into their hearts betimes, which 
may bolt the doors against the love of God and holiness, 
and make their salvation a work of much greater difficulty, 
and much smaller hope. And therefore still I say, that 
wicked parents are the most notable servants of the devil in 
all the world, and the deadliest enemies to their children's 
souls. More souls are damned by ungodly parents (and 
next them by ungodly ministers and magistrates) than by 
any instruments in the world besides. And hence it is also, 
that whole nations are so generally carried away with enmity 
against the ways of God : the heathen nations against the 
true God, and the infidel nations against Christ, and the 
papist nations against reformation and spiritual worshippers : 
because the parents speak evil to the children of all that 
they themselves dislike ; and so possess them with the same 
dislike from generation to generation. *' Woe to them that 
call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, 
and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet 
for bitters" 

Direct, viii. * Let it be the principal part of your care 
and labour in all their education, to make holiness appear 
to them the most necessary, honourable, gainful, pleasant, 
delightful, amiable state of life ; and to keep them from ap- 
prehending it either as needless, dishonourable, hurtful, or 
uncomfortable.' Especially draw them to the love of it, by 
representing it as lovely. And therefore begin with that 
which is easiest and most grateful to them (as the history 
of the Scripture, and the lives of the martyrs, and other 
good men, and some short, familiar lessons). For though 
in restraining them from sin, you must go to the highest step 
at first, and not think to draw them from it by allowing them 
the least degree (for every degree disposeth to more, and 
none is to be allowed, and a general reformation is the ea- 
siest as well as absolutely necessary). Yet in putting them 
upon the practice of religious duties, you must carry them 

e Isa. V. 20. 


on by degrees, and put them at first upon no more than 
they can bear ; either upon the learning of doctrines too 
high and spiritual for them, or upon such duty for quality 
or quantity as is over-burdensome to them: for if you once 
turn their hearts against religion, and make it seem a sla- 
very and a tedious life to them, you take the course to har- 
den them against it. And therefore all children must not 
be used alike ; as all stomachs must not be forced to eat 
alike. If you force some to take so much as to become a 
surfeit, they will loathe that sort of meat as long as they 
live. I know that nature itself, as corrupt, hath already an 
enmity to holiness, and I know that this enmity is not to be 
indulged in children at all ; but withal I know that misre- 
presentations of religion, and imprudent education is the 
way to increase it, and that the enmity being in the heart, 
it is the change of the mind and love that is the overcoming 
of it, and not any such constraint as tendeth not to recon- 
cile the mind by love. The whole skill of parents for the 
holy education of their children, doth consist in this, to 
make them conceive of holiness as the most amiable and de- 
sirable life ; which is by representing it to them in words 
and practice, not only as most necessary, but also as most 
profitable, honourable, and delightful. " Her ways are 
ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace, &c^" 

Direct, ix. * Speak often to them of the brutish baseness, 
and sinfulness of flesh-pleasing sensuality, and of the greater 
excellency of the pleasures of the mind ; which consist in 
wisdom, and in doing good.' For your chiefest care must 
be to save them from flesh-pleasing ; which is not only in 
general the sum of all iniquity whatsoever, but that which 
in special children are most prone to. For their flesh and 
sense is as quick as others ; and they want not only faith, 
but clear reason to resist it : and so (besides their natural 
pravity) the custom of obeying sense (which is in strength) 
without reason (which is in infancy and almost useless) doth 
much increase this pernicious sin. And therefore still la- 
bour to imprint in their minds an odious conceit of a flesh- 
pleasing life ; speak bitterly to them against gluttony, and 
drunkenness, and excess of sport ; and let them often hear 
or read the parable of the glutton and Lazarus in the six- 

' Prov. iii. 17. 


t^i^^nth of Luke ; and let them learn without book, Rom. viii. 
1. 5—9. 13. xiii. 13, 14. and oft repeat them. 

Direct, x. ' To this end, and also for the health of their 
bodies, keep a strict guard upon their appetites (which they 
are notable to guard themselves) : keep them as exactly as 
you can to the rules of reason, both in the quantity and 
quality of their food.' Yet tell them the reason of your 
restraint, or else they will secretly strive the more to break 
their bounds. Most parents that ever I knew, or had any 
good account of in that point, are guilty of the great hurt 
and danger of their children's health and souls, by pleasing 
and glutting them with meat and drink. If I should call 
them devils and murderers to their own children, they would 
think I spake too harshly ; but I would not have them give 
so great occasion for it, as by destroying (as far as lieth in 
them) the souls and bodies of their children. They destroy 
their souls by accustoming them to gluttony, and to be 
ruled by their appetites; which all the teaching in the 
world will hardly ever after overcome, without the special 
grace of God. What is all the vice and villany in the world, 
but the pleasing of the desires of the flesh ? And when 
they are habituated to this, they are rooted in their sin and 
misery. And they destroy their bodies, by suffering them 
to please their appetites, with raw fruits and other hurtful 
things ; but especially by drowning and overwhelming na- 
ture by excess : and all this is through that beastly igno- 
rance joined with self-conceitedness, which maketh them 
also overthrow themselves. They think that their appetite 
is the measure of their eating and drinking, and that if they 
drink but when they are thirsty (as some drunkards are con- 
tinually) ; and eat but when they are hungry, it is no excess : 
and because they are not presently sick, or vomit it not up 
again, the beasts think it doth them no harm, but good. 
You shall hear them like mad people say, * I warrant them, 
it will do them no harm to eat and drink when they have 
list, it will make them strong and healthy : I see not that 
those that are dieted so strictly are any healthier than others.' 
When as all this while they are burdening nature, and dfe^- 
troying digestion, and vitiating all the humours of the body, 
and turning them into a dunghill of phlegm and filth ; which 
is the fuel that breedeth and feedeth almost all the diseases 


that after seize upon them wh^le they live; and usually 
bringeth them to an untimely end, (as I have more fully 
opened before. Part i. in the Directions against Gluttony). 
If therefore you love either the souls or bodies of your chil- 
dren, use them to temperance from their infancy, and let 
not their appetites or craving wills, but your own reason be 
the chooser and the measure of their diet. Use them to eat 
sparingly, and (so it moderately please their appetite, or be 
not such as nature loatheth) let it be rather of the coarser 
than the finer sort of diet ; see it measured to them your- 
selves, and suffer no servant to give them more, nor to let 
them eat or drink between meals and out of season : and so 
you will help to overcome their sensual inclinations, and 
give reason the mastery of their lives ; and you will under 
God, do as much as any one thing can do to help them to a 
healthful temper of body, which will be a very great mercy 
to them, and fit them for their duty all their lives. 

Direct, xi. * For sports and recreations, let them be such^, 
and so much, as may be needful to their health and cheer- 
fulness ; but not so much as may carry away their minds 
from better things, and draw them from their books or other 
duties, nor such as may tempt them to gaming or covetous-* 
ness.' Children must have convenient sport for the health 
of the body, and alacrity of the mind ; such as well exercis- 
^th their bodies is best, and not such as little stirreth them. 
Cards and dice, and such idle sports are every way most un- 
fit, as tending to hurt both body and mind. Their time 
also must be limited them, that their play may not be their 
work ; as soon as ever they have the use of any reason and 
speech, they should be taught some better things, and not 
left till they are five or six years of age, to do nothing, but 
get a custom of wasting all their time in play. Children 
are very early capable of learning something which may pre- 
pare them for more. 

Direct, xu. * Use all your wisdom and diligence to root 
QUt th.e pin of pride. And to that end, do not (as is usual 
with foolish parents, that) please them with making them 
fine, and then by telling them how fine they are ; but use to 
commend humility and plainness to them, and speak dis- 
gracefully of pride and fineness, to breed an averseness to it 
in their minds.' Cause them to learn such texts of Scrips- 


ture as speak of God's abhorring and resisting the proud, 
and of his loving and honouring the humble : when they 
see other children that are finely clothed, speak of it to them 
as their shame, that they may not desire to be like them. 
Speak against boasting, and every other way of pride which 
they are liable to : and yet give them the praise of all that 
is well, for that is but their due encouragement. 

Direct, xin. ' Speak to them disgracefully of the gallan- 
try, and pomp, and riches of the world, and of the sin of 
selfishness and covetousness, and diligently watch against 
it, and all that may tempt them to it.' When they see great 
houses, and attendance, and gallantry, tell them that these 
are the devil's baits, to entice poor sinners to love this 
world, that they may lose their souls, and the world to come. 
Tell them how much heaven excelleth all this ; and that the 
lovers of the world must never come thither, but the hum- 
ble, and meek, and poor in spirit. Tell them of the rich 
glutton in Luke xvi. that was thus clothed in purple and 
silk, and fared deliciously every day ; but when he came to 
hell, could not get a drop of water to cool his tongue, when 
Lazarus was in the joys of paradise. Do not as the wicked, 
that entice their children to worldliness and covetousness, 
by giving them money, and letting them game and play for 
money, and promising them to make them fine or rich, and 
speaking highly of all that are rich and great in the world ; 
but tell them how much happier a poor believer is, and with- 
draw all that may tempt their minds to covetousness. Teach 
them how good it is to love their brethren as themselves, 
and to give them part of what they have, and praise them 
for it : and dispraise them when they are greedy to keep or 
heap up all to themselves. And all will be little enough to 
cure this pernicious sin. Teach them such texts as Psal. 
X. 3. " They bless the covetous whom the Lord abhorreth." 

Direct, xiv. ' Narrowly watch their tongues, especially 
against lying, railing, ribbald talk, and taking the name of 
God in vain.' And pardon them many lighter faults about 
common matters, sooner than one such sin against God. 
Tell them of the odiousness of all these sins, and teach them 
such texts as most expressly condemn them ; and never pass 
it by or make light of it, when you find them guilty. 

Direct, xv. * Keep them as much as may be from ill 


company, especially of ungodly play-fellows.' It is one of 
the greatest dangers for the undoing of children in the 
world ; especially when they are sent to common schools : 
for there are scarce any of those schools so good, but hath 
many rude, and ungodly, ill-taught children in it, that will 
speak profanely, and filthily, and make their ribbald and 
railing speeches a matter of boasting, besides fighting, and 
gaming, and scorning, and neglecting their lessons; and 
they will make a scorn of him that will not do as they, if not 
beat and abuse him. And there is such tinder in nature for 
these sparks to catch upon, that there are very few children, 
but when they hear others take God's name in vain, or sing 
wanton songs, or talk filthy words, or call one another by 
reproachful names, do quickly imitate them : and when you 
have watched over them at home as narrowly as you can, 
they are infected abroad with such beastly vices, as they 
are hardly ever after cured of. Therefore let those that are 
able, either educate their childr.en most at home, or in pri- 
vate and well-ordered schools ; and those that cannot do so, 
must be the more exceeding watchful over them, and charge 
them to associate with the best ; and speak to them of the 
odiousness of these practices, and the wickedness of those 
that use them ; and speak very disgracefully of such un- 
godly children : and when all is done, it is a great mercy of 
God, if they be not undone by the force of the contagion, 
notwithstanding all your antidotes. Those therefore that 
venture their children into the rudest schools and company, 
and after that to Rome, and other profane or Popish coun- 
tries, to learn the fashions and customs of the world, upon 
pretence, that else they will be ignorant of the course of the 
world, and ill-bred, and not like others of their rank, may 
think of themselves and their own reasonings as well as they 
please : for my part, I had rather make a chimney-sweeper 
of my son (if I had any) than be guilty of doing so much, to 
sell or betray him to the devil. 

Quest. * But is it not lawful for a man to send his son 
to travel?' 

Answ. Yes, in these cases : 1. In case he be a ripe, con- 
firmed Christian, that is, not in danger of being perverted, 
but able to resist the enemies of the truth, and to preach 
the Gospel, or do good to others ; and withal have aufticient 


business to invite ^lim. 2. Qif if he go in the company of 
wise and godly persons, and such be his companions, and 
the probability of his gain be greater, than of his loss and 
danger. 3. Or if he go only into religious countries, among 
ajore wise ancj learned me^ than he converseth with at home, 
q,nd have sufficient motives for his course. But to send 
young, raw, unsettled persons among Papists, and profai^e, 
licentious people (though perhaps some sober person be in 
company with them) and this only to see the countries and 
fashions of the world, is an action unbeseeming any Chris- 
tian that knoweth the pravity of human nature, and the mu- 
tability of young, unfurnished heads, and the subtlety of de- 
ceivers, and the contagiousness of sin and error, and the 
worth of a soul, and wil} not do as some conjurers or witches, 
even sell a soul to the devil, on condition he may see an(} 
Vnow the fashions of the world ; which alas, I can quickly 
^pow enough of to grieve my heart, without travelling so 
far to see them. If another country have more of Christ, 
apd be nearer heaven, the invitation is great; but if it have 
uipre of sin and hell, I had rather know hell, and the sub- 
urbs of it too, by the map of the Word of God, than by 
going thither. And if such children return not the confirm- 
ed children of the -devil, and prove not the calamity of theif 
country and the church, let them thank special grace, and 
not their parents or themselves. They overvalue that vanity 
which they caljl breeding, who will hazard the substance, 
(even heavenly wisdom, holiness, and salvation,) to go ^o 
far for so vaiji a shadow. 

Direct, xyi. * Teach your children to know thepreciou^- 
Ptess of time, and suffer them not to misspend an hour.' Be 
pften speaking to them how precious a thing time is, and 
how short man's life is, a»d how great his work, and how 
X)ur endless life of joy or misery dependeth on this little 
time : speak odiously to them of the sin of those that play 
and idle away their time : and keep account of all their 
hours, and suffer them not to lose any by excess of sleep, or 
excess of play, or any other way ; but engage them still in 
some employment that is worth their time. 

Train up your children in a life of diligence find labour, 
and use them noit to ease and idleness whep they are youi^g«. 

g It was one oftlie Roman laws of the twelve tables, ' Filius arte careus, patris in- 


Our wandering beggars, and too many of the gentry utterly 
undo their children by this means, especially the female sex. 
They are taught no calling, nor exercised in any employ- 
ment, but only such as is meet for nothing but ornament and 
recreation at the best ; and therefore should have but recre- 
ation hours, which is but a small proportion of their time. 
So that by the sin of their parents, they are betimes enga- 
ged in a life of idleness, which afterward it is wondrous hard 
for them to overcome ; and they are taught to live, like 
swine or vermin, that live only to live, and do small good in 
the world by living : to rise, and dress, and adorn them^ 
selves, and take a walk, and so to dinner, and thence to 
cards or dice, or chat and idle talk, or some play, or visit, 
or recreation, and so to supper, and to chat again, and to 
bed, is the lamentable life of too many that have great obli- 
gations to God, and greater matters to do, if they were ac- 
quainted with them. And if they do but interpose a few 
hypocritical, heartless words of prayer, they think they 
have piously spent the day : yea, the health of many is ut- 
terly ruined, by such idle, fleshly education. So that dis- 
use doth disable them from any considerable motion or ex- 
ercise, which is necessary to preserve their health. It 
would move one's heart with pity, to see how the houses of 
some of the higher sort are like hospitals ; and education 
hath made, especially, the females like the lame, or sick, or 
bedrid; so that one part of the day that should be spent in 
some profitable employment, is spent in bed, and the rest in 
doing nothing, or worse than nothing ; and most of their 
life is made miserable by diseases, so that if their legs be 
but used to carry them about, they are presently out of 
breath, and are a burden to themselves, and few of them live 
out little more than half their days. Whereas, poor crea- 
tures, if their own parents had not betrayed them into the 
sins of Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of 
idleness, they might have been in health, and lived like ho- 
nest Christian people, and their legs and arms might have 
served them for use, as well as for integrality and ornament. 
Direct. XVII. * Let necessary correction be used with 

curia, <,idem vitae necessaria ue praestato. Alloqui parcntes nutrire cogitur.* * A aoii 
that is taugljt no trade to live by, shall not be bound to ke«p h" parents in want, but 
others sliall.' Ezek. xvi. 49. 


discretion, according to these following rules.' 1. Let it 
not be so seldom (if necessary) as to leave them fearless 
and so make it ineffectual ; and let it not be so frequent as 
to discourage them, or breed in them a hatred of their pa- 
rents. 2. Let it be different according to the different tem- 
pers of your children : some are so tender and timorous, and 
apt to be discouraged, that little or no correction may be 
best ; and some are so hardened and obstinate, that it must 
be much and sharp correction that must keep them from 
dissoluteness and contempt. 3. Let it be more for sin 
against God (as lying, railing, filthy speaking, profaneness, 
&c.) than for faults about your worldly business. 4. Cor- 
rect them not in passion, but stay till they perceive that you 
are calmed ; for they will think else, that your anger rather 
than your reason is the cause. 5. Always shew them the 
tenderness of your love, and how unwilling you are to cor- 
rect them, if they could be reformed any easier way ; and 
convince them that you do it for their good. 6. Make them 
read those texts of Scripture which condemn their sin, and 
then those which command you to correct them. As for ex- 
ample, if lying be their sin, turn them first to Pro v. xii. 22. 
" Lying lips are abomination to the Lord, but they that deal 
truly are his delight." And xiii. 5. '* A righteous man ha- 
teth lying." John viii. 44. Ye are of your father the devil, 
— when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own ; for he is 
a liar, and the father of it." Rev. xxii. 15. "For without 

are dogs and whosoever loveth and maketha lie." And 

next turn him to Prov. xiii. 24. '' He that spareth his rod, 
hateth his son ; but he that loveth him, chasteneth him be- 
times." Prov. xxix. 15. The rod and reproof give wisdom ; 
but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." 
Prov. xxii 15. " Foolishness is bound in the heart of a 
child ; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." 
Prov. xxiii. 13, 14. " Withhold not correction from the 
child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die : 
thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul 
from hell." Prov. xix. 18. ** Chasten thy son while there 
is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Ask 
him whether he would have you by sparing him, to disobey 
God, and hate him, and destroy his soul. And when his 


reason is convinced of the reasonableness of correcting him, 
it will be the more successful. 

Direct, xviii. ' Let your own example teach your chil- 
dren that holiness, and heavenliness, and blamelessness of 
tongue and life, which you desire them to learn and prac- 
tise.' The example of parents is most powerful with chil- 
dren, both for good and evil. If they see you live in the 
fear of God, it will do much to persuade them, that it is the 
most necessary and excellent course of life, and that they 
must do so too : and if they see you live a carnal, voluptuous 
and ungodly life, and hear you curse or swear, or talk filthi- 
ly, or railingly, it will greatly embolden them to imitate 
you. If you speak never so well to them, they will sooner 
believe your bad lives, than your good words. 

Direct, xix. 'Choose such a calling and course of life 
for your children, as tendeth most to the saving of their 
souls, and to their public usefulness for church or state.' 
Choose not a calling that is most liable to temptations and 
hindrances to their salvation, though it may make them 
rich : but a calling which alloweth them some leisure for the 
remembering the things of everlasting consequence, and^t 
opportunities to get good, and to do good. If you bind 
them apprentices, or servants, if it be possible, place them 
with men fearing God ; and not with such as will harden 
them in their sin. 

Direct, xx. 'When they are marriageable, and you find 
it needful, look out such for them as are suitable betimes.* 
When parents stay too long, and do not their duties in this, 
their children often choose for themselves to their own un- 
doing : for they choose not by judgment, but blind affec- 

Having thus told you the common duties of parents for 
their children, I should next have told you what specially be- 
longeth to each parent ; but to avoid prolixity, I shall only 
desire you to remember these two Directions. 1. That the 
mother who is still present with children when they are 
young, be very diligent in teaching them, and minding them 
of good things. When the fathers are abroad, the mothers 
have more frequent opportunities to instruct them, and be 
still speaking to them of that which is most necessary, and 
watching over them. This is the greatest service that most 


women can do for God in the world : many a church that 
hath been blessed with a good minister, may thank the pious 
education of mothers ; and many a thousand soulfe in heaven 
liiay thank the holy care and diligence of mother^, as the 
first effectual means. Good women this way (by the good 
education of their children) are ordinarily great blessings 
both to church and state. (And so some understand 1 Tim. 
ii. 15. by "child-bearing," meaning bringing up children 
for God ; but I rather think it is by Mary's bearing Christ, 
the promised seed.) 

2. By ail means let children be taught to read, if you are 
never so poor, and whatever shift you make ; or else you de- 
prive them of a singular help to their instruction and salva- 
tion. It is a thousand pities that a Bible should signify no 
more than a chip to a rational creature, as to their reading it 
themselves : and that so many excellent books as be in the 
world, should be as sealed, or insignificant to them. 

But if God deny you children, and save you all this care 
atid labour, repine not, but be thankful, believing it is best 
for you. Remember 'what a deal of duty, and pains, and 
heart's grief he hath freed you from, and how few speed well 
when parents have done their best. What a life of misery, 
children must here pass through, and how sad the fear of 
their sin and damnation would have been to you. 


Tke special Duties of Children towards their Parents. 

Though precepts to children are not of so much force as to 
them of riper age, because of their natural incapacity, and 
their childish passions and pleasures which bear down their 
weak degree of reason ; yet somewhat is to be said to them, 
because that measure of reason which they have is to be ex- 
ercised, and by exercise to be improved : and because even 
those of riper years, while they have parents, must know and 
do their duty to them; and because God useth to bless even 
children as they perform their duties. 

Direct, i. * Be sure that you dearly love your parents :' 


delight to be in their company ; be not like those unnatural 
children, that love the company of their idle play-fellows, 
better than their parents, and had rather be abroad about 
their sports, than in thieir parents* sight. Remember that 
you have your being frotti them, and come out of their loins: 
remember what sorrow you have cost them, and what care 
they are at for your education and provision; and remember 
how tenderly they have loved you, and what grief it will be 
to their hearts if you miscarry, and how much your happi- 
ness will make them glad : remember what love you owe 
them both by nature and in justice, for all their love to you, 
and all that they have done for you : they take your happi- 
ness or misery to be one of the greatest parts of the happiness 
or misery of their owil lives. Deprive them not then of their 
happiness, by depriving yourselves of ydur own ; make not 
their lives miserable, by undoing yourselves. Though they 
chide you, and restrain you, and correct you, do not there- 
fore abate your love to them. For this is their duty, which 
God requireth of them, and they do it for your good. It is 
a sign of a wicked child that loveth his parents the less, be- 
cause they correct him, aiid will not let him have his own 
will. Yea, though your parents have many faults themselves, 
yet you must love them as your parents stilL 

Direct, ii. 'Honour your parents both in your thoughts^ 
and speeches, and behaviour.' Think not dishonourably of 
contemptuously of them in your hearts. Speak not disho- 
nourably, rudely, unr^verently or saucily, either to them or 
of them. Behave not ybU^selVes rudely and unreverently 
before theiii. Yea, though youV parents be tiever so poor in 
the world, or weak of uhderstaniding, yea, ihoUgh they were 
ungodly, you must honour them notwithstanding all this-; 
though you cannot honotir them as rich, or wise, or godly, 
you must honour them as your parents. Remember that 
the fifth commandment hath a special promise of temporal 
blessing ; " Honour thy father and mother that thy days may 
be long in the land," 8lc. And consequently the dishonour- 
ers of parents have a speciJll ciirse even in this life: and the 
justice of God is ordinarily seen in the execution of it; the 
despisers and dishonourei^s of their parents seldom prosper 
in the wbrld. There Are ft Ve sorts of sinners thjltOtedus^th 
to overtake with vt^ngeance eVenitt this life. L PferjUreti 


persons and false witnesses. 2. Murderers. 3. Persecu- 
tors. 4. Sacrilegious persons. And 5. The abusers and 
dishonourers of their parents. Remember the curse on Ham, 
Gen. ix. 22. 25. It is a fearful thing to see and hear how 
some illbred, ungodly children will talk contemptuously 
and ru^dely to their parents, and wrangle and contend with 
them, and contradict them, and speak to them as if they 
were their equals : (and it is commonly long of the parents 
that breed them to it.) And at last they will grow even to 
abuse and vilify them. Read Prov. xxx. 17. "The eye 
that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, 
the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young 
eagles shall eat it." 

Direct, iii. ' Obey your parents in all things (which 
God forbiddeth not).' Remember that as nature hath made 
you unfit to govern yourselves, so God in nature hath mer- 
cifully provided governors for you. Here I shall first tell 
you, what obedience is, and then tell you, why you must be 
thus obedient. I. To obey your parents is to do that which 
they command you, and forbear that which they forbid you. 
because it is their will you should do so. You must 1. 
Have in your minds a desire to please them, and be glad 
when you can please them, and sorry when you offend them ; 
and then 2. You must not set your wit or your will against 
theirs, but readily obey their commands without unwilling- 
ness, murmuring, or disputing : though you think your own 
way is best, and your own desires are but reasonable, yet 
your own wit and will must be subjected unto theirs, or else 
how do you obey them? II. And for the reasons of your 
obedience, 1. Consider it is the will of God that it should 
,be so, and he hath made them as his officers to govern you ; 
and in disobeying them, you disobey him. Read Ephes. vi. 
1 — 3. " Children obey your parents in the Lord; for this is 
right. Honour thy father and mother, (which is the first 
commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee, 
and thou maystlive long on the earth." Col. iii. 20. " Chil- 
dren obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleas- 
ing in the Lord." Prov. xxiii. 22. ** Hearken to thy father 
that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old." 
Prov. xiii. 1. '* A wise son heareth his father's instruction." 
Prov. i. 8, 9. " My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and 


forsake not the law of thy mother ; for they shall be an orna- 
ment of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck." 
2. Consider also, that your parents* government is necessary 
to your own good ; and it is a government of love : as your 
bodies would have perished, if your parents or some others 
had not taken care for you, when you could not help your- 
selves ; so your minds would be untaught and ignorant, even 
like to brutes, if you had not others to teach and govern 
you. Nature teacheth the chickens to follow the hen, and 
all things when they are young, to be led and guided by 
their dams, or else what would become of them ? 3. Con- 
sider also, that they must be accountable to God for you ; 
and if they leave you to yourselves, it may be their destruc- 
tion as well as yours, as the sad example of Eli telleth you. 
Rebel not therefore against those that God by nature and 
Scripture hath set over you ; though the fifth commandment 
require obedience to princes, and masters, and pastors, and 
other superiors, yet it nameth your father and mother only, 
because they are the first of all your governors, to whom by 
nature you are most obliged. 

But perhaps you will say, that though little children 
must be ruled by their parents, yet you are grown up to 
riper age, and are wise enough to rule yourselves. I an- 
swer, God doth not think so ; or else he would not have set 
governors over you. And are you wiser than he ? It is but 
few in the world that are wise enough to rule themselves ; 
else God would not have set princes, and magistrates, and 
pastors, and teachers over them, as he hath done. The ser- 
vants of the family are as old as you, and yet are unfit to be 
the rulers of themselves. God loveth you better than to 
leave you masterless, as knowing that youth is rash and un- 

Quest. * But how long are children under the command 
and government of their parents V 

Answ. There are several acts and degrees of parents' go- 
vernment, according to the several ends and uses of it. 
Some acts of their government are but to teach you to go 
and speak, and some to teach you your labour and calling, 
and some to teach you good manners, and the fear of God, 
or the knowledge of the Scriptures, and some are to settle 
you in such a course of living, in which you shall need their 

VOL. IV. o 


nearer oversight no more. When any one of these ends are 
fully attained, and you have all that your parents' govern- 
ment can help you to, then you are past that part of their 
government. But still you owe them, not only love, and 
honour, and reverence ; but obedience also in all things in 
which they are still appointed for your help and guidance : 
even when you are married from them, though you have a 
propriety in your own estates, and they have not so strict a 
charge of you as before ; yet if they command you your duty 
to God or them, you are still obliged to obey them. 

Direct, iv. * Be contented with your parents' provision 
for you, and disposal of you.' Do not rebelliously murmur 
against them, and complain of their usage of you ; much 
less take any thing against their wills. It is the part of a 
fleshly rebel, and not of an obedient child, to be discontent 
and murmur because they fare not better, or because they 
are kept from sports and play, or because they have not 
better clothes, or because they have not money allowed 
them, to spend or use at their own discretion. Are not you 
under government ? and the government of parents, and not 
of enemies ? Are your lusts and pleasures fitter to govern 
you, than your parents' discretion ? Be thankful for what 
you have, and remember that you deserve it not, but have it 
freely : it is your pride or your fleshly sensuality that maketh 
you thus to murmur, and not any wisdom or virtue that is 
in you. Get down that pride and fleshly mind, and then 
you will not be so eager to have your wills. What if your 
parents did deal too hardly with you, in your food, or rai- 
ment, or expences ? What harm doth it do you ? Nothing 
but a selfish, sensual mind would make so great a matter of 
it. It is a hundred times more dangerous to your souls and 
bodies to be bred too high, and fed too full and daintily, 
than to be bred too low, and fed too hardly. One tendeth 
to pride, and gluttony, and wantonness, and the overthrow 
of health and life ; and the other tendeth to a humble, mor- 
tified, self-denying life, and to the health and soundness of 
the body. Remember how the earth opened, and swallowed 
all those rebellious murmurers that grudged against Moses 
and Aaron, Num. xvi. ; read it, and apply it to your case : 
and remember the story of rebellious Absalom ; and the 
folly of the prodigal, Luke xv. ; and desire not to be at your 


own dispose ; nor be eager to have the vain desires of your 
hearts fulfilled. While you contentedly submit to your pa- 
rents, you are in God's way, and may expect his blessing ; 
but when you will needs be carvers for yourselves, you may 
expect the punishment of rebels. 

Direct, v. * Humble yourselves and submit to any la- 
bour that your parents shall appoint you to.' Take heed as 
you love your souls, lest either a proud heart make you mur- 
mur and say, * This work is too low and base a drudgery 
for me ;' or lest a lazy mind and body make you say, * This 
work is too hard and toilsome for me ;' or else a foolish, 
playful mind do make you weary of your book or labour, 
that you may be at your sports, and say, * This is too te- 
dious for me.' It is little or no hurt that is like to befal you 
by your labour and diligence ; but it is a dangerous thing 
to get a habit or custom of idleness and voluptuousness in 
your youth. 

Direct, vi. * Be willing and thankful to be instructed by 
your parents, or any of your teachers, but especially about 
the fear of God, and the matters of your salvation.' These 
are the matters that you are born and live for ; these are the 
things that your parents have first in charge to teach you. 
Without knowledge and holiness all the riches and honours 
of the world are nothing worth : and all your pleasures will 
but undo you ^ O what a comfort is it to understanding pa- 
rents to see their children willing to learn, and to love the 
Word of God, and lay it up in their hearts, and talk of it, 
and obey it, and prepare betime for everlasting life ! If such 
children die before their parents, how joyfully may they 
part with them as into the arms of Christ, who hath said, 
" That of such is the kingdom of heaven ''." And if the 
parents die first, how joyfully may they leave behind them 
a holy seed, that is like to serve God in their generation, 
and to follow them to heaven, and live with them for ever. 
But, whether they live or die, what a heart-breaking to the 
parents are ungodly, children, that love not the Word and 
way of God, and love not to be taught or restrained from 
their own licentious courses. 

Direct, vn. * Patiently submit to the correction which 
your parents lay upon you.' Consider, that God hath com- 

» Read Mr. T, White's Kttle book for little children. Mork ix. S6. x. 11. 16, 
^ Matt. xix. 14. 


manded them to do it, and that to save your souls from 
hell ; and that they hate you, if they correct you not when 
there is cause, and that they must not spare for your crying •". 
It is not their delight, but for your own necessity. Avoid 
the fault, and you may escape the correction. How much 
rather had your parents see you obedient, than hear you cry. 
It is not long of them, but of yourselves, that you are cor- 
rected. Be angry with yourselves, and not with them. It 
is a wicked child, that instead of being better by correction, 
will hate his parents for it, and so grow worse. Correction 
is a means of God^s own appointment ; and therefore go to 
God on your knees in prayer, and entreat him to bless and 
sanctify it to you, that it may do you good. 

Direct, viii. * Choose not your own company, but use 
such company as by your parents is appointed you.' Bad 
company is the first undoing of a child. When for the love 
of sport you choose such play-fellows as are idle, and licen- 
tious, and disobedient, and will teach you to curse, and 
swear, and lie, and talk filthily, and draw you from your 
book or duty ; this is the devil's highway to hell. Your pa- 
rents are fittest to choose your company. 

Direct, ix. ' Choose ^ot your own calling or trade of 
life, without the choice or consent of your parents.' You 
may tell them what you are most inclined to, but it belong- 
eth more to them than to you to make the choice : and it is 
your part to bring your wills to theirs. Unless your parents 
choose a calling for you that is unlawful ; and then you may 
(with humble submissiveness) refuse it. But if it be only 
inconvenient, you have liberty afterward to change it for a 
better, if you can, when you are from under their dispose 
and government. 

Direct, x. ' Marry not without your parents' consent.' 
Nay, if it may be, let their choice determine first of the per- 
son, and not your own : unexperienced youth doth choose 
by fancy and passion, when your experienced parents will 
choose by judgment. But if they would force you to join 
yourselves to such as are ungodly, and like to make your 
lives either sinful or miserable, you may humbly 'refuse them. 
But you must remain unmarried, while by the use of right 
means you can live in chastity, till your parents are in a 
better mind. But if indeed you have a flat necessity of 

« Prov. xiii. 24. xxii. 15. xxix. 15. xxiii. J 3, 14. xix. 18. 


marrying, and your parents will consent to none but one of 
a false religion, or one that is utterly unfit for you ; in such 
a case they forfeit their authority in that point, which is 
given them for your edification, and not for your destruc- 
tion; and then you should advise with other friends that 
are more wise and faithful : but if you suffer your fond af- 
fections to contradict your parents' wills, and pretend a ne- 
cessity (that you cannot change your affections) as if your 
folly were uncurable : this is but to enter sinfully into that 
state of life, which should have been sanctified to God, that 
he might have blessed it to you. 

Direct, xi. * If your parents be in want, it is your duty 
to relieve them according to your ability ; yea, and wholly 
to maintain them, if there be need.' For it is not possible 
by all that you can do, that ever you can be on even terms 
with them ; or ever requite them for what you have received 
of them. It is base inhumanity, when parents come to po- 
verty, for children to put them off with some short allowance, 
and to make them live almost like their servants, when you 
have riches and plenty for yourselves. Your parents should 
still be maintained by you as your superiors, and not as 
your inferiors. See that they fare as well as yourselves, 
yea, though you got not your riches by their means, yet even 
for your being, you are their debtors for more than that. 

Direct, xii, 'Imitate your parents in all that is good, 
both when they are living, and when they are dead.' If 
they were lovers of God, and of his Word and service, and 
of those that fear him, let their example provoke you, and 
let the love that you have to them, engage you in this imi- 
tation. A wicked child of godly parents is one of the most 
miserable wretches in the world. With what horror do I 
look on such a person ! How near is such a wretch to hell ! 
When father or mother were eminent for godliness, and 
daily instructed them in the matters of their salvation, and 
prayed with them, and warned them, and prayed for them, 
and after all this the children shall prove covetous, or 
drunkards, or whoremongers, or profane, and enemies to 
the servants of God, and deride or neglect the way of their 
religious parents, it would make one tremble to look such 
wretches in the face. For though yet there is some hope 
of them, alas, it is so little, that they are next to desperate; 


when they are hardened under the most excellent means, 
and the light hath blinded them, and their acquaintance 
with the ways of God hath but turned their hearts more 
against them, what means is left to do good to such re- 
sisters of the grace of God as these ? The likeliest is some 
heavy, dreadful judgment. O what a woeful day will it be 
to them, when all the prayers, and tears, and teachings, and 
good examples of their religious parents shall witness 
against them! How will they be confounded before the 
Lord ! And how sad a thought is it to the heart of holy, 
diligent parents, to think that all their prayers and pains 
must witness against their graceless children, and sink 
them deeper into hell ! And yet alas, how many such woe- 
ful spectacles are there before our eyes ! and how deeply 
doth the church of God suffer by the malice and wicked- 
ness of the children of those parents that taught them bet- 
ter, and walked before them in a holy, exemplary life! 
But if parents be ignorant, superstitious, idolatrous, popish, 
or profane, their children are forward enough to imitate 
them. They can say. Our forefathers were of this mind ; 
and we hope they are saved, and we will rather imitate them, 
than such innovating reformers as you. As they said to 
Jeremy, " As for the word that thou hast spoken to us in 
the name of the Lord, we will not hearken to thee. But we 
will — burn incense to the queen of heaven — as we have 
done, we and our fathers, our kings, and our princes in the 
cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for 
then we had plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no 
evil : but since we left off to burn incense to the queen of 
heaven, — we have wanted all things, and have been consumed 
by the sword and by the famine '^." Thus they walk " after 
the imagination of their hearts, and after Baalim (the false 
worship) which their fathers taught them ^" " And they 
forget God's name as their fathers did forget it*'." "They 
and their fathers have transgressed to this day^." Yea, 
*' They harden their necks, and do worse than their fa- 
thers**.'' Thus in error and sin they can imitate their fore- 
fathers, when they should rather remember, that it cost 
Christ his blood " to redeem men from their vain conver- 

d Jer. xliv. 16—18. *" Jer. ix. 14. ' Jer. xxiii. 27. 

g Ezek. ii. 3. ^ Jer. vii. :26. 


sation received by tradition from their fathers." And they 
should penitently confess, as Dan. ix. 8. " O Lord, to us be- 
longeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and 
to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee," Verse 
16. And as Psal. cvi. 6. " We have sinned with our fa- 
thers, &c." Saith God : " Behold your fathers have for- 
saken me and have not kept my law ; and ye have done 

worse than your fathers : therefore I will cast you out', &c.'* 
*' Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and 
the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and your own wick- 
edness? They are not humbled even unto this day''." " Be 
not as your fathers, to whom the former prophets have cried, 
saying. Turn ye now from your evil ways, but they did not 
hear^" ** Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone 
away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Re- 
turn unto me, and I will return unto you"™." " Walk ye 
not in the statutes of your fathers "." " Follow not your 
fathers in their sin and error, but follow them where they 
follow Christ °. 


The special Duties of Children and Youth towards God. 

Though I put your duty to your parents first, because it 
is first learned, yet your duty to God immediately is your 
greatest and most necessary duty : learn these following 
precepts well. 

Direct, i. * Learn to understand the covenant and vow 
which in your baptism you made with God the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Ghost, your Creator, Redeemer, and Re- 
generator ; and when you well understand it, renew that 
covenant with God in your own persons, and absolutely de- 
liver up yourselves to God, as your Creator, Redeemer, and 
Sanctifier, your Owner, your Ruler, and your Father and 
felicity.' Baptism is not an idle ceremony, but the solemn 
entering into covenant with God, in which you receive the 

' Jcr. xvi. 11—13. ^ Jcr. xliv. 9, 10. ' Zecli. i. 4. 

« Mai. Hi. 7. " Eisek. xx. 18. So Ver.«7. SO. S6. • 1 Cor. xl. 1 . 


greatest mercies, and bind yourselves to the greatest duties. 
It is but entering into that way which you must walk in 
all your lives, and avowing that to God which you must be 
still performing. And though your parents had authority 
to promise for you, it is you that must perform it ; for it 
was you that they obliged. If you ask by what authority 
they obliged you in covenant to God, I answer, by the au- 
thority which God had given them in nature, and in Scrip- 
ture ; as they oblige you to be subjects of the king, or as 
they enter your names into any covenant, by lease or other 
contract which is for your benefit ; and they do it for good, 
that you may have part in the blessings of the covenant : 
and if you grudge at it, and refuse your own consent when 
you come to age, you lose the benefits. If you think they 
did you wrong, you may be out of covenant when you will, 
if you will renounce the kingdom of heaven. But it is 
much wiser to be thankful to God, that your parents were 
the means of so great a blessing to you, and to do that 
again more expressly by yourselves which they did for you ; 
and openly with thankfulness to own the covenant in which 
you are engaged, and live in the performance and in the 
comforts of it all your days. 

Direct, ii. * Remember that you are entering into the 
way to everlasting life, and not into a place of happiness 
or continuance. Presently therefore set your hearts on 
heaven, and make it the design of all your lives, to live in 
heaven with Christ for ever.' O happy you, if God betimes 
will throughly teach you, to know what it is that must 
make you happy; and if at your first setting out, your end 
be right, and your faces be heavenward ! Remember that 
as soon as you begin to live, you are hasting towards the 
end of your lives ; even as a candle as soon as it beginneth 
to burn, and the hour-glass as soon as it is turned, is wast- 
ing, and hasting to its end : so as soon as you begin to live, 
your lives are in a consumption, and posting towards your 
final hour. As a runner, as soon as he beginneth his race, 
is hasting to the end of it ; so are your lives even in your 
youngest time. It is another kind of life that you must live 
ifor ever, than this trifling, pitiful, fleshly life. Prepare 
therefore speedily for that which God sent you hither to 
prepare for. O happy you, if you begin betime, and go on 


with cheerful resolution to the end ! It is blessed wisdom 
to be wise betime, and to know the worth of time in child- 
hood, before any of it be wasted and lost upon the fooleries 
of the world. Then you may grow wise indeed, and be 
treasuring up understanding, and growing up in sweet ac- 
quaintance with the Lord,, when others are going back- 
wards, and daily making work for sad repentance or final 
desperation. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of 
thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw 
nigh, when thou shalt say, (of all things here below) I have 
no pleasure in them." 

Direct. III. * Remember that you have corrupted natures 
to be cured, and that Christ is the physician that must cure 
them, and the Spirit of Christ must dwell within you, and 
make you holy, and give you a new heart and nature, which 
shall love God and heaven above all the honour and pleasures 
of the world : rest not therefore till you find that you are 
born anew, and that the Holy Ghost hath made you holy, 
and quickened your hearts with the love of God. and of 
your dear Redeemer ''.' The old nature loveth the things 
of this world, and the pleasures of this flesh; but the new 
nature loveth the Lord that made you, and redeemed and 
renewed you, and the endless joys of the world to come, 
and that holy life which is the way thereto. 

Direct, iv. ' Take heed of loving the pleasures of the 
flesh, in overmuch eating, or drinking, or play.' Set not 
your hearts upon your belly or your sport ; let your meat, 
and sleep, and play be moderate. Meddle not with cards 
or dice, or any bewitching or riotous sports : play not for 
money, lest it stir up covetous desires, and tempt you to be 
over-eager in it, and to lie, and wrangle, and fall out with 
others. Use neither food or sports which are not for your 
health ; a greedy appetite enticeth children to devour raw 
fruits, and to rob their neighbours' orchards, and at once 
to undo both soul and body. And an excessive love of 
play, doth cause them to run among bad companions, and 
lose their time, and destroy the love of their books, and 
their duty, and their parents themselves, and all that is 
good. You must eat, and sleep, and play for health, and 
not for useless, hurtful pleasure. 

• t Cor. ▼. 17. Rom. viii. 9. 13. John iii. 3. 5,6- 


Direct, v. ' Subdue your own wills and desires to the 
will of God and your superiors, and be not eagerly set upon 
any thing, which God or your parents do deny you.' Be 
not like those self-willed, fleshly children, that are impor- 
tunate for any thing which their fancy or appetite would 
have, and cry or are discontent if they have it not. Say 
not that I must have this or that, but be contented with any 
thing which is the will of God and your superiors. It is 
the greatest misery and danger in the world, to have all your 
own wills, and to be given up to your hearts' desire. 

Direct, vi. ' Take heed of a custom of foolish, filthy, 
railing, lying, or any other sinful words.' You think it is a 
small matter, but God thinketh not so ; it is not a jesting 
matter to sin against the God that made you : it is fools 
that make a sport with sin''. One lie, one curse, one oath, 
one ribbald, or railing, or deriding word, is worse than all 
the pain that ever your flesh endured. 

Direct. VII. * Take heed of such company and play-fel- 
lows, as would entice and tempt you to any of these sins, 
and choose such company as will help you in the fear of 
God.' And if others mock at you, care no more for it, than 
for the shaking of a leaf, or the barking of a dog. Take heed 
of lewd and wicked company, as ever you care for the saving 
of your souls. If you hear them rail, or lie, or swear, or talk 
filthily, be not ashamed to tell them, that God forbiddeth 
you to keep company with such as they *=. 

Direct, viii. * Take heed of pride and covetousness.' 
Desire not to be fine, nor to get all to yourselves ; but be 
humble, and meek, and love one another, and be as glad 
that others are pleased as yourselves. 

Direct, ix. ' Love the Word of God, and all good books 
which would make you wiser and better ; and read not play- 
books, nor tale-books, nor love-books, nor any idle stories.' 
When idle children are at play and fooleries, let it be your 
pleasure to read and learn the mysteries of your salvation. 

Direct. K. 'Remember that you keep holy the Lord's 
day.' Spend not any of it in play or idleness : reverence 
the ministers of Christ, and mark what they teach you, and 
remember it as a message from God about the saving of your 

bProv. xiv. 9. X. 23. xxvi. 19. <^ Psal. cxix. 63. Prov. xiii. iiO. xviii.7. 
iCor. V.12. Ephes.v. 11. 


souls. Ask your parents when you come home, to help 
your understandings and memories in any thing which you 
understood not or forgot. Love all the holy exercises of 
the Lord's day, and let them be more pleasant to you than 
your meat or play. 

Direct, xi. * Be as careful to practise all, as to hear and 
read it.' Remember all is but to make you holy, to love 
God, and obey him : take heed of sinning against your 
knowledge, and against the warnings that are given you. 

Direct. XII. *When you grow up, by the direction of 
your parents choose such a trade or calling, as alloweth you 
the greatest helps for heaven, and hath the fewest hin- 
drances, and in which you may be most serviceable to God 
before you die.' If you will but practise these few Direc- 
tions (which your own hearts must say, have no harm in 
any of them) what happy persons will you be for ever. 


The Duties of Servants to their Masters, 

If servants would have comfortable lives, they must ap- 
prove themselves and their service unto God, because from 
him they must have their comforts ; which may be done 
by following these Directions. 

Direct, i. * Reverence the providence of God which call- 
eth you to a servant's life, and murmur not at your la- 
bour, or your low condition ; but know your mercies, and 
be thankful for them.' Though perhaps you have more 
labour than your masters, yet, have you not less care than 
they? Most servants may have quieter lives^ if it were not 
for their unthankful, discontented hearts. You are not 
troubled with the care of providing your landlord's rent, or 
meat, and drink, and wages for your servants, nor with the 
wants and desires of wives and children, nor with the faults 
and naughtiness of such as you must use or trust ; nor with 
the losses and crosses which your masters are liable to. Be 


thankful to God, who for a little bodily labour, doth free 
you from the burden of all these cares. 

Direct, ii. * Take your condition as chosen for you by 
God, and take yourselves as his servants, and your work 
as his, and do all as to the Lord, and not only for man ; 
and expect from God your chief reward.' You will be else 
but eye-servants and hypocrites, if the fear of God do not 
awe your consciences: and if you were the best servants to 
your masters in the world, and did not all in obedience to 
God, it were but a low, unprofitable service : if you believe 
that there is an infinite distance between God and man, 
you may conceive what a difference there is between serving 
God and man : your wages is all your reward from man, but 
eternal life is God's reward : and the very same work and 
labour which one man hath but his years' wages for, another 
hath everlasting life for (though not of merit, yet of the 
bounty of our Lord)^. Because he doth it in love and obe- 
dience to that God who hath promised this reward. " Ser- 
vants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh : 
not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of 
heart, fearing God : and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily 
as to the Lord, and not unto men ; knowing that of the 
Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance ; for ye 
serve the Lord Christ : but he that doeth wrong, shall receive 
for the wrong which he hath done : and there is no respect 
of persons''.'' The like is in Ephes. vi. 5 — 8. So much 
doth God respect the heart, that the very same action 
hath such different successes and rewards, as it is done to 
different ends, and from different principles : your lowest 
service may be thus sanctified and acceptable to God. 

Direct, iii. * Be conscionable and faithful in performing 
all the labour and duty of a servant.' Neglect not such 
business as you are to do : neither do it lazily, and deceit- 
fully, and by the halves. As it is thievery or deceit for a 
man in the market to sell another the whole of his commodi- 
ty, and when he hath done, to keep back and defraud him 
of a part; so is it no less for a servant that selleth his time 
and labour to another, to defraud him of part of that time 
and service which you sold him. Think not therefore that 
it is no sin, to idle away an hour which is not your own, or 

» Rom. VI. ^23. ^ Col. iii. 22—25. 


to slubber over the work which you undertake to do. Sloth- 
fulness and unconscionableness make servants deceitful: 
such care not how ihey do their work, if they can but make 
their masters believe that it is done well : they are hypo- 
crites in their service, that take more care to seem painful, 
trusty servants, than to be so ; and to hide their faults and 
slothfulness, than to avoid them. As if it were as easy to 
hide them also from God, who hath resolved to punish all 
the wrong they do their masters '^. If they can but loiter 
and take their ease, and their masters know it not, they are 
never troubled at it as a sin against God : laziness and flesh- 
lymindedness do so blind them, that they think it is no 
sin to take as much ease as they can, so they carry it fair 
and smoothly with their masters, and to slubber over their 
business any how, so that it will but serve the turn : where- 
as if their masters should keep back any of their wages, or 
put more work upon them than is meet, they would easily be 
persuaded that this were a sin. If your labour be such as 
would hurt your health (as by wet or cold, &c.) you may 
foresee it, and avoid it in your choice of places : but if it 
is only the labour that you grudge at, it is a sign of a fleshly 
and unfaithful person ; as long as it is not excessive to wrong 
your health, nor hurt your souls, by denying you leisure for 
your duty to God. The Lord himself commandeth you to 
" be obedient in singleness of heart, as unto Christ, not as 
eye-servants ; and whatever you do, to do it heartily, know- 
ing that whatever good thing any man dotb, the same shall 
he receive of the Lord*^." 

Direct, iv. * Be more careful about your duty to your 
masters, than about their duty or carriage to you.' Be 
much more careful what to do, than what to receive ; and to 
be good servants, than to be used as good servants. Not 
but you may modestly expect your due, and to be used as 
servants should be used ; but your duty is much more to be 
regarded ; for if your master wrong you, that is his sin, and 
none of yours : God will not be offended with you for 
another's faults, but for your own ; not for being wronged, 
but for doing wrong : and it is better suffer the greatest 
wrong, than offend God by committing the smallest sin. 
Direct, v. * Be true and faithful in all that is committed 

' CoLiii. «6. «« Eph. vi. 5, 6. 8. Col. iii.M. 


to your trust : dispose not of any thing that is your master's 
without his consent :' though you may think it ever so rea- 
sonable, or well done, yet remember that it is none of your 
own ; if you would relieve the poor, or please a fellow-ser- 
vant, or do a kindness to a neighbour, do it of your own, 
and not of another's, unless you have his allowance. Be as 
thrifty for your masters, as you would be for yourselves. 
Waste no more of his goods, than you would do if it were 
your own. Say not as false servants do, my master is rich 
enough, and it will do him no harm, and therefore we may 
make bold, and not be so sparing and niggardly. The ques- 
tion is not, what he should do, but what you should do ? 
If you take any of your rich neighbours' goods or money, to 
give to the poor, you may be hanged as thieves, as well as 
if you stole it for yourselves. To take any thing of another's 
against his will, is to rob or steal : let the value be never so 
small, if it be but the worth of a penny that you steal or de- 
fraud another of, the sin is not small : nay, it aggravateth 
the sin, that you will presume to break God's law for such a 
trifle, and venture your soul for so small a thing ; though it 
be taken from one that may never so well spare it, that is no 
excuse to you ; it is none of yours. Especially let those ser- 
vants look to this, that are trusted with buying and selling, 
or with provisions. If you defraud your masters, because 
you can conceal it ; believe it, God that knoweth it will re- 
veal it ; and if you repent of it, you must make restitution 
of all that ever you thus robbed them of, if you have any 
thing to do it with ; and if you have nothing, you must with 
sorrow and shame confess it to them, and ask forgiveness ; 
but if you repent not, you must pay dearer for it in hell, 
than this comes to. Object. * But did not the Lord com- 
mend the unjust steward^?' Afisw. Yes, for his wit in pro- 
viding for himself, but not for his unjustness. He only 
teacheth you there, that if the wicked worldlings have wit 
to provide for this life, much more should you have the wit 
to make provision for the life to come. It is faithfulness 
that is a steward's duty ^ 

Direct, vi. * Honour your masters, and behave yourselves 
towards them with that respect and reverence as your place 
requireth^.' Behave not yourselves rudely or contemptuous- 

e Luke xvi. 8. ^i Cor. iv. 2. « Exod. xx. 12. Rora. xiii.7. 


ly towards them, in word or deed. Be not so proud as to 
disdain to keep the distance and reverence which is due. 
You should scorn to be servants, if you scorn to behave 
yourselves as servants. Give them not saucy, provoking or 
contemptuous language ; not wording it out with them in 
bold contending, and justifying yourselves when your faults 
are reprehended. Mark the apostle's words. Tit. ii. 9, 10. 
** Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and 
to please them well in all things, not answering again ; not 
purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, that they may 
adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.'' And 
1 Tim. vi. 1 — 4. " Let as many servants as are under the 
yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour ;" (yea, 
though they were infidels or poor) " that the name of God 
and his doctrine be not blasphemed." (For wicked men 
will say, * Is this your religion?' when servants professing 
religion, are disobedient, unreverent, and unfaithful.) " And 
they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, 
because they are brethren ; but rather do them service, be- 
cause they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. 
These things teach and exhort : if any man teach otherwise, 

and consent not to wholesome words he is proud, 

knowing nothing." 

Direct. VII. * Go not unwillingly or murmuringly about 
your business, but take it as your delight.' An unwilling 
mind doth lose God's reward, and man's acceptance. 
Grudging and unwillingness maketh your work of little va- 
lue, be it never so well done. ** Do service heartily, and 
with good will as to the Lord''." 

Direct, viii. * Obey your masters in all things' (which 
God forbiddeth not, and which their place enableth them to 
command you ;) * and set not your own conceits and wills 
against their commands *.' It is not obedience, if you will 
do no more of their commands, than what agreeth with your 
own opinions and wills. What if you think another way 
best, or another work best, or another time best ; are you to 
govern or obey ? If the work be not your's, but another's, 
let his will and not your's be fulfilled, and do his service in 
his own way. It is God's command, " Servants obey your 
masters in all things ''." 

»» Eph. vi. 7. Col. iii. 23. * Acts x. 7. ^ Col. iij. i^. 


Direct, ix. * Reveal not any of the secrets of your mas- 
ters', or of the family \' Talk not to others of what is said 
or done at home ; be not over familiar at other men's houses, 
where you may be tempted to talk of your masters' busi- 
nesses ; many words may have mischievous effects, which 
were well intended. That servant is unfit for a wise man's 
family, that hath some familiar abroad, to whom he must tell 
all that he heareth or seeth at home ; for his familiar hath 
another familiar, and so a man shall be betrayed by those of 
his own household ", as Christ by Judas. 

Direct, x ' Grudge not at the meanness of the provisions 
of the family.' If you have not that which is needful to your 
health, remove to another place as soon as you can, with- 
out reproaching the place where you are. But if you have 
your daily bread, that is, your necessary, wholesome food, 
how coarse soever, your murmuring for want of more de- 
licious fare, is but your shame, and sheweth that your hearts 
are sunk into your bellies, and that you are fleshly- 
minded persons °. 

Direct, xi. 'Pray daily for a blessing on your labours 
and on the family, both privately and with the rest.' A 
praying servant may prevail with God, for more than all 
their labour cometh to ; and their' labours are liker to be 
blessed, than the labours of a prayerless, ungodly person. 
You are not worthy to partake of the mercies of the family, 
if you will not join in prayers for those mercies. 

Direct, xii. 'Willingly submit to the teaching and go- 
vernment of your masters about the right worshipping of 
God, and for the good of your own souls.' Bless God, if 
you live with religious masters that will instruct you and 
catechise you, and pray with you, and restrain you from 
breaking the Lord's day, and other sins, and will examine 
you of your profiting, and watch over your souls, and sharp- 
ly rebuke you when you do that which is evil. Be glad of 
their instructions, and murmur not at them, as ignorant, un- 
godly servants do. These few Directions carefully followed 
will make your service better to you, than lordships and 
kingdoms are to the ungodly. 

' Prov.xxv.9. xi. 13. xx. 19. « Mic. vii. 6. " Phil.iii. 18, 19. 



The Duties of Masters towards their Servants. 

If you would have good servants, see that you be good mas- 
ters, and do your own duty, and then either your servants 
will do theirs, or else all their failings shall turn to your 
greater good *. 

Direct, i. * Remember that in Christ they are your bre- 
thren and fellow-servants ; and therefore rule them not ty- 
rannically, but in tenderness and love ; and command them 
nothing that is against the laws of God, or the good of their 
souls.' Use not wrath and unmanlike fury with them ; nor 
any over-severe or unnecessary rebukes or chastisements. 
Find fault in season, with prudence and sobriety, when your 
passions are down, and when it is most likely to do good. 
If it be too little, it will embolden them in doing ill ; if it be 
too much, or frequent, or passionate, it will make them slight 
it and despise it, and utterly hinder their repentance : they 
will be taken up in blaming you for your rashness and vio- 
lence, instead of blaming themselves for the fault. 

Direct, n. 'Provide them work convenient for them, 
and such as they are fit for ; not such or so much as to 
wrong them in their health, or hinder them from the necessary 
means of their salvation ; nor yet so little as may cherish their 
idleness, or occasion them to lose their precious time.' It 
is cruelty to lay more on your horse than he can carry ; or 
to work your oxen to skin and bones. " A righteous man 
regardeth the life of his beast •*," much more of his servant. 
Especially put not your servants on any labour which ha- 
zardeth their health or life, without true necessity to some 
greater end. Pity and spare them more in their health than in 
their bare labour. Labour maketh the body sound, but to 
take deep colds, or go wet of their feet, do tend to their sick- 
ness and death. And should another man's life be cast 
away for your commodity? Do as you would be done by, 
if you were servants yourselves and in their case ; and let 
not thoir labours be so great, as shall allow them no time to 
pray before they go about it, or as shall so tire them as to 

» Rom. vVu. 28. »» Prov.xii. 10. 

VOL. IV. p 


unfit them for prayer, or instruction, or the worship of the 
Lord's day, and shall lay them like blocks, as titter to lie to 
sleep or rest themselves, than to pray, or hear, or mind any 
thing that is good. And yet take heed that you suffer them 
not to be idle, as many great men use their serving men, to 
the undoing of their souls and bodies. Idlensss is no small 
sin itself, and it breedeth and cherisheth many others : their 
time is lost by it ; and they are made unfit for any honest 
employment or course of life, to help themselves or any 

Direct, in. * Provide them such wholesome food and 
lodging, and such wages as their service doth deserve, or as 
you have promised them *^.' Whether it be pleasant or unplea- 
sant, let their food and lodging be healthful. It is so odious an 
oppression and injustice to defraud a servant or labourer of 
his wages, (yea, or to give him less than he deserveth,) that 
methinks I should not need to speak much against it among 
Christians. Read James v. 1 — 5. and I hope it will be 

Direct, iv. * Use not your servants to be so bold and fa- 
miliar with you, as may tempt them to despise you ; nor yet 
so strange and distant, as may deprive you of opportunity 
of speaking to them for their spiritual good, or justly lay 
you open to be censured as too magisterial and proud.' 
Both these extremes have ill effects ; but the first is com- 
monest, and is the disquiet of many families. 

Direct, v. * Remember that you have a charge of the 
souls in your family, and are as a priest and teacher in your 
Qwn house, and therefore see that you keep them to the con- 
stant worshipping of God, especially on the Lord's day, in 
public and private ; and that you teach them the things that 
concern their salvation,' (as is afterward directed.) And 
pray for them daily, as well as for yourselves. 

Direct, vi. * Watch over them that they offend not God :' 
bear not with ungodliness or gross sin in your family. 
Read Psal. ci. Be not like those ungodly masters, that look 
only that their own work be done, and bid God look after 
his work himself, and care not for their servants' souls, be- 
cause they care not for their own ; and mind not whether 

«^ Col. iv. 1. 


God be served by others, because they serve him not (un- 
less with hypocritical lip-service) themselves. 

Direct, VII. * Keep your servants from evil company, and 
from being temptations to each other, as far as you can/ 
If you suffer them to frequent alehouses, or riotous assem- 
blies, or wanton or malignant company, when they are in- 
fected themselves, they will bring home the infection, and 
all the house may fare the worse for it. And when Judas 
groweth familiar with the Pharisees, he will be seduced by 
them to betray his Master. You cannot be accountable for 
your servants if you suffer them to be much abroad. 

Direct. VIII. * Go before them as examples of holiness 
and wisdom, and all those virtues and duties which you 
would teach them.' An ignorant or a swearing, cursing, 
railing, ungodly master, doth actually teach his servants to 
be such ; and if his words teach them the contraryj he can 
expect but little reverence or success. 

Direct, ix. ' Patiently bear with those tolerable frailties 
which their unskilfulness, or bodily temperature, or other 
infirmity make them liable to against their wills.' A will- 
ing mindis an exicuse fon many frailties; much must be put 
up with, when it is not from wilfulness or gross neglect : make 
not a greater matter of every infirmity or fault, than there is 
cause. Look not that any should be perfect upon earth ; 
reckon upon it, that you must have servants of the progeny 
of Adam, that have corrupted natures, and bodily weak- 
nesses ; and many things that must be borne with. Consi- 
der how faultily you serve your heavenly Master, and how 
much he daily beareth with that which is amiss in you, and 
how many faulty and oversights you are guilty of in your own 
employment, and how many you should be overtaken with 
if you were in their stead. ** And ye masters, do the same 
things to them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your 
Master also is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons 
with him**." " Masters give unto your servants that which 
is just and equal*," &c. 

Direct, x. ' See that they behave themselves well to 
their fellow-servants : of which I shall speak anon.* 

«» Eph. vi. 9. • Col. ir. 1. 


Tit. 2. Directiom to those Masters in foreign Plantations who 
have Negroes and other Slaves; being a solution of several 
cases about them. 

Direct, i. ' Understand well how far your power over 
your slaves extendeth, and what limits God hath set thereto/ 
^ As, 1. Sufficiently difference between men and brutes. 
/ Remember that they are of as good a kind as you ; that is, 
they are reasonable creatures as well as you, and born to as 
much natural liberty. If their sin have enslaved them to 
you, yet nature made them your equals. Remember that 
they have immortal souls, and are equally capable of salva- 
tion with yourselves. And therefore you have no power to 
do any thing which shall hinder their salvation. No pre- 
tence of your business, necessity, commodity or power, can 
warrant you to hold them so hard to work, as not to allow 
them due time and seasons for that which God hath made 
their duty. 

2. Remember that God is their absolute Owner, and that 
you have none but a derived and limited propriety in them. 
They can be no further yours, than you have God's consent, 
who is the Lord of them and you ; and therefore God's in- 
terest in them and by them must be served first. 

3. Remember that they and you are equally under the 
government and laws of God. And therefore all God's laws 
must be first obeyed by them, and you have no power to 
command them to omit any duty which God commandeth 
them, nor to commit any sin which God forbiddeth them ; 
nor can you without rebellion or impiety expect, that your 
work or commands should be preferred before God's. 

4. Remember that God is their reconciled, tender Father, 
and if they be as good, doth love them as well as you. And 
therefore you must use the meanest of them no otherwise, 
than beseemeth the beloved of God to be used ; and no 
otherwise than may stand with the due signification of your 
love to God, by loving those that are his. 

5. Remember that they are the redeemed ones of Christ, 
and that he hath not sold you his title to them. As he 
bought their souls at a price invaluable, so he hath not given 
the purchase of his blood to be absolutely at your disposal. 


Therefore so use them, as to preserve Christ's right and in- 
terest in them. 

Direct, ii. ' Remember that you are Christ's trustees, or 
the guardians of their souls ; and that the greater your 
power is over them, the greater your charge is of them, and 
your duty for them.' As you owe more to a child than to 
a day-labourer, or a hired servant, because being more your 
own, he is more intrusted to your care ; so also by the same 
reason, you owe more to a slave, because he is more your 
own ; and power and obligation go together. As Abraham 
was to circumcise all his servants that were bought with 
money, and the fourth commandment requireth masters to 
see that all within their gates observe the sabbath day ; so 
must you exercise both your power and love to bring them 
to the knowledge and the faith of Christ, and to the just 
obedience of God's commands. 

Those therefore that keep their negroes and slaves from 
hearing God's Word, and from becoming Christians, be- 
cause by the law they shall then be either made free, or they 
shall lose part of their service, do openly profess rebellion 
against God, and contempt of Christ the Redeemer of souls, 
and a contempt of the souls of men, and indeed they de- 
clare, that their worldly profit is their treasure and their 

If this come to the hands of any of our natives in Bar- 
badoes, or other islands or plantations, who are said to be 
commonly guilty of this most heinous sin, yea and to live 
upon it, 1 entreat them further to consider as followeth, 
1. How cursed a crime is it to equal men and beasts! Is 
not this your practice? Do you not buy them and use 
them merely to the same end, as you do your horses ? to 
labour for your commodity, as if they were baser than you, 
and made to serve you ? 

2. Do you not see how you reproach and condemn your- 
selves, while you vilify them as savages and barbarous 
wretches ! Did they ever do any thing more savage, than 
to use not only men's bodies as beasts, but their souls as if 
they were made for nothing, but to actuate their bodies in 
your worldly drudgery ? Did the veriest cannibals ever do 
any thing more cruel or odious, than to sell so many souls 
to the devil for a little worldly gain ? Did ever the cursedest 


Ujiscreants on earth, do any thing more rebellious, and con- 
trary to the will of the most merciful God, than to keep 
those souls from Christ, and holiness, and heaven, for a little 
money, who were made and redeemed for the same ends, and 
at the same precious price as yours ? Did your poor slaves 
ever commit such villanies as these ? Is not he the basest 
wretch and the most barbarous savage, who committeth tJie 
greatest and most inhuman wickedness ? And are theirs 
comparable to these of yours ? 

3. I)oth not the very example of such cruelty, besides 
your keeping them from Christianity, directly tend to teach 
them and all ^others, to hate Christianity, as if it taught men 
to be so much worse than dogs and tigers ? 

4. Do you not mark how God hath followed you with 
plagues? and may not conscience tell you that it is for your 
inhumanity to the souls and bodies of so many ? Remem- 
ber the late fire at the bridge in Barbadoes : remember the 
drowning of your governor and ships at sea, and the 
many judgments that have overtaken youj £ind at the pre- 
seftt the terrible mortality that is among you. 

5. Will not the example and warning of neighbour coun- 
tries rise up in judgment against you and condemn you? 
You cannot but hear how odious the Spanish name is made 
(and thereby alas the Christian name also, among the West 
Indians !) for their most inhuman cruelties in Hispaniola, 
Jamaica, Cuba, Peru, Mexico, and other places, which is 
described by Josep. a Costa, a Jesuit of their own ; and 
though I know that their cruelty who murdered millions, 
exceedeth yours, who kill not men's bodies, yet yours is of / 
the same kind, in the merchandize which you make with 
the devil for their souls, whilst you that should help them 
with all your power, do hinder them from the means of 
their salvation. And on the contrary, what an honour is it 
to those of New England, that they take not so much as the 
native soil from them, but by purchase ! that they enslave 
none of them, nor use them cruelly, but shew them mercy, 
and are at a great deal of care, and cost, and labour for their 
salvation ! O how much difference between holy Mr. Elliot's 
life and yours ! His, who hath laboured so many years to 
save them, and hath translated the \yhol,e Bible into their 
language, vvith other books.; and; those good men's in Lon^ 


don who are a corporation for the furtherance of his work ; 
and theirs that have contributed so largely towards it ; and 
yours that sell men's souls for your commodity ! 

6. And what comfort are you like to have at last, in that 
money that is purchased at such a price ? Will not your 
money and you perish together? will you not have worse 
than Gehazi's leprosy with it; yea worse than Achan's 
death by stoning ; and as bad as Judas his hanging himself, 
unless repentance shall prevent it ? Do you not remember 
the terrible words in Jude 2. " Woe unto them, for they 
have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the 
errors of Balaam." And 2 Pet. ii. 3. 14, 15. "Through co- 

vetousness — they make merchandize of you An heart 

they have exercised with covetous practices ; cursed chil- 
dren (or children of a curse) which have forsaken the right 
way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the 
son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but 
was rebuked for his iniquity ; the dumb ass speaking with 
man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet." When 
you shall every one hear, " Thou fool, this night shall thy 
soul be required of thee, and then whose shall those things 
be which thou hast provided^?" Will it not then cut deep 
in your perpetual torments, to remember that you got that 
little pelf, by betraying so many souls to hell? What men 
in the world doth James speak to, if not to you ? " Go to 
now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall 
come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your gar- 
ments are moth-eaten : your gold and silver are cankered ; 
and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall 
eat your flesh as it were fire : ye have heaped treasure to- 
gether for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers 
which have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept 
back by fraud, crieth : and the cries of them which have 
reaped, are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sab- 
aoth «." How much more the cry of betrayed souls ! 

And here we may seasonably answer these cases. Quest. 
1. ' Is it lawful for a Christian to buy and use a man as a 
slave V Quest. 2. * Is it lawful to use a Christian as a slave V 
Quest. 3. * What difference must we make between a free 
servant and a slave?' 

' Luke xii. 19— 81. » J*"'- "• •— "*• 


To Quest. 1 . I answer, There is a slavery to which some 
men may be lawfully put, and there is a slavery to which 
none may be put ; and there is a slavery to which only the 
criminal may be put, by way of penalty. 

1. No man may be put to such a slavery as under 
the first Direction is denied, that is, such as shall injure 
God's interest and service, or the man's salvation. 2. No 
man, but as a just punishment for his crimes, may be so 
enslaved, as to be deprived of those liberties, benefits and 
comforts, which brotherly love obligeth every man to grant 
to another for his good, as far as is within our power, all 
things considered. That is, the same man is a servant and 
a brother, and therefore must at once be used as both. 3. 
Though poverty or necessity do make a man consent to sell 
himself to a life of lesser misery, to escape a greater, or death 
itself; yet is it not lawful for any other so to take advan- 
tage by his necessity, as to bring him into a condition that 
shall make him miserable, or in which we shall not exercise 
so much love, as may tend to his sanctification, comfort and 
salvation. Because no justice is beseeming a Christian or 
a man, which is not conjoined with a due measure of 

But 1 . He that deserveth it by way of penalty may be 
penally used. 2. He that stole and cannot restore may be 
forced to work it out as a servant ; and in both these cases 
more may be done against another's ease or liberty, than by 
mere contract or consent. He that may hang a flagitious 
offender doth him no wrong if he put him to a slavery, 
which is less penal than death. 3. More also may be done 
against enemies taken in a lawful war, than could be done 
against the innocent by necessitated consent. 4. A certain 
degree of servitude or slavery is lawful by the necessitated 
consent of the innocent. That is so much, (1.) As wrongeth 
no interest of God. (2.) Nor of mankind by breaking the 
laws of nations. (3.) Nor the person himself, by hindering 
his salvation, or the needful means thereof; nor those com- 
forts of life, which nature giveth to man as man. (4.) Nor 
the commonwealth or society where we live. 

Quest. 2. To the second Question, I answer, 1. As men 
must be variously loved according to the various degrees 
of amiableness in them ; so various degrees of love must be 


exercised towards them : therefore good and real Christians 
must be used with more love and brotherly tenderness than 
others. 2. It is meet also, that infidels have so much mercy 
shewed them in order to the saving of their souls, as that 
they should be invited to Christianity by fit encourage- 
ments : and so, that they should know that if they will turn 
Christians, they shall have more privileges and emoluments 
than the enemies of truth and piety shall have. It is there- 
fore well done of princes who make laws that infidel-slaves 
shall be freemen, when they are duly Christened. 3. But 
yet a nominal Christian, who by wickedness forfeiteth his 
life or freedom, may penally be made a slave as well as in- 
fidels. 4. And a poor and needy Christian may sell him- 
self into a harder state of servitude than he would choose, 
or we could otherwise put him into. But 5. To go as pi- 
rates and catch up poor negroes or people of another land, 
that never forfeited life or liberty, and to make them slaves, 
and sell them, is one of the worst kinds of thievery in the 
world ; and such persons are to be taken for the common 
enemies of mankind ; and they that buy them and use them 
as beasts, for their mere commodity, and betray, or destroy, 
or neglect their souls, are fitter to be called incarnate devils 
than Christians, though they be no Christians whom they 
so abuse. 

Quest. 3. To the third Question, I answer. That the 
solution of this case is to be gathered from what is said al- 
ready. A servant and a voluntary-slave were both freemen, 
till they sold or hired themselves ; and a criminal person 
was a freeman till he forfeited his life or liberty. But after- 
wards the difference is this; that 1. A free servant is my 
servant, no further than his own covenant made him so; 
which is supposed to be, (1.) To a certain kind, and measure 
of labour according to the meaning of his contract. (2.) 
For a limited time, expressed in the contract, whether a year, 
or two, or three, or seven. 

2. A slave by mere contract is one that, (1.) Usually 
selleth himself absolutely to the will of another as to his la- 
bour both for kind and measure ; where yet the limitations 
of God and nature after (and before) named, are supposed 
among Christians to take place. (2.) He is one that selleth 
himself to such labour, during life. 

218 CttRiSTiAI^ DtAttTORY. [pART II. 

3. A slave by just petialty, is liable to so much servi- 
tude as the magistrate doth judge him to, which may be, 
(1.) Not only such labour, as aforesaid, as pleaseth his mas- 
ter to impose. (2.) And that for life. (3.) But it may be 
also to stripes and seterities which might not lawfully be 
inflicted on another. 

1. The limitations of a necessitated-slavery by contract 
or consent through poverty are these, (1.) Such a one's 
soul must be cared for and preserved, though he should 
consent to the contrary. He must have time to learn the 
Word of God, and time to pray, and he must rest on the 
Lord's day, and employ it in God's service ; he must be 
instructed, and exhorted, and kept from sin. (2.) He may 
not be forced to commit any sin against God. (3.) He may 
not (though he forcedly consent) be denied ^uch comforts 
of this life, as are needful to his cheerful serving of God in 
love and thankfulness, according to the peace of the Gos- 
pel state ; and which are called by the name of our daily 
bread. No man may deny a slave any of this, that is not 
a criminal, punished slave. 

2. And the most criminal slave may not be forced to sin, 
nor denied necessary helps to his salvation. But he may 
penally be beaten and denied part of his daily bread ; so it 
be not done more rigorously than true justice doth require. 

Quest. ' But what if men buy Negroes or other slaves of 
such as we have just cause to believe did steal them by pi- 
racy, or buy them of those that have no power to sell them, 
and not hire or buy them by their own consent, or by the 
consent of those that hid power to sell thefti, nor take them 
captives in a lawful war, what must they do sv'\\\i them after- 

Ansiv. 1. It is their heinous sin to buy them, unless it 
be in charity to deliver them. 2. Having done it, undoubt- 
edly they are presently bound to deliver them : because by 
rio;ht the man is his own, and therefore no man else can 
have just title to him. 

Quest. * But may I not sell him again and make my mo- 
ney of him, seeing I leave him but as I found him?' 

Aiisw. No ; because when you have taken possession of 
him, and a pretended propriety, then the injury that is done 
him is by you ; which before was only by another. And 


though the wrong be no greater than the other did him, yet 
being now done by you, it is your sin. 

Quest. ' But may 1 not return him to him that I bought 
him of?' 

Answ. No: for that is but injuring him by delivering 
him to another to continue the injury. To say as Pilate, 
"I am innocent of the blood of this just man," will be no 
proof of your innocency, yea, God's law bindeth you to 
love, and works of love, and therefore you should do your 
best to free him ; he that is bound to help to save a man, 
that is fallen into the hands of thieves by the highway, if he 
should buy that man as a slave of the thieves, may not 
after give him up to the thieves again. But to proceed in 
the Directions. 

Direct, iii. * So serve your own necessities by yout 
slaves as to prefer God's interest, and their spiritual and 
everlasting happiness.' Teach them the way to heaven, and 
do all for their souls which I have before directed you to 
do for all your other servants. Though you may make some 
difference in their labour, and diet, and clothing, yet none 
as to the furthering of their salvation. If they be infidels, 
use them so as tendeth to win them to Christ, and the love 
of religion, by shewing them that Christians are less 
worldly, less cruel and passionate, and more wise, and cha- 
ritable, and holy, and meek, than any other persons are. 
Woe to them that by their cruelty and covetousness do 
scandalize even slaves, and hinder their conversion and sal- 

Direct, iv. * By how much the hardness of their con- 
dition doth make their lives uncomfortable, and God hath 
cast them lower than yourselves, by so much the more let 
your charity pity them, and labour to abate their burden, 
and sweeten their lives to them, as much as your condition 
will allow.' And remember that even a slave may be one 
of those neighbours that you are bound to love as your- 
selves, and to do to as you would be done by, if your case 
were his. Which if you do, you will need no more direction 
for his relief. 

Direct, v. * Remember that you may require no more of 
an innocent slave, than you would or might do of an ordi- 
nary servant, if he were at your will, and did not By con- 


tract except something as to labour or usage, which else 
you would think just and meet to have required of him.' 

Direct, vi. * If they are infidels, neither be too hasty in 
baptizing them, when they desire it, nor too slow.' Not 
so hasty as to put them on it, before they understand what 
the baptismal covenant is ; or before you see any likelihood 
that they should be serious in making such a covenant. 
Nor yet so slow as to let them alone to linger out their lives 
in the state of those without the church. But hasten them 
to learn, and stir up their desires, and look after them, as 
the ancient churches did after their catechumens ; and when 
you see them fit by knowledge, belief, desire, and resolu- 
tion, to vow themselves to God on the terms of the holy co- 
venant, then put them on to be baptized. But if you should 
feel an abatement of your desires of their conversion, because 
you shall lose their service (much more if ever you had a 
wish that they might not be converted, which is plain de- 
vilism), let it be the matter of your deep humiliation and 

Direct, vii. Make it your chief end in buying and using 
slaves, to win them to Christ, and save their souls. Do not 
only endeavour it on the by, when you have first consulted 
your own commodity, but make this more of your end, than 
your commodity itself; and let their salvation be far more 
valued by you than their service : and carry yourselves to 
them, as those that are sensible that they are redeemed with 
them by Christ from the slavery of satan, and may live with 
them in the liberty of the saints in glory. 


The Duties of Children and Felloiv-servants to one another. 

It is not easy to resolve. Whether good governors, or good 
fellow-servants, in a family, be the greater help and benefit, 
to each of the inferiors. For servants are so much together, 
and so free and familiar with each other, that they have the 
more opportunity to be useful to each other, if they have 
but abilities and hearts. It is needful therefore, that you 


know your duty to one another, both for doing and getting 
that good which otherwise will be lost. 

Direct, i. ' Love one another unfeignedly as yourselves : 
avoid all contention and falling out with one another, or any 
thing that would weaken your love to one another ; espe- 
cially differences about your personal interests, in point of 
profit, provision, or reputation.' Take heed of the spirit of 
envy, which will make your hearts rise against those that are 
preferred before you, or that are used better than you. Re- 
member the sin and misery of Cain, and take warning by 
him. Give place to others, and in honour prefer others, 
and seek not to be preferred before them *. God delighteth 
to exalt the humble that abase themselves, and to cast down 
those that exalt themselves. When the interest of your 
flesh can make you hate or fall out with each other, what 
a fearful sign is it of a fleshly mind ^ I 

Direct, ii. * Take heed of using provoking words against 
each other.' For these are the bellows to blow up that 
which the apostle calleth " the fire of hell ''." A foul tongue 
setteth on fire the course of nature ; and therefore it may 
set a family on fire ^. ** Where envying and strife is, there 
is confusion and every evil work ^." " If ye be angry, re- 
frain your tongues and sin not, and let not the sun go down 
upon your wrath : neither give place to the devil ^" " Let 
all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil 
speaking, be put away from you, with all malice ; and be ye 
kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, 
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you^." "Re- 
vilers shall not inherit the kingdom of God''." 

Direct, iii. * Help one another with love and willing- 
ness in your labours ; and do not grudge at one another, and 
say such a one doth less than I : but be as ready to help 
another, as you would be helped yourselves.' It is very 
amiable to see a family of such children and servants, that 
all take one another's concernments as their own; and are 
not selfish against each other. " Behold, how good and 
how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity ' !** 

Direct, iv. * Take heed that you prove not tempters to 

» Rom. xii, 10. 16. »» Rom. ▼iii. 6. 13. ' James iii. 6. 

<* James iii. 5, 6. • Ver. 15, 16. ' Eph. iv. 26, 27. 

3 Eph. \y. 31, 31. »• 1 Cor. vi. 10. • Psal. cxxxiii. 1. 


draw each other to sin and misery/ Either by joining to- 
gether in riotousness, or wronging your masters, or secret 
revelling, and then in lying to conceal it : or lest immodest 
fanfiiliarity draw those of different sexes into a snare. Abun- 
dance of sin and misery hath followed such tempting fami- 
liarity of men apd maids that were fellow servants. Their 
nearness giveth them opportunity, and the devil provol^eth 
them to take their opportunity; and from immodest, waiir 
ton dalliance, and unchaste words, they proceed at lasfc to 
more lasciviousness, to tlieir own undoing. Bring not the 
straw to the fire, if you would not have it burn. 

Direct. V. * Watch over one another for mutual preser- 
vation against the sin and temptations which you are most 
in danger of.' Agree to tell each other of your faults, not 
proudly or passionately, but in love ; and resolve to take it 
thankfully from each other. If any one talk foolishly or 
idly^ or wantonly and immodestly, or tell a lie, or take God's 
name in vain, or neglect their duty to God or man, or deal 
unfaithfully in their trust or labour, let the other seriously, 
tell him of his sin, and call him to repentance. And let not 
him that is guilty take it ill, and angrily snap at the repror 
ver, or justify or excuse the fault, or hit him presently in the. 
tqeth with his own; but humbly thank him and promise 
amendment. O how happy might servants be, if they would 
faithfully watch over one another ! 

Direct, vi. 'When you are together, and your work will 
allow it, let your discourse be such as tencjeth to edifica- 
tion, and to the spiritual good of the speaker or the hearers/ 
Some work there is that must be thought on> and talked of 
while it is doing, and will not allow you leisure to think or 
speak of other things, till it is done : but very much of the 
work of niost servants may be as well done, though they 
think and speak together of heavenly things ; besides all 
other times when their work is over. O take this time to be 
speaking of good to one another : it is like, that some one 
of you hath more knowledge than the rest ; let the rest be 
asking his counsel and instructions, and let him bend him^ 
self to do them good ; or if you are equal in knowledge, yet 
stir up the grace that is in you, if you have any ; or stir up 
your desires after it, if you have none. Waste not your pre- 
cious time in vanity ; multiply not the sin of idle words. O 


what a load doth lie on many a soul that feeleth it not, in the 
guilt of these two sins, loss of time, and idle words ! To be 
guilty of the same sins over and over, every day, and make 
a constant practice of them, and this against your own know- 
ledge and conscience, is a more grievous case than many 
think of; whereas, if you would live together as the heir^ 
of heaven, and provoke one another to the love of Gpd, andj 
holy duty, and delightfully talk of the Word of God, and 
the life to come, what blessings might you be to one 
another? and your service and labour would be a sg^nctified 
and comfortable life to you all. *' Let no corrupt commu- 
nication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good 
to the use of edifying, and may minister grace to the hear- 
ers, and grieve not the holy Spirit of God '." " But fornica- 
tion and all uncleannesss, or covetousness (or rather, inordi- 
nate, fleshly desire) ;let it not be once named among you, as 
becometh saints ; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor 
jesting, which are not convenient ; but rather giving of 
thanks ''." Of this more anon. 

Direct, vii. * Patiently bear with the failings of one 
another towards yourselves, and hide those faults, the open- 
ing of which will do no good, but stir up strife: but conceal 
not those faults which will be cherished by concealment, or 
whose concealment tendeth to the wrong of your mastier, or 
any other.' For it is in your power to forgive a fault against 
yourselves, but not against God, or another. And to knpw 
when you should reveal it, and when not, you must wisiely, 
foreknow which way is like to do more good or harm. And 
if yet you be in doubt, ope<i it first to some secret friend, 
that is wise to advise you, whether it should la^, further 
opened or not. 

Direct, viii. ' If weakuesa, or sickness, or want afflict a 
brother, or sister, or fellow-sexvant, be kind and helpful to, 
them according to your power. '* Love not in word only, 
but in deed and truths" 

' Eph. iv. 29. ''Eph. V. 3, 4. ' iJolji^iu. 18. Janjes, ii. 



Directions for Holy Conference of Fellow-servants or others. 

Because this is a duty so frequently to be performed ; and 
therefore the peace and edification of Christians is very 
much concerned in it, I shall give a few brief Directions 
about it. 

Direct, i. * Labour most for a full and lively heart, w^hich 
hath the feeling of those things which your tongues should 
speak of/ For 1. Such a heart will be like a spring which 
is always running, and will continually feed the streams. 
Forced and feigned things are of short continuance ; the hy 
pocrites affected, forced speech, is exercised but among 
those where it may serve his pride and carnal ends : at other 
times, and in other company, he hath another tongue like 
other men. It is like a land-flood that is quickly gone ! or 
like the bending of a bow, which returneth to its place, as 
soon as it is loosed. 2. And that which cometh from your 
hearts, will be serious and hearty, and likeliest to do good to 
others : for words do their work upon us, not only by signi- 
fying the matter which is spoken, but also by signifying the 
affections of the speaker. And that which will work affec- 
tions, must express affection ordinarily. If it come not 
from the heart of the speaker, it is not so like to go to the 
hearts of the hearers. A hearty preacher, and a hearty, 
feeling discourse of holy things, do pierce heart-deep, and 
do that good, which better composed words that are heart- 
less do not. 

Direct. II. 'Yet for all that, when your hearts are cold, 
and dull, and barren, do not think that your tongues must 
therefore neglect their duty, and be silent from all good, tilt 
your hearts be better, but force your tongues to do their du-^ 
ty, if they will not do it freely without constraint.' For 

1. Duty is duty whether you be well-disposed to it or not : 
if all duty should cease when men are ill-disposed to it, no 
wicked man would be bound to any thing that is truly holy. 

2. And if heart and tongue be both obliged, it is worse to 
omit both than one. 3. And there may be sincerity in a du- 
ty, when the heart is cold and dull. 4. And beginning to 


do your duty as well as you can, is the way to overcome 
your dullness and unfitness ; when you force your tongues 
at first to speak of that which is good, the words which you 
speak or hear, may help to bring you into a better frame. 
Many a man hath begun to pray with coldness, that hath 
got him heat before he had done ; and many a man hath 
gone unwillingly to hear a sermon, that hath come home a 
converted soul. 5. And when you set yourselves in the way 
of duty, you are in the way of promised grace. 

Object. * But is not this to play the hypocrite, to let my 
tongue go before my heart? And speak the things which 
my heart is not aifected with V 

Arisw. If you speak falsely and dissemblingly, you play 
the hypocrite : but you may force yourselves to speak of 
good, without any falsehood or hypocrisy. Words signify 
as I told you, the matter spoken, and the speaker's mind. 
Now your speaking of the things of God doth tell no more 
of your mind but this, that you take them to be true, and 
that you desire those that you speak to, to regard them ; 
and all this is so ; and therefore there is no hypocrisy in it. 
Indeed if you told the hearers, that you are deeply affected 
with these things yourselves, when it is not so, this were hy- 
pocrisy. But a mail may exhort another to be good, with- 
out professing himself to be good ; yea, though he confess 
himself to be bad. Therefore all the good discourses of a 
wicked man are not hypocrisy : much less the good dis- 
course of a sincere Christian, that is dull and cold in that 
discourse. And if a duty had some hypocrisy in it, it is 
not the duty but the hypocrisy that God disliketh, and you 
must forsake : as if there be coldness in a duty, it is the 
coldness, and not the duty that is to be blamed and forborne. 
And wholly to omit the duty, is worse than to do it with 
some coldness or hypocrisy, which is not the predominate 
complexion of the duty. 

Object. ' But if it be not the fruit of the Spirit, it is not 
acceptable to God ; and that which I force my tongue to, is 
none of the fruits of the Spirit. Therefore I must stay till 
the Spirit move me,' 

Answ. 1. There are many duties done by reason, and the 
common assistances of God, that are better than the total 
omission of them is. Eke no unsanctified man should hear 
VOL. IV. g 


the Word, or pray, or relieve the poor, or obey his prince or 
governors, or do any duty towards children or neighbours, 
because whatsoever is not the fruit of the special grace of 
the Spirit, is sin; and without faith it is impossible to 
please God ; and all men have not faith ^. 2. It is a dis- 
tracted conceit of the Quakers and other fanatics, to think 
that reason and the Spirit of God are not conjunct princi- 
ples in the same act. Doth the Spirit work on a man as on a 
beast or a stone ? and cause you to speak as a clock that stri- 
keth itknowethnot what; or play on man's soul, as on an in- 
strument of music that hath neither knowledge of the melody, 
nor any pleasure in it? No, the Spirit of God supposeth 
nature, and worketh on man as man ; by exciting your own 
understanding and will to do their parts. So that when, 
against all the remnant of dullness and backwardness that 
is in you, you can force yourselves to do your duty, it is be- 
cause the Spirit of God assisteth you to take that resolu- 
tion, and use that force. For thus the Spirit striveth against 
the flesh ^. Though it is confessed, that there is more of 
the Spirit, where there is no backwardness, or resistance, or 
need of forcing. 

Direct, iii. 'By all means labour to be furnished with 
understanding in the matters of God.' For, 1. An under- 
standing person hath a mine of holy matter in himself, and 
never is quite void of matter for good discourse : he is the 
good scribe, that is ** instructed to the kingdom of God, 
that bringeth out of his treasury things new and old." 2. 
And an understanding person will speak discreetly, and so 
will much further the success of his discourse, and not 
make it ridiculous, contemptuous or ineffectual through his 
indiscretion. But yet if you are ignorant and wanting in 
understanding, do not therefore be silent: for though your 
ability is least, your necessity is greatest. Let necessi- 
ty therefore constrain you to ask instruction, as it constrain- 
eth the needy to beg for what they want. But spare no 
pains to increase your knowledge. 

Direct, iv. * If your own understandings and hearts do 
not furnish you with matter, have recourse to those mani- 
fold helps that God vouchsafeth you.' As 1. You may dis- 
course of the last sermon that you heard, or some one lately 

» Heb. xi. C. 2 Thess. iii. 2. •> Gal. v. IT. Rora. vii. 16—18. 


preached that neariy touched you. 2. Or of something in 
the last book you read. 3. Or of some text of Scripture ob- 
vious to your thoughts. 4. Or of some notable (yea, or or- 
dinary) providence which did lately occur. 5. Or of some 
examples of good or evil that are fresh before you. 6. Or 
of the right doing of the duty that you are about, or any 
such like helps. 

Direct, v. ' Talk not of vain, unprofitable controversies, 
nor often of small circumstantial matters that make but little 
to edification.' For there may be idle talking about matters 
of religion, as well as about other smaller things. Especial- 
ly see that the quarrels of the times engage not your 
thoughts and speeches too far, into a course of unprofitable- 
ness and contention. 

Direct, vi. * Furnish yourselves beforehand with matter 
for the most edifying discourse, and never go abroad empty.' 
And let the matter be usually, 1 * Things of weight, and not 
small matters. 2. Things of certainty, and not uncertain 
things. Particularly the fittest subjects for your ordinary 
discourse are these : 1. God himself, with his attributes, rela- 
tions and works. 2. The great mystery of man's redemption 
by Christ; his person, office, sufferings, doctrine, example 
and work ; his resurrection, ascension, glory, intercession 
and all the privileges of his saints. 3. The covenant of 
grace, the promises, the duties, the conditions and the 
threatenings. 4. The workings of the Spirit of Christ upon 
the soul, and every grace of the Spirit in us ; with all the 
signs, and helps, and hindrances of it. 6. The ways and 
wiles of satan, and all our spiritual enemies ; the particular 
temptations which we are in danger of; what they are, and 
how to avoid them, and what are the most powerful helps 
against them. 6. The corruption and deceitfulness of the 
heart ; the nature and workings, effects and signs of igno- 
rance, unbelief, hypocrisy, pride, sensuality, worldliness, im- 
piety, injustice, intemperance, uncharitableness and every 
other sin ; with all the helps against them all. 7. The many 
duties to God and man which we have to perform ; both in- 
ternal and external, and how to do them, and what are the 
chiefest hindrances and helps. (As in reading, hearing, me- 
ditating, prayer, giving alms^ &c.) And the duties of our 
relations, and several places, with the contrary sins. 8. The 


vanity of the world, and deceitfulness of all earthly things. 
9. The powerful reasons used by Christ to draw us to holi- 
ness, and the unreasonable madness of all that is brought 
against it, by the devil or by wicked men. 10. Of the suf- 
ferings which we must expect and be prepared for. 11. Of 
death, and the preparations that will then be found neces- 
sary ; and how to make ready for so great a change. 12. 
Of the day of judgment, and who will be then justified, and 
who condemned. 13. Of the joys of heaven, the employ- 
ment, the company, the nature and duration. 14. Of the 
miseries of the damned, and the thoughts that then they will 
have of their former life on earth. 15. Of the state of the 
church on earth, and what we ought to do in our places for 
its welfare. Is there not matter enough in all these greait 
and weighty points, for your hourly meditation and confe- 
rence ? 

Direct, v\i. * Take heed of proud self-conceitedness in 
your conference.' Speak not with supercilious, censorious 
confidence. Let not the weak take on them to be wiser 
than they are. Be readier to speak by way of question as 
learners, than as teachers of others, unless you are sure that 
they have much more need to be taught by you, than you 
by them. It is ordinary for novices in religion to cast all 
their discourse into a teaching strain, or to make themselves 
preachers before they understand. It is a most loathsome 
and pitiful hearing (and yet too ordinary) to hear a raw, 
self-conceited, ungrounded, unexperienced person, to prate 
magisterially, and censure confidently the doctrine, or prac- 
tices, or persons of those that are much better and wiser 
than themselves. If you meet with this proud, censorious 
spirit, rebuke it first, and read to them James iii. ; and if 
they go on, turn away from them, and avoid them, for they 
know not what manner of spirit they are of: they serve not 
the Lord Jesus, whatever they pretend to think themselves, 
but are proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions, 
and making divisions in the church of God, and ready to 
fall into the condemnation of the devil *^. 

Direct. VIII. ' Let the wisest in the company, and not 
the weakest, have most of the discourse : but yet if any one 
that is of an abler tongue than the rest, do make any deter- 

« 1 Tim. iii. 6. vi. S — 5. Rom. xvi. 17. Lnke ix. 55. 


minations in doubtful, controverted points, take heed of a 
hasty receiving his judgment, let his reasons seem never so 
plausible or probable ; but put down all such opinions as 
doubts, and move them to your teachers, or some other im- 
partial, able men, before you entertain them.' Otherwise, he 
that hath most wit and tongue in the company, might carry 
away all the rest into what error or heresy he please, and 
subvert their faith when he stops their mouths. 

Direct. IX. * Let the matter of your speech be suitable to 
your end, even to the good of yourselves or others, which 
you seek.' The same subject that is fit for one company is 
very unfit for others. Learned men and ignorant men, pious 
men and profane men, are not fit for the same kind of dis- 
course. The medicine must be carefully fitted to the dis- 

Diirect. x. ' Let your speech be seasonable, when pru- 
dence telleth you it is not like to do more harm than good.' 
There is a season for the prudent to be silent, and refrain 
even from good talk ^. ** Cast not pearls before swine, and 
give not holy things to dogs, that you know will turn again 
and rend you ^J" Yea, and among good people themselves, 
there is a time to speak, and a time to be silent ^ There 
may possibly be such excess as tendeth to the tiring of the 
hearers ; and more may be crammed in than they can digest ; 
and surfeiting may make them loathe it afterwards. You 
must give none more than they can bear ; and also the mat- 
ters of your business and callings, must be talked of in their 
time and place. 

Direct, xi. * Let all your speech of holy things be with 
the greatest seriousness and reverence that you are able.' 
Let the words be never so good, yet levity and rudeness may 
make them to be profane. God and holy things should not 
be talked of in a common manner : but the gravity of your 
speech should tell the hearers, that you take them not for 
small or common matters. If servants and others that live 
near together would converse, and speak as the oracles of 
God, how holy, and heavenly, and happy would such fa- 
milies or societies be ? 

'» Amos V. 17, Psal. xxxix. 1, 2. • Matt. »ii. 6. * Eecle*. Hi. 7. 



Directions for each particular Member of the Family how to 
spend every ordinary day of the Week. 

It somewhat tendeth to make a holy life more easy to us, 
when we know the ordinary course and method of our du- 
ties, and every thing falleth into its proper place. As it 
helpeth the husbandman or tradesman to know the ordinary 
course of his work, that he need not go out of it, unless in 
extraordinary cases. Therefore I shall here give you some 
brief Directions for the holy spending of every day. 

Direct, i. * Proportion the time of your sleep aright (if 
it be in your power) that you waste not your precious morn- 
ing hours sluggishly in your bed.' Let the time of your 
sleep be rationally fitted to your health and labour, and not 
sensually to your slothful pleasure. About six hours is 
meet for healthful people, and seven hours for the less 
healthful, and eight for the more weak and aged, ordinarily. 
The morning hours are to most, the most precious of all the 
day, for all our duties ; especially servants that are scanted 
of time, must take it then for prayer, if possible, lest they 
have none at all. 

Direct. II. * Let God have your first awaking thoughts : 
lift up your hearts to him reverently and thankfully for the 
rest of the night past, and briefly cast yourselves upon him 
for the following day ; and use yourselves so constantly to 
this, that your consciences may check you, when common 
thoughts shall first intrude.' And if you have a bed-fellow 
to speak to, let your first speech be agreeable to your 
thoughts. It will be a great help against the temptations 
that may else surprise you, and a holy engagement of your 
hearts to God, for all the day. 

Direct. III. ' Resolve, that pride and the fashions of the 
times shall never tempt you into such a garb of attire, as will 
make you long in dressing you in the morning; but wear 
such clothing as is soon put on.' It is dear-bought bravery 
(or decency as they will needs call it) which must cost every 
day an hour's or a quarter of an hour's time extraordinary : 
I had rather oo as the wild Indians, than have those morn- 


mg hours to answer for, as too many ladies and other gal- 
lants have. 

Direct, iv. * If you are persons of quality you may em- 
ploy a child or servant to read a chapter in the Bible, while 
you are dressing you, and eating your breakfast (if you eat 
any). Else you may employ that time in some fruitful me- 
ditation, or conference with those about you, as far as your 
necessary occasions do give leave.' As to think or speak of 
the mercy of a night's rest, and of your renewed time, and 
how many spent that night in hell, and how many in prison, 
and how many in a colder, harder lodging, and how many 
in grievous pain and sickness, weary of their beds and of 
their lives, and how many in distracting terrors of their 
minds ; and how many souls that night were called from 
their bodies, to appear before the dreadful God : and think 
how fast days and nights roll on ! and how speedily your 
last night and day will come ! And observe what is want- 
ing in the readiness of your soul, for such a time, and seek 
it presently without delay. 

Direct, v. * If more necessary duties call you not away, 
let secret prayer by yourself alone, or with your chamber- 
fellow, or both, go before the common prayers of the family ; 
and delay it not causelessly, but if it may be, let it be first, 
before any other work of the day.' Yet be not formal and 
superstitious to your hours, as if God had absolutely tied 
you to such a time : nor think it not your duty to pray once 
in secret, and once with your chamber-fellow, and once with 
the family every morning, when more necessary duties call 
you off. That hour is best for one, which is worst for 
another : to most, private prayer is most seasonable as soon 
as they are up and clothed ; to others some other hour may 
be more free and fit. And those persons that have not more 
necessary duties, may do well to pray at all the opportuni- 
ties before-mentioned ; but reading and meditation must be 
allowed their time also ; and the labours of your callings 
must be painfully followed ; and servants and poor people 
that are not at liberty, or that have a necessity of providing 
for their families, may not lawfully take so much time for 
prayer, as some others may ; especially the aged and weak 
that cannot follow a calling, may take longer time. And 
ministers, that have many souls to look after, and public 


work to do, must take heed of neglecting any of this, that 
they may be longer and oftener in private prayer. Always 
remember that when two duties are at once before you, and 
one must be omitted, that you prefer that which, all things 
considered, is the greatest ; and understand what maketh a 
duty greatest. Usually that is greatest which tendeth to 
the greatest good ; yet sometimes that is greatest at that 
time, which cannot be done at another time, when others 
may. Praying, in itself considered, is better than plough- 
ing, or marketting, or conference ; and yet these may be 
greater than it in their proper seasons ; because prayer may 
be done at another time, when these cannot. 

Direct, vi. ' Let family worship be performed constantly 
and seasonably, twice a day, at that hour which is freest in 
regard of interruptions ; not delaying it without just cause. 
But whenever it is performed, be sure it be reverently, se- 
riously, and spiritually done.' If greater duty hinder not, 
begin with a brief invocation of God's name, and craving of 
his help and blessing through Christ ; and then read some 
part of the holy Scripture in order; and either help the 
hearers to understand it and apply it, or if you are unable 
for that, then read some profitable book to them for such 
ends ; and sing a psalm (if there be enough to do it fitly,) 
and earnestly pour out your souls in prayer. But if un- 
avoidable occasions will not give way to all this, do what 
you can, especially in prayer, and do the rest another time ; 
but pretend not necessity against any duty, when it is but 
unwillingness or negligence. The lively performance of fa- 
mily-duties, is a principal means to keep up the power and 
interest of godliness in the world ; which all decays when 
these grow dead, and slight, and formal. 

Direct, vii. * Renew the actual intention and remem- 
brance of your ultimate end, when you set yourselves to 
your day's work, or set upon any notable business in the 
world. Let HOLINESS TO THE LORD be written upon 
your hearts in all that you do.' Do no work which you 
cannot entitle God to, and truly say he set you about ; and 
do nothing in the world for any other ultimate end, than to 
please, and glorify, and enjoy him. And remember that 
whatever you do, must be done as a means to these, and as 
by one that is that way going on to heaven. All your la- 


bour must be as the labour of a traveller, which is all for his 
journey's end ; and all your respect or affection to any place 
or thing in your way, must be in respect to your attainment 
of the end ; as a traveller loveth a good way, a good horse, 
a good inn, a dry cloak, or good company ; but nothing 
must be loved here as your end or home. Lift up your 
hearts to heaven and say, * If this work and way did not 
tend thither directly or indirectly, it were no work or way 
for me.' Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 

Direct. VIII. ' Follow the labours of your calling pain- 
fully and diligently.' From hence will follow many com- 
modities. 1. You will shew that you are not sluggish, and 
servants to your flesh, as those that cannot deny its ease ; 
and you will further the mortification of all fleshly lusts and 
desires, which are fed by ease and idleness. 2. You will 
keep out idle thoughts from your mind, which swarm in the 
minds of idle persons. 3. You will escape the loss of pre- 
cious time, which idle persons are daily guilty of. 4. You 
will be in a course of obedience to God, when the slothful 
are in a constant sin of omission. 5. You may have the 
more time to spare for holy exercises, if you follow your la- 
bour close when you are at it ; when idle persons can have 
no time for prayer or reading, because they lose it by loiter- 
ing at their work, and leave their business still behind-hand. 
6. You may expect God's blessing for the comfortable pro- 
vision for yourselves and families, and to have to give to 
them that need, when the slothful are in want themselves, 
and cast by their want into abundance of temptations, and 
have nothing to do good with. 7. And it will also tend to 
the health of your bodies, which will make them the fitter 
for the service of your souls. When slothfulness wasteth 
time, and health, and estate, and wit, and grace, and all**. 

Direct, ix. * Be throughly acquainted with your corrup- 
tions and temptations, and watch against them all the day ; 
especially the most dangerous sort of your corruptions, and 
those temptations which your company or business will un- 
avoidably lay before you **. Be still watching and working 

* Epiies. iv. 28. Pruv. x. 4. xii. 24. 27. xiii. 4. xxi. 5. xxii. S9. 
xviii. 9. xxi. 25. xxiv. 30. 

'• Aiite({uain doino quls exeal, quid uclurus sit, a pud sc pcrtractat. Rursus cum 
rcdicrit, quid cgcrit, recugitet. (Meobulus in J)iug. Lnvrt. lib. i. sect. 92. p. 57. 


against the master, radical sins of unbelief, hypocrisy, selfish- 
ness, pride, sensuality, or fleshpleasing, and the inordinate 
love of earthly things. Take heed, lest under pretence of 
diligence in your calling, you be drawn to earthly-minded- 
ness, and excessive cares or covetous designs for rising in 
the world. If you are to trade or deal with others, take 
heed of selfishness, which desireth to draw or save from 
others, as much as you can for yourselves and your own ad- 
vantage; take heed of all that savoureth of injustice or un- 
charitableness in all your dealings with others. If you con- 
verse with vain-talkers, be still provided against the tempta- 
tion of vanity of talk. If you converse with angry persons, 
be still fortified against their provocations. If you converse 
with wanton persons, or such as are tempting those of the 
other sex, maintain that modesty and necessary distance 
and cleanness of speech which the laws of chastity require. 
If you have servants that are still faulty, be so provided 
against the temptation, that their faults may not make you 
faulty, and you may do nothing that is unseemly or unjust, 
but only that which tendeth to their amendment. If you are 
poor, be still provided against the temptations of poverty, 
that it bring not upon you an evil far greater than itself. 
If you are rich, be most diligent in fortifying your hearts 
against those more dangerous temptations of riches, which 
very few escape. If you converse with flatterers or those 
that much admire you, be fortified against swelling pride. 
If you converse with those that despise and injure you, be 
fortified against impatient, revengeful pride. These works 
at first will be very difficult, while sin is in any strength ; 
but when you have got an habitual apprehension of the poi- 
sonous danger of every one of these sins, and of the tenden- 
cy of all temptations, your hearts will readily and easily 
avoid them, without much tiring, thoughtfulness, and care ; 
even as a man will pass by a house infected with the plague, 
or go out of the way if he meet a cart or any thing that would 
hurt him. 

Direct, x. ' When you are alone in your labours, im- 
prove the time in practical, fruitful (not speculative and 
barren) meditations : especially in heart-work and heaven- 
work :' let your chiefest meditations be on the infinite good- 
ness and perfections of God. and the life of glory, which in 


the love and praise of him, you must live for ever : and next 
let Christ and the mysteries of grace in man's redemption, 
be the matter of your thoughts : and next that your own 
hearts and lives, and the rest before expressed. Chap. xvi. 
Direct. 6. If you are able to manage meditations methodi- 
cally it will be best ; but if you cannot do that, without so 
much striving as will confound you, and disti'act you, and 
cast you into melancholy, it is better let your meditations be 
more short and easy, like ejaculatory prayers ; but let them* 
usually be operative to do some good upon your hearts. 

Direct, xi. * If you labour in company with others, be 
provided with matter, skill, resolution, and zeal, to improve 
the time in profitable conference, and to avoid diversions/ 
as is directed. Chap. xvi. 

Direct. XII. * Whatever you are doing, in company or 
alone, let the day be spent in the inward excitation and ex- 
ercise of the graces of the soul, as well as in external bodily 
duties.' And to that end know, that there is no external 
duty, but must have some internal grace to animate it, or 
else it is but an image or carcase, and unacceptable to God. 
When you are praying and reading, there are the graces of 
faith, desire, love, repentance, &c. to be exercised there ; 
when you are alone, meditation may help to actuate any 
grace as you find most needful : when you are conferring 
with others, you must exercise love to them, and love to 
that truth about which you do confer, and other graces as 
the subject shall require : when you are provoked or under 
suffering, you have patience to exercise. But especially it 
must be your principal daily business, by the exercise of 
faith, to keep your hearts warm in the love of God and your 
dear Redeemer, and in the hopes and delightful thoughts of 
heaven. As the means are various and admit of deliberation 
and choice, because they are to be used but as means, and 
not all at once, but sometimes one and sometimes another, 
when the end is still the same and past deliberation or 
choice ; so all those graces which are but means must be 
used thus variously, and with deliberation and choice ; when 
the love of God and of eternal life must be the constant 
tenor and constitution of the mind, as being the final grace, 
which consisteth with the exercise of eveiy other mediate 
grace. Never take up with lip-labour or bodily exercise 


alone, nor barren thoughts, unless your hearts be also em- 
ployed in a course of duty, and holy breathings after God, 
or motion towards him, or in the sincere internal part of the 
duty which you perform to men : Justice and Love are 
graces which you must still exercise towards all that you 
have to deal with in the world. Love is called the fulfilling 
of the law "", because the Love of God and man is the soul 
of every outward duty, and a cause that will bring forth 
these as its effects. 

Direct, xiii. * Keep up a high esteem of time ; and be 
every day more careful that you lose none of your time, than 
you are that you lose none of your gold or silver : and if 
vain recreations, dressings, feastings, idle talk, unprofitable 
company, or sleep, be any of them temptations to rob you 
of any of your time, accordingly heighten your watchfulness 
and firm resolutions against them.' Be not more careful to 
escape thieves and robbers, than to escape that person or 
action, or course of life, that would rob you of any of your 
time. And for the redeeming of time, especially see, not 
only that you be never idle, but also that you be doing the 
greatest good that you can do, and prefer not a less before a 

Direct, xiv. ' Eat and drink with temperance, and 
thankfulness : for health and not for unprofitable pleasure.' 
For quantity, most carefully avoid excess ; for many exceed, 
for one that taketh too little. Never please your appetite 
in meat or drink, when it tendeth to the detriment of your 
health. ''It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes 

strong drink. Give strong drink to him that is ready 

to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts ^." 
** Woe to thee, O land when thy king is a child, and thy 
princes eat in the morning. Blessed art thou, O land, when 
thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due 
season, for strength and not for drunkenness ^." Then must 
poorer men also take heed of intemperance and excess. 
Let your diet incline rather to the coarser than the finer 
sort, and to the cheaper than the costly sort, and to sparing 
abstinence than to fulness. I would advise rich men es- 
pecially, to write in great letters on the walls of their dining 
rooms or parlours these two sentences : '* BEHOLD THIS 

<= Rom, xiii. 10. '' Prov. xxxi. 4- 6. ' Ecclcs. x. 16, 17. 


NESS WAS IN HER, neither did she strengthen the hand 
of the poor and needy *." " There was a certain rich man 
FARED SUMPTUOUSLY every day. Son remem- 
ber that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things s," 
Paul wept when he mentioned them, " whose end is destruc- 
tion, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their 
shame, who mind earthly things, being enemies to the 
cross *"." O live not after the flesh, lest ye die K" 

Direct, xv. 'If any temptation prevail against you, and 
you fall into any sins besides common infirmities, presently 
lament it, and confess not only to God, but to men, when 
confession conduceth more to good than harm ; and rise by 
a true and thorough repentance, immediately without delay/ 
Spare not the flesh, and daub not over the breach, and do 
not by excuses palliate the sore, but speedily rise whatever it 
<iOst : for it will certainly cost you more to go on or to re- 
main impenitent. And for your ordinary infirmities, make 
not too light of them, but confess them, and daily strive 
against them ; and examine what strength you get against 
them, and do not aggravate them by impenitence and con- 

Direct, XVI. ' Every day look to the special duties of 
your several relations :' whether you are husbands, wives, 
parents, children, masters, servants, pastors, people, magis- 
trates, subjects, remember that every relation hath its spe- 
cial duty, and its advantage for the doing of some good ; 
and that God requireth your faithfulness in these, as well 
as in any other duty. And that in these a man's sincerity 
or hypocrisy is usually more tried, than in any other parts 
of our lives. 

Direct, xvii. * In the evening return to the worshipping 
of God, in the family and in secret as was directed for the 
morning.' And do all with seriousness as in the sight of 
God, and in the sense of your necessities ; and make it your 

f Ezek. xvi. 49. ' Lake xvi. 19. 35. 

•» Phil. iu. 11, 19. See Dr. Hammond's Annotat. 
> Koni. vui. 13. Gal.vi. 8. v. 21.^3, 24. 


delight to receive instructions from the holy Scripture, and 
praise God, and call upon his name through Christ. 

Direct, xviii. * If you have any extraordinary impedi- 
ments one day to hinder you in your duty to God and man, 
make it up by diligence the next; and if you have any ex- 
traordinary helps, make use of them, and let them not over- 
slip you,' As, if it be a lecture-day, or a funeral sermon, 
or you have opportunity of converse with men of extraor- 
dinary worth; or if it be a day of humiliation or thanksgiv- 
ing; it may be expected that you get a double measure of 
strength by such extraordinary helps. 

Direct, xix. ' Before you betake yourselves to sleep, it 
is ordinarily a safe and needful course, to take a review of 
the actions and mercies of the past day ; that you may be 
specially thankful for all special mercies, and humbled for 
your sins, and may renew your repentance and resolutions 
for obedience, and may examine yourselves, whether your 
souls grow better or worse, and whether sin go down, and 
grace increase, and whether you are any better prepared for 
sufferings and death.' But yet waste not too much time in 
the ordinary accounts of your life, as those that neglect 
their duty while they are examining themselves how they 
perform it, and perplexing themselves with the long perusal 
of their ordinary infirmities. But by a general (yet sincere) 
repentance, bewail your unavoidable daily failings, and have 
recourse to Christ for a daily pardon and renewed grace ; 
and in case of extraordinary sins or mercies, be sure to be 
extraordinarily humbled or thankful. Some think it best to 
keep a daily catalogue or diurnal of their sins and mercies. 
If you do so, be not too particular in the enumeration of 
those that are the matter of every day's return ; for it will 
be but a temptation to waste your time, and neglect greater 
duty, and to make you grow customary and senseless of 
such sins and mercies, when the same come to be recited 
over and over from day to day. But let the common mer- 
cies be more generally recorded, and the common sins ge- 
nerally confessed (yet neither of them therefore slighted) : 
and let the extraordinary mercies, and greater sins, have a 
more particular observation. And yet remember, that sins 
and mercies, which it is not fit that others be acquainted 
with, are more safely committed to memory than to writing : 


and methinks, a well humbled and a thankful heart, should 
not easily let the memory of them slip. 

Direct, xx. * When you compose yourselves to sleep, 
again commit yourselves to God through Christ, and crave 
his protection, and close up the day with some holy exercise 
of faith and love.* And if you are persons that must needs 
lie waking in the night, let your meditations be holy, and 
exercised upon that subject that is most profitable to your 
souls. But I cannot give this as an ordinary direction, be- 
cause that the body must have sleep, or else it will be unfit 
for labour, and all thoughts of holy things must be serious ; 
and all serious thoughts will hinder sleep, and those that 
wake in the night, do wake unwillingly, and would not put 
themselves out of hopes of sleep, which such serious medi- 
tations would do. Nor can I advise you (ordinarily) to rise 
in the night to prayer, as the papists' votaries do. For this 
is but to serve God with irrational and hurtful ceremony • 
and it is a wonder how far such men will go in ceremony, 
that will not be drawn to a life of love and spiritual worship : 
unless men did irrationally place the service of God in pray- 
ing this hour rather than another, they might see how im- 
providently and sinfully they lose their time, in twice dress- 
ing and undressing, and in the intervals of their sleep, when 
they might spare all that time, by sitting up the longer, or 
rising the earlier, for the same employment. Besides what 
tendency it hath to the destruction of health, by cold and 
interruption of necessary rest ; when God approveth not of 
the disabling of the body, or destroying our health, or 
shortening life (no more than of murder or cruelty to others); 
but only calleth us to deny our unnecessary, sensual delights, 
and use the body so as it may be most serviceable to the 
soul and him. 

I have briefly laid together these twenty Directions for 
the right spending of every day, that those that need them, 
and cannot remember the larger more particular Directions, 
may at least get these few engraven on their minds, and make 
them the daily practice of their lives ; which if yuu will 
sincerely do, you cannot conceive how much it will conduce 
to the holiness, fruitfulness, and quietness of your lives, and 
to your peaceful and comfortable death. 



Tit. 1 . Directions for the holy spending of the Lord's Day 
in Families. 

Direct, I. * Be well resolved against the cavils of those 
carnal men, that w^ould make you believe that the holy 
spending of the Lord's day is a needless thing*/ For the 
name vs^hether it shall be called the Christian sabbath, is 
not much worth contending about : undoubtedly the name 
of ' The Lord's Day,' is that which was given it by the Spirit 
of God ^ and the ancient Christians, who sometimes called 
it, * The Sabbath,' by allusion, as they used the names. Sa- 
crifice and Altar : the question is not so much of the name 
as the thing ; whether we ought to spend the day in holy 
exercises, without unnecessary divertisements ? And to 
settle your consciences in this, you have all these evidences 
at hand. 

1. By the confession of all, you have the law of nature 
to tell you, that God must be openly worshipped, and that 
some set time should be appointed for his worship. And, 
whether the fourth commandment be formally in force or 
abrogated, yet it is commonly agreed on that the parity of 
reason, and general equity of it, serveth to acquaint us, that 
it is the will of God that one day in seven be the least that 
we destinaie to this use ; this being then judged a meet pro- 
portion by God himself, (even from the creation, and on the 
account of commemorating the creation,) and Christians be- 
ing no less obliged to take as large a space of time, who 
have both the creation and redemption to commemorate, 
and a more excellent manner of worship to perform. 

2. It is confessed by all Christians that Christ rose on 
the first day of the week, and appeared to his congregated 
disciples on that day, and poured out the Holy Ghost on 
them on that day, and that the apostles appointed, and the 
Christian churches observed, their assemblies and commu- 
nion ordinarily on that day ; and that these apostles were 
filled with the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, that 

• Since the writing of this, I have published a Treatise of the Lord's Day. 
b Rev. i. 10. 


they might infallibly acquaint the church with the doctrine 
and will of Jesus Christ, and leave it on record for succeed- 
ing ages *" ; and so were intrusted by office, and enabled by 
gifts, to settle the orders of the Gospel-church, as Moses 
did the matters of the tabernacle and worship then ; and so 
that their laws or orders thus settled, were the laws or or- 
ders of the Holy Ghost '^. 

3. It is also confessed, that the universal church from 
the days of the apostles down till now, hath constantly kept 
holy the Lord's day in the memorial of Christ's resurrection, 
and that as by the will of Christ delivered to them by or from 
the apostles : insomuch that I remember not either any or- 
thodox Christian, or heretic, that ever opposed, questioned, 
or scrupled it, till of late ages. And as a historical disco- 
very of the matter of fact, this is a good evidence that in- 
deed it was settled by the apostles ; and consequently by 
Christ who gave them their commission, and inspired them 
by the Holy Ghost. 

4. It is confessed, that it is still the practice of the uni- 
versal church ; and those that take it to be but of ecclesias- 
tical appointment, some of them mean it of such extraordi- 
nary ecclesiastics as inspired apostles, and all of them take 
the appointment as obligatory to all the members of the 

5. The laws of the land where we live command it, and 
the king by proclamation urgeth the execution ; and the 
canons, and homilies, and liturgy shew that the holy ob- 
servation of the Lord's day, is the judgment and will of 
the governors of the church. Read the homilies for the 
time and place of worship. Yea, they require the people to 
say when the fourth commandment is read, " Lord, have 
mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.*' 
And the command of authority is not a contemptible obli- 

6. It is granted by all, that more than this is due to God, 
and the life that is in every Christian telleth him, that it is 
a very great mercy to us ; not only to servants, but even to 
all men, that one day in, seven they may disburden them- 

« Mark xvi. 2. 9. Luke xxiv. 1. 

«> Jolin XX. 1. 19. 26. Acts ii. 1. xx. 7. I Cor. xvi- 1, 8 Rev. i. 10. 
Mat!. xxTiii. 19, «0. John xvi. 13—15. Rom. xvi. 16. « Thes. iL 15. 


selves of all the cares and business of the world, which may 
hinder their holy communion with God and one another, 
and wholly apply themselves to learn the will of God. And 
nature teacheth us to accept of mercy when it is offered to 
us, and not dispute against our happiness. 

7. Common experience telleth us, that where the Lord's 
day is more holily and carefully observed, knowledge and 
religion prosper best ; and that more souls are converted on 
those days, than on all the other days besides ; and that the 
people are accordingly more edified ; and that wherever the 
Lord's day is ordinarily neglected or misspent, religion and 
civility decay, and there is a visible, lamentable difference 
between those places and families, and the other. 

8. Reason and experience tell us, that if men were 
left to themselves, what time they should appoint for God's 
public worship, in most places it would be so little, and 
disordered, and uncertain, that religion would be for the 
most part banished out of the now Christian world. There- 
fore there being need of a universal law for it, it is probable 
that such a law there is ; and if so, it can be by none but 
God, the Creator, Redeemer, and Holy Ghost, there being 
no other universal Governor and Lawgiver to impose it. 

9. All must confess, that it is more desirable for unity 
and concord sake, that all Christians hold their holy assem- 
blies on one and the same day, and that all at once through- 
all the world, do worship God and seek his grace, than that 
they do it some on one day, and some on another. 

10. And all that ever I have conversed with, confess, 
that if the holy spending of the Lord's day be not necessaiy 
it is lawful ; and therefore when there is so much to be said 
for the necessity of it too, to keep it holy is the safest way, 
seeing this cannot be a sin, but the contrary may ; and li- 
cence is encouragement enough to accept of so great a mer- 
cy. All this set together will satisfy a man, that hath any 
spiritual sense of the concernments of his own and others' 

Object, But you will say, ' That besides the nanre, it is 
yet a controversy whether the whole day should be spent in 
holy exercises, or only so much as is meet for public com- 
munion, it being not found in antiquity, that the churches 
used any further to observe it.' 


Answ. No sobfer man detiieth that works Of necessity fot 
the preservation of our own or other men's lives, or health, 
or goods, may be done on the Lord's day : so that when 
we say, that the whole day is to be spent holily, we exclude 
not eating and sleeping, nor the necessary actions about 
worship ; as the priests in the temple are said to break the 
sabbath, (that is, the external rest,) and to be blameless. 
But otherwise, that it is the whole day, is evident in the 
arguments produced : the ancient histories and canons of 
the church speak not of one part of the day only, but the 
whole : all confess, that when labour Or sinful sports are 
forbidden, it is on the whole day, and not only on a part4 
And for what is alleged of the custom of the ancient churchy 
I answer, 1. The ancientest churches spent almost all the 
day in public worship and communion : they begun in the 
morning, and continued without parting till the evening. 
The first part of the day being spent in teaching the cate* 
churaens, they were then dismissed, and the church conti-^ 
nued together in preaching and praying, but especially in 
those laudatory, eucharistical offices, which accompany the 
celebration of the sacrament of the body and blood of Christi 
They did not then, (as gluttons do now,) account it fasting 
to forbear a dinner, when they supped, yea, feasted at night ; 
it being not usual among the Romans to eat atty dinners at 
all. And they that spent all the day together in public wor- 
ship and communion, you may be sure spent not part of it 
in dancing, nor stage-plays, nor worldly businesses, 2. Arid 
church history giveth us but little account what particular 
persons did ,in private, nor can it be expected. 3. Who 
hath bronght us any proof that ever the church hppt^- 
ed of spending any part of the day in spotts, or idleness, or 
unnecessary, worldly business? Or that any churches (or 
persons rcgardable) did actually so spend it? 4. Unless 
their proof be from those many canons of our own and other 
churches, that command the holy observation of it, and for- 
Ind these plays and labours on it ; which I confess dofh fff- 
timate, that some there were that needed laws to restrAih 
them from the violation of it. d. Again I say, that seeirig 
few men will have the face to say that plays and games, 
or idleness are a duty on that day, it will suffice a holy, 
thankful (.'hristian, if he have but leave, to sjliend a!) tfte 


day for the good of his soul and those about him ; and if he 
may be reading and meditating on the Word of God, and 
praying and praising him, and instructing his family, while 
others waste that time in vanity ; especially to servants and 
poor men that have but little other leisure all the year, to 
seek for knowledge, or use any such helps for their salva- 
tion. As to a poor man that is kept hungry all the week, a 
bare liberty of feasting with his landlord on the Lord's day, 
would satisfy him without a law to constrain him to it; so 
is it here with a hungry soul. 

Direct, ii. ' Remember that the work of the day is, in 
general, to keep up knowledge and religion in the world, 
and to own and honour our Creator, Redeemer, and Rege- 
nerator openly before all ; and to have communion with God 
through Christ in the Spirit, by receiving and exercising his 
grace, in order. to our communion with him in glory. Let 
these therefore (well understood) be your ends, and in these 
be you exercised all the day, and stick not hypocritically in 
bodily rest and outward duties.' Remember that it is a day 
for heart-work, as well as for the exercise of the tongue, 
and ear, and knees ; and that your principal business is 
with heaven : follow your hearts therefore all the day, and 
see that they be not idle while your bodies are exercised : 
nothing is done if the heart do nothing. 

Direct, iii. * Remember that the special work of the 
day is to celebrate the memorial of Christ's resurrection, 
and of the whole work of man's redemption by him. La- 
bour therefore with all diligence in the sense of your na- 
tural sin and misery, to stir up the lively sense of the won- 
derful love of God and our Redeemer, and to spend all the 
day in the special exercises of faith and love. And seeing 
it is the Christian weekly festival, or day of thanksgiving 
for the greatest mercy in the world, spend it as a day of 
thanksgiving should be spent, especially in joyful praises of 
our Lord; and let the humbling and instructing exercises 
of the day, be all subordinate to these laudatory exercises/ 
I know that much time must be spent in teaching and warn- 
ing the ignorant and ungodly, because their poverty and 
labours hinder them from other such opportunities, and we 
must speak to them then or not all. But if it were not for 
their mere necessity, and if we could as well speak to them 


other days of the week, the churches should spend all the 
the Lord's day in such praises and thanksgivings as are 
suitable to the ends of the institution. But seeing that can- 
not be expected, metliinks it is desirable that the ancient 
custom of the churches were more imitated, and the morn- 
ing* sermon being suited to the state of the more ignorant 
and unconverted, that the rest of the day were spent in the 
exercises of thanksgiving to the joy and encouragement of 
believers, and in doctrine suited to their state. And yet I 
must add, that a skilful preacher will do both together, and 
so declare the love and grace of our Redeemer, as by a meet 
application may both draw in the ungodly, and comfort those 
that are already sanctified, and raise their hearts in praise to 

Direct, iv. ' Remember that the Lord's day is appoint- 
ed specially for public worship and personal communion of 
the churches therein : see therefore that you spend as much 
of the day as you can in this public worship and church- 
communion ; especially in the celebration of that sacrament 
which is appointed for the memorial of the death of Christ 
until his coming *.' This sacrament in the primitive church 
was celebrated every Lord's day ; yea, and ofter, even ordi- 
narily on every other day of the week when the churches as- 
sembled for communion. And it might be so now without 
any hindrance to preaching or prayer, if all things were or- 
dered as they should be ; for those prayers, and instructions, 
and exhortations which are most suited to this eucharistical 
action, would be the most suitable prayers and sermons for 
the church on the Lord's days. In the mean time see that 
so much of the day as is spent in church-communion and 
public worship, be accordingly improved by you ; and be not 
at that time about your secret or family services, but take 
only those hours for such private duties, in which the church 
is not assembled ; and remember how much the love of 
saints is to be exercised in this communion, and therefore 
labour to keep alive that love, without which no man can 
celebrate the Lord's day according to the end of the insti- 

Direct, v. * Understand how great a mercy it is, that 
you have leave thus to wait upon God for the receiving and 
« 1 Cor. xi. 25, 26. 


exercise of grace, and to cast off the distracting thoughts 
and businesses of the world, and what an opportunity is put 
into youv hand, to get more in one day, than this world can 
afford you all your lives. And therefore come with gladness 
aa to the receiving of so great a mercy, and with desire £^fter 
it, and with hope to speed, and not with unwillingness as to 
an unpleasant task, as carnal hearts that love not God, or 
his grace or service, and are weary of all they do, and glad 
when it is done, as the ox that is unyoked/ " If thou turn 
away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on 
my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the 
Lord, honourable ; and shalt honour him, not doing thine 
own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking 
thine own words, then shalt thou delight thyself in the 
LordV The affection that you have to the Lord's day, 
much sheweth the temper of the heart : a holy person is glad 
when it cometh, as loving it for the holy exercises of the 
day ; a wicked, carnal heart is glad of it only for his carnal 
ease, but weary of the spiritual duties. 

Direct, vi. * Avoid both the extremes of profaneness and 
auperstition in the point of youv external rest :' and to that 
end, observe 1. That the work is not for the day, but the 
day for thfe holy work : as Christ saith, " The sabbath was 
made for man, and not man for the sabbath s." It is ap- 
pointed for our goodj ai)d not for our hurt. 2, The outward 
Testis not appointed for itself, but as a means to the freedom 
of the mind for inward, and spiritual employments : and 
therefore all those outward and common labours and dis- 
courses are unlawful, which any way distract the mind, and 
hinder either our Q^tw^rd, or inward attendance upon God, 
and our edification. 3. And (whatever it was to the Jews) 
no common words or actions are unlawful, which are no hin- 
dranx^e to this coippjuunion, and worship, and spiritual edifi- 
cation. 4. Yea, those things that are necessary to the sup- 
port of nature, and the saving of the life, or health, or estate 
and goods of ourselves or our neighbours, are needful duties 
on that day : not all those works that are truly charitable, 
(for it may be a work of mercy to build hospitals, or make 
garments for the poor, or till their ground) but such works 
of mercy as cannot be put off to another day, and such ^ 

f Isa. Iviii. 13, 14. ^ Mark ii. 27. 


hinder not the duties of the day. 5. The same word or ac- 
tion on the Lord's day which is unlawful to one man may be 
lawful to another ; as being no hindrance, yea, a duty to 
him : as Christ saith, '' The priests in the temple break or 
profane the sabbath, (that is. the outward rest, but not the 
command) and are blameless \" And the cook may be law- 
fully employed in dressing meat, when it were a sin in 
another to do it voluntarily without need. 6. The Lord's 
day being to be kept as a day of thanksgiving, the dressing 
of such meat as is fit for a day of thanksgiving is not to be 
scrupled : the primitive Christians in the apostles' time, 
had their love-feasts constantly (with the Lord's supper, or 
after) on the evening of the day ; and they could not feast 
without dressing meat. 7. Yet that which is lawful in itself, 
must be so done as consisteth with care and compassion of 
the souls of servants that are employed about it, that they 
may be deprived of no more of their spiritual benefit than 
needs. 8. Also that which is lawful must sometimes be for- 
borne, when it may by scandal tempt others that are loose 
or weak, to do that which is unlawful : not that the mere 
displeasing of the erroneous should put us out of the right 
way ; but the scandal which is spoken against in Scripture, 
is the laying a temptation before men that are weak to make 
them sin. 9. Take heed of that hypocritical and censorious 
temper which turneth the holy observation of the day, into a 
gcremonious abstinence from lawful things ; and censureth 
those as ungodly that are not of the same mind, and forbear 
not such things as well as they. Mark the ditFerence be- 
tween Christ and the Pharisees in this point : much of their 
contention with him was about the outward observation of 
the sabbath ; because his disciples rubbed out corn to eat 
on the sabbath-day ; and because he healed on the f^abbath, 
and bid the healed man, " Take up his bed and walk :" and 
they said, " There are six days in which men ought to work ; 
they might come and be healed on them'." And a man 
that is of their spirit will think that the Pharisees were in the 
right : no doubt Christ might have chosen another day to 

)> Malt. xii. 15. 

» Luke vi. 1. 5, 6. xiii. 12.14—16. John v. 17, 18. iMark i. 21. «4. 
ii. '23—28. in. t2, 3. 5. vi. 2. 5. Luke xiv. 1. 3. 5, 6. John v. 9, 10. 16. 
vii. 22—24. ix. 14. 16. 


heal on ; but he knew that the works which most declared 
the power of God, and honoured him before all, and con- 
firmed the Gospel, were fittest for the sabbath day. Take 
heed therefore of the Pharisees' ceremoniousness and censo- 
riousness. If you see a man walking abroad on the Lord's 
day, censure him not till you know that he doth it from pro- 
faneness or negligence : you know not but it may be neces- 
sary to his health, and he may improve it in holy medita- 
tion ? If you hear some speak a word more than you think 
needful, of common things, or do more about meat and clo- 
thing than you think meet ; censure them not till you hear 
their reason. A scrupulousness about such outward obser- 
vances, when the holy duties of the day are no whit hinder- 
ed by that thing, and a censoriousness toward those that are 
not as scrupulous, is too Pharisaical and ceremonious a reli- 
gion for spiritual, charitable Christians. And the extremes 
of some godly people in this kind, have occasioned the Qua- 
kers and Seekers to take and use all days alike, and the 
profane to contemn the sanctifying of the Lord's day. 

Tit. 2. More Particular Directions for the Order of Holi/ 


Direct, i. ' Remember the Lord's day before it cometh, 
and prepare for it, and prevent those disturbances that 
would hinder you, and deprive you of the benefit.' For pre- 
paration : 1. ** Six days you must labour, and do all that 
you have to do." Dispatch all your business, that you may 
not have it then to hinder and disturb you ; and see that 
your servants do the same. 2. Shake off" the thoughts of 
• worldly things^, and clear your minds of worldly delights and 
cares. 3. Call to mind the doctrine taught you the last 
Lord's day, (and if you have servants, cause them to remem- 
ber it) that you may be prepared to receive the next. 4. 
Go seasonably to bed, that you and your servants may not 
be constrained to lie long the next morning, or be sleepy on 
the Lord's day. 5. Let your meditations be preparatory for 
the day. Repent of the sins of the week pastas particularly 
and seriously as you can ; and seek for pardon and peace 
through Christ, that you come not with guilt or trouble up- 
on your consciences before the Lord. 


Direct, ii. * Let your first thoughts be not only holy, but 

suitable to the occasions of the day/ With gladness re- 
member what a day of mercies you awake to, and how early 
your Redeemer rose from the dead that day, and what ex- 
cellent work you are to be employed in. 

Direct, iii. * Rise full as early that day as you do on 
other days.' Be not like the carnal generation, that sancti- 
fy the Lord's day but as a swine doth, by sleeping, and idle- 
ness, and fulness. Think not your worldly business more 
worthy of your early rising, than your spiritual employ- 
ment is. 

Direct, iv. * Let your dressing time be spent in some 
fruitful meditation, or conference, or hearing some one read 
a chapter :' and let it not be long, to detain you from your 

Direct, v. * If you can have leisure, go first to secret 
prayer :' and if you are servants, and have any necessary 
business to do, dispatch it quickly, that you may be free for 
better work. 

Direct. \\. * Let family -worhip come next, and not be 
slubbered over slightly, but be serious and reverent, and 
suit all to the nature or end of the day.' Especially awaken 
yourselves and servants to consider what you have to do in 
public, and to go with prepared, sanctified hearts. 

Direct, vii. * Enter the holy assembly with reverence 
and joy, and compose yourselves as those that come thither 
to treat with the living God, about the matters of eternal 
life.' And watch your hearts that they wander not, or sleep 
not, nor slight the sacred matters which you are about. And 
guard your eyes, that they carry not away your hearts ; and 
let not your hearts be a moment idle, but seriously employ- 
ed all the time: and when hypocrites and distempered 
Christians are quarrelling with the imperfections of the 
speaker, or congregation, or mode of worship, do you rather 
make it your diligent endeavour, to watch your hearts, and 
improve what you hear. 

Direct, viii. * As soon as you come home, while dinner 
is preparing ; it will be a seasonable time, either for secret 
prayer or meditation ; to call over what you heard, and urge 
it on your hearts, and beg God's help for the improvement 
of it, and pardon for your public failings. 


Direct, ix. * Let your tinae atmjeat be spent in the cheer, 
ful remembrance or mention of the love of your Redeemer ; 
or somewhat suitable to the company and the day/ 

Direct, x. * After dinner call your families together, and 
sing a psalm of praise, and by examination or repetition> 
Qor both, cause them to remember what was publicly taught 

Direct, xi. * Then go again to the congregation (to the 
beginning) and behave yourselves as before.' 

Direct, xii. * When you come home call your families 
together, and first crave God's assistance and acceptance ; 
aad then sing a psalm of praise ; and then repeat the sermon 
which you heard ;' or if there was nont^, read one out of 
some lively, profitable book ; and then pray and praise 
God ; and all with the holy seriousness and joy which is 
suitable to the work and day. 

Direct, xiii. * Then while supper is preparing, betake 
yourselves to secret prayer and meditation ; either in your 
chambers or walking, as yon find most profitable :' and let 
your servants, have no more to hinder them from the same 
privilege, than what is of necessity. 

Direct, xiv. * At supper spend the time as is aforesaid 
(at dinner) :' always remembering that though it be a day of 
thanksgiving,, it is not a day of gluttony, and that you must 
not use too full a diet, lest it make you heavy, and drowsy, 
aad unfit for holy duty. 

Dinred. xv. ' After supper examine your children and ser- 
vants what they have learnt all day, and sing a psalm of 
praise, and conclude with prayer and thanksgiving.' 

Direct. X'Vf, * If there be time after, 'both you and they 
may in secret review the duties, and mercies, and failings of 
the day, and recommend yourselves by prayer into the 
hands of God for the night followLng :' and so betake your- 
selves to your rest. 

Direct, xvii. ' And to shut up all, let your last thoughts 
be holy, in the thankful sense of the mercy you have receiv- 
ed, and the goodness of God revealed by our Mediator, and 
comfortably trusting ycmv souls and bodies into his hands, 
and longing for your nearer approach unto his glo«y, and the 
beholding and full enjoying of him for ever.' 

I have briefly named this order of duties, for the memory 


of those that have opportunity to observe it: but if any 
man's place anr*. condition deny him opportunity for some of 
these, he must do what he can : but see, that carnal negli- 
gence cause not his omission. And now I appeal to reason, 
conscience and experience, whether this employment be not 
more suitable to the principles, ends and hopes of a Christian, 
than idleness, or vain talk, or cards, or dice, or dancing, or 
ale-house haunting, or worldly business or discourse ? And 
whether this would not exceedingly conduce to the increase 
of knowledge, holiness and honesty? And whether there 
be ever a worldling or voluptuous sensualist of them all, 
that had not rather be found thus at death ; or look back 
when time is past and gone, upon the Lord's day thus spent, 
than as the idle, fleshly and ungodly spend them ? 


Directiomfor profitable Hearing the Word Preached, 

Omitting those Directions which concern the external 
modes of worship (for the reasons mentioned Part. iii. and 
known to all that know me, and the time and place I live in) 
I shall give you such Directions about the personal, internal 
management of your duty, as I think most necessary to your 
edification. And seeing that your duty and benefit lieth in 
these four general points: 1. That you hear with under- 
standing. 2. That you remember what you hear. 3. That 
you be duly affected with it. 4. And that you sincerely 
practise it, I shall more particularly direct you iu order to 
all these ends and duties. 

Tit.l, Directions for the Understanding the Word which you 


Direct, i * Read and meditate on the Holy Scriptures 
much in private, and then you will be the better able to un- 
derstand what is preached on it in public, and to try the 
doctrine, whethei; it be of God.' Whereas if you are unac- 


quaiiited with the Scriptures, all that is treated of or alleg 
ed from them, will be so strange to you, that you will be 
but little edified by it^. 

Direct, ii. * Live under the clearest, distinct, convincing 
teaching that possibly you can procure.' There is an un- 
speakable difference as to the edification of the hearers, be- 
tween a judicious, clear, distinct and useful preacher, and 
one that is ignorant, confused, general, dry, and only scrap- 
eth together a cento or mingle-mangle of some undigested 
sayings to fill up the hour with. If in philosophy, physic, 
grammar, law, and every art and science, there be so great 
a difference between one teacher and another, it must needs 
be so in divinity also. Ignorant teachers that understand 
not what they say themselves, are unlike to make you men 
of understanding : as erroneous teachers are unlike to make 
you orthodox and sound. 

Direct iii. ' Come not to hear with a careless heart, as if 
you were to hear a matter that little concerned you, but 
come with a sense of the unspeakable weight, necessity and 
consequence of the holy Word which you are to hear : and 
when you understand how much you are concerned in it, and 
truly love it, as the Word of life, it will greatly help your 
understanding of every particular truth.' That which a man 
loveth not, and perceiveth no necessity of, he will hear with 
so little regard and heed, that it will make no considerable 
impression on his mind. But a good understanding of the 
excellency and necessity, exciting love and serious atten-" 
tion, would make the particulars easy to be understood ; 
when else you will be like a stopped or narrow mouthed bot- 
tle, that keepeth out that which you desire to put in. I 
know that understanding must go before affections; but 
yet the understanding of the concernments and worth of 
your own souls, must first procure such a serious care of 
your salvation, and a general regard to the Word of God, as 
is needful to your farther understanding of the particular 
instructions, which you shall after hear. 

Direct. i\. 'Suffer not vain thoughts or drowsy negli- 
gence to hinder your attention.' If you mark not what is 
taught you, how should you understand and learn? Set 
yourselves to it, as for your lives : be as earnest and diligent 
a Psal. i. 2. cxix. Deut. vi. 1 1, 1?. 


in attending and learning, as you would have the preacher be 
in teaching '". If a drowsy ,careless preacher be bad, a drowsy, 
careless hearer is not good. Saith Moses, " Set your hearts 
to all the words which I testify among you this day." — " For 
it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life''." You 
would have God attentive to your prayers in your distresses, 
and why will you not then be attentive to his words; when 
" the prayers of him are abominable to God, that turneth 
away his ear from hearing the law?" " All the people were 
very attentive to hear Christ''." When Ezra read the law 
"from morning till mid -day, the ears of all the people were 
attentive to it*^." When Paul continued his Lord's day 
exercise, and speech until midnight, one young man that 
fell asleep, did fall down dead as a warning to them, that 
will sleep when they should hear the message of Christ^. 
Therefore you are excused that day from worldly business, 
"that you may attend on the Lord without distraction ^" 
Lydia's attending to the words of Paul, accompanied the 
opening of her heart and her conversion s. 

Direct. V. ' Mark especially the design and drift, and prin 
cipal doctrine of the sermon.' Both because that is the chief 
thing that the preacher would have marked j and because 
the understanding of that will much help you to understand 
all the rest which dependeth on it, and relateth to it. 

Direct, v i . ' Mark most those things which are of great- 
est weight and concernment to your souls.' And do not 
fix upon some little sayings, and by-discourses, or witty 
sentences ; like children that bring home some scraps and 
words which they do but play with. 

Direct, vii. * Learn first your catechisms at home, and 
the great essential points of religion, contained in the creed, 
the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments. And in 
yout hearing, first labour to get a clearer understanding of 
these ; and then the lesser branches which grow out of 
these, will be the better understood.' You can scarce be- 
stow too much care and pains in learning these great essen- 
tial points. It is the fruitfullest of all your studies. Two 
things further I here advise you to avoid. 1. The hasty 

•Prov.iv. 1. 20. V. 1. vii. 24. Neh. i. 6. 11. Psal. cxxx. 2. Prov.xxviil.9. 
»» Deut. xxxii. 46, 47. "^ Luke xix. 48. ^ Neh. viii. 3. 

« Acts xvi. 14. XX. 9. ' 1 Cor. vii. 35. « Act» xvi, 14. 


climbing up to smaller points (which some call higher) be* 
fore you have well received these, and the receiving of thos€ 
higher points, independently, without their due respect, to 
these which they depend upon. 2. The feeding upon dry and 
barren controversies, and delighting in the chaff of jingling 
words, and impertinent, unedifying things, or discourses 
about formalities and circumstances. 

Direct, viii. 'Meditate on what yon hear when you 
cbHie home, till you better understand it *". 

Direct, ix. 'Inquire where you doubt, of those that can 
resolve and teach you.' It sheweth a careless mind, and a 
contempt of the Word of God, in most people and servants, 
that never come to ask the resolution of one doubt, from 
one week's or year's end to another, though they have pas- 
tors or masters that have ability, and leisure, and willing- 
ness to help them. " When Christ was alone, they that 
were about him with the twelve, asked him the meaning of 
his parable'.'' 

Direct, x. 'Read much those holy books which treat 
best of the doctrine which you would understand.' 

Direct, xi. 'Pray earnestly for wisdom, and the illumi- 
nation of the Spirit**.' 

Direct. XII. ' Conscionable practising what you know, 
is an excellent help to understanding ^' 

Tit, 2. Directions for Remembering what you Hear. 

That want of memory, which cometh from age and de- 
cay of nature, is not to be cured : nor should any servant 
of Christ be overmuch troubled at it; seeing Christ will no 
more cast off his servants for that, than he will for age or 
any sickness : but for that want of memory which is cura- 
ble, and is a fault, I shall give you these Directions fol- 

Direct, il 'It greatly helpeth memory to have a full un- 
derstanding of the matter spoken, which you would remem- 
ber.' And ignorance is one of the greatest hindrance^ to 
memory. Common experience telleth you this, how easily 
you can remember any discourse which you thoroughly un- 

h Psal. i. 2. * Mark iv. 10. '' Eph. i. 18. Acts xxvi. 18. James i. 5. 
» John xii. 7. 17. 


derstand (for your very knowledge by invention will revive 
your memory) ; and how hard it is to remember any words 
which are insignificant, or which we understand not. There- 
fore labour most for a clear understanding according to the 
last Directions. 

Direct, ii. ' A deep, awakened affection is a very power- 
ful help to memory.' We easily remember any thing which 
our estates or lives lie on, when trifles are neglected and 
soon forgotten. Therefore labour to get all to your hearts, 
according to the next following Directions. 

Direct, in. * Method is a very great help to memory/ 
Therefore be acquainted with the preacher's method ; and 
then you are put into a path or tract, which you cannot 
easily go out of. And therefore it is, that ministers must 
not only be methodical, and avoid prolix, confused, and in- 
volved discourses, and that malicious pride of hiding their 
method, but must be as oft in the use of the same method, 
as the subject will bear, and choose that method which is 
most easy to the hearers to understand and remember, and 
labour to make them perceive your tract. 

Direct, iv. * Numbers are a great help to memory/ As 
if the reasons, the uses, the motives, the signs, the direc- 
tions, be six, or seven, or eight; when you know just the 
number, it helpeth you much to remember, which was the 
first, second, third, &c. 

Direct, v. * Names also and signal words are a great help 
to memory.' He may remember one word, that cannot re- 
member all the sentence ; and that one Word may help him 
to remember much of the rest. Therefore preachers should 
contrive the force of every reason, use, direction, &c. as 
mu9h as may be into some one emphatical word. (And 
some do very profitably contrive each of those words to be- 
gin with the same letter, which is good for memory, so it be 
not too much strained, and put them not upon greater incon- 
veniences) ; as if I were to direct you to the chiefest helps 
to your salvation, and should name, 1. Powerful preaching. 
2. Prayer. 3. Prudence. 4. Piety. 5. Painfulness. 6. 
Patience. 7. Pereevetance. Though I opened every one 
of these at large, the very names would help the hearers' 
memory. It is this that maketh ministers that care more for 
their people's souls, than the pleasing of curious ears, to 


go in the common road of doctrine, reason, uses, motives, 
helps, &c. and to give their uses the same titles of informa- 
tion, reproof, exhortation, 8cc. And yet when the subject 
shall direct us to some other method, the hearers must not 
be offended with us : for one method will not serve exactly 
for every subject, and we must be loath to wrong the text or 

Direct, vi. ' It is a great help to memory, often in the 
time of hearing to call over and repeat to yourselves the 
names or heads that have been spoken.' The mind of man 
can do two things at once : You may both hear what is said, 
and recal and repeat to yourselves what is past : not to 
stand long upon it, but oft and quickly to name over, e. g. 
The reasons, uses, motives, &c. To me, this hath been 
(next to understanding and affection) the greatest help of 
any that I have used ; for otherwise to hear a head but once, 
and think of it no more till the sermon is done, would never 
serve my turn to keep it. 

Direct. VII. ' Grasp not at more than you are able to hold, 
lest thereby you lose all.' If there be more particulars than 
you can possibly remember, lay hold on some which most 
concern you, and let go the rest ; perhaps another may rather 
take up those, which you leave behind. Yet say not that it is 
the preacher's fault to name more than you can carry away : 
for, 1. Then he must leave out his enlargement much more, 
and the most of his sermon ; for it is like you leave the 
most behind. 2. Another may remember more than you. 
3. All is not lost when the words are forgotten : for it may 
breed a habit of understanding, and promote resolution, af- 
fection, and practice. 

Direct. \\\u 'Writing is an easy help for memory, to 
those that can use it.' Some question whether they should 
use it, because it hindereth their affection. But that must 
be differently determined according to the difference of 
subjects, and of hearers. Some sermons are all to work 
upon the affections at present, and the present advantage is 
to be preferred before the after perusal : but some must 
more profit us in after digestion and review. And some 
hearers can write much with ease, and little hinder their 
affection ; and some write so little and are hindered so 
much, that it recompenseth not their loss. Some know so 


fully all that is said, that they need no notes; and some 
that are ignorant need them for perusal. 

Direct, ix. * Peruse what you remember, or write down, 
when you come home ; and fix it speedily before it is lost ; 
and hear others that can repeat it better.' Pray it over, 
and confer of it with others. 

Direct, x. ' If you forget the very words, yet remember 
the main drift of all ; and get those resolutions and affec- 
tions which they drive at.' And then you have not lost the 
sermon, though you have lost the words ; as he hath not 
lost his food, that hath digested it, and turned it into flesh 
and blood. 

Tit. 3. Directions for holy Resolutions and Affections in 

The understanding and memory are but the passage to 
the heart, and the practice is but the expression of the heart : 
therefore how to work upon the heart is the principal busi- 

Direct. I. * Live under the most convincing, lively, se- 
rious preacher that possibly you can.' It is a matter of 
great concernment to all, but especially to dull and sense* 
less hearts. Hearken not to that earthly generation, that 
tell you, because God can bless the weakest, and because 
it is your own fault if you profit not by the weakest ; that 
therefore you should make no difference, but sit down un- 
der an ignorant, dumb, or senseless man. Try first whe- 
ther they had as willingly have a bad servant, or a bad phy- 
sician as a good one, because God can bless the labours of 
the weakest? Try whether they would not have their chil- 
dren duly reproved or corrected, because it is their own 
faults that they need it? And whether they would not take 
physic after a surfeit? though it be their own fault that 
made them sick. It is true, that all our sin is our own 
fault ; but the question is. What is the most effectual cure ? 
What man that is alive and awake, doth not feel a very great 
difference between a dead and a lively preacher? 

Direct, ii. * Remember that ministers are the messengers 
of Christ, and come to you on his business and in his name. 
Hear them therefore as his officers, and as men that have 



more to do with God himself, than with the speaker*''.' It 
is the phrase of the Holy Ghost, ** All things are naked 
and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do ''." 
It is God with whom you have to do, and therefore accord- 
ingly behave yourselves °. 

Direct, iii. ' Remember that this God is instructing you, 
and warning you, and treating with you, about no less than 
the saving of your souls. Come therefore to hear as for 
your salvation.' Can that heart be dull that well consider- 
eth, that it is heaven and hell that is the matter that God^.ia 
treating with him about? - •! 

Direct, iv. ' Remember that you have but a little time 
to hear in ; and you know not, whether ever you shall hear 
again. Hear therefore as if it were your last.' Think when 
you hear the calls of God, and the offers of Grace, I know 
not but this may be my last : how would I hear if I were sure 
to die to-morrow ? I am sure it will be ere long, and may 
be to-day for aught I know. 

Direct, v. ' Remember that all these days and sermons 
must be reviewed, and you must answer for all that you 
have heard, whether you heard it with love, or with unwil- 
lingness and weariness ; with diligent attention or with 
carelessness ; and the Word which you hear shall judge you 
at the last day. Hear therefore as those that are going to 
judgment, to give account of their hearing and obeying p. 

Direct, vi. * Make it your work with diligence to apply 
the Word as you are hearing it, and to work your own hearts 
to those suitable resolutions and affections which it be- 
speaketh.' Cast not all upon the minister, as those that 
will go no further than they are carried as by force : this is 
fitter for the dead than for the living. You have work to 
do as well as the preacher, and should all the while be as 
busy as he; as helpless as the infant is, he must suck when 
the mother offereth him the breast : if you must be fed, yet 
you must open your mouths, and digest it, for another can- 
not digest it for you ; nor can the holiest, wisest, powerful 
minister, convert or save you without yourselves, nor deliver 
a people from sin and hell, that will not stir for their own de^ 
liverance. Therefore be all the while at work, and abhor 
an idle heart in hearing, as well as an idle minister. 

"' '2 Cor. vi. 1. " Heb. iv. 13. 

«* See Luke x. 16. 1 Thes.iv. 8. 1 Cor. iv. 1. p John xii. 48. 



Direct, \\\, 'Chew the cud, and call up all when you 
Come home in secret, and by meditation preach it over to 
yourselves/ If it were coldly delivered by the preacher, do 
you consider of the great weight of the matter, and preach 
it more earnestly over to your own hearts. You should love 
yourselves best, and best be acquainted with your own con- 
dition and necessities. 

Direct. VIII. ' Pray it over all to God, and there lament 
a stupid heart, and put up your complaints to heaven against 
it.* The name and presence of God hath a quickening and 
awaking power. 

Direct, ix. ' Go to Christ by faith, for the quickenings 
of his Spirit.' Your life is hid in him, your root and head j 
and from him all must be conveyed : he that hath the Son 
hath life ; and because he liveth, we shall live also. En- 
treat him to glorify the power of his resurrection, by raising 
the dead ; and to open your hearts, and speak to you by his 
Spirit, that you may be taught of God, and your hearts may 
be his epistles, and the tables where the everlasting law is 

Direct, x. * Make conscience of teaching and provoking 
others.' Pity the souls of the ignorant about you. God 
often blesseth the grace that is most improved in doing him 
service ; and our stock is like the woman's oil, which in- 
creased as long as she poured out, and was gone when she 
stopped'^. Doing good is the best way for receiving good ; 
he that in pity to a poor man that is almost starved, will 
but fall to rubbing him, shall get himself heat, and both be 

Tit. 4. Directions to bring what loe Hear into Practice. 

Without this the rest is vain or counterfeit, and there- 
fore somewhat must be said to this. 

'i^r^Direct, i. * Be acquainted with the failings of your hearts 
and lives, and come on purpose to get directions and helps 
against those particular fiilings.' You will not know what 
medicine you need, much less how to use it, if you know 
not what aileth you. Know what duties you omit or care- 
lesiily perform^ and know what sins you are most guilty of, 

1 Col. iii. 3, 4. John xv. l^^-^S. xi. 2i>.' xiv. 19. Phil. iii. 7, 8. Ac\i xy'u 
14. Jbhn vi. 46. 9Cor<}tt. 3» $. 17, 18. Heb. viil, 10. x. 16. Jer. xxxi. S3. 
' 1 Kings xvil. If. f^ 16., , 


and say when you go out of doors, I go to Christ for physic 
for my own disease. I hope to hear something before I 
come back, which may help me more against this sin, and 
fit me better for my duty, or provoke me more effectually. 
Are those men like to practise Christ's directions, that ei- 
ther know not their disease, or love it and would not have 
it cured ? 

Direct, 11. ' The three forementioned are still presup- 
posed, viz. That the Word have first done its part upon your 
understandings, memory and hearts.' For that Word can- 
not be practised, which is not understood, nor at all remem- 
bered, nor hath procured resolutions and affections. It 
is the due work upon the heart that must prevail for the re- 
formation of the life. 

Direct, iii. * When you understand what it is in point 
of practice that the preacher driveth at, observe especially 
the uses and the moving reasons, and plead them with your 
own hearts; and let conscience be preaching over all that 
the minister preacheth to you.' You take them to be soul- 
murderers that silence able, faithful preachers, and also 
those preachers that silence themselves, and feed not the 
flock committed to their care : and do you think it a small 
matter to silence your own conscience, which must be the 
preacher that must set home all, before it can come to re- 
solution or practice? Keep conscience all the while at 
work, preaching over all that to your hearts, which you 
hear with your ears; and urge yourselves to a speedy resolu- 
tion. Remember that the whole body of divinity is practical 
in its end and tendency, and therefore be not a mere notional 
hearer; but consider of every word you hear, what practice 
it is that it tendeth to, and place that deepest in your me- 
mory. If you forget all the words' of the reasons and mo- 
tives which you hear, be sure to remember what practice 
they were brought to urge you to. As if you heard a ser- 
mon against uncharitableness, censoriousness, or hurting 
others, though you should forget all the reasons and mo- 
tives in particular, yet still remember that you were con- 
vinced in the hearing, that censorious and hurtful unchari- 
tableness is a great sin, and that you heard reason enough 
to make you resolve it. And let conscience preach out the 
sermon to the end, jand not let it die in bare conviction ; but 
resolve, and be past wavering before you stir : and above all 


the sermon, remember the directions and helps for practice, 
with which the truest method usually shuts up the sermon. 

Direct, iv. 'When you come home, let conscience in 
secret also repeat the sermon to you.' Between God and 
yourselves, consider what there was delivered to you in the 
Lord's message, that your souls were most concerned in. 
What sin reproved which you are guilty of? What duty 
pressed which you omit? And there meditate seriously 
on the weight and reasons of the thing; and resist not. the 
light, but yet bring all to a fixed resolution, if till then you 
were unresolved : not ensnaring yourselves with dangerous 
vows about things doubtful, or peremptory vows without 
dependence on Christ for strength : but firmly resolving and 
cautelously engaging yourselves to duty; not with carnal 
evasions and reserves, but with humble dependence upon 
grace, without which of yourselves you are able to do no- 

Direct, v. * Hear the most practical preachers you can 
well get.' Not those that have the finest notions, or the 
cleanest style, or neatest words ; but those that are still 
urging you to holiness of heart and life, and driving home 
every truth to practice : not that false doctrine will at all 
bear up a holy life, but true doctrine must not be left in 
the porch, or at the doors, but be brought home and used 
to its proper end, and seated in the heart, and placed as the 
poise upon the clock, where it may set all the wheels in 

Direct, vi. 'Take heed especially' of two sorts of false 
teachers. Antinomian libertines, and autonomian pharisees.' 
The first would build their sins on Christ ; not pleading for 
sin itself, but taking down many of the chief helps against 
it, and disarming us of the weapons by which it should be 
destroyed, and reproaching the true preachers of obedience 
as legalists, that preach up works and call men to doing, 
when they preach up obedience to Christ their King, upon 
the terms and by the motives which are used by Christ him- 
self, and his apostles. Not understanding aright the true 
doctrine of faith in Christ, and justification, and free-grace 
(which they think .none else understand but they), they 
pervert it and make it an enemy to the kingly oflSce of 
Christ, and to sanctification, and the necessary duties- bf 


The other sort do make void the commaudments of God 
by their tii^ditions, and ip^tes^d of the holy practice of the 
laws of Christ, they would drive the world with fire and 
sword to practise all. their superstitious fopperies ; so that 
the few plain and necessary precepts of the law of the uni- 
versal King, are drowned in the greater body of their canon 
law, and the ceremonies of the pope's imposing are so many 
in comparison of the institutions of Christ, that the worship 
of God, and work of Christianity is corrupted by it, and 
made as another thing. The wheat is lost in a heap of 
i:jhafF, by them that will be law-givers to themselves, and 
all the church of Christ. 

DireoL \ 11, 'Associate yourselves with the most holy, 
serious, practical Christians.' Not with the ungodly, nor 
with barren opinionists, that talk of nothing but their con^ 
troversies, and the way or interest of their sects (which they 
call the church), nor with outside formal ceremonious pha- 
jisees, that are pleading for the washing of cups, and tithing 
Df mint, and the tradition of their fathers, while they hate 
and persecute Christ and his disciples. But walk with the 
most holy, and blameless, and charitable, that live upon that 
truth which others talk of, and are seeking to please God 
by the " wisdom which is first pure, and then peaceable and 
gentle ■"," when others are contending for their several sects, 
jor seeking to please Christ, by killing him, or censuring 
him, or slandering him in his servants ^ 

Direct, viii. * Keep a just account of your practice; ex- 
amine yourselves in the end of every day and week, how 
you have spent your time, and practised what you were 
taught ; and judge yourselves before God according as you 
find it.' Yea, you must call yourselves to account every 
hour, what you are doing, and how you do it ; whether you 
a,re upon God's work, or not ; and your : hearts must be 
watched and followed like unfaithful servants, and like loit- 
ering scholars, and driven on to every duty, like a dull or 
tired horse. - in.i 

.^ Direct, IX. 'Above all set your hearts to the deepest 
^Ciontemplations of the wonderful love of God in Christ, and 
the sweetness and excellency of a holy life, and the certain 
incomprehensible glory >vhich it tendeth to, that your souls 
may be in love with your dear Redeemer, and all that is 

<• Jam. iii. 17, 18. • John xvi. 2, 3. Matt. xxv. 40. 45. 


holy, and love and obedience may be as natural to you/ And 
then the practice of holy doctrine, will be easy to you, when 
it is your delight. 

Direct, x. Take heed that you receive not ungrounded, or 
unnecessary prejudices against the person of the preacher.* 
For that will turn your heart, and lock it up against the doc- 
trine. And therefore abhor the spirit of uncharitableness, 
cruelty, and faction, which always bendeth to the suppressing, 
or vilifying and disgracing all those, that are not of their way 
and for their interest : and be not so blind as not to observe, 
that the very design of the devil, in raising up divisions 
among Christians is, that he may use the tongues or hands 
of one another to vilify them all, and make them odious to 
one another, and to disable one another from hindering his 
kingdom, and doing any considerable service to Christ. 
So that when a minister of Christ should be winning souls, 
either he is forbidden, or he is despised, and the hearers 
are saying, ' O, he is such, or such a one,' according to the 
names of reproach which the enemy of Christ and love hath 
taught them. 


Directions for profitable Reading the Holy Scriptures, 

Seeing the diversity of men's tempers and understandings 
is so exceedingly great, that it is impossible that any thing 
should be pleasing and suitable to some, which shall not 
be disliked and quarrelled with by others; and seeing in 
the Scriptures there are many things hard to be understood, 
which the unlearned and unstable wrest to their own de- 
struction*. And the word is to some the savour of death 
unto death ''. You have therefore need to be careful in 
reading it. And as Christ saith, " Take heed how you 
hear';" so 1 say. Take heed how you read. 

Direct, i. 'Bring not an evil heart of unbehef. Open 
the Bible with holy reverence as the book of God, indited^' 
by the Holy Ghost. Remember that the doctrine of the 
New Testament was revealed by the Son of God, who wa« 

• *t Ptt. iii. irt. b Mnric iv. t4. 2 Cor. ii. 16. " Luke viii. 18. 


purposely sent from heaven to be the light of the world, and 
to make known to men the will of God, and the matters of 
their salvation*^.' Bethink you well, if God should but 
send a book or letter to you by an angel, how reverently 
you would receive it? How carefully you would peruse it; 
and regard it above all the books in the world ? And how 
much rather should you do so, by that book which is in- 
dited by the Holy Ghost, and recordeth the doctrine of 
Christ himself, whose authority is greater than all the an- 
gels ? Read it not therefore as a common book, with a com- 
mon and unreverent heart ; but in the dread and love of 
God the author. 

Direct, ii. * Remember that it is the very law of God 
which you must live by, and be judged by at last. And 
therefore read with a full resolution to obey whatever it 
commandeth, though flesh, and men, and devils contradict 
it.' Let there be no secret exceptions in your heart, to 
baulk any of its precepts, and shift off that part of obe- 
dience, which the flesh accounteth difficult or dear. 

Direct, iii. * Remember that it is the will and testament 
of your Lord, and the covenant of most full and gracious 
promises ; which all your comforts, and all your hopes of 
pardon and everlasting life are built upon. Read it there- 
fore with love and great delight.' Value it a thousand 
fold more than you would do the letters of your dearest 
friend, or the deeds by which you hold your lands; or any 
thing else of low concernment, If the law was sweeter to 
David than honey, and better than thousands of gold and 
silver, and was his delight and meditation all the day, O 
what should the sweet and precious Gospel be to us ! 

Direct, iv, 'Remember that it is a doctrine of unseen 
things, and of the greatest mysteries ; and therefore come 
not to it with arrogance as a judge, but with humility as a 
learner or disciple ; and if any thing seem difficult or impro- 
bable to you, suspect your own unfurnished understanding, 
and not the sacred Word of God.' If a learner in any art 
or science, will suspect his teacher and his books, whenever 
he is stalled, or meeteth with that which seemeth unlikely 
to him, his pride would keep possession for his ignorance, 
and his folly were like to be uncurable. 

'' Bead Chap, iii, Direct, i. And against Unbelief, Part i. 


Direct, v. * Remember that it is an universal law and 
doctrine, written for the most ignorant as well as for the 
curious ; and therefore must be suited in plainness to the 
capacity of the simple, and yet have matter to exercise the 
most subtle wits ; and that God would have the style, to sa- 
vour more of the innocent weakness of the instruments, than 
the matter.' Therefore be not offended or troubled when 
the style doth seem less polite than you might think be- 
seemed the Holy Ghost ; nor at the plainness of some parts, 
or the mysteriousness of others : but adore the wisdom and 
tender condescension of God to his poor creatures. 

Direct, vi. * Bring not a carnal mind, which savoureth 
only fleshly things, and is enslaved to those sins which the 
Scripture doth condemn :' " For the carnal mind is enmity 
against God, and neither is, nor can be subject to his law"." 
'* And the things of God are not discerned by the mere na- 
tural man, for they are foolishness to him, and they must 
be spiritually discerned^:" and enmity is an ill expositor. 
It will be quarrelling with all, and making faults in the 
Word which findeth so many faults in you. It will hate 
that Word which cometh to deprive you of your most sweet 
and dearly beloved sin. Or, if you have such a carnal mind 
and enmity, believe it not, any more than a partial and 
wicked enemy should be believed against God himself; who 
better understandeth what he hath written, than any of his 
foolish enemies. 

Direct, vii. ' Compare one place of Scripture with 
another, and expound the darkest by the help of the plain- 
est, and the fewer expressions by the more frequent and or- 
dinary, and the more doubtful points by those which are 
most certain ;' and not on the contrary. 

Direct, vni. * Presume not on the strength of your own 
understanding, but humbly pray to God for light ; and be- 
fore and after you read the Scripture, pray earnestly that 
the Spirit which did indite it, may expound it to you, and 
keep you from unbelief and error, and lead you into the 
truth 8.' 

Direct, ix. * Read some of the best annotations or ex- 
positors ;* who being better acquainted with the phrase of 

* Rom. viit. 7.8. '3 Cor. ii. 14. 

« 1 Cor. ii. 10. 1?. xii. 8—10. 


^tie Scripture than yourselves, may help to clear your un- 
derstanding. When Philip asked the eunuch that read Isa. 
liii. ** Understandest thou what thou readest ? he said. How 
can I except some man should guide me '' ?" Make use of 
your guides, if you would not err. 

Direct, x. * When you are stalled by any difficulty which 
over-matcheth.you, note it down, and propound it to your 
pastor, and crave his help, or (if the minister of the place be 
ignorant and unable) go to some one that God hath fur- 
nished for such work.' And if after all, some things remain 
still dark and difficult, remember your imperfection, and 
ivait on God for further light, and thankfully make use of 
all the rest of the Scriptur-e which is plain. And do not 
think as the papists, that men must forbear reading it for 
fear of erring, any more than that men must forbear eating 
for fear of poison, or than subjects must be kept ignorant 
of the laws of the kin^, for fear of misunderstanding^ or 
abusing them. 


Directions for Eeading other Books. 

Because God hath made the excellent, holy writings of his 
servants, the singular blessing of this land and age ; and 
many an one may have a good book, even any day or hour 
of the week, that cannot at all have a good preacher "^ ; I 
advise all God's servants to be thankful for so great a mercy, 
and to make use of it, and be much in reading ; for reading 
with most doth more conduce to knowledge than hearing 
doth, because you may choose what subjects and the most 
excellent treatises you please ; and may be often at it, and 
may peruse again and again what you forget, and may take 
time as you go to fix it on your mind : and with very many 
it doth more than hearing also to move the heart, though 
hearing of itself, in this hath the advantage ; because lively 
books may be more easily had, than lively preachers : es- 

'' Acts viii. 30, 31. 

* Xenophou primus omnium qufe dicebautur, noti:^ fxcepta m publieura cdidit. 
Diog. Laert. lib. ii. sect. 48. p. 109. 


pecially these sorts of men should be much in reading. 1. 
Masters of families, that have more souls to care for than 
their own. 2. People that live where there is no preaching, 
or as bad or worse than none. 3. Poor people, and servants, 
and children, that are forced on many Lord's days to stay 
at home, whilst others have the opportunity to hear. 4. 
And vacant persons that have more leisure than others have. 
To all these, but especially masters of families, I shall here 
give a few Directions. 

Direct. I. * I presuppose that you keep the deviFs books 
out of your hands and house/ I mean cards, and idle tales, 
and play-books, and romances or love-books, and false, be- 
witching stories, and the seducing books of all false 
teachers, and the railing or scorning books which the men 
of several sects and factions write against each other, on 
purpose to teach men to hate one another, and banish love : 
for where these are suffered to corrupt the mind, all grave 
and useful writings are forestalled. And it is a wonder to 
see, how powerfully these poison the minds of children, and 
many other empty heads : also books that are written by 
the sons of Corah, to breed distastes and discontents in th^ 
minds of the people against their governors, both magis- 
trates and ministers. For there is something in the best 
rulers, for the tongues of seditious men to fasten on, and to 
aggravate in the people's ears ; and there is something even 
in godly people, which tempteth them too easily to take fire 
and be distempered before they are aware ; and they foresee 
not the evil to which it tendeth. 

.y. {Direct. i\. * When you read to your family, or others, 
let it be seasonably and gravely, when silence and atten- 
dance encourage you to expect success ; and not when 
children are crying or talking, or servants bustling to dis.- 
turb you.' Distraction is worst in the greatest businesses. 
Direct, iii. * Choose such books as are most suitable to 
your state, or to those you read to ''/ It is worse than unr 
profitable to read books for comforting troubled minds, to 
those thajt are blockishly secure, and have hardened, obsti- 
nate, unhumbled hearts. It is as bad as to give medicines 

•» Saith Aristippus, in Dlog. Laert. As they are not the healthfulest that eat 
most, »o are they not the most learned that read most ; but they that read that which 
19 mo»t neer t wry and profitable. 


or plasters contrary to the patient's need, and such as che- 
rish the disease. So is it to read books of too high a style 
or subject, to dull and ignorant hearers. We use to say, 
* That which is one man's meat, is another man's poison.* 
It is not enough that the matter be good, but it must be 
agreeable to the case for which it is used. 

Direct, iv. ' To a common family, begin with those 
books, which at once inform the judgment about the fun- 
damentals, and awaken the affections to entertain them and 
improve them.' Such as are treatises of regeneration, 
conversion, or repentance : to which purpose I have writ- 
ten myself, The Call to the Unconverted; — The Treatise 
of Conversion; — Directions for a Sound Conversion; — A 
Treatise of Judgment ; — A Sermon against making Light 
of Christ ; — True Christianity ; — A Sermon of Repentance ; 
— Now or Never;— A Saint or a Brute; with others; 
which I mention, not as equalling them with others, but 
as those which I am more accountable for. On this sub- 
ject these are very excellent, Mr. R. Allen's Works ; — Mr. 
Whateley on the New Birth; — Mr. Swinnock of Re- 
generation ; — Mr. Pinks's five Sermons ; — most of Mr. 
Hooker's Sermons ; — Mr. J.- Rogers's Doctrine of Faith; — 
Mr. Dent's Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven ; — most of Mr. 
Perkins', and Mr. Bolton's Works, and many the like. 

Direct, v. * Next these, read over those books which 
are more suited to the state of young Christians for their 
growth in grace, and for their exercise of faith, and loye, 
and obedience, and for the mortifying of selfishness, pride, 
sensuality, worldliness, and other the most dangerous sins.' 
My own on this subject are, my Directions for Weak 
Christians ; — my Saints' Rest ; — A Treatise of Self-de- 
nial ; — another of The Mischiefs of Self-ignorance ; — Life 
of Faith ; — Of Crucifying the World ; — The Unreason- 
ableness of Infidelity ; — Of Right Rejoicing, &c. To 
this use these are excellent, Mr. Hildersham's Works ; 
—Dr. Preston's ;— Mr. Perkins' ;— Mr. Bolton's ;— Mr. 
Fenner's ; — Mr. Gurnall's ; — Mr. Anthony Burgess's Ser- 
mons ; — Mr. Lockier on the Colossians, with abundance 
more that God hath blessed us with. 

Direct, vi. * At the same time labour to methodise your 
knowledge, and to that end read first and learn some short 


catechism, and then some larger (as Mr. Ball's, or the As- 
semblies, larger) ; and next some body of divinity, (as 
Amesius's Marrow of Divinity, and Cases of Conscience, 
which are Englished).' And let the catechism be kept in 
memory while you live, and the rest be throughly understood. 

Direct, vii. * Next read (to yourselves or families) the 
larger expositions of the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Ten 
Commandments.' Such as Perkins, Bishop Andrews on 
the Commandments, and Dod, &c. That your understand- 
ing may be more full, particular, and distinct; and your 
families may not stop in generals, which are not understood. 

Direct, viii. * Read much those books which direct you 
in a course of daily communion with God, and ordering all 
your conversations.' As Mr. Reyner's Directions ;— The 
Practice of Piety ;— Mr. Palmer's ;— Mr. Scudder's ;— Mr. 
Bolton's Directions ; — and my Divine Life. 

Direct, ix. * For peace, and comfort, and increase of 
the love of God, read Mr. Symmond's Deserted Soul, &c. ; 
—and his Life of Faith :— all Dr. Sibbs's Works ;--Mr. 
Harsnet's Cordials ; — Bishop Hall's Works, Sec: my Me- 
thod for Peace, and Saints' Rest, &c. 

Direct, x. * For the understanding of the text of Scrip- 
ture, keep at hand either Deodate's, or the Assembly of Di- 
vines, or the Dutch Annotations ; with Dr. Hammond's, or 
Dickson's and Hutchinson's brief observations. 

Direct, xi. * For securing you against the fever of un- 
charitable zeal and schism, and contentious wranglings and 
cruelties for religion sake. Read diligently Bishop Hall's 
Peacemaker (and other of his books) ; — Mr. Burrough's 
Irenicon ; — Acontius's Stratagems of Satan ; — and my Ca- 
tholic Unity ; — Catholic Church ; — Universal Concord, &c.' 

Direct, xii. ' For establishing you against Popery, on 
the soundest grounds, not running in the contrary extreme ; 
read Dr. Challoner's Credo Ecclesiam, &c. ; — Chilling- 
worth; — Dr. Field of the Church, &c. ; — and my True 
Catholic ; — and my Key for Catholics ; — and my Safe 
Religion ; — and Winding-sheet for Popery ; — and Dispu- 
tation with Mr. Johnson.' 

Direct, xiii. ' For especial preparation for afflictio'n, 
sufferingB, sickness, death : read Mr. Hughes's Rod ; — Mr. 
Lawrence's Christ's Power over Sicknesses ; — Mr. S. Ru- 


therford's Letters, &c. ; — my Treatise of Self-denial ; — the 
Believer's Last Work ; — the Last Enemy Death ; — and the 
Fourth Part of my Saints' Rest. I will add no more, lest 
they seem too many/ 


Directions for the Right Teaching of Children and Servants, 
so as may he most likely to have Success. 

I HERE suppose them utterly untaught that you have to do 
#ith ;- and therefore shall dit^ect you what to do, from the 
very first beginning of your teaching, and their learning. 
And I beseech you study this Chapter more than many of 
the rest ; for it is an unspeakable loss that befalls the church, 
and the souls of men, for want of skill, and will, and dili- 
gence, in parents and masters in this matter. 

Direct, i. ' Cause your younger children to learn the 
words, though they be not yet capable of understanding the 
matter.' And do not think as some do, that this is but to 
make them hypocrites, and to teach them to take Ood's 
n^me in vain : for it is neither vanity nor hypocrisy to help 
th-em first to understand th^ words and signs, in order to 
their early understanding of the matter and signification. 
Otherwise no man might teach them any language, nor 
teach them to read any words that be good, because they 
must first understand the words before the meaning. If a 
^hild learn to read in a Bible, it is not taking God's name or 
Word in vain, though he understand it not : for it is' in or- 
der to his learning to understand it; and it is not vain 
which is to so good a use : if you leave them untaught till 
thfey <i6me to be twenty years of age, they must then learn 
the words before they can understand the matter. Do not 
therefore leave them the children of darkness, for fear of 
taking them hypocrites. It will be an excellent way to 
redeem their time, to teach them first that which they are 
capable of learning : a child of five or six years old can 
learn the words of a catechism or Scripture, before they are 
eai^ble of understanding them. And then when they come 
to years of understanding, that part of their work is done. 


and they have nothing to do but to study th« meaning 
and use of those words which they have learned already. 
Whereas if you leave them utterly untaught till then> they 
must then be wasting a long time to learn the same wordd 
which they might have learned before; and the loss of so 
much time is no small loss or sin. 

Direct, ii. ' The most natural way of teaching children 
the meaning of God's Word, and the matters of their salva- 
tion, is by familiar talk with them suited to their capacities : 
begin this betimes with them while they are on their mo- 
ther's laps, and use it frequently. For they are quickly ca- 
pable of some understanding about greater matters as well 
as about less ; and knowledge must come in by slow de- 
grees : stay not till their minds are possessed with vanity 
and toys. :iw f;fi.t hi ^id 

Direct, iii. ' By all means let your children learn to read, 
though you be never so poor, whatever shift you make.^ 
And if you have servants that cannot read, let them learn 
yet, (at spare hours if they be of any capacity and willing-^ 
ness. For it is a very great mercy to be able to' read the 
Holy Scripture, and any good books themselves, and' at very 
great misery to know nothing but what they hear from 
others. They may read almost at any time, when they can* 
not hear. fonlw &X|niit;r 

Direct, iv. * Let your children when they are Kttle dn'es 
read much the history of the Scriptures.' For though thisv 
of itself, is not sufficient to breed in them any saving know* 
ledge, yet it enticeth them to delight in reading the Bible^, 
and then they will be often at it when they love it ; so that 
all these benefits will follow. 1. It will make them love th»ft 
book (though it be but with a common love). 2. It will mlak^ 
them spend their time in it, when else they would rather b6 
at play. 3. It will acquaint them with Scripture history; 
which will afterwards be very useful to them. 4. It will 
lead them up by degrees to the knowledge of the doctrine; 
which is all along interwoven with the history. ^ 

Direct, v. * Take heed that you turn not all your fartiilj^ 
instructions into a customary, formal course, by bate tetiiS- 
ings and repeating sermons from day to day, without familiat 
personal application.' For it is ordinarily seen that they 
will grow as tleepy^ and senseless, and customary; urtder 


such a dull and distant course of duty, (though the matter 
be good,) almost as if you had said nothing to them. Your 
business therefore must be to get within them, and awaken 
their consciences to know that the matter doth most nearly 
concern them, and to force them to make application of it 
to themselves. 

Direct, vi. * Let none affect a fonnal, preaching way to 
their families, except they be preachers themselves, or men 
that are able for the ministry : but rather spend the time in 
reading to them the most powerful books, and speaking to 
them more familiarly about the state and matters of their 
souls.' Not that I think it unlawful for a man to preach to 
his family, in the same method that a minister doth to his 
people ; for no doubt but he may teach them in the profita- 
blest manner he can. And that which is the best method 
for a set speech in the pulpit, is usually the best method in 
Ja, family. But my reasons against this preaching-way or- 
dinarily, are these : — 1. Because it is very few masters of 
families that are able for it, (even among them that think 
they are ;) and then they ignorantly abuse the Scripture, so 
as tends much to God's dishonour. 2. Because there is 
scarce any of them all, but may read at the same time, such 
lively, profitable books to their families, as handle those 
things which they have most need to hear of, in a far more 
edifying manner than they themselves are able, (except they 
be so poor that they can get no such books.) 3. Be- 
cause the familiar way is most edifying : and to talk serious- 
ly with children and servants about the great concernments 
of their souls, doth commonly more move them than ser- 
mons or set speeches. Yet because there is a season for 
both, you may sometimes read some powerful book to them, 
and sometimes talk familiarly to them. 4. Because it often 
comes from pride, when men put their speech into a preach- 
ing method to shew their parts, and as often nourisheth 

Direct, vii. * Let the manner of your teaching them be 
very often interlocutory, or by way of questions.' Though 
when you have so many or such persons present, as that 
such familiarity is not seasonable, then reading, repeating, 
or set speeches may do best ; but at other times, when the 
number or quality of the company hindereth not, you will 


find that questions and familiar discourse are best. For, 1 . 
It keepeth them awake and attentive, when they know they 
must make some answer to your questions ; which set 
speeches, with the dull and sluggish, will hardly do. 2. 
And it mightily helpeth them in the application ; so that 
they much more easily take it home, and perceive them- 
selves concerned in it. 

Direct, viii. * Yet prudently take heed that you speak 
nothing to any in the presence of others, that tends to open 
their ignorance or sin, or the secrets of their hearts, or that 
any way tendeth to shame them' (except in the necessary 
reproof of the obstinate). If it be their common ignorance 
that will be opened by questioning them, you may do it be- 
fore your servants or children themselves, that are familiar 
with each other, but not when any strangers are present. 
But if it be about the secret state of their souls that you ex- 
amine them, you must do it singly, when the person is alone. 
Lest shaming and troubling make them hate instruction^ 
and deprive them of all the benefit of it. 

Direct, ix. * When you come to teach them the doc 
trine of religion begin with the baptismal covenant, as the 
sum of all that is essential to Christianity : and here teach 
them briefly all the substance of this at once.' For though 
such general knowledge will be obscure, and nottiistinct 
and satisfactory, yet it is necessary at first ; because they 
must see truths set together : for they will understand no- 
thing truly, if they understand it but independently by bro- 
ken parts. Therefore open to them the sum of the cove- 
nant or Christian religion all at once, though you say but 
little at first of the several parts. Help them to understand 
what it is to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost. And here you must open it to them in 
this order. You must help them to know who are the co- 
venanters, God and Man : and first the nature of man is to 
be opened, because he is first known, and God in him who 
is his image. Familiarly tell them, " That man is not like 
a beast that hath no reason, nor freewill, nor any knowledge 
of another world, nor any other life to live but this : but he 
hath an understanding to know God, and a will to chooae 
good and refuse evil, and an immortal soul that must live 
for ever : and that all inferior creatures were made for his 

VOL. iV. T 


service, as he was made for the service of his Creator. Tell 
them that neither man, nor any thing that we see, could 
make itself; but God is the Maker, Preserver, and Disposer 
of all the world. That this God is infinite in power, and 
wisdom, and goodness, and is the Owner, and Ruler, and 
Benefactor, Felicity, and End of man. That man was made 
to be wholly devoted and resigned to God as his Owner, and 
to be wholly ruled by him as his Governor, and to be wholly 
given up to his love and praise as his Father, his Feli- 
city, and End. That the tempter having drawn man from 
this blessed state of life, in Adam's fall the world fell under 
the wrath of God, and had been lost for ever, but that God 
of his mercy provided us a Redeemer, even the eternal Son 
of God ; who being one with the Father, was pleased to 
take the nature of man, and so is both God and man in one 
person ; who being born of a virgin, lived among men, and 
fulfilled the law of God, and overcame the tempter and the 
world, and died as a sacrifice for our sins, to reconcile us 
unto God. That all men being born with corrupted natures, 
and living in sin till Christ recover them, there is now no 
hope of salvation but by him. That he hath paid our debt, 
and made satisfaction for our sins, and risen from the 
dead, and conquered death and satan, and is ascended and 
glorified in heaven ; and that he is the King, and Teacher, 
and High-priest of the church. That he hath made a new co- 
venant of grace and pardon, and offered it in his Scriptures, 
and by his ministers to the world ; and that those that are 
sincere and faithful in this covenant shall be saved, and 
those that are not shall remedilessly be damned, because 
they reject this Christ and grace, which is the last and only 
remedy. And here open to them the nature of this cove- 
nant : that God doth offer to be our reconciled God, and Fa- 
ther, and Felicity, and Christ to be our Saviour, to forgive 
our sins, and reconcile us to God, and renew us by his Spi- 
rit, and the Holy Spirit to be our Sanctifier, to illuminate, 
and regenerate, and confirm us ; and that all that is required 
on our part, is such an unfeigned consent, as will appear in 
the performance in our serious endeavours. Even that we 
wholly give up ourselves to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, 
to be justified, taught, and governed by Christ, and by him 
to be brought again to the Father, to love him as our God 


and End, and to live to him, and with him for ever. But 
whereas the temptations of the devil, and the allurements of 
this deceitful world, and the desires of the flesh, are the 
great enemies and hindrances in our way, we must also con- 
sent to renounce all these, and let them go, and deny our- 
selves, and take up with God alone, and what he seeth meet 
to give us, and to take him in heaven for all our portion. 
And he that consenteth unfeignedly to this covenant, is a 
member of Christ, a justified, reconciled child of God, and 
an heir of heaven, and so continuing, shall be saved ; and 
he that doth not shall be damned. This is the covenant, 
that in baptism we solemnly entered into with God the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, as our Father and Felicity, our 
Saviour, and our Sanctifier." This in some such brief ex- 
plication, you must familiarly open to tljiem again and 

Direct, x. * When you have opened the baptismal cove- 
nant to them, and the essentials of Christianity, cause them 
to learn the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten command- 
ments.' And tell them the uses of them; that man having 
three powers of soul, his understanding, his will, and his 
obediential or executive power, all these must be sanctified, 
and therefore there must be a rule for each ; and that accord- 
ingly the creed is the summary rule to tell us what our un- 
derstandings must believe; and the Lord's prayer is the 
summary rule to direct us what our wills must desire and 
our tongues must ask ; and the ten commandments are the 
summary rules of our practice : and that the Holy Scripture, 
in general, is the more large and perfect rule of all ; and that 
all that will be taken for true Christians, must have a gene- 
ral, implicit belief of all the Holy Scriptures, and a particu- 
lar, explicit belief, desire, and sincere practice, according 
to the creeds. Lord's prayer, and ten commandments. 

Direct. XI. * Next teach them a short catechism (by me- 
mory), which openeth these a little more fully, and then a 
larger catechism.' The shorter and larger catechisms of the 
Assembly are very well fitted to this use. I have published 
a very brief one myself, which in eight articles or answers 
containeth all the essential points of belief, and in one an- 
swer, the covenant-consent, and in four articles or answers 
more, containeth all the substantial parts of Christian duty ; 


The answers are some of them long for children '•" ; but if 
I knew of any other that had so much in so few words, I 
would not offer this to you, because I am conscious of its 
imperfections. But there are very few catechisms that dif- 
fer in the substance ; whichever they learn, let them as they 
go have your help to understand it, and let them keep it in 
memory to the last. 

Direct, xii. ' Next open to them more distinctly the par- 
ticular part of the covenant and catechism.* And here I 
think this method most profitable for a family ; 1 . Read 
over to them the best expositions that you can get on the 
creed, the Lord's prayer, the ten commandments, which are 
not too large to confound them, nor too brief, so as to be 
hardly understood. For a summary, ** Mr. Brinsley's True 
Watch" is good ; but thus to read to them, such as '* Mr. Per- 
kins on the Creed," and " Dr. King on the Lord's Prayer," and 
" Dodd on the Commandments," are fit ; so that you may read 
one article, one petition, and one commandment at a time ; 
and read these over to them divers times. 2. Besides this 
in your familiar discourse with them, open to them plainly 
one head or article of religion at a time, and another the 
next time, and so on till you come to the end. And here 
(L) Open in one discourse the nature of man and the crea- 
tion. (2.) In another (or before it) the nature and attri- 
butes of God. (3.) In another the fall of man, and especi- 
ally the corruption of our nature, as it consisteth in an in- 
ordinate inclination to earthly and fleshly things, and a 
backwardness, or averseness, or enmity to God and holiness, 
and the life to come ; and the nature of sin ; and the im- 
possibility of being saved till this sin be pardoned, and these 
natures renewed, and restored to the love of God and holi- 
ness, from this love of the world and fleshly pleasures. (4.) 
In the next discourse, open to them the doctrine of redemp- 
tion in general, and the incarnation, and natures, and person 
of Christ, particularly. (5.) In the next, open the life of 
Christ, his fulfilling the law, and his overcoming the temp- 
ter, his humble life, and contempt of the world, and the end 
of all, and how he is exemplary and imitable unto us. (6.) 
In the next, open the whole humiliation and suffering of 
Christ, and the pretences of his persecutors, and the ends 

» It is in my Universal Concord, and by itself. 


and uses of his suffering, death, and burial. (7.) In the next, 
open his resurrection, the proofs, and the uses of it. (8.) In 
the next, open his ascension, glory, and intercession for us, 
and the uses of all. (9.) In the next, open his kingly, and 
prophetical offices in general, and his making the covenant 
of grace with man, and the nature of that covenant, and its 
effects. (10.) In the next, open the works or office of the 
Holy Ghost in general, as given by Christ to be his agent 
in men on earth, and his great witness to the world ; and 
particularly open the extraordinary gift of the Spirit to the 
prophets and apostles, to plant the churches, and indite, 
and seal the Holy Scriptures ; and shew them the authority 
and use of the Holy Scriptures. (11.) In the next, open to 
them the ordinary works of the Holy Ghost, as the illumi- 
nator, renewer, and sanctifier of souls, and in what order he 
doth all this, by the ministry of the Word. (12.) In the 
next, open to them the office, and use, and duty of the ordi- 
nary ministry, and their duty toward them, especially as 
hearers, and the nature and use of public worship, and the 
nature and communion of saints and churches. (13.) In 
the next, open to them the nature and use of baptism, and 
the Lord's supper. (14.) In the next, open to them the 
shortness of life, and the state of souls at death, and after 
death, and the day of judgment, and the justification of the 
righteous, and the condemnation of the wicked at that day. 
(lo.) In the next, open to them the joys of heaven, and the 
miseries of the damned. (16.) In the next, open to them 
the vanity of all the pleasure, and profits, and honour of 
this world, and the method of temptations, and how to over- 
come them, (17.) In the next, open to them the reason and 
use of suffering for Christ, and of self-denial, and how to 
prepare for sickness and death. And after this, go over al- 
so the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments. 

Direct, xiii. 'After all your instructions make them 
briefly give you an account in their own words of what they 
understand and remember of all ; or else the next time to 
give an account of the former.' And encourage them for all 
that is well done in their endeavours. 

Direct, xiv. * Labour in all to keep up a wakened, seri- 
ous attention, and still to print upon their hearts the great- 
est things.' And to that end, for the matter of your teach- 


ing and discourse, let nothing be so much in your mouths, 
as 1. The nature and relations of God. 2. A crucified and 
a glorified Christ, with all his grace and privileges. 3. The 
operations of the Spirit on the soul. 4. The madness of 
sinners, and the vanity of the v^orld. 5. And endless glory 
and joy of saints, and misery of the ungodly after death. 
Let these five points be frequently urged, and be the life of 
all the rest of your discourse. And then for the manner of 
your speaking to them, let it be always with such a mixture 
of familiarity and seriousness that may carry along their se- 
rious attentions, whether they will or no. Speak to them as 
if they or you were dying, and as if you saw God, and hea- 
ven, and hell. 

Direct. xw'Toke each of them sometimes by them- 
selves, and there describe to them the work of renovation, 
and ask them, whether ever such a work was wrought upon 
them.' Shew them the true marks of grace, and help them 
to try themselves : urge them to tell you truly, whether their 
love to God or the creature, to heaven or earth, to holiness 
or flesh-pleasing be more : and what it is that hath their 
hearts, and care, and chief endeavour ; and if you find them 
regenerate, help to strengthen them. If you find them 
too much dejected, help to comfort them; and if you find 
them unregenerate, help to convince them, and then to hum- 
ble them, and then to shew them the remedy in Christ, and 
then shew them their duty that they may have part in Christ, 
and drive all home to the end that you desire to see : but do 
all this with love, and gentleness, and privacy. 

Direct. XVI. * Some pertinent questions which by the an- 
swer will engage them to teach themselves, or to judge 
themselves, will be sometimes of very great use.' As such 
as these ; ** Do you not know that you must shortly die ? 
Do you not believe that immediately your souls must enter 
upon an endless life of joy or misery? Will worldly wealth 
and honours, or fleshly pleasures, be pleasant to you then? 
Had you then rather be a saint, or an ungodly sinner ? Had 
you not then rather be one of the holiest that the world des- 
pised and abused, than one of the greatest and richest of 
the wicked ? When time is past, and you must give account 
of it, had you not then rather it had been spent in holiness, 
and obedience, and diligent preparation for the life to come. 


than in pride, and pleasure, and pampering the flesh ? How 
could you make shift to forget your endless life so long? 
Or to sleep quietly in an unregenerate state? What if you 
had died before conversion, what think you had become of 
you, and where had you now been ? Do you think that any 
of those in hell are glad that they were ungodly? Or have 
now any pleasure in their former merriments and sin ? What 
think you they would do, if it were all to do again ? Do 
you think, if an angel or saint from heaven should come to 
decide the controversy between the godly and the wicked, 
that he would speak against a holy and heavenly life, or 
plead for a loose and fleshly life? Or which side think you 
he would take ? Did not God know what he did when he 
made the Scriptures ? Is he, or an ungodly scorner to be 
more regarded ? Do you think every man in the world, will 
not wish at last that he had been a saint, whatever it had 
cost him?*' Such kind of questions urge the conscience, 
and much convince. 

Direct, xvii. ' Cause them to learn some one most plain 
and pertinent text, for every great and necessary duty, and 
against every great and dangerous sin ; and often to repeat 
them to you.' As Luke xiii. 3. 5. " Except ye repent, ye 
shall all perish." John iii. 5. " Except a man be born again 
of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. So Matt, xviii. 3. Rom. viii. 9. Heb. xii. 14. 
John iii. 16. Luke xviii. 1. &c. So against lying, swear- 
ing, taking God's name in vain, flesh-pleasing, gluttony, 
pride, and the rest. 

Direct XV III. 'Drive all your convictions to a resolu- 
tion of endeavour and amendment, and make them some- 
times promise you to do that which you convinced them of;' 
and sometimes before witnesses. But let it be done with 
these necessary cautions. 1. That you urge not a promise 
in any doubtful point, or such as you have not first con- 
vinced them of. 2. That you urge not a promise in things 
beyond their present strength : as you must not bid them 
promise you to believe, or to love God, or to be tender- 
hearted, or heavenlyminded ; but to do those duties which 
tend to these, as to hear the Word, or read, or pray, or me- 
ditate, or keep good company, or avoid temptations, &c. 
3. That you be not too often upon this, (or upon one and 


the same strain in the other methods) lest they take them but 
for words of course, and custom teach them to contemn 
them. But seasonably and prudently done their promises 
will lay a great engagement on them. 

Direct, xix. ' Teach them how to pray, by forms or 
without, as is most suitable to their case and parts : and 
either yourself, or some that may inform you, should hear 
them pray sometimes, that you may know their spirit, and 
how they profit.' 

Direct. XX. * Put such books into their hands as are 
meetest for them, and engage them to read them when they 
are alone ; and ask them what they understand or remember 
of them.' And hold them not without necessity so hard to 
work, as to allow them no time for reading by themselves : 
but drive them on to work the harder, that they may have 
some time when their work is done. 

Direct. XXI. * Cause them to teach one another when 
they are together.' Let their talk be profitable. Let those 
that read best, be reading sometimes to the rest, and in- 
structing them, and furthering their edification. Their fa- 
miliarity might make them very useful to one another. 

Direct, XXII. ' Tire them not out with too much at once ; 
but give it them as they can receive it.* Narrow-mouthed 
bottles, must not be filled as wider vessels. 

Direct. XXIII. * Labour to make all sweet and pleasant 
to them: and to that end sometimes mix the reading of 
some profitable history :' as the " Book of Martyrs," and 
'' Clarke's Martyrology," and his " Lives." 

Direct, xxiv. * Lastly, entice them with kindnesses and 
rewards.' Be kind to your children when they do well, and 
be as liberal to your servants as your condition will allow 
you. For this maketh your persons acceptable first, and 
then your instructions will be much more acceptable. Na- 
ture teacheth them to love those that love them, and do 
them good, and to hearken willingly to those they love. A 
small gift now and then, might signify much to the further 
benefit of their souls. 

Direct, xxv. If any shall say, that here is so much ado 
in all these Directions, as that few can follow them ; I en- 
treat them to consult with Christ that died for them, whe- 
ther souls be not precious, and worth all this ado 1 And to 


consider how small a labour all this is, in comparison of the 
everlasting end ; and to remember, that all is gain and plea- 
sure, and a delight to those that have holy hearts ; and to 
remember, that the effects to the church and kingdom, of 
such holy government of families, would quite over-compen- 
sate all the pains. 

CHAPTER xxin. 

Tit, 1. Directions for Prayer in General. 

He that handleth this duty of prayer as it deserveth % must 
make it the second part in the body of divinity, and allow it 
a larger and more exact tractate than I here intend : for I 
have before told you, that as we have three natural facul- 
ties, an understanding, will, and executive power, so these 
are qualified in the godly, with faith, love, and obedience j 
and have three particular rules : the creed, to shew us what 
we must believe, and in what order : the Lord's prayer, to 
shew us what, and in what order, we must desire and love : 
and the decalogue, to tell us what, and in what order we must 
do ; (though yet these are so near kin to one another, that 
the same actions in several respects belong to each of the 
rules). As the commandments must be believed and loved, 
as well as obeyed, and the matter of the Lord's prayer must 
be believed to be good and necessary, as well as loved and 
desired ; and belief, and love, and desire, are commanded, 
and are part of our obedience ; yet for all this, they are not 
formally the same, but divers. And as we say, that the 
heart or will is the man, as being the commanding faculty ; 
so morally the will, the love or desire is the Christian ; and 
therefore the rule of desire or prayer, is a principal part of 
true religion : the internal part of this duty, I partly touch- 
ed before Part i. chap. 3. And the church part I told you, 
why I passed by Part ii. it being not left by the govern- 
ment where we live, to private ministers' discussion (save 

* The Stoics say, Orabit sapiens ac vota faciei bona a diis postulans. Laert 
hi Zenone. So that when Seneca saith, Cur Decs precibus fatigatis, &c. he only in- 
tendeth to reprove the slotliful, that think to have all done by prayer alone, while 
they are idle aud neglect the means. 


only to persuade men to obey what is established and com- 
manded). Therefore because I have omitted the latter, and 
but a little touched upon the former, I shall be the larger on 
it in this place, to which (for several reasons) I have reserv- 
ed it. 

Direct, i. * See that you understand what prayer is. 
Even the expressing or acting of our desires before another, 
to move, or some way procure him to grant them. True 
Christian prayer is, the believing and serious expressing or 
acting of our lawful desires before God, through Jesus our 
Mediator, by the help of the Holy Spirit, as a means to pro- 
cure of him, the grant of these desires.* Here note, 1. That 
inward desire is the soul of prayer. 2. The expressions or 
inward actings of them, is as the body of prayer. 3. To 
men it must be desire so expressed, as they may understand 
it ; but to God the inward acting of desires is a prayer, be- 
cause he understandeth it ^, 4. But it is not the acting of 
desire, simply in itself that is any prayer : for he may have 
desires, that offereth them not up to God with heart or 
voice , but it is desires, as some way offered up to God, or 
represented, or acted towards him, as a means to procure his 
blessing, that is prayer indeed. 

Direct, ii. ' See that you understand the ends and use of 
prayer.' Some think that it is of no use, but only to move 
God to be willing of that which he was before unwilling of; 
and therefore because that God is immutable, they think 
that prayer is a useless thing. But prayer is useful, 1. As 
an act of obedience to God's command. 2. As the perfor- 
mance of a condition, without which he hath not promised 
us his mercy, and to which he hath promised it. 3. As a 
means to actuate, and express, and increase our own humil- 
ity, dependance, desire, trust and hope in God, and so to 
make us capable and fit for mercy, who else should be inca- 
pable and unfit. 4. And so, though God be not changed 
by it in himself, yet the real change that is made by it on 
ourselves, doth infer a change in God by mere relation or 
extrinsical denomination ; he being one that is, according 
to the tenour of his own established law and covenant, en- 
gaged to disown or punish the unbelieving prayerless and 
disobedient, and after engaged to own or pardon them that 

^ Plerunique hoc iiegotium plus [genscibus] gemitibus quam sermonibus agitur. 
August. Epist. 121. (August. Oper. Benedict. Edit. Vol- i.Epist. 130. p. 390. T. C.) 


are faithfully desirous and obedient : and so this is a rela- 
tive, or at least a denominative change. So that in prayer, 
faith and fervency, are so far from being useless, that they as 
much prevail for the thing desired by qualifying ourselves 
for it, as if indeed they moved the mind of God, to a real 
change : even as he that is in a boat, and by his hook layeth 
hold of the bank, doth as truly by his labour get nearer the 
bank, as if he drew the bank to him. 

Direct, iii. * Labour above all to know that God to whom 
you pray.' To know him as your Maker, your Redeemer, 
and your Regenerator ; as your Owner, your Ruler, and 
your Father, Felicity and End ; as all-sufficient for your re- 
lief, in the infiniteness of his power, his wisdom and his 
goodness ; and to know your own dependance on him ; and 
to understand his covenant or promises, upon what terms he 
is engaged and resolved either to give his mercies, or to de- 
ny them. " He that cometh to God, must believe that He 
is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek 
him^" " He that calleth on the name of the Lord shall be 
saved : but how shall they call on him, on whom they have 
not believed**.*' 

Direct, iv. ' Labour when you are about to pray, to stir 
up in your souls the most lively and serious belief of those 
unseen things that your prayers have respect to ; and to 
pray as if you saw them all the while: even as if you saw 
God in his glory, and saw heaven and hell, the glorified and 
the damned, and Jesus Christ your Mediator interceding for 
you in the heavens.' As you would pray if your eyes be- 
held all these, so strive to pray while you believe them : 
and say to yourselves. Are they not as sure as if I saw them? 
Are they not made known by the Son and Spirit of God ? 

Direct, v. * Labour for a constant acquaintance with 
yourselves, your sins and manifold wants and necessities ; 
and also to take an actual, special notice of your case, when 
you go to prayer.' If you get not a former constant ac- 
quaintance with your own case, you cannot expect to know 
it aright upon a sudden as you go to pray : and yet if you 
do not actually survey your hearts and lives when you go 
to prayer, your souls will be unhumbled, and want that 
lively sense of your necessities, which must put life into 
your prayers. Know well what sin is, and what God's 

« Hcb. xi. 6. •• Rom. x. IS, 14. 


wrath, and hell, and judgment are, and what sin you have 
committed, and what duty you have omitted, and failed in, 
and what wants and corruptions are yet within you, and 
what mercy and grace you stand in need of, and then all 
this will make you pray, and pray to purpose with all your 
hearts. But when men are wilful strangers to themselves, 
and never seriously look backwards or inwards to see what 
is amiss and wanting ; nor look forwards, to see the danger 
that is before them, no wonder if their hearts be dead and 
dull, and if they are as unfit to pray, as a sleeping man to 
work *. 

Difect. VI. ' See that you hate hypocrisy, and let not 
your lips go against or without your hearts ; but that your 
hearts be the spring of all your words : that you love not 
sin, and be not loath to leave it, when you seem to pray 
against it ; and that you truly desire the grace which you 
ask, and ask not for that which you would not have : and 
that you be ready to use the lawful means to get the mer- 
cies which you ask ;' and be not like those lazy wishers, 
that will pray God to give them increase at harvest, when 
they lie in bed, and will neither plough or sow , or that pray 
him to save them from fire, or water, or danger, while they 
run into it, or will not be at the pains to go out of the way. 
O what abundance of wretches do offer up hypocritical, 
mock prayers to God ! blaspheming him thereby, as if he 
were an idol, and knew not their hypocrisy, and searched 
not the hearts ? Alas, how commonly do men pray in pub- 
lic, " that the rest of their lives hereafter maybe pure and ho- 
ly,'* that hate purity and holiness at the heart, and deride 
and oppose that which they seem to pray for? As Austin 
confesseth of himself before he was converted, that he pray- 
ed against his filthy sin, and yet was afraid lest God should 
grant his prayers. So many pray against the sins which they 
would not be delivered from, or would not use the means 
that is necessary to their conquest and deliverance." " Let 
him that nameth the name of Christ, depart from iniquity ^." 
*'If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear 
me s." Alas, how easy is it for an ungodly person to learn to 

e Bias iiavigabat aliquando cum impiJs, et quum navis tempestate, quateretur, 
illiquc Deos invocarent ; silete, inquit, ne vos hie illi navigare sentiant. Diog. Laert. 
lib.i.sect. 86. p. 65. 

f t Tim. ii. 19. P^al. Ixvi 18. See Ezek. xiv. 3,4, 14. 


say a few words by rote, and to run them over, without any 
sense of what he speaketh ; while the tongue is a stranger 
to the heart, and speaketh not according to its desires. 

Direct, vii. ' Search your hearts and watch them care- 
fully, lest some beloved vanity alienate them from the work 
in hand, and turn away your thoughts, or prepossess your 
affections, so that you want them when you should use 
them.' If the mind be set on other matters, prayer will be a 
heartless, lifeless thing. Alas, what a dead and pitiful work, 
is the prayer of one that hath his heart ensnared in the love 
of money, or in any ambitious or covetous design? The 
thoughts will easily follow the affections. 

Direct, viii. * Be sure that you pray for nothing that is 
disagreeable to the will of God, and that is not for the good 
of yourselves or others, or for the honour of God : and there- 
fore take heed, lest an erring judgment, or carnal desires, or 
passions should corrupt your prayers, and turn them into 
sin.* If men will ignorantly pray to God to do them hurt, 
it is a mercy to them if God will but pardon and deny such 
prayers, and a judgment to grant them. And it is an easy 
thing for fleshly interest, or partiality, or passion to blind 
the judgment, and consequently to corrupt men's prayers. 
An ambitious or covetous man will easily be drawn to pray 
for the grant of his sinful desires, and think it would be for 
his good. And there is scarce an heretical or erroneous per- 
son, but thinketh that it would be good that the world were 
all reduced to his opinion, and all the opposers of it were 
borne down : there are few zealous Antinomians, Anabap- 
tists, or any other dividers of the church, but they put their 
opinions usually into their prayers, and plead with God for 
the interest of their sects and errors : and it is like that the 
Jews that had a persecuting zeal for God '', did pray accor- 
ding to that zeal, as well as persecute : as it is like that 
Paul hi I lyed against the Christians, while he igno- 

rantly p . d them. And they that think they do God 

service by killing his servants, no doubt would pray against 
them, as the Papists and others do at this day. Be espe- 
cially careful therefore that your judgments and desires be 
sound and holy, before you oft'er them up to God in prayer. 
For it is a most vile abuse of God, to beg of him to do the 
deyil's work ; and, as most malicious and erroneous persons 

^ Rom. X. t. 


do, to call him to their help against himself, his servants 
and his cause. 

Direct, ix. ' Come always to God in the humility that 
beseemeth a condemned sinner, and in the faith and bold- 
ness that beseemeth a son, and a member of Christ : do no- 
thing in the least conceit and confidence of a worthiness in 
yourselves ; but be as confident in every lawful request, as 
if you saw your glorified Mediator interceding for you with 
his Father.' Hope is the life of prayer and all endeavour, 
and Christ is the life of hope. If you pray and think you 
shall be never the better for it, your prayers will have little 
life. And there is no hope of success, but through our pow- 
erful Intercessor. Therefore let both a crucified and glori- 
fied Christ, be always before your eyes in prayer ; not in a 
picture, but in the thoughts of a believing mind. Instead of a 
crucifix, let some such sentence of Holy Scripture, be writ- 
ten before you, where you use to pray, as John xx. 17. " Go 
to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Fa- 
ther and your Father, to my God and your God." Or Heb. 
iv. 14. " We have a great high priest that is passed into 
the heavens, Jesus the Son of God :" ver. 15, 16. " that was 
in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin : let us there- 
fore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may ob- 
tain mercy *"," &c. " Which hope we have as an anchor of 
the soul both sure and stedfast, and that entereth into that 
within the vail ; whither the fore-runner is for us entered," 
'* He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God 
by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for 
them\" " If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it'':" 
Christ and the promise must be the ground of all your con- 
fidence and hope. 

Direct, x. ' Labour hard with your hearts all the while 
to keep them in a reverent, serious, fervent frame, and suffer 
them not to grow remiss and cold, to turn prayer into lip- 
labour, and lifeless formality, or into hypocritical, affected, 
seeming fervency, when the heart is senseless, though the 
voice be earnest.' The heart will easily grow dull, and cus- 
toma!ry, and hypocritical if it be not carefully watched, and 
diligently followed and stirred up. " The effectual, fervent 
prayer of a righteous man availeth much^" A cold prayer 
sheweth a heart that is cold in desiring that which is prayed 

h Heb. vi, 9. 20. ' Heb.vii. 25 '' John xiv. 13, 14. ' James v. 16. 




for, and therefore is unfit to receive the mercy ; God will 
make you know that his mercy is not contemptible, but 
worthy your most earnest prayers. 

Direct, xi. * For the matter and order of your desires 
and prayers, take the Lord's prayer as your special rule ; 
and labour to understand it well™.' For those that 
can make use of so brief an explication, I shall give a 
little help. 

A Brief Explication of the Method of the Lord^s Prayer, 

^. Who he is : GOD : not Creatures, Saints, or Angels. 

The Lord's 
prayer cou- 
taineth, 1. 
The address 
or preface : 
in which are 
or implied, 

I. To whom 
the prayer 
is made. 

2. How related 
to us, he is OUR 
which compre- 
hendeth funda- 
mentally, that 
he is 

3. What he 
is in his at- 
tributes : 
Which sig- 
nifieth that 
therefore he 


1. Our Crea- 

2. Our Re- 

3. Our Rege- 
nerator, (to 
the regene- 

1. Almighty ; and able to 
grant all that we ask, and 
to relieve and help us in 
every strait. 

2. All-knowing : our 
hearts, and wants, and all 
things being open to his 

3. Most Good: from 
whom, and by whom, and 
to whom are all things ; 
the Fountain, the Dispo- 
ser, and the End of all, on 
whose bounty and influ- 
ence all subsist. And 
the present tense ' ART' 
doth intimate his Eternity 

1. Our Owner, or 
Absolute Lord. 

2. Our Ruler, or Su- 
preme King. 

3. Our Benefactor 
and chief Good, and 
so our Felicity and 
our End. 

/ — 

In this one word is 
not only implied all 
these attributes of 
God, but also our 
hearts are directed 
whither to look for 
their relief and di- 
rection now, and 
their felicity for ever, 
and called oif from 
earthly dependances, 
and expectations of 
happiness and rest ; 
and to look for all 
from heaven, and at 
last in heaven. 

n. Who 

are the pe- 
titioQcr* — 
Who are 

2. By Relo 
tion, God'i 

3. By 

as to his Being. 

1. By Creation: so allare: y^l. HisOwn; 
and therefore all may thus far 1 2. His Sub- 
call him Father. I jects : 

2. By Redemption: as all I 3. HisBelov- 
are as to (he sufficient price/ edandBene- 
and satisfaction. I ficiaries, that 

3. By Regeneration : and so I live upon him 
only the Regenerate are chil- 1 and to him, 

\,as their End. 


/" 1. Loving God, as 

y their Father. 
^ J 2. Loving theni- 
>i "\ selves, as men. 

i 3. Loving others, 

(_as brethren. 

All which 
is signifi- 
ed in the 

 Of the method of the Lord's Prayer, see Ramus de Relig. Christ. lib. iii.cap. 
S. and Ludolphus de vitaChristi, Parti, cap. 37. and Perkins in oratdom. and Dr. 
Boys on the Uturgy, pp. 5—7. 



[part II. 

II. The 
Prayer, or 
Petitions, in 
two parts : \ 
of which, 

2. For the end 
respective!}' in / 
the interest of \ 
God, and that 

I. The first 
Part is ac- 
cording to / 
the order of \ 
and desire 
and is, 

II. The se- 
cond Partis 
according to 
the order of 
and is for 
beginning at 
the lowest, 
and ascend- 
ing, till the 
end first in- 
tended, be 
last attain- 
ed : and it 

1. For the end simply, which is GOD j in the word * THY ' 

repeated in every petition. 

^l. The higliest or ultimate, that is, tfif glo- 
ry of God; 'HALLOWED BE THY 

II. The highest means of his glory, ' THY 
KINGDOM COME :' that is, let the 
world besubject to thee their Creator and 
Redeemer ; the universal King. 

III. The next means, being the eflfect of 
this; * THY WILL BE DONE,' that 
is, let thy laws be fulfilled, and thy dis- 

L posals submitted to. 
3. For the lower end, even the subject of these means; 
which Is the public good of mankind, the world and 
church : ' IN EARTH,' that is, let the world be sub- 
jected to thee, and the church obey thee ; which will be 
the greatest blessing to them : ourselves, being included 
in the world. And the measure and pattern is added, 
' AS IT IS IN HEAVEN,' that is, let the earth be con- 
formed as near as may be to the heavenly pattern. So 
that this part of the Lord's Prayer, proceeding hi the or- 
der of excellency and intention, directeth us 1. To make 
God our ultimate, highest end ; and to desire his interest 
first, and in this order, (l.) His glory, {2.) His kingdom, 
(S.) Obedience to his laws. II. To make the public 
good of the world and the church, our next end as being 
the noblest means. III. To include our own interest in 
and under this, as the least of all ; professing first our 
^ own consent to that which we desire first for others. 

1. For the support of our nature by necessary means : 

being God's first gift, presupposed both to grace and glo- 
ry. * GIVE,' signifieth our dependance on God for all. 
' US,' our charity, that we desire relief for ourselves and 
others. ' DAILY' (or substantial) ' BREAD,' our mo- 
deration ; that we desire not unnecessaries or supei-flui- 
ties. ' THIS DAY,' the constancy of our dependance, 
and that we desire not, or care too much for the future, and 
promise not ourselves long life. 

2. For clearing us from the guilt of all sin past (repentance 
and faith being here presupposed) ; where is ( t.) The 
Petition : < AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS ' (tres- 
passes or sins). (2.) The motive from our qualification 
for forgiveness: 'AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.' 
Without which God will not forgive us. 

3. For future preservation: (l.) From the means, ' LEAD 
US NOT INTO TEMPTATION :' that is, though thou 
mayst justly try us, yet pity our frailty, and neither 
cause or permit us so to be tried, as may tempt us to sin 
and ruin. (2.) From the end, ' BUT DELIVER US 
FROM THE EVIL:' that is, 1. The Evil One, Satan 
(and his instruments). 2. The evil thing: 1. Sin. 2. 
Misery, which are Satan's end. He that would be saved 
from hell and misery, must be saved from sin ; and he 
that would be saved from both, must be saved from satan 
and from temptation. Quest. But where are the requests 
for positive lioliness, grace and heaven ? Answ. 1 . Re- 
pentance and faith are supposed in the petitioner. 2. 
Whathe wanteth is asked in the three petitions ofthefirst 
Part, that we with others may sanctify God's name, and 
be the subjects of his kingdom, and do his will, &c. 
Christ and a stateof grace, are finally in the first petition, 

formally m the second, and expressively in the third. 




HI. The 

conclusion : 
the reason 
and termi- 
nation of our 
desires, in 
their ulti- 
mate end :^ 
here prais- 
ed : begin- 
ning at the 
lowest, and 
ascending to 
the highest ; 

I. What' 
we praise 
or the mat-^ 
ter ; or inte- 
rest of God : 

II. Whom 
we praise: 

III. The .7 
duration : 1 


1. His universal reign, * FOR THINE IS THE KING- 
DOM,' administered variously?, agreeably to the sub- 
jects : all owe this absolute obedience : who coramand- 
est and executest what thou wilt. 

2. His own perfections, ' THE POWER :' both right and 
all-sufficiency : including his omniscience and goodness, 
as well as omnipotence. 

3. His incomprehensible excellency and blessedness, as he 
is the ultimate end of us and all things ; ' AND THE 
GLORY.' Rom. xi. 36. 1 Cor. x. 31. 

GOD, in the word 'THINE:' in him, the first efficient 
cause of all things, we begin : his help as the dirigent 
cause, we seek : and in him as the final cause, we ter- 

« FOR EVER AND EVER,' to eternity : and ' AMEN' 
is the expression of our consent. For of Him, and through 
Him, and to Him are all things: to Him be glory for 
ever, Amen. Rom.ix. 36. 

So that it is apparent that the method of the Lord's 
prayer is circular, partly analytical, and partly synthetical : 
beginning with God, and ending in God : beginning with 
such acknowledgments as are prerequisite to petition, and 
ending in those praises which petition and grace bestowed 
tend to : beginning our petitions for God's interest and the 
public good, according to the order of estimation and inten- 
tion, till we come to the mere means, and then beginning at 
the lowest, and ascending according to the order of execu- 
tion. As the blood passing from the greater to the smaller 
numerous vessels, is there received by the like, and repas- 
seth to its fountain ; such a circular method hath mercy 
and duty, and consequently our desires. 

Tit. 2. Some Questions about Prayer answered* 

The rest of the general questions about prayer, I think 
will be best contrived into the resolving of these following- 
doubts, r 

Quest. I. ' Is the Lord's prayer a directory only, or a 
form of words to be used by us in prayer V 

Answ. 1. It is principally the rule to guide our inward 
desires, and outward expressions of them; both for the 
matter, what we must desire, and for the order, which we 
must desire first and most. 2. But this rule is given in a 
form of words, most apt to express the said matter and or- 
der. 3. And this form may fitly be used in due season by 
all, and more necessarily by some. 4. But it was never in- 

VOL. IV. u 


tended to be the only words which we must use, no more 
than the creed is the only words that we must use to express 
the doctrine of faith, or the decalogue the only words to ex- 
press our duty by"". 

Quest. II. 'What need is there of any other form of 
prayer, if the Lord's prayer be perfect?* 

Answ. Because it is only a perfect summary, containing 
but the general heads : and it is needful to be more particu- 
lar in our desires ; for universals exist in particulars ; 
and he that only nameth the general, and then another and 
another general, doth remember but few of the particulars. 
He that shall say, " L have sinned, and broken all thy com- 
mandments," doth generally confess every sin ; but it is not 
true repentance, if it be not particular, for this, and that, 
and the other sin ; at least as to the greater which may be 
remembered. He that shall say, " I believe all the Word of 
God, or I believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," 
may know little what is in the Word of God, or what these ge- 
nerals signify, and therefore our faith must be more particu- 
lar. So must desires after grace be particular also : other- 
wise it were enough to ask for mercy in the general. If you 
say, that God knoweth what those general words signify, 
though we do not ; I answer, this is the Papists' silly argu- 
ment for Latin prayers, God knoweth our desires without 
any expressions or prayers at all, and he knoweth our wants 
without our desires. But it foUoweth not that prayers or 
desires are unnecessary. The exercise of our own repen- 
tance and desire doth make us persons fit to receive for- 
giveness, and the grace desired ; when the impenitent and 
those that desire it not are unfit. And it is no true repen- 
tance, when you say, ** I am sorry that I have sinned," but 
you know not, or remember not, wherein you have sinned, 
nor what your sin is ; and so repent not indeed of any one 
sin at all. And so it is no true desire, that reacheth not to 
the particular, necessary graces, which we must desire ; 
though I know some few very quick, comprehensive minds 

m Selden in Eutychii Alexandr. Orig. p. 42, 43. sheweth that before Ezra the 
Jews prayed without forms, and that Ezra and the elders with him, composed them 
a form which had eighteen benedictions and petitions, that is, the three first and the 
three last for the glorifying God, and tlie rest intermediate for personal and public 
benefits. And page 48. That they might omit none of these, but might add others. 


can in a moment think of many particulars, when they ttse 
but general words : and I know that some smaller, less ne- 
cessary things, may be generally passed over ; and greater 
matters in a time of haste, or when we, besides those gene- 
rals, do also use particular requests. 

Quest. III. * Is it lawful to pray in a set forrii of words ? 

Afisw. Nothing but very great ignorance can make you 
really doubt of it". Hath God any where forbid it? You 
will say, that it is enough that he hath not commanded it. I 
answer. That in general he hath commanded it to all whose 
edification it tendeth to, when he commandeth you, that all 
be done to edification ; but he hath given no particular com- 
mand, nor prohibition. No more he hath commanded 
you to pray in English, French, or Latin; nor to sing psalms 
in this tune or that ; nor after this or that version or trans- 
lation ; nor to preach in this method particularly or that ; 
nor always to preach upon a text ; nor to use written tiotes ; 
nor to compose a form of words, and learn them, and preach 
them after they are composed, with a hundred suchlike, which 
are undoubtedly lawful ; yea, and needful to some, though 
not to others. If you make up all your prayer of Scripture 
sentences, this is to pray in a form of prescribed words, and 
yet as lawful and fit as any of your own. The psalms are 
most of them forms of prayer or praise, which the Spirit of 
God indited for the use of the church, and of particular per- 
sons. It would be easy to fill many pages with larger rea- 
sonings, and answers to all the fallacious objections that 
are brought against this ; but I will not so far weary the 
reader and myself. 

Quest, IV. * But are those forms lawful which ard pre- 
scribed by others, and not by God?* 

Amw. Yea ; or else it would be unlawful for a child or 
scholar to use a form prescribed by his parents or master. 
And to think that a thing lawful doth presently become un- 
lawful, because a parent, master, pastor, or prince doth pre- 
scribe it or command it, is a conceit that I will not wrong 
my reader so far, as to suppose him guilty of. Indeed if 
an usurper, that hath no authority over us in such matters, 

" See Selden ubi supra, proving that the Jews had a form of prayer sidce Ezra's 
time ; therefore it was in Christ's time. Yet he and hu apostles joiued with tlicni, 
and never contradicted or blamed theui for furuis. 


do prescribe it, we are not bound to formal obedience, that 
is, to do it therefore because he commandeth it ; but yet I 
may be bound to it on some other accounts ; and though 
his command do not bind me, yet it maketh not the thing it- 
self unlawful. 

Quest, V. * But is it lawful to pray extempore without a 
premeditated form of words V 

Answ. No Christian of competent understanding doubt- 
eth of it. We must premeditate on our wants, and sins, 
and the graces and mercies we desire, and the God we speak 
to ; and we must be able to express these things without 
any loathsome and unfit expressions. But whether the 
words are fore-contrived or not, is a thing that God hath no 
more bound you to by any law, than whether the speaker or 
hearers shall use sermon-notes, or whether your Bibles shall 
be written or in print. 

Quest. VI. 'If both ways be lawful, which is better?' 

Answ. If you are to join with others in the church, that 
is better to you which the pastor then useth : for it is his 
office and not yours to word the prayers which he puts up 
to God. And if he choose a form, (whether it be as most 
agreeable to his parts, or to his people, or for concord with 
other churches, or for obedience to governors, or to avoid 
some greater inconvenience,) you must join with him, or not 
join there at all°. But if it be in private, where you are the 
speaker yourself, you must take that way that is most 
to your own edification, (and to others, if you have auditors 
joining with you). One man is so unused to prayer (being 
ignorantly bred,) or of such unready memory or expression, 
that he cannot remember the tenth part so much of his par- 
ticular wants, without the help of a form, as with it ; nor 
can he express it so affectingly for himself or others : nay, 
perhaps not in tolerable words. And a form to such a man 
may be a duty ; as to a dim-sighted man to read by spec- 
tacles, or to an unready preacher to use prepared words and 
notes. And another man may have need of no such helps ; 
nay, when he is habituated in the understanding and feeling of 
his sins and wants, and hath a tongue that is used to ex- 

** Three or four of these cases as to church-prayers are more largely answered 
afterward, Part iii. Socrates alius Cous deorum precationes, invocationesque con- 
scripsit. Diog. Laert. in Socrate. lib. ii. sect. 47. p. 109. 




press his mi»d even in these matters, with readiness and fa- 
cility, it will greatly hinder the fervor of such a man's aft'ec- 
tions, to tie himself to premeditated words : to say the con- 
trary, is to speak against the common sense and experience 
of such speakers and their hearers. And let them that yet 
deride this as uncertain and inconsiderate praying, but mark 
themselves, whether they cannot if they be hungry beg for 
bread, or ask help of their physician, or lawyer, or landlord, 
or any other, as well without a learned or studied form, as 
with it? Who knoweth not that it is true which the new 
philosopher saith ; Cartes, de Passion, part i. art. 44. * Et 
cum inter loquendum solum cogitamus de sensu illius rei, 
quam dicere volumus, id facit ut moveamus linguam et labra 
celerius et melius, quam si cogitaremus ea movere omnibus 
modis requisitis ad proferenda eadem verba ; quia habitus 
quern acquisivimus cum disceremus loqui,' &c. Turning 
the thoughts too solicitously from the matter to the words, 
doth not only mortify the prayers of many, and turn them 
into a dead form, but also maketh them more dry and bar- 
ren even as to the words themselves. The heavy charge and 
bitter, scornful words which have been too common in this 
age, against praying without a set form by some, and against 
praying with a book or form by others, is so dishonourable 
a symptom or diagnostic of the church's sickness, as must 
needs be matter of shame and sorrow to the sounder, under- 
standing part. For it cannot be denied, but it proveth 
men's understandings and charity to be both extremely low. 

Quest. VI 1. * Must we always pray according to the me- 
thod of the Lord's prayer, and is it a sin to do otherwise V 

Atuw, 1. The Lord's prayer is first a rule for your de- 
sires : and it is a sin, if your desires follow not that me- 
thod. If you do not begin in your desires with God, as 
your ultimate end, and if you first desire not his glo- 
ry, and then the flourishing of his kingdom, and then 
the obeying of his laws, and herein the public welfare of the 
world, before and above your particular benefit. And it is 
a sin if you desire not your daily bread (or necessary sup- 
port of nature), as a lower mercy in order to your higher spi- 
ritual mercies ; and if you desire not pardon of sin, as a 
meaurt to your future sanctity, duty, and felicity ; and if you 
desire not these, as a means to the glory of God, and take 


not his praises as the highest part of your prayers. But for 
the expressing of these desires, particular occasions may 
warrant you ofttimes to begin in another order : as when 
you pray for the sick, or pray for directions, or a blessing 
before a sermon or some particular work, you may begin 
and end with the subject that is before you, as the prayers 
of holy men in all ages have done. 2. You must distinguish 
also, as between desires and expressions, so between an uni- 
versal and a particular prayer. The one containeth all the 
parts of prayer, and the other is but about some one subject 
or part, or but some few ; this last being but one or few, par- 
ticular petitions cannot possibly be uttered in the method 
of an universal prayer which hath all the parts. There is 
HO one petition in the Lord's prayer, but may be made a 
prayer itself ; and then it cannot have the other petitions as 
parts. 3. And you must distinguish between the even and 
ordinary case of a Christian, and his extraordinary case, 
when some special reason, affection, or accident call- 
eth him to look most to some one particular. In his even 
and ordinary case, every universal prayer should be ex- 
pressed in the method^of the Lord's prayer ; but in cases of 
special reason and inducement it may be otherwise. 

Quest. VIII. * Must we pray always when the Spirit mov- 
eth us, and only then, or as reason guideth us V 

Aiisio, There are two sorts of the Spirit's motions ; the 
one is by extraordinary inspiration or impulse, as he moved 
the prophets and apostles, to reveal new laws, or precepts, 
or events, or to do some actions without respect to any other 
command than the inspiration itself. This Christians are 
not now to expect, because experience telleth us that it is 
ceased ; or if any should pretend to it as not yet ceased, in 
the prediction of events, and direction in some things other- 
wise indifferent, yet it is most certain that it is ceased as to 
legislation ; for the Spirit itself hath already given us those 
laws, which he hath declared to be perfect, and unchange- 
able till the end of the world. The other sort of the Spirit's 
working, is not to make new laws or duties, but to guide and 
quicken us in the doing of that which is our duty before by 
the laws already made. And these are the motions that all 
true Christians must now expect. By which you may see, 
that the Spirit and reason ate not to be here disjoined, much 



less opposed. As reason sufficeth not without the Spirit, 
being dark and alseep ; so the Spirit worketh not on the 
will but by the reason : he moveth not a man as a beast qr 
stone, to do a thing he knoweth not why, but by illumina- 
tion giveth him the soundest reason for the doing of it. 
And duty is first duty before we do it ; and when by our 
own sin we forfeit the special motions or help of the Spirit, 
duty doth not thereby cease to be duty, nor our omission to 
be sin. If the Spirit of God teach you to discern the meet- 
est season for prayer, by considering your affairs, and when 
you are most free, this is not to be denied to be the work of 
the Spirit, because it is rational, (as fanatic enthusiasts 
imagine). And if you are moved to pray in a crowd of bu- 
siness, or at any time when reason can prove that it is not 
your duty but your sin, the same reason proveth that it was 
not the Spirit of God that moved you to it : for the Spirit 
in the heart is not contrary to the Spirit in the Scripture, 
Set upon the duty which the Spirit in the Scripture com- 
mandeth you, and then you may be sure that you obey the 
Spirit : otherwise you disobey it. Yea, if your hearts be'cold, 
prayer is a more likely means to warm them, than the omis- 
sion of it. To ask whether you may pray while your hearts 
are cold and backward, is as to ask whether you may labour 
or come to the fire before you are warm. God's Spirit is 
more likely to help you in duty, than in the neglect of it. 

Quest, IX. * May a man pray that hath no desire at all 
of the grace which he prayeth for?' 

Amw. No; because it is no prayer but dissembling; 
and dissembling is no duty. He that asketh for that which 
he would not have, doth lie to God in his hypocrisy. But 
if a man li > ' M and common desires (though they 
reach not i ^ h will prove them evidences of true 

grace), he may pray and express those desires which he 

Quest, X . ' May a man pray that doubteth of his interest 
in God, and dsue not call him father as his child?' 

Amw. 1 . There is a common interest in God, which all 
mankind have, as he is good to all, and as his mercy through 
Christ is offered to all : and thus those that are not regene- 
rate are his children by creation, and by participation of 
his mercy ; and they may both call him father and pray to 


himself, though yet they are imregenerate '\ 2. God hath 
an interest in you, when you have no special interest in 
him : therefore his command must be obeyed, which bids 
you pray. 3. Groundless doubts will not disoblige you 
from your duty ; else men might free themselves from almost 
all their obedience. 

Quest, XI. 'May a wicked or unregenerate man pray, 
and is he accepted ? Or is not his prayer abominable to 
God V 

Answ. 1. A wicked man as a wicked man, can pray no 
how but wickedly, that is, he asketh only for things unlaw- 
ful to be asked, or for lawful things to unlawful ends ; and 
this is still abominable to God^. 2. A wicked man may 
have in him some good that proceedeth from common 
grace, and this he may be obliged to exercise ; and so by 
prayer to express his desires so far as they are good. 3. A 
wicked man's wicked prayers are never accepted ; but a 
wicked man's prayers which are for good things, from com- 
mon grace, are so far accepted as that they are some means 
conducing to his reformation, and though his person be 
still unjustified, and these prayers sinful, yet the total omis- 
sion of them is a greater sin. 4. A wicked man is bound 
at once to repent and pray ^ And whenever God bids him 
ask for grace, he bids him desire grace ; and to bid him 
pray, is to bid him repent and be of a better mind : there- 
fore those that reprove ministers for persuading wicked 
men to pray, reprove them for persuading them to repen- 
tance and good desires. But if they pray without that re- 
pentance which God and man exhort them to, the sin is 
theirs : but all their labour is not lost if their desires fall 
short of saving sincerity ; they are under obligations to 
many duties, which tend to bring them nearer Christ, and 
which they may do without special, saving grace. 

Quest, XII. ' May a wicked man pray the Lord's prayer, 
or be exhorted to use it?' 

Answ. 1. The Lord's prayer in its full and proper sense, 
must be spoken by a penitent, believing, justified person^ ; 

pPsal.xlH. 9. xxii. 1. Johnii.4. Jer. xxxi. 9. Luke xv. 12. 17. 19. Mal» 
ii. 10. 

q Acts XV. 17. xvJi. 17. viii. '22. Fsiil. xiv. 4. 
' Acts viii. 22. Isa. Iv. 6, 7. 
* Hcb.xi. 6. Rom. x. 14. 


for in the full sense no one else can call him ' Our Father/ 
(though in a limited sense the wicked may) : and they can- 
not desire the glory of God, and the coming of his king- 
dom, nor the doing of his will on earth as it is in heaven, 
and this sincerely, without true grace : (especially those ene- 
mies of holiness, that think it too much strictness to do 
God's will on earth, ten thousand degrees lower than it is 
done in heaven). Nor can they put up one petition of that 
prayer sincerely according to the proper sense ; no not to 
pray for their daily bread, as a means of their support while 
they are doing the will of God, and seeking first his glory 
and his kingdom. But yet it is possible for them to speak 
these words from such common desires as are not so bad as 
none at all. 

Quest. XIII. ' Is it idolatry to pray to saints or angels? 
or is it always sinful?* 

Answ. I love not to be too quarrelsome with other men's 
devotions; but 1. I see not how praying to an angel or a 
departed saint can be excused from sin *. Because it sup- 
poseth them to be every where present, or to be omniscient, 
and to know the heart, yea to know at once the hearts of all 
men ; or else the speaker pretendeth to know when the 
saint or angel is present and heareth him, and when not : 
and because the Scripture doth no where signify that God 
would have us pray to any such saints or angels ; but sig- 
nifieth enough to satisfy us to the contrary. 2. But all 
prayer to them is not idolatry, but some is, and therefore 
we must distinguish, if we will judge righteously. (1.) To 
pray to saints or angels as supposed omnipresent, omnis- 
cient, or omnipotent, is flat idolatry. (2.) To pray to them 
to forgive us our sins against God, or to justify, or sanctify, 
or redeem, or save us from hell, or any thing which belong- 
eth to God only to do, is no better than idolatry. (3.) But 
to pray to them only to do that which belongeth to the 
guardian, or charitable office that is committed to them, 
and to think that though they are not omnipresent nor om- 
niscient, nor you know not whether they hear you at this 
time or not, yet you will venture your prayers at uncer- 
tainty, it being but so much labour lost; this I take to be 

*PmI. l&v.S. Isa. Ixiii. 16. PmI. oxiv. 18. 1 Kiu^^ viu. 39. AcUi.t4. 
Rom. vHl tT. X. 14. Pwl. Ixil. 8. MaU. iv. 9. 


sinfully superstitious, but not idolatry ". (4.) But to pray 
to living saints or sinners, for that which belongeth to them 
to giye,is no sin at all. 

Quest. XIV. * Is a man bound to pray ordinarily in his 
family V 

Answ, I have answered this affirmatively before, and 
proved it ; one grain of grace would answer it better than 
arguments can do. 

Quest. XV. 'Must the same man pray secretly that hath 
prayed with his family or with others V 

Ansip. 1. Distinguish between those that were the speak- 
ers, and those that were not ; and 2. Between those that have 
leisure from greater or more urgent duties, and those that 
have not. And so, (1.) Those that are free from the ur- 
gency of all other duties, which at that time are greater, 
should pray both in the family and in secret ; especially if 
they were not themselves the speakers, usually they will 
have the more need of secret prayer ; because their hearts 
in public may more easily flag, and much of their case may 
be omitted. (2.) But those that have more urgent, greater 
duties, may take up at that time ^ with family-prayer alone 
(with secret ejaculations ; ^specially if they were the speak- 
ers) : having there put up the same requests as they would 
do in secret. 

Quest. XVI. * Is it best to keep set hours for prayer, or to 
take the time which is fittest at present?' 

A?isw. Ordinarily set times will prove the fittest times ; 
and to leave the time undetermined and uncertain, will put 
all out of order, and multiply impediments, and hinder duty. 
But yet when extraordinary cases make the ordinary time 
unfit, a fitter time must be taken. 

Quest. XVII. * Is it lawful to join in family (or church) 
prayers with ungodly men?' 

Amiv. I join both together, because the cases little dif- 
iea; for the pastor hath the government of the people in 
church-worship, as the master of the family hath in family- 
worship : you may choose at first whether you will be a 
member of the church or family (if you were not born to it 
as your privilege). But when you are a member of either, 
you must be governed as members. And to the case, 1. 

« Rev. xxii. 8, 9. Col. ii. 18. » Mark that I say but ' at th&t time.' 


You must distinguish between professed wicked men, and 
those that sin against the profession. 2. And between a 
family (or church) that is totally wicked, and that which is 
mixed of good and bad. 3. And between those wicked 
men whose presence is your sin, because you have power 
to remove them, and those whose presence is not your sin, 
nor the matter in your power. 4. And between one that 
may yet choose of what family he will be, and one that may 
not. And so I answer, (1.) If it be the fault of the master 
of the family (or the pastors of the church) that such wicked 
men are there, and not cast out, then it is their sin to join 
with them, because it is their duty to remove them ; but 
that is not the case of the fellow-servants (or people), that 
have no power. (2.) If that wicked men profess their wick- 
edness, after sufficient admonition, you must professedly 
disown communion with them; and then you are morally 
separated and discharged, when you have no power locally 
to separate. (3.) It is your sin to fly from your duty, be- 
cause a wicked man is there, whom you have no power to 
remove. (4.) There are many prayers that a wicked man is 
bound to put up to God ; and you must not omit your duty, 
because he performeth his, though faultily ; methinks you 
should more scruple joining or conversing with one that 
forsaketh prayer (which is the greater sin) than with one 
that prayeth. (5.) But if you are free to choose, you are to 
be blamed if you will not choose a better family (or church) 
(other things being equal) : especially if all the company 
be wicked. 

Quest, XV III. * But what if the master of a family (or 
pastor) be a heretic or ungodly V 

Anws. You must distinguish between his personal faults, 
and the faults of his performance or worship. His personal 
faults (such as swearing or drunkenness, &c.) you must dis- 
own, and must not choose a master (or pastor) that is such, 
while you have your choice, and may have better: but 
otherwise it is lawful to join with him in doing good, though 
not in evil. But if the fault of his duty itself be intolerable 
you must oot join with him: now it is intolerable in these 
cases. 1. In case he be utterly unable to express a prayer, 
and so make it no prayer. 2. In case he bend his prayers 
against godliness, and known truth, and charity, and peace, 


and so make his prayers but the instruments of mischief, to 
vent heresy, or malice, and do more hurt than good to others. 

Quest. XIX. * May we pray absolutely for outward mer- 
cies, or only conditionally V 

Anws. You must distinguish, 1. Between a condition 
spoken of the subject, when we are uncertain whether it be 
a mercy or not, and an extrinsic condition of the grant. 2. 
Between a condition of prayer, and a condition of expecta- 
tion. 3. Between submission to God's will, and a condi- 
tional desire or prayer. And so I answer, (1.) It is neces- 
sary when we are uncertain whether the thing itself be good 
or not, that we pray with a subjective conditionality. * Grant 
this if it be good:' or * If it be not good I do not pray for 
it.' For it is presupposed in prayer that we know the thing m%^\ 
prayed for to be good. (2.) But when we know the thing 
to be a mercy and good, we may pray for it absolutely. (3.)- 
But we may not believe that we shall receive all with an ab- 
solute expectation, which we absolutely pray for. For] 
prayer being the expression of desire, that which may he\ 
absolutely desired, though not absolutely promised, may be 
absolutely prayed for. (As our increase or strength of grace, 
or the conversion of our relations, &c.) (4.) But yet all 
such must be asked with a submission to the will of God : 
but that maketli it not properly a conditional form of pray- 
ing ; for when the nature of prayer is as it were to move the 
will of God, it is not so proper to say, * Lord, do this if it 
be thy will already;' or * Lord, be pleased to do this if it 
be thy pleasure,' as to say, * Lord, grant this mercy ; 
but if thou deny it, it is my duty to submit.' So Christ 
mentioneth both the subjective conditionality and the sub- 
mission of his will. " If it be possible let this cup pass from 
me : nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt^. As if 
he had said. Nature requireth me with a simple nolition to 
be unwilling of the suffering, and if it be consistent with 
the desired end of my mediatorship, to be desirous to avoid 
it : but seeing that cannot be, my comparing will command- 
eth this simple will of self-preservation to submit to thy 
most perfect will. But if any call this Csubmission) a con- 
dition, the matter is not great. 

y Matt. xxvi. 39. 


Quest. XX. * May we pray for all that we may lawfully 
desire V 

Amw. No : for prayer is not only an expression of de- 
sire, but also a means to attain the thing desired. And 
some things may be lawfully desired (at least with a simple 
velleity), which may not be sought, because they must not 
be hoped for, where God hath said that he will not grant 
them. For it is vain to seek that which you have no hope 
to find : as to desire to see the conversion of the whole 
world, or to pass to heaven as Enoch without dying, are 
lawful (by a simple velleity) : but all things compared, it 
is not lawful peremptorily to desire it, without submission ; 
and therefore not to ask it. It is the expression of a com- 
parate, determinate desire, which is properly called prayer, 
being the use of means for the obtaining of that desire; and 
whatsoever I may so desire, I may pray for ; for if there be 
no hope of it, 1 may not so desire it. But the desire by 
way of simple velleity may not be put into a proper prayer, 
when there is no hope. I must have a simple desire (with 
submission) to attain a sinless perfection here, even this 
hour ; but because there is no hope, I may not let it pro- 
ceed to a determinate peremptory desire upon a compar- 
ing judgment, nor into a proper prayer. And yet these vel- 
leities may be expressed in prayer, though they have not 
the full nature of a prayer. Object. * But was not Christ's a 
prayer?' Amw. Either Christ as a man was certain that 
the cup must not pass from him, or uncertain. If you could 
prove him uncertain, then it is a proper prayer (with submis- 
sion to his Father's will ;) but if he was certain that it was 
not to pass from him, then it was analogically only a prayer, 
it being but a representing of his velleity, to his Father, 
and not of his determinate will, nor was any means to attain 
that end : and indeed such it was, as if he had said. Father 
if it had stood with the ends of my office and thy will, I 
would have asked this of thee ; but because it doth not, I 
submit. And tiiis much we may do. 

QAiest. XXI. * How then can we pray for the salvation of 
all the world? must it be for all men collectively? or only 
for some, excluding no numerical denominate person?' 

Amw. Just as Christ prayed here in this text, we must 
express our simple velleity of it to Qod, as a thing that in 


itself is most desirable (as the passing of the cup was unto 
Christ) : but we cannot express a determinate volition, by 
a full prayer, such as has any tendency as a means to attain 
that end ; because we are certain that God's will is against 
it, or that it will not be. 

Quest, XXII. * May we pray for the conversion of all 
the nations of the world to Christianity, with a hopeful 

Answ. Yes : For we are not certain that every nation 
shall not be so converted, though it be improbable. 

Quest, XXIII. ' May we pray in hope of a proper prayer 
(as a means to obtain it) that a whole kingdom may be all 
truly converted and saved?' 

Answ. Yes : for God hath no way told us that it shall 
not be ; though it be a thing improbable, it is not impossi- 
ble ; and therefore being greatly desirable may be prayed 
for. Though Christ has told us that his flock is little, and 
few find the way of life, yet that may stand with the salva- 
tion of a kingdom. 

Quest. XXIV. * May we pray for the destruction of the 
enemies of Christ, or of the Gospel, or of the king?' 

Answ. Not with respect to that which is called God's 
antecedent will, for so we ought first to pray for their con- 
version (and restraint till then) ; but with respect to that 
called his consequent will we may ; that is, we must first 
pray that they may be restrained and converted, and se- 
condly, that if not, they may be destroyed. 

Quest. XXV. ' What is to be thought of that which some 
call a particular faith in prayer ? If I can firmly believe 
that a lawful prayer shall be granted in kind, may I not be 
sure by a divine faith that it shall be so V 

Answ. Belief hath relation to a testimony or revelation. 
Prayer may be warranted as lawful, if the thing be desirable, 
and there be any possibility of obtaining it, though there be 
no certainty, or flat promise ; but faith or expectation must 
be warranted by the promise. If God have promised you 
the thing prayed for, you may believe that you shall receive 
it : otherwise your particular faith is a fancy, or a believing 
of yourselves, and not a believing God that never promised 
you the thing. Object. Matt. xxi. 22. " And all things 
whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." 


Answ. There are two sorts of faith : the oiie u belief that is 
ordinary, having respect to ordinary promises and mercies : 
the text can be understood of this in no other sense than 
this : ' All things which I have promised you, you shall re- 
ceive, if you ask them believingly.' But this is nothing to 
that which is not promised. The other faith was extraor- 
dinary, in order to the working of miracles : and this faith 
was a potent inward confidence, which was not in the power 
of the person when he pleased, but was given like an inspi- 
ration by the Spirit of God, when a miracle was to be 
wrought ; and this seemeth to be it that is spoken of in the 
text. And this was built on this extraordinary promise, 
which was made not to all men in all ages, but to those 
times when the Gospel was to be sealed and delivered by 
miracles ; and especially to the apostles. So that in these 
times, there is neither such a promise of our working mira- 
cles as they had to believe, nor yet a power to exercise that 
sort of extraordinary faith. Therefore a strong conceit 
(though it come in a fervent prayer) that any thing shall 
come to pass, which we cannot prove by any promise or 
prophecy, is not to be called any act of divine faith at all, 
nor to be trusted to. 

Quest. XXVI. * But must we not believe that every law- 
ful prayer is accepted and heard of God V 

Amw. Yes : but not that it should be granted in the 
very thing, unless so promised : but you may believe tliat 
your prayer is not lost, and that it shall be a means of that 
which tendeth to your good ^. 

Quest. XX VII. * With what faith must I pray for the souls 
or bodies of other men ; for their conversion or their lives V 

Amw. A godly man may pray for wicked relations or 
others, with more hope than they can pray for themselves, 
while they remain ungodly : but yet not with any certainty 
of prevailing for the thing he asketh ; for it is not peremp- 
torily promised him. Otherwise Samuel had prevailed for 
Saul, and Isaac for Esau, and David for Absalom, and the 
good people for all the wicked ; and then no godly parents 
would have their children lost; no nor any in the world 
would perish, for godly persons pray for them all. But 
those prayers are not lost to him that puts them up. 

• Rom. tiii* te. Isa. xir* 19. 


Quest. XXVIII. * With what faith may we pray for the 
continuance of the church and Gospel to any nation V 

Answ. The former answer serveth to this ; our hope may 
be according to the degrees of probability : but we cannot 
believe it as a certainty by divine faith, because it is not 
promised by God. 

Quest. XXIX. * How may we know when our prayers are 
heard of God, and when not V 

Answ. Two ways : sometimes by experience, when the 
thing itself is actually given us ; and always by the pro- 
mise : when we ask for that which God commandeth us to 
ask, or promiseth to grant; for we are sure God's pro- 
mises are all fulfilled. If we ask for the objects of sense 
(as food, or raiment, or health, &c.), sense will tell us whe- 
ther our prayers be granted in the same kind that we asked 
for ; but if the questions be of the objects of faith, it is faith 
that must tell you that your prayers are granted ; but yet 
faith and reason make use of evidences or signs : as if I pray 
for pardon of sin, and salvation, the promise assureth me 
that this prayer is granted, if I be a penitent, believing, re- 
generate person, otherwise not ; therefore faith only assureth 
me that such prayers are granted, supposing that I discern 
the evidence of my regeneration, repentance, and faith in 
Christ. So if the question be, whether my prayer for others, 
or for temporal mercies, be answered in some other kind, 
and conduce to my good some other way, faith only must 
tell you this from the promise, by the help of evidences : 
there are millions of prayers that will all be found answered 
at death and judgment, which we knew not to be answered 
any way but by believing it. 

Quest. XXX. ' What should a Christian of weak parts do, 
that is dry and barren of matter, and can scarce tell what to 
say in prayer, but is ready to rise off his knees almost as 
soon as he hath begun V 

Answ. 1. He must not be a stranger to himself, but 
study well his heart and life ; and then he will find such a 
multitude of inward corruptions to lament, and such a mul- 
titude of wants to be supplied, and weaknesses to be 
strengthened, and disorders to be rectified, and actual sins 
to be forgiven, that may find him work enough for confes- 
sions, complaints, and petitions many days together, if ex- 


pression be but as ready as matter. 2. Let him study God, 
and get the knowledge of his nature, attributes, and works, 
and then he will find matter enough to aggravate his sin, and 
to furnish him with the holy praise of God from day to day. 
As he that is acquainted with all that is in any book, can 
copiously discourse of it, when he that knoweth not what is 
in it, hath little to say of it : so he that knoweth God and 
his works, and himself, and his sins and wants, is acquainted 
with the best prayer book ; and hath always a full heap of 
matter before him, whenever he cometh to speak to God, 

3. Let him study the mystery of man's redemption, and the 
person, and office, and covenant, and grace of Christ ; and 
he need not want matter for prayer or praise. A very child 
if he sees but a pedlar's pack opened, where there are abun- 
dance of things which he desireth, will learn without book 
to say. * O father, buy me this, and give me that, &c.' So 
will the soul that seeth the treasuries and riches of Christ ^. 

4. Let him know the extent of the law of God, and the 
meaning of the Ten Commandments : if he know but what 
sins are forbidden in each commandment, and what duties 
are required, he may find matter enough for confession and 
petition : and therefore the view of such a brief exposition 
of the commandment, as you may find in ** Mr. Brinsley's 
True Watch," and in " Dr. Downam's" and " Mr. Whateley's 
Tables," will be a present furniture for such a use, especially 
in days of humiliation. So it will also to have a particular 
understanding of the Creed and the Lord's prayer, which 
will furnish you with much matter. 5. Study well the 
temptations which you carry about you in your flesh, and 
meet with in the world, and are suggested by the tempter ; 
and think of the many duties you have to do, and the many 
dangers and sufferings to undergo, and you will never be un- 
furnished for matter for your prayers. 6. Observe the 
daily passages of providence, to yourselves and others : 
mark how things go with your souls every day, and hearken 
how it goeth with the church of God, and mark also how it 
goeth with your neighbours, and sure you will find matter 
enough for prayer. 7. Think of the heavenly joys that you 
are going to, and the streets of the New Jerusalem will be 
large enough for faith to walk in. 8. For words, be ac- 

* Rev. Ui. 17, lU. 


quainled with the phrase of Scripture, and you will find pro- 
visions for all occasions. Read Dr. Wilkins* book, called 
" The Gift of Prayer," or " Mr. Brinsley's Watch," or '' Mr. 
E. Parr's Abba Father." 9. Keep up tlte heart in a reverent, 
serious, lively frame, and it will be a continual spring to fur- 
nish you with matter : when a dead and barren heart hath a 
dry and sleepy tongue. 10. Join as oft as you can with 
those that are full and copious in prayer ; for example and 
use will be very great helps. 11. Quench not the Spirit of 
God that must assist you. 12. In case of necessity, use 
those books or forms which are more full than you can be 
yourselves till you come to ability to do better without them. 
Read further the Directions Part i. Chap. 6. Tit. 2. for more. 
Quest. XXXI. ' How should a Christian keep up an or- 
dinary fervency in prayer?' 

Answ. 1. See that knowledge and faith provide you 
matter : for as the fire will go out if there be not fuel, so 
fervency will decay, when you are dry, and scarce know 
what to say ; or do not well believe what you understand. 
2. Clog not the body either with overmuch eating and 
drinking, or over-tiring labours : for an active body helpeth 
much the activity of the mind : and the holiest person will 
be able but poorly to exercise his fervency, under a dull 
or languishing body. 3. Rush not suddenly upon prayer, 
out of a crowd of other businesses, or before your last 
worldly cares or discourses be washed clean out of your 
minds. In study and prayer how certain a truth is it, that 
' Nonbene fit quod occupato animofit.' Hieron. Epist. 143. 
ad Paulin. That work is not well done, which is done with 
a mind that is preposessed, or busied about other matters : 
that mind must be wholly free from all other present 
thoughts or business, that will either pray or study well. 
4. Keep a tender heart and conscience that is not senseless 
of your own concernments; for all your prayers must needs 
be sleepy, if the heart and conscience be once hardened, 
seared, or fallen asleep. 5. Take more pains with your 
hearts than with your tongues. Remember that the success 
of your work lieth most on them. Bear not with their slug- 
gishness ; do by them as you would do by your child or 
servant that sleepeth by you at prayer ; you will not let 
them snort on, but jog them till you have awakened them. 


So do by your hearts when you find them dull. 6. Live as 
in the continual presence of God ; but labour to apprehend 
his special presence when you are about to speak to him : 
ask your hearts how they would behave themselves, if thej^ 
saw the Lord^ or but the lowest of his holy angels? 7. Let 
faith be called up to see heaven and hell as open all the 
while before you ; and such a sight will surely keep you 
serious. 8. Keep death and judgment i^ yaur, continual 
remembrance and expectation : remember how all your 
prayers will be looked back upon. Look not for long life : 
remember that this prayer for ought you know may be your 
last ; but certainly you have not long to pray : pray there- 
fore as a dying man should do. 9. Study well the un- 
speakable necessity of your souls. If you prevail not for 
pardon, and grace, and preservation, you are undone and 
lost for ever. Remember that necessity is upon you, and 
heaven or hell are at the end, and you are praying for more 
than a thousand lives. 10. Study well the unspeakable 
excellency of those mercies which you pray for : O think 
how blessed a life it would be, if you could know God more, 
and love him more, and live a blameless, heavenly life, and 
then live with Christ in heaven for ever ! Study these mer- 
cies till the flames of love put life into your prayers. 11. 
Study well the exceeding encouragements that you have to 
pray and hope : if your hope decay your fervour will decay. 
Think of the inconceivable love of God, the astonishing 
mercy shewed to you in your Redeemer, and in the helps of 
the Holy Spirit, and how Christ is now interceding for you. 
Think of these till faith make glad your heart ; and in this 
gladness, let praise and thanksgiving have ordinarily no 
small share in your prayers ; for it will tire out the heart to 
be always poring on its own distempers, and discourage it 
to look on nothing but its infirmities : and then, a sad, disr 
couraged temper will not be so lively a temper, as a thank- 
ful, praiseful, joyful temper is : for * Laetitia loquax res est^ 
aiqxke ostentatrix »ui ;' ' Gladness is aivery expressive thing, 
and apt to shew itself *'.' But * tristes non eloquentes sunt : 
maxirae si ad aegritudinemanimiaccedat corporis a^gritudo.' 
Hieron. Epist. 31. ad Theoph. Alexand. * Sad men are sel- 
dom eloquent : especially if the body be sick as well as the 

^ S^iuniach. Epist. 31. Ub. 1. ad Ausuii. 


mind.' 12. Let the image of a praying and a bleeding 
Christ, and of his praying saints be (not on a wall before 
your eyes, but) engraven on your minds : is it not desireable 
to be conformed to them ? Had they more need to pray im- 
portunately than you ? 13. Be very cautelous in the use of 
forms, lest you grow dull and customary, and before you are 
aware your tongues use to go without your hearts. The 
heart is apt to take its ease when it feeleth not some urgent 
instigation. And though the presence of God should serve 
the turn without the regard of man, yet with imperfect men 
the heart is best held to its duty when both concur. And 
therefore most are more cautelous of their words, than of 
their thoughts : as children will learn their lesson better, 
when they know their masters will hear them it, than when 
they think he will not. Now in the use of a form of prayer, 
a sleepy heart is not at all discerned by man, but by God 
only ; for the words are all brought to your hand, and may 
be said by the most dull and careless mind ; but when you 
are put to express your own desire, without such helps, you 
are necessitated to be so mindful of what you do, as to form 
your desires into apt expressions, or else your dulness or in- 
attentiveness will be observed even by men ; and you will 
be like one that hath his coach, or horse, or crutches taken 
off him, that if he have legs must use them, or else lie still. 
And to them that are able, it is often a great benefit to be 
necessitated to use the ability they have ; though to others 
it is a loss to be deprived of their helps *=. I speak not this 
against the lawfulness of a form of prayer ; but {o warn you 
of the temptations which are in that way. 14. Join oft with 
the most serious, fervent Christians ; for their fervour will 
help your hearts to burn, and carry you along with them. 
15. Destroy not fervency by adulterating it, and turning it 
into an affected earnestness of speech, and loudness of voice, 
when it is but an hypocritical cover for a frozen, empty 

Quest. XXXI 1. * May we look to speed ever the better 
for any thing in ourselves, or in our prayers ? Is not that 
to trust in them, when we should trust on Christ alone V 

Answ, We must not trust in them for any thing that is 
Christ's part and not their's : but for their own part it is a 

<: See Mr. Mayo's Directions on this case. 


duty to trust in them, (however quarrelsome persons may 
abuse or cavil at the words :) and he that distrusteth prayer 
in that which is its proper office, will pray to little purpose : 
and he that thinks that faithful, fervent, importunate, un- 
derstanding prayer, is no more effectual with God for mercy, 
than the babbling of the hypocrite, or the ignorant, careless, 
unbelieving, sleepy prayers of the negligent, will either not 
care how he prayeth, or whether he prayeth at all or not. 
Though our persons and prayers have nothing that is meri- 
torious with God, in point of commutative justice, nor as is 
co-ordinate with the merits of Christ, yet have they condi- 
tions without which God will not accept them, and are me- 
ritorious in subordination to the merit of Christ, in point of 
paternal governing justice according to the covenant of 
grace ; as an obedient child deserveth more love, and praise, 
and reward from his father than the disobedient : as the an- 
cient fathers commonly used the word merit ^. 

Quest, xxxiii. 'How must that person and prayer be 
qualified that shall be accepted of God?' 

Answ. There are several degrees of God's acceptance. 
I. That which is but from common grace, may be accepted 
as better than none at all. II. That which hath a promise 
of some success, especially as to pardon and salvation must 
be, 1. From a penitent, believing, holy person. 2. It must 
proceed from true desire, and be sincere ; and have renewed 
faith and repentance in some measure. 3. It must be put 
up in confidence on the merit and intercession of Christ. 
4. It must be only for things lawful. 5, And to a lawful 
end. III. That which is extraordinarily accepted and suc- 
cessful, must be extraordinary in all these respects ; in the 
person's holiness, and in renewed faith and fervent impor- 
tunity, and holy love. 

Tit. 3. Special Directions for Family Prayer. 

Direct, i. ' Let it be done rather by the master of the 
family himself than any other, if he be competently able, 
though others be more able ; but if he be utterly unfit, let 
it rather be done by another than not at all.' And by such 

^ Sec ray " Confession" of this at large. 


an one as is most acceptable to the rest, and like to do 
most good. 

Direct, ii. ' Let prayer be suited to the case of those 
that j oin in it, and to the condition of the family :* and not 
a few general words spoken by rote, that serve all times and 
persons alike. 

Direct. III. * Let it neither be so short as to €nd before 
their hearts can be warm and their wants expressed (as if 
you had an unwilling task to slubber over, and would fain 
have done) ; nor yet so tedious as to make it an ungrateful 
burden to the family.' 

Direct, iv. * Let not the coldness and dulness of the 
speaker rock the family asleep :' but keep awake your own 
heart, that you may keep the rest awake, and force them to 

Direct, v. * Pray at such hours as the family may be 
least distracted, sleepy, tired, or out of the way.' 

Direct, vi. ' Let other duties concur, as oft as may be, 
to assist in prayer :' as reading, and singing psalms. 

Direct, vii. * Do all with the greatest reverence of God 
that possibly you can :' not seeming reverence, but real ; 
that so more of God than of man may appear in every word 
you speak. 

Direct, viii. * The more the hearers are concerned in it, 
the more regard you must have to the fitness of your ex- 
pressions :' for before others, words must be regarded, lest 
they be scandalized, and God and prayer be dishonoured. 
And if you cannot do it competently without, use a well 
composed form. 

Direct, ix. * Let not family prayer be used at the time 
of public prayer in the church,' nor preferred before it, but 
prefer public prayer, though the manner were more imper- 
fect than your own. 

Direct, x. * Teach your children and servants how to 
pray themselves,' that they may not be prayerless when they 
come among those that cannot pray. John and Christ 
taught their disciples to pray. 


Tit. 4. Special Directions for Secret Prayer, 

Direct, i. * Let it be in as secret a place as conveniently 
you can ; that you may not be disturbed.' Let it be done 
so that others may not be witnesses of it, if you can avoid 
it ; and yet take it not for your duty, to keep it unknown 
that you pray secretly at all : for that will be a snar€ and 
scandal to them. 

Direct, ii. * Let your voice be suited to your own help 
and benefit, if none else hear you/ If it be needful to the 
orderly proceeding of your own thoughts, or to the warming 
of your own affections, you may use a voice ; but if others 
be within hearing, it is very unfit. 

Direct. III. * In secret let the matter of your prayers be 
that which is most peculiarly your own concernment, or 
those secret things that are not fit for public prayer, or are 
there passed by ;' yet never forgetting the highest interest 
of Christ, and the Gospel, and the world and church. 

Direct, iv. * Be less solicitous about words in secret 
than with others, and lay out your care about the heart.' 
For that is it that God most esteemeth in your prayers. 

Direct* v. ' Do not through carnal unwillingness grow 
into a neglect of secret prayer, when you have time : nor 
yet do not superstitiously tie yourselves to just so long time, 
whether you are fit, or at leisure from greater duties or not.' 
But be the longer when you are most fit and vacant, and 
the shorter when you are not. To give way to every carnal 
backwardness, is the sin on one side ; and to resolve to 
spend so long time, when you do but tire yourselves, and 
sleep, or business, or distemper makethit a lifeless thing, is 
a sin on the other side. Avoid them both. 

Direct, v i . ' A melancholy person who is unfit for much 
solitariness and heart-searchings, must be much shorter, if 
not also seldomer in secret prayers, than other Christians 
that are capable of bearing it:* and they must instead of 
that which they cannot do, be the more in that which they 
can do; as in joining with others, and in shorter ejacula- 
tions, besides other duties ; but not abating their piety in 
the main upon any pretence of curing melancholy. 



Brief Directions for Families , about the Sacrament of the Bodt^ 
and Blood of Christ. 

Omitting those things which concern the public adminis- 
tration of this sacrament, (for the reasons before intimated 
Part ii.) 1 shall here only give you some brief Directions 
for your private duty herein. 

Direct, i. * Understand well the proper ends to which 
this sacrament was instituted by Christ ; and take heed that 
you use it not to ends, for which it never was appointed.' 
The true ends are these, 1. To be a solemn commemoration 
of the death and passionof Jesus Christ, to keep it, as it were, 
in the eye of the church, in his bodily absence till he come"*. 
2. To be a solemn renewing of the holy covenant which was 
first entered in baptism, between Christ and the receiver ; 
and in that covenant it is on Christ's part, a solemn delivery 
of himself first, and with himself the benefits of pardon, re- 
conciliation, adoption, and right to life eternal. And on 
man's part, it is our solemn acceptance of Christ with his 
benefits, upon his terms, and a delivering up of ourselves to 
him, as his redeemed ones, even to the Father, as our recon- 
ciled Father, and to the Son as our Lord and Saviour, and to 
the Holy Spirit as our Sanctifier, with professed thankful- 
ness for so great a benefit. 3. It is appointed to be a lively 
objective means, by which the Spirit of Christ should work 
to stir up, and exercise, and increase the repentance, faith, 
desire, love, hope, joy, thankfulness, and new obedience of 
believers ; by a lively representation of the evil of sin, tl>e 
infinite love of God in Christ, the firmness of the covenant 
or promise, the greatness and sureness of the mercy given, 
and the blessedness purchased and promised to us, and the 
great obligations that are laid upon us ^. And that herein 
believers might be solemnly called out to the most serious 
exercise of all these graces, and might be provoked and as- 

» 1 Cor. xi. 24-— 26. 

b Matt. xxvi. 28. Mark xiv. 24. Luke xxii. 20. 1 Cor. xi. 25. Hcb. ix. 
15—18. 1 Cor. X. 16, 24. .loliu vi. 32- 35. 51. 58. 


sisted to stir up themselves to this communion with God in 
Christ, and to pray for more as through a sacrificed Christ^. 
4. It is appointed to be the solemn profession of believers, 
of their faith, and love, and gratitude, and obedience to God 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and of continuing firm in 
the Christian religion. And a badge of the church before 
the w^orld. 5. And it is appointed to be a sign and means 
of the unity, love, and communion of saints, and their rea- 
diness to communicate to each other. 

The false, mistaken ends which you must avoid are these. 
1. You must not with the Papists, think that the end of it is 
to turn bread into no bread, and wine into no wine, and to 
make them really the true body and blood of Jesus Christ. 
For if sense (which telleth all men that it is still bread and 
wine,) be not to be believed, then we cannot believe that 
ever there was a Gospel, or an apostle, or a pope, or a man, 
or any thing in the world. And the apostle expressly call- 
eth it bread three times, in three verses together, after the 
consecration '^. And he telleth us, that the use of it is (not 
to make the Lord's body really present, but) " to shew the 
Lord's death till he come ;" that is, as a visible representing 
and commemorating sign, to be instead of his bodily pre- 
sence till he come. 

2. Nor must you with the Papists use this sacrament 
to sacrifice Christ again really unto the Father, to propi- 
tiate him for the quick and dead, and ease souls in purga- 
tory, and deliver them out of it. For Christ having died once 
dieth no more, and without killing him, there is no sacrifi- 
cing him. By once offering up himself, he hath perfected 
for ever them that are sanctified, and now there remaineth 
no more sacrifice for sin : having finished the sacrificing 
work on earth, he is now passed into the heavens, to ap- 
pear before God for his redeemed ones '. 

3. Nor is it any better than odious impiety to receive 
the sacrament, to confirm some confederacies or oaths of 
secresy, for rebellions or other unlawful designs; as the 
powder-plotters in England did. 

^ 1 Cor. xi. «7— £9. 31. x. 16, 17. Jl. xi. 25, 26. vi. 14. Acts ii. 42. 46. 
XX. 7. 

«* 1 Cor. xi. 46^28. 

«= Rom. vi. 9. 1 Cor. xv. S. 2 Cor. t. 14, 15. Heb. ix. 16. x. If.'M. 

ix. 24. 


4. Nor is it any other than impious profanation of these 
sacred mysteries, for the priest to constrain or suffer noto- 
riously ignorant, and ungodly persons, to receive them*; 
either to make themselves believe that they are indeed the 
children of God, or to be a means which ungodly men 
should use to make them godly, or which infidels or impe- 
nitent persons must use to help them to repentance and 
faith in Christ. For though there is that in it which may 
become a means of their conversion, (as a thief that stealeth 
a bible or sermon book, may be converted by it,) yet is it 
not to be used by the receiver to that end. For that were 
to tell God a lie, as the means of their conversion ; for who- 
soever Cometh to receive a sealed pardon, doth thereby pro- 
fess repentance, as also by the words adjoined he must do ; 
and whosoever taketh, and eateth, and drinketh tlie bread 
and wine, doth actually profess thereby, that he taketh and 
applieth Christ himself by faith : and therefore, if he do 
neither of these, he lieth openly to God ; and lies and false 
covenants are not the appointed means of conversion. Not 
that the minister is a liar in his delivery of it : for he doth 
but conditionally seal and deliver God's covenant and bene- 
fits to the receiver, to be his, if he truly repent and believe : 
but the receiver himself lieth, if he do not actually repent 
and believe, as he there professeth to do. 

5. Also it is an impious profanation of the sacrament, if 
any priest for the love of filthy lucre, shall give it to those 
that ought not to receive it, that he may have his fees or 
offerings ; or, that the priest may have so much money that 
is bequeathed for saying a mass for such or such a soul. 

6. And it is an odious profanation of the sacrament, to 
use it as a league or bond of faction, to gather persons into 
the party, and tie them fast to it, that they may depend upon 
the priest, and his faction and interest may thereby be 
strengthened, and he may seem to have many followers. 

f Non absque probatione et examine panein ilium praebenduro esse neque iiovis 
neque veteribus Christiaiiis. Quod siquis est fornicator, aut ebriosus, aut idolis ser- 
viens, cum ejusmodi etiam conimunem cibura capere vetat apostolus, nedum coelesti 
mensa communicare, saith a Jesuit, Acosta, lib. vi. cap. 10. And after, Neque enim 
ubi perspccta est superstitionis aiitiqua? aut tbriositatis, aut foedae consuetudinis ma- 
cula, ad altare Indus debet admitti, nisi contraria opera illam manifcste et diligenter 

eluerit. Cliristiauis concedatur ; sed IVon-Christiano, diguis nioribus subtrahatur. 

Pag. 549. 



7. And it is a dangerous abuse of it, to receive it, that 
you may be pardoned, or sanctified, or saved, barely by the 
work done, or by the outward exercise alone. As if God 
were there obliged to give you gi*ace, while you strive not 
with your own hearts, to stir them up to love, or desire, or 
faith, or obedience, by the means that are before you ; or, 
as if God would pardon and save you for eating so much 
bread and drinking so much wine, when the canon biddeth 
you ; or, as if the sacrament conveyed grace, like as charms 
are supposed to work, by saying over so many words. 

8. Lastly, It is no appointed end of this sacrament, that 
the receiver thereby profess himself certain of the sincerity 
of his own repentance and faith : (for it is not managed on 
the ground of such certainty only by the receiver ; much 
less by the minister that delivereth it.) But only he pro- 
fesseth, that as far as he can discern by observing his own 
heart, he is truly willing to have Christ and his benefits, on 
the terms that they are offered ; and that he doth consent 
to the covenant which he is there to renew. Think not 
therefore that the sacrament is instituted for any of these 
(mistaken) ends. 

Direct, ii. * Distinctly understand the parts of the sa- 
crament, that you may distinctly use them, and not do you 
know not what.* This sacrament containeth these three 
parts. 1. The consecration of the bread and wine, which 
maketh it the representative body and blood of Christ. 
2. The representation and commemoration of the sacrifice 
of Christ. 3. The communion : or, communication by 
Christ, and reception by the people. 

I. In the consecration, the church doth first offer the 
creatures of bread and wine, to be accepted of God, to this 
sacred use. And God accepteth them, and blesseth them 
to this use ; which he signifieth both by the words of his 
own institution, and by the action of his ministers, and their 
benediction. They being the agents of God to the people 
in this accepting and blessing, as they are the agents of the 
people to God, in offering or dedicating the creatures to 
this use. 

This consecration having a special respect to God the 
Father, in it we acknowledge his three grand relations. 1. 
That he is the Creator, and so the Owner of all the crea- 


tures ; for we offer them to him as his own. 2. That he is 
our righteous Governor, whose law it was, that Adam and 
we have broken, and who required satisfaction, and hath 
received the sacrifice and atonement, and hath dispensed 
with the strict and proper execution of that law, and will 
rule us hereafter by the law of grace. 3. That he is our Fa- 
ther or Benefactor, who hath freely given us a Redeemer, 
and the covenant of grace, whose love and favour we have 
forfeited by sin, but desire and hope to be reconciled by 

As Christ himself was incarnate and true Christ, before 
he was sacrificed to God, and was sacrificed to God before 
that sacrifice be communicated for life and nourishment to 
souls ; so in the sacrament, consecration must first make 
the creature to be the flesh and blood of Christ representa- 
tive ; and then the sacrificing of that flesh and blood must 
be represented and commemorated ; and then the sacrificed 
flesh and blood communicated to the receivers for their spi- 
ritual life. 

II. The commemoration chiefly (but not only) respect- 
eth God the Son. For he hath ordained, that these con- 
secrated representations should in their manner and mea- 
sure, supply the room of his bodily presence, while his body 
is in heaven : and that thus, as it were, in effigy, in repre- 
sentation, he might be still crucified before the church's 
eyes ; and they might be aflfected, as if they had seen him 
on the cross. And that by faith and prayer, they might, 
as it were, offer him up to God ; that is, might shew the 
Father that sacrifice, once made for sin, in which they trust, 
and for which it is that they expect all the acceptance of 
their persons with God, and hope for audience when they 
beg for mercy, and offer up prayer or praises to him. 

III. In the communication, though the sacrament have 
respect to the Father, as the principal Giver, and to the Son, 
as both the Gift and Giver, yet hath it a special respect to 
the Holy Ghost, as being that Spirit given in the flesh and 
blood, which quickeneth souls ; without which, the flesh 
will profit nothing ; and whose operations must convey and 
apply Christ's saving benefits to us ^. 

s Jolui vi. 63. vii. o9. iii. b. 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. xv. 45. Gal. iii. 11. 
iv. 6. Eph. ii. 22. 


These three being the parts of the sacrament in whole, 
as comprehending that sacred action and participation which 
is essential to it. The material parts, called the relate and 
correlate, are, 1. Substantial and qualitative. 2. Active 
and passive. 1. The first, are the bread and wine as signs, 
and the body and blood of Christ, with his graces and bene- 
fits, as the things signified and given. The second, are the 
actions of breaking, pouring out, and delivering on the mi- 
nister's part, (after the consecration,) and the taking, eating, 
and drinking, by the receivers as the sign. And the thing 
signified is the crucifying or sacrificing of Christ, and the 
delivering himself with his benefits to the believer, and the 
receiver's thankful accepting, and using the said gift. To 
these add the relative form, and the ends, and you have the 
definition of this sacrament. Of which see more in my 
" Universal Concord," p. 46, &c. 

Direct, iii. * Look upon the minister as the agent or 
officer of Christ, who is commissioned by him to seal and 
deliver to you the covenant and its benefits : and take the 
bread and wine, as if you heard Christ himself saying to you, 
* Take of my body and blood, and the pardon and grace which 
is thereby purchased.' It is a great help in the application, 
to have mercy and pardon brought us by the hand of a 
commissioned officer of Christ. 

Direct, iv. In your preparation beforehand, take heed 
of these two extremes : 1. That you come not profanely and 
carelessly, with common hearts, as to a common work ^. 
For God will be sanctified in them that draw near him ' : 
and they that eat and drink unworthily, not discerning the 
Lord's body from common bread, but eating as if it were a 
common meal, do eat death to themselves, instead of life. 
2. Take heed lest your mistakes of the nature of this sacra- 
ment, should possess you with such fears of unworthy re- 
ceiving, and the following dangers, as may quite discompose 
and unfit your souls for the joyful exercises of faith, and 
love, and praise, and thanksgiving, to which you are invited. 
Many that are scrupulous of receiving it in any, save a feast- 

'■ Quinain autcin indigni, iiieptive sint, quihus Aiigeloruni pauis prtebelur, sa- 
cerdotuni iptiorutu audita cuut'essiunc, ciotcrisqiie pcrspcctis judicium esto. Acosta, 
lib. vi. cap. 10. pag. 549. 

» Le»iU X. a. 


ing gesture, are too little careful and scrupulous of receiv- 
ing it in any, save a feasting frame of mind. 

The first extreme is caused by profaneness and negli- 
gence, or by gross ignorance of the nature of the sacramen- 
tal work. The latter extreme is frequently caused as follow- 
eth : 1. By setting this sacrament at a greater distance from 
other parts of God's worship, than there is cause ; so that 
the excess of reverence doth overwhelm the minds of some 
with terrors. 2. By studying more the terrible words of 
eating and drinking damnation to themselves, if they do it 
unworthily, than all the expressions of love and mercy, 
which that blessed feast is furnished with. So that when 
the views of infinite love should ravish them, they are stu- 
dying wrath and vengeance to terrify them, as if they came 
to Moses, and not to Christ. 3. By not understanding 
what maketh a receiver worthy or unworthy, but taking 
their unwilling infirmities for condemning unworthiness. 

4. By receiving it so seldom, as to make it strange to them, 
whereas if it were administered every Lord's day, as it was 
in the primitive churches, it would better acquaint them 
with it, and cure that fear that cometh from strangeness. 

5. By imagining, that none that want assurance of their own 
sincerity, can receive in faith. 6. By contracting an ill ha- 
bit of mistaken religiousness, placing it all in poring on 
themselves, and mourning for their corruptions, and not in 
studying the love of God in Christ, and living in the daily 
praises of his name, and joyful thanksgiving for his exceed- 
ing mercies. 7. And if besides all these the body contract 
a weak or timorous, melancholy distemper, it will leave the 
mind capable of almost nothing, but fear and trouble, even 
in the sweetest works. From many such cases it cometh to 
pass, that the sacrament of the Lord's supper is become 
more terrible, and uncomfortable to abundance of such dis- 
tempered Christians, than any other ordinance of God ; and 
that which should most comfort them, doth trouble them 

Quest. ' But is not this sacrament more holy and dread- 
ful, and should it not have more preparation than other parts 
of worship?' 

Amw. For the degree indeed, it should have very care- 
ful preparation : and we cannot well compare it with other 


parts of worship ; as praise, thanksgiving, covenanting with 
God, prayer, &c. because that all these other parts are here 
comprised and performed. But doubtless, God must also 
be sanctified in all his other worship, and his name must 
not be taken in vain. And when this sacrament was re- 
ceived every Lord's day, and often in the week besides. 
Christians were supposed to live continually in a state of 
general preparation, and not to be so far from a due parti- 
cular preparation, as many poor Christians think they are. 

Quest. II. * How often should the sacrament be now ad- 
ministered, that it neither grow into contempt or strange- 

Anstv. Ordinarily in well disciplined churches it should 
be still every Lord's day: for 1. We have no reason to 
prove, that the apostles' example and appointment in this 
case, was proper to those times, any more than that praise 
and thanksgiving daily is proper to them : and we may as 
well deny the obligation of other institutions, or apostolical 
orders as that. 2. It i» a part of the settled order for the 
Lord's day worship ; and omitting it, maimeth and altereth 
the worship of the day ; and occasioneth the omission of 
the thanksgiving and praise, and lively commemorations of 
Christ which should be then most performed : and so 
Christians by use, grow habituated to sadness, and a mourn- 
ing, melancholy religion, and grow unacquainted with much 
of the worship and spirit of the gospel. 3. Hereby the Papists' 
lamentable corruptions of this ordinance have grown up, 
even by an excess of reverence and fear, which seldom re- 
ceiving doth increase, till they are come to worship bread 
as their God. 4. By seldom communicating, men are se- 
diiced to think all proper communion of churches lieth in 
that sacrament, and to be more profanely bold in abusing 
many other parts of worship. 5. There are better means 
(by teaching and discipline) to keep the sacrament from 
contempt, than the omitting or displacing of it. 6. Every 
Lord's day is no oftener than Christians need it. 7. The 
frequency will teach them to live prepared, and not only to 
make much ado once a month or quarter, when the same 
work is neglected all the year besides ; even as one that 
liveth in continual expectation of death, will live in contin* 
ual preparation : when he that expecteth it but in some grie- 


vous sickness, will then be frightened into some seeming 
preparations, which are not the habit of his soul, but laid by 
again when the disease is over. 

2. But yet I must add, that in some undisciplined 
churches, and upon some occasions it may be longer omit^ 
ted or seldomer used ; no duty is a duty at all times : and 
therefore extraordinary cases may raise such impediments, 
as may hinder us a long time from this, and many other 
privileges. But the ordinary faultiness of our imperfect 
hearts, that are apt to grow customary and dull, is no good 
reason why it should be seldom ; any more than why other 
special duties of worship and church-communion should be 
seldom. Read well the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians, 
and you will find that they were then as bad as the true 
Christians are now, and that even in this sacrament they 
were very culpable ; and yet Paul seeketh not to cure them 
by their seldomer communicating. 

Quest. III. * Are all the members of the visible church to 
be admitted to this sacrament, or communicate V 

Atisw. All are not to seek it, or to take it, because many 
may know their own unfitness, when the church or pastors 
know it not: but all that come to seek it, are to be admitted 
by the pastors, except such children, idiots, ignorant per- 
sons, or heretics, as know not what they are to receive and 
do, and such as are notoriously wicked or scandalous, and i 
have not manifested their repentance. But then it is pre- ! 
supposed, that none should be numbered with the adult 
members of the church, but those that have personally own- 
ed their baptismal covenant, by a credible profession of 
true Christianity. 

Quest. IV. ' May a man that hath knowledge, and civili- 
ty, and common gifts, come and take this sacrament, if he 
know that he is yet void of true repentance, and other sa- 
ving grace V 

Answ. No ; for he then knoweth himself to be one that 
is incapable of it in his present state. 

Quest. V. * May an ungodly man receive this sacrament, 
who knoweth not himself to be ungodly V 

Answ. No ; for he ought to know it, and his sinful igno- 
rance of his own condition, will not make his sin to be his 
duty ; nor excuse his other faults before God . 


Quest, VI. ' Must a sincere Christian receive, that is un- 
certain of his sincerity, and in continual doubting?' 

A/isw. Two preparations are necessary to this sacra- 
ment ; the general preparation, which is a state of grace, 
and this the doubting Christian hath ; and the particular 
preparation, which consisteth in his present actual fitness : 
and all the question is of this. And to know this, you must 
further distinguish, between immediate duty and more re- 
mote, and between the degrees of doubtfulness in Chris- 
tians. 1. The nearest immediate duty of the doubting 
Christian is, to use the means to have his doubts resolved, 
till he know his case, and then his next duty is, to receive 
the sacrament ; and both these still remain his duty, to be 
performed in this order : and if he say, ' I cannot be resolv- 
ed, when I have done my best ;' yet certainly it is some sin 
of his own that keepeth him in the dark, and hindereth his 
assurance ; and therefore duty ceaseth not to be duty. The 
law of Christ still obligeth him, both to get assurance, and 
to receive : and the want both of the knowledge of his state, 
and of receiving the sacrament, are his continual sin, if he 
lie in it never so long through these scruples, though it be 
an infirmity that God will not condemn him for. (For he is 
supposed to be in a state of grace.) But you will say, 
* What if still he cannot be resolved whether he have true 
faith and repentance, or not ? what should he do while he is 
in doubt V I answer, it is one thing to ask, what is his du- 
ly in this case ; and another thing to ask, which is the; 
smaller or less dangerous sin ? Still his d«ty is both to get 
the knowledge of his heart, and to communicate : but while 
he sinneth (through infirmity) in failing of the first, were he 
better also omit the other or not? To be well resolved of 
that, you must discern, I. Whether his judgment of himself, 
do rather incline to think and hope that he is sincere in his 
repentance and faith, or that he is not. 2. And whether the 
consequents are like to be good or bad to him. If his 
hopes that he is sincere, be as great or greater than his 
fears of the contrary, then there is no such ill consequent to 
be feared as may hinder his communicating ; but it is his 
best way to do it, and wait on God in the use of bis ordi- 
nance. But if the persuasion of his gracelessness be great- 
er than the hopes of his sincerity, then he must observe how 

VOL. J v. Y 

322 CHRISTIAN DIR^:cTORY. [part II. 

he is like to be affected, if he do communicate. If he find 
that it is like to clear up his mind, and increase his hopes 
by the actuating of his grace, he is yet best to go : but if he 
find that his heart is like to be overwhelmed with horror, 
and sunk into despair, by running into the supposed guilt 
of unworthy receiving, then it will be worse to do it, than to 
omit it. Many such fearful Christians I have known, that 
are fain many years to absent themselves from the sacra- 
ment; because if they should receive it while they are per- 
suaded of their utter unworthiness, they would be swallow- 
ed up of desperation, and think that they had taken their 
own damnation, (as the twenty-fifth Article of the church of 
England saith, the unworthy receivers do.) So that the 
chief sin of such a doubting receiver, is not that he receiv- 
eth, though he doubt; for doubting will not excuse us for 
the sinful omission of a duty (no more of this than of prayer 
or thanksgiving) : but only prudence requireth such a one 
to forbear that, which through his own distemper would be 
a means of his despair or ruin : as that physic or food, how 
good soever, is not to be taken, which would kill the taker : 
God's ordinances are not appointed for our destruction, but 
for our edification ; and so must be used as tendeth thereun- 
to. Yet to those Christians, who are in this case, and dare 
not communicate, I must put this question. How dare you so 
long refuse it? He that consenteth to the covenant, may 
boldly come and signify his consent, and receive the sealed 
covenant of God ; for consent is your preparation, or the 
necessary condition of your right : if you consent not, you 
refuse all the mercy of the covenant. And dare you live in 
such a state? Suppose a pardon be offered to a condemned 
thief, but so, that if he after cast it in the dirt, or turn trai- 
tor, he shall die a sorer death ; will he rather choose to die 
than take it, and say, I am afraid I shall abuse it? To re- 
fuse God's covenant is certain death; but to consent is 
your preparation and your life. 

Quest, VII. ' But what if superiors compel suchaChris- 
' tian to communicate, or else they will excommunicate and 
imprison him : what then should he choose V 

Answ. If he could do it without his own souFs hurt, he 
should obey them (supposing that it is nothing but that 


which in itself is good that they command him ^), But they 
have their power to edification, and not to destruction, and 
he must value his soul above his body ; and therefore it is 
past question, that it is a smaller hurt to be excommunica- 
ted, and lie and die in prison, than to cast his soul into des- 
pair, by doing that which he thinketh is a grievous sin, and 
would be his damnation. But all means must be used to 
cure the mistake of his own understanding. 

Quest. VIII. * Is not the case of an hypocrite that know- 
eth not himself to be an hypocrite, and of a sincere Chris- 
tian that knoweth not himself to be sincere, all one as to 
communicating : when both are equally in doubt V 

Answ. No : for being and seeing are things that must be 
distinguished. The one hath grace in being, though he see 
it not ; and therefore hath a right to the blessings of the 
covenant ; and therefore at once remaineth obliged both to 
discern his title, and to come and take it : and therefore if 
he come doubtingly, his sin is not that he receiveth, but in 
the manner of receiving, that he doth it doubtingly ; and 
therefore it will be a greater sin not to receive at all, unless 
in the last mentioned case, wherein the consequents are like 
to be worse to him. But the other hath no true repentance 
or faith, or love in being ; and therefore hath no right to the 
blessings of the covenant; and therefore, at present, is 
obliged to discern that he is graceless, and to repent of it : 
and it is not his sin that he doubteth of his title, but that he 
demandeth and taketh what he hath no title to ; and there- 
fore it is a greater sin in him to take it, than to delay in or- 
der to his recovery and preparation. Yea, even in point of 
comfort, there is some disparity : for though the true Chris- 
tian hath far greater terrors than hypocrites, when he taketh 
himself to be an unworthy receiver (as being more sensible 
and regardful of the weight of the matter), yet usually in 
the midst of all his fears, there are some secret testimonies 
in his heart of the love of God, which are a cordial of hope 
that keep him from sinking into despair, and have more life 
and power in them, than all the hypocrites' false persuasions 
of his own sincerity. 

Quest. IX. 'Wherein lieth the sin of an hypocrite, and 
ungodly person, if he do receive? * 

^ 2 Cor. xiii. 10. Matt. x. 20. 


Answ. His sin is, 1. In lying and hypocrisy ; in that he 
professeth to repent unfeignedly of his sin, and to be resolv- 
ed for a holy life, and to believe in Christ, and to accept 
him on his covenant terms, and to give up himself to God, 
as his Father, his Saviour, and his Sanctifier, and to forsake 
the flesh, the world, and the devil : when indeed, he never 
did any of this, but secretly abhorreth it at his heart, and 
will not be persuaded to it : and so all this profession, and 
his very covenanting itself, and his receiving, as it is a pro- 
fessing-covenanting sign, is nothing but a very lie. And 
what it is to lie to the Holy Ghost, the case of Ananias and 
Sapphira telleth us. 2. It is usurpation to come and lay 
claim to those benefits, which he hath no title to. 3. It is 
a profanation of these holy mysteries, to be thus used ; and 
it is a taking of God's name in vain, who is a jealous God, 
and will be sanctified of all that draw near unto him \ 4. 
And it is a wrong to the church of God, and the communion 
of saints, and the honour of the Christian religion, that 
such ungodly hypocrites intrude as members : as it is to the 
king's army, when the enemies' spies creep in amongst 
them ; or to his marriage- feast to have a guest in rags ''. 

Object. * But it is no lie, because they think they say 
true in their profession.' 

Answ. That is through their sinful negligence and self- 
deceit : and he is a liar that speaks a falsehood, which he 
may and ought to know to be a falsehood, though he do not 
know it. There is a liar in rashness and negligence, as well 
as of set purpose. 

Quest. X. ' Doth all unworthy receiving make a man lia- 
ble to damnation? Or, what unworthiness is it that is so 
threatened ^' 

Answ. There are three sorts of unworthiness (or unfit- 
ness) and three sorts of judgment answerably to be feared. 
1. There is the utter unworthiness of an infidel, or impeni- 
tent, ungodly hypocrite. And damnation to hell fire, is 
the punishment that such must expect, if conversion pre- 
vent it not. 2. There is an unworthiness through some 
great and scandalous crime, which a regenerate person 
falleth into ; and this should stop him from the sacrament 

' Commandment ii, iii. Lev. x. 2, 3. •' Matt. xxii. 11, 12. 

> 1 Cor. xi. 28, 29. 


for a time, till he have repented and cast away his sin. And 
if he come before he rise from his fall by a particular repent- 
ance (as the Corinthians that sinned in the very use of the 
sacrament itself), they may expect some notable temporal 
judgment at the present* ; and if repentance did not prevent 
it, they might fear eternal punishment. 3. There is that 
measure of unworthiness which consisteth ia the ordinary 
infirmities of a saint ; and this should not at all deter them 
from the sacrament, because it is accompanied with a greater 
worthiness ; yea, though their weakness appear in the time 
and manner of their receiving : but yet ordinary corrections 
may follow these ordinary infirmities. (The grosser abuse 
of the sacrament itself, I join under the second rank.) 

Quest. XI. * What is the particular preparation needful 
to a fit communicant?' 

Ans^o. This bringeth me up to the next Direction. 
Direct, v. * Let your preparation to this sacrament con- 
sist of these particulars following. 1. In your duty with 
your own consciences and hearts. 2. In your duty towards 
God. 3. And in your duty towards your neighbour.' 

I. Your duty with your hearts consisteth in these par- 
ticulars. 1. That you do your best in the close examina- 
tion of your hearts about your states, and the sincerity of 
your faith, repentance and obedience: to know whether your 
hearts are true to God, in the covenant which you are to renew 
and to seal. Which may be done by these inquiries, and 
discerned by these signs, (1.) Whether you truly loathe your- 
selves for all the sins of your hearts and lives, and are a 
greater offence and burden to yourselves, because of your 
imperfections and corruptions, than all the world beside 
is'". (2.) Whether you have no sin but what you are truly 
desirous to know ; and no known sin, but what you are 
truly desirous to be rid of; and so desirous, as that you 
had rather be perfectly freed from sin, than from any afflic- 
tion in the world". (3.) Whether you love the searching 
and reforming light, even the most searching parts of the 
Word of God, and the most searching books, and searching 
sermons, that by them you may be brought to know your- 

' Vide S^nod Dortdract. sufFrag. Thcol. Drittaii. in Artie. 5. 
■Esek. »i. 9. xx.45. xxxvi. 31. Rom. vii.24. 
n Rom. vU. 18. is. 24. viii. 18. 


selves, in order to your settled peace and reformation ". 
(4.) Whether you truly love that degree of holiness in 
others which you have not yet attained yourselves, and love 
Christ in his children, with such an unfeigned love, as will 
cause you to relieve them according to your abilities, and 
suffer for their sakes, when it is your duty p. (5.) Whether 
you can truly say, that there is no degree of holiness so 
high, but you desire it, and had rather be perfect in the 
love of God, and the obedience of his will, than have all the 
riches and pleasures of this world '^. And had rather be one 
of the holiest saints, than of the most renowned, prosperous 
princes upon earth '". (6.) Whether you have so far laid 
up your treasure, and your hopes in heaven, as that you are 
resolved to take that only for your portion ; and that the 
hopes of heaven, and interest of your souls, hath the pre- 
eminence in your hearts against all that stands in competi- 
tion with it^ (7.) Whether the chiefest care of your hearts, 
and endeavour of your lives, be to serve and please God, 
and to enjoy him for ever, rather than for any worldly 
thing ^ (8.) Whether it be your daily desire and endeavour 
to mortify the flesh, and master its rebellious opposition to 
the Spirit ; and you so far prevail, as not to live, and walk, 
and be led by the flesh, but that the course and drift of 
your life is spiritual". (9,) Whether the world, and all its 
honour, wealth and pleasure appear to you so small and 
contemptible a thing, as that you esteem it as dung, and 
nothing in comparison of Christ, and the love of God and 
glory ? and are resolved, that you will rather let go all, than 
your part in Christ? And, which useth to carry it in the 
time of trial, in your deliberate choice"? (10.^ Whether 
you are resolved upon a course of holiness and obedience, 
and to use those means which God doth make known to 

»JoImm.l9 — 21. 

V 1 John iii. 14. 16- 1 Peler i. 22. iii. 8. Jaraes ii. 12—15. Matt. xxv. 
40, &c. 

q Rom. vii. 18. 21. 24. . Psalm cxix. 5. Matt. v. 6. 
' Psalm XV. 4. xvi. 2. Psalm Ixxxiv. 10. Ixv. 4. 

* Col. iii. 1. 3, 4. Matt. vi. 20, 21. 

*■ Matt. vi. 23. John v. 26. 2 Cor. v. 1. 6—9. 
« Rom. viii. 1. 6—10. 13. Gal. v. 17. 21, 22. 

* Phil. iii. 7—9. 13. 18—20. 1 John ii. 15. Luke xiv. 26. 30. 33. Matt, 
xiii. 19. 21. 


you, to be the way to please him, and to subdue your cor- 
ruption; and yet feeling the frailties of your hearts, and the 
burden of your sins, do trust in Christ as your righteousness 
before God, and in the Holy Ghost, whose grace alone can 
illuminate, sanctify, and confirm you y. By these signs you 
may safely try your states. 

2. When this is done, you are also to try the strength 
and measure of your grace ; that you may perceive your 
weakness, and know for what help you should seek to Christ. 
And to find out what inward corruptions and sinful incli- 
nations are yet strongest in you, that you may know what to 
lament, and to ask forgiveness of, and help against. My 
book called " Directions for Weak Christians,'^ will give 
you fuller advice in this. 

3. You are also to take a strict account of your lives ^ ; 
and to look over your dealings with God and men, in secret 
and in public, especially of late, since the last renewal of 
your covenant with God, and to hear what God and con- 
science have to say about your sins, and all their aggrava- 
tions *. 

4. And you must labour to get your hearts affected with 
your condition, as you do discover it. To be humbled for 
what is sinful, and to be desirous of help against your weak- 
ness, and thankful for the grace which you discern. 

5. Lastly, you must consider of all the work that you 
are to do, and all the mercies which you are going to receive, 
and what graces are necessary to all this, and how they 
must be used ; and accordingly look up all those graces, and 
prepare them for the exercise to which they are to be called 
out. I shall name you the particulars anon. 

II. Your duty towards God in your preparation for this 
sacrament, is, 1. To cast down yourselves before him in 
humble, penitent confession, and lamentation of all the 
sins which you discover; and to beg his pardon in secret, 
before you come to have it publicly sealed and delivered. 
2. To look up to him with that thankfulness, love, and 
joy, as becomes one that is going to receive so great a 

y Aets xi. 23. Psalm cxix. 57.63 69. 106. 1 Cur. i. 30. Rom. viU. 9. John 
XV. 5. 2 Cor. xii. 9. 

* Psalra iv. 4 — 6. 

• Psalm cxxxix. 23. 1 Cor. xi. 28. 


mercy from him ; and humbly to beg that grace which may 
prepare you, and quicken you to, and in the work. 

III. Your duty towards others in this your preparation, 
is, 1. To forgive those that have done you wrong, and to 
confess your fault to those whom you have wronged, and 
ask them forgiveness, and make them amends and restitu- 
tion so far as is in your power ; and to be reconciled to 
those with whom you are fallen out ; and to see, that you 
love your neighbours as yourselves. 2. That you seek ad- 
vice of your pastors, or some fit persons, in cases that are 
too hard for yourselves to resolve, and where you need their 
special help. 3. That you lovingly admonish them that 
you know do intend to communicate unworthily, and to 
come thither in their ungodliness, and gross sin unrepented 
of: that you shew not such hatred of your brother, as to 
suffer sin upon him : but tell him his faults, as Christ hath 
directed you. Matt, xviii. 15 — 17. And do your parts to 
promote Christ's discipline, and keep pure the church. See 
1 Cor. V. throughout. 

Direct, vi. 'When you come to the holy communion, 
let not the over-scrupulous regard of the person of the mi- 
nister, or the company, or the imperfections of the minis- 
tration, disturb your meditations, nor call away your minds 
from the high and serious employment of the day.' Hypo- 
crites who place their religion in bodily exercises, have 
taught many weak Christians to take up unnecessary scru- 
ples, and to turn their eye and observation too much to 
things without them. 

Quest. * But should we have no regard to the due cele- 
bration of these sacred mysteries, and to the minister, and 
communicants, and manner of administration?' 

Answ. Yes : you should have so much regard to them, 
1. As to see that nothing be amiss through your default, 
which is in your power to amend. 2. And that you join not 
in the committing of any known sin. But (1.) Take not 
every sin of another for your sin, and think not th?t you are 
guilty of that in others, which you cannot amend ; or, that 
you must forsake the church and worship of God, for these 
corruptions which you are not guilty of, or deny your own 
mercies, because others usurp them or abuse them. (2.) If 
you suspect any thing imposed upon you to be sinful to you. 


try it before you come thither ; and leave not your minds 
open to disturbance, when they should be wholly employed 
with Christ. 

Quest. 1. * May we lawfully receive this sacrament from 
an ungodly and unworthy minister ?' 

Answ. Whoever you may lawfully commit the guidance 
of your souls to as your pastor, you may lawfully receive the 
sacrament from, yea, and in some cases from some others : 
for in case you come into a church that you are no member 
of, you may lawfully join in communion with that church, 
for that present, as a stranger, though they have a pastor 
so faulty, as you might not lawfully commit the ordinary 
conduct of your soul to. For it is their fault and not yours, 
that they chose no better ; and, in some cases, such a fault 
as will not warrant you to avoid communion with them. 
But you may not receive, if you know it, from a heretic, 
that teacheth any error against the essence of Christianity. 
2. Nor from a man so utterly ignorant of the Christian faith 
or duty, or so utterly unable to teach it to others, as to be 
notoriously uncapable of the ministry. 3. Nor from a man 
professedly ungodly, or that setteth himself to preach down 
godliness itself. These you must never own as ministers of 
Christ, that are utterly uncapable of it. But see that you 
take none for such that are not such. And there are three 
sorts more, which you may not receive from, when you 
have your choice, nor take them for your pastors : but 
in case of necessity imposed on you by others, it is law- 
ful and your duty« And that is, (1.) Usurpers that make 
themselves your pastors, without a lawful call, and perhaps 
do forcibly thrust out the lawful pastors of the church. (2.) 
Weak, ignorant, cold and lifeless preachers, that are tole- 
rable in case of necessity, but not to be compared with 
worthier men. (3.) Ministers of scandalous, vicious lives. 
It is a sin in you to prefer any one of these before a better, 
and to choose them when you have your choice ; but it is a 
sin on the other side, if you rather submit not to one of 
these, than be quite without, and have none at all. You 
own not their faults in such a case, by submitting to their 

Quest. 11. ' May we communicate with unworthy per- 
sons, or in an undisciplined church V 


An$w. You must here distinguish if you will not err ^ : 
and that, 1. Between persons so unworthy as to be no 
Christians, and those that are culpable, scandalous Chris- 
tians. 2. Between a few members, and the whole society, 
or the denominating part. 3. Between sin professed and 
owned, and sin disowned by a seeming penitence. 4. And 
between a case of liberty, when I have my choice of a better 
society ; and a case of necessity, when I must communicate 
with the worser society, or with none : and so I answer, 

1. You ou^ht not to communicate at all in this sacra- 
ment with a society that professeth not Christianity : if the 
whole body, or denominating part be such ; that is, 1. With 
such as never made profession of Christianity at all. 2. Or 
have apostatized from it. 3. Or, that openly own any he- 
resy inconsistent with the essential faith or duty of a Chris- 
tian. 4. Or, that are notoriously ignorant what Chris- 
tianity is. 

2. It is the duty of the pastors and governors of the 
church, to keep away notorious, scandalous offenders, till 
they shew repentance ; and the people's duty to assist them 
by private reproof, and informing the church when there is 
cause. Therefore, if it be through the neglect of your own 
duty, that the church is corrupted and undisciplined, the sin 
is yours, whether you receive with them or not. 

3. If you rather choose a corrupted, undisciplined 
church to communicate with, when you have your choice of 
a better, ' cseteris paribus,' it is your fault. 

But on the contrary, it is not your sin, but your duty to 
communicate with that church which hath a true pastor, and 
where the denominating part of the members are capable of 
church communion, though there may some infidels, or hea- 
thens, or incapable persons violently intrude, or scandalous 
persons are admitted through the neglect of discipline ; in 
case you have not your choice to hold personal communion 
with a better church, and in case also you be not guilty of 
the corruption, but by seasonable and modest professing 

^ Gildas de Excid. Britt. speaketb thus to the better sort of pastors then. 
Quis perosus est consilium nialignantiura, et cum impiis non sedit ? Quis eorum sa- 
lutari m area (hoc ^st, nunc Ecclesia,) nullum Deo adversantem ut Noe diluvii tem- 
pore, non ad misit, ut perspicue nionstraretur non nisi innoxios vol poenitentes egre- 
gios, in dominica domo esse dcbere? .Tosseline's Ed. pp. 61, 62. 


your dissent, do clear yourself of the guilt of such intrusion 
and corruption. For here the reasons and ends of a lawful 
separation are removed ; because it tendeth not to God's 
honour, or their reformation, or your benefit : for all these 
are more crossed by holding communion with no church, 
than with such a corrupted church. And this is to be pre- 
ferred before none, as much as a better before this. 

Quest. III. * But what if I cannot communicate unless I* 
conform to an imposed gesture, as kneeling or sitting V 

Answ. 1. For sitting or standing, no doubt it is lawful in 
itself: for else authority were not to be obeyed, if they 
should command it ; and else the church had sinned in for- 
bearing kneeling in the act of receiving, so many hundred 
years after Christ ; as is plain they did, by the canons of 
general councils (Nic. i. and Trull.) that universally forbade 
to adore kneeling, any Lord's day in the year, and any week 
day between Easter and Whitsuntide ; and by the fathers, 
TertuUian, Epiphanius, &c., that make this an apostolic or 
universal tradition. 2, And for kneeling, I never yet heard 
any thing to prove it unlawful ; if there be any thing, it 
must be either some Word of God, or the nature of the or- 
dinance, which is supposed to be contradicted ^ But 1. 
There is no Word of God for any gesture, nor against any 
gesture : Christ's example can never be proved to be intend- 
ed to oblige us more in this, than in many other circum- 
stances that are confessed not obligatory : as that he deli- 
vered it but to ministers, and but to a family, to twelve, and 
after supper, and on a Thursday night, and in an upper 
room, &c. : and his gesture was not such a sitting as ours. 
2. And for the nature of the ordinance, it is mixed : and if 
it be lawful to take a pardon from the king upon our knees, 
I know not what can make it unlawful to take a sealed par- 
don from Christ (by his ambassador) upon our knees. 

Quest. IV. * But what if I cannot receive it, but accord- 
ing to the administration of the Common prayer-book ? or 
some other imposed form of prayer? Is it lawful so to 
take it?' 

Answ. If it be unlawful to receive it, when it is adminis- 
tered with the Common prayer-book, it is either, 1. Be- 
cause it is a form of prayer. 2. Or because that form hath 

*= Mr. Paybodie's book, I think uiuiiiswerablc. 


some forbidden matter in it. 3. Or because that form is 
imposed. 4. Or because it is imposed to some evil end and 
consequent. 1 . That it is not unlawful, because a form, is 
proved before, and indeed needs no proof with any that is 
judicious. 2. Nor yet for any evil in this particular form : 
for in this part the Common Prayer is generally approved. 
3. Nor yet, because it is imposed : for a command maketh 
not that unlawful to us, which is lawful before ; but it 
maketh many things lawful and duties, that else would have 
been unlawful accidentally. 4. And the intentions of the 
commanders, we have little to do with ; and for the conse- 
quents they must be weighed on both sides ; and the conse- 
quents of our refusal will not be found light. 

In the general, I must here tell all the people of God, in 
the bitter sorrow of my soul, that at last it is time for them 
to discern that temptation, that hath in all ages of the 
church almost, made this sacrament of our union, to be the 
grand occasion or instrument of our divisions ; and that true 
humility, and acquaintance with ourselves, and sincere love 
to Christ and one another, would shew some men, that it 
was but their pride, and prejudice, and ignorance, that 
made them think so heinously of other men's manner of 
worship : and that on all sides among true Christians, the 
manner of their worship is not so odious, as prejudice, and 
faction, and partiality representeth it : and that God accept- 
eth that which they reject. And they should see how the 
devil hath undone the common people by this means ; by 
teaching them every one to expect salvation for being of 
that party which he taketh to be the right church, and for 
worshipping in that manner which he and his party thinketh 
best : and so wonderful a thing is prejudice, that every party 
by this is brought to account that ridiculous and vile, which 
the other party accounted best. 

Quest. V. ' But what if my conscience be not satisfied, 
but I am still in doubt, must I not forbear? Seeing he 
that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not 
in faith ; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin '^.' 

Answ. The apostle there speaketh not of eating in the 
sacrament, but of eating meats which he doubteth of 
whether they are lawful, but is sure that it is lawful to for- 

<* Roil), xiv. 24. 


bear them. And in case of doubting about things indiflfe- 
rent, the surer side is to forbear them, because there may be 
sin in doing ; but there can be none on the other side, in 
forbearing. But in case of duties, your doubting will not 
disoblige you ; else men might give over praying, and 
hearing God's Word, and believing, and obeying their 
rulers, and maintaining their families, vv'hen they are but 
blind enough to doubt of it. 2. Your erring conscience is 
not a law maker, and cannot make it your duty to obey it : 
for God is your king, and the office of conscience is to dis- 
cern his law, and urge you to obedience, and not to make 
you laws of its own : so that if it speak falsely, it doth not 
oblige you, but deceive you : it doth only * ligare,' or in- 
snare you, but not * obligare,' or make a sin a duty : it 
casteth you into a necessity of sinning more or less, till you 
relinquish the error ; but in the case of such duties as these, 
it is a sin to do them with a doubting conscience, but (or- 
dinarily) it is a greater sin to forbear. 

Object, * But some divines write, that conscience being 
God's officer, when it erreth, God himself doth bind me by 
it to follow that error, and the evil which it requireth be- 
cometh my duty.' 

Answ. A dangerous error tending to the subversion of 
souls and kingdoms, and highly dishonourable to God. 
God hath made it your duty to know his will, and do it : and 
if you ignorantly mistake him, will you lay the blame on 
him, and draw him into participation of your sin, when he 
forbiddeth you both the error and the sin ? And doth he at 
once forbid and command the same thing ? At that very 
moment, God is so far from obliging you to follow your 
error, that he still obligeth you to lay it by, and do the con- 
trary. If you say, * You cannot,* I answer, your impotency, 
is a sinful impotency ; and you can use the means, in which 
his grace can help you : and he will not change his law, 
nor make you kings and rulers of yourselves instead of him, 
because you are ignorant or impotent. 

Direct, vii. ' In the time of the administration, go along 
with the minister throughout the work, and keep your 
hearts close to Jesus Christ, in the exercise of all those 
graces which are suited to the several parts of the adminis* 
tration.' Think not that all the work must be the minis- 


ter's : it should be a busy day with you, and your hearts 
should be taken up with as much diligence, as your hands 
be in your common labour ; but not in a toilsome, weary 
diligence, but in such delightful business as becometh the 
guests of the God of heaven, at so sweet a feast, and in the 
receiving of such invaluable gifts. 

Here I should distinctly shew you, I. What graces they 
be that you must there exercise. 11. What there is ob- 
jectively presented before you in the Sacrament, to exercise 
all these graces. III. At what seasons in the administra- 
tion each of these inward works are to be done. 

I. The graces to be exercised are these, (besides that 
holy fear and reverence common to all worship,) 1. A hum- 
ble sense of the odiousness of sin, and of our undone condi- 
tion as in ourselves, and a displeasure against ourselves, and 
loathing of ourselves, and melting repentance for the sins 
we have committed ; as against our Creator, and as against 
the love and mercy of a Redeemer, and against the Holy 
Spirit of Grace. 2. A hungering and thirsting desire after 
the Lord Jesus, and his grace, and the favour of God and 
communion with him, which are there represented and 
offered to the soul. 3. A lively faith in our Redeemer, his 
death, resurrection, and intercession; and a trusting our 
miserable souls upon him, as our sufficient Saviour and 
help ; and a hearty acceptance of him and his benefits upon 
his offered terms. 4. A joy and gladness in the sense of 
that unspeakable mercy which is here offered us. 5. A 
thankful heart towards him from whom we do receive it. 
6. A fervent love to him that by such love doth seek our 
love. 7. A triumphant hope of life eternal, which is pur- 
chased for us, and sealed to us. 8. A willingness and reso- 
lution to deny ourselves, and all this world, and suffer for 
him that hath suffered for our redemption. 9. A love to 
our brethren, our neighbours, and our enemies, with a readi- 
ness to relieve them, and to forgive them when they do us 
wrong. 10. And a firm resolution for future obedience, to 
our Creator, and Redeemer, and Sanctifier, according to 
our covenant. 

II. In the naming of these graces, I have named their 
objects, which you should observe as distinctly as you can 
that they may be operative. 1. To help your humiliation 


and repentance, you bring thither a loaden miserable soul, 
to receive a pardon and relief : and you see before you the 
sacrificed Son of God, who made his soul an offering for sin, 
and became a curse for us to save us who were accursed. 
2. To draw out your desires, you have the most excellent 
gifts and the most needful mercies presented to you that 
this world is capable of: even the pardon of sin, the love of 
God, the Spirit of grace, and the hopes of glory, and Christ 
himself with whom all this is given. 3. To exercise your 
faith you have Christ here first represented as crucified be- 
fore your eyes : and then with his benefits, freely given you, 
and offered to your acceptance, with a command that you 
refuse them not. 4. To exercise your delight and gladness, 
you have this Saviour and this salvation tendered to you ; 
and all that your souls can well desire set before you. 5. To 
exercise your thankfulness, what could do more than so 
great a gift, so dearly purchased, so surely sealed, and so 
freely offered ? 6. To exercise your love to God in Christ, 
you have the fullest manifestation of his attractive love, 
even offered to your eyes, and taste, and heart, that a soul 
on earth can reasonably expect; in such wonderful con- 
descension, that the greatness and strangeness of it sur- 
passeth a natural man's belief. 7. To exercise your hopes 
of life eternal, you have the price of it here set before you ; 
you have the gift of it here sealed to you ; and you have 
that Saviour represented to you in his suffering, who is now 
there reigning, that you may remember him as expectants 
of his glorious coming to judge the world, and glorify you 
with himself. 8. To exercise your self-denial and resolution 
for suffering, and contempt of the world and fleshly plea- 
sures, you have before you both the greatest example and 
obligation, that ever could be offered to the world ; when 
you see and receive a crucified Christ, that so strangely de- 
nied himself for you, and set so little by the world and 
flesh. 9. To exercise your love to brethren, yea, and ene- 
mies, you have his example before your eyes, that loved 
you to the death when you were enemies : and you have 
his holy servants before your eyes, who are amiable in him 
through the workings of his Spirit, and on whom he will 
have you shew your love to himself. 10. And to excite your 
resolution for future obedience, you see his double title to 


the government of you, as Creator and as Redeemer ; and 
you feel the obligations of mercy and gratitude ; and you 
are to renew a covenant with him to that end ; even openly 
where all the church are witnesses. So that you see here 
are powerful objects before you to draw out all these graces, 
and that they are all but such as the work requireth you then 
to exercise. 

III. But that you may be the readier when it cometh to 
practice, I shall as it were lead you by the hand, through all 
the parts of the administration, and tell you when and how 
to exercise every grace, and those that are to be joined to- 
gether I shall take together, that needless distinctness do 
not trouble you. 

1. When you are called up and going to the table of the 
Lord, exercise your humility, desire, and thankfulness, and 
say in your hearts, * What, Lord, dost thou call such a 
wretch as I ? What ! me, that have so oft despised thy 
mercy, and wilfully offended thee, and preferred the filth of 
this world, and the pleasures of the flesh before thee ? Alas, 
it is thy wrath in hell that is my due : but if love will choose 
such an unworthy guest, and mercy will be honoured upon 
such sin and misery, I come Lord at thy call: I gladly 
come : let thy will be done ; and let that mercy which in- 
viteth me, make me acceptable, and graciously entertain 
me ; and let me not come without the wedding garment, 
nor unreverently rush on holy things, nor turn thy mercies 
to my bane.' 

2. When the minister is confessing sin, prostrate your 
very souls in the sense of your unworthiness, and let your 
particular sins be in your eye, with their heinous aggrava- 
tions. The whole need not the physician, but the sick. 
But here I need not put words into your mouths or minds, 
because the minister goeth before you, and your hearts must 
concur with his confessions, and put in also the secret sins 
which he omitteth. 

3. When you look on the bread and wine which is pro- 
vided and offered for this holy use, remember that it is the 
Creator of all things, on whom you live, whose laws you did 
offend ; and say in your hearts, * O Lord, how great is my 
offence ! who have broken the laws of him that made me, 
and on whom the whole creation doth depend ! I had my 



being from thee, and my daily bread ; and should I have re- 
quited thee with disobedience? Father, I have sinned 
against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to 
be called thy son." 

4. When the words of the institution are read, and the 
bread and wine are solemnly consecrated, by separating 
them to that sacred use, and the acceptance and blessing of 
God is desired, admire the mercy that prepared us a Re- 
deemer, and say, " O God, how wonderful is thy wisdom 
and thy love ! How strangely dost thou glorify thy mercy 
over those sins that gave thee advantage to glorify thy jus- 
tice ! Even thou our God whom we have offended, hast 
out of thy own treasury satisfied thy own justice, and given 
us a Saviour by such a miracle of wisdom, love, and con- 
descension, as men or angels shall never be able fully to 
comprehend : so didst thou love the sinful world, as to give 
thy Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not pe- 
rish, but have everlasting life. O thou that hast prepared 
us so full a remedy, and so precious a gift, sanctify these 
creatures to be the representative body and blood of Christ, 
and prepare my heart for so great a gift, and so high, and 
holy, and honourable a work/* 

5. When you behold the consecrated bread and wine, 
discern the Lord's body, and reverence it as the representa- 
tive body and blood of Jesus Christ ; and take heed of pro- 
faning it, by looking on it as common bread and wine ; 
though it be not transubstantiate, but still is very bread 
and wine in its natural being, yet it is Christ's body and 
blood in representation and effect. Look on it as the con- 
secrated bread of life, which with the quickening Spirit 
must nourish you to life eternal. 

6. When you see the breaking of the bread, and the 
pouring out of the wine, let repentance, and love, and de- 
sire, and thankfulness, thus work within you : ** O won- 
drous love ! O hateful sin ! How merciful. Lord, hast thou 
been to sinners ! and how cruel have we been to ourselves 
and thee ! Could love stoop lower? Could God be merci- 
ful at a dearer rate ? Could my sin have done a more hor- 
rid deed, than put to death the Son of God ? How small a 
matter hath tempted me to that, which must cost so dear 
before it was forgiven ! How dear payed my Saviour for 



that which I might have avoided at a very cheap rate ! At 
how low a price have I valued his blood, when I have sinned 
and sinned again for nothing ! This is my doing ! My sins 
were the thorns, the nails, the spear ! Can a murderer of 
Christ be a small offender ? O dreadful justice ! It was I 
and such other sinners that deserved to bear the punishment, 
who were guilty of the sin ; and to have been fuel for the 
unquenchable flames for ever. O precious sacrifice ! O 
hateful sin ! O gracious Saviour ! How can man's dull and 
narrow heart be duly affected with such transcendent things ? 
or heaven make its due impression' upon an inch of flesh? 
Shall I ever again have a dull apprehension of such love? 
or ever have a favourable thought of sin ? or ever have a 
fearless thought of justice ? O break or melt this hardened 
heart, that it may be somewhat conformed to my crucified 
Lord ! The tears of love and true repentance are easier than 
the flames from which I am redeemed. O hide me in these 
wounds, and wash me in this precious blood ! This is the 
sacrifice in which I trust : this is the righteousness by 
which I must be justified, and saved from the curse of thy 
violated law ! As thou hast accepted this, O Father, for 
the world, upon the cross, behold it still on the behalf of 
sinners ; and hear his blood that crieth unto thee for mercy 
to the miserable, and pardon us, and accept us as thy re- 
conciled children, for the sake of this crucified Christ 
alone ! We can offer thee no other sacrifice for sin ; and 
we need no other." -fi'Ji loa fxi ir r 

7. When the minister appliethhittlfedlf td God by prayer, 
for the efficacy of this sacrament, that in it he will give us 
Christ and his benefits, and pardon, and justify us, and ac- 
cept us as his reconciled children, join heartily and ear- 
nestly in these requests, as one that knoweth the need and 
worth of such a mercy. 

8. When the minister delivereth you the consecrated 
bread and wine, look upon him as the messenger of 
Christ, and hear him as if Christ by him said to you, 
" Take this my broken body and blood, and feed on it 
to everlasting life : and take with it my sealed covenant, 
and therein the sealed testimony of my love, and the sealed 
pardon of your sins, and a sealed gift of life eternal ; so be 
it, you unfeignedly consent unto my covenant, and give up 
yourselves to me as my redeemed ones." Even as in deliver- 


ing the possession of house or lands, the deliverer giveth a 
key, and a twig, and a turf, and saith, *' I deliver you this 
house, and I deliver you this land ;" so doth the minister by 
Christ's authority deliver you Christ, and pardon, and title 
to eternal life. Here is an image of a sacrificed Christ 
of God's own appointing, which you may lawfully use : and 
more than an image ; even an investing instrument, by which 
these highest mercies are solemnly delivered to you in the 
name of Christ. Let your hearts therefore say with joy and 
thankfulness, with faith and love, " O matchless bounty of 
the eternal God ! what a gift is this ! and unto what unw6r- 
thy sinners ! And will God stoap so low to man ? and come 
so near him? and thus reconcile his worthless enemies? 
Will he freely pardon all that I have done? and take mfe 
into his family and love, and feed me with the flesh awd 
blood of Christ? I believe; Lord, help mine unbelief. I 
humbly and thankfully accept thy gifts ! Open thou my 
heart, that I may yet more joyfully and thankfully accept 
them. Seeing God will glorify his love and mercy by such 
incomprehensible gifts as these, behold. Lord, a wretch 
that needeth all this mercy ! And seeing it is the ofter of 
thy grace and covenant, my soul doth gladly take thee for 
my God and Father, for my Saviour and my Sanctifier. 
And here I give up myself unto thee, as thy created, re- 
deemed, and (I hope) regenerate one ; as thy own, thy sub- 
ject, and thy child, to be saved and sanctified by thee, to be 
beloved by thee, and to love thee to everlasting. O seal 
up this boyenant and pardon, by thy Spirit, which thou 
sealest and deliverest to me in thy sacrament ; that without 
reserve I may be entirely and for ever thine !" 

9. When you see the communicants receiving with you, 
ifit your very hearts be united to the saints in love, and sa,y, 
f How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob ! How amiable is the 
family of the Lord I How good and pleasant is the unity of 
brethren ! How dear to me are the precious members of my 
Lord ! though they have yet all their spots and weaknesses 
which he pardoneth and so must we. My goodness, O 
Lord, extendeth not unto thee ; but unto thy saints, the ex- 
cellent ones on earth, in whom is my delight. What por- 
tion of my estate thou requirest, I willingly give unto the 
poor, and if I have wronged any man, I am willing to res- 


tore it. And seeing thou hast loved me an enemy, and for- 
given me so great a debt, I heartily forgive those that have 
done me wrong, and love my enemies. O keep me in thy 
family all my days, for a day in thy courts is better than a 
thousand, and the door-keepers in thy house are happier 
than the most prosperous of the wicked ^" 

10. When the minister returneth thanks and praise to 
God, stir up your souls to the greatest alacrity ; and sup- 
pose you saw the heavenly hosts of saints and angels prais- 
ing the same God in the presence of his glory; and think 
with yourselves, that you belong to the same family and so- 
ciety as they, and are learning their work, and must shortly 
arrive at their perfection: strive therefore to imitate them 
in love and joy; and let your very souls be poured out in 
praises and thanksgiving. And when you have the next 
leisure for your private thoughts, (as when the minister is 
exhorting you to your duty,) exercise your love, and thanks, 
and faith, and hope, and self-denial, and resolution for fu- 
ture obedience, in some such breathings of your souls as 
these : " O my gracious God, thou hast surpassed all hu- 
man comprehension in thy love ! Is this thy usage of un- 
worthy prodigals ? I feared lest thy wrath as a consuming 
fire would have devoured such a guilty soul ; and thou 
wouldst have charged upon me all my folly. But while I 
<;ondemned myself, thou hast forgiven and justified me ; and 
surprised me with the sweetest embracem^nts of thy love ! 
I see now that thy thoughts are above our thoughts, and 
thyways above our ways, and thy love excelleth the love of 
man, even more than the heavens are above the earth. 
With how dear a price hast thou redeemed a wretch that 
deserved thy everlasting vengeance ! with how precious and 
sweet a feast hast thou entertained me, who deserved to be 
cast out with the workers of iniquity ! Shall I ever more 
slight such love as this ? shall it not overcome my rebel- 
liousness, and melt down my cold and hardened heart? 
shall I be saved from hell, and not be thankful ? Angels 
are admiring these miracles of love ? and shall not I admire 
them? Their love to us doth cause them to rejoice, while 
they stand by and see our heavenly feast: and should it not 

« Numb. xxiv. 5. Psal. cxxxiii. xv. 4. xvi. 2, 3. Luke xix. 8. Psal. 
ixxxiv. 10. 


be sweeter to us that are the guests that feed upon it? My 
God, how dearly hast thou purchased my love ! how strange- 
ly hast thou deserved and sought it ! Nothing is so much 
my grief and shame, as that I can answer such love with no 
more fervent, fruitful love. O what an addition would it be 
to all this precious mercy, if thou wouldst give me a heart 
to answer these thine invitations, that thy love, thus poured 
out, might draw forth mine, and my soul might flame by 
its approaching unto these thy flames ! and that love, drawn 
out by the sense of love, might be all my life ; O that J 
could love thee as much as I would love thee ! yea, as much 
as thou wouldst have me love thee ! But this is too great 
a happiness for earth ! But thou hast shewed me the place 
where I may attain it ! My Lord is there, in full possession : 
who hath left me these pledges, till he come and fetch us to 
himself, and feast us there in our Master's joy. O blessed 
place ! O happy company that see his glory, and are filled 
with the streams of those rivers of consolation ! yea, happy 
we whom thou hast called from our dark and miserable 
state, and made us heirs of that felicity, and passengers to 
it, and expectants of it, under the conduct of so sure a 
guide! O then we shall love thee, without these sinful 
pauses and defects ; in another measure and in another man- 
ner than now we do : when thou shalt reveal and communi- 
cate thy attractive love, in another measure and manner 
than now ! Till then, my God, I am devoted to thee ; by 
right and covenant I am thin,e ! My soul here beareth wit- 
ness against myself, that my defects of love have no excuse : 
thou deservest all, if I had the love of all the saints in hea- 
ven and earth to give thee. What hath the world to do with 
my affections ? And what is this sordid, corruptible flesh, 
that its desires and pleasures should call down my soul, and 
tempt it to neglect my God? What is there in all the suf- 
ferings that man can lay upon me, that I should not joyfully 
accept them for his sake, that hath redeemed me from hell, 
by such unmatched, voluntary sufferings? Lord, seeing 
thou regardest, and so regardest, so vile a worm, my hearty 
my tongue, my hand confess, that I am wholly thine. O 
let me live to none but thee, and to thy service, and thy 
saints on earth ! And O let me no more return unto ini- 
quity ! nor venture on that sin that killed my Lord ! And 


now thou hast chosen so low a dwelling, O be not strange 
to the heart that thou hast so freely chosen ! O make it 
the daily residence of thy Spirit ! Quicken it by thy grace ; 
^dorn it with thy gifts ; employ it in thy love ; delight it in 
its attendance on thee ; refresh it with thy joys and the light 
of thy countenance ; and destroy this carnality, selfishness, 
and unbelief: and let the world see that God will make a 
palace of the lowest hef^^"t, when he chooseth it for the place 
of hi^ own abode.% s ^i^f^^ 

Direct, viii. 'When you come home review the mercy 
which you have received, and the duty which you have done, 
and the covenant you have made: and 1. Betake yourselvjps 
to God in praise and prayer, for the perfecting of his work. 
And 2. Take heed to your hearts that they grow not cold, 
and that worldly things or diverting trifles, do not blot out 
the sacred impressions which Christ hath made, and that 
ithey cool not quickly into their former dull and sleepy frame. 
p. And see that your lives be actuated by the grace that 
you have here received, that even they that you converse 
with may perceive that you have been with God.' Espe- 
cially when temptations would draw you again to sin ; and 
when the injuries of friends or enemies would provoke you, 
apd when you are called to testify your love to Christ, by 
j^ny costly work or suffering ; remember then what was so 
lately before your eyes, and upon your heart, and what you 
resolved on, and what a covenant you made w^th God. 
Yet judge not of the fruit of your receiving, so much by 
feeling, as by faith; for more is promised than you yet 


Directions for Fearful, Troubled Christians that are perplexed 
^^ with Doubts of their Sincerity and Justification. 

Having directed families in the duties of their relations, 
and in the right worshipping of God, I shall speak some- 
thing of the special duties of some Christians, who inrer 
gard of their state of soul and body, have special need of 


help and counsel. As 1. The doubting, troubled Chris- 
tian. 2. The declining, or backsliding Christian. 3. The 
poor. 4. The aged. 5. The sick. 6. And those that are 
about the sick and dying. Though these might seem to 
belong rather to the first Part% yet because I would have 
those directions lie here together, which the several sorts 
of persons in families most need, I have chosen to reserve 
them rather to this place. The special duties of the strong, 
the rich, and the young and healthful, I omit, because I find 
the book grow big, and you may gather them from what is 
said before, on several such subjects. And the Directions 
which I shall first give to doubting Christians, shall be but a 
few brief memorials, because I have done that work already, in 
my " Directions or Method for Peace of Conscience and Spi- 
ritual Comfort ;" and much is here said before, in the Di- 
rections against Melancholy and Despair. jrd}'i«) .tmi Jifd 

Direct, i. 'Find out the special cause oi your doubts 
and troubles, and bend most of your endeavours to remove 
that cause.' The same cure will not serve for every doubt- 
ing soul, no, nor for every one that hath the very same 
doubts. For the causes may be various, though the doubts 
should be the same : and the doubts will be continued while 
the cause remaineth. 

1. In some persons the chief cause is a timorous, weak, 
and passionate temper of body and mind ; which in some 
(especially of the weaker sex) is so natural a disease, that^ 
there is no hope of a total cure ; though yet we must direqi, 
and support such as we are able. These persons have so 
weak a head, and such powerful passions, that passion is 
their life; and according to passion [they judge of them- 
selves, and of all their duties. They are ordinarily very 
high or very low; full of joy, or sinking in despair ; but 
usually fear is their predominant passion. And what an 
enemy to quietness and peace strong fear is, is easily ob- 
served in all that have it. Assuring evidence will not quiet 
such fearful minds, nor any reason satisfy them. The di- 
rections for these persons must be the same which I have 
before given against melancholy and despair. Especially 
that the preaching, and books, and means, which they make 
use of, be rather such as tend to inform the judgment, and 

* See Part i. Chap. 7. Tit. 10. Of Despair. 

344 iiiiRlsl'lAN DlRKcroRY. [part II. 

settle the will, and guide the life, than such as by the great- 
est fervency tend to awaken them to such passions or. affec- 
tions which they are unable to manage. 

2. With others the causes of their troubles is melancho- 
ly, which I have long observed to be the commonest cause, 
with those godly people that remain in long and grievous 
doubts ; where this is the cause, till it be removed, other 
remedies do but little : but of this I have spoken at large 

3. In others the cause is a habit of discontent, and 
peevishness, and impatiency; because of some wants or 
crosses in the world : because they have not what they 
would have, their minds grow ulcerated, like a body that is 
sick or sore, that carrieth about with them the pain and 
smart ; and they are still complaining of the pain they feel ; 
but not of that which maketh the sore, and causeththe pain. 
The cure of these is either in pleasing them that they may 
have their will in all things (as you rock children and give 
them that which they cry for to quiet them) ; or rather to 
help to cure their impatiency, and settle their minds against 
their childish, sinful discontents (of which before). 

4. In others the cause is error or great ignorance about 
the tenor of the covenant of grace, and the redemption 
wrought by Jesus Christ, and the work of sanctification, 
and evidences thereof; they know not on what terms Christ 
dealeth with sinners in the pardoning of sin, nor what are 
the infallible signs of sanctification: it is sound teaching, 
and diligent learning that must be the cure of these. 

5. In others the cause is a careless life or frequent sin- 
ning, and keeping the wounds of conscience still bleeding : 
they are still fretting the sore, and will not suffer it to skin: 
either they live in railing and contention, or malice, or some 
secret lust, or fraud, or some way stretch and wrong their 
consciences : and God will not give his peace and comfort to 
them till they reform. It is a mercy that they are disquiet- 
ed and not given over to a seared conscience, which is 
past feeling. 

6. In others the cause of their doubts is, placing their 
religion too much in humiliation, and in a continual poring 
on their hearts, and overlooking or neglecting the high and 
chiefest parts of religion, even the daily studies of the love 


of God, and the riches of grace in Jesus Christ, and hereby 
stirring up the soul to love and delight in God. When they 
make this more of their religion and business, it will bring 
their souls into a sweeter relish. 

7, In others the cause is such weakness of parts and 
confusion of thoughts, and darkness of mind, that they are 
not able to examine themselves, nor to know what is in 
them : when they ask themselves any question, about their 
repentance or love to God, or any grace, they are fain to 
answer like strangers, and say, they cannot tell whether 
they do it or not. These persons must make more use 
than others, of the judgment of some able, faithful guide. 

8. But of all others, the commonest cause of uncertainty, 
is the weakness or littleness of grace ; when it is so little 
as to be next to none at all, no wonder if it be hardly and 
seldom discerned: therefore 

Direct. II. * Be not neglecters of self-examination, but 
labour for skill to manage aright so great a work ; but yet 
let your care and diligence be much greater to get grace 
and use it, and increase it, than to try whether you have it 
already or not.' For in examination, when you have once 
taken a right course to be resolved, and yet are in doubt as 
much as before, your overmuch poring upon these trying 
questions, will do you but little good, and make you but 
little the better, but the time and labour may be almost 
lost : whereas all the labour which you bestow in getting, 
and using and increasing grace, is bestowed profitably to 
good purpose ; and tendeth first to your safety and salva- 
tion, and next that, to your easier certainty and comfort. 
There is no such way in the world to be certain that you 
have grace, as to get so much as is easily discerned and 
will shew itself, and to exercise it much that it may come 
forth into observation : when you have a strong belief you 
will easily be sure that you believe: when you have a fer* 
vent love to Christ and holiness, and to the Word, and 
ways, and servants of God, you will easily be assured that 
you love them. When you strongly hate sin and live in 
universal, constant obedience, you will easily discern your 
repentance and obedience. But weak grace will have but 
weak assurance and little consolation. 

Direct. III. * Set yourselves with all your skill and dili- 


gence to destroy every sin of heart and life, and make it your 
principal care and business to do your duty, and please, 
and honour God in your place, and to do all the good you 
can in the world : and trust God with your souls, as long 
as you wait upon him in his way/ If you live in wilful sin 
and negligence, be not unwilling to be reproved and deli- 
vered! If you cherish your sensual, fleshly lusts, and set 
your hearts too eagerly on the world, or defend your un- 
peaceableness and passion, or neglect your own duty to 
God or man, and make no conscience of a true reforma- 
tion, it is not any enquiries after signs of grace, that will 
help you to assurance. You may complain long enough 
before you have ease, while such a thorn is in your foot. 
Conscience must be better used before it will speak a word 
of sound, well-grounded peace to you. But when you 
set yourselves with all your care and skill to do your du- 
ties, and please your Lord, he will not let your labour be in 
vain : he will take care of your peace and comfort, while 
you take care of your duty : and in this way you may boldly 
trust him : only think not hardly and falsely of the good- 
ness of that God whom you study to serve and please. 

Direct, iv. * Be sure whatever condition you are in, that 
you understand, and hold fast, and improve the general 
grounds of comfort, which are common to mankind, so far 
as they are made known to them : and they are three, which 
are the foundation of all our comfort. 1. The goodness 
and mercifulness of God in his very nature. 2. The suf- 
ficiency of the satisfaction or sacrifice of Christ. 3. The 
universality, and freeness, and sureness of the covenant or 
promise of pardon and salvation to all, that by final impe- 
nitence and unbelief do not continue obstinately to reject 
it:' (or to all that unfeignedly repent and believe.) (1.) 
Think not poorly and meanly of the infinite goodness of 
God*': even to Moses he proclaimeth his name at the se- 
cond delivery of the law, " The Lord, the Lord God, mer- 
ciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness 
and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, 
and transgression, and sin ^" His mercy is over all his 

b Psalm ciii. 8. 11.17. Ixxxix.ii. Ixxxvi. 5. 15. xxv. 10. cxix.64. cxxxviii. 
vJJi. cxvi. 5. 

c Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. 


works ; it is great and reacheth to the heavens ; it is firm 
and endureth for ever ; " And he hath pleasure in those that 
hope in his mercy **. (2.) Extenuate not the merits and 
sacrifice of Christ ; but know that never man was damned 
for want of a Christ to die and be a sacrifice for his sin, bu^ 
only for want of repentance and faith in him*. (3.) Deny not 
the universality of the conditional promise of pardon and 
salvation, to all that it is offered to, and will accept it on the 
offerer's terms. And if you do but feel these three founda- 
tions firm and stedfast under ypu, it will encourage evejry 
willing soul. The love of God was the cause of our redemp- 
tion by Christ : redemption was the foundation of the pro- 
mise or new covenant: and he that buildeth on this three- 
fold foundation is safe. 

Direct. \. 'When you come to try your particular title 
to the blessings of the covenant, be sure that you well un- 
derstand the condition of the covenant; and look for the 
performance of that condition in yourselves, as the infalli- 
ble evidence of your title ; and know that the condition is 
nothing but an unfeigned consent unto the covenant.' Or 
such a belief of the Gospel, as maketh you truly willing oi 
all the mercies offered in the Gospel, and of the duties re- 
quired in order to those mercies. And that nothing depriv- 
eth any man that heareth the Gospel of Christ, and pardon, 
and salvation, but obstinate unwillingness or refusal of the 
mercy, and the necessary annexed duties. Understand this 
well, and then peruse the covenant of grace (which is, but, 
to take God for your God and happiness, your Father, your^ 
Saviour, and your Sanctifier) : and then ask your hearts^ 
whether any thing be here that you are unwilling of ; and 
unwilling of in a prevailing degree, when it is greater thai^ 
your willingness : and if truly you are willing to be in cove- 
nant with your God, and Saviour, and Sanctifier upon 
these terms, know that your consent, or willingness, or ac- 
ceptance of the mercy offered you, is your true performance 
of the condition of your title, and consequently the infal- 
lible evidence of your title ; even as marriage consent is a 
title-condition to the person and privileges : and therefore 
if you find this, your doubts are answered : you have founcl 

•• Psalm cxlvii. 11. c. 5. xxxiii. 18. Ivii. 10. cviii. 4. 
® John lii. 16. 


as good an evidence as Scripture doth acquaint us with ; 
and if this will not quiet and satisfy you, you understand 
not the business ; nor is it reason or evidence that can satis- 
fy you, till you are better prepared to understand them. 
But if really you are unwilling, and will not consent to the 
terms of the covenant, then instead of doubting, be past 
doubt that you are yet unsanctified : and your work is pre- 
sently to consider better of the terms and benefits, and of 
those unreasonable reasons that make you unwilling : till 
you see that your happiness lieth upon the business, and 
that you have all the reason in the world to make you wil- 
ling, and no true reason for the withholding of your con- 
sent : and when the light of these considerations hath pre- 
vailed for your consent, the match is made, and your evi- 
dence is sure. 

Direct, vi. ' Judge not of your hearts and evidences upon 
every sudden glance or feeling, but upon a sober, deliberate 
examination, when your minds are in a clear, composed 
frame: and as then you find yourselves, record the judg- 
ment or discovery: and believe not every sudden, incon- 
siderate appearance, or passionate fear, against that record.' 
Otherwise you will never be quiet or resolved ; but carried 
up and down by present sense. The case is weighty, and 
not to be decided by a sudden aspect, nor by a scattered or 
a discomposed mind ; if you call your unprovided or your 
distempered understandings suddenly to so great a work, 
no wonder if you are deceived. You must not judge of co- 
lours when your eye is blood-shotten, or when you look 
through a coloured glass, or when the object is far off. It 
is like casting up a long and difficult account, which must 
be done deliberately as a work of time; and when it is so 
done, and the sums subscribed, if afterwards you will ques- 
tion that account again, you must take as full a time to do 
it, and that when you are as calm and vacant as before, and 
not unsettle an exact account upon a sudden view, or a 
thought of some one particular. Thus must you trust to no 
examinations and decisions about the state of your souls, 
but those that in long and calm deliberation, have brought 
it to an issue. 

Direct, vii. * And in doing this, neglect not to make use 
of the assistance of an able, faithful guide, so far as your 


own weakness makes it necessary.' Your doubting shew- 
eth that you are not sufficient to dispatch it satisfactorily 
yourselves : the question then is, what help a wiser man 
can give you ? Why, he jcan more clearly open to you the 
true nature of grace, and the marks that are infallible, and 
the extent of the grace and tenor of the covenant ; and he 
can help you how to trace your hearts, and observe the dis- 
coveries of good or evil in them ; he can shew you your 
mistakes, and help you in the application, and tell you much 
of his own and others' experiences ; and he can pass a 
strong conjecture upon your own case in particular, if he 
be one that knoweth the course of your lives, and is inti- 
mately acquainted with you ; for sin and grace are both ex- 
pressive, operative things, like life that ordinarily will stir, 
or fire that will be seen ; though their judgment cannot be 
infallible of you, and though for a while hypocrisy may hide 
you from the knowledge of another, yet * ficta non diu, &c.* 
ordinarily nature will be seen, and that which is within you 
will shew itself; so that your familiar acquaintance that see 
your lives in private and in public, may pass a very strong 
conjecture at your state, whether you set yourselves indeed 
to please in sincerity God or no. Therefore, if possible, 
choose such a man to help you, as is 1. Able. 2. Faithful ; 
and 3, Well acquainted with you ; and undervalue not 
his judgment. 

Direct, viii. ' When you cannot attain to a certainty of 
your case, undervalue not and neglect not the comforts 
which a bare probability may afford you.' I know that a 
certainty in so weighty a case, should be earnestly desired, 
and endeavoured to the uttermost. But yet it is no small 
comfort which a likelihood or hopefulness may yield you. 
Husband and wife are uncertain every day, whether one of 
them may kill the other; and yet they can live comfortably 
together, because it is an unlikely thing; and though it be 
possible, it is not much to be feared ; all the comforts of 
Christians dependeth not on their assurance ; it is but few 
Christians in the world that reach to clear assurance ; for 
all the Papists, Lutherans, and Arminians are without any 
certainty of their salvation ; because they think it cannot 
be had ; and all those Jansenists, or Protestants that are of 
Augustine's judgment are without assurance of salvation. 


though they may have assurance o^ their justification and 
sanctification ; because their judgment is that the justified 
and sanctified (though not the elect) may fall away. And 
of those that hold the doctrine of perseverance, how few do 
we find, that can say, they are certain of their sincerity and 
salvation. Alas, not one of very many. And yet many 
thousands of these da live in some peace of conscience, and 
quietness, and comfort, in the hopefulness, and probabilities 
to which they have attained. 

Direct, ix. 'Resolve to be much in the great, delightful 
duties of thanksgiving and the praise of God ; and to spend 
a considerable part (ordinarily) of all your prayers herein ; 
especially to spend the Lord's day principally in these.' 
And thus you will have three great advantages ; 1. The very 
actings of love, and thanks, and joy, will help you to com- 
fort in a nearer way, than arguments and self-examination 
will do ; even in a way of feeling, as the fire maketh you 
warm. 2. The custom of exercising those sweetest graces, 
will habituate your souls to it, and in time wear out the 
sadder impression. 3. God will most own .you in those 
highest duties. \v .aiBJn inoy. in '*i//.loeiftoo 

Direct x. * Mark well how far your doubtings do help 
or hinder you in your sanctification : So far as they turn 
your heart from God, and from the love and sweetness of a 
holy life, and unfit you for thankfulness and cheerful obe- 
dience ; so far you may be sure, that satan is gratified by 
them, and God displeased, and therefore they should be re- 
sisted : but so far, as they keep you humble and obedient, 
and make you more tenderly afraid of sin, and quicken your 
desires of Christ and grace, so far God useth them for your 
benefit.' And therefore be not too impatient under them, 
but wait on God in the use of his means, and he will give 
his comforts in the fittest season. Many an one hath sweet 
assurance at his death, or in his sufferings for Christ when 
he needed it most, that was fain to live long before without 
it. Especially take care, 1. That you miss not of assurance, 
through your own neglect. 2. And that your doubtings 
work no ill effects, in turning away your hearts from God, 
or discouraging you in his service, and then you may take 
them as a trial of your patience, and they will certainly 
have a happy end. 



Directions for Declining or Backsliding Christians : and about 

The case of Backsliders is so terrible, and yet the mistakes 
of many Christians so common in thinking unjustly, that 
they are backsliders, that this subject must be handled with 
the greater care. And when I have first given some Direcr 
tions for the cure, I shall next give some to others for pre- 
vention, of so sad a state. 

'-^V^Direct. I. * Understand well wherein backsliding doth 
consist, the sorts, and the degrees of it, that so you may 
the more certainly and exactly discern, whether it be indeed 
your case, or not.' To this end, I shall here open to you, 
I. The several sorts of backsliders. II. The several steps 
or degrees of backsliding. III. The signs of it. 

I. There are in general three sorts of backsliders. 1. 
Such as decline from the truth by the error of their under- 
standing. 2. Such as turn from the goodness of God and 
holiness, by the corruption of their will a!nd affections. 3. 
Such as turn from the obfedience of God, and an upright 
conversation, by the sinfulness of their lives^'"'^' ^^^^ / *^*^^ ' 

The first sort containeth in it, 1. Such as decline to infi- 
xielity from faith; and doubt of the truth of the Word of 
God. 2. Such as decline only to error, about the mean- 
ing of the Scripture^, though they doubt not of the truth 
of them. This corrupted j adgment will presently corrupt 
both heart and life. '^ vjntwo ivnii • poi ivj hue ^xUnq -lUAi. 

The second sort (Kal^k^lidfeYi^ itt heatO cdntsLitifeth, ' T. 
Such as only lose their affections to good ; their compla- 
cency and desire ; and lose their averseness and zeal against 
sin. 2. And such as lose the very resolution of the will al- 
so, and grow unresolved what to do, if not resolved to do 
evil, and to omit that which is good. - ; *' •' ••^' ' *' '' 

The third sort (backsliders in life) •coinpretiendetH, f . 
Those that fall from duty, towards God or man. 2, And 
those that fall into positive sins, and turn to sensuality, in 
voluptuousness, worldliness, or pride. 


II. Backsliders in judgment, do sometimes fall by slow 
degrees, and sometimes suddenly at once. Those that fall 
by degrees, do some of them begin in the failing of the un- 
derstanding ; but most of them, begin at the failing or false- 
ness of the heart, and the corrupted will corrupteth the un- 

1. Those that fall by degrees through the failing of the 
understanding, are those simple souls that never were well 
grounded in the truth : and some of them reason themselves 
into error or unbelief; and others of them (which is most 
usual) are led into it by the cunning and diligence of sedu- 
cers. And for the degrees, they grow first to doubt of some 
arguments which formerly seemed valid to them ; and then 
they doubt of the truth itself; or else they hear some argu- 
ment from a seducer, which, through their own weakness, 
they are unable to answer ; and then they yield to it, as 
thinking that it is right, because they see not what is to be 
said against it; and know not what others know to the con- 
trary, nor how easily another can confute it. And when 
once they are brought into a suspicion of one point, which 
they formerly held, they quickly suspect all the rest ; and 
grow into a suspicion and disaffection to the persons whom 
they did before most highly value. And then they grow in- 
to a high esteem of the persons and party that seduced 
them ; and think that they that are wiser in one thing, are 
wiser in the rest : and so are prepared to receive all the 
errors which follow that one, which they first received : 
and next they embody with the sect that seduced them ; 
and separate from the sober, united part of the church : and 
so they grow to a zealous importunity for the increase of 
their party, and to lose their charity to those that are again&t 
their way ; and to corrupt their morals, in thinking all dis- 
honesty lawful, which seemeth necessary to promote the in- 
terest of their sect, which they think is the interest of the 
, truth and of God. And at last, it is like they will grow 
weary of that sect, and hearken to another, and another ; 
till in the end, they come to one of these periods ; either to 
settle in Popery, as the easiest religion : and being taken 
with their pretence of antiquity, stability, unity, and univer- 
sality ; or else to turn to atheism or infidelity, and take all 
religion for a mere deceit ; or else, (if they retained an ho- 


nest heart in their former wanderings) God sheweth them 
their folly, and bringeth them back to unity and charity, 
and maketh them see the vanity of those reasonings which 
before seduced them, and which once they thought were 
some spiritual, celestial light. This is the common course 
of error ; when the understanding is the most notable 
cause. But sometimes a deceiver prevaileth with them ori 
a sudden, by such false appearances of truth which they are 
unable to confute. But still an ill-prepared, unfurnished 
mind is the chiefest cause. 

2. But those whose judgments are conquered by the per- 
verse inclination of their wills, are usually carnal, worldly hy- 
pocrites, who never conquered the fleshly mind and interest, 
nor overcame the world, nor ever were acquainted with the 
heavenly nature and life, nor with the power of divine love ; 
and these having made a change of their profession, through 
the mere conviction of their understandings, and benefit of 
education or government, or the advantages of religion in 
the country where they live, without a renewed, holy heart, 
the bias of their hearts doth easily prevail against the light 
of their understandings : and because they would fain have 
those doctrines to be true, which save them from sufferings, 
or give them liberty for a fleshly, ambitious, worldly life, 
therefore they do by degrees prevail with their understand- 
ings to receive them. 

II. Backsliders in heart, do fall by divers degrees and 
means : for satan's methods are not always the same. Some 
of them fall through the corruption of their judgments ; for 
every error hath much influence on the heart. Some are 
tempted suddenly into some gross or sensual sin ; and so 
the errors of their lives call away their hearts from God. 
Not but that some sin of the heart or will, doth still go first, 
but yet the extraordinary declension and pravity of the 
heart, may sometimes be caused by the errors of the judg- 
ment, or the life. But sometimes the beginning and pro- 
gress is almost observable in the appetite and will itself; 
and here the inclining to evil, (that is, to sensual or carnal 
good) and the declining from true, spiritual good, do almost 
always go together. And it is most usually by this method, 
and by these degrees. 

I. Tlu' dt'vil usually beginneth with the fantasy and ap- 



petite, and representeth some worldly, fleshly thing, as very 
pleasant and desirable. 2. Next that, he causeth this com- 
placency to entice the thoughts ; so that they are much and 
oft in thinking on this pleasure. 3. Next that, the will is 
drawn into a liking of it, and he wisheth he might enjoy it 
(whether it be riches, or pleasant dwellings, or pleasant com- 
pany, or pleasant meats or drinks, or fleshly accommodations, 
or apparel, or honour, or command, or ease, or lust, or sports 
and recreations, or whatever else). 4. Next that, the un- 
derstanding is drawn into the design, and is casting and con- 
triving how it may be obtained, and all lawful means are 
first considered of, that if possible, the business might be 
accomplished without the hazard of the soul. 5. Next to 
that, endeavours are used to that end, by such means as are 
supposed lawful, and the conscience quieted with the con- 
ceit of the harmlessness and security. 6. By this time the 
man is engaged in his carnal cause and course, and so the 
difficulty of returning is increased : and the inclination of 
the heart groweth stronger to the sensual pleasure than be- 
fore. 7. And then he is drawn to prosecute his design by 
any means how sinful soever ; if it be possible, making him- 
self believe by some reasonings or other, that all is lawful 
still, or if the case be too palpable to be so cloaked, con- 
science, at last, is cast asleep, and seared, and stupified, 
that it may be silent under all; till either grace or ven- 
geance awake the sinner, and make him amazed at his mad- 
ness and stupidity. This is the most usual method of the 
heart's relapse to positive evil. 

2. And by such degrees doth the heart decline from the 
love of God and goodness : as 1. The thoughts are diverted 
to some carnal vanity that is over-loved : and the thoughts 
of God are seldomer and shorter, than they were wont to be. 
2. And at the same time, the thoughts of God do grow less 
serious and pleasing, and more dead and lifeless. 3. And 
then the means which should kindle love, are used with more 
dulness, and remissness, and indifferency. 4. And then 
conscience being galled with the guilt of wilful omissions 
and commissions (being acquainted with the fleshly designs 
of the heart), doth raise a secret fear of God's displeasure. 
And this being not strong enough to restrain the man from 
sin, doth make his sin greater, and maketh him very back- 


ward to draw near to God, or seriously to think of him, or 
call upon him ; and turneth love into terror and aversion. 
5. And if God do not stop and recover the sinner, he will 
next grow quite weary of God, and out of love with a holy 
life, and change him for his worldly, fleshly pleasures. 6* 
And next that, he will entertain some infidel, or atheistical, 
or libertine doctrine, which may quiet him in his course of 
sin, by justifying it, and will conform his judgment to his 
heart. 7. And next that, he will hate God, and his ways, 
and servants, and turn a persecutor of them ; till vengeance 
lay him in hell, where pain and desperation will increase his 
hatred ; but his fleshly pleasure, and malicious persecution 
shall be for ever at an end. 

III. Backsliders in life and practice, do receive the first 
infection at the heart; and the life declineth no further than 
the heart declineth : but yet I distinguish this sort from the 
other, as the effect from the cause ; and the rather, because 
some few do much decline in heart, that yet seem to keep 
much blamelessness of life in the eye of men : and it is usual- 
ly done by these degrees. 

1. In the man's backsliding into positive sin (as sensual- 
ity or worldliness) the heart being prepared as before. 1. 
The judgment doth reason more remissly against sin, than 
it did before; and the will doth oppose it with less resolu- 
tion, and with greater faintness and indifferency. 2. Then 
the sinner tasteth of the bait, and first draweth as near to sin 
as he dare, and embraceth the occasions and opportunities 
of sinning, while yet he thinketh to yield no further. And 
in this case, he is so long disputing with the tempter, and 
hearkening to him, and gazing on the bait, till at last he 
yieldeth ; and having long been playing at the pit's brink, 
his violent lust or appetite doth thrust him in. 3. When 
he hath once sinned (against knowledge) he is troubled 
awhile, and this he taketh for true repentance : and when 
he is grown into some hope, that the first sin is forgiven 
him, he is the bolder to venture on the like again ; and 
thinketh, that the second may be as well forgiven as the first. 
4. In the same order he falleth into it again and again, till 
it come to a custom. 5. And by this time he loveth it 
more, and wisheth it were lawful, and there were no danger 
by it. 6. And then he thinketh himself concerned to prove 


it lawful to quiet conscience, that it may not torment him ; 
and therefore he gladly heareth what the justifiers of his 
sin can say for it, andhemaketh himself believe that the rea- 
sons are of weight. 7. And then he sinneth without re- 

2. So in men's backsliding from the practice of religion. 
1. The heart is alienated and undisposed as aforesaid. 2. 
And then the life of the duty doth decay, and it dwindleth 
towards a dead formality ; like a body in a consumption, 
the vivid complexion, and strength, and activity decay. 
3. Next this, he can frequently omit a duty, especially in 
secret where no man knoweth it ; till by degrees he grow 
more seldom in it. 4. All this he taketh for a pardoned in- 
firmity, which consisteth with a state of grace ; and there- 
fore he is little troubled about it. 5. Next this, he loseth 
all the life and comfort of religion, and misseth not any du- 
ty when he hath omitted it, but is glad that he escapeth it, 
and when it is at an end, as an ox is when he is out of the 
yoke. 6. Next, he beginneth to hearken to them that speak 
against so much ado in religion, as if it were a needless, 
unprofitable thing. 7. And if God forsake him, he next 
repenteth of his former diligence, and settleth himself, 
either in a dead course of such customary lip-service as 
doth cost him nothing, or else in utter worldliness and 
ungodliness, and perhaps at last in malignity and perse- 

III. Though the signs or symptoms of declining may be 
gathered from what is said already, I shall add some more. 
1. You are declining when you grow bolder with sin, or 
with the occasions of it, and temptations to it, than you 
were in your more watchful state. 2. When you make a 
small matter of those inward corruptions and infirmities, 
which once seemed grievous to you, and almost intolerable. 
3. When you settle in a course of profession or religious- 
ness, that putteth your flesh to little cost, in labour, re- 
proach, or suffering from the ungodly, but leave out the 
hard and costly part, and seem to be very religious in the 
rest. 4. When you are quiet and contented in the daily, 
customary use of ordinances, though you find no profit or 
increase in grace by it or communion with God. 5. When 
you grow strange to God and Jesus Christ, and have little 


converse with him in the Spirit; and your thoughts of him 
are few, and cold, and lifeless ; and your religion lieth all 
in conversing with good men, and good books, and outward 
duties. 6. When you grow neglecters of your hearts, and 
strangers to them, and find little work about them from day 
to day, either in trying them, or watching them, or stirring 
them up, or mortifying their corruptions ; but your business 
in religion is most abroad, and in outward exercises. 7. 
Yea, though your own hearts and duties be much of your 
care and thoughts, you are on the losing hand, if the won- 
ders of love and grace in Christ have not more of your 
thoughts, or, if you set not yourselves more to the study of 
a crucified and glorified Christ, than of your own distem- 
pered hearts. 8. All is not well with you, when spiritual 
helps and advantages are less relished and valued, and you 
grow more indifferent to the sermons, and prayers, and sa- 
craments, which once you could not live without ; and use 
them but as bare duties for necessity, and not as means, 
with any great hope of benefit and success. 9. When you 
grow too regardful of the eye of man, and too regardless of 
the eye of God ; and are much more careful about the words, 
and outside of your prayers and discourses, than the spirit 
and inward part and manner of them ; and dress yourselves 
accurately when you appear abroad, as 'those that would 
seem very good to men, but go at home in the most sordid 
garb of a cold and careless heart and life. 10. When you 
grow hottest about some controverted, smaller matters in re- 
ligion, or studious of the interest of some private opinion 
and party which you have chosen, more than of the interest 
of the common truths and cause of Christ. 1 1 . When in 
joining with others, you relish more the fineness of the 
speech, than the spirit, and weight, and excellency of the 
matter ; and are impatient of hearing of the most wholesome 
truths, if the speaker manifest any personal infirmity in the 
delivery of them ; and are weary and tired, if you be not 
drawn on with novelty, variety, or elegancy of speech. 12. 
When you grow more indifferent for your company, and set 
less by the company of serious, godly Christians than you 
did, and are almost as well pleased with common company 
and discourse. 13. When you grow more impatient of re- 
proof for sin, and love not to be told of any thing in you 


that is amiss ; but love those best that most highly applaud 
you. 14. When the renewing of your repentance is grown 
a lifeless, cursory work ; when in preparation for the Lord's 
day, or Sacrament, or other occasions, you call yourselves 
to no considerable account, or make no greater a matter of 
the sins which you find on your account, than if you were 
almost reconciled to them. 15. When you grow more un- 
charitable and censorious to brethren that differ from you 
in tolerable points ; and less tender of the names or wel- 
fare of others, and love not your neighbours as yourselves, 
and do not as you would be done by. 16. When you grow 
less compassionate to the ungodly world, and less regard- 
ful of the common interest of the universal church, and of 
Jesus Christ throughout the earth, and grow more narrow, 
private spirited, and confine your care to yourselves, or to 
your party. 17. When the hopes of heaven, and the love 
of God, cannot content you, but you are thirsty after some 
worldly contentment, and grow eager in your desires, and 
the world groweth more sweet to you, and more amiable in 
your eyes. 18. When sense, and appetite, and fleshly plea- 
sure are grown more powerful with you, and you make a great 
matter of them, and cannot deny them, without a great deal 
of striving and regret, as if you had done some great ex- 
ploit, if you live not like a beast. 19. When you are more 
proud and impatient, and are less able to bear disesteem, 
and slighting, and injuries from men, or poverty, or suffer- 
ings for Christ ; and make a greater matter of your losses, 
and crosses, or wrongs, than beseemeth one that is dead to 
the flesh, and to the world. 20. Lastly, when you had ra- 
ther dwell on earth than be in heaven ; and are more un- 
willing to think of death, or to prepare for it, end expect it, 
and are less in love with the coming of Christ, and are ready 
to say of this sinful life in flesh, it is good to be here. All 
these are signs of a declining state, though yet you are not 
come to apostacy. 

But the signs of a mortal, damnable state indeed, are 
found in these following degrees : 1 . When a man had ra- 
ther have worldly prosperity, than the favour and fruition 
of God in heaven. 2. When the interest of the flesh can 
do more with him, than the interest of God and his soul, 
and doth more rule and dispose of his heart and life. 3. 


When he had rather live in sensuality, than in holiness : and 
had rather have leave to live as he list, than have a Christ 
and Holy Spirit to sanctify and cure him ; or, at least, will 
not be cured on the terms proposed in the Gospel. 4. 
When he loveth not the means that would recover him (as 
such). The nearer you come to this, the more dangerous is 
your case. 

And these following signs, are therefore of a very dan- 
gerous signification. 1. When the pleasure of sinful pros- 
perity and delights, doth so far overtop the pleasures of 
holiness, that you are under trouble and weariness in holy 
duties, and at ease and merry, when you have your sinful 
delights. 2. When no persuasion of a minister or a friend, can 
bring you so thoroughly to repent of your open, scandalous 
sins, as to take shame to yourselves in a free confession of 
them (even in the open assembly, if you are justly called to 
it), to condemn yourselves, and give warning to others, 
and glorify the most holy God : but you will not believe 
that any such disgraceful confession is your duty, because 
you will not do it. 3. When you cannot bring your hearts 
to a full resolution to let go your sin; but though con- 
science worry and condemn you for it, you do but slightly 
purpose hereafter to amend, but will not presently resolve^ 
4. When you will not be persuaded to consent to the 'ne- 
cessary, effectual means of your recovery ; as to abstain 
from the bait, and temptation, and occasion of sin. Many 
a drunkard hath told me, he was willing to be reformed ; 
but when I have desired them then to consent to drink no 
wine or ale, for so many months, and to keep out of the 
place, and to commit the government of themselves for so 
many months to their wives, or some other friend that liv- 
eth with them, and to drink nothing but what they give 
them ; they would not consent to any of this, and so shewed 
the hypocrisy of their professed willingness to amend. 5. 
When sin becometh easy, and the conscience groweth pa- 
tient with it, and quiet under it. 6. When the judgment 
taketh part with it, and the tongue will plead for it, and 
justify or extenuate it, instead of repenting of it. 

These are dangerous signs of an impenitent, unpardoned, 
miserable soul. And the man is in a dangerous way to this, 
1. When he hath plunged himself into such engagements to 


sin, that he cannot leave it, but it will cost him very dear : 
as it will be his shame to confess it, or his undoing in the 
world to forsake it, or a great deal of cost and labour must 
be lost, which his ambitious or covetous projects have cost 
him ; it will be hard breaking over so great difficulties. 2. 
When God letteth him alone in sin, and prospereth him in 
it, or doth not much disturb him or afflict him. This also , 
is a dangerous case. 

By all this you may perceive, that those are no signs of 
a backsliding state, which some poor Christians are afraid 
are such. As, 1. When poverty necessitateth them to lay 
out more of their time, and thoughts, and words about the 
labours of their callings, than some richer persons do. 2. 
When age or sickness causeth their memories to decay ; so 
that they cannot remember a sermon as well as heretofore. 
3. When age or sickness taketh off the quickness and vi- 
gour of their spirits ; so that they have not the lively affec- 
tions in prayer, or holy conference, or meditation, or read- 
ing, or hearing, as formerly they had. But (though they 
are as much as ever resolved for God, against sin and vanity, 
yet) they are colder and duller, and have less zeal, and fer- 
vency, and delight in holy exercises. 4. When age, or 
weakness, or melancholy, hath decayed or confounded their 
imaginations, and ravelled their thoughts, so that they can- 
not order them, and command them, as formerly they could. 
5. And when age or melancholy hath weakened their parts 
and gifts ; so that they are of slower understandings, and more 
unable in prayer, or preaching, or conference to express 
themselves than heretofore. All these are but bodily changes, 
and such hindrances of the soul as depend thereon, and 
not to be taken for signs of a soul that declineth in holiness, 
and is less accepted of God. 

Direct, ii. 'When you know the marks of a backslider, 
come into the light, and be willing to know yourselves, whe- 
ther this be your condition, or not, and do not foolishly co- 
ver your disease.' Inquire whether it be with you as in 
former times, when the light of God did shine upon you, 
and you delighted in his ways : when you hated sin, and 
loved holiness ; and were glad of the company of the heirs 
of life : when the Word of God was pleasant to you ; and 
when you poured out your souls to him in prayer and 


thanksgivings : when you were glad of the Lord's day, and 
were quickened and confirmed under the teaching and ex- 
hortation of his ministers : when you took worldly wealth 
and pleasures, as childish toys and fooleries, in comparison 
of the content of holy souls : when you hungered and thirst- 
ed after Christ and righteousness ; and had rather have been 
in heaven to enjoy your God, and be free from sinning, than 
to enjoy all the pleasures and prosperity of this world. 
And when it was your daily business to prepare for death, 
and to live in expectation of the everlasting rest, which 
Christ hath promised. If this were once your case, inquire 
whether it be so still ? Or, what alterations are made upon 
your hearts and lives ? 

Direct, iii. * If you find yourselves in a backsliding case, 
by all means endeavour the awakening of your souls, by the 
serious consideration of the danger and misery of such a 
state.* To which end I shall here set some such awaken- 
ing thoughts before you (for security is your greatest 

1. Consider that to fall back from God, was the sin of 
the devils. **They are angels that kept not their first estate, 
but left their own habitations, and are now reserved in 
chains under darkness, to the judgment of the great day *." 
And shall they entice you into their own condemnation ? 

2. It was the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve, to 
revolt from God, and lose their holiness. And is there any 
sin that we should more carefully avoid, than that which 
all the world hath so much suffered by ? Every one of the 
creatures that you look^on, and every pain and misery you 
feel, doth mind you of that sin, and call to you to take heed 
by the warning of your first parents, that you suffer not 
your hearts to be drawn from God. 

3. It is a part of hell that you are choosing upon earth. 
" Depart from me ye cursed **," is the sentence on the damn- 
ed. And will you damn yourselves by departing from God, 
and that when he calleth you and obligeth you to him ? To 
be separated from God, is one half of the misery of the 

4. You are drawing back towards the case that you were 
in, in the days of your unconverted state. And what a state 

» Jude 6- *» Mutt. XXV. 41. vii. !^3. 


of darkness, and folly, and delusion, and sin, and misery, 
was that ? If it were good or tolerable, why turned you from 
it? And, why did you so lament it? And, why did you 
so earnestly cry out for deliverance ? But if it were as bad 
as you then apprehended it to be, why do you again turn to- 
wards it? Would you be again in the case you were? 
Would you perish in it? Or, would you have all those 
heart-breakings and terrors to pass through again ? May I 
not say to you, as Paul to the Galatians ? ** O foolish sin- 
ners ! who hath bewitched you, that you are so soon turned 
back "" ? Who have seen that of sin, and of G od, and of Christ, 
and of heaven, and of hell, as you have done ? 

5. Yea, it is a far more doleful state that you are draw- 
ing towards, than that which you were in before. For the 
guilt of an apostate is much greater than if he had never 
known the truth. And his recovery is more difficult, and 
of smaller hope : because he is " twice dead and plucked 
up by the root"^." ** For if after they have escaped the pol- 
lutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, 
and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the 
beginning : for it had been better for them, not to have 
known the way of righteousness, than after they have know^ 
it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 
But it is happened unto them according to the true pro- 
verb. The dog is turned to his own vomit again ; and the sow 
that was washed to her wallowing in the mire^" ** For if 
we sin wilfully (by apostacy) after that we have received the 
knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for 
sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery 
indignation which shall devour the adversaries ^." I know 
this speaketh only of total apostacy from Christ (such being 
worthy " of far sorer punishment, than he that despiseth 
Moses's law ^). But it is a terrible thing to draw towards so 
desperate a state. A habit is easier introduced upon a ne- 
gation than a privation ; in him that never had it, than in 
him that hath totally lost it. 

6. What abundance of experience do you sin against in 
your backsliding? You have had experience of the evil of 
sin, and of the smart of repentance, and of the deceitfulness 

^ Gal. iii. 1—4. ^ Jude 12. ^ 2 Pet. ii. 20—22. 

f H(>b. X. 26, 27. ? Ver. 28, 29. 


of all that can be said of sinning ; and of the goodness of 
God, and of the safety and sweetness of religion: and will 
you sin against so great experience ? If your horse fall 
once into a quicksand, he will scarce be forced into it again. 
And will you be less wise ? 

7. What abundance of promises and covenants, which 
you have made to God, do you violate in your backsliding? 
How often in your fears, and dangers, and sicknesses, at sa- 
craments and days of humiliation, have you bound your- 
selves afresh to God ! And will you forget all these, and 
sin against them? 

8. By what a multitude of mercies hath God obliged you? 
Mercies before your repentance, and mercies that drew you 
to repent, 'and mercies since ? How mercifully hath he kept 
you out of hell? How mercifully hath he borne with you in 
all your sins? and maintained you while you provoked 
him ? and pardoned all that you have done against him (if 
you were truly penitent believers) '' ! How mercifully hath 
he taught you, and sanctified you, and comforted you; and 
plentifully provided for you ? And yet do you forsake him, 
and return to folly ? For which of all his mercies is it that 
you thus unworthily requite him ? Can you remember how 
he hath dealt with you, and not be ashamed of your backslid- 
ings ? Doth it not melt your heart to look back on his love, 
and to think of your ungrateful dealing ? 

9. Nay what a multitude of present mercies dost thou 
run away from ? Doth not thy conscience tell thee, that it 
is safer and better for thee to be true to Christ, than to re- 
turn to sin? Wilt thou take thy leave of thy God, and thy 
Redeemer, and thy Comforter ? Wilt thou quit thy title to 
pardon and protection, and all the promises of grace ? Wilt 
thou bid farewell to all the comforts of a saint? Dost thou 
not tremble to think of such a day? Thou forsakest all these 
when thou forsakest God. 

10. Yea look before thee man, and consider what greater 
things are promised thee, than yet thou ever didst enjoy. 
Christ is conducting thee to eternal happiness, in the sight 
of God. And wilt thou forsake thy guide, and break away 
from him, and quit all thy hopes of everlasting life ? 

U. Consider for what it is, that thou art about to run 
»» Mic. vi. 5--7. 


SO great a hazard? Is it not for some worldly gain or ho- 
nour, or some fleshly pleasure, sport, or ease ? And hast 
thou not known long ago what all these are ? What have 
they done for thee ? or what will they ever do ? Can any 
thing in the world be more causeless and unreasonable, than 
thy forsaking God, and turning back from the way of holi- 
ness? Will the world or sin give more for thee, than God 
will? Or be better to thee here and hereafter? What wouldst 
thou have in God, or in thy Saviour, that thou thinkest 
wanting in him ? Is it any thing that the world can make 
up ? Which hath nothing itself but what is from him ? 
What wrong hath God, or his service done thee, that thou 
shouldst now forsake him, and turn back ? For thy soul's 
sake, man, think of some reasonable answer to such ques- 
tions, before thou venture thyself upon a course, which thou 
hast found so bad and perilous heretofore! Let all the ma- 
lice of earth or hell, say the worst it can against God and 
holiness, it shall never justify thy revolt ! 

12. Considerwhat abundance of labour and suffering, is all 
lost, if thou fall away from Christ. Is all thy hearing, and 
meditation, and prayer, come to this? Is all thy self-denial, 
and sufferings for Christ, and godliness, come to this ? 
" Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye 
were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions ; 
partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by re- 
proaches and afflictions ; and partly, whilst ye became com- 
panions of them that were so used. Cast not away there- 
fore your confidence, which hath great recompense of re- 
ward'." You should have let Christ alone, if you would 
not follow him to the end : he is less foolish that sitteth 
still, than he that first tireth himself, and then turneth again. 
The idle beggar is not so foolish, as the husbandman that 
will plough and sow, and at last lose his crop for the want 
of the labour to reap it, and carry it home. Shall all thy 
pains and sufferings, be lost at last, for nothing ? 

13. God is not so forward to cast you off", who hath just 
cause : and why then should you be forward to turn from 
him? If he had, what had become of you long ago ? Yea 
what abundant occasion have you given him, when he never 
gave you any at all? Thy sins have testified and cried 

* Heb. X. o!2— 34. 


against thee ! Abused mercies have witnessed against thee ! 
And yet he hath not cast thee off ! Satan hath stood up be- 
fore God to accuse thee ; and glad he would be to see thee 
utterly forsaken of God, and yet he hath not utterly for- 
saken thee ! Even while thou art forsaking him, he is pro- 
tecting and supporting thee, and providing for thee I Did 
he forsake thee when thou wast in sickness, want, and dan- 
ger ? If he had, thou hadst not now been here. And wilt 
thou begin, and run away from him? What if Christ should 
offer thee a bill of divorce, and say, * Seeing thou hast so 
little mind of me, or of my service, take thy course, and 
seek another master, I discharge thee from all thy relations 
to me ; follow thy own way, and take what thou gettest by 
it.' Would this be welcome tidings to thee? Or durst 
thou accept of it, and be gone ? 

14. If thou do turn back for the pleasures of the flesh, 
or the preferments or profits of the world, thou wilt have 
less pleasure in them now, than thou hadst heretofore, or 
than the unconverted have. For they that sin in the dark, 
do not know their danger, and therefore sin not with so 
much terror, as thou wilt hereafter. Thou hast known the 
danger, thou hast confessed the folly ; the reasons of God's 
Word will never be forgotten, nor thy conviction ever to- 
tally blotted out: thou wilt be remembering the ancient 
kindnesses of Christ, and thy former purposes, and pro- 
mises, and ways ; and thou wilt be thinking both of the days 
that are past, and the days that are to come, and foreseeing 
thy terrible account: so that thou wilt sin in such terrors, 
that thou wilt have a taste of hell in the very exercise of thy 
sin, and be tormented before the time. And will the world 
and sin, be worth the enjoying on such terms as these ''? 

15. Either thou hopest to recover from thy backsliding 
by a second repentance, or else thou purposest to go on. 

^ In the Vandals' penecution, Epidophorus an apostate, was the roost cruel per- 
secutor ; at last it came to his turn to torment Mirita, that had baptized him, who 
spread before tliem all the linens in which he was baptized, laying, ' Haec te accusa- 
bunt dum majestas venerit judicantis. Custodientur diligentJa niea ad testimonium 
tuffi perdilionis, ad mergenduni te inab^rssum putei sujphurautis. Haec te acrius perse- 

quentur flammantem gehennara cum caeteris possidentem . Quid facturus es miser 

cum servi patris familias ad caeiiam regiam congregare cccperint invitatus ? Ligate 
cum manihuA pedibusque, &c. Ha^c et alia Merita dicente, igne conscientis ante 
jgnem leteriiiiiii obm.ittHci'ii.s Epi<ioplioru>. tonthatur- Victor Xh'n: p. 466, 


If thou shouldst be so happy, as to be recovered, dost thou 
know with how much pain and terror it is like to be accom- 
plished ? When thou thinkest of thy backslidings, and 
what thou hast done in revolting after such convictions, and 
promises, and mercies, and experiences, thou wilt be very 
hardly kept from desperation. Thou wilt read such pas- 
sages, as Heb. vi. 4 — 6. x. 26 — 29. with so much horror, 
that thou wilt hardly be persuaded that there is any hope : 
thou wilt be ready to think that thou hast sinned against 
the Holy Ghost, and that thou hast trampled under foot the 
blood of the covenant, and done despite to the Spirit of 
Grace. And thou wilt think, that there is no being twice 
born again! Or, if thou be restored to life, thou wilt hardly 
ever be restored to thy comforts here ; if thy backsliding 
should be very great. But indeed, the danger is exceeding 
great, lest thou never be recovered at all, if once thou be 
" twice dead, and plucked up by the roots K And lest God 
do finally forsake thee ! And then how desperate will be 
thy case ? 

16. Is not the example of Backsliders very terrible, 
which God hath set up for the warning of his servants, as 
monuments of his wrath ? Remember Lot's wife, saith 
Christ™, to them that are about to lose their estates, or 
goods, or lives, by saving them ? How frightful is the re- 
membrance of a Cain, a Judas, a Saul, a Joash ", a Julian ? 
How sad is it to hear but such a one as Spira, especially at 
his death, crying out of his backsliding in the horror of his 
soul? and to see such ready to make away with themselves? 

17. Consider, that there is none that so much dishonour- 
ieth God as a backslider ; others are supposed to sin in 
ignorance. But you do by your lives as bad as speak such 
blasphemy as this against the Lord : as if you should say, 
' I thought once that God had been the best master, and his 
servants the wisest and happiest men ; and godliness the 
best and safest life : but now I have tried both, and I find 
by experience that the devil is a better master, and his ser- 
vants are the happiest men, and the world and the flesh do 
give the truest contentment to the mind.' This is the plain 
blasphemy of your lives. And bethink thee how God 
should bear with this ? 

» Jude 6. ™ Luke xvii. 32. "2 Chron. xxiv. 2. 


18. There is none that so much hardeneth the wicked in 
his sin, and furthereth the damnation of souls, as the back- 
slider: if you would but drive your sheep or cattle into a 
house, those that go in first, do draw the rest after them ; 
but those that run out again, make all the rest afraid, and 
run away : one apostate that hath been noted for religion, 
and afterwards turneth off again, doth discourage many that 
would come in : for he doth, as it were, say to them by his 
practice, ' Keep off, and meddle not with a religious life ; 
for I have tried it, and found that a life of worldliness and 
fleshliness, is better.' And people will think with them- 
selves, * Such a man hath tried a religious life, and he hath 
forsaken it again ; and therefore he had some reason for it, 
and knew what he did.' " Woe to the world, because of 
offences; and woe to him, by whom the offence shall 
come •*." How dreadful a thing is it to think that men's 
souls should lie in hell, and you be the cause of it? " It 
were good for that man, that a millstone were hanged about 
his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea p." 

19. There is none that are so great a terror to weak 
Christians, as these backsliders. For they are thinking how 
far such went before they fell away; and those that think 
that true grace may be lost, are saying, * Alas, how shall I 
stand, when such that were better and stronger than I have 
fallen away.' And those that think that true grace cannot 
be lost, are as much perplexed, and say, 'How far may an 
hypocrite go, that after falleth away ! How piously did 
this man live ! How sorrowfully did he repent ! How 
blamelessly did he walk? How fervently and constantly 
did he pray ! How savourily did he speak ! How charita- 
bly and usefully did he live ! And I that come far short of 
him, as far as I can discern, can have no assurance that I 
am sincere, till I am sure that I go further, than ever he did.' 
Woe to thee, that thus perplexest the consciences of the 
weak, and hinderest the comforts of believers. 

20. Thou art the greatest grief to the faithful ministers of 
Christ. Thou canst not conceive what a wound it giveth to 
the heart and comforts of a minister, when he hath taken a 
great deal of pains for thy conversion, and after that rejoiced 
when he saw thee come to the flock of Christ ; and after 

' Matt, xviii. 17. p Matt, xvlli. 6, 7. 


that, laboured many a year to build thee up, and suffered 
many a frown from the ungodly, for thy sake ; to see all 
his labour at last come to nought, and all his glorying of 
thee, turned to his shame, and all his hopes of thee disap- 
pointed ? I tell thee, this is more doleful to his heart, than 
any outward loss or cross that could have befallen him: it is 
not persecution that is his greatest grief, as long as it hin- 
dereth not the good of souls : it is such as thou that are his 
sorest persecutors, that frustrate his labours, and rob him 
of his joys ; and his sorrows shall one day cost thee dear. 
The life and comforts of your faithful pastors, is much in 
your hands. " Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord*'." 

21. Thou art more treacherous to Christ, than thou 
wouldstbe to a common friend. Wouldst thou forsake thy 
friend without a cause ? especially an old and tried friend ? 
And especially, when in forsaking him, thou dost forsake 
thyself? " Thy own friend, and thy father's friend forsake 
nof." "A friend loveth at all times; and a brother is 
born for adversity ^" If thy friend were in distress, wouldst 
thou forsake him? And wilt thou forsake thy God, that 
needs thee not, but supplieth thy needs ? Ruth was more 
faithful to Naomi, that resolved, " Whither thou goest I 
will go ; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge : where thou 
diest, I will die* — ." And hath God deserved worse of thee? 

22. Nay, thou dealest worse with God, than the devil's 
servants do with him: alas, they are too constant to him. 
Reason will not change them, nor the commands of God, 
nor the offers of everlasting life, nor the fears of hell ; no- 
thing will change them, till the Spirit of God do it. And 
wilt thou be less constant to thy God ? 

23. Consider also that thy end is so near, that thou 
hadst but a little while longer to have held out ; and thou 
mightst have known that thou couldst keep thy worldly 
pleasures but a little while. And it is a pitiful thing to see 
a man that hath borne the sorest brunt of the battle, and 
run till he is almost at the end of the race, to lose all for the 
want of a little more ; and to see a man sell his God, and 
soul, and heaven for fleshly pleasure, when perhaps he hath 
not a year or a month, or for aught he knoweth a day 

12 Cor. vii. 3. 1 Thcs. iii. 8. ' Prov. xxvii. 10, » Prov. xvii. 17. 

« Rulhi. 16, 17. 


more to enjoy it. For a man to be weary and give over 
prayer, just when the mercy is at hand! and to be weary 
and give over a holy life, when his labour and sufferings are 
almost at an end ! How sad will this day be to thee, if 
death this night be sent to fetch away thy soul ! Then 
whose will all those pleasures be, that thou soldest thy soul 
for? If thou knewest that thou hadst but a month or 
year to live, wouldst thou not have held out that one year? 
Thou knowest not that it shall be one week. This is like 
the sad story of a student at one of our Universities, who 
wanting money, and his father delaying to send it him, he 
staid so long, till at last he resolved to stay no longer, but 
steal for it rather than be without : and so went out, and 
robbed, and murdered the first man he met, who proved to 
be his father's messenger, that was bringing him the money 
that he robbed and killed him for: which when he perceived 
by a letter which he found in his pocket, he confessed it 
through remorse of conscience, and was hanged. When a 
few hours' patience more might have saved his innocency,and 
his life. And so is it with many a backsliding wretch, that- 
is cut off, if not like Zimri and Cozbi in the act of their sin, 
yet quickly after ; and enjoy the pleasure which they for- 
sook their God for, but a little while. 

Direct, iv. ' When you are awakened to see the terrible- 
ness of a relapsed state, presently return and fly to Christ, 
to reconcile your guilty souls to God, and make a stop and 
go not one step further in your sin, nor make any delays in 
returning to your fidelity.' It is too sad a case to be con- 
tinued in. If thou darest delay yet longer, and wilfully sin 
again, thou art yet impenitent, and thy heart is hardened ; 
and if the Lord have not mercy on thee, to recal thee 
speedily, thou art lost for ever. 

Direct, v. * Make haste away from the occasions of thy 
sin, and the company which ensnareth thee in it.' If thou 
knewest that they were robbers that intended to murder 
thee, thou wouldst be gone : if thou knewest that they had 
plague-sores running on them, thou wouldst be gone. And 
wilt thou not be gone, when thou knowest that they are the 
servants of the devil, that would infect thee with sin, and 
cheat thee of thy salvation ? Say not. Is not this company 
lawful, and that pleasure lawful? &c. If it be like to en- 



tioe thy heart to sin, it is unlawful to thee, whatever it is to 
others ; it is not lawful to undo thy soul. 

Direct, vi. * Come off by sound and deep repentance, 
and shame thyself by free confession, and mince not the mat- 
ter, and deal not gently with thy sin, and be not tender of 
thy fleshly interest, and skin not over the sore, but go to the 
bottom, and deceive not thyself with a seeming cure^. 
Many a one is undone, by repenting by the halves, and refu- 
sing to take shame to themselves by a free confession, and 
to engage themselves to a thorough reformation by an open- 
ly professed resolution. Favouring themselves and sparing 
the flesh, when the sore should be lanced and searched to 
the bottom, doth cause many to perish, while they sup- 
posed that they had been cured. 

Direct, vii. 'Command thy senses, and at least forbear 
the outward acts of sin, while thy conscience considereth 
further of the matter.* The drunkard cannot say, that he 
hath not power to shut his mouth ; let the forbidden cup 
alone ; no one compelleth you ; you can forbear it if you 
will. The same I may say of other such sins of sensuality. 
Command thy hand, thy mouth, thy eye, and guard these 
entrances and instruments of sin. 

Direct, viii. ' Engage some faithful friend to assist thee 
m thy watch.' Open all thy case to some one, that is fit to 
be thy guide or helper ; and resolve that whenever thou art 
tempted to the sin, thou wilt go presently and tell them be- 
fore thou do commit it ; and entreat them to deal plainly 
with you ; and give them power to use any advantages that 
may be for your good. 

Direct, ix. * Do your first works, and set yourselves se- 
riously to all the duties of a holy life : and incorporate your- 
selves into the society of the saints : ' for holy employment 
and holy company, are very great preservatives against 
every sin. 

Direct, x. * Go presently to your companions in sin, and 
lament that you have joined with them, and earnestly warn 
and entreat them to repent ; and if they will not, renounce 
their course and company, and tell them what God hath 
shewed you of the sin and danger^.' If really you will r€- 

« Jam. V. 16. Neh. ix. 2, 3. Matt. iii. 6. Acts xix. 18. 
y Matt. xxvi. f 5. Luke xxii. 62. 


turn, as with Peter you hare fallen, so with Peter, go out 
and weep bitterly ; and when you are converted, strengthen 
your brethren, and help to recover those that you have sinned 
with \ 

I have suited most of these Directions to those that re- 
lapse into sins of sensuality, rather than to them that fall 
into atheism, infidelity, or heresy ; because I have spoken 
against these sins already ; and the Directions there given, 
shew the way for the recovery of such. 

Tit. 2. Directions for preventing Backsliding, or for Perse- 

Apostacy and backsliding is a state that is more easily 
prevented than cured : and therefore I shall desire those 
that stand, to use these following Directions, lest they 

Direct, i. * Be well grounded in the nature and reasoiw 
of your religion.* For it is not the highest zeal and resolu- 
tion that will cause you to persevere, if your judgments be 
not furnished with sufficient reasons, to confute gainsayers, 
and evidence the truth, and tell you why you should perse^ 
vere. I speak that with grief and shame which cannot be 
concealed : the number of Christians is so small that are 
well seen in the reasons and methods of Christianity, and are 
able to prove what they hold to be true, and to confute op- 
posers, that it greatly afflicteth me to think, what work the 
atheists and infidels would make, if they once openly play 
their game, and be turned loose to do their worst ! If they 
deride and oppose the immortality of the soul, and the life to 
come., and the truth of the Scriptures, and the work of re- 
demption, and office of Christ; alas, how few are able 
to withstand them, by giving any sufficient rea.son of their 
hope ? We have learnt of the Papists, that he hath the 
strongest faith that belie vet h with least reason ; and we 
have been (truly) taught that to deny our foundations, is the 
horrid crime of infidelity: and therefore because it is so hcwr 
rid a crime to deny or question them, we thought we neied 
not study to prove them: and so most have taken theit 
foundation upon trust (and indeed are scarce able to bear 

* Luke xxii. 32. 


the trial of it), and have spent their days about the super- 
structure, and in learning to prove the controverted, less ne- 
cessary points. Insomuch, that I fear there are more that 
are able to prove the points vs^hich an Antinomian, or an 
Anabaptist do deny, than to prove the immortality of the 
soul, or the truth of Scripture, or Christianity ; and to dis- 
pute about a ceremony, or form of prayer, or church govern- 
ment, than to dispute for Christ against an infidel. So that 
their work is prepared to their hands, and it is no great vic- 
tory to overcome such raw, unsettled souls. 

Direct. II. * Get every sacred truth which you believe, in- 
to your very hearts and lives ; and see that all be digested 
into holy love and practice.' When your food is turned in- 
to vital nutriment, into flesh and blood, it is not cast up by 
every thing that maketh you sick, and turneth your sto- 
machs ; as it may be before it is concocted, distributed and 
incorporated. Truth that is but barely known, is but like 
meat that is undigested in the stomach : but truth, which is 
turned into the love of God, and of a holy life, is turned into 
a new nature ; and will not so easily be let go. 

Direct, in. 'Take heed of doctrines of presumption and 
security, and take heed lest you fall away, by thinking it so 
impossible to fall away, that you are past all danger*.* 
The covenant of grace doth sufficiently encourage you to 
obey and hope, against temptations to despair and casting 
off" the means : but it encourageth no man to presume or sin, 
or to cast off* means as needless things. Remember that if 
ever you will stand, the fear of falling must help you to 
stand : and if ever you will persevere, it must be by seeing 
the danger of backsliding, so far as to make you afraid, and 
quicken you in the means which are necessary to prevent it. 
It is no more certain that you shall persevere, than it is cer- 
tain that you shall use the means of persevering : and one 
means is, by seeing your danger, to be stirred up to fear 
and caution to escape it. Because it is my meaning in this 
Direction, to save men from perishing by security upon the 
abuse of the doctrine of perseverance, I hope none will be of- 
fended that I lay down these antidotes. 

* Virtuteu) Chr^sippus amitti posse, Cleanihes vero non posse ait : ille posse 
amitli perebrietatem et atram bilem ; ille non posse ob firmas ac stabiles compre- 
bensiones, &c. See Diog. l^aert. lib. vii. sect, 89. 


1. Consider, that the doctrine of perseverance hath no- 
thing in it to encourage security. The very controversies 
about it, may cause you to conclude, that a certain sin is 
not to be built upon a controverted doctrine. Till Augus- 
tine's time, it is hard to find any ancient writers, that clearly 
asserted the certain perseverance of any at all. Augustine 
and Prosper maintain the certain perseverance of all the 
elect, but deny the certain perseverance of all that are re- 
generated, justified, or sanctified: for they thought that 
more were regenerate and justified than were elect, of whom 
some stood (even all the elect) and the rest fell away : so 
that I confess, I never read one ancient Father, or Christian 
writer, that ever maintained the certainty of the perseve- 
rance of all the justified, of many hundred, if not a thou- 
sand years after Christ. And a doctrine, that to the church 
was so long unknown, hath not that certainty, or that neces- 
sity, as to encourage you to any presumption or security. 
The churches were saved many hundred years without be- 
lieving it. 

2. The doctrine of perseverance is against security, be- 
cause it uniteth together the end and the means : for they 
that teach, that the justified shall never totally fall from 
grace, do also teach, that they shall never totally fall into 
security, or into any reigning sin. For this is to fall away 
from grace. And they teach that they shall never totally fall 
from the use of the necessary means of their preservation ; 
nor from the cautious avoiding of the danger of their souls : 
God doth not simply decree that you shall persevere ; but 
that you shall be kept in perseverance by the fear of your 
danger, and the careful use of means ; and that you shall 
persevere in these, as well as in other graces. Therefore if 
you fall to security and sin, you fall away from grace, and 
shew that God never decreed or promised, that you should 
never fall away. 

3. Consider how far many have gone that have fallen 
away : the instances of our times are much higher than any 
I can name to you out of history. Men that have seemed 
to walk humbly and holily, fearing all sin, blameless in their 
lives, zealous in religion, twenty or thirty years together, 
have fallen to deny the truth, or certainty of the Scriptures, 
the Godhead of Christ, if not Christianity itself. And many 


that have not quite fallen away, have yet fallen into such 
grievous sins, as make them a terrible warning to us all, to 
tftke heed of presumption and carnal security. 

4. Grace is not in the nature of it, a thing that cannot 
perish or be lost. For, 1. It is a separable quality. 2* 
Adam did lose it. 3. We lose a great degree of it too oft ; 
and the remaining degrees are of the same nature. It is not 
only possible in itself to lose it, but too easy ; and not pos- 
sible without co-operating grace to keep it. 

6. Grace is not natural to us ; to love our ease, and ho- 
nour, and friends, is natural ; but to love Christ, and his ho- 
ly Waya and sei'vants, is not natural to us : indeed when ive 
do it, it is our natural powers that do it ; but tiot as natural- 
ly disposed to it, but as inclined by the cure of supernatural 
grace. Eating, and drinking, and sleeping we forget not, 
because nature itself remembereth us of them ; but learning 
and acquired habits may be lost, if not very deeply radica- 
ted ; and it is commonly concluded as to the nature of them* 
that * Habitus infusi habent se ad modum acquisitorum f 
* Infused habits are like to acquired ones.* 

6. Grace is, as it were, a stranger, or new comer in us. 
It hath been there but a little while ; and therefore we are 
but raw, and too unacquainted with the right usage and im- 
provement of it; and are the apter to forget our duty, or to 
neglect it, or ignorantly to do that which tendeth to its de- 

7, Grace dwelleth in a heart, which is not wholly dispos- 
sessed of those objects which are against its work, nor de- 
livered from those principles which have an enmity against 
it. The love of the world and flesh was in the heart, before 
the love of God and holiness : and ignorance was before 
knowledge, and pride before humility, and selfishness before 
self-denial. And these are not wholly rooted out; we have 
dealt so gently with them, (as the Israelites with the Canaan- 
ites, Jebusites and other inhabitants of the land j that they 
are left to try us, and to be thorns in our sides. And the 
garrison is not free from danger, that hath an enemy always 
lodged w^ithin : our enemies are in the house with us ; they 
lie down and rise up with us, and are as near as our flesh 
and bones : we can never be where they are not, nor leaVe 
them behind Us, whithersoever we go, or whatever we do. 


No marvel, if brother be against brother, and the father 
against the son ; when we are so much against ourselves ^, 
And are we yet secure ? 

8. And the number of snares that are still before us, and 
of the subtle, malicious enemies of our souls may easily 
convince us that we are not wholly free from danger. How 
subtle and diligent is the devil ? How much do his servants 
imitate him ? Every creature or person that we have to do 
with, and every common mercy which we receive, hath 
matter of dang-er in it, which calleth us to fear and watch. 

9. Perseverance is nothing else but our continuance in 
the grace which we received : and this grace consisteth in 
act as well as in habit : and the habit is for action ; and the 
act is it that increaseth and continueth the habit. And the 
fear of God, and the belief of his threatenings, and repent- 
tance, and watchfulness, and diligent obedience, are a great 
part of this grace. And the acts are ours, performed by 
ourselves, by the helps of God : God doth not believe, and 
repent, and obey in us, but causeth us ourselves to do it. 
Therefore to grow cold, and secure, and sinful, upon pre- 
tence that we are sure to persevere, this is to cease perse- 
vefing, and to fall away, because we are sure to persevere, 
and not to fall away : which is a mere contradiction. 

10. Lastly, Bethink you well what is the meaning of all 
these texts of Scripture, and the reason that the Holy Ghost 

doth speak to us in this manner. " And you hath 

he reconciled, to present you holy : if ye continue in 

the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away 
from the hope of the Gospel*'." ** Abide in me, and I in 
you. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch 
and withered. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in 
you, ye shall ask what ye will**.*' " Let us therefore fear, 
lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of 
you should seem to come short of it*." " Keep yourselves 
in the love of God '.*' ** They drank of that spiritual rock 
that followed them, and that rock was Christ ; but with 
many of them God was not well pleased : wherefore let him 
that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall*." "Be 
not highminded, but fear ; for if God spared not the natural 

^ Matt. xiii. If. X. 21. « Col. i. 21— i^.J. '» John xv. 4—7. 

• Heb. iv. 1. ' Judc 21. « 1 Cor. x. 4, 5. 12. 


branches, take heed lest he spare not thee**." " Ye are fal- 
len from grace '." *' He that endureth to the end shall be 
saved''.'* " Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confi- 
dence, and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. For 
we are partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our 
confidence stedfast unto the end ^." ** Let us labour therefore 
to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same ex- 
ample of unbelief V " Hold fast till I come"." " And he 
that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the end, to him 
will I give power over the nations °." 

Take heed therefore of that doctrine which telleth you, 
that sins to come are all pardoned to you before they are 
committed, and that you are justified from them, and that 
it is unlawful to be afraid of falling away, because it is im- 
possible, &c. For no sin is pardoned before it is commit- 
ted, (though the remedy be provided :) for it is then no 
sin: and you are justified from no sin, any further than it 
is pardoned. Suppose God either to decree, or but to fore- 
know the freest, most contingent act, and there will be a 
logical impossibility in order of consequence, that it should 
be otherwise than he so decreeth or foreseeth. But that 
inferreth no natural impossibility in the thing itself: for 
God doth not decree or foresee that such a man's fall shall 
be impossible, but only ' non futurum.' 

Direct, iv. * In a special manner take heed of the compa- 
ny and doctrine of deceivers ; yea, though they seem most 
religious men, and are themselves first deceived, and think 
they are in the right. And take heed of falling into a di- 
viding party, which separateth from the generality of the 
truly wise and godly people p.' For this hath been an ordi- 
nary introduction to backsliding ; false doctrine hath a 
mighty power on the heart. And he that can separate one 
of the sheep from the rest of the flock, hath a fair advantage 
to carry him away*^. 

Direct, v. * Be very watchful against the sin of pride, 
especially pride of gifts, or knowledge, or holiness, which 
some call spiritual pride ;' for God is engaged to cast down 

h Rom. xi. 20, 21. * GaK v. 4. ^ Matt. x. 22. 

» Heb. iii. 6. 14. '" Heb. iv. 11. n Rgv. ii. 25, 2d. 

«^ Rev. iii. 2, 3. ii. 4. v Eph. iv. 14. 1 Tiies. v. 12, 13k 
n See Rom. xvi. 1 6, 17. 


the proud. " Pride goeth before destruction, and an haugh- 
ty spirit before a fall ^" Satan assaulted our first parents 
by that way that he fell himself; and his success encou- 
rageth him to try the same way with their posterity. And, 
alas, how greatly hath he succeeded through all ages of the 
world till now ! 

Direct, vi. * Take heed of a divided, hypocritical heart, 
which never was firmly resolved for God, upon expectation 
of the worst, and upon terms of self-denial, nor was ever 
well loosed from the love of this present world, nor firmly 
believed the life to come/ For it is no wonder that he fall- 
eth from grace, who never had any grace but common, 
which never renewed his soul. It is no wonder that false- 
hearted friends forsake us, when their interest requireth it ; 
nor that the seed which never had depth of earth, doth bring 
forth no fruit, but what will wither when persecution shall 
arise, or that which is sown among thorns be choked ^ Sit 
down and count what it will cost you to be Christians, and 
receive not Christ upon mistakes, or with reserves. 

Direct, vii. * Take heed lest the world, or any thing in it, 
steal again into your hearts, and seem too sweet to you.' 
If your friends, or dwellings, or lands and wealth, or ho- 
nours, begin to grow too pleasant, and be overloved, your 
thoughts will presently be carried after them, and turned 
away from God, and all holy affection will be damped and 
decay, and grace will fall into a consumption. It is the 
love of money that is the root of all evil ; and the love of 
this world which is the mortal enemy of the love of God. 
Keep the world from your hearts, if you would keep your 

Direct, viii. * Keep a strict government and watch over 
your fleshly appetite and sense *.' For the loosing of the 
reins to carnal lusts, and yielding to the importunity of sen- 
sual desires, is the most ordinary way of wasting grace, and 
falling off from God. 

Direct. IX. * Keep as far as you can from temptations, 
and all occasions and opportunities of sinning.' Trust not 
to your own strength ; and be not so foolhardy as to tlirust 
yourselves into needless danger. No man is long safe tliat 

' Prov. xvi. 18. » Malt. xiii. Luke xiv. 26. *9. 33. 

*■ Rom. viii 13. xiii. 13. 14. 


standeth at the brink of ruin ; if the fire and straw be long 
near together, some spark is like to catch at last. 

Direct, x. ' Incorporate yourselves into the communion 
of saints, and go along with them that go towards heaven, 
and engage yourselves in the constant use of all those means 
which God hath appointed you to use for your perseverance ; 
especially take heed of an idle, slothful, unprofitable life : 
and keep your graces in the most lively exercise ; for the 
j^lothful is brother to the waster ;' and idleness consumeth 
or corrupteth our spiritual health and strength, as well as 
our bodily. Set yourselves diligently to work while it is 
day, and do all the good in your places, that you are able : 
for it is acts that preserve and increase the habits ; and a 
religion which consisteth only in doing no hurt, is so life- 
less and corrupt, that it will quickly perish. 

Direct. XI. * Keep always in thine eye the doleful case 
of a backslider' (which I opened before). O what horror is 
waiting to seize on their consciences ! How many of them 
have we known, that on their deathbeds have lain roaring in 
the anguish of their souls, crying out, ** I am utterly forsa- 
ken of God, because I have forsaken him \ There is no 
mercy for such an apostate wretch : O that I had never 
been born, or had been any thing rather than a man ! Cur- 
sed be the day that ever I hearkened to the counsel of the 
wicked, and that ever I pleased this corruptible flesh, to the 
titter undoing of my soul ! O that it were all to do again ! 
iTake warning by a mad, besotted sinner, that have lost my 
soul for that which I knew would never make me satisfac- 
tion, and have turned from God when I had found him to be 
good and gracious." O prepare not for such pangs as these, 
or worse than these in endless desperation. 

Direct, xii. * Make not a small matter of the beginnings 
of your backsliding.' There are very few that fall quite 
away at once, the misery creepeth on by insensible degrees. 
You think it a small matter to cut short one duty, and omit 
another, and be negligent at another ; and to entertain some 
pleasing thoughts of the world ; or first to look on the for- 
bidden fruit, and then to touch it> and then to taste it ; but 
this is the way to that which is not small A thought, or a 
look, or a taste, or a delight hath begun that with many, 
which never stopt, till it had shamed them here, and damned 
them for ever. 



Directions fur the Poor, 

There is no condition of life so low or poor, but may be 
sanctified, and fruitful, and comfortable to us, if our own 
misunderstanding, or sin and negligence, do not pollute it 
or irabitter it to us : if we do the duty of our condition 
faithfully, we shall have no cause to murmur at it. There- 
fore I shall here direct the poor in the special duties of their 
condition ; and if they will but conscionably perform them, 
it will prove a greater kindness to them, than if I could de- 
liver them from their poverty, and give them as much riches 
as they desire. Though I doubt this would be more pleas- 
ing to the most, and they would give me more thanks for 
money, than for teaching them how to want it. 

Direct, i. * Understand first the use and estimate of all 
earthly things : that they were never made to be your por- 
tion and felicity, but your provision and helps in the way to 
heaven*.' And therefore they are neither to be estimated 
nor desired simply for themselves, (for so there is nothing 
good but God,) but only as they are means to the greatest 
good. Therefore neither poverty nor riches are simply to 
be rejoiced in for themselves, as any part of our happiness ; 
but that condition is to be desired and rejoiced in, which af- 
fordeth us the greatest helps for heaven, and that condition 
only is to be lamented and disliked, which hindereth us 
most from heaven, and from our duty. 

Direct. \\. * See therefore that you really take all these 
things, as matters in themselves indifferent, and of small 
concernment to you ; and as not worthy of much love, or 
care, or sorrow, further than they conduce to greater things/ 
We are like runners in a race, and heaven or hell will be our 
end ; and therefore woe to us, if by looking aside, or turn- 
ing back, or stopping, or trifling about these matters, of 
burdening ourselves with worldly trash, we should lose the 
race, and lose our souls. O sirs, what greater matters than 
» Pro*, xxviii* <K ' Jatacs ii. d. 


poverty or riches have we to mind ! Can those souls that 
must shortly be in heaven or hell, have time to bestow any 
serious thoughts upon these impertinencies ? Shall we so 
much as " look at the temporal things which are seen, in- 
stead of the things eternal that are unseen^?" Or shall we 
whine under those light afflictions, which maybe so improv- 
ed, as to " work for us a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory "" ?" Our present " life is not in the abun- 
dance of the things which we possess ^ ;" much less is our 
eternal life. 

Direct, iii. * Therefore take heed that you judge not of 
God's love, or of your happiness or misery by your riches or 
poverty, prosperity or adversity, as knowing that they come 
alike to all^,' and love or hatred is not to be discerned by 
them ; except only God's common love, as they are com- 
mon mercies to the body. If a surgeon is not to be taken 
for a hater of you, because he letteth you blood, nor a phy- 
sician because he purgeth his patient, nor a father because 
he correcteth his child ; much less is God to be judged an 
enemy to you, or unmerciful, because his wisdom and not 
your folly disposeth of you, and proportioneth your estates. 
A carnal mind will judge of its own happiness and the love 
of God by carnal things, because it savoureth not spiritual 
mercies: but grace giveth a Christian another judgment, 
relish and desire : as nature setteth a man above the food 
and pleasures of a beast. 

Direct, iv. ' Stedfastly believe that God is every way 
fitter than you to dispose of your estate and you ^' He is 
infinitely wise, and knoweth whatis best and fittest for you : 
he knoweth beforehand what good or hurt any state of plen- 
ty or want will do you : he knoweth all your corruptions, 
and what condition will most conduce to strengthen them 
or destroy them, and which will be your greatest tempta- 
tions and snares, and which will prove your safest state ; 
much better than any physician or parent knoweth how to 
diet his patient or his child. And his love and kindness 
are much greater to you, than your's are to yourself; and 
therefore he will not be wanting in willingness to do you 
good : and his authority over you is absolute, and therefore 

»» 2Cor. iv, 18. •= Ver. 17. <» Lukcxii. 15. 

« Eccles. ii. 14. ix. 2, 3. ^ Psal. x. 15. 1 Sani.ii. 7. 


his disposal of you must be unquestionable. " It is the 
Lord : let him do what seemeth him good*^." " The will of 
God should be the rest and satisfaction of your wills'"/' 

Direct, v. ' Stedfastly believe that, ordinarily, riches are 
far more dangerous to the soul than poverty, and a greater 
hindrance to men's salvation/ Believe experience; how 
few of the rich and rulers of the earth are holy, heavenly, 
self-denying, mortified men? Believe your Saviour, " How 
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom 
of God ! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's 
eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 
And they that heard it said, who then can be saved? And 
he said. The things which are impossible with men, are pos- 
sible with God '." So that you see the difficulty is so great 
of saving such as are rich, that to men it is a thing impossi- 
ble, but to God's omnipotency only it is possible. So 1 
Cor. i. 26. " For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not 
many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many 
noble are called." Believe this, and it will prevent many 
dangerous mistakes. 

Direct, vi. * Hence you may perceive, that though no 
man must pray absolutely either for riches or poverty, yet 
of the two it is more rational ordinarily to pray against 
riches than for them, and to be rather troubled when God 
maketh us rich, than when he maketh us poor.' (I mean it, 
in respect to ourselves, as either of them seemeth to con- 
duce to our own good or hurt : though to do good to others, 
riches are more desirable.) This cannot be denied by any 
man that believeth Christ : for no wise man will long for the 
hindrance of his salvation, or pray to God to make it as 
hard a thing for him to be saved, as for a camel to go through 
a needle's eye ; when salvation is a matter of such unspeak- 
able moment, and our strength is so small, and the difficul- 
ties so many and great already. 

Object. * But Christ doth not deny but the difficulties to 
the poor may be as great/ Answ, To some particular per- 
sons upon other accounts it may be so ; but it is clear in the 
text, that Christ speaketh comparatively of such difficultien 
as the rich had more than the poor. 

Object. ' But then liow are we obliged to be thankful to 

t 1 Sam. iii. 18. '• Acts xxl. 14. ' LukcxvUi. n, t5.t7. 


God for giving us riches, or blessing our labours'' V A7isw. 
1. You must be thankful for them, because in their own na- 
ture they are good, and it is by accident, through your own 
corruption, that they become so dangerous. 2. Because you 
may do good with them to others, if you have hearts to use 
them well. 3. Because God in giving them to you rather 
than to others, doth signify (if you are his children) that 
they are fitter for you than for others. In Bedlam and 
among foolish children, it is a kindness to keep fire, and 
swords, and knives out of their way : but yet they are useful 
to people that have the use of reason. But our folly ip spi- 
ritual matters is so great, that we have little cause to be too 
eager for that which we are inclined so dangerously to abuse, 
and which proves the bane of most that have it. 

Direct. VII. ' See that your poverty be not the fruit of 
your idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, pride, or any other 
flesh-pleasing sin ^' For if you bring it thus upon your- 
selves, you can never look that it should be sanctified to 
your good, till sound repentance have turned you from the 
sin: nor are you objects worthy of much pity from man 
(except as you are miserable sinners). He that rather 
chooseth to have his ease and pleasure, though with want, 
than to have plenty, and to want his ease and pleasure, it is 
pity that he should have any better than he chooseth. 

1. Slothfulness and idleness are sins that naturally tend 
to want, and God hath caused them to be punished with po- 
verty ; as you may see Prov. xii. 24. 27. xviii. 9. xxi. 25. 
xxiv, 34. xxvi. 14, 15. vi. 11. xx. 13. Yea, he com- 
mandeth that if any (that is able) " will not work, neither 
should he eat""." In the sweat of their face must they eat 
their bread : and " six days must they labour and do all 
that they have to do "." To maintain your idleness is a sin 
in others. If you will please your flesh with ease, it must 
be displeased with want ; and you must suffer what you 

2. Gluttony and drunkenness are such beastly devourers 
of mercy, and abusers of mankind, that shame and poverty 
are their punishment and cure. ** Be not among wine-bib- 

^ Saith Aristippus to Dionysius, Quando sapienta egebani, ?idii Socratem ; nunc 
pecuniaruru egens,adte veni. Diog. Laert. lib. ii. sect. 78. p. 125. 

• 1 Cor. vii. 35. "' S; Thess. iii. 10. « Gen. iii. 19. 


bers, amongst riotous eaters of flesh : for the drunkard and 
the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall 
clothe a man with rags °." It is not lawful for any man to 
feed the greedy appetites of such ; if they choose a short 
excess before a longer competency, let them have their 

3. Pride also is a most consuming, wasteful sin : it sa- 
crificeth God's mercies to the devil, in serving him by them, 
in his firstborn sin. Proud persons must lay it out in pomp 
and gaudiness, to set forth themselves to the eyes of others ; 
in buildings, and entertainments, and fine clothes, and curio- 
sities : and poverty is also both the proper punishment and 
cure of this sin : and it is cruelty for any to save them from 
it, and resist God, that by abasing them takes the way to 
do them good p. 

4. Falsehood also and deceit, and unjust getting tend to 
poverty ; for God doth often, even in this present life, thus 
enter into judgment with the unjust. Ill-gotten wealth is 
like fire in the thatch, and bringeth ofttimes a secret curs^ 
and destruction upon all the rest. The same may be said 
of unmercifulness to the poor ; which is oft cursed with po- 
verty, when the liberal are blest with plenty *^. 

Direct. VIII. * Be acquainted with the special tempta- 
tions of the poor, that you may be furnished to resist them.' 
Every condition hath its own temptations, which persons in 
that condition must specially be fortified and watch against ; 
and this is much of the wisdom and safety of a Christian. 

Tempt, 1. One temptation of poverty will be to draw you 
to think more highly of riches and honours than you ought ; 
to make you think that the rich are much happier than they 
are. For the world is like all other deceivei's ; it is most es- 
teemed where it is least known. They that never tried a 
life of wealth, and plenty, and prosperity, are apt to ad- 
mire it, and think it braver and better than it is. And so 
you may be drawn as much to overlove the world by want, 
as other men by plenty. Against this remember, that it i« 
folly to admire that which you never tried and knew ; and 
mark whether all men do not vilify it, that have tried it to 
iht last : dying men call it no better than vanity and deceit. 

o Pror. xxili. «0, ti. p Prov. xi. J. xxix.iS. x\\. it. 

ii Prov. 3ri. M, 15. Isa. xxxii. 8. Psal. Ixxiii. 21, *% 95, «6. SA, 95. 


And it is rebellious pride in you so far to contradict the 
wisdom of God, as to think most highly of that condition, 
which he hath judged worst for you ; and to fall in love with 
that which he denieth you. 

Tempt. II. The poor will also be tempted to overmuch 
care about their wants and worldly matters '^; they will think 
that necessity requireth it in them, and will excuse them. 
So much care is your duty, as is needful to the right doing 
of your work. Take care how to discharge your own du- 
ties ; but be not too careful about the event, which belongs 
to God. If you will care what you should be and do, God 
will care sufficiently what you shall have^ And so be it 
you faithfully do your business, your other care will add no- 
thing to the success, nor make you any richer, but only vex 
and disquiet your minds. It is the poor as well as the rich, 
that God hath commanded to be careful for nothing, and to 
cast all their care on him. 

Tempt. III. Poverty also will tempt you to repining, im- 
patience and discontent, and to fall out with others ; which 
because it is one of the chief temptations, I will speak to by 
itself anon. 

Tempt. IV. * Also you will be tempted to be coveting 
after more ; satan maketh poverty a snare to draw many 
needy creatures, to greater covetousness than many of the 
rich are guilty of ; none thirst more eagerly after more ; 
and yet their poverty blindeth them, so that they cannot 
see that they are covetous, or else excuse it as a justifiable 
thing. They think that they desire no more but necessaries, 
and that it is not covetousness, if they desire not super- 
fluities. But do you not covet more than God allotteth 
you ? And are you not discontent with his allowance ? And 
doth not he know best what is necessary for you, and what 
superfluous? What then is covetousness, if this be not? 

Tempt. V. Also you will be tempted to envy the rich, 
and to censure them in matters where you are incompetent 
judges. It is usual with the poor to speak of the rich with 
envy and censoriousness ; they call them covetous, merely 
because they are rich, especially if they give them nothing ; 
when they know not what ways of necessary expence 
they have, nor how many others they are liberal to, 

^ Luke X. 41. • Matt. vi. 1 Pet. v. 7. Phil. iv. 6. 


that they are unacquainted with. Till you see their accounts 
you are unfit to censure them. 

Tempt. VI. The poor also will be tempted to use unlaw- 
ful means to supply their wants ^ How many by the temp- 
tation of necessity have been tempted to comply with sin- 
ners, and wound their consciences, and lie and flatter for 
favour or preferment, or to cheat, or steal, or overreach! 
A dear price ! to buy the food that perisheth, with the loss 
or hazard of everlasting life ; and lose their souls to provide 
for their flesh 1 

Tempt, VII. Also you will be tempted to neglect your 
souls, and omit your spiritual duties, and as Martha to be 
troubled about many things, while the one thing needful is 
forgotten ; and you will think that necessity will excuse 
all this ; yea, some think to be saved, because they are 
poor, and say, God will not punish them in this life and an- 
other too. But alas, you are more inexcusable than the 
rich, if you are ungodly and mindless of the life to come. 
For he that will love a life of poverty and misery better than 
heaven, deserveth indeed to go without it much more than 
he that preferreth a life of plenty and prosperity before it. 
God hath taught you by his providence to know, that you 
must either be happy in heaven, or no where; — if you would 
be worldlings, and part with heaven for your part on earth, 
how poor a bargain are you like to make ? To love rags, 
and toil, and want, and sorrow, better than eternal joy and 
happiness, is the most unreasonable kind of ungodliness in 
the world. It is true, that you are not called to spend so 
many hours of the week-days, in reading and meditation, as 
some that have greater leisure are ; but you have reason to seek 
heaven, and set your hearts upon it, as much as they ; and 
you must think of it when you are about your labour, and 
take those opportunities for your spiritual duties, which are 
allowed you. Poverty will excuse ungodliness in none! 
Nothing is so necessary as the service of God and your sal- 
vation ; and therefore no necessity can excuse you f^^om it". 
Read the case of Mary and Martha : one would think that 
your hearts should be wholly set upon heaven, who have 
nothing else but it to trust to. The poor have fewer hin- 
drances than the rich, in the way to life eternal ! And God 

» Pro*. XXX. 8, 9. John vi. <i,7. " Luki» x. 41, 455. 



will save no man because he is poor ; but condemn poor 
and rich that are ungodly. 

Tempt, VIII. Another great temptation of the poor, is 
to neglect the holy education of their children; so that in 
most places, there are none so ignorant, and rude, and hea- 
thenish, and unwilling to learn, as the poorest people and 
their children ; they never teach them to read, nor teach 
them any thing for the saving of their souls ; and they think 
that their poverty will be an excuse for all. When reason 
telleth them, that none should be more careful to help their 
children to heaven, than they that can give them nothing 
upon earth. 

Direct, ix. 'Be acquainted with the special duties of 
the poor; and carefully perform them.' They are these, 

1. Let your sufferings teach you to contemn the world; 
it will be a happy poverty if it do but help to wean your 
affections from all things below ; that you set as little by 
the world as it deserveth. 

2. Be eminently heavenlyminded ; the less you have 
or hope for in this life, the more fervently seek a better". 
You are at least as capable of the heavenly treasures as the 
greatest princes ; God purposely straiteneth your condition 
in the world, that he may force up your hearts unto himself, 
and teach you to seek first for that which indeed is worth 
.your seeking y. 

3. Learn to live upon God alone ; study his goodness, 
^nd faithfulness, and all-sufficiency ; when you have not a 
place nor a friend in the world, that you can comfortably 
betake yourselves to for relief, retire unto God, and trust 
him, and dwell the more with him ^ If your poverty have 
but this effect, it will be better to you than all the riches in 
the world. 

4. Be laborious and diligent in your callings ; both pre- 
cept and necessity call you unto this ; and if you cheerfully 
serve him in the labour of your hands, with a heavenly and 
obedient mind, it will be as acceptable to him, as if you had 
spent all that time in more spiritual exercises ; for he had 
rather have obedience than sacrifice ; and all things are 

^ Phil. ill. 18. 20, 21. 2 Cor. v. 7, 8. 

y Matt. vi. 33. 19—21. 

2 Gal. ii. 20. Psal, Ixxiii. 25—28. 2 Cor. i. 10. 


pure and sanctified to the pure ; if you cheerfully serve God 
in the meanest work, it is the more acceptab^ to him, by 
how much the more subjection and subjpaission there is in 
your obedience *. 

5. Be humble and submissive \mtoall. A poor vi&M 
proud is doubly hateful : and if poverty cure your pride, 
and help you to be truly humble, it will be no small mercy 
to you ^. 

6. You are specially obliged to mortify the f^esh, and 
keep your senses and appetites in subjectio>n; because you 
have greater helps for it than the rich : you have not so many 
baits of lust, and wantonness, and gluttony, and voluptuous- 
ness as they. 

7. Your corporal want^ must make you more sensibly 
remember your spiritual wants ; and teach you to value 
spiritual blessings ; think with yourselves, if a hungry, cold 
and naked body, be so great a calamity, how much greater 
is a guilty, graceless soul ! a dead or a diseased heart? If 
bodily food and necessaries are so desirable, O how desir^ 
able is Christ, and his Spirit, and the^ love of God and life 
eternal ? 

8. You must above all men be careful redeemers of your 
time ; especially of the Lord's day ; your labours take up 
so much of your time, that you must be the more careful 
to catch every opportunity for your souls! Rise earlier to 
get half an hour for holy duty ; and meditate on holy things 
in your labours, and spend the Lord's day in special dili- 
gence, and be glad of such seasons ; and let scarcity pre- 
serve your appetites. 

9- Be willing to die; seeing the world giveth you 
p^l cold entertainment^ be the more content to let it gp, 
when God shall call you ; for what is here to detain your 
hearts ? 

10. Above all men, you should be most fearless of suf- 
ferings from men, and therefore true to God and conscience: 
for you have no great matter of honour, or riches, ojf plear 
sure to lose : a« you fear not a thief, when you haye nothing 
fov him to rob you of. 

1 1 . JJe specially careful to (it your children also for hea^ 

> Ephes.iv. 2R. Prov. xxi. 25. 1 Sara. xt. 9i. H ThcM. iii. 8. 10. 
'' Prov. xviii. 2S. 


ven : provide them a portion which is better than a king- 
dom ; for you can provide but little for them in the w^orld. 

12. Be exemplary in patience and contentedness with 
your state : for that grace should be the strongest in us, 
which is most exercised ; and poverty calleth you to the 
frequent exercise of this. 

Direct, x. 'Be specially furnished with those reasons 
which should keep you in a cheerful contentedness with 
your state ; and may suppress every thought of anxiety and 
discontent.' As 1. Consider as aforesaid, that that is the 
best condition for you which helpeth you best to heaven ; and 
God best knoweth what will do you good, or hurt. 2. That 
it is rebellion to grudge at the will of God ; which must dis- 
pose of us, and should be our rest. 3. Look over the life 
of Christ, who chose a life of poverty for your sakes ; and 
had not a place to lay his head. He was not one of the rich 
and voluptuous in the world; and are you grieved to be 
conformed to him''. 4. Look to all his apostles, and most 
holy servants and martyrs. Were not they as great sufferers 
as you ? 5. Consider that the rich will shortly be all as 
poor as you. Naked they came int<i the world, and naked 
they must go out; and a little time makes little differ- 
ence. 6. It is no more comfort to die rich than poor; but 
usually much less : because the more pleasant the world is 
to them, the more it grieveth them to leave it. 7. All men 
cry out, that the world is vanity at last. How little is it 
valued by a dying man ? And how sadly will it cast him 
off! 8. The time is very short and uncertain, in which you 
must enjoy it: we have but a few days more to walk about, 
and we are gone. Alas, of bow small concernment is it, whe- 
ther a man be rich or poor, that is ready to step into another 
world? 9, The love of this world drawing the heart from 
God, is the common cause of men's damnation : and is 
not the world more likely to be over-loved, when it enter- 
taineth you with prosperity, than when it useth you like an 
enemy? Are you displeased, that God thus helpeth to save 
you from the most damning sin? And that he maketh not your 
way to heaven more dangerous? 10. You little know the 
troubles of the rich. He that hath much, hath much to do 
with it, and much to care for ; and many persons to deal with, 
«= Phil. iii. 7—9. 


and more vexations than you imagine. 11. It is but the 
flesh that sufFereth ; and it furthereth your mortification of 
it. 12. You pray but for your daily bread, and therefore 
should be contented with it. 13. Is not God, and Christ, 
and heaven, enough for you ? Should that man be discon- 
tent that must live in heaven? 14. Is it not your lust, ra- 
ther than your well-informed reason that repineth ? I do 
but name all these reasons for brevity : you may enlarge 
them in your meditations. 


Directions for the Rich. 

I HAVE said so much of this already, Part i, about co- 
vetousness or worldliness, and about good works, and in my 
book of " Self-denial," and that of " Crucifying the World ;" 
that my reason commandeth me brevity in this place *. 

Direct, i. * Remember that riches are no part of your fe- 
licity; or, that if you have no better, you are undone men.* 
Dare you say, that they are fit to make you happy? Dare 
you say, that you will take them for your part? and be con- 
tent to be turned off when they forsake you? They recon- 
cile not God ; they save not from his wrath ; they heal not 
a wounded conscience; they may please your flesh, and 
adorn your funeral, but they neither delay, nor sanctify, nor 
sweeten death, nor make you either better or happier than 
the poor. Riches are nothing but plentiful provision, for 
tempting, corruptible flesh. When the flesh is in the dust, 
it is rich no more. All that abounded in wealth, since 
Adam's days, till now, are levelled with the lowest in the 

Direct, ii. * Yea, remember that riches are not the small- 
est temptation and danger to your souls.' Do they delight 
and please you ? By that way they may destroy you. If 
they be but loved above God, and make earth seem better 
for you than heaven, they have undone you. And if God 

* See more in my * Life of Faith.' 


recover you not, it had been better for you to have been 
worms or brutes, than such deceived, miserable souk, it 
is not for nothing, that Christ giveth you so many terrible 
warnings about riches, and so describeth the folly, the dan- 
ger, and the misery of the w^orldly rich ^. And telleth you 
how hardly the rich are saved. Fire burneth most, when it 
hath most fuel ; and riches are the fuel of worldly love, and 
fleshly lust^ 

Direct, iii. 'Understand what it is to love and trust in 
worldly prosperity and wealth.' Many here deceive them- 
selves to their destruction. They persuade themselves, 
that they desire and use their riches but for necessity ; but 
that they do not love them, nor trust in them, because they 
can say that heaven is better, and wealth will leave us to a 
grave ! But do you not love that ease, that greatness, that 
domination, that fulness, that satisfaction of your appetite, 
eye, and fancy, which you cannot have without your wealth ? 
It is fleshly lust, and will, and pleasure, which carnal world- 
lings love for itself; and then they love their wealth foi 
these. And to trust in riches, is not to trust that they will 
never leave you ; for every fool doth know the contrary. 
But it is to rest, and quiet, and comfort your minds inthem, 
as that which most pleaseth you, and maketh you well, or 
to be as you would be. Like him in Luke xii. 18, 19. that 
said, " Soul take thy ease, eat, drink, and be merry, thou 
hast enough laid up for many years." This is to love and 
trust in riches. 

Direct, iv. 'Above all tlie deceits and dangers of this 
world, take heed of a secret, hypocritical hope of reconciling 
the world to heaven, so as to make you a felicity of both ; 
and dreaming of a compounded portion, or of serving God 
and mammon.' The true state of the hypocrite's heart and 
hope is, * To love his worldly prosperity best, and desire to 
keep it as long as he can, for the enjoyment of his fleshly 
pleasures ; and when he must leave this world against his 
will, he hopeth then to have heaven as his reserve ; because 
he thinketh it better than hell, and his tongue can say. It is 
better than earth, though his will and affections say the 
contrary.' If this be your case, the Lord have mercy 

:j»» Luke xii.l7— 20. xvi.l9—- 21, ^c xviii. "sJl— 23, &c. 
c 1 John U, i5, 16. Rom. xiii. 13, 14. 



upon you, and give you a more believing, spiritual mind, 
or else you are lost, and you and your treasure will perish ' 

Direct, v. * Accordingly take heed, lest when you seem 
to resign yourselves, and all that you have to God, there 
should be a secret purpose at the heart, that you will never 
be undone in the world for Christ, nor for the hopes of a 
better world.' A knowing hypocrite is not ignorant, that 
the terms of Christ, proposed in the Gospel, are no lower 
than forsaking all ; and that in baptism, and our covenant 
with Christ, all must be designed and devoted to him, and 
the cross taken up instead of all, or else we are no Chris- 
tians, as being not in covenant with Christ. But the hypo- 
crite's hope is, that though Christ put him upon these pro- 
mises, he will never put him to the trial for performance, 
nor ever call him to forsake all indeed : and therefore, if 
ever he be put to it, he will not perform the promise which 
he hath made. He is like a patient that promiseth to be 
wholly ruled by his physician, as hoping that he will put him 
upon nothing which he cannot bear. But when the bitter 
potion or the vomit cometh, he saith, * I cannot take it, I had 
hoped you would have given me gentler physic' 

Direct, vi. * And accordingly take heed lest while you 
pretend to live to God, and to use all that you have as his 
stewards for his service, you should deceitfully put him off 
with the leavings of your lusts, and give him only so much 
as your flesh can spare.' It is not likely that the damned 
gentleman, Luke xvi. was never used to give any thing to the 
poor; else what did beggars use his doors for? When Christ 
promiseth to reward men for a cup of cold water, the mean- 
ing is, when they would give better if they had it. There are 
few rich men of all that go to hell, that were so void of human 
compassion, or of the sense of their own reputation, as to 
give nothing at all to the poor: but God will have all, though 
not all for the poor, yet all employed as he commandeth ; 
and will not be put off with your tithes or scraps. His 
stewards confess that they have nothing of their own. 

Direct, Ml, 'Let the use of your riches in prosperity 
shew, that you do not dissemble when you promise to for- 
sake all for Christ in trial, rather than forsake him.* You 
may know whether yqu a?e true or false in your covenant 


with Christ, and what you would do in a day of trial, by 
what you do in your daily course of life. How can that 
man leave all at once for Christ, that cannot daily serve him 
with his riches, nor leave that little which God requireth, 
in the discharge of his duty in pious and charitable works ? 
What is it to leave all for God, but to leave all ratherthan to 
sin against God ? And will he do that, who daily sinneth 
against God by omission of good works, because he cannot 
leave some part ? Study as faithful stewards, to serve God 
to the utmost, with what you have now, and then you may 
expect that his grace should enable you to leave all in trial, 
and not prove withering hypocrites and apostates. 

Direct, viii. * Be not rich to yourselves, or to your flesh- 
ly wills and lusts : but remember that the rich are bound to 
be spiritual, and to mortify the flesh, as well as the poor." 
Let lust fare never the better for all the fulness of your es- 
tates. Fast, and humble your souls never the less ; please 
an inordinate appetite never the more in meat and drink ; 
live never the more in unprofitable idleness. The rich must 
labour as constantly as the poor, though not in the same 
kind of work. The rich must live soberly, temperately, and 
heavenly, and must as much mortify all fleshly desires as the 
poor. You have the same law and master, and have no more 
liberty to indulge your lusts ; but if you live after the flesh, 
you shall die as well as any other. O the partiality of car- 
nal minds ! They can see the fault of a poor man, that go- 
eth sometimes to an alehouse, who perhaps drinketh water 
(or that which is next it) all the week ; when they never 
blame themselves, who scarce miss a meal without wine, and 
strong drink, and eating that which their appetite desire th. 
They think it a crime in a poor man, to spend but one day 
in many, in such idleness, as they themselves spend most of 
their lives in. Gentlemen think that their riches allow them 
to live without any profitable labour, and to gratify their 
flesh, and fare deliciously every day : as if it were their pri- 
vilege to be sensual, and to be damned''. 

Direct, ix. * Nay, remember that you are called to far 
greater self-denial, and fear, and watchfulness against sen- 
suality, and wealthy vices than the poor are.* Mortifica- 
tion is as necessary to your salvation, as to theirs, but much 
*■ Rom. viii. 1. 5—9. IS. 


more difficult. If you live after the flesh, you shall die as 
well as they. And how much stronger are your tempta- 
tions ! Is not he more easily drawn to gluttony or excess 
in quality or quantity, who hath daily a table of plenty, and 
enticing delicious food before him, than he that never seeth 
such a temptation once in half a year? Is it not harder for 
him to deny his appetite who hath the baits of pleasant 
meats and drinks daily set upon his table, than for him that 
is seldom in sight of them, and perhaps in no possibility of 
procuring them ; and therefore hath nothing to solicit his 
appetite or thoughts? Doubtless the rich, if ever they will 
be saved, must watch more constantly, and set a more reso- 
lute guard upon the flesh, and live more in fear of sensuali- 
ty than the poor, as they live in greater temptations and 

Direct, x. * Know therefore particularly what are the 
temptations of prosperity, that you may make a particular, 
prosperous resistance.' And they are especially these, 

1. Pride. The foolish heart of man is apt to swell upon 
the accession of so poor a matter as wealth ; and men think 
they are got above their neighbours, and more honour and 
obeisance is their due, if they be but richer. 

2. Fulness of bread. If they do not eat till they are 
sick, they think the constant and costly pleasing of their ap- 
petite in meats and drinks, is lawful. 

3. Idleness. They think he is not bound to labour, that 
can live without it, and hath enough. 

4. Time-wasting sports and recreations. They think 
their hours may be devoted to the flesh, when all their lives 
are devoted to it : they think their wealth alloweth them to 
play, and court, and compliment away that precious time, 
which no men have no more need to redeem ; they tell God 
that he hath given them more time than they have need of; 
and God will shortly cut it ofl*, and tell them that they shall 
have no more. 

5. Lust and wantonness, fulness and idleness, cherish 
both the cogitations and inclinations unto filthiness : they 
that live in gluttony and drunkenness, are like to live in 
chambering and wantonness, 

6. Curiosity, and wasting their lives in a multitude of 
little, ceremonious, unprofitable things, to the exclusion of 


th€ great businesses of life. Well may we say, that men's 
lusts are their jailors, and their fetters, when we see to what 
a wretched kind of life, a multitude of the rich (especially 
ladies and gentlewomen) do condemn themselves. I should 
pity one in bridewell, that were but tied so to spend their 
time ; when they have poor, ignorant, proud, worldly, 
peevish, hypocritical, ungodly souls to be healed, and a life 
of great and weighty business to do for eternity, they have 
so many little things all day to do, that leave them little 
time to converse with God, or with their consciences, or to 
do any thing that is really worth the living for : they have so 
many fine clothes and ornaments to get, and use ; and so 
many rooms to beautify and adorn, and so many servants to 
talk with, that attend them, and so many dishes and sauces 
to bespeak, and so many flowers to plant, and dress, and 
walks, and places of pleasure to mind ; and so many visitors 
to entertain with whole hours of unprofitable talk ; and so 
many great persons accordingly to visit ; and so many laws of 
ceremony and compliment to observe ; and so many games 
to play (perhaps) and so many hours to sleep, that the day, 
the year, their lives are gone, before they could have while 
to know what they lived for. And if God had but damned 
them to spend their days in picking straws or filling a bot- 
tomless vessel, or to spend their days as they choose them- 
selves to spend them, it would have tempted us to think 
him unmerciful to his creatures. 

7. Tyranny and oppression : when men are above others, 
how commonly do they think that their wills must be fulfil- 
led by all men, and none must cross them, and they live as 
if all others below them were as their beasts, that are made 
for them, to serve and please them. 

Direct, xi. * Let your fruitfulness to God, and the public 
good, be proportionable to your possessions.' Do as much 
«iore good in the world than the poor, as you are better fur- 
nished for it than they. Let your servants have more time 
for the learning of God's Word, and let your families be 
the more religiously instructed and governed. To whom 
God giveth much, from them he doth expect much. 

Direct, xii. * Do not only take occasions of doing good, 
when they are thrust upon you; but study how to do all the 


good you can, as those " that are zealous of good works." 
Zeal of good works will make you, 1. Plot and contrive for 
them. 2. Consult, and ask advice for them. 3. It will 
make you glad when you meet with a hopeful opportunity; 
4. It will make you do k largely, and not sparingly, and by 
the halves. 5. It will make you do it speedily, without un- 
willing backwardness and delay. 6. It will make you do it 
constantly to your lives' end. 7. It will make you pinch 
your own flesh, and suffer somewhat yourselves to do good 
to others. 8. It will make you labour in it as your trade, 
and not only consent that others do good at your charge. 
9. It will make you glad, when good is done, and not to 
grudge at what it cost you. 10. in a word, it will make 
your neighbours to be to you as yourselves, and the pleas- 
ing of God to be above yourselves, and therefore to be as 
glad to do good, as to receive it. 

Direct. XIII. * Do good both to men's souls and bodies; 
but always let bodily benefits be conferred in order to those 
of the soul, and in due subordination, and not for the body 
alone. And observe the many other rules of good works, 
more largely laid down. Part i. Chap 3. Direct. 10. 

Direct, xiv. * Ask yourselves often. How you shall wish 
at death and judgment, your estates had been laid out ; and 
accordingly now use them.' Why should not a man of rea 
son do that which he knoweth beforehand he shall vehe- 
mently wish that he had done ? 

Direct, xv. * As your care must be in a special manner 
for your children and families ; so take heed of the common 
error of worldlings, who think their children must have so 
much, as that God and their own souls have very little.' 
When selfish men can keep their wealth no longer to them- 
selves, they leave it to their children, who are as their sur- 
viving selves. And all is cast into tbis gulf, except some 
inconsiderable parcels. 

Direct, xvi. * Keep daily account of your use and im- 
provement of your master's talents.* Not that you should 
too much remember your own good works, but remember to 
do them ; and therefore ask yourselves. What good have I 
done with all that I have, this day or week? 

Direct. x\ II. * Look not for long life; for then you will 
think that a long journey needetli great provisions; butdit- 


daily, and live as those that are going to give up their ac- 
count:' and then conscience will force you to ask, whether 
you have been faithful stewards, and to lay up a treasure in 
heaven, and to make you friends of the mammon that others 
use to unrighteousness, and to lay up a good foundation for 
the time to come, and to be glad that God hath given you 
that, the improvement of which may further the good of 
others, and your salvation. Living and dying, let it be 
your care and business to do good. 


Directions for the Aged (and Weak), 

Having before opened the duties of children to God, and to 
their parents, I shall give no other particular Directions to 
the young, but shall next open the special duties of the 

Direct, i. ' The old and weak have a louder call from 
God, than others, to be accurate in examining the state of 
their souls, and making their calling and election sure *.' 
Whether they are yet regenerate and sanctified or not, is a 
most important question for every man to get resolved ; but 
especially for them that are nearest to their end. Ask coun- 
sel, therefore, of some able, faithful minister or friend, and 
set yourselves diligently to try your title to eternal life, and 
to cast up your accounts, and see how all things stand be- 
tween God and you : and if you should find yourselves in 
an unrenewed state, as you love your souls, delay no longer, 
but presently be humbled for your so long and sottish neg- 
lect, of so necessary and great a work. Go, open your case 
to some able minister, and lament your sin, and fly to Christ, 
and set your hearts on God, as your felicity, and change 
your company and course, and rest not any longer in so 
dangerous and miserable a case : the more full Directions 

* In Augustine's speech to tlie people of Hippo, for Eradius's succession, lie 
saith, ' In infantia speratur pueritia, et in pueritia speratur adolescentia, in adoles- 
centia speratur juventus, in juventute speratur gravitas, et in gravitate speratur senec- 
tus: utrura contingat incertum est; est tamen quod speretur. Senectus autem ali- 
•tm setatera quam speret, non habet.' Vid. Papir. Massor. in vita Coelesti. fol, 58. 


for your conversion I have given before, in the beginning of 
the book, and in divers others ; and therefore shall say no 
more to such, it being others that I am here especially to di- 

Direct, ii. * Cast back your eyes upon the sins of all your 
life, that you may perceive how humble those souls should 
be, that have sinned so long as you have done ; and may 
feel what need you have of Christ, to pardon so long a life 
of sin.' Though you have repented and been justified long 
ago, yet you have daily sinned since you were justified ; 
and though all be forgiven that is repented of, yet must it 
be still before your eyes, both to keep you humble, and con- 
tinue the exercise of that repentance, and drive you to Christ, 
and make you thankful. Yea, your forgiveness and justifi- 
cation, are yet short of perfection, (whatever some may tell 
you to the contrary) as well as your sanctification. For, 1. 
Your justification is yet given you, but conditionally as to 
its continuance, even upon condition of your perseverance. 
2. And the temporal chastisement, and the pains of death, 
and the long absence of the body from heaven, and the pre- 
sent wants of grace, and comfort, and communion with God, 
are punishments which are not yet forgiven executively. 3. 
And the final sentence of justification at the day of judg- 
ment, (which is the most perfect sort) is yet to come : and 
therefore you have still reason enough to review, and repent 
of all that is past, and still pray for the pardon of all the sins 
that ever you committed, which were forgiven you before. 
So many years sinning should have a very serious repen- 
tance, and lay you low before the Lord. 

Direct, iii. 'Cleave closer now to Christ than ever.' 
Remembering that you have a life of sin, for him to answer 
for, and save you from. And that the time is near, when 
you shall have more sensible need of him, than ever you 
have had. You must shortly be cast upon him as your Sa- 
viour, Advocate, and Judge, to determine the question, 
what shall become of you unto all eternity, and to perfect all 
that ever he hath done for you, and accomplish all that you 
have sought and hoped for. And now your natural life de- 
cayeth, it is time to retire to him that is your root, and to 
look to the ** life that is hid with Christ in God *»:" and to 

b Col.m.4. 


him that is preparing you a mansion with himself; and 
whose office it is to receive the departing souls of true be- 
lievers. Live therefore in the daily thoughts of Christ, and 
comfort your souls in the belief of that full supply and safe- 
ty which you have in him. 

Direct, iv. * Let the ancient mercies and experiences of 
God's love through all your lives, be still before you, and 
fresh upon your minds, that they may kindle your love and 
thankfulness to God, and may feed your own delight and 
comfort, and help you the easier to submit to future weak- 
nesses and death.' Eaten bread must not be forgotten : a 
thankful remembrance preserveth all your former mercies 
still fresh and green ; the sweetness and benefit may remain, 
though the thing itself be past and gone. This is the great 
privilege of an aged Christian; that he hath many years' 
mercy more to think on, than others have. Every one of 
those mercies was sweet to you by itself, at the time of your 
receiving it (except afflictions, and misunderstood and un- 
observed mercies) : and then how sweet should altogether 
be? If unthankfulness have buried any of them, let thank- 
fulness give them now a resurrection. What delightful 
work is it for your thoughts, to look back to your child- 
hood, and remember how mercy brought you up, and con- 
ducted you to every place that you have lived in ; and pro- 
vided for you, and preserved you, and heard your prayers, 
and disposed of all things for your good : how it brought 
you under the means of grace, and blessed them to you ; 
and how the Spirit of God began and carried on the work of 
grace upon your hearts ? I hope you have recorded the 
wonders of mercy ever upon your hearts, with which God 
hath filled up all your lives. And is it not a pleasant work 
in old age to ruminate upon them ? If a traveller delight to 
talk of his travels, and a soldier or seaman, upon his adven- 
tures, how sweet should it be to a Christian to peruse all 
the conduct of mercy through his life, and all the operations 
of the Spirit upon his heart. Thankfulness taught men 
heretofore, to make their mercies, as it were, attributes of 
their God. As " the God that brought them out of the 
land of Egypt," was the name of the God of Israel. And 
Gen. xlviii. 15. Jacob delighteth himself in his old age, in 
such reviews of mercy : "The God which fed me all my 



life long unto this day. The angel which redeemed me from 
all evil, bless the lads." Yea, such thankful reviews of an- 
cient mercies, will force an ingenuous soul to a quieter sub- 
mission to infirmities, sufferings, and death ; and make us 
say as Job, '* Shall we receive good at the hands of God, 
and not evil ? " and as old Simeon, " Lord, now lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace." It is a powerful rebuke of all 
discontents, and maketh death itself more welcome, to 
think how large a share of mercy, we have had already in 
the world. 

Direct. V, * Draw forth the treasure of wisdom and ex- 
perience, which you have been so long in laying up, to in- 
struct the ignorant, and warn the inexperienced and ungodly 
that are about you.' ** Days should speak, and multitude 
of years should teach wisdom "^.^ *' The aged women must 
teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands 
and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, 
obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be 
not blasphemed ^" It is supposed that time and experience 
hath taught you more than is known to raw and ignorant 
youth. Tell them what you have suffered by the deceits of 
sin : tell them the method and danger of temptations : tell 
them what you lost by delaying your repentance ; and how 
God recovered you : and how the Spirit wrought upon your 
souls : tell them what comforts you have found in God ; 
what safety and sweetness in a holy life ; how sweet the 
holy Scriptures have been to you ; how prayers have pre- 
vailed ; how the promises of God have been fulfilled; and 
what mercies and great deliverances you have had. Tell 
them how good you have found God ; and how bad you 
have found sin ; and how vain you have found the world. 
Warn them to resist their fleshly lusts, and to take heed of 
the ensnaring flatteries of sin : acquaint them truly with the 
history of public sing, and judgments, and mercies in the 
times which you have lived in. God hath made this the 
duty of the aged, that the " Fathers should tell the wonders 
of his works and mercies to their children, that the ages to 
come may praise the Lord *." 

Direct, vi. * The aged must be examples of wisdom, 
gravity, and holiness unto the younger.' Where should 

«= Job xxxii. 7. ^ Tit. ii. 3—5. •' Deut. iv. 10. Psal. IzxTiii. 4—6. 


they find any virtues in eminence, if not in you, that have 
so much time, and helps, and experiences ? It may well be 
expected that nothing but savoury, wise, and holy, come 
from your mouths ; and nothing unbeseeming wisdom and 
godliness, be seen in your lives. Such as you would have 
your children after you to be, such shew yourselves to them 
in all your conversation. 

Direct, vii. * Especially it belongeth to you, to repress 
the heats, and dividing, contentious, and censorious dispo- 
sition of the younger sorts of professors of godliness.' They 
are in the heat of their blood, and want the knowledge and 
experience of the aged to guide their zeal : they have not 
their senses yet exercised in discerning good and evil * : they 
are not able to try the spirits : they are yet but as children, 
apt to be tossed to and fro, and " carried up and down with 
every wind of doctrine, after the craft and subtlety of de- 
ceivers ^" The novices are apt to be puffed up with pride, 
and *' fall into the condemnation of the devil ^.'^ They 
never saw the issue of errors, and sects, and parties, and 
what divisions and contentions tend to, as you have done. 
And therefore it belongeth to your gravity and experience 
to call them unto unity, charity, and peace, and to keep 
them from proving firebrands in the church, and rashly over- 
running their understandings and the truth. 

Direct, viii. * Of all men you must live in the greatest 
contempt of earthly things, and least entangle yourselves in 
the love or needless troubles of the world : you are like to 
need it and use it but a little while : a little may serve one 
that is so near his journey's end : you have had the greatest 
experience of its vanity : you are so near the great things of 
another world, that methinks you should have no leisure to 
remember this, or room for any unnecessary thoughts or 
speeches of it. As your bodies are less able for worldly em- 
ployment than others, so accordingly you are allowed to 
retire from it more than others, for your more serious 
thoughts of the life to come. It is a sign of the bewitching 
power of the world, and of the folly and unreasonableness 
of sin, to see the aged usually as covetous as the young ; 
and men that are going out of the world, to love it as fondly, 
and scrape for it as eagerly, as if they never looked to leave 

« Heb. V. 12. ' Eph. iv. 14. s 1 Tim. iii. 6. 


it. You should rather give warning to the younger sort, to 
take heed of covetousness, and of being ensnared by the 
world, and while they labour in it faithfully with their hands, 
to keep their hearts entirely for God. 

Direct, ix. ' You should highly esteem every minute of 
your time, and lose none in idleness or unnecessary things ; 
but be always doing or getting some good ; and do what 
you do with all your might.* For you are sure now that 
your time will not be long : how little have you left to make 
all the rest of your preparation in for eternity ! The young 
may die quickly, but the old know that their time will be 
but short. Though nature decay, yet grace can grow in 
life and strength ; and when ** your outward man perisheth, 
the inner man may be renewed day by day." Time is a 
most precious commodity to all; but especially to them 
that have but a little more to determine the question in, 
* Whether they must live in heaven or hell for ever.' Though 
you cannot do your worldly businesses as heretofore, yet 
you have variety of holy exercises to be employed in ; bo- 
dily ease may beseem you, but idleness is worse in you 
than in any. 

Direct, x. * When the decay of your strength, or memo- 
ry, or parts, doth make you unable to read, or pray, or me- 
ditate by yourselves, so much or so well as heretofore, make 
the more use of the more lively gifts and help of others.* 
Be the more in hearing others, and in joining with them in 
prayer; that their memory, and zeal, and utterance may 
help to lift you up and carry you on. 

Direct, xi. * Take not a decay of nature, and of those 
gifts and works which depend thereon, for a decay of grace.' 
Though your memory, and utterance, and fervour of affec- 
tion, abate as your natural heat abateth, yet be not discou- 
raged ; but remember, that you may for all this grow in 
grace.* If you do but grow in holy wisdom and judgment, 
and a higher esteem of God and holiness, and a greater dis- 
esteem of all the vanities of the world, and a firmer resolu- 
tion to cleave to God and trust on Christ, and never to turn 
to the world and sin ; this is your growth in grace. 

Direct, xii. * Be patient under all the infirmities and in- 
conveniencies of old age.' Be not discontented at them, 
repine not, nor grow peevish and froward to those about you^ 

VO,L. IV. D D 


This is a common temptation which the aged should care- 
fully resist. You knew at first that you had a body that 
must decay : if you would not have had it till a decaying 
age, why were you so unwilling to die ? If you would, why 
do you repine? Bless God for the days of youth, and 
strength, and health, and ease which you have had already ! 
and grudge not that corruptible flesh decay eth. 

Direct, xiii. * Understand well that passive obedience 
is that which God calleth you to in your age and weakness, 
and in which you must serve and honour him in the conclu- 
sion of your labour/ When you are unfit for any great or 
public works, and active obedience hath not opportunity to 
exercise itself as heretofore, it is then as acceptable to God 
that you honour him, by patient suffering. And therefore it 
is a great error of them that wish for the death of all that 
are impotent, decrepit, and bedrid, as if they were utterly 
unserviceable to God. I tell you, it is no small service that 
they may do, not only by their prayers, and their secret love 
to God, but by being examples of faith, and patience, and 
heavenly-mindedness, and confidence and joy in God, to all 
about them. Grudge not then if God will thus employ you. 

Direct, xiv. * Let your thoughts of death, and prepara- 
tions for it, be as serious as if death were just at hand.' 
Though all your life be little enough to prepare for death, 
and it be a work that should be done as soon as you have 
the use of reason, yet age and weakness call louder to you, 
presently to prepare without delay. Do therefore all that 
you would fain find done, when your last sickness cometh ; 
that unreadiness to die may not make death terrible, nor 
your age uncomfortable. 

Direct, xv. * Live in the joyful expectation of your 
change, as becometh one that is so near to heaven, and look- 
eth to live with Christ for ever.' Let all the high and glo- 
rious things, which faith apprehendeth, now shew their 
power in the love, and joy, and longings of your soul. There 
is nothing in which the weak and aged can more honour 
Christ and do good to others, than in joyful expectation of 
their change, and an earnest desire to be with Christ. This 
will do much to convince unbelievers, that the promises are 
true, and that heaven is real, and that a holy life is indeed the 
best, which hath so happy an end. When they see you high- 
est in your joys, at the time when others are deepest in dis- 

Chap, xxx.] christian economics. 403 

tress ; and when you rejoice as one that is entering upon his 
happiness, when all the happiness of the ungodly is at an 
end ; this will do more than many sermons, to persuade a 
sinner to a holy life. I know that this is not easily attain- 
ed ; but a thing so sweet and profitable to yourselves, and 
so useful to the good of others, and so much tending to the 
honour of God, should be laboured after with all your dili- 
gence : and then you may expect God's blessing on your la- 
bours. Read to this use the fourth part of my " Saints' Rest.'* 


Directions for the Sick. 

Though the chief part of our preparation for death be in 
the time of health, and it is a work for which the longest 
life is not too long ; yet because the folly of unconverted 
sinners is so great, as to forget what they were born for till 
they see death at hand, and because there is a special prepa- 
ration necessary for the best, I shall here lay down some 
Directions for the Sick. And I shall reduce them to these 
four heads. 1. What must be done to make death safe to 
us, that it may be our passage to heaven and not to hell. 

2. What must be done to make sickness profitable to us ? 

3. What must be done to make death comfortable to us, 
that we may die in peace and joy. 4. What must be done 
to make our sickness profitable to others about us. 

Tit, 1. Directions/or a Safe Death, to secure our Salvation. 

The Directions of this sort are especially necessary to the 
unconverted, impenitent sinner ; yet needful also to the god- 
ly themselves; and therefore I shall distinctly speak to both. 

I. Direct ions for an Unconverted Sitter in his Sickness. 

It is a very dreadful case to be found by sickness in an 
unconverted state. There is so great a work to be done, 
and so little time to doit in, and soul and body so unfit and 
undisposed for it, and the misery so great (even everlasting 
torment) that will follow so certainly and so quickly if it 
he undone, that one would think it should overwhelm the 


understanding and heart of any man with astonishment and 
horror, to foresee such a condition in the time of his health ; 
much more to find himself in it in his sickness. And though 
one would think that the near approach of death, and the 
nearness of another world, should be irresistibly powerful to 
convert a sinner, so that few or none should die unconverted, 
however they lived ; yet Scripture and sad experience de- 
clare the contrary, that most men die as well as live, in an 
unsanctified and miserable state. For 1. A life of sin doth 
usually settle a man in ignorance or unbelief, or both : so 
that sickness findeth him in such a dungeon of darkness, 
that he is but lost and confounded in his fears, and knoweth 
not whither he is going, nor what he hath to do. 2. And 
also sin woefully hardeneth the heart, and the long-resisted 
Spirit of God forsaketh them, and giveth them over to them- 
selves in sickness, who would not be ruled and sanctified 
by him in their health : and such remain like blocks or 
beasts even to the last. 3. And the nature of sickness and 
approaching death doth tend more to affright than to renew 
the soul ; and rather to breed fear and trouble than love. 
And though grief and fear be good preparatives and helps, 
yet it is the love of God and holiness in which the soul's 
regeneration and renovation doth consist ; and there is no 
more holiness than there is love and willingness. And many 
a one that is affrighted into strong repentings, and cries, 
and prayers, and promises, and seem to themselves and 
others to be converted, do yet either die in their sins and 
misery, or return to their unholy lives when they recover, 
being utter strangers to that true repentance which renew- 
eth the heart, as sad experience doth too often testify. 4. 
And many poor sinners finding that they have so short a 
time, do end it in mere amazement and terror, not knowing 
how to compose their thoughts, to examine their hearts and 
lives, nor to exercise faith in Christ, nor to follow any Di- 
rections that are given them ; but lie in trembling and asto- 
nishment, wholly taken up with the fears of death, much 
worse than a beast that is going to be butchered. 5. And 
the very pains of the body do so divert or hinder the thoughts 
of many, that they can scarce mind any spiritual things, 
with such a composedness as is necessary to so great a work. 
6. And the greatest number being partly confounded in ig- 
norance, and partly withheld by backwardness and undis 



posedness, and partly disheartened by thinking it impossible 
to become new creatures, and get a regenerate, heavenly 
heart on such a sudden, do force themselves to hope that 
they shall be saved without it, and that though they are 
sinners, yet that kind of repentance which they have, will 
serve the turn and be accepted, and God will be more mer- 
ciful than to damn them. And this false hope they think 
they are necessitated to take up. For there is but two other 
ways to be taken : the one is, utterly to despair ; and both 
Scripture, and reason, and nature itself are against that : the 
other way is to be truly converted and won to the love of 
God and heaven by a lively faith in Jesus Christ : and they 
have no such faith : and to this they are strange and undis- 
posed, and think it impossible to be done. And if they 
must have no hopes but upon such terms as these, they think 
they shall have none at all. Or else if they hear that there 
is no other hope, and that none but the holy can be saved, 
they will force themselves to hope that they have all this, 
and that they are truly converted, and become new crea- 
tures, and do love God and holiness above all : not because 
indeed it is so, but because they would have it so, for fear 
of being damned. And instead of finding that they are 
void of faith, and love, and holiness, and labouring to get a 
renewed soul, they think it a nearer way to make themselves 
believe that it is so already : and thus in their presumption, 
self-deceiving, and false hopes, they linger out that little 
time that is left them to be converted in, till death open their 
eyes, and hell do undeceive them. 7. And the same devil, 
and wicked men his instruments, that kept them in health 
from true repentance, will be as diligent to keep them from 
it in their sickness ; and will be loath to lose all at the last 
cast, which they had been winning all the time before. 
And if the devil can but keep them in his power, till sick- 
ness come and take them up with pain and fear, he will hope 
to keep them a few days longer, till he have finished that 
which he had begun and carried on so far. And if there be 
here and there one, that will be held no longer by false hopes 
and presumption, he will at last think to take them off by 
desperation, and make them believe that there is no remedy. 
And, indeed, it is a thing so difficult and unlikely, to 
convert a sinner in all his pain and weakness at the last. 


that even the godly friends of such, do many times even let 
them alone, as thinking that there is little or no hope. But 
this is a very sinful course : as long as there is life, there is 
some hope. And as long as there is hope, we must use the 
means. A physician will try the best remedies he hath, in 
the most dangerous disease, which is not desperate ; for 
when it is certain that there is no hope without them, if they 
do no good, they do no harm. So must we try the saving 
of a poor soul, while there is life and any hope : for if once 
death end their time and hopes, it will be then too late ; and 
they will be out of our reach and help for ever. To those 
that sickness findeth in so sad a case, I shall give here but 
a few brief Directions, because I have done it more at large 
in the first Part and first Chapter, whither I refer them. 

Direct. I. * Set speedily and seriously the judging of your 
selves, as those that are going to be judged of God.' And 
do it in the manner following. 1. Do it willingly and re- 
solvedly, as knowing that it is now no time to remain un- 
certain of your everlasting state, if you can possibly get 
acquainted with it. Is it not time for a man to know him- 
self, whether he be a sanctified believer or not, when he is 
just going to appear before his Maker, and there be judged 
as he is found ? 2. Do it impartially ; as one that is not 
willing to find himself deceived, as soon as death hath ac- 
quainted him with the truth. O take heed, as you love your 
souls, of being foolishly tender of yourselves, and resolving 
for fear of being troubled at your misery, to believe that you 
are safe, whether it he true or false. This is the way that 
thousands are undone by. Thinking that you are sancti- 
fied, will neither prove you so, nor make you so : no more 
than thinking you are well, will prove or make you well. 
And what good will it do you to think you are pardoned and 
shall be saved, for a few days longer, and then to find too 
late in hell that you were mistaken ? Is the ease of so short 
a deceit worth all the pain and loss that it will cost you ? 
Alas, poor soul ! God knoweth it is not needlessly to af- 
fright thee, that we desire to convince thee of thy misery ! 
We do not cruelly insult over thee or desire to torment thee. 
.But we pity thee in so sad a case.^ To see an unsanctitied 
person ready to pass into another world, and to be doomed 
unto endless misery, and will not know it till he is there ! 



Our principal reason of opening your danger is because it is 
necessary to your escaping it. If soul diseases were like 
bodily diseases, which may sometimes be cured without the 
patient's knowing them and the danger of them, we would 
never trouble you at such a time as this. But it will not be 
so done : you must understand your danger, if you will be 
saved from it : therefore be impartial with yourself if you , 
are wise, and be truly willing to know the worst. 3. In 
judging yourselves proceed by the same rule or law that 
God will judge you by ; that is, by the Word of God reveal- 
ed in the Gospel. For your work now is not to steal a lit- 
tle short-lived quiet to your consciences, but to know how 
God will judge your souls, and whether he will doom you 
to endless joy or misery : and how can you know this, but 
by that law or rule that God will judge you by? And cer- 
tainly God will judge you, by the same law or rule by which 
he governed you, or which he gave you to live by in the 
world. It will go never the better or worse there with any 
man, for his good or bad conceits of himself, if they were his 
mistakes ; but just what God hath said in his Word that he 
will do with any man, that will he do with him in the day 
of judgment. All shall be justified whom the Gospel justi- 
fieth ; and all shall be condemned that it condemneth ; and 
therefore judge yourself by it. By what signs you may 
knowan unsanctified man, I have told you before. Part i. 
Chap. 1. Direct. 8. And by what signs true grace may be 
known, I told you before, in the Preparation for the Sacra- 
ment. 4. If you cannot satisfy yourself about your owjg^ 
condition, advise with some godly, able minister, or other 
Christian, that is best acquainted with you ; that knoweth 
how you have lived towards God and man ; or at least open 
all your heart and life to him that he may know it; and if 
he tell you that he feareth you are yet unsanctified, you 
have the more reason to fear the worst. But then be sure 
that he be not a carnal, ungodly, worldly man himself: for 
they that flatter and deceive themselves, are not unlike to 
do so by others. Such blind deceivers will daub over all, 
and bid you never trouble yourself; but even comfort you 
as they comfort themselves, and bid you believe that all is 
wpll, and it will be well ; or will make you believe that some 
forced confession ,^d unsound repentance, will ^erve 11^7 


stead of true conversion. But a man that is going to the 
bar of God, should be loath to be deceived by himself or 

Direct, ii. 'If by a due examination you find yourself 
unsanctified, bethink you seriously of your case, both what 
you have done, and what a condition you are in, till you are 
truly humbled, and willing of any conditions that God shall 
offer you for your deliverance.' Consider how foolishly you 
have done, how rebelliously, how unthankfully, to forsake 
your God, and forget your souls, and lose all your time, and 
abuse all God's mercies, and leave undone the work that you 
were made, and preserved, and redeemed for ! Alas, did you 
never know till now that you must die ? and that you had 
all your time to make preparation for an endless life which 
followeth death ? Were you never warned by minister or 
ft^iend? Were you never told of the necessity of a holy, 
heavenly life ; and of a regenerate, sanctified state, till now ? 
O what could you have done more unwisely, or wickedly, 
than to cast away a life that eternal life so much depended 
on; and to refuse your Saviour, and his grace and mercies, 
till your last extremity ? Is this the time to look after a 
new birth, and to begin your life, when you are at the end 
of it ? O what have you done to delay so great a work till 
now! And now if you die before you are regenerate, you 
are lost for ever. O humble your souls before the tord \ 
Lament your folly ; and presently condemn yourselves be- 
fore him, and make out to him for mercy while there is» 

Direct. III. * When you are humbled for your sin and 
misery, and willing of mercy upon any terms, believe that 
yet your case is not remediless, but that Jesus Christ hath 
given himself to God a sacrifice for your sins, and is so sure 
and all-sufficient a Saviour, that yet nothing can hinder you 
from pardon and salvation, but your own impenitence and 
unbelief. Come to him therefore as the Saviour of souls, 
that he may teach you the will of God, and reconcile you 
to his Father, and pardon your sins, and renew you by his 
Spirit, and acquaint you with his Father's love, and save 
you from damnation, and make you heirs of life eternal. 
For all this may yet possibly be done, as short as your 
time is like to be : and it will yet be long of you, if it be 


not done. The covenant of grace doth promise pardon and 
salvation to every penitent believer whenever they truly 
turn to God, without excepting any hour, or any person in 
all the world. Nothing but an unbelieving, hardened heart, 
resisting his grace, and unwilling to be holy, can deprive 
you of pardon and salvation, even at the last. It was a 
most foolish wickedness of you to put it off till now : but 
yet for all that, if you are not yet saved, it shall not belong 
of Christ, but you : yet he doth freely offer you his mercy ; 
and he will be your Lord and Saviour if you will not refuse 
him : yet the match shall not break on his part : see that it 
break not on your part and you shall be saved. Know 
therefore what he is, as God and man, and what a blessed 
work he hath undertaken, to redeem a sinful, miserable 
world, and what he hath already done for us, in his life and 
doctrine, in his death and sufferings, by his resurrection 
and his covenant of grace, and what he is now doing at his 
Father's right hand, in making intercession for penitent be- 
lievers, and what an endless glory he is preparing for them, 
and how he will save to the uttermost, all that come to God 
by him. O yet let your heart even leap for joy, that you have 
an all-sufficient, willing, gracious Saviour; whose grace 
abpundeth more than sin aboundeth. If the devils and 
poor damned souls in hell were but in your case, and had 
your offers and your hopes, how glad do you imagine they 
would be ? Cast yourselves therefore in faith and confi- 
dence upon this Saviour : trust your souls upon his sacri- 
fice and merit, for the pardon of your sins, and peace with 
God : beg of him yet the renewing grace of his Spirit : be 
willing to be made holy, and a new creature, and to live a 
holy life if you should survive : resolve to be wholly ruled 
by him, and give up yourself absolutely to him as your Sa- 
viour, to be justified, and sanctified, and saved by him, and 
then trust in him for everlasting happiness. O happy soul, 
if yet you can do thus, without deceit. 

Direct, iv. * Believe now, and consider what God is and 
will be to your soul, and what love he hath shewed to you 
by Christ, and what endless joy and glory you may have 
with him in heaven, notwithstanding all the sins that 
you have done : and think what the world and the flesh 
have done for you, in comparison of God : think of this till 


you fall in love with God, and till your hearts and hopes are 
set on heaven, and turned from this world and flesh, and till 
you feel yourself in love with holiness, and till you are firm- 
ly resolved in the strength of Christ to live a holy life, if 
God recover you : and then you are truly sanctified, and 
shall be saved if you die in this condition/ Take heed 
that you take not a repentance and good purposes which 
come from nothing but fear, to be sufficient ; if you recover, 
all this may die again, when your fear is over ; you are 
not sanctified, nor hath God your hearts, till your love be* 
to him: that which you do through fear alone, you had ra- 
ther not do if you might be excused ; and therefore your 
hearts are still against it. When the feeling of God's un- 
speakable love in Christ, doth melt and overcome your 
hearts ; when the infinite goodness of God himself, and his 
mercies to your souls and bodies, do make you take him as 
more lovely and desirable than all the world ; when you so 
believe the heavenly joys above, as to desire them more 
than earthly pleasures ; when you love God better thaa 
worldly prosperity, and when a life of such love and holi- 
ness seemeth better to you, than all the merriments of sin- 
ners, and you had rather be a saint, than the most prosper- 
ous of the ungodly, and are firmly resolved for a holy life, 
if God recover you, then are you indeed in a state of grace, 
and not till then ; this must be your case, or you are undone 
for ever. And therefore meditate on the love of Christ, and 
the goodness of God, and the joys of heaven, and the happi- 
ness of saints, and the misery of worldlings and ungodly 
men ; meditate on these till your eyes be opened, and your 
hearts be touched with a holy love, and heaven and holiness 
be the very things that you desire above all ; and then you 
may boldly go to God, and believe that all your sins are 
pardoned ; and it is not bare terror, but these believing 
thoughts of God, and heaven, and Christ, and love, that 
must change your hearts and do the work. 

These four Directions truly practised, will yet set you 
on safe ground, as sad and dangerous as your condition is ; 
but it is not the hearing of them, or the bare approbation of 
them that will serve the turn ; to find out your sinful, mise- 
rable state, and to be truly humbled for it, and to discern 
the remedy which you have in Christ, and penitently and 


believingly to enter into his covenant, and to see that your 
happiness is wholly in the love and fruition of God, and to 
believe the glory prepared for the saints, and to prefer it 
before all the prosperity of the world, and love it, and set 
your hearts upon it, and to resolve on a holy life if you 
should recover, forsaking this deceitful world and flesh ; all 
this is a work that is not so easily done as mentioned, and 
requireth your more serious, fixed thoughts ; and indeed 
had been titter for your youthful vigour, than for a painful, 
weak, distempered state. But necessity is upon you ; it 
must needs be yet done, and thoroughly and sincerely done, 
or you are lost for ever. And therefore do it as well as you 
can, and see that your hearts do not trifle and deceive you. 
In some respect you have greater helps than ever you had 
before ; you cannot now keep up your hard-heartedness and 
security, by looking at death as a great way off". You have 
now fuller experience, than ever you had before ; what the 
flesh, and all its pleasures will come to, and what good your 
sinful sports, and recreations, and merriments will do you ; 
and what all the riches, and greatness, and gallantry, and 
honours of the world are worth, and what they will do for 
you in the day of your necessity. You stand so near another 
world, and must so quickly appear before the Lord, that 
methinks a dead and senseless heart, should no longer be 
able to make you slight your God, your Saviour, and your 
endless life : and one would think that the flesh, and world, 
should never be able to deceive you any more. O happy 
soul, if yet at last, you are not only frightened into an un- 
sound repentance, but can hate all sin, and love the Lord, 
and trust in Christ, and give up yourself entirely to him, 
and set your heart upon that blessed life, where you may 
see and love him perfectly for ever ! 

Quest, 'But will so late repentance serve the turn, fo7 
one that hath been so long ungodly V 

Answ. Yes, if it be sincere : but there is all the doubt; 
and that is it, that your salvation now dependeth on. 

Quest. * But how may I know, whether it be sincere?' 

Answ. 1. If you be not only frighted into it; but your 
very heart, and will, and love are changed. 2. If it extend 
both to the end, and the necessary means : so that you love 
God, and the joys of heaven, above all earthly prosperity 


and pleasure ; and also you had rather be perfectly holy, 
than live in all the delights of sin. And if you hate every 
known sin, and love the holy ways and servants of God, and 
this unfeignedly: this is a true change. 3. And if this re- 
pentance and change be such as will hold, if God should 
recover you, and would shew itself in a new, and holy, and 
self-denying life ; which certainly it will do, if it come not 
only from fear, but from love : but if you renounce the 
world, and the flesh, against your wills, because you know 
there is no remedy ; and if you bid farewell to your worldly, 
sinful pleasures, not because you love God better, but be- 
cause you cannot keep them, though you would ; and if you 
take not God and heaven as your best, but only for better 
than hell ; but not as better than worldly prosperity, which 
yet you would choose, if you had your choice. This kind 
of repentance will never save you, and if you should reco- 
ver, it would vanish away, and come to nothing, as soon as 
your fears of death are over, and you are returned to your 
worldly delights again. Though now in your extremity, 
you cry out never so confidently, O I had rather have hea- 
ven than earth, and I had rather have Christ and holiness, 
than all the pleasures and prosperity of sinners ; yet if it be 
not from a renewed, sanctified heart, that had rather be such 
indeed, but from mere necessity and fear, and against the 
habit of your hearts and wills. This is but such a repen- 
tance as Judas had, that is neither sincere at present, nor 
if you recover, will hold you to a holy life. 

II. Directions to the Sanctified, for a safe Departure, 

When the soul is truly converted and sanctified, the 
principal business is dispatched, that is necessary to a safe 
departure : but yet I cannot say that there is no more to be 
done. They were godly persons that were exhorted, " to 
give diligence to make their calling and election sure." 
Which being (as the Greek importeth) not only to make it 
known or certain ; but to make it firm, doth signify more 
than barely to discern it. These following duties are yet 
further necessary. 

Direct, i. ' Satisfy not yourselves that once you found 
yourselves sincere ; but if your understandings be clear and 



free, renew the trial ; and if you are insufficient for it of 
yourself, make use of the help of a faithful, judicious minis- 
ter or friend.' For when a man is going to the bar of God, 
it concerneth him to make all as sure as possibly he can. 

Direct, ii. * Review your lives, and renew your univer- 
sal repentance, for all the sins that ever you committed ; 
and also let your particular repentance extend to every par- 
ticular sin which you remember, but especially repent of 
your most aggravated, soul-wounding sins.' For if your re- 
pentance be universal and true, it will also be particular ; 
and you will be specially humbled for your special sins : 
and search deep, and see that none escape you. And think 
not that you are not called to repent of them, or ask for- 
giveness, because you have repented of them long ago, and 
received a pardon : for this is a thing to be done even to the 

Direct, in. 'Renew your faith in Jesus Christ, and cast 
your souls upon his merits and mediation.' Satisfy not 
yourselves that you have a habit of faith, and that formerly 
you did believe ; but fly to your trusty rock and refuge, and 
continue the exercise of your faith, and again give up your 
souls to Christ. 

Direct, iv. * Make it your chief work to stir up in your 
hearts, the love of God, and a desire to live with Christ in 
glory.' Let those comforting and encouraging objects 
which are the instruments of this, be still in your thoughts : 
and if you can do this, it will be the surest proof of your ti- 
tle to the crown. 

Direct, v. * If you have wronged any by word or deed, be 
sure that you do your best to right them, and make them sa- 
tisfaction ; and if you have fallen out with any, be reconciled 
to them.' Leave not other men's goods to your heirs and 
executors : restore what you have wrongfully gotten, before 
you leave your legacies to any. Confess your faults where 
you can do no more : and ask those forgiveness, whom you 
have injured ; and leave not men's names, or estates, or 
souls, under the effects of your former wrongs, so far as you 
are able to make them reparatio'.i. 

Direct, vi. 'Be still taken up in your duty to God, even 
that which he now calleth you to, that you may not be found 
idle, or in the sins of omission ; but may be most holy and 


fruitful at the last.' Though sickness call you not to all the 
same duties, which were incumbent on you in your health ; 
yet think not therefore, that there is no duty at all expected 
from the sick. Every season and state hath its peculiar du- 
ties (and its peculiar mercies) which it much concerneth us 
to know. I shall anon tell you more particularly what they 

Direct, vii. * Be specially fortified and vigilant against 
the most dangerous temptations of satan, by which he useth 
to assault the sick.' Pray now especially, that God would 
not lead you into temptation, but deliver you from the evil 
one : for in your weakness you may be less fit to wrestle 
with them, than at another time. O beg of God, that as he 
hath upheld you, and preserved you till now, he would not 
forsake you at last in your extremity ^. Particularly, 

Tempt. I. One of the most dangerous temptations of the 
fenemy,is, 'To take the advantage of a Christian's bodily 
weakness, to shake his faith, and question his foundations, 
and call him to dispute over his principles again. Whether 
the soul be immortal ? and there be a heaven, and a hell ? 
And whether Christ be the Son of God, and the Scriptures 
be God's word ? ' &c. As if this had never been question- 
ed, and scanned, and resolved before ! It is a great deal of 
advantage that satan expecteth by this malicious course. If 
he could, he would draw you from Christ to infidelity ; but 
Christ prayeth for you, that your faith may not fail : if he 
cannot do this, he would at least weaken your faith, and 
hereby weaken every grace : and he would hereby divert 
you from the more needful thoughts, which are suitable to 
your present state ; and he would hereby distract you, and 
destroy your comforts, and draw you in your perplexities, 
to dishonour God. Away therefore with these blasphemous 
and unseasonable motions ; cast them from you, with ab- 
horrence and disdain : it is no time now to be questioning 
your foundations; you have done this more seasonably, 
when you were in a fitter case. A pained, languishing bo- 
dy, and a disturbed, discomposed mind, is unfit upon a sur- 
prise, to go back and dispute over all our principles. Tell 
satan, you owe him not so much service, nor will you so 
cast away those few hours and thoughts, for which you have 

a Hie labor extremus, longarurn haec nieta viarum. Vir. ^n. iii. 714. 


SO much better work. You have the witness in yourselves, 
even the Spirit, and image, and seal of God. You have been 
converted and renewed by the power of that Word, which 
he would have you question ; and you have found it to be 
owned by the Spirit of grace, who hath made it mighty to 
pull down the strongest holds of sin. Tell satan you will 
not gratify him so much, as to turn your holy, heavenly de- 
sires, into a wrangling with him about those truths which 
you have so often proved. You will not question now, the 
being of that God who hath maintained you so long, and 
witnessed his being and goodness to you by a life of mer- 
cies ; nor will you now question the being or truth of him 
that hath redeemed you, or of the Spirit or Word that hath 
sanctified, guided, comforted and confirmed you. If he tell 
you, that you must prove all things, tell him, that this is not 
now to do ; you have long proved the truth and goodness of 
your God, the mercy of your Saviour, and the power of his 
holy Spirit and Word. It is now your work to live upon 
that Word, and fetch your hopes and comforts from it, and 
not to question it. 

Tempt. II. Another dangerous temptation of satan is, 
* When he would persuade you to despair, by causing you to 
misunderstand the tenor of the gospel, or by thinking too 
narrowly and unworthily of God's mercy, or of the satisfac- 
tion of Christ.' But because this temptation doth usually 
tend more to discomfort the soul, than to damn it, I shall 
speak more to it under Tit. 3. 

Tempt, lu. Another dangerous temptation is, 'When 
satan would draw you to overlook your sins, and overvalue 
your graces, and be proud of your good works ; and so lay 
too much of your comfort upon yourselves, and lose the 
sense of your need of Christ, or usurp any part of his office 
or his honour.' 1 shall afterward shew you how far you 
must look at any thing in yourselves : but certainly, that 
which lifteth you up in pride, or encroacheth on Christ's of- 
fice, or would draw you to undervalue him, is not of God. 
Therefore keep humble, in the sense of your sinfulness and 
unworthiness, and cast away every motion which would car- 
ry you away from Christ, and make yourselves, and your 
works!, and righteousness, as a Saviour to yourselves. 

Tempi, iv. Another perilous temptation is, ' By causing 


the thoughts of death and the grave, and your doubts and 
fears about the world to come, to overcome the love of God, 
and (not only the comforts, but also) the desires and wil- 
lingness of your hearts, to be with Christ/ It will abate 
your love to God and heaven, to think on them with too 
much estrangedness and terror. The Directions under Tit. 
3. will help you against this temptation. 

Tempt. \. 'Another dangerous temptation is fetched 
from the remnants of your worldlymindedness ; when your 
dignity, or honour, your house, or lands, your relations and 
friends, or your pleasures and contentments, are so sweet to 
you, that you are loath to leave them; and the thoughts of 
death are grievous to you, because it taketh you from that 
which you over-love ; and God and heaven are the less de- 
sired, because you are loath to leave the world.' Watch 
carefully against this great temptation : observe how it 
seeketh the very destruction of your grace and souls ; and 
how it fighteth against your love to God and heaven, and 
would undo all that Christ and his Spirit have been doing so 
long. Observe what a root of matter it findeth in yourselves ; 
and therefore be the more humbled under it. Learn now 
what the world is, and how little the accommodations of the 
flesh are worth; when you perceive what the end of all 
must be. Would you never die? would you enjoy your 
worldly things for ever ? Had you rather have them, than 
to live with Christ in the heavenly glory of the New Jerusa- 
lem? If you had, it is your grievous sin and folly ; and yet 
you know that it is a desire that you can never hope to at- 
tain. Die you must, whether you will or not ! What is it 
then, that you would stay for? Is it till the world be grown 
less pleasant to you, and your love and minds be weaned 
from it ? When should that rather be than now ? And 
what should more effectually do it, than this dying condi- 
tion that you are in ? It is time for you to spit out these 
unwholesome pleasures ; and now to look up to the true, the 
holy, the unmeasurable, everlasting pleasures. 

Tit. 2. Directions how to Profit hy our Sickness. 

Whether it shall please God to recover you or not, it is 
no small benefit which you may get by his visitation, if you 


do your part, and faithfully improve it, according to these 
Directions following. 

Direct, i. ' If you hear God*s call to a closer trial of 
your hearts, concerning the sincerity of your conversion ; 
and thereby are brought to a more exact examination, and 
come to a truer acquaintance with your state (be it good or 
bad) the benefit may be exceeding great.' For if it be good, 
you may be much comforted, and confirmed, and fitted to 
give thanks and praise to God : and if it be bad, you may 
be awakened speedily to look about you, and seek for a re- 

Direct. II. * If in the review of your lives, you find out 
those sins which before you overlooked, or perceive the 
greatness of those sins which you before accounted small, 
the benefit may be very great :' for it will help to a more 
deep and sound repentance, and to a stronger resolution 
against all sins, if you recover. And affliction is a very 
great help to us in this : many a man hath been ashamed 
and deeply humbled for that same sin, when sickness did 
awake him, which he could make his play-fellow before, as 
if there had been neither hurt nor danger in it. 

Direct, iii. * There is many a deep corruption in the heart, 
which affliction openeth and discovereth, which deceitful- 
ness hid in the time of prosperity :' and the detecting of 
these is no small benefit to the soul. When you come to 
part with wealth and honour, you shall better know how 
much you loved them, than you could before. Mark there- 
fore what corruptions appear in your affliction, and how the 
heart discloseth its deceits, that you may know what to re- 
pent of, and reform. 

Direct. IV. * When affliction calleth you to the use and 
exercise of your graces, you have a great help to be better 
acquainted with the strength or weakness of them.' When 
you are called so loudly to the use of faith, and love, and 
patience, and heavenlymindedness, you may better know 
what measure of every one of these you have, than you 
could when you had no such help. Mark therefore what 
your hearts prove in the trial, and what each gi*ace doth 
shew itself to be, in the exercise. 

Direct, v. * You have a very great help now to be 
thoroughly acquainted with the vanity of the world, and so 


to mortify all affections unto the things beiow.' Now 
judge of the value of wealth, and honour, of plenty, and 
high places. Are they a comfort to a dying man that is 
parting with them ? Or is it any grief to a poor man when 
he is dying, that he did not enjoy them? Is it not easy 
now to rectify your errors, if ever you thought highly of 
these transitory things ? O settle it now in your firm reso- 
lution, that if God should restore you, you would value this 
world at a lower rate, and set by it, and seek it, but as it de- 

Direct, vi. ' Also you have now a special help to raise 
your estimation of the happiness of the saints in heaven, 
and of the necessity and excellency of a holy life, and of the' 
wisdom of the saints on earth ; and to know who maketh 
the wisest choice/ Now you may see that it is nothing but 
heaven, that is worth our seeking, and that is finally to 
be trusted to, and will not fail us in the hour of our distress : 
now you may discern between the righteous and the wicked ; 
between those that serve God and those that serve him 
not ^. Now judge whether a loose and worldly life, or a holy, 
heavenly life be better? And resolve accordingly. 

Direct, vii. * You have also now a very great help to 
discern the folly of a voluptuous life, and to mortify the 
deeds and desires of the flesh : when God is mortifying its 
natural desires, it may help you in mortifying its sinful de- 
sires.* Now judge what lust, and plays, and gaming, and 
feasting, and drunkenness, and swaggering, are worth ? You 
see now the end of all such pleasures. Do you think them 
better than the joys of heaven, and worthy the loss of a 
man's salvation to attain them ? Or better than the plear 
sures of a holy life ? 

Direct. VIII. * Also now you have a great advantage, for 
the quickening of your hearts that have lost their zeal, and 
are cold in prayer, and dull in meditation, and regardless 
of holy conference.' If ever you will pray earnestly, sure it 
will be now ; if ever you will talk seriously of the matters 
of salvation, sure it will be now. Now you do better under- 
stand the reason of fervent prayer, and serious religion, and 
circumspect walking than you did before : and you can ea- 
sily now confute the scorns, or railings of the loose, un- 

^ Mai. iii. 17, 18. 


godly enemies of holiness; even as you confute the dotage 
of a fool, or the ravings of a man beside himself. 

Direct, ix. 'You have a great advantage more sensibly 
to perceive your dependance upon God alone: and what 
reason you have to please him before all the world, and to 
regard his favour or displeasure more, than all the things or 
persons upon earth.' Now you see how vain a thing is man ! 
And how little the favour of all the world, can stand you 
in stead in your greatest necessity : now you see that it is 
God, and God alone, that is to be trusted to at last ; and 
therefore it is God that is to be obeyed and pleased, what- 
ever become of all things in the world. 

Direct, x. 'You have now a great advantage. to discern 
the preciousness of time, and to see how carefully it should 
be redeemed, and to perceive the distractedness of thosd 
men, that can waste it in pastimes, and curiosity of dresa* 
ings, and needless compliments and visits, and a multitude 
of such vanities as rob the world, of that which is more pre* 
cious than gold or treasure.' Now what think you of idling 
and playing away your time ? Now do you not think that 
it is wiser to spend it in a holy preparation for the life to 
come, than to cast it away upon childish fooleries, or any 
unnecessary worWly things ? 

Direct, xi. Also you have now a special help to be more 
serious than ever in your preparations for death, and in 
your thoughts of heaven ; and so to be readier than you 
were before : and if sickness help you to be readier to die, 
and more to set your hearts above, whether you live or die, 
it will be a profitable sickness to you.* tu ( .-. od JUKiia ik u 

Direct. Xi J. 'Let your friends about ^ou b^.tihe wit- 
nesses of your open confessions and resolutions, and engage 
th^m, if God should restore you to your health, to rememr 
ber you of all the promises which you have made, and to 
watch over you, and tell you of them whenever there is 
need.' By these means sickness may be improved, and b0 
a mercy to you. 

li : I might next have given some special Directions to them 
that are recovered from sickness; but because I would not 
be needlessly tedious, I refer such to what is here said al- 
ready. 1 . Let them but look over these twelve Directions, 
and see whether these benefits remain upon their hearts. 2. 
Let them call to their lively remembrance, the sense which 


they had, and the frame they were in, when they made these 
resolutions. 3. Let them remember that sickness will come 
again, even a sickness which will have no cure. And 4. 
Let them bethink themselves, how terribly conscience will 
be wounded, and their souls dismayed, when the next sick- 
ness Cometh, to remember that they were unthankful for 
their last recovery, and how falsely they dealt with God in 
the breaking of their promises. Foresee this, that you may 
prevent it. 

Tit. 3. Directions for a Comfortable or Peaceable Death. 

Comfort is not desirable only as it pleaseth us, but also 
as it strengtheneth us, and helpeth us in our greatest du- 
ties. And when is it more needful than in sickness, and the 
approach of death ? I shall therefore add such Directions 
as are necessary to make our departure comfortable or peace- 
ful at the least, as well as safe. 

Direct, i. * Because I would make this treatise no longer 
than I needs must ; in order to overcome the fears of death, 
and get a cheerful willingness to die, I desire the sick to 
read over those twenty considerations, and the following 
Directions which I have laid down in my book of " Self- 
denial." And when the fears of death are overcome, the 
great impediment of their comfort is removed. 

Direct, ii. * Misunderstand not sickness, as if it were a 
greater evil than it is ; but observe how great a mercy it is, 
that death hath so suitable a harbinger or forerunner.* That 
God should do so much before he taketh us hence, to wean 
us from the world, and make us willing to be gone ; that the 
unwilling flesh hath the help of pain ; and that the senses 
and appetite languish and decay, which did draw the mind 
to earthly things, and that we have so loud a call, and so 
great a help to true repentance, and serious preparation ? 
I know to those that have walked very close with God, and 
are always ready, a sudden death may be a mercy ; as we 
have lately known divers holy ministers and others, that 
have died either after sacrament, or in the evening of the 
Lord's day, or in the midst of some holy exercise with so little 
pain, that none about them perceived when they died*". But 

c Mr. Vines, Mr. Cape), Mr. Hollingworth, Mr. Ashurst, Mr. Ambrose, Mrs. 
Burnel, &c. 


ordinarily it is a mercy to have the flesh brought down and 
weakened by painful sickness, to help to conquer our na- 
tural unwillingness to die. 

Direct, ui. 'Remember whose messenger sickness is, 
and who it is that calleth you to die/ It is he, that is the 
Lord of all the world, and gave us the lives which he taketh 
from us : and it is he, that must dispose of angels and men, 
of princes and kingdoms, of heaven and earth ; and there- 
fore there is no reason that such worms as we, should desire 
to be excepted. You cannot deny him to be the disposer 
of all things, without denying him to be God : it is he that 
loveth us, and never meant us harm in any thing that he 
hath done to us; that gave the life of his Son to re- 
deem us; and therefore thinketh not life too good for 
us : our sickness and death are sent by the same love, 
that sent us a Saviour, and sent us the powerful preachers 
of his Word, and sent us his Spirit, and secretly and sweetly 
changed our hearts, and knit them to himself in love; which 
gave us a life of precious mercies for our souls and bodies, 
and hath promised to give us life eternal : and shall we 
think, that he now intendeth us any harm ? Cannot he turn 
this also to our good, as he hath done many an affliction 
which we have repined at? 

Direct, iv. * Look by faith to your dying, buried, risen, 
ascended, glorified Lord.* Nothing will more powerfully 
overcome both the poison, and the fears of death, than the 
believing thoughts of him that hath triumphed over it. Is 
it terrible as it separateth the soul from the body ? So 
it did by our Lord, who yet overcame it. Is it terrible 
as it layeth the body in the grave? So it did by our 
Saviour; though he saw not corruption, but quickly 
rose by the power of his Godhead. He died to teach us 
believingly and boldly to submit to death. He was buried, 
to teach us not overmuch to fear a grave. He rose again to 
conquer death for us, and to assure those that rise to new- 
ness of life, that they shall be raised at last by his power 
unto glory ; and being made partakers of the first resurrec- 
tion, the second death shall have no power over them. He 
liveth as our head, that we might live by him ; and that he 
might assure all those that are here risen with him, and seek 
first the things that are above, that though in themselves 


they are dead, " yet their life is hid with Christ in God ; and 
when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also 
appear with him in glory ^" What a comfortable word is 
that, "Because I live, ye shall live also ^" Death could 
not hold the Lord of life ; nor can it hold us against bis 
will, who hath the " keys of death and hell ^" He loveth 
every one of his sanctified ones much better, than you love 
an eye, or a hand, or any other member of your body, which 
you will not lose, if you are able to save it. When he as- 
cended, he left us that message full of comfort for his fol- 
lowers. " Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend 
unto my Father, and your Father ; to my God, and your 
Gods/' Which, with these two following, I would have 
written before me on my sick bed. " If any man serve me, 
let him follow me ; and where I am, there also shall my 
servant be''." And "Verily, I say unto thee, to-day shalt 
thou be with me in paradise'." O what a joyful thought 
should it be to a believer, to think when he is a dying, that 
he is going to his Saviour, and that our Lord is risen and 
gone before us, to prepare a place for us, and take us in sea- 
son to himself''. " As you believe in God, believe thus in 
Christ ; and then your hearts will be less troubled^." It is 
not a stranger that we talk of to you ; but your Head and 
Saviour that loveth you better than you love yourselves, 
whose office it is there to appear continually for you before 
God, and at last to receive your departing souls ; and into 
his hand it is, that you must then commend them, as 
Stephen did™. '^Idinai i\ 

Direct, v. * Choose out some promises most suitaWe to 
your condition, and roll them over and over in your mind, 
and feed and live on them by faith.' A .sick man is not 
(usually) fit to think of very many things; and therefore 
two or three comfortable promises, to be still before his 
eyes, may be the most profitable matter of his thoughts ; 
such as those three which I named before. If he be most 
troubled with the greatness of his sin, let it be such as 
these. " God so loved the world, that he gave his only be- 
gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not 

d Col. iii. 1, 2. 4, 5. <= John xiv. 19. ^ Rev, i. 18. 

? John XX. 17. '» John xii. 26. ' Luke xxiii. 43. 

^ John xiv. 2—4. ' Ver. 1. '" Acts vii. 59. 


perish, but have everlasting life "." " And by him all that 
believe, are justified from all things; from which ye could 
not be justified by the law of Moses **." "For I will be 
merciful unto their unrighteousness, and their sins and ini- 
quities will I remember no more p." If it be the weakness 
of his grace that troubleth him, let him choose such pas^ 
sages as these. " He shall gather the lambs with his arm, 
and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those 
that are with young "i." ** The flesh lusteth against the spi- 
rit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary 
one to the other ; so that ye cannot do the things that ye 
would''." **The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 
" All that the Father givetk me, shall come to me ; and him 
that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out'." '^The apos- 
tles said unto the Lord, increase our faith *." If it be the 
fear of death, and strangeness to the other world that trou- 
bleth you, remember the words of Christ before cited, and 
2 Cor. V. 1 — 6. 8. '* For we know, that if our earthly house 
of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of 
God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 
For in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon 
with our house which is from heaven : for we that are in 
this tabernacle do groan being burdened, not for that we 
would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might 

b^swallowed up of life. We are confident, and willing 

rather to be absent from the body, and present with the 
Lord." " For I am in a strait between to, having a desire to 
depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better"." " Bless- 
ed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth : 
yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, 
and their works do follow them''." "O death where is thy 
sting! O grave where is thy victory J^i" " Lord Jesus re- 
ceive my 8pint".f' Fix upon some such word or promise 
;which may support you, in your extremity. 

Direct, vi. ' Look up to God, who is the glory of heaven, 
and the light, and life, and joy of souls, and believe that you 
are going to see his face, and to live in the perfect, everlasl- 

" John iii. 16. " Acts xiii. 39. r Hcb. viii. If. 

n Isaiah xl. 11. ' Gal. t. 17. • Matt. xxvl. 41. John tI.S?. 

» Luke xvii. 5. " PhiL i. «3. » Rer. «iT. 13. 

y iCor. xf. 55. » ActsTii, 59. 


ing fruition of his fullest love among the glorified.* If it be 
delectable here to know his works, what will it be to see 
the cause of all ? All creatures in heaven and earth con- 
joined, can never afford such content and joy to holy souls, 
as God alone ! O if we knew him whom we must there be- 
hold, how weary should we be of this dungeon of mortality ? 
and how fervently should we long to see his face ? The 
chicken that cometh out of the shell, or the infant that new- 
ly cometh out of the womb, into this illuminated world of 
human converse, receiveth not such a joyful change, as the 
soul that is newly loosed from the flesh, and passeth from 
this mortal life to God. One sight of God by a blessed 
soul, is worth more than all the kingdoms of the earth. It 
is pleasant to the eyes to behold the sun : but the sun is as 
darkness and useless in his glory. ** And the city had no need 
of the sun, nor of the moon to shine in it : for the glory of 
God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof "*." 
" And there shall be no more curse : but the throne of God 
and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve 
him : and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in 
their foreheads : and there shall be no night there : and they 
need no candle, nor light of the sun ; for the Lord God giv- 
eth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever*'." 
If David in the wilderness so impatiently thirsted, to ap- 
pear before God, the living God, in his sanctuary at Jeru- 
salem ^, how earnestly should we long to see his glory in 
the heavenly Jerusalem ? The glimpse of his back parts* 
was as much as Moses might behold ^ ; yet that much put 
a shining glory upon his face ^. The sight that Stephen had 
when men were ready to stone him, was a delectable sight ^ 
The glimpse of Christ in his transfiguration ravished the 
three apostles that beheld it^. Paul's vision which wrapt 
him up into the third heavens, did advance him above the 
rest of mankind ! But our beatifical sight of the glory.of 
God, will very far excel all this. When our perfected bodies 
shall have the perfect glorious body of Christ to see, and 
our perfected souls shall have the God of truth, the most 
perfect uncreated light to know, what more is a created un- 
derstanding capable of? And yet this is not the top of our 

* Rev. xxi. 23. '' Rev. xxii. 3-^5. ^ Psal. xiii. ^' Exod. xxxir. 

e Vcr. 29, 30. ' Acts vii.55, 56. 5 Matt. xvii. 2. 6. 


felicity ; for the understanding is but the passage to the 
heart or will, and truth is but subservient to goodness : and 
therefore though the understanding be capable of no more 
than the beatifical vision, yet the man is capable of more ; 
even of receiving the fullest communications of God's love, 
and feeling it poured out upon the heart, and living in the 
returns of perfect love ; and in this intercourse of love will 
be our highest joys, and this is the top of our heavenly fe- 
licity. O that God would make us foreknow by a lively 
faith, what it is to behold him in his glory, and to dwell in 
perfect love and joy, and then death would no more be able 
to dismay us, nor should we be unwilling of such a blessed 
change ! But having spoken of this so largely in my 
" Saints' Rest," I must stop here, and refer you thither. 

Direct, vii. ' Look up to the blessed Society of angels, 
and saints with Christ, and remember their blessedness and 
joy, and that you also belong to the same society and 
are going to be numbered with them. It will greatly over- 
come the fears of death, to see by faith the joys of them that 
have gone before us ; and withal to think of their relation 
to us ; as it will encourage a man that is to go beyond sea, 
if the far greatest part of his dearest friends be gone before 
him, and he heareth of their safe arrival, and of their joy 
and happiness. Those angels that now see the face of God 
are our special friends and guardians, and entirely love us, 
better than any of our friends on earth do ! They rejoiced 
at our conversion, and will rejoice at our glorification ; and 
as they are better, and love us better, so therefore our love 
should be greater to them, than to any upon earth, and we 
should more desire to be with them. Those blessed souls 
that are now with Christ, were once as we are here on earth ; 
they were compassed with temptations, and clogged with 
flesh and burdened with sin, and persecuted by the world, 
and they went out of the world by sickness and death, as 
we must do ; and yet now their tears are wiped away, 
their pains, and groans, and fears are turned into inexpres- 
sible blessedness and joy ; and would we not be with them? 
Is not their company desirable ? and their felicity more de- 
sirable? The glory of the New Jerusalem is not described 
to us in vain. God will be all in all there to us, as the only 
Run and glory of that world ; and yet we shall have pleasurt;. 


not only to see our glorified Redeemer, but also to converse 
with the heavenly society, and to sit down with Abraham, 
Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God, and to love and 
praise him in consort and harmony with all those holy, 
blessed spirits. And shall we be afraid to follow, where the 
saints of all generations have gone before us ? And shall 
the company of our best, and most, and happiest friends, 
be no inducement to us ? Though it must be our highest 
joy to think that we shall dwell with God, and next that we 
shall see the glory of Christ, yet is it no small part of my 
Qomfort to consider, that I shall follow all those holy per- 
sons, whom I once conversed with, that are gone before me, 
and that I shall dwell with such as Enoch and Elias, 
and Abraham and Moses, and Job and David, and Peter 
and John, and Paul and Timothy, and Ignatius and Poly- 
carp, and Cyprian and Nazianzen, and Augustine and 
Chrysostom, and Bernard and Gerson, and Savonarola and 
Mirandula, and Taulerus and Kempisius, and Melancthon 
and Alasco, and Calvin and Bucholtzer, and Bullinger and 
Musculus, and Zanchy and Bucer, and Paraeus and Gry- 
nseus, and Chemnitius and Gerhard, and Chamier, and Ca- 
pellus, and Blondel and Rivet, and Rogers and Bradford, 
and Hooper and Latimer, and Hildersham and Amesius, and 
J^angley and Nicolls, and Whitaker and Cartwriglit, and 
Hooker and Bayne, and Preston and Sibbes, and Perkins 
and Dod, and Parker and Ball, and Usher and Hall, and 
Gataker and Bradshaw, and Vines and Ash, and mi lions 
ipiore of the family of God ^. I name these for my own de- 
light and comfort ; it being pleasant to me to remember 
what companions I shall have in the heavenly joys, and 
praises of my Lord. How few are all the saints on earth, in 
comparison of those that are now with Christ? And, alas, 
how weak, and ignorant, and corrupt, how selfish, and con- 
tentious, and froward, are God's poor infanto here in flesh, 
when above there is nothing but holiness and perfection? 
If knowledge, or goodness, or any excellency do make the 
creatures truly amiable, all this is there in the highest de- 
-gree; but here, alas, hQw little have we? If the love of 

'*' Reader, bear with this mixture : for God will own his image when peevish 
contenders do deny it, or blaspheme it; and will receive those whom fa cl ion and 
.proud domination would cast out, and vilify with scorn and slanders. 


God, or the love of us, do make others lovely to us, it is 
there and not here that these and all perfections flourish. 
O how much now, do I find the company of the wise and 
learned, the godly and sincere, to differ from the company 
of the ignorant, brutish, the proud and malicious, the false- 
hearted and ungodly rabble ? How sweet is the converse 
of a holy, wise, experienced Christian? O then what a 
place is the New Jerusalem; and how pleasant will it be 
with saints and angels to see and love and praise the Lord, 
Direct. VIII. * That sickness and death may be comfort- 
able to you, as your passage to eternity, take notice of the 
seal and earnest of God even the spirit of grace which he 
hath put into your hearts.' That which emboldened Paul 
and such others to groan after immortality ; and to ** be most 
willing to be absent from the body and present with the 
Lord," was because God himself ** had wrought or made 
them for it, and given them the earnest or pledge of his Spi- 
rit '." For this is God's mark upon his chosen and justified 
ones by which they are ** sealed up to the day of their re- 
demption." ** In whom also after ye believed, ye were seal- 
ed with that holy Spirit of promise ''." ** God hath anointed 
lis, and sealed us, and given the pledge or earnest of his 
Spirit into our hearts'." ** This is the pledge or earnest of 
our inheritance '"." And what a comfoft should it be to us, 
when we look towards heaven to find such a pledge of God 
within us ? If you say, I fear I have not this earnest of the 
Spirit: whence then did your desires of holiness arise? 
what weaned you from the world, and made you place your 
hopes and happiness above? whence came your enmity to 
sin, and opposition to it, and your earnest desires after the 
glory of God, the prosperity of the Gospel, and the good 
of souls? The very love of holiness and holy persons, an<J 
your desires to know God and perfectly love him, do 
shew that heavenly nature or spirit within you, which is 
your surest evidence for eternal life : for that spirit was sen,t 
from heaven, to draw up your hearts, and fit you for it : an^ 
God doth not give you such natures, and desires, and prepa- 
rations in vain. This also is called '* The witness of the 
Spirit with (or to) our spirit, that we are the children of 

• 2 Cor, ». 4, 5, 8. ^ Kphcs. iv. SO. i. 13. 

' 2 Cor. i. «l,iii. •" Ephes. i. 14. 


God ; and if children then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint 
heirs with Christ"." It witnesseth our adoption, by evi- 
dencing it ; as a seal or pledge doth witness our title to that 
which is so confirmed to us. The nature of every thing is 
suited to its use and end ; God would not have given us a 
heavenly nature or desire, if he had not intended us for 

Direct. IX. * Look also to the testimony of a holy life, 
since grace hath employed you in seeking after the heavenly 
inheritance.' It is unlawful and perilous to look after any 
works or righteousness of your own, so as to set it in whole 
or in part, instead of Christ, or to ascribe to it any honour 
that is proper to him ; as to imagine that you are innocent, 
or have fulfilled the law, or have made God a compensation 
by your merits or sufferings, for the sin you have committed. 
But yet you must judge yourselves on your sickbeds as near 
as you can, as God will judge you. And " he will judge 
every man according to his work ;" and will recompense 
and reward men according to their works. ** Well done 
good and faithful servant ! thou hast been faithful over a 
little, I will make thee ruler over much ; come ye blessed of 
my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you — for I