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Seed Thoughts, 

t) OR 







Rev. J. E. ROCKWELL, D.D. 




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by 



In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

Westoott & Thomson, 
Stereotypers, Philada. 

LC Control Number 

tmp96 027366 


In the course of a series of morning readings of the Scrip- 
tures in connection with Kitto's Daily Bible Illustrations, 
I met with the first notice of Caryl's Exposition of Job. 
The passage which attracted my attention is as follows : 
1 ' There is a work which few men possess, and which we 
are assured that no man alive ever ventured to read through. 
It is in two mighty folios, containing together between four 
thousand and five thousand pages of closely-printed matter, 
in double column. The grandfathers of our grandfathers 
liked to write such books, and even liked to read them. 
With patient diligence the author returned from day to 
day during half a life to his task, slowly building, brick by 
brick, the vast monument of his industry, his learning, his 
fame, and, it may be, sometimes of his folly. But the 
readers were of like sort. They had none of the modern 
fancy for small books which one may hold in the hand 
without wearying it as he lounges in his easy-chair. They 
liked to see a great book, which required an effort to lift, and 
which, therefore, remained a fixture upon their tables for 
months or years, while with strong powers of digestion they 
returned day by day to take in a fresh morsel of the pon- 
derous meal. There belongs to these days a story of this 
very book, that the son of a reverend divine left his father 

engaged thereon when he departed on a voyage to India, 


4 IX m 01) UCTION. 

and on his return, found him still engaged on the first vol- 
ume, though the pile of leaves to the left of the reader had 
indeed considerably increased, and that to the right dimin- 

All this work is upon the Book of Job, whose patience 
the author seemed bent on affording the world an op- 
portunity of exemplifying. It is by Joseph Caryl, " some- 
times preacher to the honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, 
and more lately of St. Magnus, near London Bridge." It 
was published in 1672, " Printed by Samuel Simmons, and 
to be sold at his house, next door to the Golden Lion, in 
Aldergate street." 

The sarcastic Warburton says that ' ' Job was strangled 
by Caryl," and Owen calls this process of exposition a 
mode of treating the word of God which partakes more of 
entombing than of exhibiting it. Nevertheless, the pa- 
tience which the work exacts will in the end be rewarded, 
as well as that of Job. It is not only an elaborate, but a 
most learned, sound and pious work — a mine from which 
he who has courage to explore it will come back laden with 
precious things. In a foot-note the author asks, ' c How is 
it that such books ever become scarce ? Why should not 
all the copies have lasted as well as our own, which is in a 
perfectly fresh and sound condition ? People do not will- 
ingly destroy such books as these; what becomes of them?" 
Shortly after reading the above, and having my interest in 
the work more thoroughly awakened by reading the ex- 
tracts from it which are found in Kitto, I met with the 
Exposition in looking over the shelves of an old book-store, 
and it has been in my library for more than twelve years. 


The copy which I possess is in twelve quarto volumes, well 
preserved, and has evidently been carefully studied. On a 
fly-leaf of the twelfth volume, in the hand of one who was 
its owner in the year 1740, is written these words: ''Lector, 
si cupis Dominum Cognoscere Librr' — "Reader, if you 
seek for the Lord, inquire in this hook." The first volume 
was issued in 1651, and the last in 1666. There must have 
been some delay in the printing of this work, as the first 
preface was dated November 3, 1643, and the usual parlia- 
mentary notice concerning its publication was issued in 
May, 1645. Each volume of this work contains from five 
hundred to one thousand pages. The title-page of the first 
volume reads as follows : 






The Three First Chapters of the Book of Job. 

Delivered in xxi Lectures at Magnus, 
near the Bridge, London. 

By Joseph Caryl, Preacher to the Honourable Society of 
Lincoln's Inn. 

James 5: Verse 10, 11. 

Take my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, 
for an example of suffering, affliction and patience. 

Behold we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience 
of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord : that the Lord is very pitiful and of 
tender mercy. 


Printed for Luke Fawn, at the Parrot in Paul's Church Yard, and 
■ H. Cripps and L. Lloyd, in Pope's Head Alley, MDCLI. 


In his preface to the last volume the learned and pious 
author remarks: "Through the all-disposing providence of 
God and the importunate call of not a few friends, I began 
this work; and now, after twenty-four years of travel, 
making twelve stages (in so many parts the whole has come 
forth), I am come to the end of it." The fact that several 
editions of his work were published within a few years 
shows the value which was set upon it in those days. Be- 
sides the folio copy alluded to by Kitto, and the edition 
in twelve volumes first issued, Home, in his Introduction 
to the Study of the Bible, speaks of it as having been pub- 
lished in six books, and adds, ' ' I have never had an op- 
portunity of examining it, but Wachi eulogizes it in very 
high terms. It is now very little read or even consulted, 
few readers being able to wade through two large folio 
volumes. ' ' 

But little has been recorded of the life of Caryl. He was 
a learned Nonconformist minister, who lived and laboured 
during the time of Cromwell, and who was so much in 
favour with him as to have been appointed one of his chap- 
lains, in connection with Dr. Owen, to attend him to Scot- 
land. In Neal's History of the Puritans we meet with this 
brief notice of his life : 

"Mr. Joseph Caryl, M. A., the ejected minister of St. 
Magnus, London Bridge, was born of genteel parents, in 
London, 1602, educated in Exeter College, and afterward 
preacher in Lincoln's Inn. He was a member of the As- 
sembly of Divines, and afterward one of the triers for the 
approbation of ministers, in all of which stations he ap- 
peared a man of great learning, piety and modesty. He 


was sent by the Parliament to attend the king at Holmly 
House, and was one of their commissioners in the treaty of 
the Isle of Wight. After his ejectment in 1662, he lived 
privately in London, and preached to his congregation as 
the times would permit. He was a moderate Independent, 
and distinguished himself by his learned Exposition upon 
the Book of Job. He died universally lamented by all his 
acquaintances, February 7, 1672-3, and in the seventy-first 
year of his age. ' ' 

In a foot-note by the editor it is added of the Exposition : 
" This work was printed in two volumes folio, consisting of 
upward of six hundred sheets, and there was also an edition 
in twelve volumes 4to." "One just remark," says Mr. 
Granger, l ' has been made on its utility : that it is a very 
sufficient exercise for the virtue of patience, which it was 
chiefly intended to inculcate and improve." 

In a second note by the American editor it is said : ' ' It 
is not amiss to add that very few works of equal magnitude 
contain so much piety and good sense. This commentary 
— for such it may be termed — is highly prized, and a copy 
is never to be met with in a London catalogue but at a high 
price. It is one of the scarcest theological books, and, on 
account of its size, not likely to meet a reprint." 

This voluminous exposition of Job, of which such a va- 
riety of opinions is held, was first delivered by Caryl in 
the form of lectures to his people, few of which could have 
occupied less than an hour in the delivery, and many must 
have occupied an hour and a half. Many a congregation 
of modern times, accustomed to brief essays on some moral 
or religious subject, and looking anxiously for the last leaf 


of the sermon if it exceed half an hour, would have deserted 
such a preacher ; and many others, who prefer to hear po- 
litical discussions or popular harangues, mingled with pleas- 
ant stories and occasional flashes of wit, would have soon 
wearied of hearing these long and connected unfoldings and 
enforcements of gospel truths. But. in those days, "the 
word of God was precious," and Christians were fed and 
nourished by its glorious truths. Year after year they lis- 
tened to that learned and godly pastor while he opened to 
their minds the Scriptures, and Sabbath after Sabbath came 
to see what new riches he had brought up from the mine in 
which all the week he had been busily at work. His ser- 
mon would never have drawn together a crowd in modern 
times. Probably the most judicious of homiletical critics 
would have called him prosy, and pronounced his style un- 
suited to the wants of the Church. There is much of appa- 
rently needless repetition, though the attentive reader will 
find that each repetition is designed to bring out a fresh 
thought, or to give to the first some new light. Each turn 
of the diamond presents a new series of brilliant refractions 
of the sunbeam that falls upon it. 

There is much that appears prolix and dry, yet the pa- 
tient reader will often be startled with some unexpected and 
precious display of gospel truths, when the author seems to 
dwell and insist upon some text that in his estimation 
might be passed over with but a moment's notice. There 
is a quaintness of speech which may sometimes excite a 
smile, but it also serves to fix more indelibly in the mind 
the thought which it embodies. There is a marvellous 
facility of what might be called in a good sense "double 


entendre," which startles the reader with the power of the 
text of which he had never dreamed before. The author 
often indulges in a play on words, which is exceedingly rich 
and instructive. When speaking of the sin of rebelling 
against the light he says, "As God sometimes brings judg- 
ments upon men in perfection, so men sin against God some- 
times in perfection. ' ' He often uses the same word several 
times in the same sentence, but at each repetition brings 
out a new truth. When commenting on the verse (Psalm 
xcii. 12), "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree," 
etc. , he says, ; ' Here is not only a mention of growing, but of 
flourishing, and here's flourishing three times mentioned ; 
and 'tis growing and flourishing not only like a tree, but 
like a palm tree (which flourisheth under oppression), and 
like a cedar (not growing in ordinary places, but) in Leba- 
non, where were the goodliest cedars. ' ' 

The lectures of Caryl abound in proverbial and pithy 
sayings, which are scattered in rich profusion through the 
whole work, many of which appear in the selections here 
made. The Exposition, which is a monument of his genius 
and piety — and, many would say, of his folly — though volu- 
minous and full of repetitions and often prolix, is still a vast 
treasury of sound and learned criticism, of able and sug- 
gestive comments, and of pious and profitable reflections. 
It is too vast for any man to undertake to read through. 
Yet every page on which the eye rests contains some wise 
and pithy sentiment which may well be remembered, and 
often may serve as a subject for long and serious study. 
As a commentar3 7 on the Scriptures it is eminently thorough 
and scholarly ; as a system of theology it is sound and com- 


plete ; and as a work of practical and experimental religion 
it is exceedingly rich and instructive. It is marvellous with 
what readiness and skill the learned author has pressed in 
other portions of the holy Scriptures to explain and illus- 
trate the text of Job. His Exposition is indeed a thorough 
commentary upon the Bible. 

In each volume there is an Index of Texts, used for his 
illustrations of the Book of Job. These indices extend 
over five or six pages each, with three closed-printed 
columns to each page. Frequently there is to be met a 
full and rich exposition of the texts thus quoted, serving 
to throw fresh light upon them in their new relations, 
bringing clearly to light the gospel in that most ancient of 
the biblical writings, and making thus a valuable com- 
mentary upon the whole of the sacred volume. This vast 
work is too voluminous ever to be reproduced from the 
press ; nor, perhaps, is it desirable that it should be. Yet 
there is a mine of precious thoughts which will well repay 
the exploration on the part of those who have access 
thereto. There are valuable suggestions which will give 
to the thoughtful food for contemplation and subjects for in- 
vestigation. There are instructions for the advanced Chris- 
tian, comforting words for the afflicted, and clear and vivid 
statements of gospel doctrine which all may read with profit. 

The collation and arrangement of the few out of many 
thoughts which are here brought together has been a work 
full of pleasure and profit. If it shall prove so to others, 
the labour expended thereon will not have been in vain. 

J. E. R. 

Edgewater, Staten Island, October, 1868. 


The main subject of the Book of Job is contained in one 
verse of the 34th Psalm : " Many are the afflictions of the 
righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." 
Two questions are handled and disputed fully and clearly : 

1st. Whether it doth consist with the justice and good- 
ness of God to afflict a righteous and sincere person, to 
strip him naked, to take away all his outward comfort; or 
whether it doth consist with the goodness and justice of 
God that it should go ill with those that are good and well 
with those that are evil. 

2d. Whether we may judge of the righteousness or un- 
righteousness, of the sincerity or hypocrisy, of any person 
by the outward dealings and present dispensations of God 
toward him. 

The whole argument or dispute of the friends of Job may 
be reduced to this one syllogism : " He that is afflicted, and 
greatly afflicted, is certainly a great, open sinner or a noto- 
rious hypocrite." But Job, thou art afflicted, and greatly 
afflicted — therefore, certainly thou art, if not a great, open 
sinner, a notorious hypocrite. Besides this, there are many 
discourses falling in collaterally which concur to make up 
the subject of the book. 



1st. We have the character of a discreet and faithful 
master and father in a family. 

2d. We have the character of a faithful, zealous and just 

3d. We have a great discovery made in the secrets of 

4th. Here are discourses of Christian morals, of the du- 
ties of equity from man to man, of the duties of piety which 
man oweth to God, and of the duties of sobriety and tem- 
perance toward himself. 

Lastly, here are many discoveries made of God in him- 
self and his attributes — in his power, wisdom, justice, good- 
ness and faithfulness. In a word, this book is a summary 
of all knowledge, human and divine. 

Respecting the division of this book, we may regard it — 

1st. As a dialogue, having eight collocutors or speakers; 

2d. As a disputation, with opponents, respondents and a 

3d. We may divide the book into three parts, and so it 
sets forth — 1st, Job's happy condition; 2d, his calamity; 
3d, his restoration. 

As for the scope or use of this book — 

First. It aims at our instruction, and that in divers things : 

1st. It instructs us how to handle a cross ; how to behave 
ourselves when we are in a conflict, whether outward or in- 
ward ; what the postures of the spiritual war are, and with 
what patience we ought to bear the hand of God and his 
dealings with us. 

2d. God would have us learn that afflictions come not hy 


chance — that the} 7 are all ordered by Providence, in the 
matter, in the manner and in the measure. 

3d. Another thing we are to learn from this book is this: 
the sovereignty of God — that he hath power over us, over 
our estates, our bodies, our families and our spirits ; that 
he may use us as he pleases, and we must be quiet under 
his hand ; when he cometh and will take from us all our 
comforts, we must give all glory to him. This book is 
written for this especially, to teach us the sovereignty of 
G od and the submission of the creature. 

4th. It teaches us that God doth sometimes afflict his 
children out of prerogative ; that though there be no sin in 
them, which he makes the occasion of afflicting them, yet 
for the exercise of his grace in them, for the trial of their 
graces and to set them up for patterns to the world, God 
may and doth afflict them. Though no man be without sin, 
yet the afflictions of many are not for their sins. 

5th. There is this general instruction which God would 
have us learn out of this book — that the most justly-pos- 
sessed and best-secured estate in outward things is uncer- 
tain ; that is, there is no trusting to any creature comforts. 

6th. God would show his people the strength and stabil- 
ity of faith. How unconquerable it is — what a kind of om- 
ni potency there is in grace ! God would have all the world 
take notice of this in the Book of Job, that a godly person 
is in vain assaulted by friends or enemies, by men or devils, 
by wants or wounds ; though he be even benighted in his 
spirit, though God himself take away the light of his counte- 
nance from him. yet God would have us learn and know that 
over all these a true believer is more than conqueror. For 


here is one of the greatest battles fought that ever was be- 
tween man and man, between man and hell, yea, between 
God and man ; yet Job went away with the victory. True, 
grace is often assaulted ; it never was or ever shall be over- 

7th. This also we may learn — that God never leaves or 
forsakes his totally or finally. 

8th. Lastly, the book teaches us that the judgments 
of God are often secret, but they are never unjust; that 
though the creature be unable to give a reason of them, 
yet there is an infinite reason for them. These are the 
general uses from the general scope and intendment of the 
book by way of instruction. 

Secondly. This book serves to convince and reprove — 

1st. That slander of worldly men and of Satan, who say 
that the people of God serve him for their own end. 

2d. It is to convince and reprove all those who judge of 
the spiritual estate of those that are under the hand of God 
in sore afflictions by some unbecoming and rash speeches 
which may fall from them in the time of these their con- 
flicts when troubles and sufferings are upon them. 

3d. To convince and confute those who judge of men's 
spiritual estates by God's dealing with them in their out- 
ward estates. 

4th. To convince and confute that cursed opinion that a 
man may fall finally and totally away from grace and from 
the favour of God. God hath showed by this history that 
such an opinion is a lie. Certainly God would have all the 
world know that free grace will uphold his for ever. 

5th. To convince all those of pride and extreme presump- 


tion who think to find out and to trace the secrets of God's 
counsels, the secrets of God's eternal decrees, the secrets 
of all his works of providence; whereas God showeth them 
in this book that they are not able to find out or compre- 
hend his ordinary works ; they are not able to comprehend 
the works of creation : how are they able then to find out 
the counsels of God in his decrees and purposes and judg- 

Thirdly. There is much for consolation — 

1st. That all things do work for the good of those that 
love God. 

2d. That no temptation shall ever take hold of us but 
such as God will either make us able to have, or make a 
way of escape out of it. We can be in no condition cast so 
low but the hand of God can reach us, find us, send in de- 
liverance and raise us up again. 

Lastly. There are two general exhortations — 

1st. We are exhorted to the meditation and admiration 
of the power and wisdom of God from all the creatures. 

2d. To glorify God in every condition, to have good 
thoughts of God, to speak good words for God in every 
condition. We are drawn to this by considering how Job 
(though sometimes in vehemency of spirit he overshot him- 
self, yet he recovers again and again) breathes sweetly con- 
cerning God, showing that his spirit was full of sweetness 
toward God, even when God was writing bitter things 
against him, as when he saith, "Though he kill me, yet 
will I trust in him ; ' ' than which nothing could express a 
more holy or submissive frame of heart in reference to the 
dealings of God with him. 

Seed Thoughts, 


ABUNDANCE cannot satisfy. He only is well 
who hath enough, and he is best who hath (in 
temporals) the least, enough. 

A MAN doth not live more days, nor more 
cheerfully any day, because he lives plen- 

AS there are some graces of a Christian which 
come not to trial till we are in want, so there 
are other graces which come not to trial till we 
have abundance. Want trieth our patience and 
our dependence upon God, and abundance trieth 
our temperance, our humility, our liberality, yea, 
and our dependence upon and faith in God for the 
sanctifying blessing and making comfortable to us, 
which we have. — Job xxii. 28. 

2 17 



T is hard to abound in riches and not to trust in 


O see man rich in purse and poor in spirit is a 
great wonder. 

THE godly do not please themselves that they 
have much good laid up for many years in 
their own stock, in their lands, in their houses, in 
their purses, in their shops ; but they please them- 
selves that they have good laid up for many years, 
yea, for eternity, in the promises of God. 

SOME of the choice servants of God have been 
afraid, when they have seen much of the world 
come in, lest God should put them off with such 
worldly things; when their table hath been full of 
fatness and dainties, when they have had houses 
and lands, gold and silver plenty, they have been 
troubled lest God should say to them, " There is 
your all." It is said of Luther, when he had a 
considerable present sent to him from a great prince 
(the duke of Saxony, I remember), this came from 
his heart : " I hope God will not put me off with 
these things. With gifts from princes I shall be 


hungry as long as I live if I have nothing to feed 
upon but what is of the world, and poor as long 
as I live if I have no other treasure but what is 
earthly ;" and thereupon protested he would not be 
satisfied with the best things of this word, though 
content with anything. 



GODLY man is (as we may say) one of God's 

THOUGH God doth not refuse acquaintance 
with many poor souls when their necessities 
drive them to him, yet it is best to acquaint our- 
selves with him for the love we bear to him or the 
desire we have to enjoy him, rather than for the 
need we have of him. 

TILL we do acquaint ourselves with God we can 
have no peace with him. 

OUR daily holy walking is a daily acquainting 
ourselves with God ; every step of a holy life 
is both toward and with God. 



OD is ready to give peace, or to be at peace with 
those that acquaint themselves with him. 


SIN hath made a breach ; there needs a Mediator 
to heal it. God and sinful man are two, and 
they cannot be made one but by a third. Christ 
appears for us in heaven (Heb. ix. 24). He ap- 
pears as an attorney in court for his client. 

C HEIST is very ready to speak for and plead 
the cause of poor sinners before God his Father. 
Christ is easy to be entreated ; he is found of them 
that seek him not ; then surely he will be found of 
those that seek him. 

WE are sure all shall go well with us in the 
court of heaven while we have Christ our Ad- 
vocate with the Father. And that we may have 
fulness of confidence to come to God by Christ, let 
us consider these five things : 

1st. Christ is most wise to manage our cause — 
so wise that he is the wisdom of the Father. 

2d. Christ is an eloquent Advocate, a powerful 


Orator. As no man ever spake like him to man, 
so no man ever spake like him to God. 

3d. Christ is a faithful Advocate. His interces- 
sion is a part of his priestly office. We have a 
faithful High Priest, therefore a faithful Advocate. 

4th. Christ is a merciful Advocate. He lays our 
cause to heart ; our cause is his cause. He hath 
espoused the interests of his people, and does all 
upon his own account. Christ had an ability of 
sufficiency to be merciful to us as God, though he 
had never been made like unto us by becoming 
man, but he had not that ability (as some speak) 
of idoneity or fitness to be merciful. His being 
made like unto us hath given him a double idoneity 
for the tenderness of his heart toward us. First, 
in that he himself suffered, being tempted; his 
passions in the flesh w T ere great. Secondly, in that 
himself suffers still in all our temptations ; his 
compassions with our flesh are great. Now an ad- 
vocate who either hath had a trouble of experience 
in his ow r n person, or is full of the sense of his cli- 
ent's trouble, will certainly do his utmost to relieve 
him, because in his relief himself is relieved also. 

5th. Christ is the favourite of the Judge; it is a 
great advantage to have one pleading for us at the 
bar who is a favourite of the bench. Christ is 


highly in favour with the bench. God hath testi- 
fied from heaven, " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased." The Judge is our Ad- 
vocate, Friend and Father. 

Lastly, that we may be well assured that he will 
do his utmost for us, our Advocate calls us his 
friends. As the Judge is his friend before whom 
he pleads, so every saint is his friend for whom he 
pleads. Some will do more for friendship than for 
a fee. We know it is so w T ith Jesus Christ ; he 
pleads for his people because they are his friends. 
This, Job makes use of here : " He will plead for a 
man with God and the son of man for his friend." 
As if Job had said, " I know that I have a friend 
in Christ, and Christ looks on me as his friend, 
and therefore I have highest confidence that he 
will plead my cause and take off this scandal." — 
Job xvi. 21. 

THE Mediator between God and man hath been 
known in all ages under a twofold nature — both 
God and man. 


11 HE good which others do by our advice and 
- counsel is reckoned as done by ourselves. 


IT is a wise course in advising others to show 
ourselves ready to follow the same advice. It 
was a speech of one of the ancients, " I never taught 
my people anything but what I had first practiced 
and experimented myself." Doctrine is sooner fol- 
lowed by the eye than by the ear. He that, like 
the Pharisees, saith and doeth not, shall find but 
few to do what he saith. It is very sinful to give 
counsel which we will not take. Our works ought 
to be the practice of our words, and as practicable 
as our words. Woe unto those of whom it may be 
said, as Christ of the Pharisees (Matt, xxiii. 3), 
" Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe 
and do, but do not ye after their works." — Job v. 8. 

IT wins exceedingly upon others to take our coun- 
sel when it appears we are ready to follow the 

(COUNSEL ourselves. It puts strength into a 
^ rule when he that gives it is ready to enliven 
it by his own practice. 

COUNSEL is the extract of reason, both about 
what we are to do or leave undone. 



ASTINESS in counsel always makes waste, 
and so doth hastiness in action. 

THEY who will not take time to consult about 
what they do may have time enough to repent 
of what they have done. 


AFFLICTION is the trial and touchstone of sin- 
cerity. When God doth afflict you, then he 
doth bring you to the touchstone to see whether 
you are good metal or no ; he doth bring you then 
to the furnace to try whether you be dross or gold. 
Affliction is the great discoverer that unmasks us. 
Some will hold on with God as long as the sun 
shineth, as long as it is fair weather. But if the 
storm arise, if troubles come — whether personal or 
public— then they pull in their heads, then they 
deny and forsake God, then they draw back from 
and betray his truth. While religion and prosperity 
go together, it is hard to say which a man follows ; 
but when once they are forced to a separation, 
where the heart was will soon be manifest. — Job 
i. 11. 


AFFLICTIONS send the people of God home to 
God. "Then Job fell down and worshipped." 
Afflictions are a great advantage to the servants of 
God ; for when the world frowns most, then they 
beg most for the smiles of God ; when the world is 
strange to them and will not look on them, then 
they get more familiarity and close communion 
with God. When God is striking, then Job is 
praying ; when God is afflicting, then Job falls to 
worshipping. Grace makes every condition work 
glory to God, and God makes every condition work 
good to them who have grace. — Job i. 20. 

IF we bless God in our afflictions, then our afflic- 
tions are blessings unto us. We have so much 
blessing in our afflictions as we can bless God for 
our afflictions. Here is an heavenly alchemy : 
Whatsoever affliction you touch with blessing God, 
you turn that affliction to a blessing. If you have 
an iron yoke of affliction upon you, do but touch it 
w^ith blessing God, it turneth it into gold. When 
you have a heavy cross upon you, ready to weigh 
►you down, do but touch it with this word from the 
heart, and it makes it as a crown of glory upon 
your head. — Job i. 21. 


TT^HEN God afflideth us with sufferings we ought 
* * to afflict ourselves, to humble our souls for sin. 
Smarting times are good repenting times, and world- 
ly sorrow should get the company of godly sorrow. 
It is not safe to be alone with worldly sorrow that 
works death ; but if we mingle a few tears for sin 
and our unkindness to Christ with these tears, then 
they will refresh us. No question but Job at this 
time (of his affliction) fell a-searching of his heart 
and a-trying of his ways, renewing his repentance 
and assuring of his peace with God.. When afflic- 
tions cause us to return thus within our own hearts, 
they have then a secret influence, a blessed opera- 
tion upon us. — Job i. 20. 

ACROSS without a Christ never made any man 
better, but with Christ all are made better by 
the cross. 

NATURALLY every man seeks the reason of 
his sorrows and afflictions out of himself. 
When man is afflicted, he is not willing to own him- 
self as the cause of his afflictions, or to acknowledge 
that they spring from his sin. — Job v. 6. 


AFFLICTIONS come from God. When God 
gives, it is an act of bounty, and when he 
takes, it is an act of justice, for he is sovereign 
Lord in both. Every evil of affliction or of trou- 
ble is said to be the Lord's doing, because it cannot 
be done without the Lord. Wicked men in all 
their plots and all their successes are either the rod 
of God to chasten his people for their sins, or else 
they are God's furnace to try his people's graces 
and purge them from their sins. Hence we should 
in all our afflictions look beyond the creature. In 
all the evils we either feel or fear, let our hearts be 
carried up unto God. — Job i. 20. 

GOLD is never wronged by being tried, 


T is not correction, but the hand of God in it and 
with it, which makes us happy. 

WHEN God lays the rod of correction upon his 
child, he aims at the purging out of his sin, 
at the preventing of his sin, at the revealing of a 
fatherly displeasure against him for sin. 


EVERY affliction is a messenger from God. It 
hath somewhat to say to us from heaven, and 
God will not bear it if his messenger be despised 
how much soever. 

WHEN God lays his hand upon us, he would 
have us lay it to our hearts. Some err by 
neglecting the hand of God as light, and others by 
fainting under it as too heavy. As a good heart 
takes notice of or will not despise a little the least 
comfort, so it will take notice of and not despise 
the least cross. 

A FFLICTIONS are but the higher services and 


employments of grace, 

AFFLICTIONS, blessed and made effectual by 
God, make a gracious change in man. How 
many ignorant men have, with correction, received 
instruction ! How many proud men been made 
humble, and of carnal spiritual ! How many unruly 
spirits have been brought in compass, and stubborn 
ones subdued with a rod ! The rod and the word 
work miracles when God works with them. — Job 
xi. 12. 


GOD takes the most eminent and choicest of his 
servants for the choicest and most eminent 
afflictions. They who have received most grace 
from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. 

AFFLICTION doth not hit the saints by chance, 
but by direction. God doth not draw his bow 
at a venture. Every one of his arrows goes upon 
a special errand, and touches no breast but that 
against whom it was sent. It is not only the grace 
but the glory of a believer when he can stand as a 
butt-mark and take affliction quietly. 

A GODLY man may see two things in the 
heaviest strokes of his affliction, which may 
provoke him to thanksgiving — at least which may 
stop him from all immoderate complaining. First, 
that God hath a respect to his good in his heaviest 
afflictions, and that the issue shall certainly be good 
to him ; and secondly, that how heavy soever his 
stroke is, his sin hath deserved a heavier, and that 
God could have made it heavier, even his little 
finger heavier upon him than his loins have been. — 
Job xxiii. 2. 


A LL the afflictions of this life are less than our 
-^ sins. 

AFFLICTION is called a rod because of the 
smart of it, in regard to the hand that useth it 
and the end for which it is sent. 

AFFLICTION doth not separate from Christ. 
When Job could call nothing in or of the 
world his, he could call Christ his; though he 
could not say, My health, my strength, my riches, 
my friends, my beauty — for all these had departed 
from him — yet he could say, My Redeemer, for 
Christ was not departed from him. This was 
Paul's assurance and the triumph of his faith (Ro- 
mans viii. 35). Unless saints were conquered, yea, 
unless Christ himself were conquered, they cannot 
be separated from Christ. — Job xix. 25. 

WHEN prayer is sent out with a cry to God in 
affliction, it is a wonder if it be not presently 
heard. As affliction puts us upon crying to God, 
so crying puts God upon doing for us. 



AJNTS have affliction days, and the wicked an 
eternity of affliction. 

WE can never be brought so low by any afflic- 
tion or disease but God can bring us up again. 
How easily can God command a resurrection from 
affliction who can command it from the grave! 
And therefore he, by a resurrection from the grave, 
represented to Ezekiel the resurrection of his people 
Israel from their affliction. Both or all things are 
alike easy to Him to whom nothing is hard. — Job 
xxx. 19. 


S frost and cold kill the weeds and worms which 
-£*- eat the roots and hinder the growth of herbs, 
corn and plants, so afflictions kill our lusts — those 
worms and weeds that breed and grow 7 in our hearts, 
always hindering the fruit-fulness, sometimes to the 
utter unfruitfulness, of the seed of the Word sown 
among us and upon us. So when we are in the 
winter of affliction let us not be impatient nor 
unquiet; let us not think that the past will ruin 
and undo us. Cold weather doeth good as well as 
hot. — Job xxxviii. 28. 


THE scope of God in the afflictions of his people 
is not their hurt, but good; it is not to destroy 
them for their sin, but to destroy sin in them ; it is 
not to withdraw himself from them, but to draw 
them nearer to himself. All the hurt that the 
Lord intends us by any affliction is but to get 
out our dross and to fetch out our filth— to bring us 
from those things that will undo and ruin us for 
ever. And how great an argument of the goodness 
of God is it that he designeth the evils which we 
suffer in these dying bodies to heal the evils and 
help on the good of our immortal souls ! That's all 
the hurt that the Lord means us. And the Lord's 
heart is so much in this design (the return of those 
he afflicts from their iniquity) that he seems confi- 
dent of it that when they are in affliction surely 
they will return. And therefore the prophet 
(Isaiah ix. 10) speaks of the Lord as defeated and 
disappointed of his purpose when he seeth such as 
he has afflicted continuing in their sins. Remem- 
ber, the Lord therefore suffers you to be bound in 
fetters that you may be loosed from your sins ; he 
therefore suffers you to be hoklen in the cords of 
affliction that you might let go your transgressions. 
Take heed you be not found disappointing him of 
his purpose. — Job xxx. 10. 



OD doth usually reveal himself most to his 
people after great sufferings. 

GRACE never grows more in a gracious heart 
than in a day of trouble. 

A BELIEVER thrives (as to the inner man) in 
affliction, how much soever he loseth and goeth 
backward as a man. 

BLESSED afflictions, which make us less to 
ourselves and all creatures less to us ! We are 
never so much in God's eye as when we are least 
in our own, nor have we ever so much of God as 
when we expect little or least from man. Say, 
therefore, it is well with the righteous when they 
are in the deeps of affliction ; for it is but to bring 
them off their mountain of pride, that they may be 
exalted in the strength and love of God, even upon 
the mountains of his holiness and their glory for 

AFFLICTIONS (as in the prodigal's example) 
put us upon thoughts of returning to God. 


AFFLICTIONS bring the saints nearer to God. 
Troubles abroad cause the soul to look inward 
and homeward. 

IT is our duty to pray most, and usually we pray 
best, when 'tis worst with us ; when we are nigh 
the mire and dust, prayer is not only most season- 
able, but most pure. 


BRIBE-TAKING hands are blotted hands, not 
only because to take bribes is a blot, but be- 
cause the taking of them makes many a blot both 
in the mind of the taker and in the matter or busi- 
ness which he undertaketh. 

A TRAVELLER coming to Rome, and viewing 
many famous structures and goodly houses 
there, asked who built them? It was answered, 
" These are the sins of Germany." The meaning 
was, the money bought for pardons out of Germany 
built these houses. So we may say of many fair 
places and goodly dwellings, These are bribes and 
oppressions ; such a man built these by iniquity. 


HOME have built houses with what they have 
^ gotten by bribes, and many, by taking bribes, 
have gotten enough to build houses. 

BRIBES may build houses, but bribe-takers can- 
not protect them. The tabernacles of bribery 
shall be consumed. — Job xv. 34. 


ANY give bribes to undo others, and all who 
receive bribes undo themselves. 


CHARITIES done in faith as a holy offering to 
God produce a sure increase. To give with a 
right heart to the poor is the best w r ay of growing 

CHARITY, especially spiritual charity, is very 
liberal and open-hearted. Job instructed not 
only his own, but he instructed others. He did 
not confine his doctrine and advice to his own walls, 
but the sound thereof went wherever he went. He 
instructed many. 


THERE are four special acts of spiritual charity ; 
so we may call and extinguish them. First, 
instructing the ignorant; secondly, encouraging of 
the weak and slothful ; thirdly, supporting of those 
that are ready to fall ; and, fourthly, comforting 
those that are ready to faint. — Job iv. 1. 

IT is a duty of those that are full to give to their 
empty brethren. It is their sin if they give 
not, and it is their shame if they are not most free 
in giving to those who are most modest in asking. 


CHASTISEMENTS are usually taken for those 
afflictions which God layeth upon his own chil- 
dren. He layeth judgment upon the wicked and 
punishments upon the ungodly, but properly and 
strictly that which falls upon his own people is 
called chastisement. 

CHASTISEMENT is for amendment. The evil 
of affliction is brought upon us that we may 
take heed of and turn from the evil of sin. There- 
fore, to go on offending while God is chastening is 
to add rebellion to our sin. 


THE chastisements of God upon us are our doc- 
uments. He speaketh by the rod beyond all 
the eloquence of words (Micah vi. 9). Hear ye the 
rod. The voice of God is his rod ; that speaks so 
loud from heaven in many strokes that the pro- 
fanest sinners are sometimes forced to hear and ac- 
knowledge it. 

THE cross is a school in which they who are dull 
in hearing what God speaks to them in his 
word are wonderfully quickened up by his rod. 
" The words of the wise are as goads ;" and surely 
these goads of affliction are pricking, piercing words 
for the promoting and putting on of a lazy soul in 
God's work. — Job xxxiii. 19. 

FEW hear when they are spoken to until they 
feel as well as hear ; and therefore the Lord 
first sends them into trouble that they may hear, 
and having by that means opened their ears to hear, 
he brings them out of trouble, When we are truly 
humbled by affliction we are near deliverance from 
affliction. The plaster must be kept on till the 
wound be healed. The Lord will not leave off 
scourging or correcting his people till he hath 


brought them to such a posture that they are lit 
for mercy. 

THE godly never increase more in knowledge 
than under the cross. 


CHRIST doth not only plead our cause for us, 
but pays our debts. He entered into bond for 
us, and took all our debts and duties, whatsoever 
we owe to God, upon himself, to see all performed, 
that we might go free and accepted. — Job xvii. 3. 

TO a soul in bitterness everything is bitter except 
Christ, and to a darkened soul no sun shines 
bright but the Sun of Righteousness. 

AS the needle in the compass is in continual mo- 
tion till it points toward the north, where (it 
is conceived) there are rocks of loadstone with 
which it sympathizeth, so the soul is in continual 
motion until it points to Christ, who (we are sure) 
is that living Rock with which all believers sym- 
pathize, and the true loadstone which attracts all 
believers to him. — Job iii. 3. 


A GODLY man is an epicure in Christ. In the 
thoughts of Christ he sits clown and would 
take his fill. He saith to his soul, Dost thou see 
that Christ and take notice of these promises? 
Thou hast goods laid up in him, in them for many 
years, yea, for eternity. Soul, take thine ease ; take 
it fully ; thou hast riches, thou hast an estate that 
can never be spent. Soul, eat, drink and be merry. 
His flesh is meat indeed and his blood is drink in- 
deed. Joy in Christ is joy indeed — unspeakable 
joy here, and fulness of joy hereafter. 

CHRIST is not only the principle of holiness, but 
also the pattern of holiness to his people. 
They that say they abide in him must walk as also 
he walked. His works (except those which were 
miraculous and works of mediation between God 
and us) are our rule as well as his Word. Look to 
Jesus when you are in sufferings and have a race 
of patience to run ; let your eye always be upon 
Christ, and draw the lines of your carriage, both in 
your spirits and outward actions, according to what 
you see in him. We must follow his steps both in 
the matter and manner of our sufferings. There- 
fore Christ saith, " Take my yoke upon you, and 
learn of me." — Job v. 1. 


CHRIST saves to the uttermost because he suf- 
fered to the uttermost. He was not spared one 
blow, one drop, one sigh, one sorrow, one shame, 
one circumstance of all or any one of those which 
Justice could demand as a satisfaction for man's 
sin. Yea, though (in a sense) he cried to his Father 
that he might be spared, yet he was not. 

THERE is no stability in any state out of Christ. 
When Adam fell, if God should have repaired 
him again and set him up in the same condition 
wherein he was, yea in a better (if a better could 
be had), without a Mediator, and so tried his obe- 
dience once more; or should every particular man 
have stood for himself and not one for all, cer- 
tainly, as we fell at first in a lump all together, so 
we should have all fallen single (as it w T ere), by re- 
tail, one for another ! There is no assurance on any 
estate this side Christ. Christ is called the "surety 
of the covenant," because he undertakes for us that 
we shall do our parts, that we shall be faithful and 
believing, that we shall be holy and humble, that 
we shall do what God expects from those whom 
free grace shall save. Christ undertakes for all the 
grace and holiness and faithfulness which is re- 


quired in believers. He gives no command but 
what himself helps us to fulfil, nor calls he for any 
duty but what himself works in and for us. — Job 
iv. 18. 

LET us be much in remembrance of Christ hum- 
bling and abasing himself for us. What can kill 
pride if the humblings of Christ do not? Oh how 
many of us school and catechise our souls with the 
remembrance of Christ in his abasements ! What an 
humble Christ and a proud Christian, an humble 
Master and a proud disciple! Did Christ empty 
himself and make himself of no reputation, and 
shall we who are but emptiness be lifted up with a 
reputation of ourselves, with a reputation which 
others have of us? Did he abase himself to the 
form of a servant, and shall we lift up ourselves as 
if we reigned as kings? He humbled himself and 
became obedient to the death of the cross, and what 
have we to glory in but the cross of our Lord Jesus 
Christ? Think often and much of the humblings 
of Christ, and then you will think of yourselves as 
mere nothings. This is the most effectual means 
through the Spirit to bring down the swellings 
of the heart and to hide pride from man. — Job 
xxxiii. 17. 


SINNERS under a fourfold consideration may 
hide themselves in Christ: 1st, if humbled, 
sinners ; 2d, if confessing sinners ; 3d, ff reforming 
sinners ; 4th, if believing sinners. Christ is a 
hiding-place to all such sinners. — Job xxxiv. 32. 


(CONFIDENCE is an act beyond faith ; a soul 
' confiding walks in a higher region of grace and 
comfort than a soul believing; there may be believ- 
ing when there is not this confiding. As patience 
is hope lengthened, so confidence is hope strength- 
ened. Assurance is the highest degree of faith, 
and confidence is the highest degree of assurance. 
It carries with it — first, cheerfulness, opposite to sor- 
row ; secondly, courage, opposite to fear and des- 
pondency of spirit ; thirdly, boldness and adven- 
turousness, opposite to cowardice. Confidence 
having a good cause and a good call, will take a 
bear by the tooth or a lion by the beard. Fourth- 
ly, it notes boasting, or a kind of a spiritual wise 
bragging, opposite to sinful modesty or a conceal- 
ment of what God hath done for us. Or take it 
thus : confidence is the noblest exercise of faith, 
which, looking steadily upon God in himself, and 


in Christ through the promises, raises the soul 
above all fears and discouragements, above all 
doubts and disquietments, either about the remov- 
ing of evil or the obtaining of good. Hence, con- 
fidence is called the rest of the soul ; therefore such 
as attain to confidence are said to be in peace, in per- 
fect "peace (Isaiah xxvi. 3). And this act of confi- 
dence or trust is proper and peculiar to God ; no 
creature must share in it. This is worship com- 
manded in the first precept. Whatsoever we con- 
fide in, unless it be in subordination unto God, we 
make it our god. And it is one of the highest 
acts of the soul, not only as we respect the taking 
in our own comforts, but also the giving out glory 
to God. This confidence is well coupled with holy 
fear; the more we fear God, the more we trust him. 
Such fear is the mother and nurse of confidence ; 
but confidence is directly contrary, yea, contradic- 
tory, to carnal fear. He that trusts God indeed 
leaves both soul and body, temporal and eternal 
estate, with him, without even sending a fearful 
thought or a jealous look after either. — Job iv. 6. 

THAT'S a sad confidence that proceeds from ig- 
norance, and a sad fearlessness that hath no 
ground but carelessness. 


TRUST or confidence in God settles the heart in 
all conditions. When there was an unquiet- 
ness upon the soul of David he first questions his 
soul about it : " Why art thou disquieted, O my 
soul ?" and then directs trust in God. So the pro- 
phet promiseth (Isaiah xxvi. 3) : " Thou wilt keep 
him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee ; 
because he trusteth in thee." He that is carried 
and tossed thus about w T ith every wind of trouble 
and gust of sorrow shows he hath not cast out this 
anchor of hope upon the Rock, Jesus Christ. 

IT is a great part of the happiness of our lives to 
have a confidence or quietness of spirit about the 
things of this life ; nor is anything more uncomely 
for or uncomfortable to a saint than distrustful 
thoughts and fears. To carry a troubled mind and 
a troubling frame of spirit about us, lest some evil 
should befall us, is more grievous than the present 
suffering of evil. Distrust is one of the worst dis- 
eases or sicknesses of the mind, and to be anxious 
about our earthly enjoyments is as bad as to trust 
upon them. As our hopes should be above the 
creature, so likewise should our fears be. 



TIMES of affliction are special times of confes- 
sion and repentance. Usually in prosperity 
men will not be at leisure to search their hearts 
and take notice of their sins. Therefore the Lord 
draweth them to confession by drawing them from 
the world, by laying them upon sick beds, or by 
bringing them into straits. 

A MAN had better fall into the hands of the 
most cruel tyrants in the world than into the 
hands of his own conscience. The awakened con- 
science carries in it as a thousand witnesses, so a 
thousand terrors. 

THE holiest man on earth hath cause to confess 
that he hath sinned. 

in VERY confession of the evil we do is a new 

obligation not to do it any more. 


OLY confession of sin leads the way to gratui- 
tous pardoning of sin. 


TO dig in the earth and hide our sins in the nap- 
kin of our excuses is worse than to hide our 
talents in the napkin of our idleness. 

SOME confess sin in general terms only because 
they know not what their sins are ; or have 
quite forgot them. 


THAT man can never want music whose con- 
science speaks in concert and is harmonious 
with himself. 


GOOD conscience is the best pillow to sleep 
upon and the best dish to feed upon. 

•\JOTHING beside the blood of Christ can stop 
-L l the voice and still the cry of an awakened 

WHEN our own book of conscience has nothing 
but good in it, we need not fear and not much 
care who writes books against us. 


IT is better to have the reproaches of all the men 
in the world fall upon us than the reproaches 
of conscience. Better that all the men in the world 
should call us hypocrite and wicked than that con- 
science should tell us so. 

CONSCIENCE is a very busy faculty of the soul, 
and it hath many offices. First, conscience is 
a register, to take notice of and record what we do. 
Secondly, conscience is a witness against us when 
we do amiss. Thirdly, conscience is a judge, and 
gives sentence ; it sits upon a throne as God's dep- 
uty to award life or death. Fourthly, conscience 
has the office of a to rm enter ; it is that worm which 
dieth not and a fire that never goeth out. The 
damned shall feel the sting and teeth of conscience 
for ever, though here they have bribed it and 
blinded it that it might not trouble them. 


IN conversion, not only the acts, but the state and 
nature, of a man are changed. He who before 
was nothing but a bundle of unrighteousness, be- 
comes a righteous man ; that is, he has a righteous 
principle planted in him and abiding with him. 


BARE reason is farther from grace than sense 
is from reason. It is as easy to change a beast 
into a man, or to make a beast understand reason, 
as to change a sinner into a saint or to make a be- 
liever of an infidel. Conversion is not the change 
of actions only, but of nature. 

GOD must convert the sinner, not the preacher. 
; Tis God who both thrusteth man down by a 
gracious work of repentance and self-abhorrence, 
and raiseth him up by a powerful work of faith and 
holy confidence in Jesus Christ. When man has 
done his best, he can do nothing effectually ; only 
God can. 

A CARNAL man will never submit quietly to 
duty till God hath changed his nature and 
made him a new man, or until his mind is renewed 
after the image of God. Conversion is first a 
change of our nature and then of our way. This 
makes conversion so difficult a work. Good edu- 
cation and human instruction may change a man's 
way, but nothing less than the power of God can 
change his nature. 



NEVER brag of your good meanings, or that 
you have good hearts when your hands are 
foul. The heart may keep in its filthiness while 
the hands are washed, but if the heart be washed 
the hand will not keep its filthiness. 

IT is very possible for a man that hath a clear 
heart to foul his fingers, but he will not wear 
them foul. 

THE preparation of the heart will be seen at the 
fingers' ends ; purity of spirit cannot consist 
with impurity of life. 

THERE is no holiness in having a show of good- 
ness, but the very shows of sin are evil. 

THE two heads of religion, or the tw r o main 
hinges on which all religion turneth, are purity 
of doctrine and clearness of practice. Holiness of 
life and soundness of opinion constitute a perfect 
man. — Job xi. 4. 



rilHERE are two things which exceedingly de- 
J~ clare the holiness of a man's spirit: First, 
when he can patiently bear loads of evils and 
wrongs in his own case, or w r hich have but a pri- 
vate respect. Secondly, when he is ready to take 
fire in the cause of God. When we are angry with 
sin, we are angry and sin not. 

TT^HEN Alexander the Great met a common 
» » soldier whose name was Alexander, he said 
to him, " Be sure thou do nothing unworthy the 
name of Alexander." The apostle exhorts, "Let 
every one that nameth the name of Christ depart 
from iniquity." It is a great argument, seeing all 
who profess the gospel are called Christians from 
Christ, that therefore they should adorn that most 
worthy name by worthy walking. 

TO be plain and simple, to have a spirit without 
tricks and turnings, without knots and riddles, 
is better and more honourable than the highest 
titles of honour. Integrity is our perfection under 
the covenant of grace, and simplicity is our greatest 
excellency. 'Tis the fundamental excellency of 


God himself, and so it is of his people. That 
which is truly simple is truly perfect in its kind, 
and therefore the same word signifies both simple 
and perfect; this is the glory of grace and the grace 
of glory. How glorious are we when this precious 
stone of integrity, this spiritual Thummim fixed 
in our hearts, sparkleth in all our ways ! 

THEY who are truly humbled and touched with 
a clear sight and deep sense of their sins, will 
do whatsoever the Lord commandeth and as he 


HE only can comfort us in outward afflictions 
who can command the creature, and he only 
can comfort us in our inward grief who can con- 
vince the conscience. None can do either of these 
but God, therefore consolations are from God. 
Luther spake true, " It is easier to make a world 
than to comfort the conscience/' 

TO minister comfort to the sorrowful is a greater 
point of charity than to minister bread to the 
hungry or clothing to the naked. 


CHRIST is the true Noah. Lameeh spake of 
Noah (Gen. v. 29) : This man shall comfort us 
concerning our work and the toil of our hands. It 
was not in Noah to comfort, but as God made him 
a comfort, and he was said to comfort as a type 
of Christ. Christ is true comfort; he is comfort 
clothed in our flesh. Noah sent a dove out of the 
ark, which returned with an olive branch. Jesus 
Christ sends the Holy Ghost, who is the Com- 
forter, with the olive branch of true peace to our 
wearied souls. 

THERE are three things which should much 
comfort us in our afflictions. First, that they 
cannot last always ; they will have an end. Sec- 
ondly, that they are medicinal and healthful ; they 
are for our good while they continue upon us. 
Thirdly, we may expect that as they will surely 
have an end, so they will end comfortably. God 
will not only bring our troubles to an end, but he 
will give us sweet fruit at the end of them as a 
recompense for all our trouble. 



TO weep for those that are in hard days, to be 
grieved for those that are pinched and pinned 
with poverty, is a duty to which we are called 
under a threefold consideration : 

1st. As men, being of the self-same nature, mould 
and matter with them that are troubled or poor. 

2d. As being ourselves subject to the same spe- 
cial troubles wherewith others are troubled. 

3d. .We should compassionate the troubles of 
many as being of the same faith with us. 

HE that hath helped others out of their afflic- 
tions may probably look for pity in and help 
out of his affliction. 

THOSE who have experienced the compassions 
of God to themselves (as every gracious soul 
hath), cannot but be moved with compassion to 

EVERY helpless and comfortless soul is as an 
orphan without parents, as a widow without 
a husband. To relieve such is pure religion. 


AS it is the support and comfort of the whole 
Church, as also every believer, to remember 
that Jesus Christ bears their burdens with them, 
so it is a great stay and comfort to suffering saints 
that their fellow-brethren are affected with their 
condition and take compassion on them. 

OUR verbal compassions of the poor are poor 
things, and our tears but dry things, unless w r e 
give them bread. The heart of Christ was full of 
trouble for us that were sick and in trouble ; but 
he stayed not then ; he took care to deliver us out 
of our trouble, to cure us of our sicknesses and to 
make us happy for ever. He did not only pity us 
in our poverty, but took a course to make us rich 
and to set us up in a good and plentiful estate again. 

A TRUE friend can hardly be discovered in 
prosperity, and a false friend can hardly be 
hid in adversity. 

WE have not done our duty in pitying the dis- 
tressed unless we come to real assisting them. 
We satisfy not our obligation to the bond and law 


of love by giving comfortable words. As that faith 
which is alone without works doth not justify us, 
so the pity which is alone without works doth not 
justify our faith. Such empty pity will go for 
little better than cruelty, and not to help will be 
interpreted oppression. 


EXPERIENCE is the mistress of truth. Truth 
is called the daughter of time, because experi- 
ence bringeth forth many truths and the w r ord of 
God is made visible in the works of God. In ex- 
periences the promises of God stand forth, and in 
experiences the threaten ings of God stand forth and 
show themselves. All the experiences that we have 
in the world are only so many exemplifications of 
the truths contained in the promises or threaten- 
ings of the word. — Job v. 3. 

THE experience we have of God's power and 
mercy in saving us out of former troubles breeds 
and nourishes hope against future times of trouble. 
Tribulation worketh patience, and patience experi- 


ence, and experience hope. Graces have a genera- 
tion one from another, though all have but one 
generation from Christ at once. We have here the 
genealogy of hope in their descents. Experience is 
the next or immediate parent of hope. So the poor 
hath hope. Thus it is begotten. God who doth 
deliver us from so great a death, and doth deliver, 
in him we trust, that he will yet deliver us. An 
armed, daring Goliath should be looked upon as 
vanquished already when we can but remember a 
vanquished lion and bear. — Job v. 16. 


THERE are five things belonging to a daysman 
or an umpire : 

1. He must be agreed upon and chosen by both 
parties ; for unless he be accepted by both of them, 
he can have no power to determine for or against 
either of them. 

2. He must hear both sides speak, and allege 
what they can for themselves before he determines. 

3. He must beat out the matter by interrogato- 
ries and questions ; he must not stay upon the bare 
narrative of the persons. 


4. He must have power to conclude and deter- 
mine of the differences between them. 

5. Both parties must be bound, at least by prom- 
ise, to stand to the determination which he shall 

There is indeed a Daysman betwixt God and man, 
but God himself hath appointed him. God hath 
referred the difference betwixt himself and man 
unto Jesus Christ; and his own good-will and free 
grace moving him thereunto, he stands engaged in 
the bonds of everlasting truth and faithfulness to 
perform what Jesus Christ, as Mediator, should 
ask for us. Unto him we may safely commit our 
cause and our souls with that assurance of the 
apostle (2 Tim. i. 12), "I know whom I have 
believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep 
that which I have committed unto him against that 
day." Christ, God-man, is umpire between God 
and man. What we trust him with shall not mis- 
carry ; he will make our cause good and our per- 
sons acceptable before God in that great day. — Job 
ix. 33. 



PiLEEP is a short death, and death is but a long 
K-- sleep. 

WHEN the saints die, they have a change and 
no change, as a worthy among us once said 
when he was ready to die, "I shall change my 
place, but not my company. I shall have a new 
house, but my old society." The saints converse 
with God; they live with God while they live in 
the world ; they converse with Christ and have 
communion with the Spirit; they converse (among 
men) chiefly with good men on earth; and with all 
these they shall have converse in heaven. Here is 
no change. Yet the saints have a great change, 
and a blessed one, when they die. They change 
from all outward evils — all their troubles shall be 
removed ; they change also from spiritual evils — 
all their corruptions shall remove; there shall not 
be so much as any sin or any remnant of sin re- 
maining in them when they remove from hence. 
Here is a happy change. Yea, they shall have not 
only no sin within them, but no temptation with- 
out them ; no Satan to tempt, as well as no corrup- 
tion to side with temptation. — Job xiv. 14. 



HE saints receive their call to death as a call to 

-*- rest; and though the body for awhile lie down 
in the dust, yet they know what is prepared for the 
soul, and when they two meet together again both 
shall be called to an everlasting rest. — Job xiv. 15. 

TY\0 have death, the king of terrors, and the living, 
J- the ever-living God, falling upon a poor crea- 
ture at once, is a ten thousand deaths at once. 

THAT which makes a man die with true courage 
and step with holy boldness into the grave is 
believingly to remember that Jesus Christ died and 
lay in the grave, not only before us, but for us, and 
that he hath worsted and conquered that king of 
terrors upon his own ground, the grave. 

DEATH is good to those that are good. Death 
carries them beyond the reach of affliction, and 
freeth them from all the evils of this life. 

THEY who live like the wicked shall die like 
the wicked, and live with them — if theirs may 
be called a life — for evermore. 


SOME translate death into such terrible shapes, 
and represent it to themselves under such af- 
frighting forms, that they live in bondage through 
the fear of death all their days. Do as the Spirit 
of God teacheth you. Clothe it with pleasant ex- 
pressions ; call it the undressing and unclothing of 
of yourselves ; call it rest ; conceive it under the 
notion of sleep, and then you will not fear, but wel- 
come it. — Job xiv. 12. 


IT^ALSE and carnal spirits will express a great 
deal of desire after salvation. Oh they like 
salvation, heaven and glory well, but they never 
express any longing desire after God and Jesus 
Christ. They love salvation, but they care not for 
a Saviour. Now that which faith pitcheth most 
upon is God himself: he shall be my salvation ; 
let me have him, and there's salvation enough. It 
pleased holy David more (Ps. xviii. 1, 2) that God 
was his strength than that God gave him strength 
— that God was his deliverer than that he was de- 
livered. It pleased David and it pleases all saints 
more that God is their salvation (whether temporal 
or eternal) than that he saves them. — Job xiii. 16. 


AS it is the spirit of sinfulness to delight in sin, 
so it is the spirit of godliness to delight in 

THEY who have seen and tasted how gracious 
the Lord is, will be calling for more such sights 
and tastes ; and the more they have had of these 
sights and tastes, the more they will desire them. 
As it is the property of a godly man to delight in 
God, so he doth promise, yea, assure himself, of 
more delights in God could lie but get and keep his 
heart more to the meditation of God. 


THE Lord can deliver us as often as we need de- 
liverance; in six troubles, yea, in seven. This 
should bear up our hearts in the multiplied returns 
of troubles. Though (as rheumatic old age is de- 
scribed, Eccles. xii. 2) the clouds return after the 
rain — that is, though one evil follows or treads 
upon the heel of another — though as soon as one 
black cloud 'is dissolved and we begin to say (as in 
nature), This was a rainy day, but the next will be 
fair, yet the next proves more overcast and lower- 


ing than that; even in such a case know God hath 
a wind in his fist which he can let out to scatter 
those clouds before they dissolve ; or, if they dis- 
solve, he hath a sun at command to dry up the 
fallen rain. The Lord hath a succession of mercies 
for our succession of sorrows. Say not then, We 
have got off this trouble, but what if another come ? 
If another come, you have the same God, and he 
can give you another deliverance. — Job v. 19. 

GOD saves and delivers his people from all evil, 
even while they are in the midst of trouble. 
If God be with us, though all evils are upon us, 
yet no evil touches us. The presence of the Chief 
Good is banishment to every evil. To be kept 
from the evil of trouble is a deliverance from trou- 
ble while we are in trouble. 

NOT only our eternal deliverance, but even our 
temporal deliverances and mercies, are pur- 
chased by the blood of Christ. A believer doth not 
eat a bit of bread but he hath it by virtue of the 
purchase of Christ. Christ hath bought all good 
for us, and Christ hath bought us out of all evil. 



IT was the error of the old Pelagians that error 
was not traduced into the nature of man by the 
fall of the first man, but that sin is continued by 
imitation. Children (say they), seeing their parents 
or others do evil, take it by example. Now, though 
this hath been justly condemned as a gross error, 
and the contrary asserted both as a scriptural and 
experimental truth, that the whole mass of man- 
kind is by nature steeped in sin, and that we have 
the root of every evil matter in ourselves, yet it is 
a truth also that we do ill by example, and that 
sin is mightily increased by imitation. What one 
does others are apt to do, and the most of men go 
where they see others go, rather than where they 
ought to go ; yea, they begin to conclude that they 
may go safely enough in a bad way if they see 
others go before them in it. 

THERE is a great power in example. What is 
done persuades as w T ell as what is spoken. 



TRANSLATE the sense of Scripture into your 
lives, and expound the Word of God by your 
works. Interpret it by your feet and teach it by 
your fingers ; that is, let your workings and your 
walkings be Scripture explications. 

TI1HE teachings of the Spirit, the teachings of God 
Jl himself, are chiefly to be looked after and prayed 
for, that we may know the mind of the Spirit, the 
will of God in Scripture. 

I HAD rather know five words of Scripture by 
my own practice and experience than ten thou- 
sand words of Scripture — yea, than the whole Scrip- 
ture — by the bare exposition of another. 

HE hath his pulpit in heaven who teacheth hearts 
the heart of Scripture. Paul was a learned 
Pharisee and much versed in the law, and yet he 
saith of himself before his conversion that he was 
without the law. But when Christ came to him, 
then the commandment came to him. 


A WALKING or breathing commentary goeth 
infinitely beyond the written or spoken com- 

IT is easy to paddle in a clear stream till it runs 
muddily, but it will not be for any man's ease 
or peace to do so in the clear, crystal streams of 
the holy Scriptures. We should labour to deliver 
our minds plainly concerning the mind of God, 
that what we utter may not be found a darkening 
of his counsel, but as much as is in us a clearing 
of it. 


WE must often believe where knowledge is shut 
out — believe where we cannot understand. 
Abraham by faith followed the call of God, not 
knowing where he went. 

IF God works marvels and we believe him not, 
hath he not reason to marvel at our unbelief? 
God loves and values the faith of man so highly 
that sometimes he bids a miracle for it rather than 
go without it. — Job v. 9. ' 


THE eye of faith is usually quickest in a dark 
night, and while trouble is near at hand, be- 
hold Christ near at hand. He can never be with- 
out help who carries help about him or within 
him. — Job vi. 14. 

FAITH is the souPs taster. Faith is the mouth 
of the soul, which not onlvtasteth but cheweth 
the promises and manifestations of God to his peo- 
ple, and so makes meat of them. 

AS faith is one principal piece of our spiritual 
armour whereby we overcome temptation, so 
it fetches in that which is the whole of the armour 
of God, even the strength of God. 

A GODLY man takes God as his own, and ap- 
propriates him by faith in all his relations. 
Faith takes not only a share in God, but all of God. 
A believer doth, as it were, engross God to himself, 
yet desires and endeavours that all as well as him- 
self may have their part and portion in God — yea, 
God for all their portion. 


LET us not pin our faith or our consciences upon 
men, how great or how ancient soever they are. 
We must not reverence any man's person to the 
prejudice of the truth. Believe w T hat is said be- 
cause you judge it true; do not believe it true be- 
cause such or such a man has said it. How strictly 
and religiously is this to be observed in hearing the 
word of God and the doctrines of faith ! In that 
case be sure and lay aside all that concerns the 
speaker, and weigh what he speaks alone and sin- 
gle in the balance of the sanctuary. — Job xxxii. 9. 

"ATOTHING but faith in God can make us stand 
L* still when we are ready to fall. 

HE that hath not faith, hath nothing to get a 
mercy with, and he that hath not a broken 
heart, hath nothing to put a mercy in. 

FAITH gives the soul a view of Christ in all his 
excellency and glory, in his love and in his 
loveliness, in his righteousness and holiness. Faith 
gets a view of Christ in all his beauty, and behold- 
ing him we rejoice with joy unspeakable. 



THIS is the great difference between the love of 
God and that of most men : God is the best 
friend to us at all times (he is best to us in the best 
times ; if we had not him to friend, it would be 
very ill with us when we have most friends) ; but 
God is best of all to us in the worst times ; a best 
friend to us when we have no friends ; he is our 
spring when the rain falls, but he is our surest, 
sweetest spring when there is no rain nor dew upon 
the face of the earth. Therefore he is compared (as 
in Jer. ii. 30, in other places) unto a living foun- 
tain, where you may be sure to find living water in 
the hottest season. This infinitely commends the 
love of God beyond that of men, who, at the best, 
are but broken cisterns, which leak out the com- 
forts they are trusted with, and for the most part 
are like Job's brooks — they turn aside and pass 
away when we have most need of them. — Job vi. 21. 

RUTH was a true pattern of a faithful friend 
and brother, though a daughter. I went out 
full (said her mother-in-law), but the Lord hath 
brought me home empty. But though she was 


emptied of the world, yet Ruth's heart was full of 
love to her : " I will not leave thee. God do so to 
me and more also if aught but death part thee and 
me." So saith faithfulness among Christian friends. 
It is one of the greatest duties and commendations 
of Christian profession to stick to and stand by 
one another ; be it foul weather or be it fair, blow 
the winds high or low, let it be stormy or calm — 
ever to be the same. — Job vi. 21. 

ADVERSITY and affliction are the touchstone 
of friendship. 



FAMILY well visited and ordered is usually 
a prosperous family. 

SIN spoils the comforts and cankers the blessings 
of a family. Sin brought into a house rots the 
timber and pulls down the house, or it undermines 
the foundation and blows up the house. The sin 
of families is the ruin and consumption of families. 
— Job v. 24. 


IT is a great and special point of godly wisdom 
well to order and visit a family. Families are 
the principles or seeds of a commonwealth. As 
every man is a little w T orld, so every house is a 
little kingdom. A family is a commonwealth in a 
little volume, and the rules of it are an epitome of 
all laws by which whole nations are governed. 
The apostle makes it a special character of his 
bishop that he must be one who rules his own 
house well, and subjoins the reason : " For if a 
man know not how to rule his own house, how 
shall he take care of the Church of God T 9 (1 Tim. 
iv. 5). And therein wraps up this truth, that he 
who knows how to rule his own house well is in 
good posture of spirit for public rule. — Job v. 24. 

" \I7ITH the froward thou wilt show thyself fro- 
' » ward." That is, if men w 7 ill be winding and 
turning and thinking to catch others, or overreach 
the Lord himself with tricks and turnings of wit, 
the Lord will meet and answer them in their own 
kind. He can turn as fast as they; he can put 
himself into such intricate labyrinths of wisdom 
and craft as shall entangle and ensnare the most 


cunning wrestler or tumbler of them all. He will 
Cretize the Cretians, supplant the supplanters of 
his people. — Job xiii. 5. 

WHEN once the heart is free, not only bent 
and inclined, but set and resolved to do a 
thing, then it is far enough from any fear in doing 
it. And when some men have ventured to sin 
once and come off (as to any sensible hurt) safe, 
they will venture again and again, and so often till 
at last they are persuaded there is no venture in 
sinning, and that there is no more (possibly not so 
much) of hazard in transgressing or in disobeying. 


THE knowledge of God cometh down from God. 
We know him when he makes himself known 
to us, and usually he doth not make his fulness 
known to us till we make our emptiness known to 

MAN'S inability to reach the perfection of crea- 
tures should teach him his utter inability to 
reach God in his perfection. 


GOD is himself most just and pure. Justice and 
purity are not qualities in God, but they are 
his very nature. A man may be a man and yet be 
unjust, but God cannot be God and yet be unjust. 
A man may be a man and yet be impure, but God 
cannot be God and yet be impure; so that justice 
and purity are not accidents or qualities in God, 
but his very essence and being. Destroy or deny 
the justice and purity of God, and you put God out 
of the world as much as in you lies : for he cannot 
be God unless he be both just to others and pure 
to himself. — Job iv. 17. 

GOD is usually the last, but he is the best refuge. 
When we have told over the story of our sor- 
rows and sad condition, and poured our wants into 
the bosoms of our most faithful friends, yet this 
apostrophe is the sweetest to the soul when we can 
turn to God : Oh remember me ! He who knows 
not how to complain to God, or to speak out his 
sorrows and his griefs in the ear of Christ, shall 
gain little (though he receive much) by complain- 
ing to the creature. But so long as we have a God 
to turn to and spread our cause before, though men 
turn from us and forget us, yet it is enough that 
we have said, Lord, remember me ! — Job vii. 7. 


NE God helping is more than all men oppos- 

IF at any time we have any unbecoming thoughts 
of the justice of God, either that he afflicts the 
good without reason or prospers the wicked against 
it, all this ariseth from our ignorance or the short- 
ness of our sight. We have not a full or perfect 
prospect of things ; we see but a little way back- 
ward ; we are not wise to compare what is past 
with what is present, nor can we at all infallibly 
foresee anything future or discern what shall be. 
Whereas God at once hath all things before him; he 
seeth what is past as well as what is present, and 
what shall be hereafter as well as what hath been ; 
and so the completeness and indefectibility of his 
own justice in all. And when we iii the great day 
shall see all the works of God in the world brought 
and presented together as in one view, we shall 
then say, from the evidence of sight as now we 
ought from the evidence of faith, that the Almighty 
hath not in any one thing perverted judgment. 
And therefore the apostle doth most excellently and 
appositely call that day, " The day of the revela- 
tion of the righteous judgment of God." — Job 
xxxiv. 13. 


11HE power of God is primitive or underived 
power. His power is of himself — yea, his 
power is himself. God doth not rule by deputa- 
tion or commission. All ruling power is funda- 
mentally in him, as also the rule of that power, 
both which in God are one. 

As the power of God is underived or proceeds 
only from himself, so it is absolute and unlimited. 
His is, in the strictest sense imaginable, supreme 
power. None may presume to say to him, "What' 
doest thou ?" ; Tis his prerogative to do w T hat he 
will ; and how much soever he acts by prerogative, 
he will do only that which is right. We may con- 
sider the absolute supremacy of God in a fivefold 
exercise of power : 

1st. In commanding. He commandeth what he 
pleaseth to be done; nor may his commands be dis- 
puted. They must be obeyed, because his. 

2d. In prohibiting. He forbiddeth whatsoever 
displeaseth him to be done. And how pleasing, 
how right soever anything is in our eyes, yet if he 
forbiddeth it, we must for ever forbear it. We all 
know by our own smart how dangerous it is to eat 
of a forbidden tree. 

3d. In suffering. I mean it not of any suffer- 
ing of evil in himself (God is infinitely above that), 


but of his suffering others to do evil, or of his suf- 
fering any evil to be done. God doth permit that 
which is naught, wicked and unrighteous to be 
done in the world, and yet himself remains alto- 
gether holy, righteous, just and good. This is a 
great part of the transcendency of his power. 

4th. In rewarding. God hath absolute power 
to reward — 1st, when he will; 2d, for what he will ; 
3d, in what kind he will ; 4th, in what degree or 
measure he will ; 5th, for how long he will. He 
can give (which none of the princes of the earth 
can) everlasting reward. 

5th. In punishing. God hath absolute power 
to punish, and the absoluteness of his power in 
punishing may be exemplified in those five partic- 
ulars wherein his power of rewarding was. And 
forasmuch as there is such a supremacy, such an 
absoluteness of pow T er in God, take these three in- 
ferences from it : 

First. How freely should w T e yield ourselves to 
the commands of God, not questioning this as un- 
equal nor saying that is hard. AVe are more apt 
to find fault with the work which God requires us 
to do, than to remember that it is a great fault not 
to do it. 

Secondly. Seeing God hath charge of all the 


earth, we should as readily submit to his dispensa- 
tions, works and dealings as to his commands. 

Thirdly. If the Lord be supreme, then let us set 
him up as supreme in all things. Let his ends be 
above our ends. Let us design God in all we do. 
He who is over all ought to be honoured by all. 
All our actions, as so many lines, ought to centre 
in his honour who is the centre of power. — Job 
xxxiv. 13. 


A GODLY man labours to exalt God, both in 
his thoughts and in his w r ords, when* God de- 
presses and humbles him most. Grace prompts 
the heart to indite a good matter, and bids the 
tongue be as the pen of a ready writer, to advance 
God, when sense feels nothing but smart and sees 
nothing but sorrow round about. Grace is in her 
heights when she can lift up God highest while he 
is casting us down and laying us lowest. When 
we can honour God frowning as well as smiling 
upon us, smiting and wounding as well as kissing 
and embracing us, then we have learned to honour 
God indeed. — Job ix. 10. 

A gracious spirit is a teachable spirit, 


GRACE will preserve itself in the midst of the 
greatest opposition. It is such a fire as no 
water can quench or w T holly put out. True grace 
will keep itself sound and clean among those that 
are leprous and unclean. It is such a thing as 
overcomes and masters all the evil that is about it. 
God hath put such a mighty power into grace that 
if it once possess the heart in truth — though there 
be but little of it, though there be but as much as 
a grain of mustard-seed — not all the wickedness in 
the world, no, not all the devils in hell, can dis- 
possess it. As all the water in the salt sea cannot 
make the fish salt, but still the fish retains its 
freshness, so all the wickedness and filthiness that 
is in the world cannot destroy, cannot defile true 
grace; that will bear up its head and hold up itself 
for ever. — Job i. 1. 

A GRACIOUS heart is willing to know and see 
the worst of himself. He would have God 
teach him what iniquity he hath done. A godly 
man never thinks he seeth his sin enough. How 
little soever he sins, he thinks he sins too much, 
and how much soever he sees his sin, he thinks he 
sees it too little. 


GRACE is as much magnified in working in us 
as in saving us without works. That's the 
reason why we are so often called to duty, though 
we have no power. 

ALL our mercies flow out from the gr&ceof God. 
That's the fountain, yea that's the ocean, 
which feeds and fills all the channels of mercy 
which stream to us as our happiness in this world, 
and for our everlasting happiness in thva world 
which is to come. 

GRACIOUS men do not always hold out the 
same gracious frame of spirit. There was a 
time when Job was far from striving with God, or 
speaking anything which had the least shadow or 
favour of it. Yet in the process of the business 
Job did not only speak such things as had a shadow 
of striving with God, but were real strivings and 
uncomely pleadings with him. His heart did not 
retain that first sweet, submissive frame through- 
out the affliction which appeareth to admiration at 
the beginning of it. The state of grace abideth 
always. 'Tis not (as some affirm) losable; 'tis not, 
like the best things of the world, perishing. But 


though a state of grace abideth always, yet every 
man's grace (if any man's) doth not always abide 
in the same state. The heat of grace may be 
cooled, the height of it abated, the strength of it 
weakened and the beauty of it faded. Such changes 
and varieties are found upon the most gracious 
frame of spirit, which the best of saints have in this 
world. We have only this to hold to : The state 
of grace is unchangeable, and we are waiting for 
such a frame of grace as shall never change. 

NO man can merit the least favour from God ; 
his is free grace. All good cometh to us 
through the Son of his love, and it was merely of 
his love that ever his Son came to us and died for 


A TRULY humbled and repenting soul is as 
careful to avoid the act of sin for time to come 
as to be freed from the guilt of sin past. He that 
loves God cannot live in the doing of any one thing 
which God hates, but as he expects good out of all 
the promises, so he hath respect to all the com- 


CONTINUED and repeated acts, though small, 
produce great effects. A believer finds no 
growth in grace or in the knowledge of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ by some one exercise, 
either in prayer or hearing the Word ; yet by a 
constant attendance upon the Lord in these du- 
ties he grows to a perfect man unto the measure 
of the stature of the fulness of Christ. — Job 
xiv. 19. 

TRUE grace increaseth by the ordinary use of it 
— much more by the extraordinary trials of it. 
A believer thrives (as to the inner man) in afflic- 
tion, how much soever he loseth and goeth back- 
ward as a man. 


A GODLY man is happy in the largest sense, in 
all senses, because his is not this or that par- 
ticular good, but all good. And he is not happy 
only at this or that particular time, but at all times. 
He is as happy when he is suffering under the 
hand of God as when he is serving God — as happy 
in his passive as in his active obedience. 


HAPPINESS is the enjoyment of good commen- 
surate to all our desires. Happiness is the 
sum of all our desires and the aim of all our en- 
deavours, and when we have attained perfect hap- 
piness, we shall be at a full point both of our de- 
sires and endeavours. 

GLORIFIED saints shall for ever feed their eyes 
with unutterable delights in beholding the 
glory of Jesus Christ. 


THE heart of man is the ark or cabinet in which 
the Word must be laid up. As Christ hath 
been the ark of the law to protect and cover us 
from the condemning power of it, so the hearts of 
believers must be the ark of the law, where it must 
be laid up with a readiness of mind, to yield our- 
selves up to the commanding power of it. 

THE heart is God's peculiar. As he only hath 
the lock and key of the heart to shut or open 
it, so he only hath a window to look into it. 



THE tongue should always be the heart's inter- 
preter, and the heart should always be the 
tongue's suggester. What is spoken with the 
tongue should be first stamped upon the heart and 
wrought off from it. 

A hard heart is Satan's cushion, 

IF your hearts are disorderly, it is a kind of curs- 
ing God. Remember not only to keep your 
hearts when you are praying, and when you are 
hearing, and when you are in holy duties, but re- 
member to keep your hearts when you are feasting 
and refreshing yourselves, when you are in your 
callings, when you are buying and selling. 


IN heaven saints shall have their interest in God 
clear, undoubtedly clear, to them for ever. 
There are very few who see God always for them- 
selves in this life, or whose hearts are cleared from 
all scruples and fears about their interest in Christ. 
This is reserved for glory, where love shall be per- 
fected. — Job xix. 27. 


SAINTS glorified shall ever behold and see the 
glorious body of Jesus Christ. 

OUR complete happiness consists in the vision of 
God. Christ placeth the future happiness of 
the saints in the vision of his mediatorial glory: 
" Father, I will that they also whom thou hast 
given me be with me where I am, that they may 
behold my glory that thou hast given me." 


T1TE find this word "Sheol" taken five ways in 
' » Scripture : 

1st. Strictly and properly for the place of the 
damned (Prov. xv. 11). God looks through the 
darkness of hell, which is utter darkness. 

2d. It is put metaphorically for great and ex- 
treme dangers or miseries, which seem irrecoverable 
and remediless. These are figuratively called hell, 
because hell properly taken is a place from whence 
there is no recovery. When David praises the 
Lord (Ps. Ixxxvi. 13) for delivering his soul from 
the lowest hell, he meaneth an estate on earth of 
the lowest and deepest danger imaginable. Mercy 
helped him at the worst. 


3d. The word signifies the lowest parts of the 
earth without relation to punishment (Ps. exxxix. 
8) : " If I go down into hell, thou art there." He 
had said before, "If I ascend into heaven, thou art 
there." By heaven he means the upper region of 
the world, without any respect to the state of bless- 
edness, and hell is the most opposite and remote in 
distance, without respect to misery. As if he had 
said, Let me go whither I will, thy presence finds 
me out. 

4th. It is taken for the state of the dead, whether 
these dead are in the grave or no (Ps. xxx. 3 ; Isa. 
xxxviii. 18, 19; Gen. xxxvii. 35); in all which 
places to go out of the world is to go to Sheol. 
Jacob said, " He would go down into the grave to 
his son mourning," yet Jacob thought his son was 
devoured by a wild beast. He could not go down 
into the grave to his son, for the bowels of a wild 
beast are his supposed grave ; but he meaneth only 
this — I will even die, as he is dead. 

5th. Sheol signifies the place where the body is 
laid after death, namely the grave (Prov. xxx. 16). 
Man hath a dimension of earth fitted to the dimen- 
sions of his body; this portion or allotment is his 
Sheol. Yet it signifies the grave only in general 
as it is natural to mankind; not that grave which 


is artificial and proper to any particular man ; this 
the Hebrew expresses by another word : " He that 
goeth down to his grave goeth to his long home — to 
a house out of which he is never able to see or 
make his way.?' — Job vii. 10. 

HELL is large to take in, but strait to let out 
— so strait that it will not let one out for 



HERESY hath these three things in it : 
1st. In regard of the matter, it must be in 
regard of some great and fundamental truths. The 
word heresy is by some derived from choosing, by 
others from taking away, because it takes us off 
from Christ or from the foundations of saving 

2d. Heresy is accompanied with pertinacy and 
obstinacy after clear light is offered. It is possible 
one may have an error about things fundamental, 
and yet be no heretic. An heretic is condemned 
of himself (Tit. iii. 10), but he will not be con- 
vinced by another. Not that he doth formally and 


in terms give sentence against or condemn himself, 
but equivalently he doth, as the apostle (Acts xiii. 
46) speaks to the unbelieving Jews : " Seeing ye put 
the word from you and judge yourselves unworthy 
of everlasting life," etc. These men did not judge 
themselves such formally ; they came not to the 
apostles and said, We willingly submit ourselves to 
hell and wrath. No, they thought very well of 
themselves and judged themselves worthy of eter- 
nal life. But their practice judged them and gave 
a real sentence against them, while they acquitted 
themselves. Thus also a heretic (whoever hath a 
high opinion of himself and his opinions) is con- 
demned of himself. 

3d. In heresy there is taking of pleasure and de- 
light; therefore heresy is numbered among the 
lusts of the flesh (Gal. v. 20). Heretics desire to 
disperse and vend their opinions. A man only in 
an error will weep over his opinions, and it grieves 
him that he differs and goes contrary unto others. 
But he that stiffly maintains an error insults over 
others and delights to maintain his opposition ; he 
triumphs and boasts of his war, though he can never 
obtain victory. Truth only is victorious, and some 
learned critics observe as much from the form of 
the Greek word (Tit. iii. 11). So then heresy is 


not only an error in judgment but a pertinacy in 
the will, and it takes in delight at the affections. — 
Job vi. 24. 

GOD is able to stop those seas of error and give 
a bound to those floods of false doctrine which 
are ready to overflow the face of the world. The 
sea or flood of the Arian heresy (which denied the 
deity of Christ, or made him barely a man by nature, 
only clothed with wonderful powers and privileges 
— this heresy, I say, like a sea or flood) had almost 
overwhelmed the whole world, yet God compassed 
these black waters with bound and gave them a 
commandment which they could not pass; and 
though in this age they strive to return and over- 
flow the earth, yet both the waters of this heresy 
and of all other damnable heresies (as the Apos- 
tle Peter calls them), which abound in these days 
and threaten us with a fearful inundation, are 
compassed with bounds which they shall not 




HE holiness of man consists in his conformity 
unto God. 

GOD is the objective cause of holiness; looking 
upon him we become holy. " We (saith the 
apostle, 2 Cor. iii. 18) all with open face, beholding 
as in a glass the glory of the Lord (that is, we look- 
ing upon that glory, holiness and excellence which 
is in the Lord), are changed into the same image;" 
that is, we are made conformable unto him. We 
receive (as it were), the engravings of holiness in 
our souls by beholding the Holy One. The eye of 
faith (as well, yea more than the eye of sense) affects 
the heart. Vision assimilates both in nature and 
in grace, yea and in glory too. In heaven we shall 
be perfectly holy, because we shall perfectly (in 
Christ, who is the express image of his person) see 
God, and so be like him. And proportionably 
here, such as our visions of God are, such is our 
likeness unto God. 

SEEING God is everywhere present, we should 
be everywhere holy. 


THEY who want holiness must go to God for it, 
for he is the Holy One. Are any of your hearts 
unholy? Whither will you go? To what coast 
will you trade for holiness ? Or where shall you 
find the merchandise of it ? Go whither you will — 
to what holy ordinance, to what holy duty, to what 
holy minister you will— your vessels will return 
unfreight and empty of holiness if you tread not to 
the holy God. We must deal with ordinances and 
by ordinances ; but if we have only to deal with 
them, neglecting to meet with God, we shall make 
nothing of them ; we shall not traffic in them to 
any spiritual enriching or advantage. They are 
conduit pipes, not springs, on the well-head. — Job 
vi. 10. 

rilO follow God is our duty. Godliness is god- 

-L likeness or an imitation of God, and practical 

Christianity is nothing else but our imitation of 

Christ; and that not only in doing, but in suffering. 

HOLINESS consists in a complete uniformity 
or in conformity to the whole will of God. 
Some are first-table Christians — others are second- 
table Christians. Some are zealous for prayer, who 


are extreme cold in doing justice; some are extreme 
honest and just to men, righteous in all their deal- 
ings, but they care not for prayer, nor have they 
any delight in communion with God. The law of 
God is one entire thing, and so must man's obedi- 
ence be. He that offends in one point is guilty of 
all. — Job xvi. 17. 


NO man would be stirring, much less bestir him- 
self about any business, were it not for the 
hope of getting. And as it is the hope of attaining 
that puts us upon doing, so it is the hope of attain- 
ing that puts us upon suffering. Who would 
suffer for Jesus Christ if he had not a hope of at- 
taining somewhat better than he can lose by his 
sufferings ? Therefore Jesus Christ hath set that 
hope before us. To suffer rightly for Jesus Christ 
is so honourable that we should suffer willingly, 
though we get nothing by it. Yet he hath set a 
reward before us — a crown by his cross ; he hath 
assured us all our losses — even our loss of life for 
his sake — shall turn to our gain and profit. Hope 
of attaining is the motive to every undertaking. 
No wise man will meddle with doing that which is 


either impossible to be done, or altogether unprofit- 
able when it is done. Was it not for hope the 
heart would faint — first, in labouring; secondly, in 
suffering; thirdly, in waiting. Hope is like a hel- 
met upon the head when we are in danger of blows 
(2 Thess. v. 8), and like an anchor, both sure and 
steadfast, when we are in storms. — Job xli. 9. 

THE loss of hope is the greatest loss. When 
God would show man's worst condition, he 
saith his hope is in vain ; that pincheth worst of 
all, and that's it which will pinch hypocrites most 
at last, who were in hope of enjoying God. But 
not only their labour, but their hope shall be in 
vain. This loss of hope will grieve more than the 
loss of heaven. 

LET a night be never so dark or tempestuous, 
yet the hope of the morning is a mercy and a 
light. How sick, then, are they who are hopeless ? 
Everlastingness is the head of the arrow, the sting 
and poison of all miseries ; it is, indeed, the sting 
of hell. That hell is such a night as shall never 
see the dawning of day, hath more torment and 
pains in it than all the pains of hell. As that 


which makes heaven so full of joy is that heaven is 
above all fear, so that which makes hell so full of 
terror is that hell is below all hope. Heaven is a 
day that shall never see any approaches of night ; 
so hell is a night that shall never see any dawning 
of day. — Job iii. 3. 


WE cannot make pure prayer with our own 
breath, parts and gifts. The Holy Spirit 
breathes pure prayer into and draws it out of our 

AS it is the office of Christ to intercede for us 
with God, so it is the office of the Holy Ghost 
to make those intercessions in us which we put up 
to God. 

THERE is a threefold influence or work of the 
Spirit of God upon the soul of man : 
First. To enlighten or to give the light of the 
knowledge of his own glory in the face of Jesus 

Secondly. To convert, to work faith and repent- 
ance together with love, humility, etc. 


Thirdly. To refresh and comfort. These are un- 
speakable influences of joy distilled from the Spirit 
upon believers, and when God will let them down 
from heaven, who can let them, what can let them ? 
All the troubles and sorrows, all the pains and tor- 
tures that man can invent or inflict upon the be- 
liever, cannot bind these influences of the Spirit 
nor hinder joy in believing. The greatest evils in 
this life cannot shut up or shut out that comfort 
which the Spirit speak eth. The most churlish 
winds that can blow from the coldest quarters of 
the world cannot chill, much less kill or blast, these 
fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. 
The soul grows green like a garden of pasture in 
the spring; the soul buds, blossoms and brings forth 
these blessed fruits abundantly when fed w 7 ith these 
dainties and delicacies of the Spirit. Those great 
floods of trouble and persecution which the serpent 
anywhere and at any time calls out of his mouth, 
cannot prevail against the least drop of consolation 
wrought in the heart by the Spirit's influences. 
Paul and Silas were bound in the prison, but then 
their persecutors could not bind the sweet influ- 
ences of the Spirit from comforting them, nor daunt 
them by any terror from triumphing in Christ. 


They could sing in prison, yea they sung at mid- 
night. — Job xxxviii. 31. 



E are more ready to judge the sins of others 
great than our own. 

WE are ready to judge their sins great who are 
the greatest sufferers. The worst of sinners 
never suffered more in this world than the best of 


SUPPOSITIONS and conjectures are no fit 
grounds upon which to build a judgment con- 
cerning the faultiness of others. We must not cen- 
sure upon I hear so, I suppose so, I think so, but I 
know it so. Many have run into great sin by judging 
the sins of others great. — Job xxii. 5. 

WISE men may err in judgment and in speech. 
Job's friends spake many truths, but did not 
apply them truly to Job's case. The best men may 
not only miss, but mistake their mark. They who 


are in the light — yea who are in the light in the 
Lord — have yet some darkness in them, and may 
both do and speak from that darkness. 


E are very apt to judge one another, but very 
backward to judge ourselves. 

IF we consider the sum of wdiat Eliphaz and his 
two friends spake of God, we shall find Eliphaz 
in this great mistake — affirming that all the suffer- 
ings and afflictions which befall man in this world 
are laid upon him by God as a punishment for sin. 
And all these joined in two other mistakes : First. 
That all wicked men sooner or later are visibly 
punished for sin in this life. Secondly. That 
though a good man may possibly suffer grievous 
afflictions in this life, yet God always delivers him 
out of them before he departs this life. Hence it 
must needs follow that if a man for long continu- 
ance of time, especially if all his life long, be con- 
tinued in great calamity, that man must be judged 
wicked, though no apparent wickedness can be 
charged upon or proved against him. Upon these 
unsound principles they were all confident to infer 
against Job that he was a hypocrite, and that all 


those troubles which befell him were inflicted by 
the righteous hand of God as a punishment for his 
sin. — Job xlii. 7. 


THE way for us to humble ourselves for our own 
sinfulness is to look and consider the purity 
and holiness of God. If we set ourselves before 
him, we shall see how vile and corrupt we are. 
The Pharisee could pride himself in his comparison 
with men (Luke xviii). But, Pharisee, art thou as 
God? pure and holy and just as he? Look up- 
ward, and pride will down. — Job ix. 2. 

IF the best man's faults were written in his fore- 
head, it would make him pull his hat over his 

A GODLY man's thoughts are lowest of himself. 
■£*■ No man ever received a fairer or more valu- 
able certificate from God than Job did, and yet no 
man could speak more undervaluingly of himself 
than Job did.— Job. ix. 14. 


THE more holiness any soul hath, the more hu- 
mility it hath. 

THE better any man is, the more he is willing 
to know the worst of himself. 

THERE is no greater argument of height in 
grace than low thoughts of ourselves. 

THE dealings of God with man aim mostly to 
humble him or make him see his own vileness. 

WHEN our hearts are truly humbled, mercy 
and deliverance are at hand. Job was no 
sooner made deeply sensible of his vileness but 
mercy came. The only skill of this excellent wrest- 
ler (as one calls him) was to cast himself down at 
God's foot. There is no way of getting in to God 
or prevailing with him but by submitting to 
him. The Lord layeth down his rod when we 
lay down our pride, and casts his sword out of 
his hand when we cast ourselves at his feet. — 
Job xl. 4. 




HE more we know God, the more humble we 
are before him. 


HYPOCRITES are well compared to a rush, 
because in windy weather they set whichever 
way the wind sets. They take no harm by a storm, 
because they yield to every turn; let the wind blow 
which way it will, the rush neither breaks body 
nor branch. Hypocrites keep their standing be- 
cause they never stand. A great man being asked 
how he kept his honour and preferment in so many 
changes of wind and weather, of times and princes, 
answered, " By being a willow and not an oak." He 
that can sway seldom breaks. Hypocrites in the 
Church and State live by the same principles. — 
Job viii. 12. 

WE ought to reprove and not flatter sin in others ; 
yet they who are extremely severe against a 
sin in others usually favour either the same or a 
worse in themselves. 


N hypocrite never doeth good out of love to 
God, but out of design for himself. 


AX hypocrite is not worse than other wicked men 
because he has more sin than they, but because 
he hides his sin. Nor doth the greatness of his sin 
lie simply in this, because he hides how sinful he 
is, but because he appears holy, which he is not. 

WE may wrong a wicked man by calling him 
a hypocrite, but w r e cannot wrong any hypo- 
crite by thinking him all that' s wicked. 

HYPOCRITES in heart grow more wicked 
while the hand of God — his afflicting hand — is 
upon them. The more they are under the rod, the 
more they rebel. If they did not heap up sin, 
they should not heap up wrath. 

HYPOCRITES cry not to the Lord, though he 
makes them cry. They are readier to find 
fault with God than with themselves in the day of 
adversity. They neither cry the cry of godly sor- 
row for their sin, nor the cry of godly prayers to 
help out of their affliction. They who are false 
with God in times of peace, seldom, if at all, repent, 
or duly apply themselves to God to help them in 
times of trouble. 



SLOTHFUL persons are to be numbered among 
thieves. They who will get nothing for them- 
selves by labour steal all they have from others. 

TO nourish idle persons is to nourish theft. To 
succour lazy poor is not so much a relieving 
of their wants as a strengthening of their vices. 

A playing life is the life of a beast, 

ADAM was not put into that pleasant garden 
only to take his pleasure and to eat the fruit 

of it ; but to dress and keep it. 


WE may be called to do what is not in our power 
to do. The apostle exhorts (Phil. ii. 12), 
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trem- 
bling." He seems to give a strange reason in the 
next verse : " For it is God that worketh in you 


both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Our 
inability to work doth not exempt us from working, 
we having a promise from God to make us able. 
We are commanded to do what we have not so 
much as a will to do, because God is engaged in us 
both to will and to do ; and that not according to 
any predisposition of ours, but of his own good 
pleasure. Our Master in heaven shows us our 
duty, and then helps us to perform it. 


THAT there shall be a general judgment hath 
been known and believed in all ages. As 
Scripture authorities are full of it, so there are many 
rational demonstrations of it. For, first, the judg- 
ments that have been shown that there shall be a 
judgment. Secondly, the lesser external days 
argue it, so do internal judgment days. There is 
a day of judgment kept in the conscience of man, 
which tells that God will keep a day of judgment 
at last concerning all men. Thirdly, judgment 
hath not been fully executed in any age of the 
world. Fourthly, as the Lord will have a time to 
acquit himself and to declare the righteousness of 
his judgments, so he will have a time to quit the 


integrity of his people and to set them right in the 
eye of all the world. He will have a day in which 
there shall be a fresh edition of the works of all his 
saints, with a comment of their own upright and 
honest meaning upon them, not racked and wire- 
drawn with the malice and misconception either of 
enemies or mistaken friends. 

11HE great work of judgment is appropriated to 
the Son as a part, or as the completion, of his 
mediatorial office. And it is but equal that judg- 
ment should be put into the hand of the Redeemer, 
and that he should come in all his glory when he 
comes to sit in judgment, because he hath been 
judged and condemned, because he hath borne 
shame and dishonour while himself stood in judg- 
ment. Christ did not only die for us, but he was 
condemned to death as an evil-doer. There was 
not only pain in his death, but shame. He in this 
humbled himself indeed, and, which is more, he be- 
came obedient, and (which is the lowest obedience) 
he became obedient unto death (and which is the 
lowest and most ignominious death), the death of 
the cross. The apostle makes this threefold hu- 
miliation the ground of his threefold exaltation 


(Phil. ii. 9, 10): " Wherefore God hath highly ex- 
alted him/' etc. He exalted him above the grave 
in his resurrection, above the earth in his ascension, 
above the heavens in his session at the right hand 
of the Father. 

This honour of Christ the Redeemer to be the 
Judge of the world carries a twofold effect in it, 
according to that twofold distribution of those who 
are the objects of this judgment : 

First. It carries terror to the wicked who know 
not God and who have not obeyed the gospel. 
There is nothing in condemnation more dreadful 
than to be condemned by a Redeemer. They who 
are without Christ are without hope ; how hope- 
less, then, and helpless are they who are cast out 
by Christ ! Who can stand before his wrath 
as a Judge, who as a Redeemer came to deliver 
us from the wrath to come? There are five 
things in this Judge which make his wrath most 
dreadful : 

1st. He is such a Judge as the power of the most 
powerful cannot daunt. 

2d. He is such a Judge as the wealth of the 
wealthiest cannot bribe. 

3d. He is such a Judge as the wit and subtlety 
of the wisest cannot elude. 


4 th. He is such a Judge as there is no appealing 
from his sentence. What he sets down shall stand 
for ever. 

Second. This carries comfort and speaks joy to 
the saints. How sweet is it to remember that their 
Redeemer is their Judge. For, 

1st. He being their Judge, the judge is their 

2d. He is their kinsman, their brother. 

3d. Their Judge is also their priest and propitia- 
tion. He shall judge them who hath satisfied for 
them, and knows how all reckoning and accounts 
stand between God and their souls ; for he it is 
that hath by his own blood balanced and made 
them up. 

4th. The Judge is their advocate and intercessor. 

Lastly. The Judge is he who was judged in their 
behalf, and seeing he was condemned, bearing their 
sins, he will not lay those sins again upon them 
who have laid hold on him, and so condemn them. 
All these considerations laid together show how 
sweet it is for saints to remember that the Redeemer 
shall stand upon the earth to judge them. — Job 
xix. 25. 



NO man can be justified by his works. He that 
mixeth but one sin with a thousand good ac- 
tions cannot be justified by his works ; how, then, 
shall he be justified by his works who hath not one 
perfectly good action among a thousand sins ? He 
that would be justified by his works must not have 
one ill action among all his actions. One fly in 
the box of ointment corrupts all ; one defect makes 
a sinner, but many good actions cannot make one 
righteous. — Job ix. 3. 

MAN hath nothing of his own to justify him be- 
fore God. First, because the best of his right- 
eousness is imperfect. God never took cockle- 
shells for payment ; he must have pure gold, and 
he seeth well enough what poor stuff, what base 
coin the best of our righteousness is, and therefore 
cannot admit any of it in justification. Secondly, 
all the righteousness wrought by man is a due debt. 
How can we acquit ourselves of any evil we have 
done by any good which we can do, seeing all the 
good we do we ought to have done, though we have 
never done any evil ? 



IF I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me 
perverse." Observe hence that famous gospel 
doctrine, No man can be justified before God by 
the works of the law. It is as noble a proof of free 
justification in the Old Testament as any in the 

THE saints have been acquainted with this truth 
from the beginning — that man is nothing in 
himself and that free grace doth all. — Job ix. 20. 

rilHEY who would make themselves most holy 
JL appear most unholy before God. Thoughts 
of our own purity render us impure. We are 
never so black before God as when we are whitest 
in our own eyes. We find the Pharisee (Luke 
xviii.) washing himself in snow-water and making 
his hands very clean. He tells us that he had 
fasted , and prayed, and given alms and paid tithes 
(this is to wash ourselves in snow-water), but the 
Lord plunged this Pharisee in the ditch ; he cast 
him for a wicked man. The poor Publican plunged 
himself in the ditch, and judged himself fit to be 
thrown into the mire. But he went down to his 
house justified, rather than the other. — Job ix. 31. 


JUSTIFICATION (considered in the gospel no- 
tion) is that gracious sentence of God wherein, 
with respect to Christ apprehended by faith, he 
absolveth the believer from sin and death, and doth 
repute him just and righteous unto eternal life. 
This doctrine of free justification is the foundation 
and corner-stone of all our comfort. For whereas 
there is a double change in the state of the sinner — 
first, a relative change ; secondly, an absolute and 
real change — the one is made in sanctification, the 
other in justification. Sanctification is a real 
change, subduing corruption, destroying the power 
of sin in us. But justification is not a physical or 
real change in the person; it doth not make him 
that is unrighteous righteous in himself, nor is man 
at all justified (in this sense) by any self-righteous- 
ness, but it is only a relative change as to his state. 
To justify is a law term, signifying the pronouncing 
or declaring of a man righteous; so that justifica- 
tion is an act of God upon us or toward us. Sanc- 
tification is an act of God in us. This blessed 
grace of sanctification always followeth the grace 
of justification as an effect or fruit of it; and though 
it may be easily distinguished from it, yet it can no 
more be separated or divided from it than heat 
from fire or motion from life. — Job xxv. 4. 


GOD does not justify a sinner for anything that 
he finds or sees in us. 


THE life of man is nothing else but a coming 
and a returning. It is but a flood and an ebb, 
and then we are carried into the ocean of eternity. 

AS a man would give skin for skin, one outward 
thing for another, so a man will give all out- 
ward things for his life. 

IF life be worth all, then hereby we may take 
measure of the love and bounty of Christ to 
poor sinners, who not only spent himself in all to 
his life, but spent life and all that they might not 


— •<>♦- — 

SOUL and life are sometimes taken promiscu- 
ously or indifferently for the same thing, yet 
there is a very great difference between soul and 
life. The life is nothing else but the union be- 
tween soul and body, but the soul is a spiritual 


substance, distinct from the body while remaining 
in it and subsisting itself alone when separated 
from it. 


" T7^^ ■"" know that my Redeemer liyeth, and 
J- that he shall stand at the latter day upon 
the earth." For the clearing of these words I 
shall premise two general veins of interpreta- 
tion : 

First. The Jewish writers interpret this context 
of a metaphysical resurrection in reference to Job's 
outward condition, or of his resurrection from a 
state of affliction. We have this sense of a resur- 
rection illustriously held forth (Ezekiel xxxvii.), 
when the return of the people of Israel out of Bab- 
ylon is described by the reviving of dry bones. 
Now I say the Rabbins generally, as also some of 
our learned expositors, run upon this strain here, 
conceiving that Job therefore calls God his Re- 
deemer, because he had to that day preserved him 
alive in the midst of so many deaths and dangers, 
and also because he had a sure hope that he should, 
through the power of God, survive them and be 
restored to such a state of honour and riches as he 


had enjoyed in the former part of his life. This 
they call his resurrection and redemption. 

Three special reasons may be urged against this 
opinion : 

1st. The height and spirit ualness of Job's lan- 
guage tell us that his hopes were fixed above this 
world's felicity. 

2d. Though his expressions in the letter may be 
fitted to this inferior sense, yet if we remember 
what hath been touched more than once in the 
former passages of this book, w T e find that Job had 
disclaimed, as it were, all hope of restoration unto 
any temporal happiness in this life, affirming that 
his hope was gone, and that he was worse than a 
tree cut down, of which there is hope that it will 
grow again, and that as he had no desire, so no 
expectation, of recovering his former beauty and 

3d. He saith that he should see God with the 
same eyes — that he should see him for himself and 
not another ; which argueth that he intended not a 
resurrection of his outward estate ; for what doubt 
could there be that, if he were raised from affliction, 
but that he should see God with the same eyes, 
and that he himself should see him ? But to believe 
the restoring of the same body or the identity of 


the eyes of the body after all had mouldered into 
dust, this was a high act of believing.- From 
these reasons it appears that Job holds forth his 
faith in a resurrection not to a temporal good in 
this life, but to eternal life. The argument of Job 
is this: " He that waits by faith in the Redeemer 
for the resurrection of his body to eternal life after 
death hath done its worst is not a wicked man or 
an hypocrite, as you have charged me. But such 
is my faith. I believe in the Redeemer, and I look 
to rise (after this body is consumed and eaten of 
worms) to an eternal happy life. You accuse me 
as rejected of God, yet I know that God is my Re- 
deemer and that he lives for ever ; and therefore do 
not think, because I have no hope in this life, that 
I therefore despair of life. For I know that my 
Redeemer liveth, and shall stand upon the earth at 
the latter day." 

The Avord w T hich we translate Redeemer comes 
from a root which is applied three ways in Scrip- 
ture : First, to buying again that which was alien- 
ated by sale or mortgage; secondly, to the rescuing 
or bringing back those who had been taken prison- 
ers, by force or power, or by a price or ransom ; 
thirdly, this word is applied to the avenging of 
their death who have been wrongfully slain, God 


(Numb. xxxv. 12) is the avenger of blood, or the 
redeemer of blood, because he came to take ven- 
geance on such as had unjustly shed the blood of 
his kinsman. 

Again, to be a redeemer is taken in two ways : 
1st. More largely for a deliverer or helper; so 
'tis one of the names of God, and to redeem is both 
his work and his honour. 

2d. More strictly to redeem, and the title Re- 
deemer is applied to Jesus Christ, to whom also, I 
conceive, we may apply all those works of redemp- 
tion which in the Old Testament are ascribed to 
God. For he was God the Redeemer from the be- 
ginning, long before he was God manifest in the 
flesh. In this strict sense the word Redeemer suits 
Christ fullv, for God signifies one that is near to 
us in consanguinity, and such were under special 
obligation to redeem (Ruth iii. 12). In this strict 
sense, besides hi in there is no redeemer. For though 
God the Father in the Son by the Holy Spirit be 
our Redeemer, yet properly, and according to the 
signification of the word, Jesus Christ alone is our 
Redeemer, who, taking our nature upon him and 
becoming our brother, had right to redeem us, 
even as being God in our nature he had full power 
to redeem us. 


The blood of Christ may be considered two ways 
in the work of redemption : 

First. As the price of our redemption. " We 
are bought with a price" (1 Cor. vi. 20) ; " not 
with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but 
With the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter i. 20). 

Secondly. The blood of Christ carries the right 
of redemption. Blood implies nearness of relation. 
As God made all nations of men of one blood, so 
he hath made Christ and us of one blood (Heb. ii. 
14). " Forasmuch as the children are partakers 
of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the 
same." Christ as God had power to redeem us, 
but as being (Immanuel) God with us, one with us, 
a kinsman and brother, he not only had a right, 
but was obliged to redeem us. 

To clear the point a little further, there are five 
things concurring to complete the office and service 
of our Redeemer: 

1st. The Redeemer must be a kinsman. 

2d. He must redeem upon that ground or no- 

3d. He must deliver those who were under re- 
straint or captivity from the hand of their enemies 
and oppressors. 

4th. He must not pay any price to the oppressor. 


5 th. He must pay the price to the true Lord, or 
into his hands, to whom the redeemed originally or 
of right do belong. 

These five considerations meet in Christ our Re- 
deemer. Mankind fallen may be looked upon in 
two ways : 

First. As under the power of sin and Satan. 

Secondly. As under the power and justice of God. 
When Christ came to redeem us, he paid nothing 
to the devil but blows. " He spoiled principalities 
and powers," but he did not make their satisfac- 
tion. We owed the devil nothing; he was only an 
executioner to vex and afflict us ; but he paid the 
price to the Father, under w r hose justice we were 
fallen, and so he exactly fulfilled all the duties and 
sustained all the parts of a Redeemer to the ut- 

Further, Job doth not only profess faith in a Re- 
deemer, but in his Redeemer — my Redeemer liveth. 
Every word in this confession is precious and 
weighty. Here he useth an appropriating word, 
yet he doth not engross the Redeemer to himself, 
excluding others, but he takes his part with others. 
Those pronouns, mine, thine, his, are words of love, 
and drop like honeycomb with sweetness of affection. 
The first work of faith is to believe that Christ is 


a Redeemer ; the second is to believe and rely upon 
Christ as a Redeemer ; the third is to see an inter- 
est in Christ as my Redeemer. The faith of Job 
did not run upon generals, but was fixed, set down 
and resolved to live and die by his living Redeemer. 
As if he had said, Though I am mortal and dying, 
as also you my friends are, yet my Redeemer liveth. 
He speaks of his life without any distinction of 
time, past or to come ; God is for ever " I Am." 

Again, when he saith, My Redeemer liveth, we 
must look on Christ not only as having life, but as 
the Lord and Prince of life. Christ as the eternal 
Word hath life in himself, so also hath life to be- 
stow at his pleasure or upon whom he pleaseth. 

Again, the words, " My Redeemer liveth" note 
the strength, activity and power of Jesus Christ — 
not a mere being or substance only, but might and 
strength. As if he had said, " Though I am weak, 
poor and miserable, though my life be so low and 
my body so dispirited that I may more fitly be 
numbered among the dead than among the living, 
yet my Redeemer liveth and is mighty." And 
thus Job ascribed efficiency and strength to him as 
well as life. 

From this part of Job's confession observe — 

First. Affliction doth not separate from Christ. 


When Job could call nothing in or of the world 
his, he could call Christ his. 

Secondly. Observe that a believer may arrive at 
an assurance, at the full assurance, of his interest in 
Jesus Christ the Redeemer. Faith acts upon a 
sure ground ; 'tis bottomed on the knowledge of a 
sure word — not upon an opinion — and it is not sat- 
isfied until it can say, Jesus is mine and I am his. 

Thirdly. Observe that Jesus Christ was the Re- 
deemer from the beginning. Christ speaks of the 
times as high as Abraham : " Before Abraham was, 
I am." And the apostle Jude speaks higher of 
him, that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophe- 
sied of the coming of Jesus Christ to judge the 
world ; therefore certainly he was acquainted with 
the promise of Jesus Christ to redeem the world. 

Fourthly. Learn that there is but one Redeemer. 
One is all, as the apostle testifies (Acts iv. 12) : 
" Neither is there any name under heaven whereby 
we must be saved, but only by the Lord Jesus." 

Fifthly. Note we have a living Redeemer. 
" Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more." 
In this life of Christ our comfort lives. First, in 
that he liveth to us ; that is, for our good, both in 
a temporal salvation from troubles, and in an eter- 
nal salvation from sin and condemnation. Sec- 


ondly, that we live in him ; he is our life, and our 
life is as safe as his. From this double comfort, is- 
suing out of this great truth, I shall only intimate 
this single duty incumbent upon all believers — 
Live to Christ. 

The second article of Job's confession is not only 
that his Eedeemer liveth, but that he shall stand 
at the latter day upon the earth. As the whole 
gospel-time is called the last time or the latter clays, 
so there is a latter day which is more special and 
particular, and that is the day of the resurrection 
or the day of judgment, which we may call the last 
of the latter days. 

1st. The vulgar translation renders the clause, 
" He shall stand at the latter day," in the first per- 
son, as Job's profession of his faith about his own 

2d. This clause is understood by some metaphor- 
ically : " He shall stand" — that is, Christ shall 
conquer all his enemies. 

3d. These words (as others conceive) at least in- 
timate to us the incarnation of Christ. 

4th. Others conceive these words speaking Job's 
faith in the resurrection of Christ from the earth. 

5th. Yet (as I conceive) these words are more 
strictly to be understood of his coming to raise all 


flesh out of the dust, and then to proceed in judg- 
ment with them. Our bodies shall be raised out 
of the dust in the latter day by the power of Christ. 
Then they who are dead shall be redeemed from 
the power of the grave, and they who are found 
alive shall be redeemed from all the troubles and 
sorrows of life. Then Christ will wipe all tears 
from the eyes of every afflicted Job; then he will 
heal all the sores of his Jobs ; then he will make 
all his Jobs like himself; they that lay on a dung- 
hill scraping their sores with a potsherd, when 
Christ appears shall appear with him in glory. 
Yea, when the Redeemer shall stand upon the 
earth in the latter day, he will marry all his Jobs 
to himself; he will take them from the dust and 
lay them in his bosom for ever. Therefore, well 
might Job, and well may any saint in his or in a 
worse condition than his, rejoice and triumph in 
this faith : " I know that my Redeemer liveth, and 
that he shall stand in the latter day upon the 
earth." — Job xix. 25. 



MEN in power should not satisfy themselves with 
what will pass among or be countenanced by 
men, but consider what is right in itself, what is right 
in the sight of God, and that they are in the sight of 
God. A bad business may pass very well among 
men, and we may have advocates who will answer 
for us and stop the mouths of all gainsayers ; but 
can they stop the mouth of conscience? Can they 
blind the eyes of God or impose upon him? God 
is the Judge of all the earth, and he will at last sit 
in judgment upon all the judges of the earth. — Job 
xxxi. 21. 

A GODLY magistrate will do just and righteous 
things, though all the world rise up against 

BY how much magistrates are lifted up above 
the fear of men, and by how much all other 
men ought to fear them, by so much should they 
be carried out more than other men in the fear of 


SOME men are set to rule men who keep no 
rules. A wise man would not set them over 
his dogs. 


EDITATION turns the promises of God into 


MEDITATION is the inward view of a thing, 
or the beholding of it with the intellectual 
eye; it is the continual turning of things over in 
the mind to behold the excellences and perfections 
that are in them. 

THERE are two things which should be the 
daily meditation of saints, or they should be 
continually acquainting themselves with them : 
First, the cross of Christ, that they may know how 
and be willing to suffer for him ; secondly, the 
yoke of Christ, that they may know how and be 
willing to serve him. 



TTIIS enough to make all ministers of Christ trem- 

JL ble and cry out in the apostle's words, " Who 

is sufficient for these things?" to remember that 

when they speak to men, they speak in God's stead. 

GOD hath not made his ministers lions to scare 
his flock, nor bulls to gore them, but shep- 
herds to feed them and watch over them. 

T11IS not enough barely to receive Christ's mes- 
J- sengers ; they must be received as the messen- 
gers of Christ. 


MAN being naturally unclean, his children and 
posterity are unclean too. The copy cannot 
be better than the original, nor the effect nobler 
than the cause. This flesh hath an ill name all the 
Scriptures over. The son of an Ethiopian is also 
an Ethiopian. Our father was an Ammonite, and 
so are we. The natural constitution of everything 
is transmitted by natural generation. Man is him- 


self unclean, and all his issue is like himself. God 
created man pure, in his own likeness, after his 
image, and man begets man impure, in his own 
likeness, after his image. There are two things in 
this uncleanness : 

1st. There is a privation of that comeliness and 
beauty which was stamped upon man in his original 

2d. The actions which he brings forth are un- 

There are seven considerable properties in this 
uncleanness : 

1st. It is an internal uncleanness, for even the 
mind and conscience are defiled. 

2d. It is an abiding uncleanness. All the water 
in the ocean cannot wash it out ; all the fire in hell 
cannot burn it out. 

3d. It is an abounding uncleanness. It is not in 
the hand or face only, but in and upon the whole 
man; it goes quite through. 

4th. It is an active or powerful uncleanness, 
stirring up an unholy war in man against the holy 
will of God. 

5th. It is a diffusive or infectious uncleanness, 
like a leprosy or plague — first, by way of propaga- 
tion from Adam ; secondly, by way of imitation ; 


and so one man doing evil, another seeth and catch- 
eth it, he is infected and defiled with it. 

6th. It is a bewitching and ensnaring unclean- 
ness. All the bodily beauty in the world did never 
entice so many as the deformity and foul face of 
sin hath. 

7th. It is a murderous and mortal uncleanness. 
There is no escaping death if we live in it; it is the 
ruin as well as the dishonour of man. — Job xiv. 4. 


THAT old age is venerable, not which hath white 
hair, but which whiteneth with virtuous and 
worthy actions. 

OLD age hath no glory without wisdom to do 
righteous things, and when an old man is 
without righteousness his old age is not his crown, 
but his reproach. 

OLD age is a blessing, and good indeed when we 
are old in goodness or grow old doing good. 
Better to die young than to live to old age, and 
then die in sin. 


SOME old men have nothing of old age in them 
but the infirmities of it. 



E that seeth our ways and counteth all our 
steps cannot be a stranger to what we are, to 

what we are doing or have done. 

A GRACIOUS heart considers himself much 
and always under the eye of God. And as it 
shows a very holy frame of heart to do so, so it is 
an excellent means to keep the heart in a steady 
frame of holiness. 


S the Lord marks all our paths, so it will be 
our wisdom to mark our own paths. 

Qi AT AN observeth and watcheth his time to fasten 
^ his temptations most strongly upon the soul. 
As the mercies of God are exceedingly endeared to 
us by the season in which they come to us, when 
they come to us in our special need, how sweet is a 


mercy then ! And as our obedience is exceedingly 
commended to God when it is upon a fit day — when 
it is on a day wherein he calls for and expects it — 
and as our sins are exceedingly aggravated by the 
season and time wherein they are committed, what! 
sin upon this day — a day of trouble, a day of hu- 
miliation ? As Elisha rebuked Gehazi (2 Kings v. 
26), Is this a time to receive money? Is this a 
time for thy heart to run out sinfully after the 
world ? — so likewise the temptations of Satan are 
exceedingly embittered by the season, and he knows 
well enough what seasons will make them most 
bitter ; and what can more embitter a cup of sor- 
row than to have it brought upon us in a day of 

Thus he did with Christ. It is observed that 
when Christ had fasted forty days and forty nights, 
and afterward was hungry, then the tempter came. 
He lays hold of this advantage. He would not 
come till he was hungry, to persuade him to turn 
stones into bread. What a strength had this temp- 
tation from the season ! Had Christ been full, 
there w r ould not have been such an edgp upon, such 
a weight in, this temptation. How many doth 
Satan tempt to turn stones into bread when he 
comes to them in their hunger ! Thou art in a 


strait, like to starve and perish; procure thyself 
meat and provision by unlawful and sinful ways — 
this is indeed to turn stones into bread. 

It were well if we could be wise in this respect 
to imitate Satan — to choose out our day to do good 
when there is the greatest probability of success, as 
he chose out his day to do mischief. It is the apos- 
tle's rule, u As you have opportunity to do good." 
If we could be wise to lay hold of opportunities, it 
would be a w r onderful advantage to us. As a word 
fitly spoken is a w r ord upon the wheel, so a work 
fitly done is a work upon the wheel ; it goeth on — 
takes upon the heart both of God and man. Let 
us consider whether now we have not a season — 
whether this be not a day that holds forth to us a 
glorious opportunity. Let us therefore be as quick 
in our clay to do good as Satan was in that day to 
do hurt. 

This is a day wherein great things are doing and 
grievous things are a-suffering by many of our 
brethren ; therefore you should be working this 
day. This is a day in which sons of Belial — men 
that will not have Christ's yoke — are combining to 
break it and cast his cord from them. Then join 
this day to help Christ, else, as Mordecai said to 
Esther, " If thou altogether holdest thy peace at 


this time (this was a day for Esther to work in), 
then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise 
to the Jews from another quarter, but thou and thy 
father's house shall be destroyed." So I may say 
to you in reference to the present opportunity : if 
you altogether hold your peace, hold your purses 
and hold your hand at this time, enlargement will 
come to the Church some other way, but you may 
be destroyed who think to hold and keep your 
peace, either by saying or doing nothing; if ever 
you will appear, this is a day to appear in to do 
good. Let us be wise to manage and improve our 
day, so that it may never be said of us as our Lord 
did of Jerusalem, " If ye had known, even in this 
your day, the things which belong unto your peace !" 
—Job i. 13. 


THAT which hath fastened so many errors to the 
pope's chair, and from thence scattered them 
over all the world, is an opinion that he in his chair 
cannot err; his supposed spirit of infallibility hath 
made him the great deceiver, and deceived him. He 
that thinks he cannot err, errs in thinking so, and 
seldom speaks or thinks or does anything but it is 


an error. He is most secured from error who sus- 
pects he hath erred, and humbly acknowledges that 
he may. — Job vi. 24. 

WISDOM is no man's peculiar, and a great opin- 
ion of our own wisdom savours of great folly. 
The very head of that monster, papal pride, appears 
in this point. The pope thinks himself to be the 
man, that he is the people, that all the wisdom and 
judgment of the world is contracted into him and 
fastened to the pummels of his chair, whence he 
w T ould be believed to utter oracles with a spirit of 
infallibility. — Job xii. 2. 

THE great cheat which the pope hath put upon 
the world is, that the Spirit of God is tied to 
the pummels of his chair, so that there he cannot 
err. But as particular men, so whole councils of 
learned and aged men have erred. 

TRUE wisdom is not the birth of time nor the 
peculiar of a party, but the free gift of the 
Spirit of God, who is most free both in what he 
giveth and to whom he giveth. 


THE pope challengeth to himself that though he 
may err in his private actions, as he is a man, 
yet as he is {in cathedra) seated in the apostolic 
chair, as he is the visible head of the Church, he 
cannot err; his will is the rule. We see what rule 
it is by the rule which it has given. Who can say 
that is clean which brings forth an unclean thing, 
or straight and true which brings forth that which 
is crooked and erroneous ? Sinful actings bespeak 
sinful men, and his actings have been sinful enough 
to speak him (what is written of him) "the man 
of sin." 


PARDONED sins cannot hurt the sinner, and 
though it troubles him that he hath sinned, 
yet his sins cannot trouble him. He w T ho is once 
purged hath no more conscience of sin. This is 
the glory of the gospel. Free grace in justification 
takes all our sins off the file as if they were not at 
all. Pardon is the blotting of transgressions out 
of God's book, and if they are once blotted out 
of. God's book, we need not care who writes them 
in their book, nor w T hat books men or devils write 
against us. — Job xxxi. 37. 


THE greatest sins fall within the compass of 
God's pardoning mercy. The grace of the 
gospel is large as any evil of sin the law can charge 
us with. Whatever the law can call or show to be 
sin, the gospel can show a pardon for it; whatever 
the law can bind us with, the gospel can unloose. 
The mercy-seat covered the whole ark. The mercy- 
seat noted the forgiveness of sins, and if you read 
the description of it (Exodus xxv.), you shall find 
that it was exactly to a hair's breadth of the same 
dimensions with the ark wherein the Law was put, 
intimating that there was mercy and pardon for sin, 
let it come out of any part of that Law laid up in 
the ark. 

THE sin-pardoning mercy of God is one of the 
highest and most spiritual arguments by which 
the soul is kept from sin. 

BE not discouraged, though your sins are great, 
when you come to ask the pardon of them. As 
the greatness of sin puts a very great damp upon 
the spirit of man in asking pardon, so the greatness 
of God should take off that damp. There is noth- 
ing wherein God doth more exceed man than in 



pardoning sin. If sin be great, the mercy of God 
is great too — infinitely greater than the sin of man ; 
if sin be great, remember we have a great High 
Priest (Heb. iv. 14) ; not only a Priest, but a High 
Priest, and a great High Priest: therefore fear not 
to ask the pardon even of the greatest sin in his 
name and for his sake. 


PASSIONS in the mind are like a tempest in the 
air. They disturb others much, but ourselves 

HE that fills his own mind with passionate 
thoughts will soon fill the ears of others with 
unprofitable words. 


O show much reason and little passion is our 

]^EAR will not be blown away with a breath. 
- Our passions are never truly quieted nor attem- 
pered but by reason. 



PATIENCE ascends by three steps to the per- 
fection of her work. The first is a silent (not a 
sullen) submission in resignation of ourselves to the 
disposal of God. Secondly, a kind of thankful ac- 
ceptation, or kissing of the rod which smites us. 
The third step is spiritual joy and serious cheerful- 
ness under sorrowful dispensations. 

THE Lord waits to be gracious. He waits the 
working of this or that means, of a second or 
third means, and he waits the working of them all 
over and over again, or oftentimes. Here is pa- 
tience with long-sufferance. 


PERSEVERANCE is at once the duty and the 
privilege of the saints. 

IT is not the hold which we have of God, but that 
which he hath of us, that makes us hold on our 
way. We should quickly let go our hold of God, 
if God had not infinite faster hold of us. 


TRUE grace lives, and therefore it must needs 
grow. The grain of mustard seed proves a 
great tree. 

TO persevere is best when we persevere in good, 
and to persevere is worst when we persevere 
in evil. 


IN prayer there is a reasoning with God, and the 
reasonings and pleadings that are in prayer are 
the life and strength of prayer. The prayers of 
the saints recorded in Scripture are full of argu- 
ments. I shall show it in one example, as a taste 
of the rest : Jacob, in his distress at the approach 
of his brother Esau, flees to God in prayer (Gen. 
xxxii.), and he doth more than speak in prayer; 
he argues, yea he wrestles, with God in prayer. 
The sum of it is set down (v. 11) : " Deliver me, I 
pray thee I" To the undertaking of this deliverance 
he urgeth the Lord by no fewer than seven argu- 
ments : First, from God's covenant with his ances- 
tors, " O God of my father Abraham/ 7 etc. ; as if 
he had said, Remember those names with whom 
thou madest solemn covenants of protection, both to 


them and their posterity. The second is from God's 
particular command for this journey, "Thou saidst 
unto me, Return ;" I departed not on my own head, 
but by thy direction, and therefore thou canst not 
for thy honour but free me from danger, seeing at 
thy word I am fallen into it. Thou, O Lord, art 
ever engaged to give me defence while I yield thee 
obedience. Thirdly, he puts him in mind of his 
promises. Thou saidst, "I will deal well with 
thee," and that includes all other promises made 
unto him ; these he makes as a bulwark to defend 
him, as his anchor in the storm. This anchor must 
fail and this bulwark be broken down before danger 
comes to me. If thy promise stand, I cannot fall. 
The fourth is the confession of his own un worthiness. 
Faith is always humble, and while we are most con- 
fident in God's word we are most distrustful of our 
own undesert: "I am not worthy of the least of all 
thy mercies." Though I am thus bold to urge thy 
covenant, yet I am as ready to acknowledge my 
own undesert. Thou art a debtor by the promise 
thou hast made me, not by any performance of mine 
to thee. Fifthly, he seeks to continue the current 
of God's favour by showing how plentifully it had 
already streamed unto him, which he doth by way 
of antithesis, setting his former poverty in opposi- 


tion to his present riches : " With my staff I passed 
over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands;" 
that is, thou hast blessed me abundantly, and shall 
my brother's malice blast all ? Am I increased 
only to make him abound ? The sixth argument 
is the greatness and eminence of his peril : u I fear 
lest he come and slay the mother upon the chil- 
dren" — a proverbial speech in the holy Scriptures, 
like that of cutting off branch and root in one day, 
both denoting total excision or an utter overthrow. 
Seventhly, he shuts up by reinforcing the mention 
of the promise which he urgeth more strongly than 
before. There it was only, "Thou saidst I will 
deal well with thee ;" but here it is, " Thou saidst, 
In doing good I will do thee good" — that is, as it 
is rendered in our translation, " I will surely do 
thee good," and therefore let not my brother do me 
evil. We see Jacob's prayer was a reasoning with 
God, and himself in the issue got not only a new 
blessing but a new name : Israel, a prince with God, 
a prevailer both with God and men. — Job ix. 14. 

PRAYER without faith is like a gun discharged 
without a bullet, which makes a noise, but doth 
no execution. 


ANSWER of our prayer is the grant of God. 
Nothing stands between us and our desires 
but his will. If he sign our petition, no creature 
can hinder us of our expectation. 

THE return of prayer is the soul's solace and 

IN seeking God we must look to receive all from 
his free grace and undeserved favour. Mercy 
in God is the spring of all mercies received by man. 
In all our approaches to God we should reflect 
upon ourselves, not only as having many wants 
and no worthiness, but as having many sins and 
(of our own) no goodness. — Job viii. 5. 

A praying soul is an expecting soul, 

DO not think your prayers are lost because your 
afflictions are not removed, or that God doth 
not hear you because he doth not presently relieve 
you. God forbears when he doth not deny. He 
answers to our profit when he doth not to our 



OD is a sure paymaster, and yet he expects we 
should seek him before he pays. 

TPHE will of God is the rule, not only of things 
J- to be done by us, but of things which w r e are 
to ask of God to do for us. 

IN prayer we prevail with God, but the strength 
whereby we prevail with God comes from God ; 
yea, he doth not only give us strength in prayer to 
act by, but he acts that strength in prayer. 


IXGED prayers have usually a winged an- 
swer — they are answered speedily. 

INWROUGHT prayer, or prayer that hath a 
spirit in it, carrieth all before it. Surely that 
prayer which is acted by the Holy Spirit nothing 
can bind or hold from prevailing. 

GODLY men are ever answered in effect though 
not in kind. 


GOD certainly hears what we speak, but we many 
times do not hear what he speaks, though he 
speaks peace to us. God always hears the prayer 
of faith and answers it, but we do not always hear 
what the answer is. 

JOB thought he was not heard because he had 
not present deliverance, and in that sense in- 
deed he was not heard ; and thus many of the 
saints may pray and not be heard — that is, they 
may pray and have not present deliverance. But 
how may we know that we are heard at any time, 
especially then when we have not present deliver- 
ance? I answer it, in four things : 

1st. By the quietness of our spirits. ; Tis a sign 
prayer is answered when we are satisfied, though 
the thing be not given in which we prayed for. 
Hannah, having poured out her soul before the 
Lord, went her way and did eat, and her counte- 
nance was no more sad (1 Sam. i. 18). The text 
saith nothing of the answer of her prayer at that 
time. But the peace and satisfaction which she 
had in her own spirit about it was an argument 
that the thing was granted, as indeed it was. 

2d. Though we receive not the mercy presently, 
yet if we receive fresh strength to bear the want of 


it, that's an answer. So Paul was answered. God 
did not remove the messenger of Satan from him, 
but he said, " My grace is sufficient for thee, and 
my strength is made perfect in weakness ;" though 
I remove not the evil, yet my power shall support 
thee under it. 

3d. We are answered when, though the evil be 
not removed, yet we have faith and patience to 
tarry the Lord's leisure for the removal of it. 
When patience hath a perfect work (either in ex- 
pecting or suffering) w T e are perfect and entire, 
wanting nothing, though we have not what we want. 

Lastly. He is answered in prayer that is more 
heavenly or more in heaven after prayer. He that 
is edified in his holy faith hath certainly prayed in 
the Holy Ghost (Jude 20); and sure enough, every 
such prayer is heard. 

"\yOTHING is tunable nor takes the ear and 
i- 1 heart of Christ like the voice of prayer and 
praise from a gracious heart. 

PRAYER is as it were a battle fought in heaven 
— not in wrath or revenge, but with faith and 
holy submission. 


THERE is a threefold strength needful in prayer, 
and God by his Spirit puts these three strengths 
in us : 

First. The Spirit helps us with strength of argu- 
ment to plead with God. 

Secondly. The Spirit helps us with strength of 
faith in taking hold upon God. 

Thirdly. The Spirit helps us with strength of 
patience in waiting upon God till we receive what 
we prayed for. 


IT was the ancient error of the Pelagians that the 
sin of man came only by imitation. They de- 
nied that a man had a stock of corruption in his 
nature, or that his nature was corrupted ; but see- 
ing others sin, he sinned — an opinion which carries 
its condemnation in its own face as well as in our 
hearts. And though similitudes are no proofs, yet 
the reason of a similitude is. Man's sinning is 
therefore compared to sparks flying, to show how 
naturally he sins. A spark flies upward without 
any guide to lead it the way, and a bird would fly 
though she should never see another bird fly. And 
if a man could live so as never to see any one ex- 


ample of sin all his days, yet that man out of his 
own heart might bring forth every sin every day. 
Example quickens and encourages the principles 
of sin within us, but we can sin without any ex- 
trinsic motion or provocation, without pattern or 
precedent from without. — Job v. 7. 


WE should w^ell consider the state of every per- 
son to whom we speak, and apply our speech 
or doctrine accordingly. Christ would not put his 
new wine into old bottles, but attempered his speech 
to the tempers and capacity of his hearers. The 
dividing of the Word is the dividing of it spiritu- 
ally to the several states and conditions of men, 
giving to such a word of instruction, to others a 
word of reproof, to a third sort words of comfort. 
Paul would have Timothy a workman that needeth 
not to be ashamed. He would have him to know 
to Avhom he uttered words, to know when he spake 
to sinners and when to saints, when he spake to the 
afflicted and when to them that were in a comfort- 
able state. And thus as every man who uttereth 
words, so ministers of the gospel especially should 
be well advised to whom they utter them. For as 


the same garments will not serve everybody to 
wear nor the same bed to lie upon, so the same 
Word will not suit every soul. When we have 
duly weighed the matter which, the persons to 
whom, the season when, the measure how much 
and the manner in which we ought to speak, then 
we are like to speak to purpose, and shall be above 
the reproof which Job gives to Bildad : " To whom 
hast thou uttered words ?" — Job xxiv. 4. 

TWO things are the grace and excellency of a 
speaker : First, to speak boldly and freely, to 
speak the truth out — not to clip nor straighten it. 
Secondly, to speak plainly, to open the truth and 
not to intricate nor involve it. 


FT! HERE is a twofold perfection ascribed to the 
J- saints in this life — a perfection of justification 
and perfection of sanctification. The first of these 
in a strict sense is a complete perfection. The 
saints are complete in Christ; they are perfectly 
justified; there is not any sin left uncovered, nor 
any guilt left unwashed in the blood of Christ, nor 


the least spot but is taken away. His garment is 
large enough to cover all our nakedness and defor- 
mities. By one offering Christ hath perfected for 
ever them that are sanctified. Then there is a per- 
fection of holiness or sanctification, and that is 
called so either in regard of the beginning of, or in 
regard of desires after and aims at, perfection. The 
saints in this life have a perfect beginning of holi- 
ness, because they are' begun to be sanctified in 
every part (1 Thess. v. 23), though every part be 
not throughout sanctified. When sanctification is 
begun in all parts, it is a perfect work begin- 
ning. They are likewise perfect in regard of their 
desires and intendments. Perfect holiness is the 
aim of the saints on earth — it is the reward of the 
saints in heaven. — Job i. 1. 

IF any say, " Why doth God call us to a perfec- 
tion of sanctification in this life if it be not at- 
tainable in this life ly I answer, he doth it — first, to 
show how holy he is ; secondly, to show how holy 
we ought to be; thirdly, he doth it that Ave might 
run to Christ, who is the Lord our righteousness, 
we being altogether short of righteousness and short 
in righteousness may go to him and have a com- 
plete and perfect righteousness. — Job xxxiv. 5. 



THE affections and opinions of men are very va- 
riable. How great a change did Christ him- 
self find ! He is the same yesterday, to-day, and 
for ever ; yet one day the Jews cry. Hosanna ; they 
will needs make him a king; he had much ado to 
keep himself from a crown; the air echoes with 
" Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord !" 
Yet presently after the cry was, Crucify him, cru- 
cify him; he is not worthy to live; he could not 
keep himself (by all his power as a man) from the 
cross. A murderer is preferred before him : " Not 
this man, but Barabbas." — Job xvii. 6. 

IIVE not upon the breath of men, upon popular 
-J air, or the speech of the people. 

YT7HEN Job did swim in the full streams of 
T' riches and honours, all respected him; but 
no sooner were the waters fallen and his worldly 
greatness ebbed or abated, but all sorts of men, 
especially the worst of men, abated their respects 
to him. No sooner was he afflicted, but slighted 
and derided. — Job xxx. 1. 



MAN naturally preferreth himself, not only above 
other men, but even before God himself. A 
principle of pride dwells in our hearts by nature, 
which at some times and in some cases breeds bet- 
ter thoughts of ourselves than of God himself. 
We know it was the first sin of man that man de- 
sired to be like God. The first temptation was 
baited with a parity to the divine powers : Ye shall 
be as gods, knowing good and evil. This also was 
the language of Lucifer (Isaiah xiv. 13, 14). And 
the practice of the man of sin is thus prophesied 
that he shall exalt himself above all that is called 
God. But the heart of man is more mad and hath 
outgrown these simple principles. For in troubles 
and temptations, when things go not according to 
his mind, he sometimes has thoughts that he is not 
only like God, but that he is more just than God, 
and that if he had the ordering of things he would 
order them better than God, and if he had the pun- 
ishing of offenders, justice should proceed more 
freely and impartially than it doth. — Job iv. 17. 

F)BJDE is such a weed as often grows in the best 



PRIDE is a bad mother of many bad children, 
these three especially : first, boasting of our- 
selves ; secondly, contending with others; thirdly, 
despising of others. 


WHILE a believer reads the Book of God, he 
sees great riches, many precious things in the 
promises, and whatever good he finds there, there 
is nothing of it too good for him ; he may know it all 
for his own good. Those sweet delicious promises 
of the pardon of sin, of the love of God, of the free- 
ness of grace, of the glory to come, the promises of 
Christ and of all that is Christ's, — all these things 
are his ; w r hen he reads them he may set his mark 
upon them and know for his good — know them as 
his own proper good. — Job v. 27. 

LET us be sure to stick to the commandments of 
God, for we may be sure God will stick to his 
promises. To keep commandments is our work — to 
keep promises is God's work ; though we may fail 
much in our work, God will not fail at all in his 
w r ork. To believe this is our highest and truest 
work of faith. 


THERE are four things ascribed to God in Scrip- 
ture which may assure us he will be just in 
performing all his promises : First, he remembers 
them all (Ps. cxi. 5) : secondly, he is unchangeable 
and in one mind (Job xxiii. 13, 14); thirdly, he is 
the Almighty, and ever furnished with power to 
perform them; fourthly, he is most faithful^ and 
will not deny nor falsify them (Heb. x. 23). 


AYORD from God is as sure as his deed ; our 
hope upon promises as good as possession. 


THE very confusions that are in the world are 
an argument for the power of God. For see- 
ing the world continue in the midst of such confu- 
sions, it shows there is a mighty power balancing 
those confusions so exactly that they cannot ruin 
the world. If there were not an overruling power 
in God, wicked men ruling would soon ruin all. 
There are mysteries of Providence as w T ell as of 
faith, and many are as much troubled to interpret 
w r hat God doeth as what he hath spoken. — Job ix. 24. 


rilHE common blessings of God are not dispensed 
J- without a special providence. Nature works 
not without the God of Nature. — Job v. 10. 

THE providence of God watches over all his 
creatures. All their motions are by his per- 
mission or commission. They stir not without his 
leave. The providence of God is his watch, and 
therefore it is called the eye of Providence; and 
Providence hath such an eye as never slumbers nor 
sleeps, and therein lieth our security that we have 
a providential eye open for us when ours are shut 

and we asleep. 

— •<>• — 

SOME providences of God put the wisest to a 
stand. Not only are fools and wicked men, 
but men of the greatest experience and understand- 
ing in the ways of God, so puzzled that they know 
not what to say or how to answer. The Lord is 
pleased to give us hard texts and chapters in his 
works, as he doth in his Word. 

THOUGH providences appear cross to promises 
and prophecies, yet they never frustrate either. 

mm THOUGHTS. 149 

THE date of God's order for disposing the crea- 
tion is from the beginning, yea from everlast- 
ing. As the model of the creation what things 
should be was with him from everlasting, so was 
the model of providence how all things should be 
governed and disposed of. The government of the 
world is as much of God as the giving of it a being. 
Creation was a work that ended in six days, but 
providence is a work that never ends ; thus God 
always worketh, though always at rest. 

Providence is creation continued. 


PRUDENCE uses to go softly — wisdom keeps a 
kind of state in her pace and loves to go step 
by step, not headlong. A prudent man sets his 
head before his feet in consultation, but he loves to 
go upon his feet — not upon his head — in action. 

HASTY counsels are successless counsels. They 
who will not take time to consult about 
what they do, may have time enough to repent 


about what they have done. And they who will 
not take the time for doing what they consult, lose 
all the time they took for consultation. 


TO redeem properly is to take a man out of the 
power of another by price or by greater power. 
Redemption is an act of special favour, and it notes 
a special distinction by favour. When God threat- 
ened Pharaoh with swarms of flies, and promised 
that his own people should be free, this act of di- 
vine discrimination is called redemption. " And I 
will put a division (Heb. a redemption) between 
my people and thy people ;" that is, those armies 
of flies which invade thy people shall not meddle 
with my people. To see one perish with, and our- 
selves saved from, the sword is redemption in war. 
To see others hunger-starved and ourselves still 
fed, is redemption from famine, though ourselves 
were never in the hands or between the teeth of 
famine. A people divided from the troubles of 
others are redeemed from those troubles. Such re- 
demption our Saviour speaks of (Matt. xxiv. 40, 
41): " Two shall be in the field; the one shall be 
taken, the other left, — Job v. 20. 


AS Christ will not save presumptuous sinners 
who believe without repenting, so neither will 
he save incredulous sinners who repent without 

JESUS CHRIST came to save us from our sins, 
not to save us in our sins. 


NEVER think to have help for the cure of your 
souls by the diseases of your bodies ; usually 
we find that sick persons repent not, or theirs is a 
sickly repentance. 

TILL the heart be prepared we cannot pray ; 
until iniquity be purged out prayer is not ac- 
cepted ; unless all three be done, we have not re- 
pented, or our repentance must be repented of. 
Except we repent thus we cannot be saved, and 
only that repentance is not to be repented of which 
is unto salvation. 

THERE is no way for us to get our sin covered 
but by revealing it, nor hid but by confessing it. 


HOW pitifully are they mistaken who put off 
repentance till their bodies be in pain — till 
they are sick and weak ! They do it upon this 
ground, because they think when they are in pain 
they shall do it with more ease. Observe, if Satan 
thinks to have such an advantage upon a holy man 
(as Job) as to make him blaspheme when he is in 
pain, dost thou think pain will be an advantage to 
thy repentance? It is said that at the pouring out 
of the fourth vial (Rev. xvi. 9), when God did smite 
the inhabitants of the earth and scorched them with 
great heat, that they blasphemed the name of God 
(they did that which Satan presumed Job would 
do), and they repented not to give him glory. 

AS in true repentance there is a change from a 
bad to a good mind, and from a perverse to a 
right and righteous way ; so there is a change from 
a troubled to a quiet mind, and from a painful to 
a pleasant and delightful way. 

NEITHER a weeping eye nor a confessing 
tongue, nor (in case of wrong done to man) a 
restoring hand, will be taken for repentance with- 
out a broken heart. 


REPENTANCE is a grace of the gospel wrought 
in the heart of a sinner by the Word and Spirit, 
turning the whole man from all sin to God in the 
sincere and universal obedience of his holy will. — 
Job xlii. 6. 

THE whole body of gospel duty moves upon 
these two feet — faith and repentance. 

REPENTANCE for and continuance in sin can- 
not consist in the same subject. 


THAT which is ill-gotten must be restored. Put 
it out of thy house, out of thy family ; it will 
be a fire to burn, a moth to consume, a canker to 
fret all thy comforts. That which is ill got will 
poison that which is well got. 


THE resurrection is a birth-day to the world. 
The earth and sea shall be in travail and be de- 
livered. They took dead men into their womb, 
and shall (by the pow T er of God) return them living. 


IN the morning of the resurrection we shall all 
put on fresh suits — fresh suits of flesh and robes 
of glory upon them, such as shall never change, 
much less wear out. — Job xiv. 4. 

THE total consumption of the body of man is no 
impediment in the way of faith to stop us from 
believing the resurrection. Job speaks in such lan- 
guage as might represent the greatest difficulty to 
faith, and yet conquers it. As death shall triumph 
over my body, so my faith shall triumph over 
death. — Job xix. 26. 

THE body after the resurrection shall be true 
flesh, or shall have true flesh. There will be 
an adding somewhat to that which was before, not 
a taking away of that that was before. The flesh 
shall be refined and purified; it shall not be laid 
aside or annihilated. 


GOD doth sometimes give the riches of wicked 
men to poor godly men whom they have op- 
pressed. Job himself (Job xxvii. 16) gives us this 
truth in express terms. When speaking of a wicked 


man he saith, " Though he heap up silver as the 
dust and prepare raiment as the clay, he may pre- 
pare it (let him prepare it, let him scrape it together 
as fast as he can), but the just shall put it on and 
the innocent shall divide the silver;" that is, those 
just and innocent persons whom he hath wronged 
shall by a divine retaliation enter upon his estate. 
The wicked grind the faces of the poor to make 
themselves bread, but at last the poor shall make 
bread of their corn and grist. We may see the 
track and footstep of this judgment in our days. 
How many sons of violence who have made many 
persons — yea, families — hungry, naked and desolate, 
are now made desolate and naked ! God hath so 
wrought and answered us by terrible things in 
righteousness, that oppressed innocents have been 
put into the houses and fed upon the fatness of un- 
righteous oppressors. — Job v. 5. 


BEFORE the giving of the Law, the father or 
the elder of the family was as a priest to the 
whole family, and he had the right and the power 
to perform all holy family duties, as the duty of 
sacrificing and the like. 


SACRIFICES in themselves were nothing either 
to God or to man ; they had no power in them 
either to pacify God or purge the soul of man. 
But look upon the sacrifice as it was an institution, 
and there God saw his Son Jesus Christ in it and 
was well pleased, and likewise man beheld and be- 
lieved Christ in it and was purged. When the 
sacrifice was offering, man saw Christ suffering; 
this took away his sin and pacified his conscience. 
God saw the death of his Son, and that satisfied 
him ; and man saw the death of his Saviour, and 
that justified him. — Job i. 5. 

THERE was never any w r ay in the world, from 
first to last, to help a sinner but by a sacrifice, 
and who was the sacrifice ? Surely Jesus Christ 
was the sacrifice. It was not the blood of bulls 
and goats that could take away sin; these only 
pointed at Jesus Christ, who alone did it by bear- 
ing our sins and by being made a sacrifice for them. 
To typify or show this we read in the law of Moses 
that the sin of the offender was laid upon the sacri- 
fice, and a sacrifice for sin was called sin by the 
prophet long before Christ came (Daniel ix. 24). 
We shall make an end of sin — that is, when Christ 


shall come in the flesh he shall make an end of all 
sacrifices for sin, and so the apostle called it after 
Christ had come and suffered in the flesh (1 Cor. v. 
12). The sacrifice was called sin because the sin 
of the person who brought it and in whose behalf 
it was offered was laid upon the sacrifice; there 
was, as it were, a translation of the sin from the 
person to the sacrifice. And there is no atonement 
of sin but by a sacrifice. So the Lord ordained 
the offering up of a whole burnt-offering for the 
taking away of sin, that sinners might see what 
they had deserved — even to die, and not only so, 
but to be wholly burnt and consumed in the fire of 
his wrath. They who rest not upon the sacrifice 
of Christ once offered, must be a sacrifice them- 
selves always offered to the justice and wrath of 
God. — Job xlii. 8. 


THE Arminians maintain a propitiation made or 
a sacrifice offered by Christ for all, yet they 
dare not say it is effectual for all. Christ died (say 
they) for those he doth not save, but Christ prayed 
for none but those that shall be saved. They are 
not for a universal intercession, though they are for 


a universal sacrifice or propitiation ; and their rea- 
son is, because they cannot deny but many shall 
perish for ever, which they could not did Christ 
but pray for them. We believe that his sacrifice is 
as effectual as his intercession, and that therefore 
he died for none but those for whom he prays, his 
intercession being for the drawing out and bringing 
home the benefit of his sacrifice to those and to all 
those for whom he offered himself to God. 

NOTHING can hide us from the wrath of God 
but the mercy of God. 


TY\0 sanctify in Scripture notes two things : 
-L 1st. The infusion of a holy habit — the infusion 
of a new principle into the soul. 

2d. A preparation of the soul to holy duties. 

When it is said Job sent and sanctified them, it 
is not meant as if Job did infuse holy habits into 
his children — as if it were in his power to make 
them gracious indeed ; that is impossible. It is 
only the work of the Spirit of God. But this it is: 
he sent them to prepare themselves, to advise and 


warn them to prepare themselves, that they might 
be ready for that duty, for the duty of sacrificing. 
And this preparation for holy duties is often called 
sanctifying, as Gen. xxxv. 2, etc. — Job i. 5. 


E that is a holy person himself, desires to make 
others holy too. 


TO commend a man with a "but" is a wound 
instead of a commendation. "Thou hast in- 
structed many, but," etc. How many are there 
who salute their friends very fair to their faces, or 
speak them very fair behind their backs, yet sud- 
denly (as Joab to Amasa) draw out this secret dag- 
ger and stab their honour and honesty to the heart ! 
As it is said of Naaman (2 Kings v. 1), "He was 
an honourable man and a mighty man of valour, 
but he teas a leper." — Job iv. 5. 

THE most innocent persons are often charged with 
the foulest and sinfulest crimes. Who is there 
of so unspotted a conversation that he may not be 
spotted with accusation? Who while his conscience 
is pure may not have much dirt cast in his face ? 



"ATOW what doth Satan when he walks up and 
-L* down the world? Doth he walk like an idle 
vagrant that hath nothing to do? Doth he walk 
with his hands in his pockets, as having no busi- 
ness ? Doth he walk merely to take the air or to 
take his pleasure, to see and be seen ? No ; when 
Satan walks about the world, his walking is work- 
ing ; he goeth about to tempt, to try and lay snares 
and baits to catch and captivate the souls of men. 


IT is harder to know the nature than the number — 
what, than how many, our sins are. For as 
some have whole books written full of sermon-notes 
by them who have not one line of a sermon written 
upon their hearts or ways, so a man may have a 
whole book written full of sin-notes, and yet not 
one sin making impression upon his heart. There 
are but few who know what they are. — Job xiii. 23. 

THE reason why we are so proud of ourselves is 
because we are so ignorant of ourselves. 


MANY are apt to overvalue and overrate their 
own abilities, as if they had engrossed all 
knowledge, and had the monopoly of wisdom in 
their own hearts — as if all must borrow or buy of 
their store/ and light their candle at their torch. 

THEY who think all are blind who see not with 
their eyes, are yet blind and have never seen 
themselves. It is the emptiness of knowledge, not 
the fulness of it, which makes so great a sound. 


SOME take in their life more care for their se- 
pulchres than they do for their souls. Great 
men build desolate places ; they will be sure to 
have stately monuments, and they have gold. They 
will be sure to fill their graves with treasure; they 
will be buried richly, or they will have their riches 
buried with them. But what care did these take 
for their poor souls in the mean time, where they 
should lie? When all things are disposed of, this 
choice piece is for the most part left unprovided 

for. The great business of the saints on earth is to 


get assurance of a place for their souls to lodge in 
when they die. It troubles them not much what 
lodgings their bodies have, if they can put their 
spirits into the hands of Christ. 


IT is not safe to let sin lie a moment unrepented 
of or unpardoned upon our own consciences or 
the consciences of others. If a man's house be on 
fire, he will not only rise in the morning, but 
he will rise at midnight, to quench it. Certainly, 
when you have guilt on your souls, you have a fire 
in your souls; your souls are on a flame; there- 
fore you have need to rise and rise early, and get 
up as soon in the morning as you can, to get it 
quenched and put out. — Job i. 5. 

THERE is no created excellency but if left to 
itself will quickly undo itself. There is no 
trusting to any estate out of Christ. 


IN despoils the creature of all its comfort and 
honour at once. 


WICKED and ungodly men, while they satisfy 
their own lusts, are but doing the work of 
Satan and executing his designs. " Ye are of your 
father, the devil, and his lusts ye will do," saith 
Christ to the Jews. While they do their own, 
they fulfil the lusts and designs of Satan. 

TO be a wicked man is no easy task ; he must go 
to plough for it. Wicked men in Scripture 
are called sons of Belial; that is, such as will not 
endure the yoke. They will not endure the yoke 
of Christ, though it be an easy yoke ; but they are 
content slavishly to yield their (otherwise) proud 
and delicate necks to Satan's yoke, to tug and sweat 
at his plough all their days. — Job iv. 8. 

THOUGH a man doth not formally commit or 
bring forth every sin, yet virtually and radi- 
cally a man hath every sin in him, or it is possible 
for any sin to be formed and shaped out of the na- 
ture of man. And as the spark lies closely in the 
fire or flint till you smite or blow them up, so sin 
lies secretly in our hearts till some temptation or 
occasion smites and brings it out. 



TO be kept from sin is a greater blessing than 
are outward blessings. When Eliphaz had 
reckoned up all the comforts which repenting Job 
is promised, " Thou shalt be delivered in six trou- 
bles and in seven; sword and famine shall not hurt 
thee, peace and plenty shall dwell within thy walls 
and lodge in every chamber; yet (saith he) I will 
tell thee of a blessing beyond all these: Thou shalt 
not sin." It is more mercy to be delivered from 
one sin than from sword and famine. Grace is 
better than peace, and holiness than abundance. 
Riches, honour and health are all obscured in this 
one blessing — a holy, a gracious and an humble 
heart. — Job v. 25. 

rjIHE sins of youth may prove the sufferings of 
J- old age. 

THE punishment of sin may come long after the 
committing of sin ; the one is the seed-time 
and the other is the reaping-time. 


UR sins spring not out of the dust, but out of 
the dirt and filth of our own corruptions. 



1HEY who are sensible of the evil of sin will 

pay heartily for the pardon of sin. Pie that is 
greatly in debt, and fears every hour to be arrested 
and cast into prison, is trying all friends to get se- 
curity and protection. Sinning is a running in 
debt with God, and it brings us under the danger 
of his arrest every moment. Forgiveness cancels 
the bond, when the sin is pardoned, the debt is paid 
and the soul discharged. — Job vii. 21. 

SIN begins with turning the heart from God, and 
sin ends with turning the heart against God. 
The first step in sin is a neglect of God, the second 
is contempt of God, the third and last is a war 
with God. — Job xv. 25. 


IN runs against ^eason, and causeth us to act 
not only wickedly, but foolishly. 

SIN hath by so much the greater evil in it by 
how much it is committed against the greater 
goodness. As good things received bind us stronger 
unto duty, so good things abused bind us stronger 
under guilt. 


SOME sins are not only in themselves a con- 
tempt of God, but they are committed in con- 
tempt of God. When men sin presumptuously 
and with a high hand, when they sin with a com- 
mand shining in their eye, with a threat sounding 
in their ear, they even send a defiance to Heaven 
and bid God do his worst. 

SUPPOSE sin appear not in a full body, yet if 
it put out but a little finger, we must have 

nothing to do with it. 

SIN promiseth gold, and pays with dross ; it 
promiseth bread, and pays with stones; it prom- 
iseth honour, and pays with disgrace ; it promiseth 
a paradise, and payeth with a. wilderness; it prom- 
iseth liberty, and payeth with bondage ; in a word, 
it promiseth all manner of content, and pays us 
with utter disappointment and dissatisfaction. If 
any man have a mind to be fed with mallows, and 
lodged in caves, and torn with bushes, and stung 
with nettles, and scorched with everlasting burn- 
ings, let him but hearken to the voice, believe the 
promises and take the word of sin. — Job xxx. 7. 


FT1HAT sin may be avoided, we must avoid what- 
J- ever leads to or occasions it. He that feareth 
burning must take heed of playing with fire. He 
that feareth drowning must keep out of deep water. 
He that feareth the plague must not go into an in- 
fected house. Would they avoid sin who present 
themselves to the opportunities of it, and bring 
their corruptions and temptations as it were into an 
interview? "I (saith Job) have made a covenant 
with mine eyes." — Job xxxi. 1. 

THERE are three eminent evils in sin : First. 
There is a pollution in sin ; it defiles. Sec- 
ondly. There is a dishonour in sin : it dishonours. 
Thirdly. There is a deceitful ri ess in sin ; it would 
make us believe we shall be and receive that which 
it is not able to perform. 

EVERY step in sin is a step to misery ; and the 
farther any man proceed eth on in sin, the far- 
ther he wanders from God, and the farther he wan- 
ders from God, the nearer he comes to misery. 
Every motion toward sin is a hasting into the arms 
and embrace of death. 


A LL sin is either against ourselves, strictly called 
■£*- intemperance ; or against God, strictly called 
impiety; or against man, strictly called unright- 


HE that is sincere desires not to be open, but 
silently satisfieth his soul with the conscious- 
ness of doing his duty, and takes more content in 
knowing his own integrity than in knowing that 
others know it. Like the earth, he keeps his rich- 
est minerals and most precious gems of grace and 
goodness below in his bowels, or at the centre of 
his heart, and will not let them be seen till a kind 
of necessity digs them out. Every true Moses whose 
acquaintance and fiducial familiarity with God hath 
stamped upon him the impressions of divine light, 
is so far from affecting to dazzle the eyes of others 
with it that he rather puts a veil of gracious mod- 
esty upon it, and w T ill not let so much as the light 
of his good works be seen, but as thereby (in which 
Christ commands it) he may glorify his Father 
which is in heaven. — Job xxxiv. 30. 


SOUL that is sincere and well-bottomed upon 
the grace of God in Christ is unconquerable. 


TT RICKED men make the blessings of God fuel 
' » to their lusts, and beat their outward com- 
forts into the weapons of an unholy war against 

THEY take little care for their souls who take 
overmuch for their bodies. They who desire 
to please appetite cannot endeavour to please God. 

WICKED men take more pains to go to hell 
and eternal destruction than godly men do in 
the way of eternal life and salvation. A wicked 
man cannot go to hell w r ith ease ; he goes with pain 
to eternal pains. — Job xv. 20. 

"TT^HERE can a sinner be hid from Him w r ho is 
^ T everywhere ? Or what thing can be our cov- 
ering from Him in whose sight all things are open ? 
Then let none think they have made a good market 
in sinning when they have hid their sins from the 
eyes of men. What will it avail to hide yourselves 
from men, when you lie open and manifest to the 
eye of God ? — Job xxxiv. 22. 



E makes an ill market who puts off his soul at 
any price. 


THE marriage of the soul and body together is 
life; the breaking of this marriage bond is 

WHAT is the body without the soul but a lump 
of clay? As soon as ever the soul departs, 
life departs ; yet such is the folly of most men that 
all their care is for the life of the body, which is (at 
best) a dying life. They utterly neglect the soul, 
which, as it is the life of the body, so itself never 
dieth. The soul is the jewel, the body is but the 
cabinet ; the soul is the kernel, the body is but the 
shell. Will you be solicitous about the cabinet or 
the shell, and slight the jewel or throw away the 
kernel ? 


THE absolute sovereignty of the Lord over us is 
enough to acquit him from doing us any wrong, 
whatsoever he doeth with us. Job saith only this, 
" The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." 


He is the sovereign Lord, therefore I have no rea- 
son to complain. He cloeth it upon whom I have 
laid no engagement — upon whom I have no tie at 
all to do this or that for me. He doeth it who may 
resolve all the reason of his own actions into his 
own will; he is the Lord. God cannot injure his 
creatures ; therefore the apostle hath recourse to 
that only in the ninth chapter of Romans for the 
answer of all cavils and objections against God's 
dealings with man : " Hath not the potter power 
over the clay?" — Job i. 21. 

GOD is the only Lawgiver, and we must receive 
the law from his mouth. He that will please 
God must shut all of his own imaginations out of 
doors and have nothing to do with them. ? Tis not 
what man hath a mind to do, but what the mind 
of God is he should do, that pleaseth him, or is 
either a worship or service acceptable to him. We 
never dishonour God more than when we take upon 
us to serve him our ow 7 n way, and, leaving his rule, 
make a rule for ourselves. 

MAN is never displeased with what God doth 
till he forgetteth w T hat himself is. 


GOD electeth tliose in whom he seeth no good, 
nor doth he elect any for their goodness, either 
because he seeth them good or foreseeth they will 
be good. He beholdeth no excellency, beauty or 
worthiness in them. He elects according to the 
pleasure of his own will. Man's goodness is not 
the cause, but the effect, of God's election. The 
election of God maketh men good, but it doth not 
find them so. 


THE voice of tears is very significant, yet God 
only knows the special signification of it. Man 
knows only the general, that it signifies sorrow. 

Teaks are powerful orators, 


OD reads our hearts in those lines which tears 
draw on our faces. 


THE tongue is a little member, and yet it falls 


THE tongue is the scholar of the heart, and 
speaks what that dictates. A man is justly 
condemned by evil words because they testify that 
he is evil. 

THERE is a speedy passage between the heart 
and the tongue. Evil thoughts are soon formed 
up into evil words. 

HE hath a mighty command over his spirit that 
can command his tongue, especially when he 
is provoked. It is a real part of perfection not to 
offend in word. 


PURE spiritual trust is the highest exercise of 
faith, whereby looking upon God in himself 
and in his Son, through the promises, the soul is 
raised above all fears or discouragements, above all 
doubts and disquietments, either for the removing 
of that which is evil or the obtaining of that which 
is good. — Job xiii. 15. 

TRUST in God is the best ease to the soul, and a 
remedy of evils before the remedy comes. 


A BELIEVER seeth God good to him or a 
friend to him, when he receiveth nothing but 
evil from his hand and sees nothing but frowns 
upon his face. 

NOTHING fixes the soul but trust in God. We 
are unquiet, yea we boil with unquietness and 
toss as the angry sea with the winds, till we trust 
fully upon God, upon his wisdom and power, upon 
his goodness and faithfulness, and can say, " Let 
him do as seems good in his eyes." 

WHEN we can once stay our minds on God, we 
are quiet ; but w T hen we must bring God to 
our mind, and must have God go our pace, or come 
at our time and work in our way (none of which 
he will do, what ado soever we make to have it so), 
oh how restless and troubled are we, even like the 
troubled sea when it cannot rest ! 

WHEN things are not clear to us, when we have 
no light about what God is doing or what he 
will do, yet it is our duty to trust and wait upon 


TRUST in God though you are in darkness, 
though you see no light; this is light before 
light, pardon before pardon. Trust God in temp- 
tations, and you are above temptations while you 
groan under the burden of them. Trust God in 
weakness, and you are strong. When in rest with 
our weakness upon Christ, the power of Christ 
rests upon us. 


7E can never trust God too much nor creatures 
too little. 


ANY trust God (as they do some men) no fur- 
ther than they can see him. 


TRUTH is the meat of the mind, the nourish- 
ment of the understanding. 

HE is a soul physician of no value who makes 
wrong applications of truths, as well as he 
who applies that which is false. The Word of God 
must be rightly divided; every soul must have his 
own portion. The children's bread is not for dogs. 


WHEN truth is honoured and applauded, it is 
easy to own, but it is our greatest honour to 
own a dishonoured and despised truth. 

IT is no new thing for him that speaks truth to 
be counted a liar, nor for him that speaks seri- 
ously to be counted a mocker. — Job xi. 3. 


E that judgeth himself to be in the truth should 
not leave it because others call it error. 

HE that hath truth on his side need not fear the 
opposition of many — no, nor the opposition of 
all men. 


LONG train of followers will do us no good 
if our cause be bad. 

ONE man and the truth are strong enough to 
oppose a multitude in error and a multitude 
of errors. 



THE will of man is as perverse as his under- 
standing is blind. Man hath not only a wound 
or a weakness in his will unto that which is good, 
but he hath a rebellion in his heart against that 
which is good ; and that not by some occasional 
disgust or sudden gust of passion, but he is natu- 
rally set and resolved against that which is good. — 
Job xxxiii. 14. 

"I I" AN hath not only an inability to know, but an 
-l-'-L enmity against the knowledge of that which 
is spiritual. 

/f AN would have everything go according to his 
own mind. He would have his mind the 
measure, both of all that he is to do for God and 
of all that God doth to him. We love to do all 
things according to our own minds, and we love to 
have all things done according to our own minds. 
— Job xxxiv. 33. 




WE must worship God aright — first, for the out- 
ward manner of his commands and institu- 
tions, else we dishonour him while we intend to 
worship him; secondly, the inward manner must 
be according to the command of God. The Lord 
searcheth the heart; he knoweth what is within, 
and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth — 
that is, according to the truth of the rule made 
known in his Word, and in truth of heart. 

GOD is not only to be praised with joy and 
thankfulness, but with fear and reverence, for 
with him is terrible praise. We should not be 
afraid to praise God — no, we should be most for- 
ward to praise him — but we should have a holy fear 
upon our hearts when we praise him. Praise is 
the work of heaven, from whence fear shall for ever 
be banished ; and even in this life, praise, which is 
the work of heaven on earth, should be performed 
with such a spirit of love and joy as is without all 
base, tormenting fear. We should have so much 
love to God, in and for all the good things he doth 
for our souls especially, yea and for our bodies too, 


in dealing out daily mercies, that it should cast 
out all that fear that hath torment in it. Yet there 
is a fear which should possess our spirits while we 
are praising God ; a fear of reverence, I mean, 
which fear (I doubt not) will remain in heaven for 
ever. Glorified saints shall praise God with that 
fear: that is, having an everlasting awe of the ma- 
jesty of God upon their hearts. He is fearful in 
praises ; and therefore let us so praise him as re- 
membering our distance, so praise him as to fear 
of miscarrying in the duty, and so, instead of prais- 
ing him, instead of honouring, grieve him. 


BODY exercised and a soul sitting still is not 

THE Scripture assureth us that God looks upon 
or reckoneth prayer as an honour done to him. 
'Tis an eminent part of worship — 'tis the giving of 
him glory. 


THE strength of a young man profits little if he 
have not the virtues and good qualities of an 
old man. 


WE ought not to despise what young men say 
because of their youth. If old men be not 
always wise, their wisdom may be with the young. 
That which is the true glory of gray hairs doth 
sometimes crown the youthful head— wisdom (I 
mean) and ripeness of understanding. It was said 
of a godly woman, " She had a youthful body but 
an aged mind." Samuel was young in years, but 
in grace elder than Eli; Jeremiah was young, but 
how wise did the inspiration of God make him! 
Daniel was young, yet wiser than all the magicians 
and astrologers ; Timothy and Titus were young, 
yet honourable for prudence and piety. Therefore, 
as we should not always accept what old men say 
because of their age, so let us not slight what young 
men say because of their youth. — Job xxxii. 9. 

MODESTY should bridle young men from being 
over-forward to show themselves, but it must 
not shut or seal up their lips.