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Full text of "The saints' everlasting rest : or, A treatise of the blessed state of the saints in their enjoyment of God in glory ..."





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;V4831 .B3 1839 
iaxter, Richard, 1615-1691. 
^Saints' everlasting rest : 
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.lessed state of the 
;aints in their enjoyment of 
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A SPECIAL interest attaches to the first act of the individual who 
plays a distinguished part on the stage of life, and to the first pro- 
duction of the writer, who by the number of his works and the power 
of his genius exerts an important influence on the public mind. 
The one and the other seem to constitute a sort of prophetic index. 
Had an individual, in whom blended the philosopher and the 
philanthropist, been among the listeners to our Lord's sermon on 
the mount, the gracious words which proceeded from his mouth, 
and the authoritative and solemn calm of his address, would have 
gladdened his heart and filled him with hope. Sending his thoughts 
forward into the future, he would have marked the path of Jesus as 
one of integrity and love, illumined by a heavenly light, and con- 
ducting to a glorious end. In this case the anticipation could be 
in no danger of being frustrated. With Christ there was no va- 
riableness. What He was, that He should be, ever affording the 
same perfect exhibition of holiness and truth. It is well, however, 
that we are denied a foreseeing power, for the blossom of many a 
promise goes up as dust. In a multitude of cases, the hopes which 
we should be led to cherish from the first act, springing from the 
unsophisticated feelings and generous sympathies of youth, or the 
first w^ork, bearing the stamp of an unperverted mind, and breath- 
ing the spirit of noble aspiring, would be doomed to bitter disap- 

a 2 


The records of the "mighty dead" gratify the same curiosity, 
while they do not inflict the same pain. The beginning, the inter- 
mediate, and the end are brought together, so that we may speedily 
pass from the one to the other ; and the whole taking place in the 
region of contemplation instead of the world of action, a want of 
correspondency does not to a similar extent jar upon the mind. 

In studying the life or the works of Baxter, however, we never 
require the aid of this feeling. He was true to himself throughout 
his long course. His path was an onward and an upward one. The 
spirit of the " Saints' Everlasting Rest " breathed in all his con- 
duct and in all his productions. It serves in fact as an index to 
his character. " In describing this," observes his biographer, " I 
have no better or more appropriate term which I can employ than 
the word unearthly. Among his contemporaries there were men 
of equal talents, of more amiable dispositions, and of greater learn- 
ing. But there was no man in whom there appears to have been so 
little of earth, and so much of heaven ; so small a portion of the 
alloy of humanity, and so large a portion of all that is celestial. 
He felt scarcely any of the attraction of this world, but felt and 
manifested the most powerful affinity for the world to come." As 
the face of Moses shone when he came down from the mount from 
communing with the Lord, so did Baxter's meditations of heaven 
communicate to his character a radiance which it never lost. Be- 
fore the publication of this work he never felt any inclination to 
write for the public. He even resisted the solicitations of many of his 
friends ; but of the remaining years of his life hardly one was undis- 
tinguished by the appearance of several volumes. Yet they were 
all more or less baptized with the spirit in which the " Everlasting 
Rest " is conceived, and which the subject tended materially to 
foster and strengthen. In many of them — in the polemical depart- 
ment especially — there is not a little which the juster taste of the 
present age will find occasion to censure ; but the condemnation will 
ever be passed with trembling, as upon the work of a soul " which 
has tasted the powers of the world to come." He was seldom out 
of controversy, — now ranging through the army of the Parliament, 


of a temper as belligerent in spiritual matters, as the fiercest enemy 
of the king in his enthusiasm for civil rights, — now taking up or 
throwing down the gauntlet of defiance, and panting for the oppor- 
tunity of public discussion, — now marshalling in the stillness of his 
study his " disputations and arguments and replies ;" but as the 
athleta bathed and anointed his body for the contest, so had Bax- 
ter bathed his soul in heaven, and received the unction of the Holy 

It is matter of deep regret that it should be the character of the- 
ological controversy — so much so that it has become a by-word — 
that it awakens unchristian feelings of animosity, and destroys all 
spirituality of mind. But the example of Baxter is sufficient to 
show that this is not its necessary consequence. The age in which 
he lived was one of strife in theology, as much as in politics. It 
was the true era of the Reformation in England. The yoke of 
Rome had indeed been previously removed, but by no simultaneous 
movement of the minds of the people, as had been the case in 
Germany and other continental nations. The consequence was, 
that the multitude remained still comparatively indifferent to re- 
ligious doctrines, ignorant both of their own freedom and power ; 
but now the yoke of despotism was being removed likewise, and 
the effort which this required, and the sensation with which it 
was accompanied throughout the country, aroused the slumbering 
energies of mind. There went abroad through the nation a spirit 
of inquiry, and there was claimed a liberty of judgment, which in 
not a few instances was pushed to licentiousness. Baxter en- 
gaged, as no other man did, in the war of opinions ; but at the 
same time he continued to grow in grace. He was ever meetening 
for the inheritance of the saints in light. Towards the close of 
his life, in reviewing his own character, — and in his judgment of 
himself we think he was unduly severe, — he observes, " My judg- 
ment is much more for frequent and serious meditation on the 
heavenly blessedness than it was in my younger days. I then 
thought that a sermon on the attributes of God, and the joys of 
heaven, was not the most excellent ; and was wont to say, ' Every 


body knoweth that God is great and good, and that heaven is a 
blessed place : I had rather hear how I may attain it.' Nothing 
pleased me so well as the doctrine of regeneration and the marks 
of sincerity, because these things were suitable to me in that 
state ; but now I had rather read, hear, and meditate on God and 
heaven, than on any other subject. I perceive that it is the object 
which altereth and elevateth the mind ; which will resemble that 
which it most frequently feedeth on. It is not only useful to our 
comfort to be much in heaven in believing thoughts ; it must ani- 
mate all our other duties, and fortify us against every temptation 
and sin. The love of the end is the poise or spring which setteth 
every wheel a going, and must put us on to all the means ; for a 
man is no more a Christian indeed than he is heavenly." The 
secret of Baxter's spirituality — which has procured for him the 
honourable epithet that cometh from above, "The holy" — lay in 
the habit of heavenly meditation ; as indeed it constitutes itself 
the essence of all spirituality. Whenever the Christian in contro- 
versy descends from argument to acrimony, from the simple and 
almighty exhibition of truth to sarcastic hits and sly insinuations, 
it is because his spirit's rest is elsewhere than in heaven, and he 
comes not forth into the arena of debate, as into the field of duty 
and from the armoury of the closet. 

An undue influence is sometimes attributed to the circumstances 
of the times in forming the characters of Baxter and some of his 
distinguished contemporaries; perhaps we should say more cor- 
rectly, that the way in which these circumstances operated is not 
properly understood. The character of Baxter was formed by the 
truth of God's word, received by a most perspicacious intellect, and 
allowed to mould the whole being after its own fashion. He was 
not led by the convulsions of the times to contemplate the heavenly 
rest. His spirit was formed for stormy times : had he been confined 
to the gloom and solitude of a cloister, he would have been con- 
sumed by his own fire. It is true that the strong and lofty soul was 
imprisoned in a most delicate body, but his life afforded an unparal- 
leled example of the superiority of spirit over matter. He was not of 


a temper of mind to be depressed by the changes of human affairs. 
Amid the turmoil and tossing which attended the civil contests, he 
would be at rest, or warmed into a glow of satisfaction by the sur- 
rounding tumult. He could enjoy all this, even " as the war-horse 
paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength, as he goeth 
on to meet the armed men, as he saith among the trumpets. Ha ! 
ha ! and smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, 
and the shouting." The circumstances of the times tended to 
increase the natural energy of Baxter's mind, and afforded full 
scope for its display. It was not the practical illustration which 
they gave of the insufficiency of the world — the instability of its 
highest dignities, and the unsatisfactoriness of its highest honours — 
that drew him away from earth, and led him to have his conversa- 
tion in heaven. This was done by the deep feeling of religion as 
the proper business of the soul. He reasoned as an angel might 
reason, who knows the capacities of the soul, but has not experi- 
enced the comparative worthlessness of earth. It was the convictioH 
of his spiritual faculties, and the clear perception of their nature, 
and of the entire adaptation to them of the gospel and the glory 
which is revealed, that imparted the beauty of holiness to his 
character, and a seraphic fervour to all his sermons and writings. 
He did not rise above the earth because it rocked beneath his feet, 
and the fashion of it was continually changing, but because he felt 
that it could give his nobler being no suitable satisfaction — that 
even in all its fascination, and pomp, and glory, it was to the im- 
mortal spirit vanity, and vexation, and woe. He had drawn nigh 
to the throne, penetrating the veil of the unseen, and the light of 
God's countenance had fallen upon his soul, and he felt thereafter 
that earth could not be his portion ; just as a seraph that has re- 
joiced before the Almighty, would spurn all the kingdoms of this 
world and the glory of them. 

" The holy Baxter " is a title more honourable in the sight of 
Heaven, than the epithet which marks the greatest degree of earthly 
dignity. That he in the " holy nation " should possess this high 
distinction is indicative of something wrong ; for in reference to 


every member of it this is the will of God^ — even his sanctification ; 
and this was the wish of Paul, — even his perfection. It is not 
meant that the holiness of Baxter has never been equalled. Far 
from it. There are many whose names the world, not being worthy 
of them, has not recorded, that will occupy a place in heaven as 
near to the throne as he, having walked as closely with God upon 
earth ; but still the simple fact that this term has been applied to 
him with a sort of exclusive meaning, proves that in the multitude 
of professing Christians there is a mournful short-coming of the 
mark at which he aimed, and to which he rose. This should not be. 
His excellence was not occasioned by any peculiarities of the age 
in which he lived, but was the fruit of the unchangeable word of 
God, springing up within his soul. He obeyed this word, and so 
purified his heart ; and, to use words which have been already 
quoted, "perceiving that it is the object which altereth and ele- 
vateth the mind," he directed his mind to holy objects and to hea 
venly contemplations. In vain will any one pant after holiness 
unless he pursue the same course, but doing this he is certain of 
equal success. 

We have no very minute record of Baxter's character prior to 
the publication of " The Saints' Everlasting Rest." It gave promise 
doubtless of his future eminence in piety, but the conception and 
writing of this work formed an epoch in his life. Of this he was 
aware himself, for in the dedication of it to the inhabitants of Kid- 
derminster, speaking of its occasion and results, he says, " Being 
in my quarters (with the army) far from home, cast into extreme 
languishing, by the sudden loss of about a gallon of blood, after 
many years' foregoing weakness, and having no acquaintance about 
me, nor any book but my Bible, and living in continual expectation 
of death, I bent my thoughts on my everlasting rest ; and because 
my memory through extreme weakness was imperfect, I took my 
pen and began to draw up my own funeral sermon, or some helps 
for my own meditations of heaven, to sweeten both the rest of my 
life and my death. In this condition God was pleased to continue 
me about five months from home ; where, being able for nothing 


else, I went on with this work, which so lengthened to this which 
here you see. It is no wonder, therefore, if I be too abrupt in the 
beginning, seeing I then intended but the length of a sermon or 
two ; much less may you wonder if the whole be very imperfect, 
seeing it was written, as it were, with one foot in the grave, by a 
man that was betwixt living and dead, that wanted strength of 
nature to quicken invention or affection, and had no book but his 
Bible, while the chief part was finished ; nor any mind of human 
ornaments if he had been furnished. But oh how sweet is this 
providence now to my review, which so happily forced me to that 
work of meditation which I had formerly found so profitable to my 
soul, and showed me more mercy in depriving me of other helps 
than I was aware of, and hath caused my thoughts to feed on this 
heavenly subject, and hath more benefited me than all the studies 
of my life ! " 

It was good for him that he was afflicted, being thereby made 
partaker of the Divine holiness. During the five months of his 
sickness, the Lord visited him as a refiner, and purified and purged 
him as gold and silver, that he might offer unto the Lord an offer- 
ing of righteousness. Having dwelt so long upon the borders of 
eternity, he learned and realized much of its indescribable length 
and breadth, and height and depth, and was delivered from the 
thraldom of time. " As the lark," says he, " sings sweetly while 
she soars on high, but is suddenly silenced when she falls to the 
earth ; so is the frame of the soul most delightful and divine, while 
it keepeth God in view by contemplation : but, alas ! we make 
there too short a stay, and lay by our music." It is the nature of 
the lark, however, to rise to heaven, and give utterance to its joy 
near the fount of light ; and it was fortunate for Baxter that 
through the long stay which he was compelled to make studying 
the everlasting rest, this became nature with him. His medita- 
tions of heaven were so protracted, that his soul was completely 
imbued with them, and ever after he could not be on earth other 
than a stranger and pilgrim, looking forward to the better coun- 
try, that is, the heavenly. 


The treatise lengthened far beyond the author's original inten- 
tion. Of the four parts in which it is comprised, he designed at 
the commencement only the first and last,— the last principally, 
being, from the nature of its contents — directions for the getting 
and keeping of the heart in heaven — most adapted to sweeten the 
rest of his life and his death. It would have been a difficult matter 
for him, however, to compose a sermon, or to produce a work, in 
which he contemplated nothing more than to edify and console. 
To convince and convert, to reprove gainsayers, and to rescue 
souls from the everlasting burnings, were the objects in the pur- 
suit of which above all others he might be said to live, and move, 
and have his being. Accordingly he added the second part, to 
evince the certainty of the rest, and that the Scripture, upon 
whose promises the hope of it is grounded, is the perfect infallible 
word and law of God ; and the third, containing a number of most 
pungent appeals to the sinner to move from his death in trespasses 
and sins, and lay hold on the glorious hope, and to the people of 
God, " to persuade hem to the great duty of helping to save their 
brethren's souls." 

Without the third part, the work would have been incomplete ; 
but not a few will wish that the second, or at least a considerable 
portion of it, had been omitted. Some will think that such a con- 
troversial discussion is out of place in a devotional treatise ; and 
certainly it is a great descent from communing with God to wrestle 
with sceptics. The reader whose wish is to know more of the 
powers of the world to come, and to be stirred up to increased 
activity in his Master's service, will sustain no loss, if he pass at 
once from the first part to the eighth chapter of the second. But 
before the introduction of such a subject be set down among the 
sins against prudence with which Baxter was frequently charge- 
able, and is still more frequently charged, the character of his own 
mind — by no means peculiar — and the nature of the times should 
be taken into account. His soul fed on truth. " Who," he in- 
quires, " will set his heart on the goodness of a thing, that is not 
certain of its truth?" A new argument, or the better exhibition 


of an old one, caused him as much delight as the occurrence of a 
new thought concerning the rest, or the flashing on his previous 
conceptions of a new light. It pushed the object of his love nearer 
to his heart. He derived enjoyment not only from going into the 
temple and worshipping, but from walking about Zion, and going 
round about her, and telling the towers thereof; from marking well 
her bulwarks and considering her palaces. In regard to the ever- 
lasting rest itself, this exercise of mind about its certainty occa- 
sioned him a feeling of exultation, similar to that which led David, 
in the conclusion of the Psalm, the language of which we have 
adopted, to exclaim, — " This God is our God for ever and ever." 
It caused no loss of devotional feeling to the author, nor will the 
perusal of great part of it cause any to minds which are of a cor- 
responding order. 

It should be remembered likewise, that the age was a very pe- 
culiar one — though presenting many points of analogy to the cha- 
racter of the present times. " All the winds of doctrine," as 
Milton says, " were let loose to play upon the earth," It was 
necessary that " truth should be prepared to grapple with false- 
hood, and sustain no injury in a free and open encounter." The 
exhortation of Peter never was more applicable — that believers 
should be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh 
them a reason of the hope that is in them. Baxter felt himself 
that he was set for the defence of the gospel ; and while he was 
anxious to induce in all the godly and orthodox a similar feeling, 
he wanted at the same time to put arms into their hands. 

These remarks may refute the charge of impropriety for entering, 
in such a work, into the evidences of revelation ; but we fully agree 
with Mr. Orme, that " the discussions and stories about apparitions, 
witches, and compacts with the devil, are blemishes on the fair face 
of this beautiful production." It is in the fourth and last argu- 
ment for the truth of the Scriptures that these are introduced. 
Having made one main branch of his reasoning to depend on the 
existence of the devil, and his seeking our eternal undoing, he pro- 
ceeds to prove both the one and the other by his temptations ; by 


apparitions ; by their possessions and dispossessions ; and by the 
devil's contracts with witches. On the subject of apparitions, he 
quotes from the " learned godly Zanchius " to the elFect, that " he 
wonders any should deny that there are such spirits as from the 
effects are called hags, or fairies, that is, such as exercise familiarity 
with men, and do, without hurting men's bodies, come to them- 
and trouble them, and as it were play with them. I could (saith 
he) bring many examples of persons yet alive, that have experience 
of these on themselves." With regard to possessions, he confesses 
that " there have been many counterfeits of this kind ; but the 
history of the dispossession of the devil out of many persons to- 
gether in a room in Lancashire, at the prayer of some godly minis- 
ters, is very famous ; read the book and judge. Amojig the papists 
possessions are common ; though very many of them are the priests' 
and Jesuits' delusions." Most " palpable " in his opinion is the case 
of witches. " If any one should doubt whether there be any such 
witches, who work by the power of the devil, or have any compact 
with him, he hath as good opportunity now to be easily resolved, 
as hath been known in most ages. Let him go but into Suffolk, 
or Essex, or Lancashire, &c. and he may quickly be informed. 
Sure it were strange if in an age of so much knowledge and con- 
science, there should so many scores of poor creatures be put to 
death as witches, if it were not clearly manifest that they were 
such. We have too many examples lately among us, to leave any 
doubt of the truth of this." 

That a man of Baxter's perspicacity and truthfulness should have 
given way to these vagaries of the times is much to be lamented. 
But he was not singular. The fault was common to him and the 
most enlightened of his contemporaries. It may sometimes fur- 
nish occasion for a sneer against religion, but this will fall harmless 
and unheeded upon all who have learned their religion from the 
Bible, and imbibed the spirit of Baxter. It was one of those cor- 
ruptions of the Romish church, from the trammels of which pro- 
testantism could not all at once escape. In the first place, a belief 
in demoniac agency, exerting itself in the several ways which our 


author mentions, passed over from the heathen world into the 
Christian church. In process of time the true would have been 
discriminated from the false. The light of God's word irradiating 
the minds of men, would have delivered them from the bondage of 
the erroneous views received from their fathers. The mysterious 
providence of God, however, permitted His truth to be corrupted, 
and amalgamated with the spurious doctrines of men. Not only 
did the pagan temples pass into the hands of Christian worshippers, 
but pagan errors for selfish ends were united with the disclosures 
of the Bible. The belief above mentioned, along with many other 
monstrous opinions and practices, was stereotyped in the creed of 
Europe by the papacy, to subserve its own mercenary and atrocious 
lust of wealth ; and the spirit of the Reformation was fatal to it 
as to all the other abominations of the " man of sin." 

Nor should we forget that the age of the Reformers on the con- 
tinent and the age of Baxter were most marvellous in their cha- 
racter. The kingdoms of this world, both civil and ecclesiastical, 
were shaken and overturned by individuals rising from among the 
lowest ranks. Men found themselves possessed of powers of whose 
existence they had never dreamed, and animated with an energy to 
which they had been total strangers. They felt unusual impulses, 
and having no records of previous experience of a similar order, it 
was no wonder that they did not immediately discard a dogma of 
their creed, which furnished an easy explanation of the phe- 

A more heavy charge than that of believing in witchcraft ma.y 
be fixed on Baxter from this part of the Saints' Rest, and for 
which it is not possible to offer the same apology, or indeed any 
apology at all. We allude to the protests which he takes occasion 
to enter against liberty of conscience. " They talk," says he 
sneeringly, " of a toleration of all religions, and some desire that 
the Jews may have free commerce among us. The libertines think 
it necessary that we should have such a toleration to discover the 
unsound." " If a bare connivance of these divisions (he subjoins in 
a note) have already occasioned such a combustion, what do we 


think would a toleration do ? a toleration of all sorts of sects, and 
schisms, and heresies, and blasphemies, which is by some, (and 
those more than a good many,) under the abused notion of liberty 
of conscience, so earnestly pleaded for ? For my own part, should 
this be once yielded, (which I hope their eyes shall first fail that 
look for it,) I should look on it as the passing-bell to the church's 
peace and glory, if not to the true religion of God in this king- 
dom." In this he was behind the spirit of his age, and that on a 
subject which must have engaged much of his attention. He 
never would have been a persecutor himself, but he would not have 
denied to the secular power the right to compel recusants to sub- 
mit to the form of church government, and acknowledge the views 
of Scripture truth, which he regarded as right. We do not attempt 
to justify nor to extenuate the fault of Baxter in this matter. 
Freedom of judgment in religion is essential to responsibility. No 
man will be able to answer for another before the tribunal of God, 
and it is the duty therefore of every man to think and decide for 
himself, while he is accomplishing the period of his probation. 
The right of private judgment may be productive of temporary 
evil, just as the freedom of the press may be perverted to per- 
nicious purposes, but like this latter it contains within itself a prin- 
ciple of rectification. It is pleasing to contemplate the failure of 
Baxter's prediction. The toleration which he so much di-eaded, 
and from which he anticipated nothing less than the destruction of 
the church's peace and glory, has been accorded for a length of 
time, and been accompanied with the most beneficial effects both 
to the church and the world. It is with error as with spirits ; — 
it is the condition of both that they 

" Cannot but by annihilating die." 

The sword of civil power wielded against error has no more effect 
than the sword of Michael, when it passed through the body of 
Satan, and the ethereal substance instantly closed. But the sword 
of truth consumes as well as cuts. Error cannot subsist before it, 
and the result of every fair encounter must be, that the latter will 


become as though it had never been. " All sorts of sects, and 
heresies, and schisms " are now tolerated, but the cause of God 
prospers. Let truth be left to fight its own battles, and it will 
overthrow all opposing authority, and establish its kingdom from 
the rising of the sun to the going down thereof. 

We have been kept too long by these blemishes from the more 
grateful themes of the Everlasting Rest. But the errors of such a 
man as Baxter are instructive. That with all his metaphysical 
acumen and fearless intellect he should have been enthralled by a 
weakness which children now are taught to ridicule, may instruct 
us to sympathize and bear with the struggles of the mind, which 
we are endeavouring to deliver from the meshes of error. That 
with a character of Christian excellence, which makes churchmen 
and dissenters both claim the sanction of his name, he should have 
clung to a doctrine which contains in it the essence of persecution, 
may impart a spirit of charity in the contest which now divides the 
Christian world — a contest we believe the result of which will be 
to perfect the Reformation of the 16th century, exalting the Bible 
in the church, not only as a book of doctrines, but likewise as a 
book of discipline, " there to reign supreme as the very word of 
the living God." 

The arguments of Baxter for the authority of the Scriptures 
deserve notice, as being the first original effort on the part of any 
English writer to exhibit the evidences of revealed religion. With 
the exception of that on which we have animadverted they are 
worthy of him, and will abundantly repay an attentive perusal. 
The subject he would then have entered upon at much greater 
length but for the importunities of friends, to whom these discus- 
sions appeared, as they do to many now, inconsistent with the 
design of a devotional treatise. To the author himself, however, 
they never so appeared. We dismiss the subject in the words of 
his own final review of his character and works : — " Upon my 
more mature reviews, I find that I said not half that which the 
subject did require in some of my writings : as, e. g., in the doc- 
trines of the covenants and of justification, but especially about 



the Divine authority of the Scripture in the second part of the 
Saints' Rest." 

They will be greatly disappointed who expect to find in the 
Saints' Everlasting Rest any thing of mysticism. Nothing was 
more foreign to the mind and habits of the writer, iVll his eleva- 
tion was intelligent and practical. If his spirit at times was raised 
to ecsta.sy, it was through an inability to sustain the brightness 
that streamed from the discoveries of an ever-active intellect. 
There was no quietude about him. His mind never sank into a 
mood, which might be imaged by the sea-bird floating on a 
waveless ocean. The term " rest " is given to " the most happy 
estate," about which the thoughts of Baxter were occupied, with 
reference to the Christian's toilsome pilgrimage on earth, and is 
not to be understood as intimating any cessation of action. " It 
is the perfect endless fruition of God, by the perfected saints, 
according to the measure of their capacity, to which their souls 
arrive at death, and both soul and body most fully after the 
resurrection and final judgment," This by no means supposes a 
listlessness of the mental powers or a torpor of the affections. 
The very reverse indeed is the case, all the powers of the soul 
being directed to their proper objects, and the aifections of the 
heart exercised with the greatest yet sweetest intensity. It is a 
rest from sin and sorrow and doubt, — a deliverance from the 
allurements and shackles of earth, — " a sweet and constant action 
of all the powers of the soul and body in the enjoyment of God." 
Heaven, according to this conception, — a conception founded on 
right reason and God's word, — is the sphere in which the soul 
acts according to the proper laws of its being. To the right 
understanding of the devotional and practical treatises of our 
author, it is necessary that the reader keep prominently before 
the mind his views concerning the high nature and capabilities of 
the soul, as formed for God, and finding its due gratification only 
in his fulness. The dark cloud w hich sin has brought over the 
understanding being dispelled, and the wrong direction which it 
has given to the will being rectified, the soul bounds forward to 


the discharge of its natural functions. The body of death being 
replaced by an immortal and spiritual body, all its members be- 
come the ready instruments of the spirit — inlets through which 
are received the purest and most refined pleasures. The barrier 
that has been raised up between the reflective and emotional 
parts of our constitution being removed, every new field which 
opens to the mind becomes a source of unmingled joy. God is all 
in all. Whatever faculty be exercised, whether memory, or reason, 
or perception, the soul turns naturally from its object to God, as 
the flower turns its leaves to the sun. And from the blessed 
Spirit himself there flows to every spirit made perfect a perpetual 
stream of blessing. This is heaven — the glorious liberty of the 
sons of God. 

On a reconsideration of the work, Baxter wished that, when 
treating of the several elements of the rest, he had introduced 
other two — that we shall be members of the heavenly Jerusalem, 
and see the face of our glorified Redeemer. No small portion of 
the delight of heaven will arise from these two sources — the com- 
panionship of the innumerable company of angels and of all the 
good in the universe, and the constant beholding of the glory 
which God has given to our Lord. The former will demand the 
most lively exertion of our powers ; for who supposes that those 
spirits which excel in wisdom and in strength are not most active, 
soaring to the loftiest heights, and descending to the greatest 
depths, in their endeavours to comprehend the dispensations of the 
Most High, and traversing with inconceivable rapidity the longest 
distances of space, in the execution of his will ? How elevated 
must be their conceptions of his being, for sin has never deadened 
the glance nor lessened the strength of their faculties ! How vast 
must be the range of their knowledge, for old, I had almost 
written, as the eternity of God, they have ever been supplied out 
of his fulness, and given themselves to the contemplation of his 
character and works ! To be fellow citizens with them will confer 
the richest enjoyment, and require the utmost activity. The 
latter — the vision and enjoyment of our glorified Redeemer — will 

b 2 


constitute the chief ingredient of the heavenly hlesseclness. It 
formed the last petition of his intercessory prayer, that they whom 
the Father had given to him might be with him where he was, 
that they might behold his glory. Our God and Saviour will be 
the object of universal adoration. Before the throne of Inmianuel, 
God with us, angels and archangels, " every creature which is in 
heaven, and in the earth, and under the earth," will worship. 
And the perfected saint will have more than the vision of this 
honour, and the satisfaction thence derived. By virtue of his 
union with the Lord, he will have a participation in it. To him 
it will be granted to sit down with Christ in his throne. Whether 
the everlasting rest will include any service of God in connexion 
with this glory of the Redeemer beyond the limits of the heavenly 
temple, is an inquiry upon which Baxter does not enter. Since 
the mediatorial scheme, from its surpassing exhibition of the Di- 
vine character, is of universal interest, — since the cross of Christ 
is the means whereby God will reconcile all things to himself, 
whether they be things in earth or things in heaven, — and since 
the redeemed are those who can descant most eloquently on its 
virtues, and testify most strongly of its power, it may be one of 
their future engagements to set it up and make it known through- 
out the universe. But the character of his mind was not discursive 
nor speculative, and he limited himself to the exercise of his rea- 
son on the disclosures of Scripture. Whether this kind of action, 
however, belong to the future state or not, it is to be regretted 
that his mind was not more directed to consider this element of 
the rest, for the worth of the soul is much increased by virtue of 
its union with Christ. The cardinal point of his practical theology 
would in this way have received additional weight, for the soul that 
is lost is not that of the man merely, but that for which the Son 
of God died — which through the fact of redemption might be 
brought near to God with a new and peculiar order of emotions, 
surpassing any that Adam experienced when the light of Jehovah's 
countenance fell upon him in paradise ; and which, through the 
same fact, being constituted a priest and a king to God, and a 


joint-heir of God with Christ, might be raised higher in the scale 
of being, than it were possible for a child of man otherwise to 

The contemplation of heaven increased Baxter's appreciation of 
the worth and proper business of the soul, inducing, instead of the 
constrained acknowledgment of reason, the ever-present and active 
consciousness of the truth. It was his experience, indeed, that 
without the habit of heavenly meditation his piety was sure to 
droop. " I have found," says he, " by reason and experience, as 
well as Scripture, that it is not our comfort only, but our stability, 
our liveliness in all our duties, our enduring tribulation, our hon- 
ouring of God, the vigour of our love, thankfulness, and all our 
graces, yea, the very being of our religion, and Christianity itself, 
that dependeth on the believing serious thoughts of our rest. The 
end directeth to and in the means. To know what is indeed your 
end and happiness, and heartily to take it so to be, is the very first 
stone in the foundation of religion : most souls that perish in 
the Christian world, do perish for want of being sincere in this 
point. In a word, we can neither live safely, profitably, piously, 
conscionably, or comfortably, nor die so, without believing serious 
considerations of our rest." 

It was not possible for him, after having dwelt upon the realities 
of eternity, to be absorbed by the frivolous concerns of time — 
after having tasted the business of angels, to enter with zest into 
the trifling businesses of men. It was not possible for him to be 
satisfied with earth, to feel any powerful influence of the things 
which are seen and temporal. Man's bustling life appeared to 
him, as he has expressed it in his work entitled "■ Crucifying the 
World by the Cross of Christ," to be " but like children's games, 
where all is done in jest, and which wise men account not worthy 
of their observance. It is but like the acting of a comedy, where 
great persons and actions are personated and counterfeited ; and a 
pompous stir there is for a while, to please the foolish spectators, 
that themselves may be pleased by their applause, and then they 
come down and the sport is ended, and ihey are as they were. It 


is but like a puppet-play, where there is great doings to little 
purpose; or like the busy gadding of the laborious ants, to gather 
together a little sticks and straw, which the spurn of a man's foot 
will soon disperse." Is not this the very height of reason? Is it 
or is it not the case that here we have no abiding city ? — that we 
are full of immortal longings, which God only can satisfy ? — that 
we are destined to join the multitude which no man can number, 
rejoicing for ever in the light and service of God and the Lamb, or to 
be banished to the companionship of the blasphemous, and odious, 
and impure, according to the temper of mind and habits of life 
which we cultivate and display while we are here ? — If this be true, 
what ought our life to be but a walk with God, a preparation for the 
engagements of the other state, a constant struggle with and victory 
over the world and the things thereof? There are few if any pro- 
fessing Christians who would controvert the reasonableness of 
these views, and yet how few act under their habitual impression ! 
They are in the world, and it would be hard to discover that they 
are not of the world — anxious about its gains as other men, equally 
grasping at its honours, and fearful of its brand. This should not 
be, and this would not be, were the example of Baxter followed. 
Were the future to be contemplated as much as the present, — were 
the nature of the soul and the engagements of heaven and hell to 
be dwelt upon, — his style of thinking and tone of mind would not be 
a strange thing to meet with. " What ! should we prefer a mole- 
hill before a kingdom ? A shadow before the substance ? An 
hour before eternity ? Nothing before all things ? Vanity and 
vexation before felicity ? The cross of Christ hath set up such a 
sun as quite darkeneth the light of worldly glory. Though earth 
were something, if there were no better to be had, it is nothing 
when heaven standeth by." It is a most important observation 
which we have already quoted from one of his last productions, that 
a man is a Christian just so far as he is heavenly. This has been 
the distinguishing feature of God's people since the beginning of 
the world. "It is written of Cain," observes Augustine, " that he 
built a city. But Abel lived on earth as a stranger, and built 


none ; for the city of the saints is above, though its citizens are 
born here and tarry a while, till the kingdom comes to which they 

It is to be observed likewise, that through this habit of heavenly 
meditation Baxter was enabled to maintain a wonderful equani- 
mity of mind, though his trials and sufterings were exceedingly 
severe. He was the constant victim of disease, seldom blessed 
with a remission of pain. His name was often assailed by slander, 
and he was subjected to the most extravagant accusations. He 
was driven from the people among whom his labours were abund- 
antly blessed of God, and suffered cruel persecution and imprison- 
ment for righteousness' sake. Endowed with a most restless 
spirit and ardent temperament, he was ever harassed by the pre- 
valence of religious views opposed to his own, and the course of 
public affairs proceeding contrary to his wishes and efforts. Not- 
withstanding all these afflictions, we have his own testimony that 
his life was happy and joyful ; and Dr. Bates, in his funeral sermon, 
asks — "Who ever heard an unsubmissive word drop from his 
lips ? " The rest which remaineth cheered his soul, and enabled 
him to possess it in perfect peace. It threw the shadow of a holy 
calm forward upon his spirit. He was not more familiar by rude 
experience with the differences of men and the distractions of 
controversy, than by realizing anticipations with "the multitude 
of one heart, of one mind, and one employment." The thought of 
heaven as the harmonious convocation of the good smoothed his 
asperities, and imparted a tranquil delight such as the discovery of 
the dwelling of the nymphs gave to the weary and storm-tossed 
Trojans. The thought of it as the place where sorrow and sighing 
should flee away — where all tears should be wiped from the eye, 
and all doubt and grief be removed from the soul — subdued him 
to patience, and restrained all murmurs and repining. 

Such was the consequence of his habitual study of the ever- 
lasting rest. Probably he was deemed by the world a joyless, 
cheerless ascetic, one who went mourning all the day, for in no- 
thing does it conceive more falsely of religion than in its tendency 


to diffuse a sweet tranquillity and joy. There is no rest on earth. 
It produces no halsam for the wounds which it inflicts, — discloses no 
haven from the storms with which it is ruffled. There is in every 
breast a longing which it cannot satisfy — a void which it cannot 
fill. It was an address from Christ to the whole human race — 
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest. Sooner or later, though it may be only for a brief 
instant, being effaced by the brand of worldliness, or overwhelmed 
by the gust of passion, there arise in all the feeling of want and 
an earnest craving. 

There must be a sad failing in the general character of religious 
persons, when such a misconception, as we have mentioned, can 
prevail. Religion is the life of God in the soul, yet may not the 
finger of scorn be often pointed at those who cultivate it with the 
exclamation — Where is your God ? The hands are allowed to hang 
down, and the knees to wax feeble, and depression and gloom to 
settle on the mind, because the duty which Baxter enjoins is neg- 
lected. Were the attention sufficiently directed to the rest which 
remaineth, and the glory which is to be revealed, and the joy 
which awaits, songs of deliverance would be more frequent, and 
the courageous bearing and undisturbed equanimity would speedily 
set the world's opinion right, and have not a little influence in 
carrying to the conviction and the heart the invitation of Jesus. 

We observed that the devotion of Baxter was practical. It not 
only promoted the purity of his own heart, and served as an anti- 
dote to the trials of his lot, but it also led him with more intense 
eagerness to desire the good of others. He was taught by his 
exercises on the everlasting rest to feel the worth of the soul, 
and a heavy grief pressed upon his mind, when he thought that 
this invaluable possession might in any case be lost. There was 
not a grain of selfishness in his nature. He retired to commune 
with God, that he might be better fitted to contend with men. 
No man ever had more reason to inscribe over the door of his 
closet the w^ords of Peter, — "It is good to be here;" yet that 
closet was but the spirit's resting-place, where he recruited his 


energies, and prepared anew for the course of duty. " The proper 
value of the contemplative life/' observes Orme, " in him was thus 
strikingly illustrated." He gave himself to it in the spirit of that 
wisdom, which, according to Milton, 

" Oft seeks to sweet retired solitude, 
Where, with her best nurse Contemplation, 
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings, 
That in the various bustle and resort 
Had been too ruffled and sometimes impaired." 

When the brightness of the Divine glories flashed upon his mind, 
and the high nature of the soul's engagements in the upper world 
occupied his understanding, he could not but feel, when he con- 
templated the thoughtlessness and heedless career of the majority 
of men, as Jesus felt when he wept over Jerusalem. How affect- 
ingly does he open the inconceivable misery of the ungodly in 
their loss of the rest ! " If this rest be for none but the people 
of God, what doleful tidings is this to the ungodly- world ! That 
there is so much glory, but none for them ! so great joys for the 
saints of God, while they must consume in perpetual sorrows ! 
such rest for them that have obeyed the gospel, while they must 
be restless in the flames of hell ! If thou who readest these words 
art in thy soul a stranger to Christ, and to the holy nature and life 
of his people, and art not of them who are before described, and 
shalt live and die in the same condition that thou art now in ; I 
am a messenger of the saddest tidings to thee, that ever yet thy 
ears did hear ; that thou shalt never partake of the joys of heaven, 
nor have the least taste of the saints' eternal rest." We do not 
know that there are in his " Reformed Pastor" four chapters more 
calculated to awaken the serious thoughtfulness of sinners, and 
especially to stir up the energies of those whose business it is to 
win souls, than the four opening chapters of the third book, ad- 
dressed to the ungodly. Baxter displays in them the most mas- 
terly acquaintance with the human heart, — exposes its sophistries, 
detects its subterfuges, rouses its fears, lays hold of its hopes. 
He wants to lead the sinner to flee from the wrath to come, and 


seek the everlasting rest, and he will not have his purpose frus- 
trated. He is pleading for immortal souls, and he will not be 
repelled by the risings of their pride. He unfolds the magnitude of 
their loss, and brings the clearest reason to demonstrate that with 
an agonizing consciousness they shall feel it ; with a graphic pen 
he enlarges on the various aggravations of their miserable lot ; and 
finding them still stout-hearted, grapples closely with the heart and 
conscience, clutches them with a giant grasp, and throws a clear 
and confounding light into their dark chambers, until it is hardly 
possible for the sinner not to writhe under his revelations and 
warnings. At the same time there is nothing harsh or severe 
about the style ; it is the pleading of " a dying man with dying 
men," the uttered, yet unutterable agony of love. " Alas ! it is no 
pleasure to a minister to speak to people upon such an unwelcome 
subject, any more than it is to a pitiful physician to tell his patient, 
I do despair of your life, except you let blood. Why, I beseech 
you, think on it reasonably without prejudice or passion, and tell 
me where doth God give any hope of your salvation, till you are 
new creatures ? And will it do you any good for a minister to give 
you hopes where God gives you none ; or would you desire him to 
do so ? Why, what would you think of such a minister when those 
hopes forsake you ; or what thanks will you give him when you 
find yourself in hell ? Would you not there lie and curse him for a 
deceiver for ever ? I know this to be true, and therefore I had 
rather you were displeased with me here, than curse me there." 

The thought of the soul's inestimable worth must ever supply 
the fuel of ministerial zeal — the feeling that his message is one of 
eternal importance in its results, must ever communicate an intense 
energy to the addresses of the preacher, and a deep pathos to his 
appeals. He has taken upon him to be the keeper of his brethren's 
souls, and woe unto him if their blood should cry against him from 
hell ! And all permanent good must be effected by forcing on the 
sinner's mind the conviction of his immortality, and the solemn 
interest which belongs to this life from its determination on the 
condition of the future. 


" Behold! O man, thy soul was formed by God for himself. It 
is of a finer texture than the trodden clod — endowed with an intel- 
ligence of a higher nature than animal instinct. It is a vile degra- 
dation of its powers to feed it only with the heggarly elements of 
earth — thou oughtest to set thy affections on things that are above, 
and to commune with the invisible and the eternal. It is the pro- 
perty of God, and thou wrongest him. Thou robbest the Almighty 
— thou art treasuring up unto thyself wrath against the day of 
wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Thou 
canst not perish absolutely, for God will not annihilate thee. Be 
zealous and repent, lest thou become an eternal monument of his 
just vengeance. Oh that some Jonas had this point in hand, to 
cry in your ears, ' Yet a few days and the rebellious shall be de- 
stroyed ; ' till you were brought down on your knees in sackcloth 
and in ashes ! Oh if some John Baptist might cry it abroad, 
' Now is the axe laid to the root of the trees ; every tree that 
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire !' 
Oh that some son of thunder, who could speak as Paul, till the 
hearers tremble, were now to preach this doctrine to thee ! Alas ! 
as terribly as you think I speak, yet is it not the thousandth part 
of what must be felt ; for what heart can now possibly conceive, or 
what tongue can express, the dolours of those souls that are under 
the wrath of God ? Ah, that ever blind sinners should wilfully 
bring themselves to such unspeakable misery ! You will then be 
crying to Jesus Christ, — Oh, mercy ! Oh, pity, pity on a poor soul ! 
Why, I do now in the name of the Lord Jesus cry to thee, Oh, have 
mercy, have pity, man, upon thine own soul ! ' Who can stand 
before the Lord, and who can abide the fierceness of his anger?' 
Methinks thou shouldst need no more words, but presently cast 
away thy soul-damning sins, and wholly deliver up thyself to Christ. 
Resolve on it immediately, man, and let it be done, that I may see 
thy face in rest among the saints. The Lord persuade thy heart 
to strike this covenant without any longer delay ; but if thou be 
hardened unto death, and there be no remedy, yet do not say 


another day but that thou wast faithfully warned, and that thou 
hadst a friend that would fain have prevented thy damna- 

We have touched on some of the most marked features of the 
Saints' Everlasting Rest, and the corresponding developments of 
the author's character. Whatever there was in him of unearthly 
excellence was owing in a great measure to his habit of heavenly 
meditation, induced and fostered by the composition of this work. 
This made his religion one of enjoyment and activity, and his 
preaching of distinguished usefulness. It is seldom that the labours 
of ministers have been followed by such abundant tokens of God's 
favour. A rude and dissolute population were subdued under him 
by the power of Divine grace, and exhibited the beauties and ex- 
cellences of the Christian character. The energy of his own mind 
and his earnest concern for the good of souls were diffused among 
his people. " They thirsted," says he, " after the salvation of their 
neighbours, and were in private my assistants ; and being dispersed 
throughout the town, were ready in almost all companies to repress 
seducing words, and to justify godliness, convince, reprove, and 
exhort men according to their needs ; as also to teach them how 
to pray, and to help them to sanctify the Lord's day," Through 
their united labours, the moral world budded and blossomed ai'ound 
them, and became as the garden of the Lord. In the habit, the 
importance of cultivating which we would impress upon our readers, 
lay the secret of his strength. His radiant piety gave him a 
mighty influence with men ; there is indeed about it a moral power 
which the world cannot withstand. And no wonder, for it indicates 
the presence of the Most High. The same habit, cultivated with 
the same diligence and zest, will be accompanied with the same suc- 
cess in others. No man is straitened in God. Baxter, of weak bodily 
presence, and a martyr to disease, was a most unlikely instrument 
to accomplish such effects. We need only to have in every town 
throughout the kingdom ministers of a similar spirit, who walk 
with God, and whose labours are baptized with prayer, and a peo- 


pie will be found ready to co-operate in every good work, and the 
success which attended his preaching will not be denied to theirs. 
We need only thi'oughout the world to have labourers, who are 
equally men of God, having their hearts in heaven, and " the Spirit 
will be poured from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, 
and the fruitful field be counted for a forest." 

The Saints' Rest has been eminently blessed of God to the 
promotion of piety. The spirit of it is communicative ; and that 
such a work is now called for, is one of the most favourable signs 
of the times. 

How would the church revive, and cast abroad its roots, and 
diffuse a most pleasant fragrance, were the rest to become the ob- 
ject of all believers' habitual contemplation ! Bickerings and con- 
tention would be shrunk from. Joy and gladness, thanksgiving 
and the voice of melody, would resound in the habitations of the 
righteous. A spirit of calm repose would brood over our world, 
and shed its gentle yet powerful influence upon the minds of men. 
The God of peace and love would rejoice over his people with joy 
and singing, and the time would be much accelerated, when, as our 
world rolls round its multitude of holy and happy inhabitants, he 
would have occasion again to pronounce it good. 

We conclude with a few stanzas out of Orme from Baxter's 
" Exit," where he takes his leave of the world, and longs to be in 

My soul, go boldly forth, 
Forsake this sinful earth ; 
What hath it been to thee, 

But pain and sorrow ? 
And thinkest thou 'twill be 

Better to-morrow ? 

Look up towards heaven and see 
How vast those regions be, 
Where blessed spirits dwell ; 

How pure and lightful ! 
But earth is near to hell ; 

How dark and frightful ! 


Jeruf3alem above, 
Glorious in light and love, 
Is mother of us all. 

Who shall enjoy them ? 
The wicked hell-ward fall, 

Sin will destroy them, 

God is essential love ; 
And all the saints above 
Are like unto him made. 

Each in his measure. 
Love is their life and trade, 

Their constant pleasure. 

What joy must there needs be, 
Where all God's glory see ! 
Feeling God's vital love. 

Which still is burning ; 
And flaming God-ward move, 

Full love returning. 



Chap. I. Tlicre remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God 
II. This rest defined 

III. What this rest presupposeth 

IV. What this rest containeth .... 
v. The four great preparatives to our rest 

VI. This rest most excellent, discovered by reason 
VII. The excellences of our rest 
VIII. The people of God described 
The Conclusion . 













Chap. 1 124 

II. Motives to study and preach the Divine authority of Scripture . 12S 

in 136 

IV. The first Argument to prove Scripture to be the word of God . 144 

V. The second Argument 163 

VI. The third Argument 168 

VIL The fourth Argument 176 

VIII. Rest for none but the people of God, proved .... 189 
IX. Reasons why this rest remains, and is not here enjoyed . .191 
X. Whether the souls departed enjoy this rest before the resur- 
rection ' 198 



Chap. I. Use 1. — Showing the unconceivable miseiy of the ungodly in 

their loss of this rest 203 

II. The aggravation of the loss of heaven to the ungodly . .211 

III. They shall lose all things that are comfortable, as well as 

heaven 227 

IV. The greatness of the torments of the damned discovered . . 241 
V. Use 2. — Reprehending the general neglect of this rest, and ex- 
citing to diligence in seeking it 256 



Chap. VI. An exhortation to seriousness in seeking rest .... 268 
VII. Use 3.— Persuading all men to try their title to this rest; and 

directing them how to try that they may know . . . 289 
VIII. Further causes of doubting among Christians . . .305 

IX. Containing an exhortation, and motives to examine . . 315 
X. Containing directions for examination, and some marks for trial 324 

XI. A more exact inquiry into the number and use of marks ; the 
nature of sincerity; with other things of great moment in 

the work of self-examination 332 

XII. Use 4. — The reason of the saints' afflictions here . . . 3/2 

XIII. Use 5. — An exhortation to those that have got assurance of this 

rest, or title to it, that they would do all that possibly they 
can to help others to it also 3S5 

XIV. An advice to some more specially to help others to this rest, 

pressed largely on ministers and parents . . . .416 



Chap. I. Use G. — Reproving our expectations of rest on earth . . 454 
II. Use 7- — Repi'oving our unwillingness to die .... 465 

III. Motives to a heavenly life 4S2 

IV. Containing some hinderances of a heavenly life . . . 517 
V. Some general helps to a heavenly life 534 

VI. Containing the desci'iption of the great duty of heavenly con- 
templation 547 

VII. Containing the fittest time and place for this contemplation, 

and the preparation of the heart unto it ... . 555 
VIII. Of consideration, the instrument of this work; and what force 

it hath to move the soul 570 

IX. What affections must be acted, and by what considerations and 

objects, and in what order 574 

X. By what actings of the soul to proceed in this work of heavenly 

contemplation 592 

XI. Some advantages and helps, for raising and affecting the soul by 

this meditation 597 

XII. How to manage and watch over the heart through the whole work 615 

XIII. The abstract, or sum of all, for the use of the weak . . . 620 

XIV. An example of this heavenly contemplation, for the help of the 

unskilful 622 

The Conclusion 652 

Broughton in the conclusion of his " Consent of Scripture," concerning 
the new Jerusalem, and the everlasting sabbatism, meant in my text, 

as begun here, and perfected in heaven 658 

A Poem of Master G. Herbert, in his " Temple " 660 

An addition to the eleventh chapter of the third part of the " Saints' Rest" 662 
To the Reader 667 





Sect. 1. It was not only our interest in God, and actual fruition of 
him, which was lost in Adam's covenant-breaking fall, but all 
spiritual knowledge of him, and true disposition towards such a 
felicity. Man hath now a heart too suitable to his estate ; a low 
state, and a low spirit. And (as some expound that of Luke xviii. 
8) when the Son of God comes with recovering grace, and dis- 
coveries and tenders of a spiritual and eternal happiness and glory, 
he finds not faith in man to believe it. But as the poor man that 
would not believe that any one man had such a sum as a hundred 
pounds, (it was so far above what he possessed,) so man will hardly 
now believe that there is such a happiness as once he had, much 
less as Christ hath now procured. When God would give the 
Israelites his sabbaths of rest in a land of rest, he had more ado to 
make them believe it, than to overcome their enemies, and procure 
it for them ; and when they had it, only as a small intimation and 
earnest of a more incomparably glorious rest through Christ, they 
stick there ; and will yet believe no more than they do possess, but 
sit down and say, as the glutton at the feast, Sure there is no other 
heaven but this : or if they do expect more by the Messiah, it is 
only the increase of their earthly felicity. The apostle bestows 
most of this epistle against this distemper ; and clearly and largely 
proves unto them, that it is the end of all ceremonies and shadows 
to direct them to Jesus Christ, the Substance ; and that the rest 
of sabbaths and Canaan should teach them to look for a further 
rest, which indeed is their happiness. My text is his conclusion, 
after divers arguments to that end ; a conclusion so useful to a be- 
liever, as containing the ground of all his comforts, the end of all 
his duty and sufferings, the life and sum of all gospel promises and 
Christian privileges, that you may easily be satisfied why I have 
made it the subject of my present discourse. What more welcome 


to men, under personal afflictions, tiring duty, successions of suf- 
ferings, than rpst ? What more welcome news, to men under pub- 
lic calamities,'^ unpleasing employments, plundering losses, sad 
tidings, &c. which is the common case, than this of rest? Hearers, 

1 pray God your attentions, intention of spirit, entertainment of 
it, be but half answerable to the verity, necessity, and excellency 
of this subject, and then you will have cause to bless God, while 
you live, tliat ever you heard it, as I have, that ever I studied it. 

Sect. 2. The text is, as you may see, the apostle's assertion in, 
an entire proposition, Avith the concluding illative : the subject is* 
rest ; the predicate, it yet remains to the people of God. It is re- 
quisite we say somewhat briefly, 1 . For explication of the terms ; 
2. Of the subject of them. 

" Therefore, i. e. it clearly follows, from the former argument, 
"there remains:" 1. In order of speaking, as the consequence 
follows the antecedent, or the conclusion the premises ; so there re- 
mains a rest, or it remains that there is another rest. 2. But 
rather, in order of being, as the bargain remains after the earnest, 
the performance after the promise, the antitype after the type, and 
the ultimate end after all the means ; so there remains a rest " to 
the people of God." God hath a twofold people within the church : 
one his only, by a common vocation (Heb. x. 30; Micah ii. 8; 

2 Pet. ii. 20; John ii. 23; Heb. vi. 4—6; x. 29, 30), by an ex- 
ternal acceptation of Christ, and covenanting, sanctified by the 
blood of the covenant so far as to be separated from the open ene- 
mies of Christ, and all without the church, therefore not to be ac- 
counted common and unclean in the sense as Jews and pagans are ; 
but holy, and saints, in a larger sense, as the nation of the Jews, 
and all proselyted Gentiles, were holy before Christ's coming. 
These are called branches in Christ not bearing fruit, and shall be 
cut off, &c. (John XV. 2, 6) ; for they are in the church, and in 
him, by the foresaid profession and external covenant, but no 
further. There are, in his kingdom, things that offend, and men 
that work iniquity, which the angels, at the last day, shall gather 
out and cast into the lake of fire (Matt. xiii. 41); there are 
ilshes, good and bad, in his net ; and tares, with wheat, in his field. 
The son of perdition is one of those given to Christ by the Father, 
though not as the rest (John xvii. 12) : these be not the people 
of God my text speaks of. 2. But God hath a peculiar people 
that are his by special vocation, cordial acceptation of Christ, in- 
ternal, sincere covenanting, sanctified by the blood of the covenant 
and Spirit of grace, so far as not only to be separated from open 
infidels, but from all unregenerate Christians, being branches in 
Christ bearing fruit ; and for these remains the rest in my text. 

1. To be God's people by a forced subjection, i. e. under his 
dominion, is common to all persons, even open enemies ; yea, 
devils : this yields not comfort. 

2. To be his by a verbal covenant and profession, and external 
call, is common to all in, and of, the visible church, even traitors 
and secret enemies, of which see my " Disputations of Right to 


Sacraments ;" yet hath this many privileges, as the external seals, 
means of grace, common mercies, but no interest in this rest. 

3. But to be his by election, union with Christ, and special in- 
terest, as before mentioned, is the peculiar property of those that 
shall have this rest. 

Sect. 3. Quest. But is it to a determinate number of persons, 
by name, or only to a people thus and thus qualified, viz. persever- 
ing believers, without determining by name who they are ( 

A))sw. I purpose, in this discourse, to omit controversies ; only, 
in a word, thus : 1. It is promised only to persevering believers, and 
not to any particular persons by name. 2. It is purposed, with all 
the conditions of it, and means to it, to a determinate number, 
called the elect, and known by name, which evidently follows these 
plain propositions : 

1. There are few will deny that God foreknows, from eternity, who 
these are, and shall be, numerically, personally, by name. 

2. To purpose it only to such, and to know that only these will 
be such, is, in effect, to purpose it only to these. 

3. Especially, if we know how little knowledge and purpose, in 
God, do differ. 

4. However, we must not make his knowledge active, and his 
purpose idle, much less to contradict each other, as it must be, if, 
from eternity, he purposed salvation alike to all, and yet from eter- 
nity knew that only such and such should receive it. 

5. To purpose all persevering believers to salvation, and not to 
purpose faith and perseverance absolutely to any particular persons, 
is to purpose salvation absolutely to none at all ; yet I know much 
more is necessary to be said to make this plain, which I purpose not 
(at least here) to meddle with. 

Sect. 4. Quest. To whom ? Is it to the people of God, upon 
certainty, or only upon possibility ? 

Atisw. If only possible, it cannot thus be called theirs. 

1. While they are only elect, not called, it is certain to them 
(we speak of a certainty of the object) by Divine purpose ; for they 
are ordained to eternal life first, and therefore believe ; and not 
first believe, and therefore elected. 

2. When they are called according to his purpose, then it is 
certain to them by a certainty of promise also, as sure as if they 
were named in that promise ; for the promise is, to believers, 
which they may, though but imperfectly, know themselves to be ; 
and though it be yet upon condition of overcoming, and abiding in 
Christ, and enduring to the end, yet that condition being abso- 
lutely promised, it still remaineth absolutely certain upon promise : 
and, indeed, if glory be ours only upon a condition, which condition 
depends chiefly on our own wills, it were cold comfort to those that 
know what man's will is, and how certainly we should play the 
prodigals with this, as we did with our first stock. But I have 
hitherto understood, that in the behalf of the elect, Christ is re- 
solved, and hath undertaken, for the working and finishing of their 
faith, and the full effecting his people's salvation ; and not only 

B 2 


given us a (feigned) sufficient grace, not effectual, leaving it to our 
wills to make it effectual, as some think ; so that, though still the 
promise of justification and salvation he conditional, yet God, 
having manifested his purpose of enabling us to fulfil those condi- 
tions, he doth thereby show us a certainty of our salvation, both in 
his promise and his purpose. Though God's eternal purpose gives 
us no right to the benefit whatsoever, (some lately say to the con- 
trary,) it being the proper work of God's law or covenant, to confer 
right or due ; yet the event or futurition of it is made certain by 
God's unchangeable decree, his eternal willing it being the first 
and infallible cause, that, in time, it is accomplished or produced. 



Sect. 1. Now let us see, 1. What this rest is. 2. What these 
people of God, and why so called. 3. The truth of this, from 
other Scripture arguments. 4. Why this rest must yet remain. 
5. Why only to the people of God. 6. What use to make of it. 

1. And though the sense of the text includes in the word rest,* 
all that ease and safety, which a soul, wearied with the burden of 
sin and suffering, and pursued by law, wrath, and conscience, hath 
with Christ in this life, the rest of grace ; yet, because it chiefly 
intends the rest of eternal glory, as the end and main part, I shall 
therefore confine my discourse to this last. 

Definition. Rest is the end and perfection of motion. The 
saint's rest, here in question, is the most happy estate of a Chris- 
tian, having obtained the end of his course : or, it is the perfect, 
endless fruition of God, by the perfected saints, according to the 
measure of their capacity, to which their souls arrive at death ; and 
both soul and body most fully, after the resurrection and final 

Sect. 2. I. I call it the estate of a Christian, though perfection 
consists in action, as the philosopher thinks, to note both the active 
and passive fruition, wherein a Christian's blessedness lies, and the 
established continuance of both. Our title will be perfect, and 
perfectly cleared ; ourselves, and so our capacity, perfected ; our 
possession and security for its perpetuity perfect ; our reception 
from God perfect ; our motion or action in and upon him perfect ; 
and, therefore, our fruition of him, and consequently our happiness, 
will then be perfect. And this is the estate which we now briefly 

* I doubt not but the Holy Ghost, by this sabbatism, or rest, intends the whole 
estate of reconciliation, peace, and happiness purchased by Christ : but because that 
fulness and perfection in glory is the chicfest part, in comparison whereof the beginning 
in this life is -very small, I may very well extend the text to that which itself intends as 
the principal part ; but I exclude not the beginnings here, though I purpose not the 
handling of them. 


mention, and shall afterwards more fully describe and open to you, 
and which we hope, by Jesus Christ, very shortly to enter upon, 
and for ever to possess. 

Sect. 3. II. I call it the most happy estate, to difference it, not 
only from all seeming happiness, which is to be found in the en- 
joyment of creatures, but also from all those beginnings, foretastes, 
earnests, first-fruits, and imperfect degrees, which we have here in 
this life, while we are but in the way. It is the chief good which 
the world hath so much disputed, yet mistaken or neglected, with- 
out which the greatest confluence of all other good leaves a man 
miserable ; and with the enjoyment of which, all misery is incon- 
sistent. The beginnings, in our present state of grace, as they are 
a real part of this, may also be called a state of happiness ; but, if 
considered disjunctly by themselves, they deserve not that title, 
except in a comparative sense, as a Christian is compared to men 
out of Christ. 

Sect. 4. III. I call it the estate of a Christian, where I m.eau 
only the sincere, regenerate, sanctified Christian, whose soul, having 
discovered that excellency in God through Christ, which is not in 
the world to be found, thereupon closeth with him, and is cordially 
set upon him. I do not mean every one that, being born where 
Christianity is the religion of the country, takes it up as other 
fashions, and is become a Christian he scarce knows how, or why ; 
nor mean I those that profess Christ in words, but in works deny 
him. I shall describe this Christian to you more plainly afterwards. 
It is an estate to which many pretend, and that with much confi- 
dence ; and because they know it is only the Christian's, therefore 
they all call themselves Christians. But multitudes will at last 
know, to their eternal sorrow, that this is only the inheritance of 
the saints, and only those Christians shall possess it, who are not of 
the w orld : and, therefore, the world hates them who have forsaken 
all for Christ, and having taken up the cross, do follow him, with 
patient waiting, till they inherit the promised glory. (Col. i. 12; 
Acts xxvi. 18 ; xx. 32 ; John xv. 19 ; Matt. x. 31 ; Luke xiv. 27; 
Heb. X. 38; vi. 15). 

Sect. 5. IV. I add, that this happiness consists in obtaining the 
end, where I mean the ultimate and principal end, not any end, 
secundum quid, so called subordinate, or less principal. Not the 
end of conclusion, in regard of time ; for so every man hath his 
end; but the end of intention, which sets the soul to work, and is 
its prime motive in all its actions. That the chief happiness is in 
the enjoyment of this end, I shall fully show through the whole 
discourse, and, therefore, here omit. Everlasting w'oe to that man 
who makes that his end here, (to the death,) which, if he could 
attain, would not make him happy. Oh how much doth our ever- 
lasting state depend on ourright judgment and estimation of our end ! 

Sect. 6. But it is great doubt with many, whe- ^vi^^thcr to make 
ther the obtainment of this glory may be our end; salvation our end, 
nay, concluded, that it is mercenary ; yea, that to \l legai p*"' asT[L 
make salvation the end of duty, is to be a legalist, very feeiins of life. 


at all, were the sureei and act under a covenant of works, whose tenor 
CleCcmSary Jo i^, Do this and live. And many that think it may 
the whole tenor of be our end, yet think it may not be our ultimate 
Scripture. g^^j^ f^^. ^^^^^ should be only the glory of God. I 

shall answer these particularly and briefly. 

1. It is properly called mercenary, when we expect it as wages 
for work done ;* and so we may not make it our end; otherwise it 
is only such a mercenariness as Christ commandeth. For, consider 
what this end is ; it is the fruition of God in Christ : and, if seek- 
ing Christ be mercenary, I desire to be so mercenary. 

2. It is not a note of a legalist neither : it hath been the ground 
of a multitude of late mistakes in divinity, to think that " Do this 
and live," is only the language of the covenant of works. It is 
true, in some sense it is ; but in other, not. The law of works 
only saith, " Do this," that is, perfectly fulfil the whole law, " and 
live," that is, for so doing : but the law of grace saith, " Do this 
and live" too ; that is, believe in Christ, seek him, obey him sin- 
cerely, as thy Lord and King ; forsake all, suffer all things, and 
overcome ; and by so doing, or in so doing, as the conditions which 
the gospel propounds for salvation, you shall live. If you set up the 
abrogated duties of the law again, you are a legalist ; if you set 
up the duties of the gospel in Christ's stead, in whole or in part, 
you err still. Christ hath his place and work ; duty hath its place 
and work too ; set it but in its own place, and expect fi'om it but 
its own part, and you go right : yea, more, how unsavoury soever 
the phrase may seem, you may, so far as this comes to, trust to 
your duty and works ; that is, for their own part ; and many mis- 
carry in expecting no more from them, as to pray, and to expect 
nothing the more, that is, from Christ, in a way of duty ; for if 
duty have no share, why may we not trust Christ, as well in a way 
of disobedience as duty { In a word, you must both use and trust 
duty in subordination to Christ, but neither use them nor trust 
them in co-ordination with him. So that this derogates nothing 
from Christ : for he hath done and will do all his work perfectly, 
and enableth his people to do theirs; yet he is not properly said to 
do it himself ;t he believes not, repents not, &c. but worketh these 
in them ; that is, enableth and exciteth them to do it. No man 
must look for more from duty than God hath laid upon it ; and so 
much we may and must. 

Sect. 7. II. If I should quote all the Scriptures that plainly 
prove this, I should transcribe a great part of the Bible : I will 
bring none out of the Old Testament ; for I know not whether 
their authority will here be acknowledged ; but I desire the con- 
trary-minded, whose consciences are tender of abusing Scripture, 
and wresting it from the plain sense, to study what tolerable inter- 
pretation can be given of these following places, which will not 
prove that life and salvation may be, yea, must be the end of duty. 

* Viz. by -way of merit, strictly so called. 

t Christ believed for us legally, or so far as the law required faith, but not as it is 
the condition or command of the new covenant. 


" Ye vill not come to me, that ye might have life," John v. 39, 40. 
" The kingdom of heaven sufForeth violence, and the violent take 
it by force," JMatt. xi. 12. " Strive to enter in at the strait ^te," 
Matt. vii. 13; Luke xiii, 24. " Work out your salvation with fear 
and trembling," Phil. ii. 12. " To them who, by patient continu- 
ance in well-doing, seek for gloi7, and honour, and immortality, 
eternal life. Glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh 
good," &c. Rom. ii. 7, 10. " So run that ye may obtain," 1 Cor. 
ix. 24. " A man is not crowned, except he strive lawfully," 
2 Tim. ii. 5. " If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him," 
2 Tim. ii. 12. " Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal 
life," 1 Tim. vi. 12. " That they do good works, laying up a good 
foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on 
eternal life," 1 Tim. vi. 18, 19. " If by any means I might attain 
to the resurrection of the dead ; I press toward the mark for the 
prize of the high calling," &c. Phil. iii. 14. " Blessed aue they 
that do his connnandments, that they -may have right to the tree of 
life, and enter in by the gates into the city," Rev. xxii. 14. " Come, 
ye blessed of my Father, inherit, &c. For I was hungry, and ye," 
&c. Matt. XXV. " Blessed are the pure in heart, &c. They that 
hunger and thirst, &c. Be glad and rejoice, for great is your 
reward in heaven," Matt. v. " Blessed are they that hear the word 
of God, and keep it," Luke xi. 28. Yea, the escaping of hell is a 
right end of duty to a believer. " Let us fear, lest a promise being 
left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come 
short of it," Heb. iv. 1. " Fear him that is able to destroy both 
soul and body in hell ; yea, (whatsoever others say,) I say unto you, 
Fear him," Luke xii. 5. " I keep under my body, and bring it 
into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself 
should be a castaway," 1 Cor. ix. 27. Multitudes of Scriptures and 
Scripture arguments might be brought, but these may suffice to any 
that believe Scripture.* 

Sect. 8. III. For those that think this rest may be our end, but 
not our ultimate end, that must be God's glory only, I will not 
gainsay them. Only let them consider, what God hath joined, 
jnan must not separate. The glorifying himself, and the saving of 
his people, as I judge, are not two decrees with God, but one decree, 
to glorify his mercy in their salvation ; though w'e may say, that 
one is the end of the other ; so I think they should be with us to- 
gether intended. We should aim at the glory of God, not alone 
considered, without our salvation, but in our salvation. Therefore, 

1 know no warrant for putting such a question to ourselves, as some 

* I speak the more of this, because I find that many moderate men, -nlio think they 
have found the mean between the Autinomian and the legalist, yet do foully err in this 
point. As IMr. F. in the " Marrow of Modern Divinity," a book applauded by so many 
eminent divines, in their commendatory epistles, before it : and because the doctrine, 
That -we must act from life, but not for life ; or in thankfulness to him that hath saved 
us, but not for the obtaining of salvation ; is of such dangerous consequence, that I 
would advise all men to take heed of it, that regard their salvation, 1 Cor. xv. ult. ; 

2 Cor. iv. 17 ; v. 10, 11 ; 2 Pet. i. 10, 11. I here undertake to prove that this fore- 
mentioned doctrine, reduced to practice, will certainly be the damnation of the practiser: 
but I hope many Antinomlaus do not practise their own doctrine. 


do, Whether we could be content to be damned, so God were glo- 
rified ? Christ hath put no such question to us, nor bid us put such 
to ourselves. Christ had rather that men would inquire after their 
true willingness to be saved, than their willingness to be damned. 
Sure I am, Christ himself is offered to faith in terms for the most 
part respecting the welfare of the sinner, more than his own ab- 
.stracted glory. He would be received as a Saviour, Mediator, 
Redeemer, Reconciler, Intercessor, &c. And all the precepts of 
Scripture, being backed with so many promises and threatenings, 
every one intended of God as a motive to us, do imply as much. If 
any think they should be distinguished as two several ends, and 
God's glory preferred, so they separate them not asunder, I contend 
not. I3ut I had rather make that high pitch, which Gibieuf and 
many others insist on, to be the mark at which we should all aim, 
than the mark by which every weak Christian should try himself. 

Sect. 9. IV. In the definition, I call a Christian's happiness, the 
end of his course, thereby meaning, as Paul, 2 Tim. iv. 7, the whole 
scope of his life. For as salvation may, and must, be our end, so 
not only the end of our faith, though that principally^ but of all our 
actions ; for as whatsoever we do, must be done to the glory of God, 
whether eating, drinking, &c. so must they all be done to our sal- 
vation. That we may believe for salvation, some will grant, who 
yet deny that we may do or obey for it.* I would it were well un- 
derstood, for the clearing of many controversies, what the Scripture 
usually means by faith. Doubtless, the gospel takes it not so strictly 
as philosophers do ; but, in a larger sense, for our accepting Christ 
for our King and Saviour. To believe in his name, and to receive 
him, are all one (John i. 12) ; but we must receive him as King, 
as well as Saviour : therefore, believing doth not produce heart- 
subjection as a fruit, but contains it as an essential part ; except we 
say, that faith receives Christ as a Saviour first, and so justifies 
before it take him for King, as some think ; which is a maimed, 
unsound, and no Scripture faith. f I doubt not but the soul more 
sensibly looks at salvation from Christ, than government by him, 
in the first work : yet, whatever precedaneous act there may be, it 
never conceives of Christ, and receives him to justification, nor 
knows him with the knowledge which is eternal life, till it conceive 
of him, and know him, and receive him for Lord and King. There- 
fore there is not such a wide difference between faith and gospel 
obedience, or works, as some judge. J Obedience to the gospel is 
put for faith, and disobedience put for unbelief, ofttimes in the New 
Testament. But of this I have spoken more fully elsewhere. 

V. Lastly : I make happiness to consist in this end obtained ; 
for it is not the mere promise of it that immediately makes per- 

* The scriptures before cited do prove both. 

f See more of this hereafter. 

i In this point of works concurring in justification, I am wholly of Davenant's judg- 
ment, " De Justifia Actuali." I will not speak so harshly for works, nor in describing 
faith, as Mr. Mead's sermon doth : yet I believe he meant orthodoxly. See Diodate's 
notes ou James ii. and abundance more cited in my " Confession." 


fectly happy, nor Christ's mere purchase, nor our mere seeking, 
but the apprehending and obtaining, which sets the crown on the 
saint's head ; when we can say of our work, as Christ of the price 
paid, " It is finished ; " and as Paul, " I have fought a good fight, 
I have finished my course : henceforth is laid up for me a crown of 
salvation," 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. Oh that we did all heartily and 
strongly believe, that we shall never be truly happy till then ! Then 
should wc not so dote upon a seeming happiness here. 



Sect. I. For the clearer understanding yet of the nature of this 
rest, you must know : 

1. There are some things necessarily presupposed to it. 

2. Some things really contained in it. 

1. All these things are presupposed to this rest. 

1. A person in motion, seeking rest. This is man here in the 
way ; angels and glorified spirits have it already ; and the devils 
and damned are past hope. 

Sect. II. 2. An end toward which he moveth for rest : which end 
must be sufficient for his rest ; else, when it is obtained, it deceiv- 
eth him. This can be only God, the chief good. He that taketh 
any thing else for his happiness, is out of the way the first step. 
The principal damning sin, is to make any thing besides God our 
end or rest. And the first true saving act, is to choose God only 
for our end and. happiness. 

Sect. III. 3. A distance is presupposed from this end; else there 
can be no motion towards it. This sad distance is the woeful case 
of all mankind since the fall : it was our God that we principally 
lost, and were shut out of his gracious presence.* Though some 
talk of losing only a temporal, earthly felicity ; sure I am, it was 
God that we fell from, and him we lost, and since are said to be 
without him in the world ; and there would have been no death, 
but for sin ; and to enjoy God without death, is neither an earthly 
nor temporal enjoyment : nay, in all men at age, here is supposed, 
not only a distance from God, but also a contrary motion : for sin 
hath not overthrown our being, nor taken away our motion ; but 
our well-being, and the rectitude of our motion, ^^'hen Christ 
comes with regenerating, saving grace, he finds no man sitting still, 
but all posting to eternal ruin, and making haste towards hell ; till 
by conviction, he first bring them to a stand ; and by conversion, 
turn first their hearts, and then their lives, sincerely to himself. 
Even those that are sanctified and justified from the womb, are yet 

* The only cause of this evil, is aversion from God. As a coachman, if he let the 
horses run headlong over hanks, or which way they -will, &c. Athanas. lib. i. cont. Gent. 


first the children of Adam, and so of wrath ; at least, in order of 
nature, if not in time. 

Sect, IV. 4. Here is presupposed knowledge of the true ultimate 
end, and its excellency, and a serious intending it. For so the 
motion of the rational creature proceedeth : an unknown end is no 
end ; it is a contradiction. We cannot make that our end, which 
we know not ; nor that our chief end, which we know not, or judge 
not, to be the chief good. An unknown good moves not to desire 
or endeavour : therefore where it is not truly known that God is 
this end, and containeth all good in him ; there is no obtaining rest 
in an ordinary, known way, whatsoever may be in ways that by God 
are kept secret.^' 

Sect. V. 5. Here is presupposed, not only a distance from this 
rest, but also the true knowledge of this distance. If a man have 
lost his way, and know it not, he seeks not to return ; if he lose his 
gold, and know it not, he seeks it not : therefore, they that never 
knew they were without God, never j^et enjoyed him ; and they that 
never knew they were naturally and actually in the way to hell, did 
never yet know the way to heaven. f Nay, there will not only be a 
knowledge of this distance, and lost estate, but also affections an- 
swerable. Can a man be brought to find himself hard by the brink 
of hell, and not tremble ? or, to find he hath lost his God and his 
soul, and not cry out, I am undone ? or can such a stupid soul be 
so recovered ! This is the sad case of many thousands, and the 
reason why so few obtain this rest : they will not be convinced, or 
made sensible, that they are, in point of title, distant from it ; and 
in point of practice, contrary to it. They have lost their God, their 
souls, their rest, and do not know it, nor will believe him that tells 
them so. Who ever travelleth towards a place which he thought 
he was at already, or sought for that which he knew not he had 
lost ? " The whole need not the physician, but they that are sick," 
Matt. ix. 12. 

Sect. VI. 6. Here is also presupposed, a superior, moving cause, 
and an influence therefrom, else should we all stand still, and not 
move a step forward towards our rest ; any more than the inferior 
wheels in the watch would stir, if you take away the spring, or the 
first mover. This 2rri)?ium movens is God. "What hand God hath 
in evil actions, or whether he aftbrd the like influence to their pro- 
duction, I will not here trouble this discourse and the reader to 
dispute. The case is clear in good actions. If God move us not, 
we cannot move : therefore, it is a most necessary part of our Chris- 
tian wisdom, to keep our subordination to God, and dependence on 
him ; to be still in the path where he walks, and in tliat way where 
his Spirit doth most usually move. Take heed of being estranged 
or separated from God, or of slacking your daily expectations of 
renewed help, or of growing insensible of the necessity of the con- 

* I speak all this of men of age, converted by the word, not of those sanctified in in- 

t I mean those that were converted at years of discretion, and received not holiness 
insensibly in their infancy, as I doubt not but many thousands do. 


tinual influence and assistance of the Spirit. When you once begin 
to trust your stock of habitual grace, and to depend on your own 
understanding or resohition for duty and holy walking, you are then 
in a dangerous, declining state. In every duty remember Christ's 
words, " Without me ye can do nothing," John xv. 5, and, " Not 
that we are sufficient of ourselves, to do any thing as of ourselves, 
but our sufficiency is of God," 2 Cor. iii. 5. 

Sect. VII. 7. Here is presupposed an internal principle of life in 
the person. God moves not man like a stone, but by enduing him 
first with life, not to enable him to move without God, but thereby 
to qualify him to move himself, in subordination to God the first 
Mover. What the nature of this spiritual life is, is a question ex- 
ceeding difficult.* Whether, as some think, (but, as I judge, erro- 
neously,) it be Christ himself in person or essence, or the Holy 
Ghost personally ; or as some will distinguish, with what sense I 
know^ not, it is the person of the Holy Ghost, but not personally. 
Whether it be an accident or quality ; or whether it be a spiritual 
substance, as the soul itself; whether it be only an act, or a dispo- 
sition, or a habit, as it is generally taken ; whether a habit infused, 
or acquired by frequent acts, to which the soul hath been morally 
persuaded ; or whether it be somewhat distinct from a habit ; i. e. 
a power ; viz. jwtentia j^t'o.vima intelligendl, credeudi, rolendi, 8fc. 
in spirituaUbus ; which some think the most probable, A multi- 
tude of such difficulties occur, which will be difficulties while the 
doctrine of spirits and spirituals is so dark to us, and that will be 
while the dust of mortality and corruption is in our eyes. This is 
my comfort, that death will shortly blow out this dust, and then I 
shall be resolved of these and many more. In the mean time, I 
am a sceptic, and know little in this whole doctrine of spirits and 
spiritual workings, further than Scripture clearly revealeth, and 
think we might clo well to keep closer to its language. 

Sect. VIII. 8. Here is presupposed before rest, an actual motion : 
rest is the end of motion : no motion, no rest. Christianity is not 
a sedentary profession and employment, nor doth it consist in mere 
negatives. It is not for feeding, or clothing, &c. that Christ con- 
demns. Not doing good, is not the least evil : sitting still will lose 
you heaven, as well as if you run from it. I know, when we have 
done all we are unprofitable servants ; and he cannot be a Christian, 
that relies upon the supposed merit of his works, in proper sense ; 
but yet he that hides his talent, shall receive the wages of a sloth- 
ful servant. 

Sect. IX. 9. Here is presupposed, also, as motion, so such 

* I speak not here de gratia operante, but de gratia operata ; not of the cause, but of 
the effect ; for (so tar as these obscure things are known to us, on the ordinary grounds) 
•we must say, that it is the very essence of God which worketh grace on the soul ; for it 
is his telle effcctivum, his will. God needs do no more to produce the creature, or any 
quality in it, but only to will it, as Dr. Twisse saith, and Bradwardine more fully and 
peremptorily : and God's will is his essence. I speak on supposition of God's im- 
mediate operation ; for if God work grace by angels, or any second causes, then it can- 
not be thus said of the act of the second cause, but of God's act it is still true. So 
Clem. Alex. As God's will is his work, and that is called the world ; so his will is man's 
salvation, and that is called the church. CI. Al. Ptedagog. 1. i. c. 6. 


motion as is rightly ordered and directed toward the end ; not all 
motion, labour, seeking, that brings to rest. Every way leads not 
to this end ; but he whose goodness hath appointed the end, hath 
in his wisdom, and by his sovereign authority, appointed the way. 
Our own invented ways may seem to us more wise, comely, equal, 
pleasant ; but that is the best key that will open the lock, which 
none but that of God's appointing will do. Oh the pains that sin- 
ners take, and worldlings take, but not for this rest ! Oh the pains 
and cost that many an ignorant and superstitious soul is at for this 
rest, but all in vain ! How many have a zeal for God, but not ac- 
cording to knowledge ! who, being ignorant of God's righteousness, 
and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not 
submitted themselves to the righteousness of God; nor known 
" that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one 
that believeth," Rom. x. 2 — 4. Christ is the door ; the only way 
to this rest. Some will allow nothing else to be called the way, 
lest it derogate from Christ. The truth is, Christ is the only way 
to the Father ; yet faith is the way to Christ ; and gospel obedience, 
or faith and works, the way for those to walk in, that are in Christ. 
There be, as before, many ways requisite in subordination to Christy 
but none in co-ordination with him ; so then it is only God's way 
that will lead to this end and rest. 

Sect. X. 10. There is supposed, also, as motion rightly ordered, 
so strong and constant motion, which may reach the end. If there 
be not strength put to the bow, the arrow will not reach the mark : 
the lazy world, that think all too much, will find this to their cost 
one day. They that think less ado might have served, do but 
reproach Christ for making us so much to do : they that have been 
most holy, watchful, painful, to get faith and assurance, do find, 
when they come to die, all little enough. We see, daily, the best 
Christians, when dying, repent their negligence : I never knew any, 
then, repent his holiness and diligence. It would grieve a man's 
soul to see a multitude of mistaken sinners lay out their wit, and 
care, and pains, for a thing of nought, and think to have eternal 
salvation with a wish. If the way to heaven be not far harder 
than the world imagines, then Christ and his apostles knew not the 
way, or else have deceived us ; for they have told us, " that the 
kingdom of heaven suiFereth violence ; that the gate is strait, and 
the way narrow ; and we must strive, if we will enter ; for many 
shall seek to enter, and not be able" (Matt. xi. 12; vii. 13; Luke 
xiii. 24, 25; 1 Pet. iv. 18), which implies the faintness of their 
seeking, and that they put not strength to the work; and, "that 
the righteous themselves are scarcely saved." If ever souls obtain 
salvation in the world's common, careless, easy way, then I will say 
there is a nearer way found out than ever God, in Scripture, hath 
revealed to the sons of men. But when they have obtained life and 
rest in this way, let them boast of it; till then, let them give us 
leave, who would fain go upon sure grounds, in point of eternal 
salvation, to believe that God knows the way better than they, and 
that his word is a true and infallible discovery thereof. 


I have seen this doctrine also thrown by with contempt Ity 
others, who say, What ! do you set us a-working for heaven .' Doth 
our duty do any thing .' Ilath not Christ done all { Is not this to 
make him a half Saviour, and to preach law ? 

A/tsir. It is to preach the law of Christ : his subjects are not 
lawless. It is to preach duty to Christ: none. a more exact re- 
quirer of duty, or hater of sin, than Christ. Christ hath done and 
will do all his work, and therefore is a perfect Saviour ; but yet 
leaves for us a work too. He hath paid all the price, and left us 
none to pay ; yet he never intended his purchase should put us into 
absolute, immediate, personal title to glory, in point of law, much 
less into immediate possession. What title, improperly so called, 
we may have from his own and his Father's secret counsel, is 
nothing to the question : he hath purchased the crown to bestow 
only on condition of believing, denying all for him, suffering 
with him, persevering, and overcoming. He hath purchased justi- 
fication, to bestow only on condition of our believing ; yea, repent- 
ing and believing. That the first grace hath any such condition, 
I will not affirm ; but following mercies have ; though it is Christ 
that enableth also to perform the condition. It is not a Saviour 
offered, but received also, that must save : it is not the blood of 
Christ shed only, but applied also, that must fully deliver ; nor is 
it applied to the justification or salvation of a sleepy soul ; nor 
doth Christ carry us to heaven in a chair of security. Where he 
will pardon, he will make you pray, " Forgive us our trespasses ;" 
and where he will give righteousness, he will give hungering and 
thirsting. It is not through any imperfection in Christ, that the 
righteous are scarcely saved ; no, nor that the wicked perish, as 
they shall be convinced one day. In the same sense as the prayer 
of the faithful, if fervent, availeth for outward mercies, in the same 
sense it prevaileth for salvation also ; for Christ hath purchased 
both. And as baptism is said to save us, so other duties too. Our 
righteousness, which the law of works requireth, and by which it is 
satisfied, is wholly in Christ, and not one grain in ourselves ; nor 
must we dare to think of patching up a legal righteousness of 
Christ's and our own together : that is, that our doings can be the 
least part of satisfaction for our sins, or proper merit. But yet 
ourselves must personally fulfil the conditions of the new covenant, 
and so have a personal, evangelical righteousness, or never be 
saved by Christ's righteousness ; therefore, say not it is not duty, 
but Christ ; for it is Christ in a way of duty. As duty cannot do 
it without Christ, so Christ will not do it without duty : but of 
this enough before. 

And as the motion must be strong, so must it be constant ; or it 
will fall short of rest. To begin in the Spirit, and end in the flesh, 
will not bring to the end of the saints. The certainty of the 
saints' perseverance doth not make admonition to constancy un- 
useful : men, as seemingly holy as the best of us, have fallen off. 
He that knew it impossible, in the foundation, to deceive the elect, 
yet saw it necessary to warn us, that he only that endureth to the 


end shall be saved (Matt. xxiv. 13 ; Mark xiii. 13, 22 ; Acts xiii. 
43 ; xiv. 22 ; Rom. xi. 22 ; Col. i. 23 ; Heb. viii. 9 ; James i. 25). 
Head but the promises, (Rev. ii. and iii.) " To him that over- 
cometh." Christ's own disciples must be commanded to continue 
in his love, and that by keeping his commandments; and to abide 
in him, and his .word in them, and he in them. It will seem 
strange to some, that Christ should command us, that " he abide 
in us." See John xv. 4—10 ; viii. 31 ; 1 John i. 22 ; iv. 28. 

Sect. XI. 11. There is presupposed, also, to the obtaining of this 
rest, a strong desire after it. The soul's motion is not that which 
we call violent or constrained, (none can force it,) but free. As 
every thing inclines to its proper centre, so the rational creature is 
carried on in all its motion, with desires after its end. This end is 
the first thing intended, and chiefest desired, though last obtained. 
Observe it, and believe it, whoever thou art ; there was never a 
soul that made Christ and glory the principal end, nor that ob- 
tained rest with God, whose desire was not set upon him, and that 
above all things else in the world whatsoever. Christ brings the 
heart to heaven first, and then the person. His own mouth spoke 
it, " Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," Matt. 
vi. 21. A sad conclusion to thousands of professed Christians. 
He that had truly rather have the enjoyment of God in Christ, 
than any thing in the world, shall have it ; and he that had rather 
have any thing else, shall not have this, except God change him. 
It is true, the remainder of our old nature will much weaken and 
interrupt these desires, but never overcome them. The passionate 
motion of them is oft strongest towards inferior, sensible things ; 
but the serious, deliberate will or choice, which is the rational 
desire, is most for God. 

Sect. XII. 12. Lastly : here is presupposed painfulness and 
weariness in our motion. This ariseth not from any evil in the 
work or way, for Christ's yoke is easy, his burden light, and his 
commands not grievous (Prov. iv. 6 ; Matt. xi. 30 ; 1 John v. 3) : 
but, 1. From the opposition we meet with. 2. The contrary prin- 
ciples still remaining in our nature, which will make us cry out, 
" O wretched men !" Rom. vii. 24. 3. From the weakness of our 
graces, and so of our motion. Great labour, where there is a 
suitable strength, is a pleasure ; but to the weak, how painful ! 
With what panting and weariness doth a feeble man ascend that 
hill which the sound man runs up with ease ! We are all, even the 
best, but feeble. An easy, dull profession of religion, that never 
encountereth with these difficulties and pains, is a sad sign of an 
unsound heart. Christ, indeed, hath freed us from the impossibili- 
ties of the covenant of works, and from the burden and yoke of 
legal ceremonies, but not from the difficulties and pains of gospel 
duties. 4. Our continued distance from the end, will raise some 
grief also ; for desire and hope, implying the absence of the thing 
desired and hoped for, do ever imply also some grief for that ab- 
sence ; which all vanish when we come to possession. All these 
twelve things are implied in a Christian's motion, and so presup- 


posed to this rost. And he only that hath the prerequisite qualifi- 
cations, shall have the crown. Here, therefore, should ('hristians 
lay out their utmost care and industry. Sec to your part, and Glod 
will certainly see to his part. Look you to your hearts and duties, 
in which God is ready with assisting grace, and he will see that 
you lose not the reward. Oh how most Christians wrong God and 
themselves, with heing more solicitous about God's part of the 
work than their own, as if God's faithfulness were more to be 
suspected than their unfaithful, treacherous hearts ! The rest is 
glorious, and God is faithful : Christ's death is sufficient, and the 
promise is universal, free, and true. You need not fear missing of 
heaven through the deficiency or fault of any of these. But yet 
for all these, the falseness of your own hearts, if you look not to 
them, may undo you. If you doubt of this, believe the Holy 
Ghost. " Having a promise left us of entering into his rest, let us 
fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it," Heb. iv. 1. 
The promise is true, but conditional. Never fear whether God will 
break promise, but fear lest you should not truly perform the con- 
dition ; for nothing else can bereave you of the benefit. 



Sect. I. But all this is only the outward court, or at least not the 
holiest of all. Now we have ascended the steps, may we look 
within the veil ? May we show what this rest containeth, as well 
as what it presupposeth ? But, alas ! how little know I of that 
whereof I am about to speak ! Shall I speak before I know ? But 
if I stay till I clearly know, I shall not come again to speak. That 
glimpse which Paul saw, containeth that which could not, or must 
not, be uttered, or both (2 Cor. xii. 4). And if Paul had had a 
tongue to have uttered it, it would have done no good, except his 
hearers had ears to hear it. If Paul had spoke the things of hea- 
ven in the language of heaven, and none understood that language, 
what the better .'' Therefore, I will speak, while I may, that little, 
very little, which I do know of it, rather than be wholly silent. 
The Lord reveal it to me, that I may reveal it to you ; and the 
Lord open some light, and show both you and me his inheritance : 
not, as to Balaam only, whose eyes the vision of God opened, to see 
the goodliness of Jacob's tents and Israel's tabernacles, where he 
had no portion, but from whence must come his own destruction 
(Numb. xxiv. 15 ; xvi. 5) ; nor as to Moses, who had only a dis- 
covery, instead of possession, and saw the land which he never en- 
tered (Deut. xxxiv. 1 — 4) ; but as the pearl was revealed to the 
merchant in the gospel, who rested not till he had sold all he had, 
and bought it (Matt. xiii. 44 — 4G) ; and as heaven was opened to 


blessed Stephen, which he was shortly to enter, and the glory 
showed him, which should be his own possession (Acts vii. 55, 56). 

1. Cessation from all ^''ect. II. 1. There is contahied in this rest, 1. A 
that action which cessation from motion or action; not of all action, 
hath the nature of ^ml of that which hath the nature of a means, and 

means. 1. Know- . ,• , i n ^ -\ txti i 

ledge. 2. Faith implies the absence oi the end. When we have 
(how far). 3 Pray- obtained the haven, we have done sailing. When 

cr. 4. So fasting, , , i i i • • • ■ -^^^ ^ ^ ■, 

weeping, watching, the workman hath his wages, it is implied he hath 
preaching, and sa- done his woi'k. When we are at our journey's end, 
we have done with the way. All motion ends at 
the centre, and all means cease when we have the end. Therefore, 
prophesying ceaseth, tongues fail, and knowledge shall be done 
away ; that is, so far as it had the nature of a means, and was im- 
perfect.* And so faith may be said to cease : not all faith, for how 
shall we know all things past, which we saw not but by believing ? 
How shall we knov/ the last judgment, the resurrection of the body 
beforehand, but by believing ? How shall we know the life ever- 
lasting, the eternity of the joys we possess, but by believing ? But 
all that faith, which, as a means, referred to the chief end, shall 
cease. There shall be no more prayer, because no more necessity, 
but the full enjoyment of what we prayed for. Whether the soul 
pray for the body's resurrection, for the last judgment, &c. or 
whether soul and body pray for the eternal continuance of their 
joys, is to me unknown ; otherwise, we shall not need to pray for 
what we have, and we shall have all that is desirable. Neither 
shall we need to fast, and weep, and watch any more, being out of 
the reach of sin and temptations. Nor will there be use for in- 
structions and exhortations : preaching is done, the ministry of 
man ceaseth, sacraments useless, the labourers called in because 
the harvest is gathered, the tares burned, and the work done, the 
unregenerate past hope, the saints past fear for ever : much less 
shall there be any need of labouring for inferior ends, as here we 
do, seeing they will all devolve themselves into the ocean of the 
ultimate end, and the lesser good be wholly swallowed up of the 

2. Perfect freedom Scct. III. 2. This rcst containeth a perfect free- 

fromevii. dom from all the evils that accompanied us through 

our course, and which necessarily follow our absence from the chief 
good ; besides our freedom from those eternal flames and restless 
miseries, which the neglecters of Christ and grace must remedi- 
lessly endure ; an inheritance which, both by birth and actual 
, g.^ rnerit, was due to us as well as to them. As God 

will not know the wicked so as to own them ; so 
neither will heaven know iniquity to receive it : for there entereth 
nothing that defileth, or is unclean ; all that remains without (Rev. 

* 1 Cor. xiii. 8. There are two excellent parts of our glory, which I have here omit- 
ted, and only put them among the adjuncts, which should not have been done. 1. That 
Ave shall be meml)ers of the heavenly Jerusalem ; and so glorify God in that blessed so- 
ciety. 2. That we shall see the face of our glorified Redeemer ; and his Person shall 
everlastingly be glorified in us. Were it again to do, I should largelier treat of both 
these, as principal parts of our glory and felicity. 


xxi. 27). And, doubtless, there is not such a thing 2. Sorrow and suf- 
as grief and sorrow known there : nor is there such lering. 

a thing as a pale face, a languid body, feeble joints, unable infancy 
decrepit age, peccant humours, dolorous sickness, griping fears, 
consuming care, nor whatsoever deserves the name of evil. Indeed, 
a gale of groans and sighs, a stream of tears, accompanied us to the 
very gates, and there bid us farewell for ever. We did weep and 
lament, when the world did rejoice ; but our sorrow is turned into 
joy, and our joy shall no man take from us (John xvi. 20 — 22). God 
were not the chief and perfect good, if the full fruition of him did 
not free us from all evil. But we shall have occasion to speak more 
fully of this in that which follows. 

Sect. IV. 3. This rest containeth the highest .. „ 1 <■ 

T „ , . , , /• • 1 1 r •^- Personal perfec- 

degree ot the samts personal perlection, both or tion in the highest 
soul and body. This necessarily qualifies them an§'"^o]'°''' "'"""^ 
to enjoy the glory, and thoroughly to partake 
the sweetness of it. Were the glory never so great, and them- 
selves not made capable by a personal perfection suitable there- 
to, it would be little to them. There is necessary a right dis- 
position of the recipient, to a right enjoying, and aftecting. This 
is one thing that makes the saints' joys there so great. Here, 
" Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived, what God 
hath laid up for them that wait for him." For this eye of flesh is 
not capable of seeing it, nor this ear of hearing it, nor this heart of 
understanding it ; but there the eye, and ear, and heart, are made 
capable ; else how do they enjoy it ? The more perfect the sight 
is, the more delightful the beautiful object. The more perfect the 
appetite, the sweeter the food. The more musical the ear, the 
more pleasant the melody. The more perfect the soul, the more 
joyous those joys, and the more glorious to us is that glory. Nor 
is it only our sinful imperfection that is here to be removed ; nor 
only that which is the fruit of sin, but that which adhered to us in 
our pure naturals. Adam's dressing the garden, was neither sin 
nor the fruit of sin : nor is either to be less glorious than the stars 
or the sun in the firmament of our Father : yet is this the dignity 
to which the righteous shall be advanced (Gen. ii. 15; Dan. xii. 3). 
There is far more procured by Christ, than was lost by Adam. It 
is the misery of wicked men here, that all without them is mercy, 
excellent mercies, but within them a heart full of sin shuts the door 
against all, and makes them but the more miserable. When all is 
well within, then all is well indeed. The near good is the best, 
and the near evil and enemy the worst. Therefore will God, as a 
special part of his saints' happiness, perfect themselves, as well as 
their condition. 

Sect. V. 4. This rest containeth, as the principal 4 chicilv the near- 
part, our nearest fruition of God, the chiefest good, est imition of God 
And here, reader, wonder not if I be at a loss, and '^^ ^^''^^ sood. 
if my apprehensions receive but little of that which is in my ex- 
pressions. If, to the beloved disciple that durst speak and inquire 
into Christ's secrets, and was filled with his revelations, and saw 



the new Jerusalem in her glory, and had seen Christ, Moses, and 
Elias, in part of theirs ; if it did not appear to him what we shall 
be, but only in general, that when Christ appears we shall be like 
him (1 John iii. 2), no wonder if I know little. When I know so 
little of God, I cannot know much what it is to enjoy him. When 
it is so little I know of mine own soul, either its quiddity or quality, 
while it is here in this tabernacle, how little must I needs know of 
the infinite Majesty, or the state of this soul when it is advanced 
to that enjoyment ! If I know so little of spirits and spirituals, how 
little of the Father of spirits ! Nay, if I never saw that creature 
which contains not something unsearchable ; nor the worm so 
small, which aifordeth not matter for questions to puzzle the great- 
est philosopher that ever I met with ; no wonder, then, if mine 
eyes fail, when I would look at God, my tongue fail me in speaking 
of him, and my heart in conceiving. As long as the Athenian 
superscription doth so too well suit with my sacrifices, " To the 
unknown God," and while I cannot contain the smallest rivulet, it 
is little I can contain of this immense ocean. We shall never be 
capable of clearly knowing, till we are capable of fully enjoying; 
nay, nor till we do actually enjoy him. What strange conceivings 
hath a man, born blind, of the sun, and its light ; or a man born 
deaf, of the nature of sounds and music ! so do we yet want that 
sense by which God must be clearly known. I stand and look upon 
a heap of ants, and see them all, with one view, very busy to little 
purpose. They know not me, my being, nature, or thoughts, 
though I am their fellow creature ; how little, then, must we know 
of the great Creator, though he with one view continually beholds 
us all ! Yet acknowledge we have, though imperfect, and such as 
must be done away. A glimpse the saints behold, though but in 
a glass, which makes us capable of some poor, general, dark appre- 
hensions of what we shall behold in glory. If I should tell a world- 
ling but what the holiness and spiritual joys of the saints on earth 
are, he cannot know it ; for grace cannot be clearly known without 
grace : how much less could he conceive it, should I tell him of 
this glory ! But to the saints I may be somewhat more encouraged 
to speak ; for grace giveth them a dark knowledge and slight taste 
of glory. 

As all good whatsoever is comprised in God, and all in the crea- 
ture are but drops of this ocean ; so all the glory of the blessed is 
comprised in their enjoyment of God : and if there be any mediate 
joys there, they are but drops from this. If men and angels should 
study to speak the blessedness of that estate in one word, what can 
they say beyond this. That it is the nearest enjoyment of God ? 
Say, They have God ; and you say, They have all that is worth 
the having. Oh the full joys offered to a believer in that one sen- 
tence of Christ's ! I would not, for all the world, that one verse had 
been left out of the Bible : " Father, I will, that those whom thou 
hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my 
glory which thou hast given me," John xvii. 24. Every word is 
full of life and joy. If the queen of Sheba had cause to say of 


Solomon's glory, " Happy are thy men, happy are these thy 
servants, that stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wis- 
dom," 1 Kings X. 8 ; then, sure, they that stand continually before 
God, and see his glory, and the glory of the Lamb, are somewhat 
more than happy : to them will Christ "give to rat of the tree of 
life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God; " and " to eat 
of the hidden manna," Rev. ii. 7, 17. Yea, " He will make them 
pillars in the temple of God, and they shall go no more out : and 
he will write upon them the name of his God, and the name of the 
city of his God, new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven 
from God, and his own new name," Rev. iii. 12. Yea, more, if 
more may be, " He will grant them to sit with him in his throne," 
Rev. iii. 21. "These are they who come out of great tribulation, 
and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of 
the Lamb ; therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve 
him day and night in his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne 
shall dwell among them : and the Lamb which is in the midst of 
the throne shall feed them, and lead them unto living fountains of 
water ; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes," Rev. 
vii. 14, 15, 17. And may we not now boast with the spouse, " This 
is my beloved, O daughters of Jerusalem ! " And this is the glory 
of the saints ! O blind, deceived world, can you show us such a 
glory ? " This is the city of our God, where the tabernacle of God 
is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his 
people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." 
" The glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb is the light 
thereof," Rev. xxi. 3, 23. " And there shall be no more curse, 
but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and his serv- 
ants shall serve him, and they shall see his face, and his name shall 
be in their foreheads. These sayings are faithful and true, and 
these are the things that must shortly be done," Rev. xxii. 3, 4, 6. 
And now we say, as Mephibosheth, Let the world take all besides, 
if we may but see the face of our Lord in peace. If the Lord lift 
up the light of his countenance on us here, it puts more gladness 
in our hearts than the world's increase can do, Psal. iv. 6, 7. How 
much more, when in his light we shall have light without darkness; 
and he shall make us full of joy with his countenance ! Psal. xxxvi. 
9; Acts ii. 28 ; Psal. xxxiii. 1. Rejoice, therefore, in the Lord, 
O ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright of heart ; 
and say with his servant David, " The Lord is the portion of mine 
inheritance ; the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places ; yea, I 
have a goodly heritage. I have set the Lord always before me : 
because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore 
my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest 
in hope : for he will not leave me in the grave, nor suffer me (for 
ever) to see corruption. He will show me the path of life, and 
bring me into his presence, where is fulness of joy ; and at his right 
hand, where are pleasures for evermore," Psal. xvi. 5, 6, 8 — 11. 
" Whom, therefore, have I in heaven but him, or in earth that I 
desire besides him .' Mv flesh and my heart have failed, and will 

c 2 


fail me ; but God is the strength of my heart, and will be my por- 
tion for ever. He shall guide me with his counsel, and afterwards 
receive me to glory. And as they that are far from him shall 
perish, so is it good, the chief good, for us to be near to God," 
Psal. Ixxiii. 24—28. 

The advancement is exceeding high : what unreverent, damnable 
presumption would it have been, once to have thought or spoken 
of such a thing, if God had not spoken it before us ! I durst not 
have thought of the saints' preferment in this life, as Scripture 
sets it forth, had it not been the express truth of God. What vile 
unmannerliness, to talk of " l)eing sons of God," " speaking to 
him," " having fellowship and communion with him," " dwelling in 
him and he in us;" if this had not been God's own language ! 
How much less durst we have once thought of " being brighter 
than the sun in glory ; " of " being coheirs with Christ ; of judging 
the world ; of sitting on Christ's throne ; of being one with him ; " 
if we had not all this from the mouth and under the hand of God ! 
But hath he said it, and shall it not come to pass ? Hath he spoken 
it, and will he not do it ? Yes, as true as the Lord God is true, thus 
shall it be done to the man whom Christ delights to honour. " The 
eternal God is their refuge, and underneath are the everlasting 
arms : and the beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him, 
and the Lord shall cover them all the day long, and he shall dwell 
between their shoulders," Deut. xxxiii. 27, 28, " Surely, good- 
ness and mercy shall follow them all the days of their lives, and 
then they shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever," Psal. 
xxiii. 6. O Christians ! believe and consider this. Is sun, and 
moon, and stars, and all creatures, called upon to praise the Lord ? 
Psal. cxlviii. What then should his people do ? Surely they are 
nearer him, and enjoy more of him, than the brutes shall do. All 
his works praise him, but, above all, let his saints bless him, Psal. 
cv. 10. O let them speak of the glory of his kingdom, and talk 
of his power : to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, 
and the glorious majesty of his kingdom, ver. 11, 12. " Let his 
praise be in the congregation of his saints. Let Israel rejoice in 
him that made him : let the children of Zion be joyful in their 
King. Let the saints be joyful in glory : let them sing aloud upon 
their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth ; for 
the Lord taketh pleasure in his people, and will beautify the meek 
with salvation," Psal. cxlix. 1, 2, 4 — 6. This is the "light that is 
sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart," 
Psal. xcvii. 11. Yea, ''this honour have all his saints," Psal. 
cxlix. 9. If the estate of the devils, before their fall, were not 
much meaner than this, and perhaps lower than some of their 
fellow angels, surely their sin was most accursed and detestable. 
Could they aspire higher ? And was there yet room for discontent? 
What is it, then, that would satisfy them .' Indeed, the distance 
that we sinners and mortals are at from our God, leave us some 
excuse for discontent with our estate. The poor soul out of the 
depth cries, and cries aloud, as if his Father were out of hearing : 


sometimes he chicles the interposing clouds ; sometimes he is angry 
at the vast gulf that is set between ; sometimes he would have the 
veil of mortality drawn aside, and thinks death hath forgot his 
business ; he ever quarrels with his sin that separates, and longs 
till it be separated from the soul, that it may separate God and him 
no more. Why, poor Christian, be of good cheer ; the time is near, 
when God and thou shalt be near, and as near as thou canst well 
desire : thou shalt dwell in his family ; is that enough { It is better 
to be a door-keeper in his house, than enjoy the portion of the 
wicked. Thou shalt ever stand before him, about his throne, in 
the room with him, in his presence-chamber. Wouldst thou yet 
be nearer .'' Thou shalt be his child, and he thy Father; thou shalt 
be an heir of his kingdom ; yea, more, the spouse of his Son : and 
what more canst thou desire t I'hou shalt be a member of the body 
of his Son, he shall be thy Head ; thou shalt be one with him, 
who is one with the Father. Read what he hath desired for thee 
of his Father. " That they all may be one, as thou. Father, art 
in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us ; and the 
glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be 
one, even as we are one ; I in them, and thou in me, that they may 
be made perfect in one, that the world may know that thou hast 
sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me," John xvii. 
21 — 23. What can you desire yet more ? Except you will, as some 
do, abuse Christ's expression of oneness, to conceive of such a 
union, as shall deify us ; which were a sin one step beyond the as- 
piring arrogancy of Adam ; and, I think, heyond that of the devils. 
A real conjunction, improperly called union, we may expect ; and 
a true union of affections. A moral union, improperly still called 
union, and a true relative union, such as is between the members of 
the same politic body and the head; yea, such as is between the 
husband and the wife, who are called one flesh. And a real com- 
munion, and communication of real favours, flowing from that 
relative union. If there be any more, it is acknowledged uncon- 
ceivable, and consequently unexpressible, and so not to be spoken 
of. If any can conceive of a proper real* union and identity, which 
shall neither be a unity of essence, nor of person with Christ, I shall 
not oppose it : but to think of such a union were high blasphemy. 
Nor must you think of a union, as some do, upon natural grounds, fol- 
lowing the dark, mistaken principles of Plato and Plotinus. If your 
thoughts be not guided and limited by Scripture in this, you are lost. 
Quest But how is it we shall enjoy God / q. How do wc enjoy 

Answ. That is the fifth and last we come to. Ciod? 

Sect. VI. 5. This rest containeth a sweet and a. A sweet and 
constant action of all the powers of the soul and constant action of all 
body in this fruition of God. It is not the rest of loXThe fruuL ' 
a stone, which ceaseth from all motion when it at- of God. 
tains the centre. The senses themselves, as I , r^^.i. 

• 1 , , . . ..,'., 1. Ot the senses. 

judge, are not only passive in receiving their ob- 

* I take not the word real, as opposite to feigned, but to relative. Sec Mr. Wallis's 
Answer to the Lord Brooks fully on this. 


ject, but partly passive and partly active. Whether the external 
senses, such as now we have, shall be continued and employed in 
this work, is a great doubt. For some of them, it is usually ac- 
knowledged they shall cease, because their being iniporteth their 
use, and their use implieth our estate of imperfection : as there is 
no use for eating and drinking, so neither for the taste. But for 
other senses the question will be harder ; for Job saith, " I shall 
see him with these eyes." 

But do not all senses imply our imperfection ? If Job did speak 
of more than a redemption from this present distress, as it is like 
he did, yet certainly these eyes will be made so spiritual, that 
whether the name of sense, in the same sense as now, shall befit 
them, is a question. This body shall be so changed, that it shall 
be no more flesh and blood,* for " that cannot inherit the kingdom 
of God," 1 Cor. XV. 50, but " a spiritual body," ver. 44. " That 
which we sow, we sow not that body that shall be ; but God giveth 
it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body," 
1 Cor. XV. 37, 38. As the ore is cast into the fire a stone, but 
comes forth so pure a metal, that it deserves another name, and so 
the difference betwixt it and the gold exceeding great : so far 
greater will the change of our bodies and senses be ; even so great, 
as now we cannot conceive. If grace make a Christian differ so 
much from what he was, that the Christian could say to his com- 
panion. Ego non sian ego, I am not the man I was ; how much 
more will glory make us differ ! We may then say much more. 
This is not the body I had, and these are not the senses I had. 
But because we have no other name for them, let us call them 
senses, call them eyes and ears, seeing and hearing : but thus con- 
ceive of the difference ; that as much as a body spiritual, above the 
sun in glory, exceedeth these frail, noisome, diseased lumps of flesh 
or dirt that now we carry about us ; so far shall our senses of see- 
ing and hearing exceed these we now possess : for the change of 
the senses must be conceived proportionable to the change of the 
body. And, doubtless, as God advanceth our sense, and enlargeth 
our capacity ; so will he advance the happiness of those senses, and 
fill up with himself all that capacity. And certainly the body 
should not be raised up and continued, if it should not share of the 
glory : for as it hath shared in the obedience and suff"erings, so shall 
it also do in the blessedness ; and as Christ bought the whole man, 
so shall the whole partake of the everlasting benefits of the pur- 
chase. The same difference is to be allowed for the tongue. For 
though, perhaps, that which we now call the tongue, the voice, the 
language, shall not then be ; yet, with the forementioned, uncon- 
ceivable change, it may continue. Certain it is, it shall be the 

* I thiuk the apostle speaks of flesh and blood in a proper sense, and not of sin. 
For them that say, the flesh is but the soul's instrument, and therefore should no more 
suffer, than a cup, because poison was put in it, or a sword for killing a man, &c. they 
may find this very objection fully answered by Tertullian, lib. de Resurrect. Carnis, cap. 
16. p. 410. Where he both shows, that the instruments may suffer according to their 
capacity, and that the flesh is more than a mere instrument to the soul, eyen a servant 
and an associate. 


everlasting work of those blessed saints, to stand before the throne 
of God and the lianib, and to praise him for ever and ever. As 
their eyes and hearts shall be filled with his knowledf:fe, with his 
glory, and with his love ; so shall thcMr mouths be filled with his 
praises. Go on, therefore, O ye saints, while you are on earth, in 
that divine duty. Learn, O learn, that saint-beseeming work ; for 
in the mouths of his saints his praise is comely. Pray, but still 
praise : hear and read, but still praise (Psal. xxxiii. I, 2 ; cxlvii.) : 
praise him in the presence of his people ; for it shall be your 
eternal work : praise him, while his enemies deride and abuse you : 
you shall praise him, while they shall bewail it, and admire you. 
O blessed employment, to sound forth for ever, " Thou art worthy, 
O Lord, to receive honour, glory, and power," Rev. iv. 11. And, 
" Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power, and riches, 
and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing ; 
for he hath redeemed us to God by his blood out of every kindred, 
and tongue, and people, and nation ; and hath made us unto your 
God kings and priests," Rev. v. 9, 10, 12. " AUelujah, salvation, 
and honour, and glory, and power, unto the Lord our God : praise 
our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, small and great. 
AUelujah : for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth," Rev. xix. 1, 
5, G. O Christians ! this is the blessed rest ; a rest without rest : 
for, " they rest not day nor night, saying, Holy, holy, holy. Lord 
God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come," Rev. iv. 8. 
Sing forth his praises now, ye saints ; it is a work our Master 
Christ hath taught us. And you shall for ever sing Before him 
the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb : " Great and mar- 
vellous are thy works. Lord God Almighty ; just and true are thy 
ways, thou King of saints," Rev. xv. 3. 

Sect. VIL And if the body shall be thus em- ^^^^^ ^^^ 

ployed, oh how shall the soul be taken up ! As its 
powers and capacities are greatest, so its actions strongest, and its 
enjoyments sweetest ; as the bodily senses have their proper apti- 
tude and action, whereby they receive and enjoy their objects, so 
doth the soul in its own action enjoy its own object, by knowing, 
by thinking and remembering, by loving, and by delightful joying : 
this is the soul's enjoying. By these eyes it sees, and by these 
arms it embraceth. If it might be said of the disciples with Christ 
on earth, much more that behold him in his glory, " Blessed are 
the eyes that see the things that ye see, and the ears that hear the 
things that ye hear ; for many princes and great ones have desired, 
and hoped, to see the things that ye see, and have not seen them," 
&c. Matt. xiii. 16, 17. 

Knowledge of itself is very desirable, even the knowledge of 
some evil, though not the evil itself. As far as the rational soul 
exceeds the sensitive, so far the delights of a philosopher, in dis- 
covering the secrets of nature, and knowing the mystery of sciences, 
exceed the delights of the glutton, the drunkard, the unclean, and 
of all voluptuous sensualists whatsoever ; so excellent is all truth. 
What then is their delight, who know the God of truth ! What 


would I not give, so that all the uncertain, questionable principles 
in logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, and medicine, were but 
certain in themselves, and to me ; and that my dull, obscure no- 
tions of them were but quick and clear ! Oh, what then should I 
not either perform or part with to enjoy a clear and true apprehen- 
sion of the most true God ! How noble a faculty of the soul is the 
understanding ! It can compass the earth ; it can measure the sun, 
moon, stars, and heaven ; it can foreknow each eclipse to a minute, 
many years before : yea, but this is the top of all its excellency, it 
can know God, who is infinite, who made all these ; a little here, 
and more, and much more hereafter. Oh the wisdom and good- 
ness of our blessed Lord ! He hath created the understanding 
with a natural bias and inclination to truth and its object ; and to 
the prime truth, as its prime object : and lest we should turn aside 
to any creature, he hath kept this as his own divine prerogative, 
not communicable to any creature, viz. to be the prime truth. 
And though I think not, as some do, that there is so near a close 
between the understanding and truth, as may produce a proper 
union or identity ; yet, doubtless, it is no such cold touch or dis- 
dainful embrace, as is between these gross, earthly heterogeneals. 
The true, studious, contemplative man knows this to be true ; who 
feels as sweet embraces between his intellect and truth, and far 
more than ever the quickest sense did in possessing its desired ob- 
ject. But the true, studious, contemplative Christian knows it 
much more ; who sometimes hath felt more sweet embraces be- 
tween his soul and Jesus Christ than all inferior truth can afford. 
I know some JChristians are kept short this way, especially the care- 
less in their watch and walking ; and those that are ignorant or 
negligent in the daily actings of faith, who look when God casts in 
joys, while they lie idle, and labour not to fetch them in by be- 
lieving : but for others, I appeal to the most of them. Christian, 
dost thou not sometimes, when after long gazing heavenward thou 
hast got a glimpse of Christ, dost thou not seem to have been with 
Paul in the third heaven, whether in the body or out, and to have 
seen what is unutterable ? art thou not, with Peter, almost beyond 
thyself, ready to say, " Master, it is good to be here ?" Oh that I 
might ever see what I now see ! Didst thou never look so long 
upon the Son of God, till thine eyes were dazzled with his astonish- 
ing glory ? and did not the splendour of it make all things below 
seem black and dark to thee when thou lookedst down again, 
especially in thy day of suffering for Christ, when he usually ap- 
pears most manifestly to his people ? Didst thou never see one 
walking in the midst of the fiery furnace with thee, like to the Son 
of God ? If thou do know him, value him as thy life, and follow on 
to know him (Hos. vi. 2, 3), and thou shalt know incomparably 
more than this ; or, if I do but renew thy grief to tell thee what 
thou once didst feel, but now hast lost, I counsel thee to remember 
whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, and be 
watchful, and strengthen the things which remain (Rev. ii. 5 ; iii. 
2); and I dare promise thee, because God hath promised, thou 


shalt see and know that which here thine eye could not see, nor thy 
understanding conceive. Believe me, Christians, yea, believe God, 
you that have known most of God in Christ here, it is as nothing 
to that you shall know ; it scarce, in comparison of that, deserves to 
be called knowledge. The dill'erence betwixt our knowledge now 
and our knowledge then, will be as great as that between our 
fleshly bodies now and our spiritual, glorified bodies then ; for as 
these bodies, so that knowledge, nmst cease, that. a more perfect 
may succeed. Our silly, childish thoughts of God, which now is 
the highest we can reach to, must give place to a more manly know- 
ledge. All this saith the apostle, " Knowledge shall vanish away ; 
for we know in part, &c. But when that which is perfect is come, 
then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, 
I spake as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child, 
but when I became a man, I put away childish things ; for now we 
see through a glass darkly, but then face to face : now I know in 
part, but then I shall know even as also I am known," 1 Cor. 
xiii. 8—12. 

Marvel not, therefore, Christian, at the sense of that place of John 
xvii. 3, how it can be life eternal to know God and his Son Jesus 
Christ ; you must needs know, that to enjoy God and his Christ is 
eternal life, and the soul's enjoying is in knowing. They that sa- 
vour only of earth, and consult with flesh, and have no way to try 
and judge but by sense, and never were acquainted with this know- 
lodge of God, nor tasted how gracious he is, these think it is a poor 
happiness to know God ; let them have health and wealth, and 
worldly delights, and take you the other. Alas, poor men, they 
that have made trial of both do not grudge you your delights, nor 
envy your happiness, but pity your undoing folly, and wish. Oh that 
you could come near, and taste and try as they have done, and then 
judge ; then continue in your former mind if you can ! For our 
parts, we say with that knowing apostle, though the speech may 
seem presumptuous, " We know that we are of God, and the whole 
world lieth in wickedness ; and we know that the Son of God is 
come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him 
that is true ; and we are in him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ: 
this is the true God, and eternal Life," 1 John v. 19, 20. Here 
one verse contains the sum of most that I have said. The Son of 
God is come to be our Head and Fountain of life, and so hath given 
us an understanding, that the soul may be personally qualified and 
made capable to know him (God) that is true, the prime Truth ; 
and we are brought so near in this enjoyment that we are in him 
that is true, not properly by an essential or personal union, but we 
are in him by being in his Son Jesus Christ. This, that we have 
mentioned, is the only true God, and so the fittest object for our 
understanding, which chooseth truth ; and this knowing of him, 
and being in him, in Christ, is eternal life. 

Sect. VIII. And, doubtless, the memory will not „ m 

1-11 1 • 1 ■ 1 1 1 1 •,■ • 1 1 i 2. Memorv. 

he Kile or useless m this blessed work, it it be but 

by looking back to help the soul to value its enjoyment. Our 


knowledge will be enlarged, not diminished ; therefore, the know- 
ledge of things past shall not be taken away ; and what is that 
knowledge, but remembrance ? Doubtless, from that height, the 
saint can look behind him and before him ; and to compare past 
with present things, must needs raise, in the blessed soul, an incon- 
ceivable esteem and sense of its condition. To stand on that 
mount, whence we can see the wilderness and Canaan both at once; 
to stand in heaven, and look back on earth, and weigh them toge- 
ther in the balance of a comparing sense and judgment ; how must 
it needs transport the soul, and make it cry out. Is this the pur- 
chase that cost so dear as the blood of God I No wonder : O 
blessed price, and thrice blessed love, that invented and conde- 
scended ! Is this the end of believing ? is this the end of the Spi- 
rit's workings? Have the gales of grace blown me into such a 
harbour ? is it hither that Christ hath enticed my soul ? O blessed 
way, and thrice blessed end ! Is this the glory which the Scrip- 
tures spoke of, and ministers preached of so much ? Why, now I 
see the gospel indeed is good tidings, even tidings of peace and good 
things ; tidings of great joy to all nations (Luke i. 19 ; ii. 10 ; Acts 
xiii. 32). Is my mourning, my fasting, my sad humblings, my 
heavy walking, groanings, complainings, come to this ? are all my 
afflictions, sickness, languishing, troublesome physic, fears of death, 
come to this ? are all Satan's temptations, the world's scorns and 
jeers, come to this ? And, now, if there be such a thing as indig- 
nation left, how will it here let fly ! O vile nature, that resisted so 
much and so long such a blessing ! Unworthy soul ! is this the 
place thou earnest so unwillingly towards ? was duty wearisome ? 
was the world too good to lose ? Didst thou stick at leaving all, 
denying all, and suffering any thing for this ? wast thou loth to die 
to come to this ? O false heart, that had almost betrayed me to 
eternal flames, and lost me this glory ! O base flesh, that would 
needs have been pleased, though to the loss of this felicity ! Didst 
thou make me to question the truth of this glory ? didst thou show 
me improbabilities, and draw me to distrust the Lord ? didst thou 
question the truth of that Scripture which promised this ? Why, 
my soul, art thou not now ashamed that ever thou didst question 
that love that hath brought thee hither ; that thou wast jealous of 
the faithfulness of thy Lord; that thou suspectedst his love when 
thou shouldst only have suspected thyself; that thou didst not live 
continually transported with thy Saviour's love ; and that ever thou 
quenchedst a motion of his Spirit ? Art thou not ashamed of all 
thy hard thoughts of such a God ; of all thy misinterpreting of, and 
grudging at, those providences, and repining at those ways, that 
have such an end ? Now, thou art sufficiently convinced that the 
ways thou calledst hard, and the cup thou calledst bitter, were 
necessary ; that thy Lord hath sweeter ends, and meant thee bet- 
ter, than thou wouldst believe ; and that thy Redeemer was 
saving thee, as well when he crossed thy desires as when he 
granted them, and as well when he broke thy heart as when he 
bound it up. O, no thanks to thee, unworthy self, but shame. 


for this received crown ; but to Jehovah and the Lamb be glory 
for ever. 

Thus, as the memory of the wicked will eternally promote their 
torment, to look back on the pleasures enjoyed, the sin committed, 
the grace refused, Christ neglected, and time lost ; so will the 
memory of the saints for ever promote their joys. And as it is 
said to the wicked, " Remember that thou in thy life-time re- 
ceivedst thy good things ;" so will it be said to the Christian, 
" Remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thine evils ; but 
now thou art comforted, and they are tormented," Luke xvi. 25. 
And as here the remembrance of former good is the occasion of 
increasing our grief, " I remembered God, and was troubled ; I 
called to remembrance my songs in the night," Psal. Ixxvii. 3, G ; 
so there the remembrance of our former sorrows adds life to 
our joys. 

Sect. IX. But oh the full, the near, the sweet 3. Affections. 
enjoyment is that of the affections, love, and joy ! l- Love. 
It is near ; for love is of the essence of the soul, and love is the 
essence of God: "for God is love." How near, therefore, is this 
blessed closure ! The Spirit's phrase is, " God is love ; and he 
that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him," 1 John 
iv. 8, 16. The acting of this affection, wheresoever, carrieth much 
delight along with it, especially when the object appears deserving, 
and the aflfection- is strong ; but oh, what will it be when perfect 
affections shall have the strongest, perfect, incessant acting upon 
the most perfect object, the ever-blessed God ! Now the poor soul 
complains. Oh that I could love Christ more ! but I cannot ; alas ! 
I cannot : yea, but then thou canst not choose but love him : I had 
almost said, forbear if thou canst. Now, thou knowest little of 
his amiableness, and therefore lovest little ; then thine eye will 
affect thy heart, and the continual viewing of that perfect beauty 
will keep thee in continual ravishments of love. Now thy salvation 
is not perfected, nor all the mercies purchased yet given in ; but 
w^hen the top-stone is set on, thou shalt, with shouting, cry, Grace, 
grace ! Now thy sanctification is imperfect, and thy pardon and 
justification* not so complete as then it shall be ; now thou knowest 
not what thou enjoyest, and therefore lovest the less : but when 
thou knowest much is forgiven, and much bestowed, thou wilt love 
more. Doth David, after an imperfect deliverance, sing forth 
his love, " I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and 
supplications?" Psal. cxvi. 1. What think you will he do eter- 
nally ; and how will he love the Lord, who hath lifted him up to 
that glory ? Doth he cry out, " Oh how I love thy law ! " Psal. 
cxix. 97. " My delight is in the saints on earth, and the excellent," 
Psal. xvi. 3. How will he say then, Oh how I love the Lord, and 
the King of saints, in whom is all my delight ! Christians, doth it 

* I know it is commonly said, that justification hath no degrees ; but j-et it is taken 
for several acts, whereof that of Christ absolving and acquitting us at the last judgment, 
is the most complete justification ; as Mr. Burgess, in his last lectures of justification, 


now stir up your love, to remember all the experiences of his love ; 
to look back upon a life of mercies ? doth not kindness melt you, 
and the sun-shine of Divine goodness warm your frozen hearts ? 
\V hat will it do, then, when you shall live in love, and have all in 
him, who is All ? Oh the high delights of love, of this love ; the 
content that the heart findeth in it ; the satisfaction it brings along 
with it ! Surely love is both work and wages. 

And if this were all, what a high favour, that God will give us 
leave to love him ; that he will vouchsafe to be embraced by such 
arms, that have embraced lust and sin before him ! But this is 
not all. He returneth love for love ; nay, a thousand times more : 
as perfect as we shall be, we cannot reach his measure of love. 
Christian, thou wilt be then brimful of love ; yet love as much as 
thou canst, thou shalt be ten thousand times more beloved (John 
xi. 33, 35, 36 ; Cant. i. 5 ; v. 2 ; vi. 9 ; iv. 9, 10, &c.) Dost thou 
think thou canst overlove him ? What ! love more than love itself? 
Were the arms of the Son of God open upon the cross, and an open 
passage made to his heart by the spear, and will not arms and heart 
be open to thee in glory ? did he begin to love before thou lovedst, 
and will not he continue now ? did he love thee, an enemy ; thee, 
a sinner; thee, who even loathedst thyself; and own thee when 
thou didst disclaim thyself; and will he not now immeasurably love 
thee, a son ; thee, a perfect saint ; thee, who returnest some love 
for love ? Thou wast wont injuriously to question his love ; doubt 
of it now if thou canst. As the pains of hell will convince the 
rebellious sinner of God's wrath, who would never before believe 
it ; so the joys of heaven will convince thee thoroughly of that love 
which thou wouldst so hardly be persuaded of. He that in love 
wept over the old Jerusalem near her ruins, with what love will he 
rejoice over the new Jerusalem in her glory ! O, methinks I see 
him groaning and weeping over dead Lazarus, till he forced the 
Jews that stood by to say, " Behold how he loved him !" Will he 
not then much more, by rejoicing over us, make all (even the 
damned, if they see it) to say, Behold how he loveth them ? Is 
his spouse, while black, yet comely ? is she his love, his dove, his 
undefiled ; doth she ravish his heart with one of her eyes ; is her 
love better than wine ? O believing soul, study a little, and tell 
me, what is the harvest which these first-fruits foretell ; and the 
love which these are but the earnest of? Here! O, here is the 
heaven of heaven! this is the saint's fruition of God; in these 
sweet, mutual, constant actings and embracements of love, doth it 
consist. To love, and be beloved : " These are the everlasting arms 
that are underneath," Deut. xxxiii. 27. " His left hand is under 
their heads, and with his right hand doth he embrace them," Cant, 
ii. 6. Reader, stop here, and think awhile what a state this is. Is 
it a small thing in thine eyes to be beloved of God ; to be the son, 
the spouse, the love, the delight of the King of glory ? Christian, 
believe this, and think on it ; thou shalt be eternally embraced in 
the arms of that love, which was from everlasting, and will extend 
to everlasting : of tliat love, which brought the Son of God's love 


from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the 
grave, from the grave to glory : that love, which was weary, hungry, 
tempted, scorned, scourged, InifTeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced ; 
which did fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die : that love 
•will eternally embrace them. When perfect created love and most 
perfect uncreated love meet together, oh the blessed meeting ! It 
will not be like Joseph and his brethren, who lay upon one another's 
necks weeping ; it will break forth into a pure joy, and not such a 
mixture of joy and sorrow as their weeping argued ; it will be 
loving and rejoicing, not loving and sorrowing : yet will it make 
Pharaoh's (Satan's) court to ring with the news, that Joseph's 
brethren are come ; that the saints are arrived safe at the bosom of 
Christ, out of the reach of hell for ever. Neither is there any such 
love as David's and Jonathan's ; shutting up in sorrows, and 
breathing out its last into sad lamentations for a forced separation : 
no, Christ is the powerful attractive, the effectual Loadstone, who 
draws to it all like itself. " All that the Father hath given him, 
shall come unto him j" even the lover, as well as the love, doth he 
draw ; " and they that come unto him, he will in nowise cast out," 
John vi. 37 — 39. For know this, believer, to thy everlasting com- 
fort, that if these arms have once embraced thee, neither sin nor 
hell can get thee thence for ever : the sanctuary is inviolable, and 
the rock impregnable, whither thou art fled, and thou art safe locked 
up to all eternity. Thou hast not now to deal with an unconstant 
creature, but with him with whom is no varying nor shadow of 
change, even the immutable God. If thy happiness were in thine 
own hand, as Adam's, there were yet fear; but it is in the keeping 
of a faithful Creator. Christ hath not bought thee so dear, to 
trust thee with thyself any more. His love to thee will not be as 
thine was on earth to him, seldom and cold, up and down, mixed 
(as agueish bodies) with burning and quaking, with a good day and 
a bad : no, Christian, he that would not be discouraged by thine 
enmity, by thy loathsome, hateful nature, by all thy unwillingness, 
unkind neglects, and churlish resistances ; he that would neither 
cease nor abate his love for all these, can he cease to love thee, 
when he hath made thee truly lovely ? He that keepeth thee so 
constant in thy love to him, that thou canst challenge " tribulation, 
distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword," to separate 
thy love from Christ if they can, Rom. viii. 3.5, how much more 
will himself be constant ! Indeed, he that produced these mutual, 
embracing aifections, will also produce such a mutual constancy in 
both, that thou mayst confidently be persuaded, as Paul was be- 
fore thee, " that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principali- 
ties, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, 
nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from 
the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," ver. 3S, 39. 
And now are we not left in the apostle's admiration ? What shall 
we say to these things ! Infinite love must needs be a mystery to 
a finite capacity. No wonder if angels desire to pry into this 
mystery (1 Pet. i. 12; Eph. iii. 18); and if it be the study of the 


saints here, to know the height, and breadth, and length, and 
depth, of this love, though it passeth knowledge : this is the saints' 
rest in the fruition of God by love. 

. Sect, X. Lastly: The affection of joy hath not 

^ "'°^' the least share in this fruition. It is that which 

all the rest lead to, and conclude in ; even the unconceivable com- 
placency which the blessed feel in their seeing, knowing, loving, 
and being ])eloved of God. The delight of the senses here, cannot 
be known by expressions, as they are felt ; how much less this joy ! 
This is the " white stone, which none knoweth but he that re- 
ceiveth," Rev. ii. 17 ; and if there be any "joy which the stranger 
meddleth not with," Prov. xiv. 10, then surely this, above all, 
is it. All Christ's ways of mercy tend to and end in the saints' 
joys. He wept, sorrowed, suffered, that they might rejoice ; he 
sendeth the Spirit to be their comforter ; he multiplieth promises, 
he discovers their future happiness, that their " joy may be full :" 
he aboundeth to them in the mercies of all sorts ; he maketh them 
lie down in green pastures, and leadeth them by the still waters ; 
yea, openeth to them the fountain of living waters ; that their joy 
may be full ; that they may thirst no more ; and that it may spring 
up in them to everlasting life (John xv. 11 ; xvi. 24; xvii. 13; 
Psal. xciv. 12, 13; 1 Thess. v. 16; Psal. xxxii. 11 ; xxxiii. 1, &c.) 
Yea, he causeth them to suffer, that he may cause them to re- 
joice ; and chasteneth them, that he may give them rest ; and 
maketh them, as he did himself, " to drink of the brook in the 
way, that they may lift up the head," Psal. ex. 7. And lest, after 
all this, they should neglect their own comforts, he maketh it their 
duty, and presseth it on them, commanding them to " rejoice in 
him alway, and again to rejoice." And he never brings them into 
so low a condition, wherein he leaves them not more cause of joy 
than of sorrow. And hath the Lord such a care of our comfort 
here ; where, the Bridegroom being from us, we must mourn ? 
(Matt. ix. 15.) Oh ! what will that joy be, where the soul being 
perfectly prepared for joy, and joy prepared by Christ for the soul, 
it shall be our work, our business, eternally to rejoice ! And it 
seems the saints' joy shall be greater than the damned's torment : 
for their torment is the torment of creatures, prepared for the devil 
and his angels (Matt, xxv.) ; but our joy is the joy of our Lord; 
even our Lord's own joy shall we enter : " and the same glory which 
the Father giveth him, doth the Son give to them," John xvii. 22 ; 
" and to sit with him in his throne, even as he is set down in his 
Father's throne," Rev. iii. 21. What sayest thou to all this, O 
thou sad and drooping soul ? Thou that now spendest thy days in 
sorrow, and thy breath in sighings, and turnest all thy voice into 
groanings ; who knowest no garments but sackcloth, no food but 
the bread and water of affliction ; who minglest thy bread with 
tears, and drinkest the tears which thou weepest ; what sayest thou 
to this great change, from all sorrow to more than all joy ? Thou 
poor soul, who prayest for joy, waitest for joy, complainest for 
want of joy, longest for joy ; why, then, thou shalt have full joy, 


as much as thou canst hold, and more than ever thou thoughtest 
on, or thy heart desired. And, in the mean time, walk carefully, 
watch constantly, and then lot God measure out thy times and de- 
grees of joy. It may he he keeps them till thou have more need : 
thou mayst hetter lose thy comfort than thy safety : if thou shouldst 
die full of fears and sorrows, it will he but a moment, and they are 
all gone, and conclude in joy unconceivable. As the joy of the 
hypocrite, so the fears of the upright are but for a moment. And 
as their hopes are but golden dreams, which, when death awakes, 
do then all perish, and their hopes die with them ; so the saints' 
doubts and fears are but terrible dreams, which, when they die, do 
all vanish ; and they awake in joyful glory. For " God's anger 
endureth but a moment, but in his favour is life : w^eeping may en- 
dure for a night, (darkness and sadness go together,) but joy com- 
eth in the morning," Psal. xxx. 5. O blessed morning, thrice 
blessed morning ! poor, humble, drooping soul, how would it fill 
thee with joy now, if a voice from heaven should tell thee of the 
love of God ; of the pardon of thy sins ; and should assure thee 
of thy part in these joys ! Oh what then will thy joys be, when 
thy actual possession shall convince thee of thy title, and thou shalt 
be in heaven before thou art well aware ! when the angels shall 
bring thee to Christ, and when Christ shall, as it were, take thee 
by the hand, and lead thee into thy purchased possession, and bid 
thee welcome to his rest, and present thee unspotted before his 
Father, and give thee thy place about his throne ! Poor sinner, 
what sayest thou to such a day as this ? wilt thou not be almost 
ready to draw back, and to say, What I, Lord, I, the unworthy 
neglecter of thy grace ! I, the unworthy disesteemer of thy blood, 
and slighter of thy love ! must I have this glory ? " Make me a 
hired servant, I am no more worthy to be called a son." But love 
will have it so ; therefore must thou enter into his joy. 

Sect. XI. And it is not thy joy only ; it is a God will joy in us as 
mutual joy as well as a mutual love. Is there well as we iu him. 
such joy in heaven at thy conversion, and will there be none at thy 
glorification ? will not the angels welcome thee thither, and con- 
gratulate thy safe arrival ? Yea, it is the joy of Jesus Christ : for 
now he hath the end of his undertaking, labour, suffering, dying, 
when we have our joys ; when he is " glorified in his saints, and 
admired in all them that believe," 2 Thess. i. 10. We are his 
seed, and the fruit of his soul's travail, which, when he seetli, he 
will be satisfied, Isa. liii. 10, 11. This is Christ's harvest, when 
he shall reap the fruit of his labours ; and when he seeth it was 
not in vain, it will not repent him concerning his sufferings ; but 
he will rejoice over his purchased inheritance, and his people shall 
rejoice in him. 

Yea, the Father himself puts on joy, too, in our joy : as we 
grieve his Spirit, and weary him with our iniquities, so he is re- 
joiced in our good. Oh how quickly here he doth espy a returning 
prodigal, even afar off! how doth he run and meet him ; and with 
what compassion falls he on his neck, and kisseth him ; and puts 


on him the best robe, and a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet, 
and spares not to kill the fatted calf, that they may eat and be 
merry ! This is indeed a happy meeting ; but nothing to the em- 
bracements and the joy of that last and great meeting. 

Yea, more yet ; as God doth mutually love and joy, so he makes 
this his rest, as it is our rest. Did he appoint a sabbath, because 
he rested from six days' work, and saw all good, and very good ? 
"What an eternal sabbatism, then, when the work of redemption, 
sanctification, preservation, glorification, are all finished, and his 
work more perfect than ever, and very good indeed ! So the Lord 
is said to rejoice, and to take pleasure in his people, Psal. cxlvii. 11, 
and cxlix. 4. O Christians, write these words in letters of gold ; 
" The Lord thy God in the midst of thee, is mighty : he will save : 
he will rejoice over thee with joy : he will rest in his love : he will 
joy over thee with singing," Zeph. iii. 17. Oh, well may we then 
rejoice in our God with joy, and rest in our love, and joy in him 
with singing. See Isa. Ixv. 18, 19. 

And now look back upon all this : I say to thee as the angel to 
John, " \\ hat hast thou seen ? " or if yet thou perceive not, draw 
nearer, come up higher, come and see. Dost thou fear thou hast 
been all this while in a dream ? Why, these are the true sayings of 
God. Dost thou fear, as the disciples, that thou hast seen but a 
ghost, instead of Christ (Luke xxiv. 37 — 39; Mark xvi. 7); a 
shadow instead of rest ? Why, come near and feel : a shadow con- 
tains not those substantial blessings, nor rests upon the basis of 
such a foundation truth, and sure word of promise, as you have 
seen these do. Go thy way now, and tell the disciples, and tell the 
humble, drooping souls thou meetest with, that thou hast in this 
glass seen heaven ; that the Lord indeed is risen, and hath there 
appeared to thee ; and behold he is gone before us into rest ; and 
that he is now preparing a place for them, and will come again, and 
take them to himself, that where he is, there they may be also, 
John xiv. 3. Yea, go thy ways, and tell the unbelieving world, 
and tell thy unbelieving heart, if they ask what is the hope thou 
boastest of, and what will be thy rest. Why, this is my Beloved, 
and my Friend, and this is my hope and my rest. Call them forth, 
and say, " Behold what love the Father hath bestowed upon us, 
that we should be the sons of God," 1 John iii. 1 ; and that we 
should enter into our Lord's own rest. 

Sect. Xn. But, alas ! my fearful heart dare scarce proceed : 
methinks I hear the Almighty's voice saying to me, as to Elihu, 
" Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge ? " 
Job xxxviii. 2. 

But pardon, O Lord, thy servant's sin : I have not pried into 
unrevealed things, nor, with audacious wits, curiously searched into 
thy counsels; but, indeed, I have dishonoured thy holiness, wronged 
thine excellency, disgraced thy saints' glory, by my own exceeding 
disproportionable portraying. 1 will bewail, from my heart, that 
my conceivings fall so short, my apprehensions are so dull, my 
thoughts so mean, my affections so stupid, and my expressions so 


low and unbeso;Miiing such a glory. But I have only heard by the 
hearing of the ear : O let thy servant see thee, ancl possess these 
joys ; and then I shall have more suitable conceivings, and shall 
give thee fuller glory, and abhor my present self, and disclaim and 
renounce all those imperfections. " 1 have now uttered that I un- 
derstood not ; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Yet 
I believed, and therefore spake," Job xlii. 3. Remember with 
whom thou hast to do : what canst thou expect from dust but 
levity ; or from corruption, but defilement ? Our foul hands will 
leave, where they touch, the marks of their uncleanness ; and most 
on those things that are most pure. " 1 know thou wilt be sancti- 
fied in them that come nigh thee, and before all the people thou wilt 
be glorified," Lev. x. 2, 3; Numb. xx. 12 ; Deut. xxxii. 51. And 
if thy jealousy excluded from that land of rest thy servants, Moses 
and Aaron, because they sanctified thee not in the midst of Israel, 
what then may I expect ? But though the weakness and irrever- 
ence be the fruit of my own corruption, yet the fire is from thine 
altar, and the work of thy commanding. I looked not into thine 
ark, nor put forth my hand unto it without thee. O, therefore, 
wash away these stains also in the blood of the Lamb : and let not 
jealousy burn us up ; lest thou affright the people away from thee, 
and make them, in their discouragement, to cry out, " How shall 
the ark of God come to us ? Who is able to stand before this holy 
Lord God ? Who shall approach and dwell with the consuming 
fire.'" 2 Sam. vi. 9; 1 Sam. vi. 20; Matt. xxvi. 14. Imperfect, 
or none, must be thy service here. O, take thy Son's excuse, " The 
spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 



Sect. I. Having thus opened you a window toward the temple, 
and showed you a small glimpse of the back parts of that resem- 
blance of the saints' rest which I had seen in the gospel-glass, it 
follows, that we proceed to view a little the adjuncts and blessed 
properties of this rest ; but, alas ! this little whieh I have seen 
makes me cry out, with the prophet Isaiah, chap. vi. 5 — 7, " Woe 
is me ! for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and 
dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips ; for mine eyes have 
seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Yet if he will send and touch 
my lips with a coal from the altar of his Son, and say, " Thine iniquity 
is taken away, and thy sin purged," I shall then speak boldly ; and 
if he ask, " Whom shall I send ?" I shall gladly answer, " Here am 
I, send me," ver. 8. And why doth my trembling heart draw 
back ? Surely the Lord is not now so terrible and inaccessible, nor 
the passage of paradise so blocked up, as when the law and curse 


reigned. Wherefore, finding, beloved Christians, ''' that the new and 
living way is consecrated for us, through the veil, the flesh of 
Christ, by which we may with boldness enter into the holiest, by 
the blood of Jesus, I shall draw near with the fuller assurance," 
Heb. X. 20 — 22. And finding the flaming sword removed, shall 
look again into the paradise of our God : and because 1 know that 
this is no forbidden fruit, and, withal, that it is good for food, and 
pleasant to the spiritual eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one 
truly wise and happy, Gen. iii. G ; I shall take, through the assist- 
ance of the Spirit, and eat thereof myself, and give to you, accord- 
ing to my power, that you may eat. For you. Christians, is this 
food prepared, this wine broached, this fountain opened ; and the 
message my Father sends you is this hearty welcome, which you 
shall have in his own words, " Eat, O friends ; drink, yea, drink 
abundantly, O beloved," Cant. v. 1. i\.nd, surely, it is neither 
manners nor wisdom for you or me, to draw back or to demur upon 
such an invitation. 

The antecedents of And first, Let US consider of the eminent ante- 
our rest. cedents, the great preparations ; that notable in- 

troduction to this rest ; for the porch of this temple is exceeding 
glorious, and the gate of it is called Beautiful : and here offer 
themselves to our distinct observation, these four things, as the 
four corners of this porch. 

1. The most glorious coming and appearing of the Son of God. 

2. His powerful and wonderful raising of our bodies from the 
dust, and uniting them again with the soul. 

3. His public and solemn proceedings in their judgment, where 
they shall be justified and acquitted before all the world. 

4. His solemn celebration of their coronation, and his enthron- 
izing of them in their glory. Follow but this fourfold stream unto 
the head, and it will bring you just to the garden of Eden. 

1. The coming of Sect. II. And well may the coming of Christ be 
Christ. reckoned into his people's glory, and enumerated 

with those ingredients that compound this precious antidote of rest : 
for to this end it is intended; and to this end it is of apparent ne- 
cessity. For his people's sake he sanctified himself to his office ; 
for their sake he came into the world, suffered, died, rose, ascended ; 
and for their sake it is that he will return. Whether his own ex- 
altation, or theirs, were his* primary intention, is a question, though 
of seeming usefulness, yet so unresolved, for aught I have found, in 
Scripture, that I dare not scan it, for fear of pressing into the Di- 
vine secrets, and approaching too near the inaccessible light. I 
find Scripture mentioning both ends distinctly and conjunctly, but 
not comparatively. This is most clear, that to this end will Christ 
come again to receive his people to himself, " that where he is, 
there they may be also," John xiv. 3. The Bridegroom's departure 
was not upon divorce ; he did not leave us with a purpose to 
return no more : he hath left pledges enough to assure us ; we have 

* Viz. of the man Christ, next the alovy of the Godhead, Rom. xiv. 9; 2 Tliess. i. 
10 ; Tit. ii. 14. 


his word in pawn, his many promises, his sacraments, which show 
forth his death till he come, and his Spirit to direct, sanctify, 
and comfort, till he return. We have frequent tokens of love 
from him, to show us he forgets not his purpose, nor us. We he- 
hold the forerunners of his coming, foretold hy liimself, daily 
come to pass. We see the fig tree put forth her hranches, and 
therefore know the summer is nigh. We see the fields white 
unto harvest : and though the riotous world say, Our Lord will 
he long a coming, yet let the saints lift up their heads, for their 
redemption draweth nigh. Alas ! fellow Christians, what should 
we do, if our Lord should not return.''* What a case are we 
here left in ! What ! leave us among wolves, and in the lion's 
den, among a generation of serpents, and here forget us ! Did he 
huy us so dear, and then cast us oif so { to leave us sinning, suffer- 
ing, groaning, dying daily, and come no more at us ? It cannot 
be ; never fear it : it cannot be. This is like our unkind dealing 
witli Christ, who, when we feel ourselves warm in the world, care 
not for coming at him ; but this is not like Christ's dealing with 
us. He that would come to suffer, will surely come to triumph ; 
and he that would come to purchase, will surely come to pos- 
sess. Alas ! where else were all our hopes ? What were become 
of our faith, our prayers, our tears, and our waiting ? What were 
all the patience of the saints worth to them ? Were we not left of 
all men most miserable !* Christians, hath Christ made us forsake 
all the world, and be forsaken of all the world ; to hate all, and to 
be hated of all ; and all this for him, that we might have him in- 
stead of all ^ and will he, think you, after all this, forget us and 
forsake us himself? Far be such a thought from our hearts ! But 
why stayed he not with his people, while he was here { Why must 
not the Comforter be sent { \\ as not the work on earth done ? 
Must he not receive the recompence of reward, and enter into his 
glory i Must he not take possession in our behalf? Must he not 
go to prepare a place for us ? Must he not intercede with the 
Father ; and plead his sufferings, and be filled with the Spirit, to 
send it forth ; and receive authority, to subdue his enemies ? Our 
abode here is short ; if he had stayed on earth, what would it have 
been to enjoy him for a few days, and then die ? But he hath more 
in heaven to dwell among ; even the spirits of the just of many 
generations, there made perfect. Besides, he will have us live by 
faith, and not by sight. Oh, fellow Christians, what a day will 
that be, when w^e, who have been kept prisoners l)y sin, by sinners, 
by the grave, shall be fetched out by the Lord himself; when 
Christ shall come from heaven to plead with his enemies, and set 
his captives free ! It will not be such a coming as his first was, in 
meanness, and poverty, and contempt : he will not come to be spit 

* Matt. xxiv. 32, 48 ; x. IG ; Psal. Ivii. 4 ; Mntt. iii. 7. The ancient Christians still 
^vorshipped in the churches with their faces eastward, to signify their continual expecta- 
tion of Christ's coming, who they thousiht should appear in the east ; from that of 
Matt. xxiv. 27 ; John xvi. 7 ; xvii." 4 ; lleh. xii. 2 ; Luke xxiv. 26 ; John xiv. 3 ; Hch. 
vii. 25, 26 ; Gal. iii. 14 ; Eph. iv. S, 9. 


upon, and buffeted, and scorned, and crucified again : he will not 
come, O careless world, to be slighted and neglected by you any 
more. And yet that coming, which was necessarily in infirmity 
and reproach for our sakes, wanted not its glory. If the angels of 
heaven must be the messengers of that coming, as being " tidings 
of joy to all people," Luke ii. 22; and the heavenly host must go 
before or accompany the celebration of his nativity, and must praise 
God with that solemnity, " Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace, good will towards men;" oh, then, with what shout- 
ings will angels and saints at that day proclaim. Glory to God, and 
peace and good will towards men ! If the stars of heaven must 
lead men from remote parts of the world to come to worship a child 
in a manger, how will the glory of his next appearing constrain all 
the world to acknowledge his sovereignty ! If tlie King of Israel, 
riding on an ass, made his entry into Jerusalem with hosannahs, 
" Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord : peace 
in heaven, and glory in the highest ! " Luke xix. 38 ; oh with 
what proclamations of blessings, peace, and glory, will he come 
toward the new Jerusalem ! If, when he was in the form of a 
servant, they cry out, " What manner of man is this, that both 
wind and sea obey him ?" Matt. viii. 27 ; what will they say when 
they see him coming in his glory, and the heavens and the earth 
obey him ! " Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in 
heaven : and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they 
shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power 
and great glory," Mark iv, 41 ; Matt. xxiv. 30. O Christians, 
it was comfortable to you to hear from him, to believe in him, and 
hope for him. What wall it be to see him ? The promise of his 
coming and our deliverance was comfortable. What will it be thus 
to see him, with all the glorious attendance of angels, come in 
person to deliver us ? " The mighty God, the Lord, hath spoken, 
and called the earth from the rising of the sun to the going down 
thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence ; a fire shall devour 
before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He 
shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he 
might judge his people. Gather my saints together to me, those 
that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens 
shall declare his righteousness : for God is Judge himself. Selah," 
Psal. 1, 1 — 6. This coming of Christ is frequently mentioned in 
the prophets, as the great support of his people's spirits till then. 
And whenever the apostles would quicken to duty, or comfort, and 
encourage to patient waiting, they usually do it by mentioning 
Christ's coming. Why, then, do we not use more this cordial con- 
sideration, whenever we want support and comfort ? To think and 
speak of that day with horror, doth well beseem the impenitent 
sinner, but ill the believing saint. Such may be the voice of a be- 
liever, but it is not the voice of faith. Christians, what do we be- 
lieve, and hope, and wait for, but to see that day ? This is Paul's 
encouragement to nioderation, to " rejoicing in the Lord alway ; 


The Lord is at hand," Phil. iv. 4, 5. It is " to all thorn that love 
his appoariiis:, that tho Lord, the righteous .Judge, shall give the 
crown of righteousness at that day," 2 Tim. iv. H. Dost thou 
so long to have him come into thy soul with comfort and life, and 
takest thyself hut for a forlorn orphan, while he seemeth ahsent ? 
And dost thou not nuich more long for that coming which shall 
perfect thy life, and joy, and glory { Dost thou so rejoice after 
some short and slender enjoyment of him in thy heart ? Oh ! how 
wilt thou then rejoice ! How full of joy was that blessed martyr, 
Mr. Glover, with the discovery of Christ to his soul, after long 
doubting and waiting in sorrows ! So that he cries out, He is 
come ! he is come ! If thou have but a dear friend returned, that 
hath been far and long absent, how do all run out to meet him 
with joy ! Oh ! saith the child, My father is come ! saith the 
wife, My husband is come ! And shall not we, when we behold 
our Lord in his majesty returning, cry out, He is come ! He is 
come ! Sliall the wicked, with inconceivable horror, behold him, 
and cry out, Oh 1 yonder is he whose blood we neglected, whose 
grace we resisted, whose counsels we refused, whose government 
we cast off! And shall not then the saints, with inconceivable 
gladness, cry out. Oh ! yonder is he whose blood redeemed us, 
whose Spirit cleansed us, whose law did govern us ! Yonder comes 
he in whom we trusted, and now we see he hath not deceived our 
trust ; he for whom we long waited, and now we see we have not 
waited in vain ! O cursed corruption, that would have had us turn 
to the world and present things, and give up our hopes, and say, 
^V'hy should we wait for the Lord any longer ? Now we see, that 
" blessed are all they that wait for him." Believe it, fellow Chris- 
tians, this day is not far off. " For yet a little w'hile, and he that 
comes will come, and will not tarry." And though the unbelieving 
world, and the unbelief of thy heart, may say, as those atheistical 
scoffers, " Where is the promise of his coming .'' Do not all things 
continue as they were from the beginning of the creation ? " Yet, 
let us know, " the Lord is not slack of his promise, as some men 
count slackness : one day with him is as a thousand years, and a 
thousand years as one day," 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4, 8, 9. I have thought 
on it many a time, as a small emblem of that day, when I have 
seen a prevailing army drawing towards the towns and castles of 
the enemy. Oh ! with what glad hearts do all the poor prisoners 
within hear the news, and behold their approach ! How do they 
run up to their prison windows, and thence behold their friends 
with joy ! How glad are they at the roaring report of that cannon, 
which is the enemy's terror ! How do they clap each other on the 
back, and cry, Deliverance, deliverance ! AVhile, in the mean time, 
the late insulting, scorning, cruel enemies begin to speak them 
fair, and beg their favour ; but all in vain, for they are not at the 
disposal of prisoners, but of the general. Their fair usage may 
make their conditions somewhat the more easy, but yet they are 
used as enemies still. Matt. xxiv. 27. Oh! when the conquering 
Lion of the tribe of Judah shall appear with all the hosts of heaven ; 


when he shall surprise the careless world, as a thief in the night ; 
when as the lightning, which appeareth in the east, and shineth 
even to the west, so they shall behold him coming ; what a change 
will the sight of this appearance work, both with the world and 
with the saints ! Now, poor deluded world, where is your mirth and 
your jollity ? Now, where is your wealth and your glory ? where is 
that profane and careless heart, that slighted Christ and his Spirit, 
and withstood all the oiFers of grace ? Now, where is that tongue 
that mocked the saints, and jeered the holy ways of God, and 
made merry with his people's imperfections, and their own slan- 
ders ? What ! was it not you ? Deny it if you can. Your heart 
condemns you, and " God is greater than your heart, and will con- 
demn you much more," 1 John iii. 20, 21. Even when you say, 
" Peace and safety, then destruction cometh upon you, as travail 
upon a woman with child ; and you shall not escape," I Thess. v. 
3. Perhaps, if you had known just the day and hour when the 
Son of man would have come, then you would have Ijeen found 
praying, or the like ; but you should have watched, and been 
ready, because you know not the hour. But for that faithful and 
Avise servant, whom his Lord when he comes shall find so doing; 
" O, blessed is that servant : verily I say unto you, (for Christ 
hath said it,) he shall make him ruler over all his goods," Matt, 
xxiv. 42 — 47. " And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, he 
shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away," 1 Pet. v. 4. 
Oh how should it then be the character of a Christian, " to wait for 
the Son of God from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even 
Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come," 1 Thess. i. 10. 
And with all faithful diligence, to prepare to meet our Lord with 
joy. And seeing his coming is on purpose " to be glorified in his 
saints, and admired in all them that believe," 2 Thess. i. 10; O, 
what thought should glad our hearts more than the thought of that 
day ! A little while, indeed, we have not " seen him, but yet a little 
while, and we shall see him," John xiv. 18. For he hath said, " I 
will not leave you comfortless, but will come unto you." We were 
comfortless, should he not come. And while we daily gaze and 
look up to heaven after him, let us remember what the angel said, 
" This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall 
so come, in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven," Acts 
i. 10. While he is now out of sight, it is a sword to our souls, 
while they daily ask us, " Where is your God ? " Psal. xlii. But 
then we shall be able to answer our enemies ; See, O proud sinners, 
yonder is our Lord. O now. Christians, should we not put up that 
petition heartily, " Let thy kingdom come ; for the Spirit and the 
bride say. Come. And let every Christian that heareth and read- 
eth, say, Come." And our Lord himself saith, " Surely I come 
quickly; Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus," Rev. xxii. 17, 20. 
Sect. in. The second stream that leadeth to „ _ 

T • ,1 . , 1 n r «-,,-.• 2. Our lesurrcction. 

paradise, is that great work of Jesus Christ, in 

raising our bodies from the dust, uniting them again unto the soul. 

A wonderful effect of infinite power and love. Yea, wonderful in- 


deed, saith unbelief, if it be true. Wbat ! saith ibe allieist and 
Sadducce, sball all these scattered bones and dust become a man f 
A man drowned in the sea is eaten by fishes, and they by men again, 
and these men by worms ; what is become of the body of that first 
man ; shall it rise again ! I'hou fool, (for so Paul calls thee,) dost 
thou dispute against the power of the Almighty .' wilt thou pose 
him with thy sophistry .'' dost thou object dilHculties to the infinite 
strength ? Thou blind mole ; thou silly worm ; thou little piece of 
creeping, breathing clay ; thou dust ; thou nothing ; knowest thou 
who it is, whose power thou dost question { If thou shouldst see him, 
thou wouldst presently die. If he should come and dispute his cause 
with thee, couldst thou bear it .'' or if thou shouldst hear his voice, 
couldst thou endure .'' But come thy way, let me take thee by the 
hand, and do thou a little follow me ; and let me, with reverence, 
as Elihu, plead for God, and for that power whereby I hope to 
arise. Seest thou this great, massy body of the earth : what beareth 
it, and upon what foundation doth it stand .'' Seest thou this vast 
ocean of waters : Avhat limits them, and why do they not overflow 
and drown the earth ? whence is that constant ebbing and flowing 
of her tides ? wilt thou say from the moon, or other planets ? and 
whence have they that power of eftective influence ? must thou not 
come to a cause of causes, that can do all things!" And doth not 
reason require thee to conceive of that cause as a perfect intelli- 
gence, and voluntary agent, and not such a blind worker and eni])ty 
notion as that nothing is, which thou callest nature ? Look upward ; 
seest thou that glorious body of light, the sun : how many times 
bigger it is than all the earth ; and yet how many thousand miles 
doth it run in one minute of an hour, and that without weariness, 
or failing a moment ! What thinkest thou ; is not that power able 
to efl^^ct thy resurrection, which doth all this i dost thou not see as 
great works as a resurrection every day before thine eyes, but that 
the commonness makes thee not admire them ? Read but Job 
xxxvii. to xli. and take heed of disputing against God again, for 
ever. Knowest thou not, that with him all things are possible ? 
Can he make a camel go through the eye of a needle ; can he make 
such a blind sinner as thou to see, and such a proud heart as thine 
to stoop, and such an earthly mind as thine heavenly ; and subdue 
all that thy fleshly, foolish wisdom ; and is not this as great a 
work, as to raise thee from the dust { Wast thou any unlikelier to 
be, when thou wast nothing, than thou shalt be when thou art 
dust ? Is it not as easy to raise the dead, as to make heaven and 
earth, and all of nothing .'' But if thou be unpersuadable, all I say 
to thee more is, as the prophet to the prince of Samaria, (2 Kings 
vii, 20,) " Thou shalt see that day with thine eyes," but little to 
thy comfort ; for that which is the day of relief to the saints, shall 
be a day of revenge on thee ; there is a rest prepared, but thou 
canst not '•' enter in because of unbelief," Heb. iii. 10. But for 
thee, O believing soul, never think to comprehend, in the narrow- 
capacity of thy shallow brain, the counsels and ways of thy Maker ; 
any more than thou canst contain in thy fist the vast ocean. He 


never intended thee such a capacity, when he made thee, and gave 
thee that measure thou hast, any more than he intended to enable 
that worm, or this post, or stone, fully to know thee. Therefore, 
when he speaks, dispute not, but believe, as Abraham, who con- 
sidered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred 
years old, nor yet the deadness of Sarah's womb ; he staggered not 
at the pi'omise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, 
giving glory to God ; and being fully persuaded, that what he had 
promised he was also able to perform ; and so, " against hope, be- 
lieved in hope," Rom. iv. 18 — 21. So look thou not on the dead 
bones, and dust, and difficulties, but at the promise, Isa. xxvi. 20, 
21. Martha knew her brother should rise again at the resurrec- 
tion ; but if Christ say, he shall rise before, it must be believed. 
Come, then, fellow Christians, let us contentedly commit these car- 
casses to the dust : that prison shall not long contain them. Let 
us lie down in peace, and take our rest ; it will not be an everlasting 
night, or endless sleep. What if we go out of the troubles and stirs 
of the world, and enter into those chambers of dust, and the doors 
be shut upon us, and we hide ourselves, as it were, for a little mo- 
ment, until the indignation be over-past ? Yet, behold the Lord 
cometh out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth for 
their iniquity : and then the earth shall disclose us, and the dust 
shall hide us no more. As sure as we awake in the morning, when 
we have slept out the night, so sure shall we then awake. And 
what if, in the mean time, we must be loathsome lumps, cast out of 
the sight of men, as not fit to be endured among the living ; what, 
if our carcasses become as vile as those of the beasts that perish ; 
what, if our bones be dug up, and scattered about the pit brink, 
and worms consume our flesh { yet we know our Redeemer liveth, 
and shall stand at last on earth, and we shall see him with these 
eyes. And withal it is but this flesh that suffers all this, which 
has been a clog to our souls so long. And what is this comely 
piece of flesh, which thou art loth should come to so base a state ? 
It is not a hundred years since it was either nothing, or an invisible 
something. And is it not most of it for the present, if not an ap- 
pearing nothing, seeming something to an imperfect sense ; yet, at 
best, a condensation of invisibles, which, that they may become 
sensible, are become more gross, and so more vile ? Where is all 
that fair mass of flesh and blood which thou hadst, before sickness 
consumed thee ? annihilated it is not ; only resolved into its prin- 
ciples : show it me if thou canst. Into how small a handful of 
dust or ashes will that whole mass, if buried or burnt, return ! and 
into how much smaller can a chemist reduce that little, and leave 
all the rest invisible ! What if God prick the bladder, and let out 
the whid that puff's thee up to such a substance, and resolve thee 
into thy principles ? Doth not the seed thou sowest die before it 
spring ? And what cause have we to be tender of this body ? Oh 
what care, what labour, what grief and sorrow hath it cost us ; how 
many a weary, painful, tedious hour ! O my soul, grudge not that 
God should disburden thee of all this : fear not lest he should free 


thee from thy fettors : he not so loth that he should break down 
thy prison, and lot thoe cjo : what though some terrii)le earthcjuake 
gobefore ; it is but that the foundations of the prison may be shaken, 
and so the doors fly open ; the terror will be to thy jailer, but to thee 
deliverance. O, therefore, at what hour of the night soever thy Lord 
come, let him find thee, though with thy feet in these stocks, yet 
singing praises to him, and not fearing the time of thy deliverance. 
If unclothing be the thing thou fearest, why it is that thou mayst 
have better clothing put on. If to be turned out of doors be the 
thing thou fearest, why remend)er, then, when this earthly house 
of thy tabernacle is dissolved, thou hast " a building of God, a 
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." How will- 
ingly do our soldiers burn their huts, when the siege is ended, 
being glad their work is done, that they may go home and dwell 
in houses ! Lay down, then, cheerfully this bag of loathsome filth, 
this lump of corruption ; thou shalt undoubtedly receive it again 
in incorruption. Lay down freely this terrestrial, this natural 
])ody ; believe it, thou shalt receive it again a celestial, a spiritual 
body. And though thou lay it down into the dirt with great dis- 
honour, thou shalt receive it into glory with honour : and though 
thou art separated from it through weakness, it shall be raised 
again, and joined to thee in mighty power. When the trumpet of 
God shall sound the call, " Come away, arise, ye dead," 1 Cor. xv. 
42 — 4.5 ; who shall then stay behind ? Who can resist the power- 
ful command of our Lord, when he shall call to the earth and sea, 
" O earth, give up thy dead! O sea, give up thy dead?" Then 
shall our Samson break for us the bonds of death. And as the un- 
godly shall, like toads from their holes, be drawn forth whether 
they will or no ; so shall the godly, as prisoners of hope, awake out 
of sleep, and come with joy to meet their Lord. The first that 
shall be called, are the saints that sleep ; and then the saints that 
are then alive shall be changed. For Paul hath told us, by the 
word of the Lord, " That they which are alive, and remain till the 
coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them w hich are asleep. For 
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the 
voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead 
in Christ shall rise first. Then they which are alive, and remain, 
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the 
Lord in the air ; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Where- 
fore, O Christians, comfort one another with these words," 
1 Thess. iv. 15 — 18. This is one of the gospel mysteries : 
" That we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an 
eye, at the last trump ; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead 
shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this 
corruptible must put on incorruption ; and this mortal, immortality. 
Then is death swallow-ed up in victory. O death, where is thy 
sting? O grave, where is thy victory ? Thanks be to God, which 
giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. xv. 
51 — 57. Triumph now, O Christian, in these promises; thou 
shalt shortly triumph in their performance. For this is the day 


that the Lord will make ; " we shall be glad and rejoice therein," 
Psalm cxviii. The grave that could not keep our Lord, cannot 
keep us : he arose for us, anil by the same power will cause us to 
arise. " For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again ; even 
so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him," 
1 Thess. iv. 14. Can the head live, and the body and members 
remain dead ? O, write those sweet words upon thy heart, Chris- 
tian, " Because I live, ye shall live also," John xiv. 19. As sure 
as Christ lives, ye shall live ; and as sure as he is risen, we shall 
rise. Else the dead perish. Else what is our hope ; what advan- 
tageth all our duty or suffering ? Else the sensual epicure were 
one of the wisest men ; and what better are we than our beasts ? 
Surely our knowledge, more than theirs, would but increase our 
sorrows ; and our dominion over them is no great felicity. The 
servant hath ofttimes a better life than his master, because he hath 
few of his master's cares. And our dead carcasses are no more 
comely, nor yield a sweeter savour, than theirs. But we have a 
sure ground of hope, x^nd besides this life, we have " a life that 
is hid with Christ in God ; and when Christ, who is our life, shall 
appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory," Col. iii. 3, 4. 

let us not be as the purblind world, that cannot see afar off; let 
us never look at the grave, but let us see the resurrection beyond it. 
Faith is quick-sighted, and can see as far as that is ; yea, as far as 
eternity. Therefore let our hearts be glad, and our glory rejoice, 
and our flesh also shall rest in hope ; for he will not leave us in the 
grave, nor suffer us still to see corruption. Yea, " Therefore, let 
us be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the 
Lord, forasmuch as we know our labour is not in vain in the Lord," 

1 Cor. XV. 58. (1 Cor. xv. 13, 14, 17—19, 30—32.) 

God made not death, but Christ overcame it, when sin had in- 
troduced it. Death is from ourselves, but life from the Author 
and Lord of life. The devil had the power of death till he was 
overcome by death, Heb. ii. 14, 15; but he that liveth and was 
dead, and is alive for evermore, hath now the keys of death and 
hell. Rev. i. 18. That the very damned live, is to be ascribed to 
him ; that they live in misery, is long of themselves. Not that it 
is more desirable to them to live miserably, as there they must do, 
than not to live ; but as God's glory is his chief, if not only, end, 
in all his works, so was it the Mediator's chief end in the world's 
reparation. They shall, therefore, live, whether they will or no, 
for God's glory, though they live not to their own comfort, because 
they would not. 

But whatsoever is the cause of the wicked's resurrection, this 
sufficeth to the saints' comfort, that resurrection to glory is only 
the fruit of Christ's death : and this fruit they shall certainly par- 
take of. The promise is sure : " All that are in their graves shall 
hear his voice, and come forth," John v. 28. And this is the 
Father's will which hath sent Christ, " that of all which he hath 
given him he should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last 
day," John vi. 39 ; " and that every one that believeth on the Son 


may have everlasting life, and he will raise him np at the last clay," 
vor. U). If the prayers of the prophet coukl raise the Shunani- 
mite's dead chikl, and if the dead soldier revived at the touch of 
the prophet's hones, how certainly shall the will of Christ, and 
the power of his death, raise us. The voice that said to J aims' 
daughter, "Arise;" and to Lazarus, "Arise, and come forth," 
can do the like for us. If his death immediately raised the dead 
bodies of many saints in Jerusalem ; if he gave power to his 
apostles to raise the dead ; then what doubt of our resurrection ? 
And thus, Christian, thou seest that, Christ having sanctified the 
grave by his burial, and conquered death, and broke the ice for us, 
a dead body and a grave is not now so horrid a spectacle to a be- 
lieving eye ; but as our Lord was nearest his resurrection and glory 
when he was in the grave, even so are we ; and he that hath pro- 
mised to make our bed in sickness, will make the dust as a bed of 
roses. Death shall not dissolve the union betwixt him and us, nor 
turn away his affections from us; but in the morning of eternity 
he will send his angels, yea, come himself, and roll away the stone, 
and unseal our grave, and reach us his hand, and deliver us alive to 
our Father. Why, then, doth the approach of death so cast thee 
down, O my soul ; and why art thou thus disquieted within me ? 
The grave is not boll: if it were, yet there is thy Lord present; 
and thence should his merit and mercy fetch thee out. Thy sick- 
ness is not unto death, though I die, but for the glory of God, that 
the Son of God may be glorified thereby. Say not, then, he lifted 
me up to cast me down, and hath raised me high that my fall may 
1)6 the lower; but he casts me down that he may lift me up, and 
layeth me low that I may rise the higher. A hundred experiences 
have sealed this truth unto thee, that the greatest dejections are 
intended but for advantages to thy greatest dignity and the Re- 
deemer's glory. 

Sect. IV. The third part of this prologue to the 3. Our justification 
saints' rest, is the public and solemn process at ^^ judgment. 
their judgment, where they shall first, themselves, be acquitted and 
justified ; and then, wdth Christ, judge the world. Public I may 
v.ell call it, for all the world must there appear ; young and old, of 
all estates and nations, that ever were from the creation to that 
day, must here come and receive their doom. The judgment shall 
l)e set, and the books opened, and the book of life produced ; "and 
the dead shall be judged out of those things which were written in 
the books, according to their works ; and whosoever is not found 
written in the book of life, is cast into the lake of fire," Rom. ii. 
16; xiv. 10; Rev. XX. 12—15. O, terrible ! O, joyful day ! Ter- 
rible to those that have let their lamps go out, and have not watched, 
but forgot the coming of their Lord ; joyful to the saints, whose 
waiting and hope was to see this day. Then shall the world behold 
the goodness and severity of the I^ord : on them who perish, se- 
verity ; but to his chosen, goodness : when every one must give 
account of his stewardship, and every talent of time, health, wit, 
mercies, afiiictions, means, warnings, nmst be reckoned for, Matt. 


xxiv.; XXV. 5 — 7 ; Rom. i. 22; when the sins of youth, and those 
which they had forgotten, and their secret sins, shall all be laid 
open before angels and men ; when they shall see all their friends, 
wealth, old delights, all their confidence and false hopes of heaven, 
to forsake them ; when they shall see the Lord Jesus Christ, whom 
they neglected, whose word they disobeyed, whose ministers they 
abused, whose servants they hated, now sitting to judge them ; 
when their own consciences shall cry out against them, and call to 
their remembrance all their misdoings : Remember at such a time, 
such or such a sin ; at such a time Christ sued hard for thy con- 
version ; the minister pressed it home to thy heart, thou wast 
touched to the quick with the word ; thou didst purpose and promise 
retui'ning, and yet thou cast off all. When a hundred sermons, 
sabbaths, mercies, shall each step up and say, I am witness against 
the prisoner ; Lord, I was abused, and I was neglected ; oh, which 
way will the wretched sinner look ! oh, who can conceive the ter- 
rible thoughts of his heart ! Now the world cannot help him ; his 
old companions cannot help him ; the saints neither can nor will : 
only the Lord Jesus can ; but, oh ! there is the soul-killing misery, 
he will not ; nay, without violating the truth of his word, he can- 
not ; though otherwise, in regard of his absolute power, he might. 
The time was, sinner, when Christ would, and you would not ; and 
now, oh ! fain would you, and he will not. Then he followed thee, 
in vain, with entreaties : O poor sinner, what doest thou ; wilt 
thou sell thy soul and Saviour for a lust ? look to me, and be saved ; 
return, why wilt thou die i* But thy ear and heart were shut up 
against all. Why, now thou shalt cry. Lord, Lord, open to us ; 
and he shall saj^, " Depart, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity," 
Matt, vii, 22, 23. Now, Mercy, mercy, Lord ! O, but it was 
mercy you so long set light by, and now your day of mercy is over. 
What then remains, but to cry out to the mountains. Fall upon us; 
and to the hills, O cover us from the presence of him that sits upon 
the throne ! But all in vain ; for thou hast the Lord of mountains 
and hills for thine enemy, whose voice they will obey, and not 
thine. Sinner, make not light of this ; for, as thou livest, except 
a thorough change and coming in to Christ prevent it, which God 
grant, thou shalt shortly, to thy unconceivable horror, see that day. 
O wretch, will thy cups then be wine or gall ; will they be sweet 
or bitter ; will it comfort thee to think of thy merry days, and how 
pleasantly thy time slipped away ; will it do thee good to think 
how rich thou wast, and how honourable thou wast ? or will it not 
rather wound thy very soul to remember thy folly, and make thee, 
with anguish of heart, and rage against thyself, to cry out, O 
wretch, where was mine understanding ? Didst thou make so light 
of that sin that now makes thee tremble ? how couldst thou hear 
so lightly of the redeeming blood of the Son of God ; how couldst 
thou quench so many motions of his Spirit, and stifle so many 
quickening thoughts as were cast into thy soul ? What took up all 
that life's time which thou hadst given thee to make sure work 
against this day ; what took up all thy heart, thy love, and delight, 


which should have hccn laid out on the Lord Jesus ? Hadst thou 
room in thy heart for the world, thy friend, ihy flesh, thy lusts, 
and none for Christ ? O wretch, whom hadst thou to love, hut him ; 
what hadst thou to do, hut to seek him, and cleave to him, and 
enjoy him ? Oh ! wast thou not told of this dreadful day a thousand 
times, till the commonness of that doctrine made thee weary? how 
couldst thou slight such warnings, and rage against the minister, 
and say he preached damnation? had it not heen hetter to have 
heard and prevented it, than now to endure it ? Oh, now, for one 
offer of Christ, for one sermon, for one day of grace more ; but too 
late ; alas ! too late. Poor, careless sinner, I did not think here 
to have said so much to thee ; for my business is to refresh the 
saints ; but if these lines do fall into thy hands, and thou vouchsafe 
the reading of them, I here charge thee, before God, and the Lord 
Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appear- 
ing and his kingdom, 2 Tim. iv. 1, that thou make haste and get 
alone, and set thyself sadly to ponder on these things. Ask thy 
heart. Is this true, or is it not ; is there such a day, and must I see 
it ? Oh what do I then ; why trifle I ; is it not time, full time, 
that I had made sure of Christ and comfort long ago ; should I sit 
still another day, who have lost so many ? had I not rather be found 
one of the holy, faithful, watchful Christians, than a worldling, a 
good fellow, or a man of honour ; why should I not, then, choose it 
now ; will it be best then, and is it not best now ? O, think of 
these things ! A few sad hours spent in serious fore-thoughts is a 
cheap prevention ; it is worth this, or it is worth nothing. Friend, 
I profess to thee, from the word of the Lord, that of all thy sweet 
sins, there will then be nothing left, but the sting in thy con- 
science, which will never out through all eternity ; except the blood 
of Christ, believed in, and valued above all the world, do now, in 
this day of grace, get it out. Thy sin is like a beautiful harlot : 
while she is young and fresh, she hath many followers ; but when 
old and withered, every one would shut their hands of her : she is 
only their shame ; none would know her. So will it be with thee : 
now thou wilt venture on it, whatever it cost thee ; but then, when 
men's rebellious ways are charged on their souls to death, oh that 
thou couldst rid thy hands of it ; oh that thou couldst say. Lord, 
it was not I ! Then, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, naked, im- 
prisoned ? how fain would they put it olF! Then sin will be sin 
indeed, and grace will be grace indeed ; then, say the foolish vir- 
gins. Give us of your oil, for our lamps are out. Oh for some of 
your faith and holiness, which we were wont to mock at ! But what 
is the answer. Go buy for yourselves ; we have little enough ; would 
we had rather much more. Then they will be glad of any thing 
like grace ; and if they can but produce any external familiarity 
with Christ, or common gifts, how glad are they ! Lord, we have 
eat and drunk in thy presence, prophesied in thy name, cast out 
devils, done many wonderful works ; we have been baptized, heard 
sermons, professed Christianity : but, alas ! this will hot serve the 
turn. He will profess to them, I never knew you; depart from me, 


ye workers of iniquity. O dead-hearted sinner, is all this nothing 
to thee ? As sure as Christ is true, this is true ; take it in his own 
words : " When the Son of man shall come in his glory : and be- 
fore him shall be gathered all nations ; and he shall separate them 
one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats : 
and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the 
left," Matt. XXV. 31. And so on, as you may read in the text. 

But why tremblest thou, O humble, gracious soul .'' Cannot the 
enemies and slighters of Christ be foretold their doom, but thou 
must quake ? do I make sad the soul that God would not have sad? 
Ezek. xiii. 22. Doth not thy Lord know his own sheep, " who 
have heard his voice, and followed him .'"' John x. 27. He that 
would not lose the family of one Noah in a common deluge, when 
him only he had found faithful in all the earth. Gen. vii. 1 — 3 ; 
xix. 22 ; he that would not overlook one Lot in Sodom, nay, that 
could do nothing till he went forth ; will he forget thee at that 
day ? " Thy Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of tempt- 
ation, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be pun- 
ished," 2 Pet. ii. 9 ; he knoweth how to make the same day the 
greatest for terror to his foes, and yet the greatest for joy to his 
people. He ever intended it for the great distinguishing and separ- 
ating day ; wherein both love and fury should be manifested to the 
highest, Matt. xiii. O, then, " Let the heavens rejoice, the sea, 
the earth, the floods, the hills ; for the Lord cometii to judge the 
earth : with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people 
with equity," Psal. xcvi. 11 — 13. But, especially, " Let Sion hear, 
and be glad, and her children rejoice," Psal. xcviii. 7 — 9 ; for, 
" when God ariseth to judgment, it is to save the meek of the 
earth," Psal. xcvii. 8. They have judged and condemned them- 
selves many a day in heart-breaking confessions, and therefore shall 
not be judged to condemnation by the Lord ; " for there is no con- 
demnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the 
flesh, but after the Spirit," 1 Cor. xi. 31. And, " Who shall lay 
any thing to the charge of God's elect ?" Rom. viii. 1, 33. Shall 
the law ? Why, " Whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that 
are under the law ; but we are not under the law, but under grace : 
for the law of the Spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus, hath made 
us free from the law of sin and death," Rom. iii. 19 ; v. 1 ; vi. 14; 
viii. 2. Or shall conscience ? Why, we were, long ago, " justified 
by faith, and so have peace with God, and have our hearts sprin- 
kled from an evil conscience ; and the Spirit bearing witness with 
our spirits, that we are the children of God," Heb. x. 22. " It is 
God that justifieth ; who shall condemn?" Rom. viii. IG. If our 
Judge condemn us not, who shall ? He that said to the adulterous 
woman, " Hath no man condemned thee ? neither do I condemn 
thee," John viii. 11; he will say to us, more faithfully than Peter 
to him, " Though all men deny thee, or condemn thee, I will not," 
Mark xiv. 31. " Thou hast confessed me before men, and I will 
confess thee before my Father, and the angels of heaven," Matt. x. 
32. He, whose first coming was not " to condemn the world, but 


that the world through him might be saved," John iii. 17 ; I am 
sure, intends not his second coming to condenm his people, hut 
that they, through him, might he saved. He hath given us eter- 
nal lite in charter and title already, yea, and partly in possession; 
and will he after that condenm us ? When he gave us the know- 
ledge of his Father and himself, he gave us eternal life ; and he 
hath verily told us, "that he that heareth his word, and believeth 
on him that sent him, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into 
condemnation, hut is passed from death to life," John v. 24; xvii, 
S. Indeed, if our Judge were our enemy, as he is to the world, 
tlien we might well fear. If the devil were our judge, or the un- 
godly were our judge, then we should he condemned as hypocrites, 
as heretics, as schismatics, as proud, or covetous, or what not ? 
liut our Judge is Christ, who died ; yea, rather, who is risen again, 
and maketh request for us: for "all power is given him in heaven 
and in earth, and all things delivered into his hands ; and the 
Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because 
he is the Son of man" (Kom. viii. 34, 35; Matt, xxviii. 18; John 
xiii. 3 ; ix. 22, 23, 27), For, though God judge the world, yet 
the Father, immediately, without his Vicegerent, Christ, judgeth 
no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men 
should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. Oh what 
unexpressible joy may this afford to a believer, that our dear Lord, 
who loveth our souls, and whom our souls love, shall be our Judge ! 
Will a man fear to be judged by his dearest friend, by a brother, 
by a father, or a wife by her own husband i Christian, did he 
come down, and suffer, and weep, and bleed, and die for thee, and 
will he now condemn thee i was he judged, and condemned, and 
executed in thy stead, and now will he condemn thee himself.'' did 
he make a bath of his blood for thy sins, and a garment of his own 
righteousness for thy nakedness, and will he nov/ open them to thy 
shame ! is he the undertaker for thy salvation, and will he be 
against thee i hath it cost him so dear to save thee, and will he 
now himself destroy thee ? hath he done the most of the work 
already, in redeeming, regenerating, and sanctifying, justifying, 
preserving, and perfecting thee, and will he now undo all again .' 
nay, hath he begun, and will he not finish ; hath he interceded so 
long for thee to the Father, and will he cast thee away himself? If 
all these be likely, then fear, and then rejoice not. Oh what an 
unreasonable sin is unbelief, that will charge our Lord with such 
unmercifulness and absurdities ! Well, then, fellow Christians, let 
the terror of that clay be never so great, surely our Lord can mean 
no ill to us in all : let it make the devils tremble, and the wicked 
tremble ; but it shall make us to leap for joy : let Satan accuse us, 
we have our answer at hand ; our Surety hath discharged the debt. 
If he have not fulfilled the law, then let us be charged as breakers 
of it : if he have not suffered, then let us suffer ; but if he have, 
we are free : nay, our Lord will make answer for us himself. 
'• These are mine, and shall be made up with my jewels : for their 
transgressions was I stricken, and cut off from the earth ; for them 


was I bruised and put to grief: my soul was made an offering for . 
their sin, and I bore their transgressions. They are my seed, and 
the travail of my so\d : I have healed them by my stripes ; I have 
justified them by my knowledge," Isa. liii. 5, 8, 10, 11. "They 
are my sheep : who shall take them out of my hands ? " John x. 
28. Yea, though the humble soul be ready to speak against itself, 
" Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee," &c. yet will 
not Christ do so. This is the day of the believer's full justification. 
They were, before, made just, and esteemed just, and by faith 
justified in law ; and this, to some, evidenced to their consciences. 
But now they shall both, by apology, be maintained just ; and, by 
sentence, pronounced just actually, by the lively voice of the Judge 
himself; which is the most perfect justification. Their justifica- 
tion by faith, is a giving them title in law, to that apology and 
absolving sentence which at that day they shall actually receive 
from the mouth of Christ ; by which sentence, their sin, which 
before was pardoned in the sense of the law, is now perfectly par- 
doned, or blotted out by this ultimate judgment, Acts iii. 19. 
Therefore, well may it be called the time of refreshing, as being to 
the saints the perfecting of all their former refreshments. He who 
was vexed with a quarrelling conscience, an accusing world, a curs- 
ing law, is solemnly pronounced righteous by the Lord, the Judge. 
Though he cannot plead Not guilty, in regard of fact, yet, being 
pardoned, he shall be acquitted by the proclamation of Christ : and 
that is not all ; "but he that was accused as deserving hell, is pro- 
nounced a member of Christ, a son of God, and so adjudged to 
eternal glory. The sentence of pardon, passed by the Spirit and 
conscience within us, was wont to be ex^eding sweet ; but this 
will fully and finally resolve the question, and leave no room for 
doubting again for ever. We shall more rejoice that our names 
are found written in the book of life, than if men or devils were 
subjected to us ; and it must needs affect us deeply with the sense 
of our mercy and happiness, to behold the contrary condition of 
others ; to see most of the world tremble with terror, while we 
triumph with joy ; to hear them doomed to everlasting flames, and 
see them thrust into hell, when we are proclaimed heirs of the 
kingdom ; to see our neighbours, that lived in the same towns, 
came to the same congregations, sat in the same seats, dwelt in the 
same houses, and were esteemed more honourable in the world than 
ourselves ; to see them now so differenced from us, and, by the 
Searcher of hearts, eternally separated. This, with the great 
magnificence and dreadfulness of the day, doth the apostle patheti- 
cally express : " It is righteous with God, to recompense tribulation 
to them that trouble you ; and to you who are troubled, rest with 
us ; when the Lord Jesus shall "he revealed from heaven with his 
mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know 
not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who 
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence 
of the Lord, and from the glory of his power," &c. 2 Thess, i. 
6 — 10. And now, is not here enough to make that day a welcome 


(lay, and the thoughts of it delightful to us ? but yet there is more. 
^Vo shall be so far from the dread of that judgment, that ourselves 
shall become the judges. Christ will take his people, as it were, 
into commission with him ; and they shall sit and approve his 
righteous judgment. O fear not now the reproaches, scorns, and 
censures, of those that nmst then be judged by us. Did you think, 
O wretched worldlings, that those poor, despised men, whom you 
made your daily derision, should be your judges ? did you believe 
this, when you made them stand as oiFenders before the bar of your 
judgment ? No more than Pilate, when he was judging Christ, did 
believe that he was condemning his Judge ; or the Jews, when 
they were whipping, imprisoning, killing the apostles, did think to 
see them sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 
" Do you not know," saith Paul, " that the saints shall judge the 
world ! nay, know you not that we shall judge angels?" 1 Cor, vi. 
2, 3. Surely, were it not the word of Christ that speaks it, this 
advancement would seem incredible, and the language arrogant ; 
yet even Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of this, saying, 
" Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to exe- 
cute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly 
among them, of all their ungodly deeds, w^hich they have ungodly 
committed ; and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners 
have spoken against him," Jude 14. Thus shall the saints be 
honoured, and the " righteous have dominion in the morning," 
Psal. ix. 14. Oh that the careless world were "but wise to con- 
sider this, and that they would remember their latter end ! " Deut. 
xxxii. 29. That they would be now of the same mind as they will 
be when they shall see the " heavens pass away with a noise, and 
the elements melt with fervent heat ; the earth also, and the works 
that are therein, to be burnt up," 2 Pet. iii. 10. When all shall be 
on fire about their ears, and all earthly glory consumed ; " for the 
heavens and the earth, which are now, are reserved unto fire against 
the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men," 2 Pet. iii. 7, 
But, alas ! when all is said, " the wicked will do wickedly ; and 
none of the wicked shall understand ; but the wise shall under- 
stand," Dan. xii. 10. Rejoice, therefore, O ye saints, yet watch ; 
and what you have, hold fast till your Lord come. Rev. ii. 25. 
And study that use of this doctrine which the apostle propounds : 
" Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what man- 
ner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godli- 
ness, looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God; 
wherein the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the 
elements melt with fervent heat?" 2 Pet. iii. 1 1, 12. But go 
your way, keep close with God, and wait till your change come, 
and till this end be ; " for you shall rest, and stand in the lot at 
the end of the days," Dan. xii. 13. 

Sect. V. The fourth antecedent, and highest 4. Our solemn coro- 
step to the saints' advancement, is their solemn nation, 

coronation, enthronizing, and receiving into the kingdom. For, 
as Christ, their Head, is anointed both King and Priest, so under 



him are his people made unto God both kings and priests, Rev, i. 
5, (for prophecy, that ceaseth,) " to reign and to offer praises for 
ever," Rev. v. 10. " The crown of righteousness, which was laid 
up for them, shall by the Lord the righteous Judge he given them 
at that day," 2 Tim. iv. 8. " They have been faithful to the 
death, and therefore shall receive the crown of life," Rev. ii. 10. 
And according to the improvement of their talents here, so shall 
their rule and dignity be enlarged, Matt. xxv. 21, 23; so that they 
are not dignified with empty titles, but real dominions : for Christ 
" will take them and set them down with himself on his own 
throne," Rev. iii. 21 ; and will give them power over the nations, 
even as he received of his Father, Rev. ii. 26 — 28 ; and will give 
them the morning star. The Lord himself will give them posses- 
sion with these applauding expressions : " Well done, good and faith- 
ful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make 
thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy Lord," 
Matt. xxv. 21, 23. And with this solemn and blessed proclamation 
shall he enthrone them : " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." 
Every word full of life and joy. " Come ; " this is the holding forth 
of the golden sceptre, to warrant our approach unto this glory. Come 
now as near as you will : fear not the Bethshemites' judgment, for 
the enmity is utterly taken away. This is not such a " come " as 
we were wont to hear ; " Come, take up your cross and follow me : " 
though that was sweet, yet this much more. "Ye blessed;" 
blessed indeed, when that mouth shall so pronounce us. For 
though the world hath accounted us accursed, and we have been 
ready to account ourselves so, yet certainly those that he blesseth 
are blessed, and those whom he curseth only are cursed : and his 
blessing shall not be revoked; but he hath blessed us, and we 
shall be blessed. " Of my Father ; " blessed in the Father's love 
as well as the Son's, for they are one. The Father hath testified 
his love in their election, donation to Christ, sending of Christ, 
accepting his ransom, &c. as the Son hath also testified his. " In- 
herit;" no longer bondmen, nor servants only, nor children under 
age, v.'ho differ not in possession, but only in title, from servants. 
Gal. iv. 1, 5 — 7 ; but now we are heirs of the kingdom, James ii. 
5, coheirs with Christ. " The kingdom ;" no less than the king- 
dom. Indeed, to be a King of kings, and Lord of lords, is our 
Lord's own proper title ; but to be kings and reign with him, is ours. 
The fruition of this kingdom, is as the fruition of the light of the 
sun, each have the whole, and the rest never the less. " Prepared 
for you ; " God is the alpha as well as the omega of our blessed- 
ness. Eternal love hath laid the foundation. He prepared the 
kingdom for us, and then prepared us for the kingdom. This is 
the preparation of his counsel and decree, for the execution whereof 
Christ was yet to make a further preparation. " For you;" not 
for believers only in general, who without individual persons are 
nobody ; nor only for you, upon condition of your believing, but for 
you personally and determinately, for all the conditions were also 


prepared for you. " From the foundation of the world ;" not only 
from the promise after Adam's fall, as some, but, as the phrase 
usually signifieth, though not always, from eternity. These were 
the eternal thoughts of God's love towards us, and this is it he 
purposed for us. Matt. xxv. 20, 21, 34, 35 ; Rev. ii. ; iii. 

But a greater difficulty ariseth in our way.* In what sense is 
our improvement of our talent, our well-doing, our overcoming, 
our harbouring, visiting, feeding, &c. Christ, in his little ones, al- 
leged as a reason of our coronation and glory ? Is not it the pur- 
chased possession and mere fruit of Christ's blood.' If everyinan 
nuist be judged according to his works, and receive according to 
what they have done in the flesh, whether good or evil ; and God 
" will render to every man according to his deeds," Rom. ii. 6, 7, 
and give eternal life to all men, if they patiently continue in well- 
doing, and give right to the tree of life. Rev. xxii. 14, and entrance 
into the city, to the doers of his commandments ; and if this last 
absolving sentence be the completing of our justification, and so 
" the doers of the law be justified," Rom. ii. 13 ; why, then, what 
is become of free grace, or justification by faith only, of the sole 
righteousness of Christ to make us accepted ? Then, the papists 
say rightly. That we are righteous by our personal righteousness ; 
and good works concur to justification. 

An.siv. I did not think to have said so much upon controversy ; 
but because the difficulty is very great, and the matter very weighty, 
as being near the foundation, I have in another book added to what 
is said before, certain brief positions, containing my thoughts on 
this subject; which may tend to the clearing of these and many 
other difliculties hereabouts, to which I refer you. 

But that the plain, constant language of Scripture may not be 
perverted or disregarded, I only premise these advertisements by 
way of caution, till thou come to read the fuller answer. 

1. Let not the names of men draw thee one way or other, nor 
make thee partial in searching for truth : dislike the men for their 
unsound doctrine ; but call not doctrine unsound, because it is 
theirs ; nor sound, because of the repute of the writer. 

2. Know this, that as an unhumbled soul is far apter to give too 
much to duty and personal righteousness, than to Christ; so a 
humble, self-denying Christian is as likely to err on the other hand, 
in giving less to duty than Christ hath given, and laying all the 
work from himself on Christ, for fear of robbing Christ of the 
honour ; and so much to look at Christ without him, and think he 
should look at nothing in himself, that he forgets Christ within 
him. As Luther said of Melancthon's self-denying humility. Soli 
Deo omnia deheri tarn obstinate assent, lit mihi plane ricleatur 
saltern in hoc errare, quod Christian ipsejingat lo?t(/iiis ahesse cordi 
suo quam sit revera — Certe nimis nullus in hoc est Philippiis. He 
so constantly ascribes all to God, that to me he seems directly to 
err, at least in this, that he feigneth or imagineth Christ to be 

* See what is after cited in cap. vii. sect. 2. 
E 2 


further off from his own heart than indeed he is. Certainly he is 
too much nothing in this. 

3. Our giving to Christ more of the work than Scripture doth, 
or rather our ascribing it to him out of the Scripture way and 
sense, doth but dishonour, and not honour him ; and depress, but 
not exalt his free grace : while we deny the inward, sanctifying 
work of his Spirit, and extol his free justification, which are equal 
fruits of his merit, we make him an imperfect Saviour. 

4. But to arrogate to ourselves any part of Christ's prerogative, 
is most desperate of all, and no doctrine more directly overthrows 
the gospel, almost, than that of justification by the merits of our 
own, or by works of the law. 

And thus we have, by the line and plummet of Scripture, 
fathomed this fourfold stream, and seen the Christian safely landed 
in paradise ; and, in this four-wheeled fiery chariot, conveyed hon- 
ourably to his rest. Now, let us a little further view those man- 
sions, consider his privileges, and see whether there be any glory 
like unto this glory ; read and judge, but not by outward appear- 
ance, but judge righteous judgment. 



The next thing to be handled is, the excellent properties of this 
rest, and admirable attributes, which, as so many jewels, shall 
adorn the crown of the saints. And first, before we speak of them 
particularly, let us try this happiness by the rules of the philoso- 
phers, and see whether they will not approve it the most transcend- 
ently good : not as if they were a sufficient touchstone, but that 
both the worldling and the saint may see, when any thing stands 
up in competition with this glory for the pre-eminence, reason itself 
will conclude against it. Now, in order of good, the philosopher 
will tell you, that by these rules you may know which is best. 

Sect. I. 1. That which is desired and sought for itself, is better 
than that which is desired for something else ; or the end, as such, 
is better than all the means. This concludeth for heaven's pre- 
eminence. All things are but means to that end. If any thing 
here be excellent, it is because it is a step to that ; and the more 
conducible thereto, the more excellent. The salvation of our souls 
is the end of our faith, our hope, our diligence, of all mercies, of 
all ordinances, as before is proved. It is not for themselves, but 
for this rest, that all these are desired and used, 1 Pet. v. 9 ; 
1 Thess. V. 8 ; 2 Tim. ii. 10. Praying is not the end of praying, 
nor preaching the end of preaching, nor believing the end of be- 
lieving. These are but the way to him, who is the way to this rest. 
Indeed, Christ himself is both the way and the rest, the means 


and the end, singularly desirable as the way, but yet more as the 
end, John xiv. G. If any tiling that ever you saw or enjoyed, ap- 
pear lovely and desirable, then must its end be so nmch more. 

Sect. II. 2. In order of good, the last is still the best; for all 
good tends to perfection. The end is still the last enjoyed, though 
first intended. Now, this rest is the saints' last estate. Their be- 
ginning was as a grain of mustard-seed, but their perfection will 
be an estate high and flourishing. They were taken with David 
from the sheep-fold, to reign as kings for ever. Their first day 
was a day of small things, but their last will be an everlasting per- 
fection. They sowed in tears, but they reap in joy. If their pros- 
perity here, their res secunda, were desirable, much more their 
res ultutne, their final blessedness, Psal. cxxvi. 5. Rondeletius 
saw a priest at Rome, who would fall down in an ecstasy whenever 
he heard those words of Christ, Consummaitun est, " It is finish- 
ed ;" but observing him careful in his fall ever to lay his head in 
a soft place, he, suspecting the dissimulation, by the threats of a 
cudgel quicldy recovered him. But, methinks, the forethought of 
that consummation and last estate we spake of, should bring a 
considering Christian into such an unfeigned ecstasy, that he should 
even forget the things of the flesh, and no care or fear should raise 
him out of it. Surely that is well which ends well, and that is 
good which is good at last ; and, therefore, heaven must needs be 

Sect. III. 3. Another rule is this : That whose absence or loss 
is the worst or the greatest evil, must needs itself be best, or the 
greatest good : and is there a greater loss than to lose this rest ? 
If you could ask the restless souls that are shut out of it, they 
would tell you more sensibly than I can ; for as none know the 
sweetness like those who enjoy it, so none know the loss like those 
who are deprived of it. Wicked men are here senseless of the 
loss, because they know not what they lose, and have the delights 
of flesh and sense to make them up, and make them forget it : but 
when they shall know it to their torment, as the saints do to their 
joy ; and when they shall see men, from the east and west, sit 
down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God, 
and themselves shut out, Luke xiii. 29 ; when they shall know 
both what they have lost, and for what, and why they lost it, surely 
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. He that loses riches 
may have more, and he that loseth honour may repair it ; or if not, 
yet he is not undone. He that loseth life may save it ; but what 
becomes of him that loseth God ; and who, or what, shall repair 
his loss I Mark viii. 35. "NVe can bear the loss of any thing below : 
if we have it not, we can either live without it, or die, and live 
eternally without it : but can we do so without God in Christ ? 
INIatt. vi. 33. As God gives us outward things as auctaries, as 
overplus, or above measure, into our bargain, so when he takes 
them from us, he takes away our superfluities, rather than our ne- 
cessaries, and pareth but our nails, and toucheth not the quick. 
But can we so spare our part in glory ? You know whose question 


it is, " What shall it profit a man to win all the world, and lose his 
own soul?" Will it prove a saving match? Or, " What shall a 
man give for the ransom of his soul ? " Matt. xvi. 2G. Christians, 
compare but all your losses with that loss, and all your sufferings 
with that suffering ; and I hope you will lay your hand upon your 
mouth, and cease your repining thoughts for ever. 

Sect. IV. 4. Another rule is this : That which cannot be given 
by man, or taken away by man, is ever better than that which 
can ; and then I hope heaven will carry it ; for, who hath the key 
of the everlasting treasures, and who is the disposer of the dig- 
nities of the saints ? Who saith, " Come, ye blessed, and go, ye 
cursed?" Is it the voice of God, or of mere man? If " every 
good and perfect gift cometh from above, from the Father of 
lights," James i. 17, whence, then, cometh the gift of eternal light 
with the Father ? Whose privilege soever it is to be key-keepers 
of the visible churches here below ; sure no mere man, but the 
man of sin, will challenge the keys of that kingdom, and undertake 
to shut out, or take in, or to dispose of that treasure of the church. 
We may be beholden to men, as God's instruments, for our faith, 
but no further ; for " who is Paul, or who is Apollos, but ministers 
by whom we believed, even as the ,Lord gave to every man ? " 
1 Cor. iii. 4. Surely every step to that glory, every gracious gift 
and act, every deliverance and mercy to the church, shall be so 
clearly from God, that his very name shall be written in the fore- 
head of it, and his excellent attributes stamped upon it, that he 
who runs may read it was the work of God ; and the question may 
easily be answered, whether it be from heaven or of men ; much 
more evidently that glory is the gift of the God of glory. What ! 
can man give God, or earth and dust give heaven ? Surely no : 
and as much is it beyond them to deprive us of it. Tyrants and 
persecutors may take away our goods, but not our chief good ; 
our liberties here, but not that state of freedom ; our heads, but 
not our crown. You can shut us up in prisons, and shut us out 
of your church and kingdom, but shut us out of heaven if you can. 
Try in lower attempts. Can you deny us the light of the sun, and 
cause it to forbear its shining ? Can you stop the influences of the 
planets, or deny us the dew of heaven, or command the clouds to 
shut up their womb, or stay the course of the flowing streams, or 
seal up the passages of the deep ? How much less can you deprive 
us of our God, or deny us the light of his countenance, or stop the 
influences of his Spirit, or forbid the dew of his grace to fall, or 
stay the streams of his love, and shut up his overflowing, everflow- 
ing springs, or seal up the bottomless depth of his bounty ? You 
can kill our bodies, it he permit you ; but try whether you can reach 
our souls. Nay, it is not in the saints' own power to give to, or 
take away from, themselves this glory : so that, according to this 
rule, there is no state like the saints' rest ; for no man can give 
this rest to us, and none can take our joy from us, John xvi. 22. 

Sect. V. 5. Another rule is this : That is ever better or best, 
which maketh the owner or possessor himself better or best. And 


sure, according to this rule, there is no state like heaven. Riches, 
honour, and pleasure, make a man neither better nor best : grace 
here makes us better, but not best : that is reserved as the pre- 
rogative of glory. That is our good that doth us good, and that 
doth us good which makes us good ; else it may be good in itself, 
but not good to us. External good is at too great a distance to be 
our happiness. It is not bread on our tables, but in our stomachs, 
tliat must nourish ; nor blood on our clothes or skin, but in the 
liver, heart, and veins, which is our life. Nay, the things of the 
world are so far from making the owners good, that they prove not 
the least impediments thereto, and snares to the best of men. 
Riches and honour do seldom help to humility ; but of pride they 
occasionally become most frequent fomenters. The difficulty is so 
great of conjoining graciousness with greatness, that it is next to 
an impossibility ; and their conjunctions so rare, that they are next 
to inconsistent. To have a heart taken up with Christ and heaven, 
when we have health and abundance in the world, is neither easy 
nor ordinary. Though soul and body compose but one man, yet 
they seldom prosper both together. Therefore, that is our chief 
good which will do us good at the heart; and that is our true 
glory w'hich makes us all glorious within ; and that the blessed day 
which will make us holy and blessed men ; which will not only 
beautify our house, but cleanse our hearts ; not only give us new 
habitations, and new relations, but also new souls and new bodies. 
The true knowing, living Christian complains more frequently and 
more bitterly of the wants and woes within him, than without him. 
If you overhear his prayers, or see him in his tears, and ask him 
what aileth him, he will cry out more, Oh ! my dark understand- 
ing ! oh ! my hard, my unbelieving heart ! rather than. Oh ! my 
dishonour ! or, Oh ! my poverty ! Therefore it is his desired place 
and state, which affords a relief suitable to his necessities and 
complaints. And surely that is only this rest. 

Sect. VI. G. Another rule is, that the difficulty of obtaining 
shows the excellency : and, surely, if you consider but what it cost 
Christ to purchase it ; what it costs the Spirit to bring men's 
hearts to it ; what it costs ministers to persuade to it ; what it costs 
Christians, after all this, to obtain it ; and what it costs many a 
half Christian, that, after all, goes without it ; you will say, that 
here is difficulty, and therefore excellency. Trifles may be had at 
a trivial rate, and men may have damnation far more easily. It is 
but lie still, and sleep out our days in careless laziness. It is but 
take our pleasure, and mind the world, and cast away the thoughts 
of sin, and grace, and Christ,, and heaven, and hell, out of our 
minds ; and do as the most do, and never trouble ourselves about 
these high things, but venture our souls upon our presumptuous 
conceits and hopes, and let the vessel swim which way it will ; and 
then stream, and wind, and tide, will all help us apace to the gulf of 
perdition. You may burn a hundred houses easier than build one ; 
and kill a thousand men, than make one alive. The descent is 
easy, the ascent not so. To bring diseases is but to cherish sloth. 


please the appetite, and take what most delights us ; but to cure 
them, will cost bitter pills, loathsome potions, tedious gripings, 
abstemious, accurate living ; and perhaps all fall short too. He 
that made the way, and knows the way better than we, hath told 
us " it is narrow and strait," and requires striving ; and they that 
have placed it more truly and observantly than we, do tell us it 
lies through many tribulations, and is with much ado passed 
through. Conclude, then, it is sure somewhat worth that must 
cost all this. 

Sect. VII. 7. Another rule is this : That is best, which not only 
supplieth necessity, but aiFordeth abundance. I3y necessity is 
meant here, that which we cannot live without ; and by abundance 
is meant a more perfect supply, a comfortable, not a useless abund- 
ance. Indeed, it is suitable to a Christian state and use, to be 
scanted here, and to have only from hand to mouth ; and that, not 
only in his corporeal, but in his spiritual comforts. Here we must 
not be filled full, that so our emptiness may cause hungering, and 
our hungering cause seeking and craving, and our craving testify 
our dependence, and occasion receiving, and our receiving occasion 
thanks returning, and all advance the glory of the Giver. But 
when we shall be brought to the well-head, and united close to the 
ovei-flowing fountain, we shall then thirst no more, because we shall 
be empty no more. Surely if those blessed souls did not abound in 
their blessedness, they would never so abound in praises. Such 
blessing, and honour, and glory, and praise to God, would never 
accompany common mercies. All those allelujahs are not, sure, 
the language of needy men. Now, we are poor, we speak supplica- 
tions, and our beggar's tone discovers our low condition ; all our 
language almost is complaining and craving, our breath sighing, 
and our life a labouring, Prov. xviii. 23. But, sure, where all this 
is turned into eternal praising and rejoicing, the case must needs 
be altered, and all wants supplied and forgotten. I think their 
hearts full of joy, and their mouths full of thanks, proves their state 
abounding full of blessedness. 

Sect. VIII. 8. "Reason concludes that for the best, which is so 
in the judgment of the best and wisest men. Though it is true 
the judgment of imperfect man can be no perfect rule of truth or 
goodness ; yet God revealeth this good to all on whom he will 
bestow it, and hides not from his people the end they should aim 
at and attain. If the holiest men are the best and wisest, then 
their lives tell you their judgments ; and their unwearied labour 
and sufferings for this rest, show you they take it for the perfection 
of their happiness. If men of the greatest experience be the wisest 
men, and they that have tried both estates, then surely it is vanity and 
vexation that is found below, and solid happiness and rest above. 
If dying men are wiser than others, who, by the world's forsaking 
them, and by the approach of eternity, begin to be undeceived ; 
then surely happiness is hereafter, and not here : for though the 
deluded world, in their flourishing prosperity, can bless themselves 
in their fool's paradise, and merrily jest at the simplicity of the 


sftints, yet scarce one of many, even of the worst of them, but are 
ready at last to cry out with Hahiani, " Oh that I might die the 
death of the righteous, and my last end might be like his ! " Never 
take heed, therefore, what they think or say now ; for as sure as 
they shall die, they will one of these days think and say clean con- 
trary. As we regard not what a drunken man says, because it is 
not he, but the drink, and when he hath slept he will awake in 
another mind ; so why should we regard what wicked men say 
now, who are drunk with security and fleshly delights, when we 
know beforehand, for certain, that when they have slept the sleep 
of death, at the furthest, they will awake in another mind. Only 
pity the perverted understandings of these poor men, who are be- 
side themselves ; knowing that one of these days, when too late 
experience brings them to their right minds, they will be of a far 
different judgment. They ask us, What, are you wiser than your 
forefathers ; than all the town besides ; than such and such great 
men and learned men ? And do you think, in good sadness, we 
may not, with better reason, ask you, What, are you wiser than 
Enoch and Noah ; than Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel ; than 
David and Solomon ; than Moses and the prophets ; than Peter, 
Paul, all the apostles, and all the sons of God, in all ages and 
nations, that ever went to heaven ; yea, than Jesus Christ himself.' 
JNlen may be deceived ; but we appeal to the unerring judgment of 
wisdom itself, even the wise, all-knowing God, whether " a day in 
his courts be not better than a thousand elsewhere ;" and whether 
'' it be not better to be- door-keepers there, than to dwell in the 
tents of wickedness?" Psal. Ixxxiv. 10. Nay, whether the very 
"reproaches of Christ (even the scorns we have from you, for 
Christ's sake and the gospel's) be not greater riches than all the 
treasures of the world?" Heb. xi. 25, 26. If wisdom, then, may 
pass the sentence, you see which way the cause will go ; and " wis- 
dom is justified of all her children," Matt. xi. 19. 

Sect. IX. Lastly, another rule in reason is this : That good 
which containeth all other good in it, must needs itself be best. 
And where do you think, in reason, that all the streams of good- 
ness do finally empty themselves ? Is it not in God, from whom, 
by secret springs, they finally proceed ? Where, else, do all the 
lines of goodness concentre ? Are not all the sparks contained in 
this fire ; and all the drops in this ocean ? Surely the time was 
when there was nothing besides God, and then all good was only 
in him. And even now the creature's essence and existence are 
secondary, derived, contingent, improper, in comparison of his, 
" who is, and was, and is to come ;" whose name alone is called, 
" I am." What do thine eyes see, or thine heart conceive desirable, 
which is not there to be had ? Sin, indeed, there is none ; but 
durst thou call that good ? Worldly delights there is none ; for 
they are good but for the present necessity, and please but the 
brutish senses. Brethren, do you fear losing or parting with any 
thing you now enjoy ? What ! do you fear you shall want when 
you come to heaven ? Shall you want the drops when you have 


the ocean ; or the light of the candle, when you have the sun ; or 
the shallow creature, when you have the perfect Creator ? " Cast 
thy bread upon the waters, and after many days thou shalt find it," 
Eccles. xi. 1. Lay abroad thy tears, thy prayers, pains, boldly and 
unweariedly : as God is true, thou dost but set them to usury, and 
shalt receive a hundredfold. Matt. xix. 29. Spare not, man, for 
state, for honour, for labour. If heaven do not make amends for 
all, God hath deceived us ; which who dare once imagine ? Cast 
away friends, houses, lands, life, if he bid thee : leap into the sea, 
as Peter, (Mark viii. 35,) if he command thee : lose thy life, and 
thou shalt save it everlastingly ; when those that saved theirs, shall 
lose them everlastingly. Venture all, man, upon God's word and 
promise. There is a day of rest coming will fully pay for all. All 
the pence and the farthings thou expendest for him, are contained, 
with infinite advantage, in the massy gold and jewels of thy crown. 
When Alexander had given away his treasure, and they asked him 
where it was, he pointed to the poor, and said. In scriniis, In my 
chests. And when he went upon a hopeful expedition, he gave 
away his gold ; and when he was asked what he kept for himself, 
he answers, Spem majorum et mellorum. The hope of greater and 
better things. How much more boldly may we lay out all, and 
point to heaven, and say, it is in scriniis, in our everlasting treasure ; 
and take that hope of greater and better things, instead of all ! 
Nay, lose thyself for God, and renounce thyself, and thou shalt at 
that day find thyself again in him. Give him thyself, and he will 
receive thee upon the same terms as Socrates did his scholar, 
yEschines ; who gave himself to his master, because he had nothing 
else, Accipio, sed ea lege vt te tihi meliorem reddam qiiam accept : 
that he may return thee to thyself better than he received thee. 
So, then, this rest is the good which containeth all other good in 
it. And thus you see, according to the rules of reason, the tran- 
scendent excellency of the saints' glory in the general. We shall 
next mention the particular excellences. 



Yet let us draw a little nearer, and see more immediately from 
the pure fountain of the Scriptures, what further excellences this 
rest afFordeth. And the Lord hide us in the clefts of the rock, 
and cover us with the hands of indulgent grace, while we approach 
to take this view. And the Lord grant we may put off from our 
feet the shoes of irreverence and fleshly conceivings, while we 
stand upon this holy ground. 

1. It is the fruit of "^^ct. I. And first, it is a most singular honour 
the love and blood and Ornament, in the style of the saints' rest, to be 


called the purchased possession ; that it is the fruit of Christ, whom we 
of the blood of the Son of God ; yea, the dhief fruit ; shall there also be- 
yea, the end and perfection of all the fruits and efficacy '" '^" *'"J"^- 
of that blood. Surely love is the most precious ingredient in the 
whole composition ; and of all the flowers that grow in the garden 
of love, can there be brought one more sweet and beautiful to the 
garland, than this blood .' Greater love than this there is not ; to 
lay down the life of the lover, John xv. 13. And to have this our 
Redeemer ever before our eyes, and the liveliest sense and freshest 
remembrance of that dying, bleeding love still upon our souls ! Oh, 
how will it fill our souls with perpetual ravishments, to think, that 
in the streams of this blood we have swam through the violence of 
the world, the snares of Satan, the seducements of the flesh, the 
curse of the law, the wrath of an ofiended God, the accusations of 
a guilty conscience, and the vexing doubts and fears of an unbe- 
lieving heart, and are passed through all, and are arrived safely at 
the breast of God ! Now we are stupified with vile and senseless 
hearts, that can hear all the story of this bloody love, and read all 
the dolours and sulferings of love, and hear all his sad complaints, 
and all with dulness, and unaftectcd. He cries to us, " Behold 
and see ; is it nothing to you, O all ye that pass by ? Is there any 
sorrow like unto my sorrow .^" Lam. i. 12, And we will scarce 
hear or regard the dolorous voice, nor scarce turn aside to view the 
wounds of him, who turned aside and took us up to heal our 
wounds at this so dear a rate. But, oh ! then our perfected souls 
will feel as well as hear, and, witli feeling apprehensions, flame 
again in love for love. Now we set his picture, wounded and dying, 
before our eyes, but can get it no nearer our hearts than if we be- 
lieved nothing of what we read ; but thexi, when the obstructions 
between the eye and the understanding are taken away, and the 
passage opened between the head and the heart, surely our eyes 
will everlastingly aflect our heart. And while we view, with one 
eye, our slain, revived Lord, and with the other eye, our lost, re- 
covered souls, and transcendent glory, these views will eternally 
pierce us, and warm our very souls. And those eyes, through 
which folly and lust have so often stolen into our hearts, shall now 
be the casements to let in the love of our dearest Lord for ever. 
Now, though we should, as some do, travel to Jerusalem, and view 
the Mount of Olives, where he prayed and wept, and see that 
dolorous way by which he bare his cross, and entered the temple 
of the holy grave ; yea, if we should, with Peter, have stooped 
down and seen the place where he lay, and beheld his relics ; yet 
these bolted doors of sin and flesh would have kept out the feeling 
of all that love. But, oh ! that is the joy ! We shall then leave 
these hearts of stone and rock behind us, and the sin that here so 
close besets us ; and the sottish unkindness that followed us so 
long, shall not be able to follow us into that glory. But we shall 
behold, as it were, the wounds of love with eyes and hearts of love 
for ever. Suppose, a little to help our apprehensions, that a saint, 
who had partaken of the joys of heaven, hath been translated from 


as long an above in hell, and after the experience of such a change, 
should have stood with Mary and the rest, by the cross of Christ, 
and have seen the blood and heard the groans of his Redeemer. 
What think you, would love have stirred in his breast or no ? Would 
the voice of his dying Lord have melted his heart or no ? Oh that 
I were sensible of what I speak ! With what astonishing apprehen- 
sions, then, will redeemed saints everlastingly behold their blessed 
Redeemer ! I will not meddle with their vain, audacious question, 
who must needs know, whether the glorified body of Christ do yet 
retain either the wounds or scars. But this is most certain, that 
the memory of it will be as fresh, and the impressions of love as 
deep, and its working as strong, as if his wounds were still in our 
eyes, and his complaints still in our ears, and his blood still stream- 
ing afresh. Now his heart is open to us, and ours shut to him : 
but when his heart shall be open, and our hearts open, oh the 
blessed congress that there will then be ! What a passionate meet- 
ing was there between our new-risen Lord and the first sinful, silly 
woman that he appears to ! How cloth love struggle for expressions, 
and the straitened fire, shut up in the breast, strive to break forth ! 
John XX. 16 ; Matt, xxviii. 9. " Mary ! " saith Christ : " Master !" 
saith Mary ; and presently she clasps about his feet, having her 
heart as near to his heart as her hands were to his feet. What a 
meeting of love, then, will there be, between the new-glorified saint 
and the glorious Redeemer ! But I am here at a loss, my apprehen- 
sions fail me, and fall too short ; only this I know, it will be the 
singular praise of our inheritance, that it was bought with the price 
of that blood; and the singular joy of the saints, to behold the 
purchaser and the price together with the possession. Neither 
will the views of the wounds of love renew our wounds of sorrow ; 
he whose first words, after his resurrection, were to a great sinner, 
"Woman, why weepest thou?" John xx. 13, knows how to raise 
love and joy by all those views, without raising any cloud of sorrow 
or storm of teai's at all, 2 Sam. xxiii. 16, 17, He that made the 
sacramental commemoration of his death to be his church's feast, 
will sure make the real enjoyment of its blessed purchase to be 
marrow and fatness. And if it afforded joy to hear from his mouth, 
" This is my body which is given for you," and " This is my blood 
which was shed for you ; " what joy will it afford to hear, " This 
glory is the fruit of my body and my blood !" And what a merry 
feast will it be, when we shall drink of the fruit of the vine new 
with him in the kingdom of his Father, as the fruit of his own 
blood ! David would not drink of the waters which he longed for, 
because they were the blood of those men who jeoparded their 
lives for them, and thought them fitter to offer to God, than to 
please him. But we shall value these waters more highly, and yet 
drink them the more sweetly, because they are the blood of Christ, 
not jeoparded only, but shed for them. They will be the more 
sweet and dear to us, because they were so bitter and dear to him. 
If the buyer be judicious, we estimate things by the price they 
cost. If any thing we enjoy were purchased with the life of our 


clearest friend, how highly should we value it ! nay, if a dying 
fricMul deliver but a token of his love, how carefully do we preserve 
it, and still remember him when we behold it, as if his own name 
were written on it ! And will not then the death and blood of our 
Lord everlastingly sweeten our possessed glory? Methinks they 
should value the plenty of the gospel, with their peace and freedom, 
at a higher rate, who may remember what it hath cost ; how nmch 
precious blood ; how many of the lives of God's worthies and wit- 
nesses, besides all other costs ! Methinks, when I am preaching, or 
hearing, or reading, I see them as before mine eyes, whose blood 
was shed to seal the truth, and look the more respectively on them 
yet living, who suffered to assert it. Oh, then, when we are rejoicing 
in glory, how shall we think of the blood that revived our souls, 
and how shall we look upon him whose sufferings did put that joy 
into our heart ! How carefully preserve we those prizes which with 
greatest hazard we gained from the enemy ! Goliath's sword must 
be kept as a trophy, and laid up behind the ephod : and in a time 
of need, David says, " There is none to that," I Sam. xxi. 9. 
Surely, when we do divide the spoil, and partake of the prize 
which our Lord so dearly won, we shall say indeed, " '^I'here is none 
like that." How dear was Jonathan's love to David, which was 
testified by stripping himself of the robe that was upon him, and 
giving it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his 
bow, and to his girdle ; and also by saving him from his father's 
wrath ! How dear for ever will the love of Christ be then to us, 
who stripped himself, as it were, of his majesty and glory, and put 
our mean garment of flesh upon him, that he might put the robes 
of his own righteousness and glory upon us ; and saved us, not 
from cruel injustice, but from his Father's deserved wrath ! Well 
then. Christians, as you use to do in your books, and on your goods, 
to write down the price they cost ; so do you on your righteousness 
and on your glory, write down the price, " The precious blood of 

Yet understand this rightly : not that this highest glory was in 
strictest proper sense purchased, so as that it was the most immedi- 
ate effect of Christ's death. We must take heed that we conceive 
not of God as a tyrant, who so delighteth in cruelty, as to exchange 
mercies for stripes, or to give a crown on condition he may torment 
men. God was never so pleased with the sufferings of the inno- 
cent, much less of his Son, as to sell his mercy properly for their 
sufferings; fury dwelleth not in him, nor doth he willingly correct 
the sons of men, nor take pleasure in the death of him that dieth. 
But the sufferings of Christ were primarily and immediately to 
satisfy justice that required blood, and to bear what was due to the 
sinner, and to receive the blow that should have fallen upon him, 
and so to restore him to the life he lost, and the happiness he fell 
from ; but this dignity, which surpasseth the first, is, as it were, 
from the redundancy of his merit, or a secondary fruit of his death. 
The work of his redemption so well pleased the Father, that he 
gave him power to advance his chosen to a higher dignity than they 


fell from, and to give them the glory which was given to himself; 
and all this according to his counsel, and the good pleasure of his 
own will. 

Sect. II. The second pearl in the saints' diadem, 
It ,s freely given us. j^^ ^^^^^ .^. -^ ^^.^^^ rj,^-^ seemeth, as Pharaoh's 

second kine, to devour the former ; and, as the angel to Balaam, 
to meet it with a drawn sword of a full opposition. But the seem- 
ing discord is but a pleasing diversity, composed into that harmony 
which constitutes the melody. These two attributes, purchased 
and free, are the two chains of gold, which by their pleasant twist- 
ing, do make up the wreath for the heads of the pillars in the 
temple of God, 1 Kings vii. 17, It was dear to Christ, but free to 
us. When Christ was to buy, silver and gold were nothing worth, 
prayers and tears could not suffice, nor any thing below his blood ; 
but when we come to buy, the price is fallen to just nothing : our 
buying is but receiving, we have it freely, without money, and with- 
out price. Nor do the gospel conditions make it the less free, or 
the covenant tenor before mentioned contradict any of this. If 
the gospel conditions had been such as are the laws, or payment 
of the debt required at our hands, the freeness then were more 
questionable : yea, if God had said to us. Sinners, if you will 
satisfy my justice but for one of your sins, I will forgive you all 
the rest ; it would have been a hard condition on our part, and 
the grace of the covenant not so free, as our disability doth neces- 
sarily require. But if all the condition be our cordial accepta- 
tion, surely we deserve not the name of purchasers : thankful 
accepting of a free acquittance is no paying of the debt. If life 
be offered to a condemned man, upon condition that he shall 
not refuse the offer, I think the favour is nevertheless free ; nay, 
though the condition were, that he should beg and wait before 
he have his pardon, and take him for his Lord who hath thus re- 
deemed him : and this is no satisfying of the justice of the law ; 
especially when the condition is also given, as it is by God to all 
his chosen. Surely, then, here is all free. If the Father freely 
forgive the Son, and the Son freely pay the debt ; and if God do 
freely accept that way of payment, when he might have required it 
of the principal ; and if both Father and Son do freely offer us the 
purchased life upon those fair conditions, and if they also freely send 
the Spirit to enable us to perform those conditions ; then what is 
here that is not free ? Is not every stone that builds this temple 
free stone ? Oh the everlasting admiration that must needs sur- 
prise the saints to think of this freeness ! What did the Lord see 
in me that he should judge me meet for such a state ? That I, who 
was but a poor, diseased, despised wretch, should be clad in the 
brightness of this glory ! That I, a silly, creeping, breathing worm, 
should be advanced to this high dignity ! That I, who was but 
lately groaning, weeping, dying, should now be as full of joy as my 
heart can hold ; yea, should be taken from the grave, where I was 
rotting and stinking, and from the dust and darkness, where I 
seemed forgotten, and here set before his throne ! That I should 


be taken with Mortlecai from captivity, to be set next unto the 
king ; and with Daniel from the den, to be made ruler of princes 
and provinces ; and with Saul from seeking asses, to be advanced 
to a kingdom ! Oh who can fathom unmeasurable love ? Indeed, 
if the proud-hearted, self-ignorant, self-admiring sinners should be 
thus advanced, who think none so fit for preferment as themselves, 
perhaps instead of admiring free love, they would, with those un- 
happy angels, be discontented yet with their estate. But when the 
self-denying, self-accusing, humble soul, who thought himself un- 
worthy the ground he trod on, and the air he breathed in, unworthy 
to eat, drink, or live, when he shall be taken up into this glory; 
he who durst scarce come among or speak to the imperfect saints 
on earth, because he was unworthy ; he who durst scarce hear, or 
scarce read the Scripture, or scarce pray and call God Father, or 
scarce receive the sacraments of his covenant, and all because he 
was unworthy ; for this soul to find itself rapt up into heaven, and 
closed in the arms of Christ even in a moment ! do but think with 
yourselves, what the transporting, astonishing admiration of such a 
soul will be ! He that durst not lift up his eyes to heaven, but 
stood afar oif, smiting on his breast, and crying, " Lord, be merci- 
ful to me a sinner ;" now to be lift up to heaven himself! He who 
was wont to write his name in Bradford's style, " The unthankful, 
the hard-hearted, the unworthy sinner," and wa"s wont to admire 
that patience could bear so long, and justice suffer him to live ; sure 
he will admire at this alteration, when he shall find by experience, 
that unworthiness could not hinder his salvation, which he thought 
would have bereaved him of every mercy ! Ah, Christian, there is 
no talk of our worthiness or unworthiness ; if worthiness were our 
condition for admittance, W'e might sit down with St: John and 
weep, " because none in heaven or earth is found worthy ; but the 
Lion of the tribe of Judah is worthy and hath prevailed :" and by 
that title must we hold the inheritance : we shall offer there the 
offering that David refused, even praise for that which cost us 
nothing. Here our commission runs, " Freely ye have received, 
freely give :" but Christ hath dearly received, yet freely gives. 
The Master heals us of our leprosy freely ; but Gehazi, who had no 
finger in the cure, wdll surely run after us, and take something of 
us, and falsely pretend, it is his Master's pleasure. The pope, and 
his servants, will be paid for their pardons and indulgences, but 
Christ will take nothing for his. The fees of their prelates' courts 
are large, and commutation of penance must cost men's purses dear, 
or else they must be cast out of the synagogue, and soul and body 
delivered up to the devil : but none are shut out of that church for 
want of money, nor is poverty any eyesore to Christ. An empty 
heart may bar them out, but an empty purse cannot : his kingdom 
of grace hath ever been more consistent with despised poverty than 
wealth and honour ; and riches occasion the difficulty of entrance 
far more than want can do, " for that which is highly esteemed 
among men, is despised with God:" and so it is, also, " the poor of 
the world, rich in faith, whom God hath chosen to be heirs of that 


kingdom, which he hath prepared for them that love him." I know 
the true " labourer is worthy of his hire ;" and, " they that serve 
at the altar, should live upon the altar ;" and, " it is not fit to 
muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn," James ii. 5 ; 1 Cor. vi. 
4 — 13 : and I know, it is either hellish malice, or penurious base- 
ness, or ignorance of the weight of their work and burden, that 
makes their maintenance so generally incompetent, and their very 
livelihood and subsistence so envied and grudged at ; and that it is 
a mere plot of the prince of darkness, for the diversion of their 
thoughts, that they must be studying how to get bread for their 
own and children's mouths, when they should be preparing the 
bread of life for their people's souls : but yet let me desire the right- 
aiming ministers of Christ, to consider what is expedient as well as 
what is lawful, and that the saving of one soul is better than a 
thousand pounds a year, and our gain, though due, is a cursed gain, 
which is a stumbling-block to our people's souls : let us make the 
free gospel as little burdensome and chargeable as is possible. I 
had rather never take their tithes while I live, than by them to de- 
stroy the souls for whom Christ died, 1 Cor. ix. 18, 19 ; and though 
God hath ordained, that" they which preach the gospel should live 
of the gospel," yet I had rather suiFer all things than hinder the 
gospel, Rom. xiv. 13, 15, 20, 21 ; and it were better for me to die 
than that any man should make this my glorying void, Rom. xv. 
1, 2; 1 Cor. ix. 12 — 15. Though the well-leading elders be 
w^orthy of double honour, especially the laborious in the word and 
doctrine, yet if the necessity of souls and the promoting of the gos- 
pel should require it, 1 had rather preach the gospel in hunger and 
rags, than rigidly contend for what is my due ; and if I should do 
so, yet have I not whereof to glory, for necessity is laid upon me ; 
yea, woe be to me if I preach not the gospel, though I never re- 
ceived any thing from men, 1 Tim. v. 17 ; 1 Cor. iv. 10 — 12; ix. 
16. How unbeseeming the messengers of his free grace and king- 
dom is it, rather to lose the hearts and souls of their people, than 
to lose a groat of their due ; and rather to exasperate them against • 
the message of God, than to forbear somewhat of their right ; and 
to contend with them at law for the wages of the gospel, and to 
make the glad tidings to their yet carnal hearts seem to be sad 
tidings because of this burden ! This is not the way of Christ and 
his apostles, nor according to the self-denying, yielding, suffering 
doctrine which they taught. Away with all those actions that are 
against the main end of our studies and calling, which is to win 
souls ; and woe be upon that gain which hinders the gaining of 
men to Christ ! I know, flesh will here object necessities, and dis- 
trust will not want arguments ; but we who have enough to answer 
to the diffidence of our people, let us take home some of our answers 
to ourselves, and teach ourselves first before we teach them. How 
many have you known that God suffered to starve in his vineyard ! 
But this is our exceeding consolation, that though we may pay 
for our Bibles, and books, and sermons, and, it may be, pay for our 
freedom too, to enjoy and use them ; yet as we paid nothing for 


God's eternal love, and nothing for the Son of his love, and nothing 
for his Spirit, and our grace and faith, and nothing for our pardon, 
so shall we pay nothing for our eternal rest. We may pay for 
the hread and wine, hut we shall not pay for the hody and hlood, 
nor for the great things of the covenant which it seals unto us ; 
and, indeed, we have a valuahle price to give for those, hut for 
these we have none at all : yet this is not all : if it were only for 
nothing, and without our merit, the wonder were great ; hut it is, 
moreover, against our merit, and against our long endeavouring of 
our own ruin. Oh, the hroken heart that hath known the desert 
of sin, doth both understand and feel what I say ! What an 
astonishing thought it will be to think of the unmeasurable differ- 
ence between our descrvings and our receivings ; between the state 
we should have been in, and the state we are in ; to look down 
upon hell, and sec the vast difference that free grace hath made be- 
twixt us and them ; to see the inheritance there, which we were 
born to, so different from that which we are adopted to ! Oh what 
pangs of love will it cause within us, to think, Yonder was my 
native right, my deserved portion ; those should have been my 
hideous cries, my doleful groans, my easeless pains, my endless tor- 
ment ; those unquenchable flames I should have lain in ; that 
never-dying worm should have fed upon me ; yonder was the place 
that sin would have brought me to, but this is it that Christ hath 
brought me to ; yonder death was the wages of my sin, but this 
eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ my Lord. Did 
not I neglect grace, and make light of the offers of life, and slight 
my Redeemer's blood, a long time, as well as yonder suffering 
.souls !* Did I not let pass my time, and forget my God and soul, 
as well as they ; and was not I born in sin and wrath as well as 
they I O, who made me to differ ? Was my heart naturally any 
readier for Christ than theirs, or any whit better affected to the 
Spirit's persuasions ? Should I ever have begun to love, if God 
had not begun to me ; or ever be willing, if he had not made me 
willing ; or ever differed, if he had not made me to differ ? Had I 
not now been in those flames, if I had had mine own way, and been 
let alone to mine own will ? Did I not resist as powerful means, 
and lose as fair advantages, as they? And should I not have 
lingered in Sodom till the flames had seized on me, if God had not 
in mercy carried me out .'' Oh how free was all this love ; and how 
free is this enjoyed glory ! Doubtless this will be our everlasting 
admiration, that so rich a crown should fit the head of so vile a 
sinner ; that such high advancement, and such long unfruitfulness 
and unkindness, can be the state of the same persons ; and that 
such vile rebellions can conclude in such most precious joys. But 
no thanks to us, nor to any of our duties and labours, much less to 
our neglects and laziness : we know to whom the praise is due, and 
must be given for ever ; and, indeed, to this very end it was, that 
infinite wisdom did cast the whole design of man's salvation into 
the mould of pur5:hase and freeness,* that the love and joy of man 

* It is a fond conceit of the Antinoinians, to think that justification and salvation 


might be perfected, and the honour of grace most highly advanced, 
that the thought of merit might neither cloud the one nor obstruct 
the other, and that on these two hinges the gates of heaven might 
turn. So then, let '"' Deserved" be written on the door of hell, but 
on the door of heaven and life, " The free gift." 
3. Itisihe saints' Sect. III. Thirdly, The third comfortable at- 
possession. tribute of this rest is, that it is the saints' proper 
and peculiar possession. It belongs to no other of all the sons of 
men ; not that it would have detracted from the greatness or free- 
ness of the gift, if God had so pleased, that all the world should 
have enjoyed it : but when God had resolved otherwise, that it 
must be enjoyed but by few, to find our names among that num- 
ber must needs make us the more to value our enjoyment. If all 
Egypt had been light, the Israelites should not have had the less ; 
but yet to enjoy that light alone, while their neighbours live in 
thick darkness, must make them more sensible of their privilege. 
Distinguishing, separating mercy aifecteth more than any mercy. 
If it should rain on our grounds alone, or the sun shine alone upon 
our habitations, or the blessing of heaven divide between our 
flocks and other men's, as between Jacob's and Laban's, we should 
more feelingly acknowledge mercy than now, while we possess the 
same in common. Ordinariness dulleth our sense ; and if miracles 
were common, they would be slighted. If Pharaoh had passed as 
safely as Israel, the Red Sea would have been less remembered ; if 
the first-born of Egypt had not been slain, the first-born of Israel 
had not been the Lord's peculiar ; if the rest of the world had not 
been drowned, and the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah burned, the 
saving of Noah had been no wonder, nor Lot's deliverance so much 
talked of. The lower the weighty end of the balance descends, the 
higher is the other lifted up ; and the falling of one of the sails of 
the windmill is the occasion of the rising of the other. It would 
be no extenuation of the mercies of the saints here, if all the world 
were as holy as they ; and the communication of their happiness is 
their greatest desire ; yet it might perhaps dull their thankfulness, 
and differencing grace would not be known. But when one should 
])e enlightened, and another left in darkness ; one reformed, and 
another by his lusts enslaved ; it makes them cry out, with the 
disciples, " Lord, how is it that thou wilt reyeal thyself to us, and 
not unto the world?" John xiv. 22. When the prophet shall be 
sent to one widow only of all that were in Samaria, and to cleanse 
one Naaman of all the lepers, the mercy is more observable, Luke 
iv. 24 — 27. Oh ! that will surely be a day of passionate sense on 
both sides, when two shall be in a bed, and two in the field, the 
one taken, and the other forsaken. Eor a Christian, who is con- 
scious of his own undeserving and ill-deserving, to see his com- 
panion in sin perish, his neighbour, kinsman, father, mother, wife, 

ave not free, if given on condition ; as long as the condition is but acceptance, and the 
frueness excludeth all our merit of satisfaction. The like may be said of the condition- 
ality of sincere evangelical obedience to the continuance ancV, consummation of our 
justification, and to our salvation. 


child, for ever in hell, vvhile lio is preferred among the hlessed ; to 
see other men's sins eternally plagued, while his are all pardoned ; 
to see those that were wont to sit with us in the same seat, and eat 
with us at the tahle, and join wilh us in the same duties, now to 
lie tornirnted in those flames, while we are triumphing in divine 
praises ; that Lot must leave his sons-in-law in the flames of 
Sodom, and the wife of his l)OSom- as a monument of Divine 
vengeance, and escape with his two daughters alone ; h'^re is 
choosing, distinguishing mercy ! Therefore, the Scripture seems 
to affirm, that as the damned souls shall, from hell, see the saints' 
liappiness, to increase their own torments, so shall the hlessed, 
from heaven, hehold the wicked's misery to the increase of their 
own joy : and as they looked on the dead bodies of Christ's two 
witnesses, slain in their streets, and they that dwelt on the earth 
rejoiced over them and made merry, Rev. xi. 10, and as the 
wicked here hehold the calamities of God's people with gladness; 
so shall the saints look down upon them in the burning lake, and 
in the sense of their own happiness, and in the approbation of God's 
just proceedings, they shall rejoice and sing, " Thou art righteous, 
O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast 
thus judged ; for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, 
and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy. 
Allelujah, salvation, and glory, and honour, and power to our God ; 
for true and righteous are his judgments," Rev. xvi. 5, G. And 
as the command is over Babylon, so will it be over all the con- 
demned souls, " Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy 
apostles and prophets ; for God hath avenged you on her," Rev. 
xviii. 20; xix. 7, 8. By this time the impenitent Avorld will see a 
reason for the saints' singularity while they were on earth, and will 
be able to answer their own demands, Why must you be more holy 
than your neighbours? even because they would fain be more 
happy than their neighbours : and why cannot you do as others, 
and live as the world about you .'' even because they are full loth 
to speed as those others, or to be damned with the world about 
them. Sincere singularity in holiness is, by this time, known to 
be neither hypocrisy nor folly. If to be singular in that glory be 
so desirable, surely to be singular in godly living is not contempti- 
ble. As every one of them now knows his own sore, and his own 
grief, so shall every one of them feel his own joy : and if they can 
now call Christ their own, and call God their own God, how much 
more then upon their full possession of him ! for as he takes his 
people for his inheritance, so will he himself be the inheritance of 
his people for ever, 2 Chron. vi. 29; Psal. xvi. 5 \ xxxiii. 12; 
Ixvii. 6; Ixxviii. 71. 

Sect. IV. A fourth comfortable adjunct of this 4 j, j, a rest with 
rest is, that it is the fellowship of the blessed angels ami perfect 
saints and angels of God. Not so singular will *^'"'^- 
the Christian be, as to be solitary. Though it be proper to the 
saints only, yet is it common to all the saints ; for what is it but 
an association of blessed spirits in God ; a corporation of perfected 

F 2 


saints, whereof Christ is the Head ; the communion of saints com- 
pleted ? Nor doth this make those joys to he therefore mediate, 
derived by creatures to us, as here ; for all the lines may be drawn 
from the centre, and not from each other, and yet their collocation 
make them more comely than one alone could be. Though the 
strings receive not their sound and sweetness from each other, yet 
their concurrence causeth that harmony which could not be by one 
alone. For those that have prayed, and fasted, and wept, and 
watched, and waited together, now to joy, and enjoy, and praise 
together, niethinks should much advance their pleasure. What- 
soever it will be upon the great change that will be in our natures 
perfected, sure I am, according to the present temperature of the 
most sanctified human aifections, it would aiFect exceedingly : and 
he who mentioneth the qualifications of our happiness, of purpose 
that our joy may be full, and maketh so oft mention of our con- 
sociation and conjunction in his praises, sure doth hereby intimate 
to us, that this will be some advantage to our joys. Certain I 
am of this, fellow Christians, that as we have been together in the 
labour, duty, danger, and distress, so shall we be in the great re- 
compence and deliverance ; and as we have been scorned and de- 
spised, so shall we be crowned and honoured together ; and we who 
have gone through the day of sadness, shall enjoy together that day 
of gladness. And those who have been with us in persecution and 
prison, shall be with us also in that palace of consolation. Can the 
wilful world say. If our forefathers and friends be all in hell, we 
will venture there too ? And may not the Christian say on better 
grounds. Seeing my faithful friends are gone before me to heaven, 
I am much the more willing to be there too '{ Oh ! the blessed 
day, dear friends, when we that were wont to inquire together, and 
hear of heaven and talk of heaven together, shall then live in hea- 
ven together ; when we who were wont to complain to one another, 
and open our doubts to one another, and our fears, whether ever we 
should come there or no, shall then rejoice with one another, and 
triumph over those doubts and fears ; when we who were wont for- 
merly, in private, to meet together for mutual edification, shall 
now, most publicly, be conjoined in the same consolation. Those 
same disciples, who were wont to meet in a private house for fear of 
the Jews, are now met in the celestial habitation without fear; and 
as their fear then did cause them to shut the door against their 
enemies, so will God's justice shut it now. Oh ! when I look in 
the faces of the precious people of God, and believingly think of 
this day, what a refreshing thought is it ! Shall we not there re- 
member, think you, the pikes which we passed through here ; our 
fellowship in duty and in suiFerings ; how oft our groans made, as it 
were, one sound, our conjunct tears but one stream, and our con- 
junct desires but one prayer ? and now all our praises shall make 
up one melody, and all our churches one church, and all ourselves 
but one body ; for we shall be one in Christ, even as he and the 
Father are one. It is true we must be very careful in this case, 
that, in our thoughts, we look not for that in the saints which is 


alone in Christ, and that we give them not his own prerogative, nor 
expect too great a part of our comfort in the fruition of them : we 
are prone enough to this kind of idohitry. But, yet, lie who com- 
mands us so to love thom now, will give us leave, in the same sub- 
ordination to hinisoir, to lov(> them then, when himself hath made 
them much more lovely : and if we may love them, we shall surely 
rejoice in them ; for love and enjoyment cannot stand without an 
answerable joy. If the forethought of sitting down with Abraham, 
Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, may be 
our lawful joy, then how nmch more that real sight and actual pos- 
session ! it cannot choose but be comfortable to me to think of 
that day, when I shall join with Moses in his song, with David in 
his psalms of praise, and with all the redeemed in the song of the 
Lamb for ever; when we shall see Enoch walking with God, Noah 
enjoying the end of his singularity, Joseph of his integrity. Job of 
his patience, Hezekiah of his uprightness, and all the saints the end 
of their faith. Will it be nothing conducible to the completing of 
our comforts, to live eternally with Peter, Paul, Austin, Chrysos- 
tom, Jerome, Wickliffe, Luther, Zuinglius, Calvin, Beza, Bullinger, 
Zanchius, Parasus, Piscator, Camero ; with Hooper, Bradford, 
Latimer, Glovei*, Saunders, Philpot ; with Reighnolds, Whitaker, 
Cartwright, Brightman, Bayne, Bradshaw, Bolton, Ball, Hilder- 
sham, Pemble, Twisse, Ames, Preston, Sibbs ? O felicem diem 
(said holy GryntBus) quiim ad illiid animanini concilium jtrojicis- 
car, et ex hoc tnrha colluvione discedam /" * O happy day, when 
I shall depart out of this crowd and sink, and go to that same 
council of souls ! I know that Christ is all in all ; and that it is 
the presence of God that maketh heaven to be heaven. But, yet, 
it much sweeteneth the thoughts of that place to me, to remember 
that there are such a multitude of my most dear and precious 
friends in Christ ; with whom I took sweet counsel, and with whom 
I went up to the house of God; who walked with me in the fear of 
God, and integrity of their hearts ; in the face of whose conversa- 
tions there was written the name of Christ ; whose sweet and sen- 
sible mention of his excellences hath made my heart to burn within 
me. To think such a friend, that died at such a time, and such a 
one at another time ; oh what a number of them could I name ! and 
that all these are entered into rest ; and we shall surely go to them, 
but they shall not return to us. It is a question with some, whether 
we shall know each other in heaven or no. Surely there shall no 
knowledge cease which now we have, but only that which implieth 
our imperfection; and what imperfection can this imply? Nay, 
our present knowledge shall be increased beyond belief, 2 Cor. v. 
16. It shall indeed be done away, but as the light of candles and 
stars is done away, by the rising of the sun ; which is more properly 
a doing away of our ignorance than of our knowledge : indeed, we 

* Junius -writcth in his life, of a man that so esteemed him, that he digged up a turf 
of the ground where he stood, and carried it home ; how, then, sliould we love the 
habitatfon of the saints in light ! By this example you may see how worshipping of 
saints, relics, shrines, images, was brought in by honest zeal (misguided). 


shall not know each other after the flesh ; nor by stature, voice, 
colour, complexion, visage, or outward shape ; if we had so known 
Christ, we should know him no more ; nor by parts and gifts of 
learning, nor titles of honour and worldly dignity ; nor by terms of 
affinity and consanguinity, nor benefits, nor such relations ; nor by 
youth or age ; nor, I think, by sex : but by the image of Christ, 
and spiritual relation, and former faithfulness in improving our 
talents, beyond doubt, we shall knov/ and be known. Nor is it only 
our old acquaintance, but all the saints of all ages, whose faces in 
the flesh we never saw, whom we shall there both know and com- 
fortably enjoy. Luther, in his last sickness, being asked his judg- 
ment, whether we shall know one another in heaven, answered thus, 
Quid accidit Adamo ? Nioiquam ille vklerat Evam, &c. i. e. 
How was it with Adam ? He had never seen Eve : yet he asked 
not, who she was, or whence she came ; but saith, She is flesh of 
my flesh, and bone of my bone. And how knew he that ? Why, 
being full of the Holy Ghost, and endued with the true know- 
ledge of God, he so pronounced. After the same sort shall we be 
renewed by Christ in another life, and we shall know our parents, 
wives, children, &c. much more perfectly than Adam did then 
know Eve ; yea, and angels as well as saints, will be our blessed 
acquaintance and sweet associates. We have every one now our 
own angels, then beholding our Father's face ; and those who now 
are willingly ministering spirits for our good, will willingly then be 
our companions in joy for the perfecting of our good ; and they 
who had such joy in heaven for our conversion, will gladly rejoice 
with us in our glorification. I think. Christian, this will be a more 
honourable assembly than ever you have beheld ; and a more happy 
society than you were ever of before. Then we shall truly say, as 
David, " I am a companion of all them that fear thee : when we 
are come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the 
heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels ; to 
the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are writ- 
ten in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of 
just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the nev/ 
covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling," Acts xii. 15 ; Matt, 
xviii. 10 ; Luke xv. 10, and xvi. 22 ; Heb. i. 7, &c. and xii. 22 — 24 ; 
Psal. cxix. 16. We are come thither already in respect of title, 
and of earnest and first-fruits ; but we shall then come into the 
full possession. O beloved, if it be a happiness to live with the 
saints in their imperfection, when they have sin to imbitter, as vrell 
as holiness to sweeten, their society, what will it be to live with 
them in their perfection, where saints are wholly and only saints ? 
if it be a delight to hear them pray or preach, what will it be to 
hear them praise ? if we thought ourselves in the suburbs of heaven 
when we heard them set forth the beauty of our Lord, and speak 
of the excellences of his kingdom, what a day will it be when we 
shall join with them in praises to our Lord in and for that king- 
dom ! Now we have corruption, and they have corruption ; and 
we are apter to set awork each other's corruption than our graces ; 


and so lose the benefit of their conipany while we do enjoy it, he- 
cause we know not how to make use ot" a saint : bul then it will 
not he so. Now we spend many an hour which might be profitable, 
hi a dull, silent looking on each other, or else in vain and common 
conference ; but then it will not be so. Now the best do know but 
in part, and therefore can instruct and help us but in part ; but 
then we shall, with them, make up one perfect man. So then, I 
conclude, this is one singular excellency of the rest of heaven, that 
we arc " fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of 
God," Eph. ii. 19. 

Sect. V. Fifthly, Another excellent property of r, ^ j^ i„„j,<,,|iate 
our rest will be, that the joys of it are immedi- iVom (j(,(i, and in 
ately from God. Nor doth this contradict the '"'"• 
former, as I have before made plain. Whether Christ, who is God 
as well as man, shall be the conveyer of all from the Divine nature 
to us ; and whether the giving up the kingdom to the Father do 
imply the ceasing of the Mediator's office ; oi whether he shall be; 
Mediator //v^/V/o/^/.?, as well as acqiiisitionts ; are questions which I 
will not now attempt to handle. But this is sure : we shall see 
God face to face, and stand continually in his presence, and conse- 
quently derive our life and comfort immediately from him. Whe- 
ther God will make use of any creatures for our service then, or, if 
any, of what creatures, and what use, is more than I yet know. It 
seems that the creature shall have a day of deliverance, and that 
into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, Rom. viii, 21 : but 
whether this before, or at the great and full deliverance ; or whe- 
ther to endure to eternity ; or to what particular employment they 
shall be continued ; are questions yet too hard for me. When God 
speaks them plainer, and mine understanding is made clearei', then 
I may know these ; but it is certain that at least our most and 
great joys will be immediate, if not all. Now, we have nothing at 
all immediately, but at the second, or third, or fourth, or fifth hand, 
or how many, who knows .'' From the earth, from man, from sun and 
moon, from the influence of the planets, from the ministration of 
angels, and from the Spirit and Christ ; and, doubtless, the further 
the stream runs fi-om the fountain, the more impure it is. It gathers 
some defilement from every unclean channel it passeth through. 
Though it savours not, in the hand of angels, of the imperfection 
of sinners, yet it doth of the imperfection of creatures ; and as it 
comes from man it savours of both. How quick and piercing is 
the word in itself! yet many times it never enters, being managed 
by a feeble arm. Oh ! what w^eight and worth is there in every 
passage of the blessed gospel ! enough, one w^ould think, to enter 
and force the dullest soul, and wholly possess its thoughts and 
affections : and yet how oft doth it fall as water upon a stone ! and 
how easily can our hearts sleep out a sermon time ! and nmch be- 
cause these words of life do die in the delivery, and the fruit of 
conception is almost still-born. Our people's spirits remain con- 
gealed, while we who are intrusted with the word that should melt 
them, do suffer it to freeze between our lips. We speak, indeed. 


of soul- concerning truths, and set before them life and death ; but 
it is with such self-seeking affectation, and in such a lazy, formal, 
customary strain, like the pace the Spaniard rides, that the people 
little think we are in good sadness, or that our hearts do mean as 
our tongues do speak. I have heard of some tongues that can lick 
a coal of fire till it be cold. I fear these tongues are in most of 
our mouths, and that the breath that is given us to blow up this 
fire, till it flame in our people's souls, is rather used to blow it out. 
Such preaching is it that hath brought the most to hear sermons, 
as they say their creed and paier-voHters, even as a few good words 
of course. How many a cold and mean sermon that yet contains 
most precious truths ! The things of God which we handle are 
divine ; but our manner of handling too human : and there is 
little or none that ever we touch, but we leave the print of our 
fingers behind us ; but if God should speak this word himself, it 
would be a piercing, melting word indeed. How full of comfort 
are the gospel promises ! yet do we oft so heartlessly declare 
them, that the broken, bleeding-hearted saints, are much debarred 
of their joys. Christ is indeed a precious pearl, but oft held forth 
in leprous hands ; and thus do we disgrace the riches of the gospel, 
when it is the work of our calling to make it honourable in the eyes 
of men ; and we dim the glory of that jewel by our dull and low ex- 
pressions, and dunghill conversations, whose lustre we do pretend 
to discover, while the hearers judge of it by our expressions, and 
not its proper, genuine worth. The truth is, the best of men do 
apprehend but little of what God, in his word, expresseth, and 
what they do apprehend they are unable to utter. Human lan- 
guage is not so copious as the heart's conceivings are ; and what we 
possibly might declare, yet, through our own unbelief, stupidity, 
laziness, and other corruptions, we usually fail in ; and what we do 
declare, yet the darkness of our people's understandings, and the 
sad senselessness of their hearts, do usually shut out and make 
void. So that as all the works of God are perfect in their season, 
as he is perfect ; so are all the works of man, as himself, imperfect ; 
and those which God performeth by the hand of man, will too 
much savour of the instrument. If an angel from heaven should , 
preach the gospel, yet could he not deliver it according to its glory ; 
much less we, who never saw what they have seen, and keep this 
treasure in earthen vessels. The comforts that flow through ser- 
mons, through sacraments, through reading, and company, and 
conference, and creatures, are but half comforts ; and the life that 
comes by these is but a half life, in comparison of those which the 
Almighty shall speak with his own mouth, and reach forth to us 
with his own hand. The Christian knows by experience, now, that 
his most immediate joys are his sweetest joys ; those which have 
least of man, and are most directly from the Spirit. That is 
one reason, as I conceive, why Christians who are much in secret 
prayer, and in meditation and contemplation, rather than they who 
are more in hearing, reading, and conference, are men of greatest 
life and joy, because they are nearer the well-head, and have all 


more immediately from God himself; and that I conceive the 
reason, also, uhy we are more indisposed (o those secret duties, 
and can easilier bring our hearts to hear, and read, and confer, than 
to secret prayer, self-examination, and meditation, because in the 
former is more of man ; and in these we approach the Lord alone, 
and our natures draw back from the most spiritual and fruitful 
duties : not that we should therefore cast off the other, and neglect 
any ordinance of God. To live above them, wdiile we use them, is the 
way of a Christian ; but to live above ordinances, as to live without 
them, is to live without the compass of the gospel lines, and so without 
(lie government of Christ. Let such beware, lest while they would be 
higher than Christians, they prove in the end lower than men. We 
are not yet come to the time and state where we shall have all from 
God's immediate hand. As God hath made all creatures, and in- 
stituted all ordinances, for us, so will he continue our need of all. 
We nuist yet be contented with love-tokens from him, till we come 
to receive our all in him. We nmst be thankful if Joseph sustain 
our lives by relieving us in our famine with his provisions, till we 
come to see his own face. There is joy in these remote receivings, 
but the fulness is in his own presence. O Christians ! you will 
then know the difference betwixt the creature and the Creator, and 
the content that each of them affords. We shall then have light 
without a candle, and a perpetual day without the sun ; " for the 
city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it ; 
for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light 
thereof," Rev. xxi. 23 : nay, " there shall be no night there, and 
they need no candle, nor light of the sun ; for the Lord God giv- 
eth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever," Rev. xxii. 
5. We shall then have rest without sleep, and be kept from cold 
without our clothing, and need no fig-leaves to hide our shame ; for 
God will be our rest, and Christ our clothing, and shame and sin 
will cease together. We shall then have health without physic, 
and strength without the use of food ; for the Lord God will be our 
strength, and the light of his countenance will be health to our 
souls, and marrow to our bones. We shall then, and never till 
then, have enlightened understandings without Scripture, and be 
governed without a written law ; for the Lord will perfect his law 
in our hearts, and we shall be all perfectly taught of God. His 
own will shall be our law, and his own face shall be our light for 
ever. Then shall we have joy, which we drew not from the 
promises, nor was fetched us home by faith or hope. Beholding 
and possessing will exclude the most of these. We shall then have 
communion without sacraments, when Christ shall drink with us 
of the fruit of the vine new, that is, refresh us with the comforting- 
wine of immediate fruition, in the kingdom of his Father. To 
have necessities and no supply, is the case of them in hell ; to have 
necessity supplied by the means of creatures, is the case of us on 
earth ; to have necessity supplied immediately from God, is the 
case of the saints in heaven ; to have no necessity at all, is the pre- 
rogative of God himself. The more of God is seen and received 


with and by the means and creature here, the nearer is our state 
like that in glorJ^ In a \vord, we have now our mercies, as Ben- 
iamin had Joseph's cup, Gen. xliv. 12; we find them at a distance 
from God, and scarcely know from whence they come, and under- 
stand not the good-will intended in them, hut are oft ready to fear 
they come in wrath, and think they will but work our ruin. But 
when we shall feed at Joseph's own house, yea, receive our portion 
from his own hand ; when he shall fully unbowel his love unto us, 
and take us to dwell in Goshen by him ; when we shall live in our 
Father's house and presence, and " God shall be all and in all ; " 
then we are, indeed, at home in rest. 

Sect. VI. Sixthly, Again, a further excellency is e. It will be a sea- 
this ; it will be unto us a seasonable rest. He sonablc rest. 
that expecteth the fruit of this vineyard in season, and maketh his 
people as trees planted by the waters, fruitful in their season, he 
will also give them the crown in season. He that will have the 
words of joy spoken to the weary in season, will sure cause that 
time of joy to appear in the meetest season. And they who knew 
the season of grace, and did repent and believe in season, shall 
also, if they faint not, reap in season, Mark xii. 1 ; Luke xx. 10 ; 
Psal. i. 3 ; Isa. 1. 4 ; Gal. vi. 9. If God will not miss the season 
of common mercies, even to his enemies, but " will give both the 
former and latter rain in their season, and the appointed weeks of 
the harvest in its season," Jer. v. 24 ; xxxiii. 20 ; and by an in- 
violable covenant hath established day and night in their seasons ; 
then, sure, the harvest of the saints and their day of gladness shall 
not miss its season. Doubtless, he that would not stay a day longer 
than his promise, but brought Israel out of Egypt that self-same 
day that the four hundred and thirty years were expired ; neither 
will he fail of one day or hour of the fittest season for his people's 
glory, Exod. xii. 40, 41 ; Jer. viii. 7. And as Christ failed not to 
come in the fulness of time, even then when Daniel and others had 
foretold his coming ; so in the fulness and fitness of time will his 
second coming be. He that hath given the stork, the crane, the 
swallow, to know their appointed time, will surely keep his time 
appointed. When we have had in this world a long night of sad 
darkness, will not the day-breaking and the rising of the Sun of 
righteousness be then seasonable ? When we have endured a hard 
winter in this cold climate, will not the reviving spring be then 
seasonable ? ^ hen we have (as St. Paul, Acts xxvii, 7, 9) sailed 
slowly many days, and much time spent, and sailing now grown, 
more dangerous ; and when neither sun, nor stars, in many days 
appear, and no small tempest lieth on us, and all hope that we shall 
be saved is almost taken away ; do you think that the haven of 
rest is not then seasonable? When we have passed a long and 
tedious journey, and that through no small dangers, is not home 
then seasonable ? When we have had a long and perilous war, and 
have lived in the midst of furious enemies, and have been forced 
to stand on a perpetual watch, and received from them many a 
woundj would not a peace, with victory, be now seasonable ? 


When wo have been captivated in many years' imprisonment, and 
insult (>d over by scornful foes, and suHered many pinching wants, 
and hardly enjoyed bare necessaries, would not a full deliverance 
to a most plentiful state, even from this prison to a throne, be now 
seasonable .'' Surely a man would think, who looks upon the face 
of the world, that rest should to all men seem seasonable. Some 
of us are languishing under continual weakness, and groaning un- 
der most grievous pains, crying, in the morning, Would God it 
were evening ! and, in the evening. Would God it were morning ! 
weary of going, weary of sitting, weary of standing, weary of 
lying, weary of eating, of speaking, of walking, weary of our very 
friends, weary of ourselves ; oh how oft hath this been mine own 
case ! and is not rest yet seasonable ? Some are complaining under 
the pressure of the times ; weary of their taxes, weary of their 
quartering, weary of plunderings, weary of their fears and dangers, 
weary of their poverty and wants ; and is not rest yet seasonable ? 
W hither can you go, or into what company can you come, where 
the voice of complaining doth not show, that men live in a con- 
tinual weariness, but especially the saints, who are most weary of 
that which the world cannot feel i" What godly society almost 
can you fall into, but you shall hear by their moans that somewhat 
aileth them { some weary of a blind mind, doubting concerning 
the way they walk in, unsettled in almost all their thoughts ; some 
weary of a hard heart, some of a proud, some of a passionate, and 
some of all these, and much more : some weary of their daily 
doubtings, and fear concerning their spiritual estate ; and some of 
the want of spiritual joys, and some of the sense of God's wrath : 
and is not rest now seasonable ? When a poor Christian hath 
desired, and prayed, and waited for deliverance many a year, is it 
not then seasonable ? Wlien he is ready almost to give up, and 
saith, I am afraid I shall not reach the end, and that my faith and 
patience will scarce hold out ; is not this a fit season for rest ? If 
it were to Joseph a seasonable message, which called him from the 
prison to Pharaoh's court ; or if tli? return of his Benjamin, the 
tidings that Joseph was yet alive, and the sight of the chariots 
which should convey him to Egypt, were seasonable for the re- 
viving of Jacob's spirits ; then, methinks, the message for a release 
from the flesh, and our convoy to Christ, should be a seasonable 
and welcome message. If the voice of the king were seasonable 
to Daniel, Dan. vi. 19, &c. early in the morning calling him from 
his den, that he might advance him to more than former dignity, 
then methinks that morning voice of Christ our King, calling us 
from our terrors among lions, to possess his rest among his saints, 
should be to us a very seasonable voice. Will not Canaan be sea- 
sonable after so many years' travel, and that through a hazardous 
and grievous wilderness ? Indeed, to the world it is never in season. 
They are already at their own home, and have what they most 
desire. They are not weary of their present state. The saints' 
sorrow is their joy, and the saints' weariness is their rest : their 
weary day is coming, where there is no more expectation of rest. 


but for the thirsty soul to enjoy the fountain, and the hungry to he 
filled with the bread of life, and the naked to be clothed from 
above, for the children to come to their Father's house, and the 
disjoined member to be conjoined with their Head. Methinks this 
should be seldom unseasonable. When the atheistical world l^egan 
to insult, and, question the truth of Scripture promises, and ask us. 
Where is now your God ? Where is your long-looked-for glorj^ ? 
Where is the promise of your Lord's coming ? oh how seasonable, 
then, to convince these unbelievers, to silence these scoffers, to 
comfort the dejected, waiting believer, will the appearing of our 
Lord be ! We are oft grudging now that we have not a greater 
share of comforts; that our deliverances are not more speedy and 
eminent ; that the world prospers more than we ; that our prayers 
are not preseirtly answered : not considering that our portion is 
kept to a fitter season ; that these are not always winter fruits, but 
when summer comes we shall have our harvest. We grudge that 
we do not find a Canaan in the wilderness, or cities of rest in 
Noah's ark, and the songs of Sion in a strange land ; that we have 
not a harbour in the main ocean, or find not our home in the 
middle way, and are not crowned in the midst of the fight, and 
have not our rest in the heat of the day, and have not our inherit- 
ance before we are at age, and have not heaven before we leave 
the earth : and would not all this be very unseasonable .'' 

I confess, in regard of the church's service, the removing of the 
saints may sometimes appear to us unseasonable ; therefore doth 
God use it as a judgment, and therefore the church had ever prayed 
hard before they would part with them, and greatly laid to heart 
their loss ; therefore are the great mournings at the saints' de- 
partures, and the sad hearts that accompany them to their graves ; 
but this is not especially for the departed, but for themselves and 
their children, as Christ bid the weeping woman. Therefore, 
also, it is, that the saints, in danger of death, have oft begged for 
their lives, with that argument, " What profit is there in my 
blood, when I go down to the pit?" Psal. xxx. 9. " Wilt thou 
show wonders to the dead ? Shall the dead arise and praise thee ? 
Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave ; or thy faith- 
fulness in destruction ? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark, 
and thy righteousness in the land of forge tfulness ? " Psal. Ixxxviii. 
10. " For in death there is no remembrance of thee ; in the grave 
who shall give thee thanks?" Psal. vi. 5. And this it was that 
brought Paul to a strait, because he knew it was better for the 
church that he should remain here. I must confess, it is one of 
my saddest thoughts, to reckon up the useful instruments, whom 
God hath lately called out of his vineyard, when the loiterers are 
many, and the harvest great, and very many congregations desolate, 
and the people as sheep without shepherds ; and yet the labourers 
called from their work, especially when a door of liberty and op- 
portunity is open ; we cannot but lament so sore a judgment, and 
think the removal, in regard of the church, unseasonable. I know 
I speak but your own thoughts ; and you are too ready to overrun 


nie in application. I fear you are too sensible of what I speak,* 
and, therefore, am loth to stir you in your sore. I perceive you in 
the posture of the I'^phcsian elders, and had rather abate the vio- 
lence of your passions : our applications are quicker about our suf- 
ferings, than our sins ; and we will quicklier say, this loss is mine, 
than, this fault is mine, l^ut, O consider, my dear friends, hath 
God any need of such a worm as 1 ? Cannot he a thousand ways 
supply your wants !* You know when your case was worse, and yet 
he provided: hath he work to do, and will he not find instruments? 
And though you see not for the present where they should be had, 
they are never the further off for that. Where was the world be- 
fore the creation? and where was the promised seed when Isaac 
lay on the altar ? Where was the land of promise, when Israel's 
burden was increased; or, when all the old stock, save two, were 
consumed in the wilderness? Where was David's kingdom when 
he was hunted in the wilderness ? or the glory of Christ's kingdom 
when he was in the grave, or when he first sent his twelve apostles? 
How suddenly did the number of labourers increase immediately 
upon the reformation by Luther ; and how soon were the rooms of 
those filled up, whom the rage of the papists had sacrificed in the 
flames ! Have you not lately seen so many difficulties overcome, 
and so many improbable works accomplished, that might silence 
unbelief, one would think, for ever? But if all this do not quiet 
you, for sorrow and discontent are unruly passions, yet at least 
remember this : suppose the worst you fear should happen, yet 
shall it be well with all the saints ; your own turns will shortly 
come ; and we shall be housed with Christ together, where you 
will want your ministers and friends no more. And for the poor 
world, which is left behind, whose unregenerate state causeth your 
grief; why, consider, shall man pretend to be more merciful than 
God? Hath not he more interest than we, both in the church 
and in the world ; and more bowels of compassion to commiserate 
their distress ? There is a season for judgment as well as for 
mercy ; and if he will have the most of men to perish for their 
sins, and to suffer the eternal tormenting flames, must we question 
his goodness, or manifest our dislike of the severity of his judg- 
ment ? I confess we cannot but bleed over our desolate congre- 
gations ; and that it ill beseems us to make light of God's indigna- 
tion ; but yet we should, as Aaron when his sons were slain. Lev. 
X. 3, hold our peace, and be silent, because it is the Lord's doing; 
and say, as David, "If I (and his people) shall find favour in the 
eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me them, and 
his habitations ; but if he thus say, I have no delight in thee ; be- 

* These ^*ords were written by the author to his friends and congregation, who 
could then discern no probability of his much longer suniving, and upon the late death 
of some very useful ministers. Postquum enim affectione hypochondriaca innumera- 
bilibus fere stipata symptomatibus per annos 14 laborasset, cum in Ipngam tandem et 
inexpugnabilem inciderat debilitatem et contabescentiam, et demum in narium hremor- 
rhagiam, ad lib. 8. et inde in atrophiam, pro deplorato a medicis peritissimis relictus 
est. In qua tamen atrophia immensa Dei bonitate debilis adhuc supervivit ; modis 
etiam postea mirabilibiis ex orci faucibus scepius ereptus. 


hold, here am I, let him do with me as seemeth good unto him," 
Psal, xxxix. 9; 2 Sam. xv. 25, 26. I conclude, then, that what- 
soever it is to those that are left hehind, yet the saints' departure 
to themselves is usually seasonable. I say usually, because I know 
a very saint may have a death * in some respect unseasonable, 
though it do translate him into this rest. He may die in judg- 
ment, as good Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxv. 24 ; he may die for his sin. 
For the abuse of the sacrament many were weak and sickly, and 
many fallen asleep, even of those who were thus judged and chast- 
ened by God, that they might not be condemned with the world. 
He may die by the hand of public justice ; or die in a way of pub- 
lic scandal. He may die in a weak degree of grace, and conse- 
quently have less degree of glory, Luke xix. 17 — 19. He may die 
in smaller improvements of his talents, and so be ruler but of few 
cities. The best wheat may be cut down before it is ripe ; there- 
fore it is promised to the righteous, as a blessing, " that they shall 
be brought as a shock of corn into the barn in season," Job v. 26. 
Nay, it is possible he may die by his own hands ; though some 
divines think such doctrine not fit to be taught, lest it encourage 
the tempted to commit the same sin ; but God hath left preserv- 
atives enough against sin, without our devising more of our own ; 
neither hath he need of ourjie to his glory. He hath fixed that 
principle so deep in nature, that all should endeavour their own 
preservation, that I never knev/ any whose understanding was not 
crazed or lost, much subject to that sin; even most of the melan- 
choly are more fearful to die than other men. And this terror is 
preservative enough of that kind; that such committing of a 
heinous known sin, is a sad sign, where there is the free use of 
reason ; that, therefore, they make their salvation more question- 
able ; that they die most woeful scandals to the church ; that, how- 
ever, the sin itself should make the godly to abhor it, were there no 
such danger or scandal attending it, &c. But to exclude from sal- 
vation all those poor creatures, who in fevers, frenzies, madness, 
melancholy, &c. shall commit this sin, is a' way of prevention, 
which Scripture teacheth not, and too uncomfortable to the friends 
of the deceased. The common argument which they urge, drawn 
from the necessity of a particular repentance, for every particular 
known sin ; as it is not universally true, so, were it granted, it would 
exclude from salvation all men breathing ; for there was never any 
man, save Christ, who died not in some particular sin, either of 
commission or omission, great or small, which he hath no more 
time to repent of, than the sinner in question : but yet, this may 
well be called untimely death:! but in the ordinary course of God's 
dealing, you may easily observe, that he purposely maketh his 
people's last hour in this -life, to be of all other to the flesh most 
bitter, and to the spirit most sweet; and that they who feared 
death through the most of their lives, yet at last are more willing 
of it than ever, and all to make their rest more seasonable. Bread 
and drink are always good ; but at such a time as Samaria's siege, 

* Secundum quid. . f Spcuiidum quid. 


to have plenty of food instead of doves' dung, in one night's space; 
or in such a thirst, as Ishmael's or Samson's, to liave a supply of 
water by miracle in a moment; these are seasonable. So this rest 
is always good to the saints, and usually also is most seasonable rest. 

Sect. V'll. Seventhly, A further excellency of 7. It will be a rest 
(his rest is this ; as it will be seasonable, so a suit- buitable, 

able rest : suited, 1. To the natures. 2. To the desires. 3. To 
the necessity of the saints. 

1. To their natures. If suitableness concur not 
with excellency, the best things may be bad to us ; 
for it is not that which make things good in themselves, to be good 
to us. In our choice of friends, we oft pass by the more excellent, 
to choose the more suitable. Every good agrees not with every 
nature. To live in a free and open air, uncler the warming rays 
of the sun, is excellent to man, because suital)]e : but the fish, 
which is of another nature, doth rather choose another element ; and 
lliat which is to us so excellent, would quickly be to it destructive. 
The choicest dainties which we feed upon ourselves, would be to 
our beasts, as an unpleasing, so an insufficient sustenance. The 
iron which the ostrich well digests, would be but hard food for 
man : even among men, contrary appetites delight in contrary ob- 
jects. You know the proverb, " One man's meat is another man's 
poison." Now, here is suitableness and excellency conjoined. The 
new nature of saints doth suit their spirits to this rest; and indeed 
their holiness is nothing else but a spark taken from this element, 
and by the Spirit of Christ kindled in their hearts, the flame 
whereof, as mindful of his own Divine original, doth ever mount the 
soul aloft, and tend to the place from whence it comes. It worketh 
towards its own centre, and makes us restless, till there we rest. 
Gold and earthly glory, temporal crowns and kingdoms, could not 
make a rest for saints. As they were not redeemed with so low a 
price, so neither are they endued with so low a nature. These 
might be a portion for lower spirits, and fit those whose nature 
they suit with ; but so they cannot a saint-like nature, 1 Pet. i. 18, 
23. As (iod will have from them a spiritual worship, suitable to 
his own spiritual being, so will he provide them a spiritual rest, 
suitable to his people's spiritual nature. As spirits have not fleshly 
substances, so neither delight they in fleshly pleasures : these arc 
too gross and vile for them, ^^'hen carnal persons think of heaven, 
their conceivings of it are also carnal ; and their notions answer- 
able to their own natures. x\nd were it possible for such to enjoy 
it, it would sure be their trouble, and not their rest, because so 
contrary to their dispositions. A heaven of good fellowship, of 
wine and wantonness, of gluttony and all voluptuousness, would far 
better please them, as being most agreeing to their natures. But 
a heaven of the knowledge of God and his Christ ; and a delightful 
complacency in that mutual love, and everlasting rejoicing in the 
fruition of our God, a perpetual singing of his high praises ; this is 
a heaven for a saint, a spiritual rest, suitable to a spiritual nature. 
Then, dear friends, we shall live in our element. We are now as the 


fish in some small vessel of water, that hath only so much as will 
keep him alive ; but what is that to the full ocean ? We have a 
little air let in to us, to afford us breathing ; but what is that to 
the sweet and fresh gales upon Mount Sion ? We have a beam of 
the sun to lighten our darkness, and a warm ray to keep us from 
freezing ; but then we shall live in its light, and be revived by its 
heat for ever. Oh ! blessed be that hand which fetched a coal, 
and kindled a fire in our dead hearts, from that same altar where 
we must offer our sacrifice everlastingly ! To be locked up in gold 
and in pearl, would be but a wealthy starving ; to bave our tables 
with plate and ornaments richly furnished without meat, is but to 
be richly famished ; to be lifted up with human applause, is but a 
very airy felicity ; to be advanced to the sovereignty of all the 
earth, would be but to wear a crown of thorns ; to be filled with 
the knowledge of arts and sciences, would be but to further the 
conviction of our unhappiness ; but to have a nature like God's 
very image, holy as he is holy, and to have God himself to be our 
happiness, how well do these agree ! Whether that in 2 Pet. i. 4, 
be meant, as is commonly understood, of our own inherent renewed 
nature, figuratively called divine, or rather of Christ's Divine 
nature without us, properly so called, whereof we are also relatively 
made partakers, I know not ; but certainly were not our own in 
some sort divine, the enjoyment of the true Divine nature could not 
be to us a suitable rest. 
„ _ J . 2. It is suitable also to the desires of the saints : 

2. 1 o our desires. ^ •, ,■, . . i ^ .i • ^ • 

tor, such as their nature, such be their desires j 
and such as their desires, such will be their rest. Indeed, we have 
now a mixed nature ; and from contrary principles, do arise con- 
trary desires : as they are flesh, they have desires of flesh ; and as 
they are sinful, so they have sinful desires. Perhaps they could be 
too willing, whilst these are stirring, to have delights, and riches, 
and honour, and sin itself. But these are not prevailing desires, 
nor such as in their deliberate choice they will stand to ; therefore 
is it not they, but sin and flesh. These are not the desires that 
this rest is suited to, for they will not accompany them to their 
rest. To provide contents to satisfy these, were to provide food 
for them that are dead. " For they that are in Christ, have cruci- 
fied the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof," Gal. v. 26. 
But it is the desires of our renewed natures, and those which the 
Christian will ordinarily own, which this rest is suited to. Whilst 
our desires remain corrupted and misguided, it is a far greater 
mercy to deny them, yea, to destroy them, than to satisfy them ; 
but those which are spiritual, are of his own planting, and he will 
surely water them, and give the increase. Is it so great a work to 
raise them in us ; and shall they after all this vanish and fail ? To 
send the word and Spirit, mercies and judgments, to raise the sin- 
ner's desires from the creature to God, and then to suffer them so 
raised, all to perish without success ; this were to multiply the 
creature's misery ; and then were the work of sanctification a de- 
signed preparative to our torment and tantalizing, but no way con- 


ducible to our happy rest. He quickened our hungering and thirst 
for righteousness, tliat he might make us happy in a full satisfac- 
tion. Christian, this is a rest after thy own heart; it containeth 
all that thy heart can wish ; that which thou longest for, prayest 
for, lahourest for, there thou shalt find it all. Thou hadst rather 
have God in Christ, than all the world ; why there thou shalt have 
him. Oh ! what wouldst thou not give for assurance of his love ? 
Why, there thou shalt have assurance beyond suspicion : nay, thy 
desires cannot now extend to the height of what thou shalt there 
obtain. Was it not a high favour of God to Solomon, to promise 
to give him whatsoever he would ask ? \^ hy, every Christian hath 
such a promise. Desire what thou canst, and ask what thou wilt, 
as a Christian, and it shall be given thee ; not only to half of the 
kingdom, but to the enjoyment both of kingdom and King. This 
is a life of desire and prayer ; but that is a life of satisfaction and en- 
joyment. Oh ! therefore, that w'e were but so wise, as to limit 
those which we know should not be satisfied ; and those which we 
know not whether or no they will be satisfied ; and especially those 
which we know should not be satisfied ; and to keep up continually 
in heart and life, those desires which w^e are sure shall have full 
satisfaction. And, oh ! that sinners would also consider, that see- 
ing God will not give them a felicity suitable to their sensual 
desires, it is, therefore, their wisdom to endeavour for desires suit- 
able to the true felicity, and to direct their ship to the right harbour, 
seeing they cannot bring the harbour to their ship. 

3. This rest is very suitable to the saints' ne- 3. To our necessi- 
cessities also, as w^ell as to their natures and ''^s- 

desires. It contains whatsoever they truly wanted ; not supplying 
them with the gross created comforts which now they are forced to 
make use of, which, like Saul's armour on David, are more burden 
than benefit. But they shall there have the benefit without the 
burden : and the pure spirits extracted, as it w^ere, shall make up 
their cordial, without the mixture of any drossy or earthly sub- 
stance. It was Christ, and perfected holiness, which they most 
needed, and with these shall they here be principally supplied : 
their other necessities are far better removed than supplied in the 
present carnal way. It is better to have no need of meat, and 
drink, and clothing, and creatures, than to have both the need and 
the creature continued : their plaster will be fitted to the quality of 
the sore. The rain which Elias's prayer procured was not more 
seasonable, after the three years' drought, than this rest will be to 
his thirsty soul. It will be with us as with the diseased man, who 
had lain at the waters, and continued diseased thirty-eight years, 
when Christ did fully cure him in a moment ; or with the woman, 
who, having had the issue of blood, and spent all she had upon 
physicians, and suffered the space of twelve years, was healed by 
one touch of Christ, Luke viii. 43 ; Mark v. 25. So, when we 
have lain at ordinances, and duties, and creatures, all our life-time, 
and spent all, and suffered much, we shall have all done by Christ 
in a moment : but we shall see more of this under the next head. 


Sect. VIII. Eighthly, Another excellency of our g it will be a per- 
rest will be this, that it will be absolutely perfect feet rest. 

and complete ; and this both in the sincerity and ^- I" the^sincerity 
universality of it. We shall then have joy without 
sorrow, and rest without weariness : as there is no mixture of our 
corruption with our graces, so no mixture of sufferings with our 
solace. There are none of those waves in that harbour, which now 
so toss us up and down : we are now sometimes at the gates of 
heaven, and presently almost as low as hell ; we wonder at those 
changes of Providence towards us, being scarcely two days together 
in a like condition. To-day we are well, and conclude the bitter- 
ness of death is past ; to-morrow sick, and conclude we shall shortly 
perish by our distempers ; to-day in esteem, to-morrow in disgrace; 
to-day we have friends, to-morrow none ; to-day in gladness, to- 
morrow in sadness : nay, we have wine and vinegar in the same 
cup, and our pleasantest food hath a taste of the gall. If revela- 
tion should raise us to the third heaven, 1 Cor. xii. 7, the mes- 
senger of Satan must presently buffet us, and the prick in the flesh 
will fetch us down ; but there is none of this unconstancy, nor mix- 
tures, in heaven. If perfect love cast out fear, then perfect joy 
must needs cast out sorrow, 1 John iv. 18, and perfect happiness 
exclude all the relics of misery. There will be a ^ j,^ th^ universality 
universal perfecting oi all our parts and powers, of it. 

and a universal removal of all our evils : and 1- I" g^?„*''J./ ^"""^ 
though the positive part be the sweetest, and that 2. In regard of the 
which draws the other after it, even as the rising ^viU'e shall be freed 
of the sun excludes the darkness ; yet is not the 
negative part to be slighted, even our freedom from so many and 
great calamities. Let us, therefore, look over these more punctually, 
and see what it is that we shall there rest from. In general, it 
is from all evil. Particularly, first, from the evil of sin ; secondly, 
and of suffering. 

First : It excludeth nothing more directly than We shall rest 
sin ; whether original, and of nature ; or actual, ^''o™ ^'°- 

and of conversation : for there entereth nothing that defileth, nor 
that worketh abomination, nor that maketh a lie. Rev. xxi. 27, 
When they are there, the saints are saints indeed. He that will 
wash them with his heart-blood, rather than suffer them to enter 
unclean, will now perfectly see to that ; he who hath undertaken to 
present them to his Father, " not having spot or wrinkle or any 
such thing, but perfectly holy, and without blemish, will now most 
certainly perform his undertaking," Ephes. v. 27. What need 
Christ at all to have died, if heaven could have contained imperfect 
souls ? " For to this end came he into the world, that he might 
put away the works of the devil," 1 John iii. 8. His blood and 
Spirit have not done all this, to leave us, after all, defiled. " For 
what communion hath light with darkness ; and what fellowship 
hath Christ with Belial?" 2 Cor. vi. 14. He that hath prepared 
for sin the torments of hell, will never admit it into the blessedness 
of heaven ; therefore. Christian, never fear this : if thou be once 


in heaven, thou shalt sin no more. Is not this glad news to thee, 
who hast prayed, and watched, and laboured against it so long. I 
know if it were oiFertMl to thy choice, tiiou wouldst rather choose 
to be freed from sin than to be made ht>ir of all the world. Why, 
wait till then, and thou shalt have thy desire ; that hard heart, 
those vile thoughts, which did lie down and rise with thee, which 
did accompany thee to every duty, which thou couldst no more 
leave behind thee than leave thyself behind thee, shall be now left 
behind for ever. They might accompany thee to death, but they 
cannot proceed a step further. Thy understanding i. From sin in the 
shall never more be troubled with darkness : ignor- imdcrstan.lin{r. 
ance and error are inconsistent with this light. Now thou walkest 
like a man in the twilight, ever afraid of being out of the way; 
thou seest so many religions in the world, that thou fearest thy own 
cannot be only the right among all these ; thou seest the Scripture 
so exceeding difficult, and every one pleading for his own cause, 
and bringing such specious arguments for so contrary opinions, that 
it entangleth thee in a labyrinth of perplexities ; thou seest so 
many godly men on this side, and so many on that, and each 
zealous for his own way, that thou art amazed, not knowing which 
way to take : and thus do doublings and fears accompany darkness, 
and we are ready to stumble at every thing in our way ; but then 
will all this darkness be dispelled, and our blind understandings 
fully opened, and we shall have no more doubts of our way. We 
shall know which was the right side, and which the wrong ; which 
was the truth, and which the error. Oh ! what would we give to 
know, clearly, all the profound mysteries in the doctrine of decree, 
of redemption, of justification, of the nature of grace, of the cove- 
nants, of the Divine attributes, &c.; what would we not give to see 
all dark scriptures made plain, to see all seeming contradictions 
reconciled ! Why, when glory hath taken the veil from our eyes, all 
this will be known in a moment ; we shall then see clearly into all 
the controversies about doctrine or discipline that now perplex us. 
The poorest Christian is presently there a more perfect divine than 
any is here. We are now, through our ignorance, subject to such 
mutability, that, in points not fundamental, we change as the 
moon : that is cast as a just reproach upon us, that we possess our 
religion with reserves, and resolvedly settle upon almost nothing; 
that we are to-day of one opinion, and within this week, or month, 
or year, of another; and yet, alas! we cannot help it. The re- 
proach may fall upon all mankind, as long as we have need of daily 
growth. Would they have us believe before we understand ; or 
say, We believe, when indeed we do not ? Shall we profess our- 
selves resolved before we ever thoroughly studied ; or say, We are 
certain, when we are conscious that we are not ? But when once 
our ignorance is perfectly healed, then shall we be settled, resolved 
men ; then shall our reproach be taken from us, and we shall never 
change our judgments more ; then shall we be clear and certain in 
all, and cease to be sceptics any more. Our ignorance now doth 
lead us into error, to the grief of our more knowing brethren, to 

o 2 


the disturbing of the church's quiet, and interrupting her desirable, 
harmonious consent ; to the scandaHzing of others, and weakening 
ourselves. How many a humble and faithful soul is seduced into 
error, and little knows it ! Loth they are to err, God knows, and 
therefore read, and pray, and confer, and yet err still, and con- 
firmed in it more and more : and in lesser and more difficult points 
how should it be otherwise ? He that is acquainted amongst men, 
and knows the quality of professors in England, must needs know 
the generality of them are no great scholars, nor have much read 
or studied controversies, nor are men of the profoundest natural 
parts ; nor have the ministers of England much preached contro- 
versies to them, but were glad if their hearers were brought to 
Christ, and got so much knowledge as might help to salvation, as 
knowing that to be their great work. And can it be expected that 
men, void of learning and strength of parts, unstudied and un- 
taught, should, at the first onset, know those truths, which they are 
almost uncapable of knowing at all ; when the greatest divines, of 
clearest judgment, acknowledge so much difficulty that they could 
almost find in their hearts sometimes to profess them quite beyond 
their reach ? Except we will allow them to lay aside their Divine 
faith, and take up a human, and see with other men's eyes the 
weight and weakness of arguments, and not with their own, it can- 
not be thought that the most of Christians, no, nor the most of 
divines, should be free from erring in those difficult points, where 
we know they have not headpieces able to reach. Indeed, if it 
were the way of the Spirit to teach us miraculously, as the apostles 
were taught the knowledge of tongues, without the intervening use 
of reason ; or if the Spirit infused the acts of knowledge, as he doth 
the immediate knowing power ; then he that had most of the Spirit 
would not only know best, but also know most : but we have 
enough to convince us of the contrary to this. But, oh ! that 
happy, approaching day, when error shall vanish away for ever ; 
when our understanding shall be filled with God himself, whose 
light will leave no darkness in us ! His face shall be the Scripture, 
where we shall read the truth ; and himself, instead of teachers 
and counsels, to perfect our understandings, and acquaint us with 
himself, who is the perfect truth. No more error, no more scandal 
to others, no more disquiet to our own spirits, no more mistaking 
zeal for falsehood ; because our understandings have no more sin. 
Many a godly man hath here, in his mistaking zeal, been a means 
to deceive and pervert his brethren, and when he sees his own 
error, cannot again tell how to undeceive them ; but there we shall 
all conspire in one truth, as being one in him who is that truth. 

2 From sin of will ^^^^ ^^ "^^ ^^^^^ ^'^^^ ^^"°"^ ^^^ *^^ ^^^ °^ °^^^ ""' 

affection, and con- ' derstandings, SO of our wills, affection, and con- 
versation, versation. We shall no more retain this rebelling 
principle, which is still withdrawing us from God, and addicting 
us to backsliding. Doubtless, we shall no more be oppressed with 
the power of our corruptions, nor vexed with their presence ; no 
pride, passion, slothfulness, senselessness, shall enter with us ; no 


strangeness to God, and the things of God ; no coldness of afFec 
tions, nor imperfection in our love ; no uneven walking, nor grieving 
of the Spirit ; no scandalous action, or unholy conversation : we 
shall rest from all these for ever : then shall our understandings 
receive their light from the face of God, as the full moon from the 
open sun, where there is no earth to interpose betwixt them ; then 
shall our wills correspond to the Divine will, as face ansv/ers to 
face in a glass ; and the same, his will, shall be our law and rule, 
from which we shall never swerve again. Now our corruptions, as 
the Anakims, dismay us ; and, as the Canaanites in Israel, they 
are left for pricks in our sides, and thorns in our eyes, Josh, xxiii. 
13 ; and as the bondwoman and her son in Abraham's house. Gen. 
xxi. 9, they do but abuse us, and make our lives a burden to us ; 
but then shall the bondwoman and her son be cast out, and shall 
not be heirs with us in our rest. As Moses said to Israel, " Ye 
shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every one 
whatsoever is right in his own eyes, for ye are not as yet come to 
the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God giveth 
you," Deut. xii. 8, 9. I conclude, therefore, with the words next 
to my text ; " For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath 
ceased from his own works, as God did from his," Heb. iv. 10. 
So that there is a perfect rest from sin. 

Sect. IX. 2. It is a perfect rest from suffering : „ p 
when the cause is gone the effect ceaseth. Our " "^"^ *" ^"°^' 
sufferings were but the consequents of our sinning, and here they 
both shall cease together. I will show particularly ten kinds of 
suffering, which w^e shall there rest from. 

1. We shall rest from all our perplexing doubts i. From doubts of 
and fears : it shall no more be said that doubts God's love, 

are like the thistle, a bad weed, but growing in good ground; they 
shall now be weeded out, and trouble the gracious soul no more. 
No more need of so many sermons, books, and marks, and signs, 
to resolve the poor doubting soul: the full fruition of love itself 
hath now resolved his doubts for ever. We shall hear that kind of 
language no more : What shall I do to know my state ? How shall 
I know that God is my Father, that my heart is upright, that con- 
version is true, that faith is sincere ? Oh ! I am afraid my sins are 
unpardoned ; oh ! I fear that all is but in hypocrisy ; I fear that 
God will reject me from his presence; I doubt he doth not hear 
my prayers ; how can he accept so vile a wretch, so hard-hearted, 
unkind a sinner, such an undervaluer of Christ, as I am ! All this 
kind of language is there turned into another tune ; even into the 
praises of him who hath forgiven, who hath converted, who hath 
accepted, yea, who hath glorified a wretch so unworthy ; so that it 
will now be as impossible to doubt and fear, as to doubt of the food 
which is in our bellies, or to fear it is night when we see the sun shine. 
If Thomas could doubt with his finger in the wounds of Christ, yet 
in heaven I am sure he cannot ; if we could doubt of what we see, 
or hear, or taste, or feel, yet I am sure we cannot of what we there 
possess. Sure this will be comfort to the sad and drooping souls. 


whose life was nothing but a doubting distress^ and their language 
nothing but a constant complaining. If God would speak peace, it 
would ease them ; but when he shall possess them of this peace, 
they shall rest from all their doubts and fears for ever. 
2. From all sense of Sect. X. 2. We shall rest from all that sense 
God's displeasme. of God's displeasure, which was our greatest tor- 
ment, whether manifested mediately or immediately ; " for he will 
cause his fury towards us to rest, and his jealousy to cease, and he 
will be angry with us no more," Ezek. xvi. 42. Surely hell shall 
not be mixed with heaven. There is the place for the glorifying of 
justice, prepared of purpose to manifest wrath, but heaven is only 
for mercy and love. Job doth not now use his own language, 
" Thou writest bitter things against me, and takest me for thine 
enemy, and settest me up as a mark to shoot at," &c. Job iii. ; xiii. 
26; xvi. 12 — 14; vii. 10. Oh how contrary now to all this! 
David doth not now complain, " that the arrows of the Almighty 
stick in him ; that his wounds stink and are corrupt ; that his sore 
runs and ceaseth not ; that his moisture is as the drought of sum- 
mer; that there is no soundness in his flesh because of God's dis- 
pleasure, nor rest in his bones because of sin ; that he is weary of 
crying, his throat is dried, his eyes fail in waiting for God," Psal. 
xxxviii. ; "^ that he remembers God, and is troubled; that in com- 
plaining his spirit is overwhelmed ; that his soul refuseth to be 
comforted; that God's wrath lieth hard upon him, and that he 
afflicteth him with all his waves," Psal. Ixvi. 3. Oh how contrary 
now are David's songs ! Now he saith, " I spake in my haste, 
and this was my infirmity," Psal. Ixxvii. 2, 3. Here the Christian 
is oft complaining. Oh, if it were the wrath of man, I could bear it 
(Psal. Ixxxviii. 7) ; but the wrath of the Almighty, who can bear ? 
Oh that all the world were mine enemies, so that I were assured 
that he were my Friend ! If it were a stranger, it were nothing ; 
but that my dearest Friend, my own Father, should be so provoked 
against me, this wounds my very soul ! If it were a creature, I 
would contemn it, but if God be angry, who may endure ? if he be 
against me, who can be for me ? and if he will cast me down, who 
can raise me up ? But, oh ! that blessed day when all these dolor- 
ous complaints will be turned into admiring thankfulness ; and all 
sense of God's displeasure swallowed up .in that ocean of infinite 
love : when sense shall convince us that fury dwelleth not in God ; 
and though for a little moment he hide his face, yet with everlast- 
ing compassion will he receive and embrace us ; when he shall say 
to Sion, " Arise and shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of 
the Lord is risen upon thee," Isa. Ix. 2. 
3. From Satan's Sect. XI. 3. We shall rest from all the tempta- 

temptations. tions of Satan whereby he continually disturbs our 
peace. What a grief is it to a Christian, though he yield not to 
the temptation, yet to be still solicited to deny his Lord ; that such 
a thought should be cast into his heart ; that he can set about 
nothing that is good, but Satan is still dissuading him from it, dis- 
tracting him in it, or discouraging him after it ! What a torment. 


as well as a temptation, is it, to have such horrid motions made to 
his soul, such blasphemous ideas presented to his fantasy ! Some- 
times cruel thoughts of God, sometimes undervaluing thoughts of 
Christ, sometimes unbelieving thoughts of Scripture, sometimes 
injurious thoughts of Providence ; to be tempted sometimes to turn 
to present things, sometimes to play with the baits of sin, sometimes 
to venture on the delights of the flesh, and sometimes to flat athe- 
ism itself; especially when we know the treachery of our own hearts, 
that they are as tinder or gunpowder, ready to take fire as soon as 
one of these sparks shall fall upon them. Oh ! how the poor Chris- 
tian lives in continual disquietness, to feel these motions ! but more, 
that his heart should be the soil for this seed, and the too-fruitful 
mother of such an ofl"spring ; and most of all, through fear lest they 
will at last prevail, and these cursed motions should procure his 
consent. But here is our comfort ; as we now stand not by our 
own strength, and shall not be charged with any of this ; so when 
the day of our deliverance comes, we shall fully rest from these 
temptations : Satan is then bound up, the time of tempting is then 
done ; the time of torment to himself, and his conquered captives, 
those deluded souls, is then come, and the victorious saints shall 
have triumph for temptation. Now we do walk among his snares, 
and are in danger to be circumvented with his methods and wiles ; 
but then we are quite above his snares, and out of the hearing of his 
enticing charms. He hath power here to tempt us in the wilder- 
ness, but he entereth not the holy city. He may set us on the pin- 
nacle of the temple in the earthly Jerusalem ; but the new Jerusa- 
lem he may not approach. Perhaps he may bring us to an exceeding 
high mountain, but the Mount Sion and city of the living God he 
cannot ascend : or if he should, yet all the kingdoms of the world, 
and the glory of them, will be but a poor despised bait to the soul 
which is possessed with the kingdom of our Lord and the glory of 
it. No, no, here is no more work for Satan now. Hopes he might 
have of deceiving poor creatures on earth, wdio lived out of sight, 
and only heard and read of a kingdom which they never beheld, and 
had only faith to live upon, and were encompassed with flesh, and 
drawn aside by sense. But when once they see the glory they read 
of, and taste the joys they heard of, and possess that kingdom which 
they then believed and hoped for, and have laid aside their fleshly 
sense, it is time, then, for Satan to have done ; it is in vain to ofl"er 
a temptation more. What ! draw them from that glory ; draw 
them from the arms of Jesus Christ ; draw them from the sweet 
praises of God ; draw them from the blessed society of saints and 
angels ; draw them from the bosom of the Father's love, and that 
to a place of torment among the damned, which their eyes behold ? 
Why, what charms, what persuasions, can do it ? To entice them 
from an unknown joy, and unknown God, were somewhat hopeful ; 
but now they have both seen and enjoyed, there is no hope. Surely 
it must be a very strong temptation that must draw a blessed saint 
from that rest. We shall have no more need to pray, " Lead us not 
into temptation," nor " to watch and pray that we enter not into 


temptation," Matt. vi. 13; xxvi. 41 ; nor shall we serve the Lord 
as Paul did, in " many tears and temptations," Acts xx. 19 : no ; 
but now they who continued with Christ in temptation, shall by 
him be appointed to a kingdom, even as his Father appointed to 
him. Rev. iii. 10, that they may eat and drink at his tahle in his 
kingdom, Luke xxii. 28 — 30. " Blessed, therefore, are they that 
endure temptation ; for when they are tried, they sliall receive the 
crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him," 
James i. 12 : and then they shall be saved from the hour of tempt- 
ation. Then the malignant planet Saturn shall be below us, and 
lose all its influence, which is now above us exercising its enmity : 
and Satan must be suifering, who would have drawn us into suifer- 
ing, as Bucholtzer wittily, Uhi Saturnus non supra nos, sed infra 
nos conspicietiir luens pcenas, pro sua in nos scevHia, et malitia. 
4. Fromtempta- Sect. XIL 4, We shall rest also from all our 

tions of the world temptations which we now undergo from the world 
and flesh. ^^^ ^j^g flesh, as well as Satan ; and that is a num- 

ber unexpressible, and a weight, were it not that we are beholden 
to supporting grace, utterly intolerable. Oh the hourly dangers 
that we poor sinners here below walk in ! Every sense is a snare ; 
every member a snare ; every creature a snare ; every mercy a 
snare ; and every duty a snare to us. We can scarce open our 
eyes, but we are in danger. If we behold them above us, we are 
in danger of envy. If we see sumptuous buildings, pleasant habit- 
ations, honour and riches, we are in danger to be drawn away with 
covetous desires ; if the rags and beggary of others, we are in 
danger of self-applauding thoughts and unmercifulness. If we see 
beauty, it is a bait to lust ; if deformity, loathing and disdain. 
We can scarcely hear a word spoken, but contains to us matter of 
temptation. How soon do slanderous reports, vain jests, wanton 
speeches, by that passage, creep into the heart ! How strong and 
prevalent a temptation is our appetite, and how constant and strong 
a watch doth it require ! Have we comeliness and beauty? what 
fuel for pride ! Are we deformed ? what an occasion of repining ! 
Have we strength of reason, and gifts of learning ? oh ! how hard 
is it not to be pulled up! 2 Cor. xi. 3; i. 12, &c. : to seek our- 
selves ; to hunt after applause ; to despise our brethren ; to mis- 
like the simplicity that is in Christ, both in the matter and manner 
of Scripture, in doctrine, in discipline, in worship, and in the saints; 
to affect a pompous, specious, fleshly service of God, and to exalt 
reason above faith. Are we unlearned, and of shallow heads and 
slender parts ? how apt, then, to despise what we have not, and 
to undervalue that which we do not know ; and to err with confi- 
dence, because of our ignorance ; and if conceitedness and pride 
do but strike in, to become a zealous enemy to truth, and a leading 
troubler of the church's peace, under pretences of truth and holi- 
ness ! Are we men of eminency, and in place of authority ? how 
strong is our temptation to slight our brethren, to abuse our trust, 
to seek ourselves, to stand upon our honour and privileges ; to for- 
get ourselves, our poor brethren, and the public good ! how hard 


to devote our power to his glory from whom we have received it ! 
how prone to make our wills our law, and to cut out all the enjoy- 
ments of others, both religious and civil, by the cursed rules and 
model of our own interest and policy ! Are we inferiors and sub- 
ject ? how prone to grudge at others' pre-eminence, and to take 
liberty to bring all their actions to the bar of our incompetent 
judgment ; and to censure and slander them, and murnmr at their 
proceedings ! Are we rich, and not too much exalted ? Are we 
poor, and not discontented, and make our worldly necessities a 
pretence for the robbing God of all his service ? If we be sick, 
oh how impatient ! if in health, how few and stupid are our 
thoughts of eternity ! If death be near, we are distracted with the 
fears of it : if we think it far off, how careless is our preparation ! 
Do we set upon duty ? why there are snares too : either we are 
stupid and lazy, or rest on them, and turn from Christ ; or we are 
customary and notional only. In a word, not one word that falls 
from the mouth of a minister and Christian, but is a snare ; nor a 
place we come into; not a word that our own tongue speaks; not 
any mercy we possess ; nor a bit we put into our mouths ; but they 
are snares : not that God hath made them so, but through our own 
corruption they become so to us : so that what a sad case are we 
poor Christians in, and especially they that discern them not ! for 
it is almost impossible they should escape them. It was not for 
nothing that our Lord cries out, " What I say to one, I say to 
all. Watch." We are like the lepers at Samaria ; if we go into the 
city, there is nothing but famine ; if we sit still, we perish, Deut. 
xii. 30 ; vii. 25 ; Hos. ix. 8 ; Psal. Ixix. 22 ; Prov. xx. 25 ; xxii. 
25 ; xxix. 6, 25 ; 1 Tim. vi. 9 ; Job viii. 8, 10. 

But for ever blessed be Omnipotent love, which saves us out of 
all these, and makes our straits but the advantages of the glory of 
his saving grace. And " blessed be the Lord, who hath not given 
our souls for a prey ; our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare 
of the fowler ; the snare is broken and we are escaped," Psal. cxxiv. 
6, 7. No, our houses, our clothes, our sleep, our food, our physic, 
our father, mother, wife, children, friends, goods, lands, are all so 
many temptations ; and ourselves, the greatest snares to ourselves. 
But in heaven, the danger and trouble are over ; there is nothing 
but what will advance our joy. Now every old companion, and 
every loose fellow, is putting up the finger, and beckoning us to 
sin, and we can scarce tell how to say them nay. What, say they, 
will not you take a cup ? Mill you not do as your neighbours ? 
Must you be so precise .' Do you think none shall be saved but 
puritans t What needs all this strictness, this reading, and pray- 
ing, and preaching ? Will you make yourself the scorn of all men ? 
Come, do as we do, take your cups, and drink away sorrow. Oh ! 
how many a poor Christian hath been haunted and vexed with 
these temptations ! and it may be father, or mother, or nearest 
friends will strike in, and give a poor Christian no rest : and, alas! 
how many, to their eternal undoing, have hearkened to their se- 
ducements ! But this is our comfort, dear friends, our rest will 


free us from all these. As Satan hath no entrance there, so neither 
any thing to serve his malice ; but all things shall there, with us, 
conspire the praises of our great Deliverer. 

5. From abuses and . ^ect. XIII. 5. And as we rest from the tempta- 
persecutions of the tions, SO also from all abuscs and persecutions 
^*'°'"^'^- which we suffer at the hands of wicked men. We 

shall be scorned, derided, imprisoned, banished, butchered by them 
no more ; the prayers of the souls under the altar will then be an- 
swered, and " God will avenge their blood on these that dwell on 
the earth," Rev. vi. 2, 10 ; 2 Tim. iii. 12. This is the time for 
crowning with thorns, buffeting, spitting on ; that is the time for 
crowning with glory, Rom. viii. 17. Now the law is decreed on. 
That whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecu- 
tion ; then they that suffered with him shall be glorified with him. 
(Matt. X. 22, and xxiv. 9 ; 2 Thess. i. 9, 10; John xv. 18—20; 
xvii. 14; vii. 7; v. 23, and xvii. 22; 1 Cor. iv. 9, 13; Lam. iii. 
45; Heb. X. 33; Isa. viii. 18; Luke vi. 22.) Now we must be 
hated of all men for Christ's name's sake, and the gospel ; then 
will Christ be admired in his saints that were thus hated. Now, 
because we are not of the world, but Christ hath taken us out of 
the world, therefore doth the world hate us ; then, because we are 
not of the world, but taken oat of their calamity, therefore will the 
world admire us. Now, as they hated Christ, they will also hate 
us ; then, as they will honour Christ, so will they also honour us. 
We are here as the scorn and offscouring of all things ; as men set 
up for a gazing-stock to angels and men, even for signs and won- 
ders amongst professing Christians ; they put us out of their syna- 
gogues, and cast out our name as evil, and separate us from their 
company : but we shall then be as much gazed at for our glory, 
and they will be shut out of the church of tbe saints, and separated 
from us, whether they will or no. They now think it strange that 
we run not with them " to all excess of riot, speaking evil of us," 
1 Pet. iv. 4 ; they will then think it more strange, that they ran 
not with us in the despised ways of God, and speak evil of them- 
selves ; and more vehemently befool themselves for their careless- 
ness, than ever they did us for our heavenliness. A poor Christian 
can scarce go along the streets now, but every one is pointing the 
finger in scorn, but then they would be glad of the crumbs of his 
happiness. The rich man would scarcely have believed him that 
would have told him, that he should beg for water from the tip of 
Lazarus's finger. Here is a great change ! We can scarce now 
pray in our families, or sing praises to God, but our voice is a 
vexation to them. How must it needs torment them then, to see 
us praising and rejoicing, while they are howling and lamenting ! 
How full have their prisons oft been, and how bitter their rage ! 
How have they scattered their carcasses on the earth, and de- 
lighted themselves in the blood of saints ! How glad would they 
have been, if they could have brought them to ruin, and blotted 
out their name from under heaven ! * How have they prepared, 

* In memorial of the Irish massacre, \vhere the number of the murdered in one 


like Haman, their gallows ! And if God had not gainsaid it, the 
execution would have been answerable; "But he that sitteth in 
heaven did laugh them to scorn, the Lord had them in derision." 
Oh ! how full wore their hearts of blood, and their hands of cruelty ! 
so that the next generations, that knew them not, will scarcely be- 
lieve the fury of their predecessors' rage. Blessed be the Guardian 
of the saints, who hath not suffered the prevalency of that wrath, 
which would have overdone the gunpowder treason, the Turkish 
slavery, the Spanish inquisition, and the French massacres. But 
the liord of hosts hath oft brought them down, and his power and 
justice have abated their fury, and raised to his name everlasting 
trophies, and set up many a monument for remembrance, which 
God forbid should ever be forgotten. " So let all thine incurable 
enemies perish, O Lord," Judg. v. 23. " When the liord maketh 
inquisition for blood, he will remember the precious blood which 
they have shed ; and the earth shall not cover it any more," Psal. 
ix. 12. They shall pursue, but, as Pharaoh, to their own destruc- 
tion : and where they fall, there we shall pass over safely, and 
escape them for ever. For our Lord hath told them, " that whither 
he goes they cannot come," John vii. 34, 36, and viii. 21, 22 ; Rev. 
xii. 16; Heb. xi. ; Matt, xxvii. 29, 30. When their flood of per- 
secution is dried up, and the church called out of the wilderness, 
and the new Jerusalem come down from heaven, and mercy and 
justice are fully glorified, then shall we feel their fury no more. 
There is no cruel mockings and scourgings ; no bonds, or imprison- 
ments ; no stoning, or sawing asunder; tempting, or slaying with 
the sword; wandering in sheep-skins, or goat-skins, in deserts and 
mountains, dens or caves of the earth ; no more being destitute, 
afflicted, tormented. We leave all this behind us, when once we 
enter the city of our rest : the names of Lollards, Hugonots, &c. 
are not there used ; the inquisition of Spain is there condemned ; 
the statute of the six articles is there repealed ; and the law de 
hiereiicis conihureiidis more justly executed ; the date of the interim 
is there expired; no censures to loss of members, perpetual impri- 
sonment, or banishment. Christ is not there clothed in a gorgeous 
robe, and blindfolded ; nor do they smite him, and say. Read who 
struck thee : nor is truth clothed in the robes of error, and smitten 
for that which it most directly contradicteth ; nor a schismatic 
wounded, and a saint found bleeding ; nor our friends smite us, 
whilst they mistake us for their enemies : there is none of this 
blind, mad work there. Dear brethren, you that now can attempt 
no work of God without resistance, and find you must either lose 
the love of the world and your outward comforts, or else the love 
of God and your eternal salvation ; consider, you shall in heaven 
have no discouraging company, nor any but who will further your 
work, and gladly join heart ancl voice wnth you in your everlasting 
joy and praises. Till then, possess your souls in patience ; bind 
all reproaches as a crown to your heads ; esteem them greater 

province doubled all that the French massacre slew. Vide Clark's Martyrology. Luke 
xxvi. 44 ; Psal. Ixxxiii. 4, and ii. 4. 


riches than the world's treasures ; account it matter of joy, when 
you fall into tribulation. You have seen that our God is able to 
deliver us ; but this is nothing to our final deliverance ; he will 
recompense tribulation^ to them that trouble you, and to you that 
are troubled rest with Christ. Only see to this, brethren, that 
none of you suifer as an evil-doer, as a busy-body in other men's 
matters, as a resister of the commands of lawful authority, as un- 
grateful to those that have been instruments of our good, as evil- 
speakers against dignities, as opposers of the discipline and ordi- 
nances of Christ, as scornful revilers of your Christian brethren, as 
reproachers of a laborious, judicious, conscientious ministry, &c. 
" But if any of you suffer for the name of Christ, happy are ye, for 
the Spirit of God and of glory resteth upon you," And if any of 
you begin to shrink and draw back because of opposition, and are 
ashamed either of your work or your Master, let such a one know 
to his face, that he is but a base-spirited, cowardly wretch, and 
cursedly undervalueth the saints' rest, and most foolishly over- 
valueth the things below ; and he must learn to forsake all these, 
or else he can never be Christ's disciple ; and that Christ will re- 
nounce him, and be ashamed of him, before his Father and the 
angels of heaven. But for those that have held fast their integrity, 
and gone through good report and evil report, and undergone the 
violence of unreasonable men, " let them hear the word of the 
Lord ; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my 
name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified ; (they had good words 
and goodly pretences ;) but he shall appear to your joy, and they 
shall be shamed," Isa. Ixvi. 5. " Your Redeemer is strong, the 
Lord of hosts is his name. He shall throughly plead your cause, 
that he may give rest to his people, and disquietness to their 
enemies," Jer. 1. 34. 

6. From our divisions Scct. XIV. 6. We shall then also rest from all 
and dissensions. our sad divisions, and unchristian-like quarrels 
with one another. As he said, who saw the carcasses lie together, 
as if they had embraced each other, who had been slain by each 
other in a duel, Qucmta se invicem amplectnntur amicitia, qui 
mutiia implacahili inimicitia j>eriere ! How lovingly do they em- 
brace one another, being dead, who perished through their mutual, 
implacable enmity ! So how lovingly do thousands live together in 
heaven, who lived in divisions and quarrels on earth ! Or, as he 
said, who beheld how quietly and peaceably the bones and dust of 
mortal enemies did lie together, Non ianta vivi pace essetis con- 
juncti ; You did not live together so peaceably : so we may say of 
multitudes in heaven now all of one mind, one heart, and one em- 
ployment ; You lived not on earth in so sweet familiarity. There 
is no contention, because none of this pride, ignorance, or other 
corruption ; Paul and Barnabas are now fully reconciled. There 
they are, not every man conceited of his own understanding, and 
in love with the issue of his own brain, but all admiring the Divine 
perfection, and in love with God and one another. As old Gryneus 
wrote to his friend. Si te non ampUus in ierrin videam, ihi 


lanirn co/tn'/iiemiis uhi I.Htltcnta cum Ziiinglio oplime jiiiii con- 
re/tit ; If 1 see you no more on earth, yet we shall there meet, 
where Luther and Zuinglius are now well agreed. 'J'here is a full 
reconciliation between sacramentarians and ubicjuitarians, Calvin- 
ists and Lutherans ; remonstrants and contra-remonstrants, non- 
conformists and anti-disciplinarians, conformists and nonconform- 
ists, are terms there not known. There is no discipline erected by 
state policy, nor any disordered popular rule ; no government but 
that of Christ : no bitter invectives, nor voluminous reproaches ; 
the language of Martin* is there a stranger ; and the sound of his 
echo is not heard : no recording our brethren's infirmities ; nor 
raking into the sores which Christ died to heal. How many ser- 
mons zealously preached, how many books studiously compiled, 
will then by the authors be all disclaimed ! How many back- 
biting, slanderous speeches, how many secret dividing contrivances, 
nmst then be laid upon the score of Christ, against whom and his 
saints they were committed ! The zealous authors dare not own 
them ; they would then, with the Ephesians, burn their books, 
Acts xix. 19, and rather lose their labour than stand to it. There 
is no plotting to strengthen our party, nor deep designing against 
our brethren. And is it not shame and pity, that our course is 
now so contrary ? Surely, if there be sorrow or shame in heaven, 
we shall then be both sorry and ashamed to look one another there 
in the face, and to remember all this carriage on earth ; even as the 
brethren of Joseph were to behold him, when they remembered 
their former unkind usage. Is it not enough that all the world is 
against us, but we nmst also be against one another ? Did I ever 
think to have heard Christians so to reproach and scorn Christians ; 
and men pi-ofessing the fear of God, to make so little conscience of 
censuring, vilifying, slandering, and disgracing one another ? Alas ! 
if the judgment be once perverted, and error hath possessed the 
supreme faculty, whither will men go, and what will they do ? nay, 
what will they not do ? Oh ! what a potent instrument for Satan 
is a misguided conscience ! It will make a man kill his dearest 
friend, yea, father, or mother, yea, the holiest saints, and think he 
doth God service by it ; and to facilitate the work, it will first blot 
out the reputation of their holiness, and make them take a saint 
for a devil, that so they may vilify or destroy him without remorse. 
Oh ! what hellish things are ignorance and pride, that can bring 
men's souls to such a case as this ! Paul knew what he said, when 
he conmianded that a novice should not be a teacher, lest, being 
lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil, 
1 Tim. iii. G. He discerned that such young Christians that 
have got but a little smattering knowledge in religion, do lie in 
greatest danger of this pride and condemnation. Who but a Paul 
could have foreseen, that among the very teachers and governors 
of so choice a church as Ephesus, that came to see and hear him, 
that pray and weep with him, there were some that afterwards 

* Two books full of the language of hell, in bitterest scorns at the ministry and dis- 
cipline, thought to be WTitten by one Overton. 


should be notorious sect-masters ? " that of their own selves men 
should arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after 
them ? " Acts xx. 30. Who then can expect better from any so- 
ciety now, how knowing and holy soever i To-day they may be 
orthodox, unanimous, and joined in love ; and perhaps within a few 
weeks be divided, and at bitter enmity, through their doting about 
questions that tend not to edify. Who that had seen how lovingly 
the godly of England did live together, would have believed that 
ever they would have been so bitter against one another ; that we 
should fall upon one another for the very same duties ; and that pro- 
fessors of religion should oppose and deride almost all that worship 
God out of conscience, which others did before them through profane- 
ness ? Did I not think, that of all other, the scorning at the worship- 
pers of Christ had been a sure sign of a wicked wretch ? But I see now 
we must distinguish between scorners and scorners, or else I fear we 
shall exclude almost all. I read, indeed, in pagan writers, that the 
Christians were as cruel as bears and tigers against one another : 
Ammianus Marcellinus gives it as the reason of Julian's policy, in 
proclaiming liberty for every party to profess and preach their own 
opinions, because he knew that cruel Christians would then most 
fiercely fall upon one another; and so by liberty of conscience, and 
by keeping their children from the schools of learning, he thought 
to have rooted out Christianity from the earth. But I had hoped 
this accusation had come from the malice of the pagan writer; 
little did I think to have seen it so far verified ! Lord, what devils 
are we unsanctified, when there is yet such a nature remaining in 
the sanctified ! Such a nature hath God in these days suffered to 
discover itself in the very godly, that if he did not graciously and 
powerfully restrain, they would shed the blood of one another ; and 
no thanks to us, if it be not done. But I hope his design is but to 
humble and shame us by the discovery, and then to prevent the 
breaking forth.* 

Object. But, is it possible such should be truly godly ? Then, what 
sin will denominate a man ungodly ? 

Ansto. Or else I must believe the doctrine of the saints' apostacy, 
or believe there are scarce any godly in the world. Oh ! what a 
wound of dishonour hath this given not only to the stricter profes- 
sion of holiness, but even to the very Christian name ! were there 
a possibility of hiding it, I durst not thus mention it. O Chris- 
tian, if thou who readest this be guilty, I charge thee before the 
living God, that thou sadly consider how far is this unlike the 
copy ! Suppose thou hadst seen the Lord Jesus, girded to the ser- 
vice, stooping on the earth, washing his disciples' dirty feet, and 
wiping them, and saying to them, " This I have done to give you 
an example, that if your Lord and Master have washed your feet, 
you also ought to wash one another's ; " would not this make thee 

* This was written upon the war in Scotland, the death of Mr. Love, the imprison- 
ment of many more, and an ordinance for the sequestering of all ministers that would 
not go to God on their errands, in fasting and prayer, or in thanksgivings for their suc- 
cesses. And an order made to put out all ministers from all the cities, market towns, 
and garrisons, that subscribed not their engagement. 


ashamed, and tremble { Shall the Lord wipe the feet, and the fel- 
low servant be ready to cut tlie throat { Would not thy proud heart 
scorn to stoop to thy Master's work .'' l^ook to thyself; it is not 
the name of a professor, nor the zeal for thy opinions, that will 
prove thee a Christian, or secure thee from the heat of the consum- 
ing lire. If thou love not thine enemy, much more thy Christian 
friend, thou canst not be Christ's disciple. It is the common mark, 
whereby his disciples are known to all men, " that they love one 
another." Is it not his last great legacy, " My peace I leave with 
you, my peace I give unto you," Matt. v. 44 ; John xiii. 35; xiv. 
17. INIark the expressions of that command, "If it be possil>le, 
as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all men," Rom. xii. 8. 
" Follow peace with all men, and holiness," Heb. xii. 14. Oh the 
deceitfulness of the heart of man ! that those same men, who lately 
in their self-examination could find nothing of Christ so clear 
within them as their love to their brethren, and were confident of 
this, when they could scarce discover any other grace, should now 
look so strangely upon them, and be filled with so much bitterness 
against them ! That the same men, who would have travelled through 
reproaches many miles, to hear an able, faithful minister, and not 
think the labour ill bestowed, should now become their bitterest 
enemies, and the most powerful hinderers of the success of their 
labours, and travel as far to cry them down ! It makes me almost 
ready to say, O sweet, O happy days of persecution, which drove 
us together in a closure of love ! who being now dried at the fire 
of liberty and prosperity, are crumbled all into dust by our conten- 
tions. But it makes me seriously both to say and to think, O sweet, 
O happy day of the rest of the saints in glory ! when as there is 
one God, one Christ, one Spirit, so we shall have one judgment, 
one heart, one church, one employment for ever ! when there shall 
be no more circumcision anduncircumcision, Jew and Gentile, Ana- 
baptist, Paedobaptist, Brownist, Separatist, Independent, Presbyte- 
rian, Episcopal ; but Christ is all in all. We shall not there scruple 
our comnmnioh, nor any of the ordinances of Divine worship ; there 
will not be one for singing, and another against it ; but even those 
who here jarred in discord, shall all conjoin in blessed concord, and 
make up one melodious quire, I could wish they were of the 
martyr's mind, who rejoiced that she might have her foot in the 
same hole of the stocks in which Master Philpot's had been before 
her. But, however, I am sure they will joyfully live in the same 
heaven, and gladly participate in the same rest. Those whom one 
house could not hold, nor one church hold them, no, nor one king- 
dom neither ; yet one heaven and one God may hold. One house, 
one kingdom could not hold Joseph and his brethren ; but they 
nmst together again, w^hether they will or not : and then how is the 
case altered ! then every man must straight withdraw, while they 
weep over and kiss each other. Oh how canst thou now find in thy 
heart, if thou bear the heart or face of a Christian, to be bitter or 
injurious against thy brethren, when thou dost but once think of 
that time and place, where thou hopest in the nearest and sweetest 


familiarity to live and rejoice with them for ever? I confess their 
infirmities are not to be loved, nor sin to be tolerated, because it is 
theirs. But be sure it be sin which thou opposest in them ; and do 
it with a spirit of meekness and compassion, that the world may 
see thy love to the person, while thou opposest the offence. Alas ! 
that Turks and pagans can agree in wickedness, better than Chris- 
tians in the truth ! That bears and lions, wolves and tigers, can 
agree together, but Christians cannot ! That a legion of devils can 
accord in one body, and not the tenth part of so many Christians 
in one church ! Matt. v. 9 ; Luke viii. 30. Well, the fault may 
be mine, and it may be theirs ; or more likely both mine and theirs : 
but this rejoiceth me, that my old friends who now look strangely 
at me, will joyfully triumph with me in our common rest. 
7 From our artici- Sect. XV. 7. We shall then rest from all our 
p'ation of the suffer- dolorous hours and sad thoughts, which we now 
mgs of our brethren, undergo, by participating with our brethren in 
their calamities. Alas, if we had nothing upon ourselves to trouble 
us, yet what heart could lay aside sorrows, that lives in the sound 
of the church's sufferings ? If Job had nothing upon his body to 
disquiet him, yet the message of his children's overthrow must 
needs grieve the most patient soul. Except we are turned into 
steel or stone, and have lost both Christian and human affections, 
there needs no more than the miseries of our brethren, to fill our 
hearts with successions of sorrows, and make our lives a continued 
lamentation. The church on earth is a mere hospital ; which way 
ever we go, we hear complaining ; and into what corner soever we 
cast our eyes, we behold objects of pity and grief: some groaning 
under a dark understanding, some under a senseless heart, some 
languishing under unfruitful weakness, and some bleeding for mis- 
carriages and wilfulness ; and some in such a lethargy that they are 
past complaining : some crying out of their pining poverty ; some 
groaning under pains and infirmities ; and some bewailing a whole 
catalogue of calamities, especially in days of common sufferings, 
when nothing appears to our sight but ruin ;* families ruined ; con- 
gregations ruined ; sumptuous structures ruined ; cities ruined ; 
country ruined ; court ruined ; kingdoms ruined. Who weeps not, 
when all these bleed ? iVs now our friends' distresses are our dis- 
tresses, so then our friends' deliverance will be part of our own de- 
liverance. How much more joyous now to join with them in their 
days of thanksgiving and gladness, than in the days of humiliation 
in sackcloth and ashes ! How much then more joyous will it be to 
join with them in their perpetual praises and triumphs, than to hear 
them now bewailing their wretchedness, their want of light, their 
want of life, of joy, of assurance, of grace, of Christ, of all things ! 
How much more comfortable to see them perfected, than now to 
see them wounded, weak, sick, and afflicted ! to stand by the bed 
of their languishing as silly comforters, being overwhelmed and 

* When Christ's doctrine came first into the world, it was the fruit of it, for some 
ages, to make people lay by war, and turn to peace ; and is it not sad that now it should 
work so contrary, as an occasion 1 


silenced with the greatness of their griefs, conscious of our own 
disability to relieve them, scarce having a word of comfort to re- 
fresli them ; or if we have, alas, they be but words, which are a 
poor relief, when their sufferings are real : fain we would ease or 
help them, but cannot: all we can do, is to sorrow with them, 
which, alas, doth rather increase their sorrows. Our day of rest 
will free both us and them from all this. Now we may enter many 
a poor Christian's cottage, and there see their children ragged, 
their purse empty, their cupboard empty, their belly empty, and 
poverty possessing and filling all. How nmch better is that day, 
when we shall see them filled with Christ, clothed with glory, and 
equalized with the richest and greatest princes ! Oh the sad and 
heart-piercing spectacles that our eyes have seen in four years' 
space ! In this fight a dear friend is slain ; scarce a month, scarce 
a week, without the sight or noise of blood : surely there is none of 
this in heaven. Our eyes shall then be filled no more, nor our 
hearts pierced, with such dreadful sights, &c. Our eyes shall never 
more behold the earth covered with the carcasses of the slain. Our 
mourning attire will then be turned into the white robes and gar- 
ments of gladness. Oh ! how hardly can our hearts now hold, when 
we think of such, and such, and such a dear Christian friend slain 
or departed ! Oh how glad must the same hearts be when we see 
them all alive and glorified ! But a far greater grief it is to our 
spirits, to see the spiritual miseries of our brethren ; to see such a 
one with whom we took sweet counsel, and who zealously joined 
with us in God's worship, to be now fallen off to sensuality, turned 
drunkard, worldling, or a persecutor of the saints ! and these trying 
times have given us too large occasion for such sorrows. To see 
our dearest and most intimate friends to be turned aside from the 
truth of Christ, and that either in or near the foundation, and to be 
raging confident in the grossest errors ; to see many near us in the 
flesh, continue their neglect of Christ and their souls, and nothing 
will waken them out of their security ; to look an ungodly father 
or mother, brother or sister, in the face ; to look on a carnal wife, 
or husband, or child, or friend, and to think how certainly they 
shall be in hell for ever, if they die in their present unregenerate 
estate ! Oh ! what continual dolours do all these sad sights and 
thoughts fill our hearts with from day to day ! and will it not be a 
blessed day when we shall rest from all these ? What Christian 
now is not in Paul's case, and cannot speak in his language ? " Be- 
sides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me 
daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not 
weak i* Who is offended, and I burn not?" 2 Cor. xi. 28, 29. 
What heart is not wounded to think on Germany's long desolations! 
Oh ! the learned universities, the flourishing churches there, that 
now are left desolate ! Look on England's four years' blood, a 
flourishing land almost made ruinate ; hear but the common voice 
in most cities', towns, and countries through the land, and judge 
whether here be no cause of sorrow : especially, look but to the sad 
effects, and men's spirits grown more out of order, and is this not 



cause of astonishing sorrows ? Look to Scotland, look to Ireland ; 
look almost every where, and tell me what you see. Blessed be 
that approaching day, when our eyes shall behold no more such 
sights, nor our ears hear any more such tidings ! How many hun- 
dred pamphlets are printed, full of almost nothing but the common 
calamities ! so that it is become a gainful trade to divulge the news 
of our brethren's sufferings ; and the fears for the future that pos- 
sessed our hearts, were worse than all that we saw and suffered ; 
nay, have not many died with the fears of that which, if they had 
lived, they had neither suffered nor seen ? It is said of Melancthon, 
that the miseries of the church made him almost neglect the death 
of his most beloved children. To think of the gospel departing, 
the glory taken from Israel, our sun setting at noon-day, poor souls 
left willingly dark and destitute, and with great pains and hazard 
blowing out the light that should guide them to salvation ; what 
sad thoughts must these be ! (See Neh. i. 4 ; ii. 3 ; Psal. cxxxvii.) 
To think of Christ removing his family ; taking away both wor- 
ship and worshippers, and to leave the land to the rage of the mer- 
ciless : these were sad thoughts. Who could then have the harp 
in hand, or sing the pleasant songs of Sion ? Isa. Ix. 11 — 14. But 
blessed be the Lord, who hath frustrated our fears, and who will 
hasten that rejoicing day, when Sion shall be exalted above the 
mountains, and her gates shall be open day and night, and the 
glory of the Gentiles be brought into it, and the nation and king- 
dom that will not serve her shall perish : when the sons of them 
that afflicted her shall come bending unto her, and all they that 
despised her " shall bow themselves at the soles of her feet ; and 
they shall call her the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One 
of Israel," Isa. Ix. 21, 22 : when her people also shall be all right- 
eous, even the work of God's hands, the branch of his planting, 
who shall inherit the land for ever, that he may be glorified : when 
that voice shall sound forth, " Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad 
with her, all ye that love her : rejoice for joy with her, all ye that 
love her ; that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of 
her consolation ; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the 
abundance of her glory," Isa. Ixvi. 10, 12. Thus shall we rest 
from our participation of our brethren's sufferings. 
8. From all our own Sect. XVI. 8. We shall rest also from all our 
personal sufferings, own personal Sufferings, whether natural and ordi- 
nary, or extraordinary, from the afflicting hand of God. And 
though this may seem a small thing to those that live in continual 
ease, and abound in all kind of prosperity, yet, methinks, to the 
daily afflicted soul, it should make the forethoughts of heaven de- 
lightful ; and I think I shall meet with few of the saints but will 
say, that this is their own case. Oh the dying life that we now 
live ! as full of sufferings as of days and hours ! We are the car- 
casses that all calamities p#y upon : as various as they are, each 
one will have a snatch at us, *lid be sure to devour a morsel of our 
comfort. When we bait our bulls and bears, we do but represent 
our own condition ; whose lives are consumed under such assaults. 


and spent in succession of tVesli encounters. All creatures have an 
enmity against us, ever since we made the Lord of all our enemy ; 
and though we are reconciled hy the blood of the covenant, and 
the price is paid for our full deliverance, yet our Redeemer sees it fit 
to leave this measure of misery upon us, to make us know for what 
we are beholden, to mind us of what we would else forget, to be 
serviceable to his wise and gracious designs, and advantageous to 
our full and final recovery. He hath sent us as lambs among 
wolves ; and sure there is little rest to be expected. As all our 
senses are the inlets of sin, so they are become the inlets of sorrow. 
Grief creeps in at our eyes, at our ears, and almost every where ; it 
seizeth upon our heads, our hearts, our flesh, our spirits ; and what 
part doth escape it .' Fears do devour us, and darken our de- 
lights, as the frosts do nip the tender buds ; cares do consume us, 
and feed upon our spirits, as the scorching sun doth wither the deli- 
cate flowers : or, if any saint or stoic have fortified his inwards 
against these, yet he is naked still without ; and if he be wiser 
than to create his own sorrows, yet shall he be sure to feel his 
share ; he shall produce them as the meritorious, if not as the 
efiicient cause. "What tender pieces are these dusty bodies ! What 
brittle glasses do we bear about us ; and how many thousand 
dangers are they hurried through ; and how hardly cured if once 
cracked ! Oh the multitudes of slender veins, of tender mem- 
branes, nerves, fibres, muscles, arteries, and all subject to obstruc- 
tions, exhesions, tensions, contractions, resolutions, ruptures, or one 
thing or other, to cause their grief; every one a fit subject for pain, 
and fit to comnumicate that pain to the whole ! What nobler part 
is there that sufffereth its pain or ruin alone ? Whatever it is to the 
sound and healthful, methinks to such as myself this rest should 
be acceptable, who in ten or twelve years' time, have scarce had a 
whole day free from some dolour. Oh the weary nights and 
days ! oh the unserviceable, languishing weakness ! oh the rest- 
less, working vapours ! oh the tedious, nauseous medicines, be- 
sides the daily expectations of worse ! And will it not be de- 
sirable to rest from all these ? There will be then no crying out. 
Oh my head ! oh my stomach ! oh my sides ! or oh my bowels ! 
no, no, sin, and flesh, and dust, and pain, will all be left behind to- 
gether. Oh ! what would we not give now for a little ease, much 
more for a perfect cure ! How, then, should we value that perfect 
freedom ! If we have some mixed comforts here, they are scarce 
enough to sweeten our crosses ; or if we have some short and 
smiling intermissions, it is scarce time enough to breathe us in, 
and to prepare our tacklings for the next storm. If one wave pass 
by, another succeeds ; and if the night be over, and the day come, 
yet will it soon be night again. Some men's fevers are continual, 
and some intermittent ; some have tertians, and some quartans ; 
but, more or less, all have their fits. Oh the blessed tranquillity 
of that region, where there is nothing but sweet continued peace ! 
No succession of joy there, because no intermission. Our lives 
will be but one joy, as our time will be changed into one eternity. 

11 2 


O healthful place, where none are sick ! O fortunate land, where 
all are kings ! O place most holy, where all are priests ! How 
free a state, where none are servants, save to their supreme 
Monarch ! For it shall come to pass, that in that day the Lord 
shall give us rest from our sorrow, and our fear, and from the hard 
bondage wherein we served, Isa. xiv. 3. The poor man shall no 
more be tired with his incessant labours ; no more use of plough, or 
flail, or scythe, or sickle ; no stooping of the servant to the master, 
or the tenant to the landlord ; no hunger, or thirst, or cold, or 
nakedness ; no pinching frosts, nor scorching heats. Our very 
beasts who suffered with us, shall also be freed from their bondage ; 
ourselves, therefore, much more : our faces shall no more be pale 
or sad ; our groans and sighs will be done away ; and God will wipe 
away all tears from our eyes, Rom. viii. 19 — 22 ; Rev. vii. 15 — 17 ; 
xxi. 3, 4. No more parting of friends asunder, nor voice of lament- 
ation heard in our dwellings. No more breaches, nor dispropor- 
tion, will be in our friendship, nor any trouble accompanying our 
relations ; no more care of master for servants, or parents for chil- 
dren, or magistrates over subjects, or ministers over people; no 
more sadness for our study lost, our preaching lost, our entreaties 
lost, the tenders of Christ's blood lost, and our dear people's souls 
lost ; no marrying, nor giving in marriage, but we shall be as the 
angels of God. Oh what room can there be for any evil, where 
the whole is perfectly filled with God ? Then shall the " ransomed 
of the Lord return and come to Sion with songs, and everlasting 
joy upon their heads : they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sor- 
row and sighing shall flee away," Isa. xxxv. 10. Hold out then a 
little longer, O my soul ; bear with the infirmities of thine earthly 
tabernacle; endure that share of sorrows that the love of thy 
Father shall impose ; submit to his indignation also, because thou 
hast sinned against him : it will be thus but a little while ; the 
sound of thy Redeemer's feet are even at the door ; and thine own 
deliverance nearer than many others. And thou who hast often 
cried, in the language of the divine poet, Herbert, 

" Sorrow was all my soul ; I scarce believed, 
Till grief did tell me roundly, that I lived," 

shalt then feel, that God and joy is all thy soul ; the fruition of 
^whom, with thy freedom from all these sorrows, will, more sweetly, 
'and more feelingly, make thee know, and to his eternal praise ac- 
knowledge, that thou livest. 

And thus we shall rest from all afflictions. 

Sect. XVn. 9. We shall rest also from all the 9. From all the labour 
trouble and pain of duty. The conscientious ma- and trouble of duties. 
gistrate now cries out. Oh the burden that lieth upon me ! The 
conscientious parents, that know the preciousness of their children's 
souls, and the constant pains required to their godly education, cry 
out. Oh the burden ! The conscientious minister, above all, when 
he reads his charge, 2 Tim. iv. 1, and views his pattern, Mark 
iii. 20, 21, &c. ; Acts xx. 18, 31 ; when he hath tried awhile what 


it is to study, and pray, and preach, according to the weight and 
excellency of the work ; to go from house to house, and from 
neighbour to neighbour, and to beseech them night and day with 
tears, and, after all, to be hated and persecuted for so doing, no 
wonder if he cry out, Oh the burden ! and be ready to turn away 
with Jonas ; and, with Jeremy, to say, " I will not make mention 
of him, nor speak any more in his name ; for his word is a reproach 
to us, and a derision daily ; but that he hath niade his word as a 
fire shut up in our bones and heart, that we are weary of forbearing, 
and cannot stay," Jer. xx. 8, 9. How long may we study and la- 
bour before one soul is brought clear over to Christ ! and when it 
is done, how soon do the snares of sensuality or error entangle 
them ! How many receive the doctrine of delusion before they 
have time to be built up in the truth ! and when heresies must of 
necessity arise, how few of them do appear approved ! The first 
new, strange apparition of light doth so amaze them, they think 
they are in the third heaven, when they are but newly passed from 
the suburbs of hell ; and are presently as confident as if they knew 
all things, when they have not half light enough to acquaint them 
with their ignorance ; but, after ten or twenty years' study, they 
become usually of the same judgment with those they despised. 
And seldom doth a minister live to see the ripeness of his people ; 
but one soweth and planteth, another watereth, and a third reapeth 
and receiveth the increase. Yet were all this duty delightful, had 
we but a true proportion of strength. But, to inform the old, ig- 
norant sinner, to convince the stubborn and worldly wise, to per- 
suade a wilful, resolved wretch, to prick a stony heart to the quick, 
to make a rock to weep and tremble, to set forth Christ according 
to our necessity and his excellency, to comfort the soul whom God 
dejected, to clear up dark and difficult truths, to oppose with con- 
vincing arguments all gainsayers, to credit the gospel with exem- 
plary conversations, when multitudes do but watch for our halting; 
oh ! who is sufficient for these things ? So that every relation, 
stage, age, hath variety of duty : every conscientious Christian 
cries out. Oh the burden ! or. Oh my weakness that makes it so 
burdensome ! But our remaining rest will ease us of the burden. 
Then will that be sound doctrine, which now is false, that the law 
hath no more to do with us ; that it becomes not a Christian to 
beg for pardon, seeing all his sins are perfectly pardoned already ; 
that we need not fast, nor mourn, nor weep, nor repent ; and that a 
sorrowful countenance beseems not a Christian : then will all these 
become truths. 

Sect. XVni. 10. And, lastly, we shall rest jq From all those 
from all those sad affections, which necessarily troublesome affec- 
accompany our absence from God: the trouble 'iuVieom^^^^^^^ 
that is mixed in our desires and hopes, our long- our absence trom 
ings and waitings, shall then cease. We shall no ^'"'^• 
more look into our cabinet, and miss our treasure ; look into our 
hearts, and miss our Christ ; nor no more seek him from ordinance 
to ordinance, and inquire for our God of those we meet ; our heart 


will not lie in our knee, nor our souls be breathed out in our re- 
quests ; but all conclude in a most full and blessed fruition. But 
because this, with the former, are touched before, I will say no 
more of them now : so you have seen what we shall rest from. 
9. It will be an Sect. XIX. The ninth and last jewel in our 

everlasting rest. crowu, and blessed attribute of this rest, is, that 
it is an eternal rest. This is the crown of our crown ; without 
which, all were comparatively little or nothing. The very thought 
of once leaving it, would else imbitter all our joys : and the more 
would it pierce us, because of the singular excellences which we 
must forsake. It would be a hell in heaven to think of once losing 
heaven ; as it would be a kind of heaven to the damned, had they 
but hopes of once escaping. Mortality is the disgrace of all sub- 
lunary delights. It makes our present life of little value, (were it 
not for the reference it hath to God and eternity,) to think that we 
must shortly lay it down. How can we take delight in any thing, 
when we remember how short that delight would be ; that the 
sweetness of our cups and morsels is dead as soon as they are but 
once past our taste ! Indeed, if man were as the beast, that knows 
not his suffering or death till he felt it, and little thinks when the 
knife is whetting, that it is making ready to cut his throat, then 
might we be merry till death forbid us, and enjoy our delights till 
they shall forsake us ; but, alas ! we know both good and evil ; and 
evil foreknown, is in part endured ; and thus our knowledge in- 
creaseth our sorrows, Eccles. i. 18. How can it choose but spoil 
our pleasure, while we see it dying in our hands ! How can I be as 
merry as the jovial world, who have mine eye fixed upon eternity ! 
When methinks I foresee my dying hour, my friends waiting for 
my last gasp, and closing my eyes, while tears forbid to close their 
own ; methinks I hear them say. He is dead. Methinks I see my 
coffin made, my grave in digging, and my friends 'there leaving me 
in the dust : and where, now, is that we took delight in ? O but 
methinks I see, at the same view, that grave opening, and my dead, 
revived body rising ; methinks I hear that blessed voice, Arise and 
live, and die no more. Surely, were it not for eternity, I should 
think man a silly piece ; and all his life and honour but contempt- 
ible : I shall call him, with David, a vain shadow ; and with the 
prophet, nothing, and less than nothing, and altogether lighter than 
vanity itself. It utterly disgraceth the greatest glory in mine 
eyes, if you can but truly call it mortal. I can value nothing that 
shall have an end, except as it leads to that which hath no end, or 
as it comes from that love which hath neither beginning nor end. 
I speak this of my deliberate thoughts ; and if some ignorant or 
forgetful soul have no such sad thoughts to disturb his pleasure, I 
confess he may be merrier for the present ; but where is his mirth 
when he lieth a dying ? Alas ! it is a poor happiness that consists 
only in the ignorance or forgetfulness of approaching misery ; but, 
O blessed eternity 1 whore our lives are perplexed with no such 
thoughts, nor our joys interrupted with any such fears ; where we 
shall be " pillars in God's temple," Rev. iii. 12, and go out no 


more. Oh what do I say when I talk of eternity ! Can iny shallow 
thoughts conceive at all what the most high expression doth con- 
tain ! To be eternally blessed, and so blessed ! Why, surely this, 
if any thing, is the resemblance of God : eternity is a piece of in- 
finiteness. Then, O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is 
thy victory ? Days, and nights, and years, time, and end, and death, 
are words which there have no signification; nor are used, except 
perhaps to extol eternity, as the mention of hell, to extol heaven. 
No more use of our calendars or chronology : all the years of our 
Lord, and the years of our lives, are swallowed up and lost in this 
eternity. \\ hile we were servants, we held by lease ; and that but 
for the term of transitory life ; but the son abideth in the house for 
ever. Gal. vi. 8. Our first and earthly Paradise in Eden had a way 
out, but none that ever we could find in again ; but this eternal 
paradise hath a way in, (a milky way to us, but a bloody way to 
Christ,) but no way out again; "for they that would pass from 
hence to you," saith Abraham, " cannot," Luke xvi. 24. A strange 
phrase ! Would any pass from such a place if they might ? Could 
they endure to be absent from God again one hour ? No, but upon 
supposal that they would, yet they could not. O then, my soul^ 
let go thy dreams of present pleasures ; and loose thy hold of earth 
and fiesh. Fear not to enter that estate, where thou shalt ever 
after cease thy fears. Sit down, and sadly, once a day, bethink 
thyself of this eternity : among all the arithmetical numbers, study 
the value of this infinite cipher, which, though it stand for nothing 
in the vulgar account, doth yet contain all our millions, as much 
less than a simple unit. Lay by the perplexed and contradicting 
chronological tables, and fix thine eye on this eternity ; and the 
lines which remote thou couldst not follow, thou shalt see all to- 
gether here concentred. Study less those tedious volumes of his- 
tory, which contain but the silent narration of dreams, and are but 
the pictures of the actions of shadows ; and, instead of all, study 
frequently, study thoroughly this one word, eternity, and when thou 
hast learned thoroughly that one word, thou wilt never look on 
books again. What ! live, and never die { rejoice, and ever re- 
joice ? Oh, what sweet words are these, never and ever I O happy 
souls in hell, should you but escape after millions of ages ! and if 
the Origenist doctrine were but true ! O miserable saints in heaven, 
should you be dispossessed after the age of a million of worlds ! 
But, oh this word, everlasting, contains the accomplished perfection 
of their torment and our glory. Oh that the wicked sinner would 
but soundly study this word, everlasting, methinks it should startle 
him out of his deadest sleep ! Oh that the gracious soul would be- 
lievingly study this word, everlasting, methinks it should revive 
him in the deepest agony ! And nmst I, Lord, thus live for ever ? 
Then will I also love for ever. Must my joys be immortal ; and 
shall not my thanks be also immortal ? Surely, if I shall never lose 
my glory, 1 will also never cease thy praises. Shouldst thou but 
renew my lease of the first-fruits, would I not renew thy fine and 
rent ? But if thou wilt both perfect and perpetuate me and my 


glory, as I shall be thine, and not mine own, so shall my glory be 
thy glory ; and as all did take their spring from thee, so all shall 
devolve into thee again ; and as thy glory was thine ultimate end 
in my glory, so shall it also be mine end, when thou hast crowned 
me with that glory which hath no end. And " to thee, O King 
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, shall be the honour 
and glory, for ever and ever. Amen," 2 Tim. i. 17. 

Sect. XX. And thus I have endeavoured to show you a glimpse 
of the approaching glory : but, oh, how short are my expressions 
of its excellency ! Reader, if thou wilt be a humble, sincere be- 
liever, and waitest with longing and labouring for this rest, thou 
wilt shortly see and feel the truth of all this ; then wilt thou have 
so high an apprehension of this blessed state, that will make thee 
pity the ignorance and distance of mortals ; and will tell thee then 
all that is here said is spoken but in the dark, and falls short of the 
truth a thousandfold. In the mean time, let this much kindle thy 
desires, and quicken thine endeavours. Up, and be doing ; run, 
and strive, and fight, and hold on, for thou hast a certain, glorious 
prize before thee. God will not mock thee : do not mock thyself, 
nor betray thy soul, by delaying or dallying, and all is thine own. 
What kind of men dost thou think Christians would be in their 
lives and duties, if they had still this glory fresh in their thoughts ? 
What frame would their spirits be in, if their thoughts of heaven 
were lively and believing ? Would their hearts be so heavy, and 
their countenance so sad ? or would they have need to take up 
their comforts from below ? Would they be so loth to suffer, and 
afraid to die ? or would they not think every day a year, till they 
did enjoy it ? The Lord heal our carnal hearts, lest we enter not 
into his rest, because of our unbelief. 



Sect. I. Having thus performed my first task of describing and 
explicating the saints' rest, it remains that now I proceed unto the 
second, and show you what these "people of God" are, and why 
so called, for whom this blessed rest remaineth ; and I shall suit 
my speech unto the quality of the subject. While I was in the 
mount, I felt it was good being there, and therefore tarried there 
the longer ; and were there not an extreme disproportion between 
my conceivings and that subject, yet much longer had I been. And 
could my capacity have contained what was there to be seen, I 
could have been contented to have built me a tabernacle there. 
Can a prospect of that happy land be tedious, or a discourse of 
eternity be too long, except it should detain us from actual posses- 
sion, and our absence move us to impatience ? But now I am 


descended from heaven to earth, from God to man, and must dis- 
course of a worm not six feet long, whose life is but a span, and 
his years as a post that hasteth by ; my discourse also shall be but 
a span, and in a brief touch 1 will pass it over. Having read of 
such a high and unspeakable glory, a stranger would wonder for 
what rare creature this mighty preparation should be, and expect 
some illustrious sun should now break forth ; but, behold, only a 
shell full of dust, animated with an invisible rational soul, and that 
rectified with as unseen a restored power of grace ; and this is the 
creature that must possess such glory. You would think it must 
needs be some deserving piece, or one that brings a valuable price. 
But, behold, one that hath nothing, and can deserve nothing, and 
confesseth this, yet cannot, of himself, confess it neither, yea, that 
deserveth the contrary misery, and would, if he might, proceed in 
that deserving ; but being apprehended by love, he is brought 
to him that is all, and hath done and deserved all, and suffered 
for all that we deserved; and most affectionately receiving him, 
and resting on him, he doth, in and through him, receive all 
this. But let us see more particularly yet, what these " people of 
God" are. 

They are a small part of lost mankind, whom Description 
God hath from eternity predestinated to this rest, 
for the glory of his mercy, and given to his Son, to be by him in 
a special manner redeemed, and fully recovered from their lost 
estate, and advanced to this higher glory : all which Christ doth, 
in due time, accomplish accordingly by himself for them, and by 
his Spirit upon them. To open all the parts of this half-descrip- 
tion to the full, will take up more time and room than are allowed 
me. Therefore briefly thus : 

1. I meddle only with mankind, not with angels; nor will I 
curiously inquire whether there were any other world of men created 
and destroyed before this had being ; nor whether there shall be 
any other when this is ended. All this is quite above us, and so 
nothing to us : nor say I the sons of Adam only, because Adam 
himself is one of them. 

2. And as it is no more excellent a creature than man that must 
have this possession, so is it that man, who once was lost, and had 
scarcely left himself so much as man. The heirs of this kingdom 
were taken, even from the tree of execution, and rescued by the 
strong hand of love from the power of the prince of darkness, who 
having taken them in his snares, did lead them captive at his will : 
they were once within a step of hell, who must now be advanced 
as high as heaven. And though I mention their lost condition 
before their predestination, yet I thereby intend not to signify any 
precedency it hath, either in itself, or in the Divine consideration. 
That question I dare not touch, as being very suspicious that it is 
high arrogancy in us to dispute of precedency in the Divine con- 
sideration ; and that we no more know what we talk of than this 
paper knows what I write of: when we confess, that all these acts 
in God are truly one, and that there is no difference of time with 


him : it is dangerous to dispute of priority or posterity in nature ; 
at least of the decree of the means, which is hut one. 

3. That they are but a small part of this lost generation, is too 
apparent in Scripture and experience. " It is the little flock to 
whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom." If 
the sanctified are few, the saved must needs be few : fewer they 
are than the world imagines; yet not so few as some drooping 
spirits deem, who are doubtful that God would cast off them, who 
would not reject him for all the world ; and are suspicious that God 
is unwilling to be their God, when yet they know themselves will- 
ing to be his people. 

4. It is the design of God's eternal decree to glorify his mercy 
and grace to the highest in this their salvation ; and, therefore, 
needs must it be a great salvation. Every step of mercy to it was 
great ; how much more this end of all those mercies, which stands 
next to God's ultimate end, his glory ! God cannot make any low 
or mean work to be the great business of an eternal purpose. 

5. God hath given all things to his Son, but not as he hath 
given his chosen to him :* the difference is clearly expressed by the 
apostle. He hath made him " Head over all things to his church," 
Eph. i. 22. And though Christ is, in some sense, a ransom for all, 
yet not in that special manner as for his people. He hath, accord- 
ing to the tenor of his covenant, procured salvation for all, if they 
will believe ; but he hath procured for his chosen even this con- 
dition of believing.! 

6. Nor is the redeeming of them by death his whole task ; but 
also the effecting of their full recovery : he may send his Spirit to 
persuade others ; but he intends absolutely his prevailing only with 
his chosen. And as truly as he hath accomplished his part on the 
cross for them, so truly will he accomplish his part in heaven for 
them, and his part by his Spirit also on them. And of all that 
the Father hath thus given him, he will lose nothing. 

Sect. II. But this is but a piece of their description, containing 
God's work for them, and on them ; let us see what they are also 
in regard of the working of their own souls towards God, and their 
Redeemer, again. J [These people of God then, are the (1) part of 
the (2) externally called, (3) who being by the (4) Spirit of Christ 
(5) thoroughly, though (6) imperfectly, regenerate, are hereupon 
(7) convinced, and (8) sensible of that (9) evil in sin, (10) that 

* See John xvii. 2, a clear place. 

t That faith is properly called the condition of the covenant, and justifieth as a con- 
dition, besides what I have said in my " Confession," I refer you to Master Wotton de 
Reconcil. part 1. lib. ii. c. 19, -where you have the attestation of our chief divines. 
And, indeed, he must he a wiser man than I that can reach to know how faith can 
directly justify under any other notion than that of a condition ; that apprehensive 
nature which makes men call it an instrument, being only its aptitude to its office, and 
not the formal reason of its justifying. 

X They that would see this work of God on the soul handled most exactly, judiciously, 
scholastically, and briefly, let them read Mr. Parker's excellent Theses de Traductione 
peccatoris ad vitam. If you cannot get the book, it is in the end of Ames, against 
Grevincho, but maimed of fifteen Theses left out : though I own not every controverted 
assertion in it. 


misery in themselves, that (11) vanity in the creature, and that 
( 12) necessity, (13) sufficiency, and ( 14) excellency of Jesus Christ, 
that they (15) abhor that evil, (IG) bewail that misery, and (17) 
turn their hearts from that vanity ; and (IH) accepting of Christ for 
their (lU) Saviour and (20) Lord, to bring them unto (21) God the 
chief good, and present them (22) perfectly just before him, do ac- 
cordingly enter into a (23) cordial covenant with him, and so (24) 
deliver up themselves unto him, and herein (25) persevere to their 
lives' end.] 

I shall briefly explain to you the branches of this The first description 
part of the description also. • explained. 

] . I say, they are a part of " the externally call- j -pj,^^ ^^^ ^.^^^^ 
ed," because the Scripture hath yet showed us no nailv called. 
other way to the internal call, but by the external. ^^'^^^ cLli^'i^!"''''^ 
" For how shall they believe on him of whom they 
have not heard i And how shall they hear without a preacher ?" 
Rom. X. 14. All divulging of the substance of the gospel, whether 
by solemn sermons, by writing, printing, reading, conference, or 
any other means that have a rational sufficiency, for information 
and conviction, are this preaching ; though not alike clear and ex- 
cellent. The knowledge of Christ is none of nature's principles : 
the book of the creatures is no means alone, much less a sufficient 
means to teach the knowledge of Christ. It may what is the means of 
discover mercy, but gives not the least hint of the this call? Whether 
way of that mercy : it speaks nothing of God in- IJf ."Jffi.'liT*'*^" 
carnate, or two natures in one person ; of Jesus the 
Son of Mary ; of Christ's suretiship, and suffering for us, rising, 
ascending, mediating, returning ; of two covenants, and their several 
conditions, and the reward of keeping them, and penalty of break- 
ing them, &c. It is utterly silent in these things. And to affirm 
that the Spirit calls or teacheth men where the word is not, and 
where the creature or nature speaks not, is, I think, a groundless 
fiction. There is the light of the eye, and the light of the sun, or 
some other substitute external light, necessary to our seeing any 
object. The Scripture and certain revelations from heaven (when 
and where such are) is the sun of external light ; the understanding 
is our eye, or internal light : this eye is become blind, and this in- 
ternal light in the best is imperfect ; but the external light of 
Scripture is now perfected : therefore the work of the Spirit now is, 
not to perfect Scripture, or to add any thing to its discovery, or to 
1)0 instead of a Scripture where it is wanting, much less where the 
Scripture is ; but to remove the darkness from our understanding, 
that we may see clearly what the Scripture speaks clearly. Before 
the Scripture was perfect, the Spirit did enlighten the prophets and 
penmen of Scripture both ways ; but now I know no teaching of 
the Spirit, save only by its illuminating or sanctifying work ; teach- 
ing men no new lesson, nor the old without book ; but to read with 
understanding, what Scripture, nature, creatures, and providences, 
teach.* The asserting of any more, is proper to the enthusiasts. 

* As when Christ had opened the eyes of the man born blind, he did but give him a 


If the Spirit's teaching did without Scripture or tradition reveal 
Christ, surely some of those millions of poor blind pagans would 
have before this believed, and the Christian faith have been propa- 
gated among them. 

2. They are but part 2. That these people of God are but a part of 
of the externally those that are thus externally called, is too evident 
*^^^®'*- in Scripture and experience. " Many are called, 
but few are chosen :" but the internally, effectually called, are all 
chosen : " for whom he called, them he justified ; and whom he 
justified, them he glorified," Rom. viii, 30. The bare invitation of 
the gospel, and men's hearing the word, is so far from giving title 
to, or being an evidence of, Christianity and its privileges, that 
where it prevails not to a thorough conversion, it sinks deeper, and 
casts under a double damnation. 

3. They are regeue- '^- The first differencing work I affirm to be re- 
rate by the Spirit of generation by the Spirit of Christ ; taking it for 
^^"^^- granted, that this regeneration is the same with 
effectual vocation, with conversion, with sanctification ; understand- 
ing conversion, and sanctification, of the first infusion of the prin- 
ciple of spiritual life into the soul, and not for the addition of de- 
grees, or the sanctifying of the conversation, in which last sense it 
is most frequently taken in Scripture. 

Necessity of this re- This Spiritual regeneration, then, is the first and 
generation. great qualification of these people of God ; which, 

though habits are more for their acts than themselves, and are only 
perceived in their acts, yet by its causes and effects we should 
chiefly inquire after. To be the people of God without regenera- 
tion, is as impossible as to be the natural children of men without 
generation ; seeing we are born God's enemies, we must be new- 
born his sons, or else remain his enemies still. Oh that the unre- 
generate world did know or believe this ! in whose ears the new 
birth sounds as a paradox, and the great change which God works 
upon the soul is a strange thing : who, because they never felt any 
such supernatural work upon themselves, do therefore believe that 
there is no such thing, but that it is the conceit and fantasy of idle 
brains ; who make the terms of regeneration, sanctification, holi- 
ness, and conversion, a matter of common reproach and scorn, 
though they are the words of the Spirit of God himself; and Christ 
hath spoken it with his mouth, " that except a man be born again, 
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The greatest reforma- 
tion of life that can be attained to, without this new life wrought 
in the soul, may procure their further delusion, but never their 

This regeneration I call " thorough," to distinguish it from those 
slight tinctures, and superficial changes, which other men may par- 
power to see what present objects the sun or other external lights should reveal, but not 
the actual sight of all the objects in the world, nor of any without external light ; he 
must yet travel to Rome, to India, &c. if he will see them : so God's illumination by the 
Spirit doth give men ability to see, but not without external revelation by the word ; 
and they must travel by long, painful studv, from truth to truth, before they know them. 
See Heb. v. 11—14, fully for this. 


take of; and yet " imperfect," to distinguish our present from our 
future condition in glory ; and that the ("hristian may know, that it 
is sincerity, not perfection, which he must inquire after in his soid. 

Sect. III. Thus far the soul is passive. Let us j The soul is con- 
next see hy what acts this new life doth discover vinccd, i.e. i. 
itself, and this divine spark doth hreak forth; and S;ih'to iho"^'' 
how the soul, touched with this loadstone of the truth of Scripture 
Spirit, doth presently move toward God. The ^'"■'"*'^- 
first work I call " conviction," which comprehends knowledge, 
and assent. It comprehends the knowledge of what the Scripture 
speaks against sin, and sinners ; and that this Scripture which so 
speaks, is the word of God himself. Whosoever knows not hoth 
these, is not yet thus convinced. It comprehends a sincere assent 
to the verity of the Scripture ; as also some knowledge of ourselves, 
and our own guilt, and an acknowledgment of the And knows its own 
verity of those consequences, which from the pre- sin, and guilt, and 
mises of sin in us, and threats in Scripture, do con- "^'^'^''y- 
elude us miserable. It hath been a great question, and disputed 
in whole volumes, which grace is the first in the soul ; where faith 
and repentance are usually the only competitors. In regard of the 
principle, the power, or habit, which soever it be that is infused, 
they are all at once ; being indeed all one ; and called several 
graces from the diversity of their objects and subjects, as residing 
in the several faculties of the soul ; the life and rectitude of which 
several faculties and affections, are in the same sense several 
graces ; as the German, French, British seas, are ^, 

1 \ 1 r x^ i-i- i i Ihereiore not any 

several seas. And lor the acts, it is most apparent, other, but this know- 
that neither repentance nor faith (in the ordinary ledge is the first grace, 

,•, \ ■ n I. 1 1. ^ 11 nni ■ m retrard of the order 

strict sense) is first, but knowledge. Ihere is no of their acting ; 
act of the rational soul about any object preceding though in the vital 
knowledge. Their evasion is too gross, who tell ^'ether'^' "' '"' 
us, that knowledge is no grace, or but a common 
act : when a dead soul is by the Spirit enlivened, its first act is to 
know ; and why should it not exert a sincere act of knowing, as 
well as believing, and the sincerity of knowledge be requisite, as 
well as of faith ; especially when faith in the gospel sense is some- 
times taken largely, containing many acts, whereof knowledge is 
one, in which large sense, indeed, faith is the first grace. This 
conviction implieth also the subduing and silencing in some 
measure of all their carnal reasonings, which were wont to prevail 
against the truth, and a discovery of the fallacies of all their former 

2. As there must be conviction, so also sensi- The soul is sensible 
bility : God works on the heart, as well as the ofwhat it is con- 
head ; both were corrupted, and out of order. The ^'"*^*'^- 
principle of new life doth quicken both. All true spiritual know- 
ledge doth pass into affections. That religion which is merely tra- 
ditional, doth indeed swim loose in the brain; and the devotion 
which is kindled but by men and means, is hot in the mouth, and 
cold in the stomach. The work that had no higher rise than 


Necessity of education, example, custom, reading, or hearing, 
sensibility. doth never kindly pass dowH to the aflfections. The 

understanding which did receive but mere notions, cannot deliver 
them to the aifections, as realities. The bare help of doctrine upon 
an unrenewed soul, produceth in the understanding but a super- 
ficial apprehension, and half assent, and therefore can produce in 
the heart but small sensibility. As hypocrites may know many 
things, yea, as many as the best Christian, but nothing with the 
clear apprehensions of an experienced man ; so may they with as 
many things be slightly affected, but they give deep rooting to 
none. To read and hear of the worth of meat and drink, may 
raise some esteem of them, but not such as the hungry and thirsty 
feel ; for by feeling they know the worth thereof. To view in the 
map of the gospel, the precious things of Christ and his kingdom, 
may slightly aftect ; but to thirst for, and drink of, the living 
waters ; and to travel, to live in, to be heir of that kingdom, must 
needs work another kind of sensibility. It is Christ's own differ- 
encing mark, and I had rather have one from him, than from any, 
that the good ground give the good seed deep rooting ; but some 
others entertain it but into the surface of the soil, and cannot 
afford it depth of earth. The great things of sin, of grace, and 
Christ, and eternity, which are of weight, one would think, to move 
a rock, yet shake not the heart of the carnal professor, nor pierce 
his soul unto the quick ; though he should have them all ready in 
his brain, and be a constant preacher of them to others, yet do they 
little affect himself: when he is pressing them upon the hearts of 
others most earnestly, and crying out on the senselessness of his 
dull hearers, you would little think how insensible is his own soul, 
and the great difference between his tongue and his heart. His 
study and invention procure him zealous and moving expressions, 
but they cannot procure him answerable affections. It is true, 
some soft and passionate natures may have tears at command, 
when one that is truly gracious hath none ; yet is this Christian, 
with dry eyes, more solidly apprehensive and deeply affected, than 
the other is in the midst of his tears ; and the weeping hypocrite 
will be drawn to his sin again with a trifle, which the groaning 
Christian would not be hired to commit with crowns and kingdoms. 
What the soul is '^^^ things that the soul is thus convinced and 

convinced and sen- Sensible of, are especially these in the description 
''^^•^ °^- mentioned. 

1. The evil of sin. The sinner is made to know 
1. Oftheevlofsin. ^^^ ^^^j ^j^^^ ^^^ sin which was his delight, liis 

sport, the support of his credit and estate, is indeed a more loath- 
some thing than toads or serpents, and a greater evil than plague 
or famine, or any other calamities ; it being a breach of the right- 
eous law of the most high God, dishonourable to him, and destruc- 
tive to the sinner. Now the sinner reads and hears no more the 
reproofs of sin, as words of course, as if the minister wanted sonae- 
thing to say to fill up his sermon ; but when you mention his sin, 
and stir in his wounds, he feels you speak at his very heart, and 


yet is contented you should show him the worst, and set it home, 
thoufjh he bear the smart. He was wont to marvel what made 
men keep such a stir against sin ; what harm it was for a man to 
take a little forbidden pleasure : he saw no such heinousness in it, 
that Christ nuist needs die for it, and most of the world be eternally 
tormented in hell, lie thought this was somewhat hard measure, 
and greater punishment than could possibly be deserved by a little 
fleshly liberty, or worldly deligiit, neglect of Christ, his word, or 
worship; yea, by a wanton thought, a vain word, a dull duty, or 
cold affection. But now the case is altered : God hath opened his 
eyes to see that unexpressible vileness in sin, which satisfies him 
of the reason of all this. 

2. The soul in this great work is convinced and 2. Of its own misery, 
sensible, as of the evil of sin, so of its own misery by reason of sin. 
by reason of sin. They who before read the threats of God's law, 
as men do the whole stories of foreign wars, or as they behold the 
wounds and the blood in a picture, or piece of arras, which never 
makes them smart or fear ; now they find it is their own story, and 
they perceive they read their own doom, as if they found their 
names written in the curse, or heard the law say, as Nathan, 
" Thou art the man." The wrath of God seemed to him but as 
a storm to a man in a dry house, or as the pains of the sick to the 
healthful stander-by, or as the torments of hell to a child that sees 
the story of Dives and Lazarus upon the wall ; but now he finds 
the disease is his own, and feels the pain in his own bowels, and 
the smart of the wounds in his own soul. In a word, he finds him- 
self a condemned man, and that he is dead and damned in point of 
law, and that nothing was wanting but mere execution to make him 
most absolutely and irrecoverably miserable. Whether you will 
call this a work of the law or gospel, as in several whether this be the 
senses it is of both ; the law expressing, and the work of the law or 
gospel intimating and implying, our former con- ^^"^ gospel. 
demnation ; sure I am, it is a work of the Spirit wrought, in some 
measure, in all the regenerate: and though some Necessity of this 
do judge it unnecessary bondage, yet it is beyond sense of sin and 
my conceiving how he should come to Christ for ™'«ery. 
pardon who first found not himself guilty and condemned, or for 
life, who never found himself dead. " The whole need not a 
physician, but they that are sick." Yet I deny why some gracious 
not, but the discovery of the remedy as soon as souls can scarce pcr- 
the misery, must needs prevent a great part of the ,"arce remember, ' 
trouble, and make the distinct effect on the soul to this work of hum'ilia- 
be with much more difficulty discerned. Nay, *'°"- 
the actings of the soul are so quick, and oft so confused, that the 
distinct order of these workings may not be apprehended or re- 
membered at all ; and perhaps the joyful apprehensions of mercy 
may make the sense of misery the sooner forgotten. 

3. So doth the Spirit also convince the soul of 3 Qf^^^^ creature's 
the creature's vanity and insufficiency. Every man vanity and insuffi- 
naturally is a flat idolater ; our hearts turned from '^'"^"*'> '■ 


God in our first fall, and ever since the creature hath been our 
god. This is the grand sin of nature. When we set up to our- 
^ , selves a wrong end, we must needs err in all the 

EveiT natural man mi ^ • . 

is an idolater, and means. 1 he creature IS to every unregenerate 
doth not indeed take man his God and his Christ. He ascribeth to it 
the Lord tor his God. ^^^ -p-^-^^^ prerogatives, and alloweth it the high- 
est room in his soul ; or if ever he come to be convinced of misery, 
he fleeth to it as his saviour and supply. Indeed, God and. his 
Christ hath usually the name, and shall be still called both Lord 
and Saviour ; but the real expectation is from the creature, and 
the work of God is laid upon it. How well it will perform that 
work the sinner must know hereafter. It is his pleasure, his profit, 
and his honour, that is the natural man's trinity, and his carnal self 
D . , . ^, , that is these in unity. Indeed, it is that flesh that 

Fride IS the great . • • i -i i i ^ i i •/> i 

sin against the first IS the prmcipal idol : the other three are deified 
menf ^''' ''°"''"^"''" ^" *^^^^ relation to ourselves. It was our first 
sin to aspire to be as gods ; and it is the greatest 
sin that runs in our blood, and is propagated in our nature from 
Man naturally is his generation to generation. When God should guide 
own idol. xxs^ we guide ourselves ; when he should be our 

sovereign, we rule ourselves. The laws which he gives us, we 
would correct and find fault with ; and if we had the making of 
them, we would have made them otherwise. When he should 
take care of us, and must, or we perish, we will care for ourselves : 
when we should depend on him for daily receivings, we had rather 
keep our stock ourselves, and have our portion in our own hands : 
when we should stand at his disposal, we w^ould be at our own ; 
and when we should submit to his providence, we usually quarrel at 
it ; as if we knew better what is good or fit for us than he ; or how 
to dispose of all things more wisely : if we had the disposal of the 
events of wars, and the ordering of the affairs of churches and 
states, or the choice of our own outward condition, it would be far 
otherwise than now it is ; and we think we could make a better 
disposal, order, and choice, than God hath made. This is the lan- 
guage of a carnal heart, though it doth not always speak out. 
When we should study God, we study ourselves ; when we should 
mind God, we mind ourselves ; when we should love God, we love 
our carnal selves ; when we should trust God, we trust ourselves ; 
when we should honour God, we honour ourselves ; and when we 
should ascribe to God, and admire him, we ascribe to and admire 
ourselves ; and, instead of God, we w^ould have all men's eyes and 
dependence on us, and all men's thanks returned to us, and would 
gladly be the only men on earth extolled and admired by all. And 
thus we are naturally our own idols ; but down falls this Dagon, 
„ , when God doth once renew the soul. It is the 

Kegeneration works , , . r , i , i i ^ -l • i.i 

back the heart to great busmess of that great work, to brmg the 

^ncetri"' Th^ '^°h' ^^'^^^ ^^^^ *° ^°^ himself. He COnvinceth the sin- 
creature cannot be '^ ner: 1. That the creature, of himself, can neither 
our God. 2. Nor be his god, to make him happy; 2. Nor yet his 
Christ, to recover him from his misery, and re- 


store him to God, who is his happiness. This God doth, not 
only by preaching, but by providence also ; because words seem 
but wind, and will hardly take off the raging senses, therefore doth 
God make his rod to speak, and continue speaking, till the sinner 
hear, and hath learned by it this great lesson. This is the great 
reason why affliction doth so ordinarily concur providences, and 
in tbe work of conversion; these real arguments, especially afflictions, 
which speak to the quick, will force a hearing, 'lo usually much fur- 

, ' . 1. ' , ,. , 1 ° thcr this conviction. 

when the most convmcmg and powerful words are 
slighted. When a sinner made his credit his god, and God shall 
cast him into lowest disgrace ; or bring him that idolized his 
riches into a condition wherein they cannot help him, or cause 
them to take wing and fly away ; or the rust to corrupt, and the 
thief to steal his adored god in a night, or an hour ; what a help 
is here to this work of conviction ! When a man that made his 
pleasure his god, whether ease, or sports, or mirth, or company, or 
gluttony, or drunkenness, or clothing, or buildings, or whatsoever 
a ranging eye, a curious ear, a raging appetite, or a lustful heart, 
could desire, and God shall take these from him, or give him their 
sting and curse with them, and turn them all into gall and worm- 
wood ; what a help is here to this conviction ! When God shall 
cast a man into a languishing sickness, and inflict wounds and 
anguish on his heart, and stir up against him his own conscience, 
and then, as it were, take the sinner by the hand, and lead him to 
credit, to riches, to pleasure, to company, to sports, or whatsoever 
was dearest to him, and say. Now, try if these can help you ; can 
these heal thy wounded conscience ? Can they now support thy 
tottering cottage ? Can they keep thy departing soul in thy body, 
or save thee from mine everlasting wrath ? Will they prove to 
thee eternal pleasures, or redeem thy soul from the eternal flames ? 
Cry aloud to them, and see now whether these will be instead of 
God and his Christ unto thee. Oh how this works now with the 
sinner ; when sense itself acknowledgeth the truth, and even the 
flesh is convinced of the creature's vanity, and our very deceiver is 
undeceived ! Now he despiseth his former idols, and calleth them 
all but silly comforters, wooden, earthly, dirty gods, of a few days 
old, and quickly perishing ; he speaketh as contemptuously of them 
as Baruk of the pagan idols, or our martyrs of the papists' god of 
bread, which was yesterday in the oven, and is to-morrow on the 
dunghill ; he chideth himself for his former folly, and pitieth those 
that have no higher happiness. O poor Croesus, Caesar, Alexander, 
thinks he, how small, how short was your happiness ! Ah, poor 
wretches ! Base honours ; woeful pleasures ; sad mirth ; ignorant 
learning ; defiled dunghill ; counterfeit righteousness ! Poor stuff 
to make a god of; simple things to save souls ! Woe to them that 
have no better a portion, no surer saviours, nor greater comforts, 
than these can yield, in their last and great distress and need ! In 
their own place they are sweet and lovely ; but in the place of 
God, how contemptible and abominable I They that are accounted 
excellent and admirable within the bounds of their own calling, 



should they step into the throne, and usurp sovereignty, would 
soon, in the eyes of all, be vile and insufferable. 
4. Of the need of 4. The fourth thing that the soul is convinced 

Christ, and his suf- and Sensible of, is, the absolute necessity, the full 
ciencyan woi . sufficiency, and perfect excellency, of Jesus Christ. 
Q. Are not all the It is a great question, whether all the foremen- 
forementioned works tionecl works are uot commou, and only prepara- 

common till this last ? ,. , .i ■ o mi j- i 

A. No. tions unto this : 1 hey are preparatives, and yet 

not common ; every lesser work is a preparative to 
the greater ; and all the first works of grace, to those that follow : 
so faith is a preparative to our continual living in Christ, to our 
justification and glory. There are, indeed, common convictions, 
and so there is also a common believing ; but this, as in the former 
terms explained, is both a sanctifying and saving work ; I mean a 
saving act of a sanctified soul, excited by the Spirit's special grace. 
That it precedes justification, contradicts not this ; for so doth faith 
itself too : nor that it precedes faith, is any thing against it ; for I 
have showed before, that it is a part of faith in the large sense : 
and in the strict sense taken, faith is not the first gracious act, 
much less that act of fiducial recumbency, which is commonly 
taken for the justifying act ; though, indeed, it is no one single act, 
but many, that are the condition of justification. 

This conviction is not by mere argumentation, as a man is con- 
vinced of the verity of some unconcerning consequence by dispute ; 
but also by the sense of our desperate misery, as a man in famine, 
of the necessity of food ; or a man that had read or heard his sen- 
tence of condemnation, is convinced of the absolute necessity of 
pardon ; or as a man that lies in prison for debt, is convinced of 
the necessity of a surety to discharge it. Now the sinner finds 
himself in another case than ever he was aware of; he feels an in- 
supportable burden upon him, and sees there is none but Christ 
can take it off. He perceives that he is under the wrath of God, 
and that the laws proclaim him a rebel and an outlaw, and none 
but Christ alone can make his peace : he is a man pursued by a 
lion, that must perish, if he find not present sanctuary. He feels 
the curse doth lie upon him, and upon all he hath for his sake, and 
Christ alone can make him blessed : he is now brought to this 
dilemma, either he must have Christ to justify him, or be eternally 
condemned; he must have Christ to save him, or burn in hell for 
ever; he must have Christ to bring him again to God, or be shut out 
of his presence everlastingly ; and now no wonder if he cry as the 
martyr Lambert, " None but Christ, none but Christ !" It is not 
gold, but bread, that will satisfy the hungry ; nor any thing but 
pardon that will comfort the condemned. " All things are now but 
dross and dung," Phil. iii. 7 — 9 ; and what we counted gain, is 
now but loss in comparison of Christ : for, as the sinner seeth his 
utter misery, and the disability of himself and all things to relieve 
him, so he doth perceive that there is no saving mercy out of 
Christ : the truth of the threatening, and tenor of both covenants, 
do put him out of all such hopes. There is none found in heaven 


or earth that can open the sealed hook, save the Lamh : without 
his hlood, there is no remission ; and without remission, there is no 
salvation, Rev. v. 3 — G; Ileh. ix. 22; xiii. 12. Could the sinner 
now make any shift without Christ, or could any thing else supply 
his wants and save his soul, then might Christ he disregarded ; but 
now he is convinced that there is no other name, and the necessity 
is absolute. Acts iv. 12. 

2. And as the soul is thus convinced of the 2. Of Christ's suffi- 
necessity of Christ, so also of his full sufficiency. cicncy. 

He sees, though the creature cannot, and himself cannot, yet Christ 
can. Though the fig-leaves of our own unrighteous righteousness 
are too short to cover our nakedness, yet the righteousness of 
Christ is large enough : ours is disproportionable to the justice of 
the law, but Christ's dotli extend to every tittle. If he intercede, 
there is no denial ; such is the dignity of his person, and the value 
of his merits, that the Father granteth all he desireth : he tells us 
himself, " that the Father heareth him always," John xi. 42. His 
sufferings being a perfect satisfaction to the law, and all power in 
heaven and earth being given to him, he is now able to supply 
every of our wants, and to save to the uttermost all that come to 
him, Heb. vii. 25. 

Quest. How can I know his death is sufficient for me, if not for 
all ; and how is it sufficient for all, if not suffered for all ? 

Ansiv. Because I will not interrupt my present discourse with 
controversy, I will say something to this question by itself in 
another tract, if God enable me. 

3. The soul is also convinced of the perfect ex- 3. And of his excel- 
cellency of Jesus Christ, both as he is considered l^ncy. 

in himself, and as considered in relation to us ; both as he is the 
only way to the Father, and as he is the End, being one with the 
Father. Before, he knew Christ's excellency as a blind man 
knows the light of the sun ; but now, as one that beholdeth his 

And thus doth the Spirit convince the soul. 

Sect. IV. 3. After this sensible conviction the Of the change of the 
will discovereth also its change, and that in regard "'U and affections 
of all the four foreinentioned objects. 

1. The sin which the understanding pronounceth 1. it tumeth from sm 
evil, the will doth accordingly turn from with ab- with abhorrency. 
horrency. Not that the sensitive appetite is changed, or any way 
made to abhor its object : but when it would prevail against the 
conclusions of reason, and carry us to sin against God, when Scrip- 
ture should be the rule, and reason the master, and sense the 
servant ; this disorder and evil the will abhorreth. 

2, The misery also which sin hath procured, as 2. Abhorreth and la- 
he disccrneth, so he bewaileth. It is impossible menteth its miserable 
that the soul now living, should look either on its *'*"^ 

trespass against God, or yet on its own self-procured calamity, with- 
out some compunction and contrition. He that truly discerneth 
that he hath killed Christ, and killed himself, will surely, in some 

I 2 


measure, be pricked to the heart. If he cannot weep, he can 
heartily groan ; and his heart feels what his understanding sees. 
3. Renounccthallhis 3. The creature he now renounceth as vain, 
former idokauJ^^^ ^nd tumeth it out of his heart with disdain. 
directly against'cod,' Not that he undervalueth it, or disclaimeth its 
as God. Secondly, ^gg ; but its idolatrous abuse, and its uniust 

directly only against ,. 

his laws. usurpation. 

Of the first sort is There is a twofold sin :* one against God him- 

only gross idolatry. gelf^ as well as his laws, when he is cast out of the 
heart, and something else doth take his place. This is that I in- 
tend in this place. The other is when a man doth take the Lord 
for his God, but yet swerveth in some things from his commands : 
of this before. It is a vain distinction that some make, that the 
soul must be turned first from sin ; secondly, from the creature to 
God : for the sin that is thus set up against God, is the choice of 
something below in his stead ; and no creature in itself is evil, but 
the abuse of it is the sin ; therefore, to turn from the creature, is 
only to turn from that sinful abuse. 

In what sense we turn Yet hath the creaturc a twofold consideration : 
from the creature, fij-gt^ as it is vain and insufficient to perform what 
the idolater expecteth, and so I handle it here ; secondly, as it is 
the object of such sinful abuse, and the occasion of sin; and so it 
falls under the former branch of our turning from sin, and in this 
sense their division may be granted. But this is only a various 
respect ; for, indeed, it is still only our sinful abuse of the creature, 
in our vain admirations, undue estimations, too strong affections, 
and false expectations, which we turn from. 

A twofold error in the ^ There is a twofold error very common in the 
descriptions of con- description of the work of conversion : the one, 
version. . .of those who Only mention the sinner's turning 

Our turning irom sin, . ^-^ i • i • • • • 

is as essential to true irom sm to God, Without mentioning any receiving 
S'lrchris" ^''' °^ Christ by faith; the other, of those who, on 
the contrary, only mention a sinner's believing, 
and then think they have said all : nay, they blame them as legal- 
ists, who make any thing but the bare believing of the love of God 
in Christ to us, to be part of the work, and would persuade poor 
souls to question all their former comforts, and conclude the work 
to have been only legal and unsound, because they have made their 
changes of heart, and turning from sin and creatures, part of it, 
and have taken up part of their comfort from the reviewing of these 
as evidences of right work. Indeed, should they take up here 
without Christ, or take such a change instead of Christ, in whole 
or in part, the reprehension were just, and the danger great. But 
can Christ be the way, where the creature is the end ? Is he not 
the only way to the Father ? And must not a right end be intended 

* Tills sin directly against God himself, as it is in the understanding and speech, is 
called blasphemy ; but as it is in the judgment, will, affections, and action altogether, it 
is called idolatry, or atheism. Great Athanasius approves of this distinction of sin, in 
his judicious Discourse of the Sin against the Holy Ghost. He saith, between sin in 
the general, and blasphemy, this is the difference — " He that sinneth, transgresseth the 
law ; he that blasphemeth, committeth impiety against the Godhead itself." 


before right means ? Can we seek to Christ to reconcile us to God, 
while in our hearts we prefer the creature before him i Or doth 
God dispossess the' creature, and sincerely turn the heart there- 
from, when he will not bring the soul to Christ ? Is it a work that 
is ever wrought in an unrenewed soul '. You will say, that " without 
faith it is impossible to please God."* True, but what faith doth 
the apostle there speak of " He that cometh to God, must believe 
that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek 
him." The belief of the Godhead must needs precede the belief 
of the Mediatorship ; and the taking of the Lord for our God, 
must in order precede the taking of Christ for our Saviour, though 
our peace with God do follow this. Therefore Paul, when he was 
to deal with the Athenian idolaters, teacheth them the knowledge 
of the Godhead first, and the Mediator afterwards. But you will 
say, May not an unregenerate man believe that there is a God ? 
True, and so may he also believe that there is a Christ : but he 
cannot more cordially accept of the Lord for his God, than he can 
accept of Christ for his Saviour. In the soul of every unregene- 
rate man, the creature possesseth both places, and a flat necessity both 
is both God and Christ. Can Christ be believed of coming to God as 
in, where our own righteousness or any other thing f:jfCi t°o"cE 
is trusted as our Saviour ? Or doth God ever as the way to the 
thoroughly discover sin and misery, and clearly ^'^♦^'i<=''. 
take the heart from all creatures, and self-righteousness, and yet 
leave the soul unrenewed ? The truth is, where the work is sincere, 
there it is entire ; and all these parts are truly wrought : and as 
turning from the creature to God, and not by Christ, is no true 
turning ; so believing in Christ, while the creature hath our hearts, 
is no true believing. And therefore in the work of self-examination, 
whoever would find in himself a thorough sincere work, must find 
an entire work ; even the one of these as well as the other. In the 
review of which entire work there is no doubt but his soul may take 
comfort. And it is not to be made so light of, as most do, nor put 
by with a wet finger, that Scripture doth so ordinarily put repent- 
ance before faith, and make them, jointly, conditions of the gospel : 
which repentance contains those acts of the will's aversion from 
sin and creatures, before expressed. It is true, if we take faith in 
the largest sense of all,t then it contains repentance in it ; but if 
we take it strictly, no doubt there are some acts of it go before 
repentance, and some follow after. 

Yet it is not of much moment which of the acts which part of this 
before mentioned we shall judge to precede, whe- turning goes first. 
ther our aversion from sin, and renouncing our idols, or our right 
receiving Christ, seeing it all composeth but one work, which God 
doth ever perfect where he beginneth but one step, and layeth but 

* Heb. xi. 16. Besides, though the person please not God, nor his actions, 8o as for 
God to justify them, or to take delight in them as gracious ; jet some actions of wicked 
men, tending to reformation, may please God in some respect, secundum quid ; as Ahab's 

t As it is put for all obedience to the commands proiier to the gospel. 


one stone in sincerity ; and the moments of time can be but few 
that interpose between the several acts. 

If any object, That every grace is received from Christ, and 
therefore must follow our receiving him by faith, 

I answer, There be receivings from Christ before believing, and 
before our receiving of Christ himself. Such is all that work of 
the Spirit, that brings the soul to Christ ; and there is a passive 
receiving of grace before the active. Both power and act of faith 
are in order of nature before Christ, actually received ; and the 
power of all other gracious acts, is as soon as that of faith. Though 
Christ give pardon and salvation, upon condition of believing ; yet 
he gives not (in the first degree) a new heart, a soft heart, and faith 
itself, nor the first true repentance, on that condition ; no more 
than he gives the preaching of the gospel, the Spirit's motion to 
believe, &c. upon a prerequisite condition of believing. 
4 ,, .„ , Sect. V. 4. And as the will is thus averted from 

As the will turns , . , , . ■. , ■ . 

from evil, so at the the torenientioncd objects, so, at the same time, 
same time to God, | ^j^ ^^ cleave to God the Father, and to Christ. 

aud the Mediator. , ^ • • n p , • ^ i ^i. 

1. To the Godhead Its first acting in order oi nature, is toward the 
in order of nature. whole Divine essence ; and it consists, especially, 
in intending and desiring God for his portion and chief good: 
having been convinced that nothing else can be his happiness, he 
now finds it is in God, and therefore looks towards it. But it is 
yet rather with desire than hope; for, alas ! the sinner hath already 
found himself to be a stranger and enemy to God, under the guilt 
of sin and curse of his law, and knows there is no coming to him 
in peace till his case be altered ; and, therefore, having before been 
convinced, also, that only Christ is able and willing to do this, and 
having heard his mercy in the gospel freely offered, his next act is, 
secondly, to accept of Christ for Saviour and Lord. I put the 

2. To the Mediator former before this, because the ultimate end is 
as the way ; which is necessarily the first intended, and the Divine 
^y ^^^^^- essence is principally that ultimate end, John xiv. 
6 ; yet not excluding the human nature in the second person : but 
Christ, as Mediator, is the way to that end ; and, throughout the 
gospel, is offered to us in such terms as import his being the means 
of making us happy in God. And though that former act of the 
soul toward the Godhead, be not said to justify as this last doth, 
yet is it, I think, as proper to the people of God as this ; nor can 
any man, unregenerate, truly choose God for his Lord, his portion, 
and chief good : therefore do they both mistake ; they who only 
mention our turning to Christ, and they who only mention our 
turning to God, in this work of conversion, as is touched before. 
Paul's preaching was " repentance toward God, and faith toward 
our Lord Jesus Christ," Acts xx. 21; v. 31; xi. 18; xxvi. 20. 
And life eternal consists, first, in knowing the only true God, and 
then Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, John xvii. 3. The former 
is the natural part of the covenant, to take the Lord only for our 
God ; the latter is the supernatural part, to take Christ only for our 
Redeemer. The former is first necessary, and implied in the latter. 


Thougli repentance and good works, &c. are re- ■^^^^^ justifying 
quired to our full justification, at judgment, as faith is. Its proper 
subservient to, or concurrent with, faith ; yet is the l"^;:' j,;';" Xcr'"" 
nature of this justifying faith itself contained in 
assent, and in this accepting of Christ for Saviour and Lord ; and 
I think it necessarily contains all this in it: some place it in the 
assenting act only, some in a fiducial adherence, or recumbency ; I 
call it accepting, it being principally an act of the will ; but yet also 
of the whole soul. This accepting being that which the gospel 
presseth to, and calleth the receiving or accepting Christ : I call 
it an aftectionate accepting, though love seem another act quite 
distinct from faith, and if you take faith for assent only, so it is ; 
yet I take it as essential to that faith which justifies. To accept 
Christ without love, is not justifying faith. Nor doth love follow 
as a fruit, but immediately concur ; nor concur as a mere concomi- 
tant, but essential to a true accepting. For this faith is the re- 
ceiving of Christ, either with the whole soul, or with part ; not 
with part only, for that is but a partial receiving : and most clearly, 
divines of late conclude, that justifying faith resides both in the 
understanding and the will; therefore, in the whole soul; and so 
cannot be one single act. I add, it is the most affectionate accept- 
ing of Christ ; because he that loves father, mother, or any thing 
more than him, is not worthy of him, nor can be his disciple, Luke 
xiv. 26 ; and consequently not justified by him. And the truth of 
this affection is not to be judged so much by feeling the pulse of it, 
as by comparing it with our affection to other things. He that 
lovetli nothing so much as Christ, doth love him truly, though he 
find cause still to bewail the coldness of his affections. I make 
Christ himself the object of his accepting, it being not any theo- 
logical axiom concerning himself, but himself in person. 1 call it 
an accepting him for Saviour and Lord. For in both relations will 
he be received, or not at all. It is not only to acknowledge his 
sufferings, and accept of pardon and glory, but to acknowledge his 
sovereignty, and submit to his government, and way of saving ; and 
I take all this to be contained in justifying faith. The vilest sinner 
among us w ill accept of Christ to justify and save him, if that only 
would serve the turn to his justification. 

The work (which Christ, thus accepted of, is to y^y^^^^ q^^^.^^^ j^jj^ 
perform) is, to bring the sinners to God, that they fur us upon our ac- 
may be happy in him : and this both really by his ceptance. 
Spirit, and relatively in reconciling them, and making them sons ; 
and to present them perfect before him at last, and to possess them 
of the kingdom. This wall Christ perform : and the obtaining of 
these, are the sinner's lawful ends in receiving Christ ; and to these 
uses doth he offer himself unto us. 

5. To this end doth the sinner now enter into a • ■ i 

cordial covenant with Christ. As the preceptive chrrsu" a"fessential 
part is called the covenant, so he might be under part of actual con- 
the covenant before, as also under the offers of a c^hrist'laniu-." 
covenant on God's part. But he was never strictly 


nor comfortably in covenant with Christ till now. He is sure by 
the free offers, that Christ doth consent, and now doth he cordially 
consent himself; and so the agreement is fully made ; and it never 
was a match indeed till now. 

6. With this covenant concurs a mutual delivery; 
^trhimselt'tofhT'"' Christ delivereth himself in all comfortable rela- 
sinner, and he de- tions to the sinner, and the sinner delivereth up 
to cw'""'""'"^ himself to be saved and ruled by Christ. This 
which I call the delivering of Christ, is his act in 
and by the gospel ; without any change in himself. The change is 
only in the sinner to whom the conditional promises become equiva- 
lent to absolute, when they perform the conditions. Now doth the 
soul resolvedly conclude, I have been blindly led by the flesh and 
lust, and the world, and the devil, too long already, almost to my 
utter destruction ; I will now be wholly at the disposal of my Lord, 
who hath bought me with his blood, and will bring me to his glory. 
And thus the complete work of saving faith consisteth in this cove- 
nanting, or mystical marriage, of the sinner to Christ. 
Lastly, The believer 7. And lastly, I add, that the believer doth 
persevereth in this herein pcrscvere to the end: though he mav com- 

covenant, and all the •. • i t i • ,i i • t i ,1 

forementioned ^uit sins, he never clisciaimeth his Lord, renounceth 

grounds ofit, to the his allegiance, nor recalleth nor repenteth of his 
covenant, nor can be properly said to break that 
covenant, while that faith continues which is the condition of it. 
Indeed, those that have verbally covenanted, and not cordially, 
may yet tread under foot the blood of the covenant as an unholy 
thing (Heb. x. 29; Matt. xxiv. 13; Rev. ii. 26, 27; iii. 11, 12 ; 
John XV. 4—6, 9; viii. 31 ; Col. i. 23; Rom. xii. 22), wherewith 
they were sanctified by separation from those without the church ; 
but the elect cannot be so deceived. Though this perseverance be 
certain to true believers ; yet it is made a condition of their salva- 
tion, yea, of their continued life and fruitfulness, and of the con- 
tinuance of their justification, though not of their first justification 
itself. But eternally blessed be that hand of love, which hath 
drawn the free promise, and subscribed and sealed to that which 
ascertains us, both of the grace which is the condition, and the 
kingdom on that condition offered. 

The application of ^^^^^ ^^- ^^^ ^hus you have a naked enumera- 

this description by tion of the essentials of this people of God : not a 
way of examination, f^^i portraiture of them in all their excellences, nor 
all the notes whereby they be discerned ; both which were beyond 
my present purpose. And though it will be part of the following 
application, to put you upon trial ; yet because the description is 
now before your eyes, and these evidencing works are fresh in your 
memory, it will not be unseasonable nor unprofitable for you, to 
take an account of your own estates, and to view yourselves exactly 
in this glass, before you pass on any further. And I beseech thee, 
reader, as thou hast the hope of a Christian, yea, or the reason of 
a man, to deal thoroughly, and search carefully, and judge thyself 
as one that must shortly be judged by the righteous God ; and 


faithfully answer to these few questions which I shall here pro- 

I will not inquire, whether thou remember the time or the order 
of those workings of the Spirit : there may be much uncertainty 
and mistake in that : but I desire thee to look into thy soul, and 
see whether thou find such works wrought within thee ; and then, 
if thou be sure they are there, the matter is not so great, though 
thou know not when or how thou camest by them. 

And first, hast thou been thoroughly convinced of a universal 
depravation, through thy whole soul ; and a universal wickedness 
through thy whole life ; and how vile a thing this sin is ; and that 
by the tenor of that covenant which thou hast transgressed, the 
least sin deserves eternal death ? Dost thou consent to this law, 
that it is true and righteous ? Hast thou perceived thyself sen- 
tenced to this death by it, and been convinced of thy natural, un- 
done condition ? Hast thou further seen the utter insufficiency of 
every creature, either to be itself thy happiness, or the means of 
curing this thy misery, and making thee happy again in God ? 
Hast thou been convinced, that thy happiness is only in God as the 
end ; and only in Christ as the way to him, and the end also as he 
is one with the Father ; and perceived that thou nmst be brought 
to God by Christ, or perish eternally ? Hast thou seen hereupon 
an absolute necessity of the enjoying Christ ; and the full suffi- 
ciency that is in him, to do for thee whatsoever thy case requireth, 
by reason of the fulness of his satisfaction, the greatness of his 
power, and dignity of his person, and the freeness and indefinite- 
ness of his promises ? Hast thou discovered the excellency of this 
pearl, to be worth thy selling all to buy it ? Hath all this been 
joined with some sensibility ; as the convictions of a man that 
thirsteth, of the worth of drink ; and not been only a change in 
opinion, produced by reading or education, as a bare notion in the 
understanding ? Hath it proceeded to an abhorring that sin ; I 
mean in the bent and prevailing inclination of thy will, though the 
flesh do attempt to reconcile thee to it ? Have both thy sin and 
misery been a burden to thy soul ; and if thou couldst not weep, 
yet couldst thou heartily groan under the insupportable weight of 
both ? Hast thou renounced all thine own righteousness ? Hast 
thou turned thy idols out of thy heart ; * so that the creature hath 
no more the sovereignty, but is now a servant to God and to Christ ? 
Dost thou accept of Christ as thy only Saviour, and expect thy 
justification, recovery, and glory, from him alone ? Dost thou take 
him also for Lord and King ? And are his laws the most powerful 
commanders of thy life and soul ? Do they ordinarily prevail 
against the commands of the flesh, of Satan, of the greatest on 
earth that shall countermand ; and against the greatest interest of 
thy credit, profit, pleasure, or life ; so that thy conscience is direct- 

* In one -word, the rerj' nature of sinceritj' lieth in this ; when Christ hath more 
actual interest in thy heart, esteem, and will, than the flesh ; or when Christ hath the 
supremacy or sovereignty in the soul ; so that his interest prevaileth against the interest 
of the flesh. Try by this as an infallible mark of grace. 


ly subject to Christ alone ? Hath he the highest room in thy heart 
and affections ; so that though thou canst not love him as thou 
wouldst, yet nothing else is loved so much ? Hast thou made a 
hearty covenant * to this end with him ; and delivered up thyself 
accordingly to him ; and takest thyself for his and not thine own ? 
Is it thy utmost care and watchful endeavour, that thou mayst be 
found faithful in this covenant ; and though thou fall into sin, yet 
wouldst not renounce thy bargain, nor change thy Lord, nor give 
up thyself to any other government, for all the world ? If this be 
truly thy case, thou art one of these people of God w hich my text 
speaks of ; and as sure as the promise of God is true, this blessed 
rest remains for thee. Only see thou abide in Christ, and continue to 
the end ; for if any draw back, his soul will have no pleasure in them. 
But if all this be contrary with thee, or if no such work be found 
within thee, but thy soul be a stranger to all this, and thy con- 
science tell thee, it is none of thy case ; the Lord have mercy on thy 
soul, and open thine eyes, and do this great work upon thee, and 
by his mighty power overcome thy resistance : for f in the case 
thou art in, there is no hope. Whatever thy deceived heart may 
think, or how strong soever thy false hopes be, or though now a 
little w'hile thou flatter thy soul in confidence and security ; yet 
wilt thou shortly find to thy cost, except thy thorough conversion 
do prevent it, that thou art none of these people of God, and the 
rest of the saints belongs not to thee. Thy dying hour draws near 
apace, and so doth that great day of separation, when God will 
make an everlasting difference between his people and his enemies : 
then woe, and for ever w^oe to thee, if thou be found in the state 
that thou art now in, Deut. xxxii. 25. Thy own tongue will then 
proclaim thy woe, w ith a thousand times more dolour and vehe- 
mence, than mine can possibly do it now. Oh that thou wert wise 
to consider this, and that thou wouldst remember thy latter end ! 
That yet while thy soul is in thy body, and a price in thy hand, 
and day-light, and opportunity, and hope, before thee, thine ears 
might be open to instruction, and thy heart might yield to the 
persuasions of God ; and thou mightest bend all the powers of thy 
soul about this great work ; that so thou mightest rest among his 
people, and enjoy the inheritance of the saints in light ! And thus 
I have showed you who these people of God are. 
Why called the Sect. VII. And why are they called the people 

people of God. ^f Qq^ 7 You may easily from what is said dis- 
cern the reasons. 

, „ , . 1. They are the people whom he hath chosen to 

1. By election. , . -ir r . ■. 

himself from eternity. 
2. Special redemp- 2. And whom Christ hath redeemed with an 
tion. absolute intent of saving them ; which cannot be 

said of any other. 

* "Whether thy infant baptism will serve or no, I am assured thy infant covenant will 
not now serve thy turn ; but tliou must actually enter covenant in thy own person. 
John XV. 4— G ; Matt. xxiv. 13 ; Heb. x. 38, 39. 

t I speak not this to the dark and clouded Christian, who cannot discern tliat which 
is indeed within him. 


^ - ., . . 3. Whom hfi hath also renewed by the power of 

3. Likeness to him. i . , i ,i - ii ^ 

his grace, and made them m some sort like to 
himself, stamping his own image on them, and making them holy, 
as he is holy, 1 Pet. i. 10. 
. ,. ,, 4. They are those whom he emhraceth with a 

4. Mutuallove. t i i i • i i • i n 

peculiar love, and do again love him above all. 

5. Mutual cove- 5. They are entered into a strict and mutual 

nantiug. covenant, wherein it is agreed for the Lord to be 

their God, and they to be his people. 
... , . 6. They are brought into near relation to him, 

G. Near relation. ^ i i • ^ i • i ii i 

even to be his servants, his sons, and the members 
and spouse of his Son. 

7. Future cohabit- 7. And lastly, they must live with him for ever, 
^''on- and be perfectly blessed in enjoying his love, and 

beholding his glory. And I think these are reasons sufficient, why 
they peculiarly should be called his people. 


And thus I have explained to you the subject of my text ; and 
showed you darkly, and in part, what this rest is ; and briefly who 
are this people of God. Oh that the Lord would now open your 
eyes, and your hearts, to discern and be affected with the glory re- 
vealed ! that he would take off your hearts from these dunghill 
delights, and ravish them with the views of these everlasting plea- 
sures ! that he would bring you into the state of this holy and 
heavenly people, for whom alone this rest remaineth ! that you 
would exactly try yourselves by the foregoing description ! that no 
soul of you might be so damnably deluded, as to take your natural 
or acquired parts for the characters of a saint ! Oh happy and 
thrice happy you, if these sermons might have such success with 
your souls, that so you might die the death of the righteous, and 
your last end might be like his ! For this blessed issue, as I here 
gladly wait upon you in preaching, so will I also wait upon the 
Lord in praying. 






Confirmation from Sect. I. We are next to proceed to the con- 

other Scriptures. firmation of this truth, which, though it may seem 
needless in regard of its own clearness and certainty, yet in regard 
of our distance and infidelity nothing more necessary : but, you 
will say, to whom will this endeavour be useful ? They who believe 
the Scriptures are convinced already ; and for those who believe it 
not, how will you convince them ? Answ. But sad experience tells. 
The truth confirmed that those that believe, do believe but in part, 
from other Scrip- and, therefore, have need of further confirmation ; 
*"'^*^- and, doubtless, God hath left us arguments suffi- 

cient to convince unbelievers themselves, or else how should we 
preach to pagans ; or what should we say to the greatest part of 
the world, that acknowledge not the Scriptures ? Doubtless the 
gospel should be preached to them ; and though we have not the 
gift of miracles to convince them of the truth, as the apostles 
had, yet we have arguments demonstrative and clear, or else our 
preaching would be in vain ; we having nothing left but bare 

Though I have all along confirmed sufficiently by testimony of 
Scripture what I have said, yet I will here briefly add thus much 
more, that the Scripture doth clearly assert this truth in these 
six ways. 

1 Affi in the ^' ^^ affirms, that this rest is fore-ordained for 

saints to have been the saints, and the saints also fore-ordained to it. 
predestinated to this « God is not ashamed to be called their God, for 
he hath prepared for them a city," Heb. xi. 16. 
" Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived, what God 
hath prepared for them that love him," 1 Cor. ii. 9. Which I 
conceive must be meant of these preparations in heaven ; for those 
on earth are both seen and conceived, or else how are they enjoyed ? 
To sit on Christ's right and left hand in his kingdom, shall be 
given to them for whom it is prepared, Matt. xx. 23. And them- 
selves are called " vessels of mercy, before prepared unto glory," 
Rom. ix. 23. And in Christ we have obtained the inheritance, 
"being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who 


worketh all things after the counsel of his own will," Eph. i. 11. 
" And whom he thus predcstinateth, them he glorifieth," Rom. 
viii. 30 ; " For he hath, from the heginning, chosen them to salva- 
tion, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth," 
2 Thess. ii. 13. 

And though the intentions of the unwise and weak may be 
frustrated, and " without counsel purposes are disappointed," Prov. 
XV. 22 ; yet " the thoughts of the Lord shall surely come to pass ; 
and as he hath purposed it shall stand," Isa. xiv. 24. " The 
counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, and the thoughts of his 
heart to all generations," therefore, " blessed are they whose God 
is the Lord, and the people whom he hath chosen for his own in- 
heritance," Psal. xxxiii. 11, 12. Who can bereave his people of 
that rest which is designed them by God's eternal purpose ? 

Sect. IL Secondly: The Scripture tells us that 2. That it is procured 
this rest is purchased, as well as purposed for for them by the blood 
them ; or that they are redeemed to this rest. In "^ Chnst. 
what sense this may be said to be purchased by Christ, I have 
showed before, viz. not as the immediate work of his suflferings, 
which was the immediate payment of our debt, by satisfying the 
law, but as a more remote, though most excellent fruit ; even the 
effect of that power, which by his death he procured to himself. He 
himself, for the suffering of death, was crowned with glory, yet 
did he not properly die for himself, nor was that the direct effect 
"of his death. Some of those teachers who are gone forth of late, 
do tell us, as a piece of their new discoveries, that Christ never 
purchased life and salvation for us, but purchased us to life and 
salvation : * not understanding that they affirm and deny the same 
thing in several expressions. What difference is there betwixt 
buying liberty to the prisoner, and buying the prisoner to liberty ? 
betwixt buying life to a condemned malefactor, and buying him to 
life ? or betwixt purchasing reconciliation to an enemy, and pur- 
chasing an enemy to reconciliation !" but in this last they have 
found a difference, and tell us that God never was at enmity with 
man, but man at enmity with God, and therefore need not be re- 
conciled : directly contrary to Scripture, which tells us that God 
hateth all the workers of iniquity, and that he is their enemy, 
Exod. xxiii. 22; Psal. xi. 5; v. 5 ; Isa. Ixiii. 10; Lam. ii. 5: and 
though there be no change in God, nor any thing properly called 
hatred, yet it sufficeth that there is a change in the sinner's rela- 
tion, and that there is something in God which cannot better be 
expressed or conceived than by these terms of enmity and hatred : 
and the enmity of the law against a sinner, may well be called the 
enmity of God. However, this differenceth betwixt enmity in 
God, and enmity in us ; but not betwixt the sense of the foremen- 
tioned expressions : so that whether you will call it purchasing life 
for us, or purchasing us to life, the sense is the same, viz. by satis- 
fying the law, and removing impediments, to procure us the title and 
possession of this life. 
* I confess the latter is the more proper expression, and oftener used in the Scriptures. 


It is, then, by the " blood of Jesus that we have entrance into 
the holiest," Heb. x. 19 ; even all our entrance to the fruition of 
God, both that by faith and prayer here, and that by full possession 
hereafter. Therefore do the saints sing forth his praises, " who 
hath redeemed them out of every nation by his blood, and made 
them kings and priests to God," Rev. v. 10. 

Whether that e»s cnrokvTpwaiv Tj^9 7r£/}t7rot)Jo6w?, in Eph. i. 14, which 
is translated " the redemption of the purchased possession," do 
prove this or not ; yet I see no appearance of truth in their expo- 
sition of it, who, because they deny that salvation is purchased by 
Christ, do affirm that it is Christ himself who is there called the 
purchased possession. Therefore did God give his Son, and the 
Son give his life, and therefore was Christ lifted up on the cross, 
" as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life," John 
iii, 15, 16. So, then, I conclude either Christ must lose his blood 
and suiferings, and " never see of the travail of his soul," Isa. liii. 
11, but all his pains and expectation be frustrate, or else there re- 
maineth a rest to the people of God. 

3. It is promised to Sect. III. Thirdly: And as this rest is pur- 
them. chased for us, so is it also promised to us ; as the 

firmament with the stars, so are the sacred pages bespangled with 
the frequent intermixture of these Divine engagements. Christ 
hath told us that " it is his will, that those who are given to him 
should be where he is, that they may behold the glory which is 
given him of the Father," John xvii. 24 : so also, " Fear not, little 
flock ; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," 
Luke xii. 32 ; q. d. fear not all your enemy's rage, fear not all your 
own unworthiness, doubt not of the certainty of the gift ; for it is 
grounded upon the good pleasure of your Father. " I appoint to 
you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me a kingdom, 
that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom," Luke xxii. 
29. But because I will not be tedious in the needless confirming 
of an acknowledged truth, I refer you to the places here cited, 
2 Thess. i. 7; Heb. iv. 1, 3; Matt. xxv. 34; xiii. 43; 2 Tim. iv. 
18 ; James ii. 5 ; 2 Pet. i. 11 ; 2 Thess. i. 5 ; Acts xiv. 22 ; Luke 
vi. 20; xiii. 28, 29; 1 Thess. ii. 12; Matt. v. 12; Mark x. 21 ; 
xii. 25 ; 1 Pet. i. 4; Heb. x. 34 ; xii. 23; Col. i. 5; Phil. iii. 20; 
Heb. xi. 16; Eph. i. 20 ; 1 Cor. xv.; Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, &c. 

Sect. IV. Fourthly : All the means of grace, 
motTot"?owardrl and all the workings of the Spirit upon the soul, 
do prove that there and all the gracious actions of the saints, are so 
is such an end. ^^^^ evident mediums to prove that there re- 

maineth a rest to the people of God. If it be an undeniable 
maxim that God and nature do nothing in vain, then it is as true 
of God and his grace. All these means and motions imply some 
end to which they tend, or else they cannot be called means, nor 
are they the motions of wisdom or reason : and no lower end than 
this " rest" can be imagined. God would never have commanded 
his people to repent and believe, to fast and pray, to knock and 


seek, and that continually, to read and study, to confer and medi- 
tate, to strive and labour, to run and light, and all this to no pur- 
pose. Nor would the Spirit of (iod work them to this, and create 
in them a supernatural power, and enable them and excite them to 
a constant performance, were it not for this end whereto it leads us. 
Nor could the saints reasonably attempt such euiploynients, nor 
yet undergo so heavy sufferings, were it not for this desirable end. 
But whatsoever the folly of man might do, certainly Divine wisdom 
cannot be guilty of setting to work such fruitless motions. There- 
fore, whatever I read of duty required, whenever I find the grace 
bestowed, I take it as so many promises of rest. The Spirit would 
never kindle in us such strong desires after heaven, nor such a love 
to Jesus Christ, if we should not receive that which we desire and 
love. He that sets our feet in the way of peace will, undoubtedly, 
bring us to the end of peace, Luke i. 79. How nearly are the 
means and end conjoined ! Matt. xi. 12, " The kingdom of heaven 
suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force ;" or, as Luke 
xvi. 10, " every man presseth into it:" so that the violent appre- 
hends the kingdom.* Those whom he causeth to follow him in the 
regeneration, he will sure provide them thrones of judgment, 
Matt. xix. 28. 

5. So do (he begin- Sect. V. Fifthly : Scripture further assures us 
nings, foretastes, that the saints have the beginnings, foretastes, 
earnests, and seals, gamests, and seals of this rcst here : and may not 
all this assure them of the full possession ? The very kingdom of 
God is within them, Luke xvii. 21. They here, as is before said, 
take it by force, they have a beginning of that knowledge which 
Christ hath said is eternal life, John xvii. 3. I have fully mani- 
fested that before, that the rest and glory of the people of God 
doth consist in their knowing, loving, rejoicing, .md praising ; and 
all these are begun, though but begun, here : therefore, doubtless, 
so much as we here know of God, so much as we love, rejoice, and 
praise, so much we have of heaven on earth, so much we enjoy of 
the rest of souls. And do you think that God will give the begin- 
ning where he never intends to give the end ? Nay, God doth give 
his people oftentimes such foresights and foretastes of this same 
rest, that their spirits are even transported with it, and they could 
heartily wish they might be present there. Paul is taken up into 
the third heaven, and seeth things that must not be uttered. The 
saints are kept by the power of God through faith unto that salva- 
tion, ready to be revealed in the last time, wherein they can greatly 
rejoice, even in temptations, 1 Pet. i. 5, G : and therefore the apos- 
tle also tells us, that they who now see not Christ, nor ever saw 
him, yet love him, and believing do rejoice in him with joy un- 
speakable and full of glory ; receiving the end of their faith, the 
salvation of their souls, I Pet. i. 8, 9. Observe here, first, how 

* Mr. Burroughs thinks this is meant of the violence of persecution, but Luke's 
phrase confutcth that : the sense is, that the door being now set open, he that will crowd 
in first, doth get possession ; as the crowd or common people did, while the rulers that 
pretended to the chief title, stood without the dooi-s, or by unbelief refused to enter. 


God gives his people this foretasting joy : secondly, how this joy is 
said to be full of glory, and therefore must needs be a beginning of 
the glory : thirdly, how immediately upon this there follows " re- 
ceiving the end of their faith, the salvation of the soul." And Paul 
also brings in the justified " rejoicing in hope of the glory of God," 
Rom. v. 2. And I doubt not, but some poor Christians among us, 
who have little to boast of appearing without, have often these fore- 
tastes in their souls. And do you think that God will tantalize his 
people ? Will he give them the first-fruits and not the crop ? 
Doth he show them glory to set them a longing, and then deny the 
actual fruition ? Or doth he lift them up so near this rest, and give 
them such rejoicings in it, and yet never bestow it on them ? It 
cannot be. Nay, doth he give them the " earnest of the inherit- 
ance," Eph. i. 14; and " seal them with the Holy Spirit of pro- 
mise," Eph. i. 13 ; and yet will he deny the full possession ? These 
absurdities may not be charged on an ordinary man, much less on 
the faithful and righteous God. 

6. Some have enter- Sect. VI. Sixthly, and lastly : The Scripture 
ed it already. mentioneth particularly and by name, those who 
entered into this rest, as Enoch, who was taken up to God. So 
Abraham, Lazarus, and the thief that was crucified with Christ, 
&c. And if there be a rest for these, sure there is a rest for all 
believers. But it is vain to heap up Scripture proof, seeing it is the 
very end of the Scripture, to be a guide to lead us to this blessed 
state, and to discover it to us, and persuade us to seek it in the 
prescribed way, and to acquaint us with the hinderances that would 
keep us from it, and to be the charter and grant by which we hold 
all our title to it. So that our rest, and thereby God's glory, is, to 
the Scripture, as the end is to the way, which is frequently expressed 
and implied through the whole. There is no one that doubts of 
the certainty of this promised glory, but only they that doubt of the 
truth of the Scripture, or else know not what it containeth. And 
because I find that most temptations are resolved into this, and that 
there is so much unbelief even in true believers, and that the truth 
and strength of our belief of Scripture hath an exceeding great in- 
fluence into all our graces, I shall briefly say something for your 
confirmation in this. 



Sect. I. Thus much may suffice where the Scripture is believed, 
to confirm the truth of the point in hand, viz. the certain futurity 
of the saints' rest. And for pagans and infidels who believe not 
Scripture, it is besides the intention of this discourse to endeavour 


their conviction, I am eniloavourin<^ the consolation and edification 
of saints, and not the information and conversion of pagans. Yet 
do I acknowledge the subject exceeding necessary, even to the 
saints themselves ; for Satan's assaults are oft made at the founda- 
tion ; and if he can porsuade them to question the verity of Scrip- 
ture, they will soon cast away their hopes of heaven. 

15ut if I should here enter upon that task, to prove that Scripture 
to be the infallible word of God, I should make too broad a digres- 
sion, and set upon a work as large as that, for the sake whereof I 
should undertake it ; neither am I insensible of how great difficulty 
it would prove to manage it satisfactorily, and how much more than 
my ability is thereto requisite. 

Yet, lest the tempted Christian should have no relief, nor any 
argument at hand against the temptation, I will here lay down some 
few, not intending it as a full resolution of that great question, but 
as a competent help to the weak, that have no time nor ability to 
read larger volumes. And I the rather am induced to it, because 
the success of all the rest that I have written depends upon this ; 
no man will love, desire, study, labour for that which he believeth 
not to be attainable. And in such supernatural points, we must 
first apprehend the truth of the revelation, before we can well be- 
lieve the truth of the thing revealed. And I desire the Lord to 
persuade the hearts of some of his choicest servants in these times, 
whom he hath best furnished for such a work, to undertake the 
complete handling of it ; to persuade them to which, I will here 
annex, first, some considerations, which also are the reasons of this 
brief attempt of my own, and may also serve to persuade all minis- 
ters to bestow a little more pains, in a seasonable grounding their 
hearers in this so great and needful a point, by a more frequent and 
clear discovery of the verity of the Scripture, though some, that 
know not what they say, may tell them that it is needless.* 

1 , Of what exceeding great necessity is it to the salvation of our- 
selves and hearers, to be soundly persuaded of the truth of Scrip- 
ture ! As God's own veracity is the prime foundation of our faith, 
from which particular axioms receive their verity, so the Scripture 
is the principal foundation quoad patrefaciionem, revealing to us 
what is of God, without which revelation it is impossible to believe. 
And should not the foundation be both timely and soundly laid ? 

2. The learned divines of these latter times have, in most points 
of doctrine, done better than any, since the apostles, before them ; 
and have much advantaged the church thereby, and advanced 
sacred knowledge. And should we not endeavour it in this point 
if possible above all, when yet the ancients were more frequent 
and full in it, for the most part, than we ? I know there are many 
excellent treatises already extant on this subject, and such as I 
doubt not may convince gainsayers, and much strengthen the 
weak ; but yet, doubtless, much more may be done for the clearing 
this weighty and needful point. Our great divines have said almost 

* I have since written a supplement to this second part, called " The Unreasonable- 
ness of Infidelity." 


as much against papists in this, as need to be said, especially Cha- 
mier, and our Robert Baronius, Whitaker, Reignoldus, &c. But 
is not most of their industry there bestowed, while they put oiF the 
atheist, the Jew, and other infidels, with a few pages or none ? 
And so the great master-sin of infidelity in the souls of men, 
whereof the best Christians have too great a share, is much neg- 
lected, and the very greatest matter of all overlooked. Grotius, 
Morney, and Camero, above others, have done well ; but if God 
would stir them up to this work, I doubt not but some, by the 
help of all foregoers, and especially improving antiquities, might 
do it more completely than any have yet done ; which I think 
would be as acceptable a piece of service to the church as ever by 
human industry was performed. 

3. And I fear the course that too many divines take this way, 
by resolving all into the testimony of the Spirit, in a mistaken 
sense, hath much wronged the Scripture and church of God, and 
much hardened pagans and atheists against the truth. I know 
that the illumination of the Spirit is necessary : a special illumina- 
tion for the begetting of a special saving belief, and a common il- 
lumination for a common belief. But this is not so properly called 
the testimony of the Spirit : the use of this is to open our eyes to 
see that evidence of Scripture verity which is already extant ; and 
as to remove our blindness, so by further sanctifying, to remove 
our natural enmity to the truth, and prejudice against it, which 
is no small hinderance to the believing of it ; for all the hinderance 
lieth not in the bare intellect. 

But it is another kind of testimony than this, which many great 
divines resolve their faith into : for when the question is of the ob- 
jective cause of faith, how know you Scripture to be the word of 
God ; or v/hy do you believe it so to be ? they finally conclude, 
by the testimony of the Spirit : but the Spirit's illumination being 
only the eflicient cause of our discerning, and the question being 
only of the objective cause or evidence, they must needs mean some 
testimony besides illuminating, sanctifying grace, or else not un- 
derstand themselves : and, therefore, even great Chamier calleth 
this testimony the word of God, and likens it to the revelations 
made to the prophets and apostles, dangerously, I think. Tom. iii. 
lib. 13. c. 17. To imagine a necessity, first, either of an internal 
proper testimony, which is nrgnmetitmn inartificiale , as if the 
Spirit, as another person, spoke this truth within me. The Scrip- 
ture is God's word ; or, secondly, of the Spirit's propounding that 
objective evidence internally in the soul, which is necessary to per- 
suade by an artificial argument, without propounding it first ah 
extra ; thirdly, or for the Spirit to infuse or create in a man's 
mind an actual persuasion that Scripture is God's word, the person 
not knowing how he is so persuaded, nor why ; or of any the like 
immediate injection of the intelligible species : I say, to aflfirm that 
the Scriptures cannot be known to be God's word, without such a 
testimony of the Spirit as some of these, is, in my judgment, a 
justifying men in their infidelity, and a telling them that there is 


not yet extant any sufficient evidence of Scripture truth, till the 
Spirit create it in ourselves, and. withal, to leave it inipossihle to 
produce any evidence for the conviction of an unbeliever, who can- 
not know the testimony of the Spirit in me : and, indeed, it is 
direct expectation of enthusiasm, and that is ordinary to every 
Christian. And it also infers that all men have the testimony of 
the Spirit, who believe the Scriptures to be God's word, which 
would delude many natural men, who f(>el that they do believe this, 
though some unsoundly tell us that an unregenerate man cannot 
believe it. I know that, savingly, he cannot ; but undissemblingly, 
as the devil does, he may. But I leave this point, referring the 
reader that understands them, for full satisfaction about the nature 
of the Spirit's testimony, to learned Robert Baronius, Apol. con. 
Turnebullum, p. 733 ; and also to judicious Amyraldus, Thes. de 
Testim. Spir. in Thes. Salmuriens, vol. i. p. 122 : in both whom 
it is most solidly handled. 

4. Doubtless, the first and chief work of preachers of the gos- 
pel, is to endeavour the conversion of pagans and infidels, where 
men live within their reach, and have opportunity to do it. And 
we all believe that the Jews shall be brought in ; and it must be 
by means. And how shall all this be done, if we cannot prove to 
them the Divine authority of what we have to say to them, but 
naked affirmation ? Or, how shall we maintain the credit of Chris- 
tianity, if we be put to dispute the case with an infidel ? I know 
somewhat may be done by tradition where Scripture is not ; but 
that is a more weak, uncertain means : I know also that the first 
truths, and those that are known by the light of nature, may be 
evinced by natural demonstrations : and when we deal with pagans, 
there we must begin. But for all supernatural truth, how shall we 
prove that to them, but by proving first the certainty of the revela- 
tion ? As Aquinas, ut in marg.* To tell them that the Spirit 
testifieth it, is no means to convince them that have not the Spirit. 
And if they have the Spirit already, then what need we preach to 
convince them ? If the word must be mixed with faith in them 
that hear it, before it profit them further to salvation ; then we can- 
not expect to find the Spirit in infidels. He that thinks an unholy 
person may not believe the Scriptures to be the word of God, doth 
not sure think that they may go so much further as our divines 
and the Scripture tell us they may do. 

And to tell an infidel that it is pjincipium indemonstrahile, that 
Scripture is God's word, and that it is to be believed, and not to 
be proved, as if the very revelation. Hoc esse iestiinonium dirinum, 
and not only the thing testified. Hoc esse verum, were not ohjectum 
scienlia, sed pura Jidei. This might sooner harden infidels, than 
convince them. Sure I am, that both Christ and his apostles used 
sufficient, in suo (jenere, convincing arguments to persuade men to 
believe, and dealt with men as rational creatures. Truly, saith 
Hooker, " It is not a thing impossible, nor greatly hard, even by 
such kind of proofs, so to manifest and clear that point, that no 

* See also the Act of the Conference at Paris, 156'), July in the bearinning. 


man living shall be able to deny it, without denying some apparent 
principle, such as all men acknowledge to be true. And Scripture 
teacheth us that saving truth, which God hath discovered to the 
world by revelation ; but it presumeth us taught otherwise, that it- 
self is divine and sacred. And these things we believe, knowing 
by reason, that Scripture is the word of God." Again, saith he, 
"It is not required, nor can be exacted at our hands, that we 
should yield it any other assent, than such as doth answer the evi- 
dence." Again, " How bold and confident soever we "may be in 
words, when it comes to the trial, such as the evidence is, which the 
truth hath, such is the assent ; nor can it be stronger, if grounded 
as it should be. 

5. Is not faith a rational act of a rational creature ? And so the 
understanding proceeds discursively in its production. And is not 
that the strongest faith which hath the strongest reasons to prove 
the testimony to be valid upon which it resteth, and the clearest 
apprehension and use of those reasons ? and the truest faith which 
hath the truest reasons truly apprehended and used ? And must 
not that, on the contrary, be weak or false faith, which receives 
the verity and validity of the testimony from weak or false grounds, 
though the testimony, of itself, be the truest in the world ? Our 
divines use to say, concerning love to Christ, that it is not to be 
measured by the degree of fervour so much as by the grounds and 
motives ; so that if a man should love Christ upon the same reason 
as the Turk loves Mahomet, it were no true love : if he love him 
upon false grounds, it must needs be a false love ; and if upon 
common grounds, it can be but a common love. I will not con- 
clude, that to believe in Jesus Christ upon the grounds that a Turk 
believes in Mahomet, or to believe Scripture upon the same 
reasons that the Turks believe the Alcoran, is no true faith, sup- 
posing that both have the like verity of their reasons ; but at best, 
it must be more weak and doubtful. 

6. Are the generality of Christians able to give any better than 
some such common reason, to prove the verity of Scripture ? nay, are 
the more exercised, understanding sorts of Christians able by sound 
arguments to make it good, if an enemy or a temptation put them 
to it ? nay, are the meaner sort of ministers in England able to do 
this ? Let them that have tried, judge. 

7. Can the superstructure be firm, where the foundation is 
sandy ? and can our affections and actions be sound and strong, 
when our belief of Scripture is unsound or infirm ? Sure this faith 
will have influence into all. For my own part, I take it to be the 
greatest cause of coldness in duty, weakness in grace, boldness in 
sinning, and unwillingness to die, &c. that our faith is either un- 
sound or infirm in this point ; few Christians among us, for aught 
I find, have any better than the popish implicit faith in this point, 
nor any better arguments than the papists have to prove Scripture 
the word of God. They have received it by tradition, godly minis- 
ters and Christians tell them so, it is impious to doubt of it, and 
therefore they believe it. And this worm, lying at the root. 


causeth the languishing and decay of the whole : yet it is usually 
undiscerned, for the root lieth secret under gi'ound. But I am apt 
to judge, that though the most complain of their uncertainty of sal- 
vation, through want of assurance of their own interest, and of the 
weakness of the applying act of faith ; yet the greater cause of all 
their sorrows, and that which shakes the whole building, is the 
weakness of their faith about the truth of Scripture ; though, per- 
haps, the other be more perceived, and this taken notice of by few. 
There may be great weakness and unsoundness of belief, where yet 
no doublings are perceived to stir. Therefore though we could 
persuade people to believe never so confidently, that Scripture is 
the very word of God, and yet teach them no more reason why 
they should believe this than any other book to be that word ; as 
it will prove in them no right way of believing, so is it in us no 
right way of teaching. 

8. There is many a one who feels his faith shake here, who 
never discovers it : to doubt of our evidence, is taken for no great 
disgrace, and therefore men more freely profess such doubts ; nay, 
and some, perhaps, who are not much troubled with them, because 
they would be thought to be humble Christians. But to question 
the truth of Scripture, is a reproachful blasphemy, and therefore 
all that are guilty here, speak not their doubts. 

9. Is not the greatest Ijattery by all sorts of enemies especially 
made against this foundation .' The first place that the papist 
assaults you in, is here ; How know you the Scripture to be the 
word of God ^ The Seekers will accost you with the like question ; 
How know you that your Scripture and your ministry is of God ? 
The Familists and libertines do spit their venom here : and some 
Christians, by experience, are able to testify, that Satan's tempta- 
tions are most violent here. Yea, and our own carnal, deluded 
reason is aptest of all to stumble here. 

They talk of a toleration of all religions, and some desire that 
the Jews may have free commerce amongst us : it will then be 
time for us, I think, to be well armed at this point. Let the ordi- 
nary professors of our time, who are of weak judgments and fiery 
spirits, look to it, how they will stand in such assaults : lest, as 
now, when they cannot answer a separatist, they yield to him ; and 
when they cannot answer an Antinomian, they turn Antinomians ; 
so, then, when they can much less answer the subtle arguments of 
a Jew against Christ and the gospel, they should as easily turn 
Jews, and deny Christ, and the verity of the gospel. 

The libertines among us think it necessary that we should have 
such a toleration to discover the unsound, who hold their faith 
upon tradition and custom. I am no more of their minds in this, 
than of his, who would have a fair virgin to lie with him, and try 
his chastity, and make its victory more honourable : but if we 
must needs have such a trial, it is time to look to the grounds of our 
belief, that we may be ready to give a reason of our hope. 

10. However, though I were mistaken in all this, yet certain I 
am, that the strengthening of our faith in the verity of Scripture, 


would be an exceeding help to the joy of the saints, and would 
advance their confident hopes of rest. For myself, if my faith in 
this point had no imperfection, if I did as verily believe the glory 
to come, as I do believe that the sun will rise again when it is set ; 
oh ! how would it raise my desires and my joys ; what haste should 
I make ; how serious should I be ; how should I trample on these 
earthly vanities, and even forget the things below ; how restless 
should I be till my right were assured to this rest ; and then, how 
restless till I did possess it ! how should I delight in the thought 
of death, and my heart leap at the tidings of its approach ! how 
glad should I be of the body's decay ; to feel my prison moulder 
to dust ! Surely, this would be the fruit of a perfect belief of the 
truth of the promise of our eternal rest ; which, though it cannot 
be here expected, yet should we use the most strengthening means, 
and press on till we have attained. " Truly," saith Mr. Pemble, 
(Vindic. Grat. p. 219,) " this loose and unsettled faith is one of the 
fiery darts and forcible engines of Satan, whereby he assaults and 
overthrows the hope and comfort of many a dying man ; who, 
having not strengthened himself on this point, by undoubted argu- 
ments and experiments, is there laid at where he lies open and un- 
armed, by such cunning cavils, shifts, and elusions against the 
authority of Scripture, that the poor man, not able to clear him- 
self of them, falls into a doubting of all religion, and sinks into 

Sect. II. Thus much I have purposely spoken, as to stir up 
Christians to look to their faith, so especially to provoke some 
choice servants of Christ, among the multitudes of books that are 
written, to bestow their labours on this most needful subject ; and 
all ministers to preach it more frequently and clearly to their peo- 
ple. Some think it is faith's honour to be as credulous as may be, 
and the weaker are the rational grounds, the stronger is the faith ; 
and therefore we must believe and not dispute. Indeed, when it is 
once known to be a Divine testimony, then the most credulous 
soul is the best. But when the doubt is, whether it be the testi- 
mony of God, or no, a man may easily be over-credulous ; else, 
why are we bid, " believe not every spirit, but try them, whether 
they be of God, or not." And how should the false Christs and 
false prophets be known, who would " deceive, were it possible, the 
very elect?" " To be given up of God to believe a lie," is one of 
the sorest of God's judgments. 

Some think the only way to deal with such temptations to blas- 
phemy, is to cast them away, and not to dispute them ; and I think 
the direction is very good, so it be used with distinction and cau- 
tion. The rule holds good against real blasphemy, known to be 
such; but if the person know it not, how shall he make use of this 
rule against it ? Further, it is supposed that he who knows it to 
be blasphemy, hath arguments whereby to prove it such ; else, how 
doth he know it ? Therefore, here lies the sin ; when a man is, by 
sufficient evidence, convinced, or, at least, hath evidence sufficient 
for conviction, that it is a Divine testimony, and yet is still cherish- 


ing doubts, or hearkening to temptations which may iced those 
doubts ; when a man, like lialaam, will take no answer. But he 
who will, therefore, cast away all doubts before he hath any argu- 
ments sufficient against them, or could ever prove the thing in 
question, he doth indeed cast aside the temptation, but not over- 
come it, and may expect it should shortly return again ; it is a 
methodical cure which prevents a relapse. Such a neglecter of 
temptations may be in the right, and may as well be in the wrong ; 
however, it is not right to him, because not rightly believed. 
Faith always implies a knowledge, and the knowledge usually of 
the matter and author of that testimony ; Divine faith hath ever a 
Divine* testimony, and supposeth the knowledge of the matter, 
when the faith is particular, but always of the author of that testi- 
mony. An implicit faith in God, that is, a believing that all is 
true which he testifieth, though we see no reason for it, from the 
evidence of the matter, this is necessary to every true believer : 
but to believe implicitly, that the testimony is Divine, or that 
Scripture is the word of God, this is not to believe God, but to 
resolve our faith into some human testimony ; even to lay our 
foundation upon the sand, where all will fall at the next assault. 

It is strange to consider how we all abhor that piece of popery, 
as most injurious to God of all the rest, which resolves our faith 
into the authority of the church : and yet that we do ; for the 
generality of professors content ourselves with the same kind of 
faith. Only with this difference : the papists believe Scripture to 
be the word of God, because their church saith so ; and we, because 
our church or our leaders say so. Yea, and many ministers never 
yet gave their people better grounds, but tell them, wdiich is true, 
that it is damnable to deny it, but help them not to the necessary 
antecedents of faith. 

If any think that these words tend to the shaking of men's faith, 
I answer, first, only of that which will fall of itself; secondly, and 
that it may, in time, be built again more strongly ; thirdly, or at 
least that the sound may be surer settled. It is to be understood 
that many a thousand do profess Christianity, and zealously hate 
the enemies thereof, upon the same grounds, to the same ends, and 
from the same inward, corrupt principles, as the Jews did hate and 
kill Christ. It is the religion of the country, where every man is 
reproached who believes otherwise ; they were born and brought 
up in this belief, and it hath increased in them upon the like occa- 
sions. Had they been born and bred in the religion of Mahomet, 
they would have been as zealous for him. The difference betwixt 
him and a Mahometan is more that he lives where better laws and 
religion dwell, than that he hath more knowledge or soundness of 

Yet would I not drive into causeless doubtings the soul of any 
true believers, or make them believe their faith is unsound, because 
it is not so strong as some others ; therefore I add, some may, per- 

Though some extend belief so far as to confound it with opinion. A natura ad 


steria, ab oculo ad oraculum, a "visu ad fidem, non ralet consequentia. 


haps, have ground for their belief, though they are not able to ex- 
press it by argumentation ; and may have arguments in their hearts 
to persuade themselves, though they have none in their mouths to 
persuade another ; yea, and those arguments in themselves may be 
solid and convincing. Some may be strengthened by some one 
sound argument, and yet be ignorant of all the rest, without over- 
throwing the truth of their faith. Some, also, may have weaker 
apprehensions of the Divine authority of Scripture than others ; and 
as weaker grounds for their faith, so a less degree of assent ; and 
yet that assent may be sincere and saving, so it have these two 
qualifications : 1. If the arguments which we have for beheving the 
Scripture, be in themselves more sufficient to convince of its truth, 
than any arguments of the enemies of Scripture can be to persuade 
a man to the contrary ; and do accordingly discover to us a high 
degree, at least, of probability. 2. x\nd if being thus far convinced, 
it prevails with us to choose this as the only way of life, and to ad- 
venture our souls upon this way, denying all other, and adhering, 
though to the loss of estate and life, to the truth of Christ thus 
weakly apprehended. This, I think, God will accept as true belief. 

But though such a faith may serve to salvation, yet when the 
Christian should use it for his consolation he will find it much fail 
him ; even as legs or arms of the weak or lame, which when a man 
should use them, do fail them according to the degrees of their 
weakness or lameness : so much doubting as there remains of the 
truth of the word, or so much weakness as there is in our believing, 
or so much darkness or uncertainty as there is in the evidence 
which persuades us to believe ; so much will be wanting to our 
love, desires, labours, adventures, and, especially, to our joys. 

Therefore I think it necessary to speak a little, and but a little, 
to fortify the believer against temptations, and to confirm his faith 
in the certain truth of that Scripture which contains the promises 
of this rest. 


Sect. I. And here it is necessary that we first distinguish be- 
twixt, 1, The subject matter of Scripture, or the doctrine which it 
contains ; 2. And the words or writings containing or expressing 
this doctrine. The one is as the blood, the other as the veins in 
which it runs. Secondly, we must distinguish betwixt, 1. The sub- 
stantial and fundamental part of Scripture doctrine, without which 
there is no salvation ; and, 2. The circumstantial and the less 
necessary part, as genealogies, successions, chronology, &c. 

Thirdly : Of the substantial, fundamental parts, I . Some may 
be known and proved, even without Scripture, as being written in 
nature itself. 2. Some can be known only by the assent of faith to 
Divine revelation. 

Fourthly : Of this last sort, I. Some things are above reason, as 


it is without Divine revelation, both in respect of their probability, 
existence, and futurity. 2. Others may be known by mere reason, 
without Divine testimony, in regard of their possibility and proba- 
bility, but not in regard of their existence and futurity. 

Fifthly : Again, matter of doctrine must be distinguished from 
matter of fact. 

Sixthly : Matter of fact is either, 1 . Such as God produceth in 
an ordinary, or, 2. Extraordinary and miraculous way. 

Seventhly : Ilistory and prophecy must be distinguished. 

Eighthly : We nuist distinguish also the books and writings 
tiiemselves: 1. ]5etwecn the main scope, and those parts which 
express the chief contents ; and, 2. Particular words and phrases 
not expressing any substantials. 

Ninthly : Also it is one question, 1. Whether there be a certain 
number of books which are canonical, or of Divine authority ? And, 
2. Another question, what number there is of these, and which par- 
ticular books they are ? 

Tenthly : The direct express sense must be distinguished fi'om 
that which is only implied or consequential. 

Eleventhly : We must distinguish revelation unwritten, from that 
which is written. 

Twelfthly and lastly : We must distinguish that scripture which 
was spoken or written by God immediately, from that which was 
spoken or written immediately by man, and but mediately by God. 
And of this sort, 1. Some of the instruments or penmen are known ; 
2. Some not known. Of those known, 1. Some that spoke much 
in Scripture were bad men ; 2. Others were godly : and of these, 
some were, 1. More eminent and extraordinary, as prophets and 
apostles ; 2. Others were persons more inferior and ordinary. 

Again ; As we must distinguish of Scripture and Divine testi- 
mony, so must we also distinguish the apprehension of faith by 
which we do receive it. 

1. There is a Divine faith, when we take the testimony to be 
God's own, and so believe the thing testified as upon God's words. 
Secondly, there is a human faith, when we believe it merely upon 
the credit of man. 

2. Faith is either, first, implicit, when we believe the thing is 
true, though we understand not what it is ; or, secondly, explicit, 
when we believe, and understand what we believe. Both these are, 
again. Divine or human. 

3. It is one thing to believe it as probable, another thing to be- 
lieve it as certain. 

4. It is one thing to believe it to be true conditionally, another 
to believe it absolutely. 

5. We must distinguish betwixt the bare assent of the un- 
derstanding, to the truth of an axiom, when it is only silenced by 
force of argument, which will be stronger or weaker as the argu- 
ment seemeth more or less demonstrative. And, secondly, that 
deep apprehension and firm assent which proceedeth from a well- 
established, confirmed faith backed by experience. 


6. It is one thing to assent to the truth of the axiom, another 
to taste and choose the good contained in it, which is the work of 
the will. 

Sect. II, The use I shall make of these distinc- 
tions, is to open the way to these following po- being a'metaphoi!°is 
sitions, which will resolve the great questions on to be banished dis- 
foot, how far the belief of the written word is of 1"^^^^^'^ ^''' "^- 
necessity to salvation, and whether it be the 
foundation of our faith, and whether this foundation hath been 
always the same ? 

Pos. 1. The object of belief, is the will of God revealed, or a 
Divine testimony, where two things are absolutely necessary : first, 
the matter ; secondly, the revelation.* 

* "We must, therefore, know it to be a Divine testimony, before we can believe it Jide 
divina. For if you do merely believe it to be God's word, it is either by a Divine testi- 
mony or without : if without, then it is not fides divina, a belief of God ; if by it, then 
why do you believe that testimony to be Divine ? If upon another Divine testimony, so 
you may run in infinitum. But you will say, the first testimony which witnesseth of 
truth doth also witness itself to be of God. Answ. If you mean, that it so witnesseth 
as a testimony to be merely believed, then the question, how you know it to be a Divine 
testimony, will still recur in infinitum ; but if you mean that it witnesseth itself to be 
Divine objectively to our reason, as having the evidence of a Divine spirit and authority, 
then you say right. But, then, as this supposeth the use of other helps to our know- 
ledge, as tradition by human, infallible testimony, &c. so this granteth that it is more 
properly known than believed to be a Divine testimony. Yet this is not our resolving 
our faith into reason or human testimony, but a discerning by reasoij and the help of 
human testimony the marks of a Divine author in the writing, and the miracles, &c. ; 
and thence also by reason concluding the divineness of that testimony into which my 
faith is resolved. As I detest their use of tradition, which would make it a part of 
God's law, to supply the defect of Scripture ; so I detest that infidelity, which rejecteth 
all Scripture, save that which suiteth their reason, and where they can see the evidence 
of the thing itself. If I once know that God speaks it, I will believe any thing that he 
saith, though it seem never so unreasonable ; but yet I will see reason for the divineness 
of the testimony, and know that it is indeed God that speaks it, else I must believe every 
testimony which affirms itself to be Divine : and for those that say they only believe 
Scripture to be God's word, because it so testifieth of itself, and do not know it, and so 
make it a proper act of faith, and not of knowledge, I ask them, 1. Why, then, do you 
not believe (but hold him accursed) an angel from heaven, if he preach another gospel 
besides this, and say. It is from God ; and so every one that saith, I am Christ 1 2. Why 
do you use to produce reasons from the objective characters of divinity in the Scriptures, 
when you prove it to testify of itself! Do you not know, that to discern those characters 
as the premises, and thence to conclude the divinity, is an act of knowledge, and not of 
faith 1 Else you should only say, when you are asked, how you know Scripture to be 
the word of God, that you believe it, because it saith so, and not give any reason from 
the thing why you believe it. 3. And then how will you prove it against a Celsus, or 
Lucian, or Porphyry, or convince Turks and Indians 1 4. And why were the Bereans 
commended for trying apostolical doctrine, whether it were true or not^ 5. And why 
are we bid to try the spirits whether they be of God *? What if one of these spirits say 
as the old prophet, or as Rabshakeh to Hezekiah, " that he comes from God, and God 
bid him speak," will you believe, or try by reason 1 6. Doth not your doctrine make 
your belief to be wholly human, as having no Divine testimony for the divinity of the 
first testimony 1 and so what are all your graces like to prove which are built hereon 1 
And what a sad influence must this needs have into all our duties and comforts ! If 
you fly to the inward testimony of the Spirit, (as distinct from the sanctifying illumi- 
nation of the Spirit,) then the question is most difficult of all, How you know the testi- 
mony of that Spirit to be Divine 1 Unless you will take in the fearful delusion of the 
enthusiasts, and say. That the Spirit manifesteth the divinity of his own testimony. 
And then I ask. Doth it manifest it to reason 1 or only to inward sense 1 If to reason, 
.then you come to that you fly from ; and then you can produce that reason, and prove 
it. If only to inward sense, then how know you but a counterfeit angel of light may 
produce more strange effects in your soul, than these which you take to be such a 
manifestation'! Especially seeing, (1.) We know so little of spirits, and what they can 


2. All this revealed will is necessary to the completing: of our 
faith ; and it is our duty to believe it. I5ut it is only the substance 
and tenor of the covenants, and the things necessarily supposed to 
the knowing and keeping of the covenant of grace, which are of 
absolute necessity to the being of faith, and to salvation. A man 
may be saved, though he should not believe many things, which yet 
he is bound by God to believe. 3. Yet this must be only through 
ignorance of the matter, or of the divineness of the testimony. 
For a flat unbelief of the smallest truth, when we know the testi- 
mony to be of God, will not stand with the being of true faith, nor 
with salvation. For reason lays down this ground, That God can 
speak nothing but truth ; and faith proceeds upon that supposition. 
4. This doctrine, so absolutely necessary, hath not been ever from 
the beginning the same, but hath differed according to the different 
covenants and administrations. That doctrine which is now so 
necessary, was not so before the fall ; and that which is so necessary 
since the coming of Christ, was not so before his coming. Then 
they might be saved in believing in the Messiah to come of the 
seed of David : but now it is of necessity to believe, that this 
Jesus, the Son of Mary, is He, and that we look not for another. 
I prove it thus : That which is not revealed, can be no object of 
our faith ; much less so necessary ; but Christ was not revealed be- 
fore the fall ; nor this Jesus revealed to be He, before his coming ; 
therefore these were not of necessity to be believed, or, as some 
metaphorically speak, they were then no fundamental doctrines. 
Perhaps, also, some things will be found of absolute necessity to 
us, which are not so to Indians and Turks. 5. God hath made 
this substance of Scripture doctrine to be thus necessary, primarily, 
and for itself. G. That it be revealed, is also of absolute necessity : 
but, secondarily, and for the doctrine's sake, as a means without 
which believing is neither possible, nor a duty. x\nd though where 

do. (2.) And we have still known those that pretended to the strangest sense of spi- 
ritual revelations, to have proved the most deluded persons in the end. 7. Doth not 
your doctrine teach men, in laying aside reason, to lay aside humanity, and to become 
brutes t If faith and reason be so contrary, as some men talk, yea, or reason so useless, 
then you may believe best in your sleep ; and idiots, infants, and madmen are the fittest 
to make Christians of. 8. And what an injurious doctrine is this to Christ ! and dis- 
graceful to the Christian faith ! 9. And how would it harden infidels, and make them 
deride us, rather than believe ! 

Thus much I am forced here to add, both because I see many teachers have need to 
be taught these principles (the more is the pity) ; and, 2. Because some reverend bre- 
thren by their exceptions have called me to it. In a word, reason rectified is the eye of 
the soul, the guide of the life ; the illumination of the spirit is the rectifying it. No 
small jiart of our sanctification lieth in the rectifying of our reason. The use of the 
word, and all ordinances and providences, is first to rectify reason, and thereby the will, 
and thereby the life. Faith itself is an act of reason ; or else it is a brutish act, and 
not human. The stronger any man's reason is, the stronglier is he persuaded that 
God is true, and that he cannot lie ; and therefore whatsoever he saith must needs be 
true, though reason cannot discern the thing in its own evidence. He that hath the 
Tightest reason, hath the most grace. Sincerity (and consequently our salvation) lieth 
in the strength and prevalency of rectified reason over the flesh, and all its interests 
and desires. But without Scripture or Divine revelation, and the Spirit's powerful 
illumination, reason can never be rectified in spirituals. By thus much, judge of the 
ignorance, and vanity of those men, who when they read any that write of the reason- 
ableness of Christian religion, do presently accuse it, or suspect it of Socinianism. 


there is no revelation, faith is not necessary as a duty ; yet it may 
be necessary, I think, as a means, that is, our natural misery may 
he such as can no other way he cured ; hut this concerns not us 
that have heard of Christ. 7. Nature, creatures, and Providence, 
are no sufficient revelation of this tenor of the covenants. 8. It is 
necessary not only that this doctrine he revealed, but also that it 
be revealed with grounds and arguments rationally sufficient to 
evince the verity of the doctrine, or the divineness of the testimony, 
that from it we may conclude the former. 9. The revelation of 
truth is to be considered in respect of the first immediate delivery 
from God : or, secondly, in respect of the way of its coming down 
to us, it is delivered by God immediately either by writing, as the 
two tables, or by informing angels, who may be his messengers, or 
by inspiring some choice, particular men ; so that few in the world 
have received it from God at the first hand. 10. The only ways 
of revelations that, for aught I know, are now left, are Scripture 
and tradition. For though God hath not tied himself from revela- 
tions by the Spirit, yet he hath ceased them, and perfected his 
Scripture revelations ; so that the Spirit only reveals what is re- 
vealed already in the word, by illuminating us to understand it. 
11. The more immediate the revelation, ceteris paribus, the more 
sure ; and the more succession of hands it passeth through, the 
more uncertain, especially in matter of doctrine. 12. When we 
receive from men, by tradition, the doctrine of God, as in the 
words of God, there is less danger of corruption, than when they 
deliver us that doctrine in their own words ; because here taking 
liberty to vary the expressions, it will represent the truth more un- 
certainly, and in more various shapes. 13. Therefore hath God 
been pleased, when he ceased immediate revelation, to leave his 
will written in a form of words which should be his standing law 
and rule to try all other men's expressions by. 14. In all the fore- 
mentioned respects, therefore, the written word doth excel the un- 
written tradition of the same doctrine. 15. Yet unwritten tradition, 
or any sure way of revealing this doctrine, may suffice to save him 
who thereby is brought to believe ; as if there be any among the 
Abassines of Ethiopia, the Coptics in Egypt, or elsewhere, that 
have the substance of the covenants delivered them by unwritten 
tradition, or by other writings, if hereby they come to believe, they 
shall be saved. For so the promise of the gospel runs, giving sal- 
vation to all that believe, by what means soever they were brought 
to it. The like may be said of true believers in those parts of the 
church of Rome, where the Scripture is wholly hid from the vulgar, 
if there be any such parts. IG, Yet where the written word is 
wanting, salvation must needs be more difficult and more rare, and 
faith more feeble, and men's conversations worse ordered, because 
they want that clearer revelation, that surer rule of faith and life, 
which might make the way of salvation more easy. 17. When 
tradition ariseth no higher, or cometh originally but from this 
written word, and not from the verbal testimonies of the apostles 
before the word was written^ there that tradition is but the preach- 


ing of the word, and not a distinct way of revealing. IH. Such is 
most of the tradition, for aught I can h^irn, that is now on foot in 
the world, for matter of doctrine, but not for matter of fact. H). 
'I'herefore the Scriptures are not only necessary to the well-being 
of the church, and to the strength of faith, but, ordinarily, to the 
very being of faith and churches. 20. Not that the present posses- 
sion of Scripture is of absolute necessity to the present being of a 
church ; nor that it is so absolutely necessary to every man's salva- 
tion, that he read or know this Scripture himself; but that it 
either be at present, or have been formerly in the church : that 
some knowing it, may teach it to others, is of absolute necessity 
to most persons and churches, and necessary to the well-being of 
all. 21. Though negative unbelief of the authority of Scripture 
may stand with salvation, yet positive and universal, I think, can- 
not : or, though tradition may save where Scripture is not known, 
yet he that reads or hears the Scripture, and will not believe it to 
be the testimony of God, I think, cannot be saved, because this is 
now the clearest and surest revelation ; and he that will not be- 
lieve it, will much less believe a revelation more uncertain and 
obscure. 22. Though all Scripture be of Divine authority, yet 
he that believeth but some one book, which containeth the sub- 
stance of the doctrine of salvation, may be saved ; much more they 
that have doubted but of some particular books. 23, They that 
take the Scripture to be but the writings of godly, honest men, and 
so to be only a means of making known Christ, having a gradual 
precedency to the writings of other godly men, and do believe in 
Christ upon those strong grounds which are drawn from his doc- 
trine, miracles, &c. rather than upon the testimony of the writing, 
as being purely infallible and Divine, may yet have a Divine and 
saving faith. 24. Much more, those that believe the whole writing 
to be of Divine inspiration where it handleth the susbtanoe, but 
doubt whether God infallibly guided them in every circumstance, 
25. And yet more, those that believe that the Spirit did guide the 
writers to truth, both in substance and circumstance, but doubt 
whether he guided them in orthography ; or whether their pens were 
as perfectly guided as their minds. 26. And yet more, may those 
have saving faith, who only doubt whether Providence infallibly 
guided any transcribers, or printers, as to retain any copy that 
perfectly agreeth with the autograph : yea, whether the perfectest 
copy now extant may not have some inconsiderable literal or verbal 
errors, through the transcribers' or printers' oversight, is of no 
great moment, as long as it is certain, that the Scriptures are not 
de industria corrupted, nor any material doctrine, history, or pro- 
phecy thereby obscured or depraved. God hath not engaged him- 
self to direct every printer to the world's end, to do his work with- 
out any error. Yet it is unlikely that this should deprave all copies, 
or leave us uncertain wholly of the right reading, especially since 
copies were multiplied, because it is unlikely that all transcribers, 
or printers, will commit the very same error. We know the true 
copies of our statute books, though the printer be not guided by an 


unerring spirit. See Usher's Epistle to Lud. Capell. 27. Yet do 
all, or most of these, in my judgment, cast away a singular prop to 
their faith, and lay it open to dangerous assaults, and douht of that 
which is a certain truth. 28. As the translations are no further 
Scripture, than they agree with the copies in the original tongues ; 
so neither are those copies further than they agree with the 
autographs, or original copies, or with some copies perused and ap- 
proved by the apostles. 29. Yet is there not the like necessity of 
having the autographs to try the transcripts by, as there is of 
having the original transcripts to try the translations by. For 
there is an impossibility that any translation should perfectly ex- 
press the sense of the original. But there is a possibility, proba- 
bility, and facility, of true transcribing, and grounds to prove it 
true, de facto, as we shall touch anon. 30. That part which was 
written by the finger of God, as also the substance of doctrine 
through the whole Scriptures, are so purely Divine, that they have 
not in them any thing human. 31. The next to these, are the 
words that were spoken by the mouth of Christ, and then those 
that were spoken by angels. 32. The circumstantials are many of 
them so Divine, as yet they have in them something human, as the 
bringing of Paul's cloak - and parchments, and, as it seems, his 
counsel about marriage, &c. 33. Much more is there something 
human in the method and phrase, which is not so immediately 
Divine as the doctrine. 34. Yet is there nothing sinfully human, 
and therefore nothing false in all. 35. But an innocent imperfec- 
tion there is in the method and phrase, which if we deny, we must 
renounce most of our logic and rhetoric. 36. Yet was this imper- 
fect way, at that time, all things considered, the fittest way to 
divulge the gospel. That is the best language which is best suited 
to the hearers, and not that which is best simply in itself, and sup- 
poseth that understanding in the hearers which they have not. 
Therefore it was wisdom and mercy to fit the Scriptures to the 
capacity of all. Yet will it not, therefore, follow, that all preachers, 
at all times, should as much neglect definition, distinction, syllo- 
gism, &c. as Scripture doth. 37. Some doctrinal passages in Scrip- 
ture are only historically related, and therefore the relating them is 
no asserting them for truth ; and therefore those sentences may be 
false, and yet not the Scriptures false : yea, some falsehoods are 
written by way of reproving them, as Gehazi's lie, Saul's excuse, 
&c. 38. Every doctrine that is thus related only historically, is 
therefore of doubtful credit, because it is not a Divine assertion, 
except Christ himself were the speaker ; and therefore it is to be 
tried by the rest of the Scripture. 39. Where ordinary men were 
the speakers, the credit of such doctrine is the more doubtful, and 
yet much more, when the speakers were wicked ; of the former sort 
are the speeches of Job's friends, and divers others ; of the latter 
sort are the speeches of the Pharisees, &c. and perhaps Gamaliel's 
counsels. Acts v. 34. 40. Yet where God doth testify his inspira- 
tion, or approbation, the doctrine is of Divine authority, though 
the speaker be wicked, as in Balaam's prophecy. 41. The like 


may be said of matter of fact;* for it is not cither necessary or 
lawful, to speak such words or do such actions, merely because 
men in Scripture did so speak or do ; no, not though they were the 
best saints ; ior their ow^n speeches or actions nre to be judged by 
the law, and therefore are no part of the law themselves. And as 
they are evil where they cross the law, as Joseph's swearing, the 
ancients' polygamy, &c. ; so are they doubtful where their con- 
gruence with the law is doubtful. 42. But here is one most ob- 
servable exception, conducing much to resolve that great doubt, 
whether examples bind ; where men are designed by God to such 
an office, and act by commission, and with a promise of direction, 
their doctrines are of Divine authority, though we find not where 
God did dictate ; and their actions done by that commission are 
current and exemplary, so far as they are intended or performed 
for example ; and so example may be equivalent to a law, and the 
argument, a facto ad jus, may hold. So Moses being appointed to 
the forming of the old church and commonwealth of the Jews, to 
the building of the tabernacle, &c. ; his precepts and examples in 
these works, though we could not find his particular direction, are 
to be taken as Divine. So also the apostles, having commission 
to form and order the gospel churches, their doctrine and examples 
therein, are by their general commission warranted; and their 
practices in establishing the Lord's day, in settling the offices and 
orders of churches, are to us as laws, still binding with those limita- 
tions as positives only, which give way to greater. 43. The ground 
of this position is, because it is inconsistent with the wisdom and 
faithfulness of God, to send men to a w^ork, and promise to be with 
them, and yet to forsake them, and suffer them to err in the build- 
ing of that house, which must endure till the end of the world. 44. 
Yet if any of the commissioners do err in their own particular con- 
versations,t or in matters without the extent of their commission, 
this may consist with the faithfulness of God : God hath not promised 
them infallibility and perfection ; the disgrace is their own : but if 
they should miscarry in that wherein they are sent to be a rule to 
others, the church would then have an imperfect rule, and the 
dishonour would redound to God. 45. Yet I find not that ever 
God authorized any mere man to be a lawgiver to the church in 
substantials, but only to deliver the laws which he had given to 
interpret them, and to determine circumstantials not by him deter- 
mined. 46. Where God owneth men's doctrines and examples by 
miracles, they are to be taken as infallibly Divine ; much more, 
when commission, promises, and miracles, do concur, which con- 
iirmeth the apostles' examples for current. 47. So that if any of 
the kings or prophets had given laws, and formed the church, as 
Moses, they had not been binding, because without the said com- 
mission ; or if any other minister of the gospel shall by word or 
action arrogate an apostolical privilege. 48. There is no verity 
about God, or the chief happiness of man written in nature, but it 

* A facto ad jus ad licitum vel debitum non \alet argum. 
t As Peter, Gal. ii. 12, 13. 


is to be found written in Scriptures. 49. So that the same thing 
may, in these several respects, be the object both of knowledge and 
of faith. 50. The Scripture being so perfect a transcript of the 
law of nature or reason, is much more to be credited in its super- 
natural revelations. 51. The probability of most things, and the 
possibility of all things, contained in the Scriptures, may well be 
discerned by reason itself, which makes their existence or futurity 
the more easy to be believed. 52. Yet before this existence or 
futurity of any thing beyond the reach of reason can be soundly 
believed, the testimony must be known to be truly Divine. 53. 
Yet a belief of Scripture doctrine as probable, doth usually go be- 
fore a belief of certainty, and is a good preparative thereto. 54. 
The direct, express sense, must be believed directly and absolutely 
as infallible, and the consequences, where they may be clearly and 
certainly raised; but where there is danger of erring in raising 
consequences, the assent can be but weak and conditional. 55. A 
consequence raised from Scripture, being no part of the immediate 
sense, cannot be called any part of Scripture. 56. Where one of 
the premises is in nature, and the other only in Scripture, there the 
conclusion is mixed, partly known, and partly believed. That it 
is the consequence of those premises is known ; but that it is a 
truth, is, as I said, apprehended by a mixed act. Such is a Chris- 
tian's concluding himself to be justified and sanctified, &c. 57. 
Where, through weakness, we are unable to discern the conse- 
quences, there is enough in the express direct sense for salvation. 
58. Where the sense is not understood, there the belief can be but 
implicit. 59. Where the sense is partly understood, but with some 
doubting, the belief can be but conditionally explicit ; that is, we 
believe it, if it be the sense of the word. 60, Fundamentals must 
be believed explicitly and absolutely. 



Sect. I. Having thus showed you in what sense the Scriptures 
are the word of God, and how far to be believed, and what is the 
excellency, necessity, and authority of them, I shall now add three 
or four arguments to help your faith ; which, I hope, will not only 
prove them to be a Divine testimony to the substance of doctrine, 
(though that be a useful work against our unbelief,) but also that 
they are the very written laws of God, and a perfect rule of faith 
and duty, 2 Tim. iii. 16. My arguments shall be but few, because 
I handle it but on the bye, and those such as I find little of in 
ordinary writings, lest I should waste time in doing what is done 
to my hands. 


1. Those writings and that doctrine which were confirmed by 
many and real miracles, must needs be of God, and consequently 
of undoubted truth. ]5ut the books and doctrines of canonioal 
Scripture were so confirmed ; therefore, &c. 

Against the major proposition nothing of any moment can be 
said ; for it is a truth apparent enough to nature, that none but 
God can work real miracles, or, at least, none but those whom 
he doth especially enable thereto ; and it is as manifest that the 
righteous and faithful God will not give this power for a seal to any 
falsehood or deceit. 

The usual objections are these : first, antichrist shall come with 
lying wonders. 

Ansiv. They are no true miracles : as they are rdpaia -^evSovi^ 
2 Thess. ii. 9, lying, in sealing to a lying doctrine ; so also in being 
but seeming and counterfeit miracles. The like may be said to 
those of Pharaoh's magicians, and all other sorcerers and witches, 
and those that may be wrought by Satan himself. They may be 
wonders, but not miracles. 

Object. 2. God may enable false prophets to w^ork miracles to try 
the world, without any derogation to his faithfulness. 

Ansio. No : for Divine power being properly the attendant of 
Divine revelation, if it should be annexed to diabolical delusion, it 
would be a sufficient excuse to the world for their believing those 
delusions. And if miracles should not be a sufficient seal to prove 
the authority of the witness to be Divine, then is there nothing in 
the world sufficient ; and so our faith will be quite overthrown. 

Object. But, however, miracles will no more prove Christ to be 
the Son of God, than they will prove Moses, Elias, or Elisha, 
to be the sons of God, for they wrought miracles as well as 

Answ. Miracles are God's seal, not to extol the person that is 
instrumental, nor for his glory ; but to extol God, and for his own 
glory. God doth not intrust any creatures with his seal so abso- 
lutely, as that they may use it when and in what case they please. 
If Moses, or Elias, had affirmed themselves to be the sons of God, 
they could never have confirmed that affirmation with a miracle ; 
for God would not have sealed to a lie. Christ's power of working 
miracles did not immediately prove him to be the Christ, but it 
immediately proved his testimony to be Divine, and that testimony 
spoke his nature and office ; so that the power of miracles in the 
prophets and apostles was not to attest to their own greatness, but 
to the truth of their testimony concerning Christ. Whatsoever any 
man affirms to me, and works a real miracle to confirm it, I must 
needs take myself bound to believe him. 

Object. But what if some one should work miracles to confirm a 
doctrine contrary to Scripture, would you believe it ? Doth not 
Paul say, " If an angel from heaven teach any other doctrine, let 
him be accursed ? " 

Answ. I am sure God will never give any false teacher the power 
of confirming his doctrine by miracles ; else God should subscribe 


his name to contradictions. The appearance of an angel is no 
miracle, though a wonder. 

Object. But every simple man knows not the true definition of a 
miracle, and consequently knows not the difference between a 
miracle and a wonder, and so knows not how to believe on this 

Ansic. As God doth not use the testimony of miracles, but on 
very great and weighty causes, to wit, where natural and ordinary 
means of conviction are wanting, and usually for the delivering of 
some new law or truth to the world, or the like ; so when he doth 
use it, he sufficiently manifesteth the reality of the miracles. Satan's 
wonders are such as may be done by natural means ; though per- 
haps, through our ignorance, we see not the means. But God oft 
worketh that which no natural means can do, and Satan never per- 
formed ; as the raising of the dead to life, the creating of sight to 
him that was born blind, the dividing of the sea, the standing still 
of the sun, with multitudes of the like. Again, though many of 
Christ's works may be done by natural means, as the healing of the 
deaf, the dumb, the lame, &c. yet Christ did them all by a word 
speaking, and so it is apparent that he made no use of natural 
means, secretly nor openly. Again, the wonders of Satan are most 
commonly juggling delusions, and therefore the great miracles that 
pagans and papists have boasted of, have been but some one or two 
strange things in an age, or usually before one or two, or some few, 
and that of the simple and more partial sort, that are easily deceiv- 
ed : but if upon the fame of these you go to look for more that may 
be a full and open testimony, you v.ill fail of your expectation. But, 
contrarily, that there might be no room for doubting left, Christ 
wrought his miracles before multitudes ; feeding many thousands 
at several times, with a small quantity ; healing the sick, blind, 
lame, and raising the dead, before many ; the persons afterwards 
showing themselves to the world, and attesting it to his enemies : 
and this he did not once or twice, but most frequently ; so that they 
that suspected deceit in one, or two, or ten, might be satisfied in 
twenty. Yea, which is the greatest convincing discovery of the 
reality, it was not himself only, but multitudes of his followers, 
whom he enabled, when he was gone from them, to do the like, to 
speak strange languages before multitudes, to heal the sick and 
lame, and raise the dead. And usually false wonders are done but 
among friends, that would have it so, and are ready to believe ; but 
Christ wrought his in the midst of enemies that gnashed the teeth, 
and had nothing to say against it. And I am persuaded that it was 
one reason why God would have Christ and all his followers have 
so many and cruel enemies, that when they had nothing to say 
against it, who doubtless would pry narrowly into all, and make the 
worst of it, it might tend to the establishing of believers afterwards. 
Again, usually false miracles, as they crept out in the dark, so they 
were not divulged till some after-ages, and only a little muttered of 
at the present : but Christ and his apostles wrought and published 
them openly in the world. If the gospel history had been false, how 


many thousand persons could have witnessed against it, seeing they 
appeahnl lo thousands of witnesses then living, of several ranks, 
and qualities, and countries! It is true, indeed, the magicians of 
I'igypt did seem to go far. But consider whether they were mere 
delusions, or real wonders by secret, natural means ; douhtless, 
they were no miracles directly so called. And lest any should say 
that God tempted them by such above their strength, you may ob- 
serve that he doth not suffer Satan to do what he can do, without a 
sufficient counter-testimony to undeceive men. When did God 
suffer the like deceit as those sorcerers used l Nor would he then 
have suffered it, but that Moses was at hand to overcome their de- 
lusions, and leave the beholders with full conviction, that so the 
enemies' strength might make the victory the more glorious, Ba- 
laam could not go beyond the word of the Lord. So that I desire 
all weak believers to observe this, That as God is the faithful 
Ruler of the world, so he will not let loose the enemy of mankind 
to tempt us by wonders, further than he himself shall give us a 
sufficient contradictory testimony. So that if we do not know the 
difference between a miracle and a wonder, yet God's faithfulness 
affords us a sufficient preservative, if we disregard it not. And if 
we should grant that Satan can work miracles ; yet he being wholly 
at God's dispose, it is certain that God will not permit him to do 
it, without a full contradiction ; and, therefore, such as Christ's 
miracles he shall never work. Else should the creature be remedi- 
lessly deluded by supernatural powers, while God looks on. 

Secondly : But the main assault I know will be made against 
the minor proposition of the argument, and so the question will 
be, do facto, whether ever such miracles were wrought or no ? I 
shall grant that we must not here argue circularly to prove the 
doctrine to be of God by the miracles, and then the miracles to have 
been wrought by the Divine testimony of the doctrine, and so round. 
But yet, to use the testimony of the history of Scripture, as a 
human testimony of the matter of fact, is no circular arguing. 

Sect. II. Toward the confirmation of the minor, therefore, I 
shall first lay these grounds: 1. That there is so i p • • 
much certainty in some human testimony, that 
may exclude all doubting, or cause of doubting ; or there is some 
testimony immediately human, which yet may truly 
be said to be Divine : 2. That such testimony we 
have of the miracles mentioned in Scripture. If these two be 
cleared, the minor will stand firm, and the main work here will be 

First : I will therefore show you, that there is such a certainty 
in some human testimony. Both experience and reason will con- 
firm this. First, I would desire any rational man to tell me, whe- 
ther he that never was at London, at Paris, or at Rome, may not 
be certain, by a human faith, that there are such cities ? For my 
own part, I think it as certain to me, nay, more certain, than 
that which I see : and I should sooner question my own sight 
alone^ than the eyes and credit of so many thousands in such a 

L 2 


case. And I think the sceptic arguments brought against the cer- 
tainty of sense, to be as strong as any that can be brought against 
the certainty of such a testimony. Is it not somewhat more than 
probable, think you, to the multitudes that never saw either par- 
liament or king, that yet there is such an assembly, and such a 
person : may we not be fully certain that there was such a person 
as King James, as Queen Elizabeth, as Queen Mary, &c. here in 
England ; yea, that there was such a man as William the Con- 
queror ? may we not be certain, also, that he conquered England ; 
with many other of his actions ? The like may be said of Julius 
Caesar, of Alexander the Great, &c. Sure, those who charge all 
human testimony with uncertainty, do hold their lands then upon 
an uncertain tenure. 

Secondly : It may be proved, also, by reason ; for, 1. If the first 
testifiers may infallibly know it; and, 2. Also by an infallible 
means transmit it to posterity ; and, 3. Have no intent to deceive ; 
then their testimony may be an infallible testimony. But all these 
three may easily be proved, I had thought to have laid down here 
the rules, by which a certain human testimony may be discerned 
from an uncertain ; but you may easily gather them from what I 
shall lay down for the confirmation of these three positions. 

For the first, I suppose none will question whether the testifiers 
might infallibly know the truth of what they testify ? If they 
should, let them consider : First, If it be not matter of doctrine, 
much less abstruse and difficult points, but only matter of fact, 
then it is beyond doubt it may be certainly known. Secondly, If 
it be those also who did see, and hear, and handle, who do testify 
it. Thirdly, If their senses were sound and perfect, within reach 
of the object, and having no deceiving medium. Fourthly, 
Which may be discerned, 1. If the witnesses be a multitude; for 
then it may be known they are not blind or deaf, except they had 
been culled out of some hospitals ; especially when all present do 
both see and hear them : 2. When the thing is done openly, in the 
daylight : 3. When it is done frequently, and near at hand ; for 
then there would be full opportunity to discover any deceit. So 
that in these cases it is doubtless sense is infallible, and, conse- 
quently, those that see and hear are most certain witnesses. 

2. Next let us see, whether we may be certain that any tes- 
timony is sincere, without a purpose to deceive us. And I take 
that for undoubted in the following cases: 1. Where the party is 
ingenuous and honest : 2. And it is apparent he drives on no 
design of his own, nor cannot expect any advantage in the world ; 
3. Nay, if his testimony will certainly undo him in the world, and 
prove the overthrow of his ease, honour, estate, and life. 4. And 
if it be a multitude that do thus testify, how can they do it with an 
intent to deceive ? 5. And if their several testimonies do agree ; 
6. And if the very enemies deny not this matter of fact, but only 
refer it to other causes ; then there is no possibility of deceit, as I 
shall further, anon, evince, when I apply it to the question : 7. 
And if no one of the witnesses in life, or at the hour of death, did 


ever repent of his testimony, and confess it a deceit ; as certainly 
some one would have done for so great a sin, if it had been so. 

Thirdly : We are to prove, that there are infallible means of 
transmitting such testimony down to posterity, without depraving 
any thing substantial. And then it will remain an undoubted 
truth, that there is a full certainty in some human testimony, and 
that to posterity at a remote distance. 

Now, this tradition is infallible in these cases: 1. If it be (as 
before said) in matter of fact only, which the meanest understand- 
ings are capable of apprehending. 2. If it be also about the sub- 
stance of actions, and not every small circumstance. 3. And also 
if those actions were famous in their times, and of great note and 
wonder in the world, and such as were the cause of public and 
eminent alterations. 4. If it be delivered down in writing, and 
not only by word of mouth, where the change of speech might alter 
the sense of the matter. 5. If the records be public, where the 
very enemies may see them ; yea, published on purpose by heralds 
and ambassadors, that the world may take notice of them. G. If 
they are men of greatest honesty in all ages, who have both kept 
and divulged these records. 7. And if there have been also a mul- 
titude of these. 8. And this multitude of several countries, where 
they could never so much as meet to agree upon any deceiving 
counsels ; much less all accord in such a design ; and, least of all, 
be able to manage it with secrecy. 9. If also the after-preservers 
and divulgers of these records could have no more self-advancing 
ends, than the first testifiers. 10. Nay, if their divulging and at- 
testing these records, did utterly ruin their estates and lives, as 
well as it did the first testifiers. 11. If there be such a dispersing 
of the copies of these records all over the world, that the cancel- 
ling and abolishing them is a thing impossible. 12. If the very 
histories of the enemies do never affirm any universal abolishing 
and consuming of them. 13. If all these dispersed copies through 
the world do perfectly agree in every thing material. 14. If it 
were a matter of such moment in the judgment of the preservers, 
neither to add nor diminish, that they thought their eternal salva- 
tion did lie upon it. 15. If the histories of their enemies do gener- 
ally mention their attesting these records to the loss of their lives, 
and that successfully in every age. IG. If these records and at- 
testations are yet visible to the world, and that in such a form as 
none could counterfeit. 17. If the enemies that lived near or in 
those times when the things were done, do, 1. Write nothing 
against them of any moment, 2. But oppose them with fire and 
sword, instead of argument. 3. Nay, if they acknowledge the fact, 
but deny the cause only. 18. And if all the enemies were inconi- 
petent witnesses. 1. Witnessing to the negative, of which they 
could have no certainty. 2. And carried on with apparent malice 
and prejudice. 3. And having all worldly advantages attending 
their cause. 4. And being generally men unconscionable and im- 
pious. 19. If all these enemies, having all these worldly advan- 
tages, could neither by arguments nor violence hinder people from 


believing these famous and palpable matters of fact, in the very 
age wherein they were done, when the truth and falsehood might 
most easily be discovered, but that the generality of beholders 
were forced to assent. 20. If multitudes of the most ingenious 
and violent enemies, have in every age, from the very acting of 
these things to this day, been forced to yield, and turned as zealous 
defenders of these records and their doctrine, as ever they were 
opposers of them before. 21. If all these converts do confess upon 
their coming in, that it was ignorance, or prejudice, or worldly re- 
spects, that made them oppose so much before. 22. If all the 
powers of the world, that can burn the bodies of the witnesses, that 
can overthrow kingdoms, and change their laws, could never yet 
reverse and abolish these records, 23. Nay, if some notable judg- 
ment in all ages, have befallen the most eminent opposers thereof. 
24. And lastly, if successions of wonders (though not miracles as 
the first) have in all ages accompanied the attestation of these re- 
cords. I say, if all these twenty-four particulars do concur, or 
most of these, I leave it to the judgment of any man of understand- 
ing, whether there be not an infallible way of transmitting matter 
of fact to posterity ? and, consequently, whether there be not more 
than a probability, even a full certainty, in such a human testimony ? 

Sect. III. 2. The second thing which I am to manifest, is, that 
we have such a testimony of the miracles, which confirmed the 
doctrine and writings of the Bible. 

And here I must run over the three foregoing particulars again ; 
and show you, First, That the witnesses of Scripture miracles could 
and did infallibly know the truth which they testified : Secondly, 
That they had no intent to deceive the world : and. Thirdly, That 
it hath been brought down to posterity by a way so infallible, that 
there remains no doubt whether our records are authentic. For 
the first of these, I think it will be most easily acknowledged. 
Men are naturally so confident of the infallibility of their own 
senses, that sure they will not suspect the senses of others. But if 
they should, let them have recourse to what is said before, to put 
them out of doubt. First, It was matter of fact, which might be 
easily discerned. Secondly, The apostles and others who bore wit- 
ness to it, were present, yea, continual companions of Christ, and 
the multitude of Christians were eye-witnesses of the miracles of 
the apostles. Thirdly, These were men neither blind nor deaf, but 
of as sound and perfect senses as we. Fourthly, This is apparent ; 
1. Because they were great multitudes, even that were present, 
and therefore could not all be blind ; if they had, how did they 
walk about ? Fifthly, These miracles were not done by night, nor 
in a corner, but in the open light, in the midst of the people. 
Sixthly, They were not once or twice only performed, but very oft, 
of several kinds, by several persons, even prophets, and Christ him- 
self and his apostles, in many generations ; so that if there had 
been any deceit, it might have been easily discovered. Seventhly, 
and lastly, It was in the midst of vigilant and subtle enemies, who 
were able and ready enough to have evinced the deceit. 


So that it remains certain that the first eye-witnesses themselves 
were not deceived. 

2. Let us next consider whether it be not also as certain that 
they never intended the deceiving of the world. 

First : It is evident that they were neither fools nor knaves, but 
men of ingenuity, and extraordinary honesty : there needs no more 
to prove this, than their own writings, so full of enmity against all 
kind of vice, so full of conscientious zeal and heavenly affections. 
Yet is this their honesty also attested by their enemies. Sure the 
very remnants of natui'al honesty are a Divine offspring, and do 
produce also certain effects according to their strength and nature. 
God hath planted and continued them in man, for the use of so- 
cieties, and common converse : for if all honesty were gone, one 
man could not believe another, and so could not converse together. 
But now supernatural, extraordinary honesty, will produce its effect 
more certainly : if three hundred or three thousand honest, godly 
men should say, they saw such things with their eyes, he is very 
incredulous that would not believe it. 

Secondly : It is apparent that neither prophets, apostles, nor 
disciples, in attesting these things, could drive on any designs of 
their own. Did they seek their honour, or ease, or profit, or 
worldly delights ? Did their Master give them any hopes of these? 
Or did they see any probability of their attaining it ? Or did they 
see any of their fellows attain it before them ? 

Thirdly : Nay, was it not a certain way to their ruin in the 
world ? Did not their Master tell them, when he sent them out, 
that they should be persecuted of all for his sake and the gospel's ? 
Did they not find it true, and therefore expected the like them- 
selves ? Paul knew, that in every city bonds and afflictions did 
abide him. And they lay it down as a granted rule, that he that 
will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. Now I 
would fain know, whether a man's self, his estate, his liberty, his 
life, be not naturally so near and dear to all, that they would be 
loth to throw it away, merely to deceive and cozen the world ? All 
that I know can be objected is, that they may do it out of a 
desire to be admired in the world for their godliness and their 

Answ. 1. Go see where you can find thousands or millions of 
men that will cast away their lives to be talked of. 

2. Did they not, on the contrary, renounce their own honour 
and esteem, and call themselves vile and miserable sinners, and 
speak worse of themselves than the most impious wretch will do, 
and extol nothing but God and his Son Jesus ? 

3. Did not their INIaster foretell them, that they should be so far 
from getting credit by his service, that they should be hated of all 
men, and their names cast out as evil-doers ? Did they not see 
him spit upon, and hanged on a cross among thieves before their 
eyes, some of them ? Did they not find by experience, that their 
way was every where spoken against ? and the reproach of the cross 
of Christ was the great stumblingblock to the world ? And could 


men possibly choose such a way for vain-glory ? I am persuaded 
it is one great reason why Christ would have the first witnesses of 
the gospel to suffer so much to confirm their testimony to future 
ages, that the world might see that they intended not to deceive 

Fourthly : Consider, also, what a multitude these witnesses were. 
How could so many thousands of several countries lay the plot to 
deceive the world ? They were not only thousands that believed 
the gospel, but thousands that saw the miracles of Christ, and 
many cities and countries that saw the miracles of the apostles. 

Fifthly : And the testimony of all doth so punctually accord, 
that the seeming contradiction in some smaller circumstances, doth 
but show their simplicity and sincerity, and their agreement in 
the main. 

Sixthly : And is it possible that no one of them would so much 
as at death, or in torments, have detected the deceit ? 

Seventhly and lastly : The very enemies acknowledge this matter 
of fact ; only they ascribe it to other causes. They could not deny 
the miracles that were wrought : even to this day the Jews ac- 
knowledge much of the works of Christ, but slanderously father 
them upon the power of the devil, or upon the force of the name 
of God sewed in Christ's thigh, and such-like ridiculous stories 
they have ; even the Turks confess much of the miracles of Christ, 
and believe him to be a great prophet, though they are professed 
enemies to the Christian name. 

So that I think by all this it is certain, that the first witnesses 
of the miracles of Christ and his apostles, as they were not de- 
ceived themselves, so neither had they any intent to deceive the 

3. We are next to show you, that the way that this testimony 
hath come down to us, is a certain, infallible way. For, 

1. Consider, it is a matter of fact (for the doctrine we are not 
now mentioning, except de facto, that this was the doctrine 

2. They were the substances of the actions that they chiefly re- 
lated, and that we are now inquiring after the certainty of. Though 
men may mistake in the circumstances of the fight at such a place, 
or such a place, yet that there were such fights we may certainly 
know. Or though they may mistake in smaller actions, circum- 
stances, or qualifications, of Henry the Eighth, of William the 
Conqueror, &c. ; yet that there were such men we may certainly 
know. Now the thing we inquire after is, whether such miracles 
were wrought, or no ? 

3. They were actions then famous through the world, and made 
great alterations in states : they turned the world upside down : 
cities were converted, countries and rulers were turned Christians. 
And may not the records in eminent actions be certain ? We have 
certain records of battles, of sieges, of successions of princes 
among the heathens before the coming of Christ, and of the great 
alterations in our own state for a very long time. 


4. It was a formal record in the very words of the first witnesses 
in writing, which hatli been delivered to us, and not only any un- 
written testimony ; so that men's various conceivings or expressions 
could make no alteration. 

.5. These records, which we call the Scripture, have been kept 
publicly in all these ages ; so that the most negligent enemy might 
have taken notice of its depravation. Yea, God made it the office 
of his ministers to publish it, whatever came of it, to all the world, 
and pronounced a woe to them if they preach not this gospel ; 
which preaching was both the divulging of the doctrine and 
miracles of Christ, and all out of these authentic records. And 
how then is it possible there should be a universal depravation, and 
that even in the narration of the matters of fact, when all nations 
almost, in all these ages since the original of the history, have had 
these heralds who have proclaimed it to the death ? 

G. And it is most apparent that the keepers and pul)lishers of 
these records, have been men of most eminent piety and honesty. 
The same testimony which I gave before to prove the honesty of 
the first witnesses, will prove theirs, though in a lower degree : a 
good man, but a Christian, was the character given them by their 
very foes. 

7. They have been a multitude, almost innumerable. 

8. And these of almost every country under heaven. And let 
any man tell me how all these, or the chief of them, could possibly 
meet, to consult about the depraving of the history of the Scrip- 
ture ? And whether it were possible, if such a multitude were so 
ridiculously dishonest, yet that they could carry on such a vain 
design with secrecy and success. 

9. Also, the after-divulgers of the miracles of the gospel could 
have no more self-advancing ends for a long time than the first 

10. Nay, it ruined them in the world, as it did the first, so that 
let any man judge whether there be any possibility that so many 
millions of so many nations should ruin themselves, and give their 
bodies to be burned, merely to deprave those Scriptures which they 
do profess ? 

11. Consider, also, when this sacred history was so dispersed 
over the world, whether the cancelling and extirpation of it were 
not a thing impossible, especially by those means that were at- 
tempted ? 

12. Nay, there is no history of the enemies that doth mention 
any universal abolition or depravation of these records. When 
was the time, and where was the place, that all the Bibles in the 
world were gathered together, and consumed with fire, or corrupted 
with forgery ? Indeed, Julian thought by prohibiting the schools 
of learning to the children of Christians, to have extirpated Chris- 
tianity ; but Christ did quickly first extirpate him. 

13. All those copies of those sacred writings do yet accord, in 
all things material, which are found through the world. And con- 
sider then, if they had been depraved, whether multitudes of copies. 


which had escaped that depravation, would not by their diversity, 
or contradiction, have bewrayed the rest ? 

14. It was a matter of such a heinous quahty, both by the sen- 
tence of the law, and in the consciences of the preservers and 
divulgers of it, to add or diminish the least tittle, that they thought 
it deserved eternal damnation. And I refer it to any man of 
reason, whether so many thousands of men through the world, 
could possibly venture upon eternal torment, as well as upon tem- 
poral death ; and all this to deceive others, by depraving the laws 
which they look to be judged by, or the history of those miracles 
which were the grounds of our faith ? Is not the contrary some- 
what more than probable ? 

15. Furthermore, the histories of the enemies do frequently 
mention that these Scriptures have been still maintained to the 
flames. Though they revile the Christians, yet they report this 
their attestation, which proves the constant succession thereof, and 
the faithful delivery of Christianity and its records to us. It would 
be but needless labour to heap up here the several reports of pagan 
historians, of the numbers of Christians, their obstinacy in their 
religion, their calamities and torments. 

16. These records and their attestations are yet visible over the 
world, and that in such a form as cannot possibly be counterfeit. 
Is it not enough to put me out of doubt, whether Homer ever wrote 
his Iliads, or Demosthenes his Orations, or Virgil and Ovid their 
several works, or Aristotle his volumes of so many of the sciences, 
when I see and read these books yet extant ; and when I find 
them such, that I think can hardly now be counterfeited, no, nor 
imitated ? But if they could, who would have been at the exces- 
sive pains, as to have spent his life in compiling such books, that 
he might deceive the world, and make men believe that they were 
the works of Aristotle, Ovid, &c. ; would not any man rather have 
taken the honour to himself ? so here the case is alike. Yea, these 
Scriptures, though they have less of arts and sciences, yet are in- 
comparably more difficult to have been counterfeited than the 
other ; I mean before the first copies were drawn. I would here 
stay to show the utter impossibility of any man's forging these 
writings, but that I intend to make that a peculiar argument. 

17. Whether any enemy hath, with weight of argument, con- 
futed the Christian cause ; whether, when they have undertaken it, 
it hath not been only arguing the improbability, or assigning the 
miracles to other causes, or an imposing the doctrine delivered by 
the Christians, rather than these miraculous actions in question ; 
I leave those to judge who have read their writings; yea, whether 
their common arguments have not been fire and sword. 

11. It is an easy matter yet to prove, that the enemies of Scrip- 
ture have been incompetent witnesses; 1. Being men that were 
not present, or had not the opportunity to be so well acquainted 
with the actions of Christ, of the prophets and apostles, as them- 
selves or others, that do attest them. 2. Being men of apparent 
malice, and possessed with much prejudice against the persons and 


things which they oppose. This I might easily and fully prove, 
if I could stand upon it. 3. They had all worldly advantages at- 
tending ther cause, which they were all to lose, with life itself, if 
they had appeared for Christ. 4. They were generally men of no 
great conscience, nor moral honesty ; and most of them of most 
sensual and vicious conversation. This appears by their own 
writings, both doctrinal and historical. What sensual interpreta- 
tions of the law did the very strict sect of the Pharisees make ! 
What fleshly laws have the followers of Mahomet ! What vices 
did the laws of the heathens tolerate ! Yea, what foul errors are 
in the ethics of their most rigid moralists ! And you may be sure 
that their lives were far worse than their laws ; and, indeed, their 
own histories do acknowledge as much. To save me the labour 
of mentioning them, read Dr. Hackwell's apology on that subject. 
Sure such men are incompetent witnesses in any cause between man 
and man, and would be so judged at any impartial judicature. 
And, indeed, how is it possible that they should be much better, 
when they have no laws that teach them either what true happiness 
is, or what is the way and means to attain it i 5. Besides all this, 
their testimony was only of the negative, and that in such cases as 
it could not be valid. 

19. Consider, also, that all the adversaries of these miracles and 
relations could not, with all their arguments or violence, hinder 
thousands from believing them, in the very time and country 
where they were done : but that they who did behold them, did 
generally assent at least to the matter of fact ; so that we may say 
with Austin, either they were miracles or not : if they were, why 
do you not believe ? if they were not, behold the greatest miracle 
of all, that so many thousands, even of the beholders, should be so 
blind, as to believe things that never were, especially in those 
very times when it was the easiest matter in the world to have dis- 
proved such falsehoods. If there should go a report now of a man 
at London, that should raise the dead, cure the blind, the deaf, 
the sick, the possessed, feed thousands with five loaves, &c. ; and 
that a multitude of his followers should do the like, and that a 
great many times over and over, and that in the several parts of the 
land, in presence of crowds, and thousands of people ; I pray you, 
judge whether it were not the easiest matter in the world to dis- 
prove this, if it were false ; and whether it were possible that w^hole 
countries and cities should believe it ? Nay, whether the easiness 
and certainty of disproving it, would not bring them all into ex- 
treme contempt ? 

Two things will be here objected : first, that then the adver- 
saries' not believing will be as strong against it, as the disciples' 
believing is for it. Answ. Read what is said before of the adver- 
sary's incompetency, and it may satisfy as to this. Secondly, 
Consider, also, that the generality of the adversaries did believe 
the matter of fact, which is all that we are now inquiring after. 
The recital here of those multitudes of testimonies that might be 
produced from antiquity, is a work that my strait time doth pro- 


hibit, but is done by others far more able. Only that well-known 
passage in Josephus I will here set down : " In the time of Tibe- 
rius, there was one Jesus, a wise man, at least, if he was to be 
called a man, who was a worker of great miracles, and a teacher of 
such who love the truth, and had many, as well Jews as Gentiles, 
who clave unto him. This was Christ. And when Pilate, upon 
his being accused by the men of our nation, had sentenced him to 
be crucified, yet did they not who had first loved him forsake him : 
for he appeared to them the third day alive again, according to 
what the prophets, divinely inspired, had foretold concerning him, 
as they had done an innumerable number of very strange things 
besides. And even to this day, both the name and sort of persons 
called Christians, so named from him, do remain." Thus far 
Josephus, a Jew by nation and religion, who wrote this about 
eighty-six years after Christ, and fourteen years before the death of 
St. John, himself being born about five or six years after Christ. 

20. Consider, also, how that every age hath offered multitudes of 
witnesses, who before were most bitter and violent enemies, and 
divers of those men of note for learning and place in the world. 
How mad was Saul against the truth ! Surely it could be no favour 
to the cause, nor over-much credulity, that caused such men to wit- 
ness to the death, the truth of that for which they had persecuted 
others to the death but a little before. Nor could childish fables, or 
common flying tales, have so mightily wrought with men of learn- 
ing and understanding : for some such were Christians in all ages. 

21. Nay, observe but the confessions of these adversaries, 
when they came to believe : how generally and ingenuously they 
acknowledge their former ignorance and prejudice to have been 
the cause of their unbelief. 

22. Consider, also, how unable all the enemies of the gospel have 
been to abolish these sacred records. They could burn those 
witnesses by thousands, but yet they could never either hinder 
their succession, or extinguish their testimonies. 

23. Nay, the most eminent adversaries have had the most 
eminent ruin : as Antiochus, Herod, Julian, with multitudes more. 
This stone having fallen upon them, hath ground them to powder. 

24. It were not difficult here to collect from unquestioned 
authors, a constant succession of wonders, at least, to have in 
several ages accompanied the attestation of this truth ; and notable 
judgments that have befallen the persecutors of it. And though 
the papists, by their fictions and fabulous legends, have done more 
wrong to the Christian cause, than ever they are able to repair; 
yet unquestionable history doth afford us very many examples : 
and even many of those actions which they have deformed with 
their fabulous additions, might yet for the substance have much 
truth : and God might, even in the times of popery, work some of 
these wonders, though not to confirm their religion as it was 
popish, yet to confirm it as it was Christian ; for, as he had then 
his church, and then his Scripture, so had he then his special 
providences to confirm his church in their belief, and to silence the 


several enemies of the faith. And therefore I advise those who, in 
their inconsiderate zeal, are apt to reject all these histories of 
Providence, merely because they were written by papists, or be- 
cause some witnesses to the truth were a little leavened with some 
popish errors, that they would first view them, and consider of 
their probability of truth or falsehood, that so they may pick out 
the truth, and not reject all together in the lump; otherwise, in 
their zeal against popery, they should injure Christianity. 

And now I leave any man to judge, whether we have not had an 
infallible way of receiving these records from the first witnesses ? 

Not that every of the particulars before mentioned are necessary 
to the proving our certain receiving the authentic records without 
depravation ; for you may perceive, that almost any two or three of 
them might suffice ; and that divers of them are from abundance 
for fuller confirmation. 

Sect. IV. And thus I have done with this first argument, drawn 
from the miracles which prove the doctrines and writings to be of 
God. But I must satisfy the scruples of some objections against 
before I proceed. First, Some will question, whe- this argument an- 
ther this be not, 1. To resolve our faith into the *"■^'■^^• 
testimony of man : 2. And so make it a human faith : and so, 3. 
To jump in tills with the papists, who believe the Scripture for the 
authority of the church, and to argue circularly in this, as they. 
To this I answer : 

First : I make in this argument the resolution of my faith into 
the miracles wrought, as testimonies Divine to confirm the doctrine. 
If you ask, why I believe the doctrine to be of God ? I answer, 
because it was confirmed by many undeniable miracles. If you 
ask, why I believe those miracles to be from God ? I answer, be- 
cause no created power can work a miracle : so that the testimony 
of man is not the reason of my believing, but only the means by 
which this matter of fact is brought down to my knowledge. 
Again, our faith cannot be said to be resolved into that which we 
give in answer to your last interrogation, except your question be 
only still of the proper grounds of faith. Uut if you change your 
question, from What is the ground of my faith .'' to What is the 
means of conveying down the history to me ? then my faith is not 
resolved into this means. Yet this means, or some other equivalent, 
I acknowledge so necessary, that without it I had never been like 
to have believed. 2. This shows you also that I argue not in the 
popish circle, nor take my faith on their common grounds. For, 
first, when you ask them. How know you the testimony of the 
church to be infallible ? they prove it again by Scripture ; and 
there is their circle. But as I trust not on the authority of the 
Romish church only, as they do ; no, nor properly to the authority 
of any church ; no, nor only to the testimony of the church, but 
also to the testimony of the enemies themselves : so do I prove the 
validity of the testimony I bring from nature, and well-known 
principles in reason, and not from Scripture itself, as you may see 
before. 3. There is a human testimony, which is also Divine ; and 


so a human faith, which is also in some sort Divine. Few of God's 
extraordinary revelations have heen immediate ; the best school- 
men think none at all ; but either by angels, or by Jesus himself, 
who was man as well as God. You will acknowledge if God re- 
veal it to an angel, and the angel to Moses, and Moses to Israel, 
this is a Divine revelation to Israel. For that is called a Divine 
revelation, which we are certain that God doth any way reveal. 
Now, I would fain know, why that which God doth naturally and 
certainly reveal to all men, may not as properly be called a Divine 
revelation, as that which he reveals by the Spirit to a few. Is not 
this truth from God, that the senses' apprehension of their object, 
rightly stated, is certain, as well as this, " Jesus Christ was born 
of a Virgin ?" &c. Though a saint or an angel be a fitter messen- 
ger to reveal the things of the Spirit, yet any man may be a mes- 
senger to reveal the things of the flesh. An ungodly man, if he 
have better eyes and ears, may be a better messenger or witness of 
that matter of fact which he seeth and heareth, than a godlier 
man that is blind or deaf, especially in cases wherein that ungodly 
man hath no provocation to speak falsely ; and, most of all, if his 
testimony be against himself. I take that relation, whereby I know 
that there was a fight at York, &c. to be of God, though wicked 
men were the witnesses. For I take it for an undeniable maxim, 
that there is no truth but of God, only it is derived unto us by 
various means. 

Sect. V. 2. And as I have evidently discovered the full certainty 
of this testimony of man, concerning the forementioned matter of 
fact ; so I will show you why I choose this for my first and main 
argument ; and also that no man can believe without the foresaid 
human testimony. First, then, I demand with myself, by what 
argument did Moses and Christ evince to the world the verity of 
their doctrine ? and I find it was chiefly by this of miracles ; and, 
sure, Christ knew the best argument to prove the Divine authority 
of his doctrine ; and that which was the best then, is the best still. 
If ourselves had lived in the days of Christ, should we have be- 
lieved a poor man to have been God, the Saviour, the Judge of 
the world, without miracles to prove this to us ? nay, would it have 
been our duty to have believed ? Doth not Christ say, " If I had 
not done the works that no man else can do, ye had not had sin?" 
that is, your not believing me to be the Messias had been no sin : 
for no man is bound to believe that which was never convincingly 

What the sin against And I think that this is it which is called the 
the Holy Ghost is. ^m against the Holy Ghost,* when men will not 

* I confess I kept silent this opinion and exposition some years, because I knew no 
man that did hold it ; and I am afraid of rash adventuring on novelty, though resolved 
not to reject any revealed trutli. But since, I find great Athanasius hath written a 
tractate on the sin against the Holy Ghost, maintaining the very same exposition which 
I here give (or with very small difference ; though I assent not to his application in the 
end of all to the Arians) ; which being from one of so great authority, and explaining 
it more fully than I might do in this short digression, I desire the learned, who rejected 
my exposition, to peruse it ; where also you may find his confutation of the subtle, but 


be convinced by miracles, that Jesus is the Christ. That which 
some divines judge to be the sin against the Holy Ghost, an oppos- 
ing the known truth only out of malice against it, it is a question 
whether human nature be capable of. And whether all human 
opposition to truth be not through ignorance, or prevalency of the 
sensual lusts ; and so all malice against truth, is only against it as 
conceived to be falsehood, or else as it appoareth an enemy to our 
sensual desires : else how doth man's understanding, as it is an un- 
derstanding, naturally choose truth, either real or appearing, for 
its object i So that, I think, none can be guilty of malice against 
truth as truth ; and to be at enmity with truth for opposing our 
sensuality, is a sin that every man in the world hath been, in some 
measure, guilty of. And, indeed, our divines do so define the sin 
against the Holy Ghost, that I could never yet understand by their 
definition what it might be : some placing it m an act incompatible 
with the rational soul, and others making it but gradually to differ 
from other sins,* which hath cast so many into terror of soul, be- 
cause they could never find out that gradual difference. 

The sense of the place, which the whole context, if you view it 
deliberately, will show you, seems to me to be this : as if Christ 
had said. While you believed not the testimony of the prophets, yet 
there w^as hope ; the testimony of John Baptist might have con- 
vinced you ; yea, when you believed not John, yet you might have 
been convinced by my own doctrine ; yea, though you did not be- 
lieve my doctrine, yet there was hope you might have been con- 
vinced by my miracles. But when you accuse them to be the works 
of Beelzebub, and ascribe the work of the Divine power, or Spirit, 
to the prince of devils, what more hope ? I will, after my ascen- 
sion, send the Holy Ghost upon my disciples, that they may work 
miracles to convince the world, that they who will believe no other 
testimony, may yet, through this, believe : but if you sin against 
this Holy Ghost, that is, if they will not believe for all these mira- 
cles, for the Scripture frequently calls faith by the name of obe- 
dience, and unbelief by the name of sin, there is no other more 
convincing testimony left, and so their sin of unbelief is incurable, 
and consequently unpardonable : and therefore he that speaketh 
against the Son of man, that is, denieth his testimony of himself, it 
shall be forgiven him, if he yet believe this testimony of the Spirit; 
but they that continue unbelievers for all this, and so reproach the 
testimony that should convince them, as you do, shall never be for- 
given, because they cannot perform the condition of forgiveness. 

This I think to be the sense of the text ; and the rather, when I 
consider, what sin it w^as that these Pharisees committed ; for sure 
that which is commonly judged to be the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, I no where find that Christ doth accuse them of; but the 

unsound opinion of Origcn about this sin, as also of the opinion of Theognostus, though 
I know some do question that book, but on weak grounds. See my Discourse of the 
Sin against the Holy Ghost, in my third part of the Unreasonableness of Infidelity. 

* How Hunnius was assaulted with this temptation, " that he sinned against the 
Holy Ghost," you may read in his life and death : and it is still a common temptation. 
Matt. sii. 24, &c. ; Mark iu. 28 ; John v. 39, 43, 45_47 ; xv. 22, 24. 


Scripture seemeth to speak on the contrary, " that through ignor- 
ance they did it," Acts iii. 17 ; " for had they known, they would 
not have crucified the Lord of glory," 1 Cor. ii. 8. And, indeed, 
it is a thing to me altogether incredible, that these Pharisees should 
know Christ to be the Messiah, whom they so desirously expected, 
and to be the Son of God, and Judge of all men, and yet to crucify 
him through mere malice : charge them not with this, till you can 
show some scripture that charged them with it. 

Object. Why, then, there is no sin against the Holy Ghost, now 
miracles are ceased ? 

Answ. Yes : though the miracles are ceased, yet their testimony 
doth still live ; the death and resurrection of Christ are past, and 
yet men may sin against that death and resurrection. So that, I 
think, when men will not believe that Jesus is the Christ, though 
they are convinced, by undeniable arguments, of the miracles which 
both himself and his disciples wrought ; this is now the sin against 
the Holy Ghost. And, therefore, take heed of slighting this 

Sect. VI. 2. And here would I have those men, who cannot en- 
dure this resting upon human testimony,* to consider of what ne- 
cessity it is for the producing of our faith. Something must be 
taken upon trust from man, whether they will or no ; and yet no 
uncertainty in our faith neither. 1. The mere illiterate man must 
take it upon trust, that the book is a Bible which he hears read ; 
for else, he knows not but it may be some other book : 2. That 
those w^ords are in it, which the reader pronounceth : 3. That it is 
translated truly out of the original languages : 4. That the Hebrew 
and Greek copies, out of which it was translated, are true, authentic 
copies : 5. That it was originally written in these languages : 6. 
Yea, and the meaning of divers Scripture passages, which cannot 
he understood without the knowledge of Jewish customs of chro- 
nology, of geography, &c. though the words were ever so exactly 
translated. All these, with many more, the vulgar must take upon 
the word of their teachers ; and, indeed, a faith merely human, is 
a necessary preparative to a faith Divine, in respect of some means, 
and prcECognita necessary thereto. If a scholar will not take his 
master's word that such letters have such or such a power, or do 
spell so or so ; or that such a Latin or Greek word hath such a 
signification ; when will he learn, or how will he know ? Nay, how 
do the most learned linguists know the signification of words in any 
language, and so in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, but only 
upon the credit of their teachers and authors ? and yet certain 

* Yet do I believe that that of 2 Pet. i. 20, is generally mistaken ; as if the apostles 
did deny private men the liberty of interpreting Scriptures, even for themselves ; when it 
is in regard of the object, and not of the interpreter, that the apostle calleth it " private :" 
as if he should say. The prophets are a sure testimony of the doctrine of Christianity : but 
then you must understand that they arc not to be interpreted of the private 'men that 
spoke them ; for they were but types of Christ the public person. So Psal. ii. and xvi. 
&c. are to be interpreted of Christ, and not of David only, a private person, and but a 
type of Christ in all : as Philip answereth the question of the eunuch in Acts viii. Of 
whom doth the prophet speak ; of himself, privately, or some other more public man ? 
This is, I think, the true meaning of Philip. 


enough too in the main. Tradition is not so useless to tlie world 
or the church as sonic would have it. Though the papists do sin- 
fully plead it against the sullicioncy of Scripture, yet Scripture suf- 
ficiency or perfection is only in stto fjciwrc, in its own kind, not hi 
ouiiii (jencre, not sufficient for every purpose. Scripture is a suf- 
ficient rule of faith and life ; hut not a sufficient means of conveying 
itself to all generations and persons. If human testimony had not 
heen necessary, why should Christ have men to he witnesses in the 
beginning ; and also still instruments of persuading others, and at- 
testing the verily of these sacred records to those that cannot other- 
wise come to know them ? 

And, doubtless, this is the chief use of the ministers in the 
church,* and the great end of God in the stating 
and continuing their function ; that what men are govenfors'and"'^'^^ 
uncapable of believing explicitly, with a faith pro- teachers, and how 
perly Divine, that they might receive implicitly, obeyed^ *"""'" ^^ 
and upon the word of their teachers, with a human 
faith. Every man should labour indeed to see with his own eyes, 
and to know all that God hath revealed, and to be wiser than his 
teachers ; but every man cannot bestow that time and pains in the 
study of languages and sciences, without which that knowledge is 
not now attained. We may rather wish than hope, that all the 
Lord's people were prophets. The church of Christ hath been 
long in a very doleful plight betwixt these two extremes, taking all 
things upon trust from our teachers, and taking nothing upon trust : 
and yet those very men w^ho so disclaim taking upon trust, do 
themselves take as much upon trust as others. 

Why else are ministers called the eyes and the hands of the 
body ; stewards of the mysteries, and of the house of God ; over- 
seers, rulers, and governors of the church ; and such as must give 
the children their meat in due season ; fathers of their people ? 
&c. Surely they clearly know truth and duty must be received 
from any one, though but a child ; and known error and iniquity 
must be received from none, though an angel from heaven. ^^ hat, 
then, is that we are so often required to obey our teaching rulers 
in ? Surely it is not so much in the receiving of new-instituted 
ceremonies from them, which they call things indifferent : but, as 
in all professions, the scholar must take his master's word in learn- 
ing, till he can grow up to know the things in their own evidence ; 
and as men will take the words of any artificers in the matters that 
concern their own trade ; and as every wise patient will trust the 
judgment of his physician, except he know as much himself; and 

* If the revilers of the ministers of Christ, with -whom this Ticious, age .nboundeth, 
(lid know what power ministers had, both in the apostles' times, and many hundred 
years after, and what strict discipline was used, as they may see in holy Cyprian among 
others, they would not for shame charge us with tyranny and proud domination. It is 
wonderful that religion then had that awe and power on men's consciences, that they 
would make men stoop to public confessions and penitential lamentationf;, p,t the cen- 
sure of the church guides, even when the censures were rigid, and when tlie magistrates 
did not second them, yea, when it was a hazard to their lives to be known Christians. 
And yet, now Christianity is in credit, even those that seem religious, do judge Christ's 
discipline to be tyranny, and subjection to it to be intolerable slavery. 



the client will take the word of his lawyer : so also Christ hath 
ordered that the more strong and knowing should be teachers in 
his school, and the young and ignorant should believe them and 
obey them, till they can reach to understand the things themselves. 
So that the matters which we must receive upon trust from our 
teachers^ are those which we cannot reach to know ourselves, and 
therefore must either take them upon the word of others, or not re- 
ceive them at all : so that, if these rulers and stewards do require 
us to believe, when we know not ourselves whether it be truth or 
not ; or if they require us to obey, when we know not ourselves 
whether it be a duty commanded by God or not; here it is that 
we ought to obey them. For though we know not whether God 
hath revealed such a point, or commanded such an action, yet that 
he hath commanded us to obey them that rule over us, who preach 
to us the word of God, this we certainly know, Heb. xiii. 7. Yet 
I think we are not so strictly tied to the judgment of a weak minis- 
ter of our own, as to take his word before another's, that is more 
judicious, in a neighbour congregation. Nor do I think, if we see 
but an appearance of his erring, that we should carelessly go on in 
believing and obeying him without a diligent searching after the 
truth : even a likelihood of his mistake must quicken us to further 
inquiry, and may, during that inquiry, suspend our belief and obe- 
dience. For where we are able to reach to know probabilities in 
divine things, we may with diligence possibly reach to that degree 
of certainty which our teachers themselves have attained, or at 
least to understand the reason of their doctrine. But still remem- 
ber what I said before, that fundamentals must be believed with 
a faith explicit, absolute, and Divine. 

And thus I have showed the flat necessity of taking much upon 
the testimony of man ; and that some of these human testimonies 
are so certain, that they may well be called Divine. I conclude all 
with this intimation : j'ou may see by this, of what singular use are 
the monuments of antiquity, and the knowledge thereof, for the 
breeding and strengthening of the Christian faith ; especially the 
histories of those times. I would not persuade you to bestow so 
much time in the reading of the fathers, in reference to their judg- 
ment in matters of doctrine ; nor follow them in all things, as some 
do. God's word is a sufficient rule ; and latter times haye afforded 
far better expositors. But in reference to matters of fact, for con- 
firming the miracles mentioned in Scripture, and relating the won- 
derful providences since, I would they were read a hundred times 
more ; not only the writers of the church, but even the histories of 
the enemies, and all other antiquities. Little do most consider 
how useful these are to the Christian faith. And therefore our 
learned antiquaries are highly to be honoured, and exceeding useful 
instruments in the church. 

If yet any man be so blind that he think it uncertain whether 
these be the same books which were written by the apostles ; I 
would ask him by what assurance he holdeth his lands ? 1. How 
knoweth he that his deeds, conveyances, or leases, are not coun- 


terfeit ; or that they are tlie same that his forefathers niacle ? 
They have notliing but men's words for it ; and yet they think 
they are certain that their lands are their own. 2. And whereas 
they hold all they have by the law of the land, how know they that 
th^se laws are not counterfeit ; and that they are the same laws 
which were made by such kings and parliaments so long ago, and 
not forg(Hl since !* They have nothing but men's words for all this. 
And yet if this be uncertain, then any man, lord, or knight, or 
gentleman, may be turned out of all he hath, as if he had no cer- 
tain tenure or assurance. And is it not evident that those laws 
which are so kept and practised through all the land, cannot pos- 
sibly be counterlbit, but it would have been publicly known? And 
yet a word in the statute-book may be falsely printed. And much 
more certain it is that the Scriptures cannot be counterfeit, because 
it is not in one kingdom only, but in all the world that they have 
been used, and the copies dispersed ; and ministers in office still to 
preach it, and publish it. So that it could not be generally and 
purposely corrupted, except all the world should have met and 
combined together for that end, which could not be done in secret, 
but all must know of it. And yet many Bibles may be here or 
there misprinted or miswritten ; but then there would be copies 
enough to correct it by. So that if it be uncertain whether these 
be the very books which the apostles wrote, then nothing in the 
world is certain but what we see. And why we may not as well 
question our eyesight, I do not know. I would believe a thousand 
other men's eyesight before mine own alone. 



Sect. I. I come now to my second argument, to prove Scripture 
to be the word of God ; and it is this : 

If the Scripture be neither the invention of devils nor of men, 
then it can be from none but God ;* but that' it is neither of devils, 
nor merely of men, I shall now prove ; for, I suppose, none will 
question that major proposition. First, Not from devils ; for, First, 
They cannot work miracles to confirm them. Secondly, It would 
not stand with God's sovereignty over them, or with the goodness, 
wisdom, and faithfulness of governing the world, to suffer Satan to 
make laws, and confirm them with wonders, and obtrude them 
upon the world in the name of God, and all this without disclaim- 
ing them, or giving the world any notice of the forgery. Thirdly,! 

* I take it for granted that good angels could not be guilty of forging the Scripture. 
t As Origen many times demands of Celsus, if magicians by evil powers could work 
miiacles, would they do it for the leading men from sin to exact holiness and justice? 
M 2 


Would Satan speak so much for God? so seek his glory as the 
Scripture doth .' Would he so vilify and reproach himself, and 
make known himself to be the hatefuUest and most miserable of 
all creatures ? Would he so fully discover his own wiles, his 
temptations, his methods of deceiving, and give men such powerful 
warning to beware of his snares, and such excellent means to con- 
quer himself? Would the devil lay such a design for men's salva- 
tion ? Would he show them their danger, and direct them to 
escape it ? Would he so mightily labour to promote all truth and 
goodness, and the happiness of mankind, as the Scripture doth ? 
Let any man tell me what book or project in the world did ever so 
mightily overthrow the kingdom of Satan as this book, and this 
gospel design : and would Satan be such an enemy to his own king- 
dom ? Fourthly, If Satan were the author, he would never be so 
unweariedly and subtlely industrious, to draw the world to unbelief, 
and to break the laws which this book containeth, as his constant 
temptations do sensibly tell many a poor soul that he is ; would he 
be so earnest to have his own words rejected, or his own laws 
broken ? I think this is all clear to any man of reason. 

Sect. II. Secondly : That no mere men were the inventors of 
Scripture, I prove thus : If men were the devisers of it, then it 
was either good men or bad ; but it was neither good men nor bad; 
therefore, none. 

Though goodness and badness have many degrees, yet under 
some of these degrees do all men fall. Now, I will show you that 
it could be neither of these : and. First, Good men they could not 
be ; for you might better say that murderers, traitors, adulterers, 
parricides, sodomites, &c. were good men, rather than such. To 
devise laws, and father them upon God ; to feign miracles, and 
father them upon the word of the Lord ; to promise eternal salva- 
tion to those that obey them ; to threaten damnation to those that 
obey them not ; to draw the world into a course so destructive to 
all their worldly happiness, upon a promise of happiness in another 
world, which they cannot give ; to endeavour so egregiously to 
cozen all mankind : if all this, or any of this, be consistent with 
common honesty, nay, if it be not as horrible wickedness as can be 
conmiitted, then I confess I have lost my reason. Much less, then, 
could such a number of good men in all ages, till Scriptures were 
finished, be guilty of such unexpressible crimes : neither will it 
here be any evasion to say, they were men of a middle temper, 
partly good and partly bad ; for these are not actions of a middle 
nature, nor such as will stand with any remnants of ingenuity or 
humanity. We have known wicked persons, too many, and too 
bad ; yet where or when did we ever know any that attempted any 
so more than hellish an enterprise ? False prophets have sent 
abroad indeed particular falsehoods ; but who hath adventured 
upon such a system as this ? Mahomet's example, indeed, comes 
nearest to such a villany ; yet doth not he pretend to the hundredth 
part of so many miracles, nor so great as the Scripture relateth, 
nor doth pretend to be God, nor any more than a great prophet : 


trusting more to his sword for success, than to the authority or 
truth ot" his pretended revehvtions : not denying the truth oi' much 
of the Scripture ; hut adding his Alcoran, partly drawn from 
Scripture, and partly fitted with fleshly liberties and promises to 
his own ends. And doth not every man among us take that act of 
Mahomet to be one of the vilest that the sun hath seen ; and judge 
of the man himself accordingly { So that I think it beyond doubt, 
that no one good man, nmch less so great a number as were the 
penmen of Scripture, could devise it of their own brain, and thrust 
it on the world. 

Secondly : And it is as certain that no bad men did devise the 
Scriptures. Could wicked deceivers so highly advance the glory 
of God, and labour so mightily to honour him in the world ? would 
they have so vilified themselves, and acknowledged their faults ? 
could such an admirable, undeniable spirit of holiness, righteous- 
ness, and self-denial, which runs through every vein of Scripture, 
have been inspired into it from the invention of the wicked ? VVould 
wicked men have been so wise, or so zealous for the suppression of 
w iekedness, or .-:() earnest to bring the world to reformation ? 
\\ ould they have been such bitter adversaries to their own ways, 
and such faithful friends to the ways they hate ? Would they have 
vilified the ungodly, as the Scripture doth, and pronounced eternal 
damnation against them ? Would they have extolled the godly, 
who are so contrary to them, and proclaimed them a people eter- 
nally blessed ? Would they have framed such perfect and such 
spiritual laws ; and would they have laid such a design against the 
flesh, and against all their worldly happiness, as the scope of the 
Scripture doth carry on ? It is needless, sure, to mention any more 
particulars : 1 think every man, of the least ingenuity, that con- 
siders this, or deliberately vieweth over the frame of the Scriptures, 
Avill easily confess that it is more than probable that it was never 
devised by any deceiving sinner ; much less, that all the penmen of 
it in several ages were such wicked deceivers. 

So, then, if it w^as neither devised by good men nor hy bad men, 
then sure by no men ; and, consequently, must of necessity proceed 
from God. 

Sect. III. Secondly, That it proceeded not merely from man, I 
also prove thus : That which was done without the help of human 
learning, or any extraordinary endowments of nature, and yet the 
greatest philosophers could never reach near it, must needs be the 
effect of a power supernatural ; but such is both the doctrine and 
the miracles in Scripture ; therefore, &c. 

It is only the antecedent that here requires proof; which consists 
of these two branches, both which I shall make clear. 

First : That the doctrine of Scripture was compiled, and the 
miracles done, without the help of much human learning, or any 
extraordinary natural endowments. 

Secondly :, That yet the most learned philosophers never could 
reach near the gospel mysteries, nor ever work the miracles that 
were then done. 


But. I shall say most to the doctrine. For the proof of the 
former, consider, 

First : The whole world was, in the times of Moses and the pro- 
phets, comparatively unlearned. A kind of learning the Egyptians 
then had, and some few other, especially consisting in some small 
skill in astronomy ; but it was all but barbarous ignorance, in com- 
parison of the learning of Greece and Europe. Those writings of 
greatest antiquity, yet extant, do show this. See also Doctor 
Hackwell, as before. 

2. As rare as learning then was, yet did God choose the un- 
learned of that unlearned time to be instruments and penmen of 
his choicest Scriptures,* David, who was bred a shepherd, is the 
penman of those divine, unmatchable psalms. Amos is taken from 
a herdsman, to be a prophet. 

3. But especially in those latter ages, when the world was grown 
more wise and learned, did God purposely choose the weak, the 
foolish, the unlearned, to confound them ; a company of poor fish- 
ermen, tent-makers, and such-like, must write the laws of the king- 
dom of Christ ; must dive into the spiritual mysteries of the king- 
dom ; must silence the wise, and disputers of the world ; must be 
the men that must bring in the world to believe. Doubtless, as 
God sending David, an unarmed boy, with a sling and a stone 
against an armed giant, was to make it appear that the victory was 
from himself; so his sending these unlearned men to preach the 
gospel, and subdue the world, was to convince both the present and 
future generations that it was God, and not man, that did the work. 

4. Also, the course they took in silencing the learned adver- 
saries, doth show us how little use they made of these human helps. 
They disputed not with them by the precepts of logic ; their argu- 
ments were to the Jews, the writings of Moses and the prophets ; 
and both to Jews and Gentiles, the miracles that were wrought : 
they argued more with deeds than with words. The blind, lame, 
the sick that were recovered, were their visible arguments. The 
languages which they spake, the prophecies which they uttered, 
and other such supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost upon them ; 
these were the things that did convince the world : yet this is no 
precedent to us, to make as little use of learning as they, because 
we are not upon the same work, nor yet supplied with their super- 
natural furniture. 

5. The reproaches of their enemies do fully testify this, who cast 
it still in their teeth, that they were ignorant and unlearned men ; 
and, indeed, that was the great rub that their doctrine found in the 
world. It was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks 
foolishness ; and therefore it appeared to be the power of God, and 
not of man. This was it that they discouraged the people with : 
" Do any of the rulers or Pharisees believe on him ? But this 
people that know not the law are accursed," John vi. 48, 49. 

6. To conclude, the very frame and style of these sacred writings, 
do fully tell us, that they were none of the logicians, nor eloquent 
orators, of the world, that did compose them. This is yet to this 


day one of the greatest stumbling-blocks in the workl, to hinder 
men from the reverencing and believing the Scriptures. 'I'hey are 
still thinking, Surely if they were the very words of God, they 
would excel all other writings in every kind of excellency ; when, 
indeed, it discovereth them the more certainly to be of God, be- 
cause there is in them so little of man. They may as well say, If 
David had been sent against Goliath from God, he would sure 
have been the most complete soldier, and most completely armed. 
The words are but the dish to serve up the sense in ; God is con- 
tent that the words should not only have in them a savour of hu- 
manity, but of nmch iniirmity, so that the work of convincing the 
workl may be furthered thereby. And I verily think, that tliis is 
God's great design, in permitting these precious spirits of Divine 
truth to run in the veins of infirm language, that so men may be 
convinced, in all succeeding ages, that Scripture is no device of 
human policy. If the apostles had been learned and subtle men, 
we should sooner have suspected their finger in the contrivance. 
Yea, it is observable, that in such as Paul, that had some human 
learning, yet God would not have them make much use of it, lest 
the excellency of the cross of Christ should seem to lie in the en- 
ticing words of man's wisdom ; and lest the success of the gospel 
should seem to be more from the ability of the preacher, than from 
the arm of God. 

Besides all this, it may much persuade us that the apostles never 
contrived the doctrine which they preached, by their sudden and 
not premeditated setting upon the work. They knew not whither 
they should go, nor what they should do, when he calls one from 
his fishing, another from his custom ; they knew not what course 
Christ would take with himself, or them ; no, not a little before 
he leaves them. Nay, they must not know their employment till 
he is taken from them. And even then is it revealed to them by 
parcels and degrees, and that without any study or invention of 
their own : even after the coming down of the Holy Ghost, Peter 
did not well understand that the Gentiles must be called, Acts x. 
All which ignorance of his apostles, and suddenness of revelation, 
I think was purposely contrived by Christ, to convince the workl 
that they were not the contrivers of the doctrine which they 

Sect. IV. Let us next, then, consider, how far short the learned 
philosophers have come of this. They that have spent all their 
days in most painful studies, having the strongest natural endow- 
ments to enable them, and the learned teachers, the excellent 
libraries, the bountiful encouragement and countenance of princes, 
to further them, and yet, after all this, are very novices in all spi- 
ritual things. They cannot tell what the happiness of the soul is, 
nor where that happiness shall be enjoyed ; nor when, nor how long, 
nor what are the certain means to attain it ; nor who they be that 
shall possess it. They know nothing how the workl was made, nor 
how it shall end ; nor know they the God who did create, and cloth 
sustain it ; but, for the most of them, they multiply feigned deities. 


But I shall have occasion to open this more fully anon, under 
the last argument. 



Sect. I. My third argument, whereby I prove the Divine au- 
thority of the Scriptures, is this : Those writings which have been 
owned and fulfilled in several ages by apparent extraordinary provi- 
dences of God, must needs be of God ; but God hath so owned 
and fulfilled the Scriptures ; ergo, they are of God. 

The major proposition will not sure be denied. The direct con- 
sequence is, that such writings are approved by God ; and if ap- 
proved by him, then must they needs be his own, because they 
affirm themselves to be his own. It is beyond all doubt, that God 
will not interpose his power, and work a succession 5f wonders in 
the world, for the maintaining or countenancing of any forgery ; 
especially such as should be a slander against himself. 

All the work, therefore, will lie in confirming the minor : where 
I shall show you, First, By what wonders of providence God hath 
owned and i'ulfilled the Scriptures ; and, Secondly, How it may 
appear that this was the end of providences. 

I. The first sort of providences here to be considered, are those 
that have been exercised for the church universal. Where these 
three things present themselves especially to be observed : First, 
The propagating of the gospel, and raising of the church : Secondly, 
The defence and continuance of that church : Thirdly, The im- 
probable ways of accomplishing these. 

And, First, Consider what an unlikely design, in the judgment 
of man, did Christ send his apostles upon. To bid a few ignorant 
mechanics. Go, preach, and make him disciples of all nations. 
To send his followers into all the world, to make men believe him 
to be the Saviour of the world, and to charge them to expect sal- 
vation no other way. Why, almost all the world might say, they 
had never seen him : and to tell them in Britain, &c. of one cruci- 
fied among thieves at Jerusalem, and to charge them to take him 
for their eternal King ; this was a design very unlikely to prevail. 
When they would have taken him by force, and made him a king, 
then he refused, and hid himself. But when the world thought 
they had fully conquered him, when they had seen him dead, and 
laid him in his sepulchre, then doth he arise and subdue the world. 
He that would have said, when Christ was on the cross, or in the 
grave, that within so many weeks many thousands of his murderers 
should believe him to be their Saviour ; or within so many years, 
so many countries and kingdoms should receive him for their Lord, 
and lay down their dignities, possessions, and lives at his feet ; 


would have hardly been believed by any that had heard hiin : and 
I am confident, they would most of them have acknowledged, that 
if such a wondt^r should come to pass, it nuist needs be from the 
linger of God alone. That the kingdoms of the world should be- 
come the kingdoms of Christ, was then a matter exceeding im- 
probable. But you may object that, First, It is but a small part 
of the world that believes. And, Secondly, Christ himself saith, 
that his flock is little. I answer, First, It is a very great part of 
the world that are believers at this day, if we consider besides 
Europe, all the Greek church, and all the believers that arc dis- 
persed in Egypt, -ludea, and most of the Turks' dominions; and 
the vast empire of Prestor-John in Africa. Secondly, Most coun- 
tries of the world have received the gospel ; but they had but their 
time: they have sinned away the light, and therefore are now 
given up to darkness. Thirdly, Though the flock of Christ's elect 
are small, that shall receive the kingdom ; yet the called, that pro- 
fess to believe his gospel, are many. 

2. Consider, also, as the wonderful raising of the kingdom of 
Christ in the world, so the wonderful preservation and continuance 
of it. He sends out his disciples as lambs among wolves, and yet 
promiseth them deliverance and success. His followers are every 
where hated through the world ; their enemies are numerous as 
the sands of the sea : the greatest princes and potentates are com- 
monly their greatest enemies, who, one would think, might com- 
mand their extirpation, and procure their ruin with a word of their 
mouths. The learned men, and great wits of the world, are com- 
monly their most keen and confident adversaries ; who, one would 
think, by their wit, should easily overreach them, and by their 
learning befool them, and by their policy contrive some course for 
their overthrow. Nay, which is more wonderful than all, the very 
common professors of the faith of Christ are as great haters of the 
sincere and zealous professors, almost, if not altogether, as are the 
very Turks and pagans ; and those that do acknowledge Christ for 
their Saviour, do yet so abhor the strictness and spirituality of his 
laws and ways, that his sincere subjects are in more danger of 
them, than of the most open enemies : whereas, in other religions, 
the forwardest in their religion are best esteemed of. Besides the 
temptations of Satan, the unwillingness of the flesh, because of the 
worldly comforts which we must renounce, and the tedious, strict 
conversation which we must undertake, these are greater opposers of 
the kingdom of Christ than all the rest ; yet in despite of all these, 
is this kingdom maintained, the subjects increased, and these 
spiritual laws entertained and obeyed : and the church remains 
both firm and stedfast, as the rocks in the sea, while the waves 
that beat upon it do break themselves in pieces. 

3. Consider, also, in what way Christ doth thus spread his gos- 
pel, and preserve his church. First, Not by worldly might and 
power, nor by compelling men to profess him by the sword. In- 
deed, when men do profess themselves voluntarily to be his sub- 
jects, he hath authorized the sword to sec in part to the execution 


of his laws, and to punish those that break the laws which they 
have accepted. But to bring men in from the world into his 
church, from paganism, Turkism, or Judaism, to Christianity ; he 
never gave the sword any such commission : he never levied an 
army to advance his dominion ; nor sent forth his followers as so 
many commanders to subdue the nations to him by force, and 
spare none that will not become Christians; he will have none but 
those that voluntarily list themselves under him ; he sent out 
ministers, and not magistrates or commanders, to bring in the 
world. Yea, though he be truly willing of men's happiness in re- 
ceiving him, and therefore earnestly inviteth them thereto, yet he 
lets them know that he will be no loser by them; as their service 
cannot advantage him, their neglect cannot hurt him ; he lets them 
know that he hath no need of them, and that his beseeching of 
them is for their own souls, and that he will be beholden to none 
of them all for their service ; if they know where to have a better 
master, let them take their course ; even the kings of the earth 
shall stoop to his terms, and be thankful too, or else they are no 
servants for him : his house is not so open, as to welcome all 
comers, but only those that will submit to his laws, and accept 
of him upon his own conditions ; therefore hath he told men the 
worst, as well as the best, that if they will be discouraged or 
frighted from him, let them go ; he tells them of poverty, of dis- 
grace, of losing their lives, or else they cannot be his disciples. 
And is not this an unlikely way to win men to him ; or to bring in 
so much of the world to worship him ? He flatters none, he 
humoureth none ; he hath not formed his laws and ways to please 
them. Nay, which is yet more, he is as strict in turning some men 
out of his service, as other masters would be ready to take them in. 
Therefore he hath required all his followers to disclaim all such as 
are obstinate offenders, and not so much as to eat, or be familiar 
with them. How contrary to all this is the course of the great 
commanders of the world, when they would enlarge their dominions, 
or procure themselves followers ! They have no course but to 
force men, or to flatter them. How contrary was Mahomet's course 
in propagating his kingdom ! he levieth an army, and conquers 
some adjoining parties ; and, as his success increaseth, so doth his 
presumption : he enticeth all sorts to come to his camp ; he maketh 
laws that would please their fleshly lusts ; he promiseth beautiful 
sights, and fair women, and such carnal delights in another -world: 
in a word, as his kingdom was planted, so hath it been preserved 
by no other ways, but force and flattery. But Christ hath not one 
word for either of these : his compelling men to come in, is but 
rational persuading. 

2. Nay, yet more than this, he makes his church to grow by 
sufferings ; when others increase their dominions by the destroy- 
ing of their enemies, he increaseth his by suffering them to kill his 
subjects ; an unlikely way, one would think, to make the world 
either love or serve him. There have been few ages, since the 
first appearing of the gospel in the world, wherein the earth hath 


not drunk in the blood of believers. In the beginning it was u 
rare case to be a faithful pastor, and not a martyr. Thirty-three 
Roman bishops successively are said to have been martyred ; 
thousands, yea, ten thousands slaughtered at a time ; insomuch that 
Gregory and Cyprian cry out, that the witnesses who had died for 
the truth of the gospel, were to men innumerable; that the world 
was all over tilled with their blood; and they that were left alive 
to behold it, were not so many as those that were slain ; that no 
war did consume so many : and the histories of the enemies ac- 
knowledge almost as much. 

Now, whether this be a likely course to gain disciples, and to 
subdue the world, you may easily judge. Yet did the church never 
thrive better than by persecution ; what they got not in number, 
yet they got in zeal and excellency of professors ; and seldom hath 
it lost more than in prosperity : yea, when the vulgar professors 
have enjoyed prosperity, yet persecution hath almost ever been the 
lot of the zealous and sincere. 

And thus I have showed you those wonders of Providence, which 
have been exercised for the church universal. 

Sect. II. Secondly : Consider, next, what strange providences 
have been exercised to particular churches. I cannot stand to 
heap up particular examples, you may find them frequent in the 
histories of the church ; what deliverances cities and countries have 
had, what victories those princes have had, who have been their 
defenders, as Constantine the Great, and many since ; and what 
apparent manifestations of God's hand in all. Yea, he that reads 
but the histories of latter times, where wars have been managed 
for defence of the doctrine of this Scripture, and obedience thereto, 
against the corruptions and persecutions of Rome, may see more 
apparent discoveries of the hand of God ; yea, even in those wars 
where the enemy hath at last prevailed, as in Bohemia, in Zisca's 
time, in France, at Merindol and Cabriers. The history of Belgia 
will show it clearly : so will the strange preservation of the poor 
city of Geneva. But all these are further from us; God hath 
brought such experiments home to our hand. If we should over- 
look the strange providences that produced the Reformation in the 
times of Henry the Eighth, Edward the Sixth, Queen Mary, 
Queen Elizabeth, and King James ; yet even the strange passages 
of these years past, have been such that might silence an atheist, 
or an antiscripturist : to see the various straits that God hath 
brought his people through ; the unlikely means by which he still 
performed it ; the unexpected events of most undertakings ; the 
uncontrived and unthought-of ways which men have been led in ; 
the strange managing of councils and actions ; the plain appear- 
ance of an extraordinary providence, and the plain interposition of 
an Almighty arm, which hath appeared in almost all our public 
affairs, in all which God hath not only manifested a special provi- 
dence, but also notably disowned men's sins, encouraged prayer, 
and fulfilled promises ; though as to the particular exposition of 
some of his providences, we may hear him to say to us, as some- 


time to Peter, " What I do thou knowest not now, but hereafter 
thou shalt know." 

Sect. III. Thirdly : Consider, also, of the strange judgments 
which in all ages have overtaken the most eminent of the enemies 
of the Scriptures. Besides Antiochus, Herod, Pilate, the perse- 
cuting emperors, especially Julian ; church histories will acquaint 
you with multitudes more : Fox's Book of Martyrs will tell you of 
many undeniable remarkable judgments on those adversaries of 
pure religion, whose greatest wickedness is against these Scrip- 
tures, subjecting them to their church, denying them the people, 
and setting up their traditions as equal to them. Yea, our own 
times have afforded us most evident examples. Sure God hath 
forced many of his enemies to acknowledge in their anguish the 
truth of his threatenings, and cry out, as Julian, Vicisti, Galilcee. 

Sect. IV, Fourthly : Consider, also, the eminent judgments of 
God which have befallen the vile transgressors of most of his laws. 
Besides all the voluminous histories that make frequent mention 
of this, I refer you to Dr. Beard's " Theatre of God's Judgments," 
and the book entitled " God's Judgments upon Sabbath-breakers :" 
and it is like your own observations may add much.* 

Sect. V. Fifthly : Consider, further, of the eminent providences 
that have been exercised for the bodies and states of particular be- 
lievers. The strange deliverance of many intended to martyrdom, 
as you have many instances in the " Acts and Monuments ; " be- 
sides those in Eusebius, and others, that mention the stories of 
the first persecutions. If it were convenient here to make particu- 
lar mention of men's names, I could name you many, who, of late, 
have received such strange preservations, even against the common 
course of nature, that might convince an atheist of the finger of 
God therein. But this is so ordinary, that I am persuaded there 
is scarce a godly, experienced Christian that carefully observes and 
faithfully recordeth the providences of God toward him, but is 
able to bring forth some such experiment, and to show you some 
such strange and unusual mercies, which may plainly discover an 
Almighty Disposer, making good the promises of this Scripture to 
his servants : some in desperate diseases of body, some in other 
apparent dangers, delivered so suddenly, or so much against the 
common course of nature, when all the best remedies have failed, 
that no second cause could have any hand in their deliverance. 

Sixthly, and lastly: Consider the f strange and evident dealing 
of God with the souls and consciences both of believers and unbe- 
lievers. What pangs of hellish despair have many enemies of the 
truth been brought to ! How doth God extend the spirits of his 

* How many churches in England were torn at once with terrible lightning ; and 
almost no place else but churches were touched, especially at the lower part of Devon- 
shire, where many were scorched, maimed, and some had their brains struck out as they 
sat in church ! And at the church of Antliony, in Cornwall, near Plymouth, on Whit- 
sunday, 1640. See the relation in print. 

t Was it not near a miracle, that God wrought for Mrs. Honywood, when she 
threw the glass unto the wall, saying, " If tliis glass break not, I may be saved," &c. 
and yet took it up whole 1 


own people ; bruising, breaking, killing them wilh terrors, and 
then healing, raising, and hlling tluMU with joys which they cannot 
utter ! 1 low variously doth he mould them ! Sometimes they are 
brought to tlie ,i,'ates of ht^ll, sometimes they are ravished with the 
foretastes of heaven : the proudest spirits are made to stoop ; the 
lowest are raised to an invincible courage. In a word, the work- 
ings of God upon the souls of his people, are so clear and strange, 
that you may trace a supernatural causality through them all. 
Besides the admirable efficacy of them in changing men's hearts, 
and making them to ditler from what they were, and from all 
others, in all holiness, righteousness, and self-denial. 

Sect. VI. Secondly : But though it be undeniable that all these 
are the extraordinary working of God ; yet how do they confirm 
the authority of Scripture? How doth it appear that they have 
any such ends ? Answer : that is it I come to show you next. 

First : Some of these works do carry their end apparently with 
them, and manifest it in the event. The forementioned provi- 
dences for raising and preserving the church, are such as show us 
their own ends. 

Secondly : They are most usually wrought for the friends and 
followers of Scripture, and against the enemies and disobeyers of it. 

Thirdly : They are the plain fulfilling of the predictions of 
Scripture. The judgments on the offenders are the plain fulfilling 
of its threatenings, and the mercies to believers are the plain ful- 
filling of its promises. As for example ; as unlikely as it was, yet 
Christ foretold his apostles that when he was lifted up he would 
draw all men to him. He sent them upon an errand as unlikely to 
be so successful as any in the world ; and yet he told them just 
what success they should find, how good to their message, and how 
hard to their persons. The promise was of old, to give Christ " the 
heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth 
for his possession," Psal. ii. 2 — 5. Christ promiseth to be with 
his messengers to the end of the world. Why now how punctually^ 
doth he accomplish all this ! What particular prophecies of Scripture 
have been fulfilled, and w'hen, and how, hath already been dis- 
covered by others, and therefore I shall overpass that. 

Fourthly : These judgments have been usually executed on 
offenders, at the very time when they have been either opposing or 
violating Scripture ; and these mercies bestowed chiefly upon be- 
lievers at such a time, when they have been most engaged in de- 
fence of or obedience to the Scriptures. 

Fifthly : They usually proceed in such effectual sort, that they 
force the enemies and ungodly to confess the cause ; yea, and oft- 
times the very standers-by : so do they force believers also to see, 
that God makes good his word in all their mercies. 

Sixthly : They are performed in answer to the prayers of be- 
lievers ; while they urge God with the promises of Scripture, then 
doth he appear in these evident providences. This is a common 
and powerful argument, which most Christians may draw from 
their own experiences. Had we no other argument to prove Scrip- 


ture to be the word of God, but only the strange success of the 
prayers of the saints, while they trust upon and plead the promises 
with fervency, I think it might much confirm experienced men. 
What wonders, yea, what apparent miracles did the prayers of 
former Christians procure ! hence the Christian soldiers, in their 
army, were called the thundering legion ; they could do more by 
their prayers, than the rest by their arms. Hence Gregory was 
called 9av;taTowp709, from his frequent miracles among the heathen. 
And Vincentius reporteth, that Sulpitius Bituricensis did expel the 
devils, heal the sick, and raise the dead, by praying to God for 
them. When Myconius, a godly divine, lay sick of that consump- 
tion, which is called phthisis, Luther prayed earnestly that he 
might be recovered, and that he might not die before himself. And 
so confident was he of the grant of his desire, that he writes boldly 
to Myconius, that he should not die nowj but should remain yet 
longer upon this earth. Upon these prayers did Myconius pre- 
sently revive, as from the dead, and live six years after, till Luther 
was dead : and himself hath largely written the story, and pro- 
fessed, that when he heard Luther's letters, he seemed to hear 
that voice of Christ, " Lazarus, come forth." Yea, so powerful 
and prevailing was Luther in prayer, that Justus Jonas writes 
of him, iste vir potuit quod voliiit, that man could do what he 

What was it less than a miracle in Baynam the martyr, who 
told his persecutors, Lo ! here is a miracle ; I feel no more pain 
in this fire than in a bed of down ; it is as sweet to me as a bed 
of roses ? So Bishop Farrar, who could say before he went to the 
fire. If I stir in the fire, believe not my doctrine ; and accordingly 
remained unmoved. Theodorus the martyr, in the midst of his 
torment, had one in the shape of a young man, as he thought, came 
and wiped off his sweat, and eased him of his pain. 

But what need I fetch examples so far off; or to recite the mul- 
titudes of them which church history doth afford us ? Is there 
ever a praying Christian here who knoweth what it is importunate- 
ly to strive with God, and to plead his promises with him believ- 
ingly, that cannot give in his experiences of most remarkable 
answers ? I know men's atheism and infidelity will never want 
somewhat to say against the most eminent providences, though 
they were miracles themselves. That nature which is so ignorant 
of God, and at enmity with him, will not acknowledge him in his 
clear discoveries to the world, but will ascribe all to fortune or 
nature, or some such idol, which indeed is nothing. But when 
mercies are granted in the very time of prayer, and that when to 
reason there is no hope, and that without the help of any other 
means or creatures, yea, and perhaps many times over and over, is 
not this as plain as if God from heaven should say to us, I am ful- 
filling to thee the true word of my promises in Christ my Son ? 
How many times have I known the prayer of faith to save the sick, 
when all physicians have given them up for dead ! * James v. 

* Among abundance of instances that I could give, my conscience commandeth me 


13 — 16. It hath been my own case more than once, or twice, or 
ten times: when means have all failed, and the hitches t art or 
reason has sentenced me hopeless, yet have 1 been relieved by the 
provalency of fervent prayer, and that, as the physician saith, tulo, 
cilo, I't jucHude ; My flesli and my heart failed, i)ut God is the 
strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. And though he 
yet keep me under necessary weakness, and wholesome sickness, 
and certain expectation of further necessities and assaults, yet am 
I constrained by most convincing experiences, to set up this stone 
of remembrance, and publicly, to the praise of the Almighty, to 
acknowledge that certainly God is true to his promises, and that 
they are indeed his own infallible word, and that it is a most excel- 
lent privilege to have interest in God, and a spirit of supplication 
to be importunate with him. I doubt not but most Christians that 
observe the Spirit and providences, are able to attest this prevalency 
of prayer by their own experiences. 

Object. Perhaps you will say. If these rare examples were com- 
mon, I would believe. 

Ansic. First : If they were common, they would be slighted, as 
common wonders are. 

Secondly : Importunate prayer is not common, though formal 
babbling be. 

Thirdly : The evident returns of prayer are ordinary to the 

. Fourthly : If wonders were common, we should live by sense, and 
not by faith. 

Fifthly : I answer, in the words of Augustine, God letteth not 
every saint partake of miracles, lest the weak should be deceived 
with this pernicious error, to prefer miracles as better than the 
works of righteousness, whereby eternal life is attained. 

And let me now add, that if the Scriptures were not the word 
of God, undoubtedly there would have been as many wonders of 
Providence for the disgracing it, as have been for the defending it; 
and God would have destroyed the preachers of it, as the greatest 
abusers of him, and all the world, that should father such a thing 

here to give you this one, as belonging to the very words here written. I had a tumour 
rose on one of the tonsils, or almonds, of my throat, round like a pea, and at first no 
bigger ; and at last, no bigger than a small button, and hard like a bone. The fear lest 
it should prove a cancer, troubled me more than the thing itself. I used first, dis- 
solving medicines ; and after, lenitives for palliation : and all in vain for about a quarter 
of a year. At last my conscience smote me for silencing so many former deliverances 
that I had in answer of prayers : merely in pride, lest I should be derided as making 
ostentation of God's special mercies to myself, as if I were a special favourite of Heaven, 
I had made no public mention of them. I was that morning to preach just what is liere 
written, and in obedience to my conscience, I spoke these words which are now in this 
page, with some enlargement not here M-ritten. When I went to church I had my 
tumour as before (for I frequently saw it in the glass, and felt it constantly). As soon 
as I had done preaching, I felt it was gone, and hastening to the gla§3, I saw there was 
not the least vestigium, or cicatrix, or mark wherever it had been ; nor did I at all dis- 
cern what became of it. I am sure I neither swallowed it, nor spit it out ; and it was 
unlikely to dissolve by any natural cause, that had been hard like a bone a quarter of a 
year, notwithstanding all dissolving gargarisms. I thought fit to mention this, because 
it was done just as I spoke the words here written in this page. Many such marvellous 
mercies I have received, and known that others have received, in answer to prayer. 


on him. Can any man believe that God is the just and gracious 
Ruler of the world, (that is, that there is a God,) and yet that he 
would so long suffer such things to be published as his undoubted 
laws, and give no testimony against it, if it were not true ? As 
Perkins saith, (Cases of Cons. lib. ii. c. 3. p. 130. sect. 1,) If it 
had not been God's word, the falsehood had been detected long 
ago. For there hath been nothing falsely said of God at any time 
which he himself hath not, at some time or other, opened and re- 
vealed ; as he did the false prophets. 



"Sect. I. My fourth and last argument, which I will nov/ pro- 
duce to prove the Scripture to be the word and perfect law of 
God, is this : 

Either the Scriptures are the written word and law of God, or 
else there is no such extant in the w'orld : but there is a written 
word and law of God in the world ; ert/o, this is it. 

Here I have these two positions to prove : First, That God 
hath such a written word in the world. Secondly, That it can be 
no other but this. 

That there is such a word, I prove thus : If it cannot stand 
with the welfare of mankind, and consequently with that honour 
which the wisdom and goodness of God hath by their welfare, that 
the world should be without a written law, then, certainly, there is 
such a written law. But that it cannot stand with the welfare of 
the creature, or that honour of God, appears thus : that there be a 
certain and sufficient revelation of the will of God to man, more 
than mere nature and creatures do teach, is necessary to the wel- 
fare of man, and the aforesaid honour of God. But there is now 
no such certain and sufficient revelation unwritten in the world ; 
therefore, it is necessary that there be such a revelation written. 

The proof of the major is the main task, which if it be well 
performed, will clearly carry the whole cause ; for 1 believe all the 
rest will quickly be granted, if that be once plain. Therefore, I 
shall stand a little more largely to prove it, viz. that there is a 
necessity for the welfare of man, and the honour of God's wisdom 
and goodness, that there be some further revelation of God's will, 
than is in mere nature or creatures to be found. And first I prove 
it necessary to the welfare of man, and that thus : If man have a 
happiness or misery to partake of after this life, and no sufficient 
revelation of it in nature or creatures, then it is necessary that he 
have some other revelation of it, which is sufficient. But such a 
happiness or misery man must partake of hereafter, which nature 
and creatures do not sufficiently reveal, (either end or means,) 


therefore some other is necessary. I will stand the largelicr on the 
first branch of the antecedent, because the chief weight lieth on 
it ; and I scarce ever knew any dou])t of Scripture, but they also 
doul)tod of the immortal state and recompencc of souls; and that 
usually is their first and chiefest doubt. 

I will, therefore, here prove these three things in order thus: 1. 
That there is such a state for man hereafter. 2. That it is neces- 
sary that he know it, and the way to be so happy. 3. That nature 
and creatures do not sufficiently reveal it. 

For the first, I take it for granted, that there is a God, because 
nature teacheth that ; and I shall pass over those arguments drawn 
from his righteousness and just clispensation, to prove the variety 
of men's future conditions, because they are commonly known ; 
and I shall now argue from sense itself, because that works best 
with sensual men : and that thus. If the devil bfe very diligent to 
deceive men of that happiness, and to bring them to that misery, 
then sure there is such a happiness and misery : but the former is 
true, cr<jo the latter. They that doubt of the major proposition, 
do most of them doubt, whether there be any devil, as well as 
whether he seek our eternal undoing. I prove both together. 
First, By his temptation; Secondly, Apparitions ; Thirdly, Their 
possessions and dispossessions ; Fourthly, His contracts with 
witches. I hope these are palpable discoveries. 

1. The temptations of Satan are sometimes so unnatural, so 
violent, and so importunate, that the tempted person even feels 
something besides himself persuading and urging him : he cannot 
go about his calling, he cannot be alone, but he feels somewhat fol- 
lowing him, with persuasions to sin, yea, to sins that he never found 
his nature much inclined to, and such as bring him no advantage 
in the world, and such as are quite against the temperature of his 
body. Doth it not plainly tell us, that there is a devil, labouring 
to deprive man of his happiness, when men are drawn to commit 
such monstrous sins ? Such cruelty as the Romans used to the Jews 
at the taking of Jerusalem ; so many thousand Christians so bar- 
barously murdered ; such bloody actions as those of Nero, Caligula, 
Sylla, Messala, Caracalla, the Roman gladiators, the French mas- 
sacre, the gunpowder-plot, the Spanish inquisition, and their mur- 
dering fifty millions of Indians in forty-two years, according to the 
testimony of Acosta, their Jesuit; men invading their own neigh- 
bours and brethren, with an unquenchable thirst after their blood, 
and merely because of their strictness in the common professed re- 
ligion; I say, how could these come to pass, but by the instigation 
of the devil ? When we see men making a jest of such sins as 
these, making them their pleasure, impudently, and implacably 
against knowledge and conscience, proceeding in them, hating those 
ways that they know to be better, and all those persons that would 
help to save them ; yea, choosing sin, though they believe it will 
damn them ; despairing, and yet sinning still ; doth not this tell 
men plainly, that there is a devil, their enemy ? When men will 
commit the sin which they abhor in others, which reason is against ; 



when men of otherwise a good nature, as Vespasian, &c. shall be 
so bloody murderers ; when men will not be stirred from sin by 
any entreaty, though their dearest friends should beg, with tears, 
upon their knees ; though preachers convince them, and beseech 
them in the name of the Lord ; though wife and children, body 
and soul, be undone by it ; nay, when men will be the same under 
the greatest judgment, and under the most wonderful convincing 
providences, as appears in England, yea, under miracles themselves. 

Surely I think all this shows that there is a devil, and that he is 
diligent in working our own ruin. Why else should it be so hard a 
thing to persuade a man to that, which he is convinced to be good? 

Sect. II. 2. But yet if this be not evidence sufficient, the frequent 
apparitions of Satan in several shapes, drawing men or frighting 
them into sin, is a discovery undeniable. I know many are very 
incredulous herein, and v/ill hardly believe that there have been 
such apparitions. For my own part, though I am as suspicious as 
most in such reports, and do believe that most of them are conceits 
or delusions, yet having been very diligently inquisitive in all such 
cases, I have received undoubted testimony of the truth of such 
apparitions ; some from the mouths of men of undoubted honesty 
and godliness, and some from the report of multitudes of persons, 
who heard or saw. Were it fit here to name the persons, I could 
send you to them yet living, by whom you would be as fully satisfied 
as 1 : houses that have been so frequently haunted with such ter- 
rors, that the inhabitants successively have been witnesses of it. 

Learned godly Zanchius in his tom. 3. lib. iv. cap. 10, De Po- 
tentia Daemonum, saith, " he wonders that any should deny that 
there are such spirits, as from the effects are called hags, or fairies, 
that is, such as exercise familiarity with men, and do, without hurt- 
ing men's bodies, come to them, and trouble them, and, as it were, 
play with them. I could (saith he) bring many examples of persons 
yet alive, that have experience of these in themselves. But it is 
not necessary to name them, nor indeed convenient. But hence it 
appears that there are such spirits in the air ; and that when God 
permits them, they exercise their power on our bodies, either to 
sport or to hurt." So far Zanchy. And he makes this use of it : 
"■ Of this, (saith he,) besides the certainty of God's word, we have 
also men's daily experience. These devils, therefore, do serve to 
confirm our faith of God, of the good angels, of the kingdom of 
heaven, of the blessed souls, and of many things more which the 
Scripture delivereth. Many deny that the soul of man remaineth 
and liveth after death, because they see nothing go from him but 
his breath ; and they come to that impiety, that they laugh at all 
that is said of another life. But we see not the devils ; and yet it 
is clearer than the sun, that this air is full of devils ; because, be- 
sides God's word, experience itself doth teach it." Thus Zanchy 
pleads undeniable experience, lib. iv. c. 20, p. 212. 

Luther affirmed of himself, that at Coburge, he ofttimes had 
an apparition of burning torches ; the sight thereof did so affright 
him, that he was near swooning ; also, in his own garden, the devil 


appeared to him in the likeness of a black boar, but then he made 
light of it. Sozomen, in his Ecclesiastical History, writes of 
Apelles, a smith, famous in E(,'ypt for working miracles, who, in 
the night, while he was at work, was templed to uncleanncss by 
the devil, appearing in the shape of a beautiful woman. The like 
he tells of a strange apparition in Antioch, the night before the 
sedition against Theodosius. Theodorus mentions a fearful sight 
that appeared to Gennadius, patriarch of Constantinople, and the 
threatening words which it uttered. The writings of Gregory, 
Ambrose, Austin, Chrysostom, Nicephorus, &c. make frequent 
mention of apparitions, and relate the several stories at large. You 
may read in Lavater de Spectris, several other relations of appari- 
tions, out of Alexander ab Alexandro, Baptista Fulgosius, and 
others. Ludovicus Vives, (lib. i.) De Veritate Fidei, saith, " that 
among the savages in America, nothing is more common than to 
hear and see spirits in such shapes both day and night." The like 
do other writers testify of those Indians : so saith Olaus Magnus of 
the islanders. Cardanus de Subtilit. hath many such stories. So 
Job. Manlius in Loc. Commun. Collectan. (cap. 4.) de Malis Spi- 
ritibus, et de Satisfactione. Yea, godly, sober JNIelancthon affirms, 
that he had seen some such sights or apparitions himself; and many 
credible persons of his acquaintance have told him, that they have 
not only seen them, but had nmch talk with spirits : among the rest 
he mentions one of his own aunts, who sitting sad at the fire after 
the death of her husband, there appeared unto her one in the like- 
ness of her husband, and another like a Franciscan friar ; the 
former told her that he was her husband, and came to tell her 
somewhat ; v/hich was, that she must hire some priests to say cer- 
tain masses for him, which he earnestly besought her ; then he took 
her by the hand, promising to do her no harm, yet his hand so 
burned her, that it remained black ever after, and so they vanished 
away. Thus writes Melancthon. Lavater also himself, who hath 
written a book wholly of apparitions, a learned, godly, protestant 
divine, tells us, that it was then an undeniable thing, confirmed by 
the testimonies of many honest and credible persons, both men and 
women, some alive, and some dead, that sometimes by night, and 
sometimes by day, have both seen and heard such things ; some 
that going to bed had the clothes plucked off them ; others had 
somewhat lying down in the bed with them ; others heard it walk- 
ing in the chamber by them, spitting, groaning ; saying, they were 
the souls of such or such persons lately departed ; that they were 
in grievous torments, and if so many masses were but said for 
them, or so many pilgrimages undertaken to the shrine of some 
saint, they should be delivered. These things, with many such 
more, saith Lavater, were then frequently and undoubtedly done, 
and that where the doors were fast locked, and the room searched, 
that there could be no deceit. 

So Sleidan relates the story of Crescentius, the pope's legate, 
frighted into a deadly sickness by a fearful apparition in his cham- 
ber. Most credible and godly writers tell us, that on June 20, 


1484, at a town called Hamel, in Germany, the devil took away 
one hundred and thirty children, that were never seen again. 

But I need to say- no more of this ; there is enough written 
already, not only ])y Cycogna, Delrio, Paracelsus, &c. but also by 
godly and faithful writers, as Lavater, Georg. Agricola, Olaus 
Magnus, Zanchius, Pictorius, and many more. 

Ohjcct. But you will say. Though this prove that there are devils, 
and that they are enemies to our happiness ; yet how doth it prove 
that there is a future happiness or misery for man ? 

A?isiv. Why, plainly thus. What need Satan by these appa- 
ritions to set up sviperstition to draw men to sin, if there were no 
difference between sinners and others hereafter ? surely in this life 
it would be no great displeasure to them ; for usually the wicked 
have the most prosperous lives ; therefore his delusions must needs 
have respect to another life ; and that the end of his apparitions is 
either to drive men to despair, or to superstition, or some sin, is 
evident to all. Most of the papists' idolatry and will-worship hath 
either been caused or confirmed by such apparitions ; for in former 
days of darkness they were more common than now. How the 
order of the Carthusian friars was founded by Bruno, upon the ter- 
rible speeches and cries of a dead man, you may read in the life of 
Bruno, before his " Exposition on Paul's Epistles." Such was the 
original of All Souls Day, and other holydays, as Trithemius, Pe- 
trus de Natalibus, (lib. x. cap. 1,) Polyd. Virg. de Inv. (lib. ix. cap. 
9,) do declare. Also, praying for the dead, praying to saints, pur- 
gatory, merits of good works, sanctification, pilgrimages, masses, 
images, relics, monastical vows, auricular confession, and most of 
the popish ceremonies, have had their life and strength from these 
apparitions and delusions of the devil. But especially the cross 
hath been so magnified thereby, that it is grown the conmionest 
remedy to drive away devils of any in the world for many hundred 
years : the churchyard must have one to keep the devils from the 
graves of the dead ; and the church, and almost every pinnacle, 
window, and part of it, to keep him thence : the highways, also, 
must have them, that he molest not the traveller : yea, when morn- 
ing and evening, and in times of danger, and in the beginning of 
any work of duty, men must sign themselves with the cross, to 
keep away devils : insomuch that the learned doctors do handle it 
among their profound questions, what makes the devil so afraid of 
the cross, that he shuns it above all things else ? So that you may 
easily see what a great advantage the devil hath got over the souls 
of a great part of the world by these apparitions ; and consequently, 
that, this being the very end of his endeavours, there is certainly a 
happiness which he would deprive us of, and a misery that he would 
bring us to, when this life is ended. 

Sect. III. 3. It is manifest also by the devil's possessing and 
tormenting the bodies of men ; for if it were not more for the sake 
of the soul than the body, why should he not as much possess or 
torment a beast ? Certainly, it is not chiefly the outward torment 
of the person that he regardeth, though he desires that too ; for 



then he would not labour to settle his kingdom generally in peace 
and prosperity, and to make men choose iniquity for its worldly 
advantages : yet it may, perhaps, be the souls of others, more than 
the possessed persons themselves, that the devil may hope to get 
advantage on. So among the papists it hath brought tlieir exor- 
cisms into singular credit, by the frecjuont dispossessing the devils. 
I confess there hath been many counteVfeits of this kind, as the boy 
at Bilson, by \>'olverhampton, hired by some of the papists, and 
discovered by the vigilant care of Bishop Morton and divers others; 
but yet, if any doubt whether there is any such thing at all, credible 
history and late experience may sufficiently satisfy him. The his- 
tory of the dispossession of the devil out of many persons together 
in a room in Lancashire, at the prayer of some godly ministers, is 
very famous : read the book, and judge. Among the papists pos- 
sessions are common ; though very many of them are the priests' 
and Jesuits' delusions. 

What possession is, and how the devils are confined to a body,* 
or whether circumscribed there in whole or in part, are things be- 
yond my reach to know ; but that the strange effects which we 
have seen on some bodies, have been the products of the special 
power of the devil there, I doubt not. Though, for my own part, 
I believe that God's works in the world are usually by instruments, 
and not immediate ; and as good angels are his instruments in 
conveying his mercies both to soul and body, and churches and 
states ; so evil angels are instruments of inflicting his judgments, 
both corporal and spiritual. Hence God is said (Psal. Ixxviii. 49) 
to send evil angels among the Israelites. Hence Paul's phrase of 
delivering to Satan : hence Satan did execution on the children, 
cattle, and body of Job ; and upon Jerusalem in that plague, and 
numbering the people. To satisfy you fully in this, and to silence 
your objections, and to teach you the true and spiritual use of this 
doctrine, I refer you to Mr. Lawrence's book, called " Our Com- 
munion and War with Angels ;" and, especially, Zanchius's (tome 
3) book De Angelis ; and, now newly published, Mr. Ambrose's 
book, in which, in an epistle, I have confirmed and vindicated what 
I have here said. 

So then, though I judge that Satan is the instrument in our 
ordinary diseases, yet doth he,, more undeniably, appear in those 
whom we call the possessed. Luther thought that all phrenetic 
persons and idiots, and all bereaved of their understanding, had 
devils ; notwithstanding physicians might ease them by remedies. 
And, indeed, the presence of the devil may consist with the pre- 
sence of a disease and evil humour, with the efficacy of means : 
Saul's melancholy devil would be gone when David played on the 
harp. Many divines, as Tertullian, Austin, Zanchius, Lavater, 
&c. think that he can work both upon the body and mind, and that 
he maketh use to this end of melancholy humours ; and, indeed, 
such strange things are oft said and done by the melancholy and 

* The devil had the power of death, saith tlic Holy Ghost, Heb. ii. 14. 


mad, that many learned physicians think that the devil is frequent- 
ly mixed with such distempers, and hath a main hand in many 
other symptoms : so Avicen, Rhasis, Arculanus, Aponensis, Jason, 
Patensis, Hercul. Saxon, &c. Who can give any natural cause of 
men's speaking Hebrew or Greek, which they never learned or 
spake before ; of their versifying ; their telling persons that are 
present their secrets ; discovering what is done at a distance, which 
they neither see nor hear ? Fernelius mentioneth two that he 
saw ; whereof one was so tormented with convulsive pain, some- 
times in one arm, sometimes in the other, sometimes in one finger, 
&c. that four men could scarcely hold him, his head being still 
quiet and well. The physicians judged it a convulsion, from some 
malignant humour in \\\q spina do rsi ; till, having used all means 
in vain, at last the devil derided them, that they had almost de- 
stroyed the man with their medicines. The man spoke Greek and 
Latin, which he never learned ; he told the physicians a great 
many of their secrets ; and a great deal of talk with the devil, 
which they had, he there mentions. In conclusion, both this and 
the other were dispossessed by popish prayers, fasting, and exor- 
cism. Forestus mentions a countryman that, being cast into 
melancholy, through discontent at some injuries that he had re- 
ceived, the devil appeared to him in the likeness of a man, and 
persuaded him rather to make away himself than to bear such in- 
dignities ; and, to that end, advised him to send for arsenic and 
poison himself. But the apothecary would not let him have it ex- 
cept he would bring one to promise that he should not abuse it, 
whereupon the devil went with him, as his voucher, and so he took 
a dram ; but, though it tormented him, yet it did not presently kill 
him ; whereupon the devil brought him, afterward, a rope, and 
after that a knife, to have destroyed himself: at which sight, the 
man, being affrighted, was recovered to his right mind again. 
You may read a multitude of such examples in Scribonius, Schen- 
kius, Wierus, Chr. a Vega, Langius, Donatus, lib. ii, c. 1, De. 
Med. Mir. Cornel. Gemma, lib. ii., De Natur. Mirac. c. 4. See 
also Valesius, c. 28 ; Sacr. Philos. Roderic. a Castro, 2 ; De Morb. 
Mul. c. 3; Schol. Ccelius Rhodiginus, lib. 1. antiq. lect. c. 34. 
Tertullian challengeth the heathen to bring any one possessed 
with the devil before their judgment-seat, or one that pretended to 
have the spirit of the gods ; and if, at the command of a Christian, 
he do not confess himself to be a devil, let them take the Chris- 
tian to be presumptuous, and put him immediately to death. But 
of Jesus, saith he, they say not so, nor that he was a mere man ; 
but the Power, the Wisdom, and Word of God ; and that they are 
devils, damnecl for their wickedness. The like doth Cyprian, ad 
Demetrian. sect. 2. 

So that it seems it was then common for the devil in the pos- 
sessed to confess Christ, or else Tertullian durst not have made 
such a challenge. 

Some wonder that there were so many possessed with devils in 
Christ's time, and so few since ; but they understood not that it 


was madmen whom they call possessed : and Christ conlirnuHl 
their judgment ; as Mr. Alead, on .John x. 20, hath proved out of 
Scripture, and from Plautus, Justin INIart., Timotheus Alex., Bal- 
zamon, Zonaras, to whom I refer the reader for the fuller proof 

Sect. IV. The fourth and last of these palpahle arguments, to 
prove that man hath a future happiness or misery, is drawn from 
the devil's compacts with witches. It cannot be only his desire of 
hurting their bodies, that makes him enter into these contracts 
with them; for that he might procure by other means as likely. 
Besides, it is some kind of prosperity, or fulfilling their desires, 
which he conditioneth to give them. It is a childish thing to con- 
ceit, that the devil cares so much for a few drops of their blood. Is 
not the blood of a beast or other creature as sweet? Neither can 
it be only the acknowledgment of his power that he aims at, nor a 
mere desire of being honoured or worshipped in the world, as Por- 
phyrins and other pagans have thought ; for he is most truly served 
where he is least discerned ; and most abhorred when he most ap- 
pears. His apparitions are so powerful a means to convince the 
atheist, w'ho believes not that there is either God, or devil, or 
heaven, or hell, that I am persuaded he would far rather keep out 
of sight, and that for the most part he is constrained of God to ap- 
pear against his will. Besides, if Satan sought his ow-n honour, he 
would still speak in his own name : but, contrarily, his usual ap- 
pearance is in the shape or name of some deceased person, affirm- 
ing himself to be the soul of such a one ; or else he pretends to be 
an angel of light: and when he makes his compacts with witches, 
it is seldom so plainly and directly as that they understand it is 
indeed the ckvil that they deal with. So that it is apparent, Satan 
seeks something more than the honour of domineering, that is, the 
ruin of the party with whom he deals. And that it is not their 
bodily and temporal ruin only, appears further by this, that he will 
heal as well as hurt, and give power to his confederates to do the 
like ; and this tends not to the ruin of men's bodies. Though 
there be a great deal of deceit among them, yet doubtless many 
have been cured by popish spells, and pilgrimages, and exorcisms. 
Carolus Piso mentions one of his patients who was incurably deaf 
a year together, and was suddenly cured in the midst of his devo- 
tion to the lady of. Loretto. Fernelius mentions those that could 
stop any bleeding by repeating certain words. He saw a universal 
jaundice cured in one night, by the hanging of a piece of paper 
about the neck. A great deal more to the same purpose he hath, 
De abditis rer. causis, lib. ii. c. 16. If any should doubt whether 
there be any such Avitches, who thus work by the power of the 
devil, or have any compact with him, he hath as good opportunity 
now to be easily resolved, as hath been know^n in most ages. Let 
him go but into Suflblk, or Essex, or Lancashire, &c. and he may 
quickly be informed. Sure it were strange, if in an age of so much 
knowledge and conscience, there should so many scores of poor 
creatures be put to death as witches, if it were not clearly manifest 


that they were such. We have too many examples lately among 
us, to leave any douht of the truth of this. 

So that hy these attempts of Satan to deceive and destroy souls, 
it is evident, that there is an estate of happiness or misery for 
every man after this life. 

All those arguments, which every common-place hook and phi- 
losopher almost can afford you, to prove the immortality of the soul, 
will also serve to prove the point in hand. But many can apprehend 
these arguments from sense, who cannot yet reach, and will not be 
convinced by, other demonstrations : as temptations, apparitions, 
possessions, dispossessions, and witches, are most excellent means 
to convince a Sadclucee, that there are angels and spirits ; so, also, 
hy clear consequence, that there is a resurrection and eternal life. 

Sect. V. The second thing that I am to clear to you, is, that it 
is necessary for man to know this happiness, and the way to obtain 
it ; and to know the misery, and the way to escape it. This ap- 
pears thus : 

First : If he must go that way, and use those means, then he 
must needs first know both the end and the way : but he that will 
obtain the end, must use the means ; therefore, he must necessarily 
know them. All this is so evident, that, I believe, few will deny it. 
That man must use means before he attain the end, is evident, 

First : From the nature of the motion of the rational soul, which 
is to seek the attainment of its propounded end, by a voluntary use 
of means conducing thereto : for as it hath not, at its first infusion, 
that height of perfection, whereof it is capable, so neither is it 
carried thereto by violence, or by blind instinct, for then it were 
not a rational motion. 

Secondly : Yea, the very enjoyment of the end, and the seeking 
of it, are actions of the same nature : it is enjoyed by the knowing, 
loving, rejoicing, &c. and these actions are the means to attain it. 

Thirdly: And if the means were not necessary to the end, the 
wicked were as capable of it as the godly ; but that will not stand 
with the justice of God. 

Fourthly : If knowledge of the end, and use of means, were not 
of necessity to the obtaining of that end, then a beast, or a block, 
were as fit a subject for that blessedness as a man : but these can- 
not be. 

And that man cannot seek a happiness, which he never knew ; 
and shun a misery, which he was not aware of; nor use means 
thereto, which he never was acquainted with ; I think would be 
lost and needless labour for me to prove. 

Sect. VI. The third thing that I am to prove, is this : That 
mere nature and creatures contain no sufficient revelation of the 
forementioned end and means. This appears thus : First, Nature, 
by the help of creatures, though it tell us that there is a God, yet 
how he will be worshipped, or how he came to be displeased with 
the world, or how he nmst be reconciled ; of all this it tells us but 
little. Again, though it may possibly acquaint us with the im- 
mortal state, yet what the happiness there is, and what the misery. 


or how we are naturally deprived of that happiness, and how it 
must be recovered, and who they be that shall enjoy it ; of all this 
it tells us little : much less of the resurrection of our bodies from 
the grave. So, also, though nature may possibly find itself de- 
praved, yet how it came to be so, or how to be healed, or how to 
be pardoned, it cannot tell. Secondly : If nature, by the mere 
book of the creatures, could learn all things necessary, yet, first, it 
would be slow, and by so long study ; secondly, and so doubtfully 
and uncertainly; thirdly, and so rarely; that it appears by this, the 
means of revelation is not sufficient. All this apparent by event 
and success. For what nature and creatures do sufficiently teach, 
that some of their scholars have certainly learned. 

First, then, observe, how long did the most learned philosophers 
study before they could know those few rude, imperfect notions, 
■which some of them did attain to, concerning eternity ! They 
were grey with age and study, before they could come to know 
that which a child of seven years old may now know by the benefit 
of Scripture. But all men lived not to such an age, therefore this 
is no sufficient means. 

Secondly, observe, also, how uncertain they were, when all was 
done : what they speak rightly concerning God, or the life to come, 
in one breath, they are ready to unsay it again in another, as if 
their speeches had fallen from them against their wills, or as 
Caiaphas's confession of Christ. They raise their conclusions from 
such uncertain premises, that the conclusions also must needs be 

Thirdly, observe, also, how rare that knowledge was among them. 
It may be in all the world, there may be a few hundreds of learned 
philosophers, and among those there is one part Epicures, another 
Peripatetics, &c. that acknowledge not a future happiness or misery. 
And of those few that do acknowledge it, none knows it truly, nor 
the way that leads to it. How few of them could tell what was 
man's chief good! And those few, how imperfectly; with what 
mixtures of falsehood ! We have no certainty of any of them that 
did know so much, as that there was but one God. For though 
Socrates died for deriding the multitudes of gods, yet there is no 
certain record of his right belief of the unity of the Godhead, 
liesides, what Plato and Plotinus did write of this that was sound, 
there is far greater probability that they had it from Scripture, 
than merely from nature and creatures. For that Plato had read 
the writings of Moses, is proved already by divers authors. The 
like may be said of Seneca, and many others. So that if this 
means had contained any sufficiency in it for salvation, yet it would 
have extended but to some few of all the learned philosophers : 
and what is this to a universal sufficiency to all mankind i Nay, 
there is not one of all their exactest moralists, that have not mis- 
taken vice for virtue ; yea, most of them give the name of virtue 
to the foulest villanies, such as self-murder in several cases, revenge, 
a proud and vain-glorious affectation of honour and applause, with 
other the like : so far have these few learned philosophers been 


from the true knowledge of things spiritual and divine, that they 
could never reach to know the principles of common honesty. 
Varro saith, that there were in his days two hundred and eighty- 
eight sects or opinions among philosophers concerning the chief 
good: what, then, should the multitudes of the vulgar do, who 
have neither strength of wit to know, nor time, and hooks, and 
means to study, that they might attain to the height of these 
learned men ? So that I conclude with Aquinas, that if, possihly, 
nature and creatures might teach some few enough to salvation, 
yet were the Scriptures of flat necessity ; both for the more en- 
larged, secondly, and the more easy and speedy, thirdly, and the 
more certain, spreading of knowledge and salvation. 

Sect. VII. But here are some objections to be answered. First, 
Were not the fathers, till Moses, without Scripture ? Answ. First, 
Yet they had a revelation of God's will, besides what nature or 
creatures taught them. Adam had the doctrine of the tree of 
knowledge and the tree of life, and the tenor of the covenant 
made with him, by such revelation, and not by nature. So had 
the fathers the doctrine of sacrificing; for nature could teach them 
nothing of that, therefore even the heathens had it from the 
church. Secondly, All other revelations are now ceased, therefore 
this way is more necessary. Thirdly, And there are many truths 
necessary now to be known, which then were not revealed, and so 
not necessary. 

Object. 2. Doth not the apostle say, that which may be known 
of God, was manifest in them, &;c. 

A?isw. This, with many other objections, are fully scanned by 
many divines, to whom I refer you ; particularly Dr. Willet, on 
Rom. i. 14, 20, &c. Only in general I answer, there is much dif- 
ference between knowing that there is a God of eternal power, 
which may make the sinner unexcusable for his open sin against 
nature, (which the apostle there speaks of,) and knowledge which 
is sufficient to salvation. How God deals with the multitude that 
have not the Scripture, as to their eternal state, I leave as a thing 
beyond us, and so nothing to us : but if a possibility of the salva- 
tion of some of them be acknowledged, yet in the three respects 
above mentioned, there remains still a necessity of some further 
revelation than nature or creatures do contain. And thus I have 
manifested a necessity for the welfare of man. Now it would fol- 
low that I show it necessary for the honour of God ; but this 
follows so evidently as a consectary of the former, that I think I 
may spare that labour. - 

Object. But what if there be such a necessity, doth it follow that 
God must needs supply it ? Ansiv. Yes, to some part of the world. 
For, First, It cannot be conceived how it can stand with his ex- 
ceeding goodness, bounty, and mercy, to make a world, and not to 
save some. Secondly, Nor with his wisdom, to make so many 
capable of salvation, and not reveal it to them, or bestow it on 
them. Thirdly, Or to prepare so many other helps to man's hap- 
piness, and to lose them all for want of such a sufficient revelation. 


Fourthly, Or to be the Governor of the world, and yet to give 
them no perfect law to acquaint men with their duty, and the re- 
ward of obedience, and penalty of disobedience. 

1 laving thus proved that there is certainly some written word of 
God in the world, the last thing that I have to prove is, that there 
is no other writing in the world but this that can be it. And, 
First, There* is no other book in the world, that ever I heard of, 
that doth so much as claim this prerogative and dignity. Ma- 
homet calleth himself but a prophet, he acknowledgeth the truth 
of most of the Scripture, and his Alcoran contradicteth the very 
light of nature. Aristotle, Plato, and other philosophers, acknow- 
ledge their writings to be merely of their own study and invention. 
What book saith, Thus saith the Lord, and, This is the word of 
the Lord, but this .'' So that if it hath no competitor, there needs 
not so much to be said. 

2. What other book doth reveal the mysteries of God, of the 
Trinity, of God and man in one person, of creation, of the fall, the 
covenants, their conditions, heaven, hell, angels, devils, tempta- 
tions, regeneration, worship, &c. besides this one book, and those 
that profess to receive it from this, and profess their end to be but 
the confirming and explaining the doctrine of this ? Indeed, upon 
those subjects which are below the Scripture, as logic, arithmetic, 
&c. other books may be more excellent than it; as a tailor may 
teach you to make a cloak better than all the statute books or 
records of parliament. But this is a lower excellency than the 
Scripture was intended to. 

And thus I have done with this weighty subject, that the Scrip- 
ture, which contains the promises of our rest, is the certain, in- 
fallible word of God. The reason why I have thus digressed, and 
said so much of it, is, because I was very apprehensive of the great 
necessity of it, and the common neglect of being grounded in it ; 
and withal, that this is the very heart of my whole discourse ; and 
that if this be doubted of, all the rest that I have said will be in 
vain. If men doubt of the truth, they will not regard the good- 
ness. And the reason why I have said no more, but passed over 
the most common arguments, is, because they are handled in many 
books already ; which I advise Christians to be better versed in. 
To the mere English reader I commend especially these : Sir 
Philip Morney, Lord du Plessis's Verity of Christian Religion ; 
Grotius, Of the Truth of Christian Religion, which is lately trans- 
lated into English ; and Mr. Perkin's Cases of Conscience, lib. ii. 
c. 3 ; Parson's Book of Resolution, corrected by Bunny, the second 
part; Dr. Jackson on the Creed; and (come forth since I began 
this) Mr. White's, of Dorchester, Directions for Reading Scrip- 
ture ; Mr. John Goodwin's Divine Authority of Scripture asserted. 
Also, read a book called, A Body of Divinity, (first part,) written 

* The apocryphal books are but records more imperfect and uncertain, of the same 
doctrine for the substance Avith the rest, though mixed with some suspected history, and 
dolh confirm, but not contradict, the Scriptures ; and but few of those books do pretend 
to a Divine authority, as the rest. 


by our honest and faithful countryman. Colonel Edward Leigh. 
Also, Ursinus's Catechism on this question ; and Ball's Catechism, 
with the exposition, which, to those that cannot get larger treatises, 
is very useful. 

For the question, How it may be known which books are canon- 
ical ? I here meddle not with it : I think human testimony, with 
the forementioned qualifications, must do most in determining that. 
Yet we must carefully distinguish between those canonical books 
which have been questioned, and those which were unquestioned, 
but delivered by more infallible tradition ; and also between those 
which contain most of the substance of our faith, and those which 
do not. 

Prop. 1. No book in the canon was ever generally doubted of; 
but when one church doubted of it, others received it, from whom 
we have as much reason to receive them, as from the Roman 

Prop. 2. Those books which have been generally received, are 
known to be canonical, by the same way, and testimony, and means, 
as the Scripture in general is known to be God's word. 

ProjJ. 3. It is not a thing which one cannot be saved without, to 
believe every particular book to be canonical ; if we believe all 
that were generally received, yea, or but one book which contain- 
eth the substance of Christian doctrine, though we doubt of those 
that some formerly doubted of, it would not exclude from salvation. 
The books are received for the doctrine's sake. It is vain cavil- 
ling, therefore, for the papists, when they put us to prove the 
canon, they stick only on the questioned books ; especially when 
those were but few and short. Matthew, and Mark, and Luke, and 
John, and Paul's writings, which are full, and contain the main 
body of Christian doctrine, do, withal, contain the characters of 
their own canonical verity, which, seconded with the conveyance of 
universal, rational, infallible tradition, (not Romish authoritative 
tradition, or the judgment of the pope, or the present church,) may 
certainly be discerned ; even with a saving certainty, by those 
that are specially illuminated by God's Spirit ; and with an ordi- 
nary rational certainty, by those that have God's common help. 

I conclude this as I began, with an earnest request to ministers 
that they would preach, and to people that they would study, this 
subject more thoroughly ; tRat while they firmly believe the truth 
of that word which promiseth them rest, and prescribes them the 
means thereto, they may believe, and hope, and love, and long, and 
obey, and labour, with the more seriousness, and liveliness, and 
patient constancy. 




Sect. I. It may hero be expected, that as I have proved, tliat 
the rest rcniaiiicth for the people of («od; so I should now prove, 
that it remaineth only for tliein, and that the rest of the world 
shall have no part in it. 15ut the Scripture is so full and plain iu 
this, that I suppose it needless to those who believe Scripture. 
Christ hath resolved, that those who make light of him, and the 
offers of his grace, shall never taste of his supper : " and that with- 
out holiness none shall see God : and that, except a man be re- 
generate, and born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God. That he that believes not, shall not see life, but the wrath 
of God abideth on him : that no unclean person, nor covetous, nor 
railer, nor drunkard, &c. shall enter into the kingdom of Christ 
and of God," Eph. v. 4, 5. " That the wicked shall be turned 
into hell, and all they that forget God : that all they shall be 
damned that obey not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteous- 
eousness," 2 Thess. ii. 12. " That Christ will come in flaming fire, 
to take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the 
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with ever- 
lasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the 
glory of his power," Matt. xxii. 5 — 7 ; Luke xiv. 25 ; Heb. xii. 
14; John i. 33, and iii. 18,36; 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10; Gal. v. 21; 
Psal. ix. 17 ; 2 Thess. i. 8—10. And Christ himself hath opened 
the very manner of their process in judgment, and the sentence of 
their condemnation to eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his 
angels. Matt. xxv. So that here is no rest for any but the people 
of God, except you will call the intolerable everlasting flames of 
hell a rest. 

And it were easy to manifest this also by reason. For, First, 
God's justice requires an inequality of men's state hereafter, as 
there was of their lives here. And, Secondly, They that walk not 
in the way of rest, and use not the means, are never like to obtain 
the end. They would not follow Christ in the regeneration, nor 
accept of rest upon his conditions ; they thought him to be too 
hard a master, and his way too naiTow, and his laws too strict : 
they chose the pleasures of sin for a season, rather than to sutler 
afl[liction with the people of God : they would not suff"er with Christ, 
that so they might reign with him. What they made choice of, 
that they did enjoy ; they had their good things in this life ; and 
what they did refuse, it is but reason they should want : how oft 
would Christ have gathered them to him, and they would not ! and 
he useth to make men willing before he saves them, and not to save 
them against their wills. 

Therefore will the mouth of the wicked be stopped for ever, and 
all the world shall acknowledge the justice of God. Had the un- 


godly but returned before their life was expired, and been heartily 
willing to accept of Christ for their Saviour and their King, and to 
be saved by him in his way, and upon his most reasonable terms, 
they might have been saved. 

Object. But may not God be better than his word, and save those 
that he doth not promise to save ? 

Ansiv. But not false of his word, in saving those whom he hath 
said he will not save. Men's souls are in a doleful case when they 
have no hope of happiness, except the word of God prove false. 
To venture a man's eternal salvation, upon hope that God will be 
better than his word, that is, in plain English, that the God of truth 
will prove a liar, is somewhat beyond stark madness, which hath 
no name bad enough to express it. 

Yet do I believe, that the description of God's people in England, 
and in America, must not be the same ; because, as God's reve- 
lations are not the same, so neither is the actual faith which is re- 
quired in both the same ; and as the written and positive laws in 
the church were never given them, so obedience to those mere 
positives is not required of them. Whether, then, the threats 
against unbelievers be meant of unbelief privative and positive 
only, and not negative (such as is all non-believing that which was 
never revealed) ; or, whether their believing that God is, and that 
he is a rewarder of them that seek him, will serve the turn there ; 
or, whether God hath no people ? I acknowledge again is yet past 
my understanding. 

So that in what is said, you may discern not only the truth, but 
also the reason and equity, that none but God's people shall enter 
into his rest. Though God's will is the first cause of all things, 
yet all the fault lies in sinners themselves. Their consciences shall 
one day tell them that they might have been saved, if they would ; 
and that it was their own wilful refusal, which shut them out. God 
freely offered them life, and they would not accept it on his easy 
and reasonable conditions. They perish, because they would not 
be saved in God's way. The pleasures of the flesh seemed more 
desirable to them than the glory of the saints : Satan offered them 
the one, and God offered them the other, and they had free liberty 
to choose which they would ; and they chose the pleasures of sin 
for a season, before the everlasting rest with Christ. And is it not 
a righteous thing, that they should be denied that which they 
denied to accept .'' Nay, when God pressed them so earnestly, and 
persuaded them so importunately, and even beseeched them by his 
messengers, and charged us to compel men by importunity, and 
taking no denial, to come in ; and, yet, they would not ; where 
should they be, but among the dogs without ? Though man be so 
wicked, that he will not yield, till the mighty power of grace do 
prevail with him, yet, still we may truly say, that he may be saved, 
if he will, on God's terms. And his disability being moral, lying 
in wilful wickedness, is no more excuse to him, than it is to a com- 
mon adulterer, that he cannot love his own wife ; or to a malicious 
person, that he cannot choose but hate his brother : is he not so 


much the worse, and deservoth so much tTio sorer punishment ? As, 
therefore, I would Iiave all sinners believe this, so I would advise 
all ministers more to preach it. Pry not too much into the depths 
of (jod's decrees. Alas ! how little know we of far lower things ! 
lay all the l)lanie on the wills of sinners ; bend your speeches to 
persuade their wills. Is not that the business of our calling ? Let 
me give you but one argument, which deserves to be considered. 
Sinners shall lay all the blame on their own wills in hell for ever. 
Hell is a rational torment by conscience, according to the nature 
of the rational subject. If sinners could but say, then, it was long 
of (Jod, whose will did necessitate me, and not of me, it would 
(juiet their consciences, and ease their torment, and make hell to 
be no hell to themselves. But to remend)er their wilfulness, will 
feed the fire, and cause the worm of conscience never to die. 



Sect. I. The next thing promised in the beginning, in my 
method, which in the first edition I forgot to perform, is to show 
you, why this rest must yet remain, and not be enjoyed till we come 
to another world. And I will speak but a little to this, because it 
may be gathered from what is said before ; and because much is said 
to it in the first and second chapters of the fourth part. 

And, First, The main reason is the will of God, that it should be 
so. Who should dispose of the creatures, but he that made them ; 
and order the times and changes of them, but their absolute Lord, 
who only also hath wisdom to order them for the best, and power 
to see his will accomplished ? You may therefore as well ask, Why 
have we not the spring and harvest without winter ? and why is the 
earth below, and the heavens above ? and why is not all the world 
a sun, that it may be more glorious ? &c. ; as to ask, why we have 
not rest on earth ? 

2. Yet may jou easily see satisfactory reason in the thing itself 
also. As first, God should subvert the established order in nature, 
if he should give us our rest on earth. All things must come to 
their perfection by degrees : nothing is perfect in its beginning, 
where the fall brought an imperfection. The strongest man must 
first be a child, and formed in the womb from small, obscure prin- 
ciples. The greatest scholar must be first a school-boy, and begin 
in his alphabet. In the best -ordered governments men must come 
to their dignity and authority by degrees, beginning at the lower, 
and rise as they deserve. The skilfullest artificer was first an ig- 
norant learner. The tallest oak was once an acorn. This is the 
constant course of nature in the production of sublunary things ; 
and I know none that deny it, but only some enthusiasts concerning 


the production of grace, wlio think they are taught of God fully in 
an instant ; and think themselves perfect, as soon as they have 
learned the opinion of the perfectionists ; when all knowing men 
about them discern their imperfections ; yea, such horrid paganism 
and profaneness in some of them, as if they had almost renounced 
humanity and reason. Now, this life is our infancy ; and would 
we be perfect in the womb, or born at full stature ? must God over- 
turn the course of nature for us ? 

3. And it were an absurdity in morality, as well as a monster in 
nature, if our rest and full content were here. For, First, It would 
be injurious both to God and to ourselves. 

First, To God ; and that both in this life, and in the life to come. 
1. In this life it would be injurious to God, both in regard of what 
he is here to do for us, and in regard of what he is to receive, as it 
were, from us. 1 . If our rest were here, then most of God's provi- 
dences must be useless, his great designs must be frustrate, and his 
gracious workings and mercies needless to us. Should God lose 
the glory of all his church's deliverances, of the fall of his enemies, 
of his wonders and miracles wrought to this end, and that all men 
may have their happiness here .'' If the Israelites must have been 
kept from the brick-kilns, and from the danger of the Egyptians' 
pursuit, and of the Red Sea, then God must have lost the exercise 
of his great power, and justice, and mercy, and the mighty name 
that he got upon Pharaoh. If they had not felt their wilderness 
necessities, God should not have exercised his wilderness provi- 
dences and mercies. If man had kept his first rest in Paradise, 
God had not had opportunity to manifest that far greater love to 
the world in the giving of his Son. If man had not fallen into the 
depth of misery, Christ had not come down from the height of 
glory, nor died, nor risen, nor been believed on in the world. If 
we were all well, what need we the physician. And if all were 
happy, and innocent, and perfect, what use were there for the glo- 
rious works of our sanctification, justification, preservation, and 
glorification ? what use for his ministers, and word, sacraments, and 
afflictions, and deliverances ? 

2. And, as God should not have opportunity for the exercise of 
all his grace, but some only ; so he would not have returns from us 
for all. We should never fear offending him, and depend on him so 
closely, and call upon him so earnestly, if we wanted nothing. Do 
we not now feel how ready our prayers are to freeze, and how sleep- 
ily we serve him, and how easily we let slip or run over a duty, if 
we be but in health, and credit, and prosperity, though still we are 
far from all content and rest ? How little then should he hear from 
us if we had what we would have ! God delighteth in the soul that 
is humble and contrite, and trembleth at his word ; but there would 
be little of this in us, if we had here our full desires. What glo- 
rious songs of praise had God from Moses, at the Red Sea and in 
the wilderness ; from Deborah, and Hannah, and David, and 
Hezekiah ; from all his churches, and from each particular gracious 
soul in every age ! which he should never have had, if they had 


been the choosers of their own condition, ami had nothing but rest. 
Have not thine own highest joys and praises to God, reader, been 
occasioned by thy dangers, or sorrows, or miseries { We think we 
couUl praise God best, if we wanted nothing ; but experience tells 
us the contrary : we may have a carnal joy in congratulating our 
flesh's felicity, which may deceive a hypocrite ; but not so sensible 
acknowledgments of God : indeed in heaven, when we are fit for 
such a state, it will be far otherwise. The greatest glory and praise 
that God hath through the world, is for redemption, reconciliation, 
and salvation by Christ ; and was not man's misery the occasion of 
that { Besides, as variety is part of the beauty of the creation, so 
it is of Providence also. If all the trees, or herbs, or fowls, or 
beasts, or fishes, were of one kind, and all the world were but like 
the sea, all water, or like one plain field, yea, or one sun, it were a 
diminution of its beauty. And if God should exercise here but one 
kind of providence, and bestow but one kind of grace, (delight,) and 
receive thanks but for one, it would be a diminution of the beauty 
of Providence. 

2. And it would be no small injury to ourselves, as well as to 
God," if we had our full contents and rest on earth ; and that both 
now and for ever. I. At the present it would be much our loss. 
Where God loseth the opportunity of exercising his mercies, man 
must needs lose the happiness of enjoying them. And where God 
loseth his praises, man doth certainly lose his comforts. Oh the 
sweet comforts that the saints have had in returns to their prayers ; 
when they have lain long in sorrow, and importunate requests, and 
God hath lift them up, and spoken peace to their souls, and grant- 
ed their desires, and said, as Christ, " Be of good cheer, son, thy 
sins are forgiven thee ;" arise from thy bed of sickness, and walk, 
and live ! How should we know what a tender-hearted Father we 
have, and how gladly he would meet us, and take us in his arms, 
if we had not, as the prodigal, been denied the husks of earthly 
pleasure and profit, which the worldly swine do feed upon ? We 
should never have felt Christ's tender hand, binding up our wounds, 
and wiping the blood from them, and the tears from our eyes, if 
we had not fallen into the hands of thieves, and if we had not had 
tears to be wiped away. We should never have had those sweet- 
est texts in our Bibles, " Come to me, all ye that are weary and 
heavy laden," &c. ; and, " To every one that is athirst, come and 
buy freely," &c. ; and, " Blessed are the poor in spirit ;" and, 
" Thus saith the High and Lofty One, I dwell with him that is of 
a humble and contrite spirit," &c. ; if we had not been weary, and 
heavy laden, and thirsty, and poor, and humble, and contrite. In 
a word, we should all lose our redemption mercies, our sanctifica- 
tion, justification, and adoption mercies; our sermon, sacrament, 
and prayer mercies ; our recoveries, deliverances, and thanksgiving 
mercies ; if we had not our miseries and sorrows to occasion them. 

3. And it would be our loss for the future, as well as for the pre- 
sent. It is a delight to a soldier, or a traveller, to look back upon 
his adventures and escapes when they are over ; and for a saint in 



heaven, to look back upon the state he was in on earth, and re- 
member his sins, his sorrows, his fears, his tears, his enemies and 
dangers, his wants and calamities, must needs make his joys to be, 
rationally, more joyful. And, therefore, the blessed in their prais- 
ing of the Lamb do mention his redeeming them out of every na- 
tion, and kindred, and tongue, and so out of their misery and 
wants, and sins which redemption doth relate to, and making them 
kings and priests to God. When they are at the end, they look 
back upon the way. When the fight is done, and the danger over, 
and their sorrow gone, yet their rejoicing in the remembrance of it 
is not done, nor the praises of their Redeemer yet over. But if we 
should have had nothing but content and rest on earth, what room 
would there have been for these rejoicings and praises hereafter ? 
So that you see, 1. It would be our loss. 2. And then our inca- 
pacity forbids it, as well as our commodity. We are not capable 
of rest on earth ; for we have both a natural incapacity, and a 

I. A natural incapacity, both in regard of the subject, and the 
object ; that is, both in regard of our personal unfitness, and the 
defect or absence of what might be our happiness. 

1. Ourselves are now uncapable subjects of happiness and rest : 
and that both in respect of soul and body. 1. Can a soul that is 
so weak in all grace, so prone to sin, so hampered with contradict- 
ing principles and desires, and so nearly joined to such a neighbour 
as this flesh, have full content and rest in such a case ? What is 
rest, but the perfection of our graces in habit and in act ; to love 
God perfectly, and know him, and rejoice in him ? How then can 
the spirit be at rest, that finds so little of this knowledge, and love, 
and joy ? What is the rest but our freedom from sin, and imper- 
fections, and enemies '{ And can the soul have rest that is pestered 
with all these, and that continually ? What makes the souls of 
sensible Christians so groan and complain, desiring to be delivered, 
and to cry out so oft in the language of Paul, " O wretched man 
that I am ! who shall deliver me ?" If they can be contented, and 
rest in such a state, what makes every Christian to press hard 
toward the mark, and run that they may obtain, and strive to enter 
in, if they are capable of rest in their present condition ? Doubt- 
less, therefore, doth God perfectly purge every soul at its removal 
from the body, before he receives it to his glory, not only because 
iniquity cannot dwell with him in the most holy, but, also, because 
themselves are uncapable of the joy and glory, while they have im- 
perfect, sinful souls. The right qualification of our own spirits, for 
reception and action, is of absolute necessity to our happiness 
and rest. 

2. And our bodies are uncapable as well as our souls. They 
are not now those sun-like bodies which they shall be, when this 
corruptible hath put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality. 
They are our prisons, and our burdens ; so full of infirmities and 
defects, that we are fain to spend the most of our time in repairing 
them, and supplying their continual wants, and lenifying their 


grievances. Is it possible that an immortal soul should have rest, 
in such a rotten, dirty, diseased, wayward, distempered, noisome 
habitation ; when it must every day expect to be turned out, and 
leave its beloved companion to the worms? Surely these sickly, 
weary, loathsome bodies must be refined to a perfection suitable 
thereto, before they can be capable of enjoying rest. 

Ausw. 2. As we are unfit for rest on earth ourselves, so we want 
those objects that might afford us content and rest. For, first, 
Those we do enjoy are insufficient ; and, secondly, That which is 
sufficient is absent from us. 1. We enjoy the world and its la- 
bours, and what fruit they can afford ; and, alas ! what is in all 
this to give us rest i They that have the most of it, have the great- 
est burden and the least rest of any others. They that set most 
by it, and rejoice most in it, do all cry out at last of its vanity and 
vexation. A contentation with our present estate, indeed, we 
must have ; that is, a competent provision in our journey ; but not 
as our portion, happiness, or rest. Men cry out upon one another 
in these times, for not understanding providences, which are but 
commentaries on Scripture, and not the text. But if men were 
not blind, they might easily see that the first lecture that God 
readeth to us in all our late changes, and which providence doth 
still most inculcate and insist on, is the very same that is the first 
and greatest lesson in the Scripture ; that is, that There is no rest 
nor happiness for the soul but in God. Men's expectations are 
high raised upon every change, and unexperienced fools do promise 
themselves presently a heaven upon earth ; but when they come to 
enjoy it, it flieth from them, and when they have run themselves 
out of breath in following this shadow, it is no nearer them than 
at the first setting out, and would have been as near them if they 
had sat still : as Solomon's dreamer, they feast in their sleep, but 
awake hungry. He that hath any regard to the works of the Lord, 
may easily see that the very end of them is to take down our idols, to 
weary us in the world, and force us to seek our rest in him. Where 
doth he cross us most, but where we promise ourselves most con- 
tent ? If you have one child that you dote upon, it becomes your 
sorrow. If you have one friend that you trust in, and judge him 
unchangeable, and think yourself happy in, he is estranged from 
you, or becomes your scourge. Oh what a number of these ex- 
periences have I had ! Oh what sweet idolizing thoughts of our 
future estate had we in the time of wars ! And now where is the 
rest that I promised my soul I Even that is my greatest grief, from 
which I expected most content. 

And for this, the greatest shame that ever befell our religion, 
and the greatest sorrow to every understanding Christian, God 
hath the solemn thanks of men, as if they begged that he would 
do so still ; and they rejoice in it, and are heinously offended with 
those that dare not do so too, and run to God on all their errands. 
Instead of pure ordinances, we have a puddle of errors, and the 
ordinances themselves cried down and derided. Instead of the 
power and plenty of the gospel, we have every where plenty of 
o 2 


violent gainsayers and seducers. We have pulpits and pamphlets 
filled with the most hellish reproachings of the servants and mes- 
sengers of the most high God ; provoking the people to hate their 
teachers, slandering them with that venom and impudent falsehood, 
as if the devil in them were bidding defiance to Christ, and were 
now entered upon his last and greatest battle with the Lamb ; as 
if they would justify Rabshakeh, and have Lucian and Julian 
sainted for the modesty of their reproaches. If a conscionable 
minister be but in doubt, (as knowing himself uncapable of under- 
standing state mysteries, and not called to judge of them,) and so 
dare not go whine before God hypocritically in pretended humili- 
ation, nor rejoice and give thanks when men command him, and 
read their scriptures ; that is, their orders, which ministers were to 
read on pain of deposition or ejection, as knowing that men are 
fallible ; and if a man should upon mistake incur the guilt of so 
heinous, unexpressible sin, it were a fearful thing :* and, therefore, 
that to go to God doubtingly, or ignorantly, in an extraordinary 
duty, in a cause of such weight, is a desperate venture, far beyond 
venturing upon ceremonies, or popish transubstantiation, to say 
Christ is really present in the bread, for refusing of which the 
martyrs suffered in the flames ; I say, if he dare not do these, he 
must part from his dear people, whose souls are more precious to 
him than his life. Oh ! how many congregations in England have 
been again forced to part with their teachers in sorrow, not to 
speak of the ejection of such numbers in our universities ! And 
for our so-much-desired discipline and holy order, was there ever a 
people under heaven, who called themselves reformers, that opposed 
it more desperately, and that vilified it and railed against it more 
scurrilously, as if it were but the device of ambitious presbyters, 
that trcdtorously sought domination over their superiors, and not 
the law and order established by Christ ? as if these men had never 
read the Scriptures, Heb. xiii. 7, 17 ; 1 Thess. v. 10—12; Acts 
XX. 28 ; 1 Cor. iv. 1 ; Matt. xxiv. 25—27 ; Tit. i. 7 ; 1 Tim. iii. 
1, 4 — 6; iv. 11 ; v. 17 — 20; or will tread in the dirt the laws of 
Christ, which must judge them. And for railing at the ministers 
of the gospel, the pretenders of religion have so far outstripped the 
former profane ones, that it even woundeth my soul to think of 
their condition. Oh, where are the tender-hearted mourners that 
shall weep over England's sins and reproaches ? Is this a place or 
state of rest ? Hath not God met with our idolatrous setting-up 
of creatures, and taught us that all are not saints that can talk of 
religion ? much less are these pillars of our confidence, or the in- 
strument to prepare us a rest upon earth. Oh that all this could 
warn us to set less by creatures, and at last to fetch our comforts 
and contentments from our God ! 

2. And as what we enjoy here is insufficient to be our rest, so 
God, who is sufficient, is little here enjoyed. It is not here that 

* This was written when the usurpers made a war on Scotland, and made orders to 
sequester all ministers that would not keep days of humiliation and thanksgiving for 
those wars. 


he hath prepared the presence-chamber of his glory ; he hath 
chawn the curtain between us and him ; we are far from him as 
creatures, and farther as frail mortals, and farthest as sinners. We 
hear now and then a word of comfort from him, and receive his 
love-tokens, to keep up our hearts and hopes ; but, alas ! this is 
not our full enjoyment. ^^ hile we are present in the body, we are 
absent from the Lord; even absent while he is present. For 
though he be not far from us, seeing we live, and move, and have 
our being in him, who is all in all, (not in all places, but all places 
in him,) yet have we not eyes now capable of seeing him, for mor- 
tals cannot see God and live ; even as we are present with stones 
and trees, but they neither see nor know us. And can any soul 
that hath made God his portion, and chosen him for his only hap- 
piness and rest, (as every one doth that shall be saved by him,) 
find rest in so vast a distance from him, and so seldom and so 
small enjoyment of him ? 

3. And lastly, as we are thus naturally uncapable, so are we also 
morally, Gen. xxxii. 10. There is a worthiness must go before our 
rest. It hath the nature of a reward; not a reward of debt, but 
a reward of grace, Rom. iv. 3, 4. And so we have not a worthi- 
ness of debt, or proper merit ; but a worthiness of grace and .pre- 
paration. If the apostles must give their peace and gospel to the 
worthy, (Matt. x. 10—13, 37, 38 ; Eph. iv. 1 ; Col. i. 10 ; 1 Thess. 
ii. 12 ; 2 Thess. i. 11,) Christ will give the crown to none but the 
worthy ; and those which, by preferring the world before him, do 
show themselves unworthy, shall not taste of his supper. Matt, 
xxii. 8 ; Luke xiv. 24 ; xx. 35 ; xxii. 36 ; 2 Thess. i. 5 ; x\cts v. 
41. Yea, it is a work of God's justice, to give the crown to those 
that overcome ; not of his legal, but his evangelical justice ; for 
Christ hath bought us to it, and God hath promised it, and, there- 
fore, in his judiciary process, he will adjudge it them as their due. 
To those that have fought the good fight, and finished their course, 
and kept the faith, a crown of righteousness is laid up for them, 
which the Lord, as a righteous Judge, will give them at that day, 
2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. And are we fit for the crown before we have 
overcome ; or the prize, before we have run the race ; or to receive 
our penny, before we have worked in the vineyard ; or to be ruler 
of ten cities, before we have improved our ten talents ; or to enter 
into the joy of our Lord, before we have well done as good and 
faithful servants ; or to inherit the kingdom, before we have testi- 
fied our love to Christ above the world, if we have opportunity ? 
Let men cry down works while they please, you shall find that 
these are the conditions of the crown : so that God will not alter 
the course of justice to give you rest, before you have laboured ; 
nor the crown of glory, till you have overcome. 

You see, then, reason enough why our rest should remain till the 
life to come. O take heed, then. Christian reader, how thou darest 
to contrive and care for a rest on earth ; or to murmur at God for 
thy trouble and toil, and wants in the flesh. Doth thy poverty 
weary thee .' thy sickness weary thee ? thy bitter enemies and un- 


kind friends weary thee ? why, it should be so here. Do thy see- 
ing and hearing the abominations of the times, the ruins of the 
church, the sins of professors, the reproach of religion, the harden- 
ing of the wicked, all weary thee ? why, it must be so while thou 
art absent from thy rest. Do thy sins, and thy naughty, distem- 
pered heart weary thee ? I would thou wast wearied with it more. 
But, under all this weariness, art thou willing to go to God, thy 
rest ; and to have thy warfare accomplished, and thy race and 
labour ended 1 If not, O complain more of thy own heart, and get 
it more weary, till rest seem more desirable. 



Sect. I. I have but one thing more to clear, before I come to 
the use of this doctrine ; and that is, whether this rest remains till 
the resurrection, before we shall enjoy it ; or whether we shall have 
any possession of it before ? The Socinians, and many others of 
late among us, think the soul separated from the body, is either 
nothing, or at least not capable of happiness or misery. Truly, if 
it should be so, it would be somewhat a sad, uncomfortable doctrine 
to the godly at their death, to think of being deprived of their 
glory till the resurrection ; and somewhat comfortable to the wicked 
to think of tarrying out of hell so long. But I am in strong hopes 
that this doctrine is false ; yea, very confident that it is so. I do 
believe, that as the soul separated from the body is not a perfect 
man, so it doth not enjoy the glory and happiness so fully and so 
perfectly, as it shall do after the resurrection, when they are again 
conjoined. What the difference is, and what degree of glory souls 
in the mean time enjoy, are too high things for mortals particularly 
to discern. For the great question, what place the souls of those 
before Christ, of infants, and all others since Christ, do remain in, 
till the resurrection ? I think it is a vain inquiry of what is yet 
beyond our reach. It is a great question what place is ; but if it 
be only a circumstant body, and if to be in a place be only to be in 
a circumstant body, or in the superficies of an ambient body, or in 
the concavity of that superficies, then it is doubtful whether spirits 
can be properly said to be in a place. We can have yet no clear 
conceivings of these things. But that separated souls of believers 
do enjoy unconceivable blessedness and glory, even while they re- 
main thus separated from the body, I prove as followeth. (Besides 
all those arguments for the soul's immortality, which you may read 
in Alexander Ross's Philosophical Touchstone, part last ; and in 
abundance of writers, metaphysical and theological.) 

1 . Those words of Paul, 2 Cor. v. 8, are so exceeding plain, that 


I yet understand not what tolerable exception can bo made against 
them. " Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while 
we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord : for we 
walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and willing 
rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord," 
ver. G — 8. What can be spoken more plainly ? So also verses 
1 — 4, of the same chapter, 

2. As plain is that in Phil. i. 23, " For I am in a strait betwixt 
two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far 
better." What sense were in these words, if Paul had not ex- 
pected to enjoy Christ till the resurrection t Why should he be in 
a strait, or desire to depart? Should he be with Christ ever the 
sooner for that .' Nay, should he not have been loth to depart upon 
the very same grounds ? For while he was in the flesh, he enjoyed 
something of Christ ; but being departed, (according to the So- 
cinians' doctrine,) he should enjoy nothing of Christ till the day 
of resurrection. 

3. And plain enough is that of Christ to the thief, " This day 
shalt thou be with me in paradise." The dislocation of the words 
" This day" is but a gross evasion. 

4. And sure if it be but a parable of the rich man in hell and 
Lazarus ; yet it seems unlikely to me, that Christ would teach them 
by such a parable, what seemed evidently to intimate and suppose 
the soul's happiness or misery presently after death, if there were 
no such thing, 

5. Doth not his argument against the Sadducees, for the resur- 
rection, run upon this supposition, that (God being not the God of 
the dead, but of the living, therefore) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
were then living, i. e, in soul, and, consequently, should have their 
bodies raised at the resurrection, 

6. Plain also is that in Rev. xiv. 13, " Blessed are the dead that 
die in the Lord, from henceforth ; yea, saith the Spirit, that they 
may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them ;" i. e. 
close as the garments on a man's back follow him, and not at such 
a distance as the resurrection ; for if the blessedness were only in 
resting in the grave, then a beast or a stone were as blessed ; nay, 
it were evidently a curse, and not a blessing. For was not life a 
great mercy ? was it not a greater mercy to enjoy all the comforts 
of life ; to enjoy the fellowship of the saints, the comfort of the 
ordinances, and much of Christ in all ; to be employed in the de- 
lightful work of God, and to edify his church .'' &c. Is it not a 
curse to be so deprived of all these ? do not these yield a great deal 
more sweetness, than all the troubles of this life can yield us bitter- 
ness ? Though I think not, as some, that it is better to be most 
miserable, even in hell, than not to be at all ; yet it is undeniable, 
that it is better to enjoy life, and so much of the comforts of life, 
and so much of God in comforts and affliction, as the saints do, 
though we have all this with persecution ; than to lie rotting in the 
grave, if that were all we could expect. Therefore it is some fur- 
ther blessedness that is there promised. 


7. How else is it said, " that we are come to Mount Zion, the 
city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable 
company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first- 
born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, 
and to the spirits of just men made perfect," Heb. xii. 22, 23. Sure 
at the resurrection the body will be made perfect, as well as the 
spirit. To say (as Lushington doth) that they are said to be made 
perfect, because they are sure of it as if they had it, is an evasion 
so grossly contradicting the text, that by such commentaries he 
may as well deny any truth in Scripture ; to make good which, he 
as much abuseth that of Phil. iii. 12. 

8. Doth not the Scripture tell us, that Enoch and Elias are 
taken up already ? and shall we think that they possess that glory 
alone ? 

9. Did not Peter, and James, and John, see Moses also with 
Christ on the mount ? yet the Scripture saith Moses died. And is 
it likely that Christ did delude their senses, in showing them Moses, 
if he should not partake of that glory till the resurrection ? 

10. And is not that of Stephen as plain as we can desire ? " Lord 
Jesus, receive my spirit." Sure, if the Lord receive it, it is neither 
asleep, nor dead, nor annihilated ; but it is where he is, and beholds 
his glory. 

11. The like may be said of that, " The spirit shall return to 
God who gave it," Eccles. xii. 7. 

12. How else is it said, " that we have eternal life already ?" John 
vi, 54. And that " the knowledge of God (which is begun here) 
is eternal life," John xvii. 3, So 1 John v. 13. " And he that 
believeth on Christ, hath everlasting life. He that eateth this 
bread shall not die. For he dwelleth in Christ, and Christ in him. 
And as the Son liveth by the Father, so he that eateth him shall 
live by him," John iii. 36 ; vi. 47, 50, 56, 57. How is " the king- 
dom of God and of heaven (which is eternal) said to be in us?" 
Luke xvii. 21 ; Rom. xiv. 17 ; Matt. xiii. 

Surely, if there be as great an interruption of our life as till the 
resurrection, which with some will be many thousand years, this is 
no eternal life, nor everlasting kingdom. Lushington's evasion is, 
" That because there is no time with dead men, but they so sleep 
that when they awake it is all one to them as if it had been at first, 
therefore the Scripture speaks of them as if they were there 
already." It is true, indeed, if there were no joy till the resur- 
rection, then that consideration would be comfortable ; but when 
God hath thus plainly told us of it before, then this evasion contra- 
dicteth the text. Doubtless there is time also to the dead, though, 
in respect of their bodies, they perceive it not. He will not sure 
think it a happiness to be putrified or stupified, whilst others are 
enjoying the comforts of life ; if he do, it were the best course to 
sleep out our lives. 

13. In Jude 7, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are spoken of 
as " suffering the vengeance of eternal fire :" and if the wicked do 
already suffer eternal fire, then no doubt but the godly do enjoy 


eternal blessedness. I know some understand the place, of that 
fire which consumed their bodies, as being a type of the fire of hell: 
I will not be very confident against this exposition, but the text 
seemeth plainly to spt^ak moi-e. 

14. It is also observable, that when John saw his glorious reve- 
lations, he is said to be " in the Spirit," Rev. i. 10 ; iv. 2, and to 
be " carried away in the Spirit," Rev. xvii. 3 ; xxi. 10. And when 
Paul had his revelations, and saw things unutterable, he knew not 
whether it were in the body, or out of the body. All implying that 
spirits are capable of these glorious things, without the help of their 

15. And though it be a prophetical, obscure book, yet it seems 
to me, that those words in the Revelation do imply this, where John 
saw the souls under the altar. Rev. vi. 9, &c. 

16. We are commanded by Christ, " not to fear them that can 
kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul," Luke xii. 4. Doth 
not this plainly imply, that when wicked men have killed our bodies, 
that is, separated the souls from them, yet the souls are still alive ? 

17. The soul of Christ was alive when his body was dead, and 
therefore so shall ours too ; for his created nature was like ours, 
except in sin. That Christ's human soul was alive, is a necessary 
consequent of its hypostatical union with the Divine nature, as I 
judge. And by his words to the thief, " This day shalt thou be 
with me in paradise : " so also by his voice on the cross, " Father, 
into thy hands I commend my spirit," Luke xxiii. 46. And whether 
that in 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19, that he went and preached to the spirits 
in prison, &c. will prove it, I leave to others to judge. Read 
lllyricus's arguments in his Clavis Scripturee, on this text. Many 
think that the opposition is not so irregular, as to put the dative 
aapKi for eV aupKi, as the subject recipient, and the dative Trvevfiari 
for cia TTuev/nmo^, as the efficient cause ; but that it is plainly to be 
understood as a regular opposition, that Christ was mortified in the 
flesh, but vivified in the spirit, that is, in the spirit which is usually 
put in opposition to this flesh, which is the soul, by which spirit, 
&c. But I leave this as doubtful ; there is enough besides. 

18. ^^ hy is there mention of God's breathing into man the 
breath of life, and calling his soul a living soul { There is no 
mention of any such thing in the creating of other creatures ; sure, 
therefore, this makes some difference between the life of our souls 
and theirs. 

19. It appears in Saul's calling for Samuel to the witch, and in 
the Jews' expectation of the coming of Elias, that they took it for 
current, then, that Elias' and Samuel's souls were living. 

20. Lastly : If the spirits of those that were disobedient in the 
days of Noah, were in prison, (1 Pet. iii. 19,) then certainly the 
separated spirits in the just, are in an opposite condition of happi- 
ness. If any say that the word " prison " signifieth not their full 
misery, but a reservation thereto, I grant it ; yet it importeth a 
reservation in a living, and suffering state, for were they nothing, 
they could not be in prison. 


Though I have but briefly named these twenty arguments, and 
put them together in a narrow room, when some men cannot see 
the truth without a multitude of words ; yet I doubt not but, if 
you will well consider them, you will discern the clear evidence of 
Scripture verity. It is a lamentable case that the brutish opinion 
of the soul's mortality should find so many patrons professing god- 
liness, when there is so clear light of Scripture against them, and 
when the opinion tends to no other end than the imboldening of 
sin, the cherishing of security, and the great discomfort and dis- 
couragement of the saints, and when many pagans were wiser in 
this without the help of Scripture : surely this error is an introduc- 
tion to paganism itself. Yea more, the most of the nations in the 
world, even the barbarous Indians, do, by the light of nature, ac- 
knowledge that, which these men deny, even that there is a happi- 
ness and misery which the souls go presently to, which are separated 
from their bodies. I know the silly, evading answers that are 
usually given to the forementioned scriptures, which being carried 
with confidence and subtle words, may soon shake the ordinary 
sort of Christians that are not able to deal with a sophister. And 
if they be thoroughly dealt with, they presently appear to be mere 
vanity or contradiction. Were there but that one text, 2 Cor. v. 
8 ; or that, 1 Pet. iii. 19 ; or that, Phil. i. 23 ; all the seducers in 
the world could not answer them. 

Believe, therefore, stedfastly, O faithful souls, that whatever all 
the deceivers in the world shall say to the contrary, your souls 
shall no sooner leave their prisons of flesh, but angels will be their 
convoy, Christ will be their company, with all the perfected spirits 
of the just ; heaven will be their residence, and God will be their 
happiness. And you may boldly and believingly, when you die, 
say, as Stephen, " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," and commend it, 
as Christ did, into a Father's hands. 






Sect. I. Whatsoever the soul of man doth entertain, must make 
its first entrance at the understanding ; which must he satisfied, 
first, of its truth, and, secondly, of its goodness, before it find any 
further admittance : if this porter he negligent, it will admit of 
any thing that bears but the face or name of truth and goodness ; 
but if it be faithful, able, and diligent in its office, it will examine 
strictly, and search to the quick ; what is found decertful, it casteth 
out, that it go no further ; but what is found to be sincere and cur- 
rent, it letteth in to the very heart, where the will and affections 
do with welcome entertain it, and by concoction, as it were, incor- 
porate it into their own substance. Accordingly, I have been 
hitherto presenting to your understandings, first, the excellency of 
the rest of saints, in the first part of this book ; and then the verity, 
in the second part. I hope your understandings have now tasted 
this food, and tried what hath been expressed. Truth fears not 
the light. This perfect beauty abhorreth darkness ; nothing but 
ignorance of its worth can disparage it. Therefore search, and 
spare not ; read, and read again, and then judge. What think you ; 
is it good, or is it not ? nay, is it not the chiefest good ? And is 
there any thing in goodness to be compared with it i And is it 
true, or is it not? Nay, is there any thing in the world more cer- 
tain, than that there remaineth a rest to the people of God ? Why, 
if your understandings are convinced of both these, I do here, in 
the behalf of God and his truth, and in the behalf of your own 
souls, and their life, require the further entertainment hereof ; and 
that you take this blessed subject of rest, and commend it as you 
have found it to your wills and affections : let your hearts now 
cheerfully embrace it, and improve it, and I shall present it to 
you, in its respective uses. 

And though the laws of method do otherwise direct me, yet be- 
cause I conceive it most profitable, I will lay close together, in the 
first place, all those uses that most concern the ungodly, that they 
may know where to find their lesson, and not to pick it up and 
down intermixed with uses of another strain. iVnd then I shall 
lay down those uses that are more proper to the godly by them- 
selves, in the end. 


Use I. — Showing the imconceivable misery of the ungodly in their 
loss of this rest. 

Sect. II. And, first, If this rest be for none but for the people of 
God, what doleful tidings is this to the ungodly world ! That there 
is so much glory, but none for them ! so great joys for the saints 
of God, while they must consume in perpetual sorrows ! such rest 
for them that have obeyed the gospel, while they must be restless 
in the flames of hell ! If thou who readest these words, art in thy 
soul a stranger to Christ, and to the holy nature and life of his 
people, and art not of them who are before described, and shalt 
live and die in the same condition that thou art now in ; let me tell 
thee, I am a messenger of the saddest tidings to thee, that ever 
yet thy ears did hear : that thou shalt never partake of the joys of 
heaven, nor have the least taste of the saints' eternal rest. I may 
say to thee, as Ehud to Eglon, I have a message to thee from God ; 
but it is a mortal message, against the very life and hopes of thy 
soul, that, as true as the word of God is true, thou shalt never see 
the face of God with comfort. This sentence I am commanded to 
pass upon thee, from the word : take it as thou wilt, and escape it 
if thou canst. I know thy humble and hearty subjection to Christ 
would procure thy escape ; and if thy heart and life were thorough- 
ly changed, thy relation to Christ and eternity would be changed 
also ; he would then acknowledge thee for one of his people, and 
justify thee from all things that could be charged upon thee, and 
give thee a portion in the inheritance of his chosen : and if this 
might be the happy success of my message, I should be so far from 
repining like Jonas, that the threatenings of God are not executed 
upon thee, that, on the contrary, I should bless the day that ever 
God made me so happy a messenger, and return him hearty thanks 
upon my knees, that ever he blessed his word in my mouth with 
such desired success. But 'if thou end thy days in thy present 
condition, whether thou be fully resolved never to change, or whe- 
ther thou spend thy days in fruitless purposing to be better here- 
after, all is one for that ; I say, if thou live and die in thy un- 
regenerate estate, as sure as the heavens are over thy head, and the 
earth under thy feet ; as sure as thou livest, and breathest in this 
air, so sure shalt thou be shut out of this rest of the saints, and 
receive thy portion in everlasting fire. I do here expect that thou 
shouldst, in the pride and scorn of thy heart, turn back upon me, 
and show thy teeth, and say, Who made you the door-keeper of 
heaven ? When were you there ? and when did God show you the 
book of life, or tell you who they are that shall be saved, and who 
shut out ? 

I will not answer thee according to thy folly, but truly and plainly 
as I can discover this thy folly to thyself, that if there be yet any 
hope, thou mayst recover thy understanding, and yet return to God 
and live. First, I do not name thee, nor any other : I do not con- 
clude of the persons individually, and say. This man shall be shut 
out of heaven, and that man shall be taken in. I only conclude it 


of the unregenerate in general, and of thee conditionally, if thou be 
such a one. Secondly, I do not go about to deterniiiie who shall 
repent, and who shall not ; nuich less that thou shalt never repent, 
and come in to Christ, These things are unknown to me ; I had 
far rather show thee what hopes thou hast before thee, if thou wilt 
not sit still and lose them, and by thy wilful carelessness cast away 
thy hopes ; and I would far rather persuade thee to hearken in 
time, while there is hope, and opportunity, and offers of grace, and 
before the door is shut against thee, that so thy soul may return 
and live, than to tell thee that there is no hope of thy repenting 
and returning. But if thou lie hoping that thou shalt return, and 
never do it ; if thou talk of repenting and believing, but still art 
the same ; if thou live and die with the world, and thy credit or 
pleasure nearer thy heart than Jesus Christ ; in a word, if the fore- 
going description of the people of God do not agree with the 
state of thy soul, it is then a hard question, whether thou shalt 
ever be saved; even as hard a question as, whether God be true, 
or the Scripture be his word. Cannot I certainly tell, that thou 
shalt perish for ever, except I had seen the book of life !' ^Vhy, the 
Bible also is the book of life, and it describeth plainly those that 
shall be saved, and those that shall be condenmed. Though it do 
not name them, yet it tells you all those signs and conditions by 
which they may be known. Do I need to ascend up into heaven, 
to know, " that without holiness none shall see God," Heb. xii. 
14 ; or, " that it is the pure in heart who shall see God," Matt. v. 
8 ; or, " that except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God," John iii. 3 ; or, " that he that believeth not 
(that is, stoops not to Christ as his King and Saviour) is condemned 
already, and that he shall not see life, but the wrath of God abid- 
eth on him," John iii. 18, 36 ; " and that except you repent, 
(which includes reformation,) you shall all perish," Luke xiii. 3, 5 ; 
with a hundred more such plain Scripture expressions. Cannot 
these be known without searching into God's counsels ? Why, 
thou ignorant, or wilful, self-deluding sot ! hath thy Bible lain 
by thee in thy house so long, and didst thou never read such words 
as these ? or hast thou read it, or heard it read so oft, and yet dost 
thou not remember such passages as these ? Nay, didst thou not 
find that the great drift of the Scripture is, to show men who they 
are that shall be saved, and who not ; and let them see the con- 
dition of both estates ? And yet dost thou ask me, how I know 
who shall be saved ? What need I go up to heaven to inquire that 
of Christ, which he came down to earth to tell us ; and sent his 
Spirit in his prophets and apostles to tell us ; and hath left upon 
record to all the world ! And though I do not know the secrets of 
thy heart, and therefore cannot tell thee by name whether it be 
thy state, or no ; yet, if thou art but willing or diligent, thou 
mayst know thyself, whether thou art an heir of heaven, or not. 
And that is the main thing that I desire, that if thou be yet 
miserable, thou mayst discern it, and escape it. But canst thou 
possibly escape, if thou neglect Christ and salvation ? Heb. ii. 3. 


Is it not resolved on, " that if thou love father, mother, wife, chil- 
dren, house, lauds, or thine own life, better than Christ, thou canst 
not be his disciple," Matt. x. 31 ; Luke xiv. 20 ; and consequently 
can never be saved by him ? Is this the word of man, or of God ? 
Is it not then an undoubted concluded case, that, in the case thou 
art now in, thou hast not the least title to heaven ? Shall I tell 
thee from the word of God, it is as impossible for thee to be saved, 
except thou be born again, and be made a new creature, as it is for 
the devils themselves to be saved ? Nay, God hath more plainly 
and frequently spoken it in the Scripture, that such sinners as thou 
shall never be saved, than he hath done, that the devils shall never 
be saved. And doth not this tidings go cold to thy heart ? Me- 
thinks, but that there is yet life and hope before thee, and thou 
hast yet time and means to have thy soul recovered, else it should 
kill thy heart with terror ; and the sight of thy doleful, discovered 
case, should even strike thee dead with amazement and horror. If 
old Eli fell from his seat and died, to hear that the ark of God was 
gone, which was but an outward sign of his presence ; how then 
should thy heart be astonished with this tidings, that thou hast 
lost the Lord God himself, and all thy title to his eternal presence 
and delight ! If Rachel wept for children, and would not be com- 
forted, because they were not ; how then shouldst thou now sit 
down and weep for the happiness and future life of the soul, be- 
cause to thee it is not ! When King Belshazzar saw but a piece of 
a hand sent from God, writing over against him on the wall, it 
made his countenance change, his thoughts trouble him, his loins 
loosen in the joints, and knees smite one against another, Dan v. 
6. Why, what trembling then should seize on thee, who hast the 
hand of God himself against thee ; not in a sentence or two only, 
but in the very tenor and scope of the Scriptures ; not threatening 
thee with the loss of a kingdom only, as he did Belshazzar, but 
with the loss of thy part in the everlasting kingdom ! But because 
I would fain have thee, if it be possible, to lay it close to thy heart, 
I will here stay a little longer, and show thee. First, The greatness 
of thy loss ; and. Secondly, The aggravations of thy unhappiness 
in this loss ; Thirdly, And the positive miseries that thou mayst 
also endure, with their aggravations. 

Sect. III. First : The ungodly, in their loss of heaven, do lose 
all that glorious, personal perfection which the people of God do 
there enjoy. They lose that shining lustre of the body, surpassing 
the brightness of the sun at noon-day : though perhaps even the 
bodies of the wicked will be raised more spiritual, incorruptible 
bodies, than they were on earth ; yet that will be so far from being 
a happiness to them, that it only makes them capable of the more 
exquisite torments ; their understandings being now more capable 
of apprehending the greatness of their loss, and their senses more 
capable of feeling their sufferings. They would be glad, then, if 
every member were a dead member, that it might not feel the pun- 
ishment inflicted on it ; and if the whole body were a rotten car- 
cass, or might again lie down in the dust and darkness. The devil 


himself hath an angelical and excellent nature, but that only 
honoureth his skilful Creator, but is no honour or comfort at all to 
himself. The glory, the beauty, the comfortable perfections, they are 
deprived of; much more do they want that moral perfection which 
the blessed do partake of: those holy dispositions and qualifica- 
tions of mind ; that blessed conformity to the holiness of (iod ; 
that cheerful readiness to his will ; that perfect rectitude of all 
their actions : instead of these, they have their old, ulcerous, de- 
formed souls, that perverseness of will, that disorder in their facul- 
ties, that loathing of good, that love to evil, that violence of passion, 
which they had on earth. It is true, their understandings will be 
much cleared, both by the ceasing of their temptation and deluding 
objects which they had on earth, as also by the sad experience 
which they will have in hell, of the falsehood of their former con- 
ceits and delusions ; but this proceeds not from the sanctifying of 
their natures : and perhaps their experience and too-late under- 
standing may restrain much of the evil motions of their wills, 
which they had formerly here on earth ; but the evil disposition is 
never the more changed. So also will the conversation of the 
damned in hell be void of many of those sins which they commit 
here on earth. They will be drunk no more, and whore no more, 
and be gluttonous no more, nor oppress the innocent, nor grind the 
poor, nor devour the houses and estates of their brethren, nor be 
revenged on their enemies, nor persecute and destroy the members 
of Christ : all these, and many more actual sins, will then be laid 
aside. But this is not from any renewing of their natures ; they 
have the same dispositions still, and fain they would commit the 
same sins, if they could : they want but opportunity ; they are 
now tied up. It is part of their torment to be denied these their 
pleasures : no thanks to them, that they sin not as much as ever ; 
their hearts are as bad, though their actions are restrained ; nay, it 
is a great question whether those remainders of good which were 
left in their natures on earth, as their common honesty and moral 
virtues, be not all taken from them in hell, according to that, 
" From him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he 
hath," Matt. iii. 12 ; Luke viii. 18. This is the judgment of 
divines generally ; but because it is questionable, and much may be 
said against it, I will let that pass. But certainly they shall have 
none of the glorious perfections of the saints, either in soul or 
body : there will be a greater difference between these wretches 
and the glorified Christian, than there is betwixt a toad under a 
sill and the sun in the firmament. The rich man's purple robes 
and delicious fare did not so exalt him above Lazarus at his door 
in scabs, nor make the difference between them so wide, as it is 
now made on the contrary in their vast separation. 

Sect. IV. Secondly : But the great loss of the damned will be 
their loss of God ; they shall have no comfortable relation to him, 
nor any of the saints' communion with him. As they did not 
like to retain God in their mind, but said to him, " Depart from 
us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways," Rom. i. 28 ; Job 


xxi. 14 ; so God will abhor to retain them in his household, or to 
give them entertainment in his fellowship and glory. He will 
never admit them to the inheritance of his saints, nor endure them, 
to stand amongst them in his presence ; but bid them, " Depart 
from me, ye workers of iniquity, I know you not." Now, these 
men dare belie the Lord, if not blaspheme, in calling him by the 
title of their Father. How boldly and confidently do they daily 
approach him with their lips, and indeed reproach him in their 
formal prayers, with that appellation, " Our Father !" As if God 
would father the devil's children ; or as if the slighters of Christ, 
the pleasers of the flesh, the friends of the world, the haters of 
godliness, or any that trade in sin, and delight in iniquity, were 
the offspring of heaven ! They are ready now, in the height of 
their presumption, to lay as confident claims to Christ and heaven, 
as if they were sincere, believing saints. The swearer, the drunkard, 
the whoremaster, the worldling, can scornfully say to the people of 
God, What, is not God our Father as well as yours ? Doth he not 
love us as well as you ? Will he save none but a few holy pre- 
cisians ? Oh ! but when that time is come, when the case must be 
decided, and Christ will separate his followers from his foes, and 
his faithful friends from his deceived flatterers, where then will be 
their presumptuous claim to Christ ? Then they shall find that 
God is not their Father, but their resolved foe, because they would 
not be his people, but were resolved in their negligence and wicked- 
ness. Then, though they had preached or wrought miracles in his 
name, he will not know them ; and though they were his brethren 
or sisters after the flesh, yet he will not own them, but reject them 
as his enemies, i^nd even those that did eat and drink in his 
presence on earth, shall be cast out of his heavenly presence for 
ever ; and those that in his name did cast out devils, shall yet at 
his command be cast out to those devils, and endure the torments 
prepared for them. And, as they would not consent that God 
should by his Spirit dwell in them, so shall. not these evil-doers 
dwell with him. The tabernacles of wickedness shall have no 
fellowship with him ; nor the wicked inhabit the city of God : for 
without are the dogs, the sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, 
idolaters, and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie. For God 
knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads 
to perishing. God is first enjoyed in part on earth, before he be 
fully enjoyed in heaven. It is only they that walked with him 
here, who shall live and be happy with him there. Oh, little doth 
the world now know what a loss that soul hath, who loseth God ! 
What were the world but a dungeon, if it had lost the sun ? What 
were the body but a loathsome carrion, if it had lost the soul ? 
Yet all these are nothing to the loss of God ; even the little taste 
of the fruition of God, which the saints enjoy in this life, is dearer 
to them than all the world. As the world, when they feed upon 
their forbidden pleasures, may cry out with the sons of the prophet, 
" There is death in the pot ! " 2 Kings iv. 40 ; so when the saints 
do but taste of the favour of God, they cry out with David, " In 


his favour is life!" Psal. xxx. 5. Nay, though life bo naturally 
most (loar to all uw.n, y(^t tlioy that have tasttnl and tried, do say 
.with David, " J lis loving-kindmvss is hotter than life !" Psal. Ixiii. 
3. So that, as the enjoyment of God is the heaven of the saints, 
so the loss of God is the hell of the ungodly. And, as the enjoy- 
ing of God is the enjoying of all, so the loss of God is the loss 
of all. 

Sect. V. Thirdly : Moreover, as they lose God, so they lose all 
those spiritual, delightful affections and actions, by wliich the 
blessed do feed on God : that transporting knowledge ; those 
ravishing views of his glorious face ; 'the unconceivable pleasure of 
loving God ; the apprehensions of his infinite love to us ; the con- 
stant joys which his saints are taken up with, and the rivers of con- 
solation wherewith he doth satisfy them. Is it nothing to lose all 
this ! The employment of a king in ruling a kingdom doth not 
so far exceed the employment of the vilest scullion or slave, as this 
heavenly employment exceedeth his. 

These wretches had no delight in praising God on earth, their 
recreations and pleasures were of another nature ; and now, when 
the saints are singing his praises, and employed in magnifying the 
Lord of saints, then shall the ungodly he denied this happiness, 
and have an employment suitable to their natures and deserts. 
Their hearts were full of hell upon earth ; instead of God, and his 
love, and fear, and graces, there was pride, and self-love, and lust, 
and unbelief: and, therefore, hell must now entertain those hearts 
which formerly entertained so much of it. Their houses on earth 
were the resemblances of hell ; instead of worshipping God, and 
calling upon his name, there was scorning at his worship, and 
swearing by his name : and now hell nmst therefore be their habita- 
tion for ever, where they shall never be troubled with that worship 
and duty which they ai)horred, but join with the rest of the damned 
in blaspheming that God who is avenging their former impieties 
and blasphemies. Can it probably be expected, that they who 
made themselves merry, while they lived on earth, in deriding the 
persons and families of the godly, for their frequent worshipping 
and praising God, should at last be admitted into the family of 
heaven, and join with those saints in those most perfect praises ? 
Surely, without a sound change upon their hearts before they go 
hence, it is utterly impossible. It is too late then to say, " Give 
us of your oil, for our lamps are out ; lot us now enter with you to 
the marriage feast; let us now join with you in the joyful heavenly 
melody." You should have joined in it on earth, if you would have 
joined in heaven. As your eyes must be taken up with other kind 
of sights, so must your hearts be taken up with other kind of 
thoughts, and your voices turned to another tune. As the doors of 
heaven will be shut against you, so will that joyous employment be 
denied to you. There is no singing the songs of Sion in the land 
of your thraldom. Those that go down to the pit do not praise 
him. Who can rejoice in the place of sorrows; and who can be 
glad in the land of confusion ? God suits men's employments to 



their natures. The bent of your spirits was another way ; your 
hearts were never set upon God in your lives ; you were never ad- 
mirers of his attributes and works, nor ever thoroughly warmed 
with his love. You never longed after the enjoyment of him ; you 
had no delight to speak or to hear of him ; you were weary of a 
sermon or prayer an hour long ; you had rather have continued on 
earth, if you had known how ; you had rather yet have a place of 
earthly preferment, or lands and lordships, or a feast, or sj)orts, or 
your cups, or whores, than to be interested in the glorious praises 
of God : and is it meet, then, that you should be members of the 
celestial quire ? A swine is fitter for a lecture of philosophy, or an 
ass to build a city or govern a kingdom, or a dead corpse to feast at 
thy table, than thou art for this work of heavenly praise. 

Sect. VI. Fourthly : They shall also be deprived of the blessed 
society of angels and glorified saints. Instead of being companions 
of those happy spirits, and numbered with those joyful and tri- 
umphing kings, they must now be members of the corporation of 
hell, where they shall have companions of a far different nature and 
quality. While they lived on earth, they loathed the saints ; they 
imprisoned, banished them, and cast them out of their societies ; or 
at least they would not be their companions in labour and in suffer- 
ings ; and, therefore, they shall not now be their companions in 
their glory : scorning them and abusing them, hating them, and 
rejoicing in their calamities, was not the way to obtain their bless- 
edness. If you would have shined with them as stars in the firma- 
ment of their Father, you should have joined v/ith them in their 
holiness, and faith, and painfulness, and patience. You should 
have first been ingrafted with them into Christ, the common stock, 
and then incorporated into the fraternity of the members, and 
walked with them in singleness of heart, and watched with them 
with oil in your lamps, and joined with them in mutual exhortation, 
in faithful admonitions, in conscionable reformation, in prayer, and 
in praise. You should have travelled with them out of the Egypt 
of your natural estate, through the Red Sea and wilderness of hu- 
miliation and affliction, and have cheerfully taken up the cross of 
Christ, as well as the name and profession of Christians, and re- 
joiced with them in suffering persecution and tribulation. All this 
if you had faithfully done, you might now have been triumphing 
with them in glory, and have possessed with them their Master's 
joy. But this you could not, you would not endure ; your souls 
loathed it, your flesh was against it, and that flesh must be pleased, 
though you were told plainly and frequently what would come of 
it : and now you partake of the fruit of your folly, and endure but 
what you were foretold you must endure ; and are shut out of that 
company, from which you first shut out yourselves ; and are separ- 
ated but from them whom you would not be joined M'ith. You 
could not endure them in your houses, nor in your town, nor scarce 
in the kingdom. You took them, as Ahab did Elias, for the trou- 
blers of the land, 1 Kings xviii. 17 ; and as the apostles were 
taken for men that turned the world upside down, Acts xvii. 6 ; 


if any thing fell out amiss, you thought all was long of them. 
AN'hen thoy were dead or banished, you were glad they were gone, 
and thought the country was well rid of them. They molested you 
with their faithful reproving your sin. Their holy conversation did 
trouble your consciences, to see them so far excel yourselves, and 
to condemn your looseness by their strictness, and your profaneness 
by their conscionable lives, and your negligence by their unwearied 
diligence. You scarce ever heard them pray or sing praises in their 
families, but it was a vexation to you ; and you envied their liberty 
in the worshipping of God, And is it, then, any wonder if you be 
separated from them hereafter.'' The day is near when they will 
trouble you no more : betwixt them and you will be a great gulf 
set, that those that would pass from thence to you (if any had a 
desire to ease you with a drop of water) cannot; neither can they 
pass to them who would go from you, for if they could, there would 
none be left behind, LidvC xvi. 26. Even in this life, while the 
saints were imperfect in their passions and infirmities, clothed with 
the same frail flesh as other men, and were mocked, destitute, af- 
flicted, and tormented, yet, in the judgment of the Holy Ghost^ 
they were such, of whom the world was not worthy, Heb. xi. 30 — 
o8. Much more unworthy are they of their fellowship in their glory. 



Sect. I. I know many of the wicked will be ready to think, if 
this be all, they do not much care, they can bear it well enough : 
what care they for losing the perfections above ? What care they 
for losing God, his favour, or his presence ? They lived merrily 
without him on earth, and why should it be so grievous to be with- 
out him hereafter I And what care they for being deprived of that 
love, and joy, and praising of God ? They never tasted sweetness 
in the things of that nature. Or what care they for being deprived 
of the felloY>-ship of angels and saints ? They could spare their 
company in this world well enough, and why may they not be with- 
out it in the world to come ? To make these men, therefore, to 
understand the truth of their future condition, I will here annex 
these two things : 

1 . I will show you why this forementioned loss will be intolerable, 
and will be most tormenting then, though it seem as nothing now. 

2. I will show you what other losses will accompany these ; 
which, though they are less in themselves, yet will now be more 
sensibly apprehended by these sensual men : and all this from rea- 
son, and the truth of Scripture. 

1. Then, That this loss of heaven will be then most tormenting, 
may appear by these considerations following : 
p 2 


First : The understandings of the ungodly will be then cleared, 
to know the worth of that which they have lost. Now, they lament 
not their loss of God, because they never knew his excellency, nor 
the loss of that holy employment and society, for they were never 
sensible what they were worth. A man that hath lost a jewel, and 
took it but for a common stone, is never troubled at his loss ; but 
when he comes to know what he lost, then he lamenteth it. Though 
the understandings of the damned will not then be sanctified, (as 
I said before,) yet will they be cleared from a multitude of errors 
which now possess them, and mislead them to their ruin. They 
think now that their honour with men, their estates, their plea- 
sures, their health, and life, are better worth their studies and labour 
than the things of another world which they never saw ; but when 
these things, which had their hearts, have left them in misery, and 
given them the slip in their greatest need; when they come to 
know by experience the things which before they did but read and 
hear of, they will then be quite in another mind. They would not 
believe that water would drown, till they were in the sea ; nor that 
the fire would burn, till they were cast into it ; but when they feel 
it, they will easily believe. All that error of their mind, which 
made them set light by God, and abhor his worship, and vilify his 
people, will then be confuted and removed by experience ; their 
knowledge shall be increased, that their sorrows may be increased, 
Eccles. i. 18 ; as Adam by his fall did come to the knowledge of 
good and evil, so shall all the damned have this increase of know- 
ledge. As the knowledge of the excellency of that good which 
they do enjoy, and of that evil which they have escaped, is neces- 
sary to the glorified saints, that they may rationally and truly enjoy 
their glory ; so the knowledge of the greatness of that good which 
they have lost, and of that evil which they have procured to them- 
selves, is necessary to the tormenting of these wretched sinners : 
for as the joys of heaven are not so much enjoyed by the bodily 
senses, as by the intellect and affections ; so it is by understanding 
their misery, and by affections answerable, that the wicked shall 
endure the most of their torments : for as it was the soul that was 
the chiefest in the guilt, (whether it be positively, by leading to sin, 
or only privatively, in not keeping the authority of reason over 
sense, that the understanding is most usually guilty, I will not now 
dispute,) so shall the soul be chiefest in the punishment : doubt- 
less, those poor souls would be comparatively happy, if their under- 
standings were wholly taken from them, if they had no more know- 
ledge than idiots or brute beasts ; or if they knew no more in hell 
than they did upon earth, their loss and misery would then less 
trouble them. Though all knowledge be physically good, yet some 
may be neither morally good, nor good to the owner. Therefore, 
when the Scripture saith of the wicked, '' that they shall not see 
life," John iii. 36, nor " see God," Heb. xii. 14, the meaning is, 
they shall not possess life, nor see God, as the saints do, to enjoy 
him by that sight ; they shall not see him with any comfort, nor as 
their own ; but yet they shall see him, to their terror, as their 


enoniy; and, I think, thoy shall have some kind of eternal know- 
ledge or beholding of God and heaven, and tht; saints that are there 
happy, as a necessary ingredient to their unutterable calamity. 
The rich man shall see Abraham and l.azarus, but afar olf, Luke 
xvi. 2.'3 : as God beholdeth them afar olf, (Psal. cxxxviii. (),) so 
shall they behold God afar olf. Oh how happy men would they 
think themselves, if they did not know that there is such a place 
as heaven ; or if they could but shut their eyes, and cease to be- 
hold it ! Now, when their knowledge would help to prevent their 
misery, they will not know, or will not read and study that they 
may know ; therefore, then when their knowledge will but feed 
their consuming fire, they shall know, whether they will or no. As 
toads and serpents know not their own vile and venomous nature, 
nor the excellent nature of man, or other creatures, and therefore 
are neither troubled at their own, nor desirous of ours, so is it with 
the wicked here ; but when their eyes at death shall be suddenly 
opened, then the case will be suddenly altered. They are now in a 
dead sleep, and they dream they are the happiest men in the world, 
and that the godly are but a company of precise fools, and that 
either heaven will be theirs, as sure as another's, or else they may 
make a shift without it as they have done here; but when death 
smites these men, and bids them awake, and arouses them out of 
their pleasant dreams, how will they stand up amazed and con- 
founded ; how will their judgments be changed in a moment ; and 
they that would not see, shall then see, and be ashamed ! 

Sect. II. Another reason to prove that the loss of heaven will 
more torment them then, is this ; because as the understanding will 
be cleared, so it will be more enlarged, and made more capacious 
to conceive of the worth of that glory which they have lost. The 
strength of their apprehensions, as well as the truth of them, will 
then be increased, ^^'hat deep apprehensions of the wrath of 
God, or the madness of sinning, of the misery of sinners, have 
those souls that now endure this misery, in comparison of those on 
earth that do but hear of it ! ^^llat sensible apprehensions of the 
worth of life hath the condemned man that is going to be executed, 
in comparison of what he was Avont to have in the time of his 
prosperity ! much more will the actual deprivation of eternal bless- 
edness make the damned exceeding apprehensive of the greatness 
of their loss ; and as a large vessel will hold more water than a 
shell, so will their more enlarged understandings contain more 
matter to feed their torment, than now their shallow capacity 
can do. 

Sect. III. And as the damned will have clearer and deeper ap- 
prehensions of the happiness which they have lost, so will they 
have a truer and closer application of this doctrine to themselves, 
which will exceedingly tend to increase their torment. It will 
then be no hard matter to them to say. This is my loss, and this 
is my everlasting remediless misery. The want of this is the main 
cause why they are now so little troubled at their condition ; they 
are hardly brought to believe that there is such a state of misery. 


but more hardly to believe that it is like to be their own. This 
makes so many sermons to them to be lost, and all threatenings 
and warnings to prove in vain. Let a minister of Christ show them 
their misery never so plainly and faithfully, and they will not be 
persuaded that they are so miserable : let him tell them of the 
glory they must lose, and the sufferings they must feel, and they 
think it is not they whom he means ; such a drunkard, or such a 
notorious sinner, they think may possibly come to such a doleful 
end, but they little think that they are so near it themselves. We 
find in all our preaching, by sad experience, that it is one of the 
hardest things in the v/orld to bring a wicked man to know that he 
is wicked ; and a man who is posting in the way to hell, to know 
that he is in that way indeed; or to make a man see himself 
in a state of wrath and condemnation : yea, though the preacher 
do mark him out by such undoubted signs, which he cannot deny, 
yet he will not apply them, nor be brought to say, It is my case : 
though we show them the chapter and verse where it is written, 
" that without regeneration and holiness none shall see God ;" 
and though they know no such work that was ever wrought upon 
themselves ; nay, though they might easily find by their strange- 
ness to the new birth, and by their very enmity to holiness, that 
they were never partakers of them ; yet do they as verily expect to 
see God, and to be saved, as if they were the most sanctified per- 
sons in the world. It is a most difficult work to make a proud 
person know that he is proud, or a covetous man to know that he is 
covetous ; or an ignorant, or erroneous, heretical man to know 
himself to be such a one indeed ; but to make any of these to con- 
fess the sin, and to apply the threatening, and to believe them- 
selves the children of wrath, this is to human strength an impossi- 
bility. How seldom do you hear men, after the plainest discovery 
of their condemned estate, to cry out and say, I am the man ; or to 
acknowledge, that if they die in their present condition, they are 
undone for ever ! and yet Christ hath told us in his word, that the 
most of the world are in that estate ; yea, and the most of those 
that have the preaching of the gospel ; " for many are called, but 
few are chosen." So that it is no wonder that the worst of men 
are not now troubled at their loss of heaven, and at their eternal 
misery ; because, if we should convince them by the most undeni- 
able arguments, yet we cannot bring them to acknowledge it : if 
we should preach to them as long as we live, we cannot make them 
believe that their danger is so great : except a man rise from the 
dead, and tell them of that place of torments, and tell them that 
their merry, jovial friends, who did as verily think to be saved as 
they, are now in hell in those flames, they will not believe. Nay, 
more, though such a messenger from the dead should appear, and 
speak to them, and warn them that they come not to that place of 
torments, and tell them, that such and such of their dear, beloved, 
worshipful, or honourable friends are now there destitute of a drop 
of water, yet would they not be persuaded by all this ; for Christ 
hath said so, " that if they will not hear Moses and the prophets. 


neither will Ihey l)e persuaded though one bhould rise IVoui the 
dead," Luke xvi. lil. 

There is no persuading them of their" misery till they feel it, ex- 
cept the Spirit f)f the Aliuighty persuade them. 

Oh ! hut wlien they hud themselves suddenly in the land of 
darkness, perceive, hy the execution of the sentence, that they were 
indeed condemned, and feel themselves in the scorching flames, 
and see that they are shut out of the presence of God for ever, it 
it will then be no such difficult matter to convince them of their 
misery : this particular application of God's anger to themselves, 
will then be the easiest matter in the world ; then they cannot 
choose but know and apply it, whether they will or no. If you 
come to a man that hath lost a leg, or an arm, or a child, or goods, 
or house, or his health, is it a hard matter to bring this man to ap- 
l)ly it, and to acknowledge that the loss is his own ? I think not. 
Why, it will be far more easy for the wicked in hell to apply their 
misery in the loss of heaven, because their loss is incomparably 
greater. Oh ! this application, which now, if we should die, we can- 
not get them to, for prevention of their loss, will then be part of 
their torment itself! Oh that they then could say. It is not my 
case ! but their dolorous voices will then roar out these forced con- 
fessions, Oh my misery ! oh my folly ! oh my unconceivable, irre- 
coverable loss ! 

Sect. IV. Again, as the imderstandings and consciences of sin- 
ners will be strengthened against them, so also will their affections 
be then more lively and enlarged than now they are ; as judgment 
will be no longer blinded, nor conscience stifled and bribed as now 
it is, so the affections will be no longer so stupified and dead. A 
hard heart now makes heaven and hell to seem but trifles : and 
when we have showed them everlasting glory and misery, they are 
as men half asleep, they scarce take notice what we say ; our words 
are cast as stones against a hard Avail, which fly back in the face of 
him that casteth them, but make no impression at all where they 
fall. We talk of terrible, astonishing things, but it is to dead men 
that cannot apprehend it. We may rip up their wounds, and they 
never feel us : we speak to rocks, rather than to men ; the earth 
will aS'soon tremble as they. Oh, but when these dead wa-etches 
are revived, what passionate sensibility, what working affections, 
what pangs of horror, what depth of sorrow, will there then be ! 
How violently will they fly in their own faces; how will they rage 
against their former madness ! The lamentations of the most 
passionate wife for the loss of her husband, or of the tenderest 
mother for the loss of her children, will be nothing to theirs for the 
loss of heaven. Oh the self-accusing and self-tormenting fury of 
those forlorn wretches ! How they will even tear their own hearts, 
and be God's executioner upon themselves ! I am persuaded, as it 
was none but themselves that committed the sin, and themselves 
that were the only meritorious cause of their sufferings, so them- 
selves will be the chiefest executioners of those sufferings. God 
wUl have it for the clearing of his justice, and the aggravating of 


their distress ; even Satan himself, as he was not so great a cause 
of their sinning as themselves, so will he not be so great an instru- 
ment as themselves of their torment. And let them not think here, 
that if they must torment themselves, they will do well enough, 
they shall have wit enough to ease and favour themselves, and re- 
solution enough to command down this violence of their passions. 
Alas ! poor souls, they little know what passions those will be, and 
how much beyond the power of their resolutions to suppress ! Why 
have not lamenting, pining, self-consuming persons on earth, so 
much wit or power as this ? Why do you not thus persuade despair- 
ing souls, who lie, as Spira, in a kind of hell upon earth, and dare 
not eat, nor drink, nor be merry, but torment themselves with con- 
tinual terrors ? Why do you not say to them, Sir, why will you be 
so mad as to be your own executioner ? and to make your own life 
a continual misery, which otherwise might be as joyful as other 
men's ? Cannot you turn your thoughts toother matters, and never 
think of heaven or hell ? Alas ! how vain are all these persuasions 
to him ; how little do they ease him ! You may as well persuade 
him to remove a mountain, as to remove these hellish thoughts 
that feed upon his spirit : it is as easy to him to stop the stream of 
the rivers, or to bound the overflowing waves of the ocean, as to 
stop the stream of his violent passions, or to restrain those sorrows 
that feed upon his soul. Oh how much less, then, can those con- 
demned souls, who see the glory before them which they have lost, 
restrain their heart-rending, self-tormenting passions ! So some 
direct to cure the tooth-ache, Do not think of it, and it will not 
grieve you ; and so these men think to ease their pains in hell. 
Oh, but the loss and pain will make you think of it, whether you 
will or not. You were as stocks or stones under the threatenings, 
but you shall be most tenderly sensible under the execution. Oh 
how happy would you think yourselves then, if you were turned 
into rocks, or any thing that had neither passion nor sense ! Oh, 
now, how happy were you, if you could feel as lightly as you were 
wont to hear ! and if you could sleep out the time of execution, as 
you did the time of the sermons that warned you of it ! But your 
stupidity is gone, it will not be. 

Sect. V. Moreover, it will much increase the torment of the 
damned, in that their memories will be as large and strong as 
their understandings and affections, which will cause those violent 
passions to be still working. Were their loss never so great, and 
their sense of it never so passionate, yet if they could but lose the 
use of their memory, those passions would die, and that loss, being 
forgotten, would little trouble them. But as they cannot lay by 
their life and being, though then they would account annihilation 
a singular mercy ; so neither can they lay aside any part of that 
being. Understanding, conscience, affections, memory, must all 
live to torment them, which should have helped to their happiness. 
And as by these they should have fed upon the love of God, and 
drawn forth perpetually the joys of his presence ; so by these must 
they now feed upon the wrath of God, and draw forth continually 


the dolours of hi.s absence : therefore never think, that when I .say 
the hardness of their hearts, and their blindness, dulness, and for- 
get fulness, shall be removed, that, therefore, they are more holy or 
more happy than before; no, but morally more vile, and hert'by 
far more miserable. Oh how many hundred times did God by his 
messengers here call upon them, Sinners, consider whither you are 
a going ! Do but make a stand a while, and think where your way 
will end, what is the offered glory that you so carelessly reject : 
will not this be bitterness in the end ? 

And yet these men w^ould never be brought to consider ; but in 
the latter days, fsaith the Lord, Jer. xxiii. 20,) they shall perfectly 
consider it ; when they are insnared in the work of their own 
h;inds, Psal. ix. IG, when God hath arrested them, and judgment 
is passed upon them, and vengeance is poured out upon them to 
the full, then they cannot choose but consider it, whether they 
will or not. Now, they have no leisure to consider, nor any room 
in their memories for the things of another life. Ah ! but then 
they shall have leisure enough, they shall be where they have no- 
thing else to do but consider it ; their memories shall have no 
other employment to hinder them, it shall even be engraven upon 
the tables of their hearts, Deut. vi. 9. God w'ould have had the 
doctrine of their eternal state to have been written on the posts of 
their doors, on their houses, on their hands, and on their hearts : 
he would have had them mind it, and mention it, as they rise and 
lie down, as they sit at home, and as they walk abroad, that so it 
might have gone well with them at their latter end. And seeing 
they rejected this counsel of the Lord, therefore shall it be written 
always before them in the place of their thraldom, that which way 
soever they look, they may still behold it. 

Among others, I will briefly lay down here some of those con- 
siderations which will thus feed the anguish of these damned 

Sect. VL First : It will torment them to think of the greatness 
of the glory which they have lost. Oh, if it had been that which 
they could have spared, it had been a small matter ; or if it had 
been a loss repairable with any thing else ; if it had been health, 
or wealth, or friends, or life, it had been nothing ; but to lose that 
exceeding, eternal weight of glory ! 

Sect. \ll. Secondly : It will torment them, also, to think of the 
possibility that once they were in of obtaining it. Though, all 
things considered, there was an impossibility of any other event 
than what did befall, yet the thing in itself was possible, and their 
will was left to act without constraint. Then they w ill remember, 
The time was, when I w as in as fair a possibility of the kingdom as 
others : I was set upon the stage of the world ; if I had played my 
part wisely and faithfully, now I might have had possession of the 
inheritance ; I might have been amongst yonder blessed saints, 
who am now tormented with these danmed fiends ! The Lord did 
set before me life and death, and having chosen death, I deserve 
to suffer it : the prize was once held out before me ; if I had run 


well, I might have obtained it ; if I had striven, I might have had 
the mastery ; if I had fought valiantly, I had been crowned. 

Sect. VIII. Thirdly : It will yet more torment them to remem- 
ber, not only the possibility, but the great probability that once 
they were in, to obtain the crown, and prevent the misery. It will 
then wound them to think. Why, I had once the gales of the Spirit 
ready to have assisted me. I was fully purposed to have been 
another man, to have cleaved to Christ, and to have forsaken the 
world ; I was almost resolved to have been wholly for God ; I was 
once even turning from my base, seducing lusts ; I was purposed 
never to take them up again ; 1 had even cast off my old com- 
panions, and was resolved to have associated myself with the 
godly; and yet I turned back, and lost my hold, and broke my 
promises, and slacked my purposes : almost God had persuaded 
me to be a real Christian, and yet I conquered those persuasions. 
What workings were in my heart, when a faithful minister pressed 
home the truth ! Oh how fair was I once for heaven ! I had 
almost had it, and yet I have lost it : if I had but followed on to 
seek the Lord, and brought those beginnings to maturity, and 
blown up the spark of desires and purposes which were kindled in 
me, I had now been blessed among the saints. 

Thus will it wound them, to remember what hopes they once 
had, and hoAv a little more woukl have brought them over to Christ, 
and have set their feet in the way of peace. 

Sect. IX. Fourthly : Furthermore, it will exceedingly torment 
them, to remember the fair opportunity that once they had, but 
now have lost ; to look back upon an age spent in vanity, when his 
salvation lay at the stake ; to think how many weeks, and months, 
and years, did I lose, which, if I had improved, I might now have 
been happy ! Wretch that I was ! Could I find no time to study 
the work, for which I had all my time ? Had I no time among all 
my labours to labour for eternity ? Had I time to eat, and drink, 
and sleep, and work, and none to seek the saving of my soul ? Had 
I time for sports, and mirth, and vain discourse, and none for 
prayer, or meditation on the life to come ? Could I take time to 
look to my estate in the world, and none to try my title to heaven, 
and to make sure of my spiritual and everlasting state ? O per- 
nicious time, whither art thou fled? 1 had once time enough, and 
now I must have no more ! I had so much, that I knew not what 
to do with it ; I was fain to devise pastimes ; and to talk it away, 
and trifle it away ; and now it is gone, and cannot be recalled ! Oh 
the golden hours that I did enjoy ! Had I spent bnt one year of 
all those years, or but one month of all those months, in thorough 
examination, and unfeigned conversion, and earnest seeking God 
with my whole heart, it had been happy for me that ever I was 
born ; but now it is past, my days are cut off, my glass is run, my 
sun is set, and will rise no more. God himself did hold me the 
candle, that I might do his work, and I loitered till it was burnt 
out ; and now fain would I have more, but cannot : oh that I had 
but one of these years to live over again ! Oh that it were pos- 


siblo to recall one day, one hour, of that time ! Oh that God 
would turn uie into the world, and try me once again, with another 
life-time! how speedily would I repent; how earnestly would I 
pray, and lie on my knees day and night ; how diligently would I 
hear ; how cheerfully would 1 examine my spiritual estate ; how 
watchfully would I walk ; how strictly would 1 live ! but it is now 
too late ; alas ! too late ; I abused my time to vanity whilst I had 
it, and now nuist I sutler justly for that abuse. 

Thus will the remembrance of the time which they lost on earth, 
be a continual torment to these condemned souls. 

Sect. X. Fifthly : And yet more will it add to their calamity, 
to remember how often they were persuaded to return, both l)y the 
ministry in public and in private, by all their godly, faithful friends : 
every request and exhortation of the minister will now be as a fiery 
dart in his spirit ; how fresh will every sermon come now into his 
mind ! even those that he had forgotten as soon as he heard them. 
He even seems to hear still the voice of the minister, and to see his 
tears : Oh how fain would he have had me to have escaped these 
torments ! How earnestly did he entreat me ! With what love 
and tender compassion ditl he beseech me ! How did his bowels 
yearn after me ! And yet I did but make a jest of it, and hardened 
my heart against all this. How often did he convince me that all 
was not well with me ! And yet I stifled all these convictions. 
How plainly did he rip up my sores, and open to me my very heart, 
and show me the unsoundness and deceitfulness of it ! and yet I 
was loth to know the worst of myself, and therefore shut mine 
eyes, and would not see. Oh how glad would he have been, after 
all his study, and prayers, and pains, if he could but have seen me 
cordially entertain the truth, and turn to Christ ! He would have 
thought himself well recompensed for all his labours and sufferings 
in his work, to have seen me converted and made happy by it. 
And did I withstand and make light of all this ? Should any have 
been more willing of my happiness than myself!" Had not I more 
cause to desire it than he ? Did it not more nearly concern me? 
It was not he, but I, that was to suffer for my obstinacy. He would 
have laid his hands under my feet, to have done me good ; he would 
have fallen down to me upon his knees to have begged my obe- 
dience to his message, if that would have prevailed with my hard- 
ened heart. Oh how deservedly do I now suffer these flames, who 
was so forewarned of them, and so tntreated to escape them ! nay, 
my friends, my parents, my godly neighbours, did admonish and 
exhort me ; they told me what would come of my wilfulness and 
negligence at last, but 1 did never believe them, nor regard them. 
Magistrates were fain to restrain me from sinning, by law and pun- 
ishment. Was not the foresight of this misery sufficient to re- 
strain me { 

Thus will the remembrance of all the means that ever they en- 
joyed, be fuel to feed the flames in their consciences. Oh that 
sinners would but think of this, when they sit under the plain in- 
struction and pressing exhortations of a faithful ministry ! How 


dear must they pay for all this, if it do not prevail with them ! And 
how they will wish a thousand times, in the anguish of their souls, 
that they had either obeyed his doctrine, or had never heard him ! 
The melting words of exhortation which they were wont to hear, 
will be hot burning words to their hearts upon this sad review. It 
cost the minister dear, even his daily study, his earnest prayers, his 
compassionate sorrows for their misery, his care, his sufferings, his ' 
spendings, weakening, killing pains ; but, oh ! how much dearer 
will it cost these rebellious sinners ! His lost tears will cost them 
blood, his lost sighs will cost them eternal groans, and his lost ex- 
hortations will cause their eternal lamentations. For Christ hath 
said it, " that if any city or people receive not, or welcome not, the 
gospel, the very dust of the messenger's feet who lost his travel to 
bring them that glad tidings, shall witness against them ; much 
more, his greater pains. And it shall be easier for Sodom and 
Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city," Matt, xix. 
14 — 16. That Sodom which was the shame of the w^orld for un- 
natural wickedness, the disgrace of mankind, that would have com- 
mitted wickedness with the angels from heaven, that were not 
ashamed to prosecute their villany in the open street ; that pro- 
ceeded in their rage against Lot's admonitions, yea, under the very 
miraculous judgment of God, and groped for the door when they 
were stricken blind : that Sodom which was consumed with fire 
from heaven, and turned to that deadly sea of waters, and suffers 
the vengeance of eternal fire, Jude 7 ; even that Sodom shall escape 
better in the day of judgment, than the neglecters of this so great 
salvation, Heb. ii. 3. It will somewhat abate the heat of their 
torment, that they had not those full and plain offers of grace, nor 
those constant sermons, nor pressing persuasions, nor clear convic- 
tions, as those under the sound of the gospel have had. I beseech 
thee who readest these words, stay here awhile, and sadly think of 
what I say ; I profess to thee from the Lord, it is easier thinking 
of it now than it will be then. What a doleful aggravation of thy 
misery would this be, that the food of thy soul should prove thy 
bane ! and that that should feed thy everlasting torment, which is 
sent to save thee, and prevent thy torments ! 

Sect. XI. Sixthly : Yet further, it will much add to the torment 
of the wretches, to remember that God himself did condescend to 
entreat them, that all the entreatings of the minister were the en- 
treatings of God. How long he did wait, how freely he did offer, 
how lovingly he did invite, and how importunately he did solicit 
them ! How the Spirit did continue striving with their hearts, as 
if he were loth to take a denial ! How Christ stood knocking at 
the door of their hearts, sermon after sermon, and one sabbath 
after another, crying out, " Open, sinner, open thy heart to the 
Saviour, and I will come in, and sup with thee, and thou with me," 
Rev. iii. 20. Why, sinner, are thy lusts and carnal pleasures better 
than I .'' Are thy worldly commodities better than my everlasting 
kingdom ? Why, then, dost thou resist me ? Why dost thou thus 
delay ? What dost thou mean, that thou dost not open to me ? 


How long shall it be till thou attain to innocency ? I Tow long 
shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thoo .'' Woe to thee, O un- 
worthy sinner ! Wilt thou not be made clean/ Wilt thou not be 
pardoned, and sanctified, and made happy ? When shall it once 
he! Oh that thou wouldst hearken to my word, and obey my 
gospel! (Psal, Ixxxi. 13, 14; Isa. xlviii. 17, 18; i. 18; Deut. 
xxxii. 29 ; Eccles. xii. 1.) Then should thy peace be as the river, 
and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea ; though thy sins 
were as red as the crimson or scarlet, I would make them as white 
as the snow or wool. Oh that thou wert but wise to consider this ; 
and that thou wouldst in time remember thy latter end, before the evil 
days come upon thee, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say 
of all thy vain delights, I have no pleasure in them ! Why, sinner, 
shall thy Maker thus bespeak thee in vain ? Shall the God of all 
the world beseech thee to be happy, and beseech thee to have pity 
upon thine own soul, and wilt thou not regard him ? Why did he 
make thy ears, but to hear his voice ? Why did he make thy un- 
derstanding, but to consider? or thy heart, but to entertain the 
Son in obediential love ? " Thus saith the Lord of hosts. Consider 
thy ways," Hag. i, 5. 

Oh how all these passionate pleadings of Christ will passionately 
transport the damned with self-indignation, that they will be ready 
to tear out their own hearts ! How fresh will the remembrance of 
them be still in their minds, lancing their souls with renewed tor- 
ments ! ^^ hat self-condemning pangs will it raise within them, to 
remember how often Christ would have gathered them to himself, 
even as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but they 
would not ! Matt, xxiii. 37. Then will they cry out against them- 
selves. Oh how justly is all this befallen me ! Must 1 tire out the 
patience of Christ i Must I make the God of heaven to follow me 
in vain, from home to the assembly, from thence to my chamber, 
from ale-house to ale-house, till I had wearied him with crying to 
me, Repent, return .' Must the Lord of all the world thus wait 
upon me, and all in vain ? Oh how justly is that patience now 
turned into fury, which falls upon my soul with irresistible violence ! 
When the Lord cried out to me, in his word, How long will it be 
before thou wilt be made clean and holy ? my heart, or at least my 
practice, answered, Never, I will never be so precise. And now 
when I cry out, How long will it be till I be freed from this tor- 
ment, and saved with the saint .'' how justly do I receive the an- 
swer. Never, never ! O sinner, I beseech thee for thy own sake, 
think of this for prevention while the voice of mercy soundeth in 
thine ears ! Yet patience continueth waiting upon thee ; canst thou 
think it will do so still ! Yet the offers of Christ and life are mnde 
to thee in the gospel, and the hand of God is stretched out to thee ; 
but will it still be thus ? The Spirit hath not yet done striving 
with thy heart ; but dost thou know how soon he may turn away, 
and give thee over to a reprobate sense, and let thee perish in the 
stubbornness and hardness of thy heart ? Thou hast yet life, and 
time, and strength, and means, but dost thou think this life will 


always last !* " Oh ! seek the Lord while he may be found, and call 
upon hiui while he is near," Isa. Iv. G, 7. He that hath an ear to 
hear, let him hear what Christ now speaketh to his soul. Rev. ii. 
and iii. And to-day, while it is called to-day, harden not your 
hearts, lest he swear in his wrath that you shall never enter into his 
rest, Heh. iii. 8, 11, 15. For ever blessed is he that hath a hearing 
heart and ear, while Christ hath a calling voice. 

Sect. XII. Seventhly: Again, it will be a most cutting consider- 
ation to these damned sinners, to remember on what easy terms 
they might have escaped their misery, and on what easy conditions 
the crown Avas tendered to them. If their work had been to re- 
move mountains, to conquer kingdoms, to fulfil the law to the 
smallest tittle, then the impossibility would somewhat assuage the 
rage of their self-accusing conscience ; if their conditions for heaven 
had been the satisfying of justice for all their transgressions, the 
suifering of all that the law did lay upon them, or bearing the 
burden which Christ was fain to bear, why this were nothing but to 
suffer hell to escape hell : but their conditions were of another 
nature ; the yoke was light, and the l^urden was easy, which Jesus 
Christ would have laid upon them ; his commandments were not 
grievous. Matt. xi. 28, 29 ; 1 John v. 3. It was but to repent of 
their former transgressions, and cordially to accept him for their 
Saviour and their Lord ; to study his will, and seek his face ; to 
renounce all other happiness but that which he procureth us, and to 
take the Lord alone for our supreme good ; to renounce the govern- 
ment of the v/orld and the flesh, and to submit to his meek and 
gracious government ; to forsake the ways of our own devising, and 
to walk in his holy, delightful way ; to engage ourselves to this by 
covenant with him, and to continue faithful in that covenant : these 
were the terms on which they might have enjoyed the kingdom ; 
and was there any thing unreasonable in all this, or had they any 
thing to object against it ? Was it a hard bargain to have heaven 
upon these conditions, v/hen all the price that is required is only 
our accepting it in that way that the wisdom of our Lord thinks 
meet to bestow it ? And for their want of ability to perform this, 
it consisteth chiefly in their want of will. If they were but will- 
ing, they should find that God would not be backward to assist 
them : if they be willing, Christ is much more willing. 

Oh when the poor tormented wretch shall look back upon these 
easy terms which he refused, and compare the labour of them v/ith 
the pains and loss which he there sustaineth, it cannot be now con- 
ceived how it will rent his very heart. Ah ! thinks he, how justly 
do I suffer all this, who would not-be at so small a cost and pains 
to avoid it ! Where was my understanding when I neglected that 
gracious offer ? when I called the Lord a hard Master ! and thought 
his pleasant service to be a bondage, and the service of the devil 
and my flesh, to be the only delight and freedom ? Was I not a 
thousand times worse than mad, when I censured the holy way of 
God, as needless prcciscness, and cried out on it as an intolerable 
burden '{ when I thought the laws of Christ too strict, and all too 

CnAi'. II. THE SAIN'l'.S' KVKULASTli\(,i llEST, 223 

much that I did for the life to come .'' Oh ! what had all tiio trouhli; 
oT duty been in comparison of the trouble that 1 now sustain; or 
all the sufferings for Ciirist and well-doing, in comparison of these 
sufferings that I nmst undergo for ever ! What if I had spent my 
days in the strictest life that ever did saint; what if I had lived 
still upon my knees; what if I had lost my credit with men, and 
been hated of all men for the sake of Christ, and borne the re- 
proach and scorn of the foolish ; what if I had been imprisoned, or 
banished, or put to death ; oh ! whatliad all this been to the mise- 
ries that I now nuist suffer ! Tlien had my sufferings now been all 
over, whereas they do but now begin, but will never end. AA'ould 
not the heaven whicli 1 have lost, have recompensed all my losses; 
and should not all my sufferings have been there forgotten { What 
if Christ had bid me do some great matter, as to live in continual 
tears and sorrow, to sulfer death a hundred times over, which yet 
he did not, should I not have done it ;" How much more when he 
said but, Believe and be saved ; seek my face, and thy soul shall 
live ; love me above all, walk in my sweet and holy way, take up 
thy cross and follow me, and I will save thee from the wrath of 
God, and I will give thee everlasting life ! Oh gracious offer ! Oh 
easy terms ! Oh cursed wretch, that would not be persuaded to 
accept them ! 

Sect. XIII. Eighthly : Furthermore, this also will be a most 
tormenting consideration, to remember v;hat they sold their eternal 
welfare for, and what it was that they had for heaven. When they 
compare the value of the pleasures of sin with the value of the 
recompence of reward, which they forsake for those pleasures, how 
will the vast disproportion astonish them ! To think of a few 
merry hours, a few pleasant cups or sweet morsels, a little ease or 
low delight to the llesh, the applauding In-eath of the mouth of 
mortal men, or the possession of so much gold on earth, and then 
to think of the everlasting glory ; what a vast difference between 
them Mill then appear ! To think this is all I had for my soul, my 
God, my hopes of blessedness, it cannot possibly be expressed how 
these thoughts will tear his very heart ! Then will he exclaim 
against his folly, Oh ! deservedly miserable wretch, did I set my 
soul to sale at so base a price ; did I part with my God for a little 
dirt and dross, and sell my Saviour, as Judas, for a little silver ! 
Oh, for how small a matter have I parted with my happiness ! I 
had but a dream of delight for my hopes of heaven ; and now I am 
awaked, it is all vanished ! Where are now my honours and at- 
tendance ? Wlio doth applaud me, or trumpet out my praises { 
Where is the cap and knee that was wont to do me revei'ence ? My 
morsels are now turned to gall, and my cups to wormwood. They 
delighted me no longer than while they were passing down ; when 
they were past my taste, the pleasure perished; and is this all that 
I have had for the inestimable treasure ? Oh what a mad exchange 
did I make ! What if I had gained all the world, and lost my soul, 
would it have been a saving match { But, alas ! how small a part 
of the world was it for which I gave up my part in glory ! Oh 


that sinners would forethink of this when they are swimming in de- 
lights of flesh, and studying to be rich and honourable in the world ; 
when they are desperately venturing upon known transgression, and 
sinning against the checks of conscience ! 

Sect. XIV. Ninthly : Yet much more will it add unto their tor- 
ment, when they consider that all this was their own doings, and 
that they, most wilfully, did procure their own destruction. Had 
they been forced to sin whether they would or not, it would much 
abate the rage of their consciences ; or if they were punished for 
another man's transgressions, or if any other had been the chiefest 
author of their ruin : but to think that it was the choice of their 
own wills, and that God had set them in so free a condition that 
none in the world could have forced them to sin against their wills ; 
this will be a griping thought to their hearts. What ! thinks this 
wretched creature, had I not enemies enough in the world, but I 
must be enemy to myself? God would neither give the devil nor 
the world so much power over me as to force me to commit the least 
transgression. If I had not consented, their temptations had been 
in vain : they could but entice me ; it was myself that yielded ; and 
that did the evil : and must I needs lay hands upon my own soul, 
and imbrue my hands in my own blood ? Who should pity me, who 
pitied not myself, and who brought all this upon mine own head ? 
When the enemies of Christ did pull down his word and laws, his 
ministry and worship, the news of it did rejoice me ; when they set 
up seducing or ungodly ministers, instead of the faithful preachers 
of the gospel, I was glad to have it so ; when the minister told me 
the evil of my ways, and the dangerous state that my soul was in, I 
took him for my enemy, and his preaching did stir up my hatred 
against him, and every sermon did cut me to the heart, and I was 
ready to gnash my teeth in indignation against him. Never was I 
willing of the means of mine own welfare ; never had I so great an 
enemy as myself; never did God do me any good, or offer me any 
for the welfare of my soul, but I resisted him, and was utterly un- 
willing of it. He hath heaped mercy upon me, and renewed one 
deliverance after another, and all to entice my heart unto him, and 
yet was I never heartily willing to serve him : he hath gently chas- 
tised me, and made me groan under the fruit of my disobedience ; 
and yet, though I promised largely in my affliction, I was never 
unfeignedly willing to obey him. Never did a good magistrate at- 
tempt a reformation, but I was against it ; nor a good minister 
labour the saving of the flock, but I was ready to hinder as much 
as I could ; nor a good Christian labour to save his soul, but I was 
ready to discourage and hinder him to my power ; as if it were not 
enough to perish alone, but I must draw all others to the same de- 
struction. Oh, what cause hath my wife, my children, my servants, 
my neighbours, to curse the day that ever they saw me ! As if I 
had been made to resist God, and to destroy my own and other 
men's souls, so have I madly behaved myself ! Thus will it gnaw 
upon the hearts of these wretches, to remember that they were the 
cause of their own undoing ; and that they wilfully and obstinately 


persisted in their rebellion, and wore mere volunteers in the service 
of the dovil. They would venture ; they would go on ; they w'ould 
not hoar him that spoke against it : God called to them to hear and 
stay, hut they would not ; men called, conscience called, and said 
to them, as Pilate's wife. Matt. xvii. 19, " Have nothing to do with 
that hateful sin, for I have suffered many things because of it ;" 
hut thoy would not hoar : their will was their law, their rule, and 
their ruin. 

Sect. XV. Tenthly, and lastly : It will yet make the wound in 
their consciences much deeper, when they shall remember that it 
was not only their own doing, but that they were at so nmch cost 
and pains for their own damnation. What great undertakings did 
they engage in for to eftect their ruin ! to resist God, to conquer 
the Spirit, to overcome the power of mercies, judgments, and the 
word itself, to silence conscience ; all this they did take upon them, 
and perform. What a number of sins did they manage at once ! 
What difficulties did they set upon ! even the conquering the power 
of reason itself. ^^ hat dangers did they adventure on ! Though 
thoy walked in continual danger of the wrath of God, and knew he 
could lay them in the dust in a moment ; though they knew they 
lived in danger of eternal perdition; yet would they run upon all 
this. What did they forsake for the service of Satan, and the plea- 
sures of sin ? They forsook their God, their conscience, their best 
friends, their eternal hopes of salvation, and all. They that could 
not toll how to forsake a lust, or a little honour or ease, for Christ, 
yet can lose their souls ; and all for sin ! Oh the labour that it 
costeth poor wretches to be damned ! Sobriety they might have at 
a cheaper rate, and a great deal of health and ease to boot ; and 
yet they will rather have gluttony and drunkenness, with poverty, 
and shame, and sickness, and belchings, and vomitings, with the 
outcries and lamentations of wife and children, and conscience it- 
self. Contentedness they might have with case and delight, yet 
will they rather have covetousness and ambition, though it cost 
them study, and care, and fears, and labour of body and mind, and 
a continual unquietness and distraction of spirit, and usually a 
shameful overthrow at the last. Though their anger be nothing 
but a tormenting themselves, and revenge and envy do consume 
their spirits, and keep them upon a continual rack of disquiet ; 
though uncleanness destroy their bodies, and estates, and names ; 
and though they are foretold of the hazard of their eternal happi- 
ness ; yet will they do and suffer all this, rather than suffer their 
souls to be saved. How fast runs Gehazi for his leprosy ! \Miat 
cost and pains is Nimrod at, to purchase a universal confusion ! 
How doth an amorous Amnon pine himself away for a self-destroy- 
ing lust ! How studiously and painfully doth Absalom seek a hang- 
ing ! Ahithophel's reputation and his life must go together. Even 
when they are struck blind by a judgment of God, yet how painfully 
do the Sodomites grope and weary themselves to find the door ! 
Gen. xix. 11. What cost and pains are the idolatrous papists at, for 



their multifarious will-worship ! How unweariedly and unreservedly 
have the enemies of the gospel put out the light that should guide 
them to heaven, and how earnestly do they si ill prosecute it to the 
last ! How do the nations generally rage, and the people imagine 
a vain thing ! the kings of the earth setting themselves, and the 
rulers taking counsel together, against the Lord, and against his 
Christ ; that they may break the bonds of his laws asunder, and 
cast away the cords of his government from them ; though he that 
sitteth in heaven do laugh them to scorn, though the Lord have 
them in derision ; though he speak to them in his wrath, and vex 
them in his sore displeasure, and resolve that yet in despite of them 
all, he will set his King upon his holy hill of Sion, yet will they 
spend and tire out themselves as long as they are able to stir 
against the Lord. Oh how the reviews of this will feed the flames 
in hell ! With what rage will these danmed wretches curse them- 
selves, and say, Was damnation worth all my cost and pains ? was 
it not enough that I perished through my negligence, and that I sat 
still while Satan played his game, but I must seek so diligently for 
my own perdition ? Might I not have been damned on free cost, 
but I must purchase it so dearly { I thought I could have been 
saved without so much ado ; and could I not have been destroyed 
without so much ado ? How well is all my care, and pains, and 
violence, now requited ! Must I work out so laboriously my own 
damnation, when God commanded me to work out my salvation ? 
Oh ! if I had clone as much for heaven as I did for hell, I had 
surely had it ! I cried out of the tedious way of godliness, and of 
the painful course of duty and self-denial ; and yet I could be at a 
great deal more pains for Satan, and for death. If I had loved 
Christ as strongly as I did my pleasures, and profits, and honours, 
and thought on him as often, and sought him as painfully, oh how 
happy had I now been ! But justly do I suffer the flames of hell, 
who would rather buy them so dear, than have heaven on free cost, 
when it was purchased to my hands. 

Thus I have showed you some of those thoughts which will 
aggravate the misery of these wretches for ever. Oh that God 
would persuade thee, who readest these words, to take up these 
thoughts now seasonably and soberly, for the preventing of that 
unconceivable calamity, that so thou mayst not be forced, in despite 
of thee, to take them up in hell as thy own tormentor. 

It may be some of these hardened wretches will jest at all 
this, and say. How know you what thoughts the damned in hell 
will have ? 

Answ. First : Why read but the 16th of Luke, and you shall 
there find some of their thoughts mentioned. 

Secondly : I know their understandings will not be taken from 
them, nor their conscience, nor passions. As the joys of heaven 
are chiefly enjoyed by the rational soul, in its rational actions, so 
also must the pains of hell be suffered. As they will be men still, 
.so will they act as men. 


Tliirdly : Besides, Scripture hath plainly foretold us as much, 
that their own thoughts shall accus(> them, Kom. ii. 15, and their 
hearts condemn them, 1 John iii. lU — 21 ; and we see it hegun in 
despairing persons here. 



Sect. I. Having showed you those considerations which will then 
aggravate their misery, I am noxt to show you their additional 
losses which will aggravate it. For as godliness hath the promise 
both of this life and that which is to come, and as God hath said, 
" that if we first seek his kingdom and righteousness, all things 
else shall be addfd to us ; " so also are the ungodly threatened 
with the loss both of spiritual and of corporal blessings ; and be- 
cause they sought not first Christ's kingdom and righteousness, 
therefore shall they lose both it and that which they did seek, and 
there shall be taken from them even that little which they have. 
If they could but have kept their present enjoyments, they would 
not have much cared for the loss of heaven, let them take it that 
have more mind of it : but catching at the shadowy and losing the 
substance, they now find that they have lost both ; and that when 
they rejected Christ, they rejected all things. If they had lost and 
forsaken all for Christ, they would have found all again in him, 
for he would have been all in all to them ; but now they have for- 
saken Christ for other things, they shall lose Christ, and that also 
for which they did forsake him. 

But I will particularly open to you some of their other losses. 

Sect. II. First : They .shall lose their present presumptuous con- 
ceit and belief of their interest in God, and of his favour tow^ards 
them, and of their part in the merits and sufferings of Christ. 
This false belief doth now^ support their spirits, and defend them 
from the terrors that would else seize upon them, and fortify them 
against the fears of the wrath to come. Even as true faith doth 
afford the soul a true and grounded support and consolation, and 
enableth us to look to eternity with undaunted courage ; so also a 
false, ungrounded faith doth afford a false, ungrounded comfort, 
and abates the trouble of the considerations of judgment and damn- 
ation. But, alas ! this is but a palliate salve, a deceitful comfort : 
what will ease their trouble when this is gone ? ^^ hen they can 
believe no longer, they will be quieted in mind no longer, and re- 
joice no longer. If a man be near to the greatest mischief, and yet 
strongly conceit that he is in safety, his conceit may make him as 
cheerful as if all were well indeed, till his misery comes, and then 
both his conceit and comforts vanish. An ungrounded persuasion 
Q 2 


of happiness, is a poor cure for real misery. When the mischief 
comes, it will cure the misbelief; hut that belief can neither pre- 
vent nor cure the mischief. If there were no more to make a man 
happy, but to believe he is so, or shall be so, happiness would be 
far commoner than now it is like to be. It is a wonder that any 
man who is not a stranger both to gospel and reason, should be of 
the Antinomian faith in this ; who tell us, that faith is but the be- 
lieving that God loveth us, and that our sins are already pardoned 
through Christ ; that this is the chief thing that ministers should 
preach ; that our ministers preach not Christ, because they preach 
not this ; that every man ought thus to believe, but no man to 
question this faith, whether he believe truly or not, &c. But if all 
men must believe that their sins are pardoned, then most of the 
world must believe a lie ; and if no man ought to question the 
truth of his faith, then most men shall rest cleluded with an un- 
grounded belief. The Scripture commandeth us first to believe for 
a remission of sins, before we believe that our sins are remitted. 
If we believe in Christ, that is, accept him cordially for our Saviour 
and our King, then we shall receive the pardon of sins. The truth is, 
we have more ado to preach down this Antinomian faith, than they 
have to preach it up ; and to preach our people from such a believ- 
ing, than they have to preach them to it. I see no need to per- 
suade people to believe ; the generality are strong and confident in 
such a belief already. Take a congregation of five thousand per- 
sons, and how few among them all will you find, that do not believe 
that their sins are pardoned, and that God loves them ; especially 
of the vilest sinners, who have least cause to believe it ! Indeed, 
as it is all the work of those men to persuade people to this belief, 
so it is the hardest task almost that we meet with, to convince 
men of the ungroundedness of this belief, and to break that peace 
which Satan maintaineth in their souls. Neither do I know a 
commoner <;ause of men's destruction, than such a misbelief. Who 
will seek for that which he believes he hath already ? This is the 
great engine of hell, to ifiake men go merrily to their own perdition. 
I know men cannot believe Christ, or believe in or upon Christ, 
either too soon or too much. But they may believe or judge that 
themselves are pardoned, adopted, and in favour with God, too 
soon, and too much ; for a false judgment is always too much and 
too soon. As true, grounded faith is the master-grace in the re- 
generate, and of the greatest use in the kingdom of Christ ; so is 
false, ungrounded faith the master-vice in the unregenerate soul, 
and of greatest use in the kingdom of Satan. Why do such a mul- 
titude sit still, when they might have pardon for the seeking, but 
that they verily think they are pardoned already ? Why do men 
live so contentedly in the power of the devil, and walk so carelessly 
in the certain way to hell ; but that they think their way will have no 
such end, and that the devil hath nothing to do with them ? They 
defy him, they spit at the mention of his name. If you could ask 
so many thousands as are now in hell. What madness could cause 
you to come hither voluntarily, or to follow Satan to this place of 


torment, when you might follow Christ to the land of rest ? they 
would most of them answer you, We believed that we had followed 
towards salvation ; and that the way which we were in would have 
brought us to heaven. We made sure account of being saved, till 
we found ourselves damned; and never feared hell, till we were 
suddenly in it. We would have renounced our sinful courses and 
companions, but that we thought we might have them and heaven 
too. We would have sought after Christ more heartily, but that 
we thought we had part in him already. We would have been 
more earnest seekers of regeneration, and the power of godliness, 
but that we verily thought we were Christians befoi-e. Oh ! if we 
had known as nmch as now we know, what lives would we have 
led, what persons would w^e have been ! But we have flattered 
ourselves into these insufferable torments, ^^e were told of this 
before, from the word of God, but we would not believe it till we 
felt it ; and now there is no remedy. Reader, do but stop, and 
think here with thyself, how sad a case is this, that men should so 
resolutely cheat themselves of their everlasting rest ! The Lord 
grant it never prove thy own case ! I would be very loth to weaken 
the true faith of the meanest Christian, or to persuade any man 
that his faith is false, when it is true : God forbid that I should so 
disparage that precious grace which hath the stamp of the Spirit ; 
or so trouble the soul, that Christ would have to be comforted ! 
But I must needs in faithfulness tell thee that the confident belief 
of their good estate, and of the pardon of their sins, which the 
careless, unholy, unhumbled multitude among us do so commonly 
boast of, will prove, in the end, but a soul-damning delusion. It 
hath made me ready to tremble many a time, to hear a drunken, 
ungodly, unfaithful minister, as confidently in his formal prayers in 
the pulpit, give God thanks for vocation, justification, sanctifica- 
tion, and assured hope of glorification, as if he had been a most 
assured saint ; when, it may be, his sermon was intended to re- 
proach the saint, and to jeer at sanctification ! Methought I even 
heard the Pharisee say, I thank thee that I am not as other men, 
Luke xviii. 11; or Korah, Are not all the people holy, every one '( 
Numb. xvi. 3, 5. How commonly do men thank God for these, 
which they never received, nor ever shall do ! How many have 
thanked God for pardon of sin, who are now tormented for it; and 
for sanctification, and assured hope of glory, who are now shut out 
of that inheritance of the sanctified ! I warrant you, there is none 
of this believing in hell ; nor any persuasions of pardon or happi- 
ness, nor any boasting of their honesty, nor justifying of them- 
selves. This was but Satan's stratagem, that being blindfold they 
might follow him the more boldly ; but then he will uncover their 
eyes, and they shall see where they are. 

Sect. HL Secondly: Another addition to the misery of the 
damned will be this ; that with the loss of heaven, they shall lose 
also all their hopes. In this life, though they were threatened with 
the wrath of God, yet their hope of escaping it did bear up their 
hearts. And when they were wounded with the terrors of the 


word, they licked all whole again with their groundless hopes ; hut 
then they shall part with their hopes and heaven together. We 
can now scarce speak with the vilest drunkard, or swearer, or 
covetous worldling, or scorner at godliness, hut he hopes to he 
saved for all this. If you should go to all the congregation, or 
town, or country, and ask them one by one, whether they hope to 
be saved, how few shall you meet with that will not say yea, or that 
make any great question of it ! But, oh ! happy world, if salvation 
were as common as this hope ; even those whose hellish nature is 
written in the face of their conversation, that he that runs may 
read it, whose tongues plead the cause of the devil and speak the 
language of hell, and whose delight is in nothing but the works 
of the flesh ; yet these do strongly hope for heaven, though the 
God of heaven hath told them over and over again in his word, 
that no such as they shall ever come there. Though most of the 
world shall eternally perish, and the Judge of the world himself 
hath told us, that of the many that are called yet but few are 
chosen, yet almost all do hope for it, and cannot endure any man 
that doth but question their hopes. Let but their minister preach 
against their false hopes, or their best friend come to them and 
say, I am afraid your present hopes of heaven will deceive you ; I 
see you mind not your soul, your heart is not set upon Christ and 
heaven, you do not so much as pray to God, and worship him in 
your family ; and the Scripture gives you not the least hope of 
being saved in such a condition as this is ; how ill would they take 
such an admonition as this, and bid the admonisher look to him- 
self, and let them alone, he should not answer for them ; they hope 
to be saved, as soon as these preciser men, that pray and talk of 
heaven so much : nay, so strong are these men's hopes, that they 
will dispute the cause with Christ himself at judgment, and plead 
their eating and drinking in his presence, their preaching in his 
name, and casting out devils (and these are more probable argu- 
ments than our baptism, and common profession, and name of 
Christians) ; they will stiffly deny that ever they neglected Christ 
in hunger, nakedness, prison, &c. (and if they did, yet that is less 
than stripping, imprisoning, banishing, or killing Christ in his 
members,) till Christ confute them with the sentence of their con- 
demnation ! Though the heart of their hopes will be broken at 
their death, and particular judgment, yet it seems they would fain 
plead for such hope at the general judgment. But oh the sad state 
of these men, when they must bid farewell to all their hopes, when 
their hopes shall all perish with them ! Reader, if thou wilt not 
believe this, it is because thou wilt not believe the Scriptures. The 
Holy Ghost hath spoken it as plain as can be spoken : " When a 
wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish, and the hope of 
unjust men perisheth," Prov. xi. 17. " The hope of the righteous 
shall be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked shall perish," 
Prov. x. 28. See Isa. xxviii. 15, IS. " For what is the hope of 
the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his 
soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble coraeth upon him?" 


Job xxvii. 8, <J. "Can the rush grow up without niiro? can the 
Hag grow without water ^ ^^ hilst it is yet in its greeinioss, not cut 
down, it witheroth before any other herb. So are the paths of all 
that forget (iod ; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish: whose 
hope? shall be cut oil", and whose trust shall be a spider's web. Me 
shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it 
fast, but it shall not endure," Job viii. 1 1 — 15. " But the eyes of 
the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall 
l)e as the giving up of the ghost," Job xi. 20. The giving up of 
the ghost is a fit but terrible resemblance of a wicked man's giving 
up of his hopes. For, First, As the soul departeth not from the 
body without the greatest terror and pain, so also doth the hope of 
the wicked depart. Oh the direful gripes and pangs of horror that 
seize upon the soul of the sinner at death and judgment, when he 
is parting with all his former hopes ! Secondly, The soul de- 
parteth from the body suddenly, in a moment, which hath there 
delightfully continued so many years ; just so doth the hope of the 
wicked depart. 'I'hirdly, The soul which then departeth, will never 
return to live with the body in this world any more ; and the hope 
of the wicked when it departeth, taketh an everlasting farewell of 
his soul. A miracle of resurrection shall again conjoin the soul 
and body, but th(n-e shall be no such miraculous resurrection of the 
damned's hope. Methinks it is the most doleful spectacle that this 
world affords, to see an ungodly person dying, and to think of his 
soul and hopes departing together ; and with what a sad change he 
presently appears in another world. Then, if a man could but speak 
with that hopeless soul, and ask it ; What ! are you now as confident 
of salvation as you were wont to be ; do you now hope to be saved as 
soon as the most godly .'' Oh what a sad answer would he return ! 
They are just like Korah, Dathan, and their companions : while they 
are confident in their rebellion against the Lord, and cry out, "Are 
not all the people holy { " they are suddenly swallowed up, and their 
hopes with them : or like Ahab, who hating and imprisoning the 
prophet for foretelling his danger, while he is in confident hopes to 
return in peace, is suddenly smitten with that mortal arrow, which 
let out those hopes, together with his soul : or like a thief upon the 
gallows, who hath a strong conceit that he shall receive a pardon, 
and so hopes and hopes, till the ladder is turned : or like the unbe- 
lieving sinners of the world before the flood, who would not believe 
the threatening of Noah, but perhaps derided him for preparing 
his ark so many years together, when no danger appeared, till sud- 
denly the flood came and swept them all away. If a man had 
asked these men, when they were climbing up into the tops of trees 
and mountains : Where is now your hope of escaping, or your merry 
deriding at the painful preventing preparations of godly Noah ; or 
your contemptuous unbelief of the warnings of God ? what do you 
think these men would then say, when the waters still pursued them 
from place to place, till it devoured their hopes and them together? 
Or if one had asked Ahab, when he had received his wound, and 
turned out of the battle to die; What think you now of the pro- 


phecy of Micaiah ; will you release him out of prison ; do you now 
hope to return in peace ? Why, such a sudden overthrow of their 
hopes will every unregenerate sinner receive. While they were 
upon earth, they frustrated the expectations, as I may say, of God 
and man. God sent his messengers to tell them plainly of their 
danger, and said. It may be they will hear, and return and escape ; 
but they stiffened their necks and hardened their hearts : the minis- 
ter studied, and instructed, and persuaded them in hope ; and when 
one sermon prevailed not, he laboured to speak more plainly and 
piercingly in the next, in hope that at last they would be persuaded 
and return ; till their hopes were frustrate, and their labour lost, 
and they vv'ere fain to turn their exhortation to lamentation, and 
to sit down in sorrow for men's wilful misery ; and take up the sad 
exclamation of the prophet, " Who hath believed our report ; and 
to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?" Isa. liii. 1 : so did 
godly parents also instruct their children in hope, and watch over 
them, and pray for them, hoping that at last their hearts would 
turn to Christ. And is it not meet that God should frustrate all 
their hopes, who have frustrated the hopes of all that desired their 
welfare ? Oh that careless sinners would be awaked to think of this 
in time ! If thou be one of them, who art reading these lines, I do 
here as a friend advise thee, from the word of the Lord, that, as 
thou wouldst not have all thy hopes deceive thee, when thou hast 
most need of them, thou presently try them, whether they will 
prove current at the touchstone of the Scripture ; and if thou find 
them unsound, let them go, whatsoever sorrow they cost thee. Rest 
not till thou canst give a reason of all thy hopes, 1 Pet. iii. 15 ; 
JMarks of sound till thou canst prove that they are the hopes which 
hopes. grace and not nature only hath wrought ; that 

they are grounded upon Scripture promises and sound evidences ; 
that they purify thy heart ; that they quicken, and not cool, thy 
endeavours in godliness ; that the more thou hopest, the less thou 
sinnest, and the more painful thou art in following on the work, 
and not grown more loose and careless by the increasing of thy 
hopes ; and they make thee set lighter by all things on earth, be- 
cause thou hast such hopes of higher possessions ; that thou art 
willing to have them tried, and fearful of being deceived ; that 
they stir up thy desires of enjoying what thou hopest for, and the 
deferring thereof is the trouble of thy heart, Prov. xiii. 12. If 
thou be sure that thy hopes be such as these, God forbid that I 
should speak a word against them, or discourage thee from pro- 
ceeding to hope thus to the end. No, I rather persuade thee to go 
on in the strength of the Lord ; and whatever men or devils, or 
thy own unbelieving heart, shall say against it, go on and hold fast 
thy hope, and be sure it shall never make thee ashamed. But if 
thy hope be not of this spiritual nature, and if thou art able to give 
no better reason why thou hopest, than the worst in the world may 
give, that God is merciful, and thou must speed as well as thou 
canst, or the like ; and hast not one sound evidence of a saving 
worli of grace upon thy soul, to show for thy hopes ; but only 


hopost that thou shalt ])e savod, because thou wouldst have it so, 
and because it is a terrible thing to despair : if this be thy case, 
delay not an hdur ; but presently cast away those hopes, that thou 
niayst get into a capacity of having bettor in their stead. Hut it 
may be thou wilt think this strange doctrine, and say, What, would 
you persuade me directly to despair ? Anstv. Sinner, I would be 
loth to have thy soul destroyed by wilful self-delusion. The truth 
is, there is a hope, such as I have before showed thee, which is a 
singular grace and duty ; and there is a hope which is a notorious, 
dangerous sin. So, consequently, there is a despair which is a 
grievous sin ; and there is a despair which is absolutely necessary 
to thy salvation. I would not have thee despair of the sufficiency 
of the blood of C-'hrist to save thee, if thou believe, and heartily 
obey him ; nor of the willingness of God to pardon and save thee, 
if thou be such a one ; nor yet absolutely of thy own salvation ; 
because, while there is life and time, there is some hope of thy 
conversion, and so of thy salvation : nor would I draw thee to de- 
spair of finding Christ, if thou do but heartily seek him ; nor of 
God's acceptance of any sincere endeavours ; nor of thy success 
against Satan, or any corruption which thou shalt heartily oppose ; 
nor of any thing whatsoever God hath promised to do, either to all 
men in general, or to such as thou art. I would not have thee doubt 
of any of these in the least measure, much less despair. But this is 
the despair that I would persuade thee to, as thou lovest thy soul : 
that thou despair of ever being saved, except thou be born again ; or 
of seeing God, without holiness; or of escaping perishing, except 
thou soundly repent ; or of ever having part in Christ, or salvation by 
him, or ever being one of his true disciples, except thou love him above 
father, mother, or thy own life ; or of ever having a treasure in heaven, 
except thy very heart be there ; or of ever escaping eternal death, if 
thou walk after the flesh, and dost not by the Spirit mortify the 
deeds of the flesh ; or of ever truly loving God, or being his serv- 
ant, while thou lovest the world, and servest it (John iii. 5 ; Heb. 
xii. 14 ; Luke xiv. 25—21, Sec. ; xv. 3, 4 ; xvi. 23 ; Matt. vi. II ; 
Rom. viii. 13; 1 John ii. 15). These things I would have thee 
despair of, and whatever else God hath told thee shall never come 
to pass. And when thou hast sadly searched into thy own heart, 
and findost thyself in any of these cases, I would have thee despair 
of thyself of ever being saved in that state thou art in. Never stick 
at the sadness of the conclusion, man, but acknowledge plainly, If 
I die before I got out of this estate, I am lost for ever. It is as good 
deal truly with thyself as not ; God will not flatter thee, he will 
deal plainly whether thou do or not. The very truth is, this kind 
of despair is one of the first steps to heaven. Consider, if a man be 
quite out of his way, what must be the first means to bring him in 
again ? Why, a despair of ever coming to his journey's end in the 
way that he is in. If his home be eastward, and he be going west- 
ward, as long as he hopes he is in the right, he will go on ; and as 
long as he so goes on hoping, he goes further amiss : therefore, when 
he meets with somebody that assures him that he is clean out of his 


way, and brings him to despair of coming home, except he tm'n 
back again ; then he will return, and then he may hope and spare 
not. Why, sinner, just so is it with thy soul : thou art born out of 
the way to heaven ; and in that way thou hast proceeded many a 
year ; yet thou goest on ([uietly, and hopest to be saved, because 
thou art not so bad as many others. Why, I tell thee, except thou 
be brought to throw away those hopes, and see that thou hast all 
this while been quite out of the way to heaven ; and hast been a 
child of wrath, and a servant of Satan, unpardoned, unsanctified, 
and if thou hadst died in this state, hadst been certainly damned ; 
I say, till thou be brought to this, thou wilt never return and be 
saved. Who will turn out of his way while he hopes he is right ? 
And let me once again tell thee, that if ever God mean good to thy 
soul, and intend to save thee, that is one of the first things that he 
will work upon thee : remember what I say, till thou feel God con- 
vincing thee, that the way which thou hast lived in will not serve 
the turn, and so break down thy former hopes, there is yet no saving 
work wrought upon thee, how well soever thou mayst hope of thy- 
self. Yea, thus much more, if any thing keep thy soul out of hea- 
ven, which God forbid, there is nothing in the world liker to do it, 
than thy false hopes of being saved, while thou art out of the way 
to salvation. Why else is it that God cries down such hopes in his 
word ? Why is it that every faithful, skilful minister doth bend all 
his strength against the false faith and hope of sinners, as if he were 
to fight against neither small nor great, but this prince of iniquity? 
Why, alas ! they know that these are the main pillars of Satan's 
kingdom ; bring down but them too, and the house will fall. They 
know also the deceit and vanity of such hopes ; that they are di- 
rectly contrary to the truth of God ; and what a sad case that soul 
is in, who hath no other hope, but that God's word will prove false, 
when the truth of God is the only ground of true hope : alas ! it is 
no pleasure to a minister to speak to people upon such an unwelcome 
subject, any more than it is to a pitiful physician to tell his patient, 

1 do despair of your life, except you let blood ; or there is no hope 
of the cure, except the gangrened member be cut off: if it be true, 
and of flat necessity, though it be displeasing, there is no remedy. 
Why, I beseech you, think on it reasonably without prejudice or 
passion, and tell me, where doth God give any hope of your salva- 
tion, till you are new creatures i Gal. vi. 15. Nay, I have showed 
you where he flatly overthroweth all such hope, Gal. v. 18 — 24; 

2 Cor. v. 7. iVnd will it do you any good for a minister to give you 
hope, where God gives you none ; or would you desire him to do 
so .' Why, what would you think of such a minister when those 
hopes forsake you ; or what thanks will you give him when you find 
yourself in hell ? would you not there lie and curse him for a de- 
ceiver for ever ? I know this to be true, and therefore I had rather 
you were displeased with me here, than curse me there. For my 
own part, if 1 had but one sermon to preach while I lived, I think 
this should be it : to persuade down all your ungrounded hopes of 
heaven, not to leave you there in despair, but that you may hope 


upon Letter grounds which will novor deceive you. God hath told 
us what we shall say : "' Say to the righteous, It shall be well with 
him ; and to the wick(Hl, It shall he ill with him," Isa. iii. 10, 11. 
And if I shall say, it will be well with thee, when God hath said, it 
shall be ill with thee, what the better wert thou for this ! ^\ hose 
word would stand, think you, God's or mine ? Oh, little do carnal 
ministers know what they do, who strengthen the hopes of ungodly 
men ! They work as hard as they can against God, while they 
stand there to speak in the name of God, who layeth his battery 
against these false hopes, as knowing that they must now down, or 
the sinner must perish : and these teachers build up what God is 
pulling down. I know not what they can do worse to destroy men's 
souls. They are false teachers in regard of application, though 
they are true in regard of doctrine : this is partly through their 
flattering, men-pleasing temper ; partly because they are guilty 
themselves, and so should destroy their own hopes, as well as 
others ; and partly because, being graceless, they want that experi- 
ence which should help them to discei-n betwixt hope and hope. 
The same may be said of carnal friends : if they see a poor sinner 
but doubting whether all be well with him, and but troubled for 
fear lest he be out of the way, what pains do they take to keep up 
his old hopes ! What, say they, if you should not be saved, God 
help a great many : you have lived honestly, &c. : never doubt, man, 
God is merciful ! Alas, silly creatures, you think you perform an 
office of friendship, and do him nuich good ! even as much as to 
give cold water to a man in a fever ; you may ease him at the pre- 
sent, but it afterwards inflames him. What thanks will he give 
you hereafter, if you settle him upon his former hopes again ? Did 
you never read, " He that saith to the wicked, Thou art right- 
eous, him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him ? " 
Prov. xxiv. 24. If you were faithful friends indeed, you should 
rather say thus to him ; Friend, if you perceive the soundness of 
your hopes for heaven to be doubtful, oh ! do not smother those 
doubts, but go and open them to your minister, or some able 
friend ; and try them thoroughly in tinu^, and hold no more of them 
now than will hold good at judgment : it is better they break while 
they may be built more surely, than when the discovery will be 
your torment, but not your remedy. This were friendly and faith- 
ful counsel indeed. The proverb is, " If it were not ibr hope, the 
heart would break : " and Scripture tells us, that the heart must 
break that Christ will save. How can it be bound up till it be 
broken first i" So that the hope which keeps their hearts from 
breaking, doth keep them also from healing and saving. 

W^ell, if these unwise men (who are, as we say, penny wise and 
pound foolish, who are wise to keep off the smart of a short, con- 
ditional, necessary, curable despair, but not wise to prevent an 
eternal, absolute, tormenting, uncurable despair) do not change 
their condition speedily, those hopes will leave them which they 
would not leave ; and then they that were fully resolved to hold 
fast their hopes, lot all the preachers in the world say what they 


would, shall let them go whether they w^ill or no. Then let them 
hope for heaven if they can. 

So that, you see, it will aggravate the misery of the damned, 
that with the loss of heaven, they shall lose all that hope of it 
which now supporteth them. 

Sect. IV. Thirdly : Another additional loss will he this, They 
will lose all the false peace of conscience which maketh their pre- 
sent life so easy. The loss of this must necessarily follow the loss 
of the former. When presumption and hope are gone, peace can- 
not tarry. Who would think now, that sees how quietly the mul- 
titude of the ungodly live, that they must very shortly lie roaring 
in everlasting flames ? They lie down, and rise, and sleep as quiet- 
ly ; they eat and drink as quietly ; they go about their work as 
cheerfully ; they talk as pleasantly, as if nothing ailed them, or as 
if they were as far out of danger as an obedient believer : like a 
man that hath the falling sickness ; you would little think, while 
he is a labouring as strong, and talking as heartily, as another man, 
how he will presently fall down, lie gasping and foaming, and beat- 
ing his breast in torment : so it is with these men. They are as 
free from the fears of hell as others, as free from any vexing sor- 
rows, not so much as troubled with any cares of the state of their 
souls, nor with any sad or serious thoughts of what shall become of 
them in another world ; yea, and for the most part, they have less 
doubts and disquiet of mind, than those who shall be saved. O 
happy men, if it would be always thus ; and if this peace would 
prove a lasting peace ! But, alas ! there 's the misery, it will not. 
They are now in their own element, as the fish in the water ; but 
little knows that silly creature when he is most fearlessly and de- 
lightfully swallowing down the bait, how suddenly he shall be 
snatched out, and lie dead upon the bank ! And as little think 
these careless sinners what a change they are near. The sheep or 
the ox is driven quietly to the slaughter, because he knows not 
whither he goes ; if he knew it were to his death, you could not 
drive him so easily. How contented is the swine, when the 
butcher's knife is shaving his throat, little thinking that it is to 
prepare for his death ! Why, it is even so with these sensual, care- 
less men. They fear the mischief least, when they are nearest to 
it, because they fear it not, or see it not with their eyes. " As in 
the days of Noah (saith Christ) they were eating and drinking, 
marrying and giving in marriage, till the day that Noah entered 
into the ark, and knew not till the flood came, and took them all 
away," Matt. xxiv. 37 — 39 ; so will the coming of Christ be, and 
so will the coming of their particular judgment be. " For (saith 
the apostle) when they say. Peace and safety, then sudden destruc- 
tion Cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and 
they shall not escape," 1 Thess. v. 3. O cruel peace, which ends 
in such a war ! Reader, if this be thy own case, if thou hast no 
other peace in thy conscience than this ungrounded, self-created 
peace, I could heartily wish, for thy own sake, that thou wouldst 
cast it off". As I would not have any humble, gracious souls to vex 


theii- own consciences needlessly, nor to disquiet and discompose 
their spirits by troubles of their own inakini?, nor to unlit them- 
selves for duty, nor to interrupt their comfortable communion with 
God, nor to weaken their bodies, or cast themselves into melan- 
choly distempers to the scandal of religion ; so would I not have 
a miserable wretch, who lives in a daily and hourly danger of drop- 
ping into hell, to be as merry and as quiet as if all were well with 
him : it is both unseemly and unsafe : more unseemly than to see 
a man go laughing to the gallows ; and more unsafe than to favour 
the gangrened member, which must be cut off, or to be making 
merry when the enemy is entering our habitations. Men's first 
peace is usually a false peace ; it is a second peace, which is 
brought into the soul upon the casting out of the first, which will 
stand good, and yet not always that neither ; for, where the change 
is by the halves, the second or third peace may be unsound, as well 
as the first ; as many a man that casteth away the peace of his pro- 
faneness, doth take up the peace of mere civility and morality ; or 
if he yet discover the unsoundness of that, and is cast into trouble, 
then he healeth all with outward righteousness, or with a half 
(Christianity, and there he taketh up with peace. This is but 
driving Satan out of one room into another ; but till he be cast 
out of possession, the peace is unsound. Hear what Christ saith, 
" When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in 
peace; but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and 
overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he 
trusted, and divideth his spoils," Luke xi. 21, 22. The soul of 
every man, by nature, is Satan's garrison ; all is at peace in such 
a man, till Christ comes : when Christ storms this heart, he breaks 
the peace ; he giveth it most terrible alarms of judgment and 
hell, he battereth it with the ordinance of his threatenings and 
terrors, he sets all in a combustion of fear and sorrow, till he have 
forced it to yield to his mere mercy, and take him for the governor, 
and Satan is cast out ; and then doth he establish a firm and last- 
ing peace. If, therefore, thou art yet but in that first peace, and 
thy heart was never yet either taken by storm, or delivered up freely 
to Jesus Christ, never think that thy peace will endure. Can the 
soul have peace which is at enmity with Christ, or stands out 
against him, or thinks his government too severe, and his con- 
ditions hard i* can he have peace against whom God proclaimeth 
war ? I may say to thee, as Jehu to Joram, when he asked, " Is 
it peace ? What peace while the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel 
remain?" So thou art desirous to hear nothing from the mouth 
of a minister but peace ; but what peace can there be, till thou 
hast cast away thy wickedness and thy first peace, and make thy 
peace with God through Christ ? Wilt thou believe God himself 
in this case ? why, read then what he saith twice over, " There is 
no peace, saith my God, to the wicked," Isa. xlviii. 22 ; Ivii. 22. 
And hath he said it, and shall it not stand ? Sinner, though thou 
mayst now harden and fortify thy heart against fear, and grief, and 
trouble, yet as true as God is true, they will batter down thy proud 


and fortified spirit, and seize upon it, and drive thee to amazement : 
this will he done either here or hereafter. My comisel therefore to 
thee is, that thou presently examine the grounds of thy peace, and 
say, I am now at ease and quiet in my mind ; but is it grounded, 
and will it he lasting ; is the danger of eternal judgment over; am I 
sure my sins are pardoned, and my soul shall be saved ? if not, alas ! 
what cause of peace ? I may be in hell before the next day, for 
aught I know. Certainly, a man that stands upon the pinnacle of 
a steeple, or that sleeps on the top of the main-mast, or that is in 
the heat of the most bloody fight, hath more cause of peace and 
carelessness than thou. Why, thou livest under the wrath of God 
continually, thou art already sentenced to eternal death, and mayst 
every hour expect the execution, till thou have sued out a pardon 
through Christ. I can show thee a hundred threatenings in Scrip- 
ture which are yet in force against thee ; but canst thou show me 
one promise for thy safety an hour ? What assurance hast thou 
when thou goest forth of thy doors that thou shalt ever come in 
again ? I should wonder, but that I know the desperate hardness 
of the heart of man, how a man that is not sure of his peace with 
God, could eat, or drink, or sleep, or live in peace ! That thou 
art not afraid when thou liest down, lest thou shouldst awake in 
hell ; or when thou risest up, lest thou shouldst be in hell before 
night ; or when thou sittest in thy house, that thou still fearest not 
the approach of death, or some fearful judgment seizing upon thee, 
and that the threats and sentence are not always sounding in thy 
ears. Well, if thou wert the nearest friend that I have in the 
world, in this case that thou art in, I could wish thee no greater 
good, than that God would break in upon thy careless heart, and 
shake thee out of thy false peace, and cast thee into trouble, that 
when thou feelest thy heart at ease, thou wouldst remember thy 
misery ; that when thou art pleasing thyself with thy -estate, or 
business, or labours, thou wouldst still remember the approaching 
woe ; that thou wouldst cry out in the midst of tliy pleasant dis- 
course and merry company, Oh how near is the great and dreadful 
change ! that whatever thou art doing, God would make thee read 
thy sentence, as if it were still written before thine eyes ; and 
which way soever thou goest, he would still meet thee full in the 
face with the sense of his wrath, as the angel did Balaam with a 
drawn sword, till he had made thee cast away thy groundless peace, 
and lie down at the feet of Christ, whom thou resisted, and say. 
Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do ? and so receive from him 
a surer and better peace, which will never be quite broken, but will 
be the beginning of thy everlasting peace, and not perish in thy 
perishing, as the groundless peace of the world will do. 

Sect. V. Fourthly : Another additional loss, aggravating their 
loss of heaven, is this. They shall lose all their carnal mirth. Their 
merry vein will then be opened and empty ; they will say them- 
selves, as Solomon doth, of their laughter, " Thou art mad," and 
of their mirth, "What didst thou?" Eccles. ii. 2. Their witty 
jests and pleasant conceits are then ended, and their merry tales 


are all told. " Their mirth was but as the cracklinf:^ of thorns 
under a pot," I'^iCclos. vii. ; it made a great l)laz(^ and unseemly 
noise for a little while, but it was presently gone, and will return 
no more. They scorned to entertain any sadilening thoughts : the 
talk of death and judgment was irksome to them, because it damp- 
ed their mirth: they could not endure to think of their sin or 
danger, l)ecause these thoughts did sad their spirits, l^hey knew 
not what it was to weep for sin, or to huml)le themselves under the 
mighty hand of God. They could laugh away sorrow, and sing 
away cares, and drive away these melancholy thoughts. They 
thought, if they should live so austerely, and meditate, and pray, 
and mourn, as the godly do, their lives would be a continual misery, 
and it were enough to make them run mad. Alas, poor souls ! 
what a mis;^ry then will that life be, where you shall have nothing 
but sorrow, intense, heart-piercing, multiplied sorrow; when you 
shall have neither the joys of the saints, nor your own former joys! 
Do you think there is one merry heart in hell ; or one joyful coun- 
tenance, or jesting tongue? You cry now, A little mirth is worth 
a great deal of sorrow ; but sure a little godly sorrow, whicli would 
have ended in eternal joy, had been more worth than a great deal 
of your foolish mirth, which v.ill end in sorrow. Can men of 
gravity run laughing and playing in the streets as little children 
do ; or wise men laugh at a mischief as fools and madnien ; or men 
that are sound in their brain, fall a dancing, as they will do in a 
via saltits, till they fall down dead with it ? No more pleasure 
have wise men in your pitiful mirth ; for the end of such mirth is 

Sect. VI. Fifthly : Another additional loss will be this, They 
shall lose all their sensual contentments and delights. That which 
they esteemed their chiefest good, their heaven, their god, that 
must they lose, as well as heaven and God himself. They shall 
then, in despite of them, fulfil that command, which here they 
would not be persuaded to obey, of " making no provision for the 
ilesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,'' Rom. xiii. 14. Oh what a fall 
will the proud, ambitious man have from the top of his honours ! 
As his dust and bones will not be known from the dust and bones 
of the poorest beggars, so neither will his soul be honoured or 
favoured any more than theirs. What a number of the great, 
noble, and learned, are now shut out of the presence of Christ ! If 
you say. How can I tell that ? why, I answer, because their Judge 
hath told me so. Hath he not said by his apostle, " that not many 
wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are 
called ?" 1 Cor. i. 2G. And if they be not called, they be not pre- 
destinate, or justified, or glorified, Rom. viii. 30. Sure that rich 
man CLuke xvi.) hath now no humble obeisance done him, nor 
titles of honour put upon him ; nor do the poor now wait at his 
gates to receive of his scraps. They must be shut out of their 
well-contrived houses, and sumptuous buildings ; their comely 
chambers, with costly hangings ; their soft beds, and easy couches. 
They shall not find their gallant walks, their curious gardens, with 


variety of beauteous, odoriferous fruits and flowers ; their rich 
pastures, and pleasant meadows, and plenteous harvest, and flocks 
and herds. Their tables will not be so spread and furnished, nor 
they so punctually attended and observed. They have not there 
variety of dainty fare, nor several courses, nor tempting dishes pre- 
pared to please their appetites to the full. The rich man there 
fareth not deliciously every day, neither shall he wear there his 
purple and fine linen. The jetting, gorgeous, well-dressed gallant, 
that must not have a pin amiss, that stands as a picture set to sale, 
that take themselves more beholden to the tailor or sempster for 
their comeliness, than to God ; they shall then be quite in a diff'er- 
ent garb. There is no powdering or curling of their hair, nor eye- 
ing of themselves, nor desirous expecting the admiration of behold- 
ers. Sure our voluptuous youths must leave their cards and dice 
behind them, as also their hawks, and hounds, and bowls, and all 
their former pleasant sports : they shall then spend their time in a 
more sad employment, and not in such pastimes as these. Where 
will then be your May-games, and your morrice-dances, your 
stage-plays, and your shows ? what mirth will you have in remem- 
bering all the games, and sports, and dancings, which you had on 
the Lord's days, when you should have been delighting yourselves 
in God and his work ? Oh what an alteration will our jovial, roar- 
ing swaggerers then find;- what bitter draughts will they have in- 
stead of their wine and ale ! If there were any drinking of healths, 
the rich man would not have begged so hard for a drop of waters 
The heat of their lust will be then abated ; they shall not spend 
their time in courting their mistresses, in lascivious discourse, in 
amorous songs, in wanton dalliance, in their lustful embracements, 
or brutish defilements : yet they are like enough to have each 
other's company there ; but they will have no more comfort in that 
company, than Zimri and Cosbi in dying together ; or than lewd 
companions have, in being hanged together on the same gallows. 
Oh the dolefid meeting that these lustful wantons will have there ! 
how it will even cut them to the heart, to look each other in the 
face, and to remember that beastly pleasure, for which they now 
must pay so clear ! So will it be with the fellowship of drunkards, 
and all others that were playfellows together in sin, who got not 
their pardon in the time of their lives. What direful greeting will 
there then be, cursing the day that ever they saw the faces of one 
another ; remembering and ripping up all their lewdness, to the 
aggravation of their torment ! Oh that sinners would remember 
this in the midst of their pleasure and jollity, and say to one 
another, We must shortly reckon for this before the jealous God ! 
Will the remembrance of it then be comfortable or terrible ? will 
these delights accompany us to another world? How shall we 
look each other in the face, if we meet in hell together for these 
things? will not the memorial of them be then our torment? shall 
we then take these for friendly actions, or rather wish we had spent 
this time in praying together, or admonishing one another ? Oh 
why should we sell such a lasting, incomprehensible joy, for one 


taste of seeming; pleasure ? Come, as we have sinned together, let 
us pray together before we stir, that God would pardon us ; and 
let us enter into a promise to one another, that we will do thus 
no more, but will meet together with the godly in the worship of 
(iod, and help one another towards heaven, as oft as wc have met 
for our sinful merriments, in helping to deceive and destroy each 
other. This would be the way to prevent this sorrow, and a course 
that would comfort you, when you look back upon it hereafter. 
\\'iK) would spend so many days, and years, and thoughts, and 
cares, and be at so much cost and pains, and all to please this flesh 
for a moment, which must shortly be most loathsome, stinking rot- 
tenness ; and in the mean time neglect our precious souls, and that 
state which we must trust to for ever and ever ? to be at such pains 
for that pleasure which dies in the enjoying, and is almost as soon 
gone as come ; and when we have most need of comfort, will be so 
far from following us as our happiness, that it will be perpetual 
fuel to the flames which shall torment us ! Oh that men knew but 
what they desire, when they would so fain have all things suited 
to the desires of the flesh ! They would have buildings, walks, 
lands, clothes, diet, and all so fitted as may be most pleasing and 
delightful. Why, this is but to desire their temptations to be in- 
creased, and their snare strengthened : their joys will be more 
carnal ; and how great an enemy carnal joy is to spiritual, experi- 
enced men can quickly tell you. If we took the flesh so much for 
our enemy as we do profess, we could not so earnestly desire and 
contrive to accommodate it, and so congratulate all its content- 
ments as we do. 



Sect. I. Having thus .showed you how great their loss is, who 
are shut out of rest, and how it will be aggravated by those ad- 
ditional losses which will accompany it, I should next here show 
you the greatness of those positive sufferings which will accompany 
this loss. But because I am to treat of rest, rather than of tor- 
ment, I will not meddle with the explication of the quality of those 
sufferings, but only show their greatness in some few brief dis- 
coveries, lest the careless sinner, while he hears of no other punish- 
ment but that of loss before mentioned, should think he can bear 
that well enough by his own resolvedness, and so flatter himself in 
hope of a tolerable hell. That there are, besides the loss of hap- 
piness, such actual, sensible torments for the damned, is a matter 
beyond all doubt to him that doth not doubt the truth of the 
Scriptures ; and that they will be exceeding great, may appear by 
these arguments following. 


First: From the principal Author of them, which is God him- 
self: as it was no less than God whom the sinner had offended, so 
it is no less than God that will punish them for their offences. He 
hath prepared those torments for his enemies. His continued 
anger will still he devouring them. His breath of indignation will 
kindle the flames. His wrath will be an intolerable burden to their , 
souls. Oh, if it were but a creature that they had to do with, they 
might bear it, for the penalty would be answerable to the infirmity 
of him that should inflict it. A child can give but an easy stroke, 
but the strokes of a giant will he answerable to his strength. Woe 
to him that falls under the strokes of the Almighty ! They shall 
feel to their sorrow, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands 
of the living God. It were nothing in comparison to this, if all 
the world were against them, or if the strength of all creatures 
were united in one to inflict their penalty. They had now rather 
venture upon the displeasure of God, than to displease a landlord, 
a master, a friend, a neighbour, or their own flesh : but then they 
will wish a thousand times in vain, that they had lost the favour of 
all the world, and had been hated of all men, so they had not lost 
the favour of God ; for, as there is no life like his favour, so is 
there no death like his displeasure. Oh what a consuming. Are is 
his wrath ! If it be kindled here, and that but a little, how do we 
wither before it, as the grass that is cut down before the sun ! How 
.soon doth our strength decay, and turn to weakness, and our beauty 
to deformity ! Churches are rooted up, commonwealths are over- 
thrown, kingdoms depopulated, armies destroyed, and who can 
stand before his wrath ? Even the heavens and earth will melt at 
his presence; and when* he speaks the word at his great clay of 
account, they will be burnt up before him as a scroll in the fire. 
The flames do not so easily run through the dry stubble, or con- 
sume the houses where its violence hath prevailed, as the wrath of 
God will feed upon these wretches. Oh, they that could not bear 
a prison, or a gibbet, or fire, for Christ, no, nor scarce a few scorns 
from the mouths of the ignorant, how will they now bear the de- 
vouring fire ! 

Sect. II. 2. The place or state of torment, is purposely ordained 
for the glorifying of the attribute of God's justice. As all the 
works of God are great and wonderful, so those above all, which 
are specially intenclecl for the eminent advancing of some of his 
attributes. When he will glorify his power, he makes the worlds 
by his wisdom. The comely order of all and singular creatures, 
declares his wisdom. His providence is shown, in sustaining all 
things, and maintaining order, and attaining his excellent ends, 
amongst the confused, perverse, tumultuous agitations of a world 
of wicked, foolish, self-destroying miscreants. When a spark of his 
wrath doth kindle upon the earth, the whole world, save only eight 
persons, are drowned. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, 
are burned with fire from heaven, to ashes. The sea shuts her 
mouth upon some. The earth doth open and swallow others. The 
pestilence destroyeth them up by thousands. The present deplora- 


ble state of the Jews may fully testify this to the world. Aiul yet 
the glorifying of the two great attril)utes of mercy and just ict% is 
intended most eminently for the life to come. As, therefore, when 
Ciod will purposely then glorify his mercy, he will do it in a way 
and degree that is now incredible, and beyond the comprehension 
of the saints that must enjoy it ; so that the blood of his Son, and 
the enjoyment of himself immediately in glory, shall not be 
thought too high an honour Ibr them. So also, when the time 
comes that he will purposely manifest his justice, it shall appear to 
be indeed the justice of God. The everlasting ilames of hell will 
not be thought too hot for the rebellious ; and when they have 
there burnt through millions of ages, he will not repent him of 
the evil which is befallen them. Oh ! woe to the soul that is thus 
set up for a butt, for the wrath of the Almighty to shoot at; and 
for a bush, that must burn in the flames of his jealousy, and never 
be consumed ! 

Sect. III. 3, The tormentsof the damned must needs be extreme, 
because they are the effect of Divine revenge. Wrath is terrible, 
but revenge is implacable. When the great God shall say, I will 
now be righted for all the wrongs that I have borne from rebellious 
creatures ; I will let out my wTath, and it shall be stayed no more, 
you shall now pay for all the abuse of my patience ! Remember, 
now, how I waited your leisure in vain, how I stooped to persuade 
you ; how I, as it were, kneeled to entreat you. Did you think I 
would always be slighted by such miscreants as you ? Oh, who 
can look up when God shall thus plead with them in the heat of 
revenge ? Then will he be revenged for every mercy abused, for 
his creatures consumed in luxury and excess, for every hour's time 
mispent, for the neglect of his word, for the vilifying of his messen- 
gers, for the hating of his people, for the profanation of his ordi- 
nances and neglect of his worship, for the breaking of his sabbaths 
and the grieving of his Spirit, for the taking of his name in vain, 
for unmerciful neglect of his servants in distress. Oh ! the num- 
berless bill that will be brought in ! and the charge that will over- 
charge the soul of the sinner ! And how hotly revenge will pursue 
them all to the highest ! How God will stand over them with the 
rod in his hand, (not the rod of fatherly chastisement, but that 
iron rod wherewith he bruiseth the rebellious,) and lay it on for all 
their neglects of Christ and grace ! Oh that men would foresee 
this, and not put themselves under the hammer of revenging fury, 
when they may have the treasure of happiness at so easy rates, and 
please God better in preventing their woe ! 

Sect. IV. 4. Consider, also, how this justice and revenge will be 
the delight of the Almighty. Though he had rather men would 
stoop to Christ, and accept of his mercy, yet when they persist in 
rebellion, he will take pleasure in their execution. Though he 
desire not the death of him that dieth, but rather that he repent 
and live ; yet, when he will not repent and live, God doth desire 
and delight in the execution of justice conditionally. So that men 
will repent, he desires not their death, but their life, Ezek. xxxiii. 
R 2 


1 1 ; yet, if they repent not, in the same place he uttereth his 
resolution for their death, ver. 8, 13. He tells us, "that fury is 
not in him ; " yet he addeth in the next words, " Who would set 
the briers and thorns together in hattle ? I would go through 
them ; I would burn them together," Isa. xxvii. 4. What a dole- 
ful case is the wretched creature in, when he shall thus set the 
heart of his Creator against him ! " And he that made him, will 
not save him ; and he that formed him, will not have mercy upon 
him," Isa. xxvii. II. How heavy a threatening is that, " As the 
Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, so the Lord will rejoice 
over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought," Deut. xxviii. 
63. Woe to the soul which God rejoiceth to punish ! Yea, he 
tells the simple ones that love simplicity, and the scorners that de- 
light in scorning, and the fools that hate knowledge, " that because 
he called, and they refused, he stretched out his hand, and no man 
regarded, but set at nought all his counsel, and would none of his 
reproof; therefore he will also laugh at their calamity, and mock 
Vv'hen their fear cometh ; when their fear cometh as desolation, and 
their destruction as a whirlwind ; when distress and anguish com- 
eth upon them. Then shall they call upon him, but he will not 
answer ; they shall seek him early, but shall not find him ; for that 
they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord," 
Prov. i. 22 — 29. I could entreat thee, who readest them, if thou 
be one of that sort of men, that thou wilt but view over seriously 
that part of the chapter (Prov. i.) from the 20th verse to the end, 
and believe them to be the true v/ords of Christ by his Spirit in 
Solomon. Is it not a terrible thing to a wretched soul, when it 
shall lie roaring perpetually in the flames of hell, and the God of 
mercy himself shall laugh at them ; when they shall cry out for 
mercy, yea, for one drop of water, and God shall mock them instead 
of relieving them ; when none in heaven or earth can help them 
but God, and he shall rejoice over them in their calamity ? Why, 
you see these are the very words of God himself in Scripture. And 
most just is it, that they who laughed at the sermon, and mocked 
at the preacher, and derided the people that obeyed the gospel, 
should be laughed at and derided by God. Ah ! poor ignorant 
fools, (for so this text calls them,) they will then have mocking 
enough, till their hearts ache with it.* I dare warrant them for 
ever making a jest at godliness more, or making themselves merry 
with their own slanderous reports. It is themselves, then, that 
must be the woeful objects of derision, and that of God himself, 
who would have crowned them with glory. I know when the 
Scripture speaks of God's laughing and mocking, it is not to be 
understood literally, but after the manner of men : but this may 
suffice us, that it will be such an act of God to the tormenting of 
the sinner, which he cannot more fitly conceive or express under 
any other notion or name, than these. 

Sect. V. 5. Consider who shall be God's executioners of their 
torment ; and that is. First, Satan ; Secondly, Themselves. First, 

* See also Psal. xxxvii. 13. 


He that was here so successful in drawing them from Christ, will 
then be the instrument of their puni.shmont, for yielding to his 
temptations. It was a pitiful sight to see the man possessed, that 
was hound with chains, and lived among the tombs ; and that 
other that would be cast into the fire and into the water ; but, alas ! 
that was nothing to th(^ torment that Satan puts them to in h»'ll : 
that is the reward he will give them for all their service ; for their 
rejecting the commands of God, and forsaking Christ, and neglect- 
ing their souls at his persuasion. Ah, if they had served Christ as 
faithfully as they did Satan, and had forsaken all for the love of 
him, he would have given them a better reward. 2. And it is 
most just, also, that they should there be their own tormentors, 
that they may see that their whole destruction is of theniselves ; 
and they who were wilfully the meritorious cause, should also be 
the efficient in their own sufferings : and then who can they com- 
plain of but themselves ? And they will be no more able to cease 
their self-tormenting, than men that we sec in a deep melancholy, 
that will by no arguments be taken off from their sorrows. 

Sect. VI. 6. Consider, also, how that their torment will be 
universal, not upon one part alone, while the rest are free ; but as 
all have joined in the sin, so must they all partake of the torment. 
The soul, as it was the chief in sinning, shall be the chief in suffer- 
ing ; and as h is of a more spiritual and excellent nature than 
bodies are, so will its torments as far exceed our present bodily 
sufferings. And as the joys of the soul do far surpass all sensual 
pleasures, and corporal contentments ; so do the pains of the soul 
surpass those corporal pains : and as the martyrs did triumph 
in the very flames, because their souls were full of joy, though 
their bodies were in pain ; so, though these damned creatures could 
enjoy all their bodily pleasures, yet the soul's sufferings would take 
away the sweetness of them all. 

And it is not only a soul, but a sinful soul, that must suffer ; the 
guilt which still remains upon it, will make it fit for the wrath 
of God to w^ork upon : as fire will not burn, except the fuel be 
combustible; but if the wood be dry, or it light upon straw, how 
fiercely will it burn then ! Why, the guilt of their former sins will 
be as tinder to gunpowder, to the damned soul, to make the flames 
of hell to take hold upon them with fury. 

And as the soul, so also the body, must bear its part. That body 
that must needs be pleased, whatsoever become of its eternal safety, 
shall now be paid for all its unlawful pleasures : that body which 
was so carefully looked to, so tenderly cherished, so curiously 
dressed ; that body which could not endure heat or cold, or an ill 
smell, or a loathsome sight ; oh what must it now endure ! how 
are its haughty looks now taken down ! how little will those flames 
regard its comeliness and beauty ! But as death did not regard it, 
nor the worms regard it, but as freely feed upon the face of the 
proud and lustful dames, and the heart of the most ambitious lords 
or princes, as if they had been but beggars or brutes ; so will their 
tormentors then as little pity their tenderness, or reverence theii 


lordliness, when they shall be raised from their graves to their 
eternal doom. Those eyes which were wont to be delighted with 
curious sights, and to feed themselves upon beauteous and comely 
objects, must then see nothing but what shall amaze and terrify 
them ; an angry, sin-revenging God above them, and those saints 
whom they scorned, enjoying the glory which they have lost ; and 
about them will be only devils and damned souls ; ah, then, how 
sadly will they look back and say, Are all our merry meetings, our 
feasts, our plays, our wanton toys, our games and revels, come to 
this? Then those ears which were wont to be delighted Vv'ith 
music, shall hear the shrieks and cries of their damned companions ; 
children crying out against their parents, that gave them en- 
couragement and example in evil, but did not teach them the fear 
of the Lord ; husbands crying out upon their wives, and wives upon 
their husbands ; masters and servants cursing each other ; minis- 
ters and people, magistrates and subjects, charging their misery 
upon one another, for discouraging in duty, conniving in sin, and 
being silent or formal, when they should have plainly told one 
another of their misery, and forewarned them of this danger. 
Thus will soul and body be companions in calamity. 

Sect. VII. 7. And the greater by far will their torments be, be- 
cause they shall have no comfort left to help to mitigate them. 
In this life, when a minister foretold them of hell, or conscience 
began to trouble their peace, they had comforts enough at hand to 
relieve them : their carnal friends were all ready to speak comfort 
to them, and promise them that all should be well with them ; but 
now they have not a word of comfort either for others or themselves. 
Formerly they had their business, their company, their mirth, to 
drive away their fears ; they could think away their sorrows, or 
play them away, or sleep them away, or at least, time did wear 
them away ; but now all these remedies are vanished. They had 
a hard, a presumptuous, and unbelieving heart, which was a wall to 
defend them against troubles of mind ; but now their experience 
hath banished these, and left them naked to the fury of those 
flames. Yea, formerly Satan himself was their comforter, and 
would unsay all that the minister had said against them, as he did 
to our first mother : Hath God said. Ye shall not eat ? Ye shall not 
surely die. So doth he now : Doth God tell you that you shall 
lie in hell ? It is no such matter ; God is more merciful ; he doth 
but tell you so, to fright you from sinning : who would lose his 
present pleasures, for the fear of that which he never saw ? Or, if 
there be a hell, what need you to fear it ? Are not you Christians, 
and shall you not be saved by Christ ? Was not his blood shed for 
you ? Ministers may tell you what they please ; they delight to 
fright men, that they may be masters of their consciences, and 
therefore would make them believe that they shall all be damned, 
except they will fit themselves to their precise humour. Thus, as 
the Spirit of Christ is the comforter of the saints, so Satan is the 
comforter of the wicked ; for he knows if he should now disquiet 
them, they would no longer serve him ; or if fears or doubts should 


begin to trouble them, they would bethink themselves of their 
clanger, and so escape it. Never was a thief more careful lest he 
should awake the people, when he is robbing the house, than Satan 
is careful not to awaken a sinner. And as a cut-purse will look you 
iu the face, and hold you in a tale, that you may never suspect 
Inm, while he is picking your pockets ; so will Satan labour to 
koep men from all doubts, or jealousies, or sorrowful thoughts. 
But when the sinner is dead, and he hath his prey, and his strata- 
gem hath had success, then he hath done flattering and comfort- 
ing them. While the sight of sin and misery might have helped 
to save them, he took all the pains he could to hide it from their 
eyes; but when it is too late, and there is no hope left, he will 
make them see and feel to the utmost. Oh! which way will the 
forlorn sinner then look for comfort ? They that drew him into 
the snare, and promised him safety, do now forsake him, and are 
forsaken themselves. His ancient comforts are taken from him, 
and the righteous God, whose forewarnings he made light of, will 
now make good his word against him to the least tittle. 

Sect. VIII. 8. But the great aggravation of this misery will be 
its eternity. That when a thousand millions of ages are past, their 
torments are as fresh to begin as at the first day. If there were 
any hope of an end, it would case them to foresee it ; but when it 
must be for ever so, that thought is intolerable : much more will 
the misery itself be. They were never weary of sinning, nor ever 
would have been, if they had lived eternally upon earth ; and now 
God will not be weary of plaguing them. They never heartily re- 
pented of their sin, and God will never repent him of their suffer- 
ing. They broke the laws of the eternal God, and therefore shall 
suffer eternal punishment. They knew it was an everlasting king- 
dom which they refused when it was offered them, and therefore 
what wonder if they be everlastingly shut out of it ; it was their 
immortal souls that were guilty of the trespass, and therefore must 
immortally suffer the pains. Oh, now, what happy men would 
they think themselves, if they might have lain still in their graves, 
or continued dust, or suffered no worse than the gnawing of those 
worms ! Oh that they might but there lie down again ; what a 
mercy now would it be to die ! and how will they call and cry out 
for it, O death, whither art thou now gone ? Now come and cut 
off this doleful life ! Oh that these pains would break my heart, 
and end my being ! Oh that I might once die at last ! Oh that 
I had never had a being ! These groans will the thoughts of eter- 
nity wring from their hearts. They were wont to think the sermon 
long, and prayer long ; how long then will they think these end- 
less torments ! What difference is there betwixt the length of their 
pleasures and of their pains ! The one continued but a moment, 
but the other endureth through all eternity. Oh that sinners 
would lay this thought to heart ! Remember how time is almost 
gone. Thou art standing all this while at the door of eternity, and 
death is waiting to open the door, and put thee in. Go sleep out 
but a few more nights, and stir up and down on earth a few more 


days, and then thy nights and days shall end ; thy thoughts, and 
cares, and displeasures, and all shall be devoured by eternity ; thou 
must enter upon the state which shall never be changed. As the 
joys of heaven are beyond our conceiving, so also are the pains of 
hell. Everlasting torment is unconceivable torment. 

Sect. IX. Object. But I know if it be a sensual unbeliever that 
readeth all this, he will cast it by with disdain, and say, I will 
never believe that God will thus torment his creatures. What ! to 
delight in their torture ? and that for everlasting I and all this for 
the faults of a short time ? it is incredible. How can this stand 
with the infiniteness of his mercy ? I would not thus torment the 
worst enemy that I have in the world, and yet my mercifulness is 
nothing to God's. These are but threats to awe men ; I will not 
believe them. 

Ansic. Wilt thou not believe ? I do not wonder if thou be loth 
to believe so terrible tidings to thy soul, as these are ; which if 
they were believed and apprehended, indeed, according to their 
weight, would set thee a trembling and roaring in the anguish of 
horror day and night. And I do as little wonder that the devil 
who ruleth thee, should be loth, if he can hinder it, to suffer thee to 
believe it. For if thou didst believe it, thou wouldst spare no cost 
or pains to escape it. But go to : if thou wilt read on, either 
thou shalt believe it before thou stirrest, or prove thyself an infidel 
or pagan. Tell me, then, dost thou believe Scripture to be the 
word of God ? If thou do not, thou art no more a Christian than 
thy horse is, or than a Turk is. For what ground have we besides 
Scripture to believe that Jesus Christ did come into the world, or 
die for man ? If thou believe not these, I have nothing here to 
do with thee, but refer thee to the second part of this book, 
where I have proved Scripture to be the word of God. But if thou 
do believe this to be so, and yet dost not believe that the same Scrip- 
ture is true, thou art far worse than either infidel or pagan. For 
the vilest pagan durst hardly charge their idol-gods to be liars : 
and darest thou give the lie to the God of heaven ; and accuse him 
of speaking that which shall not come to pass ; and that in such 
absolute threats and plain expressions ? But if thou dareSt not 
stand to this, but dost believe Scripture both to be the word of 
God, and to be true, then I shall presently convince thee of the 
truth of these eternal torments. Wilt thou believe if a prophet 
should tell it thee ? Why read it then in the greatest prophets, 
Moses, David, and Isaiah, Deut. xxxii. 22; Psal. xi. 6; ix. 17; 
Isa. XXX. 33. Or wilt thou believe one that was more than a pro- 
phet ? Why, hear then what John Baptist saith. Matt. iii. 10 ; 
Luke iii. 17. Or wilt thou believe if an apostle should tell thee ? 
Why hear what one saith, where he calls it the " vengeance of 
eternal fire ; and the blackness of darkness for ever," Jude 7, 13. 
Or what if thou have it from an apostle that had been rapt up in 
revelations into the third heaven, and seen things unutterable, wilt 
thou believe then ? Why take it then from Paul : " The Lord 
Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in 


flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and 
that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be 
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the 
Lord, and from the glory of his power," 2 Thess. i. 7 — 9. And 
" that they all might be danmed, who believed not the truth, but 
had pleasure in unrighteousness," 2 Thess. ii. 12. So Rom. ii. 5 — 7. 
Or wilt thou believe it from the beloved apostle, who was so taken 
up in revelations, and saw it, as it were, in his visions ? Why see 
then Rev. xx. 10, 15. They are said there to be " cast into the 
lake of fire, and tormented day and night for ever." So Rev. xxi. 
S; so 2 Pet. ii. 17. Or wilt thou believe it from the mouth of 
Christ himself the Judge ? Why read it then : " As therefore the 
tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in the end of 
this world : the Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they 
shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them 
which do iniquity ; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire : 
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," &c. Matt. xiii. 
40—42, 49, 50. So Matt, xviii. 8, 9 : so Mark ix. 43, 44, 4G, 48 : 
where he repeateth it three times over, " Where their worm never 
dieth, and their fire is not (juenched." And, " Then shall he say 
to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlast- 
ing fire prepared for the devil and his angels : for I was, &c. And 
these shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous 
into life eternal/' Matt. xxv. 41, 4G. 

What sayest thou now to all this; wilt thou not believe? If 
thou wilt not believe Christ, I know not whom thou wilt believe ; 
and therefore it is in vain to persuade thee any further : only let 
me tell thee, the time is at hand when thou wilt easily believe, and 
that without any preaching or arguing : when thou seest the great 
and terrible day, and hearest the condemning sentence passed, and 
art thyself thrust down to hell, as Luke x. 11, then thou shalt be- 
lieve, and never doubt again : and do not say but thou wast told 
so much. Surely he that so much dissuades thee from believing, 
doth yet believe and tremble himself, Jam. ii. 19. 

And whereas thou thinkest that God is more merciful, why, sure, 
he knows best his own mercifulness. His mercy will not cross his 
truth. Cannot God be infinite in mercy, except he save the wilful 
and rebellious .' Is a judge unmerciful for condemning malefactors ? 
Mercy and justice have their several objects. Thousands of humble, 
believing, obedient souls shall know to their eternal comfort, that 
God is merciful, though the refusers of his grace shall lie under 
justice. God will then force thy conscience to confess it in hell, 
that God who condemned thee was yet merciful to thee. Was it 
not mercy to be made a reasonable creature ; and to have patience 
to endure thy many years' provocations, and waiting upon thee frorn 
sermon to sermon ; desiring and entreating thy repentance and re- 
turn .' Was it not mercy to have the Son of God, with all his blood 
and merits, freely oifered thee, if thou wouldst but have accepted 
him to govern and to save thee ? nay, when thou hadst neglected 
and refused Christ once, or twice, yea, a hundred times, that God 


should yet follow thee with mvitations from day to day ? And shalt 
thou wilfully refuse mercy to the last hour, and then cry out that 
God will not be so unmerciful as to condemn thee ? Thy conscience 
M'ill smite thee for thy madness, and tell thee, that God was merci- 
ful in all this, though such as thou do perish for thy wilfulness. 
Yea, the sense of the greatness of his mercy will then be a great 
part of thy torment. 

And whereas thou thinkest the pain to be greater than the of- 
fence, that is because thou art not a competent judge. Thou 
knowest what pain is, but thou knowest not the thousandth part of 
the evil of sin. Shall not the righteous Judge of the world do 
justly ? Nay, it is no more than thou didst choose thyself. Did 
not God set before thee life and death, and tell thee, if thou wouldst 
accept of the government of Christ, and renounce thy lusts, that 
then thou shouldst have eternal life ? And if thou wouldst not have 
Christ, but the world or flesh, to rule over thee, thou shouldst then 
endure eternal torments ? Did not he offer thee thy choice, and bid 
thee take which of these thou wouldst ; yea, and entreat thee to 
choose aright ? And dost thou now cry out of severity, when thou 
hast but the consequence of thy wilfsl choice ? But it is not thy 
accusing God of cruelty that shall serve thy turn ; instead of pro- 
curing thy escape, or the mitigation of thy torments, it will but 
make thy burden the more heavy. 

And whereas thou sayest that thou wouldst not so torment thy 
own enemy ; I answer. There is no reason that thou shouldst : for 
is it all one to offend a crawling worm of the earth, and to offend 
the eternal glorious God ? Thou hast no absolute dominion over 
thine enemy, and there may be some fault in thyself as well as in 
him ; but with God and us the case is contrary. Yet thou makest 
nothing of killing a flea if it do but bite thee ; yea, a hundred of 
them, if they did not touch thee ; and yet never accusest thyself 
of cruelty. Yea, thou wilt torment thy ox all his life-time with 
toilsome labour, and kill him at last, though he never deserved ill 
of thee, nor disobeyed thee, and though thou hast over him but 
the borrowed authority of a superior fellow creature, and not the 
sovereign power of the absolute Creator. Yea, how commonly 
dost thou take away the lives of birds, and beasts, and fishes ! 
Many times a great many of lives must be taken away to make for 
thee but one meal. How many deaths, then, have been suffered 
in obedience to thy will, from thy first age to thy last hour ; and 
all this without any desert of the creature ! And must it yet seem 
cruelty, that the sovereign Creator, who is ten thousand times more 
above thee than thou art above a flea or a toad, should execute his 
justice upon such a contemner of his authority ? But I have given 
you some reasons of this before. 

Sect. X. But methinks I perceive the obstinate sinner despe- 
rately resolving. If I must be damned, there is no remedy ; rather 
than I will live so precisely as the Scripture requireth, 1 will put it 
to the venture : I shall escape as well as the rest of my neighbours, 
and as the most of the world, and we will even bear it as well as 


we can. Aiisw. Alas, poor croature ! I wish thou didst hut know 
what it is that thou dost so boldly venture on ; I dare say thou 
wouldst sleep this night but very uncjuietly. Wilt thou leave thy- 
self no room for hope t Art thou such a malicious, implacable 
enemy to Christ and thy own soul i And dost thou think, indeed, 
that thou canst bear the wrath of God, and go away so easily with 
these eternal torments? Yet let me beg this of thee, that before 
thou dost so llatly resolve, thou wouldst lend me thine attention to 
these few questions which I shall put to thee, and weigh them with 
the reason of a man ; and if then thou think thou canst bear these 
pains, I shall give thee over and say no more. 

First : Who art thou that thou shouldst bear the wrath of God ? 
Art thou a god, or art thou a man ? What is thy strength to undergo 
so much ? Is it not as the strength of wax or stubble to resist the 
fire ; or as chalF to the wind ; or as the dust before the fierce 
whirlwind t Was he not as stout a man as thyself, who cried to 
God, " Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro ; and wilt thou 
pursue the dry stubble?" Jobxiii. 25;* and he that confesseth, 
" I am a worm, and no man," Psal. xxii. G. If thy strength were 
as iron, and thy bones as brass, thou couldst not bear. If thy 
foundation were as the earth, and thy power as the heavens, yet 
shouldst thou perish at the breath of his indignation. How much 
more when thou art but a little piece of a worm, creeping, breath- 
ing clay, kept a few days from stinking, and from being eaten with 
worms, by the mere support and favour of him whom thou thus 

Secondly : If thou art able to wrestle with the indignation of the 
Almighty, why then dost thou tremble at the signs of his power or 
wrath I Do not the terrible thunder-claps sometimes affright thee; 
or the lightning-flashes, or that unseen power which goes with it, 
in rending in pieces mighty oaks, and tearing dov>'n the strongest 
buildings ? If thou hadst been in the church of Wilhicombe, in 
Devonshire, when the lightning broke in, and scorched and burnt 
the people, and left the brains and hair upon the pillars, would it 
not have made thee afraid .'* If thou be put in a place where the 
plague doth rage, so that it comes to so many thousand a week, 
doth it not astonish thee, to see men that were well within a few 
days to be thrown into the graves by heaps and multitudes ? If 
thou hadst stood by when Pharaoh and his people were so strangely 
plagued, and at last drowned together in the sea; or when the 
earth swallowed up Dathan, Abirani, and their companies, and the 
people fled away at the cry, lest the earth should swallow them up 
also ; or wlien Elias brought fire from heaven to consume the 
captains and their companies ; would not any of these sights have 
daunted thy spirit ? Why, how then canst thou bear the hellish 
plagues ? 

Thirdly : Tell me also, if thou be so strong, and thy heart so 
stout, why do those small suff"erings so dismay thee which befall 
thee here ? If thou have but a tooth-ache, or a fit of the gout or 

* Read Psal. Isxvii. 18 : Exocl. ix. 28. 


stone, what groans dost thou utter, what moans dost thou make ! 
The house is filled with thy constant complaints ; thy friends about 
thee are grieved at thy pains, and stand over thee condoling thy 
miserable state. If thou shouldst but lose a leg or an arm, thou 
wouldst make a greater matter of it. If thou lose but a friend ; if 
thou lose thine estate, and fall into poverty, and beggary, and dis- 
grace ; how heavily wouldst thou bear any one of these ! And yet 
all these laid together will be one day accounted a happy state, in 
comparison of that which is suifered in hell. Let me see thee shake 
off the most painful sickness, and make as light of convulsive, 
epileptic, arthritic, nephritic pains, or such-like diseases, when 
they seize upon thee, and then the strength of thy spirit will ap- 
pear. Alas, how many such boasters as thyself have I seen made 
stoop and eat their words ! And when God hath but let out a 
little of his wrath, that Pharaoh who before asked. Who is the 
Lord, that I should let all go for him ? hath turned his tune, and 
cried, I have sinned. 

Fourthly : If thy stout spirit do make so light of hell, why then 
doth the approach of death so much affright thee ? Didst thou 
never find the sober thoughts of death to raise a kind of dread in 
thy mind ? Wast thou never in a fever, or consumption, or any 
disease wherein thou didst receive the sentence of death ? If thou 
wast not, thou wilt be before long ; and then when the physician 
hath plainly told thee that there is no hopes, oh how cold it strikes 
to thy heart ! Why is death to men the king of terrors else ? and 
the stoutest champions then do abate their courage ? Oh ! but 
the grave would be accounted a palace or a paradise, in com- 
parison of that place of torment which thou desperately slightest. 

Fifthly : If all this be nothing, go try thy strength by some 
corporeal torment ; as Bilney, before he went to the stake, would 
first try his finger in the candle, so do thou. Hold thy finger 
awhile in the fire, and feel there whether thou canst endure the fire 
of hell. Austin mentioneth a chaste Christian woman, who being 
tempted to uncleanncss by a lewd ruffian, she desired him for her 
sake to hold his finger one hour in the fire : he answereth. It is an 
unreasonable request : How much more unreasonable is it, said she, 
that I should burn in hell for the satisfying your lust ! So say I to 
thee : If it be an intolerable thing to suffer the heat of the fire for 
a year, or a day, or an hour, what will it be to suffer ten thousand 
times more for ever ? What if thou wert to suffer Lawrence's 
death, to be roasted upon a gridiron ; or to be scraped or pricked 
to death as other martyrs were ; or if thou wert to feed upon toads 
for a year together ? If thou couldst not endure such things as 
these, how wilt thou endure the eternal flames ? 

Sixthly : Tell me yet again, If hell be so small a matter, why 
canst thou not endure so much as the thoughts or the mention of 
it ? If thou be alone, thou darcst scarcely think of hell, for fear 
of raising disquietness in thy spirit. If thou be in company, thou 
canst not endure to have any serious speech of it, lest it spoil the 
sport, and mar the mirth, and make thee tremble, as Felix did 


when Paul was discoursing of the judgment to come. Thou canst 
not endure to hear a minister preach oi" hell, hut thou gnashest thy 
ttH^th, and disdainest him, and reproachest his sermon, as enough 
to drive men to desperation, or make them mad. And canst thou 
endure the torments, when thou canst not endure so nmch as to 
liear of them ? Alas ! man, to hear thy judgment from the mouth 
of Christ, and to feel the execution, will he another kind of matter, 
than to hear it from a minister. 

Seventhly : Furthermore, What is the matter that the rich man 
in hell, mentioned in Luke xvi. could not make as light of it as 
thou dost !* Was not he as likely a man to bear it as thyself? Why 
doth he so cry out that he is tormented in the flames ; and stoop 
so low, as to beg a drop of water of a beggar that he had but a 
little before despised at his gates ; and to be beholden to him, that 
had been beholden to the dogs to lick his sores ? 

Also, what aileth thy companions, who were as resolute as thy- 
self, that when they lie a dying, their courage is so cooled, and their 
haughty expressions are so greatly changed ? They who had the 
same spirits and language as thou hast now, and made as light of 
all the threats of the word ; yet when they see they are going into 
another world, how pale do they look ; how faintly do they speak ; 
how dolefully do they complain and groan ! They send for the 
minister then, whom they despised before, and desire to be prayed 
for, and would be glad to die in the state of those whom they would 
not be persuaded to imitate in their lives ; except it be here and 
there a desperate wretch, who is given over to a more than hellish 
hardness of heart. Why cannot these make as light of it as thou ? 

Eighthly : Yet further. If thou be so fearless of that eternal 
misery, why is the least foretaste of it so terrible ? Didst thou 
never feel such a thing as a tormenting conscience ? If thou hast 
not, thou shalt do. Didst thou never see and speak with a man 
that lived in desperation, or in some degree of those wounds of 
spirit that were near despair ? How uncomfortable was their con- 
ference ! How burdensome their lives ! Nothing doth them good 
which they possess ; the sight of friends, or house, or goods, which 
refresh othei's, is a trouble to them ; they feel no sweetness in meat 
or drink ; they are weary of life, and fearful of death. What is the 
matter with these men ? If the misery of the damned itself can be 
endured, why cannot they more easily endure these little sparks ? 

Ninthly : Again, tell me faithfully, what if thou shouldst but see 
the devil appear to thee in some terrible shape, would it not daunt 
thee ? ^^'hat if thou shouldst meet him in thy way home, or he 
should show himself to thee at night in thy bed-chamber, would 
not thy heart fail thee, and thy hair stand on end ? I could name 
thee those that have been as confident as thyself, who, by such a 
sight, have been so appalled, that they were in danger of being 
driven out of their wits. Or. what if some damned soul, of thy 
former acquaintance, should appear to thee in some bodily likeness, 
would not this amaze thee ? What fears do people live in, whose 
houses or persons have been but haunted with spirits, though they 


have only heard some noises, and seen some sights, but never felt 
any hurt upon their bodies 1 Alas ! what is this to the torments 
of hell ? Canst thou not endure a shadow to appear before thee ? 
Oh, how wilt thou endure to live with them for ever, where thou 
shalt have no other company hut devils and the damned ; and shalt 
not only see them, but be tormented with them and by them ! 
And as incredible a matter as this seems to thee, if thy thorough 
conversion prevent it not, thou knowest not how few months thou 
shalt be out of this estate. 

Tenthly and lastly : Let me ask thee one more question. If the 
wrath of God be to be made so light of as thou dost, why did the 
Son of God himself make so great a matter of it ? When he, who 
was perfectly inno'cent himself, had taken upon him the payment 
of our debt, and stood in our room, and bore that punishment that 
we had deserved, it makes him sweat forth water and blood ; it 
makes the Lord of life cry, " My soul is heavy, even to the death ;" 
it makes him cry out upon the cross, " My God ! my God ! why 
hast thou forsaken me ? " Surely, if any one could have borne 
these sufferings easily, it would have been Jesus Christ. He had 
another measure of strength to bear it than thou hast. 

And let me tell thee one thing, which every one understandeth 
not ; thou wilt have sins of a more heinous nature and degree to 
suffer for, than ever w^ere laid upon Jesus Christ. For Christ 
suffered only for the breaches of the covenant of works, and not 
for the violation of the covenant of grace (properly so called, that 
is, not for the final non-performance of the conditions of this cove- 
nant). There was no man's final prevailing unbelief, impenitency^, 
or rejecting of Christ, that did lie upon Christ. Howsoever the 
aggravation of all men's sins might aggravate his burden, yet the 
punishment due to those sins particularly was not like the punish- 
ment which is due to thine. For as the first covenant gave not so 
great a reward, so neither did it threaten so great a penalty, as the 
latter doth. And the penalty w'hich the new covenant threateneth, 
Christ never underwent. So that the punishment which thou must 
suffer, is that which the apostle speaks of, " Of how much sorer 
punishment," &c. Heb. x. 29 ; and that fearful looking-for of judg- 
ment and fire, which devoureth the adversaries, Heb. vi. 8. Woe 
to poor sinners for their mad security ! Do they think to find it 
tolerable to them, which was so heavy to Christ ? Nay, the Son of 
God is cast into a bitter agony, and bloody sweat, and dolorous 
complaints, under the curse of the law alone ; and yet the feeble, 
foolish creature makes nothing to bear also the curse of the gospel. 
The good Lord bring these men to their right minds by repent- 
ance, lest they buy their wit at too dear a rate. 

Sect. XL And thus I have showed you somewhat of their 
misery, who miss of this rest prepared for the saints. And now, 
reader, I demand thy resolution, what use thou M'ilt make of all 
this ? shall it all be lost to thee ; or, wilt thou, as thou art alone, 
consider of it in good earnest ? Thou hast cast by many a warning 
of God, wilt thou do so by this also ? Take heed what thou dost, 


and how thou so rcsolvest. God will not always stand warnins^ 
and threatcMiing. The hand of n^venge is lifted up, the hlow is 
coniinsjf, and woe to him, whoever he he, on whom it lif^hteth ! 
I.ittle thinkcst thou how near thou standest to thy eternal state, 
and how near the pit thou art dancing in thy greatest jollity. If 
thy eyes were hut opened, as they will he shortly, thou wouldst see 
all this that I have spoken hefore thine eyes, without stirring from 
the place, I think, in which thou standest. Dost thou throw by 
the book, and say. It speaks of nothing but hell and damnation/ 
l^hus thou usest also to complain of the minister ; but wouldst thou 
not have us tell thee of these things !" Should we be guilty of the 
blood of thy soul, by keeping silent that which God hath charged 
us upon pain of death to make known ? Wouldst thou perish in 
ease and silence, and also have us to perish with thee, rather than 
to awake thee, or displease thee, by speaking the truth ? If thou 
wilt be guilty of such inhuman cruelty, yet God forbid we should be 
guilty of such most sottish folly ! There are few preachers so simple, 
but they know that this kind of preaching is the ready way to be 
hated of their hearers. And the desire of applause, and the favour 
of men, is so natural to all men, that I think there are few that de- 
light in such a displeasing way. Our temptations to flattery and 
man-pleasing are too strong for that. But I beseech thee, con- 
sider, are these things true or are they not ? If they were not true, 
I would heartily join with thee against any minister that should 
offer to preach them, and to affright poor people when there is no 
cause ; and I should think such preachers did deserve death or 
banishment. But if every word of these threatenings be the words 
of God, and if they be as true as thou livest and readest this, what 
a wretch art thou that wouldst not hear it, or consider it ! Why, 
what is the matter ? If thou be sure that thou art one of the people 
of God, this doctrine will be a comfort to thee, and not a terror ; 
but if thou be yet carnal and unregenerate, methinks thou shouldst 
be as afraid to hear of heaven as of hell, except the bare name of 
heaven or salvation be sufficient. Sure there is no doctrine con- 
cerning heaven in all the Scripture that can give thee any comfort, 
but upon the supposal of thy conversion. What comfort is it to 
thee, to hear that there is a rest remaining to the people of God, 
except thou be one of them ? Nay, what more terrible, than to 
read of Christ and salvation for others, when thou must be shut 
out ? Therefore, except thou wouldst have a minister to preach a 
lie, it is all one to thee for any comfort thou hast in it, whether he 
preach of heaven or hell to thee. His preaching heaven and 
mercy to thee, can be nothing else but to entreat thee to seek them, 
and not neglect or reject them ; but he can make thee no promise 
of it, but upon the condition of thy obeying the gospel ; and his 
preaching hell, is but to persuade thee to avoid it. And is not 
this doctiine fit for thee to hear? Indeed, if thou wert quite past 
hope of escaping it, then it were in vain to tell thee of hell, but 
rather let thee take a few merry hours whilst thou mayst ; but, as 
long as thou art alive, there is some hope of thy recovery, and 


therefore all means must be used to awake thee from thy lethargy. 
Oh that some Jonas had this point in hand, to cry in your ears, 
" Yet a few days, and the rebellious shall be destroyed ;" till 
you were brought down on your knees in sackcloth and in ashes ! 
Oh if some John Baptist might cry it abroad, " Now is the axe 
laid to the root of the trees; every tree that bringeth not forth good 
fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire." Oh that some son of 
thunder, who could speak as Paul, till the hearers tremble, were 
now to preach this doctrine to thee ! Alas ! as terribly as you 
think I speak, yet is it not the thousandth part of what must be 
felt ; for what heart can now possibly conceive, or what tongue can 
express, the dolours of those souls that are under the wrath of 
God ? Ah, that ever blind sinners should wilfully bring themselves 
to such unspeakable misery ! You will then be crying to Jesus 
Christ, Oh, mercy ! oh, pity, pity on a poor soul ! Why, I do now 
in the name of the Lord Jesus cry to thee. Oh, have mercy, have 
pity, man, upon thine own soul ! Shall God pity thee, who wilt 
not be entreated to pity thyself? If thy horse see but a pit before 
him, thou canst scarcely force him in. Balaam's ass would not 
be driven upon the drawn sword ; and wilt thou so obstinately cast 
thyself into hell, when the danger is foretold thee ? " Oh, who 
can stand before the Lord, and who can abide the fierceness of 
his anger ? " Nahum i. 6. Methinks thou shouldst need no more 
words, but presently cast away thy soul-damniiig sins, and wholly 
deliver up thyself to Christ. Resolve on it immediately, man, and 
let it be done, that I may see thy face in rest among the saints. The 
Lord persuade thy heart to strike this covenant without any longer 
delay; but if thou be hardened unto death, and there be no remedy, 
yet do not say another day, but that thou wast faithfully warned, 
and that thou hadst a friend that would fain have prevented thy 



Sect. I. I come now to the second use which I shall raise from 
this doctrine of rest. If there be so certain and glorious rest for 
the saints, why is there no more industrious seeking after it in the 
world ? One would think that a man that did but once hear of 
such unspeakable glory to be obtained, and did believe what he 
heareth to be true, should be transported with the vehemency of 
his desires after it, and should almost forget to eat or drink, and 
should mind and care for nothing else, and should speak of and 
inquire after nothing else, but how to get assurance and possession 


of this treasure ! And yet people who hear it daily, and profess to 
helievo it undoubted, as a fundamental avtich; of their faith, do as 
little mind it, or care, or labour for it, and as nmch forget and dis- 
regard it, as if they had never heard of any such thing, or did not 
believe one word that they hear. And as a man that comes into 
America, and sees the natives regard more a piece of glass, or an 
old knife, than a piece of gold, may think. Sure these people never 
heard of the worth of gold, or else they would not exchange it for 
toys ; so a man that looked only upon the lives of most men, and 
did not hear their contrary confessions, would think either these 
men never hoard of heaven, or else they never heard of its excel- 
lency and glory : when, alas ! they hear of it till they are weary of 
hearing ; and it is offered to them so commonly, that they are tired 
with the tidings, and cry out as the Israelites, " Our soul is dried 
away, because there is nothing but this manna before our eyes," 
Numb. xi. G. And as the Indians, who live among the golden 
mines, do little regard it, but are weary of the daily toil of getting 
it, when other nations will compass the world, and venture their 
lives, and sail through storms and waves, to get it : so we that live 
where the gospel groweth, where heaven is urged upon us at our 
doors, and the manna falls upon our tents, do little regard it, and 
wish these mines of gold were further from us, that we might not 
be put upon the toil of getting it, when some that want it would 
be glad of it upon harder terms. Surely, though the resurrection 
of the body, and life everlasting, be the last article in their creed, 
it is not the least, nor therefore put last that it should be last in 
their desires and endeavours. 

Sect. II. I shall apply this reproof more particularly yet to four 
several sorts of men. First, to the carnal, worldly-minded man, 
who is so taken up in seeking the things below, that he hath neither 
heart nor time to seek this rest. 

May I not well say to these men, as Paul to the Galatians in 
another case, " Foolish sinners ! who hath bewitched you ?" It is 
not for nothing that divines use to call the world a witch ; for as 
in witchcraft, men's lives, senses, goods, or cattle are destroyed by 
a strange, secret, unseen power of the devil, of which a man can 
give no natural reason ; so here, men will destroy their own souls 
in a way quite against their own knowledge : and as witches will 
make a man dance naked, or do the most unseemly, unreasonable 
actions ; so the world doth bewitch men into brute beasts, and 
draw them some degrees beyond madness. Would not any man 
wonder, that is in his right wit; and hath but the spiritual use of 
reason, to see what riding and running, what scrambling and 
catching, there is for a thing of nought, while eternal rest lies by 
neglected ! A\ hat contriving and caring, what fighting and blood- 
shed, to get a step higher in the world than their brethren, while 
they neglect the kingly dignity of the saints! What insatiable 
pursuit of fleshly pleasures, whilst they look upon the praises 
of God, which is the joy of angels, as a tiring burden ! What un- 
wearied diligence is there in raising their posterity, in enlarging 


their possessions, in gathering a Httle silvM- or gold ; yea, perhaps 
for a poor living from hand to mouth ; while, in the mean time, their 
judgment is drawing near ; and yet how it shall go with them then, 
or how they shall live eternally, did never put them to the trouble 
of one hour's sober consideration. What rising early, and sitting 
up late, and labouring and caring, year after year, to maintain 
themselves and their children in credit till they die ! But what 
shall follow after, that they never think on ; as if it were only their 
work to provide for their bodies, and only God's work to provide 
for their souls ; whereas, God hath promised more to provide for 
their bodies without their care, than for their souls, though indeed 
they must painfully serve his providence for both ; and yet these 
men cry to us, May not a man be saved without so much ado ? 
And may we not say, with more reason, to them. May not a man 
have a little air or earth, a little credit or wealth, without so much 
ado ? or, at least. May not a man have enough to bring him to his 
grave without so much ado ? How early do they rouse up their serv- 
ants to their labour ! Up, come away to work, we have this to do, and 
that to do ; but how seldom do they call them, Up, you have your 
souls to look to, you have everlasting life to provide for ; up to 
prayer, to the reading of the Scripture. Alas, how rare is this 
language ! What a gadding up and down the world is here, like 
a company of ants upon a hillock, taking uncessant pains to gather 
a treasure, which death, as the next passenger that comes by, will 
spurn abroad ; as if it were such an excellent thing to die in the 
midst of wealth and honours ! or, as if it would be such ^ comfort 
to a man at death, or in another world, to think that he was a lord, 
or a knight, or a gentleman, or a rich man on earth ! For my 
part, whatever these men may profess or say to the contrary, I 
cannot but strongly suspect that, in heart, they are flat pagans, 
and do not believe that there is an eternal glory and misery, nor 
what the Scripture speaks of the way of obtaining it ; or, at least, 
that they do but a little believe it, by the halves, and therefore 
think to make sure of earth, lest there be no such tbing as heaven 
to be had ; and to hold fast that which they have in hand, lest if 
they let go that, in hope of better in another world, they should 
play the fools, and lose all. I fear, though the Christian faith be 
in their mouths, lest that this be the faith which is next their 
hearts ; or else the lust of their senses doth overcome and suspend 
their reason, and prevail with their wills against the last practical 
conclusion of their understanding. W^hat is the excellency of this 
earth, that it hath so many suitors and admirers ? what hath this 
world done for its lovers and friends, that it is so eagerly followed, 
and painfully sought after, while Christ and heaven stand by, and 
few regard them ; or, what will the world do for them for the time 
to come ? The common entrance into it, is through anguish and 
sorrow. The passage through it, is with continual care, and labour, 
and grief. The passage out of it, is with the greatest sharpness 
and sadness of all. What, then, doth cause men so much to fol- 
low and aiFect it ? O sinful, unreasonable, bewitched men ! will 


mirth and pleasure stick close to you ; will gold and worldly glory 
prove fast friends to you in the time of your greatest need ; will 
they hoar your cries in the day of your calamity { If a man should 
say to you at the hour of your death, as Julias did to liaal's priests. 
*•' Cry aloud," &c. O riches, or honour, now help us ! will they 
either answer, or relieve you ; will they go along with you to 
another world, and brihe the Judge, and bring you oft' clear, or 
purchase you a room among the blessed I Why then did so rich a 
man want a drop of water for his tongue ? Or are the sweet mor- 
sels of present delight and honour of more w^orth than the eternal 
rest; and will they recompense the loss of that enduring treasure; 
can there be the least hope of any of these ? Why, what then is 
the matter ; is it only a room for our dead bodies, that we are so 
much beholden to the world for ? why, this is the last and longest 
courtesy that we shall receive from it. But we shall have this, 
whether we serve it or no ; and even that homely, dusty dwelling, 
it will not aftbrd us always neither : it shall possess our dust but 
till the great resurrection day. Why, how then doth the world 
deserve so well at men's hands, that they should part with Christ 
and their salvation to be its followers? Ah, vile, deceitful world i 
how oft have we heard thy faithfullest servants at last complaining, 
Oh, the world hath deceived me, and undone me ! it flattered me 
in my prosperity, but now it turns me off" at death in my necessity ! 
Ah, if I had as faithfully served Christ as I have served it, he 
would not thus have cast me off, nor have left me thus comfortless 
and hopeless in the depth of misery ! Thus do the dearest friends 
and favourites of the world complain at last of its deceit, or rather 
of their own self-deluding folly, and yet succeeding sinners will take 
no warning. 80 this is the first sort of neglecters of heaven which 
fall under this reproof. 

Sect. III. 2. The second sort here to be reproved are, the pro- 
fane, ungodly, presumptuous multitude, who will not be persuaded 
to be at so much pains for salvation as to perform the conmion, 
outward duties of religion : yea, though they are convinced that 
these duties are commanded by God, and see it before their eyes 
in the Scripture, yet will they not be brought to the constant prac- 
tice of them. If they have the gospel preached in the town where 
they dwell, it may be they will give the hearing to it one part of 
the day, and stay at home the other ; or if the master come to the 
congregation, yet part of his family must stay at home. If they 
want the plain and powerful preaching of the gospel, how few are 
they in a whole town that will either be at cost or pains to procure 
a minister, or travel a mile or two to hear abroad, though they 
will go many miles to the market for provisions for their bodies ! 
The queen of the south shall rise up in judgment with this genera- 
tion, and condemn them ; for she came from the uttermost parts of 
the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater 
than Solomon doth, by his messengers, preach to them. The king 
of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with them, and shall condemn 
them, for he repented at the preaching of Jonas ; but when Jesus 
.s 2 


Christ sendeth his ambassadors to these men, they will scarce go 
to hear them, Matt. xii. 41, 42. And though they know that the 
Scripture is the very law of God, by which they must live, and by 
which they must be acquit or condemned in judgment ; and that it 
is the property of every blessed man to delight in this law, and to 
meditate in it day and night, Psal. i. 2 ; yet will they not be at 
the pains to read a chapter once in a day, nor to acquaint their 
families with this doctrine of salvation. 13ut if they carry a Bible 
to church, and let it lie by them all the week*, this is the most use 
that they make of it. And though they are commanded to pray 
without ceasing, 1 Thess. v. 17 ; and to pray always, and not to 
wax faint, Luke xviii. 1 — 3, &c. ; to continue in prayer, and watch 
in the same with thanksgiving, Col. iv. 2 ; yet will they not be 
brought to pray constantly with their families or in secret. Though 
Daniel would rather be cast to the lions than he would forbear for 
a while praying openly in his house, where his enemies might hear 
him thre£ times a day ; yet these men will rather venture to be an 
eternal prey to that roaring lion that seeks to devour them, than 
they will be at the pains thus to seek their safety. You may hear, 
in their houses, two oaths for one prayer ; or if they do any thing 
this way, it is usually but a running over a few formal words which 
they have got on their tongue's end, as if they came on purpose to 
make a jest of prayer, and to mock God and their own soul. If 
they be in distress, or want any thing for their bodies, they want 
no words to make known their mind ; but to a physician when they 
are sick, to a griping landlord when they are oppressed, to a wealthy 
friend when they are in want, they can lay open their case in sad 
complaints, and have words at will to press home their requests ; 
yea, every beggar at their door can crave relief, and make it their 
daily practice ; and hold on with importunity, and take no denial : 
necessity filleth their mouths with words, and teacheth them the 
most natural, prevailing rhetoric. These beggars will rise up in 
judgment against them, and condemn them. Doubtless, if they 
felt but the misery and necessities of their souls, they would be as 
forward to beg relief of God, and as frequent, as fervent, as impor- 
tunate, and as constant, till they were past their straits ; but, alas ! 
he that only reads in a book that he is miserable, and what his soul 
stands in need of, but never felt himself miserable, nor felt par- 
ticularly his several wants, no wonder if he must also fetch his 
prayer from his book only, or, at furthest, from the strength of 
his invention or memory. Solomon' s request to God was, that 
what prayer or supplication soever should be made by any man, or 
by all the people, when every man shall know his own sore, and his 
own grief, and shall spread forth his hands before God, that God 
would then hear and forgive, &c. 2 Chron. vi. 29, 30. If these men 
did thus know and feel every one the sore and the grief of his own soul, 
we should neither need so much to urge them to prayer, nor to teach 
them how to perform it, and what to say: whereas now they do invite 
God to be backward in giving by their backwardness in asking, and 
to be weary of relieving them by their own being weary of begging, 


and to be seldom and short in his favours as they are in their prayers, 
and to give them but common and outward favours, as they put up 
but common and outside requests. Yea, their cold and heartless 
prayers do invite God to a flat denial : for among men it is taken 
for granted, that he who asks but slightly and seldom, cares not 
much for what he asks. Do not these men judge themselves un- 
worthy of heaven, who think it not worth their more constant and 
earnest requests ? If it be not worth asking for, it is worth nothing ; 
and yet if one should go from house to house, through town and 
parish, and inquire at every house as you go, whether they do 
morning and evening call their family together, and eai'nestly and 
reverently seek the Lord in prayer, how few would you find that 
constantly and conscionably practise this duty ! If every door were 
marked where they do not thus call upon the name of God, that 
his wrath might be poured out upon that family, our towns would 
be as places overthrown by the plague, the people being dead 
within, and the mark of judgment on the door without. I fear, 
where one house would escape, there are ten would be marked out 
for death ; and then they might teach their doors to pray. Lord, 
have mercy upon us ! because the people would not pray themselves. 
But especially if you could see what men do in their secret cham- 
bers, how few should you find in a whole town that spend one quarter 
of an hour, morning and night, in earnest supplication to God for 
their souls ! Oh ! how little do these men set by this eternal rest ! 
Thus do they slothfully neglect all endeavours for their own wel- 
fare, except some public duty in the congregations, which custom 
or credit doth engage them to. Persuade them to read good books, 
and they will not be at so much pains. Persuade them to learn 
the grounds of religion in some catechism, and they think it a toil- 
some slavery, fitter for school-boys, or little children, than for them. 
Persuade them to sanctify the Lord's day in holy exercise, and to 
spend it wholly in hearing the word, and repeating it with their 
families, and prayer and meditation, &c. and to forbear all their 
worldly thoughts and speeches ; and what a tedious life do they 
take this to be ! and how long may you preach to them before they 
will be brought to it, as if they thought that heaven were not 
worth all this ado ! Christ hath been pleading with England these 
fourscore years and more, by the word of his gospel, for his worship 
and his sabbaths, and yet the inhabitants are not persuaded ; nay, 
he hath been pleading these six years, by threatenings, and fire, 
and sword, and yet can prevail but with very few. And though 
these bloody arguments have been spread abroad, and brought 
home to people from parish to parish, almost as far as the word 
hath gone, so that there is scarce a parish in many counties where 
blood hath not been shed, and the bodies of the slain have not been 
left, yet nmltitudes in England are no more persuaded than they 
were the first day of their warning ; and they have not heard the 
voice of the rod, which hath cried up and down their streets : Yet, 
O England, will ye not sanctify my sabbaths, nor call upon my 
name, nor regard my word, nor turn from your worldliness and 


wickedness ! God hath given them a lash and a reproof, a wound 
and warning ; he hath, as it were, stood in their blood, with the 
sword in his hand, and among the heaps of the slain hath he 
pleaded with the living, and said. What say you? Will you yet 
worship me, and fear me, and take me for your Lord ? And yet they 
will not : alas ! yet to this day England will not ! Let me here 
write it, and leave it upon record, that God may he justified, and 
England may be ashamed ; and posterity may know, if God do 
spare us, how ill we deserved it ; or, if he yet destroy us, how wil- 
fully we procured it. And if they that pass by shall ask. Why 
has God done tnus to a flourishing and prosperous land ? you may 
give them this true though doleful answer, They would not hear, 
they would not regard. He smote them down, he wounded them, 
he hewed them as wood, and then he beseeched the remainder to 
consider and return, but they never would do it. They were w^eary 
of his ways ; they polluted his sabbaths; they cast his word and 
worship out of their families ; they would not be at the pains to 
learn and obey his will ; nay, they abhorred his ministers, and 
servants, and holy paths, and all this to the last breath. When he 
had slain five thousand or eight thousand at a fight, the rest did no 
more reform, than if they had never heard of it. Nay, such a 
spirit of slumber has fallen upon them, that if God should pro- 
ceed, and kill them all save one man, and ask that one man, W^ilt 
thou yet seek me with all thy heart ? he would rather slight it. 
Lord, have mercy on us ! What is done with men's understanding 
and sense ? Have they renounced reason as well as faith ? Are 
they dead naturally as well as spiritually ? Can they not hear nor 
feel, though they cannot believe ? That sad judgment is fallen 
upon them, mentioned in Isaiah, xlii. 24, 25, " W ho gave Jacob 
for a spoil, and Israel " (England) " to the robbers .'' Did not the 
Lord, he against whom we have sinned ? For they would not walk in 
his ways, neither were they obedient to his laws. Therefore he 
hath poured upon them the fury of his anger, and the strength of 
battle, and it hath set them on fire round about, yet they knew it 
not ; it burned them, yet they laid it not to heart." Yea, this 
much more let us leave upon record against England : they have been 
so far from reforming, and taking up the worship of God with de- 
light, after all this, that multitudes have contrarily abhorred it at 
the very heart ; and to root out the sincere worshippers and worship 
of God, is their continued endeavour : and still, they that succeed 
them do the like. Lord, how hast thou deserved so much ill at 
these men's hands ? What harm hath praying, and reading, and 
preaching painfully, and sanctifying the sabbath, and fearing to 
offend, done to England ? Have they suffered for these, or for their 
enmity to these ? What evil do these wretches discern in the ever- 
lasting kingdom, that they do not only refuse to labour for it, but 
do detest and resist the holy way that leads to it ? It is well for 
them that they live in gospel times, when the patience of God doth 
wait on sinners ; and not in those severe days, when fire from 
heaven destroyed the captains and their companies, that were com- 


inanded by the king (o bring bnt one prophet before him ; or, when 
the lions destroyed forty-two chikh-en, for calHng a prophet of Ciod 
" bald-head :" or rather, it had been better for these men to have 
lived in those times, that though their temporal judgments had 
been greater, yet their eternal plagues might have been tlie less. 
Yet this much more let me leave upon record to the shame of many, 
that all this is not merely through idleness, because they will not 
be at the pains to serve God, but it is out of a bitter enmity to his 
word and ways ; for they will be at more pains than this in any way 
that is evil, or in any worship truly so called, of man's devising. 
They are as zealous for these, as if eternal life consisted in them : 
and where God forbids them, there they are as forward as if they 
could never do enough ; and where God commands them, they are 
as backward to it, yea, as much against it, as if they were the com- 
mands of the devil himself. The Lord grant that this hardened, 
wilful, malicious people, fall not under that heavy doom, '' But 
those mine enemies, w hich woiild not that I should reign over them, 
bring them hither, and slay them before me," Luke xix. 27. 

Sect. IV. 3. The third sort that fall under this reproof, are those 
self-cozening, formal, lazy professors of religion, who will be brought 
to any outward duty, and lake up the easier part of Christianity ; 
but to the inward work, and more difficult part, they will never be 
persuaded. They will preach, or hear, or read, or talk of heaven, 
or pray customarily and constantly in their families, and take part 
with the persons and causes that are good, and desire to be esteemed 
among the godly, but you can never bring them to the more spi- 
ritual and difficult duties, as to be constant and fervent in secret 
prayer, to be conscionable in the duty of self-examination, to be 
constant in that excellent duty of meditation, to be heavenly-mind- 
ed, to watch constantly over his heart, words, and ways, to deny his 
bodily senses their delights, to mortify the flesh, and not make 
provision for it to fulfil its lusts, to love and heartily forgive an 
enemy, to prefer his brethren heartily before himself, and to think 
meanly of his own gifts and worth, and to take it well of others 
that think so too, and to love them that have low thoughts of him 
as well as those that have high, to bear easily the injuries or under- 
valuing words of others against him ; to lay all that he hath at the 
feet of Christ, and to prefer his service and favour before all ; to 
prepare to die, and willingly to leave all to come to Christ, &c. 
The outside hypocrites will never be persuaded to any of these. 
Above all other, two notable sorts there are of these hypocrites. 
First, The superficial, opinionative hypocrite. Secondly, The 
worklly hypocrite. First, The former entertaineth the doctrine of 
the gospel with joy, Matt. xiii. 29, but it is only into the surface of 
his soul, he never gives the seed any depth of earth. He changeth 
his opinion, and he thereupon engageth for religion as the right 
way, and sides with it as a party in a faction, but it never melted 
and new-moulded his heart, nor set up Christ there in full power 
and authority ; but as his religion lies most in his opinion, so he 
usually runs from opinion to opinion, and is carried up and down 


with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning 
craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive ; and, as a child, is 
tossed to and fro, Eph. iv. 14 : for as his religion is but opinion, so 
is his study, and conference, and chief business all about opinion. 
He is usually an ignorant, proud, bold, irreverent inquirer and bab- 
bler about controversies, rather than a humble embracer of the 
known truth, with love and subjection : you may conjecture by his 
bold and forward tongue, and groundless conceitedness in his own 
opinions, and slighting of the judgments and persons of others, and 
seldom talking of the great things of Christ with seriousness and 
humility, that his religion dwelleth in the brain, and not in his 
heart : where the wind of temptation assaults him, he easily yield- 
eth, and it carrieth him away as a feather, because his heart is 
empty, and not balanced and established with Christ and grace. If 
the temptation of the times do assault men's understandings, and 
the sign be in the head, though the little religion that he hath lies 
there, yet a hundred to one but he turneth heretic, or catcheth the 
vertigo of some lesser errors, according to the nature and strength 
of the seducement. If the wind do better serve for a vicious con- 
versation, a hundred to one but he turns a purveyor for the flesh, 
and then he can be a tippler, and yet religious ; a gamester, a 
wanton, a neglecter of duties, and yet religious. If this man's 
judgment lead him in the ceremonious way. then doth he employ 
his chiefest zeal for ceremonies, as if his religion lay in them. If 
his judgment be against ceremonies, then his strongest zeal is em- 
ployed against them, studying, talking, disputing against them, 
censuring the users of them, and perhaps fall into a contrary ex- 
treme, placing his chief religion in anabaptism, church combina- 
tions, and forms of polity, &c. For not having his soul taken up 
with the essentials of Christianity, he hath only the mint and cum- 
min, the smaller matters of the law, to lay out his zeal upon. You 
shall never hear in private conference any humble and hearty be- 
wailings of his soul's imperfections, or any heart-bleeding acknow- 
ledgments of his unkindnesses to Christ, of any pantings and long- 
ings after him, from this man ; but that he is of such a judgment, 
or such a religion, or party, or society, or a member of such a 
church. Hence doth he gather his greatest comforts ; but the 
inward and spiritual labours of a Christian, he will not be 
brought to. 

Secondly : The like may be said of the worldly hypocrite, who 
choketh the doctrine of the gospel with the thorns of worldly cares 
and desires. His judgment is convinced that he must be religious, 
or he cannot be saved ; and therefore he reads, and hears, and prays, 
and forsakes his former company and courses : but because his 
belief of the gospel doctrine is but wavering and shallow, he re- 
solves to keep his hold of present things, lest the promise of rest 
should fail him ; and yet to be religious, that so he may have 
heaven, when he can keep the world no longer, thinking it wisdom 
to have two strings to his bow, lest one should break. This man's 
judgment may say, God is the chief Ciood, but his heart and affec-. 


tions never said so, but look upon God as a kind of strange and 
disproportionate happiness, to be tolerated rather than tlie flames 
of hell, but not desired before the felicity on earth. In a word, the 
world hath more of his affections than God, and therefore is his 
god, and his covetousness idolatry. This he might easily know 
and feel if he would judge impartially, and were but faithful to 
himself. And though this man do not gad after opinions and 
novelties in his religion, as the former, yet will he set his sails to 
the wind of worldly advantage, and be of that opinion which will 
best serve his turn. And as a man whose spirits are seized on by 
some pestilential malignity, is feeble and faint and heartless in all 
that he does ; so this man's spirits being possessed by the plague 
of this malignant, worldly disposition, oh how faint is he in secret 
prayer ! oh how superficial in examination and meditation ! how 
feeble in heart-watchings, and humbling, mortifying endeavours ! 
how nothing at all in loving and walking with God, rejoicing in 
him, or desiring after him ! So that both these and many other 
sorts of lazy hypocrites there are, who, though they will trudge on 
with you in the easy outside of religion, yet will never be at the 
pains of inward and spiritual duties. 

Sect. V. 4. And even the godly themselves deserve this reproof, 
for being too lazy seekers of their everlasting rest. Alas ! what a 
disproportion is there betwixt our light and our heat, our profes- 
sions and prosecution ! Who makes that haste, as if it were for 
heaven ? How still we stand ! How idly we work 1 How we talk, 
and jest, and trifle away our time ! How deceitfully we do the 
work of God ! How we hear as if we heard not ; and pray as if 
we prayed not ; and confer, and examine, and meditate, and re- 
prove sin, as if we did it not ; and use the ordinances, as if we 
used them not ; and enjoy Christ, as if we enjoyed him not ; as if 
we had learned to use the things of heaven as the apostle teacheth 
us to use the w^orld ! 1 Cor. vii, 29 — 31. Who would thmk, that 
stood by us and heard us pray in private or public, that we were 
praying for no less than everlasting glory ? Should heaven be 
sought no more eariaestly than thus ? Methinks we are none of us 
all in good sadness for our souls. We do but dally with the work 
of God, and play with Christ : as children, we play with our meat 
when we should eat it, and we play with our clothes, and look upon 
them, when we should put them on, and wear them : w'e hang upon 
ordinances from day to day, but we stir not ourselves to seek the 
Lord. I see a great many very constant in hearing and praying, 
and give us some hopes that their hearts are honest, but they do 
not hear and pray as if it were for their lives. Oh what a frozen 
stupidity hath benumbed us ! The judgment of Pharaoh is amongst 
us ; we are turned into stones and rocks, that can neither feel nor 
stir. The plague of Lot's wife is upon us, as if we were changed 
into lifeless and immovable pillars : we are dying, and we know 
it, and yet we stir not ; we are at the door of eternal happiness or 
misery, and yet we perceive it not ; death knocks, and we hear it 
not ; Christ calls and knocks, and we hear it not : God cries to 


us, " To-day if you will hear my voice, harden not your hearts. 
Work while it is day, for the night cometh when none shall 
work." Now ply your business, now labour for your lives, now 
lay out all your strength and time, now do it, now or never ; and 
yet we stir no more than if we were half asleep. What haste doth 
death and judgment make ! How fast do they come on ! They 
are almost at us, and yet what little haste make we ! What haste 
makes the sword to devour, from one part of the land to another ! 
what haste doth plague and famine make ! and all because we will 
not make haste. The spur of God is in our side ; we bleed, we 
groan, and yet we do not mend our pace : the rod is on our backs, 
it speaks to the quick ; our lashes are heard through the Christian 
world, and yet we stir no faster than before. Lord, what a sense- 
less, sottish, earthly, hellish thing is a hard heart ! that we will 
not go roundly and cheerfully toward heaven without all this ado ; 
no, nor with it neither. Where is the man that is serious in his 
Christianity ? Methinks men do every where make but a trifle of 
their eternal state. They look after it but a little upon the bye ; 
they do not make it the task and business of their lives. To be 
plain with you, I think nothing undoes men so much as compli- 
menting and jesting in religion. Oh, if I were not sick myself 
of the same disease, with what tears should I mix this ink ; and 
with what groans should I express these sad complaints ; and 
with what heart's grief should I mourn over this universal dead- 
ness ! Do the magistrates among us seriously perform their 
portion of the work? Are they zealous for God; do they build 
up his house ; and are they tender of his honour ? do they 
second the word ; and encourage the godly ; and relieve the op- 
pressed ; and compassionate the distressed ; and let fly at the face 
of sin and sinners, as being the disturbers of our peace, and the only 
cause of all our miseries ? Do they study how to do the utmost 
that they can for God ; to improve their power, and parts, and 
wealth, and honour, and all their interests, for the greatest ad- 
vantage to the kingdom of Christ, as men that must shortly give 
an account of their stewardship ? Or do they build their own 
houses, and seek their advancements, and stand upon, and contest 
for, their own honours ; and do no more for Christ than needs they 
must, or than lies in their way, or than is put by others into their 
hands, or than stands with the pleasing of their friends, or with 
their worldly interest. Which of these two courses do they take ? 
And how thin are those ministers that are serious in their work ! 
Nay, how mightily do the very best fail in this above all things ! 
Do we cry out of men's disobedience to the gospel (Isa. Iviii. 1 ; 
Jude 23; 2 Cor. v. 11), in the evidence and power of the Spirit, 
and deal with sin as that which is the fire in our towns and houses, 
and by force pull men out of this fire ? Do we persuade our 
people, as those that know the terrors of the Lord should do ? Do 
we press Christ, and regeneration, and faith, and holiness, as men 
that believe indeed that without these they shall never have life ? 
(Matt. ix. 36.) Do our bowels yearn over the ignorant, and the 


careless, and the obstinate nuiltitiulo, and men that believe their 
own doctrine ? that our dear people nuist be eternally damned, if 
they be not timely recovered { When we look them in the faces, 
do our hearts melt over them, lest we should never see their faces 
in rest t Do we, as Paul, tell them, weeping, of their fleshly and 
earthly disposition, Phil, iii, IS, 10; and teach them publicly, and 
from house to house, night and day with tears, Acts xx. 20, 21 ; 
and do we entreat them as if it were indeed for their lives and 
salvation, that when we speak of the joys and miseries of another 
world, our people may see us affected accordingly, and perceive 
that we do indeed mean as we speak ? Or rather do we not study 
words, and neat expressions, that we may approve ourselves able 
men in the judgment of critical hearers ; and speak so formally and 
heartlessly of eternity, that our people can scarcely think that we 
believe ourselves ; or put our tongues into some affected pace, and 
our language into some forced oratorical strain, as if a minister's 
business were of no more weight, but to tell them a smooth tale 
of an hour long, and so look no more after them till the next 
sermon ? Seldom do we fit our sermons, either for matter or man- 
ner, to the great end, our people's salvation ; but we sacrifice our 
studies to our own credit, or our people's content, or some such 
base, inferior end. Carnal discretion doth control our fervency ; 
it maketh our sermons like beautiful pictures, which have nmch 
pains and cost bestowed upon them to make them comely and 
desirable to the eye ; but life, or heat, or motion, there is none. 
Surely, as such a conversation is a hypocritical conversation, so 
such a sermon is as truly a hypocritical sermon. Oh the formal, 
frozen, lifeless sermons which we daily hear preached upon the 
most weighty, piercing subjects in the world ! How gently do we 
handle those sins which will handle so cruelly our people's souls ; 
and how tenderly do we deal with their careless hearts, not speak- 
ing to them as to men that must be weakened or damned ! We tell 
them of heaven and hell in such a sleepy tone, and flighty way, as 
if we were but acting a part in a play ; so that we usually preach 
our people asleep with those subjects, which one would think should 
rather endanger the driving of some beside themselves, if they were 
faithfully delivered. Not that I commend or excuse that real indis- 
cretion, and unseemly language, and nauseous repetitions, and ridi- 
culous gestures, whereby many do disgrace the word of God, and 
bring his ordinances into contempt with the people ; nor think it 
fit that he should be an ambassador from God on so weighty a 
business, that is not able to speak sense or reason. But, in a 
word, our want of seriousness about the things of heaven, doth 
charm the souls of men into formality, and hath brought them to 
this customary careless hearing, wdiich undoes them. The Lord 
pardon the great sin of the ministry in this thing, and, in par- 
ticular, my own ! 

And are the people any more serious than magistrates and 
ministers i How can it be expected? Reader, look but to thyself, 
and resolve the question. Ask conscience, and suffer it to tell thee 


truly. Hast thou set thine eternal rest before thine eyes, as the 
great business which thou hast to do in this world ? Hast thou 
studied and cared, watched and laboured, and laid about thee with 
all thy might, lest any should take thy crown from thee ? Hast 
thou made haste, lest thou shouldst come too late, and die before 
the work be done ? Hath thy heart been set upon it, and thy 
desires and thoughts run out this way ? Hast thou pressed on 
through crowds of opposition towards the mark, for the prize of 
the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, still reaching forth unto 
those things which are before? Mark vi. 21; Phil. iii. 13, 14. 
When you have set your hand to the work of God, have you done 
it with all your might? Eccles. ix. 10. Can conscience witness 
your secret cries, and groans, and tears ? Can your families witness 
that you have taught them the fear of the Lord, and warned them 
all with earnestness and unweariedness to remember God and their 
souls, and to provide for everlasting life ? or that you have done 
but as much for them, as that damned glutton would have had 
Lazarus do for his brethren on earth, to warn them that they come 
not to that place of torment? Can your ministers witness that 
they have heard you cry out. What shall we do to be saved ? and 
that you have followed them with complaints against your corrup- 
tions, and with earnest inquiries after the Lord ? Can your neigh- 
bours about you witness, that you are still learning of them that 
are able to instruct you ? and that you plainly and roundly reprove 
the ungodly, and take pains for the saving of your brethren's souls ? 
Let all these witnesses judge this day between God and you, 
whether you are in good earnest about the affairs of eternal rest. 
But if yet you cannot discern your neglects, look but to yourselves, 
within you, to the work you have done : you can tell by his work, 
whether your servant hath loitered, though you did not see him ; 
so you may by yourselves. Is your love to Christ, yom- faith, your 
zeal, and other graces, strong or weak ? What are your joys ; 
what is your assurance ? Is all right, and strong, and in order 
within you ? Are you ready to die, if this should be the day ? Do 
the souls among whom you have conversed, bless you ? Why, judge 
by this, and it will quickly appear whether you have been labourers 
or loiterers. 

O blessed rest, how unworthily art thou neglected ! O glorious 
kingdom, how art thou undervalued ! Little know the careless 
sons of men, what a state they set so light by ! If they once knew 
it, they would sure be of another mind. 



I HOPE, reader, by this time thou art somewhat sensible, what a 
desperate thing it is to trifle about our eternal rest; and how 


deeply thou hast been guilty of this thyself. And I hope, also, 
that thou darest not now sutler this conviction to die ; but art re- 
solved to be another man for the time to come : what sayest thou, 
is this thy resolution.'' If thou wert sick of some desperate dis- 
ease, and the physician should tell thee. If you will observe but one 
thing, I doubt not to cure you, wouldst thou not observe it? Why, 
if thou wilt observe but this one thing for thy soul, I make no 
doubt of thy salvation : if thou wilt now but shake off thy sloth, 
and put to all thy strength, and ply the work of God unweariedly, 
and l)e a downright Christian ; I know not what can hinder thy 
happiness. As far as thou art gone from God, if thou wouldst but 
now return and seek him with all thy heart, no doubt but thou 
shalt ilnd him ^ As unkindly as thou hast dealt with Jesus Christ, 
if thou didst but feel thyself sick and dead, and seek him heartily, 
and apply thyself ia good earnest to the obedience of his laws, thy 
salvation were as sure as if thou hadst it already ; but as full as the 
satisfaction of Christ is, as free as the promise is, as large as the 
mercy of God is, yet if thou do but look on these, and talk of 
them, when thou shouldst greedily entertain them, thou wilt be 
never the better for them ; and if thou loiter when thou shouldst 
labour, thou wilt lose the crown. O, fall to work then speedily 
and seriously, and bless God that thou hast yet time to do it ; and 
though that which is past cannot be recalled, yet redeem the time 
now by doubling thy diligence. And because thou shalt see I urge 
thee not without cause, I will here adjoin a multitude of consider- 
ations to move thee ; yet do I not here desire thee to take them by 
number, but by weight : their intent and use is, to drive thee from 
delaying and from loitering in seeking rest ; and to all men do I 
propound them, both godly and ungodly : whoever thou art, there- 
fore, I entreat thee to rouse up thy spirit, and read them deliberate- 
ly, and give me a little while thy attention, as to a message from 
God ; and, as Moses said to the people, " Set thy heart to all the 
words that I testify to thee this day ; for it is not a vain thing, but 
it is for thy life," Deut. xxxii. 46. Weigh what I here write with 
the judgment of a man ; and if I speak not reason, throw it back 
in my face ; but if I do, see thou entertain and obey it accordingly : 
and the Lord open thy heart, and fasten his counsel effectually 
upon thee.^ 

Sect. II. 1. Consider, Our affections and actions should be 
somewhat answerable to the greatness of the ends to which they are 
intended. Now the ends of a Christian's desires and endeavours 
are so great, that no human understanding on earth can compre- 
hend them ; whether you respect their proper excellency, their 
exceeding importance, or their absolute necessity. 

These ends are, the glorifying of God, the salvation of our own 
and other men's souls, in our escaping the torments of hell, and 
possessing the glory of heaven. And can a man I)e too much 
affected with things of such moment { Can he desire them too 
earnestly, or love them too violently, or labour for them too dili- 
gently ? When we know that if our prayers prevail not, and our 



labour succeeds not, we are undone for ever, I think it concerns us 
to seek and labour to the purpose. When it is put to the question, 
"Whether we shall live for ever in heaven or in hell ? and the ques- 
tion must be resolved upon our obeying the gospel or our disobeying 
it, upon the painfulness or the slothfulness of our present en- 
deavours ; I think it is time for us to bestir ourselves, and to leave 
our trifling and complimenting with God. 

Sect. III. 2. Consider, Our diligence should be somewhat 
answerable to the greatness of the work which we have to do, as 
well as to the ends of it. Now the works of a Christian here, are 
very many, and very great : the soul must be renewed ; many and 
great corruptions must be mortified ; custom, and temptations, and 
worldly interests, must be conquered ; flesh must be mastered ; 
self must be denied ; life, and friends, and credit, and all must be 
slighted ; conscience must be upon good grounds quieted ; assur- 
ance of pardon and salvation must be attained. And though it is 
God that must give us these, and that freely, without our own 
merit ; yet will he not give them so freely, as without our earnest 
.seeking and labour. Besides, there is a deal of knowledge to be 
got, for the guiding ourselves, for the defending of the truth, for 
the direction of others, and a deal of skill for the right managing 
of our parts : many ordinances are to be used, and duties per- 
formed, ordinary and extraordinary ; every age, and year, and clay, 
cloth require fresh succession of duty ; every place we come in, 
every person that we have to deal with, every change of our condi- 
tion, doth still require the renewing of our labour, and bringeth 
duty along with it ; wives, children, servants, neighbours, friends, 
enemies, all of them call for duty from us ; and all this of great 
importance too; so that for the most of it, if we miscarry in it, it 
would prove our undoing. 

Judge, then, yourselves, whether men that have so much busi- 
ness lying upon their hands, should not bestir them ; and whether 
it be their wisdom either to delay, or to loiter ? 

Sect. IV. 3. Consider, Our diligence should be somewhat quick- 
ened, because of the shortness and uncertainty of the time allotted 
us for the performing of all this work, and the many and great im- 
pediments which we meet with. Yet a few days, and we shall be 
here no more. Time passeth on : many hundred diseases are ready 
to assault us : we that now are preaching, and hearing, and talk- 
ing, and walking, must very shortly be carried on men's shoulders, 
and laid in the dust, and there left to the worms in darkness and 
corruption ; we are almost there already ; it is but a few days, or 
months, or years, and what is that when once they are past ? We 
know not whether we shall have another sermon, or sabbath, or 
hour. How then should those men bestir them for their everlast- 
ing rest, who know they have so short a space for so great a work! 
Besides, every step in the Avay hath its difficulties; the gate is 
strait, and the way narrow ; the righteous themselves are scarcely 
saved; scandals and discouragements will be still cast before us : 
and can all these be overcome by slothful endeavours ? 


Sect. V. 4. Moreover, our diligence should be somewhat an- 
swerable to the diligence ot" our enemies in seeking our destruction. 
For if we sit still while they are plotting and labouring; or if we 
be lazy in our defence, while they are diligent in assaulting us ; 
you may easily conceive how we are likely to speed. How diligent 
is Satan in all kinds of temptations! therefore, " 13e sober and 
vigilant, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh 
about, seeking whom he may devour ; whom resist stedfast in the 
faith," 1 Pet. v. 8. How diligent are the ministers of Satan ! 
false teachers, scorners at godliness, malicious persecutors, all un- 
wearied ; and our inward corruption the most busy and diligent of 
all ; whatever we are about, it is still resisting us ; depraving our 
duties, perverting our thoughts, dulling our aft'ections to good, ex- 
citing them to evil ; and will a feeble resistance then serve our 
turn .' Should not we be more active for our own preservation, than 
our enemies for our ruin ? ., - 

Sect. VI. 5. Our affections and endeavours should bear some 
proportion to the talents which we have received, and means which 
we have enjoyed. It may well be expected that a horseman shall 
go faster than a footman ; and he that hath a swift horse, faster 
than he that hath a slow one : more work will be expected from a 
sound man, than from the sick; and from a man at age, than from 
a child : and to whom men commit much, from them they will 
expect the more, Luke xii. 48. Now the talents which we have 
received are many and great ; the means which we have enjoyed 
are very much, and very precious. What people breathing on 
earth, have had plainer instructions, or more forcible persuasions, 
or constant admonitions, in season and out of season ? sermons, till 
we have been weary of them ; and sabbaths, till we profaned them : 
excellent books in such plenty, that we knew not which to read ; 
but loathing them through abundance, have thrown by all. "What 
people have had God so near them, as we have had; or have seen 
Christ, as it w'ere, crucified before their eyes, as we have done ? 
What people have had heaven and hell, as it were, opened unto 
them, as we ! scarce a day wherein we have not had some spur to 
put us on. What speed then should such a people make for heaven ; 
and how should they fly that are thus winged ; and how swiftly 
should they sail that have wind and tide to help them ! Believe it, 
brethren, God looks for more from England, than from most nations 
in the world; and for more from you that enjoy these helps, than 
from the dark, untaught congregations of the land. A small 
measure of grace beseems not such a people ; nor will an ordinary 
diligence in the work of God excuse them. 

Sect. VII. 6. The vigour of our affections and actions should 
be somewhat answerable to the great cost bestowed upon us, and 
to the deep engaging mercies which we have received from God. 
Surely we owe more service to our master from whom we have our 
maintenance, than we do to a stranger to whom we were never 
beholden. Oh the cost that God hath been at for our sakes ! the 
riches of sea and land, of heaven and earth, hath he poured out 


unto us ! All our lives have been filled up with mercies : we cannot 
look back upon one hour of it, or one passage in it, but we may 
behold mercy. AVe feed upon mercy, we wear mercy on our backs, 
we tread upon mercy ; mercy within us, common and special ; 
mercy without us, for this life, and for that to come. Oh the rare 
deliverances that we have partaken of, both national and personal ! 
How oft, how seasonably, how fully have our prayers been heard, 
and our fears removed ! what large catalogues of particular mercies 
can every Christian draw forth and rehearse ! To offer to number 
them, would be an endless task, as to number the stars, or the 
sands of the shore. If there be any difference betwixt hell, where 
we should have been, and earth, where we now are, yea, or heaven, 
which is offered us, then certainly we have received mercy. Yea, 
if the blood of the Son of God be mercy, then are we engaged to 
God by mercy ; for so much did it cost him to recover us to him- 
self. And should a people of such deep engagements be lazy in 
their returns ? shall God think nothing too much nor too good for 
us ; and shall we think all too much that we do for him .'' Thou 
that art an observing, sensible man, who knowest how much thou 
art beholden to God ; I appeal to thee, is not a loitering perform- 
ance of a few heartless duties, an unworthy requital of such ad- 
mirable kindness ? For my own part, when I compare my slow and 
unprofitable life, with the frequent and wonderful mercies received, 
it shames me, it silenceth me, and leaves me unexcusable. 

Sect. VIII. 7. Again, consider. All the relations which we stand 
in toward God, whether common or special, do call upon us for our 
utmost diligence. Should not the pot be wholly at the service 
of the potter, and the creature at the service of his great Creator? 
are we his children, and do we not owe him our most tender af- 
fections and dutiful obedience ? are we the spouse of Christ, and 
do we not owe him our observance and our love ? " If he be our 
Father, where is his honour ; and if he be our Master, where is his 
fear?" Mai. i. 6. "We call him Lord and Master, and we do 
well," John xiii. 13 ; but if our industry be not answerable to our 
assumed relations, we condemn ourselves, in saying we are his chil- 
dren, or his servants. How will the hard labour and daily toil that 
servants undergo to please their masters, judge and condemn those 
men who will not labour so hard for their great Master ! Surely 
there is none have a better or more honourable Master than we, 
nor can any expect such fruit of their labours, 1 Cor. xv. tdt. 

Sect. IX. 8. Consider, What haste should they make who have 
such rods at their backs, as be at ours ; and how painfully should 
they work, who are still driven on by such sharp afflictions ! if 
either we wander out of the way, or loiter in it, how surely do we 
prepare for our own smart ! Every creature is ready to be God's 
rod to reduce us, or to put us on : our sweetest mercies will become 
our sorrows ; or, rather than he will want a rod, the Lord will make 
us a scourge to ourselves ; our diseased bodies shall make us groan; 
our perplexed minds shall make us restless ; our conscience shall 
be as a scorpion in our bosom. And is it not easier to endure the 


liibour than the spur ? had we nvthor be still thus afflicted, than to 
l)e up and going i Alas ! how like are we to tired horses, that will 
lie down and groan, or stand still, and let you lay on them as long 
as you will, rather than they will freely travel on their journey ! 
And thus we make our own lives miserable, and necessitMe God, if 
he love us, to chastise us. It is true, those who do most, do meet 
with afflictions also : but surely, according to the measure of their 
peace of conscience, and faithfulness to Christ, so is the bitterness 
of their cup, for the most part, abated. 

Sect. X. 9. How close should they ply their work, who have such 
great preparations attending them as we have 1 All the worki are 
our servants, that we may be the servants of God. The sun, and 
moon, and stars, attend us with their light and influence ; the 
earth, with all its furniture, is at our service. How many thousand 
plants, and flowers, and fruits, and birds, and beasts, do all attend 
us ! The sea, with its inhabitants ; the air, the wind, the frost and 
snow, the heat and fire, the clouds and rain, all wait upon us while 
we do our work ; yea, the angels are ministering spirits for the ser- 
vice of the elect : and is it not an intolerable crime for us to trifle, 
while all these are employed to assist us ? Nay more, the patience 
and goodness of God do wait upon us ; the Lord Jesus waiteth in 
the offers of his blood ; the Holy Ghost waiteth in striving with our 
backward hearts ; besides all his servants, the ministers of his gos- 
pel, who study and wait, and preach and wait, and pray and wait, 
upon careless sinners : and shall angels and men, yea, the Lord 
himself, stand by and look on, and, as it were, hold thee the candle 
while thou dost nothing? O Christians, I beseech you, whenever 
you are upon your knees in prayer, or reproving the transgressors, 
or exhorting the obstinate, or upon any duty, do but remember w hat 
attendants you have for this work ; and then judge how it behoves 
you to perform it. 

Sect. XI, 10. Should not our affections and endeavours be an- 
swerable to the acknowledged principles of our Christian profession? 
Sure, if we are Christians indeed, and mean as we speak, when we 
profess the faith of Christ, we shall show it in afl'ections and ac- 
tions, as well as expressions. Why, the very fundamental doctrines 
of our religion are : That God is the chief Good, and all our hap- 
piness consists in his love ; and, therefore, it should be valued and 
sought above all things : that he is our only Lord, and, therefore, 
chiefly to be served ; that we must love him with all our heart, and 
soul, and strength ; that the very business that men have in the 
world, and the only errand that God sent them about, is to glorify 
God, and to obtain salvation, &c. And do men's duties aiitl con- 
versation second this profession ? Are these doctrines seen in the 
painfulness of men's practice ? or rather do not their works deny 
what their words do confess ? One would think, by men's actions, 
that they did not believe a word of the gospel to be true. Oh, sad 
day, when men's own tongues and professions shall be brought in 
against them, and condenm them ! 

Sect. XII. 11. How forward and painful should we be in that 


work, where we are sure we can never do enough ! If there were 
any danger in overdoing, then it might well cause men to moderate 
their endeavours ; hut wc know, that if we could do all, we were hut 
unprofitahla servants, Luke xvii. 10 ; much more when we are sure 
to fail in all. It is true, a man may possibly pray too much, or 
preach too much, or hear or reprove too much, though I have 
known few that ever did so ; but yet no man can obey or serve God 
too much ; for one duty may be said to be too long, when it shuts 
out another, and then it ceaseth, indeed, to be a duty. So that, 
though all superstition, or worship of our devising, may be called 
righteousness over-much ; yet, as long as you keep your service to 
the rule of the word, that so it might have the true nature of obe- 
dience, you never need to fear being righteous too much ; for else, 
we should reproach the Lord and Lawgiver of the church, as if he 
commanded us to do too much. Ah, if the world were not mad 
with malice, they could never be so blind in this point as they are: 
to think, that faithful diligence in serving Christ, is folly and 
singularity ; and that they who set themselves wholly to seek eter- 
nal life, are but precise puritans ! The time is near, when they will 
easily confess that God could not be loved or served too much, and 
that no man can be too busy to save his soul : for the world you 
may easily do too much, but here, in God's way, you cannot. 

Sect. XIII. 12. It is the nature of every grace to put on the soul 
to diligence and speed. If you loved God, you would make haste, 
and not delay or trifle ; you would think nothing too much that you 
could possibly do ; you would be ambitious to serve him and please 
him still more ; love is quick and impatient, it is active and observ- 
ant. If you loved Christ, you would keep his commandments, and 
not accuse them of too much strictness, John i. 4 ; xv. 23. So 
also, if you had faith, it would quicken and encourage you ; if you 
had the hope of glory, it would, as the spring in the watch, set all 
the wheels of your souls agoing ; if you had the fear of God, it 
would rouse you out of your slothfulness ; if you had zeal, it would 
inflame you, and eat you up. God hath put all his graces in the 
soul, on purpose to be oil to the wheels, to be life to the dead, to 
mind men of their duty, and dispose them to it, and to carry them 
to himself; so that, in what degree soever thou art sanctified, in 
the same degree thou wilt be serious and laborious in the work 
of God. 

Sect. XIV. 13. Consider, They that trifle in the Way to heaven, 
do but lose all their labour, when serious endeavours do obtain 
their end. The proverb is, " As good never a whit, as never the 
better." If two be running in a race^ he that runs slowest had as 
good never run at all ; for, now, he loseth the prize and his labour 
both. Many who, like Agrippa, are but almost Christians, Acts 
xxvi. 28, will find, in the end, they shall be but almost saved. 
God hath set the rate at which the pearl must be bought ; it you 
bid a penny less than that rate, you had as good bid nothing. As 
a man that is lifting at some weighty thing, if he put to almost 
strength enough, but yet not sufficient, it is as good he put to none 


at all ; for he doth but lose all his labour. Oh how many profess- 
ors of Christianity will find this true, to their sorrow, who have 
had a mind to the ways of (iod, and have kept up a dull task of 
duty, and plodded on in a formal, lif<;less profession, but never 
came to serious Christianity ! Mow many a duty have they lost, 
for want of doing them thoroughly, and to the purpose ! Perhaps 
their place in hell may be the easier, and so their labour ie not 
lost ; but as to the obtaining of salvation, it is all lost. " Many 
shall seek to enter, and shall not be able," Luke xiii. 24, who, if 
they had striven, might have been able. O, therefore, put to a 
little more diligence and strength, that all be not in vain that you 
have done already. 

Sect. XV. 14. Furthermore, We have lost a great deal of pre- 
cious time already, and therefore it is reason that we labour so much 
the harder. If a traveller do sleep or trifle out the most of the 
day, he must travel so much the faster in the evening, or else he 
is like to fall short of his journey's end. With some of us, our 
childhood and youth is gone ; with some also their middle age is 
past ; and the time before us is very uncertain and short. What 
a deal of time have we slept away, and talked away, and played 
away ! what a deal have we spent in worldly thoughts and labours, 
or in mere idleness ! Though in likelihood the most of our time is 
spent, yet how little of our work is done ! and is it not time now to 
bestir ourselves in the evening of our days ? The time which we 
have lost can never be recalled : should we not then redeem it by 
improving the little which remaineth ? You may receive, indeed, 
an equal recompence with those that have borne the burden and 
heat of the day, though you came not in till the last hour ; but 
t4en you must be sure to labour soundly that hour. It is enough, 
sure, that we have lost so much of our lives ; let us not now be so 
foolish as to lose the rest, 1 Pet. iv. 2 — 4. 

Sect. XVI. 1.3. Consider, The greater are your layings out, the 
greater will be your comings in. Though you may seem to lose 
your labour at the present, yet the hour cometh when you shall 
find it with advantage. The seed which is buried and dead, will 
bring forth a plentiful increase at the harvest. Whatever you do, 
and whatever you suffer, this everlasting rest will pay for all. 
There is no repenting of labours and sufferings in heaven ; none 
says. Would I had spared my pains, and prayed less, or been less 
strict and precise, and did as the rest of my neighbours did ! There 
is never such a thought in heaven as this. But, on the contrary, 
it will be their joy to look back upon their labours and tribulations, 
and to consider how the mighty power of God did bring them 
through all. Who ever complained that he came to heaven at too 
dear a rate, or that his salvation cost him more labour than it was 
worth ? W^e may say of all our labours, as Paul of his sufferings, 
" For I reckon that the sufferings (and labours) of this present 
time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be 
revealed in us," Rom. viii. 18. We labour but for a moment, but 
we shall rest for ever. Who would not put forth all his strength for 

T 2 


one hour, when he may l)e a prince while he lives for that hour's 
work .' O, what is the duty and suffering of a short, frail life, 
which is almost at an end as soon as it begins, in respect of the 
endless joys with God ? Will not all our tears then be wiped away, 
and all the sorrows of our duties forgotten ? but yet the Lord will 
not forget them ; " for he is not unjust to forget our work and 
labour of love," Heb. vi. 10. 

Sect. XVII. 16. Consider, Violence and laborious striving for 
salvation, is the way that the wisdom of God hath directed us to 
as best, as his sovereign authority appointed us as necessary. Who 
knows the way to heaven better than the God of heaven ? When 
men tell us that we are too strict and precise, whom do they ac- 
cuse, God or us ? If we do no more than what we are commanded, 
nor so much neither (Luke xvii. 10), they may as well say, God 
hath made laws which are too strict and precise. Surely, if it 
were a fault, it would lie in him that commands it, and not in us 
who are bound to obey. And dare these men think that they are 
wiser than God ? Do they know better than he, what men must do 
to be saved ? These are the men that ask us whether we are wiser 
than all the world besides, and yet they will pretend to be wiser 
than God. What do they less, when God bids us take the most 
diligent course, and they tell us it is more ado than needs ? Mark 
well the language of the laws of God, and see how you can recon- 
cile it with the language of the world : " The kingdom of heaven 
sufFereth violence, and the violent take it by force," Matt. xi. 12 ; 
or, as it is in Luke xvi. 16, "every one presseth into it." " Strive 
to enter in at the strait gate ; for many shall seek to enter in, and 
shall not be able," Luke xiii. 24. So Matt. vii. 13, 14. " What- 
soever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might, for there 
is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave 
whither thou goest/' Eccles, ix. 10. " Know ye not that they 
which run in a race run all, but one rcceiveth the prize ? So run 
that you may obtain," 1 Cor. ix. 24. " If a man strive for mas- 
teries, yet he is not crowned except he strive lawfully," 2 Tim. ii. 
5, that is, powerfully and prevailingly. " Work out your salvation 
with fear and trembling," Phil. ii. 12. "Give diligence to make 
your calling and election sure," 2 Pet. i. 10. " If the righteous 
scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinners appear?" 
1 Pet. 'iv. 1>:. So Phil. i. 27; iii. 14; 1 Tim. vi. 12, 18, 19; 
Deut. vi. 5, &c. This is the constant language of Christ : and 
which shall I follow, God or man ; yea, and that the worst and 
most wicked men ? Shall 1 think that every ignorant, worldly sot, 
that can only call a man puritan, knows more than Christ, and can 
teach him to make laws for his church, or can tell God how to 
mend the Scriptures ? Let them bring all the seeming reasons that 
they can against the holy, violent striving of the saints, and this 
sufficeth me to confute them all, that God is of another mind, and 
he hath commanded me to do much more than I do ; and though 
I could see no reason for it, yet his will is reason enough to me. I 
am sure God is worthy to goVern us, if we were better than we are. 


^^'ho should make laws for us, but he that mado us { And who 
should line out the way to heaven, but he that must brinf^ us thither .' 
And who should determine on what conditions we shall be saved, 
but he that bestows the gift of salvation { So that let world, or 
flesh, or devil, speak against a holy, laborious course, this is my 
answer, Ciod hath commanded it. 

Sect. XVIII. 17. Moreover, It is a course that all men in the 
world either do or will approve of. There is not a man that ever 
was, or is, or shall be, but shall one day justify the diligence of 
the saints, and give his verdict in the approbation of their wisdom. 
And who would not go that way which every man shall applaud ? 
It is true, it is now a way every where spoken against, and hated : 
but let me tell you, 1. Most that speak against it, do in their judg- 
ments approve of it; only because the practice of godliness is 
against the pleasures of the flesh, therefore do they against their 
own judgments resist it. They have not one word of reason against 
it, but reproaches and railing are their best arguments. 2. Those 
that now are against it, whether in judgment or passion, will shortly 
be, every man, of another mind. If they come to heaven, their 
mind must be changed before they come there. If they go to hell, 
their judgment will then be altered, whether they will or no. If 
you could speak with every soul that sulFereth those torments, and 
ask their judgments, whether it be possible to be too diligent and 
serious in seeking salvation, you may easily conjecture what answer 
they would return. Take the most bitter derider or persecutor of 
godliness, even those that will venture tl\eir lives for to overthrow 
it, if those men do not shortly eat their own words, and wish a 
thousand times that they had been the most holy, diligent Chris- 
tians on earth, then let me bear the shame of a false prophet for 
ever.* . Remember this, you that will be of the opinion and way 
that most are of. Why then will you not be of the opinion that 
all will be shortly of ? Why will you be of a judgment which you 
are sure you shall all shortly change ? Oh that you were but as 
wise in this as those in hell ! 

Sect. XIX. 18. Consider, They that have been the most serious, 
painful Christians, when they come to die, do exceedingly lament 
their negligence. Those that have wholly addicted themselves to 
the work of Go'd, and have made it the main business of their lives, 
and have slighted the world and mortified the flesh, and have been 
the wonders of the world for their heavenly conversations, yet when 
conscience is let loose upon them, and God withdraws the sense of 
his love, how do their failings wound them and disquiet them ! 
W^hat terrors do the souls of many undergo, who are generally ad- 
mired for their godliness and innocency ; even those that are hated 
and derided by the world for being so strict, and are thought to be 
almost beside themselves for their extraorcbnary diligence, yet 
commonly when they lie a dying, do wish. Oh that they had been 

* Duty at last is sweet ; it comes off with heaven, though hell dog it for a time ; 
saith Lockier sweetly (as all). See him further of the good end of duty, on Col. i. 24. 
p. 300, 


a thousand times more holy, more heavenly, more laborious for 
their souls ! What a case then will the negligent world be in, when 
their consciences are awaked, when they lie dying, and look behind 
them upon a lazy, negligent life, and look before them upon a 
severe and terrible judgment ! what an esteem will they have of a 
holy life ! For my own part, I may say, as Erasmus, Accusant quod 
nimium fecerim ; verum conscientia meet me accusal quod minus 
fecerim, quodque lentior fuerim, They accuse me for doing too 
much, but my own conscience accuseth me for doing too little, and 
being too slow : and it is far easier bearing the scorns of the world 
than the scourges of conscience. The world speaks at a distance 
without me, so that though I hear their words, I can choose whether 
I will feel them ; but my conscience speaks within me at the very 
heart, so that every check doth pierce me to the quick. Con- 
science, when it is reprehended justly, is the messenger of God ; 
but ungodly revilers are but the voice of the devil. I had rather 
be reproached by the devil for seeking salvation, than to be re- 
proved of God for neglecting it : I had rather the world should 
call me puritan in the devil's name, than conscience should call me 
loiterer in God's name. As God and conscience are more useful 
friends than Satan and the world, so are they more dreadful, irre- 
sistible enemies. 

Sect. XX. 19. Consider, How far many a man goes, and what 
a deal of pains he takes for heaven, and yet misseth it for want of 
more ! When every man that striveth is not crowned, 2 Tim. ii. 5 ; 
and many shall seek to enter in, and not be able, Luke xxiii. 24 ; 
and the very children of the kingdom shall be shut out, Matt. xiii. 
41 ; and they that have heard the word, and received it with joy. 
Matt. xiii. 20, and have heard the preacher gladly, and done many 
things after him, shall yet perish, Mark vi. 20 ; it is time foj us to 
look about us, and take heed of loitering. When they that seek 
God daily, and delight to know his ways, and ask of him the ordi- 
nances of justice, and take delight in approaching to God, and that 
in fasting and afflicting their souls, Isa. Ivi. 2, 3, ai-e yet shut out 
with hypocrites and unbelievers ; when they that have been en- 
lightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and of the good 
word of God, and of the powers of the world to come, and were 
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, may yet fall away beyond re- 
covery, and crucify to themselves the Son of God, Heb. vi. 4 — 6 ; 
when they that have received the knowledge of the truth, and were 
sanctified by the blood of the covenant, may yet sin wilfully, and 
tread under foot the Son of God, and do despite to the Spirit of 
grace, till there is nothing left them but the fearful expectation of 
judgment, and fire that shall devour the adversaries, Heb. x. 26 — 
29 ; should not this rouse us out of our laziness and security ? How 
far hath many a man followed Christ, and yet forsaken him when 
it comes to the selling of all, to bearing the cross, to burning at the 
stake, or to the renouncing of all his worldly interests and hopes ! 
What a deal of pains hath many a man taken for heaven, that 
never did obtain it ! How many prayers, sermons, fasts, alms. 


good desires, confessions, sorrow and tears for sin, &c. have all 
been lost, and fallen short of the kingdom ! Methinks this should 
aftright us out of our sluggishness, and make us strive to outstrip 
the highest formalist. 

Sect. XXI. 20. Consider, God hath resolved that heaven shall 
not be had on easier terms. He hath not only commanded it as 
a duty, but hath tied our salvation to the performance of it. Rest 
must always follow labour. He that hath ordained in his church 
on earth, thai he that will not labour shall not eat, hath also de- 
creed concerning the everlasting inheritance, that he that strives 
not shall not enter. They must now lay up a treasure in heaven, 
if they will find it there. Matt. xix. 20, They must seek first the 
kingdom of God and his righteousness. Matt. vi. 33. They must 
not labour for the food that perisheth, but for that food which en- 
dureth to everlasting life, John vi. 27. Some think that it is good 
to be holy, but yet not of such absolute necessity but that a man 
may be saved without it ; but God hath determined on the con- 
trary, that without it no man shall see his face, Heb. xii. 14. 
Seriousness is the very thing wherein consisteth our sincerity. If 
thou art not serious, thou art not a Christian. It is not only a 
high degree in Christianity, but of the very life and essence of it. 
As fencers upon a stage, who have all the skill at their weapons, 
and do eminently and industriously act their parts, but do not 
seriously intend the death of each other, do differ from soldiers or 
combatants, who fight in good sadness for their lives, just so do 
hypocrites differ from serious Christians. If men could be saved 
without this serious diligence, they would never regard it ; all the 
excellences of God's ways would never entice them. But when 
God hath resolved, that if you will have your ease here, you 'shall 
have none hereafter, is it not wisdom, then, to bestir ourselves to 
the utmost ? 

Sect. XXII. 21. And thus, reader, I dare confidently say, I 
have showed thee sufficient reason against thy slothfulness and 
negligence, if thou be not a man resolved to shut thine eyes, and 
to destroy thyself wilfully, in despite of reason. Yet, lest all this 
should not prevail, I will add somewhat more, if it be possible, to 
persuade thee to be serious in thy endeavours for heaven. 

1. Consider, God is in good earnest ^vith you, and why then 
should not you be so with him ? In his commands, he means as 
he speaks, and will verily require your real obedience. In his 
threatenings he is serious, and will make them all good against the 
rebellious. In his promises he is serious, and will fulfil them to 
the obedient, even to the least tittle. In his judgments he is 
serious, as he will make his enemies know to their terror. Was 
not God in good earnest when he drowned the world, when he con- 
sumed Sodom and Gomorrah, when he scattered the Jews ? Hath 
he not been in good sadness with us lately in England, and Ireland, 
and Germany ^ And very shortly will he lay hold on his enemies, 
particularly man by man, and make them know that he is in good 


earnest ; especially when it comes to the great reckoning clay. And 
is it time, then, for us to dally with God ? 

2. Jesus Christ was serious in purchasing our redemption. He 
was serious in teaching, when he neglected his meat and drink, 
John iv. 32. He was serious in praying, when he continued all 
night at it, Luke vi. 12. He was serious in doing good, when his 
kindred came and laid hands on him, thinking he had been beside 
himself, Mark iii. 20, 21. He was serious in suffering, when he 
fasted forty days, was tempted, betrayed, spit on, buffeted, crowned 
with thorns, sweat water and blood ; was crucified, pierced, died. 
There was no jesting in all this ; and should not we be serious in 
seekin* our own salvation ? 

3. The Holy Ghost is serious in soliciting us for our happiness ; 
his motions are frequent, and pressing, and importunate : he striveth 
with our hearts, Gen. vi. 3 ; he is grieved when we resist him, 
Eph. iv, 30 : and should not we then be serious in obeying his mo- 
tions, and yielding to his suit ? 

4. God is serious in hearing our prayers, and delivering us from 
our dangers, and removing our troubles, and bestowing his mercies.* 
When we are afflicted, he is afflicted with us, Isa. Ixiii. 9. He re- 
gardeth every groan and sigh, he putteth every tear into his bottle; 
he condoleth their misery, when he is forced to chastise them ; 
" How shall I give thee up, O Ephraim ?" saith the Lord ; "how 
shall I make thee as Admah, and as Zeboim ? my heart is turned 
within me, my repentings are kindled together," Hos. xi. 8. He 
heareth even the rebellious ofttimes, when they call upon him in 
their misery ; " when they cry to him in their trouble, he delivereth 
them out of their distress," Psal. Ixxviii. 37, 38 ; cvii. 10 — 13, 19, 
28, Yea, the next time thou art in trouble, thou wilt beg for a 
serious regard of thy prayers, and grant of thy desires. And shall 
we be so slight in the work of God, when we expect he should be 
so regardful of us ? Shall we have real mercies down weight ; and 
shall we return' such superficial and frothy service ? 

5. Consider, The ministers of Christ are serious in instructing 
and exhorting you, and why should not you be as serious in obeying 
their instructions ? They are serious in study ; serious in prayer ; 
serious in persuading your souls to the obedience of Christ ; they 
beg of God, they beg of you, they hope, they wait, they long more 
for the conversion and salvation of your souls, than they do for any 
worldly good : " you are their boasting, their crown and joy," 
1 Thess. ii. 19, 20. " Your stedfastness in Christ they value as 
their lives," 1 Thess. iii. 8. They are content to " be offered up 
in the service of your faith," Phil. ii. 17, ^f they kill themselves 
with study and preaching, or if they suffer martyrdom for preach- 
ing the gospel ; they think their lives are well bestowed, if their 
preaching do but prevail for saving of your souls. And shall other 

* For my own part, my sorrows are so real and pressing, that if God be not serious 
in hearing and helping me, I shall perish immediately ; nor would I be without his 
tender, regardful providence one day for a world : and should I then neglect him ? 


men be so painful and careful for your salvation, and .should you be 
so careless and negligent of your own ? Is it not a serious charge 
that is given to ministers in 2 Tim. iv. I { and a serious pattern 
that is given them in Acts xx. 30, 31 ? Surely no man can be 
bound to be more serious and jjainful for the welfare of another, 
than he is bound to be for himself. 

G. How S(^rious and diligent are all the creatures in their service 
to thee ! What haste makes the sun to compass the world ; and 
how truly doth it return at its appointed hour! So do the moon 
and other planets. The springs are always flowing for thy use ; the 
rivers still running ; the spring and harvest keep their times. How 
hard doth thy ox labour for thee from day to day ; how painfully 
and speedily doth thy horse bear thee in travel ! And shall all 
these be laborious, and thou only negligent ? Shall they all be 
so serious in serving thee, and yet thou be so slight in thy service 
to God? 

7. Consider, The servants of the world and the devil are serious 
and diligent ; they ply their work continually with unwcariedness 
and delight, as if they could never do enough ; they make haste, 
and march furiously, as if they were afraid of coming to hell too 
late. They bear down ministers, and sermons, and counsel, and 
all before them. And shall they do more for the devil, than thou 
wilt do for God ; or be more diligent for damnation, than thou wilt 
be for salvation .'' Hast not thou a better Master, and sweeter 
employment, and greater encouragement, and a better reward ? 

8. The time was when thou wast serious thyself in thy service 
to Satan and the flesh, if it be not so still : dost thou not remem- 
ber how eagerly thou didst follow thy sports ; or how violently thou 
wast addicted to customs, or evil company, or sinful delights ; or 
how earnestly thou w^ast bent after thy profits, or rising in the 
world i And wilt thou not now be more earnest and violent for 
God { '•' What profit hadst thou then in those things whereof thou 
art now ashamed .'' For the end of those things is death ; but now 
being made free from sin, and become the servants of God, ye 
have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life," Rom. 
vi. 21, 22. 

9. You are yet to this day in good earnest about the matters of 
this life. If you are sick, what serious groans and complaints do 
you utter ! All the town shall quickly know it, if your pain be 
great. If you are poor, how hard do you labour for your living, 
lest your wife and children should starve or famish ! If one fall 
down in a swoon in the house, or street, or in the congregation, 
how seriously w'ill you run to relieve and recover them ! And is 
not the business of our salvation of far greater moment ? Are you 
not poor ; and should you not then be labourers ? Are you not in 
fight for your lives ; and is it time to sleep ? Are you not in a race ; 
and is not the prize the crown of glory ; and should you then sit 
still or take your ease ? 

10. There is no jesting in heaven, nor in hell. The saints have 
a real happiness, and the damned a real misery ; the saints arc 


serious and high in their joy and praise, and the damned are serious 
and deep in their sorrow and complaints. There are no remiss or 
sleepy praises in heaven, nor any remiss or sleepy lamentations in 
hell ; all men there are in good earnest, and should we not then he 
serious now ? Reader, I dare promise thee, the thoughts of these 
things will shortly he serious thoughts with thyself. When thou 
comest to death or judgment, oh what deep, heart-piercing thoughts 
wilt thou have of eternity ! methinks I foresee thee already aston- 
ished to think how thou couldst possibly make so light of these 
things ! methinks I even hear thee crying out of thy stupidity 
and madness ! 

Sect. XXIII. 22. And now, reader, having laid thee down these 
undeniable arguments, I do here, in the name of God, demand thy 
resolution : what sayest thou ? wilt thou yield obedience or not ? 
I am confident thy conscience is convinced of thy duty. Darest 
thou now go on in thy common careless course, against the plain 
evidence of reason and commands of God, and against the light of- 
thy own conscience ? Darest thou live as loosely, and sin as boldly, 
and pray as seldom and as coldly, as before ? Darest thou now as 
carnally spend the sabbath, and slubber over the service of God 
as slightly, and think of thine everlasting state as carelessly, as 
before ? or, dost thou not rather resolve to gird up the loins of thy 
mind, and to set thyself wholly about the work of thy salvation ; 
and to do it with all thy strength and might ; and to break over all 
the oppositions of the world, and to slight all their scorns and per- 
secutions ; " to cast off the weight that hangeth on thee, and the 
sin that doth so easily beset thee ; and to run with patience and 
speed the race that is set before thee?" 1 Pet. i. 13; Heb, xii. I, 
2. I hope these are thy full resolutions : if thou be well in thy 
wits, I am sure they are. 

Yet because I know the strange obstinacy and rockiness of the 
heart of man, and because I would fain drive this nail to the head, 
and leave these persuasions fastened in thy heart, that so if it be 
possible thou mightest be awakened to thy duty, and thy soul might 
live, I shall therefore proceed with thee yet a little further ; and 
I once more entreat thee to stir up thy attention, and go along with 
me in the free and sober use of thy reason, while I propound to 
thee these following questions : and I command thee from God, 
that thou stifle not thy conscience, and resist not conviction, but 
answer them faithfully, and obey accordingly. 

Quest. 1. If you could grow rich by religion, or get lands and 
lordships by being diligent in godliness ; or if you could get honour 
or preferment by it in the world ; or could be recovered from sick- 
ness by it, or could live for ever in prosperity on earth ; what kind 
of lives would you then lead, and what pains would you take in the 
service of God ! And is not the rest of the saints a more excellent 
happiness than all this ? 

Quest. 2. If the law of the land did punish every breach of the 
sabbath, or every omission of family duties or secret duties, or every 
cold and heartless prayer, with death ; if it were felony or treason 


to bo ungodly and negligent in worship, and loose in your lives ; 
what manner of persons would you then be, and what lives would 
you lead { And is not eternal death more terrible than temporal .' 

Qitesf. 3. If it were God's ordinary course to punish every sin 
with some present judgment, so that every time a man swears, or 
is drunk, or speaks a lie, or backbiteth his neighbour, he should be 
struck dead, or blind, or lame in the place; if God did punish evei-y 
cold prayer, or neglect of duty, with some remarkalilc plague ; what 
manner of persons would you then be ? If you should suddenly fall 
down dead like Ananias and Sapphira, with the sin in your hands, 
or the plague of God should seize ujwn you as upon the Israelites, 
while the sweet morsels were yet in their mouths, Psal. Ixxviii. 30; 
if but a mark should be set in the forehead of every one that neg- 
lected a duty, or committed a sin ; what kind of lives would you 
then lead .' And is not eternal wrath more terrible than all this ? 
Give but reason leave to speak. 

Quest. 4. If one of your old acquaintance and companions in sin 
should come from the dead, and tell you, that he suifered the tor- 
ments of hell for those sins that you are guilty of, and for neglecting 
those duties which you neglect, and for living such a careless, world- 
ly, ungodly life, as you now live, and should therefore advise you to 
take another course ; if you should meet such a one in your cham- 
ber when you are going to bed, and he should say to you, O, take 
heed of this carnal, unholy life ! set yourself to seek the Lord with 
all your might ; neglect not your soul ; prepare for eternity, that 
you come not to the place of torment that 1 am in ; how would this 
take with you, and what manner of persons would you afterwards 
be .'' It is written in the life of Bruno, that a doctor of great note 
for learning and godliness being dead, and being brought to the 
church to be buried, while they were in their popish devotions, and 
came to the words Respondc inihi, the corpse arose in the bier, and 
with a terrible voice cried out, Justo Dei judicio accusal us suui, I 
am accused at the just judgment of God ; at which voice the people 
ran all out of the church affrighted. On the morrow when they 
came again to perform the obsequies, to the same words as before, 
the corpse arose again and cried with a hideous voice, Juslo Dei 
judicio judicatns sum, I am judged at the righteous judgment of 
God; whereupon the people ran away again amazed. The third 
day almost all the city came together, and when they came to the 
same words as before, the corpse arose again, and cried with a more 
doleful voice than before, Justo Dei judicio coudemuatus sum, I 
am condemned at the just judgment of God. The consideration 
whereof, that a man reputed so upright, should yet by his own con- 
fession be damned, caused Bruno, and the rest of his companions, 
to enter into the strict order of the Carthusians. If the voice of 
the dead man could affright them into superstition, should not the 
warnings of God affright thee into true devotion f 

Quest. 5. If you knew that this were the last day you had to live 
in the world, how would you spend this day ? If you were sure 
when you go to bed, that you should never rise again, would not 


your thoughts of another life be more serious that night ? If you 
knew when you are praying, that you should never pray more, 
would you not he more earnest and importunate in that prayer ? 
Or if you knew when you are preaching, or hearing, or exhorting 
your sinful acquaintance, that this were the last opportunity you 
should have, would you not ply it more closely than usually you do? 
Why, you do not know but it may be the last : and you are sure 
your last is near at hand. 

Quest. G. If you had seen the general dissolution of the world, 
and all the pomp and glory of it consumed to ashes : if you saw all 
on a fire about you, sumptuous buildings, cities, kingdoms, land, 
water, earth, heaven, all flaming about your ears : if you had seen 
all that men laboured for, and sold their souls for, gone ; friends 
gone ; the place of your former abode gone ; the history ended, and 
all come down ; what would such a sight as this persuade you to 
do? Why, such a sight thou shalt certainly see. I put my ques- 
tion to thee in the words of the apostle : " Seeing all these things 
shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all 
holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the 
coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire, shall 
be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ?" 2 Pet. 
iii. 12. As if he should say. We cannot possibly conceive or ex- 
press what manner of persons we should be in all holiness and god- 
liness, when v/e do but think of the sudden, and certain, and terrible 
dissolution of all things below. 

Quest. 7. What if you had seen the process of the judgment of 
the great day ; if you had seen the judgment set, and the books 
opened, and the most stand trembling on the left hand of the 
Judge, and Christ himself accusing them of their rebellions and 
neglects, and remembering them of all their former slightings of 
his grace, and at last condemning them to perpetual perdition ; if 
you had seen the godly standing on the right hand, and Jesus 
Christ acknowledging their faithful obedience, and adjudging them 
to the possession of the joy of their Lord ; what manner of persons 
would you have been after such a sight as this ? W hy, this sight 
thou shalt one day see, as sure as thou livest. And why then should 
not the foreknowledge of such a day awake thee to thy duty ? 

Quest. 8. What if you had once seen hell open, and all the 
damned there in their easeless torments, and had heard them cry- 
ing out of their slothfulness in the day of their visitation, and wish- 
ing that they had but another life to live, and that God would but 
try them once again ; one crying out of his neglect of duty, and 
another of his loiter;ng and trifling, when he should have been 
labouring for his life ; what manner of persons would you have been 
after such a sight as this ? What if you had seen heaven opened, 
as Stephen did, and all the saints there triumphing in glory, and 
enjoying the end of their labours and sufferings, what a life would 
you lead after such a sight as this ! Why, you will see this with 
your eyes before it be long. 

Quest. 9. What if you had lain in hell but one year, or one day, 


or hour, and there felt all those torments that now you do but hoar 
of, and (iod should turn you into the world again, and try you witl\ 
another life-time, and say, I will see whether thou wilt he yet any 
l)etter, what manner of persons would you he ? If you were to live 
a thousand years, would you not gladly live as strictly as the pre- 
cisest saints, and spend all those years in prayer and duty, so you 
might hut escape the torment which you suffered .' How seriously 
then would you speak of hell, and pray against it, and hear, and 
road, and watch, and obey ! How earnestly would you admonish 
the careless to take heed, and look about them to prevent their 
ruin ! And will not you take God's word for the truth of this, ex- 
cept you feel it .'' Is it not your wisdom to do as much now to pre- 
vent it, as you would do to remove it when it is too late 'i Is it not 
more wisdom to spend this life in labouring for heaven, while ye 
have it, than to lie in torment, wishing for more time in vain ? 

Quest. 10. What if you had been possessed but one year of the 
glory of heaven, and there joined with the saints and angels in the 
beholding of God, and singing his praise, and afterwards should be 
turned into the world again, what a life would you lead; what 
pains would you take rather than to be deprived of such incom- 
parable glory ! A\'ould you think any cost too great, or diligence 
too much ? If one of those that are now in heaven, should come 
to live on the earth again, what persons would they be ; what a stir 
would they make ; how seriously would they drive on the business 
of their salvation ! The country would ring of their exceeding 
holy and strict conversations. They would as far excel the holiest 
persons on earth, as they excel the careless world. Before they 
would lose that blessed estate, they would follow God with cries 
both day and night, and throw away all, and suffer every day a 
death. And should not we do as much to obtain it ? 

Sect. XXV. And thus I have said enough, if not to stir up the 
lazy sinner to a serious working out his salvation, yet at least to 
silence him, and leave him inexcusable at the judgment of God. If 
thou canst, after the reading of all this, go on in the same neglect 
of (jod and thy soul, and draw out the rest of thy life in the same 
dull and careless course, as thou hast hitherto done ; and if thou 
hast so far conquered and stupified thy conscience, that it will 
quietly suffer thee to forget all this, and to trifle out the rest of thy 
time in the business of the world, when in the mean while thy sal- 
vation is in danger, and the Judge is at the door, I have then no 
more to say to thee ; it is as good speak to a post or rock. Only 
as we do by our friends when they are dead, and our words and 
actions can do them no good, yet to testify our affections we weep 
and mourn for them; so will I also do for these deplorable souls. 
It makes my heart sad, and even tremble to think, how they will 
stand, sad and trembling, before the Lord ! and how confounded 
and speechless they will be, when Christ shall reason with them 
concerning their negligence and sloth ! when he shall say, as the 
Lord doth in Jer. ii. 5, 9, 11, 15, " \\'hat iniquity have your fathers 
(or you) found in me, that ye are gone far from me, and have 


walked after vanity ?" &c. Did I ever wrong you, or do you any 
harm, or ever discourage you from following my service ? was my 
way so bad that you could not endure it ; or my service so base 
that you could not stoop to it ? did I stoop to the fulfilling of the 
law for you, and could not you stoop to the fulfilling of the easy 
conditions of my gospel ? was the world or Satan a better friend to 
you than I ; or have they done for you more than I have ? try now, 
v.'hether they will save you, or whether they will recompense you 
for the loss of heaven, or whether they will be as good to you as I 
would have been. Oh, what would the wretched sinner answer to 
any of this ? But though man will not hear, yet we may have hope 
in speaking to God. Lord, smite these rocks till they gush forth 
waters : though these ears are deaf, say to them, " Ephphatha, Be 
opened : " though these sinners be dead, let that power speak, 
which sometime said, "Lazarus, arise!" We know they will be 
awakened at the last resurrection : oh ! but then it will be only to 
their sorrow. O thou that didst weep and groan in spirit over a 
dead Lazarus, pity these sad and senseless souls, till they are able 
to weep, and groan for, and pity themselves. As thou hast bid thy 
servants speak, so speak now thyself; they will hear thy voice 
speaking to their hearts, that will not hear mine speaking to their 
ears. Long hast thou knocked at these hearts in vain, now break 
the doors, and enter in, and pass by all their long resistance. 

Sect. XXVI. Yet I will add a few more words to the godly in 
special, to show them why they, above all men, should be laborious 
for heaven ; and that there is a great deal of reason, that though 
all the world besides do sit still, and be careless, yet they should 
abhor that laziness and negligence, and should lay out all their 
strength on the work of God. To this end, I desire them also to 
answer soberly to these few interrogatories. 

Quest. 1. What manner of persons should those be, whom God 
hath chosen out to be vessels of mercy, and hath given them the 
very cream and quintessence of his blessings, when the rest of 
the world are passed by, and put off with common, and tem- 
poral, and left-hand mercies t They who have the blood of Christ 
given them, and the Spirit for sanctification, consolation, and pre- 
servation, and the pardon of sins, and adoption to sonship, and the 
guard of angels, and the mediation of the Son of God, and the 
special love of the Father, and the promise and seal of everlasting 
rest ! do but tell me in good sadness, what kind of lives these men 
should live ? 

Quest. 2. What manner of persons should those be, who have 
felt the smart of their negligence so much as the godly have done ; 
in the new birth, in their several wounds and trouble of conscience, 
in their doubts and fears, in their sharp afflictions on body and 
state ? They that have groaned and cried out so oft, under the 
sense and effects of their negligence, and are like enough to feel it 
again, if they do not reform it, sure, one would think they should 
be slothful no more. 

Quest. 3. What manner of persons should those be in holy dili- 


gencc, who have beon so long convinced of the evil of laziness ; 
and have confessed it on their knees, a hundred and a hundrecl 
tinu's, both in public and in private ; and have told (iod in prayer 
how unexcusably they have therein oflended ; should tliey thus 
confess their sin. and yet commit it, as if they told God what they 
would do, as well as what they have done ? 

Quest. 4. \Vhat manner of persons should those be in painful 
godliness, who have bound themselves to God by so many cove- 
nants as we have done, and in special have covenanted so olt to be 
more painful and faithful in his service at every sacrament ; on 
many days of humiliation and thanksgiving ; in most of our deep 
distresses and dangerous sicknesses ? We are still ready to bewail 
our neglects, and to engage ourselves, if God will but try us, and 
trust once again, how diligent and laborious we will be, and how 
we will improve our time, and reprove offenders, and watch over 
ourselves, and ply our work ; and do him more service in a day than 
we did in a month. The Lord pardon our perfidious covenant- 
breaking ; and grant that our engagements may not condemn us. 

Quest. 5. What manner of persons should they be, who are so 
near to God as we, who are his children, in his family, still under 
his eye ; the objects of his greatest jealousy, as well as love ? 
Nadab and Abiiiu can tell you, that the flames of jealousy are 
hottest about his altar, Lev. x. 1, 2 : and Uzza, and the fifty thou- 
sand and seventy Bethshemites, 1 Sam. vi. 19, though dead, do 
yet tell you, that justice, as well as mercy, is most active about the 
ark. And Ananias and his wife can tell you, that profession is no 
cover for transgression, Acts v. 4, 5, &c. Judgment beginneth at 
the house of God, 1 Pet. iv. 17 ; and the destroying angel doth 
begin at the sanctuary, Ezek. ix. 5, G. 

Quest. G. What manner of men should they be in duty, who 
have received so much encouragement, as we have done by our 
success ; who have tasted such sweetness in diligent obedience, as 
doth much more than countervail all the pains ; who have so oft 
had experience of the wide difference between lazy and laborious 
duty, by their different issues ; who have found all our lazy duties 
unfruitful, and all our strivings and wrestlings with God successful, 
so that we were never importunate with God in vain? We who 
have had so many admirable national and personal deliverances 
upon urgent seeking ; and have received almost all our solid com- 
forts in a way of close and constant duty ; how should we, above 
all men, ply our work ! 

Quest. 7. What manner of men should they be, who are yet at 
such great uncertainties, whether they are sanctified or justified, 
or whether they are the children of God or no, or what shall ever- 
lastingly become of their souls, as most of the godly that I meet 
with are i They that have discovered the excellency of the king- 
dom, and yet have not discovered their interest in it, but discern a 
danger of perishing or losing all, and have need of that advice, 
Heb. iv. 1, and have so many doubts to wrestle wath daily as we 
have ; how should such men bestir themselves in time ! 


Quest. 8. What manner of persons should they he in holiness, 
who have so much of the great work yet undone as we have ; so 
many sins in so great strength ; graces weak, sanctification imper- 
fect, corruption still working our ruin, and taking advantage of all 
our omissions ? When we are as a boatman on the water, let him 
row never so hard a month together, yet if he do but slack his 
hand, and think to ease himself, his boat goes faster down the 
stream than before it went up ; so do our souls, when we think to 
ease ourselves by abating our pains in duty. Our time is short ; 
our enemies mighty ; our hinderances many ; God seems yet at a 
great distance from many of us ; our thoughts of him are dull, and 
strange, and unbelieving ; our acquaintance and communion with 
Christ are small ; and our desires to be with him are as small. 
And should men in our case stand still ? 

Quest. 9. What manner of men should they be in their diligence, 
whose lives and duties are of so great concernment to the saving or 
destroying of a multitude of souls ; when, if we slip, so many are 
ready to stumble ; and if we stumble, so many are ready to fall 1 
If we pray hard for them, and admonish them daily, and faithfully, 
and plainly, and exhort them with bowels of pity and love, and go 
before them in a holy, inoffensive conversation, it is twenty to one 
but we may be instruments of saving many of them from everlast- 
ing perdition, and bringing them to the possession of the inherit- 
ance with us : on the contrary, if we silently neglect them, or sin- 
fully offend them, we may be occasions of their perpetual torment : 
and what a sad thought is that to an honest and merciful heart ! 
That we may not destroy the souls for whom Christ died, that we 
may not rob them of their everlasting happiness, and God of the 
praises that in heaven they would give him, what manner of persons 
should we be in our duties and examples ? 

Quest. \0. Lastly: What manner of persons should they be, 
on whom the glory of the great God doth so much depend ? Men 
will judge of the Father by the children, and of the Master by the 
servants. We bear his image ; and therefore men will measure him 
by his representation. He is no where in the world so lively repre- 
sented as in his saints : and shall they set him forth as a patron of 
viciousness or idleness ? All the world is not capable of honouring 
or dishonouring God so much as we : and the least of his honour 
is of more worth than all our lives. I have harped all this while 
upon the apostle's string, 2 Pet. iii. 11; and now let rae give it 
the last touch. Seeing, then, that all these things forementioned 
are so, I charge thee, that art a Christian, in my Master's name, 
to consider and resolve the question, What manner of persons 
ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness ? And let thy 
life answer the question as well as thy tongue. 

Sect. XXVII. I have been larger upon this use than at first I 
intended ; partly because of the general neglect of heaven, that all 
sorts are guilty of; partly because men's salvation depends upon 
their present striving and seeking ; partly because the doctrine of 
free grace, misunderstood, is lately so abused to the cherishing of 


sloUi and security ; partly because many eminent men of late do 
judgo, tliat to work or labour for life and salvation is mercenary, 
legal, and dangerous ; which doctrine, as I have said before^ were 
it by the owners reduced into practice, would undoubtedly damn 
them ; because they that seek not shall not find, and they that 
strive not to enter shall be shut out, and they that labour not shall 
not be crowned ; and partly because it is grown the custom of this 
distracted age, instead of striving for the kingdom and contending 
for the faith, to strive with each other about uncertain controversies, 
and to contend about the circumstantials of the faith, wherein the 
kingdom of God doth no more consist than in meats or drinks, or 
questions about the law, or genealogies. Sirs, shall we, who are 
brethren, fall out by the way home, and spend so nmch of our time 
about the smaller matters which thousands have been saved with- 
out, but never any one saved by them, while Christ and our eternal 
rest are almost forgotten ? The Lord pardon and heal the folly of 
his people. ^-^ ^ , 

^^ J^" /t /g. ^ ^--^ .^^f /^^ 



Sect. I. I now proceed to the third use which we shall raise 
hence ; and because it is of very great importance to thy soul, 
I entreat thee to read it*the more diligently, and weigh it the 
more seriously. 

Is there such a glorious rest so near at hand ; and shall none 
enjoy it but the people of God I What mean the most of the 
world, then, to live so contentedly without assurance of their in- 
terest in this rest, and to neglect the trying of their title to it, 
when the Lord hath so fully opened the blessedness of that king- 
dom, which none but a little flock of obedient believers shall 
possess, and so fully expressed those torments which all the rest of 
the world must eternally suffer \ A man would think now, that 
they that believe this to be certainly true, should never be at any 
quiet in themselves till they knew which of these must be their 
own state, and were fully assured that they were heirs of the king- 
dom. Most men that I meet with, say, they believe this word of 
God to be true ; how then can they sit still in such an utter uncer- 
tainty, whether ever they shall live in rest or not ? One would 
think they should run up and down from minister to minister, 
inquiring. How shall I know whether I shall live in heaven or in 
hell ? and that they should even think themselves half in hell, till 
they were sure to escape it, and to be possessed of rest. Lord, 
what a wonderful, strange madness is this, that men, who look 


daily when sickness summons tliem, and death calls them away, 
and know they must presently enter upon unchangeable joy or pain, 
should yet live as uncertain what should be their doom, as if they 
had never heard of any such state ; yea, and live as quietly and as 
merrily in this uncertainty as if all were made sure, and nothing 
ailed them, and there were no danger ! Are these men alive or 
dead ? Are they waking, or are they asleep ? What do they think 
on? Where are their hearts? If they have but a weighty suit at 
law, how careful are they to know whether it will go for them or 
against them ! If they were to be tried for their lives at an earthly 
judicature, how careful would they be to know whether they should 
be saved or condemned, especially if their care might surely save 
them ! If they be dangerously sick, they will inquire of the phy- 
sician, What think you, sir ; shall I escape, or no ? But for the 
business of their salvation, they are content to be uncertain. If 
you ask most men a reason of their hopes to be saved, they will 
say. It is because God is merciful, and Christ died for sinners ; and 
the like general reasons, which any man in the world may give as 
well as they : but put them to prove their special interest in Christ, 
and the special saving mercy of God, and they can say nothing to 
the purpose at all ; or, at least, nothing out of their hearts and ex- 
perience, but only out of their reading or invention. Men are 
desirous to know all things, save God and themselves ; they will 
travel over sea and land to know the situation of countries, and 
customs of the world ; they will go to schools and universities, and 
turn over multitudes of books, and read and study from year to 
year, to know the creatures, and to be expert in the sciences ; they 
will go apprentice seven years to learn a trade, which they may live 
by here ; and yet they never read the book of conscience, nor study 
the state of their own souls, that they may make sure of living for 
ever. If God should ask them for their souls, as he did Cain for 
his brother Abel, they could return but such an answer as he did. 
If God or man should say to them. What case is thy soul in, man ? 
Is it regenerate, and sanctified, and pardoned, or no ? Is it in a 
state of life, or a state of death ? He would be ready to say, I 
know not ; am I my soul's keeper ? I hope well, I trust God with 
my soul, and trouble not myself with any such thoughts : I shall 
speed as well as other men do, and so I will put it to the venture : 
I thank God I never made any doubt of my salvation. Answ. Thou 
hast the more cause to doubt a great deal, because thou never didst 
doubt ; and yet more because thou hast been so careless in thy 
confidence. What do these expressions discover, but a wilful neg- 
lect of thy own salvation ? As a shipmaster that should let his 
vessel alone, and mind other matters, and say, I will venture it 
among the rocks, and sands, and gulfs, and waves, and winds ; I 
will never trouble myself to know whether it shall come safe to the 
harbour ; I will trust God with it ; it will speed as well as other 
men's vessels do. Indeed, as well as other men's that are as care- 
less and idle, but not so well as other men's that are diligent and 
watchful. What horrible abuse of God is this, for men to pretend 


that they trust God with their souls only to cloak their own wilful 
negligence ! If thou didst truly trust Ood, thou wouldst also he 
ruled hy him, and trust hiui in that way which he hath appointed 
thee, and upon those terms on which he hath promised thee help. 
Me requires thee to give all diligence to make thy calling and elec- 
tion sure, and so to trust him, 2 Pet. i. 10. He hath lined thee out 
a way in Scripture, hy which thou mayst come to he sure ; and 
charged thee to search and try thyself, till thou certainly know. 
\\'ere he not a foolish traveller that would hold on his way when 
he doth not know whether it he right or wrong, and say, I hope I 
am right ; I will not douht of it ; I will go on, and trust God? Art 
not thou guilty of this folly in thy travels to eternity ? Not con- 
sidering that a little serious inquiry and trial, whether thy way he 
right, might save thee a great deal of lahour which thou bestowest 
in vain, and must undo again, or else thou wilt miss of salvation, 
and undo thyself. If thou shouldst see a man in despair, or that 
were certain to be damned for ever when he is dead, wouldst thou 
not look upon such a man as a pitiful object ? Why^ thou that 
livest in wilful uncertainty, and dost not know whether thou shalt 
be saved or no, art in the next condition to such a person ; for aught 
thou knowest to the contrary, thy case hereafter may be as bad as 
his. I know not what thou thinkest of thy own state ; but, for my 
part, did I not know what a desperate, blind, dead piece a carnal 
heart is, I should wonder how thou dost to forget thy misery, and 
to keep off continual terrors from thy heart ; and especially in these 
cases following : 

1. I wonder how thou canst either think or speak of the dreadful 
God, without exceeding terror and astonishment, as long as thou 
art uncertain whether he be thy father or thy enemy, and knowest 
not but all his attributes may be employed against thee. If his 
saints must rejoice before him with trembling, and serve him in 
fear ; if they that are sure to receive the immovable kingdom, must 
yet serve God " with reverence and godly fear," because he " is a 
consuming fire ;" how then should the remembrance of him be 
terrible to them that know not but this fire may for ever consume 
them ! 

2. How dost thou think, without trembling, upon Jesus Christ, 
when thou knowest not whether his blood hath purged thy soul, or 
not ; and whether he will condemn thee or acquit thee in judgment ; 
nor whether he be set for thy rising or for thy fall, Luke ii. 34 ; 
nor whether he be the corner-stone and foundation of thy happi- 
ness, or a stone of stumbling to break thee, and grind thee to pow- 
der. Matt. xxi. 44. Methinks thou shouldst still be in that tune, 
as Job xxxi. 23, " Destruction from God is a terror to me, and by 
reason of his highness I cannot endure." 

3. How canst thou open the Bible, and read a chapter, or hear a 
chapter read, but it should terrify thee ? Methinks every leaf 
should be to thee as Belshazzar's writing upon the wall, except only 
that which draws thee to try and reform, Dan. v. 5, G. If thou 
read the promises, thou knowest not whether ever they shall be 


fulfilled to thee, because thou art uncertain of thy performance of 
the condition. If thou read the threatenin<^s, for any thing thou 
knowest, thou dost read thy own sentence. 1 do not wonder if thou 
art an enemy to plain preaching ; and if thou say of it, and of the 
minister and Scripture itself, as Ahab of the prophet, " I hate him, 
for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil," 1 Kings 
xxii. 8. 

4. I wonder how thou canst, without terror, approach God in 
prayer, or any duty. When thou cnllest him thy Father, thou 
knowest not whether thou speak true or false. When thou needest 
him in thy sickness, or other extremity, thou knowest not whether 
thou hast a friend to go to, or an enemy. When thou receivest the 
sacrament, thou knowest not whether thou takest thy blessing or 
thy bane. And who would wilfully live such a life as this ? 

5. What comfort canst thou find in any thing which thou pos- 
sessest ? Methinks, friends, and honours, and houses, and lands, 
should do thee little good, till thou know that thou hast the love of 
God withal, and shalt have rest with him when thou leavest these. 
Offer to a prisoner, before he know his sentence, either music, or 
clothes, or lands, or preferment, and what cares he for any of these, 
till he know how he shall escape for his life ? and then he wall look 
after these comforts of life, and not before ; for he knows if he must 
die the next day it will be small comfort to die rich or honourable. 
Methinks it should be so with thee, till thou know thine eternal 
state. Dost not thou, as Ezek. xii. 18, " eat thy bread with quak- 
ing, and drink thy drink with trembling and carefulness ;" and 
say, Alas ! though I have these to refresh my body now, yet I 
know not what I shall have hereafter ? Even when thou liest down 
to take thy rest, methinks the uncertainty of thy salvation should 
keep thee waking, or amaze thee in thy dreams, and trouble thy 
sleep ; and thou shouldst say, as Job in a smaller distress than 
thine, " When I say. My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall 
ease my complaint ; then thou scarest me with dreams, and terri- 
fiest me through visions," Job vii. 13, 14. 

6. Doth it not grieve thee to see the people of God so comfort- 
able, when thou hast none thyself; and to think of the glory which 
they shall inherit, when thou hast no assurance thyself of ever en- 
joying it ? 

7. What shift dost thou make to think of thy dying hour ? Thou 
knowest it is near, and there is no avoiding it, nor any medicine 
found out that can prevent it. Thou knowest it is the " king of 
terrors," Job xviii. 14, and the very inlet to thine unchangeable 
state. The godly that have some assurance of their future wel- 
fare, have yet much ado to submit to it willingly, and find that to 
die comfortably is a very difficult work. How then canst thou 
think of it without astonishment, who hast got no assurance of the 
rest to come ? If thou shouldst die this day, (and " who knows 
what a day may bring forth ? " Prov. xxvii. 1,) thou dost not know 
whether thou shalt go straight to heaven or to hell : and canst 
thou be merry till thou art got out of this dangerous state { Me- 


thinks that iu Deut. xxviii. 25 — 27, should be the looking-glass of 
thy heart. 

8. What shift dost thou make to preserve thy heart from horror, 
when thou reniembereiit the great judgment -day, and the everlast- 
ing flames ? Dost thou not tremble as Felix, when thou hearest of 
it, Acts xxiv. 2o ; and as the elders of the town trembled when 
Samuel came in, saying, " Comest thou peaceably ? " 1 Sam. xvi. 
4. So methinks thou shouldst do when the minister comes into 
the pulpit ; and thy heart, whenever thou meditatest of that day, 
should meditate terror, Isa. xxxiii. IS, and thou shouldst even be 
a terror to thyself, and all thy friends, Jer. xx. 4. If the keepers 
trembled and became as dead men, when they did but see the 
angels, Matt, xxviii. o, 4, how canst thou think of living in hell 
with devils till thou hast got some sound assurance that thou shalt 
escape it i Or, if thou seldom think of these things, the wonder is 
as great, what shift thou makest to keep those thoughts from thy 
heart, and to live so quietly in so doleful a state. Thy bed is veiy 
soft, or thy heart is very hard, if thou canst sleep soundly in this 
uncertain case. 

I have showed thee the danger, let me next proceed to show 
thee the remedy. 

If this general uncertainty of the world about their salvation, 
were constrained or remediless, then must it be borne as other un- 
avoidable miseries, and it were unmeet either to reprove them for 
it, or dissuade them from it ; but, alas ! the common cause is wil- 
fulness and negligence. Men will not be persuaded to use the 
remedy, though it be easy, and at hand, prescribed to them by God 
himself, and all necessary helps thereunto provided for them. The 
great means to conquer this uncertainty, is self-examination, or the 
serious and diligent trying of a man's heart and state by the rule 
of Scripture. The Scripture tells us plainly who shall be saved, 
and who shall not : so that if men would but first search the word, 
to find out who be these men that shall have rest, and what be 
their properties by which they may be known ; and then next search 
carefully their own hearts, till they find whether they are those 
men or not ; how could they choose but come to some certainty ? 
But, alas ! either men understand not the nature and use of this 
duty, or else they will not be at the pains to try. Go through a 
congregation of a thousand men, and how few of them shall you 
meet with, that ever bestowed one hour in all their lives in a close 
examination of their title to heaven ! Ask thy own conscience, 
reader, when was the time, and where was the place, that ever 
thou solemnly tookest thy heart to task, as in the sight of God, 
and examinedst it by Scripture interrogatories, whether it be born 
again and renewed, or not ; whether it be holy, or not ; whether it 
be set most on God, or on creatures ; on heaven, or on earth ; and 
didst follow on this examination till thou hadst discovered thy con- 
dition, and so passed sentence on thyself accordingly. 

But because this is a work of so high concernment, and so com- 
monly neglected, and men's souls do so much languish everywhere 


under this neglect, I will, therefore, though it he digressive, 1. 
Show you that it is possihle, by trying, to come to a certainty ; 2. 
Show you the hinderances that keep men from trying, and from 
assurance ; 3. I will lay down some motives to persuade you to it ; 
4. I will give you some directions how you should perform it ; 5. 
And lastly, I will lay you down some marks out of Scripture, by 
which you may try, and so come to an infallible certainty, whether 
you are the people of God, for whom this rest remaineth, or not. 
And to prepare the way to these, I will, a little, first open to you, 
what examination is, and what that certainty is, which we may ex- 
pect to attain to. 
Definition of ex- Sect. II. This self-examination is, an inquiry 

amination. jnto the course of our lives, but more especially 

into the inward acts of our souls, and trying of their sincerity by 
the word of God, and accordingly judging of our real and relative 

So that examination containeth several acts : 1 , There must be 
the trial of the physical truth, or sincerity of our acts ; that is, an 
inquiry after the very being of them ; as whether there be such an 
act as belief, or desire, or love to God within us or no : this must 
be discovered by conscience, and the internal sense of the soul ,• 
whereby it is able to feel and perceive its own acts, and to know 
whether they be real or counterfeit. 

2. The next is, the trial of the moral truth or sincerity of our 
acts ; whether they are such as agree with the rule and the nature 
of their objects. This is a discursive work of reason, comparing 
our acts with the rule ; it implieth the former knowledge of the 
being of our acts, and it implieth the knowledge of Scripture in the 
point in question, and also the belief of the truth of Scripture. 
This moral, spiritual truth of our acts, is another thing, far differ- 
ent from the natural or physical truth ; as far as a man's being 
differeth from his honesty. One man loveth his wife under the 
notion of a harlot, or only to satisfy his lust ; another loveth his 
wife with a true, conjugal affection : the former is true, physical 
love, or true in point of being ; but the latter only is true, moral 
love. The like may be said in regard of all the acts of the soul. 
There is a believing, loving, trusting, fearing, rejoicing, all true in 
point of being, and not counterfeit ; which yet are false in point of 
morality and right being, and so no gracious acts at all. 

3. The third thing contained in the work of self-examination, is, 
the judging or concluding of our real estate ; that is, of the habit- 
ual temper or disposition of our hearts, by the quality of their acts ; 
whether they are such acts as prove a habit of holiness, or only 
some slight disposition ; or whether they are only, by some ac- 
cident, enticed or enforced, and prove neither habit nor disposition. 
The like, also, of our evil acts. Now, the acts which prove a 
habit must be, 1. Free and cheerful; not constrained, or such as 
we had rather not do if we could help it. 2. Frequent ; if there 
be opportunity. 3. Thorough and serious : where note also, that 
the trial of the soul's disposition by those acts, which make after 


the end, as desire, love, &c. to God, Christ, heaven, is always more 
necessary and more certain, tiian the trial of its disposition to the 
means only. 

4. The last act in this examination, is to conclude or judge of 
our relative estate, from the former judgment of our acts and 
habits. As if we find sincere acts, we may conclude that we have 
the habits ; so from both, we may conclude of our relation. So 
that our relations, or habits, are neithtn- of them felt or known im- 
mediately, but must be gathered from the knowledge of our acts, 
which maybe felt: as for example ; K I inquire, whether I be- 
lieve in Christ, or love God.' 2. If I find that I do, then I in- 
quire next, whether I do it sincerely, according to the rule and the 
nature of the object ? 3. If I find that I do so, then I conclude 
that I am regenerate or sanctified. 4. And from both these, I 
conclude that I am pardoned, reconciled, justified, and adopted 
into sonship, and title to the inheritance. All this is done in a 
way of reasoning, thus : 

1. He that believes in spiritual sincerity, or he that loves God 
in spiritual sincerity, is a regenerate man : but I do so believe and 
love ; therefore, I am regenerate. 

2. He that believes in sincerity, or he that is regenerate, for the 
conclusion will follow upon either, is also pardoned, justified, and 
adopted : but I do so believe, or I am regenerate ; therefore, I am 
justified, &c. 

Sect. Ill, Thus you see what examination is, . , ^ 

-,. -r , . 1 . . 1 • i • -^ ■ Assurance what. 

Now let us see what this certainty or assurance is; 
and indeed it is nothing else but the knowledge of the foremen- 
tioned conclusions, that we are sanctified, justified, shall be glori- 
fied, as they arise from the premises in the work of examination. 

So that here you may observe, how immediately this assurance 
followeth the conclusion in examination, and so, how necessary ex- 
amination is to the obtaining of assurance, and how conducible 

Also, that we are not speaking of the certainty of the object, or 
of the thing itself considered, ];ut of the certainty of the subject, 
or of the thing to our knowledge. 

Also you may observe, that before we can come to this certainty 
of the conclusion, That we are justified, and shall be glorified, 
there must be a certainty of the premises. And in respect of the 
major proposition. He that believeth sincerely, shall be justified 
and saved ; there is requisite in us, 1 . A certainty of knowledge ; 
that such a proposition is written in Scripture. 2. A certainty of 
assent or faith; that this Scripture is the word of God, and true. 
Also, in respect of the minor proposition. But I do sincerely believe, 
or love, &c. there is requisite, 1. A certainty of the truth of our 
faith in point of being ; 2, And a certainty of its truth in point of 
morality, or congruence with the rule, or its right being. And 
then followeth the assurance, which is the certainty that the con- 
clusion. Therefore I am justified, &c. followeth necessarily upon 
the former premises. 


Hereby also you must carefully distinguish betwixt the several 
degrees of assurance. All assurance is not of the highest degree. 
It differs in strength, according to the different degrees of appre- 
hension, in all the forementioned points of certainty which are 
necessary thereunto. He that can truly raise the foresaid conclu- 
sion, that he is justified, &c. from the premises, hath some degree 
of assurance, though he do it with much w' eakness, and staggering, 
and doubting. The weakness of our assurance in any one point 
of the premises, will accordingly weaken our assurance in the con- 

Some, when they speak of certainty of salvation, do mean only 
such a certainty as excludeth all doubting, and think nothing else 
can be called certainty, but this high degree. Perhaps some pa- 
pists mean this, when they deny a certainty. Some also maintain, 
that St. Paul's plerophory, or full assurance, is the highest de- 
gree of assurance, and that some Christians do in this life attain to 
it. But Paul calls it full assurance, in comparison of lower de- 
grees, and not because it is perfect. For if assurance be perfect, 
then all our certainty of knowledge, faith, and sense in the premises, 
must be perfect : and if some grace be perfect, why not all ? And 
so we turn Novatians, Catharists, Perfectionists. Perhaps in some, 
their certainty may be so great that it may overcome all sensible 
doubting, or sensible stirrings of unbelief, by reason of the sw^eet 
and powerful acts and effects of that certainty ; and yet it doth not 
overcome all unbelief and uncertainty, so as to expel or nullify 
them ; but a certain measure of them remaineth still. Even as 
when you would heat cold water by the mixture of hot, you may 
pour in the hot so long till no coldness is felt, and yet the water 
may be far from the highest degree of heat. So faith may suppress 
the sensible stirrings of unbelief, and certainty prevail against all 
the trouble of uncertainty, and yet be far from the highest degree. 

So that by this which is said, you may answer the question. 
What certainty is to be attained in this life ; and what certainty it 
is that we press men to labour for and expect ? 

Furthermore ; you must be sure to distinguish betwixt assur- 
ance itself, and the joy, and strength, and other sweet effects which 
follow assurance, or which immediately accompany it. 

It is possible that there may be assurance, and yet no comfort, 
or little. There are many unskilful, but self-conceited disputers of 
late, better to manage a club than an argument, who tell us, that 
it must be the Spirit that must assure us of salvation, and not our 
marks and evidences of grace ; that our comfort must not be taken 
from any thing in ourselves ; that our justification must be imme- 
diately believed, and not proved by our signs of sanctification, &c. 
Of these in order. 1. It is as wise a question to