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Full text of "The practical works of David Clarkson"

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Lnoaui ooLLBSi ; boiokiit (uik» or wownsru ; biotoi or ax mastiii'*, siuiKODia. 





W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., Professor of Theology, Oongregational 
Union, Edinbnigh. 

JAMES BEGG, D.D., Minister of Newington Free Chnroh, Edinburgh. 

THOMAS J. OBAWFOBD, D.D., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University, 

D. T. E. DBUMMOND, MJl.., Minister of St Thomas's Episcopal Ohnroh, 

WILLLAH H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of BibUoal Literature and Ohnroh 
History, Beformed Presbyterian Ghnrch, Edinburgh. 

ANDBEW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Bronghton Place United Presby- 
terian Ohnroh, Edinbnigh. 

6fiirr«I O0(tor. 
BEY. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edxitbueoh. 









/^^7. T: S:2. 






The Nkw Cbeatubb. .... Gal. YI. 15. • 8 
Chbist*s Gracious Invitation to Sinnebs. . Bey. m. 20. . 84 
Man's Insuffioibnct to do Antthino of Himself. John XY. 5. . 101 
Against Anxious Cabefulness. . . Philip. IV. 6. 187 

Prat for Eyebtthino. . . • Phujp. IV. 6. 172 

God's End in Sending Calamities and Afflic- 
tions ON HIS People. . . . Isa. XXYII. 9. 185 
The Conviction of Hypocrites. . . Mat. YU. 22, 28. 241 
Soul Idolatry Excludes Men oxtt of Heaven. Eph. V. 5. . 299 
The Childrbn of God should not be Partakers 

WITH Others in their Sins. . 
Unconverted Sinners are Darkness. 
Of Christ Seeking Varm, and Finding None. 
The Lord Bulbs over all* . • 

Sinners under the Curse. . . . Gal. III. 10. . 517 

Era. V. 7. 


Eph. V. 8. 


LuKBXm,6. . 


Ps. um. 19. . 



▼OL. n. 


Fot in Christ Jesus neither drcumeision avtUleth anyihing, nor uneircum" 
cUion, hut a new creature. — Galatiams YI. 15. 

Thb apostie does, in this ^istle, dispute against] the false doctrine where- 
with the Galatians were in danger to be bewitched. In the conclusion of it, 
he gives some characters of those false teachers who broached that doctrine; 
that the doctrine itself being discovered to be an imposture, and the teachers 
impostors, the Galatians might be undeceived, and so return to the truth, 
to this apostle, the preacher and witness of it; both which thej were 
tempted to reject. 

like description of these erroneous teachers begins, ver. 12 ; and he gives 
such characters of them as will be useful to us for discovering such deluders 
as they were. 

He describes them, 1, by their hypocrisy. They desired to make a fair 
show, f MT^tfftKr^tfiai, to put a fair face upon their foul opinions and prac- 
tices. Error is of an ugly shape, and if a handsome vizard be not fouAd to 
cover its deformities, it will fright any whose eyes are opened from embrac- 
ii^ it. EuT^oKra are plausible arguments ; such they used, arguments 
plausible to the flesh, such as were suitable to carnal hearts, inclmations, 
humours, interests. And this was the paint which they used to make the 
fiiee of their errors more comely and taking ; and, indeed, the Galatians, 
thoagh an eminent church of Christ, mete even bewitched with it. » The 
simplicity of the doctrine of a crucified Christ, of justification by faith alone 
in him, which Paul, without paint or vamifi^, nakedly published, seemed 
not 80 lovely ; they questioned both Paul's doctrine and his calling. Thus 
they prevailed, and this was their act.* 

2. By their carnal policy, ver. 12. They would urge the ceremonial law 
with the doctrine of Christ, that they might seem Christians, and yet avoid 
the fury of the Jews, who, being zealous of the law, persecuted to the death 
those who cried down the observance of it. Though they pretended con- 
seienee, yei it was carnal policy that moved them ; though they niged 
circumcision, as though without it there was no salvation, yet ^e true 
reason was their desire to avoid persecution. 

8. By their partiality, ver. 18. Though they pressed circumcision, as 
an engagement to observe Moses's law, yet they would not observe the law 

u. •art'?— Ed. 

4 TBX MEW 0BE4TUBB. [GaL. YI. 15. 

ihemselyes, preposterously urged the means, and neglected the end. They 
were frequent and violent in their disputes and endeavours for circumcision, 
which was but a rite, a circumstantial, a positive ordinance, and now out of 
use, while they neglected the giaat things of the law, the keeping of Christ's 
commandments, the great things of the gospel, &ith, love, holiness, mortifi- 
cation ; whereas that which &ey drove at was nothing in comparison of 
these, as the apostie tells, chap. v. 6, 1 Cor. vii. 19. And oh how sadly 
does this humour prevail amongst us, to the neglect of holiness and mortifi- 
cation ! Some cry up a form of government, some an ordinance, that which 
they fancy ; some an opinion, as the fifth monarchy. But, alas, what are those 
hot the mint, anise, and cummin of the Pharisees, in comparison of those 
Pa^{/ri^ rov v^/(mD, those weightier duties, studies, employments, which the 
gospel calls Christians to ? Oh the power of Satan, who can prevail the same 
way now as he prevailed formerly with the Pharisees, and here with the 
false aposties, that the same snare should take in all ages ! 

4. By their vainglory. They affected multitudes of followers, strove to 
draw many to their opinion and practice, to submit to their supposed 
ordinance of circumcision, that they might glory in their flesh ; that multi- 
tudes having received that sign in their flesh, by their persuasioDy they 
might therein glory. 

But this was fleshly glorying, such as becomes such carnal teachers. The 
apostie was of another spirit ; he had another object for his gk>rying, ver. 14. 
Express a true gospel temper, a right frame of spirit, aocoiding to the mind 
of Christ, which we should drive on as our greatest design, and aim at as our 
highest attainment. Cbobs of Chbist, not the material cross, as some 
blind papists fancy, but the sufferings of Christ crucified, the love of Christ 
expressed in those sufferings, the precious benefits purchased by those suffer- 
ings. Such excellency he saw in Christ crucified, as cast a shadow upon all 
the glory of the world, rendered it contemptible in his eye. He gloried in 
Christ crucified ; here was his treasure, his joy, his glory, yea, his life too, 
for he was dead to the world, and the world unto him. ' By whom,* &c. 
He was as a dead, a crucified man, to the world, and the world was a dead 
thing to him. He was a dead man to the world ; he did no more regard 
the pomp and glory, th« plenty and power, the pleasures and honours of 
the world, than a dand man. A dead man he esteems not, he admires not 
these things ; they are not his study, his projects, his designs. He is not 
affected with them ; he neither loves nor desires them, neither delights nor 
rejoices in them, neither discontent when he wants them, nor grieved when 
he loses them ; they are neither his hope nor confidence. A dead man he sees 
no worth, tastes no sweetness, feels no weight, no substance* in worldly enjoy- 
ments. So was the apostie disposed to the world, and so should we be to 
it, and the things of it, when compared with Christ. 

' World is enicified,* &o. As he was dead to it, so it was but a dead thing 
to him ; saw no more excellency in it than in a dead thing, took no more 
pleasure in it, &c. That which is most delightful when alive mast be re- 
moved out of our sight, buried, when dead. He looked for no more profit 
and advantage by it than a Ufeless thing can afford. So did he look upon 
the world, and so should we rely on it for no pleasure, no advantage ; see 
no worth, no excellency in it, in comparison of Christ crucified; and further, 
than we may make use of the world to be serviceable to him. 

This is that high attainment which should be our study, endeavour, design, 
and leave those to dispute and contend about trifles and circumstances, and 
doat upon groundless opinions, who have no experimental knowledge of 
Christ crucified. Thus we should learn Christy so as to look upon him. 

Gal. TL 15.] thb xsw obbatubb. 5 

and eonfonnity to him as that one thing needful ; that one thing above all 
in the world, glorioofl, exceUent, delightfal. 

Bnt how did the apostle arriTe at this high attainment ? And how must 
we attain it ? Why, by him, by Christ. So we see, 'By whom,' &c. By 
him these iiTe ways. 

1. Effieient^r, By his effieacy, the mighty working of Christ within us. 
Nothing bat the power of Chj?sX can work this great effeet. Naturally, as 
we are dead towards God, so we are alive to the world. As he only can 
raise ns to spuitnal life, so he can only dead our hearts to the world ; we 
mast look np to him for it ; he purchased this. 

2. Ewemplariter, By looking npon him as onr effectual, engagiz^ example. 
Thus lived Christ for our sakes, as one dead to the world while he lived in it; 
despising not only the shame, but the glory, of the world; lived contemned^ 
not regarding the world's honours; poor, as not esteeming riches; low, as 
not affecting power and authority. He regarded none of those things which 
worldlings prize and admire, and this for our sakes; and therefore so should 
we much more for his sake. There is a force, a constraint^ in his example, 
to work our hearts to this. 

8. ObjecUvS. By looking on him as an object in whom we may find in- 
finitely more, better things, than the world can afford. In him there is 
richer treasures than the treasures of the world, sweeter delights than the 
pleasures of the world, greater honours than worldly preferments, more 
exeeOent glory than the pomp of the world; choicer, more satisfying, abid- 
ing, enhappying enjoyments &an the world can afford. In Christ crucified 
spring such joys, from him flow such excellencies, as overflow all worldly 
things ; they lie under it, as weeds unseen, unregarded. Now, what need 
is there to live on a broken cistern, when the fountain of living waters is 
set open in Christ crucified ? What need we feed on husks, when the 
pleasures of a Father's house are offered in Christ ? What need they covet 
treasures on earth, who have all the treasures in heaven tendered to them 
in Christ ? Paul desired to know nothing, to enjoy nothing, but Christ, to 
be found in him ; counted all that the worid counts gain to be loss, all that 
men count excellent to be dung, all that we think precious to be dross, 
compared with Christ. And those who have such a sight of Christ as he 
had, will be of his mind ; he that knows what it is to live so upon Christ, 
will easily be dead to the world. 

4. Impulsive, The beholding of Christ crucified is a strong motive to get 
our hearts crucified to the world; for why, it was our sinful living to and 
npon the world for which Christ was crucified : ' The lust of the flesh, the 
hist of the eyes, and the pride of life,' is all that is in the world, 1 John 
ii. 16. For these was Christ crucified, and shall not we be crucified to that 
which emcified him ? Shall we live to that which was his death ? 

5. Bepreuniatwe. Christ, representing his people on the cross, undertook 
this; engaged himself to his Father, that those whom he represented, those 
in whose stead he was crucified, should be crucified to the world; and in 
this sense he says. Gal. ii. 20, * I am crucified.' As Christ, as our Surety, 
suffered in onr stead, so, as our Surety, he engaged in our name, in our 
behalf, that we should die to the world. And if he engaged for us, 
then are we deeply engaged; and if he undertook this in our behalf, 
then will he (if we seek to him, depend on him) enable us to answer his 

This was the apostle's blessed temper, in opposition to the false apostles, 
and he gives a reason in the text; as if he had said, These false teachers, 
they lay out the main of their strength, time, thoughts, endeavours, about a 

6 THE NSW OBBATUBS. [Qkh. YI. 15. 

rite, a thing of less moment. All their dispatations are about circnmciaion, 
all their conferences, discoorse is taken np with this ; but I have not so 
learned Christ, I mind that which is more weighty, of greater concernment, 
and that which Christ more regards and better accepts. If Christ may be 
admitted umpire betwixt us, he will judge that I have chosen the better 
part; that it is incomparably more available to mind the new creation, liian 
circumcision, ' for in Christ Jesus,* ibc. 

Before I describe to you the nature of this new creature, let me, from tlie 
pre-eminence the aposUe givetk it before those other privileges and duties, 
propound to you this 

' Observation. Except a man be a new creature, no privilege or religious 
duty will avail him anything, as to acceptation with God, or salvation. Un- 
circumcision was now a duty and privilege to the Gentiles, and circumcision 
was formerly both a duty and privilege to the Jews; for thereby they were 
solemnly admitted members of the church, thereby the covenant of grace 
was sealed to them. This was a badge wherry the Lord owned them, and 
separated them to himself above all people in the world. By virtue of this, 
* to them belonged the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the 
service of God, and the promises,* Bom. iz. In these respects, circumcision 
did profit them much every way. As to this, it was available; but as to accep- 
tation and salvation, it availed nothing to any one whose heart was not cir- 
cumcised, t. e. who was not a new creature. 

So baptism, and hearing the word, and prayer, they are privileges and 
, duties commanded by God, and necessary to be observed, yea, and many 
'ways profitable ; but as to acceptation with God, and salvation of the 
observer, they avail nothmg, except he be a new creature. Dost thou hear ? 
It is well ; God requires it ; it is necessary, profitable. But this is not enough 
to evidence that the Lord accepts thee, or that he will save thee, unless thou 
be a new creature. Dost thou pray ? art thou baptized ? art thou of this or 
that form of church government ? Why, this is nothing as to the great con- 
cernments of acceptation, &c. 

Reason 1. Because he that is not a new creature, he wants faith; and he 
that wants faith cannot be saved, he cannot please God. The apostle tells 
us it is impossible: Heb. xi. 6, he cannot be saved; for 'he that believes 
not, shall not see life,' John iii. Now, he that is not a new creature, he 
wants faith, for faith is a principal part of this new creation ; and therefore 
the apostle speaks in the same language of faith, as here of the new creature. 
Gal. v. 6. 

Reason 2. Because he that is not a new creature, he is not in Christ; and 
he that is not in Christ, can neither be saved nor accepted. No man what- 
soever is accepted but in his beloved, Eph. i. 6; and for salvation, 'there 
is no name under heaven,^ ^, no coming to God but in Christ; as Joseph 
said to his brethren. Unless you bring Bexgamin, come not in my presence. 
No^, he that is not a new creature is not in Christ, 2 Cor. v. 17. 

Reason 8. Till then ye can*do nothing that is good; and that which is not 
good cannot be accepted. Nothing can be done by him that is not a new 
creature that is spiritually good ; for, till the heart be good, nothing that is 
good can proceed from it: 'A good man, out of the good treasure,' &c., 
Mat. xii. 85 ; we cannot gather grapes of thorns, Luke vi. 48-45 ; ' How 
can you, being evil,' &c. Now, the heart is not good till it be renewed* till 
it be new created. Till this, there is no goodness in the heart, for creation is 
the making of something out of nothing, jffrodibctio ret ex nihilo. The heart is 
not good till it be new, and so no good can proceed from it, and therefore 
nothing done till this can be accepted. 

Gal. YI. 15.] the mbw obbatubb. 7 

Use, Information. See the misery of those that are not new creatures. 
Whatever ye do, whatever ye enjoy, till then ye cannot be accepted, ye canr 
not be saved. If it were possible for an unconverted man to steal into heaven, 
as he without the wedding garment to the marriage chamber, yet would he 
be cast forth into outer darkness. Profession, and outward performances, 
if you rest here, will make you no better than foolish virgins. If 7on want 
renewing giacoy new natures, you want oil in your lamps, you will be shut 
out of Ghnst*s presence, and left in darkness. Every one tibat is not a new 
creature must hear that dreadful word from Christ's mouth, ' Depart from, 
me, I never knew you.* You hear, you pray, read, it is well; you would 
sin more grievously, your condemnation would be heavier, if ye neglected, 
omitted these duties. Ay, but this is not enough to save you, or to evidence 
your title to heaven. He builds upon the sand that raises his hopes of heaven 
upon outward performances. And if he be not a new creature, woeful will 
be the ruin of his hopes in the day of trial. These duties must be done, but 
mora than these must be done; one thing more is needful, a new nature, a 
sanctified heart, else no acceptance, no salvation. 

Ohs, Unless a man be a new creature, nothing will avail him to salvation : 
' Except a naan be born again,' &c., he cannot be saved. This is a truth 
which will hardly be digested, not easily believed; therefore hear how the 
Lord bears witness to it in other scriptures, John ill. 8. He that is truth 
itself aflirms it, and affirms it with an asseveration; and to put it out of all 
doubt, he doubles the asseveration. Now, to be bom again, and to be a 
new creature, is the same thing in diverse expressions. It is ail one as if he 
had said. Verily except a man be a new creature, &o., 2 Cor. v. 17. In 
Christ, if any man be united to him, justified by him, partake of the benefits 
purchased by him, saved by him, Bom. viii. 80. Now, whom God calls, 
thereby he makes them new creatures. 

Now, because this is a truth of great concernment, and far above the reach 
of nature, which natural men are more apt to deride as u fancy than receive 
as truth; — 

Man is made a new creature when the Lord creates new and gracious 
qualities in his whole soul. I shall prove each part by Scripture. 

1. Cause efficient. It is God ; he alone is able for this work. All the 
creatures in heaven and earth cannot work the least gracious quality in man's 
BOuL It is above the power of nature, of men, of angels, to miJse such a 
new creature; it is God's prerogative, ascribed only to him, Eph. ii. 10 ; 
his workmanship, and therefore he that is made a new creature, is said to be 
bom of God, 1 John iii. 

2. The act, creation. The act that makes a creature is creation ; and 
this is called a new creature, 2 Cor. v. 17. A new heart cannot be had till 
it be created : < Create in me,' &c., Ps. 11., Eph. ii. 10. 

8. The effect, new and gracious qualities. New qualities ; hence, when 
this work is done, all things become new, 2 Cor. iv. 17. And a new crea- 
tion is called a new man. Col. iii. 10. ; and he that is regenerated is said to 
be renewed, Eph. iv. 28, 24. Gracious: not naturcd endowments nor 
moral qualifications, but divine. Hence these qualities are called the divine 
nature, holy, sanet^ying qualities. The new man is created after God in 
holiness, Eph. iv. 24. It is a conformity to the image of God, and therefore 
must be holy qualities. Col. iii. 10. 

4. The subject, the whole soul ; not any one part or fiMulty, but the 
wholot all, and every one. Hence it is called the new birth when every 
member is formed and so brought forth. And this new creature is called a new 
i ; not a new mind only, or will, but a new man ; not one part, but the 

8 m mw cRBBATUBB. [Oal. 71. 16. 

whole. These qaalitiee are at tni infiised, and after increase in eyery part, 
1 Thes. V. 28. 

This in general. Now, from hence we may give yon a more exact and 
partlonlar account of the natoie of this new creature. 

1. N^gativelyi what it is not, that we may not deceive ourselves with 

(1.) It is not a common work, bnt a creation. It consists not in those 
gifts and parts which the Lord bestows by a eommon dispensation, nor those 
motions and workings which are often begot by a common providence ; many 
have these who are no new creatures. It is not a gift of prayer, or utter- 
ance, or tongues, or a gift of unfc^ding or apprehendmg difficulties in Scrip- 
ture or religion, nor assistance, enlargement, dexterity in the exercise of 
these. Judas had all or most of these, yea, and some gifts extraordinary 
too, yet was not a new creature, was not bom of GK>d, but the son of perdition. 

It is not eommon motions : some sense of sin, some grief for it, some 
wishes of amendment ; a personal affliction, or a national judgment, or some 
unusual strange occurrence, may raise these and such like motions, and more 
frequent will such motions be in those who live under a powerful ministry. 
Herod had some like workings in his heart when he * heard John gladly ;* 
and * Felix trembled ' when Paul * reasoned of righteousness, temperance, 
and judgment to come,' Acts xxiv. 25, and Agrippa was <ahnobt persuaded,' 
Acts xxvi. 28 ; and yet these were no new creatures. 

(2.) It is no innovating humour. When ye hear of a new creature, you 
must not imagine him to be such a one as will reject all old things, those 
which God has prescribed and Scripture delivers, such as will have a new 
foith, religion, worship, ordinances ; such as is weary of old Scripture light, 
and wiU be always changing his judgment into new-fashioned opinions. 
This is a new creature after the image of Satan, not of God's workmanship. 
The newness which is of God, will comply with the ancient rule, and walk in 
the good old way as to doctrine and worship and conversation. Indeed, the old 
waysof profanenessand ungodliness, the old ways of folse worship, andof man's 
invention, the new creature cannot digest. When a church is corrupted, and 
God's worship adulterated with man's traditions, a new creature will endeavour 
(according to the apostle's direction, 1 Cor. iii.), to * purge out the old leaven.' 
It will not plead for anything in God's worship merely because it is old, but 
because it is prescribed by God. Forefathers and former generations (when 
their error is discovered by the world*), will not mislead a new creature if 
their ways and worship be not according to the law and testimonies. With 
the king's daughter, Psa. xlv., it must forget its father's house. But when 
the worship and ways of God are received and established according to 
Scripture purity and simplicity, then to affect new things is no property, no 
part of this new creation, for tins is of God ; but that is of Satan, who 
changes himself into new forms every day to deceive. 

(8.) It is not only a restraint of the old man, but something new. There 
may be restraining grace where there is not renewing grace. A man may 
leave his former gross sins, put off much of his former old corrupt conver- 
sation, and yet not be a new creature. The apostle speaks of some who 
had escaped, Ac, 2 Pet. ii. 20. They had left their idolatrous and wicked 
practices, and yet they were not new creatures, for they were again therein 
entangled and returned, ver. 22. Now, if they had been new creatures bom 
of God, they had not sinned as formerly, 1 John iii. Fear, or shame, or 
the light of nature, or moral precepts, or other inferior causes and by-respects, 
may restrain from gross sins, which are all far below the new creature. The 

* Qa. 'word'?— En. 


Lord restrains many from sin whom he does cot renew. He restrained 
Abimeleeh, Oen. zx. 6, yet a heAthen. It is true, he that lives in gross 
sins ean he no new ereatore. Bat yet this is tme also, he that is no new 
ereatore may avoid gross sins. Though ye cannot conolnde that ye are 
new creatures heeanse ye have left, or becanse yon never comxtutted such 
uid each sins, yet ye may certainly conclude that those who live in such 
sins are no new creatores. If a man may escape these pollations, avoid 
these gross evils, and not he renewed, then certainly they are in their old 
condition who make a practice of these evils. 

(4.) It is not moral virtaes, or that which we call good natnre. The very 
names shew this. That of which the new creature consists is gracious qua- 
lities, such as are divine, supernatural, sanctifying, far above nature and 
morality. The new creature is not only a sweet, courteous, candid, meek, 
patient disposition ; this some have by nature. But none are new creatures 
by nature. Though the flesh make a fturer show in some than others, yet, 
as Christ tells us, ' that which is of the flesh is flesh,' John iii. And till it 
be spiritualised, renewed, the best nature is but an old creature. * Flesh 
and blood,' thou^ of the best temper that nature can frame it, < shall not 
inherit,' Ac. This seemed a wonder to Nicodemus, yet Christ affirms it 
with an asseveration, John iii. 8. 

Nor is it moral virtues. Temperance, justice, chastity, liberality, pru- 
dence, truth, modesty, may he found where there is nothing of the new crea- 
ture, cdse Seipio, and Socrates, and other heathens must pass for new creatures, 
those that were strangers to Christ, the gospel, and the regenerating power 
of the Spirit. These may be acquired by human industiy, but ihe new 
creature is the workmanship of the divine power. 

It is true, where such virtues are not, there is no new creation ; but these 
virtues may he without it, and ergo^ it does not consist in them. 

(6.) It is not an outward conformity to the law of God, for this is some- 
thing inward : the workmanship of God within the soul. There may be 
outmrd obedience to the first and second table. A man may hear, and 
pray, and read, and, as to his outward man, observe the Sabbath. He may 
be fidthfrd in his word^ just in his dealings, careful to do no wrong, and 
yet no new creature. Such were the phansees as to outward obedience, 
else they had never been so generally applauded and admired for their ap- 
pearing piety and righteousness. Such was Paul before he was a new 
creature, even while he was a pharisee : Phil. iii. 6, * Touching the,' &c. 
He thai is a new creature will be strict in outward observance of the whole 
law, and yet a man may outwardly observe and be no new creature. 

(6.) It is not a partial change of the inward man. As it is not an out- 
ward conformity, so} it is not every inward alteration, but a total change of 
the whole soul as to its qualities, and of every &cnlty in it ; not only of 
the understanding, aflections, but mind, will, conscience, heart, memory. 

There may be a partial change in some one or more parts of the soul, 
and yet no new creature. There may be much knowledge of the things of 
God/elear apprehensions of gospel truths, and assent to, with persuasions 
of the truth of revealed doctrine, and yet no new creature, 1 Cor. xiii. 2. 

There may be some inclinations in the will towards heaven, and yet no 
new ereature, as in Balaam ; some purposes, some resolution to amend, as in 
Saul. There may be some terrors of conscience for sin, as in Cain ; some 
grief for sin, as in Judas, Mat. izvii. 8, Ahab, 1 Kings xxi. ; some de- 
light IB the ordinances, Ibtt. xiii. 20, Job v. 86 ; some zeal for God, and 
yet DO new ereature, as in Jehu ; some faith. Acts. viii. 18, as in Simon 
Magna ; some repenting, as in Judas, Mat. xzvii. 8. 


In these instances there was an alteration in some one fMolty, bnt no 
thorough change in the whole soul. A partial change will not mfdce a new 

Use, For conviction. If there may be ail these things where there is no 
new creation, then how few new creatures are there in the world 1 How 
many are there who go not so far as these, who yet are fiEu: from being 
new creatures 1 

May there be a common work where there is no new creation ? Then how 
far are they from being new creatures who have no snch work upon their 
souls I Who will not hear the word gladly, as Herod ; who do not tremble 
when the Lord threatens, as Felix; who are not almost persuaded, as 
Agrippa, to become Christians, according to the rule of the gospel ? Herod 
and Felix, &c., hare more to prove themselves new creatures than these, and 
shall enter into heaven before them. 

Does not the avoiding of gross sins make a man a new creature? Then, 
how far are they from being new Creatures who wallow in uncleanness, 
drunkenness, and such gross evils 1 Abimelech, a heathen, may rise up in 
judgment agaiost these, and bear witness that they have nothing of the new 
creation, nor ought to enter into the new Jerusalem. 

Does not moral virtues, good nature, make a new creature ? How far are 
they from being new creatures who are so fierce, proud, contentious, mali- 
cious, revengeful, who are so unjust, intemperate, unchaste and covetous ! 
Scipio and Socrates may better use this plea for salvation than such immoral 

Does not outward conformity to the law of God make new creatures? 
Then how far are they from being new creatures who neglect the worship of 
God, call not on his name, in public, private, &milies ; will not hear his 
word so often as he speaks, pollute his Sabbaths, profane his name by oaths 
and irreverent use thereof ! The Pharisees, whose condition Christ makes 
80 woeful, will pass for new creatures, and enter into heaven sooner than 

Is not a change in some part of the soul sufficient to make a new crea- 
ture ? Then how far are they from being new creatures who are ignorant, 
wholly inclined to the world ; without sense of sin, or grief for it, or pur- 
poses against it ; without delight in the ordinances, or zeal for the worehip 
of God ! Balaam, and Cain, and Ahab, and Jehu, and Judas, are herein 
more like new creatures than these. Oh that those would lay this to heart 
who may hence be convinced, that they have not so much as that which is 
not enough to make a new creature. If none must be saved but new crea- 
tures, then what shall become of them, who are so far from being new crea- 
tures, as they are not so much as like them ? 

Use, 2. If these be not sufficient to make a new creature, then rest not 
in any, in all of these ; rest not in gifts, or parts, or common motions ; rest 
not in your avoiding of gross sins ; rest not in your moral virtues, or good 
natures, &c. If you rest here, you rest short of salvation, for these are not 
sufficient to make a new creature ; and except ye be new creatures, ye cannot 
be saved. 

2. Positively. What is a new creature ? He is a new creature whose soul is 
made new in all its faculties; whose whole soul is renewed according to the 
image of God, in knowledge, holiness, righteousness ; in whose mind and 
heart the Lord creates new and gracious qualities. The Scripture comprises 
all parts of the soul in these two, spirit and heart: the spirit containing 
mind and conscience ; the heart comprising will and affections. He is a 
new creature whose spirit and heart is new. This is the tenor of the new 

Gal. YL 15.] thb nkw cbbatube. H 

covenant, Ezek. xzzvi. 26. The mind» will, conscience, Bfifections, are new 
in every new creature. Let me give yon a fuller accoont of this new crea- 
tion in these several fJEiculties. A new creature has, 

(1.) A new mind, understanding. Putting on the new man is thus ex- 
pressed, Eph. iv. 28, 24. It is renewed in all its several powers, which we 
may reduce to six hcAds. 

[1.] New apprehensions. There is a new light shines into the mind> 
which occasions new apprehensions of what is offered to it, far differing from 
those of the old man. Before he was darkness, now he is light in the Lord ; 
his apprehensions are more true, more clear ; that darkness which blinded 
his eye is now scattered. Light was the first thing produced in the creation 
of the world, Gen. i. 8, and spiritual light is the first thing in this new 
creation. The Lord said then, < Let there be light,* &c. And amongst the 
effects of the word of Christ, the gospel, this is Sie first, Acts xxvi. Know- 
ledge is one of the beauties of this new creature, C!ol. iii. 10. This renewed 
knowledge leads the mind to new apprehensions. He had heard much of 
Christ by the hearing of the ear before, but now his eyes see him, clearly 
apprehends a transcendant excellency in him, an extreme necessity of him, 
a complete sufficiency in him ; his present apprehensions of Christ differ as 
much from his former, as a man*s apprehensions of what he sees himself 
differ firom those which only are related to him by others. 

He apprehended some pleasure, advantage, safety, in sin formerly; but 
now he sees it extreme evil, loathsome, dangerous, damnable. 

His former conceits of the world, and its enjoyments, he now sees to be 
erroneous, and apprehends no happiness, no contentment, in any, in ail ; 
sees they are vain, uncertain, deceitful, ensnaring, unsatisfying. 

That holiness of heart and strictness of life which he before slighted, con- 
denmed, derided, as a needless or hypocritical preciseness, he apprehends 
now, not only as necessary, but as most beautiful and lovely. 

That good nature, as it is called, which he once relied on, excused and 
thought so well of, he now sees to be wholly corrupted, deformed, and 
swarming with as many base lusts as there are motes in the sun : the light 
discovers them. 

That state of nature in which he continued till his new birth, which he 
apprehended safe and capable enough of heaven, he now sees to be a cursed 
and damnable condition, in which he had certainly perished if mercy had 
not changed it by renewing him. 

His former good deeds and good meanings, for which he thought the 
Lord would spare him and reward him, he now apprehends to be worthy of 
damnation, and all his own righteousness as a menstruons doth* 

His apprehensions in these and other things being erroneous, formed in 
darkness, all vanish when light appears. 

f2.J New judgment and assent. The new creature having truly appre- 
hended these things, he firmly assents to the truth of them : his assent is both 
firm, convietive, and lively. He rests not in slight, superficial apprehensions, 
but comes up to full persuasions, that which the apostle odls flrXii^o^o^/a 
rng m»$c$ug» His judgment is carried with full sails into the tmUi dis- 
covered, and that with particular application, in a lively, sensible manner ; 
he sticks notr at, doubts not of, what this renewed light discovers, but con- 
cludes they are certain, as things that he sees and flsels. He is not almost^ 
as Agrippa, but altogether persuaded, that these gospel mysteries are as true 
as God is truth. 

He is persuaded of such a necessity of Christ, as he whose neck is on the 
Viodk is pennaded of the necessity of a pardon to save his life. Though 

12 THB KSW CBBATCTB. . l^^^ ^ ^^* 

fonnerljy upon hearing the love-eiek inqniries of dittoeflsed sonls after 
Christ, he was apt to say in himself, as they to the spoose, * What is thy 
beloTsd more than another beloTed '? Cant. ▼. 9 ; yet now he eonelade* 
Christ the ohiefest of ten thoosand, the peerless beanty of hearen and earth, 
as certainly, as sensibly, as he jndges the sun to be light when it shines ai 
noonday ; now he wonders at his former blindness, thong^ then he would 
not be persuaded of it ; now he is astonished at the stapidness of the blind 
world, that is not ravished with the love and beauty of Christ shining in his 
sonl and the gospel. Formerly, discoveries of Christ's all-sofficiency and 
nnsearehable riches were no more to him than the riches of the Indies 
viewed in a map, or related in a story ; bat now he passeth snch a judgment 
on it as he does of his own, where he widks, and feeds, and rests, when it 
is best foxnished and provided ; it is no foreign thing to him, but that which 
he sees, tastes, and lives on, and his judgment of it is answerable. 

When the ugliness and destructiveness of sin was formerly declared in 
the ministry of the word, he looked upon it as a monster painted or wrought 
in a suit of hangings ; but now he judges of the mortal danger of sin, as a 
man judges of poison when he feels it working in his bowels. 

It was a paradox to him that a man cannot be happy in this life if he had 
all worldly eigoyments that heart can desire ; but now he certainly con- 
cludes, things of the world can no more satisfy an enlivened soul than stones 
can satisfy an hungry nuin, or wind nourish a consuming body ; he has 
found what miserable comforters these are to a wounded conscience. 

He was apt to judge, that the new birth, regeneration, the new creature, 
were conceits and £uicies ; and whilst he felt no such supernatural work upon 
his soul, he judged there was no such things. But the Lord having brought 
him through the pangs of the new birth, and by an ahnig^ty power drawn 
the lineaments of a new creature in his soul, there is nothing tiiat he hears, 
or sees, or feels, that he is more certainly persuaded of, than this truth, 
that without regeneration there is no salvation. He has changed his mind ; 
he is quite of another, of a new judgment, in this and other things, than he 
was fonnerly. 

[8.] New valuations. The estimative power of his mind is renewed ; the 
value of things is quite altered in his judgment ; the scales are quite turned ; 
that which was highest is lowest ; that which was weightiest in his account^ 
is now lighter than vanity ; worldly and carnal things, which were gain 
before, are now counted loss ; spiritual and heavenly things, not before 
regarded, are now of highest value. 

Formerly, the treasures of the world were most precious in his account ; 
but now the reproach of Christ, the very worst condition with Christ, is of 
greater value than the treasures of the world. Hereby Moses evidenced a new 
creation in his soul, Heb. xi. 26. 

Formerly, interest in Christ he took upon trust, upon common, uncertain 
grounds, as though it were not worth the looking after ; but now that it is 
assured to him upon gospel terms, he will not part with it for all the king- 
doms of the earth ; or, tf he be kept in a doubting condition, if he walk in 
darkness, and see no light to evidence his title to Christ, which is the condi^ 
tion of many a new creature, many' a child of God, after their new birth, so 
highly does he value it, as he woidd be content to live poor, afflioted all 
his days, upon condition he might obtain it. If Christ would but lift up the 
Ii|^t of his countenance, he would be hi from envying those whose com, 
and wine, and oil increase, Psalm iv. 7, 8. 

Formerly, he counted them happy who have the world at will, a conflu- 
ence of pleasoreSf honours, riches, to their heart's desire ; but now he pities 

0^.. 71. 15.] THB mw OBBATUBB. 18 

those who hsTO no ffesAat happmesB, no sweeter eomforts, than these can 

Fonnerijy he eonld hsTe! heaid and read the promises in the Seriptnre, 
withoat mneh regarding them ; jet, if a iiiend had assured him of a rieh 
estate, he wonld have aeconnted that a precious promise : bat now he wonld 
not part with the riehes he spies in some one gospel-promise, for all the 
mines in the Indies, Ps. cxjt, 127, Ps. ix. 10, Prov. Tiii. 19. 

Formerly, he had rather have spent his time in merzy company, than in 
seeking God, or hearing a sennon, or conference about his soul's estate ; 
but now one day, one hour in these holy employments, is better in his ao- 
•connt than a thousand elsewhere ; rather be a door-keeper in the house of 
God, than a commander, a prince in the tents of wickedness, Pb. Izxziv. 10. 

Formerly, he most esteemed such gifts, parts, as would get most applause 
and credit, quick wit, profound judgment, free expression, a nimble inten- 
tion to find out, or set off some taking opinions or notions above the ordi- 
naiy road* Ay, but now these are vanities in his account, compared with 
the power of godliness ; now he values holiness above the choicest accom- 
plishments in Uie world. This is the most excellent way in his esteem, as 
Paul in like case, 1 Cor. xii. 81. 

Formerly, his church-privileges or religious performances, his alms-deeds, 
or outward observance of the law, self or sense, seemed something worth to 
make his way to heaven. But now he counts aJl these loss, compared with 
Christ's righteousness ; even those that he counted gain, they are loss, yea, 
dung, that he may gain Christ, and be found in him, Phil. iii. 7, 8. He has a 
new esteem of things. 

[4.] New designs. The designing power of his mind is renewed, he hae 
new plots, new devices, such as troubled not his head before ; and those 
that he formerly pursued, are laid aside. His designs are cast in a new 
mould, and run in a new method, such as the old man is a stranger to, the 
nnrenewed mind is not acquainted with. 

Formerly, his designs were driven towards sin, himself, or the world; now 
they are for God, for heaven, for his soul. 

Formerly, his design was to ingratiate himself with those that might do 
him good, make him gr^t or safe in the world ; now it is to continue in 
the fovour of God, to walk in the light of his countenance, and ei\joy sweet 
fellowship with the Father and Son. 

Formerly, his design was to live* plentifully and creditably in the world ; 
now it is to get his heart crucified to the world, and the world unto him, to 
live soberly, righteously, godly in this present woiid, and walk in it as one 
redeemed from it. - 

Formerly, his plot was to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts 
thereof ; now it is to mortifjr his members that are on the earth, to put the 
old man to death, and in this respect to die daily, to starve his lusts, and 
crush the interest of the flesh, that though it continue, yet it may not pre- 
vail and rule in him. 

Formeiiy, his design was to grow rich, to lay up store for the time to come, 
to provide plentifully for posterity ; now it is to be rich unto God, to par- 
take more and mora of the unsearchable riches of Christ, to grow in grace, 
and abound in the ^nits of the Spirit ; to lay up treasures in heaven, even 
that good foundation, for the time to come ; to provide for eternity ; to get 
his personal wants supplied, and to bring up posterity in the fear and nur- 
ture of the Lord ; to bnng them up to the terms of the covenant, that they 
may have a title to the treasures, and may be heirs of the kingdoQi that 
cannot be ahakeou 

14 TBX NEW OBBATUBX. [OaL. 71.. 15. 

Fonnerly, it was his design to make soie what he enjoys on earth, and to 
secnre it from the claims, ix^jnstice, or violence of men ; now it is to 'make 
his calling and election snre,' to make clear his evidence for heaven ; to get 
those spiritoal distempers removed, which are as moth an^ rust to his sonl's 
ireasore ; to keep his heart with dl diligence, that sin, and Satan, and the 
world may not hreak through and steal. 

Formerly, it was his design, either to he famous in his generation, eminent 
amongst the sons of men, or at least to have a name amongst, or praise 
from men, for parts, or performances ; hnt now it is, that God above all, 
and in all things, may he glorified ; that the sceptre of Christ may be ad- 
vanced, and his crown flourish ; that his name may be precious and glorious* 
in the world, and all nations, tongues, languages, may acknowl^ge his 
glory, and speak his praises ; and that all in heaven and earth may lay their 
crowns at his feet, and give unto him the glory dae to his name, due to his 
love, for he is worthy. These are the designs of anew creature. 

[6.] New inventions. Invention is another power of the mind, which is 
renewed when a man is made a new creature ; his mind is busied about &r 
other inventions and devices, than formerly. Not how to find out new opi- 
nions or notions, that he may be cried up as a rare man, as r/( /ctt/ac, the 
humour of Simon Magus ; nor how to blast their reputation, who stand in 
his light and obscure him ; nor how to satisfy his lusts in a way of safety 
and credit ; nor how to gratify an ambitious, or covetous, or revengeful, or 
unclean humour : no, these are the devices and contrivances of the old 
man, which is corrupt and unrenewed. The inventions of the new creature 
are quite of another strain, sueh as the old man, the unrenewed mind, is 
utterly unacquainted with. I might instance in more than twenty, I will 
but name them. The new mind employs his invention, — 

To find out what are his spiritual wants, where the defects of his graces 
and affections lie, wherein faith, and zeal, and love, and self-denial, are de- 
fective ; that he may not languish for want of supplies, that his soul may be 
kept on the wing of desire alber Christ; that, living in the sense of many 
wants, he may not be puffed up with self-conceit, as having attained. 

What hinders his soul's prosperity. Why he does not grow answerable to 
means, light, engagements ; whether'remissness in duty, or some unmortified 
last withm, or too eager pursuit of something without. 

His secret corruptions : those skulking traitors, that lie hid in the dark 
and secret comers of his soul, which in others are not seen nor regarded ; 
stirrings of spiritual pride, secret motions of self-refined stains of hypocrisy. 

The decays of his soul at their first rise and appearance ; decay of love, 
zeal, spiritualness of mind, tenderness of heart or con6<»ence ; to find out 
these at first, before they run his soul on into a consumption, which neglect- 
ed, they are apt to do. 

The best ways of improving Christ crucified, of drawing powerful and 
quickening influences from him, knowing that upon this depends the life, 
strength, comfort, and welfare of his soul. 

What arguments may most prevail with God in prayer. Not that the 
Lord needs these, but that they are needful for himself, to encourage fiiuth, 
and quicken the soul to fervency and importunity in seeking God. 

What thoughts, what objects, do most affect him, make deepest impres- 
sions on his heart What most powerful to quicken, inflame, put his soul 
upon motion towards God, and effectual to restrain from sin. 

What duty every condition he is cast into, and eveiy alteration in that 
condition, does especially call for. 

The exercise of what grace is most proper and suitable to every juncture 

Gal. YL 15.] thb new obeatxtbb. 15 

of time, to every oceturrence he meets with ; that he may be always ready, 
his loins girded, his lamp homing. 

What parts of the word of God, whether promises, or threatenings, or 
examples are more snitable to his soul's estate, that he may take special 
Dotiee of them in hearing or reading. 

Where the new man is weakest, where he lies most open to assaults of 
spiritaal enemies, where Satan gets most advantage, where sin makes its 
breaches, that he may fortify that especially, set a strong goard. 

What the cause of every cross and affliction is, inward or ontward. Why 
the Lord at any time withdraws from him, denies his presence, assistance in 
ordinances, in his endeavonrs after holy walking, that if it be sin, he may 
snbdae it. 

To find out what Satan's snares are, what his devices, whereby he most 
prevails in the times and places where he lives, that he may not be ignorant 
of his devices, nor entangled nnawares. 

What the deceits of hie heart, and the fallacies of sin, these being deceit- 
fill above all things, and so intimate with him ; that he may not be circum- 
vented, cheated, deluded. 

Where the strength of sin lies, what are its strongest holds, what carnal 
reasonings, what promises or expectations, that he may bend all his force 
against it here, this being the surest way to victory. 

What is the beloved sm, peccatum in deUciis, the commander, supporter, 
encourager of the rest ; that this may be chiefly mortified, subdued. He 
knows if the general fall, the troops will be easily scattered, routed. 

The root of every sin by the fruits. When he perceives sin breaking 
forth, he sets his invention a- work, inquires, whence comes this? E.g,^ 
wanderings in holy duties, whence are these ? Is it not from camalness, 
want of delight in holy employments ? is it not from some lust within, 
worldliness or uncleanness ? Having found out the root, he strikes at that, 
thinks it surest to stay the stream by stopping up the spring. 

Where are corruptions, encouragements, abettors, incentives; where it 
feeds and gets provision, whether in his constitution, or employment, or 
company, or diet, or accommodations, that he may cut ofif these. 

How to be most serviceable in his generation ; how he may improve his 
talents mcMt for Christ's advantage ; which are the ways, which are the ser- 
vices in which his times, parts, gifts, enjoyments, may be best employed ; 
that he may not bury them, nor use them only for himself, nor spend tiiem 
in ways less neeessaiy, profitable, advantageous for Christ and his people. 

How he may win others to come in to Christ, to renounce sin. What 
carriage, what acts, what words may be most effectual, according to the 
sever^ tempers of those amongst whom he lives. 

What the design of every special providence is towards himself, or the 
plaee he lives in, that he may neither disregard nor oppose it, that he may 
concur with God, and be subservient to him in his promoting them; 

What are the provocations of the times and place he lives in, that he may 
endeavour to reform, mourn in secret for them, seek pardon ; 

These and such like are the things about which the invention of a renewed 
mind is employed. And when his studies succeed herein, he has more rea- 
son to cry h^xa than Archimedes ; these being inventions that find more 
approbation in heaven than any on earth. 

[6.] Nf w reasonings. The discursive power of the soul is renewed ; carnal 
reasonings are opposed, disclaimed as weak, fiaUacious; his aiguings now are 

His former inward reasonings were for the flesh against the spirit, now 


they are for the spirit agabst the flesh ; they were formeriy for the world 
against Christ, now for Christ against the world; for sin and looseneaa 
agaiost holiness and stnotness, bat now the contrary ; from the letter of the 
word against the sense of Scripture, now they are according to the mind of 
Christ. He draws quite contrary conclusions from formerly abased piin- 
ciples ; 0. g. God is merciful, long-suffering, and patient, Ergo^ there is no 
such danger in sinning, no such necessity of a precise reformation ; so the 
old man. But the new creature argues from hence, Ergo^ this should lead 
me to repentance. Bom. ii. 4. Therefore I should be ashamed, afraid to 
sin hereaher, and heartily grieved that I have sinned so much before. 

Christ is full of love and compassion to sinners, and therefore we need 
not be so nice and precise in forbearing, renouncing every sin ; so the old 
man. But the new creature thus : Chnst loves me, and therefore how can I 
do that which his soul hates ? He * loved me, and washed me,* &c. ; how 
shall I do that which shed his blood ? The grace of God appearing to all 
in Christ crucified; Ergo^ I must deny all ungodliness and worldly lu&, &c., 
Titus ii. 11, 12. 

Christ came to save sinners ; Ergo^ there is hopes of salvation, though I 
continue in this or that sin ; so the old man. But the new creaturo argues 
thus : ErgOf I must get into and continue in the way wherein Christ lias 
declared he will save sinners ; I must believe, break off my sins by repent* 
ance, and submit to his laws and government, ehw his death will nothing 
avail me. 

But the strict and constant observance of all Christ's laws will be hard, 
and sometimes dangerous. I may lose my estate, liberty, or life by it ; 
Ergo^ it is better to hope well, and go on as I do ; it is folly to launch so £Eur 
into the deep as we can see no shore ; it is good sleeping in a whole skin; so 
the old man. Bat the new creature thus: If the observance of Christ in all 
his holy ways and truths may cost me so much, Ergo^ it is more proper for 
me, whom Christ so infinitely engaged. Shall I offer unto him ozdy that 
which costs me nothing ? If Christ had dealt so with me, my soul had 
dwelt in everlasting flames. Whom should I suffer for, if not for him who 
suffered all for me ? And if I suffer with him, I shall also reign with him ; 
BO the apostle. 

But there are many ways of religion, abundance of errors, divisions, diver- 
sities of opinion ; Ergo^ it is better to keep the old track wherein I was bom, 
bred, and have thus long lived, than to wander and change my old course 
in such uncertainties ; so the old man. But the new creature thus : There 
are many divisions, wanderings, &c., Ergo^ I have more need to keep in the 
strait way, the way of holiness, which is certainly the way of Christ if there 
be any truth or certainty in Scripture, and leave those to doat upon ques- 
tions, less material opinions, positions and circumstantials not clearly re- 
vealed, who think they have more time than enough to mind that one thing 

But some that pretend to holiness and strictness are hypocrites, make a 
£edr show outwardly, when there is no inward reality ; Ergo^ it is better to be 
as I am than counterfeit what I am not ; so the old man. But the new 
creature thus : There will be hypocrites amongst those that profess godliness, 
there was a hypocrite amongst Christ's disciples ; Ergo^ I have more need to 
look to my own security, more reason to give all diligence to make my own 
calling and election sure. 

This way of strictness and preciseness is everywhere spoken against and 
reviled ; Ergo^ no wisdom to enter into it, to meddle with it; so the old mam 
But the new creature thus : Ergo, it is more like to be the way of Christy for 

OaL. yi. 16.] TBB mW OBBATUBB. 17 

he himself Ba£Eured ffae ooniaradiotioci of eiiineiB. The world hates him and 
his vajSy no wonder if they speak evil of them. 

The Lord aeconnts the will for the deed. I mean well thongh I do ill 
sometimes^ Ergo, the Lord will accept me ; so the old man. Bat the new 
ereatare thus : ErgOf in the strength of Christ I will pot forth myself to the 
ntmost in eyery duty, in all the ways of Christ, and when I &il through 
weakness, there is hopes of pardon and acceptance. 

The time is short, we cannot live long ; Ergo^ let os Uve merrily, take our 
pleasures, follow our profits, while we have time ; so the old man. But the 
new creature thus : Ergo, I must use all diligence to get the work done, for 
which be allows me this time, for which he sent me into the world ; Ergo, I 
must use the wcMrid as though I used it not, rejoice as though I rejoiced not, 
huy as ihou§^ I possessed not, use recreations as though I used them not^ 
' For the fii^on of the world passeth,' &c., 1 Cor. vii. 29. 

But there are many promises to sinners ; Ergo, no reason to despair of 
salvation though I Hve in sin ; so the old man. But the new creature thus : 

1 have many great and ptecious promises, therefore I should ' cleanse my- 
self from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,' &o. It is the apostle's arguing, 

2 Cor. vii. 1. 

The thief repented at death, and was admitted into paradise ; Ergo, why 
may not I defer my repentance and reformation till the hour of death ? so 
the old man. But the new creature thus : I read but of one amongst many 
thousands that found place for repentance at his death ; Ergo, I will not 
leave my salvation, my soul> at sndi a desperate hazard, as, ten thousand to 
one, it will be lost. 

But death is uncertain, it may be fiir off, the Lord delays his coming; 
Ergo^ 1 may eat, and drink, and take my pleasure ; thus the old man, with 
that wretched servant in the parable. Mat. xxiv. But the new creature thus : 
Ergoy I must be continually watchfiil ; I must be always employed in the 
Lord's work, lest the Lord come in an hour when I look not for him, lest 
he find me in an evil way, and I fall into the condemnation of that uuprofit- 
able servant, Mat zxiv. 48. 

But there is no e<mdemnation ta those that are in Christ, and who can 
tax me as one that is not in Christ ? Ergo, though I sin I shall not be con* 
demned : so the old man. But the new cieatnre thus : ' No condemnation 
to those who walk not after the flesh.' If I walk after the flesh, continue 
in my old carnal condition, stick to my old, superstitious, ungodly customs 
and practices, if I be not a new creature, I am not in Christ ; to such there 
IS nothing but condemnation. The new mind has new reasonings, as appears 
in these, and might be shewed in more instances. 

[?•] New thoughts. The cogitative power of the mind is renewed, old 
thonriits are passed away. His a&eistical thoughts ; — Gtod sees not, he regards 
not, he will not punish ; I may sin securely. Revengeful ; he does not medi- 
tate^misohief upon his bed. Lustful ; his heart is not a place for speculative 
imeJsannitfTfl. Proud ; he is not pufiiad up with setf-eonceit ; the hi|^, lofty, 
towering imaginations are puUed down. Worldly ; he gives not way to im- 
moderate thoughtfolness about what he shall eat, &c. These engross not his 
mind ; he knows a small share of hfis thoughts is but due to the world, so- 
lieitovis, anxious thoughts, ^temperiog his mind with fear and distrost, so 
much earefolness what to eat, &c. When Christ works this new creation in 
the mind, these are driven out, as buyers out of the temple ; it is a part of 
tUs ^reat renewing work to bring every such thought into subjection. So 
wandering thoughts in holy services, which passed before without restraint, 

VOL. n. B 



lie drives these away, as Abraham did the fowls from his saerifioe, Gen. xr. 
11. Vain, oDprofitable, foolish, impertiDent, incoherent thonghta« though 
they may steal into the mind, they lodge not ; he entertains them not as 

The thoughts that are now welcome into his mind are holy, spiritnai, 
heavenly ; thoaghts of Christ, his love, the sweet expressions, the many 
precious experiments of it ; thonghto of hk soul's condition, of the great and 
precious promises. These are h^ meditation, these are sweet to his taste. 
Thoughts of his glorious relations to Christ, of those privileges of a new 
creature, and of Uiose future enjoyments in glory, these are most frequent, 
pleasing, abiding. 

Such thoaghts as quicken him to holy motions, stir him up to heavenly 
inclinations and affections. His former thoughts were as thorns and weeds 
to choke these, but his present thoughts are as bellows, to kindle and in- 
flame his heart with love to, and zefd for, and ardent desires after, Christ 
and spiritual enjoyments; quicken him to faith, fervency, heavenliness ; 
engage him to humility, self-denial. 

These are the thoughts of a new mind, whidi the old man will not believe 
to be in any, because he never found them. 

[8.] New consultations. The advising power, that which the philosophers 
saXL jSouXfur/x^, is renewed. He has now new objects to consult abont, new 
counsellors to consult with. He consults not now whether the Lord shall 
be his chief good, his last end, nor whether his great idol the flesh shall be 
ihrown down, or pleasures, profits, credit, the unrenewed man's trinity, shall 
give place to God, and be made the footstool of Christ ; no, in re tarn lancta turn 
est deliberandum. This is out of question, he is fully resolved upon it, 
though the greatest part of Christians (whatever they imagine to the con- 
trary) never came up to such a resolution. 

It is not the end, but the means, that he consults about, fioukbu6fM6^ w 
v9^i ruv r%\Cj¥ '* not whether Christ shall have the highest place in his soul, 
but by what means he may be most advanced ; not whether the interest of 
the flesh and the world shall be cast down, but by what means this may 
be most effectually done ; how he may disengage lus soul from carnal in- 
jterests (that have so fully possessed him) so as he may give np himself wholly 
^anio the Lord. And the business being weighty, needs counsel, evfjkCoCX^uc 
^i vct^\a/iCd90fit¥ f/'c rd fivyaka.. The new creature has new counsellors. 
We see it in Paul ; as soon as the Lord had made him a new creature, he 
chooses a new counsel, rejects the old. Gal. i. 16. 80 here he consults not 
with the world, not with the flesh, not with carnal friends, about the things 
of God. The world and the flesh are enemies and carnal friends, in spiri- 
tual things are fools ; and who seeks counsel of foes or fools ? If carnal 
friends be consulted with, then in trouble of conscience they will advise you 
•to get into merry, jovial company, to sing, or drink, or cast away those 
melancholy thoughts, or to follow worldly business with more eagerness, 
Ihat the noise of the world may drown the voice of conscience. Oh miser- 
able comforters, oh wretched counsellors ! When the world or flesh are 
consulted with, they wiU advise with much show of wisdom. If sin most be 
left, if something must be done for Christ, why then engage for Christ 
tagainst sin with a proviso, with caution and reservation ? Take heed, if you 
be wise, that no sin be left, no duty be undertaken, to the prejudice of ease, 
isredit, or worldly advantage. And so profitable and delightful sins must 
still be retained ; duties of religion that are chargeable, difficult, dangerous, 
Of reproached by a wicked generation, must be baulked, declined. When 

• Aristot. 

Gal. 71. 15.] thb nw obbatubb. 19 

peneeotion arises for any way of Christ or holinessy then wheel about, ex- 
ease yonnelyes here ; in this the Lord be merciM to me, I can, I dare 
follow Christ no farther. Here is the ooonsel of the wisdom of the flesh, 
whieh IS enmity to God. * This wisdom descendeth not from above ; it is 
earthly, sensoid, devilish,' James iii. 15. And so the new ereatare rejects 
it. It is the wisdom from above which goides him in his coDsaltation, that 
idiich is not only peaceaUe, but pore, fmitful, and without partiality, &c., 
rone 16. He consults with the oracles of God, David's coansell(»rs are the 
men of his counsel, Ps. cxiz. 24. He goes for advide to the law and the 
testimony, he inquires impartially ; and that which is there delivered sways 
his judgment, and carries it in all debates, though it be never so cross to 
carnal interests, though it be to the {vejudice of his dearest lusts, ^ough it 
be to the ruin of his ease, credit, worldly advantages. One gHmpse of 
Scripture light will carry it. 

llius you see explained what a new crenture is in respect oi his mind, 
how the mind is renewed in its several acts and powers. Proceed now to 
the next faculty, 

(2). A new will. A new creature has a renewed will. As this new crea- 
tion make a new spirit, i,e. a new mind, so it makes a new heart, i.e. a new 
will. This new creature is a new man, £pb. iv. 24, Col. iii. 10. Now there 
cannot be a new man without a new will, for this is the principal part of a 

The will is the ruling faculty, it ccwimands the whc^e man ; therefore, 
SQch as the will is, such is the man, old or new. The most powerful and 
distinguishing work of renewing grace is in the will, and therefore, that we 
may understand what the new creature is, we must apprehend how the 
will is made new, and wherein its renewedness consists. Now this will ap- 
pear most dearly in the immediate acts of the will, its inclinations, inten- 
tions, fruition, election, consent, application, and resolutions. Where there 
is a new creature, a new will, there are * 

[1 .] New inclinations. That act of the will, which Aristotle calls CeiXriifig, 
and the schoolmen simplex voUtio, has a new object. The heart, which was 
formerly carried after sin, the world and self, has now a new bias, which 
carries it towards God in Christ as his chief good, towards him as the height 
of all his glory, the spring of all his pleasures, the treasury of all his riches. 
Every unrenewed man is an idolater, he makes himself or the creature his 
idol. And though God usually have the name, yet he moves towards these 
as his chief good. This is the sad efiect of the fall in every son of Adam, 
an averseness to God, a propenseness to the creature ; and this continues in 
every man from his &st birth till he be bom again. And when this new 
creation begins, it finds him in this posture, with the face of his heart to- 
wards the creature, and his back towards God. Now it is the effect of this 
great work to turn the heart from idols unto God, from the creature unto the 
Creator. Hence it is called conversion ; his heart now runs towards a new 
mark, he has a new centre. Formerly himself or the world was his centre ; 
to these he moved, after these his soul was carried, even as the sparks fly 
upwards. But now God in Christ is his centre r his heart tends towards 
God, even as heavy bodies move downwards ; his motions towards God are 
free, powerful, and resttess. He has a new nature, and his motions towards 
God are in these respects natural. 

Finty He is freely inclined towards God. He is not only forced by ter- 
n»s, or apprehensions of death, or some great danger ; for theso may 
occasion some weak motions towards God in an unrenewed heart ; but when 
there are no such enforcements, yet then his heart is in motion towards 

'20 VBB mw OBSATUBB. [GlL. YI. 16. 

God. Th^ra is an atfcnustiye Tixtae in Chxist, and the diBCoreries of bis 
I0T6 and excellency in the gospel, which draws a new heart to him ; a vir- 
tue both secret and powerful, such as we see in the loadstone to draw iron. 
* When I am lifted np, I will draw/ &c. The heart is pnt npon this 
motion by an inward, principle, not by ontward enforcements. When the 
will is thoroughly touched with renewing grace, it inclines towards Christ ; 
as you see a needle, touched with the loaidstone, move and tend toward the 
north pole. This heart-inclination is better felt than expressed, and it will 
be a mystery to those who have not experience of it, as this new ereatore is 
to all unrenewed men. 

Secondly^ It is a powerful and preyalent inclination, snch as does over- 
power the inclinations of the flesh to sin in the world. Bet the world, in 
all its pomp and ^ory« all its delights and treasure, before the soul, on 
one side, and God, as manifested in Christ, on the 4)ther, and a renewed 
heart will turn its back upon the world, and bend itself tomrds God. Nor 
is this, 

Thirdly, By fits and starts, now and then^ in some good mood ; but his 
inclinations are habitual and constant. His motions mi^ be idaekened, 
and in part diverted, by some violent temptations, even as you may force 
the needle m ihe compass towards the south; bat then it quivers, and 
shakes, and is restless, till it point north again. So the heart, when by 
some lust or temptation it is drawn aside from. God, this motion is not free, 
it is against the settied bent; the heart shakes and shivers, till that be 
removed which stops its course, and hinders its motion towards God. The 
constant bent and tendency of the renewed will is after God, as its happi- 
ness, its joy and delight, its treasure and glory. Banrid was a man after 
God's own heart, and therefore his heart was formed according to the 
image of God, i, 0. it was renewed; and you may feel tiie pmlse, penceive 
the motions of a renewed heart, in his expressions, Ps. xlii. 1, 2. Paul 
expresses the t^nper of a new will under temptations, Bom. vii ELe does 
that which he allows not, that which he hates, that which he would not do, 
ver. 15, 16. When his soul is hunied to sin, his heart would have it 
otherwise ; when he is carried down with temptation, he moves as he would 
not move ; his heart, his will inclines to God, while he is oarried another 
way : he is carried as a captive, carried as by rebels ; so he looks npon 
himself and upon them, ver. 28. A eaptive, dragged by rebels, moves not 
freely : if £he force were removed, he would change his jnotion, alter his 
course. A new creature has not a heart for sin and for the world; the 
fixed, usual, constant bent of his will is towards God* as his chief good, 
only happiness. It is contrary in an unrenewed man. 

[2.] New intentions. Tbe renewed wiU intends God, aims at hkn in all^ 
and above all things. Christ is to him Alpha and Omega, the first and the 
last, the spring of his happiness and the end of his acting?. That which is a 
man's chief good, is his last end. God is both to a renewed 'heart:: he 
inclines to him as his chief good, he intends him as his last end. 

He has new ends and aims, fiur differing from his former. Heretoforo 
he aimed at pleasure, to live merrily ; riches, not to stand in need of others; 
greatness, that he might not be an underling in the world ; honours, that 
he might not live obscure or contemned. But now, apprehending his 
sweete^ delight^, be3t riches, gfeatest honours, are to be found in God, 
he aims at God instead of these, «^d intends not these but in reference to 
God^ that by these he may be enable to do him better and more i^heerfol 
God is now his end ; and that which he intends Ao^e all is, 1, to gb- 

Oil. YI« 15.] the mxw oBSiiTUBB. 21 

rify God ; 2, please bim; and, 8, eojoy him. God is bis aim in these 
three notions. 

Finty To glorify him. Every aetion is raised and carried on for his end, 
and with this intention, Tirtoally if not aetnaliy, tiiat God by it may be 
glorified; and this universally, not only in religions actions. He hears, 
and prays, and reads, and meditates ; not to stop the month of conscience, 
or to be aeconnted a good Christian, or to make amends for some sin, whose 
gain troubles him, but that GtxL may be hereby honoured. 

Nor this only in dvil actions. The works of his calling, ploughing, or 
digging, or studying, Ac., these he follows for this end ; not as formerly, 
to gei his living ^only, or to provide for his fEunily : his intentions rise 
hi^er; thai which he principally aims at, is that hereby God may be 

Yea, but even in natural acts. He eats, he drinks, he sleeps, not only 
for continuance of healtii and life: he aims at something of greater 
moment, viz., the advancing of God's glory. This is the law of the new 
ereaiure, for to such the apostle prescribes it, 1 Cor. x. 81. 

And as he intends this universally, by dedicating all and every action to 
this end, so he aims at it singly, i. e, he acts not that which may glorify 
God, in relation to himself only, or his own ends. The old man may do 
this ; so did the unrenewed Jews ; they had a zeal for Qod, as Paul testi- 
fies. Bom. X. 2. They were zealous in doing that which might honour 
him, as they thought, but it was in reference to themselves, lest the apos* 
tie's doetcine (of justification by faith, both to Jews and Gentiles) prevail- 
ing, their law, and dignity, and privilege above the rest of the world, should 
be overthrown. A new creature may, must seek his own good ; but this in 
subordination to Gk>d*s glory as supreme, and in a way of subserviency to it 
as principal. He Seeks other things, but he intends this in and above alL 
And this is a special property of the new creature, which the highest im- 
provers of nature could never reach, nor ever will, till renewed. 

Secondly^ His aim is to please God. Formerly his aim was to please his 
flesh, or his senses, or his corrupt humours, or such persons and friends on 
whom be had dependence ; but now that which he intends above all is to 
please God. He will strive to please others, if thereby he may the better please 
God, as Paul became all things, &c. ; but if any thing come in competition 
with €k>d, if he must either displease his firiends, his flesh, his senses, or 
displease God, in this case he will displease all, rather than displease God ; 
for to please God is his highest end, and the highest end is best ; and so the 
apostloi determine in this case, Acts v. 29. In this case, to displease God, 
we should not yield a finger's breath, Neque amnilnu angelis in calo^ neque Petro 
nee PaulOi tuque decern CaearilmSf nequs mUle papU^ neque toU mundo latum 
diffUum ceeeerim, [Luther] Comment, in Gal. ii. 

Thirdly, To enjoy God. He aims at this in all actions and undertakings 
whatever ; and intending this, nothing short of it will satisfy him. 

Formerly, in religious duties he could have rested in the work done, or 
been satisfied with common enlargements and assistances; or content if 
others esteemed and applauded him, thou^ his heart was at a great dis- 
tance from God in the duty. But now no duty will please or satisfy him, 
exeept he enjoy God in it ; except God draw near to him, and witness his 
presence by tlw power, efficacy, or delights of it in his heart. So in civil 
and nstnral acts ; it is the aim, the intent of the new creature, to enjoy God 
in alL Bat this leads me to the 

[8.] New fruitions. That in which the new creature rests, thai which 
satisfieej contents him, is quite diffarent from what it was f6nn«rfy* His 


life was formerly a vexations wandering from vanity to vanity ; all the eon- 
tentment he had was in sin or worldly accommodations, or at least in out- 
ward performances ; hat now these are as hnsks to him. That which gives 
his heart quiet and content, is the enjoyment of God, communion with 
Christ, fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Nihil potest qvietare hominis vohai' 
totem, nisi solus Deus, says Aquinas. It is true, here, nothing quiets a 
renewed heart but the eigoyment of God ; or, as he, irreguietum est cor nos- 
trum, &o. Thou madest us for thee, and our heart will not rest but in thee. 

The world (as one well compares it) is like a king's court. Unrenewed 
men are like children, who are taken with the pictures, and please them- 
selves in viewing the hangings and ornaments of several rooms ; but a new 
creature is like a man that has earnest business with the king ; he stays not 
in the out rooms ; he takes little notice of the ornaments and rich furniture ; 
his business is with the king, and so he rests not till he come into his 
presence. Those that rest in outward performances, or worldly enjoyments, 
they stay in the out rooms. A new heart, like the king's daughter, is then 
only brought with gladness and rejoicing, when she enters into the king's 
presence, Ps. xlv. 15 ; then only satisfied, when Christ leads her into lus 
banqueting house, when he fills the tabernacle of her heart with the glory 
and power of his presence. Even as a hungiy infant will not be content ; 
though ye give it chains of gold or bracelets of pearl, nothing will satisfy it 
but tiie breast ; so a renewed heart, in the absence of Christ, all that the 
world can afford wiU not quiet or satisfy it, none but Christ, none but Christ. 

Formerly, he could rest in a religious duty performed, or at least in the 
plausible performance of it ; but notlungnow contents him, except he there find 
him whom his soul loves ; nothing satisfies him, except the presence of God 
go along with him in these duties ; except he find the Spirit of God moving 
in them, affecting his heart, and workii^ upon his soul in the use of ordi- 
nances. His heart raises itself in the ordinances, as Zaccheus, Luke xix. 4, 
got up into a sycamore tree, that he might see Jesus passing by. It will not 
satisfy him, no more than Absalom, to return to his house, except he may 
see the king's face, 2 Sam. xiv. 82. It is that which he seeks, as the angel 
told the woman : Mat. xxviii., * I know that ye seek Jesus that was cruci- 
fied.' Ay, this is it which a renewed heart seeks ; nor will it ever rest till it 
find Jesus that was crucified. 

Formerly, if by labour and industiy in worldly employments he could gain 
weU, and increase his estate, and thrive in the world, he was herewith eon- 
tent (so &r as such things can give contentment) ; but now, whatever he 
gains, whatever he gets, he is not satisfied, except, while his outward man 
is busied in the world, his soul enjoy communion with Christ, except his 
labour and travail in these outward ^ings be a walking with God. 

Formerly, he was apt to say, as that rich man, Luke xii. 19, ' Soul, thou 
hast much goods, &c., take thine ease,' &c. But now he will rather say, 
with that famous Marquis of Yico, ' Let his money perish with him, who 
prefers all the gold of the world before one day's communion with Jesus 

Formerly, he was apt to fancy some contentment, if he might have ridies 
and friends answerable to his desire, meats and drinks suitable to his 
appetite, habit and accommodation suitable to his fancy ; but now all ful- 
ness is empty, if Christ make it not up ; the sweetest accommodation is 
distasteful, if the presence of God sweeten it not ; no enjoyments satisfy 
him, but tiiose in which he enjoys Christ. And when he has found him, 
he can let out his heart's contentment in David's expression, * The Lord is 
my portion, I have enou^ ; return to thy rest, my soul, for the Lord has 

Gal. YL 15.] ibk »bw cbbatubx. 28 

dealt boiintifii]]j with thee ; my lines are Men in a pleasant place/ &o.» 
ft. iv. 6, 7, Ps. kiii. 

[4.] New elections. The will shews its renewedness, in its choice of 
means for promoting of the ends oa which it hath pitched : «r^oa/^ftfi; ieri rut 
^f^ ri rfXA^. Election of means, the former acts were about the end. His 
choice is different from what it was heretofore. He brings not down that 
whieh shoEold be his end, to serve his turn as a mean, as those do, who make 
religion a stirrap to advance them in the world. 

Nor does he choose nnlawfdl means to promote his ends. Formerly, so 
he might compass his intentions, he stood not mach upon the quality of the 
means, whether good or bad, allowed or disallowed of God. How visible is 
this in men of tibe world! But now he pitches upon none but such as 
Seriptnre has sealed to be acceptable unto God. He will not set up calves, 
false worship, to gain or secure a kingdom, nor make priests of the meanest 
of the people to strengthen a faction, as Jeroboam did, who made Israel to 
sin, and is so branded. He will lose his ends, rather Uian accomplish them 
by deceit, fidsehood, injustice, or what reflects on his profession. 

His choice is regulated by the word, and what it prescribes he will pitch 
on, though it seem to his own prejudice. He will choose to cross his own 
humour or ofiend his dearest relations, rather than o&nd God. He chooses 
aflUctions for Christ, rather than the pleasures of sin. It was Moses's 
choice, Heb. zi. 

He chooses those for his companions that fear God, Ps. cziz. 68, and 
those above all that are most conscientious, most eminent for holiness, 
strictness, watchfulness over themselves and others. Those that he did 
formerly hate, jeer, abuse for strictness, holiness, they are now his delight, 
as David, herein a type of Christ, Ps. xvi. Spiritual conference of godly 
persons, which was formerly a burden, he now {Mrefers before vain worldly 
diseomse ; and the company of pro&ne men are his burden, as it was to 
David, Ps. czz. 5, 6. He had rather have a friend that will reprove him for 
sin, than a companion that will soothe him in an evil way, Ps. cxli. 5. 

In choice of a minister, he will not incline to one who will sew pillows 
under his elbows, cry peace to him while he lives in sin, or encourage him 
by doctrine or practice in any evil course ; nor to him who will please his 
fiiaey with quaintness, notions or niceties; but he prefers him that will 
search his conscience, deal £uthfully with his soul, not suffer him to live at 
peace in any wickedness, that delivers sound, searching, quickening truths, 
and teaches Christ, as the truth is in Jesus. 

If he find ordinary means not sufficient to subdue his lusts, remove soul dis- 
tempers,* keep his heart in a spiritual heavenly temper, or to prevail for 
pubfic mercies and deliverances, he then makes choice of extraordinary. If 
his usual praying every day be not ejQfectual, he will set apart whole days for 
prayer and fasting to obtain those blessed ends. 

He chooses not only those means, duties which are most plausible, but those 
also that are most spiritual ; not only public exercises of religion, but secret 
duties ; such wherein common gifts are not so much exercised, such as have 
nothing of outward form or pomp wherewith an unrenewed heart may be 
taken ; for example ; — 

Secret prayer, in his closet, where no eye is witness. I mean not an 
heartless repeating of words got by rote, without fervency or afiection ; but 
the strivings, wrestlings of the heart with God in secret, in a humble, 
reverent, importunate, afiectionate manner. This he chooses, and it is his 

Secret meditaticm of spiritual things. Not for increase of knowledge only» 

24 VBs mw OBXATXJBB. [Qai^ VL 15. 

or io enable him to diaeontse or dispute ; this an unrenewed heart may 
ehoose ; bat to quicken his soul to spiritual motions, holy inclinatioDfl» 
heavenly a&ctiona ; to find out the state and temper of his soul, common- . 
ing with his heart, Ps. iv., that he may judge or encourage himself, aooord* 
ing as the condition of his soul requires. 

He chooses not only such duties as are easy, but those that seem difficult ; 
rather forego his own ease, than leave his soul in a remiss, lukewana» 
unthriving temper. 

Nay, he will not refuse those duties that are chaigeable, reproachful, or 
dangerous, whefa the Lord requires them. Daniel would pray to the God 
of heaven, though the penalty was casting into the den of lions. The pri- 
mitive Christians would sell &eir estates rather than the poor should want, 
to the dishonour of the gospel. The apostles would preach Ohrist emoified, 
though therefore they were accounted the outcasts and offscouring of all 
things ; rath«r expose his credit, break with friends, or make a breach in 
his estate, than break his peace with God by neglecting his duty. 

[5.J New consents. This is another act of the will, which when it is 
renewed, has a new object. I might give many instances, but I shall only 
instance in that one which is the vital act of a new creature. 

He now consents to enter into covenant with God upon the terms pro- 
pounded in the gospel. Formerly, he consented to sin and the world, yielded 
to their terms, upon condition he might eiyoy them ; his heart, thonf^ 
hardened against Gk>d, yet was as wax to receive the impressions of sin ; 
and he was a voluntary fugitive to Satan and his lusts, led captive by him 
at his will. But now his heart is hardened, his will is obstinate against sin 
and the world, yet it runs freely into the mould of the gospel, and consents 
to take Christ upon gospel terms, to take him as Lord, for holiness, power 
against sin, &o. He is so sensibly convinced of his misery without Christ, 
of that happiness which is to be enjoyed in Christ, he so clearly apprehends 
the infinite worth of Christ, his extreme necessity of him, that he will yield 
to anything the Lord propounds, if he wiU but give him Christ. 

The Lord tells him in the gospel, if he will have Christ, he must part with 
all, with every sin : 2 Tim. ii. 19, * Let every one that nameth the name,* 
&e. ; those sins wherein thou hast so much delighted, whereby thou hast 
got, or expectest so much gain or advantage. He that is Christ's must 
cruoifv the fiesh, &o. The renewed heart answers. Yea, Lord, and happy 
were I if I might be quite freed from all sin. Oh, happy exchange, to part 
with sm to gain Christ ! What have I to do any more with idols ? How 
much better is it to part with those sometimes dearest lusts, than, by 
retaining any one member of that body of death, to have both soul and body 
cast into hell ! The will freely yields to this proposal. 

The Lord tells him further in the gospel, he that will have Christ must 
deny himself. ' If any man will be my disciple,* Ac., Mat. xvi. 24. He 
that will be Christ's must deny his ease, his humours, his credit, his gifts, 
his own righteousness, his own interests, inclinations, accommodations, for 
Christ's sdse. The heart answers, all these are nothing compared with 
Christ ; yea, verily, and I count them all loss that I may gain Christ, as 
Phil. iii. Yea, and let him take all, if my Lord Christ will return to my souL 

The Lord tells him in the Gospel, he that will have Christ must take up 
the cross, must be willing to endure reproaches, auctions, and perseonUons ; 
mUst be willing to suffer in his relations, in his estate, in his liberfy, and in 
his life too ; to lose all these, if the glory, and ways, and truth of Christ 
call for it, Luke xiv. 26, Mat. x. 87, 88. He that will have Christ must 
make account to have the cross. The soul answers. Welcome the cross if 


Christ eome with it : I can never suffer snything so grieyons for Christ as 
he has suffered for my souL There is enough in Christ to make ap all 
losses* to sweeten all safferings. Malism mere eum ChrietOy quam regnare 
euM Ctnare^ as the father. Nona ever was a loser by Christ, whatever he 
seemed to lose. The greatest suffisrers now in heaven could rather wish 
they had endored more, than repent that they suffered so much for their 
dear Redeemer. Nothing more true in all experience than Christ's promise, 
Mark z. 29, 80. 

Thus the renewed will comes off freely, and consents to take Christ upon 
any terms, whatsoever the gospel offers, <rC^ xai eraJH^, ^fj^/cuv rl everdms, &e., 
hfA Xfierou mrv;^«. 

[6. J New applications* The renewed will applies the rest of the fieieulties 
to prosecute what it has pitched on. The will is the commander of the 
whole man ; the primum mobile, that which sets all the rest on motion. 
It is ruler in the soul ; the rational, sensitive, and moving faculties are subject 
to it; and part of them with some freedom as to their sovereign, the rest 
more absolutely as to a master. Now, when it is renewed, having pitched 
on the chief good for its end, and chosen the best means for the attainment 
thereof, it sets the rest of the faculties to work to prosecute these, and 
diverts it from what might hinder the soul in the pursuit thereof ; being 
moved by the Spirit of Christ, and fortified with renewing grace, it diverts 
the mind from carnal, reasonings, vain thoughts, wicked plots and devices. 
Formerly, the mind could employ itself in these without control ; but now, 
when these appear, the will gives a check to them, commands the mind to 
better employment, turns the current of the understanding into a new channel. 
It applies the mind to spiritual designs and inquiries; and when holy 
thou^ts are offered, it commands their entertainment; they are not checked, 
discountenanced, thrust out, as formerly they were. 

The fancy is now restrained, the folly and vanity of it receives check 
from the will, it has not such license to bring in provision for lust, or to 
bring fuel into the soul for corruption to feed on. 

T^e sensitive appetite is now curbed. That which too often ruled the 
soul is now overruled ; that which hurried the rest of the faculties to a blind 
eonespondence with its motions towards objects of sense is now controlled, 
and is put to obey instead of commanding. Sensual proposals are spiri* 
tualised, made subservient to holiness, or occasions of it. 

It ezereises authority over the outward senses. They are employed in a 
way of servieeableness to Christ, and set to work for that end. These, 
whiieh formerly were as windows to let in temptation, as doors to let in sin, 
are now closed at the renewed will's conmiand, — it sets a guard upon them. 
A eovenant is made with the eyes, as we see in Job ; the tongue is bridled, 
and the door of the lips kept warily. Not only wicked, but idle words are 
restrained ; if they get passage, it is by surprisal. 

[7.J New purposes and determinations, new resolves. A new creature is 
resolved against every way of sin, and for eveiy way of Christ ; being by 
renewing grace become Christ's disciple, he resolves not only to deny himself 
and take up his cross, but also to follow him. And he that follows Christ 
must resolve to walk in every way of Christ, and to abandon every evil way ; 
for be that resolves upon any way of sin, resolves to leave Christ, not to 
Iblloir ^I'wi Christ cannot be followed but in his own ways, those wherein 
he wentt or which he prescribes. He is not only willing, content, but 
resolute, fully determined ; and his resolutions are impartial and permanent. 

Impartial, to leave all, every sin. Not only open sins but secret, sins of 
mind and heart; not only gross sins, but those that are more excusable, refined.; 

26 THE NBW CBXATX7BB. [GaL. YI. 15. 

not only chargeable, ezpensiye, bnt advantageooe ; not only those that are 
disgraoefiil, reproaohed, bat eoontenanoed, in credit ; not only bnrdensome, 
troublesome, bnt pleasing, delightfol; not only dangerous, such as axe 
punishable by law, but safe. Besohes to strive against eyery known sin, 
and to entertain any light that may discoyer whf^ is sinful ; and to en- 
deavour not only to reform his conversation, bnt to get his heart cleansed ; 
not only to crucify the members, but the body of death ; not only avoid 
actual sin, but subdue natural corruption. This is to put off the old man ; 
this is to act like a new creature ; this is to become a new lump. 

Resolve to walk in every way of Christ, even in those that seem difficult 
and painful, require diligence and trouble, and crossing ihe flesh ; that are 
hazardous, by which ye may lose friends, credit, or accommodations ; that 
are reproached, disgraceful, make you censured, reviled, jeered ; that are 
chargeable, make a breach in your estates, may cost your Uberty, expose to 
indignation of great ones, or endanger life ; as Paul, Acts zz. 24. 

Permanent and. fixed, too. This resolution is not some fit to which his 
will is forced by some roosing sermon, or some awakening providence, or 
some sharp affliction, or some apprehensions of approaching death. Even 
unrenewed men will resolve much upon such occasions; but when the 
enforcement is removed, the fit is over, the will returns to his former pos- 
ture, as a broken bow. When the affliction is removed, or the sermon 
forgotten, the fear of hell or death vanished, these purposes vanish, too ; no 
more resolvings then against sin. Such unconstant resolutions, though they 
pass for goodness, yet they are but like that of Ephraim, of which the Lord 
complains, Hos. vi. 4. 

But when the will is renewed indeed, these resolutions are constant, 
habitual, durable ; not to-day resolved for Christ against sin, and the next 
day unresolved, as the Jews in that particular, Jer. xxziv. 16, 16 : 'Ye 
were turned to-day, and had done right ; but ye turned again, and polluted 
my name.' Or as Pharaoh resolved to let Israel go while he lay under the 
plagues, but when they were removed he was again unresolved. This in- 
constancy argues there is no new creation, but only some common super- 
ficial work. This is essential to a new creature ; though there may be some 
dedinings in respect of degrees, yet this is the constant bent of his will, he 
is resolved against every way ojf sin, and for every way of Christ. 

Use 1. Conviction. If none can be saved but new creatures, and so much 
be required to the constitution of a new creature, then how few shall be 
saved ! If the gate be so strait that leads into the New Jerusalem that 
none but a new creature can enter into it, then few there be shall enter, few 
in the world, few amongst Christians. 

Few shall enter, because there are few new creatures ; for it appears from 
what has been delivered, that they are no new creatures, 

1. Who are ignorant. When God begins this new creation, he says, 'Let 
there be light, and there is light ; ' therefore, where the darkness of igno- 
rance, covers the face of the mind, there is no new creation. Those that sit 
in this darkness, they sit in the shadow of death, of eternal death ; the way 
of life they have not known, they are ha from it. This darkness, this igno- 
rance, is ihe suburbs of hell ; this is inner, and hell is bnt outer darkness. 
When Christ comes to give the children of light possession of their inheri- 
tance with the saints in light, he will come wiUi flaming fire, 2 Thes. i. 
Yet how few are there that know Christ, his excellency, aU-suffideney, 
savingly, e£fectually ! How few are there that know this new creation, the 
new birth, experimentally ; who know what a new creature is, by what they 
find of it in their own souls 1 

Oil. VL 15.J tbb rbw grbatdbs. 27 

2. Who are not oonvineed of what they know, who, thongh they appre- 
hend Bomething of Christ, and of Bin, and of the new birth, yet not so 
apprehend as to bring their minds nnder a sensible, effectual conviction. 

Those who think this new ereatore a mere conceit, a fancy of some 
singnlar men, or else that it is needless, a man may be saved without so 
much ado, think they .may safely continne in the condition wherein they 
were bom and have hved, without any such ahnighty work as this new 
creation, without any such universal change, such a mighty alteration. 
These make it plain enough that they have neither lot nor portion in this 
matter ; those who never were convinced that themselves were unrenewed, 
or not effectually convinced of the danger in so continuing. 

They that tremble not at the threatenings denounced against sin, and 
can rest quietly when the Lord tells them of so many curses hanging over 
the heads of unregenerate men, though they have no good grounds to be- 
lieve but that they are the men, like the horse, in Job xzxix. 22. 

8. Those that value the world more than Christ, and outward things more 
than holiness. How evident is this amongst us 1 Yet who will confess 
their guilt in this particular ? You use not to jeer men for being rich or 
noble, wise or learned ; yet ye can deride some for their strictness and holi- 
ness, and brand the imag» of God with the odious names of puritanism and 
preciseness. Is it not clear, then, that holiness is vile in your eyes, while the 
things of the world are too precious ? Or suppose ye be not come to that 
height of wickedness as to jeer and deride holiness, yet do ye not neglect it? 
Do ye not think much to bestow half of that diligence and seriousness for 
obtaining or increasing of holiness, which you lay out for getting or keeping 
things of the world ? You will have the best assurance, the best evidence 
that can be, to shew for your estates ; and yet be content to take your 
interest in Christ upon trust, upon common, weak, unevidencing grounds. 
And is it not clear that Christ is of less value to such than their estate ? 

4. Those who have no higher designs than nature can reach, than sense 
or carnal reason can propose ; whose chief design it is to live in ease, credit, 
plenty, safety in the world ; who mind but God, heaven, and their souls 
upon the by ; spare but HtUe, even of their spare time, to mind these ; and 
then look to this, not so carefully, not so seriously, not with such earnestness, 
intenseness, as ihey look to tlungs that concern the outward man ; mind 
spiritnal things as though they minded them not ; those that seek outward 
things in the first place, and the kingdom of God, with the righteousness 
thereof, in the second. 

6. They that are strangers to spiritual inquiries, the voice of whose souls 
is that of the worldlings, Ps. iv., * Who will shew us any good ?* not that 
of the converts, ' What shall we do to be saved ? ' think it strange that 
any should busy themselves in inquiring, Ac. 

6. They whose minds are captivated to carnal reasonings ; that will 
seeretly argue for continuance in sin, from the mercy and long-suffering 
of God ; argue for the salvation of unreformed sinners, from the love and 
sufferings of Christ ; against strictness and holiness, from the miscarriage of 
some profossors, or the reproaches of the world ; a^^unst a gospel profession, 
from the divisions and diversities of opinions that are amongst us ; for 
voluptuousness and indulgence to the flesh, from the shortness of our lives. 

7. They whose minds are dosed against holy, spiritual, heavenly thoughts, 
who know not what it is to commune with their hearts about spiritnal things, 
who are strangers to heart-searching, self-judging, soul-quickening thoughts. 

8. They that consult rather how to make provision for the flesh than how 
to erocify it ; how to enjoy both Christ and his sins, his sins here, Christ 

28 THB NXW aBBATI7BB« [OaL. YI. 15. 

hereafter, raUier than how Chriflt alone may be advaneedin his soul ; eonstilts 
with flesh and blood in spiritoal matters, makes choice of the world and the 
flesh as his eoonsellors ; and if his conscience will not serve him wholly to 
neglect the service of God, advises how he may serve both God and masunon. 

9. They, the inclination of whose heart is not towards God and spiritoal 
commnnion with him. 

10. Who make it not their chief aim to glorify God, to please him and 
ei^joy him. 

11. Who can quiet, satisfy his heart in any performance, or any eigoy- 
ment wherein he does not eiy'oy Christ. 

12. Who make choice of snch means] only for promoting spiritoal ends, 
as salt with their own ease and interests. 

18. Who are not willing to take Christ, upon any tenns, whatsoever the 
gospel propounds. 

14. They whose reason, £uicy, appetite, senses, are not tan^t sobjection 
to Christ. 

15. They who resolve not to practise eveiy known doty, and renonnce 
every known sin. 

Use 2. Exhortation. 1. To those that are not yet new ereatores. Since 
without this new creation there is no salvation, therefore, as you desire to be 
saved, if you woold not perish eternally, rest not in anything for salvation 
till ye be new creatures ; till then, ye are out of the way, ye are without 
hopes of heaven. 

Every man fancies hopes of heaven ; but upon what do ye raise them ? 
It concerns ye eternally to be careful ye be not deluded. If your hopes 
should prove delusions at the day of judgment, how woeful will >our con- 
dition be I And delusions they are if they rise not from this ground. Till 
ye be new creatures, ye build your hopes without a foundation, for nothing 
will avail ye to salvation, except ye be new creatures ; neither circumcision 
nor uncircumcision, neither duty nor privilege, neither opinion nor practice, 
will be available to salvation, unless ye be new creatures. You that daily 
hear of gospel salvation, and, withal, know that by nature ye are out of the 
way to salvation ; if ye be not desperately careless, should seriously inquire, 
what shall we do to be saved ? Now if your souls be serious in asking this 
question, ye will seriously mind what the text answers ; if ye will be saved, 
ye must be new creatures. And this being so, he that is not an infidel as 
to this truth, or wretchedly careless of his salvation, will be apt to ask, — 

Quest. What means shall I use, that I may become a new creature ? 

Ans, In answer to this, let me premise one thing, to prevent mistakes. It is 
not in the power of man to make himself a new creature ; for creation re- 
quires an infinite, an almighty power. No man, no angel can effect it ; no, 
nor be the instrument of it, as the more judicious divines conclude. It is 
um^CaXXoy /xf^i ^;, an exceeding great power, such as was necessary to raise 
Christ from the dead, that is required to create faith and holiness in the 
soul, Eph. i. 19 ; it is God's workmanship only, Eph. ii. 10. 

Yet, because Uie Lord is not pleased to effect thu work immediately, hot 
has prescribed means as the way wherein he will work it, and without which 
ordinarily he will not work it, therefore the means that the Lord has pre- 
scribed must be used by those that desire to attain the end. And though 
there be no necessary connection betwixt those means and this end, no 
sufficient inherent virtue in them, necessarily and infallibly, to create holi- 
ness, God having reserved this in himself as his own prerogative, yet there 
is a probability that the Lord will concur with the means of his own pre- 
seribing. And this probability affords hopes to every sinner, encouragement 

OaL. 71. 15.] TBI NIW OBSATUBS* 29 

to be diligeDt in the vbb of them ; whereas there tare no hopes, no prohabili* 
ties in an ordinazy way for those who enjoy not the means, or wilfhlly 

The poor impotent man that lay at the pool of Bethesda, John ▼., thongh 
he eonid not go into the pool, nor conTey a healing virtue into the waters, 
yet he was in more hopeful way to be enred than those who, being in- 
sensible of the like infirmity, never endeavonred to come near those waters. 
Christ compares the regenerating power of the Spirit nnto the wind, John 
iii. 8. The mariner cannot sail withoat wind, nor can he procure a wind 
at his pleasure, for it bloweth when and where it listeth ; but he may thrust 
his verael off a shore, and spread his sails, to take advantage of a gale when 
it bloweth. Those that wait upon the Lord in the use of means and ordi- 
nances, they hereby spread their sails, are ready for the Spirit's motions, 
which bloweth where it listeth ; there is more hopes of these than of such who 
lie a-ground, neglectmg the means of grace, which are both as sail and tackling. 
The two blind men of whom we read. Mat xz. 80, they could not open 
their own eyes ; that was beyond their power ; but they could get into the 
way where Jesus passed by, and they could ciy to him for sight who only 
coold recover it. Those that are diligent in the use of means and ordinances, 
they sit in the way where Jesus passes by, who uses not to reject those that 
cry unto him. 

So, then, it is clear, thongh this new creation be the work of God alone, 
yet having prescribed means wherein he is pleased to work it, notwithstand- 
ing the unrenewed man's woeful impotency, there are no small hopes, there 
are great encouragements for him to wait upon God in the use of those 
means and ordinances wherein he puts forth his almighty power in making 
new creatures : 2 Cor. v. 17, Let him be. This denotes not man's ability 
but his duty, not that he is able to make himself a new creature, but that 
he is bound to use those means wherein or whereby the Lord renews sinnera, 
makes them new creatures. 

But what are those means and ordinances wherein I must wait upon God, 
that I may be made a new creature ? I will instance in some few : 

1. Attend the word preached ; attend it carefully, constantly. As we 
should preach it, so ye should hear it, in season and out of season. Neglect 
no opportunity that God offen ; ye know not what ye lose by losing a ser- 
mon. This is the way whereby Jesus passes ; Oh be not out of the way 
when he passes by I The Spirit that blows where it listeth ordinarily blows 
in this quarter. This is the pool where there is a healing, a quickening, a 
creating virtue, when the angel of his presence descends into it. Oh, miss no 
opportunHy of getting into the pool, lest your souls languish in their un- 
renewed state, and p^ish for ever. It is tiiis by which the Lord begets his 
ehildzen, makss them new creatures, James i. 18. This is the incorruptible 
seed by which ye must be begotten, or else die in your sins, 1 Pet. i. 28, 25. 
Those that contemn the ministiy of the gospel contemn the means of life, 
that which the Lord makes use of in this new creation. 

Those that neglect the word to hear it, shew that they are no new crea- 
tares, shew that they have no mind to be so, shew they are either atheists, 
not regarding God in his word, or desperate, not regarding salvation or 
their souls. 

Nor is it enough barely to hear ; but you must hear so as to remember, 
remember so as to meditate, meditate so as to apply it to your souls, and 
miz h with fidth, and act according to it 

8. Persuade not yourselves that ye are new creatures, when ye are not. 
Look upon this as a delusion of Satan, of dangerous consequence. There 


are two doTiees of Satan whereby he nsnally deludes poor smners aboat this 
weighty basiness. First, he endeavonrs to penoade them that there is no 
necessity of this new creation, that this is bat a conceit of some preciser 
men, and that, indeed, there needs not so mneh ado to get to heaven. This 
is his first attempt. Bat if the clearness of Soriptare evidence discover 
this to be a Mae snggestion, then he endeavoars to persaade men that they 
are new creatares when they are not, and nses false groonds to make them 
believe it. Their good meanings, their hannlessness, their avoiding of 
gross sins, their moral virtaes, outward performance of some religions duties, 
some change in their lives, sorrow for some sin, and zeal for some way of 
worship ; all which, and more, may be in those that were never renewed. 

Now, if apon these or each like grounds he can persaade them that they 
are new creatares, while this persuasion continues he will keep them from 
ever being new creatures. For hereupon he will draw them to neglect the 
means wherein God works this new creation, or else, if they use the means, 
hereby they are rendered ineffectual. The conscience is hereby armed 
against the dint of the word. Threatenings and exhortations, proper to 
their condition, are neglected, put off as not concerning them, and the mind 
is shut up against conviction, which is usually the first step to conversion. 
Therefore if ye would not fall into, or not be kept entangled in, this snare of 
the devil, conclude not that ye are new creatures unless ye have clear Scrip* 
ture grounds for it, except ye have found those lineaments of a new creature 
drawn upon your souls which I offered to your view in the explication of 
the doctrine. If upon serious examination ye find no such real universal 
change in your minds and hearts as I there described, then do not gratify 
Satan, do not delude your souls, by keeping off the application of it to your- 
selves. Take it home to thy heart, and say, I am the man : I never had 
experience of any such almighty work, of any such new creation in my soul; 
for anything yet appears, I am no new creature. And then, if the Lord 
please to bring you to this conviction, you are in a hopeful way to this new 
creation. But then you must 

8. Consider seriously and frequently the misery of your t>re8ent unrenewed 
state. It may seem harsh counsel to perauade yourselves that you are 
miserable, and Satan may tell you this is the way to despair ; but he was a 
liar from the beginning. And, though it seem harsh, yet it is necessary, 
and through the Lord's concurrence it may be saving. Christ came to seek 
and save ^ose that are lost : lost, miserable, undone, as in themselves, so 
in their own apprehension. You are never the further from happiness by 
being sensible of your misery ; no, sense of misery is the highway out of it. 
Meditate, then, seriously of the misery of your unrenewed state ; that it is a 
state of wrath, of damnation, of enmity with God ; a cursed state, a hope- 
less state, against which are darted all the curses and threatenings that are 
written in the book of the law ; that ye can never come to heaven till ye 
come out of it ; and that there is but a step between you and hell while yon 
are in it. And in sense hereof — 

4. Cry mightily unto God for renewing grace. Lie at his footstool, and 
cry, ' Help, Lord, or else I perish !* * Create in me a new heart, and renew 
a right spirit within me !' Benew me in the spirit of my mind, renew me in 
the inwards of my soul ! Take away this old mind that is so blind, so 
vain, so carnal ! Take away this old will that is so obstinate, so perverse, 
so rebellious ! Take away tiiis old conscience that is so partial, so seared, 
so senseless ! Take away this old heart that will never delight in, comply 
with, submit to thee ! Let old things pass away, let all things become 
new I Thou, Lord, who broughtest this world out of nothing with a word, 


eaofli witha word work in me thia new creation! Oh suffer me not to perish 
when thon canst so easily make me happy 1 Speak but the word, and it 
shall be done 1 Speak but the word, and this soul, now a dark, a woeful 
ehaoe, a lump of corruption and con^sion, shall become a new creature 1 
Thus follow the Lord with strong cries, and give him no rest till he hear, 
till he answer. And, to encourage you, urge the covenant, Ezek. xxzvi. 26. 
Here is an absolute promise, no express condition to exclude, to discourage. 
And though ye are not (while unrenewed) in covenant by participation, yet ye 
are by proposal. Though ye yet partake not of it, yet it is propounded to ye. 
Plead it then : Lord, give me this new heart, put this new spirit into me. 
Though I be a dog (as was objected to the Ganaanitish woman), yet it is this old 
heart, this corrupt nature, that makes me so. And this is it I complain of, this 
is it I would be rid of : Lord, take away this, &c. Oh, if ye were come thus far 
as that your hearts could put up such petitions frequently, unweariedly, then 
we might conclude ye are not far from the kingdom of God. 

Ohj. But while men are renewed, they are wicked, and the prayer 
of the wicked is sin ; God will not accept it, answer, it ; it is unlawfril, 
they must not pray. 

An». Unrenewed men are bound to pray. Prayer is so far from 
being an unlawful practice, that it is their necessary duty. 1. The light 
of nature discovers it to be a duty. It is an act, not of instituted, but 
of natural, worship, by which every man had been bound to have acknow- 
ledged his dependence upon God, if the Lord had never revealed his will 
in Scripture. 2. If such must not pray because they sin in praying, by 
the same reason they must not eat, they must not work, for they sin in 
eating, in working. * The ploughing of the wicked is sin, Prov. xxi. 4. 
8. Player is nothing but the desire of the soul expressed ; therefore, if they 
must not pray for renewing grace, they must not desire renewing grace. 
And who dare say to such a man, Desire not to be a new creature. 
The apostle Peter puts it out of question (if no other Scripture did bear 
witness to it). He commands an unrenewed man, one whom he certainly 
knew to have no part nor lot in this matter, one whose heart was not 
right in the sight of God, one who was in the gall of bitterness, &c. He 
commanded Simon Magus the sorcerer to pray, Acts viii. 22. 

2. It is not prayer itself, for that is a duty ; but the wickedness of 
their prayers, that is sinful, that is an abomination. When they make 
prayers a cloak for their wickedness, or pray that they may prosper in 
wicked practices, or pray for pardon of sin when they do not intend to 
leave sin, or pray with their lips, speak the words of a prayer but desire not 
in their hearts what they pray for, this, though ordinary, is a mocking of 
God ; no wonder if it be abominable in his account. 

8. Though an unrenewed man's person be not accepted, though the 
Lord take no special delight in his performance, though he have not pro* 
mised to hear their prayers, yet sometimes he hears them ; we have 
examples for it in Scripture. Ahab, though an unparalleled wicked man, 
yet when he humbled himself, the Lord made some return to his prayer, 
1 Kings xxi. 29. The Ninevites, though heathens, cried mightily to God 
upon Sie preaching of Jonah, and the Lord repented him of the evil he had 
said, and as they desired, turned away from his fierce anger, so as they 
perished not, Jonah iii. 9, 10. 

4. When the Lord gives a heart to pray constantly, importunately, affec- 
tionately, it is a sign he intends to answer. The experience of those that 
observe the returns of their prayers sufficiently confirm this; no. reason 
then for us to forbear the urging of this means to unrenewed men ; no rea- 


son for ihem to be diseonraged from th^ use of it. If ye would be new 
exeaturea, seek it of God by earnest prayer. 

Seeond branoh of the exhortation, to those who are renewed, who are 
ahready made new oreatores, who can tmly say, the Lord has given them a 
new heart and a new spirit, that old things are passed away and all things 
become new. This engages yon to several duties. 

1. To thankfohiess. Yon ooght to praise the Lord for this while yon 
have any being ; yonr hearts should rejoice in him, yonr lips should praise 
him, your lives should express all thankfolness to him ; yon should be 
thankful according to the greatness of the mercy, so iGur as your weakness 
can reach. Now, this is a transcendant mercy, of everlasting consequence, 
because it avails to salvation, as other things which you are much taken 
with do not. 

If you had riches, and honours, and pleasing accommodations, even to 
your heart's desire ; if yon had success in all your outward undertakings, 
and aU the prosperity you could wish ; if you had a kingdom, or as many 
kingdoms as Ahasuerus had provinces ; if you had assurance to live health- 
fully, delightfoUy, prosperously, in the enjoyment of these, an hundred 
years, yea, or a thousand, you would think all this a favour that calls for 
exceeding thankfulness. Oh, but all this is nothing in comparison of what 
the Lord has done for you if he have made you new creatures, for all this 
would not avail you to salvation ; if you were not rtnewed, you would be for 
all this children of wrath, under the curse of God, the objects of his hatred 
and indignation, condemned already by him, and reserved for execution unto 
the judgment of the great day. iGid after those days of outward prosperity 
were expired, and though they were a thousand years they would have an 
end, they are little or nothing to eternity ; they are but to everlastingness, 
as a day or an hour is to a Ufetime ; and being ended, and this shadow of 
happiness vanished, you must go down to hell and dwell with everlasting 
burnings. Then, then, what would all those kingdoms, and the riches and 
splendour of them, avail you ? Then you would say, It had been infinitely 
better for me to have had a new heart than to have had all these, though it 
had been ten thousand years longer. Better I had lived poor, and despised, 
and afflicted all my days, than to have Men short of renewing grace. 

Oh, if the Lord have vouchsafed thee this, how low, or mean, or neces- 
sitous, or distressed soever thine outward condition be, he has done incom- 
parably more for thee than if he had given thee all that this world can 
afford, all that is desirable to a carnal heart on earth ; he has given thee 
that which requires unspeakable more than thankfulness. Let thy soul 
then bless the Lord, and all that is within thee ; let thy tongue, let tiiy life 
give him the honour his grace calls for. 

2. Labour to partake more and more of this renewing grace, to be re- 
newed more in the spirit of your minds, to be daily putting off the old man, 
Eph. iv. If you be bom again, see that you grow up ; it will be monstrous 
to continue still infants or dwarfii. Whatever your outward condition be, 
be sure you may be able to say with the apostle, 2 Oor. iv. 16, ' Though our 
outward man perish, the inward man is renewed day by day.' The more 
ye are renewed, the more will ye have of salvation, the more ' abundant 
entrance,' 2 Pet. i. 11. The more assurance you will have of salvation for 
the future, yea, the more of salvation you will have at present. For what 
is salvation but freedom from that which makes us miserable, and possession 
of that which makes us happy ? 

That winch makes us miserable is sin, and the effects of sin ; and the 
more you are renewed, the more you will be freed both from sin and the 

Gal. YL 16.] ths msw obbatubs. 88 

woeful iflsaes of it; the more yon put on the new man, the more will the 
old be put off with its affections and lusts; and as the cause is removed the 
effects will cease. 

That which makes us happy is joy, glory, perfection. The more renew- 
ing grace, the more joy. Lig^^ ^ sown for the righteous ; as this grace 
grows, joy will grow up witi^ it ; the more [grace, the more] glory, for 
grace in Scripture phrase is glory. 

8. Pity those who are not new creatures. Children, relations, whatever 
you leaye, friends, credit, estate, a settled, hopeful condition, you leave them 
miserable unless they be made new creatures. Travail in birth with them 
till Christ be formed in them. 

voi^ n* 


Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open 
the door, I wiU corns in to Mm, and wiU sup with him, and he with me. — 
Rev. m. 20. 

These words are part of an epistle which Christ sent by the apostle John 
to the church of Laodloea. In it there is matter of oonyiction, direction, 
enconragement, admonition. 

1. By way of conviction, he shews her sin, her misery, Inkewarmness, 
yer. 15, 16 ; self-conceitedness and carnal confidence, ver. 17 ; none so apt 
to conceive themselves rich, &c. 

2. By way of direction, he shews her the means to escape this misery ; 
from whom, and how redress may be had, ver. 18. 

8. By way of admonition, ver. 19 ; these distempers must be corrected ; 
do not promise tiiyself security from my love and indulgence, rather expect 
the contrary. 

4. By way of encouragement, to use the means prescribed, improve the 
providences offered for recovery, and this, ver. 20. Wherein two proposi- 
tions, 1, simple, categorical ; 2, compounded, hypothetical. 

In the first, 1, The matter of it ; wherein considerable ; (1.) The agent, 
Jesm Christ, described, chap. i. 18, &c. ; 2, his posture, stand ; 8, act, 
knock ; 4, the place, the door, 

2. The momentousness of it, of which he gives us notice by the particle 
Behold. The Holy Ghost uses the word Iboit frequently to stir up, to attend 
to something wonderful, worthy of admiration ; so Mat i. 28 and ii. 9, Luke 
ziii. 16. It has the same use here. By fixing an ecce in front of this verse, 
he gives us notice we should attend to that which follows, as worthy of ad- 
miration and iull of wonder. Hence 

Observe, that Christ should thus offer himself to sinners in a way of 
mercy, is a matter of admiration. It is like himself, whose name is Wonder- 
ful. As he is wonderful in himself, his person, his nature, offices, so in his 
administrations ; and amongst the rest, this is wonderful, that he should con- 
descend to offer himself. 

This is worthy to be considered, and the consideration of it should raise 
our minds to admiration: Ps. viii. 'Lord, what is man*? so Isa. ix. 5. 
You will see great reason to wonder at this, if you consider, 1, who it is ; 
2, To whom it is ; 8, in what manner it is ; 4, what it is he offers. 

Bit. m. 20.j chbist*8 aaiiGiouB nwiTATioN to sinnbrs. 85 

1. Who. Consider (1.) his majesty ; he who is the mighty God ; he who 
18 Lord of lords, and King of kings, and Prinoe of the kings of the earth, 
BeT. i. 5; who has, the keys of hell and death, ver. 18; all power in 
heaven and earth, who is Alpha and Omega, &c., yer. 6 ; who is higher 
than the heavens ; who is exalted far above, &c. ; in eomparison of whom 
the sun is but a lamp of darkness, the heavens are bnt a span, the vastest 
regions of the world are but as small dust, and all the inhabitants of the 
earth as grasshoppers, and the glorioas angels little better than vanity ; 
the gk)ry of whose majesty is so fl^r from being expressed, as the appre- 
hensions of the highest an^^ come infinitely short of it. That this glorious 
migesty should stoop so low, should condescend thus £ur, is wonderful, worthy 
of all admiration. 

(2.) His all-sufficiency. He, who has all things within the compass of 
his own being, whereby he is infinitely happy and glorious ; whose glory, 
whose happiness, had been nothing less than it is, if man had never been 
created, and would be nothing less, if all mankind should sink into nothing. 
He who stands in no more need of us, to add to his glory and happiness, 
than the angels stand in need of men, which is just nothing ; nay, he stands 
in no more need of the angels. He was infinitely glorious and happy before 
aoy creatnre had a being, and had continued infinitely so, if the creatures 
had for ever continued in the state of nonentity, of nothing. Et infinito 
nihU addi potegt. Our goodness extends not unto him, no, not that of the 
angels. He is infinitely above both. Job xxii. 2. All that can be expected 
from either is to acknowledge him glorious. But an acknowledgment makes 
no addition, adds nothing to what it sees, only takes notice of what is in 
him, and would be no less in him, if it were not at all taken notice of. The 
sun would have no less lustre, would be no less glorious, if no eye ever saw 
it. So here, the Lord declares how little need he has of man, Ps. 1. 9-12. 
He stands in no more need of man to make him happy and glorious, than 
the heavens stand in need of a gnat to move them, or the earth of a grass- 
hopper to support it, or the sun of a glow-worm to add to its light and lustre, 
or Solomon in all his glory of a sest of ants to make it more illustrious. 

If th^ Lord Christ could not be happy or glorious without man, then the 
wonder would be less in that he condescends thus fiir unto him ; but since 
he is infinitely happy and glorious without him, since he can gain, can ex- 
pect nothing «t all by him, stands not in the least need of him, it is wonder- 
ful he should stoop so low as to ofier himself iq such a way unto him. 

(8.) His independency. He is so free, so absolute, in his being and act- 
ings, as nothing can necessitate him, nothing lay any engagement on him. 
If man could oblige Christ, if he could deserve anything from him, if he 
eoold present any motive effectual to persuade him to offer, &c., the wonder 
would be less ; bnt there is not, there cannot be, the least merit, the least 
motive from without, to engage the Lord to any such thing ; nay, there is 
exceeding much to disoblige him, to engage him against any such gracious 

But hero is the wonder : Christ does this when man is so far from deserving 
it, so fiir firom engaging him, so tax from moving him to it, as he does not 
80 much as request it, not so much as desire it, not so much as think of it. 
He is ' found of those that sought him not.' He condescends thus far, stoops 
80 low when there is no necessity laid on him, no desert, no motive, no desire, 
no thought of it, in or from the sons of men. 

(4.) His sovereignty. This makes this condescension a wonder. Christ 
might, before he had otherwise determined, witiiout any prejudice, annihilate 
all msjikind, if it had continued innocent, and might have justified the act, 

86 CHBIST'b GB4CI0V8 [ELby, III. 20. 

npon the mere account of his sovereignty. ' Shall I not do what I will with 
my own ?' Mat. xx. 16 ; bat after sin, he might have ezeented the sentence 
of death npon the sons of men in the very moment when they receive life ; 
and, as he threatens Ephraim, Hos. iz. 11, might have made the glory of 
man to fly away as a bird from the birth, womb, conception. He might 
have crashed this cockatrice in the egg, &c. •; and this, too, with advantage 
to his glory, and thereby much prevented that dishononr which the continu- 
ance of onr lives occasions. * It is the Lord^s mercy that we,' to whom he 
is now offering himself, * were not consumed' in our infancy ; a wonder of 
mercy that we not only live, but live to hear Christ offering life, &c. 

What a wonder, when Christ might, with so much glory to his justice, 
power, wisdom, sovereignty, have destroyed us, he should rather choose to 
offer salvation I 

When there was, as it were, a contest betwixt justice and mercy, and when 
there was so much reason for the execution of justice, so little or none from 
us for the tenders of mercy, that the Lord should here interpose his sove- 
reignty to prevent man*s roin, and when there was no other reason to offer him 
mercy, because he would offer it. As Exod. xxziii. 19, as if the Lord should 
say; There is no reason in man, why I should thus condescend to him. I see 
many weighty reasons why I should utterly, entirely, destroy him; my 
severity wUl be justified before all the world, and my justice much glorified 
thereby. Yet for all this, though there be much reason from my own glory, 
and all the reason in the world from man himself, why he should perish 
without the least tender of mercy, yet will I spare, yet will I stoop so low as 
to offer myself unto him. Oh how full of wonder is this condescension of 
Christ ! How ought we to admire it ! How may we be astonished at it, if 
we consider but who it is that stoops so low ; that is the first. More won- 
derful it will appear, if we consider, 

. 2. To whom it is he thus offers, he thus condescends. If the sovereign 
Majesty of heaven, so all-sufficient, so infinitely glorious, will vouchaafe to 
stoop to any, we may think in reason he must be some person of worth and 
honour ; no, it is to men, it is to sinners, it is to his enemies. Here is the 
wonder, this is it that calls for the Ecce, the Behold in the text The great 
God stoops thus low to man. The sovereign Majesty of the world vouchsafes 
this to a slave. The absolute commander of heaven and earth condescends 
thus far to an enemy. Behold and wonder, consider this and be astonished, 
and let your admiration rise by these three steps. 

(1.) It is to man, it is not to the angels, it is not to the seraphims of 
glory ; no, it is to man, contemptible man ; it is to him who is but dust and 
ashes ; it is to ' man who is a worm, and to the son of man who is but as a 
worm' compared with Christ, Job. xxv. ; it is to man that Christ thus con- 
descends, in comparison of whom man is not so much as a worm : ' He is but 
AS a moth,' Job. xxvii. 18. Nay, compare him with Christ, he is inferior to 
this small contemptible creature. Job. iv. 19. ' He is crushed before the 
moth.' And will Christ wait upon dnst and ashes ? Will he come to the 
habitation of a moth, and stand and knock at the door of a worm ? Oh what 
a wonder is this, that the brightness of infinite glory, the mighty God of 
hosts, should stoop so low ! Nay, 

(2.) It is to sinners ; it is to man by sin made worse than those creeping 
things, worse than the beasts that perish. Man by creation was but dnst, 
and in this contemptible enough ; but by sin he is become polluted dust, 
and so not only vile, but odious, loathson^e, so loathsome, as the Lord is 
of purer eyes than to behold, cannot endure to see him. A wonder then he 
will endure to come so near him, that he will stand and knock at the door 

Rbv. in. 20.] nnminoN to simnsbs. 87 

of sneh a leper, so deformed, so loathsome, so infectious I See how he 
deseribes those to whom he o£fers love, ver. 17, Wretched and miserable, 
twice miserable, extremely miserable, and (which makes the gracious offer 
wonderful), wilfully miserable. Misery, when it is not voluntary, may move 
pity ; but when it is wilful, when a man throws himself into it, is obstinate 
against freedom from it, rejects the means offered, contemns the offer, slights 
him that offers it, boasts of his own happiness, when he is admonished of 
hid misexy, will not know it, will not seek redress, will not desire it, will 
not accept it ; who will relieve such misery ? Such is the misery of a 
wretched sinner. He has wilfully brought it upon himself, and wilfully con- 
tinues in it. Christ in the gospel tells him of his misery : he will not be- 
lieve him ; he says, * I am rich,' &c. Christ shews the way out of it, he 
obstinately refuses to wa]k in it ; Christ shews the means, he rejects them ; 
Christ offers happiness, he contemns the offer, and despises Christ himself 
that offers it. Oh woful misery I And yet Christ will come and knock, and 
stand waiting, to shew mercy to such wilful wretches ; and continues thus, 
notwithstanding their obstinacy, their contempt of those gracious offers, and 
of Christ himself that makes them. Oh how wonderful is this ! 

Add to this ; Christ offers it to those that are poor, blind, and naked ; so 
poor, as they have nothing to cover their soul's deformity and nakedness, 
snd yet so blind, as they will not see that which has nothing to cover it. 
And will Christ offer himself to each poor, blind, loathsome, obstinate, 
miserable wretches ? Oh how wonderful is tiiis 1 See the woful condition 
of sinners described by the Lord himself, when Christ offers himself to them ; 
behold it and wonder, £zek. xvi. 4, 6, 6, 8. Will he condescend so far to 
raeh wretches, when they lie in their blood and are covered with loathsome 
pollution ? Will he pity those whom no eye pities, who will not pity them- 
selves ? Will he spread his garment over such defilement 7 Shail tibe time 
of loathing be the time of his love ? Oh how fall is every word with wonder ! 
It is to sinners that Christ stoops, to sinners ; and that is the worst, the most 
odious, the most loathsome thing that earth, nay, that hell, can afford ; and 
will he condescend so far to these ? 

(8.) It is to enemies. Not only to those that are hateftd to Christ, but 
those to whom Christ is hatefdl; to those that are hb utter enemies, enemies 
in their minds, in their hearts, in their lives ; to those that hate Christ, and 
sll his; hate him without a cause, hate him with a mortal hatred, even to 
the death; hate him implacably, so as they will never cease to hate him till 
their old hateful hearts be plucked out of their flesh, Ezek. xi. 19; thosd 
that join with his deadly enemies, shew themselves enemies to his crown, 
nsy, to his life. Such an enemy is every unregenerate sinner unto Christ; 
and yet to such enemies does Christ come, and stand, and knock, that he 
may shew them mercy. To such does he ofifor himself, communion with 
himself; and waits till they will open, waits till he may enter, to feast them 
with his own joys and comforts, and to entertain them as his dearest friends. 
Oh the wonder of this condescension 1 If men will not, heaven and earth 
will, be astonished at it, to consider to whom. It will appear more wonder- 
bl if we consider, 

8. How it is he offers himself. He comes, knocks, stands, entreats,, im* 
portonately, compassionately, again and again. 

(1.) He eomes. It is the great concernment of sinners, and their duty 
too, to eoma unto Christ, to seek him, and not to look that he should come 
to them. It is thus with men; they stand upon terms, and will have their 
inferiors to know their duty, or else suffer for it. How much more might 
the great Ood stand upon it, and let men perish if they will not come and 

88 cbbist's OSA0I0U8 [Bey. m. 20. 

seek to him for happiness? Are they not more concerned than he? 
Does he lose anything if we perish ? Must he condescend to careless, nn- i 
dntiful wretches, as Uiong^ he were heholden to ns for making as happy ? ! 
Mast he condescend farther to man than one of as will stoop to anodier ? 
WDl he come to those who will not come to him, thongh they die for it? 
Oh how wonderfbl is this ! yet thns it is. While men mind not their great- 
est concernment, while they neglect their daty, while they take no notice of 
their distaooe, yet Christ stands not npon terms; while they refase'or 
delay to come to him, he Tonchsafes to come to them. Oh wondorfal con- 
descension ! 

If we consider the infinite distance betwixt Christ and sinners, we cannot 
but coant it a wonder that he should soffer sach vile, loathsome, hatefnl 
wretches to come near him, thoagh they were willing to do it. How mach 
then is it to be admired, that he will stoop so low as to come to them, who 
are unwilling, as they are most unworthy, to come to him ! Will Christ oome 
to make them happy, that will not so mach as come to him for happiness ? 
Will he come to save them from death, who will not so mach as come to him 
for life ? Will he come to seek and save those that are lost, when they will 
rather lose their sools for ever than come to him for salvation ? This is the 
condition of every anregenerate sinner: ' No man comes to me,' says Christ, 
* except the Father draw him,* John vi. 44 ; and so he complains, ' Ye will 
not come to me,' &c., John v. 40. Oh if Christ should stand npon terms 
here, as most justly he might, and the very custom of the world would jus- 
tify him in it ; if he should say. If I be not worth the coming to, if life and 
happiness be not worth the coming for, why, then, stay where yon are, and 
be without it. Oh if Chnst should say thus, why, then, no fiosh would be 
saved. Oh but when careless wretches, forgetful of their souls, unmindful 
of iheir duty, regardless of Christ's honour, will not come to him, rather 
than they shall perish, he condescends, he humbles himself, to come to 
them. Here is that we may for ever wonder at: the King of gloiy comes 
to a slave to make him happy, to a slave who refuses to come to him. The 
sovereign Lord of the world comes to offer peace to his mortal enemy, whom 
he could crush into nothing; seeks peace with a sinner that refuses peace 
with God. The glorious Majesty of heaven vouchsafes to crme to dust and 
ashes, which refuse to move towards him. The holy God, of purer eyes 
than to behold iniquity, comes to deformity and pollution, thoagh it be 
loathsome to him ; comes and offers heaven to that which provokes him to 
spurn it at the greatest distance from him, even into the lower hell. Would 
you see this wonder ? Look into the text, and behold Christ, the King of 
kings, the Lord of lords, the Holy One of Israel, coming unto men, to sin* 
ners, to enemies ; coming with IHe, and peace, and happiness, to wretched, 
condemned, deformed slaves, while they refuse to come to Christ for them. 
But, which adds to the wonder, behold, 

(2.) He knocks. That implies the door is shut (as you shall hear here- 
after) ; but though he finds the door shut, though the heart of the sinner be 
closed against him, though he finds none ready, since none willing to open 
to him, yet he knocks. Though he sees the sinner sometimes bolting the 
door faster against him, sometimes taking no notice of him, sometimes 
stopping his ears that he should not hear, sometimes withdrawing himself, 
as counting the gracious importunity of Christ troublesome ; always admit- 
ting his deadly enemies at their first approach when himself is shut ont, yet 
he knocks. 

Oh what a wonder is it, that Christ does not depart in indignation, and 
swear in his wrath that he will never enter under the roof of such a wretch I 

Bet. nL 20.] xntitatzon to binnbbs. 89 

If Christ expected any great advantage by being admitted, then it wonld be 
less wonder that he should knock, and continue knocking. Bat he desires 
to enter, that he might make that wretch happy that shuts him oat. He 
expects no costly entertainment; he will put the house neither to cost nor 
troable; he brings his entertainment with him, and gives the sinner notice 
of it: Bey. zzii. 12, 'Behold, I come shortly, and my reward is with me.' 
He comes not empty-handed : ' Length of days is in his right hand, and in 
his left hand riches and honour,' I^ov. iii. 16. He would have entrance, 
that he might pour out his treasures into the bosom of the sinner ; and yet 
he is shut out, and glad to knock, that he may have admission. He knocks 
in the ininistry of the word ; knocks by the law, by the gospel ; knocks by 
the motions of the Spirit, knocks by afflictions, knocks by checks of con- 
science, knocks by reproofs and admonitions of his people, knocks by variety 
of providences ; and yet seldom, and, if ever, hardly gets admission. 

Oh the wonder of Christ's patience 1 Would any prince on earth do as 
the Prince of the kings of the earth here does ? Coming to the cottage of 
some peasant to make his condition rich and honourable, would he stay to * 
knock when he sees himself shut out, and none regard to open to him ? Yet 
will the King of kings digest this affiront firom dust and ashes, and knock for 
admission though it be denied ; whenas he might fire the house about the 
em of sinners, and with the breath of his nostrUis tumble them into destruc- 
tion : * The Lord's ways are not as our ways,' &c. 

(8.) He stands. Continues in a posture not easy to us, not becoming the 
majesty of men in honour. He waits on vile sinners; he is not weary of 
waiting, he stands. Though the sbner sometimes phdnly refuse to admit 
him, sometimes puts him off with excuses; though he tell him he is not at 
leisure, he has something else to do than to run to the door ; though he bid 
.him come another time, when he is not busy; though he tells him he has 
other guests, and those that he likes better ; though he see him entertain- 
ing sin and the world, so taken up with them as himself is not regarded : 
yet he stands. Oh the wonder of Christ's patience ! And what heart will 
not be filled with admiration that considers who it is that thus stands, and 
at whose door ? * Behold, I stand ;' I, says Christ, I stand, whose seat is 
the throne of glory at the right hand of the Majesty on high. I, ' at whose 
name every knee should bow, both of things in heaven, and things on earth,' 
Philip. iL 10 ; I stand, before whom all the glorious angels of God bow down 
and worship, Heb. i. 6 ; I stand, at whose feet the glorified, triumphant 
stints do cast their crowns, Bev. iv. 10 ; I stand, before whom the glorious 
host of heaven do fidl. I stand waiting upon dust and ashes, waiting upon 
nnnersy the rerj worst of all my creatures, waiting upon my enemies. I 
stand while they sit in the seat of scomers, while they lie wallowing in lusts 
and pleasures, while they sleep securely in ways of sin, not regarding me. 
I stand without, while base lusts are freely entertained, and the worst ofmy 
enemies heartily welcomed within. I stand at the door while Satan has the 
throne ; I am shut out while every vanity is let in. And will Christ stand 
upon sueh terms, after so many refusals, affronts, after so much disrespect 
and contempt east on him ? Yes, he stands, and so continues, till his locks 
be wet with the dew, and his head with the drops of the night I Oh, who 
would not stand amaaed to see Christ thus stand at the doors, at the hearts 
of sinnersl 

(4.) He entreats. Here is a wonderful condescension indeed, that the 
great God, speaking to the vilest of his creatures (so man is by sin) should 
use the language of entreaty ; that he who commands winds and seas, he 
who has heaven and eartht angels and all creatures at his command, should 

40 0HBI8T*8 OBAOIOUS [RsV. III. 20. 

hninble himself so to entreat, to beseeeh his ereatnre I And entreat what 9 
To do him some fk^onr, to help him to some advantage ? Then indeed th€| 
wonder were less. No ; bnt the Lord is infinitely above any snch thing. 
That which he entreats is» that they wonld admit him, admit him whose 
presence is the glory, the Imppmess of heaven. That they would be recon- 
ciled to him, reconciled to him whose favour is life to them, but no advan- 
tage at all to himself, bnt what he can otherwise procure though they perish. 
He can as easily get himself glory in destroying the proudest of his enemies, 
the greatest of sinners, as in pardoning any; and yet he beseeches, he stoops 
so low as to entreat condemned sinners to accept of a pardon, 2 Cor. t. 20. 
If a prince should do this, if he should come to one of his meanest subjects, 
by whom he had been highly offended, from whose displeasure he fears no 
loss, and from whose friendship he expects no advantage, and should entreat 
him to be reconciled and accept of his favour, would not this be the wonder 
of all that hear of it ? Yet thus does the glorious God to those that have 
shewed themselves traitors, enemies to his crown and dignity; he comes to 
them, offers them his favour, his pardon, stands waitihg for tiieir acceptance. 
And when they are slow to accept it (who are most concerned to sue for it), 
he beseeches, he entreats them to accept of his flavour, not to refuse a par- 
don, whenas without it they perish, soul and body, eternally. Oh how won- 
derfrd is this condescension ! 

(5.) He bewails their unkindness to him, their cruelty to their own sonb. 
When other means are not effectual, he takes up a lamentation. Here is a 
wonder indeed 1 He stoops so low as to take the weakest of our infirmities 
that can without sin be expressed. When sinners regard him not, his knock- 
ing, his entreating ; when they continue obstinate against him, and resolute 
to continue in sin, notwithstanding all the means used to reclaim them, he 
lifts up his voice and weeps over Uiem. 

When he prevails not by coming, by standing, by knocking, by waiting, 
by beseeching, why this is his grief, his sorrow, and he vents his sorrow in 
tears. Behold the compassions of the Lord to obstinate sinners, as he 
expresses it over Jerusalem. Behold it, and wonder 1 He represents him- 
self as clothed with the weakest of man*s infirmities ; he £Edis a- weeping, 
Luke xix. 41, 42. Behold the wonderful compassions of a dear Saviour. 
Now if one should ask him, as he did the woman, John xx. 15, Blessed 
Lord, 'what seekest thou? why weepest thou?' we may suppose this 
would be returned : Why, I seek not myself, I weep not for mjself, there is 
no need of that ; I shall be infinitely, eternally glorious ; thoagh sinners be 
not gathered, I am infinitely happy, whatever become of them. But thie is 
the grief of my soul, that sinners will rather cast their souls into hell than 
give me admission into their hearts ; that they will rather force me to for- 
sake them than forsake their mns; that they will rather part with me, who 
am their life and hope of glory, than part with the world, than part with 
their lusts, which will certainly ruin them. When I come, they do not 
admit me ; when I knock, they open not to me ; when I stand, they do not 
regard me ; when I entreat, and beseech, and promise, they do not believo 
me. I know what this will cost them, it will be bitterness in the end ; and 
if my compassions move them not, nothing remains for them but weeping 
and gnashing of teeth for ever. This he foresaw in Jerusalem, and this he 
foresaw in others disobeying the gospd as they did. And hereupon his 
bowels were turned within him, his compassions vented themselveB in tears. 
And 0, did the Lord weep for them who will not weep for themselves ? Oh 
how wonderful is this compassion I how foil of wondet this condescension I 

(6.) He does this frequently, again and again. He comes^ and thoo^ 

Ret. in. 20*] nrvxTATxoN to sinnebb. 41 

smnflrs provoke him to departy he oomes again ; he knockg, and though they 
ivill not open, he knocks again ; he stands, and thongh they force him to 
remoye, he letorns and stands again ; he entreats, and when he is not 
regarded, he doubles his entreaties, he enforces them, by presenting his 
tens, his blood, to the view of sinners in the gospel. The preaching hereof, 
in season and oat of season, is his appointment, that therein sinners may 
see him daily set forth as crucified before their eyes, that they may behold 
him stretching out his hands all the day long unto them, that tiiey may hear 
him, as though he were now, as in the days of his flesh, mourning, com- 
plaining, and weeping over them, Luke ziii. 84. How often would the Lord 
have ^Eithered you I how often has he come, knocked, stood, waited, 
entreat, lamented ! If it be a wonder that he will condescend to any of 
these for once, how wonderful yi it that he should condescend to these so 
This wiU be yet more wonderful if ye consider, 

4. What it is that he offers. Behold what it is the great God offers 
to men, to sinners, to enemies, with such condescension, affection, com- 
passion, importunity, and you vHill see matter of highest admiration. He 
offers (1.) his love ; (2.) himself; (8.) his blood, and all that he purchased 
by it ; (4.) his comforts; (5.) his glory; and (6.) his kingdom. He comes, 
to give these ; he stands, to offer these ; he knocks, that these may be 
admitted; he entreats, that these may be accepted; he laments, when 
sinners regard not these offers. And this day by day, year aft;er year ; and 
that to those that have made themselves the vilest of his creatures. Let all 
these things meet together in your thoughts, and you will apprehend Christ 
wonderftil. You wiU get some acquaintance with the employment of heaven, 
admiration of Christ in his tenders of mercy to sinners. You will see there 
was reason to begin this verse with a note of admiration, Behold! 

(1.) His love. Such a love as it is a wonder any creature should be the 
olgeet of it; more wonderful that Christ should offer love to the vilest of 
creatures. Consider what love it is that Christ offers. 

[l.J An ardent love. Many waters could not quench this love. Not the 
floods of reproaches, injuries, sufferings from men ; not the waves and bil- 
lows of God's wrath and indignation. All these went over him, yet did this 
love flame forth in the midst thereof; nor was it ever more ardent than in 
the height of sufferings. 

[2.] A transcendent love. No love found in the breast of any creature is 
worthy to be compared with it. We may say of it with more reason than 
David of Jonathan's, 2 Sam. i. 26, ' His love was wonderful, passing the 
love of women.' Greater love than this was never visible in the world, John 
zv. 18. His love, like his ways and thoughts, is far above the creature's, 
John XV. 9. There is not an equalify, but there is resemblance. No love 
comes so near the love of the Father to the Son as the love of Christ to his 
people ; greater love than a man bears to himself, more love than Christ 
shews to heaven or earth. He left heaven to manifest, to offer this love. 
He reftned all the kingdoms of the earth, offered to stop the current of this 
k>ve, Mat. iv. S-10. If [thou wilt] desist from this great work, render 
thyself incapable of redeeming man, and so lay aside the thoughts of lov- 

[8.J An everlasting love, John xiii. 1 ; Isa. liv. 10. Such a love it is 
th«t Christ oilers to such creatures. He stays not till they sue for it, but 
cfisrs ft ; and thai to worms, sinners, enemies ; those who have no love in 
them to Christ when he makes this offer, no, nor anything lovely. From 
Uie crown of the head to the sc^e of the foot, nothing but bruises, Ac. ; the 


face of his sonl covered with a filihy leprosy ; as fall of noisome sores as 
Lazara8*8 body, whose sores the dogs licked; fall of more loathsome boils 
than Job's body, when he sat in the ashes and scraped himself. A soul 
polluted wtth sin i^hi more loathsome in the eye of the holy God than that 
which is most loathsome to as in the world, ijid will Chrut ofier love to 
that which is so loathsome ? each a love to sach a deformed wretch as man 
is become by sin, especially seeing the sonl is as fall of hatred as it is of 
deformity? Will the glorioos Majesty of the world, the brightness of infinite 
glory, the beaaty of heaven, the wonder of angels, love snch deformity, love 
tiiat so mach which is so much an enemy to hun? Will he come and stand, 
and knock, and sue, and entreat that this love may be accepted ? Oh how 
wonderful ! How may we break forth into admiration with the Psalmist, 
Ps. viii. 4, ' Lord, what is man ? ' What is he bat a lamp of pollution, a 
mass of deformity, as fall of hatred to Christ as a toad of poison ? And is 
this a thing to be loved, to be loved of Christ, to be loved with sach a love? 
Woald it Dot be a wonder if sach a creature shoald prevail for any love from 
Christ if he shoald sae for it to eternity ? Oh what wonder is it then that 
Christ should of his own accord make the offer t 

(2.) Himself. It is not some lesser expression of love, but it is the highest, 
the greatest that heaven can afford. It is himself, it is no less than himself, 
which is more than ten thousand worlds, that he offers. He offers himself to 
be theirs by covenant, by marriage covenant, and that for ever ; to be thine 
assuredly, intimately, eternally ; to be thy God, thy friend, thy husband, thy 
Jesus, thy Saviour, thy Christ, Uiy king, tiiiy priest and prophet, thy advocate, 
thy intercessor. Oh what infinite riches is ^ere in this little pronoun thine t 
Canst thou say, Christ is mine ? Why, this is more than if thou couldst 
say. All the treasures of the world are mine, all the kingdoms of the earth 
and the glory of them are mine. Why, this is it that Christ offers, no less 
than himself, to be thine for ever. This is it which he offers when he 
stands and knocks at thy heart : Open to me ; I will be thy God, the L(»d 
thy Redeemer. Though thou hast rebelled against me, and followed after 
strange gods, yet now renoimce those idols, open to me, I will be thy God, 
and tibat by covenant more durable than heaven and earth. 

Open to me, thy Redeemer will be thy husband. Though thou hast 
played the harlot with many lovers, thy unkindness, disrespects, disobe- 
dience, ingratitude, disloyalty shall not part us. I will many thee to my- 
self in an evedasting covenant that shall never be broken ; I will rejoice 
over thee as a bridegroom over his bride. 

Open to me, I will make over no less than myself unto thee. Thou shalt 
have that which it is the glory and happiness of heaven to have, myself^ 
communion with me ; I will come and sup with thee, and thou with me. 
Art thou poor ? Open to me ; the commander of heaven and earth will be 
thine to enrich thee. Art thou vile and contemptible ? The King of gkny 
will be thine to honour thee. Art thou deformed ? The Sun of righteous- 
ness will be thine to beautify thee. Art thou distressed? The great Re- 
deemer will be thine to relieve thee. Art thou weak ? The Lord of hosts 
will be thme to strengthen thee. Art thou dejected ? The God of all con- 
solations will be thine to comfort thee. Art Uiou in darkness ? The bright 
Morning Star will be thine to enlighten thee. Art thou wretched and mise* 
rable ? The Fountain of bliss and happiness will be thine to enhappy thee. 
Thus Christ offers himself; and oh how wonderful is it, that he should 
come to vile worms, and knock, and wait, and entreat that himself may be 
accepted 1 
, (8.) His blood. He offers not himself in a common, easy, chei^ way. 

Bet. ni. 20.] invitation to bimnebs. 48 

bat himself as dying for those that wiU open to hiin» Eph. t. 2. He offera 
that which the sons of men will least part with, skin for skin, &e. He 
offers his life, his blood, Bey. i. It is not silver, or gold, or wealth, or 
honours only that he offers ; it is something of more valne than sceptres, or 
crowns, or earthly kingdoms : it is ' his precious blood,' 1 Pet. i. 18. Take 
those things which the sons of men do most value, and they are bat cornip- 
tion compared with what Christ offers : it is his blood. So transcendently 
precioas is the blood of Christ, as all the treasures of the earth are so vile 
compared with it, as that which tiie Scripture counts vilest, as corruption itself. 
Christ comes, and stands, and knocks, to offer his blood, when he comes to 
the hearts of sinners. He comes, as he is described, coming from Bozrah : 
Isa. kiii. i. 2, < with dyed garments, red in his apparel; with garments like 
him that treadeth in the wine-fat, dyed with his own blood.' This he offers, 
and all those infinitely precious ^ngs which are the purchase of his blood. 
If thou wilt open, all shall be thine. Is the wrath of God kindled against 
thee ? My blood shall pacify him. Is the justice of God incensed against 
thee ? My blood shall satisfy it. Is heaven shut against thee ? Open to 
me, my blood shall open it. Is thy conscience a terror to thee ? My 
blood shall speak peace to it. Fearest thou any thing ? My blood shall 
secure thee. Wantest thou, desirest thou any thmg ? My blood shall pur- 
chase it, procure it for thee. This Christ offers. He will not think his 
blood too dear for sinners that will open to him. Oh what wonder is it that 
Christ will offer his blood for vile worms ; nay, his blood for his enemies ; 
that he will come, and knock, and stand, and wait, and entreat, that his 
precioas blood may be applied, may be aocepte'd 1 If a physician, having a 
patient desperately sick, and knowing no other remedy for him but his own 
blood, should come, and knock, and entreat, and after affironts and repulses, 
and many expressions of hatred and contempt from the patient, should yet 
continue importunate that he would accept of his own blood for his cure, 
would not this astonish all that should hear of it ? Much more wonderful 
is this, that the King of glory, though despised and hated by sinners, should 
offer his own blood to save tiiem from death ; and when the offer is slighted 
and ne^eted, should yet knock, and call, and cry, and beseech, that it may 
be accepted. Oh, if any thing affect us, tiiis must needs be wonderful in 
our eyes. 

(4.) Hia comforts. Those comforts which flow from his presence, in 
whose presence is fulness of joy. Those joys which spring from conunu- 
nion with himself. < I will come in, and sup with him,' &c. The well- 
spring of heavenly joys, the fountam itself will flow in, if the sinner will but 
open. And this is it that Christ intends, when he comes, knocks, and 
stands, and waits, that joys unspeakable and glorious may fi^ those souls 
who have been a grief, an affliction, a dishonour to him. You have made 
him a man of sorrows, he offers you everlasting joys. You have given him 
gall and wormwood, he brings you the foretastes of heaven, the first-fruits 
of the land of promise. He stands, and calls, and entreats, that this may 
be accepted. Oh how wonderful is this 1 

(5.) His glory and kingdom, John xviL 22. He offers glory to dust and 
•shea ; his own g]ory to despised worms. Such glory as himself eigoys, not 
equal to it, yet moch resembling it. When David promised Mephibosheth 
the honour to sit at his table, how is he transported 1 How does he express 
his sense thereof I 2 Sam. ix. 8. Oh how much better does this admira- 
tion, this expression become those to whom Christ offers his glory ! What 
is thy servant, that then shouldst take notice of him ? What is dust and 
ashes? What aie poor worms, that they should sit at thy table as one of 

44 ohbist's GBA0I0U8 [Eby. m. 20. 

the King's sons ? That the great God ahonld offer this great gloty to vile 
creatures, and that by way of entreaty* oh how wonderfol is it t Not only 
to sit at his table (which Mephibosheth, though a king's son, thought so 
great an honour from a king), but to sit on his throne, tot. 2 ; and now we 
are so high, as admiration should be raised to the highest. The King of 
glory stands, that yile sinners may sit ; stands knocking at their doors, 
hearts, that they may sit on his throne, on his own throne ; entreats those who 
are enemies to accept of his kingdom, his own kingdom. 

Use 1. Inform4Uion, This shews the reason why sinners are so much, so 
exceedingly affected at their first conyersion. No wonder if they be asto- 
nished, transported with admiration ; for herein they have a clear discovery 
of these wonders ; a deep sense of their own yileness, misery, enmity 
against Christ; a clearer view of his transcendent excellencies; a more 
tender resentment of his condescensions in coming, standing. They are as 
one bom blind ; when he recovers his sight, every thing almost is a wonder 
to him, much more the sun. When men's eyes are opened, all the carriage 
of this business is wonderful, especially Christ. Why do they see so 
much to astonish, transport them, whenas others see little or nothing, or 
are little or nothing affeeted with what they discover in Christ, in themselves? 
Why, till converted, they are in darkness ; but upon conversion are * trans- 
lated into marvellous light,' 1 Pet. ii. 9. 

Use 2. Reproof, Those that slight, neglect, despise these condescensions 
of Christ in offering these things. Are things so wonderftil thus to be under- 
valued ? Do ye neglect to hear ? Begard ye not, when Christ comes, knocks, 
stands, entreats ? Can yon withstand all his importunity, and resolve for 
sin, put him off with excuses, delays 9 Oh take heed 1 You take the eouise 
to provoke the Lord to make your plagues wonderful, Deut. xxviu. 69. 

Use 8. Exhortation* Since it is a wonder in itself, let it be so in our eyes. 
Be much in meditating on those things that represent Christ wonderful. 
Consider him, how glorious, all-sufficient, &o. Consider thy own vileness, 
sinfulness, how wretched. Let these things lie on thy thoughts till they affect 
thy heart, till they raise thy mind to admire, adore, as the queen of Sheba, 
1 Kings X. 6. Consider how often Christ has come, how long stood, how much 
entreated, how many motions, providences, convictions. Consider what he 
offers, as Elizabeth, Luke i. 48 ; and then break forth in praises, rise up into 
admiration, M down astonished at the wonders of Christ's condescension. 
This is the employment of heaven ; hereby you will do the will of Qod as 
it is done in heaven. This is it which Christ calls for by the first word, 

Pass we from the consequence of this proposition. Behold^ to the matter 
of it ; wherein, 1, the person ; 2, his posture ; 8, the place ; 4,* his action. 
The person is Christ ; his posture, standing ; the place, man's heart ; that 
is the door, and there he knocks. These, put together, afford two observar 
tions, one implied, the other expressed. That implied is this : 

Obe. The hearts of sinners are shut against Christ; every soul by nature is 
closed against Christ. If it were not, there would be no need lor Christ to stand 
and knock, there would be no ground to represent him in such a posture. 

That the strength and evidence of this truth may appear, we will take it 
in pieces, and so explain and confirm it by opening and proving two pro* 
positions contained in it. 1. Christ is extra ; 2. exehuue. 1. Christ is with- 
out, there he stands, there he knocks ; 2. The sinner is unwilling to let him 
in. He is not only without, but shut out ; therefore he stands, he knocks. 

1. Christ is without^ he is not in the soul of a sinner naturally. While a 
sinner is in the state of nature, he is without Ghristi so described, Eph. iL 


12. We are bom withont Christ, live withont him, nor has he pkce in ns, 
till an almighty power, which the Lord nsnally pnts forth in the ministry 
of the gospel, xnake way for him in oar hearts. Till conversion, till the 
Lord open the heart, as he did Lydia's, Christ is not present in the sinner, 
nor entertained by him ; he is not present in respect of his special and gra- 
cious presence (so understand it). 

He is not in the mind, he is not present there as a prophet, to instmet, 
to enlighten it ; darkness covers the face of it ; the Son of righteousness 
shines not there with a saving, a spiritual ray ; the Day-star does not there 
arise. Though he may apprehend much by natural light, yet nothing spiri- 
toaliy, savingly, effectually. The things of the Spirit of Qod axe not dis- 
cerned, 1 Cor. li. 14 

Christ is not in the will, he is not present there as a king ; his throne is 
not there established, his sceptre is not there advanced ; the heart submits 
not to him, complies not with his laws, is not ruled by him, breaks his 
bonds, easts his cords from him, says, I will not have this man to rule 
over me. 

Christ is not in the conscience ; he is not present there as a priest; his 
blood has not yet been there sprinkled, does not purify it, mollify it ; does 
not free it firom guilt, nor make it tender. If it scruple at sin, restrain from 
it, accuse for i^, the love of Christ, the blood oi Christ, does not constrain it 
80 to do ; it is from some other enforcement, some more foreign consideration. 

Christ is not entertained ; other things are admitted before him, take 
place of him. And this leads me to the reason of this point. 

Christ is without, because the soul is so taken up with other guests, as 
tbere is no place left for him. The like reason why Christ is not admitted 
into the heart of a natural man, as there was why he was not admitted at 
Lis birth into the inn, Luke ii. 7. Christ finds no better entertainment, 
tvhen he comes spiritually to a sinner's heart, than when he came in the 
flesh to Bethlehem. He lodges without, because there is no room within. 
The soul of a sinner is full of other guests ; sin, and the world, and Satan 
liave taken up every room in the soul. The mind, the will, the heart, the 
conscience, they are full of sin, full of corruption, crowded with multitudes 
of lusts ; and intiu existens prohibet aUentan, so much corruption within 
keeps Christ without. Man brings into the world a soul full of corruption, 
a nature wholly depraved, a heart abounding with all manner of lusts, full 
uf pride, unbelief, worldiiness, uncleanness ; full of rebellion, obstinacy, 
f>eenrity, self-love : these and many other so take up the heart as there is 
no room left for Christ ; these must be whipped out before the soul can be- 
come a fit temple for Christ ; it must be emptied of these in some degree 
before the glory and power of Christ's presence will fill the tabernacle of 
the soul. 

While these strong men armed keep the house, as Luke xi. 21, Christ 
stays without, these cannot role together ; no serving of two such masters; 
no entertaining of these so differing guests ; one heart cannot hold them, 
because these lusts of corrupted nature are in possession and rule within, 
Christ is without. That is the first. 

2. Christ is thut ouL He is not only without, but the sinner is unwilling 
to let him in. The heart is closed against him, and many means are used 
to make it fast, many bolts and locks are added to make it sure. Were not 
the heart closed, the door shut, Christ would not need to knock ; were not 
the sinner imwiUing to open, Christ would aot be put to stand knocking, 
the heart would open to him at his first approach, at Jiis first knock. But 
the Holy Ghost* by these expressions, plably declares to us the sinner's un- 

46 orbist'b o&ujions [Bbt. m. 20. 

willingDesB to open to Christ. The reasons of it are many, I shall bnt 
mention three ; prerjndice against, distrost of, disafifeotion to, Christ. 

(1.) Prqndice against Christ. This shuts Christ oat of the mind, makes 
the sinner nnwilling to admit him into the onter room. The mind of eveiy 
man naturally is foil of prejudice against Christ ; it is part of that enmity 
of which the apostle speaks, Bom. yiii. 7. Hearing in the gospel upon 
what terms Christ will be admitted, it forthwith judges his admission dan- 
gerous, troublesome, or needless, and so shuts him out. Thia prejudice 
shews itself by judging it. 

[1.] Dangerous. If I open to Christ upon these terms, I must forego all 
my unjust gains, all my forbidden pleasures ; I must be no more wanton, 
intemperate, or reyengefhl, how much pleasure soever I have taken herein ; 
I must not commit the least sin to gain the greatest advantage ; I must cut 
off every dear lust, though it be to me as my right hand, &o. ; I must not 
leave a hoof behind if Christ be admitted; nay, I must not only part 
with my pleasiz^ and gainful sins, but be ready to sacrifice my estate, 
credit, Hberty, life, when he calls for them. Hereupon the sinner thinks 
Christ offers him loss when he offers to come in upon these terms, and so 
shuts him out. 

[2.] Troublesome. If I open to Christ, I must bid adieu to my carnal 
ease, humours, interests ; I must be diligent in mortifying duties, which are 
so irksome to flesh and blood ; I must spend so much time in prayer, medi- 
tation, self-examination; I must be always watchful over my heart, thoughts, 
ways, senses ; I must beat down my body, bring it into subjection ; main- 
tain a continual combat with my own corrupt nature ; expose myself to the 
reproaches and scorn of the world, by strictness, scrupulousness in matters 
which they judge of small moment ; I must live in continual exercise of 
repentance, self-denial, mortification. These, and such like, Christ requires 
if he be admitted. And so the sinner looks upon hiwi as a troublesome 
guest, and shuts him out. 

[8.] Needless. Think it not needful to admit Christ further than they 
have done. They are baptized in his name, submit to his ordinances, pro- 
fess him openly, have a name to live ; sometimes pray, read, and hear his 
word ; order their outward conversation, as they thmk, inoffensively ; so 
conclude they are Christians good enoagh, that it is not needful further to 
admit or entertain Christ, and so close their hearts against him, when he 
should enter to purpose and take full possession of them. What needs all 
this sUr 7 Cannot a man be a Christian, &c., except so strict, precise ? 
This is to be hypocrites. Do ye not see what becomes of them that profess 
and pretend to so much 9 Christ is not so scrupulous as some men would 
make him. He may be in my heart as well as theirs, though I make not 
so great a show. How many content themselves with 6U(£ thoughts as 
these, and are ready to express it upon occasion ? Prejudice against the 
holy ways of Christ makes them willing to judge, that an outward profession 
of Christ is a sufficient admission of him ; account more needless, are not 
willing to open to him further, and so indeed shut him out. This is the 
first bolt whereby the soul is made fast against Christ. 

(2.) Distrust, unbelief. This shuts him out of the will. Man by nature 
has neither that faith, which is consent to receive Christ as he is offered, 
nor that faith which is an assent to what Christ has delivered. The first is 
a belief on Christ, which the Scripture calls viartvuv 9tg rw X^itrrtft . The 
latter is belief of Christ, which we call vnmuw rf} X^/^r^. Every man by 
nature is defective of both. The consent to receive Christ on gospel terms, 
is either the essence of saving faith, or a property inseparable from it ; for 


to belieye on his name, and to reoeiye him, pass for one and the same thing, 
John i. 12. Now, nnhelief in this sense is snch a bar to keep ont Christ, as 
nothing bnt an almighty power can remoTe, Eph. i. 19. 

Now that a natonJ man consents to receive Christ npon the terms offered, 
will appear farther, in that he assents not to these terms as delivered in the 
gospel. The terms on which Christ will be admitted, are laid down by 
Ghnst himself. Mat. xvi. 24. Let him renonnce eveiy sin forbidden, though 
as dear to him as himself; this is to deny himself. Then let him endure 
every snfiering for my sake inflicted ; this is to take up his cross. Let him 
practise every duty commanded, even as Christ was obedient in all things ; 
this is to foUow him. These are the terms. Now, either men will not 
believe that Christ will not enter but upon these terms, fancy some of their 
own, more suitable to their corrupt inclinations, humours, interests, or if they 
yield thai they are Christ's terms, yet they will not believe that tiiey are so 
pleasing, so advantageous as the gospel declares them to be. Whatever he 
say, if ^is be his burden, they will not believe it is light ; if this be his 
yoke, they cannot believe it is easy, and upon this account reject these 
terms; and since he will not enter upon any other terms, they shut him out. 
Thus does unbelief close the hearts of sinners against Christ. That is the 

(8.) Disaffection to Christ. Men naturally are so well pleased with the 
guests that they have already entertained, as they are loath, by admitting 
Christ, to dispossess them. This shuts Christ out of the heart. They are 
more in love with the world than with Christ, take more pleasure in fulfil- 
ling their lusts than they can expect delight in communion with Christ. 
They affect not spiritual eiyoyments, relish not those pleasures which Christ 
promises upon his admission, value not Christ's offer to sup with them in 
comparison of what the world and their lusts afford them. Hence, Mat. 
X. 87, * He that loveth flftther or mother, &c., is not worthy of me.' He 
hereby refuses Christ, prefers what he enjoys before what Christ offers, 
shews himself unworthy of Christ's company by excluding him, James iv. 4. 
He that is so much a friend to the world as he wUl not cast it out 
of his heart for Christ, hereby shews himself an enemy to Christ by shutting 
him out. 

Uis 1. InfamuUion. This shews us the misery of every man by nature. 
Christ is not in him. He shuts him out, in whom is all the hopes and com- 
forts and happiness of sinners. How miserable is he who is without happi- 
ness, without hopes of it 1 He that shuts out Christ excludes all happiness, 
aU hopes of it. Yet this is the condition of every man in the state of 
nature ; he is without Christ, Christ is not in him. Oh, take notice of the 
misery of this condition, that you that are in it may be affected with it, that 
you whom mercy has delivered from it may pity those who languish under 
it ! But because generalia non pungunt, we are not affected with generals, 
take a survey of this misery in some particulars. He that is in the state of 
nature, he that excludes Christ, is — 

1. In the possession of Satan. Christ and Satan, they have divisum 
imperiumf they divide the world betwixt them. Where Christ rules not, 
there Satan has his throne. He that shuts ont Christ shuts in Satan. The 
soul thai is not in the possession of Christ is possessed by the devil. And 
oh how large are his possessions 1 You think a diabolical possession dread- 
fol. Why, this is the dreadful estate of every unrenewed man ; Satan has 
possession of him I That this may be evident, observe the Scripture speaks 
of a doable diabolical possession : one corporal, when Satan enters into the 
bodies of men, and there immediately exercises his power by or upon them ; 

48 0HBIST*8 OBA0IOU8 [BST. HI. 90. 

of sach there u mention, Mat. iv. 24, vili. 28, zv. 22. Another spiritaal, 
\vhen Satan enters into the sools of men, and there exeroiees his power by 
and npon them. And this is the possession we speak of. Satan does thus 
possess the soul of every natural man. So he did Ananias, Aets y. 8, irXjf* 
^ttfffv, he was possessor. So he possessed Judas, Luke ziii. 8. Not that 
Satan was not in him before, but because he did then more manifest his 
presence by that devilish act. Ag Christ is said to be with his people in 
special (though always in them), because he manifests his presence by some 
special influence or assistance. Satan is always in the hearts of sinners, 
though he manifest his possession of them at some time more than other. 
And lest we should think this diabolical possession of the soul to be peculiar 
to some notorious sinners, such as Judas was, the apostle speaks it both of 
himself and of all the Ephesians, before they were regenerate (£ph. ii. 2, 8), 
and all disobedient sinners. He is in all disobedient sinners, and he works 
in them. He is in their souls, in like manner as he is in the bodies of those 
miserable creatures whom he possesses ; for the apostle uses the same word. 
Those that are bodily possessed are called m^ovfitvot, and those souls that are 
in the possession of that spirit rou vDy iyf^oDiro;. The spirits that possess 
men are called ivt^o^vng. Satan has as much possession of the souls of 
sinners as he has of the bodies of those we call demoniacs. Nay, soul pos- 
session is more dangerous, makes a man more miserable than bodily posses- 
sion. This is more sensible indeed, but the misery of soul possession is 
upon this account also greater, because the sinner is senseless of it. What 
more miserable spectacle can you see than that man bodily possessed 1 Mark 
ix. 18, 20, 22, 26. What more rueful than to see the devil tear and rend 
that wretched creature, sometimes casting him into the waters and into the 
fire 1 to see him foaming, and gnashing of his teeth, and pining away, and 
brought to the gates of death 1 This is a woeful sight indeed, and such as 
may draw tears from and strike compassion into Uie heart, not only of a 
father, but of a stranger. It is sad indeed. Ay I but there is one spec- 
tacle more woful, if we could see it. A soul possessed by Satan, griev- 
ously vexed, wofully rent and torn by him, sometimes east into the water, 
sometimes into the Are, into such dangerous evils as are more dreadful than 
any water or fire. Satan exercises more tyranny, more cruelty, upon the souls 
of sinners than upon possessed bodies, only we see it not, and therefore are 
BO slow to believe it, so insensible of it, so little affected with it. But the 
misery is nevertheless for the sinner's senselessness ; nay, it is the more, his 
misery is so deep, sense cannot reach it. And this is the miseiy of every soul 
that shuts out Christ ; he hereby makes sure Satan's possession. Oh, con- 
sider it, ye that are yet m the state of nature ! Till Christ be admitted, you an 
under the power, in the possession of Satan. When the heart opens, then, 
and not till then, is the soul * tunied from darkness to light,' &c. Till then 
Satan dwells in him, works in him, uses him as his slave, oppresses him gg 
a tyrant, employs him as his own, had full possession of his soul. 

2. Under the curse of the law, without redemption. For it is Christ 
only that redeems. Gal. iii. 18. And those that are without Christ are 
under all the curses and threatenings, without redemption. Every sin is 
attended with many curses, and every curse (if we were sensible of it) 
more intolerable than the hills and mountains. Therefore, when the Lord 
comes to execute them, and the soul is awakened out of the lethargy 
whereinto sin brings it, he shall call to the mountains to fall upon him, 
and the hills to cover him. The Scripture speaks no peace to aoeh a 
sinner. What peace to that rebel who shuts the Prince of peace out of his 
soul? The gosp^ speaks no comfort to such a sinner. What comfort when 

Set. IIL 20.7 ranTATioN to sxmnsbs. 49 

Christ, the Gk)d of all eomfort, the spring of all eonsolaiions, is rcrjeoted ? 
There is no promise wherein he can claim interest, for all promises are in 
Christ yea and amen. No comfort, no peace, no promise of either, while 
Christ is shat out; nothing but corses and threatenings are the portion 
of such a sinner, and no redemption from these till Christ be entertained. 

8. Under the wjath of God withont mercy. The wrath of God abides 
apoQ him while Christ Is not entertained by him, John iii. 86. The chil- 
dren of disobedience are children . of wrath, £ph. ii. This is their portion. 
Aod who are children of disobedience bat those who will not hearken to 
Christ when he calls, not open when he knocks, not entertain him when 
he entreats for admission ? Their portion is wrath : it is entailed on 
them ; no catting it off till Christ come in. As all the ways of God are 
merey to those who admit Christ, so all his ways are wrath to those that 
reject him. Even those things that are given to others in love are sent to 
them in wrath ; all their enjoyments, all his dispensations. Their table is 
a snare, their prayer an abomination, the word the savour of death. Pros- 
perity hardens their hearts. Afflictions, the first drops of that delage of 
vrath, which will one day overwhelm all those that persevere in rejecting, 
excluding Christ. 

4. Under the sentence of condemnation withont pardon. He that believes 
not is condemned, John iii. 18, 19. This is the condemnation, light is 
come, the gospel is preached, Christ is discovered. Yoa see him standing, 
waiting ; you hear him knocking, entreating for admission ; yet are so much 
in love with the works of darkness as to shut oat the light, shut out Christ 
the light of the world, the glory of heaven. Here is ground enough of con- 
demnation. No wonder if such a man be condemned already, if the sen- 
tcDce of eternal death be past I Does not that man deserve to die without 
merey, who shuts him out of doors that brings him a pardon ? All men by 
nature are condemned persons ; Christ is sent to some with a pardon ; he 
comes, stands, knocks, entreats condemned sinners to open to him and 
accept of this pardon, tiiis pardon which cost him so dear, his own life, his 
dearest blood. Oh, but sinners will not hearken, will not regard, will not 
believe his report, are not willing to receive him ; this is not to believe 
him ; and therefore are condemned already, yea, and will continue so to 
eternity if they continue to shut out Chnst; for what pardon without 

5. Near the confines of hell, without a Saviour. Upon the brink of that 
pit which is bottomless destruction. Eveiy one that runs on in sin is post- 
ing towards eternal ruin. Every sin is a step towards hell, and every act 
of wickedness sinks the sinner some degrees lower. And who shall save 
him from going down into the pit, since Christ, who only can do it, is re- 
jected ? It is Jesus only that delivers sinners ' from the wrath to come,' 
1 Thess. i. 10. There is wrath coming apace towards sinners, and they 
are posting towards it ; there will be a dreadful meeting, except Christ 
inteipose; and what hopes of that while Christ is shut out and denied 

Oh consider this, all you who prefer your sin before Christ ; you have 
lox^ heard the voice of Christ in the preaching of the gospel ; who have 
heud him knock at your hearts in the ministry of the word, and have not 
yet been persuaded to part with those sins that keep him out. Consider 
what it is to be in the possession of Satan without a redeemer, ander the 
eorse of the law without an intercessor I And if this estate appear miser- 
able, if yoa have any sense of soul misery, any desire to be freed from it, 
• Vol. n* d 

50 ohbzbt's oHikoious [Bby. m. 20. 

freed from Satan's power and poBsession, &c., make haste, delay not, open 
forthwith onto Christ, who standls and knocks for admission. Tom ont 
those wofnl intraders that have kept Christ oat of possession ; abandon 
those lasts, renoonce those sins that have closed yonr hearts against Christ. 
Then shall it be well with yon, who are now in the midst of woes and mise- 
ries ; then shall Satan be cast ont, and the prince of the world jadged ; then 
shall the cnrse be tarned into a blessing ; then shall the wrath of God, which 
now overshadows yon, clear np into beams of mercy ; then shall the sen- 
tence of condemnation give place to a gracions pardon ; then shall yon be 
brought from the confines of hell and the shadow of death into the snbnrbs 
of heaven and glory. Oh that to-day yon would hear his voice, who still 
caUs on you, who still knocks and entreats yon wonld open to him ! Oh 
that yon would hear his voice while it is called to-day, lest he * swear in his 
wrath yon shall not enter into his rest ;* lest he swear in his wrath he will 
never enter into your souls. 

Um 2. Examination. . Try whether you be those who keep Christ ont of 
your hearts, whether your souls be closed against him. Those that thus 
refuse Christ are in a miserable condition, under the power of Satan, &c., 
2 Cor. xiii. 5. Therefore it highly concerns every of us seriously to exa- 
mine whether this be our state. Oh, but how shall I know ? By these 
two particulars : 

1. If Christ be admitted, thou hast had experience of a great alteration. 
We seldom read of Christ's coming in Scripture, but we find some great 
alterations attending. When he came to the temple. Mat. xxi. 10, 12, see 
what follows. Here is work indeed ; he seems to turn all upside down ; he 
rectifies disorders to purpose. Indeed, while the strong man armed keeps 
the house, all is in peace ; but when Clurist, a stronger ttian he, comes and 
disarms him, casts him out, takes possession of the place, then the sinner's 
peace is broken. This is not done without contest and opposition. The 
soul will find a great alteration, it will not be so with it as formerly. 
Malachi prophesies of Christ's coming to his temple ; see how he describes 
it, Mai. iii. 1-8. He makes clean work where he comes; the soul is purified 
and refined when he comes. He sits in the soul as a re^er. When Christ 
comes, old things pass away ; old lusts, old sinful practices, old hearts, old 
ways, they are abandoned. The refiner's fire consumes them, all thin^ 
become new. ' If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,' 2 Cor. v. 17. 
It is as true the other way. If Christ be in any man, he is a new creature ; 
for this in-being is mutual. When the soul is in Christ, Christ is in the 
soul. Are ye new creatures ? Are all things become new? New judg- 
ments, new apprehensions, new thoughts, new hearts, new motions, new 
inclinations, new consciences, new affections, new delights, new desires, new 
designs, new conversations. Such a change there is when Christ comes. 
If you be the same men as formerly, if you be not thoroughly renewed, you 
may conclude Christ is yet shut out. 

2. If you admit Christ, you admit his word. If the word of Christ take 
no place in you, then Christ himself has no place in you. Where the word 
is shut out, Christ is shut out ; where that abides, he abides, 1 John ii. 24. 
These two are joined together by Christ, John xv. 7. Does the word abide 
in your souls? Is it effectually admitted into every faculty? Does it 
abide in your minds, to enlighten them ; in your thoughts ? Is it ^our 
meditation ? Or are you strangers to meditation ? Can other things be 
carefully ruminated, and what Christ speaks in the ministry of the word 
easily forgotten ? 

Does it abide in your consciences, to convince you of am, and restrain yda 

Bet. m. 20.] znyztation to sxnnxbs. ' 61 

from sin, and stir yoa up to the practice of what yon bear ? If it take not 
hold on your conscience, but yon go on in sin, and ne^eet the daties urged 
upon yon notwithstanding, how does it then abide f 

Does it abide in your stills, to brii^ them to a conformity with the will of 
Christ there revealed, to lead them to a compliance with what is well-pleasing 
in his sight ? 

Does it abide in your affections, to quicken your afifections, to kindle your 
loTe, to stir up your zeal, to fill you with delight, to possess you with hatred 
against sin, to melt you into sorrow for sin, to raise you to high esteem of 
Christ and spiritual ^ings ? If so, it argues the word abides in you, and 
consequently Christ himself. 

But if the word of Christ, which you daily hear preached, pass from you 
as words of course, pass away as a tale that is told, as an ordinary discourse ; 
if it be no more regarded, no more remembered ; if you be no more affected 
with it, no more ruled by it ; if, after sermon is ended, you can lay aside 
thoughts of it as that which little concerns you ; if you can shut out con- 
riction, withstand reproofs, run into those very sins which you hear reproved, 
Delect exhortations, and neglect those duties to which Christ by his word 
exhorts yon : if it be thus, the word is shut out^ Christ himself is shut out. 
If it be thus with any, I have a sad message for them, but it is a message 
firom the Lord. I must tell them, or be unfaithful. Their hearts are closed 
against Christ, they are yet in Satan's possession, under the curse of the 
law, under the wrath of God, under the sentence of condemnation, in the 
confines of hell, and will be till Christ be admitted. 

S. Oimervation. Though Christ find the hearts of sinners closed against 
him, yet he stands at the door and knocks* 

For explication, let us inquire, 1, what is meant by the door ; 2, what 
by knocking, and how Christ may be said to knock ; B, what by standing, 
what this expression signifies. For these are all metaphorical, and some- 
thing is denoted, intended, that the words do not properly signify. Christ 
does not stand and knock, as men do at a door when they would be let in. 
We must not understand any bodily approach, or any corporeal action or 
posture ; for Christ, as to his body and human nature, is in heaven, there 
eireumsoribed, and wiU be there contained till the restitution of all things. 
Yet though he do not stand and knock properly as we do, yet something he 
does which much resembles our knocking, our standing. Some likeness 
there is betwixt what Christ does that ho may be admitted into the hearts of 
amners, and that which we do when we would be admitted into the house of 
a friend. There is some ground for these metaphorical expressions, and 
when we know what this is the words will be clear. And this is it we now 
mquire after. 

1. By door^ understand the heart of man, as I told you before. The 
heart comprising two faculties, the will and understanding ; the will princi- 
pally, for the two principal acts of the will, consent and dissent, are as the 
opening and shutting oi the door. When the will consents, it opens ; when 
it dissents, it shuts out that which moves for admission. And therefore 
opening here is called consent elsewhere, as Isa. i. 19. Here, if you will 
open, Christ will sup, &c. ; there, if you will consent, ye shall eat, &c. So 
shutting is expressed by dissent or refusing, Isa. i. 20. So that by the door 
is principally meant the will. When this consults to receive Christ as he 
offiBrs himself, then Christ is admitted, the soul is opened to him ; he comes 
in, makes the opening soul the place of his abode, he walks in them, dwells 
in them, feasts them. When this dissents, refuses to receive Christ, Ac, 

6^ obbist'b OB4CIOVS [Bet. m. 20. 

the sonl hereby shnts oat Christ, closes itself against him. Thos the will 
resembles a door, and therefore is so called. 

The understanding, that is as a key-hole or a window to the door. 
Through it light is conveyed into the sonl, by which it discerns who it is 
that s^ds and knocks, who it is that seeks admission ; and according to 
what it discerns so it moves, opens or shuts. If it like the person, his 
motion, his business, then it opens, consents, admits him ; if it approve not 
hereof, apprehend it dangerous, troublesome, needless, it refuses, shuts him 
out. Thus you see what is meant by the door, and why so called. 

2. By knocking, understand those means which Christ uses to draw the 
sinner to come and open. That is the end of knocking with us. When 
Christ uses means to win the sinner's consent to admit him, to receive him, 
then he knocks. That this may be clearer, we will shew (1.) how he 
knocks, what means he uses ; (2.) why he knocks, wherefore he uses such 
means to draw the soul to open. 

(1.) For the first, the means are diverse. We will reduce them to these 
four heads. He knocks, [1.] by checks of conscience; [2.J by acts of 
providence ; [8.] by the ministry of the word ; [4.] by the motions of his 
Spirit. I beseech you, observe them. It much concerns you to know 
Christ's knock ; for what more powerful motive to open than to know that 
it is Christ that knocks ? Christ when he knocks is little regarded, becanse 
men consider not, take no notice that it is Christ that knocks. The ever- 
lasting gates are not opened when it is not minded that the King of glory 
knocks thereat. When Samnel knew not the Lord's voice, 1 Sam. iiL 4, 
he runs to Eli. Thus sinners, not discerning that Christ knocks, run another 
way, and many times farther from him, instead of running to open to him. 
Durst sinners be so bold as to shut their hearts, if they effectoally consi- 
dered that it is Christ that knocks there ? Oh no, they have this for their 
excuse : We never heard, we never remembered, that Christ came and 
knocked, and yet was shut out, was not admitted by us. Just like those 
on Christ's left hand. Mat. xxv., when Christ charges them that when he 
was hungry they gave him no meat, &c., ver. 42, they have an answer as 
ready as any obstinate sinner amongst us, * Lord, when saw we thee an 
hungered ? ' &c., ver. 44. Oh no, far be it from us. We never saw thee in 
such a condition, else we should have been as ready to relieve thee as those 
righteous ones. We never saw thee ; otherwise, if we had not relieved thee, 
that heavy sentence, ' Go, ye cursed,' had been too light for us. 

So when Christ now in the ministry, &c., charges sinners with refusing 
to open to him, I come, and stand, and knock again and again, and yet ye 
shut me out, how readily will many answer as they, * When saw we Christ?* 
&c. ; we never saw Christ in such postures ; we never heard him knock, and 
shut him out ; if we had, then were we wretches indeed to shut out Christ 
Why, but is it so indeed ? Did ye never hear Christ knock ? Why, sure, 
then, ye know not when Christ knocks. 

Well, we will leave no room for this excuse, when I have shewed yon how 
Christ knocks. There is not one of you but must acknowledge that Christ 
has long, has often knocked at your hearts. Whether you have opened to 
. him must be referred to your own consciences. Most certain it is Christ 
has knocked longer, oftener at yoor hearts than ever man knocks at your 
doors ; for he knocks, 

f l.J By checks of conscience. When the sinner's heart smites him, then 
does Christ knock. Conscience is Christ's deputy ; when he employs it to 
smite the sinner, he then knocks at the heart. When the weight of sin is 
felt, and the conscience smarts in the sense of the sinfubess of unlawful 


practices, Christ is then knocking ; the wounds of conscience are as dents 
in the door, they argue forcible knocks. Hereby Christ would draw the 
sinner to open ; for there is no way to remoTe guilt, and silence an accusing 
conscience, but by letting in Christ. If he be not admitted, that which now 
bnt pricks will gnaw the soul to eternity as a never-dying worm. These 
checks of conscience, these knocks of Christ, should move the sinner to 
make haste to open. This was the effect of it in Peter's hearers. When his 
sennon had awakened them, and brought them to the sense of sin, it is said 
they were * pricked in their hearts,' Acts ii. 87, and forthwith they were 
willing to open ; they cried out, < Men and brethren, what shall we do ?' 
Now how long, how often has Christ thus knocked at yours ? I hope there 
are none of you in that desperate condition, as to have your conscience 
seared, and made past feeling, past sense of sin. And if yon be not eau* 
terised past feeling, yon have often felt the checks of conscience, your 
hearts smiting you for sin. Why, this is Christ knocking ; he hereby seeks 
admission, and would draw you to open. As often as conscience checks, 
Christ knocks; and as often as you suppress, neglect those checks of 
conscience, so often as you disregard Christ, so often you refuse to let 
him in. 

[2.] By acts of providence, whether they be acts of bounty or acts of 
severity. For the former, all your comforts and enjoyments, idl jour deli- 
verances and preservations, all the acts of his patience and longsuffering, 
are as so many knocks at your hearts ; Christ hereby would stir you up to 
open to him. Oh that you would mind them ! All the expenses of the riches 
of his goodness and forbearance, and longsuffering, should draw you to 
open to Christ. This should be tiie issue of them, Bom. ii. 4, ' Lead to 
repentance.* What is that but leading you to open to Christ ? For the 
great sin you are to repent of is your shutting out Christ, refusing to receive 
him, admit him. When this is repented of, the heart opens to Cknst. And 
this is it that goodness should lead you to ; it calls, it knocks for this. 

Now, how much, how long, has Christ thus knocked ? Can you reckon 
np the good things you enjoy ? Can you give an account of all your deli- 
verances ? Are they not more in number than the hairs on your head ? 
are they not past numbering ? Why, then, so often, you cannot teU how 
often, Christ has knocked all your lives. No day, no hour, no minute, but 
he has been knocking at your hearts. Oh, how does it concern you to look 
that he be let in 1 

For the latter, he knocks by afflictions. The knock of mercy makes 
small impression, hardened sinners little regard it. Therefore Christ knocks 
m another method, — ^he lets fly afflictions upon the sinner, and these are as 
so many stones oast at the door. When the sinner minds not Christ's 
gentler knoekings, he takes his rod (and his rod can make the rocks to 
open) and beats upon the door, makes the heart of a sinner shake under the 
weight of his strokes. If ye will hear nothing else, ' hear the rod,* says he, 
Mieah vi. 9. He has variety of rods wherewith he knocks at the hearts of 
sinners. If no other will prevail, he will take his rod of iron, and knock so 
as he will make the foundations of the house to shake. This was his 
method with Manasseh, 2 Chron. zxxili. 10, 11. ' In their afflictions they 
will seek me,' Hoe. v. 15. Christ knocks and seeks to them before, and 
they wHl not regard. Ay, bnt if he take his rod, he will make them seek 
to him ; make them run Ambling, as the gaoler, open and beseech him to 
enter. Now, has not the Lord often thus knocked at your hearts, with one 
rod or other— by sickness, losses, want^ disappointments, crosses, or other 
aflliotiotts ? If you open not, tdce heed of his rod of iron. If yon belong 

64 CBBI8T*8 OBioious [Bey. IIL SO. 

to him, he will make 7011 regard his Imocks, or yon shall smart for it, if you 
sink not under it. 

[8. J By the ministary of the word, pieaohing of the law and of the gospeL 
This indeed is the principal means wherehy Christ knocks. When he 
knocks the other ways without this, his meaning is not understood, and so 
sinners open not. The heathens have both chedks of conscience and acts of 
providence to awaken them ; but wanting the word, they know not the 
meaning of those knockings, and so they prove ineffectoal. Bat tkongh 
these be not efiectual without the word, yet these are good enforcements of 
the word where it is enjoyed. Secure sinners are apt to slight the word, 
make nothing of it. But when the Lord awakens them by checks of con- 
soiencCj and some shsxg dispensations, the word, shewing Christ's meaning 
herein, hereby becomes more regarded ; it is brought to remembrance, the 
dent of it is deeper. These joined fisdl with more force and weight upon the 
heart, and the sinner hears Christ's knock to purpose. Hence the word is 
called a hanmier, Jer. zziii. 29. 

Christ knocks by the law. This discovers sin in its colours, and the 
dreadful wrath of Qod as the sinner's portion, and eternal torments into 
which he is sinking. And as the law was at first delivered with thunder 
and lightning, so now it falls upon the heart as a thunderbolt, a terrible 
knock indeed. The experience of many thousands who have opened unto 
Christ bears witness to it, though carnal hearts will either deride it or not 
believe it. 

The knock of the law sounds thus in the ears of a sinner : Wretched 
creature, the fire of God's wrath is kindled on thy soul, thy sins are a con- 
tinual fuel to it ; if thou open not, that Christ may quench it, it will bum 
to the bottom of helL 

Thus Christ knocks by the law at the heart of Laodicea : v^. 17, * Thou 
sayest, I am rich,' &c. Thou thinkest (and this is the very thought of most 
unrenewed sinners) thy soul is rich and happy euoDgh, thy condition for 
eternity is good and safe enough. Thus eveiy naturfd man before the law 
knocks at his heart. So Paul says of himself: Bom. vii. 9, * I was alive 
without the law.' I had good conceits of my soul's condition, and made no 
question of life. Ay, but when the law came, when that discovered the 
sinfulness of his nature and life, and the wrath of God due to him for sin, 
why then, says he, I died, all my good hopes and high conceits they withered 
and died, — one knock of the law overthrew them all ; and I then looked 
on myself as a dead man, even at the gates of eternal death. And so must 
every sinner before he will open to Christ ; he must apply to his soul what 
Christ applies here to Laodicea. Thou knowest it not, Uiou wilt not believe 
it ; but as sure as Christ is true, this is the truth of thy soul's condition. 
Thou art wretched and miserable, as blind as the prince of darkness can 
make thee, as naked as he that has not a rag to cover his nakedness, as 
wretched and miserable as the curse and wrath of God can make thee. 
Thus thou art, and thus more and more thou wilt be everlastingly, if thou 
shut out Christ, and shut up thy soul in this condition. Thus Clmst knocks 
by the law. 

He knocks also by the gospel. This discovers Christ, and the riches of 
his love, and the all-sufficiency of his redemption, and the oVerflowings of 
pardoning mercy through his blood. And this bears upon the heart with a 
sweet and heavenly violence; and if the sinner open not at this knock* his 
ease is desperate. Thus he knocks by, the gospel at the heart of Laodicea, 
ver. 18. The knock of the gospel sounds thus in the ears of a sinner: Thou 
art naked: open to me, and I will clothe thee with my own robe ; thou art 

Bkt. m. 20.] nrviTATZOii to binhbbs. 55 

blind: open to me, I have eye-salve that will cure those that^are bom blind; 
tboa art poor: open to me, thoa shalt share with me in my onsearchable 
riches; thoa art wretched and miserable: open to me, and then if my love, 
if myself, if my blood, if my comfort, if my kingdom, can make thee happy, 
thou shall be happy. 

Aod oh how often, how long, have yon in this place heard Christ thns 
knocking I How long have you eiijoyed the gospel I how has he knocked 
by the law ! how has he knocked by the gospel, day after day, year after 
year 1 With what patience, with what importonity I Oh take heed that ye 
be not found in the number of those that shut out Christ, who regard not 
when he knocks ! 

[4.] By the motions of his Spirit ; when the Spirit of Christ concurs 
wiUi acts of providence, or with the word preached, so as these make some 
impression on the heart, bring the soul to some sense of its sinfulness and 
misery, and beget some inclinations to leave old, sinful practices, and take 
a new conrse. How frequent is this in sickness, when death is before his 
eyes, and apprehensions of eternity seize on him I How then will he 
resolve 1 How many promises will he make, that if he may be freed from 
the present danger, he will then be another man I Those that e^joy the 
gospel, and live under a powerful ministry, cannot but have experience of 
Christ's knockings by his Spirit. When sin is discovered, and the conscience 
in some degree awakened, and the danger of sin, the wrath of Qod hanging 
over it, apprehended, then there will be many times some inclinations, some 
semi-pnrposes, to abandon sin. These are the issues of Christ's knocking 
by his Spirit. 

So when the necessity, the excellency, the all-sufficiency of Christ is dis- 
covered, the happiness, comforts, glory that sinners may receive from him ap- 
prehended, there will be some half resolutions to close with him. When you 
find these, you hear Christ knocking. These inclinations, semi-purposes, 
they are as it were an opening half way to Christ ; but the suppressing of 
th^ ihotions is a shutting the door against Christ when he is entering ; as 
I may say, a thrusting him out when he is half way in, a throwing the door 
upon his face. A most high afiGront, a grievous provocation ; and yet what 
more ordinary? Have ye never, while ye have been hearing, praying, 
found such motions, inclinations ? Sure they have hardened their hearts 
as the adamant that have no such experience. I will not suppose any here 
given up to such a reprobate sense, or rather the senselessness of reprobates. 
Well, then, when you find such motions, &c., Christ is knocking ; and so 
powerfully, as you are brought to open in part to him. Oh, but do these 
motions, Ac., vanish ? Do ihe cares, the employments, the pleasures, the 
thoughts of the world, choke them ? Why, then, when Christ is as it were 
eoming in, you shut the door against him; when his foot is within the 
threshold, yon thrust him out. This ye do by suppressing these motions 
of the Spirit, and suffering them to come to nothing. This is resisting the 
Holy Ghoet» when he is striving to get possession for Christ. Oh how 
dangerous is this provocation I Verily there is but a step betwixt you and 
that dreadful sentence, ' My Spirit shall no longer strive,' &o. Oh take heed, 
this is Chrisi's knock I 

Thus yon see how many ways Christ knocks. And now I dare appeal to 
you, if there be any room for that excuse, I would have opened if I had 
heard Christ knocking. What sinner is there at whose heart he has not 
knocked many years ? There is none wait so long, so often at his posts, 
the posts of wisdom, as he waits, as he knocks at your hearts. Oh how 
does ii concern yoa to look that he be let in 1 

66 obbist's obaoiovb [Bby. HI. 20. 

(2.) Why does Christ knoek ? what need is there of it ? That is the next. 
And so you will have both the manner how, and the cause why» and thereby 
a satisfying account of Christ's act. Why, what needs this ? There is great 
need every way ; if Christ should not ^ock, we would never open, Christ 
could never enter. Such is the condition of every man by natnre. Unre- 
newed sinners are not so well affected to Christ, they have no such mind to 
admit him, as to watch at the door that they may be ready to open at his 
first approach. No; there is by nature a strong antipathy against him, and 
wonderful disaffection to him ; but of this formerly. 

To shew yon why Christ knocks, what necessity there is for him so to do 
if he will enter, let us a little follow the metaphor. It is needful, because, 

[1.] Sinners by nature are fieur off f^om Christ, far from opening. When 
we come to a man's house whom we know to lodge in many rooms from the 
door, we knock, and knock aloud, else we cannot expect he should hear or 
open. Why, this is thy condition, the state of every sinner by nature; you 
lodge many rooms from the place where Christ stands. Sin has set every 
man a great distance firom Christ. All are far off, at like distance with the 
unrenewed Ephesians, H. 12 : o) ^rori ovrsg fAuit^v, Sometimes ; when was 
that ? Why, till they opened, &c. It is the privilege peculiar to those who 
open to Christ; they are a people, as Israel, near unto God. Till sinners 
open, they are iar off, whatever be their accomphshments, privileges, enjoy- 
ments. It is true there is a latitude in this distance, some are further off 
than others. The heathens that enjoy not the gospel, they are farthest off; 
those that have apostatised, outrun their holy profession, they are at a wolhl 
distance indeed ; those that, by refusing Christ and long resisting his Spirit, 
have caused him to withdraw friom them, these are farther off than at first, 
their latter end in this respect is worse than their beginning. Yet though 
some be farther off than others, yet all by nature are far off, and so far off 
as they are out of hearing, would never be drawn to open bnt that Christ 
vouchsafes sometimes to knock with an almighty force. Since sinners are 
at such a distance, Christ must knock, or else not enter; they will not hear 
him, not open to him. 

[2.1 Sinners are very busy. Their heads, and hearts, and hands are ftdl 
of business ; such a crowd, as leaves no room for thoughts of Christ. He 
may stand long enough, if he knock not, before he be admitted. They have 
something else to do than to wait for Christ's approaches, so as to be ready 
to admit him, vrithout putting him to the trouble of knocking. They are so 
taken up with the world or their lusts, as it must be some loud importunity 
that will draw them to the door. 

When we come to a man's house who we know is full of business, we ex- 
pect not to be admitted till we knock again and again. Sinners are full of 
business, even those who seem least employed ; Satan will be sure to find 
them employment enough, on purpose to keep them from attending Christ's 
approaches. One is busy in the world to get and increase an estate ; his 
thoughts, his affdctions, are all taken up. Another has a design to be great 
and eminent ; his heart is filled with this. Another, making provision f<Nr 
the flesh, ^., plotting, contriving how to satisfy a worldly, unclean, revenge- 
ful lust. Here is such a crowd of business, such a noise, as it is a wonder 
if Christ be regarded when he does knock ; he might stand long enough un- 
regarded if he did not. The sinner thinks much to leave his business and 
run to the door, till the loudness, the frequency, of Christ's knocking, en- 
forced with his mighty power, draw him to it. He is too busy (o open to 
such as will not kxiock. 

[8.] Sinners are at rest ; they are asleep ; yea» in a dead sleep. This is 

Rev. III. 20.] invitation to binnebs. 67 

their eondition by naltird, which I express by this gradation. The Scripture 
holds it forth in these expressions, to shew a sinner's carelessness of Christ 
and of his soul's concernments ; his loathness to rise oat of it, his impotency 
to open, till he be roosed and awakened by Christ's knocking. He is at 
lest, stretched npon the bed of secarity. He is at ease, well contented with 
his natural condition ; takes pleasure and delight therein ; fancies his spiri- 
tual estate safe, good enough ; counts it a needless trouble to rise out of it; 
thinks it a disturbance to leave his present repose to go and open to Christ. 
When he in the parable was desired by his friend at midoight to open to 
him, Luke xi. 5, the man counts it a trouble, ver. 7. It is midnight with 
every sinner in the state of nature ; he is in darkness, sees not his miseries, 
however they encompass him ; he lies down on the bed of secarity, and is at 
rest, and now it is a trouble to him to rise and open ; it must be no easy 
knocking, or little importanity, that will draw him to it. If it was thus 
with the spouse when Christ came to give a special visit, mach more is it 
thus with natural men. But thus it was. Cant. v. 2. Thus Christ came, 
thus he knocked, thus he entreated, but he is put off with excuses : ver. 8, 
* I have put off,' &c. : Oh what trouble is this I * I have washed:' Oh what 
disturbance is this I If it were thus with the spouse in a fit of security, oh 
how much more is it thus with sinners in the state of nature ! They are 
well enough, so they conceive; they have ease, quiet, repose enough in their 
outward accommodations, worldly enjoyments ; it seems unseasonable, it is 
night, a time of rest and darkness too. Alas I they see not the necessity of 
Christ; it is a trouble, &c. Things being thus, Christ must knock, and knock 
to purpose, before they will come and open. 

Further, they are not only at rest, lain down, but asleep. No opening, 
till they be ji wakened, and no awakening unless Christ knock. The state of 
nature itr«r night, a state of darkness, and sinners in that state are answer- 
able thereto, said to be asleep, 1 Thes. v. 5, 6. Though they be busy as 
to natural employments, and the things of the world, yet to anything that is 
spiritual they are asleep. The steam, the gross vapours that arise from the 
coiTuption of our natures, obstructs all passages, so as there can be no con- 
veyance, no operation of the Spirit, and consequently all the senses are 
bound up. A sinner in this state can no more, in a spiritual way, hear, see, 
smell, relish spiritual things, than a man asleep is sensible of outward objects. 
Hd must be awakened, else no opening, and nothing can awake him but 
Christ knocking, therefore he knocks. The sinner is asleep. 

Nay, farther, he is in a dead sleep ; a sleep indeed which is no less than 
death in a spiritual sense. A dead sleep has seized on every sinner, such a 
sleep as the Holy Ghost calls death, Eph. v. 14. His sleep is so deep, as 
he is coonted amongst the dead. Stand up from the dead 1 It must be a 
load knoek indeed, that will rouse a man out of a dead sleep ; a powerful 
knock, thai will raise a man from the dead, a knock fr^m an ahnighty arm. 
Why thos must 'Christ knock, else sinners cannot, will not hear, much less 
open, John t. 25. Great need to knock, and Jmock aloud, when those that 
should open we^ in a dead sleep. This for the second. 

8. What by standing? We must not conceive anything outward or 
corporeal in this posture of Christ He speaks to our capacities, and 
vouchsafes to represent himself after the manner of men. But what are 
spoken of God, of Christ, who is the mighty God, dv^AKTMro^, we must 
ondentaiid Si Mr(fcfi^ What he speaks i^r the manner of men, we must 
eoneeive in a way becoming the majesty of God. Thus standing imports 
tome or all of these five things: 

(1.) Christ's condescension. He stoops low indeed, when he vouchsafes 

68 obbzst's oHAdoiTs [BsY. in. 20. 

to stand at oar door. It is infinitely more than if the greatest prince in the 
world should hnmhle himself to stand at the door of a h^ggar. He is wonder- 
folly gracious, when he will stand, when he will wait to be graeioos. Bat 
of Uiis in the first. 

(2.) His approach. He is come near to a sinner, when he stands at his 
door, stays at his heart, and knocks. Nor does this disagree from what I 
said formerly. Those may be absolutely far off who are comparatively near. 
All are far from Christ by nature ; but he is nearer unto those to whom he 
comes in the ministry of the gospel, than to those whom he leaves to dt in 
darkness, &c. When the gospel comes to a people, the kingdom of heaven 
is at hand, and Christ the prince of that kingdom does approach. Yet are 
sinners far enough from the kingdom, &r enough from Christ. While he 
stands but at your hearts, he is not near indeed absolutely till you let him in. 
Though he stand at your hearts, and the kingdom of heaven in the gospel 
come to your doors, yet shall ye never enter into it unless you let Chnst 
enter into your hearts. Christ coming so near, nearer to you than others, if 
you let him not in, will cast you further from him in hell than others. Outer 
darkness is for them who shut out greatest light ; and the greatest destruc- 
tion from Christ hereafter for them to whom he came nearest here, and was 
excluded. For the present, here is a blessed opportunity, Christ is near 
you, he stands at your hearts, he is at hand. This is the second intimation 
of this posture. 

(B.) His desire ; his readmess to enter. He is even at the door, so 
near he is come, there he stands. If any man will open, he is willing, he 
is ready to enter. What more can be expected on his part, to shew him 
willing to come in ? If you see one standing at your door and knocking, 
how can ye interpret this, but that he is willing, desires to enter ? Christ 
is more ready to come in to sinners than they are to open to him. There is 
no bar, no backwardness on his part; he is at the door, and there he stands 
and knocks. That which keeps him out is the unkindness, the obstinacy of 
sinners, who will not open. That Christ is thus ready to enter, is unques- 
tionable, in respect of those whom he has purposed from eternity to take 
possession of. How it holds in respect of others, we may have occasion to 
shew hereafter. And what a strong motive, what a great encouragement 
should this be to open ? Christ stands at your hearts, ready to enter, to 
take possession, if you will but admit him. 

(4.) His patience. This posture denotes the exercise of patience. He 
stands at the door. When he comes to the heart of a sinner, though he 
find it shut against him, he does not presently depart in a fume, as he might 
justly, to see himself thus slighted, and all the happiness that attends his 
presence disregarded ; he does not instantly for all this leave the heart, but 
he stands. Though liiose who resolve to open are slow in coming, though 
others put him off with delays and excuses, nay, though some give him pliun 
denials, yet he stands. Though this be the voice of sinnera generally, yet a 
little more sleep, &c. He stands notwithstanding, and that long. Some- 
times whole days, yea, day and night ; sometimes whole years, yea, some- 
times many years :< All the day long do I stretch out my hand,' Ac. ; 
* These three years have I come, seeking fruit;' * Forty years long was I 
grieved with iin& generation.' 

(5.) His readiness to depart if he be not admitted. Though he stand 
long, he will not stand always. As his standing shews he is ready to enter, 
if the sinner will open, so it shews, if the heart be obstinately shut against 
him, he is as ready to be gone. He sits not, as though he would make a con- 
tinued abode before the hearts of rebellious sinners ; he stands, and that 


implies a readiness to depart, if admission be denied. Though the patience 
of Christ be wonderful, and his condescension to siimers exceeding great, 
yet he is more tender of his honour than to endure it should be always 
slighted. If ye will not open to him, he will be gone. When he had stood 
some hours knocking at the door of the spouse, Cant, v., and she put 
him off with excuses, he stands no longer, but departs ; though she opened, 
she found him not, he was gone, as she sadly complains, ver. 6. And if 
Christ deal thus with his spouse, the people of his love, engaged to him by 
marriage covenant, what may they expect who have no interest in him, no 
such affection to him ? 

It was a day he waited on Jerusalem, a long day indeed. But when they 
would not make use of the light of it to discover their concernment to enter- 
tain Christ, away he goes and leaves them in darkness. That happy sight 
should be for ever hid from their eyes, they should never see him standing 
more ; instead of Christ's visits, they should be encompassed with devouring 
enemies. Utter desolation should succeed the day of their despised visita- 
tion, Luke xix. 41, 42, &c. Christ came often, and stood long, to gather 
Jerusalem, to take possession of them, but they would not be gathered, 
Mat. xxiii. 87. But what follows? That house that will not entertain 
Christ shall te left desolate. Desolate must that place be that Christ for- 
sakes. Those that will not see Christ standing shall find him departing, 
and so departing as they shall see him no more, ver. 89. When he had 
come unto the fig-tree three years, and found it still barren, what follows ? 
Luke xiii. 7, ' Cut it down.' When he had stood forty years waiting on the 
Israelites, and they still grieved him with hardening Uieir hearts against 
him, what is the issue ? ' They err in their hearts,' and a fatal error it is to 
shut Christ out of the heart, while Satan and base lusts are shut in. ' They 
have not known my ways,' they consider not effectually that Christ was come 
to them. They considered not, so as to open to him, to hear his voice. 
* Wherefore he sware,' &e. 

Oh consider this. Christ now stands, but if you open not, he is ready to 
be gone. Has he not stood many hours, even till his head be filled with 
dew ? &e. He will not stand always, the spouse herself cannot expect it ; 
he will be gone, and then, though ye seek him, ye shall not find him, and 
whither he goes shall ye not come. 

Has he not long sought to gather you ? &c. Well, if ye will not be 
gathered, your souk that will not entertain him shall be laid desolate; shall 
become cages for unclean birds, dens for the devouring lion. Ye shall no 
more see him till he appear in the clouds to render vengeance for this dis- 

Has he not long stood, discovering to ye in the gospel the things that con- 
cern your peace, of which this is the sum in short, to admit Christ ? If ye 
will not know, if ye will not obey, the day will come when desolation and 
miseiy shall seize upon those hearts that would not give Christ possession. 
This day of Christ's visitation, wherein he stands at your hearts, will be 
turned into a dismal night, wherein Christ shall be hid from your eyes. 

Has not Christ come to you these three years, yea, many threes, seeking 
fruit ? If he find not this the fruit of his coming, of his standing, if the 
issue of it be not your opening to Christ, that dreadful sentence will follow, 
' Cut them down.' 

If you will Btill harden your hearts, if this error still prevail, Christ is 
admitted far enough, more of him in your hearts and lives is needless. If 
you will not know his ways; his ways of conversion and r^eneration, 
wherein Christ is admitted; his ways of holiness and gospel obedience, 

60 ohbist's ob^cious [Rby. m. 20. 

wherein Christ is entertained and hononred, his patience will end in wrath. 
He will swear, those sinners that will not let Christ enter into their hearts, 
shall never enter into his rest. 

Now he stands, this is the day wherein Christ draws near your hearts ; 
if ye will not know, &c. Christ the light of life, of hope, of gloiy, of happi- 
ness will be gone, yoa shall see him no more. He stands now for your an- 
swer, and his postare tells yoa, if he be denied, he is ready to depart. 

Use 1. Information, This observation acquaints ns with several other 
traths, which, as so many corollaries, foUow from it : 

1. The riches of the goodness and compassion of Christ to sinners. Does 
he, though he find the hearts of sinners shnt against him, yet stand and 
knock for admittance ? Oh what riches of mercy are here I It may jnstly 
seem much that the Lord, after sach an afiront, should vouohsafs but a look 
to such sinners ; how much more to come, &c. It is more than such 
wretches could expect, that the Lord should send to us, how much more 
that he should come himself, &c. For what can the Lord expect from us, 
or what advantage can he gain by us ? That he should come, draw near to 
us so full of provocations ; that he should stand, shew himself willing to 
come under our roof; that he should wait to be gracious when grace is con- 
temned ; that he should knock, use all means to gain admis£on, knock so 
long, so loud, so often ! — Oh the riches of his goodness, the wonders of his 
condescension, the greatness of his merey, the infiniteness of his patience t 
What like proceedings do we find^ amongst the sons of men ? The Lord's 
ways are not as our ways. The Lord leaves not himself without a witness ; 
gives clear testimony that he is abundant in longsuffering, not willing that 
sinners should perish, but that they should come to repentance ; that they 
should be as happy as that which is the happiness of heaven, as the pre- 
sence of Christ can make them. 

2. This shews the heinousness of their sin who do not open unto Christ. 
Oh that ye would consider it and be affected with it ! The light of this obser- 
vation discovers it to be loaded with those aggravations that make sin ex- 
ceeding sinful, exceeding grievous. Since Christ stands and knocks, if you 
do not open, you sin against means, against mercy, against knowledge, and 
that wilfully and inexcusably. 

(1.) Against means. Christ comes and knocks ; what means is there that 
he uses not to gain admission ? He knocks by checks of conscience, by 
acts of providence, by mercies and afflictions, by the ministry of the word, 
by the law and by the gospel, by the motions of his Spirit. Here is a 
burden of aggravations in one bundle, able to oppress any soul that has but 
any competent sense of sin. When you open not to Christ thus knocking, 
you sin against conscience, against providence, against mercies, against 
judgments, against law, against gospel, against resolutions and purposes 
raised in you by the Spirit of grace, and against that Holy Spirit itself, 
grieving, opposing, resisting it. What could the Lord have done more to 
you, that he has not done ? as he says of his vineyard. See the issue, 
Isa. V. 5, 6. 

(2.) Against mercy ; mercy in its choice appearances and manifestations 
to the world ; against not only the mercy of God, but the indulgence of 
Christ. What more grievous offence than that which b against love, against 

[1.] Condescending mercy : he stoops so low as to stand at a polluted 
heart. f2.J Preventiog mercy : against Christ drawing near you, coming to 
you, standing at your heart. [8. J Free merey : against Christ, ready, will- 
ing to come in. [4.] Forbearing mercy : Christ waiting to be gradous. 


If ever the Lord open jonr eyes io see sin m its own colours, ibis will make 
it appear exceeding siniol. How does the Lord a^^ravate Solompn's sins 
from such a consideration ! 1 Kings zi. 9. Was he angry hecanse he had 
appeared to him twice ? Oh, how do yon provoke him to anger, to whom 
ha has appeared so often, who have so long, so often, hoth heard and seen 
him, seen him standing, heard him knocking I 

(8.) Against knowledge. Yon have heard, yon have heen convinced, that 
Chiist hath both stood and knocked at yonr hearts. If you wonld deny it, 
your own consciences will accuse yon. The providence of God in many 
acts testifies it. The gospel, preached so long amongst you, bears witness 
of it. The Spirit of Christ, Uiat has so long strived with you, brings in this 
evidence. It remains as writ with a pen of iron and point of a diamond, 
writ in great, and large, and lasting dbaracters, in characters of greater, 
larger guilt. If yon open not to Christ, yon sin against all this light ; and 
joa know how near a sin against knowledge borders upon that sin that leads 
irrecoverably to outer darlmess, John iz. 41. 

(4.) Wilfully. Christ comes and stands ; he stands and knocks. Why 
does he not enter ? Why, you will not open. He stands, he is ready to 
take possession ; why is he yet without ? Why, you will not give it him. 
If Christ did not stand, did not knock, you might pretend a better reason 
why ye do not open. But when he stands ready to enter, what can be 
alleged why he is not admitted, but because you will not open ? Oh, me- 
thii^s any sensible heart should tremble to come so near the brink of that 
dreadful place, Heb. zii. 26, 27. 

(5.) Inexcusably. Christ standing and knocking leaves the sinner that 
opens not to him without excuse. ' If I had not come to them,* John xv. 22; 
If Christ had not stood and knocked, your sin had been less ; there had 
been some excuse why you did not admit him. But since he has come so 
often, stood so long, knocked so loud, and yet is not admitted, now there 
remains no more cloak. There is no excuse will be sufficient to cover this 
sin, so great is it. The height and depth is such as you can say nothing, 
can do nothing, to cloak it. 

If a heathen should be asked at the day of judgment, why didst thou not 
open to Christ ? why didst thou not entertain him ? Alas, may he say, I 
never heard of him ; he came not, he stood not, he knocked not at my 
heart ; the gospel never discovered him to me in this posture. Ay 1 the 
heathen have a fair excuse ; the Lord will proceed with them upon some 
other account. Oh, but when the Lord, the Judge of heaven and earth, 
shall turn his speech to thee ! Thou enjoyedst the gospel, thou sawest me 
standing, heardest me knocking at thy heart so many Sabbaths, so many 
years together, why didst thou not open to me ? Why didst thou shut me 
out ? What answer canst thou make ? Surely, then, thy case will be like 
his in the parable. Thou must needs be speechless ; here is not the least 
colour of an excuse for thee. If Christ be not admitted now, nothing will 
be left thee then but a fearful expectation of judgment and fury. Oh con- 
sider it before it be too late I You see the grievousness of the sin ; though 
it seem light now, it will lie heavy one day, and every of these considera- 
tions will lie upon thy soul as a mountain. Oh make haste to prevent it by 
making haste to open to Christ! 

This shews a reason why the Lord's wrath falls heavier upon those that 
enjoy the gospel, those at whose hearts Christ stands and knocks, than upon 
others ; why he makes their plagues wonderfol ; why he appears more ter- 
rible, both in his threatenings and executions, against them than the rest of 
the sons of men. Here is a sufficient plea to justify the Lord's severity. 

62 ghbxst'b 6SA0IOU8 [Bet. IIL 20. 

He does more for them: he Btands and knocks to be admitted by them, and 
they Bhatting him out, it is a righteous thing with the Lordi apon this 
aceoant, to poor more vengeance upon them; 

06;. We see those who live in dmnkenness^ swearing, nncleanness, pio- 
feneness, disobedience, contempt of the gospel and its ministeis, despising 
of holiness, and hereby they shew they shnt ont Christ ; we see Uiem enjoy 
health, peace, plenty, and prosper in tiie world as mach as any. 

Ana. It is trae. God may exempt them from temporal judgments a 
while, for the elect's sake who are amongst them, who have been persnaded 
to open. 

Bat in the mean time he cnrses their.blessings, Mai. ii. 2, Zech. v. Be- 
sides, he sends a plagne into their hearts ; he gives them np to spiritoal 
judgments, blindness of mind, hardness of heart, searedness of conscience, a 
reprobate sense. And these are the greatest plagues on this side hell ; and 
however the sinner be senseless of them, they are the portion, and will be 
of every one that perseveres to shut out Christ. 

Moreover, he gives Satan a commission to load their souls with chains of 
darkness, to make them sure against the judgment of the great day. So 
they lie fettered, and then the furnace of everlasting burnings will be heated 
seven times hotter for them. This is, and will be, the doom of all that con- 
tinue to shut out Christ. 

Use 2. Exhortation. The light of this observation leads us to several 
duties ; it calls for several thmgs from all of us. 

1. Does Christ stand ? And will you sit still in your evil ways, not 
move towards him when he waits at your hearts ? Will you lie down on 
the bed of security, take your rest in carnal enjoyments, wallow in the plea- 
sures of sin and the world, and not stir out of your old posture, your old 
courses ? Is this all the respect Christ must have from you : to sit still 
when he stands, to lie down when he stays for you, to rest yourselves in the 
embraces of the world and your lusts ? Must these be entertained while 
Christ stands without ? Must Christ stay your leisure if he will be ad- 
mitted ? Must he stay till you have done with the world, till you have 
your M of sin ? Is this all you care for Christ ? Have you dealt thus 
with Satan, with the world, with your lusts ? Did they stand and wait so 
long before they had entertainment ? Oh, well were it with sinners if they 
were as averse, as disrespectful of sin, yea, of Satan himself, as they are of 
Christ 1 But oh, what guilt is here, what a wickedness is here in the mean 
time ! Christ shall stand without when these are let in. Oh, will you con- 
tinue in this wickedness ? Will you increase this guilt ? Will you run 
farther off when Christ comes and stands so near you ? Oh he is patient, 
says the wretched heart, though I neglect him a little, and foUow my 
worldly sinful humours ; he will not be gone, he can bear with sinners and 
wait long. Oh the dreadful abuse of Christ's indulgence I Is this all the 
use you make of his patience, to encourage you to let him still stand 
without ? Will you thus provoke the Lord ? Will you thus turn his grace 
into wantonness ? When mercy and patience abounds in Christ, will you 
make your sins superabound ? How can you do this great wickedness, and 
sin against Christ ? Far be it from you thus to requite the Lord. Since 
he stands, cast off sin, cast off the world, cast off every weight that so easily 
besets you, that is so apt to hinder you. Arise, make haste towards 

2. Does he knock ? Take heed, then, you neglect not his knocking. Will 
you stop your ears that you should not hear him ? Will you busy yourselves 
so in the world, as the noise of your employments shall make you deaf to 

Bit. m. 20.j intitation to sinnsbb. 68 

Christ's knock ? Or, if yoa hear it, will yoa torn aside to sneh cares, 
ihonghts, delights, as shall make yoa forget it, regardless of it ? Beware 
of this, if either Christ or your soids be dear to yoa. 

Take care yoa neglect not, when Christ knocks by conscience, of refhsing 
Christ, of going on in sin against checks of conscience. If yon do, and per- 
flOTere so doing, one of these will follow : yoor conscience will either be 
woonded or seared. One of these yoa may expect. The Lord can send a 
hell into the conscience, and set that sool a-fire that sbats him oat. We 
have sad instances of it, and for what, hot going against conscience ? Or 
else the Lord will give thee ap to a seared conscience. That conscience that 
will be senseless, i^all be senseless. That will be Christ's sentence, < He 
that is nnjast, let him be so ;' he that is senseless, let him be so : so with- 
oat sense, as if seared with a hot iron, 1 Tim. iv. 2. As Christ has his 
seal whereby he marks his people, 2 Tim. ii. 19, so Satan has his ; and 
those that are thas seared, the Lord gives them over to Satan. He hereby 
brands them, marks them for his own. Beware year disregard of Christ's 
knocking by conscience ; end not thas. 

Neglect not Christ's knocking by providence, especially by mercies* 
These are as sweet-smelling myrrh, which he leaves npon the handles of the 
lock, as the sponse expresses it. Cant. v. 5. If ye wiU not regard when 
Christ knocks by the hand of mercy, yoa will provoke him to take his rod, 
his rod of iron : a knock with this may break yoa to pieces, Ps. ii. 

Neglect not Christ knocking by afflictions. If Christ enter not, after pro- 
mises, reeolntions, either yoa wiU provoke the Lord to change his rod into 
one more weighty, more smarting, and to doable his strokes, and to panish 
yet seven times more, as he threatens, and make yoar plagues wonderful ; 
or else to give yon over as desperate, and to say. He will afflict no more, 
he will Imock no more. And tiioagh blinded sinners, not acquainted with 
the Lord's paths, think that a good condition to be freed from affliction, yet 
is there scarce any dispensation that speaks more wrath than when the Lord 
says, as Isa. i. 6, ' Why should ye be smitten any more ?' It is as if a father, 
after all means used to reclaim a rebellious son prove ineffectual, should 
resolve to trouble himself no more with him, should say, He regards not 
me, &c. Let him take his course, let him run on till he comes to the 
gallows. How can a man testify more anger than thus ? Why thus the 
Lord, as the extremity of his indignation : Hosea iv. 14, ' I will not punish 
your daughters,' &c. 

Especially, neglect not Christ when he knocks by the word. If the 
sound of the gospel move you not, there is littie hope for you. If you 
neglect this, expect that one day Christ will as much neglect you, 
Prov. i. 24, 88. 

Neglect not Christ's knockings by his Spirit. These motions are Christ's 
messengers ; they are sent to prepare his way, to try what entertainment the 
Master may expect. If you resist, suppress, quench, choke these, Christ 
will look for no better at your hands, if himself were in your power. When 
men look upon Christ's message by his Spirit, as Elisha did upon the king of 
Israel, and use these motions as he did the messenger, how, think yon, does 
he resent it? 2 Kings vi. 82. If, when Christ's messengers come, these 
motions of the Spirit, ye do give order to shut the door, take care to hold 
them fast at the door, and for this reason, because the sound of his Master's 
feet, Ac. ; if you shut out the harbingers, and use them so coarsely, Christ 
knows what himself may expect, he will nqt trouble you with his company. 
Take heed this be not the issue of your quenching motions, suppressing 
indinafcionsy sufGaring resolutions to vanish. If yon use his harbingers, those 

64 ohbist's obacious [Rev. m. 20. 

that bespeak his entertainmdnt, he may interpret it thus, it is because the 
Bound of my master's feet, &o. Oh hovr will this provoke Christ ! As joa 
would not be found quenchers of the Spirit, resistors of the Holy Ghost, take 
heed of neglecting, suppressing these motions of the Spirit 

8. Does he stand and knock ? Oh make haste to open to him. I shall 
urge this more largely when the text leads me directly to it. Now a 
word of it briefly. Why does he stand and knock, but that he may be 
admitted ? Will you still shut him out ? Will you still frustrate the gracious 
intention of Christ ? Will you do your endeavour to make him come short 
of his end ? Shall he stand so loug, shall he kupck so much in vain ? Shall 
all his patience, all his condescensions be in vain, except it be to render you 
more miserable, to vindicate the righteousness of his wrath in destroying you, 
and to leave you withoat excuse in the great day of account ? Christ will 
secure his glory ; he will take care it be not in vain to him, whatever you 
may render it to your own souls. 

If the issue of his patience and longsuffenDg be not the glory of his 
mercy, in making you happy with his presence, it must be the glory of his 
justice in making you miserable, by departing from you. And wiU you pro- 
voke him to depart ? Shall sin and the world be dearer to you than Christ ? 
Mast Christ be excluded, that these may still have entertainment? Oh 
what horrible unkindness is this to Christ, what cruelty to your souls 1 Heaven 
and earth may be astonished at it, if hardened hearts, if careless sinners 
will not ; and to these the Lord appeals, Jer. ii. 12, 18. You hereby for- 
sake Christ, the fountain of living waters, &c., joy, comfort, peace, glory. 
You forsake the fountain ; and when the spring of all would place itself in 
your hearts, you shut it out. This is one great evil : and withal you hew 
cisterns ; you prefer the cistern before the fountain, earth before heaven, sin 
before Christ ; broken cisterns before the eternal fountain; cisterns that will 
hold no water all, before the fountain that flows everlastingly with waters of 
life. If you will not consider this, if you will not be afraid of such a dread- 
ful evil, if you will not be astonished at it, heaven and earth may be asto- 
nished, and greatly afraid, to see their great Creator set at nought by a 
wretched man. They may be horribly afraid, lest a provocation of this 
nature should move the Lord nqt only to destroy man, but the whole crea- 
tion ; and in his just wrath turn heaven and earth, and all wretched man 
has benefit by, into confasion and nothing. If man will be so senseless as 
not to consider this, the senseless creatures will rise up in judgment and 
condemn him. If sinnera will make no answer, take no notice of Christ 
standing, knocking at their hearts, the dumb creatures will find a mouth to 
justify God, when he sends him to eternal ruin, when he casts him into ever- 
Listing burnings. 

Oh consider this I Let the wonderful patience of Christ in standing, let 
the gracious importunity of Christ in knocking, lead you to repent, lead you 
to the door, persuade you to open. The Lord makes use of the wonderful 
strangeness of his condescension as a motive, and oh that it might prove a 
powerful motive to open to him, Jer. xxxi. See how his bowels yearn to 
wretched sinners; and suppose him, while he stands at thy heart, to express 
himself as he does to Epluaim, ver. 20 ; and then hear him expostulating, 
wondering at thy delay to open to him, ver. 22 ; and then consider what a 
motive he adds to enforce thee to open. ' For the Lord hath,* &c. That Christ 
should stand and knock, that Christ should seek to thee, it is a new thing, a 
thing so strange and wonderful, as the like is seldom seen on the earth. It is 
as it' a woman should o£fer love lib a man. UIDil ambit^ does solicit, does 
woo, does seek love, when she should be sought to ; forgets herself her sex. 

BkY, in. 20.] INVITATION TO 8INNXBS. 65 

her condition, against all castom, against all nations on earth. Thns fax 
does the Lord stoop, thus strangely does Christ condescend, when he comes 
and offers love to sinners. It is as if a woman shoald compass, &c. ; it is 
he that should be sought to, yet he seeks to thee. It is his love that men 
and angels should desire above life ; yet he offers love when it is not desired. 
He seems to forget himself (if we may so say) when he so strangely con- 
descends to seek to sinners, to stand and knock at their hearts. This is a 
new thing, a wonderful thing ; and since his love herein is so strange, so 
admirable, it should be a strong motive to sinners to entertain it. Oh how 
long wilt thou go about, backsliding sinner? How long shall Christ 
stand and knock, before he be regarded ? When wilt thou open to him, 
who has stooped below himself to come to thee ? Bemember, as his con- 
descension is strange and wonderful in seeking admission, so his indignation 
will be strange and wonderful if thou dost not open. Since Christ comes 
and stands, make haste to open. 

So we pass from the positive proposition, the first part, to the conditional 
promise, the second part of the text. Herein consider both its form and 

1. The form. It is propounded conditionally. Christ's presence and 
communion with him is offered upon condition. 

2. As to the matter of it. It consists, as do all hypothetical propositions, 
of two parts ; the antecedent and the consequent. In 

(1.) The consequent, we have the things promised. These are two; 
[1.] Christ's entrance, < I will come in ;' [2.J His entertainment, and that 
is mutual. He will entertain the soul, and will accept of the entertainment 
which he enables the soul to provide for him : ' and will sup with him, and 
he with me.' 

(2.) In the antecedent, we have the conditions upon which these things 
are; promised, and these are two: [1.] Hearing, * If any man hear my 
voice ;' [2.] Opening, ' and open the door.' Of these in order. 

1. From the form of the proposal, in that these things are promised con- 
ditionally, take this 

Oh$. Some gospel promises are conditional. Not only promises of out- 
ward blessings, common mercies, but promises of spiritual, special, and 
distinguishing mercies. Not only promises of the law, which belong to the 
covenant of works, but promises of the gospel, special branches and articles 
of the covenant of grace. Such is this in the text, a promise of Christ, of 
the gospel, of spiritual and special mercies, of the presence of Christ and 
communion with him. These are offered conditionally ; and the promise is 
plainly, expressly, and in terminia conditional. * If,' &c. I shall not insist 
long on this, nor enter into the controversy started in this age, but rather ex- 
plain it in such a way as may prevent mistakes, and leave no room for any 
controversy ; for those who would walk with a right foot in the way of the 
gospel, and prefer truth and peace before contention, must be careful to 
AToid controversy. 

Those things that are annexed to gospel promises in the form of condi- 
tions, they are not conditions in these five respects ; remove but those 
ingredients from them, which indeed the Lord never mixed with them, and 
there need be no scruple at all in granting the promises to be conditional. 
They are not conditions in respect 

(1.) Of merit. When the condition is performed, we do not thereby 
deserve the Lord should bestow the mercy promised. ' When we have done 
ail, we are unprofitable servants.' Such conditions are a popish imagina- 

VOL. n. B 

66 obbibt's OBAdons [Ret. m. 20. 

tion, they never entered into the Lord's thoughts, they are a high dispazage- 
ment to the fireeness of grace, and stain the glory of it. 

(2.) Of dependence. It is not in the will, in the power of man, to per- 
form by his own strength what is annexed to any gospel promise. If he 
that does promise and require did not give strength to perform, neither 
promise nor condition would be performed for ever. He reqnires we 
should hear his voice and open to him, but we can do neither without him ; 
it is he that worketh in us both to will and to do. Conditions depending 
upon man's will and power are the proud inventions of Pelagians ; there is 
no place, no ground for them in the gospel. 

(8.) Of inducement. When that which is annexed to the promise, in 
form of a condition, is performed through the strength of Christ, the Lord 
is not hereby moved, induced hereby, as we are, to accomplish the promise. 
It is inconsistent with his divine perfections to be moved by any thing ab 
extrQf without. Those expressions which seem to intimate our moving of 
God are after the manner of men ; and when we speak properly, they must 
be explained in a way becoming the perfections, the majesty of God. 

(4.) Of uncertainty. Man, when he propounds a condition, is uncertain 
whether or no it will be performed. But there is no such uncertainty with 
God; he knows from eternity who will hear his voice, who will open to him. 
The accomplishment of the promises is not suspended for the uncertainty 
of the condition, as it is amongst men, but for the incapacity of the subject, 
because, till they perform what he requires, they are not capable of what he 

(6.) Of obligement. When we perform that which is required in the 
promise, God is not thereby obliged to accomplish the promise, without the 
interposal of pardoning mercy, e. g. when we hear, when we open, this lays 
no engagement upon Christ to enter. Our slowness to open does more dis* 
engage him, more provoke him to depart, than our opening, accompanied 
with such provocation, obliges him to enter. These things I might eaaily 
open and prove at lai^^e, if I thought it seasonable ; but let this suffice at 
present. If yon take not conditions in such a sense as is made up of one or 
all these respects, it casts not the least shadow upon the glory of firee grace 
to grant some promises to be conditional. 

By a condition, understand no more than a necessary antecedent, or a 
duty to which the Lord will enable his people before the performance of his 
promise ; and there need be no scruple, no controversy about the terms, the 
promises may be counted, with safety enough, to be conditional. 

2. And so we pass from the form to the matter of this proposition, and 
in it first take notice of the antecedent, containing the conditions of this 
promise ; the first whereof is hearing Christ's voice, * If any man hear.' 
Here we might observe, that opening depends on hearing, and that men are 
backward to hear Christ's voice ; hence he makes an (/ of it, 'If any man ;' 
as also that Christ not only stands and knocks, but calls at iiie heart, makes 
use of his voice to procure admission. But to waive a particular discourse of 
each of these, we shall comprise the sense and meaning of these words in 
this, and a little insist on it. 

Obs, Those that will have Christ to come into them, must hear his voice. 
It is the means to this end, it is the condition of this blessed privilege, and 
so proposed in the text. 

' Hear, and your souls shall live.' Christ's entering into the soul, is as 
the soul's entering into the body. As that is life to Uie body, so Christ is 
life to the soul, when he enters, unites himself to it, and becomes its life, the 
fountain, the principle of spiritual life. Now the way for Christ to enter is 

Rev. m. 20.] uvyitation to sennebs. 67 

by hearing: ' Hear, and your souls shall live.' Bo Christ eomes not in till 
the heart be open, and it op^s not till it hear the voice of Christ ; so that 
those who will have Christ to come in, must hear his voice. 

Two things explained will make this tmth clear. (1.) What is the voice 
of Christ ? (2.) What is it to hear his voice ? For the 

(1.) Christ's voice is that which yon hear prmcipally in tlie gospel. He 
gives some intimation of his will by conscience, by providence; bat in the 
gospel he speaks ont, there his voice is heard clearly, distinctly, there he 
sp^ks aloud ; particularly, there you hear 

[1.] His voice of c<Hnmand. He exercises hia authority as King and 
Lord of the world, sends out his royal edicts, his commands. And this 
is the sense of them, that sinners would open to him, Isa. Iv. 1 ; come 
and open that the waters of life may flow into your souls, that the spring of 
life, and joy, and happiness may seat itself in your hearts. 

Oh, hot these waters are precious, they cost dear, &c. 

He has left his commands on record in the word, in the Scriptures, and 
he sends his messengers daily to publish them. To disobey him, is to 
affiront him in his highest dignity, in his royal office, to rebel against the 
King of kings, &c. 

ML the commands to believe m Christ, are coounands to open to him ; for 
to beheve in Christ is to receive him, and to receive him is to open to him. 
This is the great command of the gospel, to open to him, John xiv. 1, vi. 
26. Christ, who might exercise his sovereignty, &o., had rather shew it 
by commanding. The whole creation is at the command of Christ ; there 
is not one creature in heaven or earth but punctually obeys him, except 
wretched man only. And wilt thou be one of these rebels, worse than the 
plants and trees that grow at his conmiand, worse than the beasts and birds 
that move at his command? Wilt thou be worse than the beasts that 
perish ? Wilt thou be a rebel especially in this point 7 Wilt thou shut 
oat the King of glory when he commands thee to open to him ? It is no 
great matter he comnumds ; it is but to open. Nor is it any loss to thee 
that he commands ; it is to open to him whose presence will make thee 
happy. Oh that you would hear Christ's voice commanding. This is his 
voice of authority. 

[2.] The voice of Christ threatening. He sets an edge upon his com- 
mand, and that it may not be slighted, enforces it with threatenings. If 
thou wilt not hear him now, and open, he threatens he will not hear thee 
hereafter. Thou wilt find sooner or later a day of distress, when thou wilt 
have need of Christ, at least death is not far off, &c., and judgment is 
approaching. How much soever you neglect it now, you will be glad to call 
to Christ then. Ay ! but if you will not hear him now, he threatena he 
will not hear you then, Prov. i. 27, 28. If you will not open to him on earth, 
he will not open to you in heaven ; if you will shut him out here, he will 
shut you ont there. Time may come when, with the foolish virgins, you 
may knock and cry, * Lord, open to us;' but those that regard him not now 
shall have their doom then, ' Depart from me, I know ye not.' Christ 
would now entertain, ' I will come in and sup,* but if ye shut him out, the 
same thing he denounces to you which he threatened, Luke xiv. 24, ' Not 
one of them shall taste ci my supper.' 

If you win not open to Christ, who loings with him unsearchable riches, 
your debts can never be paid ; justice will seize on you and cast you into 
prison, into outer darkness, till you have paid that which can never be dis- 
charged, till you have paid the uttermost farthing. If you will not admit 
Chriat, who would make you happy with his presence, you shall be punished 

68 ohbist's obaoxoits [Bey. m. 20. 

wiih OTerlasting destraeiion firom the presence of the Lord. If jon will oot 
open to him who brings yon life, ye shali die in your sins, John viii. 24. 
llias the Lord lifts np his voice and threatens sinners, in case they will 
not open to him : Oh that yon would hearken ! If ye will not snffer Christ 
to enter into yonr hearts, ye shall never enter into his rest. This is his 
terrible voice ; it can rend the rocks, and canse the moontains to tremble. 
Oh, be not yon senseless of it 1 

[8.] The voice of Christ promising. This is Christ*8 voice in the latter 
part of the text. There he promises his presence and fellowship with him 
to all that will open to him ; all the joys, the comforts, the bliss, the glory, 
that the presence of Christ can afford, or communion with him. 

The heaven of heavens cannot contain him, he dwells not in temples 
made with hands ; yet if then wilt open, he promises thy heart shall be his 
temple, * I will come in.' 

The presence of Christ is the glory and happiness of all that are happy 
and glorious ; this is it which glorifies the saints, and makes the angels 
blessed, yet this thou shalt have if thou wilt open. 

The presence of Christ is light in darkness, and plenty in want, relief in 
all distresses, comfort in all sad exigencies, life in death, all in all ; yet all 
this thou shalt have, the presence of Christ, and all its blessed attendants, 
if thou wilt hearken unto him and open. 

Communion with Christ is the very heaven of heaven, and that which 
can make a dark habitation on earth to be as a comer of heaven ; but this 
thou shalt have, if thou wilt hear his voice and open. But of this more 
fully when we come to the latter part of the text. This is Christ's still 
voice, the sweet voice of promise ; oh that you would hearken to it ! 

[4.] The voice of persuasion. This is it he counsels, this is it he advises ; 
and he urges it, enforces his counsel with many motives and arguments. 
This is Christ's voice in the verses before the text, ver. 18. 

[6.] The voice of entreaty. He beseeches sinners with a loud voice to 
open. He who commanded heaven and earth to issue out of nothing ; he 
w&o commands the winds and the seas, and they obey him ; he who com- 
manded the apostate angels out of his presence, and shut them up in the 
bottomless pit ; he who commanded the earth to open her nM)nth, and swal- 
low those rebellious sinners, Eorah and his accomplices ; he who could com- 
mand thee immediately into hell, and shut thee up in outer darkness : he 
vouchsafes to beseech thee ; this is his voice, 2 Cor. v. 20. Upon what terms 
an ambassador treats with another state, if by way of threatening, or, which 
is more strange and unusual, if by way of entreaty, it is as if his master did 
it. So it is interpreted by us. Ministers of the gospel are Christ's ambas- 
sadors ; they are sent, employed, authorised by him. He gives them in- 
structions to pray, to beseech sinners, and they do it M^ X^/0roD, ue. 'in 
Christ's stead.' It is as if Christ himself should do it ; it is as if he should 
with his own mouth pray, beseech, entreat you to open to him. When the 
minister comes and entreats you, beseeches, importunes you to abandon 
those sins that keep out Christ, it is as if Christ himself should do it in 
person. 8o it is in our account in embassies amongst men, so it is in 
Christ's account. It will be in vain to say at the day of judgment, I never 
heard Christ use any such language, he never entreated ; the ministers that 
we disregard are but men. Ay, but they are Christ's ambassadors, they 
speak in Christ's stead ; and what they speak according to his instmetions, 
he owns it as though it were spoken by himself, and will accordingly vindi- 
cate the contempt of it and disobedience to it. Yon shall then hear what 
you will not now regard : * He that heareth you, heareth me ; ' * Inasmuch 

Rev. m. 20.] xnyitatxon to sinmxbs. 69 

as joa did it to one of these, jou did it uito me.' It is Christ's Toice yoa 

hear when yon are entreated to open. If yoa will have him enter, yoa 
mast hear. And the wonder of Christ's condescension in stooping so low 
as to b^»eoh you, should be a strong motive to open, or will be a great 
aggTBTation of yonr wickedness if yoa open not. 

[6.J The voice of reproof. This is Christ's voice too, and that which he 
fivqaently makes use of when sinners are so slow, so backward to open to 
him. It is Christ that speaks, Christ the Wisdom of the Father, and 
there freqnently called Wisdom, Prov. i. And that which he speaks is 
reproof: ver. 28, * Tom you at my reproof.' He tdls sinners how they 
offend, what the nature of their offence is, how sinful, how provoking, how 
heavily aggravated, when they refuse to open, when they retain those sins 
that keep out Christ. The Spirit of Christ in the Scriptures abounds 
herein ; take but briefly three or four instances. 

• He shews it is a grievous contempt of Christ, a most unworthy slighting 
and undervaluing of him. The sinner that shuts out Christ (as every one 
does that lives in sin) values him no more than he that sold him for thirty 
pieces of silver. For which of you would not open your door were it but to 
gain thus much ? And yet will not open to Christ I Do ye not clearly 
manifest you think Christ less worth, value him not so much ? A goodly 
price indeed that Christ is prized at by you ! Zech. xi. 12. Hereby you 
abew you value him no more than that wretch that betrayed him ; you value 
him no more than a slave, Exod. zxi. 82. Oh what ground is here for 
reproof I Will you thus set Christ at nought, and shew yourselves as bad 
as Judas ? Why, this is the way you contemn him as you would do a 
fikve, — nay, as one would not do a slave, — ^when you will not open to 

This is against all your relations, engagements, professions as Christians. 
You call Christ Lord; but what a servant is that who will let his lord 
Btand and knock, and call at the door, but will not stir to open to him 1 
You call him Father ; but what a child is that who shuts his father out of 
doors I Mai. i. 6. While you do thus, whatever you speak of Christ as 
related to him, that you love him, would obey him, are his servants, his 
children, these are but pretences and dissembling words. You shew plainly 
yon are gross hypocrites, whatever you say or tiiink, so long as Clmst is 
shut out. Can any without blushing call Christ his Saviour, while he will 
not open his heart to him ? Do ye really count Christ so ? or does it not 
haehy appear it is a mere pretence? Will any man shut his Saviour 
out of doors ? All your pretences to Christ are but hypocritical till this 
be done. 

Further, this is a preferring the devil and the lusts of your hearts be- 
fore Christ. These, though the vilest evils in earth or hell, have more 
respect, more honour, more service, more obedience from you, than 
Christ. When Satan does but intimate his pleasure by some wicked sug- 
fl^on, forthwith he finds admission ; but though Christ call and cry, 
lift up his voice like a trumpet, conunand, promise, threaten, persuade, 
beseech, reprove, he is shut out When a lust gives but an inkling, 
insinuates by some sly motion, this is instantly, duly entertained, while 
Christ stsnds without. Hera is a great respect shewed to Christ indeed, 
when his mortal, deadly enemies are admitted, entertained, and himself 
refused, rejected I What iniquity, may he say, do ye find in me, that the 
devil, and that which is worse than the devil, your lusts, should be preferred 
before me ? 

Finally, the whole creation may rise up in judgment against such as ex- 

70 chsist's obaoious [Bet. m. 20. 

elude Christ, and may eondemn them* Christ doth whatever he will in 
heaven and earth ; he opens, and no man shnts ; he shuts, and no man 
opens ; he finds no resistance, no opposition, till he come to the heart of 
man. There is not the least creature in the world hut will cast in some- 
thing to make the judgment of that sinner heavier who opens not to Christ, 
to aggravate his condemnation who shuts out Christ. 

To this effect doth Christ reprove the generation with whom he con« 
versed, Mat. xii. 42. If she would come from the uttermost parts of the 
earth to see Solomon, sure if he had come so far to visit her, she would 
with all joy have admitted him. And yet, lo ! a greater than Solomon is here 
excluded. Christ comes not from tiie uttermost parts of the earth, hut 
from the highest heaven ; not to visit the court of some glorious king, hut 
to seek entrance into a wretched defiled heart; and yet is excluded, it 
shuts itself. Here is not the queen of Sheha, hut the King of glory, 
excluded ; not king Solomon, but Solomon's King, is affironted, excluded by 
a wretched sinner, by a sinful heart. For this he reproved the Jews thai, 
for this he reproves you now ; he eomes to his own, and his own receive 
him not : to his own, to those who have most need of him, most reason to 
own him. He comes and owns you, by coming to you when he passes by 
the rest of the world. 'He comes to his own, &c. 

Oh what ground is here for a sharp, a cutting 'reproof ! This is another 
way wherein you may hear Christ's voice. Oh let it not be said, ye would 
have none of my reproof 1 « 

(2.) What by hearing. It includes these six things : 

[l.J Attendance. When he attends diligently to the word preached. 
When he is serious and conscientious ; not as before, customary and care- 
less. When he listens to it as to the great, the eternal concernment of his 
soul. When he desists from those things that have hindered him from 
listening diligently to the word in times past. When Christ's voice puts 
him to a stand* For example: a man riding, running, or otherwise busied, 
hears some voice that concerns him ; he stops his course, stands, and 
listens. Thus, when Christ speaks to the heart of a sinner, if he hear his 
voice to any purpose, it puts him to a stand ; it takes him off from his 
immoderate following tiie world, from his eager pursuit of his lusts ; he 
hushes those cares, thoughts, delights, and that business which made such 
a noise before, as Christ's voice was not heard or not regarded. 

Thus, when Saul heard Christ's voice from heaven, he fell to the earth. 
Acts ix. His former designs were nonplussed. It is true that voice was 
extraordinary ; but whenever Christ's voice is heard, it has some like effect. 
The sinner is stopped in his career ; his mind and heart are at least for the 
present taken off from sm and the world ; he stands and listens. And till 
he be put to such a stand, though he may seem to hear, he hears not 
indeed ; his hearing is to little purpose. He that will open unto Christ 
must thus hear. 

[2.J Belief. He that hears so as to open, believes it is the voice of Christ 
he hears. While he counts the word preached the voice of man, he finds 
many evasions, so as he keeps it off from his heart and conscience. Till he 
believe it is the voice of Christ, he hears as though he heard not ; it is 
to little purpose, to no great effect, leaves small or no impression. But 
when he hears it and hearkens to it, as the voice of Chnst speaking to 
him firom heaven, then, and not till then, he hears so as he is in the 
way to open. The men that were with Saul, they ' heard a voice, but 
saw no man/ ver. 7. They knew not whence it came, nor who it was that 
spoke. But Saul knew it to be Christ's voice : the voice satisfied him of 

RiT. m. 20.] XNyiTATION TO SXNNEB8. 71 

that; and honce the different effect in them and him. Baal opens, embraces 
Ghzisi; we read no snch thing of them. ' It is the voice of my beloved, 
sajB the spouse, Cant. v. 2. If she had not perceived this, she had lain 
still and not opened to him. While yon are filled with conceits that it is 
bat man that speaks, and that he speaks his own thoughts only, and snch 
ft8 prejudice against you, or ill apprehensions of you lead him to ; while 
Satan thus persuades you, he cares not how much you hear. He knows, till 
you hear the word preached as the voice of Christ, your hearing is as good 
as no hearing, you are Deut enough from opening. Till Samuel knew it was 
the Lord's voice, he run the wrong way. 

[8.] Application. If thou wilt hear so as to open, thou must hear Christ^s 
voice as directed to thee in particular. Thou must not put it off to others, 
and say the word met with such a one, it fell foul upon such a man's sin, 
was suitable to his condition ; but bring it home to thy own heart and con- 
science, and hear Christ in the ministry of the word speaking to thee, as if 
he singled thee out and spoke to thee by name. Apply what is delivered 
in general as though thou heardest Christ telling thee, as Nathan did David, 
' Thou art the man,' 2 Sam. zii. 7. It is I Christ intends, it is myself he 
speaks to ; this is my sin, my guilt. It is I that have shut out Christ ; it 
is I that have been so eager on my lusts, so busy in the world to neglect 
Christ He now speaks to me, he now calls upon me to open. Till you 
hear thus, till you thus apply what you hear, you will never open. The 
voice of Christ, till thus applied, gives but an uncertain sound (as the apostle 
in another case) nor will you ever prepare to open. 

[4.] Consideration. Hear it so as your thoughts may work upon it, as 
thou^ ye were always hearing. Christ's voice should have such place in 
your hearts, should be fixed &ere by frequent meditation, serious con- 
sideration of it, as if it were still sounding in your ears. How many 
souls has non-consideration cut short of Christ! When you mind but 
the word while it is preached, it slides away as water Ming on a rock; 
it must stay upon the heart, else it will not open. Remember it when 
you lie down and when you rise up, whatever ye do, wherever you are ; 
let your thoughts represent Christ as still lifting up his voice and calling 
on you to open to him, as that ancient said of the voice of Christ at the 
last day, Ac. What you hear must stay in your thoughts as though ye 
were always hearing, as though the voice of Christ were still in your 
ears, ' Arise and open !' Thus you must hear if you will open. 

[5.] Conviction, If ye will hear so as to open, ye must so hear as to 
be convinced of an absolute necessity of opening. Be convinced that thou 
art lost, undone, cpndenmed, till thou open to Christ. So Christ tells 
Laodicea, ver. 17. And it is the condition of eveiy man till Christ be 
admitted: 'Thou art poor, and blmd, and wretched, and miserable;' if 
death knock before thou open to Christ, there is nothing but hell to be ex- 
pected, nothing but the wrath of God to seize on thy soul, nothing but 
the bottomless pit to open and swallow thee for ever. This conviction, 
which sinners are so backward to admit, which Satan uses all means to 
put off, is the first step to the door. Till the sinner thus hear as to be 
thoroughly convinced of his misery while Christ is excluded, there is no 
hope of opening. 

[6.] Persuasion. Then the sinner admits Christ, when he so hears his 
voice as to be fully persuaded to open to him. The former are but motions 
towards it ; when it comes to this, the heart is open. A sinner's judgment 
may be convinced that he is miserable while Christ is excluded, and yet th6 
win not persuaded to admit him. For the will has three powers : to con- 

72 OHBxsT*s GBioxouB [Bbt. IQ. 20. 

sent, to reinse, to snspend its acts. When the nnderstanding is convinced 
that he is miserahle if ChriBt he not admitted, the will so hi follows the 
nnderstanding as it cannot consent to exclude him, it cannot refhse to admit 
him, yet it may hang in suspense. Bat when it so hears as to he per- 
suaded, it hangs off no longer, hut opens unto Christ. This is the hear- 
ing that Christ calls for, to hear so as to ohey, to listen to Christ's voice 
so as to comply with it ; Heb. iii. 8 : ' To*day if ye will hear my vmee,' 
Ac. When the sinner hears but does not obey, he hears but so as to 
harden his heart ; his heart is stone against Christ ; no passage for him 
through it, no entrance by it. But when he so hears as to be persuaded, 
80 hears Christ's voice as to obey it, to open to him when he calls, then 
he hears so as Christ enters. Thus you see how many ways Christ makes 
his voice audible, and how yoa may hear so as Christ may enter; by which 
the observation is clear. 

Use. Information, This shews the sad condition of many amongst us 
who profess Christ. Many there are who bear the name of Christians, who 
yet shut Christ out of doors, who never opened their hearts unto him. 
Such are they who care not to hear his voice, such are they who are careless 
in hearing it. The light of this truth discovers these to be such as shut out 
Christ. If he enter not but by hearing, then those that will not hear, care 
not how they hear, how seldom, how carelessly, do hereby shew Christ is 
yet without, he never yet came into them. They are not yet under the in- 
fluence of this promise, they are far from the condition of it ; and conse- 
quently without Christ, without life, without hope, without God in the world. 

1. Those who neglect to hear when Christ speaks, who will not take the 
opportunities to hear his voice, so often as they are offered. A small occa- 
sion will keep them from hearing the word preached ; though Christ speaks 
here, in the ministry of the word, if his voice be to be heurd anywhere in 
the world. Divers there are who think once a day enough (though they 
have but this day once a week), nay, so profane are some, &iey think it too 
much; yet such will think themselves wronged if they be not counted 
Christians. Do they deserve the name of Christians who shut Christ out of 
doors ? Let your consciences judge. And do not they shut out Christ who 
will not so much as hear his voice when he calls upon them to open ? How 
often has Christ, by his unworthy messenger, reproved this sin, this wofnl 
contempt of Christ in this place ! And yet tiie thinness of our assembly is 
a sad testimony the voice of Christ is little r^[arded, the reproof of Christ 
is set at nought. 

Can you shew more contempt of Christ than to refuse to hear him when 
he speaks ? And does he speak more plainly otherwise to the world than 
in the ministry of the word ? What ! not hear a voice from heaven, not 
hear the voice of Christ speaking from heaven ; not hear the voice of Christ 
speaking to you, not hear the voice of Christ calling on you to open to him ! 
8hall Christ stoop so low as to utter his voice in all kind of expressions ? 
Shall he threaten, promise, reprove, complain, yea, entreat vile worms? 
And will they not so much as give him the hearing ? Do ye not a&ont 
Christ enough by shutting him out ? Will you not so much as hear him 
when he beseeches you to let him in ? Oh the wonder of Christ's patience, 
that some remarkable judgment does not cut off such a Christ-contemner ! 
It is a sad complaint he makes, that his report was not believed. More 
grievous may his complaint be, that his report is not so much as heard. 

But it is like many of those whom this concerns are not now in hearing. 
Well, they will not hear Christ now ; but time will come, if reformation 

Bit. ni. 20.] invitation to binnxbs. 78 

prevent it not» when they shall hear Christ speak in another tone. No 
more ' Open nnto me,' no more of that ; bat < Depart from me ; depart, ye 
cursed.' In the mean time this is yoor misery, — ^yon shut oat Christ now, 
and Christ will shat you oat hereafter ; yoa will not hear him now, he will 
not hear you hereafter. Here is misery enoagh for them, and grief enoagh 
for those whom Christ sends to them, — ^that which was the prophet's of old : 
• If ye will not hear,' Ac., Jer. xiii. 17. 

2. For comnetion to those who hear indeed, bat so as it is evident they 
do not open, Christ does not enter. It is not every kind of hearing that 
makes way for Christ's entering, bat that described, that intended. Those, 
therefore, do not open, Christ does not enter, — 

(1.) Who hear carelessly, as tiiongh they heard not, as though it were not 
of Boeh concernment as indeed it is ; who hear castomarily, negligently. 
When Christ enters, the blessing enters ; bat there is a carse herngs over 
those who do the work, &c., Jer. zlviii. 15. If they who are negligent in 
destroying God's enemies are blameworthy, then sare those who are negli- 
gent in saving their own souls are much more so, to which hearing Christ's 
voice is so necessary. 

(2.) Who hear it, but not as the voice of Christ. There is a power, a 
migesty, in the voice of Christ ; and those that hear it as such will hear it 
so, so as they would attend to what is powerful and mi^estic. See how it 
is described Ps. xxix. If you hear it as the voice of the Lord, it will be 
evident by like effects ; it ^bakes, you will tremble at it. If you never so 
heard it, Christ never yet entered. It is such a heart which the Lord 
chooses for his temple, Isa Ixvi. Your hearts are not yet Christ's temple, 
you never had such respect to him as to open to him, if you do not so 
respect his word as to tremble at it. He never had such respect to you as 
to enter, as to take possession of you, if his voice have not been so powerful 
as to make you tremble at it. 

(8.) Who hear it, but apply it not. Christ comes not home to your souls 
tOl the word be brought home to your hearts. While you put it off, you 
shot Christ out ; while you do not apply the word to yourselves, as directed 
to you in particular, Christ comes to your ears, he comes not into your 
hearts. If the word abides not in you, Christ abides not in you, he comes 
Dot there. Now it is so fjEur from abiding, as it has no entrance unless it 
be applied. 

(4.) Who hear, but consider not, make it not their meditation. Where 
Christ Is entertained, he is not contemned. But what contempt is this of 
Uhrist, to oast his word behind your backs, and mind it no longer than 
it is sounding in your ears ! Are not the words of Christ worthy to be 
thought of? Those that shut out the thoughts of his word, so as not 
to make them their meditation, it is plain they shut Christ out of their 
hearts. Shall he lift up his voice to the unworthy sons of men, and 
shall not what he speaks be remembered? Shall it not be laid to heart? 
So for will he be from blessing you with his presence, as he will even ' curse 
yoor blessingB,' Mai. ii. 2. Not only those who refuse to hear, but those 
who hear and lay it not to heart, are under this corse. Their blessings, 
their enjoyments, even the gospel itself, will prove curses to such. That 
is the bitterest curse, which curses our blessings. A blessing turned into 
a curse is the most dreadful curse. Tet this is their portion who lay not 
the word to heart; instead of ei^joying Christ, they inherit the curse. It 
is a cursed heart, ice., a heart that Christ never entered into. Though 
you will not think of his word, Christ will remember. Though yon will 
not find time to meditate on it, Christ will find time to call you to an 

74 ohbist's ORAdouB [Rbt. ni. 20. 

aecotmt for it ; for thas slighting him» not giving entertainment to his 
word in yonr thoughts, yon shut hitn ont of your hearts. 

(5.) Who hear not so as to he conyinoed of their necessity of opening ; 
will not he eonyinced of their sin, their misery, which should -possess them 
with apprehensions of a necessity to open ; wiU not helieve hat they have 
opened already, though the temper of their hearts and coarse of their liyes 
testify against them; shut their ears against that voice which tells them of 
sin and wrath ; think this is the way to he miserable, when it is the first 
step oat of it ; look upon him who would lead them to the sight of their 
miseiy, while they live in sin, and so without Christ, as he did on the pro- 
phet, * Hast thou found me, O mine enemy ? ' judge him uncharitable, no 
friend to them, count him their enemy because he tells them this truth, that 
they are wretched till bom again, miserable while they live in sin, because 
Christ lives not in them. 

When thoughts of sin and misery seize on their hearts, they make not 
use thereof to lead them to Christ, they are not quiet till they have stifled 
them. While you thus shut out conviction, you shut out Christ, Heb. 
xii. 18. This is the property of God*s word, the efficacy of Christ's voice. 
And this effect it must have before you enter into his rest ; as the connec- 
tion with the 11th verse shews, before Christ enter into you to give yoa rest. 
Till this conviction of sin and misery have emptied the heart of high Uionghts, 
good conceits of its natural estate, it is too fuU of them to open, there is no 
room for Christ in such a heart. 

(6.) Who hear not so. as to be persuaded to open ; listen to the voice of 
Christ, but obey it not, comply not with it. This is no hearing, in Scripture 
language. He that obeys not, hears not. So inseparable should these be, 
as one is put for the other. 

Then you hear Christ*s voice to purpose, when you are persuaded to admit 
Christ upon his own terms, so as to thrust out eveiy sin, so as to take his 
yoke, so as to resolve upon all the ways of holiness. Till then you do not 
hearken unto Christ's voice, for these are joined, Ps. Ixxzi. 18. And while 
you thus hearken not to Christ, you reject him, ver. 11. YoQ declare 
hereby you will none of Christ, you shut him out. Christ enters not till 
his voice be thus heard. And if you thus hear it not, it is plain yon have 
not yet opened, Christ has not yet entered. 

Pass we from the first condition, hearing, to the second, opening. * And 
open the door.' Hence take this 

Obs, Those that would have Christ to enter must open to him. It is not 
Christ's ordinary way to come in to sinners as he came to the disciples, when 
the door was shut. No ; he requires us to open if we will have him to 
come in ; the everlasting gates must be lift up, &c., Ps. xxiv. 7, 9. The 
Lord there calls upon fajs people to prepare for the admission of Christ ; 
their hearts are these everlasting gates; not like those of the material 
temple, which endured but for a season, but these are immortal, must endure 
to everlasting ; these must be lift up ; he repeats the command. And this 
repetition denotes two things, as we learn, Gen. xli. 82 ; it was doubled for 
the certainty, the celerity of it. It signifies the like here, certainty on 
Christ's part ; he will surely enter if admission be granted. Celerity on our 
part, we must speedily open that the King of glory may enter. 

Quest. But what is it to open the door ? In what manner must we open ? 
These explained, the truth will be clear. For the 

1. Take it in these severals. 

(1.) He that will open must come to the door ; no opening at a distance. 

Rev. in. 20.] inyitation to sinnebs. 75 

All by nature are far from opening. If ye will lift up these gates, ye mnst 
eome to them. 

They, then, are far from opening, who lie down secnrely in their natural 
eondition ; who are at rest there, and cry Peace, peace to themselves, what- 
ever the word say to the contrary ; who are asleep in a sinfdl state, and 
there dream with Laodicea, that tiiey are rich, &c. This was her condition 
when Christ hero calls upon her to open ; and it is the condition of all men 
by natore till the voice of Christ awaken them. They say, as those, Jer. 
ii. 81, ' We are lords,' &e. These are far from coming to the door ; this 
is not the way to open. 

Those also that sit in the seat of wickedness, fix themselves in theur evil 
vays/ will not be removed out of them ; will not leave intemperance, world* 
Uness, profaneness, swearing ; neither mercies nor judgments, neither pro- 
mises nor threatenings, neither commands nor entreaties, neither Christ's 
rod nor his word will make them rise out of sin ; they sit still, they are far 
from opening. 

Those also, who, when they are roused, awakened, and seem to be in a 
fiiir way of coming to open, instead of coming forward, go backward, run 
SDother way. Such are those, who, having some sense of sin and misery, 
some trouble of mind, some disquietment of conscience, instead of coming 
to open to Christ, turn aside to the world, or run to their merry companions, 
or quiet their hearts with some outward comfort, or build up some unsound 
peace upon unsafd grounds. So their latter end is worse than the beginning. 
They ran well at first, what hindered them ? What turned them backward ? 
These are fruiher from opening than before : they run frurther fiK)m the 
door instead of coming to it. 

Those that come but iialf way. Such are those who, having got some 
knowledge of Christ, of gospel truths, and having taken up a profession of 
Christ, and performing some outward duties, such as may quiet thdir con- 
sdenees, and get the repute of Christians, they set up their rest here. Oh, 
but you must go further, else you will never come at the door, never open to 
Chnst. This is but, with Agrippa, to be almost persuaded to be a Christian. 
Yon are yet a great way from the door ; you must come to it if you will open. 

(2.) He that will open must take away the bars, remove those bolts which 
make fast the door. No gate in the world can be so bolted, so blocked up, 
as a sinner's heart is against Christ. Satan is the porter, the strong man 
armed, he keeps the door. There is a Cerberus in every man's heart ; he 
mnst be removed, cast out, else no opening. 

Then there is the world, that blocks up the door ; it is as a rampart of 
earth cast up against it to secure it. Ton must make your way through 
this, turn it aside, that you may come to open to Christ. The thoughts, 
cares, delights, desires, love of the world and the things of it, how do they 
block up the way ! These mnst be digged through, cast oif, else no open- 
ing, no passage to Christ or for him. 

Then there is the flesh and all the lusts of it, every one a strong bolt to 
make the heart fiurt against Christ. A worldly lust, or proud, or unclean, 
or intemperate, or revengefnl ; any one of these, or those many more than 
can be numbered, is enough to keep the heart shut. Each of these must be 
plucked out of the heart ^ it open, if Christ enter. 

Then there is blindness of mind, ignorance, spiritual darkness. This is a 
great security to the door; the sinner cannot find it, and so he is not like to 
open. He that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes. 

Then there is hardness of heart, a heart of stone, as it is called. This is 
a stone wall raised against the door to strengthen it. This rock must be 

76 0HBX8T*S OIUCI0U8 [BsT. IIL 20. 

divided, ihia stony temper magt be dissolTed if Christ enter. The heart of 
stone that has so long oontinned in thy flesh, that has so long related tha 
word, the Spirit, it must be broken that Christ may enter. 

Then, to mention no more, there is self-snfficiency, self-dependenoe, self- 
confidence, self-conceitedness, imaginations and conceits of his good name, 
good meanings, honest dealings, religions performances; the heart is so 
filled with these, there is no room to open, no room for Christ to enter. 
The heart must be emptied of these, they mnst be whipped oat, before he 
make thy heart his temple. This coarse Christ takes with Laodioea that 
she may open. Whatever thoa thinkest, thoa, &c. These imaginations are 
strongholds which make sore the passage against Christ; these most be 
battered, cast down, and the heart laid low in his own thoaghts. Here is 
need of ordnance to make a breach, here is need of those weapons which are 
mighty throagh God, 2 Cor. x. 4. All these bolts and impedimenta that 
block np the way mast be removed, &c. 

(8.) He that will open, mast pat to his hand and lift np the latch : there 
mast be the hand of faith ; this is the essence of the act we speak of. To 
open, is to be willing to admit Christ npon his own terms ; to consent to re- 
ceive Christ, &c. What those terms are, I have shewed heretofore. 

Obj. Bat it appears by the premises, that sinners of themselves are not 
able to open, the heart is too fast shat. There are so many difficulties, 
so mach opposition from within and without, that it exceeds a natural man's 
power, especially since he is without strength, without spiritual life, not 
only unable to do this, but to will it. And therefore it seems strange the 
Lord should make this the condition of a promise, that he should call upon 
men to do that which they cannot do. Why does the Lord call upon sin* 
ners to open, who of themselves cannot open ? This seems strange and to 
no purpose. 

Am, 1. Sinners were once able, but they have disabled themselTes; they 
had power, but have wilfally lost it. The Lord enabled man in his ciea- 
tion to hear his voice and obey it. We all had power in Adam to obey 
Christ's voice, but in him we sinned that power away. Though we 
have lost power to obey, no reason to think God should lose his power to 
command. The proceedings amongst men makes this apparent : if you en- 
trust a man with a sum of money, and he go and spend it in gaming, 
drinking, and unwarrantable courses ; will you not, therefore, think it rea- 
sonable to demand it of him ? Will you lose power to ask what he owes ye, 
because he has prodigally spent it ? Shall it be thus amongst men, and is 
not the Lord as righteous in this proceeding ? He entrusted us with power 
to do what he requires, we have sinned it away ; no such prodigals aa sin- 
ners. But shall this hinder the Lord from demanding what is dae ? No ; 
nothing more reasonable, nothing more righteous ; the Lord has many wise 
and holy ends in thus proceeding. 

It may be said, the case is not alike, for he, of whom the debt may be 
lawfully demanded, did willingly and deliberately impend the money entrusted 
with him ; but the sin whereby our first parents lost the power which 
we want, was not actually consented to by us, for we were not then in 

I answer, A loss or penalty may jasUy and reasonably fiall upon those who 
never actnally consented to the fault for which it was incurred, nor were in 
being when it was committed. For instance, a man has an estate given on 
these terms, that if he be faithful to the donor, he and his heirs bIhaII enjoy 
it for ever ; but if he prove treacherous, he and his posterity shall lose it in 
all generations. He proves treacherous, and so is deprived of it, and his 

BsY. m. 20.] nmTATXON to sinnbbs. 77 

posterity in following ages have no benefit by it ; yet the proceeding is jnst 
and reasonable in the sense of all the world. 

Am, 2. The word of Christ is operative. He many times empowers his 
word to effect that which he calls for : not only demands this, but conveys 
a power with his word enabling sinners to perform what he demands. He 
said, * Let there be light, and tiiere was light ;' he ' sent forth his word and 
healed them ;' he ' works all things by the word of his power.' Yon think 
it in vain to call npon the dead, but if yon conld convey a power along with 
yonr voice to quicken them, it would not be in vain so to speak. Thus did 
Christ : he speaks to lAzarus who was dead, and had bun some days in the 
f^ve, * Lazarus, come forth ;' but there was a secret power accompanied 
ihe voice which made it effectual ; he spake, and it was done. He says to 
dry bones. Live ; but there is a quickening power in his word, and, therefore, 
though he speak to the dead, he speaks to purpose ; he speaks so as to 
make the dead both hear and live. The dead shall hear, &c., John v. 25, 
therefore you need not wonder that Christ calls upon sinners to do that 
which of themselves they cannot, because he has a power to send along 
with the word, when it pleases him, to enable them to do what he calls for, 
though as to their own power it be impossible. You need not wonder why 
Christ calls sinners to open, whenas they cannot do it ; the word of his power, 
by which he calls for this, will enable them to open. He does that by such 
exhortations which he exhorts to ; he puts forth his power with his word, 
when he pleases, and his word, so accompanied, whoever it be spoken to, 
never returns in vain. 

When the Lord intends to enter into the heart of a sinner, he calls upon 
him to open in the ministry of the word ; for he deals with us as with rea- 
sonable creatures, by way of persuasion, exhortation, and argument. He 
not only speaks to him, calls on him by the voice of man, but he puts forth 
therewith the power of God: the voice we hear, the power we see not. 

This is the Lord's way, to speak to our ears, but therewith to convey a 
power to the heart, that he that hears may open. Such calling on us, when 
it is thos empowered, is to purpose, though sinners that hear it be most 

Ans, 8. The Lord may call upon them to open who are not able, that 
they may go to him to make them able. Though the Lord do not always 
accompany the word with a converting power, yet if he thereby convince 
the sinner of his own weakness, it is not to no purpose ; if it make sensible, 
as he, * Lord, help my unbelief;' if he be brought to this. Da, dominef qmd 
jube$j etjube quid vis. 

It is just with the Lord to condemn men for not doing that which they 
have lost the power to do, because they will not be persuaded but they are 
able enough, and yet endeavour not, neglect him who should enable them. 
Are not these the thoughts of many hearts : Oh we can open to Christ when 
we please ; and therefore put it off till hereafter, neglect the means, think 
not of going to Christ for strength ? What more reasonable than to call 
on a man to do that which, being his duty, he thinks himself able enough 
to do? 

Now if this be but the issue of those exhortations, to ' hide pride from 
man,' to bring men to a sense of their own wretched impotency ; if it stir 
them up but to try what they can do, that so, having experience of their 
own weakness, they may go to Christ for strength ; if it bring a sinner to 
know and feel, and say, I am guilty of shutting out Christ, and yet how 
miserable am I without him ! And though life and death lie on it, I cannot 
open. Oh if Christ pity me not, if he break not open this stony heart, so 

78 CHBI8T*8 OBAOIOU8 [Eb¥. III. 20. 

&8i closed against him, I shall shnt him out, and be shut ont from him for 
eyer. If they be but thus far efiectoal, thej are not in vain. They tend 
to lay men low, and shew the freeness of grace, and discover the neoessity 
of it. The promoting of these ends jostify such means, snch exhortations 
which tend hereto. 

Ans. 4. Sinners may do more than they nse to do, than they are willing 
to do, and tiierefore there is reason to call npon them* They cannot <^wn; 
thongh they can do nothing spiritually that tends thereto, yet in a natoal 
and moral way they may do much more than we see done by any of them. 
Spiritual good is above the power of natnre, without Christ no snch thing 
can be done ; bat that which is morally good they may do, and that niiieh 
looks towards opening, though it do not reach it. 

They cannot subdue the corruption of nature, nor of themselves crudff 
the flesh, &e. ; but they can avoid the outward acts of gross sins. Mere 
moral men, we see, can do it, without the power of higher principles. 

They cannot free themselves from the miseries into which sin has plunged 
them ; but they can assent to a plun word discovering their misery, and 
consider and tlunk of it as they do of other things which are of consequence. 

They cannot enlighten their own darkened minds, nor mollify their hard- 
ened hearts; but tiiey can place themselves in the way where the light 
shines, and where mollifying influences are wont to fidl, uid where the Sun 
of righteousness has appointed to rise. 

They cannot meditate, nor read, nor pray, nor hear spiritually; but they 
can attend the ordinances, as they do any other ordinary bufflnesB which 
concerns them. 

They cannot convey a healing virtue into the waters of the sanotuaiy, nor 
put themselves in when the waters are troubled, no more than the impotent 
man that lay at the pool of Bethesda could do it ; but they can wait at the 
pool, and there they are in the way where Jesus may meet them and core 
their impotency, how long soever they have laboured under it. 

They cannot command a gale of wind ; but they can put the vessel into 
'the channel, and spread their sails, that they may be ready to take the 
advantage of a spiritual gale, whenever it shall please the Spirit of Christ to 

It seems veiy hard, and they would make advantage of it, who over- 
magnify the power of nature to the prejudice of the grace of Christ, that the 
Lord should condemn men for not doing that which they have no powtf to 
do. But I take it for an undoubted truth, that amongst those who «re in a 
capacity to use the means, he never condemns any who really do what they 
can to be saved ; none perish who do their utmost to avoid condemnation. 
Amongst the most zealous asserters of free grace, I find none that qaeatioa 
it. None who shall be found at Christ's left hand at the last day, vrill be 
able to say truly. Lord, I used all the power that I had to avoid the miseiy, 
and prevent that dreadfril sentence. It may seem harsh that any should 
peri^ for not opening to Christ when they were not able to open ; but there 
are none perish who do all they can to open to him. Thongh for the wise 
and holy ends mentioned, he may require what sinners have disabled them- 
selves to perform, yet he condemns no man but such as neglect what they 
are able to do. 

Obj, But may not the difficulty propounded about Christ's calling on 
those to open who have no power to open be better satisfied by granting 
that the Lord vouchsafes sufficient grace to all men, as the patrons of free 
will do? 

Am. To grant that the Lord vouchsafes sufficient grace for the salvation 


of an and ever; man, is both agaiiuit Scriptore and the experience of the 
world in all ages. For divers parts of the world do not now, nor never did, 
eiyoy the gospel ; and what grace can there be sufficient for salvation with- 
out the gospel ? Bat we grant that Christ does vouchsafe snch sufficient 
grace, even to many of those who never open to him, as is both sufficient to 
remove the difficulty, and to shew that we are unjustly charged for too much 
straitening and contracting the grace of God. For, 

(1.) We grant that the Lord vouchsafes all more grace, i. e, more common 
assistance, than ever they make use of. He enables them to do much more 
towards opening to Christ, and in order to their salvation, than they are wont 
to use, or willing to improve ; and thereby he is justified in condemning 
those who open not to Christ, because they are able to do more towards it 
than they will do ; and thereby his calliDg on them to open is justified, be- 
cause they can do more in order to it than they are willing to do. If a man 
cannot pay aU his debt, yet if he can do someUiing towards it, it is just and 
reasonable to call upon him for it. 

(2.) We grant that the Lord vouchsafes to those who ei^oy the gospel, 
and to many of those who never open to Christ, all that sidficient grace 
which the patrons of free will contend for, and more than that to many. 
For all the grace which they are for, is only that which they call suasive ; 
t. 0, the proposal of such things in the gospel as have the force of arguments 
and motives, and are apt to persuade those who hear them. For this we 
acknowledge, and also some illumination of the understanding, convictions 
of sin and misery, some common motions of the Spirit exciting the will to 
yield to Christ for freedom from this misery. This is all, if not more, than 
their suasive grace amounts to ; and all this we grant is vouchsafed to many 
that never open. But we say more is needful, and is vouchsafed to aU that 
open indeed. So that we do not straiten the grace of God, we are not for 
1^ of it than they; but we are for all theirs, and more too. 

(8.) We grant that the Lord vouchsafes, even to many who perish, grace 
sufficient to make their salvation probable, and their condition hopeful. 
And this is aU the grace that they pretend to, such as makes the salvation 
of the best only probable and hopeful ; they are for no grace, at least ordi- 
narily, that makes the salvation of any certain. 

For when grace is offered to the soul, they say such is the nature of the 
will, that it may either accept or refuse it, and so it is uncertain whether it 
may yield or not till the event shew it ; for the will (by their principles) has 
still power to resist when the grace of God has done what it can. And if it 
yield to the power of grace to-day, yet it may resist it to-morrow ; if it 
should receive it this hour, yet it may expel it or fall from it the next hour. 
And the Lord, as they hold, never vouchsafes so much grace, in an ordinary 
way, as will make the perseverance of any certain, and so never enough to 
nud[e the salvation of any certain. 

But we hold that the Lord disposes his grace so as to make both conver- 
sion and perseverance certain ; and so as to make salvation not only pro- 
bable or hopeful, but also certain to his chosen, and probable to others. So 
that still we are not ii^jurious to the grace of God by straitening it, but are 
lor as much and more of it than they. And therefore, if the grace which 
they are for be sufficient to justify the urging of those exhortations, then will 
that which we are for as much, or more, justify, and make them appear as 
eridently reasonable, if not more. 

U$e 1. Bsproof. Here is a just reproof for those who open not to Christ, 
and those that open deceitfully. 

1. Those that open not, that keep their hearts shut against him. Oh 

80 chbist's OBA0IOU8 [BsY. m. 20. 

that Christ should eome, and stand, and knock, and call at the hearts of 
sinners ; that he shonld condescend to come, and be so patient as to 
stand, and be so gracions as to knock, and be so importunate as to call ; 
.nse all language, all importunity; that be should command, threaten, 
promise, beseech, exhort, complain : and yet be disobeyed, slighted, dis- 
regarded, denied, rejected 1 Oh that sinners should thus sin against Christ, 
thus sin against their own souls; that their hearts should be thus fast 
shut against Christ, when they are set wide open for sin and for the world ; 
that the happiness of ei^joying Christ, the comforts of communion with him, 
should be thus set at nought ; that Christ*s presence, which he here offers, 
should be refused, when all enjoyments without him tend but to make you 
more miserable ; that fellowship with Christ, which he here promises, 
should be rejected, when aU things else, without this, tend but to bring on 
that woful fellowship which disobedient, gainsaying sinners shall haye with 
the devil and his angels I 

But who are those that open not to Christ ? Far be it from me to do 
this wickedness, will most be ready to say. Something I must answer to 
this, that the reproof may come home, that I may not speak to the air. I 
will shew yon who they are who open not. 

(1.) Those who are not at home when Christ knocks ; whose minds and 
hearts are abroad ; their thoughts, affections, inclinations employed about 
the world and outward affiurs; who enter not into their own hearts, to 
consider seriously, frequently, effectually, what the condition of their souls 
is, and to provide accordingly for their eternal state ; who have no mind, no 
heart to such thoughts, to such employments as most concern their souls, 
can put these off till hereafter, or think of them so slightly, as though they 
were of less concernment than worldly things. A sad thought it is, that men 
who believe they have souls, and beUeve that they shall be happy or miser- 
able to eternity, according as they are provided for in this little time, should 
spend nothing, or so very little of this time in thinking of, in providing for 
eternity ; should let the world, and things of less moment, carry them so 
far, so much from that which most nearly concerns them ; should be such 
strangers to their soul's condition, and so little acquainted with their own 
hearts, and so little employed about that which is within them, that their 
estate, their livelihood, Uieir bodies, what they shall eat, &c., should be more 
minded than their souls. Sure these men are not come to themselves, they 
are a great way from home, and so not like to open. 

(2.) When Christ's voice is not heard. These you see are joined in the 
text : * If any hear my voice.' He that will not hear will not open. Ay, but 
do we not hear ? Truly there are too many that will not do thus much, as 
give outward attendance to the voice of Christ in the ministry of the word. 
The practice of such proclaims to the world that they shut out Christ with 
a high hand. But further, for those who are not so impudently wicked, 
you must know this, the hearing with the ear only is no evidence that you 
open. Hearing is no hearing in Christ's account, except the hearing of the 
ear be joined with a compliance of the heart. Non asm, et inutUiler esse, 
pro paribia habentur. To hear, and hear unprofitably, to hear and not 
obey, is no hearing in the sense of the text. You may hear so long enough 
before you open. If you hear Christ reproving, and be not convinced ; hear 
him promising, and be not affected ; hear him threaten, and tremble not ; 
hear him command, and obey not; hear him exhort, and are not persuaded : 
you do not hear so as to open, yon will never open till you hear otherwise. 
If jou put off convictions, slight promises, evade threatenings, do what he 
forbids, neglect what he commands in the mmistry of the word ; if joa 

Rev. in. 20.] invitation to sinnsbs. 81 * 

eontinne the same men for all yonr hearing, do neither more nor less, no more 
of what is pressed as yonr duty, no less of what is forbidden as yonr sin, 
are no mora affected, reformed, no more careful of yonr sonls, no more con- 
leientioiis in keeping yonr hesrts, ordering yonr ways, serving the Lord in 
jour fiimilies, minding him in yonr aSiEurs ; if thy hearing be to no more 
effect than this, thou art the man that shnts ont Christ. 

The word of Christ is his messenger ; he sends it to prepare the way of 
the Lord, to make his paths straight, as it is said of John Baptist, Mat. iii. 1, 
that he may come into his temple, that he may enter into the heart of a 
Burner, and make it his temple. Now, if the word prevail not, if Christ's 
messengtr be shnt ont, he expects no better entertainment; when his voice 
is not heard, himself is shnt ont. 

(8.) Those who tiiink it an easy matter to open to Christ; either imagine 
they have already opened, though they never perceived it, though it be not 
diseeraible either in their hearts or lives, or else put it off till hereafter, to 
do it at their leisure, as though it were in their power to open when they 
list. How ordinary is it for men to think that it is easy to repent and 
believe 1 The two great hinges npon which the door moves when it opens 
to Christ, they make no great matter of them. 

As for faith, they thiiSc they did believe ever since they can remember, 
ever since they had any knowledge of Christ. 

For repentance. They defer it till old age or sickness. Do they not 
make it an easy matter to repent, who think they may do it when they 
please ; or think it enough to be a little sorry for sinning, and ask pardon 
for it? 

Alasl those men are ftr from opening, who do not so much as know what 
it is to open. They are not acquamted with the desperate wickedness of 
their own hearts ; tiiey take no notice of the stone that is in their hearts, 
and how they are by nature obstinately hardened against the admission of 
Christ. They never were convinced of the necessity of Christ, and of an 
ahnighty power to make way for his entertainment. They never had experi- 
ence of the mighty workings of Christ in their hearts, which they are well 
acquainted with who have opened to him. They hereby declare tiiey never 
jet did so much as try to open, so far are they from having opened. 

(4.) Those who are under ^e conunand and the dominion of sin. Where 
sin reigns, Christ is excluded. While sin commands, Christ will have no 
admission. Those that are under the power of sin are under the power of 
Satan, for he * rules in the children of disobedience,' Eph. ii. There the 
strong man armed keeps the house, and that is evidence enough a stronger 
than he is not yet come. Where sin and Satan have possession, so as to 
reign, they block up the door against Christ. Till the covenant with death 
and hell be dissolved, there can be no consent to entertain Christ. But those 
that are under the donunion of sm are in league with heU and death, there 
is a strong eonspiraoy against Christ to keep him out. 

But where, in whom, does sin reign ? Why, where it is not mortified, 
snbdned. Where it is obeyed in the lusts thereof. When it says, Go, and 
the sinner goes; Come, and he comes; Do this, and he doth it. He is under 
the dominion of sin, who lives in the practice of sin, drunkenness, unelean- 
ness, worldliness, profiming of the Sabbath, neglect of the word and ordi- 
nanoes, public. or private. The Scripture is clear in this. * He that com- 
mitasiniBthe servant of sin. He that is bom of God sinnethnot,' 1 JohniiL 
Not that sin is not in him, or that he never is guilty of an act of sin ; but 
it is not bis deU(^ it is not his custom, hefoUows it not with full consent, 
VOL. n. F 

82 ohbibt'b gbaoious [Rev. in. 20. 

he makes not a trade of it. He that thus sins, the seed of God abides not 
in him ; and where this is not, Christ is not. Those that live in known sins' 
do bat deceive themselves, when they think they have any part in Christ, 
and it is a wonder those that pretend to any knowledge of tiie word of Qod 
shonld think so, Eph. v. 6, 1 Cor. vi. 9. Yon may as well reconcile light 
and darkness, or bring heaven and hell together, as entertain Christ while 
yon live in sin. 

He that allows himself in the neglect of any known dnty, public, pri- 
vate, secret, or in the practice of any known sin, gross or refined, open or 
secret, small or great, Christ is not in him, Christ is shut out by him. For 
he that thns lives in sin, is the servant of sin ; and he that is the servant of 
sin, will think he owes not Christ so mnch service as to open to him. If it 
bd thus with yon, yon are yet in the gall of bitterness, yon are yet in your 
sins, Christ is not in yon, yon never opened to him. 

(6.) Those that have not felt the effects of Christ's presence have not 
experience of communion with him. Whoever opens, Christ will enter, and 
snp with him. He knows what it is to enjoy Christ, has tasted the sweet- 
ness of fellowship with him. Now, what are the effects of Christ's pre- 
sence ? Why, principally light and holiness. Christ is the light of the 
world, the Sun of righteousness, the bright Morning Star. When he 
arises, darkness is scattered, ignorance vanishes, the works of darkness find 
no place. 

Holiness. Christ is called the holy of holies, Dan. iz. When he comes, 
holiness comes with him. The heart is sanctified, purity is no more slighted 
and derided, there appears a singular beauty in holiness. You may as well 
imagine Christ in hell, as in a heart destitute of purity and holiness. You 
may as well imagine a day without light, as holiness of heart without holi- 
ness of life. By this you may know whether you have opened. Then for 
communion with Christ, those that open to Christ taste the sweetness of it, 
an exceeding sweetness, which renders the ways of holiness wherein it is 
enjoyed exceeding delightful ; so that the pleasures of sin and the world, 
those that have formerly been most delightful, are now rank and unsavoury 
to him that has opened to Christ. By this yon may know whether you 
have opened. 

And since it is thus, since all these, &c. do shut out Christ, how many 
are there who fall under this reproof 1 As strait is the way and narrow the 
gate that leads to heaven, so strait is the way, &c., that lets Christ in to us 
on earth, and few there are that find it ; and it is to be lamented, thai so 
many who enjoy the gospel, hear his voice, should shut themselves out of 
heaven by shutting out Christ. 

2. It reproves those that open deceitfully. Many such there are. 

(1.) Those who will let Christ in at the window, but not in at the door ; 
into their understandings, but not into their hearts : such are those of whom 
we read, Heb. vi., who were once enlightened, admit the light, take some 
pains for knowledge, yea, and rejoice in the light; but when this Ughi 
should come to be effectual upon their wills, consciences, affections, conver- 
sation, to purify their hearts, expel their lusts, quash Uie motions of sin, 
reform their conversations in their families and in the world, as becomes 
children of the h'ght, here they stop ; Christ must not enter here, thns they 
shut him out of their hearts. Light without influence, notion without 

(2.) Those who will let him in at the outer door, but not into the oloset, 
will admit so much of Christ, as to bring them to a fair plausible com- 
pliance in the profession aAd outward exercises of rehgion. They will hear. 

Jtmrn-m Oft] nPTEnamm TO KExmsss. 68 

and pray» and read, and discoorse too of religious matters. This is easily 
done, and they get some credit by it; and it stands not in the way of 
their hamonrs, lasts^ worldly interests ; bat for the power of godliness, the 
exercise of holiness, close and striet walking with Christ, in secret as well 
as openly, this they relish not. They will be Jews, such as the apostle 
speaks of Bom. ii. 28, iv r^ l^mft make a show of admitting Christ 
in their profisssion, discoorses, and outward performance, but not tv rtfl 
x^uwrff bat not let him into their thoughts to lodge there, their wills to 
rule, their affections ta be embraced there without & rival. They will make 
a fair show in the flesh ; but for serving Christ in the Spirit, rejoicing, sub- 
mitting the whole rale of their souls unto him, here they shut him out. 

(8.) Those who let him but in half-way, stand and parley with Christ ; 
will accept o£ some of those terms he propounds ; cannot digest all ; will 
renounce some of their own righteousness, but not count ail loss and dung ; 
will part with some sins, those that are gross and disgraceful, those they can 
gain nothing by, or take little pleasure in, those thai are open and out of 
credit. Ay t bat there is some Delilah^ some gainful or delightful lust, they 
cannot live without ii; they say of this, as Lot of Zoar, ' Is it not a little 
one ?* ' Oh let my soid live in it ;' ^ the Lord be mercifol to me in this,' I can- 
not part with it ; if Christ will but dispense with this, he shall be welcome. 
Ay 1 but Christ will not have a hoof left behind if he enter. 

They will comply with some duties of religion, both in secret, and in their 
fiunilles, and in public. Herod did many things,, and heard John ^adly ; 
Agrippa was almost persuaded ; the foolish wgins had lamps as well as l5ie 
wise. They did not a little who profess so much. Mat. vii. 22. They will 
go £ur in many duties, and so as they cannot be discerned from those that 
indeed open to him, in respect of external acts. Oh but for such constancy 
and fervency in secret prayer, such frequency in secret meditation, heart- 
examination, and sel^judging ; for such strictness, and watdifuhxess, and 
precise circumi^>eGtion about their hearts and ways ; for the exercises of 
self-denial, repentance, and mortification : these are hard morsels, they can- 
not down with thou. If Christ will compound with them, and abate some- 
thing of his demands,, they will agree to admit him ; they will yield far, 
thej will open half-way. Ay, but Christ will not enter upon such terms, 
either all or none. He will not. creep into your hearts, the gate must be 
lifted up, else the King of glory will not enter. 

You see who are to be reproved. Oh that those who are guilty in any of 
these respects^ would not deceive themselves as though they had opened 
already, but go about to open I 

U$e 2. Exhortation. Since those that will have Christ to enter, must 
open to him, oh be persaaded to open unto Christ.. Let it not be in vain 
that Christ comes, and stands, and knocks, and calls, and uses- all importu- 
nity to gain admission. If you shut out Christ, to whom will yon open? 
Will you shut out him who is your life, your happinesS) in whom is all our 
hopes, &c. ? Can anything save them who shut out a Saviour ? Can they 
find mercy, who will not open when mercy is^ offered ? Can they expect to 
live, who will not admit life ? Will you prefer sin before Christ, the worst 
thing in earth or hell,, before the King of glory ? Shall that dwell in you, 
rule over you, take up mind and heart, while Christ stands and knocks, and 
is excluded ? Does sin love yon ? was it crucified for you ? or will it save 
yoQ in the conclusion ? Nay, will it not certainly damn you, if it be not 
east out, forsaken, crucified ?. And shall a damning evil find easier enter- 
tainment than a Saviour ? Is there any love like his love ? And can you 

84 obbi8t'8 gbaoioub [Bst. in. flO. 

shew any greater hatred and despite of him, than to keep him out, while his 
and jonr deadly enemy is let in, and kept in to keep him out ? 

Is there any patience like to Christ's, who comes so often, stands so long, 
knocks so loud, calls so importunately ? And can there be any provocation 
like yonrs, who tnm the deaf ear, who will not mind, will not regard ; who 
tell him yon have let him in already, he is admitted &r enongh, when it is 
plain he is qnite shut ont? Sin will not be tolerated where Christ is 
admitted. Yon a&ont Christ, and mock him, when yon say yonr heazia 
are open to him, while yonr liyes testify there is something else roles in 
yon ; while swearing, drunkenness, uncleanness, neglect of the word, ordi- 
nances, families, soids, these cry aloud, God is not here. All his knock- 
ing, calling, has not yet prevailed. Is this nothing to you, all ye that pass 
by ? See if there be any love like Christ's love, any condescensions like 
Christ's, any patience, any importunity ; and see if there be any hatred, 
contempt, neglect, unkindness, like yours. Shall Christ come to his own, 
and his own not receive him ? Would you have him still a man of sorrows 
and sufferings ? Shall he have still occasion to complain, ' Who has believed 
our report ?' Who has hearkened when I have called ? Who has regarded 
when I have stretched out my hands ? Who has yielded when I have 
entreated ? Who has opened when I have knocked ? Shall it be thus still 
with Christ ? Shall he not have a place whereon to lay his head ? Ay I so 
it may be for you, who will give him no place in your hearts. 

Where shall Christ have entertainment in the world, if not amongst us ? 
Where shall he be admitted, if shut out where he stands and knocks ? He 
expects no entertainment from the heathens ; he knocks not, he calls not 
there. He expects none as yet from the Jews ; they rejected his first offer, 
and he took them at their w(nd, and never sought to them since. He expects 
none from Turks and apostate Christians, they have entertained others. 
Where shall Christ be entertained, if not amongst us ? While you shut him 
out, you do what you can that Cbrist on earth may have no place to lay his 
head. Expect you to be entertained by Christ, while you refose to give him 
entertainment ? Will he open to those who shut him out ? Be not deceived, 
Christ will not be mocked. Open to him now, if ever you expect to see him 
hereafter. Shut him not out, who has done, who has suffered so much for 
sinners. Be not thus unkind to Christ, be not thus cruel to your souls. 
Open to him as King, Prophet, Priest. 

Motives. 1. Consider what danger there is in not opening ; what equity 
there is you should open ; what advantage you may get by opening. 

1. For the danger. Take it in these severals. 

(1.) Till you open to Christ, you are shut up in darkness. The state of 
nature, the condition of a sinner without Christ, is expressed by darkness. 
Acts xxvi. 18. Till a sinner be turned, converted, t. e. till his heart be 
opened to Christ, he is in darkness. So Col. i. 18 ; they are * under the 
power of darkness, who are not translated,' &c. ; and they are not in his 
kingdom, in whose hearts he rules not as king, and he rules not in them who 
shut him out. 

Now a state of a darkness is a state of misety, a dismal, sad, wofol con* 
dition. It is frequent in Scripture to express the greatest miseries on earth 
by darkness. It joins darkness with the valley of the shadow of death. So 
sad is this condition, as it is even a shadow of death, of that which is most 
dreadfrd to men. And well may all miseries on earth be expressed by dark- 
ness, since the state of darkness, the condition of a sinner without Christ, is 
next to hell. There is but this difference : that is outer darkness; this is 

Bkt. m. 20.] nrviTATioN to binnbbs. 85 

inner darkness : a hell in the heart, a litUe hell on earth. No hotter is 
your condition, till ye open to Christ, you are even on the confines of hell. 
It is trae sinners are not sensible of this misery, hut even this makes them 
more miserable. Woald you not think it a sad condition to be shut up in 
a dmigeon all your {days 9 Such is your condition while ye ppen not to 
Christ ; and more miserable, by how much spiritual darkness is more dis- 
nial than outward. The misery of it is herein eyident, that those that are 
in it know it not, see not where they are, nor will not believe they are in 
Satan's dungeon. 

(2.) Till you open to Christ, your hearts are possessed by Satan. They 
are cages, not of unclean birds only, but of unclean, of damned spirits. You 
are in darkness, till the Sun of righteousness arise in your hearts. Now the 
devils they are called the 'rulers of the darkness of this world,' Eph. vi. 12 ; 
not only of that darkness of the other world, but of this. Satan has two 
dungeons, hell, and the heart that shuts out Christ ; he rules, he tyrannizes 
in both. You are under the power, in the possession of Satan, Eph. ii. 2. 
You see how they are ; Satan has his throne in that heart that opens not ; 
and this will be your state if you do not open. I told you this soul-posses- 
sion is worse thui bodily. 

(8.) Till you open to Christ, the wrath of God is shut in. Children of 
disobedience are children of wrath, Eph. ii. 2, 8. Wrath is their portion, 
all that they enjoy, all that they can look to inherit, while they continue so. 
And who are diildren of disobedience, but those that open not to Christ? 
I beseech you, consider that expression which I have often occasion to men- 
tion, John iii. 86. It is not anger, displeasure, but wrath; it is not the 
wrath of a man, or of a multitude, or of a king, but of God; it is not a 
transient, fading passion, which, though it be high and violent, may soon 
be over, bat it is abiding wrath. And it abides not at a distance, or near 
unto him only, but upon him ; he that believes not, t. e. opens not. To 
shut your hearts against Christ, is as if a man should shut his doors, that 
nothing should come in or out, when his house is on fire ; this is the way 
to have it consumed without remedy. The wrath of God is kindling in 
every disobedient heart ; it is often compared to fire, and it abides there. 
When yon shut out Christ, you shut out him who only can quench it. 
What remains, then, but if you so^^continue, it will bum to the bottom of hell ? 
(4.) If you open not to Christ now, he will shut you out hereafter. Time 
is approaching when, as Christ comes to you, so you will be glad to come 
to him. He knocks now, you will be glad to knock hereafter. Those who 
will not now open, shall fare then as the foolish virgins. Oh consider it, 
when all your outward comforts and supports have left you, when you must 
expect the sentence of life or death from Christ's mouth, will it not be sad 
to hear nothing from him but these dreadful words, ' Depart from me, I 
never knew you ' ? I called, and you would not hear ; do ye expect I shoold 
hear yon, who stopped your ears against me ? I knocked, and ye would not 
open, and do ye expect that I should open to you, whom you shut out of 
doors f I stood, and ye took no notice of me, and shall I now own you ? 
No; < Depart from me, I know ye not.' See now whether it be better to 
entertain sin or Christ. You would not believe it before, now you may feel 
it. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; you used me strangely, and 
shut me out; what follows ? ' Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting 
fire.' This will be the doom of aU that had rather live in sin than open to 
Christ. Oh, as you would avoid that sad departure, that everlasting fire, 
that woful fellowship with the devil, &c., be persuaded now to open. 
Means. What means shall we mi^e use of that we may open to Christ ? 

86 ohbist's obaoious [Bet. in. 20. 

1. Be convinced that yon have not yet opened to him ; for those that shot 
ont Christ, the first step to the door is to be satisfied in his judgment that 
he has not opened. He that dreams the door is open whiles it is shut, will 
be BO far from making haste to open, as he will wonder at, if not deride, 
those that call npon him to do it. 1^ is one of Satan's deyices to secure 
the heart against opening, to persuade a sinner he has opened already, thon^ 
indeed Christ never was admitted. While yon are fast in this snare, he has 
yon sure enough. If you would escape, examine impartially by the rules 
before delivered. Are you not abroad ? Do ye not disobey Christ's yoioe ? 
Think you it not an easy matter to open ? Are you not under the command 
of sin ? Can you shew the effects of Christ's presence ? Search unpartially, 
and judge of your estates, as you expect to be judged. To deceive yourselves 
herein may be your ruin for ever. Follow the apostle's rule. To know you 
have not opened, when it is so indeed, is the first step to open. 

2. Consider your misery while Christ is without. Let not the world and 
these outward things take up all your minds. Shew so much respect to 
Christ, so much respect to your souls, as to spare some serious thoughts for 
them. Think seriously what it is to be in darkness, in the possession of 
Satan, under the wrath of God, in danger to be shut out from Christ for 
ever. While you think yourselves safe and happy enough in your present 
condition, you are in danger never to open, being not sensible of your danger 
in not opening. 

8. Be apprehensive of your inability, of your unwillingness, to open; of 
the desperate wickedness of your hearts, and their obstinateness, averseness 
to Christ. Bewail this frequently, seriously, heartily, as your greatest 
misery. Let this affect you, that though you be miserable, yet are you 
utterly unable to free yourselves from this misery. When a sinner is lost in 
his own apprehension, this is Christ's opportunity to be found of him. He 
is not valued, he is not esteemed, till the sinner see himself lost without him. 
He comes to seek and to save that which is lost. 

4. In sense of your own inability, go to Christ for strength to open. As 
he comes to thee, so go thou to him ; as he calls to thee, so ciy thou to 
him; and when he knocks, importune him to open. Say, Lord, thou hast 
the key of David, thou shuttest, and no man opens ; thou openest, and no 
man shuts ; Lord, open this heart that has been too long closed against 
thee ; break down these strongholds that keep thee from me ; cast out sin, 
cast out the world, that have so long kept thee ont of possession ; bind the 
strong man armed, and cast him out. Other lords have had dominion over 
the, tihey have made ine miserable by keeping my Lord, my happiness, from 
me. Oh cast out these intruders, take possession of me, and let me be 
mine for ever ! Thou callest for my heart ; Lord, it is thine. Though I 
have dealt treacherously with thee, and given it to other things, it is thine. 
It cost thee dear ; Lord, enter, take possession of it. Thou knockest at 
this wretched heart, oh why dost thou stay so long without ? Come In, 
thou blessed of the Lord, and bless this wretched heart with thy presence. 
Oh it would be still resisting thee ! but break it open with an almighty 
power, and suffer it no longer to shut thee out. Follow the Lord with 
such cries. 

5. Wait upon the Lord in the use of those means which he makes use of 
to open the hearts of sinners : reading the word, conferring with others whose 
hearts the Lord has opened, especially hearing, this is the Lord's ordinary 
way, and that which he is wont to make effectual for the opening of the 
hearts of sinners. This is the way to open, this is the way for Christ to 
enter : * If any man hear my voice, I will come in,' &o. 

RbT. m. 20.] INVITATION TO 8INNEB8. 87 

VnsB we from the ccmditions to the things promised, which ofier themselves 
in two hnmehes : 1, ' I will come in to hun.' 

Ohs. If any will open to Christ, he will come in to him. Those that open 
to Christ, shall have his presence. When the everlasting gates are left open, 
the King of glory will come in. Christ will vouchsafe his presence to those 
that will admit him. To explain this; — 

QuesL Some may ask, Is not Christ in every place ? Is not this one of 
his perfections as he is God ? If in every place, he is m my heart already. 
How can he he said to come thither, where he is already ? Coming implies 
he was not there before he comes, it denotes absence ; bnt how can he be 
absent who is everywhere present ? 

Ans. There is a twofold presence of Christ; a general presence, as he is 
governor of the worid ; and a special presence, as he is a Savioor. 

As to the former, since he is God, he is in every pkce in respect of his 
edsenoe, his power, his wisdom, and other perfections, with the effects thereof! 
This presence the psalmist gives an account of, Ps. cxxxix. 7, &c. ; hence he 
is said to know all things; and to uphold all things, Heb. i. 8. This is his 
presence as he is governor of the world, and so he is present with every 
creature. And in this respect he is not only with the wicked, but with the 
damned, as he upholds them, continues them in being, orders and propor- 
tions their sufferings to his glory. In this sense he does not here promise 
to come ; for he is there, even in the souls of obstinate sinners abready. In 
this respect he can never be shut out, he can never be excluded. But, 

2. There is a special presence, a presence of peculiar love and special 
fiivonr : when he comes as a saviour, as a redeemer ; when he is present as 
a king, as a prophet, as a priest, to this or that particular soul ; when he 
comes in as a friend, a brother, a father, a husband, and shews himself in a 
way suitable to these sweet relations. So he promises to come in the text, 
to vouchsafe a special presence ; which I call special in respect, 

(1.) Of special manifestations. When he will manifest a peculiar love, a 
redeeming love, the love of a dying, a crucified saviour; such a love as 
none taste of but his glorified favourites in heaven, and his excellent ones 
on earth. 

(2.) Of special commmiications. When he communicates himself as a 
head to its members, as a prince to his &vourites, as a husband to his 
spouse. When he bestows the precious fruits of his unspeakable love, the 
invaluable purchase of his precious blood, in lig^t, holiness, comforts, the 
first fruits of glory, and such as none partake of but those that must enter 
mto the harvest, for whom is reserved the inheritance. 

(8.) Of special (^rations. When he walks, and works, and acts in them, 
as in those only whom he prepares for eternal rest, those only whom he 
intends to crown, and for whom he reserves an eternal weight of glory. 

This is the presence Christ here promiseth. Thus will he come to those 
that open. And till sinners open, though they have his general presence, 
yet they shaU never enter into the secret of his peculiar presence. He 
may be with them as governor of the world here, and as judge of quick and 
dead hereafter, but not as a Saviour. It is anoUier kind of presence which 
Christ here promises than ever those had experience of who live in sin, and 
g^ve up themselves to the world. And that ye may apprehend it more dis- 
tinctly, and take a clearer view of what Christ offers, when he says he will 
come in, observe these particulars. He will come in, 

(1.) To join himself to the soul ; to enter into covenant and league with 
it, to contract the opening sinner to himself in an everlasting covenant ; to 
nnite himself to it, that it may be one with him, that it may be a member of 

88 C3HBZ8T*8 ORAOIOUS [BbT. III. 20. 

bim, 2 Cor. xL 2. < The head of eyery man is GhriBt.' He eomea thai he 
may esponse it to himself, to shew it is as near, as dear to him, as the spouse 
to her hnsbend. Wherein consists the nnion betwixt man and wife (which 
the Boriptnre so frequently uses to illostrate the onion betwixt Christ and a 
belieTing sonl) ? It is expressed, Gen. ii. 24, < They shall be no more 
twain,' &c. Snch an intimacy does Christ intend, when he comes in,_ Ac. 
Only it is epiritnal : 1 Cor. vi. 16, 'He that is joined to Christ is one spirit/ 
He comes to give his own Spirit to it And bm gives some light to that 
expression, whereby is held forth an intimacy i^ost incredible betwixt 
Christ and sach sonls, John xm. 21, 22. It is Christ's prayer for all be- 
licTers ; and he prays not only that they may be one amongst themsdves, 
but one with him, as it follows, ver. 28, and so one with him, as the Father 
is one with him. Bat this most be cantionsly understood. Not thai they 
may be of the same essence as the Father and Son are, nor that they may 
be assumed into a personal union with himself or the Father, as the human 
nature of Christ is assumed into a personal union with the Godhead ; but 
that they may be of the same Spirit, that the Spirit of the Father and the 
Spirit of Christ may be in them. Hereby they may become one with Christ, 
as he is one with the Father. For consider him in his human nature, and 
how is he one with the Father ? Why, besides the union of his own nature 
in the person of the Son, we can conceive no other union betwixt the Father 
and Christ incarnate but that which consists in the indwelling of the Spirit 
in the human nature of Christ. Now this is it he prays for, thai they may 
be one with him by the dwelling of the same Spirit in me and them, whereby 
I am one with the Father. The return of this prayer Christ brings when 
he comes into an opening soul, he makes it one with him as he is one with 
the Father, viz., by ma^ng them of one spirit. He joins himself thereto ; 
and he that is joined to Cluist is one spirit. 

(2.) To express his kindness to it. We use to come to our friends for 
this end. But no such kindness can be expressed by the eons of men 
as Christ exercises to an opening soul. Before, while shut up against 
Christ, the soul was under the wrath of God, under the stroke of justice, 
under the curses, ihreatenings, and terrors of the law, without comfort, 
without God, without hope in the world. But when Christ comes it is a 
time of love ; he expresses this love by coming, even that loving-kindness 
which is better than life. He tells the soul, justice is satisfied, the law ful- 
filled, the threatening executed, the curse removed, the Lord reconciled ; 
and that he has effected all this out of love to it. He has satisfied justice, 
he has borne the wrath of God, the curse was executed upon him, he has 
slain enmity upon the cross, his blood has quenched the flame, his death 
has procured life, he has blotted out the handwriting ; there is now no 
curse, no wrath, no condemnation. Oh, how beautiful are the feet of Christ 
bringing these glad tidings of good things ! He was anointed for this end, 
and to this end he comes. ' The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,' Isa. hd. 1. 

(8.^ To shine in the soul. Then may it be said to the soul as to the 
church, Isa. Ix. 1, 2. While Christ is shut out, the heart is a dungeon, a 
place of darkness, a sad, a dismal place, a shadow of death ; but when Christ 
comes, it becomes like the firmament, when the sun shines in its gloiy, 
Mai. iv. 2. Some clouds and mists there will be, but when the sun is once 
risen, this light will shine more and more unto perfect day. Before, the 
god of this world did blind its eyes ; but now * the light of the i^orious 
gospel,' &c., he comes to ' give the light of the knowledge of the i^ory of 
God in the face of Christ ;' the veil is taken away, and now he may» as m a 
glass, with open &ce behold the glory of God, &c. 

BbV. in. 20.] INYITATZOM TO 8INNEBS. 89 

He WB8 *8ometime8 darkness, bnt now light in the Lord.* Oh what an 
alteration is here 1 Even as in one that is bom blind, on a sndden restored 
to sight ; or as one shut up in a dungeon all his days, brought out to see the 
snn. Oh how are his apprehensions changed ! He sees that in sin that he 
never saw before, that in himself which he would not believe, that in the 
world which he wonld never have been persuaded of, that in holiness which 
he never imagined. Oh how does he look upon Christ, his sufferings, his 
love, his intmession, his righteousness I He wonders that he should have 
heard so many times of these, and yet never see no such thing in them as 
he now apprehends. The light is come, the day-star is risen, the sun is up, 
Christ shines in his dark heart, he comes to this end. 

(4.) To adorn it. Nothing so loathsome, nothing so deformed, as the soul 
of a sinner without Christ. CorrupHo optimi est pessima. The best thiug 
eorrapted becomes worst of all ; the most beauti^l bodies, when putrefied 
and rotted, are most loathsome. The soul of man, when created, was the 
most excellent piece of the creation in this world ; but corrupted by sin is 
the most noisome, the most loathsome. The Lord cannot behold it without 
loathing and detestation. Hence is this corruption by sin expressed by 
things most offensive : the poison of asps, the stench of an open sepulchre, 
the vomit of a dog, the mire wherein the sow wallows, the deformity of a 
leper, the putrefied matter of an ulcer, the corruption of a festered wound. 
Pot all these together, and the soul of sinners is a more loathsome spectacle 
in God's eye, than such a compound, a filthy medley, would be in ours. 
Now, is thia a place fit to receive Christ ? No ; but he will make it so ; he 
eomes to this end, to cleanse the soul, to purge out its filthiness, to take away 
its deformity, to clothe it with beauty and glory, that he may delight in it, 
£pL V. 25, 26, 27. He does it effectually, makes the soul a fit object of 
love, so as he can call it his love, his undefiled ; so as he can express love 
to it in such a wonderful strain, ' My sister, my spouse,' Cant. iv. 1, 7, 9, 10, 
chap. vi. 4, 10, chap. vii. 6 ; so as he can rcyoice in it, according to the 
tenor of thai high expression, Zeph. iii. 17. 

(5.) To enrich the soul. Christ comes not empty-handed, he brings those 
trMSures with him that will make thee rich for ever. But what is this ? thou 
wilt say; is it gold, or silver, or pearls, or worldly possessions ? Alas ! these 
are tras^ compared with it, not worthy the account, the name, of riches. 
It is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be 
compared to it. Hear Christ himself asserting this, Prov. viii. 17, 18, 19, and 
chap. iii. 18, 14, 16. But what are these riches ? What is the sum, the 
value of them ? Do you ask this 9 Oh, it is far above me to tell you ; nay, 
the great apostle, who was rapt up into the third heaven, cannot herein 
eatififf ; nay, the angels themselves are not sufficient to express. For why, 
they are unsearchable riches, they are infinite, there is no end of them. 
Dig in these mines to eternity, you will never make a full discovery ; they are 
unsearchable. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, &c. The eye of man 
has seen much, the ear has heard more than his eye has seen, his heart can 
conceive more than either his eye has seen or ear heard ; but eye, and ear, 
and heart, let them see, and hear, and conceive as much as is possible, can 
never reach a full discovery. 

Bnt though I cannot give you a full account of these riches, yet I may 
pomt at them. There are riches of righteousness, of joy, of grace, of glory. 
I will but add one word more, but there is more in that one word than fJl the 
men on etfth, or angels in heaven, can £&thom. What is that 9 Why, it is 
himself. When he comes to thee, he comes to give thee himself, no less 
than himself. And this is more than all the earth, more than all the kmg- 

00 obbist'b O1U0I0U8 [Bey. m. 20. 

domB of the earth, and the glory of them ; nay, more than heaven and earth 
pnt together. Oh happy seal, if Christ be come into thee ! Thou art far 
from want, thon needest never complain ; thon needest never envy the great- 
est, the richest, under heaven ; he is thine, who is more than heaven and 
earth. Gb thy way and break forth into praises ; say, I have enoogh, I have 
all, he is mine who is more than all ; my lines are CaJlen in a pleasant place, 

1 have a goodly heritage ; a goodly heritage indeed, for Christ is my portion. 
Ahasneras his hundred seven and twenty provinces are bnt a small pittance, 
an inconsiderable nothing, compared with my possessions. Christ is come, 
and has given me possession of himself. ' Betam to thy rest, O my sonl, for 
the Lord has dealt bonntifolly with thee.* Thos bonntifally he deals with 
every sonl that opens to him. 

(6.) To reign in it. That heart shall be his throne. It was before one oi 
Satan's dungeons, a cage for unclean lusts ; but Christ comes to make it his 
throne. There was much riches in the former, here is as much honour in 
this. ' Whence is this to me,' says Elizabeth, Luke i. 48, ' that the mother 
of my Lord should come unto me ?' With how much more admiration may 
that sonl say. What honour is this, that the Lord himself should oome to me ; 
that he should choose this unworthy soul to be his throne, this polluted heart 
to be his temple ! Yet thus it is ; Christ comes for this end, to erect his 
throne there, to expel those tyrants that have so long oppressed the soul with 
cruel bondage, worse than that of Egypt ; he comes to make thy lusts (his 
and thine enemies) his footstool ; to whip out those buyers and sellers, that 
the soul may be his temple ; to make thy heart his chamber of presence, to 
walk there, to act there, to abide there. That is the seventh. 

(7.) To abide there. He comes to stay, to make his abode ; not as a 
stranger, but as one that would dwell with thee, John ziv. 28. He will not be 
as a stranger, or as a wayfaring-man that turns but in for a night, but he 
will abide with thee for ever : ver. 16, ' I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.* 
If thou be unkind, un&ithfnl, froward, disrespectful of him, this will doud 
the glory of his presence, eclipse the comforts of it, he will hide himself, seem 
to withdraw, but he will never utterly forsake thee, Ps. Ixzxix. 80, 81, &e., 
Isa. liv. 7-9. When he comes to the heart, he says, This is my resting-place, 
and here will I dwell. Here is a covenant of peace. 

Use I. For information. The light of this observation discovers the 
misery of those that open not to Christ ; those that are so much engaged in 
sin, so much entangled in the world, as Christ hath no admission. If yon 
open not to Christ, he is not yet come in ; and if he be not come in, you are 
without happiness, without hopes of it, extremely miserable. For 

1. You are not joined to Christ ; and if not joined to him, yon are in 
conjunction with sin and Satan. You are not members of Christ ; and he 
that is not a member of Christ, is a limb of Satan. You are not one spirit 
with Christ ; and he that is not one spirit with Christ, what spirit is he pos- 
sessed with, but that evil, that unclean spirit, which fills every heart that 
is not taken up with Christ ? You are not in covenant with Christ ; and he 
that is not so, has made a covennat with death and hell, he is in leagne vith 
Satan. Indeed, every heart that shuts out Christ says to Satan, as Jeho- 
shaphat to Ahab, 1 Kings xxii. 4, * I am as thou art, my people as thy people,' 
&c. They have the same projects, carry on the same design, act the same 
things. * Ye are of your father,' John viii. 41, 44. Whatever thou workest, 
it is the devil's work ; and all thon doest is but a promoting of his expedi- 
tions. What greater misery than this ! 

Besides, till thou open to Christ, he shines not into thee. Till then, the 
blackness of darkness covers thee. Whatever saving light shines withoQt» 

Rev. ni. 20.J invitation to sinnebs. 91 

thon seeflt it not till Christ come and shine within. What says the apostle ? 
2 Cor. iv. 8. Now the gospel is hid to thee, if the light thereof lead thee 
pot to open to Christ. While it is hid, thon art lost ; and it cannot bat be hid 
if Christ be not come in. He adds the reason, ver. 14. This is thy condi- 
tioD, the God of this world has blinded thy eyes. Oh, sad estate, to have thy 
eyes pnt oat by Satan I How wofal was Samson's condition when the 
Philistines pat ont his eyes, and made him grind in the prison-honse, and 
boond him with fetters of brass, Jadges ivi. 21. This will be thy condition, 
till Christ come b, and far more miserable. Satan has pat oat thy eyes, he 
has boand thee with fetters stronger than brass, and he makes thee grind in 
the prison-hoase. Thy own heart is thy prison, thy own lasts are thy fetters, 
and thy work is worse dradgery than grinding. And it is he that is thy 
task>master, thon goest when he commands ; bnt thon art blind, alas, thoa 
knowest not whither thon goest, thon seest not he drives thee on in the paths 
of death. When Israel heard what conditions Nahash offered to Jabesh- 
Gilead, they all lift ap their voice and wept, 1 Sam. xi. 4. Why, what were 
those lamentable conditions ? see ver. 2. Oh, bat maeh more reason hast 
then to weep, mnch more reason have all that know thy condition to weep 
OTer thee. Satan has not pat oat thy right eye only, bat both thine eyes ; 
not those of thy body, bat that which is far more woful, those of thy sonl. 
He has qaite blinded thee ; he does not offer this, as Nahash, bat he has 
already done it. Oh that every one that hears this to be his condition, 
woald with Israel lift np his voice and weep I Or if thoa seest no reason to 
bewail it, even this shews Satan has blinded thee, that thon canst not see 
reason to weep, to bewail so sad a condition. Thoa thinkest thy estate good 
enough, with Laodicea ; bnt even this shews, as Christ tells her, that thoa 
art blind. 

Farther, till Christ come in, thon shalt never have experience of his 
loving-kindness, never taste that the Lord is gracions. Some things thoa 
mayest receive from common bonnty ; bat these, embittered with the carse, 
and mixed with the wrath of God ; bnt the loving-kindness which is better 
than life, thon shalt never taste of. And if that be better than life, is not 
thy condition withont it worse than death ? Make as mnch as thoa canst of 
thy hnsks, then canst not taste of the bread of life. 

Till then, thy sonl is deformed, leprons, loathsome, in the eye of God. 
Nothing in it bat woands and braises, and putrefied sores, full of corruption. 
He cannot look upon thee withont loathing and detestation. The temper of 
thy heart, and aU its actings, both its complexion and motions, are all an 
abooaination in his sight, Prov. xv. 8, 9, 26. 

Till then thon hast neither part nor lot in Christ's riches, not the least 
dram of those treasures belong to thee ; nothing to do with his righteous- 
ness, no interest in his blood, no share in what he has purchased. Thou 
eanst hiy no claim to his person, he is not thy portion. And what then ? 
The curse, the wrath of God, everlasting misery, is thy portion, thou canst 
expect no portion but with hypocrites. Thou pretendest to Christ, but in 
thy life deniest him ; or if thou seem to open outwardly, thy heart is shut 
against him. This is the character of hypocrites, and their portion is set out 
in the place where there is weeping, &c. 

Till then thy heart is the place where Satan has his throne ; he rules 
in the children of disobedience. What more dreadful than the condition 
of Babylon ? Rev. xviii. 2, ' It is become the habitation of devils,* &c. This 
ia the condition of thy soul ; it is a habitation of devils, and a hold of 
every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hatefnl bird ; of that 
which is more andean and hateful than the batefallest birds, it is a cage 

92 0HBiST*8 OBAozous [Kkt. HL 20. 

of tmolean and haiefal lusts. So it is, and so it will be till Ghzist eome; 
these nnolean birds will never be chased away, bnt prey npon thy dead 
and putrefied soul ; it will never be dispossessed of these fool spirits till 
Christ have possession ; it will be the devil's habitation, till Christ come 
and make it lus temple. 

Oh that the Lord would open the eyes of every sool, who will not part 
with sin to let in Christ, to see his misexy without Christ, that thou 
mayest never give rest to thy soul, till it be a resting-place for Christ 1 

Use. 2. For examination. By this ye may try, by this ye may know, 
whether ye have opened unto Christ. If ye have opened, Christ is come in : 
' If any man open the door,' &c. But how shall we know whether Christ be 
come in ? If yon will be .^eted by the word, you need not want direction. 

1. When Christ comes in, he comes as a firiend. This is clear. Now, if 
you entertam him as a friend, you love him. Bnt how shaU this be known ? 
Why, the Lord shews you this by the psahnist, Ps. xcvii. 10. If you love 
Christ, you hate evil, yon hate every evil way, every sin. 

Now try by this. Do you hate eveiything you know to be sin ? There 
is none of you but formerly have loved some sin or other, and lived in the 
practice of some evil or other. Now, do you hate that which you formeriy 
loved ? that which you have been accustomed to ? that which you have 
delighted in ? How shall we know we hate it ? Why do you not act it ? 
Do you avoid the occasions of it ? Do you not nourish it ? Do you not 
thiiJL of it but wiUi sorrow and indignation ? If you still act it, mi^e pro- 
visions for it, run into the occasions of it, coont it a matter of nothing, 
why, then, it is evident you hate it not ; and if so, you love not Christ ; 
and if so, you have not admitted him as a friend ; and if so, he is not come 
into you. 

I beseech you, deal impartially with your souls herein. It is the greatest 
madness in the world to deceive yourselves in a business of eternal oonceni- 
ment. Can you, dare yon, appeal to God, as David ? Search me, try me, 
if there be any wickedness in my heart, my life, that I act, that I tolerate, 
that I hate not ; I am content this sentence shall be passed on me, I am not 
one that loves Christ, I am one that shuts him out Whether you be con- 
tent or no, the Lord in his word passes this sentence on thee, Christ is not 
yet come into thee. 

2. When Christ comes in, he comes as a husband ; if he be admitted as 
a husband, you give your consent. This makes the match, you consent to 
take Christ as he is, whole Christ ; not only as he comes by blood to pardon 
you, but as he comes by water to purify you ; not only for happiness, but 
for holiness ; not only for justification, bnt sanctification. You may know 
if Christ be come in by the temper of your hearts in reference to holiness : 
where it is derided, slighted, neglected, Christ is far from being admitted ; 
Christ himself suffers therein, for it is his image. When he comes, he plants 
it; it grows, flourishes, is fruitful more or less ; there is a high esteem of 
it, a dear love to it, strong desires after it, constant endeavours to obtain, 
increase, promote it in himself and others ; sorrow for the weakness, decays, 
unactiveness of it. 

Be not deceived ; if you be strangers to holiness, to the being, increase, 
life, exercise of it, you are strangers to Christ If enemies to holiness, to 
deride, scorn it, under the names of purity, preciseness, dissembling, you 
are enemies to Christ, he is far from coming in. 

8. When Christ comes in, he comes as a king ; if you admit him, so you 
will be ruled by him ; you will think it treason to run cross to his word, to 
east his commands behind your backs. Briefly, are you conscientious to 

Rev. in. 20.] intitatiok to sinmbbs. 98 

pnetise every dniy that Christ reqnires of yon in his word ? I leave this 
to yoor eonsciences. Is it your design and business to bring yonrsehes 
wholly under Christ's government, and more and more under it ? Your 
minds, to judge of things as his laws represent them, that good, best, con- 
temptible, &c., which he declares so ? Your wills, to get them subdued to 
his will, so as when they come in competition his may be preferred ; your 
affeetioDS, to have them move and fix as he orders ; your lives, to have your 
conversations ordered by him in spiritnal and common affairs ? 

4. When Christ comes in, he enters as a conqueror. Though sin be in 
joa, though lust have abode in your hearts, they reign not. Are your lusts 
BQbdned, mortified, weakened ? Do they languish, as having received a 
deadly wound from the hand of Christ ? Are you crucified to the world ? 
Is that as a dead thing to you, which others admire, covet ? Christ over- 
eomes the worid where he comes. If it overcome you, if yon be slaves, 
dmdges to your enjoyments, to your employment ; if your hearts be not 
desd, crucified to these things ; Christ has not entered. 

6. If Christ be come in to you, you have a high esteem of it, such as be- 
comes him who has the Ejng of glory for his guest. Those that profess 
themselves Christians must needs say they have a high esteem of Christ, 
But it is one thing to say it, another to feel it. When he in the parable 
had found the pearl of great price, how does he express his esteem of it ? 
He went and sold all that he had, and bought it, Mat. xiii. 44-46. 
Christ is this treasure, this pearl ; if you value him, all other things will 
be vile compared with him. Your own humours, interests, pleasures, 
profits, you will part with all for Christ ; you will say as Mephibosheth, 
So did he rejoice in David's return, as his estate was nothing to him 
compared with it : 2 Bam. zix. 80, * Nay, let him take all, for as much 
as my lord the king has come in peace,' &c. Not only part with his 
BIDS, but renounce his own righteousness, that which he formerly made 
the ground of his confidence so as to neglect Christ : so the apostle, 
Philip. liL 7, 8. By this yon may know the truth of your esteem, when 
Christ and other thhigs which you have formerly valued come in competi- 
tion, which of these gets the place? If you had rather displease Christ 
than cross your humours, rather dishonour him than decline your worldly 
interest, rather offend him than abate of your pleasures, rather hazard 
the loss of his fiivour than lose an outward advantage, oh your esteem of 
Christ is litUe or nothing ; it is not such as vrill afford you assurance 
that Christ is come in. If be be in you, your esteem of other things 
will decrease, your esteem of him will increase, it will overgrow, over- 
shadow all ; that which others reject will be head of the comer, elect and 
precious to you that believe, 1 Pet. ii. 6-8. Those that stumble at the 
word are disobedient, will not part with sin when Christ commands ; to 
them he is a stone of stumbling, a rock of offence, their base lusts are 
preferred before him, he has no place in such hearts. 

6. If Christ be come in, he has possession of you. For this end he 
comes to take possession of the soul, and if you admit him you will not dis- 
sppomt him. Try by this. Have you given Christ possession of your 
minds, of your eonsciences, of your hearts and affections ? But how shall 
this be known? Why, 

If Christ be in your minds, they will be much taken up with Christ, there 
will not be so much room for odier things ; the world will not find sueh 
free entertainment in your thoughts. The mind is the eye of the soul ; 
when this f^orious guest is come in, your eye will be much upon him, you 
win be freq[aent and much in thinking of Christ, how full of love, how full 

94 obbibt's asAoious [Bey. m. 90. 

of beauty, how sweet in his promises to thee, how wonderful in his under- 
takings for thee. Sach thoughts will come often, and stay long, longer 
than formerly ; they will be welcome, pleasing, delightful ; you inll think 
of him as of your treasure, your glory, your sweetest comfort. 

If Christ be in the conscience, it is purged, and you will be fidarfnl to 
defile it. You will say as the spouse in another case, * I have put off my 
coat, how shall I put it on again ? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile 
them ?' Christ has taken away my guilt, those filthy garments, how shall 
I put them on again ? He has washed my soul, how shall I defile it ? So 
you will find a greater reluctancy against that which offends Christ ; you 
will be loath to give him distaste ; he that regards his guest will not lay his 
excrements in the place where he lodges. Such is sin in the eye of Christ ; 
and therefore conscience, when Christ possesses it, will say. How can I be 
so vile, so disloyal, so uncivil ? ' How can I do this great wickedness and 
sin against Chriist ?' 

If Christ possess the will, it will be new moulded. The wiU of Christ is 
its mould ; into this it is delivered ; it runs into it. Before it was hard 
and stiff; nor threatenings, nor promises, nor commands could move it. If 
it were fixed on this or that way of sin or the world, whatever was said by 
Christ in the ministry of the gospel, it would not move from its hold. Ay I 
but now it offers itself freely to comply with him : < Behold, I come to do 
thy will r < Thy people shall be willing,' Ps. ex. It yields to what it knows, 
and it desires to know the whole will of Christ, that it may yield to all. It 
was hard before, it was a rock, would fly in the face of bis messenger then 
rather than yield to reproofs, exhortations. Ay ! but now the presence of 
Christ, the love of Christ, has melted it ; it runs into every part of the 
mould, fashions itself, conforms to the whole will of Christ, moves so as 
Christ did. < I come not to do my own will,* &c. 

If Christ be in the affections, they all' attend him. There is love to him 
in all his appearances. There is delight in present enjoyment ; there is 
desire after fuller fruitions ; there is fear of losing, there is grief for offend- 
ing, there is hatred of what is contrary to him ; there is anger that he can 
be no more officious, serviceable, respectful ; there is jealousy lest anything 
should distaste Christ, cause him to withdraw. When Lot had entertained 
angels, how jealous was he lest the wretched Sodomites should wrong them ! 
He would expose his own daughters rather than they should be injured. The 
heart that has entertained Christ, the Lord of angels, will be careful to do 
nothing to offend him. 

Come we to the second thing promised. ' I will sup with him. Hence \ 

Observe. Christ will sup with those that open to him. He will feast 
every soul that admits. He will vouchsafe not only his presence, but sweet 
and intimate fellowship and communion with himself. * 1 will sup :* it is a 
piegnant word. Let me open it that you may see what comforts, refresh- 
ments, privileges, are wrapt up in it ; Uiat those who have opened to Christ 
may see their happiness ; that those who yet shut him out may be hereby 
stirred up to open. It implies, 

1. Provision. Christ has made provision for every soul that will open, 
he has made it ready beforehand. Nothing hinders sinners from these 
blessed enjoyments but their not opening, Luke xiv. 16, 17. It is Christ 
has made a great supper, and he stands and knocks, and says, Come, open, 
all things are now ready. It is Christ the Wisdom of the Father, of whom 
Solomon speaks, Prov. ix. 1, 2, 8, 5. He sets forth this spiritual provision, 
these soul refreshments, by such things as we are best acquainted with. He 
has provided such things as will more refresh the soul than these do our 


bodies. They are all ready, Mat. xxii. 4. Do these things nonriBh ? Do 
thej refresh ? Do they strengthen ? Do they delight ns ? Do they pro- 
mote growth ? Do they preserve life ? Do they continne health ? Are 
they servieeahle to the ontward man in these respects ? Snch, and much 
more, will Christ's provisions he to the sonl ; they will more nourish, 
strengthen, refresh, delight it ; they tend more effectually to promote and 
continne spiritoal life, health, growth. All that tends thereto are ready, 
Christ has provided them. 

2. Plenty. The Jews nsed to make their greatest entertainments at 
sapper, and this may he the reason Christ says not I will dine, but I will 
snp, to denote the plenty of soul-refreshments he will afford those that open. 
He has spared no cost, no pains ; he thinks nothing too good, nothing too 
much for those that open. If we consider the price, what these refreshments 
cost Christ, we shall not wonder that they are so many, such abundance of 
them. They were not bought with silver and gold, but with the precious 
blood of that Lamb without spot. Where shall we expect, where find bounty, 
if not in the King of glory ? It is for the honour of his majesty that those 
whom he entertains e^ould have no reason to complain of want. No good 
thing will he withhold. ' He that cometh unto me,' &c., John vi. 85. He* 
will fulfil the desires. Let the heart be never so empty, never so capacious, 
he brings enough to fill it, to fulfil it. Let it be stretched out by intense 
desires to its utmost capacity, he will satisfy it, he will abundantly satisfy 
it, Pa. zxzvi. 8. The things of the world, get as much of them, as many of 
them as yoa can, will never satisfy, the heart is too large for them. But 
Christ has provided enough to fill, to satisfy, Isa. Iv. 1, 2. The whole world 
cannot fill the heart of man. Christ's provisions are more in this respect 
than the whole world. Here is plenty indeed, Ps. zziii. 6; fulness of 
joy, Ac. 

8. Yaiieiy. There maybe plenty where there is not variety. There 
may be enough, yea, too much of one thing. But it is a feast tLat Christ 
promises. He has variety of ordinances, variety of promises, and there 
are variety of comforts, variety of refreshments in every one. Nay, what is 
it that Christ offers in these but himself ? Now, when he offers himself, he 
offers all. Here is variety indeed. Can ye have more than all, than he who 
is all in all ? When he comes in, he is yours, and you are his ; and what 
does the apostle infer from this 7 1 Cor. iii. 21, 28. Christ only is that 
object, that can please and satisfy every faculty. To the mind he is the 
highert truth, to tibe will he is the chief good, to the conscience he is peace 
that passes all understanding, to the affections he is the most lovely, the 
most desirable, the most delightful object. Here is food for the mind, he 
that is truth itself. Here is a feast for the conscience, he that has slain 
enmity, he that brings the peace of God. Here is satisfaction to the will, 
the fountain of goodness. It need not lose itself in searching for drops, and 
following shallow streams, and digging broken cisterns ; here is the spring- 
head. And here is food for the affections. Love may satisfy itself in 
embracing the chiefest of ten thousand, fedrer than the children of men, the 
son of beauty, where all the scattered rays meet and shine in the brightness 
of their glory. Desire may here satisfy itself in clasping the Desire of all 
nations. Delight may here bathe itself in rivers of pleasures that are at 
Christ's right hand. And when Christ sups with thee, thou sittest by him, 
thou art not fiur from his right hand. Here is variety. 

4. Delicacies. It is a feast, a feast of Christ's providing. You will 
expect no ordinary fare when Uie King of glory entertains you. Here is 
choice rarities, such as the world affords not. * 1 have meat to eat that ye 

96 0HBiBT*8 osAoiotTs [Bkv. IIL 20. 

know not of,* John iv. 82 ; < Not as the world giveih give I nnto yon/ John 
xiv. 24. The world are strangers to such refreshments, as Chnst affords 
an opening soul. A stranger does not enter into his joy. Such fare does 
Christ provide as will not only satisfy bnt get a stomach, snch as will not 
only continue life where it is, bnt raise to life where it is not. Bach as 
taste of it shall never see death : hidden manna, angels* food, bread from 
heaven, the frnit of the tree of life which grows in the midst of the paradise 
of God. Adam longed to taste it, bnt l^en it was forbidden ; now Christ 
brings it into the sonl that opens. Himself is the tree of life, Bev. zziL 2. 
He comes into thee that thy sonl may taste him and live for ever, John 
vi. 81, 82, 88, 86. The virtue of this provision is everksting, it £ur 
exceeds the manna in the wilderness ; that did preserve life for a season, 
bnt it could not secure from death. But he that feeds on this can never 
die, not spiritually, not eternally, ver. 47, 48, &c. It is called water, but 
it is water of life ; he that tastes but a drop shall find it become an ever* 
lasting spring in his soul. He that tastes it need not thirst after carnal re- 
freshments ; he need not go to the world, to the creatures, to draw, this shall 
satisfy him for ever. So Christ tells the woman, Jchn iv. 10, 18, 14. He 
* will let thee drink of the pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, 
which proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. What think ye 
of this manna, of the fountain^: of the tree of life, of that water that proceeds 
out of the throne of God ? Is not this worth your opening ? Would you 
taste of those grapes that grow in heaven, those fruits which grow in the 
land of promise ? And now, when you are in this dry and barren wilder- 
ness, does thy soul long to taste of those dainties which that city affords, 
whose maker and builder is God ? Why, Christ offers this ; he that opens 
to him shall sup with him He wiU set before thee some clusters of those 
grapes which grow in Canaan. He will give thee the first fruits of heaven. 
Thou shalt have some taste of the pleasures of his &ther*B house. Here 
are rarities indeed ; the world knows them not, and will not believe them. 
But thbse that have opened to Christ know what I say. They are hidden 
enjoyments, Bev. ii. 17 ; the earnest of the Spirit, the peace of God, the 
riches of assurance, the joy that is unspeakable and glorious, the hidden 
manna, the water of life. These are enjoyments that differ but in degree 
from those in heaven. And those that open to Christ, that sup with him, 
do taste of some or all these. 

5. Familiarity. Christ will deal familiarly with thee as with an intimate 
frieud. We take it as a great argument of intimate friendship when one 
will say to another, I will come and sup with thee. When David would 
aggravate the disloyalty of Ahithophel, he does it in these terms, * It was 
thou, my familiar.' And how was he his familiar ? Why, it was * he thai 
ate bread with me,' Psa. zli. 9. Thou hast been a stranger to Christ, lived 
without him in the world, at a great distance from him. Thy hafared of 
him and rebellions against him have provoked him to shew himself an 
enemy ; but now he is upon terms of kindness and friendship with thee : if 
thou wilt open, he will come and sup with thee. The mighty Qod, the i 
Prince of the kings of the earth, will stoop so low as to shew himself kind 
to thee. When David would express the remembrance of a friend to 
Jonathan, he thus expresses himself, 2 Sam. ix. 8, It was an ezoeeding 
great kindness, the kindness of God, that David woold shew* And how 
does he shew this kindness ? see ver. 7. ' Thou liialt eat bread at my i 
table.' This is it, and .more than this, that Christ offers; if a sinner wiQ j 
open, he will shew the kindness of Qod to him, a wonderfol, an exceed* I 
♦ Qu.' fruit 'V—Bn. 

Bet. m. 20.] intixation to sinnxbs. 97 

iDg great kindness. And how ? He shall eat hread with me, I will snp 
with him. Oh what intimacy, what familiarity does this denote, especially 
when to one far inferior 1 Mephibosheth, though a prince's son, was asto- 
nished that David should offer him such kindness : ver. 8, ' What is thy 
servant?* &o. Oh, how should sinners mn to entertain such kindness from 
the King of kings ! How should those that enjoy it wonder at it ! * What 
is thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am i* 
What kindness, what friendship, what honour 1 What is this to me, that 
the Lord of glory should come and sup with me ? 

6. Complacency. Christ will shew he much delights in the soul that 
opens to him. This we learn by their posture at meat, in use amongst the 
Jews. They, like the Bomans, had beds about their tables, on which they lay 
when they went to eat, so that those which lay on the same bed, the one 
did rest lus head in the other's bosom. So it is said of John, John xiii. 28. 
So that when Christ promises, I will sup with him, it is as much as if he 
should say, he shall lay his head in my bosom. He that opens to Christ, he 
shall have the place of the beloved disciple. So much delight will Cluist 
take in him, as in one whom he will admit to rest in his bosom. Oh blessed 
posture ! Oh happy soul, whom Christ will take so near to himself, whom 
he will lodge in his bosom 1 Well may it be said of Christ, that his delights 
were in the sons of men, when he will shew he takes so much delight in 
them, as to lay them so near his heart, to take them into his bosom. Well 
may he say, * As the Father loved me, even so love I you,* John xv. 9. 
And yet if he had not said it, what worm amongst us could have presumed, 
could have believed a love which seemed so incredible ? As the Father 
loves me, Stc, There is not an equality, but there is a similitude. And as 
in other things, so it holds in this. Such is the Father's love to Christ, as 
he is said to be in the bosom of the Father, 1 John i. 18, And such is 
Christ's love to thee, such his delight in thee, as if thy heart be opened, 
thoa art in the bosom of Christ. If thy heart be opened, it is Christ's 
banqueting-house, he will sup there. His banner over thee is love, as 
Cant. ii. 4. With what delight mayest thou he down under his shadow 1 
How sweet will the fruits of his delight be to thee, while his right hand does 
embrace thee, and his left hand is under thy head, thy head rests in his 
bosom ! Oh what sensible soul will not be transported to think of this with 
believing thoughts 1 What delights can the world afford like unto these ! 
when, as the spouse expresses it, Cant i. 18, Christ lies betwixt thy breasts 
like a bundle of myrrh, and thy head rests in his bosom 1 Thus will it be 
when Christ sups with thee; and he will sup with thee when thou openest to 
him. Then will he shew as much delight in thee as if thou wert admitted 
to rest in his bosom. 

Use, Exhortation. 1. To those to whom Christ is come, whom he feasts, 
to whom he vouchsafes communion with himself. Be careful to continue 
in this happy condition. Be afraid of whatever may provoke Christ to with- 
draw, what may interrupt this eonmiunion. Be careful to abide in this 
blessed fellowship. Use all means to continue this communion with Christ, 
that he may still feast you, and you may continually sup with him. 

Qu€9i. But what means shall we use to this end, to continue ? &q. 

Am. 1. Make him welcome. Shew by your joy and cheerfulness in his 
presence that you count it your happiness to exgoy him. Let him see that 
yoa delight in him above idl things, that you prefer him before your chief 
joj, that he is the head, the chief of your delights. Set him against all 
other things that worldlings rejoice in, Ps. iv. Shew that you count his 
presence a sufficient supply of all wants. Christ is better unto me than 

woL. n. o 

98 gbbist'b asAoxouB [Bsv. IIL 20. 

friends, ehildren, riches, honours. These are miserable eomforts if I taste 
not the sweetness of Christ in them ; and there is enough in him to rejoice 
me when all these vanish. As too mnch delight in outward things does 
disparage Christ, so does sadness and nnoheerfolness in the want of these 
things. Say, is not Christ better to me than all these ? 1 Sam. i. 8, ' My 
soul shall magnify the Lord, and my spirit shall rejoice in God my Saidonr.* 
Then do yon magnify him when you count other things small in comparison 
of him. Then does your soul rejoice in him when you delight more in him 
than in all outward comforts. Thus to magnify him, thus to rgoiee in 
him, is to make him welcome, and that is the way to continue him with you. 

Ans, 2. Entertain him. He brings provision enough for you, will yon 
provide nothing for him ? It is true, indeed, you can provide nothing worthy 
of such a guest, but something he expects, and something there is he delights 
in and will accept. 

When the three angels came to Abraham, how careful, how active is he 
to entertain them 1 Gen. xviii. It is the Lord of angels that comes to sop 
with thee ; oh how careful shouldst thou be to provide that which he loves, 
wherein he delights 1 Why, what is that 7 1 will but point at it. It is a 
humble, a broken, an upright heart. This he loves, this he delights in. 

(1.) A humble heart. A heart humbled in sense of Christ's excellency 
and its own vileness. He beholds the proud afar off, but the humble he 
beholds with delight, and will delight to continue with it. See what sweet 
promises he makes thereto, Isa. Ivii. 16. None so precious to Christ as those 
that are vile in their own eyes. He that is poor in spirit, though no man 
regards him, and though he do not regard hunself, the Lord has a special 
respect to him, Isa. Ixvi. 1. Those that have high thoughts, good conceits of 
their own righteousness, parts, performances, the Lord will overlook them, he 
stays not there ; it is the humble spirit that he looks at, that he dwells with. 

(2.) A broken heart. A heart broken from sin, and broken for sin ; a 
heart that melts and bleeds, when it remembers how it has wounded, how it 
has dishonoured Christ; a heart that yields to Christ's motions, and 
receives his impressions. A stubborn, stony heart, that is insensible of 8in« 
that is hardened against the word, tiiat is not moved by all the melting 
manifestations of Christ's love, but continues in sinful ways, notwithstand- 
ing all the knocks of the word : this heart is an abomination. 

Oh, if the Lord have broken your hearts, made them tender, take heed 
they be not hardened through the deceitfhlness of sin. If you would enter- 
tain Christ with that which he loves, give him a broken, a contrite heart ; 
this will be more acceptable to him than all sacrifices, than all the rarities 
thou canst provide, Ps. li. 16, 17. 

(8.) A sincere heart. A true and upright heart. This Christ delights 
in. * Thou lovest truth in the inward parts,' Ps. li. 6. He loves a whole, 
an undivided heart. That is a sincere heart that is wholly Christ's. 'Ani; 
d/-v|/u;^o(, * a double-minded man' he cannot endure ; one that has a heart and 
a heart ; says he has a heart for Christ, when his heart is for the world ; 
pretends Christ has his heart, when he has a heart for his lusts. He that 
will entertain Christ with a divided heart, divides himself from Christ. He 
will not endure the arbitrament of the harlot, * Let it be divided.' If he 
have not all, it is as bad as if he had none at all. Give your heart ^oUy 
to Christ ; if you entertain him with such a heart, he will like his entertain- 
ment, it is the way to have him stay with you. 

Ans. 8. Let him have good attendance. If you be careless, disrespect- 
ful of him, how can you expect his company ! Let eveiy part of your souls 
wait upon Christ. When you tender him any service, offer up your souls 

Rev. m. 20.] invitation to bdoibbs. 99 

with it. If yoa tender yonr outward mao, without yonr sonis, in ordinances 
where Christ fSsasts his people, it is as if yoa should bid yonr servant wait apon 
yonr gnest, and withdraw^ yourself; this ift a disrespect. Is not Christ 
worthy you should attend him in person ? Take heed of these neglects. 

Am. 4. Let him have your company^ be always in his presence. If you 
depart from him, wander after others, no> wonder if he depart from you. 
Be always with him. How ? Your mind» with him, by frequent thoughts 
of faim, ¥b. ezxxiz. 17, 18 ; your wills and hearts, by inclinations to him, 
the bent and tendency of them upwards,, a bias leading you still; your 
a&etions on him, as the most lovely, deli^tful, desirable object, Ps. Ixxiii. 
28, 25 ; and with him in your daily converse ; by ordering your conver- 
sation so as it may be a walking with God : Gen. v. 25, * Enoch walked 
with Gbd,' and so Noah, Gen. vi. 9. Labour to see him, to ei^'oy him in 
all, to act as in his sight, to order all for him, to dispose of all in subser- 
viency to him. 

2. Branch of the exhortation. To those that have not yet opened to 
Christ ; to those who have not feasted with him. Yon will never have fel- 
lowship with Christ, yoa will never enjoy this hapless, yon will never 
taste how sweet, how gracious the Lord is, till you admit him. He only 
sups with them that open to him. Oh then make haste to open. 

Quat. Bat who are those that have not opened, that do not feast with 
Christ, that yet ezvjoy not fellowship with him? How shall I know whether 
this be my condition ? 

Aru, This we will briefly resolve, that the exhortation may be seasonable 
and forcible. Yoa may know it, 

1. By yonr appetite after spiritual enjoyments. Those that feast with 
Christ have a strong appetite to those spiritual dainties that he provides. 
He fills the hungry with good things. Do yoa hunger and thirst after 
rigfateoosneas, after holiness, after spiritual knowledge, sAei a clearer sight, 
a fuller enjoyment, of Christ ? You know when you hunger and thirst i^r 
bodily nourishment thore is a sense of emptiness ; this emptiness of the 
stomach is a pain and anguish to you ; yoa are restless till you be satisfied. 
Is it thas with your souls in reference to spiritual ei^oyments 7 Are you 
sensible of a soul-emptiness? Is this your gri^, your soul-affliction? 
Will nothing satisfy but CSirist, more holiness, near^ communion? Do 
you pant azid breathe after this in eveiy ordinance ? Can yon tmly say, 
' As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my heart after God' ? 
I>o yoa sigh and mourn in the sense oi yonr soul's poverty and emptiness, 
Christ's withdrawings and estrangement ? Is this the voice of your heart, 
* Oh when shall I come and appear before him ?' when will he appear, &c. ? 
When carnal men think the Sabbaths and spiritual employments long and 
tedious, whereas they say, * When will the Sabbath be done ? ' is it the voice 
of yonr soul. When will the Sabbath come» that I may see him whom my 
Bool loves, that I may see his face, and hear his voice, and be satisfied with 
the pleasure? &c. Does your soul breathe after Christ in igmjer ? Do yon 
desire the word as new-bom babes, Ac. ? When you can withdraw from 
ordinances, think them tedious, have no more than some £unt wishes after 
spiritual enjoyments, this argues Christ does not feast with you : < He fiills 
the hungiy,* &o.; ' Ho» every one that thirsteth, oome,' &o. 

2. By your deHght in the presence of Christ, and those spiritual enjoy- 
ments wherewith he feasts his people. If he feast with yon, you will take 
SQch pleasure herein, as will dead your affections to unlawful pleasures, as 
will moderate your affections to lav^l delights. If Christ feast with yon, 'd 
you enjoy feUowship with him, the pleasures of sin are rank and unsavoury 


to your souls. Those stolen craters which were formerly sweet, will now 
be as the waters of Marah ; your stomaeh will rise against those things that 
formerly yon have swallowed with delight. The word will be sweet to yonr 
taste. Secret prayer, and meditation, all those spiritual duties wherein 
Christ feasts his people, will be your delight. The provisions wherewith 
Christ entertains yon will make yon vomit np those forbidden morsels, 
wherewith sin and the world fed yon. You will not henceforth count them 
sweet ; you will have no more mind to return to sinful pleasures than to 
swallow up a vomit, or to wallow with the sow in the mire. If intemper- 
ance, good fellowship, nncleanness, unseasonable sports, or any way of wicked- 
ness, secret or open, be sweet to you, yon may fear Christ is not yet come 
to feast with you ; yon have not tasted of those delights which are eigqyed 
in communion with him. 

8. If Christ feast you, your souls will grow, thrive, and be well liking. 
This w&l be the fruit of Uiese spiritual refreshments ; they will make you 
more lively, strong, active, frnitful, in the ways and acts of holinees. You 
will grow in grace, &c. ; go from strength to strength. Your souls will be 
as watered gimiens, the frnits of the Spirit will flourish there. Your haaits, 
sometimes Uke a desert, will now be as Sharon; and that which was a wil- 
derness, nothing but weeds, briars, and thorns — worldly, unclean Insts — 
will now be as the garden of God. The spices thereof will flow out : love, 
and zeal, and self-denial, and heavenly-mindedness, and contempt of the 
world. These will be on the growing himd, you will be outgrowing your dis- 
tempers, prevailing more and more against corruption, and increasing with the 
increase of God. Oh, but where there is no spiritual life manifest^ in holy 
duties, no strength, no opposition, no effectual resolutions against prevailing 
and endeared sins, there is no sign that Christ i^ come in. Your souls would 
be in a better plight if Christ did feast them. 

Thus you may know if Christ sup with you. And if the Lord bring these 
home to your consciences, the exhortation will be more seasonable. If yon 
have not yet opened to Christ, if he do not sup with you, oh make haste to 
open. To stir you up hereto, consider the misery of those who have not 
this fellowship with Christ. If you have not fellowship with Christ, 

1. You have fellowship with unclean spirits. These, though you perceive 
it not, feast with you, feed in you. The heart where Christ is not, is a place 
swept and garnished for Satan, fitted for his entertabment. There is no such 
refreshment to Satan in the world as the lusts of a carnal heart. These un- 
clean spirits feed rank ; your sins are their feast ; it is their meat and drink 
to have yon continue sinning. You cannot provide him any choicer delight 
than unmortified lusts. He sups with you till Christ come in. Yonr com- 
munion is not with the Father, but with him who rules in the hearts of the 
children of disobedience. 

2. Yon have fellowship with the unfrnitfnl works of darkness. Yonr lusts, 
proud, worldly, unclean, revengful, these feed on you, they are always gnaw- 
ing upon the inwards of your souls. You feel it not indeed ; no wonder, tiU 
Christ come you are dead. You have seen vermin crawling in, and fiaeding 
on a dead carcase; this is the very emblem of a soul without Christ Un- 
mortified lusts, like so many vermin, prey upon your souls. The worm thai 
never dies breeds here ; if Christ come not in and kill it, it will gnaw upon 
yon to eternity. 

8. You can have no fellowship with Christ hereafter. Those that acquaint 
not themselves with Christ by entertaining him, by communion with him 
here, he will not know them hereafter. If you admit him not, if he sup not 
with you here, he will say to you, < Depart from me, I never knew yon.* 


For withatU me ye can do nothing, — John XV. 6. 

In the fonner yerses there is a parable. A parable is a similitude ; and in 
this, as in others, we have three parts. 

1. Xl^et^tCj a similitude propounded, under three notions, the vine, the 
branches, the husbandman. 

2. * A««dMri(, the similitude applied, to three parties, the Father, the Son, 
the elect; Christ the vine, the elect the branches, the Father the hus- 

8. Ex^tfi^, the similitude expounded and prosecuted, declaring the acts and 
offiees of the several parties held forth therein : the acts of the Father, the 
husbandman, to lop and purge ; of Christ, the vine, to support and nourish 
the branches ; of the elect, the branches, to abide ^i the vine, and be fruit- 
ful. It is propounded in part, and applied, ver. 1 ; prosecuted in the rest. 
The acts of the Father, ver. 2, two, according to the distinction of branches : 
in respect of the unfruitful, ou^Mg ; of the fruitful, KttddiMgtg ; and the instru* 
ment by which he doth these acts, ver. 8 ; the acts and offices of the vine 
and branches, ver. 4 and 5. . 

I am the true vine, A vine ; that to my members, which a vine is to its 
branches, give them life, strength, fruitfulness. 

True. Not vitie sylvegtris^ a wild vine, either barren, or yielding nothing 
but wild grapes ; but a choice fruitful vine. 

Hutbandman, How he resembles one, appears in the acts ascribed to 
him : ver. 2., * Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away ; 
and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth 
more fruit.' 

He taketh away^ aipt. He detects their hypocrisy, so as they are no 
longer accounted branches. 

He purgeth, %a66upty lops off that which is luxuriant. His instrument, 
ver. 8. ; the word is his pruning-hook. 

dean^ nafia^ht, hence cathamt. Take away the abuse of the word, it is 
the same with puritan, they differ but as Greek and Latin. No shame to 
be called a puritan, since Christ called his disciples so. It is an honour 
not to think one's self pure, but to be pure, whatever others think. 


The acts and offices of Christ, Ter. 4, 6, in that word abide. 

I abide in you. The vine maj be said to abide in the branches, by con- 
veying jnice, nonrishment, whereby they subsist and flonrish ; which sub- 
tracted, they would be barren, witiier, rot, and M off. Christ abides in 
us by his influence, upon which depends our subsistence, life, strength, fruit- 

The acts and office of professors follow, ver 4, 6, abide in me. 

Bear fruit. He uxges one by the other. It is necessary, your duty, that 
which proves you branches, to bear fruit ; but it is impossible you should bcMff 
fruit, except you abide in the vine. This he proves by the same simile 
repeated, ver. 4, and applied, ver. 6. Take the sense of the whole simile, 
and both verses thus : Uie branches cannot bear fruit without the vine ; but 
I am the vine, &c., therefore abiding in me you may bring forth fruit ; but, 
on the contrary (which is understood), not abiding in me, ye cannot be fruit- 
frd. He adds a reason in the text, ' for without me ye can do nothing.* 

Obs. Men without Christ can do nothing ; or, men out of Christ cannot 
do anything : 1 Cor. iii. 5, ' Who is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers 
by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man ?* and 1 Cor. iv. 7. 
' Who made thee to differ from another 9* &c.. Mat zii. 84. I shall 

1. Explain (1.) what it is to be without Christ ; (2.) what is this impo- 
tency, cannot do ; (8.) in what sense they can do nothing. 

(1.) Without Christ; [1.] without union with Christ; [2.] without 
influence from Christ. Unless they be united to, assisted by Christ, they 
can do nothing. The first seems to be principally intended ; for it is vctfffc, 
not c£rau, and %b»f # ; ium is as much as ;^«^0i0fyn( M t/Mni, separated firom, 
not united to : yet the other is necessary, and indeed inseparable. Whers 
there is union, there is influence ; and where there is acting, there is both. 

[1.] Without union. Except ye be in him, as the branch in the vine, 
partake of his nature, virtue, &e ; such a union as is held forth in this cup, 
a real, intimate, reciprocal, inseparable union : real, not seeming and in 
appearance only. There are some who are said to be in Christ, not because 
they are so, but because they seem so : ver. 2, * Every branch in me that 
beareth not fruit.* If they had been really in Christ, they had not been 
fruitless, nor taken away. Those who seem but to be united, seem but to 
act ; to seem to do only, is not to do. He that seems to do only, though he 
do all in appearance, doth nothing; if not really united, he can do nothing. 

Intimate. Abide in me ; not by, or near, or with, but m me. Appropin- 
quation, coi^janction, adhesion, is not sufficient ; it must be insition, inhe- 
sion, implantation. Many may come near, sit down under Christ's shadow, 
join with him, cleave to him, yet be impotent, because without him ; if not 
intimately in him, without him, and witiiout him ye can do nothing. 

Beciprocal. ' Abide in me, as I in you' ; he in you, and you in him. 
Some may be in Christ, and yet not Christ in them. The elect, before 
regeneration, may be said to be in Christ ; he is not in them, therefore thef 
are as impotent as others. They were in him when he suffered, for he 
suffered as a common person, as their representative ; even as we are said 
to be in Adam, sinning before we had a being, Bom. xv. 12. If Christ be 
not in you, as well as you in him, ye can do nothing. 

Ineeparabie. Those are without Christ, who are not sure to be alwiays in 
him ; yet some are said to be in him who may be out of him. The mem- 
bers of the Jewish church were in Christ, else they could not be said to be 
broken off, Bom. xi. 20 ; but not inseparably. Faith only makes this union 
inseparable. They were tied to him by profession, external covenantmg, but 
broken off for want of fiEuth, — ' they were broken off by unbelief, thou stand- 

John XV, 5.] to do antthino op hdcbblf. 103 

est by faith/— except yon be inseparabfy united, yonr union is separated 
from acting, yon can do nothing. This is in the text too. He says not, 
he that is in me, but * he that abides in me.' Separable onion is no union 
in the sense of the text ; it leayes a man without Christ. To abide in 
Christ, and to be without Christ, are opposed in the text as immediate con- 
traries ; so that whosocTer abides not in him is without him, no medium is 
allowed by Christ ; and without him ye can do nothing. 

[2.] Without Christ's influence, concurrence, co-operation, ye can do 
nothing. Not that general influence only, which is necessary both to the 
existence and operation of all creatures ; for without this they would not do 
nothing only, but be nothing, sink into annihilation ; this is it by which all 
Utc, and move, and have their being. But that special influence, by which, 
as head of the church, he enables those that are in him to act spiritually 
and supematnrally, in order to those supreme ends, his gloiy, &c., this 
influence supposes union ; he concurs with none this way but those that are 
united to him ; and union without this would not empower any to act ; without 
influence, exciting, determining, fortifying, &c. 

Exciting, The best principles and habits are as sparks in embers ; they 
cannot bum until they be blown. They are as Peter asleep in prison, will 
not rise and walk, though the door be open, till the angel of Christ his 
influence awake them. No second cause can move till it be moved by the 
first; not grace itself, though more excellent than the rest. It is a creature, 
and therefore dependent, as in sue, so in operari. The apostle thought it 
necessary to stir up pure minds, 2 Peter iii. 1. He in so doing was a 
labourer together with Christ ; he concurs, co-operates by this influence ; 
without it ye can do nothing. 

Determining. Souls rightly principled, if not indiflerent to good or evil, 
yet indiflerent to this or that act and object. This indiflerency must be 
determined, else there can] be no acting; no determinations but by this 
influence. If it could determine itself, it would be independent in acting. 
Nothing else can determine it, because nothing can have immediate access 
to the soul but Christ, and it is not determinable but by an immediate 

Though much be disputed against this determining influence, by some 
who advance the power of nature too much, yet I am forced to close with 
it by this reason : every particular act is decreed, Eph. ii. 10, else there 
could be no providence ; and how should the soul meet with and be carried 
to the same acts that are in the decree, with all circumstances, except 
guided and determined to them by this influence ? Our souls are like 
£zekiel*s wheels, indiflerent to go or stand, to move below, or be lifted up 
above ; they are determined to &is or that motion by the spirit of the living 
creatures, by this influence that acts them. They are like clay in the hand 
of the potter, indiflerent to be moulded into this or that form, determined 
by the hand and at the pleasure of the potter. Paul's comparison, Bom. 
ix. 21, holds, not only in respect of our state, but our actings : ' We are 
his workmanship, created unto good works,' Eph. ii. 10. There is a crea- 
tion which respects acting as well as being ; a creation unto good works to 
walk in them. A pen in itself is indiflerent to draw a letter or a figure, or 
this or that form of either, the hand of the writer determines it ; if this be 
withdrawn, the pen falls and blots. We are such instruments in the hand 
of Christ, he can draw what he pleases by us ; but if he withdraw his hand, 
his influence, we M, sin, blot, do nothing, or worse than nothing ; as the 
pen draws nothing without the hand, so ye without Christ can do nothing. 

Strengthening injhmee. ' I am able to do all things through Christ 

104 man's imsuffioibkot [John XV. 5. 

stzeDgthening me/ Philip, iv. 18 ; therefore able to do nothing without 
Christ, 2 Cor zii. 9 ; his strength is made perfect in weakness, Eph. liL 16, 
Col. i. 11 ; we can do nothing unless we be strengthened with might. 

(2.) What is this impotenoy ? In four degrees take its nature and latitude. 

[1.] It is a privation of power, an absence, a total privation ; an absence 
not in part and degrees only. It is not only a suspension of acts, as may be 
in sleep, but an absence of radical power: Bom. t. 6, 'When we were 
without strength, Christ died f<»r us ;' Ezod. zr. 2, * The Lord is my 
strength' ; nor an absence of part or degrees of power, as in sickness, but a 
total privation, an absence of all power: Isa. zJ. 29, * He giveth power to 
the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth s&ength.' Not 
such an impotency to act as is in a branch in winter to bear fruit, but such 
as is in a branch cut off from the vine, have not the least degree of spiritual 
power to do anything. 

[2.] It is not only a total privation in respect of power, but it is nniversal 
in respect of the subjects of tibat power. Every part is impotent, deprived, 
and wholly deprived of all mind, will, memory, affections : Ps. exxzviii. 8, 
' In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with 
strength m my soul.' 

[8.] It is not a mere impotency only, but an incapacity ; not only want 
power, but incapable with any near capacity to receive it ; not only as a 
branch cut off, yet green, for that may be engrafted ; but cut off and withered, 
no capacity of fruitfulness, thon^ implanted. The capacity is but either 
merely obediential, such as is in stones, to become Abraham's children ; or 
at least very remote, such as is in dry bones, to be jointed and animated and 
made instruments of vital parts. The capacity is so remote, such a distance 
betwixt the power and the act, as nothing but infinite power can bring them 
together ; that power which brought heaven and earth out of nothing, ealleth 
things which are not as though they were ; hence called a creation, * his 
worbnanship, created,' Eph. ii. 10 ; ' He that is in Christ is a new creature,* 
2 Cor. V. 17, Eph. iv. 24. 

[4.] There is not only absence and incapacity, but resistance ; he is not 
able, and he is not willing to be able ; without power, and unwilling to 
receive it. It is not only a physical, a want of power, but a moral priva- 
tion, a want of will ; both unable, and unwilling to be able, and unable to 
be willing. Unwilling, * ye will not come to me,' John v. 40 ; hence on God's 
part, drawing, John vi. 44 ; striving. Gen. vi. 8 ; on ours, refrising, Prov. 
i. 24, Mat. xziii. ; resisting, Acts vii. 51 ; unable to be willing, Philip. li. 
18, 2 Cor. iii. 6. ; we cannot think of being willmg. 

8. The extent of this impotency in this word Mhv, 'can do noihuig* ; 
(1.) that they would do; (2.) that they should do; (8.) as they ought to 
do ; nothing. 

(1.) That they would do nothing, [1.] to avoid the least degree of 
misery ; [2.J to attain the least degree of happiness. 

[l.J To prevent misery, cannot satisfy justice, pacify wrath, avoid the 
curse, escape judgments. 

First, They cannot without Christ satisfy justice. Justice requires per- 
fect obedience ; in want of it, death. That men cannot perform, that Uiey 
cannot endure ; it is eternal death, for the penalty is answerable to the fault. 
There is something of infiniteness in disobedience, at least objective ; there 
must be something of infiniteness in the punishment : punishment is infinite 
in weight or duration ; that which is infinite in weight a creature cannot 
undergo, it would sink him into nothing, therefore it must be infinite i 
continuance. What man is not cepable of in weight must be suppHed i 


dnratioo. None can satisfy the demand of jostice in point of perfect obedi- 
ence, therefore all without other provision must die eternally. 

The proper act of punitive justice, is to distribute punishment, to inflict 
the penalty due to disobedience, according to law. This the law according 
to which Qod proceeds with man, * Do this, and live ; ' perform perfect obe- 
dience, and have eternal life ; and in the negative, * Do not this, and die ;' 
tail in obedience, and die eternally. Now no man since the fall can perform 
perfect obedience, therefore justice is engaged to inflict eternal death on aU. 

Now, lest no flesh should be saved, mercy puts a favourable construction 
npon the law ; dispenseth with personal obedience, and accepts of it per- 
formed by another, a surety, a proxy ; so that, whereas the sense of the law, 
prioiitive and eternal, is tbos, Do this by thyself or another, and thou shalt 
live ; satisfy the law by thyself or another, and the reward shall be life, 
otherwise thou shalt die ; wisdom concurs with mercy, and finds out Christ 
as the fittest person to satisfy justice, both by obeying and dying, as most 
able, most willing to satisfy justice and glorify mercy. So that, by the 
mediation of these attributes, the rigour of the law is turned into the sweet- 
ness of the gospel, and runs thus : he that performs perfect obedience by 
himself, or by a mediator, Christ the righteous, he shall live ; he that doth 
neither, shall die without mercy. 

Now the former is impossible; no man can in his own person perfectly 
obey the law and thereby satisfy justice : and none but Ciuist can or will 
be aceepted as a proxy, a surety. Therefore, all who are without Christ, 
who have not his obedience and righteousness imputed to them, must die 
without mercy, and the justice of God is engaged to see it executed. 
Justice is as a flaming sword, turning on every side to keep out those 
from the way of the tree of life, who approach without Christ his right- 
eoQsness. Justice is our adversary, we must agree with it, give satis- 
faction to it in the way, in this life, else it will deliver us to the Judge, 
&e., Mat. y. 25, and we shall never come out, because it will never be 
paid. Revenging jostice, as the avenger of blood, pursues all sinners ; 
and there is no security, no city of refage, but Jesus Christ. Vengeance 
hangs over your heads as a sword by a hair, and justice cries, as he to 
Elisha, < Shall I smite him '? And if Christ interpose not, his blow will* 
fall so heavy as it will sink you into hell. 

Secondly f Nothing to pacify the hatred and wrath of God ; all without 
Christ are exposed to these, and all the degrees of them. This severe 
affection in God is held forth in several degrees, and all of them bent against 
sinners without Christ. 

DUpleasure, Both persons and actions, all in them, from them. He 
vouchsafes no pleasing look, thought, word; he frowns, chides, smites, ex- 
presses displeasure every way : I^m. viii. 8, ' Those that are in the flesh 
cannot please God ;* not they do not, but cannot. And this denotes not 
difficulty only, but impossibility: Heb. xi. 6, * Without faith, it is impos- 
sible to please CKkI,' whatever other accomplishments they have, or 
actions they do. And why? without faith and without Christ; he is well 
pleased in him, Mat. iii. 17, and with none but in him ; no beauty in per- 
son, no loveliness in actions, nothing that can please him. 

Anger. That is more than displeasure. He that is not well pleased is not 
forthwith angiy : Ps. vii. 11, • God is angry with the wicked every day.* 
No wonder; for everything they do, or speak, or think, is a provocation. 
So, as Christ in another case, Mark iii. 5, he looks round about on them 
with anger. Hos. iii. 11, ' I gave thee a king in mine anger ;* those things 
that they desire are in anger. 

106 man's iMSUFnoiENOT [John XY. 5. 

Wrath. Bablimated anger, fury, the aooomplishment of aogear : Ezek. 
Tii. 8, ' I will poor out my fury npon thee» and acoompliBh mine anger 
upon thee' 1 It flames, boms, and cannot be quenched, Jer. vii. 20. It is 
' poured out,* Jer. vii., upon him and all his. The Lord never says, as 
Isa. xzvii. 4, < Fury is not in me,' till you be in Christ Wrath a^unst 
their persons and services, £ph. ii. 8. ' Children of wrath,' bom in it, to 
it, it is their portion, a rich portion, a treasury, Bom. ii. 6. ' It abides 
on unbelievers,' John iii. 86 ; ' revealed against their actions,' Bom. L 18. 

Hatred, This is more than anger in its height; as Aristotle, it is Marw, 
it is hu fura Xwrng. It does ^oliKtcku rh /xi) intu. Anger would make him 
smart that is the object of it, but hatred would destroy him. Anger is more 
easily allayed or removed than hatred ; anger shews itself with some grief, 
but hatred with delight. God's love runs in several channels, but all his 
hatred is carried to sin and sinners. Christ is the Son of his love, and none 
paftake of his love but in Christ. 

Enmity. It is a deadly hatred, such as is betwixt mortal enemies : Luke 
ziz. 27, * Those mine enemies,' &c. Traitors, rebels to his crown and 
dignity : Bom. v. 10, ' When we were enemies.' No reconciliation with- 
out Christ. 

Abhorreney. Both we and ours abominable ; more than hateful persons, 
Tit. i. 16 ; in works deny him, being abominable and disobedient. Their 
services, those which God commanded. Prov. zv. 8, ' The sacrifice of ihe 
wicked is an abomination.' Isa. i. 18, ' Incense is an abomination to me.' 
Yer. 14, * Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth, they 
are a trouble to me, I am weary to bear them.' Isa. Ixvi. 8, <Ke that 
killeth an ox is as if he slew a man, he that bumeth incense as if he blessed 
an idol ;' and what more abominable ? 

None can remove wrath but Christ £ph. i. 6, He ' hath made us 
accepted in the Beloved.' 1 Pet. ii. 5, ' Spiritual sacrifices acceptable 
through Jesus Christ.' For his sake God calls them his people, and her 
beloved which was not beloved. Bom. ix. 25. It is he that reconciles, 
2 Cor. V. 18, 19. He is the /Xa^r^^ioy, Bom. iii. 25 ; stands betwixt us 
and wrath. The law works wrath. Bom. iv. 15 ; he trod the wine-press 
alone. He only can make persons and services cease to be objects of 
wrath : 1 These, i. 10, * Jesus which delivered us from wrath to oome.' 
Bom. V. 9, ' Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved firom wrath 
through him.' 

Thirdly^ Nothing to avoid the curse of the law of God. All that are 
out of Christ are under the law, and all under the law are under his 
curse; for the law blesses none but those who obey it perfectly, curses 
all that fjEtil in the least: Gal. iii. 10, 'Cursed is every one that con- 
tinueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do 
them ! Eveiy one that doth not ^all things is cursed, and continues so. 
It is a cursed state and condition, all in it are cursed, 2 Pet ii. 14, iv*/ 
xaro^a;. An Hebraism ordinaiy in the Testament, sons, i.€. 

First, Destined to the curse, as Judas, and the man of sin is called wh^ 
&vuXiiaii because ordained to destruction, 2 Thess. ii. 8. So he is mCTQ 
who is condemned. 

Secondly, Worthy of the curse, as rlxva IgynCt Sph. ii. 8 ; and Son of 
peace, wh^ iip^v^i, Luke x. 6, dignus pace. 

Thirdly, Actufdly under the curse, as wo/ ^(irog, John xii. B6, &c. ; or 
Jilii contumacies, Eph. ii. 2, the son of the curse. 

Fourthly, Most cursed^ as 2 Thess. ii. 8, £y^;ftKiv( afiagria^, i.^,, peeaUo 
deditissimu^Sf most sinful, most cursed. 

John XY. 5.] to do anything of himself. 107 

In evexy place, in the city and in the field, Dent, xxriii. 16, abroad and 
at home, where thon most blessest thyself, it shall enter as the flying roll, 
Zech. V. 4, Prov. iii. 88. 

In every part, in body and soul, in every £EusaIty and member, knees, 
legs, ver. 85 ; blindness, madness, astonishment of heart, ver. 28. 

In eveiy action. Dent, zxviii. 19, when thon eomest in and goest ont, 
ver. 19. The Lord shall send cnrsing, vexation, and rebnke in all that 
thon settest thy hand nnto for to do, ver. 20. 

In all relations, that which is dearest and sweetest, children : ver. 18, 
' Corsed shall be the fruit of thy body.' 

In all enjoyments: ver. 17, 'Corsed thy basket and store, frnits and 
cattle ;* nay, the choicest blessings are cursed, Mai. ii. 2. 

WiUi every curse, spiritual and temporal, of law and gospel. The law 
curses all that want obedience, want works ; the gospel all that want faith, 
without Christ, without both. The gospel-curse is more terrible, no avoiding, 
no repealing mercy ; Christ himself cannot bless when it curses, or leaves 
under the curse. 

Nothing but Christ can remove the curse, for there is no removing but 
by bearing ; and no angel nor man can bear it, it would sink aU into hell ; not 
bear that which is due to one, much less what is due to all. If the Lord had 
not laid hold on one that is mighty, the heavy curse had pressed all into 
hell : Gal. iii. 18 ' Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.' 
Bev. zxii. 8, 'There shaU be no more curse, but the throne of God and 
of the Lamb shall be in it.' 

Fourthly^ Nothing to escape judgments. This depends on the former. 
Justice unsatisfied summons wrath. The curse is the sentence which 
jofitice passeth in wrath, and judgments are the executions of this sentence. 

God's dispensations are judgments to all out of Christ. Not simply 
afflictions or chastisements (for these may be sent in love, and made 
subservient to happy ends), but judgments sent in wrath from a judge, 
not a father. There is a sting of vengeance in them till disarmed by 
Christ ; they come to avenge the quarrel of the violated law. All dispen- 
sations are judgments ; for, as aU the ways of God are mercy to such as 
keep his covenant, Psa. xxv. 10, so are they judgments to these. As all 
things work for good to them, etiam ipsa peecala ; nc odtentibus eum omnia 
eooperantur in malum, mala qua fecerunt, quafacere voluerarU, qua per alias 
jurantnt. No question of those which are evil, malum culpa et poena. And 
it is clear of thmgs indifferent, which receive impression of mercy or judg- 
ment firom the principle or intention of God in dispensmg. 

Nay, those things wtiich are good. Immo bona qua fecerunt, in iUis non 
perteverando; vd qua rumfeeerunt, omittendo; quaque acceperunt ffratia Dei, 
abuiendo. Mercies in themselves and nnto otiiers are judgments, because 
act in love, nor to do them good. ' Judgment without mercy,' James ii. 18. 
No drop of mercy but through Christ, if you take it formally and strictly. 
Grievous judgments, spiritual, voZg iMiufiA^, &c. Insensible : when cry 
peace and di^eam of mercy, sudden destruction. There is no escaping 
judgment but by Christ. He only satisfies justice, he pacifies wrath; 
and, this done, nothing can be a judgment ; their nature, their notion, is 

Ohj. But did not Ahab escape a judgment, yet without Christ ? 

Ans. It was but deferred, 1 Kings xxi. 29. And but in part deferred, 
and but awhile ; the deferring of it was a judgment, through his abuse of 
the forbearance. 
, F^Myt Nothing to deliver from hell ; the accomplishment of the i«st. 


He that can deliver from wrath temporal mast dellTer from this, else no 

All are as brands ; must lie in fire to eternity if Christ plnek them not 
ont. All will be drowned in this deloge of wrath that get not into the 
ark ; all most perish by fire and brimstone that get not into this Zoar» 
or fly not into this mountain. He only can deliver your Bonis from 
death, &o. ; no name mider heaven by which ye can be saved bnt his 
alone. Acts iv. 12. It is Jesas only that * delivers from the wrath to 
come,* 1 Thess. i. 18. No hill, no mountain, can cover from his wrath 
that sits on the throne. No man, no angel can secnre, only the Lamb. 
Nothing but fire and brimstone without Christ ; nothing bat weeping and 
gnashing of teeth, nothing bat everlasting bamings, nothing bat shame, 
confasion, and ntter destraotion. It is he that trod the wine-press, there 
was none with him, Isa. Ldii. 8. It is he that drank of the brook in the 
way ; < in the way,' Ps. ox. 6, i.e. betwixt men and heaven. A great golf, 
a vast ocean of wrath, carses, judgments, these keep all from heaven, and 
woald carry all as with a violent stream to hell. Christ, to prevent it, 
he drinks of this brook, dries it up, makes the way plain and easy. 
Bat none else can drink it ; none that ever drank could lift op their heads 
but Christ : it sunk them. * There is no condemnation to those that are in 
Christ,' Bom. viii. 1 ; ' He that believes not,* is not united to Christ by 
faith, * is condemned abready.' 

(2.) They can do nothing that they should, good spiritual ; nothing [1.1 
that is forznally so, [2.J dispositively so, that has a necessary connection 
with good of that nature. 

[1.] Nothing formally so. In general, if they could do it of themselves, 
it would not be attributed solely to God, but so it is. 

First, Not procure or act any grace. This cannot be done, except it be 
given firom above : James i., ' Every good and perfect gift comes from the 
Father of lights ; ' if fit)m men, it would be from below. Eph. i. 8, 
' Blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in Christ;' Philip. L 21, conver- 
sion, faith, repentance, love, hope. 

First, Conversion. None can convert himself: Jer. xiii. 18, 'Turn thou 
me and I shall be tamed,' says Ephraim, who else was as a bullock unaccos- 
tomed to the yoke ; and the church, Lam. v. 12, < Turn thou us onto thee, 
Lord, and we shall be turned,' else not. There are two acts in conw- 
sion : 1. Passive, the work of the Spirit, infusing gracious qualities. It is 
properly a work, but metaphorically styled a voice or calling, yet an ope- 
rative calling ; also called preventing grace. And by this act of the Spirit 
we are united to Christ, before grace, both actuaT and habitual ; for the 
habit is by this act infused, and herein man is become a patient. 2. Active, 
where, by the help of the grace received (Christ by his Spirit co-operating), 
we turn to God, unite ourselves to Christ, obey his call. That cannot be 
done without union to Christ, nor this without influence from him. We 
speak of the first, herein we are passive, can do nothing, no more than the 
air can enlighten itself without the sun ; for it is called a turning from daris- 
ness to light, Acts xxvi. 18, or dead body raise itself; it is called a resurrec- 
tion, so most expound, Bev. xx. 6, plainly, John v. 24, 25. It is Christ 
that is the resurrection, John xi. 25. No more than the world in a state of 
nonenity could create itself, it is a creation. Gal. vi. 15, 2 Cor. v. 17 ; no 
more than an infant can beget itself, for it is a generation ; begotten again, 
John i. 18 ; no more than a stone can turn itself into flesh, Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 
and xi. 19. 

Secondly, Faith. Cannot believe. This we have by Christ : Philip, i. 19, 

John XY. 5.] to do ANYTHiNa of himself. 109 

'To yon it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe,* &c. No- 
thing mast be attributed to as : £ph. ii., < Through faiili, not of ourselyes ; 
it is the 1^ of God.' All must be attributed to Christ : Heb. zii. 2, he is ' the 
author and finisher.' It is the gill of God indeed, may some say, but man 
may contribute something to obtain it; as riehes are his gift, &c. No, says the 
apoBtle, it is so his gift as. not of ourselves. But though all in faith be not, 
yet some part. No, it is all from Christ ; he is the author and finisher. 
1 Cor. xii. 8, ' No man calls Jesus Lord, but by help of the Holy Ghost.' 
Bat (may be) all men are not excluded, such only as are sottish, brutish, 
improve not nature and reason. No ; all are excluded, says Christ : John 
ri. 44, ' No man comes to me except the Father draw.' Every man 
mngt be drawn, or else none will come, will believe ; for coming is beKeving, 
John \L 85. But (may be) this drawing is but suasion, some such act in 
God as supposes power in man to believe, if the duty be but declared and 
urged with moving arguments. No, it is a powerful drawing ; God puts 
forth an infinite power in drawing. So impotent, so averse is every man to 
faith, as nothing can prevail but the working of the exceeding greatness of 
his mighty power ; as great, as mighty as was requisite to raise Christ from 
the d^, and set him at his right hand, in despite of all the opposition that 
principalities and powers could make, Eph. i. 19, 20. 

Thirdly, Repentance. Man, without Christ, cannot repent : Acts v. 81, 
'Him has God exalted to be a prince and a Saviour, to give repentance.' It 
is Christ's gift. He gives it as a prince ; to none, therefore, but his sub- 
jects, those who are in his kingdom, those in whom he rules. 

Nothing ean draw men to repentance but the regal power of Christ, that 
power which he exercises at God's right hand. For the acts of repentance 
are hatred of sin, sorrow for it, resolution to forsake it, and endeavour its 
rain. Now sin is so transcendently dear, lovely, and delightful to a man out 
of Christ, as nothing but an infinite power can draw him to these acts. He 
loves it, delights in it more than anything in heaven and earth. 

More than liberty. He gives up himself wholly, willingly to be its ser- 
vant, its skve ; when the jubilee is proclaimed, will have his ear bored. 

More than time, strength, health, riches ; spends all these upon sin. Ex- 
perience tells us he is prodigal of these in whoredom, drunkenness. 

More than his own body, members of it. Lusts are called members, Col. 
iii. 5 ; the principal members, eye, hand ; most useful, right eye, right hand. 

More than his soul. What is the reason the greatest part of the world 
lose their souls ? Because they will not lose their sins to save them. « The 
Lord makes this proposition. Whether will you lose your souls or your sins ? 
The m^or part by far vote for their sins, and lose their souls merely on that 

Bin is a man's self. ' Let a man deny himself,' t. e, his sins. It is 
dearer to him than his whole self, body and soul, and the eternal well being 
of both ; he will suffer both to be cast into hell, and there be eternally tor- 
mented, rather than part with one beloved lust. 

It is dearer to them than Christ, the Spirit, the Father, &c. 

Now since every man naturally does ^us doat, is thus mad upon sin, 
what can turn such transcendent love into hatred, such intense del^ht into 
soROw ? None but Christ his power. What can divorce a man from him- 
self ? What can make him with indignation cast away that which is dearer 
to him than eye, hand, soul, but the effectual working of infinite power ? 

Oh it IB a mad, a dangerous mistake, to think you can repent when you 
list, and so defer it to your deathbed. Oh, repentance is not at your book, 
it is the gift of God, and it costs him the expense of an infinite power to 

110 1CAN*8 ZNS07PIGIXNOT [JoHR XY. 5. 

work it when jou are in health, strength, and heat disposed. What will it 
require when dying ? will yon pnt off such a difficult work till yon haYe no 
strength ? think to torn fix>m sin when yon cannot torn in yonr heds ? It 
is CShrist's gift, and he gives it to few ; to them, before it is given, it is a 
peradventure : 2 Tim. ii. 26, ' If God peradventore will give them repent- 
ance.' We read not that ever he gave it any at that time bat one. Will 
yon leave your eternal salvation at an t/, at tk peradventure f It is ten thou- 
sand to one yon never repent if you defer it. There is nothing to ground 
hopes on, much against it. 

Fourthly, Love. One out of Christ cannot love Christ, neither amore 
benefieentia nor complaeentia Not for what he does ; for no special fisivour, 
no spiritual blessing is vouchsafed but in Christ, Eph. i. ; nor for what he 
is, for out of Christ he sees no beauty, tastes no sweetness, though there be 
nothing else in him ; he knows him not, he sees no beauty nor comeliness 
that he should desire him. Christ is either a stumbling-block or foolishness ; 
he never manifests himself but when he comes to make his abode, John 
ziv. 21, 28. Nor does he taste any sweetness in him ; none taste the Lord 
as gracious but those that come to him as a living stone, &c., 1 Peter ii. 8-5. 
He must lie in your bosoms as a bundle of myrrh. No grounds of love, 
interest, likeness, bve. 

Fifthly, Hope. Out of Christ, without hope, Eph. ii. 12 ; Col. i. 27. 
* Christ in you the hope of glory.' If you be not in Christ, he is not in you, 
and then no hope of glory. All other grounds, civility, morality, external 
acts of charity, piety, are but sand, and what then will become of the house? 
Mat. vii. 27 ; Job zi. 20, ' Your hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost;' 
no lively hope. Christ is the life of it : 1 Peter i. 8, ' Begotten again.' 
There is no more hope of heaven without Christ, than hope of a man's life 
that is giving up the ghost. Hope in Christ is as an anchor, Heb. vi. 19, 20, 
fastenc^i within the veil, t. e. in heaven, upon Christ gone thither for that 
purpose, as the high priest into the sanctuary. All other hope is as a 
spider's web. Job viii. 18-16. The hypocrite, those who come nearest 
Christ, those who seem to be in him, who profess so to others, and some- 
times think so themselves, yet because not in him, without hope ; seeming 
union, seeming hope. Those that forget God, the proper character of those 
who are out of Christ and continue so ; for if they did remember God, how 
dreadful, how terrible he is, a consuming fire, a revenging judge, an enraged 
enemy, they durst not so continue. 

Secondly, Cannot subdue any lust. Jer. xiii. 28, 'Can the Ethiopian 
change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? ' &c. These may be painted or 
covered, but not changed. One out of Christ may restrain the outward acts, 
but not mortify the principle. There can be no formal opposition of sin in 
such a one, much less victory. Contrary qualities oppose one another in the 
same subject, as heat and cold. In water, the natural coldness strives with 
the heat it has from the fire, till it have reduced it to its natural temper; 
but when the whole subject is possessed by one quality, there is no conten- 
tion. Sin possesses the whole soul, there is no room for grace until Christ 
make it ; the strong man armed keeps the house, all is quiet, nothing to 
make opposition. 

If there were any, yet no hopes of prevailing without Christ, he only is 
able to conquer sin ; its power transcends all the power in heaven and earth 
but his. All the power of the creatures, the whole world of natimd men, are 
subdued by it, and made its slaves . Sin rei^ over all, the whole world 
lies in wickedness, fettered, captivated. 

There is more strength in a saint to wrestle with sin than in all the nata- 

John XY. 5.] to do antthino of musELr. Ill 

ral men in the world ; yet Bin has been too strong for any saint that ever 
Hved, it has foiled them, they have fallen one time or other. 

There was more in Adam, while innocent, to resist sin, than in any saint 
since ; for sin has a party within them, so as they are divided, wealsened, 
and often betrayed by sin within to temptation without. But sin had no 
soeh advantage over Adam, yet it overthrew him. 

. The angels were (bt more able to withstand sin than Adam, had more 
excellent nature, more capacious of grace, and nearer to God ; yet sin pre- 
vailed against them, cast them out of heaven into hell, transformed angels 
into dBvhat and keeps them in chains of darkness. The devil is as much a 
slave to sin an a sinihl man is to him, led captive at its will ; sin says to 
one, Go, and he goes, &c. 

If neither reason, nor holiness, nor innocence, nor perfection, in man or 
angel, can resist sin, what power, then, is requisite to subdue it ? Even the 
power of him to whom all power is given. It is he that leads captivity 
captive ; it is he only that conquered all, and makes his people conquerors. 

8. Cannot improve any ordinance, either to God*s glory or their soul's 
good ; not hear, pray, communicate. 

Hear, They are deaf, Isa. xliii. 8, have ears, and are deaf. Compared 
to the deaf adder, Ps. Iviii. 4, neither can, nor will hear. But deaf, and 
stop their ears. So stopped as none can open them but Christ. Isaiah, 
prophesying of the flourishing kingdom of Christ, chap. xxzv. 6, says, * The 
ears of the deaf shall be unstopi^.' Till Christ open the ear, and by it 
enter into the heart, till he spei^ a quickening, awakening word, all hearing 
is no hearing, to no purpose ; though an apostle, an angel, Christ himself 
preach, it is not an engrailed word till it be an engrafting word ; till then 
there is no ground to believe but it is the savour of death, 2 Cor. ii. 16. 

Pray, How can they call on him of whom they have not heard? They 
cannot call Jesus Lord without the Spirit, 1 Cor. xii. 8 ; sure then they cannot 
call on Jesus. ' Behold he prays,' it is said of Paul, Acts is. 11. He 
thought he prayed before, but he did not so in God's account. God counts 
thai which you call prayer, without heat and life from Christ's Spirit, to be 
vain babblings, a pro&nation of his name, taking it in vain, no better than 
the howling of dogs, Hosea vii. 14. No odour sweet, but what Christ 
offers. Rev. viii. 8. It is else an abomination. It is an offering a strange 
&rey because not kindled from heaven. It is a wonder ye are not struck 
deady burned, Lev. z. 2. Prayers are a sacrifice evangelical. It is essential 
to a sacrifice to be offered by a priest. Christ is the only priest under the 
gospel ; those that offer without a priest may expect Uzziah's doom. 

Obj. If prayer and hearing be so sinful, it is best to omit them. 

Jfu. Though a man without Christ be in such a dangerous condition, as 
whatever he doth be sin, yet some sins are more heinous. He sins in pray- 
ing, but more not to pray; he sins in hearing, but more grievously in refosing 
to hear. Those services are so acceptable to God, as he is pleased to 
enconrage and reward the resemblance of them, as in Ahab, Nineveh ; may 
defer judgments here, and make future torments more tolerable ; while they 
use the means, they are in the way wherein Christ works. 

CommunUats. Out of Christ they do it unworthily. The sinfulness and 
danger of that, see 1 Cor. xi. 29, ' eateth and drinketh damnation,' to judg* 
meat temporal, or eternal, or both. It is a sign and seal indeed, but a sign 
of Ck)d's indignation, and a seal of God's cnree, and to some a seal of 
damnation. Those that are in Christ, eat judgment, if unworthily; those 
thai are oat of Christ, and continue so, eat damnation. God sometimes 
inflicts temporal judgments, yea, death itself, on saints: ver. 80, 'Many 


sleep.' But he will inflict eternal jadgmente, eternal death on others : 
Ter. 27, * Whosoever eat this bread, &c,, nnworihily, shall be guilty of the 
body and blood of the Lord,* i.e. guilty of some such sin as the Jews, who 
wounded the body, and spilt the blood of Christ ; crucify him, or pat him 
to an open shame. Guilty of high treason against the King of glory, pros- 
tituting him in a vile and shameless manner, as Heb. x. 29, ' Tread the 
Son of God under foot, and count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing/ 
Such communicating is most horrible profaning of the most preoioas Uood 
of Christ. Out of Christ ye are no better, in God's account, than dogs and 
swine, Mat. vii. 6, Philip, iii. 2, Bev. zzii. 15. When they receive the 
body of Christ, ue. that which represents it, it is cast under the &et of 
swine, and his blood given to be licked by dogs. Outrageous sinners, as 
much as they can, execute that on Christ which the Lord threatened on 
Ahab and Jezebel : ' The dogs shall eat Jezebel,' ' the dogs shall lick Ahab's 
blood,' 2 Kings iz. 10. This is to * give children's brcHid to dogs,' Mat 
XV. 26. He that comes hither without Christ, comes without the wedding* 
garment. Mat. xxii. 11. See his doom, ver. 18, ' Bind him hand and foot, 
and cast him into outer darkness.' 

4. Cannot remove any spiritual distemper. Darkness out of their minds, 
hardness out of their heart, senselessness or terrors out of the conacieDce, 
disorder out of the affections. For the removing of these seem something 
like to miracles, and require such a power to effect them, as those acts 
which the Scripture relates as miracles, such a power to enlighten the mind, 
as at first to bring light out of darkness, or give sight to him that was bom 
blind ; as much to pacify a terrified conscience, as to still the tempestuous 
winds and raging seas ; to mollify a hard, stony heart, as to bring water oat 
of the rock ; to order the affections, as to joint dry bones; to make a carnal 
fimcy spiritual, as to turn water into wine ; to subdue a rebellious appetite, 
as to cure the possessed with the raging spirit; to cast Satan out of the soul, 
as out of the body ; to purify the heart, as cleanse lepers. 

A miracle is when something is done, 1, ex nihUo; 2, in mbjecto inhabili; 
8, sine mediis prapnis ; out of nothing ; in a subject altogether indisposed ; 
without proper means. 

Ex nihilo. These are such spiritual qualities as are created, not educed, 
e poterUia materia, depend not on matter, as the sounder schoolmen. 

Subjecto inhabili. If any disposedness, so remote, as no natural means, 
nothing but God, can bring into act. There is a total privation, both of act 
and power, proxima, and from such a privation there is no regress to the 
habit, but by extraordinary power. 

Sine mediis propriisj such as have no native virtue or aptitude to attain 
the end, as clay to open the eyes. 

The means used by God, 1, have no proper tendency to these ends and 
efieots ; all they have is by institution. They are not appointed because 
they are effectual means, but are fit means because they are appointed. 

2. They have no efficacy but by divine influence. They have not any 
natural virtue in Uiemselves ; what they have is ab extrinseco, firom divine 
assistance and co-operation. God appointed such on purpose to gk>rify his 
power, and take us off firom dependence on means. What virtue in the 
foolishness of preaching to mi^ wise to salvation ; in the word to 
quicken, regenerate, sanctify ? It was not Christ's word to the dead man, 
but his invisible power, that raised him, Luke vii., so to the sick of the 
palsy. It is but verbum significadimm of itself, it is factivum by oo-oparataon, 
sigmfies something of itsdif, but effects nothing without eonenrrence. It is 
but a passive, not a co-operative instrument. It works but pmr modum 

JoHV XY. 5.] TO DO janrTHma of HmaBLF. 113 

objeait and fin object has no aotiva power per agio wofk upon the organ ; 
it ifl only an occasion of working, which soma force in or about the organ 
makes use of (PeinbU), Means that hare a native power, when fitly and skil- 
Mj appiiedt do always produce their effects, bat not when hindered by some 
extraordinary indisposition. The word, though most seasonably and skilfully 
applied, many times works nothing; that which makes it efficacious is absent, 
not in itself. Those work always, equally, in all alike disposed, not these. 
Therefore these being so like miracles, require an infinite power, cannot be 
iwnOTed hot by Ohirst. If there be a dark mind, it must continue so for 
ever, except Christ enlighten it. Christ was sent to this end. 

8. Out of Christ men can do nothing as they ought. A clear demonstra- 
tion. They can do nothing but sin, Ergo^ either what they do is sinfiil, or 
if lawfiil in itself, yet they do it sinfully. Take <io in its latitude, as com- 
pnfling thonghts and woids, and all sorts of actions, and they are sin or 

(1.) Thoughts. They are thoughts of iniquity, Isa. liz. 7, yea, the most 
provoking iniquity, abomination, I^ov. xv. 26. Ail, and always. Gen. vi. 5. 
(2.) Words. No good word can proceed from an evil heart : Mat. xii. 
84> 85,< How can ye, being evil, speak good things ? The evil man, out of the 
evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth evil things.' The firuit will be like 
the tree, ver. 88. Ye cannot expect grapes of thorns, Mat. vii. 16. They 
will be vain, idle, poisonous, worldly, or worse. There must be a new root, 
a new stock, before there be good fruit ; must be engrafted into the true 
tine before the words can be g^ grapes. 
(3.) Acts, all kinds, natural, civil, religious. 

[1.] Natural: eat, drink, deep, sinful. ' What is not of faith is sin,' 
Bom. xiv. Applied by the ancients to prove that even eating, and every act 
of an unbeliever, is sin ; though otherwise expounded now, it is true in this 
sense. Heb. xi. 6, ' Without faith it is impossible to please Qod ; ' < Whether 
ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God,' 1 Cor. x. 81. 
There is a command, it is a sin to violate it ; but out of Christ men cannot 
sToid ; so fiur from using natural things spiritually, as they use spiritual things 
naturally, to low base ends. Their table is a snare, a sin, what they eat 
ensnares them, Titus i. 15. ' Unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is 
nothing pure,' not the necessities of nature, not sleep or dreams, even their 
mind and conscience is defiled, much more their fancy. 

[2.] Civil acts. Those which their particular callmg engages to. * The 
pkm^iinff of the wicked is sin,' Prov. xxi. 4. By a synecdoche all their 
labom, buying, selling, working, a curse attends all. No curse where no 
sin; cursed because sinfril. OrnnU vita infideliumpeceaium est^ says Anselm, 
^ nikil banum sins swnmo bono, t. e. without Christ ; all they have and do. 
Hence they are said to live, walk, dwell in sin, they abide in it ; their whole 
H£b, all the acts of it; their whole course, all the steps of it are sin, Fs. i. 1. 
Their walking, their standing, their sitting : when they walk, it is in the 
oonnsel of the ungodly ; when they stand, it is in the way of sinners; when 
they sit, it is in &e seat of scomers ; or if they scorn not holy ways, they 
despise them. 

[8.J Beiigious acts. Those which may plead exemption, if any ; acts of 
nuval virtues are splendida peccata. EUani quod virtua vidstur esse, peceatum 
tft (Ambrose). Nee placere uUus Deo, sine Deo, potest (Id.). Beiigious 
oareises, the sacrifice of the wicked, Prov. xv. 8. Acts of piety or charity, 
vhatever comes under the notion of a sacrifice, is abomination ; the sweetest 
•aerifice, incense, Isa. i. 18, the greatest abomination ; compared to idolatry, 
Isa. facri. 8, because not in dependence upon, and in reference to, Christ 

VOL. n. B 

114 man's iNSYJvnoiEKCT [John XV. 5. 

Obj. The saints do sin*m their best services ; their ri^teotmness is as a 
menstraons rag ; in muUis offendimm omneSf sajs James ; therefore this 
seems not peculiar to men ont of Christ. 

Ans, It is tme there are infirmitieB, defects, imperfections in the best; 
each as not answering the exactness of the law, requiring perfeeticm, may 
be called, and are bewailed as, sins. But there is a vast difference betwixt 
their sinniog and others', as will appear by a distinction. Acts may be 
called, and are, sins, or sinful, — 

1. Quoad suUtantiam^ or materialUer ; when the act itself, abstracted from 
circumstances, is forbidden, as murder and adultery. And in this sense 
religions acts, in or out of Christ, are not sins ; for the matter and substance 
of tibem is good and commanded. 

2. Quoad cireumstantiam^ oi formaliter ; so that is a sin which is gpod in 
itself, if not well done, out of a good principle, in due manner, for right ends; 
for these, though accidental to an act, yet are essential to the goodness of it. 
Hence moral acts plus debent circumttantuBj quam mhstantuB. He that £ul8 
in any of these, makes the best act evil : malum eH ex quolibet defechu 
These are necessaiy ingredients to evety good action ; and to fail in any one, 
divests it of goodness. Now, there may be a double foiling: throng^, 1, 
want, or total absence, as of light at midnight, no moon or stars ; 2, weak- 
ness, or imperfection, as of light at twilight. We call things imtional that 
want reason, as beasts, properly ; or that have it, but want the per&ct exercise 
of it, as children, improperly. 

This, then, is the answer : unbelievers want those things that are necessary 
essentially to make an act good, therefore their actions are properly evil 
Believers have all the ingredients, but with imperfection, and in weakness ; 
therefore their actions are not properly evil, but rather imperfectly good. 
Acts are good in themselves in actu ngnato, from the matter ; but in actu 
exercito, and as acted by us, they cannot be good, without a good principle, 
a due form, a right end ; without Christ, without all these. The want of 
any one makes an act evil, much more the want of all. Those that have 
not Christ, have none at all ; and so their acts not at all good. Totally 
evil, not in the parts ; want essentials, not degrees only; they do nothing as 
they ought, because, 

1. No good principle ; the stream rises no higher than the spring ; not 
out of thankfulness, not out of love, nor out of respect to God's command, 
nor to the reward rightly apprehended ; but out of custom, out of design to 
gain some temporal advantage ; for ike loaves. Mat. xxiii. 14, or to get 
applause ; to be seen of men, or out of envy, Philip, i. 15 ; to remove some 
incumbent affliction, then seek him diligently, Hosea v. 15 ; to escape hell, 
out of fear. 

2. Undue manner ; not reverently, diligently, delightfully. 

(1.) Irreverently. Not with self-debasing, God-exalting thoughts ; with- 
out sense of vileness, which is visible in saints in all their approaches ; as 
Abraham, Gen. xviii. 27, Isa. vi. 5 ; the publican, who stood afar off; the 
prodigal, unworthy, and the centurion ; < the four and twenty elders fail down,' 
Bev. iv. 10. High, awful apprehensions of God, his presence and glory. 
Though these may use the words, yet have nothing that answers them in 
their spirit, but have rude, common spirits, not as much respect as to an 
ordmary man, Mai. i. 14. 

(2.) Negligently. Careless, with lips only, not with heart and strength; 
faint wishes, not strong desires, such as that, Ps. Ixiii. 1, ' My soul thirsteth 
for thee,' &c., and xlii. ; not dinnif ivtgyovfMVTi, James v. 16, operosa, oeruosa, 
wrought in, possessed with the Spirit. The possessed with evil spirits are 

John XY. 5.] to do amtthino of himself. 115 

called iftf/ovfi&oi. There is a holy possession ; they have not snch attention 
as that of the angels, 1 Peter i. 12; the same word, va^axinrru, Lake zxiv. 12, 
John XX. 5, B. Not sach praises as David : *- Bless the Lord, O my sonl ; 
all that is within me, hless his holy name.' Their charity not «-(x^'^u0/m^, 
Heb. X. 24, hat ^a^dkutfi^. There is a palsy in it, a deadness, a benamhed- 
nees ; either cold or lakewarm, &int and hea^ess ; not apon some particalar 
indisposition, bat its ordinary temper. 

(S.) Unwillingly. Not willingnesses, free-will ofierings, Ps. ex., bat as a 
tax, grievoas ; the more spiritaal and heavenly the employment, the more 
tedioas ; soon weary : Mai. i. 18, ' What a weariness is it ! when will the 
Sabbath be done ? * No delight ; far from David's temper r Ps. Ixxxiv. 10, 
* A day in thy ooarts is better than a thousand.' They neglect opportoni- 
ties ; little in private or secret duties ; draw back, as from that they have an 
averseness to. 

8. No right end. This has a strong inflnenee into the goodness of an 
act. Non actibusy sed Jinibus pensantur ofieia: not the acts, bnt the ends, 
give weight to a duty. 

Not the general ends : 1, not to please God, bat rather to please men ; 
2, not to glorify him, bat to advance themselves ; 8, not to enjoy him, con- 
tent vnth duty without God. 

Nor particular ends : to satisfy conseience, not to have communion with 

Obj. But if men, out of Christ, cannot but sin in performing religious 
dntiee, it is best to omit them. 

Am, 1. By way of concession and caution. It is true ; unregenerate men 
are reduced to a necessity of shining, but it is through their own default. 
This is the great misery of that state, the greatest imaginable, that they can 
do nothing but sin. But it was man's sin that planged him into this misery. 
God made nuin upright, and so he might have stood and walked, but he 
found out many inventions ; ^nd this is one of them, one of the worst, that 
he ensnared himself into a necessity of sinning. If he worship not God, 
he sins; because he is obliged to this, both by God's command and his own 
being. If he worship God, he sins; because he does it not from good prin- 
ciple, in a due manner, for a right end. If he pray not, he sins ; because 
he is commanded to call on God, and thereby acknowledge his dependence 
on him. If he pray, he sins ; because not with faith, fervency, &o. If he 
hear not, he sins, because God speaks to him ; if he hear, he sins, because 
he mixes not the word vrith faith. If he serves not God, he sins, because 
God enjoins and expects service ; if he serve him, he sins, because he serves 
him not in spirit. If he eat not, he sins, that would be self-murder ; if he 
eat, he sins, because he doth it not to God's glory. Sin lies at his door, 
let him go backward or foward, he falls into it ; but it was sin that brought 
him to it. Now, to neglect duty because he cannot perform it without sin, 
when his sin brought him to this exigence, is to add sin to sin. 

Atu, 2. In such necessities, where evil is unavoidable, the less evil must 
be chosen. If you cannot but sin, it is better to be guilty of the least than 
the greatest sins. Now, it is a less sin to serve God amiss than not to serve 
him at all ; better to do what ye can than do nothing ; a total omission is a 
more heinous sin than an undue performance ; better to offend in manner 
only than both in matter and manner ; it is bonum, though not bene. There 
is a goodness in the acts performed, their matter and substance is good, 
thon^ they want other ingredients of goodness. Bnt omissions are purely 
evil, without any mixture of good ; there is more contempt in total neglects, 
and so more provocation. You provoko God more by omittini; prayer than 

116 iom'b xMsumoiBNOT [John XT. 5. 

by lakewamii superficial performance ; attd so in hearing. The saints may 
allege, * The men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment,' &c., Mat. xii. 41. 
We may collect the nature of the sin by the degree of the punishment ; the 
Nineyites' punishment shall be more tolerable, who performed but outward 
acts pf religion, without inward affections, than those who would be brought 
to neither outward nor inward conformify; therefore omissions are more 
provoking sins than outward, though otherwise sinfol performances. Gk>d, 
then (whatever he does now), will render to every man according to his 
works. It is better to pray as well as you can (thou^ you cannot as well 
as you should) than not to pray at aU ; the omission is totally sinfal, per- 
fonnance but partially ; that is more wilful, this is in part necessary. 

Am. 8. If necessity of sinning were sufficient ground to omit religions 
acts, it is so also for omitting natural acts ; if it be a reasonable plea for 
exemption from those, it is so also for exemption from these. We cannot 
eat, sleep, &c., but we sin, no more than we can hear and pray without sin; 
yet these are as necessary for your souls as those for your bodies ; these as 
necessary as you are rational, as those as you are sensible ; the necessity 
of sinning is equal. Now, since the reason is equal, yet men urge it un- 
equally, for omissions in one kind, and not in the other : it is a sign thai 
sinfulness, urged as a reason to omit holy duties, is but a pretence. The 
true reason is, their averseness to the holiness of the duties, not to the sin- 
fulness that attends them. 

Am. 4. God rewards the outward performance though sinful, but there is 
nothing but wrath revealed against omissions ; Ergo^ no reason for it. Holy 
services are so acceptable to God, as he rewards the very resemblance of 
them, though but obscure. The lively actmgs of grace are so lovely in 
God's eye, as he seems to be pleased with the picture of them. It is 
manifest in Ahab, 1 Kings xxi. 29; and Nineveh, Jonah iii. 10; who had 
presently perished but for their outward humiJdation; this proonied a 

Beasons why a tnan out of ChrvU can do nothing. 

Want of the prmciple of acting, defect in active faculties and members, no 
spiritual action without spiritual faculties, absence of active qualities and 
habits. What can a carcase do without a soul ? He wants a soul, spirit 
Or what can a soul do in itself (immanent acts) without fiumlties ? or in the 
body (transient acts) without members? or by these, if altogether indisposed 
and disabled to act ? Or what can &culties and members do without active 
qualities and habits, since they do nothing immediately but by the help and 
mediation of these ? To use the metaphor in the text, ' What fruit can a 
tree bear without a root ? or a tree rooted without branches ? or by them 
broken and obstructed ? or branches, if withered, without sap, not qualified ? 
He that wants Christ wants that which is answerable in a spiritual sense to 
all these. 

1. WatU of the principh of aaian. The soul is the principle of action in 
a man, and the Spirit of Christ in a Christian, no act without. What the 
soul is to a man, that Christ is to a Christian, all imperfection separated. 
Spiritus Chmti forma ecclesia. Gral. ii. 20 : 'Nevertheless I live, yet not I, 
but Christ liveth in me.' Even as we say of the body it lives, yet not the 
body but the soul lives in it. The body separated from the soul is dead, so 
a man [oat] of Christ is dead, £ph. ii. 1, Col. ii. 18. And what can a dead 
man do ? Spiritual life is the result, the issue of the soul's union with 
Christ, as natural life of the soul's union with the body. Action cannot be 
without life, life cannot be without a soul. Every degree or kind of life 
springs from a soul suitable; vegetative, sensitive, rational life, from a vege- 


UtiYO, senntiye, rational soul. Now, as there is a degree of li£B above these, 
a Bpiritoal life, so there mast be a soul a degree above these, or something 
eqoivalent answerable to one, and this is Christ, who therefore is said to 
dwell in ns by fiuth ; this is the copula, and he is said to be our life, John 
xiv. 6, C6L, iii. 4, and to give life, John vi. 88, to ijnieken, &c., so that he 
is a soul virtnally though not formally ; as necessary to the life and activity 
of a Christian as the soul to the life and actings of a man. No action with- 
out life, no life without a soul ; neither without Christ. 

2. Defect of facultiee and membertj live instruments of action. A man out 
of Christ wants spiritual faculties. He is wholly what Paul complains of in 
part, carnal. Bom. vii. 14. < The carnal mind is enmify,' Bom. viii. 7 ; 
not only enmity but impotency, 1 Cor. ii. 14. No more apprehend spiri- 
tuals than a blind man can see colours, therefore called blind, Bev. iii. 17 ; 
Isa. xliii. 8, 'Bring forth ^e blind people that have eyes.* Eyes they 
have indeed, but see not ; for, being constantly fixed on lower objidcts, they 
can no more see spiritual objects &an one eye can see both heaven and 
earth at once. 

And as they want the prime spiritual knowing faculty, so the prime spiri- 
tual moving fineulty. The will is carnal, there is a foreskin of camalness 
upon the heart ; it cannot move spiritually till it be circumcised, Deut. 
zxx. 6, Bom. ii. 29 ; Jer. iz. 26, it is old, gross ; Mat. xiii. 16, fat ; Isa. 
Ti. 10, hard ; Psa. zcv. 8, stony ; Ezek. zi. 19, deceitful ; Jer. zvii. 9, 
desperately wicked. 

Though they have these &cu]ties, yet they axe wholly disabled for, and 
indisposed to, sphritnal acts. What can a perforated memory retain ? A 
sieve can hold no water. What can a seared conscience be sensible of to 
the soul's advantage ? It is seared in part as to morals, wholly as to spiri- 
tuals. If a body be organised, have members, yet if they be bound, 
obstmeted, or maimed, Low can they act ? Man's fiMulties are bound, he 
is Satan's captive, fettered with sins, loaded with fetters, obstructed, no pas- 
sage from heiart or head, for active spirits ; there can be no conveyance 
w&ont union ; dissolutio eontinui, maimed ; the great fall we had in Adam 
broke all, put all out of joint. If a particular fall broke David's bones, 
Phl Ii. 8, when he fell but from sense and degrees, but from one storey, 
mueh more this from the height of happiness and exyoyments. A failing 
may put one out of jomt, as Gal. vi. 1. The word rendered restore, &c., is 
to set in joint, xara^tl^tn. How can a man walk with his legs broken, out 
of joint, or work with arms and hands wounded, maimed ? A deadly wound 
we have by sin ; men out of Christ are halt and maimed, Luke ziv , both 
Jews, ver. 21, and Gentiles, ver. 28, mancos daudosque. Nay, considered 
witlioat a soul, they are no apter for action than those dry bones in Ezekiel's 
vision were fit for motion, Ezek. zzzvii., until the Lord caused breath to enter 
into tfaem. 

& Absence of aetivs qualities. As the soul cannot act without fiMulties, 
their instruments, so faculties cannot act without some qualities, which 
either eoneor as causes, or are required as necessary conditions, causa sine 
quibus Mm^ without which there can be no acts. The mind cannot discourse 
or argne without knowledge, nor apprehend without species, images, repre- 
sentations of its objects. The will cannot choose without lib^y ; the eye 
cannot see without its humours, or any that move without heat. Even so 
no spiritual act without a spiritual quality, and no such qualities without 
Christ. How can a man believe without faith, or mourn for sin without 
repentanee, or be fervent in service without zeal, or ezpect happiness with- 
out hope, or affect union to God without love» debase himself without 


humility, or Bnbmit in affliction witbont patience ? These are fonnal acts, 
and cannot be expected bat bj their proper form, no more than the fire can 
bom without heat, or water wet witbont moisture, or the sun illuminate 
without light. It is impossible. There can be no spiritual act without sneh 
qualities, and no gracious qualities without Christ. Spiritual quaKtieB axe 
spiritual blessings, and the Lord blesses none out of Ohiist with these, Eph. 
i. 8. In Gbrist, tanquam in capite^ unde in membra manant, he that is 
not a member is not capable. So in remote imperate acts. How can he 
mix the word with fieuth who hath none ? How can he praj in spirit who 
is not spiritual ? How can he sing with grace in his heart [who has no 
grace in bis heart] ? How can he serre the Lord with fear who is void 
of fear ? How can he have his conversation in heaven who has no heavenlj 

The soul is not only void of gracious qualities, but possessed with tbe 
contrary ; no sound part from the highest faculty to the lowest. The mind, 
quoad apprehensionem^ dull, blind ; qwad judunvm, wavering, erroneous, 
prejudiced ; quoad cogitationem, vain, unfixed, independent, foolish, carnal. 
The memory receptive, retentive of evil, and that only; the conscience 
senseless or desperate, accuse when it should excuse, &c. ; ihe will perverse, 
will when it should not will, rebellious, chooses when it should reject, rejects 
when it should choose, yields when it should resist, and resists when it should 
submit; the afifcctions misplaced, disordered, immoderate, violent; fancy 
vain, carnal, brutish, no spiritual light nor holy order, nor due rectitude in 
any power of the soul till Christ come into it. Spiritual qualifications are 
part of his retinue : when he comes they attend him, when he is absent the 
soul is at a loss. Without these it cannot act spiritually, and cannot have 
them without Christ. 

Use, This informs us of man's misery without Christ. One main desigB 
of the ministry of the gospel is to convince sinners of misery. Man will not 
come to Christ until convinced. * The whole need no physician,' those who 
think themselves whole. Survey it as you love your souls, seriously medi- 
tate on it, let no thoughts thrust out these. Snfier yourselves to be con- 
vinced, be not afraid ; it is safe, if not pleasing. To help yon, observe my 
former method. This misery is positive, transcendent, perfect, unavoidable, 

1. Justice will be satisfied. It is as dear to God as any attribute, it is him- 
self. God will glorify it, and no way but by satisfiaction ; it will pursue 
the sinner, as Asahel did Abner, 2 Sam. ii. 19, 21. Is it nothing to be 
under the curse, all the curses of Ihe law and gospel, heavier than moun- 
tains, more dreadful than all the menaces of men or devils ; under wrath, 
fiery indignation, deadly hatred, as the wrath of a king, as the roaring of a 
lion ? llLis wrath is heavier than a millstone about your neck. In £nger 
of hell, but a step betwixt you and it ! Your life is but a span. How can 
a man sleep upon a precipice ? You are not certain of life for an hour, but 
sure of hell if you die out of Christ ! 

2. Transcendent. More miserable than sensitive and inanimate ereatuies; 
they act in conformity to God's will, and so declare his glory, and improve 
all the strength received to this end. Miserable man acts nothing for, but 
all against, God, b always cross to God and his designs. So the best is 
worse than the beasts that perish, the happiest more miserable than the 
worm or toad. 

8. Perfect, Without mixture of happiness real ; no degrees, no pledges, 
no hopes, no peace, but through false intelligence, mispersuasion ; ciy 
peace, peace, when sudden destruction cometh upon them, as on a woman 

John XV. 5.] to do ANTrmNa of hdcsblf. 119 

in traTftU. Inqnire of peaoe, as 2 Kings ix. 18; when destroyers are at 
hand, Isa. xlviii. 22. 

No mfttyn In the midst of enemies, deadly enemies, above, below, 
within, without God incensed, the devil and all creatures ready to smite 
when God gives commission, and nothing suspends it but a provoked and 
abused patience. Oh what danger I Those are his greatest enemies whom 
he most trusts and loves, sin and Satan in his bosom ; follows .their counsels 
who thint after his ruin ; lika Delilah to Samson, like Joab to Amasa, 
2 Sam. xz. 9, 10. 

No riches. Naked, famishing, yet without money, lie like Lazarus, but 
die like Dives ; the state of their souls is like Lazarus*s body. 

No mccea. All tends to the ruin of their souls : it is worst when best. 
A successful sinner is like a ship carried with full sails against a rock ; all 
gales of prosperity do but hasten you to hell, quicken your voyage thither ; 
he is but made fat to the slaughter. 

No pUasures. None that are truly delightful, but poisoned ; gilded pills, 
please the eye and palate, but poison the stomach, and are bitterness in the 
end, as James iii. 8, it is said of the tongue, ' Mi of deadly poison.' There 
is death in the pot, nay, they are dead abready, 1 Tim. v. 6, Bev. zviii. 7, 8. 

No fledges. No relation to God that will a^ord comfort or advantage ; 
not his children* but the children of the devil ; they are of him as a father, 
his ofispring, bear his image, receive a portion with him, that which is pre- 
pared fbr him and his angels. 

Not friends f but enemies. In league with sin and Satan until in covenant ; 
lie under the dint of terrible threatenings, Ps. zzxvii. 20, * The wicked shall 
periah,' &c. Wound the head, &c., a deadly wound, Ps. Ixviii. 21 ; con- 
sume as the fat of lambs, because exposed to his wrath, who is a consuming 
fire ; Ps. xcvii. 8, ' A fire goeth before him, and bumeth up his enemies 
round about.* 

Not eervants until members. Slaves of Satan, led captive by him at his 
will ; servants of sin, Bom. vi. 16, inferior, worse than that which is worst 
of aU things. 

4. Unavoidable misery. They can do nothing for themselves ; heaven 
and earth can do nothing, only Christ ; will do nothing until in Christ : it 
cannot be avoided but by doing or suffering. To do, is impossible; to 
Buffar, is intolerable ; for sufferings of man, to satisfy, must be eternal. It is 
an ease in misery to hope for freedom. Here is no hopes without Christ, 
no promise, no attribute ; &ithfulness acts not but in performing promises ; 
mercy will not run hot in its proper channel, that is Christ ; power cannot 
help without infringement of justice ; justice is an enemy till satisfied ; wis- 
dom has found out no way for satisfaiotion but Christ, and if God cannot 
or will not, how can the angels, saints, or other creatures ? They all say, 
as he, 2 Kings vL 27, ' If Uie Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help 

6. Increasing wratk. Swells bigger and bigger till it overflow. As the 
measure of iniquity fills, so the measure of misery, like Ezekiel's waters, 
Ezek. xlviL 8, 4, to the knees, loins, and then unfordable. .idam left a 
treasury of misery to his posterity, and every child adds to it, every sin 
casta something into it ; every thought, word, act, is a sin till in Christ. 
Oh the multitude of thoughts, what a black account ! You think thoughts 
are free, but the Lord has msnifested as much indignation against thoughts 
as actions. These destroyed a whole world at once, Gen. vi. 6 ; cast angels 
out of heaven ; captivity, Jer. vi. 19 ; Simon Magus, Acts viii. 22 ; indig- 
nation at the last day, 1 Cor. iv. 5. Words, you say, are wind, but such 

ISO icAx's nsumcixiioT [Johh XY. 5. 

as will eurj into the Dead Sea: Mat. zii. 86, 'Eyeiy idle word;' 'Bj 
words ye shall be condemned,* James iii. 6 ; ' The tongue is a ^tSf a worid 
of iniquity , sets on fire the whole coarse of natore, and is set on fire of hell,' 
as it is kindled there, so it kindles it. 

And acts of all sorts, Eom. li. 6, ' treasure up wrath.' If the better soK 
of actions treasore ap wrath, what do the worst ? If, when yon call on 
God, how moph more when yon swear and blaspheme ? If acts of ehsrity, 
much more acts of intemperance, dninkennees, Ac. If, when yon hesr, 
much more when you neglect and contemn the gospel and revile the mes* 
sengers of it. If in acts of justice, what in acts of direct fraud and oppres- 
sion ? If those cast in a mite, these cast in a talent. Oh misery 1 Justice 
is already exasperated, ye daily more incense it ; God*s wrath is already 
kindled, ye daily every moment add fuel to it ; you are already at the pitr 
brink of heU, and eveiy hour draw nearer to it, and heat the fimace of 
indignation seven times hotter. Better never have been bom than Hve 
without Christ ; better you had perished in infiincy, than eontinae out of 
Christ ; the longer ye hve, the more miserable. 

Quest. If it be such a misery to be out of Christ, how shall I know if I be 
out of him ? Those that are not solicitous are certainly out of Christ. 

Use. 2. Of examination. Try this whether you are in Christ ; eome to 
this trial as a business of great concernment. It is not a trial for your 
estates: you would be careful and solicitous there ; nor for your lives only: 
there you would be attentive, serious. If one should tdl you that the 
greatest part of ttus congregation were to be visited, thouf^ insensible of it, 
with a dangerous disease, those that did not discover it would certainly die, 
and should o£fer symptoms to discover it ; would not every one be faaifiil, 
careful, diligent in attending 9 So it is here. 

Signs from the nature of Sie union in general. 

1. Separation from that which is at great distance from Christ; aotinng 
is further distant from Christ than sin; he that is in Christ is separated from 
sm, in judgment, affisction, practice ; jtidges it dangerons, deformed, bitter, 
nothing more, not afflictions, &c. He that thinks sin profitable, lovefy, 
pleasing, is out of Christ. 

Affection. He sorrows, mourns in secret, weeps with a broken heart* as 
tot an only son, Zech. xii. 10 ; shame, not in respect of men only, bat God, 
as against mercy. Fear, not as it brings ruin, but as it separates from 
Christ, suspends his influence, Sm. Hatred, not anger only ; hate it as sin, 
all sin ; seeks its ruin. 

Practice. Avoids it, all occasions ; flies from it as from a serpent ; if 
once overtaken, seldom twice, with the same sin. He that lives in sin, com- 
mits the same sin often, drunkenness, whoredom, Sabbath breaking, coaen- 
ing, omission of duties, public or private, is not in Christ. If yon are in 
Christ, yon do not absent from ordinances, firequent bad company. 2 Tim. 
ii. 19, Ihe Lord will own none for his, nor should any profess Uie name of 
Christ, much less pretend to union wUh him, who departs not finm all ini- 
quity ; from all, quite a great way, from the sight and occasions, Aeto iii. 
26. It is a blessed fruit of this union to turn from his iniquities, those 
wherein you have lived and delighted, 1 John iii. 6, eh went ofim^iaM. i. e. 
non dot operam peccato. Non simplex actio, sed cum studio et voh^jftaie eom- 
juncta : if conscience condemn yon of wiUnl and customary oaussions or 
commissions, ye need no further inquiry. 

2. Likeness. Where there is oneness, there must be likeness. He that is 
in Christ is one with him, therefore like him in graces, afGMitionSy aelioiis ; 
such virtues, and so exercised. 

John XV. 5.] to do A^nrrHmo of hihself. 121 

Viitiie. 1 Peter i. 15, and ii. 9, as not of eqnalitj, but refiemblance ; 
contempt of the world, self-denial, hmnility. 

Christ contemned the world. The world loTcd not him, nor he it ; eared 
not for him, nor he for it ; the riehes, honomrs, pleasures of it were con- 
temptible to him. What do ye most desire, that one thing only or prin- 
cipally 9 What do ye esteem ? What do ye Tahie yonrselyes and others 
by ? What do yon pursue in the first place ? If it be the world, yon are 
its children, not the members of Christ. 

Self-denial. Christ sought not his own will, nor his own glory, John ▼. 41, 
John xiT. 14. What do ye when Qod's will and yoors come in competition ? 
What is your design, yoor interests, or his glory ; pleasing and advancing 
yonrsehes, or honouring him ? 

Hnmility. Mat. zi. 29, those that are come to Christ have learned this. Are 
you cross, furious, impatient, revengeful, trample on inferiors, despise equals, 
undervalue superiors ? Do you make yourselves a rule to others, and con- 
demn those who are not of your mind and way, or it may be of your humour ? 
Does your humility spring firom the lowness of your outward condition, 
or sense of sinfulness, misery, spiritual wants, free mercy, unworthiness ? 
Do you receive the word with meekness, as new bom babes, willing to be 
guided, to submit to it ? Acting with delight, do you count it your meat 
and dxink to do the will of God 7 Have you such oljects for your a&c- 
tions as Christ, delight in saints, in soul prosperity ? Ac. 

8. Propinquity. Union implies this. Those that are fiw o£f from Christ 
are not in him. Are you continually with him by thoughts ? These pre- 
sent Christ to us, and make us present with him. Are thoughts of Clurist 
more frequent, delightful, consistent than of others ? Is he not in all your 
thoughts ? Do ye crowd out these ? Are they strangers, or unwelcome 9 
He is most where Christ is most, t . e. in his ordinances, in his banqueting 
boose, sits down under Christ's shadow with great delight. How are you 
affected to the ordinances, praying, hearing? Are they dear, sweet, desir- 
ahlo 9 Is one day in the house (S God better than a thousand, as it was to 
David 9 Pa. Izzziv. 10. Do you thirst for the Sabbath ere it come ? And 
why 9 Not for other respects, but Christ's presence 9 Do you omit wil- 
fully, or upon small occasions 9 Are they tedious 9 Do you complain of 
length in others, and curtail yours 9 Is idleness or worldly employments 
move pleasing? 'When will the Sabbath be done?' Those that are 
united are always in him, with him, but this union and presence is not 
always alike manifested. The sense and comfort of it is to be found in 
ordinances, hence esteem, desires : * When shall I come and appear?' Ps. 
zlii. 2, Ps. ixvii. 4. 

4. Adh^rmice to Christ. This is included in union ; for it is not a cor- 
poreal, essential, or personal union, but rather moral and spiritual. And 
this union is better expressed by adheraice than inherence; the soul spiritu- 
ally deaving to Clmst, and clinging about him, and a strong tendency to 
mote intinuMiy, fear of estrangement and separation. Does your soul ding 
to Christ, clasp about him, as ivy about the oak? If you have no strong 
inclinations after him, and resolutions to cleave to him, as in Bnth, chap, 
i. 16; ii you ate not fearful to offend, careful to avoid all unkindnesses that 
may alienate from him; if you refuse to hear, or answer not his call, accept 
not his invitations, slight his messages, reject his motions, refuse admission 
to liim, can be content without his company; if anything dse will please yon 
io his abeenee, then you are not in him. 

ff . Partidpaiiim of Christ. He that is in Christ partakes of the nature and 
influence of Christ, as the branch of the nature and sap of the tree, Baa^ 

122 icAN*8 THUOWwunxacf [Jobh XY. 5. 

xi. 17. A brftneh of a wild olive, grafted into a trae olive, partakes of the 
root and fatness thereof, changes its nature, &c. If Christ be in yon, theie 
is such a change, as the Scripture expresses, sometimes by creatioii, 2 Cor. 
y. 17, Gal. yi. 15; by renovation, Bom. xii. 2, Titos iii. 5; by generation. 
Gal. iv. 19, John iii. 8; bom of God, 1 John iii. 9; bom of the Spirit, 
John xvi. Is Christ fomied in yon ? Have you experience of the pangs of 
the new birth? Is there an universal change? Are old things passed 
away, and all things become new, — ^mind, apprehensicm ? Can yoa see 
spiritual things more clearly ? Col. iii. 10. Have yon a new jnd^nent of 
persons, things, state, actions ? Is your conscience tender ? . Does it smite 
you sooner and more for small, secret evils, such as others make nothing 
of? Is your will pliable to good, inflexible to evil ? Have yon new inten- 
tions, resolutions, (Sections well fixed, moderated to lawfuls ? Is your con- 
versation not worldly, sensual, profane, &c. ? Is it such as becomes the 
gospel, adomed with the fruits of holiness and nghteousness ? 

6. Sympathy with Christ Co-suffering, and sense of his snfGaring. He 
that is in Christ will be sensible of what is done against him. Christ's 
sufferings for men are finished, but his sufferings by men are still continnedt 
blasphemies, reproaches, contempts, opinions and practices dishonoorable 
to Christ. Those, then, who mBke Christ suffer, are not in him. Those 
who deny his glory, profane his name, contemn his words, slii^t his 
beauty and love, and the expressions of it, desert his ways of tmth or 
holiness. Those who are not sensibly affected with these in others do not 
moum in secret, Ps. Ixix. 9, Bom. xv. 8, prefer it not before their own 
credit and interests. But such as are as tender of the honour and in- 
terest of Christ, as if it were their own, resent it, as though their own 
reputation and interest suffered thereby, are in him. 

The ligaments and bonda of this union are uniting graces, &ith and love. 
Faith unites Christ to us, and love unites us to Chnst. Christ dwelleth in 
us by faith, Eph. iii. ; and we dwell in him by love, 1 John iv. 16. 

Love. He that is in Christ loves him ; he that is so near Christ, sees and 
tastes that which constrains him to love. This is a sure character of love 
which Christ gives, John xiv. 15, ' Keep my commandments.* This is not 
only a sign of love, but union: 1 John iii. 24, ' He that keepeth his com- 
mandments, dwelleth in him.* Is this your resolution, as it was David*8 f 
Fs. cxix. 106. When you read and hear as they, Jer. xlii. 5, 6, do yon 
resolve sincerely what they did but feignedly ? Do you labour to convince 
your judgments, make your hearts submit, and your lives conformable f 
. What is your custom, after conviction and clear manifestation of God*s will? 
Do ye forget, or neglect, run cross to it, put it off with excuses, say. The 
Lord is not so strict as yon are made to believe; yon see none so obedient, 
or time enough hereafter, or the Lord be merciful to me in this, I may be 
saved though I be not so punctual ? 

Delight. Ps. cxii. 1, 'Delighteth greatly,' &c.; as much as formeriy in 
pursuing carnal designs. Is it your meat and drink to do his will ? or are 
his commandments grievous, hard sayings, the land cannot boar them ? 
Are all bis ways pleasant, those commands that cross yonr interests, lusts, 
humours ? Do you not overlook the least, nor excuse you from the most 
weighty, nor waive the strictest ? 

Faith. He that is not in the faith, is not in Christ Now faith, to 

describe it in its lowest degree, is a consent to take Christ as God offers 

him. He offers him, not only as a Priest, but a King, both as a Prince and 

a Saviour. Are you as willing that Christ should rule you as save you ? Do 

.yon desire as truly to be freed from sin as from hell ? Is the filttuoess of 

John XY. 6.] to do ▲NTTBZNa of himself. 128 

Bin grieTouB, and not only the goilt and damnation of it ? Do yon desire 
holiness as trnly as heaven ; not content with pardon without purity ? Is 
the dominion of sin as terrible as its wages ? If yon divide what God has 
joined in offering Christ, yon have not received hun ; if yon care not for 
Christ at all, or desire him only to save yon from hell, can be content to live 
without Christ all your lives, and desire him only at death to free yon from 
misery and wrath to come ; if the sceptre, the yoke, the strict ways, the 
holy paths of Christ, be not desirable in yonr account, you have no reason 
to think you are in Christ. Besolve this question, If yon might be assured 
that you should never be damned for your sins, would you leave sin ? Or 
thos. If you might be saved without holiness, would you desire holiness ? 
Would you follow it ? 

2. Characters from metaphors. That in the text, Christ is the vine, 
believers branches. By such means as you may discover a branch to be in 
the vine, you may know if you be in Christ. There are three signs ; growth, 
pnming, fruitfulness. 

(1.) Growth. That branch which grows not is either dead or separated 
from the vine. If you stand still, or run round in a circle of duties, without 
making any progress, if yon grow not better every day proportionably to the 
means, mercy, light that you enjoy, you are not in Chnst. You hear, that 
is better, &c., but are you improved by hearing ? Do you hear with under- 
standing, increase in Imowle^ge ? Does your light beget heat, kindle your 
affections ? and do you manifest it in your conversation, walking answerable 
to the gospel ? 

You pray ; but do you pray every day better, more fervently with the 
heart, from a sense of spiritual wants, so sensibly and importunately, as one 
ready to frmush cries for bread, pinched with soul wants, as one fainting for 
thirst ? Do you pray more spiritually ; earnest not only for temporals, but 
spiritoals ; not oidy to be freed from hell, but to be made fit for heaven ; as 
mach for holiness as happiness ? You have good motions sometimes, what 
becomes of them ? Do you nourish them till they grow into resolutions ? 
and do not these end but in endeavours ? and are your endeavours visible 
in your life ? Those that are in Christ grow daily in all things, £ph. iv. 16. 
Those that grow worse, or not better, or not in the best, in grace, in know- 
ledge, from good materially, to good in principle and manner, are not in Christ. 

(2.) Pruning^ John xv. 2. The hnsbandman will not take pains to cut 
off luxuriances from branches that are withered or broken off, he prunes only 
those in the vine. Has the Father pruned you, out off all inordinate motions 
from your hearts, and acts from your lives, or cut them so as they cannot 
grow ? Are all actions exorbitant, such as become not a holy profession, 
cat off, separated from your conversation ? 1 Cor. vi. 9-11 ; £ph. iv. 22. Is 
all corrupt eommunication cut off from your lips ? Eph. iv. 29. Not pro- 
fane, unclean, deceitful, but good, edifying, gracious. Are sinfrd thoughts, 
projects, reasonings, cut off from your minds ? 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. If in Christ, 
all are subject to him, no speculative wickedness, no providing for the flesh, 
Bom. xiii. 14, no reasoning against Christ, &c« Are all inordinate affec- 
tions cut off from the heart ? Gal. v. 24. Have you no delight in sin, to 
aet or remember it, no desire to return to Egypt, no lusting after the flesh- 
pots, no love to the world, no more than it haUi to Christ ? John xv. 19 ; 
Col. iii. 5-9. Are you mortified, crucified, dead to old lusts, take no more 
pleasure in them than Abraham in Sarah when dead? Gen. xxiii. 4. Would 
you have them dead and buried, not in hopes of a resurrection, but so as not 
to rise again ? Are your lusts alive ? Do you act them openly ; or if there 
be some lestramts upon outward acts, fear, or shame, or oUier carnal, selfish 

124 ham's msDFncxBMCT [Johk XY. 5. 

enforeements, do you nourish thsm in jam thoughts. Do ihsj live, snd 
move« and command in yoor affeotions? Do eoTstonsness, nnelsanness, 
iatemperanoe, pnde, maUoe, &e.y live within yon, though they appear not as 
formerly in yoor lives ? 

(8.) FruUfubim. That braneh is in the ^rine that is frratM, beaielh not 
only leaves, hot frait, good, ripe, seasonable, and mneh. He is only in 
Christ that is fmitfol, John zr. 2, 4, 6 ; filled with ' the fraits of right- 
eoQsness,' Phil. i. 11 ; «the fraits of the Spirit,' Gal. ▼. 22. He that is 
frnitfal has every graee, and the ezereise, the acts of every grace; both eonfi- 
dence and humility, hope and fear, joy and sorrow, ^iritnal poverty and 
contentment, heavenly-mindedness and diligence in his particular ealling, 
love and hatred. 

Acts. These are actually fruits ; grace, but fundamentdly. Without the 
acts of grace you are no more fruitful than a vine in winter. Many acts, 
much fruit. 

Are you acquamted with the life of faith ; not only fidth to make you 
alive, but faith to live by? To live by faith is to make every act of life an 
act of faith ; to pray in faith, hear, walk, work, eat in faith ; act it on all 
its objects, attributes, offices of Christ, promises, rektions, providences, 
experiences, functions of the Spirit, the person of Christ ; in all its acts, 
recumbency, application, confidence. Do you cast yourselves, and the 
burthen of your affiiirs upon God, and there rest? What then means these 
torturing cares and induect means ? Do you use to apply promises paiii- 
cularly, do all in the strength of the promise ? And rises it so high as 
triumph over dangers, doubts, difficulties ? Can you trust him with all, for 
all temporals as well as spirituals, and upon disadvantage? Do you walk 
in fear, as seeing him who is invisible, mih awful apprehensions, reverence, 
holy abasement ? 

Do you act it on all its ol^ects ; not only justice, but glory, meroy, purity, 
omnisciency ? Do you fear, not only to suffer, bat to offend ; and that be- 
cause it is a dishonour, contrary to his pure nature, and « base return for 

Love. Do you know tiie constraints of love? Is there % vein of love runs 
in every act, to make it sprightfol and lively ? Do you hear his voiee be- 
cause you love him, seek his face because you love him, relieve his members 
because you love him, think and speak of him because you love him ? Are 
you diligent in worldly affairs because you would be serviceable, and desire 
to be serviceable out of love ? Are you diligent in holy duties beoanse you 
would eqjoy him, and desire to enjoy him out of love ? Is your design and 
endeavour an act of love, in acts natural, civil, religious ? Are you diligent 
in doing, and ready and cheerful to suffer, out of love ? Is it your grief snd 
affliction that you &li short hereof, and do you count it your happiness to 
be always under the constraints of love, to have your whole lifo inflneneed 
by it? 

2. Metaphor. Believers are in Christ as stones in a building, wliereof 
Christ is sometimes called the comer stone. Mat. xi. 42, Acts iv. 11, Eph. 
ii. 20 ; sometimes the foundation, 1 Cor. iii. 11 ; they are * living stones,* 
1 Peter ii. 4, 5. This affords three characters : 1. sted&stness ; 2. depend- 
ence; 8. uniformity. 

(1.) Sted/aUnsss. A stone laid upon a sure foundation in a well com* 
pasted structure is not easily moved. One in Christ is stedBiwt, unmcfveable, 
not tossed with every wind of doctrine, nor overthrown with every tempta- 
tion. Do you yield to sins that have no visible temptation, as swearing ; or 
to temptations at the first motion and assault, in judgment or practice ? Art 

John XY. 5.] to do AMTTflxHO of bimsslf. 125 

you OTerUirown by weak temptations, saoh as natnre can resist, such as have 
no advantage from within ? Do yon fall frequently ? Is your life a falling- 
sickness ? or do yon return to it when temptation returns ? Loose stones 
may be removed at pleasure. 

(2.) Dependence. Stones in a building depend one on another, all upon 
the foundation. Their strength is dependence. Is yours so? Do yon 
live in continual dependence on Christ ? Being sensible of weakness to bear 
Christ's yoke, do you run to him for support ? In sense of difficulties in 
holy actings, sense of your impotency, convinced that no strength is suffi- 
cient, but some without, and that only in Christ ; is your constant recourse 
to him upon all occasions for it ? Is your life a leaning upon Christ ; as the 
spouse ? Cant. viii. 5. Do you miUse new applications to him in all your 
undertakings, sighing after hLm, resting on him ? Do you do all in his 

(8.) Uniformity. It is a curious structure, a temple. In such buildings 
the skmes are tuuform ; not one part rough and another polished, but all 
regular. Do you make conscience of all sins, all duties, to avoid the one, 
to perform the other ? Do you not leave one sin to live in another, gross, 
secret, beloved, common ? Do you not do one duty, and omit another, but 
do all publie and private, and secret meditation, heart-searching examina- 
tion, self-judging, secret mourning, strict watch over heart and ways, inward 
motions, and outward acts ; not acts of common honesty only, but charity, 
by relief, and by counsel, admonition, and reproof ? And acts of piety, do 
yoa not hear only, but attend, believe, remember, meditate, practise ? Do 
you not pray only, but watch, trust, expect, and conform your life to your 
pnyers ? Qmeqmd fit propter Deum, agualiter fit. What is done out of 
respect to God, is done equally, uniformly. He that does any part of his 
will sincerely for him, out of respect to hun, will decline no part of his will, 
have respect to all. 

Use of Exhortation. To get into Christ. 

Motive. The strongest is necessity, here is the greatest. If you do not, 
von are most miserable ; if you do, you are most happy. 

The miseiy of not being in Christ appears from the former discourse ; 
and frirther, from ver. 6, ^ If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a 
branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, 
and thay are burned.* 

(1.) Castforthf ixfiaKKirou i^u. Cast out of God's favour, no good word, 
kind look, gracious act ; out of his household, not his servants ; he that 
commits sin is the servant of sin. Out of Christ's jurisdiction, not his sub- 
jects, but rebels, will not have him for their King ; not his disciples, but 
Satan's, will not have him for their Prophet. He will not be their Priest ; 
shall they have benefit by his sufferings, who continue to make him sufier ? 
Nor shall they partake in his intercession ; he prays for none but those that 
are in him, or in the way to him. ' I pray not for the world, but for those 
that thou hast given me out of the world,' John xvii. 9. 

(2.) WUhsredf ^tiipunrcu. No beauty, no more than we see in a withered 
stick ; no life, dead, alienated from the life of God, £ph. iv. They live the 
life of the devil ; no leaves, nothing to shroud from wrath, hide from jus- 
tiee ; no fruit but fruits to death, pernicious firuit, such as endangers the 
tree that bears it; such as Dent, xxxii. 82, * The vine is the vine of Sodom,' 
&e, ; nseless, Ezek. xv. 2, 8 ; obnoxious, Isa. v. 4-6 ; and good reason, for 
it dishonours God, ver. 8. 

(8.) Men gather them^ euv^ytreu. As men gather dried sticks, so the 
devila gather wicked men. As good angels are employed about saints, so 

126 umx'b iNsumciSNOT [JoHx XT. 5. 

the devils aboat these. They are ezeommnnieated in the court, of heaTen 
from society with angels and saints ; delivered over to Satan, to be ruled 
and rewarded by him. He abides in Christ, in whom Christ's words abide. 
By the same reason Satan abides in them, because his words, his sugges- 
tions abide in them. ' His ye are whom yon obey.' There are bat two 
commanders in the world, the Ood of heaven, and the god of the world. 
He has sonl-possession, if not bodily, dwells in them, and acts them : as 
the Holy Spirit acts the saints, so the evil spirits these. Satan ' works 
effectually in the children of disobedience.' They are gathered, and bound 
over by Satan to the great session. 

(4.) Cast into the fire, tig «i;^ SdXXirai. This is the doom, and will 
be the end of all that continue out of Christ, barrenness entitles them to it : 
Heb. vi. 8, ' That which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh 
unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.' 

(5.) Bum ihem^ xattrai. Keep them in the fire till they be burned. 
Those that continue out of Christ will not only be cast into the fire, but 
kept there burning ; only with this difference from other withered branches, 
though they shall be always burning, yet they will never be consumed. 

2. The happiness of those that are in Christ. Take all the branches 
in one bundle : that expression, ' If you abide in me,' &c., * Ask what you 
will,' ver. 7, ' and it shall be given you,' a large grant as the heart of a man 
or angel can desire ; not as Ahasuerus to Esther, v. 8, * Ask to the half 
of my kingdom ;' but what you wiU, heaven, or earth, or both, and all in 
both : if it be good, that is the only limitation, and this does not straiten 
the privilege, but enhance the worth of it. That which is not good, is not 
worth asking or giving. So the sense is this, * Ask what you will,' if it be 
worth asking, if it be worth giving. Oh the sweetness, the largeness of this 
privilege, the happiness of those that partake of it I This grant, as it is 
large, so secure, the best security in heaven, the bond of Chnst, his word, 
promise, obligation ; no other condition of it but this, ' If you abide in 
me.' If a great prince, rich, powerful, should make such a promise, 
ask my son, my kingdom, my treasure, all that I have or can do ; how 
happy would we think the condition of such a favourite I Nay, they have 
not only this happiness by way of promise, in words, de futurOf but actu- 
ally, in hand, in words, ds prasentu * All are yours, ye are Christ's, 1 Cor. 
iii. 28. Interest in him gives interest in all ; union with him, possession of 
all. AU is an exposition of tehat ye will, Man's desires are iii^nite, nothing 
will satisfy but all ; therefore Christ, who is determined to enhappy all his, 
will satisfy their desires to the utmost, and gives all, all that heart can 
desire ; himself, and all with him. 

AU that he u, as God ; his attributes, essence, subsistence ; as mediator, 
his offices, your king, priest, prophet, and the acts of it ; as man, his mind ; 
he is ever mindful of you, you are never out of his thoughts, Isa. xlix. 15. 
His heart, his affections, more tender and endeared than in any creature. 
Love, ' As the Father loves me,' John xv. 9, John xvii. 26 ; love not equally, 
but as truly, really, effectually, certainly, unchangeably. Delight, ' All his 
delight is with the sons of men,' Ps. x. 8, Prov. viii. 81. Compassion ; for 
this end he assumed our nature, Heb. ii. 17. Joy, * as a bridegroom over 
the bride,' Isa. Ixii. 6. Oh what happiness 1 Surely this is the joy of 
heaven, yet you have it here. 

All that he doth. His administrations on earth,* John xvii. 18, 19 ; his 
intercession in heaven, he now lives, &c. It is the end of his life in heaven. 

All that he suffered. He was wounded for their transgressions ; and that 
he purchased by sufferings, pardon, peace, grace, glory. 


All thai he haihy even from his throne to his footstool : Rev. iii. 21, 'To 
him that oTsrcometh, will I grant to sit on mj throne/ His footstool : Mat. 
▼. 5, ' Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth ;' * He that over- 
comeih shall inherit all things ;* not only peace, and plenty, and glory, hat 
his peace : John xiv. 24, ' My peace I give nnto yon.* His fhlness, the 
fdhiess of God, Eph. iii. 19, John i. 16, * of his fhlness.' His glory, John 
xrii. 22; his joy, yer. 11. All that he hath in heaven or earth, your 
Father, your portion ; the Holy Ghost yonr comforter, teacher, John xiv. 26 ; 
the angels yoor attendants, yonr guard. Mat. iv. 6, Ps. zci. 12 ; the saints 
joor te^thren, yonr fellow-memhers, fifst fruits. Gal. iii. 28. Ye are all 
one in Christ Jesus, part of the same crop with those that are in heaven, 
only they are first reaped. 

All m earthy 1 Cor. iii. 22, ' or the world, or life, or death, or things pre- 
sent,' Ac. 

AU that /^ «s, BO far as it is communicahle, and you capahle ; all that he 
doth, or can do, if good for you ; * no good thing will he withhold from 
them' that love him, Ps. Ixzziv. 11, and xzxiv. 10. All the difficulty is, 
whether can better judge what is best, God or ourselves. Oh what tempt- 
ing happiness is he 1 Can the world, or sin, or Satan, promise or secure 
Bach things ? * Will the son of Jesse give you fields and vineyards ? 1 Sam. 
nii. 7. 

Obj. But how shall we get into Christ ? 

Direct. The best I can prescribe is shewing the way by which the Lord 
biings men to Christ. No man cOmes except the Father draw him, and he 
draws by degrees. 

1. lUuminatUm, Opens the eye to see sin, sees it with another light ; 
sets them in order before him, shews him the face of his soul in the glass of 
the law, the sins of his nature and life ; leads him into every part of his 
boqI and life, as he did, Ezek. viii., still greater abominations; brings to 
his mind sins past, and makes him possess them ; opens the bag where 
they are sealed, lets him see what a woful treasure there is ; shews him 
the number and weight, so that he sees cause to complain with David, Ps. 
xzxviii. 4, * Mine iniquities are gone over my head ; as an heavy burden they 
are too heavy for me.' Variously in degrees, not alike in all as to degrees. 

2. Humiliation under the sense of sin's desert. Sees all the curses and 
threatenings bent against him, levelled at him, justice ready to discharge, 
wrath hastening justice ; applies threatenings to himself, the soul that sins 
shall die, is cursed, condemned ; conscience is awakened, sensible of the 
burden, groans under it ; the sting of guilt pricks his heart, as theirs. Acts 
ii. 27 ; conseience is wounded, sometimes so deeply, as ready to faint ; the 
burden of wrath lies so heavy, as makes him ready to sink. Hence horror, 
a degree of hell ; fear, a spirit of bondage. Sees himself at the brink of 
hell, ready each moment to ficdl in. Herein the Lord proceeds with some 
variety ; all are not humbled alike, some more deeply, some less ; but all 
have some sense of their misery, so as to be apprehensive of an absolute 
necessity of Christ. 

8. Self-renunciation. Benouncing his own righteousness, despairing that 
any thing he hath, or can do, will remove this misery, pacify wrath, expiate 
gmlt, and eounting all loss. Men convinced of wrath and misery are apt 
to inquire with the jailor, * What shall I do to be saved ?' and take up reso- 
lutions to pray, hear, ^., hereby to pacify God ; but when he intends 
union, he takes away these rotten supports, to make way for Christ ; con- 
vinces that nothing he can do is available ; not the fruit of the body, nor 
rivers of oil ; not good nature, well-meanings, holy duties ; all are as men- 


128 ^ VAN*3 IMSUmCISIiCT [JOBM XV. 5. 

strnon^ cloths ; noaa bat Gbrbt. ThAe imwt be pand off befilce fluve be 

4. Hope, Though he makes him despair of himself; yet he leaves him not 
to despair of God, raises some weak hopes itaax the meteies of Qod : *■ He 
wills not the death of a sinner.' General ctfers of Ghzist : ' He eama to nro 
sinners/ to ' seek and save that which was lost/ and why not me ? says the 
hnmbled sonl. From examples in Seriptare and experience, the Lord par- 
doned snch grievoos sins and sinners, who knows but he may pardon me ? 
It may be he will. He cannot, dare not say at first, he hath pardoned, or 
will pardon ; bat it may be he will. From absolate promises, *' thongh their 
sins be as red as scarlet,* ' I will blot oat their iniquities for my name's sake.' 
There is some hope concerning this. 

5. Deairef aftsr Christ. These are yirtnally faith, when strong, spiritaal, 
sincere, constant, insatiable. When I desire him, as one almost fiunished 
for bread, as the hart panteth for water, as one under a pressing bnrden for 
ease ; as one dangerously wounded, and grievously pained, for eure ; as one 
in danger of death, for life, < skin for skin,' &c. Let me be poor, if I may 
have interest in Christ's treasures ; let me be hated, perseeated of all, if 
Christ will pity me, love me ; let me be banished from finends and oomlbrts, 
if Christ dwell with me ; let me be nothing, have nothing, if Christ will be 
mine ; let God deny me what he will, if he give me Christ ; let him dispose 
of me as he pleases for temporals, only let me live, let my soul live. Oh 
that I might have Christ, though I so^er, die, go through hell to him ! 
These bring abng with them, 

6. Consent to take him upon his own terms. He thinks them propounded 
easy, embraces them with all his heart. No terms could be so grievous but 
he would accept them ; he closes with Christ, clasps about hun, resolves 
never to part. This is actual faith, and then actual faith makes us one with 
Christ, brings us actually to him. 

Use. If those that are without Christ can do nothing, then they are de- 
ceived who ascribe to man's will unrenewed, such a power, as to that whieh 
is spiritual and saving, as is inconsistent with what Christ here tells as. 
They say man's will can do much herein, without Christ's special influence. 
Christ himself tells us, ' without him he can do nothing,' and die apostles alter 
him, Eph. ii., Phil. ii. 18, 2 Cor. iii. 5. This is enough to CTUsh that con- 
ceit of the power of free will, advanced first by the Pelagians of old, who 
were therefore branded as the enemies of the grace of Christ, and revived in 
later times by the Arminians, the Socinians, and the Jesuits, who all are 
zealots for it. And indeed it is of great moment, and of large influence. 
Luther called it fundamentum totius papismi, the groundwork of all popary« 

The words of Christ in the text are a full confutation of it. I need add 
no more to dissuade those from it who are tender of the honour of Christ, 
and the glory of his grace, but only to let you understand what it is, and help 
you to see into the inwards of it ; for I cannot much fear that any amongst 
us will be taken with it, but because they do not well understand it ; pride 
in the learned, and ignorance in others, are the great advantages of it. 

I will therefore endeavour to open it to you as briefly and plainly as the 
matter will admit. The glory of Christ, the interest of souls (who are eon- 
earned to give him the honour of his grace) and the vindication of the text 
I have insisted on, require this of me. 

Free will, in the sense of those who maintain it, is a power in the will to 
incline either way, when that which is supernatural and saviz^ is offered as 
its object ; a power and freedom in the will to choose or refuse, to yield or 
resist, to embrace or reject, as it list. So that this with them is twofold. 

John XV. 5.] to do Axrtsaa of sokmlw.^ 129 

1. Torrftuearretitt. We say as It this, Ithe will of a natural man maj» 
and does, resist common motion^ or offers of grace, bnt not those that are 
special, yiz., when the Lord puts forth the power of his grace with an intent 
to eonvert a sinner, then the wiU does not, cannot resist. 

They say when Uie Lord and the power of his grace has done all that it 
eta do, all that he is ever wont to do, the will ordinarily does, and always 
can resist it ; so that if we will believe them, we most believe that when 
the Lord has done what he can, the will can do what it list. And so it 
most be free, so &r as not to be snlgected to the dominion and power of 
God ; he cannot role, or move it otherwise than it list ; if it should be more 
thao thus subjected to him, it would be destroyed. It is essential to the 
will to have a power to resist God, do what he can, unless he would take 
zwMj the nature and being cf it. This is the true visage of their opinion 
(in the first branch of it) ; if you will see it pktn and naked, there needs no 
dirt to be cast upon it to render it odious. • 

2. To choose, or embrace. The will, they say, can incline to that which is 
spiritually and supematurally good. They speak not of a capacity, which is 
not denied, bnt of an active power. A natural man, by the power of his 
vili, as he can r^ect Christ, so he can embrace him ; as he can resist con- 
vertiiig grace, so he can yield to it as he will ; the will can incline itself to 
this as well as the other. This is a true representation of their opinion in 
the other branch of it. Against which we say, 

(1.) This is to deny original corruption (which is the foundation of all 
the doctrine of grace comprised in the gospel, for it all depends upon a sup- 
posal of the corruption of our natures), for if the will can incline itsialf to that 
which is spiritually good, it is not habitually inclined to evil only, it is not 
fixedly averse to supernatural good ; and if we be not so inclined to evil, 
and so averse to good, our natures are not corrupted. 

(2.) This is to deny the necessity of regeneration, which is the ground of 
all the benefits and privileges we have by Christ, the first stone in Uie struc- 
toie, without which none of the other have place, for if the will can incline 
itself to spiritoal good, it needs not regenerating grace to incline it ; if it can 
incline itself to holiness, it needs no inward principle of holiness to incline it. 

To solve this (that I may not conceal from you the beet they have to say 
for themselves) they tell us, the will is not inclined but by the help of grace, 
that gives it power. But what is that which they call grace 9 Let thiat be 
minded. They say it is a common enlightening of the mind to discern the 
object, and a moral excitement or inviting of the wiU by ailments and 
rational inducements. Such grace, they say, the Lord affords to all indiffer- 
ently, and it is all that he gives or does to the will of any one in order to 
conversion. Those that use this grace right, are converted ; those that do 
not, are not. 

To this we say, that such grace gives no strength to the will, but supposes 
it able already. He that holds forth a light to a man lying on the ^ound, 
and movee him with arguments to rise and walk, does not tiiereby give him 
legs, or strength, bnt supposes he has these aheady ; so that his grace, stich 
as it is, being supposed, still no room is left for original corruption, no need 
of regooeratian ; nor will Christ be the cause of convernon, the author of 
faith or hotiness, and the efficacy of his grace shall depend upon the will of 
man. Grant the best they can allege, all these absurd and dangerous things 
must be allowed, if we will allow their opinion. 

[1.] There will be no original conmption. For if the will be corrupted 
through original sin, that which helps it must take away the prevalency of 

yokm n. < 

180 ^ icak's nrsuFficiEiroT [Johk XY. 5. 

tluB eonrapiion ; bnt sneh a graoe as^they tell ng of , is of no sneh use or 
tendenoy ; nor do they pretend that it heala the conropted will, for they 
rather freely eonfess ihaX there is no oormption in the will of a natural man. 

[2.J The necessity of regeneration is lor the implanting of gracions quali- 
ties in the soul, and especially in the will (that being the principal seat of 
all grace), that it may be possessed with the principles of fiuth, repentance, 
holmess ; that by virtue of them it may be inclined to suitable acts ; since, 
in OTery state, the will inclines according to the quality of it ; nor can the 
fruit (the acts) be good, till the tree be good. But they do not pretend that 
their moral grace does implant any sudi gracions qualities or principles in 
the will ; nay, they contend there needs no such quality in the will ; 1^ will 
can, and does, incline itself without it, and so no need of regeneraticm. 

[8.] This, we say, makes Christ not to be the worker or real cause of con- 
version or r^eneration, nor the author or giver of fiedth, repentance, holiness ; 
which appears several ways ; for since what Christ does for us this way is 
only, as they say, by this suasive or exciting grace, 

Fintf He does not work conversion, but only invite to it ; not efficerg, but 
madere. He is not the worker of it, but a persuader to it, and that for the 
most part ineffectually ; moves the will so as it needs not to be moved, and 
commonly is not ; effects not our conversion or regeneration, but only ex- 
cites us to do it ourselves. 

Secondly, This way (which is all they leave them) he neither gives the 
power nor the act. 

First, Not the pmcer, for suasive grace gives no more the power to yidid 
than resist, but leaves the will, as they say, indifferent. Besides, this exciting 
grace supposes a sinner has the power already, and needs not giving, bnt 
only exciting. He that thinks it enough to shew a man his business, and 
persuade him to work, doth not thereby give him strength, but supposes he 
has it beforehand. 

Secondly, He gives not the act or the willingness, for that which gives or 
works the act determines the will, or causes it to determine itself. But this 
which they call grace brings it only to the will's choice, and leaves it indifferent 
to act or not to act; and so, no more works the one than the other, and is no 
more the cause that it acts than that it acts not. They say Grod will convert 
us if we wiU (neither desires nor promises it absolutely), so that the will must 
be from us ; but if we be willing we are actually converted, and so the act <tf 
conversion is from us. 

(8.) This grace of theirs is given equally to all, and effects no more in one 
thiol another. Therefore Christ, in this respect, is no more the cause of con- 
version in these that turn to God than in these who are never converted; he 
works regeneration no more in those that are sanctified than in the nnregene- 
rate, t. e, he works it not at all, he is no cause of it. He gives faith and repen- 
tance no more to those who believe and repent than to those who persevere in 
impenitency and unbelief; he gave fiiith no more to Paul than to Judas; he 
gave repentance no more to Peter than to Simon Magus, f . e. he gave it not at 
all; for he does no more for any than this moral grace wiU do, and all have 
this alike. 

(4.) This makes the efficacy of the grace of Christ to depend upon the will 
of man. That gprace which they say is sufficient, if we will, becomes effectual ; 
if we will not, it is of no effect. And so it is ' of him that willeth,' and not ' of 
God that shews mercy,' in making his grace effectual, Bom. it. 16. 

To help all this, some of them say tibere is another sort of grace, which 
they call subsequent and co-operatmg, by virtue of which they would have it 
thought that the Lord may be said to be the author of conversion. But this 


latter gnee oomes too Iste to be ooontod the canse of eonversion, for, as they 
state it, it is not vonobsafed till the will have determined itself, tlierefore it is 
called siibseqaent. It concurs not with us tiU we are willing; the determina- 
tioD of the wiU is before it in order of nature. None have this grace (accord- 
ing to tBis method) but those who make right use of the former preventing 
grace ; and right use is not made of that but when the will yields to the in- 
Titation, and gives its consent. Now, when the will yields and gives its 
coDMot, the soul is converted already ; and so this grace which follows such 
consent cannot be the cause of conversion, unless that can be called the 
caoae which is after the effect. 

All that can be made hereof is this : the Lord by his grace helps to con- 
vert ns when we are already converted ; he gives us &ith if we believe 
beforehand ; he ^ickens us when [we] are already alive ; he helps us to 
rise oat of this state of sin and impenitenee, when we are already risen ! It 
is we that do the work first ; he helps us in it afterward 1 If you can 
digest this, you may swallow their doctrine. 

Thus have I truly shewed you what the patrons of free will hold and 
assert m opposition to the text. It exempts man's will from the dominion 
of God, it denies original sin, it leaves no need of regeneration, it takes from 
Christ the honour of being tJbe author of our conversion, the giver of saving 
blessings; it subjects his grace to the sovereignty of man's will, so that it 
shall have no ef&cacy but as we list. 

I need not lay any colours on it to make ii look ugly. It detracts from 
Christ to exalt nature ; it takes the crown from effectual victorious grace, and 
sets it upon the head of free will ; it makes Christ and his grace in a manner 
needless, as to the restoring of our souls to life; it is but little that he does, 
and thai to no purpose, unless we will. And if we wiU, we well nigh do it all 
ourselves. Thus must we conclude if we believe them. But if we believe 
Christ, without him we can do nothing. 

Obj. If it be impossible to do anything out of Qirist, then it is in vain 
to endeavour. If no possibility, why should we hope ? If no hope, no 
endeavours ; despair, or be careless. 

Am, 1. It is our duty to endeavour what is impossible by our endeavours 
io attain, so siu has made it ; to avoid all sin, to perform perfect obedience, 
to love God with all the heart and strength. It is our duty to endeavour the 
eontinnance of those things we cannot possibly lose; Ergo^ not absurd to 
endeavour the attainment of what is impossible. It was not* possible that 
Herod should murder Christ in his infancy ; yet Joseph used means to avoid 
it, fled to Egypt, was so commanded. It is not possible the elect should be 
seduced, frdl away totally and finally; yet they are to use all means to pre- 
vent it. Necessity is a sufficient reason to act without further encourage- 
ment. A man in a river, ready to drown, will endeavour to save his life, 
though some should tell him it were impossible. There is a necessity where 
there is a command firom God ; now he requires, it behoves man to do his 
dnty, and leave the success to God. Secret thing? do belong to God, Deut. 
nix. 29; things future are secrets, events are future; present known duties 
belong to UB. If it be not possible to attain happiness by our endeavours 
only, yet it is possible to attain it some other way. Do what he requires, 
and he will do what is best; leave him to find the way who made it. 

An$. 2. Though one out of Christ can do nothing spiritually good, yet he 
may do something preparatory. There are some things attainable by a 
natural man, which may be called preparations for Christ. Though they be 
not causes, nor necessary antecedents of eonvwsion or union, yet are dis- 
posing oeeaaions, and have a probable, though not a necessary, connection 


with iheee. Those that attain them may miss of Ghristi bat it is piobable 
they will not 

This is great encouragement to endeavonr ; they are Teiy deonbloy and j 
withal attainable. It is in his sphere, this shonld be his palaOra, I shall 
shew, 1, what these things are; 2, that one out of Ohnst may cfi> them; 
8» there is a probability they will snoceed ; 4,^if they sneeeed not to the 
ntmost, yet they are not in vain. | 

1. (1.) Knowledge of man's sinfhlness and misery by natme out of Christ ; I 
sinfulness of nature and acts; misery, enrse, wn^, present and to come. 
Knowledge of justice and the law : what that requires and forbids; and of 
justice, what it is ready to execute. 

(2.) ConYiction that he in particular is so siniul and miserable; wrought 
by application of what he knows in general to his own state : I am the 
man who am thus sinful, and therefore who am thus obnoxious to justiee 
and wrath. 

(8.) Sense of his misery. Letting his thoughts dwell so long upon it, till 
his heart be affected with what his understanding apprehends; till the notion 
beget affection, some sense thereof, fear of wrath, justice, threatenings, enraes, 
lest they should be executed, sadness, consternation of spirit, dejection, humi- 
liation of heart, and all high thoughts of his good and safe condition cast down, 
and himself laid with them in the dust, manifested by sibling nnder the 
burden of wrath, lamenting his sad condition. 

(4.) Desire of freedom from this misery, serious wishes to be delirered 
from the wrath to come ; not to come into that place of torment, not to dwell 
with everlasting burnings. 

(6.) Believe that Christ only can free him; no name under heaven but 
this. Nothing that himself hath, or can do, or any other for him, ean deliver 
him ; none but Christ. 

(6.) Diligent use of outward means where Christ is to be found : hear, 
pray, read, meditate, confer. 

(7.) Outward reformation. 

These are the preparations. Now, 

2. That they are attainable by one out of Christ is evident, beoanse sneh 
a one has all things that are requisite to attain them, which are three : 1, apl, 
fit means; 2, common assistance; 8, power to use the means. 

(1.) He has fit means. Fit, i.e. such as have an aptitude (if made use 
of) to work these effects. The word clearly reveals man's misery, and 
Christ the only remedy. The word preached, and particularly applied, has 
an aptitude to convince of sin and misery in particular; and this seriously 
thought of, and imprinted by meditation, begets sense; from this sense 
springs desire of freedom, and desires beget endeavours. 

(2.) He has common and general assistance. And this is enough (for 
these being but common works, do not require special assistance), he has 
it; because common assistance, whether by way of motion or oo-operatifm, 
is never, or very rarely, denied either to rational or natural agents. If things 
requisite to an action be ready, and actually applied, and nothing hind«r it 
but want of this divine assistance, the suspending of it is a miracle, vdneh 
we ean never expect. If fire do not bum combustible matter applied to it, 
it is a miracle, as we have an instance in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. If 
nourishing meat, received and concocted, do not nourish the body, merely 
for want of this co-operation, it is no less miraculous. If the eye, ri^tly 
disposed, do not see a visible object conveniently placed, merely beeanse 
divine influence is suspended, it is miraculous. And so if an intelUgeDt 
man do not understand a plain discourse, merely because God ooneors nol» 


it is no leas minumloos. And so in this oaae, if the means, apt in themselyes 
to work these effaets, do not proTe eflfeotoal, when made use of, if there be 
BO other reason bnt want of divine assistance, it is a miracle. There is no 
more reason to fear the want of common assistance, than to hope for miracles ; 
no more gronnd to deny that, than to affirm this. 

(8.) He has power to nse the means; for nothing is required to the use 
thereof but the diligent exercise of reason. No man that thus objects will 
denj bnt he has the nse of reason, and he cannot deny bnt he may be as 
diligent in the exercise of it abont tins object as abont others. Beading, or 
hearing, and meditating on the word, will work the mentioned effects, and 
these acts are all within the reach of reason. To do these spiritually indeed 
requires a higher principle, bnt a common and rational exercise of these wiU 
attain these common works. Though without Christ ye cannot act spiri- 
tually, ye may act rationally. Ye may hear what is plainly delivered with 
understanding, and apply what is spoken in common to your own particulars, 
by the use of ordinaiy discourse, and remember what concerns your souls as 
weU as what concerns your estate, and work what you remember upon your 
hearts, by serious thoughts and meditation; these acts are in the power of 
an ordinary nnderstancUng. 

What, Uien, is the reason that when so many exgoy the gospel, so few 
reach these common works ? It is not want of means, assistance, or power 
to use means ; what then ? It is wofiil negligence, and wilful carelessness ; 
men will not hear, not so much as come ; or if they do hear, yet not so much 
as to hear with understanding and remembrance ; apply it not, keep it off as 
that which belongs not to them, or that which they are afraid of; meditate 
not, let it not stay in their minds, nor let their thoughts work on it. 

This is the true reason why so many perish without excuse ; they will not 
do what they can, and so provoke the Lord not to do for them what they 
cannot. This is the true, the only reason; others are idle or wicked pre- 
tences. And it is little less than blasphemy to accuse the decrees or pro- 
vidences of God as the causes, when negligence only deserves to be counted 
so. If a man have the use of his hands at command, and meat before him, 
would it not seem wicked and ridiculous if he should say he could not take 
the meat because he is not moiAd from above ? When was such a common 
assistance evor denied ? You have the word preached, and understandings 
capable; why do you not receive it ? Is it not plainly because you will not? 
If a nuin eat, but force his meat out of his stomach before it be concocted, 
would it not be both wicked and absurd to say his meat doth not nourish, 
because God denies to concur with it, whenas the pUun reason is his ejecting 
it? Yon here receive the bread of life; but by worldly cares and employ- 
ments, yon crowd it out of your souls before it be concocted by meditation ; 
yon stop reason in its working, will not employ it to meditate. It is not 
want of assistance, but want of will and care. You will not do what you 
can, therefore your destruction is of yourselves; God's justice is clear. 
This will stop your months at the day of judgment. Whatever the heathens 
have to plead, you will have nothing; bnt stand speechless, and hear that 
dreadful sentence passed without excuse. Will it be a sufficient plea to say 
you wonld not do what you could, because you could not do what you would ; 
do nothing, because you could not do all; not do your duty, because yon 
could not do what he has reserved in his own power; not obey him in things 
possible and easy, because he would not suffer you to entrench upon his 
prerogative ? Oh woful plea, which will make your condenmation greater, 
and add to your torments 1 But, blessed be God^ there is yetrtime to pre- 
vent this, and yon see the way. Here is matter for your endeavours, you 

184 man's nSUTFIOIBKCT [JOBX ZY. S. 

need not be idle and oareless; yea, and here is matter of hope too. I saj 
not, that if a man do what he can, Gh>d ought to ^ve him graoe, or irill 
certainly ; but only there is hope he will. Yoa need not despair, as sppetn 
in the third answer. 

8. Though there be no certainty that these preparations will bring yon to 
Christ, yet there is probability they may; thongh ihe snoeess of those endea- 
TOOTS be not certain, it is probable. Men count probabilities snffident 
grounds to act upon, and indeed moral endeavours have no other eneonrage- 
ment; CTents are uncertain. But in affairs of the world, if there be cue 
probable way, and no other visible, men never consult whether they shall 
take that course, but immediately, without delay, fall upon it with all their 
strength. So Benhadad, 1 Kings zx. 81, 82, < Peradventnre he will save 
thy l^e,' &c. ; so the lepers, 2 Kmgs vii. 4, ' If they save ns alive, we shall 
live,* &c. ; so the Oanaanitish woman. Mat. xv. 26, 27 ; all upon very weak 
probabilitieB. There is no certainty physic will cure a dangeA>ii8 disease; 
yet because it is probable, a sick person will take it, though costly and un- 
pleasing. No certainty that industry in a particular calling will make rich; 
yet because it is probable, men rise early and sit up late, &c. Here is as 
much probability for your souls, and it is of more concernment, and there 
is no other way visible that jou can walk in. 

The probabUity rises firom many grounds. 

(1.) It is God*s ordinary way whereby he brings men to Christ. It is a 
great encouragement to a poor pilgrim that he is in the ready way home, 
tiiough it be possible he may lose it; there is more hopes he may anivs 
there, than for him who never comes near, is out of it, and goes fnrtiier and 
further from it. Those who have these preparations are in the way; thoee 
who want and neglect them are out and wander, what hopes of them ? A 
poor prisoner lies in a dungeon many years, and like to do so until he die; a 
friend comes and shews him a way by which he may probably get out ; it is pos- 
sible the jailor may meet him, and prevent his escape; yet if he tiy, there is 
more hopes for him than those who love their dungeon and fetters, and will not 
stir, nor take a lively* course to escape. It is Qod*B way, therefore hopelnl. 

(2.) It is a sign God is bringing such to Christ; not an infallible, yet a 
hopeful, sign, that God will give &e end, when he stirs up any to vae the 
means. It is a sign God intends salvation when he sends the gospel ; but 
a more hopefol sign, and that which presages better and more particularly, 
when the gospel is improved, made use of by any to whom it is sent. 

Those who use the means, though such as have but a probable eonncclion 
with the end, have hopes; those who neglect them are desperate, have no 
ground to think they should attain the end. Shew us some token for good. 
There are several tokens : some portend infallibly, some but dubiously and 
probably. There is certainty from those, hope from these, neither frt>m others. 

(8.) These are nearer to Christ and happiness than others, Ergo^ there 
is hope. The greatest part of the world are out of Christ ; yet there is a 
latitude, some ftirther off, some nearer. Christ says of one, ' Thou art not 
&r from the kingdom of heaven,' Mark zii. 84. Some in the confines of it, 
some in another world, more hopes for them ; some within sight of a eitj of 
refuge, others beyond Jordan. We may compare the kingdom of Christ to 
the temple ; the glorified are in the holy of holies, the saints in the holy 
place, these under preparations in the court, there is more hopes they may 
get into the sanctuary than those who are in another country or a remote 
part of the land. There is more hopes, more encouragement for those 
that are nearer to Christ than for those that are further off. 
• Qtt. -likely?*— En. 

John XY. 5. J to do antihino of bimsklw. 185 

(4.) These are more fit for Olirist, more capable of grace than others: 
these preparations are a comparatiTC capacity, though not absolate, so as 
never to miss of it; a material and sabjectiye capacity, though not a formal; 
snch disposing occasions as diminish the resistance though not abolish it, 
more easily reduced : abate something of it, though not quite expel and pre- 
vail against it ; though all easy to God, yet to us some more, some less. 
A stone under the instrument cxf the workman is more capable of a form than 
a stone in the rock. The Lord indeed is a free agent, and ties not himself 
to preparations or dispositions, works where and when he pleases ; the Spirit 
blows where it listeth ; yet, a Tessel in the sea, with sails spread, is in more 
hopes to get the advantage of a gale than one sticking in the sands without 
sails ; these preparations are as sails spread. The impotent man that lay 
at the pool of Bethesda, John v., sensible of his infirmity, though he could 
not go into the pool when the waters were troubled, was more likely to be 
cured than those who were insensible of their diseases and did not come 
near the pooL Those that are thus prepared are sensible, and lie at 
the pool, there is more hopes, they are more capable, &c. Here is a capa- 
city, though remote, more hopeful than none at all. 

(5.) Few miscarry that go thus fiur, therefore there is hopes ; few go thus 
far but go farther, are carried by God to Christ ; few in comparison of those 
who go not 80 fiur, and of those who go so fur and miscarry. The miscar- 
riage of some merchants upon the seas doth not hinder others firom ventur- 
ing, because they see many grow rich thereby ; but if they had no other way 
to BubsiBty though more should perish, they would adventure. We can do 
Dothing, all for hopes of a subsistence ; when necessity is the greater, the 
hopes are more ; it is a duty necessary, not an employment out of choice. 
The most successful armies lose some in their conflicts, yet this discourages 
not the rest firom hazarding all to conquer. We run no hazard here ; we 
haxard none if we venture not ;* and few perish in comparison of those who 
conquer; therefore great encouragement to endeavour; and if you do not, 
jon are certain to perish, fi>r anything you can do. 

(6.) Those that miscarry are the causes of it themselves ; they either 
despair, or relapse, or resist. The fault is man's. 

Despair is very tare and unusual. The Bible, a history of four thousand 
years, tells us but of two, Cain and Judas. Yet there is more hopes of those 
that despair, than that senseless presumption afiiords any ground for, in 
which most live and die. ' 

Belapse is the ordinary cause, when those who have gone so iaa omit, 
negligently perform, those duties in the use of which they arrived at such 
attainments. They embrace the present world with Demas, choke these 
motions, drovm the voice of conscience, bestow so much time and strength 
on it as leave none for their souls ; return to their vomit, base lusts, sensual 
pleasures, bad company, resist the common workings of the Spirit, provoke 
him thereby to add none speciaL The fault is cleitfly man's, none else can 
be accused. God moves not to evil, James i. 18, 14. He is not bound to 
prerent these miscarriages or their causes. None can oblige God but him- 
self, and he has not engaged himself to anything in nature, or attainable by 
it. He cures not these distempers, yet he refuses not, but upon man's pro- 
▼oeation and desert. He resists, or misimproves, or rcrjects, common grace 
and workings : is it not just with God to deny special, saving, irresistible ? 
None miscarry but through their own defiuilt, may blame themselves, not 
God ; therefore here is encouragement. If a band of soldiers should be 
assured that none should perish but those who run away, or revolt to the 
* Qn. * hazard more if we venture not ' ? — or, ' hazard none if we venture ' 9— £& 


enemy » wodd not this be €O0Oiinigeme&t to fight to the lifll? Bo it is here. 
If a merchant ahoiild be asraied that no t^Tentnran make vBmkoo&uM 
▼oyagee but those ^o nae meana to sink tiieir own ship, or those who, 
repenting their undertaking, retom before they arrive at Uie plaee whithtf 
they are boand, wonld not thia enoonraga him to adventure f 

That yon may pereeive that what I spesk eoneeming these prepsntiooi 
is fiur enough fi:om their principlesi who advance the power of natoie or free- 
willt to the pr^udice of free grace ; — 

These preparations are not the cause of eonveraion 'or union, nor neees- 
sary antecedents, so that union and conversion diould certainly and on* 
avoidably follow these ; nor parts or degrees of regeneration, Ac., thoo(^ 
steps to it ; not gradua m, $ed gradm ad rem; nor spizitnal or supematond 
acts, but such as natural men may do with common assistanoe, such as ia 
common to those who never are converted ; nor saving acts, aneh as pertain 
to salvation, or are necessarily linked with it, or with a title to it. Nor do 
they give power to a soul to beUeve, to turn to Qod, &c., if he will, jrea, or 
power to be willing. Nor do they oblige the Lc^ to give Christ or spintnal 
blessings to such, either in point of faithfulnesQ, as tl^gh he had promiaed 
it; there is no promise to such of grace to natmral acts. Much less in point 
of justice, as though there were such worth in these to make it doe; no, 
nor in point of equity, as though it were unreasonable, unequal, or inecm- 
gruous for the Lord to deny regenerating grace to those who are under these 
preparatives. He may do what he pleases for all this ; and what he pleaaee 
to do, either to give or deny, it will be highly equal and congnioua. 

4. Though these endeavours always succeed not to the utmost of what 
may be expected and desired, yet they are never in vain ; for preparetioni 
are required and comnumded, and industry to attain them is obedience. No 
man ever lost by obedience in small things ; it has a recompense in itself: 
behold its reward is with it : there are advantages in it, though none should 
follow it. It is better to be in heU obeying than in heaven rebelling. There 
is BO much sweetness and exoellency in obedience, as makes it deeiraUe, and 
worthy of our best endeavours, without respect to reoompense. What 
greater excellency than confozmi^ to the divine will ? And there is no trae 
pleasure in any acts but those that are conformable to it. When Paul eajs, 
* If our hopes were only in this life, we were of all most miserable,' he 
speaks not his own, but the opinion of the world. For if there were no 
heaven hereafter, obedience would be a heaves, some part of hi^piness here. 
It is true of saints, and in proportion of others. 

Yet there are extrinsecal advantages here and hereafter. It is observed 
that those who have searched after the philosopher's stone, though they have 
not found it, yet in the inquiry have discoTered such rare and pleasing 
secrets in nature, as may countervail their pains and cost. So here, those 
that tend toward Christ in these preparatory works, tfaou^ they find him 
not, yet have rewards that exceed their pains. Cyrus had temporal joo* 
mises, Isa. xliv. 28, and xIt. 1, 18. Jehu, for his obedience in destroying 
idolatry, was invested in a kingdom, and had it established upon his poe* 
terity for four generations. Temporal blessings are the proper reward of 
temporal obedience. God thinks these below that which is q^nritaal and 
sincere, therefore saints often have not an equal share thereof with temporary 
believers : for the future, it has its reward, if not in perfect haziness, jet 
in more easy aufierings. ' It will be fiiur more tolerable in the day of j^ 
ment for,* &e. If they exyoy not more, they shall suffer less. 


Be careful for noihifig. — ^Philipfianb IY. 6. 

Tax begbuung of the chapter consiets of many ezhortatioiui. This ia one 
now xead« It haa little dependenee upon the fonner, that ia obTioos, nnleea 
with the two next before it» Ter. 4, ' Bejoice in the Lord always.' Thoae 
that have intereat in Chriat ought to rejoice, and do so always in every con- 
dition ; not only when their outward state is plentiful, and flourishing, and 
proeperona* but when it is like that of this apostle and the Philippians, low 
tad afflicted, beset on OTory side with dangers, and exposed to all sorts of 
oQtward sufferings. They haye canse for this joy always, because it is a 
r^oidng in God, who is an object that affords constant and continual occa- 
sion of r^oicing. If the world, or the most pleasing things in it, had been 
the object of their joy, it had been unreasonable here to have called for a 
constant rejoicing, it had been imposaible to comply with it ; the matter 
will not bear it, l£e world cannot, will not afford constant occasion for it. 
It is a Tariable and inconatant thhig, and so are all the enjoyments of it ; if 
we have them now, they will be gone ere long, or the comfort of them may 
vaoiah ; if they please and delight us now, they may afflict and trouble ua 
shortly, and bring ua sorrow enough to dash all our worldly joy. But God 
is the same always, he yaries not with the changes of the world, but is as 
delightful and joyoua an object in affliction as in prosperity ; we always find 
oecasion of r^oicing in him, and therefore we may, we ought, to rejoice in 
him alwaya* And that they may thus rejoice in the Lord, he advises them, 
yer. 5, to carry themselves moderately towards outward things ; not to be 
much taken with them when they seem most pleasing, nor to be much 
troubled at them when they seem most afflictive ; not to be much exalted 
when the world fiivoura us, nor dejected when it frowns and crosses us ; but 
to keep a temper, and avoid extremes, either of which damp or disturb 
spiritual joy. Th t^ntxki seems to denote an equal carriage towards the 
world, an even passage through it, an indifferency towards the things thereof, 
whatever they be ; as those who have their eye so much upon God, and so 
taken up witii him, aa to be litUe concerned in outward things, and the 
little circumatancea of this UHb. The Lord is iyyvg; can you be much 
taken with aenaible things when the Lord is so near you ? Can you see 
any object so lovely, so desirable, so delightful as he ? Or if afflictions and 
lofbringa be near, your condition troublesome, or persecutors powerful and 


Tiolent, yet the Lord is near, a very present comfort, » very present help 
in sach a time ; he is at hand, ready to secure, or snpport, or refresh, or 
deliver ; to make yon gainers, r^oicers, more than conqaerors ; and there- 
fore trouble not yourselves, be not careful or solicitous, only nu^ youreaM 
known to him, that is all you have to do. He will take care of you and all 
your concernments, you need not be anxious about anything, tot. 6. 

Ohs, The people of Christ should be careful for notiiing, [Aiifkf fiu^/unn^ 
care for nothing, be not solicitously, anxiously careful for anything. As 
they need not, so they ought not give way to those cares which haunt and 
take up the minds of others. It is both their duty, and their privilege, and 
happiness. Indeed, there is little or nothing which the Lord requires of us 
but tends to our happiness. He shews not only his sovereign anUiority, bat 
his infinite goodness, in those things which he enjoins us ; and leaves qb 
self-condemned and inexcusable if we comply not with his will, since it is 
his design, not only to have us shew our subjection, but to make us happj. 
All his commands tend thereto, and most of them (and this amongst the 
rest) directly and evidently, as will appear in the sequel. 

For explication, let me inquire a little into the act and the object; what 
we are not to be careful for, and what it is to be careful. 

1. For the former. The expression seems universal, but must be under- 
stood with that restraint which the Scripture elsewhere directs us to. 
Nothing here respects especially the concernments of this present life, the 
things of the world and of time. These are they about which we are in 
danger to take too much care; the concernments of our souls, the things of 
heaven and eternity, we are apt to be too careless and regardless of. The 
Lord uses a spur here ; we need quickening, and are in danger to be too 
remiss, both as to the end and the means. The Lord calls upon ns to take 
care of both, and we are to hearken to him accordingly, Dent. xr. 5, Luke 
X. 40, Titus iii. 8. Both the end and the way should be minded witii great 
care ; he excites and stirs us up to this ; but where we are in danger to be 
too careful, there he uses a curb ; and this is about the things of this 
life, for these he would have us not careful. These are the things in- 
tended in the text, and other expressions in Scripture point at them. "What 
we are in danger of^ what we are restrained from, is the cares sometimes of 
this world : Mat. xiii. 22, fM^tfAva roit d/wvo; rolmv; and Mark iv. 19, ftigifiLmtt 
fo., sometimes of this life; Luke xxi. 84, /iipifAvcu ptmrnuu, the things which 
concern this life while we are in this world, earthly and temporal things, 
which are of no longer continuance nor fiirther concernment than our pre- 
sent life. Nothing of this nature should be our care, we are not to be care- 
frd about any such thing. Particularly, we should not be careful about, 
(1.) getting and providing them when we want them, or have them not in 
such a measure and degree as we desire. Our Lord Jesus, in that excel- 
lent sermon which he xnade in the mount, insists most upon this ; he stajs 
not so long upon any other particular, and presses it with much foree and 
variety of argument ; Mat. vi. 25, 81, 84, where the word rendered, ' take 
no thought,' is the same all along which the apostle here uses, fkii fu^fumn, 
be not careful, /efri) fLt^tfiffinrt, ye shall not be careful, either for plenty and 
superfluities, or for necessaries, food and raiment ; there is no cause, no 
reason for carefulness to get either, as he argues admirably, and to the con- 
viction of the dullest understanding, and the most distmstfrd heart 

(2.) About keeping, ordering, or securing them« Martha was too soli- 
citous and careful in ordering the affairs of the fiimily. Christ dieeks her 
for it, Luke x. 40. The rich man was careful how to keep his stores ; he 
is branded as a fool for his pains, Luke xiL 17, 20, dnXe/Z^i re n e ourf , he 


reasoned canfallj, fte. We should not be solioitoas and earefal how to 
SToid losses and troubles, how to prevent or escape snfferings in our persons 
or ontward eoneems. The apostle in the text probably has a particular re- 
spect to this. The condition of the Philippians, exposed to dangers and 
sufferings, might make them subject to carefubiess, how they should secure 
themselves and what they had. And so he thought it seasonable to mind 
them of their duty, to be careful for no such thing. The way of man, the 
way of flesh and blood, is to take much care in such a case. The way of 
God lies elsewhere ; make your case known to him, and be at rest. 

(8.) About deliverance when losses have surprised us, and troubles and 
sufferings are upon us. When this befiEills us, a burden of cares is ready to 
£dl upon Qs, we are apt to pull it upon ourselves. The Lord would not 
have ns earefol about this, he has better provided for us, Ps. Iv. 22 ; and 
thus did the three fiuthfhl Jews ease themselves of that which would have 
oppressed others, Dan. iii. 16. 

Bat are we to be altogether careless and regardless of the enjoyments or 
sufferings of this life, and have no more regard of them than Ckdlio had of 
the Jews' concerns ? Must we * care for none of these things ' 7 Must we 
be neglectful of them, as the disciples thought that Christ might be, when 
in their danger they say to him, Mark iv. 88, * Master, carest t^bou not that 
we perish?' 

2. No, do not mistake ; there is some care that is allowed, yea, enjoined 
and required, about these things, and there is a carefulness which is for- 
bidden and condenmed ; and what the one and the other is, we are now to 
inquire. It was the second thing propounded for explication of this truth 
and the understanding of our duty ; about the act, what it is to be careful 
in the apostle's sense, when he forbids it. And herein I shall proceed, 
(1.) negatively, (2.) positively. He does not prohibit ail kind and degree 
of carefulness about the coocems of this life. There is a care which is 
lawful and necessary, of which take account in these severals : — 

(1.) We may take^notice of our outward condition, and the concernments 
thereof ; we may make use of our judgment and reason, and employ and 
exercise them in discerning what our circumstances are, yea, and what they 
are like to be, Prov. xxii. 8, and xzvii. 12. It is part of Ephraim's censure, 
Hos. vii. 9, * Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not,' 
&e. We may and ought to mind and observe what we have, and want, what 
we have lost or are h'ke to lose when trouble is near, and what we are in 
danger to sufler. These, and the like, we are to mind and consider, or else 
we are like to neglect those duties which depend upon the notice and con- 
sideration hereof, and which the Lord has suited, to the several postures of 
oar outward state. We shall not spiritually improve what is present ; and 
aU these things being under changes, we are like to be surprised and found 
unprepared for what comes next. What care a prudent observation hereof 
inclades, is lawful and necessary, Prov. xxvii. 28. 

(2.) We may have some thoughts about these outward things. Care is 
the exercise or employment of our thoughts about this or that, including the 
same motions which tiiey have upon our other faculties ; and some thoughts 
about these things are needful, and so some care. We may be reasoning, 
and advising, and thinking in ourselves of our enjoyments, how they may Imb 
duly preserved and well employed ; of our wants, how they may be regularly 
supplied ; of our dangers, troubles, sufferings, how they may be lawfully 
aroided, or patiently endured, or fruitfully improved, or seasonably removed. 
The apostle censures those who are careless in one of these cases, by which 
we may condude of the rest, 1 Tim. v. 8, if any one, oi w^mT tm Idim, 


hare not some proridant oare of his own conooinB, aa to outward things, ha 
is Skr from being faithfal. 

(8.) WemayhaTesomesenseof onr external oonditionySnoh as may lesch 
our hearts, and some way affect them, make some impression on them : in a 
temperate fear or hope, joy or grief^ such as arises from the dne and mode- 
rate employment of our thoughts about the things of this life. The apostle 
allows this, only bounds it, as the nature of these things requires, 1 Cor. 
vii. 80. ^d he would not hare us insensible of afflictions, as those who 
have little or no regard of the hand of God therein, Heb. xiL 6, neither too 
great a sense, so as to fidnt under it ; nor too little sense, so as to haTO 
little or no regard or oare, which 6Xi/«^ii», the word there used, signifies. 

(4.) We may use lawfol means (so we do it lawidlly, for measure, man* 
ner, bxA end) about these outward things, to preserve or procure the com- 
forts of this life ; to prevent danger, to keep off sufferings, or to be delivered 
oat of them, we may have so much care, as will make us delight in such use 
of means. The Lord encourages it : Prov. xxi., 6 ' The thoughts of the dili- 
gent tend only to plenteonsness.' 

It is not all care, you see, that is forbidden ; what is it then ? 

2. Positively. It is an excess of care. It is carefrdness, an inordinaey 
therein. Which, what it is, and how it may be discerned, 1 shall endeavour 
to shew. The former in these particulars. 

(1.) When they are too many. The mind is full of them, when not only 
some care, but carefulness ; some thoughts, but thoughtfulness ; a fulness 
of solicitous thoughts, and thoughtful cares ; when the mind is wholly or 
near wholly taken up with them, and little or no room left for better, more 
needful, more profitable, more refreshing thoughts, those of higher and 
greater concernment ; when more than are needful on any account, more 
than the condition of those things requires, or the quality of them deserves. 
If we would take our measures by the worth and value of these earthly things, 
a little care, a few thoughts, should serve their turn ; they are of little mo- 
ment, and of little continuance, and of small advantage or disadvantage, in 
comparison of that which shoidd be our care indeed, and ought to be the 
main subject of our thoughts. Our minds are of a better temper, and were 
made for higher and nobler purposes, than to spend themselves upon such 
low and little matters, and to spin out their strmigth and spirits in oare and 
thoughtfulness about them ; there is an excess in giving way so much, and 
to so many of them ; it is culpable and forbidden carefulness. 

(2.) When they are tumultuous, and put the soul all into a hurry, and hale 
it into confusion and disorder. That is the import of ihe word rv^Ca^, 
whereby Martha's carefulness is set out, Luke x. 41. /^t^ifi^iffg xoi rvfidf^ 
wi^i o-oXXdl. When the thoughts about these things are not only too many, 
but like a confused multitude in a throng or crowd, where each one pushes, 
and troubles, and hinders one another, one can do nothing else when he is 
in it, and cannot easily get out. When they disorder, and disturb, and dis- 
compose the soul, and render it unfit for its proper work, though of greatest 
importance. When they put the soul into a commotion, and make it like 
the restless and troubled sea, or a vessel without anchor in a storm. A word 
of that import is used by Christ, when 'he is dissuading from this carefulness, 
Luke xii. 29, fin futiti^H^tch. Let not your minds be tossed with these care- 
ful thoughts, like a ship at drift with the unruly waves. These are thoughts 
excessiv^y careful, which disquiet and unsettle the mind, and like so many 
billows keep it in a tossing and restless agitation. 

(8.) When they are perplexing and vexatious, when they in any degree 
reach the mind, and distend it, as is were, upon tenters ; when they divide 


and raid it, as fu^tfLm denotes, the wordibj which excessive care is so often 
expressed in Scriptnre. When the mina is anxioos, and the heart thereupon 
jD some pain and angoish, and sadder impressions made thereon than these 
outward things, however they go, can be any jnst ground or occasion of in 
those who ma^e aoeoont their portion is not in this life, nor any part of their 
true happiness in things below. 

2. In the next place, let me shew yon how we may discern when our cares 
an excessive and inordinate, that we may the better know what are for- 
bidden, and what we are concerned to avoid, and also wherein we have been 
gnilfy; that we may both bewail what is past, and be more effectually watch- 
ful for the fatore. We may be sore onr care aboat the things of this life is 
excessive, and that is a condemned carefulness ; — 

(1.) When it is more for earth than heaven, more for the outward man 
and its eoneemmenta than for the soul ; more for things of time, than those 
that are eternal. Opposites illustrate one another ; and it is in opposition to 
this forbidden carefolness for outward things that our Lord Jesus gives that 
role, Mat vi. 88. Let this be your first, and chief, and great care ; leave 
the care of the other to God. When this is not first, the other is before, or 
near it ; and it is excessive indeed when it is either, when not much before 
or after it ; when more careful to make sure of a good temporal estate, than 
to make our calling and election sure, very solicitous about a good title to 
earthly possessions, but take less care about a title to heaven, and interest 

More to thrive in the world, and increase in riches, than to grow in grace, 
or to get holiness planted and increased, and to get possession of more 
heavenly treasure. Very thoughtful about that, but more indifferent here. 
Careful of ontward health, but more regardless of soul distempers and in- 
ward diseases, such as bring it to the gates of death. Curious in trimming 
and adorning the body (a little better-coloured clay),* spend an hour or more, 
some days upon that ; but take less care, and spend less time in ordering 
the soul, cleansing that from all filthiness, and putting it into a dress and 
posture fit to meet with God, even when approaching him in a solemn man- 
ner. When more careful to avoid sufferings than sin, and to keep out of 
outward danger than to keep out of temptation, and to secure our estates 
from wasting and decays than our souls from declmings and baokslidings, 
and to be d^vered from troubles and afflictions, than to he freed firom selfish, 
carnal, and worldly lusts. This is a carefulness not only condemned, but 
such as to the greatest part of the worid, yea, of those who live under the 
gospel, is aetaidly damning. 

(2.) Whan it hinders us from enjoying what we have ; when so thoughtful 
to get more, or to keep what we have, or to secure it and ourselves from 
danger and trouble, wOl not let us enjoy with quiet and comfort what we 
have in possession. He is not like to rest quietly, who, when he composeth 
himself to it, has one that is still jogging, or haling him, or making a noise 
in his ean. When our thoughts, busy about these outward things, perform 
this ill office to onr minds, and are s^ jogging them and buzzing in them, 
they deprive the mind of rest, they are Uien excessive. 

If a man lie down, and his lodging be otherwise never so well accommo- 
dated, yet if there be thorns in his bed, he cannot lie easily. The cares of 
the world are compared to thorns, Mat. xiii. 22. When our thoughts lay 
our minds and hearts in an uneasy posture, and are still pricking them when 
they should be at rest, and make our enjoyments as a bed of thorns to 
us, there is a lamentable inordinacy in them. When the possession of ont- 
wird things, which should be quiet and comfortable (else they are not 


eiyojed), is difltiirbed and embittored by earking diflqaietiBg thonghiB, ben 
is eicess. 

(8.) Wbeo it indisposeth us far holy dotiei ; wban we eannot break 
throngfa the crowd of these thoughts to converse with God, or, if we do, yet 
too seldom, and with diffieolty, and then eome with sonls diseomposed, and 
these thoughts still follow ns. Yfhen they should be quite shaken off and 
cashiered, they are still crowding in, when oar minds shonld be wholly taken 
np with God ; and they are still giving us diversion and intexraption, and 
call off some part of our sools from him who expects them aU, so that they 
are distracted and divided when they shonld be most united and entirely 
fixed on him, who will be sought with our whole hearts. They often hinder 
us from offering unto God, and when we can get leave of them to bring a 
sacrifice, yet these flies seize on it and spoil it Qod likes not such offer- 
ings, no more than we like fly-blown meat We come to pray, and when 
our minds and hearts should ascend up to Gh)d, these call ^em down, and 
carry them another way. We come to hear, and when the Lord speaks, we 
shonld attend him alone, and hearken to nothing else ; but then these come, 
and knock, and buzz, and will be heard ; and God, and what he speaks to 
at>, is little minded. We set ourselves to meditate ; oh, but our minds are 
prepossessed and taken up before with the concerns of this life, and tbey 
will not give way to thoughts of God and heaven and our eternal concern- 
ments, or they will mix with them, and make an untoward confiieed medley 
of heaven and earth, Gk>d and the world, in one lump, in one exereiae. 
When these keep us from drawing near Gh)d, or firom approaching him with 
cheerfulness, heartiness, entireness of mind and affection, or make us come 
with our loins ungirded, our souls draggling in the dirt of the world, and 
sweeping the dust after them, and raising a cloud of it, so that we eannot 
discern well where we are, or what we are doing, whether with God or with 
the worid, whether we are minding him or it ; or rather lose the sight of 
God, where he is to be most seen and enjoyed. When these cares bring q8 
to this pass, then they are intolerably excessive. 

(4.) When it is distrustful, arises from our not trusting Ctod, or takes ns 
off finom depending on him, Isa. vii. 9, 2 Chron. xx. 20. To trust God with 
our affairs is the way to be established, to have the mind settled. When it 
is staggering and wavering betwixt fear and hope, and so unquiet and un- 
settled, this is firom an excess of carefulness. When the soul thinks not 
itself sufficiently secured by the promise or providence of God, when he 
doubts whether the Lord is able, or whether he is willing, to provide for 
him and his, or to secure his concerns, or to dispose of all his aflUrs for 
the best, and so does not commit his way to him, but will look after it 
himself, and employs his thoughts anxiously about it, as though othorwiae 
it could not go well, this is distrustful, and so sinful and exoessivo care- 

You will say we may, we must use the means, that is our duty. True, 
but do ye no more herein than is your duty ? Over-doing is firom over- 
much carefulness and too little fiuth. And when you have done what is 
requisite herein, why are you so solicitous about the event, so thou^tliiil 
what will be tiie issue of your endeavours ? That is wholly in God*s hands, 
and belongs not to you, but to him. If you believe he inll do anything at 
all, you must not doubt but he will take-care of that whieh is properly his 
own work ; and if he will take care of it, why do you so much trouble your- 
selves about it ? Why do you not leave that to him which is properly his ? 
Here your care crowds in where it has nothiug to do, here tt exeeeds iti 
bounds, fix>m a distrust of God, where he is most to be trusted, and your 

Philip. IV. 6.1 against amzioub gabefulitbbb. 148 

mindB and thoQ§^t8 are very busy where yoa have nothing to do bat to be- 
lieve ; where they ahonld stand still and wait his pleasnre, 

(5.) When it hviries yon to the nse of nnlawfdl or snspected means, snch 
as are nnwarrantable in themselves, or snch as yon may snspect to be so, 
or snch as yoa are donbtfal of; for thoagh these be lawful in themselves, 
yet they are nnlawfol to yon. It is exeessive carefolness that pushes men 
on in sach a coarse as is either evil, though they think it good, or good, if 
they think it evil ; when so careful to keep what they have, as they will 
stretch their consciences rather than lose or hazard it ; or to get more, that 
they will take some course to do it which they cannot justify, which the 
word or their own conscience allows not. So careful to avoid dangers and 
sufferings, as to dissemble, or equivocate, or decline some way of God, or 
take some unwarranted path to do it. So careful to get out of troubles, or 
to be eased from their present burden, as to venture out by some way that 
the Lord never opened. So careful for deliverance, that how it come (so 
they may but see it) they much care not. Bebekah and Jacob so careful to 
have the blessing, that they would get it by deceit rather than miss it. 
Jeroboam so can^ to secure the kingdom to him, that he would set up 
false worship rather than run any hazard. Saul so careful not to fiftll into 
the hands of the Philistines, that he would sacrifice in a forbidden way, yea, 
and after go to the witch at Endor. 

Such is excessive carefalness, which either draws into sin, or is a tempta- 
tion to it. By this you may onderstand how we are not to be careful, what 
carefalness it is that is forbidden, and how it may be discerned. I have 
stayed the longer in the explication, because it is of a practical tendency. 

In the next place, let me confirm this practical truth, and enforce it as 
your duty, by some considerations, which may serve both as reasons and 
motives for this purpose. The people of Christ should not be careful with 
snch carefulness as I have described, for, 

1. It is useless, it will not serve the turn ; you will be nothing the nearer 
to what you aim at, for so much carefulness ; it will not help you, it will 
rather hmder yoa from what yoa desire ; and who that has the exercise of 
reason will make usd of that which is no way useful for his purpose ? This 
is one argument which the Wisdom of God (Christ himself) urges against it. 
Mat. vi. 27. Yon would count him a madman who would expect to grow 
taller by being thoughtful, or to lengthen his life by greatening his .cares. 
Why, says Cltf ist, you can no more reasonably expect k> make provision for 
your life by snch cares. This is no more the way to increase or secure your 
outward concerns, than it is to add a cubit to your stature : Ps. cxxvii. 2, 
' It is vain to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows.' 
To eark and care is not the way to wealth, or the cause of it ; those that take 
that coarse find they do it in vain, and are generaUy disappointed, irav et a^, 
since it is the Lord (so the words are to be read) who gives his people plenty, 
rest and comfort therein, thoagh they never lose any sleep in seeking it. 

This carefalness is not to keep what you have, or to get more ; nor to 
secue yon ficom dangers and sufferings, nor to bring you oat of trouble ; in 
vain will yoa seek these things this way : it is the blessing of God from 
whence these must be expected. Oh but, you will say, he blesses diligence. 
True, he blesses lawful diligence, but he never blesses this carefulness ; and 
if any thrive or succeed, or get anything by it, without a curse, they have it 
some other way. This earefrdness is the way to blast what yon have, and 
what yoa get; to make it, or the comfort of it, wither, to curse it to yoa or 
your posterity ; to endanger, instead of securing you ; to strengthen yoor 


most eonoerned would not do it for them. He gives them food when thej 
cty oat, as left utterly destitute. When you are tempted to carefulness, 
consider the ravens ; our Lord Jesus sends us to them to learn this lesson : 
Luke xii. 24, * Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which 
neither have store-house nor ham, and God feedeth them.' Those whose 
condition is most helpless, and so seem to have most need to he careful, the 
Lord so provides for them, as they need not to take care ; and need they take 
care, whom he is more engaged to look after ? < Doth the Lord take care of 
oxen ?' says the apostle, 1 Cor. ix. 9. Doth the Lord take care of lions 
and ravens, of wild goats and coneys, &c., of heasts and hirds ? Does he 
take care for their food, their rest and habitation, their refuge and safety, for 
all their concernments ; so that those who are most destitute and helpless 
amongst them need not be careful ? And is there any need that they should 
trouble themselves with cares about their necessities or their dangers, for 
whom he has a more particular care, a more especial providence ? 

Our Lord Jesus shews how needless our solicitous cares are by another 
instance, in the plants and vegetables : Mat. vi. 28-80, < And why take ye 
thought for raiment ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they 
toil not, neither do they spin : and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, 
in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so 
clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the 
oven, shall he not much more clothe you, ye of little fiedth ?' The lilies, 
they toil not to make that grow of which clothing is made, nor do they spin 
it when it is grown up. They take no care, nor need they, the Lord clothes 
them. He not only makes them grow, but makes them flourish to such a 
degree, as * Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them.' 
Now, says he (and it is the arguing of him in whom dwells all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge), if he made so splendid and rich provision for 
the withering grass, the soon fiEiding flowers, of so little account with him, 
yea, with us, what then will he not be ready to do for those whom he much 
more regards and values ? The lilies, the flowers, the grass, they need not 
care, and why ? Because the Lord takes care for them; and if this be good 
reason, then sure those whom he takes more care of have less need to be 
careful. It is great vanity, if it were no worse, to trouble yourselves with 
that which is altogether needless ; and carefulness about the concerns of this 
life is manifestly needless, upon many accounts, which we have from the 
mouth of Wisdom itself. 

8. It is heathenish. Such carefulness about these outward things is no 
better than gross heathenism. This argument our Lord Jesus urges against 
it : Mat. vi. 82, * About these things are the Gentiles solicitous.' It is the 
character of a heathen to be so careful about the things of this life, it smells 
rank of that blindness and infidelity in which the heathens are shut up. It 
should be as far from the disciples of Christ as heathenism is from Chris- 
tianity ; they more resemble the Gentiles than the people of Christ, who give 
way to such cares. It is heathenism in the professors of Christ's gospel, 
which is the worst and most intolerable. It signifies both heatiienisk 
thoughts of God, and heathenish apprehensions of things here below; both 
seem to be intimated in those words, ver. 82, ' For after all these things do 
the Gentiles seek.' Let us touch both. 

(1.) It imports heathenish conceits of God, as if he were no God, or had 
no providence, or did not concern himself in the government of the world, 
or had no special regard of human afiairs ; as if he knew not what we wanted, 
or what we feared, or did not regard our necessities or dangers, though he 
knew them, but left us to shift for ourselves as well as we could, without 


my other aids and aflsistances than those of second causes. For if there be 
a God, a providence which reaches all things, and is sufficient for every- 
thing, but is more particularly concerned for those that are more nearly 
related to him ; if this be apprehended and believed, hereby all this carefulness 
of oars is superseded. But where these cares prevail, it is not duly believed 
or apprehended, as it was not by the Gentiles. And therefore after these 
things they sought, and were so careful and solicitous about, as if they had 
had no God to take care of them. And it is for none but such heaUiens, 
who know not God, and believe not his providence, and mind not hicf faith- 
foiness, and have no experience of his fatherly love, and particular care and 
compassions, to trouble themselves with these cares. It is for none but 
those, whose lamentable condition the apostle describes, Eph. ii. 11, 12, 
vho are Gentiles, such as the Jews called uncircumcised, who were without the 
knowledge of Christ, far remote from the citizenship of Israel, strangers to the 
covenant of grace and promises of the gospel, and so without hope and without 
God in the world. If you would not shew yourselves to be too like to these, 
JOQ must disband your earthly cares. They will signify you have heathenish 
conceits of God, like those whose minds the god of this world has blinded, 
and that the light of the glorious gospel of Clirist (who is the image of God, 
and in whom we have the clearest discoveries of God, what he is in himself, 
and what to his people) has not shined into you. Much heathenish dark- 
ness and infidelity still covers your minds, if these cares trouble your hearts. 

(2.) It imports heathenish thoughts and inclinations to things here below. 
Soch a value of them, such an eagerness after the things of this world, as 
the Gentiles had. These were the most valuable things to them, and there- 
fore these were their greatest care. * After these things do the Gentiles seek.' 
Alas 1 they knew no better things, and so having the highest value for them, 
they would not commit the care of them to any but themselves, nor trust any 
with them, no, not God himself. 

But have you such an esteem of earthly things ? Are these your chief 
concerns, and so your chief care ? Why, then, you are not only like the 
heathen, but worse than they ; for you have seen, or might have seen (if 
Toor eyes bad not been shut), better things : the glorious things of heaven, 
of Clinst, of the gospel ; things so far transcending all here below, so much 
more rich and precious, so much more pleasant and delightful, so much 
more necessary, durable, and advantageous, so much more excellent and 
glorious, as that the sight of them is abundantly sufficient to take down the 
^ue of all earthly things, and to lay them very low in your esteem, and so 
to make you little careful about them, little solicitous what becomes of them, 
at least well contented to leave the care of them to God. 

Christ coming into the world brought life and immortality to light by the 
gospel, and discovered all the precious and inestimable things included 
therein, which were before folded up, and much hid from the world. And 
those who saw them effectually in that light, saw that in them which quite 
disparaged these earthly things to them, and made them no more to mind 
them, and to be no more carefol about them, than toys and trifles, not worthy 
of their care and solicitous thoughts. You may see an instance of it in the 
primitive believers. When Christ, and pardon, and life, and glory was dis- 
covered to them by the aposties, how little did they mind the world, how 
little careful were they about their earthly enjoyments ! Presently upon tiie 
view of those more excellent things, they ' sold their possessions, and brought 
the price, and laid it at the aposties' feet,' Acts iv. 84. Oh how &r were 
they from troubling themselves with cares of getting more, who were so 
liUle ihoDgbtfnl for the future, and so free and ready to part with that they 


hftd, Heb. x. 84. Here they shewed themeelvee Chrieiians indeed, not 
Binnera of the Gentiles, not heathenish worldlings, at a great distance from 
the heathenish temper of those who mind earthly things. 

Christ has been long teaching yon this. If yon have not in some degree 
learned of him, yon are so £ur in this heathenish darkness, and hearken 
rather to him who is the teacher, the god of this world, and blinds instead of 
enlightening those that follow him ; but if yon have learned Christ, and 
been taught of him, as the troth is in Jesns, he has shewed yon thai by 
the light of the gospel, which will make the things of the world to appear as 
loss and dang in your eyes, and not so worthy of that regard and care which 
the heathen, who knew no better, had of them. 

If yon would not shew yourselves of a heathenish spirit and temper in the 
midst of your profession of Christ and the gospel, after these earthly things 
yon must not seek, and for them you must not be thus careful. 

4. It is hurtful. It is not only needless and useless, that which will do 
you no good at all for the ends for which you use it, but it will do you 
much hurt, and more than all you are careful for, if it should succeed, will 
come to. 

(1.) It will disoblige God, and take him off from caring for you in that 
particular manner, as he does for those who cast their care on him. It is 
so amongst men. They will not take the ckte of his affidrs, who will not 
leaye the care thereof to them. If the care of a business be left upon them, 
they are obliged ; but if it be not, but the man takes the care of it upon him- 
self, they are not engaged, they may leave it to him who will not trust them 
with it. So here, if you will cast your care upon God, he will take care of 
you and your concerns, but if you will not trust him with it, you may look 
to it yourselves, and take what comes, the Lord is disobliged. Jer. xvii. 5, 6, 
* Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trasteth in man, and maketh 
flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord : for he shall be 
like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh ; but shall 
inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.* 
This is all you are like to get by letting your hearts depart from God in 
over-caring, and flying to this and the oilier instrument and means, viz., i 
curse, that will make your enjoyments like a wilderness, and yourself like 
the heath in it, which does not receive, or cannot expect any good from God. 
If you wiU east your burden upon the Lord, he will sustain you, as he pro- 
mises, Ps. Iv. 22, but if you will not, you are like to fall under it; you have 
no assurance that your feet shall not fall and sink under the pressure. Too 
disoblige the Lord, and that is a greater damage than your, and all the care 
of the world, can recompense. 

(2.) You lose in effect what you have, by this carefulness about it ; you are 
like to lose the comfort and advantage of what you possess ; carefulness, care- 
fulness, like the lean kine, will devour it and eat it up all. What marrow and 
sweetness is therein, this is ready to suck it out all, and leave you nothing but 
a bare bone to gnaw on. Those outward things, which should be as refresh- 
ment and bread to you, it will turn it into ' the bread of sorrow,' Ps. exxvii. 
2 ; 'the bread of carefulness,' Ezek. xii. 18, 19. This will not suffer you 
to eigoy what you possess, and then you had as good or better be without 
it ; you have nothing of it but the vexatious care and trouble. While Ahab 
was so careful for another vineyard, his whole kingdom was no joy to him, 
1 Kings xxi. 4. 

(8.) It will keep you from being the servants of Christ, so for as you give 
way to it. This is another alignment of Christ against it, where he is lew- 
ing so great force to subdue it in us : Mat. vL 24, < Ye cannot serve God 


and mammon.' The more careful yon are aboat outward things, the less 
earefdl yon will be to serve the Lord. The sool has not stream enough to 
ran with any frdness towards both God and the world, and if the main 
cnrrent be not for Gk)d, he makes account he has none ; he will count you 
serrants of that about which you are most careful. Carefolness about these 
earthly things is not reconcileable with your &ithfahiess to God, and being 
true servants to him. 

(4.) It corrupts the whole soul, the whole life. This is another reason 
which our Loid Jesus levels against worldliness and this carefulness for 
worldly things : Mat vi. 22, 28, • K thine eye be single,* t. e. if thy soul be 
freed from the mixtures of worldly cares and desires, the whole life will be 
lightsome ; a spiritual and heavenly lustre will shine through it all ; ' but if 
thine eye be evil,* if worldly carefuhiess and lustings are gotten in there, 
there will be nothing but darkness, a soul and life estranged from Christ, 
and remote from a strain and temper which is truly Christian ; and instead 
of shining as lights in the world, there will be a walking on in the gross 
darkness of it. 

(5.) It hinders the efficacy of the ordinances, and quite spoils them ; it 
makes the word unfruitful, Mat. xiii. When the word Ms upon the heart, 
and is about to put forth its force in the soul and in the life, these cares do 
as it were take it by the throat and strangle it, cMiujniy*h a^d so it becomes 
a dead letter, not xa^o(pt^6fit9ov, not bringing forth fruit; it makes the 
prayers to be no prayers, a painted, not a real sacrifice ; a mere piece of 
formality and hypocrisy; for when the lips draw near this draws away the 
heart, Ezek. xxxiii. 81, and when the heart is g<jne, the soul and life of Uie 
prayer is gone with it, and nothing left for God but a dead carcase : that 
which be counts no more a prayer, than we count a carcase to be a 
man. And it spoils our thoughts of God and heaven, and either keeps 
them out or mixes with them, and so makes us to have earthly thoughts of 
heavoi itself, and worldly thoughts of the most high God. 

(6.) It keeps us from joy in God, and disturbs our peace, that blessed 
peace we might have with God, that sweet tranquillity we might have in our 
own soals. Both these appear by the context. That we may * rqoice in the 
Lord, and that always,' ver. 4, we must be moderate as to these outward 
things, ver. 6, and carefal for nothing, ver. 6. Carefulness embitters the 
comfort which is to be had in outward enjoyments, and turns that into sor- 
row and vexation ; it is more inconsistent with spiritual joy, 1 Tim. vi. 9, 
10. They that wiU be rich, who make this their care, they give them- 
selves many wounds, pierce themselves through with many sorrows. It is 
such a mischievous thing as cuts offer stops the pipes which should convey 
comfort to us both from the upper and lower springs, and wUl not let it 
pass to us either from heaven or from earth. If the apostle had been 
troubled with cares, either to avoid sufferings, or to get out of troubles, tuey 
would not have been matter of rejoicing and glorying to him. 

It not only keeps us from joy, but wiU not let us have p^. ■"•*^;8 'P* 
pears from the verse following the text. We must be carefW for notiiing, 
and trouble ourselves no further, but to * make our requests known, tnat 
the peace of God,* &c. This is the way to have ^^ J^^* ^?J^V^^^^ 
serenity of mind which is so transcendent a happiness. But the hurry or 
these aires will ruffle the mind and disquiet the heart, yea, and leave some 
goilt in the conscience too, which wiU not let it be at peace, and so hereby 
eTery part of the soul is robbed of its peace. wv^- 

(7.) It involves those who give way to it in P^W^^^^*"^**^: .^^^^ 
Christ is foretelling the dreadful ruin of Jerusalem, he warns those who 


would esoape it to beware of these eares, as that which would bring them 
in danger of that terrible wrath, as well as other sins which are coimied 
more provoking : Luke zxi. 84, ' And take heed to yonrseWes, lest at tn^ 
time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and ^nkenness, and cans 
of this life, and so that day come upon yon unawares.* Where obserre there 
is some intoxication in the cares of this life, as there is in excess of diinldDg. 
As an intemperate person is overcharged with too much drink, so is an intem- 
perate soul overcharged with too much care, fA^fnrf CafwiSi^t, Then is 
another sort of drunkenness besides that with strong drink : the heart may 
be overcharged and distempered with the cares of this life as well as vith 
wine, and the effects are alike. He that is^ distempered with drink is not 
fit for business nor apprehensive of danger ; mischief may come upon him, 
and often does, without any sense of it : so he that is distempered with the 
cares of this life, he is indisposed for the work which the Lord calls him to, 
and he is liable to judgment, and in danger to be surprised by it, and to 
have it fall upon him unawares. Take heed, says he, as of other stnpifying 
wickedness, so of these cares, lest that day come upon you unawares, other- 
wise you are in danger to have the miseries of that day come upon yen sud- 
denly, unexpectedly, and so unavoidably. When God arises to execute 
judgment in a terrible manner, and to make the power of his wrath knovn 
in the execution, do not think that it will fall only upon notorious, fiagitioQS 
persons, and that it will punish only luxury, drunkenness, and such excess 
of riot ; even the cares of this life, however tiiey are minced and counted no 
great provocations, may expose you to this wrath, and bring it upon jim 
unawares, even when you Ipok for no such thing. You know the ealamitiei 
here threatened, and afterwards executed upon Jerusalem, were so grievoos, 
as the like had not be&llen any people under the whole heaven ; and thej 
are his disciples that he warns here: even they were in danger to be invol^ 
in these' calamities if they were found entangled in these cares ; and if thej 
would endanger them, who can expect to escape that are under the gailt of 
them ? You see how hurtful, how pernicious, how destructive this earsfiil- 
ness is. 

6. It is very sinful, and shews there is much evil, very much oomptioD 
in the heart that gives way to it. It is a noisome, poisonous weed, and 
shews the soil is naught where it grows. To instance more particularly, it 

(1.) Unsubmissiveness to God, a heart not subdued to the divine will, 
not willing to have his concerns ordered and disposed of as the Lord thinks 
fit ; and ^rein intolerable pride, self-confidence, and exalting its wisdom 
and will above that of God. Garefubess looks like a modest thing, bat if 
you dissect and open it, it will be found big with such monsters as ^eseaie 
in the sight of G<>d. Carefulness must have its own will, and its own war, 
and its own end, and is loath to submit to God in any of them. A sabmu- 
sive heart is content to have its concerns ordered, as to much or little, 
as to dangers or safety, as to sufferings or deliverance, as the Lord sees 
best and thinks fittest; he refers all to God, and rests quietly in his dispoFsl; 
but when the heart is careful and troubled, it is because it cannot submit 

The Lord says, it shall go well with the righteous, in whatever condition 
they be ; he will take care it shall be well, Isa. iii.lO. Oh but, sajs the 
careful heart, can it be well with me in such a want, loss, trouble, suffexiog ? 
If the Lord should thus order it, I cannot think it would be well, and there* 
fore I will take care it shall be otherwise ; and so submits not unto the vis- 
dom, and will, and way of God, but must have its own as better. 

The Lord sees it good that such a one should be kept low, abridged of 


wliAt he desires for himself and posierity, exercised with troubles and afflic- 
tions ; bat the man thinks it better to have the world at will, and to live 
prosperously, and thereapon will be careful about this, and submits not to 
those providences that cross him in it. Such stiffness and haughtiness, 
saeh crossing of God, and advancing of his will and judgment before the 
wisdom and pleasure of God, is this carefulness resolved into. One would 
think it were not such a devilish thing, but it is no better. 

(2.) Unbelief and distrustfulness, and that by Christ's own arguidg : Mat» 
vi. 80, ' If God so clothe the grass, &c., shall he not much more clothe 
yon, ye of little fieuth ?' There is great unbelief, there is Tczy little faith, 
where there is much care about our outward concerns. To trust in the Lord 
is expressed by casting our burden on him, committing our way to him, Ps. 
xxzvii. 5, and these are all one with casting our care on him, Luke zii. 28. 
He that will take the care upon himself will not, does not, cast.it upon God, 
and so does not trust him ; he will trust himself rather than trust God with 
bis concerns. There is some doubting in sach a heart, either whether the 
Lord be able or whether he be willing,' to order his condition and affairs, as 
they should be ; and so he will not leave them to him, but look after them 
wiUi all carefulness himself. Here is evidently a distrust of God. 

When yon meet with a man whom you fully trust with a business, you 
will not be further solicitous about it; but if you be still careful and anxious, 
it signifies you are not confident in him. And ao it is here. This careful- 
ness is from some doubtfulness lest your concerns in the hand of God should 
not be ordered as they should be, and this doubtfulness is inconsistent with 
that trust and confidence you should repose in God. Luke xii. 29, * Seek 
not ye what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful 
mind.' Where there is such solicitous seeking after these things, such 
thonghtiulness about them, there is a doubtfulness of mind concerning God; 
and where the mind is so doubtful, it is distrustful, there is little faith in it ; 
Mat xiv. 81, < thou of httle faith, wherefore didst thou doubt T As faith 
increases, cares will vanish ; and as cares and doubts prevail, fsuth declines 
into distrust of God. 

(8.) It argues much unmortifiedness ; that we are carnal and sensual, and 
carnal and sensual lusts are unsubdued. From whence is such carefulness 
about earthly things ? Is it not firom our lusts, that are fed by these things, 
and live upon them, and would not be starved ? There would be less care- 
fulness about these outward things were it not to make provision for these. 
The flesh most be pleased, fancy and sense must be gratified ; if our condi- 
tion be not such as will serve for this, it is grievous to us. Therefore are we 
80 careful and solicitous about our outward condition, lest it should be so 
ordered as to pinch the flesh. As our lusts die, our cares will die ; but while 
these are so rife, they are too £Eur from being mortified. 

(4.) It argues a great inordinacy towards the world, an excess of affection to 
the tiungs of it. Our hearts are much set upon that wldch we are so very careful 
about. If we did not too much love it, desire it, delight in it, we would not 
be so solieitons for it. If we did not too much fear losses and sufferings in Qur 
outward eoooems, we would not perplex ourselves with care to avoid or escape 
them. Our care of any thing is answerable to our esteem of it and our 
affection to it. We are little solicitous about that which we have little or no 
aflection for ; we have little care of that which we contemn and despise ; we 
would not be so careful about the world if the things thereof were contemp- 
tible to us. It is firom our high esteem of, our great affection to, earthly 
things, that we are so careful a^nt them. If we were crucified to the world, 
and the world were crucified to ns^ this carefulness for it would not be so 


strong. "Where there is this oracifiedness to the world, there is an indiffe- 
renoy towards it and oar outward condition. The heart b indifferent whether 
we have little or mneh, so we have bnt enough to be serviceable ; wheiha 
we be high or low in the world, so we be but nearer onto Qod ; whether we 
be afflicted or prosper^ so that our sonls do but prosper. And where we 
are indifferent in any ease, we are not very careful which way it go, which 
way the Lord will dispose it, so that we are far from being thus eraeified 
while we are so careful. This signifies not an indiffereney but an inordinary ; 
and how sinful, how dangerous that is, we may judge by that of the aposUe, 
1 John ii. 15, 'Love not the world, nor the thbgs that are in the woild; 
for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him ;' Jas. iv. 4, 
* Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God ? Who- 
soever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.* 

(5.) It argues a neglect of heaven ; that we are too careless, too r^ardlen 
of the kingdom of G<^, and of the way, the only way that leads to it. This 
is intimated by our Lord Jesus in that place where we have such a lieh 
treasury of arguments against this carefubiess : Mat. vi. 88, * But seek jt 
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall 
be added unto you.' Those that mind heaven, and seek the kingdom of God 
as they ought to do, first and most, before all and above aU, ti^y will find 
somethmg else to do than to trouble themselves so much about their earthly 
concerns. Those that mind these so much seek not that most, mind that 
too little. Where so much of the mind and heart is engaged and employed 
for outward things (as it is in caireful persons), there will be little left for 
the kingdom of €k>d and their heavenly interest. He that is over-carsfol 
for that cannot but have too little care of this ; even as he that is too mach 
taken up with his recreations and pleasures will neglect his busineas. The 
soul has not strength and vigour enough to lay out in any great measoie 
upon several things, and so difierent as heaven and earth, ver. 24. If he 
be too much addicted to one of them, too careful to observe it, the other 
will be neglected, ver. 19, 20. If you be too eareful to lay up treasure od 
earth, you will not, you cannot be careful enough to lay up treasure in 
heaven, and those Christ adviseth to shut out the one that the other may 
be admitted. And why, but because both cannot be entertained at onee ? 
The soul has not room enough for a due care about the heavenly treasure, if 
it be prepossessed with carefulness about earthly riches. If yon mizid 
earthly things your conversation cannot be in heaven, as is clear from the 
coherence of the apostle's discourse, Phil. iii. 19, 20, * Whose end k de- 
struction, whose god is their belly, and whose gloiy is in their shame, iHio 
mind earthly things, for our conversation is in heaven, from whence also 
we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ ;' fl-eX/rf v/ui, our dealing and 
commerce, &c. You will drive no trade for heaven to purpose if yen so mind 
and be so careful about earthly things. Merchants can drive a trade hoth 
in the East and West Indies, and mind their business at home too ; aad 
why ? Because they do it by fitctors abroad. If they were to do all in their 
own persons, their trade at home wonld be as mudi aa they eould ic^w. 
You cannot manage your trade for heaven by factors ; you must do that 
business in person if you will have anything done. If carefulness ahoot 
your earthly concerns take you ofi* from that, your trade for heaven is like 
to be lost. What would you have thought if Kish the father of Saul, when 
both his son and his asses were wanting, he should h«ve been more soUd* 
tons about the asses than his son ? 1 Sam. ix. 8, 5. It argues a viler temper 
in those who are so very careful about earthly things; they regard the asaee 
00 much, as that which should be dearest to them, dearer than relatioDa or 


life, 18 little regarded. It argoed a pro£me heart in Esan, when he wonld 
part with his birthright for a little pottage, Heb. xii. 16. He minded it 
not (though not only a eivil bat a sacred privilege) in comparison of that 
which wonld seire this present life, Qen. xzv. 82, 84, and so therein floed 
fecit partem fyturi mcuH^ he set at nought his part in the world to come, 
sajB the Targom. Those that are so solicitous for what may sustain this 
present life, they too little regard the life to come and the concerns of it. 
It argoes they are far from a heavenly temper, they are of a sordid, pro&ne 
Bpirit, as Esau was. 

6. It is foolish. It is great folly to be careful about the concerns of this 
life. This we may learn also from him who is wisdom itself: Mat. yi. 84, 
* Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the 
things of itself ; saffieient unto the day is the evil thereof.' Be not thought- 
fill for the future, how you shall be secured or provided for. 

(1.) The morrow has burden, and trouble, and turmoil enough of its 
own, which you are like to find when it comes. You need not anticipate 
it, and bring it upon you before the time. It is a great folly to do so. 
Yet 80 you do, by taking the care of the morrow upon you to-day. You 
make a fdtore trouble to be present. Is it so desirable as that you will 
not stay its time, but must needs hate it beforehand ? Is not this strange 
folly ? Lei the care and trouble of the morrow stay till the morrow come ; 
will not that be soon enough ? Those that have any wisdom will think 
fo, and not so hasten the troubles of their life as to make those of one 
^y to run into another, and to make those which would not come till 
the day after to leap into the day before, into the present day, by their 
troubling themselves with cares of the future. 

(2.) But this is not all the folly of this carefulness. It will appear more 
My by what he adds, * Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.' Eveiy 
day has its evil, t. e» its care, its burden, and trouble; and so much of this 
as is sufficient for it, as much as you can well bear. And would you have 
more than enough of this upon you, more than you are sufficient for, more 
of this evil than you can bear ? Is this wisdom, or anything like it ? Now, 
by carefulness for the morrow, for the future, you ttdte the course to have 
more of this evil upon you than you are sufficient for ; for when that of any 
one day is sufficient, by caring for to-morrow you add the evil of another 
day to that which is upon you ah:eady. By caring for the future, you bring 
the evil, the trouble of many days into one, when the burden of this day is 
heavy enongh. You pull hereby many more burdens upon you than that of 
one day, even as many as the days come to, that you are anxiously careful 
for. It is great folly to charge yourselves with more than needs must, but 
10 yon do when you are solicitous about the future ; for thereby you make 
the present (whieh is charged enough already) bear the*oharge and burden 
and trouble of the future also. 

(3.) It is folly also, because there is a far better way to dispose of your 
tsmporal concerns than by taking such care and perplexing yourselves about 
them, a way that is easier and shorter, and pleasanter and surer, for the 
well ordering of them, than such carefalness will prove. And that way is 
opened in tbs text. < But in everything, by prayer and supplication, let your 
re^oests be made known to Qod.' When anything is apt to perplex you and 
entangle you in these solicitous cares, instead of giving way to them, make 
your case, your revest, known unto God, and leave it with him, commit it 
to him, cast it upon him. 

[1.] This is an easier way. Would you compass your end more easily 
than by making a request for it ? This is God's way. Is your way like it. 


which lies all along through troablesome perplexing cares? Yon would 
think him a man of much folly, and little under the conduct of any wisdom^ 
who, when he might come to his end in a plain and easy path, would rather 
choose one that lies through briers and thorns and troublesome entan^e- 
ments. Such is the way of carefulness ; it is beset with that which is like 
briers and thorns to the mind ; it is entangled and perplexed, full of trouble 
and vexation. But in the way of God you may have your affiurs ordered 
for you with ease. It will give you no trouble nor disquietment. The Lord 
opens it for you, and calls you into it, because he would have you eased of 
what is troublesome. Use moderately the means he allows, and seek him 
in the use of them, and you need not trouble yourselves further, no occasion 
to be disquieted : Isa. xxvi. 8, 12, * Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.* Thou wilt ordam 
peace for us. 

[2.] This is a shorter way. The way of carefulness it is tedious, it is 
about, there is no end of it : cares for getting, for keeping and secaiing, 
for disposing the things of this life. It is folly to choose such a way when 
there is a shorter and more compendious way before you, and that which 
leads more directly to what you would come to, and is most desirable. 
What shorter way would you desire than to look up to God and make your 
requests known ? The way of cares is tedious in itself; but being an indireek 
course, and such as the Lord approves not, allows not, he is provoked to 
make it and let you find it more tedious, as the passenger, that will not take 
directions from his guide, is like to wander and lose himself. You hear * s 
voice behind you saying, This is the way ;' but if you will not hearken to 
him, and follow his conduct, and be directed by him, but will be your own 
guides, he may leave you, as he did the Israelites, to wander in a wilder- 
ness, and be many years about that, which in few days, a little time, 
might be accomplished. ' They consumed their days in vanities,' Pb. 
Ixxviii. 88. They spent their days and years, and themselves too, in the 
troubles of a wearisome wandering, and so may yon do so too, and be 
harassed and worn o\\i in bewildering cares, and that to little purpose ; for, 

[8. j This is a sure way ; the other is hx from being so. Now, no man 
who is not a fool will choose a way which is not like to bring him where 
he would be, when he has another before him which will assuredly do it. 
The way of God is not only plain and short, but sure. If yon will walk in 
it, you may be sure either to arrive at what you desire, or at that which is 
better than you desire. You have the best assurance of it that can be givoi, 
the promise of God : Ps. xxxvii. 5, ' Commit thy way unto the Lord, trost 
also in him, and he will bring it to pass.* God undertakes he will bring it 
to pass, if you will commit it to him ; and what greater certainty can yon 
wi^ ? Can there be any failing in that which God undertakes ? 

Oh but in your own way, the way of carefulness, there is nothing but un- 
certainties. What more fi-equent than for men to miscarry in that which 
they are most careful about, careful even to excess ? You think the more 
care is taken, the more like to succeed ; whereas many times it proves quite 
contrary. The more carefulness, the less success ; God interposing, and 
crossing a way that is not his own, and blasting that which he likes not, and 
not suffering that to prosper which casts dishonour upon him. How solicit- 
ous were Joseph's brethren, lest their youngest brother should be advanced 
above them, according to the import of his dream t Yet the care they took 
to prevent it, proved the way to promote it ; so fiEur was it from answering 
their desires, that it directly crossed them. How careful was Saul to secnre 
the kingdom to his posterity ! He made it the business and design of » 


great part of his Iife» whOe he was king ; bnt the issue was qaite cross to 
his g^t and careful endeaTonrs. How careful was Ananias to secnre part 
of his estate 1 Tet» by the means his care put him upon, he lost both it 
and his life too. The Lord is engaged to disappoint such cares ; and how 
ean any be sure they shall succeed, when God is concerned to disappoint them ? 
Mat. xid. 25, ' Whosoever will save his life, shall lose it ; and whosoever will 
lose his life for my sake, shall find it.' It holds true, as to our lives, so the 
concernments of our lives. He that is careful, in his own way, to secure his 
liberty, is like to lose it ; or to save what he has, takes the course to be 
deprived of it ; or to improve his estate, is more like thereby to impair it ; 
or to preserve his reputation, takes the way to blast it. 
Obj, Bnt we see ^is carefulness often succeeds. 

Ans. It does not succeed, when it seems to do. He that gets anythbg 
by it, if a curse go along with it, the seeming success is worse than a dis- 
appointment ; and he that gets it not in God's way (as the way of cares is 
not) cannot look for a blessing. You can be sure of nothing that is truly 
desirable this way ; you can make no account of anything, but the quite 

[4.J Lastly. This is safer, a pleasanter, and in every respect a more 
happy way ; and therefore it must be great folly to decline it, for a path in 
which no such thing can be expected. These, and the other particulars like- 
wise, are evident by this one thing, that in tiiis way the Lord is with you ; 
in the other, you are left to and Shift for yourselves. In this way you go 
leaning upon God ; in the other, you lean upon your own understandings, and 
thoughtftUness, and puzzling endeavours. You are with God while you are 
in his way : Ps. Ixxiii. 28, ' I am continually with thee ; thou hast holden 
me by my right hand.' And while you are in his band, you are safe, and 
cannot miscarry. Your course is comfortable and pleasant, being with God ; 
ifc is blessed, and cannot be otherwise. Though it seems sometimes to lie 
through the valley of the shadow of death, yet, the Lord being with yon in 
it, there is with you safety, and comfort, and happiness ; for where is this 
to be had but in the presence of €h>d ? But bemg left to yourselves in your 
own way, what can be expected but danger, disaster, and misery ? Judge 
yon whether it be not great folly to choose such a way before that which is, 
in every respect, better, infinitely better. 

7. It is incongruous to be so careful about these outward things : they do 
not deserve so much of your care ; they are little worth, and it is very in- 
congruous to take much care about that which is little worth. Particularly, 
(1.) They are of little moment, they will not quit the care that they cost 
you ; and that which will not quit the cost, you count not worthy of your 
care. Of how little moment they are, you may discern in these severals ; 
that which will cost much, put you to great charge, and produce little when 
all is done, you count more worthy of your disrc^^^* *^^ much care ; you 
think it loet on such things. 

[l.J Yon are very little concerned in them; they are not the things which 
are your concernments indeed ; whatever they are accounted by vain minds, 
your interest lies not in them, nor do they much concern it. And you 
think it not reasonable in other cases, to take much care, where you are little 
concerned. Your souls, and your eternal state, are very little concerned m 
these things ; and here lies your interest, these are your concernments m- 
deed. Much of these outward things threatens, and apparently endangers 
your eternal life : Mat. xix. 28, 24, • A rich man shall hardly enter mto the 
kingdom of heaven.' And again, • I say unto you, it is easier for a camel 
to go through the eyB of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into tbe 


kingdom of God.* If the Lord had said tlus of poverty or a ttndtened 
condition, we Bhonld have thonght it reasonable to haye feared it like death ; 
yet who is afraid of riches, though the Lord have represented them so ex- 
tremely dangerous ? A small share of these outward things does not, of 
itself, endanger our souls, or everlasting condition. Lazarus was never the 
farther from heaven, 'for idl his want, and afflictions, and poverty; Luke xri. 
22, * The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham*s bosom.' 
Oh, but though our souls and future life be not concerned in these things, 
yet this present life is very much ; nay, but even this present life is verj 
little concerned in much of them : Luke xii. 15, ' A man's life eonsistelh not 
in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.' The interest of you 
life consists not in having much of the world ; for what is the interest oi it, 
but that you may live healthfully, comfortably ? And so we may Hve widi 
as little of the world as the apostle Paul did ; and what prince on earth lives 
so happily, so comfortably, as he did ? That which you are carefiol for, is to 
have much for you and yours ; to have more than is simply neeessary, to hire 
superfluities ; but Christ tells you, that your life consists not in tlus, aux ft 
r^ Tie/tftff vf iir. Your life is little concerned in superfluities, and therefore 700 
should not be careful for them, unless you will be so absurd as to take maeh 
care where you are little concerned. Those things are of very smaQ mo- 
ment, which are little considerable as to this present life, and less as to the 
life to come.* 

[2.] There is little of reality in these things which you are so careful for ; 
they are more in show, or ikncy and opinion, than in reality. The good 
which we are careful to have in Uiem, the evil that we are careful to avoid in 
them, is not so much really as in our conceits. He that has much, and uses 
but little, what more has he in effect, than he that has but little ; what 
more real advantage, what more than in conceit ? 

What do delicacies and varieties contribute more to health and strength, 
than mean and plain fare 9 How then are they better, except in fancy ? 
You may say, they are more pleasing ; but if one can fancy the other to he 
as pleasing, it will be so, and there mil be some reason to help the imagina- 
tion, because that which is plain is really more healthful, and bo in reason 
more pleasing. 

What do great places, and power, contribute more to an happy life, than a 
low condition ? What is the pomp and splendour of it, but «^6XXf| ^vnm 
an empty fency, what show soever it make, how great soever it seem ? 

What real good is there in rich and gaudy habit, more than in that which 
is mean and common, since this will serve all the ends of clothing as veil 
as the other ? You will say one is more for ornament. But the judge of 
ornament is fancy ; and therefere, that which is most comely to one 
seems ugly to anoUier. The lily, the tulip, the peacock, outdoes all Ihe 
gallantry of artificial habit, if yon will but think so. * Surely,' as Ps. xxxiz. 
6, * every man walketh in a vain show. Surely they are disquieted in vain ; 
he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them ;' and on- 
braces a vain show, as if it were a real good, and shews hinkself a rerj vain 
person, in taking so much care about that which hath so little of reality.' 

The evil that we are so solicitous and careful to escape in these things is 
little, but what fency and opinion puts upon them. 

* No man can prolong hia life, or make it more comfortable or happy, by poaaeanas 
more than he needs or uses, D. H. [This marginal note haa thia signature D B. 
the former letter in the Roman, the latter in the italic character. The initials, there- 
fore, probably stand for Doetcr Howe, nnder whose aospicea, and that of Matthev 
Mead, the sermons were originally pnbLi8hed.~Ei>.] * 


Lnpriflonment Beems a grievoas eyil, and what oares do some porplex them- 
selves with ahoat it ! And yet a man can confine himself to his honse, or to 
his chamber, for a long time; and if he do but fimcy it, and have a good 
opinioii of it, it will not be grievous. 

So banishment seems grieroos, and how carefnl are we to avoid it ! Yet 
many can live for many years, often during life, in a strange country, for 
trade's sake ; and why not on a better aoeoant ? This wonld not be grievous, 
no more than the other, if there were but as good an opinion of it. 

There is much of fimey in these things ; tibey are evil or not, and more 
or less so, according to the opinion vre have of them. And why should we 
trouble ourselyes with so much care about such things, which have so little 
reality in them, wherein there is so little that is really good or evil ? It 
depends upon imagination ; yon may think them out of what they seem to be, 
whether good or evil. 

rS.J They will not answor the ends for which anything is worthy of your 
ears; and what is that worth which will not answer the end of him who takes 
eare of it ? Men will not regard that which will not serve their turn, and 
think it absurd to trouble themselves about it. What do ye design in being 
80 careful about these things 9 What would ye have of them ? Is it plea- 
sure, is it profit, that you aim at ? Oh, but they rarely afibrd either of these, 
true pleasure or profit. 

Fintf WiU they help you to contentment ? If they do not, they cannot 
truly please you ; ibr what delight is there, or can there be, without con- 
tentment ? Now, they are not apt, they art not wont, to satisfy those who 
have most of them: Isa. It. 2, ' Wherrfore do ye spend money for that 
which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not?' If 
they would give satisfiiotion, those who have the greatest confluence of them 
would be contented. But we find it is otherwise: Eccles. iv. 8, * There is 
one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: 
yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches ; 
neither saith he. For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good ? ' and 
V. 10, * He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver: nor he that 
loveth abundance with increase.' Will that please you that cannot content 
you, which will proTO a troublesome, restless desire of more, instead of 
satisfying ? And what is that worth that will not please you when yon 
have it ? 

Secondly f Will they make you better ? You have no real profit by them, 
unless they make you better. But when did yon see any made better by 
having more ? They debauch multitudes, and ensnare them in many foolish 
and hurdnl lusts, and fiaed, and nourish, and minister to them ; they are 
apt to clog the best, so that they move slowly in a spiritual course. They 
steal away their minds and thoo^ts from Christ and heaven, and divert or 
damp their affections to things above. All sorts are usually worse for them, 
but who is better ? If they make you no better, you will be nothing the better 
for them; and who would trouble himself about that which he shall be no- 
thing the better for ? You are careful to escape afflictions and sufferings, 
' bat if yoa were freed from them, would it be better for you ? Freedom 
from afflictions is often a grievous judgment; the souls of many sufbr often 
for want of sufferings, and sometimes are utterly undone. David tells you 
it was good for him that he had been afflicted; but where does he, or any 
of his temi>er, tell you that it was good for him he was not afflicted? How 
unreasonable is it to be careful about that that you are like to be no better 
fori Or, 
Thirdly t Will they make you happier ? Are they any part of your h^i- 


pinesB ? How can that be, when those who have most of them are most 
miserable, and they that have had least of them have been most happy ? 
If they would make yon happy, there would be reason to make them your 
care; but since your happiness is not concerned in them, why are you so 
solicitous, Ac? Freedom from afflictions is counted a happiness, and yet 
this has drowned multitudes in perdition. And how often does the Spirit 
of God (who sure best understands what these things are) declare an afflicted 
state blessed 1 James ▼. 10, 11, * Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have 
spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and 
of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have hesrd 
of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord 
is very pitiful, and of tender mercy;* Ps. xciv. 12, ' Blessed is the man 
whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.' You see 
how little they tend to pleasure, profit, or happiness; and how little should 
they be in our care, which are of so little moment in these respects 1 

Fourthly^ If the ends for which persons are commonly so cuefnl for these 
things were gained, it will be worse than if they should miss them ; sueoesB 
herein will be far worse than a disappointment. And is that worthy of oor 
care, wherein a failure is better than success ? 

What are the ends which do commonly excite these cares, and which men 
are wont to propose to themselves in the careful pursuit of these thiuge? 
Why take they so much care to escape afflictions and sufferings, and to get 
so large a share of riches, power, or greatness ? Is it not ordinarily that 
they may live at ease, and hxe deliciously, or go sumptuously, and gratify 
the flesh, or be in reputation and honour, and have more than others, and 
get above them, and look upon many as under them ? And what is this (if 
we will judge truly of it) but pride, slothfulness, sensuality, and selfishness? 
And the more they have for the securing and mamtaining of these, the more 
is their guilt, and the greater their condemnation. And should any be so 
careful to make themselves more sinful, and more miserable ? Is this worth 
your care ? Oh the lamentable delusion of the world, in being so careful to 
make themselves more miserable; in troubling themselves with cares for that 
which is not only (in the issue and tendency of it) nothing worth, but much 
worse than nothing 1 You see of how little or no moment these things are, 
and so how unworthy of great care. But this is not all. 

(2.) They are of little continuance. If they were of more moment, yet if 
they were of small continuance, in reason you should not much caie for 
them. But when they are of little worth, and of little continuance too, why 
should you be so very careful about them ? But so they are; the time of 
them is both short, and, which is worse, uncertain. The things of this Hfe 
are of no more continuance to us than our life is; the most of them com- 
monly stay not so long. We see them vanish and die before us; we see an 
end of them ordinarily before our few dajrs are ended. But if we had them 
for life, what is our life ? is it not a bubble, a vapour, a shadow ? You would 
think it childishness to see one very carefbl and solicitous about a bubble, a 
thing soon raised, and presently fallen and sunk. Who but a child wonld 
concern his cares in such a thing ? Why, such a bubble is our life, and the ' 
enjoyments of life are more such ; now raised, and presently gone : James iv. 
14, * What is your life ? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, 
and then vanisheth away.' What if there be some splendour in this vapoor, 
what if it please us ? it will not do long. It is but a very short show, it is 
vanishing as soon as we begin to seek it; look on it again, and it is quite 
vanished. Such is our life ; and the enjoyments of it appear for a little time, 
and then vanish, * and the eye that saw them shall see them no more,' Job 

Philip. IV. 6.] against anxious cabefulnsss. 159 

liv. 2. What if tliis shadow keep yoa frdfai some inconyeniences ? It is but 
like the shadow of Jonah's gourd, a worm is prepared that will shortly (it 
maj be the next day) smite it» and the gonrd will wither, and the shadow 
(with the refreshment of it) will vanish. Are we sober when we tronhle 
oorselves with cares about such yaponrs and shadows, such withering, van- 
ishing things ? They are but the enjoyments of a little time ; if we have 
them DOW, they will shortly be gone ; if they please us now, they will not 
please us long; and those that most please us, usually wither soonest: Isa. 
xl. 6-8, * The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry ? All flesh 
is grass, and all the goodness thereof is as the flower of the field : the grass 
witiiereth, the flower fadeth ; because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon 
it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but 
the word of our God shall stand for ever.' The apostle applies these expres- 
sions to riches : James i. 10, 11, * But the rich, in that he is made low : 
because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no 
sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower 
(alleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth : so also shall the rich 
man £ftde away in his ways.' The grass, or the stalk of the flower, is soon 
gone, that will be cut down or wither shortly. Oh but the flower, that 
which more pleases us, stays not so long ; that is cropped, or sheds its 
leaves sooner. All is withering, all is gone ; but usually that which we are 
most taken with is soonest gone. Oh, why should that which is of so little 
eontmuance be so much our care ? The apostle, upon this account, thought 
them scarce worth the looking on : 2 Cor. iv. 18, < While we look not at 
the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen ; for the 
things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are 

(B.) They are not only of short, but uncertain continuance. When we 
spnk of continuance, we have but a short time in them ; but if we speak of 
certainty, we have no time at all. We have no time certain, no, not a mo- 
ment, in any of the concerns of this life ; and this is reason enough why we 
should not trouble ourselves with cares about them. After all your care and 
trouble, when you look to enjoy them, the things may be gone. A tenant, 
if he have a lease of his flEurm, he may take some care of it ; but if he have 
no time at all in it, but may be turned out the next day, the next hour, he 
can see no reason, he will have no heart, to take much care of it. It is thus 
with us as to all the concerns of this life ; we have no lease of it, no time in 
them at all. The Lord of all may tarn us out of this, and the other, and all 
the next hour, the next moment. And he has left us at such uncertainties, 
on purpose that we might see reason not so much to mind, not to be so care- 
ful about them : Prov. zxiii. 6, ' Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which 
is not ? for riches certainly make themselves wings, ^ey flee away as an 
eagle towards heaven.' You would think him an absurd man who, when he 
sees an eagle in his field, would take great care how to fence it in there, 
whenas no fence oan secure it, make it as high as he can. The eagle, when 
she list, will make use of her wings and fly away ; she will do it certainly. 
Such winged things are the enjoyments of this life, they certainly make them- 
selves wings. There is nothing so certain as our utter uncertamty of having 
them or keeping them. And is not our care lost upon that which we can 
never make sure to us for another moment ? 

Such reason we have, and so many motives, not to give way to this care- 
ftdnees. Let me, in the next place, shew you what means are useful, and 
may be effectual, with the Lord's concuirence, to expel these cares, and 
secure na against this forbidden oarefidness. 


1. Get interest in Ood, and Irast him. Study his aU-BoffidflDcy, and 
believe that he, above ail, more than all, can satisfy aU your desires, sod 
entertain all your delights, and secure yon against all fears; that there is 
in him all the good that is to be cared for in these outward things, and in- 
finitely more ; that he can communicate this good to you easily, plentifolly, 
seasonably ; that he can prevent, or divert, or remove all the evil you aie 
solicitous to avoid, or be rid of, or else can turn it .into good ; that he is 
willing to do all this. 

(1.) In general, believe the all-sufficiency of Qod, and get your interest 
therein cleared. View this well, and you may see enough thmin to ease 
your minds of these cares, and to clear yourselves from tha trouUe of them. 
Is not he sufficient for you who is sufficient for all things, for ail purposes f 
If he be, if you have enough in him, if you have more than those who have 
most in the world without him, if you have fieur more in him than the whole 
world comes to, what occasion have you to be careful about any more f 
Should he that has enoagh, abundantly enough, trouble himself with cans 
about more ? Is not Ood all-sufficient enough for you ? Dare you give way 
to a thought so dishonourable to him 9 Is he enough for thousands and 
millions of angels and glorified saints, enough for all the creatures of heaven 
and earth, and not enough for thee alone ? And when thou hast so much 
more than is enough for thee, and all the world besides, shouldst thou be 
solicitous about more still ? Should he, who has more than those who have 
most in the world without God, be still careful about earthly things ? Should 
he who has a kingdom trouble himself about an acre or a foot of hind ? Why, 
all the fields, all the lands in the greatest kingdom on earth, are not so much, 
compared with what you have in God, as a foot, an acre of land is to sach a 
kingdom. Should one who has treasure to the value of many millions, be 
careful and solicitous about a penny or a farthing ? Why, all the treasure 
on earth is of no more value than a flEurthing, compared with the treasure and 
riches you have in the all-sufficient God. Should Ahasuerus, who had an 
hundred, twenty, and seven provinces, should Alexander or Augustus, who 
had got the empire of the world, trouble their heads about a molehill, or 
perplex themselves with cares about a trifle ? Would not you think this 
notoriously absurd, and them little better than madmen ? Why, all those 
provinces, all the kingdoms of the earth, the empire of the whole world, it 
is but a trifle compared with his estate who has God for his portion. If ha 
be your possession and heritage, and yet you are perplexing yourselves with 
cores about these lesser trifles, when your eyes are opened, you will see canse 
to pass that censure upon yourselves (which the psahnist does in a like case) : 
Ps. Ixxiii. 22, * So foolish was I, and ignorant : I was as a beast before thee;* 
1 Cor. ii. 9, ' Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into 
the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love 
him.' Has God prepared and laid up for >ou, as your portion, more thiin 
eye has seen, though it has seen all that the world can shew ; have you more 
than ear has heard, though it has heard much more than ^e eye has dis- 
covered ; have you more than has entered into the heart of man, mor« than 
you can think of, though you can think of more worlds than are in being ? 
Is all this yours ? And are you still carking, still caring, and are still per- 
plexing yourselves about more, when you have so much already as the whole 
earth is nothing, and less than nothing and vanity compared with it ? Sore 
you do not believe God and his all-sufficiency. If yon had &ith herein, 
and did but exercise it, your cares about earthly Uiings would vanish. Tbey 
would not stay, they would not appear, but where there is no faith, or very 
little : Luke xii. 28, * If, then, God so clothe the grass^ which is to-day in 


the field, and to-morrow is oust into thd oven, how maoh mote will he dothe 
700, je of little faith I' More particularly believe, 

[1.] That there is all that is good in God ; that there is in him all that 
is to be cared for or regarded ; that yon may have in him all the good that 
is to be cared for in these outward things ; that there is in him infinitely 
more than these things contain or can pretend to ; that all the good which 
70a need take thoaght for, or are tempted to be thonghtfnl abont, yon may 
liave it in him, whether you have these things or no. For all tiie good 
that 18 worthy of any care in earthly things, it came from him, he con- 
veyed it into them ; and therefore it is eminently in him. And there you 
may find it still, whatever become of these outward ei^oyments ; even as 
all the light and heat that is in the air at noon-day, it comes from the sun, 
and therefore is in the sun yirtnally and eminently, and there may be found, 
if there were none in the air ; or as all the water that is in the cistern or 
pipes came from the fountain, and there you may have it, and more than 
these can contain, whether there be any in them or not. Now why should 
70a be solicitous lest you should want these things, since all that is good in 
them, and any way desirable, all that you need care for, is to be had in God, 
and more and better than in them. 

What are these things good for but to serve your necessities, or to serve 
you with conveniences and delights ? Food, and raiment, and habitation are 
necessaries ; we cannot live wi&out them, and so think it excusable to be 
careful for them. But these you may have in God, when you are not, or 
eamiot be, otherwise accommodated : Ps. zc. 1, * Lord, thou hast been our 
dwelling-plftce in all generations.* So he was when they were in the wilder- 
ness, and had neither house nor home. Here David rested better than in 
his palace : Ps. Izxi. 8, * Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may 
coDtinnally resort : thou hast given commandment to save me ; ^or thou art 
iny rock and my fortress.' To make use of the Lord for this purpose obliges 
him : Ps. xci. 9, 10, ' Because thou hast made the Lord which is my refrige, 
even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither 
shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.' And who can dwell more safely, 
VHoe pleasantly, than he who dwelleth in the secret places of the Most High, 
and abides nnder the shadow of the Almighty ? ver. 1. And for food, he 
tells us. Mat. iv. 4, ' Man shall not live by bread abne, but by every word 
that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' When we cannot have it, he 
can make np the want of it with a word. He can sustain life without bread, 
which in Scripture phrase includes all the necessaries of this life. He can 
nuJu these tlungs not to be needful, and order it so, that we shall need no 
more than we have. He can take away the necessity, and he that takes it 
away serves our needs better than that which does but from day to day 
supply them. If you take away my meat, God will take away my stomach, ' 
said that faithful woman. If I cannot have what I need, the Lord vnll not 
let me need it. And not to need these things is better than to have them, 
if the state of angels be better than that of frail indigent men : for that is 
the difference betwixt them and us ; we have these thmgs as needfol, they 
need them not. And as for delights, he knows not God, is utterly a stranger 
to him, who believes not there are more and sweeter to be had in him than 
in the pleasantest things on earth : Ps. iv. 6, 7, * There be many that say. 
Who will shew us any good ? Lord, lift thou np the light of Uiy counte- 
nance upon OS. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time 
that their com and their wine increased ;' Hab. iii. 17, 18, * Although the 
fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines : the labour of 



the olive shall fedl, and the fields stiall yield no meat ; the floek shall be eat 
off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls : yet will I rejoice 
in the Lord, I ^dll joy in the God of my salvation.' When the Tory coarse 
of natore for ordinary preservation does fail, faith can see enough in the 
all-Bofficient Ood not only to free him from perplexing cares, bnt to fill him 
with joy and glorying. 

If yon have God, yon have all that these things are good for; all that yon 
need care for, whether for necessity or delight, and so are no way concerned 
to be carefal whether they come or go. So long as he goes not, whatever 
else go, you lose nothing, bat what is still left yon in him, and may be foond 
there with wonderfal more advantage. If a man have a great stock, a rich 
bank, he will not be carefrd thongh he have bat little in his parse ; he knows 
where to have more, and enough of it, wheneTer there is occasion for it. God 
is yoar bank, your treasury, all that riches is your own. What if you 
have not mnch money about yon, not much of these outward things to 
lug along you, you know where you have enough, it is not out of your reach, 
it may be had when you have occasion ; why then arefyou so careful ? If a 
man be stored with bars of gold, or jewels of great v^ue, he is not careful 
though he have but little in small money. The things of this life are but 
like small money for present use. What if you have not much in pence, 
and such little pieces, so long as you have it in that vast and incomprehen- 
sible sum, the all-Bufficient God, the total of which is beyond account, above 
all valuation, what need you be carefal ? Will not this yield you unspeak- 
ably more when there is occasion, than many bags fiill of single pence or 
copper money ? In other cases you judge not of things by their bulk, but 
their value. Here is one thing you have (if God be yours) which is mioe 
worth than all other things together, and you may make more of it when 
there is need. It is virtually all, and comprises the good and advantage 
of whatever you care for. What, then, need you care for more ? Oh if 
you did but see it, and know it, and believe it, you would dwell far from 

[2.] Believe that there is no good to be had from them without God. AH 
the cares of the world can make nothing of them, can squeeze no drop of good 
out of them, unless he let it out. For as all the good that is in them is in 
him eminently, and so you need not care for them if you have him, so all 
the good that can be expected of th^n is from him dependency, and so they 
ore not to be regarded without him. They can do you no good at all, they are 
not sufficient for it of themselves, their sufficiency for it is from him who is 
only all sufficient. Be as carefal as you will to get as much as yon can, 
and to keep it ; yet you will get just nothing, but the trouble of your care 
and turmoU ; nothing at all to be cared for unless he give it you. Now, if 
you did believe this effectually, you would not, by over-caring, provoke God 
to suspend that influence upon which all that is anything worth in than 
depends. The Lord can be as good to yon as heart can desire, even with- 
out these ; but these will be good for nothing witheut him. Meat and 
clothes, and rest, though you have more than enough, will not serve yoor 
necessities, will not keep you in health and strength, will not ease or cure 
you when you are ill. Pleasant things will not be delightful, will not so 
much as content you. Biches will not serve the end of riches, and when 
they do not serve their true end, they are far worse than well improved 
poverty : James v. 1-8, * Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your 
miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and yoor 
garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered ; and the rast 
of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were 


fire.* God has snch a sfaroke in these {hings, thai the oreatares, thongh 
giTdn in abondance, will not seire their proper uses when he says they shall 
not: Mieah ti. 14, 15, 'Thon shalt eat, bat not be satisfied; and thy 
cftsting down shall be in the midst of thee ; and thoa shalt take hold, but 
shalt not deliver ; and that which then deliverest will I gite np to the 
sword. Thou shalt sow, hot thoa shalt not reap ; thoa shalt tread the 
oliyes, bat thoa shalt not anoint thee with oil ; and sweet wine, but thou 
shalt not drink wine.' Haggai i. 6, 9, ' Ye have sown mach, and bring in 
litUe ; ye eat, bat ye have not enoogh ; ye drink, bat ye are not filled with 
drink ; ye clothe yoa, bat there is none warm ; and he that eameth wages, 
earneth wages to pat it into a bag with holes,* &e. This was the issue of 
all their carefblness, when they neglected better things. They had enough 
to feed, and clothe, and make them rich, and yet they were in effect neither 
fed, nor clothed, nor enriched. God did bat blow upon it, and all the good of 
these things, aH that was to be cared for in them, vanished. If yoa did 
believe and consider this, yoa would see yourselves, your care so mach 
eoncerned for the pleasing of God, that yoa would be little careful about 
other things. 

[3.] Believe that he can commanicate the good of all these things to us, 
though tkej of themselves cannot do it. And this he is all-sufficient to do, 
either by these things or without them. There is no restraint with him to 
do it eiUier way. And tiioagh ordinarily he conveys it by these things, yet 
it is not at all difficult to him to do it without them. He can do this easUy, 
plentifully, seasonably. 

Easily. He can with the greatest ease give these outward things, or 
afford the comfort and advantage of them ; he can do it with a word, with 
the toraiDg of a hand. Let him but give the word, and it will be done : 
Ps. cilvii. 15, 'He aendeth forth his commandment upon earth, his word 
raoneth very swiftly ;' Ps. ovii. 20, ' He sent his word, and healed them, 
and delivered them finem their destructions, with the turning of a hand ;* 
Ps. civ. 28, ' That thoa givest them they gather ; thou openest thine hand, 
they are fiHed with good ;* and Ps. cxlv. 16, ' Thou openest thine hand, 
aod satisfiest the desire of every living thing.' That which the things them- 
selves cannot do, with all their abundance ; that which we cannot do, with 
all OUT carefulness (satisfy us with the good of them), he can do more easily 
than we can open our hand. If we be careful to have these things, the good of 
them, without much trouble, faith will direct as where it may be had with 
ease ; it wiM lead as to mind Gh>d, and not to mind nor be thoughtful about 
the tfaings tiienselves. 

Plm^tdfy. He can fill, he can satisfy us with the goodness of them ; 
oot with the husks, which is all we can have without him, perplex ourselves 
with what cares we will, but with that which is desirable in them : Ps. 
civ. 28, * Thoa openest thy hand, they are filled with good ;'^ Ps. Ixviii. 10, 
' ThoQ, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.* 1 Tim. vi. 17, 
* Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor 
trust in micertain riches, but in the living God,^ who giveth us richly all 
things to ex^oy.' He can give abundance of the good where there is but a 
little of the things ; much contentment with it, much spiritaa) advantage by 
it; and upon that account, Ps^ xxxvii. 16, ^A little that a righteous man 
hath, is better than the riches el many wicked.* And it is troe in this sense, 
thongh it may look farther, when it is said, Luke i. 58, ' He haft filled the 
hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.*^ Se sends 
them away empty of the good of riches while they have them, and fills those 
with it who have them not. He can convey the marrow to othenii aod leave 



them nothing bat the bftro bone to gnaw on, which, how big sooTer it be 
(how bulky soever their estates are), is nothing the better, being bni a bsie 
and empty bone. If we be temptud to be carefiil for much of these things, 
which is so common as the best are in danger, this believed will help ns 
to cease from this carefulness, and to apply ourselves to him, in whose 
hands alone plenty, and all the good of it, til Uiat is to be cared for, is plenti* 
fiilly found. 

SeawnMy. When they will do ns no hurt, when they would do namost 
good, when they are most needful, most useful. We know not the season, 
we mind it not. We would have these things, and are careful to have much 
of them at a venture ; whether they will do ns good or hurt we care not, but 
to take much care to have them, sjid our fill of them, whatever be the issue ; 
as one in a fever, that will have wine, and his fill of it, though he die 
for it ; he will have his appetite, indeed his distemper, gratified ; come what 
will of it, whether it be safe or seasonable, he cares not. We consider not, 
we know not when it is safe, when it is seasonable ; but the Lord knows 
perfectly, and can give it when the season is : Ps. civ. 27, ' These wait all 
upon thee, that thou may give them their meat in his due season ; ' and 
czlv. 15, * The eyes of all wait upon thee ; and thou givest them their meat 
in due season.' Hosea vi. 8, * He shall come unto ns as the rain, as the 
latter and former rain on the earth.* He can give these, as he gives the 
first and latter rain, when it is most needful, and will be of greatest ad- 

This believed, would help us to eye God, and fix our minds on him, instead 
of fixing our minds on, and employing our thoughtfulness about, our outward 
concerns. This would teach us not to strain our souls with cares, in leap- 
ing greedily at the fruit which is above our reach ; and observe the hand of 
God, which only can convey it to us seasonably, when it will be good for us, 
and worth the having. 

This believed, that the Lord can give us the good of these things without 
them, will help us not to be so careful for the things themselves, for the 
good that is to [be] had by them, is all that is to be cared for in them ; and this 
ihe Lord can help us to, whether we have them or no. When yon have 
drawn all the spirit out of any herb or plant, you regard not the gross, dry, 
useless matter that is left, nor are solicitous what becomes of it. If you 
have the advantage and comfort which is expected from outward enjoyments, 
you have all the spirits of them, and this the Lord is sufficient to give ycia 
without them, yea, and to help you to as much of this in a little as in more 
of them. And this believed will help you to be indifiiarent as to the mea- 
sure of these things, not to be carefdl or solicitous whether yon have ]e«i 
or more. 

[4.] Believe that he can secure yon from whatever you are aolicitons to 
avoid, or ease you of whatever you are careful to be rid of. 

First, Losses, troubles, sufferings are wholly and uncontrollably at his 
disposing ; he can prevent them when they are afiir off and keep them so ; 
he can divert them when they are near and turn them another way ; be can 
remove them when they are upon yon, for all of this nature ih»i you are 
apt to be thoughtful about is in his hand, and all the instruments and cir- 
cumstances thereof, and he can take whatever order therein he pleases. 
You are not careful about your concerns, when they are in such hands as you 
can be confident of. Have faith in God, believe but that all is in the beet 
hands that they can possibly fall into when they are in his, and yon will see 
no occasion to be careful. If you will but give God the pre-eminenee abovs 
some creatures, and believe your afiairs are better in his hands than in thoas 

Philip. IV. 6.] against anxious oABEruunsss. ^ 165 

penoDfi that jon can be confident of, your hearts may be at rest, all is as well 
u caa be, anless it can be better than when all is at God's disposing. When 
a stone cannot move without the hand that yon can trust, you will not be 
ireful about what you may suffer by it. Y?liy, all that may trouble you 
lies as still as a stone in the highway, and cannot moye without the hand 
which you have so much cause to trust, which yon have more reason to 
trust tl^ your own : if you believe this, how can you be careful 9 If the 
rod be in the hand that Uie child can trust and be secure of, he will not be 
perplexed about it. All that can afflict you is in the han$l of God; if that 
be to be ^sted, your minds may be at ease, there is not the least occasion 
to be anxious or perplexed ; believe but that God can secure you; that may 
bosh your cares. The three faithful Jews found it enough for this purpose : 
Dan. iii. ] 6, 17» ' Our God is able to deliver us from the burning fieiy 
famaee, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, king.' This they be- 
lieved, therefore they were not careful. 

Secondly^ He can secure you from the evil of afflictions, troubles, losses ; 
if they should come upon you, he can keep the evil of them far from you : 
Job V. 19, ' He shall deliver thee in six troubles ; yea, in seven there shall 
no evil touch thee.* When you are surrounded with troubles, he can take 
order that the evil of them shall not so much as touch you, Ps. xxiii. He 
can take a course that there shall be no evil to be feared ; and where there is 
no cause of fear, there can be no occasion to be perplexed. There is 
nothing that in reason you can be careful to avoid but that which is evil ; 
believe but that God is sufficient to secure you from all the evil of troubles, 
ftnd all occasion of carefulness will vanish. The evil of them, which we are 
60 careful to avoid, is the smart, the sting, the damage, the grievance, we 
are apprehensive of; but the Lord can pull out the sting, and what need 
vou then care for the serpent ? He can keep you from any damage by them, 
and what need you care what seems lost, if there be no damage by it ? He 
can ease yon of the grievance, and why so careful to avoid tiiat which will 
not be grievous ? He can take order ^at you shall not so much as smart 
by them. He can not only mitigate the evil you are wont to be perplexed 
about, and make it tolerable,— as 1 Cor. x. 18, < God is faithful, who will 
not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the 
temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it ; — 
bat quite take it away. He can so order it that troubles shall not be 
^oblesome to you ; that pressures shall not be heavy upon you, but go as 
lightly under them as if they weighed nothing ; that you shall not suffer by 
what others count great sufferings ; that you shall not lose anything which 
jou need care for by your losses. If the evil be gone, there is nothing left 
that you need be careful about : and the evil the Lord can easily remove. 

Thirdly, He can do you good by afflictions; not only free yon from the 
evil of them, bat make them good for you. He can render Uiem as good 
or better for you, than freedom from them of itself is or can be. Believe 
this, and you wiH count it very absurd to be careful ; it is little better than 
madness to be careful to avoid that which is good, solicitous to escape that 
which will prove best for you. God is sufficient to do this. If you lose 
much of what yon have, he can make the little that is left as good or better 
than the whole, as comfortable, as satisfying, as. advantageous, yea, and 
yourselves more serviceable thereby than, it may be, you would have been 
with mneh more. It is not the quantity but the virtue of things that is to be 
cared for ; and the Lord can convey more virtue into a little than ordinarily 
there is to be found in very much, as you find more in a little spirits than 
in a great quantity of drugs. If the Lord can give you all the virtue of 


maeh in a little, what need you be so careful for much, anleas the mere 
bulk and enmber of it be to be cared for 9 

And, as in losses and wants, so in other afflictions and suffsrings, be can 
do yon more good by them than yon were like to have met witii withont 
them. He has done this ordinarily. Jacob's afflictions, which he met wilh 
in the loss of Joseph, proyed a greater advantage to him and the whole 
family than if he had never parted with him : Gen. xlv. &-7, * Now there- 
fere be not grieved, nor angry with yoorselves, that ye sold me hither : for 
God did send me before yon to preserve life : to preserve yon a posterity in 
the earth, and to save yonr lives by a great deliverance.' If Jacob's care to 
keep Joseph with him had succeeded according to his desire, he and his 
£unily might have starved : Gen. 1. 20, ' Ye thought evil against me ; but God 
meant it unto good, to briug to pass, as it is at this day, to save maeh 
people alive.' He kept the Israelites so long in the wilderness, a place of 
much trouble and afflictions to them, that he might do them good hereby. 
Dent. viii. 16, 16; he led them so long in the valley of death, as it is called, 
Jer. ii. 6, to do them good. It was better for David, when he was perse- 
cuted and hunted as a partridge upon the mountains, than when he was 
upon his throne : Ps. cxiz. 75, ' I know, Lord, that thy judgments are 
right, and that thou in faithfulneBS hast afflicted me.' He did his people 
good by their captivity, the most grievous su£fering that ever they met with, 
and the more, because it was not only the loss of their country, but the loss 
of the temple and the solemn worship of God : Jer. xziv. 5, ' Thus saith the 
Lord, Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried 
away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of 
the Chaldeans for their good.' He did them that good hereby, which 
mercies, and deliverances, and his own ordinances were not effectual before 
to do ; hereby he brought them to return unto him and acknowledge him : 
ver. 7, ' I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord : and 
they shall be my people, and I will be their God : for they shall retom 
unto me with their whole heart.' 

I need not stay on particular instances ; the aposUe comprises all. Bom. 
viii. 28, * We know that all things work together for good to them that love 
God, to them who are the called according to his purpose ;' all afflicUons 
and sufferings whatsoever, for of those he is speakiug. He tells ng, how 
that which we count so evil works for good : Heb. xii. 10, < He chasteneih 
us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.' More of his 
holiness is so great a good as fisur outweighs all the evil, seeming or real, 
that is in any outward losses or sufferings whatsoever. Believe this, that 
he is sufficient to turn them into good, and it will take you off from snch 
carefulness to avoid them. What pretence can there be for perj^ezing 
yourselves with cares for the escaping of that which is good for you ? Yon 
may say. It is true, if the Lord will do this for me ; oh, but you have no 
reason to question this, for, 

[5.] He is willing, and yon have all reason to believe that he is willing 
to do all this for you ; believe that he is willing to communicate the good 
of these outward things to you, or the things themselves if they be good : 
this is all that is to be cared for. And this you may be sure of, if yon 
count the word of the faithful God sufficient assurance : Ps. zzxiv. 10, * The 
young lions do lack, and suffer hunger ; but they that seek the Lord shall not 
want any good thing ;' and Ps. Izxziv. 11, * For the Lord God is a snn and 
shield : the Lord wiU give grace and glory : no good thing will he withhold 
from them that walk uprightly ;' and Ps. Ixzxv. 12, ' The Lord shall give 
that which is good ; and our land yield her increase.' You will not, if yon 

Philip. IV. 6.] aoaimbt anxious gabbfulkbsb. 167 

be sober, be oarefnl, lest yon shoald be withont that which is not good ; you 
will not count that a want ; and if yonr wants be no other, you are assured 
of a supply : Philip. iy.» * He shall supply/ he is willing to do it richly. 
Yon are no more concerned to be carefol about this, than a child is, who 
has, and knows he has, an affectionate father, able and willing to provide 
for him. The Lord is more willing to provide herein for you than the best 
of fathers on earth. Would you desire more to free you from cares ? Sure 
it needs not. Why, but you have more. The Lord is as much more will- 
ing to do it than any earthly parents, as the love of God exceeds the affections 
of men ; as much more willing as the Father of mercies, and the God of all 
comforts, exceeds that bit of affection, that drop of love, which the narrow 
heart of an earthly parent can contain : Mat. vii. 11, * If ye then, being evil, 
know how to give good gifts unto your children, how mudi more shall your 
Father which is in heaven give good gifts to them that ask him?' As much 
more willingly does he give as heaven is above earth. Do but believe this 
effectually, and you shall be ashamed, if not astonished, at ,the absurdness 
and unreasonableness of your cares. 

And then as for afflictions, &c., he is not only able but willing to free you 
from them, or to secure you from the evil of them, which is all you need to 
care, or have any occasion to perplex yourselves about ; and not only so, 
bat to make them really good for you. All which he assures us of by many 
great and precious promises (which I must not mention now), he is willing 
to make them good ; to make them prove best for you, in ail respects, boti^ 
in point of pleasure, and profit, and honour ; all which are comprised in that 
of the apostle : 1 Pet. i. 6, 7, * Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for 
a season (if need be) ye are in weariness through manifold temptations ; that 
the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, 
though it b« tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and 
gioiy, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.* Here is delight wherewith you 
may greatly rqoice, even in the midst of afflictions ; here is profit, richer 
than that of gold, something much more precious and valuable ; here is 
approbation with God, the greatest honour and gloiy, both at his appearing 
hero and hereafter ; i|ad all this the issue of manifold afflictions, of fiery 
trials. But that the Lord is willing you should partake of so sweet, and rich, 
and noble advantage, he would not be willing you should suffer, no, not for a 
season. He is ready to make these not only good, but better for you than 
ootward prosperity is wont to be, or of itself can be ; and need you be so 
careful to avoid that which he will make better for yon, than the condition 
you naturally most desire, better than a prosperous and flourishing state ? Do 
ye think the apostle Paul, for all his sufferings, would have changed conditions 
with Nero, in the greatest flourish of his empire ? Or, that Moses did not 
beUeve the Lord would make afflictions better for him than all the honours, 
or riches, or pleasures, of Egypt, when, Heb. xi. 24-26, * he refused to 
be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction 
with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasares of sin for a season, 
esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt ' ? 
The Lord is willing hereby to free yon from that which is your greatest 
evil, your sin and corruption; which is the weakness, the disease, the 
poverty, the deformity, the misery of your souls. He has declared his will 
by his promise : Isa. xxvii. 9, * By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, 
and this is all the firuit, to take away his sin ;' and Isa. i. 25, * I will turn 
my hand npon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy 
sin ;* and willing to make you hereby partakers of that which is the greatest 
good joa are capable of on earth : that holiness, which is the health, strength, 

168 AGAZX8T AKXX0U8 0ABXF17L1IS88* [PbILIF. IY. 6. 

beMity, riohes, life and glory of the sonl, and froitfiil theran, Heb. zii.9 
2 Cor. iv. Do yon question his williDgDess here ? Why, be is more willing 
yon ehonld have so much good by afflictions than yoorselTes are. Yon are 
afraid of this sovereign receipt, becaase it tastes a little bitter ; like a foolish 
ehild, who will not take that to save his life which bites his tongoe. The 
Lord is glad to force it on us ; so mnch more ready is he to do ns good 
thereby, than we are willing to have it. Believe bat this, that he is so 
willing to make affietions so good, so exceeding good, and yon will condemn 
yoorselves of childishness in perplexing yomvelves mnch, and being so 
very thooghtfol how to avoid them. These cares woold find no place if fiuth 
were doly exercised : Ps. xlii. 11, * Why art thoa cast down, O my sool t 
and why art thou disqnieted within me ? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet 
praise him, who is the health of my conntenance, and my God ;* John xit. 1 , 
* Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.' 

(2.) Get more submission onto God, if you would be freed from this 

[1.] Gtei judgment and will more subjeeted to the mind and will €i God, 
so as to rest satisfied in that which he counts best for you. The Lord has 
assured his people that it shall go well with them, that he will dispose of 
their concerns for the best. If we did acquiesce in Uiis, and were fully saftis' 
fied with it, and will and mind rested in it, we should be at rest from onr 
cares ; we should not be farther perplexed about that which we were satis- 
fied would be ordered for the best. The Lord has given sufficient gromid 
in his word for our satisfaction herein ; and we seem to be satisfied in gene- 
ral, and can say he will make all work for the best ; and in particnlar cases, 
which are remote, and concern others, we make no doubt of it ; but when 
we are tried in cases that more particularly respect to ourselves, and which 
touch us nearly, the unsubmissiveness of our souls unto God, in these deal* 
ings which he judges fittest for us, does presently bewray itself. Oh if I 
should meet with such a loss, lose such a relation, such a comfort, such a 
considerable part of a livelihood, how could it be well with me if such and 
such an affliction should befall me, so grievous, so wounding, which strikes 
deep into the interest of ease, or profit, or credit, or comfort^ Then we fly 
off, and gainsay in paxiiculars what we seemed satisfied with in general ; 
and make that a question, which, before we came to be specially and deeply 
concerned, seemed unquestionable. Then we are ready to say (or to thmk 
at least) How can it be well with me if this should befall me ? How can 
this be for the best, which threatens to ruin, to undo me ; which eomcs 
upon me with open mouth, to swallow up my dearest comforts and concern- 
ments ? Now we cannot submit to God, and yield up our judgments to that 
which he has so often declared ; we cannot think it best, nay, we eannot 
think it good for us, though it be the dispensation of that God who has given 
us his word that all his dispensations shall be for the best. Here onr judg- 
ments rise up against the mind and judgment of God, and what he thinlu 
best and fittest for us we think worst of all ; and accordingly we are anxioss, 
and perplexed, and thoughtful, and full of cares how to prevent it, when 
such a providence approaches, or how we may remove it when it has ove^ 
taken us. Whereas, if our minds and hearts were but subdued to the mind 
and will of God, we would be satisfied with that as best which he thinks to 
be BO ; and so our cares would cease, and mind and heart would be at rest 
from the troublesome hurry of them. 

Oh labour for this quiet, humble submission unto God ; abhor that her- 
rible pride whereby we prefer our own judgments before that of infinite wis- 
dom, and advance onr own wills before that of infinite goodness. See that 


mind and heart lower to God in all his dispensations, as most vise, and 
mott good, and host of all for yon, whatever they may seem to a proud selfish 
heart, or to a partiid short-sighted mind. This yon mnst do, if yon would 
be freed from the sin and trouble of this oondemned carefulness. If we will 
presume to make oniaelves wiser than God, and to know better what is best 
for us than he, no wonder if our hearts be like the troubled sea, that cannot 
rest, if we be left to set onreeWes on several occasions upon the rack of 
this carofnlness. 

[2.] Get yonr wills snbdned to the will of God. If this were done, and 
our wills brought to a due subjection to the divine will, we should not be at 
all troubled or perplexed with cares ; for, though we observe it not, our 
ezeess of carefulness is to have our own wills in this, and the other, and 
every thing that we are solicitous about. If our own will were not in it, 
and something therein lay not cross to that, we would not be troubled with 
cares or thoughtfnlness about it. 

Why are we so careful to get much for ourselves and ours ; so thoughtful 
lest it should be lost or impaired, but because we would have a fair estate ? 
That is our will, it is fixed and stiff for it. We cannot yield to be put off 
vith a little, though it were the will of God so to order it. 

Why are we so thoughtful and solicitous for the avoiding of afflictions and 
soffdrings, or so very careful to get out of them when they are upon us, but 
because we would hve easily, and pleasantly, and prosperously ? This is 
oor will, and is so much set upon it, that it cannot yield to a low and afflicted 
condition, though it were the will of God to dispose us in it. If we did but 
submit to his will, the care and trouble would be over ; that which he wills 
for us would be welcome to us ; we should not trouble ourselves with cares, 
either to prevent it before it come, or to escape it when it is upon us. 
You may see this in Saul : it was the will of God that David should succeed 
him in the kingdom ; it was Saul's will that his own son should succeed 
him, and the crown not be removed from his family. Hence was Saul^so 
afflicted with cares, after he suspected David should have the kingdom : 
hence was he so thoughtful how to make an end of him. His cares might 
bring or increase that melancholy, which is called (as some think) an evil 
spirit, or which an evil spirit made use of, to afflict him and trouble his 
spirit, 1 Sam. xviii. 8-10. If Saul could have submitted his will to God*s, 
he had been freed from those cares, and the troubles of heart and life, which 
they brought upon him ; but Saul would have his own will, rather than 
God*B will should be done : this was the rise of his cares, and that which 
continued them during his life. 

And thus it is commonly with us in other cases ; when our carefulness is 
truly stated, the contest is betwixt God's will and ours. We may tremble 
that it should be thus, but so it is. We are careful to have our wills, with 
a neglect of God*s will, nay, many times in opposition to it. Instead of 
being earefol to have his will done on earth as it is in heaven, we are 
thoughtful how our wills may be done on earth, that we may have all that 
we wiU, and all as we will, whatever the will of God be. We would have 
his will yield to oun in this and the other, and that not to be his will which 
is so. We would have him will nothing but what we will as to our outward 
condition ; or if he will anything that we like not, which suits not our 
inclinations, we will hinder it and have it otherwise, if all our care will do it. 
Oh what horrid pride is here, what rebeDion against the sovereign wiU of 
the Most Highl How do we attempt to cross God in our cares, and trouble 
oorselvea with thonghtfrdness to have our wills, though God*s will be against 
it! Oh humble yourselves for this I Importune the Lord to give you hearts 

170 AOAZKST AinuouB OABSFUXiiniss. [Phiup. IV. 6. 

of flesh, saeh as will be tractable and easily wrought to a oomplianoe with 
the divine will, to take away Uiat stone rather than heart, which is in as 
Batnndlj, that will break rather than yield. So far as the will of God is 
acceptable to yon, so as yoora can stoop to it though it cross yon, so &r 
yoa will not be anzioos or careful. U you could submit to his will in all 
things, you would be careful for nothing. 

(8.) Live in the view of eternity. Labour to walk still in the si^t of your 
everlasting condition ; let your eye be often on it ; let your minds and 
thoughts be frequently taken up with that endless state which you must 
shortly enter on. Be still comparing your time here with that eternal c<»- 
dition that remains for you ; consider how little or nothing it is in compari- 
son, and that will help you to discover how small and inconsiderable the 
concerns of this present life are compared with those of everlastingness, and 
consequently how little to be cared for. You hare that to look after, which 
is of so much more importance than the things of this life, as far exceeds 
them, as that vast incomprehensible eternity exceeds a little moment. Oh 
believe this effectually, consider it seriously, and you will find something 
else to do than to trouble yourselves so much with cares about concerns of 
so inconsiderable a moment ! Why was the apostle no more careful about 
the things of this life, why no more troubled about them ? why no more 
thoughtful to avoid afflictions and sufferings, or to get rid of tb^m ? He 
gives you this account of it : 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18, ' For our lig^t afflietimi, 
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory ; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at 
the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, 
but the things which are not seen are eternal.* His view of those eternal 
things made things of time'seem nothing to him, not fit to be the concern of 
his care, scarce worthy to be looked on. A due prospect of eternity would 
help us more to overlook the things of this life, aud to look upon ourselves,* 
our cares, as very little concerned in them. He that has his eye much fixed 
upon that, when he looks downward, will be ready to think he sees nothing. 
What are the atoms, the motes, that we see stirring about us in the light, 
to one that, with the help of an artificial glass, has been viewing the sun 
and the heavenly bodies ? The things of time are no more to those of 
eternity than these motes are to the sun or the whole heavens. Let these 
motes dance on ; what are we concerned in them, unless to keep them out 
of our eyes, out of our hearts and minds ? 

A traveller that has but a night to stay in a place, he will not be very 
solicitous about his accommodation ; he will take it as he finds it, eonsider- 
ing it is for so short time ; he must be gone the next mommg. You would 
think him little better than a madman who would take as much eaie about 
his inn as he does about his own dwelling house. Why, such is our ease in 
this world, and so we should think of it. We are strangera and pilgrims, we 
are in a journey, we are seeking a country ; our halntations are but as an 
inn, and our eigoyments as the accommodations of it; and our abode heron 
is not so much, compared with eternity, as a night's lodging. Whether they 
please us or please us not, we need not much care, since it is for so short a 
time ; we must be gone, as it were, the next morning. Ps. xlix. 12 : ' Man 
being in honour, abideth not,' f^ ^2 ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^7> ^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ 
a night. Alas 1 what need he care whether he be in honour or not, ii^ether 
he have little or much, since it is for so little a while, since he is not to abide 
in that condition so much as a night comes to ? It is not so much in re- 
spect of everkstmgness. Be not careful about it; take it as it oomes, since 
• Qu. • our sorrows '?— Ed. 


yon most be gone out of it so yeiy soon. Woold yon think that traveller in 
his wits, who, when he is but to stay in his inn so few honrs, would bnsy 
himself to stnff his bed and pillow with thorns, so that, when he ean bnt 
rest a while at best, he may not be able to rest at all ? Thus yon do when 
yoa trouble yourselves with the cares of this life. Oar Lord Jesus expresses 
them by thorns. When you must rest no' longer, wUl you take the coarse 
not to rest a short night ? Your stay here is not so much to eternity as a 
night. Ps. xc. 2, 4, * A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday 
when it is past, and as a watch in the night.* If a thousand years be bat 
to eternity as a watch in the night, the space of three or four hours, and 
that passed over insensibly in sleep, what is our life, which is but so 
small a parcel of a thousand years ? The fourth part of a night is but a 
very little thing. Oh but it is not so much, it is bat as yesterday, and yes- 
terday when it is past is nothing. This life is no more expressly : Ps. 
xxxix. 5, * Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth, and mine age is 
nothing before thee; verily, every man at his best state is alt<^ether 
vanity.' If our life be as notiiing to everlastiogness, what are the concerns 
of it ? If this were believed and considered, would that be so much oar 
care, which is no more than nothing in the account of God ? 

Let those infidels trouble themselves with the cares of this life who think 
their souls shall last no longer than their life ; but you that believe you 
most live hereafter more millions of years than there are minutes in yoar 
whole life, yea, more millions of ages than there are minutes in a million 
of years, what do you think your life here is to that, of such an astonish- 
ing continuance, of an endless, an everlasting duration ? Can you con- 
ceive it to be like anything more than a moment ? And why are you so 
careful, why so much concerned about the accommodations of a moment, 
of a minute ? What if they please you or please you not ; is it any great 
matter, since it is for so short a time 7 What if Uiey be not such as you 
could wish ; will they not serve well enough for a moment ? May you not 
be indifferent how it fares with you for such a very little while ? Oh, but 
the concerns of eternity, of a condition that will never, never have an end, 
that wiU be never nearer to an end after it has lasted millions and millions 
of ages ; oh sure this should be your care» and so much your care, that 
the things of this life should have Uttie of it in comparison, little or nothing 
in comparison of them, because they' are little or nothing compared with 
them, of little or no continuance comparatively, and so of Utile or no 

That emperor made himself ridiculous to the world, who, giving out 
that he had a design to conquer a kingdom, and taking care to raise a 
vast army, aad marching them many hundred miles, in ihe end employed 
his soldiers only to gather cockles. You declare your design to be for a 
kingdom, an everlastmg kingdom ; yon must strive, and wrestle, and com- 
bat to compass it. Here lies your business* here should your care be 
employed. If, instead of this, you turn your cares upon tiie things of 
this life, you £Edl a-gathering cockles or picking straws, instead of seeking 
that kingdom; the things of time are of no more value than straws in 
comparison of it. 


J Jut in everything by prayer and nuppUeaiion^ with thanhtffiving, let your 
requests be made known unto God — Phu.ip. IV. 6. 

The apostle hanng forbidden the PhilippianB to be earefcd, be ehews them 
what thej ehoold do instead thereof. He shews them a better way to obtain 
what they or others are apt to be carefal abont, than all such forbidden 
carefnlness would prove. Instead of troubling yonrseWes with cares for 
anything, apply yonrselves to (Jod by prayer in everything. 

Obs. The people of God should have recourse to him by prayer in every- 

For explication, let us inquire into the act, the extent, the manner of 
praying. What we must do, and wherein it must be done, and how we must 
do it. 

1. For the act It is prayer, expressed here by four words, ^^oetv^^ 
asking of Qod, or, as it is rendered, prayer; dtrietg, supplication; iu^a^teria^ 
praise or thanksgiving ; atrti/jMra, petitions or requests. For the opening 
of which, you know there are two principal parts of prayer, petition and 
thanksgiving, the asking of what we would have, and the due acknow- 
ledgment of what we have received. When we take notice of what the Lord 
bestows, and are affected with the riches and the freeness of his mercy therein, 
and out of an hearty sense thereof gratefully acknowledged ; this is, ivx'* 
^#<rrciy, to give him thanks, which is one chief part of pmyer, that which should 
not be omitted. When we would pray, as he requires, our requests should 
be joined, fitr iu^a^ieridg, with thanksgiving. The sense of our wants, 
pressures, sufferings, should not drown the sense of his mercy and bounty 
expressed towards us. Eagerness after more should not make us overlook 
what he has done for us already; but while we beg, we should also be thank- 
ful, having as much occasion for this as the other. 

Then for petition, the other part of prayer, that is here, alrnpMra, the 
several requests we make, or petitions we put up, and «'^tffux^) ^°^ dfiy«r;, 
denote the same. He uses more words to express the same thing, as the 
Hebrews were wont to do (whose manner of speech he much uses) to signify 
frequency or vehemency ; to mind us that we should be very much and 
often in this duty, or that our hearts should be very much in it when we are 
about it. 

We need not inquire how these two words may be distinguished ; it is 


like the apostle intended no more than I ba^e expressed. Bat if we will be 
so eariooB, one of them may denote the olrject of oar prayers, ^fofftuxi is 
c^ riv eth lii;^4t a request directed to God. To whom shall we address 
oarsehes if we would be relieved, or supplied, or delivered ? Let your 
requests be made known to God, w^g 0f4y. Others may be unable or 
unwilling to help ; it may be a wickedness, or it may be to no pnrpose 
to seek to them ; but God is able and willing to relieve, he has made it your 
duty to apply yourselves to him, and to none else without him. The other 
may denote the sulrject of our prayers; itfiatg, rendered supplication, is from 
df6^Mu, to want. That which we are to request of Gtod is what we want, be 
it something which we have not, or more of that which we have, if it be 
needful for us, that which we want indeed. We may seek it of God ; it is 
both our duty and privilege to do it ; he both encourages and commands 
it. It is a principid part of prayer, to which there are so many promises, 
for which there are so many precepts, to spread our wants before God, to make 
them known to him. Not that he knows not what we want before we declare 
it, Mat vi. ; but this is the way, most for his honour and our advantage, 
to have supplies. < He will be sought unto,' Ezek. zxzvi. 87. We must seek 
him, and not formally, and as of coarse ; but as those who are sensible what 
they want, and who it is that only can relieve us, make all known to him. 

2. For the extent of it. 'In everything ;' so we must both pray and praise 
him, both make our requests, and give thanks, in everything ;«but here 
seems some difficulty, as to both, which I will endeavour to remove. 

(1.) How can it be our duty to give thanks in everything ? There are 
many cases, wherein it may be a question, whether they require thankful- 
ness ; several, which seem to call for humiliation rather than thanksgiving. 
But this in general may be determined, whatever our estate or the circum- 
stanoes of it be, so far as there is any mercy to be discerned therein, so far 
we ought to be thankful, yea, though there be mach of anger and divine dis- 
pleasure there. And thereby we may resolve the particular cases wherein 
it is questionable, whether it is our duty to be thankftil, and how it can be so. 

fl.] When we are under afflictions, are we to give thanks for personal 
f^'evanees ? Yes ; there is something in them for which we may, we onght 
to be thankful. But how ? Not for the afflictions considered in themselves, 
for so they are not joyous, but grievous. But if they be for righteousness' 
sake, then are they blessed dispensations, then they are occasions of joy, 
and so of praise, Mat. v. Then they are gifts, special favours, and so 
oblige us to thankfulness : Phil. i. 29, * Unto you it is given in the behalf of 
dmsty not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.' Yea, 
when Uiey are chastisements, and occasioned by our miscarriages, yet then 
we may and oaght to be thankful, becaase tbey are no more, not so much 
as we had deserved, and had reason to fear ; not so many, not so grievous, 
not so continued. When we lose something, had it not been for that mercy 
(which we should be thankful for) we had lost all. When we suffer in one 
partieular, we might have suffered in all, in soul, body, estate, relations, 
altogether. When it is but a rod, it might have been a scorpion ; when it 
lies but on us a while, it might have oppressed us all onr days, and made 
omr whole life a life of sorrow and affliction. But they are not so much as 
others suffer. What are our sufferings, when greatest, to those of Christ, 
though he was innocent, not, as we are, covered with guilt ? What are our 
afflictions to the sufferings of others, who are as dear to him, and have less 
provoked him 7 What to theirs, who, by the Lord's testimony, were such, 
of whom the worid was not worthy ? Heb. xi. And because they proceed 
from love, and shall have a merciful issue, if not for the grievance oi them 

174 PBAT rOB STZBTTHmO. [PfllUP. lY. 6. 

yet for the rise, and for the effects of them, so fiir as they an sanctified, 
to make yon partakers of his holiness, to hring forth the fruits of it ; so 
far as yoa have his presence, and are supported nnder them, and enabled to 
demean yoorselves under them as children, to bear them wiUi patience, sab- 
mission, the exercise of faith, hope, and other graces requisite in such a 
state ; and because, where we have one affliction, we have a thousand 
mercies. And should the sense of one, though sharp, drown all these, espe- 
cially a few of them? Some one of them is more just matter of praise and 
rejoicing, than all the afflictions in the world of sorrow and dejection. Yon 
are in troubles, but you are not in hell ; and why not there, but because his 
mercy towards you is infinite ? The Lord has taken this or that from you. 
Oh, but hath he taken his loving-kindness firom you ? Has he divorced yon 
from Christ ? Has he cut you off from hopes of glory ? Has he extinguished 
bis grace in you, or taken his Holy Spirit frt)m yon, or shut you out from 
the covenanV of grace, or separated you from his love 9 Bom. viiL 

[2.] When public judgments are inflicted, that calls for monming and 
lamentations, what place then for praise and thanksgiving ? Why, so far 
even then we are to be thankful, as the Lord remembers mercy in the midst 
of judgment. We then have occasion of thanksgiving, because he inflicts 
no more judgments, pours but out some one vial, when he might pour out 
all together; because he makes not those inflicted more grievous and intoler- 
able, moA spreading and universal, more destructive and ruining ; because 
we are secured and preserved, we escape when others fall ; because it does 
but scorch us, when it might consume us. Lam. iii. They could see occa- 
sion of thankfulness in the midst of those calamities, which had burnt their 
temple, destroyed Jerusalem, laid their country desolate, and carried the 
inhabitants into captivity ; they could discern mercy and compassions throng 
all this, and so far as this can be discerned, there is cause of thanksgiving. 

[8.] When we are under temptations. An hour of temptation is a time 
of fear and trembling, yet even then we have cause of thanksgiving. So fiur 
as the temptation prevails not ; so fiEur as we are strengthened to resist it ; so 
far as it is not too violent to be borne or withstood ; so far as we escape the 
danger ; if we do not quite escape, so far as we take warning by it, and are 
made more watchful, and stand more upon our guard, and are more humbled 
in the sense of our own weakness, and led to more dependence on the 
Lord our strength, and fear and hate that more to which we were tempted, 
and are more resolute against it. 1 Cor. x. 18, * There hath no temptation 
taken you but such as is common to man ; but God is faithful, who will not 
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will, with the tempta- 
tion also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.* So &r as 
the Lord's faithfulness, his mindfulness of his covenant, appears in any 
temptations, whether for good or to evil, so much cause is there of thanks- 

[4.] When we fall into sin. That is the hardest case ; yet here we ought 
to be thankful, not because we are left to sin, for that is cause of sorrow and 
deep humiliation, but because he leaves us not to sin more, as vre would 
do were it not for his gracious restraints*; because the Lord does not leave 
us, does not cast us off when we sin ; because he proceeds not more severely 
against us for sin ; because we do not die in it ; because he does not cast us 
off, and cause us to perish in the very act ; because he gives any time for 
repentance, or any heart for it. Here is matter of thankfulness, since he is 
so highly provoked by sin ; since he might so easily satisfy his just displea- 
sure in destroying us ; since he might do it with advantage to has glory, the 
gloiy of his justice, and might prevent farther provocations, and more dia- 

Philip. IV. 6.] prat fob svsbtthino. 175 

hoDoor ; or becaose he OTer-roles this desperate evil, to occasion any good ; 
or works any cnre of this deadly poison, as he can do. And thns yon see 
how we may give thanks in eveiythingi even in those wherein it is hard to 
see any occasion for thanksgiving. 

(2.) As there is some difficulty in respect of thanksgiving, so in respect 
of prayer, whether we may apply ourselves to God in everything partica- 
iarly ; and that which the text leads me to, whether we may make oar re- 
quests known to him for temporal things, the concerns of this world. With 
some, this seems questionable ; fiii v^tXfffig Sf w uwi^ ivrtXuv v^ayfjMrw, says 
Ghrysostom, make not thy address to God for small things ; injuriam magno 
Dio/acitf qui parvapetit^ parva autem sunt omnia temporalia, says Savonarola. 
But such sayings must be understood as intending a restraint only, not an 
ainolute prohibition, since by warrant from Scripture we may pray for 
what is there promised, and * godliness has the promise of this life,' 1 Tim. 
iv. 8. And these are some of the things that the text directs us to pray for. 
We are not to be careful for the things of this life, but instead thereof, make 
oar requests known in everything ; as in other things, so in these. We 
have both rule and example for this in Scripture. Our Lord Jesus directs 
U8 to pray for our daily bread ; so Jacob : Gen. xxviii. 20, * And^Jacob vowed 
a vow, saying. If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I 
go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,* &c. And Agur, 
Prov. XXX. 8, * Give me neither poverty nor riches : feed me withibod con- 
venient for me.* They may be sought, but with limitation. 

[l.J Not principally ; for they are not the things that we are principally 
eoDcemed in. Mat. vi. 88. The kingdom of God, and the righteousness of 
it, things eternal and spiritual, are to be sought principally, first and most, 
above idl, more than all, as being of far greater value and consequence, of 
greater necessity and importance. We may -far better fall short of the 
things of this life, that may trouble us for a time ; but to miss the other, 
will be our miseiy for ever, and of greater value. The other are but loss 
and dung in comparison, of no considerable value ; and so we should be far 
from seeking them principally. 

[2.] Not for themselves, but in order to better things ; not to serve our- 
selves of them, but to be more serviceable by them, to do more good with 
them ; not to please our senses, but to help us the better to please the 
Lord ; not because they suit our inclinations, but to enable us to do the 
will of Gody and that work which he has set us to do. As the apostle desired 
a prosperous journey, Bom. x. 10, not for the joumey*s sake, as though he 
loved or delighted in that, but that he might have thereby an opportunity to 
do more good. To seek these things for themselves, profit for profit's sake, 
or pleasure's sake, is to seek them as God only should be sought, and so to 
idolize them. 

[8.] With submission. These things are not good for all, in every degree. 
We faiow not whether they wiU be good for us, nor what measure of Uiem 
may be best* We must not seek them peremptorily, as those that have a 
mind to have them at a veninre, but with a reserve k they may be good for 
OS ; and these must be submitted to the will and wisdom of God, who only 
knows it. lUi oomrnUtUe^ ui ti pronnt, det ; n icU obesse^ nan det* Refer it 
to him, either to bestow them if he see it good, or deny them, if he know 
they wiU not be good. The all-wise physician knows better what is good 
or hurtfol than tho distempered patient. 

We are not to seek outward things as we may seek fiaith, repentance, 
pardon, holiness, growth in grace, power against sin. These are absolutely 
necessary to our hiappiness ; it is his will his people shall have them ; he 


lias declared it in his word, and promised them wiihoat reeerre ; and there- 
fore so we may beg them. Bat oatward things are not absolutely neeessaiy 
to salvation ; we may be happy without them, or such a measore of them ; 
we know not bat it may hinder instead of promoting onr happiness. They 
are not promised absolutely, and therefore should not be so sought. 

Those things which tend but to our well-being in spirituals, as eomfoit, 
assurance, and highest degrees of holiness, are not to be sought bat with 
submission, much less these which tend but to our well-being in temporals. 
* Not my will but thine be done,* said our great pattern. And David herein 
shewed himself to be a man after his own heart : 2 Bam. xy. 25, * And the 
king said unto Zadok, Garry back the ark of God into the city ; if I shall 
find favour in the eyes of ihe Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me 
both it and his habitation.* He referred it wholly to the will of God, 
whether his outward condition should be prosperous or no. So moch for 
the act and the extent of it. The mode or manner of praying is, the 

8. Third particular propounded, how we must pray. Take an aoooont 
of this in these severals. 

(1.) Pray much and often. That we are enjomed, when he bids us pray 
in everything. We must pray whenever we have occasion ; and everything 
gives us occasion for some request. We have occasion to pray, from what 
coDcems our eternal state, our spiritual state, and our outward conditions, 
occasions to pray from everything. We have either wants or feara, which 
respect every state ; and therefore frequent, constant occasions to pray, and 
so we should be much and often in this duty. It is called for in the like 
expressions : Eph. vi. 18, * Praying always with all prayer and snpplieation 
in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and snppliea* 
tion for all saints.* What is here implied, is there expressed, w^atuxifu^m 
t9 «-a>W xat^u, praying always whenever opportunity or occasion is offitfed ; 
this is offered frequently, continually. And so we are enjoined to continue 
in prayer : Col. iv. 2, * Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with 
thanksgiving ;* to * pray continually without ceasing,' 1 Thes. v. 17, Luke 
xviii. 1. The meaning of these expressions is not that we should do no- 
thing else but pray, that this should take up all our time, and we should be 
every moment in this employment, but that we should be much and often 
in it. We should still keep a praying temper ; we should always he dis- 
posed to it, always ready for it when occasion is offered. No employment 
should ..wear off this temper, or indispose us to this duty. As when the 
apostle says. Bom. ix. 2, < I have great heavmess, and continual 8<»row in 
my heart ;* not that the acts and expressions of his sorrow were never dis- 
continued. We know he was often rejoicing upon other occasions, but their 
sad condition had made a lasting impression of grief upon his heart, which 
he was ready and disposed to express when occasion was offered. Though 
the act of prayer be intermitted, and discontinued through other employ- 
ments, yet the disposedness to it should last ; the heart should be ready for 
it whenever there is occasion and opportunity. Such, a continual disposi- 
tion and readiness to pray, is, as we call it, an habitual praying ; and in 
this respect we may be said to rejoice always, evermore, 1 Thes. t. 16, 
Philip, iv. 4. So to pray always. 

But that is not all. As we must be always ready to pray, so we must fre- 
quently shew this readiness, this habitual frame, by praying actually ; we 
must do it every day ; it must be our daily employment, our daily sacrifice. 
As the priests might be said always to sacrifice, because they constantly 
offered sacrifice, evening and morning ; or, as Mephibosheth is said to ei^ 
meat with David continually, 2 Sam. ix. 7, because he did eat with him at 

Philip. IV. 6.] pbat fob BVSBTrHixo. 177 

his set mstls ; so we, thai we may answer these eommandB which require us 
to pray oontinnally , must have our times for prayer every day ; as they had for 
their saerifiee, and we and they had for their daily meals. 

But this is not all neither : we have many times repasts and refreshments 
besides oar set meals ; and they had many other sacrifices besides those 
oflered evening and morning, some extraordinary, and some npon particular 
oecasbiis. 80 should we, besides onr ordinary and daily addresses to €k>d, 
make onr reqaests known in an extraordinary maimer when we have extraor- 
dinary occasion, public or personaL We should apply ourselves to him at 
any time (besides those seasons which we daily observe) when we have more 
particular and special occasion. We must take all occasions to oEer our 
reqaests which the providence of God offiars us, both those that are continued 
and in course, and those that are emergent, and bring special reason for it. 
In everything, both of this and that nature, our requests must be made 
known, and so much and often, such a frequency as may be called a con- 
tinuance in prayer. 

(2.) Pray carefhlfy. Instead of being careful about other things, be care- 
ful in this. Pray caiefnlly ; take care how you perform this duty : shew this 
care about prayer in everything you pray for. Not that you should pray 
with anxiousDoss, solioitousness, perplexity, but tnat yon should not pray 
carelessly. This care in praying is expressed by watching, frequently joined 
to this duty in Scripture : Gol. iv. 2, * Continue in prayer, and watch in the 
same with thanksgiving ;* £ph. vi. 18, ' Praying always with all prayer aAd 
snpidicatbn in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance ;* 
1 Pet. It. 7, ' Be ye sober, and watch unto prayer.' There must be dili- 
gence and care in praying. We must be watehM about it, as that which 
requires onr care. We are careful about that which keeps us waking and 
««tehfhl. Watchfulness denotes the importance of that which we watch, 
and some danger in it, and the sense of both. It is of some consequence 
that we think ourselves concerned to be watchful about. We should go 
abooi this duty as a matter of great importance. We should be sensible 
who it is with whom we have to do, of what importance it is to make an 
address to the great God, and of what importance our necessities are which 
we spread before him. If we pray with sleepy, drowsy, listless hearts, we 
alighi the great God, and slight onr own necessities, our own interest, and 
ali^t a duty wherein both the Lord and ourselves are so much concerned. 
If we go about this duty with a sleepy soul, we offer to God a dream instead 
of a real supplication ; we affiront him, and shew a wretched disregard of our 
own eoneemments, and therefore we should awake ourselves when we come 
beSore God; as Deborah, Judges v. 12, < Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, 
awake, utter a song ;' David, Ps. cviii. 2, ' Awake, psaltery and harp, I my- 
self wili awake early; ' and Ps. Ivii. 8, ' Awake up, my glory,' &c. We should 
stir up ourselves to lay hold on him ; we should rouse mind and heart, graces 
and afGaotions, that all may be stirring and active, and not shut up in a care* 
Jess, drowsy listlessness. This is to watch unto prayer, this is to be vigilant 
and earefnl about it. 

Further, it denotes danger. When we are watchful, we apprehend some 
danger, and this is signified when watchfulness in prayer is called for : Mat. 
xxri. 41, * Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation ;' Mark xiii. 
as, • Take heed, watch and pray ;' Luke xxi. 86, * Watch ye, therefore, and 
pray always.' There is danger, for there is temptation attends our prayers. 
There is danger lest our minds and hearts should wander from God, when 
they should be fixed on him. There is danger lest such distempers seize on, 
vox- n. ^ 


and oleare to onr souls in praying, as may turn onr prayers into sin ; so there 
is danger lest onr prayers should miscarry. We should be apprehensive of 
the da^er, and so watchful to prevent it, to avoid it. Careful and vigilint 
that we enter not into the temptation to which we are subject when we pniy ; 
watchful to espy it, that we be not surprised ; to resist it, that we be not 
overcome ; that though it attack us, it may not cany us along with it, we 
may not enter into it. Vigilant to prevent wanderings and dlstraetians, 
those loose vagaries of our vain minds and hearts into which they are apt to 
run when they should be most fixed, and have that before them which should 
wholly take them up, as Abraham watched his sacrifice ; vigilant and earefnl 
to discern and shake off inward distempers, which are wont to mix them- 
selves with our prayers, and spoil them. 

(8.) Pray earnestly. It is the property of the Hebrew tongue to express 
vehemency, by joining divers words of the same signification together. The 
apostle being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, usually follows that style ; and thai 
may be one thing intended here, by adding divers words of the like signifi- 
cation to express prayer. He would have us to pray with some vehemence 
and earnestness, as Elias did ; his vehemence in praying is so expressed, 
James v. 17, v^ffiuxjl' «^gptf>jufaro, he prayed vehemently, as Luke xxii., 
'With desire have I desired,' ue. greatly, earnestly, vehemently desired. 
Our hearts and affections in prayer should not only be roused, but extended; 
dravm out in some eameetness : not only awakened, but warmed ; there 
should be a spiritual heat and fervour in them. We should be * £Bn>ent 
in spirit' when we are thus ' serving the Lord.' Pray as the chnreh for 
Peter, Acts xii. 5, v^offtux^ txri vi);, fervent prayer was made ; the same word 
1 Pet. iv. 8, Ayd^ftv fxnvij ; and so it is said * the tribes served God/ Acts 
xxvi. 7, fir rxnvf/a, ' in fervency,' or, which is all one in effiact, with souls 
stretched to him. Prayer is dyd^Catf/^ roD vov v^hg Sthv, the ascent of the soul 
to God ; and therein the soul should stretch forth itself to the utmost to 
get near unto God. To pray lazily, siothfnily, is to pray as though we prayed 
not ; and that will have answerable returns from him, will provoke him to 
hear as though he heard not, to regard our requests as though he regarded 
them not. He that begs coldly bespeaks a denial ; may be need like an idle 
beggar ; too lazy not only to work, but to seek relief. The Lord, if he love 
you, will whip you out of such intolerable sloth. 

It is earnestness the Lord expects in prayer, such as is expressed in Scrip- 
ture by crying out of the depths, Ps. cxxx. 1, by mighty cries, Jonah iiL 
8, strong cries, Heb. v. 7, such as those of a woman in travail, Isa. xxvL 
The soul should cry, as pained with its spiritual wants, inward distempen and 
corruption, as one in anguish till delivered. 

By striving : Bom. xv. 80, ' Strive together with me in your prayers to 
God for me ;' such as wrestlers use when they put forth all their strength^ 
use all their might to prevail. 

By wrestling. So Jacob wrestled with God, Gen. xxxii. 26. And herexn 
his wrestling consisted, Hos. xii. 4, he ' wept and made supplicationa ;' be 
prayed earnestly, affectionately ; his heart melted and run. out in hia sup- 

If we would take care to pray thus, the other carefulness wherewith we 
trouble ourselves would be neediless ; this would do our work both for the 
things of time and eternity : James v. 16, * The effectual fervent prayer of 
a righteous man availeth much.' 

(4.) Pray spiritually ; with spiritual intentions, and by the Spirit's in- 

[1.] With spiritual intentions. Look that your aim and end be right in 


ftU yoa seek. It cannot be right unless it be spiritual. Even in onr woridlj 
business onr end and design should be higher than the world. A Christian 
sfaoald not have sueh ends and designs as a natural and worldly man hath 
in his earthly afiairs. How far should we be from such ends in holy and 
spiritual employments. Our prayers will be such as our ends are, carnal, 
and selfish, and earthly, if our intentions be such ; for the form gives the 
denomination, and quid forma in naturalibm, idjinis in moralibus; what the 
form is in natural things, that the end is in moral acts. If the end in praying 
be carnal or worldly, it is a carnal and worldly prayer, no more fit to be 
offered nnto Grod than an unclean beast was to be offered in sacrifice. ' It 
is as the cutting off a dog's neck, or the pouring out of swine's blood, an 
abomination in the sight of God,' Isa. Izvi. 8, 4. When you pretend to be 
best employed, it is to be doing evil before his eyes, and to choose that in 
which he delights not : James iv. 8, ' Ye ask, and receive not, because ye 
ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.' They asked amiss, 
because th^ missed the right end. The ends we should aim at are the 
honouring of God, pleasing him, ei^oying communion with him. These we 
should principally aim at in seeking either spiritual or temporal things. If 
we seek spiritual gifts, that we may be more eminent than others, and 
accordingly respected, applauded, admired, this is to be little better than 
Simon M^s, Acts viii. 9. Such prayers may be the issue of the gall of 
bitterness. Those that are in the bond of iniquity may be enlarged in mak- 
ing such requests. If we seek more grace, higher degrees of holiness, out 
of respect to our reputation, or merely for our own ease and comfort, instead 
of seeking and worshipping God in such prayers, we do but seek ourselves. 
When we desire health, that we may live pleasantly ; or long life, that we 
may long enjoy the comforts of this world ; or plenty, that we may have 
enough to gratify the flesh, and lay out upon our pleasures ; or riches, for 
those low and conmion ends for which worldly men desire them ; or outward 
prosperity, that we may not be troubled with sufferings, grievous to flesh and 
blood ; or public deliverance, for our own safety and welfare or success, that 
we may have our wills upon these we have suffered by : this is not to pray 
spiritually. The Lord counts not such requests to be prayers, though for 
the object tbey be directed to him, and for the manner be fervent and affec- 
tionate. The Lord accounts things to be such as their end is. That which 
is an set of obedience in itself may be no better than murder in his account, 
when the end is not right ; as Jehu's killing of Ahab's chiklren ; God en- 
joined it, 2 Kings z. 80; yet he obeying only for his own ends, God will 
avenge it of him as if he had been a murderer, Hosea i. 4. So sacrifice, 
thoDgh he required it, is resented by him, as if no better than the killing of 
a man, Isa. Izvi. 8. And prayer likewise, if not for spiritual ends, instead 
of proving an acceptable sacnfice, will be counted an abomination, Prov. 
zxi. 27. 

[2. j Fnj by the Spirit's assistance ; seek it, wait for it ; do nothing that 
may eheck or restrain it, and give any impediment to it. Bely not upon 
inward abilities, or outward helps, real or pretended, so as to disengage Uiat 
blessed Spirit, ready to help his people in praying when they are sensible of 
their want of his assistance, and look up to him for it. Be not like those 
who do shut their eyes because they have spectacles, or do tie up their legs, 
if not cut them off, because they have got crutches. When you have a 
better help, do not disoblige it by preferring or confining yourselves to a 
worse. Depend upon him alone who can help yon to mi^Le requests in 
everything ; do nothing which may provoke him to withdraw or suspend his 
assistance. Look upon this alone as your sufficiency for this duty, which 

180 nuT FOK STSRTTHZMo. [Phujp. IY. 6. 

are not sufficient of onnelyee to think a good thought, much less to oier op 
a good prayer, a spiritoal sacrifice. The Lord will not hafo it offered vith 
common fire, of yonr own or others' kindling. Yon must fetch fire from 
heaven if jon would sanctify the Lord in yonr approaches. Loc^ to the 
promise, Zech. zii. 10, ' I will ponr upon the house of David, and upon the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication ; and they shall 
look upon him whom they have pierced,' &c. Prayer should not be the issue 
of models and exemplars only, no, nor of habits and qualifications within; 
but should fiow from the spirit of grace and supplication. 8o in the primi- 
tive times, they are required to pray accordingly, 9rf^vxi^60€u h mnyfutn^ 
Eph. vi. 18; iv wnufiart aylfft^ Jude, ver. 20 ; by the Spiril, by its help and 
assistance ; so that the prayer may be said to proceed from him. l^oss 
who like not to hear [of J praying by the Spirit, confess from hence, that so they 
prayed in the apostle's time ; but they would have us believe it was a mart- 
cnlous and extraordinary gift, such as was not to continue, and it is not now 
to be expected or pretended to ; but I think they mistake. By praying is 
the Spirit in these two texts cannot be meant an extraordinary gift, such u 
those of healing, prophesying, tongues, Ac. ; for not to take notice that soeh 
a gift of prayer is not mentioned amongst those that were miraenloos and 
extraordinary, where we have a particular account of them, Mark xvL, 
1 Cor. xii. 8-10, xiv. ; but this we may insist on as granted by them. Yet 
as all extraordinary gifts were not confined* upon any one person except 
the apostles, so no one extraordinary gift was bestowed upon all and eveiy 
believer ; and so that which all partaked of was no extraordinary ;^«^«^, 
grace or gift. But this for praying was bestowed upon all believers, as 
appears by the texts alleged ; for all the believing Hebrews, all that were 
sanctified, to whom Jpde wrote, ver. 1, are required thus to pray, Iv cm^um 
kyiff ; and all the converted Gentiles at Ephesus,^to whom Paul wrote, an 
exhorted to exercise this gift, Eph. vi. 18 ; and all other believers in them 
are called to do it, if the epistles be of general concernment. Now, it could 
not be Iheir duty to exercise it if they had it not, or might not have had it; 
and if they all had it, it was an ordinary gift, and continued to the chmdi 
in all ages. These precepts oblige us as much as them, and it is as mneh 
our duty to pray in or by the Spirit as it was theirs. We are still to pray 
by the assistance of the Spirit ; but how does the Spirit help us therein ? 
What assistance are we to look for? We may learn that by the apostle: 
Bom. viii. 26, *■ The Spirit helpeth our infirmities : for we know not what 
we should pray for as we ought ; but the Spirit itself maketh intereessioB 
for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.' This assistance is expressed 
by two words, especially cuHLyrtkafu^nrat^ he helps our infirmities or weak- 
nesses. * AffBtntatg^ Affhtovvrs^ Avri rw ft itdtsa ovri;, says Favorinus : weak- 
ness is from some want. We are in some want as to several things requisite 
to praying : want of judgment to discern what we should pray for ; what is 
best for us we know not, he helps that. And so want of memory : he minds 
us of what is most needftil, most seasonable, when otherwise we mig^t pass 
it over ; it is promised. So want of affection, holy and lively motions, the 
languor and sickness of the soul, the dubess, listlessness, deadness of it. 
that is, many infirmities in one. So want of expression too, which will more 
appear by the other word Mn^f^rv/p^avii, which signifies to act for one, as an 
advocate for his client. The Spirit of God advises his people, intercedes for 
them, as it were petitioning, or, as they say in our courts, moving for him. 
or drawing up his petitions or motions, dictating what he shall move for, 
and how, and in what form and words. And this is it which the apostle 
* Qu. 'conferred'?— -Bd. 

PmUP. IV. 6.] PBAT FOB BmntTTBINO. 181 

deelans here ; this is the way whereby the Holy Ghost helps our infinnities 
in pnyar. Thus it is that he makes interoession for them, by dietating 
what, r/, and how, xaii dtt, in what manner, for what things, with what 
expressions ; helping them both to matter, affections, and words. Thus 
Qrottas explains the word, a man of great esteem with those who differ from 
OS herein, mt advoeatarumf in. It belongs to advocates, who dictate peti- 
tions to their clients ; and is ascribed to the Spirit of God, quia preces ad 
Deum nobis dietat, because he dictates to us the requests we offer to God. 
And so to pray in the Holy Ghost, Jude 20, is with him to pray dictanU 
Spwitu SanetOf the Spirit of God dictating, suggesting to us what and how. 
But of the Spirit's assistance in prayer, more hereafter. Let us in the 
mean time be sensible, when we are going to pray, of our great need of it» 
our insufficiency without it ; let us labour to engage it for us by all means, 
especially by depending on him for it. Let us hearken to his motions, and 
follow his dictates, and yield to what he suggests, and not grieve, nor quench 
the Spirit of grace, nor put restraints upon him, nor any way provoke him 
to witiidraw and leave us to ourselves, or to our own seeming abilities, but 
real weaknesses, our own lazy inventions and devices. When we come to 
the throne of grace, if the Spirit be not there our advocate, our plea will 
avail nothing. Our prayers cannot be spiritual without the assistance of 
the Spirit ; and unless they be spiritual, they will not be fit to be offered 
onto that God who is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit and truth. 

(5^ Pray in fiuth. This is frequently called for, and made the condition 
of effectual and prevailing prayers : Mark zi. 24, ' What things soever ye 
desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them ;' 
James i. 16, * Ask in faith, nothing wavering ;' Mat. xxi. 22, * All things 
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.' Our whole 
life should be a life of faith, Gral. ii. 20 ; by vurtue of this, we should walk 
with God and maa too : * We walk by fiBith,' 2 Cor. v. 7 ; and should hear 
with faith, if we will hear to purpose, Heb. iv. 2 ; and so pray in &ith, if 
we would prevail. 

But what is it to pray (in &ith ? It requires particular application, a 
fidueial recumbence, or a general persuasion. 

Use. Since this is our duty, let us take notice of it, let us observe it, and 
make our requests known, and that in everything. Pray, and pray much 
and often, and pray carefolly, and pray earnestly, pray spiritually, and in 
faith ; and thus pray in everything. I might enforce this duty with many 
motiTes, but I intend not to stay on it. Mind these two. 

1. It is most honourable to God, is as much for his glory as anything we 
ean do. We can speak nothing more high and excellent, more noble and 
glorious of anything than this, that it honours God. This excels all, because 
it is the end of all. Everything is more valuable as it promotes this sove- 
reign end ; and therefore prayer is most valuable, because it most advances, 
and tends most to honour God: We can add nothing to the essential and 
abeolnte glory of God ; this is dd^a &7uinfTog xau dyoXXMciSroc, a glory which is 
infinite, to which nothing can be added. We have no way to glorify him 
bnt by declaring or acknowledging him to be glorious, giving a testimony to 
his glorious perfections and excellencies. Now, there is nothing we can do 
doee more declare the gbry of God than prayer ; nothing that acknowledges 
more of his excelleneies, and gives a clearer testimony to his glorious per- 
Ceetions. This gives him the glory of his immensity and omnipresence, 
acknowledges he is everywhere, applying ourselves to him wherever we are. 
His omniscience : acknowledges he knows the desires of our hearts, and 
nnderstands best of all what is best for us ; his power : acknowledges he 


can do whatever we would have him, exceeding abnndanily above all that 
we can ask or think ; hie goodness : that he is willing to hear soch vile 
creatures, to supply, relieve, support, deliver, save to the utmost; his 
dominion : that he has right to dispose of all things as his own ; his provi- 
dence : that he rules and orders idl, good and evil, small and great ; his 
justice : that he is ready to revenge his elect that eiy ; his truth and faith- 
fulness : that he is mindful of his word and promise, the ground of aU our 
requests ; his all-sufficiency : that there is enough in him for us, to satisfy, 
enhappy whatever our condition at present happen to be ; more in him than 
in all things, since we seek to him more : Ps. 1. 28, ' Whoso offereth praise 
glorifieth me.' That which is said of one part of prayer is true of the whole, 
he that offereth praise glorifieth him. If we would honour him much, glorify 
him in everything, let us in everything make our requests known. 

2. It is most advantageous to us. 

(1.) It is an universal expedient, that will avail us in everything; the 
Lord would not direct us to use it in everything, but that there is nothing 
in which it will not stand us in stead. The advantage of other things is par- 
ticular : one is good for this, another for tlutt purpose, but prayer is good 
for all. The efficacy and advantage of it reaches as far as the Lord lets 
forth his omnipotency. Prayer can prevail for anything that the Lord will 
employ his power about. This can prevail for the supply of all wants, 
redress of all grievances, security from all fears, deliverance from all troubles, 
the satisfying of all our desires. It can prevail with that great Ghxl who 
can do whatever he will in heaven and earth, who has i^ creatures, all 
things, at his beck : Hos. xii. 8, 4, * By his strength he had power with 
God, yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed.* That which can 
prevail with him who can do all, can do all at the second hand. This can 
prevail, not for small things only, but the greatest, not only for earth but 
heaven : Deut. iv. 29, * If thou seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him; 
if thou seek him with all thine heart and all thy soul.* For Christ, 
Prov. viii. 6 ; for the Spirit, Luke xi. 18 : ' How much more shall the 
Father give the Spirit to them that ask him ?* Bom. viii. 82. It can 
prevail not only for easy things, but the hardest, that which is most 
difficult, and bring relief in cases that seem most desperate, can do more 
than the whole power of nature. Prayer has wrought miracles, and if it 
do not so still, that is not because it is less powerful, but because the 
Lord thinks not fit they should be done : Joshua x. 12, 18, * Then spake 
Joshua to the Lord, in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites 
before the children of Israel, and he. said in the sight of Israel, Sun, 
stand thou still upon €tibeon ; and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 
And the sun stood still and Uie moon stayed,* &e. Peter was in prison, 
the king resolved to have his life ; he is secured by armed men, by iron 
gates, by chains and bolts ; his case seems desperate, his escape hope- 
less, to sense or reason impossible; but prayer is made for him, and 
this brings him out in despite of all, and conveys him out of danger throng 
a train of miracles. Acts xii. 4, 6. It is the readiest expedient, always at 
hand ; the easiest and shortest way, and the surest ; never fails, is never in 

(2.) It is a ready way, always at hand ; you need never be to seek for 
this, as you may be for other means of supply and relief. All others may be 
out of your power, above your reach, but you need not be at a loss for this, 
which is instar omniumf and will stand you instead of all else. In such a 
destitute condition you may pray ; when you are without riches, without 
liberty, without strength, without healtiii without friends ; when yoo can 


neither help yotmelyes nor others can help yon ; yet then yon may pray, 
and 80 engage the Lord to help yon. When yon are in the depths, sxa^ 
below the xeacti of other relief, then yon may pray: Ps. czzz. 1, ' Oat of 
the depths have I cried nnto thee, O Lord I' When yon are environed with 
ealamitiee, so straitly hesieged by them as no snpply, no relief, can get in 
to yon, then you may relieve yonrselyes by prayer, as David did in such a 
case : Pa. cxvi. 8, 4, * The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains 
of hell got hold npon me ; I fonnd trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon 
the name of the Lord : O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul I' Or if yon 
were in as forlorn a condition, as Jonah in the whale's belly, where neither 
he nor any creature else could afford any help, yet then you might pray, as 
be did, Jonah ii. 1, 2, 7, 10. He that can pray needs never be at a loss, 
however the world goes. He has the key in kis hand which can open 
all the treasures of heaven, and let him in to all the riches of the goodness 
of an all-sufficient God. The violence of men may take estates from you, 
but they cannot take away the spirit of grace and supplication ; they may 
shut out friends from you, but they cannot shut you out from access to God 
by prayer ; they may bereave you of liberty, but not of liberty to pray; they 
may cast you into prison, but there you may be as much enlarged as any- 
where ; they may take from you public opportunities, but you may pray in 
private, in secret; they may watch your months, but your hearts may pray; 
you may be too weak to work, to follow your callings, but scarce too weak 
to pray ; not able to go abroad for help, but then yon may go to God with 
your requests. You may be too weak to speak, to move your lips, but then 
jour hearts may move, and therein lies the heart and soul of prayer, 2 Kings 
XX. 1, 2, Isa. xxzviii. Prayer is an expedient ready at aU times, on all 
occasions, to bring you in what supply and relief you need. 

(8.) It is a short and easy way : no more but ask and have, seek and 
find. Mat. vii. 7. There may be difficulty and trouble in other ways of 
relief, but what show of either in this ? Could your hearts desire an easier 
vay to compass what you desire, than by making your requests known ? 
Jehoshaphat's enemies were like to prove too hard for him ; he could not 
levy an army sufficient to deal yrifh them, but he could lift up his eyes to 
God and pray, and that did his work ; a few words prevailed against a huge 
amy : 2 Chron. xx. 12, < O our God, wilt thou not judge them ? For we 
have no might against this great company that cometii against us, neither 
know we what to do ; but our eyes are upon thee.* When you know not 
what to do, when you can do nothing, do but pray, which you may easily 
do, and the rest shall be done to your hand. So it was to him, ver. 17, 28. 
The poor woman in the Gospel, Uiat had taken a eostly and tedious way for 
relief, Mark v. 26, 26, she applies but herself to Christ, and without further 
trouble or expense, her grievance is removed, ver. 29; so. Mat. xvii. 15, 16, 
IB, 21, thai which notiiing else can effect may be thus done with ease. 
When Naaman liked not the prophet's way for his relief, what say his ser- 
▼ants to him ? 2 Kings v. 18, * If the prophet had bid thee do some great 
thing, wouldst thou not have done it ? How much rather, then, when he 
saith to thee. Wash and be clean V If the Lord had bid us do something 
difficult and troublesome to get our wants supplied, our fears scattered, our 
grievances redressed, would we not have done it 7 How much more when 
he bids us but make our requests known ? You have not money at com- 
mand, yon can make no friends, you can get no interest in great persons, 
you can raise no armies ; these are too hard for you. Oh, but can you 
pray? Is that too hard for you ? Why, this that you may so easily do will 
do more for you than all the other can do. This can do all for you that 

184 pm4T FOB xvsmTTBno* [Philip. IV. 6. 

yoQ need desire, and may nai this be done with ease 9 The Lord does not 
reqnire yon should eonsmne your bodies or waste your streogth in praying; 
put but up your petitions, let bat yoar hearts go along with it, yon need not 
tronble yoarselves to write it, no, nor to express it in wordi, whan yoar 
weakness will not afford expressions. The L(»d hears the langaage of the 
heart, and knows onr meaning when we cannot ntter it ; Bom. m. 27, 
* He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the spirit.* Oh 
what an easy way has the Lord opened nnto ns for an nniyersal supply ud 
relief to as in all oases ! How inexcnsable shall we be if we walk not in it ! 
(4.) It is a sure way, an expedient that never fiiils, €i sooh efficacy that 
it was never nsed in vain : Isa. xlv. 19, ' I said not nnto the seed of Jacob, 
Seek ye me in vain;' Ps. xxii. 4, 5, ^Onr fathers tmsted in thee, they 
tmsted, and thon didst deliver them. They cried nnto thee, and were deli- 
vered ;' Ps. ix. 10, < Thon hast not forsaken them that seek thee,' He has 
never been wanting to them that seek him ; he will never disappoint them, 
never suffer them to seek him in vain. Your labour and pains may be in 
vain ; yonr designs and projects, your care and thooghtfdhiess, yonr endea- 
vonrs for yourselves, and otiiers' for you, may be in vain. Bat your prayeiB, 
if prayers indeed, will never be in vain. Oh, where will yoa meet wUh an 
expedient that will never fail ? Such an admirable engine is prayer, never 
nsed in vain. The disciples fished all night and caught nothing, John 
xxi. 8 ; but ihej never prayed a night, or an hour, and catehed nothing. 
This net is never spread in vain, we may be confidant (^ it, 1 John. v. 
14, 16. We have all the assurance of it that can be desired, the vaiy beat 
security that heaven and earth can afford, the word of the trae and futhliil 
God, his truth and ftuthfnlness engaged for it, who is truth and fiuthfinl- 
ness itself, and that in many great and precious promises. Martha says to 
Jesus, John xi. 22, 'Whatsoever thon wilt ask of God, he will give it 
thee.' He has vouchsafed to give us the like confidence aa to whtiarBr 
we shall ask, John xv. 7, ' If ye abide in me, ye shall ask what ye wiH, 
and it shall be done unto you.* John xvi. 28, and Mat vii. 7, te. Prajer 
will either be answered or rewarded ; it will either procore the thing ve 
desire, or something as good, or s<»nething better. If it bo not retained 
on those you pray for, it will be returned with a blessing upon youxsehee, 
Ps. XXXV. 18. 


By this there/ore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; an^ this is all the 
frmt to take away his sin, — Isaiah XXYII. 9. 

In the fonner pari of this chapter, the Lord hy the prophet expresseth his 
wrath and severity agunst his people, enemies* and oppressors, and his 
mercy and &Tonr to his people : that in terrible threatenings ; this in gra- 
cious promises, both repeated in yariety of ezpressioos again and again. 

He begins with the former, ver. 1, where he threatens to do severe and 
teriihle exeootion upon the oppressors of his people, under the notion of 
leriathan and the dngon, or the whale in the sea, t. e. npon the greatest 
tnd most potent of them ; those whose power seems irresistible, who 
deronr all before them, as the whales do the smaller fish ; upon them alto- 
gether, nniting their forees and complicating their interests. Leviathan a 
Txb oddere^ copulare ; signifying an addition of many creatures united in one. 

Ver. 2. Hare is his favour to his people, he would make them like a 
▼ineyaid of red wine ; bring them into a flourishing, a fruitful condition. 
They should bring forth the best and most acceptable fruit, red wine being 
the best and strongest wine in that country. Their state should be matter 
of praise and joy ; nng. 

Far. 8. Under the notion of water, he promises whatever was requisite to 
aake it flourish and fructify. There should be no drought to hinder its 
thriving ; * water it every moment' Nor should anything violently break, 
or priioly creep in to hurt it : ' I the Lord will keep it ;' he doth and will 
do it * lu^ snd day ;' * every moment ' of both. 

Ver. 4. ' Fniy is not in me ' towards my vineyard ; my people having 
humbled themadves, and reformed what was a provocation to me, I am at 
pesee with them. But if there be briers and thorns in my vineyard, where 
there should be nothing but the choicest vines, such as bring forth pricks 
instead of grapes ; tear, and rend, and wound, instead of bringing forth fruit 
acceptable to Qod and man ; such as are both barren themselves and pester 
the vineyard^ and hinder it from being fruitful : these I will consume and 
bum up together. 

Ver, 5. Bo wiU I proceed against those that are as briers and thorns in 
* Qii.* people*! enemies *?^£n. 


my vineyard, those that are as hurtful plants, or fraitfol'*' weeds, unless they 
take the course to make peace with me ; unless they lay hold of my ann, 
ready to destroy them, and apply themselves to me in ways and means th&t 
may pacify me. 

Ver. 6. He adds another promise ofestahlishing and multiplying his people, 
and making them fruitful of a multitude of converts and plenty of fruit. 

Ver. 7. Whereas it might be objected, that the Lord seems to have no 
such peculiar favour for his people, since he doth so severely judge and 
chastise them ; it is here shewed that there is a vast difference betwixt his 
proceedings against them and others ; he does not smite and destroy them 
as he does his and their enemies. And the difference is more punctually 
declared in the two next verses. 

Ver. 8. He corrects them in measure, his love moderates bis displeasore. 
When it shooteth forth, or when he casts them forth as disobedient chiidien, 
he doth not cast them off or utterly reject them. 

When he debates with them by judgments, he remembers mercy, which 
considers their relations and their weakness, and favourably proportions 
their sufferings accordingly. 

When the most boisterous wind, as is the east wind, is raised, which 
might scatter and utterly dissipate them, he allays ^it so as it does bat &n 
and winnow them. 

Another difference is in the text. The Lord has quite another end in 
chastening his people and judging their enemies ; he proceeds against these 
with an intent to destroy them ; against his people with a design to poige 
and refine them. * By this,* &o. 

So that here we have the end and use of the chastenings and affliction 
wherewith the Lord exercises his people, viz., the purging of Uieir iniquity and 
taking away their sin. And the instance here is, in tb^t which was the capital 
crime of Israel and Judah, the uin to which they were before the captivity 
most addicted, viz., idoh^try, worshipping false gods, or the true God other- 
wise than he had appointed. ' When he maketh,* &e. ; when the altars 
erected for sacrifices in the high places shall be utterly demolished, the 
stones of them beaten as small as chalk, or limestones to make lime or paiget 
of; tiie groves also and images cut down and demolished. The end and irm\ 
of the Lord's judging and chastening them, was the destroying of idoktry, the 
instruments and monuments of it : under the chief sin, comprising the net. 
Obs. The end of those calamities and afflictions which befall the people of 
God, is to purge out their iniquity and to take away their sins ; their 
troubles and sufferings are to purify their hearts and to reform their lives. 
That which is aimed at in the sad dispensations they are exercised with, is 
mortification and reformation ; the removing of sin, of all sorts thereof, both 
sin and iniquity, from all parts, both heart and life. 

Nothing is more evident in Scripture than this truth, and it is most fr^ 
quently declared. We shall instance in some few places for many : Isa. I 
25, 1 will turn my afflicting and reforming hand upon them, and by the 
calamities inflicted will destroy those that are incurable, and refine the rest 
both from more gross and more specious evils, both dross and tin. 1 Cor* 
xi. 82, Ye are chastened of the Lord, that those sins which are the cause 
for which the Lord condemns the world, may be removed, and so your eoa- 
demnation prevented. 

Hence it is that outward calamities and afflictions sxe expressed by a firs 
and a furnace, such as cure used for the refining of metals, and the oonsomiag 
or separating of that dross which doth debase them. Isa. zlviii. 10, His 
• Qu. * unfruitful ' ?— Bn. 


people being not yet suffieienUy refined, he had made choice of a farnace of 
affliction farther to purge them more thoroughly ; Isa. iv. 4, the filth, i.e. 
sin, which made them filthy and loathsome in the sight of God ; and blood, 
t. tf. all manner of defilement and pollution. Ezek. xvi. 6, Hos. yi. 8, 'By 
the spirit of judgment,' ». e. by judgments inflicted on them ; * By the spirit 
of burning,' t. e. by the fire of affliction, which, as the fire of a finer, bums 
up and wastes the baser parts of the purer metal ; and sometimes they are 
expressed by a wind or a fan, whose end and use is to cleanse the floor, and 
separate the wheat from the chaff, yer. 8 and Mat. iii. 12. 

This is it which is more or less aimed at in all sorts of sufferings, not 
only in those which are for correction, but also in those that are for trial 
or for righteousness' sake. 

1. Those that are for correction called vai^tou ; the proper end of these 
afflictions is the amendment of the afflicted. The Lord makes his children 
smart for sin, tiiat they may be afraid of it, and no more venture on it. He 
lets them M into trouble, or lets calamities fall on them, that they may fall 
no more into sin ; this is evident by the texts fore-quoted. The Lord aims 
at this, not only in the execution, but in the threatening of chastisements : 
Rev. iii. 19, ' Be zealous,' be no more lukewarm. That was the sin for 
which he threatens to chastise Laodicea : ' And repent,' i. e. reform, and 
abandon those evils which provoke me to severe proceedings. He intends 
this in shewing and shaking the rod. 

2. Those that are for trial, called doxi/uuxtf/ai. Their principal end ma^ 
be for to try the truth or strength of grace; to discover or prove our 
fiuth, love, patience, sincerity, constancy ; but that it is the only end, ap- 
pears not. The mortifying of sin and taldng away iniquity may be intended 
in this also. We find both these expressed together in Scripture, as jointly 
intended in afflictions and sufferings. Those that are to try and prove the 
people of Qod, are also to purge and refine them, Dan. xi. 85 ; shall fall into 
calamities, brought on that people by Antiochus, specified ver. 88 ; and this 
not only to try them, but to purge them and cleanse them; so chap. xii. 10, 
and Zech, xiii. 8, 9. Not only to try them, as gold is tried by the fire, 
whether it be the precious metal it is taken for, but to refine them as silver 
is refined, which is put into the fire, and continued there till the dross be 
wasted or wrought out of it. 

8. Those that are for righteousness* sake, called ituyftoi, persecutions. 
That which moves wicked men to persecute them may be their righteousness, 
while that which the Lord aims at in leaving them to persecution, may be 
the taking away their sin. Those sufferings which befell the believing 
Hebrews were trials, and are called chastenings ; yet were inflicted by their 
perseeutors for their profession of Christ, and faithfulness to him ; but that 
which Qod intended therein was what a &ther aims at, or should do, in 
eorreeting his child, Heb. xii. 6-7. Ad hoc corripU, ut emendet, says 
Cyprian, lib. iv. epist. 4, when he is giving account for what sins persecu- 
tion befell them in his times, and what design the Lord had therein, vaptda- 
mtu itaqus ut mermnur, Ac. The Lord corrects his children by the hand of 
persecutors, that he may reform and amend them, that by this their iniquity 
may be purged. 

For the further confirmation of this truth, 

1. Li general it is evident in Scripture, that the Lord aims at the good of 
his people in afflicting them ; and intends to do them good by whatever cala- 
mities befall them : Bom. viii, 28, « All things,' afflictions and sufferings 
especially ; for it is spoken with a particular respect to them. This was the 
Lord's design in all trials, calamities, and sad dispensations, wherewith the 

1B8 god's B9X) zir sbhdino galamitibs [Isa« XXYIL 9. 

children of Isnel wore ezeroifled in the wilderness, Dent. Tiii. 16, 16, Jer. 
xnv. 5. Thai complication of calamities which beM the Jews in the cap- 
tivity, was designed and ordered for the good of the fiuthfol. They lost 
their estates, all being a prey to the soldiers ; their relations, many of them 
&lling by the sword ; their liberty, being prisoners and captives ; their eomi* 
tiy, being carried into a strange land ; yea, the ordinances of worship, the 
temple being destroyed; yet all these dreadfnl losses were for their gooL 

Now, which way each evils may prove good to the people of God, we may 
learn by that of David, Ps. cxix. 67, 71. Before he was afflicted, he was i 
transgressor, he took liberty to leave God*8 way ; but by his afflictiCDS he 
was taught to keep it; he had learned thereby not to transgress. 

Indeed, we cannot well imagine how afflictions should possibly do m 
good, if they did not help ns against sin ; for this is it which withholds good 
tilings from ns, both spiritual and temporal, or hinders them from being 
good. Holiness (upon which spiritual and eternal mercies depend) cumot 
thrive, but as sin declines ; and temporal blessings can scarce be blessingi) 
unless we be helped against sin ; the more ontwa^ ei\joy ments we have, tiie 
more snares, if sin be not mortified and avoided. 

2. The Lord, in afflicting his people, proceeds not as a judge, but u a 
Father. A judge punishes offenders, because justice must be done^ the law 
must be satisfied; others must be deterred from breaking the laws, and 
many times, by the death^of the delinquent, so as to leave no place for hii 

But a fitther corrects his child that he may make him better, that he may 
offend no more ; not because he would shew himself just, but because be is 
affectionate, and would have that avoided, which might impair his affsetion, 
or hinder the course of his love and delight. And under this notion doth 
the Lord represent himself, when he chastises his people : Prov. iii. 11, 12, 
' He corrects whom he loves ;' and because he will love, he chastens ; that 
sin which is displeasing and hateful to him, may be avoided ; and so hii 
people may continue &e children of his love and delight. By afflieto, 
therefore, would he have their iniquity purged ; he would have this to be the 
fruit of it. 

8. This appears by the nature and properties of an end in three paitiea- 
hirs, which we may apply to the Lord, according to our imperfect way, eon- 
ceiving of him, as he gives us leave, after the manner of men. 

(1.) That is an end which sets the agent a-work, and excites him to aei 
FinU movet efficientem ad agendum. The purging and refining of his people 
is assigned in Scripture as the motive or reason why the Lord takes ^ 
course, Jer. ix. 7, and Essek. zviii. 80-82. Therefore will he judge them, 
that they may turn from their trani^(ressions, and cast than away. 

(2.) The end gives measure to the means ; media msnturam et mtdm 
o/cdpiunt exfine^ Arist. Pol. i. cap. vi. Means are used in such measure and 
degree as will be sufficient to effect the end, and no more, nor otherwiee. 
The Lord afflicts his people in such measure and manner as may be effec- 
tual to purge their iniquity, Ac., ver. 8. As a physician proportions what 
he administers according to the nature of his patient's distemper, and the 
quality of the humour that is to be purged ; such ingredients, so much of 
them, and no more than he judges stufficient for the cure ; so doth the 
Lord, as it were, exactly weigh and measure what afflictions, and what pro- 
portion and degree thereof, may serve to mortify sin, and reclaim his people 
from it. 

If less will serve, he * stirs not op all his wrath,' Ps. kxviii. 88, and hj« 
a restraint upon the wrath of men too, Ps. Ixxvi. 10, cxxxviii. 7. 


If less will not serve the torn, he lets out more ; if a gentle fire will 
not refine them, he heats the inniace, Jer. ix. 7, makes it hotter, and melts 

(8.) When the end is attained, there is no more need, no more nse of the 
means. The Lord, when the iniquity of his people is purged, will no more 
chasten and afflict them for that end and purpose, Isa. z. 12. When he has 
sufficiently chastised his people, so as the end for which he chastened them 
18 tccomplished, he will make no more use of oppressors to afflict them. 
When his children submit, and give ground to hope they will offond no 
more, the rod shall be burned. The Assyrian, called his rod, yer. 5, shall be 
80 d^t with, ver. 16, 17. When his people are sufficiently humbled and 
refonned,"* there shall be no more yokes nor burdens, ver. 27. 

Use, For exhortation ; to advise in the fear of God, to comply with his 
end in ju^ing and afflicting us. The Lord hath been judging his people 
many years ; he hath made his power known, even the power of his wrath 
in judging us. He hath followed us year after year with terrible judgments. 
He hath reyealed his wrath from heaven against our apostasies and rebel" 
lions, by sword, by plague, by fire, yea, and by fiunine too ; and such a 
iiunine as expresses more wrath than any of the rest : those ruining us only 
in our ontwwrd concernments, but this threatening ruin to our souls ; and is 
the more grievous judgment, because the generality are less sensible of the 
clanger and grievousness of it. He has given the sword a commission to eat 
flesh and dnnk blood ; and, as if the wrath of man had been too little, he 
has armed the powers of heayen against us, and sent destroying angels to 
make havoc amongst us, and to cut down thousands and ten thousands in 
city and country. And after all these instruments of wrath, as if they had 
not done enough, he himself has appeared against us in a posture yet more 
dreadful ; we have seen him march against us, and pass through us as a con- 
snming fire, devouring our strength, our riches, our glory; laying all our 
pleasant things desolate, and making such terrible devastations, as may 
strike every one that sees, or hears, or that thinks of it, with horror and 

Now, what is the Lord's end in all this ? Why, if he have mercy for the 
nation, and design not our utter ruin, by this should our iniquity be purged ; 
and this should be the fruit of all, to tike away our sin. 

Nay, he hai been judging professors amongst us ; he has been visiting his 
own people, not in such a way as he visits those with whom he is well 
pleased ; they have seen the day of a severe visitation ; they have had their 
share in the public calamities, and a great share thereof has been the por- 
tion of many ; they haye not escaped the displeasure of God, and the wratb 
of man has been more bent against them than others. Those that observe 
the Lord in the way of his judgments, cannot but take notice that many of 
them have seemed more particularly pointed at those who profess him. 

And besides our share (whateyer it has been) in national sufferings, he 
has been visiting us with more particular and personal chastisements. He 
has been breaking us with great breaches ; his hand has made breaches, not 
only in our congregations, but breaches in our families ; sad breaches in our 
dear reUtivee ; great breaches in some of our estates ; large breaches in our 
Ll>6rQes, our soul liberties. He has broken us with breach upon breach, 
Job xri. 14 ; and some of us may say, our breach is great like the sea, who 
can heal us? 

And after all that is come upon us, shall we vripe our mouths, and say. We 
are innocent, we have not so much offended him as others, we have not so 
highly prowled him ? Shall we justify ourselves, and condemn the Lord's 

100 god's end m sbndino cuAMxnmB [Iba. axyil 9. 

proeeediifgB agamst ae ? Shall we think he bas no con tro ve rsy withus, nben 
he is pleading it so severely ? Shall we say he is at peaoe with us, when he 
has been contending with as, and is so to this day ? When we see for ill 
this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched oat still, shall 
we imagine he is well pleased with as, when his displeasore is so evideiitij 
revealed from heaven against as ? 

no, &r be this from ns. Sarely this nation has highly provided God; 
sarely his people have provoked bun. The provocations of his sons and 
daoghters are not small, if they be not greater than those of others. The 
hand, the rod of God speaks this ; the many, the sharp rods wherewith he 
has corrected as, speak this aload, if oar consciences be silent or asle^. 

This being oar case, the trnth before as shews as what is oar great dotj 
at this day, the daty of the nation, the dnty of the people of Gk>d espeeiaUj. 
Thoagh oUiers will not see when God's hand is stretched oat, what it points ait, 
yet they shoald see. Thoagh others will not regard, yet they should lay it 
to heart, and apply their minds, and consciences, and souls to it. 

The end of idl that is befallen us is the purging of our iniqaity ; and what 
does the Lord expect from us, but to comply with this end, in mortifying am, 
and cleansing our heart and life from it ? Those sins especially, for a»i bj 
which we have suffered, this is it which the word, which the providence of 
God now calls us to, and hath made it so much our duty, as I know Dot 
whether anything else can be more, or be so much the duty of all sorts at 
this day. 

If, after all that has come upon us for our onfiaitialneee nnder the means 
of grace, when the axe has been laid to the root, again and again, and we 
have been so often in apparent danger of being cut down, or of being left 
desolate of the means by which our souls should live, we still continue banen ; 

If, after all, &c., for our worldliness, we will stiU so highly esteem earthly 
things, and affect them, and pursue them as worldlings do, and seek them 
for such ends, and convert them to such uses, as the custom is ; 

For our neglect of holiness in the power of life, and exercise and growth 
of it, we will still content ourselves with a slothful, easy, cheap, froitless 
profession of it, and be more indifferent whether we have more or less of 
it than we are to outward things, and much better content with a little holi- 
ness, than with a little of the world, and less concerned whether oar souls 
thrive or no, than whether we thrive in our earthly affairs ; 

If, after aU, &c., for our pride, folly and vanity, we will stiU be more vk 
this way ; 

If, after all, &c. for our contentions, divisions, decay, and loss of brotherly 
love, we will not seek union with, nor express love to one another, in lesser 
differences, bat live in open contradiction to so many express precepts of the 
gospel, and let envy, strife, bitterness, wrath, malice or ill-will, and evil- 
speakmg continue, and continue in these, and such like, the apparent works 
of the flesh ; 

If, when the Lord has laid any of us aside for unserviceableneas, Ac., we 
labour not for a more serviceable temper ; 

If, after we have lost such mercies, opportunities, advantages, by our no- 
thankfulness, murmuring, repining ; the dread of having our carcases fill 
in the wilderness, bring us not to an effectual sense of our sin ; 

If we still remain proud, selfish, carnal, unprofitable, unmortified, unre- 
fined : if we continue under the guilt of these, and other sins, for which the 
Lord has been contending with us ; — 

Our guilt will be exceeding great, and our danger such as I cannot easily 
express. Let me endeavour it in some particular, which may serve as mo- 


tiyes to enforce this duty of eompljiiig ^th the Lord's end, in afflicting and 
bringing calamities npon ns. 

1. Otherwise oar calamities are like to continue ; the Lord may wear out 
this generation in his displeasnre ; he may cause onr carcases to fall in the 
wilderness, and swear in his wrath that we shall never enter into his rest. 
Bo he did with the Israelites, when what befell them in the wilderness did 
not purge their iniquity. We shall shew ourselves hereby to be such as 
they were, ' a people that err in our hearts, and have not known his ways,' 
Pb. xct. 10, 11 — ^the ways that he leads us to by afflictions, nor the way 
that would lead us out of them speedily and comfortably. This will move 
the Lord to come to that severe resolution, * I will deliver you no more ;' 
for this was it which brought him to that resolution against the Israelites, when 
neither former deliverances, nor present oppressions, took away their sin, 
Judges X. 11-18, Isa. ix. 12, 18. If our transgressions and iniquities be 
npon us, we may pine away in them, Ezek. xxxiii. 10, and languish under fears, 
restraints, distractions, calamities, all our days. Thus we may make our 
condition desperate, and deliverance hopeless ; and propagate our miseries 
to our posterity, and leave them the sad heirs of what our sin has brought 
npon us. 

There is no way of mercy out of trouble, but by leaving the sin which 
hronght us into it; no ordinary way, &c., Isa. iz. 12, 18. 

2. This may increase the affliction upon you, add more weight, and put 
more sting into it ; this may strengthen your bonds, and make your yokes 
heavier, and less tolerable. Whenas your fears and troubles are but by 
fits, and with some intermission, this may raise them to, and fix them in, a 
eoDtinued paroxysm. 

If less y/nU. not serve to purge your iniquity, you may expect a larger dose, 
that which will prove more bitter, and in ^e working, may make you sick 
at heart Those that have but lost one or two dear relatives may be be- 
reaved of ally and left to weep for their children, so as not to be comforted, 
because they are not. 

Those that have but seen the flame at a distance, or been but frightened, 
or a little scorched with it, may have it kindle, and break forth round about 

Those that have but lost part of their estates, if this take not away their 
sin, may be stripped of aU, stripped naked, as some have been, and set as 
in the day that they were bom, and made as a wilderness ; as the Lord in 
hke case threatens, Hosea ii. 8. 

Those that have but been threatened by the sons of violence, or a little 
disturbed, may be given up into their hands, or delivered up to their will ; 
and not only see, but fiael, the paws of those lions which before they did but 

Those that have but been straitened as to spiritual provision, and only not 
fed with the hand they desired, may have no hand at all left to feed them. 

It is the Lord's ordinary method, when a gentler fire will not purge and 
refine, to make the furnace hotter. 

8. This may multiply your afflictions, and make them come in upon you 
ss waves and billows in a storm, so as you may have cause to complain with 
the prophet, Ps. xlii. 7, the depths above and the depths below, the displea- 
sure of €h)d and the wrath of men, may correspond to pour out themselves 
upon yon as it were waterspouts ; as though they called one upon another, 
and did conspire as it were to overwhelm you. If one will not be effectual 
to purge your iniquity, God may try another and another; yea, seven times 
more, and it may be all at once. You see what the Lord threat^is. Lev. 

192 aOD*s BND IN sBNDiNa oAiiAxmss [SEk» XXyn. 9. 

xxvi. 18, 21, 28, 24, 27, 28. The stnbboro cluld, that wiU not yield to hia 
fiither^s will when he is correcting him, must expect to be acoaiged again and 
again; he cannot escape many lashes. Yon know your heavenly Father's 
mil in chastising ypn is to poige yonr iniqnity and take away your sin, to 
quicken you to a more vigoroas proceeding in a coarse of mortification. Now, 
since you know his will, if yon do it not, yon leave nothing for yourselves bat 
a fearful expectation of many stripes, of multiplied afflictions and calamities. 

4. This may bring more grievous evils upon you than any you have yet 
met with, outward calamities. The little filler of what this inoorrigibleness 
will bring upon you, may be heavier and more intolerable than the loins of 
all you have yet suffered. You have been chastised with whips ; but if this 
do not take away your sin, beware lest the Lord do not make use of seorpiona. 
You are warned of this by the advice that Christ gives to one who had been 
under a great affliction, John v. 14. Those that will sin more must sofbr 
more, whatever they have sufiered already. How grievous soever that seems 
to be which is past, if it purge not thine iniquity, there is something worse 
yet to come. 

Why, you may say. Is there any worse judgment than the sword ? Is 
there anything more dreadful than such a plague as has been destroying us? 
Is there anything more terrible than such a4E[re as was consuming us ? Oar 
hearts tremble within us, and horror surprises us, when we do bat think of 
the woes that are past ; can there be anything worse yet to come ? Indeed, 
there would be no fear of it, if by these our iniquity had been purged ; bat 
if these have no such effect upon us, we are in danger to know by experienee 
that the Lord's treasures of wrath are not yet exhausted, there is but a little 
thereof iu comparison yet spent upon us ; the vials of his indignation ars 
not yet emptied ; we have but yet had a taste thereof; the worst of all, the 
dregs, are at the bottom, and ^ese we expect will be poured out upon us if 
our sin continue. Oh that we could with fear and trembling kboor to pre- 
vent it, by complying with the Lord's end in what is come upon ub already, 
so that by this our iniquity may be purged I 

5. The Lord may give you over, and refuse to correct any more. You aze 
in danger of this if the Lord find that former corrections are in vain, and in 
vain they are if they attain not their end; and their end they cannot obtain 
if they do not take away your sin. 

It seems a condition acceptable to flesh and blood to be without afflictions 
and sufferings ; but to those who judge of things as they are indeed, and as 
the Scripture represents them, for the Lord to refuse to afflict when afflic- 
tions are needful, signifies one of the highest d^prees of divine wrath, and is 
a more dreadful judgment than any of those outward calamities which the 
Lord calls his sore judgments ; sword, famine, pestilence, fire, speak not 
more indignation in God than this. 

When a man gives over a stubborn child, afker all correction has done no 
good upon him, and says, I will whip him no more, I see it is in vain, all 
that I have done is to no purpose, there is no hopes of reclaiming him, let 
him go on and take his course ; ihe condition of that child is more sad and 
hunentable than of such a one as his father corrects most severely: 'As 
many as I love, I rebuke and chasten,' Bev. iii. What affection has he for 
those whom he will not rebuke? &c. : * Blessed is the man,' Ac., Ps. xeiv. 
12, 18. Their condition seems cursed whom he will not chastise, Heb. xii. 
7, 8. If they be his children whom he thus forbears, yet he deals not with 
them as his own children, he has not at this time, in these ciroumstaaces, 
so much favour for them, but as the children of stiangers whom a man will 
not trouble himself to correct. 

lai. IXVn. 9.] AXD iWLioTioire on his psopls. 193 

Wnea the Lord is expresBing the highest indignation, he doth it in 
tfaresieniDg to judge and punish those no more against whom his wrath is 
Imdled, Isa. i. 5, Hoe. iy. 14-17. 

6. Ha may leave yon to spintaal judgments. This usually is the issue 
of not improving outward calamities, and is the dreadful consequence of the 
Lord's forbearing to inflict. Outward alBictions are his rods, but these are 
bis swords ; and when upon incorrigibleness under those, he takes up these, 
his wnth is raised to the height. Formerly he fell upon their outward con- 
cemmentsy which are less considerable, now he falls upon their souls ; the 
iron eaters into their souls, and the more dangerously and mortally because 
ioseosibly. That wrath begins here which will bum to the bottom of hell. 
Wben he gives stubborn souk up to blindness of mind, hardness of heart, 
Mutdness of conscience, vile affections and lusts, and a reprobate sense, oh 
^ese are the first-born of the second death* No greater severity, short of 
bell, than in the inflicting of these. 
Yea, but does he inflict these upon any that belong to him ? 
An$. The not improving of other afflictions may provoke the Lord to leave 
his ehildren to spiritual judgments, and to some measure and degrees of these 
now mentioned, and to others also more wofiod than any outward calamities. 
This may provoke the Lord to bring upon his people a famine of the word, 
as he threatens, after other judgments had been ineffectual, Amos viii. 11- 
18. Not a seareiiy, but a fiunme, and that more dreadful than a flunine of 
breed and a thirst for water, so that they shall run to and fro, ^t, and the 
vx^am and young man shall fiunt and swoon for thirst 

2. Or if the word and ordinances be continued, this may provoke him to 
deny his presence and eoncnrrence, to withdraw his Spirit, and withhold his 
infloences, npon which the power and efficacy of them depends ; so that the 
itaff of bread shall be broken while it is in their hands, and the ordinances 
become dry Iweasts, so that they can suck nothing but wind out of them 
viiieh are appointed for spiritual nourishment, Isa. Ixv. 8, 4. Oh what a 
eone would yon think it, if all you eat or drink should neither strengthen, 
nomish, nor refresh yoal But this is worse, it is a curse upon spiritual 

8. (%r this may provoke him to leave you to backslidings, and inward 
decays and dedinings, and to smite your souls with a spiritual consumption ; 
BO that mward strength shall waste away, grace shall wither, and holiness 
ba&g the head like a blasted flower. Ton tUnk a consumption of the body 
vone, though lesf sensible, than the stone or gout. What, then, is a soul- 
coDsomption 7 You think poverty, or the loss of an estate, a great affliction ; 
oh, hot to grow poor unto Ood, to have your spiritual substance wasted, and 
joor heav^y treasure consumed, that is a more terrible stroke to those who 
ue tan^t of Christ to pass a true judgment of things. 

4. This may provoke him to give you up in some degrees to your hearts' 
hisls; to foil into some gross sin, said wallow in it, as Solomon into folse 
worship and sensuality ; or, which I foar is too ordinary, and the sad case 
of too many amongst us, to indulge themselves in such sins as are less 
reproachlnl amongst profossoiB : habitual lukewarmness in serving the Lend ; 
iodifierency as to their spiritual and heavenly interests; loose, careless, un- 
vatckfol waQdng tolerated; selfishness, unservioeableness in their places, 
iensualness, and flesh-ploafling, and worldliness, sinking deep and sticking 
ast in the mire and clay of it 

To be left to these evik is a more grievous judgment than to be given up 
the hands of our enemies, or to be Idt to fly before them, which yet seemed 
MS tolenJde to David than a destroying pestilence. 
VOL. n. X 


6. Or this may provoke him to give them ap to some hndnesa of heart, 
and searednesB of coDScience, in some degree ; so that though their sin be 
often reproved, and the danger thereof discovered, yet reproofs make no im- 
pression, eonviotion will not fasten. If it be a way they are fastened to by 
affection or interest, they will not believe it is a sin, or snch a sin as thej 
need be severe against ; especiaUy if they can get some fig-leaves to hide its 
shame, some pretences to excuse its sinfolness. If they can bat believe it 
will not damn them, say what yon oan against it, it will not prevaiL Snch 
stiffness against convictions of sin, and the like nntractableness as to dnfy, 
is the symptom of an insensible conscience and an hardened heart ; and to 
be given up to it is a spiritaal judgment of a dreadful importance. 

6. Or this may provoke him to send a spirit of delasiony which may lesd 
yon oat of the way of trath, and sedace to relinqaish part of thai £uth 
which shoald be earnestly contended for by the saints ; or to give yon 19 
to a spirit of wantonness and ansobriety, so as to disrelish those wholesome 
practical traths, and that teaching which tends most to the promoting of 
the power of godliness in heart and life, and woald lead yon np to h^ier 
degrees of holiness, self-denial, mortification, eracifiedness to the world, 
and all spiritaal fraitfolness ; and to dote upon trifling qaestionsy frivolous 
opinions, vain imaginations, the niceties of this or that way and p»- 
suasion, empty notions, strains of fimey, which make neither mind, nor 
heart, nor life better. This is a kind of spiritaal frenzy, a deliriam, 1 
soal-dotage ; and yoa count not only a furious, but a trifling, heoxy to 
be a lamentable distemper in nature, much more lamentable in a spiritual 

7. Or he may be provoked hereby to send a spirit of terror. When o&er 
scourges will not serve the turn, he may wound the conscience. Job vi. 4, 
and give vou those wounds that are intolerable, Prov. zviiL 14. He may 
kindle a hell in your souls, and set that worm a-gnawing there which ii 
some of the torture of hell itself. He may make you Mct^or-mmabUn^ terror 
round about, a terror to yourselves, a terror to others, while himsdf is a 
terror to you. Wherever you look for comfort, ease, relief, yoa may be dis- 
appointed : Ps. Ixxvii. 8, ' I remembered God, and was troubled.* Tbe 
thoughts and remembrance of God, of Christ, of heaven, of the promises, in- 
stead of relieving you, may add to your trouble and tortore. All the sjniogB 
of comfort may run nothing but waters of Marah; the bitterness of deatii 
may be in them. The Lord's loving-kindness is better than life, Ps. Ldii. S; 
to be bereaved of the sense of it is tiierefore worse than death. Oh what is 
it then to be under the terrors of the Lord I 

Oh, if the terrors of the Lord be dreadful to you, take heed yoa be not 
found under the gailt of not improving more tolerable afflictions. Take heed 
you continue not under this guilt. You are in the highway to spiritaal judg- 
ments, if outward calamities do not take away your sin. It is the Lord's 
method to proceed higher and higher in the demonstrations of his anger, and 
to let out more wrath (as he doth in these jadgmeiits), when leastt significa- 
tions of his displeasure are not effectual. 

7. This is the way to be rejected of the Lord ; for tiiose that are not his 
to be r^ected wholly, for those that are his to be in part rejected, Jer. vii. 

28, 29. Those that receive not correction, i.e. who yidd not to what b 
required and intended in correction, their case is to be bitterly lamented ; 
such being rejected of the Lord as the generation of his wrath. 80 Jar. vi. 

29, 80. All the means the Lord has used for the refining of this people are 
in vain, all his labour is lost. Though he has blown up the fire in the fur- 
nace to such an heat as the bellows tliemselves are burnt by it, though the 


lead (used Ubiea, as now qaioksilver is used, in the fibing of silver, to melt it 
more easily, and with less waste) be qmte oonsttmed^ yet the foander melteth 
in Tab ; idl is to no purpose. The wicked things^ or, as in the Hebrew, 
wickedxMMses, are not removed from them. Befase silver shall they be 
called, soeh as will not pass, but will be rejected in payment The Lord 
hath rejected them as dross, not silver, or tl^t which has too mach dross in 
it to be eorrent. ^ 

Though he will not utterly reject those that belong to him, yet if they be 
not r^ned by ^eir afflictions^ he may deal with them as if he utterly rejected 
them. Bb may proceed against them as against those whom he utterly 
rejects, so as no eye may be able to see any difference ; as in the captivity, 
to which this rejectii^ refers, no di&renoe was to be seen between those 
that were better and those thai were worst. 

Though they lose not the relation of children, yet he may treat them as 
though they were not his children, as though he were not their Father ; 
nay, as though he were an enemy, Isa» Ixiii. 10, Jer. xxx. 14, 15. Because 
their inignities ware increased, when by their afflictions they should have 
been taken away, though he do not disinherit them, yet may he leave them 
vithoQt hopes of inh^ting ; so thai it may be all one as to their apprehen- 
uoDB, as if they were disii^rited ; nothii^ may be left them, in their own 
sense, but a fearful expectation of judgment. 

8. This provokes the Lord to brixig destruction. This endangers your 
rain, the ruin of your country, the ruin of yourselves. This exposes to 
national desolation, or personal destruction, Isa. i. 5; and the issue of 
revolts after smiting, ver. 7. As ten^oral judgments, when not improved, 
end in spiritaal, so spiritual judgments end in ruin, Isa.tvi. 9-11, Zeph. 
iii. 7, 8. He that learns not ri^teousness by public judgments, so as to 
be thereby more refined and mortified, he doth his part to bring utter ruin 
opoQ the place and country where he lives. This desolation of it, when it 
comes, may be charged upon him. Those that should stand in the gap, and 
make up the hedge, do hereby make the breach wider, and pull away that 
which might put a stop to the current of ruining wrath. If this land perish, 
those that might have saved it, by complying with God's end in judging us, 
have flestroyed it, by not improving judgments for this end. Aiid it is no 
wonder thai those whose hand makes way for destroying judgments, whoever 
they be, do perish by them. Even those that have interest in God may be 
ruined and cut off by this sin, and may perish for it. Those that reform 
not themselves and their families, when they have real admonitions from 
heaven to do it, may have Eli's doom, thou^ they have special relation to 
God, as Eli had. Those that are of the Lord's planting, and by ttie hand 
of affliction have been lopped and pruned, and yet continue barren, or have 
wild grapes found in their branches, the Lord, when he lays the axe to the 
root of the tree, may cut them down as well as others ; they may fall by 
this sin. And it is not noore comfortable to die for righteousness* sake than 
it is dreadful to die in and for sin. And though the Lord may rescue their 
souls from everlasting miseries, when they fall by the stroke of temporal 
wrath (as some c^ the Corinthians fell, 1 Cor. xi.), yet will they be saved so 
as by fire, and escape the wrath to come very narrowly, even as firebrandi 
plucked out of the fire. 

Oh then, if yon would not plunge yourselves into this misery, look thai 
by this your iniquity be purged, otherwise there is great danger of the Lord's 
high displeasure, and the severesi acts and expressions of it. But this is 
not all, though this be terrible. There is danger also of great and heinoua 
guilt. It is a crime of an high provocation^ not to be mortified and refined 


by ealamitiM and afflioiions, whether eommon or personal $ thafe is mneh to 
aggravate it, and render it exceeding fiinfol. 

(1.) It is a dooble disobedience. The Lord calls npon yon by his word 
to porge oat and pat away sin. When this is not effectaal, he sammoDB 
yoa to do it by judgments and afi9iotions. He calls for it both by his word 
and by hk rod. He requires it by a word, that yoa may see, Jer. iL 81 ; 
and ^y a rod, that yon may hear, Micah vi. 9. To yield neither to one 
nor the other is to add disobedience to disobedience. Not to comply with 
his word, clearly discovering this to be yoor dnty, and frequently uiging it 
on you, is heinous disobedience. But to stand out against it, when it is 
enforced with the rod, is plain rebellion. If a prince enjoin a subject to do 
this or that, and he refuse, that is a disobedience that will not easily escape 
without some mark of his displeasure. But if hereupon he raise a force, 
and begirt the house or castle of such a subject, and threaten to bfttter or 
storm it unless he yield, to stand out in that case will be rebellion. 80 it 
is in this. Here is one provocation added to another, and the latter worse 
than the former, Zeph. iii. 2. Not obeyed, and which is more, and doubles 
the guilt by an addition of something worse, ' she received not correction.* 

(2.) It is a strange boldness and impudence not to put away sin, not to 
cease from it, when the Lord is smiting for it, and declaring his displeasure 
against it by real rebukes; such are branded in Scripture as those that know 
no shame, Zeph. iii. 5. How does that appear ? Why, the Lord warned 
them by judgments, ver. 6, yet they received not instruction, bat still 
corrupted their doings, ver. 7. And as those that have a whore*s fore- 
head, Jer. iii. 8, because she was not brought by the chastisement men- 
tioned to put away her sin, therefore, says he, * thou hast a whoie*s ion- 
head,* &c. 

What impudence would you judge it for a servant, who has been beaten 
for his &ults, to tell his master, while the rod is in his hand, he will not 
leave it, he will do it again. While you do not purge your hearts, 'and 
reform your ways, alter chastenings for this purpose, you tell the Lord, while 
the rod is upon or over you, yon will not be mortified or refined. This is 
the language of your hearts and ways. 

(8.) It is madness, spiritual foUy with a witness. As if one who has 
drunk poison, should spill the antidote that should secure him from the 
mortal danger thereof, instead of vomiting up that which so endangors him, 
yea, and should be ready to swallow down more, when that alreadj taken 
is still working in his bowels. Sin is worse to the soul than poison to the 
body. Not to receive correction is to refcwe the antidote, and so to lei tise 
poison work on, yea, to heighten the mortal danger of it by new additions. 
It argues stupendous foolishness, and such as is inveterate, and almost past 
cure, if the rod will not cure it, Prov. xxii. 16. If the rod will not fetch it 
oat, it is fast bound up indeed. The bond of this fdly and iniquity is 
exceeding strong, little hopes anything will break it if the hand of God upon 
his chil^en do it not. It is desperate and incorrigible folly, that will not 
be removed by severe handling, Prov. xxvii. 22. 

(4.) It argues great hardness and obduration, and signifies he is venr 
much hardened in those evils for which the Lord corrects him, when h» 
chastising hand does not conquer and prevail against them, Jer. v. 8. It is 
for those who have made their faces harder than a rock, not to receive cor- 
rection, but to refuse to return when the Lord has been striking and con- 
suming them ; it is a sign not only of natural, but contracted hardness. 
Such was that stigmatised in Ahaz, 2 Chron. zzviii. 22, * This is that king 
Ahaz.* Here is a hardened wretch indeed, here is a signal sostanos c^ 


obdnniion io am more in or after distress. It is some stiffiiess not to yield 
to the wordy Zeoh. vii. 11, 12, even this makes way for great wrath. Oh 
bat to stand out against the hand of God too, not to be pliable nor tractable, 
when we have been under the mighty hand of God, this speaks obdoration 
with a witness. If that be as the adamant, this is harder than a rock or 
flint, the issne more dreadful. 

(5.) It argues much affisction, a heart greatly in love with it, when he will 
not IcMve it, whatever it cost him ; when the smart of one scourge after 
another will not make him leave his hold of it; when the rod, though in the 
hand of God, will not drive him from it ; when he cleaves to its breasts, 
thoogh there be wormwood upon them, and the Lord has embittered it by 
afflictions ; when he will not quit its embraces though plague sores be upon 
it, and the marks of divine displeasure are plainly visible. 

That love to sin is so far from being mortified, that it is predominant and 
greater than the fear of any other evil, when he will endanger the loss of 
relations, liberty, estate, life, yea, the iavour of God and the pledges of it, 
gospel, and ordinances, and his presence in them ; when he will run all 
hazards rather than quit it ; expose himself to temporal calamities or spiri- 
tual judgznents, yea, run upon destruction itself rather than leave it. 

(6.) It is brutishness, worse than that of the horse and mule ; for these 
yon may restrain from mischief by bit and bridle ; you may hedge up their 
way with th(»ms, and keep them within compass. £ut those that are not morti- 
fied, reformed, by afflictions, they brei^ through the hedge, though of thorns, 
as afflictions are called, Hos. ii. 6. 

When Balaam*s ass saw the augel of the Lord standing in the way, and 
his sword drawn in his hand, she turned aside out of the way, and would not 
be forced into it, Num. zxii. 28, What brutishness is it to venture on in a 
way when the Lord stands to stop it, as it were, with a sword in his hand ; 
yea, after ye have been wounded by it, and felt the weight and sharpness of it ! 

Hence, those who are not reduced and reformed by afflictions, are expressed 
io Scripture by dromedaries, wild asses, Jer. ii. 28, 24 ; untamed heifers, 
Hos. iv. 16 ; bullocks unaccustomed to the yoke, Jer. xxxi. 18. 

(7.) It argues great pride ; a heart lifting up itself against God ; not only 
pride in carriage towards men, but in deportment towards th« Most High. 
When the soul is truly humbled, it yields, submits, to whatsoever the Lord 
would have him leave, or whatsoever the Lord will have him do. Acts ix. 6 ; 
and in this pliableness to the will of God, doth the nature of true evangelical 
hnmiliatlon most consist. 

But pride is in its exaltation yet unbroken, when it will not leave that 
temper, those ways, and designs, and actions that the Lord would have him 
leave ; when he does not yield, submit, and stoop to the divine will herein, 
though the Lord himself has been laying weight upon him* All (he Lord s 
dispensations have not yet humbled him; he is yet stout against the 
Ahnigh^ ; nor is pride hid from his eyes, till he be withdrawn from his pur- 
pose. Job zxziii. 17. ,. , . 

(8.) It Is contempt of God, and aigues that there is no fear, or httie fear, 
of God in the heart ; for when should the fear of God shew itself, but when 
the Lord is angry, and appears terrible ? And how should it appear, if not 
in leaving that which has provoked God to anger, and at which he has been 
actually expressing hunself displeased ? Not to leave sin, when the Lord 
has been judging you for it. is in eflTeot to say, I will take my own course, 
let the Lord do what he will, let him do what he can with me for it The 
Lord reads and hears such language in your hearts and ways, when toey are 
not refined and reformed by judgments and chastenings. This is to despise 

198 aoD*B END m sendino oalamitieb [I«a. XXYII. 9. 

th€ chastenixigB of the Lord, and to make nothing of his seveilty ; to slight 
the Lord lumself, when he will least endure it ; when he is exeenting jndg- 
ment» and expects yon shoold submit and stoop to his will with fear and 

(9.) This is to afiront God, and ran cross to his design, imd defest his 
end, in these proceedings. If a person observe not exadij the lettor of a 
law, yet if he satisfy the end and design of it, he will be in equity excused ; 
bnt a pnnctnal observance of the words, if the end of the kw be crossed, 
will leave him it transgressor. Bnt if yon be not more mortified and refined 
by afflictions, yon ran cross, both to the plain words of God, and to his 
design in these dispensations, and affront him every way, walk as ccHitniy 
to the great God as may be. 

(10.) It argues the person is incurable, and the ease hopeless, for tiiis is 
one of the last remedies ; and when the last fails, nothing more is to be 
hoped for. Food and sleep are the first means for the support of health 
and life, but when these will not serve, we use physic ; bnt if physie also be 
ineffectual, the case is desperate. The word and ordinances should purge 
and mortify us, and take away our sin ; bnt if these do it not, the Lord 
makes use of his afflictions and sharp dispensations, these are his physic ; 
but if these feil too, which is the last remedy, what hope is there then left? 

You see by these particulars our danger ; how dreadfiil it is for those that 
have been exercised with public judgments, or personal chastenings, not to 
be purged or refined thereby. If sin, so great a sin ; if the wrath of God in 
such expressions of it be not feared, it is to those who are past fear. Make 
it appear that you are far fi*om such a desperato distompor, by complying 
with the Lord's end in what has be&Uen us. Make that your great busi- 
ness, which the Lord has made so, by improving what has come upon us, so 
as this may be the effect, to take away sin. 

There is another consideration by which I would enforce this great duty, 
and that is the advantage we shall reap by complying with the Lord's eitd 
in bringing afflictions and calamities upon us ; and, 

1. llie putting away our sin, and the pux^g our iniquity, is in itself so 
great an advantage, that this alone, duly considered, may be sufficient to 
lead us to a full and cheerful compliance to the will of God herein. For what 
is sin ? It is our poverty ; it is the sickness and languor of our souls ; it is 
a noisome and a pestilent disease ; it is lameness, and blindness, and im- 
potoncy ; it is a monstrous and loathsome deformity ; it is a dungeon, with 
fettors and vermin ; in a word, it is misery. It is really as great an evil to 
our souls as these are to our bodies. It is so represented in the word of 
trath. It is all these, it is more, it is worse than all these ; and what an 
advantage would it be to be rid of such a horrid, a hideous evil as this. 

It is the worst" poverty, that which makes yon poor towards God, poor 
and naked in his sight, in his account, who sure can best judge what is 
riches and what is poverty. He counto them miserably deluded who think 
they are rich, while their iniquity continues, and judges them po<» and 
naked, however their goods be increased, if their sin be not done away ; so 
Christ, of Laodicea, because of her lukewarmness, that one ein, Ber. iiL 
Now what an advantage would a poor man count it, to be freed from this 
poverty and nakedness I This you may gain by putting away your sins ; 
you are fireed from the most wretohed poverty. 

Sm is the soul's sickness, a mortal disease which has been the death of 
millions and millions; a noisome and destructive disease; a leprosy, a 
plague, a cancer, a gangrene. In Scripture language it is no better, it is 
worse. The purging of your iniquity is the pux^g out of such a pestilent 


Immoor, the freeing of yea from such a loathsome and dangerous disease ; 
and wonld yon not count it a happiness to be raised from such a sickness, to 
be rid of snch a leprosy : a great Advantage to be cored of the plagae, the 
pkgne of the heart, a sool gangrene ? 

If yonr child, or a dear relatiye, were blind, or lame, or dumb, or other- 
wise unpotent ; if he were frantic, or lunatic, or a natural fool, what would 
yon giye to have them freed from such a misery ? The case is your own ; 
sin is worse than these to your souls, if you will believe the report of the 
Holy Ghost concerning it in Scripture. It makes you lame, blind, impo- 
tent ; it is the most stupid foolishness, the highest frenzy and madness, only 
yon may be cured at an easier rate : do but put away your sin, and the cure 
is wrought, the work is done, your soul is made whole. Thus you may be 
freed from the most ugly and monstrous deformity, that which makes you 
loathsome and ugly in the sight of God, which he (in whose love and del^ht 
yonr sonls are infinitely concerned) doUi not only hate but abhor. 

Thus may you be freed from the most miserable restraint, the most dis- 
mal and nasty dungeon ; tiius may you shake off your fetters, and be rid of 
the vilest vermin ; only by quitting your iniquity, and putting away your 
sin. Do but this, and so &r as it is done you are discharged of all misery 
and wretchedness. 

Oh, if our souls and consciences, if our fiunilies or congregations, if our 
raligionB or eivil assemblies, if our country, if the world were but purged of 
iniquity, which pesters, troubles, disorders, confounds all, what a happy 
change wonld there be ! Men wonld be like angels, who are now, for want 
of this, like brutes or devils ; earth wonld be like heaven, which is now, 
throngh sin, the unhappiest region in the world next to hell ; our commerce 
in the world would be a communion with €h>d, while now we converse toge- 
ther as foola or sharks, as foxes or tigers, either over-reaching, or vexing, or 
preying one upon another. Oh, if on^dliness, and unrighteousness, and unso- 
briety were put away, there would be a new heaven and a new earth ; there 
wonld be a new, a happy face of things everywhere ; there would be a face of 
heaven, of the peace and order and happiness of heaven, upon our souls and 
consciences,' upon our families, upon our assemblies, upon our country, upon 
the world. Alas, that the world will not be persuaded to be so happy upon 
so easy terms 1 But shall those who profess ^emselves children of* light, 
shall the people of God be guilty of such madness and cruelty to themselves 
and others ? Shall nothing, no, not the hand, no, not the rod of God, lead 
them, so fiur as they can, to rid the world of these miseries, and to possess 
all, so Car as they can reach, of these blessed advantages ? Oh be persuaded 
to purge iniquity out of your hearts, lives, families ; to endeavour the rooting 
of it out frt>m the place where you live, and from every place that your 
influence can reach. Be exemplary herein as to your own persons, and the 
great advantages you will gain and enjoy thereby may induce the world to 
follow you herein ; or however you shall not lose your reward. To be rid 
of sin yourselves (so great a misery, all miseries in one), is a most rich 
blessed advantage. 

2. This is the way to deliverance ; a sure, a speedy way to be delivered, 
and that in mercy too. To be delivered from the grievances and afflictions 
that are upon you, and from those that are approaching ; from what you 
feel, and from what you fear. Afflictions are but the means to purge your 
iniquity ; the taking away your sin, that is the end of all this. When the 
end is once attained, no wise agent will frffther make use of the means ; 
there is no need of ^em. When your iniquity is purged, the Lord will see 
no need of continuing what afflicts you for that purpose ; and he who afflicts 


not williiigly, nor delighta to grieve his children, will not efflkt and 
them needlessly. 

When the ohild sabmits, and gives hopes he will offiand no more, the tod 
is laid aside, the father^s severity gives way to the expressions of his love 
and compassion. And so the Lord r^aresents himself, Jer. xzxi. 18-iiO. 

When the metal is snfficienUy purified, and the dross wasted or wroq^t 
out, the fomace is no farther osefol, the finer sees no need to keep it in the 
fire. Oh, if 01^ iniquity were once piuged» the Lord wonld qoickly take a 
out of the furnace ; nor would there be any danger either of continning 
longer in it or of having it made hotter. 

Not only the wisdom and meroy of God, bnt his tnith and futhfobess, 
makes this sore to us ; for he has promised it frequently, 2 Chron. viL 14 ; 
which is an answer to Solomon's prayer, chap. vi. 26, 27, and zzz. 6, 8, 9. 
If we turn from our evil ways, then will the Lord heal, though the wound 
seem incurable. Though our breaches seem great, like the sea, and anoh as 
none can repair, yet will the Lord heal them, certainly, speedily, meidfollj. 

Oh if we were in a capacity lor such a merey, if oar iniquity were hot 
purged, how soon would he give over this sharp course of physie we have 
been under 1 If this work were but accomplii^ed up<m mount Zion» how 
soon would he lay aside the sharp tools we are apt to complain of t If oar 
iniquity were but taken away, how soon would he put an end to the daya of 
blackness and thick darkness I How soon wonld this day of judgment and 
calamity clear up into a day of meroy and salvation ! How certainly would 
the day of a gracious visitation dawn upon us once again 1 

Yea, if the generality of the nation should not be purged, yet if tliose who 
have interest in God should comfdy with this his end in judging and ebaatening, 
if their sin be hereby taken away, possibly the Lord might be prevailed with 
by them, and for a few in comparison might spare the whole. The hetf 
seed may be the substance of support of it, as Isa. vi. 18. We see the 
Lord wonld have spared Sodom for ten righteous persona. Gen. zviiL S2. 
And though that may be thought a special favour (granted at the importanitf 
of Abraham, an extraordinary person) to spare so many for so few, and so 
may not pass for a common rule ; so that ordinarily from thence we mi^ 
draw a like conclusion ; yet that in Job seems more general, Job %bL 80, 
for (as it may be read) ' The innocent shall deliver ^he islaend.' Tbere it 
such pnreness in those who are refined by the funia<9B of affliction, and thej 
may pass for innocent whose sin is thioeby taken away. So Jer. v. 1, if 
there be any considerable number purged from the common iniquity. So 
Isa. IrriiL 8, that people is expressed by a vme, so withered or barren tluut the 
vine-dresser may be ready to cut it down as dead, yet if one apy in it some 
duster that may afford wine, there may be hopes, since it is not quite dead, 
it may be recovered, and so the whole vine and branches may be spared lor 
a good cluster ; hereby signifying that the generality may escape lor thosi 
few that are upright. 

80 that this is the way, not only to |Hrocnre deUveraoee for yoonelvea, but 
others ; not only for your persons and families, but for citiee and ooontries. 
It is the way to become saviours, t. «. to prevail with the Lord to appear as 
a God of salvation to the community against whom he otherwiee wonld pro- 
ceed as a destroyer. 

But if the end of God be not herein complied with, espeoiaUy by those 
from whom it is most expected, a deliverance in merey is hopdeaa. We 
make it desperate, and leave ourselves or otiiers no expectation of it in as 
ordinary way, and according to those rules by which tibd Smptnrea afaew as 
the Lord commonly proceeds. 


It is iroe, indeed the Lord is not confined to mles, nor ties himself to 
walk in the common path. He may save and deliver a people, as it were, 
by prerogative. And so be did Israel, while their iniqaitj was not purged, 
2 Kings ziv. 25-279 hy Jeroboam, who did evil, and departed not firom it, 
ver. 24. 

(1.) Bat this was not in mercy, nor was it lasting. It was rather a 
reprieve than a deliverance. The advantages thereof (such as they were) 
were hot of short eontinoance* In the next chapter, you may see them all 
in blood and confdsion. 

(2.) And to be delivered from outward afflictions, if sin be not taken 
away, either before or npon deliverance, is bnt to be Deserved for greater 
calamities. Sin still remaining will corse and blast temporal deliverance, 
and the froits of it, and will make it appear in the issne tiiat there is little 
or no men^ therein, how specioas soever they may seem. So that what we 
call deliverance by prerogative is not a deUverance in mercy, if the sin of a 
people be not taken away, either before it or by it ; for this brings a cnrse 
npon such deUverance, as it does npon other temporal blessings. The 
Lord threatens it for this sin amongst others, Mai. ii. 2. Not laying to 
heart God's judgments and ohastenings; not giving glory to him, by answer- 
ing his end therein, and taming from sin, will make freedom from such 
calamities, if it be a blessing in such a case, to be a cursed blessing, soch as 
will bring more misery than advantage. 

(8.) And if such a deliverance as is neither durable nor merciful were 
desirable, yet have we no ground tp expect it ; for faith must be grounded 
upon common rules and ordinary promises, not upon extraordinary pro- 
ceedings, and looks (when it would have firm support) not at what the Lord 
may do, by prerogative or absolute sovereignty, but at what he hath dsdared 
he mil do. Faith can have no encouragement at all from what is merely 
possible ; it looks for some certainty, and acts not but upon a sure word. 
Now it is only possible the Lord may deliver a people, when their sin is 
not taken away, but it is highly probable he will not, he has declared so much 
against it. It is only certain he will deliver those in mercy whose iniquity 
is purged, for the promise of it is to them, and to them alone. If, then, by 
the calamities you would be freed from, your iniquity be purged, if this be 
the fruit, &c, you may be certain of deliverance, if it be good for you, and 
of that as soon as ever it will be so. 

8. Hereby you will gain that which is better than deliverance, even this 
very thing. The purging of your iniquity is better than any outward deliver- 
ance ; for sin is worse than afflictions and calamities. That is dear in 
Scripture, in reason, and even in the judgmeat of those whose practice con- 
tradicts ii. There is that in sin which is more hateful, more dreadful, more 
grievous and afflictive in itself, and to those who have either spiritual sense 
or true judgment, than there is in afflictions. It is £Eur and incomparably 
the greater evil, and therefore freedom from sin, though but in part, is far 
better than totaJ freedom and full deliverance from outward calamities. 

If the Lord should defer deliverance, yet if thereby he purge you more 
and more from sin, he shews you more mercy, and does that which is j>«ttar 
for you than if he should presently deliver yon, he is more kmd ud 
gracious to you than if he should fully repair aU the losses and breaches^t 
afflictions has made upon you. It be unquestionably better to be freed from 
a greater evil than from a less. 

Moreover, the more iniquity is purged the more does holiness mcrease ; 
these being such contraries, as the exclusion of oi^e lets in the other, and 
the declining of one i^ the advance of the other. And the one gams aa 


many degrees as ihe other loses. As darkness vanishes, light inereaaes ; 
and as sickness is removed, health and strength is recovered. 80 as sin 
is expelled, holiness grows. Hence in some places of Scripture the pmging 
of iniquity is the frait and end of afflictions and chastenings. In other 
places, the increase of holiness is the froit thereof, Heh. xii. 10. So thathj 
improving afflictions for the taking away sin, yon will partake more of holi- 
ness. That is the advantage yon will reap thereby, and it is so rich and 
considerable as all the advantages of outward deliverance are not to be oom- 
pared with it. For holiness, it is the health, the strength, the beantj, 
liberty, safety, the riches, the dignity, the comfort, the life, the happiness 
of the soul, either formally or efficiently ; it either is these, or brings these 
to the sool. And those who will jndge of things as Christians, and not as 
worldlings or sensualists ; those who will not be carried away with the com- 
mon error and delusion of them ^hose minds the god of this world has 
blinded, will judge the health and strength of the soul to be the best health, 
&c., and that which makes the soul rich, more valuable than all earthly 
riches, and so an increase of holiness far more desirable than the advanee- 
ment of their outward estate ; and that which adorns, honours, and advances 
their souls in the sight of €K>d, incomparably better than all worldly honoars, 
dignity, or preservation ; and that which makes the soul free, more than 
that which frees the body from restraint, &c. They will count these aool- 
advantages so much better as the soul is to be preferred before the body, or 
outward concernments. 

Now, outward deliverance brings you but these lower and less eonaiderable 
advantages, restores health or strength to the body, repairs your estates, or 
makes yon rich on earthly accounts, or brings you to a freer, safer, or higher 
condition in the world. But afflictions, though they be continued, if they 
be improved for the purging iniquity, and consequently for the inereaae of 
holiness, they make your souls strong and healthfrd, they make your minds 
truly free, and great, and noble ; they render you lovely and honourable in 
the sight of God ; they enrich your souls with heavenly treasure, with the 
riches of ^God, in comparison of which worldly wealth is but thorns or 
thick clay, loss and dung, riches fabely so called ; they bring yon peace, 
and comfort, and happiness, of which otherwise there is nothing bat a dream 
or a shadow in the world, and over and above they work for you a fiur more 
exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2 Cor. iv. 

And therefore it is unquestionably true, and past all doubt to those who 
pass a true judgment of things, that to improve afflictions for the purging of 
iniquity is incomparably better than deliverance from afflictions. And there- 
fore if the day of deliverance be so much desired, much more should you 
desire and endeavour to comply with the Lord's end in judging and afflict- 
ing, so as hereby your iniquity may be purged, since this is for better, and 
incomparably more to be desired than what you so much desire. 

Let me in the next place lay down some rules and directions, the obs6^ 
vance of which may be helpful to promote the Lord's end in judging and 
afflicting, so as by this iniquity may be purged. 

1. Set yourselves against all sin, not against this or that particular evil, 
which conscience, or the word, or providence may more directly point at, 
but against every sin. For though afflictions may help you more against 
one than another, yet they are not less improved* unless they help you more or 
less against all sin. The words in the text are general, and so laid down as 
they may reach all sin and iniquity. The fruit of affliction should be the 
purging iniquity, the taking away of sin without exception. Et ubi Ug non 
* Qu. • not rightly improyed '? — Bd. 


diUtnguitf non est dutinguendum : where the law makes no exception, we 
mnst make none. We mnst overlook no sin if we wonld comply with the 
mle before ns. And that we may not be partial, let me instance in some 
that we are too apt to overlook. 

(1.) Set yoniselves not only against sin of life and practice, but against 
the eormption of yoor natures, that which is aU sin in one, the nursery, the 
Bpawn of all ; that in which aJl particulars do as it were live, and move, 
and have theirbeing, Mat. xr. 18, 19. Oat of the corruption of the heart, 
as from a fountain, flows all the impurity of words and actions. You may 
stop up one current of sin, and another, but to little purpose, while the 
fountain still runs fi^ly. It will oyerflow or bear down the dams you 
make to stop it, or find another passage when you have done all you 
can. If you do nothing to dry up the spring in the heart, to divert or 
dam up this or that passage in your practice will be to little purpose : 
Mat. xii. 4)8-86, while the tree, while the heart is evil, the fruit will be 
so. The evil treasure in the heart must be exhausted, else the product 
thereof will be evil things ; that which is in the life will be dross while the 
heart is not refined. 

The avoiding of some particular evils is but to pare the nails, which will 
grow again ; but the mortifying of thy natural corruption is to go about to 
cat off the arm. This is to make sure work, that once cut off, can grow no 

(2.) Set yourselves against a sinful temper of heart, not only against 
sinJul acts. For such a temper is worse, more provoking, more dangerous, 
though it be less sensible than many evil acts ; as a constant sickly temper 
is wcme than a fit of the toothache, yea, than fits of the stone or gout, 
though the pain there be more acute and afflictive. A worldly, carnal, 
selfish, slothful, or lukewarm temper of heart, is far worse than some par- 
ticular acts of worldliness, selfishness, sensuality, or lukewarmness. For 
the temper is fixed, and is a continued sin ; the acts are transient. The 
temper is fruitful, being a pregnant disposedness to more and more acts 
suitable to it. The acts have no such pernicious pregnancy, and the Lord 
jadges of us more by the bent of the heart than by some particular acts. 
He, the bent of whose heart is towards the world, the riches, pleasures, 
dignities of it, will be a worldling in the account of God, rather than he who 
sometimes by the force of temptation is hurried into a sordid act. And so 
of the rest, he whose heart is bent to please the fiesh, &c., and the temper 
bemg less sensible, and not so much taken notice of, is the more dangerous, 
because the less watched and opposed, and the cure of it less minded and 

Accordingly, the Lord proceeds severely against churches and persons, 
not only for wicked acts, but for a sinful temper, which is very apparent in 
what he threatens Laodicea, Rev. iii. 16, 16. It is a lukewarm temper 
that he so thunders against, it being so loathsome to him that for it he 
threatens to ease himself of her, as that which he nauseates and abhors, as 
we do that which we are sick of. This might be ruin to some in whom it 
was piedominant; and in those whom he loves, and where it was not so pre- 
valent, it could not escape without rebukes and chastenings, ver. 19. And 
the end thereof was not a desisting from this or that act only, but the chwige 
of their temper. « Be zealous therefore and repent,' i. e. bewail, abhor that 
odious temper, and get it turned into one quite contrary. And thus must 
you do if you would comply with God's end in rebukes and chastenings, not 
only quit your old practices, but your former sinful temper. Instead of a 
woridly temper, get one that is heavenly, so that the bent of your hearts 

204 god's bhd in sbiooimo (dalajotibs [iBk. XKVn. 9. 

may be &r the things above, thai heavenly treamire ; instead of a selfish 
temper, get one that is self-denying, that which will incline yon to seek and 
mind the things of Christ, not yonr own things, and to resign up yoorselves 
entirely to the serving of Christ's interest ; instead of a canud, sensnal 
temper, that which is spiritoal ; instead of a slothfdl temper, thai which 
will maJce yon active and indostrions, and laborious for CSirist, for yoor sook 
and heavenly interest ; instead of a lukewarm temper, that whidi will be 
zealous for God, and against sin, though you sufier for it; ardent in love and 
desires to Christ, fervent in spirit in serving him* 

(3.) Against those sins, not only which you know at present, but against 
those which you shall know, and ought to take notice of as sins, tiiough they 
have escaped your notice hitherto. Not only against those whieh you are 
convinced of to be sins, and your sins, but these also, for which you have 
sufficient means of conviction, though they have not been, or are not effisc- 
tuai. The rod has a voice. One thing that the Lord prinoipaily calls a 
people to, by judgments and afflictions, is to search and ti^ their ways, to find 
out what evil is in them ; and when affliotioiis and sufferings are continued, 
and drawn to a great length, notwithstanding prayer, and some other means 
used for the removal of ttiem, their oontinoaDoe is sometimes because the 
evils for which God is angry are not refonned, sometimes because they are 
not discovered and discerned. Those who suffer by them, do not take notice 
of them, are not or will not be convinced of them ; and therefore those who 
think their fears, pressures, or sufferings of any kind, tedious and continued 
beyond their expeotaticm, and are apt to cry out, * How long. Lord,' Ac., 
have a clear call, and are h^hly concerned, in answer to it, to search dili- 
gently, to search and tiy, to seareh again and again, whether there be any 
evil, any provocation in their hearts or ways which tiiey have not observed, 
or not sufficiently taken notice of. They are not to content themselves with 
a superficial view, that which first ofbn itself; nor with former inquiries, 
though there have been some diligence in them ; nor with common appre- 
hensions of themselves or others concerning the ground of God's controversy. 
They may suspect they have not been inquisitive enough, or have been par- 
tial, or suffered &lse love, or the reputation or multitude of those who have 
concurred with them, or something or other, to hinder them firom diseeraisg 
some evil for which God is angry, and so ought to mske a more impsrtisl 
and stricter inquiry after it, and to give all diligence in the use of sll 
appointed means to make a forther discovery. 

If this be our case, this is the course we ought to take. If, after all the 
means which have been used for freedom firom what afflicts us publicly or 
personally, we find the Lord's anger is not yet turned away, but his hand ie 
stretched out still ; if our hopes have deceived us, and our expectations have 
been frustrate ; if after some little reviving m our troubles, fiears are re- 
newed, and the clouds still return after the rain : we have hereupon some 
ground to suspect, that the cursed thing which troubles is not yet discovered, 
and that we do not yet discern the cause why the Lord is contending with 
us ; and therefore are highly concerned to make a more strict and diligeat 
search after it, and to resist and avoid whatever may have hindered us from 

And great reason we have to engt^ ourselves thoroughly in such aconrse, 
if we consider but this only, that the Lord has proceeded against a people, 
yea, and destroyed them, for sins which they have not discovered, whidi 
they have not be^i convinced of (only sufficient means being offered for their 
conviction). Many have been mined for their sins, which Uiey have sot 
known, being not willing, or not carefol enough to know them. 


We may see this in the ten tribes, and the account giren of their rain, 
2 Kings xvii. 9. Secretly ; Hisfrr., They hid, or covered, or cloaked what 
they did. There were some specioos and plausible pretences, wherewith 
what they did was covered ; so that the sin and the sinfoiness of it did not 
appear. Hereby it came to pass, that their sin was a secret to themselves. 
The act was open, public, vimble (their high places, their images, their wor- 
ship, which are the particolars immediately mentioned) ; but the sinfoiness 
thereof was a secret. The excuses and pleas wherewiUi it was cloaked kept 
them from discerning it ; they seem to have been ignorant or onoonvinced 
of that sin, and yet they were ruined for it, ver. 28. 

Wrath came also upon the other two tribes, npon the^Uke account, for sins 
i^eh they were not convinced of, the sinfulness of which they did not 
know or believe. That which principally hastened their ruin, was &lse 
worship, Jer. zliv. 21, 22; and yet even aftei' the desolation of temple, 
ei^, and country, hereby we find them so &r horn being convinced, that 
this was their sin, that they ascribe what good they met with to the practice 
of it, and what mischiefs befell them to Uie forbearance of it, ver. 16, 17, 
18, 19, where it is expressed by what they confirmed themselves against 
conviction : the approbation of Uieir betters, the authority of the ancients, 
the example and concurrence of their rulers in all their cities, and the 
measures they took of the providence of Ood, in dispensing to them good 
or evil. 

Yea, thai which was the utter ruin of God's ancient people the Jews, their 
emcifying of Christ, was not known to be a sin by many of those ^o con- 
euired to it. Therefore the apostle says, They did it ignoraatly, Acts iii. 
14, 15, 17 ; they were not thoroughly convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, 
though there was evidence enough to convince them, because they did not 
duly search into and observe it, so they sinned ignorantly, not knowing it 
was a sin, or such a sin. That was the condition of most of them, and 
jet kfr this that people was utterly rejected, and wrath came upon them to 
the utmost. 

So that the Lord may proceed against a people, and often does it, for 
sins that they know not to be sins, and of the sinfiihiees of which they are 
not convinced. The ground of his controversy with them (when he is ready 
to destroy them), may be that which they little think of. They may be ex- 
tremely radangered by that wherein they do not imagine their danger lies ; 
that nn may be the great provocation, which they discern not to be ^eir sin. 

And therefore if you would comply with God's end in judging and afflict- 
ing, it may not be enough to put away the sin that you know, but yon must 
search after those you yet do not know, and attend to the means which he 
offers for your conviction, and be eaiefiil to avoid whatsoever might hide a 
jet not observed sin from your eye, or might turn your eye from it, or might 
make you stiff against conviction. Use sll means which may help you to a 
forther diseovery ; you are called to it in a special manner. If you have 
lefonned what is discovered, and yet the Lord's anger is not turned away, 
seareh your hearts and ways, even those that you have not suspected. I 

Make use of the wcnrds as your light ; hearken to conscience ; observe your * j 

afflictions, what they scan to point at. Commune with your firiends, with 
those that are disinterested ; neglect not the charges of those that difiev 
fromyou»no, not the refffoadies of enemies, especially be importunate with 

I have the longer insisted on this, because all things considered, it is to be 
feared, that the ground of the Lord's c^mtroversy with his people at this 
day, is either not fully discerned, or at least not removed. 


(4.) Set yoorselves not only agaiast the outward acts cS ain, bat against 
the inward motions ; not only against eomplete sin, but the embiyos of 
sin ; against it in its inward formation, when it is bnt braeding, or yon find 
it first stirring, before it be brought forth, and be exposed to open view. 
Oppose ft as soon as €k>d sees it to be sin, before it appear in the sight of 
the world. A man may liFO so as the world eaa oharge him with no sin ; 
and yet there may be a world of sfai in his heart, &e. An inward act as 
motion may be sinfhl, though it never appear outwardly ; but there are min? 
outward stfts, which, without some inward sinful motion, would be neither 
good nor bad, bat indifferent. Hezekiah's shewing his state and riches to 
ike ambassadors of Babylon, might have been, as to the outward act, inoffim- 
sive, if sopie inward motion of pride or the like evil had not tainted it ; bat 
thereby it was rendered so smM, as the Lord dreadfully threatens it, Isa. 
xsxix. 6, 6, 7 ; and so David's numbering the people, 8 Sam. xzIt. Nay, 
the best outward acts, those that are most holy, most eminent and exem> 
plary, most extraordinary and heroieal, by some inward irregular act aod 
motion, may be quite spoiled and turned into sin. So was John his refor- 
mation perrerted ; and so may the giving of all our goods to the poor, or 
the giving of our bodies to be burned, if the inward motions of the heaii 
be not right in such outwardly glorious actings or sofieringSy be quite de- 
praved and sullied in the sight of God. 

The sinfulness of outward acts is derived from inward and unlawfol motiona, 
Mat. xii. 85. Cleanse the heart, or else even the avoiding oi oatwazd sinfiil 
acts will be unclean ; hence verses 38, 84, Luke vi. 48. 

(5.) Set yourselves not only against sins that you are tempted to at pre- 
sent, but against those that you may be tempted to, though now you do not 
find them stirring, nor in motion, 2 Kings viii. 18. You should oppose 
yourselves where there is danger ; now, we are many times in more da^er 
of sin when we ^d it not stirring, and observe it not tempting us, than wbca 
we are aware of a temptation. It is found by experience, sin often gives the 
most dangerous and deadly assaults, after some cessation, after it has lais 
still and quiet, as though it would stir and tempt no more^ as though it were 
subdued, and the heart and power of it broken. 

(6.) Set yourselves not only agunst your own, but against your other- 
men's, sins. If you could avoid sin in your own persons, yet you may sin 
by others. If it were so, that you should never act sin personally, yet yee 
may be guilty of others' sins, guilty either as principab or as aooessoiies; 
and when you are but accessories, you sin, though not equally as when yoa 
act it 

You may be guilty of the sm whmi others are the actors of it, by com- 
manding and ordering : so Saul of Doeg's, 1 Sam. xxii. 19 ; David of Joab'a, 
2 Sam. xii. 19. When you incense or provoke, as Jesebel did Ahab, 1 Kings 
xxi. 7 ; when you allure or entice, as the harlot, Prov. vii. 21, and those, 
Prov. i. 10, 11 ; when you counsel or advise, plot or contrive, as Jonadab 
of Amuon's, 2 Sam. xiii. 6 ; when you consent or approve, as Ahab to 
Jezebel, 1 Kings xxi. 19, Bom. i. 81 ; when praise or commend, Isa. v. 20, 
excuse or defend, Prov. xxiv. 24 ; when empower or capacitate, as 1 Tim, 
V. 22 ; though without any intention <x suspicion that they will so emploj 
their power. 

So negatively, by not hindering it ; so Pilate, Mark xv. 15. By not io- 
forming, declaring that it is sin, as false prophets, false worship. By not 
dissuading, reproving, correcting ; so Eli, 1 Sam. iii. 18. By not remonog 
the occasions ; this was the blot in the character of the good kings of Jndah, 
they take not away high places, 2 Kings xii. 8. By not mourning for othen' 


nxui ; 80 Ezek. iz. 4, 6, only the moaneiB were to be delivered ; those that 
monnied not, though ihej were not actors of those abominations, were to 
fall by the destroyer. By this it is evident, that not only your own, bnt 
yoor other-men's sins* may expose yon to afflictions, yea, to destrnctive 
ealamities. And Eli is a pregnant and dreadfnl instance of it ; upon him 
and his family such judgments were poured down, as made the ears of those 
who heard thereof to tingle. And this not for the sins which himself acted ; . 
bat for those which h^ restrained not, when he might and ought to have 
hindered the actors. So that we comply not with the Lord's end. in afflict- 
ing and judging us, though our own sin be taken away, if we do anything 
to promote sin in others, nay, if we do not what we ought, and all Uiat in 
UB lies, to hinder others from sinning ; if we do not reform, not only our^ 
selTee, but our families, our relations, and all over whom we have any power 
or any influence ; and if we do not mourn and humble ourselves, an^ afflict 
our souls for what we have not power to reform. 

(7.) Set yourselves against sin, not when it appears in its own colours, 
bnt when it puts on a disguise. If we would answer the Lord's end in 
ehastening, we must not only put away sin when it shews its native face* 
which is so ugly and odious as it will aflright an awakened conscience, but 
when it puts on a mask, and hides its ugliness with fair colours. When 
there is danger that sin may have no more entertainment, it will borrow a 
better habit, that it may procure a new admission. Sin is like the devil its 
father ; he would not appear to our first parents in his own likeness, but in 
a serpent, which was then a harmless and sociable creature. So after, he 
would not offer himself to Saul in his own shape, but in the habit of Samuel. 
So sin uses not to appear in its own colours ; for then, where there is any- 
thing of an enlightened conscience, men would not dare to meddle with it. 
Satan clothes it in another habit ; and when one is worn out, or the Lord 
enables us to see through it, it takes another, and turns itself into any shape 
rather than it will be quite excluded. If you would have this to be the fruit 
of afflictions, the taking away of your sin, you must reject it in every appear- 
ance and habit ; not only when it is apparently a work of darkness, but when 
ii 18 transformed into an appearance of light. 

It may be you are afraid of worldliness, as it is declared in Scripture to 
be no better than whoredom, drunkenness, or idolatry. Oh but take heed 
of ii» when it puts on the fair colours of diligence in a lawful calling, or 
neceesaiy providing for fieonily and posterity 1 

It may be you abhor fiilse worship when it appears, as it is, to be an in- 
Tading of God's prerogative and an advancing of man's will and wisdom 
before that of Christ. Oh bat take heed of it, when masked with the pre- 
tenees of order, decency, reverence, and submission to our betters 1 

It may be want of love to the brethren is dreadfnl, when branded as a 
4J«Tni%ing sin, sud a sign of an unregenerate state. Oh but take heed of it, 
when coloured with zeal for the tmt^b, or for a way we count best; and they, 
as dissenters or opposers, fancied to be unworthy of our love, and the acts 
and expressions of it 1 

To find our own pleasure on the Lord's day, and to neglect duties of 
religion in private or families, you may count, as it is, a great profaneness ; 
bnt take heed of this profaneness in another garb, beware of being less con- 
aeientions under a pretence of gospel liberty. 

Yon know to despise Christ's messengers is to despise Christ ; yon will 
be afiraid of this. But take heed of despising them under other disguises, 
as legal tMchers, or minisiers of the letter, or men of low ordinary gOts, or 
under any other mask which Satan may help you to. 


' Jeroboam wonld not bring in idolatry in an Egyptian dress, to imitate 
them, aa in the wildemees, ^t was too gross, too coarse; bnt masked with 
reason of state, necessity, and ccmiranieney, 1 Kings xii. M-SS. 

2. Set yourselves against some sins more espeoally. As afflictions and 
judgments shoold help ns against all more or less, so, if we dnly improve 
thrai, we mnst make nse of them to help ns against some sins espeeially, 
vis. those that are most dai^erons; those that we are in most duiger of, 
and those that we are judged or corrected for. To instance in some parti- 
colars ; if yon would comply with Ghid's end in aflUetions and calamities, so 
as by these yonr iniquity may be purged, 

(1.) Set yourselyes especia% against mother sins, those which era most 
pregnant, whieh give life, strengtii, and motion to many others. If you 
would have all sin taken away, if yon would haye this to be the frnit, Ac., 
be careini to take away those that maintain all. Besides natural corruption, 
the root and body of all (of which before), there am some main branches, 
some cardinal erils observable, upon which the rest of our sins are but as 
it were dependents, are but sprigs shooting out of the main arms of this 
tnse of sin and death. Now, the principab being suppressed, the other, if 
they fidl not of themselyes, will with more ease be quelled. 

These are as it were the vital parts of the body of sin, which, woonded 
and mortified, the rest would quickly expire. These are Satan's stroi^est 
holds, which command all about them ; demolish these forts, and the rest 
will easily be brought under. The other are but ministering sins, the ser- 
vants of these. Now, as when the dragon was cast down his angels were 
cast out with him, so cast down the master sins, and the rest, the retainerB, 
will Mi with him. 

Unbelief. That is the root in a manner of all sins ; 4hat which supports, 
conveys sap and life to them ; that which cumbers the ground, hinders any- 
thing from thriving near it, ^t might hinder the growth of ran. Laboor 
to {duck up this root of bitterness, and the branches will wither; but lesser 
sins will never die, though they may be restrained, till unbelief be 
plucked up. 

Besides this, the principal mother sins are those mentioned by the apos^ : 
1 John ii. 16, ' The lust of the flesh,' sensuality, the affecting to grwtify the 
flesh, our bodies with ease and pleasure. ' The lust of the eye,' i. e. oovet- 
onsness, the affecting of riches, worldly profits and advantages. * The pride 
of life,' the affection of a carnal and selfish excellency. Set yowsehm 
principally against these three, and the ov^hrow of them will be the min 
of that army of lusts which war against yonr souls ; for the rest are n 
taincd, have their strength, support, and activeness firom them. 

Intemperance, incontinence, slothfulness, an immoderate affecting of i 
sleep, pastime, and the numerous evils that have their rise and dependence 
hereupon, are removed, when sensuality, the lust of the flesh, is taken away. 
Then for covetousness or woridliness, called the lust of the eye, ^iHiat a 
multitude of sins doth this breed, and nourish, and set a-work ! Ligostics, 
oppression, unfaithfulness in words or oaths, fraud, deceit, simulation, dis- 
simulation, neglect of soul and heavenly interest, omission, or di^t perform- 
ance of holy duties, perplexing cares, mercenariness : all these, and many 
more, issue out of this one cursed womb. Now by killing the dam yon 
starve the young, this loathsome brood will languish ; kill this mastar-sin, 
and its numerous retinue and dependents will be undone. 

So for pride ; this is a radical sin, the branches of it are sdf-depefidence, 
self-conceit, carnal confidence, presumptuous curiosity, self-seeking, ambi- 
tion, hypocrisy, contempt of others, self-magnifying, osteDtati<m in words, 


actions, fashions, entertainments ; discontent, contention, disdain, detraction. 
Plnek bnt np this one root of pride, «nd all these, and many more, will die 
and wither. Beformation of some particular evils is bnt like Samson's 
shaTiDg his locks, which in time did grow Again. If Delilah wonld have 
made sore work, and prevented the recovery of his strength, she shonld have 
plucked it out by the roots. Indeed, the mortifying of these capital evils, 
unbelief, sensnahty, worldliness, and pride, is as the cntting o£f the head. 
There is little danger of the growing of these lesser evils, which are bnt as 
the hair, when that is done. Yon nntile the honse in oUier attempts ; bnt 
by bending yonr main force against these supporters of the rest, you pull 
down the pillars of it. 

(2.) Set yourselves especially against those sins which you are most sub- 
ject to. You may judge of it by tiiese severals, which I will bnt name. 

Observe what evil your constitution or complexion most inclioes to, what 
your calling or course of life, your employment, or want of employment, 
most exposes yon to ; what has formerly most commanded your affections, 
yoor love, dehght, desire, zeal, &c. ; or what custom has most riveted you 
in ; or what you are fastened to by your interest, credit, or profit, or easci 
or safety. This sin you may look upon as the champion of the rest, that 
which giYCS them heart and strength, which encourages and sets them on. 
If this fall, the victory over the rest will be easier ; even as when Ooliath was 
eiain, the Philistines fled. 

The king of Syria knew of what coDsequence Ahab*s death would be to 
the obtaining of the victory ; Jehoshaphat and the men of Judah were but 
his dependents, and would follow, and be involved in his success, good or 
bad ; and therefore he adviseth, 2 Chron. xviii. 80. Many other sins are 
depoidents on these; it leads, acts, employs, enforceth them; let these be 
taken away, and the rest will scarce stand out against yon. 

(8.) Set yourselves especially against the sins of the times. There is no 
eomplying with God's end, if you do not utterly abandon these. They are 
so -visible, I need not mention them. Atheism, apostasy, peijury, unfaithful- 
ness to God and men, advancing mens' advices before divine appoiutments, 
profioking his day, name, worship, Idl that is truly holy ; nncleanness, 
intemperance, violence, contempt of the gospel, rebellion against, putting 
away the woid of life ; abuse of his messengers ; and others, which may be 
diflceraed without any troublesome search. For this people declare their 
sin as Sodom, and it is heightened with impudence, uuiversality, incor- 
rigibleness. Oh keep at the greatest distance from these, touch not with 
them in any degree. Avoid not only these abominatioas, but the appear- 
anee of them ; h% neither actors nor partakers herein, if you have any regard 
of complying with the Lord's end in judging us. 

(4.) Set yourselves against those sins especially, which are less disgrace- 
Ibl amongst professors ; such as custom and opinion has made less reproach- 
foJ, whatever they be in themselves, and in the sight of God, than the gross 
poUntions of the worid. Let me instance in some : eagerness after \he 
workl; indifferency towards holiness, the growth, power, and life of it; 
snperficialness in holy duties ; nnfruitfulness under the means of grace ; 
nnteacfaableness under the rod ; unserviceableness in their places ; an un- 
bridled tongue ; loose, careless, unwatchfiil walking : passionateness, pnde, 
selfishness, unpeaceableness, envy, strife, debate, malice, revenge, evil-speak- 
ing, detraction, and many others, too rife amongst professors. 

Some of these axe as heinous in themselves, as great sins in God's account, 
and as much branded in Scripture, as those which are counted the spots of 

TOC-U. ^ 

210 ooD*0 xn> nr ssnnvo r^fiiMm— [Isa. aavil 9. 

tha wiekedy gwearing, nnelewTM^w, dmnkmnwi ; and Ike apedal aggnn- 
tioDB which bnrdan idl tha ains of aona and dan^ten, maka them all gnefooa 

Bat beeansa they are too oommon amongat proCaaaon, wa an too iq^ to 
make light of them ; we give them more allowanee, and eooni them leas 
reproachM ; and ao are in danger to overlook theoi, when God ia ealling 
na to porge them out, and dealing with na by hia proridenee to take them 

If yon wonld oomply with Ood'a end, take apeeial eara thai theae be 
abandoned ; jadge of them, not aoeording to eommon opinion^ bat aa the 
Lord judges of £em, and think yonrselves as moeh eonMnied to finee heart 
and life from these, as yon thmk others coneemed to abandon idolatry, 
whoredom, or dronkenness. 

(5.) Set yoorselyes especially against those evils fat which the Lord 
judges and afflicts ; these, above all, should be regarded by those who would 
answer the Lord's end, &c. If all others should be put away, and these 
<mly retained, the Lord's end would not be answered; though he would 
have all iniquity purged, yet hia hand ia more particularly againat theae, and 
so should ours. 

Now that we may oomply with the Lord's design against these eina, it is 
necessary that we should discern them, and endeavour to make a diaeoveiy 
of them. In order hereto, observe in general, that there may be, and ordi- 
narily is, a concurrence of many sins to the bringing of common judgments, 
or sharp and long afflictions, though some sins may contribute more thaa 
others hereto. We may be bug a-ripening for hia judgments and aeveie 
dispensations. A continued evil course, made up of divers aina, ia ordi- 
nanly precedent to this ; though, when we are ripe for it, some partieular 
act or acts may occasion the Lord to put in the sickle, and forbear no 
longer. And those particular provocations, upon which judgment breaks 
out, and affliction seizes on us, as they are sometimes more, ao they may 
be sometimes less, heinous than those, or some of those, that prepared and 
disposed us at some distance for such severity. 

As a child may somewhile, by seveitil faults, provoke his &ther to comet 
him, before he wiU take the rod, though upon some particular offenoe he 
may resolve to bear no longer, but scourge him presently, thou^ thai 
offuice be not always the greatest ; he may mind him, while he ia correctiAg 
him, of others which made way for that severity, and designs the reforming 
of others, as well as of that particular, upon which immediately he made use 
of the rod. 

And, therefore, when we would discover evils, for which the Lord is judg- 
ing or correcting us, we should not look only at this or that particular, 
wUch might have the next band in bringing an evil day upon us, but at 
those also that have been preparing and ripening us for it at some distam^ ; 
for the influence of these may be as great, though more remote, in procuring 
the evils that afflict ns ; and the Lord's designs in dealing severely will not 
be answered, unleto both these and the other be taken away. And, aeeord- 
ingly, I would have you make use of the directions I shall give, to help you 
in ^e discovery of those sins and iniquities, for which the Lord haa been 
judging and afflicting us ; and therein I design principally a discoveiy of 
those evils amongst professors, which have bad these woful effects npon us. 

If you would discern what the sins are, &r which the Lord hath beea* 
and is, contending with us, the observance of these particulars may be 

1. Search for them. If you would make a discovery, you must mahe a 

ISA« XXYn. 9.] . Ain> AFFLIOnONS ON HI8 PBOFLB. 211 

searehy and pnmie it personally, diligeDily, thoronghlj. The chnrch, in 
her lamentable condition, thought herself much cocieemed to take this 
coarse, Lam. iii. 40. 

PenonaUy, ova ways. There is something of the aeenrsed thing hid in 
every of our tents. Eaeh of us is, more or less have been, an Achan to 
onnelTes, and the plaoo where we live. We may say, I, and I have 
troubled. Eaeh of bs should search oturowo: tent, oar own hearts and ways, 
and not pnt off this daty to others, as more goHty than oarseWes. We 
shoold not be smiting others with the charge of this and that gailt ; but 
every one smite upon his own thigh, and say not, Oh what evil has sach and 
saek a person or party done 7 Bnt what evil have I done ? The Lord's 
jadidary or correcting hand has reached as aJl one way or other, and fonnd 
OS all gailty, and so we shoald find oorselveS) if wo woold have a stop of 
severe pro^ediag». 

Diligently. iSuoogfaly, every comer of onr seals, the most secret re- 
cesses of oar hearts ; all the parts of oar lives, all oar designs, all our 
aetuigB, all oar ways, even those that we have not saspected, those that 
have passed for innocent, or better than innocent. That which seems to be 
best m the vessel m%j$r raise the storm ; even in a Jonah may more caase of 
it be found than in &e heathen mariners. That which threatens the wreck 
of all, may be there where we little imagine it to be, and may be that which 
we have no saspicioas ihoaght of, and which, it may be, we have thoaght 
it a crime to sospect. Who, before the discovery, woold not have thoaght 
it a nn to have saspected Jonah as the malefactor rather than the profane 
mariners ? Search, therefore, eveiywhere, everything; that which we count 
beet may have a provocation in it. 

2w Beware of those things which may hind^ yoa from discerning those 
sins, and being convinced of them ; which may shot yoor eye or divert it ; 
wl^h may make yoa anwOling to see, willing to overlook, resolve not to be 
conyineed, or loath to yield to conviction. There are many things of this 
natoie and tendency, which yoa are to avoid and resist, which yoa are to 
observe^ and be watchlal that they do you not this disservice. 

(1.) 8iif-U)ve. That blinds the eye, keeps it close shot, will not let it 
see tbat whioh is odione and loathsome in himself, that which disparages 
and IB a jost occasion of ill reflections apon himself; makes him loath to 
see what shoald make him vile in his own sight ; anwUling to see that which 
woold troable, disquiet, affiright him ; or to ta^e notice of what might be 
a jost eaose to judge, condemn, pass sentence against binsself as a common 
incendiary, a troabler of the eommanity where he lives ; makes him readier 
to see a mote in another's eye than a beam in bis own, and to censure and 
condemn any rather than himself. Self-love will see all rained rather than 
see itself the cause of it ; and fancy the ground of it anywhere rather than 
where it is, when it is at home. Self-love wiU be blind where you are con- 
cerned to be most qoick-sighted : this most be suppressed, mortified, and 
vdiat remains of it not at all consulted with or hearkened to, if you would 
discover the evil. 

(2.) Subtlety. To find oat pretenees and argnments for the hiding and cover- 
ing <^siny and to manage them so as to stave off conviction, and to answer or 
evade whatever tends to fasten it. Naturally there is such a subtlety in us, 
and we are prone to make use of it \ and many times art is added to nature, 
and joins fig-leaves together so artificially, as the nakedness of sin is covered, 
and the shune of it hid firom our eyes. Thus the Isradites, those of the 
ten tribes, so cloaked and covered their sin that it was a secret to them, 
they discerned it not to be a sin, 2 Kings zvxi. 9; Hebr,, they covered or 


cloaked what they did. They had sack pleas and argnmeniB for their fiilse 
worship, it was so cloaked and disguised thereby, that it did no4 tqppear to 
them to be a sin : the sinfiilness of it was a secret. 

Sanl was a notable artist this way. The prophet had mnch to do to eon- 
Tinoe him that a plain act of disobedience was a sin, 1 Sam. zt. 8. There 
is the command. Saul and the people destroy all the persons, bat only 
Agag, and all the oatUe that were vile and refuse, ver. 9. Hereupon he is 
confident he had not sinned, ver. 18. And when Samuel tells him, that the 
bleating and lowing of the cattle was sufficient to confute htm ; for God bad 
commanded to destroy all, and he had spared some, ver. 14 ; he shifts off 
this very speciously luid plausibly, ver. 16. The best only are spared ; and 
these not for our own use, but for the honour and service of God, to saai- 
fice to him, and express our thankfulness for so great a victdTy, And if this 
were a fault, the people did it, not I. Upon this he confidently justifies 
himself, and persists in it, after Samuel had said much for his conviction, 
ver. 20 ; and when he could no longer hold out in justifying the act wholly, 
yet he has something to allege, which might excuse and extenuate it, ver. 24. 

We need not wonder, when men are still as subtle to deceive themselTes, 
and have the advantage of much more art than the wo4d had of old, that 
arguments are mustered up, to make good and justify so many mos ; and 
that it is so exceeding hard, in many cases and circumstances, to ocmvince 
persons of their sin. 

If you would discover the sins for which Gk>d judges and afflicts os, yoa 
must get a willingness to be convinced, and not seek evasions, nor catch at 
fiur pretences, nor study aiguments tending to prove your sin is no sin ; nor 
accept of them from the invention of others. 

(8.) Prids, A good conceit of themselves, an over-weaning <^[nni<m of 
their own holiness, uprightness, or innocency. This makes men very back- 
ward to believe that they are guilty of such evils as provoke the Lord to 
severe proceedings, and apt to &ink, conclude, the cause of such seventy is 
in others rather than themselves. 

This blinded the pharisees. Of all the sects among the Jews in Christ's 
time, they had the reputation of greatest holiness. They thought them- 
selves, and were thought by others, to be the most eminent for piety and 
righteousness; and this made them stiff against whatever was orged, bj 
Christ himself, for their conviction. 

And this hindered Laodicea from the sight of that for which Christ had a 
controversy with her, Be v. iii. 17. She made account she was rich, ^., 
and this hindered her from the knowledge, from the sight of that which was 
her sin and misery. * And knowest not,' &c. 

And this hindered the Jews of old frx>m discerning their sin and sinfolness, 
when the prophet set it before their eyes ; they thought themselves better 
than any people in the world, the only people of God, honoured and privi- 
leged by him above all others ; and they had ocular demonstrations of it, the 
temple of God amongst them ; and with this they answer (though it was hot 
a lying, a deceiving allegation) all that the prophet made use of for their 
conviction, Jer. vii. 4. And hence it come to pass, that all which the pro- 
phet alleged for the discovery of their sin was to no purpose, ver. 18. 

(4.) Intereit. There is nothing more conceals sin ; nothing bo much 
hinders men from discerning and being convinced of their sin, than interest 
When such a way helps bim to riches and dignity, and supports him in such 
a state ; or when it ministers pleasure to him, and is the solace of his life ; 
or when it secures him, keeps him safe ; and if he should leave it, himself 
and outward concernments would be evidently exposed and endangered. Ok, 


he will see anyihtng rather than see this to be his sin. He will nse all 
shifts, find out a hundred evasions, rather than yield to conviotion here. 
And any plea for it tvill seem of more foree than the most cogent aigoment 
against it. 

The world has one instance of the power of interest for this purpose, 
which is so pregnant, as I need add no more. 

It is as evident, as can be expected in anything of that nature, that there 
is a horrible degeneracy in chnrch-goyemment, worship, and discipline, 
amongst the Romanists, and those who follow them. It is palpably quite 
another thing than that which was primitive and apostolical ; there are other 
ordinances, other officers, other administrations of worship and discipline, 
than what were appointed in Scripture. The apostasy of latter times herein 
is so great and so plain, as it may seem matter of astonishment that any 
should in the least doubt of it. And yet there are multitudes who plead, 
and argue, and dispute, and fill whole volumes with defences of such a dege- 
neracy, and revile and persecute all that wiU not yield to them, t. 0. those 
that will not be persuaded that midnight is noon-day. Now, what is it that 
does thus blind and infatuate them, but interest ? They, by their new 
officers and administrations, gain riches, and honours, and power hereby. 
This furnishes them with arguments, this helps them to answers and eva- 
sions, as to whatever is brought from Scripture for their conviction. And 
this makes them resolute to believe (say what you will to the contrary) that 
darkness is light ; and so continues the Christian world in such a dreadful 
apostasy, from generation to generation. Oh the fatal, the stupendous, the 
pernicious power of interest I That one argument of Demetrius, Acts 
xix. 25, ' Surs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth,' was of more. 
force with those of his temper than all the reasonings of the apostle Paul, 
himself to the contrary. Oh how hard was it to let them see idolatry in a 
practice so much for their interest ! 

Those that would discover the sin, for which the Lord judges and afflicts, 
must be disengaged from the power of worldly and carnal interest. This 
makes conviction always difficult, sometimes impossible. 

(5.) The judgment or example of those whom we reverence^ and have an high 
esteem of. It will not be easy to believe that to be a sin in us, which is 
comitenanced by the judgment or example of those who are got high in our 
opinion ; by their antiquity, or by their authority, or by the greatness of 
their parts and accomplishments, or by their exemplaiy holiness, or by their 
known conscientiousness in other things. And yet it is possible that the 
Lord may proceed against us for some evil, that has most of these, or all of 
these, to countenance it, and to secure it from being thought what indeed it 
is, a provocation in the sight of God. It may be you may have the judg- 
ment and practice of many of the ancients, of the best of your ancestors, for 
it. YoQ may have the approbation of your rulers, of your betters, of your 
greatest, or of your dearest relatives, of your teachers for it. It may be the 
judgment of some of greatest parts, learning, and other accomplishments ; 
saeh as you may think best able to discern betwixt things that differ, and to 
jadge what is good and what evil. It may be the practice of some that are 
really holy, and truly conscientious in other particulars ; and yet for all this, 
it may be a sin, and a ground of God's controversy with you. T3ut how 
faard will it be to believe it, and to be convinced that it is so, against such a 
stream, so powerful to bear down all before it which tends to conviction 1 

The Jews* provocation was great, and brought dreadful evils upon them ; 
and yet they would see no evil in it, notwithstanding all that the Lord, by 
the prophet, said to discover it ; because they had the judgment and prac- 

214 god's xnd in sbndino calajcitixs [Isa. XXVn. 9. 

iiee of those whom they did most reyeienee to defend it, Jer. xlii^ 17, 19, 
their ancestors, and mlers, and husbands. How many sinfnl mistakes, in 
opinion and practiee, are defended to this day by the aatkority of the an- 
cients, those who were learned and holy, besides the plea of their antiquity. 

The Pharisees, by such means, shut tiuir own eyes and the eyes of oUiers, 
so as they could not see sin in the grossest unbelief, John yii. 48 ; as if they 
had said. Can that be a sin which neither those of greatest authority, nor 
those of greatest reputation amongst ns for wisdom, learning, and holiness 
(such were the pharisees in those days) judge to be a sin, nay, which they 
judge to be a duty ? Or can that be a duty which persons of such eminancy 
every way do judge to be a sin ? 

The d^culty will be greater, and it will be more hard to believe that to 
be our sin, when multitudes of those whom we count most conscientious 
concur with us therein. And yet so it may be ; possibly the Lord may con- 
tend with us for something, wherein we have the concurrence of many who 
are truly conscientious. And therefore if we would discover the evUs for 
which the Lord afflicts, we must follow no other rule in judging thereof but 
what he has prescribed. To the law and to the testimony ; examine hearts 
and ways by that, not by the judgment or example either of the greatest or 
of the best ; for tiiese may deceive, yea, it may be, blind and delude us, and 
instead of being a light, may shut us up in darkness, and hinder ns from 
discovering what we are so much concerned to discover. 

(6.) DiMension, When a people are divided, and split into parties, and 
the differences pursued with heat and animosity, they are apt to transfer 
the guilt, each party from itself, to those from whom they are rent, and to have 
their eyes so intent and fixed upon the guilt of those whom they affect not, as 
to overlook their own. Li this case Ephraim is against Manasseh, and 
Manasseh against Ephraim, and both against Judah. Each party will charge 
the other, and both will be ready to charge a third, but no one to take the 
guilt to itself. And so the end of afflictions and calamities is in danger to 
be lost amongst them : whiles, though all suffer, yet none will cry Guilty as 
to himself; but though they smite one another, and God is smiting them all, 
yet none smites upon his thigh, and says, < What evil have I done, to bring 
this evil day upon us?' Whereas the Lord's judging and process against 
them all argues all to be guilty, and the guilt to lie amongst them all, in each 
party some of it. And the way to know the total of (lod's charge against 
us is to observe the particulars wherein each party is guilty, and to put them 
all together, inquiring after them, and yielding to conviction in the severals, 
without partiality. 

If you would pursue this concernment successfully, passionately,* take 
heed of addicting yourselves to a party. Besides other mischievous conse- 
quents of it, it tends much to hinder you from discerning your sin, and the 
sin of those you give up yourselves to, when the Lord for it is proceeding 
against you jointly. Those that give up themselves to a party are under a 
strong temptation to be, as in other cases, partial, so also in finding out 
their guilt. For what self-love does to a person, Uiat such a love, a little 
further extended, doth to a party : blinds the eye, and will not suffer it to 
see its guilt, nor take an impartial view of it, nor pass a true judgment upon 
it, or a just sentence against it. 

Oh take heed you be not so keen against others as to have no edge left 
against the evils that are your own, or those of your own way and per- 

(7.) Prejudice sgainst those who are ready to tell us of our sin. The 
* Qo. * dispassionately ' ?— £o. 


traest infonnaiion, the most fiiithfiil discoyery will be lost on qb if we be pre- 
jadieed against those that offer it. This will hinder ns from believing it, 
make as misinterpret it, tempt ns to reject it. Ahab's soul was closed 
against all conviction from Micaiah, when he declares that he hated him, 
1 Kings xxii. 8. And the Jews were hardened against all Jeremiah's 
endeavours to make known their sin, and convince them of it, when they 
had received this prejudice against him, that he sided with the Chaldeans. 

If yon wonld know ypnr sin, look upon him as a friend, whatever he be 
otherwise, that will make it known to yon, Ps. czli. 5. 

(8.) The exceeding vUeness of othen may hinder ns from taking notice of 
onr own sinfhl distempers or miscarriages. When gross and horrid wicked- 
ness exceedingly abounds in the place and times where we live, we may be 
apt to think that there is no other cause of the judgments there executed, 
and 80 professors may be tempted to overlook the more refined evils that are 
amongst themselves, and consequently may take Utile notice of that which 
is in great part the ground of God's controversy. The sins of sons and 
daughters, though not in their own nature so horrid and grievous as the 
wickedness of the debauched world, may, by reason of special aggravations, 
whereof the sins of others are not capable, be great provocations in the sight 
of God. Though they pass not for crying sins, yet may they cry aloud 
in God's ear. He may resent them as abominations, though we mske light 
of them, and may proceed severely against professors for them, as those 
whom he abhors, Deut. xxxii. 19, Amos. iii. 2. He had chosen them, above 
all on earth, to be his peculiar people, and admitted them into a covenant 
with himself singularly gracious, and therefore the sins which he passed by 
in others, he would punish most severely in them. Aud therefore we have 
little reason to be so severe against the sins of others, as to let our own 
eeeape a severe inquisition and censure. 

These are some of the impediments which may hinder us from finding out 
the sins for which the Loid hath been judging and afflicting us. If we 
wonld discover them, these must be removed, avoided, rested.* We must 
take notice of them, as evils like to obstruct us in our course of complying 
with the liOTd's end, and must be watchful against them. 

8. Listen unto conscience. It has light and power to make you know 
your sin. It is God's officer, his deputy ; he has pUoed it in your breasts 
for this purpose, to discover sin. 

Conscience hath the light of a rule. The xonaU trya/a/, common notions 
of good and evil are planted in it. Hence that of the apostle. Bom. ii. 14, 16. 
The Gentiles, which had not the law of Moses, yet in that they had a con- 
eeience, they had a law discovering what is good and what evil. And where 
this impUmted kw is obscure or defective (the tables of it being much 
broken by the fall), it may be repaired, and the defects of it supplied by the 
written word. So that there is a light in it to discover what is sin, what 
is cTil. 

Aleo it hath the office of a witness, and brings m evidenee for or against 
a person, according as he hath demeaned himself towards the rule, BomI 
ii. 15. And it is called emtbnetg, which is a man's knowing that he hath 
done, or not done, what the rule requires; and so is a witness for or against 
him, either pleading for him as not guilty, or accusing him as a transgressor. 
Now the way to know your crime is to inquire of your accuser ; if you 
would have a discovery, and want evidenee, hearken to the witness* that 
which God has appomted to perform this office within yon. 

• Q«. 'resisted*? or 'arretted '?-*En. 

216 ood'8 bnd in sbndimo oalamitixb [Iba, XXYII. 9. 

It halh also the anthorlij (tf a jadge, and pasaeth aaDteDoo aceoidiDg to 
eTidence, 1 John iii. 20, 21, o*xc/ey dtxaofii^Wt Naz. 

The whole process of conscience, in the ezeontion of its several ofieea» for 
the disooTery of sin, yon may discern in sach a syllogism. Whosoever doth 
ihns and thns, sins against God (this it manifests as a law or role) ; bat ^um 
hast done thns and thns (this evidence it brings in as a witnesB)^ therefoie 
thon hast sinned against God. (There is its sentence as a jndge.^ 

You see conscience is every way famished to help yon to the diseovny of 
sin ; make nse of it accordingly. Get it more and more enlightened, ihai it 
may give troe and full direction. Beware it be not cormpted with hhe 
prineiples, that the role be not made crooked, aod bended to favour yon in 
any evil. And order it so as it niay prove a tme and fEuthful witneas ; let 
it not be bribed, nor overawed, nor cat short ; hear it oat, give it liberty 
and eneoaragement to speak the whole tmth. Let it not be baffled, as 
modest witnesses are sometimes by wrangling advocates. Observe its first 
reports, take them in their gennine sense, before they be perverted, dark- 
ened, eladed by the arts and sophistry, the shifts, cavils, evasions of oonnpt 
and deceitfnl hearts, which wonld deal with the plain witneas of eon- 
science, as canning lawyers are wont to do with the evidence that makes 
against them. 

This is the way to have conscience help yon to a troe judgment < 
ing the sins for which yon are afflicted. 

4. Hearken to others. Neglect not the help of any who may be i 
able for this discovery; and there are mwy who may contribute to it, 
friends, strangers, different parties, yea, yonr enemies ; bat especially those 
who are called to the gaicUmce of year seals. Plus vident oetdi^ fMcm 
oculua. The more eyes, the better and the foller discovery. That whidi 
escapes your sight may be obvious to another ; he may have a more diaeetn- 
ing faculty, and better advantages, and may be freer finom those impedimenta 
which hinder your prospect. 

There is a special obligement upon friends to be helpful to one another 
herein. The laws of Mendship require a discovery of that which endangen 
one another. You would count him unworthy the name of a firiend, who 
knowing a thief or an incendiaiy to lurk in year family, with a dea^ to 
kill, or rob, or bum your house, would conceal it from you, and not acquaint 
you with it on his own accord. There is no such thief, murderer, ineen- 
diary, as sin : it more endangers us, and those concernments that are more 
precioas than goods, or house, or life; and that most endangers us, by whidi 
the Lord's anger is ahready kindled against us. Silence or concealment 
in this case is treacheiy. He is the most faithful friend, and worthy of 
most esteem and affection, that deals most plainly with us, in referenee to 
the discovery of oor sin. He that is reserved in this case is but a &be 
friend, a mere pretender to love, whereas, indeed, he hates his brother in 
his heart. Lev. xiz. 17. 

And because this act of love, though most to be valued, is too unaeeept- 
able to our perverse natures, we should provoke and encourage one another 
to this office ; when we are together, this we should commune of, eBpemBj 
in a day of affliction. This should be one of our principal qnestioos and 
inquiries. Oh wherefore is the Lord's anger gone out against us? What is 
the cause that it is not yet turned away ? We should get eveiy one to 
declare, and mark every one's opinion concerning it. 

Hearken to strangers. Their judgments are more to be regarded, beeaase 
they are not concerned in our interests, or in our differences, or in our suffer- 
ings. And those that are disinterested may pass the truest judgment ; they 


have less bias to mislead them ; and therefore, if we have opportmiity to 
know it, their opinion shoold not be negleoted concerning the cause of oar 
calamities or afflictions. 

Hearken to those who differ from us. They may be less partial to as 
than we to oarselves, and are mider less temptation to spare ns than we to 
spare onrselves. If the evils were observed, with which the differing parties 
amongst ns do charge each other, and the sum of each charge put together, 
ont of the whole might be made a better collection of the groand of God's 
controversy with as all, than each party will nuake for itself. Those that 
differ from ns may, and will see that in ns that we cannot or will not see 
in oarselves. Therefore, the way to understand fully why the Lord con- 
tends with ns, is to take notice, not only of what we see oarselves, but what 
others may see for ns, and charge us with, examining impartially how far 
their charge is jast. 

The acensations of enemies are not to be neglected, i You may have heard 
of one who, intending to woond his enemy, lanced an imposthume, which 
otherwise might have been mortal to him. We are prejudiced against what 
eomes from an enemy, as being the issue of hatred and malice ; but even 
malice sometimes speaks a trutti when it will serve a turn ; when it tends 
to the disgrace and disparagement of the accused, and may render them 
odioos ; and that which discovers our sin, though it tend to our shame, 
serves our turn as well as theirs. We are not so much to regard whether 
they charge ns maliciously, as whether they charge us truly ; and so far as 
their sofQgestion ip true, firom what mind soever it proceeds, and whatever 
design Ihey have in it, let us make use of it for our conviction, and so turn 
the poison into a medicine. 

When Judah and Israel were in the field, ready to join in battle one 
against the other, Abijah, the king of Judah, declares to Jeroboam and his 
followers, the sin which tiiey took no notice of, 2 Chron. xiii. 8, 9. If Jero- 
boam had made right use of this discovery, though it was the accusation of 
an enemy, it would have done him far better service than his army of eight 
hundred thousand mighty men. 

5. Reform what evils you know already, if you would have a discovery of 
those you know not Proceed against them effectually, till they be morti- 
fied in the heart, and cut off from the life. A good improvement of what 
light we have is the way to have more. That promise is of large extent, 
and may reach this case : Mat. xxv. 29, Mark iv. 25, * Him that hath,* i. s. 
who duly uses and improves what he hath, ' more shall be given.' And as 
in troths, the practice of what we know, is the way to know more, according 
to that of Christ, John vii. 17, so in reference to sin, he that purges out 
that which he discovers, shall not want disooveiy of what the Lord would 
have purged out by lections ; but if yon tolerate any sins which you know, 
this may provoke the Lord to deny you the knowledge of what you sufier 
for. Such abuse and non-improvement of light may justly be punished 
with darkness. Those who make themselves like idols in one respect, so as 
to have hands and act not against the sin which they see, may be left to be 
like idols in another respept, so as to have eyes, yet not to see the sin which 
they smart for. 

6. Observe carefully the judgments and afflictions which are upon you, 
or upon the place where you live. There is sometimes such a simihtude 
betwixt the judgment and the sin, that he that knows the one may know the 
other. A strict observance of the calamity may help us to discern the sin 
which brought it. There is often a proportion between the sin and the 
pnnishmenty either in the substance thereof, or some remarkable circum- 


stance ; partieulariy, this is observable, 1. Sometiiiies in the things wherein 
we saffer. Babylon made herself drank with the blood of the saints, and 
she mast have blood to drink, Bev. xvii. 6, and m. 6. King Asa pats the 
seer into prison, and the stocks (see the same word, Jer. ix. 2, and xzix. 26), 
and he is strack with a disease in his feet, 2 Ohron. xvi. 10, 12 ; Adonibe- 
zek cat off the thombs and great toes of others, and he himself had his 
thumbs and toes cat off, and by the likeness of his saffinings is led to the 
sight of his sin, Jadges i. 6, 7. 

Sometimes in the parties or instraments by which we soffer. David sins 
in his indolgence and inordinate affection to Absalom, and Absalom is made 
the instrament to afflict him. 

Sometimes in the time. When Belshazzar is drinking in the vessels of tiie 
temple, and praising his gods of gold, Ac., and at the same hoar appeaia 
the sentence for his rain, Dan. v. 4, 6. 

Sometimes in the measure. The rich sensaalist affords not Lazams the 
onimbs of his table, and he himself is denied drops of ?rater. Lake xvi. 

Sometimes in the manner. Jacob comes, as the elder, to Isaae, and 
delades him ; aad Leah comes, as the younger, to Jacob, and so he himself 
is deluded. 

7. Make use of the word. Nothing comparable to that, for its vittoe 
and power to discover sin, and convince you of it. It is a dear, a searching, 
a convincing, an undeceiving light. Yoor own hearts and consciences may 
delude you ; others may abuse you, and be too &vourable or too severe, may 
represent you better or worse than you are ; but the word will not deeeive 
you ; nor, if you make due use of it, will it suffer you to be deceived. It 
will help you to discern that which yourselves or otihers will not, or eaanot, 
otherwise see : Heb. iv. 12, 18, * mind and spirit.' It will discover a differ- 
ence betwixt those things which are most hard to be distinguished, the mind 
and spirit. It will help you to discern those things that are b68t,.&9jBM0, 
the nerves, the least parts, snd those things that are most secret, and have 
most to fence them from our sight : the marrow, that which is within, not 
only the skin and the flesh, bat the bones. It will not only discover year 
actions, but your thoughts and imaginations ; the most secret plots and con- 
trivanoes, the most retired motions and workings of mind and spirit, x^nnk 
iv0ufi,^€$6Hf rAt fwofftw. It is a critic in discerning these. It will help joa to 
an exact and accurate judgment of the most obscure and subtle devices of 
your hearts ; and, ver. 18, there is nothing so small, so secret, so di»> 
guised, so concealed, but this will bring it to light, and make it manifest. 
* All are naked and open to the eyes of that* r^c ^v 4/cft?lf 6 Xo/A«, * of which 
we are speaking.' As all the secrets, the entrails, the inwards of a sacii- 
fice were exposed to the eye of the priest, when he had flayed it, and cut it 
down the back, and laid it all open, n r^^iyXid/ifrf va, &c. It will flay off all 
coverings and pretences, which hinder you from discerning your sin, or 
being convinced of it, 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. These are his sins, even the 
secrets of his heart, made manifest to himself by the convincing power of 
the word. 

There are three parts of the word especially useful for this purpose. 

(1.) The commands or injanotions. Observe what it requires, what it 
forbids. In this respect it is a rule ; and that is tyidftv tut et obUqm^ dis- 
covers both your duty and your sin. If you would discern the erookedneEs 
of a thing, you bring it to the rule. Bring your hearts, the motions, the 
desif^ns, tiie temper of them, to this rule, if you would see what erookedbess 
the Lord is correcting in you. What was the temper of your hearts befora 
affliction seized on you ? What was the bent, the designs, the oontrivaness, 


the language, the posture, the motions of it ? Whither did the stream of it 
nm ? Upon what was the face of it set ? Compare these with the role ; 
joa may thereby see what was wrong there, and what ealled for thenrod, and 
what oceasion the Lord had to make ose of it. 

Bring yonr lives, yoor actions, your ways to the mle ; call to mind how 
they were ordered before trouble came. The word may, and will, if duly 
observed, point at that which is yonr tronbler, Rom. Tii. 12. It is < holy, 
jnsty good.' And that which is so helps yon to discern what is not so in the 
sight of God, and eonsequeotly what he is angry at, and why he expresses 
his anger in afflictions and chastenings. 

The word is compared to a glass, Jamea i. 2&-25. If yon would see what 
spots the Lord would have washed off, what defilement and pollution he 
wonld have pui^ged, look into the glass, view your hearts and lives there, 
and do it, according to the import of the word there. Content not yourselves 
with a glance, a transient view, but Ta^K\h\fay, bend down to it, as one that 
wonld take pains to see, and has a mind to take all the advantages this glass 
will afford for a full self-discovery. 

(2.) The threatenings. These may contribute very much to the discovery 
of the sins by which we suffer. In order hereto, observe what is threatened 
in the word of GKmI, and for what ; what calamities or judgments are de- 
nounced, and for what sins. If the judgments or afflictions be upon us that 
we find threatened, and the sins be amongst us for which they are threatened, 
this wiU be a good ground to conclude that those are the sins for which we 
are judged and afflicted. To instance in two or three, which may lead us to 
the sight of some sins, for which in all probability the Lord hath proceeded 
against ns. 

2 Thes. ii. 10, 11. Here some are threatened to be given up to strong 
delusions ; and tiie sin for which this terrible judgment is threatened, is not 
receiving of the truth in the love of it, and taking pleasure in unrighteous- 
ness ; ue,in false and unrighteous conceits and opinions, such as are not 
according to truth and godlmess. 

Now what a spirit of delusion has seized upon many, even multitudes of 
professors, is too evident. That it has intoxicated them, and made them reel 
from one thing to another, as drunken men ; and that many are fedlen by it, 
fallen foully from the ways of truth and holiness, and from sober and wholesome 
principles. And the delusion is strong, and continues on them to this day; 
all means and dispensations have not l^en effectual to break the bonds of it, 
and to bring them to themselves. That this judgment is inflicted, and abides 
so, is visible ; and it is one of those we should most tremble at, as being 
both a dreadful judgment and a high provocation. And hence we may come 
to the discovery and conviction of the sin for which it is inflicted. The 
truth has not been received in the love of it. The truths of the goq>el, lead- 
ing to holiness and mortification, have not been cordially and affectionately 
received, have not been admitted in the power and efficacy, have not been 
practically entertained nor rooted in the heart. That seems to be one sin 
for which the Lord has a controversy with ns, and which he has been plead- 
ing severely in the way forementioned, by sending strong delusions. 

Another threatening, Mat xiii. 12, Mark iv. 25, Luke xix, 26, where those 
that have not (t. e. who improve not what they have, as appears by the fol- 
lowing verses) are threatened to have it taken away. We bad opportunities 
lor the beating down of sin, promoting of holiness, advancing of Christ's 
interest ; large opportunities for the winning of souls, defiaating of Satan, 
enlarging the kingdom of our Lord Jesus. We bad advantages for reform- 
ing what was amiss in worship, discipline, practice^ for the rooting out 

220 god's emd in bbndiko oalaiotibs [Iba. aXVIL 9. 

every plant, &c., for the oonfonning of all according to the pattern b the 

Have we lost these opportonities for onr own or others' souls, wholly or 
in part, or are in danger of it ? Are we bereaved of those blessed advan- 
tages we had for reformation 9 What sin is it that has bereaved as f What 
is the caose the Lord has taken, or is taking from ns that ^i^eh we have ? 
Why, what can we pitch on with more probability than the sin for whidi 
this is threatened ? We did not fidthfally improve what the Lord entrusted 
ns with while we had it. Here is another chief groqnd of the Lord's con- 
troversy ; it seems to be. 

Farther, the Lord threatens that who are not fiuthfiil shall be deprived of 
the means of frnitfalness, Isa. v. 1-7 ; and that the gospel of the kixigd<Rn 
shall be taken from those who bring not forth the fruits of it, Mat. xn. 48 ; 
and elsewhere the i^nfraitfal are threatened to be cot down, Mat. iii. 7, 8, 10, 
Mat. vii. 19 ; and more frdly in a parable. Lake xiii. 6, 10. 

Now, have we been in danger to be cat down by one destroying jndgment 
afler another ? Have many been cat down ronnd aboat as ? Has the rain 
been withheld in its season ? a restraint npon that which shonld make oar 
souls fruitful 7 Does the Lord by his providence threaten to take away (he 
hedge, and break down the wall that has secured ns, and so leave us to be 
eaten up and trodden down ? Are we in danger to be laid waste, left as a 
wilderness not pruned nor digged ? Has the Lord seemed to lay hold on 
the gospel of the kingdom, and been moving and removing it, as though he 
would take it away? What is the caose of all this ? We need not be to 
seek if we will observe these threatenings. We see that which brings sunk 
a calamity is unfruitfulness, and it is observable. 

(8.) Scripture relations ; the account we have there of the course of provi- 
dence, and the Lord's proceedings with others. If, in several dispensations, 
he has dealt with ns as he dealt with others in like circumstances, probably 
it is upon like grounds ; if we suffer in some proportion as others have 
suffered, probably we have sinned as they sinned. To give but one in- 
stance, which possibly may lead us to the sight of a great provocation, 
and that which had a great hand in proooring and prolonging our troubles 
and afflictions. 

Has the Lord proceeded with us as he did with Israel in the wflderaaes f 
When we were almost in the sight of Canaan, are we brought back again to 
so great a distance from it, as we may seem nearer Egypt than the land ci 
promise ? 

Let us inquire, then, if our sins have not been somewhat like theirs. 
Have we not been unthankful for great deliverances, great mercies ? have we 
not undervalued them, and made no answerable returns for them ? have we 
not given way to discontents in the midst of all occasions of thankfrdoess ? 
have we not murmured and repined when we had manna enough, and aD 
provisions and advantages for our souls without restraint? have we not 
quarrelled with our condition, if not with the providences of God, beeause 
Uiey have not suited with some particular humour or interest? Oh the 
horrid onthankfulness of this generation 1 Because we wanted somethii^ 
we desired, or some interest was not gratified, or some instruments liked us 
not, we fell into distempers much like theirs in the wilderness, and suffered 
ourselves to be transported with ungrateful and unreasonable disoontenta, so 
far as all we enjoyed were sacrificed thereto. Oh how justly may the Lord 
swear in his wrath that we shall never enter into his rest; Uiat our oarcases 
shall fall in the wilderness ; that our eyes shall never more see what we 
woold take no thankfal notice of 1 



Oh how did we nnderralae meroieSy and rach as obliged ns to higher 
degrees of lore and thankfnlness than any people in the world were obliged 
to 1 The greater the meroieSy the more intolerable the eontempt of them. 
So it was in Israel, and so expressed, Ps. eri. 1&-16, 21-27. Oh what was 
it that we despised not ? 

8. Apply yonrseWes by prayer to God for the disoovery of those sins, for 
which he judges and corrects. Beg of him light, direction, and conviction ; 
all other means will signify nothing without his concurrence and assistance. 
He makes the discovery by means ; they will discover nothing to purpose 
without him. The sufficiency and efficacy of means is from him ; your due 
use of them, and success in using them, depends on him. You can do 
nothing by them, they will do nothing for you without him. Acknowledge 
his all-sufficiency in this, as in other thmgs ; and the insufficiency of whatever 
else you may be apt to depend on. Make it appear that you use the means 
in obedience to him ; yet your dependence is only on him; your expectation 
of success alone from him. 

Seek him accordingly. ' Cause me to understand, Lord, wherein I have 
erred' ; < make me to know my transgression and my sm,' as Job xiii. 28. 
Search me, and try me ; enable me to search and try myself, impartially, 
diligently, narrowly. Help me against whatsoever might blind my eye, or 
divert it, or contract it. Enlighten conscience, and awaken it ; as it is thy 
officer, let it be thy voice, and represent faithfully thy charge against me. 
Direct others ; bless the word, that it may be a searching, convincing light. 
Order all and concur with them, that I may understand wherefore thou cen- 
teodeat with me, and with thy people, and with these nations. 

Be importunate, as apprehensive of the great importance thereof. How 
much you are concerned to have the Achan, the accursed thing discovered ; 
and how dangerous it is to have that escape your notice which is the ground 
of this controversy. Qive him no rest till he make known to you, both 
what ripened and disposed you at some distance for this severity ; as also 
what had a nearer hand in bringing those evils upon you ; both what pre* 
pared the rod, and what provoked bun more immediately to make use of it ; 
both what raised the clouds, and dissolved them into showers of displeasure, 
and still continues the storm ; both what moved the Lord to anger, and to 
express his anger so many ways, and to draw out the expressions of it to such 
a length ; wherefore it is that his anger is not yet turned away. 

Pray fervently for this, and pray in faith. You have great encouragement 
to come to the throne of grace for this with confidence, 1 John v. 14. Now 
that is according to his will, which he has made your duty — to seek the 
knowledge of your sin, these sins especially. And he has promised, those 
that seek shall find. Seek this with a sincere and fixed resolution to put 
away every sin you shall discover ; and there is no doubt but he will help 
you to the discovery. That is according to his will which he is willing you 
shouid do ; but he is willing you should know the sins for which he judges 
and corrects. Whether he proceeds as a father or as a judge, you may be 
confident of it, he is willing you should understand wherefore he proceeds 
against yon. What judge will conceal from a delinquent the crime for which 
he ia arraigned, sentenced, and penalty inflicted ? What father is unwilling 
to make known to his child the faults for which he chastises him ? So he 
may lose his end in correcting him. That which he aims at is the reform- 
ing of what has offended him ; but the child is not like to reform it if he 
do not know it. And so it is here, the end why the Lord affiicts is to take 
away yoor iniquity ; but how shall yon put it away if you do not know it ? 
As sore as the Lord is willing to have his end in fthastening you, so sure is 



he willing to lei yon know why he olustiBes. And therefore yon may beg the 
knowledge of it in faith, and with confidence that he will not deny it, sinee 
there is so mnch gronnd to believe that he is willing to gmnt this request. 

And, 2, Yon may apply younelves to Christ with as much confidence 
also ; for it is his office, as he is the great prophet, to instmct his people in 
their great concernments. And are they not greatly concerned to know 
wherefore the Lord is angry with them 7 Is it not c^ great importance to 
them to answer the Lord's end in smiting them ; and so understand that 
without the knowledge of which they cannot answer it ? It is Christ's office, 
as he is prophet, to make known his Father's will, whether signified by his 
word, or by his rod ; and you may be confident he is willing to petform his 

And, 8, You may address yourselves to the Spirit of God, with the like 
exercise of faith ; for he is sent for this purpose, to convince of sin, John 
xri. 8, JXfy^tf. He will convince the world of the great sin for which he 
has a controveny with it ; and make it evident that unbelief is the sin for 
which he judges them ; and he will not be wanting to his people in that 
which he performs to the world. It is bis office to convince them of the 
sin for which God contends, to make their sin evident ; so as wa4Wf dink^ 
ytav ixK6wrtif to leave no defence, no covering to hide it fiK>m them. 

Encourage your faith hereby, and exercise it in prayer. So may you 
prevail with God to bless the use of the other means specified ; so as there- 
by you may discern, and be convinced of those sins personal or national, far 
which the Lord hath been judging and afflicting. 

And so much for this great inquiry, so necessary to be insisted on ; that 
we may comply with the Lord's end in proceeding against us. Let me 
proceed to some other directions which may be helpful to this purpose. 

9. Make use of judgments and afflictions, to engage your souls thoiooghly 
against sin ; whatever in them is troublesome, afflictive, grievous ; whatever 
is hateful, dreadful, terrible, make account it is firom sin ; charge it all upon 
sin's account. Whatever is of this nature in the world, it is from nin ; 
if it be so in itself, sin made it so, and it had never been so to you, were it 
not for sin. And quod efficit tale, ett magis tale. Are you bereaved of dear 
relatives ? Weep you for children, and the loss of other endeared Mends, 
because they are not ? Why it is sin that killed them ; this was the death 
of them all. This is the grand murderer, and has been so from the begin- 
ning. Distempere, diseases, to which we ascribe their death, are innocent 
in comparison ; there had been no such thing in our bodies, in aoy of oor 
families, or in any part of the world, but for sin. This bred them, bron^t 
them, employed them; they had never done any execution bat lor sin. 
This alone made diseases, and made them mortal. If their death be 
grievoos and bitter to you, let the bitterness of their death be upon sin. 

Are yon impoverished ? Sin has bereaved you. Are you laid low ? Sin 
has tumbled you down. You charge the fire, you ciy out against incen- 
diaries ; but this is the fire that has consumed so much of our riches and 
glory ; this is the great incendiary. Had it not been for sin, no instruments 
would have attempted it; no matter have been reeeptive of it. Thw 
kindled it ; this blew it up into those dreadful fiames; this carried them on 
with rage, fury, so as they despised all opposition. To this we owe our 
ruins, our desolation ; the sight, the report of which, has struck those that 
saw, yea, those that heard thereof, with horror and astonishment. 

Oh ! if poverty, if the loss of estate, the ruin of families, be grievoas to 
us ; what is sin 7 whose hand is in all this, whose hand hajB done all thi*, 
and without which it could never have been done. 


Is a phgae dreadfiil» sneh a one that sweeps awaj thousands in a week ? 
Oh ! hnt £ere had been no plagae in the world but for the infection of sin ; 
and sin is more pestUent, moie contagions, more destmotiye. No plagne 
like that of the heart. Where the other has destroyed its thousands, this 
has destroyed its ten thousands ; this has infected the whole world ; and all 
that pezish die of this plagne. 

Is persecution grievous ? Why, this is it that makes men persecutors ; 
yea, this is it which made him a devil, who acts and inspires them. Of an 
angel of light, this made him a fiend of darkness ; and it is by the media- 
tion of sin that he engages his instruments in hellish designs, to extinguish 
the light. 

H^ it not been for sin there had [been no plagues, no judgments, no 
calamities, no afflictions, no distempers in our souls, no diseases in our 
bodies, no complainings in our streets, no lamentings in our families. There 
had been nothing afflictive, nothing troublesome ; no, nor fear of any such. 
This, this is the Achan, the troubler, &c. This is the burden and grievance, 
this is the sting and poison of all. Take an account of all that i^cts you 
or others, cast it np exactly ; and then discharging all other things as 
innocent, charge all upon sin. Make such use of troubles and afflictions 
to engage your souls against sin, so you will be disposed effectually to 
purge out your iniquity, and put away your sin, and so comply with the 
Lord's end in judging. 

10. Content not yourselves with any opposition of sb, unless it be 
universal. If yon would comply with God's end in what has befiillen you, 
or is approaching you, so as to have iniquity effectually purged and taken 
away, the opposition you make against it for l^is purpose must be universal, 
not (mly in respect of the object ; you must not only set yourselves against 
all sin, of which before ; but in respect of the subject, oppose it with all 
your fiusulties. All that is within yon must be set against it. The oppo- 
sition must be in and from every part ; not only in Uie conscience, but in 
the will and affections ; not only in some part of the mind, bnt in the 
whole heart, the whole soul, and in every power thereof. Rest not till yon 
find a party against sin in every part, till you feel each faculty of your souls 
like Tamar's womb, twins struggling. 

11. Think it not enough to avoid or oppose sin, unless you get it morti- 
fied. The purging of iniquity, and the tilling away of sin, imports no less 
than the death and burial of sin; the putting it to death, and the burying it 
out of your sight Unless yon endeavour this, yon answer not his call by 
afflictions, yon come not up to what he designs tiierein. 

When he pnts his people into the lumace, he would have their dross not 
only loosened, or a little parted from them, but thoroughly wrought out and 
porged, and so wasted and consumed. If it be not wrought out and wasted, 
it mftj mix with the better metal agam in the cooling, and so the firo and 
fammee will be to little purpose. 

The Lord would have your iniquity purged, so as you should return no 
more to yonr vomit ; and sin taken away, so as it should no more be found, 
as formerly, in heart or life ; but this will not be ; you aro not secure from it, 
tmleaa sin is mortified, and iniquity subdued. 

The Philistines did not continually invade the Israelites, they wero not 
always making inroads upon them; yet because they are not quite sub- 
dued, Israel was alwa^ in danger ; often miserably foiled, and their land 
wasted. Content not yourselves to force this enemy to yield to a cessation, 
hot miJu) it your design to break its power ; be still labouring for a fuller 


coDqaesi, that it may not onlj be still aad q^iet, bat may have no power left 
to be otherwise. 

The heathen eonld oppose some gross sins^ and abelain from tlie aets of 
them : the Spartans from dmnkennees ; Socrates from passion ; Aknanda 
from incontinenoy ; the Romans, many of them, from perfidioosness. But 
notwithstanding, their iniquity was not purged, their sin not taken away, 
beeanse they were not mortified ; bat ' those that are Christ's have eraeified,' 
&e., Gal. ▼. 24, Col. iii. 5. This is it that he calls for, by his word and by 
his rod. This is it he principally aims at in calamities and affiietions; not 
only some avoiding of sin, bnt the purging of it out, the taking it away, Le. 
the mortifying of it. Whatever you do against sin less than this, yoa eomply 
not with God's design ; by this alone, and by nothing without tliis, will yoa 
answer his end. ijid therefore on this we shall insist a little, and shew 
how it may be effected. 

If you wonld subdue your iniquity, and mortify your sin, 

(1.) Get mortifying apprehensions of it. Labour to possess your minds 
and judgments with full and effectual persuasions that sin is such a thing as 
is not fit, as is not worthy, to live ; that you are highly concerned not to si^Bler 
it to have a being in heaxt or life ; that you should not in any reascm, that 
you cannot with any safety, tolerate it or endure it should have life or bemg; 
that it is most worthy, of all things in the whole creation, to be utterly minei 
and exterminated. That this may be the vote of your judgment. Away with 
such a thing from the earth ! Away with it out of my heart, life, oat of the 
world, for it is not fit that it should livet As they, Acts zxi. 22. 

The Spirit of God in Scripture leads you to such apprehensions of sin, and 
lays down clear grounds to raise them, and to fix them, and to carry them 
on to full and powerful persuasions, such as should thoroughly engage ns to 
mortify them. It represents sin to be such a thing as should be in all reason 
put to death, and denied a subsistence, and proceeded against with that 
severity. Dent. ziii. 8-10, which was to be used against the seducer. 

It is declared to be an enemy, a mortal enemy, to your souls, and aU your 
dear concernments ; an enemy in arms, in actual, in ecmtinaal war against 
you, 1 Peter ii. 11, James iv. 1. It is not only so to yon, but an enemy to 
God, to mankind, to the whole creation ; a public, a desperate, an ixreoon- 
ciiable, a cruel, deadly enemy. And should not such an enemy be perBeonied 
to death 7 

It is a monster eminently, &/id^fAa rn^ pUtoif^ the most ugly peeeaney, 
horrid exorbitancy of nature. Nay, that which transforms every soul and 
spirit that gives it entertainment, into monsters ; so it has dealt with the 
fallen angels, it has turned them into monstrous fiends ; so it has dealt with 
the souls of men, they come into the world without eyes, or feet, or hands, 
or hearts for God, monstrously defective. It has perverted and misi^aeed 
all the parts and faculties, as if head were lowest and leet hi^est ; a mon- 
strous dislocation ! If the effects of it be so prodigious, how monstroos is 
sin itself 1 And should such a monster be suffered to live ? Oh if it were 
but seen in its own shape and colours, how would the children of mmx ran 
upon it, to root it out of the earth ! 

It is a robber. It robbed our first parents, and in them all mankiiftd, ol 
the image of God, of all the heavenly treasure they were possessed of, of the 
inheritance they were bom to. It left nothing but sorrow and miaeiT; 
fathers and children, all mankind, were hereby quit^ beggared and ntteriy 
undone. And when the Lord had taken a course to repair all this, yet stiH 
it is attempting to rob us of all that is precious to us; of grace, of the means 
of grace ; to rob us of our peace, our comforts, our hopes of glory. It wonld 


leaTe as nothing bat beggaiy and misery here, and bell hereafter. Should 
aoch » robber live ? 

It is a traitor to Christ, to his orown and dignity. It would overtum his 
throxia, throw down his sceptre, trample on the ensigns of his sovereignty. 
It will not have him to role over us ; and shoold not such a traitor die the 
deathy which suggests and acts treasonable things against Christ ? 

It 18 a ravisher of souls; draws away conjugal affections from Christ; gets 
into the marriage-bed ; forces them to commit folly in the sight and presence 
of Christ, without any regard of the eyes of his jealousy ; prostitutes them 
commonly, openly to the world ; yea, to Satan himself, 2 Cor. zi. 2, 8, 
James iv. 4. 

It 18 a witch. Indeed, the mistress of witchcrfkfts ; a sorceress, as the ex- 
pression is, Nahum iii. 4. It practised Borcery upon the Galatians, chap. 
iii. 1. It was by means, through the mediation of sin, that they were 
bewitehed so as to take error for truth, and truth for error. And others 
are praetieally bewitehed thereby, so as to call evil good and light darkness, 
to count that their glory which is their shame, that their refreshment which 
is poison, that gain which undoes them, that their happiness which ruins 
them. So they conceive of things, so they act, as those that are bewitehed; 
as Buoh who are under the power of sorcery, which is illusio sensuum, an 
abasing of the discerning faculty, so as thmgs appear to be contrary, or 
quite c^erwise, to what they are. Now, Ezod. xzii. 18, a witch was not to 
be suffared to live. 

It is a murderer ; it sheds the blood of souls. Satan, who is called ' a 
murderer from the beginning, John viii. 44, has murdered none, from the 
beginning to this day, but by this instrument. This kills every way, tem- 
pcNreUy, spiritually, eternally. This has been the death of all that have died 
any of these ways from the foundation of the world to this moment, and will 
continQe this more bloody practice while it continues. And should not such 
a murderer be executed ? Should it not die without mercy ? 

In the text, when the Lord would have iniquity purged, it refers either to 
purging by fire or physic. If the former, it implies tiiat sin is dross, that 
iHiieh debased the soul, once of the finest and purest metal, and makes the 
Lord look upon it as vile and refuse, to reject it as reprobate silver ; such 
is will never pass with him unless it be refined, such as he will never accept 
on any account until it be purged. And should you endure such an embase- 
nent of your souls, and of such dangerous consequence ? 

If to phyac, it insinuates that sin is a malignant humour, a disease, that 
which breeds and continues all the soul's maladies; which, unless it be 
purged, the soul can never have health. It wiU stiU keep it under pains, 
weaknesses, knguishments ; and will, in fine, make it sick unto death. 
And should this have a being, a quiet abode, within you ? It is desperate 
i iiollj to forbear it. 

And when the Lord would have sin taken away, that denotes it as a filthi- 
nesB, not to be endured in our sight; like those garments, to be t^en away, 
Zech. iii. 8, 4. Those filthy garments were his iniquity ; and m the ongmal 
it is excreatentitious garments. Iniquity is to God, and should be to us, as 
the filthiest excrements, as the mire wherein a sow waUows, as the vomit of 
» dog, as the stonch of an open sepulchre, as the putrefied matter of an ulcer. 
And is not such a thing to be removed far from your sight, fiwr from aU your 
•enws? You have no patience, you wiU be restless, until It be done. 

Tbe Scripture thus setTforth sin to us, that hereby such apprehensions 
oC it Tnig)at be formed in us as of that which is not to be endured, not to be 
Toun. ' 


enfered to baye life or bebg. We should make sach use of them ; and 
when our minds are effectn^y possessed with saeh apprdiensions iA rin, 
then is it mortified in onr minds. This is the way whereby the judgment 
purges iniquity, and puts away sin. And this will contribute mneh to the 
mortifying of it in all other parts ; for the judgment is the primum mMU 
in the soul, the wheel that first moyes, and sets the rest on motion. Ac- 
cording as your apprehensions and persuasions concerning sin are, such will 
the motions in your hearts and lives be against it. 

(2.) Get mortifying resolutions. Get your hearts resolved against sin ; 
to prosecute it to the death ; to engage all the strength you have, and can 
procure, in such a prosecution of it ; resolve not to spare it ; not to forbetr 
it in the least ; not to tolerate it, nor sufier it to have any quiet abode in 
any part of heart ot life ; not to enter into a parley or treaty with it ; not to 
yield to any cessation, much less to make any peace with it, no more than 
the Israelites with those whom the Lord had devoted to destructioB, Deut 
ziiii. 6. Resolve to ruin it, to expel it out of your hearts, and cot it off 
from your lives. Make use of the mortifying apprehensions forementtoned 
to raise you to such resolutions ; let them be fhU and effectual, fixed snd 
unwavering resolutions. 

Fuil. That the main strength of the will may be in them. Not audi u 
leave the heart in suspense, or in an indifferent posture, or a little inclinable, 
but carrying it down, as it were, with full weight, into such determinatioDS 
against sin. Best not until you find this the bent of your hearts, and thit 
which is prevalent and predominant in them. 

EffectMoL Not some fi&int, powerless tendencies of the will, which ezdtfl 
not the other faculties, put them not upon actions and endeavours ; but such 
as will engage them in the use of all means far the effecting of what is re- 
solved on. Gkt your hearts wound up to such resolutionB, that may be as 
a spring, setting and keeping all in motion, Ps. cziz. 106, 48. Thai which 
he has resolved on, he vigorously pursued. 

FiaoedL, Not wavering ; not off and on ; not by fits only, when some ser- 
mon, or some affliction, or special occurrence has made some impression; 
not like Ephraim, of whom the Lord complains,! Hos. vi. 4. Bat this 
should be the settled temper of the heart : the fece of it should be constancy 
against sin ; and when you find Uiem varying or declining, aU eaie and 
dDigence should be used to renew and reinforce them, to raise them agiin, 
and keep them up in their full force and vigour. 

Make use of judgments and afilictions (according to a former direetionV 
of the grievonsness or bitterness of them, to draw your hearts to saeh 
resolves for the ruin of sin ; make use of what you have found most e&c- 
tual heretofore for this purpose ; or, if those you have used prove less 
powerfiil, try others ; leave nothing unattempted that the Lord i^Sbrds iutt 
this end. Look upon it as your interest to have sin ruined ; as that wherein 
your safety, your comfort, your happiness, yea, the life of your souls, is 
wholly concerned. If you destroy not sin, it will ruin you ; if yon kill it 
not, it will certainly be your death. And when will a man be resolnte, if 
not in such a case, when he must either kill or be killed? It is aoeording 
to what was said to Ahab, 1 Kings xx. 42: ' Thus saith the Lord, If thoa 
let go out of thy hand the sin which he has appointed to utter deetraotioo, 
thy life shall go for its life.' Oh then, if thou intendest ttiy soul shall live, 
resolve to prosecute sin to the death, and be peremptory in the resolutum. 

When the will is thus resolved against sin for the death of it, sin is already 
mortified in the will, the sentence of death is passed against it ; it is p 
ffjQ condemned to die ; and the will having the command of the other feenl- 


ties and the whole man, it will be brought to exeention. The work of 
mortification is in a fair waj to be oarried on nniversallj ; and though it be 
not folly executed at present, yet the Lord, who jndges of ns by the bent of 
onr hearts, and the prevailing tendency of our wills, will jodge one so resolved 
against sin to be so farm mortified person. This is the way whereby the 
will purges iniquity, and puts away sin ; and that which contributes most 
to the purging and putting it away everywhere from the soul and from the life. 
(8.) Get mortifying affections ; such are the affections of aversation, which 
carry the heart from sin, or set it sgainst sin r #. p, anger, indignation, 
revenge, fear, shame, sorrow, hatred; whereby the soul moves from or 
against sin, as the most offensive, the most provoking^ the most dangerous, 
the most shameful, the most hateful evil. These affecti<M» should be bred, 
and nourished, and strengthened ; you must kindle them, blow them up 
into a flame, and keep them flaming. You should not bear with yourselves 
in the want, or in the weakness, or in the declining or decay of them. 
These affections, thus upheld, will be the death of sin ; it cannot live in a 
heart where these are kept up in bfe, and strength, and action : these will 
distress it» wound it, starve it ; these will be crucifying it ; these will drag 
it towards the cross, and be as so many nails^ to fiuten the body and mem- 
bers of it to the cross. Particularly, 

[1.] Anger. Let sin be the object, the chief ol>ject oi your anger, £ph. 
iv. S6. Then, to be sure, you are angry and sin not, when you are angry 
at sin, when that is the cause and the object of your anger. Our Lord 
Jesus, the qM)Uess pattern of meekness^ was angry at sin, Mark iii. 5. 
Those kinds or degrees of anger which are vicious or eulpabie towards other 
objects, or upon other occasions, are your duties and excellencies in refer- 
ence to sin. You may be, you must be, soon angry, o^iXoi ; and much 
angry, <r/x^/ ; and long angry, ^oKtv^ 

First f Anger should kindle at the first appearaace of sin. We should not 
think of it without something of this passion. The best men are o^i;;^oXd/» 
soon angry, and easily provoked against sin. Thai which is a wea^ess in 
other cases, is a perfection or a degree of it here. We should be slow to 
anger at that which offends us only, but not slow to anger at that which 
oflTends €k>d. Onr souls should be as tinder, and take fire at every spark of 
sin. He that is soon angry in his own cause, for his own petty concern- 
ments, dealeth foolishly, Prov. ziv. 17 ; such anger restetiii in the bosom of 
fools, Eccles. vii. 9 ; but he that is not hasty in his. spirit to anger against 
sin exaheth foUy. The more quick your anger is against sin, the more 
speedy will be the execution, the mortifying of it. Get a spirit apt to be 
angry at sin, and use means to provoke it. 

^j^eomify. Be much angry at sin, and not content yourselves with a low degree 
of anger ; get it raised into wrath and indignation. There is no such danger 
of transgressing the bounds of moderation here as in other cases ; that is 
inmioderate anger which is more than the cause requires or deserves ; but 
the ficreest wrath and the highest indignation of God is not more than sin 
deserves ; and does it not then require and deserve all oars f Let it be 
against sin purdy, against our own sins principally, or against the sins of 
others, not their persons. And then, if it be great wrath, it is not too much. 
Moses, a person meek above all mtta en eaith, was kindled into wrath by 
the sight of sin, Exod. xzxii. 19, his anger waxed hot at first sight of sin. 
A little anger will not do much against sin ; the heart that purges it out 
most be wroth with it, it should be taken away with indignation. 

Thirdly. Be long angry. 'Even for ever ; angry so as never to be appeased. 
It ia no sin to be implanible here, nay, it is jbar duty. The sun must go 


down, and rise, and go down all thy days upon thy wrath aghast sin. 8iuh 
an angar will not aenre tho ioni as is 7«ror yrgh^ ; when it ia a mortifybg 
affection, it is avktrwt an nnappeasable anger. Anger at other things mast 
be allayed, suppreeaed, extingoiahed ; bnt against ain it must be nourished, 
heightened, settled, digested into maliee. For thongh it be a wiekednesa 
in other oases, yet maliee againat sin is a virtue, a doty ; yo« eannot be too 
malioioas against am, yon eannot bear it too math ill will. 

There is an holy aiiger, a sanctified malice, which is singnlariy nsefol for 
the expelling of iniquity and mortifying of ain. Tom all your anger, wrath, 
maUce, into this stream against this object Whaieyer is apt to provoke 
yon elsewhere, yon may aee it all in sin ; nothing so offensive, nothing so 
iojorioos, nothing more affironts yon, nothing so mneh wrongs yon in your 
dearest concernments. When yon are apt to be angry at other things m 
persons, — Sach a one has thus and thns abased, wronged, affixmted, vexed, 
tronbled me ; ao oanselesaly, so disiDgenaonsly, so continnally, — tnni year 
eyes, your thoughts, from that, and look upon sin, and say. Oh, how much 
more has sin done agaipat me, yea, against God ? How much more cause 
have I to be angry at sin f Oh, I do well to be angry at it, even to deatL 
So you may make it a mortifying affection. 

[2.] Fear. We are willing to be rid of that which we fear, and ready to 
nse all means, take all occasions to put that far from as which we are afraid 
of. And the more dreadful and terrible it is, the more dangerous it appears, 
the more forward we are to get it removed, and the more eager to have it at 
the greatest distance from as. If you woold have ain purged out and pat 
i^^ay> got your souls possessed with a fear of it, and so represent it to your 
souls as you may see cause to fear it more and more. Yon will not suffer 
that to have a quiet abode in your hearts which you are greatly afraid of. 
Look then upon sin as the most dreadful, the moat formidable evil in the 
whole creation. So it is in itself, so it is declared to be. You have the 
word of God for it ; believe the report of God concerning it ; belieye all the 
experience of the world, which has foond it^so ; believe that which you have 
all reason to believe. 

That is most dreadfiU, most the olject of our fear, which is most danger- 
ous. Now sin is transoeudently so ; so dangerous, as nothing else in the 
world deserves to be thought or called so in comparison. This is the root 
from which all dangers grow. One thing may be dangerous to our health, 
another to our estates, relations, liberty, life. Oh, but sin endangers all. 
Nothing is safe where sin has place. This hazards our tempwal, oar 
spiritual, our eternal concernments; this strikes at all. Nothing could hart 
us ; nor men, nor devils ; nothing could endanger us, if sin did not open their 
way. If sin did not expose ne, our eigoyments, our liberties, our comforts, 
our hopes, were all safe, we need not fear what man could do unto na. The 
foot of pride could not come near us, the hand of the violent could not remove 
us, nay, could not shake us. But what is the wrath of men, poor inc<m- 
siderable worms like ourselves ? This, and this alone, exposes ua to the 
wrath of the great God ; this, and this only, can cast both body and soul 
into hell. We fear where im> fear is in comparison ; we fear a prison, bat 
what is that to hell ! We fear the loss of estate, of relations, of liberty, of 
life, but what is the loss of God*8 fevour, of heaven, of soul and body for 
ever ? It is sin only that brings us in danger of such a loss. 

In fine, whatsoever is dangerous, whatever is dreadful to us, ain made 
it so. It had not been so in itself, or not so to us, but for sin ; and there- 
fore sin is more to be feared than all we fear. There had been, there would 
be, no cause of fear if ain had not beeut or if it were once put away. 


Is it fearfol to have your goals dwell amoDgst lions ? Why, but it is sin 
that transfonns men into saoh ereatores, it is sin that gives tibem the fierce- 
ness of lions. Take away this, and they are tame and harmless creatures ; a 
lamb may play with them without danger ; yon mwy pnt yoor hand into tiie 
mouth of a tame Eon without fear, yon might lie down by them securely 
were it not for sin. 

Are afflictions, losses, sufferings, calamities dreadfhl ? It is sin that first 
let these into the world ; it is sin that still exposes you to them ; it is sin 
that embitters them and makes them grievous ; it is sin that withholds those 
comforts which would quite drown the afflictive sense of any outward suffer- 
ing. And what would there be in it to be £Mured, if the affiictiveness of it 
were gone ? When sin is taken away, the bitterness of these is past. 

Is death^terrible to yon ? Why, but * the sting of death is sin,' 1 Cor. 
XV. 56. You would not fear to have a bee fly into your bosom if the sting 
were gone ; it would hurt no more than an innocent fly. 

Is hell dreadful to you 7 Oh, but it was sin that made hell ; this digged 
the bottomless pit, this bred the worm that never dies, this kindled that fire 
that never goes out ; this feeds those flames, those burnings, and makes 
them intolerable, and makes them everlasting ; but put away sin, and there 
is no fear of hell to you. 

Is the wrath of God terrible to you ? Oh, bat no part of the creation had 
ever known any such thing as wrath in God had it not been for sin, £ph. 
y, 6, Bom. i. 18, Col. iii. 6. 

You see nothing is to be feared but for sin ; so this is to be feared above 
all, nothing else in comparison. This, this is the one thing to be feared, 
without which nothing else is dreadful. Believe but this effectually, and 
according to the evidence you have of it, and you will be as active to purge 
iniquity, to put away sin, as you wonkl be to rid yourselves of all your fefurs, 
and of all that is fearful. 

[8.J Shame. This is another affection which will contribute much to the 
mortifying of sin ; that which we are truly, greatly ashamed of, we are not 
only content to be rid of it, but active to get it removed, and put away far 
from OS. 

^ Look upon your sin as your shame, your greatest, your only shame in 
eomparison, as that which is the shame of the whole creation, the most 
shameful thing in the world. 

Are you ashamed of a filthy garment, of a loathsome defilement, of a 
mcmstroos deformity ? Why, sin is more so in the sight of God than any 
of these, Uian all these together are in our eyes. It is a greater shame to 
yoa than if you were all besmeared with excrements, than if you were over- 
ftpread with scabs and leprosy, than if you had no sound, no straight, no 
comely part in your whole body, but all crooked, or ulcerated, or mens- 
troualy misplaced and dislocated. Thy soul, aa sin has used it, is a more 
ahamefnl sight in the eye of God. 

Are yon ashamed of such weakness or folly as would render you ridicubus 
or despiMd by all yoa converBe with ? (^, but sin is the most shameful 
weakness, the most absurd folly, in the account of God, of angels, and of 
men too, that are truly judicious, and so it is branded by the £^irit of God 
in Scripture. 

Are you ashamed of that which all the world would cry shame of: of 
betraying those that trust you, dealing unfiuthfully with those that rely on 
joa, of being ungrateful to those who shew yon greatest kindness, of ai>ns* 
ing and wronging those who deserve best of yon, of dealuig disingenuously 
wUb those who most oblige you, of being sordidly penurious where you 

280 eoD'8 na> ni sbhdiho CMUJorntB [Isa. XXVIL 9. 

should be most bonntifiil, of ehettling and defirmadiag those who refer them- 
selves to yon? Do your hesrts rise against snoh nnworthy praotioes? 
Would yon blnsh to be ehaiged with any of them, even thoiii^ yon were 
innocent? Oh, but thero is no man deals so nnworthily, so shsmefoUy with 
another, as yon deal with God in sinning agunst him. All the treaeheiyuid 
nnfiulhftiiness, all the frand and injustice, all the ingratitnde, all the disin- 
gennonsness, all the baoopeoo and sordidness which yon cry shame of in the 
world, is to be fbnnd in sin ; yon ave gnilty of it all^towards God when joa 
sin against him. Any one of these is shunef ol alone ; bnt all these meet 
together in sin, and whatever eise calls for shame. Believe this, and work 
it npon yonr hearts, till yon find them rising against sin as the most shame- 
fhl eviL This will make yon willing to have it cmeified, forward to do 
execntion on it yonrselves, when yon are sensible that the pnrging your 
iniquity is the pnigiog of yonr shame, and the taking away of sin the 
taking away yonr reproach. 

[4.] Grief and sorrow for sin* This is another mortifying affsetion 
which will hasten the death of sin. We seek redress of that which is a 
grievance to ns, and will take pains to be eased of it Oh, if sin were 
the grief, the sorrow, the afliiction of yonr sonls, yon would count the 
purging of it out, the taking of it away, a great, a meroiM deUvenuioe. 
No lea than it would have been to the Israelites to have had thoee 
nations driven out before them, which were as pricks in their eyes, utd 
thorns in their sides, and a eontmnal vexation to them in the land ^ere 
they dwelt, Josh, zziii. 18, Num. xxziii. 55. The Lord thon^^t the foie- 
si^t of this might be enongh to quicken them to drive them out in all 
haste ; bnt when they felt what was foretold, they ran all the hazards of 
war to drive them out and be delivered from them. 

Oh, if sin were snoh a grief and sorrow to yonr sonls, snoh a vexitioii 
to your hearts, as it should be, and as it gives yon occasion enon^ to find 
it, yon would count no outward deliverance comparable to a d^veraoee 
from sin. Yon would freely engage your whole strength in a war against 
it for to drive it out ; yon would be restless till these pricks were pulled oat 
of yonr eye, and these thorns plucked out of yonr sides, till that wen 
taken away which is yonr grief and vexation. 

And should not sin be such a grievance to yon ? It is so to Goi 
It grieves him at the heart, Gen. vi. 6, Ps. xcv. 10, Amos ii. IS ; it was 
so to Christ, Mark iiL 5, Isa. liii. 8, 4 ; it is so to the Spirit of (kd, 
£ph. iii. 4 ; it is so to men who have a sense of what is grievous, 2 Peter 
iL 7, 8 ; it is so to the whole oreation. Bom. viii. 21, 22. Is it so to all? 
And shall those who should be most sensible of it be only void of sense? 
Whatsoever is a grievance to ns is either pain or loss, jMtna damm or 
Mennu ; either the loss and want of some comfort, or some sharp suffering. 
For snfierings, this brings them ail, this shsrpens them all ; for losstf and 
wants, this bereaves us of what we lose, and &3b intercepts the supplies of 
what we want ; and this makes holes in the cisterns, and lets onr cooiforta 
run out, and then stops the pipes, that no more can mn in; this laji an 
obstruction at the spring head, Isa. lix. 1, 2. 

If sin were not grievous, because it is a grief to God, a Father of foc^ 
love and indulgence ; because it is so grievous to him who bore onr grie^^ 
because it is such a grief to the Spirit our Comforter ; yet once it is th« 
oanse of all the grievances that be&ll ns, we have cause enongh on this 
account to resent it as the most grievous evil, that which should abore all 
things raise onr grief and command our sorrow. Believe it to be so, and fo 
work up yonr hMrt as yon may find it to be the grief and affliction of jotf 


flonb indeed ; and then yon will be forward and aetiTe to be eased of it, 
yon will think it your happiness to have it purged oat and taken away ; yon 
will see cause to make it the business of your lives to get it mortified. 

[5.J Hatred. This of all other affections has the most powerful and* 
effiMstoal tendency to the mortifying of sin. This will not suffer you to be 
satisfied with anything less than the death of it. That is the nature of 
hatred, as the philosopher shews, when he is declaring the difference betwixt 
anger and hatred, Rhet. lib. ii. cap. ix., 6 /xb /d^ awirdAnv jSouXirai f h^i- 
^tra/f • iifLii thouy he that is angry would have him utterly ruined, would leave 
bim neither life nor being. And again, 6 fiuv voXXwv dv ymfiivotv fXfijtfiv, o 
^' «vdiM(, he that is angry may relent after the inflicting of some severities, 
bat he that hates has no mercy. This hatred will have sin die without 
mercy. Get but your hearts possessed with hatred of sin, and then it is 
dead afaready in the heart, and this will pursue it to the death everywhere. 

To excite this affection, look upon it as that which is truly hateful, as 
that which has all in it that is hatefdl, as that wUch has nothing in it but 
what is hateful. 

It is truly hateful, as being wholly and perfectly evil ; a direct con- 
trariety to ^e chief good ; opposite to his nature, to his wUl, and so hated 
of God, Ps. xlv. 7. He hates sin infinitely, cannot endure to see it; and he 
hates it only, nothing but sin, or nothing but for sin. He hates it irrecon- 
cilably; he may be reconciled to the sinner, but never to the sin, nor to the 
sinner neither, unless he leave sin. That must be extremely hateful, which 
God, who is love, cannot but hate. 

8in has all in it that is hateful. We hate that which is ugly, though it 
be not hurtful ; we hate that which is mischievous, though it be not ugly ; 
bat sin is both ugly and mischievous ; nothing more, nothing so much in the 
whole creation. 

It has nothing in it but what is hateful. It is a mere compound of ugli- 
ness and mischievonsnees, without the least alloy or mixture of anythmg 
comely or commodious. A toad, though the hateihllest of creeping things, 
has something in it, which separated from the poison, is of physical use, but 
sin ia nothing at all but poison. The devil himself, how hatefol soever, yet 
as he is the workmanship of God, is so fiur good, but sin has nothing in it 
of God's workmanship, nothing in it in any sense good ; it is the spawn of the 
devil, and of him, not as he is a creature, but as he is a devil, and so has 
nothing in it but what is purely evil, and absolutely hateful. It has not 
the least touch of comeliness, not anything that may pass with excuse, not 
anything that is tolerably evil, nothing but what is ^to be utterly abhorred. 
Bom. xii. 9. 

Get your hearts so affected towards sb, as that which is so hateful, and 
to be abhorred ; get a true, an active hatred of sin. And that wUl be ^e 
death of sin, wiU lead you readily to purge it out, and so to comply with the 
Lord's end, Ac. Nourish in your hearts this hatred of sin by a frequent view 
of thehatefnlness of it ; keep up this affection Uvely and active, and sm wiU 
have much ado to live by it. . . 

[6.] Revenge. This, though severely forbidden and condemned m oUier 
cases, is called out by the Spirit of God against sin, and commended where 
it appears against it, 2 Cor. vii. 11. There was in the Cormttuans, m 
reference to the sin amongst them, not only sorrow, fear, mdignation, but 
also revenge. And such an affection thero should be in us, mclinmg our 
hearts, and making us eager to come even with sin, to render it evil for evU; 
to deal with it according as it has dealt, or would deal, with us; to be 
avenged of U for the mischief it is continually pbtting and acting against us; 

SM god's wkd in nMMtaxQ caujotibb [Iba. XXVn. 9. 

to Btarre it, m it would starre our booIb; to wtaken it, as it wasted us; io 
wound ifc, as it has wounded na ; to rain it, as it would destroy ne ; to be 
the death of that which woold bereaTe our sonls of life ; to leaye it no pro- 
• visions, no supports, no hopes, as it woold have made our condition hdpleah 
and comfortless, and hopeless ; to spare it no more than it has spared ear 
sools ; to persecnte it as restlessly, as nnweariedly, as it pnrBoes ns. Sadi 
an affectation,* yon see, is the highway to have sin mortified, to ^uge itooi 
as it wonld have had the Lord to have rejected us, and to tarn it away m 
it wonld have provdced God to have put ns away. 

(4.) Get mortifying graces, three especially, love to God, and &ith m 
him, and fear of him. These exercised will have a powerful iuflueBee upon 
heart and life &r the mortifying of sin, will cany you on effectually to eom- 
plianoe with the Lord's end in afflicting, will help yon mightily to puge it 
out, and take it away. 

[1.] Love to God: Ps. zovii. 10, < Those that love the Lord will hate 
evil.* And the more they love him, the more they will hate it ; and Uie 
more degrees of hatred, the more degrees of mortification. The more it is 
abhorred, the more, and the sooner it will be mortified. This will turn the 
wheel upon sin with a quick motion. When love prevails, it will not let joa 
drive on heavily in a course of mortification ; it will make you diligent, 
active, and unwearied in the use of means for this purpose. It will not 
suffer you to think the labour and pains requisite hereto grievous. Yob we 
the power of love in Jacob : says he to Laban, Gen. zzxi. 40, 41 ; all tbis 
hardship he endured, and for many years together, yet love to Bachd aide 
him think the hard measures easy, and the tedious years as a few days, 
Gen. zxix. 20. 

[2.] Faith. If these devils be not cast out, it is because of our unb^. 
Mat. xvii. 19, 20. Other means cannot, the principal cause will not, with- 
out faith. Mat. iz. 22, Acts iii. 10. 

[8.] Fear of God. There is an inconsistency betwixt the fear of God nd 
sin, they cannot dwell together. Where sin reigns, it leaves no plaee fer 
the fear of God ; and where the fear of God preva^, it will leave no place for 
sin : Prov. iii. 7, * Fear the Lord, and depart from evil.' ' The fear of (^ 
is the beginning of wisdom ; ' and wherein that wisdom consists, the ^ 
man tells us: Prov. xiv. 16, * A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil;' 
depart from it as far, and as fast as they can, as from that whieh is hatafol 
to them, Prov. viii. 18. It is visible in Job's character, that this is tbe 
proper effect of the fear of God, Job i. 1. 

Labour for this fear of God, to get it implanted, strengthened, and eier- 
cised, so as you may go out against sin continually under the infiuenoo of 
it. Not a fear of aversation. which makes one shun what he fears, sodi is 
was in our first parents. Gen. iii. 8, 10, and in the Israelites, Dent. v. 24, 25. 
They were afraid, and durst not come near to God, but wanted the due to 
of his majesty, ver. 29, the virtue of whieh is to keep us firem departiDg 
from God, Jer. xxxii. 40. That is the fear of God which tends to the mot- 
tifying of sin ; an obsequious fear, a fear to dish(monr what we ieveraiee» 
to offend what we love, to lose what we highly value, and to suffer by wluU 
we would enjoy. 

If you fear this dishonouring of God, this will lead you to mortify &>• 
as that which alone is a dishonour to him, and robs him of his gk»y, and 
lays him low in the minds, hearts, and ways of the children of men. 

If you fear offending God, this will lead you to purge sin, whieh aleoe 
displeases and provokes him ; this alone he dislikes and is distaikkelul ; this 
Qa. ' aaaectation '?— Ed. 


alone he hates and abhors. Sin it is that affironts him, slights his authority, 
thwarts his designs, erosses his will, breaks his law, makes nothing of his 
commands or tbreatenings. 

If jon fear the withdrawing of his presence or the sense of his &voar, this . 
will lead yon to mortify sin. For it is sin that makes him depart and leave 
yon ; it is sin makes him hide his face, and frown on yon, Isa. lix. 2, 

If yon fear, lest he should not only be, bnt shew himself displeased, by 
threateniogs or executions, this will lead you to mortify sin ; for this is it 
alone which he threatens. This is it for which he afflicts yon, in inward or 
oatward concernments ; this withholds those influences upon which the life, 
strength, growth, fruitfohiess, and aetiveness of your souls depends; this 
draws out his hand to inflict public calamities and personal chastisements. 
Yoor sufferings past, and fears of what is approaching, you owe to sin. 
Judgments and aJlictions should make you fear him : he is a strange child 
who will not fear his fether more, when he has smarted by his displeasure. 
And if yon fear his displeasure, this will quicken yoor proceedings against 
Bin as the cause of it. 

If you fear further seyerity (and such a fear may be filial; for if aserrant 
may fear wrath in a master, much more should a child fear the wrath of his 
lather), this should lead you to mortify sin. * Sin no more, lest a worse 
thing come,' John ▼. 14. Sin, that has brought ahready that which is so 
dreadful to us, will bring something yet worse if it be not mortified That 
which is past is but a spark in comparison of the flame that it will kindle 
hereafter, Heb. zii. 29. If we let sin pass unpurged, unmortified, as others 
do, he will be * a consuming fire' to us, as well as to others. Knowing 
therefore the tenor of the Lord, let us be persaaded to purge out iniquity, 
and put away sin* 

Now to raise this fear. There is scarce anything in God, but a serious 
riew and consideration of it tends to possess the soul with such a fear of him, 
as may engage it to mortify sin, and to get it purged out. Let me touch 
some particulars briefly. 

The glory and exedUncy of God. When Isaiah had a vision of the Lord 
in his g^ofy, Isa. vi. 1-8, this made him look upon his sin as intolerable ; 
he cries out of it, as one undone by it, ver. 5. He is restless till it was 
removed, and taken away, and purged, ver. 6, 7. The Lord is an in£mite 
glozy, and sin is the thing that provokes the eyes of his glory, Isa. iii. 8, 
Dent, xxviii. 68. Get due apprehensions of the glory of his majesty, and 
JOQ wiU judge it intolerable to have that continue in your hearts or lives, 
which is such a provocation in his most glorious eye. It will quicken you 
to get such provoking uncleanness purged out, and quite taken away ; you 
wiU be afraid to have it found about you. That glory wiU strike you with a 
fear of afiitonting it, by that which is so insuflferable, so utterly opposite, so 
proTokingly eontraiy to it 

The almighty power of God. That should strike our souls with a great 
fear of him, xdi fiCo; rw h^^ofumf ri cw^dtw, Arist. Rhet. lib. u. ^p. x. 
We fear those that are poUnt, powerful to do us good or hurt, though they 
be but men like ourselves ; how much more should we dread the mighty 
God, before whom the united powers of aU creatures are but as the might 
of ants or worms to us ? The power of God is laid down in Scnpture as a 
gionnd of fear, Jer. v. 22. Those that wiU not fear such a power are har- 
dened rebeb, ver. 28, or senseless wretches, ver. 21 ; Ps. tavi. 4-7. WiU 
you provoke such a power to anger, before whom, provoked, no mature, 
how mighty soever, can stand ? Why, if sin be not mortified, if it be not 
puiged and taken away, you retain that which incenses him ; you ofier that 


to the sight of the great and mighty God oontinaally, which is soeh a pro- 
▼ooation to him. 

The holviess and purity of Ood, He is * glorious in holiness,' Exod. 
XV. 11. This was one of those glories, Isa. vi., which Istrack the prophet 
with such a fear, and gave him such a sense of the impnritj of sin, and his 
oncleanness by reason of it, that he thought it unsufferable for him to sUnd 
before God, and himself incapable of being employed by him, till his imqnity 
was puiged and taken away. Hab. i. 18, his holiness is such he eunot 
endure Uie sight of sin. Rev. iii. 15. You keep that in his si^t whieh is 
intolerable for him to see ; while you do not purge it out, and g^t it taken 
away. If you do not mortify it, you keep that aliye in his eye which he 
loathes and abhors to see. The fear of God, where it is, will not suffer 
this ; and due apprehensions of his glorious holiness will excite in yon soeh 
a fear. 

The omniseienoe of Ood^ Ps. exxxiz. 1, 2, 8, Ac. This duly oonsid^ 
will strike you with an holy dread of the divine majesty, such as will hastes 
the death of sin. If there be something yery offensive, to one whom yon 
otherwise stand in awe of, yet so long as you can hide it out of his sight, 
you fear not. Oh but there is nothing hid from God, nor can be. The 
secrets of your hearts are no secrets to him ; they are atf plain and open to 
him as the highway is to you. That which no other sees, or can see, is as 
visible and conspicuous to him as if it were writ with a sunbeam ; eTei; 
secret evil is an open wickedness to his eye. That which yon act or thisi^ 
in most secret retirement, is no more concealed from him than that vfaieh 
is openly proclaimed. All is manifest in his sight, all are naked and open 
to lus eyes, Bev. ii. 28, 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. You can take no course vith 
sin, but you will be an offence and provocation to God unless you mortifj 
it. There is no hiding of it, no hopes of concealment, no way to avoid this, 
but by purging it out, &c. This you will do if you fear God ; and doc 
apprehensions of his aU-seeing eye will make you fear him. God is «Xk 
If&aKfLOi^ all eye ; and such an eye as sees all things. 

The immensity of God. His is everywhere, Ps. exxxiz. 7-18. He that 
stands in some awe of one when he is present, may less regard him whea he 
is absent ; and sometimes absent he will be, and so the fear abated sad 
remitted. But God is never absent, nor can be ; he is always as present with 
thee as thou art with thyself. He is as much with thee in secret as whea 
thou art in public ; as much with thee in thy closet as in the street; as 
much present in thy heart as he is in heaven (though in another manDtf )• 
He possesseth the reins ; he is always as near ^ee as thy heart; as intrinstf 
to thee, as much within thee, as thy very soul is. 

k So that if sin be not mortified, if it be not purged out and taken avaj, 
take what course thou wilt with it, act it where ^ou wilt, imagine it hot 
never so secretly, it will always be in God's presence. Thou wilt alwaji 
provoke him ; as that servant would provoke thee who would BtUl lay soxae 
dunghill or some carrion in thy bedchamber, or in thy closet, or some loath* 
some thing or other always in thy way. If thou feitfest God, thou wilt not 
use him thus ; this will put thee upon purging out sin, and if thou believafii 
his immensity, thou canst not but fear him. 

His dominion over us. He has foil and absolute propriety in us, and 
power over us. We are his, not our own, as much as any work of ov 
hands is ours. He may dispose of us as ^he pleases. Shall I not do with 
my own as I will ? We are in his hands, as clay in the hands of the 
potter ; he may form us for his use, or he may break us ; and none can say 
unto bun, What dost thou ? Now this is a just ground of &ar, feCf^ K 


fvivoXv rh W SXkf Inatn Ke that is in the power of another is fearful of 
him. We are nothing so much in the power of any other, and therefore 
should fear nothing like him, Mat. x. 28. It is perfect madness, snch as 
speaks the absence of ^fear and wit, to retam'that which will be a continual 
offence and provocation to him, who may do with us what he list ; bat this 
yon will do, this yon will retain, if sin be not mortified, &c. The fear of 
God, where it is, will not suffer this ; and there will be fear, where there is 
a sense of his absolute dominion over us. 

His righteoumess. That is another ground of fear, Job xzxvii. 28, 24. 
He will not afflict without just cause, but he will afflict where there is such 
cause. He renders to every one according to his works. The rule by which 
he proceeds is his law, and his proceeding according to that law is his right- 
eousness. He is able, as we shewed before, and he is willing. His righteous- 
ness makes him willing to express his displeasure, when he has just occasion ; 
and occasion he will ever have till sin be mortified. So that the neglect of this 
will lay you continually under imminent danger, dijXov yik^ in /3o6Xoyrai ri 
Mas dwfavrou wtfTf rf iyyug itci roD voiiTit, Arist. ibSl. That which any are willing 
and able to do, is ready to be done ; so that God's displeasure is always in 
pracwctUf always ready to break out against you ; yea, more and more of 
it, than has yet seized on you, while sin is unmorUfied. If there be any 
fear of God, or his displeasure, it will quicken you to the mortifying of it. 
And where there is a due sense of his righteousness and justice, there will 
be this fear. 

Ths goodness of God also should excite this fear, and gives it a most 
advantageous rise in any ingenuous temper, Hosea iii. 5. Those that have 
tasted how gracious the Lord is, and have had experience of his infinite 
goodness, will be afraid to dishonour, offend, or provoke him, else they are 
of a base, disingenuous spirit. The highest expressions of goodness and 
mercy should raise this fear of offending to the height, Ps. cxxx. 4 ; even 
common favours oblige the soul to such a fear, Jer. v. 24, Ps. Ixxii. 6, and iv. 
Has the Lord forgiven those injuries and affronts, against which his just 
indignation might have flamed forth for ever ? And shall I harbour that 
which will again afiont and provoke him ? An ingenuous spirit recoils from 
this as a thing frightful and shameful. Does he withhold no good thing from 
me ? And would he have me but to part with sin, to put away this one thing 
for his sake, as that which his soul hates ? And shall I not get this put 
»waj ? This is fearful disingenuousness. The goodness, the forgiveness, 
yea, the common bounty of God, is apt and proper to beget, in those who are 
acted by the free Spirit of Christ, such a fear as will be the death of sin. 

ThsjudgmenU of Qod. These, indeed, are not the first, nor the principal 
groonds of the fear of God ; but yet, in their place and order, even those 
should teach us that £Bar of the Lord which hastens on the work of mortifi- 
cation ; and if we leam it not thereby, those judgments are not duly improved 
by ns, Ps. cxix. 118-120, and Eph. iii. 6, 7 ; and that none may suspect it 
to be a legal temper, Bev. xv. 8. This should be the effect of judgments 
apon others ; much more, when they are amongst and on ourselves, and we 
involved in them, according to that, Luke xxiiL 40. It is the voice of severe 
proceedings to every of us ; wilt thou not set thyself agamst sin, when 
it has brought thee into the same condemnation ? When God is smiting 
sin with the sword of justice, he teaches us, and, as it were, guides our 
hands to wound it with Uie weapons of mortification. Shall we dare to spare 
it or harbour it, when we see God himself severely prosecuting it ? If we 
fear God, we will not dare to do it ; and when will we fear, if not when he 
appears terrible ? We should leam righteousness by his judgments, Isa. 


xxvi. 9 ; and mortifyiag of sin is the first part of this lesson, without which 
the other can ne^er be learned to purpose. 

Make use both of those other peHections of God and also of his judgments, 
to possess yon with awful apprehensions of God; and walk under the sense 
and power of sueh apprehensions, so as they may influence you in your act- 
ings and endeavours against sin, for the purging of it out, and getting of it 
taken away. The fear of God is destructiTe of sin; it will not suffer yon to 
think yourselves safe, unless sin be mortified. 

(5.) Mortifying means, those which the Lord has appointed for this end. 
Make use of those weapons wherewith the Scriptures furnish you; use them 
daily, carefully, conscientiously, diligently; let it be the business and design 
of your lives. Look upon it as part of your work every day, and make 
account you have not done the work which God calls you to, and employs 
you in every day, if you have not done something against sin. Every day 
should help on the work of mortification, but especially days of affliction ; 
then, if ever, the work should go on apace, otherwise they will be days of 
blackness indeed. 

Let this be your chief eare, as being your great concernment. Make con- 
science of it, as that which yon are highly obliged to ; and what you do 
against sin, do it with all your might, with all diligence. Imitate the 
apostle, 1 Cor. ix. 26. Paul did not use Back weapons as were only for 
exercise, such as they call lusoria; he did not make a flourish, and only best 
the air, with an intent only to shew his skill, not to hurt his adversary; he 
did not ventilare^ but pugnare; he did fight in good earnest, as for life and 
death ; his weapons were such whereby he might kill sin, and get it quite 
subdued, ver. 27. 

More particularly, [1.] make use of the word. That is a most powerfol 
eogine for the overthrowing of sin ; it is called * the sword of the Spirit,' and 
the Lord has put it into your hands on purpose to do execution upon ain. 
It is one of those weapons which are * not carnal, but mighty through God 
to the pulling down of sin*s strongholds, casting down imaginations, and 
every high thing that exalteth itself i^^ainst the knowledge of God, and 
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,* 2 Cor. 
X. 4, 6. 

Every part of the word is powerful, and should be made use of for this 

First, Commands ; such as that, Isa. i. 16 ; and that, Col. iii. 5. There 
IS authority in sueh commands, engaging us to fight when we would draw 
back, or loiter, or spare ourselves ; and so sin is cut off firom the adnuitages 
it. might here gain upon us. 

And there is encouragement in them. They are like the voice of a general, 
calling on his troops to charge ; this rouses their courage and spirits, espe- 
cially when they know he will second them, and is never wont to come off 
without victory. 

And there is a virtue goes along with the commands, to a heart that wiS 
comply therewith, empowering to do what is commanded. It is not a bare, 
empty word ; but a word of power and efficacy, through the concurrence and 
assistance of the Spirit enabling to do what it enjoins : ' He said, Let there 
be light, and there was light,* his word effected what he said ; * He sent oot 
his word, and healed them,* Ps. cvii. 2 ; * He commanded, and it was done,' 
Pd. xxxiii. 9. His commands to us will be as effbctual, through the working 
of his Spirit and power, when we make due use of them. 

Let the command be often in your minds ; lay your hearts and consciences 
under the authority of it; comfdy with it, as if yon heard bis voice, and b^ 


it from his own moath ; as thou^ yoa heard him thereby ealling on yon to 
ebarge, as though you saw him ready to second you, and make yoa assuredly 
Tictorious by h^ soccessful conduct. Bemember, it is he tluit calls upon 
Tou, who will stand by you, and make you more than conquerors, if yoa 
flinch Dot, and betray not yourselyes. 

Secondly, The threatenings. These are as a sacrificing knife at the throat 
of sin, as ooirosives, threatenings against sin. These shew it is condemned 
to die ; they are the sentence of death passed by the Lord upon it ; and 
hence you may be assured he is ready to assist you in the execution. 
Threatenings against those who do not mortify it: Bom. viii. 18, if you do 
not die to the flesh, you shall die. A threatening belicTed and applied 
elo8e to the heart, and kept there by serious and seirere thoughts of it, 
deads the heart to sin. It quells inclinations to it ; quashes thoughts of 
harbooriDg or sparing it ; confutes all the promises and flattering pretences 
of gin, by which it pleads for life and further entertainment ; makes them 
appear to be lies and delusions ; and shews, that not what sin offers or 
makes fair show of, but the quite contrary, will come to pass, and must be 
expected ; and so cuts oflf all hopes and expectations of any true pleasure, 
or real advantage, or anything else desirable, to be had by sin ; by which 
hopes it maintains itself, and is kept aUve in deluded souls. And when 
these expectations are given up, and these hopes expire, the heart of sin is 
broken, and the heart of the sinner dies to it ; and so far as the heart dies 
to it, so far sin is mortified, for its life is bound up therein. There is enough 
in tiie threatening so to embitter sin as no delight can be taken in it ; it 
holds forth the wrath and displeasure of God as tibiat which will be the issue 
of sin, instead of any advantage which it deceitfully offers, and so leaves you 
not the sight of anything for which sin should be suffered to live ; but shews 
all reason why it should die, presses the soul against it, enforces and hastens 
to the execution of it. Even in the heat of temptation, a threatening 
dQly apprehended and thought on would be as water to a kindliog fire ; it 
cheeks it, damps it at first, and continuing to pour it on, in fine, will extin- 
guish iL 

Believe but the threatening, and yon will not believe, you will not regard 
what sin pleads for its life. The reason why it escapes and is forborne, is 
because we beheve sin rather than God ; the threateniog, if mixed with £uth, 
would lead sin to execution, without delay, without mercy. 

Thirdly, The promises. These contribute much to the mortifying of sin, 
2 Peter i. 4, 2 Cor. vii. 1. The promises have not only the force of an 
argument, bat a real efficacy to this purpose ; they have a powerful influence 
upon the children of promise, in their engagements against sin. These raise 
their spirits, heighten ikeir courage, inspire them with resolution ; and how 
much courage and resolution will prevail, even in those who are overpowered 
with strength and numbers, the world is full of experiments. These give 
them fuU assurance of divine assistance, of present relief when they are dis- 
tressed, of all refreshment when they are ready to faint, and of a glorious 
issue of the conflict in victoiy and triumph. Here they may have a vision 
of the Lord of hosts engaging with them ; of the Captain of their salvation, 
Jesus, ever victorious, leading them on ; and of his Spirit teaching their 
hands to war and their fingers to fight Uie Lord's battles ; such as are so 
unquestionably. Li them you may hear the voice of God himself, speaking 
to you eomibrtable and encouraging words indeed, Isa. xli. 10-15. 

Here is ground enough of confidence that we shall overcome, if we endea- 
vour it And then what glorious things they are assured of who overcome I 
Rev. iL 7, 17 and iii. 5, 12, 21. Here is enough, considered and believed. 

238 ood'b bnd in bxndino oalamitxes [Isa. julyu. 9. 

to strengthen the weak hands and the feeble knees, and to raise the fiunteet 
to snob a height of conrage as will bear down all opposition. 

And further, the promises ont-bid what sin wonld bribe ns with to spare 
it ; and shews that in comparison there is nothing it tempts ns with bot 
trifles, shadows, and vain empty shows ; that it wonld defeat ns of flie 
inestimable treasures in the mines of the great and preeions promises, and 
put ns off with a feather or a bauble ; and so they engage ns to proceed 
against it, as an unparalleled cheat and a pernicious deceiyer. 

[2.] Cut off the provisions of sin. Those by which it is nourished and 
maintained, kept in life and strength, and enabled to hold out against joo. 
When an enemy is strongly seated, so as there is no storming nor mider- 
mining him, the way to subdue him is to fire his stores, cut off his water, 
intercept his convoys and provisions. Such a course shoidd you take against 
sin ; if yon would subdue it, you must starve it, Bom. xiii. 14. Obsene 
what it is that kindles lust, maintains sensuality, upholds worldlinee, 
nourishes pride, or any other evil that you are subject to, and let these be 
removed. Gratify not your corruptions herein, and you take the course to 
starve them. Take away the fuel, and the fire will go out. 

U»0 2. For information. From hence we may give an account vbj 
troubles and afflictions befidl the people of God. This is it which hasmneh 
amazed both those that were acquainted with God, and the heathen too ; 
that those who are best meet with hard measures in this life. But con- 
sidering that those who are best are not perfect, and that there is a mixture 
of evil in those that are good, and that afflictions are the means to free tka 
from that evil, it need be no wonder that the best are afflicted. The providence 
of God is not hereby impeached, but rendered more glorious ; the vnsdom and 
goodness of it is herein conspicuous. It is not because the Lord regards not 
human affairs, or cares not what befalls his creatures, but because he has a 
special care of his people, and sees it needfril, considering what the com- 
plexion of their souls is by reason of sin, to exercise them with affiietioos. 
He does it not without cause, he has a design therein suitable to his infinite 
wisdom. This end is expressed in the text ; it is to purge their iniqnitj, 
tc. Sin is as rust upon their spirits, it must be filed off, and this cannot 
be done ordinarily without sharp tools. There is chaff mixed with the wheat, 
corruption with their graces ; there needs a rough wind to separate them. 
There is dross in the best metal, there needs a furnace or a fining pot to msk 
it out. There are distempers in their souls, which impair their health, and 
endanger spiritual life ; there is need of physio to purge them out. Afflic- 
tions are such physic, administered by the great physician of souls for this 
end, that hereby their iniquity may be purged. 

2. And from hence we may give an account why their afflictions are their 
ordinary fere ; so that it is the complaint of some, which was the Palmist's. 
Ixxiii. 14, ' All the day long have I been plagued, and chastened ereij 
morning.' Sickly tempers must have a physical diet ; to purge spring and 
fall will scarce secure some from the malignity of their distempers. The 
Lord knows our firame, and sees what is usually needful for every temper ; 
and when he afflicts most frequently, he does no more than needs must, than 
he sees requisite for the purging of sin. 

3. We may see also from hence why the troubles of the righteous an 
many, and why they are grievous. It is because less is not enough to attam 
the end. A gentle purge will not move every body, and that which works 
not may do more hurt than good. A wise physician will give that whiefa 
will work, though it make his patient sick at heart in worUng. Is it not 
better he should do it than let him die ? A fether that will not have hii 


ehOd undone will give many stripes, when fewer will not serve the torn. 
When a slower fire will not serve the refiner's end, he heats the fomace 
hotter and hotter. The people of God are not ' in heaviness through mani- 
fold temptations/ but * if need be ;' as the apostle expresses it, 1 Peter i. 6. 
And need there is, if fewer and easier will not purge our iniquity. 

4. We may learn also firom hence why troubles and afflictions are con- 
tinued, and drawn out to a great length, why means for removing them are 
ineffectual, and hopes of deliverance is blasted. Why is the metd kept long 
in tiie fire, but because it is not soon refined ? The Lord ' afflicts not 
willingly, nor grieves the children of men ; * he delights not to protract our 
troubles ; it is we that prolong them, because we continue unpurged, unre- • 
fined, unmortified. He shews us the way to shorten, and put an end to 
them quickly. Let us but comply with his design, and get our iniquity purged, 
&e., and deliverance will come speedily. The God of our salvation will 
eon^e, and will not tarry. It is we that make him slow, and obstruct the 
way of deliverance ; and if we should still delay, if he should cause our car- 
eases to &11 in the wilderness, if he should cause us to consume our days in 
troubles, it is because, Jer. vi. 29, ' the bellows are burnt, the lead is con- 
somed by the fire,' but we are not purged. 

Use 8. For instruction. If the end of afflictions be the purging of ix^iquityy 
this teaches, 

1. Patienee and contentment under afflictions. No reason to munnur 
or repine, or to give way to any sallies of impatience, or expressions of 
discontent, whatever our troubles be, how many, how sharp, how long soever. 
Will yon not be content the Lord should cure you, and proceed in that 
method which his wisdom sees best and most efiectual for that purpose ? 
While yon are under afflictions, you are under cure ; and is it not better to be 
under cure, though the method seem unpleasing, than to be left languishing 
nnder soul distempers without remedy ? Such lancing is painful. Oh, but 
what is the end of it ? It is not to let out your blood, but to let out your 
corruption. Should yon not be content to submit to any course of physic 
to free yoQ fron) desperate distempers, when infinite wisdom prescribes it 
too ? ' The cup that my Father gives me,' &c., John xviii. 11. What though 
it be a cup of trembling, and flei^ and blood shrinks at it ? Yet it is a Fatl^r 
that mingled it. Though the ingredients be bitter, they are wholesome. It 
is to free yon firom the danger of deadly poison ; such poison is that iniquity 
which the Lord hereby is purging out. He is hereby whipping out of you 
that folly which is bound up in your hearts. Oh, that is a foolish child 
indeed, of no understanding, who had rather have his folly than the rod, 
that had rather be ruined than smart a little. 

2. Cheerfnlness under afflictions. Let not your spirits sink under them, 
though they may be heavy and tedious. Bear up cheerfully ; faint not when 
you are rebuked, fidl not into despondency. Look to the Lord's end in all 
severe proceedings ; though affliction in itself be grievous, yet the end 
thereof is not so, that is matter of joy rather, 2 Cor. iv. 16. What though 
the receipt be bitter, it is to make me well ; it is to heal my languishing and 
diseased soul ; it is to purge out that which is my greatest misery. 

8. Thankfnlness. H the Lord should correct us merely for his pleasure, 
we ought to be contented ; but since he chastens us for our profit, we ought 
to be thankful. Oh what cause is there of thankfulness, when we are 
assured that we are chastened of the Lord, that wo may not be condemned 
with the world; that he chastens us that we may be thereby freed from that 
corruption for which the world will be condemned, and which would be our 
eondenmation also if it were not purged out ; to chasten us, to make us 

240 O0D*8 mD IK SENDDfO CMSJJtniKB. [IflA. XXVII. 9. 

Bmtft a little ; thereby to t^ee ns firom the grettteat, the most dnadfol, ibe 
most deadly evil ; to free ns from ain, an e^ ineomparably worse tkaa the 
extremity of all outward snfferings ; and to free ns from condemnatiaQ, in 
comparison of which all the calamities of this life are bat as the prick of a 
pin. Ob, who wonld not be thankful for such ft core in soch a way 1 The 
most afflicted condition on earth, ordered for the purging of sin, is incom- 
parably a greater mercy than the most prosperous and ionrishing conditioo 
in the world with an unpurged soul. Oh bless the Loiti for those woondi, 
how deep soever they pierce into your estates, health, liberty; if ihey let 
out the corruption of your hearts, if they take away your sin, yon will see 
cause to bless the Lord for them to eternity. 

4. To love the Lord. Even his chastening of us should provoke to Ion 
him ; for he afflicts us not to satisfy his anger, but to do us good ; to pmge 
our iniquity, i. e. to free us from the very worst of evils. So that he afflicts 
us not as an enemy, but as a &ther ; not because he hates as, and would be 
revenged .of us, but because he loves us, and would render us capable of 
more and greater expressions of his love, by freeing us from that which 
renders us unlovely, and abstracts the current of his loving-kindness. Herein 
are those affectionate expressions verified, * As many as I love,' Ac So 
infinite is his love, that it breaks forth where we could least expect it, em 
in judgment he remembers mercy ; even when we think him most aagrr. 
when he makes us smart, he is expressing love ; he is taking away onr on, 
and therewith our misery. Now, love calls for love again : * We love himt 
because he loved us first.' We are obliged to love him, wherever he shews 
love to us. If we love not him that we find loves us, we are worse this 
publicans ; for they, the worst of sinners, do so. 

Oh let us love him, not only because he spares us, because he shoven 
down mercies on ns, because he sent his Son to die and suffer for as, bat 
because he makes us suffer, because he afflicts out of so much love as to taki 
away our sin. Oh he has not such a love for the world, as he has far hii 
children, when he seems most severe in afflicting them. 

5. To trust him. He has declared that by this onr iniquity shall be 
purged, that this is his end and design in afflicting. Let us then beliew 
that this is his end, and that it shall be accomplished ; let us believe that 
it shall be to his afflicted people according to his word* that by this oar 
iniquity shall be purged, that * this shall be the fruit to take away oar sin/ 
A soul that duly values so great a mercy, as the subduing of his imqnitj. 
and the mortifying of his sins, will be ready to say. Oh, if I were but son 
that this would be the issue of my sufferings and afflictions, I should oot 
only be patient and contented with them, but would be dieerfnl under them, 
and thankful for them, and love the Lord for inflicting thesa. But this is 
my fear, they will not have this effect upon me. Why, but what assoraaoa 
can you desire to encourage your fiuth, and to secure you &om this distrost- 
fill fear, more than is here given you ? You have for it the word of him who 
is truth itself, on his part; heaven and earth shall perish, rather than one 
tittle of it shall fail of performance, ii you be not wanting to yourselvea ; if 
you walk in the way laid open to you, and use the means I have giren en 
account of ; if you wait on the Lord, and keep his way, assuredly his word 
will be made good, < By this shall your iniquity be purged ; and this shall 
be the fruit, to take away your sin.' 


Many will toy to me in thai day^ Lord^ Lord^ have we not prophesied in thy 
name/ and in thy name have cast out devils / and in thy name done many 
wonderful works/ And then wUl I prof ess unto them, J never knew you: 
depart from me, ye that work iniquity, — ^Mat. VII. 22, 28, 

Tbksk wotds are part of Christ's sermon on the moont* The latter part 
of it he applies for oonyictiony the conTiction of hypoerites, those that pre* 
tend to be what thejar^not. These are-of three sorts: 

1. These are so apparently, both to themselyes and others, who pretend 
thej are Christians, bat are so no further than in ontwerd profession* They 
bear the name, bat express not the thing ; saoh as the apostle speaks of, 
who profess they know God, &o., Tit. i. 16 ; profess they Ioto Christ, bat 
in their actions cr«eify him ; live in known sins, in yisibk wiokedness : so 
aa their own consciences may testify to themseWes, and their conTersations 
do testify to others, they are no Christians indeed ; they haye nothing of 
the reality, and they are a reproach to the name. There is a risible con 
tradietion betwixt the words whereby they profess it, and their actions and 

2. Some are so apparently to themselyes, bat not to others. Those wh 
luiTe the ontward lineaments, but want the sool of Christianity ; and either 
are, or easily may be> oonscioas to it. Bach an hypocrite is a stage-player 
in Christianity. He outwardly acts the part of a Christian, has hui words, 
and garb, and gestures, and actions ; but look within him, and he is quite 
another tlung. The description of hypocrites which Christ giyes us, agrees 
ezaeUy to him : outwardly he is like a whited sepulchre, but within full of 
dj&ad bones and rottenness. He has a form of godliness, but denieth the 
power thereof. 

8. Those that are so apparently neither to themselves nor others, but are 
8o really, and in the sight of God. They may account themselves sincere 
Cbrisiians, for some slight resemblance ; and they may be so accounted by 
others, for their outward conformity to the burs of Christ, and yet in Christ's 
aeconxit they may be workers of iniquity, such as he will not own hereafter 
as his people. Of this last sort are the hypocrites in the text. He spoke 
these words for the conviction of such, and so we shall endeavour to handle 
them. In pursuance hereof, we observe three things: 1, their presump- 

YOSs. XX. Q 

242 - TBB OOirVXCTZON OF HTP00BITB8. [MlT. VII. 22, 28. 

tion; 2, their plea;.8| tl^ir doom. Their presumption; they pennide 
themseWes that heaven is theirs. Thej pat in their plea for it at the btf of 
Christ ; argae with him as though it ^ere not equal, not just, that thej 
should be exelnded, so confident are uxej of salTation. Henee, 

Obs, Many think themselves sure of heaven, when it is sure they shall 
never oome tiiere. Many are persuaded they shall enter into heaven, whom 
Christ is resolved to shut out of it. This is clearly implied in the text ; jct 
because it is but implied, I shall not much msist on it ; and it is not that 
which I principally aimed at. Only it will be necessary to take notice of the 
grounds of this wofdl mistake, that they may be avoided. And they an 
such as these : 

(1.) Ignorance and inadvertency. There are many who know not, or at 
least consider not, what is necessary to bring a soul to heavan ; where the way 
lies, and what Chjrist requires of those that weuld enter into it. They ecm- 
sider not that there must be regeneration ; that ' unless a man be hon 
again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God ;' that there must be a nev 
creation ; that the new Jerusalem is only for new creatures. There must 
be an universal change in'every part of the soul, in the whole course of their 
lives ; that old things must pass away, and all things become new ; mv 
heart, and new way. There must be a holiness in the life, growth, power, 
and exercise of it ; that * without holiness no man shall see' the Lori.' 
There must be self-denial ; a denying of their own wisdom, will, hnmou, 
interests. A renouncing of the world ; they must be crucified to the world; 
they understand scarce what it is to be crucified. Mortification p they mwt 
mortifythe flesh with the afiections and lasts ; die daily. ' A taking op the 
cross : that if any man will come after Christ, thai it may cost him teait, 
sighs, bonds, imprisonment, his estate, his relations, his limbs, his blood, 
his life, and all; thai he must be folly resolved to be at the espenaa, 
whenever there is occasion ; that it requires all diligence, 2 Pet. L ; that he 
must sftrive, and break through all difficulty, what sweat and toil soever it 
t . cost to crowd in, Luke xiii. 24; that he must wrestle, emptey all his strength, 

\ Eph. vi. 12. ; that he must run, put out all his tnight, so run as he may 

obtain ; that he must fight, be-in a continual war, fight the good fight; 
. that he must beat his body, 1 Cor. ix. 27 ; that he must take heafen hy 

' force, if he will have it. If they did know and consider this, they would aot 

be confident of heaven, when they are strangers to these Uiings whith an 
^ required of all those for whom heaven is intended. 

(2.) Negligen4ie, tlothfidnese. If they know these things, yet will not tab 
the pains to examine their state by them, they will not tte at the tsoabld to 
compare their hearts with the rule. They will not spare a few hours serioosly 
I to inquire whether they come up to what the word requires* 

I Alas, for the wretched carelessness of men as to. their own souls, and theb 

everlasting state I One that seriously observes, would think tJutt the greatest 
t)art of people amongst us are either atheists or madmen ; eith^ they beliete 
not that there is a God, or that the Scriptures are his word; or that their 
souls are immortal ; or that there is a state of everlastii\g misery or happi* 
ness for every one after death ; or that there are evideiiees in the word, by 
which they may know whether they shall be eternally damned or saved. Either 
they believe not these things, aad so are plain atheists ; or if they believe 
there is such a God, and such a soul, and such an eternd state, and snch a 
word wherein they may have directions to know whether their sools are 
bound for heaven or hell, would they not make use df these direction t 
Would they not spare some hours io examine seriously whether heaven or 
hell be their portion? Would thej not do this presently ? Would they not do 

Mat. Vn. 22, 28.] tbb ooviviotion of htpochutes. 248 

it seriooslj, as a matter of eternal life or death reqcures, if they were not mad* 
men indeed, if they were not quite bereaved of all spiritual sense and reason ? 
No ; rather thaii they will thas trouble themselves, they will take it upon 
trust that they shall go to heaven, when, alas, tiiey have 4io |px>und for a 
trust bat what Satan suggestii, or their own deceitful hearts prompts them ; 
and thus ihey hang the whole weight of eternity upon a cobweb ; and thus 
they pin the everksting eoncemments of their souls upon a shadow, as 
though it would hang there safe enough, where it can have no hold at all. 
Would any do this but a madman 9 What 1 trust without trial in a matter 
of eternal consequence to body and souU What need I put myself .to this 
trouble ? I will trust God with my soul, say some ; what need I take any 
care further 7 Bat alas, wretched creature ! this is not to tmst God, but to 
trust Satan with the soul ; and oh what a wofal account will he give thee of 
it one day f Now, when men ere so careless of their souls, when they will 
not trouble themselves to inquire after their eternal state, no wonder if they 
be 80 wofuBy mistaken ta to promise themselves heaven, when nothing but 
hell is reserved for them. 

(8.) Self-love. This possesses men with a good conceit of themselves, a 
good opinion of their auouls' condition ; so that if they come to examine th^r 
state, or be called to try it in the public ministry, they come to the work 
prepossessed. Self-love will not puffer them to deal impartially with their 
souls ; they catch greedily at anything that seems to make for them, and 
are careful to stave off everything that would make against them ; or, if fhey 
cannot yet put such a favourable construction on it, as partial men will do 
when they are resolved to defend a bad cause, they look upon that word as 
an enenry, that would shake the rotten pillars of a false hope. They deal 
with it as the prophet did with the king*s messenger, nmke sure to shut him 
out. As self-love makes them flatter themselves, so they would have the 
void of God to flatter them ; they love not plain, searching, awakening 
truths ; they will have a good opinion of themselves, whatever be said to the 
contrary. They say, as Laodicea, thafr they are * rich and increased,' &c., 
though Christ in the ministry say the contrary, they are * poor, wretched,' 
&c. Though this be plamly manifested, yet self-love makes them both 
unable and unwilling to diseem it. A blind man cannot judge of colours ; 
and self-love blinds them, they cannot judge of the complexions of soul, 
whether the features, the characters of heaven or hell be on it ; care not 
for looking in a true glass lest the visage of their soul, if truly represented, 
should trouble them. Satan blinds one eye, and self-love closes the other, 
and the deceitfalness of sin seals both. No wonder if they call darkness 
light, dee. ; no wonder if they fancy themselves in the way to heaven when 
they are in the high f Oad to hell. The blind leads the blind, you know what 
will be the issue ; no won4er if when they think they shall be safe ashore in 
heaven, and their,feet near the very banks of happiness, at that very moment 
they are falling into the ditch. 

(4.) Mitappp^fhermons of God, If light and conviction proceed so far as to 
discover to a smne^ that he comes short of the rule, and that what the word 
calls for, as necessaiy to salvation, is not to be found in him ; if he cannot 
misapprehend his own state any longer, rather tbaa he will quit hi^ vain 
deceiving hopes, he will misapprehend God and think him more merciful 
than the word represents him. It is true, says the sinner, in this case, the 
rule is strict and the way to heaven seems to be strait, and much is required 
of a sinner that he may be saved, and I am to seek in this or that ; but dod 
iB mereifhl, and he may save me, though J find not this or that which seems 
to be required. Though I allow myself in this or that sin, and fall into it 

244 nxE OOKYICTION OF HYPOojarsB, [Mat. YII. 22, 28. 

now and then, why il ia hnt a litUe une, and God is graciomi, he is cot 80 
Btriot and rigid as some would make him. What though I be not so strict 
and precise as some others, mast none be saved but snch as theyf God 
forbid. Thoogh I come not np to the mle, God is gadons, he may dispense 
with me, I may be saved as well as the best of them. 

Bat alas, poor deluded sinner ! ii here be aU thy hopes, ihy ease is 
hopeless. Will God be so mereifol as to contradict himself and go eontniy 
to his word ? Will he shew thee so much mexey as to neglect his truth? 
Will he save thee when he cannot do it without making himself a lisr f 
Doest thoa not tremble to see that thon hast noChingto bear up tl9lu)pes 
of heaven bat plain blasphemy? 

If then find not what he reqaires as necessary to salvation, if he should 
•ave thee withont it, he shoold deny himself, abandon his truth. Doet thoa 
think he will make himsdf no God that he may make thee happy ? Oh, 
how sad is thy case, when even as thyself has stated it, thou hast do hopes 
of heaven, but upon such terms as ths very thought of them (Reserves hell 
for ever ! 

(5.) They have many vain ani msvfficimt plm$ for their salvation. (Tbt 
leads me to the seoond part of the text.) 

2. The hypocrite's plea. That is express. They have many things to 
allege for themselves why they should be admitted into heaven. Let u 
survey them a little. 

Their first plea is in the word Lobd : that includes much. It is of tli« 
like import as the same word, ver. 21. This denotes that they did aeknov- 
ledge and profess Christ, acknowledge him as their Lord, and profess him 
aealously, so some explain it; or that they did pray unto him, that thej 
prayed freqfuently and fervently, as the doubling of the word, Lord, Lfri, 
intimates, and that they did believe on him as their Lord. They had sonK 
fiuth, either of assent, affiance, or both. 8o Chrysostom and others. Fii. 

Have we not pwphesied f &c. Here is their next plea; and pn^esjicg 
in Scripture is preaching: 1 Cof. xiv. 8, * He that prophesieth speakeih onto 
men, to edification, exhortation, consolation ;' or praying: Gen. ix. 7, 'Hd 
is a prophet, and when he shall pray for thee ;* or singing: 1 Ghron. xxr. l 
so probably it may be taken, 1 Cor. xi. 5 ; or foretelling things to com'- 
that is the ordinary acceptation of the word ; or for explaining lie propheti- 
cal writings. 

Now, }£ we take it in its full latitude, their plea is fuller : thej hid 
preached Christ, explained the prophecies concisming him ; they had pnjed 
to him, and sung his praises ; and by his Spirit had foretold things to come, 
for the confirmation of his truth and doctrine. 

And in thy name east out devils. By the power of Christ they had dispos- 
sessed Satan, and in a nliraculous manner cast him out of those bodies thsi 
he had possessed.* And this was not tiie only wonder they had done for 
Christ ; they had done many more. And in thf nante, €hey had done vorb 
for him, many works, and many wonderfiil works ; not mira only, butmir^- 
etUa; works truly and properly miraculous, beyond the whole power of nstnre. 

Thus much they had done for Christ, and all this in iSs name, bj his 
authority, in his strength, for his gloty. Whatever they intended, tiiesa 
works did tend to glorify him in the world, and that eminently and extraor- 
dinarily ; all this they allege for themselves, and they allege them tmlj- 
Christ objects not against the truth of their plsai but against the suffieieDCj 
of it. Though all this was true, yet it was not enough to make them eapshk 
of heaven, and there he excludes them. 

Mat, Yn. 22, 28.] the oonvxotion of btpociputes. 245 

Obs. Many shall go &r towards heaven, and yet n«ver reach it. They 
may go &r in the wayB of Christ, and yet siiss heaven in the conclusion. 
This is evident in tha text. Here are many who had professed Christ, and 
been zealous professors ; whq professed him not in irord only» but had really 
worshipped him ; had been n^nch in hearing, preaching, praying, praising 
him. Nor did Uieir religion consist only in outward acts, they had believed 
on him too ; nor was their faith without works, it was accompanied with 
many works, with many wonderful works ; and yet for all this, when they 
shall eome to allege the«e things at the day of judgment for their admission 
into heaven, Christ tells us here that he will shut £em out, he ^iU disclaim 
them» and profess, to them that he knows them not, i, e. that he never lowed 
them, never approved them ; he will command them to depart from him, and 
give ^em their portion with the workers of iniquity. There needs nothing 
more for evidence to this truth. But the 

Question here will be. How far may professors- go in the ways of Christ, 
and yet come short of heaven ? 

I shall resolve this according to the method of the text, by endeavouring 
to shew how far they dmj ^ both in ordinaries and extraordmaries. 

1. In extraordinaries. 

(1.) Bevelations, dreams, visions. God may reveal himself by dceams 
and visions. It is no peculiar privilege of the godly which is promised, Joel 
iL 28; Acts ii^ 18, * Your old men shcdl dream dreams,{and your young men 
see visions.* For dreams, it is evident in Nebuchadnezzar, to whom the 
revealer of secrets, as Daniel speaks, l^ dreams made known what should 
be hereafter. His dream arose Aot from an ordinary cause, it was sent from 
the Lord, the revealer of secrets. The subject of his dream was not ordinar^^ 
but secr^ and things future ; even the most remarkable acts of providence 
thai should come to pass to the end of the world : the rise« periods, and 
revolution of the world's monarchies, and the erecting of the kingdom of 
Ohiist: tl^e stone cut out without hands, Dan. ii. 84, which should crush all 
the kihgdoms of the world, and raise his throne upon their ruins. Here ia 
a remarkable revelation, ahnoat comparable to any mentioned in Scripture. 
Another you have^Dan. iv. 4, 5. Pharaoh also had a revelation by a <hream. 
Gen. xlL 25, 28; and when Saul comj^ains that the Lord answered him not 
either by dreams or propheta, it implies that he did reveal himself by these 
before he was cast off, 1 Sam. xxviii. 6. This is confirmed, Deut. xiii. 1, 2. 

For visions, we have a clear instance in Balaam, the wizard or enchanter, 
who used to seek for enchantments. Num. xxiv. 1 ; evep to him did the Lord 
reveal himself by visions. God came unto him, chap. xxii. 9, and conferred 
with him, and revealed to him both what he should say, and what he should 
do, ver. 12, 20. He had the vision of an angel, ver. 81 . So chap. xxiiL 4, 5, 
God met Balaam, and pui a word into his mouth. Two severiU immediate 
revelations we have in that chapter, and two, chap. xxiv. whereto the pre* 
face is observable: ver. 28, * The Spirit of God came upon him, and Balaam 
took up his parable, and said. The man whose eyes are opened,* &c.f * which 
heard the words of God, which si^w the vision of the Almighty, falling into 
a trance, but having his eyes opened ; ' and ver. 16, * Whidi knew the 
knowledge of the Almighty.' 

(2.) '&e gift of prophecy. Those whom Christ shuts out of his kingdom, 
and will take no notice of them, and had this plea for themsekes, ' In thy 
namo have we prophesied.' It is known that Saul was at best but an 
hypocrite, yet, 1 Sam. x« 10, 19, 28, <the Spirit of the Lord came upon 
him, and he prophesied.' Hence the proverb, ' Is Saul also among the 
prophets ? ' And there is scarce a dearer prophecy of Christ at such a dis- 

216 TBB GONYioneir of HipocBms. [Mat. YIL 22, 28. 

tanee than that of Balaam's, Num. xziv. 16, where he also foretells the nun 
of several oations, Moab, Edom, Amalek, the Kenites, Assyrians, and 
Bomans, and who should ruin them, which the event has proved Ine, 
1 Kings xiii. 21, £2* 

(8.) The power to work miracles. They may do signs and wonders, heal 
all diseases, cast out devils, yea, it is possible for them to remove mooii' 
tains. For proof, see Dent. xiiL 1, 2, <lf there arise amongst yoa a 
prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives thee a sign or a wonder, and the 
sign or the wonder come to pass, saying. Let ns go after other gods.' Iddaten 
may do these. They may also cast out dei^s. This they plead whom 
Christ will not own: * In thy name have we east oat devils, and in tbynama 
done many wonderfbl works,' Mat. vii. 22. Tetwhat they were appears bj 
Christ's profession, ver. 28, ' Depart from me, ye that work iniqaity.' Th« 
children of the unbelieving Jews had power to cast oat devils, as appears bj 
Christ's qaestion, by what power they cast them oat. Mat. xii. 24, 27. 
The disciples tell Christ they saw one casting oat devils in his name, and 
rebnked him. That it is possible for those who are not godly to have i 
miraonloos fiailh, so as to remove monntams, is evident, 1 Cor. xiii. 2, for 
we cannot snppose the apostle wonld argae from an impossibility. Bat ve 
need not make use of suppositions, since it is express that Jadas had power 
to work miracles; for, Mat. x. 1, * Christ called his twelve diseiples,' whereflf 
Jndas was one, * and gave them power against ojielean spirits, and to hai 
all manner of sickness, and all manner of diseases.' We caoAot doobt ho\ 
Jadas was one, since he is named amongst them, ver. 4 and Mark iii. IT. 
immediately after Judas named, he adds : ' These twelve Jesas sent forth, and 
commanded them to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, east 
oat devils : freely ye have received,' Ac. 

(4.) The gift of tongues : 1 Cor. xiii. 1, * Though I speak with the toiigoe<^ 
men and angels.' Donum linguarum in nimmo gradu qualt euety si quk omnskus 
Unguis loqui possit. For these are not saving gifts, and therefoie may bd 
given to those who shall never be saved. 

By the way, observe a delusion in those ^o prefer these before saTifig 
graces, and by the appearance of those will be drawn to embrace erron; 
whereas it is wholesome advice, which we find in the epistle to Hero, 
ascribed to Iguatus, vft; • >Jy^¥ wa^ ra ^iartrayf/^iwif xifv ^iowitf^ f, xf* 
Cfi/ii,$tcc voif, xqiv c^offjrfu^, Xuxo; ffoi ^tviir^. And after, x^Sv >}«P^ ^ 


2. In ordinaries. * 

(1.) In knowledge they may go far. This we may discover « flie tot! 
it is inchided in the word prophesy ; for whether we take it for teaehii^ ao^ 
publishing the truth, or foretelling things to come, it necessarily snppo6«j 
and imports knowledge. And this knowledge may be, 

[1.] Great for the extent of it. li may reach inany ^ths that are ont 
of the reach of many sincere Christiaos. Their minds may grasp more of 
truth than the nnderstanding of others is capable of ; may admit more ligbt 
than others can let in. They may dig further into the mines of troth, aod 
make greater discoveries. No question Judas knew more than many of thosa 
he preached to, though we may suppose some of them sincerely converted. 
If he had not known more than his hearers, he had not been, didaxr/xo^, apt to 
teach, fit to be their teacher. And Christ, who would have this to be obserred 
as a qnalification in those that we choose, would not himself choose one 
destitute of it. 
; But that their knowledge may be exceeding great, the apostle pots it oat 

1£at. YQ. 22t 28.J thx ooMTionoN of btpoobrbs. 247 

of qnastkm, 1 Oor. xiii. All knowledge they may have, and yet want charity 
(Bftving grace), and have nothing that accompanies salvation, ver. 9; all, i.0. 
knowledge in ahigh degree, of a large extent. They may know not only all neces- 
Bftiy tra^s, those that are vital and radical, being the foundation of religion, 
but those which raise the stmctnre, and tend to edifying ; nay, those which 
are for the finishing and completing of an intelligent Chnstian, which tend to 
make him a thoroughly furnished and accomplished man as to his intellectuals. 

All knowledge is a large expression, and will reach thus far and farther, 
without stretching; he may &r outgo a tr^e saint in the largeness and extent 
of his knowledge ; know much more clear and evident, solid and convincing. 
He may apprehend truth not only truly, h«t clearly, distinctly, evidently ; 
80 as the clearness of his i^onceptions may cmvinoe his conscience, and 
Bstiafy his judgment of the truth he apprehends. His notions may appear 
in his mind with such a clear nj of evidence as may scatter all doubt, leave 
no room for question or contradiction. He may be able to convey his notions 
clearly to otl^, so as to conviuee and satisfy them. A sincere soul, as to 
many things, may be much in the dark compared with him. 

Sach a dear, convincing knowledge may be in them who apostatise, Ac, 
Heb. vi. 4. These expressions, which the Arminians would have to be so 
many characters of true believers, that thereby they may prove the apostasy 
of the saints, may all be applied to Balaam, a wizard, and no saint. The 
Holy Ghoit ascribes the hke things to him. 

EnUgkunsd. * The man whose eyes are opened,' Num. xxiv., ' who knew 
the knowledge of the Almighty,' ver. 16 ; * tasted of the heavenly gift,' •. d. 
of Christ. Unbelievers may taste him, believers only feed upon him. Balaam 
had some foretastes^ some foresight of Christ ; for he prophesied of him, 
and that as clearfy as any at such ^stance. ' Partakers of the Holy Ghost : ' 
the Spirit of God came upon him, ver« 2, 8. The gift of prophecy : ' tasted 
of the good word ol God.' He had tasted of the gospel, the best word of 
God; his pro^ecy is evangelical, a piophecy of Ghriat ; good, because it 
bzings good tidings of great joy. ' Powers of the world to come ;' hence 
his denre, ' Let me die the death of the righteous,' Heb. x. 26, ivtyfotesg; 
afier they have made such a dear discovery of the truth as convinces judg- 
ment and conscience, and brings it to .an acknowledgment that it is the truth, 
and worthy of acceptation, entertainment, approbation ; And yet for all this 
clear knowledge they are evidently hypocrites, else they could not sin that 
sin, nor incur that doom. 

[2.] Divine as to the olgeot of it ; divine matter. They may have great 
and clear knowledge of the things of God, of the truths of Christ, of the 
doctrine of the gospel ; not only of those tmths that ase more common and 
obvious, but of the more mysterious and subtle parts thereof, those which 
are called the mysteries of the kingdom, arcana imperii: Mat. xiii. 11, * To 
you it is given to know the mysteries of the king^m of heaven.' Mysteries 
of God : 1 Cor. iv. 1, * Let a man account of us, a» of the ministers of 
Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.' The aposUe's discourse, 
1 Cor. xiii. 2, impHes that he who has no true grace, may km)w aU mys- 
teries, aU gospel mysteries. MyeUrium est eaenm arcanum, a divme secret ; 
ench as could not have been known but by divine revelation ; such as no 
light of nature, no human understandmg, could have ever reached, had they 
not been brought down by the Spurit of revelation. He may see far into 
these mysteries ; he may have access unto the most retired of those secrets ; 
he may wade far into the deep things of God, as if all were fordaWe- lHosf 

things which are aw«^r«, difficult to others, may be easy to mm. 
As for specuktive points, there is no question. They m»y aoar ateR in 

248 VBS ooKvxonov or btpoosxtbs. [Ikx. VIL 22, 28. 

thoee noiionsi and be as eagles in the donds, when a sincere sonl may flag, 
never rise to so high a pitch, and be more apt to admire them than able to 
follow them. 

As for truths questioned, intricate controversies, thej may decide them 
with clearness and satisfiftction^ when others do not understand the terms, 
or think the arguments against the truth unanswerable, or are nonplossed, 
and grayelled in the difficulty and abstruseness of the things. 

As for practicals, they may resolve those cases of conscience with ease 
and evidence, when an upright heart is sadly entangled, and sees no cktr 
or safe way out. 

As for experimentals, though they have but this bowledge at thesecosd 
hand, yet they may have more at the second than those of experienee hare 
at the first. By experimental discourses, and conversing with experienced 
Christians, they may come to great attainments in this kind. They mij 
draw the lineaments of a new creature so Exactly, and to the life, as tbough 
they had a pattern thereof in their own souls. They may give sneh aa 
account of the work of grace, as you may think they were transcribing their 
own hearts, and that Uieir expressions were but copies of some original 
there. They may hold forth the conflicts betwixt the flesh and the s^ 
as though the combat were in their own quarters, as though they had leaSj 
felt some Such thing as you hear. They may express the actings of gna 
in such and such a duty, such an occasion, under such a temptation, insoeli 
a manner, as you would think nothing could teach tiiem, but thor own 
experience. They may have the exact idea, the true notion of these things 
in their heads, when there is nothing of aU this in their hearts. 

As for textual divinity, the understanding of the Scriptures, they naj 
excel herein. They may overcome those' difficulties, which some obscon 
places make impassable and unfordable ta others. They may understand 
not only the words and phrases, and so become masters of the letter of the 
Scripture ; but they may, with a great sagacity, find out the sense and 
meaning of the Holy Ghost, and may outstrip many herein who have the 
Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The apostle's expression, all mysteriat vill, 1 
think, bear me out in all this, if experience did not witness it. And, indeed, 
being on a ticklish point, in a slippery place, I will not venture to go with- 
out hold ; and that which I will lean upon all along shall be Scripore, in 
its expression or consequences, or else clear reason and experience. Thej 
may, with a great happiness, find out the meaning of prophecies, which an 
for the most part the darkest parts of Scripture ; for in the text it is said, 
* Hove we not prophesied ?' and 1 Cor. xiii. 2. And if they may havetk 
gift of prophecy to ibreteU things to come, which is rarer and furtii|(r out d 
our reach, sure they may have the gift of prophecy to explain what is fore- 
told, this being more common and ordinary. 

[8.] SpirittuBd as to the author of it, such as proceeds from the Spirit of 
God. They may attain their knowledge, not only by their pains and 
industry in searching after it, not only by reading, study, conference, &e.; 
but the Holy Spirit may dart this light into them, either in the use of means 
or immediately, Heb. vi. Those who were never i» a saving conditioni are 
said to be enlightened. And who it was that enlightened them, we maj 
learn by another clause in that verse, < partakers of &e Holy Ghost.' Thej 
partaked of the Holy Ghost, because they were partakers of the light, and 
other gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost They did partake of him, tf 
he communicated himself to them, and this was one way he enlightened 
them ; not only in a common way, as all light and knowleidge in the vond 
may be said to come from the Father of light, and as Christ is said to 

Hat. YU. 22, 28.]. ths ooNyzonoN of HTPOOBma. ' 249 

eolighteii every mam that comes into the world, viz., by implantmg in their 
minds ihai li|^t which we call natural, and with a common concurrence with 
the eadeavoors of those that are indnstrioos, helpmg them to an increase and 
improyement of that light : tot this he Touchsafes, as he is God and Governor 
of the world. But he enlightens them in a more special and peonliar manner 
(ihongh not the most pecnliar)!^ he is Mediator, %nd the great Prophet of 
his chorch, sending his Spirit (in the execution of his prophetical office) to 
spread abroad a divine light in the minds of some who enjoy the gospel, 
whereby they may discover the deep things of God. The Spirit of God 
may come upon such a man as Balaam, or Saul, or Gaiaphas, and may 
shine into their souls, if not ordinarily now with a prophetical light, yet 
with an evangelical ^gbt, to discover to them the secrets of Christ, and the 
mysteries of the gospel, md the things of the world to come. Yon have all 
these in that verse : the gift of Grod, i,e^ Christ, as some ; And the word of 
God, i.e. there is the precious mysteries of the gospel, &o. They may 
partake of the Holy Ghost, and be thereby so enli^tened as to see these 
things, and so see them as to taste them ; thej may by this lig^t discover 
the excellency, goodness, sweetness, of these things, so clearly and convinc- 
iogly as if they did taste them. Such a light, such a knowledge, they may 
have from the Spirit of Christ, in that resect a spiritual knowledge, and yet 
have their portion in outer darkness. 

[4.] Operative. Their knowledge may be in ^reat measure efiectual ; it 
may have a mighty efficacy both upon their souls and Uvea, both upon heart . 
and affections, and upon their eonversation ; it may have an influence both 
upon inward and outward man, powerful to change both in some degree. 

The inward efficacy of it may be clearly collected from that of James ii. 19. 
The devils have such a clear Imowledge of God as they cannot but believe 
what they know; and this knowledge, which brings them to believe, makes 
them tremble ; here is the efficacy of it, it works fear and horror. Now why 
knowledge may not work this in men as well as devUs, I apprehend not ; and 
why it may not work other affections as well as fear, no reason can be 
assigned ; aiMi I shall shew how the aflidetiona in particular may be moved, in 
the next head. 

Now since this knowledge may have such power upon the affections, and 
seeing' affections are but the acts and motions of the will, it follows that it 
may have some efficacy upon the will. Now the will being the great wheel 
thiU, moved, sets all the parts of the whole man on motion, it is hence evi- 
dent that their knowledge may be operative upon the whole man, it may 
have a working influence upon every fietculty- within, upon every part and 
member without. For the inward efficacy of it we have said sufficient at 
present, it may excite fear, hope, joy, sorrow, &c. ; and as it may make some 
alteration within, so may it effect a reformation without* The apostle 
expresses this evidently, 2 Pet. ii. 20, he speaks of some apostates here, who, 
therefore, were in a damnable condition, and yet had < escaped the pollutions 
of the world,' the sinful abominations of the wicked world, and the means 
whereby they escaped is the knowledge of Christ The light of this know- 
ledge dUd discover their former evil ways to be so sinful and abominable that 
they fled from them, acof ^•in (, as one would fly from an ugly fiend ; they 
so fled from them, as they seemed to have made a real escape from the evils 
of an unconverted state, ver. 18, Svr«(. See here the efficacy of this know- 
ledge as to reformation of life ; it may make them not only avoid sin but fly 
from it, to fly from it as from a pollution, as though they loathed and 
abhorred it ; not only to go but to fly from it, as we do from that we are 
greatly afraid of, and to fly so far, so &st, as one would think it could never 

260 THX oowionoN of htfogbitbb. [Mat. VIL 22, 23. 

overtake, one would hope they had made a clear escape. Sach, bo powerfol 
may he the knowledgid of those that are no hotter than hypocrites ; thus &r 
may they go in knowledge, it may he so «great, clear, Ac., and yet Ghnst 
may profens even to these at the great day, * I know ye not.* 

Let not ignorance take eneoaragement from hence. If snch knowledge 
will not hring a man to heaven, to what purpose is it to lahonr mfter know- 
ledge ? Say not thus ; methinks this should rather strike ignorant peraoos 
with fear and trembling. If so much knowledge will not bring a man to 
heaven, how &r art then from heaven who hast so little, none at all ? If 
these whose knowledge brings them so near it, within sight of it, shall not 
enter, how far are you from it who come not near them, who shall fiJl short 
of it ? If he who stays a mile o£f the palace cannot lodge in it, can he 
expect to lodge there who stays twenty miles short ? If those who come so 
near to heaven as they can discover it, take some view of it, come within 
sight, shall yet never enter, how can they look to enter who stay ten thonaaiid 
miles o£f, who stay in the suburbs of hell ? Such is ignorance ; yon aie so 
near hell as you are within the shadow of it, hell overshadows yon. Dark- 
ness and the shadow of death are joined in Scripture. Ignorance is sjMrstoal 
darkness, the very shadow of eternal death. ' There is but a small pcrtitaoii 
between you and hell Hell is outer darkness, and ignorance is inner da^- 
ness ; it is the very next room to hell. Oh consider your sad conditaom. 
Will you stay fax short of those who fall short of heaven 9 U those who 
come so near Canaan as they can descry it, so near it as they taste MHne of 
it, shall yet fkll in the wilderness and never enjoy it, how can they come to 
Canaan who will not stir oat of Egyptian darkness ? How can yon come 
to the land of promise, come to heaven, who stay in your ignorance, that 
which is worse than Egyptian darkness, and a condition further from 
heaven than Egypt is from Canaan? A man with thus much know- 
ledge may possibly perish, but an ignorant pers(m shall certainly peridi, 
Isa. zzvii. 11. 

Qusst. But if they may go so far in respect of knowledge, wherein does 
their knowledge come short of that which is saving? Wherein do they dif- 
fer ? How moy they be distinguished, so as I may know whether my Imow- 
ledge be saving, or only such as hypocrites may have ? 

Am. 1 shall endeavour to distinguish all along betwixt that which ft com- 
mon, and that which is saving, lest this doctrine, which is so necessary for 
the conviction of counterfeits, may not be hurtful to any soul that is sincers 
in the least degree, to trouble or disquiet them, whom the Lord would not 
have troubled ; but I shall be brief in this part,^because the text leads me 
not directly to it. 

Their knowledge comes short, in that it is not, 1, truly experimental; 
nor, 2, practical, thoroughly efficacious. 

1. Experimental, They may have more natural knowledge in the letter; 
know more of the nature of divine obiieiBf more distinctly, methodioally, sad 
vent it more plausibly. A great difference, as betwixt the knovrledge which 
a naturalist has of manna, and an Israelite. He, by reading and diseooise, 
knows more of the nature and effects of it, but he that hath tasted it, M 
upon it, knows it more feelingly, satisfyingly, inwardly. * Taste and see 
that the Lord is good,' Ps. xxxiv. 8 ; ' If so be ye have tasted that the Lord 
is gracious,' 1 Pet. ii. 8. A formalist knows God in his nature, attributes, 
ssbsistences, operations ; notionally, by reason, revelation, but not experi- 
mentally ; knows what he is in himself, not what to him and in him : ss 
the Israelites knew the land of Canaan before they came to it, hot hr other- 
wise when in possession of it ; as the knowledge of l^Jaam prophesyiiig «f 

Mat. YII. 22, 28.] the oontiction of htpoobites. 251 

Christ, and Simeon haying him in his arms ; Zaccheas from the tree, and 
in his house. 

The godly know God's attributes experimentally, acting within them. 
Omnipotence enabling them to believe, Eph. i. 19 ; snbdaing lusts, oyer« 
coming the world. If there were no other arguments ah extra to prove it, 
this would be sufficient to convince them. Omnisoiency, by detecting the 
heart's deceitfhlness, discovering secret sms, pride, hypocrisy, self-will; 
immensity, by God's special presence in their hearts, acting, supporting, 
comforting ; mercy, in&iite grace in pardoning sin. They know Christ expe- 
rimentally in his offices: as priest, saving them from guilt; as prophet, 
enlightening them; as king, conquering sin, the world, Satan. The Spi* 
rit in its functions, eonvincmg, regenerating, uniting, helping infirmities, 

Formalists know these, but not within them ; know he is almighty,'^buft 
have not felt him so, &e. 

2. It is not efficacious. True saving knowledge is transforming know- 
ledge, changeth the subject into the likeness of the object. This light loaves 
a lustre, a beauty behind it, as the sun. It is a heavenly vision, a vision of 
God. Now the sight of God assimilates : * We shall be like him, for wo 
shall see him,' 1 John iii. 2. It is effectual in the mind, does spiritualize it 
in others ; as the sun more lightsome, but nothing cleaner and sweeter on a 
donghill. In the conscience, makes it tender, sensible. This light makes 
those characters appear, which custom in sin wears out ; so as the con- 
science can put them together, and thereby frame its charges, accusationd 
for sins past, though smadl in ordinary account. And its warnings and pro- 
hibiiionB against sin for the future, makes sin as a prick in the eye, not as 
wounding only, but as polluting. In the will, inclines it to the object known, 
according to the clearness of the discovery. A great sympathy betwixt these 
faculties. The will must either not move at all, or move as it knows. When 
the beams of Christ's beauty shine in the mind, the will leaps to hioH 
embraces him: * Come in, thou blessed of the Lord.' In others thpre are 
some languid motions, faint inclinations. It brings not the will quite off 
from other things, so as to close fully with Christ. It may move the scales, 
and bring the will to some indiffereney, to some stand, but it brings not full 
weight, swaying down the will to full resolutions for Christ. There is some- 
thing in the other end of the balance, some gainful or delightful lust, that 
doth counterpoise whatever the light discovers of Christ, and keeps the will 
from a downright determination to sell all for him. In the affections, light 
and heat are inseparable ; divine light in the mind conveys a heat into the 
affections. As this heat melts the will into the will of God, so it kindles 
the affections into holy flames, love, desire, zeal, joy, when the object is 
good ; dissolves it into fear, sorrow, shame; raises in it hatred, indignation, 
when the object is evil. Light is always hot ; but the direct beams are not 
BO hot as the reflected. The beams of a formalist's knowledge wre not 
reflefcted ; his mmd refracts them. It is like the sunshine in winter, it may 
give some lustre and refreshing to the earth, and may thaw and molhfy the 
outside, but at night aU is frozen up ; it makes not the plants grow, or the 
earth fruitful. In the life it is practical, makes him active. There is a con- 
formify betwixt life and light, knowledge and practice. He lives up to his 
light, detains not truth in unrighteousness. He does what !*« l^J^^- ^ 
ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them,' John xiii. 17. He is 
obedient to the heavenly vision ; he dares not do that which he knows to be 
ainfnl, nor omit that which he knows to be his duty. 

The formalist's knowledge is weak and partial, may restrain him ftom ue 


pollutions of the wdrld ; but having knowledge will avoid that in which the 
world sees no pollntion. 

2. Tfaej may go far in respect of graces and affections ; the Holy Ghost 
may work in then sach graces, stir np in them each affections as have a 
giteat resemblance with those that are saving. They may in these respects 
partake of the Holy Ghost ; for thei>e are some whom Uie apostle tells as 
may be partakers of the Holy Ghost, and yet have nothing in them that 
•ccompsnies salvation ; and may shew it by falling away, and turning apos- 
iates, Heb. vi. i, 9. They may be partakers of the Holy Ghost npop this 
account, because the Holy Ghost may maka them partakers of many spiritual 
gifts and common graces, such as are highly valuable in themselves, and 
exceeding useful and profitable nsto others, and much for the omamenl and 
comfort too of those that have them ; and though they be not saving, have 
no necessary connection with eternal hfe, yet they are very like to, and 
have a near affinity with, saving graces ; so as it will be vef7> difficult to dis- 
tinguish them, and to make the difference evident to a soul under doabta 
and jealousies of its spiritual condition : so like they are, that they some- 
times go under the same name in Scripture, and are held forth to us luider 
the same expressions. Those who have no saving grace may yet taste of 
the powers of the world to come, may have some tastes of thi^ glory and 
^ happiness that shall be revealed. They may taste of the good word of God, 
' some tastes of the sweet and precious things of the gospel ; they may taste 
of the heavenly gift, have some tastes of Christ, frequently called ' Ute gift 
of God,* John iv. 10. They may tAste that the Lord is gracious, bat yet 
not as true believers taste ; for they taste Christ so as to let down what they 
taste, as a hungry man eats his meat, or a man ready to fiunt with thirst 
tastes his drink ; they let it down with delight and greediness. So do true 
believers receive what they taste of Christ : they let it down as a choice deli- 
cacy ; they retain and digest it. It is turned into nourishment, and proves 
life, and health, and strength to th^ souls. These taste Christ too, but il 
is with some disrelish ; so as they either spit out what they taste, or let it 
down so sparingly, that it proves no advantage as to spiritual life and 
health ; or vomit up again what they have let down, as not agreeing with 
their foul stomachs, with their nnpurged hearts, which they make visible in 
their apostasies. 

However, some tastes they have, and that from the Holy Ghost ; by him 
also they- are enlightened (as before), and partake of him, not only in 
respect of illnmiuation, bat also as to some kmd of sanetification ; not that 
which is saving, but tliat which is very like it, Heb. z. 29. Those who fell 
80 wofully, so desperately, as to tread under foot the Son of God, are said 
to have been saoetified. 

We need not, I think, restrain this to an external chorch sanetification ; 
as if they bad been said to be sanctified because they had separated them- 
selves from the world to come to the church, and to partake of the pri> 
vileges thereof, whereby they were visibly dedicated and set apart unto €KmL 

Nor to a reputed sanetification^ as though they had been only sanctified 
in the opinion of others, who, judging charitably, took them to be inwardly 
holy, because they were so outwardly, having a visible holiness in their coo- 

For there is a sanetification l>eside8 these, which is inward and real ; not 
in outward expressions oniy, or in th^ repute of others, and yet is not 
saviog, how mueh soever it resemble it. There may be in such as those 
whom the apostle speaks of a real change, a change in the soul, a change 
in every part of the soul, so that every part may be in some measure 

Mat. YII. 22, 28.] the conyiotion of btpooritb8. 

ehanged, and bo far sanctified*; and jet not savingly changed, renewed, 
sanctified, though, for the near resemblance betwixt them, many may mis- 
take the one for the other. 

There may be a change in the mind : that which was formally darkness 
may be now fnll of light ; as before. \ 

in the conscience. It may be awakened to a sense of sin which Was asleep 
before ; some tenderness, before seared. It may be moge faithful in aeensipg 
for sin, and restraining from it ; in suggesting that which is good, aid spur* 
ring on the soul to the practice of what is well-pleasing in tl|e sight of God, 
1 Tim. i. 19. They had a consojance in some kind or degree good, else they 
could not have put it away. 

In the will. There may be new inclinations, a strong current of ^the heart 
may run another way, in a new channel, some tendencies towards Qod and 
things of heaven. Such a change there was in Uzziah, wrought by the 
ministry and instructions of Zechariah: 2 Chron. xxxu 5, ' He was to seek 
God.' Something must be added to make up the sense, and the least that 
can be added is, ' He was inolinqd to aeA €k)d ;' and there was some strength 
in his inclinations. And therefore some render it, ' He gave himself to seek 
God.' He was freely addicted to it, and his inclinations were actdd; ftnd 
yet, look on him in the latter end of this chapter, and you will find grounds 
of jealousy that his heart was not upright with God. 

There may be new purposes and resolutions. Experience tells us this, 
That an unregenerate heart may be bended to excellent resolutions, and jet 
shew what it is by starting off, and returning, l&e a deceilftil bow, to i(8 
anbent posture. How many under afflictions or convictions, under impres- 
sions of fear or apprehensions of death, will resolve as much, and as w«ll, • 
one would think, as any out of heaven could do ? How often were the 
Israelites brought to such resolutions ; and how often did they express 
them by engaging themselves solemnly in covenant with God ; and yet the 
Ix)rd complains, Ps. Ixxviii. 57, that * they turned back, and dealt unfaith« 
folly : they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.' 

There may be new designs and intentions ; designs fbr God, for his wof^ 
ship, his ways, for what tends to his glory. So it was in Jehu ; a design 
for reformation against the idolatry of Baal. He gives it out, it was fbr the 
Ix>rd. And good Jonadab, much taken therewith, engages in it. Yet Jehu 
shewed his hypocrisy sufficientiy afterwards, ^us, and much more, may 
the will be changed. 

In the a&ctions. He may love that which he formerly hated, and dislike 
that which he formerly loved ; he may be grieved for that in which he before 
delighted, and that may please him which before was his grievance ; he may 
desire that which before he avoided, and may shun that which formerly he 
desired ; he may esteem that which he formerly contemned, and slight that 
which once he highly valued. This I shall clear and prove particularly 

Briefly, the Spirit of God may move npon the fiiuse of the soul, before it 
be formed into a new creature, and may raise therein divere motions truly 
spiritual and holy ; such motions there may be in it, though not of it. They 
cannot be caUed the acts of such a soul, because they have not their rise 
from it, nor have due entertainment in it. Even as when Satan raises 
wicked motions in a regenerate heart, suggestions tending to Uasphemy, 
self-mnrder, or the like ; if these rise not from the heart, and meet not with 
consent and entertainment in it, these are counted not the acts of that soul, 
bat the acts and sins of Satan, who injects them. So we may say of those 
spiritual and heavenly motions that the Holy Ghost raises in an unregenorete 


80iil» they come immediately from the Spirit, aie his act, the soul is paanre 
in them ; they owe not their holiness to the heart wherein they are, hat to 
the Spirit from whom they come. 

Thus there may be holy motions in an unholy heart ; and as a regenerate 
person, finding snch wicked sn^estions in his heart, may charge himself 
with them as his own sins, and thereupon may draw sad eondasioQS against 
himself, so an nnr^generate person, finding such spiritual motions in bis 
8onl, may challenge them as his own acts, and from thence may conclude 
that he is sanctified saringly, when there is no just ground for either. 

Thus much in general. Proceed we now to diew particularly what graces 
and affections there may be in hypocrites. There may be, 

1. Some kind of repentance. It is said of Judas, Mat. zxvii. B, thai ' he 
repented himself.* And the men of Nineveh have this testimony from Ghrisi 
himself. Mat. xii. 41. There was some reality in their repentance, some- 
thing that deserved the name, else Christ wouU not have so called it; there 
was no gross dissimulation in it ; and yet, not long after, they relapsing into 
their evil ways, the Lord appoints the prophet Nahum to denounce ih^ 
utter destruction. And from hence some collect, that (at least as to the 
generality) it was not saving repentance. 

More particularly, they may go far as to the several acts of repentaiiee. 

(1.) Confession. This is one act of repentance which the Lord calls for 
in returning sinners, Jer. iii. 12, 18. Now, snch as are not in a saving ood- 
dition may confess their sin, and confess it particularly, and aggravate it is 
their confessions, and take shame to themselves in the acknowledgment of 
it. So the Israelites, who provoked the Lord to swear in his wrath, Ac^ 
confess their sin, Num. xiv. 40. And Saiil, 1 Sam. zv. 24. So Judas con- 
fesses his sin, and that in public ; he specifies, contents not himself with a 
general acknowledgment, I am a sinner, but I have sinned in doing this ; 
and he sets it out with its heavy aggravations, I have iMtrayed, betrayed 
blood, betrayed innocent blood. Mat. xxvii. 8. Cain cries out of Uie wc^ht 
and grievousness of his sin. • So Pharaoh acknowledges his sin, eondeimia 
himself for it, and justifies the Lord, Ezod. iz. 27. 

(2.) Sorrow for .sin. That is another act of repentance ; they may monni 
for sin with its attendants, bewail it bitterly ; the sense oi k may be the 
grief of their hearts, the affliction of their souls.; they may express ezceediai; 
much sorrow fi^r it. The Israelites, after their sin in the golden calf^ being 
convinced of it, and threatened for it, they mourned, Ezod. zzziii. 4, and pot 
off their ornaments, thereby acknowledging themselves worthy to be debased 
«nd stripped naked of all that was precious to them. And, after their mat- 
muriDgs, Num. ziv., it is said, ver. 89, < they mourned greatly,* and jet 
they continued a people of provocations, iee ver. 44. Ahab, when the pro- 
phet Elijah had convinced him of, and threatened him for, his sin, he ezpresau 
an eztraovdinary sorrow for it, and that in the most significant ezpressioss, 
I meet with none that goes beyond him, 1 Kings zzi. 27. 

He rent his€lothe$. Thus they used to express their greatest somm ; thus 
did Jacob ezpress th^ grief and anguish of his soul, when he apprehended 
that his dearest child was devoured and torn in pieces. Gen. zzzvii. 84, 85. 
Here was am eztraordinary sorrow, and he thus shews it. And so does Ahab 
ezpress his. 

Sackcloth upon his flesh, Nol over his other garments, bat nezt his skin ; 
this was another ezpression of ezceeding grief. Jacob thus expresses the 
greatest sorrow that ever seized op him. Ahab seems to go one step further, 
he lay in sackcloth, he wore it night and day; as he walked, so he slept in it 

And fasted. So they were to afflict their bodies when they were called is 

Mat. Yn. 22| 28«] thx ooMTionoN t>t htpoobitSs. 255 

an extnordinaiy maimer to aflUet their souls ; they hereby manifested soal- 

And went MofUy. This was a sign of grief and monming, Isa. szxviii. 15. 
Bach was Ahab's sorrow, and sneh were the testimonies of it. Nor was all 
this merely hypocritical^ only in show and outward appearances ; there was 
real inwai4 grief in the heart, in some degree answerable to these expres- 
sions. There was no gross dissimnlation, for it is said, and it is the Lord 
who testifies this of him, ' He was hmnbled beforef the Lord/ ver. 29. It 
was not only before men, ontward exprebsions may serve for that ; there must 
be some inward sool hnmiliationi that a man may be said to be hnmbled 
before the Lord. If it had been nothmg bat dissembling, the Lord wonld not 
have so much conntenanced it as to have reproved* him for it. The Lord 
saw so mnch reality in it, as he thooght fit to exempt Ahab in great part 
from what he had threatened, ver. 29. 

Pass we to Judas. His grief and sorrow was more grievous to him than 
death ; and what sorrow can be greater, more grievous than that ? His 
sin sprung snch grief and anguish in his soul, as drowned the sweetnesses of 
life, and overflowed all the comforts of his life ; they were all under water, 
so that he saw nothing why he should desire to live in snch anguish of heart, 
and so he sought ease and refuge in death. A sorrow more bitter and grievous 
than death, is sure an exceeding great sorrow. Yet such was that of Judas. 
They may express this sorrow by abundance of tears, and pour them out 
in greai plenty. So did the IsraeHtes in Mizpeh, 1 Sam. vii. 2, 6. Their 
heads were the fountain from whence they drew this water, and that which 
they poured out before the Lord was their tears ; and that which raised 
Chis flood of tears was their sins: * We have sinned,' &c. And yet this was 
the people who did that which in the very next chapter is recorded to be a 
rejecting of God. Such sorrow was found in the generality of the people, 
Ter. 5, ' all Israel ;* and yet what they were, as to the generality of them, 
is apparent all dong in their story, Heb. xii. 17. 

Such may be their sorrow, and may prevail for pardon. Some kind of 
pardon it may procure, even that whieh the Scripture calls so sometimes ; 
not a dissolving of their obligation to eternal sufferings, but a deferring 
thereof, and a freedom from temporal sufferings. The Israelites, where ihef 
are aaid to mourn so much, had such a pardon, Num. xiv. 20, mf Ps. 
Ixxviii. 87, 88. There may be such a sorrow as may obtain such a pardon, 
in those whom Christ will at last condemn. 

(S«) Hatred of mn. This is essential to rspentance, and is accounted a 
eertain evidence of that which is saving ; yet there may be some hatred of 
sin in those who are not in a saving concQtion, Bom. ii. 22. Abhorring is 
mn high degree of hatred, yet there tnay be an abhorring of one sin, togeUier 
with an allowance of another, which is incoasistent with a saving state. 
Jadas could hate profuseness. Prodigality, it seems, was odioua to him. 
Mat. xiv. 8-5, this was the object of his indignation, a&d yet what a character 
is given of him upon that expression, John xii. 5, 6. Jehu hated the false 
worship of Baal, if pursumg of it to destroction be a testimony of hatred, 
2 Kings X. 26, 27, 80, yet his heart was not apright. Some hate pride, 
hanghtinesa, disdainful supercilious carriage; others laseivieusnev, unclean- 
ness* open profaneness ; others superstition, human inventions and inno- 
vations in divine worship ; others errors, aehisms, heresies. And we see 
injustice, oppression, passion, fury, unmeroifiilness, cruelty, dissembling,' 
and hypocrisy seem generally hated. Yea, further, 

• Qu. • reprieved* ?— Ed. 

256 THE ooNTionoir of htpoobitbs. [M&v. YIL 22, 23. 

It ia possible" there-may be a fiEdling out with a bosom sin, and that vfaieh 
has been much loved may be no less hated. See it in the Jews. 

Idolatry seems to have been their beloved sin, their psccatum m ddieiU, 
that to which they were most addicted for many generations ; yet-^fter the 
captivity we may diseezn in them a special hatred of this sin above others. 
They woold die rather than soffer an image in thmr temple, so far were they 
from worshipping them. When Pilate attempted to set ap the statue oi 
Tiberius in the temple, the Jews exposed their necks to him; and tdd him 
they would choose death rather than suffer it. And the like resolution they 
shewed upon the like attempt in Oalignla's time, as Josephns telates. So 
that they might truly be said to abhor idols. Here is some haired of sin in 
them, and yet who more unbelievers, more impenitent f 

(4.) Resolution against sin. This is a principal ingredient in trae repent- 
ance, yet some resolution against sin them may be found in fonnaHsta. I 
think we may rationaUy conclude that if Judas, after he had felt what Imnlen 
and anguish there was in his sin, had been in a condition to act it anew, 
he would rather have chosen death than that act; for we see he choee 
death to free him from the anguish of it, and he does what he can to faindar 
the progress of it ; tells his tempters that it was a sin, a bloody sin, and 
throws back the money, which was the price of his treason. Dor'ye think 
he would have been tempted to that wickedness? Can we think his heart 
was not fully resolved against it? And why may not others under like sense 
of sin be as much resolved against former evil ways, and yet be as for from 
saving repentance as he ? 

What an high resolution was that of Balaam's against disobedience ? 
Num. zxii. 17, 18, 88. Balaam's bosom sin in ell probability was covetous- 
ness, 2 Beter ii. 16, and here is a temptation that suits his temper exactly, 
strikes the right string. What would not a covetooa man do for an house 
full of gold ? Ac. Yet tins is his resolution notwithstanding. 

What Nineveh's repentance was I shewed before. This was one part of it, 
they were resolved to turn from their evi ways; they were not only resoled 
to do it, but they did it; the Lord saw that they did it, Jonah iii. -10. And 
which is much, for that sin which probably reighod most amongst them, and so 
particularly specified, the violence which was in their hands. ' 

Thus far they may go in a way of repentance, anch confossion, sorow, 
hatred, resolution. 

Quest. But if they may go thus for in a way of repentance^ wheran do 
they fall short ? Who is there goes frurthdr ? If this <>e not repentance 
unto life, which has such confession, sonrow, Ac., where is it to be foond? 
Wherein is such a repentance defective ? 

Ans. This I will give you a short account of, that while I intend the 
necessary conviction of some, I may not leave others under mmeceasaiy 
scruples. But briefly, this being iiot the design ff the text, jat so tj$ this 
design may not miscarry. 

Let us then take a short view of these acts of repentance, and sihew their 
defects in formalists, so as thereby those that are sincere may have the com- 
fort of their sincerity, discerning wherein they jgo beyond them. 

For confessioik That is no evidence of savmg repentance, but as it pro- 
ceeds from hatred of sin, is acoompuiied with sorrow, and seconded with 
resolutions against sin. The trial must be by thesci not.^y the ontward 
act ; for herein a hypocrite may govs far as any. Without these, confes- 
sion is but as sounding brass or a tinkKng cymbal ; a sound that signifies 
nothing of sound repentance, that which accompanies salvation. Proceed 

Mat. Vn. 22, 28.] the ookviotion op htfoobites. 257 

we then to those aets wherein the distinotton may be dieeovered. la thd 
next plaoe, 

Their sorrow is defective apon a threefold aeconnt. 

(1.) They mourn not for sin, bnt its consequents. Not as it is sin, a 
TiaUtion of law ; not as it is an irregalarity in the sight of God, contrary to 
God, his pnre essence, holy will ; not as it is evil, a privation of good, 
oppoaite to holiness. They love not good as good in itself; nor can hate 
evU as evil. As they delight not in that which is spiritnaUy good, beoaase 
it is spiritaaly so they monrn not for that which is sinfiilly evil as it is sin- 
fill ; not for sin itself, bnt the train of sad conseqaenees. 

(2.) Not for consequents in reference to God, Jbut themselves ; not as it 
displeases, dishonours him, tramples on his authority, advances the creatare 
above him ; burdens him, crosses his designs, grieves his Spuit, gratifies 
SalsQy woxmds Christ. If mourn for his' displeasure, rather for the effects 
of his displeasure than because he is displeased ; because he will shew him- 
self displeased, than because he is so ; because he will make it appear to their 
smart and loss that he is grieved. 

^) Not in all its consequents in reference to themselves; not as it defiles 
the soul, deprives it of his beauty, strength, health ; debars it firom oom- 
manion wiih Christ ;- keeps it at a distance from God ; makes it more un- 
capable Of graee ; hardens it, disposes it to more sin, leaves the seed 
behind ; indisposes it for holy duties, makes it unserviceable to Gh)d. 

But as it is exposes to wnvth temporal, eternal ; contracts guilt, leaves 
borrov; deprives of outward mercies, liberty, health, riches ; makes obnoxious 

Their hatred of sin is drfectSve, comes short of that which is essential to 
troa asTing repentance, in that, 

(1.) It is not extended to aU sin. They hate not every evil way. The 
Jews hated idolatry, but not sacrilege, Bom. ii. 22. They hated gross 
saerflege too, they were fax from breaking or robbing their temples ; none 
more sealous for the temple. As many formalists amongst us, very zealous 
for God*s honse, for the externals of worship, the outside of religion, and 
think themselves far from sadhlege upon this account, while they make no 
conscience of robbing God in another way ; defrauding God of that spiritual 
service, that soul ^w«vdiip; which is indeed the soul of worship, of highest 
▼slue with him ; and fha^ outwards of religion of no other account than s 
dead cartase wittiout it. 

fiUncsre hatred is universal. He that truly hates any hates all. Now 
formalists may hate^gross sins, but those which the world counts small they 
will have a toleration lor, some or other > this is hut a little one, I may live 
in it without danger. 

Tbey yiay hate open wickedness, but they hata not secret sins. Their 
beerts dm not nse against tie secret motiofis of sin which arise in their 
heerts ; they do not abhor these, nor loathe themsehres for them. 

They may hate a sin which is generally hated, which is cried down by the 
UmBB^ snd abhorred by the people amongst whom they live. They may be 
eerried down with the stream thus &r. Bat they will scarce hale a sin that 
is in credit, countenanced by the times, encouraged by the example of those 
thai st^ g^est or many ; or if they hate such a sin, it will be because they 
lows not those whose sin it is. 

Tbej may hate an unprofitable or an expensive sin, which is like to bring 
tbeiA in no reivenue of profit or pleasure ; but scarce will they hate the sin 
of their calling, that which they have Uved by, and has been as a right hand" 
onto them, io^bring them in riches or pleasures. 

vox*, n* > 


They may haie a em from wliioh their nature is eskrangedy whieh is con- 
trary io th^ temper and complexion, bnt they will not hate the sin of their 
conatitation, that to which they are carried with an eager and delightfdl 

(2.) They hate others' sins rather than their own. Jndas could haAe tn 
appearance of pro&neness in another, but not that real eoretonsness that was 
in his own heui. Jehu could shew some hatred of the idolatrous worship 
of Baal, but yet retain the idolatrous worship of Jeroboam ; hate the idc^try 
of the house of Ahab, but continue an idolatry of another kind in his ovs 

(8.) Their hatred is rather directed against the persons than the sins d 
others. Who would not think the scribes and pharisees were aeaIoi» haters 
of Sabbath-breaking, when their jealousy was so quick-sighted, as they woold 
spy it where it was not, even in the disciples, and ChriiBt himself? Xet it 
was not the sin, but the man they hated : We will not have this man to rda 
OTer us. This man was the mark at which their hatred shot ; the sin wtf 
but the blind, or the stalking-horse. 

J 4.) They hate rather the effects of sin than sin itself. They hale shme 
reproach, sorrow and suffmng, terrors and anguish of eonseienee, tor- 
ments of heU. These are real e^ls in their apprehensions, and they naj 
really hate them as the effects of sin, and yet not hate the sin itselC. 

(5.) It is not hearty. They hate it not with all their hearts, neither does 
it reach the heart of sin. They may hate some of the excrements of m, 
pare its nails, of shave its hair, as the Israelites were to do with the captivief 
they intended to marry ; or possibly they may cut off some members, hot 
they would not the main body ; they spare the life of the old man. Thev 
may lop off some branches, but they strike not at the root. Their hatred 
does not reach the corruption of their natures; ttey loathe not that, they 
pursue not that to the death with mortifying endeavours ; they confine it 
indeed that it break not out into outrageous acts, but they do not crudfy 
it. If their hearts did hate it, they would pursue it to the death, nothing 
else would satisfy. 

Their resolutions are defective. 

(1.) In their rise. They rise not from an inward, universal change. Iiol 
from a principle of holiness, but from apprehensions of present ruin sad 
destruction, as Nineveh ; or from terrors and anguish of soul, as in Jodai 
when upon the rack ; or from the power of restraining grace, whieh keeps 
them from resolving to sin, rather than helps them to foil reeoiutiona s^iisst 
it, in wliioh case their resolutions are rather negative than positiTe. This 
it was with Balaam, Num. zxii. 18, 88. He says not, I will not* bot I 
cannot ; he had a good mind to it, but the Lord overpowered. 

(2.) Continuance. They aUde not, they are not followed to full execs- 
tion. The cause from whence they rise is not constant, and thiit beiDi 
removed, they vanish. They flow no longer than they are fed by thdr 
spring from whence they rise ; and that is not like those waters which 8|irii^ 
up to eternal life. It is but a flash of fear or terror, or anguish, whieh pasni 
away like a land flood, is quickly gone, and so the resolutions fidl with them. 
When they are come off the rack, you hear no more of their resohitioiiB, at 
least you see nothing of them in their practice. So it was with tbi 
Vinevites. 8o with Balaam. Their goodness is like the mondng ek»d. 
Nothing more ordinary. David apprehended this danger, it is like, when 
he puts up that prayer for the people, who then seemed well lesohed, 
1 Ohron. zxix. 18. 
^ They may go far in respect of faith. They may have a fidth so like to 

Mat. YH, 22, 28.] tbx cx>inr[OTiON or EnrpooBiTBa. 259 

that which is sayiog and justifying, as they themselves may take it to be th0 
very same ; and otliers too may jadge it to be the fiedth of God's elect, even 
those that have the spirit of discerning. Simon Magus believed, Acts viii. 18. 
Sach a &ith he had, and so expressed it, as Philip and the chnroh took him 
to b» a tnie believer, and accordingly admitted him to those privileges which 
are peculiar to tme believers, and which they coold not lawfully commani- 
cate to him, but that npon some sufficient groand they may account he had 
trae fiuth. Those that received the word into stony ground believed, Luke 
Tiii. 18. 8ach a ficuth they had, as by the description of it, seems not to 
differ from saving faith (that of the good groond) save in the root ; the dif- 
ferenoe is not apparent, it lies under ground ; those that will discern it must 
dig for it. The discovery of it must be refexred to time, or the day of trial ; 
till then it is not easy, if it be feasible. 

There are four several acts of faith, each of which do claim to be the 
SAYVkgt the justifying act. And there are many strong pleas put in by divines 
of great note to mtJce good the daim ; and midoubtedly one or other of 
them eannot Mi of it. Now such as these in the text may go £ur in them 
all, snd so &r as it will be no very easy matter to discover wherein any 
other may go further. The acts are assent, o<Misent, dependence, assurance. 
We will endeavour to shew how far they may proceed in every of them. 

1. Asunt, They may have that faith which is placed in assent. And 

flome there are who place saving fiiith herein, whose names or arguments I 

will not trouble you with ; but keeping close to the matter, shew what this 

aaBent is, and in what degree it may be found in temporaries. Assent is an 

aei of the mind, judging that which is propounded to be true. And faith in 

thjB aceeptation is an act of the judgment or understanding, giving credit to 

the doctrine of Christ, judgii^ it to be the truth. Such a faith, such an 

assent hypocrites may have, and that without dissimulation. They may 

belieTO the doctrine of Christ, assent to the truths revealed in Scripture, 

close with them as divine truths. Yea, after some strugglings and reluc- 

tancies from temptations, to doubting and unbelief, the power of these truths 

xnaj become victorious^ so as to tritunph in the mind, and captivate the 

jndfpnent to an obedient assent. More distinctly and particularly this assent 

may be. 

(1.) Universal. He jnay believe all the truths contained in Scripture, so far 
as he is acquainted with them, and he may be acquainted with more than those 
that are true believers. He may know more than most of those who have learned 
CJhrist as the truth is in Jesus, and consequently he may believe more than 
thej ; his faith may grasp those truths which they have not yet reached. 
,\s his knowledge may be more extensive, so his faith may be fnore compre- 
hftenaive. In this kind of faith he may go as far as the apostle expresses his 
:»TOgrea6, Acts xxiv. 14. Paul was confident that Agrippa had so much £uth, 
%jet0 xxvi. 26, 27. 

He may believe all things contained, both in the law and in the gospel, 
(Xid thai not only implicitly, but expressly, so far as they have come within 
be reach of his apprehension, and there are none that expressly believe any 

He may believe, not only matters of £ict there related, bnt matters of 
^th there propounded ; not only what is obvious to sense, or may be dis- 
4:»vered and proved by reason, and confirmed by experience; but that which 
9 lar ont of the reach of sense, above the discovery of reason, without the 
rBOoaragement of experience, even such things as depend wholly on revelation. 

He may believe that the relations are true, both of things ordinary and mi- 
^^enloofl; all the commands are just, and the prophecies shall be fulfilled; aU 


the promises accomplished, all the threatenings exeented. There is no 
qaestion but the devils may beliere this, James ii. 19. They helieye it, and 
are a£fected with it ; mach more such men who live nnder the hopes, the 
light, the power of the gospel. 

(2.) Sapernataral. Snch a fiuth as eonld never have been engendcsed 
merely by the light and power of nature ; saoh a faith as has its original 
from heaven, and is inspired by the Holy Ghost. For there are two ingre* 
dients which make np this faith : the one is light to discover the tniths that 
are to be assented to; the other a power inclining the mind to give its 
assent. Now both these they may have from the Holy Ghost, both the dis- 
covering light and the incUning power, both this illnmination and this 
inclination. And we have proof of both in that Heb. vi. 4. Those who 
had nothing accompanying salvation were enlightened, there is the former ; 
and tasted of the heavenly gifts, there is the latter; and both from tlie Spirit 
of God ; for in respect of botii, they are said to be partakers of ike Hobr 
Ghost, in the third expression. By heavenly gifts Some understand Christ, 
many understand fiuth. Indeed, those expositions are not inconsistent, boUi 
come to one ; for it is by faith that Christ is tasted, and this fcith is a gift, 
a heavenly gift ; the Holy Ghost bestows it, by giving light to diseorer the 
truths of Christ, and by inclining the mind to assent to ^em, and dose wit2i 
them. In both respects this fiiith or assent is not a work of natare, iiis no: 
an act of natural strength ; it is not of themselves, it is the gifi of Qod ; a 
heavenly gift, a snpematnral act. 

(8.) Divine. They may have a divine faith, not only in respect of Ha 
original and efficient, but in respect of its ground and foundation. The 
ground of their faith may be a divine testimony, it may be raised upon a 
divine foundation, viz. the truth of Gk>d. They may ground the credit thev 
give to the doctrine of the gospel, not only upon probable reason, whieh b 
tiie ground of that assent we call opinion ; nor upon evident reason, the 
ground of that assent we call knowledge or science ; nor upon human testi- 
mony, the ground of human fiuth ; but upon divine testimony, whieh is tbe 
proper ground of divine faith. They may believe the tmtiis revealed in 
Scripture upon this ground, because they are persuaded that God, who eannot 
lie, has revealed them. To believe the tniths of God, upon the aeeoont of 
the truth cf God, is a divine faith. Thus the Israelites, a great part of wksn 
were no better than those in the text, believed the Lord, and hia^erraDt 
Moses, Exod. xiv. 81. Seeing that miraculous work, they then behevsd 
what Moses had declared to them, being persuaded &at it was from God ; 
they gave credit to Moses's message, being convinced he had it from God, 
whom they believed to be truth itself. 

(4.) Firm. They may stedfasUy believe aM the tniths necessazy to sal- 
vauon without doubt or wavering ; tiiey may count it a high wiekedness to 
call any of them into question ; they may be so confident of the troth of 
Christ's doctrine as to trust their salvation thereon, and be ijMdy to hasftrd 
their lives for a testimony thereto. The apostle tells us, Bdm. iii. 2, tbt 
unto the Jews, many of whom were but Jews ontwardly, were committed the 
oracles of God, and they received and preserved them accordingly ; they hsi 
no more doubt thereof than of an oracle, than of an oracle of God, ques- 
tioned it no more than that which they were persuaded was uttered by tka 
mouth of God, Heb. z. 26. Those who may fall into that unpardonable m, 
may come to such an acknowledgment of the troth, as proceeds firom a con- 
viction, that beyond all doubt it is the truth indeed ; that is the import of 
iviyfmasc. They may arrive at a great height of confidence concerning Scrip- 
ture truths ; so did the Jews, who were only so in name, Bom. ii. 1§. 

Mat. "VII. 22, 28.] thb conviction of htpoobitbs. 261 

(5.) Approving. This assent may be accompanied with a high approbs* 
tion of diviue truths ; they may not only account them true and faithful, but 
worthy of all acceptation; not only good, but the best; the most certain, 
wortiij to be received with confidence ; the most comfortable, worthy to be 
received with joy, Luke zviii. 18 ; the most blessed and enhappying, worthy 
to be received as the words of eternal life, John v. 89 ; the most excellent, 
and so worthy of their best affections and endeavours, of their highest esteem 
and approbation, Rom. ii. 18. Being instructed out of the law concerning 
the will of God, he discerned such things therein as he approved as most 

2. Coruent, another act of faith. Consent to take Christ as he is offered; 
this is the heart's receiving of Christ, and this receiving is called believing, 
John i. 12. To believe on Christ to adoption, &c., is to receive and consent 
to take l^m, is the soul's receiving of him ; for the heart, before shut up 
against Chhst, by consent is opened to let him in. Hence many define justi- 
fying faith by this consent, or acceptance of Christ as a Lord and Saviour. 

Let us inquire how far such as these in the text may consent to take Christ 
as their Saviour, as their Lord. 

That they may be willing to take him as their Saviour is out of question ; 
ready to accept of him for the benefit of his satisfaction and purchase ; 
willing to have Christ, to satisfy justice, appease wrath, remove the curse, 
deliver them from hell ; willing to have Christ for pardon, peace, adoption, 
glory ; content to have the gift of righteousness, redemption through his 
bloody fcM^veness of sins, and an inheritance amongst those that are sancti- 
fied. Experience assures us many, otherwise utterly strangers to the life of 
faith, are willing to accept of Christ as a Saviour. 

But can they consent to accept of him as their Lord, to be at his com- 
mand 9 as their king, to be governed by his laws ? Here it seems to stick ; 
let us see how f»x they may come off. Here are some in the text who 
acknowledge Christ to be their Lord ; who profess subjection to him as their 
Lord ; who worship, who serve him as a Lord ; who had done many emi- 
nent, extraordinary, wonderful services for him ; and this in the name of 
Christ, by his authority, through his power, to his glory. If you will not 
believe them when they profess zealously that Christ is their Lord, they will 
shew jou their faith l^ their works, many and wonderful ; they will convince 
jon bjL miracles. Yet Christ disowns them. 

Others, though they cannot reach extraordinary, yet will give you ordinaiy 
proof in abnnduice, that they do consent to have Christ for their Lord, and 
to be governed by his laws. 

They may yield, as much satisfaction unto Christ, as kings demand of 
their sabjects ; they are ready to obey the laws of Christ, so far as obedience 
is reqnired to the laws of princes ; and what would you have more to shew 
them good sulijecta ? They may go as far i^ a visible observing of Christ^s 
laws as any believer on earth ; they may submit to all his ordinances, not 
only the royal law, but positive institutions ; as the primitive Christians, 
they may continue stedfastly in the doctrine of the apostles. 

Thej may be ready to practise all known duties, and to avoid all open 
known sins, not one pollution of the world to be seen in them ; they may 
forbear the gratifying of a beloved sb, a darling lust, rather than disobey 
Christ, as Balaam, Num. xxii. ; nay, upon the signification of Chri8t*s wiU 
and pleasure, they may turn from such a lust, even from a reigning sin, as 
the Ninevites, Jonah iif. ; thus far they may accept of Christ as their Lord ; 
thus near they may come to that faith which consists in a consent to embrace 
Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

262 THx coii^cnoM or HTPOOBincB. [Mat. VUL- 22, 23. 

8. Dependmce. Something of thb fiuth of dependoioe temponriei may 
have, John ii. 28 ; those with whom GhriBt would not trust himself tie sud 
to believe in his name. To believe in the name of Ghnst, e^derfe in Chru- 
turn, is more than to believe Christ awiere Christo, To believe him is bat to 
give credit to his word; hot to believe in him, denotes some dependence on 
him. The devik may believe him, but I find not that they are said to 
depend on him. lliis is expressed by a singnlar phrase in the New Testa- 
ment, a preposition, tv, hg, in, being added to ttie verb fl-iinriMiv, a phrase not 
used by other Greek anthors ; no, nor by the Septnagint ; but it is freqaeut 
in the New Testament, and that in compliance with those expressions in the 
Old Testament, which holds forth fiuth in snch phrases as denote dependence. 
To tmst in Gh>d, or to believe in him, is to rely on him, to rest, to stay, to 
lean on him ; and since the Holy Ghost does most frequently express fiuth 
in such like terms, I think it is a good argument to persuade that the naton? 
of that faith, which the Scripture so much commends and calls for, even thtt 
fiuth which is saving and justifying, consists in dependence. Let us see, 
then, how much of this may be attained by formalists, how far they maj 
proceed towards a fiuth of dependence. Phrases there are by which the Holj 
Ghost expresses this fiuth of dependence, or trusting in God ; and if the 
fiuth sometimes ascribed to unregenerate men be held forth in the -very samd 
expressions, we may safely collect that some such thing as this faith of 
dependence, some degree towards it, or some near resemblance of it, may be 
•attained, acted, expressed by those that shall not be saved, l^oeeed ve 
then in this way, which will be both clear and safe, though nanow, and but 
little if at all tiaeed. To trust or depend on God is 

(1.) To eUave to him, Deut iv. 4. It was now forty years since their 
coming out of Egypt, the unbelieving generation were fiUlen in the wild&- 
ness ; those that remained expressed more fiuth, and are therefore said to 
cleave unto the Lord. To cleave to God is to trust in him, as is evidsDfi, 
2 Kings xviii. 5, 6. 

Now, such professors as we have in the text may have something of this 
faith of adherence. Such as these are said to cleave unto God : Josh, zxiii. 8, 
' As ye have done,' Ac. ; he speaks of the generality of the people, and j^ 
there were strange gods amongst them, chap. xxiv. S^. Thon^ iddatiy 
was not tolerated publicly, yet had they idols which they worsQiipped is 
secret. No better are they, Jer. xiii., who yet are said to have sleaved, 
ver. 11, and yet they were disobedient, ver. 10. By virtue of that kind cl 
faith, by which they have their adherence ascribed to them, they seem to 
cleave so to God, as though they were glued and soldered to him ; for p2T 
which comes from the word rendered to eUave (in the forequoted places), 
signifies glue and solder, as Isa. xli. 7. This may be the reason wfaj sack 
professors are said to be in Christ, John xv. ; they may have such a fiiith as 
gives them some kind of union ; they may so cleave to Christ, as thej may 
be said to be in him. 

(2.) To stay on him, Isa. z. 20 ; Isa. L 10 ; Isa. xzvi. 8, ' Thou wilt 
keep him in perfect peace, whose mmd is stayed on thee.' Now, this is 
ascribed also to those ^t are not in a saving condition, Isa. xlviii. 2, 13DD3: 
these made the Lord their support, they stayed up their hearts on him (as 
Ahab is said to be stayed up in his chariot), 1 Kings xxii. 85 ; yel what 
they were, see ver. 4. It is the same word by which David expresses his 
faith, Ps. Ixzi. 6, and Ps. cxii. 7, 8. Some fiuth like this they may have, 
and so act it, as if God was their trust, as if Christ were the stay, the bo^ 
port of their souls. 
(8.) To Uan on him. To lean is to trust in Scripture, Isa. xxxvi. 6, Pror. 

Mat. Yn. 22, 28.] the oorviotxon or htpoobitbs. 268 

iii. 5. And thus the spouse her faith in Christ is expressed by leaning on 
'him, Oant. viii. 6. And some sneh thing may be fonnd in those that are not 
in a saying state, Mioah iii. 4 ; what tibey were, see verses 9, 10. These 
woald lean npon the Lord as a Ood that owned them, and be confident that 
in this postore, leaning, trosting, they should be safe: <No evil can come 
npon us.' They lean npon God as a weak man leans upon a staff. The 
word is Q^; and from thenoe comes \aWQi a staff. Even wicked men 
may thns lean upon Christ as if he were their rod and their staff, their com- 
fort and support ; lean upon him that they may be upheld by him, that they 
may not iali into hell and eternal misery, and may be confident thereupon 
that no such eril shall befall them. 

(4.) To reti on him. Thus is the faith of Asa expressed, 2 Chron. xiv. 
11. Such as these in the text may rest in God, 2 Chron. xxxii. 8 ; they 
rested on the words of Hezekiah, which indeed were the words of God; and 
to rest on the word of God, is to rest on God himself. Thus did that 
people, who some few years (about ten or twelTe) after are said to do worse 
than the heathen, chap, xxxiii. 9, 10 ; such as these may rest on God, may 
rest on God in a promise. Look upon the words again, and you will find 
that they contain a promise, chap, xxxii. 7, 8. Here is a proinise, an ab« 
solute promise too, which is many times found more difficult for faith to 
i^ply and rest on than a oonditionial ; yet on these words, on this promise, 
they rested ; they applied it to themselyeSt md rested on it, and thereby 
sapported tiieir hearts in this extremity, when they saw ruin and miseiy 
seem to approach ; so that hence it appears, that tiiose who are not in a 
state of salvation, may rest upon Christ, and that in a promisew We shall 
give more evidence to this in the ensuing discourse. 

(5.) To rdy on him. So Hanani the seer expresses it, 2 Chron. xvi. 7, 8. 
Asa cud trust God before he did rely on him, and had the reward of his &ith 
s^Sainat the Ethiopians ; but now his fjedth was to seek, he trusted the king 
of Syria rather than God; which is expressed by his relying upon him, and 
not relying upon God. Those that are worse thaa Asa, are said to rely 
upon God, 2 Chron. xiii. 18. Now, Ab^ah was one of those that are said 
to rely upon the Lord. Indeed, he is the man who expresseth this faith or 
relying on God ; and you may find very remarkable actings of this faith 
from verses 5 to 18, and such as may become the best of believers, and yet 
Abijah was iGur from uprightness, 1 Kings xv. 8. Such a man as this could 
egress his relying on €k)d, and have the Lord's testimony that he did so ; 
yea, and make the covenant of Gh>d the foundation of his fiuth and reliance, 
and act it all along upon the promise. Yet thus it was, the covenant, the 
promise, is the groundwork on which he begins to raise his confidence, 
Ter. 5. The promise he intends is expressed, 2 Sam. vii. 16. This pro- 
mise he applies ; he relies on it with confidence that the Lord will perform 
it, even when an army of eight hundred thousand men were in his view to 
eot off all hopes from the promise, and when he had but half so many to 
resiet them ; yet then the promise helps him to such a height of confidence, 
and to such high expressions of it, as I know not where we shall meet with 
higher. And if you observe, they have all some reference to the promise. 

8o that here you have another proof that unregenerate men may rely upon 
God, may depend npon Christ; fuod that in the promise, pleading the cove- 
nant of God, and applying the proinise to themselves as the ground of their 
trust. Let us offer a little more proof of it. 

The men of Nineveh believed God, Jonah iii. 5. One would think it a 
wondtf that they should thus believe ; the God of heaven was a strange God 
to them, they had other gods of their own» whom they accustomed to serve 

264 THS CONYXOnON OF KTPO0BITE8. fU^T. YII. 22, 28. 

and worahip; {he God of Israd vm a strange God, and the prophet vaa to 
them a stnuoge man. They had no experience of him ; why shoold they 
trost him? We are not apt to helieve strangers in matters of sneh import- 
anoe ; yet they believed, at least they had a legal faith ; that which they 
believed was the threatening, ver. 4. Now, it seems far more easy for those 
who live under the gospel, though nnregenerate, to apply a promise, thas 
for those of Nineveh to believe a threatening ; there seems more difficulty to 
apply a threatening than a promise. In applying a threatening, we are like 
to meet with more opposition, both from wiUiin and from witbont. From 
within, for a threatening is like a bitter pill, the bitterness of death is in it; 
no wonder if that hardly go down. From withoat too, Satan will be ready 
to raise opposition ; he is afraid to have men startled, lest the sense of their 
misery denounced in the threatening should rouse them up to seek how they 
may make an escape. He is more sure of them while they are secure, and 
will labour to keep off the threatening, lest it should awake them who dream 
of peace and happiness while they are sleeping in his vexy jaws. 

But now, in applying a promise, an nnregenerate man ordinarily meets 
with no such opposition. Not from within, for the promise is all sweetness; 
the promise of pardon and, life is the marrow, the quintessence of the gospel 
No wonder if they be ready to swallow it down greedily. And Satan will be 
so &r from opposing, as he will rather encourage and assist one who has no 
interest in the promise, to apply it; for this he knows will be the way to fix 
and settle them in their natural condition. A promise misapplied will be a 
seal upon the sepulchre, make them sure in the grave of sin, wherein they 
lie dead and rotting. 

And therefore if nnregenerate men may apply a threatening, which is in 
these respects more difficult, as appears they may by the example of the 
NineviieS) and by the experience we have of divers under the spirit of 
bondage, why may they not be apt to apply a promise, where they are not 
like to meet with such difficulty and opposition? 

Further, is it not more easy to believe a promise for pardon and happi- 
ness, than to believe a promise for a miracle ? But natural meoy sneh as 
in the text, may apply a promise for a miracle. They may have a iaith of 
miracles ; so had these in the text, so had Judas ; the apostle supposes it, 
1 Cor. xiii. Now, a faith of miracles depends upon a special promise, 
whereby God reveals his will to have such a wonderful work done by them. 
They believe it, depend upon him for it, and it is done. If nnregenerate men 
may apply a promise for a miracle, why may they not apply a promise lor 
mercy ? This is clear enough ; and by this time you see how frur they may 
go towards a faith of dependence. They may cleave to God, stay, lean, res^ 
rely on him ; and that in the application of a promise. 

4. Assurance (that passes for another act of £aith), which is a pezsnaaiofi 
of a personal interest in God, and a title to Christ and his benefits, with s 
confidence that he has right to them, and has, or shall have, possession of 
them. Lutherans and foreign divines generally place saving faith in sack 
a persuasion, and so were many of our own wont to do ; and some, that 
mi^e it not the vital act, that which justifies, yet make it an eminent aet of 
justifying faith. This grace embracing Christ, and depending on him, is 
fiuth in its infancy ; but this grace ascertaining and persuading, is &ith is 
its growth and proficiency, in its state and triumph. They make it a high 
attainment of faith to arrive at such assurance, such a persuasion. 

Let us inquire how near hypocrites may come to this. And I shall make 
it evident, (1.) that they may have a persuasion of their personal interest in 
God, and their title to heaven ; (2.) that this persuasion saay be stioqg» and 

Mat. YII. 22, 28.] tbz comyiotion of htpoobitss. 265 

stand imshaken against all opposition ; (8.) that it may cositnne, and hold 
up, eyen to the d^th ; (4.) that it may be grounded, established upon those 
grounds, which haTe a very near resemblance of those that are the supports 
of God's elect. 

(1.) Thai they may have such a persuasion, will be clear both by Scrip- 
ture and experience. Those that are strangers to God, may be persuaded of 
a personal interest in him ; those whom Christ will utterly disown, may be 
confident of a title to him as their Lord and Saviour ; those who are heirs 
of hell, children of wrath, may persuade themselves that heaven is their 
portion. The first of these is the foundation of ail the rest. Covenant 
interest in God is the first link in that golden chain which reaches from time 
to eternity. All blessings, positive and relative, temporal and eternal, are 
linked to it. He that persuades himself that God is his God, lays hold on 
the first link, which draws all the rest, he may easily persuade himself that 
all are his, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 28. 

Now in Scripture I find many no better than these iu the text, who claim iH* 
tereet in God, and confidently speak God to be their God. Balaam the wizard 
could do this, Num. xxii. 18 ; he takes it for granted that the Lord was his 
God, yet he was an enchanter, and gave that-penaicious counsel whereby 
the Israelites were joined to Baal-peor, Num. xxv. 2, 8. There seems to be 
more weight in Abijah's speech ; he asserts it with more spirit and confi- 
dence, grounds it upon God's covenant with them, and their keepixig covenant 
with him, 2 Chron. xiii. 10. As if he had said. As for you, Israelites* 
ye have forsaken God, broke covenant with him, you can have no confi- 
dence to daim interest in him, or expect any success or blessing from him ; 
' but as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him.' And 
who is this that is so confident of his interest in God ? See 1 Kings xv. 
Bat he speaks this to Israel. Israel is more confident, and pleads this to 
God himself, Hosea viii. 2. Here is a particular application, which should 
be the act of fiuth only, ' My God.' And it is grounded upon the covenant ; 
they plead covenant interest in God, wherein he had engaged himself to be 
their God, and they to be his people. In the Hebrew, Israel is the last word 
in the verse ; and Jonathan's Targum to make out the sense, adds, ' Israel thy 
people.' And this is the form of the covenant, Deut. xxix. 12, 18, 14. 
Grounding their confidence hereon, they lay claim to the Lord as their God 
in covenant : ' My God.' And who are they that speak thus in the language 
of faith ? that speak in Thomas's language, when he most expressed his 
faith ? Why ihej are such as, ver. 1 and 8, had transgressed God's cove- 
nant, and trespassed against the law, and that had cast off the thing that 
is good. 

The Jews who set themselves against Christ, were settled in this persua- 
iion ; Christ himself could not beat them out of it, John viii. He insinuates 
that they were slaves to sin and Satan, ver. 88 ; expresses it, ver. 85 ; they 
answer. They are free, they are Abraham's seed, ver. 88 ; he grants they 
are Abraham's seed by natural descent, but insinuates that they had a worse, 
another father, upon a spiritual account, vers. 88, 89, 41 ; they reply, they 
are no children of fornication, they had no father but one on a spiritual 
account, and God was their Father. Here was their confidence, which they 
will retain, say Christ what he will ; they counted themselves the children 
of God, and so expected the love and portion of his children. 

They may be persuaded that Christ is their Saviour, and that he redeemed 
them. So those wretches, 2 Pet. ii. ; they are said to be bought or redeemed 
by him, because thus they presumed, this was their persuasion. And so 
some taike it, and not without warrant from Scripture, for the Holy Ghost 

266 THB ooNncnoN op btpogbitss. [Mat. TIL 22, 28. 

speftkfl 80 in other places, of things as if they vere reaUy bo, when they are 
so only in the opinion and persuasion of men : 2 Ghron. xzniL 28, ' He 
sacrificed onto the gods of Damascus, which smote him.' Not that they 
really smote him, bnt that he was so persuaded. As in the former place, 
they are said to be bought or redeemied by him ; not becaose Christ did 
really redeem them, bnt because they were so persuaded. 

They may be persuaded that heaven is theirs, and thai eternal life shall 
be their portion : John ▼. 89, * Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think 
ye have eternal life.* They made account to have eternal life, and they 
gathered this from the Scripture; and so were the more confident and 
assured of it, because they thought they had Scripture ground for it 

It remains to shew wherein this faith is defective, wherein it comes short 
of that which is saving and justifying. And this I shall endeavour to 
discover in those acts which are most apt to occasion scruple and trouble, 
to those that are sincere but weak believers. But this very briefly, because 
I have fully discoursed of &ith upon another subject,* and the text leads me 
rather to a detection of hypocrisy, than a discovery of sincerity. Yet this 
must be briefly discovered, lest that be mistaken, and so the main design 
of the text miscarry. 

1. Their consent has a double defect. 

(1.) As to the act, it is bnt a semi-consent; imperfect, not full ; some 
tendencies, no peremptory motions; some inclinations, no absolute resoio- 
tions ; convinced, not persuaded ; ahnost persuaded, not altogether, h iliyth 
open half way to Christ. They would enter the marriage chamber, but not 
strive to enter ; would purchase the precious pearl, but not come up to the 
price ; would drink of the water of life, bnt thirst not ; hunger not after the 
bread of life, though they see some necessity of it 

(2.) As to the object, they consent not to take whole Christ ; they viU 
embrace him as a Saviour, &c. But will they accept of him as their Lord 
and King ? Why, yes, they may go feur in yielding subjection to him si 
their Lord ; but then they will not have him to be an absolute Lord. Th^ 
like not an absolute subjection ; they would have his sovereignty limited in 
this or that particular, where it seems to entrench too far upon that liberty 
which some lust or carnal interest desires. His way must be a little 
enlarged, made a little wider in one place or other, it seems too strait, too 
narrow ; his yoke must be made a Uttle lighter, it pinches too much upon 
that which is dear to them in this or that particular ; whereas a sincere 
believer counts all the ways of Christ pleasantness, even when they are 
straitest, and give least room to the flesh. The yoke of Christ, when it is 
laid on him in his full weight, he accounts it easy and his burden li^t 
His sceptre, how massy and weighty soever, is precious to him as gold, more 
precious than fine gold ; if he might have a dispensation in this or that, he 
would not be exempted. 

They will accept of Christ to save them, but will they have him to saneiiff ? 
Why, yes, some kind, some degree of sanctification they would have ; hot 
not thoroughly sanctified, not wholly mortified. How Christ comes, and so 
how he must be entertained, the prophet shews us, Mai. iii. 2, 8. There 
are some hypocrites, ver. 1, who impatiently desired Christ, and expoi- 
tulated with God, why he was so long in sending him ; but little did they 
think he would come in such a way as is here described, as a refiner's ^ 
and as faller's soap. If Christ would come with a pencil and draw a laoe of 
holiness upon their conversations, they would be willing so to entertain him ; 
they are willing to have some tincture of holiness there, and to have it 
* FMfe A Treatise of Faith. [Vol. L of this edition^Eo.] 

Hat. TII. 22, 28.J thb oonvzction of htpoobitbs. 267 

garnished with the most specious acts of religion, and plausible works of 

Or if he wonld draw the lineaments of sanctification upon the sorface of 
their sonls, Ihey can well enongh endure sneh a superficial work. Let that 
be gilded and adorned as much as he will, they will not stand with him. 
For any tincture in the surfiEUse, either of heart or Hfe, for a superficial change 
in either, if that will serve his turn, it will serre theirs too ; they are con- 
tent, upon these terms he may come and welcome. But to come as a 
refiner's fire, to bum up their lusts, to consume all their dross, and utterly 
to dissolve the old frame of nature, to melt their souls, so as to make them 
run into a new mould, they like not this. As this seems harsh and painful, 
so there will be waste and loss in refining, they are apt to think it needless. 
There is some dross which is as precious to them as silver, why should this 
be consumed ? They like their old frame too well to have it quite dissolved. 
Would it not be enough to have it furbished and gilded over ? Must it be 
quite melted ? Must this be the work of their lives, to make use of Christ 
as fire, to be continually consuming their lusts ? Must that which is so dear 
to them pass through Uie fire ? Must they be always improving the puri- 
fying virtue of Christ as fuller's soap, to wash out the stains and spots of 
sin, some of which they count their beauty and delight ? Must this be their 
daily care ? and must they be at this trouble continually all their lives ? 
And will not Christ come and be entertained upon any other terms ? Why, 
then, who may abide the day of his coming ? who may abide it ? Why, 
not any hypocrite in the world. He is a sincere believer, indeed, that will 
embrace Christ when he comes as a refiner's fire, that will not shrink and 
shrug at the heat and painfiilness of it ; but wiU admit it into the very 
inwarids of his soul, and there nourish it till it have consumed whatever is 
offensive to Christ, how dear soever it has been to him. 

2. Dependence on God, resting on Christ in a promise. This makes as 
lair a show of saving fiuth as anything can do. Wherein falls it short ? 
Why, it is defective on this account, because it is not accompanied with 
that self-resignation which is either essential to faith, or inseparable firom 
it, Luke xiv. 82. A hypocrite may rely upon Christ, but he will not resign 
up himself wholly to hun ; and that will appear in one, or all of these three 

(1.) In point of performance. He will not comply with the whole will of 
Christ discovering his duty. Indeed, if ye ask him in general, if he be 
willing to do whatever Christ requires of him, it is like he will affirm it 
peremptorily and with confidence. He himself may be deceived herein, as 
well as deceive others, while he stays in generals ; for dolus laUt in gene- 

But come to particulars ; it may be you may mention a thousand parti- 
enlar duties to lum, and he may be willing to submit to them all. You may 
easily miss that duty which he sticks at, when possibly it is but one duty or 
two among ten thousand that he cannot digest ; but if ye be directed to hit 
right, and inquire of that duty which pinches upon his credit, and will expose 
him to disgrace and reproach, if he be popular, and affect vain-gloiy and 
applause, if that be his humour ; 

Or which entrenches upon his profit, makes a breach in his estate, hazard 
his impoverishing and undoing in the world ; if he be covetous and inclined 
to the earth, if that be his complexion ; 

Or which robs him of his ease and pleasure, and cuts him short of those 
delights, wherewith he has been wont to make his life sweet and comfortable ; 
if he be slothful and sensual, if that be his temper : 


Inquire of snoh a daty, are ye willing to do this now when Christ calls for 
it ? This will puzzle him ; here will he stick. He will either plead. Sore 
this is not a daty, Christ is not such an hard master as to reqnire that which 
will tend to disgrace me, or nndo me, or make my life nncomfortahle^ or if je 
oonyince him it is a daty, why, then he mast be dispensed with ; I will do 
whatever else the Lord would Imve me, only in this, the Lord be merciful to 
me ; * The Lord pardon thy servant in this thing,* as Naaman said about 
his going into the house of Rimmon, 2 Kings y. 18 : herein the hollomess 
of his heart, the unsoundness of his faith, may be detected. Bee it in Abj)ab, 
he who makes such a flourish with his faith as few true believers go beyond 
him, 2 Chron. ziii. It is said of him, 1 Kings zv. 8, ' His heart was not 
perfect as David's.' Now wherein lay the uprightness or perfectness of 
David's heart ? Bee that Acts xiii. 22, wawa rd ^tkn/uMra. That was the 
index of David's uprightness, and this was the index of Abijah's hypocrisy ; 
his heart was not periect like David's ; he would not fulfil, &e. His iaaih 
was not accompanied with a full rengnation of himself to the will of God. 

(2.) In point of relinquishment He is not willing to part with every sin. 
There is some sin or other has deeper root in his heart than his liutk. 
Ask in general if he be resolved to abandon every sin, and he may express 
his resolu Jon with a great deal of confidence. Come to particulars ; and 
if you specify ten thousand sins to him, he may^be severally resolved against 
them all. 

But lay your hand upon the head of his bosom sin, that which is rooted 
in his complexion, or commended to him by example and custom, or endeired 
to him by some harvests of pleasure or profit that he has reaped by it, ask 
him, Shall this sin be crucified ? Here he is at a stand. £ither he will 
contend it is no sin, and you will hardly fasten a conviction on him ; or if 
he cannot avoid it, to satisfy conscience, and keep up some hopes of heaven, 
he will be content to proceed against it, as though he intended its death. 
He will imprison it, confine it ; it shall never see the light, never break foi^ 
into open act ; and there it shaU have but prisoner's fare, he may out off much 
of those large provisions that he has formerly afforded it ; nay, he may bring 
it sometimes to the block, as if it were for execution. He may be drawn 
to those mortifying duties, which, if they were heartily managed, mi^t be 
the death of it. Ay, but when the axe is falling upon its neck, when the 
sacrificing knife should go to its throat, he cannot find in his heart to do it 
When it says to his heart, as Benhadad's servants pleaded to Ahab, ' I pray 
thee, let me live,' 1 Kings xx. 82, he cannot but spare its life, whatever 
come on it. Here is the unfaithfulness of his heart ; notwithstanding all 
his shows of faith, he has some lust or other that he will not resign up to 
death for Christ. Thus it was with Herod : he ' did many things ;' the 
ministry of John brought him a great way, and a litUe is much for a king; 
but when John touched his Herodias, he touched him to the quick ; theie 
he flies off. Many things he did, but this one thing he would not do. Thus 
it was with Ab^ah, that finmous instance of a temporary faith ; he did not 
leave that sin which was commended to him by the example oi his £iither, 
1 Kings XV. 8. 

(8.) In point of suffering. He is not willing to part with all, to suffer all 
for Christ. Indeed, while sufferings are not in view, ask him, Are you con- 
tent to have Christ accompanied with poverty, disgrace, displeasure of 
friends, hatred and persecution of enemies, imprisonment, banishment, toi^ 
tures, death? And while these sufferings are at a distance, he may seem 
as resolute as any ; but when it comes to trial, he falls off. A temporary 
faith has not root enough to stand in such storms. See this in the stony 

Mat. Yn. 22, 28.] tbb ookyigtzon of htpocbitbs. 

gronod : Lnke^viS. 18, 'In time of iemptaiion ihej fidl away.' What temp- 
tation this is, see Mat. ziii. 20, 21, * persecution and tribulation.' 

But can I h«ve no eridenoe of my sincerity till such a trial ? 

Why, yes ; the former particulars may suffice for that. Indeed, it is pos- 
sible that an hypocrite may not be discovered to others, no, nor to himself, 
till the fiery ixinl ; but that is much through his own default, not making a 
strict and impartial inquiry into the state of his soul. If he did, he might 
discover his heart to be in league with some sin or other ; and that would 
be a sufficient discovery both of the unsoundness and unstableness of his 
fiiith, that it is not sincere at present, nor will hold out for time to come. 
Whereas a true believer may make use of the contrary, as an evidence both 
of the sincerity and stability of his faith ; both that it is sound, and that it 
will abide the fiery trial ; for I take this for a sure rule, established upon 
good reason, he that will part with his most endeared sin for Christ, will be 
ready to part with his life for Christ, when he shall be called to it. 

Proceed we now to those other csraces and affections which hypocrites may, 
iQ some measure and degree, seem to partake of. 

8. They may have some love to God ; some affection to Christ, some love 
to the people of God ; yea, to holinefils and the ways of God. 

(1.) Some love to God, which may be raised upon such grounds as this : 
they may apprehend God to be good in himself. The heathens gave him 
the title, not only maopimta^ but optimua ; not only the greatest, but the best 
good : the summum bonum, the chief good. The Platonists make him r6 
ayaiov, the idea of goodness, goodness in perfection, in whom tbere is a 
concorrence of all perfections, a confluence of all things amiable and excel- 
lent. A natural man may apprehend him to be so good, as other things de- 
serve not the title of good compared with him. This we may infer fircmi Christ's 
discourse with the young man : Mat. xix. 16, Since thou dost not conceive 
me to be God, why callest thou me good, knowing that none is good but 
God ? None comparatively good ; none good as he is, originally, essentially, 
perfectly, unchangeably. Now goodness is the proper object of love ; and 
an object duly propounded to its proper &culty will draw out some act or 
motion to it. As an hateful object, propounded as most hateful, does usually 
raise some motion of hatred, so an amiable object, propounded as most 
amiable, does usually raise some motion of love. 

Further, they may apprehend him to be the fountain of goodness, not 
only to be good in lumself, but to be the author of all good to others. So 
does Plato describe God to be good, and the cause of good. The light of 
nature leads men to subscribe to that of James, chap. i. A natural man 
may discover not only goodness in God, but riches of goodness, and that 
distributed, and that duly expended and laid out upon the sons of men ; and 
the apostle tells us, this discovery is such, as does lead, &e., Bom. ii. 4 ; 
nay, it does not only lead, but draw (it is not xaXli, but S/yti). Now, how 
does it draw ? How is goodness attractive but by virtue of love ? In this 
nuumer, what cause have we to love him, who is so rich in goodness ? And 
bow should it grieve me to have offended him, whom I have so much cause 
to love? 

Moreover, they may apprehend that all the good things they enjoy do 
come from God ; that they are parcels of that treasury of those riches of 
goodness which are in God. Laban, though an idolater, and that in dark 
times, could see and acknowledge, that what he enjoyed was firom the blessing 
of God, Gen. xxx. 27. Now here is a stronger engagement to love, when 
God is apprehended, not only good in himself, and good to others, but good 
to him. This we find will beget some love in the brute creatures ; no won- 


der if it raise some motioDs of love in the more kpprehendTe sort of men ; 
who, notwithstanding the fall, have jet this advantage of beasts, they can 
apprehend a good torn, an engagement to love more clearly, and have more 
ability to reflect npon the Autiior of it. 

Fiurther, they may conceive the blessings they eijoy proceed from the love 
of God, Ps. xUv. 8. They may conclnde, because he blesses them, he 
therefore loves them ; and this is a strong engagement to love, even upon 
the worst of men. Mat. v. 46. The worst of men cannot resist sach an 
engagement. The publicans will return some love for love. And may not 
natural men, apprehending strongly that God loves them (and has many 
ways expressed his love to them), make some return of love again ? 

Lastly, they may conceive they have a special propriety in God, believe 
that he is their God. Now propriety, though it be but in fancy, is a great 
endearment ; we are apt to love our own things. I have proved before, that 
hypocrites may be confident of their interest in God ; let me but add one 
text more. Bom. ii. 17, ' Thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and 
makest thy boast of God.' He speaks to those who were but Jews out- 
wardly, nomine tenus, one who had nothing but the name ; yet such a one 
can rest in the law, t. s, trust in it, for to trust and to rest upon are the same 
in Scripture phrase ; he trusted in the law. Now the first words of the law 
are, < I am the Lord thy God.' This he believed, and of this he boasted, 
that the Lord was his God ; and he was not alone in this. Now propriety 
is a strong engagement of affection. 

Upon tibese accounts a hypocrite may have some love to Gk>d. And that 
we may not rely upon reason, see if the Scripture hold not forth as much. 
Jer. ii. 2, the day of their espousals was when the Lord took them to be 
his people, and brought them out of Egypt, and led them through the wil- 
derness. Then the Israelites had some kindness for the Lord, some love to 
him. And yet then what a character does Moses give of them, Deut ix. 

They may have some love to Christ too, and that upon the grounds pre- 
mised. There is more of the loveliness of Christ discovered in the gospel 
than the light of nature can discover of the attractive goodness and exceUee- 
cies of God. There is love in its triumph, in its highest exaltation, displayed 
before the sons of men ; such expressions of love as one would think might 
force love from the devils, could they but persuade themselves of any inter- 
est in it But now there are some hypocrites who can be confident they 
have interest in it, they are the objects of it ; all this love, and the expres- 
sions of it, were for them ; this I proved before. They can believe that 
Christ lived and died, &&, for them. And will not this be enough to com- 
mand some common affection, to draw out some motions of love to Christ ? 
See Mat. x. 87, ' He that loveth father or mother more than me is not 
worthy of me.' This expression implies that there are some who may have 
a kind of love for Christ, while they have a greater love for other things ; 
such as think him worthy of some love, and yet are unworthy of him, and 
so never shall have saving benefit by him. Those Jews in the prophet seem 
passionately affected to Christ, Mai. iii. 1. The same word is used to ex- 
press the affection of Shechem to Dinah, Gen. xxxiv. 19, who refused not 
the hardest terms that could well be propounded, so that he might have her 
to wife, see ver. 8. Such an affection these Jews seemed to have for the 
Messiah, and yet what they were, see ver. 7, and chap. ii. ver. 17. 

They may love the people of^God. See this in Herod, Mark vi. 20. He 
reverenced John, had an observant respect for him, delighted to hear him, 
and was exceeding sorry when Herodias had compassed his death. All 

Mat. YH. 22, 28.] tbb ooxnonoN of htpocbiteb. 271 

which argne Us ioTe to John ; and the reason of it is ohserrable : he affected 
him beeanse he knew he was a just and a holy man. A hypocrite may re- 
spect a holy man becanse he is holy. And further, John was a severe, a 
searching preacher, a sharp an(d impartial reprover of sin ; one who would 
not spare the king himself, would not baulk the bosom sin of Herod ; told 
him plainly what none of his courtiers durst tell him, It is not lawful for 
theo to have thy brother's wife, ver. IB ; and yet for all this did Herod thus 
affect him. 

So that a hypocrite may aff(9ct a searching minister, one who uses to ran- 
sack his conscience, to enter into his bosom, aud there to wound his darling 
sin. Such a minister he may reverence, he may take pleasure in him, and 
delight to hear him. Herod was none of the highest flown hypocrites, yet 
could he reach such a pitch. What may those do who are of a more refined 
strain, when a tyrant, an adulterer, could do this ? 

They may have some love to holiness and the ways of God. Holiness is 
an observance of the law of God, for this is the rule of holiness. Now the 
light of nature, with a little help from Scripture, can discover that a general 
due observance of the law of God would bring such order, concord, content- 
ment into the world as would make it a new world, transform it into a kind 
of paradise, and restore the golden age. And is not this sufficient to render 
holiness, or, which is all one, an observance of the law of Gbd, lovely and 
amiable ? 

Ephndm, in the prophet, is said to love the ways of holiness, Hosea x. 
11. This, well understood, does evince our purpose. To understand it, 
observe, that walking in the ways of God, in the paths of holiness, is in this 
chapter, as in many other places, set forth in terms belongmg to husbandry, 
by ploughing, sowing, reaping, thrashing, as verse 12. In this verse it is 
set forth by threshing (for their way of threshing was a treading out the 
com with the feet of oxen or heifers). To tread out the com, appHed to 
Ephraim, is to walk in the ways of God, and this Ephraim is said to love. 
She had some love to the ways of holiness, yet hr she was from holiness 
itself, as appears by the Lord's complaint, ver. 18 ; so that, though she 
loved to walk in the ways of holiness, yet there was scarce a footstep of 
hoUnesB to be found in her. It was some extrinsecal consideration that en- 
deared holiness to her, of which I shall give you an account presently ; for 
the distinction betwixt this love and that which is sincere and saving, lies in 
the text before us, and therefore we will offer it to your observation before 
we proceed further. 

A hypocrite may love the wa3rs of holiness, but it is not the holiness of 
those ways that he is in love with, bu^ some ou