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at jhttp : //books . qooqle . com/ 




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NICHOI/S SERIES OF STANDARD DIVINES, 

PURITAN PEBIOD. 



W&xtfy (Bmtxul ^nfott 



BY JOHN C. MILLER, D.D., 

LIMCOLS COLLEGE J HOVORART CANON OF WORCESTER J RECTOR OF 8T MARTON'S, BIRMINGHAM. 



THE 



WORKS OF DAVID CLARKSON, B.D. 

VOL. III. 



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\ 



COUNCIL OF PUBLICATION. 



W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., Professor of Theology, Congregational 
, Union, Edinburgh. 

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

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

D. T. E. DRUMMOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas's Episcopal Church, 
Edinburgh. 

WILLIAM H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church 
History, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presby- 
terian Church, Edinburgh. 

General ©oitor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edihbubqh 



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THE PRACTICAL WORKS 



OF 



DAVID CLAEKSON, B.D. 



FELLOW AND TUTOR OF CLARE HALL, CAMBRIDGE. 



VOL. III. 



EDINBURGH : JAMES NICHOL. 
LONDON: JAMES NISBET AND CO. DUBLIN: G. HERBERT. 



M.DCCO.LXV. 



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LOAN STACK 

KDiwBumofl : 

PKISTBD BT JOHH ORUG AXD SOK, 
OtD PBT8IC OABDBJia. 



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CONTENTS. 



Css 

v-3 



SERMONS, &c. 



Page 
3 



The Love of Christ. .... Eph. V. 2. 

Christ's Sacrifice. .... Eph. V. 2. . 47 

Christ's Dying fob Sinners. . . . Rom. V. 8. . 68 

Christ Touched with the Feeling of our 

Infirmities. .... Heb. IV. 15. . 81 

Of Coming Boldly unto the Throne of Gbace. Heb. IV. 16. . 110 

Of Chbist's Making Intercession. . . Heb. VII. 25. . 148 

Believers' Communion with the Father and 

Son. . . . . .1 John I. 8. . 165 

Public Worship to be Pbefebbed before 

Private. . . . . Ps. LXXXVH. 2. 187 



The Practical Divinity of the Papists Discovered to be De- 
structive of Christianity and Men's Souls. . . 1 

Contents of the Preceding Treatise. .... 264 

General Index (with the ' Alphabetical Table ' of the Original 

Edition Incorporated). ..... i 

Index of Scripture Texts. . . . . xii 



033 



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> 



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SERMONS, &c. 



vol. in. 



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THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 



And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, 
an offering and a sacrifice, dc. — Eph. V. 2. 

Herb is the greatest duty of the law, ' Walk in love ;' and the greatest pattern 
of the gospel, ' as Christ also hath loved us.' It is this latter, as the most 
alluring and enforcing motive to the former, I shall insist on in this dis- 
course. This love of Christ is what this apostle always admired, since 
the first day its warmth thawed his cold frozen pharisaical spirit : 1 Tim. 
i. 14, ' The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love, 
which is in Christ Jesus.' And here in the context, after twenty-two years' 
study, chap. iii. 19, he says, ' it passeth his knowledge' still, passeth all 
natural knowledge, passeth the knowledge of ordinary Christians that enjoy 
and use the telescope of faith, passeth apostolical, passeth angelical ; ver. 10, 
4 might he known by the church.' When saints are perfect in heaven, 
2 Thes. i. 10, they admire Christ and his love still, ver 18. He gives a reason 
of its incomprehensibleness, because it exceeds natural dimensions. Nature 
knows but three measures for solid quantity, length, breadth, and depth, but 
here height also ; and since it knows no standard but itself, he compares it 
with itself ; because he cannot measure itself, he measures by its effects, 
offerings, and sacrifices. The Teruma, the wave-offering, went in its signifi- 
cant pointing as low as hell and as high as heaven, to relieve us from the 
lowest dungeon of misery, and to exalt us to the glory of the highest heaven. 
The Tenvpha, the wave-offering to and fro, points at the breadth and length 
of this love, either in the four points of the mediatorial office, — the undertaking 
it from eternity ; the performance in time, by his assuming our nature and 
laying it down a sacrifice for us ; the love whereby he woos and espouseth 
ua to himself in effectual calling ; the love by which he loves them to the 
end, from eternity to everlasting, — or four corners of the earth, to shew the 
extensiveness of it There is no kind of person but what shall be saved, or 
kind of sin but what shall be forgiven, through the love of him who 4 hath given 
himself for an offering and sacrifice.' , 

The two most considerable things in that part of the words I propose for 
the ground of the ensuing discourse are, 1, The ardency of this all-governing 
affection, as immanent in Christ's breast, ' hath loved us ;' 2, That incom- 
parable method of his expressing it towards us, that never had either, or can 
admit, precedent or copy, ' and hath given himself for us, an offering and 
sacrifice.' 

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4 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EpH. V. 2. 

The first proposition upon which I will discourse shall only take in Christ's 
love with its object. 

As Christ also hath loved us. Ton can look npon no place of evangelical 
Scripture where this may not be proved, either directly or by consequence. 
Take one for all : 1 John iv. 16, * God is love.' Love is one of his most 
eminent attributes. Now Christ, Heb. xiii., is called ' the brightness of his 
Father's glory,' t. e. the bright manifestation of his Father's glorious attri- 
butes. These all meet in Christ, and are there united as the beams in the 
sun. But amongst them all there is no beam so bright and conspicuous as 
love. The love of God was always the same in itself, but not always the 
same to us. It was a long time clouded from the world, and shined but 
with a weak osbcure ray, till the Sun of righteousness did arise ; but since, 
the brightness of this love, of this glory, shines in the lace of Christ, and we 
may see it with open face ; we may see with open face this ray of glory, this 
love of God in Christ, who is the brightness of his Father's glorious love. 
Christ is also called, * the express character of his person.' All divine per- 
fections were imprinted upon Christ in an express manner ; but (if there be 
any inequality) that which made the deepest impression, and appears in the 
most legible character, is love, Col. i. 15. He is called ' the image of the in- 
visible God.' There was clear discoveries of some divine attributes before 
Christ, Bom. i. 19, 20 ; but divine love was never made so visible till it was 
represented to the world in this image. 

But how doth it appear that Christ loves us ? 

1. By amorous expressions. Christ acts the highest strains of a lover in 
the Song of Songs. See what amorous compellations he treats his spouse 
with : ' My love, my dove, my fair one, my undented.' Bead his love songs, 
and see how affectionately he sets out the beauty of his beloved, Cant. iv. 
1-8, &c, and then concludes, * Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot on 
thee ;' and complains, ver. 9, * Thou hast ravished my heart with one of 
thine eyes,' &c. ; and chap. vi. 4-6, &c, < Turn away thine eyes from me, for they 
have overcome me ;' ver. 10, ' Who is she that looketh out as the morning, 
fair as the moon, clear as the sun ;' so chap. i. to ver. 10. Hear how he woos : 
* Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away,' chap. ii. 10 ; and iv. 6, ' My 
dove, &c, let me see thy face, let me hear thy voice : for sweet is thy voice, 
and thy countenance is comely.' See his love posture, how he embraces : 
Cant. ii. 6, ' His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth em- 
brace me.' He condescends to set out his love by such expressions as we 
can best judge of, though it transcends all. 

2. By his thoughts. Thoughts and affections are mutual causes one of 
another. Thoughts give life to affection, and affection begets thoughts. 
Where is much affection, there will be many thoughts ; and where there ia 
strong affection there will be high thoughts of what we affect. Christ's 
thoughts of us are many and high. He had thoughts of love to us .from 
eternity, and we were never one moment out of his mind since then. We 
are graven on the palms of his hand, Isa. xlix. 16 ; nay, we are written in 
his heart, and there he wears us, as the high priest the names of the ten 
tribes upon his breast. He has set us as a seal upon his heart, as a signet 
npon his arm, Cant. viii. 6. We can never be out of his sight, and so never 
out of his mind. It is as impossible he should cease to think of us, as it is 
for a mother to forget her sucking child, which is always in her arms, or 
on her knee, or in her bosom, Isa. xlix. 15. Nay, * she may forget,' but 
Christ will not, cannot. 

Also he hath high thoughts of us. We are his jewels, Mai. iii. 17 ; pre- 
cious to him, not only in life, but death, Ps. cxvi. 15 ; his treasure, his peculiar 

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Era. Y. 2.] THE LOVB OP CBBIST. 5 

treasure, Exod. xix. 5 ; and where his treasure is, there will his heart be also. 
As the most rich and precious stones, the stones of a crown, Zech. ix. 16, he 
accounts us his joy, John xvii. 18, his glory, 2 Cor. viii. 28, a crown of glory 
and a royal diadem, Isa. lxii. 8 ; yea, an eternal excellency, Isa. lx. 15. ; He 
has preferred us before the rest of men, though in all worldly respects to be 
preferred before us. He has chosen us, the foolish, weak, and base, despised 
things of this world, and rejected the wise, mighty, and noble, 1 Cor. x. 26-28. 
He has preferred us before the angels fallen ; for when we were both involved 
in the same misery, those, sometime gay morning stars, are reserved in 
everlasting chains of darkness ; but he has lifted up our heads and crowned 
us with glory and dignity ; nay, he has in some respect preferred us before 
himself, for he loved us and gave himself for us. 

8. But this flame, where it is, cannot be confined to the breast and thoughts, 
but will break forth into action. And so does the love of Christ appear to 
us, by what he has done for us. He has made us rich, fair, honourable, 
potent, yea, one with himself. We are by this love enriched. The Lord is 
our portion, Ps. xvi. 5, and this is incomparably more than if we had heaven 
and earth; for all the earth is but as a point compared with the vastness of the 
heavens, and the heavens themselves are but a point compared with God. 
What a large possession have we, then ! There is no confiscation of it, no 
banishment from it. Our portion fills heaven and earth, and is infinitely 
above heaven and below earth, and beyond^both. Poor men boast and pride 
themselves of a kingdom, but we have more than all the kingdoms of the 
world and the glory thereof. Christ has given us more than the devil could 
offer him. 

He has made us beautiful ; decked onr souls with rays of his own beauty, 
made us partakers of the divine nature, filled us with the fulness of God, 
conformed us to himself, who is the brightness of divine glory. And now we 
are all glorious within ; the King delights in our beauty. There is a brighter 
lustre on our souls than shone in Moses's face when he had been talking with 
God, or sparkled in the habit of Christ and his glorious companions when 
tbey were transfigured. If the beauty of a sanctified soul could be made 
visible to the world, the sun would be no longer esteemed a glorious creature, 
nor the fairest face lovely. Indeed, it was no easy matter to beautify such 
deformed souls. Christ tells us what it cost him in the text: he loved us 
and washed us from our sins with his blood. Otherwise his pure eye could 
never have beheld us with such complacency, his heart could never have been 
ravished with us. 

He has made us honourable. See what titles we bear. We are his ser- 
vants. The angels count this their honour, to be ministering spirits. But 
it is the lowest of our titles. We are his friends, his favourites, John xv. 
15, * Henceforth I call you not servants,' &c, 1 1 have called you friends,' 
yea, intimate friends, such as he entrusts with his secrets. ' All things that 
I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.' We are not only 
friends, but brethren : Heb. ii. 11, ' He is not ashamed to call us brethren ;' 
sons of the same Father: ' What manner of love is this, that we should be 
called the sons of God,' 1 John iii. 1 ; nay, not only sons, but ' heirs, heirs 
of God, and joint-heirs with Christ:' Rom. viii. 17, who is 'appointed heir 
of all things,' Heb. i. 2. There is no such love amongst men as for an heir 
to admit another co-heir with him. Nay, we are kings and priests in the 
text ; conquerors, yea, more than conquerors, Bom. viii. 

He has made us potent. No such potentates on earth, as these whom 
Christ loves: Philip, iv., 'I can do all things through Christ strengthening 
me.* What ! A creature omnipotent, able to do all things ^^e^ by a bet- 



6 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

tor reason than Oato proved the Roman women ruled all the world. Christ 
can do all things, but these whom he loves can prevail for all that he can 
do. For he hath promised : John ziv. 12, 18, ' Whatsoever ye shall ask 
in my name, that will I do ;' Hosea xii. 8, 4. 

These are large expressions of love indeed. But the proper act of love is 
union ; love is ever accompanied with a strong inclination to unite with its 
object, which, by some secret and powerful virtue, as it were by the emission 
of some magnetical rays, attracts the lover with a restless solicitation, and 
never ceases till they meet and unite, as intimately as their nature will per- 
mit. The grossness of the matter in corporeal parts will not admit of such 
intimacy and penetration as love affects ; but souls, they can mix, twine 
about each other, and twist into most strict oneness. We see this effect in 
Christ's love. His affection moved him to union with us ; and one degree 
of his union was the assuming our nature, by which Christ and we are one 
flesh. He may say to us as Adam, ' Thou art bone of my bone, and flesh 
of my flesh' Nay, we are not only one flesh, but one spirit: 2 Cor. 
vi. 17, 'He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.' transcendent love ! 
As if some man, out of love to a worm, should take upon him the form and 
nature of that irrational, contemptible creature. Hence David (in that a 
type of Christ) calls himself ' a worm, and no man,' Ps. xxii. Yet Christ's 
love, in being incarnate, is infinitely more ; as the disproportion betwixt him 
and us is infinitely greater than between us and worms. This was greater 
love, greater honour, than ever he would vouchsafe to angels : ' He took not 
upon him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham.' But the love of 
Christ would not rest here ; he thinks us yet not near enough, and therefore 
holds forth a more intimate union in such resemblances as these : John 
xv. 6, ' I am the vine, ye are the branches.' We are united as closely to 
Christ as the branches to the vine. More than this : Eph. i. 22, 28, ' gave 
him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body.' We 
are united to Christ, as the body to the head. Each of us may look upon 
ourselves as a part of Christ ; bo that whatever glory and happiness shines 
in our head, reflects upon us ; and whatever dignity and injury is cast upon 
us, it reaches our head. 

But the union which importeth most love, is that betwixt man and wife. 
Christ expresses his love and our union by this : Isa. liv. 5, ' Thy Maker is 
thy husband,' ver. 6. He has ' taken thee, a woman forsaken, a wife of 
youth :' Isa. lxii. 9, ' As a bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy 
God rejoice over thee.' No such love amongst mortals as betwixt man and 
wife ; nor is this love and complacency at any time so vigorous and conspi- 
cuous as in the day of marriage. Yet such a love is Christ's, he is our hus- 
band, and we shall ever* be in his account as a wife of youth, as beautiful, 
as delightful ; and eternity shall be but a continued marriage-day, as full of 
joy and triumph. Oh happy souls that have interest in his love ; you whom 
the Lamb has chosen to be his bride ; you who must taste the sweetness of 
those joys, and must be the object of that complacency and delight ; you 
who must be kissed with the kisses of that mouth, and folded in the arms of 
such a bridegroom ! Oh how unsavoury may the joys of earth be to you, 
how contemptible the choicest beauties in the world I The creature can 
reach no higher either in desires or conceits ; but the love of Christ goes 
above both, and expresses itself in a nearer union than this. A conjugal 
union is very intimate ; yet not so near, as that the terms thereof should 
denominate one another ; the husband cannot be called the wife, nor the wife 
the husband. Yet so near is our union with Christ, that it grounds such a 
denomination; for we are called Christ: 1 Cor. xii. 12, ' So also is Christ,' 

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EPH. V. 2.1 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 7 

i. e. Christ mystical We are not only Christ's, his members, his spouse ; 
bat Christ, in the apostle's phrase. Yet further, the wife is not said to be in 
the husband, yet Christ is said to be in us ; ' that Christ might dwell in 
your hearts by faith,' Eph. iii. 17, Gal. ii. 19. Here is not only a cohabi- 
tation, but inhabitation. 

Yet further, to add one consideration, which advanceth the intimacy of this 
anion above all those mentioned. The branch may be said to be in the 
vine, but not reciprocally the Tine in the branch ; yet Christ is both in us, 
and we in him : John xiv. 20, * At that day ye shall know that I am in the 
Father, and you in me, and I in you.' What more intimate mixture is there 
in the world, than that of light and air ? Yet here is not this reciprocation ; 
though the light be in the air, yet is not the air said to be in the light. 
What nearer conjunction is there than betwixt the soul and the body ? Yet 
here, though the soul be in the body, yet is not the body in the soul. Sure, 
when Christ is said to be in us, and we in him, here is some intimacy in- 
tended more than ordinary union ; some mystery for which we want a name, 
bo far are we from reaching its nature. The apostles themselves here knew 
it not, as the words imply, propounded in the future, ye shall know. They 
could not apprehend it, till that extraordinary effusion of the Spirit, to which 
this place refers ; and then, it is probable, rather apprehend, than compre- 
hend it. And if ever those most comprehensive creatures, the angels, had 
need to bend themselves downward, and stretch out their necks (as the word 
used by Peter implies], to pry into a gospel mystery, sure it is the mystery 
of Christ's love, in mixing himself thus intimately with us. 

It is true, indeed, while we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord. 
There is some distance betwixt us, which, though it dissolves not the union, 
yet hinders the comfortable effects of it. And Christ is sensible of this ; his love 
will not long endure it ; he cannot abide that those whom he loves so dearly, 
should be so far from him. He longs for that happy time when we shall 
meet never again to part. He is gone to prepare the place ; and now that 
it is ready, hear how he woos us : Cant. ii. 10, ' Rise up, my love, my fair 
one, and come away ; for lo, the winter is past,' &c. And, as though he 
wondered at our slowness to meet our happiness, he calls again, ver. 18, 
* Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.' And when he sees we stay, 
and call for him to meet us, how cheerfully does he reply, ' Behold, I come 
quickly ;' and, in the mean time, with all importunity solicits his Father : 
John zvii. 24, ' Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be 
with me, that they may behold my glory ;' and urges the Father, as he loves 
him, to do it. That is his argument : ' For thou lovedst me before the foun- 
dation of the world.' And why is he so importunate ? See it, ver. 21, 22, 28, 
where we have the project of Christ's love four times repeated in three 
verses, ' That they all may be one ;' ' that they may be one in us ;' ' that 
they may be one, even as we are one ;' ' that they may be made perfect in 
one.' You have the union in all three : the pattern and exemplar of the 
union in ver. 22, ' that they may be one, as we are one ;' and ver. 21, ' that 
they may be in us, as thou, Father, art in, me, and I in thee.' Not only as 
the branch is in the vine, or a member in the body, or the light in the air ; 
these are too low resemblances of so high a mystery ; but ' that they may 
be in me, as I, Father, am in thee,' &c. I say not that it is the same 
union with that betwixt the Father and the Son. It is infinitely distant from 
it ; but, as those expressions import, it has some resemblance. And, lastly, 
the motive inducing this, ver. 28, ' That the world may know that thou hast 
loved them, as thou hast loved me.' See here, and wonder, an union, that 
resembles the highest, most mysterious, and incomprehensible union, the 



8 THE LOVE OF CHBIST. [EpH. Y. 2. 

unity of the Father with the Son, proceeding from a love, which is the 
highest, most stupendous, and inconceivable love, the love of the Father to 
the Son. Such is the union wherewith Christ has united us to himself, and 
such is the love which moved him so to unite us. What nearer union than 
this ? What greater love than this ? 

4. The love of Christ appears by what he has given us ; his love-tokens. 
Whatever we have, for being or well-being, spring from his love. It is love 
that opens those infinite treasures of goodness, which had else been eter- 
nally locked up from the creatures. And though, in these showers of mercy, 
some drops fall upon the wicked, and so seem common, yet the fountain of 
love, from whence they issue, is not common. There is a vast difference 
betwixt the provision which a man makes for his wife, and for his servants. 
$very mercy we enjoy is a drop from the ocean of his special love. Let us 
ascend, by some degrees, to the height of this bounteous love. 

He gives us plenty of mercies. . This love daily loads us with benefits, 
Ps. lxviii. 19, 1 Tim. vi. 17. He gives us nothing but what is good. The 
wicked have some good things, and some bad ; those which are materially 
good in themselves, yet are formally evil to them, both in God's intention 
and in the event. Their table is a snare, the word is the savour of death, 
and sacraments seals of condemnation ; but Christ's love makes that which 
is materially evil in itself, yet formally and finally good to us ; for all the 
ways of God are mercy, Ps. xzv. He curses their blessings, but he blesses 
our curses; temptations, afflictions, sin and death, prove all good to us. 
Even all his ways ; and not only all the ways of God, who loves us in Christ, 
but all the ways of those who hate us, whether reprobates or devils. For 
' all things shall work for the good of those that love God,' Rom. viii. This 
is the great privilege of those whom Christ loves ; nothing shall befall them, 
but what shall prove good for them. They may conclude, in whatever con- 
dition they are, it is the best for them ; and if it had not been so, they had 
never come into it ; and whenever they shall cease to be so, they shall be 
removed out of it. It is the sweetest privilege, yet the most difficult to believe 
at all times, since there is often great opposition both of sense and reason, 
yet it is most true. And the reason is, the love of Christ making a sweet 
connection betwixt his glory and our good; so that whatever advanceth the 
one must promote the other. Now every thing must tend to his glory, 
therefore to our good ; these two cannot be separated. 

Besides, Christ's love gives us whatever is good. ' He gives grace and 
glory, and no good thing will he withhold,' &c., Ps. lxxx. We shall want 
no good thing, Ps. xxxiv. 10. Take a survey of heaven and earth, and all 
things therein ; and whatever upon sure grounds appears good, ask it con- 
fidently of Christ ; his love will not deny it. If it were good, for you that 
there were no sin, no devil, no affliction, no destruction, the love of Christ 
would instantly abolish these. Nay, if the possession of all the kingdoms of 
the world were absolutely good for any saint, the love of Christ would 
instantly crown him monarch of them. But if you yet doubt of the bounty 
of Christ's love, see hore a further consideration that will satisfy* 

Christ's love will give you whatever you can desire. For what reasonable 
man can desire that which is not good ? This is included in the former. 
Now all that is good the promises have already assured to you. But lest 
this limitation should seem to straiten this large privilege, it is propounded 
absolutely (though indeed it were no privilege if this condition was not 
implied). ' Delight thyself in the Lord, and he will give thee thy heart's 
desire,' Ps. xxxvii. : John xvi. 28, * Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in 
my name, he will give it you' ; and ver. 15, 17, * Ye shall ask what ye will, 

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EPH. Y. 2.] THB LOVE OF CHBI8T. 9 

and it shall be done unto yon/ The reason is, ver. 9, ' As the Father has 
loved me, so have I loved yon.' Bnt if this satisfy not, if yon still question 
what is this what you will, and fear lest you should desire too little, though 
this be a rare fault, behold the love of Christ will fully satisfy you ; he tells 
you ' All is yours,' 1 Cor. ill. 21-28. And will yon have more ? ' All things 
are yours : whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or 
death, or things present, or to come ; all are yours.' See here the extent of 
this all ; the world, and ail the world is yours. Yea, but alas ! I shall not 
live long to enjoy it ; fear not that, for life is yours, you shall live till you be 
fit to take possession of a greater, a better world. And then death is yours, 
to convey yon from the enjoyment of things present, to the fruition of things 
to come ; from this present world to the world which is to come. See here, 
no less than two whole worlds is yours. If, as Alexander, thy vast desires 
cannot be filled with one world, here are two, both thine ; one present, one 
to come. Oh the wonderful love of Christ, the wonderful bounty of this 
love I It was a royal offer of Ahasuerus to Esther, and a sign of great love : 
Esther v. 8, ' What is thy request ? it shall be given thee to the half of the 
kingdom.' Ay, but Christ not only offers, but gives, not half, but whole 
kingdoms, yea, whole worlds. But you will say, This is but a chimera, an 
empty notion : for we see there are none enjoy less of the world than those 
whom yon say Christ loves. I answer, the world is not able to judge of true 
enjoyments. There are none that have a more real, and advantageous, and a 
less troublesome and dangerous enjoyment of the world than saints. And I 
prove it thus. We may be most truly said to enjoy that which we reap the 
greatest 'emolument from, and get the greatest benefit by, that can be ima- 
gined ; but there are none that improve the world to such a real advantage 
as the saints : for the love of Qhrist has so ordered the world, and everything 
in it, as it tends to their happiness, Bom. viii. And what greater benefit 
imaginable than happiness ? On the contrary, we cannot be said truly to 
enjoy that by which we get no benefit ; but the wicked (those who seem to 
have engrossed the world to themselves) get no benefit by it : for both it and 
all things in it tend to make them miserable. There is no more reason to 
deny the saint's interest in the world, because it seems to be possessed by 
others, than to deny a merchant has interest in his estate, because it is in 
the hands of mariners and factors, whenas it is but committed to them, 
that it may be the better improved for the true owner. And so is the world 
in the hands of others, for the saints' best advantage, which they receive, as 
a landlord from his tenants, withont trouble or hazard. It is evident then 
that this present world is ours. And for the world to come, there is no 
question. So that we need not wonder at Jacob, who, when he was the 
poorer man in the world's account, conceived himself richer than Esau : 
Gen. xxxiii. 9, Esau says, ' But I have enough ; ' but Jacob says (as it is 
in the original) * I have all.' And 60 may every one whom Christ loves say, 
' I have all ;' all that I stand in need of, all that is good for me, yea, all 
that I can desire. This is enough, sure. Who can imagine more ? Ay, 
but Christ's love has provided more than we can desire. See 1 Cor. ii. 9, 
compared with Isa. lxiv. 4, ' As it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things which G-od 
hath prepared for those that love him.' What is there in the vast circuit of 
the world that eye hath not seen ? Yet more is prepared for us than eye 
hath seen from the beginning. There is no man whose ear has not heard 
more than his eye ever saw ; yet is there more prepared for us than ear ever 
heard. But there has more entered into the heart of man, than ever was 
offered either to his eye or ear ; yet the vast and unlimited thoughts of man 

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10 THE LOVE OF CHBIST. [EpH. Y. 2. 

could never conceive wjiat great things are prepared for as. Here then is 
more than the largest desire can reach ; for no man can desire that which 
his heart could never conceive. That which never entered into the mind of 
man to be the object of his knowledge, never entered into his heart to be the 
object of his desires. Christ has given more than heart can think, more 
than heart can desire ; nay, more than the angels can conceive, whose 
apprehensions are widest and highest. There is a word in Isaiah upon 
which we may ground this : ' For since the beginning of the world men have 
not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has eye seen, O God ! besides 
thee, what he has prepared for him that waiteth for him.' None besides 
thee, God, whose apprehensions are infinite, can conceive. Not the 
glorified saints, not the glorious angels, none besides thee. Nothing bnt 
infiniteness can comprehend what the incomprehensible love of Christ is. It 
is true indeed, it is said that God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, 
ver. 10, and the Spirit given to this end, that we might know the things that 
are freely given us of God. But this knowledge is not proportionable to the 
dignity of the object, but to the capacity of us the subjects ; for if the Spirit 
should raise his style as high as the glorious expressions of Christ's love, he 
must use such words as Paul heard when he was rapt into paradise, 2 Cor. 
xii. 14 ; unspeakable words, that cannot be spoken, that cannot be under- 
stood by us in the body. The glorious riches of Christ's love cannot be 
expressed but in the language of paradise ; cannot be understood but by a 
transported soul, a spirit rapt into the third heaven. The expressions which 
the Spirit uses to us in the body are such as may rather signify despair of 
full apprehending them, than lead us to a comprehensive knowledge of them ; 
such as these : he tells us of joy, but which is unspeakable, 1 Peter i. 8 ; 
of peace, but such as passeth all understanding, Philip, iv. 7 ; of love, but 
such as passeth knowledge, Eph. iii. 19 ; of riches, but such. as are unsearch- 
able, Eph. iii. 8. 

But we are not yet come to the height of Christ's love. These unspeak- 
able, unconceivable, unsearchable favours are but streams or drops of love ; 
Christ has given us the fountain, the ocean : these are but sparks and beams ; 
he has given us the sun, the element of love. The love of Christ gives us 
interest in the glorious Trinity* 

The holy and uncreated Spirit is ours. How often does he promise to 
give the Comforter? See one for all, John xiv. 16. The Spirit is ours, 
and his graces and comforts, those dawnings and glimmerings of glory, those 
irradiations of the divine nature, those joys, and that peace, which cannot be 
spoken, cannot be understood. 

The Father is ours : John xx. 17, ' I ascend to your Father, and my 
Father ; to your God, and my God.' The Father, and all that he is, all his 
glorious attributes, are ours, his all- sufficiency, wisdom, power, mercy, justice, 
truth, and faithfulness, &c. All that he does is ours, for us. His decrees, 
they are the spring of our happiness, Eph. i. 4, 5. His providence, the acts 
of it are as so many streams, which carry us with full sail into the ocean of 
glory, Ps. xxv. All that he has made: heaven, that is our home, our 
inheritance ; earth, that is our inn, to accommodate us in our pilgrimage, in 
our journey homewards ; angels, they are our guard, Mat. iv. 6 ; inferior 
creatures, they are our servants, Gen. i. 28. For Christ has renewed that 
charter which we then forfeited. Yea, the reprobates, the devils, and hell 
itself, are made so ours by the love of Christ, as they shall increase our 
happiness, and illustrate the freeness of his love ; their temptations and 
persecutions, whatever they intend, shall have no worse effect .than, as Dan. 
xi. 85, and xii. 10, to make us white, more lovely in the eye of our bride- 
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EPH. Y. 2.] TBB LOVE OF CBBIST. 11 

groom. And how will this endear the love of Christ to us, that he should 
reject so many fallen angels and men to choose us ! That we shall be those 
two who must enter into Canaan, when two hundred thousand of our fellow- 
travellers are shut out and perish in the wilderness ! What thoughts shall 
we have, when, sitting in the bosom of him whom our souls love, we shall see 
the greatest part of the world tormented in that flame t The tortures of that 
lake will sweeten those rivers of pleasures in which we shall eternally bathe 
oar souls. That dismal place shall be as a beauty-spot to make our glory 
more glorious. 

And now, what is there in heaven and earth that the love of Christ has 
not made ours ? There is nothing of all left but himself. And, alas, what 
would all these things profit, if we want him? Without Christ, earth would 
be hell, and heaven would not be heaven. He is the hope of earth, and 
the glory of heaven. See here, then, the height of his love ; be has given 
us himself, and all with himself. He is our husband ; heaven and earth is 
oar jointure. He deals not with ns as some husbands, who, out of more 
providence than love, instate their wives in part of their wealth, and reserve 
the rest for they know not what posterity ; no, his love hath withholden 
nothing from us. No, let him take all, saith he, as Mephibosheth ; all that 
I have by inheritance, and all that I have by purchase. His person is ours, 
he has married us ; his offices are ours, he is our king, our priest, our pro- 
phet ; his sufferings are ours, his merits, resurrection, ascension, intercession — 
all, all is ours that Christ hath, or doth, or suflereth. His love would let 
nothing be detained from us ; not his life, he gave his life a ransom for us, 
Mat. xx. 28 ; not his blood, he washed us in his blood, as in the text ; no, 
not his glory : John xvii. 22, ' And the glory which thou gavest me I have 
given them.' boundless love t the unsearchable riches of Christ's love ! 
happy souls that have interest in this love, in these riches ! How may 
we contemn the pride of such as account themselves great and rich in the 
world ! Your large domains and greatest possessions are but as a point 
compared with ours, whose poverty you despise. If the map of our worlds 
were set before you, how would you be ashamed, with the Athenian gallant, 
to see your imagined vast estates shrink there into nothing! We have 
riches that you know not of. We have more than you can desire, though 
your desires were as wide as hell. We have more than you can imagine, 
though your thoughts were stretched out to the wideness of angelical appre- 
hension. There is no valuing of our revenues,* no measuring of our pos- 
sessions, no bounds of our inheritance ; it is infinite ; God, and heaven, and 
earth is our portion. The love of Christ hath done this for us, has given 
these to us. 

5. Take an estimate of the love of Christ from his sufferings. Consider 
how and what he suffers by us, with us, for us. 

(1.) His love makes him patiently suffer many things by us. It puts up 
many affronts, and indignities, and undervaluings ; many acts of unkindness 
and disloyalty. See the provoking nature of sin, what a grievance and pres- 
sure it is to Christ : Isa. xliii. 24, ' Thou hast made me to serve with tby 
Bins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities ;' Isa. i. 24, * Ah, I will 
ease me of mine adversaries.' Implying sin is an oppressing burden : Amos 
ii. 3, ' Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of 
sheaves ;' Ezek. vi. 9, 'I am broken with their whorish heart. 1 There is 
nothing so provoking, so injurious to man, as sin is to Christ ; for what 
higher provocations amongst men than treason, adultery, murder ? Now, 
every sin against Christ involves in it the heinousness of these crimes. Sin 
is high treason against Christ, would depose him, and advance itself and 

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12 THE LOVE OP CHBIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

Satan into his throne ; he says, ' I will not have this man to rule over me/ 
and ' Who is Jeans Christ, that I should obey him V Sin is an act of 
spiritual whoredom and adultery, a defiling of the marriage bed, a violation 
of our conjugal vow to Christ, when it carries away the heart from Christ, as 
in covetousness and sensuality ; hence such expressions, * How is the faith- 
ful city become an harlot !' Isa. i. 21. That sin has murdered Christ needs 
no proof ; nay, it strikes not only at his life, but at his being ; would anni- 
hilate him, cause the Holy One of Israel to* cease from us, Isa. xxx. 11. 
1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.' Oh, then, what manner of 
love is this, which makes Christ willing to bear with such a thing as sin, and 
to continue so tenderly affectionate to those who have so frequently com- 
mitted it ! What king ever so loved a subject as to continue his love to him 
after he be found an enemy to his crown and dignity ? What man could 
ever be friend to him that seeks his life ? It is great love in a husband to 
bear with the frowardness, unkindness, and ordinary infirmities of his wife ; 
but who ever could bear with whoredom ? No love but the love of Christ, 
that love which has no bounds, no example, no parallel. 

But, lest you should think the sins of saints deserve not to be compared 
with such heinous crimes, consider that the sin of one whom Christ loves is 
more heinous, more provoking than the sin of any damned reprobate ; for 
those sins are most grievous that are against clearest light and greatest love. 
Now, the light which is in reprobates is darkness, Mat. vi. 23, compared 
with ours ; their knowledge is ignorance ; and therefore all theirs are sins 
of ignorance in comparison of ours. And for love, they were never the ob- 
jects of it, it was never assured to them ; whenas we are both beloved of 
Christ, and know it, and yet sin. Sure there are no sins so heinous as these, 
nor any that Christ so much resents, Hosea iv. 15 ; Dent, xxxii. 19, 'When 
the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provokings of his sons 
and of his daughters.' No provokings like the provokings of sons and 
daughters, nor any love like that which these cannot exasperate. Such is 
the love of Christ. 

(2.) This love makes him willing to suffer with us. ' In all our afflictions 
he is afflicted.' He remembers his in bonds, as though he were bound with 
them ; and those that are afflicted, as though he also were afflicted in the 
body. He knows by experience what it is to be poor, despised, slandered, 
persecuted ; he bare infirmities, that he might pity us under the burden : 
Mat. viii. 17, ' Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses/ that 
he might sympathise with us : Heb. iv. 15, ' We have not an high priest 
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all 
points tempted like as we are.' He is intimately touched with them, even 
as the head with the pain and torture of a member : 1 Cor. xii. 26, ' And 
whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, 1 especially the 
head, which, being the fountain of sense, must be most sensible. This love 
occasions such a reciprocation of interests as he accounts what is done for 
us is done for him, and what is done against us is done against him, Mat. 
xxv. 40-45. He thinks himself hungry and thirsty, when we want meat and 
drink ; a stranger, when we are banished ; restrained, when we are in prison; 
and not well, when we are sick ; as is evident, ver. 85, 86. Those that per- 
secute us persecute him, Acts ix. 5 ; and those that touch us touch the apple 
of his eye, Zech. ii. 8. 

(8.) His love made him willing to suffer for us. And for us he has suffered 
all miseries that all our sins had deserved, and cruelty could inflict. He 
who with one word caused the vast fabric of heaven and earth to start out of 
nothing, who was King of kings and Lord of lords, who had heaven for his 

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EPH. V. 2.] THE LOVE OF CHBIST. 18 

throne and earth for his footstool, was, out of love to us, content to take 
upon him the form of a servant, and to live in such a poor condition as he 
had not a cradle when horn, nor a place to la y his head while he lived, nor 
a sepulchre to bury him when he died. He who was the King of glory, the 
splendour of whose glory dazzled the eyes of seraphims, nay, whose glory 
is above the heavens, was, out of love to us, willing to be ' despised and re- 
jected of men,' Isa. liii. 8 ; to be accounted as * a worm, and no man, a re- 
proach of men and scorn of the people, 1 Ps. xxii. 6, 7. He who was adored 
by the glorious host of heaven, was the object of their eternal praises, yea, 
and ' counted it no robbery to be equal with God,' was, out of love to us, 
content to be * numbered amongst transgressors, 1 to be reviled and slandered 
as a wine-bibber, a glutton, a Sabbath-breaker, a blasphemer, a mad-man, 
and possessed with the devil. He in whose presence was fulness of joy, 
and from whose smile spring rivers of pleasures, was, for love of us, willing 
to become ' a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, 1 yea, and it seems with 
nothing else ; we never read that he laughed. He whose beauty was the 
glory of heaven, the brightness of his Father's glory, the sight whereof tran- 
sports those happy spirits that behold it into an eternal rapture, was, for love 
to us, by his suffering so disfigured as he seemed to ' have no form nor 
comeliness in him, nor beauty that any should desire him ;' ' he gave his 
back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; he hid 
not his face from shame and spitting,' Isa. 1. 6. He in whose sight the 
heavens are not clean, who was of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, was, out 
of love to us, content to 'bear our sins on his body upon the tree,' to be 
* wounded for our transgressions,' and to have all our iniquities laid upon 
him. This love made God, blessed for ever, willing to be made a curse, the 
glorious Redeemer of Israel to be sold as a slave, and the Lord of life to die 
a base, accursed, and cruel death. And, which, is above all, he who was his 
Father's love and delight, who was rejoicing before him from eternity, and in 
whom alone his soul was well pleased, did, out of love to us, bear the uncon- 
ceivable burden of his Father's wrath, — that wrath which was the desert of 
all the sins of the elect, which would have sunk the whole world into hell, 
the weight whereof made his soul heavy unto the death, and was a far greater 
torture to him than ever damned soul felt in hell (if we abstract sin and 
eternity from these torments), the burden whereof pressed from him that 
stupendous bloody sweat, and made him, in the anguish of his oppressed soul, 
cry out to heaven, ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?' and 
cry out to earth, ' Oh ! have ye no regard, all ye that pass by ? See if 
there be any sorrow like my sorrow, wherewith the Lord has afflicted me in 
the day of his fierce wrath.' No, Lord, there was no sorrow like thy sorrow, 
no love like thy love. Was it not enough (dearest Saviour) that thou didst 
condescend to pray, and sigh, and weep for us, perishing wretches ? Wilt 
thou also bleed and die for us ? Was it not enough that thou wast hated, 
slandered, blasphemed, buffeted ? but thou wilt also be scourged, nailed, 
wounded, crucified. Was it not enough to feel the cruelty of man ? Wilt 
thou also undergo the wrath of God ? or if thy love will count nothing a suf- 
ficient expression of itself, but parting with life, and shedding that precious 
blood, yet, was it not enough to. die once, to suffer one death ? Wilt thou 
die twice, and taste both first, and something of the second death, suffer the 
pains of death in soul and body ? Oh the transcendent love of Christ 1 heaven 
and earth are astonished at it. What tongue can express it ? what heart 
can conceive it ? The tongues, the thoughts of men and angels are far below 
it. Oh the height, and depth, and breadth, and length, of the love of Christ ! 
All the creation is nonplussed ; our thoughts are swallowed up in this depth, 

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14 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

and there must lie till glory elevate them, when we shall have no other em- 
ployment but to praise, admire, and adore this love of Christ. 

Bat farther, to set oat this love of Christ, consider some properties by 
which the Spirit describes it. It is free, unchangeable, incomprehensible. 

1. Christ loves Tin freely. He loved as when we had neither love nor 
beauty to attract his affections. The time of his love was when we lay 
trodden under foot, or polluted in our blood, Ezek. zvi. 6; when we had 
torn off the veil of light and beauty wherewith our souls were at first in- 
vested, and clothed them in Josadech's habit, Zech. iii. 8, filthy or (as the 
original is) excrementitious garments ; when we were wallowing in sin, more 
filthy than the puddle of a sow, and besmeared our souls with that which is 
more loathsome than the vomit of a dog. When the image of God was with- 
drawn, the life of holiness expired, and our souls were dead, putrifying and 
stinking as an open sepulchre. And what think you, could Christ love us 
in this condition ? Will any of us set our affections on a worm, take a toad 
into his bosom ? But Christ embraceth us in the arms of love, when we had 
made ourselves worse than the beasts that perish. Oh the freeness of this 
love ! 

Nor had we more love than beauty when Christ loved us. We were ene- 
mies to him, and all that were of his alliance. When we hated his person, 
scorned his love, rejected his offers with disdain, trampled upon his favours, 
and preferred our base lusts and his deadly enemy Satan before him. When 
we told him, we saw more reason to entertain the devil's offers than his, and 
rather be damned than be beholden to his love for heaven. And could Christ 
love us now ? Yes : Rom. v. 8, ' When we were yet sinners, Christ died 
for us.' No greater enemies to Christ than sinners, no freer love than love 
of enemies, no higher expression of free love than to die for enemies. 

2. It is unchangeable, John xiii. 1. No act of unkindness or disloyalty of 
ours can nonplus it ; no, not that which admits of no reconciliation amongst 
men, adultery : Jer. xxxi., ' Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; 
yet return unto me, saith the Lord.' See that full place, Bom. viii. 85 to 
the end, ' I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor prin- 
cipalities, nor powers,' &c., ' shall be able to separate me from the love of 
Christ.' Death shall not, for that conveys us to a full enjoyment of this 
love ; nor life, for that is a preparatory to this enjoyment ; nor angels, good 
or bad ; not bad, for if they separate us, it will be by accusing of us to Christ, 
shewing him our deformity or disloyalty, to make us seem unworthy of so 
great love ; but Christ will hear no such thing : Zech. iii.', ' The Lord rebuke 
thee, Satan ;' nor good angels, for if there be any danger, it is because they 
are more lovely, more excellent creatures than we, and so might withdraw 
the heart of Christ from us to them as the more worthy objects, but this 
could not hinder Christ at first from loving us, and therefore cannot hinder 
him from continuing to love us ; nor principalities, nor powers, i.e. no princes 
or potentates, by acts of cruelty or tyranny, expressed verse 85, ' Shall tribu- 
lation, or distress, or persecution, or famine ? ' &c. No ; these are so far from 
separating us from the love of Christ, as they occasion sweeter expressions 
of Christ's love. The saints find by experience never more consolation than 
in tribulation. They are never more enlarged than when distressed, never 
more affectionately embraced than when persecuted, never sweetlier feasted 
than in famine, &c. : ' In all these we are more than conquerors, through 
him that loved us.' Those things which they intend for our ruin, are by the 
love of Christ made our triumph. We are more than conquerors, and may 
more than triumph, in this unchangeable love of Christ. 

8. It is an incompreliensible love : Eph. iii. 19, ' Love of Christ, which 

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EPH. V. 2.J THE LOTS OF CHBI8T. . 15 

passeth knowledge.' There was great love betwixt David and Jonathan : 
1 Sam. xx. 17, Jonathan ' loved him as his own soul.' It is a tenderer 
affection which a mother bears to her sticking child, the son of her womb, 
Isa. xlix. 15. There is yet a stronger love than this, viz. a conjugal love 
between husband and wife, as is implied in Elkanah's speech to Hannah : 
1 Sam. i. 8, 'Am I not better to thee than ten sons? 1 Bat the highest 
strain of love we meet with is that of Moses and Paul to the Israelites, which 
made one of them contented to be blotted out of the book of life, the other 
to be accursed from Christ, for them. These are all high degrees of love 
indeed, bnt such as were in the breasts of men, and therefore not beyond 
their knowledge. Yea, bnt the love of Christ passeth knowledge. He is 
the pattern and subject of all relations ; and the love of all relations is con- 
centred in his breast, and unspeakably more. His love to us is many 
degrees higher than the love which flows from all relations would be if united 
in one soul ; and therefore when he would express it, he goes higher than 
the world for a resemblance of it, even to infiniteness itself: John xv. 9, 
' As the Father hath loved me, even so love I you.' This is such a love as 
we can neither express nor conceive ; we must supply the defect of both with 
admiration. And this should have been the, 

1. Use. To admire the love of Christ. 

2. To admire the happiness of those whom Christ loves. 
8. To move us to love Christ with all, for all, above all. 
4. To move us to love one another. 

Use 1. Admire the love of Christ. Heaven and earth never beheld, angels 
and men never considered, anything so wonderful, so apt to astonish, as 
Christ's love to men. It is wonderful in the eyes of glorified creatures ; 
angels and saints do, and will, admire and adore it to all eternity. And it 
is wonderful in the eyes of all considering men on earth ; nothing more, no- 
thing so much. Wonderful is Christ's attribute, Isa. ix. 6 ; due to him in 
all respects, but above all in this, and in all other for this. All will confess 
it, if they consider the grounds of this admiration, whom, who, and how. 

1. Consider whom he loves. How unfit, unworthy, unlovely. It was not, 
it could not be, in the thoughts of any, whose thoughts are not infinite, to 
imagine that ever man, of all creatures, should be the object of Christ's love. 
For, 

(1.) How vile and contemptible is man in Christ's account ! What is 
man but dust and ashes, breathing dust and enlivened clay ? Gen. xviii. 27. 
What more despicable creature than a worm ? The best of men, compared 
with Christ, are no more, nay, not so much in his sight, as a worm in ours : 
Job xxv. 6, ' How much less man that is a worm, and the son of man which 
is a worm ? ' He is more indeed absolutely, but not so much comparatively. 
The highest on earth is farther below Christ than a worm is below a man. 
Man, so considered, is not so much as a worm, he is but as a moth : Job 
xxvii. 18, ' He builds his house as a moth ;' nay, he is inferior to this small 
contemptible creature : Job iv. 19, ' Crushed before the moth.' Yet there 
is something on earth more inconsiderable than a moth ; as small in quan- 
tity, and far inferior, as being inanimate, a drop, an atom. Yet man is not 
so much, compared with Christ, as one of these: Isa. xl. 15, 'All the 
nations.' If all the earth, all the inhabitants of the earth, be but as one 
drop, what is one man ? Imagine a drop, a mote, divided into as many 
millions of parts as there are people on earth, how small would one of those 
parts be, even beyond imagination ! It would be as nothing. Nay, but all 
nations are ' less than nothing,' ver. 17. Oh what, then, is one man ! Oh 
what a wonder that Christ should love such a thing, such a nothing, as man! 

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16 THE LOVE OF CHBIST. [EPH. Y. 2. 

Oh that Christ should embrace a worm, and take a moth into his bosom ! 
That he should delight in and rejoice over a drop, a mote, and set his heart 
upon that which is not ! Ps. viii. 4. 

(2.) How impotent ! Man can do nothing to engage or deserve love, no- 
thing to please or honour snch a lover ; and was so considered when Christ 
had intentions of love, therefore it is admirable. It is a wonder that any 
should love a creature whose being is despicable ; but if it be considerable 
in acting, it takes off from the wonder. But man is despicable, not only as 
to his being, but actings. As he is nothing comparatively, so he can do 
nothing ; nothing to glorify Christ, much to dishonour him ; nothing to 
please Christ, much to provoke him. As an impotent slave has no power 
to be serviceable to his prince, much to dishonour him by treasonable 
speeches or practices. An affront from a slave is a greater provocation than 
from an equal. How can one that is halt, lame, or maimed, walk or work ; 
one that is dead, act ? Such were men, so represented to Christ, when he 
entertained thoughts of love ; without active principles, faculties, or qualities. 
And when Christ has bestowed these, yet cannot he act but as he is acted ; 
it is not he works for Christ, but Christ that works all his works for him. 
He cannot act but in Christ's strength, cannot move except he be drawn, 
cannot walk except Christ lead him, cannot stand except Christ uphold him. 
Yea, when he is empowered to act, yet are not his actings more valuable 
than his being. Operari sequitur esse. As he is no more, compared with 
Christ, than a worm, moth, mote, so his best actions, most glorious per- 
formances, are of no more advantage to Christ than the crawlings of a worm, 
the acting of a moth, the motion of an atom, the falling of a drop. As these 
are to us, so we to Christ ; when we have done all, but unprofitable servants. 
What a wonder that Christ should love those in whose being he can take 
no pleasure, and by whose acting he can get no glory, no advantage ! Who 
amongst us would love or marry one who could not stand but while sup- 
ported, nor rise but as lifted up, nor move a finger but as moved ? Bach a 
lame, sick, impotent, dead creature was man, when Christ first thought of 
love, Bom. v. 6. 

(3.) How poor 1 No Buch poverty as man's. He is nothing, can do 
nothing ; nay, and hath nothing. Who poorer than he who has neither 
food, nor raiment, nor money, nay, and in debt besides ? Man is in a 
starving condition, a famished soul ; must needs be so, wanting Christ the 
bread of life. He feeds on nothing but wind and husks, the vanities and 
brutish pleasures of the world please his senses, his soul languisheth, con- 
sumes, and is at the gate of death. He has not so much as will cover his 
nakedness ; though he think, with Laodicea, he is rich, and stands in need 
of nothing, yet he is poor and naked, Bev. iii. 

The poor, forlorn condition of man, when Christ intended love, is de- 
scribed Ezek. xvi. 6 ; lay polluted in his blood, and no eye pitied him. A 
degree below misery, below pity; yet this was * the time of love.' He has 
no money, nothing to purchase meat or clothes. Those whom Christ 
entreats with loving invitation to participation of himself, are such as have 
no money, Isa. lv. 1. He not only wants all things, but owes more than 
ever he had, more than he is worth. He cannot, upon a just account, say 
his soul is his own ; he has given his soul to Satan, sold himself to work 
wickedness ; and Satan leads him captive, has taken possession ; the strong 
man armed keeps the house. He has forfeited not only his soul, but his 
very being to God ; a greater debt than men can owe one to another. The 
least sin is such a debt as all the riches in the world cannot discharge ; 
nothing can cancel the handwriting which is against us but Christ's blood. 

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EPH. Y. 2.] THE LOVE OF OHBIST. 17 

What a wonder, that Christ should love such poverty ! No such love 
amongst men. If a great prince, such as Cyras or Alexander, should set 
his love on one he finds in the highway, poor, famished, and naked, it 
would be the astonishment of all that should hear of it ; much more this, 
Christ's state being infinitely greater, and man's spiritual poverty unspeak- 
ably more. 

(4.) How deformed ! Poverty alone cannot hinder love, especially if 
there be beauty ; but who can love deformity? Man not only wants beauty, 
bat is covered with ugly and loathsome deformity. He was created fair and 
lovely, his ornament' was the beauty of heaven, the image of God ; but, 
alas! that is razed out, and the deformed image of Satan drawn in its 
place. His light is turned into darkness ; the fair, and sometimes faithful 
sool, is become a filthy harlot : and, as Isa. iii. 24, ' Instead of a sweet 
smell, there is stink ; and instead of well-set hair, baldness ; and burning 
instead of beauty.' 

There is no lovely complexion, no comely proportion left in man's soul, 
nothing that can please the eye of Christ. The surface of it defiled as with 
a menstruous rag. It is overspread with a filthy leprosy, and full, as David's 
bones, of loathsome diseases, that break forth into rotten ulcers and putrefy- 
ing sores, as Isa. i. 6. Nothing is to be seen in the face of the soul but 
fretting cankers, and spreading gangrenes. Sin has made the soul as un- 
lovely as Lazarus's body, whose sores the dogs licked ; or as Job's, full of 
sore boils, when he sat in the ashes and scraped himself. And who can be 
in love with such a soul ? 

The soul is no less deformed in respect of proportion. It is perverted, 
crooked, and, as that woman, bowed down with a spirit of infirmity, all 
broken, and out of joint. It ip defective in those parts that should make it 
lovely ; it is lame, and maimed, and blind. The eyes, no less an ornament 
to the soul than to the body, are put out : ' The God of this world has 
blinded ' natural men, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Mislocation is a monstrous deformity 
in the body, when the feet are where the head should be, or the thighs in 
place of the arms, or breast where the back, &c. There is such a misloca- 
tion on the soul. That which should be lowest is highest; the appetite 
and fancy above the mind and will ; that which should obey commands ; 
that which should rule is enslaved. A woful deformity! That which 
should be supreme is subordinate ; and that which should be subject is 
supreme. What mother would love a child whose parts were so monstrously 
displaced ? A dislocation in the soul is as odious a deformity in Christ's 
eye, as that of the body in ours. 

But that which makes the soul most unlovely is this, it is dead. When 
the life of the soul expired, all its beauty expired with it. A dead soul is as 
unlovely to Christ as a dead body is to us. Abraham loved Sarah dearly 
while she lived, but when she was dead he could not endure her sight ; he 
desired a place to bury his dead out of his sight. That which is pleasing 
and amiable when it is living, is a ghastly and fearful spectacle when it is 
dead. The soul of every son of Adam is dead, dead in sins and trespasses, 
dead of a noisome and contagious disease. This removes it at a greater 
distance from love, has lain long rotting in a grave. How wonderful is 
Christ's love 1 Who but Christ would entertain thoughts of love towards 
such an ugly, loathsome, deformed, monstrous, dead creature, as man is 
made by sin ? 

(5.) How hated ! Not only hateful, but hated ; hated of all. Who 
would love him, whom none loves, who has no friends, who can meet with 

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18 f THE LOVE OF CHBIST. * [EpH. V. 2. 

none in the jrorld bat enemies ? A natural man is hated of God ; he hates 
all workeprfof iniquity : and the natural man works nothing else, Gen. vi. 5. 
He is born a child of wrath, it is his inheritance, entailed npon him, the 
wrath of God. And will Christ love what his Father hates ? 

Tue angels hate him. These are the immediate attendants and subjects 
,4? the King of heaven, and have the same friends, the same enemies with 
their sovereign. The seraphims, well rendered p Xog^og,* have their name, 
not from the order of their love, but of their anger, as appears Isa. vi., the 
only place where angels have that name. For there the Lord is repre- 
sented as an incensed judge, and they as ministers of his anger, kindled 
with his indignation. What the saints in heaven do, we may judge by the 
saints on earth : Ps. cxxxix. 21, 'Do not I hate them that hate thee ? Am 
I not grieved ?' &c. 

Nay, all the inferior creatures are at enmity with man. And good 
reason, since by the corruption of man it is brought into woful bondage, 
groaneth and travaileth in pain under it, Bom. viii. 20-22. The whole 
creation is -at enmity with man. He cannot meet any creature, but harbours 
a seeret hatred, and would be ready to manifest it at God's command. What 
a wonder, that Christ will love that which all hate I 

{6.) What enmity ! Man is not only hateful, and hated, but a hater of 
Christ, with such a hatred as would exclude all love from the breast of any 
creature ; a hatred so extensive, that he hates Christ and all that is his, 
all that is like him ; all his offices, especially that which is most glorious, 
his royal office ; keeps Christ out of his throne as to himself, and would do 
it in others. Nay, it reaches to any resemblance of Christ, hates him so 
much, as his heart rises against the image of Christ. Herein man manifests 
the height of his hatred against Christ, in that he hates his very image, that 
which does but resemble him, holiness wherever it is, in his people, in his 
ordinances, in his ways. 

Causeless. It is a wonder if any hatred meet with returns of love, but 
above all causeless hatred. In this respect David was a type of Christ, in 
that so many hated him without a cause, Ps. lxix. 4. There is not in 
Christ the least occasion of hatred, he is all glory, all beauty, altogether 
lovely, nothing else. Nor doth he give the least cause : for all his admini- 
strations are gracious or righteous ; and as his goodness is to be feared, so 
even his justice is to be loved. It is lovely in itself, being a divine, an 
infinite perfection, and should be so to men. Christ may say to all men, as 
to the Jews, John x. 81, ' Many good works have I shewed, &c. ; for which 
of these do ye hate me ?' Though none have cause, yet all hate. That 
Christ should requite any hatred with love, is a wonder; but to return love 
for causeless hatred, is an astonishment! 

Perfect hatred, without any mixture of love, Rom. viii. 7. His heart is 
as full of hatred, as a toad of poison, or hell of darkness. He hates Christ 
more than any man on earth ever loved him ; for love is but imperfect here, 
and mixed with much unkindness ; but there is no mixture of love, not the 
least degree of it, not the least desire, inclination, or tendency to it. Oh 
that Christ should love those with perfect love who hate him with perfect 
hatred, who have no inclinations to love him. 

Mortal and deadly. What more than that which murders what it hates, 
and delights to do it ? Those that delight in sin, delight to murder Christ, 
for it was 6in that murdered him. Who is there that has not delighted in 
sin ? Eternal love for deadly hatred ! 

Implacable. It is not a disposition easily removed, but a habit so firmly 
* Qu. $\«l i-vpt, referring to Heb. i. 7?— Ed. 

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EPH. V. 2.] THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 19 

rooted in the heart, as it can never be plucked up, till the heart itself be 
taken out; and therefore when God roots out his hatred, and plants love, 
he quite takes away the old heart, Ezek. xi. 19. 

Oh what enmity is here 1 It is a wonder that any creature should so far 
degenerate as to turn enemy to its Creator and Redeemer. Oh what a 
wonder that Christ should love such enemies. 

Enemies in their minds t who have hard, low, base, dishonourable thoughts 
of Christ ; think Christ a hard master, a tyrant ; think his yoke an intoler- 
able grievance, an insupportable burden, and therefore plot how they may 
break his bonds. 

In their hearts. Every motion there is rebellious, quite opposite to Christ ; 
hate that which he most loves, love that which he most hates, delight in 
that which grieves him, &c. 

In their lives. Every action an act of rebellion, and their whole life (till 
conversion) a continued fight against Christ. This is the cause of the 
quarrel : ( We will not have this man to rule over us/ 

Oh wonder that Christ should love enemies, such enemies, with such love ! 
Rom. v. 10 ; love them better than his life, who hated him to the death ! 
love them unchangeably, who hated him implacably ! love them against 
all provocations and discouragements, who hated him without a cause 1 love 
them with superlative love, who hated him with perfect hatred ! Behold 
what manner of love ! behold, and wonder ! So God loved the world, so 
Christ loved man, so as none can express, none can choose but admire. 

(7.) What base dispositions, what ill conditions, after Christ's love hath 
overcome their hatred, and by his infinite power [infused] some degrees of 
love ; yet tbey continue so froward", unkind, undervaluing, disobedient, un- 
grateful, jealous, disloyal ; as it must needs be a wonder Christ can love them. 
How cross, froward, perverse, almost always complaining of and quarrelling 
with Christ, though he give not the least occasion ; quarrel with him for his 
words, though he express himself never so sweetly. Why was not this pro- 
mise made more particular ? Why clogged with such conditions ? It be- 
longs not to me, I can get no comfort from it ; he might as well have spoken 
nothing as spoke thus. And at his actions ; why is his promise no sooner 
performed ? Why hears he not my prayers ? Why want I that which 
others have ? Why thus afflicted ? In vain am I innocent, Ps. lxxiii. 12, 18. 

How unkind. How seldom visit him. With how little delight and 
affection. How few thoughts of him. How seldom, how coldly entertain 
him. It was Christ's spouse who would suffer his head to be wet, before 
she would wet her foot, and would not stir to the door to let him in, though 
he wooed her with all sweet importunity. Prefer sinful ease and pleasure 
before communion with Christ. How often do they stop their ears when he 
speaks, refase when he offers, give no answer when he calls, turn their backs 
when he would embrace ! 

How do they undervalue him. The highest thoughts of angels do not 
reach him, the best thoughts of men fall infinitely short of him. What then 
do those low, hard, disparaging thoughts of Christ, more frequent than those 
that are better ? How do they slight his tokens, prefer the husks of the 
world before the jewels and dainties of heaven. Who would love such a one, 
as knows not how to esteem of love, or any expressions of it ? 

How disobedient Omit many things that he commands, but do nothing 
at all as he desires ; fail in time, manner, end, &c. Who would endure 
such a servant as will do nothing as he is commanded ? Who would choose 
such a friend as will do nothing as he is desired ? Who would love such a 
wife as will do nothing as her husband would have her ? Yet such a ser- 

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20 THE LOVB OF CHEIBT. [EPH. V. 2. 

vant, a friend, a spouse, has Christ of man ; yet he loves more, unspeakably 
more, than men ; here is the wonder. 

How ungrateful. Though Christ give all that is good for them, more 
than they make use of, more than they desire or can conceive, yet they 
think they have not enough, they murmur, complain : What, but a drop of 
comfort, but a dram of grace ? And which is more provoking, for worldly 
things, they often will not so much as acknowledge they have received what 
Christ has given in possession ; judge that counterfeit which has the stamp 
of an heaven and the picture of Christ on it. What more ingratitude than 
this ! What more odious than ingratitude 1 Who can love an unthankful 
person ! 

How jealous. Not only an unkind but cruel affection. Suspect Christ 
does not love, when his love is writ with characters of his own blood, when 
he has bestowed himself and all on them ; suspect he will not be constant, 
notwithstanding all pledges, promises, asseverations, oaths ; thinks, upon no 
ground, that Christ affects others more, because of common favours ; misin- 
terprets his expression, thinks that is sent in hatred which is given in love ; 
think he uses them as enemies, when he chastens them as children ; when 
he withdraws for trial, they conclude he has forsaken, forgotten, with Zion, 
Isa. zlix. 14, forgot to be gracious, Ps. lxxvii. 9. 

How disloyal. Many inclinations to spiritual whoredom, after they are 
espoused to Christ. Too much eye the world, lust after disavowed vanities ; 
too high thoughts of, and eager affections to, those things that are Christ's 
rivals. If to look upon a woman to lust after her, be enough to make one 
guilty of adultery in a carnal sense, then to look upon sin and the world, 
with delight, desire, &c, will bring the guilt of adultery in a spiritual sense. 
And then how much cause has Christ to complain, that those whom he loves, 
and has espoused, do play the harlot with many lovers 1 How often do 
these forsake the guide of their youth, and embrace the bosom of strangers. 
How much are whoredoms multiplied, Ezek. xvi. 25. And those that pass 
for the spouse of Christ are, ver. 82, as a wife that committeth adultery, 
and taketh strangers instead of her husband. wonder t will Christ's love 
be carried to one who runs a whoring from him ! 

How disingenuous. To venture more freely upon what is sinful or doubt- 
ful, because the Lord is so ready to pardon. To grow remiss, negligent, 
indifferent as to endeavours after growth in grace, through mortification, en- 
tire self-denial, strict, watchful, holy, fruitful, exemplary walking, because 
they think themselves sure of heaven. How disingenuous to grow worse by 
mercy, turn grace into wantonness, presumptuous security. 

(8.) How pre-engaged to his deadly enemies, sin and Satan. Who will 
love one for a wife, who is contracted to another, given her heart and self 
into his possession, and has long continued so ? Such is a man's state, 
married to sin, in league with Satan, and brings forth fruit, not unto God, 
but unto them. Fruit unto death, this is the issue of that woful marriage, 
described, Bom. vii. from 1 to the 5 ; these have his first love, Christ has 
but the leavings ; they the first fruits, Christ many times but the gleanings ; 
they have the strength of the body and vigour of the soul, Christ but a 
decrepit body and languishing affections ; they have the spirits of the soul 
and its acting, Christ but the dregs. And will it not astonish any that 
Christ should be content with these ? Is it not a wonder that Christ can 
love and marry a soul, who has prostituted itself a long time to that ugly 
fiend Satan, and that which is more ugly, sin ? 

(9.) How miserable. Nothing on earth more, or so much. Who would 
woo misery, or match himself with wretchedness ? As there is a strange 

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EPH. V. 2.] THE LOTS OF OHBIST. 21 

propensity in every one to happiness, so a strong antipathy and averseness 
to misery; the very approach of misery begets dread and horror, passions at 
a great distance from love. Yon may take an estimate of man's misery 
from the former particular, not only deprived of beauty, strength, riches, 
favour, &c, bat also of liberty ; enslaved to sin and Satan, in bonds and 
fetters, laden with sins, the chain of darkness, bound in affliction, and in 
that which is worse than iron ; and the poor soul is bowed down under the 
weight of it, though insensible. 

Nay, he is under the sentence of condemnation. The Judge of heaven and 
earth has passed sentence : < He that believes not is condemned already,' 
John iii. 8 ; not only worthy, or in danger to be condemned, or will be 
eondemned hereafter. 

Nay, the execution is begun, the sentence is part executed : ' The wrath 
of God abides on him ;' wrath, wrath of God, abiding wrath. He that is 
under wrath is half in hell. This make* hell and wrath, here and there, differ 
but in degrees. Oh what misery 1 Involuntary misery attracts pity, and 
there is some love in pity ; but wilful misery can expect no pity, and none 
more wilful than these. He involved himself in it, and is unwilling to be 
delivered ; he had rather have his sin with misery, than happiness as the 
gospel offers it. Let these meet in your thoughts, consider how despicable, 
&c. ; any one of them render Christ's love wonderful, altogether an astonish- 
ment. 

2. Ground of admiration, is, who, the lover. That Christ should ! It would 
be a wonder if an angel, if any creature, could love such a thing as fallen man, 
so despicable, decrepit, hateful. Oh ! but that Christ should love him, is 
an astonishment ; from six considerations. 

(1.) How excellent is Christ 1 The highest excellency in heaven, and the 
chiefest excellency on earth, meet in his person. He is ' fairer than the 
children of men,' Ps. xlv. 2 ; nay, fairer than the sons of God. So the 
angels are called, Job i. 6. That beauty that shines in the angelical nature 
is not so much as a glow-worm to the sun, when it comes in comparison 
with Christ. The lustre of it shines so bright, as it dazzles their eyes, and 
they cover their faces ; and all the heavenly company lie prostrate at his 
feet, adoring, admiring that beauty which they cannot behold. 

It is his beauty that makes hoaven a glorious place. The sight of it, 
though it cannot be seen as it is, makes all those both happy and glorious 
that behold it. This is the blissful vision, which makes the angels 
blessed. This is it which makes the saints glorious, transforming them 
from glory to glory. 

Imagine that all the beautiful accomplishments, and lovely excellencies, 
that ever the world saw or heard of, were united in one person ; imagine 
that innumerable more than ever eye saw, or ear heard, or heart can con- 
ceive, were added to and mixed with the former ; imagine that every of 
these excellencies were screwed up to the nil ultra of innniteness ; imagine 
these, and infinitely more than can be imagined, to meet and shine in one 
person : and this is Christ. All the rays of beauty which are dispersed in 
heaven and earth are united in him, as in the sun. Every spark of beauty 
in Christ is an excellency, such as heaven and earth cannot match. And 
every excellency in him is infinite. See how many wonders 1 And can 
such excellency deign to love such baseness ? The bright morning star 
unite itself to a dunghill ? Will such beauty love such deformity ? One 
so fair, us so ugly ? Will so great a king, the King of kings, and Lord of 
lords, marry such a slave ? The most high God the basest and most 
wretched creature ? Will happiness and glory match itself with misery and 

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22 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EpH. V. 2. 

vileness, and infiniteness stoop to tbat which is nothing ? Will he, whose 
purity cannot behold sin, cast an eye of love upon sinners ; and he, 
whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, set his heart upon a worm, 
a mote ? Would you not wonder to see a peerless beauty espouse a deformed 
hag? 

(2.) How glorious. In Christ is not only all beauty, that which is the 
perfection of beauty, excellency ; but that which is the highest degree of 
excellency, glory. What glory, see Heb. i. 8, 4 the brightness of his glory/ 
Here is glory, and brightness of glory, and brightness of his Father's glory, 
t. e. of infinite glory. So that Christ is infinitely glorious. And to that 
which is infinite nothing can be added. Whatever man can do, he cannot add 
to the glory of Christ. And since he can get no glory by him, why does he 
love him ? Man's goodness upon this account is no advantage to Christ, 
as Eliphaz expresses it, Job xxii. 2. 

It is true, relative glory may be increased or diminished, that is, when 
essential glory is manifested or. acknowledged. But this is extrinsecal to 
Christ; he had been infinitely glorious if no creature had ever seen or 
acknowledged his glory. Besides, if desire of this might be an engagement 
of Christ's love, yet it is a wonder that man, of all creatures, should be be- 
loved out of this respect ; for there never was any one man upon earth 
but did more dishonour Christ, than all the creatures on earth besides, from 
the beginning of the world to the dissolution of it. One man does more 
dishonour to Christ than the whole creation. 

If Christ have any honour by man, yet he has much more dishonour ; 
therefore it is a wonder Christ should love man, for it will be hard to con- 
ceive how respect to his glory engages him to it. While man is unregenerate, 
his whole life is a continual impeachment of his glory. And alter he is 
regenerate, in the services which tend most to Christ's glory, he seems to 
be more dishonoured than glorified. For there is no one act, but has many 
sins mixed with it. And do not many sins more impair his glory than one 
good act illustrates it ? 

What wonders are here! Will infinite glory love that which is the shame 
of the whole creation ? Will Christ, whose glory is himself, love that which 
most impairs his glory ? Will he pass by them who dishonour him, and set 
his heart upon those who do nothing else ? Who would not wonder to see 
a king in his glory embrace a toad, and cherish it in his bosom ; or run 
into the embraces of a slave, a traitor to his crown and dignity? But when 
the King, the Lord of glory, for love to such a one, becomes ' the reproach 
of men, and shame of the people,' Ps. xxii. 6 ; that glory should be content 
to be covered with shame, and divine excellency to be clothed with ignominy 
and reproach ; what a wonder is this 1 

(8.) How happy. Christ was perfectly, infinitely happy, before the 
creation, and had been so to eternity if no man had ever been created. Men 
love, that they may be more happy, that they may have more delight, or 
contentment, or abundance, or assistance. Christ stood in need of none of 
these ; men and angels could not contribute more of these to Christ than he 
enjoyed. His happiness was in the enjoyment of the eternal Father and divine 
Spirit. To this nothing can be added, from it nothing detracted. For it is 
himself, and so infinite, et wjinito non datur ma jus. Man is of no use to Christ, 
as to his happiness. If there had been a million of worlds of men, Christ had 
been never the happier. If no man had been created, or all men had 
perished, Christ had not been, could not be, one jot less happy. Man 
cannot add so much to Christ as a spark to the sun, or a drop to the ocean, 
or a point to the vast frame of heaven and earth. 

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EPH. V. 2.J THE LOVE OF OHBIST. 28 

Christ is not only vavrapxrig, bat civrotgxrjg ; not only all- sufficient, bat 
self-sufficient. The creature's sufficiency is from him, his is from himself. 
The Lord declares how little need he has of man, Ps. 1. 9-12. * The eyes 
of ail wait upon him, and he satisfies the desires of every living thing,' Ps. 
cxlv. 15, 16. Bat he is infinitely satisfied in looking upon himself; for in 
himself dwells all fulness satisfactory to him, and more than sufficient to all 
his. He stands in no more need of man than the heavens stand in need of 
a gnat to move them, or the earth of a grasshopper to support it, or the sea 
of a mote to confine it to its bounds. Fulness emptied V Blessedness 
cursed 1 What a wonder 1 Infinite happiness unite itself to extreme 
misery ! Why does Christ mind that which is useless to him ? But, oh 
why should he love him ? Christ is all-sufficient, and perfectly happy with- 
out man ; why should he shew himself unsatisfied till man be happy ? 
Christ was infinitely, fully satisfied, in the enjoyment of his Father ; why 
would he do, suffer so much, to bring wretched vain man into that blissful 
enjoyment ? Christ had lost nothing if man had perished. Why should 
he expose his person to so many hazards to save him ? Christ had suffered 
nothing, if man had suffered to eternity; why would he suffer so much to free 
him from suffering ? 

(4.) How knowing. Christ is omniscient. He knows all things that 
may discourage him from love, and nothing is to be known in man but may 
discourage, and all things that are hateful meet in man. If one that hath 
nothing lovely can conceal or hide what is hateful, can make fair shows when 
there are foul deformities, it is less wonder if any be surprised with love of 
such an one. But when there is nothing lovely in man, and all things that 
are hateful, and Christ knows this distinctly, exactly, better than man him- 
self, this makes his love a wonder. But so it is, not the least part of man's 
unloveliness was, or could be, concealed from Christ, Heb. iv. 13, Jer. 
xxiii. 28, 24. All the former particulars, and more than we can number, 
were from eternity presented to Christ at once ; not one after another, as 
to us, but he saw them at one view, and he saw them, sees them always 
actually. His knowledge is not, as ours, habitual, but actual. His eye 
is always fixed on them, they are never forgotten, never laid aside, but 
always present, continually presented to his thoughts; for in him cognosce™ 
et cogitare idem mnt. 

This consideration adds as much wonder to Christ's love as any. Does 
he know man's frame, and considers he is but dust ; and will he count such 
a base thing his jewel, his peculiar treasure ? Does he weigh man, and 
find him lighter than vanity ; and will no other expression satisfy his love, 
but ' weight of glory' ? He foresaw man would fall, and shatter the beauti- 
ful frame of his soul into pieces, and so make himself lame, blind, maimed, 
impotent, decrepit, unable to do anything pleasing; and would he do and suffer 
so much for him, who could do nothing for him, so much against him ? 

He knew he was poor, beggarly, naked. Oh why did he not disdain to 
look upon so forlorn a wretch ? Or if he would shew some pity, would 
nothing serve to cover that nakedness but his own robe ; to relieve that 
poverty but unsearchable riches, his own fulness? His pure eye saw 
nothing lovely in man, had a distinct view of all his deformities, his loath- 
some complexion, and monstrous dispositions. He saw that in him alone 
of all the earth that his soul hated, and would he love him more than all the 
earth ? He saw he had made himself worse, more deformed than the beasts 
that perish, and would he so love him as to equal him with angels ? He 
saw man had forsaken God, and was cast off by him and all his, and 
would his soul cleave to him ? He knew man alone, of all his creatures on 



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24 THE LOVE OF CHBIST. [EPB. V. 2. 

earth, did hate him, and would he pass by them who loved him, to love man 
who only hated him ? Would Christ suffer his friends to perish, and save 
his mortal enemy ? 

Christ not only knows that man's disposition is froward, unkind, rebel- 
lious, disingenuous, ungrateful, and disloyal, but he saw from eternity every 
froward look, every unkind gesture, every rebellious motion, every disin- 
genuous act, every ungrateful return, every disloyal inclination. He knows, 
and knew, the hearts and reins, 2 Chron. vi. 80, Ps. vii. 10 ; every heart 
and every motion of it was as visible to him from eternity as our faces to 
us when we look most stedfastly one upon another, and infinitely more. He 
who takes notice of every hair of our heads did take more notice of that 
which more concerns him, the disposition and inclination of our hearts ; if 
those are numbered, surely these are. He tells not only tears, but wander- 
ings ; they are in his book, Ps. lvi. 8. Would he be kind to those who he 
knew would be froward? so indulgent to one so rebellious? multiply favours 
upon such ungrateful wretches, so disingenuous ? would he engage himself to 
one who he knew would play the harlot ? He knew how long he would resist 
before, and how treacherous after. Why would he pity wilful misery, and 
be at such expenses to make him happy, who he knew had rather be miser- 
able ? Why would he love that which he knew was more in love with sin, 
and accept of that which Satan had so long possessed, and espouse Satan's 
strumpet ? 

(5.) How free and independent. There was no necessity, no motive, no 
engagement upon Christ to love any creature. He enjoyed more liberty 
than is to be found in the creatures. It was in his choice whether any 
creatures should have a being, much more whether any should be the objects 
of his love. There was no necessity he should create anything, none sure 
that he should love any. The Lord was infinitely satisfied in the enjoyment 
of himself, and none but himself could be an object meet, proportionable to 
his love, worthy of it. Why then did he think of making, much more of 
loving, anything else ? Or if he would not confine his love to his own 
breast, yet in the expressions of it to those other creatures before man, or 
any men before those that are chosen, as at his liberty. He amongst us, 
who may love whom he pleases, and enjoy whom he loves, will choose the 
best, or else it is a wonder. 

Here is the wonder of Christ's love, that it does fix upon the worst of crea- 
tures, man, yea, and upon the worst of men in some respects. 

Christ has not loved those that are most lovely, nor those who can make 
the best Jfeturns, otherwise he had chosen the fallen angels rather than 
fallen man. The angelical nature is more excellent, and comes nearer to 
the divine nature, being spiritual. They had more power to answer his love, 
as being more intelligent and more active, yet when Christ had his choice, 
see what a wonderful determination his will made : Fallen angels I will hate, 
but fallen man I will love. He leaves them where they fell, to lie in chains 
of eternal darkness ; but he lifts up man's head, and crowns it with glory 
and dignity. 

Nay, since Christ is so free as he might love whom he pleases, it is a 
wonder he did not respect the inferior creatures rather than man. For why? 
They never offended, never dishonoured him, but constantly declare his glory 
and execute his will. But man is the only offender, the only guilty creature 
on earth ; none else dishonour and offend Christ. Yet when Christ had his 
choice, see his resolution, and wonder. I will give him eternal life who has 
dishonoured me ; I will suffer them to perish who never offended me ! 

But if man must be the object of Christ's love, it is yet a wonder he did 

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EPH. Y. 2.] THE LOTS OF OHBIST. 25 

not love other men rather than those whom he has chosen. Christ has not 
chosen men of choicest parts, and sweetest dispositions, or greatest ability ; 
not those that might have been more able and more willing to answer his 
love and do him service. It is a wonderful distinction his love made ; the 
apostle tells as, 1 Cor. i. 26-28, not the wise, bat the foolish ; not the 
mighty, bat the weak ; not the noble, bat the base, despised, nothings, 
things which are not. We may see it and wonder. Earth will wonder 'at 
it while there are men on earth, and heaven while there are saints and angels 
in heaven. 

(6.) How powerful. * All power is given to him in heaven and earth/ 
Mat. xzviii. 18, that as Mediator; but as God, he is coequal with his Father, 
and so omnipotent. He could have created more lovely, more excellent 
creatures than any [that] are in being. He did not act as natural agents, ad 
extremum virium ; but with as much ease as he made the world could have 
formed creatures innumerable degrees more excellent than the molt excellent 
piece of his creation, the angels. There is a vast, an unconceivable distance 
betwixt the angelical nature and infiniteness, therefore there is room enoagh 
for variety of creatures inconceivably more lovely than angels, and such as 
might have been incomparably more serviceable. 

Now since man is so extremely deformed and unserviceable, and therefore 
so unfit, so unworthy to be beloved, it is a wonder that Christ would take 
notice of man, and not rather think of forming some creatures more meet to 
be objects of his love. Since man had made himself equal, if not inferior, 
to the beasts that perish, Christ might have suffered him to perish with them 
without farther regard of him, and chosen a more noble, a more lovely object 
to please himself withal. It is more a wonder than if a curious florist, hav- 
ing choice of the rarest flowers on earth, should please himself with such 
weeds as grow in every field; or than if an exact lapidary, being acquainted 
with the richest mines in the world, and having power to possess himself of 
what precious stones he list, should content himself with pebbles, and such 
stones as are to be found in every street ; or if one, having that imaginary 
philosopher's stone, and power to turn every metal into gold, should be 
satisfied with lead or iron. What a wonder would this be ! Much more 
wonderful is Christ's love, which chooses those who are unspeakably more 
inferior to the creatures he could have formed than lead is to gold, or a 
stinking weed to the sweetest and fairest flower. How should we wonder, 
in the words of the Psalmist, Ps. viii., ' Lord, what is man ? * Thou might- 
eat have made creatures unspeakably higher than both, yet thou wouldst 
not prefer these before man ; suffer these to sleep in their abhorred state of 
nonentity, and give man a being, and so as to be the object of his love. 

(7.) How absolute. The sovereignty of Christ makes his love a* wonder. 
Christ might, without any prejudice to his glory, have annihilated all men 
if they had continued innocent, aud might have justified the act upon the 
bare account of his sovereignty. Shall not I do with mine own as I list ? 
Mat. xx. 15, 'Is it not lawful?' But after sin, he might have executed the 
sentence of death upon all mankind in that very moment they received life ; 
and, as he threatens Ephraim, Hosea ix. 11, might have made the glory of 
man to fly away as a bird, from the birth, the womb, and the conception. 
He might have crushed these cockatrices in the egg, and never let them grow 
up into fiery flying serpents. And this he might have done with advantage 
to his glory, and thereby much prevented that dishonour which he suffers 
by their lives. It is the Lord's mercy that every man in his infancy is not 
consumed. What a wonder of mercy is it that he is loved ! What a won- 
der, when Christ might with 60 much glory to his justice, power, wisdom, 



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26 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

sovereignty, have destroved man, he should rather choose to love him. 
When there was, as it were, a contest betwixt mercy and justice, lore and 
hatred, and when there was so much more reason for hatred, so little or 
none from man for love, yet Christ should interpose his sovereignty rather 
than man should perish, and, when there was no other reason, love him be- 
cause he would love him, Deut. vii. 7, 8, Exod. xxxiii. 19. And as if the 
Lord should say, There is no reason in men why I should love any one of 
them ; I see many weighty reasons why I should hate him ; my hatred will 
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 utterly to hate him and all his posterity, 
yet I will not hate him, nay, I will love him. 

3. How Christ loves man. This is a ground of much admiration. Its 
transcendency makes it transcendently wonderful. It is a wonder man has 
a being, that more excellent creatures did not supply ; it is a wonder he is 
not cut off from the birth, hated ; it is a wonder, if Christ should but carry 
himself indifferently as to the inferior creatures, if Christ did but vouch- 
safe the least degree of love imaginable to him, in the highest degree hate- 
ful. But that he should be so far from destroying, as to glorify him ; so 
far from hating him, as he should love him superlatively, transcendently ; 
not only love him positively, but comparatively 1 

(1.) Christ loves men more than the best of men love one another. There 
is more love in Christ than is to be found in the sons of men. There is no 
human breast can contain so much love as moves in the heart of Christ. 
The dearest, the most affectionate relation on earth, affords not so much 
love as is in Christ. Nay, there is as much love in him as in all relations 
united ; nay, there is more love in him than in all relations together. Single out 
that relation, which of all on earth does most engage, and does usually afford, 
the most love, and this will fall far short of the love of Christ. Amongst 
all the examples of love which all generations have afforded, choose that 
which is most eminent, and rises higher than all the rest, as not to be 
paralleled; yet even this will fall far below the love of Christ. We may take 
Christ's testimony in this case, though it be his own: John xv. 18, 'Greater 
love hath no man, than that a man lay down his life for his friend.' But 
Christ's love was greater than the greatest love of men, he laid down his 
life for enemies. To die for such, and such a death, makes his death a 
nonsuch. His love is as far above man's as his thoughts. Love is pro- 
portionable to thoughts. But how high are his thoughts above men's? 
Isa. lv. 89, ' As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways 
higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' And those 
high thomghts were thoughts of love, thoughts of mercy and pardon, ver. 7. 

His love comprises, and eminently contains, the love of all relations. The 
sparks of love, which are found dispersed in several relations, are laid 
together in Christ's breast, and there break out into a flame, such a flame as 
many waters cannot quench, Cant. viii. 6, 7. The love of all relations meet 
in him, and therefore he is held forth under all relations, that the defect 
which is in one may be supplied by another, and so his love represented to 
us as perfect and entire : Mat. xii. 50, 1 will love, as if endeared to me by all 
relations. He calls us his ' friends,' John xv. 15 ; ' brethren,' Heb. ii. 11,17, 
John xx. 17; he is a ' father,' Isa. viii. 18 ; 'I, and the children,' &c, Heb. 
ii. 18; a 'mother,' Isa. xl. 11, Mat. xxiii. 87, 'As a hen gathereth her 
chickens,' &c. ; ' a husband ; ' and to shew the strength and vigour of his 
love, ' a bridegroom.' In Christ there is the faithful love of a friend, the 
careful love of a brother, the provident love of a father, the indulgent, com- 

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EPH. Y. 2.J THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 27 

passionate love of a mother, the intimate love of a husband. Christ's love 
is so abundant, as it runs forth in every relation, and supplies and answers 
the office of all. He answers the engagements of all, better than the best of 
men can answer any. He has the love of a friend ; this made him willing to 
become our surety, counsellor, intercessor. His love is a brotherly love ; 
this makes him willing to advise, comfort, sympathise ; a paternal love, so 
he provides, instructs, corrects ; a mother's love, so he does nourish and 
embrace, with complacency, with passion ; a conjugal love, so he vouchsafes 
his presence, his estate, his person, his honours, his secrets, and his guard. 
Christ's love is propounded as an example. His does perfectly supply all, 
is not defective in any, as men are. A man may be a loving friend, but an 
unkind father ; an indulgent father, but an unfaithful husband, as David ; 
an affectionate husband, but an unkind brother, as Solomon. But Christ's 
love is large enough to reach all. No such friend, father, &c., as he. 

Christ's love is more than the love of all relations. His love amounts to 
more than all these summed up together. No such friend as Christ, who would 
die to make men his friends. No such brother as Christ, who makes all his 
brethren co-heirs. No such father as Christ, who, to bring his children to 
life, would die himself. No such husband as Christ, who will love his 
spouse though she play the harlot. Christ's love is stronger than the united 
love of all relations. His soul, his heart is more capacious. All the love of 
the creatures will scarce fill a corner of his heart ; it is widened by glory and 
hypostatical union. His love is stronger, because he has stronger engage- 
ments to love ; not from us, but from his Father : the strength of a law, a 
law of God, a law written in his heart, Ps. xl. 8. It binds us as much, but 
is not so much obeyed, because we are not so apprehensive of the strength 
of the obligation as Christ. He is as much more loving, as he is more appre- 
hensive than we. He is as loving as he is obedient, and his love exceeds 
ours as much as his obedience. As he fulfilled all righteousness in the 
highest degree, so he performs all acts of love without the least defect. 

His love is perfect. It is not a passionate love, but a perfect love, that 
deserves the name of strong. He is free from all imperfection, that might 
abate the jieat, and eclipse the light of this pure flame. His love is without 
folly, hypocrisy, selfishness, alteration, diminution, inordinary, defect, excess. 
There is a double exercise of love in Christ, but one in the creatures ; so it 
exceeds not only the love of men, but angels. He loves as God, he loves as 
man. Christ has two natures, and so two wills, both seats of love. The 
divine will, that is infinite ; and so his love is unspeakable, passing know- 
ledge ; this fountain of love has no banks, no bottom. The human will, that 
is shallower indeed ; but the streams of love that issue from it are so strong, 
so pure, as the love of the creatures is but as a drop, a polluted drop, com- 
pared with it ; for the human nature is glorified, so it is perfect, and all its 
acts, and this of love. This holy fire flames as high, and burns as pure, as 
any created flame in heaven. What is earth to it ? But besides, it is 
assumed into union with the Godhead, and so this love transcends both the 
love of angels and glorified saints. The love of Christ is both the love of an 
infinite God, and the love of a most perfect glorious man. No wonder if, 
having such springs, it fill the channel of every relation ; but most wonderful 
that all these streams should run towards man. Oh that Christ should love 
an enemy with a greater love than any friend ! should be more indulgent to 
a rebel than any father to his son 1 should be more affectionate to sin and 
Satan's offspring than any mother to her sucking child 1 

(2.) Christ loves man more than man loves himself. The love of Christ is 
more than self-love in man ; therefore it is wonderful. The philosopher tells 



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28 THE LOVE OF OHBIST. [EfH. V. 2. 

us that self-love is the gronnd of all love. The reason why man loves others 
is because he loves himself, therefore it is the greatest love ; for quod efficit 
tale est magis tale. If man loves others because he loves himself, the love 
of himself must transcend his love to others. This love exceeds all others ; 
but Christ's love exceeds it, therefore wonderful. 

Besides, self-love is propounded by Christ as a pattern, an example, to 
which our love to others must be conformed, Mat. xxii. 39. That which is 
chosen for example is eminent. No love like self- love amongst men. How 
wonderful then is Christ's love, which is stronger than this, and exceeds it 
in many respects ! 

A natural man loves his body, not his soul, and so not himself; for animus 
cujusque, is est quisque; Christ loves both. Nor does he love his body in 
reference to eternity, but time only ; the love of Christ has a sweet eternal 
influence on both. He desires no more than sensual happiness, or rational 
at most; Christ desires he should be spiritually, eternally happy. He 
satisfies himself with outward enjoyments ; Christ gives himself to enjoy. He 
seeks but corn, wine, oil ; Christ would vouchsafe the light of his counte- 
nance. He loves death; Christ purchases life. Man cannot truly love 
himself till he have a spiritual principle of love ; this he cannot have but 
from Christ ; wretched man cannot love himself till Christ enable. Now he 
that makes man love himself, does love man more than he loves himself. 

After a man is spiritualised, yet in some respects Christ loves him better. 
His love of himself is imperfect ; Christ's is without defect. Man desires 
some good things, some bad; Christ purchases and bestows nothing but 
what is good. Man would be content with some ; Christ gives all. Nay, 
what man can be found who would do so much, part with so much, suffer so 
much, for his own salvation, as Christ hath ? It would be a wonder if Christ, 
considering the premises, should be willing to love man as much as man 
loves him. Oh what wonder that Christ should love him as much as he loves 
himself 1 Who would expect or desire any more than that he should love 
him as much as he loves himself? That there should be more love is un- 
reasonable to expect, and wonderful where it is found. It is so in men, 
much more in Christ. 

(8.) Christ loves man more than he loves the angels, in divers respects. It 
is evident in that distinction his love has made betwixt both fallen by sin. Not 
one of the fallen angels have, or ever shall taste of his love ; but innumerable 
companies of men are restored to his favour. Those, sometimes bright 
morning stars, Job xviii. 7, are thrown into eternal night and utter darkness ; 
and poor pieces of earth, men, are fixed in their sphere of glory. Herein 
that saying of Christ, by his distinguishing love, is verified, ' The first shall 
be last, and the last first.' The angels, the first-born of Christ's love, are 
disinherited ; and man, the least of creatures capable of happiness, put in 
possession. The angels, first in excellency and glory, the excellency of 
dignity, and the excellency of power, as Jacob of Reuben, Gen. xlix. 8, now 
banished from their father's presence, and must never see his face more. 
Yet men, inferior in all things but rebellion, are reconciled and made his 
favourites. These nobles of his court are reserved in everlasting chains 
under darkness, Jude ver. 6 ; and men, his poorest peasants, though equally 
guilty, are restored into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. 

It is evident also in the hypostatical union. He preferred men before 
angels, in that he chose rather to unite the human nature to himself per- 
sonally than the angelical : Heb. ii. 16, 'He took not on him the nature of 
angels, but the seed of Abraham.' It is wonderful he seemed to love man 
so much as to neglect his honour, that which we account honour. If the 

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EPR. Y. 2.] THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 29 

Lord had a mind to disguise himself in the shape of a creature, why did he 
not rather clothe himself with the robes of angelical perfection than the rags 
of humanity ? Their nature would have been a pavilion of glory, ours but 
tabernacles of clay. What reason has poor man to say, with the centurion, 
* Lord, I am unworthy thou shouldst come under my roof ' ? Why would he 
bear the image of the earthly, rather than the image of the heavenly ? Why 
did he not appear rather in the glory of a star than the baseness of red clay ? 
Oh that he should have such respect to the lowliness of wretched man, to 
respect him so, as if he seemed not thereby to disrespect himself, yet to 
neglect the angels ! 

Ohj there was wonderful love which caused such a strange condescension. 
He never stooped so low for their sakes, though he might have done it at an 
easier rate. Their nature does more resemble him ; their excellency is more 
akin to divinity, though many degrees removed. Why did he not appear 
in the shape of spirit, rather than in the likeness of sinful flesh ? They are 
called gods, Ps. Ixxxvi. 8. And the Chaldee reads it, * Among the high 
angels/ 1 Sam. xxviii. 18, Ps. lxzzii. 6. But man, poor man, is a worm. 
We would say a king forgot himself if he should but speak with his hat off 
to a servant. Oh what did the King of glory when he became flesh, a 
worm 1 Elizabeth said with wonder, when Mary came but to visit her, Luke 
i. 48, * Whence is this to me!' How may man with wonder cry out, 
Whence is this, that the Lord himself should come unto me ; should come, 
not to see me, but to be one with me 1 Where union is affected, there is 
love ; and where the nearest union, the greatest love. No union so near as 
this in heaven and earth, but that whereby God is one with himself. Nothing 
is more one with Christ than man but Christ himself. No union so 
intimate as the hypostatical, but only the essential, cW/f axgd. Angels 
were never so nearly united, and therefore never so much beloved. The 
reason of this union is a demonstration of this truth. Why did Christ take 
our nature ? The apostle tells us, Heb. ii. 17, 'He was made like his 
brethren, that he might be merciful. ' More like, that he might be more 
loving ; that he might be more tenderly affectionate, more feelingly com- 
passionate. Likeness is the mother of love ; and where there is more like- 
ness, there is more love. Christ is now more like to men than angels, 
therefore in this respect he loves man more, Heb. iv. 15. He is not one 
that cannot be touched,' &c., w bwaft'evoe tviMra&neai. He became a man, 
that he might love as man ; and had experience of man's necessities, that 
the expressions of his love might be conformable thereto. But how can he 
sympathise with angels ? Unlikeness in qualities and dispositions makes 
love keep a distance, much more a total unlikeness in nature. However 
Christ be affected to angels, as he is God, he is more affectionate to us, as 
he is man ; he is more fiXavBgwrog than <pi\dyyeXog. It is a wonder he should 
love man more in any respect, who is in all respects more unlovely. 

(4.) Christ loves man more than heaven and earth, more than the kingdom 
of heaven, more than all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of both, 
more than the whole world. 

For earth, it is evident : Mat. iv. 8-10, ' The devil taketh him up into a 
mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory 
of them ; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt 
fall down and worship me. Then Jesus saith unto him, Get thee behind me, 
Satan.' As if Satan had said, If thou wilt put thyself into an incapacity of 
redeeming man, and so lay aside thoughts, of loving him, all this will I give 
thee. But Christ rejects the motion with indignation, ' Get thee behind me,' 
Ac. So I love man, as all the kingdoms of the world are not so valuable in 

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80 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

my account as man's salvation ; so I love man, as I will not for all the world 
that he should miscarry ; his soul is more dear to me than all the kingdoms 
of the earth. What will it profit me to gain the whole world if man lose his 
sonl ? Heaven and earth shall pass away, rather than one jot of my love 
shall fade, one soul whom I love should perish. 

He loved man more than heaven. It is true, no motion or alteration can 
be properly attributed to the second person. But since the Scripture ascribes 
that to the person of Christ which was proper to one nature, we may warrant- 
ably use such expressions of Christ as Mediator. Christ forgot his kindred 
and Father's house, and came to sojourn amongst strangers, amongst 
enemies. He came from the height of glory to the lowest step of shame and 
misery, where, instead of the joys of heaven, the sorrows of hell encompassed 
him, Ps. cxvi. 8. He exchanged a life of infinite blessedness with a cursed 
death ; and, instead of the praises and adoration of angels, he was enter- 
tained with the reproaches and contradiction of sinners. Now, what is 
heaven but life, glory, joy, happiness ? What is hell, but death, shame, 
sorrow, misery ? Christ exchanged heaven for hell, that he might purchase 
man. His love made him willing to part with heaven, rather than man 
should be excluded from it ; to enter the gates of hell (sufferings equivalent), 
rather than man should be tormented in it. He feared not hell ; he loved 
not heaven, so much as he loved man. Oh what wonderful love, that would 
prefer a poor parcel of dust before the glory of the whole world, the happi- 
ness and glory of heaven and earth ! As man, he lived out of heaven all 
the time that he had lived on earth ; whereas he had right and title to heaven 
as soon as he was born into the world. 

(5.) Christ loves man as himself, in some respect more. Christ loves man 
more than himself, as man. I do not say Christ as God, or absolutely ; 
bat as man, and in some respects. With these cautions, it is a truth, that 
Christ loves his people as himself. 

[1.] He is obliged to it by virtue of that law which himself proclaims : 
Mat. xxii., ' Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' For this law binds 
Christ as well as men ; for he was ' made under the law,' Gal. iv. 4. He 
acknowledges it his duty to fulfil all righteousness, Mat. iii. 15. And for 
this end he came, to fulfil the law, Mat. v. 19. Christ is bound by the law 
to love his neighbour ; but his people are his neighbours, * a people near unto 
him,' Ps. cxlviii. 14. No such vicinity or nearness on earth. They live not 
only near him, but with him, in him, John xiii. 4, 5 ; and he near, in, with 
them. They are not only neighbours, but inmates ; not only vicini, but pro - 
pinqvi, cognati ; allied to him, one with him ; so intimately as he and his 
make but one Christ mystical, 1 Cor. xii. 12. They are his neighbours, and 
he is bound to love such as himself ; and none ever answered the law's ob- 
ligation so punctually, so perfectly, as he. He that was so observant of the 
ceremonial law, as appears in his circumcision,' but as a beggarly rudiment, 
would much more obey the royal law, as this is called, James ii. 8. If he 
would not transgress that law which enjoined sacrifices, he would not neglect 
that law of love which is * better than all whole burnt-offerings,' Mark 
xii. 88. He that submitted to positive institutions, as baptism, would not 
disobey moral commands, as this is. He that was so punctual in observing 
every tittle of the law, would not neglect that which is instar omnium^ the 
whole law ; so this is called, Gal. v. 14. Nay, this doth virtually contain 
both law and prophets, Mat. xxii. 40. If Christ should not thus love, &c, 
he would violate the whole law, and run cross to all the prophets, which are 
to the law as comments on the text. This cannot be imagined without 
blasphemy. Christ should sin if he should not love his people. He should 

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EPH. Y. 2.] THE LOVE OF CHKI8T. 81 

disobey the law which obliges him, and neglect that which he condescended, 
by becoming man, to make his duty, if he did not love, &c. 

[2.] He advances them to the like state with himself, so far as man is 
capable. He bestows upon them all things that himself bath, so far as they 
are commnnicable. The same natures. He consists of divine and human, 
and so does man in some sense. That Christ might be like them, he took 
human nature ; that they might be like him, he communicates the divine 
nature, 2 Peter i. 4. Not that it is altogether the same, but that it most 
resembles it. There is in them Stiornig, though not §t6rt)c f some divinity, 
not a deity ; 3c/a pv<r/?, not §tov pvag, not substance, but quality. The 
offices. He is king, priest, and prophet ; so are they, in the text, * kings 
and priests.' Prophets, ' all taught of God. 1 The same privileges. Union, 
as be is one with the Father, so they with him, with both, John zvii. 21 ; 
a kind of <rg£/%tof9><r/c, a reciprocal union. Birthright, Christ is ' first-born/ 
Col. i. 15, 18. They constitute ' the church of the first-born,' Heb. xii. 28. 
Heirship, Christ is * heir of all things,' Heb. i. 2. They are ' co-heirs,' 
Bom. viii. 17. Heirs of the world, as Abraham, Bom. iv. 18. The 
same enjoyments. The Lord gave Christ all things, John iii, 85 ; and 
Christ has given them all, 1 Cor. iii. 21, 2 Cor. iv. 15, His own joy, John 
xv. 11, the best of all; not only joy, peace, &c., but his own: John xvii. 8, 'My 
joy fulfilled in them.' His own peace : John xiv. 24, ' My peace' ; * the peace 
of God,' Philip, iv. His own righteousness, Jer. xxiii. He is made so to us, 
1 Cor. i., the righteousness of God, Philip, iii, 9. His own grace : John i. 18, 
* The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.' He would have it with 
them. The fulness of God. His own glory, John xvii. 22 ; his own throne, 
Bev. iii. 21. Where there is such a community, love makes all common. 
Where no distinction in expressions, we may conclude some equality in 
affections. When Christ does for all them as for himself, we may say, he 
loves them as himself. The difference as to accidental happiness arises not 
from want of love in Christ, but for want of capacity in man ; there is love 
enough in him to vouchsafe more, if we were capable. 

[8.] Christ takes what is done to his people as done to himself. He 
punishes what any do against them, as though they acted against himself ; 
and rewards what is done for them, as though it were done for him. Nor 
has he only this account of actions, but of what is less, words, and thoughts, 
and intimations ; he resents all as his own concernments, nay, he takes 
notice of all omissions of what is due to them, and interprets all neglects of 
them, as neglects of himself. The people of Christ are parts of Christ, as 
uxor est pars mariti, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. The head and 
members make but one body ; so also Christ. The intimacy of this union 
causes a reciprocation of interests. ' In all their afflictions he is afflicted,' 
as the head suffers when the body is tormented. Christ accounts the least 
injury done to them as done to himself: ' He that toucheth you, toucheth 
me.' You cannot touch them but Christ feels. 

He is as sensible of words. There is a verbal persecution, such as that 
of Esau's. Christ counts himself wounded, when the tongues of the wicked 
are sharp swords to his people, Ps. lvii. 4. Christ is persecuted in all their 
persecutions : ' Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ?' and this is one 
kind ; nay, affections, though concealed. If any hate a saint in his heart, 
though he never manifest it, Christ looks on such an one as a hater of himself, 
1 John iv. 20 ; so of anger, rage, Isa. xxxvii. 29. Intimations ; putting out 
the finger, Isa. lviii. 9 ; lifting up the eyes in derision or contempt, the 
Lord counts himself derided and contemned thereby, Isa. xxxvii. 28 ; nay, 
Christ puts this interpretation upon thoughts, though they seem not consider- 

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82 THE LOVE OF tJHBIST. [EPH. V. 2, 

able. He that has low thoughts of Christ's people, in his account has low 
thoughts of him, Luke x. 16, 1 Thes. iv. 8. He owns and rewards what is 
done for them, as done for himself ; he accounts himself clothed, when their 
nakedness is covered ; feasted, when their hunger is satisfied ; relieved, 
when their necessities are supplied ; entertained, when they are harboured, 
Mat. x. 40, xxv. 89, 40. He rewards the least kindness to them as royally 
as the greatest that is done to himself, Mat. x. 42. 

Nay, he has this account, not only of kind actions, but even of every 
kind look, Mat. xxv. 86. When they but lend an ear and hear them, in his 
account they hear him, Luke x. 16. 

[4.] Christ does for them what he would have done for himself, and 
nothing else. He loves another as himself, who is thus despised. Take an 
instance of it, Luke zx., where, ver. 27, having laid down the rale of loving 
others as ourselves, he explains it in a parable, ver. 80, in which we are 
directed both to the object and measure, who, and how. He that does de- 
mean himself to others, as the Samaritan to that traveller, loves him as 
himself. But Christ comes up to, nay, goes far beyond this instance. This 
traveller is a figure of every man by nature, fallen among thieves, the 
powers of darkness, and his own lusts; stripped of the image of God, 
knowledge, righteousness, and holiness ; wounded by sin, so as there is 
nothing in his soul bnt wounds ; half dead, his soul dead, deprived of 
spiritual life, Eph. ii. ; forsaken of all the world, who could neither relieve 
nor pity him. 

The Samaritan is a figure of Christ. He sees and pities fallen man ; has 
compassion on him, shews it in curing and accommodating him. Went to 
him, yea, he came from heaven to shew his love ; bound up his wounds, 
yea, he was willing to be wounded, Isa. liii. ; pours wine and oil, yea, he 
poured out his blood to wash and cleanse our wounds, applied that for cure ; 
sets him on his own beast ; yea, he charges the angels with him, his own 
ministering spirits ; defrays the expenses ; he lays down all that law and 
justice could demand ; defrays all at his own charge, though it cost him his 
life and soul. If the Samaritan, by doing so little; be said to love the dis- 
tressed man, how did Christ love, who did much more ? 

[5.] Christ honours man with those relations which engage to as much. 
A man must love his wife as himself, Eph. v. 88, as his own body, ver. 28. 
A man should sin if he do otherwise. Christ will be far from failing ; this 
love in its highest degree is exemplary in him : ver. 25, ' As Christ loved 
the church/ Why, how did he love it ? He tells, ver. 28, from whence it 
follows, that when husbands love their wives as themselves, they love as 
Christ loves. Besides, man loves his members, his flesh, his bones, as him- 
self, but Christ accounts us so, vers. 29, 80. 

(6.) Christ, in some respects, loves man better than himself. These are 
many. 

[1.] Christ would suffer, rather than man should suffer ; rather undergo 
all that man had deserved, than man undergo any. We may imagine 
Christ's love expressing itself thus : Is poor man in so forlorn a condition, 
as none in heaven and earth will pity him ? I will take to me the bowels of 
a man ; I have seen his misery, and will sympathise with him. Is man 
reduced to this woful strait, as either he must suffer, or he that is God, for 
him ? I will fit myself with a body for his sake ; I will give my back to 
the smiters, &c, rather than man shall bear the burden of infinite wrath, 
rather than the weight of it shall sink him into eternal torments ; let it fall 
upon me, I will bear it, though it make my soul heavy unto death. Rather 
than man shall drink the cup of the Lord's indignation, oh let it be put to 

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EPH. Y. 2.] THE LOYE OF CHRIST. &8 

my head ! I will drink it, even the dregs of it, though the bitterness of 
death be in it. Rather than man shall be cast into that place of torments, 
to spend eternity in weeping and gnashing of teeth, I will be content to be- 
come a man of sorrows, yea, let the sorrows of death encompass my soul. 
Is the sentence of eternal death passed upon man ? Can none else procure 
pardon or reprieve ? Is he, and must he indeed be condemned ? Why, 
righteous is the Lord, but let that dreadful sentence be executed upon me, 
let me die for him, so as poor man may escape. Will nothing else purge 
man from that woful pollution which makes him odious to my Father ? I 
will open a fountain in my heart, I will wash him in my blood. Must all 
the curses of law and gospel fall upon wretched man ? Alas ! what will be- 
come of him ? The least of them will sink the whole creation. Let them 
rather fall upon my soul and body ; I will become a curse for man, I will 
bear it, though it be the curse both of first and second death. Is the ven- 
geance of eternal fire man's portion ? Oh, how can he dwell with everlasting 
burnings ! rather let the flame be turned upon me, though it scorch both 
body, and torture my soul. Will nothing satisfy the avenger of blood, 
nothing satisfy justice but blood ? Every part of me shall bleed for you ; 
lo, here is my head, my heart, my whole body ; let me be scourged, nailed, 
pierced ; yea, let my heart send out its last drop of dearest blood, if man 
may escape. 

[2.] He prayed more for men than himself. Prayer is the pulse of love, 
by it we may know its strength or weakness. Fervent and frequent prayers 
are symptoms of strong and ardent affections. Those that pray much, love 
much ; and them most, for whom they most pray. Christ hereby makes it 
known that he loves his own, not the world ; because he prays for them, not 
for that, John xvii. 9. And as it is a positive sign, so also comparatively. 
As by this we know whom Christ loves, whom not ; so whom he loves more, 
whom less. By all his prayers recorded in Scripture, it appears he prayed 
more for man than himself. Nor was this because Christ had less need to 
pray for himself. For who had so much need, so great extremities, so 
many infirmities, temptations, dangers, necessities, afflictions ? Who has 
more need to pray, than he who has most of these ? Yet, behold the love 
of Christ ! When all these were rushing in upon him, when God and man, 
men and devils, death and hell, were at once falling upon soul and body, 
when he had most need to pray for himself, then he prays most for men. 
See John xvii., the prayer made immediately before his sufferings ; twenty 
parts of that chapter are taken up with petitions for men, but one verse or 
two for himself. He desires many things for them, but one for himself. 
He importunes his Father for union, joy, holiness, perseverance, glory for 
them ; he desires nothing but glory for himself, vers. 1-5. Nor does he 
desire this for himself alone, but for their sakes ; he begs glory of the Father 
that he may give it them, ver. 22. Oh that Christ should be so mindful 
of them as he seems to forget himself 1 That his thoughts should be more 
taken up with them, than with his own grievous sufferings, that he knew 
were then approaching, and his apprehension of them most quick and 
piercing ! 

[3.] He expressed more joy for their welfare, than himself as man. Love 
is proportionable to joy ; for as desire is love in its motion, so joy is love 
in its triumph. Joy is as it were the smile, the blossom of love ; it is a 
sign love is well rooted in the heart, when joy breaks forth in outward ex- 
pressions. We love that best in which we take most pleasure, most rejoice. 
Desire is love in pursuit, so joy is love in possession. Desire is a sign of 

vox., in. o 



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84 thk love or christ. [Eph. Y. 2. 

some love, but joy of more. Now Christ seems to rejoice more for men, 
than himself as man. He never took pleasure in anything below, so much 
as in advancing man's happiness ; and never manifested more grief and 
indignation than when any would hinder or dissuade. What was that 
wherein he took as much delight as nature does in meat and drink ? It was 
the conversion of souls, John iv. 84. But with what indignation does he 
rebuke Peter, dissuading him from grievous sufferings, sufferings upon which 
man's happiness depended : ' Spare thyself/ Mat. xvi. 22, 28 ; * Be it far 
from thee.' 

It is true, indeed, we seldom find Christ rejoicing in the whole history of 
his life. He was ' a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief,' aud scarce with 
anything else, a stranger to joys. But when we meet him rejoicing, the oc- 
casion is usually, if not always, some advantage to men. We read he 
rejoiced, John xi. 15, %a/gu hi vpw, it was for man's sake. He says not, 
he was glad because he should get glory by the miracle, because he should 
get the honour and repute of one that could work miracles ; but /rat «ritf- 
r'svtrirt, more that it would make them happy, than bring him honour and 
reputation. See Luke x. 21, we find Christ in an ecstasy, almost tran- 
sported with joy, rryaXkiaearo rZ mbpars, his spirit leaped within him, 
and as though he had been rapt into heaven, adds praises, his joy 
breaks forth into thanks. But what is the occasion of both ? Not that 
the devils were subject through- his name, not that Satan fell, &c, but that 
it pleased the Father to make known the mysteries of salvation to despised 
men. Christ seemed to make man, of all earthly things, his chief joy on 
earth ; this was it which revived him, joyed his heart in the midst of his 
sorrows and sufferings, that man should be thereby made happy. 

[4.] He gave himself for men. This is held forth as an expression of a 
transcendent love, Gal. ii. 20, Eph. v. 2, 25. In giving himBelf for man, he 
seems to love man more than himself ; so we judge in transactions with men. 
A wise man in purchasing, accounts the things he buys as good, or better 
than the price ; he values, he loves that which he purchaseth more than what 
he parts with. Christ seemed to make more account of man than himself, 
when he gave himself for man, when he made himself the price to purchase 
man. And his affliction is answerable to his apprehension; whom he 
esteems more, he loves more. ' We are bought with a price,' 1 Cor. vi. 20. 
Himself is the >Mrpv 9 Mat. xx. 28, 1 Tim. ii. 6 ; the price of redemption, 
Lev. xxv. 51. The Lord, as a sign of his love to Jacob's seed, promiseth, 
Isa, xliii. 8, 4, 'I will give men for thee, and people for thy life,' &c. ; 
therefore, he valued, he loved Israel more than Egypt, Ethiopia. He that 
sold all to buy the pearl, valued it more than all that he had, Mat. xiiL 46. 

Oh how did Christ value man, when he gave himself for him, when he de- 
livered himself into the hands of sinners, enemies, murderers, justice, reveng- 
ing justice I It had been much if Christ had but given his word, and engaged 
his person for performance ; if he had become a pledge, a surety, hostage ; 
more, if he had given himself to be prisoner, captive for man. But oh ! that 
he should give himself to the death, to die, after he had exposed every mem- 
ber to torture, hands and feet, head, side, heart, face, his whole body ! that 
he should give his body to death, separated from his soul ! nay, not only 
his body, but give his soul too, Mat. x. 45 ; an offering, Ps. liii. 10, a 
burnt-offering, scorched with wrath, his soul to worse torments than death; 
his whole man. 

[5.] He parted with his dearest concernment, as man, for man's sake. 
Does not he love that party more than himself, who will part with what is 
dearest to him for his sake ? Christ, as man, did thus. What is dearer to 



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EPH. Y. 2.] TBS LOTS OF CHBIST. 85 

men, what so dear to Christ, as his honour? He made nothing of this when 
he ( made himself of no reputation,' when he was content to he ' numbered 
amongst transgressors.' It mast needs he more grievous to Christ to lie 
under the suspicion of the least guilt than man of the greatest ; yet did he 
lie under such suspicions all his life, and in the conclusion was content to 
be accounted worse than a thief, to have Barabbas preferred before him. 
Man was more dear to Christ than his honour ; but is nothing dearer ? Job 
determines this : Job ii. 4, nothing so sweet, so dear as his life ; we will 
part with all, rather than this. But man was dearer to Christ than his life. 
He loved not his life so much as man. Ay, but is there nothing dearer, better 
than life ? Yes ; David tells of one thing better : Ps. lziii. 8, < Thy loving- 
kindness is better than life.' This is it I pitch on as the dearest, the 
sweetest thing that Christ as man, or any creature ever enjoyed. Those that 
have tasted the ravishing pleasures that spring from this, will part with life, 
body, soul, all, rather than it. We have instances of some who have been 
willing to suffer, to part with all ; but none that ever would forego this. The 
world has had worthies who were content to wander in deserts and moun- 
tains, in dens and caves of the earth; to be separated from the comforts of all 
enjoyments and relations, Heb. zi. 88, rather than part with this ; willing to 
wander in sheep skins, goat skins, to be destitute, afflicted, tormented, as ver. 
87, of all, by all, in all. Such as have undergone trials of cruel mockings and 
scourgings, yea, of bonds and imprisonment, ver. 86, not counted their lives 
dear, willing to be stoned, sawn asunder, slain with the sword, tortured to 
death in flames, and would not accept of deliverance ; counted nothing too 
dear to part with, too cruel to undergo. But if you should come to any of 
these and ask, You are willing indeed to part with all that man can take from 
you, and suffer all that the cruelty and malice of men can inflict on you ; 
oh, but will you part with this sense of God's.love ? will you undergo the 
weight of his wrath ? you would have them answer, Oh, no ; let me rather 
be annihilated ; let me rather die ten thousand deaths ; let me rather endure 
all the torments that men, that devils can invent. 

Oh, but though this was dearer and sweeter to Christ than ever it was to 
any saint or angel, yet, for man's sake, he parted with it. The light of God's 
countenance was even totally eclipsed, when he cried out, ' My God, my God !' 
And what mountains of wrath did oppress his spirit, when he complained so 
stdly, ' My soul is heavy unto the death 1' 

[6.] He advanced man's interest (with submission) more than his own. 
What more advantage to man than himself ? He so disposed of his life and 
death as whatever be did and suffered was more advantageous to man than 
himself. You will say, 

Obj. Did not Christ get much glory by the work of redemption 9 Was 
not this the most glorious administration that ever the world was witness 
of? 

Am. Yes. Yet the glory the Son of God got hereby was an inconsider 
able advantage to him, compared with the benefits thereby purchased foi 
man. The Son of God had lost nothing, if he had wanted this ; this did 
not add any degree of glory to that which he enjoyed from eternity. He was 
infinitely glorious before the foundation of the world, and nothing can be 
added to that which is infinite. If he had never assumed man's nature, he 
had been as glorious as be is now ; that glory which accrued to him by this 
great undertaking is nothing but the manifestation of his infinite glory to 
men, or the acknowledgment of it by men. Now, what is this or that to 
the Son of God ? what does it add to him ? He gets no more real glory de 
novo by it than the sun gets new light by shining, or honey gets more sweet- 



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86 THE L0VB OF CHKI8T. [EpH. V. 2. 

ness by being commended for its sweetness. The snn would be as full of 
light if do eye saw it, and honey as sweet in itself if no palate tasted it. He 
might have been without this glory, and yet have been, nevertheless, glorious 
through want of it. What advantage, then, is it to him, since he might 
have wanted it without any disadvantage ? Oh, but man got real advantages 
by Christ's undertaking ; he was thereby freed from sin, wrath, misery ; he 
thereby recovered the favour of God, the divine image, perfect happiness, and 
eternal glory. See here, then, how Christ advanced man's interest more than 
his own, and hereby judge of his love. He got but one advantage ; man 
gets many. That one was but small, and almost inconsiderable ; these were 
great, and of highest concernment. He might have been as well without 
this ; man had better never been than wanted these. He had not been the 
least jot less happy or glorious without it ; man had been eternally wretched 
and miserable without these. He got nothing that he had any absolute 
necessity to desire ; man got all that he can desire. Oh how evident is it 
that Christ manifested in this more love to man than himself ! And who 
can consider this without wonder and astonishment ? 

(7.) As the Father loves him, so does he love man. We can go no higher, 
nor durst have used such an expression, but that Christ himself uses it, John 
zv. 9. Christ would have this made known to the world, chap. xvii. 28-26. 
He loves men, as the Father loves him ; I say not with the same love, but 
such a love. As is not a note of equality or identity, but of similitude and 
resemblance. A love like to that, in respect of duration, perfection, ex- 
pression. 

[1.] Permanency. The Father's love to the Son is everlasting, eternal, 
unchangeable, like himself, without variableness or shadow of change. So 
is Christ's to men ; he loves them to the end, he loves without end ; bis 
love is everlasting, and so is the bond of it, the covenant. It is like the 
covenant of day and night, Jer. xxxiii. 20. Night and day shall cease before 
this ; nay, night shall become day, and day night, before his love become 
hatred. It is like the covenant with Noah, Isa. liv. 8-10. As nothing can 
separate Christ from his Father's love, so nothing can separate man from 
Christ's, Bom. viii. 25, &c. 

[2.] Perfection. It is amor ardentissimus, as Piscator calls it ; DUectto 
absolidissima, as Aretius, without flaw, defect, alteration, diminution ; free 
from these imperfections and gross mixtures which deaden and darken the 
flames of love in creatures. God's love to Christ is incomprehensible, and 
Christ's to man passes knowledge, Eph. iii. 19. 

[8.J Expressions. Christ vouchsafes to express his love to man, as the 
Father expresses his love to him. To love is fiovXtcfou r ayada. The 
Father wills as much good to Christ, as man, as he is capable of; and 
Christ wills as much to men as they are capable of. As the Father is one 
with Christ, so Christ has made man one with himself. Christ desires the 
like union to evidence the like love, John xvii. 21-28. Christ is his 
Father's Son, and believers are Christ's sons, Isa. viii. 18; he is the Father's 
delight, Isa. xlii. 1, they are Christ's, Ps. xvi. 8 ; he is the Father's glory, 
Heb. i., and they are Christ's, 2 Cor. viii. 28 ; God is Christ's head, 1 Cor. 
xi. 8, Christ is their head, ibid. ; he always hears Christ, John xi. 42, and 
Christ them, John xv. ; all power is given to Christ, Mat. xxviii. 18, and by 
Christ to them, Philip, iv. 18, John xiv. 12 ; he has committed all judgment 
to Christ, John v. 22, Christ makes them his assessors, 1 Cor. vi. 2, 8 ; not 
only Israel, Luke xxii., but the world ; not only men, but angels ; Christ is 
the Father's joy, and they are Christ's : ' That my joy may remain in you,' 
t . e. that I may rejoice in you ; he has exalted Christ to be a prince, and 

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EPH. Y. 2.] THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 87 

they are princes : Ps. xlv. 16, ' Instead of thy fathers, Bhall be thy chil- 
dren; 1 Christ is anointed, ver. 7, so they: Ps. cv. 14, 'Touch not mine 
anointed/ 

Quest. 1. Whether Christ's love be universal, extended to all men ; or par- 
ticular, restrained to some ? 

Ans. No. The Scripture holds forth a restrained, a distinguishing love. 
The contrary opinion is against the stream of Scripture, and makes Christ's 
love less endearing, less free, less engaging. The text* evinces this ; he loves 
only those who are washed in his blood ; all are not washed ; those who are 
made kings and priests, all are not such. 

Besides, Christ only loves his own, John xiii. 1, those that are given him 
by his Father. All are not his ; he knows his, and is known of them, John 
x. 14, 27 ; but some he professes he knows not, Luke xiii. 27. It is the 
church that he loves, Eph. v. 25 ; but all belong not to the church, the most 
are not in the church, the greatest part in it are not of it. He gives his life 
for those he loves, Eph. v. 2 ; but he lays not down his life for all. This act 
of love is restrained to those whom he calls his sheep, John x. 11. All are 
not sheep, for who are those that will be found at Christ's left hand ? Christ's 
flock is a little flock ; he intercedes for all whom he loves, John xvi. 26, 27, 
and xvii. 20. He prays not for all ; there is a world that he prays not for, 
John xvii. 9 ; he expresses it when he loves, gives love-tokens ; manifests 
himself, John xiv. 21-23, not to all, ver. 22, draws near them, abides with 
them, gives consolation, good hope, peace, 2 Thes. ii. 16, victory, Bom. 
viii. 87. The Lord hates some, Ps. v. 5, Hos. ix. 15, Mai. i. 8, There is a 
common love, which bestows common favours, outward and spiritual ; and a 
special love. 

Quest. 2. Who are those whom Christ loves ? 

Ans. Those that are washed and made kings and priests. 

Washed. If so, then you are 

(1.) Clean from guilt ; sin pardoned ; are washed in the fountain, Ezek. 
xxxvL 25 ; not the outside only, Luke xi. 89 ; you are free from pollution, 
John xiii. 8, 9 ; your filthy garments taken away ; your hearts are no more 
a nest for unclean birds ; cleansed in mind and heart ; no unclean thoughts, 
projects, affections ; not so many, so frequent, so well entertained. 

(2.) Fearful of being again defiled : * I have washed my feet, how can I 
defile them ? ' Cant. v. 8. Look upon sin as the greatest, most loathsome, 
contagious, dangerous pollution ; fearful of it as of a leprosy, a filthy dun- 
geon, a poisonous ulcer, a miry pit, an infectious disease, a putrefying sore. 
1 How can I do this great evil, and sin against' Christ his blood? defile 
that which Christ has taken such pains, and been at such cost, to wash. 

(8.) High, endeared thoughts of Christ's love : thankfulness both for the 
benefit and the price it cost ; to be made clean, beautiful, lovely, glorious, 
the benefit ; his own blood the price. It cost not Christ only some words ; yet, 
why should Christ speak for us ? he stands in no need of us ; nor prayers 
only, though an inducement ; nor tears, why should he concern himself to 
weep ? but blood, his own blood, 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. Oh who would not love 
thee ? king of saints t God of love ! what thankfulness can answer such 
love as this ? what expressions can manifest such thankfulness as is due for 
soch a favour, of such value, procured at such a rate ? The resentment of 
this is the occasion of the text, the doxology which concludes it. How un- 
worthy shall I shew myself, if I return not love, for such a love as would 
cleanse me when I was all loathsome, and do it, when nothing else would do 
it, with his own blood ? 



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88 THE LOTS OF CHRIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

sin, not obey it in the lusts thereof; it has not dominion, it roles not, they 
resist its motions ; Satan does not work them, Eph. ii. Plentiful, glorious, 
conquerors, victorious kings; they conquer the world, sin, Satan. The 
world is cast down in their minds, out of their heajrt, cast off in the life. 

(2.) Disposition ; raised, generous ; not low designs, below them, confined 
to this world, above the serpent's curse. Public, not for private, interest ; 
prefer the designs, the glory of Christ, before private ; mind the things of 
Christ, and not their own. 

Priests. They do the act,, execute the office of priests, which is, 1 Pet. 
ii. 5, to offer spiritual sacrifice ; sacrifice threefold : (1.) acts of charity to 
the body, Heb. xiii. 16 ; we think it best to receive good, but to do good is 
the best sacrifice ; (2.) to the soul ; acts of piety, prayer, praise, Heb. xiii. 1 5 ; 
much in prayer, and spiritual ; not offer the sacrifice of fools, the calves of 
the lips only, but the mind and heart ; (8.) the whole man an holocaust, 
Bom. xii. 1 ; he looks not upon himself as his own, he is bought with a 
price ; and why ? to glorify God ; and how ? by offering and devoting the 
body and spirit. 

Quest. 8. Whether Christ's love be personal ? whether it respect some 
sort of men, viz., believers, infinitely and in general, or descends to, and 
fixes upon, this and that believer in particular, as John, Peter ? 

Ans. It is personal, whether we consider it in the streams or in the spring ; 
in time or from eternity. By love in the stream, I mean the expressions of 
his love, those peculiar favours which in time he bestows on those whom he 
chose from eternity. Love, so taken, must needs be personal ; for though the 
designment of favours (amongst short-sighted men) may be indefinite, yet 
the actual collation must be personal, both with God and men ; for this is 
an action, et actio est supponti, which is true both in respect of agent and 
subject ; it must be an individual both that acts and receives the act 

Love in the spring. The eternal act of Christ, together with the Father, 
choosing some to be the objects of his love, the same really with the decree 
of election, is personal. This is most controverted. I prove it. 

(1.) We have one clear instance proving this love to be personal ; there- 
fore we may conclude it universally, because the decree is uniform, not partly 
indefinitely, partly personal. The instance is brought by Paul, Bom. ix. 18, 
out of Mai. i. 2, * Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated ; ' so Jer. i. 5. 

(2.) If Christ loves, u e. chooses men by name, then his love, his decree, 
is personal ; for there can be no more personal designment than that which 
is by name. But he chooses men by name ; for the Scripture describes elec- 
tion by writing the names of the elect in a book ; by a metaphor, taken from 
those who list soldiers, chosen out for military service, by writing their names 
in a muster-roll. Luke x. 20, the disciples' names were written in heaven, 
chosen by name, and enrolled, listed, registered, from eternity ; Paul testi- 
fies the same of his fellow-labourers : Philip, iv. 8, their names writ in the 
book of life ; and John, Bev. xiii. 8, says the names of all that worship not 
the beast were written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the 
world, and Bev. xxi. 27. 

(8.) If Christ choose not particular men, he knows not particularly who 
are, or shall be, his ; because the knowledge of futures, in our apprehension, 
follows the decree, and depends on it, and is conformable to it ; if no decree, 
no knowledge. But Christ knows his by name, personally, distinctly, 2 Tim. 
ii. 19 ; he ' calleth his sheep by name,' John x. 8 ; ver. 14, 27. They say, he 
knows who are believers ; ay, but he cannot know who will continue so, if, 
as they say, perseverance depend upon their will, left free from all necessity 
both of Christ' s decree and influence ; for this granted, the perseverance of 

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EPH. V. 2.] THX LOVE 07 CHBIBT. 89 

a saint in heaven will be uncertain, and 00 not certainly known to Christ 
himself ; for to apprehend a thing certain which is uncertain is an error. 

(4.) Certain men are ordained to condemnation, Jude 4, ergo certain men 
to salvation ; but indefinite is uncertain. 

Quest. 4. How can Christ be said to love those to whom he denies so 
many temporal blessings, and visits with such variety of grievous afflictions? 
Am. 1. These outward dispensations were never a sign of love or hatred; 
much less under the gospel, which promises fewer outward mercies, and bids 
expect more afflictions. The names of legal and Old Testament spirits have 
been of late abused, misapplied ; but if they belong to any, it is to those who 
expect more outward blessings and fewer afflictions, and judge men by these. 
Solomon's rule is true here : Eccles. ix. 1, 2, « No man knows either love or 
hatred, by all that is before him. All things come alike to all/ &c. Ye 
cannot conclude that Christ hates you because he afflicts ; nor that he loves 
because you are blessed in temporals. The least drachm of grace is a surer 
sign of Christ's love than all the kingdoms, all the glory, all the pleasures of 
the earth, if in one man's enjoyment ; and victory over the least lust, than 
freedom from all outward pressures ; otherwise, we might say, Dives was 
loved, Lazarus hated, and Festus in more favour with Christ, than Paul ; 
nay, Christ himself might conclude he was hated of God, since none more 
afflicted, or less encouraged, with temporals. 

Ans. 2. Wants and afflictions are bo far from being arguments of Christ's 
hatred, as they are many times evidences of his love. For afflictions it is 
evident, Heb. xii. 6-8, Christ thereby conforms us to himself, and makes us 
partakers of his image, holiness, ver. 10, 11. And for wants I thus prove. 
The people of Christ want nothing but that which is not good, for he has 
promised to withhold no good thing. 1 Why does a father envy his child that 
which is not good for him, but because he loves him ? From wants outward 
you should conclude the employment* of what you want is not good, rather 
than the want of what you would enjoy is from hatred. It is no defect of 
love in Christ, but defect of goodness in what you want, that makes you want 
it. 

Quest. 6. Whether is love properly attributed to Christ, or metaphorically ? 
Ans. Both : metaphorically as he is God, properly as he is man. 
(1.) Love, as it is an human affection, cannot be properly ascribed to 
Christ, as he is God, because it includes imperfection. That rule is true, 
Nihil est in intellectu, quod non fuit prius in &emu> our understandings ap- 
prehend nothing but what is fist some way offered to our senses. Now, 
God being an entity at the furthest distance from sense, it follows that our * 
apprehensions of God, taking their rise from things sensible, are not only 
inadequate, falling infinitely short of comprehensiveness, but improper and 
analogical, and no otherwise true but by analogy. Now, the Scripture, speak- 
ing lingua kumand, and condescending to our capacities, describes the 
spiritual essence of God by things sensible, and so uses many metaphors 
taken from things we are best acquainted with. Sometimes an f4/*ro/a,t 1 
Kings xxii. 19, Ps. lxviii. 88 ; an d^gwswadi/a,} when it ascribes hands, 
eyes, feet ; an fafyuwraOua, when it attributes passions to him, as joy, 
anger, sorrow, jealousy, hatred, love. So that when we hear any of these 
ascribed to God, we must not conceive them to be in him as in us, but must 
rectify our apprehensions according to the old rules, per viam negationis, 
separating all imperfections from them, et per viam eminentus, attributing to him 
whatsoever is purely excellent without any mixture of imperfection. So love 
• Qu. ' enjoyment ' ?— En. t Q*- ' W#r#im ' ?— Ed. J Qu. ( *t$t***fMtfu* ' ?— Ed. 



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40 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EPH. Y. 2. 

in God is not a passion, a perturbation, accompanied with any corporeal motion 
of blood and spirits, bat a pare, perfect, eternal act, whereby he wills good to lis. 

(2.) Love may be properly ascribed to Christ as he is man ; for so he has 
soul and body, will and affections, blood and spirits, as well as we. Only 
we mast give him a large allowance of pre-eminence ; the human nature and 
the grosser part of it, the body, being not only made glorious and spiritual, 
as the bodies of the saints shall be, but also assumed into union with God- 
head, and so elevated to perfections many degrees above the glorified saints. 
So that love is properly in Christ's human nature as in ours, both in respect 
of its rise and operations, beings and workings. It differs from our love in 
respect of the manner of its existence and operations, quoad modum, without, 

lnordinacy. Being guided not only by the dictates of right reason, but 
infinite wisdom without reluctancy. 

Perturbation. It is no grievance, no pressure to him, as sometimes to us, 
but a sweet, quiet, regular motion of his perfect human will. 

Detriment. Though it move blood and spirits, yet it inflames not that, 
nor wastes or impairs this. Its motions are innocent, serene, pacate, and 
spiritual, in that sense as his body is spiritual, and not as in infirm men. 

Quest. 6. Whether Christ's love be infinite ? 

Ans. Christ's love may be considered four ways : (1.) in its prime act, 
(2.) in its termination, (8.) its manifestation, (4.) its duration. 

(1.) The prime act of divine love, velU bonum, Christ's good will, willing- 
ness to do good. It is an act of the divine will, an immanent act, and so in 
God. Quicquid est in Deo, est Deus. God is infinite, therefore love is in- 
finite. In this sense God is love, and love is the same really with God, and 
therefore infinite. 

(2.) As it is terminated to its object. We considered it before simply and 
precisely in itself without its object, but here as it is determined to it ; not 
simply as good will, but as good will to this or that creature. In respect of 
this termination, it is not infinite, for that which is infinite is essential and 
necessary to God ; but this is not necessary, but an act of liberty ; for it was 
in God's choice whether he would make any creature, and consequently 
whether he would love any creature. Whatever is contingent is not God, nor 
infinite. Indeed, Christ's love was necessarily terminated upon his Father, 
and so his love to the Father is infinite in both respects, act and termin- 
ation ; but to us in the former respect only. 

(8.) In the manifestation, in respect of the expressions of it. The ex- 
pressions of Christ's love are not infinite, for they are transient acts, and so 
not in God ; and whatsoever is not in God is not absolutely infinite. Besides, 
they are actually received by us, therefore not infinite; for that which is finite 
(as we are) is not capable of what is infinite. 

Obj. But this is one expression, to give himself ; and he is infinite, there- 
fore expression is so. 

Ans. This giving of himself is the cause, not of identity, but of interest 
only. The creature is not the terminus or object of that act of giving himself, 
but God's paternal authority as founded on the law of nature ; the creature 
only enjoys the effects of offering or sacrifice. He is infinite in excellency 
and value, but our enjoyment of him is not infinite. All the acts of enjoy- 
ment are finite ; he gives no more actually than we enjoy ; we enjoy no more 
than we are capable of. 

Christ's love is infinite, yet he loves not infinitely. There may be infinitum 
amor, and yet it does not infinite amare ; even as he hath infinitam potentiam, 
and yet doth not infinite agere ; has infinite power, and yet does not act in- 
finitely. If he should act infinitely, he should act ad tdtimum svi posse, as 

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EPH. V. 2.] THE LOVE OF CHRIST. 41 

natural agents do. Every act is from infinite power, but the actings of that 
power are limited by his will as to the existence of things ; and in his actings 
towards things existing, he limits or accommodates himself to the nature and 
capacity of those things, so that the actings and effects are not infinite, though 
the principle be. Semblably he loves infinitely, bnt does not express that 
love infinitely ; the objects are not capable of infinite expressions. The re- 
ciprocal expressions of love betwixt the Father and Son are infinite, but not 
betwixt Christ and the creatures. That must be infinite to which love makes 
infinite expressions. 

(4.) In duration it is infinite. It is eternal, without beginning, without 
end, and so has no limits as to continuance, Eph. i. 4, Mat. xxv. Isa. liv. 8, 
Jer. xxxi. 8, ' everlasting light,' Isa. lx. 19, 20, ' everlasting joy,' Isa. li. 11, 
* everlasting salvation/ Isa. xlv. 17, ' everlasting covenant,' Jer. xxxii. 40 ; 
bo that in two respects Christ's love is infinite, viz. as to act and duration ; 
in two respects not infinite, as to termination and manifestation. 

Quest. 7. What must we do to render us capable of Christ's love ? What 
will make us lovely in his eye ? 

Ans. 1. You must be like him. Likeness is the greatest attractive of love, 
ofuiorris rfc piMag fiyr^, that which brings forth and nourisheth love. Christ 
likes none but those that are like him. The more likeness, the more love. 
This was the first act of eternal love : Bom. viii. 29. * Predestinated to be 
conformable to the image of his Son.' And this is the first expression of 
love in time, makes us like him. And both are in order to all the expressions 
of love that must continue to eternity. Till you have his likeness, you are not 
capable of his love. There may be amor benevolentuz, good will, before, but 
not amor amicituB or complacentia. He will not use you as friends, nor can 
his soul take pleasure in you till you be like him. 

But what will make you like him ? How shall we resemble him ? Holi- 
ness, this is Christ's resemblance, likeness, his image : Col. iii. 10, ' Be- 
newed after the image, 1 &c. What this renewing is you find, Eph. iv. 23, 
24. Holiness is the image of Christ. The apostle mentions two images, 
one whereof every man bears, 1 Cor. xv. 49, earthly and heavenly ; that of 
the first, this of the second Adam. Christ is the image of the invisible God, 
and holiness is the image of Christ. He that is holy is a living image of 
Christ. Christ sees himself in a holy soul, and cannot but love it ; he is XparoZ 
etxw sft^vxog, a lively portraiture of Christ. 

It is true nothing finite is properly like' to Christ, as he is God ; for like- 
ness is founded in proportion, and there is no proportion where the distance 
is infinite. But of all things in heaven and earth, nothing more resembles 
divinity and God himself than holiness ; therefore it is called ' the divine nature,' 
2 Peter i. 4. But consider Christ as he is man, and that holiness which is the 
glory and ornament of his soul is the same in specie, in nature, with that 
which is in his people, differs only in degree. No created being is so like Christ 
as he that is holy ; he sees nothing in man or angels so beautiful, so lovely. 

If then you would have Christ to love you, you must be like him ; if like 
him, you must be holy. Holy thoughts, this is the way to have the same 
mind in you, Philip, ii. 5 ; holy affections, so your heart will resemble Christ ; 
holy speeches and actions, so holy as he was in all conversation, 1 Peter 
i. 15. Set Christ before you as a pattern, strive to imitate him, express 
his virtues, 1 Peter ii. 9 ; set the life of Christ before you as a copy, and 
draw your lives after it ; eye it in every act, and strive to bring them to 
conformity ; meekness, Mat. xi. 29, no passionateness ; patience, 1 Peter 
ii. 20, 21, Isa. liii. 7, returning not evil, reviling, hatred ; self-denial, Philip, 
ii. 8, &c. Be his disciples, learn it by his doctrine and example. Hum ility , 

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42 THE LOVE OF CHBIST. [EPH. V. 2. 

Mat. xi. 29, Zeoh. ix. 9, in the lowest condition, or worst accommodation ; 
activeness, Acts x. 88, John iv. 84, delightfully, constantly ; love, Eph. 
i. 1, 2 ; spiritnalness, or making spiritual use of common things : these 
graces are the sparks of holiness, let them shine. Those that hate, contemn, 
jeer holiness, under what name or pretence soever, shall never taste Christ's 
love ; nay, those that are without it, though they never arrive at such a 
height of wickedness as to contemn it, shall never see God, Heb. xii. 14. 
They shall be so far from partaking of the intimate expressions of his love, 
as they shall not be admitted into his presence, not so much as to see him. 
Be sensible of the want, bewail the neglect ; love it, thirst after it, endeavour 
by all means to perfect it, 2 Cor. vii. 1 ; hear, John xv., meditate, pray, 
and prefer it, as Solomon did wisdom, 2 Chron. i. 10, 11. 

Ans. 2. Avoid all that Christ hates. If you love, approve, entertain that 
which is hateful to Christ, how can he love you ? What is that which 
Christ hateB ? The psalmist, Ps. xlv. 7, tells us, making it one of Christ's 
attributes, to hate wickedness. The lusts of your hearts, and sins of your 
lives, is that alone which is hateful to Christ. Sin is the only object of 
Christ's hatred ; he hates nothing but sin, or nothing but for sin. He loves 
many things, but this is that one thing which he hates. The world had never 
known any thing but love in Christ, had it not been for sin. If the devil 
himself were without sin, Christ would love him ; but if the most glorious 
augel in heaven sin, Christ will hate him. Christ has much reason to hate 
sin, for it murdered him, exposed him to the dreadful wrath of his Father, 
and is the only, the greatest, the most odious deformity, that his pure eye 
sees in the world. It is more hateful than a toad to us, more loathsome 
than the k vomit of a dog, more noisome than the stench of an open 
sepulchre. Therefore while you let sin lodge in your hearts, while you stain 
your lives with it, Christ will not, cannot love you. So long as you harbour 
malice, pride, averseness to God, contemn the gospel, neglect ordinances, 
profane Sabbaths, covetousness, contention, intemperance, unoleanness, 
deceit, never expect any love from Christ, nothing but dreadful expressions 
of hatred. No love from Christ, till at enmity with sin, till you fight 
against, endeavour to mortify it, have continual war with it. As Christ 
hates iniquity, so the workers of iniquity, Ps. v. 5. You must not love 
them, so as to be intimate with them, delight in the company of evil doers, 
openly profane, scorners of godliness, obstructors of the power of it, 2 Cor. 
vi. 14-18. If you love so near relations to wicked men, Christ will have no 
relation to you. If you would have communion with Christ in sweet acts of 
love, you must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, nor 
those that act them. 

An*. 8. Comply with his will, obey his commands. This is a powerful 
inducement amongst men, compliance, observance, officiousness ; and 
Christ engages both his and his Father's love upon this account, John xiv. 
21, 28. That you may comply with his will, you must be careful to know 
it. He is as odious to Christ who will not know what he should do, as he 
who will not do what he knows. It is as provoking disobedience to refuse 
to know Christ's will, as to refuse to do it ; equally threatened, 2 Thes. i. 
8, 9. Wilful ignorance is so far from excusing, as it aggravates sin; brings 
a double guilt, guilt of disobedience, and guilt of the most provoking igno- 
rance. Ignorance is wilful, when the means of knowledge are offered, but 
neglected. 

Ignorance excuses none who have the means and the use of reason. 
How little ignorance is there amongst us, that is not wilful and inexcusable; 
do not know, because they will not use the means ? 

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EPH. V. 2. J THE LOVE OF OHKI8T. 48 

Nor will use of means Buffiee ; it mast be with all diligence, Prov. ii. 8. 
Careless use is little better than neglect. There is contempt in this, when 
Christ speaks to yon, to hear as though yon heard not ; when Christ writes 
to yon, to read as though you read not, this is to affront Christ ; and will 
he love those that affront him to his face ? . 

But suppose you know Christ's will by the use of means ; yet if you close 
not with what you know, you are as far from Christ's love. He that knows, 
and does not, shall be beaten, Luke xii. 47; he must expect no other ex- 
pressions of love. Christ loves the truth so well, as he will not love those 
that imprison it. You may see how Christ resents disobedience against 
knowledge in Saul, 1 Sam. xv. 28 ; it is as witchcraft or idolatry. Where 
there is this disobedience, there is a covenant with hell and death, a league 
with Satan ; there is an idolising ourselves, preferring our will to God's, 
idolatry. To disobey the gospel, is to be disobedient to the heavenly call, 
it is to neglect salvation. Ch what madness is it to prefer a lust before 
your own salvation ! To prefer a lust before the love of Christ, before 
Christ himself! What a heinous provocation, to love sin more than Christ, 
to prefer sin, the vilest and [most] abominable thing in the world, before God 
blessed for ever ! How can Christ love such, who love that more than him 
which murdered him, and will damn them ? Yet this you do in disobedi- 
ence. The least jot of Christ's will is of more value than heaven and earth, 
and you prefer that which is the worst thing in hell before it. 

The way to win Christ's love, is to use all means to know his will, that 
you may obey it ; and to obey it as soon as you know it, immediately, im- 
partially, cheerfully. He loves a cheerful doer, as a cheerful giver. That 
which comes by constraint is servile, unacceptable. Expect not the love of 
sons, while you act as slaves, and serve him not but from fear or force, un- 
less it be that of love. Immediately, consult not flesh and blood, with 
carnal interests, with base lusts, with outward disadvantage or respects ; 
then your obedience will be partial, not do what Christ commands, but 
what these advise. As good not obey at all, as not obey in all ; you must 
not leave a hoof; you must be more respecters of duties than of persons. 
It is universal obedience that engages Christ's love. Obey in all, especially 
the principal commands of Christ and the gospel, faith and repentance. 

Ans. 4. Converse much with Christ. Be much in his company. Labour 
to be, as David, continually with him: d*£o<rijyog/a voX)£{ rag <pi7Ja$ 
dtikuet. Estrangement, neglect of converse, dissolves friendship, occasions 
a consumption of love amongst men, and so it will be with Christ. There 
is both an assimilating and an attractive virtue in communion. It will 
make you like Christ, and so make you capable pf loving expressions ; and 
it will engage, attract, kindle Christ's love, and so make you actually partakers 
of it. Delight then to walk with him, to meet him, to view his beauty, to 
hear his voice, to taste his sweetness. And since Christ delights to see the 
face and hear the voice of his spouse, Cant. ii. 14, therefore you must take 
all occasions to present yourselves before him, in the most lovely and de- 
lightful posture, that the King may take pleasure in your beauty, that your 
eye bo fixed on him, he may be ravished with your eye. 

But where shall we meet with Christ ? Where may we converse with 
him ? Even in his ordinances ; where these are, there is Christ's presence- 
chamber ; prayer, hearing, reading, meditating. When you attend on the 
word preached, you see him, and hear his voice. Here are those sweet 
interviews and colloquies, wherein Christ vouchsafes to manifest his love 
familiarly. He has writ his mind, yea, his heart, in the Scriptures, and 
there you may read the sweetest strains of love that ever the world knew ; 



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44 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EpH. V. 2. 

and when you read those heavenly lines, you should look upon them as a 
letter of love sent from Christ. In meditation, there you may have a fall 
gaze at Christ, and if your minds be fixed, you may see every lineament of 
him who is altogether lovely, whose beauty ravishes the angels, makes them 
seraphims, flames of love. 

When you are using these ordinances, you are in Christ's banqueting- 
house ; he spreads over you the banner of his love ; there he feasts his 
people, stays them with flagons; there he admits them to familiar em- 
braces, kisses them with the kisses of his mouth, and vouchsafes such mani- 
festations of his love as are better than wine, sit down under his shadow 
with great delight. Ordinances are the mirrors wherein Christ makes him- 
self visible ; herein, as in a glass, we may see the glory of Christ, and no 
other way, till in heaven, where we may see him face to face. These are as 
Zaccheus's tree : when we get our hearts raised, our souls climb up, and with 
advantage see Jesus ; and there he will spy you, come feast with you, and 
bring salvation to your house. 

Delight in ordinances, and manifest it by being frequent in them. Be 
much in prayer ; be not satisfied in ordinances, without his presence, except 
you may see and enjoy him. Depart not out of his presence, till he smile, 
till he speak kindly, speak to your heart, till he testify his presence by im- 
pressions, light, heat, enlargement; expressions, the still voice speaking 
peace, accepting. That you may enjoy his presence, that he may delight 
to meet you, you mast put your souls into that dress that is most lovely ; 
come with inflamed affections, with acted graces, so you will appear in the 
beauty of holiness. This is the beauty wherein Christ delights. Nothing 
so lovely as a soul of a gracious, a spiritual complexion waiting on him ; to 
him will he look. 

Am. 5. Take heed of unkindnesses. There is so much affinity betwixt love 
and kindness, as they are often joined in Scripture. Love, amongst men, 
will not endure unkind returns ; how much less Christ, who hath infinite 
reason to expect the best requitals ? 

(1.) You are unkind when you undervalue Christ. Contempt is the great- 
est unkindness. You contemn Christ when you set him at nought. He is 
then $%ou$ivii6ue, set at nought, when you prefer that before him which is 
worse than nought, sin. When you set little by him, that is properly h7j- 
yutfa, when you have a higher esteem of that which is little worth, outward 
enjoyments, relations, interests ; when these have more of your thoughts, 
more of your affections, than Christ. He is contemned when anything is 
more loved, desired, delighted in, feared, than Christ ; when any object is 
more lovely, any happiness more desirable, any enjoyment more delightful, 
any suffering more fearful, than Christ's absence or displeasure. 

(2.) When you refuse his offers. He has writ, not a letter, but a large 
volume of love ; will you cast it behind your back ? He sends ambassadors 
to woo, to beseech you to be reconciled to his Father, and accept of him 
for your husband ; you will not give audience, much less obedience ; despise 
both messengers and message. He sends his Spirit to solicit you, makes 
many motions of love to your hearts (how often have you had experience of 
it ?) you quench the Spirit, reject his motions. He comes and knocks at 
your hearts, and stands till his head be filled with dew, and his locks with 
the drops of the night, Cant. v. 2. You will not open, send him away with- 
out admission, while sin is welcome, has quiet possession, and kind enter- 
tainment. He stretches out his hands all the day long, and stands with 
open arms, entreating you to come and be embraced ; but you refuse, delay, 
and weary him out with unkind denials or excuses. He sends his servants 

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EPH. V. 2.] THE L0VB OF CHRIST. 45 

to invite yon to the marriage-feast of the Lamb, tells you all things are pro- 
vided for your delight and happiness, all is ready, and stays for your coming; 
bat you are so busily employed in the world, you cannot, you will not come ; 
and force him to that sad complaint, ' Ye will not come to me. 1 Oh how 
often are you guilty of this t 

Ans. 6. Get and keep up love to him. Love is attractive of love. Christ 
condemns those as worse than publicans that return not love for love, Mat. v. 
He will be far from that which he condemns us for. He that could think 
thoughts of love to those that had no affection for him, will not fail to love 
those who love him, Prov. viii. 17. Those who shew they love him by seek- 
iog him diligently, as we are wont to seek that which our heart is on, shall 
find him ready to express his love to them. His nature, so gracious, so 
affectionate, so compassionate, might assure us of this, without his word ; 
but to give us all assurance of it, he has engaged himself by promise again 
and again, John xiv. 21. He will manifest himself to him in all the riches 
of his love, ver. 28. Both Father and Son will shew that they love such an 
one, by visiting him with loving-kindness, coming to him for that purpose, 
and staying with him, as we would do with those whom we most 'love. He 
promises here such expressions of love on earth, as he vouchsafes in heaven, 
though not in the same degree. For how does he express his love to the 
saints in heaven, but by abiding with them, and manifesting himself to 
them ? The love of Christ shoold be both the pattern and the motive of 
our love to him. We should labour to love him as he loved us, and be 
constrained to love him because he so loved us. Endeavour to love him 
in all that is his. That is the way to have his love reach us in all our 
concerns. 

In his person ; for the infinite excellencies and loveliness of Christ. To 
love him only for the advantages we have by him, is such a love as we our- 
selves care not for from others. We value not his love, who only affects us for 
his own sake, for what he may get by us. That is a selfish love, and comes 
short of the love of true friendship. He is not a friend indeed who loves 
you not for yourself, but only for what he expects from you. Christ chal- 
lenges the Jews for something like this, Luke vi. 26. They followed him, 
not because they had seen the miracles, whereby he had discovered the ex- 
cellency of his person ; they loved him not, but for the loaves. If Christ 
had not loved us, but for what he expected from us, what advantage he 
might have by us, he had never loved us at all. 

In his offices. Though we must not love him only for the happiness we 
expect from him, yet we must love him for that too, and shall be most inex- 
cusable if we do not. The spring of those blessings he enriches us with, is 
his offices, and the execution of them. 

Love him as he is a priest for ever. A priest who made himself a sacri- 
fice for you, to expiate your guilt, satisfy justice, and deliver you from wrath ; 
who washed you, &c, in his own blood, and is still presenting it ; he ever 
lives to make intercession. 

Love him as he is a prophet. To discover himself, to make known his 
will, to shew the way to life, as ready to guide you by his counsel. 

Love him as a king. One who will rescue you from your spiritual ene- 
mies, subdue your iniquities, conquer your hearts for himself, bring you 
tinder his government, so as in all to make you more than conquerors. 

Love him in ail ways : those wherein he proceeds towards you, and those 
wherein you should walk with him ; the former, whether they be pleasing or 
afflictive. When his ways are apparently mercy, the goodness, the sweet- 
ness of them should command love from you, Cant. i. 8, Ps. i. 16. When 

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46 THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [EpH. V. 2. 

they are afflictive, they are mercy too, though sense will not always let you 
discern it. There is love in them, when they make you smart, such love as 
made the apostles triumph : Bom. viii., * In all these things we are more 
than conquerors.' Why more than conquerors ? Because the love of Christ 
was in them. Yea, when there is some anger in them, there is love also, 
Bev. iii. 19. We are slow to believe this, and that may be the reason it is 
so oft repeated in the Old and New Testament, Prov. iii. 11, Heb. xii. 6. 
As he shewed his love by being afflicted for us, so alBo by afflicting us. 
And that love he shews should engage us to love him, even in the furnace 
of affliction, there should our love to Christ flame out, even when the waves 
and the billows go over* us. The opposition should fortify love, many waters 
should not quench it. 

And love him too in the ways wherein we should walk with him, — the 
ways of holiness, self-denial, mortification. These are not grateful to the 
flesh ; but they are the ways of Christ, the ways of him that loved us. And, 
therefore, he made them our ways, and leads us into them, because he loves 
us ; and, therefore, in despite of our corruptions, they should be lovely to 
us. They should be ' ways of pleasantness,' because they are * paths of 
peace,' Itov. iii. 17. His commandments are the paths of life, none of 
them should be grievous. It is the yoke of Christ, his burden which seems 
heaviest : he lays it on us, because he loves us ; and Bhall not that consi- 
deration make it light and easy ? When he came into the world for us, 
if he had declined that which was grievous to flesh and blood, that which 
was difficult, and expensive, and hazardous, and meddled with nothing for 
our sakes but what was cheap, and easy, and safe, and pleasing, oh what 
had become of us, our redemption had never been effected ! Oh, but his love 
to us made him count nothing too costly, too difficult, too grievous ! Let 
us likewise shew our love to Christ, in counting no part of his ways, no part 
of our duty, too hard, or too expensive, or too hazardous, or too grievous. 
How can we say that we love him, if we be sd disaffected to any part of the 
good, and perfect, and acceptable will of Christ, who loved us ? Let us 
resolve to subdue our own wills, to cross our carnal inclinations, to quit our 
worldly interest, to oppose our own humours ; to follow him in painful, and 
costly, and reproached, and hazardous services ; to abate him nothing of 
what he expects, to spare ourselves in nothing that he requires of us. Then 
shall we shew that we love him indeed, and find that he loves us ; other- 
wise we are in danger to be found no better than pretenders to Christ and 
his love, and such as he will not know, nor own. 

Love him in his people. In them all who have anything of his image and 
likeness, however sullied with weaknesses and infirmities, or blotted with 
distasteful carriages, or soured with the crabbedness of an unhappy temper, 
or varying from you in some particulars of practice or opinion, 1 John iv. 
10, 11, 20, 21 ; say not, they are cross, and froward, and peevish, and 
selfish* and every way unworthy, and every way disobedient ; how can I love 
Buch ? Oh, but might not Christ have said this of you, and muoh worse ? 
If he had refused to love you on this account, what had your condition been ? 
And if he would not be hindered from loving you, when there was unspeak- 
ably more in you to forbid his love, shall some little thingB (little in com- 
parison of what Christ might have objected against you), how great Boever 
you think them, hinder you from loving Christ in his members ? Say not, 
I cannot think them his members, they are so unlike him ; for if you look 
well into your own hearts and ways, may not you see much to make you think 
yourselves not like him ? May not Christ see therein much more to make 
him judge you very unlike ? Take heed you venture not to dismember 



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Eph. Y. 2.] ohbist's BAOBmoB. 47 

Christ, out of any little pretences or prejudices. He will take it better at 
your hands to love those as his, who are not, than not to love any who are 
his indeed, though they seem not so to you. You love not Christ, if you 
love not his people ; and if you love not him, you cannot expect love 
from him. 

He gave him$df for us. The next thing considerable in the text is the 
expression of Christ's love ; he gave himself for us, Ac. To open this, and 
offer it to you distinctly and clearly, take notice of the several words and 
parte of the expression. 

1. He gave. Gifts are expressions of love. We judge of love by the 
quality or value of the gift. He that loves heartily gives freely, and he that 
loves much gives much, if he have much to give. We conclude with reason 
that he who gives us things of great value, and gives freely, loves us answer- 
ably, has a great love for us. Now what did Christ give ? 

2. He gave himself, nothing less than himself; and that is more, incom- 
parably more, than if he had given all the angels in heaven, all the treasures 
on earth for us ; more than if he had given all the works of his hands. It 
is more than heaven and earth together ; as much more than the whole 
world as the whole world is more than the drop of a bucket, and the small 
dust of the balance ; for the disproportion is greater betwixt the Bon of God 
and the whole world, than betwixt the whole world and the drop of a bucket. 
The small dust of the balance is as nothing to the universe, and the universe 
is as nothing compared with the Son of God. And it is himself that he gave ; 
not so Utile a thing as the whole creation, but, that which is infinitely more 
and greater, himself. That word comprises more than ten thousand worlds 
amount to. 

It is exceeding much that the apostle says is given us ; and it will appear, 
if we view the several parcels of the gift, in the account we have thereof, 
1 Cor. iii. 22. Not only Paul, Ac. ; not only life and death, but the world ; 
not only the world, but that which is to come, things present and things to 
come. No less than two worlds ! Could the heart of man desire more ? 
Oh but he has given more, infinitely more I When he gave himself, he gave 
more than ten thousand worlds. All is yours. Ay, but that all, and the 
great contents thereof, are nothing compared with himself, and he gave no 
less than himself. 

8. How did he give himself ? He did not give himself as we are wont to 
give, nor did he give himself as he gives other things. But as the gift was 
extraordinary and transcendently great, so was his way of giving it. As the 
greatness of the gift, so the manner of giving it, expresses a great, a trans- 
cendent love. He gave himself, not in the common way of giving ; but, as 
the text shews, his giving was an offering of himself. ' He gave himself an 
offering for us/ But then, 

4. How did he give himself as an offering for us ? What kind of offering 
did be make himself? There are several sorts of offerings mentioned in 
Scripture. We meet with offerings that were not sacrificed, and also with 
offerings that were sacrificed. 

Offerings that were not sacrifices. Such were the persons and things which 
were devoted or dedicated unto God for the service of the tabernacle and of the 
temple. Thus the vessels and utensils given up and set apart for the service 
and ministration under the law are called offerings, Num. vii. 10, and those 
offerings are specified, ver. 18, &c. Silver chargers, bowls, and spoons ; 
and not only things, but persons are called offerings when set apart ; for thus 
the legal ministry, Num. x. 10, 11, 18. The other sort of offerings were 



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gle 



48 Christ's sacrifice. [Eph. Y. 2. 

sacrifices, such as were offered so as to be consumed and destroyed, and to 
be deprived of life, if they were things that had life. So that there is a 
great difference betwixt these offerings : the former were offered so as to be 
preserved, the latter were offered so as to be killed or consumed. For that 
is the true notion of a sacrifice ; it is an offering daily consumed. And such 
an offering was Christ, such an offering as was a sacrifice, as the text shews. 
He gave himself to be sacrificed for us. ' He was led as a lamb to the 
slaughter.* He was slain, and his blood shed and poured out. Jt had been 
much for the Son of God to give himself for us as an offering in any sense, 
though not one drop of his precious blood had been shed, though he had not 
suffered in the least. Oh what manner of love was it, that he would offer 
himself as a sacrifice for us ; that he would be slain, and so far destroyed for 
us as the sacrifices who lost their lives in the offerings ! But, 

5. What kind of sacrifice was it ? There were several sorts of sacrifices 
under the law. They are commonly reduced to two heads. 

(1.) Some were eucharistical, sacrifices of thanksgiving, offered as thank- 
ful acknowledgments of deliverances, or other mercies obtained. 

(2.) Others were propitiatory, sacrifices for expiation, to make atonement, 
to expiate guilt, and procure pardon and reconciliation. Now Christ offered 
himself a sacrifice, not of thanksgiving ; none have entertained, or can give 
any reason, for such a conceit. But he gave himself ibr us a sacrifice for 
expiation, to expiate the guilt of our sin, to procure pardon, and make onr 
peace with God. And this appears by the phrase which the apostle here 
uses to explain and illustrate it ; it was offered to God for a sweet-smelling 
savour, which is an expression by which propitiatory sacrifices are wont to 
be described in Scripture. In the first place, where we meet with it, it is 
applied to Noah's sacrifice, Gen. viii. 21. This was a sacrifice for propi- 
tiation ; for upon the offering it the Lord declares himself appeased, and 
that though the imaginations of man's heart be evil, yet he will not again 
curse the earth ; which words express that God was atoned with the sacrifice 
which Noah offered. The word signifeB a ' savour of rest ; ' for though the 
Lord was moved with anger against the world, so as to bring a deluge upon 
it, yet now he would rest from his anger, his wrath did cease. And this is 
the proper effect of a propitiatory sacrifice, when it prevails and is accepted. 
And elsewhere also these sacrifices for expiation are set forth by this expres- 
sion, Lev. i. 9, 15, 17. That the sacrifices or burnt-offerings prescribed in 
this chapter were piacular is plain, ver. 4. To make atonement was the 
proper end and design of sacrifices for expiation. 

The Socinians, [who] will not upon any terms allow the death of Christ to be 
such a sacrifice, and so strive to illude* every text which we allege to prove 
it, do use this evasion here. They say the phrase is used of free-will 
offerings ; these are the sacrifices which are commonly said to be a sweet 
savour. But there is no reason in this, for sacrifices for expiation were free- 
will offerings, as much as those for thanksgiving ; and those sacrifices par- 
ticularly which I have instanced and proved to be piacular, viz., that of 
Noah ; for it was not offered at a time determined by God, for anything 
appears, and that is it which makes the difference between free-will offerings 
and the solemn stated sacrifices. And for those, Lev. L, the text is express, 
ver. 8. 

Or if they should allege that this phrase is applied to peace-offerings, yet 
this would not serve their turn ; for peace-offerings for the congregation had 
something of expiation in them, Lev. zxxv. 16. And this appears, not only 
because what is required in propitiatory sacrifices is found in peace-offerings, 

* Qu. 'elude?'— En. 



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EPH. V. 2.] CHQIBT*8 8A0BIFI0B. 49 

viz., the slaying of the beast, the sprinkling of the blood, and the consuming 
some part of it upon the altar, Lev. ix. 18, 19, bat also because what is 
proper and ascribed to sacrifices designed for expiation is ascribed to peace- 
offerings, Ezek. xlv. 15, 17, where peace-offerings, amongst the rest, were 
to make reconciliation for the people ; and this is the proper and special end 
of sacrifices for expiation. To turn away the Lord's anger, and appease his 
wrath, was the main design of propitiatory sacrifices. And David, when the 
Lord's anger was kindled and consuming the people, he offers peace-offerings, 
2 Sam. xxiv. 21. And this was the issue of it, the plague was stayed, 
God's anger was appeased, ver. 25. So that, whatever the Socinianists 
object against the text, who, by denying the death of Christ to be a propi- 
tiatory sacrifice, would raze the foundations of all our hopes and comforts in 
the gospel, we have made it clear and firm, that the sacrifice which the text 
says Christ offered for his people in offering himself, was a sacrifice for ex- 
piation. 

Obs. Christ offered himself a sacrifice of expiation for his people. 

To give you distinctly the evidence which the Scripture affords for this 
great and fundamental truth, take it in these severals. 

1. He offered himself, Heb. vii. 27 ; 'He offered up himself/ Heb. ix. 14 
and 28. 

2. He offered himself a sacrifice, 1 Cor. v. 7, Heb. ix. 26. Those things 
which were necessary and requisite to a real and proper sacrifice concurred in 
this sacrifice of Christ. 

(1.) The person offering was to be a priest; it was the peculiar office of 
the priest under the law, Heb. v. 1. So Christ, that he might offer this 
sacrifice, was called to that office, and made an high priest, ver. 6, 6, 10. 

(2.) The things offered were to be of God's appointment, otherwise it had 
been, not a true and acceptable sacrifice, but will-worship ; and no more a 
sacrifice in God's account than the cutting off a dog's neck, or offering 
swine's blood, as appears by the laws given by God to Moses concerning free- 
will offerings, Lev. i. In the free-will offerings, though the precise time for 
offering them was not determined, yet things to be offered were appointed. 
So that what* Christ offered was appointed and prepared by God, Heb. 
i. 5. He prepared him a body, that he might offer that for a sacrifice ; and 
that he offered, ver. 10. It was a living body that he prepared for him, a 
body animated, enlivened with a soul, which soul was separated from his 
body in the offering ; and therefore he is said to make his soul an offering, 
Isa. liii. And soul and body constituting his human nature, and making up 
himself, he is said to offer himself, Heb. ix. 26, 14. 

(8.) That which was offered for a sacrifice was to be destroyed. This is 
essential to a sacrifice ; it is oblatio rite comumpta, an offering duly con- 
sumed. Those things that had life, thai they might be offered as sacrifices, 
they were killed, and their blood poured out ; and the other parts of them, 
besides the blood, were burned, either wholly or in part. 

Thus was Christ sacrificed ; his dying and bleeding on the cross answered 
the killing and bloodshed of the Levitical sacrifices, and his sufferings (ex- 
pressed by the pains of hell) were correspondent to the burnings of the sac- 
rifices, Heb. xiii. 12, 18 ; his sufferings without the gate are held forth here, 
m answering the burning of the sacrifices without the camp. 

(4.) The person to whom they were offered was God, and him only. 
Sacrificing was a divine honour appropriated to God. To offer sacrifice to 
uy else was gross idolatry, Heb. v. 1. What were those things, rd rg&c 
•Qu. 'So what'?— Ed. 

vol. m. D 

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60 chbist's bacbifiob. [Eph. V. 2. 

rov @ihv ? OblatioDB and sacrifices. And this sacrifice Christ offered onto 
God, Heb. ii. 17. He performed the office of a merciful and faithful high 
priest, in offering to God what belonged to him. What were those things ? 
Why, such as made reconciliation, i.e. in offering to God a propitiatory 
sacrifice. 

The Socinians will have Christ to offer this sacrifice, not to God, but to 
us, that they may deny it to be a real and proper sacrifice. But here they 
offer plain violence to Scripture ; the text is express, he offered to God, not 
to us, Heb. ix. 14. 

By these particulars we see, that what was necessary to constitute a real 
and proper sacrifice is found in this sacrifice of Christ. 

8. He offered himself a sacrifice of expiation. And this is it I intend to 
insist on. That his death was such a sacrifice may be made evident in general 
by this one consideration, that the propitiatory sacrifices under the law were 
figures and shadows, whereby this great sacrifice of Christ was typified ; for if 
the figures and shadows had something of expiation in them, that which "was 
the substance of them, and was typified by them, must have it also, else there 
would not be so much in the substance as in the shadow, and the thing 
typified would not answer that which prefigures it, nor would the things 
which the Lord appointed to resemble one another bear a resemblance. 

Now, that those sacrifices under the law did prefigure and shadow out this 
great sacrifice of expiation in Christ's death, appears, because the apostle de- 
clares them to be figures and shadows, Heb. ix. 9 and x. 1. Those expia- 
tory sacrifices had some resemblance of this, as the shadow has of the body, 
though obscure and imperfect ; they were but shadows, the substance and 
perfection of expiation was in the sacrifice of Christ, Col. ii. 17. 

And if we come to particulars, and view the several sorts of them under 
the law, we may find, that whatever sacrifices were then offered to make 
expiation, they all prefigured and signified this of Christ. And we have . 
ground to conclude so, from other places of Scripture, applying them to this 
great sacrifice. Vid. Sermon or Homily 58. 

And let not this discourse seem tedious to you, or not worth your best 
attention here, or your serious consideration in private, for there is scarce 
any subject I can insist on either moro profitable or more necessary ; for 
without understanding this point I am upon, that Christ is a sacrifice of ex- 
piation, you cannot fully understand either the law or the gospel. We shall 
but understand the law as the blind Jews do, who, in all the laws about 
sacrifices, see nothing of Christ ; and we shall but understand the gospel as 
the Socinians do, who quite deface and utterly subvert it. 

I have given you some evidence, in what is already said, that Christ in his 
death gave himself for his people, not only a proper and real sacrifice, but 
also a sacrifice for expiation. 

I proceed now to some particulars, which will both explain and confirm 
this weighty point, and withal clear up divers main truths of the gospel, of 
very great consequence for our comfort and establishment ; which, for some 
seeming difficulty and obscurity in them, are mistaken by some and rejected 
by others, though the gospel itself signify little to us without them. 

If this point, Christ's being a propitiatory sacrifice for us, were well un- 
derstood, there would remain little or no difficulty concerning our sin being 
imputed to Christ, or satisfaction made by him for us, or the imputation of 
that satisfaction to us, or his performing it in our stead. 

All these, and others of this nature, would be clear, so as to be entertained 
and believed without doubt or difficulty, if this was but clear, that Christ 
gave himself a sacrifice for expiation. / 



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Eph. Y. 2.J ohbist's SACBIFICK. 51 

And this I shall endeavour to make plain to yon, by shewing in some par- 
ticulars that whatever is essential to a propitiatory sacrifice, and is required 
in snch a sacrifice under the law, is to be found in the sacrifice of Christ. 

Bat let me first premise this one thing : by the judicial law (which was to 
the Jews their civil or statute law, by which they were governed as a com- 
monwealth or body politic) corporal death was the penalty of all disobedience 
to God, Deut. xxvii. 26. The curse is death, death corporal in the civil or 
political sense of it ; death eternal in the spiritual sense, as the apostle 
applies it, Gal. iii. 10. Now, the Lord, who was the King and Lawgiver of 
Israel, relaxed the laws as to many offences; and instead of the corporal 
death of the person offending, accepted of the death of a sacrifice. 

Let this be minded and remembered all along ; for much of what follows 
will be mistaken, or not well understood without it. And so I go on to the 
particulars mentioned, which will shew that the sacrifice of Christ was fully 
correspondent to the propitiatory sacrifices under the law, in all points that 
are essential or necessary to such a sacrifice. 

1. The sin of the offender, whether a particular person or the people, was 
laid upon the sacrifice, imputed to, or charged on it. The sin of the offerer 
was in a manner transferred to the sacrifice, so as it became responsible for 
it, and was made liable to answer or suffer for it, as if itself had contracted 
the guilt. As when the debt is charged on the surety, or he takes it on 
himself, he is as much obliged to pay it, to be answerable for it, as if himself 
had contracted it. The sacrifice was looked on as under guilt, and treated 
as a guilty thing ; not as having sinned, but as if it had sinned. 

Hence the word used for such a sacrifice does signify sin itself. And the 
sacrifices are said to bear the iniquities of the people, Lev. xvi. 22, and 
x. 17, because the people's sins were laid on them. For this we have further 
evidence, by their laying hands on the head of the sacrifice, Lev. i. 4, iv. 4. 
And it is observed, that in all the propitiatory sacrifices for the whole con- 
gregation this rite was used, and in no sacrifices for them, but those. And 
because all the people could not lay on their hands, some other representing 
them did it for them ; sometimes the elders, Lev. iv. 15, 2 Chron. xxix. 
22-24, sometimes the high priest, Lev. xvi. 21. When they laid their 
hands on the sacrifices, they confessed their sins over them. This the text 
calls a putting their sins upon the head of the sacrifice. Hereby was signi- 
fied, as the Hebrew doctors observe, that the iniquities of the people were 
laid upon the head of the sacrifice, and the guilt transferred from themselves 
unto the victim that was sacrificed for them. Hereupon the scape-goat, and 
all those sacrifices, whose blood was carried unto the holy place, and whose 
bodies were burnt without the camp, because the sins of the people were 
laid on them, they were looked on as if they were polluted and defiling 
things, and accounted execrable and polluted ; insomuch, as those who did 
but touch them, contracted such pollution, that they were not to be admitted 
into the congregation till they were purified, Lev. xvi. 26, xxviii. 24. The 
Hebrew doctors say* this was the reason, because the scape-goat and those 
other sacrifices were charged with so much guilt, such a multitude of sins 
being laid on them. 

And as sin was charged upon the legal sacrifices and imputed to them, 
so was our sins charged upon Christ, the great sacrifice, and imputed to 
him, 2 Cor. v. 21. The righteousness of God here is the righteousness of 
him who is God, the righteousness of Christ, that righteousness which he 
performed in being obedient unto death. What is said of Christ's right- 

• Vid, Outram, 271. 

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62 Christ's sacrifice. [Eph. V. 2. 

eousness in reference to us, that is said of our sin in reference to Christ ; ve 
are made righteousness, he is made sin. But how was his righteousness 
made ours, how was our sin made his ? Why, by imputation only. We 
were far from being righteous in ourselves, hut his righteousness is imputed 
to us. He was far from being a sinner, but our sin was imputed to him. 
But what is it to he imputed ? If we will speak exactly of this, we must 
speak differently of them, according to the different nature and quality of the 
things imputed, which are good or evil. That which is evil, is said to be 
imputed to us, when it is charged on us. Good is said to be imputed to us, 
when it is accepted for us. When evil is said to be charged on any, so as 
he is to suffer for it, though he committed it not, we say it is imputed to 
him. And when good is accepted for another, so as he has the advantages 
of it, though he performed it not, but another for him, and in his stead, 
then it is said to be imputed to him. 

Thus the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, when it is accepted for 
us, so as we are entitled to the advantages of it, though we performed it not, 
but Christ in our stead. And thus our sin was imputed to Christ, when it 
was charged on him, so as he was to suffer for it in our stead, though we 
only committed it. And thus was sin imputed to sacrifices under the law, in 
that sin was charged on them, so as they were to suffer for it, though they 
were not the transgressors. 

So a debt is imputed to a surety, when he takes the debt upon himself, 
and is thereby obliged to pay, though he never contracted it. 

And this not only clears the nature of the act, but also the justice and 
equity of it. It may seem unjust, that one who is innocent should be 
charged with the sins of another. But there is indeed no unrighteousness 
herein. It was the righteous act and appointment of God, that the sins of 
the people should be laid on the sacrifice ; and it was his act and appoint- 
ment, that our sins should be laid on Christ the great sacrifice. And there 
is no unrighteousness with God in this act, more than in the other ; to say 
nothing that the practice of the world justified it in all their particular sacri- 
fices. Nay, there is more to be pleaded for charging sin on Christ, than in 
that of the other legal sacrifices ; for volenti nonfit injuria, there is no 
injury where there is consent. But sin was laid upon the other sacrifices, 
when they were not capable of consenting to it. But Christ gave his consent 
to have our sins laid on him. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all, 
but he was willing they should be laid on him ; and it was in reference 
hereto that he 6 aid, Heb. z. 7. He himself bare our sins, he took upon him 
the burden of our guilt freely. It was his own voluntary act, so there was 
no more unrighteousness in it, than in charging the debt upon the surety, 
who freely and out of choice takes a debt upon him and thereby engages him- 
self to discharge it. Never did any surety so freely charge himself with a 
debt, as Christ charged himself with our sins. 

It may be objected, that, if our sins were charged on Christ and laid upon 
him, then he was under guilt ; and the most innocent Son of God, who was 
holy, harmless, and separate from sinners, who did no sin, neither was guile 
found in his lips, must be counted a guilty person ; nay, the most guilty of 
all others, as having upon him the sins of all his people. 

I answer, there are two sorts of guilt ; a culpable and a penal guilt. He 
is under culpable guilt, who himself committed the offence. He is under 
penal guilt, who is obliged to suffer for the offence, though he committed it 
not : for this guilt is no more than an obligation to punishment. Now 
Christ, as our sacrifice, was only under this penal guilt. The offences that 
he was charged with were committed by us, not by him ; only by undertaking 

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Era. V. 2.J chbist's sachitic*. 53 

to be a sacrifice for us, he came under an obligation to suffer for us, as if he 
had sinned, though we only were the transgressors. 

And thus it was in those legal sacrifices, which were shadows of Christ. 
We need go no further to clear it. In them it appears that these two sorts 
of guilt may be separated ; so that he who is not culpably guilty, may be 
penally guilty, and may justly suffer, though he did not personally sin : for 
those peculiar* sacrifices, the sins of the people being laid on them, were under 
penal guilt, and did justly suffer as if they had sinned ; and yet they were 
not culpably guilty, for they neither had sinned, nor were capable of sinning. 

And in respect of this penal guilt, it may be granted that it was under 
more guilt than any, as the sacrifice for the whole congregation was under 
more guilt, being charged with more sin than any sacrifice offerdd for a par- 
ticular person. 

The text insisted on is a sufficient proof of this point. Christ was ' made 
sin for us.' Those who hereby understand a sacrifice for sin, say the same 
thing in consequence that I have said, for if Christ was made a sacrifice for 
sin, that must be granted of him which necessarily belongs to .every sacrifice 
for sin ; that the sin of those for whom it was offered was laid on it, or, 
which is all one, imputed to it. 

This is also signified by those scriptures, where Christ is said to bear 
our sins, Isa. liii. 6, 11, 12, Heb. ix. 28, 1 Peter ii. 24. For the bearing 
of our punishment is hereby commonly understood. 

Yet his being charged with our sin must necessarily be included ; for "our 
punishment could not have been justly inflicted, nor would his sufferings 
have been penal, but that our sin was charged on him, or imputed to him. 
For punishment is never daly inflicted, but where sin is some way charged. 

2. The penalty due to the transgressor under the law was inflicted on 
the sacrifice offered for him. The sinner deserved temporal death and 
destruction ; and the sacrifice was slain or destroyed. So it was with the 
sacrifices for the high priest and the whole congregation. A bullock is ap- 
pointed to be brought as a sin-offering for the high priest, and that was to 
be killed, Lev. xvi. 11 ; a goat was the sin-offering for the people, and that is 
ordered to be killed, ver. 15 ; and the scape-goat, sent into the wilderness, 
wsb so sent in order to its destruction one way or other. 

So it was likewise with sin-offerings for private persons. If it was a 
lamb or a kid, they were killed, as other beasts offered for sacrifice, Lev. 
v. 6 ; if they were turtle-doves or young pigeons, their heads were to be 
wrung off from their necks, ver. 8 ; and when not able to bring doves and 
pigeons, they were to offer fine flour, and this was to be consumed, a' hand- 
ful of it was to be burnt, vers. 11, 12. 

The sinner deserved to be killed or destroyed, that was the penalty due 
to him by the law ; and so the sacrifice that was offered, and thereby 
Buffered for him, was killed or destroyed. The transgressor's sin being 
transferred to the sacrifice, and laid on it by the institution of God, signified 
by the imposition of hands on the head of the sacrifice : hereupon being 
supposed to be under guilt, and guilt being an obligation to punishment, 
the sacrifice was obliged to suffer, and did suffer, the penalty which the 
offender deserved. 

This is further cleared by the words which they used when they brought 
a sacrifice : Let this be *rnD3, my expiation ; the meaning of which, as they 
generally agree, is this, What evil I have deserved, let it fall upon the head 
of my sacrifice. 

Thus it was with propitiatory sacrifices, or sin-offerings under the law. 
* Qu. « piacular ' ?— Ed. 

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54 Christ's sacrifice. [Eph. V. 2. 

And thns it was with Christ the great sacrifice, shadowed out by them ; and 
thereby it is manifest that he was snch a sacrifice. The punishment which 
was dne to our sins was inflicted on Christ ; he suffered what our sins 
deserved, 1 Peter ii. 24. As the sacrifice bare the sin of him for whom it 
was offered, and thereupon bare the penalty due to him, so Christ bare the 
sins of his people, and thereupon bare the punishment due to their sins. 
This expression includes both ; both his taking our sins upon him, which 
sins were the meritorious cause of punishment, and his bearing the punish- 
ment, which was the effect of our sins, that which they deserved. The 
sacrifices, by having the sins of the people laid on them, became liable to 
undergo the penalty, and did actually undergo it. So Christ, by taking our 
sins on him, became liable to the punishment, and did actually suffer it. 
We have them joined together, Isa. liii. 12. As the life of the sacrifices 
was poured out unto death in the pouring out of their blood, so was Christ's 
life poured out in the shedding of his blood. 

And why was his life poured out, and death inflicted on him ? Because 
he was reckoned amongst transgressors, our transgressions being laid on 
him by the will and counsel of God. He was reckoned amongst transgressors, 
not by the Jews only, but by God himself. The Jews reckoned him a 
transgressor upon his own account ; the Lord reckoned him so upon oar 
account. And so he bare the sins of many ; he having taken our sins, bare 
the punishment of our sins. This is plainly expressed, ver. 6. As the 
sacrifices were wounded and slain for their sins for whom they were offered, 
so was Christ wounded, and bruised, and killed for the transgressions of his 
people. What the sacrifice suffered, was the punishment due to the offender 
for whom it was offered ; so what Christ suffered was the punishment which 
the transgressions of his people deserved. These expressions here used by 
the prophet, are proper to sacrifices for sin, and so applied to Christ as such 
a sacrifice, ver. 10. He was wounded, he was punished for our transgres- 
sions, in making himself an offering for sin. 

The Socinians would have no more understood by these phrases of Christ 
bearing our sins, but only that he took away our sins ; and so no more than 
when God the Father is said to take sin away. But the expressions here 
used will not endure such a sense. For the Father takes away sin so as 
not to suffer for it ; but it is plainly expressed here, that Christ so bare our 
sins, as to suffer for them. .He bare our griefs, our sorrows; he was 
wounded, bruised, he poured out his soul unto death, he was offered up, he 
bare our sins as a sacrifice. The punishment due to our sin was suffered 
by him, as the penalty due to transgressors was inflicted on the sacrifice. 

3. The sacrifice under the law suffered instead of the sinner. There was 
a substitution of the sacrifice in the room of the transgressor. This is evi- 
dent by the former head last insisted on ; for to sufler in one's stead, is 
nothing else but to suffer for another what himself should have suffered. 
Observe what it is to be in one's stead ; for not only the doctrine of the 
law concerning piacular sacrifices, but the great doctrines of the gospel con- 
cerning Christ's satisfaction and our justification thereby, depend on it, and 
will be mistaken, or not understood without it. To be punished in another's 
stead, is to undergo for him the punishment due to him, that he may escape. 
And so the sacrifice did ; when the transgressor deserved death, the sacrifice 
suffered death for him, that he might not die. Thus the sacrifice died in 
his stead, the life of it went for his life. That there was such a substitution 
of the sacrifice in place of the offender, the life of the sacrifice being taken 
away instead of his life, is apparent also in Scripture, Lev. xvii. 11. The 
life is in the blood, the blood is the vehicle of life ; when the blood goes, 



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Eph. V. 2.] ghbist's sacrifice. 65 

the life goes; and because the life is in the blood, therefore was it given for 
atonement for them that they might not die. And so the blood, which is 
the life, being offered to save their life, the life of the sacrifice went instead 
of the life of the offender. 

So the Jewish writers understand it, who yet will understand nothing of 
Chrftt in their sacrifices. When, say they, the guilty person deserved that 
his blood should be shed, and his body should be burned, the Lord in mercy 
accepted of a sacrifice as a thing substituted in his room ; so that the blood 
of the sacrifice was shed instead of his blood, 1BT nnn 101, and the life of 
the sacrifice went instead of his life, PM nnn B>M. Vide Outr. 274, Bux- 
torf. in Stilling. 359. 

And whereas, when they brought a sin-offering, they were wont to say, 
Let this be my atonement, *mfiD ; it is all one, they tell us, as if he had 
said, Let this be substituted in my stead. 

Answerably, Christ suffered in our stead ; and it is so plain, by that sub- 
stitution in the other -sacrifices, that we need wish for nothing more to 
make it clearer. Those that will grant him to be a sacrifice, do not leave 
themselves the least reason to doubt but he suffered in our stead, and not 
only for our good and advantage. 

When he made himself, his soul, an offering for our sin, he was substituted 
in our room ; he died and suffered, not only for us, but in our stead. For 
to suffer in our stead, is nothing else but tosuffer what we deserved to suffer, 
that we might escape. And thus he suffered ; he did undergo what was due 
to us, that it might not be inflicted on us. 

That he bare the punishment due to us, is sufficiently proved in the former 
head. And there needs no more to prove that he suffered in our stead, to 
those who will understand what it is to suffer in our stead. 

The nature of a piacular or propitiatory sacrifice requires this. The 
sacrifice was always supposed to suffer instead of those for whom it was 
offered. The Scriptures declare this, the Jews acknowledge it, the heathen 
did not qnestion it. None can deny it in reference to Christ, but those who, 
against all evidence of Old and New Testament, will deny that Christ was 
such a sacrifice. 

But besides, there is abundant evidence in Scripture that he suffered in 
our stead, Bom. v. 6, 1 Peter iii. 18. In that he suffered for sin,» he 
suffered as a sin offering, and that was instead of the sinner, the just for 
the unjust, as the innocent sacrifice instead of the unrighteous transgressor, 
so 1 Peter ii. 6, Mat. zz. 28. As the life of the sacrifice was a ransom for 
the life of the transgressor, i. e. instead of his life, Xurfor, the word here used 
is the same with the Hebrew, "®3, which is the word in use amongst the 
Hebrews for a propitiatory sacrifice, Mat. zzvi. 28. He speaks of his 
blood, just as of the blood of a sacrifice for sin. Such a sacrifice for the 
whole congregation, the blood of it was shed for many, it was shed instead 
of many. It was shed that they might be forgiven, and that is here for re- 
mission of sins. Not only the words here used in these Scriptures, utfig 
and atrt, but the things spoken of and referred to, do declare a substitution 
of Christ in the place of sinners, and that he died and suffered in our stead ; 
even as the proper sacrifice for ezpiation died and suffered instead of those 
for whom they were offered. 

Finally, in all those places wherein Christ is said to die for us, since he 

died as a sacrifice, the sense must necessarily be the same, as when the 

sacrifice died for a sinner ; but the word for, here, in the sense of the Jews, 

of the Gentiles, of all the world, is to die in the stead of the sinner. 

4. The sacrifice made satisfaction to God for the sinner. Both the words 

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56 ohbibt's sacbifiob. [Eph. V. 2. 

KDn and *>BD f used in the Old Testament for expiatory sacrifices, and ex- 
piation by them, do import satisfaction ; so Gen. xxxi. 89, ' I bare the loss/ 
t. e. I made it good. The word is K&n, which, in other places, is to expiate 
by a sacrifice ; the sense is here, I did make the satisfaction for it ; for to 
make good what is lost, is to make satisfaction for it. So 2 Sam. xxi. ver. 
8, < What shall I do to satisfy yon ? wherewith shall I make atonement ?' 
both expressions signify the .same thing; to make atonement, is to make 
satisfaction, TMK, wherewith shall I atone, t. e. wherewith shall I satisfy ? 
The word is, in other places, wherewith shall I atone or expiate ? the sense 
is here, wherewith shall I make satisfaction ? 

And in our translation, the same word which, in some places, is atone- 
ment, or expiation (which is the proper effect of propitiatory sacrifices), is in 
other places satisfaction, and so rendered, Num. xxxv. 81 82 ; ye shall take 
no TD3, no sacrifice for expiation shall be offered in this case. That sacri- 
fice which would make satisfaction in other cases, shall not be accepted for 
satisfaction in this. To satisfy for another, is to undergo for him the 
penalty of the law, incurred by his transgressing it ; it is the suffering the 
punishment which his sin deserves. 

The offender under the law had deserved death, temporal death (that 
was the penalty of the law, speaking, as we do now, of civil guilt) ; this death 
was inflicted on the sacrifice which died for him. So the law had its exe- 
cution upon the sacrifice instead of the sinner, and justice was satisfied, this 
being what it required. 

There was mercy in appointing and accepting the sacrifice for the sinner. 
But justice had satisfaction too, in that the penalty of the law was so far 
inflicted. 

More distinctly, there are several things required, that satisfaction may 
be made by sacrifice. 

That which is satisfactory in this case, must, 1, be some affliction and 
suffering. 2. Not only so, 'but the suffering must be penal ; not any kind 
of affliction or calamity, but something threatened by the law, and deserved 
by the sinner. Justice, that it may be satisfied, requires the execution of 
the law ; and therefore to satisfy justice, not only that which is afflictive 
must be suffered, but the penalty of the law must be inflicted, or what is 
equivalent to it; it must be something penal. 8. Not only so, but it must 
be suffered for him, and in his stead by another ; if one suffer for himself, 
and on his own account, that can be no satisfaction for another ; he must 
suffer for him, and in his stead for whom he satisfies. 

Now all these concurred (as was shewed before) in the death of a sacrifice. 
1. It was a suffering ; the sacrifice was killed, and death is one of the most 
grievous sufferings. 2. It was penal, that which the law threatened ; the 
penalty of the law was death. 8. This was suffered by the sacrifice, not 
for itself or on its own account, but instead of the transgressor. 

These particulars may be further cleared by an instance. A murderer 
under the law was to suffer death, that was the penalty of the law, Num. 
xxxv. 80, and in case he was not put to death, the land was polluted with 
blood, and the people liable to suffer for it, ver. 88. But when justice 
could not be done upon the murderer, because he was not to be found, the 
Lord found out an expedient to satisfy his law and justice, so as the land, 
the people should not suffer, Dent. xxi. 1-9. So that, though no satis- 
faction was to be taken for the life of the murderer, yet here was satisfaction 
to be made for the people amongst whom it was committed, that they might 
not suffer for it. And this was made by the heifer that suffered, and suf- 
fered the penalty, was put to death ; and this not on its own account, but 

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Era. Y. 2.] ohbibt'b sacbifick. 57 

instead of the people, that they might be quitted, and blood-guiltiness might 
not be charged on them. There was satisfaction made on behalf of the 
people by the death and suffering of the heifer ; and therefore the gnilt of 
innocent blood pnt away, as the text expresses it, which was the proper 
design and effect of satisfaction. 

Answerably, thus did Christ our sacrifice make satisfaction to justice for 
ns ; he suffered, and that which he suffered was penal, and he suffered it for 
as and in our stead. 

1. He suffered, fie was a man of sorrows and sufferings ; his whole life 
was a state of humiliation, and his humiliation was a continued suffering. 
Bat near and in his death he was made perfect through sufferings ; there 
was the extremity of his sufferings, there he became a perfect sacrifice, Heb. 
ii. 9, 10, and v. 9. Christ wanted something to make him perfect in his 
office, till he had satisfied his Father's justice ; and this he did, and so was 
perfected, by suffering death as a complete sacrifice. 

2. What he suffered was penal ; it was that which sin deserved, and the 
law threatened. 

His sufferings had a respect to sin in the meritorious cause of them ; and 
that is plainly signified, as any, but such as will be blind, may see, when he 
is said to suffer for our sins. If we will consult with common sense, what is 
it to suffer for sin, but to suffer for the desert of sin ? what to suffer for our 
sin, but to suffer what our sin deserved ? This he is still said to suffer, 
Isa. liil, Bom. iv. 25. 

He suffered the penalty of the law, not a mere calamity, but a punish- 
ment ; for what was the penalty of the law but death ? Gen. ii. 17, and the 
corse, Gal. iii. 10. And he suffered death, 1 Pet. v. 6, 1 Cor. xv. 3, not on 
his own account, but ours ; not for onr good only, but in our stead. And 
he was made a curse for us, Gal. iii. 13. The enemies of Christ's satisfac- 
tion cannot deny, but the curse in the former clause is the penalty of the 
law, the punishment which it threatens- ; and why it should not be so in the 
latter clause, they can give no colour of reason. 

3. Thirdly, he suffered this in our stead. We made that plain before. 
The mere understanding of the expression puts that out of the question. He 
that suffered what we deserved, that we might go free, did unquestionably 
suffer in our stead. 

Put all together, and we have clear and unanswerable evidence, that 
Christ made satisfaction to divine justice for us. If Christ suffered for us, 
and in our stead, did bear the penalty of the law, the punishment due to us, 
so that the law had its execution upon him, then did he satisfy justice for 
us, and tendered that which it required. But, &c. 

Obj. If it be objected that satisfaction is not made, unless the self-same 
thing be suffered which the offender did deserve, and which the law threat- 
ened ; but Christ did not suffer the same thing which was in the sentence of 
the law, and our sins deserved. For we deserved eternal death ; and it was 
not only the first, but the second death, that the law threatened ; therefore 
the death of Christ, which was but the first, but temporal death, did not 
make satisfaction to law or justice for us. 

An$. For the making of satisfaction, it is not necessary that what is suffered 
for another should be the same thing every way, and in all respects. It will 
be enough if it be the same in kind and substance, though it be not just the 
same, but only equivalent in other respects and circumstances. And this is 
very plain by the matter before us. The sacrifice made satisfaction for 
offenders, so that they suffered not according to law; and for this it 
was enough that the sacrifice was put to death, as the offenders should, 

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68 ohbist's sacbifice. [Eph. Y. 2. 

though it was not the very same death in all respects and circumstances, not 
the same sort of death. The throats of the sacrifices were cat, their bodies 
flayed and dissected, and part, or all of them, consumed with fire ; whereas 
the malefactors were to be stoned to death, or hanged on a tree, or beheaded. 
Here was the same punishment in kind and substance, death, but not the 
same sort of death, but very different in circumstances. 

4. Whereas it is said, that the second death, eternal death, was in the 
sentence of the law, and this Christ suffered not (vide Sena. I. on Bom. 
v. 7, and conclude). Satisfaction may be made by the same sufferings in 
substance, and equivalent in other respects. So it was in the sacrifices under 
the law, and so it was in the great sacrifice in Christ's death. 

5. The sacrifice pacified, appeased the Lord, made atonement, turned 
away his anger. That was the principal end and effect of expiating sacri- 
fice, to make atonement, and so expressed in all sorts of them. In sin-offer- 
ings, whether the matter of them was beasts, Lev. v. 6, or fowl, ver. 7, 10, 
or flour, 11, 18 ; also in trespass-offerings, Lev. vi. 6, 7, it is ascribed to 
both of them together, Lev. vii. 7. 

Likewise the burnt-offerings, whether the time for offering them was deter- 
mined, as in their stated solemn sacrifices ; or not determined, but left to 
their arbitrament, as in free-will offerings, Lev. i. 4, i. 6, vi. 9. 

To make atonement is to pacify, to make his peace with one that was 
wroth with him, Prov. xvi. 14. And it is conceived by some, not without 
ground, that peace-offerings were for this end ; and therefore they have the 
name D*M?, because the design and effect of them was to make peace between 
God and those for whom they were offered. Answerably the word *©3, ren- 
dered to atone, is to appease and turn away anger or wrath, Gen. xxxii. 20. 
And this was the end why David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offer- 
ings, 2 Sam. xxiv. 21, and this was the effect of it, ver. 25. 

Sometimes it is expressed by reconciling, or rendering propitious, Lev. 
vi. 80. And this is expressed to be the design of burnt-offerings and sin- 
offerings, 2 Chron. xxix. 24, af d the end of peace-offerings amongst others, 
Ezek. xlv. 15, 17. And because the Lord was thereby rendered propitious 
or well-pleased, therefore those sacrifices are said to be a sweet-smelling 
savour, in the phrase in the text, Lev. i. 5, 9, 18, 17 ; and in Noah's sacri- 
fice, a savour of rest, because when the Lord is pacified and well pleased, 
his anger does rest, Ezek. xvi. 42. Thence these sacrifices are called /Xa<r- 
r/x£, propitiating sacrifices, or propitiatives. So that propitiation, reconci- 
liation, appeasing, pacifying, and atonement, whereby the end and the effect 
of those sacrifices is expressed, are terms of the same import, and signify 
the same thing. 

Now these same ends and effects are ascribed to the death and blood, *. e. 
to the sacrifice of Christ, and expressed by the same terms. 

As the legal sacrifices made atonement, and they received it for whom 
they were offered, so did the sacrifice of Christ make atonement, and they 
are said to receive it, Rom. v. 11, and that was the death of his Son, ver. 10. 

Propitiation is the very same thing with atonement As the Lord was 
rendered propitious by those offerings called propitiatory sacrifices ; so is 
Christ, by his sacrifice, a propitiation, 1 John ii. 2, t. e. a propitiatory sacri- 
fice for sin, 1 John iv. 10, Bom. iii. 25, a propitiation through the blood of 
his sacrifice. The Lord did not only shew himself propitiated and appeased, 
but it was this blood, this sacrifice, that appeased and propitiated him ; as those 
sacrifices were not to shew that the Lord was atoned, but to make atonement 
or propitiation. And so the mercy- seat, called /Xaor^/ov (the word here used 
by the apostle), by virtue of the blood of the sacrifice, was a propitiatory. 

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Eph. V. 2.] Christ's sacrifice. 59 

As the sacrifice did appease and turn away the anger of God, which they 
were liable to in reference to the temporal effects of it, as they did pacify 
him and make their peace with him, so by the sacrifice of Christ wrath is 
turned away, Rom. v. 9; our peace is made with God, Eph. ii. 12, &c. 
By the blood of Christ, the great sacrifice, peace was made not only between 
Jew and Gentile, but between God and them, Isa. liii. The chastisement 
of our peace, t. e. those sufferings by which our peace was made, he suffered 
as a sacrifice that we might have peace with God, Col. i. 20. 

And as the legal sacrifices were to make reconciliation for transgressors, 
so was the death and sacrifice of Christ, Horn. v. 10, Col. i. 20-22, 2 Cor. 
v. 18, 19, and how, ver. 21. 

To evade these plain texts, they say the phrases used by the apostles are 
for reconciling us to God, not reconciling God to us, and so will have the 
reconciliation to be on man's part only, as if none at all were needful on 
God's part, when yet it is he that is the party offended ; as though the end 
of the death and sacrifice of Christ were only to gain sinners' favour for 
God, and not at all to procure God's favour for sinners ; as if it were to 
make God's peace with us, and to make our peace with God. But this, as 
it is intolerable in the very sound of the expressions, and plainly against 
the sense of the phrases in Scripture about reconciliation, Mat., Cor.* 
so it destroys the correspondence between the legal sacrifices and this of 
Christ. For none will imagine that the Israelites offered sacrifices to turn 
away their own anger from God, but to turn away his anger from them. 
And these being types and figures of Christ's sacrifice, how can it be ima- 
gined that the_end of it should be to divert men's wrath from God, and not 
to divert his wrath from us ? Both were to ' make reconciliation for ini- 
quity,' Dan. ix., so as sin should not be imputed. Now there can be no 
such reconciliation but by pacifying the party provoked by iniquity ; and 
whether that be God or man, let the adversaries themselves judge. 

6. These sacrifices put away guilt (civil guilt), released the sinner from 
the obligation to temporal punishment, procured forgiveness for,him. This 
was the effect of them when they were accepted, sin was forgiven them for 
whom they were offered. And so it is frequently expressed that forgiveness 
was the effect of them, whether they were offered for particular persons or 
for the whole congregation, Lev. iv. 20, 26, 81, 85, and for the whole con- 
gregation, Num. xxv. 26. 

Sin is loathsome and offensive to a holy God, and so liable to the effects 
of his displeasure, which are punishment ; accordingly it is set forth in Scrip- 
ture as uncleanness, Lev. xvi. 16, as a defilement and pollution, Ps. cvi. 89, 
Ezek. xx. 81. Becoming guilty they were defiled ; by contracting guilt, the 
sinner defiles and pollutes himself and becomes unclean, and when guilt is 
removed, he is said to be cleansed, purged, purified. Answerably, the 
taking away guilt by sacrifice is expressed -by cleansing, purging, purifying. 

By cleansing, Lev. xvi. 80. 

By purging, Heb. ix. 18. The blood was sprinkled for that end, and 
sometimes with hyssop, Lev. xiv. 6, 7, Num. xix. 6 ; in reference to which, 
David begging freedom from guilt, does it in these terms, Ps. Ii. 7. 

By purifying, Heb. ix. 18. And so these . expiating sacrifices are styled 
by other authors aywtfr/xa, purifying sacrifices, and xaQagnxa, sacrifices for 
purgation or lustration ; becauso they were supposed to purge them from 
guilt, to make them clean and pure from that guiltiness which was their 
pollution. 

And this was the effect of the great sacrifice of expiation in Christ's death. 
• Probably the texts alluded to are Mat. v. 24, 2 Cor. v. 19.— En. 



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60 chbist's bacbifios. [Eph. V. 2. 

Thereby we are freed from guilt, and have forgiveness of sins. And it is 
expressed in the same terms, to signify that it was procured in the same way 
by that grand expiatory sacrifice, John i. 29. How did he take away sins ? As 
a lamb sacrificed ; he was the Lamb slain and sacrificed. That is here suffi- 
ciently intimated, but it is plainly expressed elsewhere, Heb. ix. 26 ; and it 
is signified where we are said to have forgiveness by his blood, Eph. i. 7, 
Col. i. 14, Bom. iii. 25, Mat. xxvi. 28. 

As under the law, so under the gospel, without blood no remission, Heb. 
ix. 22. No remission of sin, no expiation of guilt, but by the death and 
blood of a sacrifice. And the expiation of guilt, by the sacrifice of Christ, 
is set forth in the same terms as the expiation by other sacrifices. It is ex- 
pressed by the washing, sprinkling, cleansing, purging, purifying, and so 
expressed by the same reason ; because sin is an unclean thing in the eye 
of an holy God, 2 Cor. vi. 17, Mat. xv. 18, 20. He that contracts guilt 
defiles himself; the defiling guilt cannot be done away but by the blood of 
this great sacrifice ; this and this alone can wash, and cleanse, and purge, 
and purify guilty souls ; these are sacrificial terms, which refer to sacrifices 
for sin, and denote the expiation of its guilt. Let me instance in those 
several phrases, whereby the Holy Ghost in the New Testament holds 
forth the sovereign virtue and efficacy of that precious blood, and inestim- 
able sacrifice for the taking away our guilt ; hereby you may more clearly 
understand both the expressions, and the things what they signify and refer 
to. The removing of guilt by the blood and sacrifice of Christ, is expressed 
sometimes by washing, Be v. i. 5, and vii. 14 ; by sprinkling, Heb. x. 22, 
and xii. 24. The blood of the propitiating sacrifices, on the great day of 
expiation, was to be sprinkled on and before the mercy-seat, Lev. xvi. 14, 15. 
Hereby might be signified, that this seat, which would otherwise be a throne 
of justice, was a mercy-seat, that there was pardoning mercy to be found at 
his mercy- seat, which was Christ in a type ; and that through his blood, 
signified by the blood there sprinkled. The people, then, were kept at a 
distance from the mercy-seat; they might not come and see this blood, 
sprinkled. But, says the apostle, * Ye are come to the blood of sprinkling.' 
That which was the mercy-seat in the Old Testament, is the throne of grace 
in the New Testament ; and we may come boldly to the throne of grace, 
with confidence that we shall find pardoning mercy, through the blood of 
sprinkling, by virtue of which it is become a throne of grace, a mercy-seat, 
without any veil interposing, without anything to debar us from it We 
may find the expiating virtue of that blood of sprinkling flow freely in upon 
our souls for the cleansing of them from guilt. Washing and sprinkling 
was in order to cleansing, and that is another word used to signify this great 
effect. It is expressed by cleansing, I John i. 7, %<xfog/£f/ ; that is ascribed 
to the blood of Christ which is proper to sacrifices for expiation. And to 
be cleansed from sin, is to be forgiven, ver. 9. Cleansing from guilt is ex- 
pressed by forgiveness. 

By purging, Heb. i. 8, by himself, t. e. by the sacrifice of himself, Heb.' 
ix. 18, 14. Purging from guilt, t. e. free from all the obligation to eternal 
death which wicked works lay on it. When an Israelite committed an act, 
to which the law threatened temporal death, his conscience told him he was 
liable to death, till the sacrifice appointed for his expiation was offered ; but 
thereby he was freed from the obligation, and his conscience freed from the 
sense of it. 

By sanctifying, Heb. x. 10. Sacrificed* in a sacrificial sense, as expiating 
sacrifices do sanctify, i. e. by cleansing from guilt, Heb. xiii. 11, 12. It is 
* Qu. Sanctified * ?— En. 



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Eph. Y. 2.] chbist's sackifice. 61 

a sanctifying by his blood, not by bis Spirit ; such as is proper to the blood 
of sacrifices for expiation, which took away guilt ; whose peculiar efficacy 
was not in working holiness, bnt in procuring forgiveness. 

By purifying, Heb. ix. 22, 28, xatotffyfat. The sacrifices under the law 
did in their way purify from guilt ; but the sacrifice of Christ, as far excel- 
ling those as heavenly things do earthly, purifies in a far more excellent way. 

Use. For information. 1. Hereby we may discover the horrid wicked- 
ness of the sacrifice of the mass, which yet, with the papists, is the chief 
part of their religion. By what we have said of a sacrifice, it will appear 
that their doctrine and practice as to the sacrifice of the mass does both de- 
stroy Christ himself, and destroys the sacrifice of Christ. 

That thereby they destroy Christ, the man Christ Jesus, will appear if 
you take notice of these three particulars. 

1. They teach that Christ, not only as he" is God, but as he is man, his 
whole human nature, soul, and body, is in their mass sacrament, and there 
really and substantially. 

To open this a little. In their mass, which they use instead of the 
Lord's Supper, after the Epistle and Gospel, and some short collects, they 
hate a longer prayer, which they call the canon of the mass, in which are 
the words of consecration, * This is my body, this is my blood ;' by virtue 
of which words they say, the bread and wine, which the priest consecrates, 
loses its substance ; the substance of both vanishes, and the accidents of 
bread and wine only remain ; the quantity and quality, the figure, colour, 
and taste, and not the least substance of either ; but in the room thereof 
the substance of Christ's body and blood is brought or produced. So that 
under the forms or accidents of bread and wine, there is really and sub- 
stantially the whole body of Christ, flesh, blood, and bones, and his soul too. 
It is the living body of Christ, his body enlivened with his soul, which the 
priest holds in his hands, and puts into his mouth. This monstrous 
change, of this substance of bread and wine into the substance of the real 
body and blood of Christ, has a monstrous name ; they call it tran substan- 
tiation, a change of substance. I pass by the multitude of absurdities, con- 
tradictions, impossibilities, which they must swallow who believe this, and 
which none can digest but those whom the spirit of delusion has bereaved 
both of the use of sense and reason. It is enough for my purpose that they 
will have whole Christ to be there, body and soul. And the council of Trent, 
of so great authority with them that it is to be reckoned the standard of their 
faith, curse those who do not believe this in these words : * If any shall deny 
that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is contained truly, 
really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and the 
divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore whole Christ ; or shall say 
that he is there only in sign, or figure, or virtue ; let him be anathema.' 
They will have all to be cursed as heretics, and burnt too, when they are in 
their power, who will not believe that whole Christ, soul and body, his 
living body, to be in the mass. 

2. They determine, and will have it believed as an article of faith, that 
Christ is truly and properly sacrificed in the mass ; his body and blood is 
there offered, his living body is there made a true and proper sacrifice. 

There are some things are called sacrifices, but are not so indeed ; they 
have not the true nature of a sacrifice, but only some little resemblance, 
therefore have the name. So praise, Heb. xiii. 15 ; doing good, ver. 16 ; 
giving up our bodies, ourselves, to God, Bom. xii. 1 ; such are called spiritual 
sacrifices, 1 Peter ii. 5. They have not the true nature, but only some like- 
ness of a sacrifice ; and therefore are not truly and properly sacrifices, but 

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62 ohbist's sacrifice. [Eph. V. 2. 

only metaphorically. Bat they will have Christ, as offered in the mass, to 
be not a spiritual or metaphorical, but a true and proper sacrifice ; not so 
called because of some resemblance, but because it has the nature and 
essentials of a sacrifice, and therefore truly and properly so. The Council 
of Trent decrees, ' If any shall say that in the mass there is not offered a 
true and proper sacrifice, let him be accursed.' They will have it to be as 
true a sacrifice as the paschal lamb was, yea, as any propitatory sacrifices 
were under the law ; they maintain that it is a propitiatory sacrifice both for 
the living and the dead. 

8. In every true and proper sacrifice, that which is sacrificed is really de- 
stroyed. There is all sorts of evidence for this. It is essential to a sacrifice 
to be destroyed. The definition of it declares this ; it is oblatio riu con- 
sumpta, an oblation duly consumed. And this is the difference betwixt an 
oblation and a sacrifice. That which is offered unto God, and preserved for 
holy uses, is an oblation. That which is offered, so as to be destroyed, is a 
sacrifice. 

Thus it was with all sacrifices under the law ; if they were things without 
life, they were some way consumed ; if they were living things, they were 
killed, put to death. Thus it was, especially in sacrifices for expiation (of 
which sort they will have the sacrifice of the mass to be), when they were for 
particular persons, Lev. v. 6 ; when they were for the whole congregation, 
the consumption was greater, Lev. xvi. 27. 

Nay, this themselves acknowledge, their doctors of greatest repute, not 
only Cardinal Bellarmine, but the most eminent followers of their angelical 
doctor, determine it to be essential to a true sacrifice, that it be killed, and 
put to death. 

Put these together. Christ, his living body, is in the mass ; he is truly 
and properly there sacrificed ; that which is truly sacrificed, is really killed 
and destroyed. The inference from hence is clear as a day the sun shined, 
that Christ is really killed and destroyed in the mass. This, many of them 
acknowledge in plain terms ; take only the words of Bellarmine, instead of 
many others who might be produced. Either in the mass, says he, there is 
a true and real killing and slaying of Christ, or there is not ; if there be not, 
then there is no true and real sacrifice ; for a true and real sacrifice does 
require a true and real killing, because the essence of the sacrifice consists in 
the killing of it. Where he not only affirms that Christ is killed in the mass, 
but proves it by such an argument as can never be answered by those who 
will have the mass to be a real sacrifice. Nor can they possibly find out any 
shift, to excuse their killing of Christ in the mass, without denying that it is 
a true and real sacrifice ; and if they deny this, they abandon their whole 
religion, and must acknowledge that they have no religion at all amongst 
them ; for they say, there is no religion at all where there is not such a 
sacrifice. Yet this may seem a less inconvenience ; for who would not count 
it more tolerable to have no religion at all, than such a one as consists prin- 
cipally in destroying or murdering of Christ ? 

And if they deny this, viz. a real sacrifice, they overthrow the foundation 
of their faith and church, the infallibility of popes and general councils, who 
have decreed this to be an article of faith, to be believed by all, under pain 
of damnation. 

And they must acknowledge that they have murdered all those whom they 
have put to death, and burnt alive, because they would not believe the mass 
to be such a sacrifice. 



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CHRIST'S DYING FOR SINNERS. 



But God commendeth his love tqwards «*, in that, while we were yet sinners, 
Christ died for u*— Rom. V. 8. 

The apostle having proved at large that we are justified by faith, in the 
former chapters, in this and the following, he draws several instances from 
that doctrine. First, for comfort to those that are justified, giving an 
account of the several comfortable effects of this privilege. 

Ver. 1. Having pardon of sin and title to heaven, hereby we know the 
Lord is appeased and reconciled, &c. 

Ver. 2. By Christ we have admission to this gracious state in which we 
are established, and rejoiee in hope of a more glorious condition. 

Ver. 3. We not only rejoice in our present happy state, and hopes of 
future glory, but even glory in our sufferings. Tribulation being sanctified, 
helps us to the exercise of patience, which, as other graces, grows and is 
increased by exercise, &c. 

Ver. 4. Experience ; in the exercise hereof we have experiments of the 
grace of God in us and toward us, of his favour and our own sincerity, 
and this raises and increases our hope. 

Ver. 5. That hope which will not disappoint us, especially having our 
hearts replenished by the Holy Ghost, with the sense of the love of God in 
Christ. 

Ver. 6. Which love was herein expressed wonderfully, that when we were 
in a state of sin and damnation, without any power to free ourselves from 
this misery, in the fulness of time Christ died, even for those who were 
without God and opposite to him. 

Ver. 7. This was greater love than is to be found amongst men, for if 
perhaps one may be found who would die for a merciful, an obliging, an 
useful or public-spirited man, yet none can be found that would lay down 
bis life for any other, though he were a just and righteous man. But who 
would die for those that are useless, or odious, as contrary to him, as sinners 
are to God ? 

But this is the glory and triumph of divine love. Ver. 8. By this the 
love of God appeared in its highest exaltation, that when we were so far 
from being good or righteous, that we were sinners; when useless and 
impotent, when loathsome and hateful, when enemies and haters of God ; 
when there was nothing in us, that might move in the least to love us, when 
we were full of that which might oblige him to express his hatred and indig- 

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64 chbist's dying fob sinners. [Bom. V. 8. 

nation against us, even then he vouchsafed the very highest expression of 
love ; then he gave his Son, even then Christ exposed himself to death for 
us. Herein both the greatness and freeness of his love appeared, to the 
wonder and astonishment of all that duly consider it. 

Of the love of Christ in dying, I have, spoken on another subject. It is 
his death I shall now consider, in these words, which offer this observation. 

Christ died for sinners. This is the sum of the gospel, the foundation of 
Christianity, the root and spring of all our comforts and hopes, of all our 
happiness here and hereafter. 

For explication, we shall inquire, 1, what death it was he died ; 2, what 
the particle for imports. 

As to the former, 1. It was a real death. He died not in appearance, 
but indeed ; Christ himself, not another taken for him. An old impostor, 
Basilides, in the primitive times, held that it was not Christ who was cruci- 
fied, but Simon of Cyrene in his stead ; and thence inferred, that none are 
to believe in him that was crucified. Mahomet took up the conceit after 
him, and delivered it in his Alcoran, that it was not Christ but one of his 
disciples that the Jews crucified. This is an impudent fable, against the 
types and prophecies in the Old Testament, and the history of the New 
Testament, which, with the evidence of miracles too, declares that Christ 
himself was really put to death. He gave Thomas a sensible demonstration 
that he really suffered, John xx. 25. Hereby Thomas was convinced that 
he suffered indeed. And it was death that he suffered. Life is the result 
of the union betwixt soul and body. This union was really dissolved, and 
the soul separated from the body; though both, in the state of separation, 
continued united in the person of the Son of God. 

2. A violent death. It is true he suffered willingly, Heb. x. 6, 7 ; John 
x. 18. The sacrifices under the law were led to the altar ; but he offered 
himself to those who made a sacrifice of him. 

When I call it violent, I mean, it was not natural. The thread of his 
life was cut off when nature might have spun it out much longer, Dan. 
ix. 26 ; and when he was at the point of death, he did not dismiss his soul 
out of the body, as he had power to do, but it was forced out by the pain of 
death. The violence which he suffered, destroyed the vital disposition in 
the body, which is needful to continue it in union with the soul, and here- 
upon life did not so much expire as it was expelled. It is true, it was in his 
power to have secured himself from that violence ; but having willingly sub- 
mitted to it, it had its effect upon him, and sooner than upon those who 
suffered with him, Mark xv. 44 ; John xix. 32, S3. 

3. A cruel death, full of exquisite pain and torture ; he was crucified. 
Tully calls it crudelimmum mpplicium, the most cruel punishment. Nails 
were forced through the hands and feet, which, being the most nervous, are 
the most sensible parts, though least vital. The body was distended upon 
the cross with such pains as when all the bones are out of joint. That in 
the psalmist is meant of Christ, Ps. xxii. 14-17. In this torturing posture 
they continued on the cross, which made no quick despatch ; the pain was 
prolonged. It was a lingering death, such a death as cruelty itself would 
have one die, ut sentiat se mori, that he might have all the sense of the pains of 
death, both a quick and lasting sense thereof. Such a sense Christ had of 
it, and was willing to have, and shewed it by refusing the wine mixed with 
myrrh and other poisonous ingredients, if they be right who think that this 
potion was given him to stupefy sense, or hasten death. 

4. A shameful death. Crucifying was thought fit for none amongst the 
Romans but the vilest persons, for slaves, renegadoes, the worst of malefac- 

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Bom. V. 8.] Christ's dying fob sinners. 65 

tors, such as were counted pests of the earth. It was thought too ignomi- 
nious a death for the meanest person that was a free man. When they 
would choose a death to shew their greatest abhorrence and detestation of 
any creature, this was it ; therefore the dogs, that by their silence betrayed 
the capitol, were crucified. 

Christ, the Lord of glory, was willing to die such a death for sinners. 
There was a concurrence of pain and shame in it ; when he endured the 
cross, he endured the shame too, and made nothing of it, Heb. zii. 2. 

5. A cursed death, Gal. iii. 18, 14. It refers to Deut. xxi. 28. He that 
was hanged is said to be accursed of God, not only because the sentence of 
the law (called a curse) was passed and executed upon him, but also to pre- 
figure what was to befall Christ, who was to be crucified, as if he had been a 
cursed malefactor. The legal curse was a signification of that real curse 
which Christ was to undergo. 

6. The same death, as to the main, which was due to us. The same 
death was threatened in the law as to the substance of it : and as to the 
circumstances, that which was equivalent. The first and second death was 
the sentence of the law, and Christ tasted both. 

The worm of conscience, indeed, did not touch him ; for that is the effect, 
not of imputed sin, but of personal guilt, wherewith he was not in the least 
tainted. Eternal sufferings are in the sentence of the law, not absolutely, 
but with respect to a finite creature, who could not suffer all that was due in 
less than eternity. But Christ being God, his temporary sufferings were 
equivalent to eternal ; he could pay down the whole sum at once ; what it 
wanted in duration was made up in the value. His sufferings for a time was 
of more weight and worth than the eternal sufferings of sinners ; and it was 
far more for the Son of God to suffer for a while, than for all creatures to 
suffer everlastingly. 

But as to the substance, he endured the pains of the second death, so far 
as was consistent with the perfection of his nature. The sufferings of that 
death are punishments of loss and of sense. Punishment of loss is separa- 
tion from God. Of this he complains, Mat. xxvii. 46, Ps. xxii. The per- 
sonal union was not dissolved, but the sense and effects of divine love and 
favour were withheld. His Father appeared as a severe and incensed judge, 
and dealt with him, not as his Son, but as an undertaker for sinners. 

Then for the punishment of sense, how grievous were his inward sorrows ! 
They were equivalent to the sorrows of the second death, Mat. xxvi. 88. 

It was not the sense of his outward sufferings that so much burdened his 
soul ; it was immediately the wrath due to our sins, which were then laid 
upon him, Isa. liii. 10. 

How comes it that Christ expressed a greater sense of these his sufferings 
than many of the martyrs did, when yet their outward torments were more 
grievous? It was not because they could not endure 4 ' more, but because 
they suffered far less ; no bitterness of the second death was in their suffer- 
ings. That which Christ endured in soul was incomparably more grievous 
than all outward tortures. 

Thus much for the first thing propounded, what death this was. We are 
highly concerned to set it out in all its aggravations, that the greatness of 
Christ's love, and the horrid nature of sin, may be more apparent, and upon 
other accounts ; of which in the application. 

Come we to the second : what is the import of this word for t Hereby 
it will appear that the death of Christ was for satisfaction to divine justice. 
* Qu. 'could endure'? — Ed. 

vol. m. B 

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66 cheist's dying fob sinnebs. [Rom. Y. 8. 

A troth denied by too many, who, under the name of Christians, strike at 
the root of Christianity, and agree with the Jews and Turks, change to- 
gether with the gospel the foundation of our faith and hopes, comfort and 
happiness. 

When it is said Christ died for us, for denotes, not only that he died for 
our good or advantage, but in our stead. He died, not only to confirm his 
doctrine, and induce us to believe it, and to imitate his graces, but he suf- 
fered death in our stead, t. e. he suffered what we had deserved, that we 
might not suffer it. There was a substitution of Christ in our place ; he, 
by compact with the Father, undertaking to suffer what should have been 
inflicted on us, that we might escape. 

This the word itirsg, here used, commonly denotes, so twice, ver. 7 ; when 
a good or righteous man is liable to death, scarce will any one die to save 
his life, t. e. die in his stead : 2 Cor. v. 15, ' If one died for ail, then all 
died ; ' all died in the death of one, because that one died in stead of all, 
1 Peter ii. 21, and iii. 18, and iv. 1. He suffered what we had deserved, 
that we might not suffer ; that is to suffer in our stead. The just suffered 
what unjust deserved, &c, Heb. ii. 9. The cup of God's wrath, which our 
sins had filled, and which we should have drank, was by the grace of God 
taken out of our hands, and put into Christ's, and he drank it up, when 
the bitterness of death was in it, that we might not taste it, t. e. he tasted 
death in our stead. 

The word for, in all these, and many other places, signifies the same 
that it does in that expression of David, 2 Sam. xviii. 38, Would God I had 
died in thy stead, so that thou mightest have lived. So Pythias would have 
died for Damon, and Terentius for Brutus, i. e. instead of him, that his 
friend might live, Yaler. Magn. lib. iv. cap. 7. 

'Aw/ is another word which the Holy Ghost uses in this business, which 
always signifies substitution, acting or suffering in another's stead, Mat. 
xx. 28, paid that which they were obliged to, did it in their stead, 1 Tim. 
ii. 6 ; so it is used, Mat. xvii. 27, avri ifioij, pay this in my stead ; and so it 
is rendered, Mat. ii. 22, avri 'Hfudou. 

That we may understand more clearly and distinctly what the design of 
Christ's death was, let us observe those notions wherein the Scripture 
represents it. Three are commonly taken notice of: 1, as the punishment 
of our sin ; 2, the price of our redemption ; 8, a sacrifice for sin. In all 
which, satisfaction for us by his death is evident, though the word be 
not used. 

1. Christ's death was the punishment of our sin. Christ in dying was 
punished for our transgressions. To clear this, let me shew, 1, the notion 
of punishment ; 2, what evidence there is in Scripture that Christ in dying 
was punished for our sin ; 8, how the proceeding was just and righteous, 
that Christ, though innocent, should be punished for those that were guilty. 

The notion of the punishment will appear in the matter, form, and ends 
of it. Of which briefly. 

(1.) In punishment there is an inflicting of some evil of suffering. That 
is the matter of punishment ; it is something afflictive, whether in being 
deprived of something that is good, or undergoing something that is grievous. 
Christ suffered both ways ; privatively, in the loss of what was most desir- 
able ; and positively, in bearing what was most intolerable and grievous. 

(2.) Punishment is a suffering inflicted for some offence deserved by some 
sin. That is the form of it. If it be not upon the account of sin, it may be 
a calamity, but not a punishment. Christ's death was properly a punish- 
ment in this respect, because he suffered death for sin. Not his own ; he 

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Rom. V, 8.J gh&ist's dying fob sinnebs. 67 

had none to deserve death, by the testimony of Pilate, Mat. zxvii. 18, 19, 23, 
bnt ours. 

(3.) The end of punishment is the common good ; the same with the end 
of laws and government, the good of the community, rulers and subjects. 
Partly in deterring and restraining persons from breaking the laws (and so 
securing the rights of all sorts, which good laws provide for) when they see 
that such as transgress must suffer the penalty. This is the proper end of 
those punishments, which are called va^adityfd,ara 9 exemplary. 

Partly in asserting and maintaining of the honour and interest of those 
who have suffered by the breach of the laws, which is the end of satisfactory 
punishment. 

Answerably, in the death of Christ, the severity there used is to restrain 
and deter all from transgressing the laws of God. In that respect it was 
exemplary punishment ; and thereby the honour and interest of (rod, as he 
is lawgiver and governor of the world, was to be vindicated and asserted, 
and a^compensation made for the injury and dishonour he had by sin. In 
that respect his punishment was satisfactory. 

But then, negatively, the end of Christ's death was not to satisfy the 
anger of God, as anger signifies a desire of revenge, and as revenge is taken 
for a pleasing one's self in the 'evils which another suffers, merely because 
they are grievous to him whom we are angry at ; for such a revengeful 
humour is not tolerable in men, mueh less is it to be ascribed unto God. 

Now, of these particulars, it is the second we must* stick at, who are 
against the satisfaction of Christ. They do not deny that he suffered 
grievous things ; they cannot deny, but if that he suffered the punishment 
which our sins deserved, his death would be satisfactory ; but they deny 
that his death was the punishment of our sins. And it is the second thing 
I propounded to shew, what evidence there is in Scripture, that his death 
was the punishment of our sins. Let me, for a more distinct view thereof, 
reduce it to some heads. 

1. It is said, ' He bare our sins,' 1 Peter ii. 24, 25. To bear sin is to 
undergo the punishment due to sin, whether he be said to bear hia own sin, 
or the sins of others, Lev. xix. 5, i.e. he shall be punished for it, Lev. 
xx. 17, where ' bearing his iniquity,' is to be punished, i. e. expressly to be 
cut off, ver. 18, 19, and ver, 20, to ' bear sin,' is to be punished for it, and 
the punishment specified by childless. 

So to bear the sins of others is to be punished for others' sins, Num. 
xiv. 33, i. e. they shall suffer the punishment of your fornications, Num. 
xxx. 15 ; Ezek. xviii. 20, he shall not bear the punishment of his father's 
sins, t. e. as it is expressed, he shall not die ; so that when the apostle says, 
' He bare our sins,' if we will understand it as the Holy Ghost leads us, by 
the constant use of the phrase, the meaning is, he bare the punishment of 
our sins when he died ; our sins were imputed to him, and so the punish- 
ment was transferred from us to him. 

Answerable to this of the apostle is that of the prophet, Isa. liii. 6, 11, 12; 
that which is iniquities here, is punishment, ver. 4 ; that which he suffered, 
in being stricken, smitten, afflicted, bruised, wounded, slain, cut off. By all 
these phrases, and more, are his punishments expressed ; and that it was the 
desert of our sins, is clear in the connection. The Jews thought him stricken 
of God, justly punished for his own sins, such as they unjustly charged him 
with, ver. 4 ; but the meritorious cause of the punishment inflicted on him 
was indeed our sins, ver. 5 ; so that no other sense can be put upon this 

* Qu. 'they most'?— Ed. 

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68 ohrist's dying fob sinnbbs. [Rom. V. 8. 

phrase, but what is contrary to the natural and perpetual use thereof in 
Scripture. 

(2.) Christ is said to be made sin and a curse for us, which do plainly 
import that he was punished for us, 2 Cor. v. 21 ; he was charged with our 
sin, and so punished as if he had been a sinner, ; he was made sin for us, as 
we are made the righteousness of God in him ; his righteousness being im- 
puted to us, the Lord rewards us as those that are righteous ; and our sins 
being imputed to him, the Lord punished him as a sinner. Not for his own 
guilt, but for ours, was he punished ; as not for our own righteousness, but 
for his, are we saved. The sacrifice that was slain, and so punished instead 
of the sinner for whom it was offered, is called by the name of sin, Lev. 
xliii. 29, P8. xl. 6. The same word the prophet uses, speaking of Christ, 
Isa. liii. 10. Answerable to which is the apostle's expression, when he says 
Christ was made sin for us ; he died and was therein punished instead of 
those whose sin he bare ; as the sacrifice was killed, and so suffered instead 
of him whose sin was laid on it. 

So he is said to be ' made a curse for us,' Gal. iii. 18. The curse of the 
law, in the former clause, is confessed to be the punishment of sin ; and no 
reason is, or can be, given why it should not be in the latter. To be made 
a curse for us, is to be punished for us, as such malefactors were who are 
accursed of God. 

(8.) He is said to suffer for our sins, Bom. iv. 25. He was delivered up 
to death for our sins. To suffer for sin, deserving it, is in a proper sense to 
be punished ; and the particle for, when joined with sin and sufferings, does 
still denote the meritorious cause of sufferings, Eph. v. 6, Lev. xxvi. 28, 
Deut. xviii. 12, 1 Kings xiv. 18. 

That Christ was punished for our sins, is likewise signified by those other 
expressions, 1 Cor. xv. 8, 1 Pet. iii 18, Gal. i. 4 ; these plainly denote 
that sin was the cause of his suffering. And how can sin be the cause of 
sufferings, but as deserving them ? and sufferings deserved by sin are pro- 
perly punishments. This is enough to make it evident that Christ's death 
was the punishment of our sins. 

8. As to the justice of the proceeding. Is it not unjust that an innocent 
person should be punished for the offences of others ? 

(1.) It is not unjust for the innocent to be punished for others' sins, when 
there is a conjunction betwixt the sufferer and the offender ; such as is be- 
twixt parents and children, princes and subjects ; for in this case the Lord, 
the righteous judge of heaven and earth, punishes relatives for sins which not 
they but their relations acted ; he threatens it, Exod. xx. 3. And this is not 
to be understood only in case they imitate their fathers' sins : for if they 
imitate them, God visits their own sins upon them, not their fathers' ; so 
Ham's sons were cursed for his sin, Gen. ix. 25 ; and Saul's sons punished 
for his offence, 2 Sam. xxi. 8, 14 ; and Achan's children for his crime, Josh, 
vii. 24. 

So he punishes subjects for the sins of their rulers : thus Judah is pun- 
ished, in Josiah's time, for the sins of Manasseh, though then they were 
reformed, 2 Kings xxiii. 24 ; and the abominations taken away, 2 Chron. 
xxxiv. 88 ; and the people before for David's sin, when he declares they were 
innocent, 2 Sam. xziv. 15, 17. 

Now, if the proceeding was just, upon the account of conjunction, in these 
cases, why not in this before us ; when there was such a near conjunction 
betwixt Christ and those for whom he suffered ; when he was not only of the 
same nature, but a king, a father, a head to many of them actually, to all of 
them in God's design? 

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Bom. V. 8.] ' ohrist's dying fob sinnkbs. 69 

(2.) It is just in ease of consent ; when he that is punished has power to 
dispose of that wherein he suffers, and puts himself freely under an obliga- 
tion to he punished therein, and admitted by him who has power to punish. 
In these circumstances, by the verdict of God and mankind, it is righteous 
to punish a person for the offences of others, which yet he is not guilty of. 
Now there is a concurrence of these in the case. 

[l.j Christ freely consented to die and undergo what was due to us. To 
compel one that is innocent to suffer for another's offences, when he has no 
mind to it, may be an injury ; but in this case there was no constraint, no 
need of it. Christ offered himself willingly to become our surety, he freely 
came under the obligation, and became responsible to all that was due from 
us. He was not only willing, but earnestly desirous to suffer and die in our 
steid, Luke xii. 50, as desirous to see the travail of his soul, what pangs 
soever it cost him, as a woman near her time is to be delivered, Ps. xL 7, 8 ; 
Cant. ii. 8. 

[2.] Christ had absolute power to dispose of what he suffered in. One 
reason why a man is not allowed to lay down his life for another that deserves 
death, is because his life is not his own to dispose of. But Christ was abso- 
lute Lord of his life, and had full power to keep it, or lay it down, as he 
pleased, John z. 18. 

[8.] The Father admitted Christ as our surety. He was content that his 
sufferings should stand for ours, and that we thereupon should be discharged. 
It was his will that Christ should undertake for us, Ps. xl. 7. They agreed 
in the design, and upon the way and means of our deliverance, Zech. vi. 18. 
The Father loves him, because he consented to it, John x. 17. So that in a 
case where all parties concerned had power, all were satisfied, none had cause 
to complain of injury ; and so there was nothing of injustice. 

[4.] Let me add another thing : Christ's loss in suffering was not irrepa- 
rable ; it was fully compensated. If an innocent person suffer for a male- 
factor, the community loses a good man, and may suffer by sparing of an evil 
member, and the innocent sufferer cannot have his life restored, being once 
lost Though David wished it in a passion, yet it had been great wrong and 
damage to himself and the public if he had suffered death instead of Absalom. 

But in this case all is quite otherwise. Christ laid down his life, but so 
as he took it up again, John x. 17, 18. He continued not under the power 
of death for ever, nor as others who suffer death must do, till the general 
resurrection ; but rose again the third day ; death was swallowed up in vic- 
tory. By dying he ' prolonged his days,' Isa. liii. 10 ; his loss of life for a 
while was countervailed and outweighed by infinite advantages. 

Then also those offenders, in whose stead he suffered, are, by virtue of his 
death, reclaimed, effectually changed, made useful and serviceable to God 
and man. 

Briefly, here was no injury to any party whatever ; not to those for whom 
he died : they have unexpressible advantage thereby. Not to the person 
.suffering ; he was willing, and endured nothing without his consent ; he had 
that in prospect which made up all, Heb. xii. 2, and ii. 9. Not to God, nor 
any concerned in his government, for by Christ's death the ends of his 
government were all secured. His honour was hereby vindicated, the 
authority of his law preserved, and his subjects, by such an instance of 
severity in his own Son, deterred from violating it. 

So that, upon the whole, in Christ's being punished for sinners, here is no 
appearance of injury to any, and so nothing at all of injustice upon any account. 

This for the first consideration of Christ's death proposed in Scripture, as 
the punishment of our sins. 

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70 CHBJST'S DYJNG FOB SIKNEBS. [BoM. V. 8. 

2. His death is also represented in Scripture as the price of our redemp- 
tion. Redemption in general is a delivering of one from a calamity by a 
ransom, i. e. some valuable consideration, which comes under the notion of 
a price. To understand the nature of it more distinctly, as it is ascribed to 
Christ's death, and to free us from the misconstructions put upon it by the 
opposers of redemption by Christ, take notice of three particulars. 

(1.) Man, by disobedience to God, was brought into misery, such misery 
as the Scripture often expresses by captivity. The Lord, for our rebellions, 
being the supreme judge and governor, did, as it were, commit us, deliver 
us to Satan, leave us under the power of sin and the world. Satan, as the 
gaoler, leads us captive at his will ; he makes use of sin and the world as 
fetters to increase and continue this misery. 

(2.) We conld not be redeemed from this misery, but by a ransom. 
Where there is freedom from a calamity without a price, it is deliverance 
simply, but it is not properly redemption. Our deliverance from this misery 
is still in the New Testament ascribed to a price, a valuable consideration, 
which, tendered to the Lord, and he being satisfied with it, does grant a dis- 
charge. The word airo\\>r£<»<ris, used for redemption, 1 Cor. viii. 20, and vii. 
28, signifies deliverance by a ransom. Hence the delivery of the Israelites 
from Egypt, though it be called redemption, as being a type of that great 
deliverance from spiritual bondage and misery, yet it is not redemption 
properly, because it was not procured by ransom. 

(8.) The price, upon consideration of which we are delivered, is the 
sufferings, the death, the blood of Christ, Eph. i. 7, Col. i. 14. The price 
by which we are acquitted is the blood of Christ. Also Rom. iii. 24, 25, 
Heb. ix. 12, 1 Peter ii. 18, 19. The price, by which we were redeemed, 
was not so mean things as silver and gold, but that which is infinitely more 
precious and valuable. ' That is a price, by the laying down of which some- 
thing is acquired ; and when it is laid down for deliverance from misery 
and slavery, it is a ransom. So Christ's laying down his life is our ransom, 
Mat. xx. 28, Mark x. 45. 

(4.) This price Christ paid in our stead. His sufferings were the price ; 
and he suffered what we should have suffered, or what was equivalent thereto, 
that we might be delivered, 1 Tim. i. 6. 'Avr/Xurfov signifies a price or ran- 
som paid instead of another, for avri (as was shewed before) denotes sub- 
stitution, when one is put in the place of another ; and, in this case, not a 
thing instead of a person, but the sufferings of one person instead of the 
sufferings of others. 'Air/Xurgov is such a ransom, in which the redeemer 
undergoes some such thing as the redeemed were liable to, which is fully ex- 
pressed by the apostle, Gal. iii. 18. He redeemed us, how ? by paying the 
ransom in our stead, t. e. by undergoing the curse which we should have 
undergone, and thereby discharging us from it. 

(5.) The price was paid to God. Those that would have all that was 
done for us by Christ to be only a metaphorical redemption, confess that it 
would be properly redemption, and properly a price, if the price were paid 
to any ; but since Satan detains us, it should be paid to him, if to any ; and 
seeing it is absurd to have it paid to him, it is paid to none at all. We say 
it is God to whom it is paid, for the price is the blood or the death of 
Christ. This is sometimes set forth as a price, sometimes as a sacrifice. 
These are but one and the same thing, under several notions. Now the 
sacrifice was offered to God, and therefore the price, being the same thing, 
was paid to God, Eph. v. 2. 

It is the great God, the supreme governor of the world, that detains sin- 
ners in this misery. Satan is but the instrument of his justice. It was for 

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Rom. V. 8.] chbist's dying fob sinners. 71 

the injury done to God that we are cast into this* misery. The injury is 
transgressing of his law ; the law cannot be satisfied, nor the injury repaired, 
but by suffering the death which it threatens. Christ suffered death in our 
stead, thereby the injury done to God is repaired, the law of God satisfied ; 
and the Lord accepting of this, which the Scripture calls a price, tendered 
for his satisfaction, it was clearly paid to him, Rev. v. 19, which may as 
well denote that the price was paid to God, as that the people were pur- 
chased for him. 

3. The death of Christ is proposed in Scripture as a sacrifice of expiation. 
So that, when he is said to die for sinners, we are to understand that he 
died as a sacrifice to expiate their sins. Now that ye may the better appre- 
hend what a sacrifice for expiation is, and how his death is such a sacrifice, 
take serious notice of some particulars. 

(1.) There were some sorts of sacrifices under the law, to which all those 
in use may be reduced. 

[1.] Eucharistical sacrifices of thanksgiving, which were offered to signify 
their gratitude for mercies received of God ; as acknowledgments of their 
own unworthiness, and his bounty and goodness to them. Such a sacrifice 
the death of Christ was not, it had another design and end, and was of 
another nature. 

[2.] Propitiatory sacrifices for expiation. These were to atone God 
offended by their sin, to divert his wrath, and the punishment due to sin, 
when was offered what, by way of satisfaction, might appease God, and pro- 
cure pardon of him, and favour or reconciliation with him, Lev. iv. 26, 81, 
35. The design of these sacrifices in reference to God, was to make atone- 
ment, t. e. to appease him when he was provoked, to render him propitious 
when he had cause to shew his wrath. And in reference to the sinner, to 
obtain forgiveness, and prevent the punishment which his sin deserved. 
And such a sacrifice was the death of Christ, of this nature, and for this end. 

(2.) Those sacrifices uoder the law did prefigure and shadow out the great 
sacrifice of expiation in Christ's death. The apostle so speaks of them, as 
of other things belonging to that administration, Heb. viii. 5, and ix. 9, x. 1. 
Those expiatory sacrifices had some resemblance of this, as the shadow has 
of the body, though obscure and imperfect. They are but shadows, the sub- 
stance and perfection of expiation was in this sacrifice of Christ's death, Col. 
ii. 17. Whatever sacrifices were then offered for expiation, 

[1.] They all prefigured and signified this of Christ, those especially which 
were sacrificed on the great day of expiation, of which there is an account, 
Lev. xvi. The apostle instances in those as figures, Heb. ix. 7-9, shewing 
how far the virtue of the sacrifice signified did transcend that of the signs 
and legal figures, vers. 11, 12, &c. 

[2.] Likewise the trespass-offerings and sin-offerings did signify the same ; 
DtTK, the word used for a sin-offering, is applied to Christ by the prophet, 
Isa. liii. 10. 

[8.] The same was typified by the burnt-offerings of all sorts ; whether 
they were stated, and the time for them determined by the law, or occasional, 
and such as they called free-will offerings, for both were for expiation, or, 
which is all one, for atonement, Job i. 6, Lev. v. 10 ; both the voluntary, 
Lev. i. 4, and the prescribed, Lev. xvi. 6, 10, 16, 18, &c. And burnt- 
offerings with the sin-offerings are reckoned by the apostle amongst thoBe 
which were shadows of this most perfect sacrifice, Heb. x. 1, 6, 8. Both 
burnt- offerings and sin-offerings (expressly applied to Christ) were for expia- 
tion, with this difference, that the sin-offering was to expiate one sort of sin, 
specified ; burnt-offerings were to expiate all sins. 

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72 OHBIBT'S DYING FOB BINNEB8. [BoM. V. 8. 

[4.] The peace-offerings for the congregation seem to have been for ex- 
piation, and so of the like typical signification with the rest, because what is 
required in expiatory sacrifices is found in them, Ezek. xlv. 15, 2 Sam. ii. 10 ; 
the slaying of the beast, the sprinkling of the blood, and consuming some 
part of it upon the altar, Ley. ix. 18, 19. 

[5.] The paschal lamb had something of expiation in its first institution. 
The blood of it secured the Israelites from wrath and punishment, which 
they had deserved, and the Egyptians suffered, Exodus xii. 13, Heb. xii. 
24, 28. Through the blood of Christ, typified by that of the paschal lamb, 
the Lord is propitious and favourable to his people, so as not to destroy 
them, as he did the first-born in Egypt. The passover is referred to Christ 
by the apostle, 1 Cor* v. 7. 

[6.] The lamb offered in the daily sacrifice was a burnt-offering; and 
burnt-offerings, as was said before, were for expiation, Lev. i. 4, and xvi. 24 ; 
to make atonement, to remove guilt, to cleanse from moral and legal im- 
purities too, Lev. xiv. 12, Num. vi. 12, Lev. v. 6. In reference to lambs 
thus sacrificed for expiation under the law, Christ is styled, Rev. xiii. 8, the 
Lamb sacrificed, John i. 29, by whose blood the guilt of sin is taken away, 
1 Pet. i. 18, 19. 

So that all sorts of propitiatory sacrifices are referred to Christ, and 
shadowed out that most perfect expiation which we have in the sacrifice of 
himself. The most material resemblances betwixt them will appear in what 
follows. I have stayed the longer here, because it is a most delightful and 
comfortable prospect to one in love with Christ, to see him in those parts of 
the Old Testament which give an account of these sacrifices, which otherwise 
may seem dark, jejune, and useless to us. 

{8.) That which was offered as a sacrifice for expiation was to be destroyed. 
Being a living creature, first it was slain, and the blood, part of it, sprinkled 
upon the horns of the brazen altar, or round about it, sometimes before the 
veil of the sanctuary, and some of it put upon the horns of the altar of 
incense ; all the rest of the blood the priests poured out at the foot of the 
altar, Lev. iv. 18. The other parts of it besides the blood were sometimes 
partly burnt on the altar, partly eaten by the priests, sometimes wholly 
burnt upon the altar, Lev. i. 8, 9, as in the whole burnt-offering ; or burnt 
without the camp, as in the sin-offering for the high priest and the whole 
congregation, Lev. iv. 11, 12. 

Now the sufferings of Christ were correspondent to the burnings of those 
sacrifices, Heb. xiii. 11, 12, and his death to the blood of them. Indeed, it 
is the blood to which expiation is peculiarly ascribed, Lev. xvii. 11. It is 
the blood that makes atonement; and why so? The reason assigned is 
this, ' the life is in the blood,' repeated ver. 14. That sin might be expiated, 
the life of the sacrifice was to go for the life of the sinner ; and the blood 
being shed, the life which is within the blood was given, and so the blood 
made expiation. Hence the apostle, to shew the necessity of Christ's blood 
to make atonement, Heb. ix. 22. Without blood there was no expiation, 
under the law or under the gospel ; and all the effects of expiation are ex- 
pressly ascribed to the blood of Christ, Bom. iii. 25, Eph. ii. 18, 14. 

(4.) The sacrifice for expiation was slain instead of the sinner that offered 
it. There was a substitution here, one being put to death in room of the 
other, and suffering, that he might escape. This is of great consequence, to 
clear the nature and design of Christ's death, in opposition to those who 
would nullify it. Therefore I will insist on it a little, and shew what evidence 
there is for it. 

Let me premise this, which is the observation of many. By the judicial 

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Rom. V. 8.] chbist's dying fob sinners. 78 

law, which was to the Jews their civil or common law, by which they were 
governed as a commonwealth or body politic, corporal death was the penalty 
of all disobedience to God, Deut. xxvii. 26. The corse is death, death cor- 
poral in the civil or political sense of it ; death eternal in the spiritual sense, 
as the apostle applies it, Gal. iii. 10. Now the Lord, who was the king and 
lawgiver of Israel, relaxed the law as ty many offences ; and instead of the 
corporal death of the offender, accepted of the death of a sacrifice. Now 
that there was such a substitution, the life of the sacrifice being given for 
the life of the sinner, one suffering instead of the other, appears divers ways. 

[1.] In that the blood is said to make atonement, Lev. xvii. 11. The 
reason why the blood was for atonement, is because the life was in the blood ; 
and therefore when the blood was offered to make atonement for the offender, 
the life of the sacrifice was supposed to be given instead of his life. 

[2. j The offender, bringing a beast for a sacrifice, was to lay his hand upon 
the head of it, Lev. i. 4, whereby is signified that he offered it in his stead ; 
and so, says the text, it was accepted for him, t. e. in his stead, to make 
atonement, i. e. to satisfy for him, as suffering in his stead. 

[8.] The sacrifice is said to bear the iniquity of the people, Lev. x. 17 ; 
and to bear iniquity is to be punished for it, which is to suffer what the 
offender should have suffered, to suffer death instead of them. 

[4. J The sins of the people were confessed over the goat in the day of 
expiations, Lev. xvi. 21, which signified that the sin and punishment of the 
people were transferred to the goat, and upon his head, that he might bear 
them in their stead. 

[5.] A heifer was to be slain when the murderer could not be found, and 
so to suffer in his stead, and secure the land from being defiled with blood, 
as if justice had been done upon the murderer, and himself had suffered, 
Deut. xxi. 1-4, 8, 9. The guilt that was to be put away by the death of the 
murderer, was put away from the land by the death of the heifer killed instead 
of him. 

In short, the Hebrew doctors, as Buxtorf observes, lay it down as a general 
rule, that wherever it is said, Behold, I am for expiation, it is to be under- 
stood, Behold, I am in the place of another, to bear his iniquities. 

Now this substitution of the sacrifice in the room of the sinner under the 
law, typified the substitution of Christ in our stead, in that great sacrifice of 
expiation when he offered himself on the cross. He was offered in our stead, 
he bare our sins, our guilt was transferred to him ; he bore our punishment, 
and suffered it instead of us. His life went for ours. He died, that the 
death threatened in the law might not be inflicted on us ; as the sacrifice was 
slain that the sinner might live. In this sense is he said to die for sinners 
in the text, as a sacrifice for them, suffering death in their stead. And that 
is the sense of the expression wherever he is said to die for us. It still 
implies substitution. Many instances I have given, to which add Luke xxii. 
19, 20, John xi. 60-62. 

(5.) The sacrifices for expiation were offered to God, and had an imme- 
diate respect to him. They were to atone God, and obtain forgiveness of 
him, as is frequently expressed, and had that effect, Num. xvi. 46, 2 Sam. 
xxiv. 25. I mention this particular, because the opposers of Christ his 
sacrifice and death contend that his death had no respect to God imme- 
diately, but only to man. It did not make our peace with God, nor incline 
him to pardon, but only disposed us for pardon of sins past, by leading us 
to amendment of life. And so they leave nothing of a priest to Christ, 
nothing of a sacrifice in his death. Whereas the apostle tells us, Heb. v. 1, 
gifts and sacrifices are things appertaining to God, being offered to him. 



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74 chbist's dttng pob sinners. [Rom. V. 8. 

And so Christ our high priest offered himself for a sacrifice to God, Eph. 
ix. 14. What the effect of his death was in reference to God, shall be 
shewed hereafter. 

(6.) The animal designed for expiation was sacrificed, not in the sanctuary, 
hut at the door of the tabernacle, Lev. i. Indeed, part of the blood was 
sometimes carried into the sanctuary, sometimes into the most holy place ; 
but that was not for sacrifice, but the application of the blood of the victim 
already sacrificed. 

This I add, because the adversaries will have no sacrifice of Christ on earth ; 
and though they make show of one in heaven, yet they assign nothing there 
which is like either sacrifice or expiation. Christ was sacrificed when he was 
put to death, and his blood shed. The Lamb of God was made a sacrifice 
when he was slain. If they make a sacrifice of him in heaven, either he was 
not sacrificed on earth, or he will be sacrificed more than once, contrary to 
all evidence of Scripture, Heb. vii. 27, and ix. 14, 26-28, and x. 10-12. 

(7.) The effects of expiatory sacrifices, and answerably of the death of 
Christ, are divers. We may take notice of the virtue and efficacy thereof, in 
reference to sin, to God, and the sinner. 

[1.] The efficacy thereof in reference to sin is to expiate the fault, or, which 
is all one, to satisfy for the offence. Piars is luere (as Grotius), to expiate 
is to bear punishment, to undergo the punishment due to the sin ; the very 
same, or what is equivalent, is to satisfy. When this is suffered, the law ia 
satisfied, and that which justice requires is done, whether it be suffered by 
the offender himself, or by one legally admitted in his stead. Satisfaction 
was made by the sacrifice, substituted in place of the sinner, suffering what 
was due to him. The offender deserved to be punished, the sacrifice bare 
the punishment ; the offender deserved to die, the sacrifice was put to death 
in his stead. Hence the sacrifice is said to bear his sin, Lev. x. 17. To 
bear their iniquity, is to bear the punishment due to them. In correspond- 
ence hereto the apostle says, Christ bare the sins of those for whom he was 
offered, Heb. ix. 28. In being sacrificed, he bare their punishment, suffered 
what was due to them for their sins, and so satisfied for their offences, which 
is to expiate their sin. 

Both the words nsed in the old Testament for expiation, TM and K&n, 
import satisfaction, 2 Sam. xxi. 8 ; atonement, "1MK, the word is, ' Wherewith 
shall I expiate ?' the sense is, Wherewith shall I make satisfaction ? so Gen. 
xxxi. 89, « I bare the loss,' is, I made it good. The word is KDn, I did ex- 
piate ; the sense is, I made the satisfaction for it. This was the end of 
Christ's death, this was the effect of it, to expiate sin, to satisfy for it. What 
God lost by sin, Christ made it up ; what injury he had by shvChrist gave 
satisfaction for it by being made a sacrifice for expiation. 

[2.] The efficacy of those sacrifices in reference to God is to atone him, 
t. e. to appease him and divert his wrath. Making atonement is frequently 
ascribed to the legal sacrifices that were for expiation, Lev. i. 4. Answerably 
we have atonement by Christ, Rom. v. 11, t. e. by his death, ver. 10, by 
virtue of his sacrifice. 

Upon this account those sacrifices are said to be a sweet savour unto the 
Lord, as being thereupon well pleased, no more angry, Lev. vi. 81. Such a 
sacrifice was Noah's, a placatory sacrifice, and the effect of it so expressed, 
Gen. viii. 20, 21 ; it is rendered odor quiet is, a savour of rest, a word which 
comes from rrti, U3ed, ver. 4, where the ark is said to rest, and denotes that 
the Lord's anger did now rest ; he ceased to be angry ; he would no more 
let out his wrath against the world in such a wav. 

Such was the effect of Christ's death and sacrifice, and so expressed by the 



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Rom. V. 8.] chbist's dying fob binnebs. 75 

apostle, Eph. v. 2. The Lord was well pleased with Christ, and upon the 
account of this sacrifice well pleased with those for whom it was offered. 
Now he says, 4 Fury is not in me.' By virtue of the blood of this sacrifice 
the Lord becomes propitious and gracious ; hence Christ is said to be set 
forth, Bom. iii. 25. He exhibits himself as on the mercy- seat, on the throne 
of grace, to which we may come with confidence, Ac, 1 John ii. 2. 

[8.] The effect of these sacrifices, in reference to the sinner, is forgiveness 
of sin and freedom from guilt ; hence it is often said upon the offering of 
such a sacrifice, it shall be forgiven him, Lev. v. 10, 18, 18, Num. xv. 27, 28. 

Answerably by the blood of Christ sacrificed for us, we are said to have 
forgiveness. Eph. i. 7, Col. i. 14, Mat. xxvi. 28. It is by virtue of this 
sacrifice that we are said to be freed from guilt in variety of expressions. 
Hereby we are ' purged,' Heb. i. 8, Heb. ix. 22, 26, gailt is uncleanness, Lev. 
v. 2, ' washed,' Bev. v. 11, ' cleansed,' 1 John i. 7, 9, ' sprinkled,' Heb. x. 
21, 22, which are such expressions as other authors, Greek and Latin, use 
for their expiations. 

Both these sacrifices procured freedom from gnilt ; but there is a great 
difference in this respect betwixt the expiations by the legal sacrifices and 
that by the death of Christ. Which that we may understand, there are three 
sorts of gnilt to be taken notice of, civil, ceremonial, and spiritual. Guilt is 
an obligation to punishment. To be guilty is to be bound over or made 
liable to Bome punishment or other, which being various, guilt is accordingly 
distinguished. 

1. Civil guilt, when an Israelite was liable to corporal death for some 
transgression of the law, for which death was to be inflicted, Dent. xxi. 9. 

2. Ceremonial guilt, when he was to be debarred from the tabernacle, and 
joining with the congregation in the ceremonious worship then authorised, 
for some legal pollution, Lev. v. 2, 8. Spiritual guilt, when one is liable 
to eternal death for some sins against .God, who has made eternal death 
the wages of sin. Now, the legal sacrifices might free those under the law 
from the two former sorts of guilt ; but the death of Christ and his sacrifice 
alone frees from the third, spiritual guilt. 

1. The legal sacrifices might and did free those for whom they were daily 
offered from civil guilt, and saved them from corporal death ; for when this 
is supposed to have been due for disobedience to God, and was to be in- 
flicted by the magistrate, the Lord (as was said before) relaxed the law, and 
admitted the death of the sacrifice which he appointed instead of the death 
of the offender, so that the offering of such sacrifice dissolved the obligation 
to this penalty, cleared the delinquent from this guilt, and freed him from 
corporal death. 

But, then, a sacrifice would not quit the sinner in all cases from civil guilt 
and penalty. There were some crimes for which no sacrifice was appointed, 
none would be 'admitted : such were, wjlful idolatry, murder, adultery, &c. 
Accordingly some understand Ps. Ii. 16. Those crimes of David were of that 
nature that no sacrifice could expiate. Such were wilful sins, done in con- 
tempt of the law, as the apostle intimates, Heb. x. 26-28 ; and herein the 
sacrifice of Christ far transcends the legal sacrifices, expiating those sins 
spiritually which those sacrifices could not expiate (or procure pardon for) 
bo much as civilly, Acts xiii. 88. 

2. Those legal expiations could free them from ceremonial guilt. If he 
bad contracted some legal uncleanness, he was not suffered to come to the 
tabernacle till he was cleansed, and that impurity expiated ; but having made 
use of the means prescribed for expiation in such cases, he was freed from 
this ritual guilt, and admitted to join in public worship with the congregation 

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76 Christ's dying foe binnebs. [Bom. "V. 8. 

at the tabernacle, or afterwards at the temple ; an instance we have hereof, 
Num. xix. 18, 16. If one had touched a dead body, or one slain, or a bone, 
or a grave, he was unclean, contracted such guilt thereby that his coming to 
the tabernacle before it was expiated (or, as the Dutch render it, before he 
unsinned it), was counted a defiling it. The way of unsinning or expiating 
such uncleanness is described there : a red heifer, burnt to ashes, water was 
pat to the ashes, and with hyssop sprinkled upon the unclean, ver. 17, 18. 
David refers to it, Ps. li. 7 ; and this the apostle calls a ' sanctifying to the 
purifying of the flesh,' Heb. ix. 18, an external sanctification, an expiating of 
them only as to the flesh, not as to the soul and conscience, and so comes 
infinitely short of that expiation which is to be had by the blood of Christ, 
as he shews in the next verse. 

8. The legal sacrifices could not free them from spiritual guilt, could not 
secure them from eternal death, to which they were for sin bound over by the 
sentence of the law. The life of a beast, or of many, was not of sufficient 
value to satisfy for men's sins, which deserved everlasting wrath and endless 
sufferings ; these could not be a compensation for the injury sin had done to 
God ; this could not vindicate the holiness, truth, justice, authority of God, 
which all suffered by the violation of his law, which yet must all be fully 
asserted and vindicated, or else the Lord was engaged in justice to execute 
the sentence of the law, and inflict eternal death on transgressors. Nothing 
less than the death of the Son of God could do this, whose blood was of 
infinite value. The legal sacrifices were of no such value, of no consider- 
able worth or virtue, for such an effect. Hence the apostle : Heb. x. 4, 
' Impossible they should take away sin ' as to spiritual guilt ; not possible 
they should free the sinner from the obligation he was under to suffer eternal 
death. The^same he signifies Heb. ix. 9. They could not perfectly satisfy 
the conscience that sin was pardoned, the spiritual guilt removed, and the 
sinner secured from everlasting death by such offerings. The conscience 
could not have any sufficient or perfect ground of assurance that justice was 
satisfied by such sacrifices ; and the sinner, being conscious that he is ex- 
posed to the justice of God, cannot be perfectly satisfied by anything but 
that which will satisfy justice. 

But did these legal sacrifices only respect civil and ceremonial guilt ? Were 
they not at all considerable as to spiritual guilt ? The apostle shews how 
far they were considerable as to this, when in this verse he calls them figures. 
They did prefigure that which would remove this spiritual guilt ; they them- 
selves did not, could not remove it. They freed the sinner from civil and 
ritual guilt really, but they only typified that which was alone sufficient to 
free from spiritual guilt. They had no virtue of themselves to do it, but 
only signified and shadowed out the sacrifice of Christ, by which it was per- 
fectly done, ver. 13, 14. These legal expiations, which cleansed them from 
ceremonial impurities, signified that the sacrifice of Christ would do more ; 
this being of infinite value, since it was offered ' by the eternal Spirit,' t. *• by 
virtue and power of his own Godhead, would ' purge the conscience from dead 
works,' t. e. free the soul from spiritual guilt, the guilt of those acts whose 
desert was eternal death. Thus you see the difference betwixt the legal ex- 
piations and that by Christ : the one freed but from temporal death, the 
other wrought eternal redemption ; the former cleansed from legal impurities, 
the latter purges the conscience, &c. ; the former did but typify that expia- 
tion as to spiritual guilt, which the latter did really effect. 

Use, 1. This should teach us to admire the love of God, who gave bis 
Son, the love of Christ, who gave himself to die for sinners. This is the 
use the text leads us to in this, &c. 



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Rom. V. 8.J chbist's dying fob sinkebs. 77 

Here the glory of this love shines forth most admirably, both in the great- 
ness and freeness of it ; the greatness of it, in that he died ; the freeness of 
it, in that he died for sinners. 

1. The greatness of this love, that appears wonderful in the expression of 
it. What greater expression of love was the world capable of, than that the 
Son of God should die for sinful men ? What greater expression of love 
could the great God vouchsafe, than to deliver his Son unto death ? What 
greater expression could Christ make of his love to us than to die for us, and 
to die such a death, and in such a capacity, in our stead, in the stead of the 
vilest malefactors ? How wonderful is it that God should become man, when 
man at his best estate is but vanity ; that he should take the nature and 
innocent weakness of man, who is but a worm, and the son of man that is 
but a worm ; that he should become man, not to enjoy any comforts of hu- 
man life,' but to undergo all the sorrows and sufferings of life and death ; 
that he who gave life and being to all things, and sustains all in life and be- 
ing by the word of his power, should die ; that infinite glory should suffer a 
shameful death, should endure the cross, and despise the shame ; that God 
blessed for ever should become a curse, and die a cursed death, the death of 
accursed malefactors, hanging on a tree ; that he who was the God of all 
consolation, the fountain of all comfort and happiness, should expose himsolf 
to the rage and cruelty of men, and the incensed wrath and justice of his 
Father ; should suffer most exquisite pains and tortures in body and soul from 
men, and God too ; the pains and sorrows both of first and second death ! 

That he who was the righteous lawgiver, the supreme judge, the almighty 
governor of the whole world, should not only suffer, but be punished in our 
stead, and bear the punishment of our crimes in his body too ! 

That he who was more valuable than ten thousand worlds should give 
himself a ransom for us, and not think his life, his blood dear, but lay it 
down freely as a price of our redemption from hell and wrath ! 

That he to whom angels, men, and all creatures owe themselves a sacrifice, 
should sacrifice himself to expiate our guilt, should make his soul a sin- 
offering, that he should love us, and wash us from our sins in his own blood ! 

Oh how is everything herein— every notion, every consideration of Christ's 
love expressed in his death — astonishing and full of wonder ! that which may 
amaze heaven and earth, that which may transport the angels, that which we 
should never speak of, never think of but with admiration ! Oh the height 
and depth, &c., Rev. v. 9-18. Heaven and earth owes all honour to Christ 
for his wonderful love ; and those that have any sense of it will be giving 
him the honour due to his name, to his love. And this is one special way 
to honour him for it, by admiring it. 

2. Not only the greatness, but the freeness of this love is most wonderful ; 
that which we should eternally admire, as being, of all things that the mind 
of man can consider, most worthy of admiration. That love is most free 
which is expressed to those that are most unworthy ; but of all creatures in 
the world, none so unworthy of any love from Christ as sinners. And yet, 
which the text shews, it was sinners that Christ loved, it was sinners to 
whom Christ expressed his love, and gave the greatest expression of it that 
was possible, so as to die for them. Sinners are to Christ the most unworthy 
of love ; for in that they are sinners, they are impotent and worthless ; have 
nothing, can do nothing to deserve love, nothing any way to engage his affec- 
tion, or to move him in the least to express any love to them. In that they 
are sinners, they are hateful to him, and were so far from deserving any love, 
as they on this account deserved all his hatred. 

8. In that they are sinners, they are haters of God ; and upon that ac- 

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78 ohbist'8 dying fob sinners. [Bom. V. 8. 

count so far from expecting any sign of love that there remained nothing for 
them but a fearful expectation of acts of wrath and enmity. Now, he that 
could love such as these must love freely ; his love expressed to sinners mast 
be wonderfully free. 

(1.) Sinners are impotent. Sin has divested them of the image of God, 
primitive holiness and righteousness, which was both the strength and beauty 
of their souls ; and so they have nothing, can do nothing to excite love. 
This impolency implied here is expressed ver. 6. When they were ' without 
strength ' either to relieve themselves, though extremely miserable, or to 
apply themselves to him for relief ; when they did not so much as expect to* 
desire it, he was found of those that sought him not ; when they had no 
strength to make any answerable return for his love, any considerable 
acknowledgment of it ; when they could do nothing, speak nothing worthy 
of his love, and such an expression of it. He that loves such creatures as these 
must do it freely ; yet so impotent were sinners when he loved them, and so 
expressed his love as to die for them. 

(2.) Sinners are hateful to Christ, the only objects of his hatred in the 
whole world. All other things, as being the works of his hands, are good, 
and so he likes them, and is pleased with them ; but sinners, as such, are 
evil, and so hateful to him ; they deserve his hatred and nothing else, as being 
contrary to him who is holiness itself. And they are actually hated by him : 
Ps. xlv. 7, v. 5. Now, could he love that which is hateful, that which he is 
of purer eyes than to behold without loathing and detestation ? It is true, 
he could not delight in them as such, but he would bear them good will and 
pity them ; and had such compassion on them, as to expose himself to wrath 
and misery, yea to death itself, a cruel, a cursed death, for their sake. Sure 
such love, to those who were so hateful, must needs be free, wonderfully so. 

(8.) Sinners, as such, are haters of God, enemies to Christ, hate him, as 
David complains, ' cruelly, 1 Ps. xxv. 19, * wrongfully,' Ps. xxxviii. 19, 
4 without a cause,' Ps. xxxv. 19, which is the most provoking and intoler- 
able kind of hatred. 

It is strange for any to love those that are hateful, but more wonderful if 
that hatefulness be accompanied with hatred. Yet there was a concurrence 
of these in sinners, when Christ loved 'them and died for them, Rom. v. 10. 
He would die to make our peace with God when we were enemies to birn . 
Oh what manner of love was this ! John xv. 18. Greater love than this the 
world never knew, till Christ appeared in it ; but in him the world had an 
instance of greater love than this, a love more free, more wonderful, when 
Christ laid down his life for enemies, when he loved those more than his life, 
who hated him. No love can be more free, more wonderfully free, than the 
love of Christ to sinners ; so weak and impotent, so hateful and loathsome, 
yet so much enemies to him. Oh give him the honour due to this love, by 
admiring it, by adoring him for it. 

Use 2. This engages us to love Christ. This shews we are infinitely 
obliged to it. Shall we not love him who loves us ? That is an intolerable, 
an inhuman temper, that will not return love for love. The worst of 
sinners will do this in reference to one another, Mat. v. 46. The return of 
love for love is so due, that it deserves no thanks, no rewards ; the very 
publicans, counted the worst of men, will do this. And shall we be worse 
than they ? Shall we deal more disengenuously, more unworthily with Christ, 
than the worst of men do with one another ? 

2. Shall we not love him, whose love has prevented ours ? John iv. 19. 

* Qu. 'or'?— Ed. 

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Bom. Y. 8.] ghbist's dying fob sinnebs. 79 

He does not require that we should love him upon any other terns, but 
because he loved us first. If he had resolved not to love us, till first we 
loved him, he should never have loved us ; for we would never have begun 
to him. But since he begun to us, and propounds it as a motive to love 
him, that he loved us first ; how great will oar sin, how great will our con- 
demnation be, if we do not answer the love of Christ with a return of love, 
1 John iv. 10. Herein was the height of his love, and not to answer it with 
affection will be the highest provocation, and that which ourselves count 
most intolerable from others. 

8. Shall we not love him who loved us freely, when we were sinners, when 
we were so far from deserving any love, as we deserved all hatred ? Did he love 
us when we were utterly unworthy of it, and shall we not love him who 
infinitely deserves all our affection ; him who is not only altogether lovely, 
entirely, infinitely amiable, but is as affectionate to us as he is lovely in himself, 
and has expressed his love to us in such a way as is most obliging ; by dying 
for us that we might live, when the sentence of eternal death was passed 
upon us, that we might be happy in the eternal enjoyment of the fruits and 
expressions of his love ? Did he love us when sinners, when we had nothing 
in the least to engage him to it ? and shall we not love him, when he has 
laid infinite engagements upon us to do it ? If we would not fall under the 
greatest and most inexcusable guilt, the heaviest and most dreadful con- 
demnation, let us love Christ with, 

(1.) An ardent love. Such was his love to us, a love strong as death, 
Cant. viii. 6, 7. Death itself could not give any check to it, he would love 
us though he died for it. Many waters could not quench it, the sorrows of 
death could not extinguish it, nor any floods or sufferings abate the fervour 
of it, though all the waves and billows thereof went over him, and seemed 
to overwhelm him. Oh, can we be content, that our love to Christ should 
be weak and remiss ? No ; let us have such an affection for other things, 
the things of the world ; let us love them, as though we loved them not. 
But let us not deal so with him who loved us so as to die for us. Let it be 
a greater shame and affliction to us, that we have so little love for Christ, 
than that we have little worldly wisdom, little wealth, little power, little 
interest, little respect, or little of any thing that men naturally desire. Let* 
little in any thing be more tolerable to us, than little affection to Christ, to him 
who loved us so much as to die for us, and suffer the pains of first and second 
death in our stead. Kindle this love by ail means. And that it may kindle effec- 
tually, bring it to the flame, lay your hearts under the serious consideration of 
this love of Christ ; if this will not influence them, they are hearts of stone. 
(2.) A transcendent love. Love him more than all persons, than all 
things ; love him above all, for so he loved you. He loved you more than 
he did the sinning angels ; they tasted not of redeeming love, this run out in 
full streams to sinful men. 

He loved you more than that which is dearest to you, and which naturally 

is moat loved. He loved you more than riches, 2 Cor. viii. 9, more than 

honour and repute, Philip, ii. 7, exposed himself to scorn, reproach and shame. 

More than the comforts of life : he became a man of sorrows, and lived a 

life of sorrows, afflictions, and sufferings. 

More than his own blood, Rev. i. 5. 

More than his life : he ' counted not his life dear,* but laid it down as the 
price of your redemption, Matt. xx. 28. 
More than blessedness : would be made a curse, Gal. ill. 18. 
More than his own body : he gave up that to be scourged, pierced, wounded, 
crucified, hanged on a tree. 



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80 Christ's dying fob sinners. » [Boh. Y. 8. 

Mo» than his soul, Isa. liii. 10. 

More than himself, Gal. ii. 20 ; 1 Tim. ii. 6. When he had no greater 
thing to give, he gave himself. 

After all this, shall any thing, any person whatever he loved more than 
Christ, or equally with him ? Your own hearts must needs pass sentence 
against this, as most accursed ingratitude, as that which is worthy of the 
dreadfullest curse, 1 Cor. xvi. 22. If any man love not him above all, for 
to love him less, is not to love him at all. 

When any thing would come in competition with Christ, or take place of 
him in mind or heart, throw it down with indignation ; say, This place is 
reserved for one more worthy, for him who loved me so as no creature ever 
loved ; who did that for me, who has given that to me, who purchased, suf- 
fered that for me, which none in all the world, which no man or angel, can 
or will do. 

(8.) An effectual love, 1 John iii. 18. Christ loved indeed. He shewed 
the reality of his love by such expressions, as may be the astonishment of 
heaven and earth. He counted nothing too dear to part with, nothing too 
grievous to suffer for us. Shew that you love Christ by real expressions. 
He requires nothing that need seem great or grievous to us. It is only this, 
to comply with his will in order to our own happiness. When Christ was 
to do his Father's will, not in order to his own, but our happiness, he applied 
himself as cheerfully to it, as a hungry man would do to his meat and drink, 
John iv. 84. Shall not we be willing to do the work of Christ, and do it 
cheerfully, when the end of it will be eternal life ? If we love Christ indeed, 
we must do his will, John xiv. 15, 21. When obedience is proposed in 
general, every one will be ready to profess a compliance, God forbid that 
I should not obey Christ. But when it comes to particular instances, and 
some duty is pressed on us that seems difficult, or chargeable, or reproachful, 
or hazardous, here is the trial of our love. Then he that loves Christ indeed, 
will say with David, ' Shall I serve the Lord with that which costs me 
nothing ?' Oh if Christ had done thus in reference to me and other lost 
sinners, what had my condition been ? If he had been willing to bave under- 
taken some small and easy things, but declined that which was difficult, and 
reproachful, and hazardous, and painful, he had never been obedient to 
the death of the cross, he had never died for me, and then I had never been 
pardoned, I had never been saved, I had been a child of wrath now and for 
ever, I had been a son of eternal death, I had been without hope to escape 
it, nothing had remained for me but a fearful expectation of judgment, &c. 

But did Christ think nothing too hard, nothing too grievous to perform 
for me ? And when he calls me to a duty, which intrenches upon my ease, 
or repute, or estate, or safety, shall I stick at it ? shall I decline it ? shall 
I spare myself in opposition to Christ's will, and neglect of his command, 
as the flesh and the world would have me ? Oh, then, how can I say that 
I love Christ ? Indeed, those that accustom themselves to do thus, let 
them say what they will concerning their love to Christ, their practice con- 
futes their sayings. 

Use 8. This engages us to live unto Christ, not to others, not to ourselves. 
This was the end of his death, and we are as much concerned to live unto 
him, as we are not to defeat his design in dying, 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. He 
• died that we might live.' Therefore we owe our life to him, it is his, and 
should be employed for him. We were sentenced to die, he ransomed ns 
from death. His blood, his death was the price which bought and purchased 
our life. Therefore we and our lives are his, as that which he has bought 
and paid for, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. 



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CHRIST TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING 
OF OUR INFIRMITIES. 



For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of 
our infirmities y dbc. — Heb. IV. 15. 

The apostle's design, in this epistle, is to establish the Hebrews who 
professed Christ in that profession ; so as they should neither quit it, nor 
abate anything of it, for the love of the Mosaical rites, or fear of perse- 
cation. 

In order to that end he displays before them the excellencies of Christ, 
and shews how for he transcends the angels, chap. i. 2 ; how far Moses, 
chap. iii. ; how far the high priest. Afterwards he enters upon the com- 
parison betwixt Christ and the high priest, chap. iv. ver. 14. He proposes 
bis main design, that which he pursues all along. 

Let us holdfast. Let us neither quite relinquish it, nor hold it loose, by 
lukewarmness or indifferenoy, remitting anything of our zeal and stedfast- 
ness therein : since there is more encouragement to stick to this, than the 
former legal administration ; since we have a greater high priest, and one 
from whom we may expect for greater advantages. 

He calls Christ a high priest, because he did that really which the legal 
high priest did typically. He makes reconciliation, and he makes interces- 
sion for the people. 

He calls him a great high priest, insinuating that the other high priest- 
hood was little, and of small value, in comparison of Christ's. What Aaron 
and his successors did but in figure and shadow, Christ does really and effec- 
tually ; whatever they did by sacrifice, or interceding for the people, had no 
virtue or efficacy, but what depended on, and was derived from, the sacrifice 
and intercession of Christ, the great high priest indeed. 

He says, he is ' passed into the heavens ;' intimating, that what he does 
there, is as far to be preferred before what the high priest did in the most 
holy place, as heaven is above earth, or that lower tabernacle or temple on 
earth. The high priest, on the day of expiation, after he had offered sacri- 
fice, took the blood of it, and with it passed into the most holy place ; this 
was but a shadow of what Christ did, and is now doing for us. After he 
had offered himself a sacrifice on earth, he, with the virtue of his blood, 

vol* m. f 



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82 CHBI8T TOUGHED WITH [HeB. IV. 15. 

is passed into the heavens, there to carry on and accomplish the remainder 
of his office, as he is our great high priest. 

And so he calls him Jesus a Saviour ; one who, by virtue of his office, 
and his executing of it in earth and heaven, can save his people from their 
sins, which the other high priest could not do. 

. He calls him ' the Son of God. 1 He was not a mere man, as the other 
high priest, but God as well as man. The Son of God, not for his concep- 
tion, or unction, or resurrection, or exaltation ; but his Son by eternal gene- 
ration ; being begotten of the substance of the Father, and so of the same 
nature and essence with him. Equal in power, glory, and all excellencies ; 
and therefore a perfect and all-sufficient Saviour, * able to save to the utter- 
most all that come,' &c. And hereby in such a height of exaltation, as the 
other high priest cannot come into any competition with him in the least 
wise. Yea, one who is not only able, but willing, to save ; being not only 
the all-glorious, almighty, and all-sufficient God, but also gracious, merciful, 
and compassionate : ' For we have not, 1 ver. 15. 

We need not to be discouraged that we have an high priest that is so 
transcendently excellent ; who is so great, as there was none in the world 
ever like him ; who is so far beyond us, so remote from us, passed into the 
heavens, yea, higher than the heavens ; who is infinitely above us, being 
the Son of God, when we are but the children of men, dust and ashes. 
Since, as he is great, and high, and glorious, he is also gracious, merciful, and 
compassionate ; no weakness of ours, wherein he does not shew himself so : 
' For we have not, 1 &c. 

Obs. Christ our high priest is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. 

For the explaining of this let me shew, 1, what it is to be our high priest ; 
2, what those infirmities are, with the feeling of which he is touched ; 8, 
what it is to be touched with the feeling of them. 

1. For the first, his office, as high priest, may be best known by the acts 
of it. The acts of his office are principally two. 

(1.) Sacrificing for us to make reconciliation, chap. ii. 17. Reconciliation 
was made by offering sacrifice; this the high priest did under the law, 
chap. v. 1. Thus did Christ, our high priest, he offered sacrifice for sin, 
for the expiating and removing the guilt of it. A * better sacrifice,' chap, 
ix. 28 ; a wonderful sacrifice, Isa. liii. * His soul ;' yea, soul and body, 
himself, chap. ix. 14, 26. 

(2.) By interceding. The typical high priest, on the day of expiation, 
after he had offered the appointed sacrifice, took the blood of it with him 
into the most holy place, and there, burning incense withal, sprinkled it 
upon the mercy-seat, Lev. xvi. 14. 

Heb. ix. 7, 25, Thus the high priest under the law appeared for the 
people ; and this was a shadow of Christ's interceding in heaven for us, 
chap. ix. 12, xi. 24. 

He appears for us in our nature : as one who has shed his blood to ex- 
piate and cleanse us. The virtue of that blood is as fresh as if it were there 
poured out and presented, it cries. 

And he appears as one whose will and desire it is, that all the advantages 
of his purchase may be bestowed on his people. This is more than if, as 
man, he should offer up strong cries with tears, as he did, chap. v. 7. Thus 
he intercedes, chap. vii. 26, and acts as our high priest, ver. 26. 

2. What those infirmities are, with the feeling of which he is touched. 
Infirmities here, are whatever our weak and frail condition makes us sub- 
ject to suffer by. The apostle takes infirmities in this latitude, 2 Cor., latter 
part of the xi. and the former part of the xii. chapter, comprising his 

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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OtTB INFlBMmXS. 88 

wants, weaknesses, inward and outward; his perils and dangers, his temp* 
tations and trials, his afflictions and sufferings, under the notion of infir- 
mities. 

All that our Lord Jesus, taking our frail nature upon him, was exposed 
to, or exercised with ; particularly, either such as concern the outward man, 
as want, or poverty, hunger, cold, nakedness, weariness, vide 2 Cor. xi. 27 ; 
also pain, sickness, or death itself. Not only such as are natural, but ad- 
ventitious, through the injustice, cruelty, or other sin of men ; as contempt, 
disgrace, reproach, slander, hatred, opposition, exile, imprisonment ; or that 
which sometimes more troubles us, the unkindness, nn&ithfulness, unaf- 
fectionateness, desertion of Mends and relations. 

Or, 2, such as concern the soul, viz. grief and anguish, trouble and per- 
plexity, fear and terror, spiritual desertion, sense of God's displeasure or 
wrath, temptations from Satan, and horrid suggestions. All these, and such 
like, we may understand by infirmities. All these in a manner was Christ 
exercised with, or exposed to ; and he is touched with the feeling of all and 
every of these, when his people are under them. But, 

8. What is it to be touched with the feeling of trar infirmities ? The word 
is fvfLva&itfou, which signifies to condole with one, or to suffer with him. 
As one member is in pain or distress, the other members suffer with it, 
which the apostle expresseth by the same word, 1 Cor. xii. 26. 

But this requires a more distinct and particular account. Take it thus, 

(1.) He knows all our infirmities. He knows them actually, he sees them. 
He knows them all, none of them escape his notice. There is none of them 
so small, as that he should think them not worth his notice. None of them 
bo great, as that he will be loath to concern himself therein. That is true 
still which David speaks of the Lord, before our nature was assumed, Ps. 
Ivi. 8. All his troublesome motions, when he was forced from home, and 
in a sad wandering condition, the Lord took a particular account of it ; he 
had them in numeration, as we have things which we count or tell one by 
one. We may think our afflictive infirmities more than we can number ; 
but he counts them exactly, and has the account always in his eye. He 
takes not less notice of them, since he took our natures and infirmities, than 
he did before. As he is God, he is no less able. As he is man, we cannot 
imagine him less willing to do it ; he is now doubly willing, both as he is 
God and man too. 

(2.) He knows them experimentally. For he has tried what they are, 
he has himself been exercised with them. For tempted, in the latter end of 
this verse, some copies have ffw/gcfa/tsiw. He found by experience what 
they are, Mat. vii. 18. He took our infirmities, and bare them ; and so 
knows how heavy they are* by his own feeling. He knows what weight, 
or smart, or trouble, or afflictiveness there is in any of our infirmities, for he 
himself hath felt it all; he himself was under, and perfectly remembers what 
he suffered by it, and so he knows feelingly and to the hfe what we suffer 
by any of them. He does not only know what it is to be poor, in want and 
necessities, as one who having always lived in plenty himself, has an account 
of the poor and necessitous condition of others, but he himself was poor, 
2 Cor. viii. 9. 

He knowB by experience what it is to be in such necessities, as not to 
have whereon to ride, whereon to feed, whereon to lay his head, Mat viii. 20. 

He knows what it is to be in pain, not only as one who having been at 
ease all his days, hears but others complain of it, but as one who himself 
has felt it, and that in extremity. 

He knows what it is to be despised and set at nought, to be abused and 

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84 CHBIST TOUGHED WITH [HeB. IV. 15. 

reproached, to be hated, and persecuted, and despitefully need. He knows 
the sorrows of life, and the pangs of death ; not as the angels know them, 
by sufferings of others, but by his own experience, as one that has suffered 
all these himself. 

He knows what it is to be tempted to sin, troubled with horrid sugges- 
tions from Satan ; what it is to be deserted of friends, of all men ; yea, what 
it is (as to sense) to be forsaken of God. For this was his own case, he 
himself was thus tempted and tried, thus deserted and forsaken. All his 
disciples forsook him and fled ; yea, the sense of his Father's love was 
withdrawn from him, when he cried out, ' My God,' &c. He knows all this 
by his own sense and suffering ; he knows how grievous and afflictive this 
is, and what pity it calls for, and what succour and relief it stands in need 
of. He became like us in all these, that he might know this by experience, 
as chap. ii. 17, 18. 

(8.) He is affected with'our infirmities, he feels them, he is touched with 
the feeling of them. He has a sense thereof which touches his soul, and 
makes some impression on it; as one who not only has suffered what others 
feel, but suffers with them in what they feel. As when one member is 
under some grievance, not only the other members suffer with it, but the 
soul is affected therewith ; affected with grief arising out of love, attended 
with desire to give or get relief, and anger and indignation against that which 
brought the grievance, or continues it, and hinders relief. In like manner 
is Christ affected with the infirmities of his people. 

[1.] He pities, has compassion on them. This the word here used 
signifies, and may be read thus, We have not an high priest which cannot 
have compassion, &c. The same word is used, Heb. x. 84. Though they 
were not in bonds with the apostle, yet they suffered with him, being 
touched with a compassionate sense of his sufferings and bonds, as if they 
had been bound with him. So, though Christ labour not under these infir- 
t mities, as once he did, yet he is not without sense thereof; it touches his 
' soul, so that he does m^adjtfa/, suffer with us therein, having a com- 
passionate sense of what we thereby suffer. 

[2.] And this pity and compassion, it is not without the motions and acts of 
love. Indeed, this is the rise of it. It is out of such a love as made him 
willing to humble himself so low as to take our weaknesses and infirmities 
upon him. He would know what they were, and what it was to labour 
under them, by his own feeling and experience, that he might know the 
better how to pity those that are encompassed with them. He would in all 
things, in all soul-infirmities, be made like to us, that he might be, with 
more advantage, a merciful, a compassionate high priest, chap. ii. 17, 18. 
This was out of a wonderful and astonishing love ; this fitted him for com- 
passionateness, and excites it. 

[8.] This is attended with desire, accompanied with an inclination to 
succour, relieve such, whose condition is to be pitied ; to do that which is 
best for them in such a condition. That which wants .this is no pity 
indeed. It is that which is most advantageous and desirable in this affec- 
tion ; it is all that we must understand by compassion, when the Scripture 
ascribes it to the Lord ; and when we conceive it to be in Christ as God, in 
the divine nature, it is not in him a troublesome or passionate grief. That 
is an imperfection not to be ascribed to him ; nor would it be any advantage 
to us if he were liable to it. But it is a willingness in him to help and 
succour those whose state calls for pity or commiseration. It is an inclina- 
tion to do that which is good, which is best for us under our infirmities, 
Mark i. 41, ix. 22. 



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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OT7B INFTBMmES. 85 

[4.] This is accompanied with zeal and anger, or indignation, against 
those who occasion the grievance, or would make it worse and heavier. 
Christ hath left us an instance of this before he took oar nature and infirmi- 
ties, Zech. iii. 1, 2. Joshua, and those whom he represented, had infirmi- 
ties enongh, were covered, clothed with them, ver. 8. Satan makes use of 
them as matter of accusation, would have had the Lord severe against them, 
instead of pitying and relieving them. Hereupon Christ is moved with zeal 
and indignation against him, and expresses it, ver. 2 ; and has such a sense of 
his people's infirmities as raises his zeal and indignation against those who 
will have no compassion for them while they are under infirmities. 

[4.] He is affected with our infirmities as a man ; for he is not only God, 
but man. Herein the comparison holds betwixt Christ and the Levitical 
high priest, as the apostle expresseth it, Heb. v., and ii. 14. He assumed 
our nature, and so our affections ; as he has a human nature, so he has 
human affections. He has such love, pity, compassion for his people 
in their infirmities, as are in the hearts of the children of men, the weak- 
nesses excepted. They are in him properly, and not as they are attributed 
to God, to whom such affections are only ascribed metaphorically. When 
Scripture says, the Lord loves and pities, we must not conclude that he is 
affected as we are, but such acts and motions as we feel are ascribed to God 
from some little resemblance, a very remote likeness, whereas the difference 
is infinite. And we know no more what they are in God than the brutes 
know what these affections are in us ; the distance is incomprehensibly 
greater. They do no more properly belong to God than a human soul, or 
the members of a body, belong to him, which yet are spoken of him in 
Scripture. But what is spoken after the manner of men must be under- 
stood in a way suitable to the excellency and perfection of God. 

But these affections are not only ascribed to Christ, after the manner of 
men, but they are truly and properly in him as he is man. He has truly 
and properly the heart and affections of a man ; a heart that can be touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities, even as you feel your hearts affected with 
the sufferings of a very dear friend. He has such compassion as a parent 
has for the weaknesses of a beloved child, Ps. ciii. 18, Judges x. 16, Jer. 
xxxi. 20. This is ascribed to God very improperly ; but it is true of Christ 
as he is man, in a most proper sense. There is no such grief and pity in 
God as there is in us, ho is infinitely above them, &c. 

It may be said that there is a great difference betwixt these affections as 
they are in Christ, and as they are in us, both in respeet of the personal 
nnion of the human nature with the Godhead, and because of his now per- 
feo, and glorified state. 

It must be confessed there is a difference upon these accounts, but it is 
such a difference as does nothing lessen the advantage, or abate the comfort, 
we may have from this particular. 

First, For as [to] the personal union, this is not inconsistent with such 
affections as are in us, no, nor the sinless weakness of them ; for Christ had 
and expressed such affections while he was on earth ; and yet that union 
was then the same that it has been since, and will be for ever. 

To instance but in one, his compassion ; that which is most pertinent, and 
which seems to import more weakness than some other affections, as love, 
joy, desire. We find him shewing his compassions frequently, upon all 
occasions offered, Mat. ix. 86, and xiv. 14, and xv. 82, Mark i. 41, Luke 
vii. 18 ; yea, such was the tenderness of his compassions, as he often ex- 
pressed it in tears. The motion of this affection was not confined to his 
soul, but wrought upon the body also ; and made more impression there, 

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86 OHBIBT TOUGHED WITH [H£B. IV. 15. 

than jit will do upon every temper, Luke ix. 41, 42, John li. 83, 85, Heb. 
v. 7. 

So that though he was God-man, yet his affections were like those of a 
mere man, only without sin. This affection did not prevent reason or dis- 
turb it, or hunger him into any irregularities, as inordinate passions do sin- 
ful men. And such calm, untainted affections in him, are of far more 
advantage and comfort to ns than turbulent and excessive passions would be. 

Secondly, As to his glorified state, the difference as to his affections is this, 
that they are perfected, freed from some weakness and imperfections, which, 
though they were in him without sin, yet were the effects of man's sin, and 
by the sin of man brought upon man's nature ; which nature, so weakened, 
the Lord our Redeemer assumed, and continued under those innocent 
weaknesses during the state of his humiliation. But now being exalted to 
the height of perfection and glory, he is freed from those weaknesses, and 
all shadow of imperfection is vanished. There is no inward disquiet of his 
soul by grief or pity, as John xi. 88 ; no outward disturbing commotion of 
humours or spirits in his glorified body ; no tears or weeping, as in the days 
of his flesh, which may be included in his being made perfect, Heb. v. 9 ; 
nothing remains which imports weakness, or suffering, or imperfection, 
2 Cor. v. 16. 

But we lose nothing by this alteration in his state and in his affections. 
The difference seems but to be this, now he has perfect affectionateness to 
his people in their infirmities ; he perfectly pities and sympathises with 
them ; his compassion and sympathy is without weakness or imperfection ; 
not only without sinful weakness, which he never had, but without innocent 
weakness, which attended him in his love and suffering condition. 

So that he still hath human affections to us, retaining still the human 
nature ; he still has love, pity, compassion for us, not only such as are 
ascribed unto God, but such as are in the heart of a man (which we being 
better acquainted with, are more familiar and obvious encouragements and 
supports to us), only they are more perfect affections than are in the heart 
of any other man on earth or in heaven. There is less weakness in them ; 
he more perfectly loves and pities us, and is more perfectly touched with the 
feeling of our infirmities, as man, now that he is in heaven, than when he 
was upon earth. 

[5.] Christ is affected with our infirmities, as one concerned in us very 
much and nearly. A good man, when he sees another in wants, distress, 
misery, will be moved with it, though he be a stranger to him. Oh, but if 
he be one in whom he is concerned, one who is nearly related or much 
endeared to him, he will be much more affected,' and more feelingly touched 
with his condition, Luke x. 80, 88. He did this for a stranger, what for a 
' friend, brother, child ? Christ is not affected with the infirmities of his 
people, as if they were strangers to him, and he no otherwise concerned in 
Ihem than a stranger ; but as one that has interest in them, that is related 
to them, that counts himself one with them and them one with him. 

He is touched with the sense of our grievances, as one that has interest 
in us and we interested in him. This is intimated in the text ; we have an 
high priest, he is ours and we are his ; so that he is touched with the feeU 
ing of our infirmities, not as of those who belong not to him, but of (hose 
who are his own. Christ himself requires that we should have bowels of 
compassion for those who belong not to us, when their condition requires it ; 
much more for those that are our own ; and he himself will perfectly answer 
what he enjoins us in this particular. 

As one related to us, nearly and many ways related, by all sorts of rela- 

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HKB. IV. 15.] THE FBXLINO OF OUB INFIRMITIES. 87 

turns, those that are most endearing, and most oblige the heart to affection- 
ateness and sympathy. 

As a friend, John xv. 14, 15. Now, Job vi. 14, pity should be shewed to 
a friend; pity should be shewed to a servant, to a stranger, much more to 
a friend. Christ shewed great compassion to his enemies, what has he then 
for hifl friends, those that were dearer to him than his life ? 

As a brother, Heb. xii. 11, 12 ; Joseph's brethren, Gen. xlii. 21. 

As a father with the grievances of his children, chap. ii. 18. Christ as a 
father presents himself and his little ones to the Lord as a pleasant sight. 
Now what a quick sense has a parent of the pain or wants of a dear child ? 
Jer. rod. 20. 

As a husband with the wants or sufferings of the wife of his own bosom, 
2 Cor. xi. ver. 2. The covenant wherewith he married them to himself, is 
founded in his own blood ; they were dearer to him than his own heart 
blood. How would a husband of such love (if there were any had such love) 
be touched with the feeling of what is grievous to his wife ? So is Christ 
touched with the sense of his people's infirmities ; he is not affected with 
them as though they were aliens, but as those whom he owns in the nearest 
and most obliging relations. 

Yea, he is touched, &c., as one united to us, as counting himself one 
with us. The nearness of this union is expressed by that of head and 
members, Eph. L 22, 28 ; and this is laid down as the ground and reason 
of the sympathy, 1 Cor. xii. 26, 27. When one member suffers, all the rest 
are sensible ; but especially the head, which is the foundation of sense. 
Christ being the head, from whence spiritual sense is derived from its mem- 
bers, by which they sympathise with one another, he himself is sensible of 
what is grievous to the members in particular ; on this account, in all their 
afflictions he is afflicted. 

He being one with them, he counts their sufferings his; he is afflicted 
with their want, pain, suffering, as if it were his own. The troubles which 
Saul gave the primitive saints, he resents it as a persecuting of himself, Acts 
ix. 5 ; he that touches them, touches the apple of his eye ; yea, any neglect 
to relieve the least of them in their infirmities, he is sensible of it as a 
neglect of himself, Mat. xxv. He is affected with their infirmities, as one 
greatly concerned, no less than if it were his own concernment. 

[6.] He is affected with them really and to purpose ; he is touched with 
the feeling of them effectually. It is not an ineffectual sympathy, a fruit- 
less pity, like that censured by the apostle, James ii. 15, 16 ; but it is 
active, that which is really advantageous to us every way : to give what we 
want, to secure us from what we fear, to ease us of what is grievous, or to 
do for us that which is as good or better. 

It inclndes a readiness in Christ to accommodate himself to all our infir- 
mities, according to the exigence of them, so as to give ease, relief, supply, 
deliverance ; so far as is needful, as soon as it is seasonable, whenever it 
will be good for us. 

It makes him ready to shew mercy and grace in time of need ; so ready, 
as we may be confident of it It is the ground of what is held forth in the 
next verse; ' in that he is touched with the feeling,' &c. We may have help 
and relief under all infirmities ; we may have whatever of this nature will 
be a mercy to us ; all that is mercy we may obtain, and this is all that is 
desirable. We may have it freely, from grace ; we may find grace, which 
gives without money or price ; we need but come to find it, we need but ask 
to obtain it. We may have it in abundance from him who ,sits upon the 
throne to shew himself gracious ; whose glory it is to give like himself, the 

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88 CHRIST TOUGHED WITH [HEB. IV. 15. 

King of kings ; to give royally, liberally, bountifully. We may have it all 
whenever we need it, whenever it will be seasonable ; and we may be con- 
fident of all this, because he has such a sense of our infirmities ; this leaves 
us no occasion in the least to doubt of it. We may have all that heart can 
reasonably desire, in such kind, in such way, in such measure, and at such 
times, as is most desirable. We may be sure, because he is touched with 
the feeling, &c. He has a more effectual sense of them than any other, men 
or angels, yea, or we ourselves have ; for he has such a sense thereof as will 
assuredly bring relief, which neither we ourselves, nor men or angels for us, 
can do in many cases. 

[7.] It is an extensive sympathy, it reaches all our infirmities. He has 
compassion on us in all our weaknesses, all that we suffer by, in all that has 
anything of misery or activeness in it. This is plain by the latter end of this 
verse : he ' was in all points tempted/ Ac. He is touched with the feeling 
of all those infirmities wherewith himself was tempted or exercised ; but he 
was exercised in all points with all our weaknesses, but those that are with- 
out sin. 

Oh, but it may be said, this exception does exclude the greatest part of 
our infirmities from this sympathy, and us from the comfort and advantage 
of it, in those points too which stand in most need of it ; for those infirmi- 
ties which proceed from sin, or are mixed with it, and sin itself especially, 
are our greatest misery, make our present state most lamentable, and so stand 
in most need of pity and relief. If Christ be not touched with the feeling of 
these (which are worst of all), so as to have compassion on us, and be ready 
to succour us, we are to seek in our greatest pressures and grievances, where 
we have most necessity of relief and pity ; as e.g., 

1. In those infirmities which are from sin, the effects of sin, which are 
many and great, is he not touched with the feeling, &c. ? 

I answer, Yes, he is touched, &c. These are not excluded by the expres- 
sion. He himself laboured under these ; for such infirmities as are from 
sin may be sinless, though they be the effects of sin, yet they may be inno- 
cent in themselves, and without sin ; and all that are without sin he himself 
was exercised with. He was tempted in all points, exercised with all infir- 
mities, even those which are the effects of sin, as we are ; only they were 
in him without sin, as they are not in us. For, 

Let it be observed, that Christ took not our nature, as it is now in the 
glorified saints, who are not only freed from sin, but from all the sad effects 
of it ; nor as it was in our first parents, in the state of innocency, before they 
had sinned, and before sin had made any breach upon human nature, and 
brought those weaknesses and infirmities upon it which they afterward and 
we now suffer under. But he took the nature of fallen man, as it was bruised 
and rendered infirm by the fall ; he took our nature as weakened by sin, 
though not as defiled by it ; there was no sin in his human nature, but 
there was those weaknesses and infirmities which were the sad issues of sin. 
These he laboured under, and so knows how to pity and sympathise effec- 
tually with those that are yet under them. He was not exempted from 
those infirmities which are part of the curse brought upon our nature by 
sin, but only exempted from what was sinful in them, Horn. viii. 8, where 
likeness refers not only to flesh (for that in him was not only like, but the 
same with ours), but to sinful flesh. He assumed our nature, not as it is 
glorified, or as it was innocent,' but as it is sinful, as it is under the effects 
of sin. The meaning is, he had a human nature just such as that of sinful 
man ; as frail, as infirm, as mortal, as corruptible as that of sinful man, 



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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OUB INFIRMITIES. 89 

altogether like it in those infirmities which are the effects of sin, but without 
sin in him. 

Obj. It may he said, there are some infirmities in us which are the effects 
of sin, which Christ was not exercised with, as painful distempers and sick- 
nesses ; yet these are grievous and afflictive to us, and so need his compas- 
sions and relief. But how can he be touched with the feeling of them, since 
he never felt them, never was tempted or exercised with them ? 

An*. Those infirmities (the issues of sin) which Christ took on him, were 
such as are natural, common to the nature of man and all mankind ; not 
such as are personal and proper to some only, as those be which are instanced 
in ; but though he did not suffer by these, yet the grievance and afflictive- 
ness that is in them he suffered. He endured as much trouble, and more, 
than any fever can afflict us with, in that agony, which forced from him a 
bloody sweat ; he endured as much pain as any man in the most acute sick- 
ness or distemper, when nails were driven through his hands and feet. And 
bo he knows by experience what pity and relief such anguish and pain calls 
for, and thereby is disposed to sympathise with his people therein, as effec- 
tually as if himself had been exercised with those particular and personal 
distempers which are so afflictive to nature. That, Mat. viii. 17, holds true in 
respect of his effectual sympathy with us, in sickness and painful distempers. 

The grounds which may assure us of the truth of this are such as these : 

(1.) This was one end why he took our nature, and became man. It was 
not only that he might suffer far us, but also that he might suffer toith us, 
by a compassionate feeling of what we suffer. He was to be like the Levi- 
tical high priest, Heb. v. 1, taken from among men. And why so ? Ver. 2, 
that he might be the more disposed to have compassion on his people in 
their infirmities ; even those that are sinful, and are so less or more, Heb. 
ii. 16, 17. He took man's very nature, the seed of Abraham, and was made 
in all things like unto us in our nature, in its parts, properties, infirmities, 
in all. Wherefore ? Why, that he might be merciful ; that he might have 
the mercies and compassions, not only of God, but of a man also. Such 
mercies and compassions as angels have not for us, yea, such as God alone 
could not have had for us ; not only those of God, but those of man too. 
He might have had the mercies of angels for us, if he had taken the nature 
of angels ; he might have had the mercies of God for us, if he had not taken 
onr nature ; but he could not have the mercies and compassions both of God 
and also of man for us, unless he had become man ; and therefore it behoved 
him to be made like us, that there might be in him a concurrence both of the 
mercies of God and of man also ; that he might not only be merciful to us as 
God, but compassionate us as one man does another ; and that he might 
pity us too out of experience, as one that had boen exercised with the feeling 
of the very same weaknesses and grievances that we feel, ver. 18. He be- 
came man, that he might be exercised with such weaknesses and grievances 
as the children of men are ; and was actually tempted or exercised with them, 
that his own experience might render him ready and forward to pity and 
succour us under them. 

Now, this being the end why he became man, it is no more to be doubted 
of than that he took our nature. As sure as he was taken from among men ; 
as sure as he wad born of a woman; as sure as he is the man Christ Jesus ; 
as sure as he has the nature, the soul of a man ; as sure as he has the affec- 
tions of a human soul : so sure it is that he is touched with the feeling, 
&c. ; with such a feeling as is collected from Scripture. 

(2.) This was the end of his sufferings, Heb. ii. 18. All that he suf- 
fered, by our weaknesses, our sins, was that he might succour those that 

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90 CHBIST TOUCHED WITH [HEB. IV. 15. 

suffer by them, that he might be touched effectually with the sense of what 
we are exercised with. As by his sufferings he learned obedience, Heb. v. 8, 
so thereby he learned compassionateness to his people. Indeed, this was 
one part of that obedience which he was to learn thereby. The Father 
would have him to be a compassionate high priest ; and himself suffering by 
our infirmities, and for our sins, he learnt by experience how to pity those 
that suffer. 

Now, this being the end of his sufferings, as sure as he would not suffer 
so many things in vain, as sure as he would not lose the end of his suffer- 
ing, so sure it is that he is touched, &c. 

(8.) It is his office, as he is high priest. This office required it. He 
being called to this office, must be faithful in the discharge of it. He could 
not have been faithful herein if he had not been merciful These are conjoined 
by the apostle, chap. ii. 17. Compassionateness was required in the Leviti- 
cal high priest to the faithful discharge of his office, chap. v. 1, 2. Two 
things are necessary in every one who has this office : one in reference to 
God, to offer sacrifice for reconciling him ; the other in reference to the 
people, that he can have compassion on them, that he be touched with the 
compassionate sense of their infirmities, as one who himself has suffered by 
and under them. 

Now, Christ far excelled all other high priests in both these ; as in the 
former, so in the latter. He answered the office herein perfectly, as none 
else could. It behoved him so to do, vers. 8, 9. Made perfect, how ? 
• By the things which he suffered, 1 ver. 8 ; « by sufferings,* chap. ii. 10. 
Though he had all perfection in his person, yet he could not be made perfect 
in his office without suffering. For his office was both to satisfy God, and 
to have compassion on man ; and by suffering he came to do both perfectly. 
Thereby he satisfied divine justice, and thereby he learnt experimentally com- 
passions to his people. So that, without this latter, a compassionate feeling 
of his people's infirmities, he had not been perfect in his office. As sure as 
Christ is faithful, as sure as he perfectly discharged his office, so sure is he 
touched with the feeling of our infirmities. 

2. But in sinful infirmities, what relief is there hereby for them 2 Christ 
was not touched with any that were sinful, and how can he be touched with 
the feeling of them ? e. g. the people of Christ have much ignorance and 
darkness, and many spiritual wants ; they are sinfully defective, both in 
knowledge and holiness ; and these are in themselves, and to those that are 
duly sensible of them, greater miseries than poverty, or sickness, or other 
outward afflictions and sufferings. 

I answer, Christ had something of these, though nothing of the sinful- 
ness of them ; so much of these, as that he can sympathise with his people 
under them. 

He wanted much knowledge of many things ; he wanted some spiritual 
gifts, yea, and some exercise of grace, in some parts of his life, while 
he was upon earth. He came not to perfection in these, but by degrees, 
and till then was under some defect and imperfection, though not any 
that was sinful. For he wanted none that he ought to have had, or 
that his present state was capable of; yet, wants, defects, and inward weak- 
nesses, without sin, he was really under, Luke ii. 40, 52. Hereby it seems 
plain, that he had not at first that measure of knowledge, and of the Holy 
Ghost, as afterwards. He knew not so much, nor had that exercise of grace 
in his infancy or childhood, as at perfect age. His faculties were not cap- 
able of full perfection herein till they came to full maturity ; he grew but 
up herein by degrees, as he grew in stature, and consequently was without 

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HKB. IV. 15.] THE FBBZJHO OF OCT INFIBMITIES. 91 

some degrees of what he after attained ; and till then, under defects and 
wants, though sinless. So that he knows by experience what it is to be 
under defects and wants, and so knows how to pity those who labour under 
them. In this the comparison holds betwixt him and the Levities! high 
priest, chap. v. 2. 

8. Oh, bat he was never touched with sin, chap. i. 16, and this is our 
greatest misery, the sting of all grievances, that which makes all other to 
be heavy and grievous. If he be not touched with the feeling of our sin, we 
are at a loss where we have most need. 

I answer, There are four things considerable about sin, the offence, temp- 
tation to it, guilt of it, punishment for it. Now there are none of these but 
Christ was touched with them, but the first only. He was without fault ; 
there was nothing in him, nor acted by him, which was an offence to God, 
1 Peter ii. 28. He was perfectly innocent ; and if he had not been so, he 
had not been capable of bringing us any relief as to sin ; he could neither 
have been a high priest nor a sacrifice for sin. 

But (1.) he was tempted to sin ; tempted much and long by Satan, and to 
the most horrid sin, chap. ii. 18. In that he was tempted, he is disposed, 
he is both able and willing to, &c. ; in that he ' suffered by being tempted,' 
he can pity, and so is ready to succour those that suffer by temptation. He 
was not overcome when tempted, though he suffered by it, but he knows 
hereby what it is to be overcome ; for the sense of that kept him from yield- 
ing, and so he knows how to have compassion on those that are overcome by 
temptation. 

(2.) The guilt of sin, of our sin, was upon him, 2 Cor. v. 21. Sin was 
imputed to him ; he was by imputation a sinner, though he never sinned 
personally. Our guilt was laid on him. Guilt is an obligation to the 
penalty. Christ came under this obligation, and so under guilt ; not by his 
own sin, but by his own consent he became our surety, and so was bound to 
pay the debt. Guilty so far, as to be bound to endure what sin had deserved, 
and sinners were worthy to suffer. 

So far he was touched with the guilt of sin ; so far he knows what it is to 
be under guilt, and so knows what pity and relief they need who are under 
it. So far he is touched with the sense of their condition who are guilty, 
chap. y. 2. 

(8.) As to the punishment of sin, he was not only exposed to it, and 
bound to bear it, but actually endured it, Isa. liii. 4-6. ' The iniquities,' 
i. 6. the punishment of them, all the punishment that was due to ail ; the 
whole curse was inflicted on him, so he is said to be ' made a curse,' Gal. 
iiL 18. 

So that he had a greater sense of sin than any of his people ever had. 
We may hear him cry out under the weight of it, Lam. i. 12. The whole 
penalty and curse was upon him, part of which made his soul heavy unto 
death. 

So that, though he was without sin, yet he was touched, or rather op- 
pressed with such a sense of sin, as is enough abundantly to move him to 
all compa8sionateness to any of his people under the burden. It is an 
extensive sympathy; such as reaches not only infirmities that have no 
respect to sin, but those that are from sin, as its effects, and those that are 
sinful formally, yea, sin itself; he is touched with the feeling of all. 

[8.] It is a proportionable sympathy ; a compassion which is exactly an- 
swerable to the nature and quality of every infirmity ; fully commensurable to 
it, whatever it be. As it is not more than it needs, so it is not less than it 
requires, how much compassion and relief soever it calls for. This is ex- 

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92 CHRIST TOUGHED WITH [HEB. IV. 15. 

press, chap. v. 2, dvvdfMvoc fiirpio*aQtft 9 rendered * who can have compassion;' 
bat the word signifies, a compassion or sympathy answerable to the occasion. 
Quantum satis est, so much as is sufficient for it. Not only when the griev- 
ance of it is'less, but when it is more ; proportionable to the actual afflictive- 
ness of it at present, and the danger of it for the future ; to what we do suffer 
by it, or what we may suffer. 

This was the duty of the Levities! high priest, with whom Christ is there 
compared. He did thus sympathise with the people in their infirmities, in 
proportion to their ignorances and wanderings, when he was faithful in an- 
swering his office. But Christ herein excelled him, as the apostle shews, 
ver. 7. He shewed his compassions in strong cries and tears, and does it 
still ; though not in such expressions, yet as effectually, and more perfectly. 
We may be apt to measure Christ by ourselves, and to think that small 
grievances he will overlook and pass by without regard or resentment, and 
that he will not trouble himself with those that are greater, according to the 
exigence of them. But he has a sense of every infirmity, proportionable to 
the grievance or danger of it. The least he slights not, the greatest he 
waives not ; turns not aside, as the priest and Levite did, as if a resentment 
answerable to it would be troublesome to him. He is not like us, who have 
no sense of others' grievances when but small, or bat little sense of them when 
they are great. But he has a compassion for all, and more for those which 
need and require more. He has a due sense of all, and that which is suffi- 
cient for our relief and comfort ; not only in the least, but the greatest. 

9. A constant and perpetual sympathy. It continues without any inter- 
mission so long as he is high priest, or so long as our infirmities continue ; 
so long as we are under any weakness, inward or outward ; so long as we 
are in any danger or peril ; so long as we are exposed to any trouble or 
suffering. 

This is one thing wherein the faithful discharge of his priestly office 
consists. And he is a priest for ever, Ps. ox. 4, repeated often in this 
epistle, chap. v. 6, and vii. 17, 21. 

It is true, one principal part of his office, as priest, the offering himself 
as a sacrifice as priest, the offering himself as a sacrifice for sin, is already 
finished and discharged. And sin being fully expiated by that once offering 
of himself, there is no need of repeating it. But this efficacy of it does still 
continue ; and in the virtue of it his intercession (the other part of his office 
as priest) is still effectual, and will be for ever, chap. vii. 25. There will be 
some alteration also as to this part of his office. Now he intercedes for 
relief and comfort to his people under infirmities, and for deliverance from 
tbem. And when full deliverance is obtained, there will be no need, no 
occasion to intercede either for succour in, or freedom from, them ; but even 
then he will intercede for the continuance of that happy deliverance. And 
both his sacrifice and intercession will have an influence upon, and be 
effectual for the everlasting continuance of that blessed freedom. 

So that, though there be some change in the acts, yet the office of Christ 
as high priest continues for ever ; and is, and will be exercised in acts suit- 
able to the state of his people. 

Now, while his people are compassed with infirmities, he sjiews himself a 
merciful and faithful high priest, in effectual pity and compassionate sympathy. 
And so he will continue while they are under weaknesses, i.e. so long as ever 
there is any occasion for it, and his people have any need thereof. But 
when they are fully delivered, and their weaknesses end in perfection, then 
joy will succeed compassion, and the conflict, with the succour therein, will 
end in an everlasting triumph. 

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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OUB INPIBMITIES. 98 

Thus much to explain this truth. Something should be added for con- 
firmation of it. It is so great and wonderful a condescension in Christ to 
be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, that some may be apt to ques- 
tion it, very ready to doubt of it, too slow to deliver* it. Faith may want 
some grounds to support it, and encourage it in the belief of a truth so 
strange to reason, so far above all expectation, beyond all we could ask or 
think. And there are grounds for it sure and stedfast, which the apostle 
lays down in this epistle. 

l)te 1. For instruction. This truth leads the people, of Christ to many 
duties, and strongly obliges to the performance of them. 

1. To admire Christ ; to employ your minds in high, adoring, admiring 
thoughts of Christ. He is wonderful ; it is his attribute, Isa. ix. Wonder- 
ful every way, in his person, natures, offices, and the execution of them ; but 
especially wonderful in this, that he would be touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities. And this will appear wonderful in our eyes, if we consider who 
he is that is thus touched, and what was required that he might be capable 
of this sense, &c, and what such a sense thereof imports. 

For the first, Christ, as to his divine nature, is God ; the great, blessed, 
glorious, and all sufficient God, infinite in happiness and all excellencies ; 
farther above us, and the noblest piece of the creation, unconceivably 
farther above the highest, than the most excellent creatures are above the 
vilest thing on earth, the meanest thing imaginable. He could expect no- 
thing from us, no advantage by us ; not the least degree of glory or happi- 
ness, being in the perfect possession of infinite glory and happiness without 
ns. He had lost nothing if we had perished in our sin without pity, and 
sunk under the weight of our infirmities. We had nothing to oblige him to 
concern himself in our weaknesses and miseries ; why then would he bring 
himself under the sense of them ? How wonderful it is that he would do it I 

2. That he might be capable of the sense of our infirmities, he was to take 
upon him both our nature and our infirmities, and it is highly wonderful that 
he would meddle with either. 

It was requisite that he should assume a created nature. And if this 
nature had been that of the angels, this had been a wonderful condescension ; 
infinitely more wonderful than if the most glorious angel should have been, 
willing to take the form of the vilest creeping thing ; for the distance is in- 
finitely greater betwixt God and such an angel, than betwixt such an angel 
and any creeping thing we tread on. 

But he was to take the nature of man, so much lower than that of the 
angels ; more wonderful than if the most glorious potentate on earth should 
be willing to live in the form of a beast, or to take the shape of a worm ; 
the glorious God stooped lower when he took the nature of man. 

Yea, he was to take the nature of sinful man. The ' likeness of sinful 
flesh, 1 Horn. viii. 8. As if a man should be willing not only to take the like- 
ness of a worm, but the likeness of a toad, though without poison, for which 
our nature has a greater averseness and abhorrence. This would be an 
astonishment. Oh, but the infinitely holy God had a greater averseness to 
sinful flesh than we have to a toad, and yet took the likeness of sinful flesh ; 
he assumed it as it was abased by sin, as the effects of the venom and 
poison of sin was upon it, though without the sin of it. How wonderful is 
this! m * 

Yea, he was to take our infirmities also. Not only the excellencies in our 
natures singled out for him, as divers there were wherein we excelled the 
inferior creatures, but the weaknesses, the blemishes, the debasements of 

* Qu. 'believe' ?— En. 



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91 CHBI9T TOUCHED WITH [HEB. IV. 15. 

our nature, as it was sullied, and bruised, and crazed by the fell ; under all 
the defects, and maims, and disadvantages it had suffered by sin, sin itself 
only excepted, he declined none else. He took, he bare all, he laboured 
under all, that [he might] have a compassionate sense of all, the vilest, the 
worst of all, by his own feeling. It may well seem a debasement of such 
a glory to unite our nature to him in its best state, as it was innocent, or 
as it is glorified. How wonderful is it that he would assume it when it was 
at worst, with all its specks, and flaws, and cracks, all its rags and vileness, 
all its bruises and weaknesses ; nothing excluded, not the effects of sin, bat 
only sin itself ! 

It is infinitely below that glorious majesty of God, to be clothed with the 
sun, as he was clothed with flesh. What a wonderful condescension would 
it be for him to be covered over with clay, with mud ! We would think it 
so in a person of honour, though the mud were without stench ; and yet our 
nature was viler to Christ, as he is the God of glory, than any clay or mud 
is to us. Oh that he, the King of glory, should clothe himself with so vile 
a thing, should appear and live in such a covering that he might learn to 
pity us ! What an astonishment is it t If our minds were duly exercised 
with the thoughts of these things, how would they strike our souls with 
wonder and admiration I 

8. For the import of it, this being touched with the feeling, &c, is a kind 
of suffering with us. It includes compassion, a motion of the heart which 
is taken to have more weakness in it than other affections. 

Now, that the God of glory should have such respect to contemptible 
creatures, as not only to suffer for, but also to suffer with them ; — 

That he should have compassions on us in infirmities, which are the 
effects of sin, or in themselves sinful, and shew compassion and tenderness 
where there is just and proper occasion for his anger, indignation, and 
severity ; — 

That he should concern himself, not only in those cases where common 
friends will stand by us, but in our weaknesses, where others will be 
ashamed of us ; in dangers and sufferings, where others will be afraid ; in 
the sad circumstances of our lives, when others withdraw, andjwhere his own 
best friends on earth deserted him ; — 

That he should have such regard for those who are infinitely below him, 
and whom he might pass by with as much disregard as we do flies or grass- 
hoppers ; for we are incomparably less to him than these are to us ; — 

If these things were in our thoughts, what occasion of wonder will they 
offer to us 1 How admirable is Christ hereby represented to us ! how 
worthy of all admiration, both from heaven and earth, both now and ever- 
lastingly 1 

2. To love Christ. There is no greater attractive of love to an ingenious 
temper than love. Now in that Christ is touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities, you have a most evident demonstration that he loves you ; and 
with such a love as is most obliging, such as is most proper and powerful 
to command, excite, and draw out your affections to him. For hereby it is 
very clear what his love to you is. 

(1.) A great love, and most extensive ; that can reach all conditions and 
circumstances which you are or may be in, even such as the love of others 
will not touch, will not come near : a love that will shew itself in all eases, 
even where it could be least expected ; a love that will surmount and over- 
flow all discouragements. No want, no, weakness, no hazard, no suffering, 
is able to quell or stop it. It breaks forth in all, for he is touched with an 
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HEB. IT. 15. J THE FMLING OF OUR INFIBMITISS. 95 

(2.) A free lore. This is an evidence he can love freely ; he can love 
those who are all made up of defeets and imperfections, who are covered with 
specks and blemishes, who are compassed with infirmities ; not only with 
those that are sinless, which might move him to despise us, bnt those that 
are sinful, which might provoke him to ■ hate us. He is affectionately 
touched with the feeling of alL 

He can love those souls that are crazy and sickly, that are lame and 
maimed, that labour under many weaknesses and infirmities, such as hinder 
them from being duly serviceable to all,* and honouring him in the world, 
or expressing any love to him answerable to his. Though they be poor and 
in want, though their parts be low, though graces be weak, and their affec- 
tion to him small, very small in comparison of what they owe, yea, nothing 
in comparison of what he deserves ; though they can do little for him, and 
suffer less, this is so far from withholding his love, that it runs out the more 
in a compassionate sense of their weaknesses. 

He can love his people, though they have nothing to oblige him to do it ; 
yea, though there is little in them but what might disoblige him. Their 
infirmities of all sorts, which might estrange him, meet with a tender re- 
sentment, in that he is affectionately touched with the feeling ofthem. 

(8.) A lasting, a constant love, such as all the waters cannot quench, nor 
the floods drown. It cannot be nonplussed, it abides the sorest trials. 
When his people are low and weak, when poor and despised, when re- 
proached and hated, when cast off by all, when overwhelmed with all that 
extinguish love amongst men, it abides the same, not in the least cooled : 
' Who can separate,' &c, Bom. viii. All these are comprised in the notion 
of those infirmities wherewith Christ is affectionately touched. His love 
flames forth even in the waters, which quench the love of others. Instead 
of withdrawing his affection in such cases, he expresseth it more, and suffers 
with them, being touched with the feeling of those infirmities by which they 



(4.) A peerless love. It cannot be matched. There is no such thing to 
be found in heaven or earth, but in Christ only. The text shews that, as 
he is high priest, he is touched with the feeling, &o. Therein his love 
appears. Now, as he is high priest, he is both God and man ; and so his 
love to us is both the love of God and also the love of man in one person. 
No instance of such a love can be given in the whole world. There is no 
such love in the angels, how much soever they affect the people of Christ, 
for theirs is neither the love of God nor the love of men. There had been 
no such love in God alone ; his was the love of God only, not of man. But 
Christ's affection to us is both the love of God and the love of man in one 
person. 

Look over heaven and earth, and you will never find two springs of love 
in one subject, whether it be finite or infinite. There is but one in an angel, 
there is but one in man, there is but one in God. The angel has but one 
nature, man has but one heart, God has but one will, each of these a single 
spring. Oh, but in Christ, and in him alone, there is a double fountain of 
love, each sending forth its proper streams, both meeting upon his people. 
The divine nature is one fountain ; there springs the love of God to us. 
The human nature is another ; there springs the love of man to us ; and 
both these in one person, in one Christ. 

It is true, the love of God alone is infinite, too much for us, or the most 
excellent creatures. There is infiniteness and incomprehensibleness in it, 
that which may asto nish and transport us eternally ; but there is not that 

* Qu. 'him*?— Ed. 

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96 CHRIST TOUCHED WITH fHSB. IT. 15. 

suitableness in it to our natures or apprehensions, as there is in roan's love 
(not through any defect in it, but through our weakness) ; and though we 
should be more taken with it, because it is so much as we cannot apprehend, 
yet we are subject to be less moved with that which we apprehend not, or 
are less acquainted with. Whereas human love, such as is in the heart of 
man, is both co-natural to us, and we are well acquainted with it. We know 
not by experience what it is -to love as God loves ; such a love was never 
seated, nor ever moved in the heart of man ; but we know by experience 
what it is to love as men do ; we have felt the motions of such a love in our 
own breasts. 

Now such is the love of Christ to his people, in that he is touched with 
the feeling of their infirmities. Hereby it appears that he has the love, pity, 
compassions of a man for us, not that love of God only. There is both 
infiniteness, incomprehensibleness in his love, and likewise suitableness, co- 
naturalness also ; that which may not only transport us, but make the most 
impression on our hearts, and move our affections in the most suitable and 
kindly way. The love of God is hereby brought down to our capacity, to 
our experience, to our feeling ; in that he who is God would not only love 
us like himself, with the love of God, but as man also, with such a love as 
is in the heart of a man. ' 

Oh what a way has he made for our love to him ! He loved us as God ; 
and if that be above us, if that will not prevail with us as it should do, this 
love made him become man, that he might love us with such a love as most 
suit) us, and we are most apprehensive of, not only with the love of God, 
but of man also. Herein his love is matchless ; and so will our stupidness 
and ungratefulness be, if we love him not again. 

Moreover, it is peerless love upon another account ; not only because the 
love of God and the love of man meet in one person, but also because the 
love of all relations meet in his human nature, and that to each of his people. 
Not as it is with us, who have but the love of one relation for one, and of 
another for another, but not the love of all for any one. But Christ has the 
love of all relations, as much as all require, for every one that belongs to 
him. Jonathan had the love of a friend for David, and Joseph of a brother 
for Benjamin, and Jacob that of a father for Joseph, and Abraham that of 
a husband for Sarah, and Bachel that of a mother for her children ; but none 
of them had the love of all these for any one. If these several streams which 
did run in divers channels had been united, and run in one current towards 
any one, it had been a matchless love, such as could not be paralleled on 
earth. 

Now such is the love of Christ. He has the love of a friend, a brother, 
a father, a husband, of all relations, for every one of his people, Mat* xii. 
48-50. He owns such in all relations, and thereby declares himself obliged 
to have the love of all relations for every of them. 

And his sympathy, his pity, and compassions, which proceed from this 
love, are answerable to it. He is as affectionately and as effectually touched 
with the feeling of his people's infirmities as if every one of them were every 
way related to him ; as if they were both his friends, his brethren, his sisters, 
his mother, his children, and his sporfse. He has the compassions, and so 
the love, not only of one relation for one, and another relation for another, 
but of all relations together for every one of his. 

(5.) It is a cordial love, not in show or appearance only, not in outward 
acts and expressions, but such as springs from his heart, and affects that. 
He is touched, t. e. his heart is touched with the concerns of his people ; he 
is touched with the feeling of their infirmities, i. e. his heart feels. It is his 

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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OUB INFIRMITIES. 97 

love that makes him inwardly, feelingly, heartily sensible of what they suffer. 
This excites inward motions, stirs np compassions, and all affections that 
depend thereon ; not only delight, which is an affection of enjoyment, to 
which therefore the nature of man is more inclinable, but pity and compas- 
sion, which (as I said before) is some kind of suffering to which our nature 
is more averse t 

His glorified body is now above suffering, but his heart suffers still, so far 
as perfect compassionateness is a suffering. His love is such that the griev- 
ances of his people touch his heart as if they were his own. Paul calls his 
suffering the * filling up of .that which remains of the afflictions of Christ/ 
Col. i. 24. The afflictions of his mystical body are resented by his love as 
if they were his own. Paul learnt this of Christ before ; he expressed such 
a heart-resentment of his people's grievances when he suffered by Saul, Acts 
ix. 4, 5. Saul trod but on the feet, and the head complains. He would 
not have complained that himself was persecuted, but that himself some way 
suffered. His glorified body suffered not ; this was above the reach of per- 
secution. What then suffered ? Why, his heart. The injuries reached not 
his body, but they touched his heart. This was touched, not with a painful 
but with a compassionate sense, which is the touch in the text, and is ex- 
pressed by tufMra&rjacu, a co- suffering, a suffering in mind or heart with those 
who suffer otherwise. 

You will say he loves you heartily, whose heart and soul suffers with you, 
when his body cannot. Such is the love of Christ ; hereby it appears to be 
such, in that his heart is touched with the feeling, &c. He lays to heart the 
wants, weaknesses, dangers, grievances of his people. His heart is on them, 
or else that which touches them would not reach his heart. 

(6.) An all-sufficient love. That which is sufficient for us whenever our 
condition is exigent, and in any need, and sufficient for all that we need or 
can reasonably desire in such a condition, is all-sufficient. 

Now, such is the love of Christ, and such it is represented to be in the 
text. This love shews itself in all our infirmities, and these comprise all the 
exigencies of our present condition in this world. Therein are included our 
weaknesses, our wants, our dangers, our troubles, whether inward or out- 
ward. This is the sum of all that oar frail condition is subject to or labours 
under. Now, the love of Christ reaches all these, and us in and under them 
all, in that he has an affectionate sense of all our infirmities. 

And it is sufficient for all that our condition requires in all or any of these, 
for all that we need desire under them is but pity and relief. These two com- 
prise all that is needful or desirable for us, and the love of Christ affords both, 
assures us both in that he is touched with the feeling of our condition. For 
that which the text gives as in these terms here is expressed by compassion 
and succour in this epistle ; by compassion, chap. v. 2 ; by succour, chap, 
ii. 18 ; and both together in the verse after the text. 

That is an all-sufficient love which will let you want nothing. But when 
your condition is saddest and most necessitous, you want nothing but pity 
and help. These are abundantly enough in the greatest, in any time of 
need ; and these the love of Christ will not let you want. He gives all 
assurance of it, in that he is touched with the feeling of your infirmities. 

Hereby you see what love Christ has for his people, what love he has for 
you, if ye be his indeed. It is most evident by this truth that he has a 
greater love. 

Now what does this call for ? Deep calls to deep. The love of Christ, 
such a love calls aloud, calls importunately for love again. Will you deny 

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98 CHRIST TOUCHED WITH [HfiB. IV. 15. 

the importunity of love, of Christ's love, of a love so obliging? No renewed 
heart, no ingenuous spirit, no soul that has anything of an evangelical temper, 
can resist it ; it will kindle into love, a love that will stir and act and sparkle 
at the view of the love of Christ, that will be ashamed of its own weakness, 
coolness, unactiveness, and shew it by diligence in the use of all means to 
get inflamed affections to Christ. 

Oh, if the love of Christ, such a love, will not constrain you to love him 
again, what is there in heaven or earth can have any power upon your hearts? 
If you can hear and believe that Christ is thus touched with the feeling of 
your infirmities, and this prevails not with you to love him, your hearts 
are stone. 

Shall love amongst men be judged worthy of a requital with love, and shall 
the love of Christ, in comparison of which all the love of the children of men 
is nothing, want this return ? 

If you return not .love to him for this love of his, you are worse than 
publicans, Mat. v. 46. If you love those that love you, this is not thanks- 
worthy ; it is due debt, even the publicans will pay it. If you love not 
Christ after such love expressed to you, ye are worse than they, worse than 
the most ill-natured, the most selfish, the most disingenuous, the most 
odious sinners ; worse to Christ than these are to one another ; as much 
worse to Christ, as the love of Christ is greater than any that is to be found 
in the hearts of men. 

8. Another duty which this truth calls for and engages us to is to hold 
fast our profession. This is the use which the apostle makes of it ; this is 
the end why he lays down this great and comfortable truth, viz. to encourage 
and oblige them to continue in their profession of Christ, and hold it fast ; 
to engage them neither to abandon it nor to abate anything of it, neither to 
quit it in whole nor in part : ver. 14, * Let us hold/ &c. Why so ? What 
reason, what motive, what encouragement have we to do it ? Much every 
way, that which is abundantly sufficient, says he, for, ver. 15, ' since we have 
such an high priest, 1 &c. let us hold our profession of Christ, and hold it 
fast. Let our judgments be established in the truth we profess, else we 
shall not hold it. Let our hearts clasp about it and embrace the goodness 
of it, else we shall not hold it fast. 

Let us hold it firmly, stedfastly, without wavering, else we hold it but with 
a palsy hand. Hold it without indifferency ; not, as the Israelites of old, 
halting between two, 1 Kings xviii. 21 ; nor as some of the Jews in the 
apostle's time, who halted between law and gospel, betwixt their former legal 
profession and the profession of Christ ; not walking uprightly according to 
the truth of the gospel, Gal. ii. 14 ; or as others now, halting betwixt Christ 
and antichrist, betwixt popery and pure religion. And as those judaising 
Christians made a medley of law and gospel, so do these a hotch-potch of 
popery and true profession, in doctrine, worship, or government ; shewing 
themselves to be indifferent, in many points, to either, and thereby tempting 
others to be indifferent in all, and to be determined as their interest may 
require. This is not to hold fast, but to be fast or loose as occasion serves ; 
to be fast to nothing, but their carnal or worldly interest, James i. 8. 

Let us hold it resolutely, without timorousness or cowardice. Not like 
those represented to us by the stony ground, Mat. xiii. 21. We had need 
look to it, having reason enough to expect greater and sorer trials, as to our 
profession, than this age has exercised us with, or that before it our ances- 
tors. If we be found amongst the cowardly and fearful here, we shall have 
our place with them hereafter, Rev. xzi. 8, inter omnes, imo ante omnes, 
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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OX7B INFIRMITIES. 99 

Let as hold it affectionately, with zeal, delight, and love for Christ, his 
troths and ways, without remitting any degree of affection or fervour. He 
that grows cool lets go his hold, or the fastness of it. We hold not fast 
our profession, hut when our hearts are fastened to it, and that is by affec- 
tion. These are the strings and cords that fasten our hearts to it ; when 
these are slacked, our hold is loosened. 

Let us hold it openly, without fear or shame. It is not a thing of that 
nature that we should either be afraid or ashamed of. These make men 
shrink or draw back, and he that draws back sticks not fast to his profes- 
sion. The apostle would not allow the Hebrews, even in the midst of the 
reproaches and hazards wherewith they were encompassed, to hide their 
heads, contenting themselves with a secret or concealed profession, and with- 
drawing from their assemblies, Heb. z. 25. Those that forsook their as- 
semblies were such as had already deserted their profession, or were not (if 
they yet held it) like to hold it fast. 

Hold it entirely, extensively, in all the parts and acts, all the truths and 
duties, which belong to your profession. He that lets go any, has not fast 
hold of the whole. He that will hold only the safe, and cheap, and easy 
parts of his profession, lets go his hold where he is most tried, where it 
should be fastest. 

Thus we should hold fast our profession. And we have great encourage- 
ment from this truth to do it ; it affords that which strongly obliges us, 
neither to quit it of our own accord, nor to suffer anything to force it from 
us. It offers enough to arm us against temptations we may meet with of 
such a tendency. 

That which may tempt us, either to quit our profession or to abate any- 
thing of it, is either the difficulties in it, or the hazards of it. Now, in that 
Christ is touched, Ac, we are secured, we are encouraged, we are fortified 
against both these, both as to what may seem hard or difficult in it, and what 
we may hazard or suffer by it. 

1. As for the difficulties. There are some acts, some duties of our pro- 
fession, are too hard for us. Our infirmities and weaknesses cannot reach 
them, or make us drive on heavily in them. This may make us weary, or 
tempt some to give over. 

But against this, in that Christ is touched with the feeling of our in- 
firmities, we have these encouragements. 

(1.) Christ expects not that from his people, which their infirmities and 
weaknesses cannot reach. He is our high priest ; ours by virtue of an office 
which requires all tenderness and compassionateness. He expressed it, and 
perfectly answers it, in being touched with the feeling of our infirmities. 

A master that is merciful will not press that upon a sickly servant which 
his distemper will not suffer him to do. If he be careless and slothful, 
indeed he may be angry ; but in that which he falls short of, measly because 
he is sick, he will shew pity rather than rigour. 

Christ is a merciful high priest. He knows that weaknesses and inward 
distempers are the sickliness of the soul. He would not have us slothful, 
indulgent to carnal ease ; that will displease him. But he looks not for 
more than a sickly temper can afford. ' If there be a willing mind,' 2 Cor. 
viii. 12 ; if he see there is really a willing mind to do more and better, that 
which we cannot do will not be expected. That which we do, though it fall 
far short of what is due, will be accepted. 

A parent that has any tenderness will not look for that from an infant, or 
weak child, that he expects from another. He will be pleased with a little 



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100 CHBIST TOUCHED WITH [HeB. IV. 15. 

done by a weakling, ont of affection and sense of duty. What cannot be 
done through weakness, will be passed by with pity. 

We have a high priest that is touched with the feeling of onr infirmities, 
who has the compassions of God, of man, of a father, of all relations : Ps. 
ciii. 18, 14, ' He knows onr frame,' of what a frail and infirm composition 
it is ; he knows it by experience, and- learned compassionateness thereby. 
And in that he is touched with the compassionate sense of our weaknesses, 
he will not rigorously exact what through infirmity we cannot reach. 

(2.) He will not be severe for failings, such as are the issue of our in- 
firmities. He has a tender sense of our weaknesses, pities us under them ; 
and such a compassionate tenderness excludes severity, leaves no occasion 
to fear it. We have a pregnant instance hereof in the days of his flesh, 
Mat. xxvi. 87-41. His soul was under great affliction; he desires his 
disciples to watch with him a little while ; they, instead thereof, fall asleep. 
He might have resented this heinously, tha^t they would not attend him 
watchfully for one hour, for so little a while, and that too when he was in 
so great extremity, when his soul was so exceeding sorrowful even unto 
death. They could not but condemn themselves for this ; but he, instead 
of condemning them, or making any severe or sharp reflection upon them 
for it, finds out an excuse for them, ' The spirit is willing,' &c. He takes 
gracious notice of a willingness within, when no such thing appears without, 
when it was quite overpowered with weakness, and gives the weakness itself 
a merciful allowance. 

(8.) He will succour you. In that he is touched with the feeling of your 
infirmities, you may be sure he is ready and willing to do this to relieve 
you, either by lessoning the difficulty or the infirmity ; either by making the 
burden less, or healing the sore which makes it uneasy. In that he has 
such a sense of our infirmities, we may conclude, as the apostle does, that 
we shall ' find grace to help in time of need,' as much as is sufficient. He 
assures him of it, 2 Cor. xii. 9. The perfection 6f his strength appears 
most in the weak. This made Paul bear up under all difficulties, to such a 
height, as he could rejoice, yea, glory, in the hardest circumstances that 
encountered him, ver. 9, 10. Nor was this a privilege peculiar to the 
apostle ; there is a promise offering it to all Christ's people, Isa. xl. 81. 
Since Christ has such a feeling of our infirmities, we might be sure he would 
relieve and strengthen, though he had not promised it. It is some ease to 
those who do but suffer with others, by way of sympathy and fellow-feeling, 
to have them eased. Christ himself some way suffers, till his people be 
relieved. It is through him, and mercy through him, that the promise is 
made. ' Now that it is promised, both his faithfulness and compassionate-' 
ness insure the performance. 

If CLrist have such a sense of the difficulties we labour under, they need 
not discousage us ; he will take care we shall not sink under them. He 
himself is concerned in the pressure, and has a feeling of it. 

2. As for dangers and sufferings which attend the profession of Christy 
they need be no discouragement. For in that Christ is touched with the 
feeling of our infirmities (sufferings amongst the rest), he suffers with his 
people therein ; and so they are upon this account (as they are upon others 
also) his sufferings ; therefore he will order them as his own. Hence we 
may conclude they will do us no hurt, they shall do us good. 

Christ will take care they shall not hurt us ; he will secure us from the 
evil of them ; and being secured from the evil of them, there is nothing in 
them to be feared ; nothing to fright us from our profession, any part or 
degree of it ; nothing to discourage us from persisting in it, and holding it fast. 

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HEB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OUB INPIBMITIES. 101 

There is a threefold evil in sufferings : legal, moral, natural. 

(1.) A legal evil, and that is the curse. Afflictions, that which we suffer 
by since the fall, were deserved by sin, threatened by the law, executed by 
divine justice, to satisfy for the injury sin had done him ; so they become a 
curse. Christ has freed his people from the curse, by suffering for them, 
Gal. iii. 18 ; and even those that are chastisements, are now freed from the 
curse. They are not destructive penalties, they are not from vindictive 
wrath, they are not to satisfy justice ; and if sufferings for sin be secured 
from this dreadful evil, sufferings for the profession of Christ are at far 
farther distance from it. 

(2.) A moral evil. And that is the sin that sufferings expose us to, which 
may be occasioned thereby, which those are usually tempted to who are under 
Bufferings. 

Now Christ himself, in the days of his suffering, was tempted to sin ; that 
was one of those infirmities he laboured under, and was exposed to, for our 
sakes ; and for this end, that he might be touched with the feeling of their 
condition who are tempted, that he might sympathise with them in the hour 
of temptation, that he might know by experience their danger and distress, 
and so both pity and relieve them, Heb. ii. 18. He is hereby every way 
sufficient, both able and willing to succour the tempted. 

He shewed a compassionate sense of their danger of sin under sufferings, 
and how desirous he is to have them secured from it, by his prayer on earth. 
It was his petition a little before his death, John xvii. 15. He would not 
have them taken out of the world, nor freed quite from troubles and suffer- 
ings in it ; but freed from the evil, that is, the sin of them. Though troubles 
continue, though this serpent will live, and be upon us now and then while 
we are on earth ; yet he takes care that it be disarmed, that the sting be 
polled out, that the mortal venom of it may not seize on his suffering saints ; 
and then there is nothing in it to discourage or make them afraid. 

(8.) A natural evil. And that is the smart, the grievance, the pain, and 
afflictiveness of it to the flesh. This nature is most afraid of; but the fear 
and discouragement of this may be quite overcome by a due consideration 
and belief of this truth. Christ himself suffered this ; he knows by expe- 
rience what the pain and afflictiveness of sufferings is. He would feel it 
himself, that he might be touched with the feeling of what his people suffer 
by it. He knows what relief and compassion it calls for ; and as he would 
not have been denied it when the case was his, so he will not deny it to his 
people. Indeed, the case is still his in some sense, seeing he suffers with 
them, not by a painful, but by a compassionate feeling of their sufferings. 
Hence we may conclude, 

[1.] He will let no more befall us than is tolerable, than we may well 
endure. He knows the weight and grievance of sufferings ; himself bore it. 
He knows our weakness and infirmity ; himself was under our weaknesses. 
He has experience of both, so he knows what degree of pain or grievance 
would be too much or too heavy ; and since he is touched with the feeling 
hereof, to be sure he will not suffer us to feel more than we can bear. His 
compassions are too great to let any grievance be too heavy. If he were not, 
as we may say, a fellow-sufferer with us, if he had not the compassions of a 
man for us, yet his faithfulness as God would prevent this, 1 Cor. x. 18. But 
there is a concurrence of both ; he is both a merciful and faithful high priest. 

[2.] He will make what befalls us comfortable. He that cannot fail to 
pity us will not fail to comfort us. It is so amongst men. He that is 
heartily touched with the feeling of another's grievances, and really pities his 
condition, will comfort him if he can. Now Christ, who has such a feeling 

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102 CHRIST TOUCHED WITH [HEB. IV. 15. 

of his people's pressures, and has such transcendent compassions for them, 
he can accordingly comfort them. When sufferings most abound, he can 
make comforts super abound, 2 Cor. i. 5. He can poor in snch comforts as 
will drown the sense of what is most sharp and afflictive in outward suffer- 
ings, 1 Cor. vii. 4 ; such as will make what is otherwise grievous to the flesh 
to be exceeding joyous, occasion of more joy than the greatest occasions of 
rejoicing in the whole world, Bom. viii. 85, 87. What joy like that of a 
conqueror in the day of his victory or of his triumph ? Even in the^worst 
of sufferings, &c, Christ affords more joy than that of conquerors ; he makes 
his suffering people more than conquerors, and so gives more occasion of joy 
and triumph ; they have it through Christ that loves them, that has an 
affectionate sense of their sufferings. 

[8.] He will make what befalls them profitable, highly advantageous. 
That shall be the issue of the smart and grievance of outward sufferings. 
This also we may be assured of, in that he is touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities. He is, as I shewed, touched effectually with the feeling. Now 
such an effectual sense will afford the best relief, the most advantageous, 
such as is expressed by riches of grace and glory, and what is most desirable, 
advantage every way. 

First, Temporal, Mark x. 80. In this time he shall have an hundredfold 
advantage ; in kind, if that be best for him ; or else what is better: 

Secondly. Spiritual advantage. The increase of holiness, and the fruits 
of it, which is more precious than gold, Heb. xii. 10. That we might more 
richly partake of his holiness, than without sufferings we would do, that we 
might be more filled with the fruits of it, ver. 11. The apostle found it true 
by experience, 2 Cor. iv. 16. Holiness was daily increased in his soul by 
daily sufferings, such as threatened the ruin of the outward man. 

Thirdly. Eternal advantage, ver: 17. For affliction, glory ; as if one for 
bearing a cross word patiently should be crowned a king. For light afflic- 
tion, a weight of glory ; as if one, for the loss of a farthing, should have 
millions of gold. For a moment's affliction, eternal glory ; as if one, for the 
pain of a minute, should have all prosperity and happiness imaginable for 
thousands and thousands of ages, for ages without end, and that without 
intermission. But no comparison can reach it. It is wrg£j3aXAo», &c, 
exceeding more, far more exceeding. Put them together in the balance, 
and that scale wherein the weight of glory is will make the other fly up, as 
if there were nothing at all in it. The heaviest afflictions are no more a 
counterpoise to this weight of glory, than the small dust of the balance is to 
an hundred thousand weight. Christ's feeling of his people's sufferings for 
their profession, gives assurance of such weighty and rich advantages by the 
worst they can suffer for holding it fast. 

What encouragement then is here to hold fast our profession ! No diffi- 
culties or sufferings can be any just occasion for discouraging us. Nothing 
can be pretended but the evil of them ; and Christ is ready, not only to 
secure his people from all kind of evil, but to turn it into good ; not only to 
render it tolerable, but very comfortable, richly advantageous, with the 
highest advantages that earth or heaven, time or eternity, can afford. All 
this we may be assured of, in that he is touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities. 

4. Another duty which this truth calls and obliges us to, is to sympathise 
with one another. If Christ be thus touched with the feeling of our infir- 
mities, then ought we to be touched with the sense of our brethren's infir- 
mities. If the head be thus sensible, shall the members have no sense ? 
1 John iv. 11, * If Christ so loved us,' &o. This is propounded not only for 

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HEB. IV, 15.] TH« FEELING OF OOTt INFIRMITIES. 108 

oar comfort and encouragement, but also for our imitation, 1 John i. 7. 
We have not fellowship with one another, as Christ has with us, unless we 
have a fellow-feeling of what others suffer. 

It is due upon this account, and frequently called for : 1 Peter iii. 8, 
QfioppMs. There should be an union of souls amongst those who are one in 
Christ. They should be compassionate, <ri/fMra0«/fc, should sympathise 
together ; feel what lies heavy on others, and suffer by compassion what 
others suffer otherwise. Else they are not p/Xa&Xpo/ ; they have not that 
love for their brethren, which the love of Christ obliges them to have. They 
should be pitiful, luerrXay^w/ ; their bowels should be troubled for that which 
troubles them, and shew it by being p i\6pgov*e , ready to relieve. The same 
word, Acts xxviii. 7, such sympathy, with the acts or parts of it (pity and 
readiness to succour) ; and this out of love, as those that are concerned, as 
being all one, of one mind and soul, we should have for one another, because 
Christ has it for us, CoL iii. 12, 18. We should sympathise with them in 
all infirmities ; so does he with us. 

(1.) In outward infirmities, weaknesses, wants, dangers, sufferings. We 
should be touched with what others feel herein, 2 Cor. xi. 29. He calls 
Timothy to partake with him in his danger and restraint, 2 Tim. i. 8. The 
Hebrews sympathised with him in his bonds. Heb. x. 84, <rw«rato)(wm, ye 
suffered with me, &c. He would have them (and us in them) so to suffer 
with all the members of Christ, Heb. xiii. 8, have that sense of their con- 
dition as if it were your own, such a sense as you would others have if the 
case were yours ; and this not only for bonds, but any adversity, 1 Cor. xii. 
25, 26. If the foot be in pain, the head feels it ; if the back be naked, the 
breast will be sensible of it ; if the belly be pinched with want, or the 
stomach be sick, the other parts will feel it. So should it be with the 
members of the mystical body. We shall want one main evidence that we 
are parts of that body whereof Christ is head, if there be not some sense in 
us of what fellow- members feel. It is schism ; you divide yourselves from 
the rest of the body when you have not a joint sense of what other members 
suffer. This is to be schismatics in the apostle's sense. 

(2.) Inward infirmities. When they are tempted, sympathise with them, 
considering ourselves, lest we also be tempted. When dejected, 1 Thes. 
v. 14. And those that are weak, ready to fall ; not only bear with them, 
but bear them up, take part of the pressure upon yourselves, that they may 
not sink under it. So does Christ for us, leaving us an example that we 
should follow his steps. 

When weak in judgment, Rom xv. 1, 8. Ye that understand the doc- 
trine of Christ, that in particular concerning Christian liberty, ought to bear 
the weakness of those who are not so apprehensive of it ; and not to please 
yourselves with reflecting upon the strength of your own judgment, or clear- 
ness of your own apprehensions. And so imitate Christ, ver. 8, counting 
weir concernments yours ; as he did the concerns of his Father, was as ten- 
der of what reflected on him, as if it had fallen on himself. 

(8.) In sinful infirmities, 2 Cor. xi. 29. « Who is offended,' i. e. who 
falls into sin ; for that is the true notion of being offended in the New Tes- 
tament. So giving of offence is explained, Rom. xiv. 13. Who falls into 
sro, ' and I burn not,' says he. Such falls were grievous to him, he had a 
quick and painful feeling thereof; he both suffered by, and with such. Falling 
into sin is like falling into the fire ; not only the offenders, but the apostle, 
was scorched thereby. So should it be with us, Gal. vi. 1, 2. Do not bur- 
den him more, by censuring and aggravating his fault ; but ease him, by 
suffering with him, counting his fall your own burden. 



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104 CHBIBT TOUGHED WITH [HEB. IV, 15. 

We should sympathise with our brethren, even in infirmities that are not 
without sin ; whether they be apprehensions or acts, opinions or practices 
(being but weaknesses incident to those whom Christ owns, and sympathises 
with) ; we should learn of him to have compassion on them, and affection- 
ately endeavour to succour them. 

The consideration of this, that Christ is touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities, is enough to remove whatever may hinder us from a compas- 
sionate sense of others' mfirmitiea. 

Obj. 1. It is a plain truth wherein he diners from me; it is evident to 
me, and seems clear as the light, yet he will not yield to me. If it was ob- 
scure and difficult, if it were doubtful and disputable, and had probable rea- 
sons both for it and against it, such as might puzzle a common understand- 
ing, then I might pity and bear with him. 

Ans. It seems clear to thee, but is it so in itself, or so to him ? If it were 
plain to him, it would be rather wilfulness than infirmity in him not to yield. 
But is it not possible that you may be mistaken as well as he ? Are you 
infallible ? Have you not found by experience, that what once you have 
judged a clear truth, you have afterwards discerned to be a mistake and 
error ? Who is there that makes any diligent inquiry after truth, that has 
not found this by experience ? Now, were not you to be pitied in those 
misapprehensions, wherein you now discover a pitiful weakness ? What if 
the world had agreed with you, yielded to you in this, in those first opinions, 
wherein you now see reason to differ from yourselves ? Did you not need 
Christ's compassions in such weaknesses ? And Will you have no tender- 
ness for others, in such cases where you need it yourselves. 

But, further, Do not you differ in some points from Christ himself ? Are 
your judgments perfectly conformable to his in all things ? May there not 
be some particulars, which to you seem clear truths, which yet he knows 
infallibly to be mistakes and erroneous apprehensions ? It would argue in- 
tolerable pride, and unacquaintedness with the darkness and weakness of our 
own understanding to question this. Now, would you not have Christ to pity 
and bear with you, in points wherein you dissent from him ? Would you 
not have Christ to judge, that in all things where you are not of his mind 
(which yet are clear to him beyond all possibility of mistake), your mistake 
is out of wilfulness, not infirmity, and so shonld have no pity for you ? Oh, 
if he did so, you were undone I Miserable must we all be, if Christ were 
not touched compassionately with the feeling of our weakness, in varying 
from his judgment as to those things that are most clear and certain 
truths to him. And do we expect compassion from him, where we have no 
forbearance for others? Are we disciples of Christ, and will not learn 
of him ? 

Obj. 2. But it is not a few things wherein he crosses my persuasion. If 
he differed but from me in one or two points, it might be borne; but he runs 
counter to my way and judgment in many. 

Ans. But does he differ from you in more, or as many particulars, as you 
dissent from Christ in ? I am much mistaken if this be not true ; that even 
the sincere lovers of Christ and his truth differ in far more points from 
Christ, than they differ one from another. This leads me to judge so ; there 
are many things that we know not ; the best, most knowing, are ignorant of 
far more than they understand ; and those things that we have <any know- 
ledge of, we know but in part, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, and viii. 2 ; we partly know 
it, and partly are ignorant of it, 1 Cor. xiii. 12 ; we see but darkly, t. e. we 
know but ignorantly, as children do, ver. 11. 

Now, where there is ignorance (if the mind come to any positive judg- 

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HKB. IV. 15.] THE FEELING OF OTJB INFIBMITIE8. 105 

ment), there will be error and mistake ; so that, being wholly ignorant of 
many things, and partly ignorant of all, we are subject to err more or less 
in all things. Hence it comes to pass, that the errors of our minds are like 
those of our ways for multitude : Ps. xiz. 12, ' They are so many, we cannot 
know them. Our mistakes are in number like the hairs of our heads. 

Now, so many ways as we mistake and err, so many ways do we dissent 
from Christ, and run cross to his judgment and persuasion. And has Christ 
compassion on thee and all these ? Is he touched with the feeling of thy 
weakness in all ? And wilt thou not forbear thy brother in some differ- 
ences ? What though they seem many, they are but few really, in compa- 
rison of those wherein thou dissentest from Christ ; and wherein, if thou 
meetest not with pity and succour from him, thou art lost. 

Obj. 8. But those opinions wherein he differs from me are of very ill 
consequence. They are not mere notions, or speculative errors, but practi- 
cal mistakes, such as lead him out of the way wherein I walk, and Christ 
would have him walk ; and may mislead others into wanderings and by- 
paths. And though they be not paths pernicious and destructive, but such 
as those who, for the main, are under the conduct of the Spirit of Christ, may 
slip into, yet they are not without some sin and great danger. Erroneous 
speculations may be better borne with than practical errors. 

Ans. Christ has compassions for those who not only err notionally, 
but practically, so as to step out of the way, and wander too. Herein he 
is compared with the Levitical high priest, of whom it was required, Heb. 
v. 2. Christ herein transcends him. He <jan more pity, both ayvoova and 
vXawpivoig ; both those who are in the dark, and apt to wander, not dis- 
cerning betwixt light and darkness in their notions ; and those also who mis- 
take their way, turn aside, and are actually wandering out of the path. 

Now, does Christ compassionately sympathise with thee and others, when 
out of the way by practical mistakes ; and wilt thou have no tenderness, no 
forbearance for thy brother in the like case ? Shall he have compassionate 
sympathy, proportionable to the wandering (so the word there signifies) as 
great as the mistake is ; and wilt thou think it too great for thine ? What 
if Christ should measure to thee what thon metest to others ? 

Obj. 4. But he is sour, cross, fro ward, peevish, wilful, puts a bad con- 
struction upon my forbearance and condescensions, makes ill returns, gives 
great provocations when I give him no occasion, and every way disobliges 
me. This calls for severeness, or rougher passions than pity. Who can 
affectionately sympathise with such a one ? Who can shew compassionate 
tenderness towards him ? It is unreasonable to expect it, it is impossible 
to do it ; who ever did, who can do it ? 

Ans. Who can do it ? dost thou ask. Why, Christ does it for thee. 

(1.) When thou earnest thyself worse towards him than thy brother does 
to thee. There is not any one in the world shews himself so sour, cross, 
&c., so disingenuous, so provoking, so ungrateful, so every way disobliging, 
as thon hast shewed thyself to Christ. There is not the most perverse, the 
most cross-grained person, that ever thou hadst anything to do with, that 
has demeaned himself worse to thee, than thou hast done to Christ. Thou 
art wofhlly blinded by self-love ; thou art one of no consideration, of no 
sense, if not sensible of this. Thou knowest not Christ, thou knowest not 
thyself, thine own heart and ways, if thon wilt not acknowledge this. 

(2.) Yea, take them altogether, that ever dealt ill with thee, all that ever 
thon hast had any occasion to complain of ; and thou alone hast dealt worse 
with Christ, and done more against him, than all of them together have 
done against thee. 



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106 CHRIST TOUCHED WITH [HEB. IV. 15. 

(8.) Where thou hast had one provocation from any, Christ has had an 
hundred from thee. Yon disoblige Christ more in one day, than others do 
yon in a whole year. 

(4.) And provocations of Christ are not only more in number, but greater, 
and of a higher nature ; as much higher as the heavens are above the earth ; 
as much greater, as God is greater than man ; for the height of the provo- 
cation rises from the transcendency of the person provoked. He that pro- 
vokes you is but a man like yourselves, but Christ is not only man, but 
God, and we are less to him than flies and gnats are to us. And the less 
we are in his eye, the greater and more insufferable is every provocation 
from us. 

(5.) And all this thou doest when he gives thee not the least occasion to 
deal ill with him, when all his ways are mercy, when he is every moment 
obliging thee, and does so much to oblige thee as no creature in the world 
can or will do. 

Now, put all these together. Have you been worse to him than any other 
has been to you ? Have you more disobliged him than you have been dis- 
obliged by all the persons in the world put together ? Has he had a thou- 
sand provocations from you for one you have had from any ? Are your 
provocations incomparably greater and higher than any you have met with 
from others ? And do you provoke him without a cause, when he gives yon 
not the least occasion imaginable to do it? And yet notwithstanding all this, 
does he not only bear with you, but pity you ? Has he tender affections, 
when he has so much occasion for indignation and severity ? Is he touched 
with the feeling of your infirmities ? Has he a compassionate tenderness for 
you after all this ? And will you not have sympathy and tenderness for your 
brethren ? Oh this example of Christ will leave us without excuse herein ; 
we have nothing to plead, but this will silenoe us. Nothing at all left us, I 
say not to justify, but in any degree to extenuate, the sinfulness of this 
neglect. 

You see all that may hinder us from sympathising with our brethren is 
quite removed by Christ's own example, here set down before us in the text. 
Let us see what it affords to enforce this duty on us further. 

(1.) Hereby you will be like to Christ, and to be like to Christ is the 
highest excellency we can attain ; it is the sum of all our duty, and so 
should be the end and scope of all our endeavours, the great design and 
business of our whole life. 

What higher excellency can we aspire to than a likeness to Christ? 
Revenge is that indeed wherein the world glories, to do evil for evil, and 
come even with those who affront or wrong them ; but this they learn of 
the devil, not of Christ. It is a devilish deformity ; they have it of their 
father, and are herein as like him as they can look. But the glory of a 
Christian is to do good for evil, to pity those they suffer by, and to sympa- 
thise with such as disoblige them. This is glorious indeed ; this is to be 
like to Christ himself; it is his- glory, and shines in the text ; it is the ex- 
cellency of his office, as he is High Priest, Philip, ii. 5. While the same 
mind is in others that is in the world, that is in the devil, it will be our 
glory to have * the same mind in ns that was in Christ,' by having a sense 
of others' wants, weaknesses, dangers, sufferings, as Christ has of ours. 

It is our great duty also. Christ calls us to it : Mat. xi., * Learn of me.' 
It is essential to a disciple of Christ to learn of him ; if we refuse it, what- 
ever we pretend to, we really disclaim, renounce our relation to him, Mat. 
xvi. 24. If we will be his disciples, we must follow him ; we must imitate 
him, follow his example, for he has left us his example on purpose, 1 Peter 

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HEB. IV. 15. J THK FBEUXG OP OUB INFIRMITIES. 107 

ii. 21. This is one of the paths wherein he went before us. We see in 
the text the steps which we most follow : Eph. iv. 82 and v. 1, 2, « tender- 
hearted, 1 tvoTXay^vcg. 

That is the eompassionateness the text calls for ; shew it in such acts as 
he has done. Be ye followers, imitators of him herein; walk in love. 
How ? Even as Christ. Christ shews his love in being touched, &c. ; so 
do ye. This is to follow God ; this is to learn of Christ effectually. So he 
begins the exhortation to the duties following, -and this particularly, chap, 
iv. 20, 21. Ye have not so learned Christ; ye do not follow him, ye are 
not like him, if ye do not this ; ye have not pat on the new man, which is 
Christ's resemblance, ver. 24. If this be wholly wanting, Col. iii. 12, 18, 
put on 4*a}&yyytM. iixrie/Aov, bowels of compassion. Shew it as Christ did ; 
let him be your example ; let no /to/up)), nothing that you can blame or find 
fault with in those who want your compassion, hinder you, ver. 14. Love 
to others, founded in the love of Christ to you, is the bond of perfectness ; 
the most perfect bond, that which most strongly binds and obliges you to 
this ; to all mercifulness and eompassionateness, in imitation of Christ. 

Use 2. For comfort to the people of Christ. Here is ground of great con- 
solation in every condition ; in the worst, the most grievous circumstances 
that yoa can be compassed with in this world. All grievances whatsoever 
are comprised under infirmities ; and this affords comfort as to everything 
that can be a grievance to you, especially taking in the ground of it in the 
next words, ' But was in all things tempted,' or exercised, like unto us. 

Art thou poor, wantest conveniences, and sometimes (it may be) neces- 
saries ? Why, Christ is touched with the feeling of a poor condition ; it was 
once his own case, 2 Cor. viii. 9 ; poor in relations, Philip, ii. 7. As to 
friends, a few fishermen ; as to estate, he had not wherewith to pay a small 
tribute, but what he got by miracle ; as to accommodations, worse provided 
for than the inferior creatures, Mat. viii. 20. Christ is touched with the 
sense of thy poor condition, for he himself felt it ; he will relieve thee, for 
therefore did he feel it, that he might be ready to do it. 

Art thou tempted to sin, "buffeted by Satan, afflicted with horrid sugges- 
tions ? Christ is touched with the feeling of a tempted soul ; he himself 
was exercised with temptation. Satan assaulted him both invisibly and 
visibly ; he tried him with variety of temptations. And what more horrid 
suggestion than that, to fall down and worship the devil ? Mat. iv. Yea, 
Christ was so far in his power, and at his disposal, in the hour of tempta- 
tion, that Satan carried him from place to place in the air, from the wilder- 
ness to the temple at Jerusalem, and from thence into a high mountain, 
Mat. iv. 1, 6, 8. 

Art thou despised, hated, reproached, despitefully used? He is touched 
with the sense of this; it was his own case. He was reviled as a glutton, 
a wine-bibber, an impostor, a blasphemer, and one that dealt with the devil. 
He knows what it is to be overwhelmed with shame and reproach, his own 
experience makes him sensible of it. 

Is this world a vale of trouble and tears to thee ? Is thy life a life of 
sorrows and sufferings ? Dost thou suffer from all sorts, not only from 
professed enemies, but those whom thou seekest most to oblige ? Art thou 
in anguish of spirit, heaviness of soul, forsaken of men, and to sense deserted 
of God ? Why, thus it was with him, he himself felt all this. So there is 
no doubt but he is touched with the feeling of it. He was a man of sorrows, 
acquainted with griefs, with all sorts of grief. He suffered from all sorts ; 
not only his enemies, but his friends, were a trouble to him. Even his dis- 
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108 OHBIST TOUGHED WITH [Hl£B. IV, 15, 

pain and soul- trouble both at once; his soul was heavy, exceedingly sor- 
rowful, even unto death ; and when he was in the hands of cruel and bloody 
men, he cries out in the anguish of his soul, as one forsaken of God. 

Briefly, whatever thy trouble or grievance be, here is a spring, a well of 
comfort opened to thee in the text, from whence thou mayest draw streams 
of joy and refreshment in all the sad circumstances of thy life, for hence 
thou hast ground to conclude assuredly, 

(1.) That the Lord delights not in your grievances. He takes no pleasure 
to afflict you, or to let others do it; he ' afflicts not willingly, 1 Lam. iii. S3; 
he delights not in that which he has such a compassionate sense of ; he 
takes no pleasure in that which is afflictive to you, for he himself feels it. 

How comes it then to pass that the troubles of the righteous are so many ? 
Why, there is some necessity for it ; it is not but ' if need be,' 1 Peter i. ; there 
is some great advantage to be had by it, and this is the method which infinite 
wisdom counts best for the attaining of it. Otherwise, if it were not neces- 
sary, if it were not good, he would not suffer it, since he some way suffers 
by it; it is not the suffering that pleases him, the same thing cannot in the 
same respect be the object both of delight and commiseration. Christ has 
compassions on you herein, so far as he suffers with you. He takes no plea- 
sure in what is grievous to you, for himself feels it. Acts vii. 34, ' I have seen, I 
have seen,' says the Lord ; I have felt, I have felt, says Christ, the affliction, &c. 

(2.) You are n6t alone in any condition, in any grievance, be it want or 
weakness, danger or suffering ; you will always have one by you to sympa- 
thise with you, one who stands for more than all the world. This was the 
comfort wherewith Christ comforted himself, when he was like to be left 
destitute of all outward comforts and comforters, John xvi. 82. This is it 
which will secure you against the evil of any want, or weakness, or trouble, 
how great soever; yea, against all fear of it, Ps. xxiii. 4, Isa. xli. 10, Ac. 
That which need not be your fear need not be your trouble. You need fear 
nothing if Christ be with you. And this the text assures you of, he will be 
with you ; not only as a spectator, but as a co-sufferer ; as one that not only 
will see, but will feel, what you want, or what you endure. Oh what com- 
fort is it to consider this ! While I am in want, in pain, in distress, labour- 
ing under weaknesses, or conflicting with outward troubles, inward temptation ; 
while I am complaining and bemoaning myself, Christ is pitying me. His 
bowels yearn towards me, he feels what pinches me, he is affectionately 
touched with the feeling of it. 

(3.) You shall have his affection in every state, under all infirmities. 
The mind and heart of Christ will be upon you in every condition, under all 
weaknesses, in all wants, in all grievances. For this is a proposition of 
eternal truth, Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. This 
will hold true in every moment of your lives, Christ's compassions mil not ; 
and while he has compassions, he has love, and all the affections that depend 
on love. So that, whatever you want, Christ will never want love for you ; 
you will never want his love. And what need you more ? What want is 
there in the world that his love will not make up ? Whatever you suffer, you 
will not lose his love ; and there is enough in his compassion, in his love, to 
make any grievance better than freedom from it; to make any condition, how 
necessitous, weak, afflictive soever, more comfortable, more advantageous, 
more desirable, than any exemption from it, when this is not from love. 
Will he love you less, because you are compassed with infirmities ? Will 
he not shew more love ? The more compassion is shewed, the more love 
appears. And he shews most compassion where there is most need ; and 
who need more than they that labour under most infirmities ? 



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HSB. IV. 15.] THE PEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES. 109 

4. You shall have that which is best for 70a in your infirmities ; and 
nothing can be more comfortable than to be assured of what is best for you. 
If it be best to have your infirmities, the burdened lessened, he will do it. 
If it be best that they be continued, with support under them, you shall 
have that. If it be better to have a holy and fruitful improvement of them, 
than to be freed from them, you shall have that. If it be best to have 
deliverance from them, he will work it; as soon as it is so, he will not delay 
it. This you may be sure of, because he is touched, &c. For this is not 
the pity of a weak man, who may wish well to him he pities, but cannot 
help ; may be willing to do what is best for him, but is not able ; but it 
is the compassion of him, who is the mighty God. Indeed, he is both God 
and man, who is thos touched with the sense of our condition. And so it 
is the compassion of a man, for the tenderness of it, but the compassion of 
God, for the mighty power and efficacy of it. 

This assures us that he is both able and willing to afford the best relief, 
and this is by doing that which is best for us. 



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OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE 
OF GRACE. 



Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
and find grace to help in time of need. — Heb. IV. 16. 

These words are a most comfortable conclusion drawn from what is pre- 
mised in the former verse. Since we have an high priest, one who has 
reconciled ns to God, and does intercede for [as] ; snch an high priest who is 
tonched with the feeling of oar infirmities ; one who is so. compassionate to 
us, and so ready to relieve as under all infirmities whatever ; therefore let 
us come boldly. 

To open the words a little. Here is an act or motion, with the manner, 
and term, and end of it. 

Let us. This may denote, it is both our privilege and duty to come, and 
thus to come. We may do it, it is our privilege, our happiness. We ought 
to do it, it is our duty. We have not only leave to do thus, but it is 
enjoined us ; the Lord has made that our duty, which is our happiness. 
Indeed, he enjoins us nothing but what tends to make us happy. Such a 
Lord we have, as requires nothing of us, but in order to our own happiness. 
This is true in all the instances of our duty, though it do not so plainly 
appear in some of them ; but in this before us it is both true and evident ; 
it is clearly our happiness, a most blessed privilege, to do that which he 
calls for. 

Come. Let us make our addresses to him. Let us apply ourselves to 
the Lord in all the ways he has appointed, in all his ordinances, all acts of 
worship, and prayer particularly. 

Boldly. Here is the manner of the address, fisrSc mgwiag. A word 
frequently used, and denotes several things. Let us take notice of such as 
may be here pertinent. It signifies, 

1. Liberty without restraint. You may be free, as those that are 
assuredly welcome. You may use freedom of speech. So used, Acts ii. 29, 
and iv. i8. You have liberty to speak your minds freely, to speak all your 
heart ; to declare all your ails, and wants, and fears, and grievances. As 
others should not restrain and fetter you, in speaking to God, prescribing 
what things you should seek, what words use, and no other ; so you need 
not restrain yourselves, but speak all that your condition requires, freely. 
It is your privilege to be free, Christ has made you welcome. 

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HSB. IV. 16.] OOMINO UNTO THE THBONB OF GRACE. Ill 

(2.) Security, without Tearfulness. You need not fear that you shall be 
slighted, or repulsed, or disappointed, John xi. 54, wag£ij<r/a, as one secure. 
We may come openly, as those that have the greatest security, and not the 
least occasion to be fearful. 

(8.) Authority. Without question whether this belong to us, whether 
we have warrant for it, so used, Heb. z. 19. As the high priest had 
authority (and he alone under the law) to outer into the holiest, so has every 
believer warrant now to do it; he has that which will bear him out in it, his 
warrant is the blood of Jesus. We may come with such authority as none 
can question ; Christ hath authorised us to do it, he will bear us out in it. 

(4.) Confidence, * without doubting/ Such faith as assures us of accept- 
ance and success, 1 John iii. 21, and v. 4. This includes all the former ; we 
may come with confidence, as those who have security, liberty, authority to 
come. We may come, with all assurance that we shall obtain, &c. We 
have encouragement, sufficient ground from the premises to come in faith, 
with full assurance. of faith ; pfi btsraZpms (says Chrysostom in loc), not 
doubting. So that, to come boldly, is to come as those that have security, 
liberty, authority ; and which is the sum of all, to come in faith, with 
assurance to obtain what they come for. 

To the throne of grace. That is the term of this notion. The Lord is 
represented as having two thrones : one a throne of judgment, where he 
shews his justice and severity; the other a throne of mercy, where he shews 
himself gracious and compassionate. It is a dreadful thing to appear before 
the throne of judgment Sinners, when they are awakened, will think the 
weight of rocks and mountains more tolerable than this, Rev. vi. 15, 16, 
Dan. vii. 9, 10. But to be admitted to the throne of merey is the most 
comfortable and happiest privilege that the children of men are here capable 
of, as will appear by a fuller account of it in the sequel. And this is the 
happiness in the text, fy6voc x&prog forw, ov Sgjvo? xf/<rt o>f . Not where ever- 
lasting destruction will be awarded, 2 Thes. i., but where mercy and grace 
will be obtained. This follows, 

That we may obtain merey .and find grace. This is the end why we are to 
come. The favour of God through Christ is sometimes called mercy, some- 
times grace, indifferently. What difference there is betwixt them seems not 
to be real, but respective. Mercy respects misery in the object, as grace 
does unworthiness. Mercy is favour shewed to the miserable, and grace is 
favour to the unworthy, freely shewed to such as have no reason from them- 
selves to expect it; nothing to deserve it, nothing to oblige the Lord, nothing 
to move him to vouchsafe it. 

To help in time of need. A general term, indefinitely laid down, but is 
equivalent to an universal. All kind of relief, suitable to the necessities and 
various circumstances of every condition. Help, as to our wants, our weak- 
nesses, our straits, our difficulties, our dangers, our temptations, our sin and 
guilt, oar troubles and sufferings, outward and .inward ; help for all, and all 
that will be helpful, all that can be needful. And as relief in all, so the 
best relief, Zvxa/gov Sorjfoiav ; the best help, when it will be best, when it will 
be most opportune, most seasonable. Help, when it comes too soon, or 
when it comes too late, proves not helpful ; but this shall come just in its 
season, just in the nick of opportunity, when it will be helpful to the best 
advantage. The people of Christ may come to the throne of grace, with 
assurance to find grace and mercy for such help as this ; for relief in all 
cases, and that when it will be best of all. 

Observations. 

1. There is a throne of grace, which believers may come to. 

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112 OP COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HEB. IV. 16. 

2. They may come boldly, with confidence, to this throne ; they have 
liberty to do so, they have security in doing it, they have authority to do it, 
and so may do it with confidence. 

3. This is the way to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 
I shall handle the first of these as the doctrine, and make use of the other 

by way of application. 

To proceed with the former clearly and profitably, I will endeavour to shew 
what a throne of grace here imports and signifies ; what it declares to us 
concerning the Lord, whom we may approach as upon such a throne. Now 
I do not find that a throne of grace is anywhere else mentioned in the New 
Testament ; but that which is equivalent to it in the Old Testament very 
frequently. The apostle, speaking of the throne of grace, alludes to the 
mercy-seat in the tabernacle and temple. The Lord's throne of grace, and 
his mercy-seat, differ not in sense, but in sound. A seat and a throne, 
referred to God, are both one ; and grace and mercy differ very little. The 
mercy-seat (as you may see, Exod. xxv. 17, 18, 21) was the golden cover of 
the ark ; at each end of it was a cherub, and between the cherubims is the 
Lord said to sit, and so is represented as sitting, or residing on the mercy- 
seat as on a throne. This was the throne of grace under the law. And in 
allusion to this does the apostle speak of him as upon a throne of grace 
under the gospel. 

So that by understanding what the mercy-seat signified concerning God, 
we may come to understand what the throne of grace imports concerning 
God, both what he is to himself and what he is to his people, what appre- 
hensions of him we are led to when we are to come to the throne of grace. 

1. Let us see what it declares the Lord to be in himself. His throne of 
grace signifies these severals — 

(1.) That he is a God of glory, of a glorious majesty. Here was the most 
glorious and majestic appearance of God amongst his people of old. Upon 
the mercy-seat he appeared in glory. The ark, whereof this very mercy-seat 
was a part, the most rich and splendid part, is called his glory, Ps. lxxviii. 61. 
Here he vouchsafed his special presence, as upon his throne. When they 
were deprived of this by the Philistines, the glory was departed, 1 Sam. 
iv. 22. The cherubims, which were part of the mercy-seat in the taber- 
nacle, are called * cherubims of glory/ Heb. ix. 5. As it is a throne, it speaks 
him glorious, 1 Sam. ii. 8. Thrones are for persons of great glory on 
earth, and so is ascribed to him who is the most glorious majesty of the 
world. When the prophet represents him upon a throne, Isa. vi. 1, it is 
said, ver. 8, ' One cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord 
of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.' Thus we should approach the 
Lord, thus we should apprehend him when we come to the throne of grace ; 
the notion of a throne obliges us to it. 

(2.) That he is a God of dominion and sovereignty, that he rules and 
reigns and is supreme governor, Ps. xcix. 1, 2. He reigns, that appears by 
his throne. He sits between the cherubims. As so represented, the mercy- 
seat was his throne. Upon this account, greatness, supremacy is ascribed 
to him, ver. 2, and from hence Hezekiah declares his sovereignty over all 
kingdoms, 2 Kings xix. 15. Thou art placed upon the mercy-seat as a 
throne, &c. From the mercy-seat, as his throne, he gave law to his subjects 
(and legislation is the chief act of sovereignty) ; he appoints Moses to expect 
his laws from thence, Exod. xxv. 22 ; and accordingly, here he exercised hia 
legislative power, Num. vii. 8, 9. The particular laws here enacted are in 
the chapter following. 

And without reference to the type, a throne denotes sovereignty. Thrones 



HBB. IV. 16.] THE THSONB OF GRACE. 118 

are lor sovereign rulers, Job xxxvi. 7, 1 Sam. ii. 8 ; so it is applied to the 
Lord, who not only makes laws, but passes judgment, Ps. xciv. 7, 8. His 
throne is terrible to wicked men, a throne of justice ; so it is a comfort and 
relief to his people, a throne of mercy, ver. 9. Very frequently in Scripture 
throne is used for sovereign government, Gen. xli. 40, 2 Sam. vii. 18, 16, 
and applied to God, Ps. ciii. 19. 

Thus we should draw near to God with such apprehensions of him as 
sovereign Lord of the world, as King of kings and Lord of lords, supreme 
governor of all kingdoms, who has all creatures in heaven and earth under 
him as his subjects, gives law, passes judgment, does execution as he sees 
cause. The mention of a throne minds us of this. 

(8.) That he is a God of power and might, of almighty power. When he 
is spoken of as upon his throne, the mercy- seat, he is called the Lord of 
hosts, one who has all the power in the world, 1 Sam. iv. 4, 2 Sam. vi. 2. 
And the ark, whereof the mercy-seat was a principal part, is called the 
strength of God, Ps. Ixxviii. 61, and cxxxii. 8 ; because, as it was a testi- 
mony of his presence, so a symbol of his strength and power, ready to be 
engaged for his people. Hence the church, having addressed herself to the 
Lord, as upon the mercy-seat between the cherubims, Ps. lxxx. 1, adds, 
ver. 2, ' Before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up thy strength, 
and come and save us.' The expression has reference to the form of the 
Israelites encamping about the ark (the throne ef God) in their marches to- 
ward Canaan. They were disposed in four squadrons, under four principal 
standards. This of Ephraim, with Benjamin and Manasseh, encamped on 
the west behind the tabernacle. Judah, with other two tribes under his 
standard, encamped on the east, and had the front, Num. ii. 8, 18, x. 25. 
So that when the ark was taken up in order to a march, it was before 
Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. In allusion to which they pray, ' Stir 
np thy strength,' i. e. the ark (with the merey-seat on it, the throne of God 
in that representation) being a sign of God'B power or strength engaged for 
them. It is like that prayer which they used when the ark set forward, 
Num. x. 85. Answerable to which is David's prayer at the removal of the 
ark, Ps. cxxxii. 8. Hence that petition, Ps. xx. 2, ' Send the help from the 
sanctuary,' which is all one as if he had said, Send the help from the mercy- 
seat, or from the throne of grace. Thus should we eome to the throne of 
grace, with apprehensions of his almighty power. 

(4.) That he is a God of holiness, Ps. xcix. 5. To worship at his foot- 
stool is to worship towards the mercy-seat, ver. 1, between the cherubims. 
That was a symbol of his special presence. There he resided as a God of 
holiness. And upon that account every part of the temple, yea, the hill 
where it was seated, was counted holy, ver. 9. But above all, that part 
where the mercy-seat was, that was the most holy place, or, as it is in 
Hebrew, the holiness of.holinesses, Exod. xxvii. 28. The mercy-seat was 
the throne of his holiness, Ps. xlvii. 8 ; and giving oracles from thence, it is 
called the oracle of holiness, Ps. xxviii. 2. 

So the throne of grace is the throne of holiness. Thus we should come 
to the throne of grace with apprehensions of the holiness of God, that he is 
of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, that he is holy in himself, and will be 
sanctified of all that draw near him. 

(5.) That he is a God of wisdom, who sees and knows all things, to whom 
nothing is hid, or obscure, or difficult. From the mercy-seat he gave oracles ; 
he made discoveries to his people of such things, which otherwise they could 
not come to the knowledge of. They were to inquire here of him for resolu- 

vol. in. H 



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114 Or COMXHO BOLDLY UNTO [HEB. IV. 16. 

tion in their most intricate doubts, and greatest difficulties/ and weightiest 
undertakings, Ex. xxv. 22. Thus they were directed to do, and thus they 
were wont to do, when they were at a loss and wanted the conduct of 
divine wisdom, Judges xx. 27, 28, 1 Ohron. xiii. 8. This was the oracle 
they consulted with, the oracle of God, 2 Sam. xvi. 28. Hence the place 
of the mercy- seat, from whence the Lord gave those divine discoveries of his 
wisdom and testifications of his will, is called the oracle, 1 Kings vi. 6, 
16, 19. The word is "Wl from tn, to speak, because the Lord from hence 
gave divine answers when they inquired of him. Symmachus and Aquila 
read it x^quarorqgfoy, as an oracle was called amongst the gentiles, the place 
from whence they expected divine answers. And with the apostle ygntfia.- 
rtcfihg is the answer of God, Bom. xi. 4. And as the place, so the answers 
of God are called oracles, Bom. iii. 2 ; oracles, i. e. divine revelations and 
directions proceeding from infinite wisdom, and so of the greatest certainty, 
truth, and authority. Such oracles did the Lord give from the mercy-seat, 
and so he declared himself to be the God of wisdom. 

But this is not all. In that representation of the Lord upon the mercy- 
seat was wrapped up the manifold wisdom of God in a mystery, those riches, 
those wonders of mercy which are now unfolded in the gospel, where he ap- 
pears upon this throne of grace, and which the angels learn and are instructed 
in by the discoveries made thereof to the church, Eph. iii. 10. And while it 
was hid in a mystery, they were prying into it then, 1 Peter L 12. They do 
iragaxo^aj, stoop, bend their faces downward, as having an object before them 
which they earnestly desire to take special notice of. They shew the earnest- 
ness of their desire by their posture. And where is this to be seen ? Why, 
in the posture of the cherabims' faces towards the mercy-seat (to which we 
may well suppose the apostle's expression has reference), Exod. xxv. 20. 
Towards the mercy-seat ! There was Christ in a type ; there was the 
marrow of the gospel, and the sum of the riches of divine wisdom and good- 
ness in a mystery ; and the faces of the cherubims were towards it, as Mary's 
face was towards the sepulchre when she looked for Christ there, John 
xx. 11, *-a£8xu\j/M ; the same word which the apostle useth to express how 
the angels look into this gospel mystery. 

It was then a mystery hidden and kept Beoret, while the mercy-seat was a 
representation of it, for there was no ark, no mercy- Beat in the second temple, 
and in the first temple it was reserved in the most secret part of it; none was 
to see it but the high priest only, and he but once a year. 

But now the throne of grace is openly exposed, all the people of Christ 
have access to it, for the temple is opened, and the ark, and so the mercy- 
seat, is seen, Bev. xi. 19. If the temple had been opened, yet there was a 
veil betwixt the holy place and the ark, which hindered the sight of the 
mercy -seat. But now the veil also is rent, Mat. xxvii. 51, so that we all 
with open face may behold the glory, both of the goodness and wisdom of 
God. There is no veil now before the throne of grace ; Christ the mercy- 
seat (/Xacrrqf/ov the apostle calls him, Bom. iii. 84) is set forth openly, and 
in him all riches of grace and wisdom. 

(6.) In fine, the mention of the throne of grace minds us of the wisdom 
of God, that we should draw near him as one that knows our state, yea, our 
hearts, and understands all the ways and means how to help us, and do us 
good ; as one that knows all our doubts and fears, how to satisfy them ; all 
our perplexities of spirit, how to unravel them ; all our wants, how to supply 
them ; all oar weaknesses and distempers, how to cure them ; all our cor- 
ruptions, how to subdue them; all our afflictions and troubles, how to 
deliver us. He whose wisdom could find out a way to save and deliver us, 

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HEB. IV. 16.] THS THBONS OF OB40B. 115 

when his truth and justice was engaged to destroy us, his wisdom can never 
be nonplussed. And this is that depth which was held forth by the mercy- 
seat as in a type of mystery, but now by the throne of grace more clearly 
and conspicuously, which will appear with more evidence by the 

2nd Head, What the throne of grace declares the Lord to be unto us. 
Take it in these particulars. It signifies and offers him to us, as the mercy* 
seat did of old (for that which the apostle allndeB to, we shall still make use 
of to direct us all along). 

(1.) As a God in Christ Since sin entered into the world, God is not to 
be approached by the children of men, with any acceptance, with any success, 
with any hopes of either, but in and through Christ. Sin has made man 
miserable, his misery is his separation from God. He cannot be happy but 
by access to God again. There is no access to God for sinners but by a 
mediator. No other mediator could be sufficient, but such an one as was 
both God and man as to his natures, and both prophet, king, and priest by 
office. Such a mediator is Christ, and he only. The Lord upon the mercy- 
seat, and so upon the throne of grace, offers himself to us in Christ as such 
a mediator. The mercy-seat shews forth both natures and offices of Christ, 
and so represents to us God in Christ, as in an all-sufficient mediator. God 
is said to dwell or reside upon the mercy-seat, and the fulness of the God- 
head dwells in Christ, Col. ii. 9, John i. 14. The Word was made flesh, 
there is both his natures, and dwelt amongst us ; hx7)vu<n, a word not 
much differing from the Hebrew word nJW, by which they express the 
glory of God appearing or dwelling on the mercy-seat. God dwelt there as 
in shadow, but in Christ bodily, substantially. 

The Lord spake and declared his mind from the mercy-seat. He speaks 
to us by his Son, and by him gives divine revelations and directions. There 
is his prophetical office, Heb. i. 1. God sits on the mercy-seat, as a king on 
his throne. This, as the throne of grace, §g6vog /SaaXjxoc, with Chrysostom. 
He rules his people by Christ, whom he has appointed king of his people : 
Ps. ii. 6, ' Yet have I set my king upon Zion, the hill of my holiness.' The 
holiness of that, and of the whole temple, was from the residence of God 
upon the mercy-seat : and this is spoken in reference to David's bringing the 
ark thither ; and his residing there, is, with Theodoret, dvmr&e fiatftXiuttv, to 
reign potentially. 

The throne of grace is ' the throne of God and of the Lamb,' Rev. xxii. 3. 
The throne of God alone is not to be approached by us ; but the throne of 
God and the Lamb is the seat of mercy, the throne of grace. He not only 
gives law to his people, but makes provision for them, that their souls may 
have plenty, ver. 1 with Ezek. xlvii., and he protects his subjects too. As 
the wings of the cherubims (parts of the mercy-seat) overshadowed and 
covered the holy things, so does he cover and overshadow his holy ones. 

His priestly office is likewise held forth by the mercy-seat. The very 
name of it denotes this. It is the propitiatory, and that speaks satisfaction, 
one chief act of his priesthood. And this satisfaction was made by his 
blood, which was typified by the blood sprinkled on the mercy- seat, Lev. 
xvi. 14. As his intercession, the other act of his priesthood, was fore- 
shadowed by the cloud of incense which was to cover the mercy-seat, 
ver. 18. That this was a figure of his intercession, we learn, Rev. viii. 8. 4. 
So that to come to the throne of grace, is to come to God in Christ, to 
apply ourselves to the Lord through the mediation of Christ. Otherwise 
there is a throne of God indeed, but none that sinners can or dare approach to, 
unless they will venture to rush upon a consuming fire. There is no throne 
of grace, but through Christ ; no mercy-seat for us, but by his mediation. 

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116 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HSB. IV. 16. 

The throne of God in Christ is the throne of God and the Lamb, so it is a 
throne of grace indeed. The throne of God alone is like his appearance 
on mount Sinai, Heb. xii. 18. There is no other throne for sinners without 
Christ bat that of justice, shadowed out by the burning mount ; all black 
and dark, all dreadful and terrible, as smoke, and storm, and fire, and death, 
can render it. If you will find a throne of grace, you must seek it in Christ ; 
approach to God through him, and come, as ver. 24, to Jesus the mediator 
of the new covenant. 

(2.) As a God reconciled. It signifies that his justice is satisfied, his 
wrath appeased : not now incensed against his people, but well pleased and 
propitious. The name of the mercy-seat declares this. It is iXaerfigio*, a 
propitiatory. So it is called by the Seventy in the Old Testament ; and 
so it is called by the apostle in the New Testament, Heb. ix. 5. And Christ 
being that which was prefigured in the mercy-seat, he has this very name 
given him by the apostle, Bom. iii. 25. The word is /Xcurrjjf *ey, it is ren- 
dered propitiation, because it is Christ by whom the Lord becomes propitious 
or reconciled. But how was this offered ? By his blood, he made his soul 
an offering for sin, he offered up himself as a propitiatory sacrifice. His 
blood was shed for the satisfying of justice : and so the Lord became satis- 
fied, well pleased, reconciled, propitious, through his blood. 

And this was shadowed forth by the mercy-seat of old, as I intimated 
before from Lev. zvi. 14. The blood of the sin-offering was to be sprinkled 
upon the mercy-seat seven times, signifying, that by the blood of Christ the 
justice of God was fully and perfectly satisfied. And blood upon the mercy- 
seat denotes a meeting, a reconcilement of justice and mercy ; justice will 
not now hinder, but that the Lord may be propitious to his people. 

So that this is it which the throne of grace signifies to us, that the Lord 
through the blood of Christ is atoned, sin is expiated, wrath appeased, justice 
satisfied, mercy glorified, the sinner reconciled, and the Lord every way well 
pleased. The Lord's voice from the throne of grace is, I am appeased, I 
am satisfied, * Fury is not in me ; ' I am at peace with you, I am recon- 
ciled. 

(3.) As a God of forgiveness. As graciously pardoning the sint of his 
people. When he is represented to us upon the mercy-seat, he is set forth 
as a God that has found out a way to hide our sins out of his sight (which 
in Scripture phrase is to pardon them), for observe, in Exodus xxv., the 
tables of the law were in the ark, ver. 16, 21, and H6b. ix. And these are 
called the tables of the testimony, because they testify against those who do 
not keep the law, Deut. xxxi. 26, 28. It being evidence against transgressors, 
as those that are guilty, and so should be condemned and proceeded against, 
as those that break the laws of God, and will not demean themselves as his 
subjects. But now this dreadful testimony, that bears witness of our sin and 
guilt, it is put into the ark, and there covered by the mercy-seat, Exod. 
xxv. 21. By the Lord's gracious appointment, there is a mercy-seat upon 
it, to hide and cover it. There is a mercy-seat between him and the con- 
demning law, between him and our guilt. So that in this posture, wherein 
the Lord would have himself represented to us, our sins are hid and covered 
out of his sight, i.e. pardoned. That of the psalmist, probably, has refer- 
ence hereto, Ps. xxxii. 1, lxxxv. 2. It is a blessed state to have sin 
covered, t. e. pardoned, so as they shall not appear for our condemnation ; 
but a woful condition not to have them covered, Nehem. iv. 5. 
4 Observe that expression : Ps. lxv. 8, ' As for our iniquities, thou shalt 
purge them away.' The "1M, the same which is rendered to cover in the 
fore-cited places. And hence that very word, which is translated the mercy- 
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HBB. IV, 16.] THE THBONE OP QBA0B. 117 

seat, JTOD, of very near affinity with our English word covereth. So that 
when the Lord is set forth to as as on the mercy-seat, or the throne of 
grace, mercy is between him and our sins, Christ is between him and our 
guilt (for the mercy-seat was Christ in a type) there is a mediator between 
him and the condemning law. He looks not upon the guilt of his people, 
and the accusation of the law, but through mercy, the mercy-seat is inter- 
posed ; but through a mediator, Christ, the expiation of sin is interposed. 
This is next his eye ; sin is at a further distance, it is removed out of his 
sight, hid in the ark, there covered. So, no matter of provocation being in 
his eye, no guilt exposed to his view ; we are not bound over to punishment, 
not liable to condemnation, but fully pardoned. If he be of purer eyes than 
to behold iniquity, he shews, by representing himself on the throne of grace, 
that he has taken a course not to behold it, so as to condemn for it, but so 
as to pass it by, and pardon it. Thus comfortably did the Lord set forth 
himself, as on the mercy-seat of old, and on the throne of grace now. And 
the mention of a throne of grace minds us thus to draw near him as a God 
covering our guilt, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin, removing them 
out of his sight. 

(4.) As a God in covenant. The ark (whereof the mercy-seat was the chief 
and most significant part) is called the ark of the covenant, Num. x. 88, and Heb. 
ix. 4. And the apostle insinuates the reason why it is so called : in it was 
the tables of the covenant. This was the end and use of the ark, 1 Kings viii. 4. 
Now the mercy-seat being the golden lid or cover of the ark, it was to secure, 
it did preserve, the covenant, Exod. xxv. 2. 

But this is not all. The mercy-seat (which signified Christ) being inter- 
posed betwixt the Lord above and the covenant within the ark, may signify 
that he was the mediator of the covenant ; as he was indeed the mediator 
of the covenant of grace, both in the legal administration of it under the law, 
and in the new administration of it under the gospel. So he is called, Heb. 
ix. 15, a mediator ; one by whose interposal, as the covenant was first made, 
so it shall stand firm and be made good, for all ends and purposes to which 
it was designed. 

But how does he effect all this ? By his death and blood, as the apostle 
shews, ver. 15 to 22. It was by virtue of his blood that the covenant is 
made, ratified, and accomplished. But what does this concern the mercy- 
Beat ? Why, the apostle has reference to the blood sprinkled upon the 
mercy-seat in the day of expiation, Lev. xvi. 14. This signified the blood 
of Christ, and it is called ' the blood of the Testament/ or covenant, Heb. 
ix. 20, 21, Heb. xii. 24 ; so that the mercy-seat, with this blood of sprinkling, 
signifies that the Lord, by virtue of the blood of Christ (the Mediator of the 
New Testament), is in covenant with his people, and will make good that 
gracious covenant in all the parts and articles, in all the promises and 
branches of it. 

God is in covenant with his people through the mediation of Christ. This 
was signified by the mercy-seat That was but a type, a shadow. The truth 
and reality which it shadowed out is expressed : Heb. viii. 1, The throne of 
the majesty in the heavens, Christ sitting there at the right hand of the 
Father : it is the throne of God and of the Lamb ; it is the throne of grace. 
There Christ appears as Mediator of the covenant, as is declared, ver. 6. 
The administration of the covenant of grace under the law is called the first 
covenant, ver. 7. It was inferior to the administration of the covenant of 
grace under the gospel, this being more clear, more full, more free ; and 
therefore this latter is called the better covenant, consisting of better pro- 
mises. These are specified in the following verses : it promises more holi- 

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118 Jr OF COMING BOLDLY TOTO [HBB. IV. 16. 

ness, ver. U^ clearer light, ver. 11, and fall pardon, ver. 12. The sum of 
all, * I wijlnbe to them a God.' This covenant, these promises, are through 
Christ ;yeaand amen; through his mediation they stand firm, and shall he made 
good Jo the fall. He undertakes to see all performed, and sits on the right hand 
of the throne of God for this purpose. There is the throne of grace, and^this 
if signifies. We may come to the throne of grace, we may apply ourselves to 
the Lord as a God in covenant. He has entered into covenant with his 
people, and has found oat a way, notwithstanding their weakness and un- 
stedfastness, to secure the blessings of a gracious and everlasting covenant to 
them. If anything be objected against it, Christ is there ready to answer 
it, there to remove whatever may hinder it The Lord's voice from the 
throne of grace is, I am thine, thy God, thy Father, thy portion, thy exceeding 
great reward. What I am in myself, I am to and for thee. I am God all- 
sufficient, and will be so to thee ; my wisdom, power, goodness, trath, faith- 
fulness, is all for thee, and shall be so for ever. 

(6.) As a God that will have communion with his people ; as one who will 
admit dust and ashes to have fellowship with him. He offers there to meet 
them, to commune with them, to discover and communicate himself to them. 
He admits his servants to communion with him when he vouchsafes to meet 
them. And the mercy-seat was the place of meeting which the Lord ap- 
pointed for looses, Exod. xxx. 86. He will meet with him as we meet 
with a friend, whom we desire and delight to converse with. He would 
meet his servants there to discover himself to them. The LXX render it, 
' I will be known to thee from thence.' He did make known himself as a 
man to his friend. There he did commune with them, Exod. xxv. 22. It 
is not the special privilege of some particular persons only to come to the 
mercy-seat as of old, bat all the people of Christ may have access to the throne 
of grace. There we may meet with God ; there he is willing to commune with 
ns ; there is he ready to reveal himself unto us, to cause his goodness to pass 
before us ; there our fellowship may be with the Father and the Son. Offer- 
ing himself to as on the throne of grace, he offers the greatest happiness ; 
for communion with himself is the greatest happiness on earth or in heaven. 
There is a gradual difference, bat the substance of it here and hereafter lies 
in communion with the Father and the Son, 

And this gracious posture offers the continuance of this communion. He 
was represented of old as residing constantly on the mercy-seat, as dwelling 
between the cherubims ; not as standing, for so a passenger may do, whose 
business is to be gone ; nor as sitting, for so a stranger may do upon occasion ; 
nor as sojourning, as one who turns bat in for a night or for a few days ; bat 
as dwelling there. It was his resting-place, 2 Chron. vi. 41, Ps. cxxxii. 8, 14. 
This Is true of the throne of grace, without limitation. The mercy-seat (the 
shadow of it) did not continue always, but this throne is for ever, Ps. xlv. 6, 
Heb. i. 8. It is spoken of the throne of Christ the mediator, through whom 
the throne of majesty in the heavens is a throne of grace, and bo for ever ; 
and so consequently offers this happy communion without intermission, with- 
out end, everlastingly. 

(6.) As a God that hears prayer, and will answer the petitions and suppli- 
cations of his people. The Lord gave answers from the mercy-seat ; and 
this may be the reason why their posture of old in worshipping and praying 
was towards the mercy-seat, Ps. xxviii. 2. That was the place where the 
mercy-seat was. Called the oracle, because the Lord from the mercy-seat 
gave answers ; and so it is rendered by some, ' the answering place' ; so Ps. 
v. 7. The temple was not then built ; but he means the tabernacle, and the 
mercy- seat in it, where the Lord hath declared himself present, ready to answer 

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those who worshipped him. And when Solomon had built the temple, and 
seeking the Lord to give audience to his people, it is for prayers directed 
towards that place, 2 Chron. vi. 20-26, &c. And the Lord promises to 
answer accordingly, chap, vii, 15, * To the prayer of this place,' i. e. made 
in or towards it. Yea, when the temple was burnt and the ark lost, yet 
Darnel observed this posture still, Dan. vi. 10. For the place was destroyed, 
yet the promise was in force still. 

When the Lord offers himself upon the throne of grace, he gives assurance 
that he will hear prayer, and give gracious answers. The vugrpia, the bold- 
ness or confidence in the text, has respect to this particular. Being upon a 
throne of grace, we are at liberty to present all our petitions, and we may 
present them with confidence that we shall have gracious answers. It is the 
confidence which the apostle speaks of, 1 John v. 14, 15. When he ex- 
hibits himself as upon a throne of grace, then is the season, the opportunity, 
to make our requests, and to have them granted. Those that will have their 
petitions to great persons succeed, observe the season which appears to be 
most favourable. And this is the season for us to make known all the 
desires of our souls unto God, such an opportunity as assuredly promises 
success. 

When he is upon the throne of justice, then he is for passing sentence, 
and executing judgment according to his threatenings ; but when he is upon 
the throne of grace, that is the season for granting petitions. His voice from 
the throne of grace is like Solomon to Bathsheba from his throne, 1 Kings 
ii. 20. Whatever our request be, if it be fit for him to give, if it be good for 
us to receive, he will not say us nay. That which is good for us is all that 
heart can desire. This is satisfaction to the utmost, unless we will question 
whether infinite wisdom know what is good for us. 

The season for access to Ahasuerus was when the golden sceptre was held 
forth. Esther comes in to him then, and the answer is, Esth. v. 8, ' What is thy 
request ? it shall be given thee to the half of the kingdom.' This seems a great 
offer, but it is nothing to what the Lord, in his gracious posture, signifies 
himself ready to grant : Bom. viii. 82, He will give us all things. 

His being on the throne of grace is not in order to the executing his 
threatenings, but for the making good his gracious promises ; and these are 
large and free, without restriction, larger than that of Ahasuerus. He pro- 
mises all things to those who seek him. When he is on the throne of grace, 
he will deny nothing : his posture assures us that he will grant everything, 
which it becomes infinite graeiousness to bestow, Mat. xxi. 22, John xv. 7, 
and xvi. 28, 24, Mat. vii. 7. When we address ourselves to the Lord on 
the throne of grace, it is but ask and have. We may come boldly with all 
confidence of this," since it is a throne of grace we come to. 

(7.) As a God that is present with his people. It signifies he is a God 
with them. The Lord was set forth as residing on the mercy-seat ; when 
that was with his people of old, it signified the Lord was with them. And 
so they bewailed the loss of the ark as the loss of God's presence, that being 
the symbol of it. When that was gone, the glory was departed. The signi- 
fication of the mercy-seat was, God with us; as this was the name of Christ, 
of whom the mercy-seat was a type. The Lord speaks of himself as abiding 
there, and promises to shew himself there to give signs of his presence, Lev. 
xvL 2, so when the tabernacle (wherein was this symbol of the divine pre- 
sence) was with that people, the Lord is said to be with them, Ezek. 
xxxvii. 26, 27, ' I will be their God,' i. e. a God with them ; so it is repre- 
sented, Rev. xxiv. 8; so the throne of grace signifies. The Lord is with 
his people, he is very near them ; so near, as they may have access to him, 

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120 VkF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HEB. IV. 16. 

and so may be with him whenever they will. He is still to be found on the 
throne 'of grace, still present. 

More particularly, this denotes, 

[1.1 An intimate presence. He is in the midqt of his people. So he was 
while he was on the mercy-seat, so he will be while that remains, which this 
did but typify ; while the throne of grace, while the mediation of Christ con- 
tinues, who is king and priest for ever. How can he be more intimately 
fvesent than by residing in the midst of his people ? And thus he is repre- 
sented. The tabernacle was hi the midst of the camp, Num. ii. 17, and 
the ark was in the midst of the tabernacle, 2 Sam. vi. 17 ; and the cheru- 
bims being at each end of the mercy-seat, and the Lord between them, he is 
set forth in the mercy-seat as in the midst of the ark. And so the Lord 
shewed himself to be in the midst of Israel, Num. v. 8 ; and to walk in the 
midst of them (to be active), Deut. xxiii. 14. This shewB the Lord will be 
intimate with his people, intimately present; even within them, in the midst 
of them. 

[2.] A special, a gracious presence. He was not present here only as he 
is in the rest of the world, but in a more special way, as upon a mercy-seat, 
from which others were far removed, so as they could have no access to the 
propitiatory, no advantages by it. Tims, when he exhibits himself as on a 
throne of grace, he shews he is in tSbe midst of his people in a gracious 
manner ; present with them through Christ's mediation and interposal, that 
is a gracious, a special presence. 

[8.] A glorious presence. As the mercy-seat upon which the Lord appears 
is a throne of grace, so is it a throne of glory : Jer. xvii. 12, and xiv. 21, ' Do 
not disgrace the throne of thy glory. 1 As if they had said, Suffer not the 
ark, the mercy-seat (whereon thou art set forth as gloriously enthroned), to 
be disgracefully used. The Lord residing there, as a glorious king on his 
throne, is said to be the glory of his people in the midst of them, Zech. 
ii. 5, as the presence of the sun is the glory of the firmament. 

[4.] An all-sufficient presence. Sufficient to secure them from all things 
dreadful, and to supply them with all things desirable. This is the security 
of his people, Ps. xlvi. 5, ' God is in the midst of her, she shall not be 
moved.' The Lord upon the mercy-seat, and so upon the throne of grace, 
is in the midst of his people ; this is their safety and establishment, there- 
fore they shall not be moved. 

It is all-sufficient also to help us to all things desirable. The waters, in 
Ezek. xlvii., issuing out of the temple, are described to be plentiful for their 
measure, ver. 2-5, and for their virtue to be quickening and healing, ver. 9, 
and fructifying, ver. 10. Those waters, Rev. xxii. 1, are said to proceed 
1 from the throne of God and the Lamb.' The throne of God in the temple 
was the mercy-seat ; the throne of God and of the Lamb is the throne of 
grace. The influences which flow and stream from the presence of God 
with his people are quickening, healing, and fructifying influences; they 
stream forth in such plenty as is sufficient abundantly to refresh and satisfy 
them to the utmost. There is a * river of pleasure,' Ps. xlvi 4 ; ' in thy 
presence is fulness of joy,' Ps. xvi. 11. 

[5.] A continuing presence. He is said to dwell on the mercy-seat. In 
reference thereto is his promise, 1 Kings vi. 18, ' I will dwell among the 
children of Israel.' The throne of grace denotes no less : Rev. vii. 15, * He 
that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.' Here he is, and here 
he abides. We need never suffer through his absence. Have recourse to 
him on the throne of grace, and we need never be at a loss. He is al- 
ways here to be found, here he dwells ; here we may find him whenever we 

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HEB. IV. 16. J THE THRONE OF OBAOB^ 121 

have occasion ; here he is always as a ' very present help in time of trouble/ 
as a very present supply in time of want, as a very present security in time 
of fear, as an all-sufficient portion ; one who is all in all to his people, and 
always present for his purpose. 

[6.J As a God that will shew himself merciful and gracious to his people, 
that will deal mercifully and graciously with them. Now, when he thus 
represents himself, they may find grace and mercy. We need go no further 
for this than the text, and it is so plainly there held forth, that we must not 
pass it by. Since he is upon a throne of grace, we may find mercy and 
grace to help in time of need. Take the import hereof more distinctly in 
these particulars. 

First, He is ready to shew mercy and grace. He is willing to shew him- 
self gracious and merciful. When he shews himself on the mercy-seat, he 
shews he is ready for acts of mercy ; when he is upon the throne of grace, 
he declares that he is ready for acts of grace. His posture declares that he 
is now willing to let his people find that he is indeed merciful and gracious. 
When may grace be expected from him, when is he willing, ready for acts 
of grace, if not when he offers himself as upon a throne of grace, a seat of 
mercy? 

If he presented himself upon a judgment-seat, a tribunal of justice, we 
might conclude he was ready to do justice, willing to execute judgment; the 
seat and posture would be a plain signification of it. And therefore when 
he presents himself upon a throne of grace, we may conclude he is ready 
for acts of grace, willing to shew mercy. This is a plain signification of it, 
and the Lord gives us no signs that are fallacious, that will deceive us. 
When he signifies anything to us, the sign will be answered with a reality, 
he will not delude us ; when he appears in a gracious posture (as he does 
upon a throne of grace), he is ready for acts of grace. He would not appear 
to be willing if he were not so really ; he would make no show of grace or 
mercy if he were not willing to act accordingly. If he was backward, and 
not inclined to acts of grace, he would not set forth himself in a gracious 
posture. 

Secondly, He will certainly shew mercy and grace. His people shall 
surely find it so. There is not only some probability, but a certainty for it* 
It is not only probable that he may, or more likely that he will, than that 
he will not ; but it is certain that he will shew mercy, we may be sure of it. 
The apostle would have the people of Christ bold and confident herein, ' Let 
us come boldly,' &o., t. e. with confidence and assurance that we Bhail obtain 
mercy, &c. He is a God gracious and merciful in himself, essentially, 
infinitely so ; but he is at liberty when and how he will express his mercy 
and grace, till he oblige himself by declaring it ; but when he offers himself 
as on a throne of grace, he declares, and so obliges himself to express it now 
at this season, and shew it thus in this way. Now, if ever, will he shew 
that he is actually gracious ; in this way, in this posture coming to him, 
they shall surely have mercy. Grace and mercy is to be found, that is cer- 
tain ; but it will never be found if not when he is on the throne of grace, 
therefore now, when he thus presents himself, we may be sure and confident 
of it. H we should fall short of his grace here, if his mercy should fail us 
now, if we should not find and obtain it at the throne of grace, if he should 
not vouchsafe it when he presents himself to us on that throne, the Lord 
would prove otherwise than he has declared himself to be ; we should not 
find him such a one as he has obliged himself to be found ; his throne would 
not prove what he calls it, it would not be what the Lord has said it is, a 
throne of grace. 

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122 OF COMING BOLDLY TTHTO [HlIB. IV. 16. 

Thirdly, He will shew this in all variety, in all acta of favour ; both 
mercy and grace, as is express in the text. All the acts of divine love and 
goodness ran in these two streams, mercy and grace ; and these streams 
will meet upon us when we come to the throne of grace. There we shall 
meet with both, they both flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 
The throne of grace is the fountain, the spring-head wherein they issue, 
where they break out ; there these sweet currents encompass those who have 
access to the Lord on this throne. 

All that we can expect from infinite goodness is to free us from misery, 
and to make us happy. And here is both offered and ensured to us ; both 
mercy to free us from misery, and grace to advance us to the height of 
happiness. Mercy will deliver us, but grace will exalt us ; not only lift us 
out of the pit, but advance us to the throne ; not only deliver us from the 
wrath to come, and then leave us in a middle state, but crown us too with 
glory. Mercy will not suffer us to be ruined, but grace will have a triumph 
for us. This assures us we shall not only obtain mercy to help us out of 
misery, but find grace to help us far above it. 

Fourthly, He will do this affectionately. The mercy in the text speaks 
this also. Mercy is love shewed to the miserable ; so mercy is love in the 
rise of it, and it is compassion in the workings of it towards a pitied object. 
When Christ would give an instance of such love as he requires, he does it 
in the Samaritan, Luke x., who had mercy on the Bpoiled and wounded man, 
ver. 87; and that is expressed by having compassion on him, ver. 33. 
There is both love and compassion in mercy, and these are the sum of ail 
affectionateness ; and this the Lord assures us of, by setting forth himself 
as on a throne of grace. We shall find mercy from him, and love and com- 
passions, and so all affectionateness. Here is love offered to us, the love of 
God in Christ ; a peculiar love, a transcendent love, such as passeth know- 
ledge ; the acts, expressions, embraces of suoh a love. Here is compassion 
insured to us, the compassions of God, which as far transcend those of the 
best and sweetest tempered men, (for the efficacy thereof, though there be no 
compassionateness therein), as the heavens are above the earth. 

Here is tender love. For such is mercy, it is love which is compassionate, 
called ' tender mercy,' Ps. lxxix. 8, James v. 11 ; ' bowels. of compassion/ 
Isa. Ixiii. 15, Jer. xxxi. 20. The Lord presenting himself on a throne of 
grace, offers to meet us there with such affectionateness ; without the weak- 
ness of affections in us, but with infinite more virtue and advantage. There 
we may find mercy, suoh mercy, and all the expressions which so great, so 
tender a mercy can afford. He that sits upon this throne is the God of love, 
the Father of mercies ; whose being is goodness, whose nature and essence 
is mercy, whose bowels are compassion, and whose glory it is to shew 
mercy, and express love to such as have access to his throne. It is the 
glory of his throne that it is a mercy-seat. 

Fifthly, He will do it freely. It is a throne of grace that we come to. It 
is grace that is offered, grace that we find there. And grace is free good- 
ness, that which puts forth all acts and expressions freely ; that which looks 
for no desert, overlooks all unworthinesB ; that which stays not till it be 
obliged, but engages itself, and will not be hindered by that which is most 
disobliging ; that which moves, when it has nothing to move it but itself ; 
this is grace. When the Lord is on the throne of grace, he gives, he does 
not owe ; it is grace, not debt. These are opposite,* Rom. iv. He gives, we 
do not purchase. There was a purchase, indeed, but we who have the pos- 
session had no hand in it. We have it freely ; we have all for nothing ; we 
have it for coming for, though we come without money and without price ; 

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Ebb. IV. 16.] the thboms of obaob. 128 

it costs job nothing ,but the acceptance, Isa. It. 1. Upon these terms we 
may come and be welcome to the throne of grace ; so we may come, and so 
freely. We may have all the riches of grace ; we come not to a market where 
we most pay for what we have, but to a throne of grace ; and it is the glory 
of him that sits on this throne, that all we have of him is free gift. All his 
acts are acts of grace ; he gives, looking for nothing again ; he knows that 
all we return will be as good as nothing ; he will not be one jot the better 
for it all, either in point of glory or happiness. Not the leaBt scrapie, the 
least degree, can be added to either, by all that men or angels can return. 
Our sinfulness, unworthiness, weakness, nothingness, need'be no discourage- 
ment ; for we come to a throne of grace, a throne where grace rules and is 
sovereign, where grace is enthroned, and is, and will be, all and all ; before 
which angels and saints should cast their crowns, and cry, Grace, grace; 
giving the glory of all they have received, of all they enjoy, unto that to 
which they owe it all, and from which they had it freely. * 

Sixthly, He will do this royally, magnificently, as becomes him who sits 
on the throne. His throne speaks him a king, and he is a great king, Ps. 
xlvii. 27, and zcv. 8, and he will do for his people accordingly. When he 
exhibits himself upon a throne, he would have us with confidence expect 
from him what is correspondent to his greatness. He encourages us to 
look for great things from his hand, and much of them, in great quantity, 
2 Sam. xxiv. 28. Since he sets forth himself on a throne, and is represented 
as a king, and would have us come to him as on his seat of majesty, he as- 
sures us he will give like a king ; not so few, nor small things, as other 
persons, but such as are answerable to his greatness and magnificence. 
Those that have thrones, shew their greatness and magnificence by their 
gifts, presents, rewards ; it is a disparagement to them not to act herein 
like themselves. Hiram gives to Solomon, 1 Kings ix. 14, and the queen 
of Sheba, 1 Kings x. 10. The value of the gold alone is reckoned at four 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds in our accounts ; a great sum, if gold 
was so much scarcer in those times than it is now, as is commonly thought. 
8ach gifts are for enthroned persons. They give such things as others 
oannot, either for value or excellency, or greatness and quantity. 

The Lord has a throne, and he will have us come to him there, as on 
his throne ; this intimates he has a design to shew his greatness. He will 
have those that come to him here, expect what is answerable to his throne 
and dignity. This Chysostom observes, ptXortpia yag v^ay/ia sirri xal 
Japes j&tttX/xi). The Lord will shew his magnificence ; he will give royally. 
The honour of his throne is concerned. We disparage him, if we be not 
confident to have that of him which will be answerable to such a majesty ; 
that which none else can give, things of greater value, and those of greater 
quantity, Ps. Ixxxiv. 11. Grace, the least dram of it is of greater value 
than all the gold in the world ; and glory, that is a kingdom, in comparison 
of which all the kingdoms of the earth are but mole-hills. But this is not 
*U> ' No good thing will he withhold,' &c. He would have us expect from 
him no less than all that is good, no less than all that heart can desire ; he 
assures us of no less than all this, Bom. viii. 82, 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22, Bev. 
*xi« 7, Mat. vi. 88. The Lord will deal royally with his people ; we dis- 
honour him if we do not expect it ; it is the glory of his throne to do it. 
We may be confident he will do for us what becomes so great a king, when 
it his design to shew his greatness, when he sets forth himself as upon his 
throne. • 

Seventhly. He will do it effectually ; he will shew himself gracious and 
merciful, so that none shall hinder, all shall promote it. This is signified 



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124 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HeB. IV. 16. 

also, in that he is represented as on a throne. That tells that all are his 
subjects, all are at his command ; he can order anything, everything, to be 
the instruments of his grace, and make all things serve the designs of his 
mercy which he has for his people : for he has the throne, all are subject to 
him, at his beck, he can order all to do his pleasure. 

Or if any would resist or hinder him in his acts of grace >nd mercy, he 
can crush them. As he is upon the throne, they are under his feet ; and 
he can use them as his footstool, and trample on them, crush them as easily 
as we can crush the worms or snails that are under our feet, Zech. iv. 7. 
He can take a course that none shall so much aa mutter against his gracious 
proceedings, or move a tongue in order to the hindrance thereof; Zech. 
ii. 18, ' Be silent before the Lord, for he is raised up out of his holy habita- 
tion.' By holy habitation, some understand the temple, and it was a shadow 
of heaven, the other habitation of his holiness. It is called his habitation, 
because he was there set forth on the mercy-seat as on a throne. When he 
is said to sit there, it signifies his presence ; when he is said to rise up, it 
denotes his readiness to exercise his power and authority. The power and 
authority of him who sits on the throne, when exercised, is enough to strike 
all flesh, all the creatures in the world, mute ; this makes all hush, they shall 
not so much as by a word give impediment to his gracious designs expressed 
in the promises foregoing. 

And as it is enough to quash the opposition of enemies, so likewise to 
silence the unbelief of weaklings, as doubting that what they desire or stand in 
need of, is too much to be expected, or too hard to be accomplished. Is 
anything too much or difficult for him who sits upon the throne, and so has 
all things in his power ? The throne is his, and so the kingdom, and 
glory, and power ; what, then, can hinder him ? What can resist him ? He 
will do all his pleasure, all that his power and mercy will have done, and 
none can say unto him, What dost thou ? 

Thus I have opened to you the great import and pregnancy of this ex- 
pression. I have stayed the longer on it, because I found it useful to clear 
up many passages in Scripture. And you will find it further useful practi- 
cally in the application. 

Use. Since there is a throne of grace for the people of Christ to come 
unto, let ub come unto it ; take this encouragement to make our addresses 
to him who thus exhibits himself to us. And so come to him, as we may 
find it to be a throne of grace to us ; and that we may find it to be so, let 
us come in such a manner as the import of the expression, already opened, 
directs us. What direction it affords us, let me shew in some particulars. I 
shall touch upon several, but most insist on that which is plain in the text, 
and principally intended by the apostle. 

1. Let us come with holiness of heart and life. The mercy-seat, and so 
the throne of grace on which the Lord offers himself, is a throne of holiness, 
as was shewed before. And this calls for holiness in those that come to it, 
Heb. x. 22, a place parallel to the text, they explain one another : ' Let as 
draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water/ 
Hearts sprinkled, Ac. The mercy-seat was a throne of grace by virtue of 
the blood of sprinkling. Those that come to the throne of grace, and would 
find it so to them, must, through the efficacy of that blood, get their hearts 
eleansed from whatever makes the conscience evil, t. e. not only from the 
guilt, but the pollution of sin. And to inward purity, that of the heart, 
should add outward holiness, that of the life. ' Their bodies washed with 
pure water,' u e. their conversations cleansed from blots and stains of sin by 

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the Spirit of sanctification. The legal rite signified this. Aaron and his 
sons were to wash their bodies when they went into the tabernacle of meet- 
ing, Exod. xxx. 17, 18, 19, &c., 29. This was to signify the real holiness 
which we should labour for, that we may come to the throne of grace, that 
we may be capable of meeting with the Lord there. The Lord upon the 
mercy-seat, npon the throne of grace, shews himself to be a holy God, 
therefore we should approach him in holiness: 'Holiness becomes thy 
house for ever,' Ps. xciii. 5. Holiness becomes the presence of God ; get it 
into a lively exercise when you draw near him. The Lord communed with 
Moses from between the cherubims ; if you would do so, observe the 
Lord's method : ' Isa. i. ' Wash ye, make ye clean,' and then come, let us 
commune together. He appears here in his holiness, and will be sanctified 
of all that draw near him ; therefore, sanctify yourselves, get mind and 
heart raised to a holy strain. 

2. Let us come with fear and reverence. The Lord on the mercy-seat, 
and so on the throne of grace, appears in his glory. A glory that should 
make such worms as we, whose habitation is in the dust, and who are crushed 
before the moth, to fear before him, and approach with reverence. Those 
who are most holy, have most communion with God, are most after his own 
heart (as David was), owe him as much reverence and fear as any ; and the 
nearer they are to God, the more will they count themselves obliged to shew 
this : Ps. v. 7, * In thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.' Their 
worship towards the temple was with respect to the mercy- seat. It was 
npon the account of the Lord's residence there that their posture in worship- 
ping was towards the temple, and this obliged them to fear : Ps. xcix. 1, 
' The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble : he Bitteth between the cheru- 
bims, let the earth be moved.' It is fit that dust and ashes should tremble 
before the God of glory. How was the holy prophet struck with the sense 
of his own vileness, when he saw the Lord upon a throne, and the seraphims 
above it, Isa. vi. 2, 8. Though the Lord do not present himself there to 
our eyes, yet our faith may always have such a vision of God ; yea, he is 
thus presented to our sense ; we hear, though we do not see, that the Lord 
sits upon ' a throne, high and lifted up,' between the cherubims, yea, with 
thousands of seraphims about him. And will neither faith nor sense strike 
us with the trembling sense of our own vileness ? The Lord expects it, and 
encourages us to it. He that dwells between the cherubims of glory, will 
dwell also in that heart that trembles at his word. He looks that we should 
tremble, not only when we see him, but when we hear of him, Isa. lvii. 15, 
16 : * Wherefore,' as the apostle advises, Heb. xii. 28, ' let us have grace, 
whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.' 

8. Let us come with sincerity. The Lord upon the mercy-seat shewed 
himself to be a (Sod that knows all things, all secrets, and so the secrets of 
hearts. When they were concerned to know those secrets (as David was to 
know the inward inclinations of the men of Keilah), here they inquired, as 
is before shewed. He hereby declares that there is nothing secret to, nothing 
hid from, him, with whom we have to do. This obliges us to deal uprightly 
with him, and to come before him with sincere hearts. 

The apostle, shewing how we should draw near to the throne of grace, 
requires this particularly : Heb. x. 22, * Let us draw nigh with a true heart,' 
&c. He loves truth in the inward parts, and hates the contrary, and knows 
whether it be there or no. It is madness to dissemble with him who knows 
all things, and hereby declares it ; he ' searches the heart,' &c. It is mad- 
ness to make a shew of the good that is not in us, or to go about to hide any 
evil that is in us. The apostle warns us of this, before he advises us to 

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126 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HfiB. IV. 16. 

come to the throne of grace : Heb. iv. 18, there is nothing good or evil, how 
secret soever we may think it, bnt is manifest in his sight Whatever is 
covered, and shut np close from the eyes of others, is naked and open to 
him. He, with whom we have to do at the throne of grace, is a discoverer 
of the thoughts and intents, ver. 12 ; and, therefore, when we come to the 
throne of grace, let ns be careful to bring nothing, no, not in the secrets of 
our minds and hearts, but/what we would have him to see. Let ns bring no 
thought nor motion, no disposition nor inclination, no aim or end, no desire 
or intention, but what we would have exposed to the eye of him that sits on 
the throne. When we are before him, his eye penetrates the inwards of our 
minds and hearts as if they were a globe of crystal ; they are more trans- 
parent to him than crystal is to the sunbeams. Oh take care that the posture 
of our souls be upright before him, that it be not crooked and sinister ; but 
without carnal aims, worldly designs, selfish reflections; that, though we 
cannot get rid of all iniquity, yet we may regard none in our heart ; that, 
though he see us far short of perfection, yet we may be sincere in his sight, 

4. Let us come with subjection. When he is set forth as upon a throne, 
this signifies that he is sovereign, and we are subjects ; he is, though a gra- 
cious, yet an absolute sovereign, and we must come tohim^ as those who are 
wholly subjected to him, and resolved to shew ourselves absolutely subject, 
ready to be ordered by his wisdom, and ruled by his will, and subservient to 
his interest, and to have what we are, and what we have, and what we desire 
or hope for, disposed of as he thinks fit. His sovereignty and dominion calls 
for this, and his throne shews his dominion and sovereignty. 

We must be ordered by his wisdom, not our own ; when our wisdom agrees 
not with his, we must account it folly, and not follow its dictates, how spe- 
cious soever ; his will must be our will, it must be a law to us, as it is in 
itself; and, when it crosses our will, we must yield to it, comply with it, as 
holy, and just, and good ; it must be observed as good, and perfect, and 
acceptable, even when it lies thwart to our wills and inclinations. 

We must be ready to do whatever he would have us do. None of his 
commands should be grievous ; we should have respect to them all, else we 
may be ashamed- to profess ourselves his subjects, or approach his throne, 
Ps. cxix. 6 ; willing to forsake whatever he would have us to abandon, even 
every false way, Ps. cxix. 104 ; every way of sin, how pleasant or advan- 
tageous soever it seem ; willing to resist whatever he would have us oppose ; 
not only temptations from without, but our own humours, appetites, passions, 
inclinations, so far as they please not him ; willing to part with what he 
would have us to lose, though it be endeared relations and enjoyments, Luke 
xiv. 83 ; willing to suffer what he would have us endure, though it be that 
which flesh and blood thinks grievous. 

If he be our sovereign, bis interest must be sovereign ; we must make our 
own and all stoop to it ; we must own none, but what will serve it, and all 
that we have must be at the service of it ; we must look upon ourselves and 
enjoyments as not our own, but his, and to be employed for him, when, and 
as he calls for it ; even all, when no less will serve to uphold his interest ; 
we must submit our desires and hopes to him, when we come to his throne ; 
be willing to be denied in what he thinks best to deny us, and to be delayed 
in what he thinks fit to defer us. The throne we are to come to, minds ns 
that we are to come resolved for such subjection. 

5. Let us come with love and affectionateness. As it is a throne, it calls 
for subjection ; as it is a throne of grace, it calls for love, and all the affec- 
tions that depend thereon. The Lord offering hiinself to us on the throne 
of grace, is presented to us as the most amiable object, and in the most 

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delightful and desirable posture ; when should we draw near him with all 
affectionateness, but when he holds forth all affectionateness to us ? and this 
he does, in a most rich and ample manner, on the throne of grace. When 
should we come to him with inflamed love, with ardent desires, with greatest 
delight and rejoicing, but when he displays the riches of his grace and mer- 
cies, and opens to us the treasures of his love, as he does on this throne ? 

(1,) When he appears on the throne of grace, then love is on the throne; 
mercy and grace appear in their sovereignty and exaltation, they are set 
forth all in their glory ; and does not this call for, and oblige us to, the 
highest love, the most raised affection ? Will some little love, some small 
degree of affection, be a suitable answer to such an obliging appearance ? 
will a poor, cool affection be fit for us to meet him with, when he is ready to 
meet us with the riches and greatness of an enthroned love? Shall we leave 
so much reason for sorrow and shame, to supply the defect of better affec- 
tions ? Shall not his love, when it is represented to us as on a throne, 
in its greatest power, constrain us to love him, and love him more and more, 
every time we draw near him ? Shall we not delight to be in a gracious 
presence, a presence which is gloriously gracious ? Such is the presence on 
the throne of grace : there grace appears in its glory, and all the royalty and 
magnificence of the King of kings. Another throne we may dread ; but this 
sure should be our delight and joy when we draw near it. Shall not our 
desires be excited and drawn out when the riches of grace and mercy offer 
themselves freely to those that are desirous ; when the throne of God declares 
that he will give like a king to those that desire it ? Oh, why does covet- 
ousness run so low and feed on mud, when here it might be entertained at 
a throne, and satisfied with royal riches ? 

(2.) Here all streams of goodness meet us ; both mercy and grace, both 
compassion and love. And does not this call for all acts, all expressions of 
affection, when we draw near ? 

(8.) Here love resides ; here grace reigns ; here mercy keeps the throne. 
And this should keep up our affection ; we should not be off and on, up and 
down. Decays and declinings should be hateful to us. Delight should be 
constant : love still sparkling, desire always upon the wing, when we come 
to the throne of grace, while we may find the Lord there ; and he is never 
off, his people may find him ever open his throne. 

6. Let us come in faith, come believing that we shall have access, acceptr 
ance, and success ; come with confidence of this, as those who may be 
bold to expect it ; as those who have all freedom and liberty to come, with- 
out any restraint, who have security to do it, and need not fear it ; who 
have warrant to do it, and need make no question of it. 

This is plain and open in the text. It is that which the apostle expressly 
requires in these words. Let us come boldly with confidence, with such a 
faith as prevails against fears, doubts, suspicions, jealousies, and rises up to 
full assurance. And he calls for it afterwards in that parallel place, Heb. 
x. 19, 20, 22, where his expressions refer to the mercy-seat, the throne of 
grace in a type, and, which I have shewed all along, helps us to understand 
what it signifies to us. ' Having boldness,' flraggfjo/ay, the same word which 
we have in the text ; ' into the holiest, 1 that was the place of the mercy-seat, 
the most holy part of the sanctuary ; ' by the blood,' the high priest might 
not approach the mercy-seat without blood, which signified the blood of 
Jesus, ver. 20 ; ' through the veil :' the way to the mercy-seat was through 
a veil, which parted the holy and most holy place. The apostle shews 
there is now a way for us, we may now come to the throne of grace 
shadowed out by these expressions. And how we may and ought to come, 

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he tells us, ver. 22, in foil assurance of faith, h v\nz*<p*y<t *'***«& There 
is nothing to stop or retard us, we may come with fall sail ; there is nothing 
to discourage us, we may come without any distrust or doubting, with all 
assurance, a fulness of it. We have sufficient encouragement for such a 
faith, such an exercise of it. 

Now this being the duty of the text, I shall insist on it the more ; taking 
in here the usefulness of the other observations which the words afford, that 
I may not stay too long upon this subject. 

Since it is a throne of grace we come to, here is great encouragement to 
come in faith, with an emboldened faith, a faith encouraged unto confidence. 
More distinctly, let me shew, 1, in what particulars we have this encourage- 
ment for faith and confidence ; 2, how all discouragements may be hereby 
removed ; and 8, what positive supports are hereby offered to our faith. 

1. For the first ; we may come in faith to the throne of grace in all cases 
that require help or relief. Whensoever we need help, whatever the need 
be, grace and mercy is to be found for help, without limitation. Par- 
ticularly, 

(1.) In sense of guilt. -When sin troubles the soul, stings the conscience, 
disquiets the heart, makes us fear it will rise up before the Lord against us, 
that it is set in the light of his conscience, and that he will judge us for it, 
the throne of grace gives assurance this shall not be. When he offers 
himself to us upon a throne of grace, he makes it evident he is not willing 
to judge his people for their sins ; he has no design to arraign, or condemn, 
or punish them for past transgressions. If he intended this, he would shew 
himself upon another throne ; not his mercy, but his judgment-seat. The 
throne of grace is his mercy- seat, and that, I shewed you, signified that sin 
was covered, hid from his sight ; so that he would not see it, nor take 
notice of it as a judge. The mercy-seat (signifying Christ) was betwixt the 
Lord and the condemning law, which bears witness of our sin and guilt. 
That was hid in the ark and covered, which shewed the Lord on the mercy- 
seat, and so on the throne of grace (shadowed out thereby) has found out a 
way through Christ to cover our sins, L e. to pardon them, Ps. lxxxv. 1-8. 

Oh, but though sin be covered, so as he will not take notice of it, to con- 
demn me for it hereafter, yet he may deal severely with me for it here ; I 
may feel the effects of his wrath in grievous afflictions, I tremble at the 
apprehension of that. 

But when sin is covered and forgiven, the wrathful effects of it cease, as 
the psalmist shews ; when their sin was forgiven, their captivity was brought 
back, vers. 1, 2, and all wrath taken away. Though he may chastise whom 
he pardons, yet not as a judge, to satisfy law and justice, but as a father, out 
of love and grace. The throne of grace ensures this ; no afflictions for 
sin come from thence, but such as, whatever they seem to be, will really 
prove to be acts of grace, i. *. of love and mercy, not of enmity or penal 
wrath. Believers may be hereby assured their pardon will be both free 
and full : free, because it is of grace ; and full, because from grace in its ex- 
altation, when it has the throne. 

(2.) In wants and necessities this assures us of supply. We come to the 
throne of grace for all we want, whether it concern soul or body, and be 
confident we shall have it ; and confident because it is a throne of grace we 
come to. For he that sits upon the throne can supply all our wants. The 
throne signifies he has alignings in his power, and at his disposing. There 
is no doubt but this great King can supply the poorest body, the poorest 
soul that belongs to him. And that he is ready to do it, we may be sure, 
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HEB. IV. 16.] THE THRONE OF GRACE. 129 

invited. This declares him gracious, ready to supply our necessities, and 
that freely, Bey. vii. 15, 16 ; by hunger and thirst, all wants whatever are 
signified. Here is assurance that all wants shall be supplied, and the ground 
of it expressed, ver. 16. The throne of God, through the Lamb in the 
midst of it, becomes a throne of grace ; hence flow all supplies to the people 
of Christ, in heaven and on earth. They shall not hunger, the Lamb in the 
midst of the throne, he feeds them ; they shall not thirst, he leads them to 
living fountains. Here is a free, a full, a lasting aad continuing supply, as 
from a fountain that runs freely, that affords not drops or draughts, but 
streams, many streams, and that continually. It is not a vessel or a cistern, 
but a fountain, a spring ; a spring that ift never dry, a living fountain ; till 
this fail, we can never want supplies. 

Obj. Oh, but do not we see many of those in want who eeme before this 
throne? 

Ans. You may see many things that they have not, but nothing that they 
want. They that have all that is good for them, though there be many 
things which they have not, yet properly they want nothing. Want is 
something to be complained of; but none in reason can complain because 
he is without that which is not good for him ; he wants it not, unless it may 
be said he wants a calamity, that which would be bad for him ; that is such a 
want of which none but a madman would have a supply. The people of 
Christ may have all that they want, because they may have all that is good ; 
the throne of grace makes them sure bf this. There the Lord sets forth 
himself as infinitely gracious, and so ready to make good all that he has 
graciously promised, and he has promised all that is good, Ps. zzziv. 9,. 10, 
and lxxxiv. 11. 

Obj. But I cannot think but such a thing which I have not would be 
good for me. 

Ans. The question here is, Whether the Lord or thyself can best judge 
what is good for thee ? yet methinks this should be no question. 

(8.) In weakness, inward or outward, public or personal. Hence we are 
encouraged to expect strength and assistance ; hence it comes, even from the 
mercy-seat, from ihe throne of grace : Ps. xx. 2, ' Send thee help from the 
sanctuary.' Why from the sanctuary, but because the Lord presented him- 
self there as upon the mercy-seat ? The sanctuary was in Zion, the mercy- 
seat was in the sanctuary, the Lord was in the mercy-seat, he would have 
himself set forth as residing there. Herein they pray, and pray in faith, for 
help and strength. 

Thou wantest strength to subdue corruption, to resist temptation, to over- 
come the world, to master self, to bear the cross, to perform hard duties, to 
improve ordinances and gracious opportunities, to walk exemplarily, to live 
eerviceably, to persevere thus doing. Alas ! says the soul, sensible of its 
own weaknesses, where shall I have strength for all this ? Where ? why at 
the throne. If he that sits on the throne will strengthen and assist thee, 
nothing will be too hard for thee, Phil. iv. 18. And he is ready to do it, for 
he that has all power, as being upon the throne, is all gracious, as being upon 
the throne of grace. 

Then as to the public, where shall there be help, when all seems running 
to ruin, when the interest of Christ seems sinking in all countries round 
about us, where it is not sunk already ; when it is sinking in the midst 
of us ? What help can stay it, or be any support to it, when we, see it 
pushed headlong ? What strength can raise it, when it seems so low, so 
like to be buried, beyond hopes of a resurrection ; when all that look 

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180 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO ' [HBB. IV. 16. 

about them, and have a due sense of such concerns, find their hearts failing 
them for fear, and for ' looking after those things that are coming on the 
earth,' Luke xxi. 26 ; when they say with trembling hearts, By whom 
shall Jacob arise, for he is small ? What help or strength shall secure the 
gospel, and the interest of Christ (which depends on it) to these parts of the 
world, ready to be over-run with antichristian darkness and violence ? 
What hope in such circumstances that seem hopeless ? Why, this : the 
Lord reigns, he has the throne still ; there is help and strength enough 
there. Oh, but what is that to those who have utterly disobliged him, who 
have forfeited the gospel, as much as any that ever lost it ? Why, the Lord 
here shews himself gracious, and who knows but the unworthiest may find 
him so ? As it is a throne of power, so a throne of grace we come to ; and 
grace acts freely, and may appear for the relief of those who have no reason 
from themselves to look for any such thing. If the throne of grace were 
duly plied by those who have interest there, there might be hope concerning 
this thing ; there, and there only, is help to be found in such a time of 
need. There is no need so great, but help for it may be had at this throne ; 
none so unworthy but may meet with it freely, for it is a throne of grace. 

(4.) In fears and dangers, here you may have security, Ps. xxvii. 5, Pg. 
xxxi. 20. The secret of the tabernacle was the holy of holies, the place of 
the mercy-seat. And this is called the secret of his presence, because he 
exhibited his presence on the mercy-seat. Thus David was confident to be 
secured, as if he had been hid with God, as if he had been covered with the 
wings of the cherubims, which overshadowed the mercy-seat, and so made 
it the secret of the divine presence. To come to the throne of grace is the 
way to get into the secret of the Lord's presence. For any to assault you 
there will be to offer violence to the throne of God ; he that sits upon the 
throne will never endure it. If you take sanctuary here, you are safe. You 
are invited to come, to fly to it in time of danger. He that offers his own 
throne for a sanctuary will not suffer it to be violated. He that touches you 
there touches the apple of his eye, for it is the secret of his face. So the 
words signify which are translated the secret of his presence, Ps. xxxi. 20, 
TOE) inD, the secret or covering of thy countenance. What will become of 
those who will venture to strike at the face of God ? How safe are they 
that are hid under this covering, who are secured in the secret of his 
countenance ! This is the security which the throne of grace offers you. 
The horns of the altar were nothing to such a sanctuary, r Joab was plucked 
from thence, but none can reach you here. It is the throne of God, he can 
secure you ; and a throne of grace, he will do it. It was the ground of that 
confidence, Ps. xxvii. 

(5.) In troubles and calamities this is the surest way to deliverance. In 
the great calamity and desolation of the church, lamented Ps. Ixxx., she 
applies herself to the Lord as dwelling on the mercy-seat, ver. 1, 2. So did 
Hezekiah, when he and all the people of God were in great distress, ready 
to be overcome and ruined by Sennacherib : 2 Kings xix. 15, * Thou residest 
on the mercy-seat/ &o. The throne of grace is now our mercy-seat, there 
we may be sure to find deliverance, hxcugov fiojjfaav, « relief in season ;' 
deliverance whenever it will be, as soon as ever it is seasonable. Oh but 
we may stay long first, have not many done so ? You shall stay no longer 
for it than yourselves desire, for you will not desire it till it be good ; and it 
will not be good till it be seasonable. If it come too soon, it is as bad as if 
it come too late. It is never good, never desirable, but when it is in season ; 
and when it will be seasonable, the throne of grace in the text assures you 
of it. Whenever deliverance will be a mercy, whenever it will be an act of 

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HEB. IV. 16.] THE THBONE OF GB4CH. 181 

grace, yon shall have it assuredly ; and it is madness to wish-it before. The 
text bids yoa be confident of it ; anything that is mercy, you may find ; 
whatever will be an act of grace, yoa may obtain. Yon may be sure of it, 
because it is a throne of grace yoa come to, Ps. lvii. 1, Ixiii. 4. 

I might add many other particulars. In straits and perplexities yoa may 
have direction here, as from an oracle ; in grievances yoa may have ease 
and support : what sweeter and stronger support than the throne of grace ? 
In desertion and despondency, yoa may have comfort ; it is from this throne 
the Lord will shew himself so gracious as to wipe all tears from his people's 
eyes, Rev. vii. 17. In distance and estrangement from God, by coming to 
his throne you get near him, Ps. xci. 1. 

2. The next thing propounded is to shew how all discouragements to faith 
may be hereby removed. And indeed there is scarce anything that tends to 
discourage faith, or to puzzle it with doubts and fears, or to weaken it in 
its actings and exercise, but may be hereby dispelled. There is no objection 
that unbelief can make, or a distrustful heart suggest, but may be taken off 
by eyeing God as represented on the throne of grace, and viewing those per- 
fections and excellencies which he holds forth to us in this posture. To 
instance in some particulars. 

(1 .) The difficulty of what we need, of what we would have, sometimes 
puzzles faith. So it did not only, 2 Kings vii. 19, but in Moses, otherwise 
strong in faith : Num. xi. 21, ' The people are six hundred thousand foot- 
men ; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh that they may eat a whole 
month.' So it did in Martha : John xi. 39, ' By this time he stmketh, for 
he hath been dead four days.' As though time might prescribe to the Lord, 
or as if the grave would not deliver up one so long detained, at the word of 
Christ's power. Faith often staggers here. How can such a danger, sach 
a calamity, be prevented ? How shall antichristianism, coming in upon these 
parts of the world as a mighty flood, be stopped, when all things in view 
threaten, all seem to conspire to make way for it, and no means visible to 
divert it ? How can 6uch an evil, hanging over person or family, be re- 
pelled ? How can such a loss be made up, such a relation, such a comfort ? 
How can such a lust be subdued, which I have been struggling so long with 
to so little purpose ; that which is rooted in my temper and constitution, 
and has revived so often when I have looked on it as subdued and sap- 
pressed ? What escape out of such a strait, when no way visible to escape, 
no passage, no chink, to let out of it ? How shall the gospel, our liberties, 
comforts, be secured to us, when no wisdom, no power of man, appears for 
the effecting of it ? 

Yea, but consider, the Lord appears here as a God almighty. So he did 
on the mercy- seat, so he does on the throne of grace, as before. And is 
anything too hard for God ? Is anything too difficult for him that sits on 
the throne, to whom those things that seem utterly impossible to us are 
things of greatest ease ? ' Is the Lord's hand shortened ? ' So he answers 
Moses, Num. xi. 23. 

What does the throne here mentioned signify ? 

[1.] He rules and reigns over the world. All creatures, from the highest 
to the lowest, are absolutely subject to him. He can order all the creatures 
in the lower world, whatever is on the earth, or in the sea, or in the air ; 
yea, the stars in the firmament, and all the angels in heaven, to do whatever 
he pleases. He can bring them in altogether for the help of his servants, 
will force the meanest of them rather than fail. If all the hosts of the lower 
world were not sufficient, he has innumerable legions of angels, many and 
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182 OF OOUING BOLDLY UNTO [HXB. IV. 16. 

there as the attendants of this great King, ready to receive his orders, and 
to execute them in the behalf of his people, the weakest of them, the little 
ones, Mat. xviii. 10. What cannot he do for you, whose throne declares 
that he can raise all the powers of the world to do his pleasure ? 

[2. J But there is no need of all this. Since he has the throne, he can 
empower any one thing to do for you whatever you need ; since he has the 
throne, he has the power, all power is at his disposing. He is the God, the 
king of power. Since the kingdom is his (which a throne signifies), the power 
is his, 1 Chron. xxix. 11, Mat. vi. 18, Rev. v. 18. All creatures ascribe all 
power to him that is on the throne. And he that has dispersed this power 
unto several creatures, he can unite it all in one ; or as much of it in any 
one as will be enough for your relief, whatever your case be. He can con- 
vey power into any ordinance to comfort, quicken, or strengthen you ; so as 
you may prevail against any lust, resist any temptation, bear any cross what- 
soever. He can enable any creature to supply any want, make up any loss 
or breach, even such as you are apt to think can never be repaired. He can 
empower any instrument, how crooked, or weak, or broken, or insufficient 
soever it seem, to do that for you which you see no means or instruments 
able to do. He has the throne, the power is his ; he can dispose of it as 
he pleases ; he can convey so much of it into anything as will serve your 
turn, and answer your need, whatever it be. 

[8. J If there were no creature, no instrument in the -world to help, yet 
would you not be at a loss in time of need ; for he that is on the throne 
could do it alone. He can do all that ever you need, without any means or 
instruments. His bare word is sufficient, all-sufficient, for it, whatever it 
be, how great, how difficult, how impossible soever it seem. Such a power 
there is even in the word of the great King, Ps. xliv. 4. There needs no 
more to deliver you, to deliver his people anywhere, how deep soever plunged : 
but only the command of him that sits on the throne. If the gospel, the 
interests of Christ, in these parts of the world, and the dear concerns of our 
souls, and the souls of posterity, were all as dry bones, in a more forlorn 
and hopeless condition than they are, he could make all live with a word. 
He that is our king, that sits upon the throne, can command life into that 
which seems as far from living as a dry bone. While he keeps the throne, 
it is a senseless heart that fails through distrust of power, even when all 
visible power and help fails. 

(2.) Some may say, The Lord is able enough ; I do not doubt of bis 
power ; but is he willing to help, to strengthen, to deliver me from inward 
or outward dangers ? Here faith is often at a stand : Mat. viii. 2, ' If thou 
wilt, thou canst make me clean.' The leper did not question Christ's power 
to cleanse him, but his willingness. Many who believe his power, yet ques- 
tion his will. Here it usually sticks : Is he willing ? 

Why, yes. The Lord upon the mercy-seat appeared as a God of mercy. And 
what is mercy, but a willingness, a readiness to pity and help. When will 
the Lord shew mercy, if not here, if not now, when he exhibits himself as 
on the mercy-seat ? When the Lord offers himself on a throne of grace, 
this gives assurance that grace is then to be found. He bids us now come 
with confidence to find grace ; and when he bids us be confident, can there 
be any doubt that he will fail us ? Will he let those whom he bids trust 
in him for this thing be ashamed and miss of it ? An ingenuous man will 
not do so, much less the gracious God. Upon this throne he appears gra- 
cious in a solemn, a glorious manner. He will not frustrate the expectation 
that such an appearance, such a manifestation of himself, raises. It is not 
for his honour to defeat those hopes that himself hereby excites and encour- 

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HBB. IV. 16. J THE THBONE OF GRACE. 138 

ages in each a manner. It would be a blot, a great disparagement to this 
throne, if it should not prove what himself styles it. His throne is a pledge 
that he is willing. Yon have a pledge no less considerable than the throne 
of God to assure you that yon shall find him gracious ; and to be gracious, 
is to be freely willing. 

(8.) It is true, you may say, the Lord is gracious and merciful, and so 
he may be willing to help and pity others, and freely so ; but how does it 
appear that he is willing to do it for me ? Faith is here often at a stand. 

Why, consider the Lord on the mercy-seat, and so on the throne of grace, 
is a God under promise, as I shewed before. And promises are for particu- 
lar application ; they speak the Lord willing to do this, and the other ; and, 
in a word, whatever thou needest, whatsoever is good to thee ; they offer all 
the great and precious things which are the contents of these great and pre- 
cious promises to thee in particular. 

To go no farther, the words of the text, though propounded in form of an 
exhortation, yet they are indeed a promise virtually, and so to all effects and 
purposes, as many other expressions are in Scripture, so that a great part of 
Scripture are promises in effect, though not so taken notice of. This here 
may be resolved (as there is good ground to resolve it) into this form : Those 
that come to the throne of grace shall find mercy, &c. And then, you see, 
it is a most gracious promise ; and to whom is it made ? To the people of 
Christ that are in need ; and so it belongs to thee if thou pertain to Christ, 
and art in need. If it be a time of need with thee, either as to inward or 
outward state, here is mercy and grace for thee in particular ; thou hast a 
promise of it, which thou mayest apply particularly to thyself. 

(4.) Oh, but though I may apply this or that promise, yet there are many 
promises that I think are not fit or proper, or intended for me. Many seem 
particular to some eminent saints, and divers of them were made upon special 
occasions, which restrains them from me ; and, which concerns the matter 
before us, those in particular which were made to Moses and his successors, 
touching the Lord's meeting them, and communing with them from the 
mercy-seat. And this in the text, it is for those that can come with confi- 
dence and assurance. 

In answer to this, consider : the Lord upon the mercy-seat, or the throne 
of grace, appears a God in covenant, as I shewed in the application. Now, 
all the promises are but several articles of that covenant. He that is in 
covenant with God is included in all the articles of it ; every promise belongs 
to him, so far as his condition makes him capable, and requires it. The 
Lord upon the throne of grace is a God to us in Christ. Now, in Christ all 
the promises are yea and amen. He being the mediator of this covenant, and 
&11 the promises being ratified and confirmed by his blood, they are yea and 
amen in him ; and that constantly ; not yea to his people formerly and nay 
to his people now, but yea always. And they are all so in Christ, 2 Cor. i. 20, 
true and firm. The covenant is as a cluster of grapes, the several promises 
are as particular grapes in that cluster, Christ is as the branch or stalk that 
holds them all. He that lays hold on Christ hath the stalk in his hand, and 
so holds the whole cluster, and every particular grape. If Christ be thine, 
thou hast laid hold on the covenant ; the whole cluster of promises is in 
thine hand. 

The Lord here offers grace and mercy ; he is upon the throne for this 
purpose. It is therefore called a throne of grace. Now, he who has 
grace and mercy offered has all the promises made over to him ; for 
mercy and grace is the sum of them all ; all that they contain or hold forth 
is mercy or grace. 

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184 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HBB. IV. 16. 

And as for promises made upon special occasion, we find the Holy Ghost 
applying them to others afterward, upon occasions far differing from those 
upon which they were first made, e. g. that promise, Josh. i. 5, 'I will not 
fail thee nor forsake thee.' It was made to Joshua in particular, and upon 
a special occasion, when he was going to conquer Canaan, and to get posses- 
sion of another land. And yet this the Holy Ghost applies to the faithful 
in common, and that as a motive to be contented with their present condition 
and enjoyments ; an occasion very different, if not opposite, to that which 
was its first rise, Heb. xiii. 5. 

If we be not in the same circumstances with Moses, when the Lord made 
those promises to him, there may be some circumstantial difference as to the 
performing of them to us, but the substance of them will be made good to 
his people in all ages. Though he will not speak to his servants now, and 
commune with them now in an audible voice, as he did with Moses from the 
mercy-seat, yet he will' meet his people at the throne of grace, and admit them 
to communion with him, and give them divine answers in a way suitable to 
gospel times ; and for this may these promises now be made use of. 

(5.) Oh, but I fear I want the condition of the promise, and then what 
encouragement can there be for me to apply the promise for this ? I intend no 
encouragement but for believers ; for it is faith that the text leads me to en- 
courage ; and where there is faith, here is great encouragement, though there 
be great weaknesses and defects as to other qualifications. For when the high 
priest appeared before the Lord, presenting himself upon the mercy-seat, what 
was he required to bring into the most holy place ? Why, only incense and the 
blood of sprinkling, Lev. rvi. 12-14. These signified the intercession and 
satisfaction of Christ. Now, these are already prepared to thy hand, and 
held forth to thee by the throne of grace ; for by virtue hereof it is a 
throne of grace. If, therefore, faith lay hold on these, that will give thee 
access to the mercy- seat, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant ; to 
the covenant of promise, and to all the promises of the covenant; and to him 
who is upon the throne of grace, as a God in covenant. 

(6.) Oh, but if I have faith, it is very weak ; so weak as I know not 
whether it be alive in me ; I doubt whether it have a being there. And 
it is a strong faith that the text calls for, such as is strengthened into 
confidence, and rises up to assurance. Those that are to come are such as 
can come boldly. 

The apostle does not say that none may come before this throne but those 
that can come with assurance and confidence. But the design of this ex- 
pression is to shew that all the people of Christ, even the poorest weaklings, 
such whose faith is weakest, have encouragement to come boldly. Here is 
enough in this representation to strengthen the weak hands and the feeble 
knees, to put spirits and strength into a fainting, a languishing faith ; enough 
to quash its fears, satisfy its doubts, scatter all jealousies, and support it in its 
tremblings. So that here is no reason at all to stay away, because you are 
weak ; but the rather to come, that you may be strong in faith ; for the 
throne of grace offers grace and mercy, is a ground of assured hope that 
you may obtain mercy, &c. Now, what is the property, the office of mercy, 
but to pity weaknesses and relieve them ? And what does grace import, but 
that the Lord upon this throne will do it freely ? If it were not so, 
grace were no grace ; it would be a throne of something else, nojb of grace. 
Both grace and mercy are for help, says the text, and for help in time of 
need ; and so they are most for those who are in most need. And those who 
are weakest are in most need ; and therefore weaklings have as much en- 
couragement as any to come boldly. Mercy and grace is as much designed 

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HSB. IV. 16.] THE THBONB OF GBACE. 185 

for thee as (if not more for thee than) any, and offered here to answer all 
thy needs, supply defects, strengthen thee in weaknesses, and out of weak- 
nesses to make thee strong. 

(7.) Oh bnt I have more to discourage me than mere weakness ! I have 
sinned, I have disobliged the Lord who sits upon the throne, and have dealt 
too unfaithfully in the covenant. 

I suppose thou dost not allow thyself in any evil way, in any known sin ; 
thou bewailest thy proneness to sin; thou watchest and resistest, and strivest 
against it. If this be thy case, here wants not encouragement ; sin in such 
circumstances does not disoblige the Lord, so as he will not remember his 
covenant. Remember what I said in the opening of the point in hand. The 
Lord is upon the mercy-seat; and consequently, as upon the throne of grace, 
is a God reconciled, a God pardoning sin, covering it out of his sight. Christ, 
the covering, the mercy-seat, is interposed betwixt him and the condemn- 
ing, the accusing law, to hide sin and guilt from his eye. As he is upon the 
throne of grace, he ' sees no iniquity in Jacob/ kc ; he will not take notice 
of it so as to be disobliged. The Lamb is said to be ' m the midst of the 
throne,' Rev. v. 6, and vii. 17. It is through him that it is a throne of 
grace, and it is that Lamb that takes away the sin ; so that coming to the 
throne of grace, there you may see the Lamb in the midst of it, and so may 
conclude sin taken away. It is gone, it cannot disannul the covenant. You 
may see that in the throne of grace, which declares the Lord has taken a 
coarse to make the covenant everlasting ; though it be made with sinners, the 
mediation and interposal of Christ, who is in the midst of the throne, will 
secure it. 

(8.) But the Lord is long ere he perform his promise. I want help, and 
it comes not. I cry unto him for it, and he answers not. He delays ; my 
soul fails in waiting for him. 

Ans. There may be mistakes here. Either he performs his promise and 
answers your desires, and you observe it not, or else it is not best for you 
that he should do it yet. The throne of grace holds forth ground of assur- 
ance that you shall have help as soon as you can reasonably desire it (and 
what would you have more ?). You cannot reasonably desire it but when it 
will be best for you ; it will not be best for you but when it is seasonable, 
and when it is seasonable you are here assured of it. This is expressly in 
the text ; coming to the throne you shall obtain mercy, and find grace for 
seasonable help, its Ivxatpv fiofifaav, for help when it is seasonable. It is 
not good till then, and so till then you cannot in reason desire it. As soon 
as the finding of it will be a mercy, as soon as the obtaining of it will be an 
act of grace (and before, it cannot be in season, it is not to be desired). ' He 
that shall come will come, and will not tarry ;' he will not stay one jot 
longer. His posture upon the mercy-seat (to which the throne of grace 
answers) signifies all speed and celerity, when the wisdom of him who 
charges the angels with folly can see fit and good for you. He was upon 
the mercy-seat as his chariot; there he was presented as sitting between the 
cherubims. The word Cherub is most probably derived from Bechab, a 
chariot. That of the psalmist refers to this representation : Ps. lxxxvi. 17, 
' The chariots of God are twenty thousand, thousands of angels multiplied.' 
The two cherubims upon the mercy-seat were an emblem of these two 
myriads. # ' The Lord is among them ; as in Sinai, so in the holy place.' 
These signified his special presence in both. Here he sets forth himself as 
on a throne, or in a chariot. It is called the ' chariot of the cherubims,' 
1 Chron. xxviii. 18. The Lord will be as quick and speedy in bringing 
help to his people when it is good and seasonable and desirable, as if he 

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186 OF COKING BOLDLY UNTO [HBB. IV. 16. 

came in a chariot drawn with cherubims, Ps. xviii. 10 ; and this chariot is 
swifter than the wings of the wind. So he came for David's deliverance ; 
so he will come for yours when it is seasonable. You cannot desire it 
sooner, unless you would have it before it be good, before it is to be desired. 

8. The last thing propounded is to shew what positive supports are 
hereby offered to our faith. Having set before you how our eyeing the 
Lord as on the mercy-seat, as on the throne of grace, serves to remove 
all discouragements that faith may meet with, I shall now let yon see 
positively how the Lord, thus represented to us, affords all encouragement 
that is requisite to strengthen and support our faith in all addresses. 

The Lord here shews himself both able and willing to be unto his people 
whatever Uhey can desire, and to do for them whatever they need. And 
whore the Lord declares himself both able and willing, there faith hath 
ail the encouragement that it can possibly have to strengthen and embolden 
it. The Lord is not hindered or disabled by any of those defects which 
may disable others from helping us, for he appears here as always present, 
as unconceivably wise and infinitely powerful. 

(1.) This may persuade us, assure us of his presence. I shewed you 
in the explication how the Lord in the mercy-seat, and consequently on 
the throne of grace, offers his presence to his people, and what a presence 
it is that is here exhibited in divers particulars. Let me but add one 
text wherein we have them ail together, Ezek. xliii. 7. 

[1.] 'Here is an intimate presence. He will be not near them or with 
them only, but in them, in the midst of them. 

[2.] A special presence. He will be in them, not only as he is in the 
rest of the world, but in a more peculiar manner, with a gracious pre- 
sence, such as the mercy-seat held forth there and the throne of grace now ; 
present in a way of mercy, in a gracious manner. 

[8.] A glorious presence. He will be with them as on his throne, where 
he appears in his glory and majesty. See ver. 5. 

[4.] An all-sufficient presence. To secure them from what they fear, and 
give what they desire. ' My holy name shall they no more defile.' His pre- 
sence shall keep them from sinning against him ; and that which keeps us 
from sin secures us from all that is dreadful, for there is nothing dreadful 
but sin and the effects of it. There will be no more effects of sin when they 
no more defile his name ; and so far as they are kept from sin, so far the 
way is open for all good things, all we can desire, for it is sin only that 
stops the way and withholds good things from us. 

[5.J A continuing presence. It is not, I will come to them, I will visit 
them, I will stay with them for a while, but ' I will dwell with them.' That 
denotes a settled, a constant abode. And ' dwell with them for ever. 1 Thus 
will the Lord be present with his people when the place of his throne is 
amongst them. Such a presence the throne of grace imports. It is true, the 
Lord's throne is said to be in heaven, because his glory in a peculiar manner 
appears there. But throne is a figurative expression, and denotes his reign 
or empire ; and so, wherever the Lord reigns and rules, there is his throne, 
Ps. ciii. 19, ' His kingdom ruleth over all.' He rules everywhere. His 
throne is where his kingdom is, and that is, as over all, so within his people : 
Luke xvii. 21, ' The kingdom of God is within you.' There is an intimate 
presence. And as his throne is everywhere, so it is everywhere a throne of 
grace to his people ; and so, wherever they are, they have his gracious pre- 
sence. And though he appear most glorious in heaven, yet wherever he is, 
wherever his throne is, he is glorious ; so that, being in the midst of his 
people, he is the glory in the midst of them. It is a glorious presence. 



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HBB. IV. 16.] THE THBONB OF GBACK. 187 

And it will afford help in need ; all help that is needful, and that is as 
much as we need desire ; help in season, and that is as good as we can 
wish. So far it is an all-sufficient presence, and it will continue while his 
grace continues, and that is for ever. It will be a throne of grace while 
his grace and mercy endures, and this endures for ever. 

So that upon the whole, there is not the least occasion of distrust or 
doubt that we shall suffer by reason of his distance from us, that he will fail 
us any moment by reason of his absence, since the throne of grace insures 
his presence with his people, and such a presence as is most desirable. 

(2.) This may persuade us of his wisdom ; for from the mercy-seat did 
the Lord manifiest his infinite wisdom by giving them a resolution of their 
greatest difficulties, such as were too hard for any created understanding. 
Here they asked counsel of the Lord, and he answered them according to the 
judgment of Urim : Num. xxvii. 21, ' Before the Lord,' i. e. with their faces 
towards him, as presenting himself on the mercy-seat ; for when they were 
to ask counsel, the priest, putting on the- breast-plate of tfrimand Thiimmim, 
set his face towards the mercy-seat, and the Lord from thence gave him an- 
swers, either by an audible voice or by secret inspiration, which answers when 
the priest had declared to the people, the stones and letters in the breast- 
plate 8hined (as is conceived) with some extraordinary lustre and brightness. 
and thereby the people had assurance that the answer was from the Lord. 
And the priest being herein a type of Christ, who carries his people in his 
heart before the Lord, as the priest did the names of the twelve tribes upon 
his breast. To the brightness shining in the breast-plate that expression of 
the apostle may have reference : 2 Cor. iv. 6, * God, who commanded the 
light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light 
of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. 1 How- 
ever, in this representation of the Lord upon a throne of grace, the light of 
the glorious knowledge of God does appear shining in the face of Christ, 
with a brighter and more conspicuous lustre. Here we may see with open 
face, without any veil interposed, without any shadow of obscure types, that 
«o\woixi\bg topia, as the apostle calls it, Eph. iii. 10, that admirable variety 
of infinitely wise contrivances and dispensations for the saving of Jew and 
gentile, the depths of which the angels cannot sound, though they do their 
endeavour, diving into it with earnest desire of fuller discoveries, and great 
admiration of what they see. 

Here he shews men and angels that his wisdom has found out a way to 
reconcile justice and mercy, through the mediation and interposal of Christ, 
the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne. Here we have a view of that 
wisdom which could find out a way to shew mercy to sinners, when his justice 
had condemned them, and was obliged to do severe execution upon them. 
All the wisdom of men and angels could never have found out an expedient for 
this difficulty ; they had been to seek (as we had been lost) eternally, if any- 
thing but infinite wisdom had been put upon this discovery. And is he not 
able, in point of wisdom, to do anything, to do everything for us ; to find out 
ways and means to relieve us in any case or exigent whatsoever, whose 
wisdom could find out a way to do that which was too hard for the wisdom 
of angels to discern how it could be done ? 

(8.) This may persuade us of his power. Faith may hence grow confident 
that he is not disabled, cannot fail his people, for want of power. For he 
appears on the throne as one that has all power, which I made clear to you 
before. Let me but add one expression, frequently used in Scripture, and 
very pregnant for this purpose. The Lord's appearing from the mercy-seat, 
for the help of his people, is expressed by shining : Ps. lxxx. 1, * Thou that 

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188 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [Hl5B. IV. 16. 

dwellest on the mercy-Beat, shine forth. 1 The greatest works that ever the 
Lord did for his people are thus set forth. It is deliverance from the cap- 
tivity that they pray for here in these terms. And their deliverance out of 
Egypt is thus expressed : Dent, xxxiii. 2, ' The Lord came from Sinai, and 
rose np from Seir unto them ; he shined forth from mount Paran,' &c. 
And the same expression is used with respect (as is probably ooneeived) to 
the great work of redemption by Christ, Ps. 1. 2. The words in the original 
ran thus : From Sion, from the perfection of beauty, the Lord will shine. 
As the Lord shined from the mercy-seat, which was seated in mount SIod, 
and where the Lord most perfectly manifested his beauty or glory, so in 
Sion the true light, the Messias, appeared, and from thence diffused the true 
light of the gospel through the world. All the Lord's most signal works are 
thus set forth by shining. And the Lord upon the throne of grace is repre- 
sented as shining ; for there he appears in the greatness and exaltation of 
his grace and mercy ; and the lustre of these appearing is his shining forth, 
his manifesting himself on the throne of grace, where the glory of his throne, 
the beams of his majesty, are mercy and grace ; this is shining forth. And 
by this expression, faith may discover how able he is, who sits upon the 
throne, to do whatever we stand in need of. Hence it appears he can do all 
things for the help of his people, easily, instantly, irresistibly, and advan- 
tageously. He is able to do anything, everything, for our relief. 

[1.] Easily. Without any toil or trouble. It costs him no more pains 
to do all you need or can desire, than it costs the sun to shine forth. He 
can supply all wants, resolve all doubts, subdue all corruptions, secure from 
all calamities, those which most threaten us, as easily as the sun can shine. 
He can as easily scatter all your doubts, fears, dangers, lusts, as the sun can 
scatter the thinnest cloud ; it is no more to him than shining forth. 

He can as easily do all you can think or desire, as you can turn an eye, 
or move a hand* or speak a word ; for with as much ease does the sun dirt 
forth his light and beams ; and it is no more for the Lord to put forth his 
power, than to shine forth. If that which you desire would put the Lord to 
any pains, or toil, or trouble, you might doubt whether it would be done; 
but here is the enoouragement of faith, the Lord can do all with the greatest 
ease ; let him but shine forth, and it is done* 

[2.] Instantly. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, as soon as the 
light diffuses itself through the air : Mat. xxiv. 27, ' As the lightning cometh 
out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall the coming of the 
Son of man be.' The lightning is so quick in its motion, that it is in the 
east and west at once, and in a moment. So quickly can the Lord do all 
you can desire ; he can make the outgoings of his power like the goings 
forth of the light ; let him but shine forth, and it is done. Those lusts that 
you have been wrestling and tugging with for many years, he can subdue in 
a moment. Those doubts, obscurities, perplexities that have puzzled you so 
long, and through which your understandings cannot make their way, he can 
clear up in a moment Those clouds of antichristian darkness that are 
gathering thick about us, he can quickly scatter ; let him but shine forth, and 
they will vanish. If what you need or desire would cost the Lord any expense, 
or time, or prove tedious to him, you might doubt whether it would be done ; 
but he can do all with as quick a motion as that of the light, all in an instant. 

[8.] Irresistibly. Nothing can stop him or give him any impediment. 
Men and devils can no more obstruct what his power is engaged in, than you 
can hinder the sun from rising with your hand, or stop it from going forth in 
its strength and lustre when it is risen. If the Lord could be hindered, faith 
might be at a stand. But here is the encouragement of faith, he can do 

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HEB. IV. 16.] THB THBONX OF GBACB. 189 

what you would have him, irresistibly, and break through all impediments, 
as the light passes through the clear air, without the least stop or stay. 

[4. J Advantageously. Without any loss or prejudice to himself; nay, 
with advantage as to his own glory. The sun loses nothing by shining forth ; 
nay, the more it shines, the more does it display its beauty and glory. The 
Lord loses nothing by employing his power for his people ; nay, the more 
he puts it forth, the more glorious he appears. When the sun goes forth in 
its roll strength, it goes forth in the brightness of its glory ; so when the 
Lord puts forth the greatness of his power for his people, he shines forth in 
the brightness of his glory. If the Lord suffered any loss, or prejudice, or 
disadvantage, by doing for you what you stand in need of, you might doubt that 
it would not be done ; but this is faith's encouragement, the Lord gains glory 
by employing his power for you ; the more he doth, the more his glory shines 
forth. His appearing for you from between the cherubims is a shining forth. 

So you see that faith may here discern that the Lord is able, and thus 
able, to do whatever you need or desire. And that is one of the two prin- 
cipal supports and encouragements that faith has in all its actings. Now if 
we may be assured that he is willing too, then faith has all the encourage- 
ment that we can wish. And herein, in the 

Second place, we may be persuaded that he is willing likewise. When 
faith can have assurance that the Lord is not only able, but willing to help 
in time of need, to give all relief that is needful, then there is no place left 
for the least distrustful fears or doubts. Faith, by these two supports, may 
raise itself up to the height of confidence ; and so may come boldly to the 
throne of grace, without any question or scruple, but that whatever is needful 
or desirable will be obtained, will be granted by him who sits upon the throne. 

If the Lord be both able and willing to vouchsafe it, there is nothing ima- 
ginable can hinder it. Now the Lord, as offering himself to us on the throne 
of grace, appears willing ; and faith has from hence sufficient ground to 
conclude he is so. I shall endeavour to discover this, both positively and 
comparatively. That this shews him positively willing, I have hinted some- 
thing before ; but now take it more fully and distinctly in these particulars. 

1. He appears to be willing when he appears on the throne of grace. His 
manifesting himself there is a glorious appearance of his willingness. And 
will he appear to be what he is not ? He is far from being like deceitful 
men ; he will not delude us with vain shows, such as have no reality answer- 
ing them. He would never seem willing, if he were not so indeed. All that 
the psalmist desired for the support of his faith was * a token for good,' 
Ps. bcxxvi. 17. Here is a token for good ; the throne of grace is a sign, a 
glorious signification, that he is willing to do us all the good, to give us all 
the help we stand in need of. 

2. He bids us be confident when we come to the throne of grace ; he 
would have us come boldly. Now he would not bid us do this if we had no 
ground for it ; he would not encourage us unto a rash and groundless con- 
fidence. But we have no ground for it to come with boldness and confidence, 
if he be not willing to let us have what we come for. Would he bid us be 
confident of help from him, if he were not willing to let us have it ? He will 
not so abuse poor creatures ; he is infinitely further from it than the best of 
men. An honest, ingenuous man would never bid us be confident in him, 
come boldly to him, for that which he has no mind, no will to do, which he 
never means to do for us. And can we think the Lord would do it ? He 
raises our confidence by offering himself on a throne of grace ; and will he 
dash that which himself raises, and make that ashamed which himself 
encourageth ? Will he bid us come boldly, and then send us away disap- 

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140 OF COMING BOLDLY UNTO [HBB. IV. 16. 

pointed ? What would you think of a man like yourselves that should serve 
you so ? Such unworthy thoughts you must have of him who sits on the 
throne, if this do not persuade you of his willingness. However men may 
serve us, those that trust in the Lord shall not be ashamed, never disap- 
pointed, Prov. x. 25. But they would be disappointed, and sent away with 
shame from the throne of grace, if they should not find the Lord willing to 
do that which he encourages them to trust him for. 

8. His honour is engaged. It is the glory of his throne, that it is a throne 
of grace. It would not be a throne of grace, nor would he that sits on it be 
gracious, if he were not willing to do his people good, to help them when it 
is good, when needful. So that you have the throne of God, the glory of him 
who thus represents himself, engaged for his willingness. What greater en- 
gagement can you wish, or possibly have, than the throne of God ? Can 
you have any security more considerable than heaven or earth ? Can you 
have anything greater for your assurance herein than the throne of God, 
the glory of the Most High ? This you have here in the text, and what 
need you more ? What greater security can you have, since the Lord engages 
his own throne ? If a man should engage his whole estate that he would be 
willing to help you, you would not doubt but he would be willing to do it. 
And will you doubt of the Lord's willingness when his throne is engaged for it ? 

4. He appears here as a God of mercy and grace, as I shewed you in the 
explication, and it is express in the text. And to be a God of grace and 
mercy, is to be a God willing to do good freely, willing to help in time of 
need. He is essentially merciful and gracious, and so essentially willing to 
do his people good. It is his nature, and here he displays it ; it shines forth 
from the throne of grace. Now may faith say, Though I have deserved that 
the Lord should deny me, yet he cannot deny himself; though he has just 
reason to cast me off, yet he cannot lay aside his own nature and goodness ; 
and that inclines him to be willing, freely willing. 

5. He appears here in a willing posture. He is here upon the throne of 
grace, upon the mercy- seat : and why represented in such a posture, but to 
signify he is ready for acts of grace and mercy ? We may now find grace, 
and obtain mercy. And what is mercy, but a willingness to pity and relieve ? 
And what is grace, but a willingness to do it freely, a free willingness? 
That which is the mercy-seat in the Old Testament, is the throne of grace in 
the New Testament. And this throne is established for ever, he is willing, 
and freely willing for ever, to do his people good, to help and relieve in need. 
The golden sceptre will be always held forth, while the Lord is on this throne ; 
and as the throne, so the sceptre is an everlasting sceptre. The Lord shews 
himself always willing that his people should have access to him ; yet never 
willing that they should go out of his presence sad and dejected, as though 
they could not obtain mercy, Ac. This throne is established in mercy, Isa. 
xvi. 5. That of Solomon may be applied to it, Prov. xx. 28, ' His throne 
is upholden by mercy.' The Lord would have no throne, no kingdom 
amongst his people, were it not upheld by mercy, were he not willing to 
pity and help. You may as well doubt whether the Lord will still have a 
mercy-seat, whether he will still have a throne or no ; as doubt whether he 
be willing to help in time of need. You may as well say that now there is 
no mercy-seat, no throne of grace, t. e. that Christ is not in heaven, that you 
have no mediator there, that the Lamb is not in the midst of the throne ; as 
that the Lord is unwilling to hear and help. 

6. He here shews that he has given us Christ, and thereby assures us 
that he cannot be unwilling to give us anything. The Lord had not set 
forth himself to us on the throne of grace, but that he had set forth Christ 

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H*B. IV. 16.] THX TBBOME OF GBACB. 141 

to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood. Bom. iii. 25. We have now 
no /Xa<mjf/«r, no mercy-seat but Christ. That under the law was but a 
shadow of him. Christ was then hid in that shadow, but now set forth. 
Now not typified as to be given hereafter, but actually exhibited as given 
already. He has actually shed his blood for this purpose, that through his 
mediation the Lord might be propitious, merciful, willing to relieve us 
under all our guilt, and help in all our needs. It is through the Lamb in 
the midst of the throne, the Lamb slain, that the throne of God is to us a 
throne of grace. It is so through him who was slain, who was given for this 
end. Now he that was willing to give us Christ (as the throne of grace 
manifests he has already given him), assures us hereby, that he is freely 
willing to give all, Bom. viii. 82. 

7. He appears here under obligations to be willing. The Lord on the 
throne of grace represents himself to us as a God under promise, a God in 
covenant, as I shewed in opening the point. Now what are the promises, 
but declarations what the Lord is willing to do for his people ; gracious ex- 
pressions of his willingness to do us all the good we need or can desire ? 
Let me add, that the Hebrew doctors express a proselyte's or convert's enter- 
ing into covenant with God, by being gathered under the wings of the divine 
presence. And the Lord's appearing on the mercy-seat, shadowed with the 
wings of the cherubims, they called peculiarly fUW, the divine presence. 
To enter into covenant with God, is to be gathered under these wings. To 
which some conceive that expression of Christ has reference, Mat. xxiii. he 
would have 'gathered them under his wings,' i.e. he would have brought 
them into the new covenant. The Lord upon the mercy-seat, and so on the 
throne of grace, appears as a God in covenant. Now what are the contents 
of this covenant but sure mercies, Acts xiii. 84 ; mercies insured to believers 
through Christ ; acts of grace and favour made sure by an everlasting covenant ? 
The Lord hereby shews himself obliged to be everlastingly willing to help in 
time of need. He is as surely willing, as he is sure to be true and faithful, as 
he is sure to be like himself, as he is sure not to deal falsely in the covenant. 

8. He appears here as having removed all impediments that might hinder 
him from being willing. For what can hinder, but either incensed justice, 
or the condemning law, or the provokings of sin ? But the Lord, as offer- 
ing himself on the throne of grace, shews that he has taken a course that 
none of these shall be any impediment to him. 

Not incensed justice, for the Lord here shews himself upon the propitia- 
tory. He is now propitious, as one reconciled, and that shews that wrath is 
appeased and justice satisfied. 

Not the accusing law : for the mercy-seat is betwixt the Lord and the 
condemning law ; the accusations of the law are all silenced through the 
mediation of Christ, the pleadings of the law will not be heard or admitted 
at this throne. 

Not the provokings of sin : for here sin is covered. This is a throne for 
pardons and free forgivenesses. 

Bo that nothing is left to hinder him from being willing. And if the Lord 
appears willing, bids us be confident of it, shews himself in a willing posture, 
and his promise, his honour, his throne, his Son, engage him, and there be 
nothing to hinder him, what remains, but that believers should be con- 
fident of his readiness, his willingness, to hear and help, to pity and relieve, 
and give them all their heart's desire? What remains, but to 'come 
boldly,' Ac. 

Thus it is manifest positively that the Lord is willing. Let me shew it 
comparatively also, but very briefly. 

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142 OF COMING TO THE THBONE OF OBACE. [HEB. IV. 16. 

1. He shews himself more willing than he did of old under the law ; jet 
then his people found him ready to help, relieve, supply. He shews it now 
more openly on the throne of graoe ; whereas in the mercy-seat it was but 
held forth obscurely, as in a shadow, a typical and mysterious representa- 
tion : now there (is no veil interposed, now we may with open face behold 
the Lord's good-will towards men, shining in the face of Christ. This 
he shews continually on the throne of grace, to which all may have access 
every moment ; whereas the people were admitted to the mercy- seat, only 
in the high priest, and that but once a year. The blood and incense, with- 
out which the mercy-seat was not to be approached, did but shadow forth 
the sufferings and intercession of Christ, and these are now not prefigured, 
but really exhibited. The throne of grace is now said to be the throne of 
God and of the Lamb ; of the Lamb slain and already sacrificed, so he has 
made satisfaction ; of the Lamb in the midst of the throne, there making 
intercession. So that, though he appeared willing before, yet now he mani- 
fests it in a way which gives much more assurance to faith ; he shews it 
clearly, fully, effectually, continually. 

2. He is more willing to help us, than we are to help one another, than 
those amongst us that are most so. The throne of grace shews us mercy 
and grace upon the throne ; there this willingness appears in the highest 
exaltation and glory, and so sets forth the Lord to be as much more willing 
than we, to afford relief, as he is higher than we. As his other thoughts 
are not as ours, so his thoughts of grace and mercy, for the relief and 
supply of his people, and the ways wherein he is willing to help us, are far 
above ours, even as the heavens are high above the earth, Isa. lv. 9. Even 
as his highest throne is above his footstool, Heb. viii. 1. Who more willing 
to relieve a child in want or distress, than an affectionate father? yet that will- 
ingness conies short of his : Luke xi. 18, ' If ye being evil know how to 
give good gifts unto your children ; how much more shall your heavenly 
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him,' so Mat. vii. 11. The 
gift of the Spirit is the sum of all good things ; it comprises spiritual light, 
life, strength, treasures, comforts. And the Lord is much more willing to 
give all these, than any Father to supply his child. 

8. He is more willing to send help, than we to have it. This is unques- 
tionable in many cases, and those that are of most consequence to us, such 
as concern our souls. He that will do most for our relief, is most willing to 
help us ; but hereby it appears that he has done more. this way for us than 
we will do for ourselves. When we are loath to quit our own ease, to cross 
our own humours and inclinations, for the advantage and relief of our souls, 
he spared not his own Son for our sakes. It cost him more to relieve us in 
our lost condition, than ten thousand worlds are worth. At such a rate was 
he willing to appear for our help, when our state was otherwise helpless and 
desperate. This the throne of grace sets before us. There we may see 
Jesus, who by his blood has procured us access to it, and there sits on the 
right hand of the throne, making intercession for us. Which of us are 
willing to part with that for the interest of our own souls, which is as dear 
to us as the Son of God was to the eternal Father ? His giving his Son for 
us is a clear demonstration he is more willing to help us than we ourselves. 

Nay, further, we are not willing to have relief till he makes us so ; and 
he that makes us so is more so himself. He encourages us, he invites us 
in the text, to come to the throne, that we may find grace to help. He uses 
means to make us willing. A plain evidence that he is more willing than 
we ; more willing that we should have help, than we are to have it. 



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OF CHRIST'S MAKING INTERCESSION. 



To make intercession. — Heb. VII. 25. 

The offices of Christ, the great mediator betwixt God and man, are the 
foundation of our hopes, and the springs of our comfort and happiness, 
his priestly office particularly ; and of his priesthood there are two principal 
acts : his satisfaction, by dying for sinners, and his intercession at the right 
hand of God. Of the latter, I shall give you an account from the words 
read. 

The apostle, observing that the believing Hebrews were in danger to fall 
from the profession of Christ, by being too passionately addicted unto the 
Levitical ordinances, to secure them, he, through this epistle, sets before 
them the glory of Christ, in his person and offices, and shews how infinitely 
he transcends all that they affected and admired in the Levitical adminis- 
tration. 

In this chapter he proves the excellency of Christ's priesthood above the 
priesthood under the law, by many arguments. Only at present take notice 
of some from ver. 19. The law, and the priesthood under it, made nothing 
perfect, made no perfect satisfaction for sin, nor purchase of salvation ; but 
Christ, then hoped for, as better than those legal rites, being the end of and 
thing signified by them, being brought in, did, by virtue of his priesthood, 
make all perfect by perfect satisfaction and purchase. And by him we have 
nearer access to God than was held forth in the legal administration. None 
bat the priests were then admitted into the holy place ; none but the high 
priest into the holy of holies, the place of God's special presence on the 
mercy-seat ; but now there is no veil betwixt us and the mercy-seat ; it was 
rent to make our way, and all believers may have always access unto the 
throne of grace, &c. 

Ver. 20, 21. Christ's priesthood had a stronger confirmation. That 
under the law stood but by positive institution, the Lord leaving himself a 
liberty to change it when he pleased. But the priesthood of Christ is estab- 
lished by an oath, and rendered unchangeable for ever ; as unchangeable as 
God himself, who cannpt repent, as inviolable as the oath of God. 

Ver. 22. Christ is the surety of a better testament, of a covenant made 
up of better promises, Heb. viii. 6. The covenant of grace, in its adminis- 
tration under Christ, is more free, clear, full, extensive, and firm. Christ 
is surety of the covenant, i.e. he obliged himself to see the articles and con- 
tents of the covenant made good, removing what might hinder, and provid- 

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144 of chbibt's making intercession. [Heb. VIL 26. 

ing what might secure and promote the observance. In the same sense he 
is called, Heb. xii. 24, not a mediator of supplication only, as the woman of 
Tekoa, 2 Sam. xiv., but of satisfaction, as Paul, Philem. 18, 19. Such a 
mediator is a surety, binds himself to satisfy for another. 

Ver. 28, 24. The priesthood was defective, and very imperfect. The 
priest, then, did need partners, one could not do all the work ; and succes- 
sors too, they could not live always. But Christ, our high priest, needs 
neither partner nor successor ; he alone is sufficient for all the acts of his 
office ; and he is so always, unchangeably ; he lives ever. Hence he infers, 
ver. 25, e/f rh vavrs'ktg. 

1. Perfectly ; to remove whatever is an impediment to their salvation, and 
vouchsafe whatever is requisite to make their happiness and salvation 
complete. 

2. Eternally, ver. 9, ' Because he ever lives.' He is able, bat is he 
willing ? Yes, that is evident by his intercession. Therefore, those that 
turn from sin by repentance, and come unto God by faith in Christ, shall 
certainly be saved to the utmost. 

Obs. Christ always makes intercession for his people. 

For this intercession of Christ, there is all sorts of evidence in Scripture, 
by types, prophecies, and plain assertions. 

That was typified under the law, by what the high priest is appointed to 
do on the day of expiation, Levit. xvi. 11-15. A bullock and a goat was 
appointed for sin-offerings ; they were to be sacrificed, and their blood shed 
without, at the door of the tabernacle. Then Aaron was to take part of the 
blood, and carry it with incense into the most holy place within the veil, 
and there sprinkle it upon and before the mercy- seat. Now the slaying of 
these sacrifices, and offering them without, at a distance from the holy place, 
signified the death of Christ, wherein he offered himself to God a sacrifice 
on earth for the expiation of his people's sins ; and the presenting of the 
blood of those sacrifices in the most holy place, signified the intercession of 
Christ in heaven ; and so the apostle applies it, Heb. ix. 12, 28. He entered 
within the veil, i.e. into heaven; and there, by virtue of his own blood, 
appears, t. e. intercedes, for us. 

It is foretold by the prophet, Isa. liii., where, having given an account of 
the sufferings and death of Christ (one main act of his priestly office, whereby 
he made satisfaction to justice), so plainly and punctually, that it may seem 
rather a relation of what was past, than a prophecy of what was to come ; 
he concludes with the other part of that office, the intercession of Christ, 
ver. 12. 

It is plainly asserted in the New Testament, Bom. viii. 84, Heb. ix. 24 ; 
how, and in what capacity he appears for us, the other apostle shews, 1 John 
ii. 1, 2. He appears as our advocate, to make our defence, to secure us 
in judgment, to plead for us ; and his plea is grounded upon satisfac- 
tion, made by the sacrifice of himself for our expiation ; /'Xaqctoc is Svcia 
/Xaw/xi), a propitiatory sacrifice. Having offered himself as such a sacrifice, 
sufficient to make atonement, he appears by its virtue to plead for, and ob- 
tain the effects of it ; which are no less than perfect salvation, aa the text 
comprises. For as he argues, Rom. v. 10, o-lXXp fidXkot, much more shall 
we be saved, saved to the uttermost, by his life, i.e. by his living to make 
intercession. 

It is a matter of great consequence, you see, though not much (that I can 
find) insisted on. Let me therefore endeavour to open it more fully and 
clearly, by giving you some account of the nature, efficacy, and continuance 
of this intercession. 



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Hbb. YII. 25.J of ohbist's making intercession. 145 

1. For the nature of it. la general, it is Christ's appearance in heaven 
in behalf of his people ; as having on earth satisfied for them, done and 
suffered all things which were requisite on his part to be there accomplished 
for their salvation, both for the removing of what might hinder it, and par- 
chasing what might perfect it, and make it complete ; or a presenting of 
himself, as having finished what was necessary on earth, for the saving of 
them to the utmost. 

More particularly, it includes these severals ; — 

(1.) He appears in oar nature, not only as God, but as man, 1 Tim. ii. 5. 
While he is mediator, he is man. Now his intercession is a principal act 
of his mediation. To intercede is to mediate. He did not cast off the 
human nature when he left the earth, but carried it into heaven, and there 
retains not only the soul, but the body of a man ; the same body as to the 
substance, though freed from corruptible qualities, such as are inconsistent 
with his glorious condition in the heavens. The same body which suffered, 
which was buried, which rose again, the same ascended into heaven. The 
same body that did bleed and die, that suffered and was made a sacrifice, he 
presents in heaven. He appears with it, and thereby it is evident that he 
appears for us, as Heb. ix. 24. He appears as one concerned for us, as one 
[who] is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. As he assumed our nature, and 
took a human body for us, so he retains it in heaven, and appears there with 
it for us. The apostle does not say he entered into heaven, to appear there 
in glory and majesty, as if his appearance there had been for himself solely ; 
bat to appear in the presence of God for us. As he was born, and lived 
and died for us, so he ascended into heaven, and appears in our nature at 
the right hand of God for us. But how for us ? 

(2.) He appears as our advocate, to present us and our cause unto God. 
When Aaron was to enter the most holy place, to intercede for the people, 
he was to bear the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast and shoulders, 
Exod. xxviii. 12, 29. la that Aaron was to bear the names of the tribes, 
may be signified that he was not to enter into the place of intercession in 
his own name only, but in the names of all the people. So did Christ (typi- 
fied by the high priest, and so often called) appear in heaven, the place of his 
intercession, not in his own name, but in the name and behalf of his people. 

Aaron was to bear their names on his shoulder ; to denote, as is conceived, 
that the high priest was to bear with their weaknesses and infirmities ; and 
such an high priest is Christ represented, Heb. iv. 15. 

Aaron was to bear the names of the tribes upon his breast, when he 
appeared for them in the holy place ; to signify he was to have such care 
and love for them as though they were in his heart. According to what the 
apostle expresseth towards the Corinthians, 2 Cor. vii. 3, to be sure it is 
thus with Christ ; he in appearing for his people as intercessor and advocate, 
does as it were bear them on his breast ; presents them unto God as those 
that are in his heart, to die and to live for them. He died to make satis- 
faction; and lives to make intercession for them ; he ever lives to appear as 
their advocate, 1 John ii. 1 ; he states their cause before 0od as it now 
stands, and represents it to him in the favourable and advantageous state 
and circumstances to which it is brought by his obedience and sufferings for 
them. And so stated it cannot miscarry, when they come to trial before 
God's tribunal ; they need fear no charge that can be brought against them, 
no accusation of men or devils, they have such an advocate, as can answer, 
and nonplus, and silence all. Some resemblance of this you may see, Zech. 
iiL 1, 2; Joshua, a type of the church, is charged, accused by Satan; 

vol. m. k 



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146 of Christ's making intercession. [Heb. YII. 25. 

Christ, called the Lord here, by his intercession with the Father, pleads that, 
instead of Joshua, his accuser may be rebuked and confounded, acquitting 
and justifying the accused. No charge will have better success, -which is 
formed against those for whom Christ appears as advocate, Horn. viii. 84. 
No charge can be fixed on his chosen people, not only because Christ died 
and rose again, but because Christ appears at the right hand of God as their 
advocate, to plead, Ac. 

(8.) He presents his death as suffered in our stead, his blood as shed for 
us. The high priest (as was said) when he was to mediate for the people in 
the most holy place, was to bring the blood of the sacrifice and present it 
there; he was not to enter without it, there was no interceding but by 
virtue of it, Heb. ix. 7 ; so Christ by his own blood entered into heaven, 
ver. 12, thereby to make intercession for transgressors. Indeed, his inter* 
cession is but the continued virtue of his blood, and therefore is described 
by his presenting it, as the high priest did that of other sacrifices. Not 
that Christ in heaven presents his blood out of his veins, but his soul and 
body which was sacrificed ; that body which was scourged, wounded, pierced 
through with nails, and made full of bloody furrows, remains in the presence 
and at the right hand of God, and will remain there for an eternal memorial 
of his sufferings. Not that the Lord needs any memorial, and wants any 
helps to continue things in remembrance, or less regards, or is less mind- 
ful of things long since past ; for things past, how long since soever, are as 
full in his all-seeing eye as if they were present ; and so are things future 
too, at what distance soever. Hence Christ is said to be the lamb sacrificed, 
&c, Bom. xiii. 8. That sacrifice of Christ was present to him, so as to 
procure all the advantages of it for believers under the Old Testament, many 
ages before it was actually offered ; and so it is as present to him still, 
though it be many hundred years since it was offered. 

But such expressions, when we say Christ presents his blood, they help 
our weaknesses ; and signify to us that the death and sufferings of Christ have 
the same influence with God now, as if he were still suffering, as if he were 
but just now crucified. That the virtue of his blood is still as fresh and 
efficacious as if it were but just now shed ; as if the wounds were still open, 
and the blood now streaming out in the presence and at the right hand of 
God. This blood, thus presented, is said to ' speak better things than the 
blood of Abel,' Heb. xii. 24, Gen. iv. 10 ; it cries for mercy as much as 
the blood of Abel cried for vengeance ; it pleads powerfully, and has as much 
the virtue of interceding as if it had an articulate voice. 

(4.) He presents his will and desire that his people may have all the pur- 
chase of his blood. The will of the divine nature as he is God, the desires 
of his human nature as he is man. Thus he is said to intercede for us, in 
that the Father understands that it is his will and desire, as he is God and 
man, that his people may be possessed of all the effects, and receive all the 
advantage of his obedience and sufferings for them ; so that his intercession 
is in effect his praying for us in heaven. His intercession is by some called 
a prayer, and so it is rightly understood, as it imports his will and desire 
to the Father for us. His prayer on earth is expressed in this form, John 
xvii. 24 ; and his desires in heaven are called prayer, John xvi. 26, ' at that 
day/ after he had left the world and was ascended into heaven, ' I say not 
that I will pray,' I need not tell you that ; this you may take for granted, 
you may be sure I will do it, some understand it. More plainly, John 
xiv. 16, when I am departed from earth, and am set at the right hand of 
God, I will bo mindful of yon, I will pray for you ; so that in some sense 
Christ prays now that he is in heaven, and his interceding is praying for 



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Heb. VII. 25.] of Christ's making intercession. 147 

us. To clear this, it differs in some circumstances, both from oar prayers, 
and from his own prayers on earth. 

[1.] He does not desire undeserved favours as we do ; so it differs from 
oar prayers. The best of men that make any address to God, are unworthy 
of the mercies they pray for. But Christ wills nothing for us but what he 
merited ; he desires to obtain nothing on our behalf but what he has de- 
served for us. Rev. v. 9, 12, « Worthy is the Lamb that was slain/ how 
unworthy soever they are for whom he was sacrificed ; he has redeemed us, 
laid down a price of more equal value with what he asks for us. 

[2.] He does not present any petitions in the posture of a humble, de- 
jected supplicant ; he does not fall on his knees, or lie prostrate to beg tiny- 
thing for us ; this is not agreeable to him as he is God, nor to his present 
glorious state as he is man. As God, he is equal with the Father, counts 
it no robbery ; as man, he sits at the right hand of God, Heb. i. 8, and 
viii. 1 ; he is exalted to all glory, power, and majesty, next to the Father : 
4 Far above, 1 &c Eph. i. 20, 21. 

[8.] Nor does he present any requests with cries and tears, or such ex- 
pressions of passionate fervour ; and so his intercession differs from his own 
prayers on earth, Heb. v. 7. Then he did as a man of sorrows, acting 
suitably to his condition then in the flesh, which was a state of humiliation, 
bat is not congruous to his present state, when he is crowned with divine 
glory, Heb. ii. 9. 

[4.] Nor does he. desire anything for us by virtue of what he undertook, 
bat has not yet performed, as he did in that divine and admirable prayer, 
John xvii. For whatever was requisite to make way for the fulfilling of his 
desires in behalf of his people is already fully accomplished, John xix. 80. 
His intercession there was by virtue of the sacrifice he was to offer ; his in- 
tercession now is on account of the sacrifice already offered. 

These are some accidental differences betwixt the intercession of Christ 
and other prayers, whether his own or ours. But then I conceive, with 
submission, that his intercession is a prayer. 

[1.] Essentially. Though it differ from other prayers in some circum- 
stances, yet it has the essence of a prayer, and is so truly and really. For 
prayer, when it is designed by what is essential to it, is a presenting of our 
desires unto God, Philem. 4 ; and if we add, in the name of Christ, that 
will make no difference here. Christ, as our intercessor, presents his desires 
for his people unto the Father in his own name. It is his earnest desire 
that his people may reap all the fruits of his purchase ; he desires it for his 
own sake, who died for this end, and made the purchase for this purpose, 
that they might inherit. 

[2.] It is prayer virtually. The presenting of his blood has the virtue 
and force of a prayer, Heb. xiu 24. The blood of Christ, called the blood 
of sprinkling, in reference to the blood of the sacrifices, which were to be 
sprinkled on, and before the mercy-seat, and by virtue of which the high 
priest did intercede for the people ; it speaks, it cries ; there is something 
in it equivalent to the voice of an importunate supplicant. It speaks for 
excellent things, xptrrov, for grace, reconciliation with God, and all the com- 
fortable effects and consequents thereto ; it is a voice most powerful and 
prevalent, though it be not articulate. There needed no other plea, no other 
advocate for Abel against Cain, but the cry of his brother's blood ; the Lord 
heard it immediately, and answered it with a curse, Gen. iv. 10, 11. There 
needs no other plea for as with the Father than the cry of Christ's blood ; 
that prevails instantly, infallibly, for the blessings, Eph. i. 8 ; it has the 
virtue of a most effectual prayer. . 

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148 or ohaist's making intercession. [Heb. VII. 25. 

[8. J It is transcendently a prayer. It is of greater force and prevalency 
with God than all the prayers of all creatares together, even of those which 
have most power with God. If all the glorious angels, and all the saints in 
heaven and on earth, should prostrate themselves before God, and come to- 
gether to prefer one petition to him with all fervour and importanity, you 
would think that a powerful prayer indeed, of great virtue and prevalency. 
But the intercession of Christ, as it is a representation of the will and desires 
of Christ, is of more force and power to prevail, of more infinitely ; for it is 
a presenting of the will of God for us, and of the desires of him who is God- 
man, and so more considerable than the united requests of men and angels 
all together. If we should have seen Christ on earth praying with strong 
cries and tears, we would not have questioned but he would have been heard. 
His intercession now is rally as prevalent with God as such a prayer of 
Christ would have been ; nay, he presents his will and desires now with 
more advantage ; for, being as our intercessor at the right hand of God, his 
power and interest is in the highest and most glorious exaltation. Thus 
much for the notion of Christ's intercession, what it imports, and wherein 
it consists. 

2. For the efficacy of it, it may partly be understood by what is said. Let 
me add some particulars. 

(1.) The intercession of Christ is grounded upon merit, And therefore 
must prevail in point of justice. Christ's obedience unto death was meri- 
torious, and did deserve for his people thai which, as intercessor on their 
behalf, he pleads for. There are three ingredients of strict and proper merit 
which concur in the obedience And sufferings of Christ. That which any 
will merit by, 1, oauat be his own; 2, and that which he owes not; $, 
there must he a proportion betwixt it and that which he would deserve by 
it. Now, as to the first, the soul and body of Christ, which he offered for 
us, was his own, John x. 18 ; and the obedience he performed for us was 
done by his own strength, the divine nature empowering the human, both 
doing and suffering ; whenas otherwise his sufferings would have been uh- 
supportable to any mere man. 

As to the second, that which he performed and suffered was what he 
owed not, not due from him. He was not obliged to it by his own volun- 
tary undertaking and submission, being not only man, but God in one person. 
As to the £hird, his obedience and sufferings were of equal worth with 
the recompence which he pleads for in behalf of his people. He thereby 
fully satisfied the demands both of law and justice ; and though it was 
the life and pardon of a world of condemned persons that he pleads for, 
yet his obedience and blood is of more worth than all this ; for these are of 
infinite value, being the obedience and blood of God himself, Acts xx. 

So that Christ's obedience, active and passive, is meritorious, not only 
ratione pacti, by reason of the agreement betwixt the Father and him, he 
having performed all the conditions required in order to our redemption, but 
ratione pretii, by virtue of the intrinsic value of what he payed and per- 
formed. 

Now, to use the apostle's expression, Bom. iv. 4, 'To him that thus 
worketh, the reward is reckoned not of grace, but of debt ;' it is grace to us, 
but it is debt to Christ. And so the plea on our behalf in his intercession, 
being for a just debt, it cannot but be most effectual with a righteous God. 
(2.) The efficacy of it appears in the acceptableness of all included in 
Christ's intercession unto God the Father, and his readiness to comply with 
the motions which it imports. Christ appears in our nature ; now, that is 
the nature, the body which the Father prepared for him, Heb. x. 5, prepaied 

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Heb. VII. 25.] of obrist'b making intercession. 149 

for Christ, that he might become a sacrifice ; such a sacrifice whereby justice 
was fully satisfied, mercy made wonderfully conspicuous, wisdom, power, 
goodness, truth, righteousness, and in a manner all divine perfections trans- 
cendency glorified, and thereby this nature eternally endeared unto God, and 
so exalted at his right hand as an everlasting monument thereof. Though 
it be man's nature, yet it is now (as the Lord says in effect) a part of my 
beloved Son, his nature too, in whom I am well pleased. 

He appears as our advocate, and he pleads nothing but what is the will 
of God, Heb. z. 7-9. His will was that Christ should be a sacrifice ; and 
it is upon the perfect fulfilling of his Father's will that his plea proceeds ; 
that is the ground of it, therefore it must prevail. If it should not be effec- 
tual, the will of God would be ineffectual ; if it should meet with a repulse, 
the Lord would cross his own will. It is God that justifies, so as none shall 
condemn. How so ? It is Christ that makes intercession. 

He presents his blood, his interceding is a commemoration of his sacrifice; 
and this is the savour of a sweet smeS to God, Eph. v. 2 ; he is infinitely 
pleased with it. 

He presents his will and desires for saving of his people to the utmost ; 
and his will is his Father's will ; his desires always fulfilled, his requests 
ever heard and answered, Mat. xvii. 5. He would have him heard of all, he 
himself will certainly hear him, he is his beloved Bon. Christ expresses his 
assurance of it, John xi. 42, xii. 48. He can ask nothing so great but the 
Father will give it, Ps. ii. 8. The Father says of Christ, ver. 7, ' Thou art 
my Son/ &c. It is Bpoken in reference to his resurrection from the dead 
(which was an evidence that he was not a mere man, but the eternal Son of 
God), and upon his resurrection followed his intercession ; in reference to 
which the Lord says to him, Ask of me, and I will give thee a spiritual king- 
dom over all my people through the whole world, a power to rule and save 
them. This is the greatest thing that Christ does ask, the sum of all he 
intercedes for. When Esther appeared before king Ahasuerus to intercede 
for her people condemned to destruction, he gives her this assurance, Esth. 
v. 8, hereby signifying that she could ask nothing so great but he would 
grant. Christ had this assurance of the Father before he became our advo- 
cate and intercessor actually, that there is nothing so great that he could 
ask but the Father would grant it Such is the efficacy of his intercession. 
(8.) By virtue of his intercession, all that he purchased by his obedience 
and sufferings is actually conferred. Pardon and salvation are sometimes 
ascribed to the death of Christ, sometimes to his life ; for he made the pur- 
chase by his obedience unto death. But we have the possession by virtue 
of his life in heaven, by his living there to make intercession for us. He 
merited salvation, and all that tends to save us to the utmost, by what he 
performed and suffered for us on earth. But all is actually conferred on as 
by virtue of his appearance for us at the right hand of God. 

This we may understand by what he tells his disciples he would do in 
heaven, what he will intercede for, John xiv. 16, 17. The Lord was willing 
that his people should be saved to the utmost; but then their salvation must 
be accomplished in a way that would glorify him, and on such terms as would 
be for his honour. Those terms are declared in the gospel ; those that will 
be saved must be both justified and sanctified : justified, since none can be 
saved unless the sentence of condemnation passed upon all sinners be re- 
versed ; sanctified, because without holiness no man can see God. That 
they may be justified, they must have faith ; that they may be sanctified, 
they must have holiness. Both these Christ purchased by his blood, but 
he works them by his Spirit ; and that the Spirit may be given for this 

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150 of ohbist'b making intebcession. [Heb. VII. 25. 

purpose, he prays, he intercedes. For the word rendered Comforter is of 
large import, and denotes not only the act of comforting, hut in a manner all 
the offices and operations of the Holy Ghost in reference to his people ; and 
speaks him not only a Spirit of comfort, hut of truth, and faith, and holiness. 
Thus Christ by his Spirit puts his people into a capacity of salvation, and 
all that salvation to the uttermost comprises. And this is done by virtue of 
his intercession. That which Christ purchased by his death is not actually 
bestowed but through his intercession. His. people would not be capable 
thereof, but tbat the Spirit works them to it. The Spirit would not be sent 
for this purpose, but that Christ intercedes for it, John xvi. 7 ; not come, 
because his coming was to be the issue of Christ's intercession ; therefore 
said to be sent in Christ's name: John xiv. 26, 'In my name,' t. e. for my 
sake, interceding to that purpose. 

(4.) Christ's intercession was effectual before he was actually an interces- 
sor. By virtue of this, all believers from the beginning of the world were 
pardoned and saved. The efficacy of his intercession is as extensive as the 
virtue of his death, upon which it is grounded. By virtue of his death, 
believers were freed from guilt in the Old Testament, before he actually 
suffered, Heb. ix. 15. His death was effectual to expiate the transgressions 
under the first testament, though it was then future ; and so his future in- 
tercession was effectual to give them possession of the promised inheritance. 
Even as a debtor is discharged, when the surety gives sufficient security that 
the debt shall be paid, though he pay it not presently, 2 Tim. i. 9. Christ 
engaged himself, gave a sufficient security that he would offer himself a sacri- 
fice in due time, and would present that sacrifice at God's right hand for all 
believers from the foundation of the world ; and upon that account they 
were pardoned and saved, though they died many ages before he actually 
suffered or interceded in our nature, Bom. iii. 25. He was set forth as a 
propitiation, that which rendered God propitious, through his blood, for the 
forgiveness of transgressions before. The mercy-seat (which the word sig- 
nifies) shewed that the Lord was reconciled, through the blood there 
sprinkled, which signified the blood of Christ presented in his intercession. 
By virtue of this transgressions were pardoned, and a way opened into heaven 
for those who believed in the Messias to come ; though he came not, though 
he died not, though he interceded not, as now, till long after. In respect of 
the eternal purpose of God, and the undertaking of Christ, correspondent 
thereto, it was as sure to be, as though it had been already accomplished. 
And so it was as effectual before, as if it had been actually in being, 2 Tim. 
i. 9. That which is sure to be done, is said to be done already. He was 
' the Lamb slain,' i. e. sacrificed, * from the beginning of the world,' Bev. 
xiii. 8. The virtue of his sacrifice to be offered, and so of his sacrifice to 
be presented, was vigorous and efficacious in all ages, from the foundation 
of the world. 

8. As to the continuance of this intercession, it is perpetual. The text 
is express for this, ' He ever lives,' &c. He intercedes while he liveB, and 
he ever lives; he intercedes always: 1, without intermission; 2, without 
end. It is represented as the end why he lives, and the end of his life he 
pursues every moment. The high priest did but solemnly intercede for the 
people once in [a year] ; but Christ appears for his people continually. There 
is not a moment wherein this act of his priesthood is intermitted. He is 
always at the right hand of God in our nature ; he is always ready to justify 
our cause against all gainsayers, making a legal appearance for that purpose. 
He is always presenting his blood ; his sacrifice is no moment out of the sight 
and presence of the divine majesty. He is always representing his will and 

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Heb. VII. 25.] of ohbist's making intkboession. 151 

desires, that those who come to God by him may be saved to the utmost. 
His requests are not made known now and then, as ours are to him, but 
without ceasing ; this he does every moment. And, 

(2.) Thus he will be doing for ever. His oblation was but one act, his 
sacrifice was finished at once ; but his intercession, the other act of his 
priesthood, is everlasting ; it continues while he lives, who ever lives, Rev. 
L 18, Rom. vi. 9, 10. He died once to expiate sin ; and he did it perfectly, 
there was no need to repeat it, Heb. x. 14 ; but there was need to present 
this sacrifice to God, and to apply the virtue of it to us. And for this he 
lives unto God, with God, at his right hand, for ever. 

Upon this account, the priesthood of Christ is preferred before the Levi- 
tical, Heb. vii. 15, 16. He was not made priest by a law that provides for 
mortality, and appoints priests in succession ; but by the power which raised 
him to an endless life, and so made him priest for ever. So he is said 
to be a priest after the order of Melchisedek, of whose beginning and 
end we have no account ; on purpose to signify that Christ's priesthood 
should have no end. And this the Lord, who cannot repent, confirmed by 
an oath, Heb. vii. 21, 28. 

Now, it is upon the account of his intercession that the priesthood is ever- 
lasting ; for his oblation is past, and he offered himself once for all, Heb. 
ix. 25. So that, if he do not intercede for ever, he will not be a priest for 
ever ; unless he can be so, without any act of the priestly office. 

Obj. Bat it may be said, the kingdom of Christ shall cease, and therefore 
his priesthood and intercession may cease ; for one office of Christ is not of 
longer continuance than another. And that there shall be an end of his 
kingdom, the apostle seems to declare, 1 Cor. xv. 24, 28. 

An*. The spiritual kingdom of Christ here on earth will cease at the end 
of the world, for there will be none left for the exercise of his government 
here. There will be no sinners to conquer, no subjects on earth to rule, no 
enemies to subdue. But his glorious kingdom in heaven shall not cease ; 
he will have the same regal majesty, glory, and power, at the right hand of 
God, and may exercise his kingly power, though in a different manner, viz., 
in keeping those enemies under, whom he had before subdued ; and in con- 
finning and establishing his heavenly subjects in their glorious condition, 
Rev. xi. 15, Luke L 82. 

Accordingly, as to his intercession, there will be some difference therein, 
at the end of the world, from what there was before ; but no total cessation 
of it. The state of his intercession will be somewhat different from what it is 
now, because the state of his people will not then be the same, nor will there 
be the same occasions or necessities. He will not intercede for those that shall 
believe hereafter, because all will then be gathered and brought to the obe- 
dience of faith ; nor for pardon of sin, or power against it, because there 
will be no sin to be pardoned or mortified ; nor for increase of holiness, be- 
cause all his people will be then come to their full growth, to the fulness of 
the measure of the stature of Christ ; nor for the acceptance of imperfect 
services, because then there will be no imperfection ; nor for glory to come, 
because then it will be present. 

Yet his intercession will not cease, there will be occasion and neces- 
sity for it in other respects. The virtue of it will be needful for the con- 
tinuance in their state of perfection and happiness, that so hereby he may be 
the author of eternal salvation to them. For this he will still appear in our 
nature at the right hand of God, and appear as our advocate, and present 
his blood, that, by virtue thereof, they may have eternal redemption ; for 
this he will still present his will and desires, and so will intercede for ever. 

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152 of Christ's making intmicesbioh/ [Heb. VII. 25. 

Use 1. This leads us to admire the loving- kindness of Christ to lost sin- 
ners, in that he lives ever to make intercession for them. His affection to 
his people, his condescension for them, appears herein every way admirable 
and astonishing. There are four severals held forth in the text, which may 
render this for ever wonderful in onr eyes. 

1. That this should be one end of his life. Thai he should live for us ; 
live, to make intercession for us ; live, that this should be an end and 
design of his life, to free us from misery, to promote our happiness and 
secure it ; that the Son of God, infinitely happy and glorious without us, 
should make the concerns of men, inconceivably below him, the design of 
his life ; and declare that he lives for this reason, and will live upon this 
account, to appear on their behalf. If any one, especially a person far above 
us, should assure ns that he makes it one end of his life, and will design it 
while he lives, to mind our concerns, to promote all that may be for our 
advantage and happiness, and to appear for this on all occasions ; what 
greater expression of love could be expected ? If one far above you, and who 
had no dependence on you, should declare this, it would seem just cause of 
wonder. How much more admirable is it, that the Son of God should give 
us this assurance ; that though we are but as worms and grasshoppers in 
his sight, yet it shall be one end of his life to do us good, and he will em- 
ploy himself while he lives to promote our interest, and make us happy ! 

It was a wonderful favour to man that this lower world should be ordered 
for his good ; that all creatures in heaven and earth should be for his use 
and advantage, Ps. viii. 8, 6, 7, 8. The consideration of this made David 
cry out with admiration, ver. 4. How much more wonderful is it, that the 
great and supreme Lord of heaven and earth should declare that he lives for 
man ; that he lives for this end, to appear for our interest and concerns, that 
it should be any end of his life to intercede for us ! 

2. That he should live again for us ; live more than once, more than one 
life for as. He had already lived one life for us, and had already lost one 
life for us ; and when a new life was restored to him, he would live that life 

or us too. As though he had not thought it enough to live one life for us 
on earth, he lives another for us in heaven. He counts not two lives too 
much for us. Oh what manner of love was this ! The whole world cannot 
shew anything like ; amongst all the children of men, no instance of love 
can come near it. 

For a man to live a whole life for his dearest friend, to make it the 
business of his life sincerely to promote his true interest, would be an 
instance of rare love. But to die afterwards to save his life is rarer yet, 
and would be more wonderful. But if any one could be found that would 
die for his friend, yet being once dead, there is an end of his love and the 
expressions of it. 

Oh, but Christ after he had lived one life for us ; a life of so many years, 
a life of sorrows and sufferings ; and after he had died for us such a death as 
no man could endure, considering the unsupportable pains and sorrows of 
it ; yet his love survives his death, and being raised to another life, he lives 
that for us also, he orders that to be a continued expression of his tender 
care and love for his people. After he had lived for us in this world, and 
died for us too ; he still lives in heaven to intercede for us. 

8. That he lives in our nature, and appears for us, not only as God, but 
as man, as one of us, as nearly allied to us ; as our kinsman, Job xix. 25, 
i AyXjonui /aoD, my nearest kinsman; our brother, so called on this 
account, Heb. ii. 11, 12. It was a wonderful condescension, that he wonld 
take our nature, and unite it with the nature of God in one person ; for 

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Heb. VII. 25.] of ohbist's making intkbcxssion. 158 

what is man to him bat a worm ? It is more worthy of Admiration than if 
the greatest monarch should take npon him the form, and live in the likeness 
of a worm. This was greater love and honour than he would shew the 
angels, Heb. ii. 16. He chose rather to be lower than the angels ; for so 
in respect of our nature he is said to be, ver. 9. The great God of angels, 
upon the account of our nature, being made man, was made lower than the 
angels, though they be but his mere servitors. 

How wonderful is it, that at his exaltation he did not cast off this rag, 
wherewith he was covered in his low condition ; that he would retain that 
nature of ours, in which he had been so much humbled and debased, even 
to the form of a servant ! Was it not enough that he lived in it, and died 
in it for us on earth ; but will he still live in it for us in heaven ; live again 
in our nature, have it seated at the right hand of God ; and when he is in 
the height of his glory, then appear in our nature, as one most nearly con- 
cerned for us ? 

4. That he lives thus evermore, Rev. i. 18. And for what end he ever- 
more lives, he expresses here by the apostle. This second life he lives for 
us is not like the first, a life of some certain years, but an endless life. He 
lives not for us a life of some hundreds, or some thousands, or some millions 
of years, but beyond all account of years, even for ever and ever. It is an 
everlasting life that he lives for us ; it is one end and design of his life, while 
it lasts, to appear for us, and it lasts eternally. He ever lives in our nature ; 
he is never weary, never ashamed of it, how mean and vile soever it be, as 
it is ours. He cast not off a human body, no, not when he had finished the 
work for which it was prepared, when he had offered himself a sacrifice ; but 
presents the sacrifice, i. *., the soul and body that was sacrificed, for ever 
before God. It is placed at God's right hand, for an everlasting memorial 
and representation of his bloody death and sacrifice. The blood is not 
sprinkled once on the mercy-seat, or seven times before it, as under the 
law ; but that sprinkling which it signified is continued for ever ; the blood 
of sprinkling, wherewith our high priest entered into the holy place, remains 
there eternally. 

He appears as our advocate, not only in two or three trials, or in this and 
that special cause ; but in all trials, in all causes wherein we may be con- 
cerned, to eternity. He ever appears. He is always ready to quit us, as to 
every charge ; to clear us as to all accusations for ever, which law or justice, 
which men or devils, may form against us. 

In his appearance and plea for us there lies an eternal challenge against 
all adversaries whatever. ' Who can lay anything to the charge ? ' &c, Bom. 
Till. 84. 

He prefers not a petition for his people now and then only ; he prays not 
for them in this or that season, as he did in the days of his flesh ; but he 
ever intercedes. His intercession has the virtue of a continued, of an ever- 
lasting prayer. It is no less in effect, than if he were praying for them 
without ceasing, and that for ever. He continually, he eternally, presents 
his will and desires, that they may be saved to the uttermost. He is ever 
doing all this, he ever lives to do it ; there is no end of his love, no end of 
these expressions of it. There should be no end of our praises, no end of 
our admiration, no end of our affectionate resentments of his endless love, 
in his everlasting intercession. 

Use 2. This teaches us to live for Christ. This highly, strongly engages 
us to it. Shall he live for us again and again, and live eternally for us ; 
and will not we live once, live a -little while for him ? The love of Christ in 
living ever for us should constrain us to live our whole life for him. But 

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154 OF CHBISX'S MAKING INTEECES8ION. [HEB. Vll. 25. 

how ? Why, after his example and method he shews us. His living for as 
in the text succeeded his dying for as ; he was made a sacrifice before he 
lived to intercede for us. There is something we mast die to, before we can 
live for him. We must sacrifice our worldly, carnal, and selfish interest ; 
carnal and earthly designs, and affections, and inclinations, and actings, 
must be crucified. We must carefully observe and take notice how far they 
are alive, by their motions and actings, within and without. We must be 
sensible how pernicious their liveliness is, how dangerous, both in reference 
to Christ and our souls, making account they are deadly enemies both to 
him and us. 

And then proceed against them accordingly. Make it the design and 
business of oar lives to get them pat to death. Farther than we are dead 
to these, we cannot live for Christ ; these must first be made a sacrifice. 

And then positively, to lite for him is to make it the chief end and con- 
stant design of our lives, to please him and be serviceable to him; to 
conform in all to his will, and employ all for his honour and interest. To 
aim at him in all, even in our earthly business ; to consecrate all we are 
and have unto him ; to lay out our time, strength, parts, enjoyment for 
him, and not for ourselves ; not for the pleasing, advancing or securing oar- 
selves, but in such ways as he has declared to be; honourable and well- 
pleasing to him : this is to live for Christ ; this is it which his living ever 
for us obliges us to. And none can be assured that Christ ever lives for 
them, but those who sincerely endeavour thus to live for him. 

This is it which the apostle calls importunately for, Bom. xii. 1, 2. 

Mercies. All whose mercies do most eminently appear in the death and 
intercession of Christ, his giving him to die and live for as. 

Your bodies, i. e. yourselves. Your whole persons, in the whole coarse 
of your lives. 

A living sacrifice. We are not to die for sin, Christ only died for the 
expiation of it. All that is to die in this sacrifice is our carnal and worldly 
lasts ; the rest mast live to God. 

Holy. So it will be, when we consecrate all entirely unto God. 

Acceptable. This will be more pleasing to him than any legal sacrifices or 
burnt offerings. 

Reasonable service. The spiritual service which the word calls for, and 
calls for upon the highest and strongest reason. How this may be done, he 
explains, ver. 2, ' Be not conformed to,' imitate not the men of the world 
who live for themselves ; but let your life be conformed to the good, Ac., 
will of God. That is the way to live for God, therein it consists. To be 
living sacrifices, is to live for God. This is reasonable service, upon account 
of Christ's living for as. And the apostle would have them argue them- 
selves into it by this reason, because Christ died and lives for us, Rom. vi. 
9-11. He died for sin to expiate it, and now lives with God to intercede 
for you. Therefore Xoyifyafa, count it reasonable, make account there is all 
reason you should die to sin and live for God. There is the strongest, the 
most cogent reason from Christ's living for you, that you should live for him. 

1. Christ is infinitely above us. It is a wonderful condescension that he 
will live a moment for us ; he humbled himself that he might do it. Bat it is 
our greatest honour and advancement to live for him, we cannot live in a 
more noble and honourable capacity. It is the honour of the glorious angels 
to live for him ; and if we live not thus, we live like slaves. The greatest 
persons on earth, who live for themselves, are no better ; slaves to the 
world, slaves to Satan, the worst tyrant in the world ; slaves to sin, which 
is worse than the devil, ver. 16 ; a life, a service, that you may be ashamed 



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Heb. Til. 25.] op chbist's making intbbcession. 155 

of, ver. 20, 21. It is a life of glory to live for Christ. The more perfectly 
we do it, the more gloriously we live. This is the difference betwixt earth 
and heaven : here we live for Christ imperfectly, there we shall live per- 
fectly for him ; that is our shame and disgrace, this will be our complete 
glory. 

2. He does this freely. We never in the least obliged him to it ; there 
was no engagement on him to live for us, but from his own free grace, and 
the good pleasure of his will. But there are infinite engagements on us to 
live for him. The mercies of God, which herein appear most conspicuously, 
engage us to it. The whole life of Christ eternally obliges us, for he lives 
eternally for us. His life in heaven, his death on earth, his life before that 
death, all were for as, all engage us to live for him. He calls not on ub 
to live for him, till he has declared that he is living for us, and will do so 
for ever. He requires it not, till he have obliged us to the uttermost. 
It is a free favour in him, it is an absolute debt as to us. His love has so 
bound us, that heaven and earth may cry shame of us if we pay it not. 

8. He had no need of us. He was infinitely happy and glorious without 
us, and might have been so eternally, if he had neither died nor lived for us. 
What advantage has he by us ? What could he expect from such impotent, 
inconsiderable creatures as we are, Job xxii. 28, and xxxv. 7, 8 ; Ps. xvi. 2. 
The Seventy r£v ayaQwv (loZ ou ygti** s%"?. * Thou hast no need of my 
good things/ but we have infinite need of, and advantage by him, and so 
are infinitely concerned to live for him. It is our true, our main interest to 
live for him, and not for ourselves ; indeed, we cannot live so advantageously 
for ourselves any way, as by living wholly for him, for thereby we shall gain 
all that comfort, treasure, and happiness which he died to purchase, and 
which he ever lives to intercede for. 

Use 8. Here is great encouragement to faith and hope. Firm ground to 
believe and expect salvation to the uttermost, for those that come unto God 
by Christ, *. *. to those that repent and believe ; those that abandon sin in 
heart and life, i. e. in sincerity, resolution, and endeavour, and fly unto 
Christ for refuge, betaking themselves to him, to be ruled and saved by him. 
Such may have strong consolation from the intercession of Christ, Heb. vi. 
18-20. Hope is an anchor fastening upon Christ within the veil, i. e. as 
interceding for us. That is it which is done within the veil ; that is the 
only act of his priesthood in heaven, and upon that account he is high priest 
for ever. That which the high priest under the law did within the veil, was 
interceding. Christ's intercession makes it sure and stedfast ; no waves or 
storms, from the justice of God, or the malice of Satan, or the weakness of 
such as cast anchor here, need make them lose anchor's hold, they may ride 
out all tempests, and be safe for ever, upon the account of Christ's living 
ever to make intercession. 

Christ's intercession gives firm and assured hope of complete salvation ; 
by virtue of this, whatever is a hindrance to it will be removed, whatever 
is requisite to begin, carry on, and finish it, will be obtained. 

This gives assurance, that all the riches of Christ's purchase shall be 
actually bestowed upon those that come, &c, for his intercession is the con- 
tinued representation of his death and sacrifice, for this purpose, that the 
ends thereof may be accomplished, t. <?. that believers may be possessed of 
all the fruits of his obedience and sufferings. 

This assures us of all the blessed and comfortable operations and work- 
ings of the Spirit in us and for us ; for Christ intercedes, that the Spirit may 
be sent to supply his absence on earth, and to perform all those acts and 
unices for us, which are promised, and his titles import ; to be an advocate, 

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156 of Christ's making intercession. [Heb. VII. 25. 

an intercessor in us, a comforter, an enlightening, convincing, persuading, 
sanctifying, and sealing Spirit. 

This gives assurance, that all the great and precious promises, all the 
articles of the covenant of grace, "shall be performed to a tittle. The sum 
of all we have, Heb. viii. 10-12, all will be performed, because, ver. 6. 
Christ is mediator, he undertook for the performance, became surety for it, 
and so appears, ver. 1. 

Let me more particularly specify some of those great and comfortable 
advantages, which flow from the intercession of Christ ; in expectation of 
which it affords great encouragement to our faith and hope. 

1. Pardon of sin, Zech. xiii. 1. This fountain was opened in the death of 
Christ (it denotes the virtue of his blood shed for remission of sins) ; but it 
is kept open, and flows out continually, by virtue of his intercession. In 
reference to that, it is called the blood of sprinkling, the blood of the sacrifice 
being to be sprinkled upon, and before the mercy-seat by the high priest, 
when he was to intercede for the people, Heb. xii. 24. The virtue and 
effect whereof, is to sprinkle his people from an evil conscience, Heb. x. 22, 
t. e. to cleanse the conscience from guilt. 

It is not enough to do this once, when we first believe and return to God. 
For sin being too often repeated, and guilt renewed, the sprinkling must be 
renewed, there must be fresh and new application of this blood. And we 
have advantage and encouragement for this from Christ's intercession. For 
though this blood was but once shed, at Christ's death, yet it is continually 
presented in his intercession, and so the virtue of it perpetually held forth 
for the cleansing of guilty souls, and daily sprinkling us from an evil con- 
science, 1 John ii. 1. The children of God should be careful, above all 
things, above all persons, that they fall not into sin. Their sins are more 
heinous than those of others, being the provocations of sons and daughters. 
But if they be overtaken, though falling into sin should be more dreadful and 
grievous to them than falling into any calamity, there is gracious provision 
made upon their repenting and returning. If any man sin, there is an 
advocate, who pleads for his children. He pleads nothing but what is 
righteous, and what justice will admit as satisfactory, and pleads satisfaction 
made for their sin, and that by the sacrifice of himself. So it follows, ver. 2. 
A propitiatory sacrifice, offered himself for the expiation of sin, made his 
soul a sin-offering, and so made atonement for us, that so we might find his 
Father a God of forgiveness. 

2. Acceptance of our services ; sanctifying of them, that they may be ac- 
ceptable to a holy God. This is done by virtue of Christ's intercession, and 
upon the account thereof faith has ground to expect it. Under the law, the 
priest was to bear the iniquities of the holy things of the children of Israel, 
that they might be accepted, Exod. xxviii. 88, Num. xviii. 1. This they 
did by laying those sins upon the sacrifice which was to suffer for them, Lev. 
x. 17. And to signify the sacrifice was to bear the sin, the priest laid his 
hand on the head of it, Exod. xxix. 10. Herein the priests were a type of 
Christ ; only he was both priest and sacrifice ; he laid not the iniquities of 
our holy things upon another, but he himself bore our sins in his body, 
1 Peter ii. 24. He bore them, so as to carry them away ; and so removes 
what might render them unacceptable. 

The high priest, when he was to intercede for the people, is appointed to 
carry much sweet inoense into the most holy place, Lev. xvi. 12, 18. Christ's 
intercession, in reference to the holy services of his people, is represented by 
incense, Rev. viii. 8. Christ intercedes, by presenting the merits of his 
obedience and sufferings ; and this is the incense which he offers with the 

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Hsb. VII. 25.] of ohbist's making intercession. 157 

prayers and services of the saints. Herewith the mercy-seat is covered, and 
their services (for which they might otherwise die) offered herewith by the 
hand of their intercessor, become pleasing and acceptable to him who sits 
upon the throne ; by virtue hereof they ascend as the savour of a sweet smell, 
Philip, iv. 18, 1 Peter ii. 5. Spiritual sacrifices, though accompanied with 
such failings and weakness as might render them distasteful to an holy God, 
become acceptable, delightful to him, by virtue of Christ's intercession. 

8. Victory over our spiritual enemies, those that oppose Christ's interest, 
and our salvation. Sin, Satan, his wicked agents in the world, and death 
itself. The intercession of Christ gives us ground to expect and be confident 
that these shall all in due time be fully conquered and subdued, Heb. 
x. 12, 18. Christ our high priest having fiuished his oblation, his sacrifice on 
earth, the only act of his priesthood that remains is his intercession ; this 
is here signified by his sitting at the right hand of God. The expression 
denotes that he is able to bring down these enemies, that he has all power 
for it, Ps. lxxx. 17, Luke xxii. 69 ; and that he is willing too. He expects 
it as that which he deserves. It is the merit of his humiliation and suffer- 
ings. This he presents at the right hand of God, and so intercedes for it. 
Upon this account the Father is engaged to see it done, Ps. ex. 2. 

So that how many, how powerful, how prevalent soever the enemies of 
Christ' 8 interest and our happiness are now in the world, yet faith may cer- 
tainly conclude from the intercession of Christ, that they shall fall. He will 
in due time bring them all under his feet, they shall be made his footstool ; 
he will put his feet upon their necks, as Joshua's captains did upon the necks 
of the kings of Canaan, Josh. x. 24. The intercession of Christ gives us 
the encouragement which is there given them, ver. 25. 

Thus will the Lord do to sin particularly. That is the most dangerous, 
the most formidable enemy of all other. None of the rest, without this, 
could hurt you. It wars against your souls, but it wars against Christ too ; 
the war is his, as well as yours ; it is his enemy, not yours only. It is his 
interest, as well as yours, to have it subdued. It is one of those enemies 
that he appears against at the right hand of God. He is able and willing to 
have it quite vanquished ; he expects till it be done ; he intercedes for it as 
a conquest which cost him his blood. Upon this account the Father under- 
takes, this with the rest shall be brought under foot. Be but true to the 
interest of Christ and your souls in opposing it, and maintaining the conflict, 
and then, as sure as Christ intercedes at God's right hand, so sure will these 
luste be subdued and made Christ's footstool ; his intercession gives faith 
assurance of it, Josh. v. 18, 14. Joshua had not greater encouragement, 
that he should prosper in the war against the Canaanites, by Christ's ap- 
pearing to him on earth, than we have to prevail against sin by his appearing 
for us in heaven. 

4. For grace and spiritual blessing, for the increase of grace, for the means 
of grace, the continuance and efficacy. All this he appears for, and his in- 
tercession gives great encouragement to our faith to expect them by virtue 
ofit. 

For spiritual blessings, Bph. i. 8, b tTovgawtf, some render ' in heavenly 
things,' i.e. blessings which belong to heaven, which come from heaven, and 
are appointed to lead us to it. But it is better rendered, * in heavenly 
places ;' for so the word is used both in this chapter, viii. 20, and the next, 
ver. 6. And so we may read it, ' with spiritual blessings in Christ, who is 
in heavenly places,' as ver. 20 directs us. We have these blessings through 
Christ, as he is now in heaven at the right hand of God, interceding for us, 
i.e. presenting his will and desires that the blessings purchased by his blood 

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158 of Christ's making intercession. [Heb. VII. 25. 

may be actually conferred on us. Hereby faith may conclude that Christ is 
both able and willing we should be blessed with spiritual blessings. He is 
willing, because he intercedes for us : he is able, because he intercedes in 
heavenly places, at the right hand of God. 

For increase of grace, John x. 10. What Christ came for to earth, he 
intercedes for in heaven. For his intercession is in pursuit of the ends of 
his coming, that they may be effectually accomplished. Now he came, that 
his people might have spiritual life, and abundance of it ; and so he appears 
in heaven, that they may have it more and more. Therefore in the sense 
of spiritual wants, weaknesses, and falling short of those degrees of grace 
you should attain ; that strength, growth, liveliness, activeness, you should 
have arrived at; look up to Christ, as interceding at the right hand of 
God, and appearing for these ends, that your souls' wants may be supplied, 
that out of weakness you may be made strong, that of his fulness you may 
receive, &c, that the smoking flax may flame, and the bruised reed grow 
strong. He lives to intercede for this, John xiv. 19. If you had no hopes 
of this, but from the virtue of your own prayers, your hands might be weak. 
But the power of Christ's intercession is engaged for it ; he lives for this 
end, that^ou may live, and have life in more abundance. 

For the means of grace, Ps. lxviii. 18. It is spoken in reference to Christ. 
These gifts he receives as fruits of his intercession. And he receives, that 
he may give them. So it is in the apostle, Eph. iv. 8, Ac. Christ, being 
ascended to the right hand of God, appears there as a conqueror. And as 
conquerors were wont, in their triumphs, to bestow largesses, donatives, so 
he gives gifts. And these gifts are officers for the ministry of the word ; 
and they are to continue, till the mystical body of Christ, all the members, 
be perfected. 

So that, though Satan and his agents design and endeavour to destroy the 
ministry, and bereave us of the means of grace, yet while Christ has any 
people in the world to be converted and edified, the ministry shall be con- 
tinued one way or other. It is as sure as that Christ ascended, and is at 
God's right hand ; for there he intercedes for this purpose. 

For the qfficacy of the means, John xvii. 17, he prays that the word of 
truth may be effectual for the working and promoting of holiness. And 
what he prayed for on earth, he intercedes for in heaven. For his inter- 
cession in heaven is conformable to his prayer and intercession on earth. 
The differences that are between are for the encouragement of faith. He 
interceded on earth in a state of humiliation ; he intercedes in heaven in a 
glorious condition : his power and interest, at the right hand of God, is in its 
highest exaltation. He interceded on earth, by virtue of the sacrifice not then 
offered. He intercedes in heaven, by virtue of his sacrifice already offered. 
He pleads for the purchase upon account of the price already paid. Bat as to 
the things interceded for, they are the same ; he presents his will and desires 
in heaven for that which he prayed for on earth. And here we see he prayed 
for holiness, the growth and increase of it; for the means, and their efficacy. 

Perseverance. The intercession of Christ is a sure ground of this, from 
whence faith may certainly conclude it. We need go no further for this than 
the texjt. He is able to save those who come to him, to the uttermost ; and he 
is willing to save them, for he intercedes for it, and that is a presenting his 
will and desires for this purpose. Now they cannot be saved unless they per- 
severe in the way to salvation. Therefore, being able and willing to save them, 
he is able and willing to make them persevere in the way to salvation. And 
what he is able and willing to have done, shall infallibly be effected. 

The apostle from Christ's intercession concludes, that nothing shall sepa- 

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Heb. VII. 25. j of Christ's making intercession. 159 

rate us from the love of God, Bom. viii. 84, 85. While Christ's interces- 
sion continues, the love of God to his people will continue ; and while his 
love continues, it will secure them from what is inconsistent with his love. 
This is it which Christ intercedes for in heaven, for this is it which he prayed 
for on earth, John xvii. 11. 

Joj and comfort. Li the day of expiation, after the high priest had been 
interceding with blood and incense in the most holy place, the jubilee was 
to be proclaimed, the time of greatest joy to the people, Lev. xxv. 9. The 
issue and consequence of Christ's intercession is joy, matter of great joy. 
It is ground of everlasting consolation, 2 Thes. ii. 16. Christ, when he was 
on earth, promised he would intercede in heaven for the Spirit of consola- 
tion, John xiv. 16. He assures his disciples that he will pray the Father to 
give them his Spirit, as, for other acts and offices, which the word imports, 
so expressly to be a comforter, and- that for ever. Not only for them, but 
for all his people to the end of the world. He is interceding for this for 
ever. We have farther assurance for this, in that he prayed for it on earth, 
John xvii. 18. 

Glory. Christ's interceding in heaven makes it as sure that they shall 
be glorified in heaven with him, as though they were already, Eph. ii. 6. 
He sits in heavenly places interceding ; and, upon this account, those that 
come to him are as sure to be saved to the uttermost, as sure to sit in 
heavenly places with him, as though they were already with him. He sits 
there in our nature, as one with us ; we are one with him who is in heavenly 
places; while we look upon him at the right hand of God, we may see our- 
selves in heavenly places. He sits there as our head ; the body is so far in 
heaven, as the head is there. He is there as our forerunner, Heb. vi. 20. 
He is there to make way for us, John xiv. 2, 8. He prepares it by inter- 
ceding, that is his great work for us in heaven. What he intercedes for 
there, we may understand by what he prayed for on earth, John xvii. 22, 24. 

Belief in all weaknesses, infirmities, troubles, sufferings, whatever needs 
compassion or relief. Heb. iv. 14, 15, Christ our high priest is now passed 
into the heavens, and the only act of his priesthood in heaven is intercession 
for us. And he intercedes as one touched with the feeling of our infirmities. 
He sees all that we suffer by, in soul or body. He sees it all, so as to feel 
it, to be touched with the feeling of it. He is touched with the feeling of 
it, as one that has felt the like himself. He feels it effectually, so as to 
appear for our relief, so as to intercede for the procuring of what we want, 
securing us from what we fear, easing us of what is grievous, or obtaining 
for us that which is as good or better. 

He accommodates his intercession to all our infirmities, according to the 
exigencies of them, so as to intercede for supply, ease, deliverance, relief, so 
far as it is needful, as soon as it is seasonable, whenever it will be good for us. 

The intercession of Christ affords support to faith, and comfort to souls 
compassed about with infirmities, in the worst circumstances that can befall 
them, in all that may be grievous to them. All grievances whatever are 
comprised under infirmities* and this gives ground to expect relief, as to 
everything that is a grievance ; especially taking in the ground of it in those 
words, .' but was in all things tempted,' or exercised like unto us. 

Art thou poor ? &c. Why, Christ is touched with the feelings of a poor 
condition, and intercedes as one touched with the feeling of it. It was once 
his own case. And so in other cases. Vide Serm. on Heb. iv. 15. 

Answer of our prayers. The intercession of Christ gives great encourage- 
ment to come to the throne of grace, find ground to believe that we shall 
have admission and success, Heb. x. 19-22. The people under the law 

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160 of Christ's mazing intercession. [Heb. VII. 25. 

were excluded from the holiest, the high priest alone was to enter it with 
the blood of the sacrifice ; but, by the blood of Jesus, presented in his in- 
tercession, all believers have boldness to approach the holiest, and make 
their addresses there. By him way is made for us, a new and living way, 
through him who ever lives, in opposition to the old veil, which was an in- 
animate thing. It is made for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, 
which, when it was separated from his soul by death on the cross, it is said 
the veil of the temple was rent, Mat. xxvii. 51. That veil, which excluded 
priest and people from access to the most holy place, and the sight of the 
mercy-seat there. This was rent, to signify that now a way was made to 
the mercy-seat, and nothing left to hinder our access to it ; especially having 
an high priest, an advocate, an intercessor, there ready to appear for us. 
By virtue of this we may draw near, not only with faith but full assurance, 
that we shall obtain our requests, Heb. iv. 14-16. Since we have an high 
priest, whose office and work it is in heaven to make intercession for us, and 
who intercedes as touched with the feeling of what we want, or fear, or 
suffer ; upon this ground we may approach the mercy-seat, we may come to 
the throne of grace, and come boldly, without fears, or doubts, or jealousies ; 
without making any question, but that we shall obtain, &c. Faith is hereby 
assured, that we may obtain whatever will be a mercy to us, and that is all 
which is desirable. We may have it freely from grace, which gives to those 
that are most unworthy. We may find grace, which gives without money, 
without price, which expects no valuable consideration for it at our hands. 
We need but come to meet with it ; we need but ask to obtain it. We may 
have it in abundance from the throne of grace, from him who sits on the 
throne to shew himself gracious ; whose glory it is, to give like himself, the 
King of kings, to give royally, liberally, magnificently. We may have all 
this in time of need, whenever we need it, whenever it will be seasonable to 
have it. We shall not want what is best for us, nor when it is best. All 
this we have assurance of, because we have such an high priest interceding 
for us ; upon this account we may come boldy for it, and expect it 

There are many things in Christ's intercession which encourage us to come 
to the throne of grace, and to be much and often there ; and also give as- 
surance that we shall not come in vain ; that we shall find the mercy we seek, 
and obtain the grace we desire, even all those great and glorious things 
already specified which Christ makes intercession for. When we pray for 
the same things for which Christ intercedes, and consider that while we are 
praying, Christ at the same time appears at the throne of grace on our be- 
half for the same things, how can we doubt but they will be granted ? Though 
we deserve to be denied, Christ our intercessor will meet with no repulse. 

That our prayers may be prevalent, this is one condition requisite, that 
they be made in faith, James i. 6, Mark xi. 24, Mat. xxi. 22. Now, there 
is no stronger ground in the world for the establishing of faith in prayer than 
Christ's intercession. 

His intercession gives assurance of the success of our prayers upon an- 
other account. It is by virtue thereof that we have the Spirit to help us to 
pray ; and that which proceeds from the assistance of the Spirit will be ac- 
ceptable and prevail, Zech. xii. 10. It is by virtue of Christ's intercession 
that this promise is accomplished, John xiv. 16. The word vragaxXqros 
signifies not only a comforter, but an advocate ; and the Spirit is promised, 
and declared to be an advocate for his people, both unto men and unto God, 
to plead for them or help them, to manage their plea, both with men, Mat. 
x. 20, and with God, Bom viii. 

So that when Christ promises that he will pray the Father to give us an- 

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Heb. YII. 25.] of ohbist'b making intercession. 161 

other advocate, he promises to intercede for as that we may have another 
intercessor in us ; and if we take notice how the Spirit acts as an intercessor, 
how he helps our infirmities, what he is ready to do for ns in prayer, it will be a 
great encouragement to believe that our prayers, through. his help, shall 
succeed. 

I have shewed particularly what great things the intercession of Christ 
gives assurance of. Let me shew upon what ground we may have assurance 
hereof by his intercession. 

1. Christ has power, all power, to effect what he intercedes for ; and this 
is a great support to faith, and that which we often doubt of, though we do 
not observe. Can God prepare a table, &c. ? can Christ do all those things 
for me which I hear he intercedes for ? Yes, assuredly he can ; for his in- 
tercession imports no less power than good will. He is at the right hand of 
God interceding, Bom. viii. 84. That is his work at the right hand, &c. 
Now, his sitting at the right hand of God is a metaphorical expression ; we 
must not take it literally ; for God is a spirit, not a body ; he has no right 
hand nor left. But thereby is signified the fulness of power which Christ 
our intercessor has in heaven, and so it is frequently used in Scripture. Ps. 
Ixxvii. 10, in opposition to his own infirmity and weakness, he would con- 
sider the right hand, t. e. the power of God ; so Ps. cxviii. 14-16, he ex- 
presses the power of God by the right hand ; and Luke xxii. 69, Christ in- 
tercedes at the right hand of power, t. e. he has all power to accomplish what 
he intercedes for. He not only desires these great things for his people, but 
is able to effect them. He intercedes for the Spirit, John xiv. 16, and he 
sends the Spirit, John xvi. 7. He receives gifts as the effect of his inter- 
cession, Ps. kviii. 8. And he gives those gifts, Eph.iv. 8. He does not only ask 
and receive in behalf of his people, but has power to give. He intercedes that 
those who come unto God by him maybe saved to the uttermost. And he is able 
to save, &c. He is able to remove all impediments, to conquer all difficulties, 
to bestow every degree of grace and spiritual strength, which is requisite that 
they may be saved to the uttermost, to make them conquerors, and more, Ac. 

2. He has right. He intercedes for nothing but what he has right to ob- 
tain, nothing but what is due to him. He sues but for his purchase, that 
for which he has paid the full value to a righteous God. He has bought 
his people, 1 Cor. vi. 20 ; he has purchased their persons, Acts xx. 28 ; 
and so has right to dispose of them as his own, according to the purpose of 
his grace ; he has purchased the kingdom of heaven for them, Eph. i. 14 
he has purchased grace, and the means of grace, faith, holiness, perseverance, 
and all spiritual blessings ; glory, and holiness the way to it, and all good 
things on earth. This is the sum of what he intercedes for, and this is no 
more than what is due to him. His blood was the price of it : the price is 
paid and accepted, and he appears for the possession ; and his intercession 
will as certainly prevail for it, as it is certain that God is just and righteous, 
2 Thes. i. 6-10. 

To us, upon our account, belongs nothing but shame and confusion of 
face ; we have nothing to plead but free morcy. But that which Christ 
pleads for on our behalf is due to him, and therefore will assuredly be 
granted. His intercession, as I shewed before, is grounded upon merit. 

8. He has interest, the greatest imaginable, as much interest as is pos- 
sible. He intercedes, not with a stranger, or a friend, or a common relative, 
but with his Father, one who loves him as himself, John v. 20, and with- 
holds nothing from him ; he has as much interest in him as in himself, and 
can prevail as much with him as with himself ; and can no more be denied 

vol. in. L 

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162 op chbist's making intebcession. [Heb. VII. 25. 

by him in what he desires than he can deny himself, for they are both one, 
John x. 80 ; they have not only one interest, and one design, but one 
essence and one will. What Christ wills, the Father wills, and therefore 
what he desires it is granted, it is done ; that which he intercedes for is 
his Father's will. Christ will have as say to the Father, when we pray, 
' Thy will be done,' for it is no other than his own will ; and heaven and 
earth shall pass away, rather than one iota or tittle of it shall not be fulffUed. 

4. He has affections and compassions for as, and so intercedes affection- 
ately, compassionately, as one greatly concerned for us ; and that assures ns 
we shall not miss of the great advantages he intercedes for, Heb. iv. 15. 
The apostle shews what an high priest we have, how he executes the office 
of an high priest in heaven for us, t. e. how he there intercedes for us ; for 
his intercession is the only part of his priestly office that he performs in 
heaven ; and he does it as one touched, &c. Herein the comparison holds 
betwixt him and the Levitical high priest, expressed Heb. v. 2 and ii. 14. 
And as he is high priest and intercessor, both as God and man, so he has 
for ub the affections, not only of God, but of a man ; and accordingly inter- 
cedes for us, as one that has such love, flare, pity, compassions for us, as 
are in the hearts of the children of men, the weaknesses excepted. 

5. He is obliged ; invested in an office, he is under the obligation of it: 
it is his office, as he is mediator, to intercede. His honour is engaged, and 
depends both upon the execution of his office, and the success of the per- 
formance. If he should either neglect it, or be unsuccessful in it, it would 
reflect ill upon him.. It is impossible that either should fall out. 

He took not the office upon him of his own accord, without a call, but the 
Father called him to it, engaged him in it, expects the discharge of it, Heb. 
v. 4, 5. The Father called him to be an high priest, and so to intercede ; 
he would not have .called him to &, but with a design to comply with him in 
it, and to be prevailed with by his intercession, Isa. xlii. 1, This is spoken 
of Christ, and applied to &im, Mat. xii. 18. He is called his servant, in 
respect of the office of mediatorship, a principal act of which is his inter- 
cession. Uphold; the Hebrew doctor renders it, whom I lean upon, t . *• 
whom I trust to or rely on, for the performance of the office I have called 
him to. My beloved, one whom I have chosen, beloved and preferred before 
any other to this great office,, and well pleased with him for his undertaking 
and discharging it. 

Now, if intercession be an act of Christ's office, and his honour engaged 
upon his sucess therein ; if the Father employs him in it, loves him for it, 
is well pleased with his performance, with his interceding : there can be no 
question but it will be admirably, eternally successful, John x. 17. He laid 
down his life to give satisfaction, he took it up again to make intercession. 
The Father Iotob him for both, and in both the pleasure of the Lord shall 
prosper in his hands. 

6. He has a personal, a particular respect for every of his servants in his 
interceding. It is as comfortable, will be as effectual, and gives as much 
assurance of success, as if now in heaven he did pray and intercede for every 
of us by name. If you knew that Christ now in heaven were praying for 
you by name, you would not doubt of being saved to the uttermost. Why, 
that which his intercession imports is no less in effect. The high priest 
under the law carried the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast when he 
went into the holiest. Christ does not carry the names of the tribes of his 
people upon his breast only, but every of them in particular is in his mind 
and heart while he is interceding. There is in heaven a special, a personal 
regard of all that come unto God by him, as if their names were there recorded, 

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Hkb. VEL 25.] oy ghbist's making xntbboxbbion. 168 

Luke x. 20, Rev. xxi. 12. Christ remembers them as effectually, as if he 
presented them by name to his Father in his intercession, Rev. xiii. 8. 
Their names are written in the Lamb's book, that was slain, that was sacri- 
ficed, and he that was sacrificed is the same who intercedes. He knows 
who*re his, 2 Tim. ii. 19, and how ; he knows them by name, John x. 8 ; 
and as he knows, so he presents, so he intercedes for them. Those who 
come nnto God by him, may have as much assurance of the comfort and 
advantage of his intercession, as if they heard him in heaven interceding for 
them by name. 

For temporal deliverance. Christ, the great intercessor, is greatly con- 
cerned for his people in their outward distresses and calamities. Let me 
insist a little on this, as being seasonable. Our danger and distress is very 
great : we are threatened with ruin in all our concerns, and our posterity 
after us. Our main support in this sinking condition is, that Christ appears 
for us, and lives to do it. He is concerned for his people when they are in 
the depths, he has always been so, Gen. xlviii. 16. This angel is Christ, 
who redeemed him. The word is ^M, the Redeemer, as Christ is called, 
Job xix. 25, Isa. lix. 20. He redeemed Jacob not only from eternal miseries, 
but delivered him out of all the troubles and calamites he had met with in 
the world. 

But how does he deliver his people from outward calamities ? Why, by 
his blood, by that presented, by his intercession, Zech. ix. 11. They were 
delivered out of Egypt, out of the wilderness, out of Babylon, by which the 
eternal redemption of believers is shadowed out, and confirmed by the blood 
of the covenant, by this blood presented in his intercession. Upon this 
account, when our condition seems helpless, as theirs in a pit of water ; 
when we see not either how we can live in our present circumstances, or 
how we can get out of them ; when we are encompassed with dangers and 
distresses on every side, as if we were in a strong prison, without means, 
and so without hopes, either to subsist in it, or get out of it : yet by 
virtue of this blood we may be ' prisoners of hope.' Upon the account 
of Christ's blood shed and presented, there is hope concerning this thing ; 
even concerning temporal deliverance, when all things seem to look upon 
us with a hopeless aspect. 

Deliverance out of all sorts of troubles seems ascribed to Christ as inter- 
ceding, Isa. lxiii. 9. Who is this that saved and delivered his people in all 
their troubles and calamities ? to whom so much love is ascribed, so much 
sympathy, so much compassion, so much tenderness and relief towards 
his people, in their distresses and dangers, all their days? Why, it is 
Christ, called ' the Angel of his presence,' Heb. ix. 24. All this was ex- 
pressed to, all this was done for, his ancient people. Not some, but all 
the days of old, by the Angel of his presence, by Christ appearing in 
the presence of God for them ; i. e. by Christ interceding for them. And 
all this may be expected, and will be done for his people now, by the Angel 
of his presence ; in all days of distress and calamity, present or to come, 
even all their days, because he ever appears in the presence of God, he ever 
lives to make intercession. 

Further, Christ is represented plainly, expressly, actually interceding for 
his people in reference to their outward distresses and calamities, Zech. 
i. 12. This angel is Christ, God and man in one person. He is called 
God, Jehovah, ver. 9, and he is called man, ver. 8, 10. It is Christ, the 
Son of God, who in the fulness of time became man, who expresses such an 
affectionate resentment of the sufferings and calamities of his people ; who is 
tenderly sensible both of the weight and continuance of them, and impor- 

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164 of oheist's making intercession. [Heb. 711. 25. 

tones the Father to tarn from his indignation, and shew them mercy in 
sending relief and deliverance. And his intercession was effectual, and pre- 
vails for a gracious return, ver. 18. And this particularly expressed and 
opened in the following verses. The return was gracious and full of 
consolations. 

Hereby it appears that faith may expect great and comfortable advan- 
tages from the intercession of Christ, in reference to outward sufferings and 
calamities. 

1. The turning away of God's anger and indignation. Upon Christ's 
interposal, the Lord's indignation was diverted from his people, and turned 
upon their oppressors and persecutors, ver. 14, 15. When the Lord's 
anger is turned away, the bitterness of any affliction is past. Though the 
Lord writ bitter things against his people before, yet upon Christ's appear- 
ing for them, he speaks good and comfortable words. 

2. Faith may expect sympathy and compassions under sufferings, instead 
of wrath and indignation. Our great High Priest, who intercedes for us, is 
touched with the sense of our sufferings ; and sufferings pass under the 
name of infirmities in the style of the apostle. He has as effectual a sense 
of them as if himself felt them. The Angel of his presence, he who appears 
in the presence of God for us, in all our afflictions he is afflicted. What- 
ever pressure lies upon us he bears us, and so is apprehensive of the weight 
of both. 

8. Faith may expect that sufferings shall be proportioned to our strength. 
If our strength be small, sufferings will be, some way or other, made lighter ; 
or if they be heavier, our strength will be proportionably increased. He 
who intercedes for us, as he is a merciful, so he is a faithful high priest, 
1 Cor. x. 18. He will take care that they shall not be too heavy, nor lie 
too long. When Satan or his agents would sink them, Christ interposes 
with a The Lord rebuke thee, Zech. iii. 1, 2. 

4. Faith may expect on this account that we shall be secured from the 
evil of sufferings ; and when the evil is gone, there is nothing in them to be 
feared ; for nothing is reasonably an object of fear, but something that is 
evil, John xvii. He prays not they may be taken out of the world, nor that 
they may be kept from troubles and sufferings, but from the evil of them. 
And what is there else to be desired? We cannot desire to be freed 
from the good of them, we need not desire to be freed from that which is 
neither good nor evil in them. All that we need, all that we can in.reason 
desire to be freed from, is the evil ; and this Christ prayed for, this he inter- 
cedes for. 

5. Faith may expect deliverance in due time, when it is best, when most 
for his honour and interest, and most for our spiritual advantage and com- 
fort. And that is as soon as we can in reason desire it ; for before it be 
good in those respects, it is not desirable. Upon Christ's interceding for his 
people in their distress, the Lord prepares instruments from all quarters to 
cut off the horns which pushed, and gored, or dispersed his people. Their 
power and greatness could not secure them. Horns, in the prophetic style, 
signify kings or sovereign powers. Upon Christ's appearing for his people, 
they are cut off, their power is broken, so that the oppressed are no more in 
danger of their push. 

6. Faith may expect, till deliverance come, that which is better than 
deliverance, t. e. an holy and fruitful improvement of suffering ; and such an 
improvement of them is better than freedom from sufferings. 



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BELIEVERS' COMMUNION WITH THE 
FATHER AND SON. 



And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 

— 1 John I. 8. 

Hebe is heaven in the text, as much happiness as men and angels do or 
can desire, happiness both formal and objective ; and the sweet issue of both 
in the words following : ' These things write we unto you, that your joy may 
be foil.' Joy, fulness of joy ; joy, which is the smile of happiness and the 
flower of glory. 

The object of this happiness, or the object which is our happiness, is God 
in Christ, the Father and the Son, the Father of Christ, and the Father of 
believers. * I go to my Father and your Father ; ' his Father by eternal 
generation, ours by adoption ; his, quoad rem et modum subdstertdi ; ours, 
quoad effectum, et modum operandi ; which shews itself in indulgence, love, 
care, pity, providence. ' And his Son Jesus Christ,' that is the other object 
of oar happiness; he who, ver. 1, is called ' the Word of life/ and, ver. 2, 
4 eternal life.' Now eternal life and happiness are reciprocal, and used as 
convertible terms in Scripture. Christ is the word of life in himself, eternal 
life to ns : the word of life, essentialiter ; eternal life, causalUer. And this 
is that happiness, that eternal life, which we have from him and by him. 
This fellowship in the text, which we call formal happiness, the word xo/vama, 
is rendered by some consortium, converse ; by others, societas, fellowship ; 
by others, cotnmunio, so Beza. And this does best express the word, and 
therefore we will use it, and the rather because it includes both the former. 
And from the connection we might observe that fellowship, or communion 
with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, is eternal life or happiness ; 
for what is happiness but the enjoyment of the chiefest good ? Now the 
Father and the Son are the chiefest good, and communion with them is the 
enjoyment of them ; for then we enjoy the chief good, when we are united 
to it, when we have interest in it, and when we partake of it. But com- 
munion includes all these, as will appear in the explication. 

And thence we might infer that eternal life is not confined to heaven. If 
we take eternal life for happiness, a man may have eternal life on earth. 
Heaven is not so much local as we imagine. Communion with God is 
heaven, and happiness, and eternal life. He that hath communion with 

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166 BELIEVERS' COMXUNIOX WITH [1 JOHN I. 8. 

God is in heaven while he is on earth ; and if a man could he there without 
this, he would want heaven even in heaven. There is no essential difference 
betwixt happiness on earth and happiness in heaven ; they differ but gra- 
dually. If a man on earth could enjoy perfeot communion with God, he 
would be perfectly happy. But I pass by this to that which is express in 
the text, and I shall insist upon this. 

Obs. Believers have communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus 
Christ. We need not seek out more proofs. That which will be most pro- 
fitable is an inquiry into the nature of this communion, wherein it consists. 
Take an account of this in three particulars. Communion includes, 1, real 
union ; 2, reciprocal community ; 8, familiar converse. 

1. Union. This is the basis of communion. Believers are united to the 
Father and the Son, and the Father and the Son to them. They are united 
morally, conjugally, mystically. The bond of moral union is love, gluten 
animarum, by which spirits cleave to one another, nay, penetrate into one 
another and mix together so as they become one. Jonathan loved David 
as his own soul, as though one soul had informed and animated both bodies. 
Thus friends are united. Now believers are the friends of God. Abraham 
was called the friend of God, James ii. 28. ' Ye are my friends,* says 
Christ to his disciples, and in them to us, John xv. 14, 15. 

There is also a conjugal union. By this men are b *ft/tta, as by the other 
they are pJa ^u^i). And thus we are united to the Father and the Son. 
We are the spouse of Christ, and the Father has married us in an everlasting 
covenant. Christ, by assuming our nature, became h <j£/*x, with us, Eph. v. 
And by this conjugal conjunction we are b mtv/Aa with him, 1 Cor. vi. 17. 
' He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.' 

There is also a mystical union, which is set forth frequently, though not 
fully, by physical unions. We are united to Christ as the branches to the 
vine, John xv. 16 ; as the members to the head, Col. i. 16, Eph. v. 28 ; as 
the building to the foundation, 1 Cor. iii. ; and, which is nearer than all 
these, as the soul and body. Christ is wholly in every believer, and wholly 
in every part, as anima is tota in toto corpore, et tota in qualibet parte; there- 
fore, Gal. ii. 20, * I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.' As the soul 
liveth in the body, and the body is animated by the soul, so is the soul ani- 
mated by Christ, and depends upon htm as much for spiritual life, as the 
body depends upon the soul for natural life. He is the actus primus, the 
principle of our supernatural being and operations ; and, abstracting all im- 
perfection from the word, Christ may be called the forma informant of a 
sanctified soul, as it is sanctified. But there is an expression beyond all 
this, John xvii. 21, 22, ' That they all may be one, as thou art in me and 
I in thee, that they also may be one in us' ; and ver. 22, ' that they may bo 
one, even as we are one.' 

2. Community. The Lord and believers have all this in common* And 
this seems to be the proper signification of xo/vtowa. It may be rendered as 
well community as communion, if we may conclude from its original. Xldrm 
rwv p\£v xoha, says the philosopher, and gives the reason in his Ethics, iv 
xo/vww(f y&£ jj p/X/a, friendship consists in community, and so does fellow- 
ship. Now there is betwixt the Lord and believers a fourfold community. 
(1.) Of enjoyment; (2.) Of affections ; (8.) Of interests ; (4.) Of privileges. 
There is a community, 

(1.) Of enjoyments. The Lord is ours, and we are his. * I will be your 
God, and ye shall be my people. 1 That is the covenant. The ' Lord is 
their portion,' Ps. xvi. 5, Lam. iii. 24. And they are the Lord's portion ; 
Deut. xxxii. 9, < The Lord's portion is his people/ We have interest in his 

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1 JOHM L 8.] THE FATHBB AND SON* 167 

glorious essence and attributes. In his omnipotency, that is our safety. By 
it we are more secure than if all the hosts of heaven and earth did surround 
Q8. And if we could use faith when we seem most deserted in the world, we 
might see more with ns than against us ; we might behold, with Elisha's 
servant, 2 Kings vi. 17, the mountains full of horses and chariots of fire 
about us. , 

His wisdom is for us. That laid the plot of our happiness from eternity, 
and does carry it on successfully, mangre all the plots and stratagems of men 
and devils ; and we, relying upon the conduct of omnisciency, are further 
from miscarrying than if all the wisdom of angels and policy of men were 
engaged for us. 

We have interest in mercy. Mercy is peculiarly the saints' ; no creatures 
partake of mercy but they, and they have nothing but merey. All the ways 
of God are mercy to them, Ps. xxv. 10. The greatest afflictions, yea, in 
some sense the greatest sins, the issue makes itfalix culpa. The saints are 
vessels of mercy ; it falls into them here, but they shall fall into it hereafter, 
and be filled therewith, as a vessel cast into the sea. We swim in streams 
of mercy from one condition to another, till at last we be swallowed up in 
the ocean of mercy. 

In all-sufficiency. This is our riches, and we are richer in this interest 
than if we were actually possessed of the whole world. I am HP 'K, says 
God to Abraham. And he is the same to all the faithful. ' To him that over- 
eomethl will give to inherit all things,' Rev. xxi. 7. And he giveth us vdvra 
tXw*/*;, < all things richly to enjoy/ 1 Tim. vi. 17. Thus God, and with 
him all things, are ours ; and so, reciprocally, we are his, and every part of 
ns, our body, soul, and spirit. A saint is the temple of God, 1 Cor. iii. 16, 
and every part of him is dedicated and consecrated to God ; he is deya^a, 
that is not diolqua. Our body, that is the outer court ; our souls, that is 
the holy place ; our spirits, that is the holy of holies. God is most in this, 
and manifests himself most gloriously to it. ' This is my resting place, 
here will I dwell. 1 All the faculties of our souls and members of our bodies 
must be weapons and instruments of righteousness. 

And as there is this community betwixt us and the Father, so also be- 
twixt us and the Son. His nature is ours, and ours is his ; he is bone of 
oar bone, and flesh of our flesh. His riches is ours, and our poverty his : 
2 Cor. viii. 9, ' He became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.' 
His righteousness is ours, and our sins are hiB ; he made him sin for us, who 
knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 
v. 21. His happiness is ours, and our curse is his, Gal. iii. He was made 
a corse for us, that he might free us from the curse of the law. His glory 
it ours, and our shame was his ; he took upon him the form of a servant, 
that we might be made the sons of God. He was made the most contempt- 
ible and abject of men, for so Isa. liii. 8 is rendered contemptimmus abjectis- 
timwque virorum, QWX 71H, detilus virorum, i.e. in quo derinunt viri f ita ut 
ipse non habeatur pro viro. He was brought so low, as he seemed not to be 
a man ; and we are exalted so high, as we seem not to be men. He was the 
reproach of men and shame of the people, and we are the glory of Christ : 
John xvii. 22, ' And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them. 1 

(2.) Community of affections. The Lord and hiB saints have the same 
affections, running in the same channel, fixed on the same objects. There 
is mutual love. The saints love the Lord, and are beloved of him. ' I love 
those that love me,' says Christ, the Father's Wisdom, in Proverbs. And 
John xiv. 21, * He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is 
that loveth me : and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I 

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168 believers' communion with [1 John 1. 8. 

will love him,' &c. A saint loves whatever resembles Christ, whatever be- 
longs to him : his image, his people, his ordinances. And the Lord loves 
whatever belongs to a saint as a saint ; his love extends itself to his friends, 
his goods, his posterity ; he shews mercy unto thousands of those that love 
him. 

There is also a reciprocal delight. The Lord takes pleasure in his saints, 
and in their services ; they are all his Hephzibahs, his rest, his joy, his 
peculiar treasure. And they delight in him and his administrations ; they 
prefer him before their chief joy. The soul says, * Lord, whom have I in 
heaven but thee ? and there is none on earth that I can love in comparison 
of thee.' And the Lord says to his saints, ' Whom have I on earth but 
thee ? and there is none in the world that I love like thee. 1 

So mutual desires. The soul desires God's glory, and the Lord desires 
the soul's happiness. The soul desires to be with Christ, and cries, ' Come, 
Lord Jesus, come quickly.' Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a 
roe or a young hart upon the mountain of spices. And Christ desires the 
soul should be with him, and calls, Cant. ii. 10, ' Rise up, my love, my 
fair one, and come away. John xvii. 24, ' I will that they also whom thou 
hast given me may be with me.' 

So for hatred. The Lord hates sin and sinners, and so does a saint : 
Ps. exxxix. 21, ' Do not I hate those that hate thee ? and am I not grieved 
with those that rise up against thee?' Here is an exact compliance, 
they do idem velle, et idem nolle ; love the same things, and hate the same 
things. 

(3.) A community of interest. The Lord and saints have the same ends, 
the same designs, the same friends and enemies. So Jehoshaphat expresses 
his society with Ahab, ' I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my 
chariots as thy chariots. 1 The Lord aims at his own glory and our happi- 
ness, and we aim at his glory and our happiness. And though he may seem 
more to seek his glory than our happiness, and we may fear we seek our 
happiness more than his glory, yet indeed these two are inseparable and 
almost coincident. That which advances his glory promotes our happiness, 
and that which makes us most happy makes him most glorious. Wisdom 
and mercy have made a sweet connection betwixt his honour and our happi- 
ness, so that they cannot be disjoined. We need no more fear to come short 
of happiness than we need to fear that the Lord will come short of his glory, 
for these two are embarked together. 

And as they seek the same ends, so they choose the same means. There 
is not only /*/a j3ouXjj<r/$, but ngoaigeeie. A saint will use no means but what 
the Lord prescribes and approves ; he will rather depend on the wisdom of 
God for the success of those means which seem most improbable, if the 
Lord has prescribed them, than consult with or rely upon carnal reason ; 
rather hazard the loss of a kingdom than set up a golden calf, though Jero- 
boam, a stranger to God, did ; rather die than deny the truth, to save his 
life ; rather lose the world than tell an officious lie. 

And as they have the same end and means, so in the prosecution of these 
they have the same friends and enemies. He is not a friend in the Lord's 
account that is an enemy to the saints ; nor is he the saint's friend that is 
the Lord's enemy. Those that hate thee (says David), and rise up against 
thee, I hate them with a perfect hatred, I count them my enemies. And 
they have the same account of things as of persons ; what is done against 
one is done against both, and what is done for one is done for both. The 
wicked they persecute the saints, and the Lord looks upon them as perse- 
cutors of him : ' Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? ' And Saul need 

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1 John I. 8.] the fathbb and son. 169 

not wonder at this, if he had considered that of the psalmist, * He that 
toneheth you, touches the apple of my eye.' And therefore the sufferings 
of the saints are called the sufferings of Christ. The saints they do good 
to their brethren, feed, clothe, and visit them, and the Lord takes it as done 
to himself : Mat. zxv. 84, 85, ' Come, ye blessed of my Father ; I was an 
hungered, and ye gave me meat : I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink : a 
stranger, and ye took me in : naked, and ye clothed me : sick, and ye 
visited me : in prison, and ye came unto me.' But how could this be, 
think the saints, seeing Christ is above these kindnesses? He tells: 
ver. 40, ' The King shall say,' and he says it with an asseveration, * Verily 

1 say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my 
brethren, ye have done it unto me.' 

(4.) Community of privileges. The Lord condescends to make the saints, 
bo for as they are capable, partakers of his own privileges, even those which 
no creatures else partake of. 

It is his privilege to be omnipotent, and the saints have something that 
resembles this. One would think Paul speaks as much, when he glories that 
he can do all things, Christ strengthening him. And every saint may pre- 
sume as much. 

It is the Lord's privilege to be omniscient, yet he vouchsafes some shadow 
of this to us, when he promiseth the Spirit shall lead us into all truth, and 
that the Spirit should teach us all things, 1 John ii. 20. 

It is his privilege to be all-sufficient. And what does he promise less to 
us, when he assures us we shall want no good thing, we shall have all things 
richly to enjoy, we shall inherit all things ? Who would desire more all- 
sufficiency than to have all things sufficient, all things that are good ? 

2 Cor. ix. 8. 

And as we partake of the privileges of the Father, so ako of the Son. 
He is rgifffiiysgrog, king, priest, and prophet, and so are we ; he has ' loved 
us,' Ac., * and made us kings and priests,' enables us to offer up spiritual 
sacrifices acceptably ; and has prepared crowns, and sceptres, and kingdoms 
for us. We are prophets too, for we are all taught of God ; we have the 
Spirit of wisdom and revelation, Eph. i. 17. The same Spirit, which was a 
Spirit of prophecy, is in us ; and though it do not enable us, as formerly 
them, to foretell future contingencies, yet something future we know. Every 
saint, who has attained assurance, knows he shall be saved ; and this is a 
contingency in respect of second causes. 

Again, Christ is the Son of God, and so are we. What honour is this t 
' Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we 
should be called the sons of God,' 1 John iii. 1. Christ is the heir of all 
things, and we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, Bom. viii. 17. 
Christ is the object of his Father's love, and so are we, Lev. xxvi. 11. 
Christ is the glory of God, the brightness of his glory, and we are the glory 
of God, Ps. xi. 10. It is rendered, * His rest shall be glorious.' Now, the 
saints are they in whom God rests. Ecclesia, in qua aquiescit Deu$> says 
one on the place. Therefore they are his glory. Christ is a conqueror, and 
so are we ; conquer the world, John v. 5 ; and the god of this world, Satan, 
who also commands another world, prince of the power of the air ; him we 
conquer, and all his legions of darkness. Yea, we conquer that which is 
more potent than both the world and the devils, and this is sin ; it over- 
threw both the former, and we subdue this. Nay, in all this, wnptxwfitv, 
we are more than conquerors. 

Christ is a judge, and so are we : 1 Cor. vi. 2, 8, ' Enow ye not that the 
saints shall judge the world?' Nay, the chiefest part of the world, the 

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170 believers' communion with [1 Johm 1. 8. 

angels : ver. 8, ' The saints shall judge the angels.' This ia the second 
head, wherein this communion is expressed. 

8. Familiar converse, which we may make out in four particulars: 
(1.) Visits; (2.) Walking with God, and he with us; (3.) Conference; 
(4.) Feasting. 

(1.) Visits. The Lord visits us, and we visit him; he comes to us, 
stands at the door and knocks, and if we open he will enter, Bey. iii. 20 ; 
he will come in and manifest himself to us. This is the end of visiting, to 
see whom we visit ; and this is it the Lord desires, Let me see thy face, and 
hear thy voice, Cant. ii. 14. There are sweet interviews betwixt God and 
the soul ; he shews himself in part, withdraws the veil a little, that we may 
have some glimpses of his glorious excellencies. The day of glory dawns 
here, though the meridian be only in heaven ; and though we see but darkly* 
as in a glass, yet we see more clearly than his ancient people. The object 
was far off from them, and the medium was darkened by the intcarposition of 
a cloud of ceremonies ; but the Day-spring from on high hath visited us, and 
made them vanish. Abraham saw but his day, and that afar off; we see 
himself, he is set forth crucified before our eyes, GaL iii. Moses's fcce was 
veiled, nor was he permitted to see anything of God but his back parte ; 
but we, 2 Cor. iii. 16, with open face behold the glory of God, yea, the 
brightness of his glory shining in the face of Christ. These interviews, these 
visits are in the ordinances. 

He visits us also in his providences. There is no condition so sad and 
forlorn, which can estrange him from us, hinder him from visiting us ; nay, 
he takes those opportunities to be most kind and frequent in seeing us, 
when a visit will be most welcome ; nor does he visit us merely to see us, 
but to do us good. In trouble of conscience, he visits us with his loving- 
kindness ; in darkness and perplexities, with comforts makes his face to 
shine upon us. In troubles and dangers, he visits us with his salvation ; 
in sickness and restraint he comes to us, and performs all the acts that love 
can put forth to a sick friend, he makes our beds in our sickness, Ps. xli. 8 ; 
his left hand is under our head, and his right hand sustains us. Nor need 
we fear to be troublesome to him with too frequent visits ; he takes nothing 
more unkindly than when we withdraw and grow strange ; he invites us : 
Cant. ii. 10, « Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' 'Come unto 
me, all ye that are weary.' And when he cannot draw us up with his oords 
of love, he drives us with his rod ; and that is one end why he exercises his 
people with sickness, losses, disappointments, wants, desertion of friends, 
and other afflictions, to draw them more to himself. 

(2.) Walking with God. A saint walks with God, and God with him ; 
so he promises, ' I will walk in the midst of you, 2 Cor. vi. 16; Lev. xxvi. 
12, ' I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' Nor is this only in fair way : 
' When thou goest through the fire, I will be with thee,' &c., Isa. xliiL 2. 
The familiarity of this walking, methinks, is held forth in this expression, 
Ps. lxxiii. 28, ' Thou holdest me by thy right hand.' What more familiarity 
than to walk hand in hand ? Thus Enoch walked with God, Gen. v. 22 ; 
and Noah, Gen. vi. 9 ; the whole conversation of a saint is a walking with 
God. He sets God always before him, Ps. xvi. 8 ; walks, as seeing him 
who is invisible, Heb. xi. 27 ; makes God his meditation day and night, and 
says with David, ' I am continually with thee/ Ps. lxxiii. 28. He observes 
God in all his ways, looks upon the world as an engine acted by the Lord's 
influence, acknowledges no other animam mundi, he sees providence act and 
move the whole universe. He sees God in everything visible, qualibeL herba 
Deum, tastes God's sweetness in every comfort, hears God's voice in every 

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^OHR L 8.] THE VATEBB AND SON. 171 

' speaks to him. David heard God speak, when his companions 

^ > but Shimei. Job's carnal acquaintance wonld blame the Chal- 

% and other second causes for his losses ; but he looks higher, 

*k> <>th,' Ac. Others may refer sickness to the distemper of the 

* me the malice of men for their afflictions ; but a saint says, 

v Lord.' He rests not in the surface of things, but pene- 

' v^: *> the first mover ; his sight is not terminated in second 

- 'h^ *re dead and without motion, till moved by the first ; 
* v x *^, ^ % at least a more practical, assent to that meta- 

- ^^ <£ ~ Jtunda non movet, nisi tnota. 

"„ % X S^ -od in all, and ascribes all to God, so he depends upon 

"« * '. ** *c m of the flesh supports not him except he see the 

m it Ordinances are in his account empty cisterns, till 

vzod fill them ; the staff of bread cannot strengthen him till the 

^gthen it ; the word is a dead letter unless the quickening Spirit 

~u it. He esteems these because they are means of God's appointing, 

at he knows they are arbitrary means ; God can give the end without them, 

but they can never attain the end without him. 

As he walks with God in respect of thoughts and judgment, so also in 
respect of his affections. These are animi pedis, rfc ^u^fc flrijp^aara.* 
Desire draws us towards him, love joins us to him, delight continues us 
with him ; by desire we move to God, by delight we rest in God. Desire acts 
thus : Oh when shall I come and appear before God ? How long will the 
Itfrd be as a stranger, and as a wayfaring man ? How long shall there be 
such a distance betwixt me and him whom my soul loves ? Oh draw me, 
and I shall run after thee ; nay, draw me, that I may run with thee, for 
nothing short of thyself can content me. Then, when desires are answered, 
love acts thus : it closes with Christ, and twines itself into a strict embrace 
with him ; it is jealous of everything that might estrange, and counts it 
death to hear of parting. It says, with Ruth to Naomi, Rath i. 16, < En- 
treat me not to leave thee, or to return from following thee : for whither thou 
gpest, I will go ; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge ; thy people shall be 
my people, and thy God my God : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if 
aught but death part thee and me.' 

Being thus united and resolved, delight acts thus : Oh then, and have I 
found him whom my soul loves ? I have enough : ' Return to thy rest, O 
my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with thee ; whom have I in 
heaven but thee?' Ac. There is more beauty in the light of his countenance 
than in all the glory of the world ; there is more sweetness in thy presence 
than in all worldly pleasures ; there is more riches in the enjoyment of thy- 
self than in all the kingdoms of the earth. So in practice, as in judgment 
and affection, our conversation is a way, a pilgrimage. Now because our 
weakness is much, the difficulties and dangers many, the Lord promises his 
presence shall go along with us ; he walks with us, Isa. xlix. 10, 11, nay, in 
ss ; before us, so he is our guide, Ps. xlviii. 14 ; behind us, so he is our 
guard, our rearward, Isa. lviii. 8 ; beside us, on our right hand, Ps. cxxi. 5, 
Ps. ex. 5 ; lest we should err, he leads us, Isa. lviii. 11, takes us by the 
hand, cum apprehension* mama, i. e. apprehendendo manum meant. When 
we grow weary, he bids us lean upon him : Cant, viii., ' Who is this that 
cometh out of the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved ? ' he holds us up, 
ft. Ixxi. 8. Faith is expressed frequently by this notion, leaning upon God, 
PP, recumbency. When we faint, and can walk no longer, he bears us, his 
everlasting arm supports us, Isa. lxiii. 9, xlvi. 8, 4 : a full place, Isa. 



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172 BELIE VEB8' COMMUNION WITH [1 JOHN I. 8. 

zl. 11, * He shall feed his flock like a shepherd : he shall gather the lambs 
with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that 
are with young. 1 

(8.) Friendly conference. The Lord talks with us, and we with him ; 
friendly and familiar colloquies ; he speaks to us by his word, by his provi- 
dence, by his Spirit ; the sweet whisperings of the Holy Ghost, that still 
voice comforts, directs, encourages. This answers all objections by which 
we would deprive ourselves of comfort ; this tells us the non-consequence of 
all Satan's fallacies, and does nonplus that arch-sophister. When he pre- 
sents hell and wrath, it says, ' I am thy salvation ;' when he brings us into 
the valley and shadow of death, it saith, * Be not afraid, I am with thee,' I 
will not leave thee. When we have lost our way, and know not how to re- 
tarn, then we hear a voice behind us, nay, in us, saying, ' This is the way, 
walk in it.' And when the word that he hath writ to us seems obscure, he 
instructs us viva voce. The Spirit, as Philip to the eunuch, not only joins 
himself to the chariot, but comes in ; and this voice the saints know : ' My 
sheep know my voice,' John z. 5 ; others are strangers to it. 

Nor does he only make known, tell us the secret of his word, but the 
secret of his providence : * The secret of the Lord is with those that fear 
him,' Ps. xxv. 14 ; < Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do V 
Gen. zviii. 17, * The Lord will do nothing, but will reveal his secret to his 
servants the prophets,' Amos iii. 7. Oh what familiarity is here ! What 
more amongst the dearest friends than communication of secrets ? These 
God communicates, yea, those which were locked up from eternity, even 
from the angels, the salvation of particular souls. So he speaks to us. 

And we speak to him in prayer and meditation. We may speak at any 
time : the Bang's ear is never denied us ; the chamber of presence is always 
open, and we may speak with boldness and confidence, though we be poor 
worms. The Lord delights in such dialogues, and is much displeased when 
we estrange ourselves : ' Let me see thy face,' &c. And therefore when he 
sees us so busy in the pursuit of other things, and so much taken up with 
outward comforts, as we neglect him, he many times deprives us of these 
comforts, that when we have less of them he may have more of our com- 
pany. See a pregnant place, Hosea ii. 10, * I will allure her into the 
wilderness ;' she shall be in a wilderness in respect of friends, comforts, 
riches, honours ; these shall desert her, or be taken from her. And what 
then ? ' Then I will speak comfortably to her.' The noise of the world was 
before so loud in her ears as she would not hear me, no, not when I spake 
comfortably to her ; she was so busy in parleying with the world, as she had 
no leisure to confer with me. But I will bring her into the wilderness, far 
from these incumbrances that have interrupt our communion, and then we 
shall enjoy one another; he will speak comfortably, and we may talk 
familiarly with him. He oftentimes breaks the cistern, that we may have 
recourse to the fountain ; lets our corn, wine, and oil be plundered, that we 
may more delight in the light of his countenance ; lets the swine devour our 
husks, that we may learn to prize the pleasures of our Father's house. He 
deals with us, as Absalom did with Joab, when he desires conference with 
him ; he sets our corn on fire, for, says he, in their affliction they will seek 
me diligently, Hosea v. 15, 2, Lam. ziv. 80. 

(4.) Kind entertainments. The Lord feasts the saints, and they feast 
him : Isa. xzv. 6, ' And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto 
all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full 
of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined.' Christ leads his spouse into 
his banqueting house, Cant. ii. He satisfies them with the fatness of his 

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I John I. 8.] the fatheb and son. 178 

house, Pg. xxxvi. 8, and makes them joyful in the house of prayer ; fills our 
souls as with marrow and fatness, Ps. lxiii. 5 ; feeds as with manna from 
heaven, with angels' food. All truths are pabulum anima ; bat divine truths, 
they are delicacies, sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb to a renewed 
soul. He gives us sweet intimations of his love, peace that passes all under- 
standing, joy unspeakable, and full of glory. The full fruition of these joys 
are reserved for heaven, yet some drops fall from those rivers of pleasures 
that are at his right hand, to refresh us in our pilgrimage. He conveys to 
us in this wilderness some clusters of grapes and figs, though we must stay 
for a full vintage till we come to Canaan. We break our fast here, but stay 
for the marriage-feast till we be taken up to our glorious bridegroom. Some 
of our master's joy enters into us here, but there we shall enter into our 
master's joy, and shall bathe ourselves in that boundless and immense ocean 
of pleasure and sweetness to all eternity. 

And as the Lord feasts us, so we him. ' Behold,' says Christ, Rev. iii., 

I I stand at the door and knock ; if any man will open the door, I will come 
in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.' And what is that which the 
Lord counts a feast ? A broken heart, that is a sacrifice well pleasing ; a 
humble spirit, he dwells with such a spirit, Isa. Ivii. 15. He does not sup 
and depart, but is at a constant diet with such a spirit. So also high 
thoughts of God ; these he delights in, they are as a feast to him. When 
they are so elevated as they make us tremble at his word, Isa. Ivii. So also 
graces exercised, affections rightly fixed and elevated ; for when affection is 
down, and grace unexercised, the soul is asleep, and cannot entertain Christ, 
as the spouse, Cant. v. 12 ; will not admit him, will not open to him, though 
he tell her he has gathered his myrrh with his spices, and prepared the 
honeycomb with the honey, and brought wine and milk, brings his enter- 
tainment with him, will not put her to the charge and trouble of providing 
it. Yet, in the drowsy condition, she opens not, though he use such power- 
ful rhetoric to get entertainment : * Open to me, my sister, my love, my 
dove, my undefiled : for my head is filled with the dew, and my locks with 
the drops of the night.' What sweeter compellations, what stronger argu- 
ments, could be used ? Yet he prevails not ; the spouse was slumbering, 
the exercise of grace was suspended. A sleeping soul will not, cannot, feast 
with Christ. It is an awakened soul, whose graces and affections are exer- 
cised, that entertains Christ ; these he counts a feast. 

Use 1. If believers have communion with the Father and the Son, then 
unbelievers hath communion with the devil and his angels. Your fellow- 
ship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. There is happi- 
ness, here is your misery. I might enlarge it in analogy to the particulars 
formerly insisted on. As believers are united to Christ, are one with him, 
so wicked men with the devil. As all things are common between God and 
believers, so are all things common between the devil and unbelievers. 

Briefly thus. Unbelievers are one with the devil. There is a physical 
union ; they are his members, he their head. There is a moral union be- 
twixt them, such as is betwixt friends ; the bond of that union is love ; and 
though they defy him, and pretend much hatred, yet the argument of Christ 
proves unanswerably that they love him. ' He that keeps my command- 
ments, he it is that loveth me,' John xiv. 21. And so answerably, he that 
keeps the devil's commandments, he it is that loves him ; but these keep 
his commandments, comply with his will, do what he suggests. The power 
of the devil is absolute over these, as the centurion's over his servants. He 
says to one, ' Go, and he goeth ; to another, Come, and he cometh ; to all 
his servants, Do this, and they do it.' Nay, which is more, there is an 

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174 BEUEVEBS* COMMUNION WITH [1 JOHN I. 8. 

essential union betwixt these ; not because his essence, as he is a spirit, 
belongs to thorn, or their essence, as they are men, belongs to him ; but 
because those qualities, which make him a devil, and are essential to him 
as he is so, are in wicked men ; and those sinful qualities which make them 
wicked, and are essential to them as they are wicked, are in the devil. 
Pride, malice, averseness to God, hatred of his people, antipathy to his ways, 
ordinances, and administrations, these are the same in both, and do only 
differ in degrees. Further, the nearness of this union is evident, in that 
the devil is in them, keeps possession of them. He is the strong man that 
keeps the house. He is the prince of the power of the air, that not only 
rules over, but rules in, the children of disobedience. Wicked men may 
more properly be called demoniacs, than those whose bodies are possessed 
of the devil, of which we read in the Gospel ; for he possesses wicked men's 
souls, and being a spirit, can join himself more intimately to a soul, and 
mix his being more nearly with it, than with a body. 

And as they are united, so they have all things common. He is theirs, 
and they are his, Bom. vi. 16. The apostle's argument proves it. ' Enow 
ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his ye are to whom 
ye obey ?' He is their god, ' the god of this world ;' their prince, he 
< rules in the children of disobedience ;' their father, « You are of your father 
the devil,' John viii. 44 ; and they are his people, his slaves, his children : 
Acts xiii. 10, ' Thou child of the devil.' They have the same interests, the 
same designs ; they both drive on this design, to dishonour God, and de- 
stroy souls ; they have the same affections ; they love, hate, delight in, and 
desire the same things ; they love, and delight in, the works of darkness, 
hate God, his image, his people, his ways and ordinances. Bo for converse, 
they walk and confer together ; for as the Lord does talk with his people, 
by his Spirit suggesting his will to their souls, so Satan talks with wicked 
men by his suggestions, making his will known to them. 

And as they have all things alike in communion here, so they shall have 
the like condition hereafter ; the like torments, and eternal woful fellow* 
ship in them. That is the doom which you must hear pronounced : * De- 
part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting Are, prepared for the devil and 
his angels.' * Consider this, ye that forgot God ;' see and bewail the 
misery of your condition. Think you are in hell, while you are so near to, 
and so familiar and intimate with, the devil. Renounce this cursed fellow* 
ship with the prince of darkness, and with the unfaithful * works of dark- 
ness, and never give rest to yonr souls till ye be in that happy condition on 
which you may be admitted to fellowship with the Father, and with his Son 
Jesus Christ. 

Use 2. An exhortation to get this fellowship, and continue it. This we 
shall urge by some motives, and shew the way to it, prescribing the means 
whereby it may be attained. The motives I shall reduce to two heads, the 
two ends for which we were sent into the world, and therefore the most 
powerful to move and excite desire and endeavours, God's glory, and our 
good. 1 . It is most for God's glory. 2. It is best for us. 

1. It is most for God's glory. God is most glorified in heaven. Now to 
have communion with God, is to be in heaven. This is the gate of paradise, 
and puts us into the suburbs of heaven. Besides, it is true, God's absolute 
glory is indivisible, admits of no addition or diminution ; it is, as Chrysostom 
calls it, aiaXXwwroc xai axmjroc £o'£a, admits of no change, no alteration, 
for in this respect he was infinitely glorious from all eternity, and nothing 
can be added to infiniteness, Infinito non datur majus. But his relative 
• Qu. • unfruitful' ?— En. 

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1 John 1. 8.] thb fatheb and son. 175 

glory, that may be] augmented; he may be more glorious, though not in 
himself, yet in reference to as. And in this sense he is glorified, or (as we 
speak) made more glorious, both by himself and by his creatures : by him- 
self, when he manifests his glorious excellencies to the world ; by us, when 
we acknowledge and take notice of those excellencies. Both ways God is 
glorified by our communion with him. He manifests many glorious attri- 
butes hereby in admitting us to this fellowship i his truth in performing, 
whereby he is engaged to grant it ; justice, in excluding others ; power 
and wisdom, in fitting us poor pieces of clay for it ; and that which is the 
darling of his attributes, to which he seems in the gospel to have designed 
a peculiar glory, his mercy, love, and free grace, so far condescending as to 
advance us, who are less than worms, worse than nothing, to such a glorious 
fellowship. 

And as God glorifies himself, Ac, so those that have fellowship with him 
hereby glorify him ; for he is glorified when he is acknowledged to be glo- 
rious, and none can do it with such advantage as these, for it is grace by 
which God has most glory. Every grace exercised gives a testimony to all, 
or some of God's excellencies : love to his 1 beauty and goodness, fear to his 
justice and holiness, faith to his truth, all -sufficiency, wisdom, power, and 
faithfulness, humility to his majesty, patience to his sovereignty. Now 
none exercise these graces but those who have this fellowship ; and those 
who have most intimate communion have the most constant and vigorous 
exercise of them. 

And as the Father, so the Son is hereby glorified. It is the honour of 
any person to attain his principal end, and this is it in which he most 
glories. The end not only crowns the actions, but the agent. Now the end 
of Christ's glorious undertakings on earth, the end of all his actions and 
sufferings, was to glorify himself and his Father, in bringing us to communion 
with both. He suffered so many things of God and man, that he might 
make reconciliation, Heb. ii. 17 ; that, being reconciled, we might meet 
and converse in a sweet and blessed fellowship here and hereafter. 

And as the Father and Son are glorified hereby, so the Holy Ghost ; the 
Scripture holds forth this as his peculiar glory. Hence that phrase in 
Paul's prayer, ' the communion of the Holy Ghost,' 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The 
Spirit is no less glorified by this communion (which seems to be ascribed to 
him as an attribute) than the Father by the manifestation of his love, or the 
Son by the dispensation of his grace. This then is the glory of God, and 
this renders it most desirable to all generous and self-denying spirits. The 
end is the primum mobile, the first principle of motion, and the motion is 
swifter and nobler, according to the value and excellency of the end. Heroic 
actions aim at glory, as that which is the noblest end. But no glory com- 
parable to the glory of God, which seeing this communion so much advances 
our desires and endeavours after it, should be no less strong and indefatigable 
than they are noble and glorious. There is nothing more glorious than that 
which most glorifies God ; and there is. nothing so worthy of our desires 
and endeavours, as that which is glorious ; and therefore we should desire 
and endeavour nothing more in the world than this fellowship, since hereby 
God is so eminently glorified, both in his attributes and relations. But if 
our spirits be so low, as we cannot rise to this highest and supreme end ; 
though those, who are elevated by grace, neither can nor* ought ; if this last 
end seem too remote, to have any strong influence upon us by way of motive, 
though indeed nothing is nearer or dearer to those to whom grace hath 
endeared the glory of God, there are other motives near us, yea, within us, 
* Qu. ' either can or' ?— Ed. 

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176 believers' commotion with [1 John L 8. 

not only the glorious concernment of God, bat oar own may move as. It 
is not only most for God's glory, bat best for as.' 

2. Most for oar good. The sweetest pleasure, the highest honour, the 
greatest advantage, and the chiefest happiness. 

(1.) The sweetest pleasures are in fellowship with the Father and the 
Son. Every step in communion with God is a paradise. And how can it 
be less, since they are led by that hand, at which are rivers of pleasures ; 
lie in that bosom, which is infinitely sweeter than myrrh, aloes, and cassia ; 
walk in the light of that countenance, from whose smile spring all the 
delights of heaven, are always in the view of that beauty which makes heaven 
glorious, and all that behold it happy ? They sit under the shadow of the 
tree of life, and have the banner of Christ's love for their canopy; feast 
daily with the choicest delicacies of Christ's banqneting-house, and drink of 
that pure river of the water of life, which proceeds oat of the throne of God 
and of the Lamb. 

Pleasure is the result of those acts, which well tempered faculties exercise 
upon the best object. Now what faculty can be of a rarer temper, than that 
which is refined and elevated by grace, the most excellent accomplishment 
that ever omnipotency created ; grace, I say, which informs the whole soul 
of him who has this privilege ? And what more excellent, more glorious, 
more delightful object, than God in Christ, the Father and the Son ? God 
in Christ is the ocean of all sweetness and pleasures, in comparison of whom 
all the pleasures that are, or ever were in the world, amount not to the pro- 
portion of a drop, and for quality, the very quintessence of them is but 
bitterness. This is that object, which is all made up of sweetness and 
ravishing delights. And he holds forth himself as delightful to every faculty 
of man that is capable of pleasure. Truth, that is the dainty upon which 
the mind feeds. Now he is the first truth, the sun, the fountain of it, from 
whom were darted all those beams of truth which are scattered to this lower 
world. ' He enlightens every man,' Ac. 

Goodness is that only which the will embraces with complacency. Now 
he is the chief good, avr' &yafo*> the idea and exemplar of all goodness, and 
the spring from whonce dropped all creature goodness. 

Beauty, that is the pleasure of the eye. Now God in Christ, as Clemens 
Alex, dfxcfwov r£v xa\wv, the archetypal exemplar of all beauty. The 
fairest and most glorious creatures are but rude, blurred, and imperfect tran- 
scripts. He is fairer than the morn, clearer than the sun. As Basil, wnpjiftm 
ri)y roD f)7Jou \afi<r$6rr)ra, his brightness darkens the lustre of the sun. Nay, 
he is infinitely brighter than the most glorious seraphim, rb 6*ro*s xaXfr 
xardXtj-^tv *aaav Av^&wt/vjjv fangjS&iv/ xa) duvafuv, it is this beauty that 
transports those happy souls that behold it, f/£ §e?av r/w ixaram, as Basil, 
into a divine, an eternal ecstasy. To the taste he is hidden manna, angels' 
food, the bread of life. The touch is ravished with the kisses of those lips 
that drop sweet-smelling myrrh, Cant. v. 18, and with the embraces of his 
eyerlasting arms. The ear is delighted with the voice of joy and gladness : 
'The voice of my beloved,' Cant. ii. 8. The sound of the voice can heal 
broken bones, Ps. Ii. 8, can breathe life into a dead soul, convey heaven 
into a spirit despairing at the gates of hell, and still it with joy unspeakable 
and glorious. To the smell he is spikenard, myrrh, aloes, cassia, Ps. xlv. 8. 
What a fragrant smell does Christ diffuse, when he lies in our bosom as a 
bundle of myrrh i as Cant. i. 18. 

Oh what joy is in this fellowship, whenas there is nothing in the Father 
or Son, but is a spring of comfort, pure, satisfying, overflowing, ravishing 
comfort 1 It is true, while we are present in the body, we are absent from 

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1 John I. 8.] the fatheb and son. 177 

the Lord. We are not yet admitted to the well-head, that is in heaven ; 
but there are rivers flowing from hence, that make glad the city of God. 
There are streams of comfort conveyed to us in ordinances, promises, pri- 
vileges, of which they only have the actual improvement who have such 
communion, they only with joy draw waters out of the wells of salvation, 
whenas to others they are a fountain sealed. 

No wonder if the saints have such a high esteem of this communion, and 
of the ordinances wherein they enjoy it. See it in David : Ps. xlii. 1, 2, 
' As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after God. 
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God : when shall I come and appear 
before him?' So Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 2, 'How amiable are thy tabernacles, 
Lord of hosts ! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the 
Lord. My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God/ Ver. 4, 
' Blessed are they that dwell in thy house/ Ac And why so ? See ver. 7, 
• Every one of them in Zion appeareth before God ;' ver. 10, ' For a day in 
thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door-keeper in the 
house of God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.' Hence the Marquis of 
Vico, the pope tempting him with gold to leave the ordinances at Geneva for 
the enjoyment of his estate in Italy, replied, Let his money perish with him 
who prefers all the riches in the world before one day's communion with 
Jesus Christ. But it is in vain for me to endeavour to express what joys 
are in this fellowship, for it is beyond expression. It is joy unspeakable ; 
nay, not only beyond expression, but above apprehension ; the peace of 
God passes all understanding. Such peace, such joy is there in this 
fellowship. 

(2.) The highest honour. It is accounted a great honour amongst men 
to be near unto and familiar with princes. ' Seest thou a man diligent in 
his business ? he shall stand before princes/ Prov. xxii. 29. These shine 
in the orb of honour as the sun, when all about them, as planets of an in- 
ferior degree, borrow their light ; and they shine with the clearest ray who 
are nearest to the fountain. What honour is it, then, to have such near and 
familiar converse with the King of kings and Lord of lords ; to a companion 
of the prince of the kings of the earth ? He alone is truly the fountain of 
honour, and whatever is not derived from him by advantage of vicinity to 
him is but a name, a shadow, ovdt afrupara durcb that av rfc f a/jj, dXXa 
hf6f&ara. u%iu>ftaruv {i6w, as Chrysostom. He is clothed with honour and 
majesty as with a garment ; and there is no way to be honourable but by 
getting near to him, and creeping under the skirts of his garment. Those 
that are not near to God are far from honour, even as those are far from 
light who are antipodes of the sun. The light of these is darkness ; the 
glory of those is their shame. Now, those who converse with God must 
needs be near him ; they are so called, ' a people near unto God,' Ps. cxlviii. 
14. They are vicini, neighbours ; there is nothing but the partition of the 
body betwixt them, and there are many windows, many avenues in that by 
which God passes to them and they to God ; whereas others are strangers, 
foreigners, aliens to the commonwealth of this Israel, Eph. ii. 12. There 
is a vast ocean parts them from that region where God is known and enjoyed. 
It is true of them which Abraham says of those in hell ; we may say to them 
as he to Dives, ' Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they 
which would pass to you cannot, neither can they pass to us that would 
come from thence.' The king of this commonwealth forbids traffic and com- 
merce with all but those few who have submitted to his sceptre, and theRe 
only are near him. They are not only vicini, but propinqui ; not only 

vol. m. M 



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178 BELDEVEBS' COMMUNION WITH [1 JOHN I. 3. 

neighbours, but indwellers ; not only of the same commonwealth, but of the 
same family. They are members of the household of faith. The Lord is 
the master of the family, and Christ the heir. It is a great honour to be a 
servant in such a house ; so says Ghrysostom, dtr/ fieyftfrov agiufbarog roZro 
rl(h\ti y Xtyuv dovXovg. Paul puts this amongst his titles of honour, accounts it 
one of his greatest dignities, to be servant of Jesus Christ. But we have 
greater honours than these ; we are not only servants, but friends : * Hence- 
forth I call you no more servants, but friends/ John xv. 14, 15 ; nay, not 
only friends, but favourites. What greater honour than to be a prince's 
favourite, to be in his presence, to have his ear, his smile, his heart ; to be 
deep in his affections, high in his thoughts ; to have liberty to make known 
all grievances, and the privilege to know all his secrets ? And all these are 
made ours by communion. Haman knew that his interest in the king's 
favour did entitle him to all the honour he could confer ; there/ore he says, 
Esth. vi. 6, ' To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to 
myself?' Though Haman's hopes deceived him, yet does the Lord never 
disappoint his favourites. They have the royal apparel which the king useth 
to wear, the robe of his righteousness, and shall have the crown royal upon 
their heads ; and time will come when they shall be brought through the 
streets of the great city, the new Jerusalem, with glory and triumph ; and 
he shall command his angels to proclaim before them, * Thus shall it be done 
to the men whom the king will honour.' 

Nay, this is not all. They are not only propinqui, but proximi, by this 
communion ; joined to the Lord in the nearest ties of affinity and consan- 
guinity. The nearest affinity are husband and wife. Now, they are married 
to the Lord, betrothed to Christ ; and uxor coruscat radii* mariti, the rays 
of honour which make the husband illustrious shine in the wife. The glory 
of Christ makes his spouse glorious ; so he says, John xvii. 22, ' The glory 
which thou gavest me, I have given them.' What glory in the world com- 
parable to this ? It is as far above the highest honours in the world as he 
is higher than mdn who is higher than the heavens. 

The nearest tie of consanguinity is that between parents and children. 
Now, these are the children of God, and do converse with God as with a 
father. They have fellowship with the Father, not only as he is so to 
Christ, but also as to them. Now, what kind of honour is this, that we 
should be called the sons of God ? orav ds viovg Imj, aVavra rwv aya&tut 
rbv Sfaavgov avtxdXv^e. The spouse is not only the Lamb's wife, and so a 
queen, a queen in gold of Ophir, Ps. xlv. 9, but also a king's daughter, ver. 
13, the daughter of him who sits on the throne. And as though this were 
not honour enough, he gives us a better name than that of sons and daugh- 
ters : Isa. lvi. 5, ' To him that lays hold on my covenant, I will give within 
my house a name, &c, even an everlasting name.' Here is immortal honour. 
Sweetly Chrysostom, xav dov\7j xav ayovyg xav irsvi^d ri xcu forifiog xav » r£ 
xara t^v yyv j3/a» a*sfigtfj.ft's*r) 9 vvdg%ri dta r^v vgog avrfa xoivwiav c£jsvygw£««r 
fiatfiki&a ou^aiwv cro/E/. 

But we are not yet come to the highest of that honour to which this fel- 
lowship advances. There is not only approximation, but union. They are 
not only near to God, but one with him ; united to him closely, intimately, 
inseparably. And this by virtue of communion ; for this (as before) neces- 
sarily includes union. What honour is this, to be one with God ; to be one 
with the Father and the Son, even as the Father is one with the Son ? So 
Christ prays, John xvii. 22, * that they may be one, as we are one ;' as truly, 
though not as perfectly. And the intimacy of this union is expressed by in- 
hesion ; they are not only united to God, but (if we may use the phrase) 

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1 John I. 8.] the father and son. 179 

mixed with him ; ver. 29, * I in them, and thou in me.' Nay, a mutual in- 
herency : ' He that dwelleth in love * (in love, which is the bond of this 
glorious fellowship) ' dwelleth in God, and God in him/ 1 John iv. 16. 

(3.) The greatest advantage. We have hereby, 

[l.J Plenty, and [2.] Safety. 

(l.J Plenty. No good thing will be withheld from those that walk up- 
rightly, Ps. lxxxiv. 11 ; and who walk uprightly but those who walk with 
him ? as appears, Gen. xvii. 1, < Walk before me, and be thou perfect/ or 
upright, which is either an f^yijtf/c of the former, or has necessary connec- 
tion with it. There is nothing good in heaven or earth which God will with- 
hold, no, not heaven and earth itself, when they are good ; nor that which 
hath more goodness in it than heaven and earth united, himself, his Son, his 
Spirit. < The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hands/ 
The Son loveth us, and giveth us all things ; for all things are common in 
this communion ; the Son, and whatever he hath, is ours, as before. He 
gives us vavra vXovtiug, 1 Tim. vi. 17 ; ' all things richly to enjoy.' All 
things, not only good, but evil ; not as they are evil, but good. The worst 
thing given to a saint becomes good. That which is evil in itself, and evil 
to others, is good to them ; that which is good in itself and to others, is evil 
to the wicked. ' All things shall work together/ &c. 1 Cor. iii. 21, All is 
yours, the whole world ; vratyg *%<; yn$ oL^%oyrtg 6t oiyiot, rulers of the whole 
world. See here the total of your wealth. The parcels are in the same 
chapter, ver. 22. You have your possessions in a map, divided into two 
hemispheres ; each of them comprise a worTd ; things present and things to 
come, heaven and earth, this world, and that which is hereafter. And in 
either of these, besides what is known and described, there is a terra incog- 
nita, vast continents which no eye ever surveyed, nor ear ever heard a rela- 
tion of ; nor could any heart, any thought, take the dimensions of it, so large 
it is. Yet all this is theirs who are Christ's, ver. 28. 

[2.] Safety : Ps. xci. 1, < He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most 
High, shall lodge under the shadow of the Almighty.' Isa. xxxiii. 16, ' He 
shall dwell on high, his defence shall be the munition of rocks.' Who dwells 
in the secret of the Most High, but he that is continually with God, by secret 
and intimate communion ? And he it is that abides under the shadow of 
the Almighty, his shadow, who is the rock of ages ; therefore it may be well 
said, his defence is the munition of rocks. He that hath such a defence 
need not fear, as Ps. xlvi. 2, 8, ' Though the earth be removed, and the 
mountains carried into the midst of the sea ; though the waters thereof roar 
and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof/ 
ver. 5, ' God is in the midst of her ; she shall not be moved.' No such 
safety as in nearness to God. 

And as the Father undertakes their protection, so the Son. He looks 
upon them as parts of himself, and those parts that are nearest to his heart. 
They are his members, and he is sensible of their sufferings, as though the 
union betwixt them were not only mystical, but physical ; in all their afflic- 
tions he is afflicted ; nay, his body mystical, his people, who have com- 
munion with him as a head, are more dear to him than his natural body ; 
for he exposed this to all miseiies, to make that happy. Christ will suffer 
himself rather than they shall suffer. How safe are they ! 

(4.) The chiefest happiness ; for what is happiness but the fruition of the 
chief good, the enjoyment of God in Christ ? Now, what is it to enjoy the 
chief good (to enjoy God in Christ) but to be united to it, partake of it, con- 
verse with it ? All these are included in communion. 

There is no true blessedness but in this fellowship ; and hell itself cannot 

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180 believers' communion with [1 John 1. 3. 

hinder those who have this fellowship from being blessed. There is more 
happiness in this communion, abstracted from heaven, than there is in heaven 
abstracted from this communion. Heaven is the place of happiness ; but 
this fellowship is the cause, or rather the formality of happiness. This is it 
which makes heaven happy ; and this would make hell to be heaven, if that 
unhappy place would admit of it : this is heaven upon earth now, and will 
be the heaven of heaven hereafter. He that has this fellowship is happy 
before he come to heaven ; nay, heaven comes down to him, and is in him, 
before he be in it. After the descent of the new Jerusalem from heaven, 
John heard a voice, Rev. zxi. 8, saying, * The tabernacle of God is with 
men,' &c. The tabernacle of God is heaven, Ps. xv. When God dwells 
with a soul, and continues to grant communion, heaven is with that soul. 
Where the king is, there is the court. 

It is true, this communion, while in the body, is very imperfect, and much 
interrupted, and our happiness is answerable ; but, whatever happiness we 
enjoy, we have it from and in this fellowship. In heaven it shall be perfect 
and constant, and this is it which makes heaven desirable ; however, the 
happiness which we shall have in heaven, and this here, differ not essentially, 
but only in degrees. Communion here is the first dawnings of heaven, the 
first gladsome appearings of glory ; the day breaks here, and the day-star of 
bliss arises ; the meridian, the noon-day of happiness is in heaven ; but there 
is no happiness, here or in heaven, bat springs from this communion. 

This is the highest privilege, the greatest happiness, that the most glorious 
angel in heaven enjoys. What difference betwixt angels and devils, but this, 
that the one has fellowship with God, the other neither hath, nor can have 
it ? What difference betwixt heaven and hell, but this, that heaven is made 
happy by this communion, hell miserable by wanting it ? What difference 
betwixt saints militant and triumphant, but this, they are perfectly happy in 
a perfect communion ; these happy imperfectly, enjoying but communion 
in part ! But whatever happiness either angels or saints, in heaven or earth, 
enjoy, it consists only in this fellowship. 

What a strong invincible motive should this be to desire communion with 
the Father and Son 1 What stronger motive than happiness ! There is 
none but desire it. There is a strong inclination, a natural tendency, in all 
creatures, in their several spheres, to happiness. It is the voice of all mor- 
tals, * Who will shew us any good ? ' Why, here is the way to the chief 
good, to the greatest happiness, if you will walk in it. Ask the glorious 
angels and saints why they are happy ; they will tell you, because they have 
this fellowship. Ask the devils and damned spirits why they are miserable ; 
they will say, because they have not, or ever shall enjoy this fellowship. 
Ask why there is nothing but darkness ; they will answer, because they have 
no fellowship with the Father of lights. Why there is nothing but weeping. 
&c. Am. Because no communion with the Father of consolation. Ask 
why there is nothing within them but the torturing worm that dies not ; they 
will answer, because they have no fellowship with him who died for sinners. 
Ask why nothing without them but everlasting burnings ; they will answer, 
because no communion with him whose blood should quench them. Ask 
the saints in this world why they are imperfectly happy, why their life is 
yXuxucr/x^ov, made up of bitters and sweets, happiness and misery ; they will 
answer, because their communion is imperfect and interrupted. Ask infe- 
rior creatures why they are [not] so happy as men and angels ; the answer 
is, because they are not capable of this fellowship. Ask who you will, all 
will conclude, all happiness is in communion, nothing but misery without it. 
If then you would be happy, if you would not be miserable, get it ; and if 

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1 John 1. 3.] the fatheb and son. 181 

you would be perfectly happy, get nearer, closer communion with the Father 
and the Son. 
Means. 

1. Entertain frequent and delightful thoughts of God. Such will present 
us to God, and make him present with us. WhPe they are in our minds, he 
is in our hearts ; and there we enjoy him, and converse with him, in a way 
most suitable to spirits. Communion amongst men is maintained by confer- 
ence ; that with God principally by meditation. This is the character of the 
wicked, those who are at the greatest distance from God, « God is not in all 
their thoughts ;' he is not in all their thoughts, or to little purpose. But 
those who have fellowship with him, he must be in all their thoughts ; all 
their thoughts must be of God. Even when their thoughts are employed 
about lower objects, they then think of him ; because their thoughts of other 
things have always a tendency to him ; he must be your meditation day and 
night, last and first thoughts ; he must be betwixt your breasts as a bundle 
of myrrh, Cant. i. 18, that, when ye awake, ye may be satisfied with his 
image ; and so, with David, ye may be continually with him, Ps. lxxiii., 
Ps. czxxix. 

It is true, while we are here, we must be employed in particular call- 
ings, and must do what we are called to with all diligence ; but one who 
tastes the sweetness of this fellowship can never be so busied in the world, 
but he can steal a glance at Christ ; and in the thickest crowd of worldly 
employments, can find a passage to let in some sweet thoughts of God ; but, 
when disengaged from earthly affairs, oh then, as Basil swoetly, *ae &* 
rorog U r? 4^? rfc tytui Xgitrov *t*>^uioto ; let the whole soul be taken 
up with thoughts of Christ ; let him fill every part of it ; wdug de rb 6vv67.n 
rfaog h avrrj fl%oXagjra/, no vacant place, no room to entertain vain, sinful 
thoughts. 

He that is much in thoughts of God hath much of God ; these both 
admit him into the soul, and there entertain him. Christ enters into our 
hearts, when thoughts of Christ enter ; and the meditation of him, in effect, 
is his inhabitation in us. So Basil, xai rovro fori rod 0«oO hoix^ig, rb bia. rfc 
tLvfll*ns lypn indgvpiw i v iavru* rbv Qtbv. These seat God in our hearts, as 
he sometimes seated himself between the cherubims ; and these make our 
souls his temple, yea, the holy of holies, the holy place of the most holy 
God ; so he, ovrea ytvo/MOa vabg 0«ov, 6rav ptj (pgovriat ynfratg rb avnytn nfc 
fLtijpjjs dtaxfarrirou. Our hearts, by a constant entertainment of such 
thoughts, either actually, or, when that cannot be, habitually, become the 
tabernacles of God ; and he says of them, This is my resting-place, here will 
I dwell ; and, according to his promise, I will walk in them, and dwell in 
them. God is but a sojourner with tnose who seldom think of him ; he is 
a wayfaring man, that turns but in for a night ; but he is an indweller, 
and makes a constant abode, with those who constantly entertain him with 
sweet thoughts. He dwells in them, and walks with them, t. e. he abides 
in them, and converses with them. He does not *-afOix«ft, bat xarotxift. 
This for frequency. 

They must be also delightful ; such wherein both Christ may, and we 
must, take delight. Take heed of such thoughts as disparage or misrepre- 
sent God ; they must be such as advance him, endear him to us ; those 
must delight us. • How precious are thy thoughts ! ' &c. Not merely 
speculative thoughts, for devils and reprobates may have such, but such as 
have a sweet and powerful influence upon heart and affections. Speculative 
let God into the head, but not into the heart ; into the fancy, but not into 
the affections. They must be high, adoring, affecting thoughts. The Lord 

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182 believebb' communion with [1 John 1. 8. 

enters with such thoughts, and with him enters divine light; which, as light 
here below, being accompanied with heat, kindles the heart into flames oi 
love, zeal ; burns up world-lusts and affections, quickens grace, refines the 
spirit, melts the whole soul, separates it from dross ; makes it fit to be cast 
into the mould of God, and impressions of his glorious image. Be frequent 
in thoughts that beget such effects ; for in these we both enjoy communion 
with God, and by them are fitted for farther communion. 

2. Live in dependence upon Christ, in the exercise of faith upon God in 
Christ. Trust him in all, for all, with all. Trust him with all your con- 
cerns, for soul and body, for this life and eternity, for yourselves and pos- 
terity. Have confidence in him. You can have no fellowship or intimacy 
with one in whom you have not confidence ; so far as you have fears, doubts, 
suspicions, jealousy, distrust of him, bo far you will be estranged from 
him ; these will keep you off from him, as from one whom you cannot fully 
trust, and will disoblige him, and so keep him off from you. These, so fax 
as they prevail, will occasion a mutual distance and estrangement, which 
will not stand with near and mutual fellowship. When you find anything 
too hard and difficult for you, sin, the world, temptation, any spiritual duty, 
any service, he calls you to leave it, commit it to him, Ps. xxxvii. 6. When 
you find anything too heavy for you, any want, affliction, suffering, when 
it proves too burdensome, cast it upon him : Ps. lv. 22, ' Cast thy burden 
upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.' He will shew the part of an 
intimate friend, and put his t shoulder under, and not suffer thee to shrink, 
to be moved, much less to sink. When you are apt to be troubled, per- 
plexed, solicitous about anything, cast that care upon him, 1 Peter v. 7, 
Philip, iv. 6. They that have lived most in communion with God have 
lived most in the exercise of faith ; trusting him with all they have, in all 
they fear, for all they want. Walking in communion with God is a walking 
by faith, not by sense ; not making sensible objects, persons or things, their 
support and confidence ; but renouncing all confidence in the flesh, or in 
those things which a carnal heart has recourse to for support. Rely on, 
and stay yourselves upon God, Isa. 1. 10, else you will walk in darkness, 
not see your way to communion with God, nor discern the comfort of it. 
There is perfect peace and repose in this communion, but how may one come 
by it ? See Isa. xxv. 8. While you stay yourselves on God, and go lean* 
ing on him, you are near him ; he is near you, you are in fellowship with 
him. This is the posture of intimate friends; thus they enjoy one another, 
herein their communion shewB itself. ' 

8. Renounce fellowship with others, all that is not consistent with, and 
subservient to this with God. Aristotle tells us, Eth. 10, woXXoft d' that 
$ iXov xard rtXtiav pTJav ovx f rifgira/. Perfect friendship can be betwixt no 
more than two. And good reason ; for entire friendship requires intense 
affection, a high degree of love. And love, when it is divided, dis- 
persed amongst many objects, is weakened. This is more evidently 
true here. The continuance of this blessed fellowship requires the whole 
strength of our souls, the highest strain of affection, Mat. xxii. 87. No 
love is sufficient, but that which is cordial, love with all the heart. God 
will have all, or none at all. He will have our love, or we must have none 
of his company. Now, how can God have all our hearts, if we let them be- 
distractcd, by admitting others into such endeared fellowship ? Basil upon 
that place, With all thy heart, &c., says, rb di «g o\ne luyqiA* «/* Mfa ©wt 
i «7&Xcra/, that is not the whole which is divided. God has not all that heart, 
which is parted betwixt him and others; Uw yctf ai» rifc aydvnc x*ram*M**t 
f/f xdru, rosoirov 00/ Xti-^tt i% dvwyxffr dvb rou foou. God wants so much 

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1 John L 8.] thr fathbb and son. 188 

of our affections as the creatures have, or when they are loved otherwise than 
for his sake. The stream of affection will run low to heaven, when it finds 
many channels on earth; nor will God ever mix with that stream that, dirties 
itself in an earthly channel. As he will not he found of us except our whole 
hearts seek him, so he will not stay with us except all our affections wait 
on him; and how can this be, if we suffer other objects to steal them 
away? 

More particularly, 

(1.) No fellowship with sin. He shall not have fellowship with the Father 
of lights, who will have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. 
Renounce all sin, the least, the sweetest, the dearest, the right hand, the 
right eye, else Christ will renounce you. We have fellowship with Christ 
as with a king. Now, what king will admit of a competitor, will suffer one 
to exercise equal authority with himself in his own dominions ? Our hearts 
are Christ's throne, and when we obey sin, delight in it, we lift it up into 
his throne ; and while we do this, Christ will be so far from conversing with 
us as friends or subjects, that he will denounce war against us as traitors 
and rebels. It is such as betwixt husband and wife. Now, what husband 
will admit of a co-rival ? He is a jealous God. Our hearts are, as it were, 
the marriage bed ; and when we delight in sin, it creeps into our hearts, and 
takes possession of the bed of love. If we suffer this, we may expect a 
divorce rather than a conjugal converse with Christ. It is as impossible 
that light and darkness should be received in the same subject, that heaven 
and hell should be in the same place, as that Christ and sin should be affec- 
tionately entertained in the same heart. Forsake sin, or Christ will forsake 
you, 1 John ii. 24. 

(2.) No fellowship with the world. * If any man love the world, the love 
of the Father is not in him.' If the love of the Father be not in us, there 
is no love of the Father to us ; and where no affection, there can be no 
fellowship, James iv. 4. * The friendship of the world is enmity with God.' 
He that will be the world's friend will be God's enemy. No fellowship, in 
respect of things lawful or unlawful. You must not give too much of your 
hearts to lawful comforts, not too affectionately converse with lawful rela- 
tions. ' He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of 
me ;' is not worthy of such fellowship. If we be ready and willing to for- 
sake father and mother for Christ, we shall find incomparably more comfort 
in fellowship with God than in all these enjoyments. Krtl varfa sx ovXXou 
r«S ctg/ovof wr«fj8am/ <pikoaro^yiav xal pqrg&f xvfiqpoviM, Chrysost. If these 
have more of our affections than God, we shall lose both our relations in 
heaven and earth, and be deprived of fellowship with both. He that will not 
lay down his life for Christ, shall lose both his life and Christ too. ©ux ip- 
«-o4jJ cm that njy aya<xj)v. 

(8.) No fellowship with the wicked : 2 Cor. vi. 14-18, < Touch not the 
unclean thing,' or things (as the Syriac) ; it is an allusion to the legal cere- 
mony. For as unclean things did defile the Israelites, who touched them, 
so are believers in danger to be defiled by conversing with the wicked ; and 
as those so defiled were not received into the sanctuary, no more will the 
Lord receive those into friendship with himself, who defile themselves with 
familiarity, intimate, delightful, with the wicked. But be ye separate, keep 
at a distance from unclean persons, and then I will receive you. Not into 
heaven (that is not the meaning), but into my tabernacle, into the secret of 
the Most High, as appears, Lev. xxvi. 11, 12. I will admit you into my 
tabernacle, and there you shall converse with me as familiarly as sons and 
daughters with a father, ver. 8. Now that God's people are defiled by such 

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164 BKLIEVBBS' COMMUNION WITH [1 JOHH I. 8. 

converse, appears, Heb. zii. 15, 16, * Looking diligently, lest any man 
fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing np trouble 
yon, and thereby many be defiled,' &c. 2 Pet. ii. 18, < Spots they are 
and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own Receivings, while they 
feast with you.' Jade, ver. 12, ' These are spots in your feasts of cha- 
rity,' &c. 

. 4. Labour to be like to God. Assimilation is an effectual means to attain 
and preserve this fellowship. 4/X/a is either tpojtfriK or xaff ofworrrrcL, as 
Aristotle. It is the mother of friendship ; and communion is nothing but 
friendship in exercise. Likeness doth both engender and nourish it. There 
is in similitude a secret sympathy, which does strongly incline the subjects 
of it to unite, close, mix together, and that attained, does rest in it with 
much delight; whereas unlikeness is cause of disagreement, and this of 
estrangement. We must be like God, if we would converse with him ; but 
how ? It is true, if we speak properly, we cannot. No creature can be like 
God, there is an infinite distance betwixt us. He is infinite, we finite. Now 
betwixt finite and infinite there is no proportion, no similitude. This not- 
withstanding, God does put such a glory upon grace, as to style it his 
image, his likeness : Gen. i. 26, ' after his own likeness,' because bis soul 
was adorned with holiness ; which is, in Scripture phrase, the divine nature, 
the image of God, an impression of divinity. The way, then, to be like 
God, is to get this imsge repaired, which is now razed and defaced by sin. 
To get it conformed to its first idea and pattern ; to raze out all the sculp- 
tures of hell, all the impressions that Satan hath stamped upon our souls, 
thereby making them deformed, unlike to God, the pattern of our primitive 
beauty, and incapable of this fellowship : we must be holy, as he is holy, 
1 Peter i. 15, 16 ; merciful, as our heavenly Father is merciful, Luke vi. 
85, 86 ; just, faithful, righteous, spiritual, even as he is so. ' Then shall 
the King delight in your beauty,' Ps. xlv. 

Like the Son too. The same mind must be in us, Philip, ii. 5. We must 
express the virtues of him who hath called us out of darkness, &c. Learn 
of him to be meek, lowly, patient, self-denying, zealous, faithful, public spi- 
rited. Look unto Jesus as our pattern, endeavour unweariedly to reduce 
our whole man to a conformity and likeness with him. The more we re- 
semble him, the more will he love and delight in, the more frequently visit 
us, the more affectionately embrace us ; I/lmw fyWou ipitrai. What com- 
munion hath light with darkness ? The harmony of this communion may 
admit of disproportions, but not of contrarieties. You may as well recon- 
cile light and darkness, as bring the holy God into fellowship with those 
who have nothing in them like him; fUm p/Xo# eȣ xai aXXjX** it 
ayioty says Basil. There can be friendship and communion betwixt none 
but God, and those that are holy, like him ; cbSt *i*ru rl rifc p/X/a; x«Xfe f/'c 
IwyQvit&v &sa6tto¥. A wioked disposition, an unsanctified heart, is incapable 
of friendly communion with men, much more with God. 

5. Get nearer union with the Father and Son. This is the foundation of 
communion. Far from God, and far from communion. Distance hinders 
the acts of friendship ; the interruption of these acts occasions forgetfulneas, 
and this begets estrangement, and this destroys friendship ; and where no 
friendship, no fellowship. On the contrary, the nearer union, the sweeter 
communion. That we may be more nearly united, we must exercise uniting 
graces, faith and love. Faith is the cause of mystical, love of moral union. 
The hand of faith clasps Christ to us, the bonds of love tie us to Christ. 
Exercise faith on the attributes, promises, providences of the Father ; on 
the person, offices, undertakings of the Son. The more faith is acted, the 

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1 JOHH L 8.] THB PATHBB AN© SON. 185 

more it is strengthened; the more strengthened, the more it unites; the 
newer united, the more sweetly may we converse with God : Heb. x. 22, 
* Draw near to God in fall assurance of faith/ 

Love, that is afectus unionis. The formality of it is an inclination to 
union, accompanied with a sweet sympathy, which strongly inclines to join, 
unite, mix, with the object beloved. Love cannot endure absence or dis- 
tance ; it calls in and commands all other affections to assist in attainment 
of what it loves. Desire is the wing by which it flies towards its object, and 
hope supports it. It fixes hatred upon that which interposes, and when this 
cannot be removed, sorrow and anger attend it. When it is attained, joy 
and delight embrace it. No grace or affection tends so much to union as 
love, and therefore none so much to communion ; oy *unw Bibg 6 fok <*X*A 
r (bi otxt /«# mw avrtS <3/a rfc 071x^5, Basil. Love is essential to friends, 
mutual love, Ainp#Xq«rc, we cannot imagine this without friendship, nor any 
communion without both. When we love Christ, he loves us ; and where 
there is mutual love, there will be reciprocal delight ; and this will not suffer 
any distance or estrangement, the only obstacles of this fellowship. 

Exercise love, then. Let it inflame itself by the contemplation of the 
glorious excellencies, eternal love, merciful administrations of the Father ; 
meditation of the transcendent love, infinite loveliness of the Son. This is 
the way to increase love, and every degree of its increase brings us a degree 
nearer. 

6. Comply with God's designs. That of the wise man* is applicable, ' Can 
two walk together except they be agreed V No communion where no con- 
cord ; no concord, where contrary designs : for contrary designs and ends 
require contrary means ; and they who agree not either in end or means, 
agree not at all. If you would have fellowship, comply with his end, let his 
end be yours. Manifest this compliance by promoting his design with his 
own means. Now the last and the first design of God is his own glory ; the 
end of all his purposes from eternity, and performances in time, is to glorify 
himself. This must be the aim of all our designs and actions, to make God 
glorious. Do nothing that tends not thereto ; all things with an intent to 
advance it, and all so as they may most glorify him. The apostle's rule, 
1 Cor. x. 81, hd fuxktGTo* btfn tyuft dobf , &c. ; not only spiritual, but natural 
acta, must be directed in a straight line towards this end. And not only 
actions extraordinary and of great concernment, but ordinary and of smaller 
importance. No thought must be entertained, no employment undertaken, 
before we put this question to it, Will this glorify God ? Can I think or 
do nothing that will more honour him ? And if an answer cannot be returned , 
according to this rule, we should there stop, let it proceed no further, lest 
we run cross to God, and so break that concord which is the bond of com- 



And as we must comply with general, so with particular designs. God 
in every act of providence intends his glory, all his works praise hi™ : but 
commonly he glorifies one excellency more than another, making one attri- 
bute more conspicuous than the rest, mercy, or justice, or power. Now 
when such a beam of glory shines in a dispensation, our soul should fix 
upon it, praise, adore, admire it ; for when God thus honours himself, by 
darting forth such irradiations of glory, to the end we may glorify him, by 
acknowledging and taking notice thereof with suitable affections; if we 
neglect it, We run cross to God's design, and such crossness is inconsistent 
with communion. 

And as we must comply with the end, so with the means which he has 
• Qu. 'Amos iii. 3'?— Ed. 

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186 believers' communion with patheb and son. [1 John I. 8. 

made choice of to advance this end. Now the means whereby he promotes 
this end, in those who are admitted to this fellowship, is their holiness. 
Our holiness is his honour, our grace his glory ; though not formally, yet 
by necessary consequence. God is most honoured by those who are most 
holy, gets most glory where he gives most grace. The way that is called 
holy leads directly both to God's glory and ours, brings us to the place where 
his honour dwells, and where we shall be happy in dwelling with him. Now 
we must shew our compliance with God in improving this means. Grow in 
grace, be perfecting holiness. Which that we may do, he calls upon us by 
the motions of his Spirit, ordinances, acts of providence : these all bespeak 
our holiness. The rod has a voice, he speaks by afflictions distinctly ; he 
sometimes calls for the exercise of this grace, subduing of that lust. If we 
diligently observe, we may spy some passage, circumstance, which points at 
that grace, corruption, &c. Be watchful, obsequious, and then we have God 
engaged to vouchsafe communion, Rev. iii., John xiv. 28. But if we comply 
not with God in end and means, will not hear nor open, he will not deal 
with us as with the spouse, Cant v. 2; he will withdraw and be gone. 



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PUBLIC WORSHIP TO BE PREFERRED 
BEFORE PRIYATE. 



The Ijord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. — 
Psaui LXXXVII. 2. 

That we may apprehend the meaning of these words, and bo thereupon 
raise some edifying observation, we mast inquire into the reason why 
the Lord is said to love the gates of Zion more than ail the dwellings of 
Jacob. This being manifest, the words will be clear. 

Now the reason we may find assigned by the Lord himself, Dent. xiii. 
5, 6, 11. The gates of Zion was the place which the Lord had chosen to 
cause his name to dwell there, i. e . as the following words explain, the place 
of his worship. For the temple was built upon, or near to, the hill of Zion. 
And this, you know, was in peculiar the settled place of his worship. It was 
the Lord's delight in affection to his worship, for which he is said to love 
the gates of Zion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 

But it may be replied, the Lord had worship, not only in the gates of Zion, 
in the temple, but also in the dwellings of Jacob. We cannot suppose that 
all the posterity of Jacob would neglect the worship of God in their families ; 
no doubt the faithful among them resolved with Joshua, ' I and my house 
will serve the Lord/ Since, therefore, the worship of God was to be found 
in both, how can this worship be the reason why one should be preferred 
before the other? Sure upon no other account but this, the worship of 
God in the gates of Zion was public, his worship in the dwellings of Jacob 
was private. So that, in fine, the Lord may be said to love the gates of 
Zion before all the dwellings of Jacob, because he prefers public worship 
before private. He loved all the dwellings of Jacob, wherein he was wor- 
shipped privately ; but the gates of Zion he loved more than all the dwellings 
of Jacob, for there he was publicly worshipped. Hence we have a clear 
ground for this 

Observation. Public worship is to be preferred before private. So it is 
by the Lord, so it should be by his people. So it was under the law, so it 
must be under the gospel Indeed, there is difference between the public 
worship under the law and gospel in respect of a circumstance, viz., the 
place of public worship. Under the law, the place of public worship was 
holy, but we have no reason so to account any place of public worship under 

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188 PUBLIC WOBSHIP TO bb [Ps. LXXXVII. 2. 

the gospel ; and this will be manifest, if both we inquire what were the grounds 
of that legal holiness in the tabernacle or temple, and withal observe that 
none of them can be applied to any place of worship under the gospel. 

1. The temple and tabernacle was [set] apart, and separated for a holy 
use, by the special express command of God, Dent. xii. 18, 14. But there 
is no such command for setting apart this or that place under the gospel. 
The worship is necessary, but the place where is indifferent, undetermined ; 
it is left to human prudence to choose what place may be most convenient. 
We find no obliging rule, but that in general, ' Let all things be done de- 
cently and in order.' Men's consecrations cannot make that holy which 
God's institution does not sanctify. 

2. The temple was pars cxdtm, a part of the ceremonial worship under 
the law, but there is no such ceremonial worship under the gospel, much 
less is any place a part of gospel-worship; and therefore no such holiness in 
any place now as in the temple then. 

8. The temple was medium cultus, a mean of grace, of worship, under the 
law. Thereby the Lord communicated to those people many mysteries of 
religion and godliness ; thereby was Christ represented in his natures, offices, 
benefits. But there is no place under the gospel of such use and virtue 
now; no such representations of Christ, or communications of religious mys- 
teries by any place of worship whatever ; ergo, no such holiness. 

4. The temple was a type of Christ, John ii. 19; but all the shadows and 
types of Christ did vanish when Christ himself appeared ; and there is no 
room for them in any place under the gospel. 

5. The temple did sanctify the offerings, the services of that people. The 
altar did sanctify the gift, Mat. xxiii. 19. The worship there tendered was 
more acceptable, more available, than elsewhere, as being the only place 
where the Lord would accept those ceremonial services, as also because there 
is no acceptance but in Christ, who was hereby typified. But these being 
ceased, to think now that our worship or service of God will be sanctified 
by the place where they are performed, or more available or acceptable in 
one place than another, merely for the place's sake, is a conceit without 
Scripture, and so superstitious; nay, against Scripture, and so profane. 
The prophet foretold this : Mai. i. 11, 'In every place incense shall be 
offered unto my name ;' in every place, one as well as another, without dis- 
tinction. The Lord Christ determines this in his discourse, John iv. 21. 
The hour is at hand when all such respects shall be taken away, and all 
places made alike, and you and your services as acceptable in every place 
of the world as at Jerusalem. Hence the apostle's advice, 1 Tim. ii. 8, * I 
will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands,' not in this or that 
place only. And the promise of Christ is answerable, Mat. xviii. 20. He 
says not, when two or three are gathered together in such a place, but only 
4 Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the 
midst of them,' Observable is that of Origen upon Matlhew, Tract, xxxv., 
Vir quidem Judaicus non dubitat de hujuemodi, A Jew indeed doubts not but 
one place is more holy than another for prayer, but he that has left Jewish 
fables for Christ's doctrine doth say that the place doth not make one 
prayer better than another. So in Homil. Y. on Levit., Locum sanctum in 
terris non requiro positum, sed in corde, I seek no holy place on earth, but 
in the heart. This we must take for the holy place rather (quam si putemus 
structuram lapidum) than a building of stones. So Augustine, Quid suppli- 
caturu8 Deo locum sanctum requiris, &c., When thou hast a mind to pray, 
why dost thou inquire after a holy place ? Superstition had not yet so 
blinded the world but these ancients could see reason to disclaim that holi- 

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PS. LXXXVII. 2.] PBEFEBBED BEFORE PRIVATE. 189 

ness of places which after-ages fancied. And well were it if such super- 
stitious conceits were not rooted in some amongst us. Those who have a 
mind to see, may, by what has been delivered, discern how groundless that 
opinion is. But I must insist no longer on it. 

Hence it appears that there is a circumstantial difference betwixt the 
public worship of God under the law and under the gospel. But this can 
be no ground to conclude that public worship is not to be preferred before 
private, as well under the gospel as under the law ; for the difference is but 
in circumstance (the place of worship), and this circumstance but ceremonial 
(a ceremonial holiness) ; whereas all the moral reasons why public worship 
should be preferred before private, stand good as well under the gospel as 
under the law. 

But before I proceed to confirm the observation, let me briefly explain 
what worship is public. Three things are requisite that worship may be 
public, ordinances, an assembly, and an officer. 

1. There must be such ordinances as do require or will admit of pub- 
lic use; such are prayer, praises, the word read, expounded, or preached, 
and the administration of the sacraments. The word must be read, and 
prayer is necessary both in secret and private, but they both admit of public 
use, and the use of them in public is required and enjoined. These must 
be used both publicly and privately ; the other cannot be used duly but in 
public. 

2. There must be an assembly, a congregation joined in the use of these 
ordinances. The worship of one or two cannot be public worship. Of what 
numbers it must consist we need not determine ; but since what is done in 
a family is but private, there should be a concurrence of more than consti- 
tute an ordinary family. 

8. There must be an officer. The administrator of the ordinances must 
be one of public quality, one in office, one set apart by the Lord, and called 
to the employment by the church. If a private person in ordinary cases 
undertake to preach the word or administer the sacraments, if it be allowed 
as worship, which is not according to ordinary rule, yet there is no reason 
to expect the blessing, the advantage, the privilege of public worship. 

This for explication ; now for confirmation. Observe these arguments. 

1. The Lord is more glorified by public worship than private. God is 
then glorified by us when we acknowledge that he is glorious. And he is 
most glorified when this acknowledgment is most public. This is obvious. 
A public acknowledgment of the worth and excellency of any one tends more 
to his honour than that which is private or secret. It was more for David's 
honour that the multitude did celebrate his victory, 1 Sam. xviii. 7, than if 
a particular, person had acknowledged it only in private. Hence the psalm- 
ist, when he would have the glory of God most amply declared, contents not 
himself with a private acknowledgment, but summons all the earth to praise 
him, Ps. xcvi. 1-3. Then is the Lord most glorified, when his glory is most 
declared, and then it is most declared when it is declared by most, by a mul- 
titude. David shews the way whereby God may be most glorified, Ps. xxii. 
22, 28, 25. Then he appears all glorious when publicly magnified, when 
he is praised in the great congregation. Then he is most glorified when a 
multitude speaks of and to his glory: Ps. xxix. 9, 'In his temple does every 
one speak of his glory/ The Lord complains as if he had no honour from 
bis people, when his public worship is despised, neglected : Mai. i. 6, ' If I 
be a father, where is mine honour ? If I be a master, where is my fear ? 
saith the Lord God of hosts unto you, priests that despise my name.' By 
name of God here is meant his worship and ordinances, as plainly appears 



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190 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Ps. LXXXVH. 2. 

by what follows, ver. 7, 8, 11. And he here expostulates with them as 
tendering him no honour, because they despised his worship and ordinances. 
Then shall Christ be most glorified, when he shall be admired in all them 
that believe, in that great assembly at the last day, 2 Thess. i. 10. And it 
holds in proportion now ; the more there are who join together in praising, 
admiring, and worshipping him, the more he is glorified : and therefore 
more in public than in private. 

2. There is more of the Lord's presencein public worship than in private. 
He is present with his people in the use of public ordinances in a more 
especial manner, more effectually, constantly, intimately. 

For the first, see Exod. xx. 24. After he had given instructions for his 
public worship, he adds, ' In all places where I record my name, I will come 
unto thee, and I will bless thee.' Where I am publicly worshipped, for the 
name of God is frequently put for the worship of God, I will come ; and not 
empty-handed, I will bless thee : a comprehensive word, including all that 
is desirable, all that tends to the happiness of those that worship him. 
Here is the efficacy. 

For the constancy of his presence, see Mat. xxviii. : 'I am with you always 
to the end of the world.' Where, after he had given order for the administra- 
tion of public ordinances, he concludes with that sweet encouragement to the 
use of them, vdaae rctg fjfiigas, I am with you always, every day, and that to 
the end of the world. Here is the constancy. 

See the intimacy of his presence : Mat. xviii. 20, ' Where two or three 
are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' He 
says not, I am near them, or with them, or about them, but in the midst of 
them ; as much intimacy as can be expressed. And so he is described, Rev. 
i. 13, to be in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, in the midst of the 
church ; there he walks and there ho dwells ; not only with them, but in 
them. For so the apostle, 2 Cor. vi. 16, renders that of Lev. xxvi. 12, 
which promise he made, upon presupposal of his tabernacle, his public wor- 
ship amongst them, ver. 11. Hence it is, that when the public worship of 
God is taken from a people, then God is departed, his presence is gone ; as 
she, when the ark was taken from the Israelites, cried out, ' The glory is de- 
parted.' And why, but because the Lord, who is the glory of his people, is 
then departed? Public ordinances are the sign, the pledge of God's pre- 
sence ; and in the use of them, he does in a special manner manifest himself 
present. 

But you will say, Is not the Lord present with his servants when they 
worship him in private ? It is true ; but so much of his presence is not 
vouchsafed, nor ordinarily enjoyed, in private as in public. If the experience 
of any find it otherwise, they have cause to fear the Lord is angry, they 
have given him some distaste, some offence ; if they find him not most, 
where ordinarily he is most to be found, and this is in public ordinances, for 
the Lord is most there where he is most engaged to be, but he has engaged 
himself to be most there where most of his people are. The Lord has en- 
gaged to be with every particular saint, but when the particulars are joined 
in public worship, there are all the engagements united together. The Lord 
engages himself to let forth as it were, a stream of his comfortable, quicken- 
ing presence to every particular person that fears him, but when many of 
these particulars join together to worship God, then these several streams 
are united and meet in one. So that the presence of God, which, enjoyed in 
private, is but a stream, in public becomes a river, a river that makes glad 
the city of God. The Lord has a dish for every particular soul that telly 
serves him ; but when many particulars meet together, there is a variety, a 

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PS. LXXXVII. 2.] FREFKRBED BBFOBB PRIVATE. 191 

confluence, a multitude of dishes. The presence of the Lord in public wor- 
ship makes it a spiritual feast, and so it is expressed, Isa. xxv. 6. There 
is, you see, more of God's presence in public worship, ergo public worship 
is to be preferred before private. 

8. Here are the clearest manifestations of God. Here he manifests him- 
self more than in private, ergo, public worship is to be preferred before 
private. Why was Judah called a valley of vision, but because the Lord 
manifested himself to that people in public ordinances? Which he not 
vouchsafing to other nations, they are said to ' sit in darkness, and in the 
valley of the shadow of death.' Here are the visions of peace, of love, of 
life ; and blessed are those eyes that effectually see them. Here are the 
clearest visions of the beauty, the glory, the power of God, that can be looked 
for, till we see him face to face. David saw as much of God in secret as could 
then be expected, bat he expected more in public, and, therefore, as not 
satisfied with his private enjoyments, he breathes and longs after the public 
ordinances, for this reason, that he might have clearer discoveries of the 
Lord there : Ps. xxvii. 4, ' One thing have I desired, and that will I seek 
after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.' 
Why did he affect this, as the one thing above all desirable ? Why, but to * 
behold the beauty of the Lord? &c. So, Ps. lxiii. 1, 2, though David was 
in a wilderness, a dry and thirsty land, where was no water, yet he did not 
so much thirst after outward refreshments as after the public ordinances ; 
and why ? ' To see thy power and thy glory.' 

If we observe how Christ is represented when he is said to be in the midst 
of the churches, we may thereby know what discoveries of Christ are made 
in the assemblies of his people, Rev. i. 18, &c. 

Clothed with a garment down to the foot. That was the priests' habit. 
Here is the priestly office of Christ, the fountain of all the saints' comfort 
and enjoyments. 

Girt about the paps with a golden girdle. This was the garb of a conqueror. 
So Christ is set forth as victorious over all his people's enemies. 

His head and hairs white like wool. Here is his eternity ; whiteness is 
the emblem of it. Therefore, when the Lord is expressed as eternal, he is 
called the Ancient of days. 

His eyes as aflame of fire. Here is his omnisciency ; nothing can be hid 
from his eye. The flame scatters darkness, and consumes or penetrates 
whatever to us might be an impediment of sight. 

His feet like to fine brass. Here is his power ; to crush all opposers of his 
glory and his people's happiness ; they can no more withstand him, than 
earthen vessels can endure the force of brass. 

His voice as the sound of many waters* Here his voice is most loud and 
powerful ; so powerful, as it can make the deaf to hear, and raise the dead 
oat of the grave of sin. His voice in private is a still voice, here it is as the 
sound of many waters. 

He had in his right hand seven stars. Here is his providence, his tender 
care of his messengers, the ministers of the gospel, the administrators of 
public ordinances ; he holds them in his hand, his right hand, and all the 
violence of the world, all the powers of darkness, cannot phick them thence. 

Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. His word publicly 
preached, sharper than a two-edged sword, as described, Heb. iv. 12, 18, 
pierces the heart, searches the soul, wounds the conscience. With this 
Christ goes on, conquering and to conquer, mangre all opposition. 

His countenance was as the sun that shineth in his strength. Here the 
face of Christ is unveiled, the fountain of light and life, the seat of beauty 



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192 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Ps. LXXXVIL 2. 

and glory, such as outshines the sun in his full strength. So he appears, as 
he becomes the love, the delight, the admiration, the happiness, of every one 
whose eyes are opened to behold him. 

Now, as he is here described in the midst of the churches, so does he in 
effect appear in the assemblies of his people. No such clear, such com- 
fortable, such effectual representations of the power and wisdom, of the love 
and beauty, of the glory and majesty of Christ, as in the public ordinances : 
4 We all here, as with open face, behold the glory of the Lord.' 

4. There is more spiritual advantage to be got in the use of public ordi- 
nances than in private, ergo they are to be preferred. Whatever spiritual 
benefit is to be found in private duties, that, and much more, may be ex- 
pected from public ordinances when duly improved. There is more spiritual 
light and life, more strength and growth, more comfort and soul refreshment. 
When the spouse (the church) inquires of Christ where she might find comfort 
and soul nourishment, food and rest, he directs her to public ordinances : 
Cant. i. 7, 8, ' Go by the footsteps of the flock,' walk in the path of God's 
ancient people. And feed the kids beside the shepherds' tents. Shepherds 
are (in the phrase of the New Testament) pastors or teachers, those to 
whom the Lord has committed the administration of his public ordinances. 
To them is the church directed for food and rest, for spiritual comfort and 
nourishment; and it is commended to her as the known way of the 
whole flock, that flock whereof Christ is chief shepherd. 

That is a pregnant place for this purpose, Eph. iv., where the apostle 
declares the end why the Lord Christ gave public officers, and consequently 
public ordinances. He gave them, ver. 12, ' for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the- work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.' Here is 
edification, even to perfection : ver. 18, * Till we all come in the unity of the 
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the 
measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.' Here is knowledge and 
unity, even in a conformity to Christ : ver. 14, « That we henceforth be no 
more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of 
doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in 
wait to deceive.' There is strength and stability, maugre all the sleight and 
craftiness of seducers : ver. 15, ' But speaking the truth in love, may grow 
up unto him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.' There is growth 
and fruitfulness, and that in all things. These are the ends for which the 
Lord Jesus gave his church public officers and ordinances ; and they will 
never fail of these ends if we fail not in the use of them. What more can 
be desired ? Here doubts are best resolved, darkness scattered, and tempta- 
tions most effectually vanquished. David had private helps as well as we, 
but how strangely did a temptation prevail against him, till he went into the 
sanctuary : Ps. lxxiii. 16, 17, ' When I thought to know this, it was too 
painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God ; then understood I 
their end.' Nothing was effectual to vanquish this temptation, till he went 
into the sanctuary. Thus you see there is more spiritual advantage in public 
worship than in private, and therefore it is to be preferred. 

5. Public worship is more edifying than private, ergo, dc. In private you 
provide for your own good, but in public you do good both to yourselves and 
others. And that is a received rule, Bonum, quo communius, eo melius, that 
good is best which is most diffusive, most communicative. Example has 
the force of a motive ; we may stir up others by our example : Zech. viii. 20, 21 , 
There shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities : and the in- 
habitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to prav 
before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts.' This was frequent with 

• 



PS. LXXXVII. 2.J PREFERRED BEFORE PRIVATE. 193 

David : Ps. xxxiv. 8, * Oh magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name 
together ;' Ps. xcvi. 7, 8, ' Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, 
give onto the Lord glory and strength. Give onto the Lord the glory due 
unto his name. 1 Live coals, if ye separate them, and lay them asunder, will 
quickly die ; hut while they are continued together, they serve to continue 
heat in one another. We may quicken one another, while we join together in 
worshipping God ; hut deadness, coldness, or lukewarmness may seize upon 
the people of God, if they forsake the assembling of themselves together. It 
is more edifying ; therefore to be preferred. 

6. Public ordinances are a better security against apostasy than private, 
and therefore to be preferred : an argument worthy our observation in these 
backsliding times. He that wants the public ordinances, whatever private 
means he enjoy, is in danger of apostasy. David was as much in the private 
duties of God's worship as any, while he was in banishment ; yet, because 
he was thereby deprived of the public ordinances, he looked upon himself as 
in great danger of idolatry. Which is plain from his speech, 1 Sam. 
xxvi. 19, ' They have driven me out this day from abiding in the inherit- 
ance of the Lord, saying, Go serve other gods.* There was none about Saul 
so profane as to say expressly unto him, Go serve other gods. Why then 
does he thus charge them ? Why, but because by banishing him from the 
inheritance of the Lord, and the public ordinances, which were the best part 
of that inheritance, they exposed him to temptations which might draw him 
to idolatry, and deprive him of that which was his great security against it. 
They might as well have said plainly, Go and serve other gods, as drive him 
out from the public worship of the true God, which he accounted the sove- 
reign preservative from idolatry. 

But we have too many instances nearer home to confirm this. Is not 
the rejecting of public ordinances the great step to the woful apostasies 
amongst us ? Who is there falls off from the truth and holiness of the 
gospel into licentious opinions and practices, that has not first fallen off from 
the public ordinances ? Who is there in these times that has made ship- 
wreck of faith and a good conscience, who has not first cast the public wor- 
ship of God overboard ? The sad issue of forsaking the public assemblies 
(too visible in the apostasy of divers professors) should teach us this truth, 
that public ordinances are the great security against apostasy, a greater 
security than private duties, and therefore to be preferred. 

For this end were they given, that we might not be tossed to and fro with 
every wind of doctrine, Eph. iv. 14. No wonder if those that reject the 
means fall so wofully short of the end ; no wonder if they be tossed to and 
fro, till they have nothing left but wind and froth. This was the means 
which Christ prescribed to the church, that she might not turn aside to the 
flocks of those companions, hypocrites, or idolaters : Cant, i., ' Feed by the 
shepherds 1 tents.' No wonder if those who shun those tents become a prey 
to wolves and foxes, to seducers and the destroyer. Public ordinances are a 
more effectual means to preserve from apostasy, and therefore to be preferred 
before private. 

7. Here the Lord works his greatest works ; greater works than ordinarily 
he works by private means, ergo. The most wonderful things that are now 
done on earth are wrought in the public ordinances, though the commonness 
and spiritualness of them makes them seem less wonderful. It is true, we 
call not conversion and regeneration miracles, but they come nearest to 
miracles of anything that is not so called. Here the Lord speaks life unto 
dry bones, and raises dead souls out of the grave and sepulchre of sin, 
wherein they have lain putrefying many years. Here the dead hear the voice 

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194 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO BE [Ps. LXXXVII. 2. 

of the Son of God and his messengers, and those that hear do live. Here 
he gives sight to those that are born blind ; it is the effect of the gospel 
preached to open the eyes of sinners, and to turn them from darkness to 
light. Here he cures diseased souls with a word, which are otherwise 
incurable by the utmost help of men and angels. He sends forth his word, 
and heals them ; it is no more with him but speaking the word, and they are 
made whole. Here he dispossesses Satan, and casts unclean spirits out of 
the souls of sinners that have been long possessed by them. Here he over- 
throws principalities and powers, vanquishes the powers of darkness, and 
causes Satan to fall from heaven like lightning. Here he turns the whole 
course of nature in the souls of sinners, makes old things pass away, and all 
things become new. Wonders these are, and would be so accounted, were 
they not the common work of the public ministry. It is true indeed, the 
Lord has not confined himself to work these wonderful things only in public ; 
yet the public ministry is the only ordinary means whereby he works them. 
And since his greatest works are wrought ordinarily by public ordinances, 
and not in private, therefore we should value and esteem the public ordinances 
before private duties. 

8. Public worship is the nearest resemblance of heaven, therefore to be 
preferred. In heaven, so far as the Scripture describes it to us, there is 
nothing done in private, nothing in secret, all the worship of that glorious 
company is public. The innumerable company of angels, and the church of 
the first-born, make up one general assembly in the heavenly Jerusalem, 
Heb. xii. 22, 28. They make one glorious congregation, and so jointly 
together sing the praises of him that sits on the throne, and the praises of 
the Lamb, and continue employed in this public worship to eternity. 

9. The examples of the most renowned servants of God, who have pre- 
ferred public worship before private, is a sufficient argument. It was so in 
the judgment of those who were guided. by an infallible Spirit, those who had 
most converse with God, and knew most of the mind of G-od ; and those who 
had experience of both, and were in all respects the best, the most competent 
judges. If we appeal to them, this truth will quickly be put out of question. 
David, who has this testimony, that he was a man after God's own heart, 
shews by his practice and testimony that this was God's own mind. To 
what I have formerly produced to this purpose, let me add but one place, 
wherein he pregnantly and affectionately confirms this truth : Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 
* How amiable are thy tabernacles, Lord of hosts ! ' He speaks by way 
of interrogation, insinuating that they were amiable beyond his expression. 
You might better read this in his heart than in his language. Accordingly 
he adds, ver. 2, ' My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the 
Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.' Oh what 
expressions ! Longing ; nothing else could satisfy. Fainting ; it was his 
life ; he was ready to faint, to die, for want of it : ver. 10, ' I had rather be 
a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wicked- 
ness.' David was at this time a king, either actually or at least anointed ; 
yet he professes he had rather be a door-keeper where he might' enjoy God 
in public, than a king where deprived of public worship. He would choose 
rather to sit at the threshold, as the original is, than to sit on a throne in 
the tents of wickedness, in those wicked, heathenish places where God was 
not publicly worshipped. Hezekiah and Josiah were the two kings of Judah 
of highest esteem with God, as he has made it known to the world by his 
testimony of them. Now what was their eminency but their zeal for God ? 
And where did their zeal appear, but for the public worship of God ? See it 
of Hezekiah, 2 Chron. xxix. 2, 8, ' He did that which was right in the sight 

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PS. LXXXVIL 2.] PBEFBBBED BEFOBB PRIVATE. 195 

of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He, in the 
first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of 
the Lord, and repaired them.' Of Josiah, chap, xxxiv. and xxxv. The 
apostles also, and primitive Christians bear record of this. How careful 
were they of taking all opportunities that the word might be preached, and 
the Lord worshipped in public ! How many hazards did they ran, how many 
dangers, how many deaths did they expose themselves to, by attempting to 
preach Christ in public ! Their safety, their liberty, their lives, were not so 
dear to them as the public worship ; whereas, if they would have been con- 
tented to have served the Lord in secret, it is probable they might have 
enjoyed themselves in peace and safety as well as others. The Lord Christ 
himself, how much soever above us, did not think himself above ordinances, 
though he knew them then expiring ; nor did he withdraw from public wor- 
ship, though then corrupted. Nay, he exhorts his disciples to hear them 
who publicly taught in Moses's chair, though they had himself, a far better 
teacher. You find him frequently in the synagogues, frequently in the 
temple, always at the passover ; and his zeal for public worship was such, 
as they apply that of the psalmist to him, * The zeal of thine house hath 
eaten me up.' 

10. Public worship is the most available for the procuring of the greatest 
mercies, and preventing and removing the greatest judgments. The greatest, 
i.e. those that are most extensive, of universal consequence to a whole 
nation or a whole chureh. It is most effectual for the obtaining public mercies, 
for diverting public calamities, therefore to be preferred before private wor- 
ship. This is the means the Lord prescribes for this end; and he en- 
courages his people to the use thereof with promises of success : Joel ii. 
15, 16, *Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly. 
Gather the elders, sanctify the people,' &c. There is the means prescribed : 
See the success, ver. 18, 19, ad finem. He assures them the issue hereof 
should be mercies of all sorts, temporal and spiritual, ordinary and extraor- 
dinary, and that to the whole nation. Jehoshaphat used this means, and 
found the success answerable : 2 Chron. xx. 8, 4, ' He set himself to seek the 
Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah/ Ac. This is the argu- 
ment he uses, ' Thy name is in this house,' ver. 9. Immediately the Lord 
despatches a prophet with a gracious answer: ver. 15, 17, ' Thus saith the 
Lord, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude ; for the 
battle is not yours, but God's. Stand still, and see the salvation of God.' 
The event was wonderful : ver. 28, 24, * The children of Ammon and Moab 
stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy 
them. And when Judah came toward the watch-tower in the wilderness, 
they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies.' 
Nineveh bears witness to this, who hereby prevented her utter destruction, 
threatened by the prophet within forty days. Nor want we instances in the 
New Testament. Hereby the church prevailed for the miraculous deliverance 
of Peter, Acts xii. 5. And wonderful were the effects hereof to the whole 
church : Acts iv. 81, ' When they had prayed, the place was shaken where 
they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, 
and spake the word of God with boldness.' So Bev. viii. 4. There you 
have mention of the prayers of all saints, in a description after the form of 
public prayers, offered in the temple at the time of incense. And an answer 
is immediately returned, such an one as brought with it the destruction of 
that domineering Roman state which then persecuted them. Now, that 
which is of most public and universal advantage is worthily to be preferred ; 
but such is public worship, and therefore to be preferred before private. 

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196 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Ps. LXXXVIL 2. 

11, The precious blood of Christ is most interested in public worship, 
and that must needs be most valuable which has most interest in that which 
is of infinite value. The blood of Christ has most influence upon public 
worship, more than on private ; for the private duties of God's worship, 
private prayers, meditation, and such like, had been required of, and per- 
formed by, Adam and his posterity, if he had continued in the state of inno- 
cency ; they had been due by the light of nature, if Christ had never died, if 
life and immortality had never been brought to light by the gospel. But the 
public preaching of the gospel, and the administration of the federal seals, 
have a necessary dependence upon the death of Christ. As they are the 
representations, so they are the purchase of that precious blood ; as Christ 
is hereby set forth as crucified before our eyes, so are they the purchase of 
Christ crucified, so are they the gifts of Christ triumphant. Conquerors 
used on the day of triumph, spargers miss ilia, to scatter gifts amongst the 
people. Answerably the apostle represents to us Christ in his triumph, 
Eph. iv., distributing gifts becoming such a triumph, such a conqueror : 
ver. 8, ' When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave 
gifts unto men.' And those gifts, he tells us, ver. 12, are public officers, 
and consequently public ordinances to be administered by those officers. 
How valuable are those ordinances, which are the purchase of that precious 
blood, which are the gifts Christ reserved for the glory of his triumph I 

12. The promises of God are more to public worship than to private. 
Those exceeding great and precious promises, wherever they are engaged, 
will turn the balance ; but public worship has most interest in them, and 
therefore more to be valued than private. If I should produce all those 
promises which are made to the several ordinances, the several parts of pub- 
lic worship, I should rehearse to you a great part of the promissory part of 
Scripture. I shall but briefly touch some generals. The Lord promises 
his presence, in the places before alleged : Exod. xx. 24, ' In all places 
where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 1 
Protection and direction : Isa. iv. 5, ' Upon all the glory shall be a defence.' 
The Lord will be to the assemblies of his people as a pillar of cloud and 
fire. His presence shall be as much effectually to his people now as those 
pillars were then. ' Upon all their glory.' As formerly in the wilderness, 
the Lord, having filled the inside of the tabernacle with his glory, covered 
the outside of it with a thick cloud, Exod. xl. 34, so will he secure his 
people and their glorious enjoyments in public worship. His presence 
within shall be as the appearance of his glory, to refresh them ; his presence 
without shall be as a thick cloud to secure them, ver. 6, a tent. His pre- 
sence shall be that to the assemblies of his people which the outward tent or 
coverings were to the tabernacle, Exod. xxvi. 7. 

Light, and life, and joy, and that in abundance, even to satisfaction, Ps. 
xxxvi. 8, 9. Satisfied abundantly, and drink spiritual delights as out of a 
river. Life and growth : Isa. Iv. 2, 8, ' Hearken diligently unto me, and 
eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness,' Sec. 
Life and blessedness : Prov. viii. 34, 35, ' Blessed is the man that heareth 
me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For 
whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.' Accept- 
ance, Ezek. xx., xliv. 4. Spiritual communion and nourishment: Rev. 
iii. 20, ' Behold I stand at the door and knock,' &c. He speaks there to a 
church, and in public ordinances he knocks hardest. Grace and glory, yea, 
all things that are good. There is not a more full and comprehensive pro- 
mise in the Scripture than that, Ps. lxxxiv. 11, 'No good thing will be 
withhold from them that walk uprightly. ' But what is this to public wor- 

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Pg. LXXXYH. 2.] pkeferked before private. 197 

ship ? Why, the whole psalm speaks of public worship ; and therefore, by 
the best rale of interpretation, we must take this as promised to sincere 
walking with God in public worship. Besides, the particle for tells us this 
is given as the reason why David had such a high esteem of public worship, 
why he preferred one day in God's house before a thousand ; and therefore 
this promise must have reference to public worship, else there is no reason 
to use this as a reason. This promise is to public worship ; and what is 
there in heaven or earth desirable that is not in this promise ? 

It is true, you may say, there are many great and precious promises to 
public worship, but are there not promises also to private duties ? 

It is granted there are, but not so many, and the argument runs so. The 
promises are more to public worship than to private ; besides, those which 
seem to be made to private duties are applicable to public worship, and that 
with advantage. If the interest of one saint in a promise be prevalent with 
God, how prevalent then are the united interests of many assembled to- 
gether ? So that all the promises which the people of God make use of to 
support their faith in private duties will afford us mnch support, nay more, 
in public. Then add to these the promises which are peculiar to public 
worship, and the sum will appear far greater, and this reason of great force 
to prove the truth propounded ; that is most valuable which has the great- 
est share in those exceeding great and precious promises, but public worship 
has the greatest share in these, and therefore most valuable. 

Obj. But notwithstanding all the arguments brought to prove public wor- 
ship is to be preferred, I find something to the contrary in experience ; and 
who can admit arguments against experience ? I have sometimes in private 
more of God's presence, more assistance of his Spirit, more joy, more en- 
largement, more raised affections ; whereas in public I often find much dull- 
ness of heart, much straitness and unaffectedness, therefore I cannot so 
freely yield that public worship is to be preferred. 

Ans. I shall endeavour to satisfy this in many severals. 

1. Experience is not a rule for your judgment, but the word of God ; that 
m a fallible guide, this only infallible. If you press your judgment always 
to follow experience, Satan may quickly afford you such experience as will 
lead you out of the way. Be scrupulous of following experience when it 
goes alone, when it is not backed by the word, countenanced by Scripture. 
It has deceived many. Empirics are no more tolerable in divinity than in 
physic. As there reason and experience, so here Scripture and experience, 
should go together. Those that live by sense may admit this alone to be 
their guide, but the event has often proved it a blind one. Those that live 
by faith must admit no experiments against Scripture. Nay, those that are 
bat true to reason will not admit a few experiments against many arguments. 
You find this sometimes true in private, but do you find it so ordinarily ? 
If not, here is no ground to pass any judgment against what is delivered. 
It may be a purge or a vomit does sometimes tend more to your health than 
your meat and drink ; will you therefore prefer physic before your ordinary 
food ? It may be in some extremity, of cold you find more refreshment from 
a fire than from the sun ; will you therefore prefer the fire, and judge it 
more beneficial to the world than the sun ? Experience must not rule yonr 
judgment here, nor must you be confident of such apprehensions as are only 
granted upon some few experiments. 

2. It may be your enjoyments in private were upon some special occasion. 
Now some special cases make no general rule ; nor are they sufficient pro- 
mises to afford an universal conclusion. For instance, it may be you 
enjoyed so much of God in private, when you were necessarily and unavoid- 

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198 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Fb. LXXXYH. 2. 

ably hindered from waiting upon the Lord in public ordinances. Now in 
this case, when the people of God bewail the want of public liberties as an 
affliction, and seek the Lord in special manner to supply that want in 
private, he is graciously pleased to make up what they are deprived of in 
public, by the vouchsafements of his quickening and comforting presence in 
private. So it was with David in his banishment, yet this did nothing abate 
his esteem of or desires after the public ordinances ; far was he from pre- 
ferring private duties before public, though he enjoyed exceeding much of 
God in private. Nor most we from such particular cases draw an universal 
conclusion ; either affirmatively, that private is to be preferred ; or nega- 
tively, that public is not to be preferred. 

8. These enjoyments of God in private may be extraordinary dispen- 
sations. These the Lord does sometimes use, though seldom, though rarely. 
Now, such extraordinary cases are exceptions from the general rule, and such 
exceptions do limit the rule, but not overthrow it. They take off something 
from the extent, nothing from the truth of it. It holds good still, more of 
God is enjoyed in public than private ; except in rare extraordinary eases, 
ordinarily it is so. And this is sufficient, if there were no other argument 
to establish the observation as a truth, public worship is to be preferred 
before private. 

4. It may be thy enjoyments in private are the fruits of thy attendance 
upon God in public. It may be the assistance, the enlargement, the affec- 
tions thou findest in private duties, are the returns of public worship. The 
benefits of public ordinances are not all, nor always, received while ye are 
therein employed ; the returns of them may be continued many days after. 
The refreshment the Lord affords his people in public worship is like the 
provision he made for Elijah in the wilderness, 1 Kings xix. 18, * He arose 
and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days.* 
When the Lord feasts his people in public, they may walk with the Lord in 
the strength thereof in private duties with more cheerfulness, with more en- 
largedness, more affection, many days after. Those that know what it is to 
enjoy communion with God in his ordinances, know this by experience. 
When the Lord meets you in public, find ye not your hearts far better dis- 
posed to, and in, private duties ? Now, if the assistance you find in private 
be the fruits of your waiting upon God in public, this should rather raise 
your esteem of public worship than abate it. That which is objected tends 
to confirm this truth, so far should it be from hindering you to subscribe it. 

5. There may be a deceit in thy experience. All those joys, affections, 
enlargements, which men find in duties, are not always from the special 
presence of God. There may be a great flash of spirit, and much cheer- 
fulness and activeness from false principles ; some flashes of fleeting affections, 
some transient and fading impressions, may fall upon the hearts of men, and 
yet not fall from above. The gifts of men may be sometimes carried very 
high, even to the admiration of others, whenas there is little or no spiritual life. 
Vigour of nature, strength of parts, enforcement of conscience, outward respects, 
delusive joys, delusive visions, ungrounded fancies, deceiving dreams, yea, 
superstitious conceits, may work much upon men in duties when there is little 
or nothing of God. When men seem to be carried out with a full gale of as- 
sistance, it is not always the Spirit of God that fills the sails. A man may 
move with much life, freedom, cheerfulness, in spiritual duties, when his 
motion is from other weights than those of the Spirit. 

Nay, further, not only those potent workings which are ordinary, but ex- 
traordinary, such as ecstasies and raptures, wherein the soul is transported, 
so as to leave the body without its ordinary influence, so as it seems without 

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PS. LXXXVIL 2.] PREFERRED BEFOBB PRIVATE. 199 

sense or motion ; such inward operations on the soul as work strange 
effects upon the body, visible in its disordered motions and incomposed ges- 
tures. Such workings as these have been in all ages, and may be now, from 
the spirit of darkness transforming himself into an angel of light ; and there- 
fore, if such private experiences be produced to disparage the public worship, 
the public ministry, or any other public ordinance of God (however they 
pretend to the Spirit of God), they are to be rejected. The deceits of our own 
hearts, or the delusions of that envious spirit, who has always shewed his malice 
against God's public worship, should not be admitted, to render this Scripture 
truth questionable, that public worship is to be preferred before private. 
And, indeed, the experiences of ordinary personal assistance in private duties, 
if it be made use of to this end, is to be looked upon as suspicious ; you may 
suspect it is not as it seems, if this be the issue of it. Those assistances 
which come from the Spirit of God have a better tendency than to disparage 
the public worship of God, which himself is so tender of. And this should 
he the more regarded, because it is apparent Satan has a design against 
God's public worship, and he drives it on in a subtler way than in darker 
times. He would thrust out one part of God's worship by another, that so 
at last he may deprive us of all. Mind it, then, and examine thy experiences, 
if there be a deceit in them, as many times there is. They are of no force 
against this truth, public worship is to be preferred before private. 

6. It may be the Lord seems to withdraw from thee, and to deny thee, 
spiritual assistance in public worship for trial ; to try thy love to him, and 
the ways which most honour him ; to see whether thou wilt withdraw from 
him and his worship, when he seems to withhold himself from thee ; to try 
whether thou wilt serve God for nothing, when thou seemest to find nothing 
answerable to thy attendance and endeavours. This is the hour of England's 
temptation in other things, and probably it is so in this as well as others. 
If it be so with thee, thy resolution should be that of the prophet, Isa. viii. 
17, ' I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob.' 
If this be thy case, thy esteem of his public worship should hereby be rather 
raised than abated, since this is the way to comply with the Lord's design 
in this dispensation, the way to procure more comfortable returns, more 
powerful assistance than ever. 

7. You may enjoy more of God in public, and not observe it. As there 
may be a mistake in thinking you enjoy much of God in private when you 
do not, so there may be a mistake in thinking you want the presence of God 
in public when indeed you have it. It is not the improvement of parts, 
enlargement of heart, flashes of joy, stirrings of affections, that argue most 
of God's presence ; there may be much of these when there is little of God. 
It is a humble soul, one that is poor in spirit, that trembles at the word, 
that hungers and thirsts after Christ, that is sensible of spiritual wants and 
distempers, that is burdened with his corruptions, and laments after the Lord 
and freer enjoyments of him. He whose heart is soft and pliable, whose 
conscience is tender, it is he who thrives and prospers in the inward man. 
And if these be the effects of thy attendance upon God in public worship, thou 
dost there enjoy much of God's presence, whatever thou apprehend to the 
contrary. These are far more valuable than those affections and enlarge- 
ments by which some judge of the Lord's presence in his ordinances ; for 
these are the sound fruits of a tree of righteousness, whereas those are but 
the leaves or flourishes of it, which you may sometimes find in a barren tree. 
So far as the Lord upholds in thee a poor and hungering spirit, a humble 
and thirsting heart, so far he is graciously present with thee ; for this is it 
to which he has promised a gracious presence in his ordinances, Isa. lxvi. 1, 2. 

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200 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Ps. LXXXVIL 2. 

The Lord speaks here as though he were not so much taken with the glory of the 
temple, no, not with the glory of heaven, as with a spirit of this temper. As sore 
as the Lord's throne is in heaven, this soul shall have his presence. The 
streams of spiritual refreshments from his presence shall water these valleyB, 
whenas high-flown confidents, that come to the ordinances with high conceits and . 
carnal boldness, shall be as the mountains, left dry and parched. See Mat. v. 
8-6. You may enjoy the presence of God in public, and not observe it Now, 
if thy experience be a mistake, no reason it should hinder thee from yielding 
to this truth, that public worship is to be preferred before private. 

8. It is to be suspected that what you want of God's presence, in public 
worship, is through your own default. Not because more of God is not to 
be enjoyed, more spiritual advantage is not to be gained in public ordinances, 
but because, through some sinful miscarriage, you make yourselves incapable 
thereof. Let this be observed, and your ways impartially examined ; and 
you will find cause to accuse yourselves, instead of objecting anything against 
the pre-eminence of public worship. There is so much self-love in us, as 
we are apt to charge anything, even the worship of God itself, rather than 
ourselves ; yea, when ourselves ought only to be charged and accused. The 
Lord's hand is not straitened, &c. The worship of God is the same, the Lord 
as much to be enjoyed in it ; no less comfort and advantage to be found in 
it than formerly (and formerly more has been enjoyed therein than in private) ; 
how comes it, then, that there is any occasion to object against it ? Why, 
our iniquities have separated between us and our God, 

Let our hearts and' ways be searched, and all, or most of all those, who 
have any temptation to object against it, will find it thus, and may discern 
the reason in themselves. 

Do ye not undervalue the public worship, and the enjoyment of God in it? 
Are ye not many times indifferent, whether ye enjoy it or no ? Is it a sad 
affliction to your souls, when ye leave the ordinances, without enjoying God 
in them ? Have ye bewailed it accordingly ? If not, you have too low 
thoughts of spiritual enjoyments to have much of them. Do ye think God 
will cast such pearls before swine, such precious things before those who 
trample on them, who contemn them ? 

Do ye not entertain some prejudice against some public ordinances, or 
against the public minister ? Even this is enough to render them less com- 
fortable, less effectual. Why was the public ministry of Christ less effectual 
amongst his own countrymen ? Why were they possessed with prejudices 
against him ? Mat. xiii. 55. 

Have ye not neglected the public worship ? Have ye absented yourselves 
from the ordinances without any necessary occasion ? Oh how common is 
this sin ! and how justly chastised, when the Lord absents himself from 
them, who are so willingly absent from his public worship. When yon 
withdraw from the public ordinances, you withdraw from God ; and is not 
here reason enough for the Lord to withdraw from you ? 

Come ye not unprepared, with slight and careless hearts, without due 
apprehensions, either of the Lord or of yourselves ? This is to affront his 
majesty, this lays his honour low, Mai. i. 6. No wonder if ye find not that 
power and quickening virtue in the ordinances ; you may find the reason in 
yourselves ; you hereby provoke the Lord to withdraw from them, and you 
in them. 

Where are your desires after public ordinances, after the presence of God 
in them, after the spiritual advantages of them ? Can ye say with him, 
4 One thing I have desired, and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in 
the house of the Lord,' &c. Can ye say, ' As the hart panteth after the 

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PS. LXXXVli. 2.] PBEFEBBED BBFOBE PRIVATE. 201 

water-brooks, so pantefh my soul after thee, O God ? My soul thirsteth for 
God, when shall I come and appear before God ?' Can you say, ' My soul 
thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, to see thy glory,' &c. Can ye 
say, * My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord ; my 
heart and my flesh crieth oat for the living God.' Oh, were there bat such 
desires, there would be few such complaints, few such objections. Were 
there such desires, the Lord would quickly clothe his public ordinances with 
their wonted glory and power, cause to say, Nunquam ab$ te, absque te. But 
is it not reason they should not enjoy much, who desire so little ? 

Do ye not give way to deadness, slothfalness, carelessnes in public 
worship? Do you stir up yourselves to lay hold on God? It is the 
diligent hand that makes rich. * He becomes poor that dealeth with a slack 
hand,' Prov. x. 4. If the ordinances come not to you, as a ship laden with 
precious treasures, blame your negligence : Heb. xi. 6, * He is a rewarder of 
them that diligently seek him.' 

Do ye come in faith ? Do your thoughts and hearts work upon a pro- 
mise, when you are going to public ordinances ? You know who said it, 
* Except ye believe, ye shall not see the power of God.' If Christ could do 
no mighty works, because of their unbelief, what think ye the ordinances 
can do? 

Do ye not come for by-ends, come for something else, something worse, 
than that which you complain you find not ? Come ye not for custom, 
because it is the fashion, and shame not to come to it ? Come ye not to 
avoid the censure, the offence, the displeasure of others ? Come ye not to stop 
the mouth of conscience, to avoid its clamours ? Come ye not for niceties, 
notions, novelties, as those who seek a fine weed rather than the ears of 
corn ? Come for what you will, if ye come not to meet with God, to get 
life, to be filled with the Spirit, is it not reason why you should go without 
them? 

Do ye not neglect the after improvement of public ordinances ? Neglect 
ye not to draw out the efficacy of them in secret, by prayer, meditation, and 
the exercise of faith ? Think ye the act done is sufficient, labouring for nothing 
but what ye find in the present exercise ? Do ye think your work done 
when the minister has done ? Oh no. If you would enjoy God in the 
word, then your work should begin. The ordinances are like grapes ; it is 
not enough that they are given into your hands ; if you would have the 
sweetness and nourishment of them, they must be pressed, that is your work 
in secret. The negligence, carelessness, slothfalness of men in not improv- 
ing public ordinances in secret, causes him to withdraw himself, and his 
blessing in public. 

These, and such evils, provoke the Lord to deny his presence, withhold 
the comforts and blessed advantages of public worship ; so as others may 
enjoy more hereof in private than those that are herein guilty do find in 
puhjic. You need but read your own hearts for an answer to this objection ; 
it is not because the Lord is less to be found in public than in private, that 
you find less of him there, but because you make yourselves uncapable of 
enjoying him, unfit to find him. 

0. Suppose what is alleged were true, that you did find more joys, enlarge- 
ment, assistance in private, that there was no mistake in these experiences, 
and that they were ordinary, which I am far from granting, yet, allowing all 
the advantage imaginable in this respect to private duties, this notwithstand- 
ing, public worship is to be preferred, for divers other unanswerable reasons 
formerly given. I will but now instance in two. Public worship is a more 
public good, it is more edifying, the advantage more common and extensive, 

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public worship to be [Ps. LXXXYtL 2. 

the benefit more universal, and therefore to be preferred before private, as 
much as an universal benefit is to be preferred before a particular, a public 
good before a private. He is a man unworthy to live in a commonwealth, who 
will prefer his private interests before the public good. It is a nobleness of 
spirit to be public-spirited; the light of nature discovers an excellency in it, 
religion and gospel principles much more require it, and the Lord himself 
does commend and encourage it with special rewards. Those that profess 
themselves to be servants of God should be ashamed to be outvied herein 
by heathen. Our first question should not be, Where may I receive most 
good ? But where may I do most good ? The saving of souls should be 
preferred before our comforts, and that advantage most valued which is most 
extensive and universal. Such is the advantage of public ordinances, and 
therefore they are as far to be preferred before private, as the public good 
before a man's private interest. 

Then suppose you found more comfort, enlargement in private than in 
public worship, yet the glory of God is to be preferred before your advan- 
tages ; and therefore that whereby his glory is most advanced, before that 
wherein your particular interest is most promoted. But God is most glori- 
fied in public worship; here is given the most ample testimony to his 
glorious excellencies, here is the most public acknowledgment of his glory. 
No otherwise can we glorify him than by acknowledging his glory, and the 
more public this acknowledgment is, the more is he glorified ; but it is most 
public in public worship, and therefore this is as much to be preferred before 
private, as the glory of God before your private advantage. 

Use 1. Reproof to those that undervalue public worship. Too many there 
are worthy of this reproof, especially two sorts : 

1. Those that prefer worse things before public worship. If it be to be 
preferred before private duties, which are excellent and singularly advanta- 
geous in themselves, how heinously do they sin who prefer things that are 
base and sinful before public ordinances ; those who prefer their ease, their 
worldly employments, their lusts or unlawful recreations, before them ! 

Do not they prefer their ease before the worship of God, who will not take 
the pains, who will excuse themselves by very slight and trivial occasions 
from coming to the place of public worship ? The Lord has not made the 
way to his worship so tedious, so toilsome, as it was under the law ; there 
is not the distance of many miles betwixt us and it, nor will it cost us divers 
days' journey to have the opportunities of public worship ; we have it at our 
doors. And yet such slothfulness, such contempt there is of it, as we will 
scarce sometimes stir out of doors to enjoy these blessed liberties ; a little 
rain, a little cold, anything of like moment, we take for a sufficient excuse 
to be absent. The people of God, in former times, counted it their happi- 
ness that they might come to the public ordinances, though through rain, 
and cold, and wearisome journeys, Ps. lxxxiv. But where is this zeal for 
God's worship now ? Is there not much less, when the gospel engages us to 
much more ? May not even the unbelieving Jews rise up in judgment against 
the slothfulness of this generation, and condemn it ? No such thing would 
hinder them from coming to the gates of Zion at the appointed seasons, how 
far soever their habitations were distant from it, how unseasonable soever the 
season seemed ; yet many amongst us make every sorry thing a lion in the 
way, prefer their sloth and ease before God's public worship. 

Others prefer their worldly occasions before the public worship of God, 
willingly embrace any earthly business offered to stay from the ordinances. 
Esau was stigmatised as a profane person for preferring the pottage before 
his birthright; but they exceed Esau in profaneness who prefer the things 

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Ps. LXXXVII. 2.] PRSFKBRBD BEFORE PBIYATE. 

of the world before this singular prerogative, of worshipping God in public. 
What a special privilege is this ! How few are they in the world enjoy it 1 
Does the Lord vouchsafe this honour, to have it, and himself in it con- 
temned ? Of thirty parts, into which the world may be divided, twenty-five 
are pagans or Mahometans, wholly without the true worship of God ; but 
five bear the name of Christian. And of those, when you have discounted 
the Greeks, papists, Abassines, amongst whom the worship of God is worally 
corrupted, you may judge to how small a part of mankind the Lord has 
vouchsafed his public worship in its purity. It is a special, a peculiar 
favour, a singular prerogative. Oh what profaneness is it, to prefer outward 
things, such as are common to all, to the worst of all, before this peculiar 
blessing 1 Yet how common is this profaneness 1 The thinness of our 
assemblies does daily testify it. One part of the day is thought enough by 
some, too much by others, for God's public worship; whereas we think no- 
thing too much for the world. Oh the Lord's infinite patience 1 

Others prefer their lust before it ; had rather sit in an ale-house, or in the 
seat of scorners, than wait at the posts of wisdom. Many had rather spend 
that time which the Lord has allotted for their souls, in sports and recrea- 
tions, than in the public worship ; think one whole day in seven too much, will 
rob God of all, or part of it, to recreate themselves. Oh that such profane- 
ness should be so common where the light of the gospel has so long shined ! 
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion, but these prefer Meshech and the tents 
of Kedar. I beseech you, consider the heinousness of this sin. The Lord 
styles his worship his name frequently in Scripture, as though his worship 
were as dear to him as himself. What do ye then but contemn God him- 
self, while ye despise his worship ? He that speaks it of his officers has the 
same account of his ordinances : he that despiseth them despiseth me, &c. 
And what do ye think it is to despise Christ ? How jealous has the Lord 
always shewed himself of his worship ! Some of the most remarkable judg- 
ments we meet with in Scripture have been inflicted for some miscarriage 
about his worship. For this Nadab and Abihu consumed with fire from 
heaven, for this Eli's family utterly rained, for this Uzziah smitten with 
leprosy and Uzzah with sudden death, Michal with barrenness, for an error 
in the outward part of worship. The Lord is a jealous God, jealous espe- 
cially over his worship. If you despise that, you are in danger; his jealousy 
will burn like fire against you. Now, do ye not despise it, when you prefer 
jour ease, worldly afiairs, lusts, idleness, recreations before it ? This is to 
profane the holy, the glorious name of God. And the Lord will not hold 
him guiltless; it is a /tiiW/f ; the Lord will certainly judge, surely condemn, 
him that does so. 

2. They deserve reproof who prefer private before public worship, or equal 
with it. I shall but instance in two particulars, wherein this is evident. 

(1.) When private duties are used in the time and place of public worship. 
Now, how ordinary is this amongst us 1 When you come too late to wait 
upon God, after the public worship is begun, I see it is common to fall to 
your private prayers, whatever public ordinance be in hand. Now, what is 
this but to prefer your private praying before the public worship, and so to 
despise the ordinance in hand ? What is it but to thrust public worship 
out of its season, and put private in its room ? It is held indeed a great 
point of devotion and reverence, that is the pretence for it; but this 
pretended reverence casts a real disrespect upon the public ordinance then 
used. For the mind is withdrawn from it in the sight of God, and the out- 
ward man in the sight of men ; and so public worship is hereby disrespected, 
in (he sight both of God and men. 

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204 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Ps. LXXXVIL 2. 

The intention may be good indeed, but that cannot justify what is sinful, 
what is evil ; for we must not do evil that good may come of it. And this 
is evil, it is sinful, since it is sinful to prefer a private duty before a public 
ordinance. 

It is against the apostle's rule, which he prescribes for the regulating of 
public assemblies : 1 Cor. xiv. 40, ' Let all things be done decently and in 
order/ Now that is net done in order, which is not done in its place and 
season ; but this is neither the place nor season for private prayers ; it is 
the time of public worship, therefore private is now unseasonable. Nor is 
this the place of private prayer ; that is thy closet, according to Christ's 
direction, Mat. vi. 6 ; and he makes it the badge of hypocrites, to use their 
private prayers in public places, ver. 5. A good thing, out of its place and 
season, may become evil, evil in the worst sense, that is, sinful. This is 
not the place, the time for your private prayers, therefore it is a disorder 
here to use them ; and what is here disorderly, is, by the apostle's rule, 
sinful, and therefore I beseech you let it be avoided. Do not expect the 
Lord will accept your private devotion, when it casts disrespect upon his 
public worship, which he himself prefers, and will have us to prefer before 
private. 

(2.) When men absent themselves from public worship, under pretence 
that they can serve the Lord at home as well in private. How many are 
apt to say, they see not but their time may be as well spent at home, in 
praying, reading some good book, or discoursing on some profitable subject, 
as in the use of ordinances in public assemblies ! They see not but private 
prayer may be as good to them as public, or private reading and opening 
the Scripture as profitable as public preaching; they say of their private 
duties, as Naaman of the waters of Damascus, 2 Kings v. 12. May I not 
serve the Lord as acceptably, with as much advantage, in private exercises 
of religion ? May I not wash in these and be clean ? They see not the 
great blessings God has annexed to public worship more than to private. 
Oh, but if it be thus, if one be as good as the other, what means the Lord to 
prefer one before the other ? To what purpose did the Lord choose the 
gates of Zion, to place his name there, if he might have been worshipped as 
well in the dwellings of Jacob ? How do men of thiB conceit run counter 
to the Lord ? He prefers the gates of Zion, not only before one or some, 
bat before all the dwellings of Jacob ; and they prefer one such dwelling 
before the gates of Zion. What is this but to disparage the wisdom of God, 
in preferring one before another when both are equal ; in preferring that 
which is unworthy to be preferred ? What presumption is this, to make 
yourselves wiser than God, and to undertake to correct him ? He says the 
gates of Zion are to be loved, public worship before private ; you say no, 
you see no reason but one should be loved as well as the other. Who art 
thou, man, who thus disputest against God ? 

To conclude this use, let me shew you the sinfulness of preferring private 
worship before public, in the fore-mentioned or other respects, by applying 
what has been delivered. To prefer private before public, or by not pre- 
ferring public before private, in your judgment, affection, or practice, you 
neglect the glory of God, which is here most advanced ; you slight the pre- 
sence of God, which is here most vouchsafed, that presence which is the 
greatest happiness the people of God can expect, in heaven or on earth. 
You undervalue the manifestation of God, those blessed visions of life and 
peace, which are most evidently, most comfortably, here represented ; those 
manifestations which are the dawnings of approaching glory, the first glimpses 
of the beatifical vision. You contemn those blessed soul advantages which 

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Pa. LXXXYII. 2.] prefebbed bepobe private. 205 

are here more plentifully gained ; you prefer a private supposed benefit 
before public edification ; yon expose yourselves to the danger of backslid- 
ing, which is here more effectually prevented ; you contemn the Lord's 
greatest works upon the souls of sinners, which are here ordinarily effected ; 
you slight heaven, which is here in a more lively manner resembled ; you 
disparage the judgment of the most renowned servants of God, who in all 
ages have confirmed this truth by their testimony or practice ; you make 
yourselves less capable of procuring public mercies, or diverting public 
calamities, slighting the means most conducible to this end ; you undervalue 
the blood of Christ, whose influence is here most powerful ; you despise 
those great and precious promises of the gospel, which are more engaged for 
public worship than private. Ohy consider how heinous that sin is, which 
involves the soul in so much guilt, which is attended with so many pro- 
voking evils ; bewail this sin, so far as thou art guilty of it, and let the sin- 
fulness thereof engage thee to be watchful against it. 

Use 2, of exhortation. Be exhorted to give to the public worship of God 
the glory that is due to it ; let it have the pre-eminence which the Lord has 
given it ; prefer it before private, in your thoughts, in your affections, in 
your practice. Get higher thoughts of public ordinances, get affections 
answerable to those apprehensions ; manifest both by a frequent affectionate 
use of these ordinances, by your praises for the enjoyment, by your prayers 
for the continuance of them. A duty this is which the text requires, a duty 
which these times call for. When there is so mnoh disrespect cast upon the 
worship of God, your endeavours should be more for the advancement of it. 
This is the way to shew yourselves faithful to God, stedfast and upright, in 
the midst of a declining generation. This duty always finds acceptance with 
God ; but now he will take it better, because there is a stream of tempta- 
tion, of opposition against it. Oh let not your souls enter into their secret, 
who dishonour God, by despising his public worship ; who blaspheme God, 
by speaking contemptibly of his name, that name which he records amongst 
as, and thereby does graciously distinguish as from the neglected world. I 
might enforce this with many motives ; but what more forcible than this in 
the text ? * The Lord loves the gates of Zion, more than all the dwellings 
of Jacob.' Those that thus do are herein like the Lord. This is the highest 
pitch of excellency that angels or men can aspire to, to be conformable to the 
Lord, to be like him, to have any resemblance of him. Why, this is the 
way ; when we thus love, prefer the public worship, the like mind is in us 
that is in the Lord (so far as likeness may be admitted, where there is an 
infinite distance), herein you will be followers of God as dear children. 
Whereas those who despise the public worship of God, despise God himself, 
comply with Satan in one of his most mischievous designs against God and 
his people, and hereby do what in them lies to lay his honour in the dust. 
It is not out of any respect of private duties that Satan endeavours to ad- 
vance them above public worship ; his design is to withdraw professors 
from both, he knows they stand or fail together, and the event proves it. 
You will find those that withdraw from public worship will not long make 
conscience of private ; except the Lord break Satan's design, by a sudden 
reducing them. If you will not be carried away with the error of the wicked, 
and fall into the snare of the devil, keep up the honour of public worship. 
To that end observe these directions. 

1. Get high thoughts of God. The Lord and his worship are so nearly 
related, as they are either esteemed or despised together. He that has 
high thoughts of God, will have suitable apprehensions of his worship, 
wherein his glory most appears, Ps. cii. 16. We see it in David. None 

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206 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO be [Ps. LXXXVH. 2. 

had higher apprehensions of God; see with what raised expressions he 
extols him, Ps. cxlvi. And none had a higher esteem of public worship, as 
appears in those affectionate (expressions formerly alleged. If yon have 
high thoughts of God, that will he of high esteem with yon, wherein he 
most appears, wherein he is most enjoyed. ' In the temple will every one 
speak of his glory/ for in public worship he appears most glorious. If ye 
have low thoughts of God, no wonder if you undervalue his worship ! If 
you have a high esteem of God, you will have an answerable esteem of his 
name, of his worship. So Ps. xlviii., they profess their high thoughts of 
Zion, the public ordinances, ver. 2, 8, and the reason you may see : ver. 9, 
1 We have thought of thy loving-kindness, God, in the midst of thy 
temple!* If you apprehend God as great, and holy, and fearful, and 
glorious, it will help you to such thoughts of his worship as becomes his 
great, and holy, and fearful name. His worship is his name. 

2. Get due apprehensions of those things, whereupon the pre-eminence of 
public worship is grounded. It follows, ver. 8, ' Glorious things,' Ac, t. e. 
of the church and ordinances of God. It was the city of God in these 
respects, and in no other respect could so glorious things be spoken of it. 
Here is the sweetest enjoyment of God, the clearest discoveries of his glory, 
the powerful workings of the Spirit, the precious blood of Christ in its force 
and efficacy, the exceeding great and precious promises in their sweetest 
influences, spiritual life and strength, soul comforts and refreshments, the 
conversion of sinners, the edification of the body of Christ, the salvation of 
souls. These are the glorious things that are spoken of public worship ; 
get a high esteem of these, and public worship will be highly valued. 
Look upon public ordinances in their glory, as they give the greatest glory 
to the God of heaven, as they are the greatest glory of his people on earth, 
and this will raise a spiritual mind to high apprehensions of them. Will 
you not honour that which is most honourable to God, that which is your 
greatest honour ? Here the Lord, if anywhere in the world, receives the 
glory due unto his name, Ps. xxix. 1, 2. To worship God in public is the 
way to give him the glory due to his name ; and is not this of highest value ? 
It is your glory too. Public ordinances are the glory of the people that 
enjoy, that improve them. Where the Lord has placed his name, there his 
honour dwells. When the Lord has erected his public worship in a place, 
then glory dwells in that land ; when this is removed, the glory is departed. 
That which is most your glory, challenges your highest esteem. Look upon 
this as your glory, and then you will account it highly valuable. 

8. Delight in the worship of God. We soon disrespect that which we 
take no pleasure in; and, therefore, when the Lord is commanding the 
sanctifying of his Sabbath, he joins these : Isa. lviii. 18, ' If thou turn away 
thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and 
call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable,' &c. If it be 
not your delight, it will not be honourable. If you be of their temper who 
say, * When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn ; and the 
Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat ¥ Amos viii. 5 ; if public ordinances, 
praying, preaching, be a burden to you : not only private duties, but the 
base things of the world, will take place of it in your minds and hearts. 
When we are weary of a thing, take no pleasure in it, we easily give way 
to any suggestion that may disparage it. Let the worship of God be your 
delight, the joy and solace of your souls. Be glad of all opportunities to 
worship God in public, in season, and out of season, like David : Ps. cxxii. 1, 
' I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of the Lord.' 
Let it be your meat and drink to be thus employed ; go, as to a feast ; sit 

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PS. LXXXVli. 2.] PBEFERBED BEFORE PBIVATB. 207 

down under the shadow with great delight, while the fruits of ordinances, the 
shadow of heavenly enjoyments, are sweet. 

4. Get spiritual hearts. All the glory of public worship is spiritual, and 
spiritual things are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14. A carnal man cannot 
discern that which renders the public ordinances so highly valuable. Cus- 
tom, and other respects, may persuade him- to use them, but he will never 
perceive the glory, the spiritual value of God's worship, till he have a 
spiritual eye. Christ himself was foolishness to the Greeks, because they 
saw no further than his outside, 1 Cor. i. 28. So was the preaching of 
Christ to carnal Jews and Gentiles ; so it is, more or less, to all natural 
men, except some outward respect, some plausible ornament commend it. 
A spiritual eye can discern a glory in public worship, when the outside seems 
mean and contemptible. As the unbelieving Jews of Christ, so carnal men 
of his ordinances ; there is no form nor comeliness therein to command 
any extraordinary respect; they see no beauty therein that they should 
desire them. 

6. Look upon the public ordinances with the eye of faith. If you consult 
only with sense, you will be apt to say as the Assyrian, What are the waters 
of Jordan more than the rivers of Damascus ? What is there in public read- 
ing the word, more than reading at home? What is there in public 
preaching, more than in another good discourse ? Sense will discern no 
more in one than in the other ; but the eye of faith looks through the pros- 
pect of a promise, and so makes greater, more glorious discoveries ; passes 
through the mean outside, to the discovery of a special, an inward glory ; 
sees a special blessing, a special assistance, a special presence, a special ad- 
vantage, in public worship ; no way so discoverable as by the eye of faith 
through a promise. Unbelievers want this perspective, and therefore see no 
further than the outside. 

Faith can see the wisdom of God in that preaching, which the blind world 
counts foolishness, as they did the apostle's ; can see a glory in those ordi- 
nances which, in the eyes of carnal men, are mean and contemptible. When 
the child Jesus lay in the manger, a poor, despicable condition, the wise 
men saw, through those poor swaddling clothes, such a glory as commanded 
their wonder and adoration, whenas many others, in the same inn, saw no 
such thing. And why so ? The wise men looked upon the child Jesus 
through that intimation, that word from fieaven, whereby he was made 
known to them. The outside of public worship, now under the gospel, is 
but like those poor swaddling clothes ; but Christ is wrapped in them, there 
is a spiritual glory within, which a believer discerns, and accordingly values 
them, whenas an unbeliever sees no such thing. That worship, which, to 
sense and unbelief is mean and contemptible, is to faith, looking through 
a promise, the most glorious administration under heaven. The eye of faith 
must be opened, else the ordinances will not be valued. The Lord has given 
more encouragements to faith under the gospel, and therefore may expect 
more exercise of it, than under the law. And his dispensations are answer- 
able. His children under the law were in their minority and nonage, Gal. 
iv. 1. The outside of his worship was then glorious, the administration of 
it in state and pomp, he allowed the children that which would please their 
senses ; but now, under the gospel, they are come to riper age, he allows 
no such gay outside, prescribes no such pomp as sense is taken with ; the 
glory is spiritual, and such as is only visible to faith. And yet the glory of 
the second temple is greater than the first, the public worship under the 
gospel is more glorious than under the law. Though there be no golden 
censer in the ark, overlaid with gold, no cherubims of glory shadowing the 



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208 PUBLIC WORSHIP TO BE [Ps. LXXXVII. 2. 

mercy-seat, no such ornament to take the senses, yet there is a far more 
exceeding glory, 2 Cor. iii. 11, bat it is such a glory as is only discerned 
by the eye of faith. This yon must exercise if yon would give to the public 
worship of God the glory that is due to it. 

6. Labour to draw out the virtue and efficacy of public ordinances, to 
make the utmost improvements of them. When you find the refreshing 
comforts, the blessed advantages of public worship, you will not need many 
motives to give them their due honour: Ps. xlviii. 8, ' As we have heard, so 
have we seen,' &c. When they had not only heard, but seen, what God 
was to his people in his public worship, no wonder if they express their high 
esteem of it : ver. 1-3, ' Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the 
city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, 
the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, 1 &c. 

Now, that you may reap such advantage by them as may raise your 
esteem of them, 

1. Come not unprepared. No wonder if unfruitfulness under the ordi- 
nances be so common, when neglect of preparation is so ordinary : Eccles. 
v. 2, ' Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter 
anything before God/ Come not rashly, without due consideration with 
whom you have to do, and what you are a-doing. Come not with guilt 
and pollution upon your consciences, Ezek. xxiii. 21, 29. This is it from 
which we must be separate, if we would have God receive us, 2 Cor. 
vi. 17. Come not with minds and affections entangled in the world : * Put 
off thy shoes,' &c. Come not with careless, indisposed spirits, with hearts 
unfixed, Ps. lvii. 7. Come not with that carnal, dull temper, which your 
hearts contract by meddling with the world. Plough up the fallow ground. 
If you sow among thorns, you will reap little to raise your esteem : Ps. xxvi. 
6, ' I will wash mine hands in innocency, so will I compass thine altar, 
Lord.' He alludes to the custom of the priests, enjoined under the law 
to wash their hands and feet, when they went about the service of the taber- 
nacle. And this was exemplary to the people then, to us now, to teach us 
with what preparedness we should approach God. 

2. Get acquainted with your spiritual condition. Come apprehensive of 
the state of your souls, whether it be the state of grace or nature, what 
your spiritual wants, what your inward distempers, what your temptations 
are; else you may hear much to little purpose, not discerning what is 
seasonable ; else many a petition may pass unobserved, when you know not 
what most concerns you. Oh, if professors knew their soul's condition punc- 
tually, and were throughly affected with it, the word would come in season, 
it would be like apples of gold, the ordinances would be as rain upon the 
new-mown grass, they would distil a fruitful influence, and their souls would 
grow as the lily. 

8. Come with hearts hungering after the enjoyment of Christ in his ordi- 
nances. This affection has the promise: Mat. v., 'He filleth the hungry 
with good things/ Sense of emptiness and indigency brings you under the 
aspect of this promise, under the sweet and gracious influences of it ; whereas 
conceitedness of our own abundance, senselessness of our spiritual poverty, 
shuts up the treasury of heaven against us, ' The rich he sends empty away/ 
Ps. lxxxi. 10. Our souls should stretch themselves wide open, in earnest 
longings after God ; this is the way to be filled with the rich blessings of 
spiritual ordinances. 

4. Use the ordinances with holy fear and reverence, Ps. ii. 11, and iii. 7. 
That confidence which the Lord approves in his children is not a caraa 
boldness, such as some mistake in the room of it. When we are admitted 

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PS. LXXXVII. 2. J PREFERRED BEFORE PRIVATE. 209 

to most intimacy and familiarity with Christ, when we are invited to kiss the 
Son ; yet there is a holy fear required : ' Serve the Lord with fear/ &c. 
When we have cause to rejoice in the Lord's gracious condescension to ns 
poor worms, yet then we must tremble in apprehension of that overpower- 
ing glory and excellency to which we approach, Heb. xii. 28. The house, 
which the Lord prefers before the temple, is a trembling heart, Isa. lxvi. 
And if he choose it for his habitation, he will richly furnish it ; his presence 
will be to it light and life, joy and strength, grace and glory. 

5. What you do in public worship, do it with all your might. Shake off 
that slothful, indifferent, lukewarm temper, which is so odious to God. Let 
your whole man tender this worship. Think it not enough to present your 
bodies before the Lord. Bodily worship profits as little as bodily exercise. 
The worship of the body is but the carcase of worship ; it is soul worship 
that is the soul of worship. Those that draw near with their lips only shall 
find God far enough from them ; not only lips, and mouth, and tongue, but 
mind, and heart, and affections ; not only knee, and hand, and eye, but 
heart, and conscience, and memory, must be pressed to attend upon God 
in public worship. David says, not only ' my flesh longs for thee/ but ' my 
soul thirsts for thee.' Then will the Lord draw near, when our whole man 
waits on him ; then will the Lord be found, when we seek him with our 
whole heart. 

Let your whole man wait upon God ; serve him so with all your might. 
Let his worship be your work, and be as diligent in it for your souls, as you 
are in other employments for your bodies. Spiritual slothfulness is the rain of 
souls, it brings them to consumptions, it leaves them languishing under sad 
distempers. Those that will not stir up themselves to lay hold on God, 
will be bowed down under many infirmities. Soul- poverty will be the issue 
of spiritual sloth, Prov. xviii.,-' a great waster.' So far from increasing the 
stock of grace, as he will greatly waste it, Prov. xx. 4. It holds in a spiri- 
tual sense. His soul shall be in a beggarly condition, as though it had 
nothing, even in harvest, in the midst of plenty, when others are reaping the 
sweet fruits of public ordinances, and laying up store against winter, against 
an evil day. In the midst of their plenty, the spiritual sluggard shall have 
nothing, Prov. xii. 17. It is the diligent man that shall be enriched with 
precious substance, even the precious advantages of public worship. The 
Lord is the rewarder of those that seek him diligently. Those that are 
diligent in preparing for it, diligent in attending on it, diligent in after 
improvement of the ordinances, this man's soul shall be rich, rich towards 
God. The Lord will bless him with such spiritual riches, in the use of 
public ordinances, as will raise his esteem of them. 



END OF DISCOURSES. 



vol. m. 



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THE PRACTICAL DIVINITY OF THE PAPISTS 



DISCOVERED TO BE DESTBUCTIYB OP 



CHRISTIANITY AND MENS SOULS. 



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[As this is a polemical treatise, it has been deemed necessary to use 
more than ordinary care in verifying the numerous quotations. Almost 
the whole have been so verified, and may be depended upon as abso- 
lutely accurate. — Ed.] 



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AN ADVERTISEMENT. 



I have always thought, since I considered and understood what popery was, 
that the knowing of it would he a sufficient dissuasive from it, to those 
that regard God and their souls. This persuasion, together with compas- 
sion for those that are seduced, and desire to secure those that are in danger, 
engaged me in this present undertaking ; wherein I have discovered what 
the practical divinity of that church is, how pernicious, and inconsistent with 
the way to salvation declared in the Scripture. I have herein the concur- 
rence of some (few in comparison) of that church, who are sensible of such 
doctrine prevailing amongst them, as they say is absolutely opposite to the 
rules and spirit of the gospel ; i such as no man that hath never so little ten- 
derness of his own salvation, but must conceive an horror at ; ' such as they 
call a poisonous morality, more corrupt than that of pagans themselves ; 3 
and which permits Christians to do, what pagans, Jews, Mahometans, and 
barbarians, would have had in execration ; * such as is, in their style, the 
most palpable darkness that ever came out of the bottomless pit ; * such 
as overthrows the essential points of Christian religion, and the maxims that 
are most important, and of greatest necessity, in order to the salvation 
of men. 6 Of this they have given the world notice in several dis- 
courses, 7 two of which I have seen (though unhappily not the latter, 
till I had gone through the greatest part of what I intended). As to the 
extent of this execrable divinity, they declare, that whole societies would 
have these extravagancies accounted Roman traditions ; « that the church is 
overgrown with this poisonous morality ; that it is ready to be overwhelmed 
with the deluge of these corruptions; that tjie church is filled with this most 
palpable darkness. 9 Elsewhere they seem to fix this charge upon the 
Jesuits principally, as if they would have it thought not to reach much 
further ; but withal tell us, that the Jesuits are the most numerous and the 
most powerful body of men in the whole church, and have the disposal of 
the consciences of all the greatest. l0 80 that I can represent them no worse 

1 Representation of Cures of Paris, p. 8. * Page 4. 

* Their Remonstrance, p. 2. 

* Their Answer maintaining the Factum, p. 8. * Ibid. 

* Ibid. p. 12. 

Provincial Letters, Jesuits 1 Morals. 

Remonstrance of Cures of Paris. 

Answer maintaining the Factum. " Ibid. 



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4 AM ADVERTISEMENT. 

than some of themselves do ; and the worst that can be said falls, by their 
own acknowledgment, upon the most considerable part of their church. That 
they should so far accuse the whole, cannot be expected (whatever occasion 
there be for it), so long as they think fit to continue in its communion. But 
then, if we regard those who are so great a part of the church upon the 
account of their numbers, and more in respect of their authority and in- 
fluence, the maxims so branded,! are Roman traditions, 1 the true doctrine of 
faith, the true morality of the church, not asserted by that society alone, but 
equally (if not more) by Catholic writers of all sorts ; and those that quarrel 
thereat are factious spirits. Hereby, so far as the testimony of adversaries 
against themselves can clear a matter in question, there is evidence, both 
that the practical doctrine amongst them is pernicious and damnable, and 
also that it is common and generally followed. 

I intend not here to impeach any maxim peculiar to the Jesuits, but that 
doctrine of the Romanists which is far more extensive, delivered by canon- 
ists and divines, secular and regular, of every sort, and in part by the canon 
law and their councils (who sometimes glance at this subject, though they 
make it not their business) ; that which in most particulars, and those of 
greatest moment, is ancienter than the Society ; and in many points such, 
as the censurers of the Jesuits' morality do not touch, but either approve 
themselves, or dare not condemn, lest they should involve the whole church 
in the condemnation. I cannot discern that the practical divinity of the 
Jesuits is more corrupt than that of other Romish writers, their contempo- 
raries ; and those that view the moral discourses of both, and compare them, 
will (if I much mistake not) discern no other. I never yet met with any 
author of that order so intolerably licentious, but might be matched, if not 
outvied, by others. There is no need to except Escobar or Bauny (though 
most branded), nor do their keen antagonists do it, when they speak of others 
whom they know to be no Jesuits, as the most extravagant that ever were. a 
There is no reason why the odium which a community incurs should be 
appropriated to a party ; nor that the Society only should be noted as the 
sink, when the corruption is apparent everywhere. So far as the Jesuits 
are concerned herein, it hath been sufficiently exposed by others ; upon 
which account I decline those of that order, not putting the reader to rely 
upon any evidence from their writing. Only because it is requisite to shew 
their concurrence in some points, which otherwise might not pass for the 
common doctrine, I make use of Bellarmine freely (whom none can count a 
corrupter of popery, however Christianity hath been treated by him), and of 
Suarez sometimes (whose judgment alone is counted equivalent to a thousand 
others, by some 4 that are none of the Society). I allege beside, though 
rarely, one or two more of those fathers, of like eminency and authority in 
that church ; but none of them, save in such points wherein they have not 
been noted for extravagancies by others ; or in such wherein those of other 
orders concur with, or go beyond them. The greatest advantage I make of 
them, is to represent the opinions of others, not their own ; and most herein 
of Suarez, who usually gives an account of the common doctrine out of un- 
exceptionable authors. Those whom I principally rely on to make good the 
charge, are the ancienter and better sort of their divines and casuists (the 
strictest of them in points of morality that I could meet with), such as are so 
far from being disciples of Ignatius, that most of them are Dominicans (most 
opposite of all orders to the Jesuits, and said to be the least tainted with 
these corruptions), and the greatest part of them were writers before their 

1 Supra. * Remonstrance of the Cures of Paris. 

* Defence of the Factum. « Vid. Jo. Sane. Disp. 44, n. 41. 



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AN ADVXBTISBMENT. 6 

order was founded, or appeared to the world on this subject. To these I 
have added other casuists of this last age, not that there is need to produce 
any worse than the former, but to shew that time hath made little or no 
alteration amongst them for the better. 

The Romanists, when they are ashamed of their doctrine, or think the 
world will cry shame of it, are wont to disown it. It is like they may do so 
here, and tell us that these points, not being determined by councils, are not 
the doctrine of their church, but the opinions of particular doctors. This 
serves them for a shift in other cases with some colour, but it will be absurd 
to offer at it here. For though this be not their doctrine of faith, which 
with some generals, most about the sacraments, (reflected on in the sequel as 
there is occasion) is the business of their councils ; yet it is the practical 
doctrine of their church, if it have any, and if they think their catholics con- 
cerned to be Christians more than merely in opinion. And this, under several 
heads, I have collected out of such writings as are the proper place of it. 
Therefore, to say that this is not the doctrine of their church, because the 
particulars are not found decided by councils, is to tell us that they are not 
charged with it, unless we can find it, where they know it cannot be found, 
and where, with any reason, it cannot be looked for. It is no more reason- 
able than if one, who hath taken a purse, should plead, though it be found 
in his hand, that he is not to be charged with it, unless we can spy it in his 
mouth, when yet he never opens it. That councils should give particular 
directions for conscience and practice, in cases innumerable, was never 
attempted, nor ever can be expected. Their church leaves this to her divines 
and casuists ; and that nothing may pass them but what is agreeable to her 
sense, no books are to be published, but with the approbation and authority 
of such as are counted competent judges hereof; so that the doctrine of their 
authorised writers, that especially wherein they commonly agree, is the prac- 
tical doctrine of that church, or else she hath none such, and consequently 
no care of the lives and consciences of her members ; and though this be not 
infallible, or defide, as they count the decisions of councils, yet is it as cer- 
tain, they say, as the nature of the subject requires, nor do they pretend to 
have any infallible doctrine for particular directions herein ; which yet may 
justly seem very strange to any man that considers that gross faults in life 
and practice are more infallibly damnable than errors in faith and specula- 
tion. Now, upon this their common doctrine, the substance of the charge 
ensuing, and the principal articles thereof, are grounded. As for the opinions 
of particular doctors, wherein there is no such common concurrence, though 
they be not so certain as the other, yet they are (even the worst of them) 
safe in practice, any of their people may follow them without danger, and 
with a good conscience ; for this (as will appear hereafter) is the common 
judgment of their schools and doctors, and so far the doctrine of their church. 
And if that church did no farther own these opinions, common or particular, 
then, under this character, this is enough for our purpose (when the question 
is of the danger of popery in reference to men's salvation), that she counts 
such rules of life safe, and publicly allows them as direction for practice, 
which tend to ruin religion and men's souls. If they were not counted safe, 
that church which pretends to so much care of souls, since all in her com- 
munion are exposed to the danger, would be concerned to give warning of it, 
and brand these maxims as pernicious ; but this was never yet done, nor ever 
like to be. These opinions, all, or the greatest part of them, were taught 
and published in that church, before the Council of Trent ; there was time 
enough, in eighteen years, to take cognisance of them and their pernicious 
consequence ; yet, when they bestowed anathemas so liberally, where there 

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6 AN ADVERTISEMENT. 

was occasion, and (for the most part) where there was none, they thought 
not fit to bestow one curse upon these doctrines, how execrable soever ; yea, 
some part thereof of worst consequence had there an express confirmation. 
Their popes since, though they could see occasion to condemn such propo- 
sitions as the five ascribed to Jansenins, and those of Bains, White, and 
many others, could not, by the help of a judgment counted infallible, discern 
anything in the worst of these doctrines worthy of, or fit foe, their censure. 
The cardinals of the inquisition at Borne, and their setters in other countries, 
whose business it is to spy whatever (in books particularly) is against faith 
and good manners, see nothing of this nature in that which destroys both. 
No expurgatory index (what havoc soever has been made by those tools in 
their best authors) hath, so far as I have observed, touched the common 
opinions here exposed. It is true, some others have been expunged, and I 
find above forty opinions of the late casuists censured by Alexander the 
Seventh, and the cardinals of their sacred congregation ; l but hereby more 
authority is added to those I insist on, being thought good enough to pass 
untouched ; which must therefore be counted sound doctrine and safe for 
practice in the judgment of their virtual church, and the chief parts of their 
church representative. 

There is no ground to expect that this doctrine, as to the principal and 
most pernicious parts of it, will ever be condemned by any popes or councils 
of such complexion and principles as that of Trent, where it was a maxim 
observed religiously, that no determination should pass, which either in matter 
or form would disoblige any considerable party among them, much less all. 
The Roman interest is supported by such politics, and must be secured, 
whatever become of souls or saving doctrine. There are indeed some dis- 
senters amongst them (as there are elsewhere) who complain of their moral 
divinity, but they are such whose power and interest can reach little further 
than complaints ; and these are so far from being the voice or sense of their 
church, that their writings which exhibit such complaints are condemned at 
Borne 9 by the supreme tribunal (as they call it) of the inquisition. 

In short, by the known custom and settled order of the Roman church, 
the people, for regulating of their hearts and lives, are to be directed by their 
confessors, their confessors have their direction herein from their casuists 
and practical authors ; both priests and people must believe this to be safe, 
because the church hath made this provision for them, approves the course, 
and obligeth them to take no other. And thus that doctrine, the deadly 
venom whereof I here discover, must be conveyed from their casuists to all 
sorts amongBt them ; nor must they fear any danger in it, unless they will 
question the wisdom and goodness of their church. There can be no ques- 
tion but that this doctrine is thus far owned by the church of Borne; whether 
it be delivered fallibly or infallibly, by councils or without, is not at all here 
considerable. It is enough that such is the conduct provided for Roman 
catholics, and that it is to be followed without apprehension of danger, and 
cannot be declined by those that will keep the ordinary road of that church, 
though it lead directly to destruction. 

When no other shift will serve, to hinder those from being undeceived 
whom they would delude, it is usual with them to make loud outcries of 
false citations, and that their doctrine is misrepresented. I have been very 
careful to give no just occasion for this, being apprehensive that he who doth 
it wrongs not them more than he doth himself and his cause. The places 
cited I have viewed again and again, where there might be any doubt of mis- 
construction, and set down their own words where it might seem scarce 
1 Index Expurg. sub Alexand. VII. Ad. 16G6. ■ Ibid. 



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AN ADVERTISEMENT. 7 

credible that Christians and divines (directing conscience) should speak at 
such a rate ; and where that would have been too tedious, have given their 
sense faithfully, so far as I could discern it, and directed the reader where 
he may find and judge thereof himself. Yet if, notwithstanding all the care 
and diligence I could use, it hath been my unhappiness anywhere to mistake 
them, upon notice from any I shall do them right ; and am capable to give 
them further satisfaction, knowing well that I am yet far from representing 
their doctrine fully so bad as it is. Large volumes might be filled with the 
corruptions of it ; I have but pointed at some, and contented myself with few 
authors in many particulars, where plenty might have been produced. I 
designed briefness, and have waived much that was ready, lest I should be 
tedious, considering that seme who are most concerned in such discourses 
will have nothing at all when they think too much is offered. 

I have been less solicitous about the style ; it doth not always satisfy my- 
self, so that I can allow others to find fault with it ; it may be thought some- 
times less grave, elsewhere too sharp and vehement. I suffered it to be 
what the subject would have it ; and the quality thereof now and then over- 
ruled me, somewhat against my own inclination. Only I make nothing 
ridiculous, but find it so, and should scarce do it right if I represented it 
otherwise than it is. Where I seem too sharp or severe upon any occasion, 
I found something in the nature of the subject that forced me to it. And 
it is not easy (if it be congruous or just) to speak of what is monstrously 
extravagant or pernicious, with such calmness as we treat indifferent things. 

It will be enough for me if (through God's blessing) people will hereby 
be brought to understand that popery designs not to trouble them either with 
the reality of religion, or the happiness which Christ has entailed thereon. 
And that their practical doctrine is contrived accordingly, will, I doubt not, 
be hereby manifest to all such as have a mind to see, and are not wilfully 
resolved to lose the way to salvation, and their souls together, by shutting 
their eyes against so plain a discovery of so great a danger. 



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INTRODUCTION. 



The danger of popery in points of faith hath been sufficiently discovered to 
the world by the divines of the Beformation, but their doctrine, which con- 
cerns life and practice, hath not been so much insisted on. And yet there 
is as much occasion for this ; for here the mischief is as great, an unchris- 
tian heart and life being at least as damning as erroneous belief; and hereby 
the great apostasy and degeneracy of the papal church is as apparent, and 
herein they have proceeded with as much disregard of Christ and the souls 
of men. Their design in this seems to have been, not the promoting of 
Christ's interest (for that is manifestly prostituted), but the securing and 
greatening of a faction, which, under the profession of Christianity, might 
be false to all its realities. And their rule is the corrupt inclinations of 
depraved nature, to which they have throughly conformed their practical 
divinity, which easeth it of the duties for which it hath an aversation, how 
much soever enjoined, and clears its way to those sins to which it is dis- 
posed, as though there were no need to avoid them. This rule serves their 
design with great advantage ; but souls are more endangered hereby, and 
their principles become more pernicious, because they are so taking. Per- 
suade a man that he may safely neglect the duties which he owes to God, 
his own soul, and others, and may gratify the lusts he is addicted to, and 
give him the maxims of religion, and the authority and conclusions of 
divines, and the teachers whom he trusts, for it, and he will like that reli- 
gion, because he loves his sin, and is in danger to follow both, though he 
perish for it eternally. And indeed this is it which makes the condition of 
papists deplorable ; for though the principles of their belief, as it is popish, 
be mortally poisonous, yet there might be some antidote in the practical of 
Christianity, retained and followed by those who are unavoidably ignorant of 
the danger of their more speculative errors, and so some hopes of such ; but 
their practical doctrine being no less corrupted, the remedy itself becomes 
poison, and their condition who freely let it down hopeless. Whether their 
errors in matters of faith be directly fundamental hath been with some of 
their opposers a question, but those who will view their practical doctrine 
may discern that it strikes through the heart of Christianity, casting off the 
vitals of it as superfluities, and cuts off those who will believe and follow it 
from the way of life ; not only by encouraging them with security to live and 
die in all sorts of wickedness, but also by obliging them to neglect, as need- 
less, the greatest and most important concerns of Christians, without which 
God cannot be honoured by us, nor salvation attained. This will be apparent 
by observing what is determined in that church by those who have the con- 
duct of their lives and consciences, concerning the worshipping of God, 
Christian knowledge, love to God, faith in Christ, repentance from dead 
works, and holiness of life ; as to the exercise of Christian virtues, the 
abandoning of sin, and the practice of good works ; of all which in particular 
the following discourse gives an account. 

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THE PRACTICAL DIVINITY OF THE PAPISTS 

DISCOVERED TO BE DE8TBUOTTVE OF 

CHRISTIANITY AND MEN'S SOULS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Real worship of God not necessary in the Church of Rome. 

There is nothing wherein the honour of God and the happiness of men is 
more concerned than divine worship. Religion provides for these great ends 
by obliging us to worship God ; this it doth indispensably, and can do no 
less without abandoning itself; for this is essential to it, 1 and gives it being. 
And the truth and goodness of it depends as much thereon ; for no religion 
is true and saving but that which obligeth to worship God really. Now 
worship is not real unless mind and heart concur in it ; whatever it hath, 
without this it wants* its life and soul, and is no more worship really than a 
picture is a man. Hence Christ brands those who draw near to God with 
their lips, without their hearts, for hypocrites, Mat. zv. 7, 8, Mark vii. 6 ; 
such as pretend to be what they are not, and to do what really they do not; 
who are but worshippers in show and fiction ; no more so indeed than the 
stage-player is the prince whose part he acts. The Romanists seem to 
acknowledge all this, and therefore ought not to deny but that it is as neces- 
sary that God should be really worshipped, as it is needful that he should 
have any honour in the world, or that there should be any true religion 
amongst men, or salvation for them. Yet notwithstanding, their practical 
doctrine makes it needless to worship God really. That this may be fully 
and distinctly manifested, let us observe, first, what they count requisite in 
divine service and in their mass. The former is their worship for every day 
(which goes under the name of canonical hours and the divine office), and is 
the proper service of their clergy and monastics ; the latter is for holidays, 
and is common to the people with the religious, and the only public service 
they are ordinarily obliged to. Afterwards we may reflect upon what else 

1 Religio est virtus per qnam homines Deo dcbitnm cnltam et reverentiam exhibent. 
— Tullius dicit, ii. Rhet. quod religio est virtus, qo» snperiori cuidam natnro (quam 
drrinam Tocant) cnltnm caremoniamqne affert. — Aquinas ii. 2, q. lxxxi. art. i. 

* Nam spirit us interior adoration is, qui est ipsa vita et aniroa adorationis exterioris, 
apeltatnr quoqne ipsa Teritas adorationis. — Vatquez de Adorat, 1 i. disp. i. cap. ii. 
p. 18. 

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10 BBAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

passeth under the notion of worship in public, and also take some notice of 
their devotions, or religions employments in private. 

For the first of these, their divine service, if there were anything of reli- 
gion or religions worship counted needful amongst them, it would be required 
of their clergy, and those whom by way of eminency they call religious, in 
their divine office especially (if anywhere) ; but by their doctrine it is not 
needful for them to worship God really there, unless he can be said to be 
worshipped where both himself and all that concerns worshippers indeed 
may (as it may by their leave) be quite neglected, and no way actually 
minded. They seem, at least some of them, in their discourses of worship 
and prayer particularly, to require as necessary thereto both an act of the 
mind and of the will (attention and intention they call them) ; but proceed 
with them a little, and you will find the former of these quite lost in the 
latter ; and the latter, as they order it, dwindling into nothing. It is the 
common determination of their schools and doctors, that actual attention of 
mind is not necessary when they recite their canonical hours, that is, they 
need not mind God in their service, nor the matter of it more than the object, 
nor the sense of what they say, nor the words they use ; not any of these 
need be actually minded. A purpose or intention to do it is sufficient, though 
that purpose be not at all performed. This is the doctrine of their great 
Aquinas, 1 concerning prayer in general, whom the rest 9 commonly follow. 
Attention is not necessary all the while, but the virtue of the first intention, 
with which a man comes to prayer, renders the whole prayer meritorious, 
as it falls out in other meritorious acts. And this first intention also is 
enough to make the prayer prevalent. So he explains his main conclusion, 
viz. prayer ought to be at least attentive in respect of a previous intention.' 
So that they may be attentive enough, by virtue of this first intention, though 
they do not at all mind afterwards what they are doing, when they should be 
worshipping ; which is just as if they should say, a man that goes to church 
with an intent to join in their service, but falls fast asleep when he comes 
there, serves God effectually, and is attentive enough by virtue of that former 
intention, though he sleep all the while. It seems it is sufficient in the 
church of Rome, and effectual, even to a degree meritorious, to worship God 
as one that is asleep may worship him, if he falls asleep after a good inten- 
tion. However, hereby it is manifest that with them it is not needful to 
worship God at all, even in their most solemn service, but only to intend 
some such thing. If there be a purpose of worship, though God be never 
worshipped indeed, by their doctrine, it is enough for him. I suppose ' his 
holiness ' would not think himself well served at this rate. The common 
women at Borne are to pay him a julio a head weekly, for the liberty he gives 
them to drive there their trade ; now if, instead of payment, they should 
allege an intention of it, and declare this is all they are obliged to, and that 
they ought to be acquitted upon that account, though they never laid it 
down, he would think himself not paid hereby, but scorned ; he loseth his 
sacred reverence, and is affronted into the bargain ; yet at this rate will he 

1 Ad hunc effectum (viz. mereri) non ex necessitate requiritur quod attentio adsit 
orationi per totum : Bed vis prim® intentionis, qua aliqois ad orandum accedit, redd it 
totam orationem meritoriam, sicut in aliis meritoriie actibu* accidit. — ii. 2, q. lxxxiii. 
art. xiii. 

1 Ut officium ipsa attentio comitetur actualiter, nee in officio, nee in aliis orationibos, 
vel bonis operibus, requiritnr. — Sylvester, sum. v. bora n. xiii. edit. Lngdnn. An. 167fe. 
D. Thorn, quern omnes sequuntur, affirmat (impetrationem) non pendere ex actuali 
attentions sed virtu alem ad illam sufficere,et videtur certa sententia. — SuartM, lib. UL 
De Orat. Vocal, c. v. n. v. 

s Attentam saltern in prima intentione, oportet esse orationem, si meritoria, si im- 
petratira sit futura, meutemque spiritnaliter refectura. — Ibid. 

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Chap. I.] not necebsaby in the ohxtboh of bomb. 11 

have God served by Roman catholics. Well, but if God need not be wor- 
shipped but in purpose only, and the intention may serve without the act, 
yet sure it must be an actual intention, or at least a purpose to worship God. 
If it be not the worship of God that they need intend, divine worship is 
clearly abandoned, both in deed and in purpose ; if it must not be actual, 
there need be actually no thought of worshipping God. But I cannot discern 
that they count either of these necessary. They declare plainly that an 
actual intention is needless ; in this they generally agree, though they differ 
in the terms by which they use to express it. They call it an habitual, or 
a virtual, or an implicit intention, in opposition to that which is express or 
actual ; so that actually either to worship God, or to have an intention of 
worshipping him, is more than needs. But since they will not have it actual, 
let it be what sort of intention they please otherwise, yet sure the thing 
intended should be the worshipping of God ; so that they may be said to 
worship in purpose, though they think it needless to do it in deed. Whether 
they count this necessary, may be best discerned by their own expressions, 
which they use in> some variety. Commonly, they say, a virtual intention 
may serve. 1 Now this is not an intention, indeed, to worship God ; but sup- 
poseth a former act, by virtue of which one is said to have an intention when 
really he hath none. As they call that a virtual intention to worship when 
a man had a purpose to attend, though he do it not at all ; answerably, a 
virtual intention to worship will be a purpose or thought to have such a 
purpose, though he never have it. Let those who can apprehend how they 
may be said to worship God so much as in purpose, by virtue of a purpose 
to worship him, which they have not, but only intend to have, without effect. 
But it may be there is no such intention needful with them, for custom may 
serve to this purpose (Soto). The precept for attending the performance of 
divine service canonically includes two things :* first, that at the beginning 
of prayer every one mind what he is going to do. But for this former it is 
enough that it be done by virtue of some former intention and custom, as if 
one, when the sign is given for prayers, go, as is the custom, to the choir ; 
by this he satisfies the precept. Now this he may be accustomed to do, 
without any thought of God, or of worshipping him ; yet by virtue of that 
custom, wherein God is quite neglected, he will have their virtual intention 
to worship him ; all the intention that they require, that is, plainly none at 
all, unless by virtue of neglecting God he may be said to mind him. 

Or an habitual intention may serve, they sometimes tell us. Sylvester 3 
oxpresseth it thus, after Paludanus, he is bound in the beginning of the 
service to have an intent to perform it, so that the service may be from his 
reason, and not from his imagination only, i. e. he must go about it like a 
man, and not like a beast. But lest it should seem too hard for a man to 
go about their service, with an intention so much distinguishing him from a 
brute, he adds a favourable gloss. 4 This is to be understood, saith he, 

1 Ad horas canonical recto pronunciandas requiritur propositum intendendi et atten- 
dendi, et snfficit yirtuale. — Martin. Navar. Manual. Confess, cap. i. num. xiii. ut c. 
xxv. n. cr. edit. Antwerp, an. 1608 ; Jac. d$ Orajffys. Decision. Anrear. 1. ii. c. li. n. iv. 
edit. Antwerp, an. 1596 ; Sylvest. sum. v. hor. n. xiv. 

* Preceptam attentionis in divino officio canonice persolvendo, dno includit : vide- 
licet, ut orandi initio quisque attendat quid agere aggreditur— quia vero ad prins 
membrom satis est, nt virtate alicujus precedent™ intentionis et consnetndinis fiat, nt 
ai quis dam signam ad horas datur, ad chorum de more vadit, — per Hind satisfacit 
pnecepto. — De Juttitia et Jure, lib. x. quaest. v. art. v. Edit. v. Lugdun, an. 1582. 

* Quantum ad intenttonem vel attentionem, qnilibet ad officinm obligates tenetnr 
in principio officii habere intentionem satisfaciendi, ita quod officinm ab intellectu et 
non ab imaginatWa proficiscatnr ; secundum Petr. de Pal. 

* Quod intellige acta, vel habitu sen virtute.— Sum. v. hor. n. xiv. 

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12 REAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

either in act, or habit, or virtue ; so that if it be but an habitual intention, 
it may suffice. 1 Navarre explains it by this conditional (and others with 
him), if one be agked, why he takes his breviary, he would answer, that he 
doth it to say service. 9 Now hereby we are told, that rather an habitual 
than a virtual intention is expressed ; and they acknowledge that such an 
intention is not sufficient 3 for a human act, much less therefore for an act 
of worship. Since then they think that such an intention will suffice, a 
purpose to worship God is not needful with them, unless they can make 
divine worship of that which is less than human ; or will have the brutes to be 
catholic worshippers. They tell us also that this habitual intention is in 
those that are asleep.* So Scotus, the first founder of this distinction (and 
herein that which they call virtual agrees with it ; indeed, Aquinas 5 saw no 
cause to distinguish them ; and 6 others, who affect Scotus his subtlety, use 
the terms as if they were distinct, yet confound them in their instances). 
And thus, when all the worship which they think needful is shrunk up into 
an intention, yet that intention is no other than they may have in a dead 
sleep, when they dream of no such thing. So that their souls need be no 
more concerned in worshipping God, either when they are at service, or when 
they are addressing themselves to it, than if their church were in mount 
Celius with the seven sleepers. When they are coming to it (as we see here), 
they need have no more purpose to worship God than if they were asleep ; 
and when they are at it (as we said before), they need no more attend to what 
they are a-doing than if they were not yet awake. 

They Bay also an 7 implicit intention will suffice ; which is, as they explain 
it, when a man hath not expressly any thought of praying or worshipping 
God, when he is to read service, but only intends 8 to accomplish the precept 
of the church, or to perform his task, or to do as he is wont to do. As when 
a man first takes orders or enters into a monastery, understanding that the 
church enjoins all in that capacity daily to recite their canonical hours, if 
he then have an intention to perform this task, to do as the church requires, 
or as others of that quality are wont to do, and accordingly say his hours as 
the fashion is, though he have not once a thought of God or worshipping 
him all his life after, either when he is going to service, or when he is read- 
ing it, yet that first intention may suffice, yea, it is of such sufficiency that 
any other act of mind or heart, either in worship, or in order to it, becomes 

1 Ibid, c xxv. n. cvi. Juxta ea qu» post alios, presertim Majorem, scripsimus. — 
Vide Joe Chaff, ibid. 

1 Navar. explicat virtualem intentionem per illam conditionalem, quia si interro- 
garetur quare accipit brevarium, responderet se id facere ad recitandum. Veruntamen 
hoc modo magis explicatur habitualis qoam virtualis intentio. — Suarez, 1. iii. de Orat. 
c. iii. n. vi. 

* Actus autem humanns non potest esse ab intentione tantnm habituali, at omnes 
suppommt, et per se constat — Idem, 1. iv. de Horis, c. xxvi. n. iii. Actns inde proce- 
dens non est humanus, et deiiberatus.— Mcllarm. de Sacramentis, L i. c. xxyii. p. 92, 
edit. Lugd. an. 1599. 

4 Nee habet tantnm intentionem habitualem, qnod talem habet dormiens. — Scotttt. 
m. iv. dist. vi. quest, vi. Qualis etiam in dormiente inesse potest. — Bellarm. ibid. 

5 iii. qnsest. Ixiii. art. viii. 

Macor. Navar. Soto. Graff, g. 

T Jo. Macor. Navar. in Soar, de Orat. 1. iii. o, iii. n. vi. 

* Certnm imprimis est, satis snperqne esse, si in principio accedatur ad recitandnm 
cum proposito implendi prssceptnm, etiamsi in disenrsn orationis in mentem non veniat, 
satis enim est qnod non retractetnr, quia manet virtus prioris attentionis. Pneterea 
ut censeatur qnis accedere ad recitandum cum proposito implendi pneceptum, satis est 
quod ex consuetudine quadam velit illam actionem tanquam expletivam sui muneris 
et obligations, vel quod in actu exercito (ut sic alcana) velit earn facere, ut solet, quia 
eo ipso vnlt illam at impletivam preecepti. Ita sumitnr ex Macor, Navar. et aliis. 
— Idem. 1. iv. de Hor. c. xxvi. n. vi. 



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Chap. I.] not nxcessaby in the chubch of bome. 13 

needless ; it is of such admirable efficacy, that by virtue of it they can wor- 
ship God, when they mind no such thing as God, or worshipping him, 
no, nor ever intend it otherwise. Let us suppose that they thought it requi- 
site to renew this implicit intention frequently, yet would it not necessarily 
amount to a purpose of worshipping God, for not only their task, and what 
they are wont to do, but the precept of the church, may be (as we shall hear 
them by and 1 by declare) accomplished by acts of wickedness, which sure 
cannot be acts of worship, nor a design to do them an intention to serve 
God ; yea, they may satisfy the church's injunction for divine service, though 
they have an express intention not to fulfil it all the while, as 1 Arragon 
and their divines of greatest reputation determine. So that if the church did 
enjoin them to worship God, yet no intention to worship him would be need- 
ful, because they can satisfy the church with a contrary intention. Finally, a 
sinful intention will serve their turn ; this passath for their common doctrine.* 
If a man intend principally his own praise or worldly advantage, and so 
design to serve himself, and not God, this cannot with any reason be counted 
an intention to worship God ; yet such a design will suffice for the worship 
they require, and it will be substantially good in their account, only a 
little tainted with a venial speck, which, though it may hinder it from being 
meritorious of eternal glory, yet he that never otherwise intends to pray or 
worship cannot be damned, and so will be saved notwithstanding. In short, 
the Lord requires the heart in worship ; without this, nothing else can please 
him, nothing in his account will be a real honour or worship of him, but 
only in appearance and fiction. The Romanists teach, that God need not 
have anything of their hearts in their service, not any one act or motion 
thereof, while they are at it, only some sort of intention before, while they 
are going about it ; but this no act of will or heart neither, but only a virtual, 
or habitual, or implicit something ; they have minced it so small, that an 
ordinary eye cannot discern in it so little, as a purpose to serve God ; yea, 
in fine, they have reduced it to that which is worse than nothing, and if the 
heart must be cumbered with any such thing as an intention about serving 
God, yet a sinful intention may serve, this satisfies their holy church and 
her precept fully ; she doth not, she cannot, require any more for God, what 
burdens soever in other cases she lays upon the consciences of men. But 
though the heart, and every act of it, be thus discharged from any concern 
in their service, yet it may be they will have the mind more engaged. One 
act thereof, and but one (mental attention), they seem to require ; and it is 
true some of them make show of calling for it, but as soon as ever it appears 
it is dismissed immediately as needless, for they conclude generally, that a 
purpose to attend will serve, though they attend not, and this purpose too 
by their handling (as we have seen) comes to nothing or worse. But suppose 
they did (though they do not) account an intention to worship God needful, 
and that actual, express, and well qualified, yet they confess 4 an intent to 
worship or wait on God is not to worship him really : no more than a man 
is sober when he is drunk, because he intended to be sober. But they leave 
us no ground for this supposition, yet ascribe as much to their intention, 
and more than the best imaginable will bear, after they have reduced it to 

1 Soto. Canns. Medina. Cordoba. Navar. Covarrnv. Bonacina. infra. 

* In Suarez, ibid. n. viii. et torn. iii. disp. lxxxiriii. sect iii. There are near thirty 
doctors produced for this by John Martinez de Prado, a Dominican ; torn. ii. Theol. 
Moral, c. xxx. q. yiii. sect. i. n. i. 

* Haec est communis sententia— omnes fatentnr. — Idem, 8ua. 1. iii. de Orat c. iii. 
n. r., Tide infra. 

* Licet yelle attendere, non sit attendere in re, ut vere dixit Cajetanns.—-&t<ar. de 
Orat lib. iii. c iv. n. 7. 



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14 BEAL W0B8HIP 07 GOD [CfiAP. I. 

as bad as nothing. However, since all the worship they count necessary is 
included in this purpose, and all their pretensions depend on it, they are 
concerned to have it thought to be something, and they will seem cautious 
about it, as a thing material, so this proviso they lay down. 1 It must not 
be changed into a contrary purpose ; if that should fall out, it will lose its 
wonderful virtue, and not make those worshippers who mind not what they 
are doing when they should be praying. But there is no danger of this, nor 
need they be solicitous about it, for (as they tell them) they change not their 
purpose, though they do. nothing that they intended, or do what is quite 
contrary to it, viz., though if they purposed to attend, yet they attend not at 
all, but turn their minds to other things, if they act cross to the supposed 
intention ; yet, so long as they assume not a contrary purpose, they must be 
thought to mind what they are about, though they mind it not one moment ; 
and there need be as little care, as there is danger of changing their purpose, 
for* carelessness cannot do it. It cannot be changed, unless a man design- 
edly, and on set purpose, will turn his mind from what he is about to other 
things. Since then a person who doth not mind God, or anything that con- 
cerns his worship, when he seems engaged in it, doth not worship God at 
all, as is evident in itself, and they confess it, in case he mind not this on 
set purpose ; therefore, though he doth not worship God at all, yet he wor- 
ships him as much as the Romanists require, unless he wills not to worship 
him on set purpose ; yea, though he voluntarily mind nothing that concerns 
a worshipper, though he deliberately and willingly let his mind run upon 
other things, yet so long as he is so regardless of God, and what he is about, 
as not to take notice of this extravagancy, he fulfils the precepts of the 
church, and minds divine service as much as is required.* Thus Cajetan, 
Soto, and others ; so that by their doctrine, if they do not worship God and 
voluntarily neglect it, yet they do as much as the church enjoins, so long as 
they take no notice that they do not worship him. And as they may volun- 
tarily employ their minds about other things, when they should be worship- 
ping, so may they on set purpose busy the outward man about other employ- 
ments, when they are saying their service. They can perform their best 
devotions while (to give their own instances) they are 4 washing themselves, 
or putting on their clothes, or mending pens, or laying the cloth, or making 
beds, or anything else which requires no more attention. Nor dare they 
count this a venial fault, because the* Dominicans are enjoined by the rules 
of their order to say their service while they are 'doing something else. 
That which would spoil the devotion of others gives no impediment to theirs, 

1 Facillimum huic precepto obedire, nam nihil aliud exigit, nisi quod quia animo 
vacandi Deo boras inchoet, et in contrarinm animus iste non mutetur, dum exsolrit 
divinum officium — Cajetan. ram yerb. hone Canon, edit. Lngdun. An. 1544. 

s Mutari autem in contrarinm est impossible, ex inadvertentia. — Cajetan. ibid. 

3 Si quis advertit so cogitare hsec vel ilia, quae debent esse extranea tunc a sua 
meditatione, scd non adrertit quod ab officio Dirino distrabitur ; quamvis voluntarie 
ea meditetur ; non tamen yoluntarie animus ab officio divino distrahitur : ac per hoc 
animns vacandi Deo a principio officii habitus, non est mutatus in contrarinm. — Cajetan. 
ibid. Etsi ultro et yoluntarie alia cogitet (ut bene ait Cajetanus) quousque inspiciat se 
distrahi, semper reputatur inadrertenter divagari, atqne adeo excusatur ab omissione 
pnecepti de attentione, impletque adeo subinde orandi mandatum.-~Sbfo, ibid. p. 341. 
Sic explicant Cajetan. Soto, presertim Medina ; vide et Gabriel in Suar. iii. Thorn, 
torn. iii. disp. Ixxxviii. sect. iii. 

4 Hujusmodi sunt4avare manns, se induere, pennam temperare, aut id genus similia, 
qui quidem actus quandoque non sunt peccata neque yenialia (verbi gratia) in ordine 
pnedicatorum. — Joe. de Graff, ibid. 1. ii. c li. n. x. Talis est actio vestiendi se, yel 
lavandi manus et ora, Tel sternendi mensam, aut lectum. — Fill. Tract, xxiii. n. 260. vid. 
Soto ubi supra ; yid. Bonatin. Diyin. Offic <L i. q. iii. p. 2. sect. ii. n. xii. 

• Vid. infra. 



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Chap. I.] hot neoessaby in tsb ohuboh of bomb. 15 

and good reason, for how can that be disturbed that is not, or lessened 
when it is already nothing ? This is to worship God after the Roman mode, 
when neither body nor mind is taken np with the service, bat both delibe- 
rately employed about something else. 

Bat that by their principles they need be no better worshippers, will yet 
be more manifest if we view their doctrine concerning attention more dis- 
tinctly. Aquinas and Bonaventare (whom the rest follow) give an account 
of three sorts hereof, according to the severals which may be minded in prayer. 
The first is attention to the words, so as not to err in pronouncing 
them. 1 
The second, to the sense of the words. 
The third, to the person prayed to, and the tilings prayed for. 
Bonaventare calls attention to the first superficial, and that to the second 
literal (we may as well call it human or rational), that to the third spiritual 
(divine or Christian attention others call it). 9 

Now (which is to be observed as that which unveils the whole mystery), 
they hold that any one of these is sufficient, not only the third or the second, 
but even the first, though it be the worst, and of least importance. 80 
Angelns,' Sylvester, 4 Cajetan,*Bellajrmine,' Tolet, 7 so Aquinas, Soto, Navar, 
so all of them, it is (they tell us) the common doctrine universally received. 9 
And this clears ail, and leads us directly through their reserves and conceal- 
ments, and the ambiguity of their expressions (apt to mislead an unwary eye, 
and abuse a charitable mind, loath to think them so bad as they speak them- 
selves) into the open view of their irreligious (not to say atheistical) doctrine. 
This makes it very evident that with them it is not needful either to worship 
God or intend it. For since they agree that any one of the several sorts of 
attention is sufficient, the first, which concerns the bare words, is enough on 
their account, and the other are needless. It is not requisite that they should 
mind either the things to be prayed for, or the God they should pray to, or 
the sense of the words they pronounce ; it will suffice that they mind the 
words, to them senseless, and therein the empty and insignificant figure and 
Bound. Now, words without sense are in themselves neither good nor bad ; 
no worship, sure, can be imagined in them ; they are no better (but less 
tolerable) in the mouths of men than the sound of brutes. And the mere 
figure and sound of letters can make men no more worshippers than con- 
jurors ; yet such is all the worshipping and praying that they count necessary. 
Bat if they had a mind to supererogate, and their Catholics were to do more 
than their duty, «. *, act as becomes men in their service, taking the sense 

'Sciendum tamen quod triplex est attentio, qnes orationi vocali potest adhiberi : una 
qnidcm qua attenditur ad verba, ne aliquis in eis erret : secunda qua attenditur ad 
ieninm verborum : tertia qua attenditur ad finem orationis, sc ad Deum, et ad rem 
pro qua orator. — Aquin. xxii. q. lxxxiii. a. xiii. 

' Opnsc. de process. Religionis, 1. yii. c. iii. 

' Qaocunque istorum modorum adsit intentio, non estinefficaxoratio ad satisfaciendum. 
& l ego dico nee ad impetrandum vel reficieudum. — Sum. Angel, v. oratio. n. xi. 

* Quacunque harum adsit, oratio non est censenda inattenta. — Sylvut. Sum. v. orat. 

B.71. 

6 Una istarum attentionum eufficit. — Cajetan. Sum. ibid. 

4 Quselibet vero harum trium sufficit, — JBeltarm, de bon. Operib, 1. i. c. xviii. p. 1026. 
Edit. Lugd. An. 1599. 

7 Secunda attentio non est necessaria — Tertia etiam attentio non est necessaria. — 
Tola, in struct. 1. ii. cap. xiii. p. 449. 

* Consequenter D. Thomas, Cajetan, Soto, etssspe Navar. ssserunt, quamcunque ex 
dictis attentionibus sufficere ad probitatem orationis et implendum praceptnm. — Suar, 
de Orat. TocaL L iii. c. iv. n. xviii. 

* Communis est, quia omnes dicunt minimum attentionem sufficere. — Idem, ibid. 
VOL.111. p 



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16 SEAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

along with the words, yet the third sort of attention, which concerns God, is still 
unnecessary, there need be no application of the mind unto God in their prayers. 
Surely in any religion but that which will have men abandon both sense and 
reason in matters plain and obvious to either, God would not be thought to 
be worshipped when he is not at all minded. By their common doctrine now 
mentioned (wherein all sorts of their authors conspire), first their minds may 
in their divine service not only depart from God by natural or inadvertent 
vagaries, but they may dismiss them from God on set purpose ; for they may 
voluntarily and upon deliberation decline in their service what is more than 
enough ; and the attendance of the mind upon God in prayer is plainly with 
them more than enough, seeing they declare that their attending to the bare 
words alone is sufficient. If they mind but to pronounce the words entire, 
no more is needful ; God may be left out of their minds during their whole 
service ; and they may be as much without God in their worship as others 
are said to be without him in the world, deliberately and out of choice. They 
leave us not to rely for this upon consequences, how evident and undeniable 
soever ; they stick not to declare * that thoy may without sin voluntarily abandon 
the better sorts of attention, viz. both that which is rational and that which 
is spiritual. This will be no fault at all, if done upon a reasonable account ; 
for example, if anyone decline these, that he may not tire his head therewith, 
or anything of like nature. 9 It seems reasonable with them not to trouble 
their heads with minding God, or what becomes men in their worship of him. 
The reason is, because they are not obliged to serve God as well as they can. 3 
It is a received maxim amongst them, that they are not bound to do their 
best. 4 The third sort of attention is better than the second, and the second 
is better than the first (that is worst of all) ; but when there are better and 
worse ways of serving God before them, they may choose the worst. The 
worst attendance of all, it seems, is good enough for God, even that wherein 
he is not at all regarded. This doctrine is so common, that I find but two 
who demur on it, and one of them (Cajetan) but drawn in by consequence* 
Only Navar, though he, as the rest, counts the first and worst sort of attention 
sufficient, yet thinks it may be a venial fault to retain it, so as voluntarily to 
exclude or hinder the better. Yet both 6 these hold that they may voluntarily 
want the better, and may without fault turn their minds from God to other 
things, so long as they observe it not, or if they do observe it, yet so long also 
as they do not reflect upon it as a vagary. And both maintain 7 that any one 

1 TJt adverterem sufficere attentionem ad verba, vel ad sensum verbornm— ex quo fit 
at recitaDS divinum officium, non teneatur roeliorem attentionem quserere, sed satis- 
facerc, quamlibet ex dictis eligendo. — Bonacin. divin. off. disp. i. q. iii. p. 2, sect ii. n. 5 
cum ran Ilia aliis. 

s Inferturnrimo quamcunqne attentionem ex dictis sufficere, ut oratio sit honesta. Et 
siquidem voluntaria omissio melioris attentionis sit rationabilis, ut si quie nolit attendere 
ad perfectiorem, ne caput defatiget, vel quid simile, non impediet quominus honesta 
sit. — Vid. Suarex, de orat. 1. iii. c. iv. 

8 In eo modo orandi nullum est peccatum per se loquendo, et ex vi naturalis legis, oh 
solum defectum voluntarium melioris attentionis — quia homo non tenetur orare meliori 
modo quam potest, &c — Idem ibid. 

4 Vid. Melch. Canum Praelec. de pcenitent. part. iii. p. 841. edit. Colon. Agripp. an. 
1606. 

_. 8 Angel, sum. v. Orat. n. xi. ; Sylvest. sum. v. Orat. n. vi. ; Navar. ibid. c. xxv. n. 106 ; 
Graff, ibid. 1. ii. c. Ii. n. 9; Molanus Theol. Pract. Tract, iii. c. viii. n.xiv. 

6 Cajetan. supra Navar. c. xxv. n. 106. 

7 Quod possit quis sine peccato orare dum se induit, ant aliam similem actionem 
excrcet— quae actio, licet admittat inferiorem attentionem, tamen sine dubio irapedit 
perfectiorem, et maxime spiritualem et el e vat am. Non licere tales actiones exercere, 
estfalsum, et contra usum omnium piorum; et Cajetan, et Navar, etiam fatentnr. — 
Suarex, ibid. n. xii. 



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Chap. I.] not necessary in the church of bomb. 17 

may pray whilst he is dressing himself, or is taken up with any other like 
employment. And snch action, though it be consistent with the worst atten- 
tion, yet undoubtedly (they say) it hinders the better, especially that which is 
spiritual and elevated. So that herein these authors are either reconciled to 
the common opinion, or fall out with themselves. And that such employments 
(though inconsistent with spiritual attention, t. e. with minding God) are law- 
ful while they are at their service, is not only the sense of these two casuists, 
but to deny it is against the usage of all the pious (it seems the Roman piety 
is without regarding God even in his worship). Ail the Dominicans are par- 
ticularly obliged to it (as we saw before), and have a visible demonstration 
for it from the ancient form of their dormitories. 1 Thus one way or other 
all agree that God may voluntarily be neglected in their worship without sin. 
Secondly, As it is not necessary by their doctrine to worship God, so neither 
is there any necessity to intend it. When they have encouraged all, even 
their religious, not to pray at all, by assuring them they need not mind God 
at all, whilst they should be praying to him, yet they would persuade them 
notwithstanding that they may pray by virtue of a former intention. The 
vanity of this is shewed already (where we prove both that this is not enough, 
and that indeed they require not so much) ; but because it is the only pre- 
tence that such can be worshippers of God who think it needless to mind 
him, even in the most solemn addresses amongst them, it will not be amiss 
to see it again put quite away by their own doctrine. What must be de- 
signed in that previous intention, upon which, not only the efficacy, but the 
reality, of their prayers depends? Must they intend, when they are going 
about it, to mind the things they are to pray for, or the God they should 
worship, or the sense of the words they utter ? No ; as it is not necessary 
to mind any of these when they are at their worship, so neither is it needful 
to intend it beforehand : it will be sufficient if they do but intend to mind 
the senseless pronounciation of the words, and neither God nor anything 
else which becomes Christians, or men in acts of worship ; nothing but 
what brutes or birds are eapable of, the mere uttering of the words. This 
is very manifest by their common doctrine, now before us, concerning atten- 
tion in prayer. Attendance to the words without the sense is sufficient, but 
they need not purpose beforehand to have any sort of attention more than 
that which is sufficient ; for they will not imagine there is any need of a 
purpose to do that which is not needful to be done ; and they declare ex- 
pressly this is all which is requisite, that they come to their service with a 
purpose to have any sort qf attention, that is sufficient ; 8 telling us withal, 
that attendance. to the bare words will suffice. So that in the issue the 
worship of God (his and our greatest concern in this world) is reduced to 
this : there is no need to mind God, and so not to worship him at all, 
either actually or virtually, since it is neither needful to do this, nor intend 
it. He is not worshipped in that remote and minute way which they call 
virtual (which is not the doing of it, but a purpose only to do it), but by 
virtue of a former intention ; where this intention is not, it can have no 

1 Dixerim forsan venial iter, quoniam non semper est peccalnm, immo in ordine nostro 
praceptum nobis est, ut surgentes officium Virginia dicamus : et at antique indicat dor- 
mitorii dispositio : inter indnendnm se fratres illud inchoabant. — 8oto f ibid. 1. x. q. v. 
art. v. Graff, ibid. 1. ii. c. li. n. x. 

1 Attentio necessaria consistit in babendo a principio horarum proposito actnali, vel 
virtuali ad eas attendendi, etpostea actualiter, aut virtaaliter attendendo aliqua atten- 
tione sufficient, quae est triplex, &c. — Navar. ibid. c. xxv. n. clxv. Vid. supra, ad 
impkndum proceptnm orandi vocaliter snpradicti anthores assernnt, sufficere atten- 
tionem ad literam. — S. Thorn, Cafctan. Sotu*. Gabriel, Vatauez. Optuc, Moial p. 444. 
dab. ?. 



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18 BEAL WOBSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

virtue ; but with them there need be no intention to mind God, and so by 
their doctrine it is not necessary to worship him one way or other. 

Thirdly, Since with them it is not needful to mind anything in their 
service, for which they can be counted worshippers, nothing but the words, 
it will not be very material to take notice what attention they must give to 
these ; yet seeing the senseless recital of the words is all that they would 
have them mind in divine service, one would think that this should be 
attended to purpose, at least actually. No ; it is enough if their attention 
be but virtual, t. e. if they have a purpose to mind them, when they are 
going about their worship, and change it not while they are at it, though 
then they mind them not j 1 for as they generally hold that attention to the 
words is sufficient, so none question but a virtual attention thereto will 
serve. 8 It may seem strange that one should be said to attend when he 
attends not, but they will satisfy this with something that is as odd ; they 
would have them think their heedlessness is excused by being more heedless, 
and bo the more careless they are in their worship the better. For if they 
mind not what they are doing, when saying divine service, yet if they do 
this without reflection, and take no notice that they mind it not at all, they 
therefore mind it well enough. 8 Such is the attention which the strictest of 
their authors require and judge sufficient ; even such as is as good as none, 
and about that which is nothing worth. Now, this doctrine hath such an 
atheistical aspect, that they (who profess themselves to be, and would have 
the world think that they are worshippers of God) seem concerned not to 
expose it commonly barefaced. And indeed they give it some disguise, when 
they declare so much for attention of mind in worship, as that which is of 
the substance of worship, so essential thereto, that without this it is no 
worship of God, no praying at all, but a mere clamorous noise, yea, a mock- 
ing of God, and taking his name in vain. 4 The Jesuits forbear not fre- 
quently to acknowledge this. Who would not think hereupon, that they 
count it most necessary for the mind to attend God in worship ? Oh ! but 
the vizor falls off, when we understand that attention of mind to nothing else 
but the bare words, stripped of their sense, and all respect to God, is enough 
with them, and that virtual only, and in purpose, though they never actually 
mind so little. They themselves assure us that the attending to the words 
only (if that were to be done indeed) is no attending God ; for they make 
these distinct things, and will have one of them suffice without the other ; 
and it is against the resentments of all religion, and common sense, too, 
that God should be said to be worshipped when he is not at all minded. 
And therefore, in fine, when they teach (as the best of them do, so that it 
passeth for their common doctrine) that superficial attention in their service 
is sufficient, they declare plainly enough, that in the church of Borne there 
is no need to worship God, no, not for their religious, in that which they 
call divine service. 

But if we would have a plainer acknowledgment hereof than is needful, 
we may have it from those who declare that no attention of mind is needful 
in worship, and these are the greatest part of their authors, which I find 

1 Est an tern attentio ilia Yerborum— virtaalis, cum incepit animo dicendi officiam, et 
attendendi, et postea non mutat aninram, qnamdin non attendat. — Tolet. ibid. I. ii. c. xiii. 

9 Actualis vel virtualis intentio sufficit ex omnium sen ten ti a ad implendum procep* 
f am hoc — Suar. de hor. 1. iv. c xxvi. n. iii. D. Thorn, quern omnes sequuntnr, &c. 
Supra. Bonacin. torn. i. divin. offic. disp. i. q- iii. panct. ii. n. xr. Communis Doctoram 
sententia. 

* Cajetan, Soto, et alii, supra, 

4 Vid. Vasqnez. de Adorat. 1. ii. disp. viii. c* xii. n. ccclxi. et c xr. n. cccxcvi. 
Suarea, de orat. 1* iii. c. iv. n. ir. et n. r. et 1. iv. c xiv. n. 12. 



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Chap. L] not necessary in the ohuboh of bomb. 19 

alleged in this question (taking none into the account neither, but those who 
are ancienter than the foundation of the Society). They determine, without 
distinguishing that all attention is needless, actual, or virtual. If the words 
are pronounced entire, and no external action admitted to hinder that, it is no 
crime with them, if as nothing else, so neither the bare words be further 
minded, but the thoughts be quite dismissed from them. Sylvester, the 
master of the sacred apostolical palace, and their prime champion against 
Luther, in his book dedicated to Pope Leo the Tenth, determines expressly, 
that to pray with attention in their canonical hours is not required by God's 
law. 1 If he had said, the church had not required it, he had spoken within 
compass, and said no more than many others before and after him ; but he 
says that too, for having told us that Hostiensis, Antoninus, Summa Rosella 
do all hold, that the church enjoins, not attentiveness, but only saying the 
service, he adds, that they say true as to this, that attention is not under 
the precept of the church. 1 Of the like persuasion are Durandus, Paludanus, 
Angelas de Clavasio, and others. For attention, as they say, is not a com- 
mand of their church, but a counsel only, which may be neglected without 
sin.' Others, who make the best of it, deliver it thus. The church do pot 
command internal acts, no more than judge of them, therefore requires not 
attention in worship ; the precept is fully accomplished without it, by the 
external act alone; the want of attention is no mult, unless upon the account 
of the natural precept, and in reference to that it is no worse than venial. 4 
They are herein opposed by some later casuists and Jesuits (however these 
come to be counted more licentious). Bat the differing parties fully agree 
in making it needless to worship God. For both hold, that they need not 
mind either God, or the matter, or the sense of the words in their service, 
either actually or virtually, and both conclude that the words without the sense 
(and all else for which they can be considerable) need not be minded actually. 
All the difference is about a virtual attention to the bare words, whether 
the want of that (which is no attention indeed) be a mortal crime. It is 
just as if when they had concluded it lawful to murder a man, they should 
fall into a hot debate whether it were a deadly crime to disorder his hair. 
But so it becomes those who make no scruple to destroy religion body and 
soul, to make a zealous stir about the slightest appurtenances of it. Some- 

1 Attente orare in horis canonicis, non est de jure divino, Sam v. horce. n. xiii. 

* Sed iBti licet veram dicunt, quantum ad hoc, quod attentio non est sub prsscepto. — 
1dm- Ibid. 

* Glericum qui distracto ammo horas recitat, non peccare mortifere aiunt Durandus, 
Paludanus, Angelas, Sylvester, et alii quid am non improbabiliter : quia attentio (in 
cap. dolentes de celebr. miss.) est in cousilio ; quia cum ecclesia in tern os animi actus 
non puniat, mentis attentionem non videtur prsecipere. — VidoreL add. Toll. 1. iii. c xiii. 
Glossa tenet quod sufficit dicere ore, licet non corde, et cum ea concurrunt multi Can- 
onist©. — Sum. Angel, v. Oratio. n. ix. 

* Evagatio qu» est advertentis et solum secnnduxn actum interiorem, licet sit temer- 
aria et gravis forte : non tamen est mortals, nisi propter contemptum ; quoniam ecclesia 
non babet judicare de interioribus actibus mere. Propter quod minister ecclesi® licet 
dieendo officium aliud cogitet, non videtur transgressor prascepti ex natura facti. — 
Angel, sum. y. hor®. n. xxrii. Sic. et Sylv. sum. t. hor. n. xiii. Non tenetur autem 
quoris prsscepto esse attentus, sed sine culpa mortal! potest evagari, etiam a proposito. 
— Idem, ibid, n. xiv. 

Non est peccatum mortale sine attentione recitare, etiamsi ex pura negligentia, et cam 
advertentia fiat ; ita Hostiensis, Jo. Andr. Anchoranua, Antoninus citans Umbertum 
et alios. Rosell, Summa Pisana, Angelic., Durandus, Paludanus, Sylrest., Turrecre- 
mata, Medina, in Snares 1. ir. de Horis Can. c. xxvi. n. i. et ii. 

Qui officium divinum voluntarie distractus recitat prsscepto satisfactt. Joh. Valerus 
alleges for this Aquinas, Paludanus, and twenty other doctors. Vid. Acacium de Velaeco 
torn. ii. res. mor. ?. hora* re* liv. 



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20 KEAL WOBSHIP OT GOD [CHAP. I. 

thing must be done with some shew of conscience, too, about its appendices, 
that the world may not think they retain nothing of it amongst them. And 
yet how palpable is the irreligion of these sophisters, who will have it a 
damnable crime to neglect their empty words, but no fault at ail wholly to 
neglect the great God, even when, if ever, the whole soul should attend him. 
Here is evidence too much, that the church of Rome, so far as we can know her 
sense by her doctors, the most, and best of them, if she think it fit that 
God should be worshipped, yet thinks it not needful that he be minded, t. *• 
though it be convenient to pretend worship, yet it is not necessary to wor- 
ship him indeed. Medina is so ingenuous as to tell us, that since the 
church requires not attention in their service, she doth not oblige them to 
pray, when she enjoins them to say their canonical hours. 1 So that all in 
the Church of Borne are discharged from any obligation to worship God at 
all, even in their most solemn service ; they need not pray when they are at 
their church prayers. Not only he, but all of them, must acknowledge this, 
who will yield to that reason or authority which they count best. Their 
law saith, God is not prayed to with the mouth without the heart ;* and it 
is a natural and evident principle (as themselves tell us) that vocal pro- 
nouncing of the words is not prayer, unless it is done with some attention; 9 
whereas most of them say no attention is requisite in their service ; and 
that virtual attention which the rest are for, themselves say, is no attention 
indeed, no more than the purpose is the act when not performed. But 
what then becomes of their pretences to worship or devotion ? May they be 
wholly without this ? Medina easily resolves this difficulty : though he 
who useth their service hath no devotion, yet the church in whose words he 
prays, and whose minister he is, brings her devotion. 4 So that the church 
brings devotion still, though none in the church, no, not the clergy, not the 
religious have any. The church prays effectually, in the words of those 
who say service, though these should blaspheme God in their hearts, while 
they utter the words of a prayer, and they pray in the person of the church 
by their common doctrine. So that though they be in mortal sin (suppose 
atheists or debauchees) their prayers prevail in regard of the church's holi- 
ness. 6 Happy persons they are, as ever any were in a dream, who can 
pray effectually when they pray not at all, and be devout with another's 
devotion, and why not saved too by the church's holiness 9 But, then, 
since this is applicable to all particular persons, what is that church, by 
which they may have such advantages ? It must be something not made 
up of particular persons, something abstracted from subsistence, and refined 
above the grossness of any reality ; and the structure, their devotion and 
worship must be answerable, and as much beholding to imagination for 

1 Praceptum ecclesia non obligai homines ad orandum, cam pracipit septem horas 
recitare. — De Oratione, q. xvi. ibid. 

* Nee oratur Deus ore sine cordc. — C. Cantantet, d. xcii. 

* Naturale et evidens principium est quod vocalis prolatio, non est oratio, nisi com 
aliqna attentione fiat — Suar. de Horie. Can. I. iv. c. xxvi n. xiii. 

* Qnod si minister non apponat derotionem, ecclesia apponit, cnjns verbis orat et 
minister est. — Ibid, 

6 Si ille est in statu peccati mortalis, nihil meretur, vel satis facit, et tamen vera 
implet praceptum, et manus sunm, solvendo pensum orationis sua, vereque impetrat, 
sen impetrare potest, non tarn attenta conditione person® sua*, quam spectata ecclesia) 
sanctitate in cujus nomine orat.— Suar. ibid, c xviii. n. ix. vide Bellarm. de Mieea. 1. ii. 
c xxrii. p. 837. Quatenus nomine ecclesia offertur prodest quia sanctitas ecclesia 
supplet red t anti 8 defectum. — Bonaein. de Offic. Divin. disp. iv. punct. i. n. 3. Dignitas 
orationis sumenda est ex dignitate ecclesia, cujus nomine offertur et retitatar, non ex 
dignitate improbi mini«tri ita.— -£. Thorn. Navar. Nugnue. Soto. Medina. Covarravius, 
et alii apttd Carolum Macignim. Bonaein. ibid, punct. n. xii. 



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CSAP. I.] NOT NECESSARY IN THE OHUBCH OF BOMS. 21 

a being. Not to disturb their fancies farther, it is enough that they acknow- 
ledge (what cannot be denied) that they are not obliged to worship God in 
their divine service ; being there is no worship without attention, and no 
attention with them necessary, or only that which is in effect none. 

But it is no wonder they make attention at their divine service not neces- 
sary, since, being in Latin, it is, to far the greatest part concerned in it, 
impossible. The first sort of it, which they call superficial attention, none 
are capable of effectually but those that are well acquainted with that lan- 
guage, so as not only to understand, but duly pronounce it, which few of 
their monastics are ; indeed, it is not the talent of many of their priests. 
The lowest degree of attention, saith Soto, none can have, but he that 
knoweth the tongue. 1 The second, which they call literal attention, fewer can 
arrive at, it is only for expert divines. To attend to the sense is not for all 
Latinists, but only for those that are expert in divinity 1 (saith tho same 
author), which is so far from being the attainment of monastics and com- 
mon priests, that many of the chief of their clergy cannot pretend to it. It 
was necessary for them to conclude (since they will have their own way, 
whatever the Scripture saith against it), that it is no sin for the clergy not 
to understand what they say when they say service, though they confess 
they can have no relish of what they understand not. 1 As to the third, 
which they call spiritual attention, they cannot mind the things prayed for, 
who know not what they are, and apprehend nothing of the contents of their 
prayers. Nor can they mind the God that is to be prayed to, when they 
know not whether they pray to God or no; for they understand not to whom 
the prayer is directed, to God or to a creature, to an angel or a saint, to a 
man or a woman. 

Now, seeing attention to what they do at their service is impossible to 
most and unnecessary to all, it may seem superfluous to shew that with them 
reverence and devotion is also unnecessary. (And what religious worship 
there can be without these, let those who have any tolerable notion of leli- 
gion judge). 

For reverence and devotion are included in attention, or necessarily depend 
on it, and unavoidably fall with it. No man will imagine that there can be 
any devotion or reverence toward God when he is not so much as minded, 
when he is not before their eyes, when the mind is voluntarily turned from 
him and wholly taken up with thoughts which are inconsistent with the ob- 
servance of him. And this is the plain import of that non-attention which 
they allow in their service. When the mind departs, the heart follows it 
(since 4 it moves by its conduct and acts, not otherwise), and when these are 
gone, the man is morally absent, and worships God no more, nor hath any 
more devotion or reverence for him (if these be so much as moral acts) than 
if he were not in the place where he is worshipped. And seeing (as 6 them- 

1 Prima pnta attentio ad rerbornm proUtionem, inflmus est attentions gradus : 
qnem habere non potest, nisi qui linguam norit. — De Ju$t. ei Jur. L z. q. r. art. v, 
p. 340. 

8 Secundns autem gradus pnta ad sensum attendere, non omnibus Latinis congruit, 
nisi Theologin peritis. — Ibid. 

• Indignum enim est, nt altissima tractetmjsteria, et eoram ignarus exist at: nullum 
entm gustum inde potest pereipere. —Tolet, ibid. L i. c. xciii. 

4 Bellarm. de Baptism, 1. i. c. xi. p 244. 

* Opus ergo advertere, nt dicatnr moraliter pnesens esse rei qn» fit. — ToL ibid. 1. vi. 
c ri. 

6 Cnm exterior enltns sit signum interioris culms.— Aquina$ ii. 2, q. xcir. art. ii. 
Ea qnss exterius aguntur sunt signa interioris reverentia. — Angel, sum. r. adora. n. iii. 
Sine quo (sc. submission^ affectu) nota exterior non essetadoratioetcultus. — Vaequez 
de Adorat. 1. ii. disp. viii. c. xii. n. ccclxi. Nee signum nisi ex affectu tali (interior!) 

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22 SEAL W0B8HIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

selves tell us) outward acts in worship are not considerable, but as signs of 
inward motions, all external shows of devotion or reverence, when there is 
none of these in the soul, will be bat hypocritical significations, denoting that 
to be there which the Lord discerns is not there, and so tend to affront him, 
instead of approaching him with reverence, worship, or devotion. But there 
is no need of a proof where the thing is confessed ; they tell us plainly that 
neither reverence nor devotion is necessary. 

Reverence (saith De Graffiis, in his time the grand penitentiary at Naples) 
consists in this, that the body be in a composed temper, otherwise it signifies 
an incomposed mind ; they ought, therefore, reverently and humbly to pray, 
for such prayers penetrate the heavens. But this is only counsel and advice ; 
it is not commanded, as he tells us immediately. 1 Such reverence, saith he, 
is not required by any precept ; though the service be said irreverently, yet the 
command is satisfied. 1 Here is encouragement enough for irreverence, inward 
or outward. All the danger follows, 2 but possibly it may be a venial fault if 
the irreverence be great, according to Pope Innocent. And if great irrever- 
ence will in the pope's judgment prove but a small fault, they may venture on 
great as well as little freely, for neither pope nor penitentiary thinks any much 
concerned to avoid a venial sin. Sylvester tells us 3 that irreverence is not al- 
ways mortal ; but will it ever be so, or when ? It is not so when, instead of 
worshipping God, 4 they take his name in vain, how severe soever the terms 
be in which the Lord hath forbidden this, and thereby signified the heinous- 
ness of it. Yea, that irreverence to God, which is injurious to his divine 
majesty and excellency, may not be big enough to be counted mortal ;* unless 
it be so outrageous as to destroy the majesty of God, or some of his perfec- 
tions, it may be venial. The little account they make of reverence is the 
more considerable, because, as themselves describe it, it compriseth all love 
and observance of God. 

For devotion, Aquinas tells us, 7 as to the fruit of spiritual devotion, he is 
deprived of it who doth not attend to the things he prays for, or doth not 
understand ; so that devotion is lost (by the oracle of their schools) on a 
double account, both when prayer is not attended, as it needs not be with 
them, and when it is not understood, as it cannot be. He that is negligent 
both as to attention and devotion offends venially. Thus Cardinal Cajetan, 
after he had told us that devotion consists in every holy affection. 8 So that 
he who through negligence wants all holy affection (whatever is included in 
attention or devotion) incurs but a slight fault; and it may be not so much. 

nasceretur, adorationis opus esset, ted commentitium, sen irrisionis potius nota judi- 
caretur. — Idem. ibid. c. xv. n. cccxcvi. 

1 Non tamen talis reverentia est de pracepto, ita ut si minus reverenter officium 
dicatur, tamen procepto satiafit. 

8 Verum possit esse peccatnm reniale qnando magna est irreverentia, jnxta Ionoc 
in c. i. de Celebr. miss. — Ibid. 1. ii. c. lii. n. x. 

9 Nee valet did quod est ibi irreverentia, quia ipsa semper non est mortale.— Sum. 
v. baptism iii. n. vi. 

4 Qui orat sine attentione, et qui laudes Deo canit, nihil de illo cogitans, in vanum 
nomen Dei assumit, at non propterea mortaliter peccaU — Sttar. de J warn. 1. iii. c xri. 

* Irreverentia qua? fit Deo non implendo promissionem jura tarn, non destruit aliquod 
attributum Dei in se t etiam in affectu hominis, ergo non est unde ilia irreverentia ex 
suo genere tanta sit, ut minui non possit usque ad venialem culpam ex levitate materia. 
—Ibid. n. xvii. 

6 Consistit reverentia : 1, in dilectionis affectu ; 2, in obtemperationis obedientia, 
Ac — Angel Sum. v. reverentia. 

7 Quantum ad fructum Bpiritualis devotionis, privatur qui non attendit ad ea qus> 
orat, sen non intelligit.— Cbm*n*tf. in 1 Car. xiv. fol. c. 

8 Qui vera negligenterse habet circa executionem attentionis et devotionis venialiter 
peccat.— Sum. v. Uor. Can. 



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Chap. I.] not negbssaby in thx chtjbch of bomb. 28 

There ought to he devotion (aaith Cardinal Tolet), and he sets it oat hy love 
to God and desires of seeing him, hat adds, if this be wanting without con- 
tempt, it is no great sin. 1 Whether he thought it a little one, he saith not ; 
bat if he had so hard thoughts of it, the Jesuit is more severe than those of 
other orders. Graffiis, after he had described devotion, concludes, 2 He that 
wants devotion sins not, not so much as venially it seems. Lopez and Metina 
in him censures 3 that opinion as false and cruel which will have actual devo- 
tion requisite for receiving of the eucharist, though that devotion be no more 
than an actual consideration that they are there to receive Christ. Indeed, 
they generally count devotion needless there, where, if ever, it would be 
counted requisite. To 4 be destitute of it and attention too, at the eucharist, 
is either but a small fault or none at all. Sylvester saith inward devotion is 
not enjoined by the church, 6 but as to outward devotion, he will not exempt 
it from the command ; and what that is, he lets as understand by the un- 
devoatness which is forbidden : when they make sport with one another 
for a great part of their worship, so as to scandalize others and disturb 
the priest. 6 It seems they may be as devout as their church would have 
them when they play the wags one with another at divine service, so that 
their sport be but thus qualified ; if it be not so uncivil as to offend the 
people, or so boisterous as to disorder the priest, or so long as to take 
up a considerable part of their worship, their church, who requires no in- 
ward devotion at all, will not burden them much, we see, with that which 
is outward. Bo little devotion serves their mass, their divine service re- 
quires no more. Devotion there, saith he, is not commanded. 7 Others, 
amongst which the same author names Hostiensis, Antoninus, and Summa 
BoseUse, hold that in the orders for divine service, 8 the bare saying of it 
is commanded, but all that consists in devotion is no more than counsel 
(which by their principles may be neglected without sin). The ground of 
their persuasion is considerable ; to enjoin devotion (say they) 9 had been 
to lay a snare for men, and impose intolerable burdens on them ; so that 
it seems the church had been wicked and unmerciful, if she had but obliged 
their clergy and religious to be devout in their worship. And by this reason, 
neither God nor man can make devotion a duty to any sort of Roman 

1 Debet esse devotio, ut animus noster inflammetur amore Dei, quem laudamus ; et 
ardeat desiderio Tidendi quem fide cernentes preconiis extollimus: quamvis si haec 
desit absque contemptu, non sit peccatam mortals — Ibid. L ii. c. xiii. 

* Qui autem hac (sc. devotione) caret, non peccat — Ibid. n. zi. 

9 Quarto animadverterlt contra opinionem Cajet. asserentis ad dignam sumptionem 
bnjns sacramenti requiri actualem devotionem, A.«. actualem considerationem qua 
considerat acta se snscipere Christum ; ut ejus fmctum percipiat, sine qua actuali de- 
Yosione peccatum mortale esset Christi corpus sumpsisse : falsam esse et durissimam 
banc opinionem. — Lopez. Instruct, par. i. c. xi. q. lxxx. 

4 Facillimum est homini, ita distrain, ut nullam actualem attentionem, vel devotionem 
habeat ; ant omnino sine culpa, aut certe ex levi culpa, qua non satis est ad impedi- 
endum fructum sacramenti — Suar. in Thorn, iii. torn. iii. disp. lxiii sect. iii. Vide 
Durand. Paludan. Antonin. Soto. Leduma. Chtkarinum, ibid, sect ii. 

* Interior tamen devotio, qua in attentione consistit, non cadit sub humano pra- 



cepto. — Sum. t. Mis| ii. n. vi. 
• Qua aliqui pro notabili pi 



parte missss nugantur cum socio, scandalizantes alios, et 
sacerdotem vexantes. — Ibid. 
7 Ibid. y. negligentia. Si ista negligentia esset circa omissionem horarum, esset 
mortalis : secus, si circa omissionem devotionis in dicendis boris, quia ilia devotio non 
est sub pnscepto. 

9 Alii dicunt quod sub pnscepto ibi cadit boras dicere : csatera vero, qua in devotione 
consistent, suadendo dicuntur. — Ibid. Hora. v. n. xiii. 

* Quem sensum primo videtur habuisse Host. Et sequitur eum tanquam benig- 
niorem Arcbi. et Sum. Rosel. Quia ecclesia non injicit laqueum, nee homines alligare 
debet onehbus importabilibua. 



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24 RBAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

catholics ; hereafter we most not wonder if they neither enjoin nor observe 
it. And though their reason may be singular, yet the opinion is the common 
doctrine, since all are discharged from devotion or reverence, who are not 
obliged to attention. Such, therefore, and no other, is the worship which 
the church of Rome makes needful for the clergy and religious. Such as it 
can be, without attention, without holy fear or affection ; it is not the thing 
they call it, it deserves not the name of worship, or the title of holy or reli- 
gious ; it must be a profane and irreligious exercise, it can be no better 
without reverence, and without devotion ; it cannot but be without these, 
whilst it is without attention, which they oblige all to neglect, by declaring it 
needless. Durandus maintained that images 1 are not to be worshipped pro- 
perly, but only abusively, that is, as they explain it, though worship be ex- 
hibited before, or about the image, yet the mind of the worshipper is far 
from it. This, his opinion, is now damned, as little less than heretical ; 
being, in their account, no less than a denial that any worship is to be given 
to an image, yet this abusive worship is all that they make necessary for 
the God of heaven ; for requiring no attention of mind, no devotion of soul 
in their service, they allow both mind and heart to be far from him, while 
they do something before or about him which they call worship. So that 
what worship they count intolerably too little for a senseless image, not to 
say a detestable idol, they think enough in conscience for the true and living 
God. I have not observed that any idolaters in the world were ever so gross 
and stupid, as by their avowed doctrine thus to advance what they look 
npon as a mere image, and so to debase what they took to be the true God. 
However, hereby it appears, that they count no worship at all needful for 
God, since worship without the heart will, by their doctrine, serve the turn, 
which, 1 in reference to an image, is, with them, no worship at all. It is not 
true honour or worship, but fiction and mockery. This is their own cha- 
racter of such worship when images are concerned, and under it I leave their 
divine service. 

Sect. 2. Let us in the next place view their mass. This is for the people, 1 
and is the only publio worship enjoined them in any of their days for 
worship. They call it 4 the chief part of their religion, and this summons 
us to expect that herein, if at all, they will shew themselves religious, 
and worship God indeed ; however, they think not themselves obliged to it 
in their divine office. But all expectation hereof is quite blasted when they 
tell us,* that less attention is required at the mass than at their canonical 
hours; yet so they commonly determine, and their reason is, because 

1 Quod est incidere in opinionem Durandi ab omnibus damnatum, dicentis, imagioem 
non proprie, sed abusive adoiari, non enim alia ratione illam vocavit abusivam adora- 
tionem imaginis nisi quia licet fiat coram ipsa vel jnxtaipsaro, tamen animus adorantis, 
ut sic, longe est ab ipsa. — Suar. torn. iii. disp. lxxxi. sect. viii. p. 1075. 

* Quamvis exterior actus rationem adorationis non babeat, nisi ut est ab interiori, 
sen ut manat a predicto affectu, nam si ab illo non oriatur ; non est adoratio, sed irrisio 
potius. sen fictio qusddam. — Idem. torn. i. disp. li. sect. i. p. 757. 

8 Sola missa communiter est in prsacepto. — Cajetan. Snm. v. /est. Est communis 
sen ten ti a, vide infra. 

4 Bellarm. 1. i. ; De Missa, c. i. p. 679. 

5 Attentionera vero qurn necessaria est sub prsscepto ad audiendam Missam, dicimus* 
non esse tantam quanta est in officio Divino. — De Oraff. ibid. L ii. cap xxxiv. n. 8. 
Neque in audienda missa requiritur tanta attentio sicut in recitatione borarum — Lopez. 
ibid. c. Hi. p, 271. Ut Soto, et Navar etiam annotant, minor attentio in missa neces- 
saria est, quam in horis canon icis recitandis. 

6 Quia oratio est actio magis rationalis, quam ilia moralis prsssentia, quse necessaria 
est ad implendum praeceptum de audienda missa*— Suar. torn. iii. disp. lxxxviii. sect, 
iii. Ex quo fit majorem attentionem requiri ad boras quam ad missam. — Ita Nug<m* t 

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Chap. I.] not necessaby in the ghtjbch of bomb. 26 

prayer is a more rational act than that moral presence required at mass. So 
that their hearing mass is a less rational act than that which is performed 
without understanding, and requires less attention of mind, than that to 
which none at all is actually needful. And we cannot yet apprehend how 
that can be divine worship, which is so far from being reasonable service, or 
how God can be thought to be worshipped, when the soul which is to wor- 
ship him doth not take any notice of him. The servant of servants at Borne 
would not think himself honoured, if the holding out of his toe were not re- > 
garded by such as have access to him. But Roman catholics may, it seems, 
mind God less at their mass, than one that minds him not all, and yet wor- 
ship him well enough after their mode. 

Besides, all inward worship is clearly discharged, for when they teach 
that the mass is for the people, the only worship on the Lord's days, or any 
other day set apart for worship, they tell us expressly, no inward worship is 
the duty of those days, external worship alone is commanded. 1 So Aquinas, 
Gajetan, 1 so Navar, so de Graffis, so Lopez, Dominicus a Soto also, who 
asserts it with many reasons, amongst which this is one, because the church 
requires no other than this external worship, and if God had required more, 
the church had not been fida divini juris interpret, a faithful expounder of 
the divine law, which rather than they will yield they will admit anything, 
though it be that God should never haw any true worship amongst them. 

Particularly and expressly, they deny all acts of contrition for sin to be 
the duties of mass days. So Sylvester,* Summa Roselto, 4 Melchior Canus,* 
and all the other authors last mentioned.* Likewise, all acts of love to God, 7 
Bellarmine, and in him Aquinas, 8 so Navar and Pope 9 Adrian, de Graffis, 10 
and Soto, 11 who would maintain this with many arguments, one of the chief of 
them, he calls it wgentissimum argwntntum, is, 12 that this would be to ensnare 
souls, and cast them into grievous straits, if so harsh a duty as an act of 
love to God, were enjoined so frequently. Another is, 1 * that all the com- 
mands of God, as to the substance of them, may be fully accomplished 
without love to God, and therefore this. « 

It is good divinity with them that we are not bound to worship God out 
of love. The mass, saith Navar, 14 which we are commanded to hear on those 
days, and nothing else, may be heard well enough without any sueh act of 

8. Antoninus, Navar Sylvester , Grafius, Sotus, Angdut, Barthol. ab Angtlo, Henriq. 
in (et cum) Bonacin. de Sacrament, disp. iv. q. nit. panct xi. n. 20. 

1 Ex pnocepto colendi Deum homo tenetur duntaxat cultnm externum ei exhibere., 
— Petr. a 8, Joseph de prsecept. i. art. v. Aquinas xxii. q. cxxii. art. iv. ; Cajetan. 
sum. v. fest. p. 306; Navar. cap. xiii. n. ii. ; Lopez, c. lii. p. 266; De Graff. 1. ii. 
c. xxxiii. n. viii. ibid.; Co-varravius ver. resol. 1. iv. c xix. n. ri. 

• Cum ergo ecclesia cultum hoc precepto inclusum perinde sno statuto exprimeret 
— et hoc suo'prsBcepto ad cultum nos tan turn aritet, palam est jure divino non esse 
illic alium contentum ; quonium alias nisi ilium expUcaret, non fnisset fida juris Di- 
rini interpres Soto de Just, et Jvr. 1. ii. q. iv. art. iv. 

• 8um. v. Domin. n. viii. * V. Feri». 

• Prelect, de Pcenlten. pars. iv. p. 864. 

• Cajetan. ibid. ; Soto. ibid. ; Navar. c xiii. n. xvii. ; Lopes, c lii. p. 271 ; De 
Graff, ibid. 

7 De Cult. Sanctorum, 1. iii. c. x. p. 1609. 

• Cap. xi. n. xix. &c. xxii. n. vii. • Ibid. w Ibid. " Ibid. 

u Esset enim hoc Christianorum animos irretire, et in arctissimasangustias conjicere i 
nempe quod tarn crebro ad rem tarn arduam teneremur. — Ibid. 

14 Ejusmodi prscepta non obligant ad charitatis modum, sed possunt quantum ad 
subatantiam operis, extra charitatem impleri. — Ibid. 

14 Nam missa quam in illis diebus precipimur audire, recte audiri potest, sine tali 
amore actu concepto, unde rari vel nulli se hujus omissionis accusant. — Cap. xi. n. vii. 
at Fest. Vide Suar. L ii. c. xvi. 



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26 REAL W0BSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

love. So Bellarmine, 1 we are not bound on these days by any particular 
precept not to sin, or to have any act of contrition, or any act of love to God. 
What, not one act of love to God ? No ; he will prove it. One of his argu- 
ments is, 2 because the church hath determined the time and manner how 
divine law is to be observed in keeping this command, but the church no- 
where requires inward acts ; she thinks, it seems, that God may be served 
sufficiently with the mass, without any sense of sin or love to God. And 
thus all those other graces and affections that flow from repentance, or love, 
or necessarily depend thereon, as filial fear, spiritual desires, delight in God, 
&c, will be no duty on their mass days, their mass hath nothing to do with 
them. Confessions of sin there may be well enough without godly sorrow, 
and petitions without desires, and praises without complacence or ingenuous 
gratitude, because all is well enough without love to God, or grief for offend- 
ing him ; and that on all these days wherein they are obliged to hear mass. 

If you would see anything of the worship of God in the mass, it is as if 
you look for the life and nature of a man in a picture ; and such an one as 
will not so much as shew you his colour or figure, but very rudely. 

The precept for observing mass days, as Sylvester tells us, 8 requires not 
the end, that is, waiting upon God, nor what is necessarily requisite thereto, 
but the hearing of mass. Not waiting on God, but hearing mass i These 
are distinct things, and disjoined in the sense of the Roman doctors, the 
one is commanded, the other is not ; so that they may duly hear mass all 
their lives, and yet not wait on God one moment : the former they must do, 
the latter they are not obliged to regard, nor anything that necessarily be- 
longs to it. Navar 4 asserts this, and would prove it by reason, and the 
authority of Aquinas, herein generally followed. In short, if there be any 
worship required in the mass, it is merely external ; and that, disjoined from 
the inward service of the soul, is but a mere shew or visor of worship, as 
they themselves confess in their lightsomer intervals. Well, but is it worship 
in any sense ? Is there anything religious required of the people herein ? 
For this they tell us it is enough, if it be a human act, no more is eqjoined,* 
the precept obligeth not, but to hear, so that it may be a human act, 6 saith 
Soto and others, 7 and if it suffice that it be a human act, it needs not be 
religious. Let it be deliberate, that is enough to make it a human act ; and 
then, though there be no religious motion or intention in it, the precept is 
fulfilled. Sylvester confirms us herein: the precept, saith he, is given unto 
men, and therefore the work must not be the issue only of the imagination, 
which is common to us with beasts, it must proceed from deliberation, which 
requires some attention. 8 So that there is something more required of one 

1 Non tenemur in diebus festis ex precepto peculiari, ad non peccandum stye ad 
actum contritions, vcl dilectionis DeL— Ibid. 

8 Ecclesia determinavit tempns et modum obsenrandi jus divinum de observation* 
prssceptorum : at ecclesia nusqnam procipit actus illos interiores. — Ibid. 

8 Non est simpliciter de fine, t. e. ipsa vacatione circa Deum, vol necessario requi- 
sitis ad illam : sed de abstinentia a servilibus, et anditione miss®. — Dominic, r. n. viii. 

4 Quamvis finis hujus pracepti sit, nt homo Deo vacet, ipsoqne fruatur, et in eo 
quiescat, nt docuit S. Thomas. Qnando tamen finis procepti est alind a re prncepta, 
tnnc non cadit sub preceptum, sicut idem. S. Thomas. Commnnitur receptus, c xiii. 
n. ii. p. 198. 

* Neqne tale proceptum obligat ad alinm actum interiorem, quam ad ilium qui 

Sropter ezteriorem est necessarius, scil. vere audire missam ea attentione, ut sit actus 
umanus.—&>to. ibid. p. Ii. 

8 Prasceptum audiendi missam non obligat nisi taliter audire ut sit actus humanus. 
— Idem. 1. x. q. v. art. v. p. 341. 

7 Sat est, quod sit actus humanus— Jae. de Qraff lib. ii. c. xxxiv. n. yiii. Satis 
est, sit actus humanus. — Lopez, c lii. p 271. 

8 Prcsceptum datur hominibus, ideoque oportet ut non procedat opus ex sola imagina- 

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Chap. I. J not necessary in the ghttbch of home. 27 

that goes to mass than of a beast ; but that is before he comes there ; if he 
advance but to it as a man, he may be excused even from human acts, when 
he is at it, he needs neither exercise his understanding nor his senses. He 
needs not understand it, 1 that it is far from being a duty, they have made it 
impossible; it is no sin either for priests 3 or people not to know what they 
do, so reasonable is their service. The Latin makes it unintelligible enough, 
but if it were in a language less known, if in Mosarabic or Greek, 3 those who 
are present without any but their mother tongue fulfil the precept. As 
Victorel tells us, 4 after Soto and others, he need not see what is done, 6 he 
may do all that is requisite at the mass blindfold ; he needs not hear it, as 
Cajetan and others tell us,* and this is much, he is enjoined only to hear 
mass, and yet doth all that he is enjoined if he hear it not, if not one syl- 
lable of it reach his ears ; it seems, with them, to hear is not to hear. Just 
by the same figure that they say they worship God, when in truth they do 
not worship him at all. 

He needs not be sensible of anything about it ; to hear mass, saith Tolet, 
is not to use any of his senses about what is- done in the mass. 7 And if this 
be their worshipping God, a man may worship him as much as the church 
of Borne requires, not only without reverence and devotion, without heart 
and affection, but without the use of sense or reason. A brute may do more 
at mass than they require their catholics to do. No wonder that church 
enjoins no attention, devotion, or reverence, nor counts them needful (as 
we have already manifested), for can there be any pretence to require these, 
when both sense and understanding are superseded ; or can there be any- 
thing that deserves the name of worship without these ? 

They themselves cancel anft overthrow all their own pleas and pretences 
for their offering God anything of worship in the mass. For, they say, he 
doth not worship there who is not present ; and they cannot deny that in 
God's account he is absent whose mind is not present. And yet they jus- 
tify voluntary departures of mind and heart, when they would be worshipping ; 
and those who would not seem to do this do it really, when they conclude 
it no fault to employ themselves about other things when they are at mass. 8 
They allow them to say their hours (and so neglect the mass, out of a neglect 
of their divine office), or to recite what is enjoined them by way of penance 
(and so prefer a punishment before the chief part of their religion), or other 
voluntary performances (so they may do what they will rather than mind 

tione, qua communis nobis est cnm bestiis, sed ex deliberations quae attentionem requirit, 
&c. r. hora. n. xiii. vid. Angelas v. hor. n. xxvii. 

1 Nemo teneatur ex preecepto audire, et minus intelligere verba sacerdotis, quia satis 
est rel ex longinqno missanti adesse. — Navar. c. xxi. n. viii. 

* Cleric! vel laici qui divinis intersunt, si non intelligunt qua dicant, non peccant. 
— Jac. de Graf. 1. ii. c li. n. xii. 

* Si andiret missam Mocaravem, compleret. — Lopez, c. xlii. 

4 Qui Grsecam missam audiret satisfaceret prsecepto, etiam si non intellipcret. — 
Addit. ad. L vi. c. vii. ToL instr. Vid Bonacin de Sacram. d. iv. q. ulc panel, xi. n. xii. 
et ilii plures. 

6 Non est videre ea qua? in xnissa aguntur. — Tolet. 1. vi. c vi. 

* Utrum autem audiatur vel non, utrum sit missa propria vel non. sub prsecepto non 
cadit.— CajtU Sum. v. Fest p cccvi. ; Navar, e. xxi. n. viii. supra. De Graff. 1. ii. c xxxir, 
n. viii. Satis est preesentem esse missse, ad impletionem prsecepti. licet non audiat sacer- 
dotem ; secundum Sotum. Lopes, ibid. Bonacin, ibid. n. xx. ibi S. Antonin. JSugnus, 
Navaf. SylveeU Henrique Graff. Sot Angehu. Barthol. ab Angela. 

7 Secundum Antoninum, non est necesse sentire et distincte audire verba missa*, &c 
Sylvett. v. miss, ii n. vi. Audire Sacrum— non est uti aliquo sensu erga ea qua in 
missa aguntur, 1. vi. c. vi. 

8 Sponte inter sacrum audiendum, vana cogitantem, prsecepto satisfacere— affirmant 
Sylvest. Jo. Medina, I'aludanue, Azov, in Victorel. addit. Tol. 1. vL c. vi. 



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28 SBAI* W0B8HIP OF GOD [C/HAP. I. 

what they are about). 1 They know they cannot do two things at once, 
especially in divine worship, which should take up the soul. Though in 
their worshipping, where the soul is not concerned, they may attend a 
hundred acts at once ; as much as they are obliged to mind the mass, thatj 
is, actually not at alL They admit them not only to read or write what 
they please, but also to sleep part of the time, so that they take not too long 
a nap. 2 It should not last above a third part, or half the mass (for that is 
pars nolabilis*) ; if it be but less than that, it passeth for nothing. 4 Or if 
they be too brisk to sleep, they may entertain themselves with familiar chat.* 
Medina concludes that he who is at mass may spend the whole time in dis- 
course about other things, — merchant affairs or making bargains, — and yet 
fulfil the precept. They must, it seems, demean themselves at mass alto- 
gether as religiously as at the exchange, and no more is required. Suarez 
would have the discourse neither so long nor so serious, there should be 
some intermissions to attend. But what attention can he mean? He 
(with the rest) tells us that to the mass less attention is requisite than to 
their divine office ; and to that office, he and they say, a virtual intention is 
sufficient, and this is the least of all that can be. So that to the mass leas 
attention than the least of all will suffice ; and this, to common apprehen- 
sion, is none at all. Others of them (as we saw before) will have no atten- 
tion of mind needful for their office ; and so with them, none will serve the 
mass. Their catholics may have their choice here, and satisfy their devo- 
tion at mass either with the attention of this doctor and some other late 
authors, whieh is none at all ; or (if this seem too much) with that of their 
ancienter doctors, which is less than none. And what must they attend to who 
need neither hear, nor see, nor understand what is said or done ? It would 
puzzle one as subtle as himself to tell one how he can attend to that which 
is neither offered to his senses nor his intellect. And therefore the Jesuit, 
though he seems more strict, yet herein is less rational than Medina, and 
not so consistent with himself or their common doctrine. Also he would 
not have the discourse at mass so grave and serious as that of merchants : 
it should be more light, more idle than that about trade and business. 7 It 
seems the levity of the stage suits with the mass better than the seriousness 

1 Vera resolutio est — posse quem eodem tempore 6atisfacere precepto de audienda 
missa, et de dicendis horis canonicis, aut aliis votis, juratis, vel in psenitentiam injunc- 
tis, roodo non adeo tint rei intendat, ut alteri necessariam attentionem adimat, quod 
fieri potest, cum nemo teneatur ex praecepto audire, et minus intelligere verba sacer- 
dotis Naaar, c. xxi. n. viii. 

Vid. Adrian, de satisfact. q. vii. ; Medina, tract, ii. de peeniL ; Cajetan. v. fest.; 
Soto. iv. dist. xiii. q. ii. art. i.; Lopez, c. lii. in Victorel. ibid.; besides the Jesuits, 
Tolet Suarez. Sa. Azorins. Comitolus, &c. 

So they may bear three masses at once, when said in one church at the same time, 
and thereby satisfy when their penance is three masses, as Bonacin. and in him 
Rodriquez, G raffias, Scortia, and others. — De sacrament, disp. iv. q. nit. p. xi. n. xiii. 

* Peccat mortaliter— in aliqua ejus parte notabili colloquendo, pingendo, scribendo, 
dormiendo. — Nov. c. xxi. n. vi., parvitas in omni materia excusat a mortal i, n. ii. 

8 Secundum Archidiaconum, preccptum non observat, qui partem notabilem amittit, 
puta medietatem aut tertiam partem ; secus qui modicam.— Syfo. v. miss. ii. n. i 

* Modicum enim pro nihilo reputatur — Cajet, v. fest. 

* Nonnulla modica misceantur colloquia. — Lopez, a lit. p. 271. 

e Medina docet, siquis missse interest, semper tamen confabulatur, aut alia negotia, 
futura cum merca tori bus tractat, nihilominus implere praeceptum — In Suar. torn. iii. 
disp. xviii. sect. iii. Bespondetur autem ex Cajerano, una cum Soto, quod snfficiat 
missa? esse praesenteni, unde qui longe stat, earn non audiens, vel cum alio loquena, 
non propterea est prtecepti transgressor. — Corradut in resp. quasst. 198. 

7 Qui voluntarie confabulatur — non aati&facere, nisi vel confabulatio esset discon- 
tinue partim scil. loquendo, partim attendendo, ut commnniter fieri solet ; vel non de 
re seria, sed levi, &c— Idem, ibid. 



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Chap. I.] not nbobssaby in the ohuboh of bomb. 29 

of the exchange. Answerably, if their discourse be not decent, nor the sub- 
ject of it very modest, the mass will comport with it, and the church's pre- 
cept will bear it without a breach. 1 And no wonder, since it hath been the 
custom of that church (as many of their writers inform us 1 ) to sing not only 
profane, but filthy, songs at high mass ; and that to the organ, that the people 
might not only be refreshed by their own private immodest discourse, but 
edified more effectually this way by the louder voice of the church. And 
how, we learn by a grave cardinal (though little herein more rigid than 
others), who tells us that the hearers were thereby excited to what was pro- 
fane and filthy, as experience witnessed. 3 And still notwithstanding any 
pretence of reformation, tunes to the organ at divine service or mass, though 
lascivious and very profane, will pass for a small fault (in the judgment of 
those who seem most severe in the case) if either the matter be slight, or the 
intention good, or the actors inconsiderate. 4 Here is provision enough, that 
the scenes in their mass may not be dull and heavy. Yet further, they may 
laugh and be pleasant, and when the music (which sounds not always) doth 
it not, they may make themselves merry in the height of their worship. But 
this with some caution : their talk and laughter may break out into such 
noise, that possibly it may prove a sin of irreverence. 6 Here is some show 
of danger, but it will vanish presently ; for if it should be a very loud extra- 
vagance* and the irreverence great, yet great irreverence may with them be 
but a smaM fault, and they have the authority of the pope to warrant this. c 
Nor must this seem strange to us, since they will not have all contempt of 
God criminal ; that which is material may be venial, and it is not formal, 
unless besides the contempt of God there be also an intention to contemn 
. him. 7 Such is the most solemn worship in the Roman church, and so is 
God worshipped amongst them ; and that not by the unwarranted presump- 
tion of the profane multitude, but by the rules and conclusions of those who 
direct their worship and guide their consciences. Here we may see in the 
mass the religion of Roman Catholics ; they call it the chiefest, the best 
part of their religion, that we may not look for anything better amongst 
them, nor anything religious, if it be not found here ; yea, it is all (better 
or worse) that the people are obliged to in public (and in private their church 
doth not trouble them with any). 6 He that views it well, and believes he 
hath a soul, and that there is a God, must have little or no regard of either 

1 Soto in iv. dist xiii. q. ii. art. Hi., dicit qnod licet indecentia sint colloquia inter 
audiendam missum, non tamen propterea fit transgressor prscepti. — Ibid. 

* Cornelias Agrippa, de vanit. scient. cap. xvii. j Cajetan. sum. v. ; Organ. Soto. 
de just, and jur. 1. x. q. v. art. ii. p. 336; Navar. cap. xiii. n. lxxxvii.; Lopez, cap. H. 
p. 283. 

8 In cujus signum, audientes ex illo sono excitantur ad ilia profana seu turpia, ut 
experientia testatur : ita quod non est inficiationi locus. — Cajetan, ibid. 

* Canticus — ratione som quia est lascivus aut valde scecularis — potest esse venial is 
culpa, vel ratione mate rise minim®, vel ex bona intentione vel inadvertentia, ut 
Cajetanus dixit, in Suar. de horis can. 1 iv. cap. xiii. n. xvii., materia parva — si organ- 
ista loco Kyrie Eleuon, cantilenam profenam organo canat. — Villalobus, in Dian. v. 
blasph. n. ir. 

6 Sed possent voces et risus in tantum prorumpere, quod esset peccatam irreverentia 
et scandali. — Lop*x y c. Hi. Soto in iv. diet. xiii. quest, ii. art i. 

6 Jac. de Graff. 1. ii. c. lit supra. 

7 Contemptus ille qui continetnrin irreverentia Deiperse,et ut talis est, non semper 
est formalis sed materials, qni non semper sufficit ad malitiam mortalem. Nos autem 
loquimur de contemptu formali, quo ipsa Dei irreverentia intenditur. — Suar. de Juram, 
]. iii. c xii. n. iv. and vi ; vid. Cajetan. Sum. v. contempt ; vid. Bonacin. de legibu*, disp. 
ii. q. iii. p. 5, n. x. 1. xv. 

8 In qua (sc miasa) pracipua para religionis nostra. — Bellar. de miss. lib. i. cap. i. 
p. 679. 



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80 BBAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

if he do not bless himself from it, as a thing which hath nothing of religion 
but the name, and that merely usurped. A religion which needs nothing, 
by the doctrine of its chief professors, that is either godly, or so good as 
human ; no regard of God at all, so much as in one thought of him ; nor 
any act of reason, yea, or of sense, either about anything religious or divine, 
yet allows a free exercise of both about that which is profane and irreligious ; 
he that counts this religion indeed, must stifle the common notions of reli- 
gion and Christianity ; and he that, understanding it, makes choice thereof, 
had need first be very indifferent, whether he have any religion or none. 
Had the ancient fathers talked after this senseless, lewd, extravagant rate 
concerning the worship of God, how would Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian 
have triumphed over them I Nay, they might justly have challenged them 
to have instanced in any one that bore the name of a philosopher, that ever 
treated of the worship of God with so little reverence and discretion. Had 
such loose and wild doctrines been broached by the first teachers of Chris- 
tianity, the heathens needed not have raised so fierce a persecution against 
it, they might with ease have hissed it out of the world. 

But this is not the worst : they encourage that in the mass which they 
cannot but condemn as wicked, and maintain that the precept for hearing 
mass may be satisfied by such wickedness. Melchior Canus to this objec- 
tion (that the command of God or the church cannot be fulfilled by sin) 
answers according to the opinion commonly maintained amongst them, 
that he is no transgressor of the precept who to the act enjoined, and good 
in its kind, adds something sinful. 1 He supposeth that the act commanded 
by the church is some way good ; but withal, that the precept may be satis- 
fied, though it be done wickedly, and that by their common doctrine. Whether 
the circumstances may be venially or mortally wicked he saith not, but leaves 
us to understand it of either. Dominions a Soto tells us expressly, that 
though wbat is added to the act 1 enjoined be a mortal wickedness, yet the 
precept may thereby be satisfied substantially. With these divines of greatest 
reputation amongst them, concurs Navarre,* no less renowned (and none of 
them Jesuits) ; The opinion of Antoninus (which he is disproving) presup- 
poseth, saith he, that by a sinful act, especially if it be a mortal sin, the 
command of the church cannot be fulfilled ; but that this is false we have 
largely proved. He would have us know that he hath fully demonstrated 
that the precept for hearing mass may be entirely accomplished by deadly 
crimes. This is the judgment of the most eminent doctors amongst them, 
such as are not of the Society, and (if they will believe their famous bishop 
of the Canaries) the common doctrine in the Roman church, and by this 
the world may judge what a church it is, what her religion, what her worship, 
what her precepts for it are, when all that she requires for that worship, 
which is the principal part of her religion, may be satisfied by acts of wicked- 
ness, such as are mortal and damnable to the worshippers, and most (of all 
others) dishonourable to God, whom they pretend to worship. And let those 
that are seduced, or may be tempted by seducers, seriously consider whether 
they can wisely trust their souls to such a conduct, or be safe in such a com- 

1 Nos cum communi opinione in prsesentia teneamus, non esse transgressorem pro- 
cepti, qui actui, bono ex genere suo, quem lex praecipiebat, appoint aliquant malam 
circumstantiam.— ifefect. <U pcenit, part iv. p. 936; vid. Bonacinum de legibu*, disp. i. 
q. i. punct. ix. n. i.; ibi. & Thoma$, Soto, Navar, Medina, et plures alii. 

* Quamris simul habeat propositum aliud mortale, satisfaciet prsecepto quantum ad 
substantiam.— Ibid. 1. x. q. v. a. 5. 

* Non tamen est tenendum illud Antonini— quia prsesupponit, malo, pmsertim 
mortali, non posse adimpleri pneceptum, quod esse falsum, late probavimus, c. xxi. 



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Chap. L] not necessaby in the ohubch of bomb. 81 

mnnion, where there is no more tenderness for the salvation of souls than to 
be satisfied with such a worshipping of God as will confessedly damn tbem. 

Sect. 8. Thus much for the manner of their public worship, all of it, 
whoever amongst tbem it concerns, whereby it appears that they count it not 
necessary that God should have any real worship from them. This will be 
further manifest by what they teach concerning the end of it. 

They maintain that it is lawful for their clergy and monastics too (who 
profess perfection) to serve God for their own ends, viz. to get preferment, 
or compass a dignity, or gain some worldly advantage, and so to prostitute 
the honour and worship of God to such low, earthly, sordid designs, as re- 
ligious persons would never appear to own, but that irreligion is grown too 
monstrously big for its vizard. He that riseth to their morning service for 
this end, that he may have his daily dividend, if it be not principally for this, 
he sins not. So tbeir glossa ceUberrima, the two popes Urban and Cosies - 
tine, determine that it is lawful for their clergy to serve God in their churches 
for this design, and hope to get ecclesiastical dignity ; in Navarre. 1 But 
then this great casuist (of so high esteem among them, that he was sent for 
from Spain to Rome, to give advice and direction to the old gentleman there, 
that cannot err) understands (after Aquinas and Jo. Major, 1 as he pretends) 
the principal end to be something else than others do. It is not that which 
so much moves the agent, as that without it he would not be drawn to act 
by any other end ; and accordingly he will have the premised testimony to 
be understood.* So that one of their perfectionists, who riseth to morning 
prayer for this end, that he may have his dividend, and would not stir 4 out 
of his bed to attend the worship of God for God's sake, or any other end 
beseeming a religious person, if the consideration of his daily allowance did 
not rouse him, yet he serves God so well herein as that he is sinless, and 
not so much as venially tainted. Likewise the clergy who address them- 
selves to the worship of God, moved thereto more by hopes to gain prefer- 
ment and dignity than any respect to God, yet they sin not ; that is, they 
worship God well enough, though they respect themselves and their own ends 
more than him ; or, which is all one, though thejr serve themselves rather 
than God, whom they are to worship. They are all concerned to maintain 
this ; for he tells them, if such acts of virtue or worship were vicious, 6 all 
their acts in a manner would be stark naught, since there are extremely few 
amongst them that are purely done for God. They are a church in the mean- 
time that worthily profess godliness, since nothing is done, or needs be done 
by them, even in the worship of God, for him, so much as for themselves ; 

1 Glossa ilia celeberrima ait peccare qnidem earn, qui surgit ad matutinas preces 
principaliter propter distributiones qnotidianas, non autem ilium, qui surgit principaliter 
nt Deo inserviat, et minus principaliter, et secundario, ut eas lucre tur — Urbanus papa 
et Coelestinus detcrminarunt licere clericis servire Deo in ecclesiis ob spem ascendendi 
ad dignitates illarum. Imo, Qelasius dixit eos ad hune ascensum spe majoris com modi 
compellendos — Glossa recepta dicit expresse per ilium textum, licere clerico servire in 
ecclesia ad qussrendam aliquam dignitatem, modo principaliter ob id non serviat, &c, 
cap. xxiii. n. ci. 

* Ut probavimus, non est bona definitio ilia Bartoli, qua definit causam principalem 
esse causam qua cessanie cessat effectus. — Id. ibid. 

Ut aliquis finis sit principalis, non sufficit quod ille non fieret sine illo, sed oportef, 
quod pluris vel tanti sestimetur ac alius nni6, propter quem ille fit. — Id. c. xrii. n. 209, 
&c. xx. n. xi. p. 459. 

9 Per supra dictos textus et glossas, qua* habent locum etiam in his, qui non servi- 
rent, ecclesiis vel pnelatis, nisi sperarent beneficia, c. xxiii. n. ci. 

4 Surgens ad matutinas ob distributiones, alias non surrecturus. — Ibid. 

6 Alioqui enim omnes fere actus nostri essent vitiosi -, quia pancissimi fiunt pure 
propter solum Deum, et solam virtutem, &c — Ibid. p. 590. 

vol. in. Q 



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82 REAL WORSHIP OF OOD [CHAP. L 

and, indeed, Sylvester deals ingenuously when he tells us plainly, without 
the cover of any pitiful shift, that it is no sin to serve God principally for 
their own profit. 1 * 

Moreover, and yet worse, they teach it is no sin to worship God for an end 
that is in itself a sin, if it be not principally intended. It is lawful by their 
doctrine to preach, to pray, say mass, &c., for praise of men (though Christ 
will have those that designed it, as Cajetan* notes, even when he is excus- 
ing this, to have no better reward), or for vain glory (though they reckon 
this amongst capital crimes 3 ), only he must not make so wicked a thing his 
chief end, and then he is innocent enough, though sin against God be his 
design in worshipping him. It is no sin, yea, it is meritorious, to do these 
things, viz. to preach, and say mass, and to do other things of like nature 
principally for God, and secondarily for vain glory and praise of men, aptly 
directed as our end. Thus Navarre determines after their great saint and 
doctor, Aquinas. 4 Now he had taught us before, that these acts of worship 
are but done secondarily (and so unlawfully) for these criminal ends, when 
they so much sway a man as that he would not worship God unless he were 
excited by them ; and that vain glory is not his principal end, even when he 
is so much influenced thereby as that he would not pray or preach, &c. If 
this were not his motive, this in the judgment of others, as he acknowledged, 
is to make sin his principal end, and to advance wickedness above God, even 
when he pretends to worship him. 6 But let us not interrupt this great 
doctor in his way, it is foul enough as himself makes it; for hereby a man 
may serve God, and that meritoriously (after the Roman mode), though he 
never would let him have an act of worship, if pride and vain glory did not 
set him a-work. He would never pray or preach, Ac, if he were not more 
moved to it by sin, and out of regard to some wickedness, than out of respect 
to God. 

Further yet, they hold it is but a venial fault to worship God principally 
for vain glory, and other designs of like quality. 6 Aquinas, as he is repre- 
sented by Sylvester, determining that it is no mortal sin to serve God prin- 
cipally for vain glory, if that be one's chief end actually only, and not both 
habitually and actually. Sylvester declares it as his own persuasion, that 
it is both against Aquinas and the truth to hold it is a mortal sin, when 

1 Licitum est etiam aliquid operari principaliter propter propriam utilitatem. — Sum. 
v. charitas. n. 5. And that of Navar is plain enough : Diximus quod falsum est, esse 
mortale facere ordinata ad cultum principaliter ob bona temporalia, cap. xxiii. n. 14, 
p. 655, &c., xiii. n. 14. Solet circa hanc voluntatem inquiri, an debeat esse honesta ; 
et specialiter, an voluntas confitendi propter hnmanum motivum, scilicet inanem 
gloriam, vel commodnm temporale, sufficiat ad valorem sacrament! : nam in cieteris 
sacramentis certum est sufficere; in hoc— affirmant, Soto. diet, xviii. q. 3. art. in.; 
Navar, c. xxi. n. 40. Negant enim illam voluntatem ex illo fine, esse peccatnm mortale, 
scd veniale tantum: quod non repugnat valori sacramenti. Qua sententia, per se 
loquendo, vera mihi videtur. — Suarez, torn. iv. disp. xx. sec. iii. n. 4. p. 273. 

* Sum. v. prsedicat. p. 480. 

8 Aquinas, xxii. q. 132, art. i. ; (in eo) Gregorius. xzxi ; Moral, numerat inanem 
gloriam inter septem vitia capitalia. — Ibid. art. iv. 

4 Nullum autem peccatnm immo meritum est facere ilia (viz. concionare, missam 
celebrare, precari et id genus alia) principaliter propter Deum, et secundario propter 
vanam gloriam, vel laudem hnmanam, in finem aptum relatum per ibi dicta post 
S. Thomam. c. xxiii. n. 13. 

6 Ex quo infert quod mortale est pnedicare aut missam celebrare, et hnjusmodi, 
propter inanem gloriam, quod verum est solom ut dicit S. Thorn. Si in ca ponatui 
nltimus finis, ita quod ipsa intenditur principaliter actu et habitu, seens si actu tantum, 
ut iste intendit. — Sum. v. vana gloria, n. 2. 

6 Ex quibus patet, quod Sum. Ang. contra. S. Thorn, et veritatem dicit, quod est 
mortale, quando, ea qua ordinate sunt ad Dei gloriam, facit ad gloriam suam, ut 
sacrameuta et Scripture sacree.— i6itf. 



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Chap. I.] not necessaby in the ohuboh of bomb. 83 

those things which are ordained for the glory of God are used principally for 
a man's own glory. He instances in the sacraments, saying mass, the 
Scriptures, and preaching. 

Cardinal Cajetan declares himself thus in one instance, which involves 
the rest : l It is hat venial to preach for vain glory, or hopes of a gainful 
alms, signifying that he means such vain glory as Christ condemned in the 
pharisees, when he told them this was like to be ' their reward.' 

Navarre 2 affirms, that to preach, or say mass, or pray, and such things as 
are instituted for the honour and worship of God and the salvation of souls, 
for vain glory principally, or more than principally, is but a venial fault ; and 
that such as gainsay this (who are but two) have been confuted by others, 
and by himself after them. These are the chief of their doctors, whom the 
rest commonly follow (and none of them Jesuits), who unanimously assert 
this. Now it is not necessary with them for any man to avoid a venial sin, 
since by their doctrine a world of them can never damn a man ; and there- 
fore it is not necessary for any papist to worship God otherwise than prin- 
cipally for vain glory, or ends equally criminal, i. e. it is not needful for them 
to worship him at all ; for no man can imagine that he is worshipped when 
he is in the highest degree dishonoured and affronted; and what greater 
affront can be put upon him than under a pretence of worship to debase the 
great God, and thrust him lower in our designs, not only than ourselves and 
earthly trifles, but lower than sin, the vilest thing on earth, yea, or in hell ? 
and this is evidently done when vain-glory (a capital sin) hath the pre- 
eminence of God in addresses to him, and is regarded as principal ; when 
the Lord of heaven and earth hath no regard at all, or only in a lower place. 
It is not worshipping of God, but a horrid impiety, for men to serve them- 
selves instead of God, but more intolerably impious to worship sin ; and that 
hath the worship and is honoured in the place of God which hath the highest 
advancement, and is principal in religious addresses ; yet no better than this 
is all the worship which, by the Roman doctrine, is necessary from their 
catholics. 

In short, whereas by their doctrine of non-attention, formerly examined, it 
is so evident that they discharge themselves from all real worship, as they 
have no colour to hide it, no shift to evade it, but a supposal of some pre- 
vious attempt to serve God when they are addressing themselves to their 
service; this, their last reserve, they themselves rnin, by their doctrine 
concerning the end of worship ; for they teach, besides what is premised, 
that a man who comes to mass or divine service, with a purpose not to wor- 
ship God, but to serve his lusts, doth satisfy the precept. We are not 
obliged, saith Soto, to hear mass but only so that it may be a human act, 
which it may be, though there be a sinister intention in it ; 3 yea, though the 

1 Veniale antem si vane propter gloriam ant spem qusastuarise eleemosynro pnsdi- 
caretnr ; receperunt enim mercedem suani. — Sum. v. pnedicat. p. 480. 

* Peccat, qui res principaliter institutas ob honorem Dei et cultum ejus, et salutem 
animarum, principalis, vel eque principaliter ob vanam gloriam facit ; quale est con- 
cionari, missam celeb rare, precari et id genus alia secundum Abulensem et Angelum, 
quod post alios efficaciter confutavimus, dicentes esse solum veniale. c xxxiy. n. xiii. 
p. 654. 

Dicendum est intentionem bonam simpliciter non esse de substantia orationis vocalis. 
Itaque si quia habet intentionem orandi, et ex ilia proferet verba de se sufficientia ad 
orandum, et consentanea laudi, vel reverential divin», licet hoc faciat ex intentione 
laudis hum ante, vel alicujns commodi temporalis in illud principaliter intuendo, vere 
orat, quamvis non bene orat. H»c est communis sententia.— Talis oratio est sufficiens 
ad implendum preeceptum ecclesiasticum recitandi horas, nt omnes fatentur. — Suar. de 
Orat. 1. iii. cap. iii. n. v. 

9 Proceptum audiesdi missam non oblijat, nisi taliter audirc, ntsit actus humanus; 

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84 BEAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

thing intended be a sin, and that highly criminal, for he adds : l If one attend 
prayer, though he do it for vain glory (that is a small matter to stick at), 
yea, though it be with a purpose mortally wicked, yet he fulfils the precept 
substantially. Such are the commands of the church of Rome for her most 
sacred worship. They may be fully satisfied by deadly wickedness ; there 
needs no purity of heart or hand for her devotions ; a design damnably evil 
will serve the turn. That of Antoninus, saith Navarre, 3 is not to be main- 
tained, that he doth not satisfy the precept who comes to church principally 
to look on a handsome woman, or to talk with her, or for any other sinful 
thing. If a man, in going to mass, designs to satisfy his curiosity, or his 
lust, or anything else which is wicked, that church is so good-natured she 
will be satisfied with it, and think her precept for worship well observed, and 
you must believe (if you can) that she is a good Christian church that will 
have Christ worshipped at this rate. He adds reason for it. 3 A man 
may come to church for a wicked end, and yet hear mass well enough 
there. 

Bonacina 4 instances in several sorts of wickedness, whereby the command 
for worship may be fulfilled. This is one amongst the rest : if a man go to 
church on purpose to gaze on or to lust after women lecherously, he satisfies 
the precept, and for the general rule vouches not only Sotus, Navarre, 
Medina, and others of greatest reputation in their church, but also their 
angelical Saint Thomas. 

I need not censure these things. Let those that are impartial consider 
the premises, and see if this be not their sense, that the people in the papacy, 
by its order, do not, or are not obliged to give God any real worship in public, 
and by their leaders are taught and encouraged, instead of worship, to pre- 
sent him with gross wickedness. If the measures of religion may be best 
taken by its worship, what can any indifferent person judge of popery, where 
a service so palpably irreligious is the best and the most excellent worship 
they have ? If this were duly considered, I think it alone might be sufficient 
to reduce those that are deluded, and to secure those against temptations 
who are not yet ensnared. 

Sect. 4. There is another public exercise which Christ makes as necessary 
as any evangelical service whatever, and that is, preaching and hearing the 
word of God. But the Romanists are not of his mind in this. 6 The mass 
is commanded, but not preaching, saith Sylvester, and he one of the order of 
predicants. Accordingly hearing mass is commanded, but hearing sermons 

qnalis esse potest, etiamsi aliud simul ad sit sinistrnm propositum. — De Just, et after. 
1. x. q. ▼. art. v. 

1 Quod si quis attente oret, quamvis id faciat adjunctam habens vanam gloriam, imo 
qnamvis simul habcat propositum aliud mortale, satisfaciet pnecepto, quantum ad sub- 
stantial!); ita ut non tcneatur officium iterare. — Ibid. 

8 Non tarn en est tenendum lllud S. Antonini, scilicet, eum qui ecclesiam adit prin- 
cipaliter ad videndum, aut alloqnendum fseminam pulchram, aut ob aliud quod vis 
illicitum, non satisfacere huic pnecepto, cap. xxi. n. vii.; with him concurs Medina. 
Addendum his est pravam intentionem adjunctam voluntati audiendi missam, non esse 
contrarian) impletioni hujus pracepti. Itaque quamvis quis eat ad ecclesiam ex 
libidinosa intentione videndi faominam, vel etiamsi officio misssBrum eadem intentione 
assistat, tarn en si non cxcludat voluntatem implcndi hoc pceceptum, et sufficienter sit 
attentus, implet illud. — Ita Medina in Suarez. torn. iii. deep, lxxxviii. sect. iii. 

8 Potest quis malo fine ecclesiam adire, et bene in ca missam audire. — Ibid. p. 469. 

4 Qui ecclesiam adit causa videndi, vel etiam concupiscendi libidinose fsBmina* — 
satisfacit —De legib. disp. i. q. i. p. 9, n. i. 

6 Cum missa sit sub prseccpto, non praedicatio. — Sum. v. domin. n. vVu. Audire 
mis am est in pnecepto; audire autem concionem non ita.—- Suar. xiii. torn. iii. disp. 
lxxxviii. sect. i. vid. v. ii. defess. 



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Chap. I.] not necessary in the ohuboh of bomb. 85 

is only matter of advice (saith another 1 ), which may be neglected without 
imputation of sin, and if observed is an act of supererogation. 

They conclude it no duty in such circumstances where it would be counted 
necessary, if ever ; it is no duty on the Lord's day, 8 or any other time set 
apart for the public worship. Mass must be heard then, but no need to 
hear a sermon. If it were any man's duty in their account, it would be so 
in that case when one wants the knowledge which is necessary to salvation, 
and hath opportunity to get it by hearing ; but even then they declare him 
not obliged. Sylvester propounds the case in these terms: 8 Doth he sin 
mortally who is ignorant of those common things which are necessary to sal- 
vation, and may hear sermons, but doth not ? He answers, He so sins who 
omits it out of contempt, or with notorious scandal, but not always when it is 
out of negligence ; because, according to Aquinas, 4 negligence is not mortal, 
unless something be omitted which is under precept, or with contempt ; 
adding, such negligence may possibly be a mortal sin, but when it is so, it 
cannot be determined. It seems no man can tell when it will be a crime for 
a person damnably ignorant to neglect the means of instruction ; but more 
briefly and positively he resolves it elsewhere, that he is not commanded to 
hear a sermon upon the Lord's- day ; although he be ignorant of those things 
which are necessary to salvation, because he may otherwise satisfy the pre- 
cept for learning. 

Sect. 5. As to the sacraments, and the worship in them, the despatch may 
be quick. There are none considerable here but baptism and the eucharist, 
for their other five are not of divine appointment, nor the worship of God, 
but their own inventions ; and therefore, how needful soever they count them, 
thereby they make no true worship necessary. But indeed none of them 
are in their own account necessary to salvation, save only penance, and that 
we shall meet with hereafter. What worship they shall have in the eucharist 
is sufficiently discovered by what they are satisfied with in the mass, where 
we have found them contented with none at all, or that which is worse than 
none. Neither do they account this sacrament simply necessary, for although 
it be required that they communicate once a year, yet that is but by human 
law or custom, as they teach. The sacrament of the eucharist, saith Canus, 
is not a sacrament of necessity. 6 

1 Audire pnedicationera in festis non est de pnecepto sirapliciter, patet per preedicta; 
ac etiam nullo jure cavetur, sed solum de missa.— Sum. RoeelL Dominic, n.iv. 

* Jac. de Graff. 1. ii. c. xxxiii. n. viii., xvi. Sotus et Covarruvias, Navar. c xxi. n. i. 
Missa audienda diebns festis ex pnecepto, non tamen concio, non preces fundendse ; non 
exercendus alias actus cnltus divini, ex pnecepto (excipe diem paschatis, quo sumenda 
est eucbaristia). — VictoreU ibid. ad. 1- iv. c. xxv. p. 693. 

Dico nullum esse pneceptum, quod obliget in rigore, ac per se, ad audiendam con- 
cionem in die festo. Ita supponnnt ut clarnm doctores omnes, et constat ex communi 
usu, et scnsu fidelium. Item qnia nullibi extat boc praeceptum, pneterea est optimum 
argument am, quia si fideles tenerentur audire concionem sacram, pastores ecclesi» 
tenerentur providere, nt omnibus diebus dominicis et festis fieret concio in ecclesia. 
Pastores autem ad hoc non tenentur, nee de facto ita fit. —Suar. 1. ii. do fest. c. xvi. n. vi. 

8 Qusetitur, utrum peccet mortaliter, qui ignorat communia necessaria ad salutem, 
et potest audire pr»dicationein, et non audit ? Et dico quod sic, si hoc facit ex con- 
temptu vel ex scandalo notabili : non autem semper si oroittit ex negligentia, quia, 
secundum S. Thorn, xxii. q. liv., negligentia non est mortale, nisi omittatur aliquid, 
quod sit sub pnecepto, vel ratione contemptus, v. prtedicat. n. vi., qnando hoc sit, non 
potest sermone determinari. — Ibid* 

4 Etiamsi talis habeat ignorantiam necessariorum ad salutem, quia alias potent im- 
plere pneceptum de addiscendo, v. dominie, n. viii. 

6 Sermo est de eucharistise sacramento, quod non est sacramentum necessitatis, 
pars. v. relict, de p®nit. p. 892. Many of them count it not necessary by virtue of any 
divine precept, and so not requisite, jure divine Est prima opinio negans esse prae- 
ceptum jure divino, quam tenuit Alexander Alensis, D. Thomas Carthusianus, Palacius, 

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86 REAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

For baptism, if they account any worship necessary, it most be either in 
respect of the administrator or the baptized ; as to the former, none with 
them is needful. For by their doctrine it may be validly administered by 
any man or woman, or one that is both j 1 yea, or by a child, by those also 
that are strangers, or enemies to all Christian worship, by Jews, pagans, or 
infidels of any sort, by such as worship not the true God (as Sylvester tells 
us out of Aquinas, Paludanus, and their church's law) ; by such as believe 
that baptism is good for nought, and minister it in scorn ; by such as believe 
that it is not a sacrament, that it hath no spiritual virtue, and intend not, 
while they baptize, to administer a sacrament, but only think to do as the 
church does, although they acconnt that to be nothing at all ; so Aquinas 3 and 
Pope Innocent saith it will be effectual, though the baptizer neither know nor 
believe what baptism is, but counts it a trine ; though he neither know what 
the church is, nor minds to do what the church doth, but means to do the 
contrary. No other worship is necessary upon the account of the ministers, 
but what might be expected from such as these. Nor any more upon the 
account of the persons baptized. For as to the adult (there being no pre- 
tence in reference to infants), they think it sufficiently administered by force 
to those who would not endure it, but for fear of death 9 if they did not 
yield ; to such as make all the resistance they can, 4 and offer foul injury to 
the sacrament, and defile the water ; to those who receive it, not for the 
purpose for which it is intended, but for quite 5 other ends than ever it was 
designed for ; yea, to those that are frantic, and never had the use of reason, 
or are 6 stark mad, and that in the height of their madness; to those 
also 7 that are fast asleep, if they had a mind to it when they were waking. 
Since they think it duly administered to such as these, they cannot count 
any worship necessary herein upon the account of the partakers, but what 
such as these now mentioned may offer. 

Sect. 6. For fuller and more particular satisfaction, it is observable that 
they divide their sacraments into some for the dead and some for the living. 
Those for the dead are baptism and penance. As to these two, some count 
no disposition requisite 8 but only a willingness to receive them. Others, who 

Bonavcntura, Gabriel. Sylvester, Ferrariensis, Cajetati. in Snares, torn. iii. diap. lxix. 
sect. i. p. 879. 

1 Sum. y. baptism, iii. n. i. Secundum omnea doctorea, precipue S. Thorn ct Pet. 
de Pal, omnia homo dare potest haptisma — si sit clericus aut laicus, vir ant mulier, ant 
uterque simul, t. a. Hermaphroditus. 

Etiamsi esset infidelis, i.e. Judsous ant paganus. 

Dicit S Tho. quod quamvis ille qui non credit baptisma esse aacramcnturo, aut 
habere aliquam spiritualem virtutem, non intendat dum baptizat conferre aacramentum, 
ttimen intendit facere quandoque quod facit ecclcsia; etiamsi ilmd reputet nihil esse. 

8 Ibid. n. ii. Innocentius dicit, quod baptismus habebit effectum, etiamsi ba ptisan a 
nee sciat nee credat, quid sit baptismus, sed hoe reputet trufam, et etiamsi non sciat 
quid sit ecclesia, nee gerat in mente facere, quod facit ecclesia: immo si gereret con- 
trariuro, scil. non facere quod facit ecclesia, sed tamen facit et formam servat, &c 

8 Id. ibid. iv. n. x. Si con sen tit quia per minas vel pcenas habendo voluntatem co- 
actam, coactione conditionali, eligendo scil. potius baptizari quam mori vel aliud pati, 
et n. iii. Si oporteat eoa ligari. 

4 Vei etiam si faciant injuriam aacramento, ut mingendo in aquam vel hujusmodi 
et, n. z. Si baptizetur infidelis non quia credat sed ut aanetur, vel careat fcdtore, aut 
vexatione diabolica — aut propter qussstum, ut faciunt crebro Judari. 

6 Si vero usum rationis nunquam habait, baptizatur in in tent ion e parentnm, &c. 

6 Si autem usum rationis habuit aliquando, sed non quando baptizatur, propter 
phrenesim vel amentiam vel dormitionem et hujusmodi, rcquiritur intentio quae pr»- 
fuerit, tempore usus rationis, n. iii. 

7 Dicit de dormientibus quod ratione periculi baptizari posaunt, si prius in iis ap- 
paruit voluntas baptismi : aicut de amentibus dictum est. 

8 Scotus, quern sequitur Sylvester, sum. v. confess, i. n. xxiv. 

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Chap. I.] not necebbabt in the ohubch of rome. 87 

would seem to be more severe, count attrition sufficient, which is a slender 
dislike of sin, not as it is an offence to God, bat oat of some other considera- 
tion, human, natural, or servile. And the lowest degree of this possible, 
and that despatched in a moment ; and this moment need not be while they 
are at these sacraments, but either before or after. 1 Their penitents * may 
make their confession with laughter instead of grief, yet have as much grief 
at their sacrament of penance as they require ; this is past doubt with them. 
So that it is their common doctrine that no good act, or motion at all, no, 
not so little and low as that of attrition, much less any ingenuous reverence 
or devotion, any act of grace or holy affection, is needful while they are at 
the sacrament, either of baptism or their penance. 

The sacraments of the living are their other five : confirmation, orders, 
matrimony, extreme unction, and the eucharist. These, they say, were 
instituted for the increase of grace ; this is their proper effect ; and that 
they may have their effect, there is not requisite in the partakers any actual 
dispositions at all, not the least inward act or motion that is good ; no, not 
so little as that of attrition, which, in their account, is of all others 3 the 
least and lowest disposition. And well may they count it so, since the best 
sort of it, with them, is but the issue of servile fear, which, as such, is below 
the least degree of moral goodness ; and so far from being supernaturally 
good, that it is morally evil, as we shall see hereafter. All that is needful 
is only that the partakers be in a state of grace (such as a priest may put a 
sinner into who is impenitent, and never truly contrite), though he shew it 
not by any act in the sacraments, where, if ever, it should appear. Tbat 
the sacraments may confer an increase of grace, they only require an habitual 
disposition, i. e. that they be received in the state of grace ;* this is the judg- 
ment of Aquinas and Scotus, whom the rest generally follow. So that, to 
partake worthily of these sacraments, no actual disposition, no act of reve- 
rence or devotion, not any inward motion (such as should be in true wor- 
shippers), is more required or expected than in the senseless statues which 
they idolise. Their souls need act or move no more as worshippers of God 
herein, than if they were neither Christians nor men ; than if they were so 
far from having grace, as to have no souls. Yea, these sacraments may be 
valid, and duly celebrated as their church requires they should be, while 
the partakers are not only void of all good motion towards God, but while 
their souls are in motion against him, and all that is divine and sacred. 
Their minds and hearts may, during the celebration, be taken up with acts, 
not only of folly and vanity, but of pride, or lusts, or revenge, or infidelity, 
or atheism, or what is most contrary to the most holy God and his worship, 

1 Soar. torn. iv. dUp. xx. sect iv. n. xxix., Sylvester, ibid. 

* Judicandum non erit dolore carere ob risum, potuit enim domi de illis dolere, et 
postea ad sacrament am accedens, actualem poenitentiam non addncere. At ad valorem 
et fractnm percipicndam sacramenti confessionis non reqniri actualem dolorem. scd 
virtuatem sufficere veram esse sententiam qnis dnbitet? — Jo. Sanctius, select, disp. 
xxxi. n. viii. 

9 Kst minima et imperfectissima dispoaitio qu» in ordine snpernatarali reqniri 
potest. 

4 Ut sacramenta conferant angmentnm gratia solum reqnirnnt habitnalem gratise 
dispositionem, id est, qnod in statu gratia? recipiantur. Hsec est sententia D. Thorn. 
Scot! et aliorum in Suar. torn. iii. disp. vii. sect. iv. All that is required to put them 
into this state, and free them from conscience of mortal sin (and so to give them all the 
disposition necessary for the eucharist, and so for the other sacraments) is their ritual 
confession : yet even this they may neglect lawfully, or without any great fault, as 
divers amongst them (and those Dominicans) determine. Cajetan. sum. v. communio. 
Furaus v. Palo dan us, Sylvester in Ledesma de eucharist. c zi. Jo. de la Cruz de 
eucharist, q. v. concl. ii. ^ 

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88 BEAL WOESHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

aid yet partake as well as the church requires. 1 ' For the precepts of their 
church, concerning the administering of the sacraments, and all other things 
by her enjoined, may be entirely satisfied by acts of wickedness ; so noto- 
riously holy is that church, by the report of their chief writers. 

Sect. 7. If they count any of their sacraments more worthy of holier 
treatment than that now mentioned, it will be the encharist ; for this they 
count more worthy than the rest, and have it in such veneration, as not only 
to worship Christ in it, but to worship it even as Christ himself ; and there- 
fore here, if ever, they will judge it requisite to shew themselves worshippers 
indeed. Yet for all this, whatever worship of this sacrament they count 
needful, they conclude no true worship of Christ necessary ; no, not so much 
as the least inward act of reverence, devotion, or honour ; for this is their 
common doctrine,* that besides the disposition of habitual grace, there is no 
precept so rigorous as to require any actual disposition for the worthy re- 
ceiving of this sacrament, so as that the omission of it can be a mortal sin. 
In this all their divines agree ; so that any one may partake worthily of this 
sacrament, and be free of mortal guilt, without any actual reverence or devo- 
tion, any act of grace or holy affection, while he is communicating. This 
one maxim (wherein they all ooncur) quite stifles the spirit of Christianity, 
and bereaves it of its life and soul ; it leaves nothing that can honour or 
please Christ, or be of any advantage to souls, needful in any Christian 
duty. For no good motion of mind or heart, being needful in the celebrat- 
ing of this sacrament, which requires it more, they cannot imagine it neces- 
sary in any other duty of less consequence ; and the want hereof being but 
a venial fault, there is no more necessity to have it, than there is to avoid 
a venial sin, which they make nothing of. In this very case, they hold that 8 
a venial sin, even in the act of communicating, will not hinder the effect of 
the sacrament. Yea, it may not be so much as a venial fault, if the vagaries 
of the mind, which exclude attention and reverence due to such a religious 
act, 4 be natural. But will it not be more than so slight a fault, voluntarily 
to abandon every good motion in the celebrating of this sacrament ? No ; 

1 Praeceptum adimpleri potest per actum ex aliqua circumatantia malum; ita S. Thorn. 
Medina, Navar, et alii in Bonac. supra. 

Nam alia prsacepta sacramentorum turn in aliis materiis, impleri peasant per actum 
peccaminosum. — Soar, ibid, disp. lxx. sect, iii., after Cordoba, Soto, Covarruvius, 
whether it. be less or more wicked is all one, disp. lxxxviii. sect. iii. 

* Prater disposition em gratia* habitual is, nullam actualem requiri ex rigoroso prae- 
cepto ad dignam sumptionem hujus sacramenti, ita ut ilhus omissio peccatum mortale 
sit. In quo conveniunt omnes frheologi. Et a fortiori patet ex eo, quod supra dixirau*s 
ad effectum hujus sacramenti nullam actualem dispositionem requiri. — Ibtd. disp. lxvi. 
sect. i. 

Those who seem to require some actual devotion, yet count it but a venial fault to 
want it, Alexander, Antonin, Sylvester, Paludan, Cejetan, in Vasques in iii. torn, 
iii. disp. ccri. c i. Not only attention and devotion are accounted needless for com- 
municants, but sobriety, and the use of reason: for they teach, that not only young 
children, and such as are half fools ; but also persons so frantic, as it will be necessary 
to have them bound, and those also who are possessed of the devil, and whom be has 
seized on for their enormous wickedness, may partake of this sacrament, and have it 
duly administered to them, and that even when they are blaspheming. — Jo. Sane. 
disp. xxxviii. Imo licet arreptus quis sit a daemon e ob mores depravntos, et quia 
▼iveret in lenocinio,— non minus talibus ministrare tenebitur parochus eucharistiam, 
n. vii. Proterea ministrare tenebitur parochus licet videat obsessum, sive insanum, 
blasphemantem, n. viii. 

8 Peccatum veniale actu concomitans sumptionem hujus sacramenti, non impedit 
gratisa et charitatis augmentum; ita de Thorn. Alensis, Gabriel. Adrian, Soto, 
lledesma, Victoria, Corduba, Concil. Trident., seas, xiii.; vii. Suar. ibid. disp. lxii. 
sect. iii. 

4 Excusabitur tamen.homo, ab hujusmode culpa veniali, si fortasse ex naturali tan turn 
distractione hujusmodi atteutionem omittat.— Ibid, du»p. Ixvii. sect. i. 

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Chap. I.J not necessaby in the chubch of home. 89 

to decline every good act of mind or heart, and that voluntarily, it can be 
no worse ; 1 if it be without contempt, it will be no mortal fault, and that 
also in the judgment of all their divines. Bat though there be not any good 
disposition in the soul towards Christ, in partaking of his supper, yet is it 
not necessary that vile and wicked dispositions should be excluded ? No ; 
there is no more need of this than the other. The mind and the heart may 
actually entertain such as are sinful, without any more danger than it rejects 
those that are good. It is but a slight fault 1 to communicate out of osten- 
tation and vain glory, and so to nourish pride while he should be feeding 
upon Christ, and to design his own honour without any act of reverence for 
Christ ; he may let his thoughts run out upon vanity, or entertain his soul 
with vain delights, without the least motion of love, or delight, or desire for 
Christ, without the least act of faith in him ; and may be pleasing himself 
with sin, instead of grieving for it, when he hath the greatest advantage to 
look upon him whom he hath pierced. And all this he may do without any 
guilt that need be repented of or regarded. This is all the worship and 
honour that it is needful their souls should give to Christ, even in the sacra- 
ment of his body and blood ; who will have others cursed to hell, and burned 
beforehand, for not giving divine worship to a wafer. But this is not all ; 
their church will be satisfied with greater indignity offered to Christ than 
this ; for they teach, that those who communicate unworthily, to such a 
degree as they count sacrilege (and that so heinous, as they question whether 
it be not as tolerable to cast that which they count their God to be devoured 
by dogs, or throw it into the dirt to be trampled on ; and 8 many of them 
are positive that it is greater wickedness than murder or adultery, or that 
uncleanness against nature which is most abominable), 4 do fully satisfy tlje 
precept of the church for this communion. Thus Soto, Corduba, Covarru- 
vius, and others, alleged by them. And this is all derived from their St 
Thomas, that maxim of his so generally received ;* the law commanding 
an act enjoins the substance of it, but not the manner. By which we must 
understand, that the church would have the thing done, but regards not how 

1 Talis culpa (scil. voluntaria carentia actnalis dispositionis) non est mortalis, secluso 
con temp tu ; ex omnium sententia. — Ibid. disp. lxiii. sect. iii. 

8 Dicendum videtur, si peccatum veniale sit aliquando circumstantia ipsins actus 
communicandi, peccatum esse veniale sic communicare, v.g. si quia communicat prop- 
ter osteutationem scu vanam gloriam; vel certe si actu sit in ipso peccato veniali, ut 
in vana aliqua cogitatione aut delectatione, et ea ratione accedat distractus, et sine 
debita attentione et devotione. — Ibid. disp. Ixvi. sect. i. Ostentation and vain glory are 
here counted venial faults, because they are directly opposite to the act of communicat- 
ing: and so is outward irreverence, vain prating, and gestures, inconsistent with 
modesty, while they are at the sacrament, for the same reason. But other sins, not so 
opposite to the act, as studying a lie, or revenge, or detraction (or uncleanness, or any 
the like in venial degrees), while they are communicating (though the distraction there 
be voluntary, and all holy fervour be thereby hindered) are no faults at all in reference 
to the sacrament. — Jo. &anc disp. xxiii., alleging for it Scotus, Richard us de St. 
Vict. Maior, Adrian, Margarita Casuum, Soto, Marcella, Ledesma, Vivaldus, Coriol- 
anus, and divers others, n. xx., xxi. 

3 An hoc peccatum sit gravius homicidio — aut adulterio, vel omnibus peccatis contra 
naturam: quid am enim theologi ita existimant, ut Gabriel. Petr. Soto, Ledesma, 
Dominic. Soto. — Suar. ibid, sect. ii. 

4 Dicendum est eum qui voluntarie suscipit sacramentum eucharistife, etiamsi indtgne 
sumat, implere praeceptum communicandi ; etiamsi alias peccet mortaliter per sacri- 
legiura indignsB sumptionis. Ita tenet in specie Corduba, in genere Soto, Covarruvius, 
qui alios referunt. — Ibid, disp Ixx. sect. iii. 

6 Ratio autem sumitur ex principio generali quod tradit D. Thorn, i., ii. q. ci. art. 
ix., quia lex prsscipiens actum, prsecipit substantiam ejus, non autem modum. Ibid, 
vid. Bonacin. and in him, besides the principal of the Society (Azorius, Valencia, 
Suarez, Sanchez), Aquinas, Sotus, Navar, Medina. Qui vero indigne, et sine devotione 
communicat tempore paschatis, satisfacit praecepto de leg, d. i. q. i. p. 9, n. ii. et iii. 

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40 BEAL WORSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

they do it, whether as Christians or as atheists. She is indifferent as to 
devotion or sacrilege in her catholics, having something else in design than 
to he concerned in the honouring of God, and the happiness of men, which 
so mnch depends upon the manner of worshipping. It is too plain to be 
denied, that such a treatment of holy things (to use their own words) is not 
at all for the worship of God, or the salvation of souls, but opposite to both ; 
yet their church's precept is entirely thereby fulfilled. So that, if God have 
no worship, and men no salvation, yet the church is satisfied. This and 
other outward acts must be visibly done, that the world may not think but 
they have something like religion amongst them ; but though, instead of 
the worship due to the divine majesty, they perform the acts of it in such a 
manner, as no less dishonours and provokes him, than the crying sins of 
murder or sodomy, their church hath full contentment ; it is all she requires. 

Thus we have surveyed the church service amongst the Romanists in the 
several parts of it, and cannot discern any real worship therein to which they 
are obliged ; but rather that all such worship of God in public is, by their 
rules and orders, rendered either impossible or unnecessary. 

Sect. 8. Let us inquire, in the next place, whether they count it needful 
that God should have any worship from them in private ; and this we may 
discover by what they determine concerning meditation, reading the Scrip- 
ture, and private prayer. For meditation, the casuists speak little of it, 
nothing at all (that I have met with) of its necessity ; it is like they reserve 
it for their contemplative persons, as a degree of perfection to which others 
need not aspire. 1 The perfectionists themselves may waive it, but when they 
will be so over good as to supererogate, and do better than God commands 
them, if they judge it necessary at any time, sure it would be on those days 
when such acts are most proper and requisite. 1 But they conclude it no duty 
upon the Lord's day, or any other devoted by them, as they pretend, to the 
observance of God. For they generally agree that no inward worship is then 
required, and meditation is discharged by name ;* now if they need not 
think of God on his own day, or any other, wherein a particular observance 
of him is requisite, it is ground enough to conclude they do not count it 
needful to think of him at all. Who can imagine that they judge it neces- 
sary to think of God at any time, who count it needless to have God in their 
thoughts when they are at his worship ? 

Sect. 0. As for the reading the word of God in private, they are so far 
from esteeming this a duty, that they will scarce excuse it from a crime : all 
that can be obtained for it is only a toleration (as a thing that passeth under 
an ill character), and that but in some places, and there but for some per- 
sons, with more restriction and caution than the public stews are tolerated 
by their holy bishop in Borne. So much friends are they to the word of 
God, or so little do they judge it a friend to them. They are the best 
catholics in their account who do not desire to look into it, or to understand 
from God what he would have them to be ; they think it advisable 4 that no 
mortal should be acquainted with more of the Scriptures than is in the mass, 
where they can understand nothing, and need hear nothing of it at all. 

1 Si patres, theologi — meditationem laudant et consilium, non tamen docent esse 
omnibus praeceptam. 

8 Ecclesiasiici, clerici, religiosi non tenentur ex vi eui status et juris divini, ad nunc 
raeditandi, recogitandi, aut men talker orandi usum.-^FtU Suar. de Orat. ment- 1. ii. 
c. ir. n. vii. ; Navar. Enchirid. de Orat. 1. xx. n. Ixi. 

8 Neque prssctpitur cultus divinus interims qui in meditando et colendo Deo eon- 
sistit — Navar. Manual, c xiii. n. ii. Non prsecipitur cultus divinus interior, qui in 
meditatione intcriori de Deo consistit — Lop.z, c xlii. p. 266. 
Consil. de Stabiliend. Rom. sede, p. 6. 



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Chap. I.] not neckssaby in thb church of bomb. 41 

Sect. 10. For private prayer, it is either vocal or mental. * That which 
they call vocal, they generally count not necessary by any law, either of God 
or nature, or the church ; and so all praying with families is quite cashiered 
from the rank of Christian duties. There to call upon God's name together 
they are not concerned, though some think the heathen are. They count it 
not a duty to say so much as the* Lord's prayer (if they understand but 
otherwise what is to be prayed for). This is the common opinion in Suarez ; 
nor do they think an* Ave Mary (though these are the prayers most in re- 
quest with them) more needful. They are not obliged to say it when the 
public sign is given at night for that purpose ; nor need they use any vocal 
prayer at all* no, not so much as on the solemn days for worship. 4 

But is mental prayer a duty when the other is not used ? So it seems ; 
but the question (as in all affirmative precepts) is, when ?• Lessius thinks 
it should not be put off above a month or two ; that would signify too much 
neglect of our salvation. It seems those that pray but once in two months 
do not much neglect it ; but this Jesuit is too strait-laced. That opinion is 
probable enough, saith one of the greatest casuists of this age, which as- 
signs three times for prayer, once when we come to the perfect use of reason 
(suppose 7 when they think him capable of lasting, about twenty-one years of 
age) ; and again at the point of death, and in the interval, when we are 
obliged to love God (that is, once in five or once in seven years). But is 
not this Jesuit too severe also ? It may be those of other orders will not 
oppress us so much, or wish us so unlike to atheists as to have us pray once 
in seven years. The Jesuits, though accounted most licentious, yet seldom 
exceed, and sometimes fall short herein of their other divines. Sylvester, a 
Dominican of greatest reputation amongst the casuists, thus determines the 
question after Aquinas. 8 When one first comes to the use of reason, he 
should pray for God's assistance ; (videtur) he is not peremptory that he 
must, and speaks but conditionally too ; for he adds, If he be thus inspired, 
otherwise he is not determined to that time. When then ? 9 Why, the pro- 

1 Vide Suarez de Oration. 1. iii. cap. Ti. n. iii. 6, 8, ut ibi Medina. Uldericus dicit, 
ad orationem vocalem ex divino pracepto non tenetur ; sed ex statnto ecclesi®, qure 
ministris suis missas, et horas canonicas indixit, vel etiam ex injnnctione confessoris, 
et hoc sequitur sum. confes. et Pisa in Sylv. Orat. v. n. viii. ut Angelus sum. Orat. v. 
n. xx. 

* Videtur tamen sufficere si quis sciat— quod debemus a Deo petcre omnia bona cor- 
poris et ammoe, et hnjusraodi, licet nesciat pater noster. Idem v. scientia. vide sum. 
Angel, v. scientia, et Snares, ibid. n. viii. 

8 idem multo magis dicendnm est de salntatione Angelica Tel Salve Regina. — Idem 
ibid. n. xi. 

4 Diebus antero festis neqne est obligatio ad orationem vocalem, n. xiii. ; nee in prin- 
cipio aliquarum actionnm, n. xiv. ; nee bora prandii, ne clericis quidem, n. xvi. Rec 
quando datnr signnm publicum, consuetudo recepta est ratione devotion is, non obliga- 
tions, ibid. 

5 Addit Lessins obligari nos, ut non ronlto tempore abstineamns ab oratione : ut 
verbi gratia, ad mensem unum vel alteram : alioquin esset signnm magn» negligent!© 
propria) salutis in Fill, t xxiii. 1. ii. n. xliv. 

• Videtur tamen satis probabilis ea sententia, qua? tria tempora assignat : primnm 
est circa initium morale perfecti disenrsus, secundum articulus mortis : tertium aliquo- 
ties in vita : ut diximns de pnecepto charitatis. — Idem. n. xliii. vide tr. xxii. c. ix. n. 
cexc. et tr. vi. c. viii. n. ccviii. In univer&um intra annum non videtur obligare, quo- 

. libet septennio est probabile. 

7 Communiter theologi tenent quod usque ad vigesimum ; alii vtgesimum primum, cx- 
cusantur (a jejunio). — Secundum alios ad xxv. annum, sum Angeli. v. jejunium, n. xv. 

8 Quod tempus videtur determinatum, quantum ad instans quo quis incipit uti ra- 
tione, in quo tenetur se dirigere et ordinare in Deum : ctf ut videtur, ejus auxilium pre- 
cari, si hoc suae menu inspiretnr. — Sum. v. orat. n. viii. 

9 Alias vero determinate non potest, sed divina providentia ad hoc movet, quando 
est necossarium. — Ibid. 

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** B*AL W0B81HP OF OOD [CHAP. I. 

vidence of God .moves him to it when it is necessary. Thus he leaves it, 
and nnds no other time, when a man is obliged to pray once for himself, but 
when he sees has soul in greatest danger, » which, it may be, he will never 
!!!' w . • ™ mmo . n , doc f*"e "» yet worse ; thereby we are not bound to 
pray but in the article of necessity, and that is, when we are in such ex- 
tremity as there is no other remedy for us :» if we judge that we can any 
way else obtain what we would have, we need not pray. The law of God 
or nature makes it not then our duty. They help us to understand this by 
two instances ; the one to shew when it is requisite to pray for ourselves, 
the second when for others. When a man falls into most grievous tempta- 
tions to impatience, or to lust, if there can be no other remedy against it 
but the grace of God, to be obtained by prayer, then it may be his duty.* 
Jint it seems if he can rid himself 6t it any other way, or but think he can, 
then, though the temptation be never so violent or dangerous, he needs not 
pray. The other is, when a man at a distance sees two ready to fight a 
duel, and makes account there is no remedy but the help of God for parting 
them then he is to seek it (which is not the case of one in a thousand), yet 
it perhaps he can any otherwise more help them than by praying, he may 
let it alone.* So that private prayer needs not be their daily practice, nor 
used as a Christian exercise in ordinary, but in extremity only, and cases 
otherwise desperate, and as the last remedy, and when there is no 
other indeed, or in their apprehension ;» it will not be a duty, but in 
such circumstances as do very rarely, if ever, concur. 4 They are not to use 
it as their common repast, but as physic; not for prevention neither, but 
when they are already surprised with extreme danger. And if such extremity 
occur not once in seven years, they need not pray for so many years ; nay, 
perhaps it may not befall them, or they may not be apprehensive of it while 
they live, and then they need not pray at all. This is not my inference 
only ; it is their own, and acknowledged to be the consequence of their com- 
mon doctrine. Thereby there is no divine precept for prayer which can 
oblige any directly ; only by accident it may happen sometimes to be a duty, 
but such an accident as few may meet with.' It is said expressly that from 

• Idem'dirZ™^ f^™ *? *** tentwio "«. <* Puerto anim» mm.-Ibid. 
nullum^d ~%u? ' ,U ° V • preCeSBd Deom **» P"»«rmisit eo tempore, in quo 
n^0^l!^^^? iu ^^ ttm ^ MtM ' M ^' tm - Tuncenimlexdirlna 

Ub nolimn. „~ **i l ' "J"!***--" «q»«ti mentem Paludani et Sylvestri. 
liUdtatauK <5£ a ? 1 T, de ,1 ?? ui in graviwiman. tenutionem impatient!* ant 

l ^^^x^^x:^ ttm ^^ totitm tap ™"' pnBterqnam 

aliucfe^ dmSii.r'™" iDt °T duo ?. in dueUo wnwrturos menus, existimat nnllum 
* Z iSZlStoZl 8 \ spe . c,a,e . auiil «««■ M oratione impetrandum ad dirimendom 
illud dueHum injustum, u h,. en.m casibus id a Deo petere tenetur—Aawr. cap. xiii. 



ali^rTmSS! * '** ^^ *""*' * d D * Um fundere - et tem P° re ' in <.*> nMam 

o U« Z if 8nai . 8alntl . 8 aut P™™i esse videtur, secundum Sylvestrum ; eadem 
f„"i P 08 """ 1 »n.tcntat.one impatient!*, aut libidinis, cui ridetur nullum 
uliud suppetere remedium nisi oratio, Ac—Lopa, c. Ui. p. 272. 
.««m """""P"" wntentia, quod obligat solum pro articulo necessitatis. Duplex 
Z?a?m„» I* 8 !.''" commun ,' ter P r °P° nit »' : Prima est propria ipsus hominis, ut si aliqua 
tentatione vehementer pulsatur, quam sine auxilio divino vincere non potest. 

nn «it^.! S i i ^ e - eM,tftSprOX « ln L ul „* i 1" is vWeataliquos ad ducllum properare, nee 
SUE c • xxxvt ,mpedlre — D - Tho - Pal ^^- Sylvut. #<war. Abulau, „«fe Suar. 1. i. de 

» On! 1°/.? PMSOt a,iter melius, qnam per orationem suffragan— Sulvnt. ibid 
trine ^rhufatuL^H^il'lr baVingackn0wled «^ th » » "• the '' common doe- 
^t mrtoSIlL^- e,t ° ' lgare qa * 8i per acciUen8 P ro P ter »««sitatam contingen- 
Secvidem l^Z^Z^T" 1 ■ en ? ret illara vehcm entem et urgentem tentationem. 
uec vmeret proximum in smnli necessitate, nunquam teneretur orare. 

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Chap. I.] not necesbaby in the church of home. 48 

thence it follows, 1 that many may pass their whole lives without ever praying 
to God, and this without any great fault. It should he said, without the 
least fault ; for where there is no obligation, there is no duty at all ; and 
then no sin, great or little, in the want of performance. 

This is some of their church's sense ; but they speak it more fully who 
tell us that mental prayer is to be reckoned amongst counsels 3 (which none 
are obliged to observe), and this by the common consent of Aquinas and 
their other doctors. And accordingly, that there is 3 no divine precept, or of 
natural law, of itself obliging to mental prayer, meditation (some peculiar 
engagements or occasions set apart, wherein mental prayer is not concerned) ; 
and this is counted so certain, that to teach the contrary is temerarious, be- 
cause against the common use and sense of the whole church. So that they 
are not far from the sense of the church, who (without excepting public or 
private, mental or vocal), deny 4 that there is any divine precept in special 
for prayer. And these are not only their modern divines, but some of the 
ancienter also, particularly Alexander Alensis* (the prime of all their school 
doctors), in strictness seems to deny that there is any proper command by 
divine law for prayer, taking it properly, but only in a most large sense, as 
any pious act or good desire may be called prayer. And those who would 
not seem to like this in general, yet allow it when they come to particulars, 
since they teach that the precept obligeth not at any such particular time or 
occasion, when it would oblige, if ever. There is no command, they tell us, 
which binds them to pray in private at any set time whatever. • They are 
not obliged to pray when they first come to the use of reason, 7 nor on com- 
mon days afterwards ; not the least prayer, not a paternoster, not once a- day, 
no, not at their meals; 8 even their clergy need not do it ; nor on holidays 
neither, 9 no, not when they have quite neglected their service in public ; 10 nor 
on their fasts, though Scripture still joins these, as all Christians who minded 
religion were wont to do of old. Their fasts are no more religious for prayer 
or any holy exercise than the abstinence of their cattle ; nor to prepare them- 
selves for sacred or solemn employments, for their sacraments of penance, 
or else for the eucharist (though this would but trouble them once a-year) j 11 not 
at the beginning of any service or undertaking whatever. To pray at such 
times and occasions is mere matter of counsel, 12 which none can be blamed 
for neglecting ; nor when a man hath vowed and solemnly promised to God, 
and sworn too, that he will pray, even then, if it be but a little prayer, 15 it 

I Posse nt ergo multi totam vitam sine oratione transigere, absque gravi peccato. — 
S'tar. 1. i. de Orat..cap. xxx. n. 

* Vide Jo. Sane. disp. vii. n. x. 

8 Nullum invenitur prseceptum divimim, sen nature lis juris obligans perse ad menta- 
liter orandum, meditandum, seu rccogitandum. Quod ita censeo verum, ut contra- 
ry um sine tcmeritate doceri non possit, quia est contra communem usum, et sensum 
totius ecclesis. — Suar. de Orat. 1. ii. c. iv. n. v. 

* Quid am negant dari prseceptum divinum speciale de oratione. — Ibid. t. c xxviii. n. i. 

5 Alex. Alensis in rigore videtur negare proprium priecertuui jure divino datum de 
oratione proprie sumpta, sed solum largissime, prout pia operatio vel bonum deside- 
rium dicitur oratio. — Ibid. 1. xxviii. n. ii. 

6 Idem ibid. t. i. c. xxx. n. iv. 7 Ibid. n. ix. * N. v. and vii. 

9 L. Hi. c. vi. n. xvi. n. xii. 

10 Antoninus, Adrian, infra. Navar. cap. xxi. n. vii ; Bonacina de Sacrament, d. iv. 
q. ult. p. ult. n. xvi. ; ibi. Barthol. ab Angelo, et alii communiter. Qui non potest aut 
non vult, miss am eo die (festo) audire, non tenetur recitare alias orationes. 

II Nulla obligatio orandi in principio aliquarum actionum. — Suar. ibid. xiv. 
u Hajc omnia esse cons ilia, n. x?. et xvi. 

u A mortali excusantur — qui precationem angelicam, et alia similia parva polli- 
centur, etiamsi juramento, aut voto id ipsum confirmassent. — Navar. c. xviii. n. vii. 
Secundum alios. 



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44 REAL WOBSHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

will be but a small fault to omit it for all this. In short, which compriseth 
all, there 1 can be no certain time assigned (unless the hoar of death) in 
which, by any precept of religion, we are bonnd to Worship God, or seek his 
help by an act of prayer, as in like case is said of an act of contrition and 
love to God. So Bonacina ; no time for prayer certain, none determined ; 
but, as they conjecture, perhaps it may be a duty, when they apprehend 
themselves under grievous and dangerous temptations, and judge there is no 
remedy but prayer. This, or none at all, is the time for it by their common 
doctrine ; and this is in effect to say, it is a duty at no time, for no person. 
For those under temptation may not apprehend it dangerous, or a remedy 
needful, as all will be ready to do who either regard not temptations, or are 
pleased with them, or what they lead to. And neither these nor any else 
con judge there is no other remedy but prayer, if they believe their doctrine, 
which offers them divers other remedies, and those more relied on than this. 
To mention none else, almost any of their sacramentals (of which they have 
multitudes) will serve their turn, even a little salt,* conjured after the mode 
of holy church, may do it. Thus we see these catholics secured from all 
divine obligations to pray while they live. But they have another way to 
do it ; for, if any apprehend themselves in dangerous temptations, and also 
that there is no other remedy against it but prayer, they determine* that if 
such be ignorant that it is then a duty, or if they know it, but do not con- 
sider it, they are excused from sin, though they then neglect to pray. Now, 
the people may well be ignorant that they are in such case obliged, when 
their learned men scarce know it. And for those that do know it, the vio- 
lence of the temptation (and the case supposeth it violent) may leave no 
place for consideration. However, no man considers this or other things 
unless he will, and so it will be no sin to neglect prayer at that time, when 
only they count it a duty, unless he list. Yea, 4 though the ignorance or in- 
considerateness be culpable, and through his own default, yet the neglect of 
the duty which is thereby occasioned they can excuse from sin. Besides, 
if 8 they should both know and consider that prayer is then their duty, yet 
they teach that the omission of it is then no special sin, t. e. no other sin 
than that which they should seek to avoid by praying ; whereby they plainly 
declare that there is in their account no special precept for prayer, no, not in 
that case wherein alone they would have it thought a duty; otherwise they 
would judge it a special sin then to neglect it. 

Sect. 11. But though their catholics be thus sufficiently eased of all obli- 
gations to private prayer all their lives, by virtue of any divine command, 
it may be there is some precept in the church for it. Can she be content 

1 Non potest aliud certum tempus asaignari in quo ex procepto relipionis teneamur 
Deum colere, et auxilium ab co per actum oralionis implorare, ut in simili dictam eat 
de actu contrition is et charitatis. — Bonacina, torn. i. divin. offlc disp. i. q. ii. p. 1, 
n. xii. 

8 Exorciso te creatura salis, &c. I conjure thee, creature salt —that thou mayest be 
hallowed — to drive away all the temptations of the devil. 

8 Quando tentationea ingruunt cum periculo succutnbendi, tunc enim medium ad 
peccatorum veniam et auxilium impetrandum adhibendum eat — quanquam a peecato 
multi excusantur, ignorantea, vel non advertentes ad hanc obligationem. — Bonacina, 
divin. offic. disp. i. q. ii. p. 1, n. xii.; ibi. Medina, Navar, Malderu, Sylvester, et alii. 

4 Utrum excusetur a peecato, qui proceptum aliquod non implet ob inadvertentiam, 
vel ignorantiam, qua) ipsius culpa contigit ? — Bespondeo excusari a peecato. — Idem <U 
Peccat. disp. ii. q. viii. p. 3. n. xxviii. ibi. Clavis fiegia et alii. 

5 Scientes vero et advertentes graviter peccant, utpote negligentea medium ad vin- 
cendas tentationes— omissio tamen orationis tunc temporia non babet malitiam die- 
tinctam ab eo peecato auod cavere tenemur. — Idem, de divin. offic d. i. q. ii. p. i. 

xii. ; ibi. (besides the chief of all the Jesuits), Medina, Sylvester, Navar, Malderaa. 



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Chap. I.] not negkbbaby in the chubch of some. 45 

that they should live bo much without G-od, or any acknowledgment of their 
dependence on him, more like atheists than Christians ? Yes, there is not 
anything for private addresses to God amongst all her precepts ; she is too 
indulgent to trouble them with any such thing ; she requires not of them the 
least prayer, or such as are accounted best, not so much as a Paternoster : 
there is no ecclesiastical precept for this, to make it so much as a venial 
fault, not to use it, says Medina, 1 not a Salve Regina, no, nor an Ave Mary. 
They have indeed a special respect to this last, and prefer it ten to one be- 
fore any other (though they might use this every minute, without ever praying 
once to God all their life). And Pope John XXII. ordained, that thrice 
every evening the bell should sound, that every one might say an Ave Mary 
thrice ; and since it is grown a custom (and a church custom usually stands 
for a law with them), that not only at evening, but at noon and morning, 
too, a bell should sound for the same purpose ; so that this, if any, is under 
injunction. There is a fair show for it, but it is no more than a show, for 
they assure us this is a voluntary devotion, and hath nothing of obligation 
in it. 3 Those that never use this and such prayers, it is, they say, a shrewd 
sign they do not live well ; but the omission thereof is no special sin with 
respect unto any precept either of God or the church. 

And is not this a very pious concession that they are pleased to grant, 
. that for a man never to say his prayers, is a general bad sign that he does 
not live as he ought, though they will by no means allow it to be any spe- 
cial sin. Oh the piety and tenderness of this mother and head of all 
churches ! 

If, for all this, any of them should conceive themselves obliged to pray 
sometimes ; or if, without such opinion, they should find some season for 
private prayer, though God (as they dream), and the church (as they know), 
hath prescribed none ; as when a confessor enjoins it for penance ; or out 
of voluntary devotion, when they have a mind to supererogate, and do better 
than God requires, upon which accounts some of them may be found now 
and then very busy with their beads ; yet in these cases there is by their 
principles no more need to worship God in their private than in their public 
prayers, where (as we have shewed) they account no actual observance of God 
at all necessary. As for the prayers enjoined them by way of penance, 
these are not necessary for them, but as their punishment ; and then they 
pray not, for that is an act of the soul, but this is a suffering of the outward 
man. The church as (they say) it cannot judge of inward acts, so it cannot 
order them to be penal. And the malefactors here being their own execu- 
tioners, as there is no need, so there is no fear that they will punish their 
souls, but leave them untouched, unconcerned, whatever their lips, or 
fingers, or beads may suffer, by that grievous penalty of praying. But it 
were well if God did not suffer more by such abuse of his name and wor- 
ship, than those malefactors, who count it a suffering to do anything like his 
service. And it sounds not well that prayer must pass for a punish- 
ment. It is, as Damascene defines it, and they after him, the ascent of the 
mind unto God. 3 Now, is the approach of the soul to God a punishment ? 
One would think the devils should think better of it ; for the misery of hell 

1 Nullum esse de hac re pr&ceptnm etiam ecclesiasticum vel rab veniali. — Medina cU 
Orat. q. x., in Soar de Orat. 1. iit. c vi. n. vii. Solum tradidit Christus form am, non 
xero dedit prseceptum obligana ad exercitiuni, n. v. 

* Consuetudo recepU est ratione devotionis, non obligations — si h»c nunqnam 
recitet, magnum indicium est, ipsum non recie vivere, etiamsi omissio ilia specialc 
peccatum non sit. — Idem. ibid. 

8 Oratio in genere sumpta est ascensus mentis ad Deum, et hoc essentialiter includit. 
— Idem. ibid. c. iv. n. iv. 



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46 BEAL WOESHIP OF GOD [CHAP. I. 

is distance from God, without hopes of having access to him. But they can 
solve the difficulty well enough, for they mean not to do any such thing as 
praying in the case, hut only to suffer some thing which they call so. Their 
care and pains is ahout their beads, not their souls ; if they keep but count, 
and bring in the full tale which the confessor enjoins ; though in as many 
crowns and rosaries as there are Ave Maries in each ten thousand times 
over, they have not one thought of God, nor the least motion of mind or 
heart towards him ; yet they give full satisfaction, and undergo all they were 
adjudged to. 

In their voluntary prayers there is less worship required than the other, 
if there can be less than none. For when they need not use such prayers 
unless they please, they may do it as they list; 1 it being no duty enjoined, 
the manner of the performance is arbitrary, and wholly at discretion. Hence 
those who think something (of some sort) of attention requisite in commanded 
prayers, count none at all necessary in these ; no, not that which is super- 
ficial, not so little of that as they call virtual. So that, if herein they mind 
nothing at all, wherein worshippers at prayer are concerned, not so little as 
the bare words ; yet they acquit themselves well enough, yea, if this neglect 
of all be wilful, 3 and the mind not only run of its own accord, but be sent 
away and employed about something else on set purpose, it will be at worst 
a slight fault. 

Sect. 12. In this fashion they would have us suppose that God may be 
worshipped, when there is neither inward nor outward observance of him. 
Inward he hath none, when the mind is departed from him, and the heart 
with it. Outward he hath none, unless merely in show, when the mind 
directs it not to, and designs it not for him ; which is never done, when he 
is not minded. In fine, by the doctrine of the Romanists (to say nothing 
of the idolatry or superstition of their service), it is unnecessary that God 
should have any real worship, either public or private ; unless God can be 
said to be truly worshipped, without the love or fear of God, without acts 
of wisdom or affection, without reverence or devotion, without sincere or 
honest intentions; or with designs of wickedness ; without knowing what 
they do, or heeding what they are about ; without mind or heart, yea, or 
body either, unless in mere show ; this is apparent by the premises. The 
people (as they think) worship God well enough at this rate ; their leaders 
teach them no more is needful ; their church, by confining their service to 
an unknown tongue, makes it necessary for their divines thus to teach, and 
unavoidable for the people to worship, no otherwise. Now, what a church is 
this, or of what religion, that maizes the real worship of God, and of Jesus 
Christ, to be needless, and takes an effectual course that he shall have none ? 
Let those who are of their communion, or tempted to it, consider it seriously, 
and in the fear of God. Is it the way to salvation to be without religion ? 
Is there any religion, indeed, where it is made needless to worship God 
really, when worship is as essential to religion as a soul is to a man ? They 
may, by joining with them, greaten a party, and promote the interest of a 
faction, which carries on other designs under religious pretences, without 
regard of God, as to his worship and honour, or to the souls of men, as to 
their happiness, and the true way to it ; but if they follow the conduct of 

1 Orationes voluntarin — com penitus omitti possent, consequiturqnod evagatio mentis 
tollens attentionem non inducit peccatum mortale. — Qraf. part. i. 1. ii. c, li. n. xi. 

9 Ubi a u tern libero et citra obligationem oratur, sola est culpa venialis indecenter 
orare ; quare distractio etiam meditata, nisi contemptio adsit, nunquam erit mortalis. 
— Soto de Jxut. 1. x. q. v. art. v., in sin ; Graff, p. 1, 1. ii. c H. n. xi. ; Gabriel, ibi. Angel, 
y. hnr. n. xxvii. ; Bonacin. dc diviu. offic disp. i. q. lit. p. 2, sect. ii. n. vil, ibi. Maldarus 
et alii. 



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Chap. II.] not necessary in the ohuboh of bomb. 47 

the Roman doctrine, and worship God no otherwise than these would have 
them ; they may be of the Roman profession, and yet of no roligion. If a 
man have a mind to trouble himself with none of the realities of Christian- 
ity, and yet to pass for religions enough, in the opinion of so mnch of the 
world as is papal, and will hang his soul upon so common reputation, popery 
is contrived to allure and gratify him ; and he may safely venture on it, if 
damnation be not dangerous, or if he can escape it by an opinion or show of 
worshipping God, and being religious without morality. 

CHAPTER II. 
Christian knowledge is not necessary for Romanists by their doctrine. 

Sect. 1. Knowledge is the foundation of almost all that is saving : of 
faith, holiness, obedience, worship. It is the groundwork, without which 
scarce a stone can be laid in the whole structure of salvation. No saving 
faith without it, Rom. z. 14. There can be no love to, or hope in, an un- 
known object. There can be no fear, no desire of what we know not. There 
can be no true worship of God, unless that of the Samaritans was such, 
' who worshipped they knew not what.' There can be no obedience with- 
out knowing whom, what, why, and for what end we obey. In brief, without 
knowledge there is no eternal life, John xvii. 8; nothing but ruin and 
eternal destruction, Hosea iv. 6, 2 Thes. i. 

Yet for all this, popery decries knowledge, as that which is unnecessary 
for the people, and extols the want of it, as that which is essential to their 
faith (Bellarmine saith, faith is better denned by ignorance); 1 as that 
which is the mother of their devotion ; (so others declare it), as that which 
is the excellency of their obedience ; none comparable to that which they call 
blind obedience, as Cardinal Cusanus tells us. 2 

It sufficeth the people to know that their church hath knowledge ; and 
their sight is good enough, in that their teachers have eyes ; so one of their 
authors : In matters of faith, the people ought not to see with their own 
eyes, but the eyes of their superiors. 3 They need not know what they pray 
for, nor what they are ta believe, nor what they are to do. 

1. They need not know what they are to pray for, or to whom, or whe- 
ther they pray or not ; all is muffled up in an unknown language, and they 
are to venture at they know not what, nor how, nor whither. No wonder if 
they direct the Lord's prayer to saints, male or female ;* and say Our Fatlier 
to the virgin mother, and, in like manner, direct Ave Maries to Christ, as if 
they took him to be a woman, or to be with child (and with himself too), to 
be the fruit of his own womb ; or to be his own mother, which the words so 
applied signify. This ignorance is the dam of such devotion, such as is both 
horrid and blasphemous to the highest degree of horror ; and yet their great 
clerks will countenance it. The wisdom of their church hath thought it fit, 
that they should not be so wise as to understand what they do, when they 
are serving God. The Council of Trent fulminates a curse against those 

1 Per hoc fides distinguitur contra scientiam, et melius per ignoran tiara quam per 
notitiam definitur, 1. i. dc justif. c. vii. p. 706, sect, judicium. 

* Consummata et perfectissima obedientia. — Infra. 

9 Laicos, ad dogmata fidei quod attinet, non propriis sed prolatorum suorum oculis, 
videre oportet. 

4 Vid. Navar. de Orat. c x. n. xxxvi., et c. xviii. n. xxxii. ; Spotsw. Hist. I. ii. p. 92 
Molanus Theol, pract. tr. iii. c ix. n. vi. 

VOL. m. B 



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48' CHBISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, [CHAP. II. 

who hold that the mass ought to be celebrated in a known tongue ; that is, 
they curse those who approve not that mode of service, which the apostle 
condemns as barbarous, 1 Cor. xiv., such as is not fit for God or man ; they 
curse those who will not offer a blind sacrifice, or blindfolded. 1 As if one under 
the law ought not to have seen whether that which he offered were a hog or a 
sheep ; whether he sacrificed a lamb, or cut off a dog's neck; whether he pre- 
sented an oblation, or offered swine's blood. They think not only the people, 
but even the clergy unconcerned, to know what they say when they speak 
unto God. The clergy (saith Jacobus de Graffiis), or the laity, when they 
are at divine service, if they understand not what they say, they sin not. 2 
It is so far from being their duty to serve God as Christians, that they need 
not act as men in his service. If the words be but said, though with no 
more understanding than magpies are taught to sound them, it is as reason- 
able service as their church requires ; what God requires of them is no mat- 
ter. 3 They expect not that any should understand their service but expert 
divines, as Soto tells us. 4 Now it is a very small part of their clergy that 
pretends to be divines, and a small part of those few that are expert therein ; 
it is an attainment which most of their bishops fall short of. Their common 
priests are sufficiently qualified with the art of reading, nor need they be 
masters of that neither ; the mass-book is almost taught to read itself. For 
in the missals established by Pius the Fifth, and recognised by Clement the 
Eighth, every syllable is diversely marked, whether it is to be sounded long 
or short. What do we speak of clergy or priests ? It is not necessary for 
their popes to be able to understand, or to read their common prayers ; them- 
selves spare not to divulge this. It is manifest, saith Alphonsus a Castro, 
that many popes are so illiterate, that they are utterly ignorant of the gram- 
mar. 5 It seems he may be universal pastor,. and the teacher of the whole 
world, who hath not learned his grammar ; and the infallible guide of all 
mortals, who understands not his own language, wherein the articles of faith, 
their laws, ceremonies, and church service is delivered. And is it not ver^ 
much that two things so different as ignorance and infallibility, should have 
the good hap to meet together in the same person ? 

Sect. 2. Secondly, they need not know what they are to believe ; they tell 
us they are obliged, under pain of damnation, to believe whatever the visible 
church of Christ proposeth, as revealed by almighty God. Now, their church 
proposeth for points of faith so revealed, not only what they have in Scrip- 
ture, but what they have by tradition, or by the custom of the church in 
former ages, or by the consent of the fathers, or by the decrees of councils, 
or by the determination of popes, ex cathedra, whereby points of faith become 
infinitely numerous, beyond all account which the learned amongst them can 
give, either to satisfy themselves or others ; yet all must be believed, and 
that under pain of damnation, whenas it is but a very small part of them 
that can be commonly known. The articles of the creed called the apostles', 

1 Omnis sermo qui non intelligitur barbarus judicatur. — Jerom. in 1 Cor. xiv. 

In Navar de horis. — Canon, cap. xiii. n. iv. They are directed to address themselves 
to God or the virgin Mary thus: Grant, O Lord, or Lady, what I ask, though I know 
not what. 

8 Clerici aut laici qui divinis intersunt, si non intelligunt quad dicont, non peccant, 
1. ii. c. li. n. xii. p. 291. 

8 Quid hoc sit intellipere debemns nti humana ratione, non qnasi avium voce 
cantemus. Nam et meruli, psittaci et com et picas et hujusmodi volucres, ssepe ab 
hominibus docentur son are quod nesciunt, scienter autem cantare non avi sed bomini, 
divina voluntate concessum est.— Augutlin, in Ps. xviii. exposit. secunda, p. 103, t. viii. 

4 Supra, 1. x. q. v. art. v. 

* Cum constet plures papas adeo illiterates esse ut grammaticam penitus ignorent, 
1. i. advers. H teres, cap. iv. ed. Paris, 1534. 



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Chap. II.] how needless in the boman chtjbch. 49 

are not the hundredth part of those points that must be believed by all that 
will not be damned ; and yet they generally conclude that it is not necessary 
for the people to know all of those few articles. How to believe the rest, 
and it may be five hundred times more, which they know nothing of, nor 
ever once came into their thoughts, they must make what shift they can. 

However, they need not know all the articles of the small creed, as the 
chief of them teach. Not all, saith Aquinas, 1 but what is sufficient to direct 
to the last end ; not all, saith Scotus, 2 but the gross things, as that Christ 
was born and suffered, and others belonging to redemption ; not all, saith 
Sylvester, 3 and many with him, but those particularly for which the church 
hath public solemnities; not all, saith Bonaventure, 4 but those which we have 
notice of by the church solemnities, or acts of the priests, and these in him 
are four, that of the nativity, passion, resurrection, and remission of sins, 
to which he adds another, which the sign of the cross teacheth, and wherein 
Angelus follows him ;* so that the half and more needs not to be known, for 
they reckon fourteen in all. 

Others there are who require not this little, nor think it needful to know 
these articles more than implicitly, that is, without understanding them ; so 
Gulielmus Parisiensis, and Altissiodorensis * in Bannez. Summa Rosellae, 
after others, 7 holds it enough for the simple, and perhaps all discerning 
people, to believe that God is the rewarder of the good, and punisher of the 
evil. A compendious creed, truly, and that which will never trouble the 
conscience of a Turk or a heathen ; the knowledge and faith of a barbarous 
infidel is enough, it seems, to make a papal Christian. Accordingly, others 
teach, that such as are educated amongst catholics, and are ignorant of the 
' Trinity, are excused from the explicit knowledge thereof, especially if they 
want a teacher. So Bartholomew, Medina, and Immanuel say, who gives 
this reason for it : We cannot say that an infinite number of Christians, 
otherwise good people, do perish, that scarce know anything aright of the 
mystery of the Trinity and incarnation ; yea, judge perversely of these points 
if you ask them. 8 And yet, without the knowledge of the incarnation of 
Christ, there is no knowledge of the creed or of the gospel. Sancta Clara 
is of the same mind too, and quotes others for it. 9 

1 Nee tamen necesse est ctulibet ezplicite credere omnes articnlos fidei, sed quantum 
sufficit ad dirigendum in nltimum finem, dist. xxv. q. ii. art. i., vid. Sylvest. v. fides. 

* Maxime ad ilia quae sunt grossa ad capiendum, sicut quod Christus natus est et 
passus, et alia qu® pertinent ad redemptionem — Vid. Sta. Clara, probl. xv. p. 94. 

8 Ut que solemnizantur in ecclesia quantum ad omnes catbolicos, v. fides, n. vi. 

4 Quas cognoscere potest ex ipsis solemnitatibus, qnas ecclesia celebrat, et actions 
sacerdotnm, iii. dist. xxv. n. xxvi. 

5 De nnitate et Trinitate quam ex signatione noscere possnnt, cum dicunt in nomine 
Patris et Filii, &c item de nativitate, passione et reaurrectione quae festa predicant: 
et remissione peccatornm quam ex acta preebyterorum noscere possunt. — Sum. v. 
fides, n. Tit 

• If a man were demanded whether Christ were born of the Virgin, and whether 
there were one God and three persons, he might sufficiently answer, I know not; but 
I "believe as the church holds.— Barm, in xxii. q. ii. art. viii. sect, dubitatur. 

7 Dicens quod si mplicibus, et forte omnibus laicis discernentibus et adultis, sufficit 
credere Deum esse pnemiatorem omnium bonorum, et malorum omnium punitorem. 
Alios autem articnlos sufficit credere implicite, credendo scil. verum quicquid ecclesia 
catbolica docet. — Post, die 1. i. in Sylv. v. fides n. vi. 

Baptista Trovamala herein followed Peter Casuille, and says this is « fidet mensura ad 
quam quilibet. tenetur, et qua sufficit simplicibus et forte omnibus laicis. 1 — Sum. Rosel. 
v. fides, n. i. 

8 Quid enim dicemus ne perire infinitam Christianorum, alioquin bonorum, multitu- 
dinem, qui de mysterio etiam Trinitatis, et incarnationis, vix quidquam norunt recte, 
imroo perverse sentiunt, si interrogas?— v. fides, n. 1. Ila Fcrr. Medina, \. c. xiv. sect. ii. 

8 Deus, natura, gratia.— Problem, xv. 

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50 CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, [CHAP. U. 

So that by this doctrine a man needs not know the persons in the God- 
head, nor the incarnation of Christ, upon which his birth, life, death, 
resurrection, and intercession depends, which are the sum of the gospel ; 
yea, he may not only be ignorant of these truths, the knowledge of which, 
if of any, is necessary to salvation, but he may have false and perverse 
apprehensions of them, and yet be secure from perishing. According to 
Soto and Medina, 1 he that is ignorant of the incarnation and Trinity, because 
he was educated in the mountains, without a preacher to instruct him, will 
be saved if he die in grace, which they suppose he may have without know- 
ledge, for an implicit faith, that is, without knowledge, will then serve his 
turn. Secundum doctores nobiles, as noble doctors conclude, saith Lopez, 
so that they may have eternal life without knowing the true God, or Jesus 
Christ whom he hath sent. Ignorance hereof will be invincible, that ifl, both 
inculpable in itself, and sufficient to justify the criminal issues of it, if they 
want a teacher, that is, not only if it be not possible, but if it be difficult or 
inconvenient to have one. 3 

The cardinals of the Inquisition at Borne 3 will have such confessors allowed, 
who hold that persons are capable of absolution, and so supposed to be in a 
state of salvation, how palpable soever their ignorance might be of the mye- 
teries of faith ; nay, though out of pure negligence they know nothing of 
the mystery of the blessed Trinity, or of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Medina teacheth, that if one when he is dying acknowledge that he 
hath been very negligent to learn Christian doctrine, and would not hear it, 
and thereby wants the knowledge of the mystery of the incarnation and 
Trinity, xmd the articles of faith, yet to deny him absolution would be impious : 
so Lopez reports him, 4 and himself says, 5 such an one is to be absolved. 
Here is encouragement, more than enough, to live and die in gross ignorance, 
and those who have a mind to continue without the knowledge of God under 
the name of men, or of Christ, under the profession of Christians, have a 
general warranty by their doctrine to do it. 

For the former sort of their divines, who seem to require a knowledge of 
some articles, do indeed make no more knowledge necessary than those who 
require it not. For when they explain themselves, commonly such a know- 
ing is sufficient, as is without understanding, a dark conceit, that such things 
there be, though they apprehend not at all what they are. Such mysterious 
subtilties their doctors are pleased with, as they have a sort of faith without 
knowledge, or any thought of what they believe ; so a knowledge without 
understanding. 

Scotus 6 thinks they have sufficient knowledge of the Trinity, three persons 
and one nature, who can neither apprehend what a person or a nature is. 

1 In 4 sentent., Sum. lot. Ixxv. p. 2, quando qnis laborat ignorantia invincibili fidei 
explicits incarnationis et Trinitatis, quia cum esset educatus in montibus, caruit prse- 
dicatore ipsum de ipsa instruente secundum veram sen ten ti am, cum sola fide implicita, 
hoc est sine explicita, salvabitur, si moriatur in gratia, ad quam assequendam secundum 
Doctores nobiles sic ignoranti explicrtam satis est cum ceteris requisites fides implicita. 
— Lopcz % c. vii. p. 45. 

8 Vid. Sylv. ignorantia. n. 5 et. v. impossib. Impossible dicitur, 1, quod simpliciter 
fieri non potest ; 2, quod fieri potest sed cum difficultate. Juridice dicitur, 1, quod non 
potest fieri juste; 2, quod non potest fieri commode. 

8 Addit. to provincial Letters, p. 100, &c, c. ii. n. zvii. 

4 Instruct, c. vii. p. 45. 

P. 50, Talis est absolvendus. 

6 Qui non possit concipere quid est natura et quid persona, non est necrsse quod 
habeat actum explicitum, de articulo pertincnte ad essentia, et personarum Trinitatcm 
distincte, siennt habent clerici literati, sed sufficit talibus credere, sicut ecclesia, credit. 
— . VicL Sta. Cta. ibid. 



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Chap. II.] how needless in the roman chubch. 51 

- Accordingly, Bonaventure saith, 1 the people may know the Trinity by cross- 
ing themselves, since they do it in the name of the Father, &c. ; and by the 
festivals, they may know the rest which is necessary to be understood. And 
when it is argued, that there are few, bat such as are expert in divinity, who 
know how to distinguish and number the articles of the creed ; and therefore, 
if all were bound to know them distinctly and explicitly, id est, to know 
what they mean, few or none would be saved, which is an extreme cruel 
saying ; he in his answer grants it all. 2 

Bellarmine 3 seems to make some knowledge of the articles of the creed 
necessary, but what it is he signifies elsewhere, when he tells us that experi- 
ence witnesseth that the greatest part of the faithful, and in a manner all the 
country people, are so far from understanding the mystery of the Trinity, and 
the incarnation, and other such points necessary to salvation, that they scarce 
apprehend anything besides the mere sound of the words, and vet are de- 
servedly counted believers. 

So cardinal Tolet requires in those that are to be absolved, a kind of ac- 
quaintance with some prime articles of faith, but signifies it will be sufficient 
if, hearing them rehearsed, 4 they can tell us which is an article, and which 
not; and this they may do by the sound, though they understand nothing of 
the sense. 5 De Graffiis is confident, that a confessor may make an ignorant 
person understand all that is necessary to salvation by making the sign of 
the cross. And Angelas, who wonld have three or four articles of the creed 
to be known, yet concludes, if one can answer this or that article decently, 6 
Quod sic, it is so; it will be sufficient for him, though be know not the 
creed. 

Sylvester pretends to make more knowledge requisite than Bosella, but 
yet he determines 7 that mere want of knowledge is no sin ; that it is not a 
sin to be ignorant of what he ought to know, but upon the account of negli- 
gence ; that negligence to know things necessary to salvation may be a mortal 
sin sometimes, but when, it is hard to tell, yea, impossible. So that here is 
encouragement enough to continue carelessly in ignorance of things necessary 
to salvation, and to neglect saving knowledge ; for when this is a mortal sin, 
no man can tell, and a venial fault no man needs avoid. In short, they 
not only justify simple ignorance, how gross soever, but that which has a 
worae character, ignorantia prava disposition™ : and count it no crime, not 

1 Possunt nosse ex ipso acta consignationis, cousignant enim in nomine Patris, &c 
Cogooscere possent ex ipsia solemnitatibus.— IbicL n. xxvi. 

* Ibid. n. xxvii. 

8 Et sane ita esse, experientia testator, enm maxima pars fidelium, vel propter seta- 
tern pnerilem, vel propter sexum muliebrero, vel propter ingenii babitadinem, vel propter 
imperitiaro literarnm, et scientiarum, qaales snnt pene omnes rustici, non solum non 
intelligunt mysteria Trinitatis, et incarnationis, et similta necessaria ad salatem, sed 
vix quidqnam animo concipiant, prater sonum verboraro ; et tamen inter fideles merito 
numerantar. — Dejuttif. 1. i. c vii. p. 705. 

4 Sciat respondere ease mandatum vel articnlnm, quss snnt; non antem esse, qua non 
sunt — Instruct. 1. iii c. xvii. 

* Decis. p. 1, 1. i. c. xxiv. n. iii. vid. infra. 

6 Idem possit did de aliquo qai nescit Credo parvwn, tamen si interrogaretur Dens 
est nnns ? respondent, quod sic — et sic de eteteris respondent, quod sic Quod sufficeret 
sibi, licet nesciret profatum Credo. — Sum. v. scientia. 

7 Privatio ipsa scientia secundum se non est peccatum v. ignorant, n. 8, est peccatum 
ratione negligent!© — /"Wd Negligentia addiscendi necessaria ad salatem, qu» ali- 
quando est mortale, licet hoc judicare sit difficile.— v. Acedia, n. iii. Non potest 
sermone determinari. — v. Prctdicat. n. vii. supra. 

Ipsamet ignorantia vincibilis non est formatter peccatum nee commissionis, nee 
omissionis, &c. — Bonacina, de peccat. d. ii. q. viii. p. 3, n. xxxi. After Corduba and 
many others. 



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52 OHBISTUN KNOWLEDGE, [CHAP. IL 

only to want the knowledge of the articles of faith, hat, out of ignorance, to 
entertain opinions contrary thereto. He that believes an heresy, saith 
Navarre, 1 out of simplicity or ignorance, because he thinks the church holds it, 
and is ready to relinquish it when the truth shall be discovered regularly, he 
sins not mortally. And with Alphonsus a Castro, no kind of heresy is a 
sin, if it be out of ignorance and without pertinacy ; 2 if their teachers instil 
such errors into the people, and they, through ignorance, receive impressions 
contrary to points of faith, and follow such guides blindfold, therein they 
sin not Yea, I say more, saith Angelas, 3 Sometimes such an error may 
be meritorious ; for example, one hears a famous preacher or a bishop preach 
some error, and he simply believes it, with a mind to be obedient to the 
faith, but ready to be reduced, for things are to be judged of by the inten- 
tion. But sometimes it may be a venial fault, 4 as when an old woman 
believes the Trinity to be one woman ; and because she thinks the church 
so holds, therefore believes it. 

To recite the names of those who assert that the people, through igno- 
rance, may safely follow their teachers in errors, would be tedious, they are 
so many. For shortness, let us take Sancta Clara's word, who tells us,* It 
is now the common opinion of their schools and doctors, that people erring 
with their teachers or pastors, are wholly excused from all fault; yea, many 
times by so erring materially, for this Christian obedience which they owe their 
pastors, they merit. So that ignorance of points, whose belief is with them 
necessary to salvation, is bo far from being a sin, that it can render heresy 
sinless, yea, make the entertaining of damnable errors to be a meritorious 
belief. 

We cannot expect that knowledge should be accounted necessary, where the 
worst sort of ignorance hath such excess of honour and privilege. It is no 
more necessary, nor more of it, according to their principles, necessitate pra- 
cepti, by virtue of any command, than we have shewed out of their best 
writers. But then the necessitas medii, needfulness as a means or way to 
life, that is none at all ; for as the same author tells us, and brings us 
abundant evidence of it, it is the common doctrine of their more grave divines, 6 
that men may now be saved ; and the more common tenet of their schools, 7 
that they may be justified without the explicit belief, and so without the 
knowledge of Christ himself. So that those who hold the knowledge of 
Christ unnecessary to salvation are many, and their most grave divines; 
those that count it unnecessary to justification, are the greatest number of 
their doctors : put these both together, and there will be few left amongst 
them, and these little considerable in comparison, for number or gravity, 
but such as judge the knowledge of Christ needless to bring men into a saving 

1 Idem ibid. n. ix. Si pro simplicifate ant ignorantia id credit, quia sibi videtur 
ecclesia ita tenere, et est paratus errorem deponere quandocunque veritatem fuerii 
edoctus — nee peccat mo^taliter regulariter 1. xi. n. xxii. p. 141. 

8 Lib. i. advers. Hares, c. ix. 

8 Immo plus dico, quod aliquando talis error possit esse meritorias, ut pats, aliquis 
audit aliquem prodicatorem famosum, vel episcopum prsedicasse aliquem errorem, ct 
simplex ciedit animo obediendi fidei, paratus tamen corrigi. Nam ex in ten ti one opera 
judicantur cum voluniate. — De sent, sxcom. sum. Angel, v. fides, n. vi. 

4 Aliquando cum peccato veniali, ut puta, vetula credit Trinitatem esse unam fsBmi- 
nam : et quoniam credit ecclesiam sic tenere, sic credit. — Id. ibid. 

5 £t videtur hodie communis seiltentia scholarum et doctorum, quod laici errantes 
cum suis doctoribus aut pastoribus omnino ob omni culpa excusentur, immo multoties 
sic materialiter errando, ob actum obediential, quam pastoribus suis debent, merentur 
Problem, xv. p. 99. 

6 Pntem plane banc esse sententiam doctoris, et communem. — Ibid. p. 90. 

7 Et base est communior in scholis. — Ibid. p. 89. 



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Chap. II.] how needless in the boman ohuboh. 68 

state; for this, it will not be needful to be Christians, unless any can be 
Christians without the actual belief or knowledge of Christ. 

Sect. 8. Thirdly, They need not know what they ought to do ; they may 
be, without sin, ignorant of what the Lord hath made their duty. Adrian, 
Corduba, Herrera, determine, and it is the more common and received 
opinion, that men may be inculpably ignorant of the law of nature and the 
ten commandments, as Sanota Clara informs us. 1 But, then, since they 
need not know the rule, what have they to follow ? Why, the direction of 
their teachers ; and these they must follow blindfold, right or wrong. It is 
one of the qualifications required in the obedience of others, but especially 
of the religious, which they would have us think to be best of all, that it be 
blind ; 2 nor should fear of going wrong move them to open or use their own 
eyes, for if they do wander out of the way of God after such guides, yet they 
are right, and do their duty. Those who managed the conference 3 for the 
Romanists at Ratisbon, anno 1601, maintained that the people are so sub- 
jected to the government of their teachers, that if they err, the people may 
and ought to err with them. And they are not only excused from all faults, 
when they thus wander with their teachers, but their obedience to their 
pastors hexein is many times meritorious. This is the judgment, not only 
of Valentia, Angles, Vasquez, but the common determination of their schools 
in Sancta Clara. 3 It seems a man may deserve eternal life by leaving the 
way to it, and may come to heaven meritoriously by wandering from it. 
What a strange thing is it, that they will not let their catholics be certain of 
salvation, since they cannot miss it, no, not by going out of the way that 
leads to it I When they follow their guide into the ditch, yet they are safe ; 
but that is a small matter : by being willing to be led by such as see not, or 
mind not the way, they merit, and spring up to heaven marvellously, even 
when they are felling from a precipice, and tumbling headlong after their 
leaders. 

The same author tells us* that some doctors ascribe so much to the in- 
struction of pastors, who have care of the flock, that if they should teach that 
now and then God would have them to hate him, a simple parishioner is bound 
to believe them. All think not fit to give so broad instances ; but whether 
all have not warrant to do it by their common tenet, let others judge. 

However, if the people (content to trust, and not to see, what so much 
concerns them) suffer themselves to be deceived, they sin not, their ignorance 
will save them harmless. 5 And what would any impostor desire more than 
to have those whom he hath a mind to abuse to the uttermost, possessed 
with such a confidence, that however they be deluded, it will not hurt them? 
Now what an admirable expedient is ignorance for the children of this king- 
dom, when by virtue of it the leaders may carry the people whither they 
list without suspicion, the people may follow in the dark without danger ! 
No wonder if ignorance be nourished in them by all means, when they are 
not concerned to know whether that which they are led to be good or evil, 

1 Communior tamen et recepta sententia post Adrianum, et est nostri Corduba et 
Herrera et aliorum communiter, quod potest dafi ignorantia invincibilis respectu legis 
naturae et decalogi. — Probl. xvi. initio. 

* Obedientiam csBcam, promptam, fortem, esse par est, de his conditionibus in obe- 
dient ia religiosa pnesertim requisitU bene. — P. L. Victord* ibid. ad. 1. viii. c. xiv. 
p. 11, 8. 

8 Hungerus, Velserus, Hannemannus, Oretzerus, Tannerus. 

4 Vid. supra. 

Immo aliqui doctores tan turn tribuunt instructioni pastorum, quibus incnmbit cura 
oviuno, quod si docerent hie et nunc, Deum Telle odio haberi, quod teneatur parochianus 
nidi* eid credere. — Ibid. Probl. xr. p. 97. 



64 CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, [CHAP. II. 

just or unjust, against God, or for him ; whatever it be, they ought to obey 
at a venture. They need not so much as know whether their leaders have 
power to require what they enjoin. 1 

If they be in doubt whether that they are led to be against the law, jet 
on they must go, for they all agree here to drive them. Secundum omnes* 
saith Sylvester, if he doubt of this, whether it be against the command of 
God, yet he is bound to obey, he may venture safely, It seems that is no • 
danger which the apostle speaks of, ' He that doubteth is damned,' Rom. 
xiv. 28. They allege 8 an express text for this in their law, which will cany 
it against the apostle. 

And as that evil which God forbids may be done by him that doubts lest 
God hath condemned it, so 4 that good which he hath enjoined (if salvation 
can be had without it) may be neglected when superiors will have it so ; 
their canonical text saith it, 6 which must be regarded whatever becomes of that 
other, * Whether it be better to obey God or men, judge you/ Acts iv. 19. 

Yea, if they be past doubt, that what is required is against God, if they 
think, if they believe it to be against his command, yet if they believe it but 
upon weak grounds, 6 yea, or if upon probable grounds (if they be not more 
certain thereof than they ought to be of their salvation), they are to suppress 
their own judgment, and will be excused for the goodness of such obedience, 
i.e. for obeying men rather than God, and that against their own judgment 

Such art is used to persuade the people, that they need see nothing they 
are to do further than their leaders would have them ; if they doubt or if 
they believe, if their eyes be opening or if they be opened, they must shut 
them close, and obey men blindly, without discerning what God forbids or 
requires. And it is not for nothing that they deprive them of their eyes, for 
thus they can make them grind. Such ignorance is the way to have them 
in more subjection, and that they account the most perfect obedience, which 
is next to brutish, without knowledge, and without judgment ; that they need 
not have, and this they must not use. A judgment of discretion must by no 
means be left the people, that is a point they would maintain against us ; hot 
as to their own followers, they put it out of question beforehand, for by 
keeping them without knowledge, they leave them no judgment, but such as 

1 Non oportet quod sciat id ab eo juberi posse. — Nan. 1. xxili. n. xxxtH. 
Affirmant in omni dnbio parendam esse pneposito. Bonarent. Palndan. Sylrest 
Angelas, Sotus in Vasquei, in 1, 2 torn. i. disp. lxvi. 1. ix. 

* Secundum omnes si est de hoc dubius (illud esse contra legem Dei) — tenetur obedire. 
— Sylvest. v. consc. n. iii. Et generality r ubi est dubius an debeat obedire necne, tenetur 
obedire. — Idem. t. relig. tL n. vi. Quid si prselatns prsecipiat aliquid quod consriemia 
subditi dictat esse contra legem Dei ? Resp. secundum Bonaventuram quod tenetuream 
deponere, nisi clarum sit illud fore contra legem Del — Sum. AngeL t. Conseieat. n. u. 
Quid debet facere inferior, qoando dubius est, an quod ei prsacipitur est peccatum? dico 
debet obedire. Ita tenet Sylvest. et habetur hoc expresse. 

8 xxiii. q. 1. Can. quid culpatur ubi statuitur, cum non est certum, superiornm 
factum esse malum, esse obediendum : in dubiis enim debet inferior credere auperiori. 
— Tokt. Instr. 1. viii. c. xv. 

4 Immo aliquando etiam bonum, sine quo potest ease salua, propter obedientiam 
debet omitti. — Sylv. v. obedient n. 2. 

6 11. q 8. quid ergo, ibid, 

• 8i vero opinatur, ita quod nescit, nee dubitat, sed credit, distinguendum eat: quia 
si credit ex levibus, tenetur tale judicium deponere, Ac , et obedire : et similiter si 
credit probabiliter, et excusatur propter obedientiss bonum. — Sylvest* v. consc. n. 3. 

Si non scit pro certo sed ex levi et temeraria credulitate, tunc ad consilium sui 
prcelati, deponat. Si vero habeat credulitatem probabilem et discretam, quamvis non 
manifestam et evidentem : tunc propter obedientiam, faciat quod sibi prsscipitur, 
quoniam tenetur in tali dubio, et propter bonum obediential excusatur. — Sum. AnceL 
v. consc. n. 2. 



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Chap. II.] how needless in the soman chubch. 55 

one may pass on colours in the dark. " Ribera expresseth their sense signi- 
ficantly, 1 All who are to obey, especially religions persons, ought to have no 
head of their own, ♦. e. they are to obey as if they were without eyes or 
brains. So he explains this worthy expression, non suo sed reetoris mi con- 
tilio dueL Let me bnt add the pregnant words of Cardinal Ousanus, which 
comprise all that I charge them with in this particular, 9 No man (saith he) 
can be deceived by an ill pastor ; if thou say, Lord, I have obeyed thee in 
him whom thou hast set over me, this will be sufficient for thy salvation ; for 
thou by obedience paid to a teacher whom the church tolerates, cannot be 
deceived, although he command what is unlawful. Wherefore the opinion 
of the pastor binds thee upon thy salvation for the good of obedience, although 
it be unjust ; for it belongs not to thee to take notice whether it he unlawful 
or not, neither hast thou leave not to obey if it seem unlawful to thee, for 
that obedience which is irrational' is the most complete and most perfect 
obedience, to wit, when one obeys without the use of reason, as a beast obeys 
his owner. A speech fit only for the mouth of the beast and the false prophet. 

The sum of their doctrine concerning ignorance is little less than this : 
they need not be men as to their obedience ; they need not be Christians as 
to the knowledge of Christ ; they need scarce be either as to their worship. 

Sect. 4. The ground of all this is, that they judge the knowledge of the 
Scriptures unnecessary, in a manner, to all sorts ; yea, count it necessary to 
keep as many as they can possibly from acquaintance therewith. They are highly 
concerned for this, even as much as those who have villainous designs, and 
would accomplish them without observance and control, are concerned to shun, 
the light. They know full well the Scripture condemns popery ; we may well 
say they know it, when themselves confess * that both their worship and their 
doctrine is contrary and repugnant to Scripture, and allege this as the reason 
why they would have as little of the Scripture, as can be, known to any. 
From their own mouths we have the reason why they would never have suf- 
fered the Bible to be exposed in a vulgar tongue, if it could have been avoided. 
The protestants' translations made that impossible, and the papists among 
them, who had a mind to look into the word of God, might have made use 
of these; if no other had been provided. To prevent which they were forced 
to translate it, and yet their own translations (which are so strange a disguise 
of Scripture) they dare not trust to the common view ; they are in the index 
of forbidden books put out by Pius the Fourth, and an unpardonable sin 
they make it for any to read them, but such as can procure a licence for it 
from a bishop or inquisitor ; that is, none but those who, they are confident, 
will not be moved by what they meet with there against popery. And yet 
(as if so great restraint were too much liberty for so dangerous a thing as the 
word of God), in the after edition of the index, by Clement the Eighth, he 
declares that no new faculty is granted to bishops or inquisitors to grant any 
licence for reading the Bible, since, by the mandate and usage of the church 
of Borne, and the universal inquisition, all power of granting such licences is 

1 Omnes qui parent, et prsesertim religiosi homines, debent esse sine capita, Com- 
ment in Amot, p. 269. 

* Nemo decipi potest efciam per malum prawidentem : si dixeris, Domine, obediyi 
tibi in prepoeito, hoc tibi aufficiet ad salutem : tn enim per obedientiam quam facia 
pnepceito quern eocleeia tolerat, decipi nequis, etiamsi pneceperit injusta: quare 
sententia pastoris ligat te pro tua salute propter bonum obediential, etiamsi injusta 
fuerit : nam ad te non attinet cognoscere quod sententia sit injusta, neo conceditur 
tibi nt non obedias, si tibi injusta videatur : obedientia irrationalis est consummate, 
obedientia et perfectiasima, scilicet quando obeditur, sicut jumentum obedit domino 
gna JSput. 2 ad Bohcmo* et Eicitat. 1. ii. et vi. 

a Conail. de stabilienda Rom. sede, p. 6. 

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56 CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, [CHAP. II. 

taken away. 1 So far are they from thinking the knowledge of the Scriptures 
needful for the people, that they count it heresy to affirm the Scripture ought 
to be in a language which they know (how can it be less than heresy to think 
that needful to be known, though it be the revelation of God, which discovers 
popery to be an imposture ?). It is a sin from which they shall never be 
absolved, if they read anything of the word of God in a language which they 
understand, without a licence from a bishop or inquisitor, by Pius his rule ; 
and no bishop or inquisitor hath any power to grant any licence, by that of 
Pope Clement. 

Knowledge of the Scripture is no more needful for monks than other 
people ; it is equally necessary that they should be ignorant of the word of 
God ; they are under the same restraint, and are no otherwise permitted to 
read or buy it. 2 Ignorance is proper for this kind of creature, they are for 
contemplation, not for knowledge/ It seems they may employ their heads 
in contemplation of they know not what. To be sure they need neither 
sacred nor any kind of literature. A monk may be illiterate (say they) they 
have that privilege by their canon law, there quoted by Sylvester and others,* 
and they generally make use of this indulgence ; for their clergy, six parts 
of seven, need no more to be acquainted with the Scripture than the black 
art. The four first orders are sufficiently accomplished, if they are able to 
read 5 (according to the Council of Trent) ; the two next should understand 
Latin, i. e. the words, but not the matter, yet no necessity of either ; it is 
not of necessity to their sacrament of order 6 that any below a bishop should 
.have the use of reason when he enters into orders. 

Yea, their priests need not have any knowledge -of the Scriptures. It is no 
part of their qualification ; 7 nor doth their office, by the Roman constitution, 
require it; all that belongs commonly to a priest is only to say service and 
to say mass ; 8 there are infinite numbers made priests merely to read mass (as 

1 In indice recens edito jussu dementis 8, circa prodictam quartern regulam — 
nullam per banc impressionem et editionem de novo tribtri facultatem episcopis vel 
inquisitoribus, aut regularium superioribus concedendi licentiam legendi biblia in 
vulgari lingua edita ; cum hactenus mandato et usu S. R. £. et universalis inqui- 
sitionis, sublata eis fuerit facultas concedendi hujusmodi licentias in Azor. Instit. 
Mor. pars. i. 1. viii. cap. xxvi. 

9 Regulares vero, non nisi facilitate a prselatis suis habita ea legere aut emere poe- 
sint. Index lib. prohibit, a Con. Trid. iv. regula. i. ita Pius iv. Sublata est regula- 
rium superioribus facultas concedendi licentiam. — Ita Clemen, viii, id. ibid. 

8 Contemplatione magis indigent quam scientia.— Sylv. v. (Jlericus. ii. n. 1. Graff. 
1. i. c. xv. n. 5. 

4 Potest monacbus esse illiterates, ut. not. per gloss, xvi. q. i. ca. legi versic. in- 
structs. Graff, ibid, facit quod legitur xvi. q. i. ubi dicit Joann. quod sufficit monacbo 
si sit bonus, licet sit illiterates.— -Sylvtst. ibid. 

6 Nam in minoribus constitute, sufficit scire legere, et commodo pronunciare ; et 
juxta Cone. Trid. Sess. xxiii. c. xi. Saltern Latinam linguam intelligere diacono, et 
subdiacono sufficit intelligere quro Latine legit, licet mysteria non ita calleat, Tolet. 
Inst. 1. i. c. xciii. 

6 Ordines autem majores etiam presbyteratum posse conferri infantibus, est com- 
munis doctrina theologorum et canonistarum, 8. Tho. Bonavent, Richard, &c. — Idem. 
ibid. cap. lxi. 

S. Tho. tenet et probat quod in solo Episcopate requiritur usus rationis in susci- 
piente de necessitate consecrationis Episcopalis. — Sylv. v. ordo. ir. n. i. vid. Angel, v. 
ordo. iii. n. i. 

7 A d Presbyteratum sufficit scire canones communes pamitentiales et crotera de 
quibus dist. xxxviii. quae ipsis. Sylr. v. Cleric, ii. n. i. Graff. 1. i. c. xv. n. 6. An- 
gel ub reduces their canons to twenty (none of which have any ground in Scripture). 
— 8um. v. confes. vi. n. v. 

9 Primum et secundum officium (viz. divinum officium et misaam celebrare) com- 
mune est omnibos, reliqua vero, qu» ad praxim pertinent, non nisi iis, quibus ex 
munere particulari incumbunt. — Tol. ibid. 1. i. c iii* 



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Chap. II.] how nkkdlbss in thb boman chuboh. 57 

Poljdore Virgil tells us) ; x and this they may do completely, though they 
cannot so much as read without a fescue, such as the missal hath ready for 
every syllable. 8 

But if the priest have a special cure, and so be a preacher or confessor, 
yet may he be both good enough without any acquaintance with the Scrip- 
ture ; he may preach the gospel after the Boman mode, without knowing the 
word of God ; for with them it belongB both to deacons and monks to 
preach ; yet those need not understand anything of Scripture, and these 
must not read it in a language they understand, without a licence. 3 

The priests in Scotland were accounted sufficiently qualified, who, it is 
said, did think the New Testament to have been composed by Martin 
Luther.* 

The priests even in Italy, if they had more notice of the author, yet 
scarce more acquaintance with the contents of the New Testament; they 
never read it, and were much more ignorant thereof than the silly women 
amongst the Taborites, as iEneas Sylvius, afterward Pope Pius II., writes. 5 

Knowledge of the Scriptures was not counted necessary for their preachers, 
either regular or secular. 6 The chief of their regulars were the Franciscans 
and Dominicans. In the rule of friar Francis, approved by several popes, 
the Minorites (one sort of pre