Skip to main content

Full text of "Select practical writings of David Dickson, vol. 1"

See other formats

ialtome Hcqurot 

(!3\ films 


s^/purr^ 1 1" > 





VOL. I. 









Exposition of the Tenth Chapter of Job, . . 1 

Sermons Preached at a Communion in Irvine. 

I. At a Humiliation before the Communion, . . 76 
" Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, woe to the rob- 
bing city ! She heard not the voice ; she received not correc- 
tion ; she trusted not in the Lord ; she drew not near to 
her God.'' — Zeph. iii. 1, 2. 

II. For Preparation to the Communion, . . 90 

'• Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, 
having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. 
And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart 
from iniquity." — 2 Tim. ii. 19. 

III. On the First Communion Sabbath, . . . 11^ 
" Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall he 
exalted and extolled, and he very high. As many were 
astonished at thee ; his visage was so marred more than 
any man, and his form more than the sons of men : So 
shjdl he sprinkle many nations ; the kings shall shut their 
mouths at him: for that which had not been told them 
shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they 
consider.'' — Isa. Iii. 13, 14, 15. 

IV, On the Monday for Direction, .... 132 
" Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; I will 
help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One 
of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp, thrash- 
ing instrument having teeth : thou shalt thrash the moun- 
tains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as 
cha£"— Isa. xli. Ii, 15. 


V. On the Second Sabbath for the Communion, . 150 

" But what tilings were gain to me, those I counted loss 
for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss 
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my 
Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss <\f all things, and 
do count them but dung, that 1 may win Christ." — PHILIP, 
iii. 7, 8. 

VI. On the Monday following the Communion, . 179 
" If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection 
of the dead, Not as though 1 had already attained, either 
were already perfect : but I follow after, if that I may ap- 
prehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ 
Jesus."— Philip, iii. 11, 12. 

Tiikhapeutica Sacra, shewing shortly the Method of Heal- 
ing the Diseases of the Conscience concerning Regeneration, 198 
Chap. I. Of Conscience in General, . . 200 

II. Of Cases of Conscience in General, . 207 

III. Of Regeneration, what it is; and the Re- 

generate Man, who he is, . . . 211 

IV. Of Divine Covenants about the Eternal Sal- 

vation of Men ; and in special, of the Cove- 
nant of Redemption, shewing that there is 
such a Covenant, and what are the Articles 

THEREOF, ..... 223 

V. Of the Covenant of Works, . 282 





Mr David Dicksox, or Dick, (for the family seems 
to have used either name indifferently.) was the son ot 
Mr John Dick, merchant in Glasgow, a man of reli- 
gious character, and possessed of considerable wealth. 
John, and his partner in life, had been several years 
married without having offspring, a circumstance that 
grieved them deeply ; and they not only prayed them- 
selves, but stirred up others to pray for them, that 
they might have a son — vowing, that if their petition 
was granted, they Tvould devote him to the service of 
the Lord. Their prayers were heard, and David was 
given to them, like a second Samuel, to comfort them 
in their old age. The precise date of his birth cannot 
be ascertained, but it is supposed to have been in 
1583. In proper time the boy was sent to school ; 
but after he had learned some Latin, his parents for- 
got their vow, and sent him to sea in the capacity of 
a supercargo, intending thus to train him up to mer- 


cliandise. But several losses they sustained at sea after 
David had entered upon his charge, and subsequently, 
a severe sickness with which he was visited, admon- 
ished them sharply of their dereliction. They be- 
wailed their forgetfulness, and sent him to the Uni- 
versity of Glasgow, where his proficiency soon showed 
that he had at last got into his proper element. 

To explain the high attainments in learning which 
Dickson and his illustrious cotemporaries possessed, 
it may be necessary to advert to the Scottish educa- 
tion of this period, more especially, as it is so fre- 
quently misunderstood, and so grossly misrepresented. 
Andrew Melville had returned from the Continent, not 
only richly furnished with all the learning of the 
age, but a complete acquaintanceship with the most 
effectual methods of imparting it ; and such was the 
admirable system which he had organized for the 
Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow, that in 
literary reputation they were inferior to no Colleges 
in Europe. The curriculum of education for the 
ministry especially, was such, as might justly put to 
the blush the superficial acquirements of many of their 
modern representatives. The young pupil, at his ad- 
mission, was expected to be a thorough proficient in 
Latin, otherwise he could not understand the prelec- 
tions, which were generally delivered in that tongue. 
In addition to the higher Latin classics with which 
the course commenced, the students were initiated 
into the Greek grammar, and carried through the 
ample routine of the Greek poets and historians. To 


these literary acquirements succeeded the study of 
rhetoric, logic, ethics, physics, geometry, and history ; 
after which the alumni were introduced to their more 
important work of studying Theology as a science in 
all its departments, and the Eastern languages with 
which it is connected. This course continued for six 
years, and without those long vacations which have 
crept into modern education. This rigid training 
also by no means terminated with a six years' course 
in the case of the most eminent of our Scottish di- 
vines. Such as had most highly distinguished them- 
selves by talents and acquirements during that period, 
were appointed professors, or regents as they were then 
called, and in this capacity they had ample opportu- 
nities of maturing what they had already learned, as 
well as enlarging the bounds of their knowledge ; — and 
after regenting for eight years, they were then admit- 
ted into the ministry. It was in this way, that the 
illustrious champions of our church were trained for 
the conflict which they had towage against Episcopacy. 
English doctors and right reverend bishops, who had 
been trained in the thought-inspiring stained-glass 
shades, and amidst the rich intellectual stores of the 
halls and libraries of Cambridge and Oxford, had 
been wont to look with solemn disdain upon the lank 
unendowed literature of Scotland ; and when they ad- 
vanced to establish the divine right of Prelacy, they 
hoped to bear down all presbyterian resistance, by re- 
condite arguments drawn from antiquity, and by co- 
pious quotations from the Fathers. But they were 


astounded to find a whole host emerging from the dingy 
class-rooms and rough-hewn benches of our Scottish 
colleges, as completely equipped for the combat as 
themselves — men every whit their equals in historical, 
classical, and patriotic learning, and withal, endowed 
with a strength and springiness of dialectic nerve, that 
made them more than a match for their less hardily 
trained antagonists. Such were the eminent divines of 
Scotland in the earlier part of the seventeenth century ; 
and such was David Dickson, who was afterwards to 
bear so prominent a part in the list of our Scottish 

After he had completed a six years' course, Dickson 
was found so well qualified for the duties of an in- 
structor, that he was appointed Professor of Philo- 
sophy in the University of Glasgow. In this import- 
ant charge, he was eminently successful in training 
the youths not only in learning, but sound religious 
principles. Having continued in the professorship 
for eight years, he was appointed Minister of Irvine, 
in the year 1618, when he had reached the mature 
age of thirty-five. 

It was only six months after the minister of Irvine 
had entered on his charge, that an event occurred, 
through which he was afterwards to suffer consider- 
able molestation. In the preceding year, the prelates 
of Scotland had transmitted to the king such fiatter- 
accounts of their success in the advancement of 
Episcopacy, that James fully believed that a personal 
>nly was necessary to accomplish its permanent 


establishment. Inspired, therefore, as he assured his 
good people of Scotland, by a i; salmon-like affection" 
he revisited his native country ; but there he found 
the tide of presbyterianism so strong and stormy, that 
he was glad to hasten back to the still waters of 
England, after having railed at the prelates for their 
overcharged statements, and called them " dolts and 
deceivers." Goaded by the spur of royal indignation, 
they strained every nerve to accomplish his favour- 
ite measure ; and accordingly a General Assembly 
was convoked at Perth, on the 25th of August, 
1618. Never had such a singular conclave represented 
the Church of Scotland ! Bishops, doctors, and deans 
were the prime agents ; courtiers and their led-gentle- 
men were the lay commissioners : those ministers who 
were tolerant of the claims of the bishops, were pn 
into the service, while the most distinguished op- 
ponents to episcopacy were excluded. As if to show 
also to the eye, that presbyterian parity was a delusion, 
there was a long table, with forms, for the nobles. 
prelates, and their supporters, while the ministers were 
left to stand behind, like mere spectators. The vot- 
ing which followed was a mockery, for Archbishop 
Spottiswood told the meeting roundly, that the articles 
should be passed, gainsay them who would ; and when 
the names of the voters were called, whosoever de- 
murred, had these menaces thundered in his ears, 
■• Have the king in your mind !" — ;i Remember the 
king !" — " Look to the king. 1 ' The articles, five in 
number, commonly called the Articles of Penh, were 


accordingly driven through the Assembly as amatter of 
course. These were, 1. Kneeling at the Communion ; 
2. Observance of Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, 
Ascension-day, and Pentecost ; 3. Episcopal Confir- 
mation ; 4. Private Baptism ; 5. Private Communion. 
In a few weeks they were ratified by the Privy Coun- 
cil, and in July 1621, they were confirmed by Par- 
liament. A thundercloud that hung over the city 
and enveloped it as with a shroud, exploded over the 
parliament- house, just as the touch of the royal scep- 
tre had established these articles, while such flashes of 
lightning continued, with deluges of rain and hail, that 
in this age, so observant of omens, the most stout- 
hearted trembled at their own work. But the deed 
was done — and they soon rallied to enforce obedience. 
i During the stir of these important events, Dickson 
was diligently labouring at his charge in Irvine ; and 
probably it was owing to the closeness of attention 
which he bestowed upon his ministerial duties, that 
he had taken no share in the general resistance to 
these innovations. Indeed, it appears, that hitherto 
he had bestowed little or no study upon Episcopacy, 
although that was the all-absorbing topic of the day. 
But now, that the subject was brought home to his 
personal attention, he was compelled to investigate 
and decide. " I studied the matter," he says, " as I 
should answer to God, yet for two years' time I held 
myself quiet, till being overtaken with sickness, and 
dying in my own apprehension, I resolved to give my 
testimony to the truths which were oppressed. This 


I did," he adds, " in as modest terms as I could, 
purely for my own exoneration." The result of this 
investigation, was a resolution to suffer, rather than 
comply with the articles of Perth. His refusal was 
noted, and the pains and penalties were to be enforced. 
Scarcely had he been four years a minister, when a 
summons was served upon him at the manse of Irvine, 
and on opening the missive, he found, that instead of 
commencing with the usual preamble of, " James, by 
the grace of God, King," &c, it began in the name of 
" John, by the mercy of God, Archbishop of St An- 
drews ; and James, by the mercy of God, Archbishop 
of Glasgow," — commanding him to compear at the 
Court of High Commission, to answer for his non- 
compliance. He resolved at once to decline the 
authority of the court, and endure its inflictions. At 
his entrance upon his pastoral charge, he had preached 
on the first part of 2 Cor. v. 11, " Knowing the ter- 
rors of the Lord, we persuade men ;" and now, with 
the prospect of suspension or deprivation before him, 
he preached on the Sabbath before his departure, on 
the latter part of the verse, in these words, " But we 
are made manifest to God." The discourse was deliver- 
ed under all the solemn circumstances of a ministerial 
farewell, and it was attended with extraordinary 
power in the souls of his hearers. £; During the 
whole time of the sermon," says Calderwood. " there 
was weeping and lamentation ; scarce one within the 
doors could hold up his head. That whole day, the 
women were going up and down the kirk-yaird, and 


under stairs, greeting,* as if their husbands had been 
newly buried. The like weeping was upon the morn, 
when Mr David was leaping upon his horse." The 
provost, magistrates, and town council of Irvine, and 
the people at large, addressed an earnest petition to 
the High Commission, attesting the faithful labours 
and holy conversation of their minister, and showing 
the injury which his removal would occasion to God 
and their own souls ; and eight or nine of his princi- 
pal parishioners accompanied him to Edinburgh. The 
opposite party were now in a dilemma : they wished 
to procure his submission, and thus escape the odium 
of persecution, which they would incur by enforcing 
the articles; — even a partial submission would content 
them, — let him only seem to submit. When he 
had reached Linlithgow, a post came from Arch- 
bishop Spottiswood, offering to continue him in his 
charge, if he would only request continuance until 
he were better advised ; threatening, that otherwise 
he (the Archbishop) would " put him an hundred 
miles from the doors." The answer of Dickson was 
brief and decisive : " Continuance with my flock I 
am not that man that will refuse, if either mine own, 
or the request of others may procure it ; but to crave 
continuance for further advisement, I cannot, except 
I would dissemble, for I am fully resolved in that 

On appearing before the Court of High Commission, 
Spottiswood, still unwilling to precipitate matters, 
* Weeping. 


had recourse to gentle language and flattery. He 
began to remind the minister of the literary distinc- 
tion he had acquired when regent in the University 
of Glasgow; and of the high hopes that had been enter- 
tained of him ; and protested his own personal satis- 
faction at the esteem in which he had been held ever 
since he had been settled in Irvine. After this 
soothing exordium, the examination commenced ; but 
Dickson forthwith took the written declinature from 
his pocket, and laid it on the table. At this unwel- 
come movement, there was a bustle among the mem- 
bers, and the bishops gathering round him, whispered 
in his ear, as if in friendly solicitude, " Take it up ! 
take it up I" — to which he calmly replied, " I laid it 
not down to that end, to take it up again. 1 ' The 
clerk was then commanded to read the declinature, 
which was also signed by George Dunbar, a fellow- 
sufferer of Dickson, and expressed in the following 
terms : 

" Forasmeikle as the assemblies of this kirk stand- 
ing in force, are ratified by the laws of this kingdom ; 
have respective and properly belonging to them, only 
lawful power and liberty to try, admit, and ordain 
qualified persons to the service of the ministry, and 
to suspend and remove therefrom such as shall be 
found faulty and insufficient ; and to exerce the whole 
jurisdiction and discipline of the kirk, according to 
the order established : By virtue whereof, and by 
reason of the solemn oath of God astricting the whole 
kingdom, and specially the ministry thereinto, the 


lawful General Assemblies, Provincials, and Presby- 
teries, have lawful power and liberty in matters of 
admission and deprivation to or from ecclesiastical 
functions : Nevertheless, we have received a copy of 
a libel, whereby we are summoned to answer at your 
instance, in the cause of deprivation, contrary to the 
privileges and liberties of the kirk, laws of the coun- 
try, and commendable course and practice hitherto 
observed within this kirk and kingdom. Therefore, 
we most earnestly and humbly desire you, that ye 
would wisely consider, and cease to trouble us with 
such commandments as may intend prejudice, or prove 
hurtful to the kirk and kingdom of Christ within this 
realm. Otherwise, for the obliged respect and duty 
we carry to the kirk, and lawful assemblies thereof, 
we will be forced to decline you, as judges no ways 
competent in the cause libelled. Like as we, being 
most willing to eschew the meanest degree and impu- 
tation of contempt, have disposed ourselves to come 
in your presence, to declare unto you the necessity of 
our subjection to the judges and judicatories before 
specified ; and in that respect do testify our declining 
from you, as incompetent judges in the cause libelled. 
And by these presents, we simpliciter decline you, of- 
fering ourselves most willingly to a lawful and ordinary 
judgment, appointed and established by the laws of 
our kingdom, concerning us and our affairs ; and that 
for the reasons following, and others to be alleged 
in time and place : 

" 1. Because the right of our trial, cognition, and 


giving of sentence in the cause expressed in the libel, 
stands in the power and privilege of the Assemblies 
lawful, respective above-written, which by no law nor 
canon of the kirk as yet extant are cancelled, an- 
nulled, or declared expired ; much less translated or 
devolved in your persons, to try, cognosce, appoint 
punishments, and execute sentence at your pleasure. 

" 2. Because this form of judicatory is mixed of 
civil and ecclesiastical persons, for the inflicting of 
civil and ecclesiastical censures upon the parties con- 
vened before you, to the prejudice of that distinction 
which should be betwixt civil and ecclesiastical judi- 
catories, according to the word of God, and established 
order of this kingdom ; whereby it is out of all ques- 
tion, that no civil person can sit, or cognosce upon 
the deprivation of a minister ; as also, that no minis- 
ter or ecclesiastic person may inflict any civil punish- 
ment, nor yet any such ecclesiastic censures as belong 
to a whole Assembly ; meikle less, in their own name 
libel edicts, summon parties, impose diets of compear- 
ance, lead process, give out sentences not only different, 
but in many respects contrary to the forms of proceed- 
ing received and practised in the kirk's affairs, as the 
libel whereby we are summoned imports." 

The Archbishop, writhing under the sting of dis- 
appointment, threw off the mask of gentleness he had 
hitherto exhibited. Scarcely had four lines of the 
declinature been read, when he burst forth in a 
volley of "banning" and abuse. "These men,'' 
he sneeringly said, eyeing Dickson askance, "will 


speak of humility and meekness, and talk of tlie 
Spirit of God ! The Spirit of God is the spirit of hu- 
mility and meekness, but ye are led -with the spirit 
of the devil. There is more pride in you, than in all 
the bishops of Scotland, I dare say. I hanged a Je- 
suit in Glasgow, for the like fault."* " I am not a 
rebel," replied the other ; " I stand here as the king's 
subject. I offer myself, in my declinature, to the or- 
dinary judicatory established already by the king's 
laws. Grant me the benefit of the law, and of a sub- 
ject ; I crave no more." The Archbishop, instead of 
answering this appeal, continued to rail. On Dickson 
being removed, his brother-in-law, and several of 
those who had accompanied him from Irvine, were 
sent to persuade him to take up his declinature ; but 
they knew his mind too well to make the attempt. 
On being again called in, the Archbishop addressed 
him in a style of eloquence worthy of King James 
himself. " Thou art a rebel," he said, " a breaker of 

* This was scarcely an exploit for Spottiswood to boast of. The 
Jesuit Ogilvie was apprehended in Glasgow, in October 1G14; and 
when the Archbishop examined him lie was so incensed at his an- 
swers, that he pummelled the poor prisoner with his fists. The un- 
fortunate wretch was also fearfully tortured, by being kept from 
sleep for several days and nights together, until he was driven fran- 
tic, in the hope of making him name the persons who had sheltered protected him. His chief crime was a declinature of the author- 
ity of the king and council in things ecclesiastical ; and for this lie 
was hanged at Glasgow, on' February 28. 1615. It was suspected 
that this execution was merely intended as a warning to those faith- 
ful ministers of the Scottish Church, who might adopt a similar 
Course in opposing the tyranny of the bishops, — a suspicion, which 
Spottiswood's threat on Dickson's trial goes far to confirm. 


the fifth command ; disobedient to the king, and us, 
who may be your fathers both one way and other. 
Ye shall ride with a thicker back, before ye ding* 
the king's crown off his head." " Far may such a 
thought be from me," replied Dickson modestly ; " I 
am so far from that, that by God's grace, there shall 
not a stroke come from the king's hands, that shall 
divert my affection from him." " It is puritan tail !" 
cried the Archbishop ; " ye call the king, your king, 
but he must be ruled by you." The Bishop of Aber- 
deen then put to Dickson the question, "Will you 
obey the king, or not V The other answered, " I will 
obey him in all things in the Lord." The Bishop then 
proceeded to another query, which was rather a 
startling one : " May not the king give this authority 
that we have, to as many souters or tailors of Edin- 
burgh, to sit and see whether ye be doing your dutv 
or not 1" " My declinature answers that," said Dick- 
son. Spottiswood again broke forth in a tempest of 
abuse, calling him " knave," " swinger," "young lad," 
and declaring that he ought still to be teaching bairns 
in the school ; and observing that he withheld from 
him, that title so rich, from its novelty, to the ears 
of these Scottish bishops, and only called him " Sir," 
the Archbishop gnashed his teeth, and exclaimed, " Ye 
might have called me, My Lord, Sir. Langsyne, 
when I was in Glasgow, ye called me, My Lord ; but 
I cannot tell how, you are become a Puritan now." 
Dickson silently lifted up his eyes to heaven, but this, 
* Drive. 


the Archbishop called a proud look. At length the 
former said, " I have been eight years a regent in the 
College of Glasgow, and four years a minister : those 
amongst whom I have lived, know I am not the man 
ye call me. Say to my person what ye please ; by 
God's grace, it shall not touch me." After a few 
more sneers and misrepresentations from the primate, 
the sentence of the court was announced in these words. 
11 We deprive you of your ministry at Irvine, and or- 
dain you to enter in Turref, in the north, within twenty 
days." To this, Dickson submissively replied, " The 
will of the Lord be done. Though ye cast me off, 
yet the Lord will take me up. Send me where ye 
please, I hope my Master will go with me ; and as he 
hath been with me heretofore, he shall be with me 
still, as with his own weak servant." " Swith, away !" 
cried Spottiswood, as if he had been hooting a cur 
out of the council-chamber, — " pack, you swinger !" 
and turning to the door-keeper, he added, "Shoot* him 
out !" As they were about to depart, the town-clerk 
of Irvine exclaimed in a tone of deep sorrow, " Is that 
doleful sentence of divorcement pronounced ? As for 
you, Mr David, the Lord strengthen you to suffer ; 
but as for you, Sirs, (speaking to the council), God 
turn all your hearts." " Who is that?" shouted the 
Archbishop, — " I shall take order with you, Sir !" 
Thus ended this singular travesty of an ecclesiastical 
court. The absence of all decent and established 
forms in its proceedings, was as remarkable as the 
* Thrust, sbove. 


lack of common equity and legal justice. The meet- 
ing neither began nor ended with prayer ; no formal 
process had been used against the pannel, for the Pro- 
curator at whose instance he was summoned, did not 
appear ; and so far from being formally accused and 
convicted, Dickson was not even asked, whether he 
would yield obedience to the articles of Perth or not. 
And yet, he was sentenced to deprivation and banish- 
ment ! After the trial, the bishops began to bethink 
themselves wherefore they had condemned him, since 
no cause had been assigned. But the solution of this 
difficulty brought them to a dead pause. They care- 
fully scanned and weighed his words, but were obliged 
to confess, that he had said nothing offensive. At 
last, they fastened upon his answer to the first ques- 
tion proposed by the Bishop of Aberdeen, in which he 
declared, that he would obey the king in all things, 
" in the Lord." From this they absurdly deduced 
Dickson's meaning to be, — that the king did not com- 
mand in the fear of the Lord ! 

On his return to Irvine, the denounced minister 
continued to preach until the twenty days had expired; 
and because he had merely declined the authority of 
the bishops, and not that of the king, he took instru- 
ments to this effect, and of his willingness to obey the 
king in temporalities. This he did, to refute an alle- 
gation becoming stale even at that early period, — 
that Presbyterian ministers claimed an authority 
paramount to that of the king and civil courts, and 
exemption from their jurisdiction, — that in fact, they 


wished, like the Romish priests of old. to establish 
over all things the tribunal of an infallible Church, 
from which there should be no appeal. When the 
time had expired, he went to the residence of the 
Earl of Eglinton, where he preached weekly in the 
great hall, and sometimes in the open air. But this 
permission, which the Earl had obtained for him, 
was soon thought too much by the Prelatic party, in 
consequence of the crowds that repaired to these 
ministrations, from Irvine and the neighbouring pa- 
rishes ; and although they had pledged themselves to 
that nobleman, and forty ministers who had joined in 
the petition, that Dickson should remain unmolested 
at Eglinton, they ordered him to his place of banish- 
ment; — and as if this punishment had not been enough, 
they aggravated it by several restrictions that were 
not contained in the original sentence. And still he 
obeyed, that he might shew his submission in matters 
purely civil. 

On arriving at Turref, a desolate and secluded pa- 
rish in the north, which was thenceforth, as it ap- 
peared, to be his place of residence, Dickson obtained 
permission from the minister of the parish to preach 
to the people. And truly, this labour of love which 
he undertook was no easy task. His course had hither- 
to been a smooth one, in consequence of the high 
standard of religious character that prevailed in Ayr- 
shire ; but now, he found a people so ignorant and 
degraded, that he was obliged to adopt a new style of 
ministration. To him, the preaching of a sermon 


was nothing, unless it was fitted for the hearts and 
consciences of those who heard it ; and therefore, he 
had to subject himself to a laborious course of pre- 
paration, that he might come do tun to his hearers, in 
order to draw them upward. On this account he was 
afterwards wont to observe, that the devils in the 
north were much worse than the devils in the west ; 
for studying one day would have served him at Ir- 
vine, but it required two days of study for preaching 
at Turref. 

While Dickson was thus employed in the service of 
his Master, the affectionate friends whom he had left 
behind, were incessant for his recal ; and in conse- 
quence of petitions from the Earl of Eglinton and 
the town of Irvine, the High Commission gave him 
liberty to repair to Glasgow within three months, and 
there, either to satisfy the Archbishop, or return to 
his place of ward. And this satisfaction was to be an 
easy matter — it was nothing more than to clear him- 
self from the charge of having declined the king's au- 
thority. He accordingly repaired to Glasgow, but on 
his arrival, he found that something more was expected 
and required. It was not enough that he wrote a 
gentle apology for his declinature, in which every 
offensive word was softened — he must take up his 
declinature ! Nobles, gentlemen, clergymen of his own 
party, his personal friends, all urged him to this step, 
with every form of argument and entreaty ; and to 
make the act as trivial as possible, it was arranged, 
that he should merely repair, with any friend he 


xxii LIFE OF 

pleased, to the Archbishop's residence, and without 
seeing the Prelate at all, should just lift up the paper, 
which would be lying ready upon the hall table, or 
cause his friend to take it in his stead. But to this 
contemptible legerdemain he would not listen for a 
moment. That paper contained the transcript of his 
devout convictions ; it was copied in the records of his 
conscience — and there let it lie in the sight of earth 
and heaven ! Although his own Irvine was so nigh, 
toward which his heart yearned with paternal fond- 
ness, he called for his horse, and rode away towards 
bis desolate Patmos. Twenty days had the well-meant 
but harassing solicitations of his friends continued, 
and during all this time, he declared, that he went in 
spiritual bonds, and could not get access to God in 
prayer as formerly : all which remained, was the light 
of the word and Spirit, that commanded him not to 
forsake his testimony — and that however they urged, 
he used to keep all day by that light he had got by 
prayer in the morning, till he took it and their reason- 
ing before God at night. He added, that he had 
hardly rode a mile out of Glasgow, on his return to 
Turref, when his soul was filled with such joy, and 
approbation from God on account of his faithfulness, 
that he scarcely ever felt the like before. He re- 
turned to his place of exile, but his trial had expired. 
God who had a great work reserved for him, so con- 
trolled the hearts of his persecutors, that the solicita- 
tions of his friends were at last effective, and he was 
permitted to return to his charge, with the promise, 


that he should not be molested unless the king inter- 
fered. This event occurred about the end of Julv 

And now, he was replaced in his beloved duties, 
and among his own people. On returning to Irvine, 
Dickson resumed his pastoral labours with fresh ardour 
— and well was he rewarded as a minister, for having 
been a confessor of Christ and his cause. From his 
previous trial, he was a distinguished mark which the 
eyes of men were compelled to behold : and now, that 
he had returned without a jot of compromisement, he 
was a recognised and proven ambassador of his glorious 
Master. The crowds that repaired to his ministry 
increased ; they came not only from the adjacent 
parishes, but from the more remote districts of Scot- 
land, and even from England ; and many families 
settled themselves in Irvine, that they might enjoy 
the benefits of his regular ministry. And in addition 
to his Sabbath sermons, he also preached on the 
Mondays, which were then held as market-days in 
Irvine, so timing however the hour of meeting, that 
the sermon ended before the market commenced. This 
was a change in the established usage of parish preach- 
ing — the little change of a country minister — an as- 
sembling of a rural population together upon a week 
day, to hear the word of God. And yet, here was the 
commencement of an important era in the church of 
Christ. We allude to what is commonly termed the 
Stewarton Revival, which lasted from 1625 to 1630. 
At this time, the parish of Stewarton was under the 


pastoral care of Mr Castlelaw, a man who appears to 
have been in earnest about the spiritual welfare of his 
people, and he encouraged them to attend those heart- 
stirring discourses that were delivered every Monday 
in Irvine. They did so, and the result that followed 
-was wonderful : like an electric flash, the spirit of re- 
ligion went from heart to heart, breaking, softening, 
vivifying with an irresistible power ; and for many 
miles on both sides of the Water of Stewarton, the 
influence went onward. Scarcely did a Sabbath pass, 
without proof of some being converted, or brought 
evidently under the power of the word; many were 
so thrilled or paralysed with convictions of sin, with 
terror and remorse, that they fell down, and had to 
be carried out of the church. Crowds of inquirers 
also, after the lecture had ended, were wont to repair 
to the manse, anxious about the state of their souls, 
or to join in the devotional exercises that were con- 
tinued there, after public worship had ended. A stu- 
pendous change was visible upon a whole people, and 
the event had many excited on-lookers ; but while the 
thoughtful were awe-struck and silent at the spectacle, 
and devout hearts kindled into praise and gratitude, 
there were many who sneered and derided. They 
called it the " Stewarton sickness, 1 ' and spoke in con- 
temptuous terms of the " daft folks of Stewarton." 
Unfortunately, too, it happened, as in similar cases, 
that there were sometimes extravagances exhibited 
both at church and private meetings, that were cal- 
culated to throw discredit upon the cause. But here, the 


sound practical judgment and experience of Dickson 
and his coadjutors were employed successfully, in re- 
straining these overflows of feeling, and giving them 
their proper direction ; and happily, these cases were 
comparatively few. In by far the maj ority of instances, 
the result evinced, that the work was no delusion ; and 
it not only pervaded a whole district for the time, but 
impressed a permanence of character, by which future 
generations were made wiser and better. It is gra- 
tifying to read the attestations that were given to this 
effect, by men of different minds and habits, but each 
hi his own sphere well qualified to judge correctly. At 
this time, Robert Blair was a regent in the University 
of Glasgow ; and as he sometimes preached at Stew- 
arton,he had opportunities of much private intercourse 
with the people ; on which occasions, he declared, that 
he had profited more by them, than they did by him. 
Boyd of Trochrig also was there, regarding these 
wonderful events with his calm, thoughtful, inquiring 
eyes, and cool sagacious intellect ; and after much 
conversation both with men and women, he blessed 
God for the grace that was vouchsafed to them. And 
the Earl of Eglinton, whom his lady had induced to 
forego his field-sports for a season, and converse with 
these poor people, was compelled to wonder at the 
wisdom they manifested in their speech. It is grati* 
fying also to find, that although he had been made the 
honoured instrument of such signal success, the heart 
of Dickson showed no worldly elation, but referred all 
the glory to its proper source, and acknowledged his 


own inferiority ; so that even in the full spring-tide 
of his usefulness he was wont to declare, that the 
vintage of Irvine was not equal to the gleanings, and 
not once to be compared to the harvest at Ayr, in 
the time of Mr John Welch. 

It was not always however, and upon every oc- 
casion, that this highly-favoured divine found such 
enlargement in preaching; and an event befel him, 
to hinder him, it may be, from being exalted above 
measure. He had always been reluctant to preach in 
the metropolis, and on this account he stedfastly re- 
fused every invitation to officiate in an Edinburgh 
pulpit. But at last, during his absence, he was ap- 
pointed to preach before the General Assembly. The 
fame of the wonderful effects that had attended his 
ministry at Irvine had spread over Scotland, so that 
at the time appointed, the church was not only filled, 
but the doors, and even the street, w r ere thronged with 
expecting multitudes. He went to the pulpit in his 
usual state of preparation, commenced the public ser- 
vices, and afterwards announced his text. But as soon 
as he endeavoured to open upon it, he became dumb 
— the whole subject had departed from him, so that 
he could not remember a single thought. At last, in 
faltering and humble accents he thus addressed his 
wonder-stricken audience : " I see God will not suffer 
any mean clay instrument to be put in his room — he 
will not give his glory to another — there is too much 
looking to man, and too little to God." After a few 
more broken sentences to the same purpose, he prayed, 


and dismissed the congregation. A minister like this 
so suddenly struck dumb and helpless — what a sermon 
was that ! And how impressively did it rebuke the 
carnality of those who feverishly hunt after mere 
talent and excitement, and who are more anxious to 
be regaled with an eloquent sermon, than to be en- 
lightened by the simple oracles of God ! 

But it was in the calm seclusion of Irvine, and 
among the heart-awakened, sincere, inquiring rustics 
by whom he was surrounded, that the pulpit talents 
of David Dickson, and their effectiveness, were the 
most powerfully and genuinely elicited. Above all, 
he was distinguished by the happy skill with which he 
appealed to dead or half-wakened consciences, and 
the tact which he displayed in solving their difficul- 
ties, soothing their terrors, and directing them upon 
the way of life — and hence the eagerness with which, 
as in the case of the Stewarton Revival, inquiring 
multitudes repaired to the manse, to consult him, 
after the services were over. When he was transfer- 
red to higher spheres in the church, we learn accord- 
ingly without much surprise, that the same amount 
of pulpit reputation did not follow him. He was in- 
deed the same profound reasoner, the same earnest 
eloquent speaker as before — but he had no longer 
those crowds of expressive countenances before him, 
those eager questioning eyes fixed upon him, from which 
the speaker catches such fervour and strength ; nor 
the incessant many-voiced question that followed, 
"What shall I do to be saved?" Instead of these, 


lie had a congregation of quiet formal citizens, — and a 
cathedral. On being questioned as to the causes of 
this apparent inferiority, after he had been removed 
successively to the Divinity Chairs of Glasgow and 
Edinburgh, he answered, that he wanted his books. 
He meant the inquirers — those living volumes in 
which he had perused and studied the best of all the- 
ology — and the fervent prayers they were wont to offer 
in his behalf. Sir Hugh Campbell of Cessnock gave the 
following quaint account of the several stages of 
Dickson's pulpit excellence : " The professor of Di- 
vinity at Edinburgh is truly a great man ; the pro- 
fessor of Divinity at Glasgow was a still greater man ; 
but the minister of Irvinewas the greatest man of all." 
As an illustration of his distinctive style of preach- 
ing, compared with that of his illustrious cotempo- 
raries, the following anecdote may be interesting to 
the reader. A London merchant, a native of England, 
having come down to Scotland, in the course of busi- 
ness, repaired to St Andrews, where he heard Robert 
Blair preach. He afterwards heard Samuel Ruther- 
ford. On the Sabbath following, he went to Irvine, 
where he heard David Dickson. When he returned 
to London, his friends asked him, What news from 
Scotland \ to whom he replied, that he had great and 
good news to tell them. They little suspected what 
these tidings mi^ht be, as hitherto be had been care- 
less about religion. He told them, that at St Andrews 
he had heard one Mr Blair preach — and after describ- 
ing his features and stature, he added, <; That man 


showed me the majesty of God. I afterwards heard," 
continued he, " a little fair man preach (Mr Ruther- 
ford), and that man showed me the loveliness of Christ. 
Then I came, and heard at Irvine a well-favoured 
proper old man with a long beard, and that man 
showed me all my heart." 

Several short but interesting accounts of Dickson's 
preaching can be gathered from the declarations of 
those who enjoyed his personal acquaintanceship. He 
always endeavoured, we are told, to lead people to 
throw all their trust and dependence upon Christ's 
imputed righteousness, and not to rest upon any thing 
of their own. In preaching, unlike those who were 
in the habit of exhausting a text and their hearers by 
a series of twenty or thirty discourses, he generally 
took three or four verses for a single discourse, ob- 
serving, that " God's bairns should get a good blaud* 
of his own bread." On another occasion, he declared, 
that a man's addressing himself to study a text, was 
like his coming to a tree : he shook the tree, and the 
fruit that was ripest fell, while the green remained : 
thus, a man should not take from a text all it con- 
tained at once. The arrangement of his ideas and 
style of preaching were also so winning upon the 
hearts of his hearers, and drew them along by such 
pleasing imperceptible steps, that a minister declared, 
he never read these words " I caught you with guile," 
but he remembered David Dickson. Indeed, one of 
Dickson's own sayings upon this subject was, " We 
* A large slice. 


that are ministers should make the door as wide and 
broad as we can, to get poor sinners once gained and 
brought in to Christ ; and when they are in, to close 
the door, and lay on them as good a load of duties as 
we can : for * if I be a father, where is my honour? if 
I be a master, where is my fear?'" 

An apostolic brevity and simplicity in preaching 
was what this good man not only cultivated in him- 
self, but cordially recommended to others, and that, 
too, in a style which they were not likely to forget. 
That parade of extensive reading, therefore, which 
indulges itself in showing all the different meanings 
of the text before coming to the true one, he justly 
condemned. This, he said, was just like a cook 
bringing up a piece of meat to the table, and saying, 
" This is a good piece of meat, but you must not 
taste it ;" and then, he brings another, and says the 
same. " The cook," he added, " should bring them 
no meat, but what they are to eat." In the same 
strain of honest-hearted humour, he condemned the 
use of Latin sentences and scholastic phraseology, 
before a simple auditory. " It is," he said, " as if a 
cook should bring up the spit and raxes to the table : 
these are fit to be kept in the kitchen, to make ready 
the meat, but they are not to be brought to the table." 

One amiable trait in his character, was the paternal 
interest which he felt for young students who were 
in training for the ministry, and the anxiety with 
which he laboured, not only to further their literary, 
but their spiritual improvement. While he was 


minister of Irvine, he understood that a young lad, 
named John Stirling, then attending the parish school, 
was under deep religious impressions, and on whom, 
therefore, he bestowed much attention. The poor 
youth, who intended to study for the Church, found 
an insuperable difficulty, as he thought, at the outset, 
— he felt as if the necessary study of Latin was not 
only a too arduous task, but that it marred his reli- 
gious exercises, and therefore must be abandoned. 
The minister dealt with this over-tender conscience 
in the language of affectionate simplicity : " Do you 
think, John, that there is religion and serving of God 
in nothing but prayer, reading, meditation, and hear- 
ing of sermons? Do you not think, that when a 
webster is sitting on his loom, and working busily 
at his trade, he may be serving God as well as 
when praying and reading ?" This argument the 
stripling could not gainsay : but still the temptation 
continued, and at last became so intolerable, that he 
resolved to abandon the school, and return home. 
He accordingly stole away from Irvine, but had not 
got far from the town, when he saw the minister, who 
had been visiting in that part of the parish, and was 
returning by the same path. He tried to hide him- 
self; but Dickson detected the fugitive, and made him 
come forth and answer. The old excuse was still 
urged ; to which the other replied with that passage 
of Scripture, " No man having put his hand to the 
plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of 
heaven ;" and then added, " John, if you can answer 


that, you may go your way where you please ;" and 
immediately left him. John was so moved with this 
conclusive appeal, that he instantly returned to school, 
where, in course of time, he surmounted all his diffi- 
culties ; after which, he went to college and laureated, 
and Dickson obtained for him a chaplaincy. When 
Stirling had passed the usual trials, and been ordained 
to the ministry, his judicious monitor gave him many 
excellent advices, among which were these : that he 
should remain unmarried four years, in order to give 
himself wholly to his new work ; and that in prayer 
and preaching, he should be as succinct as possible, 
so as not to weary his hearers. He then ended all 
with that simple but impressive admonition so neces- 
sary for every minister, " Oh, study God well, and 
your own heart !" 

The following adventure possesses not only a lively 
dramatic interest, but shows, how unexpectedly a word 
fitly spoken may be attended with a blessing. One 
day, Dickson was travelling in company with a young 
man, whom he little suspected to be a robber, until 
the stranger turned upon him at a convenient part of 
the road, and demanded his purse. Dickson complied, 
but said to him, " This is a very bad way of living 
you are now following. Take my advice ; if you will 
needs take my money from me, go and trade with it. 
Follow some lawful trade of merchandizing, and leave 
off this woful course of yours." The young desperado 
took the purse and departed ; years elapsed, and the 
event was forgot. After Dickson had been appointed 


Prafessorof Theology at Edinburgh, there was brought 
one day a hogshead of wine to his house in the college, 
at which he and his family were surprised ; but think- 
ing that there must be some mistake in the delivery, 
they allowed it to remain, till the rightful owner 
should appear. Some hours after, a gentleman called ; 
and as he was a stranger, the Professor received him 
with his wonted courtesy, and treated him to a glass 
of his best ale. The visitor praised the liquor, but 
asked if there was any wine in the house. Dickson 
replied, that a hogshead had come that day, but it 
must have been sent by mistake, as he had not ordered 
it, and knew nothing about it. " It was I who sent 
it," replied the gentleman. He then reminded the 
wondering Professor of the circumstances under which 
he had been robbed of a purse containing four or five 
hundred merks, and confessed, that it was himself who 
had done the deed. The advices delivered on that 
occasion had sunk so deeply into his mind, that he 
abandoned all his evil courses, and betook himself to 
business ; and Providence so prospered his repentance 
and reformation, that he had grown rich, so that now 
he was come to refund the sum, both principal and 

It will be recollected, that when Dickson was re- 
placed in his charge in 1G23, it was with certain 
restrictions, that made him liable every moment to 
a fresh ejection. With most persons, this would have 
proved a strong motive for avoiding any overt act of 
resistance, except in the case of some very urgent 

xxxiv LIFE OF 

emergency, and when it could not be avoided. But 
such calculations of selfish prudence were not congenial 
to a heart like his, and he resolved to do his duty, be 
the consequences what they might. An opportunity 
soon occurred that tested his sincerity. When the 
Scottish ministers who were settled about the Six- 
mile Water in the north of Ireland, were silenced 
and ejected by the Irish prelates, at the instigation 
of their Scottish brethren, they returned to their na- 
tive country; upon which occasion, the minister of 
Irvine employed three of the most eminent of their 
number, Blair, Livingston, and Cunningham, to as- 
sist at his communion. The Archbishop of Glasgow 
was indignant at this act, while the friends of Dick- 
son trembled. But the storm was already gathering 
to a head, before which the crazy fabric of Scottish 
prelacy was dashed in pieces ; and the Archbishop 
who now feared for his own safety, was no longer 
able to persecute. 

And now came on a memorable year in the history 
of the Church of Scotland — that of 1638 — when the 
force of public events drew the country minister from 
his retirement, and precipitated him into the struggle 
of a great national revolution. Concussed by the 
pestilent counsels of Laud, and his own egotistic obsti- 
nacy, Charles I. resolved to inflict the Service-book 
upon Scotland, at whatever hazard. The experiment 
had been tried — the stool of Janet Geddes had taken 
wing, and like a thrown-up truncheon, had given 
signal of onset — when Dickson proposed to the Pres- 


bvterv of Irvine, that they should be up and doing 
They were allowed by proclamation a certain day, be- 
yond which their refusal would not be tolerated ; but 
he advised them not to wait silent until that day, lest 
they might be condemned for what would seem a 
criminal indifference. His advice was unanimously 
adopted ; and a petition was drawn up by the Presby- 
tery, addressed to the Privy Council, in which a sus- 
pension of proceedings in the matter of the Liturgy was 
craved, with a plain statement of the consequences of 
refusal. Other Presbyteries followed the example ; 
and it was noticed as a token of encouragement, that 
when the Irvine petition was carried to the door of 
the Council-house, three others arrived at the same 
moment, from different quarters. Such was the com- 
mencement of that universal remonstrance which ended 
in the downfal of the Liturgy. His pen was now in 
active requisition for the service of the Church, and 
accordingly we find him, soon after (September 20), 
employed with Henderson and Ker, in drawing up 
an overture for a public fast, and stating the grounds 
on which it should be observed. And subsequently, 
when a formal complaint and petition to the king, 
against the bishops, as the authors of all the disturb- 
ances in Scotland was to be written, two draughts 
were to be penned on the occasion, the best of which 
was to be selected as the model. For the one, Alex- 
ander Henderson and Lord Balmerino were chosen ; 
for the other, David Dickson and the Earl of Loudon ; 
and the sketch of the latter was adopted, as the one 


most fitly expressing the sentiments of the Church 
and nation. 

It was not, however, by petitions that Charles and 
Laud were to be influenced, and after a scornful re- 
fusal, events hurried onward to the crisis. The four 
Tables were formed in Edinburgh ; and when the an- 
cient national covenant was to be renewed, the nobles 
called Dickson, along with Henderson, to assist them. 
The solemn events attending the signature of that holy 
bond, and the importance attached to it, are sufficient- 
ly known, we trust, to every reader. Upon this mo- 
mentous occasion, it was perceived with regret, that 
no commissioners had been sent from the burgh of 
Aberdeen, and therefore Dickson, Henderson, and 
Cant were sent, to remonstrate with the people, and 
induce them to join their countrymen. Such, how- 
ever, was the obstinacy of this town, that the depu- 
tation were excluded from the pulpits, and obliged to 
preach in the hall of Marischal College, or in the 
close, as the weather permitted. But, although they 
reasoned with the learned doctors of Aberdeen, and 
refuted all their arguments and cavils, their labours 
were without avail. Unfortunately for themselves, 
the people of Aberdeen continued obstinate — and the 
curse of Meroz followed their refusal. 

The voice of the nation was now too loud and omi- 
nous to be disregarded, and a " Free General Assem- 
bly" was summoned by royal authority to meet at 
Glasgow, November 21, 1638. The proclamation 
gave full authority to this Assembly to inquire into 


the prevailing evils and redress them ; and as if such 
had been verily intended, the bishops were ordered to 
submit to its censures. But nothing of the kind was 
meant. Instead of this, the king secretly instructed 
the Marquis of Hamilton, who was royal Commis- 
sioner, to divide the Assembly, to stir up jealousy and 
division between the clerical and lay members, and 
on no account to allow the bishops to be censured ; 
and if all this failed, to protest against all their pro- 
ceedings. An explosion was inevitable from such left- 
handed policy. The bishops, knowing they would be 
protected, refused to appear or to submit ; and on the 
Assembly proclaiming themselves competent judges 
of the recusants, Hronilton, who had fought for the 
bishops step by step, at last declared, that he must 
dissolve the meeting and retire. Amidst the en- 
treaties and deprecating tears of the members he put 
his threat into execution, in the hope that he had in- 
volved them in an inextricable difficulty. If they 
continued to sit and act, they might be accused as 
rebels to the king — but they also felt, that if they 
retired, they would be traitors to their God. They 
sate in their places like immoveable rocks, and the 
Moderator, after a short speech, desired the minister 
of Irvine, there present as a member, to address the 

The behaviour of Dickson on this occasion was ad- 
mirable. After a few preliminary remarks, he said, 
" We thought the matter desperate, when we were 
charged to buy the Service-book and Book of Ca- 



nons, under the pain of horning ; yet we gave in sup- 
plications to the Council, desiring them to hear us 
speak against such proceedings. And when we knew 
not what to do next, God led us on step by step, and 
hath kept us still within the compass of his word and 
the laws of this kingdom, for aught we know ; for we 
have only followed our cause with humble supplica- 
tions to our king, and protestations against what we 
could not obey ; and it is evident, that God hath ac- 
cepted our testimony, for his hands are about us 
still." He then with admirable tact deduced an ar- 
gument for the Assembly's continuance, from the ex- 
ample of the Marquis himself. w God is now to 
crave," he said, " a solemn testimony of the Church 
of Scotland ; and we have clearly represented to us 
an example of fidelity to our Lord and Master, by my 
Lord Commissioner. He hath stood punctually to 
the least jot of his commission ; and it 'becometh us 
to be as zealous and loyal towards our God." After- 
wards he proceeded, with a bold and manly logic, to 
justify the position in which they now stood : " Seeing 
this court is granted to us of God under our king, and 
with his allowance, and a parliament indicted to 
warrant all the conclusions of it, let us go on as we 
may answer to both; and though his majesty hath 
withdrawn his granted warrant, shall we, for this, be 
disloyal to our God, and let go that power which he 
hath granted ? If we go not on, we shall prove traitors 
both to God and to our king ; or if we be silent, and 
pass from this Assembly, how shall the will of God be 


demonstrated to our king in things controverted? 
There is not a mean to inform his majesty fully and 
clearly, but the determinations of this Assembly ; 
therefore we must now proceed, and so proceed, as all 
our actings may answer for themselves, and it may 
be seen, that our behaviour is as becometh good 
subjects to God and the king." He then shewed that 
all means of retreat were cut off, and that their only 
prudence was to go boldly forward. " We must 
either go on," he said, " or take upon us all the im- 
putations of scandalous and turbulent persons, and 
grant that there have been as many wrongs, as there 
have been false imputations laid out against us ; and 
this were to sin more deeply, and to quit those glo- 
rious privileges which Christ hath granted to us, 
above all our sister churches. Seeing then that there 
is not a mean left whereby to clear ourselves before 
the Christian world but this, let us go on in putting 
over the matter upon our Lord and Master ; and he 
shall answer for us at the court of heaven, and justify 
us in the eyes of all that are wise." 

This admirable speech, which was long remembered, 
and often adverted to, sounded the key-note to the 
Assembly's proceedings : they sat and acted as a 
court having independent power to legislate for the 
church of Christ. During thirty days of stern deli- 
beration and decision, they pronounced the six Assem- 
blies invalid which had been held since James's ac- 
cession to the English throne, including those from 
1606 to 1618, at all of which the innovations upon 


our church had been gradually introduced — censured 
fourteen Prelates, of whom, two Archbishops and six 
Bishops were excommunicated, four deposed, and two 
suspended — condemned the Service-book, the Canons, 
the High Commission, and the Five Articles — and 
declared Prelacy to be abjured by the National Cove- 
nant, and contrary to the principles of the Church of 
Scotland. In this manner, and in so short a period, 
the work of thirty years, during which James I. and 
his unhappy successor had toiled so painfully and 
sinned so deeply, was thrown down, and nothing re- 
mained of it but an unshapely ruin, or rather a con- 
fused heap of rubbish, to proclaim the completeness 
of the overthrow. 

These bold decisions required to be corroborated 
by deeds as bold, for in a short time " Canterbury's 
Knight," as Charles was derisively called, had raised 
an army, and commenced a crusade against Scotland, 
for the restoration of his beloved Episcopacy. But 
in every district there was such arming and muster- 
ing, that the hearts of the royalists waxed cold. It 
was evident, that a people so zealous for their spirit- 
ual rights, might be crushed but not conquered. Each 
parish sent forth its hardy peasantry fully accoutred 
for battle, officered by their lairds and nobles, and 
accompanied by their ministers as chaplains ; and on 
this occasion, twelve hundred horse and foot, who 
came out of Ayrshire under the command of the Earl 
of Loudon, had Dickson for their chaplain. At this 
period also, he must have seen some service, as tho 


division to which he belonged, took in rapid succes- 
sion the castles of Strathaven, Douglas, and Tantallan, 
which were strongholds of the royalist nobles, before 
they joined the encampment at Dunse-law. The 
hollow truce which afterwards took place released the 
ministers from such unprofessional scenes, and Dickson 
returned home. 

On the 12th of August in the following year (1639) 
a General Assembly was held, of which Dickson was 
chosen Moderator ; and in the trying difficulties of 
the period by which he was surrounded, he conducted 
himself with such prudence, firmness, and suavity, as 
met with universal approbation. A portion of his 
closing address to the Assembly, is so happily illus- 
trative of his own character and conduct as a minister, 
that we cannot refrain from quoting it : " To you of 
the ministry I would say, let us be faithful to our 
Master, and love one another fervently. Strive not 
one with another, neither insult those who have been 
of a different judgment about ceremonies, and the 
government of the church ; but let us make a per- 
petual act of oblivion of such things in all our me- 
mories, and lay aside all disputes, that have taken 
up much time which might have been better spent. 
And if ministers will do thus, I will adventure to pro- 
phesy unto you, it shall come to pass, that if you 
will keep yourselves at your book and your closet, 
and study to be spiritual in doctrine, and diligent in 
your calling, ye shall have more credit, than if ye 
ran to court ten thousand times ; and your parish- 

xlii LIFE OF 

ioners, who it may be opposed you formerly, shall 
then travel cheerfully on your errand." 

Among other measures discussed at this Assembly, 
it was proposed to transport the Moderator from 
Irvine to Glasgow, in consequence of a call from the 
inhabitants of that city ; but such was the reluctance 
of Dickson to leave his flock, and so urgent were the 
disclamations of his people and the Earl of Eglinton, 
that the purpose was abandoned. But in 1642, the 
troubles and divisions of Glasgow were so numerous, 
owing to the predominance of the royalists in that 
quarter, that it was thought necessary to place a 
man of eminence there, in the hope of allaying the 
ferment. The situation chosen for him was one 
of the highest importance, — that of the Theologi- 
cal chair of the University, — and Baillie was joined 
with him as Professor of Oriental Languages. On 
entering upon his charge, Dickson was so involved and 
justled amidst the brawl of civic politics on the one 
hand, and college envy and jealousy on the other, that 
his peace-loving heart often sighed when he remem- 
bered the " sandy hillocks of Irvine." These minute 
circumstances that look so trivial in a biography, are 
yet the briers and thorns of man's pilgrimage that 
afflict the most ; and though they cannot kill, they 
continually tear and irritate. But he conducted 
himself through these annoyances with his wonted 
prudence and gentleness, and had influence to obtain 
that Patrick Gillespie should be settled as one of the 
additional ministers of Glasgow, Although now a 


professor, and therefore discharged from clerical 
duties, yet such was the affection he bore to them, 
and his desire to do good, that he preached every 
Sabbath forenoon in the High Church of Glasgow. 
On the following year, he was chosen commisioner 
to the General Assembly, notwithstanding the op- 
position of Principal Spang, who alleged, that the 
College Faculty alone had the right to elect him a 
member. This matter was laid to rest by an enact- 
ment, that Professors of Divinity being ministers, 
might be chosen either from the Presbytery or Uni- 
versity. At this Assembly, Dickson, in conjunction 
with the celebrated Calderwood and Henderson, was 
appointed to prepare a new Directory for Public 
Worship. This was urgently required, from the 
want of uniformity which then prevailed in church- 
service, and from the contentions about repeating the 
Doxology and Gloria. Patri, and kneeling at prayer. 
While Dickson was employed in his arduous duties 
at Glasgow, the plague, then a frequent visitor of our 
Scotch towns, broke out, on which occasion, he pre- 
vailed upon the masters and students to retire with 
him to Irvine, till the visitation had abated. In this 
comfortable country retirement the lectures and 
studies were continued ; and it was here also that 
one of his young students was licensed, afterwards 
well known as the accomplished and pious Durham. 
The teacher and pupil became so endeared to each 
other, and so thoroughly of one mind, that they after- 
wards produced in conjunction that admirable work 

xliv LIFE OF 

entitled the " Sum of Saving Knowledge," which has 
been so often printed with the Confession of Faith. 
The circumstances under which this treatise was com- 
posed, are worthy of notice. The old experienced 
Professor and the young highly-talented minister used 
to walk and converse together upon the different com- 
partments of the subjects ; after which, the result was 
dictated to a clerical friend in the year 1650. Their 
place of stroll on these occasions, was the height that 
overlooks the cathedral, now well known to the lovers 
of the solemn and the picturesque as the Glasgow 

After havingbeen Professor of Theology in Glasgow 
for about nine years, Dickson was translated to the same 
charge in the College of Edinburgh. It was about the 
same period (1650-1) that we find him drawn into 
that unfortunate controversy which rent the Church 
of Scotland into two parties, underthe titles of Reso- 
lutioners and Protesters. A very short explanation 
only of this matter can be given here. Charles II. 
had subscribed the Covenant, and been crowned King 
of Scotland; and as oaths and promises cost him 
nothing, he managed to persuade the wisest of his 
sincerity, so that the best blood of the land flowed 
cheerfully for his cause. But after the fatal defeat 
of the Scottish army at Dunbar, and while Crom- 
well was pressing forward with lion-like steps to the 
full conquest of Scotland, the alarm occasioned by his 
progress was so great, that a desperate remedy wa^ 
proposed. This was, to rescind the Act of Classes, 


by which royalists and malignants who had been ex- 
communicated by the church, were rendered unfit 
by act of parliament to serve in any public capacity 
whatever. By restoring these men to the army, it 
was hoped that the fearful gaps in the ranks would 
be filled up, and a more formidable front than ever 
presented to the English sectaries. The parliament 
assented to this measure ; but as the excommunica- 
tion was an ecclesiastical penalty, the concurrence of 
the church had to be obtained also. And this was 
procured by a most unfair manoeuvre. A scanty meet- 
ing was packed of those of the Commission of As- 
sembly who were favourable to the measure ; the 
more scrupulous were excluded ; and having met at 
Perth, they posted through it that act of absolution, 
by which men guilty of all excesses, and whose hands 
had been most heavy against the church, were con- 
verted into hollow friends and treacherous auxiliaries. 
The Resolutioners, who were the prevailing party, 
had Dickson for their principal leader ; while the 
Protesters were headed by Patrick Gillespie, his 
former colleague in the High Church of Glasgow, 
Guthrie of Stirling, and James Simson of Airth. 
Thus were friendships hallowed by the spirit of piety 
rent asunder, and men banded in hostile array ajruinst 
each other, who were all equally ready to die in be- 
half of the truth. It was one of those painful spec- 
tacles, in which we behold Religion, like Rachel, 
" weeping for her children." Upon this mournful 
occasion, as might be expected, hostile pamphlets and 

xlvi LIFE OF 

manifestoes were in plentiful circulation, and most of 
those on the side of the Resolutioners were from the 
pen of David Dickson. 

To us of the present day, who can look back with 
a dispassionate eye upon the events of that age, and 
detect the blunders of which the several actors were 
guilty, it seems marvellous, that men so heavenly- 
minded, and withal so shrewd and experienced, should 
have admitted such instruments into so holy a cause. 
The majority of the Resolutioners were certainly 
not the persons who would do evil that good might 
come ; or so weak or wicked, as to believe, that the 
end sanctifies the means. We are rather to judge, 
that it arose from an excess of charity, or hope fos- 
tered into undue growth from the circumstances of 
the period — or from weariness of strife and blood- 
shed, and impatience to bring them to a close. It 
is melancholy also to observe, that the mere fact of 
Charles having subscribed the Covenant, was the 
main argument of their hope : upon that wretched 
reed or bulrush they leaned, as if it had been the oak 
or the rock. An instance of this credulity occurs in 
the life of Dickson. On one occasion, he was an- 
swering the objections of the Protesters in the 
General Assembly, when he told a story to the follow- 
ing effect : -A stranger, who was a thief, came to the 
house of a simple muirland farmer, whilst the good- 
wife was from home, and asked the loan of a large 
iron pot. The fanner d< murred, but the other re- 
moved his scruples, by pledging as surety, the " Bor- 


row of God" — a pledge equal to the most solemn 
oa th — tha the would make honest restitution. "When 
the goodwife came home, she was angry with her hus- 
band ; but he assured her that the vessel would come 
safelv back, because he had the Borrow of God to 
that effect. And truly it came back — for the man 
after trudging over the muir for a whole day in a 
deep fog, and being unable to find the highway, at last 
returned at evening unwittingly to the farmer's door, 
exhausted, foot-sore, and penitent, with the iron pot 
upon his head. " Thus," said Dickson, " the king 
has taken the Covenant, and so, has given us a good 
and sufficient cautioner." But he lived to exclaim, 
" Alas ! he took away a great pot indeed — the glo- 
rious covenanted work of Reformation — but he did 
not bring it back !" 

Notwithstanding the diversities of opinion be- 
tween the two parties, there was one subject upon 
which they cordially agreed ; this was, the restora- 
tion of Charles to the throne of his ancestors, an 
event for which they prayed and laboured, although 
their loyal services were afterwards so shamefully re- 
quited. Accordingly, when Monk prepared for his 
march into England, Dickson, in conjunction with 
Robert Douglas, appears to have had frequent con- 
ferences with him on the subject of the king's restora- 
tion. And when the general was in England, they 
wrote to him a letter, dated January 10, 1660, in 
which they signified their entire confidence in him 
as to the affairs of Scotland, and requested a pass 

xlviii LIFE OF 

for their brother, James Sharpe, to repair to him, for 
the purpose of reminding him of what was necessary 
to be done, and to inform them from time to time 
of the state of proceedings. Monk, who probably 
knew the man better than they did, and recognised in 
him a convenient tool, had already invited Sharpe to 
England, and transmitted the necessary pass. He 
also wrote to the two anxious divines, assuring them, 
that the welfare of the Scottish church should be the 
chief object of his care. 

Mournful days were now at hand, and the grey 
hairs of this venerable servant of God were to descend 
in sorrow to the grave. Charles II. was restored, and 
this event was followed by every treacherous and 
despotic measure that might tend to the re-establish- 
ment of Episcopacy in Scotland. And first, our na- 
tional parliament was packed with the underlings of 
royalty, men who, even in that sycophant age, were mar- 
velled at for their lack of conscience, and their crawl- 
ing servility ; and then followed the Act of Supremacy, 
by which the king was declared supreme judge in 
Church and State — and the Oath of Allegiance, which 
compelled every subject to acknowledge the king as 
such, and declared a refusal, high treason — and finally, 
weary of condemning former acts of parliament 
seriatim, the members passed a sweeping vote, by 
which they condemned parliaments themselves, declar- 
ing all those that had been held from 1638 to 1650, 
to be unlawful and rebellious, while the Glasgow 
Assembly of 1638 was denounced as a seditious meet- 


ing. Even Charles himself was astonished at this 
rabid, anti-presbyterian, and ultra-loyalist zeal ; and 
he declared, that their proceedings were either those 
of madmen, or men who were drunk. But he con- 
tinued them in office, and became partaker in their 
guilt. The Act of Supremacy un-chaired the vene- 
rable Professor ; and he retired into solitude, mourning 
over the downfal of his hopes, and the dark deepening 
prospects of rapidly advancing calamities. And even 
then, his enemies would not let him rest, for while he 
wept and prayed for Scotland and the Church, he might 
hear in the streets, or under his chamber-window, a 
scoffing ballad, which they caused to be cried or 
carolled through the city, of which the burden was, 

"The work goes bonnfly on : 
Good morrow to you, greybeard I* 

In December 1662, only seven months after the re- 
tirement of Dickson into private life, he was attacked 
with his last illness. Other noble hearts had been 
already broken by the coming of the evil day, and 
had descended to that dwelling where the weary are 
at rest ; and now, it was his turn to swell the list of 
victims. His last hours were embittered by the re- 
collection of his short-sightedness in adopting the views 
of the Resolutioners ; and to a lady who visited him, 
he said, " Madam, I must confess, the Protesters have 
been truer prophets than we were." 

A beloved friend of his, Mr Livingstone, with whom 
he had been on terms of affectionate intimacy nearly 


forty years, was at this time under sentence of ban- 
ishment, and was allowed only two days to remain in 
Edinburgh : but still, he found time to visit his dying 
fellow - sufferer. Livingstone asked him, what he 
thought of the present state of affairs ? Dickson's 
answer was, that he was sure Jesus Christ would not 
tolerate the indignities inflicted upon His work and 
people. "As for myself," he added, " I have taken 
all my good deeds, and all my bad deeds, and have 
cast them together in a heap before the Lord ; and 
have fled from both to Jesus Christ, and in him I 
have sweet peace." 

A few moments before he died, he called his family 
together, and after having affectionately addressed 
himself to each, he pronounced over them, with great 
solemnity, the apostolic benediction, " The grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the 
communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all." He 
then closed his eyelids with his own hand, and expired 
in the arms of one of his sons, without a struggle, and 
apparently without pain. 

In presenting a volume of Dickson's writings to the 
public, we are happy to state, that the whole, with 
the exception of the small portion of the Therapeutica 
Sacra, is from a manuscript never before published, 
in the possession of the Rev. Dr Traill of Panbride. 
The MS. in question consists of a small volume writ- 
ten in remarkably beautiful characters, and bears 
date 1635 — having been probably written during that 
year by some devoted hearer of Dickson, who excelled 


in calligraphy ; and we are happy to state, that the 
respected owner of this choice antiquarian gem, placed 
it at the disposal of the Publication Committee, in the 
same spirit of frank, generous kindness with which he 
formerly transmitted to them the remains of his 
eminent ancestor, Robert Traill of London. We find, 
that Dickson had preached repeatedly on the book of 
Job — perhaps had expounded the whole, or at least 
the greater part of it, — and that his discourses 
were so much admired, that one of his people, on 
hearing another distinguished divine preaching on the 
same portion of Scripture, observed, that he had 
heard a sermon on Job, but not the Job of Irvine. In 
giving also a specimen of Dickson's sermons, we feel 
peculiar pleasure in having been able to present some 
of his sacramental ones ; for these were usually in such 
request, that during the period of communion, his 
parish was thronged from every quarter, so that an 
" Irvine sacrament crowd " became a proverbial ex- 
pression. In perusing these discourses, the reader 
cannot fail to be struck with the combined simplicity 
and earnestness with which they are pervaded. Were 
discourses such as these the means of producing such 
wonderful effects, — such a powerful revival ? They 
were even so. The humble instrument was content 
to be nothing, that his Master might be everything : 
instead of preaching himself, he preached " Christ 
crucified ;" and though so accomplished a scholar, and 
possessed of the power of eloquence, yet he allowed 
the word to go forth in its own simplicity, for the ac- 


complisliment of its own work. Happy would it be 
for the Church of our land, if the same simplicity and 
self-denial were cultivated ! We should then hear of 
fewer schisms, and more revivals. 

The republication of the Therapeutica Sacra has 
also been deemed advisable, not only on account of 
its scarceness, but its intrinsic value. As will be seen 
by the preface written by his son, it was the work of 
Dickson's old age, and written originally in Latin, 
but afterwards translated by himself into English, for 
general use. Of his skill in dealing with diseases of 
the conscience, we have sufficiently spoken in the pre- 
ceding pages. The rest of this valuable work will be 
presented to our readers at a future period. 

Besides those works which we have already men- 
tioned, Dickson was author of the following : — 
1. A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

2 on the Gospel of Matthew. 

3 on the Psalms. 

4 on the Epistles, in Latin and 


5. Truth's Victory over Error. 

6. A Treatise on the Promises. 

7. True Christian Love, a Poem ; and the Christian 

Sacrifice, also in Verse. 




1. u My soul is weary of my life ; I will leave iuy complaint 

upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 

2. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me where- 

fore thou contendest with me. 
:>. Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou 
shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine 
upon the counsel of the wicked :" 

Verse 1. " My soul is weary of my life." Job even 
now resolved to keep silence, yet incontinent he breaks 
forth into complaint in this chapter : as David ; while 
the fire burned, he brake forth. Ye will say, How 
doth this agree with Job's resolution \ Certainly it 
shews, that a poor afflicted man is not master of his 
own resolution, passion, or affections, but when he lias 
resolved to be silent and patient, lie breaks out, being 
borne down ; when he resolves silence, he is forced to 

Therefore learn to construe aright your own, or 
other folks' out-breakings, whereunto ye are driven, 
and know, that albeit faith would close your mouth 
from expressing of your grief, yet force of tentation, 



and weight of sorrow and grief, will press out cries 
when ye purpose no such thing. In such a case, com- 
fort yourselves with this, that the saints have done so 
bsfore you, and stouter than ye have been forced to 
express their grief: not that I justify such things, 
but to furnish a salve for such a sore, that pardoned 
saints have done so before you. 

2. " My soul is weary of my life." We see, albeit 
Job resolved silence, yet he seeks ease, by uttering of 
his grief by way of complaint unto God. It lets us 
see, that the only ease of a troubled and bursten soul, 
is to pour out complaints unto God. It will be ease 
to the mind, to open up the grief to any, but far more 
to open it up to God ; for complaints are a kind of ease 
to a distressed soul. 

3. What is Job's complaint here 1 — Nothing else, 
but the laying forth of his present burden ; what he 
felt and what he feared ; even the wrestling of his 
faith and sense brought forth before God, in such 
words, as he feels the battle within. It lets us see, 
that the complaints of the godly are only the expla- 
nations of their battle before God — the battle be- 
twixt sense and reason or suggestion on the one hand, 
faith and God's Spirit on the other hand. The 
wrestling of these two makes up a complaint. This 
laid for a ground, Job's mind shall be easily pour- 
trayed by his words, and they shall paint him out as 
on a board. 

4. Now let us follow out this battle of sense, faith, 
and reason, and see who are the parties : — 

1. " My soul is weary of my life," — this is sense's 
part : it says, that it is best to be dead, and out of 
pain ; whilk lets us see that in the day of sore trouble 
and grief, sense will cry out, <: God if I were dead !" 

JOB, CHAP. X. 3 

But this is the voice of nature, and of Satan tempting, 
and not God's voice. Ken whose voice it is when ye 
are tempted ; and when ye are tempted to wish to be 
out of the world, know, that that voice is from the 
flesh and Satan, who would have you going from under 
God's trial. It is as if gold should essay to loup* out 
of the melting cruise into the fire, and not stay till it 
be melted. 

2. "I will leave my complaint upon myself," — ■ 
here is faith's part. It forbids him to complain, but 
to leave it on himself ; that is. take his venture of his 
present skaith, and all the consequents of it. Faith 
bids be lownet and quiet : nature says, I must lay it 
out ere I burst ; come of it what will, out must it go ! 
Faith says, Be quiet, and only lay it out before God, 
whatever sense says for its own discharge, — and so, 
lets out the complaint in such terms as it trows shall 
not offend God. Thus Job draws the conclusion, and 
rnves vent to his bursting mind before God. 

3. " I will speak in the bitterness of my soul," — 
here again sense says that his present case is bitter ; 
and faith lays out this bitter case before God. And 
here also, beside the voice of sense and faith, infirmity 
kythes,J and utters a voice ; so that in all these 
speeches, a good God and a merciful is seen, and a 
weak man under a heavy burden. That Job's infir- 
mity kythes here, we see, that in the day of battle 
and tentation infirmity will kythe. Thus we would 
have thought him a sinless man, because of the great 
commendation God gives him, and of that exceeding 
great holiness in him spoken of in chapter 30. But 
here, in a tentation, his infirmity and sinfulness kyfthe 
and break out, as fire from flint by a hard match ; 

* Leap. t Trar.-; J _'. 


for in the bitterness of his soul he desires death. 
Therefore, in the day of tentation, gather up these 
sparks whilk fly out in the conflict, and they shall 
shew you faults, infirmities, and blindness of mind, 
and let the sight of this humble you, and make you 
ken what rottenness is in you. 

Verse 2. " I will say unto God." Faith takes him 
up again, and bids him speak of his complaint to God ; 
complain to him, and not of him. This avowing of 
his liberty to complain, and taking his venture in it, 
in the former verse, and speaking here to God, lets 
us see that complaining to God, and pouring out of 
his grief into His bosom, is not in itself disallowable : 
in straits we may complain to God, but not of God. 
Therefore, say not to others, God hath dealt thus and 
thus with me ; but go to himself, for thou wilt be 
warmliest heard of himself: when thou art to com- 
plain of thy Father, vent all in his own bosom. If any 
bring an evil tale to thee of thy friend, if thou should 
tell it to another, thou do est him wrong, for thou 
shouldst first have told it to thy friend. So, if Satan 
or thy misbelieving heart make lies of God, thou 
should come and tell Him, so shall he count thee his 
friend. Here is a way to vent all tentations : go 
to God himself, and vent them : say to him, There is 
something in me whilk would make me trow that 
thou hatest me, and that thou wilt not hear my prayer. 
And be sure this shall both give ease, and make God 
to say, that he is thy salvation ; that he will neither 
leave thee, nor forsake thee ; and bid thee call on 
him in the day of thy trouble, and he shall hear thee. 

2. " Do not condemn me." Here again the voice 
of sense : for in the day of sore affliction, sense will 
say, that a man is condemned and hated of Go^l, 

JOB, CHAP. X. 5 

especially when suggestion is joined with it. What 
Job's friends said, sense and the devil say the same, 
that God is executing his wrath. But here also the 
voice of faith, " Do not condemn me." The voice of 
sense and suggestion is, that I am condemned ; but 
faith says, Lord, thou wilt not condemn me, but ab- 
solve me; whilk also shews, that faith dow* not 
abide to be condemned, or separated from God. 
Finding in thyself in the day of trial the voice of 
condemnation, take it for the voice of sense, and turn 
in to God, and say, Lord, there is no condemnation 
for them that are in Christ ; for so says faith, Come 
to God in Christ, and be absolved. Thus sense says 
one thing, and faith another : sense, his friends and 
Satan cry, He is condemned ! and faith says, God wilL 
pardon and have mercy ; and God comes and reds| 
the plea. 

3. " Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me." 
Sense says, God is his adversary entered in a plea 
with him, and purposed to overthrow him ; but faith 
says, he kens no cause why, because his sins are daily 
repented of, and sins repented of are forgiven, and for- 
given sins are not brought to account again ; and if sin 
be forgiven, God cannot be his foe : therefore faith may 
speirj why God contends with him. We see, albeit 
sense and Satan by suggestion would say that God 
contends, and that God is turned an enemy, yet faith 
will not admit it : as before, faith would not admit con- 
demnation, so here it will not admit a judicial pro- 
cess : albeit sense say, that God has put the man on 
the pannel, and is entered in a contest, and will con- 
demn us, yet faith says, that he is neither condemned, 

* Can. f Settles. J Question. 


nor yet entered in a process to condemn, because lie 
kens no cause "why, being a daily penitent. 

4. That he spcirs a cause -why God contends, it lets 
us see, that in the time of strait and trouble, it is very 
possible that the godly ken not the cause why they 
are afflicted ; that it may be to them a trial ; for they 
having daily repented their sins, and finding God 
come on with his rods, as if they had not repented, 
kenning no sin unconfessed, and having walked as 
circumspectly as a poor sinful man can do, in which 
walking there must also be allowance of mercy, when 
he finds hard straits, he may speir, How stands this 
with mercy, seeing I am penitent \ Thus the cause 
of affliction bein£ hid, confusion and indi^est dial- 
lenges follow upon it. Let tins of Job's furnish you 
with liofht in the like challenge. 

" Shew me." — We see, albeit faith cannot sec a 
reason why it is thus handled, yet it will not yield to 
sense, carnal reason, nor suggestion, nor to men's 
words, nor to appearances of God's anger : albeit it 
cannot particularly refute all challenges, yet it yields 
not, but speirs at God, how it can be 1 and rests not, 
till it finds satisfaction. When thou findest not the 
cause of wrath, being a penitent, God allows that 
thou should not yield, albeit thou cannot particularly 
clear thyself. Such a case as this, is not weill kenned 
in the day of prosperity ; but when sin, Satan, afflic- 
tion, death, set on, ye will ken better what was 
Job's disposition : that ye may the better ken it 
then, look upon it now. 

Verse 3, "Is it good to thee that thou shouldest 
oppress me !" The battle holds on yet betwixt sense 
and faith, and still grows thicker : sense speaks hard 
things against God, and calls all his proceedings in 


question ; it calk his nature, his providence, and 
manner of dealing in question, and vents thoughts 
of atheism ; — which shews the malice of the devil, 
who casts in bitter thoughts about God and his pro- 
vidence in the minds of the godly, in the day of their 
affliction, and will make them vent hard speeches of 
God, and many discern it not : as these here, What 
means the Lord to oppress or despise the work of his 
own hand ? Will he not be pacified ? Thus was it sug- 
gested to Job, that God, for all his righteousness, 
would throw him over the brae,* and whatever pains he 
had taken before to make him holy, he would undo all. 
2. Job says, Can this bel which shews, that he 
was set on and tempted to think so. Eitterest 
thoughts, which arc not to be made words of, will be 
suggested ; yea, blasphemous thoughts against the God 
of heaven will be whispered in the ear by Satan : for 
what gars| many a one despair, but the believing of 
Satan's voice % He gars them trow, that God is 
angry at them, that their prayers fashj him, and that 
he will not hear them. But learn ye not to believe 
such hard speeches of God ; whether he speak smoothly 
or in loud speeches, believe him not. Rather follow 
Job's example. Go to God, and tell him all : say 
to him, Think est thou it good to oppress me ? or art 
thou like a man who this day makes a fast covenant, 
and will change or disannul the mom?§ whilk shews 
that faith will not conceal any thing from God that 
is suggested, but goes to God, and tells him. So let 
us do when Satan suggests any evil of God. Go speir 
at God if it be true, and he will send us back to his 
word, to see if it speaks so of him. And because the 

* H \ f Ca % Trouble. § To-monw. 


suggestion is not concealed, the Lord will ease and 
uphold, till dispute and trial be at an end. 

3. Sense says to Job, that for all his righteousness, 
God will cast him off, oppress and despise him ; that 
it is but bootless to reckon rights or wrongs with 
God, for he is risen in anger against him. But the 
voice of faith says, God will not oppress, despise, or 
cast off ; for his interrogation proves it : his speiring 
if it can be, imports a denial that it can be. It lets 
us see, whatever sense say against God, faith says the 
clean contrair. If sense say that God will not hear 
prayer, faith says the contrair. If sense say, Shall 
God be cumbered with thee? he will shute* thee 
away ; faith will say, He who has begun the good 
work of grace in me, will perfect it. When Satan 
borrows sense to speak one thing, let faith borrow 
scripture to speak the contrair: when he borrows 
sense, to say, God will despise the work of his hand, 
let faith borrow scripture, to say, he will not break 
the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax ; he will 
not despise the smallest beginning ; for he says by 
Zechariah, " Who is he that despises the day of small 
things 1" Know, therefore, albeit that little whilk 
thou hast seem to die out, yet God will not put it out. 

4. " Or shine upon the counsel of the wicked." — 
Sense says, that the wicked who serve not God, are in 
better case than Job : for they are in health and 
wealth, thou art sick, and sore, and miserable ; thcy 
are blythe and cheerful, thou, in grief and woe ; there- 
fore better be wicked than godly. The same said 
sense unto David (Psalm lxxiii.) when he was heart- 
broken, and chastised every morning : " The wicked's 
eyes stand out with fatness." They had the world at 

* Thrust. 

job. chap. x. y 

their -will ; but -when he vent to the sanctuary, he 
saw they were set in sliddery* places, and coupedf over 
the brae into the pit. So is it yet ; for sense and 
Satan would gar men trow, that God countenances 
wicked men and their ways, when his curse is on them : 
vet it is not so ; but when they have abused his pa- 
tience, he will cut off in the end. But faith says, al- 
beit God seem to countenance the wicked, by giving 
them prosperity, yet he doeth it not ; but by the con- 
trair, will shine on the godly and countenance them, 
and gloom or frown on the wicked. 


Verae 4. " Hast thou eyes of flesh ? or seest thou as man seeth ? 

5. Are thy days as the days of a man ? are thy years as 

a man's days ? 
G. That thou inquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest 

after my sin ? 
7. Thou knowest that I am not wicked ; and there is none 

that can deliver out of thy hand." 

There is here a strong battle in Job's breast : the 
pain of his body was great with burning boils, but 
the dolours of his heart are far greater : the dolours 
of death were dealing with him, and the sorrow of 
hell gripped him, while his friends and Satan were 
about to gar him despair. Sense said one thing to 
him, suggestion and his friends said the same, and he 
had only the grip of faith to stick by. And now, 
here he sticks by faith, and will not quit his grips : 
and therefore he speaks thus : (i Hast thou eyes of 
flesh, or seest thou as man?" As if he said, Good 
TiOrd, countest thou of me as my friends ? kens thou 
* Slippery. t Tumbled. 


me no better than tliey \ They only see my outside, 
but thou secst my inside : thou needest not put me on 
the rack-stock, as men put a malefactor, to extort a 
confession of my faults, for thou kens me well enough ; 
therefore I need not to trust what sense, friends, or 
suggestion say. Thy years and days are not like 
man's, but thou art from eternity, and kens me well 
enough before-hand, yea, the case of every soul. 
Thus he appeals to God, as one who kens that he is 
not wicked. 

Verse 4. " Kast thou eyes of flesh V' — Sense and 
suggestion seem to say to Job, that God miskens 
man's endeavours, and looks only to his deeds whilk 
he attains to ; as if sense had said, All that thou art 
won to, a wicked man may win as far ; thy friends 
have seen thy outside, and God judges of thee as thy 
friends ; there is nothing seen in thee, but as much 
may be seen in the wicked. And so it is indeed, if 
the outer man be looked to. There is nothing in the 
godly, but the same may appear to be in a hypocrite — 
courtesy, meekness, lowliness, pity, humanity, liber- 
ality, chastity, temperance; so that the hypocrite 
will be excellent in his naturals, and in his outward 
carriage as tight as any— even in Pagans, admirable 
virtues to look upon, if a Pagan's outward life be well 
lustred ;* much more where a man's mind and under- 
standing are lightened by the word of God, and the 
outward part of religion is attained unto ; as the 
Pharisees, who walked blamelessly, and were so de- 
vout according to their rules, that none could spy a 
fault in them — such as Paul was ; being a Pharisee — 
and yet were not hypocrites of intention, but in rob- 
stance (for there are many hypocrites who mind not 
* Survcved. 

JOB, CHAP. X. " I 

so to be). Only lie is sound, who labours to reform 
his heart ; but the hypocrite takes no pains on the 
heart, if so be he can get his outward carriage lustred. 
Upon which grounds, Job's friends, sense, suggestion, 
and misbelief in him do build. But Job's faith will 
hearken to none of these, and therefore he turns him 
to God, and says, " Hast thou eyes of flesh V* that is, 
Lord, I ken thou lookest not as man, but to the in- 
ward part. It lets us see, albeit sense say, that God 
looks not to man's endeavours but deeds ; yet faith 
says, he looks to the heart and affections ; to man's 
endeavours, and that whilk he aims at. 

Therefore, look thou what are thy aims and de- 
signs, if thou would know God's censure of thy es- 
tate. What pains takest thou to find out thy sin 
and misery "? \Vhat pains about sound repentance, 
and to have thy heart made conform to that image 
of God, in righteousness and true holiness, whilk thou 
hast lost ; to have the graces of the Spirit planted in 
thee, faith, repentance, love, fear of God, care of 
well-doing ? If thy aim and endeavour to have these 
be nought, thy religion is nought. If thou be not 
aiming at an inward reformation, thou art but a 
painted sepulchre and rotten tomb, stinking before 
God, and stinking in thy own nose, when God shall 
disclose thy estate. Labour then to be Christians in 
spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is of God 
and not of men ; and this shall ye be, if your endea- 
vours be to approve your hearts to God, as Job here : 
" Hast thou eyes of flesh V* that is, I know thou sees 
and kens my heart, and therefore I need no more to 
defend myself against my friends, senses, and sugges- 
tion, but appeal to thy knowledge of my heart. 

Verses 5, 6. " Are thy days as the days of man?" — 


Sense and suggestion seem to say to Job, Seeing God 
is begun to try him, he will gar him take better with 
his wickedness, before he win out of his hand ; and 
the same said his friends before. Sense says, God's 
wrath in him shall extort thatwhilkhe denies; the sins 
whilk he hoards and hides, God shall bring to light. 
Therefore in thir words, Job says, Needs God a 
rack-stock to force me to confess my faults ? Kens 
he not my faults, except he extort them, as man must 
do to bring out his wickedness ? Is God ignorant of 
what I have done, that he needs to hold me in pain, 
till I confess my faults 1 No, surely, but he kenned 
me long since : his days are not like man's days ; he 
knew me long syne. 

1. We see here, that when God is about to try a 
man, sense and suggestion will say, that God doeth 
as man, who takes all the help he can, to search out 
faults whilk otherwise he would not ken ; and uses 
sore rods and tortures, to gar a sinner tak with* his 

2. But faith says, that God is not like man, to live 
so short a while in the world as a man, that he has 
need of engines and tortures to search out a man's 
faults. Job's interrogation here has the force of a 
denial, that it can be as sense and suggestion would 
say ; and it lets us see, that God needs not trouble 
himself to use means to bring hid things to a trial, 
because he is eternal, and kens all things beforehand. 
His days and years are not like man's, that he needs 
to inquire after iniquity, or search man's sin ; for he 
kens the follies of a man's bairn-age, youth, middle- 
age ; what vanities his mind has been hunting after, 
what wickedness and mischief he plots upon his bed. 

* Be conscious of. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 13 

and will remember a man of time, place, and person, 
with whom he sinned, even that whilk none knew. 
If not in this life, yet on death-bed, or at the day of 
iudgment, when all registers shall be cast open, and 
the secrets of all hearts disclosed, then shall it be 
kenned that He marked all that is both said, and 
done, and thought. Know then that God is upon all 
your secrets. He kens what ye are plotting and de- 
vising ; and if ye see it, and say, This is folly and 
vanity that I am plotting, he will pass it ; but if ye 
follow out your own vain mind and wicked conceits, 
he will mark them, and count you for sinners. Here 
is the odds betwixt the godly and the wicked : both 
their minds are after mischief; but the godly cen- 
sures before it come to consent or action, and strikes 
the wicked desire dead there ; but the wicked hatches, 
vents, and practises the devices of his mind. But let 
the eyes of God be considered, kenning that he marks 
all secrets, that so ye may make conscience of all ye 
are plotting and thinking; and where ye are over- 
tane, ask mercy, and seek reformation. 

3. Out of this questioning, we learn, that the man 
who has learned God's nature and properties, will be 
better furnished with matter of dispute in his tenta- 
tion about God's providence ; for all this dispute and 
questioning whilk Job has, is grounded upon his know- 
ledge of God. For if he had not known God and his 
nature, he had been overcome in the dispute ; but he 
had learned God's attributes so tightly, as from them 
he could dispute his matter accurately, and from 
these affirm that it could not be as his friends al- 
leged. Job has been a tight divine ; for compare his 
light with the light of the gospel ; there can be no- 
thing liker, and we cannot win by him a jot, but the 


same whilk is now said, was said by him. Albeit lie 
lived when tlie Bible was not written, yet lie lias so 
studied the means whilk then were, even the word 
whilk was conveyed from hand to hand, and had so 
deeply drunken in the grounds of religion about God's 
attributes, that here he makes notable use of his 
knowledge. It lets us see, that the man who has not 
provided for weapons before-hand in the day of bat- 
tle, will not ken what to do or say. Therefore, pro- 
vide yourselves in time with the knowledge of God, 
tli at in the day of trial ye may make use of it. If 
one day ye must come to judgment, remember ycur 
Creator in the days of your youth ; set yourself to 
ken him now, who one day will gar you ken him. 
Ken his properties to make use of them, both for 
faith and repentance, that ye may stand in awe to 
sin, and may not be drawn from use-making of his 
mercy. When ye would seek unto Him, ye shall 
find no such profit by any labour or study, as the 
study of the knowledge of God and his scriptures ; 
for ye shall be made to understand his ways, and how 
to find help in deepest straits. 

4. This communing of Job's with God, and hi3 
standing by him when he is tempted to go away, 
tells that he had good skill in the covenant of grace ; 
and of the difference betwixt the man in whom sin is, 
and the man who is wicked. And therefore, to deal 
with God, we must know the covenant of grace well, 
and reason with him from the grounds of it ; for if a 
man only ken the first covenant, he will be dung all 
in sticks* when he comes to deal with God ; he can- 
not deal with Him in terms of mercy, but only in 
terms of justice. But the man who knows the cove- 
* Knocked all to pieces — utterly discomfited. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 15 

nant of grace made in the Mediator, as Job, who 
hereafter called the Mediator his kinsman, will rea- 
son with God according to the grounds of it ; yea, all 
from Adam to this day, are saved by the covenant of 
grace, for there i3 one way of salvation unto all. 
Therefore, study diligently the covenant of grace 
made betwixt God and us in the Mediator, for that 
only will bear us out in the dispute, in the time of 
tentation. Albeit we be sinful, yet it will furnish an 
answer ; it will give ease, vent, relenting, and a re- 
fuge to the soul to fly, as it were, into Abraham's 

" That thou inquirest after mine iniquity." — Job 
speirs at God, if he needs to put him on a rack-stock, 
or torture him, to find out his faults which He kens 
not ; for sense, suggestion, and his friends said this, 
but his faith denied it : for God puts not man on a 
rack-stock, to gar him tell what he kens not ; but 
God sends afSiction, that a man may try and ex- 
amine himself, and may understand of himself what 
he kemied not before. Job is put to a torture, not 
that God may ken, but that himself may ken, that if 
there be any wickedness in him, it may be found out. 
Eut after search, he cannot find that he has been a 
hater of God, or a follower of his own ways, but ra- 
ther, a studier to serve God in that whilk was right. 

1. It lets us see, that albeit God kens our sins well 
enough, yet we ourselves ofttimes are ignorant of 
them ; for the heart of man is deceitful above all 
things. Who can know it \ Only the Lord searches 
the heart, and tries the reins. If none but God kens 
the wickedness of our hearts, let us suspect ourselves, 
and watch over our foolish minds and hearts, and try 
them narrowly ; for albeit God put not a torture, that 


himself may ken, yet, that we may search and try 
our own sins. 

2. We see, to help us to try. God sends afflic- 
tions, that we may both come to the knowledge of 
ourselves, and may acknowledge, whilk otherwise we 
would not ; for man in trouble, will find himself 
either better or worse than he thought he had been : 
both grace and infirmity will kythe better. When 
God lays his hand upon you, look and discern what 
stuff ye are ; for the end of exercise is, to acquaint 
you with yourself. Examine yourself when affliction 
comes, yea, before affliction come, so shall ye prevent 
the rod ; and if the rod find you in the way of right- 
eousness, the greater is your comfort under' it. Com- 
mune with your own hearts, upon your own bed, 
(Psalm iv. 4). Search yourself, nation not worthy 
to be beloved ! If ye find not your own faults, God 
shall extort them by rods ; and thou who hast found 
out thy evils, thou hast no more ado, but solidly ac- 
knowledge them before God, and ask mercy, and be 
sure to find it. But thou who art careless to search, 
God shall reckon with thee. It were better that 
thou should judge thyself, than that God should 
judge thee. Therefore thou who art young in health, 
strength, and peace, put thyself now to pains to 
search thy sins, that thou may be saved from greater 
pains hereafter. Examine thy heart and ways ; try 
if thou be reconciled to God ; what way thy endea- 
vours, show, aim, and purpose are. Try if thou hast 
repented indeed or not, or whether thou hast faith, 
or fearest God indeed ; or if thou hast only yet a love 
to the world, thy own credit, lusts, or pleasures ; and 
if thou find that after trial, matters are far wrong, 
judge thyself in time, and thou shalt not be judged. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 17 

For ^vhat fairer quarters would thou have, than to 
put thy own hand to thy own bosom, and bring out 
thy sins, and give out sentence against them, and 
thou shalt be free \ What malefactor would crave 
more, than to say to him, Confess, and go free ? Put 
thyself on the pannel, and say as thou should, and 
be sure to be set free. But if thou will not take 
with thy faults, be sure there are rack-stocks and tor- 
tures even in God's house, to force you to confess. 
David says, while he hid his sins, his bones consumed, 
and that he roared all the day : then he said, " I will 
confess my sins, and thou put my sins out of thy 
sight." God pressed him sore, till his bones were 
burnt as in a lain, and forced him to confess. So must 
ye have a hot fever, some one heavy plague or other, 
to confess your faults. It were better ye should be 
wise in time, and do it with less pains to yourselves : 
if not, be sure ye shall be forced to do it. 

Verse 7. " Thou knowest that I am not wicked." 
Before, he said, that God had not eyes of flesh, to 
see as man sees. Now, here again, he appeals to 
God's own knowledge, if he be the wicked man that 
sense, suggestion, and his friends call him. As if he 
said, Lord, Satan, sense, and my friends are against 
me, and call me wicked ; but I fly to thee, Searcher 
of hearts : judge thou if I be wicked. I know and 
confess that I am sinful ; I deny not sin ; yet I deny 
that I am wicked, that is, that I am set to do evil. 
Albeit I was wicked by nature, yet thou hast made 
a change, so that now I am not what I was by na- 
ture, but now am set to love and practise righteous- 
ness, albeit I cannot win to the perfection. Thou 
knowest I am not wicked. I put the matter npon 
thy knowledge (so imports the word in the original) ; 


1 put thy tongue, thy decision or determination. I 
am content thou give out sentence whether I be 
wicked or not. Likewise thou knowest, that I ac- 
knowledge thy sovereignty, that none is able to deliver 
out of thy hand. 

1. When sense, suggestion, and his friends call 
him wicked, he appeals to God, affirming that ne is 
not wicked. We see it is no wisdom to take with a 
fault we are not guilty of. There are many who, in 
the confession of sins, use complimenting words with 
God : " I am the most wretched sinner, unworthy 
whom the earth should bear, or the heavens cover," 
and confess more than their conscience will sub- 
scribe ; and yet, when they have advised a little, 
when they fall in comparison with others, they will 
find twenty worse than themselves. Thus they justify 
themselves at the one word, and condemn themselves 
at the next word : but God loves no iniquity, that a 
man should call himself either better or worse than 
he is. That modest confession of the publican, who 
said, " God be merciful to me a sinner !" is far better 
than the toom* swelling words of many. To say, 
Surely there is much sin in me, is better than large 
words of confession. Others again, who are meek in 
the exercise of faith, when Satan says to them that 
they never had grace, were never renewed, but are 
yet in their hypocrisy ; they are ready to grant that 
it is so, and so would begin of new to seek reconcilia- 
tion with God. Let such know, that they will never 
win to peace that way ; for God will not have his 
begun work in them miscalled nor denied ; he will 
not allow that any should make a lie of themselves, 
albeit it were by way of humiliation ; he will have 

* Empty. 

JOB. CHAP. X. 19 

none to bear false witness against themselves. There- 
fore, when Satan would make you trow, that God 
has never begun to work any sound work in you, ap- 
peal to God, who is more righteous than he, or the 
world, or thy own deluded conscience. If thy face 
be turned in any other aiit* than before, and thy en- 
deavour be to do that which may please God, nature 
has never wrought that change. Therefore stand out 
against all who would slander the work of God in 
thee, and yield not in the dispute. Acknowledge 
things that are true indeed, and say neither less nor 
more than thy conscience, being well informed, will 
subscribe to ; and if thou be humble and true, thou 
shalt get a true meeting. 

2. We see, albeit sin be in the regenerate, yet nei- 
ther are they wicked, nor so to be accounted of. 

3. We see, a renewed man may know a change in 
him s elf, the begun work of God in himself, albeit it 
be not clear at all times, but will ofttimes be over- 
clouded with tentations, and be so put in the mist, as 
he wots not what to say ; but when he gets libertv 
to look about him, he may pronounce of God's work 
in him, and (as Job here) appeal to God, and sav 
that he is not wicked. 

Seeing the renewed work of God may be discerned 
and known, take notice of it, and strengthen thf> 
little that it die not. But herein there is a mistaking 
in many ; for many men trow they be renewed, when 
they are not. For let a man be brought in to the 
school of Gamaliel, to be made a Pharisee, he shall 
see a change wrought ; or let a vicious man be brought 
in to Socrates' school, a change will be seen. For 
Socrates will teach him temperance, modesty, chas- 

* Direction. 


tity, liberality, magnanimity, and to contemn the 
-worthless estimation of the world ; and for this cause, 
the first course he took with his scholars, he caused 
them walk through the streets with a piece of bacon 
on their shoulder, thereby to train them up to despise 
all that could be said or thought of them, and if they 
misregarded not scorn and contempt, they could not 
be his disciples. Thus a change is wrought in the 
scholars both of Gamaliel and Socrates. Gamaliel 
teaches, that the law be fulfilled, and that a man may 
walk blamelessly, and an acceptation that may please 
God. And this Paul said of himself, while he was a 
Pharisee, that concerning the law, he was blameless 
before he was converted ; but he did not admit con- 
cupiscence to be a fault, nor malcontentment, nor 
unquietness for his lot. But when he was converted, 
and his eyes were opened to see the spiritual meaning 
of the law taught in Christ's school, he saw, that con- 
cupiscence was a cause of condemnation ; then sin re- 
vived in him, and he died. Before, he thought sin 
had been dead, for he served God in all good con- 
science ; but when Christ's light came in, he is forced 
to think far otherwise ; that in his natural estate he 
was altogether loathsome and abominable ; that out 
of the unclean fountain of his heart, nothing could 
be brought out that was clean ; and that the law 
was spiritual, and he was carnal, sold under sin ; that 
in his flesh there dwelt no good thing ; and that there 
was a law in his members, warring against the law 
of his mind, bringing him captive to the law of sin, 
so that he is forced to cry out, H miserable man ! 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death !" 
Thus, he saw in Christ's school, what he could not 
see in Gamaliel's or Socrates' school ; for they 



only taught him to reform the outward man, and not 
that revenge or hatred inward was a fault. But he 
never knew the depth of sin, till he came to Christ's 
school ; but then the Spirit's light dang* him down 
in the dust, so that he walked humbly before the 
Lord his God, and was forced to cry out, that he had 
no power to do good ; and that to will was present 
with him, but how to perform that which was good 
he knew not ; and in this conflict with sin in him, he 
found no ease, till he came to this, " I thank God 
through Jesus Christ." This only gave him ease. — 
albeit he saw sin so strong in him, yet there is 
no condemnation for them that are in Christ. 

For this cause, I would have you all to try, of what 
sort vour change is ; for a change from fLlthiness and 
lasciviousness, to modesty and temperance, may be in 
Socrates' scholar ; and a prodigal may turn niggard, 
and thrifty to the world, a vain light person may 
turn sage and solid. Therefore this change may not 
content you ; yea, albeit ye were come on as far as a 
Pharisee, that is, to have a love to God's law, and a 
study to keep it ; a care to get light in thy mind, 
and in thy heart to love virtue, and to win to an 
outwardly tight life ; all this change is nought, while 
as yet thou hast a pair of dry eyes that cannot shed 
a tear for sin, and wantest a bruised and grieved 
heart for sin, and art not yet won in to know the 
mystery of thy natural misery and iniquity ; which 
thou wilt never win to, till the Spirit of God come. 
Therefore, see if such a change be wrought, as makes 
thee cry, Alas for my ignorance and want of light 
in the spiritual meaning of the word ! oh, how blind 
am I ! — then, having gotten some light, mayest be 
* Threw. 


driven to say with thyself, Either must I have a Me- 
diator to deal with me, or I am lost. If such a 
change as this be wrought, that thou art fled in to 
Christ, a mournful sinner disclaiming thy own wit, 
will, and strength, and resolvest to live by a new de- 
pendance upon Christ, so that, with Paul, thou can 
say with him also, " When I am weakest, then I am 
strongest," because Christ keeps the box of thy fur- 
niture and strength ; and can say, " It is not in him 
that wills or runs, but in God who shews mercy;'' 
and that God " gives both to will and to do of his 
own good will and pleasure;" and dost indeed ac- 
knowledge, that not only he is the beginner of the 
work, but has his hand at every act of thy will, and 
draws it to the extent to be what it is, — I say, if thou 
find this change, that thou art become vile and loath- 
some in thy own eyes, and seeking the covenant of 
Christ's righteousness ; if poor and empty in thyself, 
and hungering for Christ ; stand to this change, and 
quit it not. But if this change be not, thou art yet 
short, and not come to the right length : thou art 
but like Paul, who while he was a Pharisee, had a 
whole head, till the spiritual light of the law came ; 
but when that came, he desired to be found in Christ, 
not having his own righteousness which is by the law, 
but that which is by faith in -Christ. As Paul had 
no will of his own righteousness, but of a righteous- 
ness imputed or put on him, so must it be with thee ; 
for when all thy best things are to thee as a filthy 
clout, then indeed a change is wrought, and God has 
looked on thee, and given thee spiritual light. When 
thou findest such a change, quit it not, but stand to 
it, as Job doth here : and if thou findest not thus far, 
but only a loathing, or thinking worse of thyself, and 

JOB, CHAP. X. 23 

a love to Girist, quit not this ; albeit thy reformation 
be only in a wish or hearty desire, yet quit it not, for 
it is dear-bought by Christ, therefore stand to it. 
Because Christ will not quench the smoking flax, put 
not thou it out, but rather tender it, as he doth ; so 
shall thy little spunk* be augmented, and grow to a 
flame or lowet at last, to the glory of God, and thy 
salvation in Christ. 


Verse 8. " Thine hands have made me, and fashioned me together 
round about, yet thou dost destroy me. 
0. Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the 
clay ; and wilt thou bring me into dust again ? 

10. Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and turned me to 

curds like cheese ? 

1 1. Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced 

me with bones and sinews.'' 

Here is no small battle ; a pressed heart uttering 
pithy and pregnant words. Satan, suggestion, Job's 
friends, sore strokes, and his own unbelief cry against 
him, Thou art wicked, and hated of God. But faith, 
against them all, takes God to witness that he is not 
wicked : " Thou knowest I am not wicked ;" that is, 
I grant there is sin in me ; but I am not wicked, or 
set to commit sin, but set to seek and serve thee : my 
sinning is of frailty, and against my will. I am set 
against sin, and will be against it. I appeal to thy 
knowledge if it be not so, yea, it lieth upon thy know- 

1. We see here, that uprightness and a good con- 
* Spark, t Blaze. 


science have boldness with God, and will get leave 
with confidence to lift up the face before him, and get 
his testimony and approbation. An honest sincere 
man will be bold with God. An honest man is not a 
sinless man ; but one who, as he shall answer to God, 
strives against all known sin in private and in pub- 
lic ; and when he is overcome in sin, is never at rest, 
till he be sure that God is pacified, and has assurance of 
a remission granted. He tells God whatever hefeefo 
or fears, puts God on all his counsels, goes to him in 
all his distresses ; counts God so merciful and good, 
that he will go to him ; so constant, that he will not, 
nor cannot change ; and still justifies God, to be what 
he lias spoken of himself in his word. Such a man 
will get liberty to tell all his mind to God, and God 
will not mistake him, or captiously snack* at his 
words, but cxpone them favourably. As he construes 
God according to His mind, so God construes him 
according to his aim and desire. Therefore, be ho- 
nest before God, for there is no beguiling of him. 
Those who promise to repent the morn,t beguile 
themselves, and not Him. It were better that such 
persons should timeously take with their faults, and 
seek into his mercy then when He seemed angriest, 
yea, count him their best friend ; or when he curbs 
them most ; for there are not passions in God. When 
any come into Him, and make supplication to him, 
he can neither loosen his love from them, nor yet 
strike them in anger. Therefore study plain dealing 
with God. If there be great wickedness in your heart, 
tell Him of it. Tell Him, that it is stiff, stubborn, 
and backward ; or that it is borne down with naughty 
* Check, snap. t To-morrow. 


burdens, and -will not take on a better burden. Let 
God be thy secretary* in all, and whatever thou would 
hare close kept, commit that to Him. 

2. " And there is none that can deliver out of thy 
hand:" — that is, I am not miskeiming thy sovereignty, 
for I see thou art dealing with me, searching me, 
causing me to examine myself. I acknowledge my 
sin, but I do not confess that I am a hater of thee, or 
a worker of iniquity. I see thou would have me to 
acknowledge thy sovereignty, and I am doing it ; for 
I know none can rid me out of thy hand, therefore I 
yield to thee as most mighty. We see that the end of 
God's rods and afiiictions is, to make men know them- 
selves, and their own perverseness and his sovereignty ; 
for these two ordinarily does the impenitent misken, 
he miskens both God and himself. And the secure 
godly man, albeit he have the habit of repentance, be- 
ing fallen off the act of it, he is turned into the way 
of sinners, and miskens God ; therefore rods are sent, 
to make him know himself, and acknowledge God his 

When the hand of God is on thee, know that it is 
to make thee know thy sin ; to make thee more humble, 
and to acknowledge God in his sovereignty to be ex- 
alted; for when God is put high enough, and thou 
low enough, the correction has gotten the end where- 
fore it came. But in some, the one work is done, 
and not the other ; for some will acknowledge their 
own baseness, and yet run away from God. But sub- 
mitters turn in to him, acknowledging that they are 
dust and ashes : these give answer to God's messenger. 
Take with your faults then ; hasten to know God ; 
humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and 
* Confidant. 


lie shall lift you up : be not paughty,* for God fights 
against none but rebellers, and it is his pleasure to pity 
all prostrate souls. If they be low, whence shall they 
fall ? If they humble themselves to hell, what lower 
can God put them ? If they have pronounced the 
sentence of justice, what shall God do? 

Oh that men were thus canny to deal with God, 
and prevenet the sentence of judgment ! Glad would 
God be, to see his deputy in man do justice, that he 
may shew mercy : but when the conscience, which is 
Ins deputy, doth not the duty, he must execute judg- 
ment himself. Be wise, then, and seek unto God, for 
he is the most favourable party. Blessed are they 
who know his nature, and turn unto him ; who acknow- 
ledge that the Most High bears rule in heaven ; for 
albeit a man were high as Nebuchadnezzar, He shall 
force him to acknowledge his sovereignty, for all 
knees shall bow to him. The most stubborn shall 
be forced to receive their condemnation upon their 
knees, when no mediator or supplication will be heard, 
but the voice of judgment. Only " consider this, ye 
that forget God, lest he tear you in pieces, and none 
be able to deliver out of his hand." While Ins hand 
is stretched out, make peace with him. 

3. In Job's acknowledgment of his own sinfulness 
and God's sovereignty, when the rod is on him, we 
see that God, by affliction, will enforce a man to ac- 
knowledge both what God, and what himself is. 

4. Upon this acknowledgment, Job concludes 
with himself that all shall go right. " Thou knowest 
that I am -not wicked, and none can deliver out of 
thy hand." As if he said, Lord, I yield to thee ; I 
will strive no more what thou art seeking : I grant 

* Haughty. , t Anticipate. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 21 

unto thee thou challengest me for sin, and I take 
with it : my friends challenge me of wickedness, but 
I deny that. Thou tellest me that I am feeble, and 
I grant it ; that thou art Omnipotent, and I ac- 
knowledge it. Therefore now thou must shew me 
favour, yea, I cannot want it ; for seeing I have ac- 
knowledged what I am, and what thou art, it is im- 
possible that thou can keep wrath any more. It lets 
us see, how a man, albeit forced to acknowledge God 
and himself, he may plead for mercy. Here a not- 
able vantage whilk thrawn crops* have, when they 
are dung with judgments, albeit they stood long out 
pinglingt with God, and now are forced to take with 
their faults when they cannot mend themselves. If 
their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, God will re- 
member his covenant, and have mercy. Being sore 
chastened of God, thou mayest come to God, and say, 
Lord, thou hast overcome me, prevailed over me ; 
thou are higher than I. Behold, I yield to thee, and 
now, I treat for mercy ; let me have it, albeit I have 
neglected it before. 

And ye who have not yielded to God's correcting 
hand, be wise at last ; and ye who trow ye shall not 
be accepted, albeit ye would yield, but fear that God 
is seeking to destroy you, hearken not to the sugges- 
tion, but rather believe the word of God, who has 
said, If yet thy uncircumcised heart be humbled, God 
will look upon a stubborn worm, because of Christ. 
Therefore, take with your faults, and make peace 
with God, else, be sure his fury shall break out on 
all those who come not in to him. Come to Him, 
and be sure to get a kingdom, and your bodies shall 
be made glorious as the stars of heaven. Who would 
* Stubborn stomachs. t Contending. 


lose suck a fair venture offered, when it might be 

" Rem ember that thou hast made me ?" — Now Job 
begins to plea God with reasons and arguments ; and 
as his first, he takes hold of God by the far end of 
the band of creation, and by that, draws strength to 
himself, and confidence to look for mercy. He lays 
out before the Lord his own work, his laidly* legs 
and arms covered with sores, and says, These are the 
arms and legs which sometimes thou formed, as a 
pretty piece of clay, albeit now they seem turned 
to destruction. The force of this reasoning is thus : 
Good God, who sometimes made and fashioned me 
in comeliness, wilt thou let me rot above the earth 1 
Hast thou forgot what pains thou took in fashioning 
me ? Is it thy pleasure to turn me to nothing again % 
I cannot think that thou wilt so misregard the work 
of thy hands. 

1. We see, sense speaks to Job of destruction, and 
that God had a mind to cut him ofF; and so doth it 
ofttimes to others. When God amicts, sense will 
say, that God amicts to destroy. This, said sense to 
Hezekiah ; " Day unto night wilt thou make an end 
of me ?" — for affliction has commonly the fear of far- 
ther joined with it. Even Christ himself feared, al- 
beit he knew certainly of an out-gate, for he did not 
inhibit his holy nature to have its own affections ; 
and it is a natural affection, when evil is on, to fear 
worse. Sense and nature read a number of sad les- 
sons in any one straik,t and write bitter things to 
come. Wonder not to fear worse when ye arc 
stricken, but know that ye have company enow. 
Christ himself was assaulted with fear beyond any 
* Loathly or loathsome. t Stroke. 


tiling that came on liim ; therefore it is said, he was 
saved from that which he feared : then it is clear, 
that fears will be of that which will not come ; this 
the curse of the law imported. When destruction is 
sounded in affliction, and it is borne in that God will 
cut off, take it for the voice of sense and suggestion. 
2. Job, for supporting of himself against the voice 
of sense, draws an argument from God's making of 
him ; and it lets us see, when sense says, God will 
destroy, faith says, "Wilt thou destroy % His speiring 
the force of a denial that it can be. Thus faith 
. c f>ps sense when it speaks contrair to it : sense speaks 
with faith in the day of consolation ; and whiles it is 
silent, and whiles against faith. When sense is 
against faith, let faith hearken what God says, and 
not what sense says. Let faith say, " I will hearken 
what the Lord will say, for the Lord will speak 
peace to his people ; but let them not turn again to 
folly." He makes of God's creating of him, to help 
him in to God as his redeemer. We see it a good 
mean to those who cannot win to God as a saviour 
at the first step, to take a grip of him as a creator, 
and from that, fix in themselves to him as a re- 
deemer. " Thou drew me out of the womb, and 
caused me to hope upon the breast," (Psalm xxii. 9). 
Thus David claims kindness to God, because he is his 
workmanship, that he may draw nearer to him, to 
clasp him as a redeemer. The most tempted and 
accursed-like soul cannot deny but it is God's crea- 
ture ; and those who are most hardly exercised, and 
doubt if ever Christ minded to save them, and will 
disclaim him as a redeemer, yet will they not dis- 
claim him as a creator. If then, in the time of sore 
tentation, thou wilt grant that thou art his creature, 


are there not some bands betwixt thee and God ? Is 
there not some hameliness* betwixt the work and the 
workman 1 Will he not love it better than another 
man's work ? If the work had sense, it might say to 
the workman, Thou made me ; and now, seeing I am 
put wrong, thou must right me again. So may thou 
say to God, Put me right, because I am thy work. 
Claim to God as thy creator, to get farther kindness ; 
by this mean a door is open to win in to God's outer 
court, and from that, to the inner court also. If 
thou win to God as creator, thou may also speir 
where is the redeemer, for justice and mercies sent 
are so near other, that thou may speak from the one 
to the other. There are bands betwixt God, and any 
who will claim to him, more than betwixt their fa- 
ther and them. A child will go to his offended fa- 
ther ; but thou art sibberf to the Creator, than a 
child to his father or mother ; for the father or mo- 
ther furnishes little to the child's making, by that 
which God does ; for the shape, and all the endow- 
ments are of God. Therefore claim kindness of God 
as creator, and farther favour shall be shown. 

" And fashioned me together round about." — He 
both shews the work of God, and the fitness of the 
work ; which lets us see, that the work of man's 
creation, both of matter and shape, is worthy of con- 
sideration, and the wisdom of the Creator is to be 
seen in it. And He is to be praised for it, that a 
piece of clay being the matter whereof man is made, 
should be so comelily formed ; that man's body should 
be shapen out of clay, with a pair of eyes in his head, 
as two watches, to look out and behold the works of 
God ; two ears to hear ; a mind within him to sit, as 

* Home-feeling, fellow-feeling. t Nearer of kin. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 31 

in a castle, to command and direct ; a soul, with all 
the faculties of it, to keep counsel and deliberation, 
and give out directions ; and the senses, as so manv 
officers, to execute these directions ; the hands ready 
to work, the feet to go. Here is indeed a curious 
piece of workmanship, more curious than any watch ; 
so many parts concurring, that it would busy the 
wisest head to search it ; yea, it is an unsearchable 
deep, as all the works of God are. Therefore let us 
praise Him, who has made us of so feckless* a mat- 
ter, and in such a comely proportion, as there is no 
lack in our shape ; all done exceeding notably ; and 
let us claim some kindred to Him who so curiously 
lias framed all, and taken such pains to make ■& 
For as a workman's work is taken pains upon, so is a 
price put upon the work. If the work be curious, 
the work is the dearer ; if it be artificially graven or 
indented, cut or carved, he who has wrought it, set? 
the dearer price upon it. So says Job to God. Put a 
price on me, thy piece of work, according to the cu- 
rious art kvthed in fashioning of me : seeino- thou 
hast made such a pretty piece of work, I pray thee 
destroy it not. When man begins to dip in, and see 
what God has done for him, and begins at the work 
of creation common with the beasts, from it he mav 
draw some arguments of confidence, that God will 
shew mercy to him, if he seek unto Him : but manv 
men miskenning this, make themselves inferior to 
beasts. Therefore, examine and study what God has 
done for you, so shall ye draw to nearer acquaintance 
with him ; and suffer not Satan so to blind your 
mind, as not to think what God has done for vou. 
M Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made 
* Powerless. 


me as clay." — Here as he remembers that he is GodV 
•workmanship, so also he remembers his own frailty ; 
and yet he claims to Him who cares for clay, because 
he has waired such work on him, to frame him out 
of the clay. It lets us see, if we can find, the care 
that God has shown about us already in our crea- 
tion. We may gather from this, that yet more care 
shall be taken of us, and that he minds to do better 
to us than to destroy us, especially when we come in 
to him, as to our Creator. David says, " Thou madest 
me hope, when I was upon the breast ; and now, 
when grey hairs are on me, thou wilt not forsake 
me." As if he said, Wilt thou tyne* me at last, 
when thou hast had so much care of me hitherto % 
Learn then to draw along God's care of thee in 
the creation, to expect his care of providence ; and 
seeing he has had a care to bring thee up from a child, 
from that, expect yet more good. The more thou 
can prove God has been good to thee, thou may prove 
by that, that he shall yet do more good. Therefore 
father kindness upon him from byganes,t that thou 
may find kindness for time to come. It is a very 
evil argument to prevail with man, because lie has 
given much, to crave yet more; but a good argu- 
ment to prevail with God. For thou may say to 
him, Thou hast been gracious to me, and must be 
gracious to me. To tell Him what good he has done r 
is a band to urge him to do more ; yea, it is a point 
of wisdom in thee, and a point of thankfulness to him. 
" Wilt thou brin<r me to dust a<rain ?" — Sense said 
to him, that for all his prayer, God would destroy 
him ; therefore, as before, he said, Dost thou destroy 
me ? so here, " Wilt thou bring me to dust I" We 
* Lose. t Things past. 

JOB, CHAP. X. cl> 

sse then, God is dealing sharply with his creature. 
Sense will say that He has forgot, or will destroy the 
work of his hand ; but faith will not admit this, es- 
pecially when it is conscious of the begun work of 
regeneration. Therefore as oft as sense speaks thus, 
let faith have the hindmost word : if sense speak 
thus, let faith speak thus once after. Job turns him 
not to sense, and speaks thus, but to God ; for sense, 
natural reason, and suggestion, are not always to be 
answered to ; but what we would speak to sense, sug- 
gestion, or misbelief, speak to God. He that speaks 
to a stone, looks not for an answer, and he who 
speaks to a foe, looks not for a friendly answer ; but 
turn to God, and be sure of a good answer, when nei- 
ther Satan nor sense will jrive it. 

Verse 10. " Hast thou poured me out as milk, and 
curdled me like cheese?" — He compares the work of 
his conception in his mother's womb, to the making 
of cheese of yearned milk. Albeit this seem a base- 
like comparison, yet the Spirit of God borrows it. 
As if he said, Lord, what am I in my conception, but 
as a little curdled milk \ How is it that I am brought 
to be something, who was of such a small-like sub- 
stance ? Thou, by putting to thy hand to me, hast 
wrought me to some solidity, as when one with his 
hand gathers thickened milk. And yet, it is but a 
mean comparison ; for when God puts his hand to the 
work of man's framing, oh, what curious draughts, 
smaller than the smallest thread of a worm-web ! 
"When He lays the portrait of the veins of the body, 
and of the arteries, and of the sinews, so woven as no 
eye can discern it, nor take it up ; and when they are 
brought to the uttermost, the tightest physician who 
has studied anatomy best, cannot reach to the uptak- 



ing of all the veins in the body ! They can reach to 
many hundred veins, but yet they tyne of the 
count, when they come to the cutting of the veins 
that are on the eye-bree ;* for there, their anatomis- 
ing knife is grosser than the thing that is to be cut ; 
for there are such small veins on the surface of the 
eye-bree, by which blood is conveyed, as they cannot 
be discerned ; yea, it is a thing unsearchable, to 
count or find out all the veins in the body. No an- 
atomist under heaven can do it : so curious is the 
Lord's work, that no human skill can anatomise one 
eye, nor tell the tunicles and veins of it. They can 
show no more in a living man, than they have found 
out in a dead man : but in a dead man, all cannot be 
found, because the blood being run from the veins to 
the heart, at death, then, the veins cannot be dis- 
cerned. So curious is the Lord's work in the crea- 
tion, that it is unsearchable, and therefore none need 
to speir about the work of creation, or about the re- 
surrection, seeing there is a daily new creation of 
man and beast ; it is as easy for God to raise again, 
as to make of nothing. Let the framing of any one 
member of man's body be meditated upon, and he 
shall be forced to wonder at it, and to give it over as 
unsearchable. Always we see, that the framing of 
man in his conception, is the work of the Lord's own 
immediate hand. 

2. He makes his conception in the womb, God's 
work, as a thing to humble man, so also to exalt 
God, both as wise, loving, merciful, careful ; and a 
powerful God, and a humble God, that he works clay 
with his own hand, and stays upon the framing of it, 
as if it were a thing something worth, for the space 

* Eve-brow. 


of three quarters of a year ; and millions made daily, 
yet all done at leisure, and His majesty nothing 
troubled with the making of them. And when He 
has brought out a man, he says to all, What sayest 
thou to my piece of work 1 All the on-lookers must 
grant, that He is a powerful, wise, and good Lord 
that made him ; yet commonly they that are most 
acquaint with his work, are blindest in observation. 

" Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh," &c. 
We see the meditation of our making has many 
branches, and every one of them worthy to be weighed 
and considered ; and, therefore, when we are about to 
study the work of God, we would not take a general 
glance, but go to particulars, giving to every particu- 
lar its own meditation. Job reckons out four here ; 
the bones, sinews, flesh, and skin, every one of them 
severally and jointly to be considered. The bones, 
made of the softest substance, and that yet grow to 
greatest hardness ; for what softer than the marrow, 
and harder than the bone? yet the one is made of the 
other, and fostered by the other. Man is made of 
bones within, as the solidest substance for bearing of 
a burden, so that the bones are the pillars whereon 
the body stands. If he had been made all of flesh, he 
could not stand upright, work, nor bear a burden ; 
therefore he is strengthened with bones, like growing 
steel, and these bones fenced upon their ends with 
gristle, which will wear better than steel. For if the 
ends of the bones were shod with steel, they would 
wear thin by continual moving to and fro ; but now, 
being shod with gristle, they slide to and fro. and 
wear not. If they were shod with steel, by motion 
they would heat and fire; but gristle conceives no 
heat, and in the joint there is a sort of oil that keeps 


it from heating ; and if the joints be violently pressed 
beside their ordinar, the heat that is gathered, is eva- 
porate by sweat through the skin. The coldest and 
softest part of the body is the brain ; yet out of that 
soft, cold, and clotty matter, are all the sinews of the 
head drawn, like a number of cords, which go along 
to couple and bind the body together, bone unto bone, 
and from it comes the marrow; and the bones being 
thus coupled with sinews, then, for safety of them, 
they are bolstered with flesh; and because the flesh 
is tender, it is covered with a skin ; and without the 
skin, a little thin skin, like a scabbard of dead hide, 
lest the sensible part should be hurt by rubbing upon 
it ; and this outer scabbard is close joined to the other 
But the outer skin has no feeling, but only as it is 
joined with the inner skin ; and guards it, as a ply of 
lining cloth laid about it. To branch out all were 
longsome ; but let us consider what wisdom and pro- 
vidence is here : for worthy is the least work of our 
meditation ; and greater comfort should we find, if we 
studied his works more and more : light should be 
shewn in them. " Thy works," says the Psalmist, " are 
honourable ; sought out of all them that have pleasure 
in them : who is so wise to observe these things, shall 
mark the loving-kindness of the Lord." If men were 
set to mark God's works, he would let them see more ; 
as if one brought into a shop of curious work or wares, 
should roose* all that he saw, it were a mean to make 
the owner take pleasure to feed the on-looker's admi- 
ration more. If wondering at a craftsman's work 
will move him to shew more of it, much more God : 
lie shall shew more of his works, and still more, till 
he bring them to shew them a palace, where the 

» Fraise. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 61 

praises of his works shall dwell for ever. There He 
shall say, Man, thou could not get leisure on earth 
to see all my works ; but now, view all at leisure, and 
enjoy for ever full felicity, in the beholding of me and 
my works. Oh, how great is our atheism ! — the 
Lord rub it off! Let us meditate on our making, 
that we may fall in love with our Maker, so shall he 
shew us greater things ; as Clirist to Nathaniel, " be- 
lievest thou for this ? thou shalt see greater things." 


Verse 12. " Tliou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visita- 
tion hath preserved my spirit. 

13. And these things hast thou hid in thine heart : I know 
that this is with me. 

14. If I sin, thou markest me ; and thou wilt not acquit me 
from mine iniquity. 

15. If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet 
will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; 
therefore see thou mine affliction." 

" Thou hast granted me life and favour." — Job has 
been reckoning the pains that God took upon him, 
in his conception in his mother's womb ; how he drew 
the draughts of all his body, and pencilled all the 
wants of it, till he brought him to a perfect man. He 
follows forth all from his very first original, till he 
came out complete in all his parts : and now, in this 
verse, being made and perfected in all his parts after 
a very comely fashion, he says, that God has granted 
him life and favour. That is, when He had fashioned 
him, he let him not lie there where he made him ; he 
made not Ins mother's womb his grave, but gave him 
life, that is birth, or a new life, because he was brought 
forth of his mother's womb by God's hand, who pre- 


served him from danger in the birth. And after that 
he is brought forth, he says, that the Lord's visitation 
preserved his spirit ; that is, day and night He watched 
over him, to hold in his life. And while he thus 
speaks of God's visitation, he borrows a comparison 
from a father or mother, that wakens and rises in the 
night to see how the young bairn lieth, and that the 
nurse or mother that gives it suck overlay it not. As 
if he said, After I was born and brought out into the 
world, I would have died, except thou had guided 
their arms, or in their turning in their sleep, held 
them off me. God's watchfulness that he should not 
be smoored,* was the preserving of his spirit. 

Here we see very deep reasoning used, that Job 
may strengthen himself in the favour of God ; for faith 
is a great disputer, and a deep logician, and can fetch 
strong arguments from afar, for its own support and 
relief. It is like a man plunging in the water, that 
stretches far to get a grip of any thing that may pull 
him out of the water. Faith lays hold on common 
benefits, but misbelief doth not make use of chief argu- 
ments. Misbelief, albeit it had been comforted yester- 
day, counts nothing of it ; daily renewed benefits it 
makes no use of them : but faith draws favour out of 
everything ; out of corrections, sparings ; giving, tak- 
ing ; draws arguments of love, and makes use of the 
most common argument, even the bringing out of the 

To strengthen faith, take all arguments. Reason 
for thy own standing anv way, for a thread is enough 
to hale one home. The least appearing of God's 
working in us or about us, is enough to help faith ; for 
albeit the argument in itself be weak, yet the dispu- 
* Smothered. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 39 

ter's mind is strong, and looks more to that he would 
be at, than to the force of his argument, and accepts 
his reasoning whatever it be, when he would be home- 
ward. For albeit his arguments be weak, yea, null, 
if they were strictly examined, yet seeing he honestly 
uses such as he has, he is as an advocate, when he is 
about to plead a cause. If he bring out the best he 
has, and faithfully plead the cause, albeit his argu- 
ments be slender, yet he is allowed, and is rewarded 
fur his pleading. So a believer, when he is honestly 
set to testify for God, against Satan, and his own 
wicked heart, he is accepted, albeit his arguments be 
weak; for a weak argument is as strong to fetch 
home to God, as a strong, because it proves the con- 
clusion in God's acceptation, as well as the strong. 
And albeit the argument be weak in the general, yet 
it is strong enough in the disputer's hand, who would be 
in at God, and there at kindness with him ; for he has 
said, those that come unto him, he will in no wise 
cast out. 

Let none then be so witless, as to cast away grounds 
that may uphold them ; and say not. what have I gotten, 
but the reprobate has had as much ? I answer, are thy 
eyes the worse, that a reprobate has a pair of eyes also? 
"What would thou think, to make thee blind when the 
wicked sees "? Or if thou count of prosperity because 
the wicked has it, what would thou think, for that 
cause to be steeped in misery % Or when the wicked 
has two legs or ears, that thou should have but one 1 
Wilt thou cast off or misregard God's benefits, because 
the wicked have them ? What is a benefit the worse, 
that an unworthy getter of it abuse it ? Is thy answer 
of grace and peace to thy prayer, or any other spirit- 
ual benefit the worse, that the like is given to some 


temporary believer 1 No, certainly, and yet this is the 
best argument that uses to be brought, when God's 
liberal dealing is lightlied" by any. But wealth makes 
wit waver. It were well bestowed we had scant al- 
lowance, and were dealt with as tarrowingt bairns„to 
make the meat they refused to be the first they get ; 
and seeing they except against God's dealing, to make 
them see the fruit of their folly, by a more sharp deal- 
ing. But those who count much of every thing, and 
by all arguments reason homeward, shall find God 
more bountiful ; and if they laud the bounty of God, 
they shall get more cause to laud it ; they shall over- 
come him by lauding, but he shall overcome them by 
his bounty. 

2. We see Job makes the putting in, and holding 
in of his life, a special benefit, and a token of God's 
favour. It lets us see, that beside the framing of our 
body, the putting in of life or a reasonable soul in our 
body, is to be reckoned as a special benefit ; and that 
so much the more excellent, as the soul is above the 
body. God would be acknowledged for this benefit, 
as a token of his care, respect, and indulgence above 
other creatures. To see God take a piece of clay, and 
plaster it over with so comely a fashion ; place holes 
for eyes, buckle them in with strings, cover them 
about with a case of bone ; and frame so all the mem- 
bers of the body, and then put in it a reasonable soul, 
to hold all living ; and to join that soul with the body, 
and that soul never to die, albeit the body die, and 
again the soul to be joined to the body, when it is 
raised again ; is not this abundant matter of God's 
praise, and an argument sufficient to draw in to God, 

* Lightly esteemed. 

t Loathing from being pampered. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 41 

and claim acquaintance to him, that he has given the 
similitude of himself, by putting into man an ever- 
lasting, spirit,- understanding, will, even the image of 
himself ; a reasonable soul, which he has not given to 
the beasts ? But many men turn souls into devils, 
because God will not resign his throne to them, and 
do their will, when they should do his. Such is the 
pride of .man's desperate nature. But learn ye to 
count your bodies a benefit, and the putting of a scul 
into your body another benefit. 

3". " Thou hast granted me life and favour." By 
life and favour, he means not the shaping of him, and 
his making men shew favour to him, and women to 
keep all duty to him in the time of his birth ; but also, 
he founts it God's special favour, that he was born hi 
the company of those who cared for him, when he 
could not care for himself. We see, that faith counts 
every thing a favour, even conception, and care in 
forth-bringing. Faith takes not only conception, but 
every thing that it gets, as favours and tokens of God's 
love and good-will. Count every thing received of 
God a favour, so nothing shall make thee impatient as 
to storm when he gives or takes ; for if he take, it is 
the loosing of some burden off us ; if he strike, it is 
but the chirurgian's lancet ; if he gives a bitter cup, 
it is physical ;* whether it be sweet or sour, it is to 
procure our health, and that in a seeming manner, 
but it is so indeed. Therefore expone God in the best 
part, for that is faith's part, and the part of one who 
is reconciled. A friend exponcs a hard turn done by a 
friend, friendly ; and the more love there be, the better 
is any thing that is done construed. So those who 
construe all that God doeth, to be out of love, are 
* Medicinal, healing. 


God's friends ; and if any will threap* love upon God, 
they shall not be disappointed. 

Objection. Every one gets favour of God. An- 
swer. But every one makes not use of the benefit 
received. To get benefits is common, but it is not 
common to make use of them ; therefore let the wicked 
man have the benefit as thou, but make thou the use 
of it. There were ten lepers cleansed, but only one 
of them gave thanks ; and albeit the rest were cleansed 
as he, yet he gat a farther benefit ; the spiritual lep- 
rosy of his soul was cleansed also. Then see that there 
be as great difference betwixt the wicked and thee, as 
betwixt the nine lepers and the tenth. Bless thou 
God for every thing thou gettest. Oh, that God's 
children could be persuaded to be thus wise ; even ye 
who daily whirne and chirme,t to whose pleasure 
God cannot work ; who will not give his Spirit leave 
to dwell with you for channering,J barking, and mis- 
constructing of his works ! I wish you this rest, that 
if God should grind you to powder, ye should judge 
him to do all out of love, for all things work together 
for the weal of them that love God ; for these always 
expone God in the best part, and are loath to lay any 
imputation on him. If ye would still stand to the 
maintenance of his glory, ye would still love him, and 
hear no evil tales of him, nor misconstruct any thing 
that he doeth. Ever hold this ground, to judge of 
God according to his word, for he still works accord- 
ing to it. If ye would do so, ye should dwell under 
the shadow of the Almighty ; your life, albeit it seem 
miserable, should be sugared ; ye should find the lov- 
ing kindness of the Lord, and should be the meekest 

* Iiisist, urge. | Fret and murmur. J Peevish blaming. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 43 

under his hand that can be ; "while as now, impatience 
is for lending an ear to Satan. But let God deal as 
he pleases, and let Satan calumniate His work as he 
pleases, yet ye should never admit that God hates you, 
albeit God himself would say it from heaven. Albeit 
God say that he is angry, yet ye may say, I believe 
he loves me, when he has cause to be angry. Oh but 
the godly who know exercise of conscience, have need 
of this ! " 

4. " Thy visitation preserves me." It lets us see, 
that the holding in of common life, is the fruit of 
God's on-looking or visitation ; for God having made 
a man, keeps a watchful eye over him for his sustcn- 
tation, and thereby maintains him. The influence of 
life is from God : where God's eye is, there doth the 
Spirit quicken ; when he draws back the Spirit, the 
body goeth to the dust. Know that God keeps life 
in thee, by looking on thee, as the sun looking upon 
the creatures beneath keeps them warm ; for when 
the sun shines not on a stone, it grows cold. Such is 
the working of the Sun of Righteousness. He gives 
light and life ; he holds the blood warm, and keeps 
it from clotting in the veins, that it should not choak. 
Therefore let thy life, lent to thee, be an evidence of 
God's upholding and looking on thee. And what I 
say of the bodily, the same I say of the spiritual life. 
His visitation is the cause that thou despairest not ; 
that thou hast not shaken off his yoke yet, nor run 
away from him, but art yet bauchling* on as thou 
may ; therefore let him have the glory of it. 

Verse 13. " And these things hast thou hid in thy 
heart." That is, Albeit now, Lord, thou seem est to 
be wroth, and about to destroy me, and to forget all 
* Shuffling, as in walking in worn-out slippers. 


the pains thou hast taken in forming of me, yet I be- 
lieve thou hast some love to me, which thou had 
when thou formed me. Thou made me once a comely- 
body, but now it is leprous and filthy ; my skin, that 
sometimes was tight, is now eaten up with vermin : 
I am like one living in his lungs, and rotting in the 
grave, having only some spunk of life to keep to- 
gether the rotten body in this estate. No love to me 
doth kythe ; and yet, I believe that the love which 
thou had in making me, and adorning me after so 
comely a manner, is yet to the fore ; albeit now thou 
hide it, yet I know that same care thou had in fashion- 
ing of me continues ; albeit thou seem to destroy me, 
yet love is hid in thy breast. Thus, Job's faith has 
strong reasoning, that it creeps through God's hands 
into his breast, and through his anger and wrath to 
his purpose. Oh, how piercing is the virtue of faith ! 

1. We see that God will sometimes hide his love 
and favour from his own, and make show as if he 
minded no favour : whiles he will give fewer, whiles 
more tokens of respect ; and when he gives fewer, he 
is said to hide, or when he gives evidences of his dis- 
pleasure ; as he is said to shew his face, when he 
gives favour. Learn to distinguish betwixt the hid- 
ing and manifesting of God's love : wisely observe 
both, and make use of both. 

2. Job is put to a trial when God hides. It lets 
us see, that the time of God's hiding of his love, is 
the proper time of faith's trial : such as believe not 
God for his word, but only for his work, will not be- 
lieve when he hides. This is not good in many, that 
they will not let it light,* that God loves them, ex- 
cept when he claps | their head ; therefore the Lord 

* Allow it to pass. t Fats, caresses. 

J03, CHAP. X. 45 

lays upon such with liis rods, to warn them how they 
limit his kindness by thedauting* of hisdoyltj children. 
"When God hides, give thou a proof of thy believing 
in him ; for herein many are not aware, when God 
hides himself, that Satan says, God loves them not ; 
and they hearken to Satan, and not to God. But 
learn ye to amend this, else ye shall be worse dealt 
with, if ye give not better proof of believing, when 
God hides his love. 

3. See here the piercing look of Job's faith ! It 
passeth in by God's hand to his heart ; which lets us 
see, that faith looks more to God's word than to his 
work, and more to his heart than to his hand, and to 
that which is hid, than to that which is seen. It 
looks more to His affection than to his handling ; for 
albeit God's hand be rough, yet faith says, there is 
love in his heart ; and if his work seem contrair to 
his word, faith speaks according to his word. All 
things work together for the weal of them that love 
God ; and so, the hardest straiks, that seem to cut 
off, work for their weal. Make use of this — whatever 
God do expone him by his saying, and not by his do- 
ing, whatever sign he give, yet look aye to his affec- 
tion ; for if thou wilt look in to God's heart, thou 
shalt find thy name written upon it : for the Spouse 
says, u Set me as a seal upon thy arm, and as a signet 
on thy heart." Thus learn to pass through all dis- 
appearance outward. 

" If I sin, then thou markest me." — After that 
Job has thus threaped kindness on God, here he falls 
into reasoning what these straiks can mean. So will 
it be with all those who think there is love in God's 
heart to them. They will be borne out in the dis- 
* Petting t Silly, stupid. 


pute, and so furnished with arguments, that their 
mouth will not be closed ; but still matter of dispute 
will be furnished against misbelief, even when they 
seem to be confounded. Let us see how Job draws 
his breath, and followeth the dispute yet farther with 
God. He falls into reasoning with himself after this 
manner : What is this that God is doing, by chastis- 
ing me after this manner ? Either I am dealt with 
as a wicked man and impenitent, or else, I am exer- 
cised as a righteous man, for my humiliation ; or I 
am dealt with in this exercise, as an impenitent right- 
eous man. If this be, then God is pointing by these 
straiks at my faults, to cause me repent. If He be 
dealing with me as a wicked man, then these straiks 
are a part of hotter woe and destruction that abides 
me. But I will not let that light ; but if He be 
humbling me as a righteous man by these straiks, be- 
hold, I am already before him, (ver. 14, 15). Then, 
in the end, he knows not what to do or determine, and 
confesses his confusion, and turns him to prayer ; for 
his thoughts are so involved, while he is seeking to 
know what God is doing, for he cannot rest on one 
thought ; therefore his confusion kythes, as if he said, 
I wot not what to think : my wits are all through 
other : I cannot find an out-get, when I look to my 
pained and perplexed body, (ver. 15). 

That Job is put to search himself in his afflictions, 
1. We see that afflictions are sent, that we may 
be put to a search what the matter can mean. My 
heart made diligent search, (Psalm lxxvii). Exa- 
mine yourselves upon your bed, (Psalm iv). Search 
yourselves, nation not worthy to be beloved ! 
When God corrects, search what he means ; as 
Paul, when he was stricken from his horse, said, 

JOB, CHAP. X. 47 

"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" And He 
will tell thee, as he did Paul : he will tell thee, that 
he would have thy heart loosed from such a thing, 
he would have thee stirred up to such a duty ; and if 
thou had rather sin, than part with such a thing, 
whether it be thy goods, estimation, children, the 
affliction has not done the turn. If thou wilt rather 
stick by these things, and sin, better never thou had 
seen them ; and if thou cannot find the cause of afflic- 
tion by search, crave of God that he would shew it. 

2. We see, that in the search, we may rank God's 
dealing with us in ranks, and say, God is either deal- 
ing with me after conversion, or before conversion, or 
in conversion : I am either dealt with as a man guilty 
of sins unrepented, or a righteous, tried, and humble 
man. If I will bow to God, he will heal me ; if I 
bow not, he will break me : if I come home, he will 
receive me ; if I run away, he will follow me with 
judgments. Search, and rank matters right ; for 
such as know God's ways, will readily search the man- 
ner of his working in the word : and examine your- 
selves by it ; so shall ye win to the bottom of matters, 
and find out all sorts of your estate. 

3. While he says, God marks his sin, we see, when 
a man is dealt with as guilty of unrepented sin, then 
God's correction or visitation is the marking of his 
sin, and a declaration that God hates his sin ; for 
we have oft seen, that God has written men's faults 
upon their punishment, so that the on-looker may read 
the name of the fault, by the correction : but it was 
not so with Job. But an intemperate man's sin will 
be written on his face ; or the man that dotes after 
worldly things, the Lord will put bitterness on them, 
and make him find thorniness and vexation. If thou 


inhauncli* or follow after any perishing tiling in thy 
mind, and God meets thee with some rod, know thou 
hast reached thy mind beyond that which is allowed. 
And yet thou hast a vantage ; thy fault is pointed at. 
Therefore point thou at it also, and take with it. 
When God says, Man, there thy fault ; read it in thy 
chastisement ! answer thou, Lord, I take both with 
my fault and chastisement. Then be sure, if thy un- 
circumcised heart be humbled, he will remember his 
covenant, as he says to Israel. It is not the taking 
with the fault that makes God lay on another 
straik ; therefore, when thou art stricken, submit thy- 
self, take with thy fault, and say, Lord, I thank thee 
that has told me my fault, that I may mend it. 

4. " And thou wilt not acquit me from mine ini- 
quity." It is best to read this by way of interroga- 
tion, Wilt thou not acquit me from mine iniquity ? 
and so, the speiring has the force of a denial that it 
can be — which lets us see, when our God corrects for 
a fault, he is minded to forgive the fault, and to take 
it away ; for the word correction, imports the righting 
or mending of a thing. Therefore where God chopst 
at a fault, he is minded to make that same person the 
better, and to pardon that sin. Therefore, when 
thou art corrected, discourage not ; for it is only as 
the chirurgian's pointing at the sore, and saying, I will 
lance it, or fire it, and so heal it. If God correct 
thee for too much love of children, goods, or the world, 
or credit, by removing these, he is pointing with his 
Ian set, shewing that he is about to mend such a fault. 

" If I be wicked, woe unto me." — If God deal with 
a man as wicked, woe to that man ; for if he remain 
wicked, that dealing is but the be^innin^ of sorrow. 
* Embrace. t Strikes. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 49 

'* Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unright- 
eous man his thoughts," (Isa. lv. 7). If thou find 
that thou hast not turned in to God before now, 
humble thyself, and be no more wicked ; yield, and 
acknowledge thy iniquity ; then no woe shall be to 
thee : but if thou humble not, then woe, woe still 
abides thee ! 

" And if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my 
head." We see, if God deal with man as righteous, 
it is to humble him, and to hide pride from his eyes, 
that he be not puffed up because of his righteousness. 
A righteous man may be corrected, albeit he be ac- 
cepted of God, have repented his sins, and is not se- 
cure, but still seeking God ; yet the rod bides not 
away, for he needs it. If then a rod being come, and 
thou art put to search, and finds thyself in the way 
of righteousness (for rods come on righteous and un- 
righteous ;) know that the rod is to hide pride from 
thine eyes; for when men are absolved of God, and have 
the conscience of remission of sins, readily they are 
puffed up : as a man who is high in court, it is hard 
to make him keep a low sail, so man is readily puffed 
up, who is persuaded of God's favour. To prevent 
this uplifting, God lays on a rod ; therefore aim at 
submission. Beware to lift up thy head, but creep 
in the dust. When God absolves, rejoice in tremb- 
ling. Remember what thou art. Albeit the Sun of 
Righteousness has shined on thee, dust and ashes, yet 
remember thou art but dust and ashes still ! 



Verse 16. " For it increasetli : thou huntest me as a fierce lion, and 
again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me." 

The Lord has put Job to a search, what the mat- 
ter means in this his hard exercise ; and Job lays his 
count that this hard handling is one of the three — 
either the correction of a secure man, or the punish- 
ment of a wicked man, or the trial of a righteous man. 
As for the first, he has spoken in the 14th verse ; and 
the meaning of his word is, If this be the correction 
of a secure man, then I need not look for pardon, till 
I take with my fault, and humble myself ; and this 
I am contented to do, if God will point out to me the 
sin that he marks. If it be the punishment of a 
wicked man, then woe's me ; woe, and double woe to 
me ! If so be then, I am far mistaken, for I cannot 
tell what it is to turn in to God, if I have not turned 
already. Therefore he casts by this, and will not 
yield to it that he is wicked, being conscious to him- 
self of the contrair. As if he said, If I have not the 
comfort of not being wicked, then woe to me, for my 
friends have win the cause, and I am undone. But 
in this, my comfort abides, that I am not wicked. If 
I be righteous, yet will I not lift mine head ; — that is, 
if the Lord be trying me as a righteous man, I know 
it is but to humble me, and I am content it be so ; 
for albeit I were righteous, that is, conscious to 
myself of no wickedness or unrepented sin. yet would 
I not lift up my head before God, or stand out stiffly 
to justify myself. 


1. Out of this last, we see albeit a man be right- 
eous, yet is he not freed from correction, — and here 
stands the dispute between Job and his friends. For 
Job affirmsj that a man indeed may be righteous, and 
yet hardly handled by God's afflicting hand ; but they, 
not having seen the like in their experience, hold the 
contrair; yet Job's ground holds fast. Therefore, let 
those who walk before God in all good consciences, be- 
ware to condemn themselves as guilty of that which sug- 
gestion would say; but rather know, albeit ye walk be- 
fore God in all well-pleasing, yet will ye not be freed 
from the exercise of God's children ; so that by outward 
things, a man may neither know love nor hatred. It 
reproves the rash judgment of many, who say, if they 
were not wicked, God would not strike them so ; and 
yet, all the straiks they have gotten are so gentle, that 
the dearest of God's servants have not been freed from 
the like straiks. Therefore, reprove this rash censure, 
which smells of giving too much credit to Satan, and 
too little to the testimony of God's Spirit and the 
scriptures, which say, that those who are justified by 
faith, may be as hardly handled as others. 

2. "If I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my 
head ;" that is, I know thou would have me humbled, 
and not to lift up my head ; for thy affliction says so. 
Thou would not have me to think of my righteous- 
ness, as one that has found honey, not to eat too much 
of it ; so should I not search out the matter of my 
own praise, or count too highly of my own righteous- 
ness. It lets us see, when the righteous are exercised 
by troubles, it is that they may be humbled, abashed, 
and pride hid from their eyes, kenning that they are 
subject to sin and misery, albeit God pardon them ; 
and it is good that the righteous be exercised with 


chastisements, lest they be hurt with the rotting 
sweetness of earthly things. When God corrects 
thee, know it is to humble thee, and that thou should 
not be proud of thy own righteousness. Say with thy- 
self, when correction comes, God is either humbling 
me or trying me ; for this shalt thou not miss in the 
general, albeit thou cannot find out the particular 
cause : albeit possibly he be switching thee for thy 
impenitency, yet he is humbling. Be sure ye cannot be 
mistaken in one of these two, — that God is either hum- 
bling or trying. Therefore, resolve to strive to give a 
proof of thy faith and humiliation. Many, when they find 
not a stepping-stone whereon to set their foot in trou- 
ble, are like to sink over the ears, and drown. But 
here are two stepping-stones whereon they may stand, 
and by these two they may be keeped up from drowning. 
Presuppose God by troubles were correcting for se- 
curity, and so stirring up to repentance ; yet, if the 
party corrected will fasten his faith, and be humbled, 
it shall bear him out, and serve for a load-star in the 
dark night, to guide him through to heaven. 

3. Job says not here simply, If I be righteous, thou 
art humbling me ; but he says, " I will not lift up my 
head;" that is, I am well content to be humbled, 
and so, will not strive ; and so also will look for an 
out-gate : this thy marking of my sin, and not acquit- 
ting of my iniquity, tells, thou would have me to take 
with it, and, behold, I do it ; and if 1 were righteous, 
yet thou would have me humbled, and I am about to 
be humbled, and therefore thou and I are agreed. 
And so, when I am humbled, an out-gate must be. I 
lift not up my head, therefore thou must raise me up, 
who am humble. It lets us see, that a humble soul 
under exercise, may look for an out-gate : he that lifts 

JOB, CHAP. X. 53 

not up his head in pride, God will lift up his head in 
consolation ; if he abase himself, God shall exalt him 
Here a clear ground of encouragement to the humble, 
and there are sundry promises to back it. God resists 
the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. If, then, 
under sore affliction, thou can find nothing to uphold 
thee, but that thou art humbled, this one stepping- 
stone is enough to hold both thy feet, yea, a rock to 
rest upon : albeit there were a great deep round about 
thee, yet thou may be sure not to drown, but to be 
comforted and relieved. Therefore, haste to humilia- 
tion, ye who would be comforted in trouble: haste to 
take with your sin and unworthiness, if ye would have 
Christ to be your physician and your consolation. 

11 1 am full of confusion." — For all Job's search and 
humbling of himself, yet dolour bides on him ; albeit 
his faith have gotten an out-gate, yet his sense can- 
not see it. Therefore he says, that he is full of con- 
fusion : as if he said, Surely, I cannot rest ; I am 
ashamed of my reckoning ; I stick fast in the briars, 
and cannot win out ; therefore, Lord, see thou my 

1. We see it is possible for a man who has searched 
his own heart, and lighted right on his estate as it is, 
and has seen an out-gate by faith, that yet he cannot 
win to rest in his mind. This is the draught of God 
for keeping low those who are humble, to hold them 
restless ; for willingness to be humble is not enough, 
albeit it be a condescending in the mind, except there 
be a real humility ; for it requires actual humbling, 
and that which may be a press is requisite ; and there- 
fore, the Lord will both humble, and keep on a weight 
upon the mind, to make men really submit, as vo- 
luntarily they submit in their mind, that there may 


be an experimental humiliation, after the mind has 

Wonder nothing then, that after search ye rest un- 
satisfied, but remain in confusion ; for albeit ye have 
resolved to be humble, yet God may make your mind 
restless, so as ye may be weary of the burden of it. 
Albeit the matter be not worth a shilling, yet such 
vexation may remain, as ye get no rest ; but as a mote 
in the eye makes still restless till it be taken out, so 
God can hold you in a business in a little thing, and 
that to work that humiliation which ye are content 
to have, and to make you throughly submissive in 
everything. Think not that God hath not heard you, 
because ye cannot get rest, for herein ye are mistaken, 
seeing Job, accepted of God, and humbled before him, 
is yet restless in his mind, that he may be experi- 
mentally humbled, and patient till the delivery come. 
Though thou be restless, yet know thou may be ac- 
cepted of God ; yea, humble and restless in thy mind, 
forgiven of thy sins, and restless in thy mind ; and 
that for good reasons, to mortify thy sins yet more. 
Therefore mistake not, albeit thou be restless ; but 
ease thy restless mind by laying it over upon God, 
and ease thy wearying mind by drawing in under his 

2. Because he cannot get rest, therefore he is con- 
fused and ashamed in himself: he looks like one 
baized * and come short of his hope ; he blushes like 
a man disappointed. This sense bears in upon him, 
as if he were disappointed, so that neither by search, 
repentance, or humbling of himself, can he find an 
out-gate. It lets us see, that a restless mind, when 
it cannot find satisfaction in the exercise it is under, 

* Confounded. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 55 

-will grow confounded ; and this is a new exercise, and 
a new affliction. As a horse that has run long about 
in the tether, and has fanked* himself, is forced to 
stand still, not knowing what to do, so the restless 
mind, except it sit still, by its own restlessness will 
run about, and grow dizzy. That which is casten, 
will be taken up again, and that which is taken, casten 
down again ; and thus, with changes of this and that, 
the mind grows dizzy, and all seems to run about 
with him, so that he cannot tell whether the earth 
stands or goes about ; and yet, it is but the poor silly 
head which, by turning, is grown confused. 

Seeing this is the exercise of the godly, from rest- 
lessness to be confused also ; and ye are fallen in con- 
fusion, so as ye cannot know whether ye sit, or stand, 
cr lie, be not discouraged, seeing it is an exercise 
suitable to Christians : rather sit down, as a dussie f 
body, at God's feet, so shall thy head be settled, and 
thy confusion shall go. It is your rest to sit still, 
says the Scripture ; but if ye will stir and flichter, J 
like a bird in a cage, afraid of some ravenous beast, 
which by flichtering from side to side falls into the 
beast's claws, while as by sitting still in the midst of 
the cage, it would have been safe ; so the restless soul 
by fleeing of danger, puts itself nearer hand ; it gets 
a scratched skin, wounds, and sores, which by quiet 
sitting still it would have eschewed. If thou cannot 
take rest till thou have drawn on confusion, and art 
become so giddy, as thou knows not what to do, then 
cower down at God's feet, and lay over thy perplexed 
mind upon him, so shall he give his beloved rest, 
sleep, and contentment. 

3. "What doeth Job in this case ? He turns him to 

* Entangled. t Docile. J Flutter. 


God by prayer, and says, Lord, see my afflictions. It 
lets us see, that the only out-gate in confusion is 
prayer. Therefore, go speak to God, albeit thou hast 
no skill what to say, for there is not another out -gate 
for a perplexed mind. " Ye people, pour out your 
heart to God at all times ; he is a very present help 
in the time of trouble." If ye will do this with any 
eye to the goodness and mercy of God, ye shall find 
ease and out-gate, or at least, ye shall go away better 
from prayer than ye came ; your girths shall be some- 
what slacked. Therefore follow this practice of the 
saints, and ride this ford which many have ridden 
before you. " I called upon the Lord, and he heard 
me," (Psalm xxxiv. 4). Read also the 107th Psalm, 
and ye shall see how many perplexities the kirk is 
driven to, that they may call upon God ; and when 
they call, they are heard. It is said, they wandered 
in the wilderness, and cried, and were heard : they 
were bound in the prison, and the iron went into their 
soul, and they cried, and were heard : they forgot to 
eat their meat, loathed their meat ; they are in 
trouble, as tossed by the sea ; they stagger and reel 
like drunken men, whiles lifted up to heaven, whiles 
cast down in the deeps ; and when they cry, the Lord 

Let the afflicted use prayer before they be con- 
fused, or at least, after confusion ; and if ye find that 
prayer and wrestling ease the mind, follow prayer the 
faster, and use it the ofter ; and leave not off the ex- 
ercise of prayer, seeing ye win your meat by this 
craft of begging. Give it not over ; but when ye 
would have comfort, out-gate, or success, go always 
to God, for all his strait dealing is to drive you to 
him — as superiors deal with their vassals ; cast fiwgs, 

JOB, CHAP. X. 57 

to catch them, and bring them in their reverence to 
nurture them ; and if they yield and come in, they 
handle them courteously ; but if they remain still un- 
reasonable, hold still a cavil in their teeth, till they 
fall and yield, and then shew courtesy. Now there 
is no more generous and noble-minded superior than 
God. When any seek to him, he seeks no vantage 
of them, but he will bridle and bind, to force them 
to acknowledge him ; and if they seek in to him, he 
will pity, for it is his nature to pity poor afflicted and 
confused souls, when they seek in to him. Be not 
thou like the horse or mule, whose mouth must be 
holden by bridle and bitt, else God shall bind and 
bridle foot and hand, and lay on, till ye be forced to 
stand. Therefore in time make your prayer to him 
while he may be found, and surely, in the flood of 
great waters it shall not come near you. 

4. " See thou my affliction." — He speaks as if God 
looked not. It lets us see, that those in affliction 
cannot see God pitying or looking on them, for if they 
knew that he saw, they would also know his helpful 
and pitiful eye ; for when God looks to his own, it is 
aye in pity. Albeit thy sense say, that God looks 
not, yet know by the rule of faith, that God looks on 
thy affliction. Labour to overcome sense, and prove 
that God looks on, when ye get grace to hold out 
your sores to him ; and if ye be persuaded that he 
sees and looks upon your trouble, ye may also be per- 
suaded that there is pity in him ; and if ye be per- 
suaded that he looks with pity, ye may also be per- 
suaded that he is preparing a remedy. 

Verse 16. " For it increaseth ;" — that is, trouble 
grows more. This conference with his friends, has 
diverted his mind from his present trouble, and made 


Lis thoughts run a little in another channel, and not 
to think on his dolour as he did. It shews, that di- 
verting of the mind in sharpest troubles, is a mean 
to mitigate a little ; for -were the mind never so 
troubled, let it be diverted, and ease comes, -which 
hindcreth the seething of the mind. Job's dispute 
with his friends makes, that his mind is not throughly 
dipped in into all his dolours, but that they are slack- 
ened ; yet now they increase, and turn back upon him, 
when he finds no out-gate ; and it teaches us, that as 
in a sickness or fever, the bodily pain will relent and 
increase again by fits, so, in the fever of the mind, 
there will be a relenting and a growing of the trouble, 
as if trouble were, and came back again, or is more 
sharply apprehended : which is all one as when the 
sea is flowing, the waves come on the shore a great 
deal, and incontinent run back ; and yet, at the next 
dash it flows an ell farther, as if it were fetching a 
race to come farther : so are the troubles of the mind. 
Therefore David compares troubles to waters, while 
he says, " All thy waves have gone over me." Let 
this be one ease to thee, to see thy perplexed case 
painted out in Job's person, and so know thou art 
not marrowless * in thy exercise, but that the dearest 
children of God have seemed to themselves overflowed 
in the same flood-gate, and to have sunken in deep 

2. " Thou huntest me as a fierce lion." — This is 
not by way of complaint, but the expression of his 
sense : for he being now slaiked, is like a bruised lamb 
win out of the lion's paws, that seems to be eased, 
because it is win out of grips ; and when it is pursued 
again, by reason of the bruised bones, is not able to 

* Companionless. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 59 

fly. So counts Job himself before God, as a bruised 
lamb that is win away, and ere it be aware, is again 
hinted * up in his claws, and is sorer bruised than it 
was before ; so thinks Job of himself. As if he said, 
Lord, albeit I know well thou art my merciful father, 
yet thou seems to handle me, as a lion doth a silly 
tender prey, that takes it and toys with it ; lets it go, 
and takes it again, and grips it harder. It lets us 
see, albeit the Lord be a meek and merciful father 
to his own, yet in trouble and inward exercise he 
seems terrible like a lion. Oh, what terror, when 
God is any way apprehended ! albeit he come as a 
father with a little rod, how fearful is he ! What 
need then have we to walk circumspectly? If God 
be so fearful and terrible in his mercy, how terrible 
must he be in his wrath, when he seems to devour 
the godly 1 "What is the case of the desperate per- 
sons ? Doubtless they apprehended such terror in 
God, that heaven glowms,t the earth seems to swal- 
low them up ; they think they are going to the pit, 
and are like to be swallowed up. His anger appre- 
hended is more terrible than hell. Those who know 
but a little of God's terror, know this to be true. 
Paul says, " Knowing the terror of the Lord, we per- 
suade men ;" and Hezekiah in his complaint says, 
" Thou runnest upon me like a fierce lion, to break all 
my bones : from day unto night wilt thou make an end 
of me ! M When thou art thus dealt with, be not over- 
fleyed ;J conclude not as sense says, for the Lord can 
both break and bind up, bring down to death and 
bring back again ; he can bruise, as a lion doth the 
prey, and send whole away again. 

" And again thou shewcst thyself marvellous." 

* Snatched. t Frowns. * Too much afraid. 


Albeit the Lord seems to him terrible as a lion, yet 
still he talks on to him, to teach us, when God seems 
to us a lion, yet still to talk on to him, count him not 
a foe but a friend ; commune on with him, for under 
communing he will devour none. The way to keep 
off ruin is, to keep conference with God, tell him what 
we fear and what we feel, and what sense says, so shall 
we not give up the ghost, nor despair. 

While he says that God shews himself marvellous, 
he lets us see two things : 

1. That he could not apprehend the deep of dolour 
ere it came, for when it came, he wondered at it, as 
a thing surpassing his fore-apprehension ; for men use 
not to wonder, except it out-reach their conception or 
fore-apprehension. We see when God exercises, we 
will be otherwise handled than we trow, more strictly 
exercised than ever we fore-conceived ; it will be mar- 
vellous in comparison with that which we apprehended. 
What is the reason of many men's plunges and per- 
plexities, but because they see not what God means, 
and the exercise of sense is sharper than their fore- 
apprehension ; and that is now set before their eyes, 
and sensibly felt by them, which they never foresaw 
or fore-thought. 

2. We see God is marvellous in afflicting those on 
whom he is pleased to shew his power, as a judge, ac- 
cording to his wisdom, devises exquisite tortures to 
torment those whose life he would have kept in. Yet 
the wisest man's wit is short to devise tortures, but 
God is marvellous ; for he can by touching one of the 
veins, make a marvellous torment ; or by a little stone 
in the kidneys, or by some humour in the joints, or 
by a fever, or by a megrim in the head, or by a fester 
in the foot, he can make a torment inexpressible. And 

JOB, CHAP. X. 61 

if God can do so by way of fatherly chastisement, what 
shall it be, when he exercises his wits to torment the 
damned in hell % Fools trow, that the torment of the 
damned in hell-fire shall be nothing as it is said be- 
cause, say they, there is no material fire in hell, and 
fire cannot affect the mind, and so, no torment. But 
the Scripture has not told all ; but as never eye saw, 
nor ears heard, nor ever entered in the heart of man 
to conceive what God has prepared for them that love 
him ; so eye never saw, nor ears heard, nor heart con- 
ceived, what God has prepared for them that hate him. 
What God has prepared for haters of him, who are 
set to work their own will, and misknow God, never 
mind could think upon the thousandth part of their 
torment. For if by the ague in the tooth there be 
such torment, what shaU it be when torment is on all 
the body, and the body is made durable and strong to 
bear it; upholden without meat, to bear all, and the 
torment of the mind more than of their body ; the soul 
and body cursing each other, that ever they knew each 
other? Therefore, while ye are in the way, agree 
with your adversary. And consider this, ye who forget 
God, lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to 
deliver you ; for here shall ye feel the lion's paw, that 
rends into so many parts, and so, multiplies your pain. 
Consider it, that in time ye may seek reconciliation. 
God persuade you, lest this advertisement make your 
punishment more. 



Verse 17, " Thou rene west thy witnesses against me, and increasost 
thine indignation upon me ; changes and war are 
against me. 
18. Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the 
womb ? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye 
had seen me F 

Job is fallen again into complaint, and here he seeks 
out of sense ; and being under temptation, gives vent 
to suggestions, and lets sense speak instead of faith. 
His sense says, that God by his sore strokes seems to 
confirm his advisers, as if he were leading witness 
against him in anger, and said that Job was the man 
his friends called him. 

" Thou renewest thy witness" — as if he said, When 
I deny wickedness, thy renewing of witnesses to prove 
that I am not in love with thee, but highly displeased, 
and that thy indignation grows, and that still thou 
speakest bitter things against me (verse 17). Then he 
breaks forth in a fit of impatiency and bitter passion, 
his fleshly part having prevailed over him ; as if he 
said, I am sorry that ever I was born, that my mother 
brought me forth, or that I lived longer than I was 
born, that so I might have been as if I had not been 
(verses 18, 19). 

1. " Thou renewest thy witness," — He calls the con- 
tinuance and renewing of his dolour and grief, a lead- 
ing of witness against him ; which shews, that when 
faith would fain comfort itself by the word and cove- 
nant, sense uses to lead witness to disprove faith, 
taking arguments from present disposition. This is 
a very hard conflict of faith with sense. "When faith 


not only -wants sense, but lias contrary sense to that 
while it believes, then it is a hard strait; as when 
faith says, God loves ; and sense says, Strokes prove 
the contrary, and that the believer's case is not such, 
as he holds himself in hand. 

Be prepared for the like exercise, and to stand out 
in the like battle ; and trust not sense in the day of 
trial. But when trial is sent to sift, sense brings out 
all the forces, and says all that can be said ; and 
when sense has said what it can, and faith stands out, 
then faith is made more precious than fine gold. 
Therefore, ye who are racked with your daily run- 
ning issues of sin, when ye would believe in God, be 
not driven from him, knowing that ye have liberty 
to come in to Christ, when ye are like to be holden 
in the law's grips ; and if any be welcome, it is the 
soul labouring under the sense of sin ; yea, the secure 
and the proud may not bide away from Christ, but 
must go to him, for they have an errand to him to 
take away their security, and to make them humble, 
and more light to see themselves. But especially those 
who are handled hotly by the law, and feel the 
wickedness of their own heart, to be led as witness to 
prove them unhallowed, let them cleave fast unto 
Christ, and fro not from him for all the tentations ; 
for sense is juggled and embittered by tentation. 
Therefore, trow not the voice of a liar, but the voice 
of the word, which says, that those who are fled fur 
refuse to Christ, shall have strong consolation. 

2. Let us see what are the witnesses that sense 
leads against faith. The strongest witnesses are rods. 
Checks and challenge of conscience, estimation of 
others who called him a hypocrite, — yet all are false 
witnesses; — the chiefest witnesses are rods. They 


say, That man is wicked, and God corrects in in- 
dignation. These specially seem to speak from God, 
because the Scripture says, " Is there any evil in the 
city that the Lord has not done ?" Rods speak most 
plainly for misbelief, and against faith. Know then, 
that when crosses, tortures, miseries, and vexations 
worldly, come to militate as an host of men against you, 
and say, that God has no pleasure in you, whom he 
so vexes, hearken not to such witnesses, because God 
has told us, that whom he loves, he rebukes and 
chastises. And so, if the rod speak for God, it must 
speak love. He loves you, and has no will that ye 
should perish, and therefore must use rods to mortify 
your corruptions ; and the rods, when they come, say 
only, We are the Lord's visitation, to testify, that 
God is come to see what ye are doing ; and from the 
time he sees evil in you, ordains that we should scourge 
it off you. Ye are in danger, and growing secure, 
and we are the Lord's messengers to sharpen your 
prayer, to put by an evil hour, and to make you spend 
the time better than otherwise you would do. Thus 
are rods messengers of God, come from him for 
good. But when men hearken not to this, but to 
suggestions, then Satan speaks what the rod seems to 
say, and not what it says in substance. Therefore, 
take the testimony from the word, else thou shalt be 
deceived: and whatever false witness would loosen 
faith, hearken not to it, but know, that sense can be 
juo-gled and depone falsely, and trow it no more than 
the deposition of a hard rod. And whatever sense, 
Satan, the rod, or on-Lookers say, trow them not ; for 
if God liked to let out his wrath, lie might at a clap 
Bhut vou in the pit. Therefore for strokes let never 
a living man complain, for as long as life is kept in, 

JOB. CHAP. X. 65 

strokes are only to draw in to God, and to fly wrath 
that is coming. 

3. Another point of the witnesses deposition is, that 
the rod seems to say, it is wrath or indignation. We 
see strokes are heavy, but nothing so heavy as wrath 
or indignation, when it is apprehended. A soul re- 
conciled to God, cares not for straiks, if wrath be away; 
but if it see wrath with the straiks, then it is heavy. 
It can abide anything but wrath. Therefore David 
says, " Correct me not in thy wrath ;" for that ate up 
his bones, dried up his moisture as the drouth of 
summer. It is a sharp-pointed rod, when there is 
fear of indignation; and those under the sense of 
wrath are specially to be pitied. Ye who fear and 
find wrath, albeit God speak not to you, but strike, 
yet speak ye to him, as Job here tells God, that he 
fears his indignation be increased. 

4. " Changes and wars are upon me." — He had di- 
versity of onsets, hosts of adversaries and powers, that 
concur to beat him down ; and therefore, by a com- 
parison he expresses yet more his anguishes, having 
apprehended his estate to be, as when new and fresh 
onsets are made in battle, by fresh soldiers against a 
beaten party. And this lets us see, that exercised 
minds have a battle wherein they are contrary parties, 
faith sustaining and holding out, and troubles and ten- 
tations making the onset. The party, defender, thinks 
that his overthrow is sought, and the matter of con- 
test is about his life. The fits of war are, Satan with 
one onset, the world with another, God with rods 
on the third hand — and these all use variety of changes 
and assays, whiles one way, whiles another ; and yet, 
God having in all a supporting hand of the party de- 
fender, when he is laying on with his other hand. 



Albeit the party stricken marks only tlie striking hand 
of God, yet he lias also a supporting hand which he 
sees not ; but if he considered with himself, he would 
say, How is it that I have so many strong and power- 
ful enemies, and such hard onsets, and yet am sup- 
ported to bear out ? If he saw this, doubtless, albeit 
God seem my party, yet his supporting hand bears 
up. But he is like a fleyed* body, who marks not 
this, but only the strokes. 

5. In all these onsets he had changes, whilst their 
evils set on ; whiles one or other, whiles all set on to- 
gether. He was like one wading a water on an un- 
even ground : he goes in, and finds it deep, and up 
again ; and he finds a bank of sand, and then a new 
deep again. So up and down wades he on in this 
affliction, this tentation setting on now, and then that. 
Wonder not to find changes, for they are kindly. 

6. " Wars and hosts." — A part of his exercise was, 
to have his parties mustered before him at once : God, 
the world, his friends, sense of indignation, and sins 
bypast which he thought were forgiven, all fly in his 
throat together. Here is the peril of giving over, 
when the whole host is against him. Forasoul to stand 
out at such a time, is a special point of faith's strength, 
when nothing but the bare letter of the scripture is 
for it, and all parties as an host against it. In such 
a case, remember that stronger is He that is in you, 
than he who is in the world. Stick fast by the bare 
letter of the scripture, when God, Satan, men are 
against you, and hold fast this word of scripture, " All 
things work together for the weal of them that love 
God ;" or any other place that makes for you ; so shall 
ye stand solid, as on a rock, albeit the blast be sore. 

* Frightened. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 67 

If possibly the godly stagger at sucli a thick shower 
of hail, or -when all their enemies come about them 
like bees, thicker than the motty sun, and tentations 
fly thick as midges, what wonder if ye be set aback? 

7. But what is Job's help in this sore onset ? — that 
he is speaking to God, and telling him his case : for he 
savs to him, " Thou renewest thy witnesses against 
me, and increases! thine indignation upon me; changes 
and war are against me." It lets us see, albeit our 
exercise were never so hard, and parties never so strong, 
yet let faith ever have recourse to God, for there is no 
refuge but to him. Tell him the deposition of the 
witness, that he may refute all ; and beware to leave 
speaking to God, for that is Job's wreck, as the next 
words show. 

Verse 18. ;; therefore then hast thou brought me 
forth out of the womb ? Oh that I had given up the 
ghost, and no eye had seen me !" — From once his eye 
falls off God, incontinent he falls in a passion and fit 
of impatience ; for looking on the host against him, he 
turns his back upon God, and utters unbeseeming 
words, and asks, why God made him thus miserable. 
And yet, this is but an agony and fever that will have 
a cool ; and yet it is not to be excused. " Oh that I 
had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me !" Oh 
that when my mother bore me, I had expired, or been 
tane from her womb to the grave ; then had mine 
eyes been hid from all trouble ! Job speaks never one 
right word here, but all his words are like his ravings 
in a fever, and the voice of his corrupt sense. And 
now has he gotten such a wound by his adversaries, 
that he is once driven into the mire, and breaks out 
in that which became him not — and no wonder, when 
his body was running with boils, scabs, vermin ; liv- 


ing and yet rotting ; tossed in his soul, like to be shot* 
from God, and all byganes turned in a contrair. Yet 
this excuses not his sin. 

1. See here the force of dolour and pain. It so 
takes up his mind, that it lets him think on nothing 
beside. And ye -who have the experience of pain, 
know that it will transport the mind in the time of it, 
that ye can only think upon pain, pain, and more pain; 
pain involving itself as a flame of fire, returning back 
upon itself, so that the party under pain can think of 
no other thing. Therefore, spend the time of health 
and ease well. In your best wit, health, strength, 
peace, prosperity, put over the work of repentance, 
and settle it before pain come on; for when pain comes, 
there is no leisure to repent ; yea, no mind of sin, God, 
heaven or hell will be, but still mind of pain. Re- 
pentance requires a whole young man in his finest wit, 
health, strength, ease, prosperity, for repentance will 
take up the whole man within and without ; and 
therefore they who think to repent when they grow 
sick or sore, Satan has deceived them, that they should 
not repent at all. Repent when ye may, else ye shall 
not get leave to repent when ye would. In pain, fix 
your eye on God, and cry for faith and patience to 
bear out. Hold your mind off your pain as far as ye 
may, and on God, lest your passion break out. 

2. See here what frailty is in the strongest ! Job 
has long foughten mightily ; yet now, being cowed 
and overset, he becomes weak in the conflict, and 
staggers, and falls. It lets us see man's frailty by the 
continuance of sorrow. Therefore let never man lean 
to his own strength, albeit he had never so many ex- 
periences ; for if there be not new strength and furni- 

» Thrust 

JOB, CHAP. X. 09 

ture, there "will be no out-bearing. But lippen* to 
Him who quickens the dead, and calls things that are 
not, as if they were ; lippen to God only, and not on 
any other strength. And when thou seest others pain- 
ed and perplexed, and callest them abject, cease, and 
rather pity them, for thou would rather do worse thy- 
self than better, if thou were not supported: learn 
compassion on the sick and pained, and suspect your- 
self. And I bid you not put" down your own faith, 
but put down your own courage and strength natural, 
and say with yourself, If God support not, I shall be 
also weak as any. And from the experience of others' 
weakness, give over confidence in your own strength ; 
then, your weakness being renounced, it is God's time 
to supply. 

3. In Job also, mark here the power of tentation 
and unmortified corruption. Corruption and sinful- 
ness kythe in holiest Job. Was it not a foolish 
speech in Job, to say, Wherefore hast thou brought 
me forth ? seeing God might have answered, Not for 
thy ease and satisfaction of thy humours, Job, but 
for another end : not to give thee thine own will, but 
for my own glory ; and if I get glory, I will not spare 
to pain thee yet more. Therefore this was a wild 
tale of raving in Job ; and yet, it is but the voice of 
his sense — Job's speech in his old man ; not all Job, 
but Job in part only, and the words of his corrupt 
sense. Know then, that in the holiest are corrup- 
tion and blemishes, that all flesh may become guilty 
before God. If the press had been taken off Job be- 
fore his venom was squeezed out of him, we might 
have thought of him as a sinless man, especially when 
he had gotten such a testimony of God, that he was 
* Trust. 


a righteous man, and upright, and none like him on 
the face of the earth. If this had not kythed, we 
might have thought Job a man fully renewed : and 
yet we see Job is but renewed in part ; and that a 
hard press will kythe corruption, and a pressure of 
God's thumb will cause rottenness come out. It lets 
us also see, that never a man from the beginning was 
saved by his own righteousness or holiness, for Job 
was not so saved ; for here was a cause sufficient to 
have caused God cast the bargain of works. But 
because the covenant of grace could not be broken, 
therefore this fault is forgiven in Job ; and Job has 
here ado with a merciful father, who took him not 
at the shoot, or in his passion, but after this, brought 
him to himself, and made him to know with whom 
he had ado. When thou seemest all the holiest, 
know there is much rotten stuff in thee ; and ye who 
think that ye are meek and patient, and can bear 
trouble well, know ye were never yet afraid to the 
yondmost.* A little press would make your rotten- 
ness kythe, an ounce weight more would make you 
stagger ; yea, the least thing may make you that ye 
can neither read, pray, nor confer, but fret and fume 
in your miscontentment, and break out in mad pas- 
sions : and suppose your passions kythe not, yet know 
that they are. 

4. Consider what guiltiness is in this passion and 
reasonless speech of Job's : " Wherefore brought thou 
me forth?" It is a limiting of God's work, a re- 
proving of God's work, a denying to God the glory 
of his work ; a finding fault with God's providence, 
a casting down of all that God had done to him or 
by him ; for many get good of Job's life, and good 
* Uttermost. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 71 

by Job's trouble, yet he casts all down here. This 
sin, if it were followed, would drive him to hell ; but 
because it is a passion, and beyond his purpose, which 
he blames, therefore we follow it not. Always mark 
ye from it how deeply a passion will involve a man 
in guiltiness, when once it does break forth but a 
little. Therefore beware of passion ; and excuse not 
yourself, that because ye are naturally passionate, there- 
fore ye take liberty to break out against God, or your 
neighbour ; for ye may as well say, " I am naturally 
a devil's limb ;" the one may be your challenge as 
well as the other, and so, not an excuse, for that ex- 
cuse blackens yet more. If any should say, " I have 
it by nature, or in fashion, or custom," then I say, it 
is so much the worse ; for that which is customary, 
daily, and ordinary, is worse than that which breaks 
out but now and then. Therefore, if thou find thy- 
self passionate, love thyself so much the worse ; loathe 
thyself, and seek to have that furious devil casten 
out that makes thee bite all that are about thee, and 
pray to be free of the slavery of that furious beast 
which will not quit thee. Albeit possibly thou would 
not be a slave to it, yet it gets many a borrowed 
darg * of thee. 

5. See how reasonless and witless Job's passion is : 
" Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of 
the womb \ n He speirs at God whereto he made 
him thus, as if all the end of God's creating of him 
had been to cocker him, and hold him up, like an 
egg on a cake. It shews that passion is reasonless ; 
and if any will crave a reason of passion, they crave 
a reason of that which is reasonless. 

6. We see Job can draw no comfort to himself from 

* Labour, task. 


any thing that is befallen him in this life, or from any 
good that he has done, nor from any thing God has 
done to him ; so doth passion blind men, in all that 
God has done to them, or by them. We see that in 
the day of trial, from bygone experiences, we may 
find no comfort. Experience is good when use can 
be had of it, but an assay may be such, as all former 
experience may be swallowed up ; yea, so hot a chase, 
that we can make no use of wit, nor draw comfort 
from former experiences. Lean no weight upon ex- 
perience : let it help, but lean not to it ; for ye will 
tyne the book of register, and will be so tane up with 
pain, that ye cannot read one line of it, but the book 
of experience will be a closed book. But lean on this 
only, " The Lord has spoken ;" and with David, 
" Take never thy word out of my mouth." Old by- 
ganes help whiles, but not always. It must be fresh 
furniture that will do thy turn : that thou may have 
it, depend upon God at all times, and in every case. 

7. Out of Job's error, learn we, whatever comes 
on us, rue we never that we are in life. No dolour 
should make us repent our being in life, or make us 
seek to die, else our sin is so much the greater, as we 
contravene God's command. Rather make use of our 
life. Cast not away God's gifts, but seek to make 
use of them. Say not, it is better never to have had 
children or riches, than to have had them, and then 
to be taken away, for God has wise reasons both for 
giving and taking. Be not so foolish as to misinter- 
pret any past work or gift of God. 

Verse 20. " Are not my days few 1 cease then, and 
let me alone, that I may take comfort a little." — 
Here Job falls from passion, and takes up himself, 
and begins to pray, and exercise his faith, and speak 

job, chap. x. 73 

in other terms. As if he said, Lord, my days are 
short, let me draw my end ; lend me yet life a little ; 
give me comfort ere I die, that I may speak to thee 
in terms. And thus the passion and braid* is past by. 
It lets us see, that the passions of the godly last not, 
for there is a spirit in them that draws that up : if 
they break out, they go not on. In this, they differ 
from the wicked, that that which is the wicked's 
daily life, they do it in a fit, or in a passion. The 
wicked are daily departers from God, strangers from 
the womb ; but the godly consider their ways, and 
turn their feet into the way of God's commandments. 
The wicked's evil is in habit, the godly's in passion. 
The wicked are not in their cold blood, what the godly 
are in their distemper. 

1. Such as see the godly fall in a passion, and from 
that would excuse their own daily wickedness, be- 
cause the godly are overtaken, know they are far 
mistaken ; for the lecherous man is so in resolution, 
the drunkard and brawler are so in resolution, but 
the godly is stolen off his feet only in a passion or fit. 
Now, there is great odds betwixt a fit and a resolu- 
tion ; betwixt falling, and dabbling and wallowing in 
the mire. The godly may fall into an act of filthi- 
ness, injustice, or other offences, and rise again ; but 
the other falls, wallows, and rises not. 

2. We see that the spirit and grace which is in 
God's children, suffers them not to lie or go away 
with the tentation, but reclaim them. The seed of 
God is in them, therefore they continue not in sin. 
If they be overheyed,t they are turned hame at once. 
Job has done a great fault, yet when he is wrong, he 
runs not away, but bides, and prays, and in substance 

* Assault. t Called back. 


acknowledges his wrong, and retreats his saying: see- 
ing he has failed in loathing of his life, now he craves 
his life again, that he may speak advisedly before he 
go to the pit of death. 

" Before I go whence I shall not return." — He de- 
scribes here the grave, for he knew his soul would go to 
heaven ; as hereafter he says, that with his eyes he shall 
see his Redeemer. But here he means of his body, for 
he knew his body would rot. As if he said, Before 
my body go to the "worms, and my ears and eyes 
be closed, lend me yet a little the use of them, that I 
may praise and honour Thee, and then lay them 
down ; for the ugly devouring grave will neither let 
me pray, repent, nor teach others, nor praise thee : 
lend me time, to shew what I should be, and may not 
be as I am in this my last passion. 

1. We see, a short ease in a sharp trouble is a 
great benefit. When we have so great ease, where 
is our acknowledgment of it \ Not only do the most 
part not make use of their ease, but by the contrair, 
employ their ease and prosperity in serving of Satan 
and their lusts. But they who want health, and find 
pain, would count ease or relenting a great benefit. 

2. We see that God gives ease in this life, because 
it is short and troublesome ; he mixes pain with ease, 
so that the gout, gravel, throb but whiles, not always, 
that they may get leave to cry to God. The pains 
of a woman's birth come in showers, that the silly 
creature may draw the breath when ease is given, and 
not tyne* her wits by constant growing pain. Employ 
the time of ease well, which is given as a breathing 
time in pain, for ease when it comes, makes pain more 

* Lose. 

JOB, CHAP. X. 75 

3. " To the land of darkness." — See what death is 
in itself, when it is looked on by itself. It is a land 
of darkness ; for man lieth in the earth, and his 
bowels are filled with worms, his bones turn into dust, 
his flesh into slime, and so death is a comfortless 
estate in itself. 

4. Therefore death is not to be looked on by itself, 
but with the seasoning of it, and in Christ the through- 
get* of it ; for the grave is ugly when it is not looked 
on in Christ. Look to it in Christ, that as he came 
through death, so may we; and be acquaint with death 
not as a foe, but as a friend. 

Now ye have heard Job's exercise and weakness, to 
teach you to wrestle and handle your weapons, and 
when ye break out, shortly to gather yourself; for 
the shorter way ye go afield, ye will win the sooner 

* Thoroughfare. 




Zephaniah hi. 1, 2. 

" 1. Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, woe to the robbing 
city ! 

" 2. She heard not the voice ; she received not correction ; she 
trusted not in the Lord j she drew not near to her God." 

To bring Jerusalem to repentance, the prophet is 
sent forth to denounce woe and wrath against it. He 
charges Jerusalem with seven iniquities; three of 
them against the law, and four against the gospel, or 
offer of mercy. 

The first sin against the law he charges the city 
with, is gluttony, for he says, " Woe to thee, filthy ;" 
or rather (as the original has it) the gluttonous or 
gorb f city ; for the word that is here used, is bor- 
rowed from the crop of a fowl, or the gut-pock of a 
fish : whereby he reproves all sort of pleasure-taking 
in pampering of the body in meat, drink, gorgeous 
apparel, unlawful lusts, and intemperance. The next 

* Voracious. 

SERMON ON ZEPH. III. 1, 2. 77 

sin against the law, is their profaning and abusing of 
religion, the handling of holy things with unhal- 
lowed hands ; and therefore he calls them a polluted 
or profane city. The third sin he lays to their charge, 
is oppression ; — deceiving one another, greedy ex- 
torting, and taking vantage one of another ; therefore 
he calls them the oppressing city. 

Their sins against the gospel or offer of mercy were 
these : First, The not obeying of the Lord's voice ; 
for when the Lord sent his messengers to them, ris- 
ing up early, and sending his servants the prophets 
to them, and told them their faults, they obeyed not 
the Lord's voice. The next sin against the offer of 
mercy, is their not receiving of correction, not amend- 
ing of their life, bv the Lord's fatherlv rods. Their 
third sin against the offer of mercy, is that when the 
Lord made fair promises and gracious, they trusted 
him not, and cared not for his promises. Their fourth 
sin against the offer of mercy was, that the Lord drew 
near to them, but they refused to have communion 
with him ; they would not draw near to him. Which 
sins against the law and offer of mercy, when they 
are joined together, are laved forth here as the just 
reasons of the denouncing woe — woe for gluttony, woe 
for profaning God's ordinances, woe for injury to 
their neighbour, woe for not obeying God's voice, 
woe for not amending by corrections, woe for not 
trusting in God, and woe for not drawing near him. 

Against what place or people is this woe denounced ? 
It is against Jerusalem, the holy city, the joy of the 
whole earth, the place of God on earth, the place of 
his habitation, of which he said, " This is the place 
of my rest for ever ;" — the place where his -laws and 
holy ordinances were taught and administrated ; the 


place where God was most glorified, where the most 
holy people were, and means to make men holy. Yet 
this city is charged with these seven faults : 

1. With gluttony, for the prophet says, They 
drank their wine in bowls, they stretched themselves 
upon their beds of ivory, they sang unto viol and 
harp, and remembered not the affliction of Joseph ; 
they neighed after their neighbours' wives, as fed 
horses ; their eyes were full of adultery, their eyes 
were as windows to draw in whorish objects, they 
denied to themselves no unclean pleasures. 2. And 
for regard of God's holy ordinances, who but they ? — 
for they gathered daily to the temple, offered their 
sacrifices, feasted before the Lord, and came to all 
the solemnities of the Lord's worship, and cried out, 
" The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord 
are we I 1 ' Yet here they are called polluted ; their 
prayers, praises, sacrifices, hearing of the law, feasts, 
fasts, sabbath, whatever they meddled with are de- 
filed. 3. They are charged with oppression in over- 
reaching their neighbours, either by scant measure, 
false weight, unrighteous dealing, every one seeking 
a kinsh * of his neighbour ; therefore the prophet 
says, " Let not a brother trust in a brother, for every 
brother will supplant." They wronged one another 
either in body, goods, or good name, and he who might 
be most master overthrew his neighbour. Then these 
former sins are aggravated by eiking-to other four 
sins : 1. Disobeying of the advertisements of God's 
word— as if the Lord had said, I have no wytcf of 
their faults, neither I nor my servants ; for I told 
them their faults, directed them what they should 
do, and enjoined them to cease from profanity. 2. 

* Twist or wrench — an unfair advantage. f Blame. 

ZEPHANIAH III. 1, 2. 79 

And besides directions, I have not spared sufficient 
rods, whereby they might well have known that I 
was angry at their faults : but for all my rods, they 
are never a whit the better. Whereto then should 
I strike them more ? they will revolt still : albeit I 
make them sick with smiting, yet they will not re- 
turn to me. 3. And yet farther to allure them to 
repent and turn in, I have made them many a fair 
promise ; but they have neither believed me, nor 
judged me faithful, but counted me one who had said 
more than I was minded to perform. 4. And when 
yet I desired to cultivate their kindness, and drew 
warmly to them, fluttered over them, and gathered 
them in, as a hen doth her chickens under her wings, 
yet they would not ; therefore woe unto them ! Now, 
what a woe is this 1 It is not like man's woe, for when 
a man says " woe" unto himself, he acknowledges his 
desert ; takes with his fault and deserved punishment, 
that he may eschew. But this woe is God's woe, even 
the broad curse of God, the terrifying curse of God, 
the woe that Christ denounced against the Scribes 
and Pharisees. This woe is the full vial of God's 
wrath, the malediction of God, the great curse of 
God, that cleaves to them for their pollution, profa- 
nity, oppression, and not obeying of God's voice. Let 
us make use of this. 

Doctrine 1. This woe is denounced against Jeru- 
salem, who thought no such thing her due, neither 
knew herself to be in so miserable a case, neither 
would take with it ; and therefore the prophet Zeph- 
aniah must be sent with this message unto them, to 
tell them of their sin and misery, and charge them 
with it : for they thought they but used the creatures 
as they had liberty ; and for God's ordinances, they 


were diligent enough in the use of them ; and for their 
neighbours, they thought they but used them accord- 
ing to the law. Of this we learn, that they who pro- 
fess themselves to be the people of God, may be lying 
in many gross sins, and yet pleasing themselves with 
their own estate ; not afraid of woe, nor aware of it, 
when it is very near hand them— as the kirks of Asia 
knew not their estate, till Christ caused write epistles 
to their ministers, and bade tell Ephesus that she was 
fallen from her first love ; Sardis, that she was a dead 
kirk, albeit she had a name that she was living ; Lao- 
dicea, that she was lukewarm, while as she thought 
herself rich and increased in all spiritual graces, 
and had need of nothing, when she was both poor, 
miserable, blind, and naked. For this cause the pro- 
phet is bidden lift up his voice like a trumpet, and 
tell Israel their sins, and Jacob their transgressions. 

Seeing people may be lying under a sevenfold curse 
and not know of it, beware lest ye be blessing and 
securing yourselves as if all were well, when the curse 
and judgment of God is at hand. Agree with thy 
adversary quickly, lest he deliver thee to the judge, 
and thou be cast in prison, there to lie till thou pay 
the uttermost farthing. Examine matters well, be- 
cause the heart of man is deceitful above all things, 
and desperately wicked ; who can know it 1 There is 
no man will die on his own assize ; for if men say 
their prayers morning and evening, keep the kirk and 
solemn meetings, and can bide an inquest of their 
neighbours, they think all is well. But we may lie 
very near such persons ; therefore search yourselves, 
nation not worthy to be beloved, lest ye be de- 
ceived, and carried on into a fool's paradise, trowing 
that all is right, when God shall ding you over the 

ZEPHANIAH III. 1. 2. 81 

stair of pre-mnption. See then that ye be not hood- 
winked, and blindly led on to hell. Know what is 
your case ; for it is a sore matter to be lying under 
wrath and at feud with God, and not to know it ; to 
be dodged at the heels with heavy judgments, and 
not to be aware of it ; and to have the spait * of the 
Lord's fury coming over a high hill, running towards 
that road ye are walking in, to sweep you away ere 
ye perceive it. In time then examine yourself, and 
be wise. 

Doct. 2. TTe see it is God who knows Jerusalem's 
works, who censures them ; which lets us see that it 
is not experience, or the conceit and estimation of 
the country, or the opinion that men have of them- 
selves, that is the rule whereby God will have men 
tried ; but he himself will judge men according to 
their works. Therefore He says to Laodicea, " I 
know thy works ;" and in all these epistles, he takes a 
stile to himself, whereby he shews that his censure is 
according to the truth. He is the " Amen." and the 
" Faithful Witness ;" his eyes " are as naming fire ;" 
and therefore he sends out his reproofs as men's dis- 
positions require. 

Seeing men's estate is not to be judged by their own 
estimation or by others', but according to the Lord's 
censure, let all try their carriage by that which he 
says of them in his word, and all the exercises of his 
worship. Speir at thy prayer, what devotion is in thee, 
and it will say, that thy prayers are so coldrife, that 
they cannot pierce up to heaven. Speir at thy con- 
versation among men, what is thy estate, and it will 
tell thee it is coldrife, stubborn, implacable, cankered, 
unmerciful, and has a heart that cannot, repent. Speir 
* Flood. 



what love thou hast to God, and it will be told thee, 
thou can hear his name dishonoured, and care little 
for it ; and thou cares not much how thy children and 
servants grow in knowledge, or fear of God. And if 
thy deeds speak thus, why art thou so secure \ Why 
blessest thou thyself, when thy manners say, that the 
world is more in thy mind than heaven ? when the 
account-book is more perused than the Bible ? when 
the debts that are owing thee are more in thy mind, 
than the debts that thou art owing to God ? What 
is the cause thou can comport with this estate \ It is 
because Satan has no will that the dyvour* read over 
the account-book, or the sinner examine his deeds ; 
and men have no will their deeds be brought to the 
light, but hate the light because it reproves them. Or 
if the minister point at their faults, " Oh !" say they, 
" some men have told him yon of me ; or he suspects 
me." But learn ye to examine yourselves as ye shall 
answer to God, and as ye would be set free that day 
when he shall judge the secrets of all hearts. Let not 
the complaint the Lord makes be made of you, " I 
hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright : no 
man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What 
have I done" (Jer. viii. 6). Therefore every one of you 
speir at yourself, whereon your fear, love, care, grief, 
pleasure is most set ; and if not on God, ye have reason 
to suspect yourself. 

Doct. 3. We see it is Jerusalem, the holy city, 
that is threatened ; even the city which the Lord had 
raised out from among all the nations under heaven, 
to place his name there and privilege, above all others. 
It lets us see, that no profession or privilege external 
will save a people from woe, if they lie in any known 

* Bankrupt. 

ZEPHAXIAH III. 1, 2. 83 

Bin. Say not, " AVe have Abraham to our father ; for 
out of these stones, God can raise up children to Abra- 
ham." Say not, " The temple of the Lord are we. ; ' 
Say not, "We have the Bible, God's oracles, the truth 
truly preached ; for all these privileges are nought, 
except ye amend your manners. What is it that 
Christ has a kirk here, a candlestick erected, a daily 
covered table with bread, a laver to wash in, if use be 
not made of these % Doubtless they shall draw on 
deeper curses, except ye study to approve your hearts 
to God in secret, and order your conversation among 
men. If this ye do not, God shall draw you out among 
hypocrites ; he shall tirr* the visorne off your faces, 
and shew your rottenness to man and angel. Are ye 
dearer to God than Ephesus, Corinth, Laodicea, Je- 
rusalem, whom he overthrew for the abuse of their pri- 
vileges 1 If he has done so to the green tree, what will 
he do to the withered ? If such fair towns and countries 
have been thrown down, let not the sandy hillock of 
Irvine think to be spared ; but that your frequent 
communions, preachings, and solemn meetings, shall 
draw on hotter wrath, except ye mend your manners. 
Your fair profession, coming to hear, and all your dis- 
charging outwardly of the exercises of God's worship, 
shall not save you from the judgments threatened from 
this place, except ye labour to be inwardly, that which 
ye make show of openly. If ye believe this, ye would 
take no rest till a new course were intended. 
Let us come to particulars in the text : 
1. M Woe to the filthy city."— This challenge for 
gluttony lets us see, that God requires sobriety and 
temperance of his people ; that they would study to 
be masters over their lusts, and obtain victory over 

* Strip. 


their appetites, and that the love of their belly make 
them not miscarry. Take heed lest at any time ye be 
oppressed with surfeiting, drunkenness, and the cares 
of this life, lest Christ come on you, like a thief in 
the night. At no time give your belly the will ; drink 
not whereby your wits may be made to totter, let be 
to be beastly ; study to sobriety. If ye had to do to 
speak to some great man, ye would be loath to drink 
mickle for marring of your wits. Far more, seeing 
ye are called to be the temples of the Holy Ghost, 
should ye not possess your vessels in holiness, and be 
moderate in meat, drink, and apparel \ As pilgrims, 
abstain from fleshly lusts, for the Lord allows enough 
that is lawful ; why then should not unlawful things 
be spared ? Therefore be moderate, and more given 
to feed and clothe the soul, than the body ; to seek 
to do God's will, than your own. 

2. We see that sin in man may so prevail, as to 
make man unclean, intemperate, and immoderate ; 
and where this uncleanness and intemperance is, WOE 
is annexed to it. Woe to the gluttonous person who 
has a crop for all, and ingurgitates every thing ! Woe 
to him who pleases himself, and fulfils his lusts, whose 
appetites make him draw on sin ! The poor man will 
say, Where get I to waste or use intemperately ? I 
answer, Thou moderatest in nothing if thou may get 
it ; it is want of money makes thee spare, and when 
thou hast, thou usest it intemperately : thou art in- 
temperate, who art discontent with thy estate, and 
would have more than God allows, and takest in more 
than enough when thou may spare it. Therefore, woe 
unto thee ; fye upon these appetites that draw on the 
curse of God on soul and body ! Woe to the unclean 
person, the fornicator, and adulterer ! Woe to thee, 

ZEPHANIAH III. 1, 2. 85 

who art given to force and pamper thy belly ! Woe 
to the drunkard and tippler ! Woe to thee who art 
given to fleshly ease of body to the hurt of thy soul ! 
Woe to thee that art given to fleshly delights, con- 
tenting thyself with the sow's happiness, and despising 
the pearl hid in the field ! 

" To the polluted." — This woe against the profaners 
of religion and exercises of God's worship, lets us see 
that religion should be kept pure and clean, both for 
the matter and manner of it : it should be holily 
handled, the heart within being holy as the external 
carriage. This people thought the frequenting of 
religious exercises was enough to mend all their faults; 
that the offering of incense and sacrifices appointed 
under the law, cleansed all their faults — as those men 
who now glut themselves in all sorts of sin, and come 
to the communion, thinking that a respite for all by- 
ganes. But God calls such persons, profaners of re- 
ligion. So then, when men lead an evil life, and 
amend not their manners, let them meddle with never 
so holy ordinances, they profane all. The unchaste, 
the intemperate, the malicious, the greedy, or the 
man that is given to any known sin, whatever point 
of religion he puts his hand to, he pollutes it, (Haggai 
ii. 14). He speirs, what if the unholy touch a holy 
thing, will the holy make the unholy clean ? no, but 
the unholy defiles the holy. And so they who are 
lying in sin, and come to preachings, prayers, fasts, 
communions, they defile all ; for to the unbelieving 
man, every thing is unclean, even his mind and his 
conscience are defiled. And to thee who pollutes all 
God's ordinances, woe is pronounced against thee : 
woe to thee for coming to preachings, prayers, com- 
munions ! If then thy coming to God's ordinances 


make thee not better, they make thee worse : there- 
fore study to be purged from every known sin, lest 
thou profane holy exercises ; and that thou hast pro- 
faned them, ask mercy ; run to the fountain, lest thou 
be castcn out as an unclean thing. 

" Woe to the oppressing city." — This denouncing 
of woe against oppression, shews that God requires 
equitable and righteous dealing of neighbour with 
neighbour ; that none should injure one another, but 
that men should live blamelessly and holy, under a 
holy Lawgiver. Here, is not only open oppression, 
but all sorts of injury, even that which is done under 
pretence of laws, forbidden. And where sin and ten- 
tation so prevail, as injuries mutual are done, there, 
woe is annexed. Therefore covet not that which is 
thy neighbours ; deceive him not in weight, measure, 
price, bargain, neither take any unrighteous vantage ; 
neither wrong thy neighbour in any sort, else woe to 

And now follow the sins against the mercies of 
God : " She obeyed not the voice," (verse 2). This 
challenge for not obeying of the Lord's voice, lets us 
see, that God uses not to condemn or denounce woe 
against a people, till first he have dealt with them 
in the voice of the word, in the mouths of his minis- 
ters and servants ; albeit he uses not to warn those 
without the kirk, but by the voice of his creatures, 
the sun, the moon, summer, winter, fruitful seasons, 
and works of creation ; and if they be not made wise 
by these, he cuts them off. But when his kirk fails, 
he warns them by the voice of his servants : he will 
do nothing, till he reveal it to his servants the pro- 
phets ; God strikes not his people, till he warn them 
by his ministers ; he quarrels them, threatens, and 

ZEPHANIAH III. 1, 2. 87 

denounces woe, ere he bring it on. Tak tent* when 
ye hear your faults rebuked by the word, for the Lord 
will next debate the matter with rods. "Wrath has 
been denounced from this place against all your sins ; 
therefore repent, and read out your own dittay:t indict 
yourselves before God, and reckon what ye have done 
in secret and openly : challenge yourselves in time, 
lest the threatened wrath overtake you. 

We see here, albeit it be God's fashion to warn ere 
he strike, yet when warning is refused, the sin is the 
greater, and the woe is the heavier. He that hears 
his sin reproved, and hearkens not to the voice of the 
Lord to mend it, his sin is the greater, and woe the 
heavier. His sin and woe are bound on him by a 
double hand ; once because he sinned, another time 
because he was warned and went on — therefore a 
double woe. 

" Received not correction." — We see that God with 
his word, useth to join his rod ; before he come on 
with his great judgments, he useth his fatherly rod. 
But when rods and corrections are not made use of, 
the sin is greater, and the woe is doubled. 

Application to Irvine visited with many rods. 
— If when ye have been corrected in body, name, 
goods, souls, and have not mended, know that your sin 
is double, and your woe is double. As for thee who 
art corrected, and the dinnelingj of the rod is yet in 
the flesh, and art studying to amend, I will not say 
that woe abides thee. But if thou hast been cor- 
rected, and art not like to amend, thou hast to fear 
that the axe is laid to the root of the tree, and thou 
shalt be cut down, and cast into the fire. A sore 
matter for a sinner to be corrected, and yet to go 
* Take heed. t Charge, indictment. 1 Tingling. 


light-farrand* under it ; that he will have his plea- 
sure, strike God as he likes ! Woe to that sinner ! 

" She trusted not in the Lord." — This lets us see, 
that God uses to take an assay of his people by fair 
means, promises, and offers of mercy, goodness, and 
bounty, that they may put their trust in him ; but 
when promises of grace to the soul, and benefits to 
the body prevail not, the sin is the more, and the woe 
doubled. How many promises have ye heard, and 
yet are not allured to trust in God, and to love him 1 
Know therefore, that refused promises multiply woes. 

" She drew not near to her God." — This lets us 
see, that the Lord useth, besides the sending of his 
word, rods, and promises, to offer himself and his 
goodness, really and warmly to handle them by his 
benefits, comforts, and good deeds of all sorts. But 
when people refuse this communion with God, and 
give him not a kindly meeting, their sin is doubled, 
and so is the woe. God has drawn near you by his 
benefits and comforts of all sorts : look whether ye 
have drawn near him or no, and sought his kindness, 
or if ye have despised to seek fellowship with him. 
If so be, your sin and woe are doubled. Compare the 
two verses, and we see, the last four challenges are 
for the abuse of mercy, when there are but three 
challenges for the breach of the law — which lets us 
see, that the abuse of mercy deserves woe and hea- 
vier challenges, than the breach of the law. Filth- 
iness, profanity, oppression, blasphemy, are great 
sins ; but not obeying the voice of the Lord, not 
receiving correction, not trusting, and not drawing 
near to God, are greater sins, because the former 
are only breaches of the law, when the latter, are 
* With levity. 

ZEPHAXIAH III. 1, 2. 89 

abuse and contempt of the remedy of the breach of 
the law. 

That God challenges both for the breach of the 
law and abuse of mercy, we see, that the breach of 
the law and abuse of mercy go always together. If a 
professor sin against the one, needs must he sin against 
the other. When thy conscience challenges, it will 
challenge for both. But especially it will challenge 
for abuse of the gospel. It is said, that God shall 
come in flaming fire, and take vengeance on them 
that obey not the gospel, (2 Thess. i. 8). The gos- 
pel commands to believe and repent : when this is 
disobeyed, God is mistrusted, and his offer of mercy 
despised ; therefore the sin of professors is greater 
than the sin of Sodom. Lastly, if these seven sins be 
causes of woe, then the doing of the contrair, is eschew- 
ing of woe. If woe abides the intemperate glutton, 
then no woe to the temperate who give not their flesh 
the will. If woe be to the polluter of God's worship, 
then reverend using of the Lord's ordinances delivers 
from woe. If woe be to the oppressor, then no woe 
to the meek, courteous, equitable dealer. If woe to 
not obeying God's voice, then hearing of the Lord's 
voice, taking with correction, trusting in God, and draw- 
ing near him, deliver both from the sin and woe. 

That thou may eschew this woe, hearken to the 
voice of the preacher ; hear the sound of the rod, and 
Him that appointed it. Believe God's goodness, and 
receive his offers of mercy, and say with David, It 
is good for me to draw near to thee : I will seek 
fellowship with thee ; that joy, peace, and refresh- 
ment which are to be found in thee : I will draw 
near thee in the use of all the means, that I may be 
free of this woe. 



2 Timothy ii. 19. 
" Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this 
seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that 
nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 

With you of this congregation, I have ado for the 
present ; as for others, let them take a share, as God's 
word is dealt. It is love to your souls, and a longing 
to see God's work thriving amongst you, after so long 
Jabour, that makes me sharp upon you this evening, 
and to speak hard things against you. And now, I 
am sent forth to you with as hard and as comfortable 
a message as any, — a hard message to you who will 
not amend, but a sweet message to you who are begun 
to amend, or have a solid purpose to amend. As for 
you who will not amend, but will live on in your pro- 
fanity, drunkenness, worldliness, malice, deceit, ambi- 
tion, lechery, or in any known sin, I have a message 
to you this day, to tell you, that ye look like vessels 
of dishonour fitted for destruction, reprobate, whom 
God in his justice has rejected, and all the ministers 
in the earth shall not be able to convert, — yea, albeit 
Christ himself should preach, a reprobate villain would 
not be converted, — such as those to whom Christ 
spake in the days of his flesh, and told them, that they 
were not of his sheep ; for if they had been his sheep, 
lie says, they would have heard his voice : but they, 
like stinking gaits,* went away their own way, that 
they might perish as filthy beasts So say I to you, 
* Goats. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19 91 

If ye Trill not turn in to God, he shall turn you from 
him, when he separates the sheep from the gaits ; ye 
shall be ranked on his left hand, and he shall say to 
you, " Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I know 
you not." For ye have said, as those who said, 
"Make the Holy One of Israel to cease from us, for 
we will have none of his ways :" so says this hypo- 
critical generation, " that draw near me with their 
lips when their hearts are far away." 

The apostle knowing that such persons are rejected, 
and that there are others, who for the time, haying 
made defection (such as Hymeneus and Philetus), 
were a great stumbling-block to the people of God ; 
therefore, in this text, he sets himself to guard those 
who were not fallen, by laying before them the doc- 
trine of election and reprobation, and the use that 
should be made thereof. Therefore, I wish that ye 
would take f heed to that which shall be spoken, if 
possibly the wicked may yet forsake his way, that he 
may return unto the Lord. 

1. He tells us, that Hymeneus and Philetus, coun" 
terfeit hypocrites, had brought in damnable doctrine, 
saying that the resurrection is past, and so had over- 
thrown the faith of some ; whom, when the people 
perceived them to have made defection, might con- 
clude and say, We see the faith of some is overthrown; 
why may it not fall forth so with us also ? Yon men 
were teachers of others, yet are they fallen from Christ, 
and have drawn others after them : why may not all 
fall away as they] The apostle answers, Be not 
troubled for that ; let those that are fallen from Christ 
go, for none of his will leave him ; if they will go, let 
them go, for Christ may well spare them, they were 
never his. But never one of the elect shall go from 


him, for the foundation of the Lord standeth sure, 
having this seal, " The Lord knows who are his ; and 
Let every one that names the name of Christ, depart 
from iniquity." God's elect will be kept fast, go 
away who will ; and they will so adhere to Christ, as 
they will depart from iniquity. 

Yet will they object and say, Those who are fallen 
from Christ, were once in the kirk as well as we ; they 
came to the word and sacraments, they were teachers 
of others ; and now, they are fallen into Satan's net, 
— what if we fall also ? He answers, A fair matter 
that they were in the kirk, and came to preachings 
and communions, and now are gone to sorrow : know 
ye not, that as in a great man's house there are some 
vessels to honour made of gold and silver, for honour- 
able uses, and some vessels of wood and earth, to 
carry out the refuse and jugs* of the house ; so in the 
house of God, or bosom of the kirk, as there are ves- 
sels of honourable elect souls, so are there filthy ves- 
sels, that are filled with the devil's refuse, and their 
own reprobate persons full of rottenness and unclean- 
ness. Let such filthy buckets and their dirt go away 
together out of God's house, and let nobody bemoan 
them. Why should any body be troubled to see such 
filthy vessels flung to the door ? 

Yet they may object and say, How shall we be made 
sure that we shall not follow their course \ He an- 
swers, " If a man purge himself from those, he shall 
be a vessel of honour," (verse 21) ; as if he said, Ye 
are now in the high -gate ; hold you in it ; purge your- 
selves from such errors and uncleanness ; keep you 
well from their fashions, and here I make a promise 
to you, in the name of the Lord, that ye shall be ves- 

* Stale liquids. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 93 

sels of honour kept for your Lord's use, and prepared 
for every good work : let the filthy be filthy still, and 
hypocrites, like Judas, go to their place, but ye who 
are holy, be holy still. 

Hereof we gather first, in general, that the doctrine 
of election and reprobation, is a doctrine which may 
be safelv taught and propounded unto people, without 
fear of any inconvenience that men would pretend, 
albeit men use to say, it is a doctrine hard, and should 
not be meddled with; because (say they) it makes 
some men despair, and others become careless what 
they do. I answer, Let God make an answer for 
his own doctrine, who has commanded us to teach it, 
and has pointed it out in so many places of scripture. 
If some abuse this doctrine to licentiousness, and others 
desperately run away from God, let them answer for 
it ; to themselves be it said. Yet God has pro- 
pounded this doctrine in such indefinite terms, that 
no particular person can conclude from anything that 
God has said, that he is a reprobate ; but he has told 
plainly, that of those who come to him, he will put 
no man away, he will shoot out none that will stay in 
his house. Therefore, the apostle says boldly, the 
election obtained it, and the rest were blinded ; and 
that the god of this world has blinded the eyes of many, 
who will not receive the gospel. Or would Christ 
have propounded this doctrine, if it had been danger- 
ous? Therefore, we oppose to such carnal men, se- 
cure sleepers in sin, this doctrine of Christ and his 
apostles, clearly set down in scripture. Let none take 
offence at this doctrine, for Christ's sheep will hear 
his voice, and if any will startle away, let them go. 

2. The apostle brings out this doctrine of election 
and reprobation, when filthy errors are risen in the 



kirk, that he may stint the defection of those who are 
not fallen, and make such a bar betwixt them who are 
fallen, and those who are standing ; which lets us see, 
that this doctrine of election and reprobation, is a 
profitable and useful doctrine, and brings special van- 
tage to the godly. It is a fence to keep them from 
defection, a guard to hold them from stumbling when 
they see others fall, a bar to hold them from running 
after a godless world ; for, take away this doctrine, 
men would be atheists. If men saw, that the doctrine 
of Christ's gospel makes no reformation in the life of 
professors, they might think and say, that Christianity 
is no religion, seeing the professors of it are of such 
lewd lives. But this doctrine tells, that God's elect 
will be loath to make the gospel be evil spoken of by 
their lewd conversation ; albeit the bulk of deboshed 
titular Christians do so, the elect will leave their 
courses, let the reprobate abuse religion as they will. 
And what are the elect the worse, that there be repro- 
bates in the kirk] — as he were an evil-skilled husband- 
man, who should take a whole bing of stuff* to be 
chaff, because there is much chaff in it ; for the owner 
of it might say, albeit he counted it but chaff, he will 
not sell it good cheap ; for let his bing go through 
wind, and the chaff shed from the corn, then the corn 
shall kythe. So in Christ's kirk, albeit there appear 
to be many more hypocrites than true Christians, yet 
when the fan comes to winnow, the chaff shall blow 
away, and Christ shall gather the good stuff in the 
girnel, - !" and burn the chaff in unquenchable fire. Be 
not troubled then, albeit many knaves haunt the kirk 
and communions, and the next day turn them to the 
devil's service ; for such fashions keep up their own 

* Heap of grain. { Granary. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 95 

damnation, and the means that help others to heaven, 
help them to hell. Let none scaur* because they see 
some fall away, but rather be confirmed by their fall : 
for as a goldsmith, out of ten pounds of drossy metal, 
can purge out that which is good, and cast the rest 
away, so God, for one or two pickles of good stuff, will 
purge it, and cast away the bad. 

3. This doctrine is full of comfort, strength, and 
encouragement to those who are walking in a good 
way, and aiming to seek G od as they should : for if 
they be purging themselves from the filthiness of the 
flesh and spirit, to them it is an evidence that God 
has chosen them, albeit thousands should be repro- 
bates beside them ; for if their ear be nailed to the 
post of the Lord's door, and they be contented to be 
his servants for ever, when they hear the doctrine of 
election and reprobation, and find themselves in the 
elect's way, it is to them a sweet leaning-stock, to rest 
and comfort them. 

4. When we consider the apostle's drift, who con- 
demns, those for reprobates who are fallen away, and 
uses the doctrine of election and reprobation as a 
means to hold the rest from falling, we see, that this 
doctrine is a strong attractive, to draw back those 
who are fallen in error or vice, that they lie not in it ; 
for this doctrine forces such men to turn to God, or 
else, to take on the name of reprobates, and to blot 
out their own name out of the book of life. It is a 
doctrine meet for this age, wherein God is mocked and 
blasphemed by the lewd lives of those who are called 
Christians, to tell them, that they must either turn in 
to God, or take home with them those black tidings, 
that they are vessels of dishonour, fitted for destruction 

• Take fright. 


This doctrine is very needful to put men to their pre- 
emptours ;* and yet it condemns not a man to hell 
presently, who is lying in sin ; but it tells him, that 
there are some elect, who will come home, and some 
reprobate, who will not come home. Therefore, if a 
man be elect, albeit for the time he be a deboshed 
villain, this doctrine will serve him for the third and 
last summons : for when he hears that he must either 
quit his sinful courses, or have no portion with God, 
presently he must resolve, I will renounce my old 
lovers, my uncleanness, drunkenness, worldliness, and 
turn in to God, and seek a covering to hide my vile- 
ncss, and a garment to make me beautiful in the eyes 
of God. This effect will this doctrine work in the 

5. This doctrine is only terrible to those who are 
walking in an evil way, and will not quit it ; who, 
like swine, delight in filthiness, and will not come out 
of it ; as the adulterer or drunkard, who will come to 
the communion, and back again to his adultery, and 
again to the communion, and back again to his 
adultery. For such a person, it were better for him 
never to have known the way of righteousness, than 
after having known, to turn away from the holy com- 
mandment. Dearly shall he buy his coming to the 
communion : better to him to have eaten a fiery coal, 
than to have eaten the consecrated elements. If any, 
for that is said, will go on desperately in Cain his 
way, renounce God and Christ, having preferred their 
pleasures to him, or with Esau, selling their birth- 
right for pottage, who can hinder them to go to de- 
struction ? But let us tell them their doom ere they 
go. Because they will not quit their sins s the curse 
* Decisions. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 97 

of God go with them, for they have ehosen to mock 
God, and dare him to his face, living like filthy dogs ; 
therefore, like dogs, let them be debarred out of New 
Jerusalem. So, then, this doctrine serves out those 
who will not come to Christ, and will not quit the 
devil's service ; and it is a doctrine to keep all who 
have a sore heart for sin ; for when others go on in 
their filthiness, as vessels of dishonour, sealing their 
own damnation in their bosom, they are preserved, 
as vessels of honour for their master's use. This in 
general : now we come to particulars in the text. 

" Nevertheless" — that is, for all the falling away 
of some, and drawing away of other some, yet the 
foundation of the Lord stands sure ; the Lord knows 
who are his. We see. that albeit there be some in 
the kirk who depart from the faith and grounds of 
religion, and by their fall draw others after them, 
yet the elect shall be preserved, albeit not from fall- 
ing, yet from falling away ; albeit a thousand filthy 
bodies in a congregation, who call themselves Chris- 
tians, and live like Pagans, should run away, yet not 
one shall run away, but shall be severed from them. 
Let them go ; God shall tine* nothing when they are 
gone ; there shall not be a penny or jewel less in his 
treasury, a sheep fewer in his fold, nor a pickle of 
stuff less in his garner. 

~V\ hen some see men of lewd lives in the kirk, tak- 
ing liberty to fall out into the common gross evils of 
the land, they think they may do as they, and then 
say, God forbid that all such men go to hell — will 
any man say, that all proud folk, all greedy folk, all 
malicious folk will be damned 1 We answer, whatever 
they be that live in known sin, albeit they were never 
* Lose 



so many, shall be damned ; for Tophet is large and 
wide ; there is fire and brimstone enough, God has 
wrath enough ; and if there be not room enough in 
hell, let them be laid on heaps above other, or bound 
together like bunches of thorns, to burn all together. 

2. " The foundation of the Lord stands." — Ye will 
say, How do the elect stand, when others fall ? I 
answer, The ground of that standing is the founda- 
tion of the word, which lets us see, that it is nothing 
in the elect's self that makes them stand when others 
fall, but the sure laid foundation of God's work in 
them makes them stand. God's free love and grace, 
his solid purpose and decree, brought them to Christ, 
keeps them in Christ, and lets them not fall into 
deadly errors : it is God that holds their hearts in 
the hatred of sin, when others hunt after it. It is 
not their own strength that makes them stand ; but 
their strength is of the Lord, who has builded them 
on his unalterable grace and love, and has fore-or- 
dained them to be partakers of his kingdom. 

If any run not away with the wicked, let them 
thank God, and not their own strength ; for it is the 
strong arm of God's decree that holds them, and the 
mighty pull of his hand that pulls them from among 
the wicked. Thank God that thy heart scunners* at 
the conversation of the wicked, and that Satan's chain 
is loosed from thy neck — that they are strong in sin, 
the devil and they going on together, when God's 
strength has made thee to stand. 

3. The apostle propounds here the doctrine of elec- 
tion, to fortify them who are not departed from the 
faith. We see, that those who stand when others 
fall, and depart not when others make defection, may 

* Nauseates. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 99 

take that standing for an evidence of their election, 
and lean to it, as a strong ground of their strengthen- 
ing, to keep them from staggering when others fall : 
for if they stand when others fall, it is a token God 
has begun, even here, to separate the sheep from the 
gaits, the metal from the dross, and the chaff from 
the corn ; and if he has done so now, much more 
hereafter. It is, because God has tane pleasure in 
thee, to make thee confirmed to his son Christ. Take 
it then for a token of election, and lean upon it as a 
rock. Let it be an encouragement for farther well- 
doing, yea, a confirmation of thee in the way, and a 
thing to make thee bless God that thou standest when 
others fall. Even now, the Lord's fan is in his hand 
by the preaching of the word, severing the good from 
the bad ; and the preaching is like the wap* of a fan, 
to tell the one that they are chaff, and the other that 
they are corn, but with this difference — albeit the 
preaching call the one chaff, and the other corn, yet 
that which is chaff now, may become corn, by earnest 
prayer and dealing with God to make a change : but 
not hereafter. Here is a vantage by the fanning of 
the word : that which is on the worst side, may be 
brought to the best. But hereafter, that is, after this 
life, that which is set apart to the worst side, shall 
not come to the best ; they who are ranked to the 
left hand, shall not come to the right. Therefore I 
wish, that those who now, by the preaching of the 
word, find themselves to be chaff, would pray to God, 
to fill their chaff with some good stuff; for he can 
put his Spirit in them, to make of chaff, corn ; for 
if he was able to cause the rod which was in Aaron's 
hand, bud, flourish, and bring forth ripe almonds in 
* Sweep. 


one night, why can he not make of chaff, corn 1 
Therefore call upon him that he may change thee. 

4. " Having this seal." — He takes a comparison 
from things kept under lock and key; or things 
stamped with a seal, which men would have closed 
and confirmed. It lets us see, that all the elect are 
under God's great seal and sure custody, reserved for 
himself; and their election is a secret thing kept up 
with God from the world, and from the elect them- 
selves, till he be pleased to reveal it. Seldom are 
the elect revealed to the world, albeit in due time he 
will reveal it to themselves, so as he will make them 
cry, " Abba, Father," and make his Spirit bear wit- 
ness to their spirits, that they are the children of God : 
he seals them to the day of redemption. 

If election be a thing sealed and secret, let none 
unreverendly break up the Lord's seal : but if ye 
would know it, know it the way that God has ordain- 
ed, and wait for his revealing of it. This I speak, to 
reprove those who will not serve God, till he reveal 
to them whether they are elect or not. I tell them 
it is a wrong question at the first : for first, they must 
set them to do God's bidding, and then, speir if they 
be elected ; but use not preposterous haste to break 
up God's seal and coffers, till he like. It is not for 
the profane to win in upon God's counsel : the secret 
of the Lord is revealed to them who fear him ; it is 
the pure in heart that see God. If then thou would 
know God's love and purpose about thee, purge thine 
heart ; for the love of sin must be out, ere the love of 
God be shewn. If thou scrape not out of thy heart 
the love of sin, thou shalt never read thy name writ- 
ten in the book of life truly. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 101 

5. ' ; The Lord knowetk who are his." — Here is the 
seal of the ministry of election ; and it lets us see, that 
God has chosen a number to himself out of the world, 
to be his peculiar people, to whom he will shew mercy, 
reveal and communicate himself, and take for his in- 
heritance. These He knows for his ; others he knows 
not, for they are of their father the devil, and his 
will they do. As for His own, he will purge them, 
and make them zealous of well-doing, when others 
run to the devil. That he says God knows them, it 
is not only that he is at a point with himself about 
them, or knows their number and name, what they 
are, what they were, and what they will be ; but also, 
he knows them, while he sets his eye of pity, care, 
love upon them, and his good hand to preserve them ; 
he knows when they were born, when they will die ; 
he knows them, while he calls them to his kingdom 
both of grace and glory ; he knows them, when it was 
agreed betwixt him and his Son about the price of 
their redemption, when he gave them to Christ, and 
Christ took in hand to satisfy for them ; he knows 
them whom he called according to his purpose, when 
he gave them saving faith, and his Holy Spirit to 
dwell in them ; he knows them from his first purpose 
about them, to the last perfecting of them in glory ; 
he knows them, by loving them, approving them, 
keeping them [that they fall not, and when they fall, 
to raise them up again. All is concluded with him, 
from his first foresight and falling in love with them ; 
and he still keeps them, and preserves them, for he 
is stronger than all, and none shall be able to reave 
them out of his hand. 

' ; And let every one that nameth the name of 
Christ depart from iniquity." — Thou wilt say, I wot 


well God knows all his own ; but what wot I, if he 
knows me for one of them % Here a mark to know, — 
Let him that names the name of the Lord, depart 
from iniquity. That he puts this for one part of the 
seal, it lets us see, that the matter of election is not 
so secret, that God has given no revelation of it. 
Some evidences may be of it, both to a man's self and 
others. A man's election may be evidenced to the 
kirk, but more powerfully to a man's self; and pos- 
sibly the Lord will not reveal to others such a man's 
election, but he will tell a man himself, and so fill 
him with the sense and assurance of his favour, that 
from the spirit of adoption he will cry, " Abba, 
Father !" with a good heart ; and God again will 
acknowledge him for his child : winch makes sweet 
embracement betwixt the soul and God ; and the soul 
heartily blesses God, and magnifies him, when it per- 
ceives what he has done for it. 

Question. What then is the mark of the seal of 
election \ Answer. So far as it may be seen of men, 
it has two" parts — calling upon, or naming of Jesus, 
which also includes depending upon him, and believ- 
ing in him, or adhering to him — and departing from 
iniquity. Then we see, that the seal of the elect has 
two sides ; the one is read of God, the other toward 
us, is read of us. The side toward God is, that he 
knows who are his : he knows whom he has loved, and 
fore-ordained for heaven; and the side of the seal 
which is toward us is, " Let every one that names the 
name of Jesus, depart from iniquity." And as in a 
common or ordinarily current coin of money, if ye let 
a man see the one side of it, he can readily tell what is 
on the other side of it, so, in this seal, he who knows 
the one side, will also know the other ; for God has 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 103 

no adulterate or false coin as uses to be among men, 
but if any can find that they adhere to Jesus and de- 
part from iniquity on the one side, they may be sure 
to find that God has elected them on the other side. 
Whosoever thou art that believest Christ, and ad- 
herest to him, and art daily more and more shedding* 
from sin, mayest conclude thou art an elect. 

If adherence to Jesus and departing from iniquity 
do evidence election both to the world and a man's 
own soul, then the soul that wants these two, can 
have no comfort : they who have not fled to Christ, 
and have not put the back of their hand to sin, want 
the comfort of election. I dare not say, they are not 
elected, for God can change a filthy sinner into a 
washen saint. But I dare to say, while a soul is se- 
parate from Christ, and adheres to sin, that soul can 
have no comfort in election, nor yet say that it is 
elected. If thou then would be out of the black band 
and rank of reprobates, haste in to Christ, and from 
sin, as thou would be free of hell and damnation. 
Haste thee from the service of thy old lusts and 
lovers, and come in to Christ, if thou would eschew 
that dreary sentence, " Depart from me, ye accursed, 
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his 
angels !" Haste, I say, in time, for thou hast too 
long dwelt in the tents of Kedar : get thee speedily 
from the tents of these wicked men ; turn, and seek 
the living God. 

" Let depart." — He says not, has departed, but let 
them depart, by way of command. This presupposes, 
that elect souls are not yet departed from the way of 
sin and death. It lets us see, that all who lie in sin 
be reprobates for the most part : yet it is possible 

* Parting. 


that some elect souls may be sticking in sin, and liv- 
ing an evil life, who will turn quickly ; and therefore 
it is not a mark of reprobation to be in the estate of 
sin, for one may come out of that estate. An elect 
mhy be lying as deep in the devil's service as a repro- 
bate ; but incontinent he will haste from that estate. 

" Let depart" shews, that there are none departed 
from iniquity, but they must depart farther, and never 
return again to it, if they would have the comfort of 
election. So, then, the elect soul may not do as it 
likes. By this, Satan deceives many, making them 
trow they are elect, and so cannot fall away, and so 
may do what they like ; and makes them trow they 
are elected, because after the committing of grievous 
sins, they have gotten a wound of conscience, and 
have thrust out some tears for sin, being forced, by 
the gnawing of their conscience, to take with their 
faults. On finding this, they trow they are elected ; 
and being elected, must remain so, and so may take 
on a new lease of sin. But I say, many a Pagan 
has repented thus far ; for the Pagans had fears or 
terrors of conscience that did chase them from their 
sins, which fears being ceased, they ran back to sin. 
Even so, thou who sayest thou hast repented all thy 
villanies, and yet retumest again, and hardenest thy- 
self more, wilt thou call that repentance ? No, for 
albeit God took instruments that he had tane thee in 
the fang,* yet I speir, where is thy new life ? There- 
fore resolve upon a new life : depart from iniquity, or 
count not thyself an elect ; for Christ leaves his blood 
to no sow to wash in, to go back to the puddle : but 
having your garments clean, be loath to defile them. 

Mark the order here : 1. Name, — the Lord. 2. 
* Fact, deed. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 105 

Then, — DEPART. By naming of Jesus, is meant com- 
ing to him, and believing in him ; professing him, 
worshipping, and taking him for your master. And 
depart from sin. We see then, ve must first be 
joined to Christ, come to him, believe in him, and 
possess him, before we can depart from iniquity ; for 
how shall we either get strength or fcot to flee from 
sin, till we come to Christ \ Who shall loose our 
chains and fetters, or who shall cleanse us, and make 
us new ? Must not fleeing and departing from sin, be 
from faith in Christ ? Whatsoever is not from this 
fountain, is unclean. Let the vile who would be 
clean, go to Christ, and say, Draw me, we will run 
after thee ; sever me from sin. 

Verse 20. "But in a great house, there are not 
only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood 
and of earth ; and some to honour, and some to dis- 
honour." — Ye will say, Is not that great dishonour to 
God, to have hypocrites and chaff always in his house ? 
He answers, No, no more than it is dishonour to a 
great man, to have vessels of dishonour in his house, 
to carry out refuse and rubbish. In this comparison, 
that as a man has power to appoint the vessels of 
his house, some for honourable uses, some for sordid 
uses, so God in his house ; and man takes also great 
authority over the creatures given to him, as God 
doth over men in the matter of election and repro- 
bation. This being well weighed, would stop all 
men's mouths from quarrelling God for electing some, 
and reprobating others. Man will say, Whereto 
Christian souls, to cast them into hell \ I answer, 
Man, takes not God as great authority over the crea- 
tures, as the potter takes one piece of clay, and makes 
a vessel of it, and casts away another piece of clay ? 


And man saves the life of some of his beasts, and kills 
others : shall not God have as great liberty over his 
creatures, as man has over them ? What the Lord 
doth in the matter of election and reprobation, he 
doth it justly ; for he says to man, Leave thy sins, 
and come to me, and thou shalt get heaven. Man 
answers, I will not leave sin. Then says the Lord, 
Thou shalt go to hell. Is not this justice 1 From 
these words, no particular person can gather a mark 
of reprobation, or conclude that he is a reprobate ; 
but contrarily, there is here a mark of election. Why 
then should any quarrel God, while he shews a pos- 
sibility of election, and no mark of reprobation ? 
Doth he not lay before all, life and death, and bids 
choose ? And why then should any carp if thou canst 
not come to Him, and choice bade him draw thee ? 
and he shall do it ? 

We see it is no dishonour to God nor his kirk, to 
have wicked hypocrites in the bosom of it ; as it is 
no dishonour to a great man, to have vessels of dis- 
honour in his house. We see, that God makes use 
of these hypocrites to purge the rest of his household, 
as vessels of dishonour to keep clean a great man's 
house: when they go out, the filth goes out with 
them. Hypocrites and filthy persons serve to make 
the rest honester and cleaner ; for the sight of their 
filthiness makes God's children labour to purge them- 
selves, and by their falls they are made wise, to stand 
the better. As to the wicked's abomination, it is 
their own, and the dishonour is their own ; and when 
they go out of God's house, the filth goes out, so that 
God has no dishonour by them. Albeit God has 
letten them in to his kirk, yet they hurt not his kirk ; 
but their falls make his children wise, for they say, I 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 107 

am of the same stuff by nature ; Lord, cleanse me. 
When they feel the stench of the wicked, they flee 
up to a higher house, and by all means seek to cleanse 
themselves. So God can make use of the ■wicked, 
albeit not for their own, yet for others' vantage. 

Question. How shall I know whether I be a ves- 
sel of honour or dishonour] Answer. Look what 
stuff is in thee. Wherein delightest thou 1 If it be 
m the devil's vessels, worldliness, filthiness ; if thy 
mind, will, affections, be upon the filthy puddle of the 
devil's abominations, thou art a vessel of dishonour. 
See what employment thou givest to the vessel of 
thy mind, heart, memory, and by that try thyself. 

Objection. — Are there any so clean and holy, 
that their mind and heart have no filthiness in them ? 
Answer. I grant, the holiest have their own filth 
and dirtiness : but they are not vessels to keep still 
that dirtiness ; their vessels are ordained to keep 
holiness, the graces and gifts of God's Spirit ; and if 
dirtiness be gathered, they are daily washing again. 
Is thy ear then a conduit to bring in knowledge to 
thy mind ; thy eye, tongue, heart, all to keep and 
vent holiness \ Then thou art a vessel of honour : al- 
beit thou contract filthiness, yet the Master of the 
household, Christ Jesus, has a car^ that thou be daily 
washen, and thy organ is sanctified for a holy use. 
But thou to whom holy discourses are a burden and 
weariness to hear, and in a conference of good things 
will be tickled with delight in songs and tales, thou 
lookest like a vessel of dishonour. Thou art like 
those of whom the prophet speaks ; thy " throat is 
an open sepulchre ;" the stench of thy oaths, blas- 
phemy, lewd language, defiles all that are about thee, 
so that the godly soul is vexed with thee, as Lot was 


in Sodom : thy deeds, plots, courses, desires, tell thou 
art a vessel of dishonour. 

Question. But how shall I be made sure that I 
am one of that number 1 Answer. In the next 
verse (verse 21), the apostle gives thee a counsel 
what to do. Purge thyself from these, and thou 
shalt be a vessel of honour. So then, he that would 
be a vessel of honour, must purge himself. This is 
not, that any can purge himself, or that a tree of 
itself can bring out good fruit. But he shews here, 
what is required of us ; and to shew the order of 
God's working, which is, to work in us, and by us, 
using us as instruments, albeit he be the chief doer 
of the work. The right use of this doctrine, is not 
to dispute what strength a man has to purge himself, 
but to set himself to the practice of it ; not to be 
discouraged finding his own weakness, but to set to a 
reformation ; and whatever estate he find himself in, 
set to, and purge himself: for if such be, he looks 
like a vessel of honour, for all holy vessels are mak- 
ing for some honourable use, and purging from dis- 
honourable. Art thou then purging thyself from 
thy old deeds ? crying with David, u Purge me with 
hyssop, cleanse me from my sins?" breaking thy 
heart for grieving the Holy One of Israel 1 thou 
carriest the mark of a vessel of honour. 

" Sanctified for the Master's use." — The hypocrite 
or the foul vessel has this mark ; whatever he doeth, 
it is all for his own ends, not to God, if he be not 
swearing, lying, drinking, &c. But if they be not for 
God's use, they are for dishonest uses : following of 
their lawful calling, working, ploughing, making mer- 
chandise, are all dishonest uses with them, for they 
do these to make themselves rich and honourable. 

2 TIMOTHY II. 19. 109 

They are not done as service to God, therefore they 
are unclean ; and to the unclean, all things are un- 
clean : their eating, drinking, working, not being for 
God's use, are turned into sin. But the vessel of honour 
goes to the plough, and makes merchandise, for God's 
use ; for albeit he might deceive in bargains, and so 
get gain, he will not, because he is for his Lord's use. 
He goes to the kirk, not to see and be seen, but to 
meet God in the assembly; he comes to the com- 
munion, to get the seal of God's love. 

Let a man be what he may for the time bygane 
and present, yet if you fly to Jesus, seeking to be 
purged, come to Jesus, and be ranked the morn at the 
table, with the vessels of honour. Repent thy bygane 
misbehaviour ; cast out jugs* by confession ; or rather, 
hold to the well of Christ's blood ; to that clean water, 
and washing of his Spirit. Pray Christ to purge witli 
his Spirit and with fire. If so thou wilt do, thou shalt 
be a sanctified vessel for the Lord's use. Either obey 
this doctrine, or carry with you the appearance of re- 
probation, and a forerunner of hell. Either live a clean 
life, or I debar you from the Lord's table. Fly both 
from evil company, vessels of dishonour, and eschew 
works of dishonesty ; else quit you and God. Depart 
from foul company, and foul ways, as ye would not 
depart from God. To that God, Son, and Holy Spirit, 
be all praise and honour, for now and ever Amen. 

* Foul or stale water. 



Isaiah lii. 13, Id, 15. 

" 13. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be ex- 
alted and extolled, and be very high. 

" 14. As many were astonished at thee ; his visage was so marred 
more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men : 

" 1 5. So shall he sprinkle many nations ; the kings shall shut 
their mouths at him : for that which had not been told them shall 
they see, and that which they had not heard shall they consider." 

Ye hear who are spoken to here. Yesterday, they 
were called " vessels of honour ;" and this day, they 
are called " bearers of the Lord's vessels," whom the 
prophet bids be clean. Those who then bore the 
Lord's vessels, were the priests and Levites ; and 
now, all of us are made priests unto God the Father, 
through Christ, that we may daily offer up to him 
the sacrifices of prayers and praises ; all of us are now 
admitted to the altar of incense, to offer up our 
prayers and praises unto God. Therefore, as yester- 
day ye were charged to be clean vessels, under the 
pain of out-casting, so this day ye are exhorted to be 
clean, as holy priests admitted to the Lord's temple, 
that yc may lay on the sacrifice on the altar, Christ 
Jesus ; ye are directed to separate yourselves from 
unclean thoughts, to depart from them, and to touch 
no unclean thing. Which lets us see, how one part 
of God's word answers to another. Therefore out of 
both learn we to study to holiness. Let not the 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. Ill 

mocker at godliness look to see God, or to get leave 
to come near his altar ; yea, I debar all such mockers 
from the Lord's table, except they repent their mock- 
ing. But if any have had a sore heart, that they have 
been so blinded by Satan, as to lend their tongues to 
chace any away from God who would be at him — even 
such a villain being penitent, shall not be despised. 

In the 12th verse, the Lord's people are bidden go 
out with displayed banner, not in haste, or as cowards ; 
and the reason is given ; Because the Lord will go 
before them in the vanguard, and behind them in the 
rearward, and shall so compass them, that they need 
to stand in awe, or be feared for none. Thus he 
would have them avowing their Lord, and boldly pro- 
fessing holiness ; which reproves many who would be 
holy, and not let others wit of it. For here, com- 
mand is given to go out boldly. That holiness is not 
kindly, that any is ashamed of; and if any will think 
shame of holiness, beware lest Christ think shame of 
them. Therefore say, Albeit I be not holy, yet I 
have a purpose to be holy, and my endeavours shall 
be that way : for what honour gets Christ, if thou be 
holy in hidlings ? Therefore thou must honour him 
before the wicked world, and confess him before men, 
lest he disclaim thee one day. 

Ye will say, How shall we win to holiness ; how 
shall we get that banner holden out, avowing holiness, 
or get holiness wrought ? The text that I have read, 
answers : " Behold, my servant shall deal prudently." 
As if the Lord had said, Lo, I have given you a wise 
Captain and Master to go before you ; he shall guide 
you prudently, or '* he shall prosper," as the old 
translation has it. As canny wise men use to have 
success, so shall Christ have : therefore follow him at 


the back, and he shall teach you to depart from the 
world, and from uncleanness ; he shall teach you to 
avow holiness ; he shall go before you, as the flower 
of the flock, or chief of the sheep, and ye may fol- 
low as lambs at his back ; or as your Captain, and 
ye as soldiers ranked at his back. 

" He shall be exalted, and extolled, and be very 
high." — That is, his kingdom and glory shall grow ; 
honour, and dominion, and glory shall follow upon 
him : and if he be high and honourable, if we follow 
him we may be sure to get a share ; for it is his honour, 
that they who follow him at the back, should do 
valiantly, tread their enemies under their feet, fight 
stoutly, and set their faces to the battle. And then, 
as Christ is exalted, so needs must his soldiers be : 
they must prove gallant men, and through him they 
must do valiantly. Albeit their enemies come about 
them like bees, yet in the name of the Lord they will 
destroy them all ; they will be victors over sin, and 
Satan will be shortly trod under foot. 

Then ye will speir, How shall Christ and his fol- 
lowers win to this high exaltation and glory % I 
answer out of the 14th verse, By sufferings. " As 
many were astonished at thee ; his visage was so 
marred more than any man, and his form more than 
the sons of men." That is, my Son will not get the 
victory good cheap ; dear will it cost him ; he will 
have a blackened, a blue, and a bloody face ; his back, 
side, hands, feet, will be both blue and bloody, ere he 
get this victory ; he will be so shamed, as never man 
was ; he will be so shamefully handled, that it would 
make any man astonied, yea, affrighted to look upon 
him ; he will be so disfigured with his own blood and 
blue strokes, that none will know his face, and never 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 113 

man handled as he. And yet, for all these blue and 
bloody strokes, and hard and uncouth sufferings, ye 
shall get glory in the end : for by this blood, he shall 
sprinkle many nations ; his blood shall wash many a 
sinful soul ; many nations shall get good of the marring 
and spoiling of his face ; many souls shall he redeem 
by his blood. " The kings shall shut their mouths at 
him," that is, they shall count nothing of their crowns 
and glory, when they consider his, but shall cast all 
down at his feet. And the reason is, " Because that 
which had not been told them shall they see." \Vhen 
they shall see and hear of Christ's glory, they shall 
reverence, admire, and subject themselves, stoop, and 
fall down before him (verse 15). 

Here then those who will bear the vessels of the 
Lord, and deliver them off their hands with full 
weight, are directed, 1. To follow Chrisi ,• 2. To con- 
sider his victory ; 3. His sufferings ; 4. His glory. 
Glorious things are spoken here of Christ, and hard to 
be believed. A fair banquet for feeding of hungry 
souls is set out in these words, bread enough here and 
to spare ; therefore crave appetite, that ye may be 
comforted and refreshed ; that ye may love your Lord 
and rejoice, giving praises unto the master of the feast, 
who of outlaws and rebels has brought you into his 
banquet, and ye who were afar off, and are made near 
by his blood. 

1st, Hereafter that many glorious things are pro- 
mised in this chapter, we are directed to behold Christ, 
God's servant, in whom all the promises are vea and 
amen. It teaches us, in all the promises made by God, 
to cast our eye upon Christ, in whom they are all per- 
formed, and by whom they shall all be made good to 
us ; for he, as a wise tutor, has gotten all into his hand, 



to give out to us. Thou would think thyself happy, 
if thou could get that promise applied, that thou shalt 
be made clean, and that thou shalt come before the 
Lord, as his High Priest, carrying his vessels, and be 
made holy, and avow holiness before men. But, lo, 
here a way to get it. Do look to Christ, in whom all 
the promises are yea and amen. Take Christ in thy 
arms, and getting him, thou gettest all the promises 
for life, salvation, and glorification : and if thou forget 
the words of a promise that fits thy estate, cast thy 
eye upon jChrist ; then dost thou fall upon the whole 
bundle of the promises, and out of them, missing the 
particular promise, thou cannot miss him. Come to 
him, then, and say, Lord Jesus, thou must perform 
this to me, for the Father has bidden me behold thee : 
he has told me, that he has given thee for a " leader 
and witness to his people ;" that thou art his elect 
servant; that thou art the surety of the covenant, 
which includes the whole promises : thou art cautioner 
both for God's part and my part of the covenant ; 
therefore perform this promise of making me clean, 
bringing of me to the temple, making me holy, and 
giving me victory over my enemies. The Lord has 
said to me, Behold my servant ; and lo, thou pleasest 
me well, thou art of mine own flesh. I take thee for 
the cautioner : pay thy Father's debt, and perform 
all that he has promised. 

2dly, We see that the kirk is here directed to help 
herself in the sight of all her difficulties and impos- 
sibilities, by beholding Christ ; for this avowing of 
holiness, and coming forth in the sight of adversaries, 
imports a thousand difficulties, bogles* to scare and 
chase away from taking hold of the promise ; against 

* Bugbears. 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 115 

which, we are bidden to behold Christ. Which teaches 
us to meet all difficulties and obstacles that would 
hinder us to embrace the promises, by opposing Christ to 
all, for overcoming of all difficulties within or without; 
from heaven, hell, or the world, or our own corrup- 
tions. Look to Christ, and be victorious over all ; 
give Christ thy hand, and he shall cause thee leap 
over all impediments ; yea, he shall give thee wings, 
to mount up as eagles over all. 

3d ly, " Behold my servant, he shall deal prudently."' 

— We see the whole matter is put over upon Christ, as 

the doer of all. Albeit we be bidden depart, come out, 

and touch no unclean thing, yet He must do all the 

work ; which lets us see, that whatever we are bidden 

do, Christ has gotten commission to do it ; the Father 

has committed us to him, and of him he will crave 

account. Therefore Christ must perform that which 

concerns us ; he must do all our works ; for the whole 

company of the elect are given to him, to be framed 

and fashioned by him, as clay into the hands of the 

potter, to make us clean vessels ; as rebels to ransom, 

enemies to reconcile, sheep to make account of ; for 

he has all by head and by mark, and he says, " This 

is the will of Him that sent me, that of these that he 

has given me, I should lose none." Then, say to 

Christ, Do thou what I am bidden do : let thy Spirit 

work all my works, for thou hast power. When the 

Lord urges thee to do that thou cannot, then urge 

thou Christ the cautioner to do it. And yet, Christ 

has not gotten the work to do, as if thou would so take 

the sluggard's ease : for thou wilt find it no small 

work, to waken up thy Lord ; thou wilt be put to cry, 

with Peter, " Save, master, I perish !" Many questions 

will be ere he answer, or let wit he hears ; therefore 


still must we put upon him, and urge him till he rise. 
Therefore be not idle, but still urge Christ, for it is 
well-pleasing to him. Urge him to present thee spot- 
less and blameless before the Father, for that is his 
office, and it is his desire to do it ; he is God's servant 
furnished to do it ; he only can deal prudently. Give 
Him no rest, till he make peace betwixt the Father 
and thee, till he sanctify thee, and make the renova- 
tion solid, for this is the right way, by importunate 
and earnest dealing ; and never lose grips with him, 
till he do all that we should do. 

kthly, Ye will say, How will the Father be pleased, 
when I urge Christ to do what he bids me do % God 
says, " Behold my servant ;" which lets us see, that 
the work of our redemption is a special point of service 
to God, wherewith he is well pleased. God counts it 
good service in his Son, to bring home rebels ; and 
Christ has humbled himself to the estate of a servant, 
that he may help the helpless, and restore rebels ; and 
nothing will be counted service, but that which he 
doeth. In this service His soul delights; and he is 
well pleased that Christ do all the work in our name, 
that he sanctify us and save us, and we draw life from 
him. Say not then, What am I if the justice of God 
will let me get good of Christ, who am guilty of so 
many sins ? Seeing God has bidden thee behold his 
Servant, and so it is service done to God, when any 
good is done to thee, doubt nothing but God's good 
will towards thee is the same with Christ's; for the 
Father is pleased with all with whom the Son is pleas- 
ed. Therefore Christ says, " If any love me, my 
Father loves him, and I and my Father will come, 
and make our abode with him." 

If God count it good service in his Son to help 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 117 

home souls, then study ye to do the like service, help 
ing home one another. Let Andrew tell Philip and 
Nathaniel, masters study to draw home their children 
and servants ; strengthen and encourage one another 
in the country where ye dwell. But specially this is 
the minister's duty, because he is set apart for the 
work. It is his duty to shew Israel their sins ; and, 

bthly, While he shews Christ's prudent dealing, his 
success and exaltation, he lets us see that Christ is 
thoroughly furnished and qualified for the service 
committed to him : for if he be a prudent dealer, then 
he is wise ; if he get victory and glory, than he is 
strong. It lets us see, that Christ is well qualified 
for his employment ; that there is nothing requisite 
for the work, but he has it ; in his person, office, en- 
dowments, he is fully furnished in every thing, that 
he may be a meet Mediator. He is the Son of God 
and Son of man, and so a fit man, being sib* both to 
God and us. If we be blind, he is a prophet to in- 
struct and teach, and reveal God's will unto us ; and 
if we have enemies, he is a king, to controul them, 
and rule over all our adversaries with a rod of iron ; 
if we be cursed and filthy, he is a priest to bless us. 
And for his endowments, he has gotten the Spirit 
without measure, that out of his fulness we may all 
receive, and grace for grace ; he has wisdom, strength, 
and ability to do all our work. 

So then, we may lippent our soul upon him, and 
we may be sure, nothing committed to him shall fall 
through his fingers ; no burden how heavy soever 
laid on him, shall fall, because of the weight of it ; 
nothing shall be forgot for want of memory. Albeit 
there were never so many floating on the water ready 
* Of kin. t Entrust. 


to perish, he can help all ; for he has large arms to 
spread over them all at once, so as no other man can 
do ; he can help and hoist up all their heads at once 
above the water. Then, let us sit down under his 
shadow ; and if we want light and comfort, come, and 
get all supplied in him, for he is fully qualified in all. 
Sthly, He may be able enough to do all I need ; but 
what know I, if he be willing to employ his wisdom 
and strength for me ? Answer — He not only has 
wisdom and strength, but he will deal prudently ; or 
as the other translation has it, he will prosper, and 
have success. He shall both deal prudently and pros- 
perously ; he shall leave no strength, wisdom, or any 
sort of qualification he has, unemployed, that may 
further the mark. So then we see, there is great 
canniness and prudent convoy in the Mediator, to 
further the service he has tane in hand. He foresees 
all the impediments in his way, and all the incon- 
veniences that can mar the work of man's salvation. 
Not a wound any of his soldiers gets, but he has con- 
venient salve for it ; no adversary, but he knows how 
to encounter and meet him ; in a word, there is no- 
thing from eternity to eternity, but he has convoyed all 

Let us shew some points of his prudence : 
1. He has the justice of God to encounter with — 
it shall want nothing. For if it be said, before we 
be reconciled or get heaven, a just God must be 
satisfied, our prudent and cautious Lord answers, 
" Sacrifices and oblations wouldst thou not, but a body 
hast thou formed unto me : behold, I come, in the 
volume of thy book it is written of me, to do thy will, 
Lord." If these men cannot win to heaven till 
thy justice be satisfied, behold I am come to satisfy 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 119 

it. And yet the Lord's mercy shall have as great 
place as it pleases ; for he deals so prudently, that he 
makes mercy and justice kiss each other. Mercy is 
letten run like a river, and justice is satisfied — is not 
that prudent and canny dealing ? 

2. The law says, Well, I will take satisfaction of 
Christ for byganes ; but what obedience shall I have 
for time to come ? Shall those whom Christ has re- 
deemed, be permitted to break me for time to come ? 
Prudent Christ answers, " What the law could not do, 
in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending 
his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, for sin con- 
demned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the 
law might be fulfilled in us." Here, prudent dealing, 
that while as the law before could get nothing but 
punishment for the breach of it, now, it gets full 
obedience of us by Christ ; for Christ came not to 
abolish the law, but to fulfil the law ; he came only to 
abolish the cursing part of it, but to establish the 
obeying part of it. 

3. In comes Satan the jailer, and death with him, 
and flies upon Christ to get him overthrown : but pru- 
dent and cautious Christ destroyed him who had the 
power of death ; by the means of death, he overcomes 
him who had the power of death, and says, death, 
I will be thy death ! so death lies down in the grave, 
and all his die, and lie down with him. Thus Satan 
thinks to get him holden, but he could not be holden 
of the dolours of death ; therefore he rises, and breaks 
an opening with him through death — as Samson, he 
takes away the ports and bars of death, and has left 
death neither door nor lock to hold us in. Herein 
is prudence. 

4. See his prudent dealing in his coming into the 


world. He comes not with pomp or show, but in 
humble wise. " Behold, your king comes, meek and 
lowly, riding on an ass's colt." Albeit he was a great 
king, yet ofttimes he went on foot ; and when he 
rode, it was on a laigh* beast, that any might have 
stood beside him, and rounded their petition in his 
ear, as he rode. 

5. Prudent dealing in sending forth of his gospel 
to win home souls. He takes not thunder and fire ; 
but silly weak men, with his word in their mouth, 
the rod of Zion, and by that dings down proud hearts, 
and allures others : he puts his heavenly treasure in 
earthen vessels, and lets them carry it, and takes the 
glory to himself; he puts up the sceptre of his kingdom 
in these weak men's mouths. 

6. He gives unto kings no occasion of eye-sore, or 
envying of his kingdom ; he gives his ministers neither 
crowns nor lands, but only bids to give the workman 
his wages, and to let him that feeds the flock, eat of 
the milk — as much as to uphold meat and main- 
tenance to his servants. Is not this great prudence, 
that he troubles not the kings and nobles of the land 
with his kingdom on earth ; for all his office-bearers 
must be every man's servant 1 This made Paul to 
say, " We are your servants, whether Paul, Cephas, 
or Apollos ; all is yours, and ye are Christ's." His 
kingdom is not of this world, but a spiritual kingdom. 

7 He deals so prudently, that the mouth of the 
reprobate shall be stopped, and have no just quarrel 
for their condemnation : for either he sends his gos- 
pel to them, and so, invites them to repentance ; or 
he makes them know his goodness by fruitful seasons, 
summer and winter, and use of all his good creatures. 

* Low, short-sized. 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 121 

If they will not make use of these, let them wyte* 
themselves : they shall be found to have in themselves 
the cause of their own damnation ; and if some of 
them grow wicked by hearing of the word, what wyte 
has Christ ? 

8. Great prudence in giving out his doctrine (as ye 
heard yesterday) while he tells, some are elect vessels 
of honour, some are rejected vessels of dishonour : 
for by this peremptory doctrine, he forces the elect 
to quit their sins, and come in, that they may be 
vessels of honour ; and propounds his doctrines so, 
that none. in themselves shall find a mark of reproba- 
tion, who desire to quit their sins, and come to him : 
how filthy soever, if they come, he will cleanse them. 
His doctrine is so wise, that it shall hurt none that 
would be at him ; but it strikes against those who 
will not quit their sins. 

9. # Prudent dealing — the elect's pride may be laid, 
*and they so handled, that they may neither misken 
God nor themselves ; for still they are made to see 
their sinfulness, wants, and unworthiness, that they 
may have his sufferings in high estimation, as their 
main refuge. 

10. Prudent dealing in urging all to believe, and 
yet he keeps in his own hand the dispensation of sense 
and comfort ; bids them believe, and yet keeps back 
the comfort of believing, till they vomit out their sins. 

11. Prudent dealing, to call Ins children to peace, 
joy, and comfort, and yet fill their flesh with sore 
burdens, and lay on heavy crosses, lest they debord ;t 
whereby he comforts their souls, as he is sure also to 
have their flesh mortified. If he lift them up in 
himself, he puts them as low as hell in themselves : 

* Blame. t Go to excess. 

L22 sermon on 

he lets them not sink into trouble for fault of com- 
forts, nor yet lets them misken him for fault of 
crosses ; he fills them with comfort, and makes them 
shed tears for affliction. 

12. Great prudence to make a man righteous, and 
yet that righteousness not to be in himself, nor yet to 
be of his own keeping. Prudent dealing, to send forth 
ministers to preach, and dispense heavenly mysteries, 
and yet to keep the seal in his own hand : for Paul 
may plant, Apollos water, but God gives the increase ; 
so, none may lean upon the minister for the blessing. 

13. Great prudence to forgive sin, and yet still hold 
us crying, Lord, forgive us our sins ! 

14. Still feeding with food that endures to life 
eternal, and yet still keeps us hungry for it ; holding 
our mouths to the well, and yet still thirsty. 

15. Exalting his own above principalities, powers, 
crosses, and yet laying them exceedingly low in the 
sight and sense of their sins : heartily and warmly 
comforting and refreshing them, making their bed in 
sickness, and yet keeping them humble, so that the 
heartier he, the humbler they ; quietly and cannily 
sliding in consolations into their hearts when none 
know of it, for his voice is not heard in the streets — 
still keeping a covered table with rich delicates in 
the souls of his own, and none know of it, for strangers 
meddle not with their joy. 

I have here told you some part of Christ's prudent 
and wise dealing ; but it is a deep which cannot be 
sounded, for even the angels stoop down, to learn his 
wisdom and prudence. Of the kirk, they wonder at 
the wisdom of the cross, that by death, so many should 
be brought to life ; by his shame, there should come 
so much glory ; by abasing him down to the death, 

ISAIAH LII 13, 14 ; 15. 123 

so many should be brought to heaven ; by his be- 
coming cursed, so many should be blessed. This "wis- 
dom and prudence cannot be told, therefore I leave 
it, as a thing that cannot be reached unto. But I 
would ye should make some use of it ; that is, when 
the work of Christ is not such as ye would have it, 
then suspect deeper wisdom in it than ye can see ; for 
herein stands his wise and prudent dealing, to dispose 
to every one's estate according as their case requires. 
For if he have ado with a thrawn* knotty piece of 
work, he drives a hard wedge ; if he have ado with 
one that is stubborn, he takes a baton ; if with one 
whose root is fastened in the earth, he takes a sharp 
knife to cut these roots — if he have a heavy heart, 
he comforts ; lays on such a weight as he overweighs 
not ; lifts up, but not over high ; so that every thing 
is done in wisdom, due time, measure, manner, and 
might. Therefore thou who wilt say, Alas ! I have 
gotten no good of communion this day ; I miss the 
comfort of it ; — fool ! I tell thee, if thou got it in the 
kirk, thou could not contain thyself, but would burst 
out in the sight of all that look ; therefore thy wise 
and prudent Lord is keeping it for thee, to give in 
some secret place, where none shall see, or hear, or 
envy thee. 

Ithlu, That the word signifies also "to prosper." 
We see that Christ's prudence is so perfect, that nothing 
he takes in hand shall misgive, or be marred ; the 
will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He will 
do nothing needlessly and superfluously, nor leave any- 
thing undone that should be done. The booty or prey 
he comes to take, he shall carry it with him ; the soul 
that he intends to convert, he shall bring it in due 
* Twisted, gnarled. 


season : he shall call, draw, direct, admonish, rebuke, 
comfort, and make that soul hear a voice behind it, 
" This is the way, walk in it." If the soul that He 
would convert, will not be won by the word, he will 
use a rod ; if the rod do it not, he will hound out the 
devil, to bark and chase in, but yet he has him so 
muzzled that he cannot bite. He will overcome the 
most hard heart, and take in the strongest hold : he 
will use violence, while he will stand at the door and 
knock ; and whiles he will so brainge,* that he will 
lay the door on the floor. He will cast out the strongest 
devil, for he is that strong one who binds that strong 
man, and casts him out. 

If so be he shall prosper in all he takes in handj let 
none stand out against him, but yield in time ; for if 
you delay, it is for a mischief to your own head. He 
will put you under iron harrows, and make you know, 
that it is an evil and bitter thing to depart away from 
him. Delay not, lest for a moment's pleasure, ye un- 
dergo eternal pain ; and know, that when ye are come 
in to Him, he shall keep and preserve you, for none 
shall reave any of his sheep out of his hand, neither 
shall be able to seduce his elect. Albeit they be weak, 
yet he is strong, full of grace and understanding. I 
know, says Paul, that he will keep that which I have 
committed to him. 

Sthly, "He shall be exalted." — Three words are used 
in the translation here, but all of them have the same 
force ; but it had been best translated, to say, " He 
shall be high ;" which lets us see, that the prudent 
dealing of Christ is such, as shall bring him great 
glory, sd that his kingdom and glory shall still grow. 
For his subjects shall be still increased, and never one 
* Beat with violence. 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 12.5 

that comes in shall die : he shall rule in the midst of 
his enemies, and turn in greatest foes, and make them 
friends. His glory shall be high, so very high, that 
all kinds of glory that can be thought upon shall be 
his ; it shall fill hell, earth, and heaven. 'With his 
Father, he shall be exalted among his foes, in the 
sight of his subjects in this world, at the death of his 
own, and at the day of judgment ; he shall be glorious, 
who will, who will not. He shall have glory in 
heaven, for he has gotten a name above all names, 
that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, both 
in heaven and earth. Angels, principalities, powers, 
are made subject to the low man, Christ Jesus, and the 
angels hold their standing of him : he shall have 
glory with his Father, for he sits down at his right 
hand, and it is no robbery for him to be counted 
equal with God. He shall have glory in hell, for 
upon the cross, he triumphed over all the powers in 
hell : he makes Satan fall from heaven like lightning, 
he robs him of his armour, and inspraith ;* the devils 
stand in awe of him, and tremble, and come out of 
men at his bidding, and he makes them acknowledge 
him. He has glory in earth, for when he shews his 
justice, the most wicked will acknowledge him ; Bel- 
shazzer shall tremble, and his joints shall shake. He 
shall reign in the midst of his enemies. If briars and 
thorns will rise up against Him, he will go through 
them. TYTiat mountain so high, that shall not fall 
down before Zerubbabtl ? It is His glory, that if his 
gospel softens not, it hardens more ; and that those 
who will not come in to him, should be shot far away 
from him; that those who will not take heaven, 
should be thrust into hell. " Bring hither," says he, 
* Furniture* household goods. 


" those my enemies, that would not I should reign 
over them, that I may slay them." That lecherous 
body* who preferred his lusts to me, that greedy 
worldly body who made gold his god, let his name be 
written in the earth. 

He has also glory among his own, which is the glory 
wherein he most delights. The crown that his mother 
made him, the crown of king Solomon, in the day of 
his espousals, this is the glory which his kirk gives 
him ; for when they come and crave of him strength, 
grace, or mercy, he gives it, and they give him glory : 
they fall into new sins, he pardons and washes, and 
they give him glory : when they are in bands, he de- 
livers them, as David, * when the bands of hell took 
hold of me, He delivered ;" therefore he says, " what 
shall I render unto thee?" And ^if any will k give 
Him glory for peace, direction, comfort, and liberty 
to cry, " Abba, Father!" he will give them yet greater 
cause to give him glory, when he leads them into the 
palace of his Father, to see that glory which he had 
with him, before the world was. He gets glory of 
his own, when their souls are loosed from their bodies, 
and they are brought to the spirits of just men made 
perfect ; and glory, when both soul and body are joined 
and brought to heaven ; and glory at the day of judg- 
ment, when all meet him in the clouds, and thence are 
tane up to heaven, and there get leave to look upon, 
and speak to him, and sacrifice songs of praise to him. 
What glory must that be, when a shout of all saved 
souls praising him shall be raised, that shall never 
have an end, when they shall have nothing to do, but 
to sing Hallelujah for ever ? In a word, all Christ's 
matters bring him glory, for his wisdom is such, as 
all of them bring him glory. 

* Person. 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 127 

Verse 14. '-'As many were astonished." — This fol- 
lows the way of his coming to glory. It is by suf- 
ferings. He must lout laigh,* ere he win so high ; 
he must be abased, ere he win to this glory. We see 
then, there is a necessity that Christ must first suffer, 
and then enter into glory ; therefore, he said to his 
disciples, that they were dull and slow to believe ; and 
rebukes them, that they knew not that he behoved 
first to suffer, and then enter into glory. These his 
sufferings, were the way to satisfy the law, and remove 
the curse of it ; and, seeing he took on our debt, he 
behoved also to take on our punishment. By this, 
all the scandal of Christ's cross is removed ; for when 
we see, that all that Christ suffered, was a concluded 
matter betwixt the Father and him, and that he was 
the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, if it 
was fore-agreed betwixt him and the Father, we have 
no reason to stumble at his sufferii._ 

i: His visage was more marred." — That is, He was 
an oversett man with the greatness of his sufferings, 
and his glory was laid by ; he was emptied of strength ; 
the buffets and knocks that were laid on his lean face, 
raised colours on him : the blood that ran down upon 
it, with the pricks of thorns from his head, marred 
his face, so that he was without form or beauty ; a 
soldier's pie* was put upon him, and they mocked 
him. He was so poor, that he had not whereon to 
lay his head ; his body so lean, that one might have 
told all his ribs ; his face spitted on and buffeted, and 
they said, " Behold your king !" his beard plucked 
out. More than any mans was his humiliation, 
deeper than any man's his misery, for who ever so 
trod on as he ? Who ever was so abused before a 
* Stoop low. | Overpowered. * Cloak. 


judgment-scat as he ? The soldiers struck him, and 
the judge reproved it not ; all men forsook him, even 
his own disciples, — not a friend to speak a word for 
him, not a cup of water to refresh him. 

"Astonished at thee." — Christ's sufferings astonish- 
ed the beholders, for they thought he suffered such 
things, that might put them in doubt if he was that 
which he called himself. They thought him a man 
smitten and plagued of God ; they think with them- 
selves, Can this be the King of Glory, who is thus 
shamefully used ? Can this be the Redeemer of the 
world, who is thus bound with cords ? Yea, it was 
a sword through his heart, when his mother thought 
with herself, Can this be he of whom the angel said 
to me, Thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and 
he shall be called the Son of the Highest, and he 
shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of 
his kingdom there shall be no end 1 When she sees 
his sufferings, she is astonished, and made to question 
if it be he : his plague was so uncouth,* that the dis- 
ciples were astonished and fled. Whereof we learn, 
that Christ's sufferings being seen, will yet astonish 
carnal reason ; for would it not astonish any, that the 
God of glory should take on the imputation of man's 
sin, the fault and punishment of it, and to take on the 
curse of the law, and the Father's wrath 1 Would 
it not astonish any, that the Word of life, the Up- 
holder of all things, should be so weak, as that he 
could not bear the tree of the cross, but there must 
be one gotten to help him ? And yet, at the same 
time, by his power, he was upholding heaven and 
earth ! Thus, he who was God of glory, should be 
tirredt naked, and exposed to shame, albeit he dark- 

* Strange. t Stripped. 

ISAIAH LII. 13, 14, 15. 129 

ened the sun for a covering to hide it ; that he should 
not find so much among men, as to give him a drink 
of water, when he is suffering for men ; yea, instead 
of pity, they mock him, and say, " If thou be the Son 
of God, come down from the cross," and so, would 
have had him desert the work of their redemption. 

In the celebration of the sacrament this day, we 
are met for the commemoration of these sufferings ; 
and He will have us at this time to remember what 
he suffered for us, to breed in us love to him, faith in 
him, and to cast out sin. Then, behold this day the 
Lord of life a slain man ; him who was higher than 
the angels, lower than any man, made a worm and not 
a man, trodden on by men. Behold Him in whom a 
number of contraries are conjoined : the holiest, and 
the guiltiest ; the Lord of life, and yet dying ; the 
Prince of glory, and yet exposed to greatest shame ; 
the feeder and clother of all, and yet hungry, thirsty, 
and tirred naked : the Commander of heaven and 
earth getting neither room in heaven nor earth, but 
lifted up betwixt them on the cross, God, the devils, 
and men against him — and yet Redeemer of all ! 

" At thee." — Before, he was speaking to us, and 
now the person is changed, and he speaks to Christ, 
to let us see that the promises of the gospel belong 
to Christ as to us ; to Christ as the head, to us as 
the members ; to him, that he may have the glory ; 
to us, that we may get the good of them : first to 
him, then through him, to us — all spoken to him, 
promised to him, done to him, and all for our cause : 
whether God strike Christ or comfort him. all is for 
our cause. 

" So shall he sprinkle many nations." — Here we 
see, how deep soever Christ's humiliation was, as high 



was his exaltation ; and as he was humbled low, so 
he gets his glory in sprinkling many nations. He 
took on pain and grief, but he wist well wherefore he 
did it. He suffered his head to be pricked with thorns, 
to save us from the pricking wrath of God ; he suffer- 
ed himself to be spitten on, to cleanse us ; to be cursed, 
that we might be blessed ; he suffered the pains of 
hell, to bring us to heaven. In a word, He is sure, 
whatever pain and torment came upon him, it is 
holden off us ; for he said, when he was tane in the 
garden, " If ye take me, let these go their way." If 
He be condemned, it is that we may be absolved ; if 
he die, it is that we may get life : if he lie in the 
grave, rise, ascend, all is for us ; and because Christ 
humbled himself for us thus, therefore God gave him 
a name above all names, that at the name of Jesus 
every knee should bow. Yea, His glory goes farther 
than his shame or his humiliation, for his shame and 
humiliation were but for a short time, and before some 
few thousands who saw him crucified; but his glory and 
exaltation are before many nations, and for ever. His 
glory is not like the glory of other kings, for kings 
reign not over their subjects after their death ; but 
Christ's glory is, that he reigns over all while they live 
and after death, and makes his subjects still to live, and 
is still gathering more. 

2. This sprinkling of many nations is a prophecy 
this day fulfilled in our eyes, for we are one of these 

3. This sprinkling is an action of the ceremonial 
law, which was used for two ends ; for sealing of the 
covenant betwixt God and man, and for cleansing; 
therefore Moses sprinkled the books of the testimony. 
So Christ sprinkles, by making a covenant, and re- 

ISAIAH LII. 13 ; 14, 15. 101 

counting us to the Father, and sprinkles many foul 
souls. The marring of his face, makes many a fair 
face ; the spitting and defiling of Christ's visage, clears 
many a down-easten conscience, and washes many a 
foul face. Therefore he says, " Let me hear thy voice, 
and see thy face, for thy voice is pleasant, and thy 
countenance is comely." 

4. " Kings shall shut their mouths" — or stop their 
mouths, that is, they shall lay their hands upon their 
mouths, stoop, be silent, wonder, adore, reverence, 
and subject themselves to Christ, casting down their 
sceptres at his feet, when they consider his wisdom, 
power, and glory. It lets us see, that when worldly 
glory comes in the sight of Christ's spiritual glory, 
it thinks shame of itself, adheres to his, and wonders 
at it. So is it with worldly power and wisdom. Then, 
fall thou down before Christ, and give him glory, when 
thou countest nothing of thy own at the sight of his. 

5. That kings are said to do thus, we see, as it is 
a glorious tiling to Christ when any come in to him, 
so, especially, when those who have worldly honour, 
wealth, and dignity. Thou in high place, who hast 
gotten grace to abase thyself, it is a token to thee that 
thou hast seen, and shalt see the King in his glory. 
That thou mayest think little of thy high place, look 
up to Christ's glory ; then, albeit thou wert descended 
of the blood royal, thou wouldst not glory, because of 
another higher generation to be sought after. 

e o to 

6. " That which had not been told, they see." — 
The apostle (Rom. x. 12) explains this of the preach- 
ing of the gospel to them who had not heard of it ; 
whereof we learn, that the preaching of the gospel is 
the way that Christ glorifies himself, amplifies his 
kingdom, subdues many kings and kingdoms, and 


sprinkles many nations. Seek then to be sprinkled 
and sanctified by the gospel, and preaching of the word, 
for by the word, the virtue of the blood and Spirit 

7. " That -which they had not heard shall they con- 
sider." — We see, that where the gospel is powerfully 
preached, and fruitfully heard, men get their eyes open, 
to see the thing they never saw the like of it, and wis- 
dom to consider the thing they never took up. If 
then the glory and wisdom of Christ shine in thy eyes, 
it is a token thou hast seen, heard, and considered 
what thou knew not before. 

8. " Stop their mouths, for they shall see." — This 
lets us see, that a man cannot submit to Christ, be- 
lieve in him, adhere to him, nor wonder at his wisdom, 
power, and goodness, till first he see and consider. Beg 
open eyes to see the Lord's suffering for you. 


Isaiah xli. 14, 15. 

" 14. Fear not, thou -worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; I -will 
help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of 

" 15. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp thrashing instrument 
having teeth : thou shalt thrash the mountains, and beat them small, 
and shalt make the hills as chaff." 

God has threatened the overthrow of idolaters in 
the former part of the chapter. Xow, in this part 
of the chapter, he promises to do for his true wor- 
shippers : that he shall uphold them, deliver them, 

ISAIAH XL I. 14, 15. 133 

comfort them, and make them victorious over all 
their enemies, whom here he comprises under the 
name of adversaries great and small, the angels that 
lay about them. 

The encouragement given to them in the former 
verses, is repeated and insisted on by a promise of 
help (verse 14), and of strength and victory over their 
enemies (verses 15, 16) ; and if need be, a drink of 
comfort is promised in their conflict, or time of sore 
trouble (verse 17). It is very fit ye should hear this, 
because ye are called to war ; ye must fight, before 
ye can -win to heaven. There is more ado, than to 
say your prayers, come to the kirk, and haunt com- 
munions ; for ye must run, strike, fight, and endure 
sore bickerings, before the crown be gotten : there is 
no coming to heaven with ease ; but as Christ came 
to heaven, so must all his, through many tribulations 
and conflicts. But this generation has neither will 
to work nor fight. Their hearts faint, their feeble 
knees bow, and their hands refuse to work : men 
sleep over in security, and dream of the fool's para- 
dise. They come to the communion to be cleansed, 
and fall over again, as swine in the mire ; as if the 
coming to the communion, were like the confessions 
made to the Papist priests, and their absolutions. 
But the truth must be told. Now ye have a fight, a 
task-work, ere ye get the treasure ; a hell to go past, 
ere ye win to heaven. As ye have reconciliation to 
seek with God, so ye have the devil and the world to 
encounter with ; therefore ye have need to guard 
yourselves upon all hands. 

After that here a Redeemer is promised to Jacob, 
he is encouraged to go in the battle : " Fear not, 
thou worm Jacob." As if he said, I know thee ; thou 


hast a great turn to do, and thou art but a feckless 
and feeble thing, in the sense of thy own weakness ; 
yet, fear not, for I will help thee ; I thy Redeemer 
have said it. Oh, but what shall I do with my strong 
and mighty adversaries, that are like mountains and 
hills, says Jacob % The Lord answers, Thou shalt 
thrash them like a sheaf of corn, and winnow them 
like chaff. I shall make thee like a new-shod flail 
with iron, or like a cast wheel shod with iron nails, 
that takes the corn off the straw ; so that albeit thy 
great enemies be as mountains, and thy smaller ene- 
mies as hills, yet I shall cause thee beat them as a 
sheaf of corn, that lies still before thee, and stirs not, 
till thou be tired of thrashing, and then casts it by 
thee, and when it is thrashen, is letten through the 
wind ; and thy enemies shall be carried away, as 
chaff, that is carried out of the gate with the wind. 
Now, because Jacob might think this an easy victory 
over his enemies, therefore he tells them in the next 
words, that for all this, he will be put to a sore pinch, 
before this victory be gotten in his sense ; for it is a 
victory that is given to faith, and faith will count no 
more of all enemies, the devil, the world, and the 
man's own corruptions, than a thrasher will count of 
a corn-sheaf, when it looks to the Lord's strength. 
But before sense get the victory, there will be a 
strange warsling,* sweating, and breathing, and such 
a weariness in the conflict, that there must needs be 
a drink of consolation. Therefore the Lord says, 
" When the poor and needy want water, and their 
tongue fails them for thirst, I the Lord will hear 
them, and will not forsake them." I know, that for 
all the notable victory I have promised, Jacob will 

* "Wrestling. 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 135 

faint ; but when Jacob is so forfoughten,* that he 
cannot cry to me for a drink, yet I will hear him 
when his tongue cannot speak, when he cannot pray 
for swooning. I will hear him, and not forsake him. 
This for the meaning of the words : let us now make 
our use of them. 

1. " Fear not.*' — "When God is speaking to Jacob 
and all his redeemed people, he says, " Fear not ;" 
which lets us see, that God knows that his people 
are very feeble and weak in the time of trouble, trial, 
and tentation, and how much we are taken up with 
the sight of impediments, when we meet them in a 
strait. "We are all stout enough till we be assayed, 
but when we have adversaries to meet with, and see 
their strength, then our hearts fall into the dust 
"We are like Peter, who minted to Ms Master on the 
water ; but when the wind blows, and he is like to 
sink, he cries, " Help, Master, I perish !" I grant, 
it is no wonder the godly be feeble, they carry about 
with them so great misbelief and manifold corrup- 
tions ; yet let them know, that know their fears. 

2. " Fear not, saith the Lord." — "We see there is 
no remedy for this fear, but the voice and word of 
the Lord : only his encouragement can hold us up in 
the conflict, and no created power will bear us up in 
the strait ; his voice and word give boldness and 
courage. Thou who art afraid to win through thy 
sins, and get impediments overcome, take the Lord's 
word, the staff of his promise, to strengthen ; let this 
word dwell plentifully in thee. Take the sword of 
the Spirit, the leg-harness of resolution, the helmet 
of hope, spoken of in Ephesians vi., and guard thy- 
self with the word on all quarters. 

* Over-fought, exhausted with fighting. 


3. In the 10th verse lie forbids Jacob to fear, and 
here he repeats it. It lets us see, that as nothing is 
more comfortable to a feeble or fleyed* soul, than 
the word, so the Lord is not sparing of it, but large 
in his promises; he repeats, inculcates, and strengthens 
in the battle. So that look how feared we are, and 
what need we have of encouragements, as ready is the 
Lord to lay them to our hand, both to rebuke our 
fear, and strengthen our doubtings : the same he does 
to Joshua, to Jeremiah, and here, to Jacob. 

4. " Thou worm Jacob." — Jacob a worm, 1. For 
weakness ; for what is all flesh but grass, when it 
is to stand out against the fight of sin, the devil, and 
the wrath of God ? 2. A worm, for un worthiness ; 
for of all the unworthy things that can be, a piece of 
sinful flesh is the unworthiest, for sin disgraces the 
substance wherein it is. 3. A worm, for aiflictions 
and dejection in the mire of trouble ; therefore in the 
twenty-second Psalm, " I am aworm,and no man;" for 
it is a worm's place to be trodden in the dirt ; so was 
Jacob, an offcast for reproach and affliction. 4. A worm, 
because of the sense of his own naughtiness ; a worm in 
his own estimation, because of his present estate : he 
was so cast down and discouraged in himself, that he 
cannot lift up himself : as David, "I am a beast before 
thee ;" (Psalm lxxiii.), I have not the understanding 
of a man. Here then God, by calling Jacob a worm, 
recounts all his objections which might mar his faith ; 
as if he said, Jacob, I know well enough that thy 
weakness, unworthiness, thy afflictions, and estimation 
thou hast of thyself, make thee fear ; yet fear not 
for all that. It lets us see that the consciousness of 
these, which is in man, makes him to fear, and breaks 

* Frightened. 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 137 

his courage. Try what makes thee fear that thou 
shalt not win to heaven. I speak to thee who art 
yoked in the battle, and not to lazy sluggards that 
love to loiter and sleep, and will not wrestle against 
sin, Satan, and their own corruptions ; but to the 
striver I speak. What makes thee afraid ? I am 
weak, sayest thou 1 and I have many strong enemies 
and adversaries, sins, and God's hand is upon me day 
and night, both upon body and soul ; I am unworthy 
to stand upon God's earth ; I am sensible of my own 
naughtiness, and see reasons anew within me. I an- 
swer, All is true that thou sayest ; but God who 
knows all this, saith, "Fear not, thou worm." There- 
fore seeing God knows thy weakness, unworthiness, 
and every evil that troubles thee, and meets them 
with, " Fear not," take heart — strive on ! 

5. "Fear not, thou worm." — Jacob, I know thou 
art a worm, and what are the causes of thy fear ; and 
yet, that hinders me not to make unto thee a promise 
of help against all thy enemies. It lets us see, seeing 
our weakness, unworthiness, troubles, and sense of 
want, hinder not God to make a promise, neither 
should they hinder us to embrace the promise. If 
we find ourselves unworthy worms, and God saying, 
Fear not, then we should answer God and say, Albeit, 
Lord, I be a weak unworthy worm, and my foes many 
and strong, yet seeing thou forbiddest me to fear, I 
will not look to my own dead body ; but having thy 
promises, as Abraham did, I will give glory to thee 
in believing, whatever unlikelihood be in the per- 
formance of the promise : I will not look to these, 
but to thee who promisest. 

Seeing God knows the fears, and passes them by, 
let us pass them by also ; for he makes not a promise 


for any thing in us, but for his own love and grace's 
sake. Therefore let us not, because of our unworthi- 
ness, refuse the promise. If it were for our deservings, 
it were not grace. Labour indeed to be sensible of 
thy weakness and unworthiness, that thou may the 
better take the promise. But, alas ! the most part 
are not sensible of their weakness and unworthiness, 
but bolster up themselves with some one conceit or 
other; as those who say to Christ, Hast thou not 
taught in our streets % have we not eaten and drunken 
at thy table \ have we not preached in thy name \ 
And yet, never have their hearts been brought low 
in the sense of their own vileness and unworthiness ; 
never have they searched the reason of their fears or 
doubts. To whom, I say, it is very needful that 
they should search the causes of fear and doubting to 
work humiliation : for fault of this, sin is not re- 
pented, God's anger not laid to heart ; Hell is not 
seen gaping for them, but rather a covenant is made 
with hell, and an agreement with death. I grant, 
we should not doubt nor fear, yet we should dispute 
about the causes of fear and doubting ; and if any 
dispute not, let them beware, lest they presume. 
Therefore hear the reasons of the doubts of thy con- 
science ; and if thy conscience say thou hast reason 
to fear and doubt, because thou art a rotten hypo- 
crite, thou hast never pannelled thyself before God's 
tribunal for sin ; thou hast never tane pains to know 
if thou art reconciled to God ; thou hast never been 
loathsome in thine own eyes ; and for thy prayers, 
hearing, reading, communicating, they have been but 
counterfeit. When the conscience thus accuses, thou 
hast reason to dispute the matter ; thou must either 
grant or deny, when thou art challenged on true 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 139 

grounds ; and if after dispute and trial, all be found 
true that is said, hast thou not reason to be humbled, 
and to fall down, and mourn in the sense of thy own 
vileness ? And yet, I would not that in this estate 
thou should quit the promise, but keep the promise 
fast in thy hand, and mournfully cry to God with thy 
mouth for pardon. Jacob, thou seest he is a worm, 
weak and unworthy in his own sense ; and therefore 
if thou be unhumbled, proud, and beastly, thou hast 
cause to fear and doubt. If thou hast never doubted, 
beware lest thou never believed. Yet I condemn 
not doubting, but I speir, How came thou to that 
strength of faith, that never staggered, or felt thy 
own weakness ? Beware thou be not circumvented 
by the devil's delusions ! Therefore rest not without 
impregnable grounds : labour first for a sense of un- 
worthiness and wretchedness, and grip the promise 
of not fearing. Here I have digressed a little ; but 
men's sluggishness and customary slighting of God's 
service, makes me fear, that many a one is not pre- 
pared for the consolation that here is offered to such 
as are become worms, as Jacob, in their own estima- 
tion. However, the point I had in hand is this, that 
unworthiness should not hinder to take the promise, 
seeing it hinders not God to make it. 

6. " Worm Jacob, I will help thee." — "Wherefore 
will God help Jacob 1 because Jacob is a worm, and 
cannot help himself. It lets us see, that our weakness 
and unworthiness are so far from hindering God to 
make the promise, that it is the very fit disposition 
in us to stir him up to make a promise to help us. 
And therefore the feeling of our weakness and un- 
worthiness should be so far from hindering us to be- 
lieve the promise, as it should further us to it, for now 


we arc in the disposition fittest to receive God's help ; 
our sense of the need of help, should make us take 
it ; the sense of our weakness and wants should make 
us apply the comforts. This is a notable mean to 
overcome Satan and all our doubts. When Satan 
says, Thou art vile, weak, and unworthy, therefore 
thou cannot lay hold on God's promise ; retort his ar- 
gument and say, that by the contrair, because thou 
art so, thou shouldst lay hold. If he say, Will such 
a feckless weak wretch as thou stand out against prin- 
cipalities and powers ; or will such a worm as thou 
bear out the godliness thou aimest at 1 thou mayest 
answer, Because God has letten me see my weakness, 
worthlessness, and sinfulness, and in sense of it has 
laid me low, flat along upon the earth, as a worm, 
therefore I know he will help and regard me in this 
low estate. 

7. We see, albeit Jacob be a worm, he must neither 
misken himself, nor refuse God's offer of help ; but 
his disposition must be such, as he must both be 
abased in himself, and confident in God ; for these two 
stand well together. Take it for a proof of faith, when 
thou findest both ; and of presumption, when these 
two are parted. If thou believe in God, and see not 
thyself a worm, thou but presumes t ; but if the sense 
of thy vileness make thee tremble to draw near to 
God, and yet thou comest, then art thou confident. 
Let this then be the trial of thy faith : Art thou 
vile, wretched, and unworthy in thyself, and at the 
same time believest in God ? — thou hast found faith, 
for the composition of the sanctuary is in the oint- 
ment. Now, to deny thyself, is to be a worm ; and 
to lean on Christ is to believe in him. That this may 
be done, hold the glass of the law still before thine 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 141 

eyes, to shew thy vileness, and so be humble ; and 
Christ sliming in the mirror of the gospel, his good- 
ness and pity to make thee believe : look on both, and 
thou shalt be borne through. 

8. " I will help thee," — the reason why Jacob 
should not fear : it lets us see, that having God on 
our side, we should not fear. If God be with us, who 
can be against us ? Follow God at the back, and in 
his name pray, work ; then, fear not, for he will be 
with thee in all thy ways, to guide thee, and has given 
his angels charge over thee, that thou should not dash 
thy foot against a stone. Hold thyself in God's ways, 
and at his back, and fear nothing. 

9. While God says he will help Jacob, it imports, 
that he will join himself with Jacob in the turn ; for 
He sayeth not simply, I will do the turn, but, I will 
help thee to it. It is true, God doeth the turn ; but 
he doeth it by Jacob. It lets us see, that God so 
works his work in all his own, as that they are not 
idle, but are employed in the work. This reproves 
those who will lay over the matter upon God, and go 
idle themselves. It is true, all we can do is nought ; 
yet by us as instruments, God will work. It reproves 
those who say, It is bootless for me to mint for re- 
pentance, till God please to give me it ; and so they 
will follow the devil's service merrily : and if God will 
fetch them from the devil's back, it is well ; if he will 
not, they cannot help it. But I tell these men, they 
tempt God never to give them repentance. If they 
will have mastery of their sinful corruptions, they 
must put to their own hand to the fight, and they must 
bear some bulk with God. Albeit they can neither 
fight nor work, when God bids them put out their 
hand to do any thing, they must assay to put it, albeit 


it be lame and sick, and so, God shall furnish strength 
to do the work ; for God, and any thing with him, are 
strong enough against all our foes, spiritual and 

10. " Says the Lord, and thy Redeemer." — He puts 
three styles to the promise, or shews his great name 
in three titles, that Jacob may know who is the pro- 
mise-maker ; for it is a matter of singular worth, to 
know what he is who makes a promise, and the pro- 
mise takes worth from him who makes it ; and so, we 
see the Lord sets to his name to the promise, and sub- 
scribes it. See here God's willingness to make his 
kirk believe his promises : he not only makes pro- 
mises, but subscribes, and would have us to read his 
written subscription at the end of the promise. He 
is not like the false flatterers in the world, that will 
make many fair promises, and when it comes to the 
subscribing or sealing, will draw back. But God 
both promises, and subscribes it in all his three styles ; 
the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 
In all God's promises, read God's stamp and subscrip- 
tion, and when thou perceivest the promise to be his, 
distrust not : say not it will never be, call not his obli- 
gation in question, controul not his truth ; for that 
would crab* an honest man, far more the God of 

11. These three styles, are God's name in three 
titles, which lets us see the distinct persons of the 
Trinity ; for here both the works of creation, redemp- 
tion, and sanctification are clearly shewn ; whereby 
He lets us see, there is a consent given to this pro- 
mise by all the three persons of the Trinity, and God 
is content that his great styles lie in pawn, till he per- 

* Offend. 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 143 

form the promise lie has made, that as he would give 
honour in these three styles, so shall he get it, in 
performing of this promise. Therefore when God 
lays his crown royal in pawn, his name Jehovah, hav- 
ing being of himself, and giving being unto all ; his 
name in redeeming us his people, his name of sancti- 
fying them ; he intimates, that as he loves to be hon- 
oured in one and all of these styles, so shall he surely 
perform his promise ; and he will no more quit his 
being of himself, redeeming and sanctifying of his 
people, than he will quit the performance of his pro- 
mise. Neither yet think, that there is a division 
among the persons of the Godhead, when a promise 
is made ; for when the Lord says it, it is the Re- 
deemer says it, and the Holy One says it ; for He 
promises not that the Son knows not of; for both 
their promises are one, their word and works are one 
to us. 

Verse 15. " Behold I will make thee a new thrash- 
ing instrument." Here the Lord's promise to make 
them strong against their adversaries. As a sheaf of 
corn is unable to resist the thrashing instrument, so 
shall their adversaries spiritual and temporal, com- 
pared to mountains and hills, be unable to resist them. 

1. It lets us see. that the victory of God's people 
over their enemies, looking to God their helper, is as 
easy, as the thrashing of a sheaf of corn. I say, it is 
easy to faith, albeit not to the flesh ; for the apostle 
Paul, when he looks to his flesh in his conflict, he 
says, " miserable man that I am ! who shall deliver 
me ?" But when it comes to faith, he says, " I am 
persuaded that neither height, nor depth, nor any 
other creature, shall be able to separate us from the 
love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 


There he thrashes all his enemies, sin, Satan, the 
world, and all that can be against him. And in the 
118th Psalm, " They ran about me like bees, but in 
the name of the Lord I will destroy them all." For 
temptations come about him, like bees swarming upon 
all hands, and no place to fly to : but in the name of 
the Lord, that is, his faith looking to God, he will de- 
stroy them all. He only stands, and sees the salva- 
tion of the Lord ; holds on the whole armour of God, 
resists the devil, and he flies from him ; yea, no enemy, 
great or small, but faith in God makes them all fly. 

2. " Thou shalt fan them."— We see Jacob's ad- 
versaries who were great like mountains, being thrash- 
ed and put to the wind : they seem strong and terrible, 
and he like a weak worm ; but from once they be 
holden to the wind of God's promise, they are blown 
away as chaff. It lets. us se§, that the godly seem 
weak, and their adversaries strong, before God put to 
his hand : but then, the godly seem strong, and their 
adversaries weak ; for when the devil's strength is 
compared to God's, it is but like chaff to the wind, 
or the forces of kings and potentates. Therefore the 
prophet says, " What art thou, who art afraid of man 
whose breath is in his nostrils, and forgettest the Lord 
his Maker 1" And David says, " I will not fear what 
flesh can do to me." This is after fainting. Therefore 
winnow all the doubts which arise from the strength 
of thy adversaries, and thine own weakness ; but see 
that thou winnow them at God's barn-door, in the 
sanctuary, as David in the 73d Psalm. When he 
had almost fallen at the sight of the prosperity of the 
wicked, he went to the sanctuary, and there he saw, 
they were set on slippery places, and horribly con- 
sumed in a moment. 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 145 

3. " Thou slialtbeat small"— and " the wind shall 
carry them." They are something before God put 
to his hand — mountains and hills — and Jacob nothing: 
but from once God put to his hand, Jacob is strong 
and they are weak. So it is at this day with the kirk 
and her adversaries : that which was something is 
nothing, and nothing is by God's hand become some- 
thing. For who would have said, that the King of 
Sweden,* when he came from home with six thousand 
men, when his enemies were six hundred thousand, 
should have done that which is done, but through 
God's putting to of his hand. He has done great 

4. We see, in God's promises, it matters not what 
strength they have or want, to whom the promise is 
made, for the whole strength stands in the promise. 
And when God threatens, it matters not what strength 
be in the party threatened ; for albeit they were as 
mountains, yet he who threatens, can make a worm 
thrash them ; God's flail can ding them all in dust. 
Look never how weak or how strong those are to whom 
God speaks, for the weak shall be strong, and the 
strong shall become weak. 

" And thou shalt rejoice in the Lord." — Jacob's 
part of the battle is won, and now, God must have 
his victory. We see it is a part of the Lord's honour, 
and our thankfulness, to rejoice in the Lord, when we 
have gotten victory. Has God promised that he will 
be our God, and renewed covenant with us, and com- 
municated himself in the sacrament, and has done it ? 
it is our part to rejoice, in testimony of our thankful- 

2. He says, that worm Jacob shall rejoice, which 

* Gustavus Adolphus. 


lets us see, that we may be a -worm in our own sense, 
and yet rejoice in the Lord, and in him, triumph over 
all Lis enemies. These two stand well together, for 
we are bidden rejoice in trembling. 

3. Rejoice, is for the time bygane and present, and 
glory is for the time to come ; which lets us see, that 
the fruit or right use-making of our delivery past, is 
to make us rejoice for the present, and glory for the 
time to come. And indeed, the godly, if they will 
not look to themselves but to God, may rejoice for 
time bygane, and glory for time to come : they may 
boast themselves in God all the day long ; they may 
not glory in their own strength or wisdom, but let 
him that glories, glory in the Lord : through him, 
they do valiantly. Albeit they have many strong 
foes, and great adversaries, yet God shall tramp them 
under foot, and rule over them with a rod of iron. 

Verse 17. " When the poor and needy seek water.** 
— This victory formerly promised, is yet not very 
easy to sense ; for albeit faith may lay hold on this 
victory, yet flesh and sense will flag and fail, and be 
more worm-like and naughty before the battle be 
ended. Therefore a promise is here subjoined to such 
as in their own sense are weak in the conflict, that 
they shall get a drink of consolation. We see, what- 
ever promise be made to God's children of victory 
over their foes, yet they may not think but to find 
great pain to the flesh, and sore and uncouth skir- 
mishes ; albeit faith get the victory easily, yet it is 
hard victory to the flesh. Wonder not to find it so 
that ye be like Elisha at Jordan, crying, Where is 
now the God of Elias % I am like to be overcome. 
In such straits as these, think not that God will fail 
in his promise. 

ISAIAH XLI. 14, 15. 147 

Question. But how far may -victory of faitli be 
kept under in the flesh ? Answer. Till one become 
poor and needy, fainting, forfoughten,* and fallen 
by, and their tongue so failing, that they cannot seek 
a drink, yea, no water or drink of consolation at all, 
but debarred the sight of all comfort in the conflict ; 
so deprived of all comfort, that their tongue is so far 
sealed, that they dare not say, God help me ! or pant 
unto God. Think it no wonder when thou art thus 
borne down, and thy face thus rolled in the dust : 
know it is but thy flesh and thy pride that God is 
abasing ; he is but making thee nought to thy own 
sense. It is true, all will grant in their words that 
they are nought, but it is mickle to get acknowledg- 
ment of our own naughtiness from experience ; there- 
fore that we may win to this, God yokes us with a 
hard party, and so empties us in ourselves, that being 
closely contemned of ourselves, we may seek help in 
Him. Therefore, at the hardest pinch, look up to 
God, for there is adversity betwixt faith's estate and 
flesh's estate. Think not that faith is failed when 
flesh fails, for David says, " My heart and flesh fail, 
but God fails me never." God and his word cannot 
fail, whatever we feel or fear. 

Question. What will God do, when we are brought 
thus low 1 Answer. I the Lord will hear and help. 
This is a strange kind of hearing, to hear one whose 
tongue is sealed, so as he cannot speak. 1. We see 
that the consolation of the godly may be so long de- 
layed, till their strength be found to be spent, and 
they neither able to help themselves, nor seek help, 
their tongues sealed with thirst. 2. It lets us see, 
* Over -fought, exhausted with conflict. 


that their impotency and -weakness in the trial shall 
do them no prejudice ; for the dumb silence of their 
pressed soul is a loud speech, and an earnest prayer 
in the ears of God, which he will both hear and an- 
swer. When their tongues are tacked, and speak 
nothing — so straitly frozen, that they cannot stir, no 
more than a frozen worm in the clay — even then they 
have a loud cry to God. Know then, that when 
thou art forfoughten, like one gasping in the water 
ready to give up the ghost, and cannot cry, " Help 
me !" this gasping dumbness speaks to the on-lookers, 
to haste to help, so thy estate hastes the Lord to help 

" I the God of Israel will not forsake them." — 1. 
Jacob, who before was called a worm, is now called 
Israel. It lets us see, albeit God call his children 
worms, yet he keeps his estimation of them as Israel- 
ites : whatever styles of baseness he gives for our 
humiliation, yet he has the same estimation of us, as 
when he gives us highest styles. Learn we then so 
to be base in our own eyes, that we quit not our 
prerogatives ; for God counts of us at the worst, as 
he doth when we are at the best — as the woman of 
Canaan was called a dog at the one word, but a wo- 
man of great faith at the other word. God counts 
nothing less of a humble soul, than at another time. 
Therefore humble thyself under the mighty hand of 
God, and know, that God resists the proud, but gives 
grace to the humble ; yet quit not thy privileges in 
thy low estate. 

2. This name of Israel is a glorious style, a word 
of estimation, and imports a duty. He was called 
Jacob, a supplanter, because of a trick which he 


played to his brother, in stealing his birthright ; but 
he is called Israel, because he wrestled, and prevailed 
with God. And his glorious style puts him, and all 
Israelites in mind of a duty. Every worm Jacob 
must be an Israel ; every true Israelite must be a 
wrestler with God, in the time of his deepest dejections. 
Wilt thou then, a pressed worm with sore troubles, 
make thee for wrestling, as a worm that is trampled 
in the clay ? — at the one end it will sprawl, and stir 
at the other end. So must thou : whatever part is 
loose or free of thee, stir that. If thou cannot pray, 
meditate, hear, or confer ; — yet sigh, bow thy knees, 
lift up thy eyes, and stir whatever is loose. 

3. " I the God of Israel will not forsake."— That 
is, because I am become your God in covenant with 
you, I will not forsake you. It lets us see, that those 
whom God has tane by the hand to be of Israel, what- 
ever be their straits, for his covenant's sake he will 
not forsake them. Our heart, flesh, and courage may 
fail, but God neither fails nor forsakes. Forsake not 
Him, but fight out the spiritual combat as good sol- 
diers, so shall your glorious God be with you. To 
that God be all praise for now and ever : Amen. 



Philippians hi. 7, 8. 

" 7. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for 

" 8. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excel- 
lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have 
suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that 1 
may win Christ." 

Here, we havePaul's coss,* and quitting of all other 
things that he may get Christ, and a fruitful com- 
munion with him ; for he saw no other way to get 
Christ, but to quit all other things for him, and to 
get more of Christ : still to quit all things more — to 
be more out of himself and the world, and to be a 
greater stranger unto these things his nature was very 
prone unto, that he may get Christ. Therefore here 
he shews himself contented to quit all things worldly 
which might yield him pleasure or contentment, that 
he might get Christ ; and by so doing, sets down a 
rule for all men to follow his example, as may be seen 
out of the 15th verse of the same chapter, where he 
says, " Let as many as will be perfect, be thus minded." 
If any would have Christ, they must be loosed from 
all other things, and be content to want them : if they 
will not, let themwyte| themselves, if they want Christ. 

In general, I observe here, that it is no wonder the 
world know not Christ, and care not for him : no 
wonder they come to preachings and communions, and 
* Exchange, bargain. f Blame. 


go away worse than they came : no wonder they pro- 
fess Christ, and get no comfort from him : and say 
many prayers, and yet not be heard, because men are 
wedded in their affections to other things than Christ. 
Men are so fallen in love with other idols and lusts, 
that they care not for Christ. The inn or house of 
their heart has gotten so many other guests to lodge, 
that there is no room for Christ, except he will take 
a stable to lodge in. This world is still in a contro- 
versy with Christ : he is set to draw them from that 
they cannot enjoy with him, and they still to keep ; 
he to twine* them and their lusts, and they to keep 
their lusts and him with them ; he to twine them 
and the world that they may get heaven, but they to 
retain the world, and yet to look for heaven ; he to 
draw them from all false confidence, and they to stick 
by it ; he to separate them from all things, that they 
may get himself, they to make a mixed medley of 
other things and him. 

As for you who profess ye are this day come to 
seek Christ, I tell you, except ye quit all other things 
for him, ye shall not get him : ye must either thrust 
his foes to the door of your heart, or look not that he 
will come in. These strange lords that have ruled 
over you, their service must be renounced, else ye 
quit yourselves of Christ, for ye cannot possess both. 
God has said, " Thou shalt have no other gods before 
me :" if then ye will have other gods, ye shall not get 
him ; therefore either must ye quit your whoredom, 
drunkenness, worldliness, and every thing that he ab- 
hors, or ye shall not get him. Be not deceived ; God 
will not be mocked ; for such things comes the wrath 
of God upon them. But the devil has so deceived the 
* Separate, part. 


men of this world, that they are become his bond- 
slaves, ready to all sorts of sin ; and they being de- 
ceived, trow to deceive God. Also they think, God 
is like themselves, because he keeps silence. But he 
will come and set all their sins in order. Consider 
this, ye who forget God, lest he tear you in pieces, 
and none be able to deliver you out of his hand. 

Let us come to the apostle's purpose here. When 
he was a Pharisee, he was an adversar to Christ, and 
would have been ready to dip his hands in Christ's 
blood ; yea, he did it indeed, for he was with them 
that martyred Stephen. Yet, at the same time, he 
looked for heaven, and had many reasons to persuade 
himself that he should get heaven, and thought it 
needful for him to go on in the way he was walking, 
that he might get heaven. But now, being drawn in 
to the knowledge of Christ, his mind is changed, and 
he says, what things were gain to him before, now he 
counts them loss for Christ. 

Here he is about to guard the Philippians against 
false teachers, who urged justification by the law, 
and bids them beware of them ; and tells them, albeit 
these false teachers would glory in this, that they are 
the only true kirk, have the law of Moses clearly ex- 
pounded with them ; that they are of the seed of Abra- 
ham, the only true worshippers of God, and boast of 
their manifold privileges, — yet says he, whatever these 
men have to glory in, he has more. For he was cir- 
cumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the 
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, par- 
taker of the Jewish sacraments ; and for strait keep- 
ing of the law, he was a Pharisee. And for zeal in 
religion, he was as forward as any ; for he per- 
secuted the kirk that followed not his course, and for 


that righteousness -which is in the law, he -walked so 
blamelessly, that none could find offence in him. All 
these things, he says, he found to be gain to him, 
when he was a Pharisee ; but now when he is come 
to Christ, he counts them all for loss and hindrances, 
and therefore will quit them all for Christ, (ver. 7). 
And not only is he content once to say, that all these 
things which some time he counted gain to be loss now, 
but over again he says, " Yea doubtless, I count all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ." As if he said, I rue nothing my coss ; for 
I am not only content to quit all these privileges, but 
all other things for Christ : yea, I see nothing that 
is not to be quit for Christ ; whether they be things 
pleasant and profitable for soul and body, I count 
them all but loss, when I think upon the excellent 
knowledge of Christ. When I look to the righteous- 
ness that is in him, I quit all righteousness but his : 
when I look to the honour, riches, pleasures, which 
are in him, I quit all honour, riches, pleasures, for 
that which is in him, and count it loss and hinder to 
stick to any thing but him. Yea, for Him I have suf- 
fered the loss of all things ; for I was a man in esti- 
mation with the best : when my forwardness for re- 
ligion was seen, letters of commission would have 
been given me, to take men's lives, and enough to 
follow me. For learning, I profited beyond my equals ; 
I was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel : for my 
religion, I was of the strictest sort ; and for my con- 
versation, it was blameless. For my blood and de- 
scent, I was come of an ancient tribe ; friends, lovers, 
followers, and possessions I had enough. But I have 
suffered loss of all these for Christ ; and when I have 


quit them, I yet count nothing of them, yea, I count 
I have tint* nothing ; for I count them all but dung, 
that I may win Christ (verse 8), and may be found 
in him, when God makes inquisition for souls ; that 
1 may be found out of myself, and in Christ, possessed 
and kept by him ; having nothing but that which is 
borrowed from him ; not having my own righteous- 
ness which is by the law, but the righteousness which 
is by faith in him, the righteousness which is by faith 
in God, that I may know him, and the power of his 
resurrection. There is more experimental know- 
ledge of him, more power from his resurrection, to 
rise to newness of life and the fellowship of his suf- 
ferings, that may cause me yet endure more loss, pain, 
trouble, and that I may bear all that can be laid on 
me, as I should, being conformable to his death, that 
am a poor, dead, lost man to the world. I care not 
what I be, if I be in him dying ; for if I die with him, 
I shall live with him ; and if I suffer with him, I 
shall reign with him : if I get a share of his suffer- 
ings, I shall get a share of his glory, (verse 10). 

" But what things were gain to me" — We see, when 
Paul was a Pharisee, he had an aim to be at heaven, 
and was making bargain for it, using means to win 
to it, and had a stock-purse to gather gain whereby 
he might get heaven. And here he shews, what were 
the things^whereby he thought to have gained heaven : 
1. That he was circumcised. 2. That he was of the 
stock of Abraham. 3. Of the tribe of Benjamin ; 
therefore he thought he should not be shut out of 
heaven. 4. That he had removed all known sins. 5. 
That he had tane on the strictest form of religion ; 
and beside the keeping of the law, he had received 
* Lost. 


the traditions of the fathers. 6. That he was so zeal- 
ous, that he persecuted all that were contrary minded . 
Of these, and the like things, was Paul's gain, whereby 
he looked to have gotten heaven. 

1. It lets us see, that a man who is only natural, 
may look to get heaven : he may bargain for it, use 
means that he thinks may bring him to it, and he 
may set himself in the way that leads to it, and have 
hopes and persuasions to get it. How far then are 
they behind some natural men, who never set them- 
selves in the way to life eternal, and never aimed at 
it as a main matter ; but are lying among atheists, 
beastly belly-gods, seeking their own sensuality, and 
fulfilling of carnal delights for their main happiness \ 
These are not yet come to the length of natural men, 
who are without God in the world, let be to come as 
far on as a Pharisee. Many never lay their account 
to seek heaven, but say within themselves, Bide, till 
I grow old ; bide, till I get such a business by hand ; 
bide, till I grow rich. They may as well say, Bide 
till I can serve the devil no longer. To these folks 
I say, it will be late ere they win to heaven, for they 
are not yet pressing for heaven. They have their 
houses, and standing of their estate to care for ; their 
back to clothe, their bellies to feed, their name and 
credit to uphold, their pleasures to follow, their com- 
panions to be merry with : as for heaven or hell, a 
soul-righteousness or life eternal, they know not but 
by common report, yea, they care not, nor count for 
none of these. Yet we see Paul, ere he kenned Christ, 
was reckoning what things were gain to him, that he 
might get to heaven. 

2. " Were gain" — We see Paul being a Pharisee, 
as he looked for heaven, so had he gain whereby he 


thought to get heaven. So every natural man that 
has heard tell of heaven, and hopes to get it, has some 
apparent reasons, some carnal confidences that satisfy 
him, and which he reckons for gain, and makes them 
whereby he thinks to get heaven. We told you what 
was Paul's gain ; but let us see what is the natural 
man's gain in this world, that he has gathered, to get 
heaven. One thinks God has given him great worldly 
means, more than twenty of his neighbours, therefore 
he cannot miss heaven : another, because he is just 
and true in all his bargains, and gives to every man 
his due; another, because he keeps the kirk well, 
haunts communion, loves the true religion, and would 
fight for it if needs were. And yet, never one of them 
has had a wrung heart with grief for sin ; never saw 
hell open, and themselves worthy to be cast into it ; 
never were pricked in heart for the wrongs done to 
Christ, albeit, possibly, for some gross fault against 
the light of their natural conscience, they have had 
some grief that soon evanished, yet never lasting sor- 
row for sin. They think, because they are men of 
honest rank, and good account with men, and counte- 
nance the true religion, that such as they cannot miss 
heaven ; or if they be put out, few will win in. Others 
have not gathered so much gain as these to get heaven, 
but they have sundry good qualities good in many 
things : but they have some faults : either they must 
leave to be drunken whiles, or to play the harlot at 
a time, or have a little spice of pride, or love to the 
world. In a word, they are good men with one fault, 
and if God be strict to hold men out of heaven that 
have faults, he will let none in ; therefore such good 
fellows as they, may not be holden out. Others are 
rude ignorants, and their reasons wherefore they must 


be in heaven are such as these : — Has God (say they) 
ordained any Christian souls not to get heaven 1 Are 
not they of the true religion ? come they not to the 
kirk and the communion] and they have a good mind 
to God. This their stock- purse is not worth a far- 
thing, yet they look for heaven. I cannot reckon out 
all the deceits of men's hearts; but let every man 
speir at his own heart wherefore he looks to be in 
heaven, and it shall be found, that the natural man 
has aye some feckless, frivolous reason or other where- 
fore he looks for heaven. 

3. ' ; Loss" — Paul says, that the things which be- 
fore he counted gain, now he counts them loss ; to let 
us see, that to be born in the kirk, to be of the true 
religion, to keep the kirk, to say our prayers morning 
and evening, to live blamelessly, to deal equitably 
with men, are so far from doing us good to get heaven, 
that they are loss, and hindrances from Christ, and 
impediments to keep from heaven ; yea, the very cut- 
throats of men's souls, and that lead men blindlings 
to destruction. For the man who leans on these, 
never truly repents of sin ; never troubles himself to 
mortify his own evil nature ; is not earnest for recon- 
ciliation with God ; never arrests himself before God's 
tribunal, nor mourns before him in secret for sin ; but 
soothes himself in his estate, as if all were well, and 
thinks, when he compares himself with other men, if 
he be barred out of heaven, many a one has cause to 
be dismayed. But here, we see all these things they 
count gain, are losses and hindrances, main deceits, 
that hinder men to be humbled before God, and be- 
ing leaned to, prove rotten reeds, that break, and 
stab the man that leans on them. 

4. " Were gain, now loss." — When counted Paul 


those things to be loss, that some time were gain ? 
Not till a change was wrought, and he made to know 
that Christ would not be mocked with such things, 
and that they were not furtherancers to Christ. When 
he saw that a man might be a Hebrew of the Hebrews, 
of the true religion, free of open vice, zealous of good 
things, and yet be secluded from Christ, then his 
feathers fell, and his gain is turned into loss, and that 
which should have brought him into heaven, is a bar 
to hold him out of it. We see, that these things 
which a man counts his gain to get heaven, will not 
be seen to be loss, till God open his eyes to see the 
vanity of deceit ; then he sees that which was gain, 
is now loss. Till God arrest a man before his tri- 
bunal, put him on the pannel, and shew him his sin, 
and make him cast off all his confidences, he will 
never quit them. Therefore pray for open eyes, that 
ye may see the frivolousness and fecklessness of these 
things that make you look for heaven ; for if ye see 
right, these things which before seemed furtherances, 
will now become bars to hold you out of heaven. 
Your righteousness will be seen to be vileness, and 
every thing ye leaned to will be casten off, that ye 
may get the garment of Christ's righteousness to 
cover you ; for till all these things be renounced, 
Christ will not be gotten as a garment to cover. 
. ..Verse 8. " Yea, doubtless, I counted all things 
loss." — He repeats the same thing again, and says, 
not only counts he these things loss, but all things 
to be loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Jesus Christ. As if he said, I have now gotten more 
than I had when I was a Pharisee ; and not only do 
I quit these which I had being a Pharisee, but all 
things, since I came to Christ, that I may win Christ. 


When I was a Pharisee, I quitted all known sin (albeit 
then I knew not sin well, and so could not well quit 
it), yet now, when I know sin better, I quit it more 
for Christ. When I was a Pharisee, I was blameless 
concerning the law : I quit that ; and now, when I 
know the spiritual meaning of the law (as then I did 
not) I quit that also. When I was a Pharisee, I 
drew none to Christ ; but now, I draw in many a 
thousand souls to Christ (if any work be of worth 
with God, then, specially, the winning of souls). 
But albeit I have made a fair conquest of souls, hav- 
ing carried the gospel triumphantly athort* many 
nations, yet I quit that as loss to me : it shall be no 
gain to me; I shall never bid God take me into 
heaven for that cause. In a word, I quit all that I 
have done, said, or suffered ; all the righteousness 
that ever I had, have, or am aiming at, all shall be 
loss to me, that I may get Christ and his righteous- 
ness ; all shall be hindrances to me, they shall not be 
relied on, they shall never come in among the matter 
of my gain ; but all of them, if they were a thousand 
times more, shall be counted loss, for the excellency 
of the knowledge of Christ ; so that I will now come 
in among the poorest and unworthiest to Christ ; 
with them who have never won one soul to Christ, 
but are in question about the estate of their own 
soul ; with such poor, needy lost things, who have 
nothing in themselves to bring before Christ ; and 
will take me to the knowledge and righteousness of 
Christ alone. I will take him for my portion and 
matter of confidence ; I will come into him as an un- 
profitable servant, and will lean on himself, his good- 
ness, truth, and mercy, which are given to them who 
* Across, athwart. 


have nothing of their own ; for first and last, then 
and now, I count all things but loss for him. 

That he counts all things loss, we see, that there 
are more things than one or two which men grip in- 
stead of Christ, for which they lose Christ, and are 
deprived of him. But Paul counted all things loss. 
1. The pleasures of sin, he counted them loss for 
Christ. 2. His lawful liberties, houses, lands, were 
loss. 3. The more fine things, his learning, and un- 
derstanding of all sciences, which served to make a 
complete natural man. 4. His righteousness by the 
law, and righteousness since he came to Christ ; all 
his good deeds and words before and after he came to 
Christ, he quits all. 

Seeing there are so many things to hold a man 
from Christ, try how far ye are from Christ, and how 
near ye are to come unto him. Try if ye have quit 
your lusts for Christ : if ye have not, then ye are not 
come so far as the apostle when he was a Pharisee, 
for even then, he was blameless. But ye count your 
sinful lusts your gain. Ye who count a day spent 
among your companions, in the service of your lusts 
and pleasures, a won day. ye know not Christ yet, for 
your beastly sensuality is your god. Ye who think that 
to take a good drink with good fellows, or to take a 
harlot in secret is your gain, ye, with Esau, have sold 
your birthright for a mess of pottage. Ye who are 
given to revenge, and will have amends of him that 
has wronged you, and count it your contentment to 
plot his overthrow ; to be above him and about, and 
count it your gain to horse his heels, ye neither know 
Christ, nor have tane hold of him ; yea, even human- 
ity and civility, and the moral lives of Pagans, would 
abhor those things which thou keepest, and countest 


the matter of thy glory. But thy glory is thy shame, 
and thou shewest plainly that the goodness, meekness, 
and majesty of Christ, have never shined upon thee. 
Therefore must thou quit such things, or quit thee of 
Christ, (I speak to thee who eomest to the communion, 
and frequentest all the exercises of God's worship^ ; 
quit, I say, thy filthiness, drunkenness, pride, world- 
liness, deceit, revenge, and unjust dealing. 

Objection. But how shall I get my living won 
in this evil world, if I use straight and just courses ? 
Answer. If thou wilt not quit these, and every 
known sin, quit thee of Christ. And yet, when thou 
hast quit these, thou hast not come to the Pharisee's 
garters, for the Pharisees not only were free and 
blameless of scandalous sins, but also did many things 
that thou never minted: for they fasted two days in the 
week, and gave their meat these days to the poor. 
And yet, Christ says, ,; Except your righteousness ex- 
ceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, 
ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." 

Some may answer me and say, they have indeed 
quit all such sinful lusts, pleasures, delights ; but they 
must have leave to plod and plea about the getting of 
worldly commodities ; they must have leave to spend 
their morning and evening meditations, how to get 
this, and yon, and a third business compassed ; he for 
his house, another for his farms and ploughs. He 
may not neglect his affairs, nor cease to be careful for 
his household. He has his estate to guide, albeit his 
soul should be lost ; he has the standing of his house 
to care for, come of his soul what may : in a word, 
all he does are the points of his lawful calling. But 
I answer, Has God given a house to care for, a living 
to guide, and a high place to uphold, first, that he 



may shut thee in hell next ? Or has he given thee a 
calling, that it should have the first room, and God the 
next room ? Should not these be means to further 
thee to serve God, and not hindrances? Therefore, 
take heed what ye are doing, for here is the very hose- 
net wherein Satan catches the civilians of the world ; 
and yet they are counted godly honest folks, while as 
they are nothing but rotten worldlings, who never 
truly repented sin, nor stood in awe of God : for if 
they could colour their matters by the law, or some 
pretence of reason, and so make all fish that comes in 
their net, it is well, — they must have leave to devour 
and scrape, to hunger and thirst for things in the 
world more than for heaven, and yet be ranked for 
sound Christians ! But attest the conscience of such 
persons, if ever they had such grief of heart for their 
sins, as when the things of this world went wrong ; or 
such joy of heart in Christ's favour, in the remission 
of sins, in the hope of heaven, as they had joy when 
things of the world go right. Therefore, let such 
persons either quit themselves of such worldly clogs 
as hold them from Christ, or quit him. 

Objection. Shall I quit those things that God 
has given me, my lands, houses, and liberties? Answer. 
Quit not thy calling, thy lands, houses, and lawful 
liberties, in action, but quit them in thy affection and 
estimation, because thou hast better things to spend 
thy care, fear, grief, and travail upon. Labour for 
the bread that perishes not. Lay up treasures in 
heaven, where the thief cannot break through, nor 
the canker consume. Hold only a moderate care and 
diligence about the things of this world, doing all thy 
worldly business without carking care, anxiety, or 
solicitude; leaving all on God's providence, not caring 


what be the success, whether things go right or wrong, 
whether thou get profit or loss. If this thou would 
do, every thing should be a step to advance thee 
nearer heaven ; for if thy affairs succeed, thou would 
take it from God, and bless him for it ; if they suc- 
ceed not, thou would be contented to let things of the 
world go, because they are only thy moveables, and 
thy heritage is kept to the fore in heaven. Quit, I 
say, the love of the world, for if the love of the world 
be in you, the love of God is not in you. Quit the 
love of friendship, credit, estimation, for if thou wilt 
busk* up thyself in any of these, or let thy heart and 
thy hand, thy time and thy travail, be more on these 
than Christ, thou hast set up an idol in Christ's room. 
But either quit thee of these, or quit thee of Christ. 

A third sort are those who lean to their knowledge 
and learning, which they will not quit as Paul did ; 
their knowledge puffs them up. Let the poor igno- 
rants (say they) who can neither read nor write, go 
to hell ; but for them, they may not be barred from 
the communion, nor yet out of heaven, because they 
can read. And if they can answer some questions 
of the catechism, and prattle some grounds of reli- 
gion, or have some insight in the cases of conscience, 
they must pass for current money, and be brought in 
without a stop to heaven. And if they be scholars, 
learned men, or preachers, what should hold them 
out of heaven, who teach others the way to it 1 But 
Christ says, that many shall say to him at the great 
day, " "We have preached and prophesied in thy 
name," to whom he will say, " Depart from me ve 
workers of iniquity ; I know you not." Therefore I 
Bay to thee who hast confidence in thy knowledge, 
* Dress. 


learning, preaching, and winning in of souls to Christ, 

thou shalt not get Christ, except thou quit' that, and 
all other things for him. 

A fourth sort lean to their righteousness, alms, and 
works ; tears for sin, prayers ; the worth of their 
faith, love, and such like graces. These also must be 
quit, if they would have Christ. The apostle names 
not the rest of the things he had done, to leave which, 
he has quit as things unworthy to be spoken of ; — his 
sinful pleasures, friends, familiars, human learning 
which he got at the feet of Gamaliel, for he knows 
that the wisdom of this world comes to nought. But 
the thing which he specially quits, is his own right- 
eousness, for he says, he counts all things loss that he 
may win Christ, and may be found in him, not hav- 
ing his own righteousness, — which is the hardest 
point of all. As for those who lean to their alms- 
deeds, keeping of the kirk, coming to communions, 
saying of their morning and evening prayers, reading 
of the chapter, I say to them, as holy have gone to 
hell. As for those who because of the gnawing of 
their conscience for sin, have shed some tears, and so, 
count themselves true penitents, I say, Pagans have 
had some torments and furies of conscience which 
have forced them to shed tears, and yet have not 
quit their sins. As for those who are ready to 
further each other in good, minister a word of com- 
fort to the weary, and speak to the edification of 
others, and preach the gospel, I say, they who have 
done more than all these, will get from Christ, " De- 
part, I know you not." Therefore all confidence in 
these must be quit. 

As for those who lean to their own righteousness, 
and have not quit it, let me here speak unto the godly, 


who having searched well, will find they have not quit 
this ; for albeit they have renounced all known sin, 
are begun to lead a blameless life, and are taking 
daily pains to do God's will, yet will they say, I can- 
not go to Christ : and why ? say they, Because I am 
so unworthy. Then I say, thou hast not quit thy 
own righteousness ; for if thy own unworthiness, or 
want of righteousness, hinders thee to go to Christ, 
then if thou had it, it would be the matter of thy 
contentment, encouragement, and confidence, to make 
thee draw in to him ; and so, that thou hast not quit it. 
And here is the reason why many a beloved soul 
lies in the^dead-thraws — because they miss something 
in themselves, which if they had, they would go to 
Christ. To such I say, If thou go to Christ with thy 
own righteousness, he will not have thee ; for he will 
have none but lost things, for he came to seek and 
save that which was lost. But thou art pingling 
with him, to have the idol of thy own righteousness 
set up ; thou to possess it, and he to have it down ; 
thou to come in as a holy man before him, he to have 
thee coming as a tint thing, to seek life. I say, as 
long as thou dost thus contest, the spirit of holiness 
and consolation will not come in ; but so soon as thou 
quittest thine own righteousness, then comes the con- 
solation. As long as thou lookest but to the right- 
eousness of the law, the spirit of Jesus leaves thee, 
till thou acknowledge Christ for the Saviour of the 
lost, the justifier of the ungodly, the gracer of the 
unworthy, and the healer of the sick. Hence it is 
that Christ leaves sin in his own to humble them ; 
for if they had righteousness of their own, they would 
misken him and his righteousness. And because 
they will not quit their own righteousness, he gives 


them an assay of themselves : and when after a proof 
of their own naughtiness, they will not yet submit to 
him, then he sends crosses, sicknesses, troubles of all 
sorts, that they may be forced to despair in them- 
selves, and resolve to come in to Christ's hospital, 
diseased and loathesome things, there to lie, till they 
be cured of all their sinful maladies. Therefore ye 
who are Christ's beloved saints, learn in time to dis- 
cern this cut-throat of your souls. Know that albeit 
ye have quit many things for Christ, yet ye have not 
quit your own righteousness ; ye are yet seeking to 
come to Christ, busked with something of your own : 
and because ye will be in with a harlot's busking, he 
puts you aback ; for he calls things that are not, as 
if they were ; he quickens the dead, he saves the lost. 

Seeing there are so many things that take up a 
man's heart, mind, estimation and affections, which 
are due to Christ, 'and all things must be quit, there- 
fore quit in time your riches, honour, pleasures, the 
love and estimation of the world ; quit your plodding 
in a lawful calling ; quit your care of the world, lest 
ye counting more of it than ye should, ye lose the 
pearl of price, and gripping an unworthy thing, ye 
shed with God. For Christ says, He that loves father 
or mother, wife, children, brethren and sisters better 
than me, is not worthy of me. Let all be counted 
loss for Christ : put them out of your affection and 
estimation which otherwise are lawful; but especially 
quit your own righteousness or self-perfection, the 
clothing and busking of yourselves with that which 
is not your own. Quit all for Him, else thou art not 
worthy of him. 

" All things but loss for the excellency of the know- 
ledge of Christ." — This lets us see, that the sound 


knowledge of Christ being rightly seen in the super- 
excellency of it, is only able to put all other to the 
door, and by the sight of it, all other things must be 
dispossessed : else the quitting of other things is not 
right, as things must be quit and renounced in the 
favours of Christ, and for Christ, as here Paul doth. 
For there are many who will quit their pleasures, 
because they cannot follow them ; many will quit their 
honour, because they cannot get it maintained: riches, 
because it flies from them and they cannot get a grip 
of it; and righteousness, because they cannot get It, 
But this is not the right quitting of these, albeit I 
grant, the Lord's laying of thorns in their way that 
they cannot win after their lovers, may be a mean to 
make them quit them as they should ; yet it is a quit- 
ting of necessity, and not voluntar. But if any be come 
to this, to say that they would not want a sweet blink 
of Christ's favourable face, which they will get at a 
morning prayer, for a year's pleasure by sin ; I will not 
meddle with things lawful, but in sobriety, lest I mar 
communication with my Lord, and quit him ; I will 
not stick to my own righteousness, because a super- 
excellent righteousness is in Christ to be gotten ; — if 
so be thou quit all for the excellent knowledge of 
Christ, thou renouncest all for him, and in his favour. 
" Doubtless I count them loss" — or yet loss, or still 
I count them loss : whereby he shews, that still he 
stands to his choice, and still puts all these thing3 
under ; he has quit them all for Christ, and rues no- 
thing his coss.* It lets us see, that a man who has 
quit all things for Christ, may not rue again, or change 
his coss, or turn back again, but must stand in the 
same mind as when he first made the coss, and pro- 
* Bargain. 

168 , SERMON ON 

fessed his embracing of Christ. He may not be like 
the dog, that has casten his meat because of the pain 
of his stomach, and when he is eased, thinks it over- 
good cheer to want, and so turns back to it. Even sp 
doth the lecherous person or the drunkard. When the 
terror of hell strikes on the soul of him, he quits his 
filthiness, and resolves never to meddle with it again ; 
but when he is eased of that fear and terror, he goes 
back again. That man renews his choice ; for after 
he seemed to embrace Christ, and quit his lusts, he 
rues, and goes back to his lusts. But if thou hast 
once quit all things for Christ, and hast said it, say it 
over again, and stand to thy choice. 

" I count them but loss." — Thou who quittest any 
thing for Christ, must account them loss ; they must 
be still in thy account and .estimation as hindrances 
to keep out Christ, or hold from Christ, for so they 
will be indeed. When they oversway a man's affec- 
tion and estimation, they will draw a man farther 
after them than Christ allows. 

" My Lord." — The sweetness of the felt band be- 
twixt Christ and his soul, makes him stand to his coss, 
and with joy to rest on Christ : so shall it do with 
every one that has truly laid hold on him. 

" For whom I suffer the loss." — Paul was already 
put to a proof of that which he says, when for the 
gospel's cause he was turned out of his country, 
friendship, estimation, and commodities of this life ; 
in hunger, nakedness, perils by sea and land, and perils 
by his countrymen ; deserted by his companions, 
scholars, and kinsmen ; shot out to preach among 
the Gentiles. And yet, he reckoned himself no loser 
by the means. It lets us see, that besides the quitting 
of all things earthly for Christ in estimation and af 


fection, God will call forth some of his children, to 
give a real proof in action of the quitting of all things, 
when they cannot get them and Christ both kept. 

Quit sinful things both in action, and estimation, 
and affection, for no man can serve God and Mam- 
mon. Quit thy lawful liberties and commodities 
worldly in affection and estimation, and yet keep the 
possession of them, as long as they hinder thee not 
to possess Christ ; for albeit he bids a man quit his 
houses, lands, and friends, to follow, yet he bids no 
man be such a fool as to cast away his goods at every 
occasion ; but only he craves, that man should quit 
them in estimation and affection, and yet still be 
studying to do righteousness with your neighbour. 
Cut only away the affection and confidence in good 
tilings. Quit your lawful liberties, goods, country, 
friendship, by actual resignation as well as affection, 
when God calls for it ; for when ye were baptized, 
ye took in hand to quit all and follow Christ. It is 
true, Christ takes not this proof of every one, but of 
some. Therefore it is said, " To you it is given, not 
not^only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for 
his sake," (Philipp. i. 29). Christ will only honour 
some to be sufferers for him, as Paul, who suffered 
the loss of all things for Christ. 

" And do count them but dung" — After he has 
quit all things for Christ, and suffered the loss of 
them in affection, he counts them but dung ; that is, 
he counts them but feckless, and himself to have lost 
little. We see, after a man has quit any thing for 
Christ, he must keep the same estimation of the thing 
he quit, that he had before he quit it ; he must still 
count it dung, else he may be wooed, and fall in love 
with it again, and so be snared. When he has once 


quit them, lie must still keep the same estimation of 
them, that he had when he first professed renuncia- 
tion of them. 

This land has not yet been put to this trial for 
Christ, but only some few persons. A wind of law 
blew loud, and many, ere the blast of it came near 
them, rowed to the lee-shore. " For," said they, 
" what need we peril our lands, goods, estimation, for 
so petty matters?" But I say, in this they have 
proven light, (albeit possibly they may get strength 
to stand out in a greater matter). What shall these 
men do when trial comes % Whether will they keep 
the truth they have received, or receive mixture of 
Antichristian doctrine; else have their lands for- 
faulted, and their bodies prisoned ? Trials may come, 
whether men will be Papists in effect, or quit things 
dear to them ; therefore we have need to sit, and lay 
our account what the building of Christianity will 
cost, lest we leave the work with shame, for fault of 
expenses. Therefore Paul would have us to count all 
things to be but dung, that are to be lost for Christ. 
Crave, therefore, that nothing we have, may be a 
hindrance to confess the name of Christ. 

But mark how Paul won to this, and in what order. 
First, he counted them but loss ; then he quit them ; 
and having quit them, he counted them yet still to 
be loss and dung. It lets us see, when we renounce 
any thing of this world for Christ ; houses, land, life ; 
we must first quit them in estimation and affection, 
and then, we will easily quit them in action : count 
them still dung in our estimation and affection, else 
we will not quit them in action ; for as the estima- 
tion puts price on them, so will we labour to enjoy 
them. Having quit any thing for Christ, count it 


still dung ; -write upon thy lands, the name of dung ; 
write upon thy houses, the name of dung ; write upon 
thy life, the name of dung ; for if this be not -written 
upon them, thou -wilt not quit them for Christ ; and 
having counted them loss and dung, let it stand so, 
never to be sought back again. 

Put Paul's gain in the one balance, and his loss in 
the other balance, and ye shall see, he has reason to 
count and call all things he has lost but dung ; for 
his gain is the excellent knowledge of Christ his Lord, 
his loss is only lawful liberties, country, friends, pos- 
sessions. It lets us see, that the vantage in gaining 
Christ is far beyond the loss ; that the loss is dear of 
the reckoning, yea, the loss is none at all. For what 
loses any man for Christ \ Is it friends worldly ? he 
shall have friends in heaven. Is it houses \ he shall 
have a mansion in heaven. Is it lands? he has a 
heavenly inheritance. In a word, all his loss is of 
things temporal, and his gain is of things spiritual 
and eternal, and Christ himself to make all his loss. 
To quit all things for Christ, look to the excellency of 
Christ, then all thou quittest will be but dung. 

"And be found in Him. 1 ' — Here is the thing he 
would be in grips with, instead of all his losses; a more 
fruitful communion with Christ ; — he would be found 
in Christ. This imports, that in the day of God's 
judging, there will be an inquisition made for every 
man, and every man will be sought till he be found. 
The Lord will search and find out men, whether they 
be lying in the devil's kitchen, or in the swine-trough 
of nature, or in Christ. His eyelids try the children 
of men. The apostle, when this inquisition is made, 
has no will to be found out of Christ. 

When God makes inquisition for blood, adultery, 


deceivers, profane, ignorants, misbelievers, see that 
thou be not found among them, for God will search 
Jerusalem with candles. There shall not be a man 
frozen in his dregs, but he shall be found out, by a 
more narrow search than the Spanish Inquisition : 
man, woman, bairn shall be found out ; as death laid 
them down, judgment shall find them again that day. 
Paul is providing a covering, a resting-place, and a 
righteousness to cover him ; labour, therefore, in 
quitting other things, to find a residence where ye 
would that God should find you. There is no safe 
place but Christ ; and if thy sins and unworthiness 
chase thee, flee to Christ, to the holes of the rock ; 
and if thou flee to him, sensible of thy blindness, lay- 
ing out thy blind eyes, hard heart, lame limbs, he 
will heal thee, and hold the door open till thou come 
in. Quit all things this day, and come to him, and 
be received; whether thou be in sense of guiltiness, or 
in the sense of wants, come to him, and still come, 
till the day of inquisition. 

" Found in Him." — He that gets communication 
with Christ, will be found in him, and Trill remain in 
him. There are as many of him, and about him, who 
will be cast out ; but they who are found in him, stay 
in him till the inquisition be made. 

What is the mark of those that shall be found in him ? 
— " Not having mine own righteousness, which is by 
the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, 
the righteousness which is of God by faith." So 
then, the mark of the man that will be found in 
Christ, is this, — he must be stripped of his own right- 
eousness, and all confidence in it, and possessed and 
fastened in that righteousness which is of God's gift 
in Christ imputed to him. This is the humble peni- 


tent fled to Christ, who will never be east out ; who 
comes to him challenging, accusing, condemning, be- 
beasting himself; crying, f Woe is me, that I have 
grieved God, tane my own will, prized the world so 
highly, counted so little of my own soul ; Lord forgive 
me !" This person will be welcome, and not cast 
out, for he is fled to Christ, to get his borrowed 
righteousness, never to be taken back again, but to 
remain his for ever. Take the whole mark, and not 
the half of it ; for many will say, I may soon quit 
all my righteousness, for it is feckless (and much ado 
ere this be done), yet will not take Christ's. But I 
speir, What makes thee stand aback from Christ ? 
Seeing thou art naked, why goest thou not to the 
wardrobe, to get a garment 1 If thou be blind, why 
goest thou not to get eye-salve ? If poor, why goest 
thou not to get gold to enrich thee ? Thus, because 
thou hast the one half of the mark, and not the other, 
thou hast no righteousness of thy own, and yet thou 
wilt not take Christ's. 

Objection. — What know I if He will take me % 
Answer — Will He not take those whom he calls ? 
Came He not to justify the ungodly ; to seek and 
save the lost 1 Has He not an office to cure the 
blind ? Is He not a kin£, to make bejr^ars rich ? 

O' CO 

Why beliest thou Him in the face 1 — thou shouldst 
believe, because he has said it. Either take heaven 
gratis, or else thou shalt'not get it. If thou must 
have something of thy own "ere thou come to Him, 
thou shalt not get him : except thou come in even 
vile, even filthy, and foolish, he will not have thee. 
Therefore come in so, and take this righteousness. If 
thou art pleased with the bargain, thus it shall stand. 
I In this stands that poisonable error of the Papists ; 


— they will not quit their own righteousness, and 
take his; and consider not, that they need wholly 
the merits of Christ. But here the opposing of the 
two, lets us see clearly, that no man can lean to both 
these sorts of righteousness ; but if we take us to the 
one, we must quit the other : if any will lean to his 
own righteousness, he will be found in himself, and 
without Christ and his righteousness. But we may 
not stay now to cangle* with the Papists. 

Verse 10. " That I may know him."— That is, 
that I may experimentally win in upon Christ, to 
know him. Ye will say, Knew not Paul Christ? 
Was he not ravished up to the third heavens, and 
saw things unutterable 1 I answer, He knew him, but 
he would know him better. Albeit he had his conver- 
sation in heaven, yet he would so experimentally know 
Him in his nature, will, office, fashions, that that 
light of knowledge might be transfused into his soul ; 
that he might draw life and power from Christ ; that 
he might feel the power of his resurrection; — 
that is, such a communion with Him in his resurrec- 
tion, as may raise him to newness of life, and make 
him have more peace and joy in him, and lift him 
out of himself to heaven, where he should dwell ; and 
fellowship of his sufferings, that as Christ suffered, so 
he may be content to be a crucified man, ready to 
take the cross on his back, and follow after Christ, 
renouncing the world, contented to be scourged back 
and side, and to suffer many things, whereby he might 
be like Christ. As He was spitted on, buffeted, 
scourged, so he desires patiently to endure all, and so 
may get that patience, peace, joy, which flow from 
Ids suffering, being made conformable to his death, 
* Quarrel, debate. 


that is, mortified in his lusts, will, mind, and affections, 
conformed to his death in dying to sin. 

1. That he quits all things that he may know 
Christ, we see, the quitting of other things in our 
estimation and affection, and flying to Christ, is not 
that we should be idle, but that we may know Christ 
better ; to draw virtue from him, that we may live a 
better life. Not that we should come to Christ, to 
make him a conveniency to bear our sins, or to get 
leave to do what we will ; but to come to him to 
work and to walk with him, to suffer and die with 
him, and to be as he was in the world. 

2. That he would know Christ better. "We see 
that the more a man knows Christ, he is more de- 
sirous to know him further. So lovely and enamour- 
ing is the knowledge of Christ, that there will not be 
so much of it gotten in this world, but still there will 
be a longing for more : yea, in heaven, when a man 
enjoys it fully, he will still drink in more of it, with- 
out satiety or wearying. While he desires to know 
the power of Christ's resurrection, he tells us, that 
from Christ in every part of redeeming of us, there 
comes a power to work answerable effects in us ; as 
here, from his resurrection, power must be gotten to 
work the expiation of sin, freedom from the guilt of 
sin. victory over death, and the means of life. If 
the fruits of Christ's resurrection be newness of life, 
then all the lustre a man has of a holy and blameless 
life before he come to Christ, is but of the old 
man ; it is but a Pagan's lustre. Albeit a man would 
fast six meals in the week, give all his goods to the 
poor, whip himself for his faults — all is nought, seeing 
it flows not from the spirit of Christ. Whoever 
would have a new life, must draw it from Christ 


risen. Thy new gentle nature must be from the 
meek spirit of Christ, so that he who before would 
patiently have borne wrong, must lay down his old 
patience, and get patience from Christ ; and he who 
had old courage, must lay it down, and get new 
courage to fight for religion, else he will prove, like 
Peter, to take himself aback when he should stand 
— new humility, liberality, patience, love from Christ, 
" for behold," says he, " I will make all things new." 

3. Ye will say, How will these things be gotten ? 
I answer, By the power of his resurrection : that is, 
our faith must so grip him, that we may draw this 
power out of him : being naked and empty of all in 
ourselves, take him for supply of all, embracing the 
slain Son of God, saying, " Now let thy servant de- 
part in peace." And He being thus gripped by faith, 
we may never hunger and thirst for worldly pleasures 
we followed before, nor for the world, but he must 
be our portion; nor honour, but that which is of Christ, 

4. While he subjoins fellowship in his sufferings 
and conformity with his death, he lets us see, that the 
way to be partakers of the power of Christ's resurrec- 
tion, is first to take part with him in his sufferings — 
such exercises or troubles as God is pleased to call us 
unto — that we may be conform to Christ ; and to be- 
have ourselves under these sufferings as he did, in 
our measure. Know then, that before thou be a new 
man from the power of Christ's resurrection, that 
many a black bat* will thy flesh get : thou wilt be 
disgraced and slandered by thy neighbours, and suffer 
twenty wrongs. But there are many who seem to 
fallow Christ at the back, who have no will of suffer- 
ings, but say, with Naaman, " God be merciful to me 

* Stroke. 


-when I go to the house of Rimmon ;*' — for their credit, 
their houses, their lands, their pleasures may not be 
meddled with. To whom I say, if thou wilt follow 
Christ, thou must be content instead of favour to be 
fumed,* instead of honour to be disgraced. If not, 
He shall pour shame upon thee ; because thou pre- 
ferred thy credit to him, therefore thou art given to 
the idol of credit, and will not quit it, for Christ's 
shame to be upon thee. Think not that Christ made 
himself shame for thee, that thou should not go to 
that same gate : thou must endure the cross of Christ. 
" Ye seek honour one of another," says Christ ; " how 
can ye believe]" Seeing ye stand to your own repu- 
tation and honour, how shall ye get me honoured 1 
So say I to thee : except thou canst forgive quarrels 
without amends, thy profession is not worth a pin. 
Therefore if thou be not content to take fellowship 
with Christ's sufferings, look not for fellowship in his 
resurrection : if thou wilt not be partaker of his suffer- 
ings, a straw shall bar thee out of heaven. But 
thou that would be partaker of his resurrection, dip 
thyself in his sufferings by faith, so as thou may have 
fellowship with him in the spirit of that power and 
patience which bore him through. 

5. But how shall disgrace and loss of goods be 
borne ? Answer — By being conformable to his death : 
That is — labour more to die to sin, study to mortify 
thy inward corruptions, and that will be a mean to 
make thee bear outward troubles the better. If thou 
be pingling with sin within thee, thou can care little 
for any disgrace or loss of goods thou can suffer for 
Christ. We see, whosoever will endure fellowship 
with Christ in his sufferings, that is, bear outward 

* Ruffled, thrown into disorder by rude handling. 



troubles, he must study to a conformity in Christ's 
death, that is, study to slay sin within him ; for he 
that is not labouring to slay sin within, will never 
slay sin without. The drunkard's vow that he shall 
not drink wine for a year, will not slay his sin of 
drunkenness ; for that is only a covenant made with 
his sin, that it shall go away for such a space : his sin 
is only put in the prison a while, to be well fed there, 
and when the time of his vow is expired, his sin comes 
forth with greater strength, and flies upon him, and 
slays him. But if thou wouldst mortify sin rightly, 
lay it down before thy dead and crucified Lord, and 
see how he was scourged back and side, crucified, and 
pierced with a spear, for thy sin that thou takest 
pleasure in ; then think with thyself, Shall I drink, 
whore, deceive, which has brought on such pain and 
torment on my sweet Lord 1 Bring all thy sins to 
slain Christ ; the love of the world, honour, ease, 
credit, thy own righteousness, and lay them down in 
dead Jesus, who was dead, and is alive for the slaughter 
of thy iniquity. Will ye then from this day forward 
be slain servants to sin, and sworn servants to Christ ; 
friends to him, and foes to your sinful lusts, drunken- 
ness, falset,* pride, worldliness, ease to the flesh, 
your own righteousness which may draw you from 
Christ, and be ready to quit all things for Christ ? 
Then come to his table, and be accepted, and what 
ye want shall be made up. Quit, I say, thy pleasures, 
lands, houses, and come, and get better honours, 
pleasures, friendship, an inheritance and happiness 
that shall never be tane from you. Only let Jesus 
be your Lord, and ye be his servants, and get all ye 
would have. 

* Falsehood. 

PHILIPPIANS III. 11, 12, 179 



"11. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the 

" 12. Not as though I had already attained, either -were already 
perfect : but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which 
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." 

Ye have heard Paul's coss,* and quitting of all 
things to get Christ ; and that from his example, a 
necessity is laid upon all to do the like, under the 
pain of not getting Christ. For if we love any thing 
better than Him, he cannot be our God, neither can 
we look for any comfort in him : if there be any i^ol 
tane in his room, — pleasure, riches, honour, life, — 
■we shall not get him. Therefore we must needs lay- 
down all things that we may gain Christ. If He get 
not the highest room with us, we may not look for 
any room with him ; for it is impossible to be sin- 
cere, if all idols be not thrown down that would claim 
his seat. I grant, there will be great fight ere this 
be gotten done ; for all our lusts will be on foot, to 
set up some idol in his room. But down must they 
all, that Christ may be set on his throne ; for he has 
not redeemed us from the devil, that the devil should 
o-et a seat above him in our soul : but he must be 
above all ; he must be our delight, our wisdom, our 
riches, our glory, our life ; and if he be not in his 
room, he will not have a room in us at all. Therefore 
* Exchange. 


ye who would be Christians indeed, I lay a necessity 
upon you, to get Christ the highest room and chiefest 
seat in your heart, else ye shall not get him. And 
scorn him not with your sins and purposes, but let 
your aiming, industry, and endeavours bear witness 
of it, in lifting up your hands to his commandments, 
as well as unto prayer. 

Here the apostle shews the way how to behave 
ourselves, and sets forth to us his own sense of short- 
coming in sanctification, and his aim to have it better. 
He wished for a more near communion with Christ, 
more than for all things ; and for it he shews himself 
content to be rid of every thing his soul affects, that 
he may feel it in the fruits of it. 

" If by any means I might attain unto this resur- 
rection." — Here a fruit of his communion with Christ 
he would be at. Now, by resurrection from the dead, 
is not here meant the last resurrection at the great 
day (albeit I will not exclude that ;) but by resurrec- 
tion from the dead here, is meant the same as in 
Romans vi. 5. " If we have been planted together 
in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the 
likeness of his resurrection." There he says, as Christ 
rose from the dead, so also we should rise from our 
dead works and ways, unto newness of life. So here, 
by resurrection from the dead, is meant complete sa- 
tisfaction in newness of life. This is it which Paul 
here aims at, in quitting his own righteousness, and 
taking himself to Christ's ; for he has won to some 
measure of sanctification. But he would be farther on 
to a higher degree of resurrection from the deadness 
of his nature, to the life of Christ, and complete sta- 
ture of a Christian man. In a word, he desires to be 
a complete Christian (verse 11). And because the 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11, 12. 181 

Philippians hearing the apostle say, that he wants of 
that measure of sanctification that he is striving for, 
might say with themselves, Would God we were as 
far on as he is ! therefore he answers this their 
thought of him, and tells them, that he is not so far 
on in sanctification as they trow : for says he, I have 
not already attained it as if I were perfect ; but I am 
following fast on, if I may apprehend that for which 
I am apprehended of Christ: that is, I have tane a 
grip of Christ, to see if I can win to that measure of 
holiness wherefore he has gripped me. (Verse 12) Then 
he doubles* the same purpose, and says over again, 
Think not so of me, that I am come so far on in 
sanctification ; for I am not yet won to the mark that 
I would be at, but have many unmortified sins, many 
tatters and rags of sin hanging at me, which hold me 
that I cannot win forward. Yet I am labouring for 
it. I count nothing of any thing that I have done, 
there is so much yet to be done. I reckon none of 
byganes, but I am reaching to those before me. I 
am assaying if I can win to the thing I would be at ; 
and what is not done, I am minting to it. This is 
set down in the similitude of a race (verses 13, 14). 
Then he bids all honest men be like-minded, and come 
on the same way that he is striving, (verse 15). 

1. "If by any means." — In the former verse, he 
was seeking further communion with Christ : here, 
he is seeking further sanctification. Whereof we 
learn, that in quitting of our own righteousness that 
we may get Christ's, we may not quit a study to sanc- 
tification. But the more we grip Christ's righteousness, 
the more we should study to sanctification. But Satan 
has put a trick upon many men, that when they hear 
* Reiterates. 


there is no justification but by Christ's righteousness, 
then say they, My holiness or righteousness will not 
bring me to heaven ; and so, they run on in the devil's 
service. To whom I say, If thou be not holy, thou shalt 
never win to heaven. Therefore thou must so renounce, 
that thou also aim at righteousness or holiness in Christ; 
for Christ has not bought thee to be Satan's servant, 
and not his. If He has bought thee to be his servant, 
wilt thou devote thyself to thy own sinful lusts, and 
so, serve Satan \ If he has bought thee from the 
slavery of Egypt, why dost thou not follow him into 
the Holy Land 1 Beware lest thou be an unwashen 
dog, if thou be not aiming at sanctification ; and that 
thou be not deceiving thyself in looking to the blood 
which thou respectest not. 

2. We see, albeit communion with Christ, and the 
knowledge of it be sweet, yet the sweetness of it alone 
may not be sought that we may rest upon it, except 
also we seek for fruit and virtue out of it to renew 
us, so as we may glorify our Lord. Do not seek so 
to repose thy mind on Christ, as if only ease were to 
be sought in him ; but so must thou rest in thy con- 
science, that thou stir up thyself to draw grace from 
him, to glorify him in thy life and conversation : for 
as thou gettest life in him, so must thou labour in 
his vineyard, and labour for a new plantation of grace 
and virtue within thee. Think not, because thou 
hast been at the communion, thou may do as thou 
likest : but by the contrair, thou must be the more 
devoted to God's service, else thou hast eaten and 
drunken thy own damnation. Herein stands the dif- 
ference betwixt true and counterfeit profession — the 
counterfeit goes from the communion as he came ; 
the true aims at holiness and reformation, and is set 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11; 12. 183 

more carefully to serve God. If thou hast gotten thy 
heart devoted to God's service, thou may be sure thou 
could never have done so, except the Lord had first 
accepted, and tane thee in his protection. If thy 
heart be consecrate to His service, thou may be sure 
he is become thy Saviour : if hereafter thou scunners* 
at sin, thou hast an evidence of a worthy communicant. 

3. See the order he keeps. First, he -would be at 
communion with Christ ; and next, he would be de- 
voted to sane tificat ion, to teach us to seek sanctifica- 
tion in this order : First, take us to Christ, renounc- 
ing our own righteousness ; then draw strength from 
him, and in his strength bring forth good fruits, and 
so be renewed ; come to Christ as a fool, a tint im- 
potent thing that can neither think, say, nor do any 
thing of thyself, and get righteousness from Christ ; 
then crave new strength from him (for thou hast none 
of thy own), to be holy. Upon this order stands the 
contest betwixt God and Ins children : they not 
finding their own righteousness, they will not take 
Christ's, and take new strength, as fellowship, from 
his resurrection, sufferings, and death, and so get 
power to slay sin ; and they know not that all the 
righteousness that can be in man before he get Christ's 
is but mere hypocrisy and an outward lustre, when 
the heart within is rotten. But from once they come 
to Christ, then holiness begins at the heart's roots, 
by the new power given by Christ. That first right- 
eousness they would be at, holds aye a man proud ; 
but this righteousness God would have them to em- 
brace, holds them humble. 

4. We see the apostle would be at farther resur- 
rection after he is risen ; which lets us see, that there 

* Shudders with loathing. 


is a first and second resurrection, and the first resur- 
rection has a progress of time and degrees. It is like 
regeneration, which is still in working till it be com- 
plete ; for as the regenerate are in a great part unre- 
generate, so those who are risen to newness of life, 
are not enough risen ; but Christ is both come in, and 
yet standing at the door, knocking, so that there are 
degrees and intervals betwixt the one and the other. 
When they rise out of the grave of sin, death hangs 
on all the powers and parts of the soul : as there is a 
quick part of the heart, so also a dead part : at all 
parts rottenness hangs ; not o" 1tt ™'eces of the grave- 
clothes, but lumps of rottei; g on, so that there 
is rottenness in their words, in their mind, and en- 
deavours. But the Christian man that is risen, is 
still raxing* himself, to have the lumps of rotten 
flesh shaven off him : he is elevating his heart to 
Christ ; and aye as he comes up nearer Christ, the 
clouts and rottenness of the grave fall off; and still 
he rises higher and higher, and grows by degrees in 
rising, till his head be in heaven — and at the door- 
posts of heaven all his filthiness and rottenness are 
stripped off him. Look then to rise more and more 
out of the grave of sin, piece and piece to rise after 
Christ, and seek of him renovation and a new life ; 
and albeit ye find the clouts of the grave hanging at 
you, discourage not, but aim still more and more to 
be freed of them. 

" If by any means." — It seems, that Paul makes a 
question in the matter. Was there any question but 
that Paul would attain to this resurrection ? I answer, 
at the first he knew he would not get all his will, but 
yet he is still aiming at it — albeit he see it hard to 
* Stretching. 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11, 12. 185 

be won to, yet he aims at it. It lets us see, that the 
difficulty or impossibility of attaining full regeneration 
or newness of life while we are here, should not dis- 
courage us, or slacken our bensil, but by the contrair, 
it should animate and encourage us to strive to be at 
it ; for albeit we attain not perfection at the first, yet 
by aiming at it, we get it in the end ; and if we run 
fast to be at it, Christ pulls us in his arms, and lifts 
us there at a loup.* As that ship wherein Christ en- 
tered, when the disciples had toiled long, was by and 
by at the shore, so are we carried to the race ; and 
when we are aiming, striving, rowing, running, Christ 
helps us a lift, and pulls us up to the shore. Yet is 
it only those who are running, contending, striving, 
and bachlingt on in the way, whom he pulls in his 
arms, and sets forward. Therefore let difficulties stir 
us up to run forward, especially seeing we have such 
helps and encouragements. Albeit at the first we can- 
not attain to the fulness of that we would be at, yet 
there is possibility to get it in the end ; and if we win 
not so far on as we would, it shall make us go farther 
down in humility, and take a better grip of Christ 
for justification. And so if we miss our purpose, 
God misses not his, when we are more humbled, and 
grip Christ better. 

" Not as though I had already attained." — The 
Philippians hearing Paul speak thus, might say, Be- 
fore thou wast a Christian, thou lived blameless ; and 
now, being turned to Christ, and having converted 
millions to him, thy life seems like an angel for holi- 
ne:s. To this he answers, " Not as though I had al- 
ready attained, either were already perfect : but I fol- 
low after, if that I may apprehend that for which 
* Leap. t Shuffling as in slip-shod shoes. 


also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." That is, I 
purpose not to sit down and rest me, for as forward 
as ye think me ; for neither is all done : neither yet 
speak I of myself, as a man perfected ; for I see more 
before me. Ye see me far on the way, but I see 1 
must go far farther : ye think I have attained to 
mickle holiness, but I see for more to be sought after. 
It is true, when I was a Pharisee, I was a man of a 
blameless life, a man separated for God's service; 
but all these things I counted loss for Christ : and 
when I came to Christ, I saw I behoved to repent 
more, and cast away all these things, as a man casts 
wares out of a ship, which he cannot brook with 
safety of his life. So I am content to quit all both 
before and after my coming to Christ, that I may 
win into his hospital, and bide there to be helped of 
my evils ; and so, I am not come out to that measure 
of holiness that ye trow. 

1. That he gives this for a reason of his strife for 
a greater measure of sanctification, because he is not 
perfect, he lets us see, that he who strives not to mend 
his hand, and to win to a greater measure of sancti- 
fication, says he is perfect, and has attained the prize. 
How great evils lurk here, let any man judge. Is it 
not a foul shame for a lukewarm Laodicean, to say, 
" I am rich, increased in goods, and have need of no- 
thing V The same say all those who sit down, as if 
they were holy enough. I say to such, Rise again, 
or thou shalt never win to heaven ; for none will sit 
down, but the Laodicean, or main counterfeit. Some 
will say, What would ye have me doing \ I pray 
twice a-day ; I read two chapters every day ; I keep 
the kirk all the preaching days. These men have a 
temper of their own, and draw godliness to their own 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11, 12. 187 

model, subordinate it to their own silly minds. They 
make God and religion serve them as they like, and 
not they Him as he likes, and so are right hypocrites. 
If anv go beyond their measure, they call these, hy- 
pocrites and precisians ; and if any be below their 
measure, they are profane, and themselves only are 
the honest men. But they are sitten down in the 
race ; not like Paul, who will not sit down, till he be 
at the race-end. If a man in a race should draw 
bridle and sit down, shall ever he win the race \ As 
there is no stay in a race, till one win over the score, 
so there is no stay in a Christian man's race, till he be 
in at heaven's door. Therefore make all to the way, 
ye who are late ; start, run the faster, cry for the 
wings of faith, and lift up the hands of your Lord to 
help you. Ye who are run a piece of the way, sit 
not down ; say not, I have done well ; but still mend 
your hand, else ye will tine the race and reward ; and 
shame and confusion of face, black burning shame 
shall come on you, for minting to go to heaven, and 
then sitting down in the way. 

2. As a man would prove himself to be far from 
this pride, hypocrisy, and false deceit, so he must 
labour to make it known, by his study and endeavour 
to purge his mind from daffing,* and his life from 
rottenness ; for it is the mark of an honest man ever 
to mend his hand, to grow up piece and piece, and to 
be still unsatisfied with himself. As contentment 
with a measure is a mark of hypocrisy and lukewarm- 
ness. so, discontentment with their case joined with an 
endeavour to more, proves uprightness ; for that which 
is sown will still grow. As thou would be approven for 
sound, stand never till thou be at Christ ; for if thou 
* Recklessness. 


stand, thou dost that the apostle durst not do. If thou 
wilt sit down, or be perfect, thou sayest thou art 
perfect, and castest down all thou hast done. 

"But I follow after." — He proves, that he conceits 
not of himself as already perfect, by his diligence to 
amend his pace, to shew us, we should rule that foul 
conceit of being perfect, and prove it, by mending our 
pace, and striving to win to perfection. This follow- 
ing after, is a word borrowed from a chace, wherein 
the man still sees before him the thing he is chacing, 
and still follows on it, and is still ready to grip it, 
and yet still it i* running before him out of his grips. 
The compari .. lets us see, that God so holds out 
holiness in our sight, that he makes us to follow after 
it, and still it is out of grips, in the fulness of it, yet 
still so near, that it is within sight, and ready to be 
gripped. Christ still runs before us, and holds out to 
us the crown of holiness and happiness, and bids us 
run and have it ; and when we see we must either run 
at it, or else not win into heaven, we follow on still. 
And so, He trains us into heaven, holding out before 
us all the way that which he will give us in the end. 
Here, the wisdom of our Lord, that he is our fore- 
runner in the race, and holds out in our sight the 
pearl we would fain be in grips with, and the prize 
that we would fain have, that we may run and get it. 
When ye see it, and cannot win to it, make not a 
claite* to it, a fairdf only to be at it, and then leave 
it there ; but still follow on, for it will fly no farther 
than heaven's door, and there thou shalt not miss it. 
Say not, What wot I if God has ordained it for me ? 
What if he lias ordained it for thee ? — let the one 
WHAT stand for the other. Never reason so, but go 

* Snatch. t Bustle. 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11, 12 189 

thy way, and do that which is clearly commanded ; 
then thou may be sure, thou shalt not miss the thing 
promised ; for Christ says, " Those whom the Father 
has given me, will come to me ; and those who come to 
me, I will not cast out." Therefore come thou to Christ, 
and fly from unholiness, so shall thou be made to know 
that God has purposed to call thee to a crown. Secret 
things belong to the Lord, revealed things to thee. 

" That I may apprehend that for which I am ap- 
prehended." — This lets us see, that no man sets him- 
self to the course of sanctification ; but that we are 
gripped by Christ, before we can grip him, or aim to 
grip sanctification through him ; and that whom 
Christ has gripped to draw to salvation, that man 
will grip Christ to win to sanctification. "Wouldst 
thou know if Christ has gripped thee to salvation 1 
Thou shalt know it by this — if thou be gripping Him 
for sanctification. If thou had rather be at holiness, 
than any thing, not caring what thou lose or gain if 
thou win to holiness, then, be sure that Christ has 
gripped thee to salvation. Therefore from this gather 
strength to look unto Christ, for if thou be set to have 
all known sin purged out, Christ has tane a grip of 
thee. As Paul was first apprehended, and then seeks 
to apprehend, so art thou. Christ has gripped and 
loved thee first, for all the work begins upon his side. 

" For which I am apprehended." — One of the ends ' 
of Christ's apprehending of Paul, was to make him 
a holy man, and to give him life eternal : and it lets 
us see, that one of the ends wherefore Christ grips us, 
and calls us from wickedness and vileness, is to make 
us holy. This serves to strengthen thee who aimest 
at holiness. Albeit thou, for weakness, cannot win 
to thy purpose, yet Christ shall not fail in his pur- 


pose ; for having gripped thee for that end, he will 
not shed with his grip, till he have made thee holy, 
and caused thee to grip him. Here is an encourage- 
ment to labour and not to loiter. Christ and thou 
shall not come short of his aim. 

Christ's aim and Paul's aim are one, for both of 
them aim to make him a vessel of honour. It lets 
us see, that Christ's aiming about us, should be our 
aim also. Aims Christ at this — to have us strong in 
the faith, to encourage us against doubting, to give 
us victory over foes, joy in crosses ? — wherever he 
looks, look we. 

" Already made perfect." — He changes the simili- 
tude of apprehending in a race, to a proper speech ; and 
the active word in attaining, is changed into a passive 
of being perfected, lest he should seem to take the 
glory to himself. It lets us see, that we are so em- 
ployed in this work, as that there is another's hand 
to be looked to from whom the strength is gotten. 
We are so workers, as we are also wrought upon ; 
we so run in the race, that we are also carried, that 
we may not glory in our own strength, nor lean unto 
it, but may give glory to God in all that is done. 

Verse 13. " Brethren, I count not myself to have 
apprehended." — Here he expounds the similitude of 
a race in more clear words ; and because the Philip- 
pians would hardly believe that he is come so far 
short of his purpose as he says, therefore he says, 
11 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended." 
As if he said, Keep what thought ye will of me, yet I 
have no such thoughts of myself, that I am so far 
forward as ye think. While he calls them Brethren, 
he ranks or matches himself with them, albeit they 
were behind him ; whereby he shews his humility. 

THILIPPIANS III. 11,12. 191 

It tells us, that true Christians associate themselves 
to all who seek God. A truly holy man is humble, 
according to the measure of holiness, and aye the 
holier the humbler : as he grows up in holiness, so he 
grows down in humility and conceit of himself. 

" I count not myself." — There is a token of his 
humility. Whatever estimation others have of him, 
he labours to keep a true estimation of himself. It lets 
us see, that a truly godly man will be loath to foster 
any other body's conceit of him, as if he were that 
which he is not. The proud man has clear evidence 
of hypocrisy ; but the humble man, let others com- 
mend him as they will, he thinks the less of himself. 
Therefore the same apostle (2 Cor. xi.) is loath to 
bring out his revelations, lest any should think of him 
above that they see or hear of him. That foolish 
conceit that others have of a large measure of holi- 
ness in some of the godly, the godly have no will of 
it, lest, if their imperfections kythe, they discourage 
those who counted so highly of them. As for those 
who think worse of themselves than others, they have 
a token of greater holiness, and a greater measure of 
light, which discovers their filthiness ; for the nearer 
they draw unto God, they will see themselves the more 
vile. Therefore Isaiah says, " Woe is me ! I am a 
man of polluted lips." 1. Take it for a mark of the 
augmentation of thy light, because the farther thou 
be on in the way, and nearer God, thou seest more of 
thy own mischief to abase thee. 2. Foster nobody's 
conceit, that would think more of thee than is meet. 
3. And if thou cannot mend other folk's conceits of 
thee, but they will esteem of thee, yet have a low con- 
ceit of thyself ; so shall not their conceit hurt thee. 
This serves to keep men from being puffed up, and 


to teacli them to walk circumspectly in their eyes, 
and abstain from all appearance of evil. When 
they think how short way they are come on in godli- 
ness, then all the commendation that can be given 
them, will not puff them up. What makes many a 
one walk on a while in the way, and then their heels 
are tripped up, and they fall by, but because they 
have an overweening conceit of themselves ? Their rot- 
tenness, which inwardly stank before, breaks out like 
a boil. While they were low in their own estimation, 
and still battling with their own evil nature within 
them, the world about would be less cumbered with 
it. The more pains in secret, the less shall break 
out ; for those who deal with the root of sin, cannot 
but mar the branches of it. 

" I count not myself to have apprehended." — Be- 
fore, in his words, he glances at the similitude of a 
race, while he was speaking of apprehending, attain- 
ing, and following ; but here he evidently sets forth 
the similitude, and lets us see, that he is running a 
race. Therefore, in the similitude we learn, 1. That 
the Christian man's life is like a race ; whether he 
sit or stand, he is still running the race. The length 
of the way of the race is the man's life-time ; the 
actions and passages of a man's life, are the steps of 
the race ; our high calling is our starting and on-hold- 
ing in the race ; the prize we run for, is holiness and 
eternal blessedness. It is called a race, not for fool- 
hardiness or hastiness, but for diligence, circumspect- 
ness, so contriving of all things, that one thing hinder 
not another. It is called a race, because we may n«>t 
sit down in it all our lifetime. There is one that 
starts the race, even God, who calls and starts all the 
runners by the voice of his word : he goes on besido 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11,12. 193 

them in the race, and exhorts them to run this or 
that -way, as may best further them in the race : 
whiles he bids them mend their pace ; and if they fall 
behind, he encourages, as a friend that stirs up one 
-whom he would fain have winning the race. So God 
cries, " Run, my children ; run, and get heaven and 
happiness!" Every direction from the word, is an 
encouragement in the race. In a race there are wit- 
nesses who look on : so here, God, angels, men, devils, 
are witnesses, but God is the chief witness or judge. 
Run this race ; sit not down ; run as in the sight of 
God. Remember that every action or word is a step 
of this race : words spoken to edification are steps ; 
words of thy calling levelled at the mark are steps ; 
for a man may speak of worldly purposes, but with a 
heavenly mind, and do worldly actions, being levelled 
by a spiritual rule. Therefore it is said, " Whether 
ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God." Albeit 
God ordains to run this Christian race, yet he ordains 
no man to cast away his calling ; the ploughman to 
quit his plough, the servant his service, or the trades- 
man his trade ; but every man continue in his calling, 
and yet run on, holding his eye on the mark; for 
every point of a man's service done as service to God, 
shall promote him in his race. 

What is Paul's behaviour in this race ? " One thing 
I do." — Being sensible of short remaining in the race, 
he sets himself to this one thing ; he takes not many 
turns in hand, or if he did, he put them into this one 
thing : he laid aside all that might hinder or divert 
him from this one thing ; whereby he teaches us to 
lay aside every weight that presses down. The care 
of lawful business, in as far as it draws from God, cast 
thou away the care, but do the business. In loss or 



gain, labour to further in this one thing, and be sure, 
tine what thou wilt, thou shalt get eternal life ; and 
then, what losest thou ? Cast away lumpish sorrow 
in common business ; streight all things to the rule of 
the word ; and let all the points of thy calling and 
work be done, as parts of that one necessary thing. 

" Forgetting the things that are behind." — This is 
another point of his behaviour in the race. Had he 
many faults which he behoved to remember, for his 
encouragement to do more ? He forgot things that 
were past, in the estimation of them ; he conceived 
nothing of them, and forgot all things which might 
teagle* him in the way. It is true, thoughts of things 
done were encouragements, and things left undone 
were whips to drive and chase him forward, and so these 
teagled him not : he forgot all things that might 
slack his swiftness, or hinder him in the race ; or he 
forgot things behind, as a runner of the race looks not 
how much of the race is to be run. Even so should 
we do, — forget things past that would teagle us. Look 
not how many things we have overcome, but how 
many we have to overcome ; not how many good 
works are done, but how short we are come of that 
we should ; what time we have to spend, that we may 
spend it well. 

3. li Reaching forth to the things that are before." 
— A third point is, he looks before him, how far he 
had to run ; what sins there were to mortify, what he 
wanted of full sanctification and conformity to Christ. 
So should we do. Look what we want, follow to, and 
get that. We have little daylight, and a long jour- 
ney — run fast ! If ye have much pride and vanity to 
mortify, set yourselves to do it. Say, I must have 
* Delay, impede 

PHILIPPIAXS III. 11,12. 195 

this sin dead ; this cankered nature borne down, that 
it break not out before men; then I must have it 
slain -within, murdered in the hole, and my canker 
turned into meekness. So chase every sin to the root, 
and hold it out. 

4. "I press toward the mark." — A fourth point of 
his behaviour in the race is, he bended all his forces, 
stretched out himself like a man that is running, 
having his head before his feet, looking forward to 
the way ; that is, he employed all his wit and pains 
in well doing, set himself with might and main to 
overtake every good duty. So should we do, — strive 
with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind, to do 
the duties required. 

5. " On to the mark." — As he held his eye on the 
mark, following all the rules of the race, so should 
we do. 

6. " For the prize of the high calling." — He held 
his eye on the prize for his encouragement : as a man 
in a race runs because of the gold, and the honour 
that is gotten at the score ; when he looks at these, 
it serves him for a pair of spurs. So when we look 
to the prize, or vantage that is to be had at the end 
of our Christian race, we will care nothing for many 
grieved hearts, crosses, troubles, in the top of the race, 
for all these further us. This reproves those who clog 
themselves so with the world, that they cannot run 
this race ; therefore, God many times pulls off such 
clogs from the backs of his own, that they may run 
the faster. He holds riches, respect of friends, and 
the things of this world from them ; and if, instead of 
these, he gives them sore hearts, disgraces, poverty, 
by these he is only helping them a lift, that they may 
run the faster. Albeit these things take the flesh off 


them, yet this makes them the lighter for the race, 
and speeds them to the end of it. 

7. The prize he runs for is glory and immortality, 
the perfection of his soul and body in joy and glory 
incomprehensible, and being with God for ever ; for 
when his flesh shall be perfected, it shall be like the 
glorious body of Christ : then shall sin, sorrow, pain, 
grief, be done away, and instead of these, eternal joy. 
What reck we then of pain, loss, disgrace, seeing eter- 
nal pleasure, durable riches, and a crown of glory 
abide us? 

8. " Of the high calling of God."— He held his call- 
ing to the work in high estimation, for his caller was 
the high God. He had his elsin* and linyelt for 
sewing of leather, for he was a maker of tents, to 
teach us so to do our worldly calling, in packing it 
all up in our Christian calling. 

" In Christ Jesus." — He eiks this as the back-war- 
rant. He has told of a race, and all the parts of it 
how it should be run ; but here he tells, that all must be 
done in Christ. Christ is all his confidence. To get 
the race run, he takes himself to Christ, to get all 
made possible and easy. So should we do, that we 
may run the race well; and to get it easy and possible, 
take ourselves to Christ to help us, for he is the way, 
the truth, and the life. We must run all the race 
upon his ground; he is the new and the living way — 
the living way that makes dead runners grow quick, 
and tired men grow fresh, so that all the runners are 
carried by coach to the race-end. And when we 
know that Christ must cause us run at the race, the 
knowing of this makes us draw strength and courage 
from Christ, to draw on, and run still, till we come 
* Awl. t Twine, packthread. 

PHILIPPIANS III. 11,12. 197 

to the end. If we be hungry or faint in the race, he 
is bread of life to refresh ; he is the Truth to direct ; 
the Life to hold in our life, till the race be run ; he is 
also our Guide and Forerunner; The Prize we run 
for ; our Swiftness, our Strength, and Perfection. For 
when we run on a while, as a young child that runs 
when his father bears him by the shoulders, he only 
pats and stirs with his feet, but his father bears the 
weight of him. — and when he comes to a mire, he 
only bids the child loup, but yet it is the father's 
strength that carries him over the mire — even so 
Christ carries along all his children in the Christian 
race ; and when they come to the last step of death, 
he having them in his arms, lifts them over death, 
and sets them safe into heaven. Therefore take 
courage, and be not dashed nor driven from Christ's 
back. Let your honest carriage tell, that ye have 
been at his banquet : express the virtues of Christ in 
a holy life if so be. Then, as ye were ranked yester- 
day at his table, so shall ye be ranked in heaven, with 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Whatever task God's 
word has laid upon you, make use of Christ, and he 
shall do all your turn ; else how should bond-slaves 
to Satan get this race run, were it not that Christ 
supplies all enlack, lifts over all impediments, carries 
them to the race-end, and sets them in heaven him- 
self 1 God write these things in our hearts ! Amen. 









MADAM, — After the author had written and pub- 
lished this treatise in Latin, for the use of young 
students in Theology, by the earnest and frequent 
entreaty of friends, he was induced and persuaded to 
translate it into our vulgar tongue, for the benefit of 
those who understood not the Latin ; and for prevent- 
ing the labour of others, who, more forward than skil- 
ful, were about the doing of it ; and had once so far 
proceeded, as to offer it to the press, without acquaint- 
ing him therewith. 

When he had finished the translation, his purpose 
was to have dedicated it to your Ladyship, and to 
have sent it abroad into the world under your pro- 
tection ; but weakness and sickness, the ordinary 
companions of age, and after them death (whereby 
God Almighty and Gracious called him from his la- 


bours to enter into his Master's joy) seizing upon 
him, before he could write an Epistle Dedicatory, it 
was his will, that your honourable name should be 
prefixed unto it. In pursuance whereof, it comes now, 
as an orphan, to kiss your noble hands, fraughted 
with hopes of favour and shelter for the parent's 
sake, and of acceptance, as a testimony of the since- 
rity of the respect he carried to your Ladyship's 

It hath the stronger plea for a tender reception, 
that it is the child of his age, being his last labour, 
and being brought forth in his seventy and second 
year ; and that it comes arrayed in a suit of country 
cloth, which himself put upon it, being published 
according to the copy written with his own hand. 

That it may be, as it was designed by him, useful 
for the good of souls, and that God may comfort you 
under your present sad affliction, and make up the 
loss of your noble husband, the late Lord High Chan- 
cellor of Scotland, is the prayer of, 


Your Ladyship's most humbly 

devoted servant, 

Alexander Dickson. 

Edinburgh, 13th June 1664. 





Seeing our purpose is to speak of the curing of 
sundry ordinary cases, or diseases concerning Rege- 
neration, by a prudent application and use-making of 
divine covenants, made about and with man; for his 
coming to eternal life, it is needful to speak in the 
entry a little, First, Of the nature of the Conscience, 
and use thereof in general ; Next, Of the cases of the 
Conscience in general ; Thirdly, What Regeneration 
is, and who is the man regenerate ; Fourthly, Of di- 
vine Covenants, relating to everlasting happiness ; 
and, Fifthly, Of the ordinary and prudent application 
of these Covenants in general ; — that thereafter we 
may descend to speak of application thereof in parti- 
cular cases the more clearly. 

As to! the First, What Conscience is, it hath pleased 
God, the Sovereign Lord and Judge of all men, in 
the creation, to put in man's soul a natural- power or 
faculty, whereby he might not only understand the 
revealed will of God (the only Lord of, and Lawgiver 
to, the Conscience), not only concerning what he 
should believe and perform, but also, might judge of 
his own faith and obedience, whether performed, or 
not performed ; yea, and might judge also of the 
faith and obedience of others, in so far as evidences 
may be had of their conformity unto, or disagree- 


ment from, the revealed rule of faith and manners. 
This power of the soul of man. whether it be consi- 
dered only in its natural aptitude and fitness to judge 
(though not as yet, or for the time, actually judging , 
or whether it be looked upon as it is putting forth 
itself in exercise, we call it by the name of Conscience. 

The word Conscience is divers ways taken ; for 
sometimes by it is meant, the natural power of the 
mind, to judge both of our own and others' confor- 
mity to the rule. And in this larger acception we 
say, Every man hath a Conscience, that is, Every 
man. whether male or female, whether old or young, 
whether sleeping or waking, hath a faculty, which 
may, and sometimes shall, judge of their own and 
others' behaviour towards God. Sometimes it is taken 
for that natural power of the mind, putting forth it- 
self actually in exercise, by judging of others. So 
doth the apostle take it : '• I trust," saith he, " we 
are made manifest in your Consciences," (2 Cor. v. 
11 . But here, in this treatise, we take Conscience 
more strictly, as it examineth and judgeth of our- 
selves ; for, in this sense, it is most properly called 
Conscience, or joint-knowledge ; partly, because it 
suppose th, that God and we know our obedience or 
disobedience, to the rule prescribed to us by Him ; — 
partly, because Conscience imports, first our know- 
ledge of the rule, and, next, our knowledge of our be- 
haviour in relation to the rule, and our comparing 
of these two together, and passing of sentence on our- 
selves answerably. 

Conscience, as it doth respect ourselves, is no 
other thing, in effect, than the understanding power 
of our souls examining how matters do stand betwixt 
God and us ; comparing His will revealed, with our 


state, condition, and carriage, in thoughts, words, or 
deeds done or omitted, and passing judgment there- 
upon as the case requires. So that in the court of 
Conscience (which is God's deputy in us, as it were), 
these five things are to be considered ; 1. The duty 
of self-examination ; 2. The thing we are to examine ; 
3. The rule whereby we are to examine ; 4. The pro- 
cess of the Conscience unto sentence-giving ; and, 5. 
The execution of the sentence so far as the Conscience 

As to the First, The duty of examination of our- 
selves, and judging ourselves, it is required of us, lest 
we be judged of God and chastised with sharp rods 
(1 Cor. xi. 31, 32), and hereunto we are exhorted : 
" Commune with your own hearts upon your beds, 
and be still," (Psal. iv. 4). 

As for the Second, — the thing which we are to 
examine concerning ourselves — it is one of three, or 
all the three, in their order ; to wit, either our Estate ; 
whether we be in the state of nature, under wrath, or 
not : or whether we be regenerate, and in the state 
of grace though faith in Jesus Christ, or not. Of 
this speaketh the apostle (2 Cor. xiii. 5), " Examine 
yourselves whether ye be in the faith." Or it is our 
Condition ; whether being in the state cf grace, our 
present disposition or inclination of heart and affec- 
tions be such, as becometh a man reconciled, or not. 
To this point of examination, Christ doth call the 
angel of the Church of Ephesus (Rev. ii. 5), " Re- 
member therefore from whence thou art fallen ;" or, 
the thing we are to examine, is our deeds, words, and 
thoughts actually done or omitted ; the neglect of 
which examination is reproved, (Jer. viii. 6, and 
Rev. ii. 19, 20). 


The Third thing to be looked unto in the court of 
Conscience, is the rule -whereby we are to examine 
ourselves in all, or any of the former respects, -which 
is the revealed -will of God in holy scripture ; wherein 
is set down to us -what -we should believe, and what 
■we should do, and what is the reward of the obedience 
of faith, and -what is the punishment of disobedience. 
And here, if the Conscience be not -well informed, and 
the rule closely cleaved unto, the erring Conscience 
may swallow down the grossest idolatry, and cry up 
Diana for a great goddess (Acts xix. 28), and make 
the murderers of the saints conceive, that in killing 
them they do God good service, (John xvi. 2). 

The Fourth thing is, the judicial process of the 
Conscience, for giving such a sentence of direction, 
for -what is to be done, or of absolution or condemna- 
tion, in the point examined and found done, or not 
done : which process, if the Conscience be well in- 
formed, is after the manner of clear • reasoning by 
way of Syllogism, -wherein -we lay down the rule given 
by the supreme lawgiver, in the major, or first pro- 
position. Then we do lay ourselves to the rule in 
the minor, or second assumed proposition ; and from 
the comparison of ourselves with the rule, we give 
our sentence in the third room, which is called the 
conclusion. As for example, if the Conscience be 
about to give direction for what is to be done, it 
reasoneth thus : 

What God hath appointed to be the only rule of 
faith and manners, I must take heed to follow it as 
the rule. 

But, the holy scripture God hath appointed to be 
the only rule of faith and manners. 


Therefore, I must take heed to follow the scrip- 
ture as the only rule. 

Or more shortly, — the Lord hath commanded to 
repent and turn unto him (offering reconciliation in 
Christ), therefore it is my duty so to do. 

But in the process of the Conscience unto convic- 
tion or absolution, sometimes more, sometimes fewer 
reasoning's are used. 

As for example ; for conviction, the process goeth 
thus : 

That which God hath commanded me, I should 
have done : 

But to repent and turn to him, he hath commanded 

Therefore. I should have repented and turned to God. 

Again, he that hath not obeyed the Lord, in re- 
penting of his evil ways and turning unto God, is 
under great guiltiness, and worthy of death, by the 
sentence of the law. 

But, " such a one am I," may every impenitent 
person say of himself : 

And therefore may conclude of himself, " I am 
under great guiltiness, and worthy of death by the 
sentence of the law." 

Likewise, in the process of the Conscience, a humble 
person well informed, may reason thus : 

That way of reconciliation which God hath ap- 
pointed a self-condemned sinner to follow, I am bound 
to follow : 

• But this way (and no other) hath God appointed, 
that the sinner, convinced of sin, and of deserved 
Wrath, should flee to Christ Jesus the Mediator, that 
by him he may be justified, sanctified, and saved. 


Therefore, tins way of reconciliation, and no other, 
I am bound to follow. 

Again, whosoever, by the grace of God, in the 
sense of sin and deserved wrath, is fled unto Christ 
for righteousness and eternal life, and in Christ's 
strength is endeavouring to give new obedience to 
the will of God, is undoubtedly a true believer and a 
child of God : 

But, " such a one am I," may the humbled sinner, 
fled to Christ, say of himself : 

Therefore, I am by the grace of God undoubtedly 
a true believer and a child of God. 

And yet again he may go. on, to strengthen his 
faith and to comfort himself in the Lord thus : 

Whosoever in the sense of sin, poverty and weak- 
ness, hath fled to Christ the Redeemer, resolved never 
to part with him ; and hath consecrated himself, in 
the strength of Christ, to endeavour to give new 
obedience to the will of God, he is an heir with Isaac 
of the promised blessings, and may hope to have them 
perfectly in possession at last. 

But " such a one am I," may the humbled sinner, 
fled to Christ, say of himself : 

Therefore, I am an heir of the promised blessings 
Tvith Isaac, and may hope to have them perfect in pos- 
session at last. 

Such a process as this doth the Conscience of the 
regenerate man follow, when he reneweth the acts 
of his repentance, and sentenceth himself to be worthy 
of what the law pronounceth against his sin ; and 
when he reneweth the acts of his faith in Christ, 
through whom alone he is freed from the deserved 
curse of the law. 

As to the Fifth thins: to be observed in the court 


of Conscience, which is, the execution of the sentence 
it hath pronounced ; because the Conscience is set 
over the man by God, as judge-depute, therefore, it 
goeth about in the name of God, by and by to execute 
as it may, the sentence justly pronounced by it ; and 
according to the nature of the sentence of condemna- 
tion or absolution pronounced by it, it stirreth up 
divers motions and affections in the heart ; some of 
them sad and sorrowful, some of them joyful and com- 
fortable. The sad and bitter passions that follow 
upon the sentence of conviction and condemnation 
justly pronounced, are shame, grief, fear, anxiety, 
vexation, and such-like ; whereby the guilty sinner is 
either fretted as with a worm, or fired and tormented. 
Of this we have an example in our first parent Adam, 
who, being convicted in his conscience of sin and de- 
served wrath, did flee from the face of God, all 
amazed and affrighted. " The Lord called unto Adam, 
and said unto him, Where art thou % and he said, I 
heard thy voice in the garden, and I'was afraid, be- 
cause I was naked, and I hid myself," (Gen, iii. 9, 10). 

But the Conscience, after it is furnished by the 
gospel to absolve the penitent believer fled to Christ, 
doth stir up more sweet and comfortable motions in 
the heart, such as are peace, comfort, joy, gladness, 
exultation, confidence, and such like, An example 
whereof we see in Paul: " Our rejoicing," saith he, " is 
this, the testimony of our Conscience, that in simpli- 
city and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but 
by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in 
the world," (2 Cor. i. 12). 

So the Conscience, after it is wounded by the man's 
transgression, doth the part of a judge, citing the 
man before its tribunal ; and the part of an officer, 


presenting the man at the bar ; and the part of an 
accuser, challenging the man for his transgression ; 
and the part of the recorder, producing the book of 
statutes ; and the part of sufficient witnesses, proving 
and convicting him of the deed done. 

Again, it doth the part of a judge, pronouncing 
sentence and condemning the convicted transgressor ; 
and the part of a serjeant and marshal, binding the 
condemned wretch ; and the part of the prison and 
stocks, pinching and pressing the bound sinner ; and 
the part of the "burrio,* scourging and tormenting him. 

But the Conscience, after examination, finding the 
man either innocent and free of the crime, or forgiven 
and reconciled to God by Christ, after repentance and 
faith, embracing the Redeemer, it doth the part of 
an honest friend, carefully comforting the innocent or 
penitent; and the part of an advocate, excusing and 
defending the man against all challenges ; and the 
part of witnesses compurgators ; and the part of the 
judge absolving ; and the part of the rewarder. — And 
so much concerning the nature and use of Conscience, 
as may suffice our purpose. 



A case of Conscience, taken in a large sense, com- 
prehends every accident which any way affects or 
qualifieth the Conscience. And in this sense, the per- 
suasion and certainty which the Conscience may have, 
the soundness, health and strength of the Conscience, 
may be called cases, and good cases of the Conscience. 

* Executioner. 


So also, any effect which the Conscience doth work 
on the soul, such as are peace of Conscience, comfort 
and joy in the heart, may be called cases of the Con- 
science also. 

But the cases whereof we are to treat, are the ill 
cases of the Conscience, whereby it is fallen from the 
soundness and straightness it should have, which we 
call by the name of wounds, diseases, and sickness of 
the Conscience ; whereunto, that we may descend to 
speak more orderly, a two-fold difference is to be ob- 
served : 

First, we must put difference between a healthy 
and a sick Conscience. A healthy Conscience is that 
which, after examination of our ways according to 
the rule of God's word, doth justly absolve us, and 
speaketh peace to us toward God. Of such a Con- 
science it is said by Solomon, " A sound heart is the 
life of the flesh," (Prov. xiv. 30). By the heart, he 
meaneth the Conscience, which ordinarily in scrip- 
ture is called the heart. And he saith, the sound 
Conscience is the life of the flesh ; because the body 
is so much in better case, that the Conscience be at 
peace toward God. And this blessing is allowed 
upon every believer in Christ, in his orderly walking. 
" God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of 
power, of love, and of a sound mind," (2 Tim. i. 7). 
A Conscience in this disposition needeth not medi- 
cine, but spiritual nourishment, and exercise in all 
Christian duties. 

A sick Conscience we call that which either is 
senseless of its own evils and dangers, and sitteth 
down securely, and resteth without a warrant ; or, 
which is justly wounded, and labours under the sense 
of its pain ; or, which is unquiet upon mistakes, and 


ignorance of making use of the true remedy. Of such 
a sick Conscience we are to speak; if possibly, by God's 
blessing, a word in season may be spoken, to waken 
a secure Conscience, or to refresh the weary soul ; 
that being recovered from its malady, it may be able 
to feed upon the bread and water of life, and work 
the works of God in the strength of Christ. 

Secondly, We must put difference between a 
troubled soul, and a troubled Conscience; for the 
soul is more largely taken than the Conscience. The 
soul comprehendeth all the powers and faculties of 
the man ; but the Conscience, as we speak of it, is 
only one faculty of the mind, judging of the man's 
moral ill or well-being ; and so, all cases of the Con- 
science are cases of the soul ; but all the cases of the 
soul, are not cases of the Conscience. For, the soul 
may be troubled, while the Conscience is not troubled 
at all ; yea, a man may have a commendable trouble 
in his soul, when he seeth God dishonoured, or his 
church in hazard, whereby his Conscience is so far 
from being troubled, that such a holy trouble strength- 
ens his Conscience in his address to God, as is in many 
places of the Psalms to be seen. 

Again, A man's mind may be troubled by sundry 
natural or civil motives, while the Conscience is al- 
lowably quiet ; as in losses of things temporal, fears, 
pains, or unexpected inconveniences occurring ; yea. 
there may be passions and perturbations of the mind 
in persons that are not capable for the time of the 
exercise of Conscience, as may be seen in young infants, 
and in the elder sort, in fits of fever, melancholy, and 
frenzy. And yet further, it is possible that passions, 
perturbations, and troubles of soul, may be found 
without any disease of the Conscience ; because our 



Lord Jesus, in the days of his humiliation, was a man 
acquainted with sorrows, but was not obnoxious to 
sin, or any self-challenging, for he knew no sin in 
himself. He had trouble in his soul, but could not 
have trouble of Conscience : " Now is my soul 
troubled, and what shall I say ? Father, save me from 
this hour ; but for this cause came I unto this hour." 
(John xii. 27). Of the cases of the soul we speak 
not here, but of the sinful diseases of the Conscience. 

There is also a third difference to be observed 
between common cases of Conscience, and these that 
specially concern regeneration. Common cases com- 
prehend all these questions and doubts, wherein the 
Conscience is seeking light and resolution about the 
rule of faith and manners, that it may better inform 
itself about the sense of Scripture, and about the 
application thereof in the point of direction in faith 
and practice. These common cases are of as large 
extent as the bulk of divinity, as large as the doctrine 
held forth in Scripture concerning faith and manners ; 
for there is not any one article of faith or duty pre- 
scribed as a point of piety or righteousness, about 
which questions may not be moved, and cases pro- 
pounded, wherein the Conscience may seek satisfac- 

Of this huge great tree, we take but only one 
branch to speak of, so far as maketh for our purpose 




\Ve speak not here of the regeneration of elect in- 
fants dying in their infancy ; God hath his own -way 
of dealing with them ; but of the regeneration of 
those who are capable of being outwardly called by 
the ministry of the word, which we may thus describe. 

Regeneration (being one in effect with effectual 
calling) is the work of God's invincible power and 
mere grace, wherein, by his Spirit accompanying his 
word, he quiekeneth a redeemed person lying dead 
in his sins, and reneweth him in his mind, will, and 
all the powers of Ins soul ; convincing him savingly 
of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and making him 
heartily to embrace Christ and salvation, and to con- 
secrate himself to the service of God in Christ, all the 
days of his life. 

The main thing we must take heed to in this work, 
is to give to God entirely the glory of his grace, and 
power, and wisdom, so that the glory of man's re- 
generation be neither given to man, nor man made 
sharer of the glory with God ; but God may have the 
whole glory of his free grace, because out of his own 
good will, not for any thing at ail foreseen in man, 
he lets forth his special love on the redeemed in a 
time acceptable. And the glory of his almighty 
power, because by his omnipotent and invincible 
working, he makes the man dead in sins to live, opens 
his eyes to take up savingly the things of God, takes 
away the heart of stone, and makes him a new creature, 
to will and to do his holy will. And the glory of his 


wisdom, who dealeth so with his creature, as he doth 
not destroy, but perfect the natural power of man's 
will ; making- the man regenerated, most freely, de- 
liberately, and heartily to embrace Christ, and to con- 
secrate himself to God's service. The reason why 
we urge this, is, because Satan, by corrupting the 
doctrine of regeneration, and persuading men that 
they are able of themselves, by the common and the 
natural strength of their own free will, without the 
special and effectual grace of God, both to convert 
themselves and others also, doth foster the native 
pride of men ; hindereth them from emptying and 
humbling themselves before God ; keepeth them from 
self-denial ; doth mar the regeneration of them that 
are deluded with this error, and obscureth what he 
can, the shining of the glory of God's grace, power, 
and wisdom, in the conversion of men. For whatsoever 
praise proud men let go toward God for making men's 
conversion possible, yet they give the whole glory of 
actual conversion to the man himself, which Christ 
ascribeth to God only, and leaveth no more for man 
to glory in his spiritual regeneration, than he hath to 
glory in his own natural generation, (John iii. 5-8). 
And the same doth the apostle teach, (Ephes. ii. 
8-10, and Philip, ii. 13). " It is God (saith he) 
which worketh in you both to will and to do of his 
own good pleasure." And therefore it is the duty of 
all Christ's disciples, but chiefly their duty who are 
consecrated to God, to preach up the glory of God's 
free grace, omnipotent power, and unsearchable wis- 
dom ; to live in the sense of their own emptiness, and 
to depend upon the furniture of grace for grace, out of 
Christ's fulness ; and zealously to oppose the proud 
error of man's natural ability for converting himself; 


as they love to see and find the effectual blessing of 
the ministry of the gospel, and themselves accepted 
for true disciples, at the day of their meeting with 
Christ the judge at his second coming. 

For opening up of regeneration, these five pro- 
positions must be holden. The First is this, — " The 
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God ; for, they are foolishness unto him ; neither can 
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned," 
(1 Cor. ii. 14). 

The Second is this, — It is the Spirit of God which 
convinceth man of sin, of true righteousness, and of 
judgment, (John xvi. 9, 10, 11). 

The Third is this, — In the regeneration, conversion, 
and quickening of a sinner, God, by His invincible 
power, createth and infuseth a new life, and principles 
thereof. " Thy people shall be willing in the day of 
thy power," (Psal. ex. 3, John v. 21, vi. 63). 

The Fourth is this, — The invincible grace of God, 
working regeneration and a man's conversion, doth 
not destroy the freedom of man's will, but makes it 
truly free, and perfects it. " I will make a covenant 
with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, 
and will put my law in their inward parts, and write 
it in their hearts," (Jer. xxxi. 31). 

The Fifth is this, — Albeit a man, in the act of 
God's quickening and converting of him, be passive, 
and in a spiritual sense dead in sins and trespasses, 
yet, for exercising external means, whereof God 
maketh use unto his conversion, for fitting him, and 
preparing him for a gracious change (such as are, 
hearing of the word, reading it, meditating on it, in- 
quiring after the meaning of it,) the natural man hath 
a natural power thereunto as to other external actions; 


which sufficeth to take away excuse from them who 
have occasion of usinir the means, and will not use 
them. (Matt, xxiii. 37). 

For clearing of the first proposition, we must re- 
member, that the object of actual regeneration, con- 
version, and effectual calling, is the man elected or 
redeemed by Christ, lying in the state of defection 
from God, destitute of original righteousness, at en- 
mity with God, bently inclined to all evil, altogether 
unfit and impotent, yea, even spiritually dead to 
every spiritual good, and specially to convert, regene- 
rate, or quicken himself. For albeit after the fall of 
Adam, there are some sparks of common reason re- 
maining, whereby he may confusedly know that which 
is called spiritual good, acceptable and pleasant unto 
God, and fit to save his soul ; yet the understanding 
of the unrenewed man judgeth of that good, and of 
the truth of the Evangel wherein that good is pro- 
poned, to be mere foolishness ; and doth represent 
the spiritual object, and sets it before the will, as a 
thing uncertain or vain : and the will of the unre- 
newed man, after deliberation and comparison made 
of objects, some honest, some pleasant, and some pro- 
fitable in appearance, naturally is inclined to prefer 
and choose any seemingly pleasant or profitable thing, 
whether the object be natural or civil, rather than 
that which is truly honest, and morally good. 13ut 
if it fall out that a spiritual good be well, and in fair 
colours described unto the unrenewed man, yet he 
seeth it not, but under the notion of a natural good, 
and as it is clothed with the image of some natural 
good, and profitable for preserving its standing in a 
natural being and welfare therein. So did the false 
prophet Balaam look upon the felicity of the right- 


eous in their death, when he did separate eternal life- 
from faith and sanctification, and did rend asunder 
the means from the end appointed of God, saying,- 
" Let me die the death of the righteous, aud let my 
last end be like his." (Numb, xxiii. 10). 

After this manner the woman of Samaria appre- 
hended the gift and grace of the Holy Ghost, and sav- 
ing grace offered to her by Christ : "Lord," saith she, 
" give me of that water, that I may not thirst again, 
and may not come again to draw water," (John iv. 
15). So also did the misbelieving Jews judge of the 
application of Christ's incarnation and suffering, for 
their spiritual feeding, (John vi. 33-35); for, "the 
natural man cannot know the things of the Spirit of. 
God, because they are spiritually discerned," and the 
natural man is destitute of the spirit of illumination, 
(1 Cor. ii. 14.) And the wisdom of the flesh is en- 
mity to God ; for it it not subject to the law of God,, 
yea, it cannot be subject unto it, (Rom. viii. 7). The 
power, therefore, of the natural or unrenewed man, is 
not fitted for the discerning, and loving of a spiritual 
good, because he is altogether natural and not spirit- 
ual ; for a supernatural object require th a super- 
natural power of the understanding and will to take it 
up, and rightly conceive of it. But of this superna- 
tural faculty the unrenewed man is destitute, and in 
respect of spiritual discerning, he is dead, that he can- 
not discern spiritual things spiritually. 

As for the second proposition anent a man's re- 
generation, the Lord, that he may break the carnal 
confidence of the person whom he is to convert, first, 
sheweth him his duty by the doctrine of the law and 
covenant of works, making him to see the same by 
the powerful illumination of the Holy Spirit, and so, 


takcth away all pretext of ignorance. Secondly, lie 
shewcth him his guiltiness and deserved damnation 
■wherein he is involved, and so, taketh away all con- 
ceit and imagination of his innocency. Thirdly, he 
doth convince him of his utter inability to satisfy the 
law, or to deliver himself from the curse thereof, 
either by way of action and obedience, or by way of 
suffering, and paying of the penalty of the violated 
law of God ; and so, overturneth all confidence in 
himself, or in his own works. Whence followeth the 
elect man's desperation to be delivered by himself, 
because he seeth himself a sinner, and that all hope 
of justification by his own deeds or sufferings is cut 
off. Now, that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, is 
plain : " When the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, 
shall come, he shall convince the world of sin," (John 
xvi. 8). And in this condition sundry of God's dear 
children, for a time, are kept under the bonds of the 
law, under the spirit of bondage and sad conviction. 

As for the third proposition, — the Lord, after He 
hath laid the sin of his elect child who is to be con- 
verted, to his charge, by the doctrine of the law, first, 
openeth up a light unto him in the doctrine of the gos- 
pel, and lets him see that his absolution from sin, and 
his salvation is possible, and may be had, by flying 
unto Christ the Redeemer. Secondly, the Lord 
drawing near the humbled self-condemned soul, deals 
with him by way of moral persuasion, sweetly inviting 
him in the preaching of the gospel, to receive the 
Redeemer, Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God mani- 
fested in the flesh, that by receiving of Him as he is 
offered in the evangel, for remission of sin, renovation 
of life, and eternal salvation, he may close the cove- 
nant of grace and reconciliation with God. Thirdly, 


because the fall of Adam hath bereft man of all 
spiritual and supernatural power, till he be supcrna- 
turally quickened and converted by the omnipotent 
power of God's grace, therefore, the Lord superaddeth 
unto moral persuasion, effectual operation, and formeth 
in the soul a spiritual faculty and ability for doing 
what is pleasant unto God, and tendeth to save him- 
self according to the will of God. This infusion of 
a new life, sometimes is called the forming of the new 
creature ; sometimes regeneration ; sometimes rising 
from the dead, and vivifieation, or quickening of the 
man ; sometimes saving grace, and the life of God, 
and the seed of God ; having in it the principle of all 
saving graces and habits, which are brought forth 
afterward to acts and exercise. 

Meantime, true it is that all men, because of their 
inborn corruption, have an inclination and bent dis- 
position to resist the Holy Ghost ; but when the Lord 
will actually convert the man, he overcometh and 
taketh away actual resistance, and doth so break the 
power of natural rebellion, that it doth not for ever 
after reign in him. For if God did not take away 
actual resistance of the man in his conversion, no con- 
version would certainly follow, and God would be 
disappointed of his purpose to convert the man, even 
when he hath put forth his almighty power to work 
conversion. But God doth so wisely and powerfully 
stir up this newly infused life of grace, and setteth it 
so to work, that the understanding and judgment, like 
a counsellor, and the will, like a commanding emperor, 
and the active power of the new infused faculty, as 
an officer, do all bestir themselves to bring forth 
supernatural operations. "Whence it cometh to pass, 
that the new creature beginneth to look kindly en 


Christ the Redeemer, and to desire to be united unto 
him ; and doth stretch forth itself to embrace him 
heartily, for obtaining in him righteousness and sal- 
vation, as he is offered in the gospel. And so, he casts 
himself over on Christ, with full purpose never to shed 
from him, but by faith to draw out of him grace for 
grace, till he be perfected. And here, the man that 
was merely passive in his quickening and regeneration, 
beginneth presently to be active in his conversion, and 
following conversation, for God giveth to him to will 
and to do of his good pleasure ; and he, having ob- 
tained by God's effectual operation to will and to do, 
doth formally will and do the good which is done. 

As to the fourth proposition, — when the power of 
God is put forth invincibly for the converting of a 
soul, that invincible working is so far from destroying 
the natural liberty of the will, that it doth indeed 
preserve it, and sets it right on the right object, and 
doth perfect it. For, as when God openeth the eyes 
of a man's understanding that he doth behold the 
wonders of his law, when he removeth the natural 
blindness of the mind, and maketh a man see that 
the gospel is the wisdom and power of God unto sal- 
vation, which sometimes he counted to be mere 
foolishness, he doth no ways "destroy the man's judg- 
ment or understanding ; but doth correct, help, heal, 
and perfect it ; — so, when the Holy Spirit doth power- 
fully and effectually move and turn the will of the 
man to embrace the sweet and saving offers of Christ's 
grace in the gospel, and make him deliberately choose 
this blessed way of salvation, and to renounce all 
confidence in his own, or any other's worth or works, 
he doth not destroy, but perfect the liberty of the 
will, and raiseth it up from death and its damnable 


inclination, and maketh it most joyfully and most 
freely to make choice of this pearl of price, and bless 
itself in its choice for ever. Therefore, let no man 
complain of wrong done to man's free-will, when God 
stops its way to hell, and wisely, powerfully, gra- 
ciously and sweetly moveth it to choose the way of 
life : but rather let men beware to take the glory of 
actual conversion of men, from God, and either give 
it wholly to their idol of free-will, or make it sharer 
of the glory of regeneration with God ; which glory 
God will not give to another, but reserve wholly to- 
himself ; for all men, in the point and moment of 
regeneration, are like unto Lazarus in the grave, to 
whom God by commanding him to arise, gave life 
and power to arise out of the grave where he lay dead 
and rotting. 

As to the fifth proposition, — we must distinguish 
the work of regeneration, from the preparation and 
disposition of the man to be regenerated, whereby he, 
is made more capable of regeneration to be wrought 
in him. For the material disposition of him, fitting 
him for regeneration, is neither a part nor a degree 
of regeneration ; for albeit the Lord be not bound to 
these preparatory dispositions, yet he will have man 
bound to make use of these external means which may 
prepare him ; because by the use of external means 
(such as are, hearing of the word, catechising and con- 
ference), a man may be brought more near unto re- 
generation, as Christ doth teach us by his speech to 
that Pharisee, who was instructed in the law, and 
answered discreetly unto Christ ; :; Thou art not far 
(saith he) from the kingdom of God," (Mark xii. 34). 
This preparatory disposition, in order to regeneration, 
is like unto the drying of timber to make it sooner 


take fire, when it is casten into it. For dryness in the 
timber, is neither a part nor a degree of kindling or 
inflammation of it ; but only a preparation of the 
timber to receive inflammation when the fire shall be 
set to it, or it be put in the fire, possibly, a long time 
after. In these preparatory exercises then, no man 
will deny, that the natural man unrenewed, hath a 
natural power to go and hear a sermon preached, to 
read the scripture, to be informed by catechising and 
conference of religion and regeneration, whereof God 
when he pleaseth may make use in regeneration of the 
man. Wherefore, whosoever in the preaching of the 
gospel, are charged and commanded to repent, to be- 
lieve in Christ, or turn unto God, they are commanded 
also to use all these external means whereby they may 
be informed of the duty required, and of the means 
leading thereunto ; in the exercise of which external 
means, they may meet with sundry common operations 
and effects of God's Spirit, before they be regenerated 
or converted, whereof the use may be found not only 
in, but also after, conversion. And if any man shall 
refuse, slight, or neglect to follow these preparatory 
exercises, which may prepare him for conversion, he is 
inexcusable before God and man, and guilty of rejecting 
the offer of reconciliation ; yea, guilty of resisting the 
Holy Ghost, of which sin and guiltiness, the holy 
martyr Stephen chargeth the misbelieving Jews, 
(Acts vii. 51). 

As for the regenerate man, he it is who in the ac- 
knowledgment of his sinfulness and deserved misery, 
and of his utter inability to help himself, doth cast 
away all confidence in his own parts, and possible 
righteousness of his own works, and fleeth to Christ 
offered in the gospel, that in Christ alone he may 


have true wisdom, righteousness, sanetifieation, and 
redemption ; and doth with full purpose of heart 
consecrate himself, and endeavour, in the strength 
of Christ, to serve God acceptably all the days of his 

For the ground of this description, ^e have the 
words of the apostle, -where putting a difference be- 
tween the true people of God, and the counterfeit, he 
saith, " We are the circumcision, who worship God in 
the Spirit, and rejoice in Jesus Christ, and have no 
confidence in the flesh," (Phil. iii. 3). In which 
description of the regenerate man, the apostle first 
points forth unto us three special operations of the 
Spirit of regeneration ; then, three duties of the man 

The first operation of the Spirit of God, the only 
circumciser of the heart, is the humbling of the man 
in the sense of his sin, by the doctrine of the law, and 
cutting off all his confidence in his own worth, wit, 
free-will, and strength to help himself, so that the 
man hath no confidence in the flesh. 

The second operation, is the infusion of saving 
faith, making the man humbled to close with Christ 
in the covenant of reconciliation, and to rest upon Him 
as the only and sufficient remedy of sin and misery; 
so that Christ becometh to him the ground of rejoic- 
ing and glorifying. 

The third operation, is the up-stirring and enabling 
of the believer in Christ, to endeavour new obedience, 
and to worship God in the Spirit. 

As for the three duties of the man regenerated, the 
first is, to follow the leading of the Spirit in the point 
of more and more humbling of himself before God in 
the sense of his own insufficiency, and eschewing of 


all leaning on his own parts, gifts, works, or suffer- 
ings, or any thing else beside Christ : he must have 
" no confidence in the flesh." 

The second duty, is to grow in the estimation of 
Christ's righteousness, and fulness of all graces to be 
let forth to the believer, enjoying him by faith, and 
eomforting himself in Christ against all difficulties, 
troubles, and temptations : he must rejoice in Jesus 

The third duty, is to endeavour communion-keep- 
ing with God in the course of new obedience in all 
cases, worshipping and serving God in sincerity of 
heart : he must be a worshipper of God. 

As to the last thing holden forth in the apostle's 
words, which is the undoubted mark and evidence of 
the man regenerated and circumcised in heart, it 
standeth in the constant endeavour to grow in these 
three duties jointly, so as each of them may advance 
another ; for many failings and short-comings will 
be found in our new obedience, and worshipping of 
God in the spirit. But let these failings be made 
use of to extinguish and abolish all confidence in our 
own parts and righteousness, and that our daily fail- 
ings may humble us, and cut us off from all confi- 
dence in the flesh. 

But let not these failings so discourage us, as to 
hinder us to put confidence in Christ ; but by the 
■contrair, the less ground of confidence we find in our- 
selves, let us raise so much higher the estimation of 
remission of sin and imputation of Christ's righteous- 
ness, and stir up ourselves by faith to draw more 
strength and ability out of Christ for enabling us to 
walk more holily and righteously before God. And 
having fled to Christ, and comforted ourselves in him, 


let us not turn his grace into "wantonness ; but the 
more we believe the grace of Jesus Christ, let us 
strive, in his strength, so much the more to glorify 
God in new obedience. And in the circle of these 
three duties, let us wind ourselves up stairs toward 
heaven ; for God hath promised, that such " as wait 
on the Lord, shall renew their strength ; they shall 
mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run and 
not be weary, they shall walk and not faint," (Isaiah 
xl. 31). 

In the conjunction of these three duties, the evi- 
dence of regeneration is found. If there be not a 
sincere endeavour after all these three duties, the evi- 
dence of regeneration is by so much darkened, and 
short for probation : for it is not sufficient to prove 
a man regenerated, that he is driven from all confi- 
dence in his own righteousness, and filled with the 
sense of sin and deserved wrath ; because a man that 
hath no more than that, may perish in this miserable 
condition ; as we see in Judas the traitor, whose con- 
science was burdened with the sense of sin, but did 
not seek mercy and pardon. Neither is it sufficient 
to boast of acquaintance with Christ, and profess 
great respect to him ; because many do cry, " Lord, 
Lord !" who neither renounce their confidence in their 
own righteousness, nor worship God in spirit ; for, of 
such Christ saith, " Not every one that saith to me. 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of God," 
(Matt. vii. 21). Neither is it sufficient to pretend the 
worshipping of God in spirit : for, all they who think to 
be justified by their own works, do esteem their man- 
ner of serving of God, true and spiritual service and 
worship ; as may be seen in the proud Pharisee glo- 
rying before God in his own righteousness, and ac- 


knowledging that God was the giver unto him of the 
holiness and righteousness which he had. " I thank 
thee, God," saith he, " that I am not like other 
men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this 
publican," (Luke xviii. 11). For, of this man, Clirist 
saith, he returned to his house unjustified, that is, a 
man lying still in sin, unreconciled. 

Neither is it sufficient to prove a man regenerated, 
to confess sin and bygone unrighteousness, and to 
promise and begin to amend his ways and future con- 
versation ; for, so much may a Pharisee attain. .And 
there are many that profess themselves Christians, 
who think to be justified by the merits of their own 
and other saints' doings and sufferings, and do dis- 
dainfully scoff and mock at the doctrine of the im- 
puted righteousness of Christ. How many are they 
also, who think their bygone sins may be washen 
away, and be recompensed by their purpose to amend 
their life in time to come 1 How many are they, 
who, being willingly ignorant of the righteousness of 
God, which is of faith in Jesus Christ, go about to 
establish their own righteousness, as the Jews did ? 
(Rom. x. 3). And how few are they who follow the 
example of the apostle, who carefully served God in 
spirit and truth, but did not lean to his own right- 
eousness, but sought more and more to be found in 
Christ, not having his own righteousness, which be- 
hoved to be made up of his imperfect obedience of 
the law, but that righteousness which is by faith in 
Jesus Christ \ (Phil. iii. 9). 

But that man, who daily in the sense of his sinful- 
ness and poverty flceth unto Jesus Christ, that \\* 
may be justified by his righteousness, and endeavour- 
eth by faith in him to bring forth the fruits of new 


obedience, and doth not put confidence in these his 
works when he hath done them, but rejoiceth in Je- 
sus Christ the fountain of holiness and blessedness, 
that man, I say, undoubtedly is regenerated, and a 
new creature, for so doth the apostle describe him, 
(Phil. iii. 3). 



Because the healing of the sicknesses of the Con- 
science cometh by a right application of divine cove- 
nants about our salvation, therefore it is necessary, that 
some measure of the knowledge thereof be opened up. 

A divine covenant we call a contract or paction, 
wherein God is at least the one party, contracter. Of 
this sort of covenants about the eternal salvation of 
men (which sort chiefly belong to our purpose) there 
are three. The First is, the covenant of redemption 
past between God, and Christ God, appointed media- 
tor before the world was, in the council of the Trinity. 
The Second is, the covenant of works, made be- 
tween God and men, in Adam in his integrity indued 
with all natural perfections, enabling him to keep it, 
so long as it pleased him to stand to the condition. 
The Third is, the covenant of grace and reconciliation 
through Christ, made between God and believers (with 
their children) in Christ. 

As to the covenant of redemption, for clearing the 
matter, we must distinguish the sundry acceptations 



of the word redemption : For, 1. Sometimes it is taken 
for the contract and agreement of selling and buying 
back to eternal salvation, of lost man, looked upon as 
in the state of sin and misery. In which sense, we 
are said to be bought by Christ, both souls and bodies : 
" Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: 
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your Spirit, 
which are God's," (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20). And this may 
be called redemption by paction and agreed bargain. 
2. Sometimes redemption is taken for the paying of 
the price agreed upon. In which sense, Christ is said 
to have redeemed us, by suffering of the punishment 
due to us, and ransomingof us : " Christ hath'redeemed 
us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for 
us," (Gal. iii. 13). 3. Sometimes redemption is taken 
for the begun application of the benefits purchased in 
the covenant by the price paid : " In whom we have 
redemption through His blood, even the remission of 
sins, according to the riches of His grace," (Ephes. i. 
7.) 4. Sometimes redemption is taken for the perfect 
and full possession of all the benefits agreed upon be- 
tween the Father, and Christ His Son the Mediator. 
In which sense, we are said to be " sealed with the 
Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our in- 
heritance, until the redemption of the purchased pos- 
session," (Ephes. i. 14) ; and in Ephes. iv. 30, it is said, 
" Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are 
sealed unto the day of redemption ;" which is the day 
of judgment, when Christ shall put us in full posses- 
sion of all the blessedness which He purchased by 
bargain and payment for us. 

In this place, we .take redemption in the first sense, 
for the covenant past between the Father, and Christ 
his Son, designed Mediator, about our redemption. 


When we name the Father as the one party, and 
his Son Christ as the other party in this covenant, 
we do not seclude the Son and Holy Spirit from being 
the party offended ; but do look upon the Father, 
Son, and Spirit, one God in three persons, as offended 
by man's sin ; and yet all three contented to take 
satisfaction to divine justice for man's sin in the person 
of the Son, as designed mediator, to be incarnate. 
Whereby the Son is both the party offended as God, 
one essentially with the Father and Holy Spirit ; and 
the party contracter also, as God, designed mediator 
personally for redeeming man, who with consent of 
the Father and Holy Spirit, from all eternity willed 
and purposed in the fulness of time, to assume the 
human nature in personal union with himself, and for 
the elect's sake to become man, and to take the cause 
of the elect in hand, to bring them back to the friend- 
ship of God, and full enjoyment of felicity for evermore. 

When therefore we make the Father the one party, 
and the Son designed Mediator the other party, speak- 
ing with the scripture, for the more easy up-taking of 
the covenant, let us look to one God in three persons, 
having absolute right and sovereign power according 
to his own pleasure to dispose of men, looked upon 
as lying before God (to whom all things are present) 
in sin and death, drawn on by man's own deserving ; 
and yet for the glory of his grace resolving to save 
the elect, so as his justice shall be satisfied for them, 
in and by the second person of the Trinity, the co- 
eternal and co-essential Son of the Father. 

This covenant of redemption then may be thus de- 
scribed : — It is a bargain, agreed upon between the 
Father and the Son designed mediator, concerning 
the elect (lying with the rest of mankind in the state 


of sin and death, procured by their own demerit) wisely 
and powerfully to be converted, sanctified and saved, 
for the Son of God's satisfaction and obedience (in 
our nature to be assumed by Him) to be given in due 
time to the Father, even unto the death of the cross. 

In this bargain or agreement, the scripture im- 
porteth clearly, a selling and a buying of the elect : 
" Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased 
by his own blood," (Acts xx. 28.) " Ye are bought 
with a price," (1 Cor. vi. 20, and 1 Pet. i. 18.) The 
seller of the elect, is God ; the buyer, is God incar- 
nate ; the persons bought, are the church of the elect ; 
the price, is the blood of God, to wit, the blood of 
Christ, who is God and man in one person. 

This covenant of redemption, is in effect one with 
the eternal decree of redemption, wherein the salva- 
tion of the elect, and the way how it shall be brought 
about is fixed, in the purpose of God, who worketh 
all things according to the counsel of his own will, as 
the Apostle sets it down inEphes.i. unto thel5th verse. 

And the decree of redemption is in effect a covenant, 
one God in three persons agreeing in the decree, that 
the second person, God the Son, should be incarnate, 
and give obedience and satisfaction to divine justice 
for the elect : unto which piece of service the Son 
willingly submitting himself, the decree becometh a 
real covenant indeed. 

But for further satisfaction, that there is such a 
covenant between the Father and the Son, as we have 
said, for redeeming of the elect, scripture giveth us 
evidence six ways. 

The First way is by expressions, which import and 
presuppose a formal covenant between the parties 
buying and selling ; the Second way is, by styles and 


titles given to Christ the Redeemer ; the Third is, by 
expressions relating to an eternal decree for execution 
and performance of the covenant of redemption ; the 
Fourth is, by representation of this covenant in the 
Levitical types ; the Fifth is, by Christ the Redeemer 
now incarnate his ratification of the covenant ; and 
the Sixth way is, by holding forth to us the heads and 
articles agreed upon 4 wherein the covenant consists. 

The First Proof. As to the expressions, import- 
ing a formal covenant, first, (Eph. i. 7), it is called a 
redemption, or a buying of the elect out of sin and 
misery by blood : shewing that no remission of sin 
could be granted by justice, without shedding of 
blood, and Christ undertook to pay the price, and 
hath paid it. 

Again, the inheritance which the elect have pro- 
mised unto them, is called a purchase, importing that 
the disponer of the inheritance to the elect, must have 
a sufficient price for it ; and that the Redeemer hath 
accepted the condition, and laid down the price craved 
for it, (Eph. i. 14^, and so bought back lost heaven 
and forfeited blessedness to so many sinners, who 
otherwise, for sin, might justly have been excluded 
and debarred therefrom for ever. 

A third expression is holden forth, (Acts xx. 28), 
wherein God disponer, and God Redeemer are agreed, 
that the elect shall go free, for God the Redeemer's 
obedience unto the death, who hath now bought them 
with his blood. 

A fourth expression is in plain terms set down by 
Paul, u Ye are bought with a price," (1 Cor. vi. 20) : 
God the disponer selleth, and God the Redeemer 
buyeth the elect to be his conquest, both body and 


spirit. And Peter more particularly expresseth the 
price of redemption agreed upon to be not gold or 
silver, but the blood of the Mediator Christ, the inno- 
cent Lamb of God, slain in typical prefigurations from 
the beginning of the world, and slain in real perform- 
ance in the fulness of time, (1 Pet. i. 18-21). 

A fifth expression is that of our Lord Jesus in the 
institution of the sacrament of His Supper, " This is 
my blood of the new testament, which is shed for 
many, for the remission of sins," (Matt. xxvi. 28). 

Here an agreement between the Redeemer, and God 
disponer, that these MANY, which are the elect, shall 
have remission of sins, for the Redeemer's ransom of 
blood paid for them. The purchase of this ransom 
of blood he maketh over in the covenant of grace 
and reconciliation to believers in him, and sealeth the 
bargain with them by the sacrament of his Supper. 

The Second Proof. The second evidence of this 
covenant of redemption past between God, and God 
the Son Mediator designed, is from such titles and 
styles as are given to Christ, in relation to the pro- 
curing of a covenant of grace and reconciliation be- 
tween God and us. First, He is called a Mediator of 
the covenant of reconciliation, interceding for pro- 
curing of it, and that not by a simple entreaty, but 
by giving himself over to the Father, (calling for 
satisfaction to justice, that reconciliation might go 
on), for paying a compensatory price, sufficient to 
satisfy justice for the elect: " There is one God, and 
one Mediator between God and man (to wit, God in- 
carnate), the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a 
ransom for all (to wit, elect children), to be testified 
in due time," (1 Tim. ii. 5, 6.) 


Another title is given to him by Job (chap. xix. 25), 
where he is called a Redeemer, a near Kinsman, who 
before his incarnation had obliged himself to take on 
human nature, and to pay the price of redemption 
(represented by slain sacrifices), for the elect his 

A third title is held out, in that he is called a 
surety of a better covenant (Heb. vii. 22), whereby is 
imported, that God would not pass a covenant of 
grace and reconciliation to men, except he had a good 
surety, who would answer for the debt of the party 
reconciled, and would undertake to make the recon- 
ciled stand to his covenant. And Christ undertook 
the suretyship, and so hath procured and established 
this covenant of grace, much better than the covenant 
of works, and better than the old covenant of grace 
with Israel, as they made use of it. This necessarily 
imports a covenant between him and the Father's 
justice, to whom he becometh surety for us : for, 
what is suretyship, but a voluntary transferring of 
another's debt upon the surety, obliging him to pay 
the debt for which he engageth as surety ? 

A fourth title given to Christ is, that he is a re- 
conciliation by way of permutation ; the atonement. 
M We have by Christ received the atonement, (Rom. 
v. 11) ; that is, that which hath pacified the Father's 
justice, and reconciled him to us, is made over in a 
gift unto us ; for, by Christ's procurement we have 
God made ours, and Christ pacifying God, put, as it 
were, in our bosom : for God having sold us to Christ, 
by taking Christ's satisfaction for ours, he hath come 
over to us as reconciled, and given us Christ the Re- 
conciler and the Atonement, to be ours. Here is an 
agreement made between God and Christ, and the 


condition of the agreement between the parties for 
our behoof, clearly imported and presupposed. 

The fifth title given to Christ, is this, — he is called 
:he propitiation (1 John ii. 2), whereby God is pa- 
cified, not only for the believing Jews, but also for 
the whole elect world which should believe in him. 
And if he be the pacifying propitiation, then God 
hath satisfaction in all that his justice craved from 
Christ for the elect ; and (Rom. iii. 25), he is called 
a propitiatory sacrifice, wherewith God is so well 
pleased, that he makes offer of him to us, and sets 
him forth to us for pacifying our Conscience through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for re- 
mission of sins, without breach of justice : wherein, 
what price God required and was paid by Christ, is 
insinuated and presupposed ; for satisfaction could 
not be, except the price agreed upon, had been pro- 
mised and accepted before in covenanting. 

The Third Proof. The third evidence, proving 
that there was a covenant of redemption past before 
the beginning of the world, is, because the eternal 
decree of God was fixed about the way of redemption 
to be fulfilled in time : for " Known unto God were 
all his works from the beginning." (Acts xv. 18). 
And whatsoever God doth in time, he doth it accord- 
ing to the eternal counsel of his own will, (Eph. i. 11). 
Now, Christ the eternal Son of God, being made 
man, laid down his life for his sheep : " The Son of 
man goeth, as it was determined, but woe unto that 
man by whom he is betrayed," (Luke xxii. 22). And 
whatsoever Christ suffered, was by the determined 
counsel of God, (Acts ii. 23). And God the Son, be- 
fore he was incarnate, declares the decree of the 


kingdom promised unto him by the Father, and of 
the victories which he should have over all his ene- 
mies, and of the felicity and multitude of the subjects 
of his kingdom, that should believe in him. ' ; I will 
declare the decree" (Psal. ii. 7), saith he. Presup- 
posing therefore the decree of God, of sending his 
eternal Son into the world, to become a man and to 
suffer, and thereafter to reign for ever, we must also 
necessarily presuppose the consent of the Son, making 
paction with the Father and the Spirit, fixing the de- 
cree and agreement about the whole way of redemp- 
tion, to be brought about in time. For the same 
person, Christ Jesus, who dwelt among men in the 
days of his humiliation, was with the Father from 
eternity, (John i. 14) ; and as "by him all things 
were made, which were made" (John i. 2, 3), so, 
without him nothing was decreed which was decreed, 
(Prov. viii. 22-32) ; which also is manifest in the 
apostle's words, " He saved us, and called us with an 
holy calling ; not according to our works, but accord- 
ing to his own purpose and grace, which was given 
us in Christ Jesus before the world began." (2 Tim. 

For, as before the beginning of the world, the elect 
were given to the Son, designed Mediator to be in- 
carnate, and the price agreed upon ; so also grace to 
be given in time to the redeemed by compact, was 
given from eternity unto Christ, their designed Ad- 
vocate. Also, (Eph. i. 3, 4, 5), we were elected in 
Christ unto holiness and salvation, and unto all spi- 
ritual blessings, and were predestinated to the adop- 
tion of sons by Jesus Christ. And " We are redeemed 
not with gold or silver, but by the precious blood of 
Christ, who was predestinated before the beginning 


of the world," (1 Pet. i. 18, 19, 20). Whereby it 
is manifest, that the covenant between the Father 
and the Son, was transacted concerning the incarna- 
tion of the Son, and his sufferings, death, and resur- 
rection, and all other things belonging to the salva- 
tion of the elect. 

The Fourth Proof. — The fourth evidence of the 
passing of a covenant between the Father and the 
Son, is holden forth in the typical priesthood of Levi, 
by the altar and sacrifices, and the rest of the Levi- 
tical ceremonies which were prescribed by God. For 
as these things were testimonies, preachings, declara- 
tions, and evidences of a covenant past of old between 
God the disponer, and the Son the Redeemer, about 
the way of justifying and saving such as believed in 
the Messiah by an expiatory sacrifice, to be offered 
in the fulness of time for the redeemed ; so also they 
were prefigu rations, predictions, prophecies, and 
pledges, of the Redeemer's paying of the promised 
price of redemption. And this agreed upon price 
(because of the perfections of the parties contractors, 
the Father and the Son) was holden and esteemed as 
good as paid, from the beginning of the world ; and 
the agreed upon benefits purchased thereby, to wit, 
grace and glory, were effectually bestowed on the 
faithful before Christ's incarnation, as the Psalmist 
testifies : " The Lord," saith he, " is a sun and shield ; 
the Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing 
will he withhold from them that walk uprightly," 
(Psal. lxxxiv. 11) ; and, " Thou shalt guide me with 
thy counsel, and afterward receive me into glory," 
(Psalm lxxiii. 24) ; and that, because the promised 
price of redemption was of no less worth, to give 


righteousness and life eternal to believers in the Mes- 
siah to come, than the price now paid is now of worth 
to give for it, righteousness and life eternal, to these 
that believe in the Messiah now come, Jesus Christ 
incarnate. And this donation of saving graces, as 
remission of sin, and carrying on to life eternal, was 
sealed unto believers in the covenant of reconciliation, 
by the appointed sacraments of circumcision and the 
paschal lamb. 

The Fifth Proof. — The fifth evidence of a co- 
venant past between the Father and the Son Media- 
tor to be incarnate, is this, — Christ now incarnate, 
doth ratify all* these things which the Father, and 
himself not yet incarnate, and the Holy Spirit had 
spoken in the Old Testament, about the salvation of 
the elect, and the price of their redemption, and of 
the conditions to be performed on either hand ; and, 
as it were of new, doth repeat and renew the cove- 
nant, which before was past between the Father and 
Himself, before he was incarnate. For (Luke ii. 49), 
speaking to Joseph and his mother, when he was 
about twelve years old, he saith " Wist ye not that 
I must be about my Father's business 1" And (Matt. 
iii. 13), he presents himself pledge and surety for 
sinners before the Father, to be baptized for them 
with the baptism of affliction, and to fulfil all right- 
eousness, as was agreed upon before (verse 15) ; 
whereupon the Father doth receive and admit the 
surety, and his undertaking for payment (verse 17), 
and, " Lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased !" And (John 
v. 39), he standeth to all things which were testi- 
fied of him in the scriptures, " Search the scriptures ; 


for in them ye think to have eternal life : and they 
are they that testify of me." And (verse 36) he pro- 
fesseth that all he doth, is with the Father's consent 
and concurrence ; and that he came into the world, 
that he might finish what the Father had sent him 
to do and suffer, which he calls his work that he was 
about. And more specially, he shews the agreement 
passed between the Father and him before he came 
into the world, concerning his incarnation, and the 
discharge of his mediatory office, and his power to 
give eternal life to those that believe in him. For 
the Father sent him to be incarnate (verse 37), and 
that he with the Father might give " eternal life to 
whomsoever he will, and might quicken the dead," 
(verse 21). And that he might exercise judgment, au- 
thority was given to him as the Son of man, (verse 27). 
Yea, he sheweth that it was agreed upon between 
the Father and him, about all the doctrine which 
he should teach : " I speak to the world these things" 
which I have heard of him, (John viii. 26) ; and he 
sheweth that they were agreed about the price of 
redemption of the elect, and about his resurrection 
from the dead, and that his death did fully satisfy 
the Father : "As the Father knoweth me, even so 
know I the Father ; and I lay down my life for the 
sheep ; therefore doth the Father love me, because 
I lay down my life that I might take it again, 
" This commandment have I received of the Fa- 
ther," (John x. 15, 17, 18). He propones, in short, 
the sum of the covenant past between the Father 
and himself, speaking to the two disciples going to 
Emmaus : " fools, and slow of heart to believe all 
that the prophets have spoken ! Ought not Christ to 
have suffered these things, and to enter in his own 


glory ?" (Luke xxiv. 25, 26). But most briefly he 
sheweth the whole matter, so oft as he ealleth the 
Father his God, and that in respect of the covenant 
past between God and Him to be incarnate, and now 
incarnate indeed. 

The Sixth Proof. — The sixth evidence of the 
covenant of redemption past between the Father and 
the Son, standeth in the heads and articles of the 
covenant wherein they were agreed. 

Now, there are as many articles of the covenant, 
as there are injunctions, commands, and conditions 
required on the one hand, and promises to fulfil all on 
the other hand ; as many predictions as there are of 
Christ's sufferings, and promises made to the church 
through and for him. Of these many, we shall touch 
only at four, whereby the faith of believers in him 
may be confirmed about their redemption by him, 
and whereby the erroneous doctrine of them who 
evacuate the covenant of redemption of the elect, 
may be refuted; wherein they teach, that Christ, by 
his obedience yielded unto the Father, even to the 
death of the cross, did purchase no more but a possi- 
bility of salvation, and no more grace for the elect 
than for the reprobate ; as if he had not purchased a 
certainty of salvation to be given to any, but had 
suspended all the fruit of his sufferings upon the frail, 
mutable, inconstant and corrupt free-will of men ; so 
that none can by their doctrine have more certainty 
of their own salvation, than they have of the certainty 
and stability of their own fickle mind and will ; and 
so, no more certainty of their own salvation, than of 
their own perdition. The order we shall keep in 


speaking of the articles of the covenant of redemption, 
shall be this : 

The first article, shall be of the persons redeemed. 

The second article, shall be of the price of redemp- 
tion to be paid by Christ in the fulness of time. 

The third article, shall be about the gifts and bene- 
fits purchased for, and to be given unto the persons 

The fourth article of this covenant of redemption 
past between the Father and the Son, shall be of the 
mean9 and ways whereby the gifts and benefits pur- 
chased, may be wisely, orderly, and effectually applied 
to the redeemed. 

In ranking of these articles, we do not presuppose 
a priority of one of them before another in order of 
nature or time ; but we choose to speak of them in 
order of doctrine, for our more easy understanding of 
the matter. 

For the covenant of redemption past between the 
Father and the Son, is by way of an eternal decree 
of the Trinity, comprehending all and whatsoever be- 
longeth to redemption. In the discerning of which 
decree, there is not a first nor a last, but a joint pur- 
pose of God to bring about and accomplish all the 
heads and articles of the covenant, each in its own 
due time, order, and way appointed. 

The First Article of the Covenant of Redemption 
concerneth the persons redeemed. The redeemed, in 
Scripture, are pointed forth under sundry expressions. 
Sometimes they are called the " predestinated;" some- 
times the " elect ;" sometimes those "whom God fore- 
knew ;" sometimes they who are " called according to 
his purpose;" sometimes "they that were given" to 


Christ of the Father; sometimes "Christ's sheep; 1 ' 
sometimes the "Children of God." But whatsoever 
name they have, the persons are the same, according 
to that of the apostle : " Whom he did foreknow, 
them he did predestinate to be conformed to the 
image of his Son. Moreover, whom he did predes- 
tinate, them he also called ; and whom lie called, them 
he also justified ; and whom he justified, them he also 
glorified," (Rom. viii. 29, 30.) The number and the 
names of the persons here spoken of, are the same ; 
and they are called the " predestinated," in regard 
that God hath appointed them to a certain end, to 
wit, eternal life, to be brought thereunto effectually 
by certain meaus for the glory of God's grace. They 
are called " elect," (ver. 33), in regard that God, in 
the purpose of his good pleasure, hath severed them 
from among the rest of men, lying with them in the 
state of perdition by their own procurement, and hath 
designed them to be partakers of eternal salvation. 
They are called " foreknown," and written in the 
book of life, in regard God hath comprehended them 
in his special love, no less distinctly and unchangeably, 
than if he had their names written in a catalogue or 
book. And they are called " given unto Christ," in 
regard the redeeming of them, and bringing them to 
life, is committed to Christ. But by whatsoever 
name they are designed, the persons redeemed are still 
the same. 

But whereas the elect, given to Christ, are called 
" the redeemed," it presupposeth, that they were con- 
sidered and looked upon as now fallen by their own 
fault, and lying by their own demerit in sin and misery, 
enemies to God, and altogether unable to help them- 
selves. For this much doth the notion of redemption, 


or buying back again, import ; and that it is so, is 
clear, because the mercy of God, the grace of God, 
the good-will of God, is put in scripture for the only 
motive and impulsive cause of redemption. " In 
whom we have redemption through his blood, even the 
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, 
wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom 
and prudence, having made known unto us the mys- 
tery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which 
he hath purposed in himself," (Eph. i. 7-9.) 

The scripture sheweth us that there is an innu- 
merable multitude of redeemed persons, and a sort 
of universality of them extended unto all nations, and 
ages, and states of men ; so that this huge multitude 
for whose redemption Christ's blood was shed (Matt, 
xxvi. 28), is justly called by the name of a world, an 
elect world (John iii. 16) ; to be called out of that re- 
probate world, for which Christ refuseth to intercede 
(John xvii. 9). The truth of this matter, the re- 
deemed- do acknowledge, in their worshipping Christ 
their Mediator : " And they sang a new song, saying, 
Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the 
seals thereof ; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed 
us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and 
tongue, and people, and nation," (Rev. v. 9). These 
are the " all men " whom God will have saved, and 
doth save, (1 Tim. ii. 4) ; these are the " all men " 
of whom the apostle speaks, ( 2 Pet. iii. 9). God is 
patient toward us (to wit, his elect), not willing that 
any of us should perish, but that we all should come 
to repentance. And this the apostle giveth for a 
reason of the Lord's deferring his coming, till all the 
elect should be brought in, of whom many were not 
yet converted in the apostle's time, and many were 


not yet born ; and if Christ should not delay his 
coming, till they were born, and brought in to recon- 
ciliation with God, the number of the elect should 
be cut short. 

In no place of scripture is it said, that all and 
every man is elect, or every man is given to Christ, 
or every man is predestinate unto life ; in no place 
of scripture is it said, that Christ hath made paction 
-with the Father for all and every man without excep- 
tion ; but by the contrary it is sure from scripture, 
that Christ hath merited and procured salvation for 
all them for whom he entered himself surety. Their 
sins were laid only on Christ, and in him condemned, 
satisfied for, and expiated, (Isa. liii.) ; for these and 
in their place, he offered himself to satisfy justice ; 
for them he prayed ; them only he justifieth and 
glorifieth : for the sentence of the Apostle (2 Cor. v. 
15) standeth firm, {; in Christ all are dead" (to the 
law), for whom and in whose room Christ did die. 
And therefore for these his people, the law is satis- 
fied ; from these, the curse is taken away ; to them, 
heaven and all things necessary to salvation are pur- 
chased, and shall infallibly in due time, yea, invinci- 
bly, be applied. 

Christ hath not sanctified, consecrated, and per- 
fected all and every one, (Heb. x. 14). Only for his 
sheep predestinated, he laid down his life, (John x. 
15, 16, 26). He did not buy with his blood all and 
everyone, but his church, called out, and severed from 
the world, (Acts xx. 28). He saved not all and 
every man from his sins, but his own people only ; 
to wit, whom he hath bought with his blood to be 
his own (Matth. i. 21), whom he hath purchased to 
be his own peculiar, whom he doth purify, and kindle 



•with a fervent desire to bring forth good works, 
(Tit. ii. 14). 

Such as Christ hath redeemed, he loveth them in- 
finitely, and counted them dearer to him than his 
life. But many shall be found to whom Christ shall 
say, " I never knew you," to wit, with approbation 
and aifection, (Matt. vii. 23). 

They for whom Christ hath died, shall some time 
glory against all condemnation ; but so shall not every 
man be able to glory, (Rom. viii. 34, 35). 

Christ never purposed to lay down his life for those, 
whom going to die, he refuseth to pray for ; only for 
those who are given to him out of the world will he 
pray, and die, and rise, and will raise them to eternal 
life, (John xvii. 9). 

So far is it from God's purpose and Christ's to re- 
deem all and every man, that he hath not decreed to 
give every nation so much as the external necessary 
means for conversion and salvation : " He sheweth 
his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments 
unto Israel ; he hath not dealt so with any nation ; 
and as for his judgments they. have not known them," 
(Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20). 

And for this wise and holy course of hiding the 
mystery of salvation from many, even wise men in 
the world, Christ Jesus gloriiieth and thanketh the 
Father : " I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven 
and earth, because thou hast hid these things from 
the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to 
babes ; even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy 
sight," (Matt. xi. 25). 

The Second Article. — As to the second article of 
the covenant of redemption, concerning the price of 
redemption, and the fitting of the Redeemer for ac- 


complishing the work of redemption, God would not 
have silver or gold, or any corruptible thing, (1 Pet. 
i. 18). He refuseth all ransom that can come from 
a mere man, (Psalm xlix. 7, 8). But he would have 
his own co-eternal and only begotten Son to become 
a man, to take on the yoke of the law, and to do all 
his will, that He alone might redeem the elect, who 
by nature are under the curse of the law. He would 
have him, the second Adam, to be obedient even to 
the death of the cross, that by his obedience many 
might be justified, (Rom. v. 19). 

This is clearly confirmed by the apostle (Heb. x. 
5-7, 10), commenting upon the 7th and 8th verse of 
Psalm xl. " In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin 
thou hast had no pleasure :" then said Christ coming 
into the world, " Lo, I come (in the volume of the 
book it is written of me) to do thy will, God," — by 
the which will we are sanctified, by the offering up of 
the blood of Jesus once for all. 

By Christ's obedience we understand, not only that 
which some call his active obedience, nor that which 
some call his passive obedience ; for his active and 
passive obedience are but two notions of one thing : 
for his incarnation, subjection to the law, and the 
whole course of his life was a continued course of 
suffering ; and in all his suffering, he was a free and 
voluntary agent, fulfilling all which he had undertaken 
unto the Father, for making out the promised price 
of redemption, and accomplishing what the Father 
had given him command to do. His obedience even 
to the death of the cross, did begin in his emptying 
himself to take on our nature, and the form of a 
servant, and did run on till his resurrection and as- 
cension. As for these his sufferings in the end of 


his life, which he suffered both in soul and body, they 
were the completing of his formerly begun and run- 
ning obedience, but were not his only obedience for 
us, or his only suffering for us ; for he had done and 
suffered much from his incarnation, before his last* 
passion and death. But the highest degree of his 
obedience, whereby he bought deliverance unto us 
from sin and misery, and whereby he bought unto us 
immortality and eternal blessedness in heaven, was 
his death on the cross completing our ransom. 

Whereas some have said, that one drop of his blood 
was sufficient to redeem more worlds than one, if 
there were any more, it is but an inconsiderate speech, 
and destitute of scriptural authority ; for when Christ 
had suffered all things before the time of his death, 
it behoved him to be crucified also, (Luke xxiv. 26). 
But it behoved him not to suffer more than justice 
required for a ransom, but only as much as was 
agreed upon ; and no less could satisfy. Now, this 
commandment he received of the Father, that he 
should lay down his life for his sheep, (John x. 18). 
For the wisdom of God thought good to testify his 
own holiness, and hatred of sin, and to testify his love 
to the elect world, and riches of his grace toward 
them to whom he would be merciful, by inflicting no 
les3 punishment of sin on the Mediator, his own dear 
Son (taking upon himself full satisfaction to justice for 
all the sins of all the elect given unto him to redeem), 
than the death both of his body and soul for a season. 

And indeed, it was suitable to his holy and sove- 
reign majesty, that for the ransom of so many thou- 
sands and millions of damnable sinners, and saving of 
them from everlasting torment of body and soul, no 
less price should be paid by the Son of God, made 


man and surety for them, than his sufferings both in 
his bodv and soul for a season, as much as should be 
equivalent to the due deserved punishment of them 
whom he should redeem. And it became the justice 
of the infinite majesty offended, to be reconciled with 
so manv rebels, and to bestow upon them heaven and 
eternal blessedness, for no less price than the sufferings 
of the eternal Son made man, whose humiliation and 
voluntary obedience, even to the death of the cross, 
was of infinite worth and value ;" and therefore he 
yielded himself to the sufferings agreed upon in the 
covenant of redemption both in body and soul. 

Of the Sufferings of Christ in his soul. — Our Lord's 
sufferings in his body did not fully satisfy divine jus- 
tice ; 1. Because as God put a sanction on the law 
and covenant of works made with us all in Adam, 
that he and his should be liable to death both of 
body and soul, (which covenant being broken by sin, 
all sinners became obnoxious to the death both of 
body and soul.) so the redeemed behoved to be deli- 
vered from the death of both, by the Redeemer's tast- 
ing of death in both kinds, as much as should be 
sufficient for their redemption. 2. As sin infected 
the whole man, soul and body, and the curse follow- 
ing on sin, left no part nor power of the man's soul 
free ; so justice required that the Redeemer, coming 
in the room of the persons redeemed, should feel the 
force of the curse both in body and soul. 

Objection'. But how can the soul die, seeing it 
is by the ordinance of God in creation made immor- 
tal ? Answer. The death of the soul is not in all 
things like to the death of the body ; for, albeit the 
spiritual substance of the soul be made immortal, and 
not to be extinguished, yet it is subject to its own sort 


of death, which consists in the separation of it from 
communion with God, in such and such degrees, as 
justly may be called the death of the soul ; from which 
sort of death, the immortality of the soul not only 
doth not deliver, but also it doth augment it and per- 
petuate it, till this death be removed. 

Objection. But, seeing the human soul of our 
Lord could never be separated from the permanent 
holiness wherewith it was endued in the first infusion 
of it in the body, and could never be separated from 
the indissoluble personal union with the second person 
of the Godhead assuming it, how could his soul be sub- 
ject to any degrees of death? Answer. Albeit the 
connatural holiness of the soul of Christ could not be 
removed, nor the personal union of it be dissolved, no, 
not when the soul was separated from the body, yet 
it was subject, by Christ's own consent, to be emptied 
of strength natural ; to be deprived for a time of the 
clearness of vision of its own blessedness, and of the 
quiet possession of the formerly felt peace, and of the 
fruition of joy for a time ; and so, suffer an eclipse of 
light and consolation, otherwise shining from his God- 
head ; and so, in this sort of spiritual death, might 
undergo some degrees of spiritual death. 

The Degrees of the Suffering of Chris fs holy soul. 
— Among the degrees of the death suffered by Christ 
in his soul, we may number, 

1. That habitual heaviness of spirit, which haunted 
him all the days of his life, as was foretold by Isaiah 
(liii. 3), " He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted 
with grief." We hear he wept, but never that he 
laughed, and but very seldom that he rejoiced. 

2. He suffered, in special, sorrow and grief in the 
observation of the ingratitude of them for whom he 


came to lav down liis life : li We hid, as it were, our 
faces from him ; he was despised, and we esteemed 
him not," (Isa. liii. 3). 

3. The hardness of men's hearts, and the malice of 
his own covenanted people, and the daily contumelies 
and despiteful usage he found from day to day, in- 
creased Ins daily grief, as by rivulets the flood is 
raised in the river : M He was despised and rejected 
of men,'' (Isa. liii. 3;. 

4. He was tempted in all things like unto us ; and 
albeit in them all never tainted with sin (Heb. iv. 15 . 
yet with what a vexation of his most holy soul, we 
may easily gather, by comparing the holiness of our 
Lord with the holiness of his servants, to whom no- 
thing is more bitter than the fiery darts of the devil, 
and his suggestions and solicitations to sin ; especially 
if we consider the variety of temptations, the heinous- 
ness of the sins, whereunto that impudent and unclean 
spirit boldly solicited his holiness (Matt, iv.} ; and 
withal, the importunity and pertinacity of the devil, 
who never ceased, partly by himself, partly by those 
that were his slaves, and partly by the corruption 
which he found in Christ's disciples, to pursue, press, 
and vex the God of glory all the time he lived on earth. 

5. The guilt of all the sins, crimes, and vile deeds 
of the elect, committed from the beginning of the 
world, was imputed unto him, by accepting of which 
imputation, albeit he polluted not his conscience, yet 
he burdened his soul, binding himself to bear their 
deserved punishment. 

Xow, when we see that the vilest sinners, as liars, 
thieves, adulterers, cannot patiently hear themselves 
called liars or thieves, nor bear the shame of the vile- 
ness whereof they are really guilty, with what suffer- 


ing of soul, with what clouding of the glory of his 
holiness, think we, did our Lord take upon his should- 
ers such a dunghill of all vileness, than which nothing 
could be more unbeseeming his holy majesty ? 

6. Unto all the former degrees of suffering of his 
soul, the perplexity of his thoughts fell on him, with 
the admiration and astonishment of soul, when the full 
cup of wrath was presented unto him, in such a terrible 
way, as made all the powers of his sense and reason for 
a time to be at a stand. Which suffering of his soul, 
while the Evangelist is about to express, he saith, '* He 
began to be sore amazed, and also to be very heavy ;" 
and to express himself in these words, " My soul is 
exceeding sorrowful unto death," (Mark xiv. 33, 34). 

Objection. But did not this astonishing amaze- 
ment of Christ's soul, speak some imperfection of the 
human nature ? Answer. It did no ways argue any 
imperfection, or lack of sanctity in him ; but only a 
sinless and kindly infirmity, in regard of natural 
strength, in the days of his flesh. For the mind of 
a man, by any sudden and vehement commotion aris- 
ing from a terrible object, may, without sinning, be 
so taken up, that the swift progress of his mind in 
discourse may for a while be stopped, and the act of 
reasoning suspended a while ; all the cogitations of 
the mind fleeing together to consult, and not being 
able to extricate themselves in an instant, may stand 
amazed, and sit down awhile, like Job's friends asto- 
nished. Now our Lord, taking on our nature and 
our common sinless infirmities, became like unto us 
in all things except sin. Daniel's infirmity at the 
sight of an angel, was not sin, (Dan. x). 

Objection. But doth not this astonishing admi- 
ration, suddenly lighting upon Christ's soul, prove that 


something unforeseen of him did befall him ? . 
Not at all ; for he knew all things that should be- 
fall him, and told his disciples thereof, and \ras at 
a point, and resolved in every thing which was to 
come, before it came. But this astonishing amazement 
did only shew forth the natural difference between 
things preconceived in the mind, and these same things 
presented to sense : for there is in the mind a differ- 
ent impression of the preconceived heat of a burning 
iron, before it do touch the skin, from that powerful 
impression which a hot iron thrust into the flesh doth 
put upon the sense. In regard of which natural dif- 
ference between foresight and feeling, between reso- 
lution and experience, this astonishment befell our 
Lord ; and in this regard, Christ is said to learn ex- 
perimental obedience by these things which he suffered, 
(Heb. v. 8). 

7. Another degree of the suffering of our Lord's 
soul, is the interruption, for a time, of the sensible 
up-taking and feeling of that quiet and peaceable en- 
joyment of the felicity of the human nature, given (for 
the point of right) unto it in its personal union with 
his God-head, in so far, that in the midst of many dis- 
ciples, Greeks and Jews, looking on him, the vehe- 
mency of his trouble did not suffer him to hide his 
perturbation ; for (John xii. 27,) our Lord cried out, 
"Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say V and 
(Mark xiv. 34,) made him declare his exceeding heavi- 
ness ; " My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death." 
In which words he insinuates, that to his sense, death 
was at hand ; yea, that in no small measure, it had 
seized on him, and wrapped him up in the sorrows of 
death, for the time, as in a net, of which he knew he 
could not be holden still. 


Objection. But did not this huge heap of mise- 
ries take away from the human nature, the felicity 
of its union personally with his Godhead % Answer. 
It did indeed hide it for a time, and hinder the 
sensible feeling of it for a time, as it was necessary, 
in his deep suffering ; but it did not take it away, nor 
yet eclipse it altogether. For as a corporal inherit- 
ance hath a threefold connection with the person owner 
thereof; so a spiritual inheritance hath a threefold 
connection with the believer s soul. The first is, of 
lawful title and right ; the next is, of possession of the 
inheritance according to the lawful right ; the third 
is, an actual fruition and present feeling of the use of 
the inheritance. The fruition and felt benefit and use, 
may be marred or suspended, and the possession stand: 
and the possession may be interrupted and suspended, 
and the lawful right remain firm. Christ had not 
only an undoubted right to this felicity standing unto 
him, by the personal union, but also a fast possession 
of it, in as far as the personal union was indissoluble. 
But the actual felt fruition in his human sense and up- 
taking, was so long interrupted, as the human nature 
was diverted from this contemplation for its present 
exercise, and turned to look toward the sad spectacle 
of imminent and incumbent wrath : especially when, 
and how long it was, as it were, bound to the feeling 
of the present stroke, which did fill the soul with sad- 
ness and grief, anxiety and vexation, without sin. 

8. Neither did the vindictive justice of God, pur- 
suing our sins in our surety, stay here ; but in the gar- 
den went on to shew unto Christ the cup of wrath, and 
also to hold it to his head, and to press him to drink 
it ; yea, the very dregs of the agreed upon curse of the 
law : — was poured into his patient and submissive 


mouth, as it were, and bosom, and the most inward 
pail of soul and body, which as a vehement flame, 
above all human apprehension, so filled both soul and 
body, that out of all his veins it drew and drove forth 
a bloody sweat (the like whereof was never heard}, as 
when a pot of oil, boiling up and running over, by a 
fire set under it, hath yet further the flame increased, 
by the thrusting of a fiery mass of hot iron into it. 

Hence came such a wasting and eating up of all his 
human strength, and emptying of his natural abilities; 
such a down-throwing of his mind ; such a fainting 
and swooning of his joy, and so heavy a weight of 
sorrow on him, that not only he desired that small 
comfort of his weak disciples watching with him a 
little, and missed of it, but also stood in need of an 
angel to comfort him, (Luke xxii. 43). 

It is without ground, that some of the learned have 
denied the cause of this agony to be, the drinking of 
the cup of wrath holden forth to him by the Father; 
saying, that the sight of it only, and of the peril he 
saw we were into, was the cause of this heavy exercise. 
For the cup was not only shewn unto him, and the 
huge wrath due to our sin set before him, that he 
should see it, and tremble at the apprehension of the 
danger we were in ; but it was poured into him, and 
not only on him, that he for the sins of his redeemed, 
should suffer it sensibly, and as it were drink it, that 
the bitterness thereof might affect all the powers of 
soul and body. For the scripture testifies, that not 
only upon the sight and apprehension of this wrath 
and curse coming on him, the holy human nature did 
holily abhor it, but also, thut he submitted to receive 
it, upon the consideration of the divine decree and 
agreement made upon the price to be paid by him ; 


and that, upon the feeling of this wrath, this agony in 
his soul, and bloody sweat of his body, was brought on. 

Objection. But how could the pouring forth of 
the Father's wrath upon his innocent and dear Son, 
consist with his fatherly love to him ? Answer. Even 
as the innocence and holiness of Christ could well 
consist with his taking upon him the punishment of our 
sins; for even the wrath of a just man, inflicting capital 
punishment on a condemned person, suppose his own 
child, can well consist with fatherly affection toward the 
child suffering punishment. Therefore, it is not to be 
doubted but those two can well consist in God, in 
whom affections do not war one with another, nor 
fight with reason, as it falleth forth among men ; for 
the affections ascribed unto God, are effects rather of 
his holy will toward us, than properly called affections 
in him. And these effects of God's will about us, do 
always tend to our good and blessedness at last, how- 
ever diverse one from another in themselves. 

Among the degrees of the sufferings of Christ's soul, 
we may number not only the perturbation of his 
mind and thoughts, but also the perturbation of his 
affections, and especially his fear ; for his human na- 
ture was like unto ours in all things except sin, and 
was indeed afraid when it saw and felt the wrath of 
God, lest it should have been swallowed up by it. And 
of this fear the apostle beareth witness, saying, "Who 
in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers 
and supplications, and strong cries and tears, unto 
him that was able to save him from death, and was 
heard in that he feared," (Heb. v. 7.) 

Now, albeit this seemeth the saddest passage of all 
his sufferings, that he was afraid of being swallowed 
up, yet this his fear is not to be wondered at, nor is 


it inconsistent with his holiness ; for when Christ as- 
sumed our nature (as hath been said), he assumed 
also all the common and sinless infirmities, passions, 
and perturbations of our nature. Now, it is fitting 
that the creature at the sight of an angry God, should 
tremble ; for we read, that the rocks and mountains 
have trembled before God, when he did let forth his 
terror; and it is natural to man, at the sight of a ter- 
rible object, at the sight of a peril and evil coming 
upon him, but much more already come upon him 
(especially if the evil and peril be above all his natural 
strength), to tremble and fear the worst. And this 
becometh holy nature very well, to fear present death, 
off- cutting, perdition, and swallowing up in the dan- 
ger, when God appeared angry, and was hasting to be 
avenged on sinners in the person of their Surety. 
What could the human soul of Christ gather from 
this terrible sight, but that which sense and reason 
did teach % In the mean time, there was no place 
here for his doubting of the issue, and his escaping 
from being swallowed up ; for natural fear of the 
human nature, arising from the infirmity of the crea- 
ture, differs very far from the fear arising from the 
infirmity of faith in God's faithfulness and power ; and 
natural fear of the worst can very well stand with the 
strength of faith to overcome the natural fear. For, 
as the sensitive appetite may abhor a bitter cup of 
medicine, and cause all the body tremble for fear to 
take it, while in the mean time, the man, by reason, is 
resolved to drink that bitter cup of medicine, because 
he confidently hopeth to help his health thereby ; so, 
natural fear in Christ to taste of the cup of wrath, 
could very well consist with strong faith and assurance 
to be delivered therefrom. For it is very suitable 


that faith should as far overcome the natural appre- 
hension of sense and reason natural, as reason doth 
overcome sense in drinking a loathsome and bitter 
cup of medicine. 

And to clear this yet further, that extreme fear to 
be swallowed up of wrath, could well consist in Christ 
with strong faith to overcome and bear out that ter- 
rible wrath, — let it be considered, that as it was 
needful Christ should be subject to the infirmity of 
natural strength, that he might suffer death ; so it 
was needful, that he should have strong faith, to en- 
able him to bear out in a holy way, that which he 
behoved to suffer. For if, on the one hand, Christ 
had not been weakened, and emptied of all human 
strength in his flesh, he could not have been humbled 
enough for us ; he could not have suffered so much 
as justice did exact for satisfaction for us ; and on 
the other hand, if he had not stood firm in faith and 
love towards God's glory and our salvation, he could 
not have satisfied justice, nor been still the innocent 
and spotless Lamb of God, nor have perfected the 
expiatory sacrifice for us. 

Objection. But was he not tempted to doubt by 
Satan 1 Answer. We grant that he was indeed 
tempted by Satan to doubt ; yea, we shall not stand 
to grant that he was tempted to desperation ; but 
we altogether deny that he was tainted with sin by 
temptation in the least degree : for the scripture 
saith, he was tempted in all things like unto us, but 
yet without sin in him, or yielding in any sort to any 
temptation. And seeing by the Evangelist (Matt, iv.), 
we understand, that he was tempted in the wilderness 
by the devil, unto the most horrible sins that Satan 
could devise, and yet was not stained or polluted in 


the least degree, with the least measure of yielding 
to the sinful temptations ; we need not stand to grant 
that he might be tempted, or that he was tempted 
unto doubting and desperation ; for this was among 
the most notable and prime temptations, whereby 
Satan in his impudent boldness, solicited the Son of 
God, very God and man in one person, even to doubt 
of that which Satan knew he was : " If thou be the 
Son of God," saith he. It is true indeed, that we 
who are sinners by nature, and corrupted in all the 
powers of our soul, cannot be tempted, tossed, and 
troubled, but therein our sinful nature in some mea- 
sure may appear, and be polluted. But the matter 
was not so with our holy Lord, the God of glory, who 
was separate from sinners. For our impure nature 
is like to water in a puddle, which being stirred, doth 
presently become muddy and foul : but the holy hu- 
man nature of Christ, was altogether pure, like unto 
clear and pure fountain water in a glass, which how- 
soever it be troubled and tossed, remaineth most pure, 
and free of all muddiness. 

Objection. But at least, was there not a conflict 
in our Lord between his faith, and the temptation to 
doubting ? Answer. We grant not only a conflict 
of Christ's human natural strength with the burden 
of affliction, but also a conflict and wrestling of his 
faith against the temptation to doubting. For wrest- 
ling doth not alwavs anrue the infirmitv of the 
wrestler ; for the angel who is called God (Hos. xii.) 
wrestles with Jacob, and in God was no infirmity. 
Again, wrestling doth not argue always infirmity, 
but doth only evidence the wrestler's power, and the 
importunate obstinacy of an adversary, who being 
reoulsed and cast down, doth not at first leave the 


field, but riseth up again, insists and presseth on, so 
long as it pleaseth the most powerful party to suffer 
the adversary to make opposition. 

Objection. But you must grant, that in the con- 
flict of Christ's human natural strength, with the 
affliction and burden of the punishment laid upon him 
by the Father, he was overcome, and succumbed, and 
died. Answer. Yes, indeed : but we must put a dif- 
ference between the conflict of natural strength with 
the burden of affliction, and the conflict between faith 
and a temptation unto sin. In the conflict of holy 
human nature in Christ, with the punishment of our 
sins laid on him, it was not a sin to have his natural 
strength overpowered, and to lie down under the burden, 
and to lay down his life and die ; but it was a main 
part of his obedience ; it was the performance of his 
promise and undertaking, to yield himself to justice 
and to die for us, that we might be delivered from 
death eternal. But in the wrestling of his faith with 
the temptation unto doubting, it had been a sin to 
have yielded in the least degree, and that which could 
not consist with the perfect holiness of the Mediator, 
surety for sinners. 

Objection. But did not the perplexity of his 
thoughts, and the anxiety of his mind, diminish some- 
thing of the vigour and constancy of his faith \ An- 
swer. It did diminish nothing of the vigour and con- 
stancy of his faith ; for there is a great difference 
between the troubling of the thoughts, and the hesi- 
tation or weakening of faith, as there is also a great 
difference between the perturbations of the mind, and 
the perturbation of the conscience. For as the mind 
may be troubled, when, in the consideration of some 
difficulty, it cannot at first perceive an outgate, mean- 


time the conscience remaining sound and quiet ; so 
may the work of the mind's discoursing be interrupt- 
ed, and at a stay for a time, faith meantime remain- 
ing untouched, wholly sound and quiet. For example, 
upon the sudden receiving of a wound, or upon an un- 
expected report of some great loss, such as befel Job, 
the wheels of the reasoning faculty may be at a stand 
for a time, and the conscience in the mean time be 
quiet : yea, and faith in the mean time remain strong, 
as we see in Job's first exercise. 

Xow, if this may be found in a holy imperfect man 
in any measure, why shall we not consider rightly of 
the exercise of the Holy One of Israel, suffering in his 
human nature the punishment of our sin \ 

Let us consider but one of the passages of our 
Lord's exercise, (John xii. 27, 28), " Xow (saith he) 
my soul is troubled :" wherein, behold the perplexity 
of his mind, smitten with the horror of the curse due 
to us coming upon him. Then cometh forth, " What 
shall I say I" wherein, behold reason standing mute 
and altogether silent, he only lets forth the confession 
of his perplexity. Presently after this, he subjoineih, 
' ; Father, save me from this hour ;" wherein, behold 
holy nature, trembling and shrinking to fall into the 
wrath of the Father, and according to the principles 
of holy nature, testifying the simple abhorrency of 
his soul from such an evil as is the wrath of God his 
Father, which, had it not been for love to save our 
souls, he could not have yielded his human nature 
to endure or bear it. Therefore he, considering that 
we were but lost for ever, if he should not suffer wrath 
for us, he repeats the sum of the covenant of redemp- 
tion agreed upon, " But for this cause came I unto this 
hour." And last of all, he shuts up his speech and 


exercise in the triumphing voice of victorious and un- 
tainted faith, " Father, glorify thy name ;" and here 
he resteth : wherewith the Father is so well pleased, 
as that from heaven he speaketh to the hearing of the 
multitude standing by, " I have both glorified it, and 
will glorify it again." 

Among the deepest degrees of the suffering of Christ 
in his soul, we reckon that desertion, whereof Christ 
on the cross giveth an account, crying out, " My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me V By which 
speech, he doth not mean, that then the personal union 
of the natures was in him dissolved, nor yet that God 
had withdrawn his sustaining strength and help from 
the human nature, nor that the love of the Father was 
taken off him, nor that any point of the perfection of 
holiness was taken from him ; but his true intent is 
to shew, that God for a time had taken away sensible 
consolation and felt joy from his human soul, that so 
justice might in his sufferings be the more fully satis- 
fied. And this is the forsaking of him here given to 
us to understand. In which desertion, Christ is not 
to be looked upon simply as he is in his own person, 
the Son of the Father, in whom he is always well 
pleased ; but as he standeth in the room of sinners, 
surety and cautioner, paying their debt ; in which re- 
spect, he behoved to be dealt with as standing in our 
name, guilty, and paying the debt of being forsaken 
of God, — which we were bound to suffer fully and for 
ever, if he had not interposed for us. 

The last degree of Christ's sufferings (wherein he 
may be said to have "descended into hell," so far as 
scripture in the Old Testament, or the history of 
Christ's passion in the New, will suffer us to expound 
that expression), is that curse, wherein the full wrath 


of God, and the dregs of that horrible cup, were 
poured forth upon his holy human nature, while 
heaven, and earth, and hell, seemed to conspire to 
take vengeance on him, and fully to punish our sins 
in the person of him our Surety, by that cursed death 
of the cross, which was the evidence foretold of the 
malediction of God lying on him, in so far as was ne- 
cessary to complete the punishment of loss and feeling 
both in soul and body. And, therefore, not without 
ground have orthodox divines taken in Christ's suffer- 
ings in his soul, and the detaining of his body in the 
grave (put in as the close and last part of Christ's 
sufferings), as the true meaning of that expression, "He 
descended into hell," not only because these pains 
which Christ suffered both in body and soul, were due 
to us in full measure ; but also, because that which 
Christ suffered in the point of torment and vexation, 
was, in some respect, of the same kind with the tor- 
ment of the damned. For in the punishment of the 
damned, we must necessarily distinguish these three 
things, 1st, The perverse disposition of the mind of 
the damned in their sufferings ; 2d, The duration and 
perpetuity of their punishment ; and 3d, The punish- 
ment itself, tormenting soul and body. The first two 
are not of the essence of punishment, albeit by ac- 
cident they are turned into a punishment ; for the 
wickedness, vileness, and unworthiness of the damned, 
who neither will nor can submit themselves to the 
punishment (and put the case they should submit, are 
utterly unable to make satisfaction for ever), do make 
them in a despe'rate doleful condition for ever ; though 
obstinate sinners do not apprehend nor believe this, 
but go on in treasuring up wrath against themselves, 
pleasing themselves in their own dreams, to their own 


endless perdition. Of these three, the first two could 
have no place in Christ. Not the first, because he 
willingly offered himself a sacrifice for our sins ; and 
upon agreement, paid the ransom fully : not the se- 
cond, because he could no longer be holden in the 
sorrows of death, than he had satisfied justice, and 
finished what was imposed on him ; and his infinite 
excellency made his short sufferings to be of infinite 
worth, and equivalent to our everlasting suffering. 

The third then remaineth, which is the real and 
sensible tormenting of soul and body, in being made 
a curse for us, and to feel it so in his real experience. 
And what need we question hellish pain, where pain 
and torment, and the curse, with felt wrath from God 
falleth on, and lieth still, till justice be satisfied \ 
Concerning which, it is as certain, that Christ was 
seized upon by the dolours of death, as it is certain 
in scripture, that he could not be holden of the sor- 
rows of death, (Acts ii. 24). 

Question. But what interest had Christ's God- 
head in his human sufferings, to make them both so 
short, and so precious and satisfactory to justice for 
so many sins of so many sinners, especially when we 
consider that God cannot suffer \ Answer. Albeit 
this passion of the human nature, could not so far 
reach the Godhead of Christ, that it should in a phy- 
sical sense suffer (which indeed is impossible), yet 
these sufferings did so affect the person, that it may 
truly be said, that God suffered, and by his blood 
bought his people to himself, (Acts xx. 28). For 
albeit the proper and formal subject of physical suf- 
fering, be only the human nature ; yet the principal 
subject of sufferings, both in a physical and moral 
sense, is Christ's person, God and man, from the 


dignity whereof, the worth and excellency of all sort 
of sufferings, the merit and the satisfactory sufficiency 
of the price did flow. 

And let it be considered also, that albeit Christ, 
as God, in his Godhead could not suffer in a physical 
sense ; yet, in a moral sense he might suffer, and did 
suffer. For inasmuch as he, being in the form of 
God, and without robbery equal to God, did demit 
his person to assume human nature, and empty him- 
self so far as to hide his glory, and take on the shape 
of a servant, and expose himself willingly to all the 
contradiction of sinners which he was to meet with, 
and to all railings, revilings, contempt, despisings, 
and calumnies, — shall it seem nothing, and not enter 
in the count of our Lord's payment for our debt \ 

Objection. But how could so low a down-throw- 
ing of the Son of man, or of the human nature as- 
sumed by Christ, consist with the majesty of the per- 
son of the Son of God ? Answer. We must dis- 
tinguish in Christ these things which are proper to 
either of the two natures, from these things which 
are ascribed to his person, in respect of either of the 
natures, or both the natures ; for infirmity, physical 
suffering, or mortality, are proper to the human 
nature. The glory of power, and grace, and mercy, 
and super-excellent majesty, and such like, are pro- 
per to the deity ; but the sufferings of the human 
nature, are so far from diminishing the glory of the 
divine nature, that they do manifest the same, and 
make it appear more clearly ; for by how much the 
human nature was weakened, depressed, and despised, 
for our sake; by so much the love of Christ, God and 
man in one person, toward man, and his mercy, and 


power, and grace to man, do shine in the eyes of those 
that judiciously look upon him. 

Objection. But seeing Christ's satisfaction for 
sinners doth not stand in any one part of his doings 
and sufferings, but in the whole and entire precious 
pearl, and complete price of his whole obedience from 
his incarnation, even to his death on the cross, how 
cometh it to pass, that in scripture, the whole expia- 
tion of our sins is ascribed so oft to his passion, and 
particularly to his blood ? Answer. This cometh 
to pass, 1. Because the certainty and verity of his 
assumed human nature, and the certainty of his real 
suffering, and the fulfilling of all the Levitical sacri- 
fices, did most evidently appear unto sense in the ef- 
fusion of his blood. 2. Because the expression of 
his sufferings both in soul and body, appeared in the 
effusion of his blood ; for in the garden, while his 
body was not as yet touched or hurt by man, from the 
mere pains of his soul drops of blood fell down out 
of all his body to the earth. 3. Because his blood- 
shedding and death, was the last act of completing 
the payment of the ransom to the Father for us, 
which payment began in his humble incarnation, and 
went on through all his life, and was completed in 
his bloodshed and death, whereof our Lord gave in- 
timation on the cross, when he cried as triumphantly 
victorious, " It is finished !" 

The Use of this Article of the Covenant of Redemp- 
tion. We have at some length spoken of the price 
of redemption, and of Christ's defraying of the debt 
by his passion, 1. That hereby the demerit of our 
sins may the more clearly be seen. 2. That the sub- 
limity and excellency of divine majesty offended by 


sin may appear. 3. That we may behold the severity 
of God's justice till he have satisfaction and repara- 
tion in some sort of the injuries done to him. 4. 
That the admirable largeness of God's mercy may be 
acknowledged and wondered at. 

For in the price of redemption paid, as in a mirror, 
we may see how greatly the Lord hateth sin ; how 
great his love is to the world, in sending his Son 
Christ amongst us ; how heavy the wrath of God 
shall lie upon them that flee not to Christ's satisfac- 
tion for their delivery ; how great the dignity and 
excellency of the Lord our Redeemer is, for whose 
sake reconciliation is granted to all that take hold 
of the offer of grace through him ; how great the 
obligation of believers is to love God, and serve him ; 
and how greatly the glory of all the attributes of God 
doth shine in the work of redemption. 

By this doctrine, it appeareth, how vain and wicked 
the devices of superstitious men are, who, for pacify- 
ing of God's wrath, have appointed penances, and 
pilgrimages, and self-scourgings, and soul-masses, and 
purgatory, and such like other abominations, whereof 
the word of God hath not spoken, but forbidden all 
the inventions of men. as unworthy conceits, to bring 
about men's salvation ; which inventions tend only 
to derogate from the dignity of the price of Christ's 
ransom, and to cry down the fulness and perfection of 
the price paid by our blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ, 
and to set up other saviours in his room. 

Hence also it is manifest, how fit a high priest is 
appointed over us, who is touched with our infirmities 
and temptations ; by whom we may have so solid con- 
solation in all the pangs of our tormented consciences ; 
and in whom we have a solid foundation laid down to 


all that flee to him, for settling our faith and hope in 
the son of God ; who hath of set purpose, with the 
Father's consent, suffered so many and great evils, that 
he might redeem us. 

And hereby we may perceive also, how well divine 
justice is satisfied, and with what warrant the con 
sciences of the weak believers may be quieted, who so 
use to exaggerate the grievousness and the multitude 
of their sins, that they forget to put a right estima- 
tion upon the satisfaction made by Christ, for all that 
come unto God through him. 

The third Article. — The third article of the cove- 
nant of redemption, past between the Father and the 
Son, concerneth the benefits, gifts and graces to be 
given unto the redeemed ; all which gifts and graces 
are summarily comprehended in that one gift of God, 
spoken of (John iv. 10), which gift is Christ, who is 
freely offered unto, and given to, the elect believer for 
righteousness and eternal life, according to what was 
said : " For unto us a child is born, a son is given, 
on whose shoulders the government is laid; whose 
name is called Jehovah, the Wonderful, Counsellor, the 
strong God, the eternal Father and Prince of Peace," 
(Isa. ix. 6, and 2 Pet. i. 3) ; " Who according to his 
divine power, hath given unto us all things which 
pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge 
of him who hath called us to virtue and glory." 

The benefits which are appointed for the redeemed, 
are so conveyed and brought unto them, that first, 
they are Christ's riches which he hath purchased unto 
the elect ; and being resolved to die, that the purchase 
might be made fast to his people, he hath made his 
latter will and testament once and again, and left in 
legacy to all that believe in him, all things which be- 


long to righteousness and salvation ; and these bene- 
fits, in an acceptable time, he effectually applieth and 
puts them in possession thereof. Of which gifts, we 
shall name chiefly three. The first is regeneration, 
or turning of the man towards himself ; the second is 
the gift of saving faith ; the third is perseverance. 
In which three gifts, the patrons and magnifiers of 
the power of man's free will, do what in them lieth 
to obscure the glory of God's free grace, by glorying, 
that without the special grace of God they can con- 
vert themselves or not, as they please ; so that when 
God intends their conversion, and useth all means for 
their conversion, they are able to resist all his gracious 
operation, and make void his purpose and endeavour. 
But this covenant of redemption past between the 
Father and the Son mediator and redeemer, doth de- 
cide the question, and give them the lie : " For only 
they whom God did foreknow, did he predestinate to 
be conform to the imao-e of his son ; and whom he 
did predestinate them he also called ; and whom he 
called, them he also justified ; and whom he justified, 
them h-e also glorified, (Rom. viii. 29). 

Concerning these three gifts. — It is agreed between 
God and Christ, that the elect shall be converted in- 
vincibly and infallibly, and that saving faith shall be 
bestowed on them, and that they shall persevere in 
the obedience of faith so as they shall not totally and 
finally fall away from God's grace. 

It is promised to Christ, that " in the day of his 
power, his people shall be willing," (Psal. ex, 3). 
For albeit the native corruption of their will, op- 
poseth itself, and resisteth the Holy Spirit, when he 
is using the means to convert them ; yet in an ac- 
ceptable time, the invincible power of God's free 


grace toward them, so takcth away all actual resist- 
ance, that the man, unwilling of himself, is made 
most freely and heartily willing to be reconciled to 
God. For God can both preserve the natural liberty 
of the will, and take from it that crookedness and 
frowardness that is in it. He can infuse and create 
in the man a right spirit, and new habits of grace, 
and can bring forth these habits unto exercise, mak- 
ing the redeemed man not only able to will, but also 
actually to will and to do what is pleasant to him. 
We are taught, that " faith is not of ourselves, it is 
the gift of God ; not of works, lest any man should 
boast," (Phil ii. 13, and Ephes. ii. 8). And this gift 
of saving faith, is bestowed only on the elect ; and 
therefore it is called, the "faith of the elect" (Tit. i. 1), 
and only they believe in Jesus Christ, " that are or- 
dained unto eternal life," (Acts xiii. 48) ; yea, every 
one cometh to Christ, who is given to him of the 
Father (John vi. 37), and no man cometh to Christ, 
save he whom the Father draweth, (John vi. 44). 
But they that are not redeemed, do not come to Christ 
for righteousness and life, (John x. 26). " Ye believe 
not," saith Christ to some Jews, " because ye are not 
of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know 
them, and they follow me." 

As for perseverance, the Father promiseth to the 
Son, that the work of grace shall be firm in all the 
redeemed ones, or in his elect seed. " As for me 
(saith the Lord to Christ), this is my covenant with 
them ; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words 
which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out 
of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor 
out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, 
from henceforth and for ever," (Isa. lix. 21) ; and 


(Jer. xxxii. 40) " I -will make an everlasting covenant 
with them, that I will not turn away from them, to 
do them good ; but I will put my fear in their hearts, 
that they shall not depart from me." 

And a special command is given unto Christ, for 
preserving all unto eternal life who come unto him : 
" This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that 
of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, 
but should raise it up at the last day:" (John vi. 39) 
which Christ undertakes that he will faithfully per- 
form, while he saith, " I give unto them eternal life, 
and they shall never perish, neither shall any man 
pluck them out of my hand," (John x. 28). But 
we insist not too long in this argument (whereof the 
orthodox divines have written abundantly, in their 
disputations against the foresaid error), because the 
adversaries take their pretended argument from the 
instability of men's will, in the matter of perseverance; 
and from the freedom and power of man's changeable 
will, in the matter of conversion and saving faith ; 
and from the manner of God's speaking to the mixed 
multitude of both, called and not chosen. And to 
them that are both called and chosen, we shall content 
ourselves, for clearing this covenant betwixt the Father 
and the Son mediator and redeemer, to make the 
matter fast concerning the elect, founding their con- 
version, faith, repentance, perseverance and salvation, 
upon the unchangeable covenant of redemption, fixed 
upon the settled agreement between God, and God 
the Son mediator and redeemer, as shall be proven 
from five places of scripture. 

The first Proof is from verse 13 of Isa. lii. to the 
end of chap, liii., where we have, first, the two parties 
contractors, God the Father, and Christ : for the 


Father brings forth his confederated Son to be in- 
carnate by covenant, his servant, whom he employs 
in the whole work of redemption, as the meritorious 
cause and accomplisher of it. " Behold my ser- 
vant," saith God the Father by his Spirit, speaking 
by the prophet, (chap. lii. 13). Next, both parties 
are sure of the event of the paction, and of the ac- 
complishing of the whole work gloriously : " Behold 
(saith he) my servant shall deal prudently and pros- 
perously, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very 
high," (verse 13). Thirdly, He tells the proper price 
which Christ the Son shall pay for the redemption of 
his people, agreed upon by paction, to wit, the abasing 
and humbling of the Son incarnate unto the ignomi- 
nious death of the cross ; that " His visage shall be 
marred more than any man, and his form more than 
the sons of men," verse 14 ; and more particularly, 
chap. liii. 2, " He hath no form nor comeliness ; and 
when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we 
should desire him. He is despised and rejected of 
men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," 
(ver. 3.) " He was wounded for our transgressions, " 
(ver. 5.) " He shall make his soul an offering for sin," 
(ver. 10). 

Fourthly, Christ the Son of God incarnate, is as- 
sured and confirmed of the sweet fruit of his passion, 
in the conversion of many nations, whom he should 
sprinkle with the blood of the covenant, and sanctify 
by the water of his Holy Spirit : " He shall sprinkle 
many nations," (chap. lii. 15). 

Fifthly, God and Christ are agreed "and well pleased 
in the conversion of so many as are elected, and given 
to Christ, to have in him the right of adoption: " He 
shall see his seed," (chap. liii. 10), that is, he shall 


regenerate the elect, and make them his children, and 
see them so, to his satisfaction. 

Sixthly, No meritorious nor impulsive cause is 
found in the persons redeemed, for which the punish- 
ment due to them should be transferred upon the 
Mediator Christ, our redeemer ; for they should be 
found in themselves but despisers of Christ, because 
of his sufferings : " Surely he hath borne our griefs, 
and carried our sorrows ; yet we did esteem him 
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted," (chap. liii. 4). 
Seventhly, No sin nor meritorious cause of punish- 
ment is found in Christ the redeemer, for which he 
should be smitten : " He was wounded for our trans- 
gressions — he had done no violence, neither was any 
deceit in his mouth," (chap. liii. 5, 9). 

Eighthly, Peace and reconciliation, and healing of 
our sinful and miserable sicknesses, and deliverance 
from wrath, are purchased by the price of his blood : 
" The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and 
with his stripes we are healed," (chap. liii. 5). 

Ninthly, These sufferings Christ did not endure un- 
wittingly, or unwillingly, but by consent, by covenant 
deliberately: " He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, 
yet he opened not his mouth ; he is brought as a lamb 
to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is 
dumb, so he openeth not his mouth," (chap. liii. 7). 
Tenthly, The cause of this covenant, whereby the 
price is called for, and yielded unto, and paid, is only 
the free grace of God and his good pleasure : " It 
pleased the Lord to bruise him ; he hath put him to 
grief," (chap. liii. 10). 

Eleventhly, It is agreed between the Father and the 
Son, that our sins should be imputed unto him, and his 


righteousness imputed unto us : and tliat the redeem- 
ed should believe in him, and so be justified : " He 
shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satis- 
fied ; by his knowledge," or faith in him, " shall my 
righteous servant justify many : for he shall bear their 
iniquities," (chap. liii. 11). 

Twelfthly, It is agreed between the parties, that 
those for whom Christ should lay down his life, he 
should stand Intercessor also, for bringing unto them 
all the purchased graces and blessings : " He bore the 
sins of many, and made intercession for the transgres- 
sors," (chap. liii. 12). The rest of the world beside 
the elect, he interceded not for, (John xvii. 9, 10). 

Hence it followeth, lstly, that God and Christ 
did not bargain for the redemption of all and every 
man; no, not for the redemption, conversion, and 
salvation of all and every man to whom the gospel 
was to be preached. For many were to be called, 
who were not chosen, to whom the gift of saving 
faith was not to be given, nor the power of God to 
salvation was never to be revealed. And this is the 
observation which the evangelist makes upon Isa. I. 
53 : " But though he had done so many miracles be- 
fore them, yet'they believed not on him : that the say- 
ing of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled which he 
spake, Lord, who hath believed our report 1 and to 
whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?" (John 
xii. 37) ; therefore they could not believe, because 
that Isaiah said again, " He hath blinded their eyes, 
and hardened their hearts," (Isa. vi. 9, 10). 

2dly, It followeth hence, that election and redemp- 
tion were not for the foreseen faith or works of the 
elect redeemed, but of the mere grace and good will 
of God, and all done for them and in them, contrary 


to their deservings : For it is said, " All we like 
sheep have gone astray ; and the Lord hath laid on 
him the iniquity of us all," (Isa liii. 6). 

3dly, It followeth hence, that it was agreed upon, 
that saving grace, and conversion, and sanctification, 
should infallibly and invincibly come to pass, and be 
given to the redeemed : " Behold, my servant shall 
deal prudently and prosperously," (Isa. Hi. 13) ; and, 
" He shall sprinkle many nations," (ver. 15) ; and, 
" By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify 
many," (Isa. liii. 11). 

4thly, Hence it followeth, that the agreement is 
past for their final perseverance and full salvation : 
For " "With his stripes we are healed," (Isa. liii. 5). 
Now our healing, is our fall salvation from our sin 
and misery, or our deadly sicknesses ; and, " The 
pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand," (Isa. 
liii. 10). The pleasure of the Lord is partly our 
sanctification (1 Thess. iv. 3), partly our salvation 
and glorification : " This is the Father's will which 
hath sent me, that of all which he hath given 
me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up 
again at the last day," (John vi. 39). And to this 
purpose powerfully doth his intercession serve, from 
which the apostle concludes, that believers shall be 
perfectly saved : " Wherefore he is able to save to the 
uttermost them that come to God by him, seeing 
he ever liveth to make intercession for them," (Heb. 
vii. 25). 

The Second Proof is from Isa. lix. 20, 21, where, 
First, We have the parties agreeing pointed at : The 
Lord Jehovah saith,and of the redeemer, he saith, that 
he shall come to Zion as redeemer. Next, We have the 
kind of agreement between the parties ; God on the 


one hand, and the redeemer "with the redeemed, for 
whom, and in whose name, he makes the agreement ; 
" This is my covenant with them," but first with 
Christ, as the words following do shew. Thirdly, 
We have the party redeemed, Zion and Jacob that 
turn from trangression, which is the mark of true 
believers in Christ, and of the elect, for whom this 
grace is appointed, as " Israel hath not obtained that 
which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained 
it, and the rest were blinded," (Rom. xi. 7) ; and, 
" All this Israel shall be saved," (ver. 26), as it is 
written. Fourthly, We have the kind of their de- 
livery, which shall be not only by price paying, but 
also by powerful and " effectual working," as the 
original imports, (Rom. xi. 26 ; and Isa. lix. 20). 
Fifthly, The benefits bestowed upon the elect, are 
comprehended under the designation of the " redeem- 
ed ;" they are to be turned from their iniquity by 
effectual conversion ; by granting them faith in Christ, 
repentance and reconciliation. Sixthly, It is shewn 
how these graces shall be brought to pass, to wit, by 
application thereof by the word and Spirit of Christ ; 
from which, sanctification, salvation, and the perpetua- 
tion of all graces unto salvation, do flow and follow on 
them. " My Spirit that is in thee," saith the Lord 
to the Redeemer incarnate, " and my word which I 
have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy 
mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed." 

These articles of the covenant of redemption make 
expressly, First, Against universal redemption of 
all and every man : Because Christ, as is shewed 
before, makes his bargain for the elect, and leaves 
the rest in blindness ; and is a redeemer of none, but 
of those to whom he is a deliverer actually, from 


whom lie turneth away iniquity and ungodliness ; 
which benefits befal none but the elect and the re- 

Next, They make against election for faith and 
foreseen works : Because when Christ cometh to call 
in the Jews, he finds nothing commendable in them, 
but impiety, and transgression, and defection, and 
whatsoever might provoke him to reject them ; they 
are turned from transgression. 

3dly, They make against a mere possible and con- 
tingent conversion : For invincible grace is promised 
here; for the word and the Spirit of Christ shall 
take up a dwelling in them, and not depart from them. 
4thly, They make against the doctrine of the 
apostasy of the saints, and uncertainty of their perse- 
verance ; because here it is promised to Christ, that 
from the heart and mouth of his seed, the word and 
Spirit of Christ shall never depart. 

The Third Proof is from John vi., from ver. 37 
to 45, where, first, is set down the party contractors 
in the covenant of redemption ; for the elect are 
given over into the hand of Christ by the Father : 
" All that the Father giveth to me, cometh to me," 
(ver. 37). 

Secondly, Upon the Father's giving of the elect 
unto Christ, followeth. in due time, the conversion 
and saving faith of the redeemed : " All that the 
Father giveth me, cometh to me," saith Christ. 

Thirdly, The redeemed are committed unto Christ, 
as to their leading on, preservation, and perfecting of 
their salvation : " This is the Father's will which 
hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I 
should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at 
the last day." 



Fourthly, It is agreed by what means the faith of 
the redeemed shall be formed in them; — which are, 
the revealed sight of Christ the Son of God in the 
word ; the powerful drawing of the illuminated soul 
unto Christ ; which powerful draught overcometh all 
opposition and resistance, because it is omnipotent 
and invincible ; for, " No man cometh to Christ, but 
he whom the Father draweth," (ver. 44) ; and that, 
by making them savingly, and in a lively manner see 
the Son, and believe on him, (ver. 40). 

Hence followeth, 1st, That it is false doctrine 
to teach, that there is an universal redemption unto 
life, of all and every man ; because not all, but only 
some are given, and made to come to Christ ; the 
rest that are not given, come not. 

2dly, It followeth, that election is of mere free 
grace ; because men come not unto Christ that they 
may be given, but they are given unto Christ, that 
they may be brought and come unto him. 

3dly, By this agreement, the powerful conversion 
of the redeemed, and their powerful preservation unto 
eternal life, is as certain, as the power, and constancy, 
and obedience of Christ unto the Father, is firm and 
certain : " This is the will of him that sent me, that 
of what he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but 
raise it up at the last day," (ver. 39). 

The Fourth Proof is John x. from verse 14 to 30, 
where we see that the Lord Jesus, the true pastor of 
Israel, before he was incarnate (Psa. xxiii.), continueth 
in that same ofiice now, being incarnate, and gives 
his people to understand this, when he saith, " 1 
am the good Shepherd." 

Secondly, The care and custody of all the redeemed, 
both converted and unconverted, was put upon Christ : 


;f I know my sheep, and I am known of mine ; and 
other sheep I have, which are not of this fold ; them 
also I must bring in, and they shall hear my voice," 
(ver. 14, 16). 

Thirdly, The price of their redemption is clearly 
agreed upon : "As the Father knows me. even so I 
know the Father ; and I lay down my life for my 
sheep," (ver. lb]. 

Fourthly, The Father accepts the -»rice, and is sa- 
tisfied and well pleased with it : M Therefore doth my 
Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I 
may take it up again," (ver. 17, 18). 

Fifthly, All the redeemed are infallibly converted, 
but they that are not redeemed are not converted : 
" My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and 
they follow me," (ver. 27) ; and, " But ye believe not, 
because ye are not of my» sheep," (ver. 26). 

Sixthly, Albeit the redeemed and converted shall 
not want enemies, who shall go about to mar their 
perseverance and salvation, yet shall they not pre- 
vail : " I give them eternal life, and they shall never 
perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my 
hand," (ver. 28). 

Hence follov>-eth, first, That the doctrine of uni- 
versal redemption of all and every man unto life is 
false ; because only the redemption of the elect sheep 
is agreed upon, for whom he layeth down his life (ver. 
15), and the rest are not redeemed, nor ordained to 
life ; for these he speaks to (ver. 26), they were not 
of his sheep, but remained unbelievers. 

2dly, It followeth, that the election of men is 
not for faith or works foreseen ; but on the con- 
trary, faith is ordained to be given unto the redeemed, 


because they are elected and given over unto Christ, 
to convert aid save them : " Other sheep I have, and 
them I must bring in, and they shall hear my voice," 
(ver. 16). 

3dly, It followcth, that the conversion of the elect 
doth not depend on their will, but upon Christ's 
undertaking to make them believe, and upon his om- 
nipotency : " Other sheep I have, and them I must 
bring in, and they shall hear my voice," (ver. 16). 

4thly, It followeth, that albeit the redeemed be- 
lievers be in themselves witless as sheep, and weak, 
and ready to be destroyed, and compassed about with 
many enemies, as sheep among wolves, yet because of 
the omnipotency of the Father and of the Son, that 
have taken the care and custody of them, they shall 
persevere. And it is impossible they should perish, 
or not persevere : " I give them eternal life ; and 
they shall never perish, and none can take them out 
of my Father's hand," (John x. 28, 29). 

The Fifth Proof. The fifth place is, Psalm xl. 
explicated by the apostle, (Heb. x. 5-7) ; where, First, 
the Spirit of God expounds the covenant whereof we 
are speaking ; and brings in the parties, God and 
Christ, as speaking one to another, and, as it were, 
in our sight and audience repeating the terms there- 
of. The price of redemption is first spoken of, for 
expiation of sin, not to be given without blood, 
without better blood than the blood of beasts, (Heb. 
x. 4). 

Secondly, All satisfactions by men, and whatsoever 
price can be paid^by mere man, are rejected : " Sa- 
crifice and oblation thou wouldest not," (verse 5). 
Thirdly, Nothing except only the incarnation of the 


Son the [Mediator, his obedience and suffering to the 
death, could satisfy divine justice : " But a body hast 
thou prepared me," (verse 5). 

Fourthly, The Mediator Christ offers himself pledge 
and surety of his own accord, and takes the condition: 
" Then said I, Lo I come," to wit, as surety, to pay 
the ransom, and " to do thy will," (Heb. x. 7). 

Fifthly, Christ the surety not only condescends upon 
the price, but also upon the persons to be redeemed, 
and their sanctification : " By which will we are sanc- 
tified, by the offering of the body of Christ once for 
all :" and this price is now actually paid, (Heb. x. 10). 

Sixthly, The price being paid, the Mediator goeth 
about the application of the purchased benefits, by his 
intercession : " This man after he had offered one sa- 
crifice for sin, for ever sat down on the right hand of 
God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be 
made his footstool," (Heb. x. 12, 13). 

Hence followeth, first, That there is no universal 
redemption of all and every man unto life, " Because 
by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that 
are sanctified," (Heb. x. 14). Therefore they were 
never redeemed, who are never sanctified ; and only 
they are perfected, who are redeemed. . 

2dly, It followeth, that not for any thing in man, 
neither foreseen faith or works, are men elected 
and redeemed ; because all is rejected that mere man 
can do, that the mere grace of God may appear in 
Christ's undertaking for men of his own accord: " Sa- 
crifice and oblation thou wouldest not ; then said I, 
Behold, I come," (Heb. x. 5, 7). 

3dly, By Christ's death, purchase is made of the 
infallible conversion and sanctification of the re- 
deemed, and of their perseverance unto perfection : 


" By one offering of Christ he hath perfected for ever 
them that are sanctified," (Heb. x. 14). And there- 
fore the redeemed cannot but be converted, cannot 
but be sanctified, cannot but persevere unto perfec- 
tion, and that for ever, (Heb. x. 12, 13, 14). 

The use of this article is, 1st, That all those who 
hear the gospel, and have in any sort embraced it, 
should in the acknowledgment of their natural cor- 
ruption and perverse wickedness, humble themselves 
before God, and pray for, and expect grace according 
to the promises offered in the gospel. 

2dly, That they who are already sensible of their 
sins and ill deservings, may not turn away or be 
discouraged, but so much the rather flee to Christ, in 
whom, relief from sin and misery is promised to such. 

3dly, That they who have fixed their eye on the 
Son, resolving to cleave unto him, should acknow- 
ledge the powerful draught of God's almighty hand, 
who hath caused them to come to Christ; and 
should, upon the begun work of grace, conceive lively 
hope of salvation, and study to purify their souls in 
this hope. 

4thly, That they who find the instability and in- 
constancy of their own free will, and have experi- 
ence of their own heart deceiving them frequently, 
after they have engaged themselves by promises and 
vows to take better heed to their ways, should not 
cast away their confidence in Christ, because of their 
own infirmity ; but that they should lean less to their 
own strength, and'lay hold on Christ's power, fidelity, 
and constancy so much the more, to help the weak at 
such a dead lift. The apostle, looking to Christ's en- 
gagement in the covenant, for those who in any mea- 
sure of sincerity adhere unto him, hath said, " Christ 


shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blame- 
less in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is 
faithful by -whom ye are called unto the fellowship of 
his Son Jesus Christ our Lord," (1 Cor. i. 8, 9). 

5thly, Let us not take the guiding of our own 
free will ; but let so many as are fled to Christ, 
give him the glory of the inclining of our hearts to 
his testimonies, and to his obedience in any measure ; 
and know, that every spiritual motion floweth from 
his purchase, and application of what is bestowed on 
us. And when we find his hand withdrawing, and 
our heart inclining to what is not right, let us run 
to him to right it, in hope to be helped by his grace, 
to fight against whatsoever adversary of our salvation. 

The Fourth Article. — As to the Fourth Article of 
the Covenant of Redemption, it concerneth the means 
and manner how the elect shall be called forth from 
the perishing world, and be effectually called and 
turned unto God, so as the world, among whom the 
elect live, shall not have cause of stumbling justly ; 
for he hath taken a most wise course so to execute 
the degree of election and redemption, as he shall be 
sure to bring in his own to himself, and not to open 
up his counsel in particular to the discouraging of 
any, as is told by the Father : " My servant shall 
deal prudently and prosper," (Isa. lii. 13). The chief 
mean appointed is the preaching of the gospel to all 
nations, commanding all men, where the gospel is by 
God's providence preached, to repent and believe in 
the name of Jesus Christ, and to love one another as 
he hath commanded them, (Acts xvii. 30, and 1 John 
iii. 23) ; and they who refuse to obey, are without 

Another mean is, the bringing of so many as pro- 


fess their acceptation of the offer of grace by Christ 
Jesus, them and their children into the bond of an 
express solemn covenant, that they shall submit them- 
selves to the doctrine and government of Christ, and 
teach their children so to do, as Abraham the father 
of believers did : " Make disciples of all nations," or, 
" Make all nations disciples to me," (Gen. xviii. 19, 
Matt, xxviii. 19, 20). 

A Third mean is, the sealing of the covenant by 
the sacrament of baptism ; make all nations disciples 
to me, " baptizing them in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," (Matt, xxviii. 
19, 20). 

A Fourth mean is, the gathering them into all 
lawful and possible communion with others his disci- 
ples, that by their church-fellowship one with another, 
they may be edified under their officers, appointed in 
Christ's testament to feed, govern, and lead them on 
in the obedience of all the commands which Christ 
hath commanded his people in his testament; by 
which means he goeth about his work, and doth call, 
effectually sanctify and save, his own redeemed ones, 
leaving all others without excuse. 

Concerning all these, and other means, and manner 
also of executing his decree, it is agreed upon between 
the Fatherland his Son Christ, as his Holy Spirit hath 
revealed it to us in scripture. All which may be 
taken up in two heads : the one is, The agreement 
about the doctrine, and directions given to his church ; 
the other is. About actions, operations, and all effects 
to be brought about for making his word good. 

Concerning his doctrine, Christ saith, " I have not 
spoken of myself, but the Father who hath sent me, 
he gave me a commandment what I should say, and 


what I should speak ; and I know that his command- 
ment is life everlasting ; whatsoever I speak therefore, 
even as the Father said unto me, so I speak," (John 
xii. 49, 50). 

Concerning actions and operations, and the execu- 
tion of the decrees, it is agreed also between the Fa- 
ther and the Son. " If I judge, my judgment is true ; 
for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent 
me. He that sent me is with me ; the Father hath 
not left me alone ; for I do always those things that 
please him," (John viii. 16 and 29). " I came down 
from heaven, not to do mine own will, (without the 
consent of the Father.) but the will of him that sent 
me," (John vi. 38). 

In a word, the consent and agreement of the Father 
and the Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is such, that the 
Son doth nothing by his Spirit, but that which the 
Father doth work by the same Spirit from the begin- 
ning of the world: " My Father worketh hitherto, and 
I work," (John v. 17) ; " For by Christ were all things 
created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, 
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or do- 
minions, or principalities, or powers ; all things were 
created by him and for him," (Col. i. 16) ; '•' lie is 
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the 
first efficient, and the last end of all things," (Rev. 
i. 8) : because, for the glory of Christ, the creation, 
the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace, were 
made, and had, and shall have their full execution, 
all for the glory of God in Christ, by whom all things 
were made and do subsist. 



We have spoken of the first divine covenant, wherein 
God and God Incarnate are the parties : it followeth 
to speak of the next divine covenant, to wit, the cove- 
nant of works between God and man, Adam and his 
posterity, made in man's integrity. In which cove- 
nant, God only is the one party of the covenant, and 
man created with all natural perfections, is the other 
party. In this covenant, man's continuing in a happy 
life is promised, upon condition of perfect personal 
obedience, to be done by him out of his own natural 
strength bestowed upon him, as the apostle teacheth 
us, " The law is not by faith, but the man who shall 
do these things shall live by them," (Gal. iii. 12). 
And unto this law or covenant of works, is added a 
threatening of death, in case man should transgress ; 
the sense whereof is told by the apostle, " Cursed is 
every one who doth not abide in all things that are 
written in the book of the law to do them," (Gal. 
iii. 10). 

The Difference between the Law and the Covenant 
of Works. — The word law is sometimes taken for the 
matter or substance of the law of nature, written in 
the hearts of our first parents by creation ; the work 
of which law is to be found in the hearts of their 
posterity unto this day. And in this sense the word 
law is taken by the apostle : " The Gentiles," saith 
he, " shew the work of the law written in their hearts, 
their conscience also bearing witness," (Rom. ii. 15). 
Sometimes the word is taken for the formal covenant 


of work-, as (Gal. iii. 10), "As many as are of the 

works of the law," that is, under the covenant of 
works, " are under the curse : for it is written. Cursed 
is every one that continueth not in all things that are 
written in the book of the law to do them." 

The law, as it is taken for the covenant of works, 
dincreth from the law of nature, written by creation 
in the hearts of our first parents ; first, because the 
law of nature, written in the heart of man, in order 
both of nature and time, went before the covenant 
made for keeping that law ; because the covenant for 
keeping that law, was not made till after man's crea- 
tion, and after his bringing into the garden to dress 
it, and to keep it, (Gen. ii. 16, 17). 

Secondly, God, by virtue of the law written in 
man's heart, did not oblige himself to perpetuate 
man's happy life ; for albeit man had kept that law 
most accurately, God was free to dispose of him as he 
saw fit, before he made the covenant with him ; but 
so soon as he made the covenant, he obliged himself 
to preserve him in a happy life, so long as he should 
go on in obedience to his law and commands, accord- 
ing to the tenor of the covenant, "Do this and live." 

Thirdly, Death was the natural wages and merit 
of sin, albeit there had no covenant been made at all : 
for sin against God deserveth, of its own nature, death 
of soul and body, by the rule of simple justice, whe- 
ther the siimer had consented to the punishment or 
not. But man, by entering in the covenant, actually 
gave a formal voluntary consent that death should 
seize upon him, if he should sin, as Evah beareth 
witness in her conference with the serpent, while she 
doth repeat the condition put upon the breaking of 


the particular command given by God, and accepted 
by man, (Gen. iii. 3). 

Fourthly, When the covenant of works is abolished 
so far, as it can neither justify nor condemn the man 
that is fled to Christ, and entered in another poste- 
rior covenant of grace, the natural obligation of the 
man standeth still, for taking direction from, and 
giving obedience to the law ; for it remaineth still 
the rule of a man's walking, and it is impossible that 
a mere man should be exempted from the authority 
of God over him, and from subjection due by nature 
to his Creator ; for upon this account that man is a 
reasonable creature, understanding God's will about 
his behaviour toward God, he is always bound for 
ever to love God with all his mind, heart, and strength, 
and his neighbour as himself. Neither can the natu 
ral merit of sin be taken away, nor death deserved be 
eschewed, but by forgiveness of it for Christ's merits 

The covenant then was superadded unto the law, 
in the deep wisdom of God ; for this way of dealing 
with man by a covenant, was, of its own nature, a 
most fit mean unto man's felicity, and unto the glory 
of God. 

Hoiu the Covenant of God ivith Man was a means 
to Man's felicity. — The covenant of God with man 
tended of its own nature to man's good and happiness, 

First, Because a singular respect and honour was 
put upon man, when he was made a confederate friend 
of God : for if it be an honour to a mean and poor 
man to be joined with a king or prince in a formal 
bond of mutual friendship, how much greater honour 
is it unto man, to be joined in a bond of mutual love 
and friendship with God ? 


Secondly, Before the making of the covenant, man 
had no promise made to him by God ; but so soon 
as the covenant was made, the Lord did freely ob- 
lige himself to give, and made to man a right to ask, 
and to expect of God, with a ground of certainty, 
to obtain of him such things, as without promise past 
he could not ask, or at least he could not certainly 
expect to have granted unto him. 

Thirdly, Before the making of the covenant, no- 
thing hindered the Lord, if he had pleased, to com- 
mand man to return to dust, whereof he was ; but 
after the covenant, it pleased God, by his own free 
promise, to oblige himself to perpetuate man's hap- 
piness wherein- he was made, so long as he should go 
on in obedience. 

Fourthly, By the making of the covenant, a door 
was opened, and a fair entry to a higher degree of 
felicity than he possessed by his creation ; for when 
a natural life and earthly felicity were given to Adam 
to enjoy upon the earth, God, by the covenant, made 
paction with him, upon condition of perfect obedience, 
to give him a life and felicity supernatural, opposite 
unto death bodily and spiritual, which was threat- 
ened unto him if he should transgress the command. 

Fifthly, Adam, by the covenant, had a sort of help 
to make him keep the law written in his heart more 
carefully and cautiously, and a prop to make him 
stand more fixed ; for on the one hand, he was ad- 
vertised and forewarned of the danger of sinning, that 
he might beware to offend God ; and on the other 
hand, he was encouraged and allowed to serve God 
more cheerfully, and to perform due obedience to God 
the more diligently. For in the covenant, the 
greatest reward that could be thought upon was set 


before him, and promised unto him ; to wit, eternal 
life upon his obedience, and the greatest punishment 
threatened if he should disobey ; both which served 
greatly to move him to be constant in his obedience. 

How God's covenanting with Man served for God's 
glory. — In God's covenanting with man, his glory 
did notably shine, and shew forth itself to man. 
First, The goodness and bounty of God did manifest 
itself therein ; for, in making a covenant with man, 
the Lord demitted himself, and in a manner humbled 
himself to deal with man, for the standing of mutual 
friendship between himself and man for ever : And 
when we consider this, as the Psalmist saith, "What 
is man that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of 
man that thou visitest him V (Psa. viii. 4), so may 
we say, What is man, or the son of man, that thou 
shouldst enter in covenant with him \ 

Secondly, By covenanting with man, God did shew 
his wonderful moderation : for God is sovereign mo- 
narch and absolute emperor over his own creature, to 
make of it what he pleaseth ; yet, in covenanting with 
man, he did sweetly temper his supremacy, seeking, 
as it were, to reign with man's consent. And when 
because of his sovereign authority and absolute right 
and interest, he might have put upon man harder 
commands and conditions of the covenant, and these 
also altogether righteous and just, he choosed to use 
such moderation, that he would require nothing of 
man, except that which man should, and behoved in 
reason, judge both a just and an easy yoke, and in 
accepting the condition of the covenant, acknowledge 
it to be such. 

Thirdly, The Lord declared his wisdom in cove- 
nanting with man, because, when he had made man 


a reasonable creature, he choosed to draw forth a 
free and voluntary service, most suitable to his rea- 
sonable nature, and that in a most sweet way ; to wit, 
not only by giving unto man a most equitable law, 
but also by setting before the man, by way of paction, 
the highest reward that he could be capable of, even 
life everlasting. 

Fourthly, In covenanting with man, God did most 
wisely and holily have a respect to the glory of both 
his own sovereignty and holiness ; because after he 
had made man by nature good and holy (albeit mut- 
able and subject to change, if the man pleased to essay 
another way) he took course to help the mutability 
of his free will, not only by setting a reward of obe- 
dience before him, but also by a threatening of punish- 
ment, if he should transgress ; and so on the one hand 
and the other to hedge him in, and guard him against 
all temptation unto sin, that neither he should be 
forced by any external power to sin, nor by any counsel 
or suggestion, or moral suasion (whereunto only man 
was exposed in the trial of his obedience) should have 
so strong motives to draw him to disobedience, as the 
promise of God, and the threatening should have 
force in all reason, to keep him fast to his due and 
loyal obedience. Thus was Adam forewarned and fore- 
armed against whatsoever, without himself, might 
assault him. For what reward for disobedience could 
be offered unto him, so great as the favour of God, 
and everlasting life in the fellowship of God promised 
to him, if he continued fast in obedience 1 And what 
terror could be so great to affright and scare him from 
sin, as the threatening of death, bodily and spiritual, 
if he transgressed ? 

Question. But the profane curiosity of man dareth 


to ask a reason, why God did not make man both good 
by nature, and immutably good also 1 Answer. It 
is indeed proud curiosity to inquire for reasons of 
God's holy will, which hath its own most sufficient 
reason in itself, and may satisfy all his subjects, who 
will not devilishly prefer their own wisdom and counsel 
to his. But we shall content ourselves soberly to 
answer the question thus : to be both originally, or by 
nature good, and unchangeably good also, beseemeth 
God himself only, as his property and prerogative, 
which it became his majesty to reserve to himself as 
the fountain of all goodness, and not to communicate 
this glory either to man or angel in their creation, 
that the due distance between God, and the natural 
perfections of the creature, should not only be pro- 
vided for, but made manifest to the creature also. It 
is true, Christ's human nature was so sanctified in his 
conception, that there was no possibility that sin 
should be in it ; but let us consider, that Christ's 
person, which did assume the human nature into per- 
sonal union with his Godhead, is not a creature ; and 
to assume the human nature into a personal union 
with his divine nature, is the proper privilege of God 
over all, blessed for ever. And what the human 
nature of Christ hath of holiness, it hath it not of 
itself, but of grace, from the second person of the 
Godhead, who did assume it. And the angels that 
stood, when the mutability of angelical nature was mani- 
fested in the fall of many of them, did stand by the 
grace of free confirmation of them in their station. 

Fifthly, God in covenanting with man, made way 
for the demonstration of his most holy justice in the 
execution of punishment, which was not only the 
natural wages and deserved reward of sin, but also, 


by paction and covenant appointed by mutual con- 
sent of parties, if man, so much obliged to God, should 
break so equitable and easy a command, as was given 
to try him by, being forewarned of his danger. 

Sixthly, This way of covenanting with man, was a 
most holy and fit mean to manifest the vanity and in- 
stability of the most perfect creature, except in the 
exercise of all its abilities and habits, it do acknow- 
ledge God, and in every thing, less and more, con- 
stantly employ him, and depend upon him. 

Last of all, this was a most holy mean to bring 
forth to light the grace and mercy of God in Christ, 
providing a remedy for fallen man before he fell, 
and to open up the decree and covenant of redemp- 
tion in due time, to be brought about by Christ, to 
the glory of God in Christ, by whom, and " for whom 
all things were made," (Col. i. 16). 

Question. Had this covenant of works no me- 
diator, no surety engaged for Adam and all his pos- 
terity ? Answer. No mediator was in this -cove- 
nant ; for the party on the one hand was God, and 
on the other hand was Adam and Eve, our common 
parents, standing upon the ground of their natural 
abilities, representing and comprehending all their 
natural offspring ; and according to the condition of 
the covenant, in their own name and name of their 
posterity, promising obedience, and receiving the 
condition of life if they continued, and of death in 
case they failed, (Gen. ii. 17). In whose sin we all 
have sinned, (Rom. v. 12). 

Now, the necessity of a mediator, did not appear 
in this covenant so long as it stood, that afterward, 
in the making of another covenant, it might more 



timeously appear : First, because man being created 
holy according to the image of God, was the friend 
of God while he had not sinned ; and again, his ser- 
vice, while he stood in obedience, was very pleasant 
and acceptable to God, because so long, freely and sin- 
cerely he served God according to the command and 
rule written in his heart. 

Question. After that this covenant was broken, 
was it not abolished altogether, seeing it could not 
now be any longer perfectly obeyed, nor save us who 
are sinners ? Answer. Albeit this covenant, being 
broken on man's part, did become weak, and utterly 
unable to produce justification by works, or eternal 
life to us by our inherent righteousness ; yet, on 
God's part, the bond of this covenant doth stand firm 
and strong against all men by nature, for their con- 
demnation who are not reconciled to God. There- 
fore all that are not renewed and made friends with 
God by another covenant of faith in God incarnate 
(the seed of the woman, who destroyeth the work of 
the devil) do lie bound under the bond of this cove- 
nant of works, as Christ testifies, " He that believeth 
on me, is not condemned ; but he that believeth not, 
is condemned already," (John iii. 18) ; to wit, by the 
force of the covenant of works violated by them ; and 
are not delivered from the curse by Christ the Son of 
God, till they fly to him. And this doth the apostle 
confess, speaking of himself and other elect Jews 
before their regeneration, " We also were children of 
wrath, even as others," (Eph. ii. 3) : for whosoever 
is not reconciled to God by Christ, against him doth 
the sentence of the law, and curse for violation of the 
covenant, stand in force ; for sinning against the co- 


venant, doth not loose the man from the covenant, 
neither from the obligation to obey it, nor from the 
punishment of breaking it. 

Objection. But seeing a man is utterly unable 
to obey the law, or to keep that covenant, doth not 
his utter inability excuse him, and dissolve the bond? 
Answer. No ways : because that inability is the 
fruit of our sin, and is drawn on by ourselves ; nor 
doth God lose his right to crave the debt due to him, 
because the bankrupt is not able to pay what he oweth. 
For even among men, such as have misspent their 
patrimony, are not absolved of their debt because they 
are not able to pay the debt ; yea, even the children 
of the misspender of his goods, do stand debtors, so 
long as the debt is neither paid nor forgiven. 

The covenant of works therefore being broken, the 
obligation standeth, to make us give obedience so 
much the more in time to come ; and because of the 
curse pronounced for the breaking of the covenant in 
time past, the obligation to underlie the punishment 
for bygone sins doth stand ; and so, both the obliga- 
tion to underlie the punishment, and the obligation to 
give obedience, do stand together, while a man is not 
absolved from the covenant of works, by entering in 
a new covenant, whereby the debt is paid and the 
sinner absolved. 

Whosoever then conceive, that they may be justi- 
fied from by-gone sins by their own obedience in time 
to come, either by way of doing or of suffering, they 
but deceive themselves, dreaming they can do impos- 
sibilities ; for the punishment to be suffered for sin 
by the sinner, is the curse everlasting of soul and body, 
seeing a mere creature cannot for ever satisfy for his 
rebellion, how long soever we presuppose his duration 


under suffering. And for obedience, by wav of doing 
perfectly what the Lord doth crave, it is utterly im- 
possible, because we are carnal, sold under sin, and 
cannot satisfy the law ; and because we cannot satisfy 
the law, the law becometh weak, and unable to justify 
and save us, (Rom. viii. 3). 

How the Covenant of Works may be called the Co- 
venant of Nature. Albeit the law written by nature 
in men's heart, differeth from the covenant for per- 
formance of the law, as hath been shewn before ; yet, 
the covenant of works made with Adam before he 
fell, tying him to keep that law, may be called the 
covenant of nature, 

First. Because the covenant of works is grounded 
upon the law of nature, and doth exact nothing of 
man, save that which God might require of him ac- 
cording to the law of nature. 

Secondly, Because when the covenant of works was 
made with Adam, it was made with all his natural 
posterity which was to spring from him by natural 
generation ; and so, the obligation thereof did pass 
upon all his natural posterity by the law of nature, 
which maketh the child begotten to bear the image 
of the begetters. 

Thirdly, That the covenant of works may justly be 
called the covenant of nature, appeareth, by the force 
of the conscience being wakened from its sleepy se- 
curity ; for it challengeth for sin according to that 
covenant, and pronounceth 'the sentence of God's 
wrath against the sinner. For the conscience doth 
acknowledge the judgment of God, " That they which 
commit such things are worthy of death," (Rom. i. 32). 

Fourthly, Because the conscience naturally inclineth 
a man to seek justification by his own works, if it can 


anv Tray find pretence for it ; as we may see in the 
Pharisee, who in his speech to God, doth judge him- 
self a holy man, because he is not amongst the worst 
of men, and hath many good works above others to 
reckon forth and lay before God, (Luke xviii. 11). 

Fifthly ', The inclination of man's heart to expect a 
reward for every good work he doth, whether it be 
in some part real, or only apparently such, testifieth 
so much. Mi eah so reasoneth : ;; Xow know I the 
Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my 
priest," (Judg. xvii. 13). And how miserably the con- 
science may be deluded in this case, when men do 
dote upon their own well deserving, appeareth in 
Leah ; for Leah saith, " God hath given me my hire, 
because I have given my maiden to my husband." 
(Gen. xxx. 18). 

Sixthly, This point is also made manifest, bv the 
natural ignorance of righteousness by faith, and affec- 
tation to be justified by works, which the apostle finds 
fault with in the Israelites : " They sought righteous- 
ness not by faith, but as it were by works," (Rom. 
ix. 32) : and, " Being ignorant of the righteousness of 
God, and going about to establish their own righteous- 
ness (to wit, righteousness by works, according to the 
tenor of the covenant of works), they did not submit 
themselves to the righteousness of God," (Rom. x. 3). 

Seventhly, The same course followed by Papists and 
other erroneous teachers, testifieth the natural inclina- 
tion of men to seek righteousness by works, according 
to the tenor of the covenant of works, and not bv faith 
in Christ Jesus, that righteousness may come by grace 
only ; and so are some men's hearts glued to this 
error, that they do transform justification by faith, 
into justification by one work instead of all, as if the 


work of faith were the man's righteousness, and not 
Christ himself laid hold on by faith ; — not considering, 
that to the man that rcnounceth all confidence in any- 
work of his own, and flieth to Christ by faith, "Christ 
is made of God unto that man, wisdom and righteous- 
ness," (1 Cor. i. 30). 

Last of all, This natural inclination, even of the re- 
generate, to seek righteousness by works, doth prove 
the covenant of works to be naturally ingrafted into 
all men's hearts, as appeareth in the Galatians, who 
being instructed in the doctrine of justification by 
faith in Christ, without the works of the law, did 
easily, upon a tentation offered, look back with liking 
to the way of justification by works ; for which the 
apostle reproveth them: "Tell me," saith he, " ye that 
desire to be under the law," or covenant of works, 
(Gal. iv. 21) ; and verse 9, " But now, after ye have 
known God," or rather, are known of God, " how turn 
ye again to weak and beggarly elements, whereunto 
you desire again to be in bondage ?" 

Objection. But the Galatians, as it seemeth, did 
not reject justification by faith ; but did join with it 
justification by the works of the law, thinking that 
the safest way was to join both together. Answer. 
The inconsistency of these two ways of justification, 
the apostle sheweth, (Rom. xi. 6). For justification 
by grace is no more by works, otherwise grace is no 
more grace ; and what justification is by works, is no 
more of grace, otherwise work is no more work. And 
therefore, the apostle makes the joining of these two 
ways of justification, to be nothing else but a plain 
seeking of justification by the covenant of works, 
which cutteth a man off from any benefit by Christ, 
(Gal. v. 2) ; and whosoever seeketh to be justified by 


the law, or covenant of works, is fallen from grace, 
(verse 4 . 

For further clearing this matter, we may distin- 
guish two sorts of the covenant of works : The one is 
true, genuine, and of God's institution, which God 
made with all men in Adam, for perfect obedience 
unto God's law, out of man's own natural abilities. 
There is another counterfeit, bastard covenant of 
works, of man's own devising, which a sinner, lying 
in his sins, (unable to do what the law commands, or 
to suffer what the law, being broken, binds upon him,) 
of his own head deviseth, upon other conditions than 
God hath set ; and will have God to take his devised 
covenant, instead of perfect obedience to the law, that 
bo he may be justified. Such was the covenant which 
the carnal Israelites made.with God in the wilderness, 
and which their posterity did follow, turning the cove- 
nant of grace, whereunto God was calling them, into 
a covenant of works of their own framing. For the 
grace which was offered to them in Christ, under the 
veil of Levitical types, figures, and ceremonies, they 
turned into an external service of performance only 
of bare and dead ceremonies, and into a ministry of 
the letter and death. Tor they did not take up Christ 
to be the end of the law for righteousness, to every 
one that believes in him ; but did think, that both 
the moral and ceremonial law was given unto them 
of God, to the intent that they should do the external 
works of the moral law so far as they could ; and 
when they transgressed the moral law, they should 
flee to the ceremonial law, and make amends for their 
faults, by satisfying for their sin by the external sacri- 
fice of some clean beast offered to God, or bv the 
washing of their body and their clothes. Such also is 


the covenant, which now a-days many make with 
God, cutting short, with the old Pharisees, the sense 
of the precepts of the law, by extending it no further 
than they may keep the same, that so, they may make 
their own inherent righteousness the longer, and con- 
form unto their own clipped rule of righteousness. 
And this they do, by denying themselves to be guilty 
of original sin after baptism, and by extenuating and 
diminishing many faults, as but light and venial, as 
they call them ; and by devising satisfactions for ex- 
piating the sins of the living, by penances and pilgrim- 
ages, and of the dead by their sufferings in their ima- 
ginary purgatory, that so they may be justified by 
their works and sufferings. Such also is their cove- 
nant, who seek justification by deceased saints' 
merits, hoping they may so have absolution from sin, 
and obtain life eternal. And all these sorts of cove- 
nants of men's framing, we call bastard covenants of 
works, because God will not admit any other covenant 
of works, than that which requireth perfect personal 
obedience. And therefore, so many as seek to be 
justified by works, do stand under the obligation of 
perfect personal obedience, under pain of death, and 
will be found not only utterly unable to do any good 
work, but also to be without Christ, and to be fallen 
from grace, as the apostle doth teach us, (Gal. v. 3, 4). 
Objection. Seeing God doth abhor these bastard 
covenants of works, and doth well know, that men 
are so far from performance of the due obedience of 
the law, that they are utterly unable, before they be 
reconciled through faith in Christ, to do so much as 
one acceptable work, as the Psalmist teacheth (Psal. 
xiv. 1-3), why doth the Lord exact perfect obedience 
unto the law from sinners ? Who doth he press so 


urgently the slaves of sin, to perform the duties re- 
quired in the true covenant of works \ Answer. The 
Lord justly doth abhor and reject these bastard cove- 
nants, because they evacuate and make void both the 
the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, 
which is by faith in Christ ; and he doth press all men 
to perform perfect obedience to all the commands 
whereunto they are naturally obliged, to the end that 
proud men, conceited of their own natural abilities, 
may find by experience, that they are unable to per- 
form the condition of the covenant of works, and may 
acknowledge the same, and so despair of righteousness 
by their works, and be forced to fly to Christ, and to 
the covenant of grace through him, that they may be 
freed from that covenant ; and being justified by faith 
in Christ, may be enabled to begin new obedience to 
the law, in the strength of Christ's furniture; for 
'• Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to 
every one that believeth," (Rom. x. 4). And the law 
entered, that men might by the law see and acknow- 
ledge that the offence did abound, and then might 
perceive, that the riches of grace by Christ did super- 
abound, (Rom. v. 20, 21) : " The end of the command, 
is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, 
and faith unfeigned," (1 Tim. i. 5). 

This was the end of the promulgation of the law on 
Mount Sinai, that a stiff-necked people, trusting in 
their own abilities, might be made sensible of their 
imperfection by the repetition of the law. And to 
this also God superadded the external yoke of the 
ceremonial law, which neither they, nor their poste- 
rity were able to bear (Acts xv. 10), that the people 
perceiving their manifold pollutions and guiltiness, 
wherein they were daily involved by breaking of God's 


law, might, in the sense of the burden lying on them, 
and of their damnable estate under it, fly to Christ 
the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, 
as he was represented and offered to their sight in the 
sacrifices and burnt-offerings. 

Of this end of pressing the law upon proud men, 
we have an example (Matt. xix. 16-22), in the 
conference of Christ with the young conceited rich 
man, who in the opinion of his own hflierent right- 
eousness, and of his abilities, was hugely swelled, 
as if he had already for time by-gone satisfied 
the whole law ; and that he was able and ready to do 
any good work which could be prescribed unto him, 
for obtaining of eternal life : whose proud conceit, 
that Christ might humble and bring down, he craveth 
nothing but that he would keep the commands. And 
when the young man denied that he had broken the 
law, he proveth him guilty of gross and vile idolatry, 
from this, that he put a higher estimation on his 
riches, than on remission of sin, and did love them 
more than heaven and fellowship with God in eter- 
nal life. 

In all this, let it be considered, that albeit men's 
confidence in their works doth displease God, yet 
good works do not displease him, but they are so far 
pleasant unto him, that there is no moral motive which 
may serve to stir up in his people, an endeavour to 
follow after good works, which the Lord doth not 
make use of; partly, by setting before them the re- 
ward if they obey ; partly, by setting punishments 
before their eyes if they obey not : yea, and the very 
observation of external moral duties and obedience, 
such as may be discharged by the unregenerate man 
(albeit God in relation to justification do esteem it 


polluted and vile), yet lie doth sometimes reward 
their external works, by giving them external and 
temporal benefits for their encouragement. For even 
Ahab's temporary humiliation, the Lord so far ac- 
cepted, that thereupon he took occasion to delay to 
take vengeance upon him, (1 Kings xxi. 27, 28, 29) ; 
likewise the Lord useth to recompence the civil justice 
of pagans with a temporal reward, yea, and to reward 
the outward diligence of every man in every lawful 
occupation, with some answerable outward reward. 

The very Pharisees, who for the raising to them- 
selves a fame and higher estimation for holiness, did 
take a great deal of pains, in prayers in the streets 
and market places, and other exercises of religion, 
wanted not an answerable reward ; " verily (saith 
Christ), they have their reward," (Matt. vi. 2). 

In this course the Lord doth keep, that he may 
entertain and foster the civil society of men among 
themselves ; and that his people, looking on this 
bounty of God, may be stirred up the more to bring 
forth the fruits of faith, in hope of a merciful promised 
better reward of grace in the life to come, beside what 
thev mav have in this life.