(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
See other formats

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'lf^^'i^' ...fill ^^'*' 







General Directions for an Upright Life S 

The most passed by on necessary reasons ................ 1^ 


I A few brief Memoranda to Rulers^ for the interest of Christ, 

the church, and men's salvation 13 


Directions to Subjects concerning their duty to Rulers .... 22 

Of the Nature and Causes of Government 23 

Mr. Richard Hooker's " Ecclesiastical Polity," as it is for po- 
pularity, examined and confuted. Directions for Obe- 
dience. Duty to Rulers 27 

Q. 1. Is the Magistrate judge in controversies of faith or wor- 
ship ? 53 




Q. 2. May the oath of supremacy be lawfully taken, in which 
the king is pronounced supreme governor in all causes, as 

well ecclesiastical as civil } 54 

Q. 3. Doth not this give the pastor's power to the magistrate? ibid. 
Q. 4. Hath the king power of church discipline and excom- 
munication } ibid. 

Q. 5. If kings and bishops differ, which must be obeyed?.. 56 

Q. 6. Is he obliged to suffer, who is not obliged to obey ? . . 64 

Of Admonition of Rulers 66 

Q. 1. Whether the sound authors of politics be against mo- 
narchy ? » 71 

Q. 2. Whether civilians be against it ? 72 

Q. 3. Are historians against it? Greek, Roman, or Christian ? ibid. 
Q. 4. Whether Athens, Rome, Aristotle, philosophers, acade- 
mies be against it ? 73 

Q. 5. Are divines and church discipline against it? 74 

Q. 6. Are Scripture and Christianity against it? 75 

Objections answered 76 

Q. Are Papists, Prelatists, and Puritans against it ? 83 

Bilson's and Andrews's Vindication of the Puritans 85 

Christianity is the greatest help to government 87 

Farther Directions 93 

Q. Whether man's laws bind the conscience ? 96 

Q. Is it a sin to break every law of man ? More fully an- 
swered 98 

Directions to Lawyers about their duty to God 103 

The Duty of Physicians 109 


Directions to Schoolmasters about their duties for children's 

souls J j4 




Directions for Soldiers about their duty in point of conscience. 
(Princes, Nobles, Judges and Justices, are past by, lest they 
take counsel for injury) • 119 


Tit. 1 . Directions against Murder 129 

The Causes of it, — Wars, tyranny, malignant, persecuting 
fury, unrighteous judgment, oppression and uncharitable- 
ness, robbery, wrath, guilt and shame, malice and revenge, 

wicked impatience, covetousness, ambition, &c ibid. 

The Greatness of the sin 136 

The Consequents 137 

Tit. 2. Advice against Self-murder 138 

The Causes to be avoided, — ^Melancholy, worldly trouble, dis- 
content, passion^ &c. Besides gluttony, tippling, and 
idleness, the great murderers • ibid. 


Directions for the Forgiving of Injuries and Enemies. Against 

Wrath, Malice, Revenge, and Persecution 142 

Practical Directions ibid. 

Twenty curing Considerations 144 


Cases resolved about forgiving Wrongs, and Debts, and about 
Self-defence, and seeking our Right by law or otherwise . . 1.54 

Q. 1. What injuries are we bound to forgive? Neg. affirm, 
resolved i^i^- 



Q. 2. What is the meaning of Matt. v. 38, &c. " Resist not 
evil 3 but whosoever shall smite thee/' &c 160 

Q. 3. Am I bound to forgive another if he ask me not for- 
giveness ? Luke xvii. 3j &c 161 

Q. 4. Is it lawful to sue another at law ? 1 Cor. vi. 7 162 

Q. 5. Is it lawful to defend our lives or estates tigainst a rob- 
ber, murderer, or unjust invader by force of arms ? . . . . 164 

Q. 6. Is it lawful to take away another's life in defending my 
purse or estate only ? 1 65 

Q. 7. May we kill or wound another in defence or vindication 
of our honour or good name ? 167 


Special Directions to escape the Guilt of Persecution : deter- 

miningmuch of the case about liberty in matters of religion 168 

What is Persecution ibid. 

The several kinds of it ibid. 

The Greatness of the sin 171 

Understand the case of Christ's interest in the world 179 

Q. Whether particular churches should require more of their 
members as conditions of communion than the catholic 

church ? and what ? 187 

Penalties to be chosen that hinder the Gospel least 189 

More Directions to the number of forty-one 191 


Directions against Scandal as given 202 

What Scandal is, and what not ibid. 

The sorts of Scandalizing 205 

The Scripture sense of it 209 

Aggravations of the sin 211 

Twenty Directions 212 




Directions against Scandal taken, or an aptness to receive 
hurt by the words or deeds of others : especially quarrelling 
with godliness. Or taking encouragement to sin 224 

Practical Directions against taking hurt by others 225 


Directions against Soul-murder and partaking of other men's 

sins 233 

The several ways of destroying souls . 234 

How we are not guilty of other men's sin and ruin 241 


General Directions for furthering the salvation of others. . . . 242 


Special Directions for Holy Conference, Exhortation, and 

Reproof 246 

Tit. 1. Motives to Holy Conference and Exhortation ...... ibid. 

Tit. 2. Directions to Christian, edifying discourse 254 

Tit. 3. Special Directions for Exhortations and Reproofs . . 257 


Directions for keeping Peace with all men 263 

How the proud do hinder Peace 264 

Many more causes and cures opened 267 




Tit. 1. Directions against all Theft, Fraud, or injurious get- 
ting, keeping, or desiring that which is another's 273 

Tit. 2. Cases of Conscience about Theft and such injuries . . 279 

Q. 1. Is it sin to steal to save one's life ? ibid. 

Q. 2. May I take that which another is bound to give me, 
and will not ? 2S1 

Q. 3. May I take my own from an unjust borrower or pos- 
sessor, if I cannot otherwise get it ? 282 

Q. 4. May I recover my own by force from him that taketh 
it by force from me ? ibid. 

Q. 5. May we take it from the rich to relieve the poor ?. . . . ibid. 

Q. 6. If he have so much as that he will not miss it, may I 
take some ? 283 

Q. 7. May not one pluck ears of corn, or an apple from a 
tree, &c.? ibid. 

Q. 8. May a wife, child, or servant take more than a cruel 
husband, parent, or master doth allow ? (May children 
forsake their parents for such cruelty ?) ibid. 

Q. 9. May 1 take what a man forfeiteth penally ? 284 

Q. 10. What if I resolve, when I take a thing in necessity, 
to make satisfaction if ever I be able ? ibid. 

Q. 11 . What if I know not whether the owner would consent ? ibid. 

Q. 12. May I take in jest from a friend, with a purpose to 
restore it ? ibid. 

Q. 13. May I not take from another to prevent his hurting 
himself ? 285 

Q. 14. May I take away cards, dice, play- books. Papist books, 
by which he would hurt his soul ? ibid. 

Q. 15. May not a magistrate take the subjects' goods when 
it is necessary to their own preservation ? 286 

Q. 16. May I take from another for a holy use ? ibid. 


General Directions and particular Cases of Conscience, about 
Contracts in general, and about Buying and Selling, Bor- 
rowing and Lending, and Usury in particular 287 



Tit. I. General Directions against injurious bargaining and 
contracts 287 

Tit. 2. Cases about justice in Contracts 289 

Q. 1. Must I in all cases do as I would be done by? ibid. 

Q. 2. Is a son bound by the Contracts which parents or guar- 
dians made for him in his infancy ? 290 

Q. 3. If parents disagree, how is the child to act ? 292 

Q. 4. Is one obliged by a Contract made in ignorance or mis- 
take of the matter ? ibid. 

Q. 5. Doth the Contract of a man drunk, or in a passion^ or 
melancholy bind him ? 293 

Q. 6. May another hold such an one to his Contract, or if he 
give or play away his money ? 294 

Q. 7. Am I obliged by covenanting words without a cove- 
nanting intent } ibid. 

Q. 8. May I promise a robber money to save my life, or to 
save a greater commodity? , 295 

Q. 9. May I give money to a judge or magistrate, to hire him 
to do me justice, and not to wrong me, or not to persecute 
me ? ibid. 

Q. 10. If I make such a Contract may the magistrate take it 
of me ? ibid. 

Q. 11. If I promise money to an officer or robber under a 
force, am I bound to pay it when the necessity is over? So 
of other constrained promises ibid. 

Q. 12. May I promise a thief or bribe-taker to conceal him, 

and must I keep that promise ? 297 

Q. 13. Must I keep a promise which I was drawn into by 
deceit? ' 298 

Q. 14. Is it a covenant when neither of the contracting parties 
understand each other ? •• o • . * ibid. 

Q. 15. Must I stand to a bargain made for me by a friend or 
servant to my injury ? 299 

Q. 16. If I say ' I will give one this or that,' am I bound to 
give it him ? • ibid. 

Q. 17. Doth a mental promise not uttered oblige ? 300 

Q. 18. May I promise to do a thing simply unlawful, without 
a purpose to perform it, to save my life ? • ibid. 

Q. 19. May any thing otherwise unlawful become a duty 

upon a promise to do it ? • ibid. 

Q. 20. May he that promised for a reward to promote ano- 
ther's sin, take the reward when he hath done it ? 301 



Q. 2 1 . Am 1 bound by a Contract without witness or legal form } 301 

Q. 22. May an office in a court of justice be bought for 

money ? • ibid. 

Q. 23. May a place of magistracy or judicature be bought ? . 302 

Q. 24. May one sell a church-benefice or orders? ibid. 

Q. 25. May one buy orders or a benefice ? » • • • 303 

Q. 26. May I give money to servants or officers to assist my 

suit } ibid. 

Q. 27. May I after give by way of gratitude to the bishop, 

patron, &c ibid. 

Q. 28. May a bishop or pastor take money for sermons, sa- 
craments, or other offices ? ibid. 

Q. 29. May I disoblige another of his promise made to me ?. . 304 

Q. 30. What if it be seconded by an oath ? ibid. 

Q. 3 1 . Doth a promise bind, when the cause or reason proveth 

a mistake ? ibid. 

Q. 32. What if a following accident make it more to my hurt 

than could be foreseen ?..... ibid. 

Q. 33. Or if it make it injurious to a third person ? ibid. 

Q. 34. Or if a following accident make the performance a sin ? 305 

Q.35. Am I bound to him that breaketh covenant with me? ibid. 

Q. 36. May I contract to do that which I foresee like to be- 
come impossible before the time of performance ? ibid. 

Tit. 3. Cases about justice in Buying and Selling 306 

Q. 1. Am 1 bound to endeavour the gain of him that I bar- 
gain with as well as my own ? . . . . ibid. 

Q. 2. May I take more for my labour or goods than the worth, 

if I can get it ? ibid. 

Q. 3. May I £isk more in the market than the worth ? 307 

Q. 4. How shall the worth of a commodity be judged of? . . ibid. 

Q. 5. May I conceal the faults, or make a thing seem better 

than it is, by setting the best side outward, adorning, &c. . 308 

Q. 6. If I was deceived, or gave more than the worth, may I 

do so to repair my loss? ibid. 

Q. 7. If I foresee a cheapness of my commodity, (as by com- 
ing in of ships, &c.) must I tell the buyer of it that know- 

eth it not? 309 

Q. 8. May I keep my commodity if I foresee a dearth ? ... 310 

Q. 9. May one use many words in buying and seUing? . . . ibid. 

Q. 10. May I buy as cheap as I can, or below the worth ? . . ibid. 

Q. 11. May I sell dearer for another's necessity? (cases in- 
stanced in) ibid. 

\ CONTENTS. xiii 


Q. V2. May I take advantage of the buyer's ignorance ? . . • 311 

Q. 13. May I strive to get a good bargain before another? . . ibid. 

Q. 14. May 1 buy a thing, or hire a servant, which another 
is first about, or call away his chapman ? 312 

Q. 1,5. May I dispraise another's commodity, to draw the 
buyer to my own ? ibid. 

Q. 16. What to do in cases of doubtful equity? 313 

Q. 17. What if the buyer lose the thing bought before pay- 
ment ? (as if a horse die, &c.) ibid. 

Q. 18. if the thing bought, (as ambergris, jewels, &c.) prove 
of much more worth than either party expected, must more 
be after paid ? ibid. 

Q. 19. What if the title prove bad, which was before un- 
known ? 314 

Q. 20. If a change of powers overthrow a title speedily, who 
must bearthe loss? ibid. 

Tit. 4. Cases about Lending and Borrowing . 315 

Q. 1. May one borrow money who seeth no probability that 
he shall be able to repay it ? ibid. 

Q. 2. May one drive a trade with borrowed money, when 
success and repayment are uncertain? 316 

Q. 3. May he that cannot pay his debts, retain any thing for 
his food and raiment? ibid. 

Q. 4. May one that breaketh, secure that to his wife and 
children, which on marriage he promised, before he was in 
debt ? ibid. 

Q. 5. May one that breaketh retain somewhat to set up again 
by compounding with his creditors ? ibid. 

Q. 6. May I in necessity break my day of payment ? 317 

Q. 7. May I borrow of one to keep day with another ? . . . . ibid. 

Q. 8. May one that hath no probability of paying the last 
man, borrow of one to pay another ? ibid. 

Q. 9. Is it lawful to take pledges, pawns, or mortgages for 
security ? _ 318 

Q. 10. May a forfeiture, pledge, or mortgage be kept, on 
covenant-breaking ? • • ibid. 

Q. 11. May I take the promise or bond of a third person as 
security for my money? 319 

Q. 12. Is it lawful to lend upon usury, interest, or increase ? ibid. 

Q. 13. Whom are we bound to lend to ? 326 

Q. 14. Is it lawful to take money on usury, in such cases as 
the lender sinneth in ? -. 327 

xiv CONTENT!^. 


Q. 15. Doth not contracting for a certain sum make usury 
the more unlawful ? 327 

Tit. 5. Cases about Lusory Contracts 328 

Q. 1, Is it lawful to lay wagers about the truth of our discourses ? ibid. 

Q. 2. Is it lawful to lay wagers about horse-races, dogs, 
hawks, &c. ? 329 

Q. 3. May one give money to see games or activities, bear- 
baitings, plays, &c. ? • • • ibid. 

Q. 4. Is it lawful to play for money at cards, dice, lottery, 6lc. ? ibid. 

Q. 5. Or at games of activity, as bowling, shooting, run- 
ning, &c.? 330 

Q. 6. If the loser prove angry and unwilling to pay, may I 
get it of him by law ? • • • • ibid. 

Tit. 6. Cases about Losing and Finding ibid. 

Q. 1. Must we seek out the loser to restore what we tind ? . . ibid. 

Q. 2. May I take a reward as my due, for restoring what I 
found } ...*.. i ibid. 

Q, 3. May I wish to find any thing in my way, or be glad 
that I find it?... 331 

Q. 4. May I not keep it, if no owner be found ? ibid. 

Q. 5. If others be present when I find it, may I not conceal, 
or keep it to myself ? • ibid. 

Q. 6. Who must stand to the loss of goods trusted to another ? ibid. 

Tit. 7- Directions to Merchants, Factors, Travellers, Chap- 
lains, that live among heathens, infidels, or Papists ? . . . . 332 

Q. 1 . Is it lawful to put one's self or servants, specially young 
unsettled apprentices, into the temptations of an infidel or 
popish country, merely to get riches as merchants do ?. . . . ibid. 

Q. 2. May a merchant or ambassador leave his wife to live 
abroad ? 336 

Q. 3. Is it lawful for young gentlemen to travel into other 
kingdoms, as part of their education? The danger of 
common travelling .* 337 

Directions for all these travellers in their abode abroad .... 344 


Tit. i . Motives and Directions against Oppression 348 

The Sorts of it ibid. 

The greatness of the sin of Oppression. The Cure 350 



Tit. 2. Cases about Oppression, especially of tenants 357 

Q. 1. Is it lawful to buy land of a liberal landlord, when the 

buyer must needs set it dearer than the seller did ? ibid. 

Q. 2. May one take as much for his land as it is worth ? . . . . 358 

Q. 3. May he raise his rents ? 359 

Q. 4. How much below the full worth must a landlord sell 

his land ? ibid. 

Q. 5, May not a landlord that is in debt, or hath a payment to 

pay, raise his rents to pay it ? ibid. 

Q. 6. If I cannot relieve the honest poor without raising the 

rent of tenants that are worthy of less charity, may I do it ? 360 
Q. 7- May I penally raise a tenant's rent, or turn him out, 

because he is a bad man? 361 

Q. 8. May one take house or land while another is in posses- 
sion of it? 362 

Q. 9. May a rich man put out his tenants to lay the lands to 

his own demesnes ? ibid. 

Q. 10. May one tenant have divers tenements ? 368 

Q. 11 . May one have divers trades ? ibid. 

Q. 12. Or keep shops in several market towns ? * • • • ibid. 


Cases and Directions about Prodigality and sinful Waste . . 363 

What it is. Ways of sinful waste 364 

Q. 1. Are all men bound to fare alike ? Or what is excess ? ibid. 
Q. 2. What cost on visits and entertainments is lawful ? 

(Whether the greatest good is still to be preferred r) .... 365 

Q. 3. What is excess in buildings ? 369 

Q. 4. May we not in building, diet, &c. be at some charge for 

our delight, as well as for necessity ? ibid. 

Q. 5. When are recreations too costly ? 370 

Q. 6. When is apparel too costly ? ibid. 

Q. 7. When is retinue, furniture, and other pomp too costly? 371 

Q. 8. When is housekeeping too costly ? ibid. 

Q. 9. When are children's portions too great ? 372 

Q. 10. How far is frugality in small matters a duty ? 373 

Q. 1 1. Must all labour in a calling ? ibid. 

Q. 12. May one desire to increase and grow rich ? 374 




Q. 13. Can one be prodigal in giving to the church r 374 

Q. 14. May one give toa much to the poor ? ibid. 

Q. 15. May the rich lay out on conveniences, pomp, or plea- 
sure, when multitudes are in deep necessities ? ibid. 

Directions against Prodigality 37 fS 


Cases and Directions against injurious Lavi^suits, Witnessing, 
and Judgment 377 

Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Lawsuits and proceedings ibid. 

Q. 1. When is it lawful to go to law } ibid. 

Q. 2. May I sue a poor man for a debt or trespass ? 378 

Q. 3. May I sue a surety whose interest was not concerned in 
the debt? ibid. 

Q. 4. May I sue for the use of money ? ' ibid. 

Q. 5. May lawsuits be used to vex and humble an insolent^ 
badman? 379 

Q. 6. May a rich man use his friends and purse to bear down 
a poor man that hath a bad cause ? ibid. 

Q. 7. May one use such forms in lawsuits (declarations, an- 
swers, &c.) as are false, according to the proper sense of the 
words? ibid. 

Q. 8. May a person plead not guilty ? ibid. 

Q. 9. Is a man bound to accuse himself, and oflfer himself to 
justice ? 380 

Q. 10. May a witness voluntarily speak that truth, which he 
knoweth will be ill used ? ibid. 

Q. 11 . May a witness conceal part of the truth ? ibid. 

Q. 12. Must a judge or jury proceed ' secundum allegata et 
probata,' when they know the witness to be false or the 
cause bad, but cannot evince it ? ibid. 

Tit. 2. Directions against these sins 381 

The evil of unjust suits ibid. 

The evil of false witness 38-2 

The evil of unjust judgments 383 

The Cure ^ 384 



Cases of Conscience and Directions against Backbiting, Slan- 
dering, and Evil-speaking 386 

Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Backbiting and Evil-speaking ibid. 

Q. 1 . May we not speak evil of that which is evil ? ibid. 

Q. 2. May not the contrary be sinful silence and befriending 

men's sins } ibid. 

Q. 3. What if religious, credible persons report it? 387 

Q. 4. If I may not speak it, may I not believe them } ibid. 

Q. 5. May we not speak ill of open persecutors or enemies of 

godliness ? ibid. 

Q. 6. What if it be one whose reputation countenanceth his 

ill cause, and his defamation would disable him ? • • • 388 

Q. 7. If I may not make a true narrative of matters of fact, 

how may we write true histories for posterity ? • • ibid. 

Q. 8. What if it be one that hath been oft admonished ? . . . . 389 

Q. 9. Or one that I cannot speak to face to face ? ibid. 

Q. 10. In what cases may we open another's faults ? ibid. 

Q. 11 . What if I hear men praise the wicked, or their sins ?. . 390 

Q. 12. Are we bound to reprove every backbiter } 391 

Tit. 2. Directions against Backbiting, Slandering, and Evil- 
speaking ibid. 

Tit. 3. The great evil of these sins 394 


Cases of, and Directions against Censoriousness, and sinful 

Judging 398 

Tit. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Judging others ibid. 

Q. I. Am I not bound to judge truly of every one as he is ? • . ibid. 

Q, 2. How far may we judge ill of one by outward appear- 
ance, as face, gesture, &c. 399 

Q. 3. How far may we censure on the report of others ? .. .. ibid. 

Q. 4. Doth not the fifth commandment bind us to judge bet- 
ter of parents and princes than their lives declare them to be ? ibid. 

Q. 5. Whom must we judge sincere and holy Christfans ? 400 

Q. 6. Is it not a sin to err, and take a man for better than he is ? ibid. 

Q. 7' Whom must I take for a visible church -member ? • • • . ibid. 
VOL. VI. ^ b 

xviii CONTENTS. 


Q. 8. Whom must I judge a true worshipper of God ? 401 

Q. 9. Which must I take for a true church ? ibid. 

Q. 10. Whom must we judge true prophets and true pastors 

of thechurch? 402 

Tit. 2. Directions for the cure of sinful Censoriousness ibid. 

Tit. 3. The Evil of the sin of Censoriousness 406 

Tit. 4. Directions for those that are rashly censured by others 410 



Cases and Directions about Trusts and Secrets 413 

Tit. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Trusts and Secrets ibid. 

Q. I. How must we not put our trust in man ? ibid. 

Q.2. Whom to choose for a trust > • ibid. 

Q, 3. When may I commit a secret to another > 414 

Q. 4. Must I keep a secret when I am trusted with it, but 

promise it not ? • ibid. 

Q. 5. What if a secret be revealed to me, without a desire to 

concealit? ibid. 

Q. 6. What if it be against the king or state ? ibid. 

Q. 7. What if it be against the good of a third person ? ibid. 

Q. 8. What if a man in debt do trust his estate with me to 

defraud his creditors? ibid. 

Q. 9. What if a delinquent intrust his person or estate with 

me to secure it from penalty } 415 

Q. 10. What if a friend intrust his estate with me to secure it 

from some great taxes to the king? ibid. 

Q. 11. What if a man that suflfereth for religion commit his 

person or estate to my trust ? ibid. 

Q. 12. If a Papist or erroneous person intrust me to educate 

his children in his error when he is dead, I being of his 

mind, must I perform it, when I am better informed ? .... ibid. 
Q. 13. What if one turn Papist, &c. after another hath com- 
mitted his children to him ? 416 

Q. 14. Must I wrong my estate to satisfy a dying friend in 

taking a trust ? , jjtjjj 

Q. 15. What if after the trust prove more to my hurt than 

I could foresee ? ibid. 

Q. 16. What if he cast the trust on me, without my promise 

to accept it ? , 41-^ 



Q. 17. May I not ease myself of a trust of orphans, by cast- 
ing it on the surviving kindred, if they calumniate me as 
unfaithful? 417 

Q. 18. What is a minister to do if a penitent confess secretly 
to him a heinous or a capital crime ? ibid. 

Tit. *2. Directions about Trusts and Secrets 419 


Directions against Selfishness, as it is contrary to the love of 
our neighbour. The Nature and Evil of the sin, and the 
Cure 421 


Cases and Directions for Loving our Neighbours as ourselves 425 

Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Loving our Neighbour . . ibid. 
Q. 1. How must I love another as myself, in degree, or kind, 

or only reality ? ibid. 

Q. 2. What is the true nature of love to myself and others ?. . ibid^ 
Q. 3. If none must be loved above their worth, how doth God 

love sinners ? 426 

Q. 4. Must I love all in degree as much as myself ? 429 

Q. 5. Must I love any more than myself? ibid. 

Q. 6. Must I love other men's wife, children, &c. better than 

my own, when they are better ? ibid. 

Q. 7. Who is that neighbour whom I must love as myself ?.. 430 
Q. 8. Must we love and pray for antichrist, and those that sin 

against the Holy Ghost ? ibid. 

Q. 9. Must we not hate God's enemies ? ibid. 

Q. 10. May I not wish hurt to another more than to myself? 431 

Tit. 2. Directions to love our Neighbours as ourselves ibid. 

Tit. 3. The Reasons and Motives of love to our Neighbour.. 43*i 


Cases of, and Directions for the Love of Godly Persons as such 436 
Tit. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Love to the Godly ibid. 



Q. 1 . How can we love the godly, when none can know another 

to be sincere ? • • • • 436 

Q. 2. Must we love them as godly that give no account of the 

time, manner, or means of their conversion ? ibid. 

Q. 3. What if they are so ignorant that they know not what 

faith, repentance, conversion, &c. are ? 437 

Q. 4. Must I take the visible members of the church for truly 

godly? 438 

Q. 5. Must we take all visible members equally to be godly 

and lovely? 439 

Q. 6. Must we love all equally, strong and weak, that seem 

sincere? 440 

Q. 7. Must we love those better that have much grace and 
little useful gifts, or those that have less grace and more 

" profitable gifts for the church ? ibid. 

Q. 8. Must we love him as godly who liveth in any heinous sin ? ibid. 
Q. 9. Must an excommunicate person be loved as godly or 

not? 441 

Q. 10. Can an unsanctified man truly love a godly man ? . . . . 442 

Q. 11. Can he love him because he is godly ? ibid. 

Q. 12. May he love a godly man because he would make him* 

godly ? • •' ibid. 

Q. 13. Doth any such love the godly more than others ? .. .. 443 
Q. 14. Do all true Christians love all the godly that wrong 

them, or diflFer from them ? ibid. 

Q. 15. What is that love of the godly which proyeth our sin- 
cerity, and which no hypocrite can reach to ? i, ibid. 

tit. 2. Directions for true Loving the children of God 444 

Tit. 3. Motives or meditative Helps to Love the godly 446 

Tit. 4. The Hindrances and Enemies of Christian Love 448 

Tit. 5. The Counterfeits of Christian Love 452 

Tit. 6. Cases and Directions for intimate, special Friends .... 453 
Q. 1. Is it lawful to have an earnest desire to be loved by 

others j especially by some one above all others ? ibid. 

Q. 2. Is it lawful, meet, or desirable, to entertain that ex- 
traordinary affection to any, which is called special friend- 
ship ? or to have one endeared, intimate friend, whom we 

prefer before all others ? 455 

Q. 3. Is it meet to have more bosom friends than one ' 456 

Q. 4. Is it meet for him to choose any other bosom friend, 
that hath a pious wife ? and is any so fit for this friend- 
ship as a wife ? 457 



Q. 5. Is it meet to love a friend for our own commodity ? 

Must I or my friend be the chief end of my love 6r friendship? 457 
Q. 6. May we keep any secret from such a friend ? or have any 

suspicion of him, or suppose that he may prove unfaithful? 458 

Q. 7. May we change an old bosom friend for a new one ? • • ibid, 
Q. 8. What love is due to a minister that hath been the 

means of my conversion ? • ibid. 

Q. 9. What is the sin and danger of loving another too much ? 459 

Q. 10. What must be the qualifications of a bosom friend ? .. 462 
Twenty things necessary to such a Friendship j so rare as 

prove it rare ibid. 

Directions for the right use of special Friendship 465 


Cases and Directions for Loving Enemies and doing them 

good 469 

Tit. 1. Q. 1. Whom must I account and love as an enemy ? ibid. 

Q. 2. Why and how must an enemy be loved } ibid. 

Q. 3 . Must I desire God to forgive him while he repenteth not ? 470 
Q. 4. What if he be my enemy for religion, and so an enemy 

to God? ibid. 

Q. 5. What if my benefits enable and embolden him to do hurt ? ibid. 
Q. 6. May 1 not hurt an enemy in my own defence, and wish 

him as much hurt as I may do him ? 471 

Q. 7. Must kings and states love their enemies ? How then 

shall they make war ? 472 

Tit. 2. Motives to love and do good to enemies ibid. 

Tit. 3. Directions for the practice • • 474 


Jases and Directions about Works of Charity 476 

it. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Works of Charity ibid. 

Q. 1. What are the grounds and motives of good works ? •• • ibid. 

Q. 2. What is a good work which God hath promised to re- 
ward ? .v^,ik^^imKrM,&iMfii^.%Knm'j* ^ 479 



Q. 3. What particular good works should one choose at this 
time, that would best improve his master's stock ? 479 

Q. 4. In what order must we do good works, and who must 
be preferred ? 482 

Q. 5. Is it better to give in lifetime or at death ? 483 

Q. 6. and 7. Must we devote a certain proportion of our in- 
comes ? and what proportion ? A Letter to Mr. Gouge on 
that question ibid. 

Tit. 2. Directions for Works of Charity 503 


Cases and Directions about Confessing Sins and Injuries to 

others 507 

Tit. 1. Cases about Confessing Sins and Injuries to others .. ibid. 

Q. 1. When must we confess wrongs to those that we have 

wronged ? ibid. 

Q. 2. What will excuse us from such confessions ? 508 

Q. 3. Must I confess a purpose of injury which was never ex- 
ecuted ? ibid. 

Q. 4. When must sins against God be confessed to men ? . . . . ibid. 

Tit. 2. The Directions for just confessing Sin to others 509 


Cases and Directions about Satisfaction and Restitution 51 1 

Tit. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Satisfaction and Restitution ibid. 
Q. 1. What is satisfaction, what restitution, and when a duty ? 

Why did they restore fourfold by the law of Moses ? ibid. 

Q. 2. How far is satisfaction and restitution necessary? .... 512 

Q. 3. Who are bound to make it ? 513 

Q. 4. To whom must it be made ? 514 

Q. 5. What restitution is to be made for dishonouring rulers 

or parents? iljjj^ 

Q. 6. How must satisfaction be made for slanders and lies ?.. ibid. 

Q. 7. And for tempting others to sin and hurting their souls? ibid. 

Q. 8. And for murder or manslaughter ? , 515 

Q.9. Is a murderer bound to offer himself to justice ? ...... ibid. 



Q. 10. Or to do execution on himself ? ., • • 516 

Q. 11. What satisfaction is to be made by a fornicator or 

adulterer ? ibid. 

Q. 12. In what cases is a man excused from satisfaction and 

restitution ? 517 

Q. 13. What if restitution will cost the restorer more than 

the thing is worth ) ibid. 

Q. 14. What if confessing a fault will turn the rage of the 

injured person against me to my ruin ? ibid. 

Tit.'i. The Directions for practice 518 


Cases and Directions about our obtaining pardon from God 519 
Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about obtaining pardon from God ibid. 

Q. 1. Is there pardon to be had for all sin without exception ? ibid. 

Q. 2. What if one oft commit the same heinous sin ? ibid. 

Q. 3. Is the day of grace and pardon ever past in this life ? . . ibid. 

Q. 4. May we be sure that we are pardoned ? 520 

Q. 5. Can any man pardon sin against God, and how far ? . , ibid» 

Q. 6. Is sin forgiven before it is committed ? 521 

Q. 7. Are the elect pardoned and justified before repentance ? 522 

Q. 8. Is pardon or justification perfect before death ? ibid. 

Q. 9. Is our pardon perfect as to all sins past? ibid. 

Q. 10. May pardon or justification be lost or reversed ? 523 

Q. 11. Is the pardon of my own sin to be believed ' fide Divi- 

na V and is it the meaning of that article of the creed ? . . . . ibid. 
Q. 12. May one in any kind trust to his own faith and repen- 
tance for his pardon ? 524 

Q. 13. What are the causes and conditions of pardon ? ibid. 

Tit. 2. Directions for obtaining pardon from God ibid. 


Cases and Directions about Self-judging 526 

Tit. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Self-judging ibid. 

Q. 1. What are the reasons, uses, and motives of self-judging? ibid. 



Q. 2. What should ignorant persons do whose capacity will 
not reach to so high a work as true self-examination and 
self-judging ? • 5^7 

Q. 3. How far may a weak Christian take the judgment of his 
pastor or others about his sincerity and justification ? ibid. 

Tit. 2. Directions for judging of our actions 52S 

Tit. 3. Directions for judging of our estates, to know whe- 
ther we are justified, and in a state of life ? 530 










Think not by the title of this part, that I am doing the 
same work which I lately revoked in my " Political Apho- 
risms ;" though I concluded that book to be * quasi non 
scriptum,' I told you I recanted not the doctrine of it, which 
is for the empire of God, and the interest of government, 
order, and honesty in the world. This is no place to give 
you the reasons of my revocation, besides that it offended 
my superiors, and exercised the tongues of some in places 
where other matters would be more profitable : pass by all 
that concerneth our particular state and times, and you may 
know by that what principles of policy I judge divine. And 
experience teacheth me, that it is best for men of my pro- 
fession, to meddle with no more, but leave it to the Contzeu's, 
the Arnisaeus's, and other Jesuits, to promote their cause 
by voluminous politics. The pope's false-named church is 
a kingdom, and his ministers may write of politics more 
congruously, and (it seems) with less offence than we. Saith 
the ** Geographia Nubiensis" aptly, ** There is a certain king 



dwelling at Rome called the pope, &c." when he goeth to 
describe him. Nothing well suits with our function, but 
the pure doctrine of salvation : let statesmen and lawyers 
mind the rest. 

Two things I must apologize for in this part. 1 . That it 
is maimed by defect of those directions to princes, nobles, 
parliament-men, and other magistrates, on whose duty the 
happiness of kingdoms, churches, and the world dependeth. 
To which I answer. That those must teach them whom they 
will hear : while my reason and experience forbid me, as an 
unacceptable person, to speak to them without a special in- 
vitation, I can bear the censures of strangers, who knew not 
them or me. I am not so proud as to expect that men so 
much above me, should stoop to read any directions of mine, 
much less to think me fit to teach them. Every one may 
reprove a poor servant, or a beggar (it is part of their pri- 
vilege). Rut great men must not be so much as admonish- 
ed by any but themselves, and such as they will hear. At 
least nothing is a duty, which a man hath reason to think 
is like to do much more harm than good. And my own 
judgment is much against pragmatical, presumptuous prea- 
chers, who are over-forward to meddle with their governors, 
or their affairs, and think that God sendeth them to reprove 
persons and things that are strange to them, and above 
them ; and vent their distastes upon uncertain reports, or 
without a call. 

2. And I expect to be both blamed and misunderstood, 
for what I here say in the confutation of Master Richard 
Hooker's " Political Principles," and my citation of Bishop 
Bilson, and such others. But they must observe, 1. That 
it is not all in Master Hooker's first and eighth book, which 
I gainsay ; but the principle of the people's being the foun- 
tain of authority, or that kings receive their office itself from 
them, with the consequents hereof. How far the people 
have, in any countries, the power of electing the persons, 
families, or forms of government, or how far nature giveth 
them propriety, and the consequents of this, 1 meddle not 
with at all. 2. Nor do I choose Master Hooker out of any 
envy to his name and honour, but I confess I do it to let 
men know truly whose principles these are. And if any 
(causelessly) question, whether the eighth (imperfect) book 


be in those passages his own, let them remember that the 
sum of all that I confute, is in his first book, which is old, 

and highly honoured, by you know whom. And I 

will do him the honour, and myself the dishonour to con- 
fess, that I think the far greater number of casuists and au- 
tliors of politics. Papists and Protestants are on his side, 
and fewest on mine : but truth is truth. 

On the subjects' duty I am larger, because, if they will 
not hear, at least I may boldly and freely instruct them. 

If in the latter part there be any useful cases of con- 
science left out, it is because I could not remember them. 



General Rules for au Upright Conversation. 

feoLOMON saith, " He that walketh uprightly walketh suTe- 
ly*." And perfection and uprightness are the characters of 
Job ^, And in the Scripture to be upright or righteous, and 
to walk uprightly, and to do righteously, are the titles of 
those that are acceptable to God. And by uprightness is 
meant not only sincerity as opposed to hypocrisy ; but also 
rectitude of heart and life, as opposed to crookedness or 
sin; and this as it is found in various degrees : of which we 
«se to call the lowest degree that is saving by the name of 
sincerity, and the highest by the name of perfection. 

Concerning uprightness of life, I shall, I. Briefly tell 
[you some of those blessings that should make us ail in love 
ith it, and, II. Give you some necessary rules of practice. 
L Uprightness of heart and life is a certain fruit of the 
Spirit of grace, and consequently a mark of our union with 
Christ, and a proof of our acceptableness with God. " My 
defence is of God, who saveth the upright in hearts" " For 
the righteous Lord loveth righteousness, and his counte- 
nance doth behold the upright ^." It is a title that God him- 
self assumeth; "Good and upright is the Lord*.'' "To 

* Prov. X. 9. b Job i. 1. 8. ii.3. * Psa). rii. 10. 

•» Psal. xi. 7. e Psal. xxv. 8. 


shew that the Lord is upright, he is my Rock, and no un- 
righteousness is in him^" And God calleth himself the 
Maker, the Director, the Protector, and the Lover of the 
upright. " God made man upright^.'' *' The Lord know- 
eth the way of the righteous ^." '' What man is he that 
feareth the Lord ? him will he teach in the way that he shall 
choose '." " He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous ; 
he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly ^." 

2. The upright are the pillars of human society, that 
keep up truth and j ustice in the world ; without whom it 
would be but a company of liars, deceivers, robbers, and 
enemies, that live in constant rapine or hostility. There 
were no trust to be put in one another, further than self- 
interest did oblige men. " Lord, who shall abide in thy ta- 
bernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that 
walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh 
the truth in his heart ^" Therefore the wicked, and the ene- 
mies of peace, and destroyers of societies, are still described 
as enemies to the upright. " For lo, the wicked bend their 
bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they 
may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the founda- 
tions be destroyed, what can the righteous do "" ?*' *' The 
just and upright man is laughed to scorn".'* " The wicked 
have drawn out the sword to slay such as be of upright con- 
versation^." And indeed it is for the upright's sake that 
societies are preserved by God, as Sodom might have been 
for ten Lots. At least they are under the protection of om- 
nipotency themselves. *' He that walketh righteously and 
speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppression, 
that shaketh his hand from holding of bribes, that stoppeth 
his ear from hearing of blood, that shutteth his eyes from 
seeing evil ; he shall dwell on high, his place of defence 
shall be the munitions of rocks ; bread shall be given him ; 
his waters shall be sute : thine eyes shall see the king in his 
beauty ; they shall behold the land that is very far off p." 
'* The upright shall have^good things in possession "i." '* The 

' ?sal.xcii. 15. if Eccl. vil. 29. '« Psal. i. 6. * Psal. xxv. 12. 

•' Prov.ii.T. ' Psal. xv. l, g. >» Psal. xi. 2, 3. " Jobxii. 4. 

o Psal.xxxvii. 14. p Isa. xxxiii. 15, 16. t Prov. xxviil. 10. 


house of the wicked shall be overthrown ; but the taberna- 
cle of the upright shall flourish ^" 

3. Uprightness affordeth peace of conscience, and quiet- 
ness and holy security to the soul. This was Paul's rejoic- 
ing, the testimony of his conscience, that " in simplicity and 
godly sincerity he had had his conversation in the world, 
and not in fleshly wisdom ^" And this was David's com- 
fort. " For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not 
wickedly departed from my God; for all his judgments 
were before me, and as for his statutes, I did not depart 
from them. I was also upright before him, and have kept 
myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord re- 
compensed me according to my righteousness ; with the 

merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the up- 
right thou wilt shew thyself upright *." Yea, peace is too 
little; exceeding joy is the portion, and most beseeming 
condition of the upright. " Be glad in the Lord, and re- 
joice ye righteous, and shout for joy, all ye that are upright 
in heart"." *' Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous, for 
praise is comely for the upright"." *' The righteous shall be 
glad in the Lord, and trust in him, and all the upright in 
heart shall glory y." " Light is sown for the righteous, and 
gladness for the upright in heart ''." The Spirit that sanc^ 
tifieth them, will comfort them. 

4. As the upright, so their upright life and duties are 
specially delightful and acceptable to God*. The prayer 
of the upright is his delight^. Therefore God blesseth their 
duties to them, and they are comforted and strengthened by 
experience of success. " The way of the Lord is strength 
to the upright, but destruction shall be to the workers of 
iniquity *^.*' " Do not my words do good to him that walk- 
eth uprightly^." 

5. No carnal politics, no worldly might, no help of 
friends, nor any other human means, doth put a man in so 
safe a state, as uprightness of heart and life. To walk up- 
rightly, is to walk surely, because such walk with God, and 
in his way, and under his favour, and his promise ; and if 

»• Prov. xiv. 11. « 2 Cor. i. 12. » 2 Sam. xxii. 22—24. 

« Psal. xxxii. 11. ^ Psal. xxxiii. 1. y Psal. Ixiv, 10. 

^ Psal. xcvii. 11. -* Prov, xv, 8. '' Psal. xv. 2. 

<= Prov. x. 29. <i Micah ii. 7. 


God be not sufficient security for us, there is none. " Sure- 
ly the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name ; the up- 
right shall dwell in thy presence®/* " The integrity of the 
upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of transgres- 
sors shall destroy them. The righteousness af the upright 
shall deliver them, but transgressors shall be taken in their 
own naughtiness ^*' 

6. Lastly, the failings and weaknesses of the upright are 
pardoned, and therefore they shall certainly be saved &. 
The upright may say in all their weaknesses as Solomon ; 
** I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast 
pleasure in uprightness ; as for me, in the uprightness of my 
heart I have willingly offered all these things^.'' "God 
will do good to them that are good, and to them that are 
upright in their hearts'/* The upright love him\ and are 
loved by him. "No good thing will he withhold from 
them V The way to right comforting the mind of man, is 
to shew to him his uprightness "". " And whoso walketh 
uprightly shall be saved ""." " For the high way of the up- 
right is to depart from evil, and he that keepeth his way, 
preserveth his soul V I conclude with Psal. xxxvii. 37. 
" Mark the upright man, and behold the just, for the end of 
that man is peace." 

II. The true rules of an upright life are these that fol- 

1. He that will walk uprightly must be absolutely devo- 
ted and subjected unto God: he must have a God, and the 
true God, and but one God ; not notionally only, but in 
sincerity and reality : he must have a God whose word shall 
be an absolute law to him ; a God that shall command him- 
self, his time, his estate, and all that he hath, or that he can 
do ; a God whose will must be his will, and may do with 
him what he please ; and who is more to him than all the 
world ; whose love will satisfy him as better than life, and 
whose approbation is his sufficient encouragement and re- 
ward P. 

« Psal. cxI. IS. ' Prov, xi. 3.6 » Rora.vii. 24, 25. viii. 1. 

•» 1 Chroii. xxix. 17. » Psal. cxxv. 4. ^ Cant. i.4. 

' Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. "> Job xxxiii. 23 " Prov. xxviii. 18. 
" Prov. xvi. 17. 

P Psal. Ixxiii. 25. Ixiii. 3. 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. Phil. HI. 8,9. 18, 19. Psal. iv. 
7, 8. Luke xii. 4. Matt. vi. 1—3. 


2. His hope must be set upon heaven as the only felicity 
of his soul : he must look for his reward and the end of all 
his labours and patience in another world ; and not with the 
hypocrite, dream of a felicity that is made up first of world- 
ly things, and then of heaven, when he can keep the worhl 
no longer. He that cannot, that doth not in heart, quit all 
the world for a heavenly treasure, and venture his all upon 
the promise of better things hereafter, and forsaking all, 
take Christ and everlasting happiness for his portion, can- 
not be upright in heart or life ^. 

3. He must have an infallible teacher (which is only 
Christ) and the encouragement of pardoning grace when he 
faileth, that he sink not by despair ; and therefore he must 
live by faith on a Mediator. And he must have the fixed 
principle of a nature renewed by the Spirit of Christ ^ 

4. He that will walk uprightly, must have a certain, just, 
infallible rule ; and must hold to that, and try all by it ; and 
this is only the Word of God. The teachings of men must 
be valued as helps to understand this Word ; and the judg- 
ments of our teachers, and those that are wiser than our- 
selves, must be of great authority with us in subordination 
to the Scripture. But neither the learned, nor the godly, 
nor the great, must be our rule in co-ordination with the 
Word of God ^ 

5. He that will walk uprightly, must have both a solid 
and a large understanding, to know things truly as they are^ 
and to see all particulars which must be taken notice of, in 
all the cases which he must determine, and all the actions 
which his integrity is concerned in. 1. There is no walking 
uprightly in the dark. Zeal will cause you to go apace ; 
but not at all to go right, if judgment guide it not. Erro- 
neous zeal will make you do evil with double violence, and 
with blasphemous fathering your sins on God, and with im- 
penitence and justification of your sin*. This made Paul 
mad in persecuting the church. "Folly is joy to him that 

q Luke xiv. 26, 27. 33, 34. xviii. 22. Matt. vi. 19, 20. 1 John ii. 15. 
PhU. iii. 18. 21. 

>■ John xii. 16. xv. 1. &c. iii. 5, 6. Rom. viii. 8, 9. 

• 2 Tim. iii. 15. Isa. viii. 20. xxxiii. 21. 1 Thcss. v. 12. James iv. 12. 
Heb. viii. 10. 16. Neh.lx. 13, 14. Psal. xix. 7. cxix. 1— 3. 

* Prov.i. 5. X. 23. xvii. 27. iii. 4. Psal. cxi.lO. Eph. i. 18. Actsxxvi. 
18. Col. i. 9. ii. 2. 2 Tim. ii. 7. 1 Cor. xiv. 5. 20. 


is destitute of wisdom ; but a man of understanding walk- 
eth uprightly "." No man can do that well which he under- 
standeth not well. Therefore you must study and take un- 
wearied pains for knowledge ; wisdom never grew up with 
idleness, though the conceit of wisdom doth nowhere more 
prosper'. This age hath told us to what desperate preci- 
pices men will be carried by ignorant zeal. 2. And the un- 
derstanding must be large, or it cannot be solid ; when ma- 
ny particulars are concerned in an action, the overlooking 
of some may spoil the work. Narrow-minded men are turn- 
ed as the weathercock, with the wind of the times, or of 
every temptation; and they seldom avoid one sin, but by 
falling into another. It is prudence that must manage an 
upright life : and prudence seeth all that must be seen, and 
putteth every circumstance into the balance ; for want of 
which, much mischief may be done, while you seem to be 
doing the greatest good''. " The prudent man looketh well 
to his going ^." " See therefore that ye walk circumspectly 
(at a hair's breadth) not as fools, but as wise." 

6. But because you will object, that, alas, few even of 
the upright, have wits so strong as to be fit for this, I add, 
that he that will walk uprightly, must in the great essential 
parts of religion have this foresaid knowledge of his own, 
and in the rest at least he must have the conduct of the wise. 
And therefore, 1. He must be wise in the great matters of 
his salvation, though he be weak in other things. 2. And 
he must labour to be truly acquainted who are indeed wise 
men, that are meet to be his guides : and he must have re- 
course to such in cases of conscience, as a sick man to his 
physician. It is a great mercy to be so far wise, as to know 
a wise man from a fool, and a counsellor from a deceiver''. 

7. He that will walk uprightly must be the master of his 
passion; not stupid, but calm and sober. Though some 

" Prov. XT. 21. 

« Lukexxiv. 45. Matt. xv. 16. Eph. v. 17. 1 Tim. i. 7. Prov. viii. 5. 
John xil. 40. 2 Pet. ii. 12. Rom. iii. 11. Matt. xiii. 19. 23. Isa. lii. 13. Hos. 
xiv. 9. Prov. xiv. 15. 18. xviiu 15. xxii. 3. viii. 12. Epb. v. i5. Psal. ci. 2. 

y Prov. xiv. 15. 

* Psal. cxlx. 98. Prov. i. 6— 8. xii. 15. 18. xPii. 1. 14. 20. xv. 2. 7. 12. 
31. xxii. 17. XXV. 12. Eccl. xii. 11. Dan. xii. 3. 10. Matt. xxiv. 45. Psal. 
xxxvii. 30. Eccl. ii. 13. Isa. xxxiii. 6. Matt, xii, 42. Luke i. 17. xxi, 15. 
ActSvi. 3. 2 Pet. iii. 15. Mai. ii. 6, 7. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Hob. xiii. 7. 17. 
Tit. i. 9. 13. ii. 1. 8. 2 Tim. iv. 3. 


passion is needful to excite the understanding to its duty, 
yet that which is inordinate doth powerfully deceive the 
mind. Men are very apt to be confident of what they pas- 
sionately apprehend; and passionate judgments are fre- 
quently mistaken, and ever to be suspected ; it being ex- 
ceeding difficult to entertain any passion which shall not in 
some measure pervert our reason ; which is one great rea- 
son why the most confident are ordinarily the most erro- 
neous and blind. Be sure therefore whenever you are in- 
jured, or passion any way engaged, to set a double guard 
upon your judgments *. 

8. He that will walk uprightly, must not only difference 
between simple good and evil, but between a greater good 
and a less ; for most sin in the world consisteth in prefer- 
ring a lesser good before a greater. He must still keep the 
balance in his hand, and compare good with good ; other- 
wise he will make himself a religion of sin, and prefer sacri- 
fice before mercy ; and will hinder the Gospel and men's 
salvation for a ceremony, and violate the bonds of love and 
faithfulness for every opinion which he calleth truth j and 
will tithe mint and cummin, while he neglecteth the great 
things of the law. When a lesser good is preferred before 
a greater, it is a sin, and the common way of sinning. • It is 
not then a duty when it is inconsistent with a greater good '^. 

9. He must ever have a conjunct respect to the com- 
mand and the end: the good of some actions is but little 
discernible any where, but in the command ; and others are 
evidently good because of the good they tend to. We must 
neither do evil and break a law, that good may come by it ; 
nor yet pretend obedience to do mischief, as if God had 
made his laws for destruction of the church or men's souls, 
and not for edification ^. 

10. He must keep in union with the universal church, 
and prefer its interest before the interest of any party what- 
soever, and do nothing that tendeth to its hurt ^, 

11. He must love his neighbour as himself, and do as 

a Prov. xiv. 29. Col. iii. 8. 

»> Matt. ix. 13. xii. 7. Psal. xl. 6. li. 16. 1 Sam. xv. 22. 
« 2 Cor. X. 8. xiil. 10. Rom. xv. 1. xiv. 19. 1 Cor. xiv. 26. 2 Cor. xii. 
19. Rom. iii. 8. 

^ Eph. iv. 12. &c. 1 Cor. xii. 


he would be done by, and love his enemies, and forgive 
wrongs ; and hear their defamations as his own^. 

12. He must be impartial, and not lose his judgment 
and charity in the opinion or interest of a party or sect : 
nor think all right that is held or done by those that he best 
liketh ; nor all wrong that is held or done by those that are 
his adversaries. But judge of the words and deeds of those 
that are against him, as if they had been said or done by 
those of his own side : else he will live in slandering^ back- 
biting, and gross unrighteousness^. 

13. He must be deliberate in judging of things and per- 
sons ; not rash or hasty in believing reports or receiving 
opinions ; not judging of truths by the first appearance, but 
search into the naked evidence : nor judging of persons by 
prejudice, fame and common talk s. 

14. He must be willing to receive and obey the truth at 
the dearest rate, especially of laborious study, and a self- 
denying life ; not taking all to be true that costeth men 
dear, nor yet thinking that truth indeed can be over-prized ^, 

15. He must be humble and self-suspicious, and come 
to Christ^s school as a little child ; and not have a proud 
over-valuing of himself and his own understanding. The 
proud and selfish are blind and cross, and have usually 
some opinions or interests of their own, that lie cross to 
duty, and to other men's good \ 

16. He must have an eye to posterity, and not only to 
the present time or age ; and to other nations, and not only 
to the country where he liveth. Many things seem neces- 
sary for some present strait or work that we would do 
(which in the next age may be of mischievous effects) ; es^ 
pecially in ecclesiastical and political professions, cove- 
nants and impositions, we must look further than our pre- 
sent needs. And many things seem necessary for a local, 
narrow interest, which those at a distance will otherwise es- 

• Matt. xxii. 39. v. 43, 44. vii. 12. 

f James iii. 15—18. Gal. ii. 13, 14. Deut.xxv. 16. 1 Cor. vi. 9. 
i Matt. vii. 1, 2. John vii. 24. Rom. xiv. 10. 13. 1 Pet. i. 17. 
•» Luke xiv. 26. 33. xi'u 4. Prov. xxiii. 23. 

* Matt, xviii. 3. Prov. x>vi. 12. 16. xxviii. 11. iCor. iil. 18- Prov. iii. 7. 
•^ Judges viii. 27. I Cor. vii. 35. 1 Kings xiv. 16- xv.26. Deut. xxix. 22 • 

Exod. xiu 26.' Jos. iv. 6. 22. xxii. 24, 25. 


17. He that will walk uprightly must be able to bear the 
displeasure of all the world, when the interest of truth re- 
quirethit; yea, to be rejected of learned and good men 
themselves ; and account man's favour no better than it is ; 
not to despise it as it is a means to any good, but to be 
quite above it as to his own interest. Not that uprightness 
doth use to make a man despised by the upright ; but that 
it may bring him under their censure in some particulars, 
which are not commonly received or understood to be of 

18. He must make it a great part of the work of his life 
to kill all those carnal desires, which the sensual make it 
their work and felicity to please ; that appetite, sense and 
lust, and self-will may not be the constant perverters of his 
life ; as a fool in a dropsy studieth to please his thirst, and 
a wise man to cure it"^. 

19. He must live a life of constant and skilful watchful- 
ness, apprehending himself in continual danger ; and know- 
ing his particular corruptions, temptations and remedies. 
He must have a tender conscience, and keep as far as possi- 
ble from temptation, and take heed of unnecessary ap 
preaches or delightful thoughts of sin. O what strong reso- 
lutions, what sound knowledge, have the near-baits of sen- 
suality (meat, drink, lust and pleasures) overcome ? Never 
think yourselves safe among near-temptations, and oppor- 
tunities of sinning °. 

20. Live as those that are going to the grave ; die daily, 
and look on this world, as if you did look on it out of the 
world to which you go. Let faith as constantly behold the 
world unseen, as your eye seeth this. Death and eternity 
make men wise : we easily confess and repent of many 
things when we come to die, which no counsels or sermons 
could make us penitently confess before. Death will an- 
swer a thousand objections and temptations, and prove ma- 
ny vanities to be sin, which you thought the preacher did 
not prove : dying men are not drawn to drunkenness, filthi- 
ness, or time-wasting sports ; nor flattered into folly by aen- 

» 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. John V. 44. Luke xiv. 26. Gal. ii. 13, 14. Acts ii. 2, 3. 
"» Col. iii. 4, 5. Rora. vi. 1. &c. xiii. 12, 13. viii. 13. 
n Matt. xxiv. 42. xxv. 13. Mark xiii. 37. 1 Thess. v. 6. 1 Pet. iv, 7. 
1 Cor. xvi. 13. Mall. vi. 13. xxvi. 41- 


sual baits : nor do they then fear the face or threats of per- 
secutors. As it is from another world, that we must fetch 
the motives, so also the defensativeof an upright life. And 
O happy are they that faithfully practise these rules of up- 
rightness^ ! 

Though it be my judgment that much more of the doc- 
trine of politics or civil government belongeth to theology p, 
than those men understand, who make kings and laws to be 
mere human creatures, yet to deliver my reader from the 
fear lest I should meddle with matters that belong not to 
my calling, and my book from that reproach, I shall over- 
pass all these points, which else I should have treated of, as 
useful to practise in governing and obeying. 1 . Of man as 
sociable, and of communities and societies, and the reason 
of them, of their original, and the obligation on the members. 
2. Of a city, and of civility. 3. Of a republic in general. 
(1.) Of its institution. (2.) Of its constitution, and of its 
parts. (3.) Of its species. (4.) Of the difference between 
it, 1. And a community in general. 2. A family. 3. A vil- 
lage. 4. A city. 5. A church. 6. An accidental meet- 
ing. (5.) Of its administration. (6.) Of the relation be- 
tween God's government and man^s, and God's laws and 
man's, and of their difference; and between man's judging 
and God's judging. Nay, I will not only gratify you, by 
passing over this and much more in the theory, but also as 
to the practical part, I shall pass over, 1. The directions for 
supreme governors. 2. And for inferior magistrates towards 
God, and their superiors, and the people. 3. And the de- 
termination of the question. How far magistrates have to do 
in matters of religion ? Whether they be Christian or hea- 
then ? 4. How far they should grant or not grant liberty 
of conscience (as it is called), viz. of judging, professing 
and practising in matters of religion ; with other such mat- 
ters belonging to government: and all the controversies 
about titles and supremacy, conservations, forfeitures, de- 
cays, dangers, remedies and restorations, which belong 
either to politicians, lawyers or divines ; all these I preter- 

« Eccl. vii. 2—6. 2 Cor. iv. 16. v. 1. 7, 8. Lukexii. 17—20. xvi. 20. &c. 
Matt. XXV. 3—8. Acts vii. 56. 60. 

I* Among the Jews it was all one to be a lawyer and u divine ^ but not to be a 
lawyer and a priest. 


mit, save only that I shall venture to leave a few brief me- 
morandums v^^ith civil governors (instead of directions) for 
securing the interest of Christ, and the church, and men's 
salvation ; yet assuring the reader that I omit none of this 
out of any contempt of the matter, or of magistracy, or as if 
I thought them not worthy of all our prayers and assistance, 
or thought their office of small concernment to the welfare 
of the world and of the church ; but for those reasons, 
which all may know that know me and the government un- 
der which we live, and which I must not tell to others. 


Memorandums to Civil Rulers for the Interest of Christ, the 
Church, and Men's Salvation. 

Mem. I. Remember that your power is from God, and 
therefore for God, and not against God"*. You are his mi- 
nisters, and can have no power except it be given you from 
above ''. Remember therefore that as constables are your 
officers and subjects, so you are the officers and subjects of 
God and the Redeemer ; and are infinitely more below him, 
than the lowest subject is below you ; and that you owe 
him more obedience than can be due to you ; and therefore 
should study his laws (in nature and Scripture) and make 
them your daily meditation and delight^. And remember 
how strict a judgment you must undergo when you must 
give account of your stewardship ^, and the greater your dig- 
nities and mercies have been, if they are abused by ungod- 
liness, the greater will be your punishment ^ 

* Rom. xiii.a — 4. ^ John xix. H. 

c Josh, i. 3—5. Psal. i. 2, 3. Deut. xvii. 18—20. 

d Luke xvi. 2. xii. 48. 

e Finis ad quern rex principaliter intendere debet in seipso et in subditis, est 
aeterna beatitude, quai in visione Dei consistit. Et quia ista visio est perfectissiinum 
bonum maxinie raovere debet regem et quemcunque dorainura ut hunc finem subditi 
conseqnantur. Lib. de Regim. Principum Thomas adscript. Grot.de Imper. Sum. 
Pot. p. 9. Even Aristotle could say, Polit. vii. c. 1, 2. et eadem fine, that each man's 
active and contemplative life, is the end of government and not only the public 
peace; and that is the best life which conduceth most to our consideration of God, 
and ihat is the worst, which calleth us off from considering and worshipping him. 
Vide Grot, de Imper. sum. Pot. p. It). Quam multa injusle fieri possunt, quw ne- 


Mem. II. Remember therefore and watch most carefully 
that you never own or espouse any interest which is adverse 
to the will or interest of Christ ; and that you never fall out 
with his interest or his ordinances ; and that no temptation 
ever persuade you that the interest of Christ, and the Gos- 
pel, and the church, is an enemy to you, or against your 
real interest : and that you keep not up suspicions against 
them; but see that you devote yourselves and your power 
wholly to his will and service, and make all your interest 
stand in a pure subservience to him, as it stands in a real 
dependance on him *. 

Mem. III. Remember that under God, your end is the 
public good ; therefore desire nothing to yourselves, nor do 
any thing to others, which is really against your end. 

Mem, IV. Remember therefore that all your laws are to 
be but subservient to the laws of God, to promote the obe- 
dience of them with your subjects, and never to be either 
contrary to them, nor co-ordinate, or independent on them ; 
but as the bye-laws of corporations are in respect to Ihe 
laws and will of the sovereign power, which have all their 
life and power therefrom. 

Mem. V. Let none persuade you that you are such terres- 
trial animals that have nothing to do with the heavenly con- 
cernments of your subjects; for if once men think that the 
end of your office is only the bodily prosperity of the j)eo- 
ple, and the end of the ministry is the good of their souls, 
it will tempt them to prefer a minister before you, as they 
prefer their souls before their bodies; and they that are 
taught to contemn these earthly things, will be ready to 
think they must contemn your office ; seeing no means, as 
such, can be better than the end. There is no such thing as 
a temporal happiness to any people, but what tendeth to 
the happiness of their souls ; and must be thereby measured, 
and thence be estimated. Though ministers are more im- 
mediately employed about the soul, yet your office is ulti- 
mately for the happiness of souls, as well as theirs ; though 
bodily things (rewards or punishments) are the means, by 
which you may promote it ; which ministers, as such, may 

mo possit reprehendere. Cicero de fin. Read Plutarch's Precepts of Policy, and 
thnt old men should be rulers. 

^ Read often Psal. ii. and ci. 


not meddle with. Therefore you are * custodes utriusque 
tabulae/ and must bend the force of all your government, to 
the saving of people's souls. And as to the objection from 
heathen governors, distinguish between the office, and an 
aptitude to exercise it: the office consisteth, 1. In an obli- 
gation to do the duty : 2. And in authority to do it. Both 
these, a heathen ruler hath (else the omission were a duty, 
and not a sin). But it is the aptitude to do the duty of his 
place which a heathen wanteth ; and he wanteth it culpably ; 
and therefore the omission is his sin ; even as it is the sin 
of an insufficient minister that he doth not preach. For the 
question is of the like nature, and will have the like solu- 
tion : Whether an ignorant minister be bound to preach, 
who is unable or heretical? It is aptitude that he wanteth, 
and neither authority or obligation, if he be really a minis- 
ter ; but he is obliged in this order, first to get abilities, and 
then to preach : so is it in the present case ^ 

Mem. VI. Encourage and strengthen a learned, holy, 
self-denying, serious, laborious ministry ; as knowing, that 
the same Lord hath commissioned them in the institution of 
their office, who instituted yours ; and that it is such men 
that are suited to their work, for which their office was ap- 
pointed ; and that souls are precious ; and those that are the 
guides and physicians of souls, can never be too well fur- 
nished, nor too diligent. And the church hath nowhere 
prospered on earth, but in the prosperity of the abilities, 
holiness, and diligence of their pastors : God hath always 
built by such, and the devil hath pulled down, by pulling 
down such. 

Mem. VII. Remember that the people that are seriously 
religious, that love, and worship, and obey the Lord, with 
all their heart, are the best of your subjects, and the honour 
of your dominions : see therefore that serious godliness be 
every where encouraged, and that the profane and ignorant 
rabble be never encouraged in their enmity and opposition 
to it : and that true fanaticism, hypocrisy, and schism, be 
so prudently discountenanced and suppressed, tliat none 
may have encouragement to set themselves against godli- 

f Read Bilson of Subjection, p. l'^9. to the end of the Second Part, especially 
p. 140—142. The laws of Cliarles the Great. And Grotius de Imperio Sum. 
Pot. circa Sacra, c. 1. et per totuni. 


iiess, under the slander or pretension of such names. If 
Christianity be better than heathenism, those Christians 
then are they that must be countenanced, who go further in 
holiness, and charity, and justice, than heathens do, rather 
than those that go no further (besides opinions and forma- 
lities) than a Cato, a Plato, or Socrates have done. If all 
religion were a deceit, it were fit to be banished, and atheism 
professed, and men confess themselves to be but brutes. 
But if there be a God, there must be a religion ; and if we 
must be religious, we must sure be so in seriousness, and 
not in hypocrisy and jest. It being no such small, contemp- 
tible matter, to be turned into dissembling compliment ^. 

Mem. VIII. Endeavour the unity and concord of all the 
churches and Christians that are under your government, 
and that upon the terms which all Christ's churches have 
sometime been united in ; that is. In the Holy Scriptures 
implicitly, as the general rule ; in the ancient creeds expli- 
citly, as the sum of our * credenda ;' and in the Lord's 
prayer, as the summary of our * expetenda ;' and in the de- 
calogue, as the summary of our * agenda :' supposing, that 
we live in peaceable obedience to our governors, whose laws 
must rule us not only in things civil, but in the ordering of 
those circumstances of worship and discipline, which God 
hath left to their determination. 

Mem. IX. Let all things in God's worship be done to 
edification, decently, and in order, and the body honour 
God, as well as the soul ; but yet see that the ornaments or 
garments of religion, be never used against the substance ; 
but that holiness, unity, charity, and peace, have alway the 

Mem. X. Let the fear of sinning against God be cherish- 
ed in all, and let there be a tenderness for such as are over 
scrupulous and fearful in some smaller things ; and let not 

fi Jul. Capitolin. saith of the Antonines, That they would not be saluted by 
filthy persons. And Lampridus of Alexander Severus that, * Nisi honestos et bonae 
famae homines ad salutationem non adraisit. Jussitque ut nemo ingrediatur, nisi qui 
se iimocentem novit : per praeconem edixit, ut nemo salutaret principem qui se furem 
esse nosset, ne aliquando detectus capitali supplicio subderetur. Read Sebastian. 
Foxius de Regno Regisque institutione. Even Croesus, Dionysius, and Julian were 
liberal to pjiilosophers, and ambitious of their converse. Vera civitatis foelicitas est, 
ut Dei sit amans et amata Deo; ilium sibi regem, se illius populum agnoscaf. 
August de Civit. Dei, 1. v. c. 14. 


things be ordered so, as shall most tend to the advantage of 
debauched consciences, that dare say, or do any thing for 
their carnal ends. For they are truest to their governors, 
that are truest to their God ; and when it is the v^^rath of 
God and hell, that a man is afraid of, it is pity he should be 
too eagerly spurred on : the unconscionable sort will be 
true to their governors, no longer than it serves their in- 
terest ; therefore conscientiousness should be encouraged ^. 
Mem. XI. If the clergy or most religious people offend, 
let their punishment be such as falleth only on themselves, 
and reacheth not Christ, nor the Gospel, nor the church. 
Punish not Christ for his servants' failings, nor the Gospel 
for them that sin against it ; nor the souls of the people for 
their pastors' faults ; but see that the interest of Christ and 
men's souls be still secured '. • 

•» Aug. Ep. Bonifac. Omnes Reges qui populo Dei non prohibuerunt nee 
everterunt quae contra Dei praecepta luerunt instituta, culpantur. Qui prohibuerunt 
et everterunt, super aliorum merita, laudantur. 

' When Hunnerichus the Arian Vandal king, was resolved to banish, imprison, 
and otherwise persecute the orthodox bishops and pastors, he first trieth them by 
threatenings and divers cruelties, and after appointeth a public disputation ; where 
his bishops and officers having no better pretence, cruelly beat the people and pastors, 
and then falsely tell the king, That by tumult and clamor they avoided disputing. 
And at last he calleth together all the pastors that were met for the disputation, and 
to insnare them, puttelh an oath upon them, * That after the king's death, they 
would take his son for their king ; and that they would send no letters beyond sea.' 
This oath divided the orthodox among themselves. For one part of the bishops and 
pastors said, *If we refuse a lawful oath, our people will say that we forsake them, 
and the dissolution of the churches will be imputed to us.' The other part per- 
ceiving the snare, were fain to pretend Christ's command, ' Swear not at all.' The 
king having separated them, and the officers took all their names, sendeth them all 
to prison. To those that took the oath, they said, ' Because that contrary to the 
command of the Gospel, you would swear, you shall see your cities and churches no 
more, but be sent into the country to till the ground ; but so, that you presume not to 
sing psalms, or pray, or carry a book, or baptize, or ordain, or absolve.' To those 
that refused the oath, they said, ' Because you desired not the reign of the king's 
son, and therefore refused the oath ; you shall.be banished to the Isle of Corsica, to 
cut wood for the ships.' Victor. Utic. p. (mihi) 456, 457. Generalis Jesuitarum 
ex nimio absoluli imperii amore, delaturas in scrinia sua admittit, iisque credit, non 
audito CO qui accusatur; quod injustitias genus ab ethnicis ipsis improbatur. Impe- 
rando non bonis regibus se facit sirailem, qui senatum magni fecerunt ; sed tyrannos 
mavult imitari, e. g. Tarquinium superbum, qui ante omnia conatus est debilitaro se- 
natus numerum et authoritatem, ut omnia suo libitu facere posset ; similiter generalis 
cum assistentibus suis odit synodos generates, omniaque experitur, ne tales instituan- 
tur couventus, quibusrerum gestarum reddere rationera necesse habeat.- Gene- 
ralis Jesuiticus in eligendis officialibus non curat quod sit cuj usque talentum aut dotes 
eminentiores, sed quam bene secum aut cum provincial! suo eoufornietur, (^ute 


Mem. XII. If the dissensions of lawyers or statesmen 
make factions in the commonwealth, let not the fault be 
laid on religion, though some divines fall into either faction. 
When the difference is not in divinity, but in law cases, 
blame not religion for that, which it hath no hand in. And 
watch against satan, who alway laboureth to make civil 
factions or differences tend to the dishonour of religion and 
the detriment of the church and Gospel. 

Mem. XIII. Take those that are covetous, ambitious, or 
selfish, and seek for preferment, to be the unfittest to be 
consulted with in the matters of religion, and the unfittest 
to be trusted with the charge of souls. And let humble, 
mortified, self-denying men, be taken as fitter pastors for 
the churches. 

Mem. XIV. Side not with any faction of contentious 
pastors, to the oppression of the rest, when the difference is 
in tolerable things ; but rather drive them on to unity, upon 
condescending and forbearing terms : for there will else be 
no end ; but the faction which you side with, will break in- 
to more factions, and the church will receive damage by the 
loss of the oppressed party, and by the division much more. 
What lamentable work the contentions of the bishops have 
made in the churches, in all ages, since the primitive times, 
all history doth too openly declare. And how much a holy, 
prudent, peaceable magistrate can do, to keep peace among 
them, more than will be done if their own impetuosity be 
left unrestrained, it is easy to observe ; especially if he keep 
the sword in his own hand, and trust it not in the hands of 
churchmen, especially of one faction to the oppression of 
the rest ^ 

causa est cur homines viles et abjecti animi officiis praeponantur, qui a superioribus 
duci se sinant ut nervis alienis mobile lignum. Mariana de Reform. Jesuit, c. 13. 15, 
16. 18. In Arcan. Jesuit, pp. 131, 132. Recit. in Apolog. Giraldi. Nulla est latro- 

num societas in qua justitia non plus loci habeat, quam in societate nostra, &c. 

ubi non mode scientia et ignorantia in aequo sunt, sed etiam scientia impedimento est, 
quo minus quis consequatur praemia humano ac divino jure debita. Marian. Aphor. 
84. c. 12, &c, 14. 89. Aphor. 87, &c. The rest is worth the reading, as a warning 
from a Jesuit to the governors of state and church. Aphor. 80. c. 11. Superiores so- 
cietatis nostrae sunt homines indigni, qui officiis praesint, cura generalis raetuat ac 
sublatos velit, quorum eminentes suntvirtutes. Boni quam mail ci suspectiores sunt. 
This, and abundance more,saith Mariana, a Jesuit of ninety-six years of age, learned 
in Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Greek, and Latin, of his own society. 

'' Laraprid. numbers it with Alexander Mam. Severus's good works. ' Judaeis 


Mem. XV. Believe not the accusations that are brought 
against the faithful ministers of Christ, till they are proved, 
and judge not them, or any of his servants, upon the reports 
of adversaries, till they have spoken for themselves ; for the 
common corruption of depraved nature, dotli engage all the 
ungodly in such an enmity against holiness, that there is 
little truth or righteousness to be expected from wicked and 
malicious lips, for any holy cause or person. And if such 
persons find but entertainment and encouragement, their 
malice will abound, and their calumnies will be impudent ; 
which is the sense of, " If a ruler hearken to lies, all his 
servants are wicked '.'* The example of Saul and Doeg is 
but such, as would be ordinary, if rulers would but hearken 
to such calumniators '". 

Mem, XVI. When the case is doubtful about using pu- 
nishments and severities against the scrupulous in the mat 
ters of religion, remember your general Directions, and see 
what influence they must have into such particulars ; as. 
That the very work and end of your office is, that under 
your government the people may live quietly and peaceably 
in godliness and honesty ". And that rulers are not a ter- 
ror to good works, but to evil ; and for the praise of them 
that do good ; and ministers of God to us for good ; and 
revengers to execute wrath upon them that do evil °. And 
remember the danger of persecution, as described Matt, 
xviii. 6. 10. 14. 1 Thess. ii. 15, 16. 2Chron. xxxvi. 14—17. 
And that he that doubteth of things indifferent, is damned 
if he do them, because he doth them not of faith p. And 
remember whom, and what it is that God himself forgiveth 
and forbeareth. And always difference the infirmities of 
serious conscionable Christians, from the wickedness of un- 
conscionable and ungodly men. Yet not extenuating the 
wickedness of any, because of his hypocritical profession of 
religion *^. 

privilegia reservavit : Chrlstianos esse passus est.' Nam illo tempK)re crudelius Ar- 
ianorum Episcopi, Presbyteri, Clerici, qnam Rex et Vandali saBviebatit. Id. p. 468. 

' Prov. xxix. 12. 

™ Justitiae munus primuin est, ut ne cui quisnoceat nisi lacessitus injuria. Cic. 
Off. i. 20. Prov. xvii. 7. xxviii. 16. Psal. cxix. 23. Prov. xxv.2; Leg. Epist. M. 
Ciceronis ad fratrem. 

" 1 Tim. ii. 2, « Rom. xiii. 3, 4. p Rom. xiv. 23., 

1 Quis mihi imponat necessitatem vel credendi qnod nolim, vel qHod velim non 


Mem. XVII. Remember that you must be examples of 
holiness to the people ; and shun all those sins which you 
would have them shun, and be eminent in all those virtues 
which you would commend unto them ^ This is not only 
necessary to the happiness of those under you, but also for 
the saving of yourselves. As Paul saith to Timothy, "Take 
heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine % continue in them ; 
for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them 
that hear thee *." So may I say to rulers, " Take heed to 
yourselves, and unto government, and continue herein ; for 
in doing this, you will save yourselves, and those you go- 
vern. They that are good are likest to do good ; but the 
wicked will do wickedly "." 

The chief means for rulers to become thus holy and ex- 
emplary is, 1. To hearken to the doctrine and counsel of 
the word of the Lord, and to meditate in it day and night''. 
And to have faithful, holy, and self-denying teachers ^. To 
beware of the company and counsels of the wicked. " Take 
away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall 
be established in righteousness ''." 3. To watch most care- 
fully against the special temptations of their great places, 
especially against sensuality and pride, and preferring their 
own honour, and interest, and will, before the honour, and 
interest, and will of Jesus Christ. "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*.'* " It is an abomination to kings to commit 
wickedness ; for the throne is, established by righteous- 
ness ^." 4. To remember always the end of holiness. How 
sure a way it is to glory hereafter, and to leave a sweet and 

credendi. Lactant. lib. v. c. l3. The words of Lactantius are, Quis imponat mihi 
necessitatem vel colendi, quod nolim ; vel quod velitn, non colendi. Buneraann, 
p. 640. (T. C.) 

>■ Diog. Laert. in Solon, reciteth one of his sayings, Populi rector prius se quani 
populum recte instituere debet : si principes et majores secundum leges vixerint, 
unaquaeque civitas optime rege peterit. p. 31.* 

* This saying of Solon is not inserted in the Amsterdam edition of Laertius. (T. C.) 

* Or spend thy time in them. Dr. Hammond. 

t 1 Tim. iv. 16. " Dan. xii. 10. 

X Josh. i. 3, 4. Dent. xvii. 18—20. y 2 Chron. xx. 20. 

■'■ Prov. XXV. 4, 5. * Eccles. x. 16, 17. 
»» Prov. xvi. 12, 




glorious name and memorial upon earth ; when wickedness 
is the certain way to shame on earth, and misery for ever^. 

Mem. XVIII. Rulers should not be contented to do good 
at home, and to be the joy and blessing of their own sub- 
jects ; but also set their hearts to the promoting of faith, 
and holiness, and concord, throughout the churches of the 
world ; and to improve their interests in princes and states, 
by amicable correspondencies and treaties to these ends ; 
that they may be blessings, to the utmost extent of their 
capacities. As Constantine interceded with the Persian 
king, to forbear the persecuting of Christians in his domi- 
nion '^, &c. But I shall presume to speak no farther to my 
superiors ; in the golden age these Memorandums will be 

I will only annex Erasmus's image of a good prince, and 
of a bad, recited by Alstedius Encyclop. lib. xxiii. Polit. c. 
3. pp. 173, 174. 

The Image of a Good Prince, out of Erasmus. 

" If you will draw the picture of a good prince,, delineate 
some celestial wight, more like to God than to a man ; abso- 
lute in all perfections of virtue; given for the good of all; 
yea, sent from heaven for the relief of mortal men's affairs ; 
which being (* oculatissimum') most discerning, looketh to 
all ! To whom nothing is more regarded, nothing more 

c Luke xviii. 22. 24. Deut. xvii. 20. Prov. xxix. 14. xxii. 29. xvi. 13. 
XXXI. 3, 4. 2 Chron. xxxii. 25. xxvi. 16. Ezek. xxviii. 2. 5. 17. Luke xii. 19, ?0. 
xvi. 19, 20. 25. It is a sad observation of Acosta, lib. v. c. 9. p. 474. Ac reipsa 
ceutoque usu observatum est, eas Indorum nationes plures ac graviores superstitionis 
diabolicae species tenuisse, in quibus regum ac reipublicse maxime potentia et peritia 
excelluit. Contra qui tenuiorem fortunam minusque reipublicae accoinmodatam sor- 
titi sunt, in his multo idololatria parcior est : usque adeo ut nonnullas Indorum gentes 
omni idolorum religione vacare, quidam pro certo confirrnent. Ex bonae fidei scrip- 
toribus super alias innumeras, haec preecipua capitur utilitas ; quod non alia res aeque 
vel bonorum regura aninios ad res cum laude gerendas accedit, vel tyrannorum cupi- 
ditates cohibet, ac refraenat, dura utrique cernunt horum Uteris suara vitara oronem, 
roox in totius orbis, imo saeculorum omnium theatrum produccndam. Et quicquid in 
abdito nunc vel patrant, vel adscito fuco prsetexunt, vel metu dissimulari cogunt, ve- 
rius quara ignorari, paulo post clarissimam in lucera sub oculis omnium traducendum : 
quura jam metu pariter ac spe libera posteritas, nee ullo corrupta studio, magno con- 
sensu recte factis applaudet, parique libertatc his diversa explodet, cxibiiabitque. 
Erasni. Praefat. in Sueton. 

•i Euseb. in vita Const. 


sweet than the commonwealth ; who hath more than a fa- 
therly affection unto all. To whom every one's life is dearer 
than his own ; who night and day is doing and endeavour- 
ing nothing else, but that it may be very well with all ; who 
hath rewards in readiness for all that are good ; and pardon 
for the bad, if so be they will betake them to a better course ; 
that so freely desire th to deserve well of his subjects, that 
if it be needful, he will not stick to preserve their safety by 
his own peril ; that taketh his country's commodity to be 
his own gain ; that always watcheth, that others may sleep 
quietly ; that leaveth himself no quiet vacancy, that his 
country may live in quiet vacancy, or peace ; that afflicteth 
himself with successive cares, that his subjects may enjoy 
tranquillity. To conclude, on whose virtue it is, th^t the 
public happiness doth depend." 

The Image of a Bad Prince. Ibid. 

'* If you would set forth a bad prince to the eye, you must 
paint «ome savage, horrid beast, made up of such monstros- 
ities as a dragon, a wolf, a lion, a viper, a bear. Sec, every 
way armed, with six hundred eyes; every way toothed; 
every way terrible ; with hooked talons ; of an insatiable 
paunch ; fed with men's bowels ; drunk with man's blood ; 
that watcheth to prey upon the lives and fortunes of all the 
people : troublesome to all, but specially to the good ; a fa- 
tal evil to the world ; which all curse and hate, who wish 
well to the commonwealth ; which can neither be endured, 
because of his cruelty, nor yet taken away without the great 
calamity of the world, because wickedness is armed with 
guards and riches." 


Directions for Subjects concerning their Duty to their Rulers. 

Being now to speak of the duties which I must practise, 
and to those of my own rank, I shall do it with some more 
freedom, confidence and expectation of regard and prac- 


Direct, i. ' Though I shall pass by most of the theory, 
and especially of the controversial points in politics, and 
not presume to play the lawyer's part ; yet I must advise 
you to understand so much of the cause, and nature, and 
end of government, as is necessary Co direct you in your 
obedience, and to preserve you from all temptations to re- 
bellion/ Especially take heed of those mistakes which 
confound sovereignty and subjection, and which delude the 
people with a coiiceit, that they are the original of power, 
and may intrust it as they please; and call their rulers to 
account, and take the forfeiture, and recal their trust, &c. 
Itls not to flatter kings, but to give God his due, that I shall 
caution you against these mistakes of popularity. And 
first, I shall briefly lay down the truth, and then answer 
some few of the chief objections. 

Prop, y That there be government * in genere,' and 
obedience thereto, is determined evenjii nature, by the God 
of nature, in making man a sociable creature, and each man 
insufficient for himself, and in making republics necessary 
to the welfare and safety of individuals, and government 
necessary to these republics *. This therefore is not left to 
the people's wills ; though some odd cases may be imagined, 
in which s'onie individual persons may live out of a com- 
monwealth, and not be obliged to live under civil govern- 
ment ; yet that exception doth but confirm the general 
rule : even as all men ordinarily are bound to live in com- 
munion with some particular church, and know their own 
pastor, though yet some few may be excepted, as some am- 
bassadors, travellers, seamen, soldiers, banished men, &c. 
So here, the obligation to live under government, lieth up- 
on the generality of tHejvorld, though some few may be ex- 

Prop. II. Rulers therefore are God's officers, placed un- 
der him in his kingdom, as he is the universal, absolute so- 
vereign of the Avorld ; and they receive their power from 

* Nihil Deo quiomnem mundum huiic regit, acceplius, quara concilia coetusque 
horainurn quae civitates appellantur, Cicero. This quotation affords another instance 
of Mr. Baxter's inaccurate mode of citing his authors. He frequently gives their 
sense Inhis own words. The words of Cicero'a1fe7 Nihil est enira illi principi Deo, 
qufoninem hunc mundum regit, quod quidera in terris fiat, acceptius, quam concilia, 
coetusque horaiuem, jure sociati, quae civitatcs appellantur. Cic.^ Sora. Op. vol. vii. 
p. 915. (T. C.) "^"^ 



God, who is the only original of power. Not only their 
strength from his strength, but their authority or governing 
power, (which is 'jus regendi') from his supreme authority ; 
as mayors and bailiffs^ in corporations receive their power 
from theTlng. ** There is no power, but of God ; the pow- 
ers that be, are ordained of God ^" 

Prop, III. This governing power *in ^enere,' is not an 
empty name, but in the very institution containeth in it 
those things materially which are absolutely necessary to 
the end of government. 

Prop. IV. Yet God hath left that which is commonly 
called, the specification of government; and some lower 
parts of the mattelrT^and manner of exercise, undetermined ; 
as also the individual persons or families that shall rule. 
In these three therefore it is that communities interpose. 
1. Whether the sovereignty shall be in one, or two, or ten, 
or how many, and how divided for their exercise, GodlTath 
not determined. 2^^ Nor hath he determined of every par- 
ticular, whether the power shall extend to this, or that, or 
the other thing, or not ? Nor whether it shall be exercised 
thus or thus, by standing courts, or temporary judges, 8cc, 
3. Nor hath he named the person or family that shall rule ^. 

Prop. V. 'Though these in the constitution are determined 
of by explicit or implicit contract or consent, between the 
ruler and tlip community, yet by none of these three can the 
people be truly and properly said to give the ruler his pow- 
er of government. Not by the first or last ; for both those 
do but determine who shall be the recipient of that power ; 
whether one or more, and who individually. Not the se- 
cond, for that is but a limiting, or bounding, or regulating 
the governing power, thatlt be not exercised to their hurt ; 
the bounding and regulating of their power, is not the giv- 
ing them power. The people having the strength, cannot 
be ruled against their concordant wills : and therefore, if 
they contract with their governors, that they will be ruled 

^ Rom. xiii. 1—3. 

c Grotius de Iinper. Sura. Potest, c. i. pp. 7, 8. Sunt qui objlciant reges qu^- 
dain imperare non posse, nisi consensus ordinum accesserit : sed his non vident qui- 
bus in locis id juris est, ibi suinmum imperium non esse penes reges, sed aut penes or- 
dines, autccrte penes id corpus, quod rex et juncticonstituunt, utBodinus, Suarezius, 
Victoria, aliique, aliunde denionstrarunt: certuni summum imperium totum, et aliquid 
imperare non posse, idco taiiium quod alter vetct aut intercedat, plane sunt 



thus and thus, or not at all ; this is not to give them power 
Yet progriety they have, and there they may be givers. So 
that this bounding, or regulating, and choosing the form, and 
persons, and giving of their propriety, is all that they have f^^Q* 
to do. And the choosing of the family or person, is not at 'jtr^^-^^ 
all a giving the power. They are but 'sine quibus non* to -^ 
that; they do but open the door to let in the^^overnor; 
they do but name the family or man^to whom God, and^ not 
they, shall give the power. 

As, when God hath already determined what authority 
the husband shall have over the wife, the wife by choosing 
him to be her husband, giveth him not his power, but only 
chooseth the man, to whom God giveth it by his standing 
law : though about the disposing of her estate, she may li- 
mit him by precontracts ; but if she contract against his go- 
vernment, it is a contradiction and null. Nor if he abuse his 
power, doth it at all fall into her hands. 

If the king by charter give power to a corporation to 
choose their mayor, or other officer, they do but nominate 
the persons that shall receive it, but it is the king's charter, 
and not they, that give him the power. 

If a soldier voluntarily list himself under the king's ge- 
neral, or other commanders ; he doth but choose the 
man that shall command him, but it is the king's com- 
mission that giveth him the power to command those that 
voluntarily so list themselves. And if the authority be abu- 
sed or forfeited, it is not into the soldiers' hands, but into 
the king's. 

PTCfp.\Tl The constituting consent or contract of ances- 
tors obligeth all their posterity, if they will have any of the 
protection or other benefit of government, to stand to the con- 
stitution ; else governments should be so unsettled and mu- 
table, as to be incapable of their proper end. 

■^^^SlSJ^i God hath neither in nature or Scripture, es- 
tated this power of government, in wKble or in part, upon 
the people of a mere community, (much less on subjects) 
whether noble or ignoble, learned or unlearned, the part of 
the community, or the whole body, real or representative *•. 

*' So foolish and bad is the multitude too often, that it made Aristippus hold it as 
probable, that a wise man should not endanger himself for his country, because wis- 


The people as such, have not this power, either to use or to 
give : but the absolute sovereign of all the world, doth com- 
municate the sovereign power in every kingdom, or other 
sort of commonwealth from himself immediately, I say, im- 
mediately ; not without the mediation of an instrument sig- 
nifying his will ; for the law of nature and Scripture are his 
instrument, and the charter of authority : nor yeT so imme- 
diately, as without any kind of medium ; for the co nsent and 
nomination of the community before expressed, may be 
' conditio sine qua non,' so far as aforesaid. But it is so 
immediately from God, as that there is no immediate re- 
cipient, to receive the power first from God, and convey it 
to the sovereign. 

Prop, vni^ The natural power of individual persons 
over themselves, is ' tota specie' different from this political 
or civil power. And it is not the individual's resignation 
of this natural power of self-disposal, unto one or more, 
which is the efficient cause of sovereignty or civil power ^. 

Prop, IX. If you take the word 'law' properly, for the 
expression of a ruler's will obliging the governed, or making 
their duty ; and not improperly for mere contracts between 
the sovereign and the people, then it is clear in the defini- 
tion itself, that neither subjects, nor the community, as 
such, have any legislative power. Neither nature or Scrip- 
ture, hath given the people a power of making laws, either 
by themselves, or with the sovereign ; either the sole power, 
or a part of it. But the very nature of government requi- 
reth, that the whole legislative power, that is, the power of 
making governing laws, belong to the * summa majestas,' or 
sovereign alone. (Unless when the * summa potestas' is in 
many hands, you compare the partakers among themselves, 
and call one party the sovereign, as having more of the so- 
vereignty than the rest.) For those that are no governors 
at all, cannot perform the chief act of government, which is 
the making of governing laws ; but the people are no gover- 
nors at all, either as a community, or as subjects : so that 

(lorn is not to be cast away for the commodity of fools. Laert. in Aristip. But a 
wise man must be wise for others, and not only for himself. 

* It was one of the Roman laws of the twelve tables, Vendendi filiuni patri po- 
testas csto. But this law rather giveth the father that power, than declarcth it to be 
naturally in him. Nature alloweth him no other selling of him, than what is for his 
child's own good. 


you may easily perceive, that all the arguments for a natural 
democracy, are built upon false suppositions ; anH^wlierever 
tKe people have any part in the sovereignty, it is by the af- 
ter-constitution, and not by nature : and that kings receive 
not their power from the people's gift, (who never had it 
themselves to use or give,) but from God alone. 

Prop. X. /Though God have not made an universal deter- 
mination for any sort of government, against the rest ; (whe- 
ther monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy,) because that is >^^^ 
best for one people, which may be worse for others, yet or- 
dinarily monarchy is accounted better than aristocracy, 
and aristocracy better than democracy. So much briefly of fv 
the original of power. 

Object. 1. But, saith worthy Mr. Richard Hooker, Eccl. 
Polit. lib. i. sect. 10. p. 21 ^ " That which we spake of the 
power of government, must here be applied to the power of 
making laws, whereby to govern ; which power, God hath 
over all, and by the natural law, whereto he hath made all 
subject, the lawful power of making laws to command whole 
politic societies of men, belongeth so properly to the same 
entire societies, that for any prince or potentate of what 
kind^ soever upon earth, to exercise the same of himself, and 
not either by express commission immediately and perso- 
nally received from God, or else by authority derived at first 
from their consent, upon whose persons they impose laws, 
it is no better than mere tyranny. Laws they are not there- 
fore, which public approbaTion hath not made so." 

2[mw\ Because the authority of this famous divine is 
with his party so great, I shall adventure to say something, 
lest his words do the more harm : but not by confident op- 
position, but humble proposal and submission of my judg- 
ment to superiors and wiser men, as being conscious of my 
own inferiority and infirmity, I take all this to be an asser- 
tion nowhere by him proved ; (and by me elsewhere dispro- 
ved fully). Laws are the efiects and signs of the ruler's 
win ; and instruments of government. Legislation is the 
first part of government ; aiid^ if the whole body are natural- 
ly governors, the * Pars imperans' and ' Pars subdita' are 
; confounded. If the most absolute monarch can make no 

^ So p. 23, Tlie same error of the original of power liath Acosta, lib. ii, c. 5. p. 
208. with many other Jesuits and Papists. 


laws, then disobeying them were no fault. It is enough 
that their power be derived from God immediately, though 
the persons be chosen by men. Their authority is not de- 
rived from the people's consent, butfrqn^Qod, by thetr con- 
sent, as a bare condition ' sine q^ua np.n*' What if a com- 
munity say all to their elected king, " We take not ourselves 
to have any governing power to give or use, but we only 
choose you or your family to that office which God hath in- 
stituted, who in that institution giveth you the power upon 
our choice ; " can any man prove, that such a king hath no 
power, but is a tyrant ; because the people disclaim the 
giving of the power ; when indeed they do their duty? Re- 
member that in all this we speak not of the government of 
this or that particular kingdom, but of kingdoms and other 
commonwealths indefinitely ^. 

Object. II. But, saith he, lib. viii. p. 192, "Unto me it 
seemeth almost out of doubt and controversy, that every in- 
dependent multitude before any certain form of regimen es- 
tablished, hath under God supreme authority, full dominion 
over itself," 

Answ. If by dominion were meant propriety, every in- 
dividual hath it; but for governing power, it seemeth as 
clear to me, that your independent multitude hath no civil 
power of government at all ; but only a power to choose 
them governors ; while they have no governors, they have 
no governing power, for that maketli a governor. 

Object, III. Ibid. " A man who is lord of himself, may 
be made another's servant, &c." 

Answ. 1. He may hire out himself to labour for another; 
because he hath so far the power of himself, and his labour 
is his own, which he may sell for wages ; but in a family, 
that the master be the governor to see God's laws obeyed by 
his servants, is of Divine appointment, and this governing 
power the servant giveth not to his master, but only maketh 
himself the object of it. 2. The power that nature giveth a 
man over himself, is ' tota specie' distinct from civil govern- 
ment; (as Dr. Hammond hath well shewed against I. G.) 
An individual person hath not that power of his own life as 

? Bishop Andrews in Tortur. Tort. p. 385. Acutus homo non distinguit inter 
furniam, atquc aulhoritatcni reginiinis ; forma dc horainibus esse potest : de coelo sem- 
per est autlioritas. An rex sit supra lopes, Vid, Seb. Fox. lib. ii. delnstit. Reg. 


the king hath. He may not put himself to death, for that 
which the king may put him to death for. 3. If this were 
true, that every individual, by self-resignation might give a 
king his power over him; yet *a posse ad esse non valet 
consequentia; * and that it is not so is proved, in that God 
the Universal Sovereign hath prevented them, by determin- 
ing himself, of his own officers, and giving them their power 
in the same charter by which he enableth the people to 
choose them. Therefore it is no better reasoning than to 
say, ' If all the persons in London subjected themselves to 
the lord mayor, he would thereby receive his power from 
them,' when the king hath prevented that already, by giving 
him the power himself in his charter ; and leaving only the 
choice of the person to them ; and that under the direction 
of the rules which he hath given them ^. 

Object. IV. But, saith he, lib. viii. p. 193, **' In king- 
doms of this quality, (as this we live in) the highest gover- 
nor hath indeed universal dominion, but with dependency 
upon that whole entire body over the several parts whereof 
he hath dominion ; so that it standeth for an axiom in this 
case. The king is * major singulis, universis minor.' " 

Answ, If you had included himself, it is certain that he 
cannot be greater than the whole, because he cannot be 
greater than himself. But seeing you speak of the whole 
in contradistinction from him, I answer. That indeed ' in 
genere causae finalis' the sovereign is / universis minor,' that 
is, the whole kingdom is naturally more worth than one, 
and their felicity a greater good ; or else the * bonum pub- 
licum,' or * salus populi' could not be the end of govern- 
ment; but this is nothing to our case; for we are speaking 
of governing power as a means to this end ; and so * in ge- 
nere causse efficientis' the sovereign (yea, and his lowest of- 
ficer) hath more authority or * jus regendi' than all the peo- 
ple as such, (for they all as such have none at all ;) even as 
the church is of more worth than the pastor, and yet the 
pastor alone hath more authority to administer the sacra- 
ments, and to govern the people, than all the flock hath; 
for they have none either to use or give (whatever some say 

^ Dion. Cass, saith, thai wlien Euphates the philosophei* would kill himself, Ve- 
uiam dederat ei Adrianus citru ignoininiaiii et infamiani, ut cicutarn tuin propter se- 
nectuteni, turn etiam propter gravem morbum, bibere possit. In vita Adrian. 


to the contrary), but only choose him to whom God will 
give it*. 

Object. V. Saith the reverend author, lib. viii. p. 194, 
** Neither can any man with reason think, but that the first 
institution of kings, (a sufficient consideration wherefore 
their power should always depend on that from which it did 
always flow) by original influence of power from the body 
into the king, is the cause of kings' dependency in power 
upon the body ; by dependency we mean subordination and 

Answ. 1. But if their institution ' in genere' was of God, 
and that give them their power, and it never flowed from the 
body at all, then all your superstructure falleth with your 
ground-work. 2. And here you seem plainly to confound 
all kingdoms by turning the ' pars imperans' into the ' pars 
subdita,' and * vice versa ; ' if the king be subject, how are 
they his subjects ? I will not infer what this will lead them 
to do, when they are taught that kings are in subordination 
and subjection to them. Sad experience hath shewed us 
what this very principle would eflect. 

Object. VI. Ibid''. "A manifest token of which depen- 
dency may be this ; as there is no more certain argument, 
that lands are held under any as lords, than if we see that 
such lands in defect of heirs fall unto them by escheat; in 
like manner it doth follow rightly that seeing dominion 
when there is none to inherit it, returneth unto the body, 
therefore they which before were inheritors of it, did hold it 
in dependance on the body ; so that by comparing the body 
with the head as touching power, it seemeth always to re- 
side in both ; fundamentally and radically in one, in the 
other derivatively ; in one the habit, in the other the act of 

Answ, Power no more falleth to the multitude by es- 
cheat, than the power of the pastor falls to the church, or 
the power of the physician to the hospital, or the power of 
the schoolmaster to the scholars : that is, not at all. When 
all the heirs are dead, they are an ungoverned community, 

* Against the people's being the givers of power, by conjoining all their own in 
one, in church or state, see Mr. D. Cawdry's Review of Mr. Hooker's Survey, p. 
154, &c. 

'' So lib. viii. pp. 211. 218. 220, 


that have power to choose a governor, but no power to go- 
vern, neither (as you distinguish it) in habit nor in act ; ori- 
ginally nor derivatively. As it is with a corporation when 
the mayor is dead, the power falleth not to the people. 

Therefore there is no good ground given for your fol- 
lowing question, '' May a body politic then at all times 
withdraw in whole or in part the influence of dominion 
which passeth from it, if inconveniences do grow thereby ?" 
Though you answer this question soberly yourself, it is easy 
to see how the multitude may be tempted to answer it on 
your grounds, especially if they think your inconvenience 
turn into a necessity, and what use they will make of your 
next words, " It must be presumed that supreme governors 
will not in such cases oppose themselves, and be stiff in de- 
taining that, the use whereof is with public detriment." A 
strange presumption. 

Object. VII. *' The axioms of our regal government are 
these, ' rex facit regem :' the king's grant of any favour 
made contrary to law is void ; * Rex nihil potest nisi quod 
jure potest.'" 

Answ. If ' lex' be taken improperly for the constituting 
contract between prince and people, and if your ' facit' have 
respect only to the species and person, and not the sub- 
stance of the power itself, then I contradict you not. But 
if ' lex' be taken properly for * authoritativa constitutio de- 
biti,' or the signification of the sovereign's will to oblige the 
subject, then * lexnon facit regem, sed rex legem^.' 

Object, VIII. Lib. viii. p. 210. *' When all which the wis- 
dom of all sorts can do is done for the devising of laws in 
the church, it is the general consent of all that giveth them 
the form and vigour of laws : without which they could be 
no more to us than the counsels of physicians to the sick : 
Well might they seem as wholesome admonitions and in- 
structions, but laws they could never be, without consent 
of the whole church to be guided by them, whereunto both 
nature and the practice of the church of God set down in 

^ Lib. viii. p. 195. Trita in scholis, neminem sibi imperare posse ; neminem 
sibi legem posse dicere, a qua niutata voluntate iiequcat recedere: sumuium ejus esse 
imperium qui ordinario jure derogare valeat. Et quibus eviiicitur jus sumrare potes« 
talis non limitari per legem positivani. Hinc et Augustinus dixit imperatorem iion 
esse subjectum legibus suis. — Grotius de Tnip. pp. 149, 150. 


Scripture, is found every way so fully consonant, that God 
himself would not impose, no, not his own laws upon his 
people, by the hand of Moses, without their free and open 

Answ. 1. Wisdom doth but prepare laws, and governing 
power enacteth them, and giveth them their form. But the 
whole body hath no such governing power, therefore they 
give them not their form™. 2. The people's consent to 
God's laws gave them not their form or authority ; this 
opinion I have elsewhere confuted, against a more erroneous 
author. Their consent to God's laws was required indeed, 
as naturally necessary to their obedience, but not as neces- 
sary to the being or obligation of the law. Can you think 
that it had been no sin in them to have disobeyed God's 
laws, unless they had first consented to them ? Then all 
the world might escape sin and damnation by denying con- 
sent to the laws of God. 3. This doctrine will teach men 
that we have no church laws'" ; for the whole church never 
signified their consent. Millions of the poorer sort have no 
voices in choosing parliament men or convocations ; and 
this will teach the minor dissenting part, to think themselves 
disobliged for want of consenting ; and will give every dis- 
senting part or person a negative voice to all church laws. 
4. A single bishop hath a governing power over his particu- 
lar church, and they are bound to obey him ''. And if the 
governing power of one pastor be not suspended for want 
of the consent of any or all the people, then much less, the 
governing power of king and parliament. 

Object, IX. Lib. viii. p. 220. *' It is a thing even un- 

•» Hanc video sapientissimorum fuisse sententiam. Legem nee hominura inge- 
niis excogitatam, nee scituin aliquod esse populorum ; sed jeterniim quiddani, quod 
universum mundum regeret, imperandi prohibendique sapientia. Cicero de Leg. 
See lib. i. sect. 17—19. (T. C.) 

" How considerable a part of England is London ? Yet in this convocation, 
which hath made the new changes in the liturgy and book of ordination, London had 
not one clerk of their choosing : for being to choose but two, they chose only Mr. 
Calaniy and myself, who were neither of us accepted, or ever there. Now if your 
opinion be true ; Quaer. 1. Whether you make not this convocation's decrees to be 
but counsels to us. '2,. Or at least whether the city of London, or the London minis- 
ters be not made free from detriment, as not consenters : you will free them and me, 
especially, from detriment for our not conforming to this convocation's acts as such » 
upon reasons which I do not own myself, as generally by you laid down. 

« Heb. xiii. 7. 17. 


doubtedly natural that all free and independent Bocieties 
should themselves make their own laws ; and that this 
power should belong to the whole, not to any certain part 
of a politic body ." 

Answ, This is oft affirmed, but no proof at all of it ; in 
many nations the representatives of the whole body have 
the legislative power or part of it. But that is from the 
special constitution of that particular commonwealth, and 
not from nature, nor common to all nations. All that na- 
turally belongeth to the people as such, was but to choose 
their law-makers, and secure their liberties, and not to make 
laws themselves by themselves or mere representers. 

Object. X. Lib. viii. p. 221. " For of this thing no man 
doubteth, namely, that in all societies, companies, and cor- 
porations, what severally each shall be bound to, it must be 
with all their assents ratified. Against all equity it were 
that a man should suffer detriment at the hands of men, for 
not observing that which he never did, either by himself or 
by others, mediately agree to ." 

Arisw, I am one that more than doubt of that which you 
say no man doubteth of. Do you not so much as except 
God's laws, and all those that only do enforce them, or drive 
men to obey them? As men are obliged to obey God, whe- 
ther they consent or not ; so are they to obey the laws of 
their sovereigns, though they never consented to them, no, 
nor to their sovereignty, as long as they are members of that 
commonwealth, to the government whereof the sovereign is 
lawfully called, millions of dissenters may be bound to 
obey, till they quit the society. 

Object. XI. Lib. viii. p. 221. "If magistrates be heads of 
the church, they are of necessity Christians." 

Answ. That can never be proved. A constitutive head 
indeed must be a Christian, and more, even a pastor to a 
particular church, and Christ to the universal. This head- 
ship our kings disclaim ; but a head of the church, that is, 
over the church, or a coercive governor of it, the king would 
be if he were no Christian. As one that is no physician 
may be head over all the physicians in his kingdom ; or 
though he be no philosopher, or artist, he may be head over 
all the philosophers and artists, and in all their causes have 
the supreme coercive power ; so would the king over all 



Protestants if he were no Protestant, and overall Christians 
if he were no Christian ! But you think that he that is no 
member of the church cannot be the head of it: 1 answer, 
not a constitutive, essential head as the pastor is ; but he 
may be the head over it, and have all the coercive power 
over it. What if the king be not a member of many corpo- 
rations in his kingdom ? Yet as he is head of the kingdom, 
he is head of or over them as they are parts of it. 

Object. XII. Lib. viii. pp. 218. 223, 224. " What power 
the king hath, he hath it by law : the bounds and limits of 
it are known ; the entire community giveth order, &c." P. 
223. " As for them that exercise power altogether against 
order, although the kind of power which they have, may be 
of God, yet is their exercise thereof against God, and there- 
fore not of God, otherwise than by permission, as all injus- 
tice is." P. 224. " Usurpers of power, whereby we do not 
mean them that by violence have aspired unto places of 
highest authority, but them that use more authority than 
they did ever receive in form and manner beforementioned. 
Such usurpers thereof as in the exercise of their power do 
more than they have been authorized to do, cannot in con- 
science bind any man to obedience." 

Answ, It is true that no man can exercise more power 
than he hath : the power that we speak of being * e^sma, jus 
regendi,' it is impossible to use more authority than they 
have ; though they may command beyond and without au- 
thority. And it is true that where a man hath no authority 
or right to command, he cannot directly bind to obedience. 
But yet a ruler may exercise more power than man ever gave 
him, and oblige men to obedience thereby. God giveth them 
power to govern for his glory, according to his laws, and to 
promote obedience to those laws of God (in nature and 
Scripture) by subordinate laws of their own. And all this 
the sovereign may do, if the people at the choice of him or 
his family, should only say, ' We take you for our sovereign 
ruler :' for then he may do all that true reason or Scripture 
make the work of a sovereign ruler, even govern the people 
by all such just means as tend to the public good and their 
everlasting happiness : and yet that people that should do 
no more but choose persons and families to govern them, 
and set them fio bounds, do give no power to those 


they choose, but determine of the persons that shall have 
power from God. Yet it is granted you, that if the person 
or family chosen, contract with them to govern only with 
such and such limitations, they have bound themselves by 
their own contract; and thus both specifications of govern- 
ment and degrees of power come in by men. But always 
distinguish, 1. Between the people giving away their pro- 
priety, (in their goods, labours, &c. which they may do,) 
and giving authority, or governing power (which they have 
not to give). 2. Between their naming the persons that 
shall receive it from the universal king, and giving it them- 
selves. 3. Between bounding and limiting power, and giv- 
ing power. 4. And between a sovereign's binding himself 
by contract, and being bound by the authority of others p. 
If they be limited by contracts, which are commonly called 
the constitutive or fundamental laws, it is their own consent 
and contract that effectively obligeth and limiteth them ; of 
which indeed the people's will may be the occasion, when 
they resolve that they will be governed on no other terms : 
but if the contract limit them not, but they be chosen sim- 
ply to be the * summae potestates,' without naming any par- 
ticular powers either by concession or restraint, then as to 
ruling they are absolute as to men, and limited only by God, 
from whose highest power they can never be exempt, who in 
nature and Scripture restraineth them from all that is im- 
pious and unjust, against his laws and honour, or against the 
public happiness and safety; And here also remember, that 
if any shall imagine that God restraineth a magistrate when 
it is not so, and that the commands of their governors are 
contrary to the Word of God, when it is no such matter, 
their error will not justify their disobedience. 

Though I have answered these passages of this reverend 
author, it is not to draw any to undervalue his learned writ- 

P Potestas maritalis est a Deo: applicatio ejus potestatis ad certara personam 
ex consensu venit quo tamen ipsum jus non datur. Nana si ex consensu daretur, 
posset consensu etiam dissolvi matrimonium, aut conveniri ne maritus fcErainae irope - 
rarct. Quid mininie verura est. Imperatoria potestas non est penes electoies : ergo 
nee ab ipsis datur ; sed ab ipsis tamen certae personae applicatur. Jus vitiB et necis 
non est penes cives antequam in rempublicam coeant. Privatus enim jus vindictai 
non liabet : ab iisdem tamen applicatur ad ccetum aut personari aliquam. Grotius 
de Imperii, j)^ ,^9. 


ings, but to set right the reader in the principles of his obe- 
dience, on which the practice doth so much depend. 

And I confess, that other authors of politics say as much 
as Mr. Hooker saith, both Papists and Protestants ; but not 
all, nor I think the soundest : I will instance now in Alste- 
dius only, (an excellent person, but in this mistaken,) who 
saith, Encyclop. lib. xxiii. Polit. cap. p. 178. " Populus 
universus dignior et potior est tum magistratu tum ephoris. 

Hinc recte docent Doct. Politici, populum obtinere 

regnum et jura majestatis proprietate et dominio : princi- 
pem et ephoros usu et administratione ; (whereas the people 
have not the * regnum vel jura majestatis' any way at all). 

Si administratores officium suum facere nolint, si impia, 

et iniqua mandent, si contra dilectionem Dei et proximi 
agant, populus propriae salutis curam arripiet, imperium 
male utentibus abrogabit, et in locum eorum alios substi- 

tuet. Porro ephori validiora ipso rege imperia obtinent: 

principem enim constituunt et deponunt ; id quod amplissi- 
mum est praeeminentiae argumentum. Atque heec praeroga- 

tiva mutuis pactis stabilitur. Interim princeps summam 

potestatem obtinere dicitur, quatenus ephori administra- 
tionem imperii, et cumulum potestatis ipsi committunt. 
Denique optimatum universorum potestas non est infinita et 
absoluta, sed certis veluti rhetris et clathris definita, utpote 
non ad propriam libidinem, sed ad utilitatem et salutem po- 
puli alligata. Hinc illorum munia sunt regem designare, 
constituere, inaugurare, constitutum consiliis et auxiliis ju- 
vare ; sine consensu et approbatione principis, quamdiu ille 
suum officium facit, nihil in reipublicae negotiis suscipere : 
nonnunquam conventum inscio principe agere, necessitate 

reipublicae exigente. Populum contra omni« generis tur- 

batores et violatores defendere ." I suppose Mr. Hook- 
er's principles and Alstedius's were much the same. I will 
not venture to recite the conclusion, cap. 12. p. 199. R. 5. 
' de resistendo Tyranno.' 

Many other authors go the same way, and say that the 
people have the * majestas realis,' (both Papists, and Pro- 
testants, and heathens). But I suppose that what I have 
said against Hooker will serve to shew the weakness of 
their grounds : though it is none of my purpose to contra- 
dict either Hooker or any other, so far as they open the 



odiousness of the sin of tyranny, (which at this daykeepeth 
out the Gospel from the far greatest part of the world, and 
is the greatest enemy to the kingdom of Christ ;) nor yet as 
they plead for the just liberties of the people ; but I am not 
for their authority. 

Direct, ii. * Begin with an absolute, universal, resolved 
obedience to God, your Creator and Redeemer, who is your 
sovereign King, and will be your final, righteous Judge.' 
As he that is no loyal subject to the king, can never well 
obey his officers; so he that subjecteth not his soul to the 
original power of his Creator, can never well obey the deri- 
vative power of earthly governors. 

Object. ' But," you may say, ' experience teacheth us, 
that many ungodly people are obedient to their superiors 
as well as others.' I answer. Materially they are, but not 
formally, and from a right principle, and to right ends : as a 
rebel against the king may obey a justice of peace for his 
own ends, as long as he will let him alone, or take his part. 
But not formally as he is the king's officer. So ungodly 
men may flatter princes and magistrates for their own ends, 
or on some low and bye account, but not sincerely as the 
officers of God. He is not like to be truly obedient to man, 
that is so foolish, dishonest, and impious as to rebel against 
his Maker ; nor to obey that authority, which he first denieth 
in its original and first efficient cause. Whatever satan and 
his servants may say, and however some hypocrites may 
contradict in their practices the religion which they pro- 
fess, yet nothing is more certain, than that the most serious, 
godly Christians, are the best subjects upon earth. As 
their principles themselves will easily demonstrate. 

Direct, iii. * Having begun with God, obey your gover- 
nors as the officers of God, with an obedience ultimately 
divine "!.' All things must be done in holiness by the holy. 
That is, God must be discerned, obeyed, and intended in all ; 
and therefore in magistrates in a special manner. In two 
respects magistrates are obeyed, or rather flattered by the 
ungodly : first, as they are men that are able to do them 
corporal good or hurt : as a horse, or dog, or other brute 

1 Greg. Nazianzeo cited by Bilson of Subjection, p. 361. Thou reignest toge- 
ther with Christ ; rulest with hira ; thy sword is from him ; thou art the image of 


will follow you for his belly, and loveth to be where he 
fareth best. Secondly, as the head of his party, and en- 
courager of him in his evil way, when he meets with rulers 
that will be so bad. Wicked men love wicked magistrates 
for being the servants of satan ; but faithful men must ho- 
nour and obey a magistrate, as an officer of God ; even a 
magistrate as a magistrate, and not only as holy, is an offi- 
cer of the Lord of all. Therefore the fifth commandment is 
as the hinge of the two tables ; many of the ancients thought 
that it was the last commandment of the first table, and the 
modems think it is the first commandment of the last table ; 
for it commandeth our duty to the noblest sort of men; but 
not merely as men, but as the officers of God. They debase 
magistrates that look at them merely as those that master 
other men, as the strongest beast doth by the weaker ; no- 
thing will make you sincere and constant in your honouring 
and obeying them, but taking them as the officers of God, 
and remembering by whose commission they rule, and 
whose work they do ; that " they are the ministers of God 
to us for good*^." If you do not this, 1. You wrong God, 
whose servants they are ; for he that despiseth, despiseth not 
man but God. 2. You wrong the magistrate, as much as 
you should do an ambassador, if you took him to be the 
messenger of some Jack Straw, or some fellow that signi- 
fieth no more than his personal worth importeth. 3. And 
you wrong yourselves ; for while you neglect the interest 
and authority of God in your rulers, you forfeit the accep- 
tance, protection, and reward of God. Subjects as well 
as servants must learn that great lesson, " 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 doth 
wrong shall receive for the wrong, and there is no respect 
of persons'." Magistrates are as truly God's officers as 
preachers : and therefore as he that heareth preachers hear- 
eth him, so he that obeyeth rulers obeyeth him : the excep- 
tions are but the like in both cases : it is not every thing 
that we must receive from preachers ; nor every thing that 
we must do at the command of rulers : but both in their 
proper place and work, must be regarded as the officers of 

' Rom. xiii. 1—5. • Col. iii. 23—25. So Eph. vi. ^—8. 


God : and not as men that have no higher authority than 
their own" to bear them out. 

, Direct, iv. ' Let no vices of the person cause you to for- 
get the dignity of his office/ The authority of a sinful ru- 
ler is of God, and must accordingly be obeyed : of this read 
Bishop Bilson at large in his excellent treatise of Christian 
Subjection ; against the Papists that excommunicate and 
depose princes whom they account heretics, or favourers of 
them. Those sins which will damn a man's soul, and deprive 
him of heaven, will not deprive him of his kingdom, nor dis- 
oblige the subjects from their obedience. An infidel, or an 
ungodly Christian (that is, an hypocrite) is capable of being 
a prince, as well as being a parent, husband, master ; and 
the apostle hath taught all as well as servants, their duty to 
such. " Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; 
and not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward ; 
for this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God, 
endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it if 
when you are buffetted for your faults, you take it patient- 
ly? but if when ye do well and suffer for it ye take it pa- 
tiently, this is acceptable with God ; for even hereunto 
were ye called *." Though it be a rare mercy to have godly 
rulers, and a great judgment to have ungodly ones, it is such 
as must be borne". 

Direct, v. *Do not either divulge or aggravate the vices 
of your governors to their dishonour; for their honour is 
necessary to the public good.' If they have not care of 
their own honour, yet their subjects ndust have a care of it. 
If once they be dishonoured, they will the more easily be 
contemned, hated and disobeyed. Therefore the dishonour- 
ing of the rulers tendeth to the dissolution of the govern- 
ment, and ruin of the commonwealth. Only in two cases 
did the ancient Christians aggravate the wickedness of their 
governors. 1. In case they were such cruel monsters as 
Nero, who lived to the misery of mankind. 2. In case they 
were not only open enemies of the church of Christ, but 
their honour stood in competition with the honour of Chris- 

1 Pet. ii. 18— 21. 

** Victor. Utic. saith of Victorianus proconsul of Carthage, that even to an A rlan 
persecuting, usurping tyrant, Pro rebus sibi commissis semper fidelissinius liabebaturj 
and the like of Sebastian and others, p. 460, 


tianity, piety and honesty, as in Julian's case ; I confess 
against Nero and Julian both living and dead (and many 
like them), the tongues and pens of wise and sober persons 
have been very free ; but the fifth commandment is not to 
be forgotten, " Honour thy father and mother ;" and " Fear 
God, honour the king * ; " though you must not call evil 
good, yet you may conceal and hide evil : Ham was cursed 
for opening his father's nakedness. Though you must flat- 
ter none in their sins, nor hinder their repentance, but fur- 
ther it by all righteous means, yet must you speak honour- 
ably of your rulers, and endeavour to breed an honourable 
esteem of them in the people's minds ; and not as some, 
that think they do well, if they can secretly make their 
rulers seem odious, by opening and aggravating their 

Direct, vi. ' Subdue your passions, that no injuries which 
you may suffer by them, may disturb your reason, and 
make you dishonour them by way of revenge.' If you may 
not revenge yourselves on private men, much less on magis- 
trates ; and the tongue may be an unjust revenger, as well 
as the hand. Passion will provoke you to tell all men, 
* Thus and thus I was used,' and to persuade you that it is 
no sin to tell the truth of what you suffered : but remember, 
that the public good, and the honour of God's officers are 
of greater value, than the righting of a particular person 
that is injured. Many a discontented person hath set king- 
doms on fire, by divulging the faults of governors for the 
righting of themselves. 

Object. ' But shall cruel and unrighteous or persecuting 
men do mischief, and not hear of it, nor be humbled for it? ' 
Answ. 1. Preachers of the Gospel, and others that have 
opportunity, may privately tell them of it, to bring them to 
repentance (if they will endure it) without dishonouring 
them by making it public. 2. Historians will tell posterity 
of it, to their perpetual infamy, (if repentance and well- 
doing recover not their honour^). Flatterers abuse the 

» iPet. ii. 17. Mark vii. 10. x. 19. 

y Lamprid. saith of Alex. Severus tliat, Amavit literates homines, vehementer 
eos etiatn reforraidans, nequid de se aaperuin sciibercnt. Universal. Hist. p. 132. Ti- 
berius bellua lutoet sanj^uine niaccrata; sultegcndi peritissimusartifex , totustatnea 
jM)8teritati8 oculis patuit, Deo liypocrisim dctractioue larvaj plectente. 


living, but truth will dishonour their wickedness when they 
are dead : for it is God's own decree, "That the memory of 
the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot''." 
3. And God himself will fully be avenged upon the impeni- 
tent for ever, having told you, *'That it were better for him 
that offendeth one of his little ones, that a millstone were 
hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth 
of the sea **.'* And is not all this enough, without the re- 
venge of your passionate tongues ? To speak evil of digni- 
ties, and despise dominion, and bring railing accusations, 
are the sins of the old licentious heretics. Christ left us his 
example, not to revile the meanest, when we are reviled''. 
If you believe, that God will justify the innocent, and 
avenge them speedily % what need you be so forward to jus- 
tify and avenge yourselves? 

Object. * If God will have their names to rot, and spoken 
evil of when they are dead, why may 1 not do it while they 
are alive ? ' 

Amw. There is a great deal of difference between a true 
historian, and a self-avenger in the reason of the thing, and 
in the effects : to dishonour bad rulers while they live, doth 
tend to excite the people to rebellion, and to disable them 
to govern : but for truth to be spoken of them, when they 
are dead, doth only lay an odium upon the sin, and is a 
warning to others, that they follow them not in evil : and 
this no wicked prince was ever so great and powerful as to 
prevent; for it is apart of God's resolved judgment. Yet 
must historians so open the faults of tlie person, as not to 
bring the office into contempt, but preserve the reverence 
due to the authority and place of governors**. 

Direct, vii. * By all means overcome a selfish mind, and 
get such a holy and a public spirit, as more regardeth God's 
honour, and the public interest, than your own.' It is Self- 
ishness that is the great rebel and enemy of God, and of the 
king, and of our neighbour. A selfish, private spirit careth 
not what the commonwealth sufFereth, if he himself may be 

^ Prov. X. 7. 

* Matt, xviii. 6. Mark ix. 42. Luke xvii. "Z. Jude 7 — 9. 

•> 1 Pet. ii. 23. « Luke xviii. 7, 8. 

'' Sext. Aurel. Victor, de Calig. De quo nescio an decuerit memoriae prodi, ni- 
si Ibrtequia juvat de principibus nosse omnia, ut improbi saltern famse ractu talia de- 


a gainer by it. To revenge himself, or to rise up to some 
higher place, or increase his riches, he will betray and ruin 
his king, his country and his nearest friends. A selfish, am- 
bitious, covetous man, is faithful to no man, longer than he 
serveth his ends ; nor is he any further to be trusted, than 
his own interest will allow. Self-denial, and a public spirit, 
are necessary to every faithful subject. 

Direct. VIII. 'Wish not evil to your governors in your 
secret thoughts ; but if any such thought would enter into 
your hearts, reject it with abhorrence.' "Curse not the 
king, no, not in thy thoughts ; and curse not the rich in thy 
bedchamber : for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and 
that which hath wings shall tell the matter ^" A feverish, 
misguided zeal for religion, and a passionate discontent for 
personal injuries, do make many greatly guilty in this point ; 
they would be much pleased, if God would shew some grie- 
vous judgment upon persecutors ; and take no warning by 
Christ's rebukes of James and John, but secretly are wish- 
ing for fire from heaven, not knowing what manner of spirit 
they are of. They cherish such thoughts as are pleasing to 
them, though they dare not utter them in words. And he 
that dare wish hurt, is in danger of being drawn by tempta- 
tion to do hurt. 

Object. ' But may we not pray for the cutting off of per- 
secutors ? And may we not give God thanks for it, if he do 
it himself, without any sinful means of ours ? ' 

Answ, 1. Every ruler that casteth down one sect or party 
of Christians, and setteth up another (perhaps as true to the 
interest of Christianity as they) is not to be prayed against, 
and his destruction wished by the suffering party. 2. If he 
be a persecutor of Christianity and piety itself, as heathens 
and infidels are, yet if his government do more good, than 
his persecution doth harm, you may not so much as wish 
his downfall. 3. If he were a Nero, or a Julian, you must 
pray first for his conversion ; and if that may not be, then 
next for his restraint, and never for his destruction, but on 
supposition, that neither of the former may be attained 
(which you cannot say). 4. You must pray for the delive- 
rance of the persecuted church, and leave the way and means 
to God, and not prescribe to him. Hurtful desires and 

« Eccles. X.20. 


prayers are seldom of God. 5. You may more freely rejoice 
afterwards, than desire it before : because when a Julian is 
cut off, you know that God's righteous will is accomplished ; 
when before you knew not that it was his will : yet after, it 
is the deliverance of the church, and not the hurt of a per- 
secutor as such, that you must give thanks for : be very 
suspicious here, lest partiality and passion blind you^ 

Direct, ix. * Learn how to suffer; and know what use 
God can make of your sufferings, and think not better of 
prosperity, and worse of suffering, than you have cause s.' 
It is a carnal, unbelieving heart, that maketh so great a 
matter of poverty, imprisonment, banishment or death, as if 
they were undone, if they suffer for Christ, or be sent to 
heaven before the time ; as if kingdoms must be disturbed 
to save you from suffering : this better beseems an infidel 
or a worldling, that takes his earthly prosperity for his por- 
tion, and thinks he hath no other to win or lose. Do you 
not know what the church hath gained by suffering? How 
pure it hath been when the fire of persecution hath refined 
it? And how prosperity hath been the very thing that hath 
polluted it, and shattered it all to pieces ; by letting in all 
the ungodly world, into the visible communion of the saints, 
and by setting the bishops on contending for superiority, 
and overtopping emperors and kings ? Many thousands 
that would be excellent persons in adversity, cannot bear a 
high or prosperous state, but their brains are turned, and 
pride and contention maketh them the scorn of the adver- 
saries that observe them. 

f They are dangerous passages which Petrarch hath, though a good, learued and 
moderate man. Dial. 49. Non tot passim essent domini nee tam late furerent, nisi 
popuH insanirentet cuiqueciviura pro se cliarior foretres privata quam publica; volup- 

tas quam gloria, pecunia quam lihertas, vita quam virtus Et statim Et sane 

si vel ununi patria civem bonum habeat, malum dominum diutius non habebit. The 
meaning is too plain : abundance of the most learned writers have such passages which 
must be read with caution ; though I would draw none to the other extreme. Pe- 
trarch's 68 Dial, and 85 Dial, de bono domino, is as smart as the former ; but yet 
speaketh not all that ' contra reges,' which he doth * contra dominos.' However he 

says that, Inter regem et tyrannum non discernunt Graii, &c. So Sir Thomas 

More in his Poems : Regibus e multis regnum bene qui reget unum : vix tamen unus 
erit, si tamen unus erit. And that of Senec. Trag. ult. Tantum ut noceat, cupit 
esse potens— — 

E Bias interrogatus, quidnam esset difficile ? Ferre, inquit, fortiter mutationem 
rerum in deterius. Diog. Laert. lib. i. sect. 86. p. 54. 


Direct, x. ' Trust God, and live by faith ; and then you 
will find no need of rebellious or any sinful means.' Do 
you believe, that both the hearts and lives of kings, and all 
their affairs, are in the hands of God 7 If not, you are athe- 
ists. If you do, then do you not think that God is fitter 
than you to dispose of them? He that believeth, v^^ill not 
make haste. Deliverance from persecutions must be prayed 
and waited for, and not snatched by violence, as a hungry 
dog will snatch the meat out of his master's hands, and bite 
his fingers. Do you believe, " That all shall work together 
for good to them that love God''?" And do you believe, 
that the godly are more than conquerors ; when they are kil- 
led all day, and counted as sheep unto the slaughter'? 
And do you believe, that is cause of exceeding joy, when 
for the sake of righteousness you are hated and perecuted, 
and all manner of evil is falsely spoken of you "^ ? If you 
do not, you believe not Christ ; if you do, will you strive 
by sinful means against your own good, and happiness, and 
joy? Will you desire to conquer, when you may be more 
than conquerors ? Certainly, the use of sinful means doth 
come from secret unbelief and diffidence. Learn to trust 
God, and you will easily be subject to your governors. 

Direct, xi. * Look not for too great matters in the world : 
take it but for that wilderness which is the way to the pro- 
mised land of rest.' And then you will not count it strange 
to meet with hard usage and sufferings from almost all. 
" Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, 
which is to try you, as if some strange thing happened to 
you ; but rejoice in that ye are partakers of the sufferings 
of Christ ^" Are you content with God and heaven for 
your portion? If not, how are you Christians; if you are, 
you have small temptation to rebel or use unlawful means 
for earthly privileges "". Paul saith, " He took pleasure in 
persecution °." Learn you to do so, and you will easily bear 

Direct, xii. 'Abhor the popular spirit of envy, which 
maketh the poor, for the most part, think odiously of the 
rich and their superiors ; because they have that which they 
had rather have themselves.' I have long observed it, that 

h Rora. viu.28. * Verse 32—35. '' Matt. v. 10— 12. 

» 1 Pet. iv. 12, 13. "> Phil. iii. 7, 8. 11, 12. " 2 Cor. xii. 10. 


the poor labouring people, are very apt to speak of the rich, 
as sober men speak of drunkards ; as if their very estates, 
and dignity, and greatness were a vice ". And it is very 
much to flatter their own conscience, and delude themselves 
with ungrounded hopes of heaven. When they have not 
the Spirit of regeneration and holiness, to witness their title 
to eternal life, they think their poverty will serve the turn ; 
and they will ordinarily say. That they hope God will not 
punish them in another world, because they have had their 
part in this : but they will easily believe, that almost all 
rich and great men go to hell. And when they read Luke 
xvi. of the rich man and Lazarus, they think they are the 
Lazarus's, and read it as if God would save men merely for 
being poor, and damn men for being great and rich ; when 
yet they would themselves be as rich and great, if they knew 
how to attain it. They think that they are the maintainers 
of the commonwealth, and the rich are the caterpillars of it, 
that live upon their labours, like drones in the hive, or mice 
and vermin that eat the honey, which the poor labouring 
bees have long been gathering. For they are unacquainted 
with the labours and cares of their governors, and sensible 
only of their own. This envious spirit exceedingly disposeth 
the poor to discontents, and tumults, and rebellions ; but it 
is not of God °. 

Direct, xiii. * Keep not company with envious murmur- 
ers at government ; for their words fret like a canker, and 
their sin is of an infecting kind.' What a multitude were 
drawn into the rebellion of Corah, who no doubt, were pro- 
voked by the leader's discontented words. It seemeth they 
were for popularity. " Ye take too much upon you, seeing 
all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the 
Lord is among them : wherefore then lift you up yourselves 

above the congregation of the Lord : Is it a small thing 

that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with 
milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness ; except thou 

make thyself altogether a prince over us ? Wilt thou put 

out the eyes of these menP?'* What confidence, and 

" Univers. Hist. p. 140. Dicas imperatorem orbis Epictetura, Neronem raan- 
cipium : irrisurn esse summo fastigio, cum serviret dignus, imperaret indigrius ; nul- 
luroque esse nialum, quin aliqua boni gutta cordiatus. 

° James Hi. 15— 17. p Numb. xvi. 3. 13, 14. 


what fair pretences are here ? so probable and plausible 
to the people, that it is no wonder that multitudes were 
carried to rebellion by it ? Though God disowned them 
by a dreadful judgment, and shewed whom he had chosen 
to be the governors of his people. 

Direct, xiy. * Keep humble, and take heed of pride,' 
The humble are ready to obey and yield, and not only to be 
subject to magistrates, but to all men, even voluntarily to 
be subject to them that cannot constrain them. " Be all of 
you subject one to another "i." It is no hard matter for a 
twig to bow, and for a humble soul to yield and obey 
another, in any thing that is lawful. But the proud take 
subjection for vassalage, and obedience for slavery, and say, 
** Who is Lord over us; our tongues are our own; what 
Lord shall control us ? Will we be made slaves to such and 
such ^" " Only from pride cometh contention ^" By 
causing impatience, it causeth disobedience and sedition. 

Direct, xv. ' Meddle not uncalled with the matters of 
superiors, and take not upon you to censure their actions, 
whom you have neither ability, fitness or authority to cen- 
sure.' How commonly will every tradesman and labourer 
at his work, be censuring the counsels and government of 
the king; and speaking of things, which they never had 
means sufficiently to understand. Unless you had been 
upon the place, and heard all the debates and consultations, 
and understood all the circumstances and reasons of the 
business, how can you imagine that at so great a distance 
you are competent judges? Fear God, and judge not that 
you be not judged *. If busybodies and meddlers with 
other men's matters, among equals, are condemned " ; much 
more when they meddle, and that censoriously, with the 
matters of their governors. If you would please God, 
know, and keep your places, as soldiers in an army, which 
is their comely order and their strength. 

Direct, xvi. * Consider the great temptations of the rich 
and great; and pity them that stand in so dangerous a 
station, instead of murmuring at them, or envying their 
greatness.' You little know what you should be your- 

S 1 Pet. V. 15. ' Psal. xii. 6, 7. Prov. xri. 18. xix. 23. 

* Prov. xiii. 10. ' Matt. vii. l — 3. 

" 2Thess. ill. 11. 1 Tim. v. 13. 1 Pet. iv. 15. 


selves, if you were in their places, and the world, and 
the flesh, had so great a stroke at you, as they have at them. 
He that can swim in a calmer water, may be carried down 
a violent stream. It is harder for that bird to fly, that hath 
many pound weights tied to keep her down, than that which 
hath but a straw to carry to her nest. It is harder mounting 
heaven-wards with lordships and kingdoms, than with your 
less impediments. Why do you not pity them that stand 
on the top of barren mountains, in the stroke of every storm 
and wind, when you dwell in the quiet, fruitful vales ? Do 
you envy them that must go to heaven, as a camel through 
a needle's eye, if they come there ? And are you discon- 
tented, that you are not in their condition ? Will you rebel 
and fight to make your salvation as difficult as theirs ? 
Are you so unthankful to God for your safer station, that you 
murmur at it, and long to be in the more dangerous place ? 
Direct, xvii. ' Pray constantly and heartily for the spi- 
ritual and corporal w^elfare of your governors.' And you 
have reason to believe, that God who hath commanded you 
to put up such prayers, will not suffer them to be wholly 
lost, but will answer them some way to the benefit of them 
that perform the duty "". And the very performance of it 
will do us much good of itself ; for it will keep the heart 
well disposed to our governors, and keep out all sinful de- 
sires of their hurt ; or control them and cast them out, if 
they come in: prayer is the exercise of love and good de- 
sires ; and exercise increaseth and confirmeth habits. If 
any ill wishes against your governors should steal into your 
minds, the next time you pray for them, conscience will ac- 
cuse you of hypocrisy, and either the sinful desires will cor- 
rupt or end your prayers, or else your prayers will cast out 
those ill desires. Certainly the faithful, fervent prayers of 
the righteous, do prevail much with God : and things would 
go better than they do in the world, if we prayed for rulers 
as heartily as we ought. 

Object. ' For all the prayers of the church, five parts of 
six of the world are yet idolaters, heathens, infidels, and 
Mahometans : and for all the prayers of the reformed 
churches, most of the Christian part of the world are drown- 
ed in Popery, or gross ignorance and superstition, and the 

^ 1 Tim. ii. 1—3. 


poor Greek churches have Mahometan or tyrannical gover- 
nors, and carnal, proud, usurping prelates domineer over the 
Roman church ; and there are but three Protestant kings on 
the whole earth ! And among the Israelites themselves, 
who had priests and prophets to pray for their princes, a 
good king was so rare, that when you had named five or six 
over Judah, (and never an one after the division over Israel,) 
you scarce know where to find the rest. What good then 
do your prayers for kings and magistrates V 

Answ. 1. As I said before, they keep the hearts of sub- 
jects in an holy, obedient frame. 2. Were it not for prayers, 
those few good ones would be fewer, or worse than they 
are ; and the bad ones might be worse, or at least do more 
hurt to the church than they now do. 3. It is not to be ex- 
pected, that all should be granted in kind that believers 
pray for ; for then not only kings, but all the world should 
be converted and saved ; for we should pray for every one. 
But God who knoweth best how to distribute his mercies, 
and to honour himself, and refine his church by the malice and 
persecution of his enemies, will make his people's prayers 
a means of that measure of good which he will do for rulers, 
and by them in the world ; and that is enough to encourage 
us to pray. 4. And indeed, if when proud, ungodly world- 
lings have sold their souls by wicked means, to climb up 
into places of power, and command, and domineer over 
others ; the prayers of the faithful should presently convert 
and save them all, because they are governors. This would 
seem to charge God with respect of persons, and defect of 
justice, and would drown the world in wickedness, treasons, 
bloodshed, and confusion, by encouraging men by flatteries, 
or treacheries, or murders, to usurp such places, in which 
they may both gratify their lusts, and after save their souls, 
while the godly are obliged to pray them into heaven. It 
is no such hearing of prayers for governors which God hath 
promised. 5. And yet, I must observe, that most Christians 
are so cold and formal in their prayers for the rulers of the 
world, and of the church, that we have great reason to im- 
pute the unhappiness of governors, very much to their neg- 
lect ; almost all men are taken up so much with their own 
concernments, that they put off the public concernments of 
the wbild, and of the church and state, with a few cus- 


tomary, heartless words ; and understand not the meaning 
of the three first petitions of the Lord's prayer, and the rea- 
son of their precedency, or put them not up with that feel- 
ing, as they do the other three. If we could once observe, 
that the generality of Christians were more earnest and im- 
portunate with God, for the hallowing of his name through 
all the world, and the coming of his kingdom, and the obey- 
ing of his will in earth, as it is in heaven, and the conver- 
sion of the kings and kingdoms of the world, than for any 
of their personal concernments, I should take it for a better 
prognostic of the happiness of kings and kingdoms, than 
any that hath yet appeared in our days. And those that 
are taken up with the expectations of Christ's visible reign 
on earth, would find it a more lawful and comfortable way, 
to promote his government thus by his own appointed offi- 
cers, than to rebel against kings, and seek to pull them 
down, on pretence of setting up him that hath appointed 
them, whose kingdom (personally) is not of this world y. 

Direct, xviii. ' When you are tempted to dishonourable 
thoughts of your governors, look over the face of all the 
earth, and compare your case with the nations of the world ; 
and then your murmurings may be turned into thankfulness 
for so great a mercy.' What cause hath God to difference 
us from other nations, and give us any more than an equal 
proportion of mercy with the rest of the world. Have we 
deserved to have a Christian king, when five parts of the 
world have rulers that are heathens and Mahometans ? Have 
we deserved to have a Protestant king, when all the world 
hath but two more ? How happy were the world, if it were 
so with all nations, as it is with us ? Remember how un- 
thankfulness forfeiteth our happiness. 

Direct, xix. ' Consider as well the benefits which you 
receive by governors, as the sufferings which you undergo ; 

y Object. Si id juris orbis obtineat status religionis erit instabilis ; inutato regis 
animo religio rautabitur. Resp. Unicum hie solatium in Divina est providentia ; 
omnium animos Deus in potestate sua habet ; sed speciali quodam modo cor regis 
in manu Domini. Deus et per bonos et per malos reges opus suum operatur. Inter- 
dum tranquillitas, interdum tempestas ecclesise utilior. Nempe si pius est qui im- 
perat, si diligens lector sacrse Scripturse, si assiduus in precibus, si Ecclesiae Catholi- 

Icae reverens, si peritos attente audiens, multuni per ilium proficit Veritas. Sin dis- 
torto est et corrupto judicio, pejus id ipsi cedit quam ecclesiae. Nam ipsHm grave 
manet judicium regis ecclesiae, qui ecclesiam inultam non sinet. GrotiHs de Imper, 
p. 210. John xviii. 36. 


and especially consider of the common benefits, and value 
them above your own.' He that knoweth v^^hat man is, and 
what the world is, and what the temptations of great men 
are, and what he himself deserveth, and what need the best 
have of affliction, and what good they may get by the right 
improvement of it, will never wonder nor grudge to have his 
earthly mercies mixed with crosses, and to find some salt or 
sourness in the sauce of his pleasant dishes. For the most 
luscious is not of best concoction. And he that will more 
observe his few afflictions, than his many benefits, hath 
much more selfish tenderness of the flesh, than ingenuous 
thankfulness to his benefactor. It is for your good that 
rulers are the ministers of God ^. Perhaps you will think it 
strange, that I say to you (what I have oft said,) that I think 
there are not very many rulers, no, not tyrants and persecu- 
tors so bad, but that the godly that live under them, do re- 
ceive from their government more good than hurt; and 
(though it must be confessed, that better governors would 
do better, yet) almost the worst are better than none. And 
none are more beholden to God for magistrates, than the 
godly are, however none suffer so much by them in most 
places of the world*. My reason is, 1. Because the mul- 
titude of the needy, and the dissolute prodigals, if they 
were all ungoverned, would tear out the throats of the more 
wealthy and industrious, and as robbers use men in their 
houses, and on the highway, so would such persons use all 
about them, and turn all into a constant war. And hereby 
all honest industry would be overthrown, while the fruit of 
men's labours were all at the mercy of every one that is 
stronger than the owner ; and a robber can take away all in 
a night, which you have been labouring for many years, or 
may set all on fire over your heads ; and more persons would 
be killed in these wars by those that sought their goods, 
than tyrants and persecutors use to kill (unless they be of 
the most cruel sort of all). 2. And it is plain, that in most 

* Kom. xiij. 3—5. 

* Dicunt Stoici, sapientes non modoUberosesseverumetreges: cum sit regnum 
impenum netnini obnoxiura, quod de sapientibus solis asseritur. Statuere enim opor- 
tere priiicipem de bonis et malis ; hjec autem malorum scire neminem. Similiter ad 
magistratus, et judicia et oratoriain solos illos idoneos, neniinemque malorum. Diog. 
Laert. in Zenoue. 


countries, the universal enmity of corrupted nature to se- 
rious godliness would inflame the rabble, if they were but 
ungoverned, to commit more murders and cruelties upon the 
godly, than most of the persecutors in the world have com- 
mitted. Yet I deny not, in most places there are a sober 
sort of men of the middle rank that will hear reason, and are 
more equal to religion than the highest or the lowest usually 
are. But suppose these sober men were the more numerous, 
yet is the vulgar rabble the more violent, and if rulers res- 
trained them not, would leave few of the faithful alive on 
earth. As many volumes as are written of the martyrs, who 
have suffered by persecutors, I think they saved the lives of 
many more than they murdered. Though this is no thanks 
to them, it is a mercy to others : as many as Queen Mary 
martyred, they had been far more if she had but turned the 
rabble loose upon them and never meddled with them by 
authority. I do not think Nero or Dioclesian martyred 
near so many, as the people turned loose upon them would 
have done. Much more was Julian, a protector of the 
church from the popular rage, though in comparison of a 
Constantine or a Theodosius, he was a plague. If you will 
but consider thus the benefits of your common protection, 
your thankfulness for rulers would overcome your murmur- 
ings. In some places, and at some times, perhaps the peo- 
ple would favour the Gospel, and flock after Christ, if rulers 
hindered them not; but that would not be the ordinary 
case, and their inconstancy is so great, that what they 
built up one day in their zeal, the next day they would pull 
down in fury. 

Direct, xx. * Think not that any change of the form of 
government, would cure that which is caused by the peo- 
ple's sin, or the common depravity of human nature.' Some 
think they can contrive such forms of government, as that 
rulers shall be able to do no hurt : but either they will dis- 
able them to do good, or else their engine is but glass, and 
will fail or break when it comes to execution. Men that 
are themselves so bad and unhumbled, as not to know how 
bad they are, and how bad mankind is, are still laying the 
blame upon the form of government when any thing is amiss, 
and think by a change to find a cure. As if when an army 
is infected with the plague, or composed of cowards, the 



change of the general, or form of government, would prove 
a cure. But if a monarch be faulty, in an aristocracy you 
will but have many faulty governors for one ; and in a de- 
mocracy a multitude of tyrants ^. 

Direct, xxi. ' Set yourselves much more to study your 
duty to your governors, than the duty of your governors to 
you ; as knowing, that both your temporal and eternal 
happiness depend much more upon yourselves, than upon 
them <=.' God doth not call you to study other men's duties 
so much as your own. If your rulers sin, you shall not an- 
swer for it ; but if you sin yourselves, you shall. If you 
should live under the Turk, that would oppress and perse- 
cute you, your souls shall speed never the worse for this ; it 
is not you, but he that should be damned for it. If you 
say, 'But it is we that should be oppressed by it;' I an- 
swer, 1. How small are temporal things to a true believer, 
in comparison of eternal things? Have not you a greater 
hurt to fear, than the killing of your bodies by men^ ? 2. 
And even for this life, do you not believe that your lives and 
liberties are in the power of God, and that he can relieve you 
from the oppression of all the world, by less than a word, 
even by his will ? If you believe not this, you are atheists ; 
if you do, you must needs perceive that it concerneth you 
more to care for your duty to your governors, than for theirs 
to you ; and not so much to regard what you receive, as 
what you do ; nor how you are used by others, as how you 
behave yourselves to them. Be much more afraid lest you 
should be guilty of murmuring, dishonouring, disobeying, 
flattering, not praying for your governors, than lest you 
suffer any thing unjustly from them. " Let none of you 
suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a 
busybody in other men's matters ; yet if any man suffer as 

•> Earn rempublicam optimam diount Stoici, quae sit mixta ex regno et populari 
dominatu, optimorumque potentia. Diog. Laert. in Zenone. 

^ Bad people make bad governors ; in most places the people are so wilfal and 
tenacious of their sinful customs, that the best rulers are not able to reform them. 
Yea, many a ruler hath cast off his government, being wearied with mutinous and 
obstinate people. Plato would not meddle with government in Athens. Quia plebs 
aliis institutis et moribus assueverat. Diog. Laert. in Platone. And many other 
philosophers that were fittest for government, refused it on the same account, through 
the disobedience of the people. 

«» Lukexii. 4. 


a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God 

on this behalf. If ye be reproached for the name of 

Christ, ye are happy '." Live so, that all your adversaries 
may be forced to say, as it was said of Daniel, " We shall 
not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it 
against him concerning the law of his God ^" Let none be 
able justly to punish you as drunkards, or thieves, or slan- 
derers, or fornicators, or perjured, or deceivers, or rebellious, 
or seditious, anti then never fear any suffering for the sake 
of Christ or righteousness. Yea, though you suffer as 
Christ himself did, under a false accusation of disloyalty, 
fear not the suffering nor the infamy, as long as you are free 
from the guilt See that all be well at home, and that you 
be not faulty against God or your governors, and then you 
may boldly commit yourselves to God «. 

Direct, xxii. * The more religious any are, the more 
obedient should they be in all things lawful. Excel others 
in loyalty, as well as in piety.' Religion is so far from being 
a just pretence of rebellion, that it is the only effectual 
bond of sincere subjection and obedience. 

Direct, xxiii. * Therefore believe not them that would 
exempt the clergy from subjection to the civil powers.' As 
none should know the law of God so well as they, so none 
should be more obedient to kings and states, when the law 
of God so evidently commandeth it. Of this read " Bilson 
of Christian Subjection" (who besides many others, saith 
enough of this). The arguments of the Papists from the 
supposed incapacity of princes, would exempt physicians, 
and other arts and sciences, from under their government, 
as well as the clergy. 

Direct, xxiv. ' Abase not magistrates so far, as to think 
their office and power extend not to matters of religion, 
and the worship of God,' Were they only for the low and 
contemptible matters of this world, their office would be 
contemptible and low. To help you out in this, I shall an- 
swer some of the most common doubts. 

Quest. I. * Is the civil magistrate judge in controversies 
of faith or worship V 

Answ. It hath many a time grieved me to hear so easy a 
question frequently propounded, and pitifully answered, by 

• 1 Pet. iv. 13—17. f Dan. vi. 5. » 1 Pet. ii. 23, 24. 


such as the public good required to have had more under- 
standing in such things. In a word, judgment is public or 
private. The private judgment, which is nothing but a ra- 
tional discerning of truth and duty, in order to our own 
choice and practice, belongeth to every rational person. 
The public judgment is ever in order to execution. Now 
the execution is of two sorts, 1. By the sword. 2. By 
God's Word applied to the case and person. One is upon 
the body or estate ; the other is upon the conscience of the 
person, or of the church, to bring him to repentance, or to 
bind him to avoid communion with the church, and the 
church to avoid communion with him^. And thus public 
judgment, is civil or ecclesiastical; coercive and violent in 
the execution ; or only upon consenters and volunteers. In 
the first, the magistrate is the only judge, and the pastors 
in the second. About faith or worship, if the question be,. 
' Who shall be protected as orthodox, and who shall be pu- 
nished by the sword as heretical, idolatrous, or irreligious ;' 
here the magistrate is the only judge. If the question be, 
* Who shall be admitted to church communion as orthodox, 
or ejected and excommunicated as heretical or prophane ;' 
here the pastors are the proper judges. This is the truth, 
and this is enough to end all the voluminous wranglings 
upon the question, * Who shall be judge?' And to answer 
the cavils of the Papists against the power of princes in 
matters of religion. It is pity that such gross and silly so- 
phisms, in a case that a child may answer, should debase 
Christian princes, and take away their chief power, and give 
it to a proud and wrangling clergy, to persecute and divide 
the church with '. 

Quest, II. ' May our oath of supremacy be lawfully taken, 
wherein the king is pronounced supreme governor in all cases 
ecclesiastical as well as civil V 

Answ. There is no reason of scruple to him that under- 
standeth, 1. That the title ' causes ecclesiastical' is taken 
from the ancient usurpation of the pope and his prelates, 
who brought much of the magistrate's work into their courts, 

•» Of these things see my propositions of the difference of the magistrate's and 
pastor's power to Dr. Lud, Moul. 

• The 'Rex sacrorum* among the Romans, was debarred from exercising bdv .| 
magistracy. Plut. Rom. Quest. 63, 



under the name of ' causes ecclesiastical ' 2. That our 
canons, and many declarations of our princes, have expound- 
ed it fully, by disclaiming all proper pastoral power. 3. 
That by ' governor * is meant only one that governeth co- 
ercively, or by sword ; so that it is no more than to swear 
' That in all causes ecclesiastical, so far as coercive govern- 
ment is required, it belongeth not to pope or prelates under 
him ; but to the king and his officers or courts alone :' or, 
* That the king is chief in governing by the sword in causes 
ecclesiastical as well as civil.' So that if you put ' spiritual ' 
instead of ' ecclesiastical,' the word is taken materially, and 
 not formally ; not that the king is chief in the spiritual go- 
vernment, by the keys of excommunication and absolution, 
but that he is chief in the coercive government about spiri- 
tual matters, as before explained ^, 

Quest. III. ' Is not this to confound the church and state, 
and to give the pastor's power to the magistrate ?' 

Answ. Not at all ; it is but to say that there may be need 
of the use both of the word and sword against the same 
persons, for the same offence ; and the magistrate only must 
use one, and the pastors the other. An heretical preacher 
may be silenced by the king upon pain of banishment, and 
silenced by the church, upon pain of excommunication. 
And what confusion is there in this ? 

Quest, IV. ' But hath not the king power in cases of 
church discipline, and excommunication itself?' 

Answ. There is a magistrate's discipline, and a pastoral 
discipline. Discipline by the sword, is the magistrate's work ; 
discipline by the Word is the pastor's work. And there is 
a coercive excommunication, and a pastoral excommunica- 
tion. To command upon pain of corporal punishment, that 
a heretic or impenitent, wicked man shall forbear the sacred 
ordinances and privileges, a magistrate may do ; but to com- 
mand it only upon Divine and spiritual penalties, belongeth 
to the pastors of the church. The magistrate hath power 
over their very pastoral work, though he have not power in 
it, so as to do it himself. Suppose but all the physicians of 

^ See Bilson of Subject, pp. 238. 256. Princes only be governors in things and 
causes ecclesiastical ; that is, with the sword. But if you infer, * ergo,' bisliops be no 
governers in those things, meaning, no dispensers, guiders, nor directors of those 
things, your conclusion is larger, &c. So p. 256. 


the nation to be of divine institution, with their colleges and 
hospitals, and in ihe similitude you will see all the difficul- 
ties resolved, and the next question fully answered ^ 

Quest, V. ' Seeing the king, and the pastors of the church 
may command and judge to several ends in the same cause, 
suppose they should differ ; which of them should the church 
obey V 

Answ. Distinguish here, 1. Between a right judgment, 
and a wrong. 2. Between the matter in question ; which 
is either, 1. Proper in its primary state to the magistrate. 
2. Or proper primarily to the pastor. 3. Or common to 
both (though in several sorts of judgment). And so I an- 
swer the question thus. 

1. If it be a matter wherein God himself hath first deter- 
mined, and his officers do but judge in subordination to his 
law, and declare his will, then we must obey him that speak- 
eth according to the Word of God, if we can truly discern 
it ; and not him that we know goeth contrary to God "". As 
if the magistrate should forbid communion with Arians or 
heretics, and the pastors command us to hold communion 
with them as no heretics ; here the magistrate is to be 
obeyed (because God is to be obeyed) before the pastors, 
though it be in a matter of faith and worship. If you say, 
' Thus you make all the people judges,' I answer you. And 
so you must make them such private judges, to discern their 
own duty, and so must every man ; or else you must rule 
them as beasts or madmen, and prove that there is no heaven 
or hell for any in the world but kings and pastors ; or, at 
least, that the people shall be saved or damned for nothing, 
but obeying or not obeying their governors ; and if you 
could prove that, you are never the nearer reconciling the 
contradictory commands of those governors. 

2. But if the matter be not fore-determined by God, but 

' It was somewhat far that Carolus Magnus went, to be actual guide of all in 
hu chapel in reading even in all their stops, as it is at large declared by Abbas Us- 
perg. Chro. p. 181. 

» Bishop Bilson p. 313. We grant, they must rather hazard their lives, than 
baptize princes which believe not, or distribute the Lord's mysteries to them that re- 
pent not, but give wilful and open signification of impiety, &c. Beda Hist. Eccles. 
lib. ii. c. 5. telleth us, That Melitus, bishop of London, (with Justus) was banished by 
the heirs of king Sabereth, because he would not give them the sacrament of the 
lord's supper, which they would needs have before they were baptized. 


left toman; then, 1. If it be the magistrate's proper work, 
we must obey the magistrate only. 2. If it be about the 
pastor's proper work, the pastor is to be obeyed ; though 
the magistrate gainsay it, so be it he proceed according to 
the general rules of his instructions, and the matter be of 
weight. As if the magistrate and the pastors of the church 
do command different translations or expositions of the 
Bible to be used, or one forbiddeth, and another command- 
eth the same individual person to be baptized, or receive the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper, or to be esteemed a mem- 
ber of the church ; if the people know not which of them 
judgeth right, it seemeth to me they should first obey their 
pastors, because it is only in matters intimately pertaining 
to their office. I speak only of formal obedience, and that 
of the people only, for, materially, prudence may require us 
rather to do as the magistrate commandeth, 'quod, non 
quia,' to avoid a greater evil. And it is always supposed 
that we patiently bear the magistrate's penalties, when we 
obey not his commands. 3. But in points common to them 
both, the case is more difficult. But here you must further 
distinguish, first, between points equally common, and 
points unequally common ; secondly, between determina- 
tions of good, or bad, or indifferent consequence as to the 
main end and interest of God and souls. 1. In points 
equally common to both, the magistrate is to be obeyed 
against the pastors ; because he is more properly a com- 
manding governor, and they are but the guides or gover- 
nors of volunteers ; and because, in such cases, the pastors 
themselves should obey the magistrate ; and therefore the 
people should first obey him ". 2. Much more in points un- 
equally common, which the magistrate is more concerned in 
than the pastors ; the magistrate is undoubtedly to be first 
obeyed. Of both, there might instances be given about the 
circumstantials or adjuncts of God's worship. As the place 

n Bishop Andrews in Tort. Tort p. 383. Cohibeat Regem Diaconus, si cum indig- 
nus sit, idque palam constat, accedat tamen ad sacramentum : cohibeat et raedicus si 
ad noxium quid vel insalubre manum admoveat : cohibeat etequiso inter equitandura 
adigat equum per locum praeruptum, vel salebrosum, cui subsit periculum : etiamue 
medico? etiarane equisoni suo subjectus rex? Sed de majori potestate loquitur ; 
sed ea, ad rem noxiam procul arcendara. Qua in re charitatis semper potestas est 
maxima. Here you see what church-government is, and how kings are under it, and 
how nor, in Bishop Andrews' sense. 


of public worship, the situation, form, bells, fonts, pulpits, 
seats, precedency in seats, tables, cups, and other utensils ; 
church-bounds by parishes, church-ornaments, gestures, 
habits, some councils, and their order, with other such like ; 
in all which, ' cseteris paribus,' for my part I would rather 
obey the laws of the king, than the canons of the bishops, 
if they should disagree. 3. But in cases common to both, 
in which the pastor's office is more nearly and fully con- 
cerned than the magistrate's, the case is more difficult : as 
at what hour the church shall assemble ; what part of Scrip- 
ture shall be read ; what text the minister shall preach on ; 
how long prayer, or sermon, or other church-exercises shall 
be ; what prayers the minister shall use ; in what method he 
shall preach ; and what doctrine he shall deliver, and the 
people hear ; with many such like. These do most nearly 
belong to the pastoral office, to judge of as well as to 
execute ; but yet in some cases the magistrate may inter- 
pose his authority. And herein, 1. If the one party do de- 
termine clearly to the necessary preservation of religion, and 
the other to the ruin of it ; the disparity of consequents, 
maketh a great disparity in the case ; for here God himself 
hath predetermined, who commandeth that " all be done to 
edification." As for instance, if a Christian magistrate or- 
dain, that no assembly shall consist of above forty or an 
hundred persons, when there are so many preachers and 
places of meeting, that it is no detriment to men's souls ; 
and especially, when the danger of infection, or other evil 
warranteth it, then I would obey that command of the ma- 
gistrate, though the pastors of the church were against it, 
and commanded fuller meetings. But if a Julian should 
command the same thing, on purpose to wear out the Chris- 
tian religion, and when it tendeth to the ruin of men's souls, 
(as when preachers are so few, that either more must meet 
together, or most must be untaught, and excluded from 
God's worship,) here I would rather obey the pastors that 
command the contrary, because they do but deliver the com- 
mand of God, who determineth consequently of the neces- 
sary means, when he determineth of the end. But if the 
consequents of the magistrate's and the pastor's commands 
should be equally indifferent, and neither of them discer- 


nibly good or bad, the difficulty then would be at the high- 
est, and such as 1 shall not here presume to determine °. 

No doubt but the king is the supreme governor over all 
the schools, and physicians, and hospitals in the land, that 
is, he is the supreme in the civil coercive government : he 
is supreme magistrate over divines, physicians, and school- 
masters ; but not the supreme divine, physician, or school- 
master. When there is any work for the office of the ma- 
gistrate, that is, for the sword, among any of them, it be- 
longeth only to him, and not at all to them : but when there 
is any work for the divine, the physician, the schoolmaster, 
or if you will, for the shoemaker, the taylor, the watch- 
maker, this belongeth not to the king to do, or give parti- 
cular commands for : but yet it is all to be done under his 
government ; and on special causes he may make laws to 
force them all to do their several works aright, and to res- 
train them from abuses. As (to clear the case in hand) the 
king is informed that physicians take too great fees of their 
patients, that some through ignorance, and some through 
covetousness give ill compounded medicines and pernicious 
drugs : no doubt but the king, by the advice of understand- 
ing men, may forbid the use of such drugs as are found per- 
nicious to his subjects, and may regulate not only the fees, 
but the compositions and attendances of physicians. But 
if he should command, that a man in a fever, or dropsy, or 
consumption, shall have no medicine, but this or that, and 
so oft, and in such or such a dose, and with such or such a 
diet ; and the physicians whom my reason bindeth me to 
trust, (and perhaps my own experience also,) do tell me that 
all these things are bad for me, and different tempers and 
accidents require different remedies, and that I am like to 
die, or hazard my health, if I obey not them contrary to the 
king's commands, here I should rather obey my physicians : 
partly, because else I should sin against God, who com- 
mandeth me the preservation of my life ; and partly, because 
this matter more belongeth to the physician, than to the 

o Bilson, p. 399. saith, The election of bishops in those days belonged to the 
people, and not the prince, and though Valens by plain force placed Lucius there, 
yet might the people lawfully reject him as no bishop, and cleave to Peter their right 


magistrate. Mr. Richard Hooker, Eccles. Polit. lib. viii. pp. 
223, 224., giveth you the reason more fully p. 

Direct, xxv. ' Give not the magistrate's power to any 
other; whether to the people, on pretence of their ' majes- 
tas realis,' (as they call it,) or to the pope, or prelates, or 
pastors of the church, upon pretence of authority from 
Christ, or of the distinction of ecclesiastical government 
and civil.' The people's pretensions to natural authority, 
or real majesty, or collation of power, I have confuted be- 
fore, and more elsewhere. The pope's, prelate's, and pastor's 
power of the sword in causes ecclesiastical, is disproved so 
fully by Bishop Bilson ' ubi supra,' and many more, that it 
is needless to say much more of if^. All Protestants, so 
far as I know, are agreed that no bishop or pastor hath any 
power of the sword, that is, of coercion, or force upon men's 
bodies, liberties, or estates, except as magistrates derived 
from their sovereign. Their spiritual power is only upon 
consenters, in the use of God's Word upon the conscience, 
either generally in preaching, or with personal application 
in discipline. No courts or commands can compel any to 
appear or submit, nor lay the mulct of a penny upon any, 
but by their own consent, or the magistrate's authority. 
But this the Papists will few of them confess : for if once 
the sword were taken from them, the world would quickly 
see that their church had the hearts of few of those multi- 
tudes, whom by fire and sword, they forced to seem their 
members ; or at least, that when the windows were opened, 
the light would quickly deliver poor souls from the servi- 
tude of those men of darkness. For then few would fear 
the unrighteous excommunications of mere usurpers '^. It is 

P Too many particular laws about little matters breed contention. Alex. Severus 
would have distinguished all orders of men by their apparel : sed hoc Ulpiano, et 
Paulo displicuit ; dicentibus plurimum rixarum fore, si faciles essent homines ad in- 
jurias. And the emperor yielded to them. Lamprid. in Alex. Severus, Lipsius, 
ubi leges multse, ibi lites multae, et vita moresque pravi. Non multae leges bonos mores 
faciunt, sed paucae fideliter servntae. 

<J N. B. Quae habet Andrews Tort. Tort. p. 310. Quando et apud vos dictio 
juris exterior, clavis proprienon sit; earaque vos multissaepe raandatis, qui laicorum 
in sorte sunt, exortcs sane sacri ordinis universi. 

' Lege Epist. Caroli Calvi ad Papam inter Hincmari Rhemensis Epistolas Cout. 
Papae Usurpationcs. Isidor. Hispal. sent. iii. cap. 51. Cognoscant principes seculi 
Deo debere se rationem rcddere propter ecclesiain quam a Christo tuendam susci- 
piunt. Nam sive augeatur pax et discipliua ecclcsiae per fidcles principes, sive solva- 


a manifold usurpation by which their kingdom is upheld. 
(For a kingdom it is rather to be called than a church.) 1. 
They usurp the power of the keys or ecclesiastical govern- 
ment over all the world, and make themselves pastors of 
those churches, which they have nothing to do to govern. 
Their excommunications of princes or people, in other lands 
or churches that never took them for their pastors, is an 
usurpation the more odious, by how much the power usurp- 
ed is more holy, and the performance in so large a parish 
as the whole world, is naturally impossible to the Roman 
usurper. 2. Under the name of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, 
they usurp the magistrate's coercive power in such causes as 
they call ecclesiastical. 3. Yea, and they claim an immu- 
nity to their clergy from the civil government, as if they 
were no subjects of the king, or the king had not power to 
punish his offending subjects. 4. ' In ordine ad spiritualia,' 
they claim yet more of the magistrate's power. 5. And 
one part of them give the pope directly in temporals a 
power over kings and kingdoms. 6. Their most eminent 
divines do ordinarily maintain, that the pope may excommu- 
nicate kings and interdict kingdoms, and that an excommu- 
nicated king is no king, and may be killed. It is an article 
of their religion, determined of in one of their approved ge- 
neral councils, (Later, sub. Innoc. III. Can. 3.) That if tem- 
poral lords will not exterminate heretics from their lands, 
(such as the Albigenses, that denied transubstantiation, men- 
tioned can. 2.) the pope may give their dominions to others, 
and absolve their vassals from their fealty. And when some 
of late would have so far salved their honour, as to invali- 
date the authority of that council, they will not endure it, 
but have strenuously vindicated it ; and indeed whatever it 
be to us, with them it is already enrolled among the approv- 
ed general councils. Between the Erastians who would 
have no government, but by magistrates, and the Papists, 
who give the magistrate's power to the pope and his pre- 
lates, the truth is in the middle ; that the pastors have a 

tuc, ille ab eis rationem exigit, qui eorura potestati suatn ecclesiam credidit. Leo Epist. 
ad Leonem Imp. Debes incunctanter advertere, regiatn potestatem, tibi non solum 
ad muiidi regimen, sed maxiiue ad ecclesiae presidium esse collatam. See the judg- 
ment of J. Parisiensis, Franciscus Victoria, and Widdrington in Grot, de Iraper. p. 
23. Lege Lud. Molinaei Discourse of the Powers of Cardinal Cbigi. 


nunciative and directive power from Christ, and a discipline 
to exercise by the Word alone, on volunteers ; much like 
the power of a philosopher in his school, or a physician in 
his hospital, supposing them to be by divine right. 

Direct, xxvi. * Refuse not to swear allegiance to your 
lawful sovereign.' Though oaths are fearful, and not to be 
taken without weighty cause, yet are they not to be refused 
when the cause is weighty, as here it is. Must the sove- 
reign be sworn to do his office for you, and must he under- 
take so hard and perilous a charge for you, which he is no 
way able to go through, if his subjects be not faithful to him? 
And shall those subjects refuse to promise and swear fide- 
lity ? This is against all reason and equity. 

Direct, xxvii. 'Think not that either the pope, or any 
power in the world, can dispense with this your oath, or ab- 
solve you from the bond of it, or save you from the punish- 
ment due from God, to the perjured and perfidious.' Of 
this see what I have written before against perjury. 

Direct, xxvm. 'Do nothing that tendeth to bring the 
sacred bonds of oaths, into an irreligious contempt, or to 
make men take the horrid crime of perjury to be a little sin.' 
Sovereigns have no sufficient security of the fidelity of their 
subjects, or of their lives, or kingdoms ; if once oaths and 
covenants be made light of, and men can play fast and loose 
with the bonds of God, which lie upon them. He is virtually 
a traitor to princes and states, who would bring perjury and 
perfidiousness into credit, and teacheth men to violate oaths 
and vows. For there is no keeping up human societies and 
governments, where there is no trust to be put in one ano- 
ther. And there is no trust to be put in that man, that 
maketh no conscience of an oath or vow % 

Direct, xxix. ' Be ready to your power to defend your 
governors, against all treasons, conspiracies, and rebel- 
lions*.' For this is a great part of the duty of your rela- 
tion. The wisdom and goodness necessary to government, 
is much personal in the governors themselves; but the 

* Perjurii poena divina exitium, humana dedecus. Cicero. Agesilaus sentthanks 
to his enemies for their perjury, as making then no question of their overthrow. Per- 
juri numinis contemptores. Plutarch. Tlieodosius execrabatur cum legisset super- 
biam doniinantiura, prfficipue perfidos et ingratos. Paul. Diaconus, I. 2. 

* See the instanceof loyalty in Mascelzer against his own brotherGildo (a rebel) 
Paul. Diacon. lib. iii. initio. 


strength (without which laws cannot be executed, nor the 
people preserved) is in the people, and the prince's interest 
in them : therefore if you withdraw your help, in time of 
need, you desert and betray your rulers, whom you should 
defend. If you say. It is they that are your protectors : I 
answer. True; but by yourselves. They protect you by 
wisdom, counsel, and authority, and you must protect them 
by obedience and strength. Would you have them protect 
you rather by mercenaries or foreigners ? If not, you must 
be willing to do your parts, and not think it enough in trea- 
sons, invasions, or rebellions, to sit still and save yourselves, 
and let him that can lay hold on the crown, possess it. 
What prince would be the governor of a people, that he 
knew would forsake him in his need ? 

Direct, xxx. ' Murmur not at the payment of those ne- 
cessary tributes, by which the common safety must be pre- 
served, and the due honor of your governors kept up.' Sor- 
did covetousness hath been the ruin of many a common- 
wealth. When every one is shifting for himself, and saving 
his own, and murmuring at the charge by which their safety 
must be defended, as if kings could fight for them, without 
men and money : this selfishness is the most pernicious 
enemy to government, and to the common good. Tribute 
and honour must be paid to whom it doth belong. ** For 
they are God's ministers, attending continually on this very 
thing "." And none of your goods or cabins will be saved, 
if by your covetousness the ship should perish. 

Direct, xxxi. 'Resist not, where you cannot actually 
obey : and let no appearance of probable good that might 
come to yourselves, or the church by any unlawful means, 
(as treason, sedition, or rebellion) ever tempt you to it.' 
For evil must not be done, that good may come by it : and 
all evil means are but palliate and deceitful cures, that seem 
to help a little while, but will leave the malady more perilous 
at last, than it was before. As it is possible, that lying or 
perjury might be used to the seeming service of a governor 
at the time, which yet would prepare for his after danger, 
by teaching men perfidiousness ; even so rebellions and 
treasons may seem at present to be very conducible to the 
ends of a people or party that think themselves oppressed : 

» Rora. xiii. 6, r. 


but in the end it will leave them much worse than it found 

Object, ' But if we must let rulers destroy us at their 
pleasure, the Gospel will be rooted out of the earth : when 
they know that we hold it unlawful to resist them, they will 
be emboldened to destroy us, and sport themselves in our 
blood : as the Papists did by the poor Albigenses, &c.' 

Amw. All this did signify something if there were no 
God, that can more easily restrain and destroy them at his 
pleasure, than they can destroy or injure you. But if there 
be a God, and all the world is in his hand, and with a word 
he can speak them all into dust ; and if this God be engaged 
to protect you, and hath told you, that the very hairs of 
your head are numbered, and more regardeth his honour, 
and Gospel, and church, than you do, and accounteth his 
servants as the apple of his eye, and hath promised to hear 
them and avenge them speedily, and forbid them to avenge 
themselves ; then it is but atheistical distrust of God, to 
save yourselves by sinful means, as if God either could not, 
or would not do it : thus he that saveth his life shall lose it. 
Do you believe that 'you are in the hands of Christ, and 
that men cannot touch you but by his permission ; and 
that he will turn all your sufferings to your exceeding be- 
nefit ? And yet will you venture on sin and hell to escape 
such sufferings from men ? Wolves, and bears, and lions, 
that fight most for themselves, are hated and destroyed by 
all ; so that there are but few of them in the land. But 
though a hundred sheep will run before a little dog, the 
master of them taketh care for their preservation. And 
little children that cannot go out of the way from a horse or 
cart, every one is afraid of hurting. If Christians behaved 
themselves with that eminent love, and lowliness, and meek- 
ness, and patience, and harmlessness, as their Lord hath 
taught them and required, perhaps the very cruelty and ma- 
lice of their enemies would abate and relent ; and " when a 

« Bilsoii of Subject, p. 236. Princes have no right to call or confirm preachers, 
but to receive such as be sent of God ,^ and give them libert^^ for their preaching, and 
security for their jKirsons : and if princes refuse so to do, God's labourers must go 
forward with that wliich is commanded them from heaven; not by disturbing princes 
from their thrones, nor invading their realms, as your holy father doth, and defendeth 
he may do ; but by mildly submitting themselves to the jwyvers on earth, and meekly 
suffering for the defence of the truth, what they shall inflict. So he. 


man's ways please God, he would make his enemies to be 
at peace with him ^ ;" but if not, their fury would but hasten 
us to our joy and glory. Yet note, that I speak all this only 
against rebellion, and unlawful arms and acts. 

Direct, xxxii. * Obey inferior magistrates according to 
the authority derived to them from the supreme, but never 
against the supreme, from whom it is derived.' The same 
reasons which oblige you to obey the personal commands of 
the king, do bind you also to obey the lowest constable, or 
other officer : for they are necessary instruments of the so- 
vereign power, and if you obey not them, the obedience of 
the sovereign signifieth almost nothing. But no man is 
bound to obey them beyond the measure of their authority; 
much less against those that give them their authority. 

Direct, xxxm. * No human power is at all to be obeyed 
against God : for they have no power, but what they receive 
from God ; and all that is from him, is for him. He giveth 
no power against himself; he is the first efficient, the chief 
dirigent, and ultimate, final cause of all ^' It is no act of 
authority, but resistance of his authority, which contradict- 
eth his law, and is against him. All human laws are sub- 
servient to his laws, and not co-ordinate, much less superior. 
Therefore they are * ipso facto' null, or have no obligation, 
which are against him : yet is not the office itself null, when 
it is in some things thus abused ; nor the magistrate's power 
null, as to other things. No man must commit the least 
sin against God, to please the greatest prince on earth, or 
to avoid the greatest corporal suffering ". " Fear not them 
that can kill the body, and after that have no more that they 
can do ; but fear him, who is able to destroy both body 
and soul in hell : yea, I say unto you, fear him^." ** Whe- 
ther we ought to obey God rather than men, judge ye*=." 
** Not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as 
seeing him that is invisible. Others were tortured, not ac- 
cepting deliverance '^," &,c. " Be it known unto thee, O 

y Prov. xvi. 7. * Rom. xiii. 1 — 4. xi. 36. ^ < 

* Si aliiiukl jnsserit proconsul, aluul jubeat impcrator, nunquid dubitatiir, illo 
contempto, i 11 i esse serviemlum ? Ergo si aliud impcrator, aliiul jubeat Di'ii5, (piid 
judicatur? Major potestas Deus : da veniain O imj>eralor. August, de Verb. Do- 
min. Matt. Serni. 6. 

•' Lukexii. 4. c Actsr v. 29. *• Heb. xi. 27. 33. 



king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the gol- 
den image ®," &c. 

Object. * If we are not obliged to obey, we are not obliged 
to suffer : for the law obligeth primarily to obedience, and 
only secondarily ' ad poenam,' for want of obedience. 
Therefore where there is no primary obligation to obedience, 
there is no secondary obligation to punishment.' 

Answ. The word ' obligation,' being metaphorical, 
must in controversy be explained by its proper terms. 
The law doth first ' constituere debitum obedientiae, et 
propter inobedientiam debitum pcense.' Here then you 
must distinguish, I. Between obligation ' in foro con- 
scientiae,' and ' in foro humano.' 2. Between an obli- 
gation * ad poenam' by that law of man, and an obligation 
' ad patiendum' by another divine law. And so the answer 
is this : first. If the higher powers, e. g. forbid the apostles 
to preach upon pain of death or scourging, the dueness 
both of the obedience and the penalty, is really null, in point 
of conscience ; however ' in foro humano' they are both due ; 
that is, so falsely reputed in that court : therefore the apos- 
tles are bound to preach notwithstanding the prohibition, 
and so far as God alloweth they may resist the penalty, that 
is, by flying : for properly there is neither ' debitum obe- 
dientiae nee poenae.' Secondly, But then God himself obli- 
geth them not to " resist the higher powers V' and " in their 
patience to possess their souls." So that from this com- 
mand of God, there is a true obligation ' ad patiendum,' to 
patient suffering and non-resistance, though from the law 
of man against their preaching, there was no true obligation 
' aut ad obedientiam, aut ad poenam.' This is the true reso- 
lution of this sophism. 

Direct, xxxiv. 'It is one of the most needful duties to 
governors, for those that have a call and opportunity (as 
their pastors) to tell them wisely and submissively of those 
sins which are the greatest enemies to their souls ; and not 
the smallest enemies to their government, and the public 
peace «.' All Christians will confess, that sin is the only for- 

• Dan. iii. 18. f Rom. xiii. 1 — 3. 

9 Vetus est voruinque dictum, Miser est imperatw cui vera retlcentur. Grotius 
de Imp. p. S;45. Priiicipi consule noii dulciora, sed optima : is one of Solon's sen- 
tences in Laert. de Solon. Therefore it b a horrid villany in the Jesuits, which is 


feiture of God's protection, and the cause of his displeasure, 
and consequently the only danger to the soul, and the great- 
est enemy to the land. And that the sins of rulers, whether 
personal, or in their government, have a far more dangerous 
influence upon the public state, than the sins of other men. 
Yea, the very sins vt^hich upon true repentance may be par- 
doned as to the everlasting punishment, may yet be unpar- 
doned as to the public ruin of a state : as the sad instance 
of Manasseh sheweth. ** Notwithstanding the Lord turned 
not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his an- 
ger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provoca- 
tions that Manasseh had provoked him withal ''." " Surely 
at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to 
remove them out of his sight for the sins of Manasseh ac- 
cording to all that he did ; and also for the innocent blood 
that he shed (for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood) 
which the Lord would not pardon'." And yet this was after 
Josiah had reformed : so Solomon's sin did cause the rend- 
ing of the ten tribes from his son's kingdom : yea, the bear- 
ing with the high places, was a provoking sin in kings, that 
otherwise were upright. Therefore sin being the fire in the 
thatch, the quenching of it must needs be an act of duty and 
fidelity to governors : and those that tempt them to it, or 
sooth and flatter them in it, are the greatest enemies they 
have. But yet it is not every man that must reprove a go- 
vernor, but those that have a call and opportunity ; nor 
must it be done by them imperiously, or reproachfully, or 
publicly to their dishonour, but privately, humbly, and with 
love, honour, reverence and submissiveness. 

Object, ' But great men have great spirits, and areimpa- 

expressed in Secret. Instruct, in Arcanis Jesuit, pp. 5 — 8. 11. To indulge great men 
and princes in those opinions and sins which please them, and to be on that side that 
their liberty requireth, to keep their favour to the society. So MafFaeinus, lib. iii. c. 
11. in vitaipsius Loyolae. Alexander Severus so greatly hated flatterers, that Lani- 
pridius saith, Siquis caput flexisset aut blandius aliquid dixisset. uti adulator, vcl ab- 
jiciebatur, si loci ejus qualitas pateretur ; vel ridebatur ingenli cachinno, si ejus dig- 
nitas graviori subjacere non posset injurije. Venit ad Attilam post victoriam Marul- 
lus poeta ejus temporis egregius, c^mpositunique in adulationeni carmen recitavit: in 
quo ubi Attila per inlerpretem cognovit se Deura et Divinastirpe ortum vanissime pr;R- 
dicari, aspernatus sacrilega? adulationis impudenliain, cum autorc carmen exurijussc- 
rat: a qua severitate subinde teraperavit, ne scriptores cjeteri a laudibtis ipsius celc^. 
brandis terrerentur, Callimach. Exp. in Attila, p. 353. 

^ 2 Kings xxiii. 26. ' 2 Kings xxiv. 3, 4., 


tient of reproof, and I am not bound to that which will do 
no good, but ruin me/ 

Answ. 1. It is an abuse of your superiors, to censure 
them to be so proud and brutish, as not to consider that 
they are the subjects of God, and have souls to save or lose, 
as well as others : will you j udge so hardly of them before 
trial, as if they were far worse and more foolish than the 
poor, and take this abuse of them to be an excuse for your 
other sin? No doubt there are good rulers in the world, 
that will say to Christ's ministers, as the Prince Elector Pa- 
latine did to Pitiscus, charging him to tell him plainly of 
his faults, when he chose him to be the ' Pastor Aulicus''.' 

2. How know you beforehand what success your words 
will have ? Hath the Word of God well managed no power ? 
Yea, to make even bad men good ? Can you love your ru- 
lers, and yet give up their souls in despair, and all for fear 
of suffering by them ? 

3. What if you do suffer in the doing of your duty ? 
Have you not learned to serve God on such terms as those ? 
Or do you think it will prove it to be no duty, because it 
will bring suffering on you ? These reasons savour not of 

Direct, xxxv. * Think not that it is unlawful to obey in 
every thing which is unlawfully commanded.' It may in 
many cases be the subject's duty, to obey the magistrate 
who sinfully commandeth him. For all the magistrate's 
sins in commanding, do not enter into the matter or sub- 
stance of the thing commanded : if a prince command me to 
do the greatest duty, in an ill design, to some selfish end, it is 
his sin so to command ; but yet that command must be obey- 
ed (to better ends). Nay, the matter of the command may 
be sinful in the commander, and not in the obeyer. If I 
be commanded without any just reason to hunt a feather, 
it is his sin that causelessly commandeth me so to lose my 
time ; and it yet may be my sin to disobey it, while the 
thing is lawful ; else servants and children must prove all to 
be needful, as well as lawful, which is commanded them be- 
fore they must obey. Or the command may at the same 
time be evil by accident, and the obedience good by acci- 
dent, and ' per se.' Very good accidents, consequence or 

J* Mclch. Adam, in vit. Barth. Pitisci. 


effects, may belong to our obedience, when the accidents of 
the command itself are evil. I could give you abundance 
of instances of these things. 

Direct, xxxvi. * Yet is not all to be obeyed that is evil 
but by accident, nor all to be disobeyed that is so : but the 
accidents must be compared ; and if the obedience will do 
more good than harm, we must obey ; if it will evidently do 
more harm than good, we must not do it.' Most of the sins 
in the world, are evil by accident only, and not in the sim- 
ple act denuded of its accidents, circumstances or conse- 
quents. You may not sell poison to him that you know 
would poison himself with it, though to sell poison of itself 
be lawful. Though it be lawful simply to lend a sword, yet 
not to a traitor that you know would kill the king with it, 
no, nor to one that would kill his father, his neighbour or 
himself. A command would not excuse such an act from 
sin. He was slain by David, that killed Saul at his own 
command, and if he had but lent him his sword to do it, it 
had been his sin. Yet some evil accidents may be weighed 
down by greater evils, which would evidently follow upon 
the not doing of the thing commanded*. 

Direct. xxx\u. ' In the question. Whether human laws 
bind conscience, the doubt is not of that nature, as to have 
necessary influence upon your practice. For all agree, 
that they bind the subject to obedience, and that God's 
law bindeth us to obey them.' And if God's law bind us to 
obey man's law, and so to disobey them, be materially a sin 
against God's law ; this is as much as is needful to resolve 
you in respect of practice. No doubt, man's law hath no 
primitive obliging power at all, but a derivative from God, 
and under him ; and what is it to bind the conscience (an 
improper speech) but to bind the person to judge it his duty 
(* conscire') and so to do it? And no doubt, but he is bound 
to judge it his duty, that is, immediately by human law, 
and remotely by Divine law, and so the contrary to be a 
sin proximately against man, and ultimately against God. 
This is plain, and the rest is but logomachy. 

Direct, xxxviii. * The question is much harder. Whe- 
ther the violation of every human penal law be a sin against 

' It was one of the Roman laws of the Twelve Tables, Justa iruperia suntu, us- 
que cives niodeste ac sine recusatione parento. 


God, though a man submit to the penalty?' (And the de- 
sert of every sin is death.) Master Richard Hooker's last 
book unhappily ended before he gave us the full reason of 
his judgment in this case, these being his last words: 
" Howbeit, too rigorous it were, that the breach of every 
human law, should be a deadly sin : a mean there is between 

those extremities, if so be we can find it out"" ." Ame- 

sius hath diligently discussed it, and many others. The 
reason for the affirmative is. Because God bindeth us to 
obey all the lawful commands of our governors ; and suffer- 
ing the penalty, is not obeying ; the penalty being not the 
primary intention of the lawgiver, but the duty ; and the 
penalty only to enforce the duty : and though the suffering 
of it satisfy man, it satisfieth not God, whose law we break 
by disobeying. Those that are for the negative, say. That 
God binding us but to obey the magistrate, and his law 
binding but ' aut ad obedientiam, aut ad pcenam,' I fulfil 
his will, if I either do or suffer : if I obey not, I please him 
by satisfying for my disobedience. And it is none of his 
will, that my choosing the penalty, should be my sin or dam- 
nation. To this it is replied. That the law bindeth * ad poe- 
nam,' but on supposition of disobedience ; and that disobe- 
dience is forbidden of God : and the penalty satisfieth not 
God, though it satisfy man. The other rejoins. That it sa- 
tisfieth God, in that it satisfieth man; because God's law is 
but to give force to man's, according to the nature of it. If 
this hold, then no disobedience at all is a sin in him that suffer- 
eth the penalty. In so hard a case, because more distinction 
is necessary to the explication, than most readers are wil- 
ling to be troubled with, I shall now give you but this brief 
decision". There are some penalties which fulfil the ma- 
gistrate's own will as much as obedience, which indeed have 
more of the nature of a commutation, than of penalty : (as 
he that watcheth not or mendeth not the highways, shall 
pay so much to hire another to do it. He that shooteth not 
so oft in a year, shall pay so much : he that eateth flesh in 
Lent, shall pay so much to the poor : he that repaireth not 
his .hedges, shall pay so much :) and so in most amerce- 
ments, and divers penal laws ; in which, we have reason to 

•» Eccl. Polit. lib. viii. p. 224. 

" On second thoughts this case ia more fully opened afterwards^ 


judge, that the penalty satisfieth the lawgiver fully, and 
that he leaveth it to our choice. In these cases I think we 
need not afflict ourselves with the conscience or fear of sin- 
ning against God. But there are other penal laws, in which 
the penalty is not desired for itself, and is supposed to be 
but an imperfect satisfaction to the lawgiver's will, and that 
he doth not freely leave us to our choice, but had rather we 
obeyed than suffered ; only he imposeth no greater a penal- 
ty, either because there is no greater in his power, or some 
inconvenience prohibiteth: in this case I should fear my 
disobedience were a sin, though I suffered the penalty. 
( Still supposing it an act that he had power to command 

Direct. XXXIX. 'Take heed of the pernicious design of 
those atheistical politicians, that would make the world be- 
lieve, that all that is excellent among men, is at enmity with 
monarchy, yea, and government itself ; and take heed on 
the other side, that the most excellent things be not turned 
against it by abuse.' 

Here I have two dangers to advertise you to beware : 
the first is of some Machiavelian pernicious principles, and 
the second of some erroneous unchristian practices. 

For the first, there are two sorts of atheistical politicians 
guilty of them. The first sort are some atheistical flatterers, 
that to engage monarchs against all that is good, would 
make them believe that all that is good is against them and 
their interest. By which means, while their design is to 
steal the help of princes, to cast out all that is good from 
the world, they are most pernicious underminers of mo-* 
narchy itself. For what readier way to set all the world 
against it, than to make them believe that it standeth at 
enmity to all that is good. These secret enemies would set 
up a leviathan to be the butt of common enmity and oppo- 

The other sort are the professed enemies of monarchy, 
who in their zeal for popular government, do bring in all 
that is excellent, as, if it were, adverse to monarchy. 1. 
They would (both) set it at enmity with politicians. 2. 
With lawyers. 3. With history. 4. With learning. 5. 
With divines. 6. With all Christian religion. 7. And 
with humanity itself. 


Object. 1. * The painters of the leviathan scorn all poli- 
tics, as ignorant of the power of monarchs, except the athe- 
istical inventions of their own brains. And the adversaries 
of monarchy say. The reading of politics will satisfy men 
against monarchy ; for in them you ordinarily find that the 
* majestas realis' is in the people, and the * majestas persona- 
lis' in the prince ; that the prince receiveth all his power 
from the people, to whom it is first given, and to whom it 
may be forfeited and escheat : with much more of the like, 
as is to be seen in politicians of all religions/ 

Answ. 1. It is not all politics that go upon those prin- 
ciples : and one mistake in writers is no disgrace to the true 
doctrine of politics, which may be vindicated from such mis- 
takes. 2. As almost all authors of politics take monarchy 
for a lawful species of government, so most or very many 
(especially of the moderns) do take it to be the most excel- 
lent sort of unmixed government. Therefore they are no 
enemies to it. 

Object. II. * For lawyers they say. That 1. Civilians set 
up reason so high, that they dangerously measure the power 
of monarchs by it ; insomuch, that the most famous pair of 
zealous and learned defenders of monarchy, Barclay and 
Grotius, do assign many cases, in which it is lawful to re- 
sist princes by arms, and more than so °. 2. And the com- 
mon lawyers, they say, are all for the law, and ready to say 
as Hooker, ** Lex facit regem ; " and what power the king 
hath, he hath it by law. The bounds are known, p. 218. 
He is 'singulis major, et universis minor,' &c.' 

Answ. 1. Sure the Roman civil laws were not against 
monarchy, when monarchs made so many of them. And 
what power reason truly hath, if hath from God, whom none 
can over-top ; and that which reason is abused unjustly to 
defend, may be well contradicted by reason indeed. 2. 
And what power the laws of the land have, they have by 
the king's consent and act : and it is strange impudence to 
pretend, that his own laws are against him. If any misin- 
terpret them, he may be confuted. 

Object. III. * For historians, say they. Be but well-versed 
in ancient history, Greek and Roman, and you shall find 
them speak so ill of monarchy, and so much for popularity, 

" I^'g. qua; df Grotio jjost, p. 731. 


and liberty, and magnifying so much the defenders of the 
people's liberty against inonarchs, that it will secretly steal 
the dislike of monarchy, and the love of popular liberty in- 
to your minds p.' 

Answ. It must be considered in what times and places 
the ancient Greek and Roman historians did live *i. They 
that lived where popular government was in force and credit, 
wrote according to the time and government which they lived 
under ; yet do they extol the virtues and heroic acts of 
monarchs, and often speak of the vulgar giddiness and in- 
constancy. And for my part, I think he that readeth in 
them those popular tumults, irrationalities, furies, incon- 
stancies, cruelties, which even in Rome and Athens they 
committed, and all historians record ; will rather find his 
heart much alienated from such democratical confusions. 
And the historians of other times and places do write as 
much for monarchy, as they did for democracy. 

Object. IV. * Some of them revile at Aristotle and all 
universities, and say. That while multitudes must be tasters 
and pretenders to the learning which they never can tho- 
roughly attain, they read many dangerous books, and re- 
ceive false notions ; and these half-witted men, are the dis- 
turbers of all societies. Do you not see, say they, that the 
two strongest kingdoms in the world, are kept up by keep- 
ing the subjects ignorant. The Greek and Latin empires 
were ruined by the contention of men that did pretend to 
learning. The Turk keepeth all in quiet by suppressing it : 
and the pope confineth it almost all to his instruments in 
government, and keepeth the common people in ignorance ; 
which keepeth them from matter of quarrel and disobe- 
dience ^' 

Answ. I hope you will not say, that Rome or Athens of 
old did take this course. And we will not deny, but men 

P So HoUingshed maketh Parliaments so mighty as to take down the greatest 
kings, &c. 

q As Aug. Traj. the Antonines, &c. It is confessed that most historians write 
much for liberty against tyranny. But the heathens do it much more than the Chris- 

' Laugius saith, that in his own hearing, Jodocus Prajses Senat. Mechlin. Mag- 
na contentione tuebatur, ncmincni posse vel unius legis intelligentiam consequi, qui 
quicquara sciret in bonis Uteris, et addcbat, vix esse trcs in orbe qui leges Caesareas 


of knowledge are more subject to debates, and questionings, 
and quarrels, about right and wrong, than rnen of utter ig- 
norance are. Beasts fall not out about crowns or kingdoms, 
as men do. Dogs and swine will not scramble for gold, as 
men will do, if you cast it among them : and it is easier to 
keep swine or sheep quiet, than men ; and yet it is not bet- 
ter to be swine or sheep, than men ; nor to be governors of 
beasts, than men. Dead men are quieter than the living, 
and blind men will submit to be led more easily than those 
that see ; and yet it is not better to be a king of brutes, or 
blind men, or dead men, than of the living that have their 
sight. A king of men that have many disagreements, is 
better than a king of beasts that all agree. And yet true 
knowledge tendeth to concord, and to the surest and most 
constant obedience. 

Object. V. ' But their chief calumniations are against 
divines. They say. That divines make a trade of religion, 
and under pretence of divine laws, and conscience, and ec- 
clesiastical discipline, they subjugate both princes and peo- 
ple to their will, and set up courts which they call ecclesi- 
astical, and keep the people in dependance on their dic- 
tates, and teach them to disobey upon pretence that God is 
against the matter of their obedience ; and also by contend- 
ing for their opinions, or for superiority and domination over 
one another, they fill kingdoms with quarrels, and break 
them into sects and factions, and are the chief disturbers of 
the public peace ^' 

Answ. We cannot deny that carnal, ignorant, worldly, 
proud, unholy pastors, have been and are the great calamity 
of the churches : but that is no more disgrace to their office, 
or to divinity, than it is to philosophy or reason, that phi- 
losophers have been ignorant, erroneous, divided, and con- 
tentious ; nor than it is to government, that kings and 
other rulers, have been imperfect, contentious, and fil- 
led the world with wars and bloodshed. Nay, I rather 
think that this is a proof of the excellency of divinity : as 

" Read Bishop Andrews Tort. Tort., Bishop Bilson of Christian Subjection, 
Robert Abbot, Jewel, Field, &c., who will fully shew that true church-power is no 
way injurious to kings. De regum authoritate, quod ex jure divino non sit Tortus pro- 
bat : nsseri enira scriptorum senteutia communi : at nee omnium, nee optimorum. 
Andr. Tort. Tort. p. 384. 


the reason of the foresaid imperfections and faultiness of 
philosophers and rulers, is because that philosophy and go- 
vernment are things so excellent, that the corrupt, imperfect 
nature of man, will not reach so high, as to qualify any man 
to manage them, otherwise than with great defectiveness ; 
so also divinity, and the pastoral office, are things so excel- 
lent and sublime, that the nature of lapsed man will not 
reach to a capacity of being perfect in them. So that the 
faultiness of the nature of man, compared with the excel- 
lency of the things to be known and practised by divines, is 
the cause of all these faults that they complain of ; and na- 
ture's vitiosity, if any thing must be blamed. Certainly, 
the pastoral office hath men as free from ignorance, worldli- 
ness, pride and unquietness, as any calling in the world. 
To charge the faults of nature upon that profession, which 
only discovereth, but never caused them, yea, which would 
heal them, if they are to be healed on earth, judge whether 
this dealing be not foolish and injurious, and what will be 
the consequents if such unreasonable persons may be heard. 
And therefore, though leviathan and his spawn, among all 
that is good, bring down divines, and the zealots for demo- 
cracy have gloried of their new forms of commonwealths, as 
inconsistent with a clergy, their glory is their shame to all 
but infidels. Let them help us to take down and cure the 
ignorance, pride, carnality, worldliness and contentiousness 
of the clergy, and we will be thankful to them ; but to quar- 
rel with the best of men for the common pravity of nature, 
and to reproach the most excellent science and function, 
because depraved nature cannot attain or manage them in 
perfection, this is but to play the professed enemies of man- 

Object. VI. ' These atheists or infidels also do spit their 
venom against Christianity and godliness itself, and would 
make princes believe, that the principles of it are contrary 
to their interest, and to government and peace: and they 
fetch their cavils, 1. From the Scripture's contemptuous ex- 
pressions of worldly wealth and greatness. 2. From its 
prohibition of revenge and maintaining our own right. 3. 
From the setting it above all human laws ; and by its autho- 
rity and obscurity, filling the minds of men with scrupulo- 
sity. 4. From the divisions which religion occasioneth in 


the world : and 5. From the testimonies of the several sects 
against each other.' I shall answer them particularly, 
though but briefly. 

Object. I. Say the infidel politicians, * How can subjects 
have honourable thoughts of their superiors, when they be- 
lieve that to be the Word of God, which speaketh so con- 
temptuously of them*? As Luke vi. 24. "Woe to you 
that are rich; for ye have received your consolation." 
James v. 1 — 3. " Go to now ye rich men, weep and howl 
for your miseries that shall come upon you." Ver. 5, 6. 
'* Ye have lived in pleasure on earth, and have been wan- 
ton Ye have condemned and killed the just ." Luke 

xii. 21. xvi. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is 
spoken to make men think of the rich as miserable, damned 
creatures. Ezek. xxi. 25. " Thou profane, wicked prince 
of Israel." Prov. xxv. 5. " Take away the wicked from 

before the king ." Prov. xxix. 12. " If a ruler hearken 

to lies, all his servants are wicked ; " the contempt of great- 
ness is made a part of the Christian religion.' 

Answ. 1. As if there were no difference between the con- 
tempt of riches and worldly prosperity, and the contempt of 
government? He is blind that cannot see that riches and 
authority are not the same ; yea, that the over- valuing of 
riches is the cause of seditions, and the disturbance of go- 
vernments, when the contempt of them removeth the chief 
impediments of obedience and peace. 2. And may not go- 
vernors be sufficiently honoured, unless they be exempted 
from the government of God ? And unless their sin must 
go for virtue? And unless their duty, and their account, 
and the danger of their souls be treacherously concealed 
from them ? God will not flatter dust and ashes ; great and 
small are alike to him. He is no respecter of persons : 
when you can save the greatest from death and judgment, 
then they may be excepted from all those duties which are 

t Just such occasions as Papists bring against the Reformers, did the heathens 
bring against the Christians, as you may see in Ennapius in ^desio. At egregii iili 
viri etbellicosi confusis perturbalisque rebus omnibus debeliasse Deos incruentis qui- 
dem, sed ab avaritiae crimine non puris manibus gloriabantur, sacrilegium et impieta- 
tis crimen laudi sibiassumentes. lideni postea in sacra loca invexerunt Monachos, 
sic dictos homines quideni specie, sed vitamturpem porcoruni more exlgentes, qui in 
popatulo infinila et iufanda scelera committebant, quibus tamen pictatis pars videba- 
tur, sacri loci reverentiani proculcari. O partiality ! 


needful to their preparation. 3. And is it not strange, that 
God should teach men to contemn the power which he him- 
self ordaineth ? And which is his own ? Hath he set offi- 
cers over us, for the work of government, and doth he teach 
us to despise them ? There is no shew of any such thing 
in Scripture : there are no principles in the world that more 
highly advance and honour magistracy, than the Christian 
principles, unless you will make gods of them, as the Ro- 
man senate did of the Antonines, and other emperors. 

Object. II. ' How can there be any government, when 
men must believe that they must not resist evil, but give 
place to wrath, and turn the other cheek to him that smiteth 
them, and give their coat to him that taketh away their 
cloak, and lend, asking for nothing again ? Is not this to 
let thieves and violent, rapacious men rule all, and have 
their will, and go unpunished? What use is there then for 
courts and judges ? And when Christ commandeth his dis- 
ciples, that though the kings of the nations rule over them, 
and exercise authority, and are called benefactors, yet with 
them it shall not be so ".' 

Answ. These were the old cavils of Celsus, Porphyry, 
and Julian ; but very impudent. As though love and pa- 
tience were against peace and government. Christ com- 
mandeth nothing in all these words, but that we love our 
neighbour as ourselves, and love his soul above our wealth, 
and that we do as we would be done by, and use not private 
revenge, and take not up the magistrate's work : and is 
this doctrine against government? It is not magistrates, 
but ministers and private Christians, whom he commandeth 
not to resist evil, and not to exercise lordship, as the civil 
rulers do. When it will do more hurt to the soul of another, 
than the benefit amounteth to, we must not seek our own right 
by law, nor must private men revenge themselves. All law- 
suits, and contentions, and hurting of others, which are in- 
consistent with loving them as ourselves, are forbidden in 
the Gospel. And when was government ever disturbed by 
such principles and practices as these ? Nay, when was it 
disturbed but for want of these ? When was there any se- 
dition, rebellion or unlawful wars, but through self-love, and 

" Rom. xii. 17. 19, 20. Luke vi. 28 — 30. Matt. v. 39—41. Luke xxii. 
25, 26. 


love of earthly things, and want of love to one another ? 
How easily might princes rule men, that are thus ruled by 
love and patience? 

Object. III. 'Christianity teacheth men to obey the 
Scriptures before their governors, and to obey no law that 
is contrary to the Bible ; and when the Bible is so large, 
and hath so many passages hard to be understood, and easily 
perverted, some of these will be always interpreted against 
the laws of men ; and then they are taught to fear no man 
against God, and to endure any pains or death, and to be 
unmoved by all the penalties which should enforce obedi- 
ence; and to rejoice in this as a blessed martyrdom, to the 
face of kings ; and those that punish them, are reproached 
as persecutors, and threatened with damnation, and made 
the vilest men on earth, and represented odious to all ''Z 

Amw. The sum of all this objection is. That there is a 
God. For if that be not denied, no man can deny that he 
is the Universal Governor of the world ; and that he hath 
his proper laws and judgment, and rewards and punishments, 
or that magistrates are his ministers, and have no power but 
from him; and consequently, that the commands, and 
threats, and promises of God, are a thousand-fold more to 
be regarded, than those of men y. He is a beast, and not a 
man that feareth not God more than man, and that feareth 
not hell more than bodily sufferings : and for the Scriptures, 
1. Are they any harder to be understood than the law of 
nature itself? Surely the characters of the will of God * in 
natura rerum,' are much more obscure than in the Scriptures. 
Hath God sent so great a messenger from heaven, to 
open to mankind the mysteries of his kingdom, and tell 
them what is in the other world, and bring life and immor- 
tality to light, and yet shall his revelation be accused as 

" I^ Blanc in his Travels, p. 88. saith of some heathen kings, They are all jea- 
lous of our religion, holding, that the Christians adore one God, great above the rest, 
that will not suffer any others, and that he sets a greater esteem and value upon in- 
nocent, poor and simple people, than upon the rich, kings and princes, and that 
princes had need to preserve to themselves the affections and esteem of their sub- 
jects, to reign with greater ease. 

y So Bishop Bilson of Subjection, p. 243 Princes be supreme ; not in respect 
that all things be subject to their wills, which were plain tyranny, not Christian autho- 
rity : but that all persons within their realms are bound to obey their laws, or abide 
their pains. So p. 242. 


more obscure than nature itself is ? If an angel had been 
sent from heaven to any of these infidels by name, to tell 
them but the same that Scripture telleth us, sure they would 
not have reproached his message, with such accusations. 
2. And are not the laws of the land about smaller matters, 
more voluminous and difficult? And shall that be made a 
matter of reproach to government ? And for misinterpreta- 
tion, it is the fault of human nature, that is ignorant and 
rash, and not of the Scriptures. Will you tell God, that 
you will not obey him, unless he will make his laws so, as 
no man can misinterpret them ? When or where were there 
ever such laws ? God will be God, and Judge of the world, 
whether you will or not : and he will not be an underling to 
men, nor set their laws above his own, to avoid your accu- 
sations. If there be another life of joy or misery, it is ne- 
cessary that there be laws according to which those rewards 
and punishments are to be adjudged. And if rulers oppose 
those who are appointed to promote obedience to them, they 
must do it at their perils : for God will render to all accor- 
ding to their works. 

Object. IV. * Doth not experience tell the world, that 
Christianity every where causeth divisions? and sets the 
world together by the ears ? What a multitude of sects are 
there among us at this day; and every one thinketh that 
his salvation lieth upon his opinion ? And how can princes 
govern men of so contrary mii^ds, when the pleasing of one 
party is the losing of the rest? We have long seen that 
church-divisions shake the safety of the state. If it were 
not that few that are called Christians are such indeed, and 
serious in the religion which themselves profess, there were 
no quietness to be expected : for those that are most serious, 
are so full of scruples, and have consciences still objecting 
something or other against their obedience, and are so ob- 
stinate in their way, as thinking it is for their salvation, 
that all ages and nations have been fain to govern them by 
force as beasts, which they have called persecution^.' 

^ The differences are oft among the lawyers which set the commonwealth on 
fire, and then they are charged on the divines, e. g. Grotius de Imper. p. 35. Si ar- 
raa in eos reges surapta sunt in quos totura populi jus translatum erat, ac qui proinde 
non precario sed proprio jure imperabant, laudari salva pietate non possunt, quem- 
cunque tandem praetextum aut eventum habuerint. Sin alicubi reges tales fuere qui 


Afisw, There is no doctrine in the world so much for 
love, and peace and concord as the doctrine of Christ is. 
What doth it so much urge and frequently inculcate ? What 
doth it contain but love and peace from end to end? Love 
is the sum and end of the Gospel, and the fulfilling of the 
law. To love God above all, and our neighbours as our- 
selves, and to do as we would be done by, is the epitome of 
the doctrine of Christ and his apostles. 2. And therefore 
Christianity is only the occasion, and not the cause of the 
divisions of the earth. It is men's blindness and passions 
and carnal interests rebelling against the laws of God, which 
is the make-bait of the world, and filleth it with strife. The 
wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, 
easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits : it bless- 
eth the peacemakers and the meek. But it is the rebellious 
wisdom from beneath, that is earthly, sensual, and devilish, 
which causeth envy and strife, and thereby confusion and 
every evil work ''. So that the true, genuine Christian is 
the best subject and most peaceable man on earth. But se- 
riousness is not enough to make a Christian ; a man may be 
passionately serious in an error; understanding must lead and 
seriousness follow. To be zealous in error is not to be 
zealous in Christianity ; for the error is contrary to Chris- 
tian verity. 3. As I said before, it is a testimony of the 
excellency of the religion that it thus occasioneth conten- 
tion. Dogs and swine do not contend for crowns and king- 
doms, nor for sumptuous houses or apparel ; nor do infants 
trouble the world or themselves with metaphysical, or logi- 
cal, or mathematical disputes; ideots do not molest the 
world with controversies, nor fall thereby into sects and 
parties. Nor yet do wise and learned persons contend 
about chaff, or dust, or trifles. But as excellent things are 
matter of search, so are they matter of controversy, to the 

pactis, sive positivis legibus, et seuatus alicujus aut ordiiium decretis astringerentur, 
in Jios ut summum imperium non obtinent, arnia ex optiinatuni tanquain superiorum 
sententia, sumi, justis de causis potuerint. Multi cnim reges, etiain qui sanguinis ju- 
re succedunt, reges sunt nomine magis quani imperio— — Sedfallit imperitus quodil- 
1am quotidianam et maxime in oculos incurrentem rerum administrationeni, quas sa;pe 
in optiniatum statu penes unum est, ab interiorc reipublicaB constitutione non satis dis- 
cernunt. Quod de regibus dixi, idem multo magis de iis acceptum volo, qui et re et 
nomine non reges sed principes lucre, h. e, non summi, sed primi. p. 54. 
* James iii. 15—17. Matt. v. 6—8. 


most excellent wits. The hypocritical Christians that you 
speak of, who make God and their salvation give place to 
the unjust commands of men, are indeed no Christians ; as 
not taking Christ for their sovereign Lord : and it is not in 
any true honour of magistracy that they are so ductile, and 
will do any thing, but it is for themselves, and their carnal 
interest ; and when that interest requireth it, they will betray 
their governors, as infidels will do. If you can reduce all 
the world to be infants, or idiots, or brutes, yea, or infidels, 
they will then trouble the state with no contentions for re- 
ligion or matters of salvation. But if the governed must 
be brutified, what will the governors be? 4. All true Chris- 
tians are agreed in the substance of their religion ; there is 
no division among them about the necessary points of faith 
or duty. Their agreement is far greater than their disagree- 
ment ; which is but about some smaller matters, where dif- 
ferences are tolerable ; therefore they may all be governed 
without any such violence as you mention. If the common 
articles of faith, and precepts of Christian duty be main- 
tained, then that is upheld which all agree in ; and rulers 
will not find it needful to oppress every party or opinion 
save one, among them that hold the common truths. Wise 
and sober Christians lay not men's salvation upon every 
such controversy ; nor do they hold or manage them un- 
peaceably to the wrong of church or state, nor with the vio- 
lation of charity, peace, or justice. 5. Is there any of the 
sciences which afford not matter of controversy ? If the 
laws of the land did yield no matter of controversy, lawyers 
and judges would have less of that work than now they have. 
And was there not greater diversity of opinions and worship 
among the heathens than ever was among Christians ? What 
a multitude of sects of philosophers and religions had they ? 
And what a multitude of gods had they to worship ? And 
the number of them still increased, as oft as the senate 
pleased to make a god of the better sort of their emperors 
when they were dead. Indeed one emperor, (of the religion 
of some of these objectors,) Heliogabalus, bestirred himself 
with all his power to have reduced all religion to unity, that 
is, he would have all the worship brought to his god, to 
whom h^ had been priest. Saith Lampridius in his life, 
" Dicebat Judaeorum et Samaritanorum religiones et ChriS'* 



tianam devotionem, illuc transferendam," &c. And there- 
fore he robbed, and maimed, and destroyed the other gods, 
" id agens ne quis Romae Deus nisi Heliogabalus coleretur." 
But as the effect of his monstrous, abominable filthiness of 
life was to be thrust into a privy, killed, and dragged about 
the streets, and drowned in the Tiber ; so the effect of his de- 
sired unity, was to bring that one god or temple into con- 
tempt, whereto he would confine all worship. The differen- 
ces among Christians are nothing in comparison of the dif- 
ferences among heathens ^. The truth is, religion is such 
an illustrious, noble thing, that dissensions about it, like 
spots in the moon, are much more noted by the world, than 
about any lower, common matters. Men may raise contro- 
versies in philosophy, physic, astronomy, chronology, and 
yet it maketh no such noise, nor causeth much offence or ha- 
tred in the world : but the devil and corrupted nature have 
such an enmity against religion, that they are glad to pick 
any quarrel against it, and blame it for the imperfections of 
all that learn it, and should practise it. As if grammar 
should be accused for every error or fault that the boys are 
* guilty of in learning it : or the law were to be accused for 
all the differences of lawyers, or contentions of the people : 
or physic were to be accused for all the differences or errors 
of physicians : or meat and drink were culpable because of 
men's excesses and diseases. There is no doctrine or prac- 
tice in the world, by which true unity and concord can be 
maintained, but by seriousness in the true religion; And 
when all contention cometh for want of religion, it is impu- 
dence to blame religion for it, which is the only cure. If 
rulers will protect all that agree in that which is justly to" 
be called the Christian religion, both for doctrine and prac- 
tice, and about their small and tolerable differences, will use 
no other violence but only to compel them to live in peace, 
and to suppress the seditious, and those that abuse and in- 
jure government or one another ; they will find that Chris- 
tianity tendeth not to divisions, nor to the hindrance or dis- 
turbance of government or peace. It is passion, and pride, 
and selfishness that doth this, and not religion ; therefore 
let these and not religion be restrained. But if they will 

b Jactavit caput inter praecisos phanaticos et genitalia sibi devinxit, &c. Lam- 


resolve to suffer none to live in peace, but those that in 
every punctilio are all of one opinion, they must have but 
one subject that is sincere in his religion, (for no two will 
be in every thing of the same apprehension, no more than 
of the same complexion,) and all the rest must be worldly 
hypocrites, that while they are heartily true to no religion, 
will profess themselves of any religion which will serve 
their present turns : and these nominal Christians will be 
ready to betray their rulers, or do any mischief which their 
carnal interest requireth "". 

Object. V. 'What witness need we more than their own 
accusations of one another "^7 For the Papists, how many 
volumes have the Protestants written against them as ene- 
mies to all civil government : alleging even the decrees of 
their general councils, as Later, sub Innoc. III. Can. 3. 
And for the Protestants, they are as deeply charged by the 
Papists, as you may see in the " Image of both Churches/' 
and " Philanax Anglicus," and abundance more. For Calvin 
and the Presbyterians and Puritans, let the prelates tell you 
how peaceable they are. And the Papists and Puritans say 
that the Prelatists are of the same mind, and only for their 
own ends pretend to greater loyalty than others. There are 
no two among them more famous for defending government, 
than Hooker and Bilson. And what Hooker saith for popu- 
lar power, his first and eighth books abundantly testify : and 
even Bishop Bilson himself defendeth the French and Ger- 
man Protestant wars; and you may judge of his loyal doc- 
trine by these words ; p. 520, " Of Christian Subjection :" 
" If a prince should go about to subject his kingdom to a 
foreign realm, or change the form of the commonwealth from 

« Eunapiiis saith of hb roaster Chrysanthius, that when Julian had made liini, 
Prlmariuni pontificem totiusillius ditionis, in niunere taraen suo non morose ac super- 
be se gessit ; junioribus urgendo baud gravis (sicut plerique omncs in unum conscn- 
tientes, callide ferventerque faciundum censebant ;) neque Christianis molestus admo- 
dum: quippe tanta ernt morum in eo lenitas atque simplicitas, ut per Lydiam prope- 
niocium igiioruta fuerit sacrorum in pristinum restitutio. Eo factum est, ut cum priora 
aliter cecidissent, nihil innovatum neque mutatio insignis accepta videretur, sed pra- 
ter expectaliunem cuncta placide sapirentur. Moderation in a heathen was his be- 

^ Vestra doctrina est, nisi princeps vobis ex,animo sit, quantumvis Icgitimus 
hjeres sit, regno excludi, aliuni eligi posse. Posse dixi? immo oporterc. Hzec Cle- 
mentina vesini fuit. Bishop Andrews of tlie Papists, Tort. Tort. p. 327. 


impery to tyranny, or neglect the laws established by com- 
mon consent of prince and people, to execute his own plea- 
sure ; in these and other cases which might be named, if the 
nobles and commons join together to defend their ancient 
and accustomed liberty, regimen and laws, they may not 
well be counted rebels ^." ' 

Answ. 1, If it be clear that Christianity as to its princi- 
ples, is more for love, and concord, and subjection, than any 
other rational doctrine in the world, then if any sect of 
Christians shall indeed be found to contradict these princi- 
ples, so far they contradict Christianity ; and will you blame 
religion because men contradict it? or blame Christ's doc- 
trine because men disobey it ? Indeed every sect that hath 
something of its own to make a sect, besides Christian re- 
ligion, which maketh men mere Christians, may easily be 
guilty of such error as will corrupt the Christian religion. 
And as a sect, they have a divided interest which may tempt 
them to dividing principles : but none more condemn such 
divisions than Christ. 2. And indeed, though a Christian 
as such is a credible witness ; yet a sect or faction as such, 
doth use to possess men with such an envious, calumniating 
disposition, that they are little to be believed when they ac- 
cuse each other ! This factious zeal is not from above, but 
is earthly, sensual, and devilish ; and therefore where this 
is, no wonder if there be strife, and false accusing, and con- 
fusion, and every evil work. But as these are no competent 
witnesses, so whether or no they are favoured by Christ, you 

« So pp. 381, 382. *' If others do but stand on their guard to keep their lives 
and families from the bloody lage of their enemies, seeking to put whole towns and pro- 
vinces of them to the sword, against all law and reason, and to disturb the kingdoms in 
the minority' of the right governors : or if they defend their ancient and Christian liber- 
ties, covenanted and agreed on by those princes, to whom they £rst submitted them- 
selves, and ever since confirmed and allowed by the kings that have succeeded : if in 
either of these two cases the godly require their right, and offer no wrong, impugn 
not their princes, but only save their own lives,you cry, Rebellious heretics, rebellious 
Calvinists, fury, frensy, mutiny; and T know not what. You may pursue, depose, 
and murder princes, when the Bishop of Rome biddeth you, and that without breach 
of duty, law, or conscience, to God or man, as you vaunt, though neither life nor 
limbs of yours be touched. We may not so much as beseech princes that we may be 
used like subjects, not like slaves ; like men, not like beasts, that we may be convent' 
ed b}' laws before judges, not murdered in corners by inquisitors. We niajMiot so 
much as hide our heads, nor pull our necks out of the greedy jaws of that Romish 
wolf, but the foam of your unclean mouth is ready to call us by all the names you can 
devise." So far Bilson. 


may judge if you will read but those three chapters, Matt, 
v., Rom. xii., James iii. I may say here as Bishop Bilson 
in the place which is accused, p. 521. " IT IS EASY FOR 
I can justify them from your accusation, so far as they are 
Christians ; but as they are Papists let hjm justify them that 
can. Indeed usurpation of government is the very essence 
of Popery; for which all other Christians blame them; and 
therefore there is small reason that Christianity should be 
accused for them. 4. And for the Protestants, both epis- 
copal and disciplinarians, the sober and moderate of them 
speak of one another in no such language as you pretend. 
For the episcopal, I know of none but railing Papists, that 
accuse them universally of any doctrines of rebellion ; and 
for the practices of some particular men, it is not to be al- 
leged against their doctrine. Do you think that Queen Eliza- 
beth, to whom Bishop Bilson's book was dedicated, or King 
Charles to whom Mr. Hooker's book was dedicated, took 
either of them to be teachers of rebellion? It is not every 
different opinion in politics that proveth men to be against 
subjection. He that can read such a book as Bilson's for 
** Christian Subjection against Antichristian Rebellion," and 
yet deny him to be a teacher of subjection, hath a very hard 
forehead. For the controversies I shall say no more of them 
here, but what I have said before to Mr. Hooker. And as for 
Calvin and the Disciplinarians or Puritans as they are called, 
they subscribe all the same confessions for magistracy, and 
take the same oaths of allegiance and supremacy, as others 
do ; and they plead and write for them ; so that for my parti 
know not of any difference in their doctrine. Hear what 
Bishop Andrews saith, (who was no rebel,) in his ** Tortura 
Torti," pp.379, 380. " Calvinus autem ut papam regem ; ita 
regem papam non probavit; neque nosquod in papa detes- 
tamur, in rege approbamus ; at et ille nobiscum, et nos cum 
illo sentin^us, easdem esse in ecclesia Christiana regis Jacobi 
partes, quae Josiae fuerunt in Judaica; nee nos ultra quic- 

quam fieri ambimus •:" that is, " But Calvin neither 

liked a pope-king, nor a. king-pope ; nor do. we approve of 


that in the king, which we detest in the pope. But he with 
us, and we with him do judge, that King James hath as much 
to do in the Christian church, as Josias had in the Jewish 
church ; and we go not about to get any more." And after, 
" Sub primatus nomine, papatam novum rex non invehit in 
ecclesiam ; sic enim statuit, ut non Aaroni pontifici, ita nee 
Jeroboamo regi, jus ullum esse conflatum a se vitulum popu- 
lo proponendi, ut adoret, (id est,) non vel fidei novos arti- 
culos, vel cultus Divini novas formulas procudendi :" that 
is, " The king doth not bring into the church a new papacy, 
under the name of primacy ; for thus he judgeth, (or deter- 
mineth,) that neither Aaron the priest, nor Jeroboam the 
king, had any right to propose the calf which they had 
made, to the people to be adored ; that is, neither to ham- 
mer (or make) new articles of faith, or new forms of divine 
worship." And pp. 379, 380. " Quos vero Puritanos ap- 
pellat, si regium primatum detestantur, detestandi ipsi. 
Profitentur enim, subscribunt, jurant indies ; sed etilli quod 
faciunt ingenue faciunt, et societatem in hoc Torti, ipsum- 
que adeo Tortum, tanquam mendacem hominem, (et alibi de 
aliis, et hie de se,) ac sycophantem egregium detestantur :*' 
that is, " And for those he calleth Puritans, if they detest 
the king's supremacy, they are to be detested ; for they daily 
profess, subscribe, and swear to it ; and what they do, they 
do ingenuously ; and they detest the society of Tortus in 
this, and Tortus himself, as a lying man, (elsewhere of others, 
and here of themselves,) and an egregious sycophant." By 
these testimonies judge what Protestants think of one ano- 
ther in point of loyalty. 

5. And why are not all the other Christians taken into 
your enumeration ? The Armenians, Abassins, and all the 
Greek churches ; whom the Papists so frequently reproach 
as flatterers or servile, because they still gave so much to 
their emperors ? Have you any pretence for your accusa- 
tion as against them ? Unless perhaps from the tumults 
which Alexandria in its greatness was much addicted to, 
which is nothing to the doctrine of Christianity, nor to the 
practice of all the rest. 

Having answered these cavils of the late atheistical or 
infidel politicians, I shall next shew, though briefly, yet by 
plentiful evidence, that Christianity and true godliness is 


the greatest strength of government, and bond of subjection, 
and means of peace, that ever was revealed to the world ; 
which will appear in all these evidences following. 

1. Christianity teacheth men to take the higher powers 
as ordained of God, and to obey them as God's ministers, 
or officers, having an authority derived immediately from 
God ; so that it advanceth the magistrate as God's officer, 
as much higher than infidels advance him, (who fetched his 
power no higher than force or choice,) as a servant of God 
is above a servant of men ; which is more than a man is 
above a dog ^. 

2. Christianity telleth us that our obedience to magis- 
trates is God's own command, and so that we must obey 
him by obeying them. And as obedience to a constable is 
more procured by the king's laws than by his own com- 
mands, so obedience to a king is far more effectually pro- 
cured by God's laws than by his own. If God be more 
above a king, than a king is above a worm, the command of 
God must be a more powerful obligation upon every under- 
standing person, than the king's. And what greater advan- 
tage can a king have in governing, than to have subjects 
whose consciences do feel themselves bound by God him- 
self, to obey the king and all his officers ? 

Object. ' But this is still with exception. If it be not in 
things forbidden of God ? And the subj ects are made j udges 
whether it be so or no.' 

Answ, And woe to that man that grudgeth that God 
must be obeyed before him ! and would be himself a God to 
be obeyed in things which God is against I The subjects 
are made no public judges, but private discerners of their 
duties : and so you make them yourselves ; or else they 
must not judge whether the king or an usurper were to be 
obeyed ; or whether the word of the king or of a constable, 
if they be contradictory, is to be preferred. To judge what 
we must choose or refuse is proper to a rational creature ; 
even brutes themselves will do something like it by instinct 
of nature, and will not do all things according to your will ;. 
you would have us obey a justice of peace no further than 
our loyalty to the king will give leave ; arid therefore there 
is greater reason that we should obey the higher powers n.Q 

f Rom. XV. 1—4. 


farther than our loyalty to God will give leave ^. But if men 
pretend God's commands for any thing which he command- 
eth not, magistrates bear not the sword in vain, and subjects 
are commanded by God not to resist ; if they punish them 
rightfully, God will bear the rulers out in it ; if they pu- 
nish them wrongfully or persecute them for welldoing, God 
will severely punish them who so wronged his subjects and 
abused the authority which he committed to their trust. 

. 3. The Christian religion bindeth subjects to obedience 
upon sorer penalties than magistrates can inflict ; even upon 
pain of God's displeasure, and everlasting damnation ^. And 
how great a help this is to government it is so easy to dis- 
cern, that the simpler sort of atheists do persuade themselves, 
that kings devised religion to keep people in obedience with 
the fears of hell. Take away the fears of the life to come 
and the punishment of God in hell upon the wicked, and 
the world will be turned into worse than a den of serpents 
and wild beasts ; adulteries, and murders, and poisoning 
kings, and all abomination will be freely committed, which 
wit or power can think to cover or bear out ! Who will 
trust that man that believeth not that God doth judge and 

4. The Christian religion doth encourage obedience and 
peace with the promise of the reward of endless happiness 
(* caeteris paribus') ; heaven is more than any prince can give. 
If that will not move men, there is no greater thing to move 
them. Atheism and infidelity have no such motives. 

5. Christianity teacheth subjects to obey not only good 
rulers but bad ones, even heathens themselves, and not to 
resist when we cannot obey. Whereas among heathens,, 
princes ruled no longer than they pleased the soldiers or 
the people ; so that Lampridius marvelled that Heliogabalus 
was no sooner butchered but suffered to reign three years : 
" Mirum fortasse cuipiam videatur Constantine venerabilis, 
quod haec clades quam retuli loco principum fuerit ; et qui- 

I, Bishop Bilson ubi supra, p. 259. As bishops ought to discern which is truth 
before they teach ; so must the people discern who teacheth right before they believe. 
Pp. ^1, 262. Princes as well as others must yield obedience to bishops speaking 
the Word of God ; but if bishops pass their conunission, and speak besides the Word 
of God, what they list, both prince and people may despise them. See him further, 
pp. 259 — 262. proving that all ba,vc a ' judicium discretionis.' 

^ Rom, xiii. ?, ^ 


dem prope triennio, ita ut nemo inventus fuerit qui istum a 
gubernaculis Romanas majestatis abduceret, cum Neroni, 
Vitellio, Caligulse caeterisque hujusmodi nunquam tyranni- 
cida defuerit '." 

6. Christianity and godliness do not only restrain the 
outward acts, but rule the very hearts, and lay a charge upon 
the thoughts, which the power of princes cannot reach. It 
forbiddeth to curse ihe king in our bedchamber, or to have 
a thought or desire of evil against him; it quencheth the 
first sparks of disloyalty and disorder ; and the rule of the 
outward man foUoweth the ordering of the heart ; and there- 
fore atheism which leaveth the heart free and open to all 
desires and designs of rebellion, doth kindle that fire in the 
minds of men, which government cannot quench ; it cor- 
rupteth the fountain ; it breaketh the spring that should set 
all a going ; it poisoneth the heart of commonwealths ''. 

7. Christianity and godliness teach men patience, that 
it may not seem strange to them to bear the cross, and suffer 
injuries from high and low ; and therefore that impatience 
which is the beginning of all rebellion being repressed, it 
stayeth the distemper from going any further. 

8. Christianity teacheth men self-denial as a great part 
of their religion^ : and when selfishness is mortified, there 
is nothing left to be a principle of rebellion against God or 
our superiors. Selfishness is the very predominant princi- 
ple of the ungodly : it is only for themselves that they obey 
when they do obey ; no wonder therefore if the author of 
leviathan allow men to do any thing when the saving of 
themselves requireth it. And so many selfish persons as 
there be in a kingdom, so many several interests are first 
sought, which for the most part stand cross to the interest 
of others : the godly have all one common centre ; they 
unite in God, and therefore may be kept in concord ; for 
God's will is a thing that may be fulfilled by all as well as 
one ; but the selfish and ungodly are every one his own 
centre, and have no common centre to unite in, their in- 
terests being ordinarily cross and inconsistent. 

9. Christianity teacheth men by most effectual argu- 

* Cicero saith, that every good roan was in his heart, or as much as in him lay, 
one that killed Caesar. 

'' 1 Pet. iv. 12. • Luke >iv, 19. 33. 


ments, to set light by the riches and honours of the world, 
and not to strive for superiority ; but to mind higher things, 
and lay up our treasure in a better world, and to condes- 
cend to men of low decree. It forbiddeth men to exalt 
themselves lest they be brought low ; and commandeth them 
to humble themselves that God may exalt them ; and he 
that knoweth not that pride and covetousness are the great 
disquieters of the world, and the cause of contentions, and 
the ruin of states, knoweth nothing of these matters. There- 
fore if it were but by the great urging of humility and hea- 
venlymindedness, and the strict condemning of ambition 
and earthlymindedness, Christianity and godliness must 
needs be the greatest preservers of government, and of 
order, peace and quietness in the world "". 

10. Christianity teacheth men to live in the love of God 
and man. It maketh love the very heart, and life, and sum, 
and end of all other duties of religion. Faith itself is but 
the bellows to kindle in us the sacred flames of love. Love 
is the end of the Gospel, and the fulfilling of the law. To 
love all saints with a special love, even with a pure heart 
and fervently, and to love all men heartily with a common 
love ; to love our neighbour as ourselves ; and to love our 
very enemies ; this is the life which Christ requireth, upon 
the penalty of damnation ; and if love thus prevail, what 
should disturb the government, peace or order of the 
world ? 

11. Christianity teacheth men to be exact in justice, 
distributive and commutative ; and to do to others as we 
would they should do to us : and where this is followed 
kings and states will have little to molest them, when ' gens 
sine justitia est sine remige navis in unda.' 

12. Christianity teacheth men to do good to all men as 
far as we are able, and to abound in good works, as that for 
which we are redeemed and new made ; and if men will set 
themselves wholly to do good, and be hurtful and injurious 
to none, how easy will it be to govern such. 

13. Christianity teacheth men to forbear and to forgive, 
as ever they will be forgiven of God, and the strong to bear 

" Ungebantur reges non per dom'inum, sed qui caeteris crudeliores existerent, et 
paulo post ab unctoribus non pro veri examinatione, trucidabantur, aliis electis truci- 
oribus. Gildas de cxc. Brit. 


the infirmities of the weak, and not to please themselves, 
but one another to their edification ; not to be censorious, 
harsh, or cruel, nor to place the kingdom of God in meats, 
and drinks, and days, but in righteousness, peace, and joy 
in the Holy Ghost ; to bear one another's burdens, and to 
restore them with the spirit of meekness that are overtaken 
in a fault, and to be peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, 
full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypo- 
crisy, and to speak evil of no man; and where this is 
obeyed, how quietly and easily may princes govern °? 

14. Christianity setteth before us the most perfect pat- 
tern of all this humility, meekness, contempt of worldly 
wealth and greatness, self-denial and obedience, that ever 
was given in the world. The eternal Son of God incarnate, 
would condescend to earth and flesh, and would obey his 
superiors after the flesh, in the repute of the world ; and 
would pay tribute, and never be drawn to any contempt of 
the governors of the world, though he suffered death under 
the false accusation of it. He that is a Christian, endeavour- 
eth to imitate his Lord : and can the imitation of Christ, or 
of his peaceable apostles be injurious to governors ? Could 
the world but lay by their serpentine enmity against the 
holy doctrine and practice of Christianity, and not take 
themselves engaged to persecute it, nor dash themselves in 
pieces on the stone which they should build upon, nor by 
striving against it provoke it to fall on them and grind them 
to powder, they never need to complain of disturbances by 
Christianity or godliness °, 

15. Christianity and true godliness containeth, not only 
all these precepts that tend to peace and order in the world, 
but also strength, and willingness, and holy dispositions for 
the practising of such precepts. Other teachers can speak 
but to the ears, but Christ doth write his laws upon the 
heart ; so that he maketh them such as he commandeth them 
to be : only this is the remnant of our unhappiness, that 
while he is performing the cure on us, we retain a remnant 
of our old diseases, and so his work is yet imperfect: and 
as sin in strength is it that setteth on fire the course of na- 
ture, so the relics of it will make some disturbance in the 

n Rom. xiv. XV. 1. Gal. vi. 1--4. James Hi. 15—17. Tit. Hi. f . 

«. Luke XX. 18. Matt. xxi. 42. 44. Acts iv. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8. Zech. xii. 3. 


world, according to its degree ; but nothing is more sure 
than that the most godly Christian is the most orderly and 
loyal subject, and the best member (according to his parts 
and power) in the commonwealth ; and that sin is the cause, 
and holiness the cure of all the disorders and calamities of 
the world. 

16. Lastly, Consult with experience itself, and you will 
find, that all this which I have spoken, hath been ordinarily 
verified ^. What heathenism tendeth to, you may see even 
in the Roman government (for there you will confess it was 
at the best). To read of the tumults, the cruelties, the po- 
pular inconstancy, faction and injustice ; how rudely the 
soldiers made their emperors, and how easily and barba- 
rously they murdered them, and how few of them from the 
days of Christ till Constantine did die the common death of 
all men, and escape the hands of those that were their sub- 
jects ; I think this will satisfy you, whither men's enmity to 
•Christianity tendeth : and then to observe how suddenly the 
case was altered, as soon as the emperors and subjects be- 
came Christian, (till in the declining of the Greek empire, 
some officers and courtiers who aspired to the crown did 
murder the emperors) : and further to observe, that the re- 
bellious doctrines and practices against governors, have 
been all introduced by factions and heresies, which forsook 
Christianity so far before they incurred such guilt ; and that 
it is either the Papal usurpation (which is in its nature an 
>enemy to princes) that hath deposed and trampled upon em- 
perors and kings, or else some mad enthusiastics that over- 
run religion and their wits, that at Munster (and in England 
some lately) by the advantage of their prosperity, have dared 
to do violence against sovereignty ; but the more any men 
were Christians and truly godly, the more they detested all 

P Read tlie lives of all the philosophers, orators, and famous men of Greece or 
Rome, and try whether the Christians or they were more for monarchy. Arcesilaus 
regum neminem magnopere coluit : quamobrem legatione ad Antigonum fungeus pro 
patria, nihil obtinuit. Hesich. in Arces. It is one of Thales's sayings inDiog. Laert. 
Quid difficile? Regem vidisse tyrannum senem. Chrysippus videtur aspernator re- 
gum modice fuisse. Quod cum tam multa scripserit (librps 705.) nulli unquanv regi 
quicquam adscripserit. Seneca saith (Traged. de Here, fur.) perilously, Viclima 
baud uUa araplior potest, niagisque opima mactari Jovi, Quam rex iniquus. Cicero 
pro Milon. Non se obstrinxit scelere siquis tyrannum occidat, quamvis familiarem. 
Et 5. Tusc. Nulla nobis cum lyrannis societas est, neque est contra naturam^spoiiare 
eum quern honestum est necarc. Plura habet sigiiiia.. 


such things ; all this will tell you that the most serious and 
religious Christians, are the best members of the civil so- 
cieties upon earth. 

II. Having done with the first part of my last Direction, 
I shall say but this little of the second ; let Christians see 
that they be Christians indeed, and abuse not that which i& 
most excellent to be a cloak to that which is most vile. 1. 
In reading politics, swallow not all that every author writeth 
in conformity to the polity that he liveth under : what per- 
verse things shall you read in the Popish politics, (Contzen, 
and abundance such !) What usurpation on principalities, 
and cruelties to Christians, under the pretence of defending 
the church, and suppressing heresies ! 

2. Take heed in reading history that you suffer not the 
spirit of your author to infect you with any of that partiality 
which he expresseth to the cause which he espouseth. Con- 
sider in what times and places all your authors lived, and 
read them accordingly with the just allowance. The name 
of liberty was so precious, and the name of a king was so 
odious to the Romans, Athenians, &c., that it is no wonder 
if their historians be unfriendly unto kings. 

3. Abuse not learning itself to lift you up with self-con- 
ceitedness against governors ! Learned men may be igno- 
rant of polity ; or at least unexperienced, and almost as un- 
fit to judge, as of matters of war or navigation. 

4. Take heed of giving the magistrate's power to the 
clergy, and setting up secular, coercive power under the 
name of the power of the keys ; and it had been happy for 
the church if God had persuaded magistrates in all ages to 
have kept the sword in their own hands, and not have put 
it into the clergy's hands, to fulfil their wills by 'i : for 1. By 
this means the clergy had escaped the odium of usurpation 
and domineering, by which atheistical politicians would 
make religion odious to magistrates for their sakes. 2. And 

P See Bilsou of Subjection, pp. 525, 526. Proving from Chrysostora, Hilary, 
Origen, that pastors may use no force or terror, but only persuasion, to recover their 
wandering sheep. Bilson, ibid. p. 541. Parliaraeats have been kept by the king and 
his barons, the clergy wholly excluded, and yet their acts and statutes good ; and 
when the bishops were present, their voices from the Conquest to this day werp no - 
ver negative. By God's law you have nothing to do with making laws, for kingdoms 
and commonwealths : you may teach, you may not command : persuasion is your 
part, compulsion is the prince's, &c. Thus Bishop Bilson. So p. 358. 


by this means greater unity had been preserved in the church, 
while one faction is not armed with the sword to tread down 
the rest : for if divines contend only by dint of argument, 
when they have talked themselves and others aweary they 
will have done : but when they go to it with dint of sword, 
it so ill becometh them, that it seldom doth good, but the 
party often that trusteth least to their reason, must destroy 
the other, and make their cause good by iron arguments. 
3. And then the Romish clergy had not been armed against 
princes to the terrible concussions of the Christian world, 
which histories at large relate, if princes had not first lent 
them the sword which they turned against them. 4. And 
then church-discipline would have been better understood, 
and have been more effectual ; which is corrupted and turn- 
ed to another thing and so cast out, when the sword is used 
instead of the keys, under pretence of making it effectual : 
none but consenters are capable of church-communion : no 
man can be a Christian, or godly, or saved against his will ; 
and therefore consenters and volunteers only are capable of 
church-discipline : as a sword will not make a sermon effec- 
tual, no more will it make discipline effectual : which is but 
the management of God's Word to work upon the conscience. 
So far as men are to be driven by the sword to the use of means, 
or restrained from offering injury to religion, the magistrate 
himself is fittest to do it. It is noted by historians as the 
dishonour of Cyril of Alexandria (though a famous bishop) 
that he was the first bishop that like a magistrate used 
the sword there, and used violence against heretics and dis- 

5. Above all, abuse not the name of religion for the re- 
sistance of your lawful governors : religion must be defend- 
ed and propagated by no irreligious means. It is easy be- 
fore you are aware, to catch the fever of such a passionate 
zeal as James and John had, when they would have had fire 
from heaven to consume the refusers and resisters of the 
Gospel: and then you will think that any thing almost is 
lawful, which doth but seem necessary to the prosperity of 
religion. But no means but those of God's allowance do 
use to prosper, or bring home that which men expect : they 
may seem to do wonders for awhile, but they come to no- 


thing in the latter end, and spoil the work, and leave all 
worse than it was before. 

Direct. XL. 'Take heed of mistaking the nature of that 
liberty of the people, which is truly valuable and desirable, 
and of contending for an undesirable liberty in its stead '"/ 
It is desirable to have liberty to do good, and to possess our 
own, and enjoy God*s mercies, and live in peace : but it is not 
desirable to have liberty to sin, and abuse one another, and 
hinder the Gospel, and contemn our governors. Some mis- 
take liberty for government itself; and think it is the peo- 
ple's liberty to be governors : and some mistake liberty for 
an exemption from government, and think they are most 
free, when they are most ungoverned, and may do what they 
list : but this is a misery, and not a mercy, and therefore 
was never purchased for us by Christ. Many desire servi- 
tude and calamity under the name of liberty : " optima est 
reipublicse forma," saith Seneca, " ubi nulla libertas deest, 
nisi licentia pereundi." As Mr. R. Hooker saith, lib. viii. 
p. 195, " I am not of opinion, that simply in kings the most, 
but the best limited, power is best, both for them and the 
people : the most limited power is that which may deal in 
fewest things : the best, that which in dealing is tied to the 
soundest, most perfect and indifferent rule, which rule is 
the law ; I mean not only the law of nature and of God, but 
the national law consonant thereunto ; happier that people 
whose law is their king in the greatest things, than that 
whose king is himself their law." 

Yet no doubt, that the lawgivers are as such, above the 
law as an authoritative instrument of government, but under 
it, as a man is under the obligation of his own consent and 
word ; it ruleth subjects in the former sense ; it bindeth 
the ' summam potestatem' in the latter. 

Direct, xli. ' When you have done all that you can in 
just obedience, look for your reward from God alone.' Let 
it satisfy you that he knoweth and approveth your sincerity. 
You make it a holy work if you do it to please God ; and 
you will be fixed and constant, if you take heaven for your 
reward, (which is enough, and will not fail you ;) but you 
make it but a selfish, carnal work, if you do it only to please 
your governors, or get preferment, or escape some hurt 

^iPet. ii. 16. Gal. V. 13. 2 Pet. ii. 12. Gal.iv.26. 2 Cor. iii. 17. 


which they may do you, and are subject only in flattery, or 
for fear of wrath, and not for conscience sake. And such 
obedience is uncertain and inconstant ; for when you fail of 
your hopes, or think rulers deal unjustly or unthankfully 
with you, your subjection will be turned into passionate de- 
sires of revenge. Remember still the example of your Sa- 
viour, who suffered death as an enemy to Caesar, when he 
had not failed of his duty so much as in one thought or 
word. And are you better than your Lord and Master? If 
God be all to you, and you have laid up all your hopes in 
heaven, it is then but little of your concernment, (further 
than God is concerned in it) whether rulers do use you well 
or ill, and whether they interpret your actions rightly, or 
what they take you for, or how they call you; but it is your 
concernment that God account you loyal, and will judge 
you so, and justify you from men's accusations of disloyal- 
ty, and reward you with more than man can give you. No- 
thing is well done, especially of so high a nature as this, 
which is not done for God and heaven, and which the crown 
of glory is not the motive to. 

I have purposely been the larger on this subject, because 
the times in which we live require it, both for the settling of 
some, and for the confuting the false accusations of others, 
who would persuade the world that our doctrine is not what 
it is ; when through the sinful practices of some, the way of 
truth is evil spoken of^ 

A fuller resolution of the Cases, 1. Whether the Laivs of Men 
do bind the Conscience? 2. Especially smaller and penal 
Laws ? 

The word 'conscience* signifieth either, 1. In general ac- 
cording to the notation of the word. The knowledge of our 
own matters ; ' Conscire ; ' the knowledge of ourselves, our 
duties, our faults, our fears, our hopes, our diseases, &c. 2. 
Or more limitedly and narrowly. The knowledge of ourselves 
and our own matters in relation to God's law and judgment; 
'Judicium hominis de seipso prout subjicitur judicio Dei,' 
as Amesius defineth it. 

2. Conscience is taken, 1. Sometimes for the act of self- 

• 2 Pet. ii. 2. 


knowing. 2. Sometimes for the habit. 3. Sometimes for 
the faculty, that is, for the intellect itself, as it is a faculty 
of self-knowing. , In all these senses it is taken properly. 
4. And sometimes it is used (by custom) improperly, for the 
person himself, that doth ' conscire ;' or for his will (another 

3. The conscience may be said to be bound, 1. Subjec- 
tively, as the * subjectum quod,' or the faculty obliged. 2. 
Or objectively, as ' conscire,' the act of conscience, is the 
thing * ad quod,' to which we are obliged. 

And upon these necessary distinctions I thus answer to 
the first question. 

Prop. 1. The act or the habit of conscience is not ca- 
pable of being the subject obliged; no more than any other 
act or duty : the act or duty is not bound, but the man to the 
act or duty. 

2. The faculty or judgment is not capable of being the 
object, or ' materia ad quam,' the thing to which we are 
bound. A man is not bound to be a man, or to have an in- 
tellect, but is made such. 

3. The faculty of conscience (that is, the intellect) is not 
capable of being the immediate or nearest * subjectum quod,' 
or subject obliged. The reason is. Because the intellect of 
itself is not a free-working faculty, but acteth necessarily 
' per modum naturse' further than it is under the empire of 
the will ; and therefore intellectual and moral habits are by 
all men distinguished. 

4. All legal or moral obligation falleth directly upon the 
will only : and so upon the person as a voluntary agent ; so 
that it is proper to say, * The will is bound,' and * The per- 
son is bound.' 

5. Improperly and remotely it may be said, *The intel- 
lect (or faculty of conscience) is bound, or the tongue, or 
hand, or foot is bound -, ' as the man is bound to use them. 

6. Though it be not proper to say, ' That the conscience 
is bound,' it is proper to say, * That the man is bound to the 
act or habit of conscience, or to the exercise of the faculty.' 

7. The common meaning of the phrase, that we are 
' bound in conscience,' or that * conscience is bound,' is 
that ' we are bound to a thing by God,' or * by a divine obli- 
gation,' and that it is * a sin against God to violate it ; ' so 

VOL. vr. H 


that divines use here to take the word * conscience' in the 
narrower theological sense, as respect to God's law and 
judgment doth enter the definition of it. 

8. Taking conscience in this narrower sense, to ask, 
' Whether man's law as man's do bind us in conscience,' is 
all one to ask, * Whether man be God *.' 

9. And taking conscience in the large or general sense, 
to ask, ' Whether man's laws bind us in conscience,' sub- 
jectively is to ask, ' Whether they bind the understanding 
to know our duty to man?' And the tenor of them will shew 
that; while they bind us to or from an outward act, it is the 
man that they bind to or from that act, and that is, as he is a 
rational voluntary agent ; so that a human obligation is 
laid upon the man, on the will, and on the intellect by hu- 
man laws. 

10. And human laws while they bind us to or from an 
outward act, do thereby bind us as rational free agents, 
knowingly to choose or refuse those acts ; nor can a law 
which is a moral instrument any otherwise bind the hand, 
foot or tongue, but by first binding us to choose or refuse it 
knowingly, that is, conscientiously, so that a human bond is 
certainly laid on the mind, soul or conscience, taken in the 
larger sense. 

11. Taking conscience in the stricter sense, as including 
essentially a relation to God's obligation, the full sense of 
the question plainly is but this. Whether it be a sin against 
God to break the laws of man ? And thus plain men might 
easily understand it. And to this it must be answered. 
That it is in two respects a sin against God to break such 
laws or commands as rulers are authorized by God to make : 

*■ Having spoken of this controversy, in my " Life of Faith," in which I thought 
we were really agreed, while we seemed to differ, which I called ' A pitiful case,' some 
brethren (who say nothing against the truth of what I said) are offended at me as 
speaking too confidently, and calling that so easy which Bishop S^idei-son and so ma- 
ny others did make a greater matter of; I retract the words, if they be unsuitable 
either to the matter or the readers : but as to the matter and truth of the words, I de- 
sire the reader but to consider how easy a case Mr, P. maketh of it, Eccl. Pol., and 
how heinous a matter he maketh of our supposed dissent : and if after all this it shall 
appear, that the Nonconformists do not at all differ from Hooker, Bilson and the ge- 
nerality of the Conformists in this point, let him that is willing to be represented as 
odious and intolerable to rulers and to mankhid, for that in which we do not differ, pro- 
ceed to backbite me for sayiny that it is a pitiful case j and pretending that we are 


1. Because God commandeth us to obey our rulers: there- 
fore he that (so) obeyeth them not, sinneth against a law of 
God. God obligeth us in general to obey them in all things 
which they are authorized by him to command ; but their 
law determineth of the particular matter ; therefore God 
obligeth us (in conscience of his law) to obey them in that 
particular. 2. Because by making them his officers, by his 
commission he hath given them a certain beam of authority, 
which is Divine as derived from God ; therefore they can 
command us by a power derived from God : therefore to 
disobey is to sin against a power derived from God. And 
thus the general case is very plain and easy. How man sin- 
neth against God in disobeying the laws of man, and conse- 
quently how (in a tolerable sense of that phrase) it may be 
said, that man's laws do or do not bind the conscience (or 
rather, bind us in point of conscience ;) or by a Divine obli- 
gation. Man is not God ; and therefore as man, of himself 
can lay no Divine obligation on us. But man being God's 
officer, 1. His own law layeth on us an obligation deriva- 
tively Divine (for it is no law which hath no obligation, and 
it is no authoritative obligation which is not derived from 
God). 2. And God's own law bindeth us to obey man's 

Quest, II. ' But is it a sin to break every penal law of 
man? ' 

Answ. 1 . You must remember that man's law is essen- 
tially the signification of man's will ; and therefore obligeth 
no further than it truly signifieth the ruler's will. 

2. That it is the act of a power derived from God ; and 
therefore no further bindeth, than it is the exercise of such 
a power. 

3. That it is given, 1. Finally for God's glory and plea- 
sure, and for the common good (comprehending the honour 
of the ruler and the welfare of the society ruled). And 
therefore obligeth not when it is, (1.) Against God. (2.) 
Or against the common good. 2. And it is subordinate to 
God's own laws, (in nature and Scripture) and therefore 
obligeth not to sin, or to the violation of God's law ". 

" It is not Mr. Humphrey alone that hath written that laws bind not in con- 
science toobedience whichare against the public good. The greatest casuists say the 
Bame, excepting the case of scandal : he that would see tliis iu them may choose but 


4. You must note that laws are made for the government 
of societies as such universally ; and so are fitted to the com- 
mon case, for the common good. And it is not possible but 
that a law which prescribeth a duty which by accident is so 
to the most, should meet with some particular subject to 
whom the case is so circumstantiated as that the same act 
would be to him a sin : and to the same man it may be or- 
dinarily a duty, and in an extraordinary case a sin. Thence 
it is that in some cases (as Lent fasts, marriages, &c.) rulers 
oft authorize some persons to grant dispensations in certain 
cases ; and hence it is said, that necessity hath no law. 

Hereupon 1 conclude as followeth. 

1. It is no sin to break a law which is no law, as being 
against God, or not authorized by him, (as of a usurper, 
&c.) See R. Hooker, Conclus. lib. viii. 

2. It is no law so far as it is no signification of the true 
will of the ruler, whatever the words be : therefore so far it 
is no sin to break it. 

3. The will of the ruler is to be judged of, not only by 
the words, but by the ends of government, and by the rules 
of humanity. 

4. It being not possible that the ruler in his laws can 
foresee and name all exceptions, which may occur, it is to 
be supposed that it is his will that the nature of the thing 
shall be the notifier of his will, when it cometh to pass ; and 
that if he were present, and this case fell out before him, 
which the sense and end of the law extendeth not to, he 
would say. This is an excepted case. 

6, There is therefore a wide difference between a gene- 
ral law, and a personal, particular mandate ; as of a parent 
to a child, or a master to a servant ; for this latter fully no- 
tifieth the will of the ruler in that very case, and to that very 
person. And therefore it cannot be said that here is any 
exception, or that it is not his will ; but in an universal or 
general law, it is to be supposed that some particular ex- 
cepted cases will fall out extraordinarily, though they can- 
not be named ; and that in those cases, the ruler's will dis- 
penseth with it. 

these two special authors, Bapt. Fragos. de RegimineReipublicae, and Greg, Sayrus in 
his Clavis Regia, and in them he shall find enow more cited. Though I think some 
further cautions would make it more satisfactory. 


6. Sometimes also the ruler doth by the mere neglect of 
pressing or executing his own laws, permit them to grow 
obsolete, and out of use ; and sometimes he forbeareth the 
execution of them for some time, or to some sort of persons ; 
and by so doing, doth notify that it was not his will that at 
such a time, and in such cases they should oblige. I say 
not that all remissness of execution is such a sign ; but 
sometimes it is : and the very word of the lawgiver may no-i 
tify his dispensation or suspending will. As for instance, 
upon the burning of Londim, there were many laws (about 
coming to parish-churches, and relief of the poor of the pa- 
rish, and the like,) that the people became incapable of 
obeying ; and it was to be supposed, that the ruler's will 
would have been to have excepted such cases if foreseen ; 
and that they did dispense with them when they fell out. 

Sometimes also the penalty of violating a law, is some 
such mulct or service, which the ruler intendeth as a com- 
mutation for the duty, so that he freely leaveth it to the 
choice of the subject which he will choose. And then it is 
no sin to pay the mulct, and omit the action ; because it 
crosseth not the lawgiver's will. 

8. Sometimes also the law may command this principally 
for some men's sake, which so little concerns others, that it 
should not extend to them at all, were it not lest the liberty 
of them should be an impediment to the obedience of others, 
and consequently of the common good. In which case, if 
those persons so little concerned, do but omit the action se^ 
cretly, so as to be no scandal or public hurt, it seemeth that 
they have the implicit consent of the rulers. 

9. Sometimes particular duties are commanded with this 
express exception, ** Unless they have just and reasonable 
impediment." As for coming every Lord's day to church, 
8cc. ; which seemeth to imply, that (though in cases where 
the public good is concerned, the person himself shall not 
be judge, nor at all as to the penalty; yet that (in actions 
of an indifferent nature in themselves, this exception is stiH- 
supposed to be implied, " unless we have just and reason- 
able impediments," of which in private cases, as to the 
crime, we may judge. 

10. I need not mention the common, natural exceptions : 
as that laws bind not to a thing when it becometh naturally 


impossible; or ' cessante materia, vel capacitate subject! 
obligati/ &c. 

11. Laws may change their sense in part by the change 
of the lawgiver ; for the law is not formally to us his law 
that is dead and was once our ruler, but his that is alive and 
is now our ruler. If Henry the eighth make a law about the 
outward acts of religion, (as for coming to church, &c.) and 
this remain unrepealed in King Edward's, Queen Mary's, 
Queen Elizabeth's, King James's days, &c., even till now ; 
as we are not to think that the lawgivers had the same sense 
and will, so neither that the law hath the same sense 
and obligation ; for if the general words be capable of seve- 
ral senses, we must not take it as binding to us in the sense 
it was made in, but in the sense of our present lawgivers or 
rulers, because it is their law. 

12. Therefore if a law had a special reason for it at the 
first making, (as the law for using bows and arrows,) that 
reason ceasing, we are to suppose the will of the lawgiver to 
remit the obligation, if he urge not the execution, and re- 
new not the law. 

13. By these plain principles many particular difficulties 
may be easily resolved, which cannot be foreseen and named, 
e. g. the law against relieving a beggar bindeth not, when he 
is like to die if he be not relieved ; or in such a case as after 
the burning of London, when there was no parish to bring 
him to. A law that is but for the ordering of men's charity, 
(to soul or body, by preaching or alms,) will not disoblige 
me from the duties of charity themselves, in cases where 
Scripture or nature proveth them to be imposed by God. 
A law for fasting will not bind me, when it would be des- 
tructive to my body ; even on God's sabbaths duties of 
mercy were to be preferred to rest and sacrifices. 

14. If God's own laws must be thus expounded, that 
** When two duties come together, and both cannot be done, 
the lesser ceaseth at that time to be a duty, and the greater 
is to be preferred," man's laws must also be necessarily so 
expounded : and the rather, because man's laws may be 
contradictory when God's never are so, rightly understood. 

15. Where the subject is to obey, so far he must discern 
which of the laws inconsistent, is to be preferred : but in the 
magistratical execution, the magistrate or judge must deter- 



E. g. One law commandeth that all the needy poor be 
kept on the parish where they were born or last lived. 
Another law saith, that Nonconformable ministers of the 
Gospel, who take not the Oxford oath, shall not come with- 
in five miles of city or corporation (though they were born 
there) or any place where they have been preachers. In 
case of necessity what shall they do ? A?isw. Whither they 
shall go for relief, they must discern as well as they can : 
but whither they shall be carried or sent, the magistrate or' 
constable must discern and judge. 

Also whether he shall go with a constable that by one 
law bringeth him to a place, which by the other law he is 
forbid on pain of six months imprisonment in the common 
gaol to come to ? Answ. If he be not voluntary in it, it is 
not his fault : and if one bring him thither by force, and 
another imprison him for being there, he must patiently 
suffer it. 

16. But out of such excepted cases, the laws of our ru- 
lers (as the commands of parents) do bind us as is afore ex- 
plained ; and it is a sin against God to violate them. 

17. Yea, when the reason of the law reacheth not our 
particular case and person, yet when we have reason to 
judge, that it is the ruler's will that all be bound for the 
sake of some, and the common order and good will be hin- 
dered by our exemption, we must obey to our corporal de- 
triment, to avoid the public detriment, and to promote the 
public good. 


Directions to Lawyers about their Duty to God. 

Gentlemen, you need not meet these Directions with the 
usual censures or suspicions, that divines are busying them- 
selves with the matters of your calling, which belong not to 
them, and which they do not understand : you shall see that 
I will as much forbear such matters as you can well desire. 
If your calling be not to be sanctified by serving God in it, 
and regulating it by his law, it is then neither honourable 


nor desirable. But if it be, permit me very briefly so far 
to direct you ^ 

Direct, i. * Take the whole frame of polity together, and 
study each part in its proper place, and know it in its due 
relation to the rest : that is, understand first the doctrine of 
polity and laws ' in genere,' and next the universal polity 
and laws of God * in specie ;' and then study human polity 
and laws, as they stand in their due subordination to the 
polity and laws of God, as the bye-laws of corporations do 
to the general laws of the land.' 

He that understandeth not what polity and laws is * in 
genere,' is unlike to understand what divine or human po- 
lity or law is ' in specie : he that knoweth not what govern- 
ment is, and what a community, and what a politic society 
is, will hardly know what a commonwealth or church is : 
and he that knoweth not what a commonwealth is ' in ge- 
nere,' what is its end, and what its constitutive parts, and 
what the efficient causes, and what a law, and judgment, 
and execution is, will study but unhappily the constitution 
or laws of the kingdom which he liveth in. 

2. And he that understandeth not the ' divine dominium et 
imperium,' as founded in creation, (and refounded in re- 
demption,) and man's subjection to his absolute Lord, and 
the universal laws which he hath given in nature and Scrip- 
ture to the world, can never have any true understanding of 
the polity or laws of any kingdom in particular ; no more 
than he can well understand the true state of a corporation, 
or the power of a mayor, or justice, or constable, who know- 
eth nothing of the state of the kingdom, or of the king, or 
of his laws. What ridiculous discourses would such a man 
make of his local polity or laws ! He knoweth nothing worth 
the knowing, who knoweth not that all kings and states 
have no power but what is derived from God, and subser- 
vient to him ; and are all his officers, much more below him, 
than their justices and officers are to them; and that their 
laws are of no force against the laws of God, whether of na- 
tural or supernatural revelation. And therefore it is most 
easy to see, that he that will be a good lawyer must first 

* Lcgum mihi placet autoritas; sed earum usus hominum iiequitia depravatur: 
itaque piguit perdiscere,quo inhoncstc uti iiollcm, et honeste vix possem, etsi vellem. 
Petrarch, in vita sua. 



be a divine ; and that the atheists that deride or slight divi- 
nity, do but play the fools in all their independent broken 
studies. A man may be a good divine, that is no lawyer, 
but he can be no good lawyer, that understandeth not theo- 
logy. Therefore let the government and laws of God have 
the first and chiefest place in your studies, and in all your 
observation and regard. 

1. Because it is the ground of human government, and 
the fountain of man's power and laws. 

2. Because the Divine policy is also the end of human 
policy : man's laws being ultimately to promote our obe- 
dience to the laws of God, and the honour of his govern- 

3. Because God*s laws are the measure and bound of 
human laws ; against which no man can have power. 

4. Because God's rewards and punishments are incom- 
parably more regardable than man's ; eternal joy or misery 
being so much more considerable than temporal peace or 
suffering ; therefore though it be a dishonour to lawyers to 
be ignorant of languages, history, and other needful parts of 
learning, yet it is much more their dishonour to be ignorant 
of the universal government and laws of God ^. 

Direct, ii. * Be sure that you make not the getting of 
money to be your principal end in the exercise of your func- 
tion; but the promoting of justice, for the righting of the 
just, and the public good ; and therein the pleasing of the 
most righteous God''.' For your work can be to you no 
better than your end. A base end doth debase your work. 
I deny not, but your competent gain and maintenance may 
be your lower end, but the promoting of justice must be 
your higher end, and sought before it. The question is not. 
Whether you seek to live by your calling ; for so may the 
best : nor yet. Whether you intend the promoting of justice; 
for so may the worst (in some degree). But the question 
is. Which of these you prefer ? and which you first and 

•» Male se rectum putat, qui regulara suminae rectitudinis ignorat. Ambros. 
de Offic. 

*^ It was an ill time when Petr. Bles. said *' Officium officialiam est bodie jura 
confundere, lites suscitare, transactiones rescindere, dilationes innectere, supprimerc 
veritatem, fovere niendacium, qnaestum sequi, aequitatem vendere, inhiare actiouibus, 
versutias concinnare. 


principally intend ? He that looketh chiefly at his worldly 
gain, must take that gain instead of God's reward, and look 
for no more than he chiefly intended ; for that is formally no 
good work, which is not intended chiefly to please God, and 
God doth not reward the servants of the world ; nor can 
any man rationally imagine, that he should reward a man 
with happiness hereafter, for seeking after riches here. And 
if you say that you look for no reward but riches, you must 
look for a punishment worse than poverty ; for the neglect- 
ing of God and your ultimate end, is a sin that deserveth 
the privation of all which you neglect ; and leaveth not your 
actions in a state of innocent indiflerency. 

Direct. III. * Be not counsellors or advocates against 
God, that is, against justice, truth, or innocency.' A bad 
cause would have no patrons, if there were no bad or igno- 
rant lawyers. It is a dear bought fee, which is got by sin- 
ning ; especially by such a wilful, aggravated sin, as the 
deliberate pleading for iniquity, or opposing of the truth ^, 
Judas's gain and Ahithophers counsel will be too hot at 
last for conscience, and sooner drive them to hang them- 
selves in the review, than afford them any true content : as 
St. James saith to them that he calleth to weep and howl 
for their approaching misery, " Your riches are corrupted, 
and your garments moth-eaten, your gold and silver is can- 
kered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, 
and shall eat your flesh as it were fire ; ye have heaped 
treasure together for the last days.' Whatever you say or 
do against truth, and innocency, and justice, you do it 
against God himself. And is it not a sad case that among 
professed Christians, there is no cause so bad but can find 
an advocate for a fee? I speak not against just counsel to 
a man that hath a bad cause, (to tell him it is bad, and per- 
suade him to disown it) ; nor do I speak against you fof 

<i Bias fertur in causis orandia summus atque vehementissimus fuisse, bonam 
taroen iii partem dicendi vim exercere solitura. Diog. Laert. p. 53. Juslum est 
homines propter justitiam diligere ; non autemjustitiam propter homines postponere. 
Gregor. Reg. Justitia non novit patrem, vel matrem ; veritatem novit ; personam 

non novit ; Detim imitatur. Cassian. Plutarch saith, that Caliicratidas being 

oflFered a great sum of money, (of whicli he had great need to pay his seamen) if he 
would do an unjust act, refused : to whom saith Oleander his counsellor, " Ego pro- 
fecto haec accepissem, si fuissera Caliicratidas." He answered, " Ego tocepissem si 
fiiissem Cleandcr." 


pleading against excessive penalties or damages ; for so far 
your cause is good, though the main cause of your client 
was bad ; but he that speaketh or counselleth another for 
the defence of sin, or the wronging of the innocent, or the 
defrauding another of his right, and will open his mouth to 
the injury of the just, for a little money, or for a friend, must 
try whether that money or friend will save him from the 
vengeance of the universal judge, (unless faith and true re- 
pentance which will cause confession and restitution, do 
prevent it). 

The Romans called them thieves, that by fraud, or plea, 
or judgment got unlawful gain, and deprived others of their 

Lampridius saith of Alexander Severus, " Tanti eum 
stomachi fuisse in eos judices qui furtorum fama laboras- 
sent, etiamsi damnati non essent, ut si eos casu aliquo vi- 
deret, commotione animi stomachi choleram evomeret, toto 
vultu inardescente, ita ut nihil posset loqui." And after- 
wards, ** Severissimus judex contra fures, appellans eosdem 
quotidianorum scelerum reos, et solos hostes inimicosque 
reipublicae." Adding this instance, " Eum notarium, qui 
falsum causae brevem in consilio imperatorio retulisset, in- 
cisis digitorum nervis, ita ut nunquam posset scribere, de- 
portavit." And that he caused Turinus one of his courtiers 
to be tied in the market-place to a stake, and choked to 
death with smoke, for taking men's money on pretence of 
furthering their suits with the Emperor ; " Praecone dicente, 
Fumo punitur, qui vendidit fumum." He strictly prohibited 
buying of offices, saying, " Necesse est ut qui emit, vendat: 
Ego vero non patiar mercatores potestatum : quos si patiar, 
damnare non possum." The frowns or favour of man, or 
the love of money, will prove at last a poor defence against 
his justice whom by injustice you oiFend*. 

The poet could say, 

JustuMi et tenacera propositi virura, 
Non civiurn ardor prava jubentium, 
Non vultus instantis tyranni, 

Mente quatit solida : Hor. lib. iii. O. 3. 

• Facile est jiistitiam homini justissimo defeudere. Cicero. 


But if men would first be just, it would not be so hard 
to bring them to do justly; saith Plautus, 

Justa autem ab injustis petere insipientia est : 
Quippe illiiaiqui jus ignorant neque tenent. 

Direct. IV. ' Make the cause of the innocent, as it were 
your own ; and suffer it not to miscarry through your sloth- 
fulness and neglect ^ He is a lover of money more than 
justice, that will sweat in the cause of the rich that pay him 
well, and will slubber over and starve the cause of the poor, 
because he getteth little by them. Whatever your place 
obligeth you to do, let it be done diligently and with your 
might ; both in your getting abilities, and in using them. 
Scsevola was wont to say, (ut lib. Pandect. 42. tit. refer.) 
" Jus civile vigilantibus scriptum est, non dormientibus." 
Saith Austin, " Ignorantia judicis plerumque est calamitas 
innocentis." And as you look every labourer that you hire 
should be laborious in your work, and your physician should 
be diligent in his employment for your health ; so is it as 
just that you be diligent for them whose cause you under- 
take, and where God who is the lover of justice doth re- 
quire it. 

Direct, v. * Be acquainted with the temptations which 
most endanger you in your place, and go continually armed 
against them with the true remedies, and with Christian faith, 
and watchfulness, and resolution.' You will keep your in- 
nocency, and consequently your God, if you see to it that 
you love nothing better than that which you should keep. 
No man will chaffer away his commodity for any thing 
which he judgeth to be worse and less useful to him. Know 
well how little friends or wealth will do for you in compari- 
son of God, and you will not hear them when they speak 
against God s. When one of his friends was importunate 
with P. Rutilius to do him an unjust courtesy, and angrily 
said, " What use have I of thy friendship, if thou wilt not 
grant my request?" He answered him, ** And what use 
have I of thy friendship, if for thy sake I must be urged to 
do unjustly ?" It is a grave saying of Plutarch, " Pulchrum 

^ Vix potest uegligcie, qui novit sequitatero nee facile erroris vitio fordescit, quern 
doctrina purgaverit. Cassiodor. 
* Luke xiv. 26- 27. 33. 


quidem est justitia regnum adipisci : pulchrum etiam regno 
justitiam anteponere : nam virtus alterum ita illustrem red- 
didit, ut regno dignus judicaretur; alterum ita magnum ut 
id contemneret." Plut. in Lycurg. et Numa. But especially 
remember who hath said, " What shall it profit a man to 
win all the world, and lose his soul V And that tempta- 
tions surprise you not, be deliberate and take time, and be 
not too hasty in owning or opposing a cause or person, till 
you are well informed ; as Seneca saith of anger, so say I 
here, " Dandum semper est tempus : veritatem enim dies 
aperit. Potest poena dilata exigi ; cum non potest exacta 
revocari." It is more than a shame to say, I was mistaken, 
when you have done another man wrong by your temerity ''. 


The Duty of Physicians. 

Neither is it my purpose to give any occasion to the 
learned men of this honourable profession, to say that I in- 
termeddle in the mysteries or matters of their art. 1 shall 
only tell them, and that very briefly, what God and con- 
science will expect from them. 

Direct, i. ' Be sure that the saving of men's lives and 
health, be first and chiefly in your intention, before any gain 
or honour of your own/ I know you may lawfully have 
respect both to your maintenance and honour ; but in a se- 
cond place only, as a far less good than the lives of men. 
If money be your ultimate end, you debase your profession, 
which as exercised by you, can be no more to your honour 
or comfort than your own intention carrieth it. It is more 
the end than the means that ennobleth or debaseth men ; if 
gain be the thing which you chiefly seek, the matter is not 

•> Chilo in Diog. Laert lib. i. sect. 71. p. 44. (mihi) saith, Sibi non esse con- 
sciura in tota vita ingratitudinis* : una taraen re se raodice moTcri, quod cum semel 
inter amicos illi judicandura esset, neque contra jus agere aliquid vellet, persuaserit 
araico judicium a se provocaret, ut sic nimirum utrumque et legem et aniicum serva- 
ret. This was his injustice of wliich he repented. 

* Laertius has w; ouitv (ruvctic/*) oyvw/xov caurui fv tS plw. Sibi non essi consciuni ia 
tota vita praeter rationem quidquam egisse. (T. C.) 


very great (to you), whether you seek it by medicining men 
or beasts, or by lower means than either of them. To others 
indeed it may be a very great benefit, whose lives you have 
been a means to save ; but to yourselves it will be no 
greater than your intention maketh it. If the honouring and 
pleasing God, and the public good, and the saving of men's 
lives, be really first and highest in your desires, then it is 
God that you serve in your profession ; otherwise you do 
but serve yourselves. And take heed lest you here deceive 
yourselves, by thinking that the good of others is your end, 
and dearer to you than your gain, because your reason tell- 
eth you it is better and ought to be preferred : for God and 
the public good are not every man's end, that can speak 
highly of them, and say they should be so. If most of the 
world do practically prefer, their carnal prosperity even be- 
fore their souls, while they speak of the world as disgrace- 
fully as others, and call it vanity ; how much more easily 
may you deceive yourselves, in preferring your gain before 
men's lives, while your tongue can speak contemptuously 
of gain ? 

Direct, ii. 'Be ready to help the poor as well as the 
rich.' Differencing them no further than the public good 
requireth you to do. Let not the health or lives of men be 
neglected because they have no money to give you : many 
poor people perish for want of means, because they are dis- 
couraged from going to physicians, through the emptiness 
of their purses : in such a case you must not only help them 
gratis, but also appoint the cheapest medicines for them. 

Direct, iii. ' Adventure not unnecessarily on things be- 
yond your skill, but in difficult cases persuade your patients 
to use the help of abler physicians, if there be any to be 
had, though it be against your own commodity.' So far 
should you be from envying the greater esteem and prac- 
tice of abler men, and from all unworthy aspersions and de- 
traction, that you should do your best to persuade all your 
patients to seek their counsels, whenever the danger of their 
lives or health requireth it. For their lives are of greater 
value than your gain. So abstruse and conjectural is the 
business of your profession, that it requireth very high ac- 
complishments to be a physician indeed. If there concur 
not, 1. A natural strength of reason and sagacity. 2. And 


a great deal of studyi reading, and acquaintance with the 
way of excellent men. 3. And considerable experience of 
your own, to ripen all this ; you have cause to be very fear- 
ful and cautelous in your practice, lest you sacrifice men's 
lives to your ignorance and temerity. And one man that 
hath all these accomplishments in a high degree, may do 
more good than a hundred smatterers : and when you are 
conscious of a defect in any of these, should not reason and 
conscience command you, to persuade the sick to seek out 
to those that are abler than yourselves ? Should men's lives 
be hazarded, that you may get by it a little sordid gain ? It 
is so great a doubt whether the ignorant, unexperienced 
sort of physicians, do cure or hurt more, that it hath brought 
the vulgar in many countries into a contempt of physi- 
cians *. 

Direct, i v. * Depend on God for your direction and suc- 
cess. Earnestly crave his help and blessing in all your un- 
dertakings.' Without this all your labour is in vain. How 
easy is it for you, to overlook some one thing, among a mul- 
titude that must be seen, about the causes and cure of dis- 
eases ; unless God shall open it to you, and give you a clear 
discerning, and an universal observation ? And when twenty 
considerable things are noted, a man's life may be lost, for 
want of your discerning one point more. What need have 
you of the help of God, to bring the fittest remedies to your 
memory ? And much more to bless them when they are ad- 
ministered ? as the experience of your daily practice may 
inform you (where atheism hath not made men fools). 

Direct, v. * Let your continual observation of the fragi- 
lity of the flesh, and of man's mortality, make you more spi- 
ritual than other men, and more industrious in preparing for 
the life to come, and greater contemners of the vanities of 
this world.' He that is so frequently among the sick, and a 
spectator of the dead and dying, is utterly inexcusable if he 
be himself unprepared, for his sickness or for death. If the 
heart be not made better, when you almost dwell in the 
house of mourning, it is a bad and deplorable heart indeed. 

* As overvaluing men's own understandings in religion, is the ruin of souls and 
churches ; so overvaluing men's raw, unexperienced apprehensions in pbjsic costeth 
multitudes their lives. I know not whether a few able, judicious, experienced physi- 
cians cure more or the rest kill more. 


It is strange that physicians should be so much suspected of 
atheism as commonly they are ; and ' religio medici' should 
be a word that signifieth irreligiousness ; sure this conceit 
was taken up in some more irreligious age or country ; for 1 
have oft been very tliankful to God, in observing the contra- 
ry, even how many excellent, pious physicians there have 
been in most countries where the purity of religion hath ap- 
peared, ?knd how much they promoted the work of Reforma- 
tion, (such as Crato, Platerus, Erastus, and abundance more 
that I might name ;) and in this learned age, I must needs 
bear witness, that I have known as many physicians reli- 
gious proportionably as of any one profession, except the 
preachers of the Gospel. But as no men are more despe- 
rately wicked, than those that are wicked after pious educa- 
tion, and under the most powerful means of their reforma- 
tion ; so it is very like that those physicians that are not 
truly good are very bad ; because they are bad against so 
much light, and so many warnings ; and from some of these 
it is like this censorious proverb came. And indeed man's 
nature- is so apt to be affected with things that are unusual, 
and to lose all sense of things that are grown common, that 
no men have more need to watch their hearts, and be afraid 
of being hardened, than those that are continually under the 
most quickening helps and warnings. For it is very easy to 
grow customary and senseless under them; and then the 
danger is, that there are no better means remaining, to quick- 
en such a stupid, hardened heart. Whereas those that en- 
joy such helps but seldom, are not so apt to lose the sense 
and benefit of them. The sight of a sick or dying man, doth 
usually much awaken those that have such sights but sel- 
dom ; but who are more hardened than soldiers and seamen, 
that live continually as among the dead ? When they have 
twice or thrice seen the fields covered with men's carcases, 
they usually grow more obdurate than any others. And 
this is it that physicians are in danger of, and should most 
carefully avoid. But certainly an atheistical or ungodly 
physician, is inexcusably blind. To say, as some do, that 
they study nature so much, that they are carried away from 
God ; is as if you should say, * They study the work so 
much, that they forget the workman ; ' or, ' They look so 
much on the book, that they overlook the sense j ' or that. 


* They study medicine so much, that they forget both the 
patient and his health.' To look into nature and not eee 
God, is as to see the creatures, and not the light by which 
we see them ; or to see trees and houses, and not to see the 
earth that beareth them. For God is the Creating, Conserv- 
ing, Dirigent and Final Cause of all. Of Him, and through 
' Him, and to Him are all things ; He is all in all. And if 
they know not that they are the subjects of this God, and 
have immortal souls, they are ill proficients in the study of 
nature, that know no better the nature of man. To boast 
of their acquisitions in other sciences, while they know not 
what a man is, nor what they are themselves, is little to the 
honour of their understandings. You that live still as in the 
sight of death, should live as in the sight of another world, 
and excel others in spiritual wisdom, and holiness, and so- 
briety, as your advantages by these quickening helps excel. 
Direct, w I, 'Exercise your compassion and charity to 
men's souls, as well as to their bodies ; and speak to your 
patients, such words as tend to prepare them for their 
change.* You have excellent opportunities, if you have 
hearts to take them. If ever men will hear, it is when they 
are sick ; and if ever they will be humbled and serious, it is 
when the approach of death constraineth them. They will 
hear that counsel now with patience, which they would have 
despised in their health. A few serious words about the 
danger of an unregenerate state, and the necessity of holi- 
ness, and the use of a Saviour, and the everlasting state of 
souls, for aught you know, may be blest to their conversion 
and salvation. And it is much more comfortable for you to 
save a soul, than cure the body. Think not to excuse your- 
selves by saying, ' It is the pastor's duty; ' for though it be 
theirs 'ex officio,' it is yours also 'ex charitate.* Charity 
bindeth every man, as he hath opportunity, to do good to 
all ; and especially the greatest good. And God giveth you 
opportunity, by casting them in your way; the priest and 
Levite that passed by the wounded man, were more to be 
blamed for not relieving him, than those that never went 
that way, and therefore saw him not*". And many a man 
will send for the physician, that will not send for the pastor : 
and many a one will hear a physician that will despise the 

'' Luke X. 32. 


pastor. As they reverence their landlords, because they 
hold their estates from them, so do they the physician, be- 
cause they think they can do much to save their lives. And 
alas, in too many places the pastors either mind not such 
work, or are insufficient for it ; or else stand at odds and dis- 
tance from the people ; so that there is but too much need 
of your charitable help. Remember therefore, that he that 
" converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a 
soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins "=." Re- 
member that you are to speak to one that is going into 
another world, and must be saved now or never ! And that 
all that ever must be done for his salvation must be present- 
ly done, or it will be too late. Pity human nature, and har- 
den not your hearts against a man in his extreme necessity. 
O speak a few serious words for his conversion (if he be one 
that needs them) before his soul be past your help, in the 
world from which there is no return. 


Directions to Schoolmasters about their Duty for Children's 


Passing by all your grammatical employment, I shall only 
leave you these brief Directions, for the higher and more 
noble exercises of your profession. 

Direct, i. 'Determine first rightly of your end; and 
then let it be continually in your eye, and let all your en- 
deavours be directed in order to the attainment of it.* If 
your end be chiefly your own commodity or reputation, the 
means will be distorted accordingly, and your labours per- 
verted, and your calling corrupted, and embased (to your- 
selves), by your perverse intentions. See therefore, 1. That 
your ultimate end, be the pleasing and glorifying of God. 
2. And this by promoting the public good, by fitting youth 
for public service. And, 3. Forming their minds to the love 
and service of their Maker. 4. And furthering their salva- 
tion, and their welfare in the world. These noble designs 
will lift up your minds, to an industrious and cheerful per- 

«^ James V. 20. 


formance of your duties! He that seeketh great and heaven- 
ly things, will do it with great resolution and alacrity ; when 
any drowsy, creeping pace, and deceitful superficial labours, 
will satisfy him that hath poor and selfish ends. As God 
will not accept your labours as any service of his, if your 
ends be wrong, so he useth not to give so large a blessing to 
such men's labours as to others. 

'Direct, ii. * Understand the excellency of your calling, 
and what fair opportunities you have to promote those noble 
ends; and also how great a charge you undertake; that so 
you may be kept from sloth and superficialness, and may be 
quickened to a diligent discharge of your undertaken trust.' 
1. You have not a charge of sheep or oxen, but of rational 
creatures. 2. You have not the care of their bodies, but of 
their minds ; you are not to teach them a trade to live by 
only in the world, but to inform their minds with the know- 
ledge of their Maker, and to cultivate their wits, and ad- 
vance their reason, and fit them for the most man-like con- 
versations. 3. You have them not (as pastors) when they 
are hardened in sin by prejudice and long custom ; but you 
have the tenderest twigs to bow, and the most tractable, 
ductile age to tame ; you have paper to write on, (not wholly 
white, but that) which hath the fewest blots and lines to be 
expunged. 4. You have them not as volunteers, but as 
obliged to obey you, and under the correction of the rod ; 
which with tender age is a great advantage. 5. You have 
them not only for your auditors in a general lecture (as 
preachers have them at a sermon) ; but in your nearest con- 
verse, where you may teach them as particularly as you 
please, and examine their profiting, and call them daily to 
account. • 6. You have them not once a week (as preachers 
have them), but all the week long, from day to day, and from 
morning until night. 7. You have them at that age, which 
doth believe their teachers, and take all upon trust, before 
they are grown up to self-conceitedness, and to contradict 
and quarrel with their teachers (as with their pastors they 
very ordinarily do). All these are great advantages to your 

Direct, iii. ' Labour to take pleasure in your work, and 
make it as a recreation, and take heed of a weary or diverted 
mind.' 1. To this end consider often of what is said above ; 


think on the excellency of your ends, and of the worth of 
souls, and of the greatness of your advantages. 2. Take all 
your scholars as committed to your charge by Jesus Christ ; 
as if he had said to you. Take these whom I have so dearly 
bought, and train them up for my church and service ^. 3. 
Remember what good one scholar may do, when he cometh 
to be ripe for the service of the church or commonwealth ! 
How many souls some of them may be a means to save. Or 
if they be but fitted for a private life, what blessings they 
may be to their families and neighbours ! And remember 
what a joyful thing it will be, to see them in heaven with 
Christ for ever ! How cheerfully should such excellent 
things be sought ! If you take pleasure in your work, it 
will not only be an ease and happiness to yourselves, but 
greatly further your diligence and success. But when men 
have a base esteem of their employment, and look at chil- 
dren as so many swine or sheep, or have some higher matters 
in their eye, and make their schools but the way to some 
preferment, or more desired life, then usually they do their 
work deceitfully, and any thing will serve the turn, because 
they are weary of it, and because their hearts are some- 
where else. 

Direct, iv. * Seeing it is divinity that teacheth them the 
beginning and the end of all their other studies, let it never 
be omitted or slightly slubbered over, and thrust into a cor- 
ner ; but give it the precedency, and teach it them with 
greater care and diligence, than any other part of learning ; 
especially teach them the catechism and the Holy Scrip- 
tures.' If you think that this is no part of your work, few 
wise men will choose such teachers for their children. If 
you say as some sectaries, that children should not be taught 
to speak holy words, till they are more capable to under- 
stand the sense, because it is hypocrisy, or taking the name 
of God in vain ; I have answered this before, and shewed 
' that words being the signs, must be learned in order to the 
understanding of the sense, or thing that is signified ; and 
that this is not to use such words in vain, how holy soever, 
but to the proper end for which they are appointed. Both 

a Many of the greatest divines have given God great thanks for their school- 
masters, and left their names on record with horiour, as Calvin did by Corderius, 
Beza by Meichior Volmaiius, &c. ^ • » ; • 


in divine and human learning, the memories of children must 
first be furnished in ord^r to the furnishing of their under- 
standings afterwards. And this is a chief point of the mas- 
ter's skill, that time be not lost, or labour frustrated. For 
the memories of children are as capacious as men's of riper 
age ; and therefore they should be stored early, with that 
which will be useful to them afterwards ; but till they come 
to some maturity of age, their judgments are not ripe for in- 
formation, about any high or difficult points. Therefore 
teach them betimes the words of catechisms, and some chap- 
ters of the Bible ; and teach them the meaning by degrees 
as they are capable. And make them perceive, that you 
take this for the best of all their learning. 

Direct, v. 'Besides the forms of catechism, which you 
teach them, speak often to them some serious words, about 
their souls, and the life to come, in such a plain, familiar 
manner, as tendeth most to the awakening of their con- 
sciences, and making them perceive how greatly what you 
say concerneth them.' A little such familiar, serious dis- 
course, in an interlocutory way, may go to their hearts, and 
never be forgotten, when mere forms alone are lifeless and 
unprofitable. Abundance of good might be done on chil- 
dren, if parents and schoolmasters did well perform their 
parts in this. 

Direct, vi. * Take strict account of their spending the 
Lord's day.' How they hear, and what they remember; 
and how they spend the rest of the day. For the right 
spending of that day is of great importance to their souls •' 
And a custom of play and idleness on that day, doth usually 
debauch them, and prepare them for much worse. Though 
they are from under your eye on the Lord's day, yet if on 
Monday they be called to account, it will leave an awe upon 
them in your absence. 

Direct, \ 11. 'Pray with them, and for them.' If God 
give not the increase by the dews of heaven, and shine not 
on your labours, your planting and watering will be all in 
vain. Therefore prayer is as suitable a means as teaching, 
to do them good ; and they must go together. He that hath 
a heart to pray earnestly for his scholars, shall certainly 
have himself most comfort in his labours ; and it is likely 
that he shall do most good to them. 


Direct, viii. * Watch over them, by one another, when 
they are behind your backs, at their sports or converse with 
each other/ For it is abundance of wickedness that chil- 
dren use to learn and practise, which never cometh to the 
masters' ears ; especially in some great and public schools. 
They that came thither to learn sobriety and piety of their 
masters, do oftentimes learn profaneness, and ribaldry, and 
cursing, and swearing, and scorning, deriding and reviling 
one another of their ungracious schoolfellows. And those 
lessons are so easily learnt, that there are few children but 
are infected with some such debauchery, though their pa- 
rents and masters watch against it ; and perhaps it never 
cometh to their knowledge. So also for gaming, and rob- 
bing orchards, and fighting with one another, and reading 
playbooka and romances, and lying, and abundance other 
vices which must be carefully watched against. 

Direct, ix. * Correct them more sharply for sins against 
God, than for their dulness and failing at their books.' 
Though negligence in their learning, is not to be indulged, 
yet smart should teach them, especially to take heed of 
sinning ; that they may understand that sin is the greatest 

Direct, x. * Especially curb or cashier the leaders of im- 
piety or rebellion, who corrupt the rest.' There are few 
great schools but have some that are notoriously debauched ; 
that glory in their wickedness ; that in filthy talking, and 
fighting, and cursing, and reviling words, are the infecters 
of the rest. And usually they are some of the bigger sort, 
that are the greatest fighters, and master the rest, and by 
domineering over them, and abusing them, force them both 
to follow them in their sin, and to conceal it. The correct- 
ing of such, or expelling them if incorrigible, is of great ne- 
cessity to preserve the rest ; for if they are suffered, the res,t 
will be secretly infected and undone, before the master is 
aware. This causeth many that have a care of their chil- 
dren's souls, to be very fearful of sending them to great and 
public schools, and rather choose private schools that are 
freer from that danger ; it being almost of as great con- 
cernment to children, what their companions be, as what 
their master is. 




Directions for Soldiers, about their Duty in point of Conscience. 

Though it is likely that few soldiers will read what I shall 
write for them, yet for the sake of those few that will, I will 
do as John Baptist did, and give them some few necessary 
Directions, and not omit them as some do, as if they were a 
hopeless sort of men. 

Direct, i. * Be careful to make your peace with, God, and 
live in a continual readiness to die/ This being the great 
duty of every rational man, you cannot deny it to be espe- 
cially yours, whose calling setteth you so frequently in the 
face of death. Though some garrison soldiers are so seldom, 
if ever, put to fight, that they live more securely than most 
other men, yet a soldier as such, being by his place engaged 
to fight, I must fit my Directions to the ordinary condition 
and expectation of men in that employment. It is a most 
irrational and worse than beastly negligence, for any man 
to live carelessly in an unpreparedness for death, consider- 
ing how certain it is, and how uncertain the time, and how 
inconceivably great is the change which it inferreth: but for 
a soldier to be unready to die, who hath such special reason 
to expect it, and who listeth himself into a state that is so 
near it, this is to live and fight like beasts, and to be soldiers 
before you understand what it is to be a Christian and a man. 
First therefore, make sure that your souls are regenerate and 
reconciled unto God by Christ ; and that when you die, you 
have a part in heaven ; and that you are not yet in the state 
of sin and nature : an unrenewed, unsanctified soul is sure 
to go to hell, by what death, or in what cause soever he dieth. 
If such a man be a soldier, he must be a coward or a mad- 
man ; if he will run upon death, when he knoweth not whi- 
ther it will send him, yea, when hell is certainly the next 
step, he is worse than mad : but if he know and consider the 
terribleness of such a change, it must needs make him trem- 
ble when he thinks of dying. He can be no good soldier 
that dare not die : and who can expect that he should dare 
to die, who must be damned when he dieth ? Reason may 
command a man to venture upon death ; but no reason will 


allow him to venture upon hell. I never knew but two sorts 
of valiant soldiers : the one was boys, and brutish, ignorant 
sots, who had no sense of the concernments of their souls ; 
and the other (who only were truly valiant) were those that 
had made such preparations for eternity, as, at least, per- 
suaded them that it ohould go well with them when they 
died. And many a debauched soldier I have known, whose 
conscience hath made them cowards, and shift or run away 
when they should venture upon death, because they knew 
they were unready to die, and were more afraid of hell, than 
of the enemy. He that is fit to be a martyr, is the fittest 
man to be a soldier; he that is regenerate, and hath laid up 
his treasure and his hopes in heaven, and so hath overcome 
the fears of death, may be bold as a lion, and ready for any- 
thing, and fearless in the greatest perils. For what should 
he fear, who hath escaped hell, and God's displeasure, and 
hath conquered the king of terrors ? But fear is the duty 
and most rational temper of a guilty soul ; and the more fear- 
less such are, the more foolish and more miserable. 
^' ''^Direct, ii. 'Be sure you have a warrantable cause and 
call.' In a bad cause it is a dreadful thing to conquer, or 
to be conquered. If you conquer, you are a murderer of all 
that you kill; if you are conquered and die in the prosecu- 
tion of your sin, I need not tell you what you may expect. 
I know we are here upon a difficulty which must be tenderly 
handled ; if we make the sovereign power, to be the absolute 
and only judge, whether the soldier's cause and call be good ; 
then it would follow, that it is the duty of all the Christian 
subjects of the Turk, to fight against Christianity as sucb> 
and to destroy all Christians when the Turk commandeth 
it ; and that all the subjects of other lands, are bound to in- 
vade this or other such Christian kingdoms, and destroy 
their kings, whenever their Popish, or malicious princes or 
states shall command them ; which being intolerable conse- 
quences, prove the antecedent to be intolerable. And yet 
on the other side, if subjects must be the judges of their 
cause and call, the prince shall not be served, nor the com- 
mon good secured, till the interest of the subjects will allow 
them to discern the goodness of the cause. Between these 
two intolerable consequents, it is hard to meet with a just 
discovery of the mean. Most run into one of the extremes. 


which they take to be the less, and think that there is no 
other avoiding of the other. The grand errors in this, and 
an hundred like cases, come from not distin-guishing aright 
the case * de esse,' from the case ' de apparere,' or ' cognos- 
cere/ and not first determining the former, as it ought, be- 
fore the latter be determined. Either the cause which the 
subjects are commanded to fight in, is really lawful to them, 
or it is not. (Say not here importunely. Who shall judge ? 
For we are now but upon the question * de esse.') If it be 
not lawful in itself, but be mere robbery or murder, then 
come to the case of evidence ; either this evil is to the sub- 
ject discernible by just means, or not : if it be, I am not able 
for my part to justify him from the sin, if he do it, no more 
than to have justified the three witnesses*. If they had 
bowed down to the golden calf, or if he had forborne pray- 
er ^ or the apostles, if they had forborne preaching, or the 
soldiers for apprehending and crucifying Christ, when their 
superiors commanded them. For God is first to be obeyed 
and feared. But if the evil of the cause be such, as the sub- 
ject cannot by just and ordinary means discern, then must 
he come next to examine his call ; and a volunteer unneces- 
sarily he may not be in a doubtful cause : it is so heinous a 
sin to murder men, that no man should unnecessarily ven- 
ture upon that which may prove to be murder for aught he 
knoweth. But if you ask what call may make such a doubt- 
ful action necessary, I answer. It must be such as warrant- 
eth it, either from the end of the action, or from the autho- 
rity of the commander, or both. And from the end of the 
action, the case may be made clear. That if a king should do 
wrong to a foreign enemy, and should have the worse cause, 
yet if the revenge which that enemy seeketh, would be the 
destruction of the king and country, or religion; it is law- 
ful, and a duty to fight in the defence of them. And if the 
king should be the assailant, or beginner, that which is an 
offensive war in him (for which he himself must answer) may 
be buta defensive war in the commanded subjects, and they 
be innocent ; even on the highway, if I see a stranger pro- 
voke another by giving him the first blow, yet I may be 
bound to save his life from the fury of the avenging party. 
But whether, or how far, the bare command of a sovereign 

* Dan. iii. »» Dan. vi. 


may warrant the subjects to venture in a doubtful cause, 
(supposing the thing lawful in itself, though they are doubt- 
ful) requireth so much to be said to it, which civil gover- 
nors may possibly think me too bold to meddle with, that I 
think it safest to pass it by ; only saying, that there are 
some cases in which the ruler is the only competent judge, 
and the doubts of the subject are so unreasonable, that they 
will not excuse the sin of his disobedience ; and also, that 
the degree of the doubt is oft very considerable in the case. 
But suppose the cause of the war be really lawful in itself, 
and yet the subject is in doubt of it, yea, or thinketh other- 
wise ; then is he in the case, as other erroneous consciences 
are, that is, entangled in a necessity of sinning, till he be 
undeceived, in case his rulers command his service. But 
which would be the greater sin, to do it or not, the ends and 
circumstances may do much to determine ; but doubtless in 
true necessity to save the king and state, subjects may be 
compelled to fight in a just cause, notwithstanding, that 
they mistake it for unjust; and if the subject have a private 
discerning judgment, so far as he is a voluntary agent, yet 
the sovereign hath a public determining judgment, when a 
neglecter is to be forced to his duty. Even as a man that 
thinketh it unlawful to maintain his wife and children, may 
be compelled lawfully to do it. 

So that it is apparent, that sometimes the sovereign's 
cause, may be good, and yet an erroneous conscience may 
make the soldier's cause bad, if they are volunteers, who run 
unnecessarily upon that which they take for robbery and 
murder ; and yet that the higher powers may force even 
such mistakers to defend their country, and their governors, 
in a case of true necessity. And it is manifest that some- 
times the cause of a ruler may be bad ; and yet the cause of 
the soldier good ; and that sometimes the cause may be 
bad and sinful to them both ; and sometimes good and law- 
ful to them both. 

Direct, iii. * When you are doubtful, whether your cause 
and call be good, it is (ordinarily) safest to sit still, and not 
to venture in so dangerous a case, without great deliberation 
and sufficient evidence to satisfy your consciences.' Nean- 
der might well say of Solon's law, which punished them 
that took not one part or other in a civil war or sedition, 


** Admirabilis autem ilia atque plane incredibilis, qusehono- 
ribus abdicat cum, qui orta seditione nullam factionem se- 
cutus sit*' " No doubt, he is a culpable neuter that will not 
defend his governors and his country, when he hath a call : 
but it is so dreadful a thing to be guilty of the blood, and 
calamities of an unjust war, that a wise man will rather be 
abused as a neuter, than run himself into the danger of such 
a case. 

Direct, iv. * When necessity forceth you to go forth in 
a just war, do it with such humiliation and unwillingness as 
beseemeth one that is a patient, a spectator, and an actor, 
in one of the sorest of God's temporal judgments.' Go not 
to kill men, as if you went to a cock-fight, or a bear-baiting. 
Make not a sport of a common calamity ; be not insensible 
of the displeasure of God, expressed in so great a judgment. 
What a sad condition is it to yourselves, to be employed in 
destroying others. If they be good, how sad a thought is 
it, that you must kill them ! If they are wicked, how sad 
is it that by killing them you cut off all their hopes of mer- 
cy, and send them suddenly to hell ! How sad an employ- 
ment is it, to spoil and undo the poor inhabitants where you 
come ! to cast them into terrors, to deprive them of that 
which they have long been labouring for ! to prepare for fa 
mine, and be like a consuming pestilence where you come ! 
Were it but to see such desolations, it should melt you into 
compassion ; much more to be the executioners yourselves. 
How unsuitable a work is it to the grace of love. Though I 
doubt not but it is a service which the love of God, our coun- 
try, and our rulers, may sometimes justify and command, 
yet (as to the rulers and masters of the business) it must be 
a very clear and great necessity that can warrant a war. 
And, as to the soldiers, they must needs go with great re 
gret, to kill men by thousands, whom they love as them- 
selves. He thatloveth his neighbour as himself, and bless- 
eth, and doth good to his persecuting enemy, will take it 
heavily to be employed in killing him, even when necessity 
maketh it his duty. But the greatest calamity of war is the 
perniciousness of it to men's souls. Armies are commonly 
that to the soul, as a city infected with the plague is to the 
body. The very nurseries and academies of pride, and 

<^ Neander in Chron. p. 104. 


cruelty, and drunkenness, and whoredom, and robbery, and 
licentiousness ; and the bane of piety, and common civility, 
and humanity. Not that every soldier cometh to this pass ; 
the hottest pestilence killeth not all ; but O how hard is it 
to keep up a life of faith and godliness, in an army ! The 
greatness of their business, and of their fears and cares, doth 
so wholly take up their minds and talk, that there is scarce 
any room found for the matters of their souls, though un- 
speakably greater. They have seldom leisure to hear a ser- 
mon, and less to pray. The Lord's day is usually taken up 
in matters that concern their lives, and therefore can pre- 
tend necessity : so that it must be a very resolute, confirm- 
ed, vigilant person, that is not alienated from God. And 
then it is a course of life, which giveth great opportunity to 
the tempter, and advantage to temptations, both to errors 
in judgment, and viciousness of heart and life : he that never 
tried it can hardly conceive how difficult it is to keep up 
piety and innocency in an army. If you will suppose that 
there is no difference in the cause, or the ends and acci- 
dents, I take it to be much more desirable to serve God in a 
prison, than in an army ; and that the condition of a prisoner 
hath far less in it to tempt the foolish, or to afflict the wise, 
than a military. (Excepting those whose life in garrisons 
and lingering wars, doth little differ from a state of peace.) 
I am not simply against the lawfulness of war ; (nor as I 
conceive, Erasmus himself, though he saw the sinfulness of 
that sort of men ; and use to speak truly of the horrid wic- 
kedness and misery of them that thirst for blood, or rush on 
wars without necessity ;) but it must be a very extraordinary 
army, that is not constituted of wolves and tigers, and is 
not unto common honesty and piety, the same that a stews 
or whorehouse is to chastity. And O how much sweeter is 
the work of an honest physician that saveth men's lives, 
than of a soldier, whose virtue is shown in destroying them ! 
Or a carpenter's, or mason's, that adorneth cities with come- 
ly buildings, than a soldier's that consumeth them by fire*=? 

« And though I ignore not that it is a much more fashionable and celebrated 
practice in young gentlemen to kill men, than to cure them ; and that mistaken mor- 
tals think it to be the noblest exercise of virtue, to destroy the noblest workmanship 
of nature, (and indeed in some few cases, the requisiteness and danger of destructive 
valor, may make its actions become a virtuous patriot) yet when I consider the cha- 



DirecU. v. ' Be sure first that your cause be better than 
your lives, and then resolve to venture your lives for them.' 
It is the hazarding of your lives, w^hich in your calling you 
undertake : and therefore be not unprepared for it ; but 
reckon upon the worst, and be ready to undergo whatever 
you undertake. A soldier's life is unfit for one that dare 
not die. A coward is one of the most pernicious murderers : 
he verifieth Christ's saying in another sense, " he that sav- 
eth his life shall lose it." While men stand to it, it is usu- 
ally but few that die ; because they quickly daunt the ene- 
my, and keep him on the defensive part; but when once 
they rout, and run away, they are slain on heaps, and fall 
like leaves in a windy autumn. Every coward that pursueth 
them is emboldened by their fear, and dare run them through, 
or shoot them behind, that durst not so near have looked 
them in the face, and maketh it his sport to kill a fugitive, 
or one that layeth down his weapons, that would fly him- 
self from a daring presence. Your cowardly fear betrayeth 
the cause of your king and country ; it betrayeth the lives 
of your fellow soldiers, while the running of a few affrighted 
dastards, lets in ruin upon all the rest ; and it casteth away 
your own lives, which you think to save. If you will be sol- 
diers, resolve to conquer or to die. It is not so much skill 
or strength that conquereth, as boldness. It is fear that 
loseth the day, and fearlessness that winneth it. The army 
that standeth to it, getteth the victory, though they fight ne- 
ver so weakly : for if you will not run, the enemy will. 
And if the lives of a few be lost by courage, it usually saveth 
the lives of many; (though wisdom is still needful in the 
conduct). And if the cause be not worth your Hves, you 
should not meddle with it. 

Direct, vi. * Resolve upon an absolute obedience to your 
commanders, in all things consistent with your obedience 
to God, and the sovereign power.' Disobedience is no 
where more intolerable than in an army ; where it is often 
unfit for a soldier to know the reason of his commands ; 
and where self-conceitedness and wilfulness are inconsistent 
with their common safety, and the lives of many may pay 

rajcter given of our great Master and Exjeraplar, that he went about doH)g good, ai^ 
healing all manner of sicknesses. I cannot biit think such an employment worthy 
of the very noblest of his disciples. Mr. Boyle's Experiment. Philos. pp. 303, 304. 


for the disobedience of a few. If you cannot obey, under- 
take not to be soldiers. 

Direct, vii. ' Especially detest all murmurings, mutinies, 
sidings, and rebellions.' For these are to an army, like vio- 
lent fevers to the body, or like a fire in a city ; and would 
make an army the greatest plague to their king and coun- 
try.' How many emperors, kings, and commanders have 
lost their dignities and lives, by the fury of mutinous, en- 
raged soldiers ! And how many kingdoms and other com- 
monwealths have been thus overthrown, and betrayed into 
the enemy's hands ! And how many thousands and mil- 
lions of soldiers have thereby lost their lives ! In your dis- 
contents and murmuring passions, you may quickly set the 
house on fire over your heads, and when you feel your mise- 
ry repent too late. Passion may begin that which fruitless 
penitence must end. The leaders of mutinies may easily 
have many fair pretences to inflame an army into discon- 
tents : they may aggravate many seeming injuries ; they 
may represent their commanders as odious and unworthy, 
by putting an ill appearance on their actions : but in the 
end it will appear, that it was their own advancement which 
they secretly aimed at, and the destruction of the present 
government, or the soldiers' ruin which is like to be the ef- 
fect. A mutinous army is most like hell of any thing I know 
among God's creatures, and next hell, there is scarce a worse 
place for their commanders to be in. 

Direct, viii. * Use not your power or liberty to the rob- 
bing, or oppressing, or injuring of any/ Though military 
thieves and oppressors, may escape the gallows, more than 
others ; they shall come as soon to hell as any. If you 
plunder, and spoil, and tyrannize over the poor people, un- 
der pretence of supplying your own wants, there is a God in 
heaven that will hear their cries, and will avenge them spee- 
dily, though you seem to go scot-free for a time. You may 
take a pride in domineering over others, and making your- 
selves lords by violence of other men's estates, and when 
you see none that will question you for it, you may take 
that which you have most mind to. But the poor and op- 
pressed have a just defender, who hath a severer punishment 
for you than the sword or gallows ! And though he take 



you not in the very fact, and his sentence is not presently 
executed, yet be certain of it, that your day is coming. 

Direct. IX. * Take heed lest custom, and the frequency 
of God's judgments, do harden your hearts into a reprobate 
stupidity.' Many a man that formerly by the sight of a 
corpse, or the groanings of the sick, was awakened to se- 
rious thoughts of his latter end, when he cometh into an 
army, and hath often seen the dead lie scattered on the 
earth, and hath often escaped death himself, groweth utterly 
senseless, and taketh blockishness to be valour, and custom 
maketh such warnings to be of no effect. You can scarce 
name a more strange and lamentable proof of the maddening 
and hardening nature of sin ! That men should be most 
senseless, when they are in the greatest danger ! And least 
fear God, when they are among his dreadful judgments! 
And least hear his voice, when his calls are loudest ! And 
live as if they should not die, when they look death so often 
in the face, and see so many dead before them ! That they 
should be most regardless of their endless life, when they 
are nearest it ; and sense itself hath such notable advantage 
to tell them of all this ! What a monstrous kind of sottish 
stupidity is this ! Think whither the soul is gone, when 
you see the carcase on the earth ; and think where your 
own must be for ever. 

Direct, x. * Take heed of falling into drunkenness and 
sensuality, though temptations and liberty be never so great.' 
It is too common with soldiers, because they are oft put to 
thirst and wants, to think they may lawfully pour it in, when 
they come at it, without moderation and restraint: even as 
many poor men take a gluttonous meal for no sin, because 
they have so many days of hunger ; so is it with such sol- 
diers in their drink : till drunkenness first have wounded 
their consciences, and afterwards grow common, till it have 
debauched and seared them ; and then they have drowned 
religion and reason, and are turned sottish, miserable brutes. 
Direct, xi. 'If necessity deprive you of the benefits of 
God's public or stated worship, see that you labour to re- 
pair that loss, by double diligence in those spiritual duties, 
which yet you have opportunity for.' If you must march 
or watch on the Lord's days, redeem your other time the 
more. If you cannot hear sermons, be not without some 


profitable book, and often read it ; and let your meditations 
be holy, and your discourses edifying. For these you have 
opportunities, if you have hearts. 

Direct, xii. ' Take heed that command or successes do 
not puff you up, and make you overvalue yourselves, and in- 
cline you to rebel against your governors.' What lamenta- 
ble effects hath England lately seen of this ! A silly, half- 
v^^itted soldier, if he be but made a captain, doth carry it as 
ifhew^ere wiser than the preachers, or the judge! As if 
his dignity had added to his wit ! When victories have laid 
the power at men's feet, and they think now that none is 
able to control them, how few are they that abuse not such 
success to their own undoing, and are not conquered by the 
pride of their own hearts, when they have conquered others ! 
How ordinarily do they mis-expound the providence of God, 
and think he hath put the government into their hands, be- 
cause they have the strength ; and from the histories of 
former successful rebels, and the fairness of their opportu- 
nity, encourage themselves to rebel, and think they do but 
what is their duty ! How easily do they justify themselves 
in those unlawful deeds, which impartial bye-standers see 
the evil of! And how easily do they quiet their con- 
sciences, when they have but power enough to raise up flat- 
terers, and to stop the mouth of w^holesome reprehension ! 
How lamentably doth prosperity make them drunk, and sud- 
den advancement overturn their brains ! And their great- 
ness, together with their pride and fury, preserveth them 
from the accesses of wisdom, and of sober men, that so their 
malady may have no remedy : and there like a drunken man, 
they rave awhile, and speak big words, and lay about them, 
and glory in the honour of a pestilence, that they can kill 
men ; and we must not speak to them, till their heads are 
settled, and they come to themselves, and that is not usually 
till the hand of God have laid them lower than it found 
them, and then perhaps they will again hear reason ; unless 
pride hath left their souls as desperate, as at last it doth 
their bodies or estates. The experience of this age may 
stand on record, as a teacher to future generations, what 
power there is in great successes, to conquer both reason, 
religion, righteousness, professions, vows, and all obligations 


to God and man, by puffing up the heart with pride, and 
thereby making the understanding drunken. 


I'it. 1. Directions against Murder. 

Though murder be a sin which human nature and interest 
do so powerfully rise up against, that one would think be- 
sides the laws of nature, and the fear of temporal punish- 
ment, there should need no other argument against : and 
though it be a sin which is not frequently committed, except 
by soldiers, yet because man's corrupted heart is liable to 
it, and because one sin of such a heinous nature may be 
more mischievous than many small infirmities, I shall not 
wholly pass by this sin, which falls in order here before me. 
I shall give men no other advice against it, than only to 
open to them, 1. The Causes; 2. The Greatness; and 3. 
The Consequents of the sin. 

I. The causes of murder, are either the nearest, or the 
more radical and remote. The opening of the nearest sort 
of causes, will be but to tell you, how many ways of mur- 
dering the world is used to ! And when you know the cause 
the contrary to it is the prevention. Avoid those causes, 
and you avoid the sin. 

1. The greatest cause of the cruellest murders is unlaw- 
ful wars. All that a man killeth in an unlawful war, he mur- 
dereth ; and all that the army killeth, he that setteth them 
at work by command or counsel, is guilty of himself. And 
therefore, how dreadful a thing is an unrighteous war ? And 
how much have men need to look about them, and try every 
other lawful way, and suffer long, before they venture upon 
war ! It is the skill and glory of a soldier, when he can 
kill more than other men. He studieth it ; he maketh it the 
matter of his greatest care, and valour, and endeavour; he 
goeth through very great difficulties to accomplish it ; this 
is not like a sudden and involuntary act. Thieves and rob- 
bers kill single persons ; but soldiers murder thousands at 
a time : and because there is none at present to j udge them 

VOL. VI. - K 


for it, they wash fheir hands, as if they were innocent, and 
sleep as quietly, as if the avenger of blood would never come. 
O what devils are those counsellors and incendiaries to 
princes and states, who stir them up to unlawful wars ! 

2. Another cause and way of murder, is by the pride 
and tyranny of men in power. When they do it easily, be- 
cause they can do it ; when their will and interest is their 
rule, and their passion seemeth a sufficient warrant for their 
injustice. It is not only Neros, Tiberiuses, Domitians, &c. 
that are guilty of this crying crime ; but O ! what man that 
careth for his soul, had not rather be tormented a thousand 
years, than have the blood-guiltiness of a famous, applauded 
Alexander, or Caesar, or Tamerlane, to answer for ! So dan- 
gerous a thing is it to have power to do mischief, that Uriah 
may fall by David's guilt, and Crispus may be killed by his 
father Constantine. O what abundance of horrid murders 
do the histories of almost all empires and kingdoms of the 
world afford us ! The maps of the affairs of Greeks and Ro- 
mans, of Tartarians, Turks, Russians, Germans, of heathens 
and infidels, of Papists and too many Protestants, are drawn 
out with too many purple lines, and their histories written 
in letters of blood. What write the Christians of the infi- 
dels, the orthodox of the Arians, (Romans, or Goths, or 
Vandals,) or the most impartial historians of the mock-ca- 
tholics of Rome, but "blood, blood, blood." How proudly 
and loftily doth a tyrant look, when he telleth the oppressed 
innocent that displeaseth him, " Sirrah, I will make you 
know my power ! Take him, imprison him, rack him, hang 
him !" Or as Pilate to Christ, " Knowest thou not that I 
have power to crucify thee, and have power to release 
thee*?" "I will make you know that your life is in my 
hand: heat the furnace seven times hotter *"." Alas, poor 
worm ! Hast thou power to kill ? So hath a toad or adder, 
or mad dog, or pestilence, when God permitteth it. Hast 
thou power to kill? But hast thou power also to keep thy- 
self alive ? And to keep thy corpse from rottenness and 
dust? And to keep thy soul from paying for it in hell? Or 
to keep thy conscience from worrying thee for it to all eter- 
nity ? With how trembling a heart, and ghastly look wilt 
thou at last hear of this, which now thou gloriest in. The 

a John xix. 10. •> Dan. Hi. 


bones and dust of the oppressed innocents, will be as greatand 
honourable as thine ; and their souls perhaps in rest and joy, 
when thine is tormented by infernal furies. When thou art in 
Nebuchadnezzar's glory, what a mercy were it to thee, if thou 
mightest be turned out among the beasts, to prevent thy 
being turned out among the devils. If killing and destroy- 
ing be the glory of thy greatness, the devils are more ho- 
nourable than thou ; and as thou agreest with them in thy 
work and glory, so shalt thou in the reward. 

3. Another most heinous cause of murder is, a malig- 
nant enmity against the godly, and a persecuting, destruc- 
tive zeal. What a multitude of innocents hath this con- 
sumed ! And what innumerable companies of holy souls 
are still crying for vengeance on these persecutors ! The 
enmity began immediately upon the fall, between the wo- 
man's and the serpent's seed. It shewed itself presently in 
the two first men that were born into the world. A malig- 
nant envy against the accepted sacrifice of Abel, was able 
to make his brother to be his murderer. And it is usual 
with the devil, to cast some bone of carnal interest also be- 
tween them, to heighten the malignant enmity. Wicked 
men are all covetous, voluptuous and proud ; and the doc- 
trine and practice of the godly, doth contradict them and 
condemn them : and they usually espouse some wicked in- 
terest, or engage themselves in some service of the devil, 
which the servants of Christ are bound in their several places 
and callings to resist. And then not only this resistance, 
though it be but by the most humble words or actions, yea, 
the very conceit that they are not for their interest and way, 
doth instigate the befooled world to persecution. And 
thus an Ishmael and an Isaac, an Esau and a Jacob, a Saul 
and a David, cannot live together in peace ; " But as then 
he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was 
born after the Spirit, even so it is now """ Saul's interest 
maketh him think it just to persecute David ; and religiously 
he blesseth those that furthered him ; ** Blessed be ye of 
the Lord, for ye have compassion on me ^.'^ He justifieth 
himself in murdering the priests, because he thought that 
they helped David against him ; and Doeg seemeth but a 
dutiful subject, in executing his bloody command '. And 

'^ Gal. iv. 29. "^ 1 Sam. xxiii. 21. ^ 1 Sam. xxii. 


Shimei thought he might boldly curse him ^ And he could 
scarce have charged him with more odious sin, than to be 
" A bloody man, and a man of Belial." If the prophet 
speak against Jeroboam's political religion, he will say, 
" Lay hold on him^." Even Asa will be raging wrathful, 
and imprison the prophet that reprehendeth his sin ^. Ahab 
will feed Micaiah in a prison with . the bread and water of 
affliction, if he contradict him K And even Jerusalem killed 
the prophets, and stoned them which were sent to gather 
them under the gracious wing of Christ''. " Which of the 
prophets did they not persecute'?" And if you consider 
but what streams of blood since the death of Christ and his 
apostles, have been shed for the sake of Christ and righ- 
teousness, it will make you wonder, that so much cruelty 
can consist with humanity, and men and devils should be 
so like. The same man, as Paul, as soon as he ceaseth to 
shed the blood of others, must look in the same way to lose 
his own. How many thousands were murdered by heathen 
Rome in the ten persecutions ! And how many by the 
Arian emperors and kings ! And how many by more ortho- 
dox princes in their particular distastes ! And yet how far 
hath the pretended vicar of Christ outdone them all ! How 
many hundred thousands of the Albigenses, Waldenses and 
Bohemians, hath the Papal rage consumed ! Two hundred 
thousand the Irish murdered in a little space, to outgo the 
thirty or forty thousand which the French massacre made 
an end of! The sacrifices offered by their fury in the flames, 
in the Marian persecution here in England, were nothing to 
what one day hath done in other parts. What volumes can 
contain the particular histories of them ? What a shambles 
was their inquisition in the Low countries ? And what is 
the employment of it still? So that a doubting man would 
be inclined to think, that Papal Rome is the murderous Ba- 
bylon, that doth but consider, " How drunken she is with 
the blood of the saints, and the martyrs of Jesus ; and that 
the blood of saints will be found in her, in her day of trial "'." 
If we should look over all the rest of the world, and reckon 
up the torments and murders of the irinocent, (in Japan, and 

f 2 Sam. xvi. 7, 8. « 1 Kings xiii. 4. ^2 Chron. xvi. 10. 

' I Kings xxii. 27. ^ Matt, xxiii. 37. ' Acts vii. 52. 

"' Rev. xvii. 6. xviii. 24. 


most parts of the world, wherever Christianity came) it may 
increase your wonder, that devils and men are still so like. 
Yea, though there be as loud a testimony in human nature 
against this bloodiness, as almost any sin whatsoever ; and 
though the names of persecutors always stink to following 
generations, how proudly soever they carried it for a time j 
and though one would think a persecutor should need no 
cure but his own pride, that his name may not be left as 
Pilate's in the creed, to be odious in the mouths of the ages 
that come after him; yet for all this, so deep is the enmity, 
so potent is the devil, so blinding a thing is sin, and interest, 
and passion, that still one generation of persecutors dath 
succeed the others ; and they kill the present saints, while 
they honour the dead ones, and build them monuments, and 
say, " If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would 
not have been partakers with them in the prophet's blood." 
Read well Matt, xxiii. 29. to the end. What a sea of righ- 
teous blood hath malignity and persecuting zeal drawn out ! 

4. Another cause of murder is, rash and unrighteous 
judgment. When judges are ignorant, or partial, or per- 
verted by passion, or prejudice, or respect of persons : but 
though many an innocent hath suffered this way, i hope 
among Christians, this is one of the rarest causes. 

5. Another way of murder is by oppression and uncha- 
ritableness ; when the poor are kept destitute of necessaries 
to preserve their lives : though few of them die directly of 
famine, yet thousands of them die of those sicknesses which 
they contract by unwholesome food. And all those are 
guilty of their death, either that cause it by oppression, or 
that relieve them not when they are able and obliged 
to it ». 

6. Another way and cause of murder is, by thieves and 
robbers, that do it to possess themselves of that which is 
another man's ; when riotousness or idleness hath consumed 
what they had themselves, and sloth and pride will not suffer 
them to labour, nor sensuality suflPer them to endure want, 
then they will have it by right or wrong, whatever it cost 
them. God's laws or man's, the gallows or hell shall not 
deter them; but have it they will, though they rob and 
murder, and are hanged and damned for it. Alas ! how 

" James v. 1—5. 


dear a purchase do they make ! How much easier are their 
greatest wants, than the wrath of God, and the pains of 

7. Another cause of murder is, guilt and shame. When 
wicked people have done some great disgraceful sin, which 
will utterly shame them, or undo them if it be known, they 
are tempted to murder them that know it, to conceal the 
crime and save themselves. Thus many a whoremonger 
hath murdered her that he hath committed fornication with ; 
and many a whore hath murdered her child (before the birth 
or after) to prevent the shame. But how madly do they 
fbrget the day, when both the one and the other will be 
brought to light ! And the righteous Judge will make them 
know, that all their wicked shifts will be their confusion, 
because there is no hiding them from him. 

8. Another cause is, furious anger, which mastereth 
reason, and for the present makes them mad ; and drunken- 
ness which doth the same. Many an one hath killed 
another in his fury or his drink ; so dangerous is it to suffer 
reason to lose its power, and to use ourselves to a Bedlam 
course ! And so necessary is it, to get a sober, meek, and 
quiet spirit, and mortify and master these turbulent and 
beastly vices. 

9. Another cause of murder is, malice and revenge. 
When men's own wrongs or sufferings are so great a matter 
to them, and they have so little learned to bear them, that 
they hate that man that is the cause of them, and boil with 
a revengeful desire of his ruin. And this sin hath in it so 
much of the devil, that those that are once addicted to it, 
are almost wholly at his command. He maketh witches of 
some, and murderers of others, and wretches of all ! Who 
set themselves in the place of God, and will do justice as 
they call it for themselves, as if God were not just enough 
to do it. And so sweet is revenge to their furious nature, 
(as the damning of men is to the devil,) that revenged they 
will be, though they lose their souls by it ; and the impo- 
tency and baseness of their spirits is such, that they say, 
' Flesh and blood is unable to bear it.' 

10. Another cause of murder is, a wicked impatience 
with near relations, and a hatred "of those that should be 
most dearly loved. Thus many men and women have mur- 


dered their wives and husbands, when either adulterous lust 
hath given up their hearts to another, or a cross, impatient, 
discontented mind, hath made them seem intolerable bur- 
dens to each other ; and then the devil that destroyed their 
love and brought them thus far, will be their teacher in the 
rest, and shew them how to ease themselves, till he hath led 
them to the gallows, and to hell. How necessary is it to 
keep in the way of duty, and abhor and suppress the begin- 
nings of sin ! 

11. And sometimes covetousness hath caused murder, 
when one man desireth another man's estate. Thus Ahab 
came by Naboth's vineyards to his cost. And many a one 
desireth the death of another, whose estate must fall to him 
at the other's death. Thus many a child in heart is guilty 
of the murder of his parents, though he actually commit it 
not ; yea, a secret gladness when they are dead, doth shew 
the guilt of some such desires while they were living ; and 
the very abatement of such moderate mourning, as natural 
affection should procure, (because the estate is thereby come 
to them as the heirs) doth shew that such are far from inno- 
cent. Many a Judas for covetousness hath betrayed an- 
other ! Many a false witness for covetousness hath sold 
another's life ; many a thief for covetousness hath taken 
away another's life, to get his money ; and many a covetous 
landlord hath longed for his tenant's death, and been glad 
to hear of it ; and many a covetous soldier hath made a 
trade of killing men for money. So true is it, " That the 
love of money is the root of all evil;" and therefore is one 
cause of all this. 

12. And ambition is too common a cause of murder, 
among the great ones of the world. How many have dis- 
patched others out of the world, because they stood in the 
way of their advancement ! For a long time together it was 
the ordinary way of rising, and dying, to the Roman and 
Greek emperors ; for one to procure the murder of the em- 
peror, that he might usurp his seat, and then to be so mur- 
dered by another himself; and every soldier that looked for 
preferment by the change, was ready to be an instrument in 
the fact. And thus hath even the Roman seat of his mock- 
holiness, for a long time and oft received its successors, by 
the poison or other murdering of the possessors of the desi- 


red place. And alas, how many thousands hath that see de- 
voured to defend its universal empire, under the name of the 
spiritual headship of the church ! How many unlawful wars 
have they raised or cherished, even against Christian empe- 
rors and kings ! How many thousands have been massa- 
cred ! How many assassinated, as Henry the third, and Henry 
the fourth, of France ! Besides those that fires and inqui- 
sitions have consumed : and all these have been the flames 
of pride. Yea, when their fellow-subjects in Munster, and 
in England, (the Anabaptists and Seekers) have catched 
some of their proud disease, it hath worked in the same way 
of blood and cruelty. 

But besides these twelve great sins, which are the near- 
est cause of murder, there are many more which are yet 
greater, and deeper in nature, which are the roots of all ; 
especially these : 

1. The first cause is, the want of true belief of the Word 
of God, and the judgment and punishment to come, and the 
want of the knowledge of God himself : atheism and infide- 

2. Hence cometh the want of the true fear of God, and 
subjection to his holy laws. 

3. The predominance of selfishness in all the unsancti- 
fied, is the radical inclination to murder, and all the injus- 
tice that is committed. 

4. And the want of charity, or loving our neighbour as 
ourselves, doth bring men near to the execution, and leav- 
eth little inward restraint. 

By all this you may see how this sin must be prevented. 
(And let not any man think it a needless work. Thousands 
have been guilty of murder that once thought themselves as 
far from it as you.) 1. The soul must be possessed with the 
knowledge of God, and the true belief of his Word and 
judgment. 2. Hereby it must be possessed of the fear of 
God, and subjection to him. 3. And the love of God must 
mortify the power of selfishness. 4. And also much pos- 
sess us with a true love to our neighbours, yea, and enemies 
for his sake. 5. And the twelve forementioned causes of 
murder will thus be destroyed at the root. 

II. And some further help it will be to understand the 
greatnessof this sin. Consider therefore, 1. It is an unlaw- 


ful destroying, not only a creature of God, but one of his 
noblest creatures upon earth ! Even one that beareth (at 
least, the natural) image of God. ** And surely, your blood 
of your lives will I require ; at the hand of every beast will 
I require it ; and at the hand of man ; at the hand of every 
man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth 
man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed ; for in the 
image of God made he man"." Yea, God will not only have 
the beast slain that killeth a man, but also forbiddeth there 
the eating of blood, verse 4., that man might not be accus- 
tomed to cruelty. 

2. It is the opening a door to confusion, and all calami- 
ty in the world ; for if one man may kill another without the 
sentence of the magistrate, another may kill him ; and the 
world will be like mastiffs or mad dogs, turned all loose on 
one another, kill that kill can. 

3. If it be a wicked man that is killed, it is the sending 
of a soul to hell, and cutting off his time of repentance, and 
his hopes. If it be a godly man, it is a depriving of the 
world of the blessing of a profitable member, and all that 
are about him of the benefits of his goodness, and God of 
the service, which he was here to have performed. These 
are enough to infer the dreadful consequents to the mur- 
derer, which are such as these. 

III. 1. It is a sin which bringeth so great a guilt, that 
if it be repented of, and pardoned, yet conscience very hard- 
ly doth ever attain to peace and quietness in this world ; 
and if it be unpardoned, it is enough to make a man his own 
executioner and tormenter. 

2. It is a sin that seldom escapeth vengeance in this life : 
if the law of the land take not away their lives, as God ap- 
pointeth. Gen. ix. 6., God useth to follow them with his ex- 
traordinary plagues, and causeth their sin to find them out ; 
so that the bloodthirsty man doth seldom live out half his 
days. The treatises purposely written on this subject, and 
the experience of all ages, do give us very wonderful narra- 
tives of God's judgments, in the detecting of murderers and 
bringing them to punishment. They go about awhile like 
Cain, with a terrified conscience, afraid of every one they 

" Geii. ix. 5, 6. 


see, till seasonable vengeance give them their reward ; or 
rather send them to the place where they must receive it. 

3. For it is eternal torment, under the wrath of God, 
which is the final punishment which they must expect, (if 
very great repentance, and the blood of Christ, do not pre- 
vent it). There are few I think that by shame and terror of 
conscience, are not brought to such a repentance, as Cain 
and Judas had, or as a man that hath brought calamity on 
himself; and therefore wish they had never done it, because 
of their own unhappiness thereby (except those persecutors 
or murderers that are hardened by error, pride or power) ; 
but this will not prevent the vengeance of God in their dam- 
nation : it must be a deep repentance proceeding from the 
love of God and man, and the hatred of sin, and sense of 
God's displeasure for it, which is only found in sanctified 
souls ! And alas, how few murderers ever have the grace 
to manifest any such renovation and repentance ! 

Tit. 2. Advice against Self-murder. 

Though self-murder be a sin which nature hath as strong- 
ly inclined man against, as any sin in the world that I re- 
member, and therefore I shall say but little of it ; yet expe- 
rience telleth us, that it is a sin that some persons are in 
danger of, and therefore I shall not pass it by. 

The prevention of itliethin the avoiding of these follow- 
ing causes of it. 

Direct. 1. * The commonest cause is prevailing melan- 
choly, which is near to madness ; therefore to prevent this 
sad disease, or to cure it if contracted, and to watch them in 
the meantime, is the chief prevention of this sin.* Though 
there be much more hope of the salvation of such, as want 
the use of their understandings, because so far it may be 
called involuntary, yet it is a very dreadful case, especially 
so far as reason remainethin any power. But it is not more 
natural for a man in a fever to thirst and rave, than for me- 
lancholy, at the height, to incline men to make away them- 
selves. For the disease will let them feel nothing but misery 
and despair, and say nothing*, but, ' I am forsaken, misera- 
ble and undone ! ' And not only maketh them weary of 
their lives (even while they are afraid to die), but the devil 


hath some great advantage by it, to urge them to do it ; so 
that if they pass over a bridge, he urgeth them to leap into 
the water ; if they see a knife, they are presently urged to 
kill themselves with it ; and feel, as if it were, something 
within them importunately provoking them, and saying, 
* Do it, do it now ; ' and giving them no rest. Insomuch, 
that many of them contrive it, and cast about secretly how 
they may accomplish it. 

Though the cure of these poor people belong as much to 
other's care as to their own, yet so far as they yet can use 
their reason, they must be warned, 1. To abhor all these 
suggestions, and give them not room a moment in their 

And 2. To avoid all occasions of the sin, and not to be 
near a knife, a river, or any instrument which the devil would 
have them use in the execution. 

And 3. To open their case to others, and tell them all, 
that they may help to their preservation. 

4. And especially to be willing to use the means, both 
physic, and satisfying counsel, which tend to cure their 
disease. And if there be any rooted cause in the mind that 
was antecedent to the melancholy, it must be carefully look- 
ed to in the cure. 

Direct, u. 'Take heed of worldly trouble and discon- 
tent ; for this also is a common cause.' Either it suddenly 
casteth men into melancholy, or without it of itself overturn- 
eth their reason, so far as to make them violently dispatch 
themselves ; especially, if it fall out in a mind where there 
is a mixture of these two causes : 1. Unmortified love to 
any creature. 2. And an impotent and passionate mind ; 
their discontent doth cause such unquietness, that they will 
furiously go to hell for ease. Mortify therefore first your 
worldly lusts, and set not too much by any earthly thing : 
if you did not foolishly overvalue yourselves, or your credit, 
or your wealth or friends, there would be nothing to feed 
your discontent : make no greater a matter of the world than 
it deserveth, and you will make no such great matter of your 

And 2. Mortify your turbulent passions, and give not 
way to Bedlam fury to overcome your reason. Go to 
Christ, to beg and learn to be meek and lowly in spirit, and 


then your troubled minds will have rest". Passionate wo- 
-men, and such other feeble spirited persons, that are easily 
troubled and hardly quieted and pleased, have great cause to 
bend their greatest endeavours to the curing of this impo- 
tent temper of mind, and procuring from God such strength- 
ening grace, as may restore their reason to its power. 

Direct. iii» * And sometimes sudden passion itself, with- 
out any longer discontent, hath caused men to make away 
themselves.' Mortify therefore and watch over such dis- 
tracting passions. 

Direct, iv. 'Take heed of running into the guilt of any 
heinous sin.' For though you may feel no hurt from it at 
the present, when conscience is awakened, it is so disquiet- 
ing a thing, that it maketh many a one hang himself. Some 
grievous sins are so tormenting to the conscience, that they 
give many no rest, till they have brought them to Judas's 
or Ahithophel's end. Especially take heed of sinning 
against conscience, and of yielding to that for fear of men, 
which God and conscience charge you to forbear. For the 
case of many a hundred as well as Spira, may tell you into 
what calamity this may cast you. If man be the master of 
your religion, you have no religion ; for what is religion, but 
the subjection to God, especially in the matters of his wor- 
ship ; and if God be subjected to man, he is taken for no-god. 
When you worship a god that is inferior to a man, then you 
may subject your religion to the will of that man. Keep 
God and conscience at peace with you, if you love your- 
selves, though thereby you lose your peace with the world. 

Direct, v. ' Keep up a believing foresight of the state 
which death will send you to.' And then if you have the 
use of reason, hell at least, will hold your hands, and make 
you afraid of venturing upon death. What repentance are 
you like to have, when you die in the very act of sin? And 
when an unmortified lust or love of the world, doth hurry 
you to the halter by sinful discontent? And what hope of 
pardon without repentance ? How exceeding likely there- 
fore is it, that whenever you put yourselves out of your pre- 
sent pain and trouble you send your souls to endless tor- 
ments ! And will it ease you to pass from poverty or crosses 
into hell ? Or will you damn your souls, because another 

» Malt. xi. 28, -Z9, 


wrongeth you ? O the madness of a sinner ! Who will you 
think hath wronged you most, when you feel hell-tire? Are 
you weary of your lives, and will you go to hell for ease? 
Alas, how quickly would you be glad to be here again, in a 
more painful condition than that which you were so weary 
of! yea, and to endure it a thousand years ! Suppose you 
saw hell before your eyes, would you leap into it? Is not 
time of repentance a mercy to be valued ? Yea, a little re- 
prieve from endless misery is better than nothing. What 
need you make haste to come to hell ? Will it not be soon 
enough, if you stay thence as long as you can ? And why 
will you throw away your hopes, and put yourselves past 
all probability of recovery, before God put you so himself? 
Direct, vi, * Understand the wonders of mercy revealed, 
and bestowed on mankind in Jesus Christ ; and understand 
the tenor of the covenant of grace.' The ignorance of this 
is it that keepeth a bitter taste upon your spirits ; and ma- 
keth you cry out. Forsaken and undone ; when such mira- 
cles of mercy are wrought for your salvation. And the igno- 
rance of this is it that maketh you foolishly cry out, * There 
is no hope ; the day of grace is past ; it is too late ; God will 
never shew me mercy ! ' When his Word assureth all that will 
believe it, that " whoever confesseth and forsaketh his sins, 
shall have mercy p." " And if we confess our sins, he is 
faithful and just to forgive V ** And that whoever will, 
may freely drink of the waters of life ""." ** And that who- 
ever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting 
life ^" I have no other hope of my salvation, but that Gos- 
pel, which promiseth pardon and salvation, unto all, that at 
any time, repent and turn to God by faith in Christ : and I dare 
lay my salvation on the truth of this, that Christ never re- 
jected any sinner how great soever, that at any time in this 
life, was truly willing to come to him, and to God by him. 
" He that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out *." 
But the malicious devil would fain make God seem odious 
to the soul, and representeth love itself as our enemy, that 
we might not love him ! Despair is such a part of hell, that 
if he could bring us to it, he would think he had us half in 
hell already ; and then he would urge us to dispatch our- 

P Prov. xxviii. 13. 1 1 John i. 9.  Rev. xxii. 17. 

» John iii. i7. * John vi. 37. 


selves, that we might be there indeed, and our despair might 
be incurable. How blind is he that seeth not the devil in 
all this ! 


Directions for the forgiving of Enemies^ and those that injure 
us ; against Wrath, and Malice, and Revenge, and Persecu- 

It is not only actual murder which is forbidden in the sixth 
commandment, but also all inordinate wrath, and malice, and 
desires of revenge, and injuring the person of our neighbour 
or our enemy ; for so the Prophet and Judge of the church 
hath himself expounded it. Matt. v. 21,22. Anger hath a 
hurting inclination, and malice is a fixed anger, and revenge 
is the fruit of both or either of them. He that will be free 
from injurious actions, must subdue that wrath and malice 
which is their cause. Heart-murders and injuries must be 
carefully rooted up ; " For out of the heart proceed evil 
thoughts and murders %" &c. This is the fire of hell on 
which an evil tongue is set ^ and this must be quenched if 
you would be innocent. 

Direct, i. * See God in your neighbour, and love him for 
that of God which is upon him.' If he be holy, he hath the 
moral image of God. If he be unholy, he hath his 
natural image as he is a man. He is not only God's crea- 
ture, but his reasonable creature, and the lord of his inferior 
works : and art thou a child of God, and yet canst not see 
him, and love him in his works ? Without God he is nothing, 
whom thou art so much offended with ; and though there be 
somewhat in him which is not of God, which may deserve 
thy hatred, yet that is not his substance or person : hate 
not, or wrong not that which is of God. It would raise in 
you such a reverence, as would assuage your wrath, if you 
could but see God in him that you are displeased with. 

Direct, ii. 'To this end observe more the good which is 
in your neighbour, than the evil.' Malice overlooketh all 
that is good and amiable, and can see nothing but that 

• Matt. XV. 19. •• James iii. 6. 


which is bad and detestable : it hearkeneth more to them 
that dispraise and open the faults of others, than to those 
that praise them and declare their virtues : nor that good 
and evil must be confounded ; but the good as well as the 
evil must be acknowledged. We have more use ourselves 
for the observation of their virtues than of their faults ; and 
it is more our duty : and were it never so little good that is 
in them, the right observing of it, at least would much dimi- 
nish your dislike. 

Direct, in. * Learn but to love your neighbour as your- 
self, and this will make it easy to you both to forbear him 
and forgive him.' With yourself you are not apt to be so 
angry. Against yourself you bear no malice, or desire no 
revenge that shall do you hurt. As you are angry with your- 
self penitently for the faults you have committed, but not so 
as to desire your own destruction, or final hurt; but with 
such a displeasure as tendethto your recovery ; so also must 
you do to others. 

Direct. i\. * To this end be sure to mortify your selfish- 
ness.' For it is the inordinate respect that men have to 
themselves, which maketh them aggravate the faults of all 
that are against them, or offend them. Be humble and self- 
denying, and you will think yourselves so mean and incon- 
siderable, that no fault can be very great, nor deserve much 
displeasure, merely as it is against you. A proud, self-es- 
teeming man is easily provoked and hardly reconciled with- 
out great submission ; because he thinketh so highly of him- 
self, that he thinketh heinously of all that is said or done 
against him ; and he is so over-dear to himself, that he is 
impatient with his adversary. 

Direct, v. ' Be not your own judge in cases of settled 
malice or revenge ; but let some impartial, sober by-stander 
be the judge.' For a selfish, passionate, distempered mind, 
is very unlikely to judge aright. And most men have so 
much of these diseases, that they are very unfit to be judges 
in their own case. Ask first some wise, impartial man, 
whether it be best for thee to be malicious and revengeful 
against such a one that thou thinkest hath greatly wronged 
thee, or rather to love him and forgive him. 

Direct, y I. 'Take time to deliberate upon the matter, 
and do nothing rashly in the heat of passion against an- 


Other.' Wrath and malice will vanish, if you bring the mat- 
ter into the light, and use but those effectual considerations 
which will shew their sinfulness and shame ; I shall there- 
fore next here set down some such considerations, as are 
most powerful to suppress them . 

Consid. I. Remember first, * That whoever hath offended 
you, hath offended God by greater injuries, and if God for- 
give him the greater, why should not you forgive the less V 
The same fault which he did against you, is a greater crime 
as against God than as against you. And many a hundred 
more hath he committed. It is a small matter to displease 
such a worm as man, in comparison of the displeasing of 
Almiglity God : and should not his children imitate their 
heavenly Father ? Doth he remit the pains of hell, and can- 
not you forbear your passionate revenge ? Let me ask you, 
whether you desire that God should forgive him his sins or 
not? (both that and all the rest which he hath committed;) 
If you say, * No, ' you are devilish and inhuman, who 
would not have God forgive a sinner: if you say, 'Yea,' 
you condemn, yea, and contradict yourselves. While you 
say you would have God forgive him, and yet yourselves 
will not forgive him ; (I speak not of necessary correction 
but revenge). 

Consid. II. * Consider also that you have much more 
yourselves to be forgiven by God, or you are undone for 
ever.' There is no comparison between other men's offen- 
ces against you, and your offences against God, either for 
the number of them, or the greatness, or the desert. Dost 
thou owe to God ten thousand talents, and wilt thou lay 
hold on thy brother for a hundred pence ? See then thy 
doom. Matt, xviii. 34. ; the tormenters shall exact thy debt 
to God. Doth it beseem that man to aggravate or revenge 
his little injuries, who deserveth damnation, and forfeiteth 
his soul every day and hour ? And hath no hope of his own 
salvation, but by the free forgiveness of all his sins ? 

Consid. III. ' Either thou art thyself a member of Christ 
or not. If not, thou art yet under the guilt of all the sins 
that ever thou didst commit.' And doth it beseem that man 
to be severe and revengeful against others, that must for 
ever be damned for his own transgressions, if a speedy con- 
version do not prevent it? Sure you have somewhat else to 


think on, than of your petty injuries from men ! But if 
thou be indeed a member of Christ, thy sins are all par- 
doned by the price of thy Redeemer's blood ! And canst 
thou feel the sweetness of so great a mercy, and not feel a 
strong obligation on thee to forgive thy brother ? Must Christ 
be a sacrifice for thy offences? and must thy brother, who 
offended thee, be sacrificed to thy wrath ? 

Consid. IV. ' Thou art not forgiven of God, if thou dost 
not forgive.' For, 1. If ever the love of God and the blood 
of Christ had come in power upon thy heart, they would 
undoubtedly have caused thee to forgive thy brother. 2. 
Yea, God hath made thy forgiving others to be a condition, 
without which he will not finally or plenarily forgive thee. 
Thou hast no warrant to pray or hope for pardon upon any 
lower terms ; but " Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive 
them that trespass against us; for if ye forgive not men 
th^ir trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your tres- 
passes *=." Likewise, saith Christ, " shall my heavenly Fa- 
ther do also unto you, (even deliver you to the tormenters,) 
if from your hearts ye forgive not every one his brother 
their trespasses'^." " For he shall have judgment without 
mercy that hath shewed no mercy, and mercy rejoiceth 
against judgment ®." 

Consid, v. ' Remember also that you have need of for- 
giveness from others, as well as they have need of it from 
you.' Have you wronged none ? Have you provoked 
none ? Have you not passions which must be pardoned ? 
And a nature which must be borne with ? Can so corrupt 
a creature as man is, be no annoyance to those he liveth 
with ? Sure all the sins which burden yourself, and dis- 
please the Lord, must needs be some trouble to all about 
you : and he that needeth pardon, is obliged the more to 
pardon others. 

Consid, VI. * Nay, it is the unhappiness of all mankind, 
that their corruptions will in some measure be injurious to 
all that they have to do with;' and it is impossible for such 
distempered sinners to live together, and not by their mis- 
takes, or selfishness, or passions, to exercise the patience 
and forbearance of each other. Therefore you must either 

*" Matt. vi. 14, 15. * Matt, xviii. 35. * James ii, l3. 



be malicious and revengeful against all mankind, or else 
against none on such accounts as are common to all. 

Consid, VII. * Observe also how easily you can forgive 
yourselves, though you do a thousand fold more against 
yourselves, than ever any enemy did.' It is not their wrongs 
or offences against you that you are in any danger of being 
damned for ; you shall not suffer for their sins, but for your 
own. In the day of judgment, it is not your sufferings from 
others, but your own offences against God that will be 
charged upon you : and if ever you be undone, it will be by 
these. Men or devils can never do that against you, which 
by every sin you do against yourselves. No robber, no op- 
pressor, no persecutor, no deceiver can ever hurt you so 
much as you hurt yourselves. And yet how gently do you 
take it at your own hands ! How easily do you pardon it 
to yourselves ! How lovingly do you think of yourselves ! 
So far are you from malice or revenge against yourselves, 
that you can scarce endure to hear plainly of your sins ! 
But are more inclined to bear malice against those that do 
reprove you. Judge whether this be equal dealing; and 
loving your neighbours as yourselves ? 

Consid. VIII. ' Consider how great a crime it is, for a 
worm to usurp the authority of God, and censure him for 
not doing justice, and to presume to anticipate his judgment, 
and take the sword as it were out of his hands, as all do that 
will be their own avengers.' It is the magistrate and not 
you that beareth the sword of public justice ; and what he 
doth not, God will do in his time and way. '* Dearly be- 
loved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto 
wrath ; for it is written. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, 
saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him ; 
if he thirst, give him drink ; for in so doing thou shalt heap 
coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, (that 
is, the evil that is done against you,) but overcome evil with 
good^" He that becometh a revenger for himself, doth by 
his actions as it were say to God, ' Thou art unjust, and dost 
not do me justice, and therefore I will do it for myself. 
And shall such an impatient, blaspheming atheist go un- 
punished ? 

Consid, IX. ' Consider how much more fit God is than 

^ Rom. xii. 19—21. 


you, to execute revenge and justice on your enemies.' He 
hath the highest authority, and you have none : he is im- 
partial and most just, and you are unrighteous and perverted 
by selfishness and partiality. He is eternal and omniscient, 
and seeth to the end, and w^hat will be the consequent ; and 
therefore knoweth the fittest season and degree ; but you 
are shortsighted creatures, that see no further than the 
present day, and know not what will be to-morrow, and 
therefore may be ignorant of a hundred things, which would 
stop you and change your council if you had foreseen them. 
He is most wise and good, and knoweth what is fit for every 
person, and how to do good with as little hurt as may be in 
the doing of it ; but you are ignorant of yourselves, and 
blinded by interest and passion, and are so bad yourselves, 
that you are inclined to do hurt to others. At least, for 
aught you know, you may miscarry in your passion, and 
come off with guilt and a wounded conscience ; but you 
may be sure that God will not miscarry, but will do all in 
perfect wisdom, and righteousness, and truth. 

Consid. X. ' Do you not understand that your passion, 
malice, and revenge, 1. Do hurt yourselves much more than 
they can hurt another, and 2. Much more than any other 
can hurt you?' Would you be revenged on another; and 
will you therefore hurt yourselves? The stone of reproach 
which you cast at him, doth fly back into your face, and 
wound yourselves. Do you not feel that the fire of passion 
and malice, are like a scorching fever, which overthrow 
your health and quietness, and fill you full of restlessness 
and pain? And will you do this against yourselves, be- 
cause another hath abused you ? Did not he that offended 
you do enough against you ? If you would have more, why 
are you offended with him? If you would not have more, 
why do you inflict it on yourselves ? If you love disquiet- 
ness, why do you complain of him that doth disquiet you ? 
If you do not, why do you disquiet yourselves? and that 
much more than he can do? He that w^ongeth you touch- 
eth but your estates, or bodies, or names ; it may be it is 
but by a blast of wind, the words of his mouth ; and will 
you therefore wound yourselves at the very heart? God 
hath locked up your heart from others ; none can touch that 
but yourselves. Their words, their wrongs cannot reach 


your hearts, unless you open them the door, yea, unless it 
be your own doing. Will you take the dagger which 
pierced but your skin, and pierce your own hearts with it, 
because another so much wronged you ? If you do, blame 
no one for it so much as yourselves ; blame them for touch- 
ing your estates or names, but blame yourselves for all that 
is at your hearts. And if you might desire another's hurt, 
it is folly to hurt yourselves much more, and to do a greater 
mischief to yourselves, that so you may do a less to him. 
If you rail at him, or slander or defame him, you touch but 
his reputation ; if you trouble him at law, you touch but his 
estate ; if you beat him, it reacheth but to his flesh ; but 
the passion and guilt is a fire in your own hearts ; and the 
wrath of God which you procure, doth fall upon your souls 
for ever ! I have heard but of a few that have said openly, 
* I am contented to be damned, so I may but be avenged ;' 
but many thousands speak it by their deeds. And O how 
just is their damnation, who will run into hell that they may 
hurt another ! Even as I have heard of some passionate 
wives and children, who have hanged themselves, or cut 
their throats, to be revenged on their husbands or parents 
by grieving them. 

Consid. XI. ' Remember that malice and hurtfulness are 
the special sins and image of the devil.' All sin is from him 
as the tempter ; but some sins are so eminently his own, 
that they may be called the nature and image of the devil ; 
and those are principally, rebellion against God, malignity 
or enmity to good, pride or self-exaltation, lying and ca- 
lumny, and malice, hurtfulness, and murder ; these are 
above the sins of m^e sensuality or carnality, and most 
properly denominate men (in whom they prevail) the ser- 
pent's Seed. I speak but as Christ himself hath spoken, 
John viii. 44. to those that were esteemed the wisest and 
most (ceremoniously) religious of those times : " Ye are of 
your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will 
do ; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not 
in the truth, because there is no truth in him ; when he 
speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar, and 
the father of it." And what pity is it that a man that should 
bear the image of God, should be transformed as it were 
into an incarnate devil, and by being like to satan, and 
bearingr his image. 


Cojisid. XII. ' The person that you are angry with, is 
either a child of God, or of the devil, and one that must 
live either in heaven or hell.' If he be a child of God, w^ill 
not his Father's interest and image reconcile you to him 1 
Will you hate and hurt a member of Christ? If you have 
any hope of being saved yourselves, are you not ashamed to 
think of meeting him in heaven, vv^hom you hated and per- 
secuted here on earth ? If there were any shame and grief in 
heaven, it would overwhelm you there with shame and grief, 
to meet those in the union of those blessed joys, whom you 
hated and abused. Believe unfeignedly that you must 
dwell with them for ever in the dearest intimacy of eternal 
love, and you cannot possibly rage against them, nor play 
the devils against those, with whom you must live in unity 
before God. But if they be wicked men, and such as must 
be damned (as malice will make you easily believe), are they 
not miserable enough already, in being the slaves of sin and 
satan ? And will they not be miserable time enough and 
long enough in hell ? Do you thirst to have them tormented 
before the time? O cruel men! O devilish malice ! Would 
you wish them more punishment than hell-fire ? Can you 
not patiently endure to see a poor sinner have a little pros- 
perity and ease, who must lie in everlasting flames ? But 
the truth is, malicious men are ordinarily atheists, and never 
think of another world; and therefore desire to. be the 
avengers of themselves, because they believe not that ther« 
is any God to do it, or any future judgment and execution 
to be expected. 

Consid. XIII. * And remember haw near both he and you 
are to deathand judgment, when God will judge righteously 
betwixt you both.' There are few so cruelly malicious* 
but if they both lay dying they would abate their malice and 
be easily reconciled, as remembering that their dust and 
bones will lie in quietness together, and malice is a misera-* 
ble case to appear in before the Lord. Why then do. you 
cherish your vice, by putting away the day of death from 
your remembrance ? Do you not know that you are dying ? 
Are a few more days so great a matter with you, that you 
will therefore do that because you have a few more days to 
live, which else you durst not do or think of? O hearken 
to the dreadful trumpet of God, which is summoning you 


all to come away, and methinks this should sound a retreat 
to the malicious, from persecuting those with whom they 
are going to be judged. God will shortly make the third, 
if you will needs be quarrelling ! Unless it be mastiff dogs 
or fighting cocks, there are scarce any creatures but will 
give over fighting, if man or beast do come upon them that 
would destroy or hurt them both. 

Consid. XIV. * Wrathful and hurtful creatures are com- 
monly hated and pursued by all ; and loving, gentle, harm- 
less, profitable creatures, are commonly beloved.' And 
will you make yourselves like wild beasts or vermin, that all 
men naturally hate and seek to destroy ? If a wolf, or a 
fox, or an adder do but appear, every man is ready to seek 
the death of him, as a hurtful creature, and an enemy to 
mankind ; but harmless creatures no one meddleth with (un- 
less for their own benefit and use) : so if you will be ma- 
licious, hurtful serpents that hiss, and sting, and trouble 
others, you will be the common hatred of the world, and it 
will be thought a meritorious work to mischief you; whereas 
if you will be loving, kind, and profitable, it will be taken 
to be men's interest to love you, and desire your good. 

Consid XV. * Observe how you unfit yourselves for alt 
holy duties, and communion with God, while you cherish 
wrath and malice in your hearts.' Do you find yourselves 
fit for meditation, conference, or prayer while you are in 
wrath? -I know you cannot: it both indisposeth you to 
" the duty, and the guilt affrighteth you, and telleth you that 
you are unfit to come near to God. As a fever taketh away 
a man's appetite to bis meat, and his disposition to labour, 
so doth wrath and malice destroy both your disposition to 
holy duties, and your pleasure in them. And conscience 
will tell you that it is so terrible to draw near God in such 
a case, that you will be readier (were it possible) to hide 
yourselves as Adam and Eve, or fly as Cain, as not enduring 
the presence of God. And therefore the Common-prayer 
book above all other sins, enableth the pastor to keep away 
the malicious from the sacrament of communion ; and con- 
science maketh many that have little conscience in any thing 
«lse, that they dare not come to th^t sacrament, while wrath 
and malice are in their breasts : a«id Christ himself saith, 
^^Wi^f thou brinfg thy gift unto the altar, and there remember- 


est that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there 
thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled 
to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree 
with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with 
him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, 
and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast 
into prison s, &,c." 

Consid. XVI. ' And your sin is aggravated, in that you 
hinder the good of those that you are offended with, and 
also provoke them to add sin to sin, and to be as furious 
and uncharitable as yourselves.' If your neighbour be not 
faulty, why are you so displeased with him ? If he be, why 
will you make him worse? V/ill you bring him to amend- 
ment by hatred or cruelty? Do you think one vice will 
cure another? Or is any man like to hearken to the coun- 
sel of an enemy ? Or to love the words of one that hateth 
him ? Is malice and fierceness an attractive thing ? Or 
rather is it not the way to drive men further from their duty, 
and into sin, by driving them from you who pretend to re- 
form them by such unlikely, contrary means as these ? And 
as you do your worst to harden them in their faults, and to 
make them hate whatever you would persuade them to ; so 
at present you seek to kindle in their breasts the same fire 
of malice or passion which is kindled in yourselves. As 
love is the most effectual way to cause love ; so passion is 
the most effectual cause of passion, and malice is the most 
effectual cause of malice, and hurting another is the most 
powerful means to provoke him to hurt you again if he be 
able ; and weak things are ofttimes able to do hurt, when 
injuries boil up their passions to the height, or make them 
desperate. If your sinful provocations fill him also with 
rage, and make him curse, or swear, or rail, or plot revenge, 
or do you a mischief, you are guilty of this sin, and have 
a hand in the damnation of his soul, as much as in you 

Consid, XV n. ' Consider how much fitter means there 
are at hand to right yourself, and attain any ends that are 
good, than by passion, malice, or revenge.' If your end be 
nothing but to do mischief, and make another miserable, 
you are to the world as mad dogs, and wolves, and serpents 

K Matt. V, 'io^'ih. 


to the country ; and they that know you, will be as glad 
when the world is rid of you, as when an adder or a toad is 
killed. But if your end be only to right yourselves, and to 
reclaim your enemy, or reform your brother, fury and re 
venge is not the way. God hath appointed governors to do 
justice in commonwealths and families, and to those you 
may repair, and not take upon you to revenge yourselves. 
And God himself is the most righteous governor of all the 
world, and to him you may confidently refer the case, when 
magistrates and rulers fail you ; and his judgment will be 
soon enough and severe enough. And if you would rather 
have your neighbour reclaimed than destroyed, it is love and 
gentlenes>s that is the way, with peaceable convictions, and 
such reasonings as shew that you desire his good. Over- 
come him with kindness, if you would melt him into repen- 
tance, and heap coals of fire on his head. If thy enemy 
hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink : this is over- 
coming evil with good, (and not by beastly fury to overcome 
him) ; but when you are drawn to sinful passion and re- 
venge, you are overcome of eviP. If you would do good, 
it must be by good, and not by evil. 

Consid. XVIII. * Remember also how little you are con- 
cerned in the words or actions of other men towards you, in 
comparison of your carriage to yourselves and them.' You 
have greater matters to mind, than your little sufferings by 
them ; even the preserving of your innocency and your 
peace with God. It is your own actions, and not theirs 
that you must answer for. You shall not be condemned for 
suffering wrong, but for doing wrong you may. All their 
injuries against you, make you not the less esteemed of 
God, and therefore diminish not your felicity : it is them- 
selves that they mortally wound, even to damnation, if they 
impenitently oppress another ; keep yourselves and you 
keep your salvation, whatever others do against you. 

Consid. XIX. * Remember that injuries are your trials 
and temptations ;* God trieth you by them, and satan 
tempteth you by them. God trieth your love, and patience, 
and obedience ; that you may be perfect as your heavenly 
Father is perfect, and may be indeed his children, while you 
•* love your enemies, and bless them that curse you, and do 

1' Rom. xli. 19—21. 



good to them that hate you, and pray for them that des- 
pitefully use you and persecute you ' ;" and being tried you 
may receive the crown of life ''. And satan on the other 
side is at work, to try whether he can draw you by injuries 
to impatiency, and to hatred, malice, revenge or cruelty, 
and so damn your souls by the hurting of your bodies. And 
when you foreknow his design, will you let him overcome? 
Hear every provoking word that is given you, and every in- 
jury that is done unto you, as if a messenger from satan 
were sent to buffet you, or to speak that provoking language 
in his name ; and as if he said to you, * I come from the de- 
vil to call thee all that is naught and to abuse thee, and to 
try whether I can thus provoke thee to passion, malice, 
railing or revenge, to sin against God and damn thy soul.' 
If you knew one came to you from the devil on this errand, 
tell me how you would entertain him. And do you not 
know that this is indeed the case ? " Fear none of those 
things which ihou shalt suffer ; behold the devil shall cast 
some of you into prison that ye may be tried, and ye shall 
have tribulation ten days ; be thou faithful to the death and 
I will give thee a crown of life ^" As trying imprisonments, 
so all other trying injuries are from the devil by God's per- 
mission, whoever be his instruments ; and will you be over- 
come by him when you foreknow the end of his attempts ? 

Consid. XX. ' Lastly, set before you the example of our 
Lord Jesus Christ :' see whether he was addicted to wrath 
and malice, hurtfulness or revenge. If you will not imitate 
him, you are none of his disciples ; nor will he be your 
Saviour. A serious view of the holy pattern of love, and 
meekness, and patience, and forgiveness, which is set be- 
fore us in the life of Christ, is a most powerful remedy against 
malice and revenge ; and will cure it, if any thing will cure 
it. " Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Je- 
sus, who being in the form of God, yet made himself of 

no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant""." 
" Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered in the flesh, arm 
yourselves likewise with the same mind"." "For this is 
thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God, endure 
grief, suffering wrongfully ; for what glory is it if when ye 

* Malt. V. 44, 45 '' James i. 3, 4. 12. * Rer. ii. 10, 

"» Phil. ii. 5— 7. » 1 Pet. iv. i. 


be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently : but 
if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this 
is acceptable with God. For even hereunto ye were called ; 
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an ensample 
that ye should follow in his steps ; who did no sin, neither 
was guile found in his mouth ; who when he was reviled, 
reviled not again ; when he suffered, he threatened not, but 
committed it to him that judgeth righteously °." Think not 
to live and reign with Christ, if you will not follow him, 
and suffer with him. It is impudent presumption and not 
faith, to look to be like the saints in glory, while you are like 
the devil in malice and cruelty. 


Cases resolved about forgiving Injuries and Debts, and about 
Self-defence, and seeking Right by Law or otherwise. 

The Cases about forgiving, and revenging, are many, and 
some of them difficult: I shall resolve those of ordinary 
use in our practice, and pass by the rest. 

Quest. I. * Is a man bound to forgive all injuries and da- 
mages that are done him? If not. What injuries be they 
which every man is bound to forgive?' 

Answ. To both these questions I briefly answer, 1. We 
must distinguish between a crime or sin against God, and 
the common good ; and an injury or damage to ourselves. 
2. And between public justice and private revenge. 3. And 
between those damages which fall upon myself only, and 
those that by me redound to others, (as wife or children, 
&c,) 4. And between the remitting of a punishment, and 
the remitting of reparations of my loss. 5. And between 
the various punishments to be remitted. He that will con- 
found any of these shall sooner deceive himself and others, 
than resolve the doubts. 

Prop. J. It frequently falleth out, that it is not in our 
power to remit the penalty of a crime ; no, not the temporal 
.penalty. For this is a wrong to God the universal Gover- 

o 1 Pet. ii. 19— !^5. 


nor, and God only can forgive it, and man no farther than 
God hath commissioned him. Murder, whoredom, drun- 
kenness, swearing, &c., as they are sins against God, the 
magistrate is bound to punish, and private men to endeavour 
it by the magistrate. And if it may be said, that the sovereign 
ruler of a nation hath power to forgive such crimes, the 
meaning is no more than this ; 1. That as to the species of 
these sins, if he do forgive the temporal punishment which 
in his office he should have inflicted, yet no human power 
can question him for it, because he hath none on earth above 
him ; but yet God will question him, and shew him that he 
had no power to dispense with his laws, nor disoblige him- 
self from his duty. 2. And that in some cases an indivi- 
dual crime may be forgiven by the magistrate as to the tem- 
poral punishment, even where the ends of the law and go- 
vernment require it ; but this must not be ordinary. 

Prop. 11. It is not always in the power of the magistrate 
to remit the temporal punishment of heinous crimes, against 
the common good. Because it is ordinarily necessary to 
the common good that they be punished ; and his power is 
for the common good, and not against it. The enemies of 
the public peace must by punishment be restrained. 

Prop. 111. Much less is it in the power of a private man, 
to remit a penalty to be inflicted by a magistrate. And 
what I say of magistrates, holdeth of parents, and other go- 
vernors, * cseteris paribus,' according to the proportion of 
their authority. 

Prop, IV. I may by just means exact satisfaction for da- 
mages to myself, in my reputation or estate, when the ends 
of Christianity, even the honour of God, and the public 
good, and the benefit of men's souls require it ; that is, when 
I only vindicate these by lawful means, as they are the ta- 
lents which God hath committed to me for his service, and 
for which he will call me to account. It may fall out that 
the vindicating of a minister's or other Christian's name 
from a slander, may become very needful for the interest 
and honour of religion, and for the good of many souls. 
And if I have an estate which I resolve to use for God, and 
a thief or a deceiver take it from me, who will do no good 
with it but hurt, I may be bound to vindicate it ; that I may 
be enabled to do good, and may give God a comfortable 


account of my stewardship ; besides the suppressing of 
thievery and deceit, as they are against the common good. 

Prop. V. When my estate is not entirely my own, but 
wife or child or any other is a sharer in it, it is not wholly 
in my power to remit any debt or damage out of it, but I 
must have the consent of them that are joint-owners; un- 
less I be entrusted for them. 

Prop. VI. If I be primarily obliged to maintain wife and 
children, or any others with my estate, I am bound on their 
behalf to use all just means to vindicate it from any that 
shall injuriously invade it: otherwise I am guilty of their 
sufferings whom I should maintain ; I may no more suffer 
a thief than a dog to go away with my children's meat. 

Prop. VII. And as I must vindicate my estate for others 
to whom I am entrusted to administer it by God, so must I 
for myself also, so far as God would have me use it myself. 
For he that hath charged me to provide for my family, re- 
quireth also that I famish not myself; and he hath required 
me to love my neighbour but as myself; and therefore as I 
am bound to vindicate and help my neighbour if a thief or 
oppressor would rob him, (according to my place and power,) 
so must I do also for myself. In all these seven cases I am 
not obliged to forgive. 

But on the other side, in all these cases following, I am 
bound to forgive and let go my right. 

Prop. I. As the church may declare to penitent sinners, 
the remission of the eternal punishment, so may it remit the 
temporal punishment of excommunication, to the penitent : 
yea, this they are obliged by Christ to do,, ministerially, as 
under him. 

Prop. II. When the repentance and satisfaction of the 
sinner is like to conduce more to the public good, and the 
honour of God, and other ends of government, than his pu- 
nishment would do, a private man may not be obliged to 
prosecute him before the magistrate, and the magistrate hath 
power to forgive him as to the penalty which it belongeth 
to him to inflict. (Though this may not extend to the re- 
mitting of crimes ordinarily and frequently, nor to the re- 
mitting of some sort of heinous crimes at all ; because this 
cannot attain the ends of government as aforesaid.) 

Prop, III. All personal wrongs, so far as they are merely 



against myself, and disable me not from my duty to God 
and my neighbour, I may and must forgive : for my own 
interest is put more in my own power ; and here it is that I 
am commanded to forgive. If you say that I am bound to 
preserve my own life and soul as much as another*s ; I an- 
swer, it is true, I am bound to preserve my own and another's 
ultimately for the service and glory of God ; and God's in- 
terest in me I cannot remit or give away. As there is no 
obligation to duty but what is originally from God, so there 
is none but what is ultimately for God, even to please and 
glorify him. 

Object. * But if this be all, I shall forgive no wrongs ; 
for there is none which doth not some way hinder me in my 
duty.' Answ. Yes, there may be many to your body, your 
estate and name, which yet may be no disablement or hin- 
drance to you, except you make it so yourself: as if you 
receive a box on the ear, or be slandered or reviled where 
none heareth it but yourself, or such as will make no evil 
use of it, or if a little be diminished injuriously out of a su- 
perfluous estate, or so as to be employed as well as you 
would have done. 2. But I further answer this objection 
in the next propositions. 

Prop. IV. If my patient suffering a personal injury, which 
somewhat hindereth me from my duty, be like to be as great 
a service to God, or to do more good, than by that duty I 
should do, I ought to pass by and forgive that injury : be- 
cause then God's interest obligeth me not to vindicate my 

Prop. V. If when I am injured, and thereby disabled 
from doing some good which I should else have done, I am 
not able by seeking reparation or the punishment of the 
person, to recover my capacity, and promote the service of 
God, I am bound to pass by and remit that injury. (I speak 
not of the criminal part, but the injury as such : for a man 
may be bound to bring a thief to punishment, on the ac- 
count of God's honour, and the common good, (though else 
he might forgive the injury to himself). 

Prop. VI. If it be probable that he that defraudeth me of 
my estate, will do more good with it than I should have 
done, I am not bound to vindicate it from him for my own 
interest : (though as he is criminal, and the crime is hurtful. 


as an ill example, to the common good, so I may be bound 
to it). Nay, were it not for the said criminal respect, 1 am 
bound rather to let him take it, than to vindicate it by any 
such means as would break charity, and do more hurt than 

Prop. VII. If I am absolutely trusted with the person 
or estate of another, I may so far forgive the wrongs done 
to that other, upon sufficient reasons, as well as against my- 

Prop. VIII. A private man may not usurp the magis- 
trate's power, or do any act which is proper to his office, 
nor yet may he break his laws, for the avenging of himself : 
he may use no other means than the law of God and his so- 
vereign do allow him. Therefore he may not rail, or revile, 
or slander, or rob, or strike, or hurt any, (unless in case of 
defence, as afterward,) nor take any other prohibited 

Prop. IX. No rigour or severity must be used to right 
myself, where gentler means may probably do it ; but the 
most harmless way must first be tried. 

Prop. X. In general, all wrongs, and debts, and dama- 
ges, must be forgiven, when the hurt is like to be greater, 
which will come by our righting ourselves, than that which 
by forbearance we shall sustain : and all must be forgiven 
where God's law or man's forbiddeth us not to forgive. 
Therefore a man that will here know his duty, must con- 
duct his actions by very great prudence, (which if he have 
not himself, he must make use of a guide or counsellor :) 
and he niust be able to compare the evil which he sufFereth 
with the evil which will in probability follow his vindica- 
tion, and to discern which of them is the greater : or else 
he can never know how far and when he may and must for- 
give. And herein he must observe, 

1. The hurt that cometh to a man's soul is greater than 
the hurt that befalleth the body : and therefore if my suing 
a man at law be like to hurt his soul by uncharitableness, 
or to hurt my own, or the souls of others by scandal or dis- 
turbances, I must rather suffer any mere bodily injuries, 
than use- that means : but if yet greater hurt to souls would 
follow that bodily suffering of mine, the case is then altered 
the other way. So if by forgiving debts or wrongs, I be 


like to do more good to the soul of him whom I forgive, or 
others, than the recovery of my own, or the righting of my- 
self is like any way to equal, I am obliged to forgive that 
debt or wrong. 

2. The good or hurt which cometh to a community or 
to many, is ' caeteris paribus' to be more regarded than that 
which cometh to myself or any one alone. Because many 
are of more worth than one ; and because God's honour 
(' caeteris paribus') is more concerned in the good of many 
than of one. Therefore I must not seek my own right to 
the hurt of many, either of their souls or bodies, unless 
some greater good require it. 

3. The good or hurt of public persons, magistrates, or 
pastors is (* caeteris paribus') of more regard than the good 
or hurt of single men : therefore * caeteris paribus' I must 
not right myself to the dishonour or hurt of governors : (no, 
though I were none of their charge or subjects :) because 
the public good is more concerned in their honour or wel- 
fare than in mine. The same may be said of persons, by 
their gifts and interests more eminently serviceable to God 
and the common good than I am. 

4. The good or hurt of a near relation, of a dear friend, 
of a worthy person, is more to be regarded by me, ' caeteris 
paribus/ than the good or hurt of a vile, unworthy person, 
or a stranger. And therefore the Israelites might not take 
usury of a poor brother, which yet they might do of an alien 
of another land! The laws of nature and friendship may 
more oblige me to one than to another, though they were 
supposed equal in themselves. Therefore I am not bound 
to remit a debt or wrong to a thief, or deceiver, or a vile 
person, when a nearer or worthier person would be equally 
damnified by his benefit. And thus far, (if without any par- 
tial self-love a man can justly estimate himself,) he may not 
only as he is nearest himself, but also for his real worth, pre- 
fer his own commodity before the commodity of a more un- 
worthy and unserviceable person. 

5. Another man's necessities are more regardable than 
our own superfluities ; as his life is more regardable than our 
corporal delights. Therefore it is a great sin for any man 
to reduce another to extremity, and deprive him of necessa- 
ries for his life, merely to vindicate his own right in super- 


fluities, for the satisfaction of his concupiscence and sen- 
sual desires. If a poor man steal to save his own or 
his children's lives, and the rich man vindicate his own, 
merely to live in greater fulness or gallantry in the world, 
he siimeth both the sin of sensuality and uncharitableness : 
(but how far for the common good he is bound to prosecute 
the thief as criminal, is a case which depends on other cir- 
cumstances). And this is the most common case, in which 
the forgiving of debts and damages is required in Scripture, 
viz. When the other is poor and we are rich, and his neces- 
sities require it as an act of charity : (and also the former 
case, when the hurt by our vindication is like to be greater 
than our benefit will countervail). 

Quest. II. * What is the meaning of those words of 
Christ, " Ye have heard that it hath been said. An eye for 
an eye, and a tooth for a tooth ; but I say unto you, that ye 
resist not evil ; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right 
cheek, turn to him the other also ; and if any man will sue 
thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy 
cloak also : and whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, 
go with him two : give to him that asketh thee ; and from 
him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away ^ ?" 

Answ. The meaning of the text is this : as if he had 
said, '* Because you have heard that magistrates are re- 
quired to do justice exactly between man and man, and to 
take an eye for an eye, &c., therefore you may perhaps be- 
lieve those teachers who would persuade you, that for any 
man to exact this satisfaction is no fault : but I tell you 
that duties of charity must be performed, as well as j ustice 
must be done : and though it be the magistrate's duty to 
do you this justice, it is not your duty always to require it, 
but charity may make the contrary to be your duty. There- 
fore I say unto you, overvalue not the concernments of your 
flesh, nor the trifles of this world, but if a man abuse you, 
or wrong you in these trifles, make no great matter of it, and 
be not presently inflamed to revenge, and to right your- 
selves ; but exercise your patience and your charity to him 
that wrongeth you, and by a habituated stedfastness herein, 
be ready to receive another injury with equal patience, yea, 
many such, rather than to fly to an unnecessary vindication 

» MaU. V. 38—42. 


of your right. For what if he give you another stroke ? Or 
what if he also take your cloak ? Or what if he compel you 
to go another mile for him ? Let him do it ; let him take it ; 
how small is your hurt ! What inconsiderable things are 
these ! Your resistance and vindication of your right may 
violate charity and peace, and inflame his passion, and kin- 
dle your own, and hurt both your souls, and draw you into 
other sins, and cost you dearer than your right was worth : 
whereas your patience, and yieldingness, and submission, 
and readiness to serve another, and to let go your own for 
peace and charity, may shame him, or melt him, and pre- 
vent contention, and keep your own and the public peace, 
and may shew the excellency of your holy religion, and win 
men's souls to the love of it, that they may be saved. 
Therefore instead of exacting or vindicating your utmost 
right, set light by your corporal sufferings and wrongs, and 
study and labour with all your power, to excel in charity, 
and to do good to all, and to stoop to any service to another, 
and humble yourselves, and exercise patience, and give and 
lend according to your abilities j and pretend not justice 
against the great duties of charity and patience." So that 
here is forbidden both violent and legal revenge for our cor- 
poral abuses, when the law of charity or patience is against 
it: but this disobligeth not magistrates to do justice, or 
men to seek it, in any of the cases mentioned in the seven 
first propositions. 

Quest. III. * Ami bound to forgive another, if he ask me 
not forgiveness ? The reason of the question is, because 
Christ saith, " If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke 
him : and if he repent, forgive him ; and if he trespass against 
thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn 
again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him ^." 

Answ. In the resolving of this, while some have barely 
affirmed, and others denied, for want of distinguishing, they 
have said worse than nothing. It is necessary that we dis- 

1. Between the forgiving of an enemy, and of a stranger, 
and of a neighbour, and of a brother, as such. 

2. Between the several penalties to be remitted (as well 

>> Luke XTU. S, 4. 


as revenges to be forborne). And so briefly the case must 
be thus resolved. 

Pr(yp, I. An enemy, a stranger and a neighbour, as such, 
must be forgiven (in the cases before asserted) though they 
ask not forgiveness, nor say, I repent : for, 

1. Many other Scriptures absolutely require it. 

2. And forgiving them as such, is but the continuing 
them in our common charity, as men or neighbours ; that is, 
our not endeavouring to ruin them, or do them any hurt, 
and our hearty desiring and endeavouring their good, ac- 
cording to their capacities and ours ; and thus far we must 
forgive them. 

Prop, II. A brother must be also thus far forgiven, 
though he say not, I repent ; that is, we must love him as a 
man, and wish and endeavour his good to our power. 

Prop. III. A brother as a brother, is not to be so forgiv- 
en, as to be restored to our estimation, and affection, and 
usage of him as a brother, either in spiritual account, or in- 
timate special love and familiarity, as long as he is impeni- 
tent in his gross offences ; and that is, till he turn again 
and say, I repent. A natural brother is still to be loved as 
a natural brother. For that kind of love dependeth not on 
his honesty or repentance. But, 

1. A brother in a religious sense. 

2. Or a bosom, familiar friend, are both unfit for to be 
received in these capacities, till they are penitent for gross 
offences ; therefore the church is not to pardon the impeni- 
tent, in point of communion, nor particular Christians to par- 
don them in their esteem and carriage ; nor am I bound to 
take an unfit person to be my bosom friend to know my se- 
crets ; therefore if either of these offend, I must not forgive 
them, that is, by forgiveness continue them in the respect 
and usage of this brotherhood, till they repent ; and this 
(first especially) is the brother mentioned in the text. 

Quest. IV. 'Is it lawful to sue a brother at law ? The 
reason of the question is, from the words of the apostle 
Paul, " There is utterly a fault among you, because ye go 
to law one with another : why do you not rather take wrong ? 
Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded'^?" 

Answ, 1. Distinguish betwixt going to law before hea- 

<= 1 Cor. vi. 7. 


thens, or other enemies to the Christian religion, and before 
Christian magistrates. 

2. Between going to law in malice for revenge, and go- 
ing merely to seek my right, or to seek the suppression and 
reformation of sin. 

3. Between going to law when you are bound to forgive, 
and when you are not. 

4. And between going to law in haste and needlessly, 
and going to law as the last remedy, in case of necessity, 
when other means fail. 

5. And between going to law when the hurt is like to be 
greater than the benefit, and going to law when it is likely 
to do good. There is a great deal of difference between 
these cases. 

Prop. I. Christians must rather suffer wrong, than go to 
law before the enemies of religion, when it is like to harden 
them, and to bring Christianity into contempt. 

Prop. II It is not lawful to make law and justice the 
means of private unlawful revenge ; nor to vent our malice 
nor to oppress the innocent. 

Prop. III. Whenever I am bound to forgive the trespass, 
wrong or debt, then it is unlawful to seek my own at law. 
For that is not forgiving. 

Prop. IV. There are many other remedies which must 
first be tried (ordinarily) before we go to law ; as, 

1. To rebuke our neighbour for his wrong, and privately 
to desire necessary reparations. 

2. To take two or three to admonish him; or to refer 
the matter to arbitrators (or in some cases to a lot). And 
if any make law their first remedy needlessly, while the 
other means should first be used, it is a sin. 

Prop. V. It is not lawful to go to lawsuits, when pru- 
dence may discern that the hurt which may come by it, will 
be greater than the benefit ; (either by hardening the per- 
son, or disturbing ourselves, or scandalizing others against 
religion, or drawing any to ways of unpeaceableness or re- 
venge, &c.) The foreseen consequences may overrule the 

But on the other side. Prop. i. It is lawful to make use 
of Christian judicatories, so it be done in a lawful manner : 
yea, and in some cases, of the judicatories of infidels. 


Prop. II. The suppressing of sin, and the defending the 
innocent, and righting of the wronged, being the duty of 
governors, it is lawful to seek these benefits at their hands. 

Prop. III. Incases where I am not obliged to forgive (as 
I have shewed before some such there be), I may justly 
make use of governoi's as the ordinance of God. 

Prop. IV. The order and season is when I have tried 
other means in vain. When persuasion or arbitration will 
do no good, or cannot be used with hope of success. 

Prop. v. And the great condition to prove it lawful is, 
when it is not like to do more hurt than good, either direct- 
ly of itself, or by men's abuse ; when religion, or the soul 
of any man, or any one's body, or estate or name, is not 
like to lose more than my gain, or any other benefits will 
compensate ; when all these jsoncur, it is lawful to go to 

Quest. V. * Is it lawful to defend any person, life or es- 
tate against a thief, or murderer, or unjust invader, by force 
of arms ? ' 

Answ. You must distinguish, 1. Between such defence 
as the law of the land alloweth, and such as it forbiddeth. 

2. Between necessary and unnecessary actions of de- 

Prop. I. There is no doubt but it is both lawful and a 
duty to defend ourselves by such convenient means as are 
likely to attain their end, and are not contrary to any law, of 
God or man. We must defend our neighbour if he be as- 
saulted or oppressed, and we must love our neighbour as 

Prop. II. This self-defence by force, is then lawful, when 
it is necessary, and other more gentle means have been in- 
effectual, or have no place, (supposing still that the means 
be such as the law of God or man forbiddeth not). 

Prop. III. And it is necessary to the lawfulness of it, that 
the means be such as in its nature is like to be successful, 
or like to do more good than harm. 

But on the other side. Prop. i. We may not defend our- 
selves by any such force as either the laws of God or our 
rulers, thereto authorized by him shall forbid. For, 

1 . The laws are made by such as have more power over 
our lives, than we have over them ourselves. 


2. And they are made for the good of the cfommon- 
wealth ; which is to be preferred before the good or life of 
any single person. And whatever selfish infidels say, both 
nature and grace do teach us to lay down our lives, for the 
welfare of the church or state, and to prefer a multitude be- 
fore ourselves. Therefore it is better to be robbed, oppres- 
sed, or killed, than to break the peace of the common- 

Frop. II. Therefore a private man may not raise an ar- 
my to defend his life against his prince, or lawful governor. 
Perhaps he might hold his hands if personally he went about 
to murder him, without the violation of the public peace ; 
but he cannot raise a war without it. 

Prop, III. We may not do that by blood or violence, 
which might be done by persuasion, or by any gentle, law- 
ful means.: violence must be used, even in defence, but in 
case of true necessity. 

Prop. IV. When self-defence is like to have consequents 
so ill, as the saving of ourselves cannot countervail, it is 
then unlawful 'finis gratia,' and not to be attempted. 

Prop. V. Therefore if self-defence be unlikely ta prevail, 
ou^ strength being inconsiderable, and when the enemy is 
but like to be the more exasperated by it, and our sufferings 
like to be the greater ; nature and reason teach us to sub- 
mit, and use the more effectual (lawful) means. 

Quest. VI. 'Is it lawful to take away another's life, in the 
defending of my purse or estate ? ' 

Answ. 1. You must again distinguish between such de- 
fence, as the law of the land alloweth, and such as it forbid- 

2. Between what is necessary, and what is unnecessary* 

3. Between a life less worth than the prize which, he 
contendeth for, and a life more worth than it, or than min^ 

4. Between the simple defence of my purse, and the de- 
fence of it, and my life together. 

5. Between what I do with purpose and desire, and 
what I do unwillingly through the assailant's temerity or 

6. And between what I do in mere defence, and what I 


do to bring a thief or robber unto legal punishment. And 
so I answer. 

Prop. I. You may not defend your purse, or your es- 
tate by such actions, as the law of the land forbiddeth : (un- 
less it go against the law of God ;) because it is to be sup- 
posed, that it is better a man's estate or purse be lost, than 
law and public order violated. 

Prop. II. You may not (against an ordinary thief or 
robber) defend your purse with the probable hazard of his 
life, if a few good words, or other safe and gentle means, 
which you have opportunity to use, be like to serve turn 
without such violence. 

Prop. III. If it might be supposed that a prince, or other 
person of great use and service to the commonwealth, 
should in a frolic, or otherwise, assault your person for your 
estate or purse, it is not lawful to take away his life by a de- 
fensive violence, if you know it to be he ; because (though 
in some countries the law might allow it you, yet) ' finis gra- 
tia' it is unlawful ; because his life is more necessary to the 
common good, than yours. 

Prop. IV. If a pilfering thief would steal your purse, 
without any violence which hazardeth your life, (ordinarily) 
you may not take away his life in the defending of it. Be- 
cause it is the work of the magistrate to punish him by pub- 
lic justice, and your defence requireth it not. 

Prop. V, All this is chiefly meant, of the voluntary, de- 
signed taking away of his life ; and not of any lawful action, 
which doth it accidentally against your will. 

On the other side, Prop. i. If the law of the land allow 
you to take away a man's life in the defending of your purse, 
it removeth the scruple, if the weight of the matter also do 
allow it: because it supposeth, that the law taketh the of- 
fender to be worthy of death, and maketh you in that case 
the executioner of it. And if indeed, the crime be such as 
deserveth death, you may be the executioner when the law 
alloweth it. 

Prop, II. And this is more clear, when the robber for 
your money doth assault your life, or is like for aught you 
see to do it. 

Prop, III. And when gentler means will not serve the 


turn, but violence is the only remedy which is left you, 
which is like to avail for your defence. 

Prop, IV. And when the person is a vile offender, whD is 
rather a plague and burden to the commonwealth, than any 
necessary member of it. 

Prop. V. If you desire not, and design not his death, 
but he rush upon it himseif in his fury, while you lawfully 
defend your own, the case is yet less questionable. 

Prop.yi. If a thief have taken your purse, though you 
may not take away his life after to recover it (because it is 
of less value) nor yet in revenge (because that belongeth 
not to private men) ; yet if the law require or allow you to 
pursue him to bring him to a judicial trial, if you kill him 
while he resisteth, it is not your sin ; because you are but 
suppressing sin in your place, according to the allowance 
of the law. 

Quest. VII. * May I kill or wound another in the defence 
or vindication of my honour, or good name ? ' 

Answ. No : not by private assault or violence : but if 
the crime be so great, that the law of the land doth punish 
it with death, if that law be just, you may in some cases 
seek to bring the offender to public justice : but that is 
rare, and otherwise you may not do it. For, 

1. It belongeth only to the magistrate, and not to you, 
to be the avenger. 

2. And killing a man can be no meet defence against 
calumny or slander ; for if you will kill a man for preven- 
tion, you kill the innocent ; if you kill him afterwards, it is 
no defence, but an unprofitable revenge, which vindicateth 
not your honour, but dishonoureth you more. Your pa- 
tience is your honour, and your bloody revenge doth shew 
you to be so like the devil, the destroyer, that it is your 
greatest shame. 

3. It is odious pride which maketh men over-value their 
reputation among men, and think that a man's life is a just 
compensation to them for their dishonour ! Such bloody 
sacrifices are fit to appease only the blood-thirsty spirit 1 
But what i& it that pride will not do and justify ? 



Special Directions to Escape the Guilt of Persecuting. Deter^ 
mining also the Case about Liberty in matters of Religion. 

Though this be a subject which the guilty cannot endure 
to hear of, yet the misery of persecutors, the blood and 
groans, and ruins of the church, and the lamentable divi- 
sions of professed Christians, do all command me not to 
pass it by in silence ; but to tell them the truth, "Whether 
they will hear, or whether they will forbear ; " though they 
were such as Ezek. iii. 7 — 9. 11. 

Direct. 1. If you would escape this dreadful guilt, * Un- 
derstand well what persecution is.' Else you may either 
run into it ignorantly, or oppose a duty as if it were perse- 

The verb ' persequor' is often taken in a good sense, for 
no more than * continuato motu vel ad extremum sequor ; ' 
and sometimes for the blameless prosecution of a delin- 
quent : but we take it here as the English word * persecute* 
is most commonly taken, for * inimico afFectu insequor ; ' a 
malicious or injurious hurting or persecuting another, and 
that for the sake of religion or righteousness. For it is not 
common injuries which we here intend to speak of. Three 
things then go to make up persecution. 1. That it be the 
hurting of another, in his body, liberty, relations, estate or 
reputation. 2. That it be done injuriously, to one who de- 
serveth it not, in the particular which is the cause. 3. That 
it be for the cause of religion, or of righteousness, that is, 
for the truth of God which we hold or utter ; or for the 
worship of God which we perform ; or for obedience to the 
will of God revealed in his laws. This is the cause on the 
sufferer's part, whatever is intended by the persecutor. 

There are divers sorts of persecutions. As to the prin- 
ciples of the persecutors. 1. There is a persecution which 
is openly professed to be for the cause of religion ; as hea- 
thens and Mahometans persecute Christians as Christians. 
And there is an hypocritical persecution when the pretend- 
ed cause is some odious crime, but the real cause is men's 
religion, or obedience to God. This is the common perse- 


cution, which nominal Christians exercise on serious Chris- 
tians, or on one another. They will not say that they per- 
secute them, because they are godly or serious Christians, 
but that is the true cause : for if they will but set them 
above God, and obey them against God, they will abate 
their persecution. Many of the heathens thus persecuted 
the Christians too, under the name of ungodly, and evil- 
doers ; but the true cause was, because they obeyed not 
their commands in the worshipping of their idol gods. So 
do the Papists persecute and murder men, not as professors 
of the truth, (which is the true cause), but under the name of 
heretics and schismatics, or rebels against the pope, or 
whatever their malice pleaseth to accuse them of. And pro- 
fane, nominal Christians seldom persecute the serious and 
sincere directly by that name, but under some nickname 
which they set upon them, or under the name of hypocrites, 
or self-conceited, or factious persons, or such like. And if 
they live in a place, and age, where there are many civil 
wars or differences, they are sure to fetch some odious 
name or accusation thence : which side soever they are on ; 
or if they meddle not on any side, they are sure by every 
party whom they please not, to hear religion loaded with 
such reproaches as the times will allow them to vent against 
it. Even the Papists who take this course with Protes- 
tants, it seems by Acosta are so used themselves, not by the 
heathens ; but by one another, yea, by the multitude, yea, 
by their priests. For so saith he, speaking of the parish 
priests among the Indians, having reproved their dicing, 
carding, hunting, idleness. Lib. iv. cap. 15. pp. 404,405. 
*' Itaque is cui pastoralis Indorum cura committitur, non so- 
lum contra diaboli machinas et naturae incentiva pugnare 
debet ; sed jam etiam confirmatae hominum consuetudini et 
tempore et turba praepotenti sese objicere ; et ad excipienda 
invidorum ac malevolorum tela forte pectus opponere ; qui 
siquid a profano suo instituto abhorrentem viderint ; prodi- 
torem, hypocritam, hostem clamant : " that is, " He there- 
fore to whom the pastoral care of the Indians is committed, 
must not only fight against the engines of the devil, and the 
incentives of nature ; but also now must object or set him- 
self against the confirmed custom of men, which is grown 
^ery powerful both by time, and by the multitude ; and 


must valiantly oppose his breast, to receive the darts of the 
envious and malevolent, who if they see anything contrary 
to their profane fashion (or breeding) cry out, A traitor, an 
hypocrite, an enemy." It seems then that this is a common 

2. Persecution is either done in ignorance or know- 
ledge. The commonest persecution is that which is done 
in ignorance and error ; when men think a good cause to be 
bad, or a bad cause to be good, and so persecute truth, 
while they take it to be falsehood, or good while they take 
it to be evil, or obtrude by violence their errors for truths, 
and their evils as good and necessary things. Thus Peter 
testifieth of the Jews, who killed the Prince of life; "I 
know that through ignorance you did it, as did also your 
rulers ^." And Paul ; " Which none of the princes of this 
world knew : for had they known it, they would not have 
crucified the Lord of Glory \" And Christ himself saith, 
" These things will they do unto you, because they have not 
known the Father, nor me ^" And Paul saith of himself, 
" I thought verily with myself, that I ought to do many 
things contrary to Jesus of Nazareth, which thing I also 
did ^," &c. And, " that it was ignorantly in unbelief, that 
he was a blasphemer, a persecutor and injurious®." And 
on the other side, some persecute truth and goodness, while 
they know it to be so. Not because it is truth or goodness, 
but because it is against their carnal, worldly interest and 
inclination. As the conscience of a worldling, a drunkard, 
a whoremonger, beareth witness against his sin while he go- 
eth on in it ; so ofttimes doth the conscience of the perse- 
cutor ; and he hath secret convictions, that those whom he 
persecuteth, are better and happier than himself. 

3. As to the cause, sometimes persecution is for Chris- 
tianity and godliness in the gross, or for some great essen- 
tial point ; and sometimes it is only for some particular 
truth or duty, and that perhaps of a lower nature ; so small 
or so dark, that it is become a great controversy, whether 
it be truth or error, duty or sin. In some respects it is 
more comfortable to the persecuted, and more heinous in the 
persecutor, that the suffering be for the greatest things. 

* Acts Hi, 13, 14. 17. •'iCor.ii. 8. ^ John xvi. 3. 

^ Acts xxvi. 9. • 1 Tim. i. 13. 


For this leaveth no doubt in the mind, whether our cause 
be good or not; and this sheweth that the persecutor's 
mind is most alien to God and truth : but in some other res- 
pect, it is an aggravation of the sin of the persecutor, and of 
the comfort of the persecuted, when it is for smaller truths 
and duties. For it is a sign of great uncharitableness and 
cruelty, when men can find in their hearts to persecute 
others for little things : and it is a sign of a heart that is 
true to God, and very sincere, when we will rather suffer 
anything from man, than renounce the smallest truth of 
God, or commit the smallest sin against him, or omit the 
smallest duty, when it is a duty. 

4. Sometimes persecution is directly for religion ; that 
is, for matters of professed faith or worship : and sometimes 
it is for a civil or a common cause ; yet still it is for our 
obedience to God (or else it is not the persecution which we 
speak of) though the matter of it be some common or civil 
thing: as if I were persecuted merely for giving to the 
poor,or helping the sick, or for being loyal to my prince, 
and to the laws, or for doing my duty to my parents, or be- 
cause I will not bear false witness, or tell a lie, or subscribe 
a falsehood, or any such like ; this is truly persecution, 
whatever the matter of it be, as long it is truly for obeying 
God, that we undergo the suffering. 

I omit many other less considerable distributions : and 
also those afflictions which are but improperly called perse- 
cutions ; (as when a man is punished for a fault in a greater 
measure than it deserveth. This is injustice but not perse- 
cution, (unless it be his religion and obedience to God, 
which is the secret cause of it.) 

Direct, ii. 'Understand well the greatness of the sin of 
persecution, that you may be kept in a due fear of being 
tempted to it.' Here therefore I shall show you how great 
a sin it is. 

1. Persecution is a fighting against God : so it is called 
Acts V. 39. And to fight against God, is odious malignity, 
and desperate folly. 1. It is venomous malignity, for a 
creature to fight against his Creator, and a sinner against 
his Redeemer who would save him ; and for so blind a worm 
to rise up against the wisdom of the all-knowing God ! And 
for so vile a sinner to oppose the Fountain of Love and 


Goodness ? 2. And what folly can be greater, than for a 
mole to reproach the sun for darkness? Or a lump of earth 
to take up arms against the Almighty, terrible God ? Art 
thou able to make good thy cause against him ? Or to stand 
before him when he is offended, and chargeth thee with sin? 
Hear a Pharisee, " And now I say unto you, refrain from 
these men, and let them alone ; for if this counsel, or this 
work be of men, it will come to nought : but if it be of God, 
ye cannot overthrow it ; lest haply ye be found to fight 
against GodV Or hear Christ himself, "I am Jesus, 
whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against 
the pricks s. With bare feet or hands to beat the thorns ! 
How unpaeet a match is man for God ! He needeth not so 
much as a word to take away thy soul, and crush thee to 
the lowest hell. His will alone can lay thee under thy de- 
served pains. Canst thou conquer the Almighty God ? 
Wilt thou assault the power which was never overcome, or 
storm Jehovah's throne or kingdom? First try to take 
down the sun, and moon, and stars from the firmament, and 
to stop the course of the rivers, or of the sea; and to rebuke 
the winds, and turn night into day, and winter into summer, 
and decrepid age into vigorous youth. Attempt not greater 
matters till thou hast performed these : it is a greater matter 
than any of these, to conquer God, whose cause thou fight- 
est against. Hear him again ; " Woe unto him that striveth 
with his Maker : let the potsherd strive with the potsherds 
of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it. 
What makest thou ? " Or thy work, '* He hath no hands ^ ! " 
And Isaiah xlv. 2. "Who would set the briars and thorns 
against me in battle ? I would go through them, I would 
burn them together." Woe to the man that is not content 
to fight with men, but chooseth the most dreadful God to 
be his enemy ! It had been better for thee, that all the 
world had been against thee ! 

2. Persecution opposeth the gracious design of our Re- 
deemer, and hindereth his Gospel, and work of mercy to the 
world, and endeavoureth the ruin of his kingdom upon 
earth. Christ came to save men, and persecutors raise up 
their power against him, as if they envied salvation to the 

f Acts vi. 38, 39. 8 Acts ix. 4,5. »' Isaiah xlr. 9. 

' Isaiah xxvii. 4. 


world. And if God have made the work of man's redemp- 
tion, the most wonderful of his works, which ever he re- 
vealed to the sons of men, you may easily conceive what 
thanks he will give them, that resist him in so high and 
glorious a design. If you could pull the stars out of the fir- 
mament, or hinder the motions of the heavens, or deny the 
rain to the thirsty earth, you might look for as good a re- 
ward for this, as for opposing the merciful Redeemer of the 
world, in the blessed work of man's salvation. 

3. Persecution is a resisting or fighting against the Holy 
Ghost. Saith Stephen to the Jews, " Ye stiff-necked and 
uncircumcised in heart and ears ; ye do always resist the 
Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye ''." If you si- 
lence the ministers who are the means by which the Spirit 
worketh, in the illuminating and sanctifying of souls'. Or 
if you afflict men for those holy duties, which the Spirit of 
God hath taught them to perform, or would force men from 
that which the Spirit of Christ is sent to draw them to; this 
is to raise war against that Spirit, into whose name you were 
yourselves baptized. 

4. Persecution endeavoureth the damnation of men's 
souls, either by depriving them of the preaching of the Gos- 
pel which should save them, or by forcing them upon that 
sin for which God will condemn them. Yea, the banishing 
or silencing of one faithful preacher, may conduce to the 
damnation of many hundreds ! If it be said, that others 
who are set up in their stead, may save men's souls as well 
as they, I answer, 1, God seldom, if ever, did qualify su- 
pernumeraries for the work of the ministry ! Many a nation 
hath had too few, but I never read of any nation that had 
too many, who were well qualified for that great and diffi- 
cult work, no, not from the days of Christ till now ! So 
that if they are all fit men, there are none of them to be spa- 
red ; but all are too few, if they conjoin their greatest skill 
and diligence. Christ biddeth us pray the Lord of the har- 
vest, to send forth more labourers into his harvest ; but ne- 
ver biddeth us pray to send out fewer, or to call any in that 
were but tolerably fitted for the work. 2. Many persecutors 
banish all preachers of the Gospel, and set up no other to 
do the service which they were called to. And it is rarely 

^ Acts vii. 51. • Acts xxvi. 17, 18. 


seen, that any who can find in their hearts to cast out any 
faithful ministers of Christ, have hearts to set up better, or 
any that are competent in their stead ; but it is ordinarily 
seen, that when the judgment is so far depraved, as to ap- 
prove of the casting out of worthy men ; it is also so far de- 
praved as to think an ignorant, unskilful, heartless or scan- 
dalous sort of ministers, to be as fit to save men's souls as 
they. And how many poor congregations in the eastern and 
western churches (nay, how many thousands) have ignorant, 
ungodly, sensual pastors, who are such unsavoury salt, as 
to be unfit for the land, or for the dunghill ? Whilst men 
are extinguishing the clearest lights, or thrusting them into 
obscurity "". And there may be something of suitableness 
between a pastor and the flock, which may give him advan- 
tage to be more profitable to their souls, than another man 
of equal parts. And, though God can work by the weakest 
means, yet ordinarily we see that his work upon men's souls 
is so far moral, as that he usually prospereth men, accord- 
ing to the fitness of their labours to the work ! And some 
men have far more success than others. He that should 
expel a dozen or twenty of the ablest physicians out of 
London, and say. There are enough left in their steads, who 
may save men's lives, as well as they ; might, notwithstand- 
ing that assertion, be found guilty of the blood of no small 
numbers. And as men have sometimes an aversion to one 
sort of food, (as good as any to another man,) and as this 
distemper is not laudable ; and yet he that would force 
them to eat nothing else, but that which they so abhor, 
were more like to kill them, than to cure them ; so is it 
with the souls of many. And there are few who have any 
spiritual discerning and relish, but have some special sense 
of what is helpful or hurtful to their souls, in sermons, 
books and conference, which a stander by is not so fit to 
judge of as themselves. So that it is clear, that persecu- 
tion driveth men towards their damnation ! And, O how 
sad a case it is, to have the damnation of one soul to answer 
for ! (Which is worse than the murdering of many bo- 
dies.) Much more to be guilty of the perdition of a multi- 
tude 1 

5. Persecution is injustice, and oppression of the inno- 

n» Matt. V. 13—15. Luke xiv. 35. 


cent! And what a multitude of terrible threatenings 
against this sin, are found throughout the Holy Scriptures ? 
Doth a man deserve to be cruelly used, for being faithful to 
his God, and for preferring him before man ? And for be- 
ing afraid to sin against him ? Or for doing that which 
God commandeth him, and that upon pain of greater suffer- 
ings than man can inflict upon him ? Is it not his Saviour 
that hath said, " Fear not them that can kill the body, and 
after that have no more that they can do ; but fear him who 
after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, I say 
unto you fear him." Though Christianity was once called, 
*'Asect which every where was spoken against"." And 
Paul was accused as a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedi- 
tion among the people *". And Christ was crucified as a 
usurper of the crown ; yet innocency shall be innocency 
still in spite of malice, and lying accusations ; because God 
will be the final Judge, and will bring all secret things to 
light, and will justify those whom injustice hath condemn- 
ed, and will not call them as slandering tongues have called 
them. Yea, the consciences of the persecutors are often 
forced to say, as they did of Daniel, '* We shall not find any 
occasion againstthis Daniel, except we find itagainsthim con- 
cerning the law of his God p." And therefore the net which 
they were fain to lay for him, was a law against his religion, 
or prayers to God ; for a law against treason, sedition, 
swearing, drunkenness, fornication, &c. would have done 
them no service I And yet they would fain have aspersed 
him there 'I. "Woe to him that buildeth his house by un- 
righteousness V' &c. " Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou 
wast not spoiled \" " Woe to them that call evil good, and 
good evil *." " In thy skirts is found the blood of the souls 
of the poor innocents "." " Hands that shed innocent blood, 
the Lord doth hate ^," &c. 

6. Persecution maketh men most like unto devils, and 
maketh them his most notable servants in the world y. Ma- 

n Acts xxviii. 22. ° Acts xxiv. 5. p Dan. vi. 5. 

1 Dan. vi.4. ' Jer. xxii. 13. • Isaiah xxxiii. 1. 

t Isaiah v. 20. « Jer. ii. 34. "^ Prov. vi. 16, 17. 

y Daemunes ex hominibus fieri quidam opinati sunt, perpetua criminuin licentia, 
&c. Quod ut forte tolerabiliter dictum sit, maiarum vohuitatura similitude efficit, 
qua homo raalus atque in malis obstinatus pene daemonem aequat. Petrarch, de Injus- 
to Domiq. 


ny wicked men may neglect that duty which they are con- 
vinced they should do. But to hate it, and malice men that 
do it, and seek their ruin ; this, if any thing, is work more 
beseeming a devil, than a man. These are the commanders 
in the armies of the devil, against the cause and kingdom of 
the Lord ^ ! And accordingly shall they speed. 

7. Persecution is an inhuman, disingenuous sin, and 
sheweth an extinction of the light of nature. A good-na- 
tured man, if he had no grace at all, would abhor to be cru- 
el, and to oppress his brethren; and that merely, because 
they are true to their consciences, and obey their God, while 
they do no hurt to any others. If they had deserved execu- 
tion, an ingenuous nature would not be forward to be their 
executioner ; much more when they deserve encouragement 
and imitation : it is no honour to be numbered with blood- 
thirsty men. 

8. It is a sin that hath so little of commodity, honour or 
pleasure to invite men to it, that maketh it utterly without 
excuse, and sheweth, that the serpentine nature is the 
cause *. What get men by shedding the blood of innocents, 
or silencing the faithful preachers of the Gospel? What 
sweetness could they find in cruelty, if a malicious nature 
made it not sweet? 

9. It is a sin which men have as terrible warnings 
against from God, as any sin in the world, that t can remem- 
ber. 1. In God's threatenings. 2. In sad examples, and 
judgments in this life, even on posterity. 3. And in the 
infamy that foUoweth the names of persecutors, when they 
are dead. 

1. How terrible are those words of Christ, ** But whoso 
shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it 
were better for him that a milstone were hanged about his 
neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea^" 
How terrible is that character which Paul giveth of the 
Jews ; " Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own 
prophets, and have persecuted us : and they please not God, 
and are contrary to all men ; forbidding us to speak to 
the Gentiles that they might be saved to fill up their sins al- 
ways ; for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost *"." 

* John viii. 452. 44. * Gen. iii. 15. *» Matt, xviii. 6. 

« 1 Thess. ii. lb, 16. 


Such terrors against persecutors are so common through the 
Scriptures, that it would be tedious to recite them. 

2. And for examples, the captivity first, and afterwards 
the casting off of the Jews, may serve instead of many. 
** But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised 
his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the 
Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy ^." 
And of the casting off, see Matt, xxiii. 37, 38. " O Jerusa- 
lem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest 
them that are sent unto thee, how oft would I have gather- 
ed thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chicken to- 
gether under her wings, and ye would not ; behold your 

house is left unto you desolate And Verse 34—36. 

" Behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and 
scribes ; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and 
some of them ye shall scourge in the synagogues, and per- 
secute from city to city ; that upon you may come all the 
righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of 
righteous Abel, to the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, 
whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I 
say unto you, all these things shall come on this genera- 
tion." To give you the particular examples of God's judg- 
ments against persecutors, and their posterity after them, 
would be a voluminous work : you may find them in the 
Hoi Scriptures, and the Church's Marty rologies. 

3. And by a marvellous providence, God doth so over- 
rule the tongue of fame, and the pens of historians, and the 
thoughts of men, that commonly the names of persecutors 
stink when they are dead ; yea, though they were never so 
much honoured and flattered when they were alive I What 
odious names are the names of Pharaoh, Ahab, Pilate, 
Herod, Nero, Domitian, Dioclesian ! &c. What a name 
hath the French massacre left on Charles the ninth ! And 
the English persecution on Queen Mary ! And so of others 
throughout the world. Yea, what a blot leaveth it on Asa, 
Amaziah, or any that do but hurt a prophet of the Lord ! 
The eleventh chapter of the Hebrews, and all the Martyr- 
ologies that are written to preserve the name of the witnes- 
ses of Christ, are all the records of the impiety, and the 
perpetual shame of those, by whom they suffered. Even 

«» 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. 
vol.. VI. N 


learning, and wisdom, and common virtue, have got that es- 
timation in the nature of man, that he that persecuteth but a 
Seneca, a Cicero, a Demosthenes, or a Socrates, hath irre- 
coverably wounded his reputation to posterity, and left his 
name to the hatred of all succeeding ages. "The memory 
of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall 

4. The persecution of godliness as such in ministers 
or private Christians, is one of the most visible undoubted 
marks of one that is yet unsanctified, and in a state of sin 
and condemnation ; for it sheweth most clearly the predo- 
minancy of the serpentine nature in the persecutor. Though 
Asa in a peevish fit may imprison the prophet, and those 
Christians that are engaged in a sect or a party, may in a 
sinful zeal be injurious to those of the contrary party ; and 
yet there may remain some roots of uprightness within ; yet 
he that shall set himself to hinder the Gospel, and the seri- 
ous practice of godliness in the world, and to that end, hin- 
der or persecute the preachers, and professors, and practi- 
sers of it, hath the plainest mark of a child of the devil, and 
the most visible brand of the wrath of God upon his soul, of 
any sort of men on earth. If there might be any hope of 
grace in him, that at present doth but neglect or disobey 
the Gospel, and doth not himself live a godly life (as indeed 
there is not), yet there can be no possibility that he should 
have grace at that present, who hateth and opposeth it ; and 
that he should be justified by the Gospel who persecuteth 
it, and that he should be a godly man, who setteth himself 
against the godly, and seeketh to destroy them. 

10. And it is a far more heinous sin in a professed Chris- 
tian, than in an infidel or heathen. For these do according 
to the darkness of their education, and the interest of their 
party, and the principles of their own profession. But for 
a professed Christian to persecute Christianity, and one 
that professeth to believe the Gospel, to persecute the prea- 
chers and serious practisers of the doctrine of the Gospel ; 
this is so near that sin which is commonly said to be the un- 
pardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, that it is not easy 
to perceive a difference ; and if I did consent to that des- 
cription of the unpardonable sin, I should have little hope 

• Prov. X. 7. 



of the conversion of any one of these. But however they 
make up such a mixture of hypocrisy, and impiety, and cru- 
elty, as sheweth them to exceed all ordinary sinners, in ma- 
lignity and misery. They are a self-condemned sort of men ; 
out of their own mouths will God condemn them. They 
profess themselves to believe in God, and yet they perse- 
cute those that serve him ; they dare not speak against the 
preaching and practising of the doctrine of godliness, di- 
rectly, and in plain expressions ; and yet they persecute 
them, and cannot endure them ! They fight against the in- 
terest and law of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
when they have in baptism vowed themselves unto his ser- 
vice. Of all men on earth, these men will have less to say 
for their sin, or against their condemnation. 

11. Lastly, Remember that Christ taketh all that is done 
by persecutors against his servants for his cause, to be done 
as to himself, and will accordingly in judgment charge it on 
them. So speaketh he to Saul, ** Saul, Saul, why persecu- 

test thou me I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest^'* 

And Matt. xxv. 41 — 46. Even to them that did not feed, 
and clothe, and visit, and relieve them, he saith, " Verily, I 
say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least 
of these, ye did it not to me." What then will he say to 
them that impoverished and imprisoned them? Remember, 
that it is Christ reputatively, whom thou dost hate, deride 
and persecute. 

Direct, iii. 'If you would escape the guilt of persecu- 
tion, the cause and interest of Christ in the world must be 
truly understood.' He that knoweth not that holiness ia 
Christ's end, and Scripture is his Word and law, and that 
the preachers of the Gospel are his messengers, and that 
preaching is his appointed means, and that sanctified be- 
lievers are his members, and the whole number of them are 
his mystical body ; and all that profess to be such, are his 
visible body, or kingdom in the world ; and that sin is the 
thing which he came to destroy, and the devil, the world, and 
the flesh, are the enemies which he causeth us to conquer, 
I say, he that knoweth not this, doth not know what Chris- 
tianity or godliness is ; and therefore may easily persecute it 
in his ignorance. If you know not, or believe not, that seri- 

^ Actsix. 5, 6. 


ous godliness in heart and life, and serious preaching and 
discipline to promote it, are Christ's great cause and inte- 
rest in the world, you may fight against him in the dark, 
whilst ignorantly you call yourselves his followers. If the 
devil can but make you think that ignorance is as good as 
knowledge, and pharisaical formality, and hypocritical 
shows, are as good as spiritual worship, and rational ser- 
vice of God ; and that seeming and lip-service is as good as 
seriousness in religion ; and that the strict and serious 
obeying of God, and living as we profess, according to the 
principles of our religion, is but hypocrisy, pride or faction, 
(that is, that all are hypocrites who will not be hypocrites, 
but seriously religious) : I say, if satan can bring you once 
to such erroneous, malignant thoughts as these, no wonder 
if he make you persecutors. O value the great blessing of 
a sound understanding ! for if error blind you (either im- 
pious error, or factious error), there is no wickedness so 
great, but you may promote it, and nothing so good and ho- 
ly, but you may persecute it, and think all the while that 
you are doing well. " They shall put you out of the syna- 
gogues ; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, 
will think that he doth God service s." What prophet so 
great, or saint so holy, that did not suffer by such hands ? 
Yea, Christ himself was persecuted as a sinner, that never 

Direct, iv. ' And (if you would escape the guilt of perse- 
cution) the cause and interest of Christ, must be highest in 
your esteem, and preferred before all worldly, carnal inte- 
rests of your own.' Otherwise the devil will be still per- 
suading you, that your own interest requireth you, to sup- 
press the interest of Christ ; for the truth is, the Gospel of 
Christ is quite against the interest of carnality and concu- 
piscence; it doth condemn ambition, covetousness and 
lust ; it forbiddeth those sins on pain of damnation, which 
the proud, and covetous, and sensual love, and will not 
part with ; and therefore it is no more wonder to have a 
proud man, or a covetous man, or a lustful, voluptuous man 
to be a persecutor, than for a dog to fly in his face who 
takes his bone from him. If you love your pride, and lust, 
and pleasures, better than the Gospel, and a holy life, no 

8f Jolm xvi. 2. 


marvel if you be persecutors ; for these will not well agree 
together : and though sometimes the providence of God may 
so contrive things, that an ambitious hypocrite may think 
that his worldly interest requireth him to seem religious, 
and promote the preaching and practice of godliness ; this 
is but seldom, and usually not long. For he cannot choose 
but quickly find that Christ is no patron of his sin, and that 
holiness is contrary to his worldly lusts. Therefore if you 
cannot value the cause of godliness, above your lusts and 
carnal interests, I cannot tell you how to avoid the guilt 
of persecution, nor the wrath and vengeance of Almighty 

Direct, v. * Yea, though you do prefer Christ's interest 
in the main, you must carefully take heed of stepping into 
any forbidden way, and espousing any interest of your own 
or others, which is contrary to the laws or interest of Christ.' 
Otherwise in the defence or prosecution of your cause, you 
will be carried into a seeming necessity of persecuting be- 
fore you are aware. This hath been the ruin of multitudes 
of the great ones in the world. When Ahab had set him- 
self in a way of sin, the prophet must reprove him ; and 
then he hateth and persecuteth the prophet, because he pro- 
phesied not good of him, but evil'\ When Jeroboam 
thought that his interest required him to set up calves at 
Dan and Bethel, and to make priests for them of the basest 
of the people, the prophet must speak against this sin ; and 
then he stretcheth out his hand against him, and saith, 
" Lay hold on him." If Asa sin, and the prophet tell him 
of it, his rage may proceed to imprison his reprover '. If 
Amaziah sin with the idolaters, the prophet must reprove 
him, and he will silence him or smite him. Ai;id silenced he 
is, and what must follow ? " The king said to him. Art 
thou made of the king's counsel ? Forbear : why shouldst 
thou be smitten? (This seemeth to be gentle dealing.) 
Then the prophet forbore and said, I know that God hath 
determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, 
and hast not hearkened unto my counsel ''." If Pilate do 
but hear, " If thou let this man go, thou art not Casar's 
friend ^" he thinketh it is his interest to crucify Christ : as 

•> 1 Kings xxii. 8. 27. xiii, 2. 4. .* 2 Chron. xvi. 10. 

^ 'Z Cliron. XV. 16, 'John xix. \t. 


Herod thought it his interest to kill him, and therefore to 
kill so many other infants, when he heard of the birth of a 
king of the Jews. Because of an Herodias, and the honour 
of his word, Herod will not hesitate to behead John the bap- 
tist ; and another Herod will kill James with the sword, and 
imprison Peter, because he seeth that it pleaseth the Jews^. 
Instances of this desperate sin are innumerable. There is 
no way so common, by which satan hath engaged the rulers 
of the world against the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and 
against the preachers of his Gospel, and the people that 
obey him, than by persuading them as Haman did Ahasue- 
rus ; " There is a certain people scattered abroad and dis- 
persed among the people in all the provinces of thy king- 
dom, and their laws are diverse from all people, neither 
keep they the king's laws : therefore it is not for the king's 
profit to suffer them, if it please the king, let it be written 
that they may be destroyed ''." When once the devil hath 
got men, by error or sensuality, to espouse an interest that 
Christ is against, he hath half done his work : for then he 
knoweth, that Christ or his servants will never bend to the 
wills of sinners, nor be reconciled to their wicked ways, nor 
take part with them in a sinful cause. And then it is easy 
for satan to persuade such men, that these precise preachers 
and people are their enemies, and are against their interest 
and honour, and that they are a turbulent, seditious sort of 
people, unfit to be governed, (because they will not be false 
to God, nor take part with the devil, nor be friends to sin). 
When once Nebuchadnezzar hath set up his golden image,, 
he thinks he is obliged in honor to persecute them that will 
not bow down, as refractory persons that obey not the king. 
When Jeroboam is once engaged to set up his calves, he 
is presently engaged against those that are against them ; 
and that is against God, and all his servants. Therefore a» 
rulers love their souls, let them take heed what cause and 
interest they espouse. 

Direct, vi. * To love your neighbours as yourselves, and 
do as you would be done by,' is the infallible means to avoid 
the guilt of persecution. ** For charity suffereth long, and 
is kind, it envieth not, it is not easily provoked, it thinketh 

"Malt. ii. 16 — 18. xiv. 6— 9. Mark vi. 19. 21, 22. Acts xu. 2— 4. 
 Esther tii. 8, IK 


no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth ; 
it beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, 
endureth all things °." ** Love worketh no ill to his neigh- 
bour ; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law p." And if it 
fulfil the law, it wrongeth no man. When did you see a 
man persecute himself? imprison, banish, defame, slander, 
revile, or put to death himself, (if he were well in his wits)? 
Never fear persecution from a man that " loveth his neigh- 
bour as himself, and doth as he would be done by," and is 
not selfish and uncharitable. 

Direct, vii. ' Pride also must be subdued, if you would 
not be persecutors.' For a proud man cannot endure to 
have his word disobeyed, though it contradict the Word of 
God : nor can he endure to be reproved by the preachers of 
the Gospel ; but will do as Herod with John the baptist, or 
as Asa, or Amaziah, by the prophets ! Till the soul be hum- 
bled, it will not bear the sharp remedies which our Saviour 
hath prescribed, but will persecute him that would adminis- 
ter them. 

Direct, viii. ' Passion must be subdued, and the mind 
kept calm, if you would avoid the guilt of persecution/ 
Asa was in a rage when he imprisoned the prophet ; (a fit 
work for a raging man). And Nebuchadnezzar was in a 
rage and fury when he commanded the punishment of the 
three witnesses**. " The wrath of man worketh not the will 
of God '.** The nature of wrathfulness tendeth to hurting 
those you are angry with. And wrath is impatient, and un- 
just, and will not hear what men can say, but rashly passeth 
unrighteous sentence. And it blindeth reason, so that it 
cannot see the truth. 

Direct, ix. 'And hearkening to malicious backbiters 
and slanderers, and favouring the enemies of godliness in 
their calumnies, will engage men in persecutions ere they 
are aware.' For when the wicked are in the favor, and at 
the ear of rulers, they have opportunity to vent those false 
reports, which they never want a will to vent I And any 
thing may be said of men behind their backs, with an ap 
pearance of truth, when there is none to contradict it. If 
Haman may be heard, the Jews shall be destroyed, as not. 

• 1 Cor. xiii. 4 — 7. * Rom. xiiL 1(K 

1 Dan.m.13. ' James i. JO.. 


being for the king's profit, nor obedient to his laws. If 
Sanballat and Tobiah may be heard, the building of the 
walls of Jerusalem shall signify no better than an intended 
rebellion. They are true words, though to some ungrateful, 
which are spoken by the Holy Ghost, " If a ruler hearken 
to lies, all his servants are wicked %" (for they will soon ac- 
commodate themselves to so vicious a humour). "Take 
away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a 
vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the 
king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness *.*' 
If the devil might be believed, Job was one that served God 
for gain, and might have been made to curse him to his face. 
And if his servants may be believed, there is nothing so vile 
which the best men are not guilty of. 

Direct, x. ' Take heed of engaging yourselves in a sect 
or faction.' For when once you depart from catholic cha- 
rity, there groweth up instead of it, a partial re&pect to the 
interest of that sect to which you join ; and you will think 
that whatsoever doth promote that sect, doth promote Chris- 
tianity ; and whatever is against that sect, is against the 
church or cause of God. A narrow, sectarian, separating 
' mind, will make all the truths of G od give place to the opi- 
nions of his party ; and will measure the prosperity of the 
Gospel in the world, by the prosperity of his party, as if he 
had forgot that there are any more men on the face of the 
earth, or thought God regarded none but them. He will 
not stick to persecute all the rest of the church of Christ, if 
the interest of his sect require it. When once men incorpo- 
rate themselves into a party, it possesseth them with ano- 
ther spirit, even with a strange uncharitableness, injustice, 
cruelty, and partiality ! What hath the Christian world suf- 
fered by one sect's persecuting another, and faction rising 
up in fury to maintain its own interest, as if it had been to 
maintain the being of all religion ! The blood-thirsty Pa- 
pists, whose inquisition, massacres, and manifold murders, 
have filled the earth with the blood of innocents, is a suffi- 
cient testimony of this. And still here among us, they 
seem as thirsty of blood as ever, and tell us to our faces, 
that they would soon make an end of us, if we were in their 
power : as if the two hundred thousand lately murdered in 

. * Prov. xxix. 12. *■ Prov. xxv. 4, 5. 



SO short a time in Ireland, had rather irritated than quenched 
their thirst. And all faction naturally tendeth to persecu- 
tion. Own not therefore any dividing opinions or names ; 
maintain the unity of the body of Christ ; (not of the body 
of the pope !) Let Christian and catholic, be all your titles, 
as to your religion. " Mark those that cause divisions and 
offences, and avoid them "." 

Direct, xi. To this end, * Overvalue not any private or 
singular opinions of your own or others.* For if once spi- 
ritual pride and ignorance of your own weakness, hath made 
you espouse some particular opinion as peculiarly your own ; 
you will dote on the brats of your own brains, and will 
think your conceits to be far more illuminating and neces- 
sary than indeed they are ; as if men's sincerity lay in the 
embracing of them, and their salvation on the receiving of 
them ! And then you will make a party for your opinion, 
and will think all that are against it deserve to be cast out, 
as enemies to reformation, or to the truth of God, or to the 
church. And perhaps twenty years after, experience may 
bring you to your wits, and make you see either the false- 
hood or the smallness of all these points, which you made 
so great a matter of; and then what comfort will you have 
in your persecutions? 

Direct, xii. ' Obey not the solicitations of selfish, pas- 
sionate disputers.' Bishops and divines falling out among 
themselves, and then drawing princes to own their quarrels, 
when they find their arguments will not serve, hath been 
the distraction, division and ruin of the Christian world. 
And he that falleth in with one of the parties, to bear out 
that by the ruin of the other, is lost himself in their conten- 
tions. Would rulers let wrangling bishops and disputers 
alone, and never lend them their swords to end their dif- 
ferences, unless the substance of religion be endangered, 
they would be weary of quarrelling, and would chide them- 
selves friends, and no such tragical consequents would fol- 
low, as do when the sword interposeth to suppress the dis- 
countenanced party, and to end their syllogisms and wrang- 
lings in blood. 

Direct, xiii. ' Take heed lest an uncharitable, hurting 
spirit do prevail, under the name of holy zeal/ As it did 

" Rom. xvi. 17. 


with James and John, when they would have fire from hea- 
ven to have revenged the contempt of their ministry : to 
whom Christ saith, " Ye know not what manner of spirit ye 
are of." The difference between a Christian zeal, and an 
envious, contentious, censorious, hurtful zeal, is excellently 
described by the apostle James, chap. iii. throughout. 
" Where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every 
evil work. The wisdom from above is first pure, then 
peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and 
good works, without partiality and hypocrisy." 

Direct, xiv. * The catholic church, and particular chur- 
ches, and our communion with each, must be distinguished ; 
and a man must not be cast out of our catholic communion, 
because by some tolerable difference he is incapable of com- 
munion with some particular church.' If a man be impeni- 
tent in any heresy or sin, which is contrary to the common 
nature of Christianity or godliness, and so unfit for catho- 
lic communion, he is to be cast out of Christian commu- 
nion : but if some particular church do impose any unne- 
cessary doctrine or practice, and he dare not approve it, or 
join in it, (be it right or wrong ;) yea, or if he withdraw 
himself from one church, through the badness of the minis- 
ter, or through any falling out between them, and join to 
another that hath a minister more suitable to his case ; 
these are not crimes to be punished with ejection from ca- 
tholic communion. He that is not fit for communion with 
some one particular church, may be fit for communion with 
many others, that give him no such occasion of difference 
or distaste. Without catholic principles persecution will 
not be avoided. 

Direct, xv. ' Let church union and communion be laid 
upon none but catholic terms, which are possible and fit 
for all to be agreed in^.' Common reason will tell any im~ 
partial man, that there can be no more effectual engine to 
divide the churches, and raise contentions and persecutions,, 
than to make laws for church communion, requiring such 
conditions as it is certain the members cannot consent to. 
If any man knew that my opinion is against the doctrine of 
transubstantiation, or of the Dominican's predetermination, 
and he would make a law, that no man shall have commu- 

* See my " Treatise ot a True Catholic^ and Catholic Church." 


nion with that church who subscribeth not to these, he un- 
avoidably excludeth me, (unless I be such . a beast, as to 
believe nothing soundly, and therefore to say any thing). 
If ever the churches agree, and Christians be reconciled, it 
must be by leaving out all dividing impositions, and requi- 
ring nothing as necessary to communion, which all may not 
rationally be expected to consent in. Now these catholic 
principles of communion must be such as these. 

1. Such points of faith only as constitute Christianity, 
and which every upright Christian holdeth ; and therefore 
only such as are contained in our baptismal covenant or 
profession, which maketh us Christians ; and not those 
other which only some stronger Christians believe or un- 
derstand ; because the weak are not to be cast out of the 
family of Christ. 

2. Such points as the primitive churches did agree in, 
and not innovations, which they never practised or agreed 
in : for they are our pattern, and were better than we ; and 
no more can be necessary to our concord and communion, 
than was to theirs ^. 

3. Such points as all the church hath sometime or other 
at least ag-reed in : for what reason can we have to think 
that the churches should now agree in that, which they ne- 
ver hitherto agreed in. 

4. Such points as all the true Christians in the world 
are now agreed in : for otherwise we shall exclude some 
true Christians from our Christian communion. 

5. No points of worship, much less of modes and cir-^ 
cumstances, which are not necessary, and more necessary 
to the church's good, than is the communion of those per- 
sons, who by dissenting are like to be separated or cast out, 
and whose omission would not do more hurt, than this se- 
paration and division is like to do. 

6. Especially no such things must be made necessary to 
communion, as the most conscientious are ordinarily fearful 
of and averse to, and may be forborn without any great de- 
triment to godliness. 

Object. * But,' it will be said, ' that catholic communion 
indeed requireth no more than you say ; but particular 
churches may require more of their members, for that may 

y See 'Vincent. Lirinens. 


be necessary or fit for a member of this particular church, 
which is not so to all.' 

Answ. Catholic communion is that which all Christians 
and churches have with one another, and the terms of it are 
such as all Christians may agree in. Catholic communion 
is principally existent and exercised in particular churches, 
(as there is no existent Christianity or faith, which existeth 
not in individual Christians). Therefore if one particular 
church may so narrow the door of its communion, then 
another and another, and every one may do so ; if not by 
the same particular impositions, yet by some other of the 
like nature ; for what power one church hath herein, others 
have ; and then catholic communion will be scarce found 
existent externally in the world : but a mere catholic Chris- 
tian would be denied communion in every particular church 
he cometh to. And how do you hold catholic communion, 
when you will admit no mere catholic Christian as such to 
your communion, but only such as supererogate according 
to your private church terms ? 

2. But grant that every church may impose more upon 
its members, it must be only that which is necessary to those 
common things which all agree in ; and then the necessity 
will be discernible to all sober-minded persons, and will 
prevent divisions ; as it is necessary that he that will com- 
municate with our churches, do join with them in the same 
translation of Scripture, and version of the Psalms, and un- 
der the same pastor, as the rest of the church doth : for here 
the church cannot use variety of pastors, translations, ver- 
sions, &c. to fit the variety of men's humours ; there is an 
evident necessity, that if they will be one society, they must 
agree in the same, in each of these. Therefore when the 
church hath united in one, if any man refuse that one per- 
son or way which the church is necessarily united in, he 
refuseth communion with that church, and the church doth 
not excommunicate him! But if that church agree on 
things hurtful or unnecessary, as necessary to its commu- 
nion, it must bear the blame of the separations itself! 

3. And grant yet that some churches cannot admit such 
scrupulous persons to her communion as dare not join in 
every punctilio, circumstance, or mode ; it doth not follow 
that those persons must therefore b(^excommunioated,or for- 


bidden to worship God among themselves, without that 
which they scruple ; or to join in, or with a congregation 
which imposeth no such things upon them. Persecution 
will unavoidably come in, upon such domineering, narrow 
terms as those. The man is a Christian still, though he 
scruple one of our modes or ceremonies, and is capable of 
catholic communion. And if private and little inconve- 
niences shall be thought a sufficient cause, to forbid all 
such the public worshipping of God, on pretence that in 
one nation, there must not be variety of modes, this is a di- 
viding principle, and not catholic, and plungeth men into 
the guilt of persecution. It was not so in the churches of 
the Roman empire. In the days of Basil, his church, and 
that at Neocaesarea differed ; and ordinarily, several bishops 
used several forms of prayer and worship, in their several 
churches, without offence. And further. 

Direct. XVI. 'Different faults must have different pe- 
nalties : and excommunications or forbidding men all pub- 
lic worship of God, must not be the penalty of every dis- 
sent.' Is there no smaller penalty sufficient, if a doubtful 
subscription or ceremony be scrupled, than to silence mi- 
nisters therefore from preaching the Gospel, or excommu- 
nicating men, and forbidding them to worship God at all 
except they can do this ? This is the highest ecclesiastical 
penalty that can be laid on men for the greatest heresy or 
crime. Doubtless there are lesser punishments that may 
suffice for lesser faults. 

Direct, xvii. * Every friend of Christ and the church, 
must choose such penalties for ministers and private Chris- 
tians, who offend, as are least to the hindrance of the Gos- 
pel, or hurtful to the people's souls.' Therefore silencing 
ministers is not a fit punishment for every fault which they 
commit ! The providence of God (as I said before) hath 
furnished the world with so few that are fit for that high 
and sacred work, that no man can pretend that they are su- 
pernumeraries, or unnecessary, and that others may be sub- 
stituted to the church's profit : for the number is so small, 
that all are much too few ; and so many as are silenced, so 
many churches (either the same or others) must be unsup- 
plied or ill supplied. And God working ordinarily by 
means, we may conclude, that silencing of such preachers. 


doth as plainly tend to men's damnation, as the prohibiting 
of physicians doth to their death, and more. And it is not 
the part of a friend, either of God or men, to endeavour the 
damnation of one soul, much less of multitudes, because a 
minister hath displeased him. If one man must pay for an- 
other man's sins, let it be a pecuniary mulct, or the loss of a 
member, rather than the loss of his soul. It is more merci- 
ful every time a minister offendeth, to cut off a hand, or an 
arm of some of his flock, than to say to him, *' Teach them 
no more the way to salvation, that so they may be damned." 
If a father offend, and his children must needs pay for all 
his faults, it is better beat the children, or maim them, than 
forbid him to feed them, when there is none else to do it, 
and so to famish them. What reason is there that men's 
souls should be untaught, because a minister hath offended? 
I know still, those men that care not for their own souls 
and therefore care as little for others, will say. What if the 
people have but a reader, or a weak, ignorant, lifeless 
preacher ? Doth it follow that therefore the people must 
be damned ? I answer. No : no more than it followeth that 
the city that hath none but women physicians must die of 
their sicknesses, or that they that live only upon grass and 
roots must famish. Nature may do more to overcome a 
disease without a physician in one than in another. Some 
perhaps are converted already, and have the law written in 
their hearts, and are taught of God, and can make shift to 
live without a teacher : but for the rest, whose diseases need 
a skilful, diligent physician, whose ignorance and impeni- 
tence extremely needeth a skilful, diligent, lively teacher, 
he that depriveth them of such, doth take the probable 
course to damn them ! And it is the same course which 
the devil himself would take ; and he partly knoweth what 
tendeth to men's damnation I He that knoweth what a case 
the heathen, infidel, Mahometan world is in for want of 
teachers ; and what a case the Greek church, the Musco- 
vites, the Abassines, Syrians, Armenians, Papists, and most 
of the Christians of the world are in, for want of able, skil- 
ful, godly pastors, will lay his hand on his mouth, and med- 
dle with such reasonings as these no more. 

Object. * But by this device you will have the clergy 
lawlesB, or as the Papists, exempt them from the magistrate's 



punishments, for fear of depriving the people of instruc- 

Answ. No such matter : it is the contrary that I am ad- 
vising ; I would have them punished more severely than 
other men, as their sins are more aggravated than other 
men's. Yea, and I would have them silenced when it is 
meet, and that is in two cases : viz. If they commit such ca- 
pital crimes, as God and man would have punished with 
death, it is fit they die, (and then they are silenced r) for in 
this case it is supposed that their lives, (by their impunity,) 
are like to do more hurt than good. 2. If their heresy, in- 
sufficiency, scandal, or any fault whatever, do make them 
more hurtful than profitable to the church, it is fit that they 
be cast out. If their ministry be not like to do more good, 
than their faults do harm, let them be silenced ! But if it 
be otherwise, then let them be punished in their bodies or 
purses, rather than the people's souls should suffer. The 
laws have variety of penalties for other men ! Will none of 
those suffice for ministers ? 

But alas ! what talk I of their faults ? Search all church 
history, and observe whether in all ages ministers have not 
been silenced rather for their duties, than their faults ; or, 
for not subscribing to some unnecessary opinion or imposi- 
tion of a prevailing party ; or about some wrangling con- 
troversies which church-disturbers set afoot ! There is ma- 
ny a poor minister would work in Bridewell, or be tied to 
shovel the streets all the rest of the week, if he might but 
have liberty to preach the Gospel ! And would not such a 
penalty be sufficient for a dissent in some unnecessary 
point ? As it is not every fault that a magistrate is deposed 
for by the sovereign, but such as make him unfit for the 
place, so is it also with the ministers. 

Direct, xviii. * Malignity and profaneness must not be 
gratified or encouraged.' It must be considered, " How 
the carnal mind is enmity against God ; for it is not sub- 
ject to his law, nor can be:" and that enmity is put between 
the woman's and the serpent's seed " ;" and that the whole 
business of the world, is but the prosecution of a war be- 
tween the armies of Christ and satan ; and that malignity 
inclineth the ungodly world to slander and reproach the 

* Rom. viii. 7, 8. Gen. iii. 15. 


servants of the Lord ; and they are glad of any opportunity 
to make them odious, or to exasperate magistrates against 
them : and that their silencing and fall, is the joy of the un- 
godly. And if there be any civil differences or sidings, the 
ungodly rabble will take that side, be it right or wrong, 
which they think will do most to the downfall of the godly, 
whom they hate. Therefore besides the merits of the par- 
ticular cause, a ruler that regardeth the interest of the Gos- 
pel, and men's salvation, must have some care that the 
course which he taketh against the godly ministers and 
people, when they displease him, be such as doth not 
strengthen the hands of evil doers, nor harden them, nor in- 
crease them, or make them glad. I do not say, that a ruler 
must be against whatever the ungodly part is for ; or that 
he must be for that which the major part of godly men are 
for ; (I know this is a deceitful rule). But yet that which 
pleaseth the malignant rabble, and displeaseth or hurteth 
the generality of godly men, is so seldom pleasing to God, 
that it is much to be suspected. 

Direct, XIX. * The substance of faith, and the practice 
of godliness must be valued above all opinions, and parties, 
and worldly interests ; and godly men accounted, as they 
are, (* caeteris paribus') the best members both of church 
and state.' If rulers once knew the difference between a 
saint and a sensualist, *' a vile person would be contemned 
in their eyes, and they would honour them that fear the 
liOrd." And if they honoured them as God commandeth 
them, they would not persecute them ; and if the promoting 
of practical godliness were their design, there were little 
danger of their oppressing those that must be the instru- 
ments of propagating it, if ever it prosper in the world. 

Direct, xx. To this end, * Remember the near and dear 
relation which every true believer standeth in to God the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.' They are called by God, 
"His peculiar treasure, — his jewels, — his children, — 
members of Christ,— the temples of the Holy Ghost; — God 
dwelleth in them by love, and Christ by faith, and the Spirit 
by his sanctifying gifts V If this were well believed, men 
would more reverence them on God's account, than cause- 

» EKod. xix. 5. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Tit. ii. 14. 2 Cor- vi. 16—18. Mai. iii. 17, 
18. Eph.iii. 17. 1 Cor. iii. 17. 2 Tim. i. 14. 1 John iv. 15, 16. 



lessly to persecute thena. " He that toucheth you, toucheth 
the apple of my eye ^" 

Direct, xxi, * Look not so much on men's infirmities^ 
as to overlook or make light of all that is good in them.' 
But look as much at the good as at the evil ; and then you 
will see reason for lenity, as well as for severity ; and for 
love and tenderness, rather than for hatred and persecution : 
and you will discern that those may be serviceable to the 
church, in whom blinded malice can see nothing worthy of 
honour or respect. 

Direct, xxM. ' Estimate and use all lesser matters, as 
means to spiritual worship and practical holiness.' If there 
be any thing of worth in controversies, and ceremonies, 
and such other matters of inferior rank, it is as they are a 
means to the power of godliness, which is their end. And 
if once they be no otherwise esteemed, they will not be 
made use of against the interest of godliness, to the silenc- 
ing of the preachers, and persecuting the professors of it. 

Direct, xxiii. * Remember that the understanding is 
not free, (save only participative, as it is subject to the 
will).' It acteth of itself' per modum naturae,' and is ne- 
cessitated by its object, (further than as it is under the 
power of the will). A man cannot hold what opinion he 
would himself, nor be against what he would not have to be 
true ; much less can he believe as another man command- 
eth him. My understanding is not at my own command ; 
I cannot be of every man's belief that is uppermost. Evi- 
dence, and not force, is the natural means to compel the 
mind ; even as goodness and not force, is the natural means 
to win men's love. It is as wise a thing to say, " Love me, 
or I will kill thee ;" as to say, " Believe me, or I will kill 

Direct, xxiv. * Consider that it is essential to religion, 
to be above the authority of man, (unless as they subserve 
the authority of God).' He that worshippeth a God that 
is subject to any man, must subject his authority to that 
man. (But this is no religion, because it is no God whom 
he worshippeth.) But if the God whom I serve, be above 
all men, my religion or service of him, must needs be also 
above the will of men. 

•> Zeoh.ii. 8. 
VOL. VI. " O 


Direct, xxv. * Consider that an obedient disposition 
towards God's law, and a tender conscience which feareth 
in the smallest matter to offend him, is a substantial part of 
holiness, and of great necessity to salvation.' It is part of 
the excellency of the soul, and therefore to be greatly en- 
couraged by governors. To drive this out of the world, is 
to drive out godliness, and make men rebels against their 
Maker. And nothing is more certain, than that the violent 
imposing of unnecessary, disputable things in the worship 
of God, doth unavoidably tend either to debauch the con- 
science, and drive men from their obedience to God, or to 
destroy them, or undo them in the world : for it is not pos- 
sible, that all conscionable persons should discern the law- 
fulness of all such disputable things. 

Direct, xxvi. ' Remember that such violence in doubt- 
ful matters, is the way to set up the most debauched atheists, 
and consequently to undo church and commonwealth.' For 
whatever oaths or subscriptions you require, he that belie- 
veth not that there is a God or a devil, a heaven or a hell, 
will yield to all, and make no more of perjury or a lie, than 
to eat a bit of bread ! If you cast out all ministers that 
will not swear or subscribe this or that form about things 
doubtful, you will cast out never an atheist or debauched 
infidel by it. All that have no conscience, will be kept in ; 
and all that are true to God and their conscience, if they 
think it is sin which you require of them, will be cast out. 
And whither this tendeth, you may easily foresee. 

Direct, xxvn. * Remember that if by force you do pre- 
vail with a man to go against his conscience, you do but 
make him dissemble and lie.' And if hypocrites be not 
hateful to you, why do you cry out so much, against hypo- 
crites, (where you cannot prove your accusation ?) But if 
they be so hateful, why do you so eagerly make men hypo- 
crites ? Whatever their tongues may say, you can scarce 
believe yourselves, that prisons or fire will change men's 
judgments in matters of faith, and duty to God. 

Direct, xxviii. ' Consider not only whether the thing 
which you impose be sin in itself, but also what it is to him 
that thinketh it a sin.' His own doubting conscience may 
make that a sin to him, which is no sin to another. " And 
he that doubteth, (whether such or such a meat be lawful,) 


is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith : for 
whatsoever is not of faith is sin *"." And is it like to be 
damnation to him that doth it against his conscience? 
And will you drive on any man towards damnation? " Des- 
troy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died*^.'' 

if it be objected, * That then there will be no govern- 
ment, if every man must be left to his own conscience.' I 
answer. That the Holy Ghost did not fear such objectors, 
when he laid down this doctrine here expressed. 1. It is 
easy to distinguish between things necessary, and things 
minecessary. 2. And between great penalties and small. 
And first, It foUoweth not that a man must be left to his 
own conscience in every thing, because he must be so in 
some things. In things necessary, as it is a sin to do them 
doubtingly, so it may be a greater sin to leave them undone ; 
(as for a man to maintain his family, or defend his king, or 
hear the Word of God, 8cc.) He that can say, " My con- 
science is against it," must not be excused from a necessary 
duty : and he that can say, " My conscience bids me do 
it," must not be excused in a sin. But yet the apostle knew 
what he said, when he (that was a greater church-governor 
than you) determined the case of mutual forbearance, as in 
Rom. xiv. and xv., and 1 Cor. viii. Secondly, And he is not 
wholly left to himself, who is punished with a small penalty 
for a small offence : for if a man must be still punished 
more, as long as he obeyeth God and his conscience, before 
men, an honest man must not be suffered to live. For he 
will certainly do it to the death. 

Direct, xxix. * Remember the wonderful variety of men's 
apprehensions, which must be supposed in all laws !' Men's 
faces are scarce more various and unlike, than their under- 
standings are : for besides that nature hath diversified in- 
tellects as well as faces, the diversity and unlikeness is much 
increased, by variety of educations, company, representa- 
tions, accidents, cogitations, and many other causes. It is 
wiser to make laws, that all men shall take the same phy- 
sic, or eat only the same meat, or that all shoes shall be of 
a size, and all clothes of the same bigness ; upon supposi- 
tion, that all men's health, or appetite, or feet, or bodies, 
are alike ; than to make laws that all men shall agree (or 

* Rom. xiv. 23. «* Bom. xiv. 15. lCor.viii.il. 


say that they agree) in every opinion, circumstance, or cere- 
mony, in matters of religion. 

Direct, xxx. * Remember especially, that most Chris- 
tians are ignorant, and of weak understandings, and not able 
to make use of all the distinctions and subtleties which are 
needful, to bring them over to your mind in doubtful and 
unnecessary things.' Therefore the laws which will be the 
means of peace, must suppose this weakness and ignorance 
of most subjects ! And how convenient it is, to say to a 
poor, ignorant Christian, " Know this, or profess this or that, 
which the ablest, godly pastors themselves are not agreed 
in, or else thou shalt be imprisoned or banished ;" I leave 
to equal men to judge. 

Direct, xxxi. ' Human infirmities must be supposed 
in the best and strongest Christians.' All have their errors 
and their faults ; divines themselves as well as others. 
Therefore either some errors and faults must be accounted 
tolerable, or else no two persons must tolerate one another 
in the world, but kill on till the strongest only shall survive. 
" Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are 
spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, con- 
sidering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one 
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ®." And 
if the strong must be born with themselves, " Then they 
that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, 
and not to please themselves ; but every one to please his 
neighbour for good to edification ; for even Christ pleased 
not himself ^'* " And him that is weak in the faith we 
must receive ; but not to doubtful disputations s." 

Direct, xxxii. * The pastors must not be impatient un- 
der the abuses which they receive from weak or distempered 
brethren.' We must excel others in patience, and meek- 
ness, and forbearance, as much as we do in knowledge, and 
in other graces. If the nurse or mother will take every 
word or action of the child, as if it were the injury of an 
enemy, there will be no preservation of the family in peace ! 
If children cry, or fight, or chide, or make any foul or trou- 
blesome work, the mother will not therefore turn them out of 
doors, or use them like strangers, but remember that it is her 
place and duty to bear with that weakness which she cannot 

« Gal. vi. 1, 2. f Rom. xv. 1—3. « Rora. xiv. 1. 


cure. The proud impatience of the pastors hath frequently 
brought them into the guilt of persecution, to the alienating 
of the people's hearts, and the distraction and division of 
the churches : when poor, distempered persons are offended 
with them, and it may be revile them, and call them sedu- 
cers, or antichristian, or superstitious, or what their pride 
and passion shall suggest : or if some weak ones raise up 
some erroneous opinions, alas ! many pastors have no more 
wit, or grace, or pity, than presently to be rough with them, 
and revile them again, and seek to right themselves by ways 
of force, and club down every error and contention ; when 
they should overcome them by evidence of truth, and by 
meekness, patience, and love. (Though there be place also 
for severity, with turbulent, implacable, impenitent he- 

Direct, xxxiii. * Time of learning and overcoming their 
mistakes, must be allowed to those that are misinformed.' 
We must not turn those of the lower forms out of Christ's 
school, because they learn not as much as those of the higher 
forms in a few weeks or years. The Holy Ghost teacheth 
those who for the time might have been teachers of others, 
and yet had need to be taught the first principles s. He 
doth not turn them out of the church for their non-profi- 
ciency. And where there is ignorance, there will be error. 

Direct, xxxiv. * Some inconveniences must be expected 
and tolerated, and no perfect order and concord expected 
here on earth.' It is not good reasoning to say, If we suf- 
fer these men, they will cause this or that disorder or in- 
convenience : but you must also consider whither you must 
drive it, if you suffer them not; and what will be the con- 
sequents. He that will follow his conscience to a prison, 
will be likely to follow it to death. And if nothing but 
death, or prison, or banishment can restrain them from what 
they take to be their duty, it must be considered how many 
must be so used ; and whether (if they were truly faulty) 
they deserve so much : and if they do, yet whether the evils 
of the toleration or of the punishment are like to be the 
greater. Peace and concord will never be perfect, till 
knowledge and holiness be perfect. 

Direct. XXXV. 'You may go farther in restraining than 

» Heb.v. 11, 12. 


in constraining; in forbidding men to preach against ap- 
proved doctrines or practices of the church, than in forcing 
them to preach for them, or to subscribe or speak their ap- 
probation or assent :' if they be not points or practices of 
great necessity, a man may be fit for the ministry and 
church communion, who meddleth not with them, but 
preacbeth the wholesome truths of the Gospel, and lets 
them alone. And, because no duty is at all times a duty, a 
sober man's judgment will allow him to be silent at many 
an error, when he dare not subscribe to or approve the least. 
But if here any proud and cruel pastors, shall come in with 
their lesser, selfish incommodities, and say, if they do not 
approve of what we say and do, they will secretly foment a 
faction against us ; I should answer them, that as good men 
will foment no faction, so if such proud, impatient, turbu- 
lent men, will endure none that subscribe not to all their 
opinions, or differ from them in a circumstance or ceremony, 
they shall raise a greater faction (if they will call it so) 
against themselves, and make the people look on them as 
tyrants and not as pastors, and they shall see in the end,, 
when they have bought their wit by dear experience, that 
they have but torn the church in pieces, by preventing di- 
visions by carnal means, and that they have lost themselves, 
by being over izealous for themselves ; and that Doctrine 
and Love are the instruments of a wise shepherd, that loveth 
the flock, and understands his work. 

Direct, xxxvi. 'Distinguish between the making of 
new laws or articles of belief, and the punishing of men for 
the laws already made.' And think not that we must have 
new laws or canons, every time the old ones are broken : or 
that any law can be made which can keep itself from being 
broken. Perverseness in this error hath brought the church 
to the misery which it endure th. God hath made an uni- 
versal law sufficient for the universal church, in matters of 
faith and holy practice ; leaving it to men to determine of 
necessary circumstances which were unfit for an universal 
law : and if the sufficiency of God's law, were acknowledged 
in men's practices, the churches would have had more 
peace : but when particular countries have their particular 
volumes of articles, confessions, liturgies, and I know not 
what else to be subscribed to, and none must preach that 


will not say or swear, * That he believeth all this to be true 
and good, and nothing in it to be against the Word of God,' 
this engine racks the limbs of the churches all to pieces ; and 
then what is the pretence for this epidemical calamity? 
Why no better than this, ' Every heretic will subscribe to 
the Scriptures, and take it in his own sense : ' and what fol- 
loweth ? Must we needs therefore have new laws which 
heretics will not subscribe to, or which they cannot break ? 
It is the commendation of God's law, as fit to be the means 
of unity, that all are so easily agreed to it in terms, and 
therefore would agree in the sense if they understood it. 
But they will not do so by the laws of men ; all or many 
heretics in the primitive times, would profess assent to the 
church's creed ; no doubt in a corrupt and private sense ; 
but the churches therefore did not make new creeds ; till 
about three hundred years after Christ, they began to put 
in some particular words to obviate heretics, which Hilary 
complained of as the cause of their divisions ! And what if 
heretics will subscribe to all you bid them, and take it in 
their own corrupted sense ? Must you therefore be still ma- 
king new laws and articles, till you meet with some which 
they cannot misunderstand, or dare not thus abuse ? What 
if men will misinterpret and break the laws of the land ? 
Must they be made new till none can misexpound or violate 
them ? Sure there is a wiser way than this : God's Word 
containeth in sufficient expressions, all that is necessary to 
be subscribed to ; require none therefore to subscribe to any 
more, (in matters of faith or holy practice ;) but if you 
think any articles need a special interpretation, let the 
church give her sense of those articles ; and if any man 
preach against that sense, and corrupt the Word of God 
which he hath subscribed, let his fault be proved, and let 
him be admonished and censured as it deserves : censured, 
I say, not for not subscribing more than Scripture, but for 
corrupting the Scriptures to which he hath subscribed, or 
breaking God's laws which he promised to observe. 

Direct, xxxvii. * The good of men, and not their ruin 
must be intended in all the discipline of the church : ' or 
the good of the church, when we have but little hope of 
theirs. If this were done, it would easily be perceived, 
that persecution is an unlikely means to do good by. 


Direct, xxxviii. 'Neither unlimited liberty in matters 
of religion must be allowed, nor unnecessary force and ri- 
gour used, but tolerable differences and parties mu&t b«* 
tolerated, and intolerable ones by the wisest means sup- 
pressed.' And to this end, by the counsel of the most pru- 
dent, peaceable divines, the tolerable and the intolerable 
must be statedly distinguished ! And those that are only 
tolerated must be under a law for their toleration, prescri- 
bing them their terms of good behaviour ; and those that 
are approved, must moreover have countenance and mainte- 
nance of the magistrate: and if this were done, 1. The ad- 
vantage of the said encouragement from governors, 2. With 
the regulation of the toleration, and the magistrates' careful 
government of the tolerated, would prevent both persecu- 
tion, and most of the divisions and calamities of the church. 
Thus did the ancient Christian emperors and bishops : (and 
was their experience nothing ?) The Novatians (as good 
and orthodox men) were allowed their own churches and 
bishops even in Constantinople, at the emperor's nose. Es- 
pecially if it be made the work of some justices, 1. To judge 
of persons to be tolerated, and grant them patents, 2. And 
to overrule them and punish them when they deserve it ; 
no other way would avoid so many inconveniences. 

Direct, xxxix. *The things intolerable are these two : 
1. (Not the believing, but) the preaching and propagating 
of principles contrary to the essentials of godliness or Chris- 
tianity, or government, justice, charity or peace. 2. The 
tui'bulent, unpeaceable management of those opinions which 
in themselves are tolerable. If any would preach against 
the articles of the creed, the petitions of the Lord's prayer, 
or any of the ten commandments, he is not to be suffered ; 
and if any that are orthodox do in their separated meetings, 
make it their business to revile at others, and destroy men^s 
charity, or to stir men up to rebellion or sedition, or con- 
tempt of magistracy ; none of this should be endured. 

As for those libertines that under the name of liberty of 
conscience do plead for a liberty of such vicious practices, 
and in order thereto would prove that the magistrate hath 
nothing to do in matters of religion, I have preached and 
wrote so much against them, whilst that error reigned, and 
\ find it so unseasonable, now the constitution of things 


looks another way, that I will not weary myself and the 
reader with so unnecessary a task as to confute them. On- 
ly I shall say, that Rom. xiii. telleth us that rulers are a 
terror to them that do evil ; and that heretics and tur- 
bulent firebrands do evil ; therefore rulers should be a 
terror to them ; and that if all things are to be done to the 
glory of God, and his interest is to be set highest in the 
world, then magistrates and government are for the same 
end ; and if no action which we do, is of so base a nature, 
as ultimately to be terminated in the concernments of the 
flesh, much less is government so vile a thing, when rulers 
are in Scripture called Gods, as being the officers of God. 

Direct, xl. * Remember death, and live together as men 
that are near dying, and must live together in another 
world.' The foolish expectation of prosperity and long life, 
is it which setteth men together by the ears ; when Ridley 
and Hooper were both in prison, and preparing for the 
flames, their contentions were soon ended, and Ridley re- 
pented of his persecuting way. If the persecutors and per- 
secuted were shut up together in one house that hath the 
plague, in the time of this lamentable contagion, it is two to 
one but they would be reconciled. When men see that they 
are going into another world, it takes off" the edge of their 
bitterness and violence, and the apprehensions of the righ- 
teous judgment of God, doth awe them into a patience and 
forbearance with each other ; can you persecute that man 
on earth, with whom you look to dwell in heaven ? (But 
to restrain a man from damning souls, by heresy or turbu- 
lency, or any such course, my conscience would not forbid 
it me if I were dying.) 

Direct, xli. * Let the proud themselves who will regard 
no higher motives, remember how fame and history will re- 
present them to posterity when they are dead.' There is no 
man that desireth his name should stink and be odious to 
future generations : there is nothing that an ambitious man 
desireth more, than a great surviving name. And will you 
knowingly and wilfully then expose it to perpetual contempt 
and hatred ? Read over what history you please, and find 
out the name of one persecutor if you can, that is not now 
a word of ignominy, and doth not rot, as God hath threat- 
ened ? If you say, that it is only in the esteem of such as 


1, or^the persecuted party ; neither your opinion shall be 
judge nor mine ; but the opinion and language of histo- 
rians, and of the wisest men, who are the masters of fame. 
Certainly that report of Holy Scripture and history which 
hath prevailed, will still prevail ; and while there are wise, 
and good, and merciful men in the world, the names and 
manners of the foolish, and wicked, and cruel will be odious, 
as they continue at this day. 

I have wrote these Directions to discharge my duty, for 
those that are willing to escape the guilt of so desperate a 
sin ; but not with any expectation at all, that it should do 
much good with any considerable number of persecutors ; 
for they will not read such things as these ; and God sel- 
dom giveth professed Christians over to this sin, till they 
have grievously blinded their lainds, and hardened their 
hearts, and by malignity and obstinacy >re prepared for his 
sorest judgments ; and I know that whenever will live godly 
in Christ Jesus (it is not said, " who professeth to believe in 
Christ Jesus," but, " to live godly") shall suffer persecution, 
and that the cross must still be the passage to the crown ^. 


Directions against Scandal as given. 

Scandal being a murdering of souls, is a violation of the 
general law of charity, and of the sixth commandment in 
particular. In handling this subject, I shall 1. Shew you 
what is true scandal given to another. 2. What things go 
under the name of scandal, which are not it, but are falsely 
so named. 3. What are the particular ways and sorts of 
scandal. 4. The greatness of this sin. 5. Directions to 
avoid it. 

I. I shall not need to stand upon the etymology of 
the word ' scandal ; * whether it come from 'aKcitut/ * claudi- 
co,' as Erasmus thought, or from ' gkcl^^ov' * curvum/ &c. 
Martinius, Stephanus, Lyserus, &c. have sufficiently done it, 
whither I refer you ; as for the sense of the word it is past 
doubt, that the ordinary use of it in Scripture is for a stum- 

»' a Tim. Hi. 11, 12. Matt v. 11, 12. Lukexiv. 26. 33. 


bling-block, for a man to fall upon, or a trap to ensnare a 
man ; and in the Old Testament it is oft used for a stum- 
bling-stone, on which a man may fall into any corporal ca- 
lamity, or a snare to hurt or ruin a man in the world ; (as 
Exod. X. 7. 1 Sam. xviii. 21. xxv. 31. Psalm cxix. 165. 
Ezek. vii. 19. Sept.) But in the New Testament, (which 
speaketh more of spiritual hurts) it is taken for a stumbling- 
block or temptation, by which a man is in danger of falling 
into sin, or spiritual loss, or ruin, or dislike of godliness, or 
anyway to be turned from God, or hindered in a religious, ho- 
ly way ; (and if sometimes it be taken for grieving or troub- 
ling, it is as it hereby thus hindereth or ensnareth ;) so that 
to scandalize, is sometimes taken for the doing of a blame- 
less action, from which another unjustly taketh occasion to 
fall, or sin, or be perverted : but when it signifieth a sin (as 
we take it in this place) then to scandalize is. By some- 
thing unlawful of itself, or at least unnecessary, which may 
occasion the spiritual hurt or ruin of another. 1. The mat- 
ter is either something that is simply sinful (and then it is a 
double sin) or something indifferent or unnecessary, arid 
then it is simply the sin of scandal. 2. It must be that 
which may occasion another's fall, I say, occasion ; for no 
man can forcibly cause another man to sin, but only occa- 
sion it, or tempt him to it, as a moral cause. 

II. By this you may see, 1. That to scandalize, is not 
merely to displease, or grieve another ; for many a man is 
displeased through his folly and vice, by that which tendeth 
to his good ; and many a man is tempted (that is, scandali- 
zed) by that which pleaseth him ; when Christ saith, *' If 
thy right eye or hand offend, (or scandalize thee) pluck it 
out, or cut it offV &c. he doth not by ' offending,' mean 
' displeasing,' or ' grieving ; ' for by so offending it may pro- 
fit us ; but he plainly meaneth, * If it draw thee to sin ; ' 
or else he had never added, " That it is better to enter 
maimed into life, than having two hands or eyes to be cast 
into hell ! " That is, in a word. Thy damnation is a greater 
hurt than the loss of hand or eye, and therefore if there were 
no other way to avoid it, this would be a very cheap way. 
So * pedem offendere in lapidem,' is to stumble upon a stone. 
The most censorious and humourous sort of men, have got 

a Matt. V. 


a notion, that whatever ofFendeth or displeaseth them is 
scandalous ! And they think that no man must do any- 
thing which grieveth or displeaseth them, lest he be guilty of 
scandal ; and by this trick whoever can purchase impatience 
and peevishness enough, to be always displeased with the 
actions of others, shall rule the world. But the truth is, the 
ordinary way of scandalizing these men, is by pleasing them. 

I will give you one instance of scandal in Scripture, 
which may help this sort of people better to understand it. 
Gal. ii. 10 — 16. Peter there giveth true scandal to the Jews 
and Gentiles ; he walked not uprightly according to the 
truth of the Gospel, but laid a stumbling-block before the 
Jews and Gentiles ; and this was not by displeasing the 
Jews, but by pleasing them. The Jews thought it a sin to 
eat with the Gentiles, and to have communion with uncir- 
cumcised men. Peter knew the contrary, but for fear of 
them of the circumcision, lest they should be offended at 
him as a sinner, he " withdrew and separated himself." This 
scandal tended to harden the Jews in their sinful separa- 
tion, and to seduce the Gentiles into a conceit of the neces- 
sity of circumcision ; and Barnabas was carried away with 
the dissimulation. Here you may see, that if any think it a 
sin in us to have communion in such or such congregations, 
with such persons, in such worship, which God alloweth 
us not to separate from, it is a sin of scandal in us to 
separate to avoid these men's offence. We scandalize 
them and others, even by pleasing them, and by avoiding 
that which they falsely called scandalous. And if we 
would not scandalize them, we must do that which is just, 
and not by our practice hide the sound doctrine, which is 
contrary to their separating error. 

2. And it is as apparent that to scandalize another, is 
not (as is vulgarly imagined by the ignorant) to do that 
which is commonly reputed sinful, or which hath the appear- 
ance of a sin, or which will make a man evil thought of, or 
spoken of by others ; yet commonly when men say, ' This 
is a scandalous action,' they mean, it is an action which is 
reproachful or of evil report as a sin. And therefore in our 
English speech it is common to say of one that slandereth 
another, that he raised a scandal of him. But this is nqt 
the meaning of the word in Scripture ; materially indeed 


scandal may consist in any such thing which may be a stum- 
bling-block to another ; but formally it is the tempting of 
another, or occasioning his fall, or ruin, or hurt, which is 
the nature of scandalizing. And this is done more seldom 
by committing open, disgraceful sins, and doing that which 
will make the doer evil spoken of; for by that means others 
are the more assisted against the temptation of imitating 
him ; but scandal is most commonly found in those actions, 
which are under the least reproach among men, or which 
have the most plausible appearance of good in them, when 
they are evil ! For these are more apt to deceive and over- 
throw another. 

3. And it is also apparent, that it is no sinful scandali- 
zing to do a duty or necessary action, which I have not 
power to forbear, though I know that another will be offend- 
ed, or fall by it into sin. If God have made it my duty, 
even at this time, I must not disobey him, and omit my du- 
ty,, because another will make it an occasion of his sin. It 
must be either a sinful or an indifferent action, that is, scan- 
dal, or something that is in my power to do, or to forbear : 
yet this must be added, that affirmatives binding not * ad 
semper,' to all times, and no duty being a duty at every 
moment, it may oft fall out, that that which else would have 
been my duty at this time, may become at this time no du- 
ty but a sin, by the evil consequents which I may foresee, 
as if another man will make it an occasion of his fall. So 
that this may oblige me to defer a duty to a fitter time and 
place. For all such duties as have the nature of a means, 
are never duties when they cross the interest of their chief 
ends, and make against that which they are used to effect. 
And therefore here Christian prudence, foreseeing conse- 
quents, and weighing the good and evil together, is neces- 
sary to him that will know a duty from a sin, and a scandal 
from no scandal. 

III. The several ways of scandalizing are these follow- 
ing : 1. Scandal is either intended or not intended, either 
that which is done maliciously of set purpose, or that which 
is done through negligence, carelessness or contempt. 
Some men do purposely contrive the fall or ruin of another, 
and this is a devilish aggravation of the sin : and some do 
hurt to others while they intend it not ; yet this is far from 


excusing them from sin ; for it is voluntary as an omission 
of the will, though not as its positive choice ; that is called 
voluntary which the will is chargeable with, or culpable of; 
and it is chargeable with its omissions, and sluggish neg- 
lects of the duty which it should do. Those that are care- 
less of the consequent of their actions, and contemn the 
souls of other men, and will go their own way, come of it 
what will, and say. Let other men look to themselves, are 
the most common sort of scandalizers ; and are as culpable, 
as a servant that would leave hot water or fire when the chil- 
dren are like to fall into it ; or that would leave straw or 
gunpowder near the fire, or would leave open the doors, 
though not of purpose to let in the thieves. 

2. Scandal is that which tendeth to another's fall, either 
directly or indirectly, immediately or remotely. The for- 
mer may easily be foreseen ; but the latter requireth a large 
foreseeing, comparing understanding ; yet this sort of scan- 
dal also must be avoided ; and wise men that would not un- 
do men's souls while they think no harm, must look far be- 
fore them, and foresee what is like to be the consequent of 
their actions at the greatest distance and at many removes. 

3. Scandals also are aptitudinal or actual ; many things 
are apt to tempt and occasion the ruin of another ; which 
yet never attain so bad an end, because God disappointeth 
them ; but that is no thanks to them that give the scandal. 

4. Scandal also as to the means of it, is of several sorts. 
1. By doctrine. 2. By persuasion. 3. By alluring pro- 
mises. 4. By threats. 5. By violence. 6. By gifts. 7. 
By example. 8. By omission of duties, and by silence; by 
all these ways you may scandalize. 

1. False doctrine is directly scandalous ; for it seduceth 
the judgment, which then misguideth the will, which then 
misruleth the rest of the faculties. False doctrine, if it be 
in weighty, practical points, is the pernicious plague of 
souls and nations. 

2. Also the solicitations of seducers and of tempting 
people are scandalous, and tend to the ruin of souls ; when 
people have no reason to draw a man to sin, they weary him 
out by tedious importunity. And many an one yields to 
the earnestness, or importunity, or tediousness of a persua- 
sion, who could easily resist it if it came only with pretence 
of reason. 


3. Alluring promises of some gain or pleasure that shall 
come by sin, is another scandal which doth cause the fall 
of many. The course that satan tried with Christ, " All 
this will I give thee," was but the same which he found 
most successful with sinners in the world. This is a bait 
which sinners will themselves hunt after, if it be not offered 
them. Judas will go to the Pharisees with a " What will 
ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?" Peter saith 
of the scandalous heretics of his time, ** They allure through 
the lust of the flesh, through much wantonness those that 
were clean escaped from them who live in error ; while they 
promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of 
corruption ^" 

4. Threatenings also and scorns are scandals, which 
frighten unbelieving souls into sin ; thus Rabshakeh thought 
to prevail with Hezekiah. Thus Nebuchadnezzar'', thought 
to have drawn those three worthies to idolatry. Thus the 
Pharisees thought to have frightened the apostles, from 
preaching any more in the name of Christ*'. Thus Saul 
thought to have perverted the disciples, by breathing out 
threatenings against them*^. 

5. And what words will not do, the ungodly think to do 
by force ; and it enrageth them, that they should resist 
their wills, and that their force is patiently endured. What 
cruel torments! what various sorts of heavy sufferings 
have the devil and his instruments devised, to be stumbling- 
blocks to the weak, to affright them into sin ! 

6. Gifts also have blinded the eyes of some who seemed 
wise : *' As oppression maketh a wise man mad, so a gift 
destroyeth the heart*." What scandals have preferments 
proved to the world, and how many have they ruined ! Few 
are able to esteem the reproach of Christ to be greater 
riches than the treasures of the world. 

7. And evil examples are the most common sort of scan- 
dals f : not as they offend, or grieve, or are apparently sinful ; 
but as they seem good, and therefore are temptations to 
the weak to imitate them. So apt are men to imitation, 
especially in evil, that they will do what they see another 
do, without examining whether it be justifiable or not. Es- 

» 2 Pet. ii. 18, 19. »» Dan. iii. « Acts iv. 17. 21 

«» Aclsix. 1. « Exod. xxiii. 8. ^ Heb. xi. 26. 


pecially if it be the example either of great men, or of learn- 
ed men, or of men reputed eminently godly, or of a multi- 
tude, any of these the people are apt to imitate : this there- 
fore is the common way of scandal. When people do that 
which is evil as if it were good, and thereby draw the igno- 
rant to think it good, and so imitate them. Or else when 
they do that which is lawful itself, in such a manner as tend- 
eth to deceive another, and draw him to that which is in- 
deed unlawful ; or to hinder him in any thing that is good. 

8. Lastly, Even silence and omissions also may be scan- 
dalous, and draw another into error and sin. If by silence 
you seem to consent to false doctrine, or to wicked works, 
when you have opportunity to control them, hereby you 
draw others to consent also to the sin : or if you omit those 
public or private duties, which others may be witnesses of, 
you tempt them to the like omission, and to think they are 
no duties, but indifferent things : for in evil they will easily 
rest in your judgment, and say that you are wiser than they ; 
but they are not so ductile and flexible to good. 

5. Scandals also are distinguishable by the effects ; 
which are such as these : 

1. Some scandals do tempt men to actual infidelity, and 
to deny or doubt of the truth of the Gospel. 

2. Some scandals would draw men but into some par- 
ticular error, and from some particular truth, while he holds 
the rest. 

3. Some scandals draw men to dislike and distaste 
the way of godliness ; and some to dislike the servants of 

4. Some scandals tend to confound men, and bring them 
to utter uncertainties in religion. 

5. Some tend to" terrify men from the way of god- 

6. Some only stop them for a time, and discourage or 
hinder them in their way. 

7. Some tend to draw them to some particular sin. 

8. And some to draw them from some particular duty. 

9. And some tend to break and weaken their spirits, by 
grief or perplexity of mind. 

10. And as the word is taken in the Old Testament, the 
snares that malicious men lay to entrap others in their 


lives, or liberties, or estates, or names, are called scan- 
dals. And all these ways a man may sinfully scandalize 

And that you may see that the scandal forbidden in the 
New Testament, is always of this nature, let us take notice 
of the particular texts where, the word is used. And first, 
to scandalize is used actively in these foUowing^ texts : in 
Matt. V. before cited, and in tiie other evangelists citing the 
same words, the sense is clear ; that the offending of a 
hand or eye, is not displeasing, nor seeking of ill report ; 
but hindering our salvation by drawing us to sin. So in 
Matt, xviii, 8, and Mark ix. 42, 43. where the sense is the 
same. In Matt. xvii. 27. ** Lest we should offend them, &c." 
is not only, lest we displease them, but lest we give them 
occasion to dislike religion, or think hardly of the Gospel, 
and so lay a stumbling-block to the danger of their souls. 
So Matt, xviii. 6. and Mark ix. " Whoso shall offend one 
of these little ones that believe in me, &c." that is, not who 
shall displease them, but whoso by threats, persecutions, 
cruelties, or any other means, shall go about to turn them 
from the faith of Christ, or stop them in their way to heaven, 
or hinder them in a holy life : though these two texts seem 
nearest to the denied sense, yet that is not indeed their 
meaning. So in Job vi. 6. " Doth this offend you ?" that 
is, doth this seem incredible to you, or hard to be believed, 
or digested ? Doth it stop your faith, and make you dis- 
taste my doctrine ? So 1 Cor. viii. 13. " If meat scandalize 
my brother ;" our translators have turned it, " If meat make 
my brother to offend." So it was not displeasing him only, 
but tempting him to sin which is the scandalizing here re- 

View also the places where the word * Scandal ' is used. 
Matt. xiii. 41. * Havra rd c/cavSaXa, ' * All scandals,* trans- 
lated * All things that offend,' doth not signify. All that is 
displeasing ; but all temptations to sin, and hindrances or 
stumbling-blocks that would have stopped men in the ways 
to heaven. So in Matt. xvi. 23. (a text as like as any to be 
near the denied sense ; yet indeed) '* Thou art a scandal to 
me," (translated an offence) doth not only signify, * Thou 
displeasest me,' but ' Thou goest about to hinder me in my 
undertaken office, from suffering for the redemption of the 

VOL. VI. p 


world :' it was an aptitudinal scandal, though not effectual. 
So Matt, xviii. 7. *• It must be that scandals come ;" (trans- 
lated offences,) that is, that there be many stumbling-blocks 
set before men in their way to heaven. So Luke xvii. 1. to 
the same sense. And Rom. ix. 33. " I lay in Zion a stum- 
bling-stone, and a rock of scandal," (translated offence) ; 
that is, such as will not only be displeasing, but an occa- 
sion of utter ruin to the unbelieving, persecuting Jews ; ac- 
cording to that of Simeon, Luke ii. 34. " This child is set 
for the fall and rising again of many in Israel." Rom. xi. 9. 
" Let their table be made a snare, a trap, and a stumbling- 
block." The Greek word ' elg dKciv^aXov' doth not signify 
a displeasure only, but an occasion of ruin. So Rom. xiv. 
13. expoundeth itself, " That no man put a stumbling-block 
or an occasion to fall into his brother's way." The Greek 
word is, ' or a scandal.' This is the just exposition of the 
word in its ordinary use in the New Testament «. So Rom. 
xvi. 17. " Mark them which cause divisions and scandals," 
(translated offences) ; that is, which lay stumbling-blocks 
in the way of Christians, and would trouble them in it, or 
turn them from it. So 1 Cor. i. 23. " To the Jews a stum- 
bling-block," that is, a scandal, (as the Greek word is,) as 
before expounded. So Gal. v. 11. "The scandal of the 
cross," translated the oflfence, doth signify not the bare re- 
proach, but the reproach as it is the trial and stumbling- 
block of the world, that maketh believing difficult. So 
1 John ii. 10. ** There is no scandal in him," translated *No 
occasion of stumbling." These are all the places that I re- 
member where the word is used. 

The passive verb ' gKav^aXiZofiah ' to be scandalized,' is 
often used. As Matt. xi. 6. " Blessed is he that is not scan- 
dalized," (translated, offended in me) ; that is, who is not 
distasted with my person and doctrine through carnal pre- 
judices; and so kept in unbelief : there were many things 
in the person,^ life, and doctrine of Christ, which were unsui- 
table to carnal reason and expectation. These men thought 
them to be hard and strange, and could not digest them, 
and so were hindered by them from believing : and this was 

i So Rev. ii. 14. Balaam did ' 5«xi»v <rxav8«xoj»,' 'lay « scandal,' or stumbling- 
block before the Israelites ; that is, a temptation to sin. 
•• Luke vii. 23. 


being offended in Christ. So in Matt. xiii. 57. and Mark 
vi. 3. " They were offended in, or at him ;" that is, took a 
dishke or distaste to him for his words. And Matt. xiii. 21. 
" When persecution ariseth, by and by they are offended';'* 
that is. they stumble and fall away : and Matt. xv. 12. ** The 
Pharisees were offended," (or scandalized ^) ; that is, so of- 
fended as to be more in dislike of Christ. And Matt. xxiv. 
10. " Then shall many be offended," (or scandalized) ; that 
is, shall draw back and fall away from Christ. And Matt, 
xxvi. 31. 33. Mark xiv. 27. 29. " All ye shall be offended 
because of me, &c." ** Though all men shall be offended (or 
scandalized) yet will I never be scandalized ;" that is, 
brought to doubt of Christ, or to forsake him, or deny him, 
or be hindered from owning their relation to him. So John 
xvi. 1. " These things I have spoken that ye should not be 
offended ;'* that is, that when the time cometh, the unex- 
pected trouble may not so surprise you, as to turn you from 
the faith, or stagger you in your obedience or hope, Rom. 
xiv. 21. doth exactly expound it : " It is good neither to eat 
flesh, or drink wine, or any thing whereby thy brother stum- 
bleth, or is scandalized, (or offended,) or made weak ;" it is 
a making weak. So 2 Cor. xi. 29. " Who is offended ;" 
that is, stumbled, or hindered, or ready to apostatize. So 
much for the nature and sorts of scandal, 

IV. You are next to observe the aggravations of this sin. 
Which briefly are such as these : 

1. Scandal is a murdering of souls ; it is a hindering of 
men's salvation, and an enticing or drivipg them towards 
hell. And therefore in some respect worse than murder, as 
the soul is better than the body. 

2. Scandal is a fighting against Jesus Christ, in his work 
of man's salvation. " He came to seek and to save that 
which was lost ;" and the scandalizer seeketh to lose and 
destroy that which Christ would seek and save. 

3. Scandal robbeth God of the hearts and service of his 
creatures ; for it is a raising in them a distaste of his peo- 
ple, and word, and ways, and of himself ; and a turning from 
him the hearts of those that should adhere unto him. 

4. Scandal is a serving of the devil, in his proper work 
of enmity to Christ, and perdition of souls ; scandal izers do 

' Mark vi 3. k Mark iv. 17. .J 


his work in the world, and propagate his cause and 

V. The means of avoiding the guilt of scandal, are as 

Direct, i. * Mistake not (with the vulgar) the nature of 
scandal, as if it lay in that offending men, which is nothing 
but grieving or displeasing them ; or in making yourselves 
to be of evil report ; but remember that scandal is that of- 
fending men, which tempteth them into sin from God and 
godliness, and maketh them stumble and fall, or occasioneth 
them to think evil of a holy life.' It is a pitiful thing to 
hear religious persons plead for the sin of man-pleasing, un- 
der the name of avoiding scandal ; yea, to hear them set up 
an usurped dominion over the lives of other men, and all by 
the advantage of the word * scandal ' misunderstood. So 
that all men must avoid whatever a censorious person will 
call scandalous, when he meaneth nothing else himself by 
scandal, than a thing that is of evil report, with such as he. 
Yea, pride itself is often pleaded for by this misunderstand- 
ing of scandal ; and men are taught to overvalue their repu- 
tations, and to strain their consciences to keep up their es- 
teem, and all under pretence of avoiding scandal ; and in 
the mean time they are really scandalous, even in that ac- 
tion, by which they think they are avoiding it. I need no 
other instance, than the case of unwarrantable separation. 
Some will hold communion with none but the rebaptized ; 
some think an imposed liturgy is enough to prove commu- 
nion with such a church unlawful (at least in the use of it) ; 
and almost every sect do make their differences a reason for 
their separating from other churches. And if any one would 
hold communion with those that they separate from, they 
presently say, * That it is scandalous to do so, and to join in 
any worship which they think unlawful :' and by scandal 
they mean no more, but that it is among them of evil report, 
and is offensive or displeasing to them. Whereas indeed 
the argument from scandal should move men to use such 
communion, which erroneous, uncharitable, dividing men 
do hold unlawful. For else by avoiding that communion I 
shall lay a stumbling-block in the way of the weak ; 1 shall 
tempt him to think that a duty is a sin, and weaken his cha- 
rity, and draw him into a sinful separation, or the neglect of 


some ordinances of God, or opportunities of getting good. 
And it is this temptation which is indeed the scandal. This 
is before proved in the instance of Peter, Gal. ii. who 
scandalized or hardened the Jews, by yielding to a sinful 
separation from the Gentiles, and fearing the censorious- 
ness of the Jews, whom he sought to please ; and the offend- 
ing of whom he was avoiding, when he really offended 
them, that is, was a scandal, or temptation to them. 

Direct, ii. ' He that will escape the guilt of scandal, 
must be no contemner of the souls of others, but must be 
truly charitable, and have a tender love to souls.' That 
which a man highly valueth, and dearly loveth, he will be 
careful to preserve, and loath to hurt. Such a man will 
easily part with his own rights, or submit to losses, injuries, 
or disgrace, to preserve his neighbour's soul from sin. 
Whereas a despiser of souls, will insist upon his own power, 
and right and honour, and will entrap and damn a hundred 
souls, rather than he will abate a word, or a ceremony which 
he thinks his interest requireth him to exact. Tell him that 
it will ensnare men's souls in sin, and he is ready to say as 
the Pharisees to Judas, " What is that to us ? See thou to 
that." A dog hath as much pity on a hare, or a hawk on a 
partridge, as a carnal, worldly, ambitious Diotrephes, or 
an Elymas hath of souls. Tell him that it will occasion 
men to sin, to wound their consciences, to offend their God, 
it moveth him no more than to tell him of the smallest in- 
commodity to himself: he will do more to save ahorse, or a 
dog of his own, than to save another's soul from sin. To 
lay snares in their way, or to deprive them of the preaching 
of the Gospel, or other means of their salvation, is a thing 
which they may be induced to, by the smallest interest of 
their own ; yea, though it be but a point of seeming honour. 
And therefore when carnal, worldly men do become the dis- 
posers of matters of religion, it is easy to see what measure 
and usage men must expect : yea, though they assume the 
office and name of pastors, who should have the most tender, 
fatherly care of the souls of all the flocks, yet will their car- 
nal inclinations and interests, engage them in the work of 
wolves, to entrap, or famish, or destroy Christ's sheep. 

Direct, iii. * Also you must be persons who value your 
own souls, and are diligently exercised in saving them from 


temptations ; or else you are very like to be scandalizers 
and tempters of the souls of others.' And therefore when 
such a man is made a church-governor as is unacquainted 
with the renewing work of grace, and with the inward go- 
vernment of Christ in the soul, what devilish work is he like 
to make among the sheep of Christ, under the name of go- 
vernment ! What corrupting of the doctrine, worship, or 
discipline of Christ ! What inventions of his own to en- 
snare men's consciences ! And driving them on, by armed 
force, to do that which, at least to them, is sin, and which 
can never countervail the loss, either of their souls, or of 
the church, by such disturbances ! How merciless will he 
be, when a poor member of Christ, shall beg of him but to 
have pity on his soul ! And tell him, ' I cannot do this or 
swear this, or subscribe this, without the guilt of a deli- 
berate sin ; and I cannot sin without displeasing God, and 
hindering my salvation.' He that dare wilfully sin himself, 
and make it his deliberate choice, and dare play away his 
own salvation, at the poorest game that the devil will invite 
him to, and will sell his own soul at the basest price, even 
for a little pelf, or pleasure, or high titles for so short a time, 
certainly this man is unlike to be very tender of the souls 
of others, or to stick at scandalizing and ensnaring them, or 
to care any more to murder souls, than a butcher doth to 
kill a hog : Judas's heart will make them sell their Lord, or 
his flock, at Judas's price ; and prepare themselves for 
Judas's reward. And hence it is, that the carnal seed even 
within the church, hath ordinarily persecuted the spiritual 
seed. For saith Paul, " As he that was born after the flesh 
persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is 

Direct, iv. * To be well acquainted with the methods of 
satan, and the way of particular temptations, is a great help 
against your scandalizing others.' He that seeth the devil 
as the principal in each temptation, and knoweth in what 
manner he engageth his instruments to carry on his work, 
and whither all this tendeth at the last, will scarce be will- 
ing to serve such a master in so bad a work. Remember 
that scandalizers and tempters of others, and hinderers of 
men's salvation, are the servants of the devil, and are ex- 

' Gal. iv. 29. 


ecuting his malice, for the damnation of their brethren's 
souls. And what reward can they expect for such a work 
from such a master ? The devil useth them but as men do 
ferrets, whose mouths are sealed, because they must not 
partake of the prey; but only bring it to their master's 
hand. Live in a constant watchful resistance of tempta- 
tions yourselves, and you will have no mind to the drudgery 
of tempting others. 

Direct, v. * Set not yourselves upon any worldly, am- 
bitious design.' For the love of the riches and honours of 
the world, will not only engage you in a course of sinning, 
but also make it seem your interest, to make others as bad 
and miserable as yourselves, and to drive them on to serve 
your interests by their sin. 

Direct, vi. * Take heed lest a fleshly inclination do draw 
you to the love of fleshly pleasures.' And that your minds 
be not set upon the pleasing of your fancies, sense, or appe- 
tite ; either in meat, or drink, or clothes, or dwellings, or 
recreations, or any such delights : if once the love of these 
grow strong, it will conquer your reason, and seduce it into 
libertinism, and make you think that a voluptuous, flesh- 
pleasing life, (so it be not by gross disgraced sins) is but 
the lawful use of the creature, which Christ hath purchased 
not only for our necessity, but for our delight ; and that the 
contrary opinion is but the too much rigor of such as under- 
stand not their Christian liberty. 

Direct, vii. 'Be not rashly and ignorantly zealous in so- 
liciting and importuning others to your private opinions, 
before you are certain that they are of God.' O what abun- 
dance of zeal and labour hath many a man laid out, to make 
others of his mind, in the points of Antinomianism, Ana- 
baptism, Separation, Popery, &c., thinking that the saving 
of their souls had lain upon it ; and at last they find, that as 
they erred themselves, so all their labour was but to scan- 
dalize the weak, and lay a stumbling-block in their way to 
heaven ! 

Direct, viii. * Never persuade any man (much less com- 
pel him) to any thing unnecessary, which he taketh to be a 
sin' (whatever you take it for yourselves). For if he judge 
it a sin, it is a sin to him. No man can innocently do that 
which he thinketh is forbidden him of God. And shall a 


thing unnecessary be preferred before the saving of a soul ? 
Yea, before the souls of thousands, as by many merciless 
men it is ? Indeed, if there be an antecedent necessity (as 
well as a lawfulness in the thing), and such a necessity as 
is not in your power to take away, then the doing it will be 
his sin, and the not doing it his greater sin ; and the greater 
sin, is most to be avoided (but by convenient means). 

Direct. IX. * Remember the charge which you have of 
the souls of one another.' Though you be not magistrates 
or pastors : (for their care of souls is so unquestionable and 
so great, that scandal in them is like parents murdering 
their own children.) Yet no private man must say as Cain, 
" Am I my brother's keeper." Every man is bound to do 
his best for the saving of his neighbour ; much more to for- 
bear infecting, seducing, scandalizing, and destroying 

Direct, x. * Keep up a special tenderness of the weak. 
So doth God himself, and so must we.' " He gathereth 
the lambs with his arms, &c. ""." If his infants cry he doth 
not therefore knock out their brains, or turn them out of 
doors. Nor doth he say, they are not his children, for every 
ignorance or peevish passion which they are guilty of. 
Christ doth not turn men out of his school, because they 
want knowledge. For why then will he have little children 
come ? And what do they come for, but to learn ? He 
doth not hate his new born babes, but feedeth and nurseth 
them with a special tenderness : and he hath commanded 
and communicated the like tenderness to his ministers ; who 
must not be weak with the weak, and froward with the fro- 
ward; but in meekness and patience must bear with the 
weak, and endure their most bitter censures and requitals. 
" For the servants of the Lord must not strive, but be gen- 
tle to all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing 
those that oppose themselves ", &c." And if they are long 
learning before they come to a knowledge of the truth, they 
are not therefore to be cast off. He that can read, Rom. xiv. 
and XV. 1 Cor. xii. 12. viii. Gal. vi. ; and yet can be so 
merciless and cruel, as to cast men out of the ministry or 
church, or to ruin them, for tolerable weakness, which God 
hath so earnestly charged us to bear with in our brethren, 

"» Tsa. xl. 1 1. n 2 Tim. ii. 24, ^5. 


either he doth not understand what he readeth, or not be- 
lieve it, or hath somewhat else which he more regardeth at 
his heart, than the authority or love of God. 

Direct. XI. * Do not censure every man to be wilful or 
obstinate, who is not of your opinion, when he hath heard 
your reasons, how clear soever they may seem to you.' 
Alas ! how many things are there besides wilful obstinacy, 
to hinder one man from being as wise as another. If a few 
times repeating over the reasons of an opinion, is enough to 
implant it in all the hearers, why do your children go so 
long to school, and after that to the universities ? And why 
are you so long preaching to all your parishioners? Sure 
you preach not novelties to them as long as you live ! And 
yet thirty or forty years painful preaching, even of the same 
fundamentals of religion, shall leave many ignorant of them 
in the best parishes in the land. There must be a right and 
ripe disposition in the hearers, or else the clearest reasoning 
may be ineffectual. A disused or unfurnished mind, that 
hath not received all the truths which are presupposed to 
those which you deliver, or hath not digested them into a 
clear understanding, may long hear the truest reasons, and 
never apprehend their weight. There is need of more ado 
than a bare unfolding of the truth, to make a man receive it 
in its proper evidence. Perhaps he hath been long prepos- 
sessed with contrary opinions, which are not easily rooted 
out. Or if he be but confident of the truth of some one 
opinion, which is inconsistent with yours, no wonder if he 
cannot receive that which is contrary, to what he so verily 
belie veth to be the truth. There is a marvellous variety of 
men's apprehensions, of the same opinions or reasons, as they 
are variously represented to men, and variously pondered, 
and as the natural capacity of men is various, and as the 
whole course of their lives, their education, company, and 
conversation, have variously formed their minds. It is like 
the setting together all the parts of a watch when it is in 
pieces; if any one part of many be misplaced, it may ne- 
cessitate the misplacing of those that follow, without any 
wilful obstinacy in him that doth it. If in the whole frame 
of sacred truth, there be but some one misunderstood, it may 
bring in other mistakes, and keep out many truths, even 
from an honest, willing mind. And who is there that can 


say, he is free from error? Have not you perceived in your- 
selves, that the truths which you heard a hundred times over, 
to little purpose, when you were children, were received 
more convincingly and satisfyingly when you were men. 
And that you have found a delightful clearness in some 
points on a sudden, which before you either resisted, or held 
with little observation or regard ? And yet it is common 
with the scandalizers of souls, to cry out against all that 
conform not to their opinions and will, as soon as they have 
heard their reasons, that they are stubborn, and refractory, 
and wilful, and factious, and so turn from arguments to 
clubs; as if they had never known themselves or others, nor 
how weak and dark the understandings of almost all men 
are. But they shall have judgment without mercy, who 
shew no mercy. And when their own errors shall all be 
opened to them by the Lord, they will be loath they should 
all be imputed to their wilful obstinacy. And perhaps these 
very censorious men, may prove themselves to have been 
on the wrong side; for pride and uncharitableness are 
usually erroneous. 

Direct, XII. * Engage not yourselves in an evil cause/ 
For if you do, it will engage you to draw in others ; you 
will expect your friends should take your part, and think as 
you think, and say as you say ; though it be never so much 
against truth or righteousness. 

Direct, xiii. * Speak not rashly against any cause or 
persons before you are acquainted with them ; or have well 
considered what you say. Especially take heed how you 
believe what a man of any sect in religion doth speak or 
write against his adversaries of a contrary sect.' If expe- 
rience had not proved it in our days, beyond contradiction, 
it would seem incredible how little men are to be believed 
in this case °, and how the falsest reports will run among the 
people of the sect, against those whom the interest of their 
opinion and party, engageth them to misrepresent p ! Think 
not that you are excusable for receiving or venting an ill re- 
port, because you can say, * He was an honest man that 
spoke it '.' for many that are otherwise honest, do make it a 

o Psal. cxix. 69. 

P Vix equidem crcdar. Sed cum sint praeiuia falsi 
Nulla; ratam debet testis habere fidem. Ovid. 


part of their honesty to be dishonest in this* They think 
they are not zealous enough for those opinions which they 
call their religion, unless they are easy in believing and 
speaking evil of those that are the adversaries of it. When 
it may be upon a just trial, all proveth false ; and then all 
the words which you ignorantly utter against the truth, or 
those that follow it, are scandals or stumbling-blocks to the 
hearers, to turn them from it, and make them hate it *'. I 
am not speaking against a just credulity : there must be 
human belief, or else there can be no human converse ; but 
ever suspect partiality in a party. For the interest of their 
religion is a more powerful charm to the consciences of evil 
speakers, than personal interest or bribes would be. How 
many legends tell us this, how easily some men counted 
godly, have been prevailed with to lie for God ? 

Direct, xiv. * Take heed of mocking at a religious life; 
yea, or of breaking any jests or scorns at the weaknesses of 
any in religious exercises, which may possibly reflect upon 
the exercises themselves.' Many a thousand souls have 
been kept from a holy life, by the scorns of the vulgar, that 
speak of it as a matter of derision or sport. Reading the 
Scriptures, and holy conference, and prayer, and instruct- 
ing our families, and the holy observation of the Lord's 
day, and church-discipline, are commonly the derision of 
ungodly persons, who can scorn that which they can neither 
confute nor learn : and weak people are greatly moved by 
such senseless means. A mock or jeer doth more with them 
than an argument; they cannot endure to be made a 
laughing-stock. Thus was the name of a crucified God, the 
derision of the heathens, and the scandal of the world, both 
Jews and Gentiles. And there is scarce a greater scandal 
or stumbling-block at this day, which keepeth multitudes 
from heaven, than when the devil can make it either a mat- 
ter of danger or of shame to be a Christian, or to live a holy, 
mortified life. Persecution and derision are the great suc- 
cessful scandals of the world. And therefore seeing men 
are so apt to be turned off from Christ and godliness, never 
speak unreverently or disrespectfully of them. It is a pro- 
fane and scandalous course of some, that if a preacher have 
but an unhandsome tone or gesture they make a jest of it, 

1 Rom. iii. 7, 8. Jaraes ui. 14. Job xiii. 7, 8. 


and say, ' He whined, or he spoke through the nose,' or 
some such scorn they cast upon him ; which the hearers 
quickly apply to all others, and turn to a scorn of preaching, 
or prayer, or religion itself : or if men differ from each 
other in opinion in matters of religion, they are presently 
inclined to deride them for something in their worshipping 
of God ! And while they deride a man as an Anabaptist, 
as an Independent, as a Presbyterian, as Prelatical, they 
little know what a malignant tincture it may leave upon the 
hearer's mind, and teach carnal persons to make a jest of 
all alike. 

Direct, xv. * Impute not the faults of men to Christ, and 
blame not religion for the faults of them that sin against it.' 
This is the malignant trick of satan, and his blinded instru- 
ments : if an hypocrite miscarry, or if a man that in all 
things else hath walked uprightly, be overthrown by a 
temptation in some odious sin, they presently cry out, 
* These are your professors ! your religious people ! that 
are so precise, and pure, and strict ! Try them, and they will 
appear as bad as others !' If a Noah be once drunk, or a 
Lot be overthrown thereby, or a David commit adultery and 
murder, or a Peter deny his master, or a Judas betray him, 
they presently cry out, * They are all alike !' And turn it to 
the scorn of godliness itself. Unworthy beasts ! As if Christ's 
laws were therefore to be scorned, because men break them ! 
And obedience to God were bad, because some are disobe- 
dient ! Hath Christ forbidden the sins which you blame, 
or hath he not? If he have not, blame them not, for they 
are no sins; if he have, commend the justness and holiness 
of his laws. Either the offenders you blame, did well or ill. 
If they did well, why do you blame them ? If they did ill, 
why do you not commend religion, and the Scripture which 
condemneth them ? Either it is best for all men to live in 
such sins as those which these lapsed persons or hypocrites 
committed, or it is not. If it be, why are you offended with 
them for that which you allow ? If it be not, why do you 
soothe up the wicked in their sins, and excuse an ungodly 
life, because of the falls of such as seem relig-ious ? There 
is no common ingenuity in this, but malicious spite against 
God and holiness, (of which, more in the next Chapter). 

Direct. XVI. * Make not use of civil quarrels to lay an 


odium upon religion.' It is ordinary with ungodly, mali- 
cious men, to labour to turn the displeasure of rulers, 
against men of integrity ; and if there be any broils or civil 
wars, to snatch any pretence, how false soever, to call them 
traitors and enemies to government. If it be but because 
they are against an usurper, or because some fanatic per- 
sons (whom they oppose) have behaved themselves rebel- 
liously or disobediently ; a holy life (which is the greatest 
friend to loyalty) must be blamed for all. And all is but 
to gratify the devil in driving poor souls from God and 

Direct, xvii. * When you think it your duty to speak 
of the faults of men that profess a godly life, lay the blame 
only on the person, but speak as much and more in com- 
mendations of godliness itself; and commend that which is 
good in them, while you discommend that which is evil.' 
Is their praying bad ? Is their instructing their families, 
and sanctifying the Lord's day, bad ? Is their fearing sin, 
and obeying God, bad? If not, why do you not say as 
much to commend them for these, or at least to commend 
these in themselves, as you do to discommend them for their 
faults ? Why do you not fear lest the hearers should be 
drawn to dislike a godly life by your disgracing persons 
accounted godly ? And therefore warn them to think never 
the worse of godliness for this ? You that give the poison, 
should in reason give an antidote, if it be not your design 
to poison souls. Is it really your design by speaking 
against men accounted godly, to draw the hearers to the 
hatred of godliness, or is it not ? If it be, you are incar- 
nate devils : if it be not, why do you endeavour it, by 
making odious the persons, under the name of professors 
and godly men ? And why do you not speak more to draw 
people to a godly life ? And to imitate them in that which 
is good, while they disclaim them in that which is evil? 

Direct, xviii. * Be especially tender of the reputation of 
those, that the souls of men have most dependance on : as 
the preachers of the Gospel, and the most eminent men of 
knowledge and religiousness ^' Not that I desire that sin 

'' Ita comparatum est ut virtutera non suspiciaraus, neque ejus iniitandae studio 
corrlpimur, nisi euin m quo ea conspicitur, suramo Iionoie et araore proscquamur. 
Plutarch, in Cat. Utic. 


should be the better thought of for being theirs, or that evil 
should be called good in any ; but experience hath told the 
world since God and the devil had their several w^ays and 
servants upon earth, that it hath been the deviPs most usual 
successful course, to vv^ound religion through the sides of 
the religious, and to blame the persons, w^hen he would turn 
men from the way ! For he knoweth that religious persons 
have their faults, and in them his malice may find some- 
what to fasten on ; but religion hath no fault, and malice 
itself is seldom so impudent, as to speak directly against a 
holy, heavenly life. But the way is to make those disgrace- 
ful and odious, who are noted to lead such a life ; and then 
secretly to infer, ' If those that seem godly be no better, 
you need not be godly, you are as well as you are. This 
religion is but a fantasy ; a needless, if not a troublesome, 
hurtful thing.' Seeing therefore that the devil hath no blow 
at religion, so fair as by striking at the persons of the 
preachers and professors of it, every friend of Christ must 
be acquainted with his design, and must not serve him in 
it, but counter-work him, and preserve the reputation even 
of the persons of the religious : not so much in charity to 
them, but for the people's souls, and the honour of Christ. 

Direct. XIX, * Let all that preach and profess the Gos- 
pel, and a godly life, be sure that they live according to 
their profession.' That the name of God be not evil spoken 
of among the wicked through their misdoings ^ It was the 
aggravation of David's sin which God would not quite for- 
give, that he made the enemies of the Lord blaspheme *, 
*' Servants must count their masters worthy of all honour, 
that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed "." 
The duties of good women are particularly named by the 
apostle "" : with this motive to the practice of them, " That 
the Word of God be not blasphemed." Obedience to go- 
vernment is commanded with this motive, " For so is the 
will of God, that with well-doing, you may put to silence, 
the ignorance of foolish men^." And, ** Dearly beloved, 
I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from 
fleshly lusts which war against the soul : having your conver- 
sation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak 

• Rom. ii. ' 2 Sam. xii. 14. " 1 Tim, vi. 1. Rom. ii. 24. 

' Tit. ii. A^5. y 1 Pet. ii. 15. 


against you as evil doers, they may by your works which 
they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation ^." 
And it was the aggravation of the heretics' sin, that " many 
shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the 
way of truth shall be evil spoken of ^" O then how care- 
fully should ministers and all that are godly walk ! The 
blind world cannot read the Gospel in itself, but only as it 
is exemplified by the lives of men: they judge not of the 
actions of men by the law, but of the law of God by men's 
actions ! Therefore the saving or damning of men's souls, 
doth lie much upon the lives of the professors of religion : 
because their liking or disliking a holy life doth depend 

upon them. Saith Paul of young women, " I will that 

they give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproach- 
fully ; for some are already turned aside after satan ^.'' 
Hence it is that even the appearance of evil is so carefully 
to be avoided, by all that fear God, lest others be drawn by 
it to speak evil of godliness. Every scandal (truly so 
called) is a stab to the soul of him that is scandalized, and 
a reproachful blot to the Christian cause. 1 may say of the 
faults of Christians, as Plutarch doth of the faults of prin- 
ces. * A wart or blemish in the face, is more conspicuous 
and disgraceful than in other parts.' 

Direct, xx. * Let no pretence of the evil of hypocrisy 
make you so contented with your secret innocency, as to 
neglect the edification and satisfaction of your neighbours.' 
When it is only your own interest that is concerned in the 
business, then it is no matter whether any man be acquainted 
with any good that you do ; and it is a very small matter 
how they judge, or what they say of you ; the approbation 
of God alone is enough. No matter who condemneth you, 
if he justify you. But when the vindication of your inno- 
cency, or the manifestation of your virtue, is necessary to 
the good of your neighbours' souls, or to the honour of your 
sacred profession : the neglect of it is not sincerity, but 

» 1 Pet.ii. 11, 12. » 2 Pet. ii.2. »» J Titn. t. 14, 15. 



Directions against Scandal taken, or an aptness to receive hurt, 
by the words or deeds of others. 

It was not only an admonition, but a prophecy of Christ, 
when he said, " Woe to the world because of offences ! It 
must be that offences come." And, " Blessed is he that is 
not offended or scandalized in me." He foreknew that the 
errors and misdoings of some, would be the snare and ruin 
of many others ; and that, when " damnable heresies arise, 
many will follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom 
the way of truth shall be evil spoken of''." Like men in the 
dark, where if one catch a fall, he that comes next him, 
falls upon him. 

There are four sorts of persons that use to be scandalized, 
or hurt by the sins of others. 

1. Malignant enemies of Christ and godliness who are 
partly hardened in their malice, and partly rejoiced at the 
dishonour of religion, and insult over those that give the 
offence, or take occasion by it to blaspheme or persecute.. 

2 Some that are more equal, and hopeful, and in greater 
possibility of conversion, who are stopt by it in their desires, 
and purposes, and attempts of a godly life. 

3. Unsound professors, or hypocrites, who are turned 
by scandals from the way of godliness, which they seemed 
to walk in. 

4. Weak Christians, who are troubled and hindered in 
their way of piety, or else drawn into some particular error 
or sin, though they fall not off. 

So that the effects of scandal may be reduced to these 
two. I. The perverting of men's judgments, to dislike re- 
ligion, and think hardly, either of the doctrine or practice 
of Christianity. II. The emboldening of men to commit 
particular sins, or to omit particular duties ; or at least the 
troubling and hindering them in the performance : against 
which, I shall first give you distinctly some Meditative Direc- 

*2Pet. i. 2. 


tions, and then some Practical Directions against them both 

I. Direct, i. * Consider what an evident sign it is, of a 
very blind or malicious soul, to be so apt to pick quarrels 
with God and godliness, because of the sins of other men.' 

Love thinketh not ill of those we love : ill will and ma- 
lice are still ready to impute whatever is amiss, to those 
whom they hate. Enmity is contentious and slanderous ; 
and will make a crime of virtue itself, and from any topic 
fetch matter of reproach. There is no witness seemeth in- 
credible to it, who speaketh any thing that is evil of those 
they hate. An argument ' a baculo ad verbera' is suffi* 
cient. Thus did the heathens by the primitive Christians ; 
and will you do thus by God ? Will you terrify your own 
consciences, when they shall awake, and find such an ugly 
serpent in your bosom, as malice and enmity against your 
Maker and Redeemer ? It is the nature of the devil, even 
his principal sin. And will you not only wear his livery, 
but bear his image, to prove that he is your father ? And 
by community of natures, to prove that you must also have 
a communion with him in condemnation and punishment? 
And doth not so visible a mark of devilismupon your souls, 
affright you, and make you ready to run away from your- 
selves ? Nothing but devilish malice can charge that upon 
God or godliness, which is done by sinners against his laws. 
Would you use a friend thus? If a murder were done, or a 
slander raised of you, or your house were fired, or your goods 
stolen, would you suspect your friend of it? Or any one 
that you honoured, loved, or thought well of? You would 
not certainly, but rather your enemy, or some lewd and dis- 
solute persons that were most likely to be guilty. You are 
blinded by malice, if you see not how evident a proof of 
your devilish malice this is, to be ready when men that pro- 
fess religion do any thing amiss, to think the worse of god- 
liness or religion for it ! The cause of this suspicion is 
lodged in your own hearts. 

Direct. II. * Remember that this was the first temptation, 
by which the devil overthrew mankind, to persuade them to 
think ill of God, as if he had been false to his word, and had 
envied them their felicity.' '' Ye shall not surely die : for 
God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your 



eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good 
and evil •'." And will you not be warned by the calamity of 
all the world, to take heed of thinking ill of God, and of 
his Word, and of believing the devil's reports against him ? 

Direct, in. ' Consider that to think ill of God, is to 
think him to be a devil ; and to think ill of godliness is to 
take it to be wickedness : and can man be guilty of a more 
devilish crime V Nay, is it not worse than the devil that 
tempteth you to it can commit. To be God is to be good, 
even the infinite, eternal, perfect good, in whom is no evil, 
nor none can be. To be a devil, is to be evil, even the chief 
that do evil, and would draw others so to do. It is not an 
ugly shape in which a painter doth represent the devil, 
which sheweth us his ugliness indeed : an enemy of godli- 
ness is more like to him than the picture : it is his sinful- 
ness against God, which is his true deformity. Therefore 
to suspect God to be evil, is to suspect him to be the devil, 
so horrid a blasphemy doth this sin partake of. And if 
godliness be bad, then he that is the author and end of it, 
cannot be good. 

Direct, IV. ' Consider what horrible blindness it is to 
impute men's faults to God, who is the greatest adversary 
to sin in all the world, and who will most severely punish 
it, and to godliness which is perfectly its contrary.' There 
is no angel in heaven so little to be suspected to be the 
friend of sin as God. Creatures are mutable in themselves; 
angels have the innocent imperfection of creatures ; saints 
on earth have a culpable imperfection through the remain- 
der of sin. If you had only suspected these, you might 
have had some pretence for it ; but to quarrel with God or 
godliness, is madder than to think that light is the cause of 

Direct, v. ' And think what extremity of injury and in- 
justice this is to God, to blame him or his laws, for those 
sins of men which are committed against him and his laws.' 
Who is it that sin is committed against but God ? Is it not 
he that made the laws, which it is the transgression of? 
Are not those laws, think you, strict enough against it? Is 
it not their strictness which such as you dislike ? Were 
they laws that would give you leave to be worldly, sensual, 
''■'"^^' b Gen.iii.4, 5. 




and proud, you would never quarrel with them ; and yet you 
charge men's sins on these laws, because they are so strict 
against them. Do you impute sin to God, because he will 
judge men for it to hell fire, and cast them for ever out of 
his glorious presence into misery? O cursed impudence ! 
How righteous is God in condemning such malicious souls ! 
Tell us if you can, would you have had God to have forbid- 
den sin more strictly? Or condemned it more severely? 
Or punished it more terribly ? If you would, you pray for 
greater vengeance than hell upon yourselves ! Woe to you, 
when he executeth but so much as he hath already threaten- 
ed! Shall the crime of rebels be imputed to the king, 
against whom they rebel ? If a thief shall rob you, or a 
servant deceive you, or a son despise you, is he just that 
will so much increase your injury, as to lay the blame of 
all upon yourselves ? You will say, " It is not God that 
we are offended with." But if it be at a holy life, it is at 
God : for what is godliness, but the loving, and serving, and 
obeying God? If you say, that it is not godliness neither: 
why then do you distaste or speak against a godly life, on 
this occasion ? If you say, " It is these hypocrites only 
that we dislike :" what do you dislike them for ? Is it for 
their virtue or their vices ? If it be for their sins, why then 
do you not speak and do more against sin, in yourselves 
and others ? We will concur with you to the utmost in op- 
posing sin wherever it be found. If it be their hypocrisy 
that you blame, persuade yourselves and other men to be 
sincerely godly. How would you have hypocrisy avoided? 
By an open profession to serve the devil ? Or by sincerity 
in serving God? If the latter; why then do you think evil of 
the most serious obedience to God ? Alas ! all Christian 
countries are too full of hypocrites. Every one that is bap- 
tized, and professeth Christianity, is a saint or a hypocrite ! 
All drunken, covetous, ambitious, sensual, unclean Chris- 
tians, are hypocrites, and not Christians indeed. And these 
hypocrites can quietly live a worldly, fleshly life, and never 
lament their own hypocrisy, nor their perfidious violating 
their baptismal vow. But if one that seemeth diligent for 
his soul prove an hypocrite, or fall into any scandalous sin, 
here they presently make an outcry ; not to call the man 
from his sin, but to make a godly, diligent life seem odious 


to all, by telling men, * These are your godly men/ It is god- 
liness that they quarrel with, while they pretend only to find 
fault with sin. Why else do you not find fault with the 
same sin equally in all ? Or, at least, persuade men by such 
examples to be less sinful, and more watchful, and not to 
be less religious and more loose. Tell me truly of any one 
that is more against sin than God, or any thing more con- 
trary to it than godliness and true religion, or any men that 
do more against it than the most religious, and then I will 
join with you in preferring those. Till then remember how 
you condemn yourselves, when you condemn them that are 
better than yourselves. 

Direct, vi. * Think what a foolish, audacious thing it is 
to set yourselves against your God and judge.' Will you 
accuse him of evil, because men do evil? Are you fit to 
judge him? Are guilty worms either wise or just enough 
for such an attempt, or strong enough to bear it out ? What 
do you but set your faces against heaven, and profess re- 
bellion against God, when you blame his laws and govern- 
ment, and think the obeying and serving him to be evil ? 
- Direct, vii. 'Consider what cruelty it is to yourselves, 
to turn the faults of others to your ruin, which should be 
your warning to avoid the like.' If another man sin, will 
you not only do so too, but be the more averse to repen- 
tance and reformation? Will you cut your throat, because 
another cut his finger, or did so before you ? Why should 
you do yourselves such mischief ? 

Direct, viii. * Remember that this was the design of the 
devil in tempting religious people to sin, not only to des- 
troy them, but to undo you and others by their falls.' If he 
can make you think the worse of religion, he hath his de- 
sign and will ; he hath killed many at a blow. Yea, per- 
haps the sinner may repent, and be forgiven, when you that 
are driven from repentance and godliness by the scandal, 
may be damned. And will you so far gratify the devil, in 
the wilful destruction of yourselves ? Sin is contagious ; 
and this is your catching of the infection, if it prevail to 
drive you further from God ? And thus this plague devour- 
eth multitudes. 

Direct, IX. ' He that will think ill of godliness for men's 
sins, shall never want occasion of such offence, nor such 



temptations to fly from God.' If you are so foolish or ma- 
lignant, as to pick quarrels with God and godliness for men*s 
faults, (which nothing but God and godliness can reform,) 
you may set up your standard of defiance against heaven, 
and see what you will get by it in the end. For God will 
not remove all occasion of your scandal. There ever have 
been, and will be, hypocrites in the church on earth. Noah's 
ark had a Ham, Abraham's family had an Ishmael, and 
Isaac's an Esau, and David's an Absalom, and Christ's a 
Judas. The falls of good men are cited in Scripture, to ad- 
monish you to take heed. Noah, Lot, David, Joseph's 
brethren have left a mark behind them where they fell, that 
you may take a safer way. If you will make all such the 
occasion of your malignity, you turn your medicine into 
your poison, and choose hell because some others choose it, 
or because some stumbled in the way to heaven. 

And for those who are emboldened in sin, because they 
see their superiors or religious men commit it, or read that 
David, Noah, Peter, &c. fell, let them consider. 

Direct. I. * That it is rule, and not example, which you 
must chiefly live by.' Do the laws of God by which you 
must be judged, allow of sin ? If they do, then fear it not. 

Direct, ii. Is not the example of Christ much better than 
a sinner's?' If you will follow examples, follow the best, 
even that which was given you purposely to imitate. The 
greatest and most learned man is fallible, and the most reli 
gious is not wholly free from sin : sincerity writeth after 
a perfect copy, though it cannot reach it. 

Direct, iii. * Consider that sin is not the better but the 
worse, for being committed by a religious, a great, or a 
learned man.' Their place, their knowledge, and profession 
aggravate th it. And shall that embolden you which God 
most hateth ? 

Direct. IV. ' And consider that when he that falleth by 
a surprise, doth rise again by repentance, and is pardoned, 
those that are hereby emboldened to sin deliberately and 
impenitently, shall be condemned.* You may sin with Da- 
vid or Peter when you will, but you cannot rise with them 
by true repentance, without that grace which you wilfully 
resist and forfeit. 


Direct, v. Lastly, ' Consider that the best men, and the 
greatest, are the most dangerous tempters, when they mis- 
lead us.' A David was a stronger temptation to Bathshe- 
ba, than another man could have been. A Peter might 
sooner,mislead Barnabas, and others, ijito a sinful dissimu- 
lation and separation, than another could have done . There- 
fore do not think that where your danger is greatest, your 
. yenturousness should be most. 

Practical Directions against Offence and Hurt by others. 

Direct, i. * Lay well your foundation, and understand 
the nature and reasons of religion ; and then you will be so 
far from disliking it for the errors and falls of others, that 
it will be written upon your minds, as with a beam of the 
sun. That there can be no reason against obeying God, 
and against the careful securing of our salvation.' This 
will be the first and undoubted principle, which nothing in 
the world can make you question. Whatever scandals, 
persecutions or sufferings may attend a holy life, you will 
still be past doubt that there is no other way. N.o other 
eligible, no other tolerable, no other rational, or that will 
lead to happiness. Whatever falls out in the world, if the 
most great, or learned, or religious fall away, it will not 
make you question. Whether a man be a living creature, nor 
whether the sun be light, nor whether two and two be four. 
No more should it make you question. Whether God be 
better than the creature, heaven than earth, or a life of ho- 
liness than a life of sin. You will say as Peter, " Lord, 
whither should we go ? Thou hast the words of eternal 
life *=." Whatever scandals are given, or whatever befall the 
church, or if all the disciples of Christ forsake him, this re- 
maineth as sure as that the earth is under us, that there is 
no other way than holiness, for a wise man once to take in- 
to his thoughts. 

Direct, ii. * Get once a sincere love to God, and a holy 
life, and then no scandals will make you jealous of it, nor 
think of looking any other way.' It is want of true and 
hearty love, that maketh you so easily taken off. 

Direct, m. * To this end, know religion by experience; 

' John vi. 68. 



and this will put you past all doubt of his goodness.' He 
that never tasted sugar, may be persuaded by argument that 
it is not sweet, or may think it bitter when he seeth another 
spit it out ; and he that knoweth godliness, but by looking 
on, or hearsay, may thus be drawn to think it bad : but so 
will not he that hath truly tried it ; I mean not only to try 
what it is to hear, and read, and pray ; but what it is to be 
humble, holy and heavenly, both in heart and life. 

Direct, iv. * When you see any man sin, be sure you do 
that duty which it calls you to.' Every fall that you see of 
others doth call you to see the odiousness of sin (as you will 
do when you see a drunkard spewing, or a thief at the 
whipping-post). And it calleth you to search for, and la- 
ment the root of such sin in yourselves, and set your watch 
more strictly upon such a warning ; and it calls you to 
compassionate the sinner, and if you have hope and oppor- 
tunity to endeavour his recovery. If you will conscionably 
do this duty which is your own, you will be the less in dan- 
ger of hurt by scandal. It is duty that must help to pre- 
vent infection. 

Direct, v. ' Be watchful among all men, high and low, 
learned or unlearned, good and bad.' Venture not blindly 
upon the singular opinion of any men whatsoever ; nor into 
any new unproved way. Remember that all men are a 
temptation to others ; and therefore be armed and watch 
against such temptation. Know well what it is, that is the 
peculiar temptation, which the quality of those that you 
have to do with, layeth before you. Spend no day or hour 
in any company, good or bad, without a wise and careful 

Direct, vi. * Be as little as you can in scandalous and 
tempting company.' Presume not to touch pitch, and pro- 
mise yourselves to escape defilement ; especially fly from 
two sorts of scandals. First, The discourses and societies 
of heretical or schismatical men, who speak perverse things 
to draw away disciples after them ^. Those that presume 
to run into such snares, and think their own understanding 
and stability are sufficient to preserve them, do shew by their 
pride that they are near a fall *. Secondly, The company of 
sensual persons, at stage-plays, gaming, inordinate plays, 

^ Acts XX. SO. •= 1 Cor. x. 


and wanton dalliance. For this is to bring^ your tinder and 
gunpowder to the fire ; and the less you fear it, the greater 
is your danger. 

Dir-ect. yii. * Look more at the good that is in others, 
than at their faults and falls/ The fly that will fall on none 
but the galled ulcerous place, doth feed accordingly. Is a 
professor of religion, covetous, drunk, or any other ways 
scandalous? Remember that it is his eovetonsness or 
drunkenness that is bad. Reprove that, and fly from it, 
and spare not; but religion is good ; let that therefore be 
commended and imitated. Leave the carrion to dogs and 
crows to feast upon; but do you choose out the things 
that are commendable, and mind, and mention, and imitate 

Direct, "v in. Lastly, * Think and speak as much against 
the sin and danger of taking scandal, as against the sin and 
danger of giving it.' When others cry out, * These are your 
religious people,' do you cry out as much against their ma- 
lignity and madness, who will dislike or reproach religion 
for men's sins. Which is to blame the law-makers or laws, 
because they are broken ; or to fall out with health, because 
many that once were in health, fall sick ; or to find fault 
with eating, because some are lean ; or with clothing, be- 
cause some are cold. Open to yourselves and others, what 
a wicked and perilous thing this is, to fall out with godli- 
ness, because some are ungodly, that seemed godly. Many 
cry out against scandal, that never think what a heinous 
sin it is to be scandalized, or to suffer men's sins to be a 
scandal to you ; and to be the worse, because that others 
are so bad. No one must differ from them in an opinion, 
or a fashion of apparel, or in a mode or form of worship, 
but some are presently scandalized ; not knowing that it is 
a greater sin in them to be scandalized, than in the other 
by such means (supposing them to be faulty) to give them 
the occasion. Do you know what it is to be scandalized or 
offended in the Scripture sense ? It is not merely to be dis- 
pleased, or to dislike another's actions (as is before said) ; 
but it is to be drawn into some sin, or hindered from some 
duty, or stopped in the course of religion, or to think the 
worse of truth, or duty, or a godly life, because of other 
wen's words or actions ; and do you think him a good 


Christian, and a faithful or constant friend to godliness, 
who is so easily brought to quarrel with it ? Or is so easily 
turned from it, or hindered in it ? Some peevish, childish 
persons are like sick stomachs, that no meat can please ; 
you cannot dress it so curiously, but they complain that it 
is naught, or this aileth it, or that aileth it, when the fault 
is in themselves ; or like children, or sick persons that can 
scarce be touched but they are hurt : do you think that 
this sickliness or curiosity in religion, is a credit to you ? 
This is not the tenderness of conscience which God requi- 
reth, to be easily hurt by other men's differences and faults . 
As it is the shame of many ladies and gentlewomen, to b e 
so curious and troublesomely neat, that no servant knoweth 
how to please them ; so is it in religion, a sign of your 
childish folly, and worse, to be guilty of such proud curio- 
sity, that none can please you, who are not exactly of your 
mind and way. All men must follow your humours in ges- 
tures, fashions, opinions, formalities and modes, or else you 
are troubled, and offended, and scandalized ; as if all the 
world were made to please and humour you I Or you were 
wise enough, and great and good enough, to be the rule of 
all about you ! Desire and spare not, that yourselves and 
all men should please God as exactly as possible. But if 
the want of that exactness in doubtful things, or a difference 
in things disputable and doubtful among true Christians, 
do thereupon abate or hinder your love or estimation of your 
brethren, or communion with them, or any other Christian 
duty, or tempt you into censoriousness or contempt of your 
brethren, or to schism, persecution or any other sin; it is 
you that are the great offenders, and you that are like to be 
the sufferers ; and have cause to lament that sinful aptness 
to be thus scandalized. 


Directions against Soul-murder, and partaking of other Men's 


The special Directions given Part iii. Chap, xxii., to pa- 
rents and masters, will in this case be of great use to all 
others ; but because it is here seasonable to speak of it fur- 


ther, under the sixth commandment, and the matter is of 
the greatest consequence, I shall, 1. Tell you how men are 
guilty of soul-murder. 2. And then give you some general 
Directions for the furthering of men's salvation. 3. And 
next give you some special Directions for Christian exhor- 
tation and reproofs. 

First, Men are guilty of soul-murder by all these ways. 
1. By preaching false soul-murdering doctrine. Such as 
denieth any necessary point of faith, or holy living ; such as 
is opposite to a holy life, or to any particular necessary du- 
ty : such as maketh sin to be no sin : which calls good evil, 
and evil good ; which putteth darkness for light, and light 
for darkness. 

2. By false application of true doctrine, indirectly re- 
flecting upon, and disgracing that holiness of life, which in 
terms they preach for ; by prevarication undermining that 
cause which their office is appointed to promote ; as they 
do, who purposely so describe any vice, that the hearers 
may be drawn to think that strict and godly practices, are 
either that sin itself, or but a cloak to hide it. 

3. By bringing the persons of the most religious into ha- 
tred, by such false applications, reflections, or secret insin- 
uations, or open calumnies ; making men believe that they 
are all but hypocrites, or schismatics, or seditious, or fana- 
tical, self-conceited persons ! Which is usually done either 
by impudent slanders raised against some particular men, 
and so reflected on the rest ; or by the advantage of factions, 
controversies or civil wars ; or by the falls of any profes- 
sors, or the crimes of hypocrites : whereupon they would 
make the world believe that they are all alike ; as if Christ's 
family were to be judged of by Peter's fall, or Judas's 
falsehood. And the odious representation of godly men 
doth greatly prevail to keep others from godliness, and is 
one of the devil's most successful means for the damnation 
of multitudes of souls. 

4. The disgrace of the persons of the preachers of the 
Gospel, doth greatly further men's damnation. For when 
the people think their teachers to be hypocrites, covetous, 
proud, and secretly as bad as others, they are very like to 
think accordingly of their doctrine, and that all strict reli- 
gion is but hypocrisy, or at least to refuse their help and 


counsels. Even Plutarch noted, that, ** It so comes to pass 
that we entertain not virtue, nor are rapt into a desire of 
imitating it, unless we highly honour and love the person 
in whom it is discerned." And if they see, or think the 
preacher to be himself of a loose, and careless and licen- 
tious life, they will think that the like is very excusable in 
themselves ; and that his doctrine is but a form of speech, 
which his office bindeth him to say ; but is no more to be 
regarded by them, than by himself. 

Two ways is men's damnation thus promoted. 1. By 
the ill lives of hypocritical, ungodly preachers, who actual- 
ly bring their own persons into disgrace, and thereby also 
the persons of others, and consequently their sacred work 
and function. 2. By wicked preachers and people, who 
through a malignant hatred of those that are abler and bet- 
ter than themselves, and an envy of their reputation, do la- 
bour to make the most zealous and faithful preachers of the 
Gospel, to be thought the most hypocritical, or erroneous, 
or factious and schismatical. 

5. The neglect of ministerial duties is a common cause 
of sin, and of men's damnation. When they that take the 
charge of souls, are either unable or unwilling to do their 
office ; when they teach them too seldom, or too unskilful- 
ly, in an unsuitable manner ; not choosing that doctrine 
which they most need, or not opening it plainly and me- 
thodically in a fitness to their capacities, or not applying it 
with necessary seriousness and urgency to the hearers' 
state. When men preach to the ungodly who are near to 
damnation, in a formal pace, like a schoolboy saying his 
lesson, or in a drowsy, reading tone, as if they came to 
preach them all asleep, or were afraid of wakening them. 
When they speak of sin, and misery, and Christ, of heaven 
and hell, as if by the manner they came to contradict the 
matter, and to persuade men that there are no such things. 

The same mischief followeth the neglect of private, per- 
sonal inspection. When ministers think that they have 
done all, when they have said a sermon, and never make 
conscience of labouring personally to convince the ungodly, 
and reclaim offenders, and draw sinners to God, and con- 
firm the weak. And the omission (much more the perver- 
sion) of sacred discipline, hath the like effects. When the 


keys of the church are used to shut out the good, or not 
used when they ought, to rebuke or shut out the impeni- 
tent wicked ones ; nor to difference between the precious 
and the vile, it hardeneth multitudes in their ungodliness, 
and persuadeth them that they are really of the same family 
of Christ, as the godly are, and have their sins forgiven, be- 
cause they are partakers of the same holy sacraments. (Not 
knowing the difference between the church mystical and 
visible, nor between the judgment of ministers, and of Christ 

6. Parents' neglect of instructing children, and other 
parts of holy education, is one of the greatest causes of the 
perdition of mankind, in all the world : but of this else- 

7. Magistrates' persecution or opposition to religion, or 
discountenancing those that preach it, or most seriously 
practise it, tendeth to deceive some, who over-reverence 
the judgment of superiors, and to affright others from the 
obedience of God. 

8. Yea, the negligence of magistrates, masters and other 
superiors, omitting the due rebuke of sinners, and due cor- 
rection of the offenders, and the due encouragement of the 
good, is a great cause of the wickedness and damnation of 
the world. 

9. But above all, when they make laws for sin, or for 
the contempt, or dishonour or suppression of religion, or 
the serious practice of it ; this buildeth up satan's kingdom 
most effectually, and turneth God's ordinance against him- 
self: thousands under infidel and ungodly princes, are con- 
ducted by obedience to damnation ; and their rulers damn 
them as honourably as the physician killed his patients, who 
boasted that he did it * secundum artem,' according to the 
rules of art. 

10. The vulgar example of the multitude of the ungod- 
ly, is a great cause of men's impiety and damnation. They 
must be well resolved for God and holiness, who will not 
yield to the major vote, nor be carried down the common 
stream, nor run with the rabble to excess of riot. When 
Christianity is a sect which is every where spoken against % 
it proveth so narrow a way that few have a mind to walk in 

a Actsxxviii. !iJi. 


it. Men think that they are at least excusable, for not be- 
ing wiser and better than the multitude. Singularity in 
honour, or riches, or strength, or health, is accounted no 
crime ; but singularity in godliness, is, at least, thought un- 
necessary. * What ! will you be wiser than all the town, 
or, than such and such superiors ? ' is thought a good re- 
prehension of godliness, where it is rare ; even by them 
who hereby conclude their superiors, or all the town to be 
wiser than God. 

11. Also the vulgar's scorning and deriding godliness, 
is a common cause of murdering souls ; because the devil 
knoweth, that there cannot one word of solid reason be 
brought against the reason of God, and so against a holy 
life ; he therefore teacheth men to use such weapons as they 
have. A dog hath teeth, and an adder hath a sting, though 
they have not the weapons of a man. A fool can laugh, 
and jeer, and rail ; and there is no great wit or learning ne- 
cessary, to smile, or grin, or call a man a Puritan, or preci- 
sian, or heretic, or schismatic, or any name which the ma- 
lice of the age shall newly coin. Mr. Robert Bolton large- 
ly sheweth how much the malignity of his age, did vent it- 
self against godliness, by the reproachful use of the word, 
' Puritan.' When reason can be bribed to take the devil's 
part (either natural or literate reason) he will hire it at any 
rate ; but when it cannot, he will make use of such as he 
can get. Barking or hissing may serve turn, where talking 
and disputing cannot be procured. Drum and trumpets in 
an army, serve the turn instead of oratory, to animate cow- 
ards, and drown the noise of dying men's complaints and 
groans Thousands have been mocked out of their religion 
and salvation at once, and jeered into hell, who now know, 
whether a scorn, or the fire of hell, be the greater suffering. 
As tyrants think that the greatest, and ablest, and wisest 
men, must either be drawn over to their party or destroyed ; 
so the tyrant of hell, who ruleth in the children of disobe- 
dience, doth think that if reason, learning and wit, cannot 
be hired to dispute for him against God, they are to be sup- 
pressed, silenced and disgraced ; which the noise of rude 
clamours, and foolish jeers is fit enough to perform. 

12. Also idle, senseless prating against religion as a 
needless thing, doth serve turn to deceive the simple : igno- 


rant people, who converse with no wiser men, are ordinarily 
taken with the silly cavils of a drunken sot, who hath but a 
little more volubility or looseness of tongue than his com- 
panions. It would make one's head and heart ache, to 
hear with what reverend nonsense one of them will talk 
against the doctrines or practices of godliness, and how 
submissively the tractable herd receiveth, and consenteth to 
his documents ! 

13. Also it tendeth much to the helping of satan, and 
murdering of souls, to keep up the reputation of the most 
ungodly, and to keep down the reputation of the good. 
The devil knoweth that sin itself, is such a thing, as few 
men can love barefaced, or commend ; and that goodness 
or holiness is such a thing, as few men can hate, or, at 
least condemn, in its proper name and colours. Therefore 
he seeketh to make the reputation of the persons serve, to 
promote or hinder the cause which he is for or against. He 
that is ashamed to say of drunkenness or whoredom, that 
they are good and honest practices, dare yet say of drun- 
kards and whoremongers, ' They are very honest men :' and 
by their reputation take off some of the odiousness of the 
sin, and reconcile the hearers to it. And he that cannot 
for shame say of the forbearing of sin, and living a holy 
life, in heavenly contemplation, prayer and obedience, that, 
* These are hypocrisy, schism, or sedition, covetousness, 
deceit and pride ; ' yet dare say of the person who practi- 
seth them, that, * He is as covetous, deceitful, proud, hypo- 
critical, schismatical or seditious as any others who make 
no profession of religion.' And the devil knoweth, that 
though good doctrine hath no mixture of evil, nor Christ 
himself any blemish or spot, yet the best persons are so 
faulty or defectible, that an ill report is less incredible, 
there being too much matter to raise a suspicion on. And 
through their sides, it is easiest to wound the doctrine or 
holiness which they profess. 

14. Also persuading sinners to do evil, and dissuading 
them from a godly life, is another way of murdering souls. 
The devil's temptations are most by instruments ; he hath 
his preachers as well as Christ ; and it were well if they did 
not overgo us in earnestness, frequency, and constancy. 
Where is there a poor soul that is moved by God to turn 


and live, but the devil hath some at hand to drive them 
from it? By persuading them that it is needless, and that 
all is well with them, and telling them some dismal stories 
of a holy life. 

15. Another way of soul murder, is by laying baits of 
deceit and sin before the sinner : as men destroy rats and 
mice by baits, and sweetened poison ; or catch flies or birds 
by covering their death with something which they most 
love ; so doth the devil and his instruments destroy souls : 
the baits of a pleasant cup, or pleasant company, or plea- 
sant meats, or pleasant sports, or plays, or games ; a feast, 
a tavern, an alehouse, a whore, a stage-play, a romance, a 
pair of cards or dice, can do the deed. If he can possibly, 
he will prove it a thing lawful ; if he cannot, he will prove 
it a venial sin ; if that cannot be, he will drown considera- 
tion, and stop the mouth of reason and conscience, and cry, 
' Drive on.' Some have yet higher baits than these ; lord- 
ships and lands, dominion and honour, to choak their 

16. Also an honest name for sin, and a dishonest name 
for duty to God, doth serve the turn for many men's perdi- 
tion. To call drunkenness, good fellowship, or, to take a 
cup ; and gluttony, good housekeeping ; and voluptuous- 
ness, recreation or pastime; and pride, the maintaining of 
their honour ; and worldliness, good husbandry ; and pro- 
digality, liberality : and lust, and whoredom, love, and having 
a mistress; and oppression, the seeking of their due; and 
perfidious dissimulation, courtship ; and jeering, wittiness. 
These, and more such, are traps for souls. And of the same 
use is the calling of duties by names of vice, which tend to 
make them odious or contemptible. 

17. Also the flattering of sinners, and praising them in 
their sin, is a soul-murdering encouragement to them in ill- 
doing ; and great sinners seldom want such enemies. 

18. An obedient readiness to all that wicked superiors 
command, is an encouragement to them to proceed in mis- 
chief. If parents or masters command their inferiors to 
spend the Lord's day in dancing, or other unlawful exer- 
cises ; or bid them steal, or lie, or forbid them to worship 
God ; those that obey them, do harden them in their sin. 


As Daniel antfthe three witnesses had done the king, if they 
had obeyed him ^. 

19. Also when those that have power to hinder sin, and 
further godliness, do not do it. When they either give men 
leave to sin, or forbear their duty when they should restrain 
it. He that stands by, and seeth his neighbour robbed or 
murdered, and doth not what he can to save him, is guilty 
of the sin, and the sufferer's hurt. 

20. Silence, when we are obliged to reprove a sinner, or 
to instruct the ignorant, or exhort the obstinate, or any way 
speak for men's salvation, is injurious to their souls, and 
maketh us partakers of their sin. Soul-murder may be 
done by bare omissions. 

21. Opposing magistrates, ministers, or any others, in 
the discharge of their duty for godliness, or against sin, is 
an act of hostility against God, and men's salvation. 

22. An unnecessary occasioning of sin, or doing that 
needlessly, which we may foresee that by accident another 
will destroy himself by, is to be guilty of his sin and destruc- 
tion : as he is that would sell poison to him, that he might 
foresee would kill himself with it ; or lend fire to his neigh- 
bour, who he knoweth will burn his house with it. But of 
this before, in the Chapter of Scandal. 

23. They that are guilty of schisms or church-divisions, 
are murderers of souls : by depriving them of that means 
(the concord and harmony of believers), which God hath 
appointed for men's conviction and salvation *= : and by 
setting up before them the greatest scandal, to bring reli- 
gion into contempt, and debilitate the godly. 

24. Those also that mourn not for the sins jof the times, 
and confess them not to God, and pray not against them, 
and pray not for the sinners when they ought, are thus 

25. And so are they that secretly rejoice in sin, or con- 
sent to it, or approve it when it is done ; which if they ma- 
nifest, it is pernicious to. others also. 

26. Lastly, A coldness or indifferency in the doing of 
our duty against sin, without just zeal, and pity to the sin- 
ner, and reverence to the truth, is a way of guilt, and hurt- 
eth others. To reprove sin, as Eli did his sons ; or to speak 

>> Dan. ui. vi. «^ John xvii. 21. «d. ** Ezek. ix, 4. Zeph. iii. 17, 18. 


against it lightly as between jest and earnest, is the way to 
make the sinner think that it is a small or jesting matter. 
To persuade men to conversion or a godly life, without a 
melting love and pity to their souls, and without the reve- 
rence of God, and seriousness of mind, which the nature and 
weight of the thing requireth, is the way to harden them in 
their sin and misery. All these ways may a man be guilty, 
first, of the sin, and secondly, the perdition of another. 

But here (on the negative part) take notice of these 
things following. 

1 . That properly no man doth partake of the same, for- 
mal, numerical sin, which is another's ; ' noxa caput sequi- 
tur.' The sin is individuated and informed by the individual 
will of the offender. It is not possible that another man's 
sin should be properly and formally mine, unless I were in- 
dividually and formally that same man, and not another. 
If two men set their hands to the same evil deed, they are 
distinct causes and subjects of the distinct formal guilt; 
though con-causes, and partial causes of the effect : so that 
it is only by multiplication that we make the guilt or sin of 
another to become the matter of sin to us, the form result- 
ing from ourselves. 

2. All men that are guilty of the sin and damnation of 
other men, are not equally guilty : not only as some are par- 
doned upon repentance, and some remain impenitent and 
unpardoned ; but as some contribute wilfully to the mis- 
chief, and with delight, and in a greater measure ; and some 
only in a small degree, by an oversight, or small omission, 
or weak performance of a duty, by mere infirmity or 

3. All that do not hinder sin, or reprove it, are not 
guilty of it ; no more than all that do not punish it ; but 
those only that have power and opportunity, and so are call- 
ed by God to do it. 

4. If another man will sin, and destroy his soul, by the 
occasion of my necessary duty, I must not cease my duty 
to prevent such men's sin or hurt ; else one or other will by 
their perverseness, excuse me from almost all the duty which 
I should do. I must not cease praying, hearing, sacra- 
ments, nor withdraw from church-communion, because 
another will turn it to his sin ; else satan should use the 



sin of others to frustrate all God's worship. Yet I must 
add, that many things cease to be a duty, when another will 
be so hurt by them. 

5. I am not guilty of all men's sins, which are committed 
in my presence ; no, though I know beforehand that they 
will sin. For my calling or duty may lead me into the 
presence of those, that I may foreknow will sin. Wicked 
men sin in all that they do, and yet it foUoweth not, that I 
must have nothing to do with them. Many a failing which 
is his sin, may a minister or church be guilty of, even in 
that public worship of God, which yet I am bound to be 
present at. 

But of all these somewhat is said before. Chap. xii. 


General Directions for the furthering of the Salvation of 


The great means which we must use for the salvation of our 
neighbours, are. 

Direct, i. ' Sound doctrine : let those who are their in- 
structors, inculcate the wholesome principles of godliness ; 
which are, selfdenial, mortification, the love of God and 
man, the hopes of heaven, universal, absolute obedience to 
God ; and all this by faith in Jesus Christ, according to the 
holy Scriptures.* Instead of novelties, or vain j anglings, 
and perverse disputings, teach them these principles here 
briefly named, over and over an hundred times ; open these 
plainly, till they are well understood. These are the ne- 
cessary, saving things ; this is the doctrine which is accord- 
ing to godliness, which will make sound Christians, of sound 
judgments, sound hearts, sound conversations, and sound 
consciences ! God sanctifieth his chosen ones by these 

Direct, ii. ' Therefore do your best to help others to the 
benefit of able and faithful pastors, and instructors.' A 
fruitful soil is not better for your seed ; nor a good pasture 
for your horse or cattle ; nor wholesome diet for yourselves, 
than such instructors are for your neighbours* souls. If 



you love them, you should be more desirous to help them to 
good teachers ; or plant them under a sound and powerful 
ministry, than to procure them any worldly benefits. One 
time or other the Word may prevail with them. It is hope- 
ful to be still in mercy's way. 

Direct, iii. ' The concord of their teachers among them- 
selves, is a great help to the saving of the flock.' " That 
they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, 
that they also may be one in us ; that the world may believe 
that thou hast sent me ^." Concord much furthereth reve- 
rence and belief; and consequently men's salvation (so it 
be a holy concord). 

Direct, iv. * The concord also of godly, private Chris- 
tians hath the same effect.' When the ignorant see here a 
sect, and there a sect, and hear them condemning one 
another, it teacheth them to contemn them all, and think 
contemptibly of piety itself; but concord layeth an awe 
upon them. 

Direct, v. ' The blameless, humble, loving, heavenly 
lives of Christians, is a powerful means of winning souls.' 
Preach therefore every one of you, by such a conversation 
to all your neighbours, whom you desire to save. 

Direct. VI. ' Keep those whom you would save inahum- 
ble, patient, learning posture ; and keep them from proud 
wranglings, and running after novelties and sects.' The 
humble learner takes root downward, and silently groweth 
up to wisdom ; but if once they grow self-conceited, they 
turn to wranglings, and place their religion in espoused, sin- 
gular opinions, and in being on this or that side, or church ; 
and fall into divided congregations, where the business is to 
build up souls by destroying charity, and teaching sectaries 
to overvalue themselves, and despise dissenters. Till at 
last they run themselves out of breath, and perhaps fall out 
with all true religion. 

Direct, vii. ' Do what you can to place them in good 
families, and when they are to be married, to join them to 
such as are fit to be their helpers.' In families and relations 
of that sort, people are so near together, and in such con- 
stant converse, that it will be very much of the help or hin- 
drance of their salvation. 

* John xvii. 21. 25. 


Direct, viii. ' Keep them also as much as is possible in 
good company, and out of bad, seducing company ; espe- 
cially those that are to be their familiars/ The world's ex- 
perience telleth us what power company hath, to make men 
better or worse : and what a great advantage it is to work 
any thing on men's minds, to have interest in them, and in- 
timacy with them ; especially with those that are yet to re- 
ceive their deepest impressions. 

Direct. \x, ' Keep them from the most dangerous baits, 
opportunities, and temptations to sensuality.' Withdraw 
the tinder and gunpowder from the fire. There is no curing 
a drunkard ordinarily in an alehouse or tavern, or a forni- 
cator, while he is near the objects of his lust, nor a glutton, 
at a full, enticing table. Set them at a farther distance from 
the danger, if you would have them safe. * Nemo diu tutus 
periculo proximus *.' 

Direct, x. * Take the advantage of their personal afflic- 
tions, or any other notable warnings that are near them. 
Keep them oft in the house of mourning, where death may 
be as in their sight ; and keep them out of the house of 
foolish mirth.* The time of sickness is an awakening time, 
and powerfully openeth the ear to counsel. The sight of 
the dead or dying persons, the hearing of sick men's wishes 
and complaints, the sight of graves, and dead men's bones 
(if not too oft to make it customary) doth often force the 
most foolish and obstinate, to some manlike, profitable 
thoughts. When the noise of foolish mirth and sports, at 
rabble-m«etings, stage-plays, and May-games, riotings, or 
immoderate, rude, or tempting plays, do kill all sober, saving 
motions, and indispose the mind to all that is good. Though 
seasonable and useful delights are lawful, yet such as are 
unseasonable, immoderate, ensnaring, scandalous, or un- 
profitable, are pernicious or poison to the soul. 

Direct, xi. ' Engage them in the reading of the holy 
Scriptures, and of such books of practical divinity, as do at 
once most plainly acquaint them with the principles of re- 
ligion, and piercingly set them home upon the conscience ; 
that j udgment and affection, head and heart may be edified 
at once. Such suitable books may be daily their compa- 
nions ; and it is a great advantage to them, that they may 
have a powerful sermon when they please, and read over 

a Seneca. 



the same things as oft as the frailty of their memories do 
require. Such private, innocent companions have saved 
many a soul. 

Direct, xii. ' Engage them in a constant course of 
prayer, (whether it be with a book, or form, or without, ac- 
cording to the parts and condition of the person).' For the 
often approaching to God in so holy a work, will affright or 
shame a man from sin, and stir him up to serious thoughts 
of his salvation, and engage him to a godly life. 

Direct, xiii. ' If you would have all these means effec- 
tual to men's conversion and salvation, shew them all hearty 
love and kindness, and do them all the good you can.* 
Men are naturally more easily sensible of the good of their 
bodies, than of their souls ; and a kindness to the body is 
thankfully received, and may prepare them to receive a 
greater benefit. What you are unable to do for them your- 
selves, solicit those that are able to do ; or, if you cannot 
do that either, at least shew your pity and good-will. Love 
is the most powerful preacher in the world. 

Direct, xiv. ' Be sure that you have no fallings out, or 
quarrels with any that you would do good upon. And to 
that end, usually it is the best way, to have as little to do 
with them in buying and selling, or any worldly matters, 
where mine and thine may come into competition, as possi- 
bly you can : or, if you cannot avoid it, you must be con- 
tent to part with somewhat of your right, and suffer some 
wrongs for fear of hurt to your neighbour's soul.' Even 
godly persons, yea, parents and children, brethren and sis- 
ters, usually fall out about mine and thine. And when 
self-interest hath bred the quarrel, they usually think ill of 
the person who is supposed to injure them; and then they 
are made incapable of receiving any spiritual good by him, 
and if he seem religious, they are oft alienated from religion 
for his sake. And all unconverted persons are selfish, and 
usually look that you should fulfil their desires, and suit 
yourselves to their interest, without respect to right or 
wrong, or to your own sufferings ! Yet such as these must 
be pitied and helped ; and therefore it is usually best to 
avoid all chaffering or worldly dealings with them, lest you 
lose them. And when that cannot be, you must judge a 


little departing from your own right, to be a very cheap 
price to procure the good of a neighbour's soul. 

Direct, xv. ' See that in matters of religion you neither 
run too far from such men in things lawful, nor yet do any 
thing sinful in compliance with them.' By concurring with 
them in any sin, you will harden them, and hinder their con- 
version ; and so you will by singular or violent opposition 
in things indifferent. Those persons are quite mistaken, 
who think that godly men must go as far from the ungodly 
as ever they can, in lawful things ; and say, * The ungodly 
do thus, and therefore we must do otherwise.' Paul was of 
another mind and practice, when he circumcised Timothy, 
and " became all things to all men, to save some." To 
place religion in things indifferent, and to cry out against 
lawful things as sinful, or to fly from others by needless 
singularities, is a great cause of the hardening and perdition 
of multitudes, turning their hearts against religion, and 
making them think that it is but unnecessary scruple, and 
that religious persons are but self-conceited, brain-sick peo- 
ple, that make to themselves a duty of their superstition, 
and condemn all that be not as humourous as they. Lay 
not such stumbling-blocks before any whose souls you de- 
sire to save. 


Special Directions for Christian Conference, Exhortation, and 


Tit. 1. Motives to Christian Conference and Exhortation. 

The right use of speech being a duty of such plain impor- 
tance, as I have before shewed about the government of the 
tongue ; and it being a way of communication, by which 
we are all obliged to exercise our love to one another, even 
in the greatest matter, the saving of souls, I shall first en- 
deavour to persuade them to this duty, who make too little 
conscience of it; and that by these following considera- 

Mot. I. • Consider that it is the exercise of our humanity : 


reason and speech do difference us from the brutes. If by 
being reasonable we are men, then by using reason we live 
as men ; and the first communicative use of reason is by 
speech ; by thinking, we exercise reason for ourselves ; by 
speaking, we exercise it (first) for others.' Therefore if our 
reason be given us for the highest uses to ourselves, (to 
know God and eternal life, and the means thereto,) then 
certainly our speech is also given us, for the same highest 
uses, by way of communication unto others. Use therefore 
your tongues to those noble ends, for which they were given 
you. Use them as the tongues of men, to the ends which 
human nature is created for. 

Mot, II, ' There is no subject so sublime and honourable 
for the tongue of man to be employed about, as the matters 
of God, and life eternal.' Children will talk of childish 
toys, and countrymen talk of their corn and cattle, and 
princes and statesmen look down on these with contemp- 
tuous smiles, as much below them: but crowns and king- 
doms are incomparably more below the business of a holy 
soul ! The higher subjects philosophers treat of, the more 
honourable (if well done) are their discourses. But none 
is so high as God and glory. 

Mot. III. ' It is the most profitable subject to the hear- 
ers.' A discourse of riches, at the most, can but direct 
them how to grow rich ; a discourse of honours usually puf- 
feth up the minds of the ambitious : and if it could advance 
the auditors to honour, the fruit would be a vanity little to 
be desired. But a discourse of God, and heaven, and holi- 
ness, doth tend to change the hearers' minds into the na- 
ture of the things discoursed of: it hath been the means of 
converting and sanctifying many a thousand souls. As 
learned discourses tend to make men learned in the things 
discoursed of; so holy discourses tend to make men holy. 
For as natural generation begetteth not gold or kingdoms, 
but a man ; so speech is not made to communicate to others 
(directly) the wealth, or health, or honours, or any extrin- 
sical things which the speaker hath ; but to communicate 
those mental excellencies which he is possessed of. " The 
sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is 
a well-spring of life to him that hath it^." " In the lips of 

* Prov. xvi. 21, n. 


him that hath understanding, wisdom is found. The lips 

of the righteous feed many ''." ** The lipc of the wise dis- 
perse knowledge ; but the heart of the foolish doth not so *".*' 
" There is gold, and a multitude of rubies ; but the lips of 
knowledge are a precious j ewel ^.*' " The tongue of the j ust 
is as choice silver ; the heart of the wicked is little worth *." 

Mot, IV. * Holy discourse is also most profitable to the 
speaker himself.' Grace increaseth by the exercise. Even 
in instructing others and opening truth, we are ofttimes 
more powerfully led up to further truth ourselves, than by 
solitary studies. For speech doth awaken the intellectual 
faculty, and keepeth on the thoughts in order, and one truth 
oft inferreth others, to a thus excited and prepared mind. 
And the tongue hath a power of moving on our hearts ; 
when we blow the fire to warm another, both the exercise 
and the fire warm ourselves : it kindleth the flames of holy 
love in us, to declare the praise of God to others ; it in- 
creaseth a hatred of sin in us, to open its odiousness to 
others. We starve ourselves, when we starve the souls 
which we should cherish. 

Mot. V. ' Holy and heavenly discourse is the most de- 
lectable.' I mean in its own aptitude, and to a mind that 
is not diseased by corruption. That which is most great, 
and good, and necessary, is most delectable. What should 
best please us, but that which is best for us ? And best for 
others ? And best in itself? The excellency of the sub- 
ject maketh it delightful ! And so doth the exercise of our 
graces upon it : and serious conference doth help down the 
truth into our hearts, where it is most sweet. Besides that 
nature and charity make it pleasant to do good to others. 
It can be nothing better than a subversion of the appetite 
by carnality and wickedness, that maketh any one think 
idle jests, or tales, or plays, to be more pleasant than spi- 
ritual, heavenly conference ; and the talking of riches, or 
sports, or lusts, to be sweeter than to talk of God, and 
Christ, and grace, and glory. A holy mind hath a continual 
feast in itself in meditating on these things, and the com- 
municating of such thoughts to others, is a more common, 
and so a more pleasant feast, 

»» Prov. X. 13. 21. « Prov. xv. 7. 

«» Proy. XX. 15. • Prov. x. 20. 


Mot. VI. ' Our faithfulness to God obligeth us to speak 
his praise, and to promote his truth, and plead his cause 
against iniquity.* Hath he given us tongues to magnify 
his name, and set before us the admirable frame of all the 
world, to declare his glory in ? And shall we be backward 
to so sweet and great a work ? How precious and useful is 
all his holy Word ? What light, and life, and comfort may 
it cause? And shall we bury it in silence ? What company 
can we come into almost, where either the barefaced com- 
mitting of sin, or the defending it, or the opposition of truth 
or godliness, or the frigidity of men's hearts towards God, 
and supine neglect of holy things, do not call to us, if we 
are the servants of God, to take his part ; and if we are the 
children of light, to bear our testimony against the darkness 
of the world, and if we love God, and truth, and the souls of 
men, to shew it by our prudent, seasonable speech? Is he 
true to God, and to his cause, that will not open his mouth 
to speak for him ? 

Mot. VII. ' And how precious a thing is an immortal 
soul, and therefore not to be neglected.' Did Christ think 
souls to be worth his mediation, by such strange condescen- 
sion, even to a shameful death ? Did he think them worth 
his coming into flesh, to be their teacher ? And will you 
not think them worth the speaking to ? 

Mot. VIII. ' See also the greatness of your sin, in the 
negligence of unfaithful ministers.' It is easy to see the 
odiousness of their sin, who preach not the Gospel, or do 
no more than by an hour's dry and dead discourse, shift off 
the serious work which they should do, and think they may 
be excused from all personal oversight and helping of the 
people's souls, all the week after. And why should you 
not perceive that a dumb, private Christian is also to be 
condemned, as well as a dumb minister ? Is not profitable 
conference your duty, as well as profitable preaching is his ? 
How many persons condemn themselves, while they speak 
against unfaithful pastors ? being themselves as unfaithful 
to families and neighbours, as the other are to the flock ? 

Mot. IX. * And consider how the cheapness of the means, 
doth aggravate the sin of your neglect? And shew much 
unmercifulness to souls.' Words cost you little ; indeed 
alone, without the company of good works, they are too 


cheap for God to accept of. But if an hypocrite may bring 
so cheap a sacrifice, who is rejected, what doth he deserve 
that thinketh it too dear ? What will that man do for God, 
or for his neighbour's soul, who will not open his mouth to 
speak for them ? He seemeth to have less love than that 
man in hell ^, who would so fain have had a messenger sent 
from another world, to have warned his brethren, and saved 
them from that place of torment. 

Mot. X. * Your fruitful conference is a needful help to 
the ministerial work.' When the preacher hath publicly 
delivered the Word of God to the assembly, if you would so 
far second him, as in your daily converse to set it home on 
the hearts of those that you have opportunity to discourse 
with, how great an assistance would it be to his success ? 
Though he must teach them publicly, and from house to 
houses, yet is it not possible for him to be so frequent and 
familiar in daily conference with all the ignorant of the 
place, as those that are still with them may be. You are 
many, and he is but one, and can be but in one place at 
once. Your business bringeth you into their company, 
when he cannot be there. O happy is that minister who 
hath such a people, who will daily preach over the matter 
of his public sermons, in their private conference with one 
another! Many hands make quick work. This would 
most effectually prevail against the powers of darkness, and 
cast out satan from multitudes of miserable souls. 

Mot. XI. * Yea, when ministers are wanting, through 
scarcity, persecution, or unfaithfulness and negligence, the 
people's holy, profitable conference, would do much towards 
the supplying of that want.' There have few places and 
ages of the world been so happy, but that learned, able, 
faithful pastors have been so few, that we had need to pray 
to the Lord of the harvest to send forth more. And it is 
nothing unusual to have those few silenced or hindered from 
the preaching of the Gospel, by the factions or the malig- 
nity of the world ! And it is yet more common to have ig- 
norant or ungodly persons in that office, who betray the 
people's souls by their usurpation, impiety, or slothfulness. 
But if in all such wants, the people that fear God, would do 
their part in private conference, it would be an excellent 

' Luke Xfi. ^ Acts xx. 20. 


supply. Ministers may be silenced from public preaching, 
when you cannot be silenced from profitable discourse. 

Mot, XII. ' It is a duty that hath many great advantages 
for success.* 1. You may choose your season ; if one time 
be not fit, you may take another. 2. You may choose the 
person, whom you find to have the greatest necessity or ca- 
pacity, and where your labour is most likely to take. 3. 
You may choose your subject, and speak of that which you 
find most suitable. There is no restraint or imposition 
upon you, to hinder your liberty in this. 4. You may 
choose your arguments by which you would enforce it. 5. 
Interlocutory conference keepeth your auditors attentive, 
and carrieth them on along with you as you go. And it 
maketh the application much more easy, by their nearness 
and the familiarity of the discourse ; when sermons are usu- 
ally heard but as an insignificant sound, or words of course. 
6. You may at your pleasure go back and repeat those 
things which the hearer doth understand, or doth forget 5 
which a preacher in the pulpit cannot do without the cen- 
sure of the more curious auditors. 7. You may perceive by 
the answers of them whom you speak to, what particulars 
you need most to insist on, and what objections you should 
most carefully resolve ; and when you have satisfied them, 
and may proceed. All which it is hard for a minister to do 
in public preaching ; and is it not a great sin to neglect such 
an advantageous duty? 

Mot. XIII. * And it should somewhat encourage you to 
it, that it is an unquestionable duty, when many other are 
brought into controversy.' Ministers preach under the re- 
gulation of human laws and canons, and it is a great contro- 
versy with many, whether they should preach, when they 
are silenced or forbidden by their superiors ; but whether 
you may speak for God and for men's salvation in your fa- 
miliar conference, no man questioneth, nor doth any law 
forbid it. 

Mot. XIV. ' Hath not the fruitful conference of others, 
in the days of your ignorance, done good to you V Have 
you not been instructed, convinced, persuaded, and com- 
forted by it? What had become of you, if all men had let 
you alone, and past you by, and left you to yourselves? 


And doth not justice require that you do good to others, as 
others have done to you ; in the use of such a tried means ? 

Mot, XV. ' Consider how forward the devil's servants are 
to plead his cause !' How readily and fiercely will an igno- 
rant, drunken sot pour out his reproaches and scorns against 
religion ! And speak evil of the things which he never un- 
derstood ! How zealously will a Papist, or heretic, or schis- 
matic, promote the interest of his sect, and labour to pro- 
selyte others to his party ! And shall we be less zealous 
and serviceable for Christ, than the devil's servants are for 
him? And do less to save souls, than they do to damn 

Mot. XVI. ' Nay, in the time of your sin and ignorance, 
if you have not spoken against religion, nor taught others 
to curse, or swear, or speak in ribald, filthy language, yet, 
at least, you have spent many an hour in idle, fruitless talk ? 
And doth not this now oblige you, to shew your repentance 
by more fruitful conference V Will you since your conver- 
sion, speak as unprofitably as you did before ? 

Mot, XVII. * Holy conference will prevent the guilt of 
foolish, idle talk.' Men will not be long silent, but will 
talk of somewhat, and if they have not profitable things to 
talk of, they will prate of vanity. All the foolish chat, and 
frothy jests, and scurrilous ribaldry, and envious backbiting, 
which taketh up men's time, and poisoneth the hearers, is 
caused by their want of edifying discourse, which should 
keep it out. The rankest wits and tongues will have most 
weeds, if they be not cultivated and taught to bear a better 

Mot, xviii. ' Your tongues will be instrumental to pub- 
lic good or public hurt.' When filthy, vain, and impious 
language is grown common, it will bring down common 
plagues and judgments ! And if you cross not the custom, 
you seem to be consenters, and harden men in their sin. 
But holy conference may, at least, shew that some partake 
not of the evil, and may free them from the plague, if they 
prevail not with others so far as to prevent it. ** Then they 
that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and the 
Lord hearkened, and heard it ; and a book of remembrance 
was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and 
thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the 


Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels, and 
I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth 
him \" 

Mot. XIX. ' Consider what great necessity there is every 
where of fruitful, edifying speech,' 1. In the multitude of 
the ignorant ; and the greatness of their ignorance. 2. The 
numbers of the sensual and obstinate. 3. The power of 
blindness, and of every sin ; what root it hath taken in the 
most of men. 4. The multitude of baits which are every 
where before them. 5. The subtlety of satan and his in- 
struments in tempting. 6. The weakness and inconstancy 
of man, that hath need of constant solicitation. 7. The 
want of holy, faithful pastors, which maketh private men's 
diligence the more necessary. And in such necessity to 
shut up our mouths, is to shut up the bowels of our com- 
passion, when we see our brother's need ; and how then 
doth the love of God dwell in us ^ ? To withhold our exhor- 
tation, is as the withholding of corn from the poor in time 
of famine, which procureth a curse ''. And though in this 
case men are insensible of their want, and take it not ill to 
be past by, yet Christ that died for them, will take it ill. 

Mot. XX. * Lastly, consider how short a time you are 
like to speak ; and how long you must be silent.' Death 
will quickly stop your breath, and lay you in the dark, and 
tell you that all your opportunities are at an end. Speak 
now, for you have not long to speak. Your neighbours' 
lives are hasting to an end, and so are yours ; they are dying 
and must hear no more, (till they hear their doom,) and ypu 
are dying, and must speak no more ; and they will be lost 
for ever, if they have not help : pity them then, and call on 
them to foresee the final day ; warn them now, for it must 
be now or never : there is no instructing or admonishing in 
the grave. Those sculls which you see cast up, had once 
tongues which should have praised their Creator and Re- 
deemer, and have helped to save each other's souls ; but 
now they are tongueless. It is a great grief to us that are 
now here silenced, that we used not our ministry more la- 
boriously and zealously while we had time. And will it not 
be so with you, when death shall silence you, that you spake 
not for God while you had a tongue to speak ? 

»» Mai. iii. 16, 17. * 1 John iii. 17. •' Prov. xi. 26. 


Let all these considerations stir up all that God hath 
taught a holy language, to use it for their Master's service 
while they may, and to repent of sinful silence. 

Tit. 2. Directions for Christian Coriference mtd Edifying 


Direct, i . The most necessary direction for a fruitful tongue 
is to get a well-furnished mind, and a holy heart, and to walk 
with God in holiness yourselves : for out of the abundance of 
the heart the mouth will speak.' That which you are fullest of, 
is most ready to come forth. 1. Spare for no study or labour 
to get understanding in the things of God : it is a weariness 
to hear men talk foolishly of any thing, but no where so 
much as about divine and heavenly things. A wise Chris- 
tian instructed to the kingdom of God, hath a treasury in 
his mind, out of which he can bring forth things new and 
old^ " Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou 
perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge '"." 2. Get all 
that holiness in yourselves, to which you would persuade 
another. There is a strange communicating power in the 
course of nature, for every thing to produce its like. Learn- 
ing and good utterance is very helpful ; but it is holiness 
that is aptest to beget holiness in others. Words which 
proceed from the love of God, and a truly heavenly mind do 
most powerfully tend to breed in others, that love of God 
and heavenlymindedness. 3. Live in the practice of that 
which you would draw your neighbour to practise. A man 
that cometh warm from holy meditation, or fervent prayer, 
doth bring upon his heart a fulness of matter, and an earnest 
desire, and a fitness to communicate that good to others, 
which he himself hath felt. 

Direct, ii. 'Especially see that you soundly believe 
yourselves what you are to speak to others.' He that hath 
secret infidelity at his heart, and is himself unsatisfied, whe- 
ther there be a heaven and hell, and whether sin be so bad, 
and holiness so necessary as the Scripture speaks, will 
speak but heartlessly of them to another ; but if we believe 
these things, as if we saw them with our eyes, how heartily 
shall we discourse of them ! 

' Matr, xiii. 52. »' Prov. xiv. 7. 



Direct, in. * Keep a compassionate sense of the misery 
of ignorant, ungodly, impenitent souls/ Think what a 
miserable bondage of darkness and sensuality they are in; 
and that it is light that must recover them : think oft how 
quickly they must die, and what an appearance they must 
make before the Lord, and how miserable they must be for 
ever, if now they be not convinced and sanctified ! And 
sure this will stir up your bowels to pity them, and make 
you speak. 

Direct, iv. ' Subdue foolish shame or bashfulness, and 
get a holy fortitude of mind.' Remember what a sin it is 
to be ashamed of such a master, and such a cause and work, 
which all would be glad to own at last. And that when the 
wicked are not ashamed of the service of the devil, and the 
basest works. And remember that threatening, "Whoso- 
ever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adul- 
terous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of 
Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Fa- 
ther, with the holy angels °." 

Direct, v. ' Be always furnished with those particular 
truths which may be most useful in this service.' Study 
to do your work (in your degree) as ministers study to do 
theirs ; who are not contented with the habitual furniture 
of their minds, but they also make particular preparations 
for their particular work. If you are to go into the field to 
your labour, you will take those tools with you, by which 
it must be done ; so do when you go abroad among any 
that you may do good to, and be not unfurnished for edify- 
ing discourse. 

Direct, vi. * Speak most of the greatest things, (the fol- 
ly of sin, the vanity of the world, the certainty and near- 
ness of death and judgment, the overwhelming weight of 
eternity, the necessity of holiness, the work of redemption, 
&c.) and choose not the smaller matters of religion to spend 
your time upon, (unless upon some special reason).' Among 
good men that will not lose their time on vanity, the devil 
too oft prevaileth, to make them lose it by such religious 
conference, as is little to edification, that greater matters 
maybe thereby thrust out; such as Paul calleth, "Vain 
janglings, and doting about questions which engender 

" Mark viii. 38. 


strife, and not godly edifying." As about their several 
opinions or parties, or comparing one preacher or person 
with another, or such things as tend but little to make the 
hearers more wise, or holy, or heavenly. 

Direct. \ II. ' Suit all your discourse to the quality of 
your auditors.' That which is best in itself, may not be 
best for every hearer. You must vary both your subject 
and manner of discourse, 1. According to the variety of 
men's knowledge ; the wise and the foolish must not be 
spoken to alike. 2. According to the variety of their mo- 
ral qualities ; one may be very pious, and another weak in 
grace, and another only teachable aud tractable, and 
another wicked and impenitent, and another obstinate and 
scornful. These must not be talked to with the same man- 
ner of discourse. 3. According to the variety of particular 
sins which they are inclined to ; which in some is pride, in 
some sensuality, lust or idleness, in some covetousness, 
and in some an erroneous zeal against the church and cause 
of Christ. Every wise physician will vary his remedies, 
not only according to the kind of the disease, but accor- 
ding to its various accidents, and the complexion also of 
the patient. 

Direct, viii. * Be sure to do most, where you have most 
authority and obligation.' He that will neglect and slight 
his family, relations, children and servants, who are under 
him, and always with him, and yet be zealous for the con- 
version of strangers, doth discover much hypocrisy, and 
sheweth, that it is something else than the love of souls, or 
sense of duty, which carrieth him on. 

Direct, ix. 'Never speak of holy things, but with the 
greatest reverence and seriousness you can.' The manner 
as well as the matter is needful to the effect. To talk of 
sin and conversion, of God and eternity, in a common, run- 
ning, careless manner, as you speak of the men, and the 
matters of the world, is much worse than silence, and tend- 
eth but to debauch the hearers, and bring them to a con- 
tempt of God and holiness. I remember myself, that when 
I was young, I had sometime the company of one ancient 
godly minister, who was of weaker parts than many others, 
but yet did profit me more than most ; because he would 
never in prayer or conference, speak of God, or the life to 


come, but with such marvellous seriousness and reverence, 
as if he had seen the majesty and glory which he talked of. 

Direct, x. * Take heed of inconsiderate, imprudent pas- 
sages, which may mar all the rest, and give malignant audi- 
tors advantage of contempt and scorn/ Many honest 
Christians through their ignorance, thus greatly wrong the 
cause they manage (i would I might not say, many minis- 
ters). Too few words is not so bad, as one such imprudent, 
foolish word too much. 

Direct, xi. 'Condescend to the weak, and bear with 
their infirmity.* If they give you foolish answers, be not 
angry and impatient with them ; yea, or if they perversely 
cavil and contradict. " For the servant of the Lord must 
not strive, but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient, 
in meekness instructing opposers, if God peradventure will 
give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truths" 
He is a foolish physician that cannot bear the words of a 
phrenetic or delirant patient. 

Direct, xii. 'When you are among those that can teach 
you, be not so forward to teach as to learn.' Be not eager 
to vent what you have to say, but desirous to hear what 
your betters have to say. Questions in such a case should 
be most of your part : it requireth great skill and diligence 
to draw that out of others, which may profit you ; and be 
not impatient if they cross your opinions, or open your ig- 
norance. Yea, those that you can teach in other things, 
yet in some things may be able to add much to your know- 

Tit. 3. Special Directions for Reproof and Exhortation for 
the good of others. 

This duty is so great, that satan hindereth it with all his 
power, and so hard, that most men quite omit it (unless an 
angry reproach may go for Christian exhortation) : and 
some spoil it in the management ; and some proud, censo- 
rious persons mistake the exercise of their pride and pas- 
sion, for the exercise of a charitable. Christian duty ; and 
seem to be more sensible of their neighbour's sin and mis- 
ery, than of their own. Therefore that you miscarry not in 

« 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. 


SO needful a work, I shall add these following Directions. 

Direct, i. * Be sure first that your reproof have a right 
end ; and then let the manner be suited to that end/ If it 
be to convince and convert a soul, it must be done in a 
manner likely to prevail ; if it be only to bear down the ar- 
guments of a deceiver, to preserve the standers-by, to vin- 
dicate the honour of God and godliness, and to dishonour 
sin, and to disgrace an obstinate factor of the devil, then 
another course is fit. Therefore resolve first, by the quality 
of the cause and person, what must be your end. 

Direct, ii. * Be sure that you reprove not that as a sin, 
which is no sin ; either by mistaking the law or the fact.' 
To make duties and sins of our own opinions and inven- 
tions, and then to lay out our zeal on these, and censure or 
reprove all that think as hardly of such things as we. This 
is to make ourselves the objects of the hearers' V^^l* ^^^ 
not to exercise just pity towards others ! Such reproofs 
deserve reproof ! For they discover great ignorance, and 
pride, and self-conceitedness, and very much harden sin- 
ners in their way ; and make them think that all reproof is 
but the vanity of fantastic hypocrites. In some cases with a 
child, or servant, or private friend, or for prevention, we may 
speak of faults upon hearsay or suspicion ; but it must be as 
of things uncertain, and as a warning rather than a reproof. 
In ordinary reproof you must understand the case before 
you speak ; it is a shame to say after, ' I thought it had been 
otherwise.' Such an erroneous reproof is worse than none. 
Direct, in. 'Choose not the smallest sins to reprove, 
nor the smallest duties to exhort them to.' For that will 
make them think that all your zeal is taken up with little 
matters, and that there is no great necessity of regarding 
you; and conscience will be but little moved by your 
speech : when greater things will greatly and more easily 
affect men. 

Direct, iv. * Stop not (with unregenerate men) in the 
mention of particular sins or duties ; but make use of par- 
ticulars to convince them of a state of sin and misery.' It 
is easy to convince a man that he is a sinner j and when 
that is done, he is never the more humbled or converted ; 
for he will tell you that all are sinners ; and therefore he ho- 
peth to speed as well as you. But you must make him dis- 


cern his sinful state, and shew him the difference between a 
penitent sinner, and an impenitent ; a converted sinner, and 
an unconverted ; a justified, pardoned sinner, and an un- 
justified, unpardoned one ; or else you will do him but lit- 
tle good. 

Direct, v. * Suit the manner of your reproof to the qua- 
lity of the person.' It is seldom that a parent, master or 
superior, must be reproved by a private inferior ; and when 
it is done, it must be done with great submission and res- 
pect. An angry, peevish person must be dealt with tender- 
ly, as you handle thorns ; but a duller, sottish person must 
be more earnestly and warmly dealt with. So also a great- 
er sin must be roughly handled, or with greater detestation^ 
than a less. 

Direct, vi. *Take a fit season.' Not when a man is in 
drink, or passion, or among others, where the disgrace will 
vex or harden him ; but in secret between him and you (if 
his conversion be your end). 

Direct, VII. * Do all in love and tender pity.* If you 
convince not the hearer, that you do it in unfeigned love, 
you must (usually) expect to lose your labour ; because you 
make not advantage of his self-love, to promote your exhor- 
tations ; therefore the exhorting way should be more fre- 
quent than the reproving way ; for reproof disgraceth and 
exasperateth, when the same thing contrived into an exhor- 
tation may prevail p. 

Direct, viii. * Therefore be as much or more in shewing 
the good which you would draw them to, as the evil which 
you would turn them from.' For they are n&ver savingly 
converted, till they are won to the love of God and holiness ; 
therefore the opening of the riches of the Gospel, and the 
love of God, and the joys of heaven, must be the greatest 
part of your treaty with a sinner. 

Direct, ix. ' And labour so to help him to a true under- 
standing of the nature of religion, that he may perceive 
that it is not only a necessary, but a pleasant thing.' AH 
love delights : it is the slander and misrepresentation of 
godliness by the devil, the world and the flesh, which ma- 
keth mistaken sinners shun it. The way to convert them> 

V 2 Thess. iii. 15. 2 Cor. ii. 4. Gal. vi. 1. 2 Tim. ii. to. \ Thess. v. 13. 


and win their hearts to it, is to make them know how good 
and pleasant it is, and to confute those calumnies. 

Direct, x. 'Yet always insert the remembrance of death, 
and judgment, and hell/ For the drowsy mind hath need 
to be awakened ; and love worketh best, when fear subserv- 
eth it. It is hard to procure a serious audience and con- 
sideration of things from hardened hearts, if the sight of 
death and hell do not help to make them serious. Danger 
which must be escaped, must be known and thought on. 
These things put weight and power into your speech. 

Direct, xi. ' Do all as with Divine authority ; and there- 
fore have ready some plain texts of Scripture for the duty, 
and against the sin you speak of 'i.' Shew them where God 
himself hath said it. 

Direct, xii. 'Seasonable expostulations, putting them- 
selves to j udge themselves in their answer, hath a convin- 
cing and engaging force/ As when you shew them Scrip- 
ture, ask them, ' Is not this the Word of God ? Do you not 
believe that it is true ? Do you think he that wrote this, 
knoweth no better than you or I,' &,c. 

Direct, xiii. ' Put them on speedy practice, and prudent- 
ly engage them to it by their promise.' As if you speak to 
a drunkard, draw him to promise you to come no more (at 
least, of so long a time) into an alehouse . Or do not drink 
ale or wine, but by the consent of his wife, or some sober, 
household friend, who may watch over him : engage the vo- 
luptuous, the unchaste, and gamester, to forsake the com- 
pany which ensnareth them. Engage the ungodly to read 
the Scripture, to frequent good company, to pray morning 
and night (with a book or without, as they are best able). 
Their promise may bring them to such a present change of 
practice, as may prepare for more. 

Direct, xiv. * If you know any near you, who are much 
fitter than yourselves, and more likely to prevail, procure 
them to attempt that which you cannot do successfully '^.' 
At least when sinners perceive that it is not only one man's 
opinion, it may somewhat move them to reverence the re- 

Direct, x v. * Put some good book into their hands, which 
is fittest to the work which you would have done.' And 

4 Col.iii. 16. r Ezek.xxxiii. xxxiv. Gal.vi, 1. Tit.ii.4. 


get them to promise you seriously to read it over, and con- 
sider it ; as if it be for the conversion of a careless sinner, 
Mr. Whateley's, or Mr. Swinnock's " Treatise of Regenera- 
tion ; " or some other treatise of repentance and conversion. 
Ifit be for one that is prejudiced against a strict religious 
life, Mr. Allen's " Vindication of Godliness ; " if it be an 
idle, voluptuous person, who wasteth precious time in plays 
or needless recreations, in gaming or an idle life, Mr. 
Whateley's sermon, called " The Redemption of Time." If 
it be a prayerless person. Dr. Preston's " Saint's Daily Ex- 
ercise ; " if it be a drunkard, Mr. Harris's " Drunkard's 
Cup : " and for many reigning, particular sins, a book called 
"Solomon's Prescription against the Plague;" for direc- 
tions in the daily practice of godliness, " The Practice of 
Piety," or Mr. Thomas Gouge's " Directions, &c." Such 
books may speak more pertinently than you can ; and be 
as constant food to their sober thoughts, and so may fur- 
ther what you have begun. 

Direct, xvi. * When you cannot speak, or where your 
speaking prevaileth not, mourn for them ; and earnestly 
pray for their recovery ^.' A sad countenance of Nehemiah 
remembered Artaxerxes of his duty. A sigh or a tear for a 
miserable sinner, may move his heart, when exhortation will 
not. He hath a heart of stone, who will have no sense of 
his condition, when he seeth another weeping for him. 

Quest. ' But is it always a duty to reprove or exhort a 
sinner ? How shall I know when it is a duty, and when it 
is not?' 

Answ. It is no duty in any of these cases following. 1. 
In general. When you have sufficient reason to judge, that 
it will do more harm than good, and will not attain its pro- 
per end ; for God hath not appointed us to do hurt under 
pretence of duty ; it is no means which doth cross the end 
which it should attain. As prayer and preaching may be a 
sin, when they are like to cross their proper end ; so also 
may reproof be. 

2. Therefore it must not be used when it apparently hin- 
dereth a greater good. As we may not pray or preach 
when we should be quenching a fire in the town, or saving 
a man's life : so when reproof doth exclude some greater 

» Ezek. ix. 4. 2 Pet. ii. 7, 8. 


duty or benefit, it is unseasonable, and no duty at that 
time. Christ alloweth us to forbear the casting of pearls 
before swine, or giving that which is holy to dogs, because 
of these two reasons fore-mentioned. It is no means to the 
contemptuous, and they will turn again and all to rend us *. 
Much more, if he be some potent enemy of the church, who 
will not only rend us, but the church itself if he be so pro- 
voked : reproving him then is not our duty. 

3. Particularly, When a man is in a passion or drunk, 
usually it is no season to reprove him. 

4. Nor when you are among others, who should not be 
witnesses of the fault, or the reproof; or whose presence 
will shame him, and offend him (except it be the shaming of 
an incorrigible or malicious sinner which you intend). 

5. Nor when you are uncertain of the fact which you 
would reprove, or uncertain whether it be a sin. 

6. Or when you have no witness of it, (though you are 
privately certain) with some that will take advantage of you 
as slanderers, a reproof may be omitted. 

7. And when the offenders are so much your superiors, 
that you are like to have no better success than to be ac- 
counted arrogant ; a groan or tears is then the best re- 

8. When you are so utterly unable to manage a reproof, 
that imprudence or want of convincing reason, is like to 
make it a means of greater hurt than good. 

9. When you foresee a more advantageous season, if 
you delay. 

10. When another may be procured to do it with much 
more advantage, which your doing it may rather hinder. 

In all these cases, that may be a sin, which at another 
tiine may be a duty. 

But still remember, first. That pride, and passion, and 
slothfulness, is wont to pretend such reasons falsely, upon 
some slight conjectures, .to put by a duty. Secondly, That 
no man must account another a dog or swine, to excuse 
him from this duty, without cogent evidence. And it is 
not every wrangling opposition, nor reproach and scorn, 
which will warrant us to give a man up as remediless, and 
speak to him no more ; but only such, 1. As sheweth a 

t Prov. ix. 7, S. Matt. vil. 6. 



heart utterly obdurate, after long means. 2. Or will pro- 
cure more suffering to the reprover, than good to the offen- 
der. 3. That when the thing is ordinarily a duty, the rea- 
sons of our omission must be clear and sure, before they 
will excuse us ". 

Quest. * Must we reprove infidels or heathens ? What 
have we to do to judge them that are without ?' 

Answ, Not to the ends of excommunication, because they 
are not capable of it ", which is meant 1 Cor. v. But we must 
reprove them, first. In common compassion to their souls. 
What were the apostles, and other preachers sent for, but 
to call all men from their sins to God ? Secondly, And foF 
the defence of truth and godliness, against their words, or 
ill examples. 


Directions for keeping Peace with all Men. 

Pbace is so amiable to nature itself, that the greatest des- 
troyers of it do commend it : and those persons in all times 
and places, who are the cause that the world cannot enjoy 
it, will yet speak well of it, and exclaim against others as 
the enemies of peace : as if there were no other name but 
their own sufficient to make their adversaries odious. As 
they desire salvation, so do the ungodly desire peace; 
which is with a double error ; one about the nature of it, 
and another about the conditions and other means. By 
peace they mean, the quiet, undisturbed enjoyment of their 
honours, wealth, and pleasures ; that they may have their 
lusts and will without any contradiction : and the condi-^ 
tions on which they would have it are, the compliance of 
all others with their opinions and wills, and humble sub- 
mission to their domination, passions, or desires. But 
peace is another thing, and otherwise to be desired and 
sought. Peace in the mind is the delightful effect of its in- 
ternal harmony, as peace in the body is nothing but its plea- 

• Gen. XX. 36. Job xxxi. 13. Heb. xiii. 22. 2 Pet. i. 13- iTim. U. 25, 26* 
« Deut. xxH. 1. 


sant health, in the natural position, state, action, and con- 
cord of all the parts, the humours, and spirits: and peace in 
families, neighbourhoods, churches, kingdoms, or other so- 
cieties, is the quietness, and pleasure of their order and har- 
mony ; and must be attained and preserved by these follow- 
ing means. 

Direct, i. * Get your own hearts into a humble frame; 
and abhor all the motions of pride and self- exalting.' A 
humble man hath no high expectations from another ^ and 
therefore is easily pleased or quieted. He can bow and 
yield to the pride and violence of others, as the willow to 
the impetuous winds. His language will be submissive ; 
his patience great ; he is content that otiiers go before him; 
he is not offended that another is preferred. A low mind 
is pleased in a low condition. But pride is the gunpowder 
of the mind, the family, the church, and state : it maketh 
men ambitious, and setteth them on striving who shall be 
the greatest. A proud man's opinion must always go for 
truth, and his will must be a law to others, and to be slight- 
ed or crossed seemeth to him an insufferable wrong. And 
he must be a man of wonderful compliance, or an excellent 
artificer in man-pleasing and flattery, that shall not be taken 
as an injurious under valuer of him: he that overvalueth 
himself, will take it ill of all that do not also overvalue him. 
If you (forgetfully) go before him, or overlook him, or neg- 
lect a compliment, or deny him something which he ex- 
pected, or speak not honourably of him, much more if you 
reprove him, and tell him of his faults, you have put fire to 
the gunpowder, you have broke his peace, and he will break 
yours if he can. Pride broke the peace between God and 
the apostate angels ; but nothing unpeaceable must be in 
heaven ; and therefore by self-exalting they descended into 
darkness : and Christ by self-humbling ascended unto 
glory. It is a matter of very great difficulty to live peace- 
ably in family, church, or any society with any one that is 
very proud. They expect so much of you, that you can 
never answer all their expectations, but will displease them 
by your omissions, though you neither speak or do any thing 
to displease them. What is it but the lust of pride which 
causeth most of the wars and bloodshed throughout the 
world ? The pride of two or three men, must cost many 


thousands of their subjects the loss of their peace, estates, 
and lives. * Delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.' What 
were the conquests of those emperors, Alexander, Caesar, 
Tamerlane, Mahomet, &c., but the pernicious effects of their 
infamous pride ? Which like gunpowder taking fire in their 
breasts, did blow up so many cities and kingdoms, and call 
their villanies by the name of valour, and their murders and 
robberies by the name of war. If one man's pride do swell 
so big, that his own kingdom cannot contain it, the peace 
of as much of the world as he can conquer is taken to be 
but a reasonable sacrifice to this infernal vice. The lives 
of thousands, both subjects and neighbours (called enemies 
by this malignant spirit) must be taken away, merely to 
make this one man the ruler of the rest, and subdue the per- 
sons of others to his will. Who perhaps when he hath done, 
will say that he is no tyrant, but maketh the * bonum pub- 
licum' his end ; and is kind to men against their wills ; and 
killeth, and burnetii, and depopulateth countries, for men's 
corporal welfare ; as the Papists poison, and burn, and 
butcher men for the saving of souls. * Cuncta ferit dam 
cuncta timet, dessevit in omnes.' They are the * turbines,' 
the hurricanes or whirlwinds of the world, whose work is to 
overturn and ruin. * Tantum ut noceat cupit esse potens.* 
Whether they burn and kill by right or wrong, is little of 
their inquiry ; but how many are killed ? and how many 
have submitted to their pride and wills ? As when Q. 
Flavins complained that he suffered innocently, Valerius 
answered him, " Non sua re interesse, dummodo periret." 
" That was nothing to his business or concernment so he 
did but perish." Which was plainer dealing than these 
glorious conquerors used, but no whit worse. He that can- 
not command the putrid humours out of his veins, nor the 
worms out of his bowels, nor will be able shortly to forbid 
them to crawl or feed upon his face, will now damn his soul 
and shed men's blood, to obtain the predomination of his 
will. And when he hath conquered many, he hath but 
made him many enemies, and may find, that in * tot populis 
vix una fides.' A quiet man can scarce with all his wit tell 
how to find a place where he may live in peace, where pride 
and cruelty will not pursue him, or the flames of war will 
not follow him and find him out : and perhaps he may he 


put to say as Cicero of Pompey and Caesar, " Quem fugiam 
scio ; quem sequar nescio." And if they succeed by con- 
quest, they become to their subjects almost as terrible as to 
their enemies. So that he that would approach them with 
a petition for justice, must do it as Augustus spake to a 
fearful petitioner, as if he did ** assem dare elephanto ;" or 
as if they dwelt in the inaccessible light, and must be served 
as God with fear and trembling. And those that flatter 
them as glorious conquerors, do but stir up the fire of their 
pride, to make more ruins and calamities in the earth, and 
do the work of a raging pestilence. As an Athenian orator 
said to the men of Athens, when they would have numbered 
Alexander with the gods, " Cavete ne dum ccelum liberali- 
ter donetis, terram et domicilia propria amittatis :" " Take 
heed while you so liberally give him heaven, lest he take 
away your part of earth." And when their pride hath con- 
sumed and banished peace, what have they got by it ? That 
which a Themistocles after trial, would prefer a grave to, 

" Si una via ad solium duceret, altera ad sepulchrum. '' 

That which Demosthenes preferred banishment before. 
That which the wisest philosophers refused at Athens, * The 
great trouble of government/ * Inexpertus ambit ^ exper- 
tus odit.* Cyneas asked Pyrrhus when he was preparing 
to invade the Romans, " What shall we do when we have 
conquered the Romans V* He answered, " We will go next 
to Sicily." " And what shall we do when Sicily is con- 
quered V said he : Pyrrhus said, " We will go next to 
Africa." " And what shall we do next V* said the other : 
" Why then," said he, " we will be quiet, and merry, and 
take our ease." " And," said Cyneas, " if that be last and 
best, why may we not do so now?" It is for quietness and 
peace that such pretend to fight and break peace ; but they 
usually die before they obtain it : (as Pyrrhus did :) and 
might better have permitted peace to stand, than pull it 
down to build it better. As one asked an old man at 
Athens, " Why they called themselves philosophers ?" who 
answered, " Because we seek after wisdom." Saith he, " If 
you are but seeking it at this age, when do you think to 
find it ?" So I may say to the proud warriors of the world, 
* If so many men must be killed, and so many conquered in 
seeking peace, when will it that way be found V But per- 


haps they think that their wisdom and goodness are so great, 
that the world cannot be happy unless they govern it : but 
what could have persuaded them to think so, but their 
pride ? ' Nihil magis aegris prodest, quam ab eo curari a 
quo voluerint :* saith Seneca. Patients must choose their 
own physicians. Men use to give them but little thanks, 
who drench them with such benefits, and bring them to the 
portion of peace so hot, that the touch of the cup must 
burn their lips, and who in goodness cut the throats of one 
part, that their government may be a blessing to the survi- 
vors. In a word, it is pride that is the great incendiary of 
the world, whether it be found in high or low. It will per- 
mit no kingdom, family, or church to enjoy the pleasant 
fruits of peace. 

Direct, II. * If you would be peaceable, be not covetous 
lovers of the world, but be contented withyour daily bread.' 
Hungry dogs have seldom so great plenty of meat, as to 
content them all, and keep them from falling out about 
it. If you overlove the world, you will never want occa- 
sions of discord : either your neighbour selleth too dear, or 
buyeth too cheap of you, or over-reacheth you, or gets be- 
fore you, or some way or other doth you wrong ; as long as 
he hath any thing which you desire, or doth not satisfy all 
your expectations. Ambitious and covetous men must have 
so much room, that the world is not wide enough for many 
of them : and yet, alas ! too many of them there are : and 
therefore they are still together by the ears, like the boys in 
the winter nights, when the bedclothes are too narrow to 
cover them ; one puUeth, and another puUeth, and all com- 
plain. You must be sure that you trespass not in the 
smallest measure, nor incroach on the least of his commo- 
dities, that you demand not your own, nor deny him any 
thing that he desireth, nor get any thing which he would 
have himself, no nor ever give over feeding his greedy ex- 
pectations, and enduring his injustice and abuse, if you will 
live peaceably with a worldlyminded man. 

Direct, in. * If you will be peaceable, love your neigh- 
bours as yourselves.' Love neither imagineth, nor speaketh, 
nor worketh any hurt to others : it covereth infirmities ; it 
hopeth all things ; it endureth all things *. Selfishness and 

a 1 Cor. xiii. 7. 


want of love to others, causeth all the contentions in the 
world. You can bear with great faults in yourselves, and 
never fall out with yourselves for them ; but with your 
neighbours you are quarrelling for those that are less ! Do 
you fall out with another because he hath spoken disho- 
nourably or slightly of you, or slandered you, or some way 
done you wrong ? You have done a thousand times worse 
than all that against yourselves, and yet can bear too pa- 
tiently with yourselves ! If another speak evil of you, he 
doth not make you evil : it is worse to make you bad than 
to call you so : and this you do against yourselves. Doth 
your neighbour wrong you in your honour or estate ? But 
he endangereth not your soul ! he doth not forfeit your sal- 
vation ! be doth not deserve damnation for you, nor make 
your soul displeasing to God ! But all this you do against 
yourselves (even more than all the devils in hell do), and 
yet you are too little offended with yourselves. See here 
the power of blind self-love ! If you loved your neighbours as 
yourselves, you would agree as peaceably with your neigh- 
bours almost as with yourselves. Love them more and 
you will bear more with them, and provoke them less. 

Direct, iv. * Compose your minds to Christian gentle- 
ness and meekness, and suffer not passion to make you 
either turbulent and unquiet to others, or impatient and 
troublesome to yourselves.' A gentle and quiet mind hath 
a gentle, quiet tongue. It can bear as much wrong as 
another can do (according to its measure) ; it is not in the 
power of satan ; he cannot at his pleasure send his emissary, 
and by injuries or foul words, procure it to sin ; but a pas- 
sionate person is frequently provoking or provoked. A 
little thing maketh him injurious to others ; and a little in- 
jury from others, disquieteth himself. He is daily troubling 
others or himself, or both. Coals of fire go from his lips : 
it is his very desire to provoke and vex those that he is an- 
gry with : his neighbour's peace and his own are the fuel of 
his anger, which he consumeth in a moment. To converse 
with him and not provoke him, is a task for such as are 
eminently meek and self-denying : he is as the leaves of the 
asp tree, that never rest, unless the day be very calm. The 
smallest breath of an angry tongue, can shake him out of 
his tranquillity, and turn him into an ague of disquietness. 


The sails of the wind-mill are scarce more at the wind's 
command, than his heart and tongue are at the command of 
satan ; he can move him almost when he please. Bid but 
a neighbour speak some hard speeches of him, or one of his 
family neglect or cross him, and he is presently like the 
raging sea, whose waves cast up the mire and dirt. An im- 
patient man hath no security of his own peace for an hour : 
any enemy or angry person, can take it from him when they 
please. And being troubled, he is troublesome to all about 
him. Ifyoudonot in patience possess your souls, they 
will be at the mercy of every one that hath a mind to vex 
you. Remember then that no peace can be expected with- 
out patience ; nor patience without a meek and gentle 
mind. Remember " the ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit, is of great price in the sight of God ^." And that 
** the wisdom from above is first pure, and then peaceable, 
gentle, and easy to be entreated ''." And that the Eternal 
" Wisdom from above, hath bid you learn of him to be meek 
and lowly in spirit as ever you would find rest to your 
souls ^" And he that loseth his own peace is most likely 
to break the peace of others. 

Direct, v. * Be careful to maintain that order of govern- 
ment and obedience, which is appointed of God for the pre- 
servation of peace, in families, churches, and common- 
wealths.' If you will break this vessel, peace will flow out 
and be quickly spilt. What peace in schools, but by the 
authority of the schoolmaster ? Or in armies, but by the 
authority of the general ? If an unwise and ungodly gover- 
nor, do himself violate the foundations and boundaries of 
peace, and either weakly or wilfully make dividing laws, no 
wonder if such wounds do spend the vital blood and spirits 
of that society : it being more in the power of the gover- 
nors than of the subject, to destroy peace or to preserve it. 
And if the subjects make not conscience of their duty to 
their superiors, the banks of peace will soon be broken down, 
and all will be overwhelmed in tumult and confusion. Take 
heed therefore of any thing that tendeth to subvert govern- 
ment ; disobedience or rebellion seldom wanteth a fair pre- 
tence ; but it more seldom answereth the agent's expectation. 
It usually pretendeth the weaknesses, miscarriages, or in- 

^ 1 Pet. iii. 4. « James iii. 17. ^ Matt. xi. 28, 29. 


jurious dealings of superiors ; but it as usually mendeth an 
inconvenience with a mischief. It setteth the house on fire 
to burn up the rats and mice that troubled it. It must be 
indeed a grievous malady that shall need such a mischief 
for its remedy. Certainly it is no means of God's appoint- 
ment. Take heed therefore of any thing which would dis- 
solve these bonds. Entertain not dishonourable thoughts 
of your governors, and receive not, nor utter any dishonour- 
able w^ords against them, if they be faulty open not their 
shame : their honour is their interest, and the people's too : 
without it they will be disabled for effectual government. 
When subjects, or servants, or children are saucily censo- 
rious of superiors, and make themselves judges of all their 
actions, even those which they do not understand, and when 
they presume to defame them, and with petulant tongues to 
cast contempt upon them, the fire is begun, and the sacred 
bonds of peace are loosed. When superiors rule with piety, 
justice, and true love to their subjects, and inferiors keep 
their place and rank, and all conspire the public good, then 
peace will flourish, and not till then. 

Direct, vi. ' Avoid all revengeful and provoking words.* 
When the poison of asps is under men's lips ®, no wonder if 
the hearers' minds that are not sufficiently antidoted against 
it, fester. Death and life are in the power of the tongue^. 
When the tongue is as a sword, yea, a sharp sword s, and 
when it is purposely whetted '', no marvel if it pierce 
and wound them that are unarmed. But " by long forbear- 
ing a prince is persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the 
bone \" A railer is numbered with those that a Christian 
must not eat with ^, For Christianity is so much for peace, 
that it abhorreth all that is against it. Our Lord when he 
was reviled, reviled not again, and in this was our example ^ 
A scorning, railing, reproachful tongue, " is set (as James 
saith) on fire of hell, and it setteth on fire the course of na- 
ture ™ ; even persons, families, churches, and common- 
wealths. Many a ruined society may say by experience, 
** Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth "." 

Direct, VII. * Engage not yourselves too forwardly or 

« Rom. iii, 13. ^ Prov. xviii. 21. ^ Psal. lvii.4. 

*> Psal. Ixiv. 3 ' Prov. xxv. i5. ^ I Cor. v. 

i 1 Pet, ii. 21.23. »' Janies iii. 6. " James iii 5. 


eagerly in disputes, nor at any time without necessity : and 
when necessity calleth you, set an extraordinary watch upon 
your passions/ Though disputing is lawful, and sometimes 
necessary to defend the truth, yet it is seldom the way of 
doing good to those whom you dispute with : it engageth 
men in partiality, and passionate, provoking words before 
they are aware : and while they think they are only pleading 
for the truth, they are militating for the honour of their own 
understandings. They that will not stoop to hear you as 
learners, while you orderly open the truth in its coherent 
parts, will hardly ever profit by your contendings ; when 
you engage a proud person, to bend all his wit and words 
against you. The servant of the Lord must not strive, but 
be gentle to all men, apt to teach ^, &c. 

Direct, vm. * Have as little to do with men, in matters 
which their commodity is concerned in, as you can.' As 
in chaffering, or in any other thing where mine and thine is 
much concerned : for few men are so just as not to expect 
that which others account unjust : and the nearest friends 
have been alienated hereby. 

Direct. IX. ' Buy peace at the price of any thing which 
is not better than it.' Not with the loss of the favour of 
God, or of our innocency, or true peace of conscience, or 
with the loss of the Gospel, or ruin of men's souls ; but you 
must often part with your right for peace, and put up wrongs 
in word or deed. Money must not be thought too dear to 
buy it, when the loss of it will be worse than the loss of 
money, to yourselves or those that you contend with. If a 
soul be endangered by it, or societies ruined by it, it will be 
dear bought money which is got or saved by such means. 
He is no true friend of peace, that will not have it, except 
when it is cheap. 

Direct. X. * Avoid censoriousness :' which is the judging 
of men or matters that you have no call to meddle with, and 
the making of matters worse than sufficient proof will war- 
rant you. Be neither busy-bodies, meddling with other 
m^n's matters, nor peevish aggravaters of all men's faults. 
" Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what measure 
you mete, it shall be measured to you again p." You shall 
be censured, if you will censure : and if Christ be a true 

« « Tira. ii. 24. 1 Tim. vi.4— 6. p Matt. vu. 1, «. 


discerner of minds, it is they that have beams in their own 
eyes, who are the quickest perceivers of the motes in others. 
Censorious persons are the great dividers of the church, and 
every where adversaries to peace ; while they open their 
mouths wide against their neighbour, to make the worst of 
all that they say and do, and thus sow the seeds of discord 
amongst all. 

Direct, xi. * Neither talk against men behind their backs, 
nor patiently hearken to them that use it.' Thou^^h the de- 
tecting of a dangerous enemy, or the prevention of another's 
hurt, may sometimes make it a duty to blame them that are 
absent ; yet this case, which is rare, is no excuse to the 
backbiter's sin. If you have any thing to say against your 
neighbour, tell it him in a friendly manner to his face, that 
he may be the better for it : if you tell it only to another, 
to make him odious, or hearken to backbiters that defame 
men secretly, you shew that your business is not to do good, 
but to diminish love and peace. 

Direct, xii. * Speak more of the good than of the evil, 
which is in others.' There are none so bad, as to have no 
good in them : why mention you not that ? which is more 
useful to the hearer, than to hear of men's faults. But of 
this more afterwards. 

Direct, xiii. * Be not strange, but lovingly familiar with 
your neighbours.' Backbiters and slanders, and unjust 
suspicions, do make men seem that to one another, which 
when they are acquainted, they find is nothing so : among 
any honest, well-meaning persons, familiarity greatly recon- 
cileth. Though indeed there are some few so proud and 
fiery, and bitter enemies to honest peace, that the way to be 
at peace with them is to be far from them, where we may 
not be remembered by them : but it is not so with ordinary 
neighbours or friends that are fallen out, nor differing 
Christians : it is nearness that must make them friends. 

Direct. XIV. ' Affect not a distance and sour singularity 
in lawful things.' Come as near them as you can, as they 
are men and neighbours; and take it not for your duty to 
run as from them, lest you run into the contrary extreme. 

Direct, xv. * Be not over-stiff in your own opinions, as 
those that can yield in nothing to another.' Nor yet so fa- 
cile and yielding as to betray or lose the truth. It greatly 


pleaseth a proud man's mind, when you seem to be convin- 
ced by him, and to change your mind upon his arguments, 
or to be much informed and edified by him : but when you 
deny this honour to his understanding, and contradict him, 
and stiffly maintain your opinion against him, you displease 
and lose him ; and indeed a wise man should gladly learn 
of any that can teach him more; and should most easily 
of any man let go an error, and be most thankful to any 
that will increase his knowledge : and not only in errors to 
change our minds, but in small and indifferent things to 
submit by silence, beseemeth a modest, peaceable man. 

Direct. XVI. ' Yet build not peace on the foundation of 
impiety, injustice, cruelty or faction ; for that will prove 
but the way to destroy it in the end.* Traitors, and rebels, 
and tyrants, and persecutors, and ambitious, covetous cler- 
gymen, do all pretend peace for their iniquity : but what 
peace with Jezebel's whoredoms ! Satan's kingdom is sup- 
ported by a peace in sin ; which Christ came to break that he 
might destroy it : while this strong man armed keepeth his 
house, his goods are in peace, till a stronger doth bind him, 
overcome him and cast him out. Deceitful, sinful means of 
peace, have been the grand engine of satan and the Papal 
clergy, by which they have banished and kept out peace so 
many ages from most of the Christian world. * Impiis me- 
diis eiiclesiae paci consulere,' was one of the three means 
which Luther foretold would cast out the Gospel. Where 
perjury, or false doctrine, or any sin, or any unjust, or in- 
consistent terms, are made the condition of peace, men 
build upon stubble and briars, which God will set fire to, 
and soon consume, and all that peace will come to nought. 
Directions for church-peace 1 have laid down before ; to 
which I must refer you. 


Directions against all Theft and Fraud, or irijurious getting and 
keeping that which is another^, or desiring it. 

He that would know what theft is, must know what pro- 
priety is ; and it is that plenary title to a thing, by which it 



is called our own ; it is that right to any thing as mine, by 
which I may justly have it, possess it, use it, and dispose 
of it. This dominion or propriety is either absolute, (and 
that belongeth to none but God) or subordinate, respective 
and limited (which is the only propriety that any creature 
can have). Which is such a right which will hold good 
against the claim of any fellow -creature, though not against 
God's. And among men there are proprietors or owners 
which are principal, and some who are but dependant, sub- 
ordinate and limited. The simple propriety may remain in 
a landlord or father, who may convey to his tenant or his 
child, a limited, dependant propriety under him. Inju- 
riously to deprive a man of this propriety, or of the thing ia 
which he hath propriety, is the sin which I speak of in this 
chapter ; which hath no one name, and therefore I express 
it here by many. Whether it be theft, robbery, cozenage, 
extortion, or any other way of depriving another injuriously 
of his own. These general Directions are needful to avoid 

Direct, J. ' " Love not the world, nor the things that are 
in the world *." Cure covetousness, and you will kill the 
root of fraud and theft.' As a drunkard would easily be cu- 
red of his drunkenness, if you could cure him of his thirst 
and love to drink ; so an extortioner, thief or deceiver would 
easily be cured of their outward sin, if their hearts were cu- 
red of the disease of worldliness. The love of money is the 
root of all this evil. Value these things no more than they 

Direct, ii. *To this end, acquaint your hearts with the 
greater riches of the life to come ; ' And then you will meet 
with true satisfaction. The true hopes of heaven will cure 
your greedy desires of earth. You durst not then forfeit 
your part in that perpetual blessedness, for the temporal 
supply of some bodily want : you durst not with Adam 
part with Paradise for a forbidden bit ; nor as Esau profane- 
ly sell your birthright for a morsel. It is the unbelief and 
contempt of heaven, which maketh men venture it for the 
poor commodities of this world. 

Direct, III, * Be contented to stand to God's disposal; 
and suffer not any carking, discontented thoughts to feed 

* 1 John ii. 15. 


upon your hearts.* When you suffer your minds to run all 
day long upon your necessities and straits, the devil next 
tempteth you to think of unlawful courses to supply them. 
He will shew you your neighbour's money, or goods, or es- 
tates, and tell you how well it would be with you if this 
were yours : he shewed Achan the golden wedge : he told 
Gehazi how unreasonable it was that Naaman's money and 
raiment should be refused : he told Balaam of the hopes of 
preferment which he might have with Balak : he told Judas 
how to get his thirty pieces : he persuaded Ananias and 
Sapphira, that it was but reasonable to retain part of that 
which was their own. Nay, commonly it is discontents and 
cares which prepare poor wretches for those appearances^ 
of the devil, which draweth them to witchcraft for the sup- 
plying of their wants. If you took God for your God, you 
would take him for the sufficient disposer of the world, and 
one that is fitter to measure out your part of earthly things 
than you yourselves ; and then you would rest in his wis- 
dom, will and fatherly providence ; and not shift for your- 
selves by sinful means. Discontentedhess of mind, and 
distrust of God, are the cause of all such frauds and inju- 
ries. Trust God, and you will have no need of these. 

Direct, iv. ' Remember what promises God hath made 
for the competent supply of all your wants/ Godliness 
hath the promise of this life and of that to come : all other 
things shall be added to you, if you seek first God's king- 
dom and the righteousness thereof ^ They that fear the 
Lord shall want nothing that is good *^. ** All things shall 
work together for good to them that love God ^" " Let 
your conversation be without covetousness, and be content 
with such things as ye have ; for he hath said, I will never 
leave thee nor forsake thee *." Live by faith on these suf- 
ficient promises, and you need not steal. 

Direct, v. ' Overvalue not the accommodation and pleasure 
of the flesh, and live not in the sins of gluttony, drunkenness, 
pride, gaming or riotous courses, which may bring you into 
want, and so to seek unlawful maintenance.' He that is a ser- 
vant to his flesh cannot endure to displease it, nor can bear 
the want of any thing which it needeth. But he that hath 

»> Matt. VI. 33. *= Psal. xxxvii. ^ Rom. viii. 28. 

« Heb. xiii. 5. 


mastered and mortified his flesh, can endure its labour and 
hunger, yea, and death too if God will have it so. Large 
revenues will be too little for a fleshlyminded person ; but 
a little will serve him that hath brought it under the power 
of reason. * Magna pars libertatis est bene moratus ven- 
ter/ saith Seneca : * a well-nurtured, fair-conditioned belly 
is a great part of a man's liberty,* because an ill-taught and 
ill-conditioned belly is one of the basest slaveries in the 
world. As a philosopher said to Diogenes, * If thou couldst 
flatter Dionysius, thou needst not eat herbs;' but saith 
Diogenes, * If thou couldst eat herbs, thou needst not flat- 
ter Dionysius : ' he took this for the harder task : so the 
thief and deceiver will say to the poor, * If you could do as 
we do, you need not fare so hardly : ' but a contented poor 
man may better answer him and say, * If you could fare 
hardly as I do, you need not deceive or steal as you do.' A 
proud person, that cannot endure to dwell in a cottage, or 
to be seen in poor or patched apparel, will be easily tempt- 
ed to any unlawful way of getting, to keep him from dis- 
grace, and serve his pride. A glutton whose heaven is in 
his throat, must needs fare well, however he come by it : 
a tippler must needs have provision for his guggle, by right 
or by wrong. But a humble man, and a temperate man can 
spare all this, and when he looketh on all the proud man's 
furniture, he can bless himself as Socrates did in a fair,. 
with, 'Quam multa sunt quibus ipse non egeo?' * How 
many things be there which I have no need of? ' And he 
can pity the sensual desires which others must needs fulfil ; 
even as a sound man pitieth another that hath the itch, or 
the thirst of a sick man in a fever, that crieth out for drink. 
As Seneca saith, " It is vice and not nature which needeth 
much : " nature, and necessity, and duty are contented with 
a little. But he that must have the pleasure of his sin, 
must liave provision to maintain that pleasure. Quench 
the fire of pride, sensuality and lust, and you may spare the 
cost of fuel ^ 

Direct. VI. * Live not in idleness or sloth ; but be labo- 
rious in your callings, that you may escape that need or 
poverty which is the temptation to this sin of theft.' Idle- 
ness is a crime which is not to be tolerated in Christian so- 

' Rom. xiii. 13, 14, viii. 13. 


cieties. " Now we command you, brethren, in the name of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from 
every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the 
tradition which he received of us : for ye know hx)W ye 
ought to follow us ; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly 
among you, neither did we eat any man's bread for nought ; 
but worked with labour and travail night and day, that we 
might not be chargeable to any of you; not because we 
have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample to you 
to follow us ; for when we were with you, this we command- 
ed you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat; 
for we hear that there are some among you that walk disor- 
derly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies ; now them 
that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus 
Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own 
breads." "Let him that stole, steal no more, but rather 
let him labour, working with his hands the thing that is 
good, that he may have to give to him that needeth^." He 
that stealeth to maintain his idleness, sinneth that he may 
sin ; and by one sin getteth provision for another : you see 
here that you are bound not only to work to maintain your- 
selves, but to have to give tq others in their need. 

Direct, V 11, 'Keep a tender conscience, which will do 
its office, and not suffer you to sin without remorse.* A 
seared, senseless conscience will permit you to lie, and steal, 
and deceive, and will make no great matter of it, till God 
awaken it by his grace or vengeance. Hence it is that ser- 
vants can deceive their masters, or take that which is not al- 
lowed them, and buyers and sellers overreach one another, 
because they have not tender consciences to reprove them. 

Direct, viii. ' Remember always that God is present, 
and none of your secrets can be hid from him.' What the 
better are you to deceive your neighbour or your master, 
and to hide it from their knowledge, as long as your Maker 
and Judge seeth all ? When it is he that you must wrong, 
and with him that you have most to do, and he that will be 
the most terrible avenger ! What blinded atheists are you, 
who dare do that in the presence of the most righteous God, 
which you durst not do if men beheld you ! 

Direct, ix. * Forget not how dear all that must cost you, 

s 2 Thess ii. 6. 8. 10. 12. »» Eph. iv. 28, 


which you gain unlawfully/ The reckoning time is yet to 
come. Either you will truly repent or not ; if you do, it 
must cost you remorse and sorrow, and shameful confession, 
and restitution of all that you have got amiss; and is it not 
better forbear to swallow that morsel, which must come up 
again with heart-breaking grief and shame? But if you re- 
pent not unfeignedly, it will be your damnation ; it will be 
opened in judgment to your perpetual confusion, and you 
must pay dear for all your gain in hell. Never look upon 
the gain therefore, without the shame and damnation that 
must follow. If Achan had foreseen the stones, and Gehazi 
the leprosy, and Ahab the mortal arrow, and Jezebel the 
licking of her blood by dogs, and Judas the hanging or 
precipitation, and Ananias and Sapphira the sudden death^ 
or any of them the after misery, it might have kept them 
from their pernicious gain. Usually even in this life, a 
curse attendeth that which is ill-gotten, and bringeth fire 
among all the rest. 

Direct, x. * If you are poor, consider well of the mercy 
which that condition may bring you, and let it be your study 
how to get it sanctified to your good.' If men understood 
and believed that God doth dispose of all for the best, and 
make them poor to do them good, and considered what that 
good is which poverty may do them, and made it their chief 
care to turn it thus to their gain, they would not find it so 
intolerable a thing, as to seek to cure it by fraud or thievery. 
Think what a mercy it is, that you are saved from those 
temptations to overlove the world, which the rich are un- 
done by ! And that you are not under those temptations 
to intemperance, and excess, and pride as they are. And 
that you have such powerful helps for the mortification of 
the flesh, and victory over the deceiving world! Improve 
your poverty, and you will escape these sins. 

Direct, xi. 'If you are but willing to escape this sin, 
you may easily do it by a free confession to those whom 
you have wronged, or are tempted to wrong.' He that is 
not willing to forbear his sin, is guilty before God, though 
he do forbear it. But if you are truly willing, it is easy to 
abstain. Do not say, that you are willing till necessity 
pincheth you, or you see the bait: for if you are so, you 
may easily prevent it, at that time when you are willing. If 


ever you are willing indeed, take that opportunity, and if 
you have vv^ronged any man, go and confess it to him, (in the 
manner I shall afterwards direct). And this will easily 
prevent it : for shame will engage you, and self-preservation 
will engage him to take more heed of you. Or^ if you have 
not yet wronged any, but are strongly tempted to it, if you 
have no other sufficient remedy, go tell him, or some other 
fit person, that you are tempted to steal and to deceive in 
such or such a manner, and desire them not to trust you. 
If you think the shame of such a confession too dear a price 
to save you from the sin, pretend no more that you are truly 
willing to forbear it, or that ever you did unfeignedly repent 
of it. 

Tit. 2. Certain Cases of Conscience about Theft and Injury, 

Quest. I. ' Is it a sin for a man to steal in absolute ne- 
cessity, when it is merely to save his life V 

Answ. The case is very hard. I shall, I. Tell you so 
much as is past controversy, and then speak to the contro- 
verted part. 1. If all unquestionable means be not first 
used, it is undoubtedly a sin. If either labouring or beg- 
ging will save our lives, it is unlawful to steal. Yea, or if 
any others may be used to intercede for us. Otherwise it 
is not stealing to save a man's life, but stealing to save his 
labour, or to gratify his pride and save his honour. 2. It is 
undoubtedly a sin if the saving of our lives by it, do bring a 
greater hurt to the commonwealth or other men, than our 
lives are worth. 3. And it is a sin if it deprive the owner 
of his life, he being a person more worthy and useful to the 
common good. These cases are no matter of controversy . 

4. And it is agreed of, that no man may steal beforehand 
out of a distrustful fear of want. 5. Or if he take more than 
is of necessity to save his life. These cases also are put as 
out of controversy. 

But whether in an innocent, absolute necessity it be law- 
ful to steal so much as is merely sufficient to save one's life, 
is a thing that casuists are not agreed on. They that think 
it lawful, say that the preservation of life is a natural duty, 
and preservation of propriety is but a subservient thing which 
must give place to it. So Amesius de Conscient. lib. v. cap. 


50. maketh it one case of lawful taking that which is ano- 
ther's, ' Si irrationabiliter censeatur dorninus invitus : ut in 
eis quae accipit aliquis ex alieno ad extremam et prsesentem 
suam necessitatem sublevandam, cui alia ratione succurrere 
non potest. Hoc enim videtur esse ex jure natural!, divi- 
sione rerum antiquiore et superiore ; quod jure humano quo 
facta est divisio rerum non potuit abrogari : Quo sensu non 
male dicitur, omnia fieri communia in extrema necessitate.' 

On the other side, those that deny it say, that the same 
God that hath bid us preserve our lives, hath appointed pro- 
priety, and forbidden us to steal, without excepting a case 
of necessity, and therefore hath made it simply evil, which 
we may not do for the procurement of any good : and the 
saving of a man's life will not prove so great a good, as the 
breaking of God's law will be an evil. 

For the true determining of this case, we must distin- 
guish of persons, places, and occasions. 1. Between those 
whose lives are needful to the public good and safety, and 
those that are not of any such concernment. 2. Between 
those that are in an enemy's or a strange country, and those 
that are in their own. 3. Between those that are in a com- 
monwealth, and those that are either in a community, or 
among people not embodied or conjoined. 4. Between 
those that take but that which the refuser was bound to give 
them, and those that take that which he was not bound to 
give them. And so I answer, 

1. Whensoever the preservation of the life of the taker, 
is not in open probability, like to be more serviceable to the 
common good, than the violation of the right of propriety 
will be hurtful, the taking of another man's goods is sinful, 
though it be only to save the taker's life. For the common 
good is to be preferred before the good of any individual. 

2. In ordinary cases, the saving of a man's life will not 
do so much good, as his stealing will do hurt. Because the 
lives of ordinary persons are of no great concernment to the 
common good : and the violation of the laws may encourage 
the poor to turn thieves, to the loss of the estates and 
lives of others, and the overthrow of peace and order. There- 
fore ordinarily it is a duty, rather to die, than take another 
man's goods against his will, or without his consent. 

3. 13ut in case that the common good doth apparently 


more require the preservation of the person's life, than the 
preservation of propriety and the keeping of the law in that 
instance, it is then no sin, (as I conceive) : which may fall 
out in many instances. 

As, (1.) In case the king and his army should march 
through a neighbour prince's country, in a necessary war 
against their enemies ; if food be denied them in their 
march, they may take it rather than perish. (2.) In case 
the king's army in his own dominions have no pay, and must 
either disband or die, if they have not provision, they may 
rather take free quarter, in case that their obedience to the 
king, and the preservation of the country forbiddeth them 
to disband. (3.) When it is a person of so great honour, 
dignity, and desert, as that his worth and serviceableness 
will do more than recompense the hurt : as if Alexander or 
Aristotle were on ship-board with a covetous ship-master, 
who would let them die rather than relieve them. (4.) When 
a child taketh meat from a cruel parent that would famish 
him, or a wife from such a cruel husband ! Or any man tak- 
eth his own by stealth from another who unjustly detaineth 
it, when it is to save his life. For here is a fundamental 
right * ad rem,' and the heinousness of his crime that would 
famish another, rather than give him his own, or his due, 
doth take off the scandal and evil consequents, of the man- 
ner of taking it. (5.) But the greatest difficulty is, in case 
that only the common law of humanity and charity bind an- 
other to give to one that else must die, and he that needeth 
may take it so secretly that it shall in likelihood never be 
known, and so never be scandalous, nor encourage any other 
to steal ! May not the needy then steal to save his life ? 
This case is so hard, that I shall not venture to determine it ; 
but only say that he that doth so in such a case, must re- 
solve when he hath done, to repay the owner if ever he be 
able, (though it be but a piece of bread ;) or to repay him 
by his labour and service, if he have no other way, and be 
thus able ; or if not so, to confess it to him that he took it 
from, and acknowledge himself his debtor, (unless it be to 
one whose cruelty would abuse his confession). 

Quest. II. * If another be bound to relieve me and do not, 
may I not take it, though it be not for the immediate saving 
of my life?' 


Answ, If he be bound only by God's law to relieve you, 
you must complain to God, and stay till he do you right, 
and not break his law and order, by righting yourself, in 
case you are not in the necessity aforesaid. If he be bound 
also by the laws of man to relieve you, you may complain 
to the rulers, and seek your right by their assistance ; but 
not by stealth. 

Quest, III. 'If another borrow or possess my goods or 
money, and refuse to pay me, and I cannot have law and 
justice against him, or am not rich enough to sue him, may 
I not take them if I have an opportunity V 

Answ, If he turn your enemy in a time of war, or live un- 
der another prince, with whom you are at war, or where 
your prince alloweth you to take it, there it seemeth un- 
doubtedly lawful to take your own by that law of arms, 
which then is uppermost. But when the law that you are 
under forbiddeth you, the case is harder. But it is certain 
that propriety is in communities, and is in order of nature 
antecedent to human government in republics ; and the 
preservation of it is one of the chief ends of government. 
Therefore I conceive that in case you could take your own 
so secretly, or in such a manner as might no way hinder the 
ends of government as to others, by encouraging thievery or 
unjust violence, it is not unlawful before God, the end of 
the law being the chief part of the law : but when you can- 
not take your own without either encouraging theft or vio- 
lence in others, or weakening the power of the laws and go- 
vernment by your disobedience, (which is the ordinary case,) 
it is unlawful : because the preservation of order and of the 
honour of the government and laws, and the suppression of 
theft and violence, is much more necessary than the righting 
of yourself, and recovering your own. 

Quest. IV. 'If another take by theft or force from me, 
may I not take my own again from him, by force or secretly, 
when I have no other way V 

Answ. Not when you do more hurt to the commonwealth 
by breaking law and order, than your own benefit can re- 
compense : for you must rather suffer, than the common- 
wealth should suffer : but you may when no such evils fol- 
low it. 

QMest, v. * If I be in no necessity myself, may I not take 


from rich men to give to the poor who are in extreme ne- 
cessity V 

Answ. The answer to the first case may suffice for this : 
in such cases wherein a poor man may not take it for him- 
self, you may not take it for him. But in such cases he may 
take it for himself, and no one else is fit to do it, he himself 
being unable, you may do it, (when no accidental conse- 
quents forbid you). 

Quest. VI. * If he have so much as that he will not miss 
it, and T be in great want, though not like to die of famine ; 
may I not take a little to supply my want?' 

Answ. No ; because God hath appointed the means of 
just propriety ; and what is not gotten by those means, is 
none of your's by his approbation. He is the giver of riches ; 
and he intendeth not to give to all alike : if he give more to 
others, he will require more of them : and if he give less to 
you, it is the measure which he seeth to be meetest for you, 
and the condition in which your obedience and patience 
must be tried : and he will not take it well, if you will alter 
your measure by forbidden means, and be carvers for your- 
selves, or level others. 

Quest. VII. * There are certain measures which humanity 
obligeth a man to grant to those in want, and therefore men 
take without asking : as to pluck an apple from a tree, or 
as Christ's disciples, to rub the ears of corn to eat : if a Na- 
bal deny me such a thing, may I not take it V 

Answ. If the laws of the land allow it you, you may : 
because men's propriety is subjected to the law for the com- 
mon good. But if the law forbid it you, you may not : ex- 
cept when it is necessary to save your life, upon the terms 
expressed under the first question. 

Quest. VIII. * May not a wife, or child, or servant take 
more than a cruel husband, or parent, or master doth allow ? 
Suppose it to be better meat or drink V 

Answ. How far the wife hath a true propriety herself, 
and therefore may take it, dependeth on the contract and 
the laws of the land ; which I shall not now meddle with. 
But for children and servants, they may take no more than 
the most cruel and unrighteous parents or masters do allow 
them ; except to save their lives upon the conditions in the 
first place : but the servant may seek relief of the magis- 


trate ; and he may leave such an unrighteous master : and 
the child must bear it patiently as the cross by which it 
pleaseth God to try him ; unless that the government of the 
parent be so bad, as to tend to his undoing ; and then I 
think he may leave his parents for a better condition : (ex- 
cept it be when their own necessity obligeth him to stay 
and suffer for their help and benefit). For it is true that a 
child oweth as much to his parents as he can perform, by 
way of gratitude, for their good : but it is true also, that a 
parent hath no full and absolute propriety in his child, as 
men have in their cattle, but is made by nature their guar- 
dian for their benefit : and therefore when parents would 
undo their children's souls or bodies, the children may for- 
sake them, as being forsaken by them ; further than as they 
are obliged in gratitude to help them, as is aforesaid. 

Quest. IX. * If a man do deserve to lose somewhat which 
he hath by way of punishment, may I not take it from him V 

Answ. Not unless the law either make you a magistrate 
or officer to do it, or allow and permit it at thp least ; be- 
cause it is not to you that the forfeiture is made : or if it 
be, you must execute the law according to the law, and 
not against it. For else you will, offend in punishing of- 

Quest, x. ' But what if I fully resolve, when I take a 
thing in my necessity, to repay the owner, or make him sa- 
tisfaction if ever I be able V 

Answ, That is some extenuation of the sin, but no jus- 
tification of the fact ; which is otherwise unjustifiable, be- 
cause it is still without his consent. 

Quest. XI. ' What if I know not whether the owner would 
consent, or not V 

Answ. In a case where common custom and humanity 
alloweth you to take it for granted that he would not deny 
it you (as to pluck an ear of corn, or gather an herb for 
medicine in his field) you need not scruple it ; unless you 
conjecture that he is a Nabal and would deny you. But 
otherwise if you doubt of his consent, you must ask it, and 
not presume of it without just cause. 

Quest. XII. * What if I take a thing from a friend but in 
a way of jest, intending to restore it?' 

Answ. If you have just grounds to think that your friend 


would consent if he knew it, you will not be blamable ; but 
if otherwise, either you take it for your own benefit and use, 
or you take it only to make sport by : the former is 
theft, for all your jest; the latter is but an unlawful way of 

Quest, XIII. * What if I take it from him, but to save 
him from hurting his body with it : as if I steal poison from 
one that intended to kill himself by it : or take a sword from 
a drunken man, that would hurt himself : or a knife from a 
melancholy man : or what if it be to save another ; as to 
take a madman's sword from him, who would kill such as 
are in his way, or any angry man's that will kill another V 

Answ. This is your duty according to the sixth com- 
mandment, which bindeth you to preserve your neighbour's 
life: so be it these conditions be observed. 1. That you 
keep not his sword for your benefit and advantage, nor 
claim a property in it ; but give it his friends, or deliver it 
to the magistrate. 2. That you do nothing without the ma- 
gistrate, in which you may safely stay for his authority and 
help : but if two be fighting, or thieves be robbing or mur- 
dering a man, or another's life be in present danger, you 
must help them without staying for the magistrate's autho- 
rity. 3. That you make not this a pretence for the usurping 
of authority, or for resisting or deposing your lawful prince, 
or magistrate, or parent, or master, or of exercising your 
own will and passions against your superiors : pretending 
that you take away their swords to save themselves or 
others from their rage, when it is indeed but to hinder 

Quest. XIV. * May I not then much more take away that 
by which he would destroy his own or other men's souls : 
as to take away cards or dice from gamesters ; or heretical 
or seditious books, or play-books and romances ; or to pull 
down idols which the idolaters do adore, or are instruments 
of idolatry ?' 

Answ. There is much difference in the cases, though the 
soul be more precious than the body : for, 1. Here there is 
supposed to be so much leisure and space as that you may 
have time to tell the magistrate of it, whose duty primarily 
it is ; whereas in the other case it is supposed that so much 
delay would be a man's death. Therefore your duty is to 


acquaint the magistrate with the sin and danger, and not to 
anticipate him, and play the magistrate yourself. Or in the 
case of cards, and dice, and hurtful books, you may acquaint 
the persons with the sin, and persuade them to cast them 
away themselves. 2. Your taking away these instruments 
is not like to save them : for the love of the sin, and the 
will to do it remain still : and the sinner will be but 
hardened by his indignation against your irregular course of 
charity. 3. Men are bound to save men's bodies whether 
they will or not ; because it may be so done ; but no man 
can save another's soul against his will ! And it is God's 
will that their salvation or damnation shall be more the fruit 
of their own wills, than of any other's. Therefore though 
it is possible to devise an instance, in which it is lawful to 
steal a poisonous book or idol from another (when it is done 
so secretly as will encourage no disobedience or disorder ; 
nor is like to harden the sinner, but indeed to do him good, 
&c.) yet ordinarily all this is unlawful, for private men, 
that have no government of others, or extraordinary interest 
in them \ 

Quest. XV. * May not a magistrate take the subjects' 
goods, when it is necessary for their own preservation V 

Answ, I answered this question once heretofore in my 
'* Political Aphorisms :" and because 1 repent of meddling 
with such subjects, and of writing that book, I will leai^e 
such cases hereafter for fitter persons to resolve. 

Quest. XVI. * But may I not take from another for a holy 
use : as to give to the church or maintain the bishops. If 
David took the hallowed bread in his necessity, may not 
hallowed persons take common bread V 

Answ. If holy persons be in present danger of death, 
their lives may be saved as other men's on the terms men- 
tioned in the first case. Otherwise God hath no need of 
theft or violence ; nor must you rob the laity to clothe the 
clergy ; but to do such evil on pretence of piety and good, 
is an aggravation of the sin. 

' A wife or near friend that is under no suspicion of alienating tlie thing to tlicir 
own commodity, nor of ill designs, may go somewhat further in sucli cases, than an 
inferior or a stranger. 



General Directions and particular Cases of Conscience, about 
Contracts in general, and about Buying and Selling, 
Borrowing and Lending, Usury, ^c. in particular. 

Tit. 1. General Directions against injurious Bargaining and 


Besides the last Directions Chap.xviii. take these as more 
pertinent to this case. 

Direct, i. * See that your hearts have the two great prin- 
ciples of justice deeply and habitually innaturalized or radi- 
cated in them, viz. The true love of your neighbour, and 
the denial of yourself; which in one precept are called. 
The loving of your neighbour as yourself.* For then you 
will be freed from the inclination to injuries and fraud, and 
from the power of those temptations, which carry men to 
these sins. They will be contrary to your habitual will or 
inclination ; and you will be more studious to help your 
neighbour, than to get from him. 

Direct, ii. ' Yet do not content yourself with these ha- 
bits, but be sure to call them up to act, whenever you have 
any bargaining with others ; and let a faithful conscience be 
to you as a cryer to proclaim God's law, and say to you, 
' Now remember love and self-denial, and do as you would 
be done by.' ' If Alexander Severus so highly valued this 
saying, * Quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri ne feceris,' as to 
make it his motto, and write and engrave it on his doors and 
buildings, (having learned it of some Christians or Jews 
saith Lampridius ;) what a crime and shame is it for Christ's 
own professed disciples neither to learn or love it. Put 
home the question when you have any bargaining with 
others, * How would I be dealt with myself, if my case were 
the same with his ?' 

Direct, iii. * When the tempter draweth you to think 
only of your own commodity and gain, remember how much 
more you will lose by sin, than your gain can any way 
amount to.' If Achan, Gehazi, Ahab, Judas, &c. had fore- 
seen the end, and the greatness of their loss, it would have 


curbed their covetous desires. Believe God's Word from 
the bottom of your heart, that you shall lose things eternal 
if you sinfully get things temporal, and then you will not 
make haste to such a bargain, to win the world and lose 
your souls. 

Direct, IV. * Understand your neighbour's case aright, 
and meditate on his wants and interest.' You think what 
you want yourself; but you think not whether his wants 
with whom you deal, may not be as great as yours : consi- 
der what his commodity costeth him : or what the toil of the 
workman's labour is : what house rent he hath to pay, and 
what a family to maintain : and whether all this can be well 
done upon the rates that you desire to trade with him. And 
do not believe every common report of his riches, or of the 
price of his commodity ; for fame in such cases is frequently 

Direct, v. ' Regard the public good above your own 
commodity.' It is not lawful to take up or keep up any op- 
pressing monopoly or trade ; which tendeth to enrich you 
by the loss of the commonwealth or of many. 

Direct, vi. * Therefore have a special regard to the laws 
of the country where you live ; both as to your trade itself, 
and as to the price of what you sell or buy.' For the law is 
made for the public benefit, which is to be preferred before 
any private man's. And when the law doth directly or in- 
directly set rates upon labours or commodities, ordinarily 
they must be observed ; or else you will commit two sins at 
once, injury and disobedience. 

Direct, vii. ' Also have special respect to the common 
estimate, and to the market-price.' Though it be not always 
to be our rule, yet ordinarily it must be a considerable part 
of it; and of great regard. 

Direct. VIII. ' Let not imprudent thinking make you 
seem more covetous than you are.' Some imprudent per- 
sons cannot tell how to make their markets without so 
many words, even about a penny or a trifle, that it maketh 
others think them covetous, when it is rather want of wit. 
The appearance of evil must be avoided, i have known 
some that are ready to give a pound to a charitable use at a 
word, who will yet use so many words for a penny in their 
bargaining as maketh them deeply censured and misunder- 


Stood. If you see cause to break for a penny or a small 
matter, do it more handsomely in fewer words, and be gone : 
and do not tempt the seller to multiply words, because you 
do so. 

Direct, ix. * Have no more to do in bargaining with 
others, especially with censorious persons, than you needs 
must :' For in much dealing usually there will be much mis- 
understanding, offence, censure, and complaint. 

Direct, x. * In doubtful cases, when you are uncertain 
what is lawful, choose that side which is safest to the peace 
of your consciences hereafter ; though it be against your 
commodity, and may prove the losing of your right.* 

Tit. 2. Casts of Conscience about JusticeAn Contracts. 

Quest. I. ' Must I always do as I would be done by? Or 
hath this rule any exceptions V 

Answ. The rule intendeth no more but that your just 
self-denial and love to others, be duly exercised in your 
dealings with all. And 1. It supposeth that your own will 
or desires be honest and just, and that God's law be their 
rule. For a sinful will may not be made the rule of your 
own actions or of other men's. He that would have another 
make him drunk, may not therefore make another drunk : 
and he that would abuse another man's wife, may not there- 
fore desire that another man would lust after or abuse his 
wife. He that would not be instructed, reproved, or reform- 
ed, may not therefore forbear the instructing or reproving 
others. And he that would kill himself, may not therefore 
kill another. But he that would have no hurt done to 
himself injuriously, should do none to others : and he that 
would have others do him good, should be as willing to do 
good to them. 

2. It supposeth that the matter be to be varied accord- 
ing to your various conditions. A parent that justly de- 
sireth his child to obey him, is not bound therefore to obey 
his child ; nor the prince to obey his subjects ; nor the 
master to do all the work of his servants, which he would 
have his servants do for him. But you must deal by another, 
as you would (regularly) have them do by you, if you were 

VOL. VI. u 



in their case, and they in yours. And on these terms it is a 
rule of righteousness. 

Quest. II. ' Is a son bound by the contract which his pa- 
rents or guardians made for him in his infancy V 

Answ» To some things he is bound, and to some things 
not. The infant is capable of being obliged by another 
upon four accounts. 1. As he is the parent's own ; (or a 
master's to whom he is in absolute servitude). 2. As he is 
to be ruled by the parents. 3. As he is a debtor to his pa- 
rents for benefits received. 4. As he is an expectant or ca- 
pable of future benefits to be enjoyed upon conditions to be 
performed by him. 1. No parents or lord have an absolute 
property in any rational creature ; but they have a property 
' secundum quid, et ad hoc :' and a parent's property doth 
in part expire or abate, as the son groweth up to the full use 
of reason, and so hath a greater property in himself. There- 
fore he may oblige his son only so far as his property ex- 
tendeth, and to such acts, and to no other : for in those his 
will is reputatively his son's will. As ifa parent sell his son 
to servitude, he is bound to such service as beseemeth one 
man to put another to. 2. As he is rector to his child, he 
may by contract with a third person promise that his child 
shall do such acts, as he hath power to command and cause 
him to do : as to read, to hear God's Word, to labour as he 
is able ; but this no longer than while he is under his pa- 
rent's government : and so long obedience requireth him to 
perform their contracts, in performing their commands. 3. 
The child having received his being and maintenance from 
them, remains obliged to them as his benefactors in the 
debt of gratitude as long as he liveth : and that so deeply 
that some have questioned whether ever he can requite them : 
(which ' quoad valorem beneficii ' he can do only by further- 
ing their salvation ; as many a child hath been the cause of 
the parent's conversion). And so far as the son is thus a 
debtor to his parents, he is obliged to do that which the pa- 
rents by contract with a third person shall impose upon him. 
As if the parents could not be delivered out of captivity, 
but by obliging the son to pay a great sum of money, or to 
live in servitude for their release : though they never gave 
him any money, yet is he bound to pay the sum, if he can 


get it, or to perform the servitude ; because he hath receiv- 
ed more from them, even his being. 4. As the parents are 
both owners, (* secundum quid ') and rulers, and benefactors 
to their child, in all three respects conjunct, they may 
oblige him to a third person who is willing to be his bene- 
factor, by a conditional obligation to perform such condi- 
tions that he may possess such or such benefits : and thus a 
guardian or any friend who is fit to interpose for him, may 
oblige him. As to take a lease in his name, in which he 
shall be bound to pay such a rent, or do such a service, 
that he may receive such a commodity which is greater. 
Thus parents oblige their children under civil governments 
to the laws of the society or kingdom, that they may have 
the protection and benefits of subjects. In these cases the 
child can complain of no injury ; for it is for his benefit that 
he is obliged : and the parent (in this respect) cannot oblige 
him to his hurt : for if he will quit the benefit, he may be 
freed when he will from his obligation, and may refuse to 
stand to the covenant if he dislike it. If he will give up his 
lease, he may be disobliged from the rent and service. 

In all this you may see that no man can oblige another 
against God or his salvation : and therefore a parent cannot 
oblige a child to sin, nor to forbear hearing or reading the 
Word of God, or praying, or any thing necessary to his sal- 
vation : nor can he oblige him to hear an heretical pastor ; 
or to marry an infidel or wicked wife, &c. 

And here also you may perceive on what grounds it is 
that God hath appointed parents to oblige their children in 
the covenant of baptism, to be the servants of God and to 
live in holiness all their days. 

And hence it is apparent, that no parents can oblige their 
children to be miserable, or to any such condition which is 
worse than to have no being. 

Also that when parents do (as commonly they do) pro- 
fess to oblige their children as benefactors for their good, 
the obligation is then to be interpreted accordingly : and 
the child is then obliged to nothing which is really his 

Yea, all the propriety and government of parents, can- 
not authorize them to oblige the child to his hurt, but in 


order to some greater good, either to the parents themselves, 
or to the commonwealth, or others : at least that which the 
parents apprehend to be a greater good ; but if they err 
through ignorance or partiality, and bind the child to a 
greater hurt for their lesser good, (as to pay two hundred 
pounds to save them from paying one hundred pounds,) 
whether their injury and sin do excuse the child from being 
obliged to any more than the proportion of the benefit re- 
quired, I leave undetermined. 

Quest. III. ' But what if the parents disagree, and one 
of them will oblige the child, and the other will not V 

Answ. 1. If it be an act of the parents as mere pro- 
prietors for their own good, either of them may oblige him 
in a just degree ; because they have severally a propriety. 
2. If it be an act of government (as if they oblige him to do 
this or that act of service at their command in his minority), 
the father may oblige him against the mother's consent, be- 
cause he is the chief ruler ; but not the mother against the 
father's will, though she may without it. 

Quest. IV. ' Is a man obliged by a contract which he 
made in ignorance or mistake of the matter ?' 

Answ. I have answered this before in the case of mar- 
riage. Part iii. Chap. 1. ; I add here. 

1. We must distinguish between culpable and inculpa- 
ble error. 2. Between an error about the principal matter, 
and about some smaller accidents or circumstances. 3. Be- 
tween a case where the law of the land, or the common good 
interposeth, and where it doth not. 

1. If it be your own fault that you are mistaken you are 
not wholly freed from the obligation ; but if it was your 
gross fault, by negligence or vice, you are not at all freed ; 
but if it were but such a frailty as almost all men are liable 
to, so that none but a person of extraordinary virtue or di- 
ligence could have avoided the mistake, then equity will 
proportionably make you an abatement or free you from the 
obligation. So far as you were obliged to understand the 
matter, so far you are obliged by the contract ; especially 
when another is a loser by your error. 

2. An inculpable error about the circumstances, or 
smaller parts, will not free you from an obligation in the 


principal matter ; but an inculpable error in the essentials 

3. Except when the law of the land or the common good, 
doth otherwise overrule the case : for then you may be 
obliged by that accident. In divers cases the rulers may 
judge it necessary, that the effect of the contract shall de- 
pend upon the bare words, or writing, or actions ; lest false 
pretences of misunderstanding should exempt deceitful per- 
sons from their obligations, and nothing should be a secu- 
rity to contractors. And then men's private commodity must 
give place to the law and to the public good. 

4. Natural infirmities must be numbered with faults, 
though they be not moral vices, as to the contracting of an 
obligation, if they be in a person capable of contracting. 
As if you have some special defect of memory, or ignorance 
of the matter which you are about. Another who is no way 
faulty by overreaching you, must not be a loser by youi' 
weakness. For he that cometh to the market, or cpntracteth 
with another that knoweth not his infirmity, is to be sup- 
posed to understand what he doth, unless the contrary be 
manifest : you should not meddle with matters which you 
understand not : or if you do, you must be content to be a 
loser by your weakness. 

5. Yet in such cases, another that hath gained by the 
bargain, may be obliged by the laws of equity and charity, 
to remit the gain, and not to take advantage of your weak- 
ness ; but he may so far hold you to it, as to secure himself 
from loss; except in cases where you become the ob- 
ject of his charity, and not of commutative justice only. 

Quest, V. ' Is a drunken man, or a man in a transporting 
passion, or a melancholy person, obliged by a contract made 
in such a case V 

Answ. Remember still, that we are speaking only of con- 
tracts about matters of profits or worldly interest ; and not 
of marriage or any of another nature. And the question as 
it concerneth a man in drunkenness or passion, is answered 
as the former about culpable error ; and as it concerneth a 
melancholy man, it is to be answered as the former question, 
in the case of natural infirmity. But if the melancholy be 
so great as to make him incapable of bargaining, ho is to be 


esteemed in the same condition as an idiot, or one in deli- 
ration or distraction. 

Quest, VI. * But may another hold a man to it, who in 
drunkenness or passion maketh an ill bargain, or giveth 
or playeth away his money ; and repenteth when he is 
sober V 

Answ. He may (ordinarily) take the money from the loser, 
or him that casteth it thus away ; but he may not keep it 
for himself: but if the loser be poor, he should give it to 
his wife or children whom he robbeth by his sin : if not, he 
should either give it to the magistrate or overseer for the 
poor, or give it to the poor himself. The reason of this de- 
termination is, because the loser hath parted with his pro- 
perty, and can lay no further claim to the thing ; but the 
gainer can have no right from another's crime : if it were 
from an injury, he might, so far as is necessary to repara- 
tions : but from a crime he cannot : for his loss is to be es- 
timated as a mulct or penalty, and to be disposed of as such 
mulcts as are laid on swearers and drunkards are. Only the 
person by his voluntary bargain, hath made the other party 
instead of the magistrate, and authorized him (in ordinary 
cases) to dispose of the gain, for the poor or public 

Quest. VII. * Am I obliged by the words or writings 
which usually express a covenant, without any cove- 
nanting or self-obliging intention in me, when I speak or 
write them?' 

Answ» Either you utter or write those words, with a pur- 
pose to make another believe that you intend a covenant ; 
or at least by culpable negligence, in such a manner as he 
is bound so to understand you, or justified for so under- 
standing you : or else you so use the words, as in the man- 
ner sufficiently to signify that you intend no covenant or 
self-obligation. In the former case you bind yourself (as 
above said) ; because another man is not to be a loser, nor 
you a gainer or a saver by your own fraud or gross negli- 
gence. But in the latter case you are not bound, because 
an intent of self obliging is the internal efficient of the ob- 
ligation ; and a signification of such an intent, is the exter- 
nal efficient, without which it cannot be. If you read over 
the words of a bond, or repeat them only in a narrative, or 


ludicrously ; or if a scrivener write a form of obligation of 
himself, to a boy for a copy, or to a scholar for a precedent, 
these do not induce any obligation in conscience, nor make 
you a debtor to another. Thus also the case of the intent 
of the baptizer, or baptized (or parent) is to be deter- 

Quest. VIII. ' May a true man promise money to a rob- 
ber, for the saving of his life or of a greater sum, or more 
precious commodity V 

Answ. Yes, in case of necessity, when his life or estate 
cannot better be preserved : and so taxes may be paid to an 
enemy in arms, or to a plundering soldier, (supposing that 
it do no other hurt, which is greater than the good). Any 
man may part with a lesser good to preserve a greater : and 
it is no more voluntary or imputable to our wills, than the 
casting of our goods into the sea to save the vessel and our 

Quest. IX. * May I give money to a judge, or justice, or 
court officer, to hire him to do me justice, or to keep him 
from doing me wrong ; or to avoid persecution V 

Answ. You may not, in case your cause be bad, give any 
thing to procure injustice against another; no nor speak a 
word for it nor desire it : this I take as presupposed. You 
may not give money to procure justice, when the law of the 
land forbiddeth it, and when it will do more hurt accidentally 
to others than good to you ; when it will harden men in the 
sin of bribery, and cause them to expect the like from 
others. But except it be when some such accidental greater 
hurt doth make it evil, it is as lawful as to hire a thief not 
to kill me ; when you cannot have your right by other 
means, you may part with a smaller matter for a greater. 

Quest. X. * But if I make such a contract, may the other 
lawfully take it of me V 

Answ. No ; for it is now supposed that it is unlawful on 
his part. 

Quest. XI. * But if under necessity of force I promise 
money to a robber, or a judge, or officer, am I bound to per- 
form it when my necessity is over ?' 

Answ. You have lost your own property by your cove- 
nant, and therefore must not retain it ; but he can acquire 
no right by his sin ; and therefore some say that in point of 


justice you are not bound to give it him, but to give it to 
the magistrate for the poor ; but yet prudence may tell you 
of other reasons ' a fine' to give it the man himself, though 
justice bind you not to it ; as in case that else he may be 
revenged and do you some greater hurt ; or some greater 
hurt is any other way like to be the consequent ; which it 
is lawful by money to prevent. But many think that you 
are bound to deliver the money to the thief or officer him- 
self ; because it is a lawful thing to do it, though he have no 
just title to it; and because it was your meaning, or the sig- 
nification of your words in your covenant with him ; and if 
it were not lawful to do it, it could not be lawful to promise 
to do it, otherwise your promise is a lie. To this, those of 
the other opinion say, that as a man who is discharged of 
his promise by him that it was made to, is not to be ac- 
counted false if he perform it not ; so is it as to the thief or 
officer in question ; because he having no right, is to you as 
the other that hath quit his right. And this answer indeed 
will prove, that it is not strict injustice not to pay the money 
promised ; but it will not prove that it is not a lie to make 
such a promise with an intent of not performing it, or that 
it is not a lie to make it with an intent of performing it, and 
not to do it when you may. Though here a Jesuit will tell 
you that you may say the words of a promise, with an equi- 
vocation or mental reservation, to a thief or persecuting ma- 
gistrate; (of which see more in the Chapters of Lying, Vows, 
and Perjury). I am therefore of opinion that your promise 
must be sincerely made, and according to the true intent of 
it, yOu must offer the money to the thief or officer ; except 
in case the magistrate forbid you, or some greater reason 
lie against it, which you foresaw not when you made the 
promise. But the offender is undoubtedly obliged not to 
take the money. 

The same determination holdeth as to all contracts and 
promises made to such persons, who by injurious force con- 
strained us to make them. There is on us an obligation to 
veracity, though none to them in point of justice, because 
they have no proper right ; nor may they lawfully take our 
payment or service promised them. And in case that the 
public good unexpectedly cross our performance, we must 
not perform it : such like is the case of conquerors, and 


those that upon conquest become their vassals or subjects 
upon unrighteous terms. But still remember, that if it be 
not only a covenant with man, but a vow to God, which 
maketh him a party, the case is altered, and we remain 

Quest, XII. * But may I promise the thief or bribe-taker 
to conceal his fault? And am I obliged to the performance 
of such a promise V 

Answ. This is a promise of omitting that which else 
would be a duty. It is ordinarily a duty to reveal a thief 
and bribe-taker that he may be punished. But affirmatives 
bind not * ad semper ;' no act (especially external) is a duty 
at all times, therefore not this, of revealing an offender's 
fault. And if it be not always a duty, then it must be none 
when it is inconsistent with some greater benefit or duty ; 
for when two goods come together, the greater must be 
preferred ; therefore in case that you see in just probability, 
that the concealment of the sinner will do more hurt to the 
commonwealth or the souls of men, than the saving of your 
life is like to do good ; you may not promise to conceal 
him ; or if you sinfully promise it, you may not perform it. 
But in case that your life is like to be a greater good than 
the not promising to conceal him, then such a promise is 
no fault, because the disclosing him is no duty. But to 
judge rightly of this is a matter of great difficulty. If it be 
less than life which you save by such a promise, it oft falls 
out that it is a lesser good, than the detecting of the of- 

But it will here be said, * If I promise not to conceal a 
robber, I must conceal him nevertheless ; for when he hath 
killed me, I cannot reveal him; and I must conceal the 
bribe-taker ; for till I have promised secresy, I cannot 
prove him guilty. And he that promiseth to forbear a par- 
ticular good action whilst he liveth, doth yet reserve his 
life for all other good works : whereas if he die, he will nei- 
ther do that or any other.' But this case is not so easily 
determined : if Daniel die, he can neither pray nor do any 
other good on earth. And if he live he may do much other 
good, though he never pray ; and yet he might not promise 
to give over praying to save his life. I conceive that we 
must distinguish of duties essential to the outward part of 


Christianity, or of constant, indispensable necessity ; and 
duties which are alterable, and belong only to some persons, 
times and places ; also between the various consequents of 
omissions. And I conceive that ordinarily a man may pro- 
mise for the saving of his life, that he will forbear a parti- 
cular, alterable duty or relation ; as to read such a commen- 
tary, to speak with such a minister, to be a magistrate or a 
minister, &c., in case we have not before bound ourselves 
never to give over our calling till death. And in case that 
the good which will follow our forbearance, is likely (to a 
judicious person) to be greater than the evil. But no man 
may promise to omit such a duty as God hath made neces- 
sary during life ; as not to love God, or fear, or trust him : 
not to worship him, and call upon him, and praise him : nor 
to do good to men's souls or bodies in the general : or, not 
to preach or pray while I am a minister of Christ : or not 
at all to govern while you are a governor : for all these con- 
tradict some former or greater promises or duties. Nor 
may you omit the smallest duty to save your life, at such a 
time when your death is like to do more good, than your 
life would do without that one duty. Apply this to the 
present case. 

Quest. XIII. * If another man deceive me into a promise 
or covenant against my good, am I bound to perform it 
when I have discovered the deceit ? ' 

Answ* Yes, 1. In case that the law of the land, or other 
reasons for the public good require it. 2. Or in case that 
you were faulty by negligence, heedlessness, or otherwise 
guilty of your own deceit, in any considerable or avoidable 
degree. Otherwise, in that measure that he deceived you, 
and in those respects you are not obliged. 

Quest. XIV. *If the contracting parties do neither of 
them understand the other, is it a covenant? Or if it be, 
whose sense must carry it ? ' 

Answ. If they understand not each other in the essen- 
tials of the contract, it is nocontractinpoint of conscience ; 
except where the laws for the public safety do annex the 
obligation to bare external act. But if they understand 
not one another in some circumstances, and be equally cul- 
pable or innocent, they must come to a new agreement in 
those particulars ; but if one party only be guilty of the 


misunderstanding, he must bear the loss, if the other insist 
on it. 

Quest, XV. 'Am I bound to stand to the bargains which 
my friend, or trustee, or servant maketh for me, when it 
proveth much to my injury and loss ? ' 

Answ. Yes; 1. If they exceed not the bounds of that 
commission or trust which they received from you. 2. Or 
if they do, yet if by your former trusting and using them, 
or by any other sign you have given the other party suffi- 
cient cause to suppose them intrusted by you to do what 
they do, so that he is deceived by your fault, you are bound 
at least to see that he be no loser by you ; though you are 
not bound to make him a gainer, unless you truly signified 
that you authorized them to make the contract. For if it 
be merely your friend's or servant's error, without your 
fault, it doth not bind you to a third person. But how far 
you may be bound to pardon that error to your friend or 
servant, is another question; and how far you are bound to 
save them harmless. And that must be determined by 
laying together all other obligations between them and you. 
Quest. XVI. * If I say I will give such or such a one this 
or that, am I bound thereby to do it ? ' 

Ansiv. It is one thing to express your present mind and 
resolution, without giving away the liberty of changing it ; 
and it is another thing to intend the obliging of yourself to 
do the thing mentioned. And that obligation is either in- 
tended to man, or to God only ; and that is either in point 
of rendition and use, or in point of veracity, or the perfor- 
mance of that moral duty of speaking truth. If you meant 
no more in saying,' I will do it,' or * I will give it," but that 
this is your present will, and purpose, and resolution, yea, 
though it add the confident persuasion that your will shall 
not change ; yet this no further obligeth you than you are 
obliged to continue in that will ; and as a man's confident 
resolutions may be lawfully changed upon sufficient cause. 
But if you intended to alienate the title to another, or to 
give him present right, or to oblige yourself for the future 
to him by that promise ; or to oblige yourself to God to do 
it by way of peremptory assertion, as one that will be guilty 
of a lie if you perform it not ; or if you dedicate the thing 


to God by those words as a vow, then you are obliged to do 
accordingly (supposing nothing else to prohibit it). 

Quest. XVII. * Doth an inward promise of the mind not 
expressed, oblige ? ' 

Answ, In a vow to God it doth : and if you intend it as 
an assertion obliging you in point of veracity, it doth so 
oblige you that you must lie. But it is no contract, nor 
giveth any man a title to what you tacitly thought of. 

Quest. XVIII. * May I promise an unlawful thing (simply 
so) without an intention of performing it, to save my life 
from a thief or persecutor? ' 

Answ. No : because it is a lie, when the tongue agreeth 
not with the heart. Indeed those that think a lie is no sin 
when it hurteth not another, may justify this, if that would 
hold good ; but I have before confuted it. Part i., in the 
chapter against Lying. 

Quest. XIX. ' May any thing otherwise unlawful become 
a duty upon a promise to do it? ' 

Answ. This is answered before Part i., chapter of Per- 
juries and Vows : a thing unlawful will be so still, notwith- 
standing a vow or promise ; and some so of that also which 
is unlawful antecedently but by accident ; as e. g. It is not 
simply unlawful to cast away a cup of wine or a piece of 
silver ; (for it is lawful upon a sufficient cause). But it 
is unlawful to do it without any sufFcient cause. Now sup- 
pose I should contract with another that I will do it ; am I 
bound by such a contract? Many say no, because the 
matter is unlawful though but by accident ; and the contract 
cannot make it lawful. I rather think that I am bound in 
such a case ; but yet that my obligation doth not exclude 
me wholly from sin ; it was a sin before I promised (or 
vowed it) to cast away a farthing causelessly. And if I 
causelessly promised it, I sinned in that promise : but yet 
there may be cause for the performance : and if I have en- 
tangled myself in a necessity of sinning whether I do it or 
not, I must choose the lesser sin ; for that is then my duty. 
(Though I should have chosen neither as long as I could 
avoid it.) In a great and hurtful sin I may be obliged ra- 
ther to break my covenant than to commit it, yet it is hard 
to say so of every accidental evil : my reasons are, 1 . Be- 
cause the promise or covenant is now an accident to be put 


into the balance ; and may weigh down a lighter accident 
on the other side : (but I know that the great difficulty is 
to discern which is indeed the preponderating accident). 

2. I think if a magistrate command me to do any thing 
which by a small accident is evil (as to spend an hour in 
vain, to give a penny in vain, to speak a word, which ante- 
cedently, was vain) that I must do it ; and that then it is 
not vain because it manifesteth my obedience : (otherwise 
obedience would be greatly straitened). Therefore my own 
contract may make it my duty ; because I am able to oblige 
myself as well as a magistrate is. 3. Because covenant- 
breaking (and perjury) is really a greater sin than speaking 
a vain word; and my error doth not make it no sin, but only 
entangles me in a necessity of sinning which way soever I 

Quest. XX. * If a man make a contract to promote the 
sin of another for a reward (as a corrupt judge or lawyer, 
officer or clerk to promote injustice ; or a resetter to help a 
thief; or a bawd or whore, for the price of fornication), 
may he take the reward, when the sin is committed, (sup- 
pose it repented of ) ? ' 

Answ. The offender that promised the reward, hath 
forfeited his title to the money ; therefore you may receive 
it of him (and ought, except he will rightly dispose of it 
himself) ; but withal to confess the sin and persuade him 
also to repent : but you may not take any of that money as 
your own ; (for no man can purchase true propriety by in- 
iquity). But either give it to the party injured (to whom 
you are bound to make satisfaction), or to the magistrate 
or the poor, according as the case particularly require th. 

Quest. XXI. * If I contract, or bargain, or promise to 
another, between us two, without any legal form or witness, 
doth it bind me to the performance ? ' 

Answ. Yes, * in foro conscientiae,' supposing the thing 
lawful ; but if the thing be unlawful ' in foro Dei,' and such 
as the law of the land only would lay hold of you about, or 
force you to, if it had been witnessed, then the law of the 
land may well be avoided, by the want of legal forms and 

Quest. XXII. ' May I buy an office for money in a court 
of justice?' 


Answ. Some offices you may buy, (where the law allow- 
eth it, and it tendeth not to injustice;) but other offices 
you may not ; the difference the lawyers may tell you bet- 
ter than I, and it would be tedious to pursue instances. 

Quest, XXIII. * May one buy a place of magistracy or ju- 
dicature for money? 

Ansiv. Not when your own honour or commodity is 
your end ; because the common good is the end of govern- 
ment ; and to a faithful governor, it is a place of great la- 
bour and suffering, and requireth much self-denial and pa- 
tience. Therefore they that purchase it as a place of ho- 
nour, gain or pleasure, either know not what they under- 
take, or have carnal ends ; else they would rather purchase 
their liberty and avoid it. But if a king or a judge, or 
other magistrate, see that a bad man (more unfit to govern) 
is like to be put in, if he be put by, it is lawful for him to 
purchase the people's deliverance at a very dear rate ; (even 
by a lawful war which is more than money, when the sove- 
reign's power is in such danger :) but the heart must be 
watched, that it pretend not the common good, and intend 
your own commodity and honour ; and the probable conse- 
quents must be weighed ; and the laws of the land must be 
consulted also ; for if they absolutely prohibit the buying 
of a place of judicature, they must be obeyed ^, And ill ef- 
fects may make it sinful. 

Quest. XXIV. 'May one sell a church-benefice, or rec- 
tory, or orders ? ' 

Ansio. If the benefice be originally of your own gift, it 
is at first in your power to give part or all ; to take some 
deductions out of it or not : but if it be really given to the 
church, and you have but the patronage or choice of the in- 
cumbent, it is sacrilege to sell it for any commodity of your 
own : but whether you may take somewhat out of a great 
benefice, to give to another church which is poorer, depend- 
eth partly on the law of the land, and partly upon the pro- 
bable consequents. If the law absolutely forbid it (suppo- 
sing that unlawful contracts cannot be avoided unless some 
lawful ones be restrained), it must be obeyed for the com- 
mon good : and if the consequent of a lawful contract be 

* Whether the consequent be good or hurt is like to be greatei', must be well 


like to be the more hurtful encouragement of unlawful ones, 
such examples must be forborne, though the law were not 
against them. But to sell orders is undoubted simony ; 
(that is, the office of the ministry, or the act of ordination ;) 
though scribes may be paid for writing instruments. 

Quest. XXV. 'May a man give money for orders or be- 
nefices, when they cannot otherwise be had ? ' 

Answ. This is answered in Quest, xxii. 1. If the law 
absolutely forbid it, for the common safety, you may not. 
2. If your end be chiefly your own commodity, ease or ho- 
nour, you may not. But in case you were clear from all 
such evils, and the case were only this, whether you might 
not give money to get in yourself, to keep out a heretic, a wolf 
or insufficient man, who might destroy the people's souls, 
I see not but it might well be done. 

Quest. x.^y\. ' May I give money to officers, servants or 
assistants for their furtherance ? ' 

Answ. For writings or other servile acts about the cir- 
cumstantials you may ; but not (directly or indirectly) to 
promote the simoniacal contract. What you may not give 
to the principal agent, you may not give his instruments or 
others for the same end. 

Quest. XX VI I. ' May I give or do any thing afterward 
by way of gratitude, to the patron, bishop, or any others, 
their relations or retainers ? ' 

Answ. Not when the expectation of that gratitude was a 
(secret or open) condition of the presentation or orders ;. 
and you believe that you should not else have received 
them ; therefore promised gratitude is but a kind of con- 
tracting. Nor may you shew gratitude by any scandalous 
way, which seemeth simony. Otherwise, no doubt, but 
you may be prudently grateful for that or any other kind- 

Quest, xxviii. 'May not a bishop or pastor take money 
for sermons, sacraments, or other offices ? ' 

Answ. Not for the things themselves ; he must not sell 
God's Word and sacraments, or any other holy thing. But 
they that serve at the altar, may live on the altar, and the 
elders that rule well are worthy of double honour ; and the 
mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn should not be 
muzzled. They may receive due maintenance while they 


perform God's service ; that they may be vacant to attend 
their proper w^ork. 

Quest. xxiiL. * May one person disoblige another of a 
promise made to him ? ' 

Amw. Yes, if it be no more than a, promise to that per- 
son ; because a man may give aw^ay his right ; but if it be 
moreover a vow to God, or you intend to oblige yourself in 
point of veracity under the guilt of a lie if you do otherwise, 
these alter the case, and no person can herein disoblige 

Quest. XXX. * But what if the contract be bound by an 
oath, may another then release me ? ' 

Answ. Yes, if that oath did only tie you to perform your 
promise ; and were no vow to God which made him a party 
by dedicating any thing to him ; for then the oath being 
but subservient to the promise, he that dischargeth you 
from the promise, dischargeth you also from the oath which 
bound you honestly to keep it. 

Quest. XXXI. ' Am I bound by a promise when the cause 
or reason of it proveth a mistake ? ' 

Answ. If by the cause you mean only the extrinsical 
reasons which moved you to it, you may be obliged never- 
theless for finding your mistake ; only so far as the other 
was the culpable cause (as is aforesaid) he is bound to satis- 
fy you ; but if by the cause you mean the formal reason, 
which constituteth the contract, then the mistake may in 
some cases nullify it ; (of which enough before). 

Quest. XXXII. 'What if a following accident make it 
more to my hurt than could be foreseen ? ' 

Answ. In some contracts it is supposed or expressed, 
that men do undertake to run the hazard ; and then they 
must stand obliged. But in some contracts, it is rationally 
supposed that the parties intend to be free, if so great an al- 
teration should fall out. But to give instances of both 
these cases would be too long a work. 

Quest. XXX III. * What if something unexpectedly fall 
out, which maketh it injurious to a third person ; I cannot 
sure be obliged to injure another? ' 

Ansiv. If the case be the latter mentioned in the fore- 
going answer, you may be thus free ; but if it be the former 
(you being supposed to run the hazard, and secure the 


Other party against all others) then either you were indeed 
authorized to make this bargain or not ; if not, the third 
person may secure his right against the other ; but if you 
were, then you must make satisfaction as you can to the 
third person. Yea, if you made a covenant without autho- 
rity, you are obliged to save the other harmless, unless he 
knew your power to be doubtful, and did resolve to run the 

Quest. XX XI v. * What if something fall out which maketh 
the performance to be a sin ? ' 

Answ. You must not do it ; but you must make the 
other satisfaction for all the loss which you were the cause 
of, unless he undertook to stand to the hazard of this also, 
(explicitly or implicitly.) 

Quest. XXXV. * Am I obliged if the other break cove- 
nant with me ? ' 

Answ. There are covenants which make relations (as be- 
tween husband and wife, pastor and flock, rulers and sub- 
jects) ; and covenants which convey titles to commodities, 
of which only I am here to speak. And in these there are 
some conditions which are essential to the covenant ; if the 
other first break these conditions, you are disobliged. But 
there are other conditions which are not essential, but only 
necessary to some following benefit; whose non-perfor- 
mance will only forfeit that particular benefit ; and there 
are conditions which are only undertaken, subsequent du- 
ties, trusted on the honesty of the performer ; and in these 
a failing doth not disoblige you. These latter are but im- 
properly called conditions. 

Quest, XXXVI. ' May I contract to perform a thing 
which I foresee is like to become impossible or sinful, before 
the time of performance come, though it be not so at pre- 

Answ. With all persons you must deal truly ; and 
with just contractors openly ; but with thieves, and mur- 
derers, and persecutors, you are not always bound to deal 
openly. This being premised, either your covenant is ab- 
solutely, * This I will do, be it lawful or not, possible or 
impossible :' and such a covenant is sin and folly : or it is 
conditional, ' This I will do, if it continue lawful or possi- 
ble: this condition (or rather exception) is still implied 



where it is not expressed, unless the contrary be expressed ; 
therefore such a covenant is lawful with a robber with whom 
you are not bound to deal openly : because it is but 
the concealing from him the event you foresee. As e. g. 
you have intelligence that a ship is lost at sea, or is like to 
be taken by pirates, which the robber expecteth shortly to 
come safe into the harbour ; you may promise him to deli- 
ver up yourself his prisoner, when that ship cometh home. 
Or you know a person to be mortally sick, and will die be- 
fore the next week ; you may oblige yourself to marry or 
serve that person two months hence ; for it is implied, if he 
or she be then alive. But with equal contractors, this is 
unlawful, with whom you are obliged, not only to verity but 
to justice ; as in the following cases will be further mani- 
fested . 

Tit. 3. Special Cases about Jmtice in Buying and Selling. 

Quest. I. ' Am I bound to endeavour that he whom I 
deal with may be a gainer by the bargain as well as I ? ' 

Answ. Yes, if you be equally in want, or in the like 
condition ; but if he be very poor, and you be rich, charity 
must be so mixed with justice, that you must endeavour 
that it be more to his commodity than yours (if he be in- 
deed one that you owe charity to). And if you be poor 
and he be rich, you may be willing to be the only gainer 
yourself, so be it you covet not another^s nor desire that he 
be wronged ; for when he hath power to deal charitably, 
you may be willing of his charity or kindness. 

Quest. II. ' May I desire or take more than my labour or 
goods are worth, if I can get it? ' 

Answ. 1. Not by deceit, persuading another that they 
are worth more than they are. 2. Not by extortion work- 
ing upon men's ignorance, error or necessity (of which 
more anon). 3. Not of any one that is poorer than your- 
self, or of any one that intendeth but an equal bargain. 4. 
But if you deal with the rich, who in generosity stick not 
at a small matter, and are willing another should be a 
gainer by them, and understand what they do, it is lawful 
to take as much as they will give you. 


Quest. III. * May I ask in the market more than my 
goods are truly worth V 

Answ. In the case last mentioned you may ; when you 
are selling to the rich who are willing to shew their gene- 
rosity, and to make you gainers : but then the honest way is 
to say, it is worth but so much ; but if you give so much 
more because I need it, I will take it thankfully. Some 
think also where the common custom is to ask more than 
the worth, arid people will not buy unless you come down 
from your first demand, that then you may lawfully ask 
more, because else there is no trading with such people. 
My judgment in this case is this, 1. That ordinarily it is 
better to ask no more at all but a just gain : and that the 
inconveniences of doing otherwise are greater than any on 
the other side: for he that heareth you ask unjustly may 
well think that you would take unjustly if you could get it, 
and consequently that you are unjust. 2. But this just gain 
lieth not always just in an indivisible quantity, or determi- 
nate price. A man that hath a family to maintain by his 
trade, may lawfully take a proportionable, moderate gain : 
though if he take less he may get something too. To be 
always just at a word is not convenient; for he that may 
lawfully get two or three shillings or more in the pound of 
the rich, may see cause to let a poorer person have it for 
less : but never ask above what it is reasonable to take. 
3. And if you once peremptorily said, * I will take no less,* 
then it is not fit to go from your word. 4. And if you do 
meet with such fools or proud gallants, who will not deal 
with you unless you ask dear, it is just that when they have 
giv«n you more than it is worth, you tell them so, and offer 
tiiem the overplus again. And for them that expect that 
you abate much of your asking, it is an inconvenience to be 
borne, which will be ever to your advantage when you are 
<once better known. 

Quest. IV. * How shall the worth of a commodity be 
judged of?' 

Answ. 1. When the law setteth a rate upon any thing 
(as on bread and drink with us) it must be observed. 2. 
If you go to the market, the market price is much to be ob- 
served. 3. If it be an equal contract, with one that is not 
in want, you may estimate your goods as they cost you, or 


are worth to you, though it be above the common price ; 
seeing the buyer is free to take or leave them. 4. But if 
that which you have to sell be extraordinarily desirable, or 
worth to some one person more than to you or another man, 
you must not make too great an advantage of his conve- 
nience or desire ; but be glad that you can pleasure him, 
upon equal, fair, and honest terms. 5. If there be a secret 
worth in your commodity which the market will take no 
notice of, (as it is usual in a horse,) it is lawful for you to 
take according to that true worth if you can get it. But it 
is a false rule of them that think their commodity is worth 
as much as any one will give. 

Quest, v. * Is it lawful to make a thing seem better than 
it is, by trimming, adorning, or setting the best side outward 
or in sight ; or to conceal the faults of what I aip to sell V 

Answ. It is lawful to dress, polish, adorn, or set out 
your commodity, to make it seem as it is indeed, but not 
to make it seem better than it is ; except in some very few 
unusual cases : as if you deal with some fantastical fool, who 
will not buy it, nor give you the true worth, except it be so 
set out, and made in some respects to seem better than it is. 
It is lawful so far to serve their curiosity or humour, as to 
get the worth of your commodity. But if you do it to get 
more than the worth by deceiving, it is a sin. And such 
glossing hath so notable an appearance of deceit, that for 
that scandal it should be avoided. 

2. And as for concealing the fault, the case is the same : 
you ought not to deceive your neighbour, but to do as you 
would be done by : and therefore must not conceal any fault 
which he desireth, or is concerned to know. Except it be 
when you deal with one who maketh a far greater matter of 
that fault than there is cause , and would wrong you in the 
price if it were known : yea, and that exception will not 
hold neither, except in a case when you must needs sell, 
and they must buy it : because 1. You may not have ano- 
ther man's money against his will, though it be no more than 
the thing is worth, 2. Because it will be scandalous when 
the fault is known by him that buyeth it. 

Quest. VI. *.What if the fault was concealed from me 
when I bought it, or if I were deceived or overreached by 


him that sold it me, and gave more than the worth, may 1 
not repair my loss by doing as I was done by?' 

A71SW. No : no more than you may cut another's purse, 
because yours was cut : you must do as you would be done 
by, and not as you are done by. What you may do with 
the man that deceived you, is a harder question : but doubt- 
less you may not wrong an honest man, because you were 
wronged by a knave. 

Object. * But it is taken for granted in the market, that 
every man will get as much as he can have, and that * caveat 
emptor' is the only security ; and therefore every man trust- 
eth to his own wit, and not to the seller's honesty, and so 
resolveth to run the hazard.' 

Answ. It is not so among Christians, nor infidels who 
profess either truth or common honesty. If you come 
among a company of cut-purses, where the match is made 
thus, * Look thou to thy purse, and I will look to mine, and 
he that can get most let him take it !' then indeed you have 
no reason to trust another. But there are no tradesmen or 
buyers who will profess that they look not to be trusted, or 
say, * I will lie or deceive you if I can. Among thieves and 
pirates such total distrust may be allowed : but among sober 
persons in civil societies and converse, we must in reason 
and charity expect some truth and honesty, and not presume 
them to be all liars and deceivers, that we may seem to have 
allowance to be such ourselves. Indeed we trust them, not 
absolutely as saints, but with a mixture of distrust, as fallible 
and faulty men : and so as to trust our owa circumspection 
above their words, when we know not the persons to be very 
just. But we have no cause to make a market a place of 
mere deceit, where every one saith, * Trust not me, and I 
will not trust thee ; but let us all take one another for cheats 
and liars, and get what we can!' Such censures savour 
not of charity, or of just intentions. 

Quest* VII. * What if I foresee a plenty and cheapness in 
a time of dearth, which the buyer foreseeth not, (as if I know 
that there are ships coming in with store of that commodity 
which will make it cheap,) am I bound to tell the buyer of 
it, and hinder my own gain ?' 

Arisw. There may be some instances in trading with 
enemies, or with rich men, that regard not such matters, or 


with men that are supposed to know it as well as you, in 
which you are not bound to tell them. But in your ordinary 
equal trading, when you have reason to think that the buyer 
knoweth it not, and would not give so dear if he knew it, 
you are bound to tell him : because you must love your 
neighbour as yourself, and do as you would be done by, and 
not take advantage of his ignorance. 

Quest. VIII. ' If I foresee a dearth, may I keep my com- 
modity till then?' 

Answ. Yes ; unless it be to the hurt of the common- 
wealth, as if your keeping it in, be the cause of the dearth ; 
and your bringing it forth would help to prevent it. 

Quest. IX. ' May one use many words in buying and 

Aiisw. You must use no more than are true, and just, 
and useful : but there are more words needful with some 
persons who are talkative and unsatisfied than with others. 

Quest. X. * May I buy as cheap as I can get it, or give 
less than the thing is worth?' 

Answ. If it be worth more to you than the market price, 
(through your necessity,) you are not bound to give above 
the market price. If it be worth less to you than the mar- 
ket price, you are not bound to give more than it is worth 
to you, as suited to your use. But you must not desire nor 
seek to get another's goods or labour for less than it is worth 
in both these respects, (in common estimate, and to you.) 

Quest. XI. ' May I take advantage of another's ne- 
cessity to buy for less than the worth, or sell for more : as 
e. g. a poor man must needs have money suddenly for his 
goods though he sell them but for half the worth ; and I 
have no need of them : am I bound to give him the worth 
when I have no need ? and when it is a great kindness to him 
to give him any thing in that strait ? So also when I have no 
desire to sell my horse, and another's necessity maketh him 
willing to give more than he is worth, may I not take it ?' 

Answ. To the first case : you must distinguish between 
an act of justice and of charity ; and between your need of 
the thing, and the worth of it to you. Though you have no 
need of the poor man's goods, yet if you buy them, both 
justice and charity require that you give him as much as 
-they are worth to you, though not so much as they are 


worth in the market : yea, and that you buy them of him in 
his necessity ; for if you give him but what they are worth 
to you, you are no loser by it : and you should do another 
good, when it is not to your own hurt or loss. By ' what 
they are worth to you,' I mean so much as that you be no 
loser. As, if it be meat or drink, though you have no pre- 
sent need, perhaps you will shortly have need, and if you 
buy not that, you must buy as much of somewhat else. In 
strict justice you may be a saver, but not a gainer, by buy- 
ing of the poor in their necessity. 2. But if you buy a du- 
rable commodity for less than it is worth, you should take 
it but as a pledge, and allow the seller liberty to redeem it 
if he can, that he may get more after of another. 3. And 
to the poor in such necessity, charity must be exercised as 
well as justice. Therefore if you are able to lend them mo- 
ney to save them the lo^s of underselling, you should do it: 
(I account that man only able who hath money which no 
greater service of God requireth). And if you are not able 
yourself, you should endeavour to get some others to relieve 
him, if you can without a greater inconvenience. 

And for the second case, it is answered before : you may 
not take more than it is worth, ever the more for another's 
necessity : nor in any other case than you might have done 
it in, if there had been no such necessity of his. 

Quest, XII. * May I not make advantage of another's ig- 
norance or error in the bargaining V 

Answ. Not to get more than your commodity is worth, 
nor to get his goods for less than the worth : no, nor to get 
the true worth against his will, or with scandal : but if it be 
only to get a true worth of your commodity when he is will- 
ing, . but would be offended if his ignorance in some point 
were cured, you may so far make use of his ignorance to a 
lawful end, as is said before in the case of concealing faults. 
Quest, XIII. * May I strive to get before another, to get 
a good bargain which he desireth V 

Answ. Yes, if you do it not out of a greedy mind, nor to the 
injury of one that is poorer than yourself: you should rather 
further the supply of your neighbour's greater needs : other- 
wise speed and industry in your calling is no fault, nor yet 
the crossing of a covetous man's desires : you are not bound 
to let every man have what he would have. 


Quest. XIV. ' May I buy a thing out of another's hand, 
or hire a servant, which another is about or is treating with ? 
Or may I call a chapman from another to buy of me V 

Amw. There are some cases in which you may not do 
it, and some in which you may. You may not do it out of 
greedy covetousness ; nor to the injury of the poor; nor 
when the other hath gone so far in the bargain that it can- 
not be honestly broken ; for then you injure the third per- 
son, and tempt the other to a sin : nor may you do it so as 
to disturb that due and civil order, which should be among 
moderate men in trading. And it is a great matter how the 
thing is accounted of by the custom of the country or mar- 
ket where you bargain : for where it is of ill report, and ac- 
counted as unjust, the scandal should make you avoid such 
a course. But yet in some cases it is lawful, and in some a 
needful duty. It is lawful when none of the aforesaid rea- 
sons (or any such other) are against it. It is a duty when 
charity to the poor or oppressed doth require it : as, e. g, 
a poor man must needs sell his land, his horse, his corn or 
goods ; a covetous oppressor offereth him less than they 
are worth ; the poor man must take his offer if he can get no 
more; the oppressor saith that it is injustice for any one to 
take his bargain out of his hand, or offer money till he have 
done : in this case it may be a duty, to offer the poor man 
the worth of his commodity, and save him from the oppres- 
sor. A covetous man offereth a servant or labourer less 
than their service or labour is worth, and will accuse you, if 
you interrupt his bargain, and would offer his servant more : 
in this case it may be your duty to help the servant to a bet- 
ter master. A chapman is ready to be cheated by an uncon- 
scionable tradesman, to give much more for a commodity 
than it is worth ; charity may oblige you in such a case to 
offer it him cheaper. In a word, if you do it for your own 
gain, in a greedy manner, it is a sin : but if you do it when 
it is not scandalous or injurious, or do it in charity for ano- 
ther's good, it is lawful, and sometimes a duty. 

Quest. XV. ' May I dispraise another's commodity to 
draw the buyer to my own?' 

Answ, This case is sufficiently answered in the former : 
1. You may not use any false dispraise. 2. Nor a true one 
Qpt of covetousness, nor in a scandalous manner. 3. But 


you may help to save another from a cheater, by opening 
the deceit in charity to him. 

Quest. XVI. * What should I do in doubtful cases, where 
I am uncertain w^hether the thing be just or not V 

Answ. Causeless, perplexing, melancholy scruples, which 
would stop a man in the course of his duty, are not to be 
indulged : but in rational doubts, first use your utmost dili- 
gence (as much as the nature of the cause requireth) to be 
resolved ; and if yet you doubt, be sure to go the safer way, 
and to avoid sin rather than loss, and to keep your con- 
sciences in peace. 

Quest, XVII. * If the buyer lose the commodity between 
the bargain and the payment, (as if he buy your horse, and 
he die before payment, or presently after,) what should the 
seller do to his relief?' 

Amw. If it were by the seller's fault, or by any fault in 
the horse which he concealed, he is to make the buyer full 
satisfaction. If it were casually only, rigorous justice will 
allow him nothing : and therefore if it be either to a man 
that is rich enough to bear it without any great sense of the 
loss, or in a case where in common custom the buyer always 
standeth to the loss, mere justice will make him no amends. 
But if it be where custom makes some abatement judged a 
duty, or where the person is so poor as to be pinched by the 
loss, that common humanity, which all good men use in 
bargaining, which tempereth justice with charity, will teach 
men to bear their part of the loss ; because they must do as 
they would be done by. 

Quest. XVIII. * If the thing bought and sold prove after- 
ward of much more worth than was by either party under- 
stood, (as in buying of ambergris and jewels, it oft falleth 
out,) is the buyer bound to give the seller more than was bar- 
gained for V 

Answ. Yes, if it were the seller's mere ignorance and in- 
sufficiency in that business which caused him so to under- 
sell it; (as if an ignorant countryman sell a jewel or am- 
bergris, who knoweth not what it is, a moderate satisfaction 
should be made him). But if it were the seller's trade, in 
which he is to be supposed to be sufficient, and if it be taken 
for granted beforehand, that both buyer and seller will stand 
to the bargain whatever it prove, and that the seller would 


have abated nothing if it had proved less worth than the 
price, then the buyer may enjoy his gain ; much more if he 
run any notable hazard for it, as merchants use to do. 

Quest, XIX. * What if the title of the thing sold prove 
bad, which was before unknown?' 

Answ, If the seller either knew it was bad, or through 
his notable negligence was ignorant of it, and did not ac- 
quaint the buyer with so much of the uncertainty and dan- 
ger as he knew ; or if it was any way his fault that the buyer 
was deceived, and not the buyer's fault, he is bound to make 
him proportionable satisfaction. As also in case that by 
law or bargain he be bound to warrant the title to the buyer. 
But not in case that it be their explicit or implicit agree- 
ment that the buyer stand to the hazard, and the seller hath 
done his duty to make him know what is doubtful. 

Quest, XX. ' What if a change of powers or laws do 
overthrow the title, almost as soon as it is sold (as it oft 
falls out about offices and lands ;) who must bear the loss V 
Answ. The case is near the same with that in Quest. 
XVII. It is supposed that the seller should have lost it him- 
self if he had kept it but a little longer ; and that neither of 
them foresaw the change : and therefore that the seller hath 
all his money, rather for his good hap, than for his lands or 
office, (which the buyer hath not). Therefore except it be 
to a rich man that feeleth not the loss, or one that expressly 
undertook to stand to all hazards, foreseeing a possibility of 
them, charity and humanity will teach the seller to divide 
the loss. 

The same is the case of London now consumed by fire : 
where thousands of suits are like to rise between the land- 
lords and the tenants. Where the providence of God (per- 
mitting the burning zeal of some Papists,) hath deprived 
men of the houses which they had hired or taken leases of, 
humanity and charity requireth the rich to bear most of the 
loss, and not to exact their rents, or rebuilding from the 
poor, whatever the law saith, which could not be supposed 
to foresee such accidents. Love your neighbours as your- 
selves ; do as you would be done by ; and oppress not your 
poor brethren ; and then by these three rules you will your- 
selves decide a multitude of such doubts and difficulties, 
which the uncharitable only cannot understand. 


Tit, 4. Cases of Conscience about Lending and Borrowing. 

Quest. I. ' May a poor man borrow money, who knoweth 
that he is unable to repay it, and hath no rational proof that 
he is very likely to be able hereafter V 

Answ. No, unless it be when he telleth the lender truly 
of his case, and he is willing to run the hazard : else it is 
mere thievery covered with the cheat of borrowing : for the 
borrower desireth that of another, which he would not lend 
him, if he expected it not again : and to take aman*s money 
or goods against his will is robbery. 

Object. * But I am in great necessity.' 

Ansiv. Begging in necessity is lawful; but stealing or 
cheating is not, though you call it borrowing. 

Object. * But it is a shame to beg.' 

Answ. The sin of thievish borrowing is worse than 

Object, ' But none will give me if I beg.' 

Answ. If they will give but to save your life at the 
present, you must take it, though they give you not what 
you would have : the poorest beggar's life is better than 
the thief's. 

Object. * But I hope God may enable me to pay here- 

Answ. If you have no rational way to manifest the sound- 
ness of that hope to another, it is but to pretend faith and 
hope for thievery and deceit, 

Object. * God hath promised, that those that fear him 
shall want no good thing. And therefore I hope I may be 
able to repay it.' 

Answ, If you want not, why do you borrow? If you 
have enough to keep you alive by begging, God maketh 
good all his promises to you : yea, or if you die by famine. 
For he only promiseth you that which is best ; which for 
aught you know may be beggary or death. God breaketh 
not promise with his servants who die in common famine, 
no more than with them that die in plagues or wars. Make 
not God the patron of sin ; yea, and your faith a pretence 
for your distrust. If you trust God, use no sinful means ; 
if you trust him not, this pleading of his promise is hy- 


Quest. II. * May a tradesman drive a trade with borrowed 
money, when his success, and so his repayment, is utterly 
an uncertain thing V 

Answ, There are some trades where the gain is so ex- 
ceeding probable, next to certain, as may warrant the bor- 
rowing of money to manage them, when there is no rational 
probability of failing in the payment. And there are some 
tradesmen, who have estates of their own, sufficient to re- 
pay all the money which they borrow ; but otherwise, when 
the money is rationally hazardous, the borrower is bound in 
conscience to acquaint the lender fully with the hazard, that 
he may not have it against his will. Otherwise he liveth in 
constant deceit or thievery. And if he do happen to repay 
it, it excuseth not his sin. 

Quest. III. ' If a borrower be utterly unable to pay, and 
so break while he hath something, may he not retain some- 
what for his food or raiment V 

Answ. No, unless it be in order to set up again in hope 
to repay his debts ; for all that he hath being other men's, 
he may not take so much as bread to his mouth, out of that 
which is theirs, without their consent. 

Quest. IV. ' But if a man have bound himself to his 
wife's friends upon marriage to settle so much upon her or 
her children, and this obligation was antecedent to his debts, 
may he not secure that to his wife and children, without any 
injury to his creditors?' 

Answ. The law of the land must much decide this con- 
troversy. If the propriety be actually before transferred to 
wife or children, it is theirs, and cannot be taken from 
them ; but if it were done after by a deed of gift to defraud 
the creditors, then that deed of gift is invalid, till debts be 
paid. If it be but an obligation and no collation of pro- 
priety, the law must determine who is to be first paid : and 
whether the wife be supposed to run the hazard of gaining 
or losing with the husband : and though the laws of several 
countries herein differ, and some give the wife more pro- 
priety than others do, yet must they in each place be con- 
scientiously observed, as being the rule of such propriety. 
But we must see that there be no fraudulent intent in the 

Quest, v. * May not a tradesman retain somewhat to set 


up again, if his creditors be willing to compound for a cer- 
tain part of the debt V 

Answ. If he truly acquaint them with his whole estate, 
and they voluntarily allow him part to himself, either in 
charity, or in hope hereafter to be satisfied, this is no un- 
lawful course ; but if he hide part from them, and make them 
believe that the rest is all, this is but a thievish procurement 
of their composition or consent. 

Quest. VI. ' May a borrower lawfully break his day of 
promised payment, in case of necessity V 

Answ. True necessity hath no law : that is, a man is not 
bound to do things naturally impossible ; but if he might 
have foreseen that necessity, or the doubtfulness of his pay- 
ment at the day, it was his sin to promise it, unless he put 
in some limitation, * If I be able,* and acquainted the lender 
with the uncertainty. However it be, when the time is come, 
he ought to go to his creditor, and tell him of his necessity, 
and desire further time, and endeavour to pay it as soon as 
he is able : and if he be not able, to make him what satis- 
faction he can, by his labour, or any other lawful way. 

Quest. VII. 'May I borrow of one to pay another, to 
keep my day with the first?* 

Answ. Yes, If you deal not fraudulently with the second, 
but are able to pay him, or acquaint him truly with your 

Quest, VIII. ' Suppose that I have no probability of pay- 
ing the last creditor, may I borrow of one to pay another, 
and so live upon borrowing ; or must I rather continue in 
one man's debt?' 

Answ. If you truly acquaint your creditors with your 
state, you may do as is most to your convenience. If the 
first creditor be able and willing rather to trust you longer, 
than that you should borrow of another to pay him, you may 
continue his debtor, till you can pay him without borrowing, 
but if he be either poor or unwilling to bear with you, and 
another that is able be willing to venture, you may better 
borrow of another to pay him. But if they be all equally 
unwilling to stand to any hazard by you, then you must ra- 
ther continue in the first man's debt, because if you wrong 
another you will commit another sin : nay, you cannot bor- 
vTOw in such a case, because it is supposed that the other 


will not lend, when he knoweth your case. And you must 
not at all conceal it from him. 

Object. * But it may be my ruin to open my full state to 

Answ. You must not live upon cheating and thievery to 
prevent your ruin : and what can it be less to get another 
man's money against his will, if you hide your case, which if 
he knew he would not lend it you. 

Object. ' But what if I tell him plainly, that I will pay 
him certainly by borrowing of another, though I cannot pay 
him for mine own, and though I be not like to pay the 

Answ. If you truly thus open your case to every one that 
you. 'borrow of, you may take it, if they will lend it ; for then 
you have their consent : and it is supposed, that every one 
is willing to run the hazard of being the last creditor. 

Quest, IX. * May I lend upon pledges, pawns, or mort- 
gages for my security V 

Answ, Yes, so you take not that from a poor man for a 
pledge, which is necessary to his livelihood and mainte- 
nance : as the bed which he should lie on, the clothes 
which he should wear, or the tools which he should work 
with ; and be not cruel on pretence of mercy. 

Quest. X. ' May I take the forfeiture and keep a pledge 
or mortgage upon covenants V 

Ansiv. If it be among merchants and rich men, an act of 
merchandize, and not of mere security for money lent, then 
it is another case : as if they make a bargain thus, * Take 
this jewel or this land for your money ; and it shall be 
yours if I pay you not at such a day : I am willing to stand 
to the hazard of uncertainty ; if I pay you not, suppose it 
is for my own commodity, and not through disability.' In 
this case it is lawful to take the forfeiture, or detain the 
thing. But if it be properly but a pledge to secure the 
money, then the final intent is but that your money may be 
repaid : and you may not take the advantage of breaking 
a day, to take that from another which is none of your own. 
Justice will allow you only to take so much as your money 
came to, and to give the overplus (if there be any) to the 
debtor. And mercy will require you rather to forgive the 
<lebt, than to keep a pledge which he cannot spare, but to 



his ruin and misery (as his food, his raiment, his tools, his 
house, &c.) unless you be in as great necessity as he. 

Quest, XI. * May I take the bond or promise of a third 
person as security for my money V 

Answ. Yes, in case that other be able and willing to be 
responsible ; for you have his own consent ; but great cau- 
tion should be used, that you take no man that is insuflS- 
cient, from whom mercy forbiddeth you to take it, in case 
the principal debtor fail ; unless you take his suretiship but 
* in terrorem,' resolving not to take it of him : and also that- 
you faithfully tell the sureties that you must require it of 
them in case of non-payment, and therefore try whether in- 
deed they are truly willing to pay it : for if they be such as 
truly presume that you will not take it of them, or will take 
it ill to be sued for it, you should not take their suretiship, 
unless you purpose not to seek it (except in necessity). 

Quest. XII. ' Is it lawful to lend upon usury, interest, or 
increase V 

Answ. This controversy hath so many full treatises 
written on it, that I cannot expect that so few words as I 
must lay out upon it, should satisfy the studious reader. 
All the disputes about the name of usury I pass by ; it 
being, ' The receiving any additional gain as due for money 
lent,' which is commonly meant by the word, and which we 
mean in the question. For the questions, * Whether we 
may bargain for it, or tie the debtor to pay it V * Whether 
we may take it after his gain as partaking in it, or before V 
' Whether we must partake also in the loss, if the debtor be 
a loser V with other such like, are but subsequent to the 
main question, * Whether any gain (called use) may be 
taken by the lender as his due for the money lent V My 
judgment is as foUoweth. 

I. There is some such gain or usury lawful and com- 
mendable. II. There is some such gain or usury unlawful 
and a heinous sin. I shall first give my reasons of the first 

I. If all usury be forbidden it is either by the law of na- 
ture, or by some positive law of supernatural revelation : if 
the latter, it is either by some law of Moses, or by some law 
of Christ : if the former, it is either as against the rule of 
piety to God, or against justice or charity to men. That 


which is neither a violation of the natural laws of piety, jus- 
tice, or charity; nor against the supernaturally revealed 
laws of Moses or of Christ, is not unlawful. But there is 
some usury which is against none of these ; therefore there 
is some usury which is not unlawful. 

I will first lay you down the instances of such usury, 
and then prove it. There is a parcel of land to be sold for 
a thousand pounds, which is worth forty pounds per annum, 
and hath wood on it worth a thousand pounds : (some such 
things we have known :) John N. is willing to purchase it ; 
but he hath a poor neighbour, T. S. that hath no money, but 
a great desire of the bargain. J. N. loving his neighbour as 
himself, and desiring his wealth, lendeth him the thousand 
pounds upon usury for one year. T. S. buyeth the land, and 
selleth the wood for the same money, and repayeth it in a 
year, and so hath all the land for almost nothing, as if J. N. 
had purchased the land and freely given it him, after a year 
or two ; the gift had been the same. 

Object, ' Here you suppose the seller wronged by selling 
his land almost for nothing.' 

Answ. 1. That is nothing at all to the present case, but 
a different case by itself. 2. I can put many cases in which 
such a sale may be made without any wrong to the seller : 
as when it is done by some prince, or state, or noble and 
liberal person, purposely designing the enriching of the sub- 
jects, or after a war, as lately in Ireland. So that the ques- 
tion is, whether J. N. may not give T. S. a thousand or eight 
hundred pounds worth of land, taking a year's rent first out 
of the land, or a year's use for the money, which cometh to 
the same sum. 

Another, a rich merchant trading into the East Indies, 
having five thousand pounds to lay out upon his commodities 
in traffic, when he hath laid out four thousand five hundred 
pounds, lendeth in charity the other five hundred pounds to 
one of his servants to lay out upon a commodity, which 
when it cometh home will be worth two thousand pounds ; 
and ofFereth him to secure the carriage with his own ; re- 
quiring only the use of his money at six per cent. Here the 
taking of thirty pounds use, is but the giving him one 
thousand four hundred and seventy pounds, and is all one 
with deducting so much of the gift. 


Another instance ; certain orphans having nothing left 
them but so much money as will by the allowed use of it, 
find them bread and poor clothing : the guardian cannot 
lay it out in lands for them ; and if he maintain them upon 
the stock, it will be quickly spent, and he must answer for 
it : a rich man that is their neighbour tradeth in iron works, 
(furnaces or forges,) or lead works, or other such commo- 
dities, in which he constantly getteth the double of the stock 
which he employeth, or at least twenty pounds or forty pounds 
in the hundred ; the guardian dare not lend the money to 
any poor man, lest he break and never be able to pay it; 
therefore he lendeth it this rich man. And if he have it 
without usury, the poor orphans give the rich man freely 
twenty pounds or forty pounds a year, supposing their stock 
to be an hundred ; if he take usury, the rich man doth but 
give the poor orphans some part of his constant gain. 

Another instance ; in a city or corporation where there 
is a rich trade of clothing or making silks, there is a stock 
of money given by legacy for the poor, and intrusted into 
the hands of the richest of the city, to trade with and give 
the poor the use of it : and there is another stock left to set 
up young beginners, who have not a stock to set up them- 
selves ; on condition that they give the third part of their 
gain to the poor, and at seven years' end resign the stock : 
the question is, * Whether the poor should be without this 
use of their money, and let the rich go away with it? or 
w^hether they may take it V 

Now I prove that such usury is not forbidden by God. 

1. It is not forbidden us by the law of Moses : (1.) Be- 
cause Moses's law never did forbid it: for, 1. It is ex- 
pressly forbidden as an act of unmercifulness ; and there- 
fore forbidden only to the poor and to brethren, Exod. xxii. 
25. Levit. xxv. 36, 37. Yea, when the poor are not named, 
it is the poor that are meant ; because in that country they 
did not keep up stocks for merchandize or trading, but lent 
usually to the needy only : at least the circumstances of the 
several texts shew, that it is only lending to the needy, and 
not lending to drive on any enriching trades, which is meant 
where usury is forbidden **. 2. And it is expressly allowed 

»> Exod. XX. 21. <* Thon^ shall neither vex a straager, nor oppress him." Exod. 


to be used to strangers, Deut. xxiii. 19, 20., to whom nothing 
unjust or uncharitable might be done ; only such a measure 
of charity was not required towards them, as unto brethren. 
And there were more merchants of strangers that traded 
with them in foreign commodities, than of Jews that fetched 
them home : so that the prohibition of usury is in the law 
itself restrained only to their lending to the poor ; but in 
the prophets who do but reprove the sin, it is expressed 
without that limitation, partly because it supposeth the 
meaning of the law to be known, which the prophets did 
but apply : and partly because there was little or no lend- 
ing used among the Jews, but to the needy as an act of 

(2.) And if it had been forbidden in Moses's law only, 
it would not extend to Christians now ; because the law of 
Moses as such, is not in force : the matter of it is much of 
the law of nature indeed ; but as Mosaical, it was proper to 
the Jews and proselytes, or at least extended not to the 
Christian Gentiles ; as is plain in 2 Cor. iii. 7. Gal. iii. 19. 
24. V. 3. , Ephes. ii. 15. 1 Tim. i. 7. Heb. vii. 12. 16. 19. 
Moses's law as such never bound any other nations, but the 
proselytes that joined themselves to the Jews (nor was all 
the world obliged so to be proselyted as to take up their 
laws) : much less do they bind us that are the servants of 
Christ, so long after the dissolution of their commonwealth. 
So much of them as are part of the law of nature, or of any 
positive law of Christ, or of the civil law of any state, are 
binding as they are such natural. Christian, or civil laws. 
But not one of them as Mosaical : though the Mosaical law 
is of great use to help us to understand the law of nature in 
many particular instances, in which it is somewhat difficult 
to us. 

2. There is no positive law of Christ forbidding all 
usury: as for Luke vi. 32. 35. it is plainly nothing to the 
case ; for he saith not, * Lend, looking for no gain or in- 
crease,' but * looking for nothing again.' And the context 
sheweth that the meaning must be one of these two : either 
q. d. ' Lend not only to them that will lend to you again when 
you are in want ; but even to the poor, that you can never 

xxiii. 9. " Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, &c." So that usury to a straager was 
no oppression. 


hope to borrow of :' or else 'Lend not only to them that 
are able to pay you, and where your stock is secured, but to 
the needy where your money is hazarded ; and though they 
will pay you if they are able, yet you have little or no hope 
that ever they should be able to repay : lend so, as to be 
willing to make a gift of it in case the borrower never repay 
it.' And there is no other text that can be pretended 
against it, in the New Testament. 

3. And that the law of nature doth not forbid all usury, 
will appear by examining the several parts of it. The law 
of nature forbiddeth but three sorts of sin: 1. Those that 
are against piety to God. 2. Those that are against our 
own welfare. 3. Those that are against our neighbour's 
good: and that is, 1. Against justice. 2. Against charity. 
There is none that falleth not under some of these heads. 

1. And that usury is not naturally evil as against piety 
to God ; 2. Or as against ourselves, and our own welfare, 
I need not prove, because no reason nor reasonable person 
doth lay any such accusation against it. Though they that 
think it absolutely unlawful, say that it is consequently 
against God, as every violation of his law is. But that is 
nothing to the case. 

3. Therefore there is no doubt but the whole contro- 
versy is resolved into this last question, * Whether all usury 
be against justice or charity to our neighbour.' Justice 
obligeth me to give him his own ; charity obligeth me to 
give him more than his own, in certain cases ; as one that 
love him as myself. That which is not against justice, may 
be against charity : but that which is against charity, is not 
always against justice strictly taken. And that which is an 
act of true charity, is never against justice ; because he that 
giveth his neighbour more than his own, doth give him his 
own and more. There is an usury which is against justice 
and charity. There is an usury which is against charity, but 
not against mere justice: and there is an usury which is 
against neither justice nor charity. If I prove it charitable 
it is superfluous to say more. 

All the instances before given are notoriously charitable. 
That which is for the preservation of the lives and comforts 
of the poor, and of orphans, or for the enriching of my 
neighbour is an act of charity ; but such is some u&ury, past 



all doubt, as is before declared. Where the contrary is an 
act of cruelty, the usury is not against charity, but for it. 
For the rich to deny to the poor and orphans a part of that 
gain, which they make by the improvement of their own 
money, is oppression and cruelty : if it be cruel to let a 
beggar die or starve, when we should feed and clothe him 
of our own ; much more to let the poor and orphans starve 
and perish rather than give them the increase of their own, 
or part of it at least. As for them that say, * It may be as 
well improved otherwise, they are inexperienced men ■/ it 
is a known falsehood as to the most ; though some few may 
meet with such opportunities. At least it is nothing to 
them that cannot have other ways of improving it ; who are 
very many. 

Moreover, when it is not an act of charity, yet it may 
be not against charity in these cases : 1. When the lender 
is poor and the borrower rich : yea, it may be a sin to lend 
it freely. " He that oppresseth the poor to increase his 
riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to 
want*=." It is a giving to the rich to lend freely that mo- 
ney which they improve to the increase of their riches. 2. 
When the lender is not obliged to that act of charity, 
though the borrower be poorer than himself. Which falleth 
out in a hundred cases ; and may be comprised under this 
one general ; When the lender is obliged to expend that 
same money in some other greater, better work : as at the 
same time while a man that is worth but twenty pounds a 
year, is in debt to a man that hath a thousand pounds a 
year, there may be an hundred or a thousand poor people 
worth nothing, ready to perish, whom the rich is rather 
bound to succour, than him that hath but twenty pounds a 
year. And there may be works of piety (as to set up a 
school, or promote the preaching of the Gospel), which may 
be as great as either. And the richest that is, cannot do 
all the good that is to be done, nor relieve all the persons 
that are in want ; therefore when he must leave much un- 
done, if he would give all his substance, it is (' ceeteris pari- 
bus') a sin, to give that to a man that can make shift with- 
out it, and pass by an hundred in much deeper necessity 
and distress ; so that he who either exerciseth charity in his 
«= Prov. xxii. 16. 


usury, or doth nothing against charity and justice, certainly 
sinneth not by that usury. For all the Scriptures which 
speak against usury, speak against it as a cruel or unchari- 
table thing. 

Object. ' But it is sometimes necessary for a law to for- 
bid that which otherwise would be good, when it cannot be 
done, without encouraging others to a greater evil ; such 
as ordinary usury is ; and then that law must be observed.' 
Answ, This is true ' in thesi,' that such cases there are ; 
but it is unproved and untrue in this case ; for, 1. There is 
no such law. 2. There is no such reason or necessity of 
such a law. For God can as well make laws against un- 
righteous or uncharitable increase or usury, without forbid- 
ding that which is charitable and just, as he can make laws 
against unrighteous or uncharitable buying or selling with- 
out condemning that which was good and just : or as he 
can forbid gluttony, drunkenness, idleness, pride, without 
forbidding eating, drinking, apparel or riches. He can 
easily tell men of whom and in what case to take use, and 
when not. 

He thai would see all other objections answered, and 
the case fully handled, hath many treatises on both sides 
extant to inform him, 

II. That there is a sort of usury which is evil I know of 
no man that doubteth, and therefore need not stand to 

Quest. * When is usury sinful? ' 

Answ, As is before said. When it is against either jus- 
tice or charity; 1. When it is like cheating bargaining, 
which under pretence of consent and a form of justice doth 
deceive or oppress, and get from another that which is not 
truly ours but his. 2. When you lend for increase where 
charity obligeth you to lend freely ; even as it is a sin to 
lend expecting your own again, when charity obligeth you 
to give it. 3. When you uncharitably exact that which 
your brother is disabled utterly to pay, and use cruelty to 
procure it, (be it the use or the principal.) 4. When you 
allow him not such a proportion of the gain as his labour, 
hazard or poverty doth require ; but because the mdney is 
yours, will live at ease upon his labours. 5. When in case 
of his losses you rigorously exact your du^ without that 


abatement, or forgiving debts (whether use or principal), 
which humanity and charity require. In a word, when you 
are selfish and do not as, according to true judgment, you 
may desire to be done by, if you were in his case. 

Quest. ' But when am I bound to exercise this charity 
in not taking use ? ' 

Answ. As I said before, 1. Whenever you have no more 
urgent, and necessary, and excellent work, to lay out that 
money on, which you are so to receive. 2. Yea, though 
another work may be in itself better, (as to relieve many 
poorer, better men with that money,) yet when you cannot 
take it, without the utter undoing of the debtor, and bring- 
ing him into as bad a case, as any single person whom you 
would relieve, it is the safer side to leave the other unre- 
lieved, (unless it be a person on whom the public good 
much dependeth) rather than to extort your own from such 
a one to give another. Because that which you cannot get 
without a scandalous appearance of cruelty, is * quoad jus 
in re' not yours to give, till you can better get possession of 
it ; and therefore God will not expect that you should give 
it to another. 

In all this I imply that as you must prefer the lives of 
others in giving alms, before your own conveniences and 
comforts, and must not say, * I cannot spare it,' when your 
necessity may spare it, though not your pleasure \ so also 
in taking use, of those that you are bound to shew charity 
to, the same rule and proportions must be observed in your 

Note also, that in all this it appeareth, that the case is 
but gradually different, between taking the use and taking 
the principal. For when the reason for remitting is the 
same, you are as well bound to remit the principal as the 

But this difference there is, that many a man of low es- 
tate may afford to lend freely to a poorer man for a little 
time, who cannot afford to give it. And prudence may di- 
rect us to choose one man to lend freely to for a time, be- 
cause of his sudden necessity, when yet another is fitter to 
give it to. 

Quest. XIII. * Is lending a duty? If so, must I lend to 
all that ask me, or to whom ? ^ 


Answ. Lending is a duty, when we have it, and our bro- 
ther's necessity requireth it, and true prudence telleth us, 
that we have no better way to lay it out, which is inconsis- 
tent with that. And therefore rich men ordinarily should 
both lend and give as prudence shall direct. But there is 
an imprudent and so a sinful lending ; as 1. When you will 
lend that which is another's, and you have no power to 
lend. 2. When you lend that which you must needs re- 
quire again, while you might easily foresee that the bor- 
rower is not like to pay. Lend nothing but what you have 
either great probability will be repaid, or else which you are 
willing. to give in case the debtor cannot or will not pay; 
or at least when suing for it, will not have scandalous and 
worse effects than not lending. For it is very ordinary 
when you come to demand it and sue for it, to stir up the 
hatred of the debtor against you, and to make him your ene- 
my, and to break his charity by your imprudent charity ; in 
such a case, if you are obliged to relieve him, give him so 
much as you can spare, rather than lend him that which 
you cannot spare, but must sue for. In such cases, if cha- 
rity go not without prudence, nor prudence without charity, 
you may well enough see when to lend, and how much. 

Quest. XIV. * Is it lawful to take upon usury in neces- 
sity, when the creditor doth unjustly or unmercifully re- 
quire it?' 

Answ. Not in case that the consequents (by encoura- 
ging sin or otherwise) be like to do more hurt, than the 
money will do you good. Else, it is lawful when it is for 
your benefit y as it is lawful to take part of your wages for 
your work, or part of the worth of your commodity, when 
you cannot have the whole ; and as it is lawful to purchase 
your rights of an enemy, or your life of a thief as is afore-^ 
said. A man may buy his own benefit of an unrighteous, 

Quest. XV. * Doth not contracting for a certain sum of 
gain, make usury in that case unlawful, which might law- 
fully be taken of one that is free ? ' 

Answ. Yes, in case that contracting determine an un- 
certain case without sufficient cause : as if you agree, that 
whether the borrower gain or lose, and be poor or ricb„ 
I will have so much gain ; that is, whether it prove merci- 


ful or unmerciful, I will have it. But then in that case, if 
it so prove unmerciful, it may not be taken without con- 
tracting, if freely offered. No contract may tie the debtor 
to that which is against justice or charity; and no contract 
may absolutely require that which may prove uncharitable ; 
unless there be a tacit condition, or exception of such a 
case implied. Otherwise I see no Scripture or reason, why 
a contract altereth the case, and may not be used to secure 
that increase which is neither unrighteous or unmerciful ; 
it may be the bond of equity, but not of iniquity. As in 
case of a certain gain by the borrower, a certain use may be 
contracted for ; and in case of uncertain gain to the borrow- 
er, a conditional contract may be made. Yea, in case of 
merchandize, where men's poverty forbiddeth not such bar- 
gains, I see not but it is lawful to sell a greater uncertain 
gain, for a smaller certain gain ; and so to make the con- 
tracts absolute (as Amesius Cas. Consc. on this question 
sheweth). As all oppression and unmercifulness must be 
avoided, and all men must do as they would (judiciously) be 
done by ; so it is a bad thing to corrupt religion, and fill 
the world with causeless scruples, by making that a sin 
which is no sin. Divines that live in great cities and 
among merchandize, are usually fitter judges in this case, 
than those that live more obscurely (without experience) in 
the country. 

Tit. 5. Cases of Consdertce about Lusory Contracts. 

Quest. I. ' Is it lawful to lay wagers upon the credit or 
confidence of one another's opinions or assertions in dis- 
course? As e. g. I will lay you so much that I am in the 
right ? \ 

Answ. Yes, if these three things concur: 1. That the 
true end of the wager is, to be a penalty to him that shall be 
guilty of a rash and false assertion, and not to gratify the 
covetousness of the other. 2. That it be no greater a sum 
than can be demanded and paid, without breach of charity, 
or too much hurt to the loser (as above the proportion of his 
error). 3. That it be no other but what both parties are 
truly willing to stand to the loss of, if either of them lose. 


and that beforehand they truly seem so willing to each 

Quest. II. * Is it lawful to lay wagers upon horse-races, 
dogs, hawks, bear-baitings or such games as depend upon 
the activity of beast or man ? ' 

JInsw, Yes, upon the two last expressed conditions ; 
and 3. That it be not an exercise which is itself unlawful, 
by cruelty to beasts, or hazard to the lives of men (as in 
fencing, running, wrestling, &c. it may fall out if it be not 
cautiously done), or by the expence of an undue proportion 
of time in them, which is the common malignity of such 

Quest. III. ^ May I lawfully give money to see such 
sports, as bear-baitings, stage-plays, masks, shows, puppet- 
plays, activities of man or beast ? &c.' 

Answ. There are many shows that are desirable and lau- 
dable, (as of strange creatures, monsters, rare engines, acti- 
vities. Sec.) the sight of which it is lawful to purchase, at a 
proportionable price ; as a prospect through one of Gali- 
leo's tubes or such another, is worth much money to a stu- 
dious person. But when the exercise is unlawful (as all 
stage-plays are that ever I saw, or had just information of; 
yea, odiously evil ; however it is very possible that a come- 
dy or tragedy might with abundance of cautions be lawfully 
acted), it is then (usually) unlawful to be a spectator either 
for money or on free cost. I say, (usually) because it is 
possible that some one that is necessitated to be there, or 
that goeth to find out their evil to suppress them, or that is 
once only induced to know the truth of them, may do it in- 
nocently ; but so do not they, who are present voluntarily 
and approvingly. 3. And if the recreation be lawful in it- 
self, yet when vain persons go thither to feed a carnal fancy 
and vicious humour, which delighteth more in vanity, than 
they delight in piety, and when it wasteth their time and 
corrupteth their minds, and alienateth them from good, or 
hindereth duty, it is to them unlawful. 

Quest. IV. * Is it lawful to play at cards or dice for mo- 
ney, or at any lottery "^ ? ' 

Answ. The greatest doubt is, whether the games be law- 
ful, many learned divines being for the negative, and many 

•* Of Recreations, sec before. 


for the affirmative ; and those that are for the affirmative 
lay down so many necessaries or conditions to prove them 
lawful, as I scarce ever yet saw meet together ; but if they 
be proved at all lawful, the case of wagers is resolved as the 

Quest, v. ' May I play at bowls, run, shoot, &c., or use 
such personal activities for money ? ' 

Answ, Yes, 1. if you make not the game itself bad, by 
any accident. 2. If your wager be laid for sport, and not 
for covetousness (striving who shall get another's money, 
and give them nothing for it). 3. And if no more be laid 
than is suitable to the sport, and the loser doth well and 
willingly pay. 

Quest, VI. * If the loser who said he was willing, prove 
angry and unwilling when it cometh to the paying, may I 
take it, or get it by law against his will ? ' 

Answ. No, not in ordinary cases ; because you may not 
turn a sport to covetousness, or breach of charity ; but in 
case that it be a sport that hath cost you any thing, you 
may injustice take your charges, when prudence forbids it 

Tit. 6. Cases of Conscience about Losing and Finding. 

Quest. I. ' If I find money or any thing lost, am I bound 
to seek out the owner, if he seek not after me ? and how 
far am I bound to seek him ? ' 

Answ. You are bound to use such reasonable means, as 
the nature of the case requireth, that the true owner may 
have his own again. He that dare keep another man's mo- 
ney, because he findeth it, it is like would steal, if he could 
do it as secretly. Finding gives you no property, if the owner 
can be found : do as you would be done by, and you may 
satisfy your conscience. If nearer inquiry will not serve, 
you are bound to get it cried in the market, or proclaimed 
in the church, or mentioned in the Curranto's that carry 
weekly news, or any probable way, which putteth you not 
upon unreasonable cost or labour. 

Quest, II. * May I take any thing for the finding of it, a& 
my due ? ' 

Answ. You may demand so much as shall pay for any 


labour or cost which you have been at about it, or finding 
out the owner. But no more as your due; though a mode- 
rate gratuity may be accepted, if he freely give it. 

Quest. III. 'May I desire to find money or any thing 
else in my way ; or may I be glad when I have found it ? * 

Atisw. You should first be unwilling that your neigh- 
bour should lose it, and be sorry that he hath lost it ; but 
supposing that it be lost, you may moderately desire that 
you may find it rather than another ; not with a covetous 
desire of the gain ; but that you may faithfully gratify the 
owner in restoring it, or if he cannot be found may dispose 
of it as you ought. And you should be more sorry that it 
is lost, tiian glad that you find it, except for the owner. 

Quest, IV. * If no owner can be found, may I not take it 
and use it as mine own ? * 

Answ. The laws of the land do usually regulate claims 
of property in such matters ; where the law giveth it to the 
lord of the manor, it is his, and you must give it him. 
Where it giveth it to no other, it is his that findeth it ; and 
occupancy will give him property. But so as it behoveth 
him to judge, if he be poor, that God*s providence ordered 
it for his own supply ; but if he be rich, that God sent it 
him but as to his steward, to give it to the poor. 

Quest. V. * If many be present when I find it, may I not 
wholly retain it to myself; or may I not conceal it from 
them if I can ? ' 

Answ. If the law overrule the case, it must be obeyed ; 
but if it do not, you may, if you can, conceal it, and thereby 
become the only finder, and take it as your own, if the own- 
er be not found : but if you cannot conceal it at the time of 
finding, they that see it with you, are partly the finders as 
well as you ; though perha^ps the largest share be due to 
the occupant. 

Quest. VI. * If I trust my neighbour or servant with mo- 
ney or goods, or if another trust me, who must stand to the 
loss if they be lost ? ' 

Answ. Here also the law of the land as regulating pro- 
perties must be very much regarded ; and especially the 
true meaning of the parties must be understood : if it was 
antecedently the expressed or implied meaning that one 
party in such or such a case should bear the loss, it must in 


Strict justice be according to the true meaning of the par- 
ties. Therefore if a carrier that undertaketh to secure it, 
loseth it ; he loseth it to himself. Or if one that it is lent 
to on that condition (explicit or implicit) lose it, it is to 
himself. But if a friend to whom you are beholden for the 
carriage, lose it, who undertook no more than to bestow his 
labour, the loss must be yours ; yea, though it was his neg- 
ligence or drunkenness that was the fault ; for you took 
him and trusted him as he is. But if a servant or one 
obliged to do it by hire, do without any other agreement, 
only undertake to serve you in it, and loseth it, the law or 
custom of the country is instead of a contract ; for if the 
law or custom lay the loss on him, it is supposed that he 
consented to it in consenting to be your servant ; if it lay it 
on you, it is supposed that you took your servant on such 
terms of hazard. But if it be left undecided by law and 
custom, you may make your servant pay only so much as is 
a proportionable penalty for his fault, but no more, as any 
satisfaction for your loss ; except you agreed with him to 
repay such losses as were by his default. And when it is 
considered what strict justice doth require, it must also be 
considered what charity and mercy do require, that the 
poor be not oppressed. 

Tit. 7. Directions to Merchants , Factors, Chaplains, Travellers, 
that live among Infidels, 

Quest. I. * Is it lawful to put one's self, or servants, 
especially young unestablished apprentices, into temptations 
of an infidel country (or a Popish), for the getting of riches, 
as merchants do * ? ' 

Answ. This cannot be truly answered without distin- 
guishing, 1. Of the countries they go from. 2. Of the 
places they go to. 3. Of the quality of the persons that go. 
4. Of the causes of their going. 

I. Some countries that they go from may be as bad as 
those that they go to, or in a state of war, when it is better 
be absent, or in a time of persecution, or at least of greater 

« Leg. Steph. Vinan. Pigh. in Hercule prodigo, pp. 1 30— 132. Cui peregrina- 
tio dulcis est, non aniat patriam : si dulcis est patria, amara est peregrinatio. 


temptation than they are like to have abroad. And some 
are contrarily as a paradise in comparison of those they go 
to, for holiness and helps to heaven, and for peace and 
opportunities of serviceableness to God and the public 

II. Some countries which they may go to, may have as 
good helps for their souls as at home, if not by those of the 
religion of the nation, yet by Christians that live among 
them, or by the company which goeth with them ; or at 
least there may be no great temptations to change their 
religion, or debauch them, either through the civility or 
moderation of those they live among, or through their sot- 
tish ignorance or viciousness, which will rather turn men*s 
hearts against them. But some countries have so strong 
temptations to corrupt men's understandings through the 
subtilty of seducers, and some have such allurements to 
debauch men, and some such cruelties to tempt them to 
deny the truth, that it is hard among them to retain one's 

III. Some that go abroad are understanding, settled 
Christians, able to make good use of other men's errors, 
and sins, and ill examples or suggestions, and perhaps to do 
much good on others ; but some are young, and raw, and 
inexperienced, whose heads are unfurnished of those evi- 
dences and reasons by which they should hold fast their 
own profession, against the cunning reasonings of an 
adversary, and their hearts are unfurnished of that love to 
truth, and that serious resolution which is necessary to 
their safety, and therefore are like to be corrupted. 

IV. Some are sent by their princes as agents or ambas- 
sadors on employments necessary to the public good : and 
some are sent by societies on business necessary to the ends 
of society : and some go in case ef extreme poverty and 
necessity, having no other way of maintenance at home : and 
some go in obedience to their parents and masters that com- 
mand it them : and some go to avoid the miseries of a war, 
or the danger of a sharp persecution at home, or the greater 
temptations of a debauched or seducing age, or some great 
temptations in their families. But some go for fancy, and 
some for mere covetousness, without need. 


By these distinctions the case may be answered by men 
that are judicious and impartial. As, 

1. Affirm. 1. It is lawful for ambassadors to go among 
infidels, that are sent by princes and states ; because the 
public good must be secured. 

2. It is lawful for the agents of lawful societies or tra- 
ding companies to go (* caeteris paribus/ the persons being 
capable) ; because trade must be promoted, which tendeth 
to the common good of all countries. 

3. It is not only lawful, but one of the best works in the 
world, for fit persons to go on a design to convert the poor 
infidels and heathens where they go. Therefore the 
preachers of the Gospel should not be backward to take 
any opportunity, as chaplains to ambassadors, or to fac- 
tories, &c., to put themselves in such a way. 

4. It is lawful for a son or servant (whose bonds extend 
to such a service) to go in obedience to a superior's com- 
mand ; and God's special protection may be trusted in a 
way of obedience. 

5. It is lawful for one in debt to go, that hath probable 
hopes that way and no other to pay his debts. Because he 
is a defrauderif he detain other men's money, while a lawful 
way of repaying it may be taken. 

6. It is lawful for a duly qualified person to go in case 
of extreme poverty, to be able to live in the world ; and 
that poverty may be called extreme to one that was nobly 
born and educated, which would be no poverty to one that 
was bred in beggary. 

7. It is lawful for a well qualified person, who desireth 
riches to serve God, and to do good with, to go in a way of 
trading, though he be in no poverty or necessity himself. 
Because God's blessing on a lawful trade may be desired 
and endeavoured, and he that should do all the good he can, 
may use what lawful means he can to be enabled to do it. 
And other men's wants should be to us as our own, and 
therefore we may endeavour to be able to relieve them. 

8. In a time of such civil war, when a man knoweth not 
which side to take, it may be better for some men to live 
abroad ; yea, among infidels. 

9. There is little to dissuade a man whose trade leadeth 
him into a country that is better than his own, or so sottish 



as to have saiall temptation, and that hath the company of 
faithful Christians, with which he may openly worship God, 
and privately converse to his spiritual edification. 

10. In urgent cases one may go for a time, where he can 
have no use of public church-worship, so be it he have 
private means and opportunities of holy living. 

11. It is lawful on less occasions to leave one's own 
country in a time of debauchery, when temptations at home 
are greater than those abroad, or in time of such persecution 
as may lawfully be avoided, than at another time. 

12. A settled Christian may go more safely, and there- 
fore lawfully on smaller urgencies, than a young, raw, lust- 
ful, fanciful, unsettled novice may. 

II. Neg. L It is not lawful for any one to seek riches 
or trade abroad or at home, principally for the love of 
riches, to raise himself and family to fulness, prosperity or 
dignity : though all this may be desired when it is a means 
to God's service and honour, and the public good, and is 
desired principally as such a means. 

2. It is not lawful to go abroad, especially into infidel 
or Popish countries, without such a justifiable business, 
whose commodity will suffice to weigh down all the losses 
and dangers of the remove. 

3. The dangers and losses of the soul are to be valued 
much above those of the body and estate, and cannot be 
weighed down by any mere corporal commodity. 

4. It is more dangerous usually to go among Turks and 
heathens (whose religion hath no tempting power to seduce 
men) than among Socinians or Papists, whose errors and 
sins are cunningly and learnedly promoted and defended. 

5. It is not lawful for merchants or others for trade and 
love of wealth or money, to send poor raw, unsettled 
youths into such countries where their souls are like to be 
notably endangered, either by being deprived of such 
teaching and church-helps which they need, or by being 
exposed to the dangerous temptations of the place ; be- 
cause their souls are of more worth than money. 

6. It is not lawful therefore for master or servant to 
venture his own soul in such a case as this last mentioned; 
that is, so far as he is free, and without necessity doth it 
only for commodity sake. 


7. We may not go where we cannot publicly worship 
God, without necessity, ov some inducement from a greater 

8. The more of these hindrances occur the greater is the 
sin : it is therefore a mere wilful casting away of their own 
souls, when unfurnished, unsettled youths (or others like 
them) shall for mere humour, fancy, or covetousness leave 
such a land as this, where they have both public and private 
helps for their salvation, and to go among Papists, infidels 
or heathens, where talk or ill example is like to endanger 
them, and no great good can be expected to countervail 
such a hazard, nor is there any true necessity to drive them, 
and where they cannot publicly worship God, no, nor 
openly own the truth, and where they have not so much as 
any private company to converse with, that is fit to further 
their preservation and salvation, and all this of their own 
accord, &c. 

Quest. II. * May a merchant or ambassador leave his 
wife, to live abroad ? ' 

Answ. ] . We must distinguish between what is necessi- 
tated, and what is voluntary. 2. Between what is done by 
the wife's consent, and what is done without. 3. Between 
a wife that can bear such absence, and one that cannot. 
4. Between a short stay, and a long or continued stay. 

I. The command of the king, or public necessities, may 
make it lawful, except in a case so rare as is not to be sup- 
posed (which therefore I shall not stand to describe). For 
though it be a very tender business to determine a differ- 
ence between the public authority or interest, and family 
relations and interest, when they are contradictory and 
irreconcileable, yet here it seemeth to me, that the prince 
and public interest may dispose of a man contrary to the 
will and interest of his wife ; yea, though it would occasion 
the loss, 1. Of her chastity. 2. Or her understanding. 3. 
Or her life : and though the conjugal bond do make man 
and wife to be as one flesh. For, 1. The king and public 
interest may oblige a man to hazard his own life, and there- 
fore his wife's. In case of war, he may be sent to sea, or 
beyond sea, and so both leave his wife (as Uriah did) and 
venture himself. Who ever thought that no married man 
might go to foreign wars without his wife's consent? 2. 


Because as the whole is mpre noble than the part, so he that 
marrieth obligeth himself to his wife, but on supposition 
that he is a member of the commonwealth, to which he is 
still more obliged than to her. 

2. A man may for the benefit of his family leave his wife 
for travel or merchandize, for a time, when they mutually 
consent upon good reason that it is like to be for their good. 

3, He may not leave her either without or with her own 
consent, when a greater hurt is like to come by it, than the 
gain will countervail. I shall say no more of this, because 
the rest may be gathered from what is said in the cases 
about duties to wives, where many other such are handled. 

Quest. III. ' Is it lawful for young gentlemen to travel in 
other kingdoms, as part of their education^ ? * 

Answ. The many distinctions which were laid down for 
answer of the first question, must be here supposed, and the 
answer will be mostly the same as to that, and therefore 
need not be repeated. 

1. It is lawful for them to travel that are necessarily 
driven out of their own country, by persecution, poverty, or 
any other necessitating cause. 

2. It is lawful to them that are commanded by their pa* 
rents (unless in former excepted cases, which I will not stay 
to name). 

3. It is the more lawful when they travel into countries 
as good or better than their own, where they are like to get 
more good than they could have done at home. 

4. It is more lawful to one that is prudent and firmly 
settled both in religion, and in sobriety and temperance, 
against all temptations which he is like to meet with, than 
to one that is unfurnished for a due resistance of the temp- 
tations of the place to which he goeth. 

5. It is more lawful to one that goeth in sober, wise and 
godly company, or is sent with a wise and faithful tutor 
and overseer, than to leave young, unsettled persons to them- 

6. In a word, it is lawful when there is a rational pro- 
bability, that they will not only get more good than hurt 
(for that will not make it lawful), but also more good than 
they could probably have other ways attained. 

f L^ge Euryctc. Pateani Orat. 9. 


II. But the too ordinary course of young gentlemen's 
travels out of England now practised, I take to be but a 
most dangerous hazarding, if not a plain betraying them to 
utter undoing, and to make them afterwards the plagues of 
their country, and the instruments of the common calamity. 
For, 1. They are ordinarily sent into countries far worse 
and more dangerous than their own, where the temptations 
are stronger than they are fit to deal with \ into some coun- 
tries where they are tempted to sensuality, and into some 
where they are tempted to popery or infidelity. In some 
countries they learn to drink wine instead of beer ; and aris- 
ing from the smaller sort to the stronger, if they turn not 
drunkards, they contract that appetite to wine and strong 
drink, which shall prove (as Clemens Alexandrinus calleth 
gluttony and tippling,) a throat-madness, and a belly-devil, 
and keep them in the sin of gulosity all their days. And in 
some countries they shall learn the art of gluttony, to pam- 
per their guts in curious, costly, uncouth fashions, and to 
dress themselves in novel, fantastical garbs, and to make a 
business of adorning themselves, and setting themselves 
forth with proud and procacious fancies and affections, to be 
looked upon as comely persons to the eyes of others. In 
some countries they shall learn to waste their precious hours 
in stage-plays, and vain spectacles, and ceremonies, atten- 
dances and visits, and to equalize their life with death, and 
to live to less use and benefit to the world than the horse 
that carrieth them. In most countries they shall learn either 
to prate against godliness, as the humour of a few melan- 
choly fools, and be wiser than to believe God, or obey him, 
or be saved ; or at least to grow indifferent and cold in holy 
affections and practices : for when they shall see Papists 
and Protestants, Lutherans and Calvinists of contrary minds, 
and hear them reproaching and condemning one another, 
this cooleth their zeal to all religion, as seeming but a mat- 
ter of uncertainty and contention. And when they also see 
how the wise and holy are made a scorn in one country, as 
bigots and Hugonots, and how the Protestants are drun- 
kards and worldlings in another country, and how few in 
the world have any true sense and savour of sound and prac- 
tical religion, and of a truly holy and heavenly life, (as those 
few they are seldom so happy as to converse with,) this 



first accustometh them to a neglect of holiness, and then 
draweth their minds to a more low, indifferent opinion of it, 
and to think it unnecessary to salvation. For they will not 
believe that so few shall be saved as they find holy in the 
world : and then they grow to think it but a fancy and trou- 
bler of the world. 

And it addeth to their temptation, that they are obliged 
by the carnal ends which drew them out, to be in the worst 
and most dangerous company and places, that is, at princes* 
courts, and among the splendid gallantry of the world : for it 
is the fashions of the great ones which they must see, and 
of which when they come home they must be able to dis- 
course : so that they must travel to the pest-houses of pomp 
and lust, of idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, and pride, of 
atheism, irreligiousness, and impiety, that they may be able 
to glory what acquaintance they have got of the grandeur 
and gallantry of the suburbs of hell, that they may represent 
the way to damnation delectable and honourable to others, 
as well as to themselves s. 

But the greatest danger is of corrupting their intellec- 
tuals, by converse with deceivers where they come ; either 
infidels, or juggling Jesuits and friars : for when those are 
purposely trained up to deceive, how easy is it for them to' 
silence raw and unfurnished novices, (yea, even where all 
their five senses must be captivated, in the doctrine of tran- 
substantiation). And when they are silenced they must 
yield : or at least they have deluding stories enough of the 
antiquity, universality, infallibility, unity of their church, 
with a multitude of lies of Luther, Calvin, Zuinglius, and 
other reformers, to turn their hearts and make them yield. 
But yet that they may be capable of doing them the more 
service, they are instructed for a time to dissemble their 
perversion, and to serve the Roman pride and faction in a 
Protestant garb and name. 

Especially when they come to Rome, and see its glory, 
and the monuments of antiquity, and are allured with their 
splendour and civilities, and made to believe that all the 
reports of their inquisitions and cruelties are false, this fur- 
thereth the fascination of inexperienced youths. 

2. And usually all this while the most of them lay by 

K Read Bishop Hall's " Quo Vadis " on this subject. 


all serious studies, and all constant employment, and make 
idleness and converse with the idle and with tempters, to be 
their daily work. And what a mind is like to come to, which 
is but one half year or twelve months accustomed to idle- 
ness, and to vain spectacles, and to a pleasing converse with 
idle and luxurious persons, it is easy for a man of any ac- 
quaintance with the world, or with human nature to conjec- 

3. And they go forth in notable peril of their health or 
lives. Some fall into fevers, and die by change of air and 
drinks : some fall into quarrels in taverns, or about their 
whores, and are murdered. Some few prove so stedfast 
against all the temptations of the Papists, that it is thought 
conducible to the holy cause that they should be killed in 
pretence of some quarrel, or be poisoned. Some by drink- 
ing wine, do contract such a sickness, as makes their lives 
uncomfortable to the last. And the brains of many are so 
heated by it, that they fall mad. 

4. And all this danger is principally founded in the qua- 
lity of the persons sent to travel ; which are ordinarily emp- 
ty lads, between eighteen and twenty-four years of age, 
which is the time of the devil's chief advantage ; when na- 
turally they are prone to those vices which prove the ruin 
of the most, though you take the greatest care of them that 
you can^. 1. Their lust is then in the highest and most un- 
tamed rage. 2. Their appetites to pleasing meats and drinks 
are then strongest. 3. Their frolicsome inclinations to 
sports and recreations are then greatest. 4. And ignorant 
and procacious pride beginneth then to stir. 5. All things 
that are most vile and vain, are then apt to seem excellent to 
them, by reason of the novelty of the matter as to them, wlio 
never saw such things before, and by reason of the false es- 
teem of those carnal persons, to whose pomp, and conse- 
quently to whose judgment, they would be conformed. 6. 
And they are at that age exceedingly inclined to think all 
their own apprehensions to be right, and to be very confi- 
dent of their own conceptions, and wise in their own eyes : 
because their juvenile intellect being then in the most af- 
fecting activity, it seemeth still clear and sure to them, be- 

•» Peregrinatid levia taedia qtraedam animorum et veluti nauseas tollit: non toUit 
morbos qui altius penetrarunt, quam ut externa ulla medicina hue pertingat. Id. ib. 


cause it so much affects themselves. 7. But above all, they 
are yet unfurnished of almost all that solid wisdom, and set- 
tled holiness, and large experience, which is most necessary 
to the improvement of their travels, and to their resistance 
of all these temptations. Alas ! how few of them are able 
to deal with a Jesuit, or hold fast their religion against these 
deceivers! If the very vices, the ambition, the carnal poli- 
cies and pomps, the filthiness and worldliness of the Roman 
clergy did not become a powerful preservative to men's 
minds against the temptations which would draw them to 
their way, and if the atheism, infidelity, whoredoms, and 
profaneness of Papists did not become antidotes, how few 
were like to return uninfected ! And because the Jesuits 
know that they can never take this stumblingblock out of 
the way, therefore too many of them have thought best to 
debauch those first whom they would proselyte, and recon- 
cile them first to plays, and drunkenness, and whoredoms, 
that so the dislike of these may not hinder their reconcilia- 
tion with the kingdom of Rome ; yea, that a seeming neces- 
sity of a priest's pardon, may make it seem necessary to be- 
come their subjects. 

And as unfurnished are these young travellers usually to 
resist the temptations to this sensuality, lust and pomp, as 
those of popery : so that they are perfidiously sent into a 
pest-house, when they are in the greatest disposition to be 
infected. And if they come not home drunkards, gluttons, 
gamesters, idle, prodigal, proud, infidels, irreligious, or Pa- 
pists, it is little thanks to those perfidious parents, who thus 
perform their promise for them in baptism, by sending them 
to Satan's schools and university to be educated. 

Whereas if they were kept to their due studies, and un- 
der a holy government at home, till they were furnished with 
sound religious knowledge, and till they were rooted in ho- 
liness, and in a love to a pious, sober life, and till they had 
got a settled hatred of intemperance and all sin, and till they 
had a map of the places, persons, and affairs of the world 
well imprinted on their minds by study and due information, 
then necessary travel would be more safe : and then they 
would be in a capacity to learn wisdom from other men's 
folly, and virtue from other men's vice, and piety from other 
mep'» impiety ; which novices are rather apt to imitate. 



6. And in the mean time the loss of all the helps which 
they should have at home, doth greatly tend to their des- 
truction. For they oft travel into countries, where they 
shall have no public worship of God which is lawful, or 
which they understand: or if ihey have, it is usually cold 
preaching and dull praying, when they have need of the 
best, and all too little. And they have seldom such pious 
society to edify and quicken them by private converse, as 
they have, or might have, here at home ; and seldom come 
into such well-ordered, religious families. And if human 
nature be prone to infection by temptations, and so averse 
to holiness, that all means is too little, and even in the best 
families folly and sensuality, and a distaste of godliness, 
often thrive ; (as unsown weeds overspread the garden, where 
with great cost and labour only better things were sowed ;) 
what then but sin and misery can be expected from those 
that by their own parents are banished from their native 
country, (not so well as into a wilderness, but) into the pes- 
tilent, infected countries of the world? 

I would ask those parents that plead for this crime and 
cruelty as a kindness ; are you no wiser or better yourselves 
than the company into which your send you children ? Can 
you teach them and educate them no better, nor give them 
better examples than they are like to have abroad? Can 
you set them on no better work, for the improvement of their 
time ? If not, why do you not repent of this your shame 
and misery, and reform yourselves ? If you can, why will 
you then betray your children ? Or if you cannot, are there 
no schools, no learned and pious men, no religious families and 
company at home, in your own land, where you might place 
them to better advantage, than thus to expose them to the 
tempter ? Undoubtedly there are ; and such as may be had 
at cheaper rates K 

6. And it is not the stnallest part of the guilt and dan- 
ger, that they are sen.t abroad without due oversight and 
conduct. They that do but get them some sober or honest 
servant to attend them, or some sober companion, think they 
have done well : when as they had need of some divine or 
tutor of great learning, piety, prudence, and experienx^e, 
whom they will reverence and obey, that may take the over- 

' Congressus sapieatum confert prud^utiana : nopniontes, non.maria. Erasm. 


sight of them, and be ready to answer any sophist that would 
seduce them. But the charge of this is thought too great, 
for the safety of their own children, whom they themselves 
expose to a necessity of it. 

I know that carnal minds will distaste all this, and have 
objections enough against it, and reasons of their own, to 
make it seem a duty to betray and undo their children's 
souls, and to break their promise made for them in baptism ; 
" All this is but our preciseness : they must have expe- 
rience and know the world, or else they will be contempti- 
ble * tenebriones* or owls ! Whenever they go it will be a 
temptation, and such they must have at home ; there is no 
other part of their age so fit, or that can be spared, and we 
must trust God with them wherever they are, and they that 
will be bad, will be bad in one place as well as another ; and 
many are as bad that stay at home." And thus ' quos per- 
dere vult Jupiter hos dementat :' yea, the poor children and 
commonwealth must suffer for such parent's sottish folly. 
And well saith Solomon, " The rich man is wise in his own 
conceit''." And because it is not reason indeed but pride, 
and the rich disease and carnality which is here to be con- 
futed, I shall not honour them with a distinct, particular 
answer ; but only tell them, If all companies be alike, send 
them to Bedlam or to a whore-house. If all means be alike, 
let them be Janizaries, and bred up where Christ is scorned ; 
if you think they need but little helps, and little watching, it 
seems you never gave them more. And it is a pity you 
should have children, before you know what a man is, and 
how much nature is corrupted, and how much is needful to 
its recovery. And it is a pity that you dedicated them to 
God in baptism, before you believed Christ, and knew what 
you did, and engaged them to renounce the world, the flesh 
and the devil, under a crucified Christ, while you purposed 
like hypocrites to train them in the school and service of the 
world, the flesh, and the devil, and in the contempt of the 
cross of Christ, or of a holy, mortified life. And if all ages 
be alike, and novices be equal to experienced persons, let 
the scholars rule their master, and let boys be parliament 
men and judges, and let them be your guides at home ? And 
if acquaintance with courtship and the customs of the world, 

'' Prov. xxvii't. 11. 


and the reputation of such acquaintance, be worth the ha- 
zarding of their souls, renounce God, and give up your 
names to mammon, and be not such paltry hypocrites, as to 
profess that you believe the Scriptures, and stand to your 
baptismal vows, and place your hopes in a crucified Christ, 
and your happiness in God's favour and the life to come. 
And if the preaching of the Gospel, and all such religious 
helps be unnecessary to your unsettled children, dissemble 
not by going to church, as if you took them to be necessary 
to yourselves. In a word, I say as Elias to the Israelites, 
'* Why halt ye between two opinions? If God be God, 
follow him.'* If the world be God, and pride and sensuality 
and the world's applause be your felicity, follow it, and let 
it be your children's portion. Do you not see more wise, 
and learned, and holy, and serviceable persons among us, 
proportionably in church and state, that were never sent for 
an education among tlie Papists and profane, than of such 
as were? 

But I will proceed to the Directions which are necessary 
to those that must or will needs go abroad, either as mer- 
chants, factors, or as travellers. 

Direct, i. * Be sure that you go not without a clear war- 
rant from God ; which must be (all things laid together) a 
great probability, in the judgment of impartial, experienced, 
wise men, that you may get or do more good than you were 
like to have done at home.' For if you go sinfully without 
a call or warrant, you put yourself out of God's protection, 
as much as in you is ; that is, you forfeit it : and whatever 
plague befals you, it will arm your accusing consciences to 
make it double. 

Direct, ii. * Send with your children that travel, some 
such pious, prudent tutor or overseer as is afore described : 
and get them or your apprentices into as good company as 
possibly you can.' 

Direct, in. * Send them as the last part of all their edu- 
cation, when they are settled in knowledge, sound doctrine, 
and godliness, and have first got such acquaintance with the 
state of the world, as reading, maps, and conversation and 
discourse can help them to : and not while they are young, 
and raw, and incapable of self-defence, or of due improving 
what they see.' And those that are thus prepared, will 


have no great lust or fancy to wander, and lose their time, 
without necessity ; for they will know, that there is nothing 
better (considerably) to be seen abroad, than is at home ; 
that in all countries, houses are houses, and cities are cities, 
and trees are trees, and beasts are beasts, and men are men, 
and fools are fools, and wise men are wise, and learned men 
are learned, and sin is sin, and virtue is virtue. And these 
things are but the same abroad as at home : and that a grave 
is every where a grave, and you are travelling towards it, 
which way ever you go. And happy is he that spendeth 
his little time so, as may do God best service, and best pre- 
pare him for the state of immortality. 

Direct, iv. * If experience of their youthful lust and 
pride, and vicious folly, or unsettled dangerous state, doth 
tell you plainly, that your child or apprentice is unfit for 
travel, venture them not upon it, either for the carnal orna- 
ments of education, or for your worldly gain.' For souls 
that cost the blood of Christ, are more precious than to be 
sold at so low a rate : and especially by those parents and 
masters that are doubly obliged to love them, and to guide 
them in the way to heaven, and must be answerable for 

Direct, v. * Choose those countries for your children to 
travel in, which are soundest in doctrine and of best exam- 
ple, and where they may get more good than hurt ; and ven- 
ture them not needlessly into the places and company of 
greatest danger ; especially among the Jesuits and friars, or 
subtle heretics, or enemies of Christ. 

Direct, vi. * Study before you go, what particular temp- 
tations you are like to meet with, and study well for parti- 
cular preservatives against them all : as you will not go into 
a place infected with the plague, without an antidote/ It 
is no small task, to get a mind prepared for travel. 

Direct, vii. * Carry with you such books as are fittest 
for your use, both for preservation and edification :' As to 
preserve you from Popery, Drelincourt's and Mr. Pool's 
small Manual : for which use my ** Key for Catholics," and 
*' Safe Religion," and " Sheet against Popery" may not be 
useless. And Dr. Challoner's ** Credo Ecclesiam Catho- 
licam " is short and very strong. To preserve you against 
infidelity, ** Vander Meulin," in Latin, and Grotius ; and i^i 


English my " Reasons of the Christian Religion," may not 
be unfit. For your practice, the Bible and the " Practice 
of Piety," and Mr. Scudder's " Daily Walk," and Mr. Rey- 
ner's " Directions, " and Dr. Ames's " Cases of Con- 

Direct, viii. ' Get acquaintance with the most able re- 
formed divines, in the places where you travel and make use 
of their frequent converse, for your edification and defence.' 
For it is the wisest and best men in all countiies where you 
come, that must be profitable to you, if any. 

Direct, ix. ' Set yourselves in a way of regular study if 
you are travellers, as if you were at home, and on a course 
of regular employment if you are tradesmen, and make not 
mere wandering and gazing upon novelties, your trade and 
business ; but redeem your time as laboriously as you would 
do in the most settled life.' For time is precious, wherever 
you be ; and it must be diligence every where that must 
cause your proficiency ; for place and company will not do 
it without your labour. It is not an university that will 
make a sluggish person wise, nor a foreign land that will 
furnish a sensual sot with wisdom : ' Coelum non animum 
mutant qui trans mare currunt/ There is more ado neces- 
sary to make you wise, or bring you to heaven, than to go 
long journies, or see many people. 

Direct, x. ' Avoid temptations : if you acquaint your- 
selves with the humours, and sinful opinions, and fashions 
of the time and places where you are, let it be but as the 
Lacedemonians called out their children to see a drunkard, 
to hate the sin ; therefore see them, but taste them not, as 
you would do by poison or loathsome things.' Once or 
twice seeing a folly and sin is enough. If you do it fre- 
quently, custom will abate your detestation, and do much to 
reconcile you to it. 

Direct, xi. * Set yourselves to do all the good you can 
to the miserable people in the places where you come.' 
Furnish yourselves with the aforesaid books and arguments, 
not only to preserve yourselves, but also to convince poor 
infidels and Papists. And pity their souls, as those that 
believe, that there is indeed a life to come ; where happiness 
and misery, will shew the difference between the godly and 
the wicked. Especially merchants and factors, who live 


constantly among the poor ignorant Christians, Armenians, 
Greeks, Papists, who will hear them ; and among heathens 
(in Indostan and elsewhere) and Mahometans (especially 
the Persians, who allow a liberty of discourse). But above 
all, the chaplains of the several embassies and factories. 
O what an opportunity have they to sow the seeds of Chris- 
tianity, among the heathen nations ! and to make known 
Christ to the infidel people where they come ! And how 
heavy a guilt will lie on them that shall neglect it ! And 
how will the great industry of the Jesuits rise up in judg- 
ment against them and condemn them ! 

Direct, xii. * The more you are deprived of the benefit 
of God's public worship, the more industrious must you be, 
in reading Scripture and good books, and in secret prayer, 
and meditation, and in the improvement of any one godly 
friend that doth accompany you to make up your loss, and 
to be instead of public means.' It will be a great comfort 
among infidels, or Papists, or ignorant Greeks, or profane 
people, to read sound, and holy, and spiritual books, and to 
confer with some one godly friend, and to meditate on the 
sweet and glorious subjects, which from earth and heaven 
are set before us ; and to solace ourselves in the praises of 
God, and to pour out our suits before him. 

Direct, xiii. * And that your work may be well done, be 
sure that you have right ends ; and that it be not to please 
a ranging fancy, nor a proud, vain mind, nor a covetous de- 
sire of being rich or high, that you go abroad ; but that you 
do it purposely and principally to serve God abroad, and to 
be able to serve him the better when you come home, with 
your wit, and experience, and estates.' If sincerely you go 
for this end, and not for the love of money, you may expect 
the greater comfort \ 

Direct* XIV. ' Stay abroad no longer than your lawful 
ends and work do require : and when you come, let it be 
seen that you have seen sin, that you might hate it ; and 
that by the observation of the errors and evils of the world, 
you love sound doctrine, spiritual worship, and holy, sober, 
and righteous living, better than you did before ; and that 

' Peregrinatio omnis obscura c^t sordida est lis quorum iadustria in patria potest 
esse illuslris. Cic. 


you are the better resolved and furnished for a godly, exem- 
plary, fruitful life. 

One thing more I will warn some parents of; who send 
their sons to travel to keep them from untimely marrying, 
lest they have part of their estate too soon : that there are 
other means better than this, which prudence may find out : 
if they would keep them low, from fulness and idleness, and 
bad company, (which a wise, self-denying, diligent man may 
do, but another cannot,) and engage them to as much study 
and business (conjunct) as they can well perform, and when 
they must needs marry, let it be done with prudent, careful 
choice ; and learn themselves to live somewhat lower, that 
they may spare that which their son must have, this 
course would be better than that hazardous one in ques- 


Tit. 1. Motives and Directions against Oppression. 

Oppression is the injuring of inferiors, who are unable to 
resist, or to right themselves ; when men use power to bear 
down right. Yet all is not oppression which is so called by 
the poor, or by inferiors that suffer : for they are apt to be 
partial in their own cause as well as others. There may be 
injustice in the expectations of the poor, as well as the ac- 
tions of the rich. Some think they are oppressed, if they 
be justly punished for their crimes ; and some say they are 
oppressed, if they have not their wills, and unjust desires, 
and may not be suffered to injure their superiors : and many 
of the poor do call all that oppression, which they suffer 
from any that are above them, as if it were enough to prove 
it an injury, because a rich man doth it ; but yet oppression 
is a very common and a heinous sin *. 

There are as many ways of oppressing others, as there 
are advantages to men of power against them. But the 
principal are these following. 

1. The most common and heinous sort is the malignant 

* In oinnicerlamine qui opulentior est, ctiarosi accipit injuriara, tamen quia plus 
potest, liiccre vldetur. Salust. in Jugurth. 


injuries and cruelties of the ungodly against men that will 
not be as indifferent in the matters of God and salvation as 
themselves ; and that will not be of their opinions in reli- 
gion, and be as bold with sin, and as careless of their souls 
as they. These are hated, reproached, slandered, abused, 
and some way or other persecuted commonly wherever they 
live throughout the world. But of this sort of oppression 
I have spoken before. 

2. A second sort is the oppression of the subjects by 
their rulers ; either by unrighteous laws, or cruel executions, 
or unjust impositions or exactions, laying on the people 
greater taxes, tributes or servitude, than the common good 
requireth, and than they are able well to bear. Thus did 
Pharaoh oppress the Israelites, till their groans brought 
down God*s vengeance on him. But I purposely forbear to 
meddle with the sins of magistrates. 

3. Soldiers also are too commonly guilty of the most inhu- 
man, barbarous oppressions ; plundering the poor country- 
men, and domineering over them, and robbing them of the fruit 
of their hard labours, and of the bread which they should 
maintain their families with, and taking all that they can 
lay hold on as their own. But (unless it be a few that are 
a wonder in the world) this sort of men are so barbarous 
and inhuman, that they will neither read nor regard any 
counsel that 1 shall give them. (No man describeth them 
better than Erasmus.) 

4. The oppression of servants by their masters I have 
said enough to before : and among us, where serv ants are 
free to change for better masters, it is not the most common 
sort of oppression ; but rather servants are usually negligent 
and unfaithful, because they know that they are free : (ex- 
cept in the case of apprentices). 

5. It is too common a sort of oppression for the rich in 
all places to domineer too insolently over the poor, and 
force them to follow their wills, and to serve their interest 
be it right or wrong : so that it is rare to meet with a poor 
man that dare displease the rich, though it be in a cause 
where God and conscience do require it. If a rich man 
wrong them, they dare not seek their remedy at law, because 
he will tire them out by the advantage of his friends and 
wealth ; and either carry it against them, be his cause never 


SO unjust, or lengthen the suit till he hath undone them, and 
forced them to submit to his oppressing will. 

6. Especially unmerciful landlords are the common and 
sore oppressors of the countrymen : if a few men can but 
get money enough to purchase all the land in a country, they 
think that they may do with their own as they list, and set 
such hard bargains of it to their tenants, that they are all 
but as their servants, yea, and live a more troublesome life 
than servants do ; when they have laboured hard all the 
year, they can scarce scrape up enough to pay their land- 
lord's rent ; their necessities are so urgent, that they have 
not so much as leisure, to pray morning or evening in their 
families, or to read the Scriptures, or any good book; nor 
scarce any room in their thoughts for any holy things : 
their minds are so distracted with necessities and cares, that 
even on the Lord's day, or at a time of prayer, they can 
hardly keep their minds intent upon the sacred work which 
they have in hand : if the freest minds have much ado to 
keep their thoughts in seriousness and order, in meditation, 
or in the worshipping of God ; how hard must it needs be 
to a poor oppressed man, whose body is tired with weari- 
some labours, and his mind distracted with continual cares, 
how to pay his rent, and how to have food and raiment for 
his family ? How unfit is such a troubled, discontented per- 
son, to live in thankfulness to God, and in his joyful praises ? 
Abundance of the voluptuous great ones of the world, do 
use their tenants and servants, but as their beasts, as if they 
had been made only to labour and toil for them, and it were 
their chief felicity to fulfil their will, and live upon their 

Direct, i. * The principal means to overcome this sin, is 
to understand the greatness of it.' For the flesh persuadeth 
carnal men, to judge of it according to their selfish interest, 
and not according to the interest of others, nor according 
to the true principles of charity and equity ; and so they 
justify themselves in their oppression. 

Consid. I. That oppression is a sin not only contrary to 
Christian charity and self-denial, but even to humanity itself. 
We are all made of one earth, and have souls of the same 
kind : there is as near a kindred betwixt all mankind, as a 
specifical identity : as between one sheep, one dove, one 


angel and another : as between several drops of the same 
water, and several sparks of the same fire ; which have a 
natural tendency to union with each other. And as it is an 
inhuman thing for one brother to oppress another, or one 
member of the same body to set up a proper interest of its 
own, and make all the rest, how painfully soever, to serve 
that private interest : so is it for those men who are children 
of the same Creator. Much more for them who account 
themselves members of the same Redeemer, and brethren in 
Christ by grace and regeneration, with those whom they 
oppress. ** Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God 
created us ? Why do we deal treacherously every man 
against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our 
fathers^?" '* If we must not lie to one another, because 
we are members one of another ^." " And if all the mem- 
bers must have the same care of one another "* ;" surely then 
they must not oppress one another. 

2. An oppressor is an antichrist and an antigod ; he 
is contrary to God, who delighteth to do good, and whose 
bounty maintaineth all the world ; who is kind to his ene- 
mies, and causeth his sun to shine, and his rain to fall on 
the just and on the unjust : and even when he afilicteth doth 
it as unwillingly, delighting not to grieve the sons of men ®. 
He is contrary to Jesus Christ, who gave himself a ransom 
for his enemies, and made himself a curse to redeem them 
from the curse, and condescended in his incarnation to the 
nature of man, and in his passion to the cross and suffering 
which they deserved ; and being rich and Lord of all, yet 
made himself poor, that we by his poverty might be made 
rich. He endured the cross and despised the shame, and 
made himself as of no reputation, accounting it his honour 
and joy to be the Saviour of men's souls, even of the poor 
and despised of the world. And these oppressors live as if 
they were made to afflict the just, and to rob them of God's 
mercies, and to make crosses for other men to bear, and to 
tread on their brethren as stepping stones of their own ad- 
vancement. The Holy Ghost is the Comforter of the just 
and faithful. And these men live as if it were their calling 
to deprive men of their comfort. 

^ Mill. ii. 10. <= Ephes. iv. 25 ^1 Cor. xii. 25. 

^ Psal. cxiv. Malt. v. Lain, iii. 


3. Yea, an oppressor is not only the agent of the devil 
but his image : it is the devil that is the destroyer, and the 
devourer, who maketh it his business to undo men, and 
bring them into misery and distress. He is the grand op- 
pressor of the w^orld : yet in this he is far short of the ma- 
lignity of men-devils, 1. That he doth it not by force and 
violence, but by deceit, and hurteth no man till he hath pro- 
cured his ovi^n consent to sin ; whereas our oppressors do it 
by their brutish force and power. 2. And the devil des- 
troyeth men, who are not his brethren, nor of the same 
kind ; but these oppressors never stick at the violating of 
such relations. 

4. Oppression is a sin that greatly serveth the devil, to the 
damning of men's souls, as well as to the afflicting of their 
bodies. And it is not a few, but millions that are undone 
by it. For as I shewed before, it taketh up men's minds 
and time so wholly, to get them a poor living in the world, 
that they have neither mind nor time for better things. 
They are so troubled about many things, that the one thing 
needful is laid aside. All the labours of many a worthy, 
able pastor, are frustrated by oppressors : to say nothing of 
the far greatest part of the world, where the tyranny and 
oppression of heathen infidels and Mahometan princes, 
keepeth out the Gospel, and the means of life ; nor yet of 
any other persecutors : if we exhort a servant to read the 
Scriptures, and call upon God, and think of his everlasting 
state, he telleth us that he hath no time to do it, but when 
his weary body must have rest : if we desire the masters of 
families to instruct and catechise their children and servants, 
and pray with them, and read the Scriptures and other good 
books to them, they tell us the same, that they have no time, 
but when they should sleep, and that on the Lord's day their 
tired bodies, and careful minds, are unfit to attend and ply 
such work : so that necessity quieteth their consciences in 
their ignorance and neglect of heavenly things, and maketh 
them think it the work only of gentlemen and rich men, who 
have leisure (but are farther alienated from it by prosperity, 
than these are by their poverty) : and thus oppression des- 
troyeth religion, and the people's souls as well as their 

5. Oppression further endangereth both the souls of 


men, and the public peace, and the safety of princes, by 
tempting the poor multitude into discontents, sedition and 
insurrections : every man is naturally a lover of hinisef 
above others : and the poor, as well as the rich and rulers, 
have an interest of their own which ruleth them ; and they 
will hardly honour, or love, or think well of them by whom 
they suffer : it is as natural almost for a man under oppres- 
sion, to be discontented and complain, as for a man in a fever 
to complain of sickness, heat and thirst. No kingdom on 
earth is so holy and happy as to have all or most of the sub- 
jects such confirmed, eminent saints, as will be contented 
to be undone, and will love and honour those that undo 
them. Therefore men must be taken as they are : if " op- 
pression maketh wise men mad %" much more the multi- 
tude, who are far from wisdom. Misery maketh men des- 
perate, when they think that they cannot be much worse 
than they are. How many kingdoms have been thus fired, 
(as wooden wheels will be when one part rubbeth too hard 
and long upon the other). Yea, if the prince be never so 
good and blameless, the cruelty of the nobles and the rich 
men of the land, may have the same eflfecta. And in these 
combustions, the peace of the kingdom, the lives and souls 
of the seditious are made a sacrifice to the lusts of the op- 

Direct, ii. ' Consider with fear how oppression turneth 
the groans and cries of the poor, to the God of revenge 
against the oppressors.' And go to that man that hath the 
tears and prayers of oppressed innocents, sounding the 
alarm to vindictive justice, to awake for their relief. *' And 
shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and 
night to him, though he bear long with them? I tell you, 
that he will avenge them speedily ^" *' The Lord will be a 
refuge to the oppressed s." ** To judge the fatherless and 
the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more op- 
press *"." "The Lord executeth righteousness and judg- 
ment for all that are oppressed \" Yea, God is doubly en- 
gaged to be revenged upon oppressors, and hath threatened 
a special execution of his judgment against them above 
most other sinners : partly as it is an act of mercy and re- 

« Eccles. vii. 7. ^ hvkfi xviii. 7, 8. 8^ Psal. ix. 9, 

*» Psal. X. 18. * Psal. ciii. 6. pxlvi. 7. 



lief to the oppressed ; so that the matter of threatening and 
vengeance to the oppressor, is the matter of God's promise 
and favour to the suflPerers : and partly as it is an act of his 
vindictive justice against such as so heinously break his 
laws. The oppressor hath indeed his time of power, and in 
that time the oppressed seem to be forsaken and neglected 
of God ; as if he did not hear their cries ; but when his pa- 
tience hath endured the tyranny of the proud, and his wis- 
dom hath tried the patience of the sufferers, to the deter- 
mined time ; how speedily and terribly then doth vengeance 
overtake the oppressors, and make them warnings to those 
that follow them. In the hour of the wicked and of the 
power of darkness Christ himself was oppressed and afflict- 
ed : and *' in his humiliation hisjudgment was taken away ''." 
But how quickly did the destroying revenge overtake those 
bloody zealots, and how grievous is the ruin which they lie 
under to this day, which they thought by that same mur- 
der to have escaped ? Solomon saith, he " considered all 
the oppressions that are under the sun, and behold the tears 
of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter ; and 
on the side of the oppressors there was power, but they had 
no comforter'." Which made him praise the dead and the 
unborn. But yet he that goeth with David into the sanc- 
tuary, and seeth the end of the oppressors, shall perceive 
them set in slippery places, and tumbling down to destruc- 
tion in a moment "". The Israelites in Egypt seemed long^ 
to groan and cry in vain ; but when the determinate time of 
their deliverance came, God saith, " I have surely seen the 
affliction of my people, and have heard their cry by reason 
of their task-masters ; for I know their sorrows : and I am 

come down to deliver them. Behold the cry of the 

children of Israel is come up unto me, and I have also seen 
the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them "." 
" The Egyptians evil entreated us, and laid upon us hard 
bondage, and when we cried to the Lord God of our fathers, 
the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and 
our labour, and our oppression \" " For the oppression of 
the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith 
the Lord ; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at 

^ Isa. liii. 7. Actsviii. ' Eccles. iv, 1. »* Psal.xxxvii. Ixxiii. 

" Exod. iii. 7—9. « Deut. xxvJ. 6, 7. 


him (or would ensnare him). Thou shalt keep them, O 
Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever p." 
"Trust not therefore in oppression^." For God is the 
avenger and his plagues shall revenge the injuries of the 

Direct, in. * Remember what an odious name oppressors 
commonly leave behind them upon earth/ No sort of men 
are mentioned by posterity with greater hatred and con- 
tempt. For the interest of mankind directeth them here- 
unto, and may prognosticate it, as well as the justice of 
God. However the power of proud oppressors, may make 
men afraid of speaking to their faces what they think, yet 
those that are out of their reach, will pour out the bitterness 
of their soiils against them. And when once death hath 
tied their cruel hands, or any judgment of God hath cast 
them down, and knocked out their teeth, how freely will 
the distressed vent their grief ; and fame will not be afraid 
to deliver their ugly picture to posterity, according to their 
desert. Methinks therefore that even pride itself should be 
a great help to banish oppression from the world. What an 
honourable name hath a Trajan, a Titus, an Antonine, an 
Alexander Severus ! And what an odious name hath a Nero, 
a Caligula, a Commodus, a D'Alva, &c. Most proud men 
affect to be extolled, and to have a glorious name survive 
them when they are dead ; and yet they take the course to 
make their memory abominable ; so much doth sin contra- 
dict and disappoint the sinner's hopes ! 

Direct, iv. * Be not strangers to the condition or com* 
plaints of any that are your inferiors.' It is the misery of 
many princes and nobles, that they are guarded about with 
such as keep all the lamentations of their subjects and te- 
nants from their ears ; or represent them only as the mur- 
mnrings of unquiet, discontented men; so that superiors 
shall know no more of their inferiors' case than their atten- 
dants please ; nor no more of the reproach that falleth upon 
themselves. Their case is to be pitied ; but the case of 
their inferiors more ; (for it is their own wilful choice which 
hath imprisoned their understandings, with such informers ; 
and it is their inexcusable negligence, which keepeth thera 
from seeking truer information.) A good landlord will be 

J^ PSal. xii. 5, 6. . *'*■' 1 Psal. Ixii. 10. 


familiar with the meanest of his tenants, and will encourage 
them freely to open their complaints, and will labour to in- 
form himself, who is in poverty and distress, and how it 
cometh to pass ; that when he hath heard all, he may un- 
derstand, whether it be his own oppression or his tenants' 
fault, that is the cause : when proud, self-seeking men dis- 
dain such inferior converse, and if they have servants that 
do but tell them their tenants have a good bargain, and are 
murmuring, unthrifty, idle persons, they believe them with- 
out any more inquiry, and in negligent ignorance oppress 
the poor. 

Direct, v. ' Mortify your own lusts and sinful curiosity, 
which maketh you think that you need so much, as tempt- 
eth you to get it by oppressing others/ Know well how 
little is truly necessary ! And how little nature (well- 
taught) is contented with ! And what a privilege it is to 
need but little ! Pride and curiosity are an insatiable gulf. 
Their daily trouble seemeth to them a necessary accomoda- 
tion. Such abundance must be laid out on superfluous 
recreations, buildings, ornaments, furniture, equipage, 
attendants, entertainments, visitations, braveries, and a 
world of need-nots, (called by the names of handsomeness, 
cleanliness, neatness, conveniences, delights, usefulness, 
honour, civilities, comeliness, &c.) So much doth carnal 
concupiscence, pride and curiosity thus devour, that hun- 
dreds of the poor must be oppressed to maintain it ; and 
many a man that hath many score or hundred tenants who 
with all their families daily toil to get him provision for his 
fleshly lusts, doth find at the year's end, that all will hardly 
serve the turn ; but this greedy devourer could find room 
for more; when one of his poor tenants could live and 
maintain all his family comfortably, if he had but so much 
as his landlord bestoweth upon one suit of clothes, or one 
proud entertainment, or one horse, or one pack of hounds. 
I am not persuading the highest to level their garb and 
expences equal with the lowest ; but mortify pride, curio- 
sity and gluttony ; and you will find less need to oppress 
the poor, or to feed your concupiscence with the sweat and 
groans of the afflicted. 

Direct, vi. * Be not the sole judge of your own actions 
in a controverted case ; but if any complain of you, hear 


the judgment of others that are wise and impartial in the 
case.' For it is easy to misjudge where self-interest is con- 

Direct, vii. 'Love your poor brethren as yourselves, 
and delight in their welfare, as if it were your own.' And 
then you will never oppress them willingly ; and if you do 
it ignorantly, you will quickly feel it and give over upon 
their j ust complaint ; as you will quickjy feel when you 
hurt yourselves, and need no great exhortation to for- 

Tit. 2. Cases of Conscience about Oppression^ especially of 


Quest. I. * Is it lawful for a mean man, who must needs 
make the best of it, to purchase tenanted land of a liberal 
landlord, who setteth his tenants a much better pennyworth 
than the buyer can afford.' 

Atisw, Distinguish, 1 . Between a seller who understand- 
eth all this, and one that doth not. 2. Between a tenant 
that hath by custom a half-title to his easier rent, and one 
that hath not. 3. Between a tenant that consenteth and 
one that consenteth not. 4. Between buying it when a 
liberal man might else have bought it, and buying it when 
a worse else would have bought it. 5. Between a case of 
scandal, and of no scandal. 

And so I. answer, 2. If the landlord that selleth it expect 
that the buyer do use the tenants as well as he hath done, 
and sell it accordingly, it is unrighteous to do otherwise 
(ordinarily). 2. In many countries it is the custom not to 
turn out a tenant, nor to raise his rent; so that many gene- 
rations have held the same land at the same rent ; which 
though it give no legal title, is yet a half-title in common 
estimation. In such a case it will be scandalous, and infor 
mous, and injurious, and therefore unlawful to purchase it. 
with a purpose to raise the rent, and to do accordingly. 3L 
In case that a better landlord would buy it, who would use 
the tenant better than you can do, it is not (ordinarily) law- 
ful for you to buy it. I either express or imply * ordinarily' in 
most of my solutions ; because that there are some excep- 


tions lie against almost all such answers, in extraordinary 
cases ; which the greatest volume can scarce enumerate. 

But if 1. It be the seller's own doing to withdraw his 
liberality so far from his tenants, as to sell his land on hard 
ratps, on the supposition that the buyer will improve it. 
2. And if it be a tenant that cannot either by custom or any 
other plea, put in a claim in point of equity to his easy^ 
rented land. 3. And if as bad a landlord would buy it if 
you do not. 4. If it be not a real scandal; I say if all 
these four concur : 5. Or (alone) if the tenant consent 
freely to your purchase on these terms ; then it is no injury. 
But the common course is, for a covetous man that hath 
money, never to consider what a loser the tenant is by his 
purchase, but to buy and improve the land at his own plea- 
sure ; which is no better than oppression. 

Quest. II. * May not a landlord take as much for his 
iand as it is worth ? ' 

Answ. 1. Sometimes it is land that no man can claim an 
equitable title to hold upon an easier rent, and sometimes it 
is otherwise, as aforesaid, by custom and long possession, 
^r other reasons. 2. Sometimes the tenant is one that you 
are obliged to shew mercy to; and sometimes he is one 
that no more than commutative justice is due to. And so I 
answer, 1. If it be an old tenant who by custom or any other 
ground, ca<n claim an equitable title to his old pennyworth, 
you may not enhance the rent to the full worth. 2. If it be 
one that you are obliged to shew mercy as well as justice 
to, you may not take the full worth. 3. The common case 
in England is, that the landlords are of the nobility or gen- 
try, and the tena;nts are poor men, who have nothing but 
what they get by their hard labour out of the land which 
they hold ; and in this case some abatement of the full 
worth is but such a necessary mercy, as may be called jus- 
tice. Note still, that by ' the full worth' I mean, so much 
as you could set it for to a stranger who expecteth nothing 
but strict justice, as men buy and sell things in a market. 

But 1. If you deal with a tenant as rich or richer than 
yourself, or with one that needeth not your mercy, or is no 
fit object of it. 2. And if it be land that no man can by 
custom claim equitably to hold on lower teirms ; and so it is 
1^0 injury to another, nor just scandal, then you may law^ 


fully raise it to the full worth. Sometimes a poor man set- 
teth a house or land to a rich man, where the scruple hath 
no place. 

Quest, III. * May a landlord raise his rents, though he 
take not the full worth ? ' 

Arisw. He may do it when there is just reason for it, and 
none against it. There is just reason for it, when 1. The 
land was much underset before. 2. Or when the land is 
proportionably improved. 3. Or when the plenty of money 
maketh a greater sum to be in effect no more than a lesser 
heretofore. 4. Or when an increase of persons, or other 
accident maketh land dearer than it was. But then it must 
be supposed, 1. That no contract. 2. Nor custom. 3. 
Nor service and merit, do give the tenant any equitable 
right to his better pennyworth. And also that mercy pro- 
hibit not the change. 

Quest. IV. * How much must a landlord set his land be- 
low the full worth, that he may be no oppressor, or unmer- 
ciful to his tenants ? ' 

Answ. No one proportion can be determined of; be- 
cause a great alteration may be made in respect to the te- 
nant's ability, his merit, to the time and place, and other 
accidents. Some tenants are so rich, as is said, that you 
are not bound to any abatement. Some are so bad, that 
you are bound to no more than strict justice and common 
humanity to them. Some years (like the last, when a longer 
drought than any man alive had known, burnt up the grass) 
disableth a tenant to pay his rent ; some countries are so* 
scarce of money, that a little abatement is more than in 
another place ; but ordinarily the common sort of tenants 
in England should have so much abated of the fullest worth, 
that they may comfortably live on it, and follow their la- 
bours with cheerfulness of mind, and liberty, to serve God 
in their families, and to mind the matters of their salvation, 
and not to be necessitated to such toil, and care, and pinch- 
ing want, as shall make them more like slaves than freemen, 
and make their lives uncomfortable to them, and make them 
unfit to serve God in their families, and seasonably mind 
eternal things. 

Quest, V. * What if the landlord be in debt, or have some 


present want of money, may he not then raise the rent of 
those lands that were underlet before ? ' 
- Answ. If his pride pretend want where there is none, (as 
to give extraordinary portions with his daughters, to erect 
sumptuous buildings, &c.) this is no good excuse for op- 
pression. But if he really fall into want, then all that his 
tenants hold as mere free gifts from his liberality, he may 
withdraw (as being no longer able to give). But that 
which they had by custom an equitable right to, or by con- 
tract also a legal title to, he may not withdraw. (And yet 
all this is his sin, if he brought that poverty culpably on 
himself; it is his sin in the cause, though, supposing that 
cause, the raising of his rent be lawful.) But it is not 
every debt in a rich man, who hath other ways of paying it, 
which is a true necessity in this case ; and if a present debt 
made it necessary only at that time, it is better (by fine or 
otherwise) make a present supply, than thereupon to lay 
a perpetual burden on the tenants, when the cause is 

Quest. VI. ' What if there be abundance of honest people 
in far greater want than my tenants are, (yea, perhaps 
preachers of the Gospel,) and I have no other way to relieve 
them unless I raise my rents ; am I not bound rather to give 
to the best and poorest, than to others?' 

Ansio. Yes, if it were a case that concerned mere giving; 
but when you must take away from one to give to another, 
there is more to be considered in it. Therefore at least in 
these two cases you may not raise your tenants' rents to 
relieve the best or poorest whosoever : 1. In case that he 
have some equitable title to your land, as upon the easier 
rent. 2. Or in case that the scandal of seeming injustice or 
cruelty, is like to do more hurt to the interest of religion 
and men's souls, than your relieving the poor with the ad- 
dition would do good ; (which a prudent man by collation 
of probable consequents may satisfactorily discern :) but if 
it were not only to preserve the comforts, but to save the 
lives of others in their present famine, nature teacheth you 
to take that which is truly your own, both from your te- 
nants, and your servant, and your own mouths, to relieve 
men in such extreme distress; and nature will teach all men 
to judge it your duty, and no scandalous oppression. But 


when you cannot relieve the ordinary wants of the poor, 
without such a scandalous raising of your rents as will do 
more harm than your alms would do good, God doth not 
then call you to give such alms ; but you are to be suppo- 
sed to be unable. 

Quest. VII. * May I raise a tenant's rent, or turn him out 
of his house, because he is a bad man : by a kind of pe- 

Ajisw. a bad man hath a title to his own, as well as a 
good man ; and therefore if he hath either legal or equitable 
title, you may not ; nor yet if the scandal of it is like to do 
more hurt, than the good can countervail which you intend. 
Otherwise you may either raise his rent, or turn him out, if 
he be a wicked, profligate, incorrigible person, after due 
admonition ; yea, and you ought to do it, lest you be a 
cherisher of wickedness. If the parents under Moses's 
law were bound to accuse their own son to the judges in 
such a case, and say, ** This our son is stubborn and rebel- 
lious ; he will not obey our voice ; he is a glutton and a 
drunkard ; and all the men of the city must stone him till 
he die, to put away evil from among them ^.''* Then surely 
a wicked tenant is not so far to be spared, as to be cherished 
by bounty in his sin. It is the magistrate's work to punish 
him by governing justice ; but it is your work as a prudent 
benefactor, to withhold your gifts of bounty from him. And 
I think it is one of the great sins of this age, that this is not 
done, it being one of the most notable means imaginable to 
reform the land, and make it happy, if landlords would thus 
punish or turn out their wicked, incorrigible tenants, it 
would do much more than the magistrate can do. The vul- 
gar are most effectually ruled by their interest, as we rule 
our dogs and horses more by the government of their bel- 
lies, than by force. They will most obey those on whom 
they apprehend their good or hurt to have most depen- 
dance. If landlords would regard their tenants' souls, so 
much as to correct them thus for their wickedness, they 
would be the greatest benefactors and reformers of the 
land : but alas, who shall first reform the landlords ? And 
when may it be hoped that many or most great men will be 
such ? 

^ Deut.xxi. 18—^1. 


Quest. VIII. ' May one take a house over another's head 
(as they speak), or take the land which he is a tenant to, be- 
fore he be turned out of possession ? ' 

Answ. Not out of a greedy desire to be rich, nor covet- 
ing that which is another's : nor yet while he is any way 
injured by it : nor yet when the act is like to be so scanda- 
lous, as to hurt men's souls more than it will profit your 
body. If you come with the offer of a greater rent than he 
can give, or than the landlord hath just cause to require of 
him, to get it out of his hands by over-bidding him, this is 
mere covetous oppression. But in other cases it is lawful 
to take the house and land which another tenant hath pos- 
session of; as 1. In case that he willingly leave it, and 
consent. 2. Or if he unwillingly (but justly) be put out; 
and another tenant must be provided against the time that 
he is to be dispossessed. 3. Yea, if he be unjustly put out, 
if he that succeeded him have no hand in it, nor by his ta- 
king the house or land do promote the injury, nor scanda- 
lously countenance injustice. For when a tenement is void, 
though by injury, it doth not follow, that no man may ever live 
in it more : but if the title be his that is turned out, then you 
may not take it of another ; because you will possess 
another man's habitation. But if it should go for a standing 
rule, that no man may in any case take a house over 
another man's head, (as country people would have it,) 
then every man's house and land must be long untenanted, 
to please the will of every contentious or unjust possessor; 
and any one that hath no title, or will play the knave, may 
injure the true owner at his pleasure. 

Quest. IX. 'May a rich man put out his tenants, to lay 
their tenements to his own demesnes, and so lay house to 
house, and land to land ? ' 

Answ. In two cases he may not, 1. In case he injure the 
tenant that is put out, by taking that from him which he 
hath right to, without his satisfaction and consent. 2. And 
in case it really tend to the injury of the commonwealth, by 
depopulation, and diminishing the strength of it : otherwise 
it is lawful ; and done in moderation by a pious man, may 
be very convenient ; 1. By keeping the land from beggary 
through the multitudes of poor families, that overset it. 2. 
By keeping the more servants, among whom he may keep up 


a better order and more pious government in his own house, 
(making it as a church,) than can be expected in poor fami- 
lies ; and his servants will (for soul and body) have a much 
better life, than if they married and had families, and small 
tenements of their own ; but in a^ country that rather want- 
eth people, it is otherwise. 

Quest. X. * May one man be a tenant to divers tene- 
ments ? ' 

Answ. Yes, if it tend not, 1. To the wrong of any other. 
2. Nor to depopulation, or to hinder the livelihood of others, 
while one man engrosseth more than is necessary or meet : 
for then it is unlawful. 

Quest, XI. 'May one man have many trades or cal- 
lings ? ' 

Answ. Not when he doth, in a covetous desire to grow 
rich, disable his poor neighbours to live by him on the same 
callings, seeking to engross all the gain to himself: nor yet 
when they are callings which are inconsistent : or when he 
cannot manage one aright, without the sinful neglect of the 
other. But otherwise it is as lawful to have two trades as 

Quest. XII. * Is it lawful for one man to keep shops in 
several market towns ? ' 

A71SW. The same answer will serve as to the foregoing- 


Cases about, and Directions against, Prodigality and Sinful 

Because men's carnal interest and sensuality, is predomi- 
nant with the greatest part of the world, and therefore go- 
verneth them in their judgment about duty and sin, it thence 
cometh to pass that wastefulness and prodigality are easily 
believed to be faults, so far as they bring men to shame or 
beggary, or apparently cross their own pleasure or commo- 
dity : but in other cases, they are seldom acknowledged to 
be any sins at all ; yea, all that are gratified by them, ac- 
count them virtues, and there is scarce any sin which is so 


commonly commended ; which must needs tend to the in- 
crease of it, and to harden men in their impenitency in it ; 
and verily if covetousness, and selfishness or poverty did 
not restrain it in more persons than true conscience doth, it 
were like to go for the most laudable quality, and to be 
judged most meritorious of present praise and future happi- 
ness. Therefore in directing you against this sin, I must 
first tell you what it is ; and then tell you wherein the ma- 
lignity of it doth consist : the first will be best done in the 
definition of it, and enumeration of the instances, and ex- 
amination of each one of them. 

Direct. I. 'Truly understand what necessary frugality, 
or parsimony, and sinful wastefulness are.' 

Necessary frugality or sparing is an act of fidelity, obe- 
dience and gratitude, by which we use all our estates so 
faithfully for the chief Owner, so obediently to our chief 
Ruler, and so gratefully to our chief Benefactor, as that we 
waste it not any other way. 

As we hold our estates under God, as Owner, Ruler and 
Benefactor, so must we devote them to him, and use them 
for him in each relation : and Christian parsimony cannot 
be defined by a mere negation of active wastefulness, be- 
cause idleness itself, and not using it aright, is real waste- 

Wastefulness or prodigality is that sin of unfaithful- 
ness, disobedience and ingratitude, by which either by ac- 
tion or omission we misspend or waste some part of our es- 
tates to the injury of God, our absolute Lord, our Ruler 
and Benefactor ; that is, besides and against his interest, 
his command, and his pleasure and glory, and our ultimate 

These are true definitions of the duty of frugality, and 
the sin of wastefulness. 

Inst, 1. One way of sinful wastefulness is. In pampering 
the belly in excess, curiosity or costliness of meat or drink, 
of which I have spoken Chap. viii. Part i. 

Quest. I. * Are all men bound to fare alike? or when is 
it wastefulness and excess ? ' 

Answ. This question is answered in the foresaid Chapr 
ter of Gluttony, Part iv. Tit. 1. 1. Distinguish between 
men's several tempers, and strength, and appetites. 2. 


And between the restraint of want, and the restraint of 
God's law. And so it is thus resolved : 

1. Such difference in quantity or quality as men's 
health or strength, and real benefit requireth, may be made^ 
by them that have no want. 

2. When want depriveth the poor of that which would 
be really for their health, and strength, and benefit, it is not 
their duty who have no such want to conform themselves to 
other men's afflictions ; except when other reasons do re- 
quire it. 

3. But all men are bound to avoid real excess in matter, 
or manner, and curiosity, and to lay out nothing needlessly 
on their bellies ; yea, nothing which they are called to lay 
out a better way. Understand this answer and it will suf- 
fice you. 

Inst. II. Another way of prodigality is by needless, 
costly visits and entertainments. 

Quest. II. ' What cost upon visits and entertainments is 
unlawful and prodigal ? ' 

Answ. 1. Not only all that which hath an ill original, as 
pride or flattery of the rich, and all that hath an ill end, as 
being merely to keep up a carnal, unprofitable interest and 
correspondency ; but also all that which is excessive in de- 
gree. I know you will say. But that's the difficulty to know 
when it is excessive : it is not altogether impertinent to say, 
when it is above the proportion of your own estate, or the 
ordinary use of those of your own rank, or when it plainly 
tendeth to cherish gluttony or excess in others : but these 
answers are no exact solution. I add therefore, that it is 
excess when any thing is that way expended, which you are 
called to expend another way. 

Object. ' But this leaveth it still as difficult as before.' 

Answ. When in rational probability a greater good may 
be done by another way of expence, * consideratis conside- 
randis ;' and a greater good is by this way neglected, then 
you had a call to spend it otherwise, and this expence is 
sinful . 

Object, * It is a doubt whether of two goods it be a man's 
duty always to choose the greater.' 

Answ, Speaking of that good which is within his choice, 
it is no more doubt than whether good be the object of the 


will. If God be eligible as good, then the greatest good is 
most eligible. 

Object. ' But this is still a difficulty insuperable : how 
can a man in every action and expence discern which way 
it is that the greatest good is like to be attained ? This put- 
teth a man's conscience upon endless perplexities, and we 
shall never be sure that we do sin : for when 1 have given 
to a poor man, or done some good, for aught I know there 
was a poorer that should have had it, or a greater good that 
should have been done.' 

Answ. 1. The contrary opinion legitimateth almost all 
villany, and destroyeth most good works as to ourselves or 
others. If a man may lawfully prefer a known lesser good 
before a greater, and be justified because the lesser is a real 
good, then he may be feeding his horse, when he should be 
saving the life of his child or neighbour, or quenching a fire 
in the city, or defending the person of his king : he may 
deny to serve his king and country, and say, 1 was ploughing 
or sowing the while. He may prefer sacrifice before mercy : 
he may neglect his soul, and serve his body. He may plough 
on the Lord's day,' and neglect all God's worship. A lesser 
duty is no duty, but a sin, when a greater is to be done. 
Therefore it is certain that when two goods come together to 
our choice, the greater is to be chosen, or else we sin. 2. As 
you expect that your steward should proportion his expences 
according to the necessity of your business, and not give more 
for a thing than it is worth, nor lay out your money upon a 
smaller commodity, while he leaveth your greater business un- 
provided for : and as you expect that your servant, who hath 
many things in the day to do, should have so much skill as to 
know which to prefer, and not to leave undone the chiefest, 
while he spendeth his time on the least : so doth God re- 
quire that his servants labour to be so skilful in his service, 
as to be able to compare their businesses together and to 
know which at every season to prefer. If Christianity re- 
quired no wisdom and skill, it were below men's common 
trades and callings. 3. And yet when you have done your 
best here, and truly endeavour to serve God faithfully, with 
the best skill and diligence you have, you need not make it 
a matter of scrupulosity, perplexity, and vexation : for God 
accepteth you, and pardoneth your infirmities, and reward- 


eth your fidelity. And what if it do follow that you know 
not but there may be some sinful omission of a better way? 
Is that so strange or intolerable a conclusion ? As long as 
it is a pardoned failing, which should not hinder the comfort 
of your obedience? Is it strange to you that we are all im- 
perfect ? And imperfect in every good we do ? Even by a 
culpable, sinful imperfection? You never loved God in 
your lives without a sinful imperfection in your love ? And 
yet nothing in you is more acceptable to him than your love. 
Shall we think a case of conscience ill resolved, unless we 
may conclude, that we are sure we have no sinful imperfec- 
tion in our duty ? If your servant have not perfect skill, in 
knowing what to prefer in buying and selling, or in his work, 
I think you will neither allow him therefore to neglect the 
greater and better, knowingly, or by careless negligence, 
nor yet would you have him sit down and whine, and say, I 
know not which to choose; but you would have him learn 
to be as skilful as he can, and then willingly and cheerfully 
do his business with the best skill, and care, and diligence 
he can, and this you will best accept. 

So that this holdeth as the truest and exactest solution, 
of this and many other such cases. He that spendeth that 
upon an entertainment of some great ones, which should re- 
lieve some poor distressed families, that are ready to perish 
doth spend it sinfully. If you cannot see this in God's 
cause, suppose it were the king's, and you will see it : if you 
have but twenty pounds to spend, and your tax or subsidy 
cometh to so much; if you entertain some noble friend with 
that money, will the king be satisfied with that as an ex- 
cuse ? Or will you not be told that the king should have 
first been served? Remember him then, who will one day 
ask, " Have you fed, or clothed, or visited me ?" You are 
not absolute owners of any thing, but the stewards of God ! 
And must expend it as he appointeth you. And if you let 
the poor lie languishing in necessities, whilst you are at 
great charges to entertain the rich without a necessity or 
greater good, you must answer it as an unfaithful servant. 

And yet on the other side, it may fall out that a person 
of quality, by a seasonable, prudent, handsome, respectful 
entertainment of his equals or superiors, may do more good 
than by bestowing that charge upon the poor. He may save 


more than he expendeth, by avoiding the displeasure of 
men in power : he may keep up his interest, by which if he 
be faithful, he may do God and his country more service, 
than if he had given so much to the poor. And when really 
it is a needful means to a greater good, it is a duty ; and 
then to omit it, and give that cost to the poor, would be a 

Object. * But if this rule hold, a man must never do but 
one kind of good ; when he hath found out the greatest, he 
must do nothing else.' 

Answ, He must always do the greatest good : but the 
same thing is not at all times the greatest good. Out of 
season and measure a good may be turned to an evil : pray- 
ing in its season is better than ploughing ; and ploughing in 
its season is better than praying, and will do more good ; for 
God will more accept and bless it. 

Object. * Therefore it seemeth the most prudent way to 
divide my expences according to the proportion of others of 
my quality ; some to the poor, and some to necessary char- 
ges, and some to actions of due civility V 

Answ. That there must be a just distribution is no ques- 
tion ; because God hath appointed you several duties for 
your expences : but the question is of the proportions of 
each respectively. Where God hath made many duties con- 
stantly necessary, (as to maintain your own bodies, your 
children, to pay tribute to the king, to help the poor, to 
maintain the charges of the church,) there all must be wisely 
proportioned. But entertainments, recreations, and othej 
such after to be mentioned, which are not constant duties, 
may be sometimes good and sometimes sinful : and the 
measure of such expences must be varied only by the rule 
already laid down, viz. according to the proportion of the 
effect or good which is likely to follow : though the custom 
of others of the same rank may sometimes intimate what 
proportion will be suitable to that lawful end : and some- 
times the inordinate custom of others will rather tell one 
what is to be avoided. Therefore true prudence (without a 
carnal bias) comparing the good effects together, which ra- 
tionally are like to follow, is the only resolver of this doubt. 
Which having so largely shewed, I shall refer you to it, in 
the solution of many of the following questions. 


Inst. III. Another way of sinful wasting is upon unne- 
cessary, sumptuous buildings. 

Quest. III. 'When is it prodigality to erect sumptuous 
edifices V 

Answ, Not when they are for the public good, either in 
point of use, or ornament and honour, so be it no greater 
good be thereby omitted. Therefore it is not churches, 
hospitals, burses, or common halls that 1 am speaking of. 
Nor when they are proportioned to the quality of the per- 
son, for the honour of magistracy, or for a man's necessary 
use. But when it is for ostentation of a man's riches, or ra- 
ther of his pride, and for the gratifying of a carnal, irra- 
tional fancy : and when a man bestoweth more upon build- 
ings, than is proportionable to his estate, and to his better 
expences ; and (to speak more exactly) when he bestoweth 
that upon his buildings, which some greater service calleth 
for at that time ; it is then his prodigality and sin. 

Quest. IV. ' Here once for all let us inquire. Whether it 
be not lawful, as in diet, so in buildings, recreation and 
other such things, to be at some charge for our delight, as 
well as for our necessities V 

Answ. The question is thus commonly stated, but not 
well : for it seemeth to imply, that no delights are necessary 
and so putteth things in opposition, which are often coinci- 
dent. Therefore I distinguish, 1. Of necessity: some 
things are necessary to our being, and some to our felicity, 
and some but to our smaller benefits. 2. Of delight : some 
delight is sinful ; as gratifying a sinful humour or disposi- 
tion : some is unnecessary or wholly useless ; and some is 
necessary, either to our greater or our lesser good. And so 
the true solution is : (1.) The sinful delight of a proud, a 
covetous, a lustful, a voluptuous mind, is neither to be pur- 
chased or used. (2.) A delight wholly needless, that is, un 
profitable, is sinful if it be purchased, but at the price of a 
farthing, or of a bit of bread, or of a minute's time : because 
that is cast away which purchaseth it. (3.) A delight which 
tendeth to the health of the body, and the alacrity of the 
mind, to fit it for our calling and the service of God, (being 
not placed in any forbidden thing,) may be both indulged 
and purchased, so it be not above its worth. (4.) So far as 



delight in houses, or sports, or any creature, tendeth to cor- 
rupt our minds, and draw us to the love of this present 
world, and alienate our hearts from heaven, so far must they 
be resisted and mortified, or sanctified and turned a better 
way. (5.) In the utensils of our duty to God, usually a mo- 
derate, natural delight, is a great help to the duty, and may 
become a spiritual delight : as a delight in my books, in the 
preacher's utterance, in the melody of psalms, in my study, 
and its conveniences, in my walk for meditation, &c. And 
a delight in our food and recreations, maketh them much 
fitter to cherish health, and to attain their ends ; so it be 
not corrupt, immoderate, or abused to evil ends. 

Inst. IV. Another way of prodigality, is in needless, 
costly recreations. 

Quest. V. ' Is all cost laid out upon recreations unlaw- 

Answ. No : but ' caeteris paribus,' we should choose the 
cheapest, and be at no needless cost on them ; nor lay out 
any thing on them, which ' consideratis considerandis^' 
might be better bestowed. But of this before. 

Inst. V. Another way of prodigality is in overcostly ap- 

Quest. ' What may be accounted prodigality in the cost- 
liness of apparel V 

Answ. Not that which is only for a due distinction of 
superiors from inferiors, or which is needful to keep up the 
vulgar's reverence to magistrates. But, 1. All that which 
is merely serviceable to pride or vain curiosity, or amorous 
lust, or an affectation to be thought more comely and beau- 
tiful than others. 2. All that which hath more cost bes- 
towed on it, than the benefit or end is worth. 3. Or which 
hath that cost which should be rather laid out another way, 
upon better uses. The cheapest apparel must be chosen 
which is warm and comely, and fittest to the right ends. 
And we must come nearer those that are below our rank, 
than those above it. 

Inst. VI. Also, prodigality is much shewed in the cost 
which is laid out for needless pomp and ostentation of great- 
ness or curiosity, in keeping a numerous retinue, and in 
their gallantry, and in keeping many horses, and costly fur- 
niture, and attendance. 


Quest. VII. * When is a costly retinue and other pompous 
furniture to be accounted prodigality?' 

Answ. Not when they are needful to the honour of ma- 
gistracy, and so to the government of the commonwealth : 
nor when it is made but a due means to some lawful end, 
which answereth the cost. But when it is either the fruits 
and maintenance of pride, or exceedeth the proportion of 
men's estates, or (especially) when it expendeth that which 
better and more necessary uses call for. It is a most odious 
and enormous crime, to waste so many hundred or thousand 
pounds a year in the vanities of pomp, and fruitless curio- 
sities, and need-nots, while the public uses of the state and 
church are injured through want, and while thousands of 
poor families are racked with cares, and pinched with ne- 
cessities round about us. 

Inst. VII. Another way of prodigality is that which is 
called by many, keeping a good house, that is, in unneces- 
sary abundance, and waste of meat and drink, and other 

Quest. VIII. * When may great housekeeping be ac- 
counted prodigality V 

Answ. Not when it is but a convenient work of charity 
to feed the poor, and relieve the distressed, or entertain 
strangers, or to give such necessary entertainment to equals 
or superiors as is before described : but when the truest re- 
lief of the poor shall be omitted, (and it may be poor tenants 
racked and oppressed,) to keep up the fame and grandeur of 
their abundance, and to seem magnificent, and praised by 
men for great housekeepers. The whole and large estates 
of many of the rich and great ones of the world goeth this 
way, and so much is devoured by it, as starveth almost all 
good works. 

Inst. VIII. Another way of prodigality is cards and dice, 
and other gaming ; in which whilst men desire to get that 
which is another's, they lose and waste their own. 

Inst. IK. Another act of prodigality is giving over-great 
portions with children : it being a sinful waste of our mas- 
ter's stock, to lay it out otherwise than he would have us, 
and to serve our pride and self-interest in our children in- 
stead of him. 


Quest. IX. ' When may our children's portions be ac- 
counted prodigality or too great V 

Answ. Not when you provide for their comfortable living 
according to your estates, and give them that due propor- 
tion which consisteth with the discharge of other duties : 
but when all that men can get is thought little enough for 
their children ; and the business of their lives is to live in ful- 
ness themselves as long as they can, and then to leave that 
to their posterity which they cannot keep themselves ! When 
this gulf of self-pampering and providing the like for chil- 
dren, devoureth almost all that you can gather, and the poor 
and other needful uses, are put off with some inconsiderable > 
pittance : and when there is not a due proportion kept be- 
tween your provision for your children, and the other duties 
which God require th of you. " Their inward thought is, 
that their houses shall be perpetuated, and their dwelling 
places to generations : they call their lands after their own 
names.— — This their way is their folly ; yet their posterity 
approve their sayings ''." " Behold, these are the ungodly 
who prosper in the world, they increase in riches ^." " They 

have their portion in this life : they are full of children, 

or their children are full,) and they leave the rest of their 
substance to their babes *^." A parent that hath an heir, or 
other children so wise, religious, and liberal, as that they are 
like to be more charitable and serviceable to good uses, 
than any other whom he can trust with his estate, shou'd not 
only leave such children sufficient for themselves, but ena- 
ble them as much as he can to do good : for they will be 
more faithful trustees to him than strangers. But a parent 
that hath but common and untrusty children, should do all 
the good he can himself, and what he would have done 
when he is dead, he must commit to them that are more 
trusty, and allow his children but their proper maintenance. 
And parents that have debauched, wicked, ungodly chil- 
dren, (such as God commanded them to cause to be put to 
death, Deut. xxi.) should allow, them no more than their 
daily bread, if any thing at all, (which is their own to dis- 
pose of). 

hist. X. Also to be careless in many small expenses or 

• Psal. xlix, 7—9. 1 1. 13. »» Psal. IxxUi. 12. • Psal. xvii. 4. 



losses, because they are but little things, and let any such 
thing be cast away, is sinful prodigality. 

Quest. X. * How far is a duty to be frugal in small mat- 
ters, and the contrary a sin ? ' 

Answ, We must not overvalue any thing, great or 
small ; nor be sparing out of covetousness ; nor yet in an 
imprudent way, which seemeth to signify baseness and 
worldliness when it is not so ; nor must we be too tinking 
in bargaining with others, when every penny which we get 
by it, is lost to one that needeth it more. But we must see 
that nothing of any use, be lost through satiety, negligence 
or contempt ; for the smallest part is of God's gifts and ta- 
lents, given us, not to cast away, but to use as he would 
have us ; and there is nothing that is good so small, but 
some one hath need of it, or some good use or other may 
be made of it. Even Christ when he had fed thousands by 
a miracle, yet commanded his disciples to *' gather up the 
broken bread or fragments, that nothing be lost^,*' which 
plainly sheweth that it is a duty which the richest man that 
is, is not exempted from, to be frugal, and sin in the great- 
est prince to be wasteful of any thing that is good ; but 
this must not be in sordid covetousness, but in obedience 
to God, and to do good to others. He is comnaendable 
who giveth liberally to the poor, out of his abundance; 
but he is much more commendable, who is a good hus- 
band for the poor, as worldlings are for themselves ; and 
frugally getteth and saveth as much as he can, and denieth 
all superfluities to himself and all about him, that he may 
have the more to give to pious and charitable uses. 

Inst, XI. Idleness also and negligence in our callings, 
is sinful wastefulness and prodigality : when either the 
pride of gentility maketh people think themselves too good 
to labour, or to look after the matters of their families, or 
slothfulness maketh them think it a life too toilsome for 
their flesh to bear. " He that is slothful in his work, is 
brother to him that is a great waster * :" these drones con- 
sume that which others labour for, but are no gatherers 

Quest. XI. 'Is every one bound to labour in a cal- 

* John ▼!. 12. * Prov. xviii. 9. 


Answ. This is answered before in its due place. Part i. 
Every one that is able, rich or poor, must live in some profi- 
table course of pains or labour. 

Quest, XII. * Is it a duty to desire and endeavour to get, 
and prosper, and grow rich by our labours, when Solomon 
saith, ** Labour not to be rich * ? " 

Answ. It is a sin to desire riches as worldlings and sen- 
sualists do, for the provision and maintenance of fleshly 
lusts and pride ; but it is no sin,, but a duty, to labour not 
only for labour sake, formally resting in the act done, but 
for that honest increase and provision, which is the end of 
our labour ; and therefore to choose a gainful calling rather 
than another, that we may be able to do good, and relieve 
the poor. " Let him labour, working with his hands the 
thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that 
needeth ^" 

Quest, xin. * Can one be prodigal in giving to the 
church ? ' 

Answ. Yes, if it be in a blind zeal to maintain a useless 
pomp or superstition ; or if he give that which should be 
used or given otherwise ; but this is a sin that few in these 
days are in much danger of §. 

Quest »^iy. * Can one be prodigal in giving to the poor?' 

Answ. Yes, when it is blindly done, to cherish idleness 
in wandering beggars ; or with a conceit of meriting in 
point of commutative justice from God; or when that is 
given to the poor, which should be given to other uses (as 
in public tribute, maintenance of children, furtherance of 
the Gospel, &c.), but this i§^ a sin that few have need to be 
restrained from. 

Quest. XV. * May a rich man expend any thing upon 
(otherwise) lawful pomp, or conveniencies, or pleasures, at 
such a time when there are multitudes of poor families in 
extremity of want? As now when the flames which con- 
sumed London, have left many thousands in distress ? ' 

Answ. Doubtless every man shquld spare as much for 
the relief of others as he can ; and therefore should not only 
forbear all needless expenses, but those also that are need- 
ful but to such conveniences and accommodations as <ftay be 

• Prov. xxiii. 4. ^ Eph. iv. 28. 

9 Ilead Erasmus Colloqu. Peregrin. Relig. 


spared without a greater hurt, than is the want of such as 
that charge would relieve. To save the lives of people in 
want, we must spare any thing from ourselves, which our 
own lives can spare. And to relieve them in their deep 
poverty, we must abate much more in our superfluities. To 
expend any thing on pride or lust, is a double sin at such a 
time, when Lazarus is at our doors in want. If that Luke 
xvi. were well studied, (wherein it was that the rich man's 
sin and danger lay, in being clothed in purple and silk, and 
faring sumptuously every day, while Lazarus wanted,) it 
would make some sensualists wiser than they are. 

But yet it must be confessed, that some few persons may 
be of so much worth and use to the commonwealth (as 
kings and magistrates), and some of so little, that the main- 
taining of the honour and succours of the former, may be 
more necessary than the saving the lives of the latter. But 
take heed lest pride or cruelty teach you to misunderstand 
this, or abuse it for yourselves. 

There are divers other ways of prodigality or sinful 
waste, which I pass by, because they are such as few are 
concerned in ; and my purpose is not to say all that may be 
said, but all that is needful. As in needless music, physic, 
books, (which Seneca handsomely reproveth,) gifts to ser- 
vants which need not in mere ostentation of pride to be 
well spoken of, and many the like ; and in unlawful wars, 
which is the greatest sinful waster in all the world. And as 
for expenses in debauchery and gross wickedness, as whore- 
dom, revenge; in sinful lawsuits, &c., I here pretermit 

Direct, ii. * Understand well the aggravations of this sin 
of prodigality : ' viz. 

1. It is a wasting of that which is none of our own, and 
a robbing God of the use or service due to him in the im- 
provement of his gifts. They are his, and not ours ; and 
according to his pleasure only must be used. 2. It is a rob- 
bing the poor of that which the common Lord of the world, 
hath appointed for them in his law : and they will have 
their action in heaven against the prodigal. 3. It is an in- 
human vice, to waste that upon pleasures, pride and need- 
less things, which so many distressed persons stand in need 
of. 4. It is an injury to the commonwealth, which is weak- 


ened by the wasteful. And the covetous themselves (that 
are not oppressors) are much better members of society 
than the prodigal. 5. It feedeth a life of other vice and 
wickedness. It is a spending of God's gifts to feed those 
lusts which he abhorreth. 5. It usually engageth many 
others in trades and labours which are unprofitable, that 
they may serve the lusts of these sensual prodigals. 7. And 
in the conclusion, it prepareth a sad account for these 
wretches when they must answer at the bar of God, how 
they have used all his gifts and talents. Remember all 
these aggravations. 

Direct, in. * Carefully mortify that greedy fancy, and 
fleshly lusts, which is the wasting sin, and the devouring 
gulf.' Quench the fire, and you may spare all this fuel. 
Cure the fever or dropsy, and you may spare both your 
drink and life. A greedy throat, and a diseased fancy are 
never satisfied, till they have wasted the peace of your con- 
sciences with your estates, and brought you to the end of 
brutish sinners : wisdom, and duty, and real benefit, are 
contented with a little ; but lust is insatiable ; the volup- 
tuous brute saith, 'I must have my cups, my lusts, my plea- 
sure,' and the effeminate, vicious fancy of those empty 
souls that mind no great and solid things, is still ranging 
after some vanity or other ; and like children, crying for 
every thing that they see another have; and the most need- 
less, yea, burdensome things seem necessary to such ; they 
say, ' I must needs have this, and I must needs have that,' 
there is no being without it ; when nothing needeth it, but 
a diseased mind, which much more needeth a cure by grace 
and true mortification. Subdue pride, and sensuality, and 
fancy, and you may escape prodigality. 

Direct, iv. 'Remember the nearness of your account, 
and ask your consciences what way of expenses will please 
you best in the review.' Whether at death and judgment it 
will be your comfort to find on your account, ' So much 
laid out on needless bravery, to set out this carcase which 
is now turning into dust; Item, so much upon proud enter- 
tainments of great ones ; Item, so much on cards, and dice, 
and stage- plays; and so much on hounds and needless 
pleasures, &c.' Or rather, * So much to promote the 
preaching of the Gospel ; so much to set poor children to 



'prentice, or to school ; so much to relieve distressed fami- 
lies, &,c.' Let Matt. xxv. be well read, and your account 
well thought on. 

Direct, v. * Keep an account of your expenses, and pe- 
ruse them before a fast or a sacrament ; and ask conscience 
how it judge th of them ;' Yea, ask some holy, prudent 
friend, whether such proportions are allowable before God, 
and will be comfortable to you in the day of your extremity. 
If you are but willing to be cured, such means as these will 
not be in vain. 


Cases and Directions against Injurious Lawsuits, Witnessing 
and Judgment. 

Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Lawsuits and Proceedings, 

Quest. 1. * In what cases is it lawful to go to law with 
others ? ' 

Answ, 1. In case of necessary defence, when the plain- 
tiff doth compel you to it. 2. When you are entrusted for 
orphans or others whom you cannot otherwise right. 3. 
When your children, or the church, or poor, whom you 
should do good to, are like to suffer, if you recover not 
your talent that God hath trusted you with for such uses, 
from the hands of unjust men; and they refuse all just ar- 
bitrations and other equal means which might avoid such 
suits. 4. When -your own necessity constraineth you to 
seek your own, which you cannot get by easier means. 5. 
When your forbearance will do more hurt by encouraging 
knaves in their injustice, than it will do good. 6. When- 
ever your cause is just, and neither mercy, peace, nor the 
avoiding of scandal do forbid it : that is, when it is like 
to do more good than harm, it is then a lawful course. 

But it is unlawful to go to law, 1. When you neglect 
just arbitrations, patience and other needful means to avoid 
it. 2. When your cause is unjust. 3. When you oppress 
the poor by it. 4. When it is done in covetousness, re- 
venge or pride. 5. When the scandal or hurt to your bro- 


ther, is like to be a greater harm than the righting of your- 
self is like to do good ; then must you not go willingly to 

Quest, II. ' May I sue a poor man for a debt or tres- 
pass ? ' 

Answ. 1. If he be so poor as that he cannot pay it, nor 
procure you satisfaction, the suit is vain, and tendeth but 
to cruelty. 2. If he have no means to pay, but that which 
will deprive him of food and raiment, and the necessaries of 
his life or comfort, you may not sue him unless it be for the 
supply of as great necessities of your own ; or in trust for 
orphans, where you have no power to remit the debt ; yea, 
and for them no cruelty must be used. 3. If your forbear- 
ance be like to make him abler by his diligence or other 
means, you should forbear if possible. 4. But if he be 
competently able, and refuse to pay through knavery and 
injustice, and you have better ways to use that money, if 
scandal forbid not, you may seek by law to recover your 
own from him. 

Quest, III. ' May I sue a surety whose interest was not 
concerned in the case ? ' 

Answ, If his poverty make it not an act of cruelty, nor 
scandal prohibit it, you may ; because he was willing, and 
declared his consent, that you should have the debt of him, 
if the principal pay not. To become surety, is to consent 
to this ; and it is no injury to receive a man's money by his 
own consent and covenant. He knew that you had not 
lent it but on those terms ; and you had reason to suppose, 
that he who would undertake to pay another man's debt, 
had sufficient reason for it, either in relation or counter- 
security. But as you must use mercy to the principal 
debtor in his poverty, so must you also to the surety. 

Quest, IV. *May I sue for the use of money as well as 
for the principal ? ' 

Answ. This dependeth on the case of Usury before re- 
solved. In those cases in which it may not be taken, it 
may not be sued for ; nor yet when the scandal of it will do 
more harm than the money will do good. But in other 
cases, it may be sued for on the terms as the rent of lands 


Quest. V. 'May lawsuits be used to disable or humble 
an insolent, wicked man ? ' 

Answ. You may not take up an ill cause against him, 
for any such good end ; but if you have a good cause 
against him, which otherwise you would not have prosecu- 
ted, you may make use of it, to disable him from doing 
mischief, when really it is a probable means thereto ; and 
when neither scandal nor other accidents do prohibit it. 

Quest. VI. * May a rich man make use of his friends and 
purse in a just cause, to bear down or tire out a poor man 
that hath a bad cause ? ' 

Answ. Not by bribery or any evil means ; for his pro- 
ceeding must be just as well as his cause. But if it be an 
obstinate knave that setteth himself to do hurt to others, it 
is lawful to make use of the favour of a righteous judge or 
magistrate against him ; and it is lawful to humble him by 
the length and expensiveness of the suit, when that is the 
fittest means, and no unjust action is done in it; still sup- 
posing that scandal prohibit it not. But let no proud or 
cruel person think, that therefore they may by purse, and 
friends, and tedious lawsuits oppress the innocent, and at- 
tain their own unrighteous wills. 

Quest. \ii. * May one use such forms in lawsuits as in 
the literal sense are gross untruths (in declarations, answers, 
or the like)?' 

Answ. The use of words is to express the mind; and 
common use is the interpreter of them : if they are such 
words as the notorious common use hath put another sense 
on, than the literal one, they must be taken in the sense 
which the public use hath put upon them. And if that 
public sense be true or false, accordingly they may, or may 
not be used. 

Quest. VII 1. *May a guilty person plead not guilty, or 
deny the fact? ' 

Ans2v. * Common use is the interpreter of words : if the 
common use of those words doth make their public sense a 
lie, it may not be done. But if the forensic common use 
of the denial is taken to signify no more than this, *Let him 
that accuseth me, prove it : I am not bound to accuse my- 
self,' or, * In foro' I am nc»t guilty till it be proved,' then it 
is lawful to plead * Not guilty,' and deny the fact, except in 


cases wherein you are bound to an open confession, or in 
which the scandal will do more hurt than the denial will do 

Quest. IX. ' Is a man ever bound to accuse himself, and 
seek justice against himself? ' 

Answ. 1. In many cases a man is bound to punish him- 
self; as when the law against swearing, cursing, or the like, 
must give the poor a certain mulct which is the penalty, he 
ought to give that money himself; and in cases where it is 
a necessary cure to himself, and in any case where the pub- 
lic good requireth it : as if a magistrate offend whom none 
else will punish, or who is the judge in his own cause; he 
should so far punish himself as is necessary to the suppres- 
sion of sin, and to the preserving of the honour of the laws ; 
as I have heard of a justice that swore twenty oaths, and 
paid his twenty shillings for it. 2. A man may be bound in 
such a Divine vengeance or judgment as seeketh after his 
particular sin, to offer himself to be a sacrifice to justice, to 
stop the judgment ; as Jonah and Achan did. 3. A man 
may be bound to confess his guilt and offer himself to jus- 
tice to save the innocent, who is falsely accused and con- 
demned for his crime. 4. But in ordinary cases a man is 
not bound to be his own public accuser or executioner. 

Quest. X. ' May a witness voluntarily speak that truth 
which he knoweth will further an unrighteous cause, and be 
made use of to oppress the innocent? ' 

Answ. He may not do it as a confederate in that inten- 
tion; nor may he do it when he knoweth that it will tend to 
such an event (though threatened or commanded), except 
when some weightier accident doth preponderate for the 
doing it, (as the avoiding of a greater hurt to others, than it 
will bring on the oppressed, &c.) 

Quest. XI. * May a witness conceal some part of the 
truth ? ' 

Answ. Not when he sweareth to deliver the whole truth ; 
nor when a good cause is like to suffer, or a bad cause to 
be furthered by the concealment ; nor when he is under any 
other obligation to reveal the whole. 

Quest. XII. * Must a judge and jury proceed 'secundum 
allegata et probata,' according to evidence and proof, when 


they know the witness to be false, and the truth to be con- 
trary to the testimony ; but are not able to evince it? ' 

Answ. Distinguish between the negative and the posi- 
tive part of the verdict or sentence : in the negative they 
must go according to the evidence and testimonies, unless 
the law of the land leave the case to their private know- 
ledge. As for example, they must not sentence a thief or 
murderer to be punished upon their secret unproved know- 
ledge : they must not adjudge either monies or lands to the 
true owner from another, without sufficient evidence and 
proof: they must forbear doing justice, because they are 
not called to it, nor enabled. But positively they may do 
no injustice upon any evidence or witness against their own 
knowledge of the truth : as they may not upon known false 
witness, give away a man's land or money, or condemn the 
innocent ; but must in such a case renounce the office ; the 
judge must come off the bench, and the jury protest that 
they will not meddle, or give any verdict (whatever come of 
it) ; because God and the law of nature prohibit their injus- 

Object. ' It is the law that doth it, and not we.' 
Answ, It is the law and you ; and the law cannot justify 
your agency in any unrighteous sentence. The case is 
plain and past dispute. 

Tit. 2. Directions against Contentious Suits, Fake-witnessing, 
and Oppressive Judgment. 

Direct, i. * The first cure for all these sins, is to know 
the intrinsic evil of them.' Good thoughts of sin are its 
life and strength. When it is well known, it will be hated, 
and when it is hated, it is so far cured. 

I. The evil of contentious and unjust lawsuits. 

1. Such contentious suits do shew the power of selfish- 
ness ^in the sinner ; how much self-interest is inordinately 
esteemed. 2. They shew the excessive love of the world ; 
how much men overvalue the things which they contend 
for. 3, They shew men's want of love to their neighbours; 
how little they regard another man's interest in comparison 
of their own. 4. They shew how little such men care for 
the public good, which is maintained by the concord and 


love of neighbours. 5. Such contentions are powerful en- 
gines of the devil to destroy all Christian love on both 
sides ; and to stir up mutual enmity and wrath ; and so to 
involve men in a course of sin, by further uncharitableness 
and injuries, both in heart, and word, and deed. 6. Poor 
men are hereby robbed of their necessary maintenance, and 
their innocent families subjected to distress. 7. Uncon- 
scionable lawyers and court officers, who live upon the peo- 
ple's sins, are hereby maintained, encouraged, and kept up. 
8. Laws and courts of justice are perverted, to do men wrong, 
which were made to right them. 9. And the offender de- 
clareth how little sense he hath of the authority or love of 
God, and how little sense of the grace of our Redeemer ! 
And how far he is from being himself forgiven through-the 
blood of Christ, who can no better forgive another. 

II. The evil of false witness. 

1. By false witness the innocent are injured; robbery 
and murder are committed under pretence of truth and jus- 
tice. 2. The name of God is horribly abused, by the crying 
sin of perjury (of which before). 3. The presence and jus- 
tice of God are contemned, when sinners dare, in his sight 
and hearing, appeal to his tribunal, in the attesting of a 
lie, 4. Vengeance is begged or consented to by the sinner ; 
who bringeth God's curse upon himself, and as it were de- 
sireth God to plague or damn him if he lie. 5. Satan the 
prince of malice and injustice, and the father of lies, and 
murders, and oppression is hereby gratified, and eminently 
served. 6. God himself is openly injured, who is the Fa- 
ther and patron of the innocent ; and the cause of every 
righteous person is more the cause of God than of man. 7. 
All government is frustrated, and laws abused, and all men's 
security for their reputations, or estates, or lives is over- 
thrown, by false witnesses ; and consequently human con- 
verse is made undesirable and unsafe. What good can law, 
or right, or innocency, or the honesty of the judge do any 
man, where false witnesses combine against him? What 
security hath the most innocent or worthy person, for his 
fame, or liberty, or estate, or life ; if false witnesses con- 
spire to defame him, or destroy him ? And then how shall 
men endure to converse with one another ? Either the in- 
nocent must seek out a wilderness, and fly from the face of 


men as we do from lions and tigers, or else peace will be 
worse than war : for in war a man may fight for his life ; but 
against false witnesses he hath no defence : but God is the 
avenger of the innocent, and above most other sins, doth 
seldom suffer this to go unpunished, even in this present 
world ; but often beginneth their hell on earth, to such per- 
jured instruments of the devil. 

III. The evil of unrighteous judgments. 
1. An unrighteous judge doth condemn the cause of God 
himself; for every righteous cause is his. 2. Yea, he con- 
demneth Christ himself in his members : for in that he doth 
it to one of the least of those whom he calleth brethren, he 
doth it to himself. It is a damnable sin, not to relieve the 
innocent and imprisoned in their distress, when we have 
power : what is it then to oppress them and unrighteously 
condemn ? 3. It is a turning of the remedy into a double 
misery, and taking away the only help of oppressed inno- 
cency. What other defence hath innocency, but law and 
justice? And when their refuge itself doth fall upon them 
and oppress them, whither shall the righteous fly ? 4. It 
subverteth laws and government, and abuseth it to destroy 
the ends which it is appointed for. 5. Thereby it turneth 
human society into a state of misery, like the depredations 
of hostility. 6. It is a deliberate, resolved sin, and not 
done in passion by surprise : it is committed in that place, 
and in that form as acts of greatest deliberation should be 
done : as if he should say, * Upon full disquisition, evi- 
dence, and deliberation, I condemn this person, and his 
cause.' 7. All this is done as in the name of God, and by 
his own commission, by one that pretendeth to be his offi- 
cer or minister *. For the judgment is the Lord's ''. And 
how great a wickedness is it thus to blaspheme, and to re- 
present him as satan, an enemy to truth and righteousness, 
to his servants and himself? As if he had said, * God hath 
sent me to condemn this cause and person.' If false pro- 
phets sin so heinously who belie the Lord, and say, * He 
hath sent us to speak this,' (which is untruth) ; the sin of 
false judges cannot be much less. 8. It is sin against the 
most full and frequent prohibitions of God. Read over 
Exod. xxiii. 1—3, &c. Lev. Deut. i. 16, 17. xvi. 18. 

» Rora. iii. 3—6. •» 2 Cliron. xix. 5 — 8. 10. 


Isa. i. 17. 20. 23. Deut. xxiv. 17. xxvii. 19. " Cursed be 
he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, the father- 
less, and widow, and all the people shall say Amen." Ezra 
vii. 26. Psal. xxxiii. 5. xxxvii. 28. Ixxii. 2. xciv. 15. 
cvi. 3. 30. Prov. xvii. 27. xix. 28. xx. 8. xxix. 4. 
xxxi. 5. Eccles. V. 8. Isa. v. 7. x. 2. Ivi. 1,2. lix. 14, 
15. Jer. V. 1. vii. 5. ix. 24. Ezek. xviii. 8. xlv. 9. 
Hos. xii. 6. Amos v. 7. 15. 24. vi. 12. Mic. iii. 9. Zech. 
vii. 9. viii. 16. Gen. xviii. 19. Prov. xxi. 3. 7. 15. I 
cite not the words to avoid prolixity. Scarce any sin is so 
oft and vehemently condemned of God. 9. False judges 
cause the poor to appeal to God against them, and the cries 
of the afflicted shall not be forgotten ^. 10. They call for 
God's judgment upon themselves, and devolve the work into 
his hands : how can that man expect any other than a judg- 
ment of damnation, from the righteous God, who hath de- 
liberately condemned Christ himself in his cause and ser- 
vants, and sat in judgment to condemn the innocent ? ** The 
Lord hath prepared his throne for judgment, and he shall 
judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment 
to the people in uprightness ; he will be a refuge for the op- 
pressed ^." ** He will bring forth thy righteousness as the 
light, and thy judgment as the noon-day *." *' Justice and 
judgment are the habitation of his throne V* " The Lord exe- 
cuteth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppress- 
ed s." In a word, the sentence of an unjust judge is passed 
against his own soul, and he calleth to God to condemn him 
righteously, who unrighteously condemneth others. Of all 
men he cannot stand in judgment, nor abide the righteous 
doom of Christ. 

■Direct, ii. ' When you well understand the greatness of 
the sin, find out and overcome the root and causes of it in 
yourselves : especially selfishness, covetousness and pas- 
sion.' A selfish man careth not what another sufFereth, so 
that his own ends and interest be promoted by it. A co- 
vetous man will contend and injure his neighbour whenever 
his own commodity requireth it. He so much loveth his 
money, that it can prevail with him to sin against God, and 
cast away his own soul ; much more to hurt and wrong his 

c Luke xviii. 5—8. ** Psal. ix. 7—9. ^ Psal. xxxvii. 6. 

^ Psal. Ixxxix. 14. « Psal. ciii. 6. exlvi. 7. 



neighbour. A proud and passionate man is so thirsty after 
revenge, to make others stoop to him, that he careth not 
what it cost him to accomplish it. Overcome these inward 
vices, and you may easily forbear the outward sins. 

Direct, iii. * Love your neighbours as yourselves :' for 
that is the universal remedy against all injurious and un- 
charitable undertakings. 

Direct, iv. * Keep a tender conscience, which will not 
make light of sin.' It is those that have seared their con- 
sciences by infidelity or a course of sinning, who dare ven- 
ture with Judas or Gehazi for the prey, and dare oppress the 
poor and innocent, and feel not, nor fear, whilst they cast 
themselves on the revenge of God. 

Direct, v. ' Remember the day when all these causes 
must be heard again, and the righteous God will set all 
straight, and vindicate the cause of the oppressed.* Con- 
sider what a dreadful appearance that man is like to have 
at the bar of heaven, who hath falsely accused or condemned 
the just in the courts of men. What a terrible indictment, 
accusation, conviction and sentence must that man expect ! 
If the hearing of righteousness and the judgment to come 
made Felix tremble, surely it is infidelity or the plague of 
a stupified heart, which keepeth contentious persons, per- 
verters of justice, false witnesses and unjust judges from 

Direct, vj. * Remember the presence of that God who 
must be your final judge.' That he seeth all your pride and 
covetousness, and all your secret contrivances for revenge, 
and is privy to all your deceits and injuries. You commit 
them in his open sight. 

Direct, vii. * Meddle not with lawsuits till you have of- 
fered an equal arbitration of indifferent men, or used all 
possible means of love to prevent them ' Lawsuits are not 
the first, but the last remedy. Try all others before you use 

Direct, viii. ' When you must needs go to law, compose 
your minds to unfeigned love towards him that you must 
contend with, and watch over your hearts with suspicion 
and the strictest care, lest secret disaffection get advantage 
by it : and go to your neighbour, and labour to possess his 
heart also with love, and to demulce his mind ; that you may 

VOL. vr. c c 


not use the courts of justice, as soldiers do their weapons, 
to do the worst they can against another, as an enemy ; but 
as loving friends do use an amicable arbitration ; resolving 
contentedly to stand to what the judge deterraineth, with- 
out any alienation of mind, or abatement of brotherly 

Direct, ix. * Be not too confident of the righteousness of 
your own cause ; but ask counsel of some understanding, 
godly, and impartial men ; and hear all that can be said, and 
patiently consider of the case, and do as you would 
have others do by you/ 

Direct, x. * Observe what terrors of conscience use to 
haunt awakened sinners, especially on a death-bed, for such 
sins as false witnessing, and false judging, and oppressing, 
and injuring the innocent, even above most other sins.' 


Cases of Conscience, and Directions against Backbiting, Slan- 
dering and Evil Speaking. 

Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Backbiting and Evil 


^Quest. I. ' May i not speak evil of that which is evil ? and 
call every one truly as he is ?' 

Answ. You must not speak a known falsehood of any 
man under pretence of charity or speaking well. But you 
are not to speak all the evil of every man which is true : as 
opening the faults of the king or your parents, though never 
so truly, is a sin against the fifth commandment, " Honour 
thy father and mother :" so if you do it without a call, you 
sin against your neighbour's honour, and many other ways 

Quest, II. ' Is it not sinful silence, and a consenting to, 
or countenancing of the sins of others, to say nothing 
against them, as tender of their honour?' 

Answ. It is sinful to be silent when you have a call to 
speak : if you forbear to admonish the offender in love be- 
tween him and you, when you have opportunity and just 


cause, it is sinful to be silent then. But to silence back- 
biting is no sin. If you must be guilty of every man's sin 
that you talk not against behind his back, your whole dis- 
course must be nothing but backbiting. 

Quest. III. * May I not speak that which honest, religious, 
credible persons do report?' 

Arisw. Not without both a sufficient evidence, and a suf- 
ficient call. You must not judge of the action by the per- 
son, but of the person by the action. Nor must you imitate 
any man in evil doing. If a good man abuse you, are you 
willing that all men follow him and abuse you more ? 

Quest. IV. ' May I believe the bad report of an honest, 
credible person?' 

Answ. You must first consider whether you may hear it, 
or meddle with it: for if it be a case that you have nothing 
to do with, you may not set your judgment to it, either to 
believe it, or to disbelieve it. And if it be a thing that you 
are called to judge of, yet every honest man's word is not 
presently to be believed : you must first know whether it be 
a thing that he saw, or is certain of himself, or a thing which 
he only taketh upon report : and what his evidence and 
proof is : and whether he be not engaged by interest, pas- 
sion, or any difference of opinion : or be not engaged in 
some contrary faction, where the interest of a party or cause 
is his temptation : or whether he be not used to rash reports 
and uncharitable speeches : and what concurrence of tes- 
timonies there is, and what is said on the other side : espe- 
cially what the person accused saithin his own defence. If 
it be so heinous a crime in public judgment, to pass sen- 
tence before both parties are heard, and to condemn a man 
before he speak for himself; it cannot be justifiable in pri- 
vate judgment. Would you be willing yourselves that all 
should be believed of you, which is spoken by any honest 
man? And how uncertain are we of other men's honesty, 
that we should on that account think ill of others ! 

Quest. V. * May I not speak evil of them that are enemies 
to God, to religion and godliness, and are open persecutors 
of it ; or are enemies to the king or church V 

Answ. You may on all meet occasions speak evil of the 
sin ; and of the persons when you have a, just call ; but not 
at your own pleasure. 


Quest. VI. ' What if it be one whose honour and credit 
countenanceth an ill cause, and his dishonour would dis- 
able him to do hurt V 

Ansiv. You may not belie the devil, nor wrong the worst 
man that is, though under ])retence of doing good ; God 
needeth not malice, nor calumnies, nor injustice to his glory : 
it is an ill cause that cannot be maintained without such 
means as these. And when the matter is true, you must 
have a call to speak it, and you must speak it justly, without 
unrighteous aggravations, or hiding the better part, which 
should make the case and person better understood. There 
is a time and due manner, in which that man's crimes and 
just dishonour may be published, whose false reputation in- 
jure th the truth. But yet I must say, that a great deal of 
villany and slander is committed upon this plausible pre- 
tence ; and that there is scarce a more common cloak for the 
most inhuman lies and calumnies. 

.Quest. VII. ' May I not lawfully make a true narration 
of such matters of fact, as are criminal and dishonourable to 
offenders ? Else no man may write a true history to pos- 
terity of men's crimes.' 

Aiisw. When you have a just call to do it, you may ; but 
not at your own pleasure. Historians may take much more 
liberty to speak the truth of the dead, than you may of the 
living: though no untruth must be spoken of either : yet 
the honour of princes and magistrates while they are alive 
is needful to their government, and therefore must be main- 
tained, ofttimes by the concealment of their faults : and so 
proportionably the honour of other men is needful to a life 
of love, and peace, and just society ; but when they are dead, 
they are not subjects capable of a right to any such honour 
as must be maintained by such silencing of the truth, to the 
injury of posterity: and posterity hath usually a right to 
historical truth, that good examples may draw them to 
imitation, and bad examples may warn them to take heed 
of sin, God will have the name of the wicked to rot ; and 
the faults of a Noah, Lot, David, Solomon, Peter, &c. shall 
be recorded. Yet nothing unprofitable to posterity may be 
recorded of the dead, though it be true ; nor the faults of 
men unnecessarily divulged ; much less may the dead be 
slandered or abused. 


Quest. VIII. ' What if it be one that hath been oft ad- 
monished in vain ? May not the faults of such an one be 
mentioned behind his back V 

Amw. I confess such an one (the case being proved, and 
he being notoriously impenitent) hath made a much greater 
forfeiture of his honour, than other men : and no man can 
save that man's honour who will cast it away himself. But 
yet it is not every one that committeth a sin after admo- 
nition, who is here to be understood ; but such as are im- 
penitent in some mortal or ruling sin : for some may sin oft 
in a small and controverted point, for want of ability to dis- 
cern the truth ; and some may live in daily infirmities (as 
the best men do), which they condemn themselves for, and 
desire to be delivered from. And even the most impenitent 
man's sins, must not be meddled with by every one at his 
pleasure, but only when you have just cause. 

Quest. IX. * What if it be one whom I cannot speak to 
face to face V 

Answ. You must let him alone, till you have just cause 
to speak of him. 

Quest. -s.. * When hath a man a just cause and call to 
open another's faults V 

Atisw. Negatively : 1. Not to fill up the time with other 
idle chat, or table talk. 2. Not to second any man, how 
good soever, who backbiteth others ; no, though he pretend 
to do it to make the sin more odious, or to exercise godly 
sorrow for other men's sin. 3. Not whenever interest, pas- 
sion, faction, or company seemeth to require it. But, affir- 
matively, 1. When we may speak it to his^ face in love and 
privacy, in due manner and circumstances, as is mosthopc'- 
ful to conduce to his amendment. 2. When, after due ad- 
monition, we take two or three, and after that tell the 
church (in a case that requireth it). 3. When we have a 
sufficient cause to accuse him to the magistrate. 4- When 
the magistrate or the pastors of the church, reprove or pu- 
nish him. 5. When it is necessary to the preservation of 
another: as if I see my friend in danger of marrying with a 
wicked person, or taking a false servant, or trading and bar- 
gaining with one that is like to overreach him, or going 
among cheaters, or going to hear or converse with a dan- 
gerous heretic or seducer ; I must open the faults of those 


that they are in danger of, so far as their safety and my cha- 
rity require. 6. When it is any treason or conspiracy 
against the king or commonwealth ; where my concealment 
may be an injury to the king, or damage or danger to the 
kingdom. 7. When the person himself doth, by his self- 
justification, force me to it, 8. When his reputation is so 
built upon the injury of others, and slanders of the just, that 
the justifying of him is the condemning of the innocent, we 
may then indirectly condemn him, by vindicating the just : 
as if it be in a case of contention between two, if we cannot 
justify the right without dishonour to the injurious, there is 
no remedy but he must bear his blame. 9. When a man's 
notorious wickedness hath set him up as a spectacle of 
warning and lamentation, so that his crimes cannot be hid, 
and he hath forfeited his reputation, we must give others 
warning by his fall. As an excommunicate person, or ma- 
lefactor at the gallows, &c. 10. When we have just occa- 
sion to make a bare narrative of some public matters of 
fact: as if the sentence of a judge, or punishment of offen- 
ders, &c. 11. When the crime is so heinous, as that all 
good persons are obliged to join to make it odious, as Phi- 
nehas was to execute judgment. As in cases of open re- 
bellion, treason, blasphemy, atheism, idolatry, murders, per- 
jury, cruelty : such as the French massacre, the Irish far 
greater massacre, the murdering of kings, the Powder-plot, 
the burning of London, &c. Crimes notorious, should not 
go about in the mouths or ears of men, but with just detes- 
tation. 12. When any person's false reputation is a se- 
ducement to men's souls, and made by himself or others the 
instruments of God's dishonour, and the injury of church or 
state, or others, though we may do no unjust thing to blast 
his reputation, we may tell the truth so far as justice, or 
mercy, or piety requireth it. 

Quest. XI. * What if I hear daubers applauding wicked 
men, and speaking well of them, and extenuating their crimes, 
and praising them for evil doing ?' 

Answ. You must on all just occasions speak evil of sin ; 
but when that is enough, you need not meddle with the sin- 
ner ; no, not though other men applaud him, and you know 
it to be false : for you are not bound to contradict every 
falsehood which you hear. But if in any of the twelve fore- 


mentioned cases you have a call to do it (as for the preser- 
vation of the hearers from a snare thereby ; as if men com- 
mend a traitor or a wicked man to draw another to like his 
way), in such cases you may contradict the false report. 

Quest. XII. * Are we bound to reprove every backbiter, 
in this age when honest people are grown to make little 
conscience of it, but think it their duty to divulge men's 
faults V 

Answ. Most of all ; that you may stop the stream of this 
common sin ; ordinarily whenever we can do it without 
doing greater hurt, we should rebuke the tongue that re- 
porteth evil of other men causelessly behind their backs : 
for our silence is their encouragement in sin. 

Tit, 2. Directions against Backbiting, Slandering and Emil 


Direct, i. ' Maintain the life of brotherly love. Love 
your neighbour as yourself.' 

Direct, ii. * Watch narrowly lest interest or passion 
should prevail upon you.' For where these prevail, the 
tongue is set on fire of hell, and will set on fire the course 
of nature ''. Selfishness and passion will not only prompt 
you to speak evil, but also to justify it, and think you do 
well ; yea, and to be angry with those that will not hearken 
to you and believe you. 

Direct, iii. ' Especially involve not yourselves in any 
faction, religious or secular.' I do not mean that you should 
not imitate the best, and hold most intimate communion 
with them ; but that you abhor unlawful divisions and sid- 
ings ; and when error, or uncharitableness, or carnal inte- 
rest hath broken the church into pieces where you live, and 
one is of Paul, and another of Apollos, and another of Ce- 
phas, one of this party, and another of that ; take heed of 
espousing the interest of any party, as it stands cross to the 
interest of the whole. It would have been hardly credible, 
if sad experience had not proved it, how commonly and 
heinously almost every sect of Christians do sin in this point 
against each other ! And how far the interest of their sect, 
which they account the interest of Christ, will prevail with 

» James ii. 


multitudes even of zealous people, to belie, calumniate, back- 
bite, and reproach those that are against their opinion and 
their party ? Yea, how easily will they proceed beyond re- 
proaches, to bloody persecutions. He that thinketh he 
doth God service by killing Christ or his disciples, will 
think that he doth him service by calling him a deceiver,, 
and one that hath a devil, a blasphemer, and an enemy to 
Caesar, and calling his disciples pestilent fellows and movers 
of sedition among the people, and accounting them as the 
filth and offscouring of the world. That zeal which mur- 
dered and destroyed many hundred thousand of the Wal- 
denses and Albigenses, and thirty thousand or forty thou- 
sand in one French massacre, and two hundred thousand 
in one Irish massacre, and which kindled the Maryan 
bonfires in England, made the powder-mine, and burnt 
. the city of London, and keepeth up the Inquisition, I say, 
that zeal will certainly think it a service to the church, (that 
is, their sect,) to write the most odious lies and slanders of 
Luther, Zuinglius, Calvin, Beza, and any such excellent ser- 
vants of the Lord, So full of horrid, impudent lies are the 
. writings of (not one but) many sects against those that were 
their chief opposers, that I still admonish all posterity, to 
see good evidence for it, before they believe the hard sayings 
of any factious historian or divine, against those that are 
against his party. It is only men of eminent conscience, 
and candour, and veracity, and impartiality, who are to be 
believed in their bad report of others, except where notoriety 
or very good evidence doth command belief above their own 
authority and veracity. A siding factious zeal, which is hot- 
ter for any sect or party, than for the common Christianity 
and catholic church, is always a railing, a lying, and a slan- 
dering zeal, and is notably described, James iii., as " earth- 
ly, sensual, and devilish/' causing " envy, strife, and every 
evil work." 

Direct, iv. * Observe well the commonness of this sin of 
backbiting, that it may make you the more afraid of falling 
into that which so few do escape.' I will not say, among 
high and low, rich and poor, court and country, how com- 
mon is this sin ; but among men professing the greatest zeal 
and strictness in religion, how few make conscience of it. 
Mark in all companies that you come into, how common it 
is, to take liberty to say what they think of all men ; yea, to 


report what they hear, though they dare not say that they 
believe it ! And how commonly the relating of other men's 
faults, and telling what this man or that man is, or did, or 
said, is part of the chat to waste the hour in ? And if it be 
but true, they think they sin not : nay, nor if they did but 
hear that it is true. For my part I must profess, that my 
conscience having brought me to a custom of rebuking such 
backbiters, I am ordinarily censured for it, either as one 
that loveth contradiction, or one that defendeth sin and wick- 
edness, by taking part with wicked men : all because I 
would stop the course of this common vice of evil speaking 
and backbiting where men have no call. And I must thank- 
fully profess, that among all other sins in the world, the sins 
of selfishness, pride, and backbiting, I have been most 
brought to hate and fear, by the observation of the common- 
ness of them, even in persons seeming godly : nothing hath 
fixed an apprehension of their odiousness so deeply in me, 
nor engaged my heart against them above all other sins so 
much, as this lamentable experience of their prevalence in 
the world, among the more religious, and not only in the 

Direct, v. ' Take not the honesty of the person, as a suf- 
ficient cause to hear or believe a bad report of others.* It 
is lamentable to hear how far men, otherwise honest, do too 
often here ofiend. Suspect evil speakers, and be not over 
credulous of them. Charity thinketh not evil, nor easily and 
hastily believeth it. Liars are more used to evil speaking, 
than men of truth and credit are. It is no wrong to the 
best, that you believe him not when he backbiteth without 
good evidence. 

Direct, vi. ' Rebuke backbiters, and encourage them 
not by hearkening to their tales.' " The north wind driveth 
away rain, so doth an angry countenance a backbiting 
tongue^." It may be they think themselves religious per- 
sons, and will take it for an injury to be driven away with 
an angry countenance : but God himself, who loveth his ser- 
vants better than we, is more offended at their sin ; and 
that which offendeth him, must offend us. We must not 
hurt their souls, and displease God, by drawing upon us the 
guilt of their sins, for fear of displeasing them. Tell them 

^ Prov. XXV. 23. 


how God doth hate backbiting, and advise them if they 
know any hurt by others, to go to them privately, and tell 
them of it in a way that tendeth to their repentance. 

Direct, vi. ' Use to make mention of the good which is 
in others;' (except it be unseasonable, and will seem to be 
a promoting of their sin:) God's gifts in every man deserve 
commendations ; and we have allowance to mention men's 
virtues oftener than to mention their vices. Indeed when 
a bad man is praised in order to the disparagement of the 
good, or to honour some wicked cause or action against 
truth and godliness, we must not concur in such malicious 
praises : but otherwise we must commend that which is truly 
commendable in all. And this custom will have a double 
benefit against backbiting : it will use your own tongues to 
a contrary course, and it v^^ill rebuke the evil tongues of 
others, and be an example to them of more charitable lan- 

Direct, viii. * Understand yourselves, and speak often 
to others, of the sinfulness of evil-speaking and backbiting.' 
Shew them the Scriptures which condemn it, and the in- 
trinsical malignity which is in it : as here followeth. 

Direct, ix. ' Make conscience of just reproof and ex- 
horting sinners to their faces.' Go tell them of it privately 
and lovingly, and it will ha've better effects, and bring you 
more comfort, and cure the sin of backbiting. 

Tit. 3. The Evil of Backbiting and Evil-speaking. 

1. It is forbidden of God among the heinous, damning 
sins, and made the character of a notorious wicked person, 
and the avoiding of it is made the mark of such as are ac- 
cepted of God, and shall be saved : in Rom. i. 29, 30. it is 
made the mark of a reprobate mind, and joined with murder, 
and hating God, viz. ** full of envy, debate, deceit, malignity, 
whisperers, backbiters." " Lord, who shall abide in thy 
tabernacle ? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill ? He that 
backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neigh- 
bour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour*^." 
And when Paul describeth those whom he must sharply re- 
buke and censure, he just describeth the factious sort of 

<^ Psal XV. 2. 


Christians of our times. " For I fear lest when I come, I shall 
not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto 
you such as ye would not : lest there be debates, envyings, 
wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tu- 
mults''." "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and 
clamour, and evil-speaking be put away from you, with all 
malice, and be kind one to another, and tender hearted* — .'* 

2. It is a sin which gratifieth satan, and serveth his ma- 
lice against our neighbour. He is malicious against all, 
and speaking evil, and doing hurt, are the works which are 
suitable to his malignity ! And should a Christian make 
his tongue the instrument of the accuser of the brethren, to 
do his work against each other? 

3. It signifieth want of Christian love. For love speak- 
eth not evil, nor openeth men's faults without a cause, but 
covereth infirmities : much less will it lie and slander others, 
and carry about uncertain reports against them. It is not 
to do as you would be done by : and how essential love is 
to true Christianity, Christ himself hath often told us. 

4. It is a sin which directly serveth to destroy the hearer's 
love, and consequently to destroy their souls. If the back- 
biter understood himself, he would confess that it is his very 
end to cause you to hate (or abate your love to) him whom 
he speaketh evil of. He that speaketh good of a man, re- 
presenteth him amiable ; for amiableness and goodness are 
all one. And he that speaketh evil of a man representeth 
him hateful or unlovely : for hatefulness, unloveliness, and 
evil are all one. And as it is not the natural way of winning 
love, to entreat and beg it, and say, I pray you love this per- 
son, or that thing ; but to open the goodness of the thing 
or person, which will command love : so is it not the na- 
tural way to stir up hatred, by entreating men to hate this 
man or that ; but to tell how bad they are, which will com- 
mand hatred in them that do believe it. Therefore to speak 
evil of another, is more than to say to the hearers, * I pray 
you hate this man, or abate your love to him.' And that 
the killing of love is the killing or destroying of men's souls, 
the apostle John doth frequently declare. 

5. And it tendeth also to destroy the love, and conse- 
quently the soul of him that you speak evil of. For when 

•* 2 Cor. xii 20. « Epli. iv. 31. 


it cometh to his hearing, (as one way or other it may do,) 
what evil you have reported of him behind his back, it ten- 
deth to make him hate you, and so to make him worse. 

6. It is a great make-bate and peace-breaker wherever it 
is practised. It tendeth to set people together by the ears. 
When it is told that such an one spake evil of you in such a 
place, there are then heartburnings, and rehearsals, and sid- 
ings, and such ensuing malice as the devil intended by this 

7. They that use to speak evil of others behind their 
backs, it is ten to one will speak falsehoods of them when 
they do not know it. Fame is too ordinarily a liar, and they 
shall be liars who will be its messengers. How know you 
whether the thing you report is true ? Is it only because a 
credible person spake it? But how did that person know 
it to be true ? Might he not take it upon trust as well as 
you ? And might he not take a person to be credible that 
is not ? And how commonly doth faction, or interest, or 
passion, or credulity, make that person incredible in one 
thing, who is credible in others, where he hath no such temp- 
tation? If you know it not to be true, or have not sufficient 
evidence to prove it, you are guilty of lying and slandering 
interpretatively, though it should prove true ; because it 
might have been a lie for aught you knew. 

S, It is gross injustice to talk of a man's faults, before 
you have heard him speak for himself. I know it is usual 
with such to say, * O we have heard it from such as we are 
certain will not lie.' But he is a foolish and unrighteous 
judge, that will be peremptory upon hearing one party only 
speak, and knoweth not how ordinary it is for a man, when 
he speaketh for himself, to blow away the most confident 
and plausible accusations, and make the case appear to be 
quite another thing. You know not what another man hath 
to say till you have heard him. 

9. Backbiting teacheth others to backbite : your exam- 
ple inviteth them to do the like : and sins which are com- 
mon, are easily swallowed, and hardly repented of; men 
think that the commonness justifieth or extenuate th the 

10. It encourageth ungodly men to the odious sin of 
backbiting and slandering the most religious, righteous per- 



sons. It is ordinary with the devil's family to make Oirist's 
most faithful servants their table talk, and the objtots of 
their reproach and scorn, and the song of drunkards ! What 
abundance of lies go current among such malignant persons, 
against the most innocent, which would all be ashaned, if 
they had first admitted them to speak for themselves 1 And 
such slanders and lies are the devil's common means ;o keep 
ungodly men from the love of godliness, and so fom re- 
pentance and salvation. And backbiting professoB of re- 
ligion encourage men to this : for with what measue they 
mete, it shall be measured to them again. And th;y that 
are themselves evil spoken of, will think that they a-e war- 
ranted to requite the backbiters with the like. 

11. It is a sin which commonly excludeth true, )rofita- 
ble reproof and exhortation. They that speak most behind 
men's backs, do usually say least to the sinner's face in any 
way which tendeth to his salvation. They will not^o lov- 
ingly to him in private, and set home his sin upon Ks con- 
science, and exhort him to repentance : but any thiig shall 
serve as a sufficient excuse against this duty ; that tley may 
make the sin of backbiting serve instead of it : and dl is out 
of carnal self-saving ; they fear men will be ofFendec if they 
speak to their faces, and therefore they will whispe) against 
them behind their backs. 

12. It is at the least, but idle talk, and a misspending of 
your time : what the better are the hearers for haring of 
other men's misdoings ? And you know that it no whit 
profiteth the person of whom you speak. A skilfi, friend- 
ly admonition might do him good. But to neglectthis, and 
talk of his faults unprofitably, behind his back, s but to 
aggravate the sin of your uncharitableness, as teing not 
contented to refuse your help to a man in sin,butyrou must 
also injure him and do him hurt. j 



Case^ ind Directions against Censoriousness and Unwarrantable 


Tt. 1. Cases of Conscience about Judging of Others, 

Quest, . 'Am I not bound to judge truly of every one as 
he is.' 

Anw. 1. There are many that you are not bound to 
meddhwith, and to pass any judgment at all upon. 2. 
There ire many whose faults are secret, and their virtues 
open ;and of such you cannot judge as they are, because 
you hfve no proof or evidence to enable you : you cannot 
see thst which is latent in the heart, or done in darkness. 
3. Yoi neither ought on pretence of charity, nor can be- 
lieve ai evident known untruth of any man. 

Qust. 'Doth not charity bind me to judge men better 
than tley are ? ' 

Ansu, Charity bindeth you, 1. Rather to observe the 
best in hem, than the worst. 2. And as I said, to judge of 
no man\ faults uncalled. 3. Nor to judge of that which is 
not evicent, but out of sight; and thus consequently it 
bindeth yTou to judge some men better than they are ; but 
not dire<tly. 

Objet. *Then a man is bound to err, and believe an 

Ansu. No : you are not bound to believe that it is cer- 
tainly trie, that such a man is better than he is ; because 
you hav no evidence of its certain truth. But you are 
bound t( believe it a thing probable or verisimile, likely to 
be true, >y an opinion or fallible human faith ; and this is 
not a fasehood ; for that is likely and probable to you, 
which hah the more probable evidence, and more for it 
than agahst it: so that the thing which you are to believe 
immediafely is this proposition, * There is more evidence tome 
to prove t likely that this man is sincere than the contrary :' 
and consquently you believe this, and believe not the con- 
trary, beause the contrary hath no evidence. But you are 


not to take it as a certain thing, that the contrary hath no 
latent reality. 

Quest. II. * How far may I judge ill of one by outward 
appearances, as by the countenance, gestures and other un- 
certain but suspicious signs ? ' 

Answ. There are some signs which are not so much as 
probable, but a little suspicious, and which men are very 
ordinarily mistaken by ; as those that will judge of a man 
at the first look, by his face ; and those that will judge a 
studious, serious person (a lawyer, a judge, or a divine) to 
be morose or proud, because they are not complimental, but 
of few words ; or because they have not patience to waste 
precious hours in hearing an empty vessel sound ; an igno- 
rant, self-conceited person talk foolishly. Such censures 
are but the effects of injudiciousness, unrighteousness and 
rash haste. There are other signs which make it probable 
to a wise and charitable person, that the man is had (e. g. 
proud, or covetous, or an hypocrite). If with these, there 
are as great signs to make the contrary probable, we must 
rather incline to the better, than the worse. But if not, we 
may fear the worst of that person, but not conclude it as a 
certainty ; and therefore we may not in public censures, 
proceed upon such uncertainties, nor venture to divulge 
them ; but only use them to help us for due caution, and 
pity, and prayer, and endeavour for such an one's recovery 
and help. 

Quest, III. 'How far may I, censure upon the report 
of others ? ' 

Ansv). According to the degree of the credibility of the 
persons, and evidence of the narrative ; not simply in them- 
selves, but as compared with all that is to be heard on the 
contrary part : else you are partial and unjust. 

Quest. IV. ' Doth not the fifth command oblige me in 
honour to parents and princes, to judge them to be better 
than their lives declare them to be ? ' 

Answ. You are gradually to honour them more than 
others, and therefore to be more afraid of dishonouring 
them, and must not sit in judgment on them, to believe any 
harm of them, which evidence doth not compel you to be- 
lieve. But you are not to judge any sin the less, because it 
is theirs; nor to judge contrary to evidence, nor to call 


evil good, nor to be wilfully blind, nor to flatter any in their 

Quest. V. * Whom must we judge fot sincere and sancti- 
fied Christians ? ' 

Answ. 1. All those that profess to be such, whom you 
cannot disprove. 2. But as there are several degrees of 
evidence and probability, so must there be several degrees 
of your good opinion of others. Of some who give you the 
highest probability, you may have the strongest confidence 
short of certainty : of others you may have less ; and of 
others you may have much more fear than hope. 3. And 
in matters of church-rights and public communion, your 
fears will not allow you to use them as no Christians ; for 
their profession of faith and repentance is certain ; and as 
long as your fears of their hypocrisy or unsoundness are but 
uncertain, it must not (on that account) prevail to deprive 
another of his right. 

Quest. VI. 'But is not my error my sin, if I prove 
mistaken, and take that man for a sincere Christian who is 


7 ' 

Answ. If you judged it to be certain, your judgment 
and error was your sin ; but if you only judged him a pro- 
fessor of Christianity, and one that on that account you 
were bound to have church-communion with as if he were 
sincere, because you cannot prove the contrary, this was no 
error : or if you erred for want of sufficient evidence to know 
the truth, this error is not in itself a sin. 

Quest, vn. 'Whom must I judge a visible member of 
the church, with whom I am thus bound to hold com- 


Answ. 1. If you are the pastor of the church who are 
made the judge, at his admission by baptism or afterwards, 
you must so judge of every one who maketh a credible pro- 
fession of true Christianity, that is, of his present consent 
to the sacramental covenant : and that profession is credi- 
ble, which is, 1. Understood by him that maketh it. 2. 
Deliberate. 3. Voluntary. 4. Seemingly serious. 5. And 
is not disproved by valid evidence of the contrary. These 
are the true measures of church-communion ; for every 
man, next God, is the judge of his own heart; and God 


would have every man the chooser or refuser of his own 

2. But if you are but a private member of the church, 
whom the pastor hath taken in by baptism, and not cast 
out again by excommunication ; except the contrary be no- 
torious : and even then you are oft obliged for order sake 
to carry yourself towards him as a visible member, till he 
be regularly cast out. 

Quest. VIII. 'Whom must I judge a true worshipper of 
God, and whom not ? ' 

Answ. Him that professeth true Christianity, and join- 
eth in true worship with a Christian church, or privately 
(when hindered) acknowledgeth the true God in all his es- 
sential attributes, and heareth his Word, and prayeth to 
him for all things necessary to salvation, and praiseth him 
accordingly, not giving the worship proper to God unto any 
creature : and doth all this as a sinner redeemed by Jesus 
Christ, trusting in his merits, sacrifice and intercession, and 
giveth not his office to any other. And he is a false wor- 
shipper who denieth any essential attribute of God, or es- 
sential part of the office of Christ, or giveth these to any 
other ; or refuseth his Word, or excludeth in his prayers 
any thing essential to Christianity, or absolutely necessary 
to salvation. But ' secundum quid,' in lesser parts, or in 
circumstances, or measures, every man on earth is a false 
worshipper, that is, he ofFereth God a worship some way 
faulty and imperfect, and hath some sin in his worshipping 
of God ; and sin is a thing that God requireth not, but for- 
biddeth even in the smallest measures. 

Quest. IX. * Which must I judge a true church of Christ, 
and which a false church ? ' 

Answ. The universal church is but one, and is the whole 
society of Christians as united to Christ their only head ; 
and this cannot be a false church. But if any other set up 
an usurper as the universal head, and so make another 
policy and church, this is a false church formally, or in its 
policy : but yet the members of this false church or policy 
may some of them as Christians be also members of the 
true church of Christ : and thus the Roman church as papal 
is a false Catholic church, having the policy of an usurper ; 
but as Christians they may be members of the true Catholic 



church of Christ. But for a particular church which is but 
part of the universal, that is a true church considered mere- 
ly as an ungoverned community, which is a true part of the 
Catholic, prepared for a pastor, but yet being without one : 
but that only is a true political church, which consisteth of 
professed Christians conjoined under a true pastor, for 
communion in the profession of true Christianity, and for 
the true worshipping of God, and orderly walking for their 
mutual assistance and salvation. 

Quest. X. ' Whom must we judge true prophets and pas- 
tors of the church V 

Answ. He is a true prophet who is sent by God, and 
speaketh truth by immediate supernatural revelation or in- 
spiration. And he is a false prophet who either falsely 
saith that he hath Divine revelations or inspiration, or pro- 
phesieth falsehood as from God. And he is a true pastor 
at the bar of God, who is, 1. Competently qualified with 
abilities for the office. 2. Competently disposed to it, with 
willingness and desire of success ; and hath right ends in 
undertaking and discharging it. 3. Who hath a just ad- 
mission, by true ordination of pastors, and consent of the 
flock ; and he is to be accounted a true pastor * in foro ec- 
clesia,' in the church's judgment, whom the church judg- 
eth to have all these qualifications, and thereupon admit- 
teth him into the possession of the place, till his incapacity 
be notorious, or publicly and sufficiently proved, or he be 
removed or made incapable. 

Tit. 2. Directions for the Cure of Sinful Censoriousness. 

Direct, i. ' Meddle not at all in judging of others without 
a call.' Know first whether it be any of your Work ; if not, 
be afraid of those words of your Judge, Matt. vii. 1 — 5. 
" Judge, not, that ye be not judged; for with what judg- 
ment ye judge, you shall be judged," &c. And Rom. xiv. 4. 
" Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To 
his own master he standeth or falleth." And verses 10. 
and 13. ** But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why 
dost thou set at nought thy brother? We shall all stand 

before the judgment-seat of Christ Every one of us 

shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore 


judge one another any more." " But with me it is a very 
small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's 

judgment Therefore judge nothing before the time till 

the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden 
things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of 

the hearts* •" " Let no man judge you in meat or in 

drink, or in respect of any holy day, or of the new moon, or 
sabbath ^" 

Quest. ' But when have I a cdl to judge another ? ' 

Ansto. You may take the answer to this from the answer 
to Quest. X. Chap, xxiii. Tit. L 1. If your office and place 
require it as a magistrate, pastor, parent, master, tutor. Sec. 
2. If the safety of the church, or your neighbour do re- 
quire it. 3. If the good of the sinner require it that you 
may seek his repentance and reformation. 4. If your own 
preservation or welfare (or any other duty) require it. 

Direct^ ii. *Keep up an humble sense of your own 
faults, and that will make you compassionate to others.' 
He that is truly vile in his bwri eyes is least inclined to vili- 
fy others : and he that judgeth himself with the greatest 
penitent severity, is the least inclined to be censorious to 
his brother. Pride is the common cause of censoriousness : 
he that saith with the Pharisee, " I fast twice a week, and 
pay tithes of all that I have, I am no adulterer," &c., will 
also say, " I am not as other men, nor as this publican :" 
when the true peniterit findeth so much of his own to be 
condemned, that he smiteth on his own breast and saith, 
" God be merciful to me a sinner." The prouder, self-con- 
ceited sort of Christians are ever the most censorious of 
their neighbours. 

Direct, iii. * Be much therefore at home in searching 
and watching, and amending your own hearts : ' And then 
you will find so much to do about yourselves, that you will 
have no mind or leisure to be censuring others ; whereas 
the superficial hypocrite whose religion is in externals, and 
is unacquainted with his heart and heaven, is so little em- 
ployed in the true work of a Christian, that he hath leisure 
for the work of a censorious Pharisee. 

Direct, iv. ' Labour for a deep experimental insight in- 
to the nature of religion, and of every duty.' For no men 

a 1 Cor. iv. 3—',^. "' '' »» Col, ii. 16. 


are so censorious as the ignorant who know not what they 
say ; whilst experienced persons know those difficulties and 
other reasons which calm their minds. As in common bu- 
siness, no man will sooner find fault with a workman in his 
work, than idle praters who least understand it. So is it 
commonly in matters of religion : women and young men 
that never saw into the great mysteries of divinity, but have 
been lately changed from a vicious life, and have neither 
acquaintance with the hard points of religion, nor with 
their own ignorance of them, are the common, proud cen- 
surers of their brethren much wiser than themselves, and of 
all men that are more moderate and peaceable than them- 
selves, and are more addicted to unity, and more averse to 
sects and separations than they. Study harder, and wait 
till you grow up to the experience of the aged, and you will 
be less censorious and more peaceable. 

Direct, v. ' Think not yourselves fit judges of that which 
you understand not : and think not proudly that you are 
more like to understand the difficulties in religion, with 
youJC short and lazy studies, than those that in reading, me- 
ditation and prayer have spent their lives in searching after 
them.' Let not pride make you abuse the Holy Ghost, by 
pretending that he hath given you more wisdom in a little 
time, and with little means and diligence, than your betters 
have by the holy industry of their lives : say not, God can 
give more to you in a year than to others in twenty ; for it 
is a poor argument to prove that God hath done it, because 
he can do it. He can make you an angel, but that will not 
prove you one. Prove your wisdom before you pretend to 
it, and overvalue it not : Heb. v. 11, 12. sheweth that it is 
God's ordinary way to give men wisdom according to their 
time and means, unless their own negligence deprive them 
of his blessing. 

Direct, vi. ' Study to keep up Christian love, and to 
keep it lively.' For love is not censorious, but is inclined 
to judge the best, till evidence constrain you to the con- 
trary. Censoriousness is a vermin which crawleth in the 
carcase of Christian love, when the life is gone. 

Direct, vii. * Value all God's graces in his servants:' 
and then you will see something to love them for, when 
hypocrites can see nothing : make not too light of small de- 


grees of grace, and then your censure will not overlook 

Direct, viii. ' Remember the tenderness of Christ/ who 
condemneth not the weak, nor casteth infants out of his fa- 
mily, nor the diseased out of his hospital ; but dealeth with 
them in such a gracious gentleness, as beseemeth a tender- 
hearted Saviour : he will not break the bruised reed : he 
carrieth his lambs in his arms, and gently driveth those with 
young! He taketh up the wounded man, when the priest 
and Levite pass him by. And have you not need of the 
tenderness of Christ yourselves as well as others ? Are you 
not afraid lest he should find greater faults with you, than 
you find in others ? and condemn you as you condemn 

Direct, ix. 'Let the sense of the common corruption of 
the world, and imperfection of the godly, moderate your 
particular censures.' As Seneca saith, ' To censure a man 
for that which is common to all men, is in a sort to censure 
him for being a man, which beseemeth not him that is a 
man himself.' Do you not know the frailty of the best, and 
the common pravity of human nature ? How few are there 
that must not have great allowance, or else they will not 
pass for current in the balance. Elias was a man subject to 
passions : Jonah to peevishness : Job had his impatience : 
Paul saith even of the teachers of the primitive church, 
" They all (that were with him) seek their own, and not the 
things of Jesus Christ." What blots are charged on almost 
all the churches, and almost all the holy persons, mentioned 
throughout all the Scriptures ! Learn then of Paul a better 
lesson than censoriousness : " Brethren, if a man be over- 
taken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one 
in the spirit of meekness ; considering thyself, lest thou al- 
so be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so ful- 
fil the law of Christ. Let every man prove his own work, 
and then he shall have rejoicing in himself alone ^" &c. 

Direct. X. * Remember that judgment is God's preroga- 
tive,' (further than as we are called to it for the performance 
of some duty, either of office, or of private charity, or self- 
preservation :) and that the Judge is at the door ! and that 
judging unmercifully maketh us liable to judgment without 

«> Gal.vi. 1. 


mercy. The foresight of that near universal judgment, 
which will pass the doom on us and all men, will do much 
to cure us of our rash censoriousness. 

Direct, xi. * Peruse and observe all the Directions in 
the last chapter against Evil-speaking and Backbiting, that 
I may not need to repeat them/ Especially avoid, 1. The 
snare of selfishness and interest; for most men judge of 
others principally by their own interest : he is the good 
man that is good to them, or is on their side ; that loveth 
and honoureth them, and answereth their desires ; this is 
t^he common false judgment of the corrupted, selfish world ; 
who vilify and hate the best, because they seem unsuitable 
to them and their carnal interest ; therefore take heed of 
their judgment about any man that you have a falling out 
with ; for it is two to one but you will wrong him through 
this selfishness. 2. Avoid passion; which blindeth the 
judgment, 3. Avoid faction ; which maketh you judge of 
all men as they agree or disagree with your opinions, or 
your side or party. 4. Avoid too hasty belief of censures, 
3,nd rebuke them. 5. Hear every man speak for himself 
before you censure him, if it be possible, ^nd the case be 
not notorious. 

Direct. XII. ' Keep still upon your mind a just and deep 
apprehension of the malignity of this sin of rash censuring.' 
It is of the greatest consequence to the mortifying of any 
sin, what apprehensions of it are upon the mind. If reli- 
gious persons apprehended the odiousness of this as much 
as they do of swearing, drunkenness, fornication, &c., they 
would as carefully avoid it : therefore I shall shew you the 
malignity of this sin. 

Tit. 3. The Evil of the Sin of Censoriousness. 

1 . It is an usurpation of God's prerogative, who is the 
judge of all the world; it is a stepping up into his judg- 
ment-seat, and undertaking his work, as if you said, * I will 
be God as to this action ; ' and if he be called the anti- 
christ who usurpeth the office of Christ, to be the universal 
monarch and head of the church, you may imagine what he 
doth, who (though but in one point) doth set himself in the 
place of God. 


2. They that usurp not God's part in judgment, yet or- 
dinarily usurp the part of the magistrate or pastors of the 
church. As when mistaken censorious Christians refuse to 
come to the sacrament of communion, because many per- 
sons are there whom they judge to be ungodly, what do 
they but usurp the office of the pastors of the church 7 To 
whom the keys are committed for admission and exclusion ; 
and so are the appointed judges of that case. The duty of 
private members is but to admonish the offender first se- 
cretly, and then before witnesses, and to tell the church if 
he repent not, and humbly to tell the pastors of their duty, 
if they neglect it ; and when this is done, they have dis- 
charged their part, and must no more excommunicate men 
themselves, than they must hang thieves when the magis- 
trate doth neglect to hang them. 

3. Censoriousness signifieth the absence or decay of 
love; which inclineth men to think evil, and judge the 
worst, and aggravate infirmities, and overlook or extenuate 
any good that is in others. And there is least grace where 
there is least love. 

4. It sheweth also much want of self-acquaintance, and 
such heart-employment as the sincerest Christians are taken 
up with. And it sheweth much want of Christian humility 
and sense of your own infirmities and badness ; and much 
prevalency of pride and self-conceitedness : if you knew 
how ignorant you are, you would not be so peremptory in 
judging; and if you knew how bad you are, you would not 
be so forward to condemn your neighbours. So that here 
is together the effect of much self-estrangedness, hypocrisy 
and pride : did you ever well consider the mind of Christ, 
when he bid them that accused the adulterous woman, " He 
that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at 
her*." Certainly adultery was a heinous crime, and to be 
punished with death, and Christ was no patron of unclean- 
ness ; but he knew that it was an hypocritical sort of per- 
sons whom he spoke to, who were busy in judging others 
rather than themselves. Have you studied his words 
against rash censurers ; " And why beholdest thou the mote 
in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in 
thine own eye ? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother. Let 

* John viii. 7 » 


me pull out the mote out of thine eye ; and behold a beam 
is in thine own eye ? Thou hypocrite ! first cast out the 
beam out of thine own eye and then shalt thou see clearly 
to cast out the mote which is in thy brother's eye ^" I 
know well that impenitent sinners do use to pervert all 
these words of Christ, against any that would bring them 
to repentance for their sin ; and account all men rash cen- 
surers, who would make them acquainted with their unsanc- 
tified hearts and lives. But it is not their abuse of Scrip- 
ture, which will justify our overpassing it with neglect: 
Christ spake it not for nothing ; and it must be studied by 
his disciples. 

5. Censoriousness is injustice, in that the censurers 
would not be so censured themselves : you will say, * Yes, 
if we were as bad, and did deserve it : ' but though you 
have not that same fault, have you no other ? And are you 
willing to have it aggravated, and be thus rashly judged? 
You do not as you would be done by : yea, commonly cen- 
surers are guilty of false judging ; and whilst they take 
things hastily upon trust, and stay not to hear men speak 
for themselves, or to inquire throughly into the cause, they 
commonly condemn the innocent; and call good evil, and 
put light for darkness s ; and take away the righteousness of 
the righteous from him, when God hath cursed such with a 

6. And false censuring is the proper work of the devil, 
the accuser of the brethren ; *' who accuseth them before 
God, day and night'' ;" and Christians should not bear his 
image, nor do his work. 

7. Censoriousness is contrary to the nature and office 
of Jesus Christ ; he came to pardon sin, and cover the in- 
firmities of his servants, and to cast them behind his back, 
and into the depth of the sea, and to bury them in his grave ; 
and it is the censurer's work to rake them up, and to make 
them seem more and greater than they are, and to bring 
them into the open light. 

8. Censoriousness causeth uncharitableness and sinful 
separations in the censurers ; when they have conceited 
their brethren to be worse than they are, they must then re- 
proach them or have no communion with them, and avoid 

< Man. vii. 3, 4. tf Isa. v. 10. '' R^v. xii. 10. 


them as too bad for the company of such as they. Or when 
they have usurped the pastor's work in judging, they begin 
the execution by sinful separation. 

9. Censoriousness is an infectious sin, which easily ta- 
keth with the younger and prouder sort of Christians, and 
so setteth them on vilifying others ; and at this little gap 
there entereth all uncharitableness, backbitings, revilings, 
church-divisions and sects, yea, and too often rebellious 
and bloody wars at last. 

10. Censoriousness is a sore temptation to them that 
are censured, either to contemn such as censure them, and 
go on the other hand too far from them ; or else to comply 
with the errors and sinful humours of the censurers, and 
to strain their consciences to keep pace with the censo- 

And here I must leave it on record to posterity for their 
warning, that the great and lamentable actions, changes 
and calamities of this age, have arisen, next to gross impi- 
ety, from this sin of censoriousness producing these two 
contrary effects, and thereby dividing men into two contra- 
ry parties. The younger sort of religious people, and the 
more ignorant, and many women, having more zeal than 
judgment, placed too much of their religion in a sharp op- 
position to all ceremonies, formalities and opinions which 
they thought unlawful ; and were much inclined to schism 
and unjust separations upon that account; and therefore 
censured such things as antichristian, and those that used 
them as superstitious and temporizers ; and no man's learn- 
ing, piety, wisdom or laboriousness in the ministry could 
save him from these sharp, reproachful censures. Here- 
upon one party had not humility and patience enough to 
endure to be so judged of; nor love and tenderness enough 
for such peevish Christians, to bear with them in pity, as 
parents do with fro ward infants; but because these profes- 
sed holiness and zeal, even holiness and zeal were brought 
under suspicion for their sakes ; and they were taken to be 
persons intolerable, as unfit to lie in any building, and un- 
meet to submit to Christian government ; and therefore 
meet to be used accordingly. Another sort were so wearied 
with the profaneness and ungodliness of the vulgar rabble, 
and saw so few that were judiciously religious, that they 


thought it their duty to love and cherish the zeal and piety 
of their censorious weak ones, and to bear patiently with 
their frowardness, till ripeness and experience cured them, 
(and so far they were right.) And because they thought 
that they could do thera no good, if they once lost their in- 
terest in them (and were also themselves too impatient of 
their censure), some of them seemed (to please them) to be 
more of their opinion than they were ; and more of them 
forbore to reprove their petulance, but silently suffered them 
to go on ; especially when they fell into the sects of Anti- 
nomians. Anabaptists and Separatists, they durst not re- 
prove them as they deserved, lest they should drive them 
out of the hive, to some of these late swarms. And thus 
censoriousness in the ignorant and self-conceited, drove 
away one part to take them as their enemies ; and silenced 
or drew on another party to follow them that led the van in 
some irregular, violent actions ; and the wise and sober 
moderators were disregarded, and in the noise of these tu- 
mults and contentions could not be heard, till the smart of 
either party in their suffering forced them to honour such, 
whom in their exaltation again they despised or abused. 
This is the true sum of all the tragedies in Britain of this 

1 Tit, 4. Directions for those that are rashly censured. 

Direct, i. * Remember when you are injured by censures, 
that God is now trying your humility, charity and patience ; 
and therefore be most studious to exercise and preserve 
these three/ 1. Take heed lest pride make you disdainful 
to the censurer ; a humble man can bear contempt ; hard 
censures hurt men so far as they are proud. 2. Take heed 
lest imbecility add to your impatience, and concur with 
pride : cannot you bear greater things than these ? Impa- 
tience will disclose that badness in yourselves, which will 
make you censured much more ; and it will shew you as weak 
in one respect as the censurers are in another. 3. Take 
heed lest their fault do not draw you to overlook or under- 
value that serious godliness which is in many of the censo- 
rious ; and that you do not presently judge them hypocrites 
or schismatics, and abate your charity to them, or incline to 


handle them more roughly than the tenderness of Chris*, al- 
loweth you. Remember that in all ages it hath been thus : 
the church hath had peevish children within, as well as 
persecuting enemies without ; insomuch as Paul, Rom. xiv. 
giveth you the copy of these times, and giveth them this 
counsel, which from him I am giving you. The weak in 
knowledge were censorious and judged the strong. The 
strong in knowledge were weak in charity, and contemned 
the weak ; just as now one party saith, * These are super- 
stitious persons, and antichristian : ' the other saith, * What 
giddy schismatics are these ; ' but Paul chideth them both ; 
one sort for censuring, and the other for despising them. 

Direct, ii. * Take heed lest whilst you are impatient un- 
der their censures, you fall into the same sin yourselves.' 
Do they censure you for differing in some forms or ceremo- 
nies from them? Take heed lest you overcensure them for 
their censoriousness; if you censure them as hypocrites 
who censure you as superstitious, you condemn yourselves 
while you are condemning them. For why will not cen- 
suring too far, prove you hypocrites also, if it prove them 

Direct, in. 'Remember that Christ beareth with their 
weakness, who is wronged by it more than you, and is more 
against it.' He doth not quit his title to them for their fro- 
wardness, nor cease his love, nor turn every infant out of 
his family that will cry and wrangle, nor every patient out 
of his hospital that doth complain and groan ; and we must 
imitate our Lord, and love where he loveth, and pity where 
he pitieth, and be merciful as our heavenly Father is mer- 

Direct, iv. * Remember how amiable a thing the least 
degree of grace is, even when it is clouded and blotted with 
infirmities.' It is the Divine nature, and the image of God, 
and the seed of glory ; and therefore as an infant hath the 
noble nature of a man, and in all his weakness is much more 
honourable than the best of brutes (so that it is death to kill 
an infant, but not a beast) : so is the most infirm and fro- 
ward true Christian more honourable and amiable than the 
most splendid infidel. Bear with them in love and honour 
to the image and interest of Christ. 

Direct, v. * Remember that you were once weak in grace 


yourselves ; and if happy education under peaceable guides 
did not prevent it, it is two to one but you were yourselves 
censorious/ Bear therefore with others as you bear with 
crying children, because you were once a child yourself. 
Not that the sin is ever the better, but you should be the 
more compassionate. 

Direct, vi, ' Remember that your own strength and 
judgment is so great a mercy, that you should the more 
easily bear with a censorious tongue.' The rich and noble 
can bear with the envious, remembering that it is happy to 
have that worth or felicity which men do envy. You suffer 
fools gladly seeing you yourselves are wise. If you are in 
the right let losers talk. 

Direct, vii. 'Remember that we shall be shortly to- 
gether in heaven, where they will recant their censures, and 
you will easily forgive them, and perfectly love them.' And 
will not the foresight of such a meeting cause you to bear 
with them, and forgive and love them now ? 

Direct, viii. * Remember how inconsiderable a thing it 
is as to your own interest, to be judged of man ; and that 
you stand or fall to the judgment of the Lord '.' What are 
you the better or the worse for the thoughts or words of a 
man ; when your salvation or damnation lieth upon God's 
judgment. It is too much hypocrisy, to be too much desi- 
rous of man's esteem and approbation, and too much trou- 
bled at his disesteem and censure, and not to be satisfied 
with the approbation of God. Read what is written against 
Man-pleasing, Part i. 

Direct, ix. * Make some advantage of other men's cen- 
sures, for your own proficiency.' If good men censure you> 
be not too quick in concluding that you are innocent, and 
justifying yourselves; but be suspicious of yourselves ; lest 
they should prove the right, and examine yourselves with 
double diligence. If you find that you are clear in the 
point that you are censured for, suspect and examine lest 
some other sin hath provoked God to try you by these cen- 
sures; and if you find not any other notable fault, let it 
make you the more watchful by way of prevention, seeing 
the eyes of God and men are on you ; and it may be God's 

* 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 


warning, to bid you take heed for the time to come. If you 
are thus brought to repentance, or to the more careful life, 
by occasion of men's censures, they will prove so great a 
benefit to you, that you may bear them the more easily. 


Cases and Directions about Trusts and Secrets. 
Tit. 1 . Cases of Conscience about Trusts and Secrets. 

Quest. I. * How are we forbidden to put our trust in 
man? And how may it be done V 

Answ. I. You must not trust man for more than his pro- 
portion, and what belongs to man to do : you must not ex- 
pect that from him which God alone can do. 2. You 
must not trust a bad, unfaithful man to do that which is 
proper to a good and faithful man to do. 3. You must 
not trust the best man, being imperfect and fallible, as fully 
as if you supposed him perfect and infallible : but having 
to do with a corrupted world, we must live in it with some 
measure of distrust to all men ; (for all that Cicero thought 
this contrary to the laws of friendship). But especially ig- 
norant, dishonest, and fraudulent men must be most dis- 
trusted. As Bucholtzer said to his friend that was going to 
be a courtier, * Commendo tibi fidem diabolorum, crede et 
contremisce :' he that converseth with diabolical men, must 
believe them no further than is due to the children of the 
father of lies. But we must trust men as men, according to 
the principles of veracity that are left in corrupted nature : 
and we must trust men so far as reason sheweth us cause, 
from their skill, fidelity, honesty, or interest : so a surgeon, 
a physician, a pilot may be trusted with our lives : and the 
more skilful and faithful any man is, the more he is to be 

Quest. IF. ' Whom should a man choose for a matter of 
trust ?' 

Answ, As the matter is : one that hath wisdom, skill. 


and fidelity, through conscience, honesty, friendship, or his 
own apparent interest. 

Quest. III. * In what cases may I commit a secret to an- 
other V 

Answ. When there is a necessity of his knowing it, or a 
greater probability of good than hurt by it, in the evidence 
which a prudent man may see. 

Quest. IV. * What if another commit a thing to me with 
charge of secresy, and I say nothing to him, and so promise 
it not : am 1 bound to secresy in that case V 

Ansiv, If you have cause to believe that he took your si- 
lence for consent, and would not else have committed it to 
you, you are obliged in point of fidelity, as well as friend- 
ship : except it be with robbers or such as we are not bound 
to deal openly with, and on terms of equality. 

Quest. V. * What if it be a secret, but I am under no com- 
mand or promise at all about it V 

Amw» You must then proceed according to the laws of 
charity and friendship : and not reveal that which is to the 
injury of another, without a greater cause. 

Quest. VI. * What if it be against the king, or state, or 
common good V 

AnSiff. You are bound to reveal it, so far as the safety of 
the king, or state, or common good requireth it: yea, though 
you swear the contrary. 

•  Qu^st. vii. * What if it be only against the good of some 
third ordinary person V 

Answ. You must endeavour to prevent his wrong, either 
by revealing the thing, or dissuading from it, or by such 
means as prudence shall tell you are the meetest, by exer- 
cising your love to one, without doing wrong to the other. 

Quest, viii. * What if a man secretly intrust his estate to 
me, for himself or children, when he is in debt, to defraud 
his creditors?* 

Answ. You ought not to take such a trust : and if you 
have done it, you ought not to hold it, but resign it to him 
that did intrust you. Yea, and to disclose the fraud, for the 
righting of the creditors, except it be in such a case as that 
the creditor is some such vicious or oppressing person, as 
you are not obliged to exercise that act of charity for ; or 
when the consequents of revealing it, will be a greater hurt, 


than the righting of him will compensate ; especially when 
it is against the public good. 

Quest. IX. * What if a delinquent intrust me with his es- 
tate or person to secure it from penalty?* 

Answ. If it be one that is prosecuted by a due course of 
justice, * cujus poena debetur reipublicae/ whose punish- 
ment the common good requireth, the case must be de- 
cided as the former : you must not take, nor keep such a 
trust. But if it be one whose repentance giveth you reason 
to believe, that his impunity will be more to the common 
good than his punishment, and that if the magistrate knew 
it, he ought to spare or pardon him, in this case you may 
conceal his person or estate ; so be it you do it not by a lie, 
or any other sinful means, or such as will do more hurt than 

Quest. X. * What if a friend intrust me with his estate to 
secure it from some great taxes or tributes to the king ? 
May I keep such a trust or not V 

Answ. No ; if they be just and legal taxes, for the main- 
tenance of the magistrate or preservation of the common- 
wealth : but if it be done by an usurper that hath no autho- 
rity, (or done without or beyond authority, the oppressing 
of the subject, you may conceal his estate or your own) by 
lawful means. 

Quest. XI. * What if a man that sufFereth for religion, 
commit his person or estate to my trust?' 
- Answ. You must be faithful to your trust, 1. If it be 
true religion and a good cause for which he sufFereth. 2. 
Or if he be falsely accused of abuses in religion. 3. Or if 
he be faulty ; but the penalty intended, from which you se- 
cure him, is incomparably beyond his fault and unjust. Sup- 
posing still that you save him only by lawful means, and 
that it be not like to tend to do more hurt than good, to the 
cause of religion or the commonwealth. 

Quest. XII. * What if a Papist or other erroneous person 
intrust me (being of the same mind) to educate his children 
in that way, when he is dead, and afterward I come to see 
the error, must I perform that trust or not V 

Ansio. No: 1. Because no trust can oblige you to do 
hurt. 2. Because it is contrary to the primary intent of 
your friend ; which was his children's good. And you may 


well suppose that had he seen his error, he would have in- 
trusted you to do accordingly : you are bound therefore to 
answer his primary intention, and truly to endeavour his 
children's good. 

Quest. XIII. * But what if a man to whom another hath 
intrusted his children, turn Papist or heretic, and so think- 
eth error to be truth ? what must he do V 

Arisw. He is bound to turn back again to the truth, and 
do accordingly. 

Object. ' But one saitb this is the truth and another that; 
and he thinketh he is right.* 

Answ. There is but one of the contraries true. Men's 
thinking themselves to be in the right doth not make it so : 
and God will not change his laws, because they misunder- 
stand or break them. Therefore still that which God bind- 
eth them to is to return unto the truth. And if they think 
that to be truth which is not, they are bound to think other- 
wise. If you say. They cannot ; it is either not true, or it is 
long of themselves that they cannot : and they that cannot 
immediately, yet mediately can do it, in the due use of 

Quest. XIV. * What if I foresee that the taking of a trust 
may hazard my estate, or otherwise hurt me, and yet my 
dying (or living) friend desireth it V 

Answ. How far the law of Christianity or friendship ob- 
lige you to hurt yourself for his good, must be discerned by 
a prudent considering what your obligations are to the per- 
son, and whether the good of your granting his desires, or 
the hurt to yourself is like to be the greater, and of more 
public consequence ; and whether you injure not your own 
children or others by gratifying him : and upon such com- 
parison prudence must determine the case. 

Quest. XV. * But what if afterward the trust prove more 
to my hurt than I foresaw V 

Answ. If it was your own fault that you foresaw it not, 
you must suffer proportionably for that fault. But other- 
wise you must compare your own hurt with the orphans in 
case you do not perform the trust ; and consider whether 
they miay not be relieved another way ; and whether you 
have reason to think that if the parent were alive and knew 
your danger, he would expect you should perform your 


trust, or would discharge you of it. If it be some great and 
unexpected dangers, which you think upon good grounds 
the parent would acquit you from if he were living, you ful- 
fil your trust if you avoid them, and do that which would 
have been his will if he had known it. Otherwise you must 
perform your promise though it be to your loss and suf- 
fering ? 

Quest. XVI. * But what if it was only a trust imposed by 
his desire and will, without my acceptance or promise to 
perform it?* 

Arisw. You must do as you would be done by, and as 
the common good, and the laws of love and friendship do 
require. Therefore the quality of the person, and your ob- 
ligations to him, and especially the comparing of the con- 
sequent good and evil together must decide the case. 

Qwes^ XVII. 'What if the surviving kindred of the or- 
phan be nearer to him than I am, and they censure me and 
calumniate me as injurious to the orphan, may I not ease 
myself of the trust, and cast it upon them?' 

Answ. In this case also, the measure of your suffering 
must first be compared with the measure of the orphan's 
good ; and then your conscience must tell you whether you 
verily think the parent who intrusted you, would discharge 
you if he were alive and knew the case. If he would, though 
you promised, it is to be supposed that it was not the mean- 
ing of his desire or your promise, to incur such suflfering : 
and if you believe that he would not discharge you if he 
were alive, then if you promised you must perform ; but if 
you promised not, you must go no farther than the law of 
love requireth. 

Quest. XVIII. * What is a minister of Christ to do, if a 
penitent person confess secretly some heinous or capital 
crime to him, (as adultery, theft, robbery, murder :) must it 
be concealed or not?' 

Answ. 1. If a purpose of sinning be antecedently con- 
fessed, it is unlawful to farther the crime, or give opportu- 
nity to it by a concealment : but it must be so far opened 
as is necessary for the prevention of another's sin ; espe- 
cially if it be treason against the king or kingdom, or any 
thing against the common good. 

2. When the punishment of the offender is apparently 



necessary to the good of others, especially to right the king 
or country, and to preserve them from danger by the offender 
or any other, it is a duty to open a past fault that is confessed, 
and to bring the offender to punishment, rather than injure 
the innocent by their impunity. 

3. When restitution is necessary to a person injured, 
you may not by concealment hinder such restitution ; but 
must procure it to your power where it may be had. 

4. It is unlawful to promise universal secresy absolutely 
to any penitent. But you must tell him before he confess- 
eth, ' If your crime be such, as that opening it is necessary to 
the preservation or righting of king, or country, or your 
neighbour, or to my own safety, I shall not conceal it.' 
That so men may know how far to trust you. 

5. Yet in some rare cases, (as the preservation of our pa- 
rents, king, or country,) it may be a duty to promise and 
perform concealment, when there is no hurt like to follow 
but the loss or hazard of our own lives, or liberties, or es- 
tates ; and consequently if no hurt be like to follow but 
some private loss of another, which I cannot prevent with- 
out a greater hurt. 

6. If a man ignorant of the law, and of his own danger, 
have rashly made a promise of secresy, and yet be in doubt, 
he sliould open the case ' in hypothesi' only, to some honest, 
able lawyer, inquiring if such a case should be, what the law 
requireth of the pastor, or what danger he is in if he conceal 
it; that he may be able farther to judge of the case. 

7. He that made no promise of secresy, virtual or actual, 
may ' caeteris paribus' bring the offender to shame or punish- 
ment rather than to fall into the like himself for the con- 

8. He that rashly promised universal secresy, must com- 
pare the penitent's danger and his own, and consider whose 
suffering is like to be more to the public detriment, all things 
considered, and that must be first avoided. 

9. He that findeth it his duty to reveal the crime to save 
himself, must yet let the penitent have notice of it, that he may 
fly and escape ; unless as aforesaid, when the interest of the 
king, or country, or others, doth more require his punish- 

10. But when there is no such necessity of the offender's 


punishment, for the prevention of the hurt or wrong of 
others, nor any great danger by concealment to the minis- 
ter himself, I think that the crime, though it were capital, 
should be concealed. My reasons are, 

(1.) Because though every man be bound to do his best 
to prevent sin, yet every man is not bound to bring offenders 
to punishment : he that is no magistrate, nor hath a special 
call so to do, may be in many cases not obliged to it. 

(2.) It is commonly concluded that (in most cases) a ca- 
pital offender is not bound to bring himself to punishment : 
and that which you could not know but by his free confes- 
sion, is confessed to you only on your promise of conceal- 
ment, seemeth to me to put you under no other obligation to 
bring him to punishment than he is under himself. 

(3.) Christ's words and practice, in dismissing the wo- 
man taken in adultery, sheweth that it is not always a duty 
for one that is no magistrate to prosecute a capital offender, 
but that sometimes his repentance and life may be preferred. 

(4.) And magistrates' pardons shew the same. 

(5.) Otherwise no sinner would have the benefit of a 
counsellor to open his troubled conscience to : for if it be a 
duty to detect a great crime in order to a great punishment, 
why not a less also in order to a less punishment. And 
who would confess when it is to bring themselves to punish- 

11. In those countries where the law allows pastors to 
conceal all crimes that penitents freely confess, it is left to 
the pastor's judgment to conceal all that he discerneth may 
be concealed without the greater injury of others, or of the 
king or commonwealth. 

12. There is a knowledge of the faults of others, by com- 
mon fame, especially many years after the committing, which 
doth not oblige the hearers to prosecute the offender. And 
yet a crime publicly known is more to be punished (lest im- 
punity embolden others to the lika) than an unknown crime, 
revealed in confession. 

Tit. 2. Directions about Trusts and Secrets. 

Direct, i. * Be not rash in receiving secrets or any other 
trusts :' but first consider what you are thereby obliged to, 


and what difficulties may arise in the performance ; and foresee 
all the consequents as far as is possible, before you undertake 
the trust ; that you cast not yourselves into snares by mere in- 
considerateness, and prepare not for perplexities and repent- 

Direct, ii. * Be very careful what persons you commit 
either trusts or secrets to :' and be sure they be trusty by 
their wisdom, ability, and fidelity. 

Direct, in. 'Be not too forward in revealing your own 
secrets to another's trust:' for, 1. You cannot be certain of 
any one's secresy, where you are most confident. 2. You 
oblige yourself too much to please that person, who by re- 
vealing your secrets may do you hurt ; and are in fear lest 
carelessness, or unfaithfulness, or any accident should dis- 
close it. 3. You burden your friend with the charge and 
care of secresy ^. 

Direct, iv. Be faithful to your friend that doth intrust 
you;' remembering that perfidiousness or falsehood to a 
friend, is a crime against humanity, and all society, as well 
as against Christianity ; and stigmatizeth the guilty in the 
eyes of all men, with the brand of an odious, unsociable per- 

Direct, v. * Be not intimate with too many, nor confi- 
dent in too many :' for he that hath too many intimates, will 
be opening the secrets of one to another. 

Direct, vi. * Abhor oovetousness and ambition:' or else 
a bribe or the promise of preferment, will tempt you to per- 
fidiousness. There is no trusting a selfish, worldly man. 

Direct, vii. ' Remember that God is the avenger of per- 
fidiousness, who will do it severely :' and that even they that 
are pleased and served by it, do yet secretly disdain and de- 
test the person that doth it; because they would not be so 
used themselves. 

Direct, viii. ' Yet take not friendship or fidelity to be 
an obligation to perfidiousness to God, or the king, or com- 
monwealth, or to another, or to any sin whatsoever.' 

* Quod taciturn esse veils nemim dixeris. Si tibi non imperasti, quomodo ab 
alio silentium speras ? Martin. Dumiens. de moiib. 



Directions against Selfishness as it is contrary to the hove of our 


The two tables of the law are summed up by our Saviour in 
two comprehensive precepts : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God, with all thy heart, and soul, apd might :" and " Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." In the decalogue the 
first of these is the true meaning of the first commandment, 
put first because it is the principle of all obedience : and 
the second is the true meaning of the tenth commandment, 
which is therefore put last, because it is the comprehensive 
sum of other duties to our neighbour or injuries against him, 
which any other particular instances may contain ; and also 
the principle of the duty to, or sin against, our neighbour. 
The meaning of the tenth commandment is variously con- 
jectured at by expositors : some say that it speaketh against 
inward concupiscence and the sinful thoughts of the heart; 
but so do all the rest, in the true meaning of them, and 
must not be supposed to forbid the outward action only, nor 
to be any way defective : some say that it forbiddeth co- 
veting and commandeth contentment with our state ; so 
doth the eighth commandment ; yet there is some part of 
the truth in both these. And the plain truth is (as far as I 
can understand it), that the sin forbidden is selfishness as 
opposite to the love of others, and the duty commanded is 
to love our neighbours ; and that it is as is said, the sum of 
the second table, ** Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself:'* as the captain leadeth the van, and the lieutenant 
bringeth up the rear; so, ** Thou shalt love God above all," 
is the first commandment, and " Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bour as thyself," is the last, for the aforesaid reason. I shall 
therefore in these following Directions speak to the two 
parts of the tenth commandment. 

Direct, i. * The first help against selfishness is to under- 
stand well the nature and malignity of the sin.' For want 
of this it commonly prevaileth, with little suspicion, lamen- 
tation, and opposition. Let me briefly therefore anato- 
mize it. 

1. It is the radical, positive sin of the soul, comprehend- 


ing seminally, or causally all the rest. The corruption of 
man's nature, or his radical sin, hath two parts, the positive 
part, and the privitive part : the positive part is selfishness, 
or the inordinate love of carnal self; the privitive part is un- 
godliness or want of the love of God. Man's fall was his 
turning from God to himself ; and his regeneration consist- 
eth in the turning of him from himself to God ; or the gene- 
rating of the love of God (as comprehending faith and 
obedience) and the mortifying of self-love. Selfishness 
therefore is all positive sin in one, as want of the love of God 
is all privitive sin in one. And self-denial and the love of 
God are all duties virtually ; for the true love of man is com- 
prehended in the love of God. Understand this, and you 
will understand what original and actual sin is, and what 
grace and duty are. 

2. Therefore selfishness is the cause of all sin in the 
world both positive and privitive, and is virtually the breach 
of eveiy one of God's commandments. For even the want 
of the love of God is caused by the inordinate love of self. 
As the consuming of other parts is caused by the dropsy, 
which tumifieth the belly. It is only selfishness which 
breaketh the fifth commandment, by causing rulers to op- 
press and persecute their subjects, and causeth subjects to 
be seditious and rebellious ; and causeth all the bitterness, 
and quarrellings, and uncomfortableness, which ariseth 
among all relations. It is only selfishness which causeth the 
cursed wars of the earth ; and desolation of countries, by 
plundering and burning y the murders which cry for revenge 
to heaven (whether civil, military, or religious :) which 
causeth all the railings, fightings, envyings, malice ; the 
schisms, and proud overvaluings of men's own understand- 
ings and opinions ; and the contending of pastors, who shall 
be the greatest, and who shall have his will in proud usurpa- 
tions and tyrannical impositions and domination t it is sel- 
fishness which hath set up, and maintaineth the papacy, and 
causeth all the divisions between the Western and the 
Eastern churches ; and all the cruelties, lies and treachery 
exercised upon that account. It is selfishness which trou- 
bleth families and corporations, churches and kingdoms ; 
which violateth vows, and bonds of friendship, and causeth 
all the tumults, and strifes, and troubles in the world. It i& 


selfishness which causeth all covetousness, all pride and 
ambition, all luxury and voluptuousness, all surfeiting and 
drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, time-wasting 
and heart-corrupting sports, and all the riots and revelling 
of the sensual : all the contendings for honours and prefer- 
ments, and all the deceit in buying and selling, the stealing 
and robbing, the bribery and simony, the lawsuits which are 
unjust, the perjuries, false witnessing, unrighteous judging, 
the oppressions, the revenge, and in one word all the un- 
charitable and unjust actions in the world. This is the true 
nature of carnal selfishness, and it is no better. 

3. Selfishness is the corruption of all the faculties of the 
soul. It is the sin of the mind, by selfconceitedness and 
pride ; it is the sin of the will and affections, by self-love, 
and all the selfish passions which attend it : selfish desires, 
angers, sorrows, discontents, jealousies, fears, audacities, 
&c. It is the corruption of all the inferior faculties, and the 
whole conversation by self-seeking, and all the forementioned 

4. Selfishness is the commonest sin in the world. Every 
man is now born with it, and hath it more or less : and there- 
fore every man should fear it. 

5. Selfishness is the hardest sin in the world to over- 
come. In all the unregenerate it is predominant : for no- 
thing but the sanctifying Spirit of God can overcome it. 
And in many thousands that seem very zealous in religion, 
and very mortified in all other respects, yet in some way or 
other selfishness doth so lamentably appear, yea, and is so 
strong in many that are sincere, that it is the greatest dis- 
honour to the church of Christ, and hath tempted many to 
infidelity, or to doubt whether there be any such thing aa 
true sanctification in the world. The persons that seemed 
the most mortified saints, if you do but cross them in their 
self-interest, or opinion, or will, or seem to slight them, or 
have a low esteem of them, what swellings, what heart-burn- 
ings, what bitter censurings, what proud impatience, if not 
schisms and separations will it cause? God hath better 
servants ; but too many which seem to themselves and 
others to be the best, are no better. How then should 
every Christian abhor and watch against this universal 


Direct, ii. ' Consider oft how amiable a creature man 
would be, and what a blessed condition the world and all 
societies would be in, if selfishness were but overcome/ 
There would then be no pride, no covetousness, no sen- 
suality, no tyranny or oppressing of the poor, no malice, 
cruelty or persecution : no church-divisions, no scan